***Chapter Nineteen***
Word Count: 1,880

“Are you going to wake up with me, Princess?”


He chuckled. “You seemed interested in dinner when I mentioned it earlier.”

“I am.”

He laughed, running a fingertip along her arm that hadn’t moved from his stomach for about two hours now.

“What’s so funny?” she asked.

“Oh, just trying to figure out which of us has been up for three days? And which of us has a Valentine’s Day gift to open she doesn’t seem all that interested in? And that surprises me. Where’s that materialistic girl I met?”

“I’m interested.”

“That got your attention.”

“I sleep better when you’re accounted for I guess, so I haven’t slept real well for months.”

“Yeah? Funny, I sleep better knowing you’re tucked safely and snuggly in bed each night. That means me and my unit have done our jobs.”

“In your bed would be nicer.”

“You’d like that?”

“What? Being in your bed every night? You know I would.”

“Even if it meant you’d be away from your folks and friends, on your own if I was deployed again?”

She looked at him, sliding her hand along his stomach. “It wouldn’t be easy, but at least you’d come home to me. And I could visit them while you’re gone.”


“You’re not getting sent away again, are you?”

“Not immediately, but six months from now…”

“Anything could happen. I know,” she said softly.

“Yeah, it’s unlikely, though.”


He sat up from the bed then. He made his way to his bag across her room. He found the small bag in there for her and turned on the lamp at her desk he’d seen while waiting for her. God, he thought she was never going to come back to her room. He’d gotten awful close to dozing off more than once. He sat on the edge of the bed.

“You awake?”

“Yes,” she said.

“So, these are for you. Proof I didn’t forget,” he said. “I’m sorry the rose isn’t real, but I didn’t really have time to be choosy or overly selective.”

She sat up then, clutching the blanket around her. “I mailed yours,” she said.

“I figured. It’s all right. I’ll get it eventually, and it’s not quite as important to me as it is to you.”

She set the rose on her lap after running her fingertip along the petals. It was a deep red velvet and “it’s very pretty”.

“I’m glad you think so.”

She read his card then.

“That’s pretty sentimental for you,” she said.

“Yeah, funny how being away from you for months made me feel that way and want to find a card that said what I was feeling.”

She leaned in and kissed him.

“Thank you.”

“Oh, I’m not done yet.”

“John. You’re home. That’s present enough. Really.”

“No, it’s not. I mean, I’m glad you think so. Did I tell you I made Lance Corporal while I was gone?”

“No, you didn’t in all your lengthy letters you failed to mention that.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t really know what to say beyond just letting you know I was all right and thinking about you.”

“You did fine. Anyway, that’s great.”

“It meant a bit of a pay increase.”

“I hope so.”

“That means I had a little more to spend on something for you.”

“John,” she said.

“I had over six months to think on things. What I’d do when I got back. First thing was get here, of course.”

“Second thing?”

“Ask you to marry me.”

“What?” she asked.

“You heard me,” he said. He pulled the little box out of the bag the other things had been in. “But if you were wanting the exact phrasing I can do that. Claire Marie Standish will you marry me?”

She watched as he slid the ring onto her left ring finger. It was a little snug going over her knuckle but once over it fit just fine.

“I think you’re supposed to answer me.”

“I’m sorry. You surprised me. Yes.”


“Yes, I’ll marry you.”

“Thank God.”

“You actually thought I’d say no?”

“After the last seven months, I wasn’t completely sure if you’d decide it was too much.”

“It didn’t change how I feel about you.”

“I’m a very lucky guy and very glad.”

“Not everyone’s so lucky, I guess?”


“I’m sorry for them, but those women weren’t nice. Or didn’t love them to begin with.”

“Some people find it harder than they thought. The distance. Then throw in a deployment or two.”

“It is incredibly hard. There hasn’t been a day that I don’t worry about you, wonder if you’re okay and how you are, whether you have food and water. It was worse the past few months, but I’m so proud of what you’re doing.”

“Thank you,” he said, kissing her. “So, dinner to celebrate and then maybe a private celebration later?”

“I like the sound of that.”

“You know what I’d like the sound of?”


“That naughty thing you said you wanted me to do to you earlier?”


“I want to hear you say that to me for the next,” he glanced at her clock. “Not quite thirty-six hours over and over again.”

“Oh, God, John, I couldn’t even actually say it once. Why?”

“Seven months, Princess. None of our phone calls, no letters with anything remotely personal in them besides I love you, no contact, and you want to know why?”

“I know. I just…”

“You said that was what you needed from me.”

“I know, and it was.”

“Yeah, well, that’s what I need from you.”

She slid onto his lap, sliding her hands along his arms to his neck. She kissed his neck near her hand, kissing him there.

“You want to hear me tell you to fuck me?”

“Yes,” he whispered.

“You want to know I missed you that badly?”

“Uh huh,” he said when she nipped at his skin she’d just licked. “You want to know that I dreamt of you behind me, in me so deep that it almost hurt.”

“God, Claire,” he said, shifting her on his lap a bit. “I promised you dinner.”

“We’ll find a restaurant later,” she whispered, kissing his ear. She peeled his shirt down a little along his shoulder kissing his shoulder. She licked him there, brushing her cheek against that spot. She shifted her hips. “Right now, I want you in me again.”

“Turn around,” he whispered.

She laughed. “He likes the idea of being behind me?”

“He does,” he said.

She turned around on his lap more than willing to have him in her like this. Their first time together she’d been a little hesitant, afraid afterward he’d think less of her somehow. She wasn’t sure why exactly but it’d been engrained in her that good girls – ladies – didn’t DO things like that. She’d liked it, though, too much to stop him from doing it again.

“What are you waiting for?” she asked.

His fingers were between her legs, stroking her. She was already wet and ready for him. She knew he felt that she was. She reached behind her to touch him, sliding her hand along his length to the base of him so she could cup him the way he always seemed to like. She shifted her hips, moving against him.

“Say it,” he whispered.

“I did!”

He found the back of her neck, kissing her there. He started licking and sucking the skin there. God, the idea of someone seeing a mark there, knowing he’d have to be behind her to leave it there really excited her. He had to feel her moving against him, wiggling on his lap, practically begging him to fuck her just like he wanted her to say.

“You’re not being fair,” she whispered.

No response, of course, because he was busy. He very rarely stopped doing that when he started unless he absolutely had to. She groaned softly and he gave a muffled chuckle. It was different somehow, saying it to his face and facing away from him. She wasn’t sure why.

“As long as you keep doing that until you’re done,” she breathed deeply. “Please fuck me.”

He didn’t do anything right away and she groaned in frustration. She knew he heard her. Then he was shifting her over him so he could slide into her.

“Oh God, just like that,” she murmured. He liked this position because while she was on top of him he still had some control because he could move her using his hands at her hips a little easier than she could move herself.

He didn’t stop kissing her neck until well after he’d finished and he took a lot longer than she thought he was going to. She leaned back against his chest as he held her to him. His fingertips grazed along her upper thigh.

“Was that so hard?”



“I don’t know. Facing away from you it’s just different.”

“Thank you,” he whispered, kissing her shoulder. He ran a finger over the spot on her neck he’d been marking. “You wanted me to keep marking you. Why?”

“I liked it.”

“Liked it being obvious I was behind you?”

“Yes,” she whispered.

“But telling me to fuck you is worse?”

“Not worse, just different. I’m sorry.”

“I’m not mad. Once is good. I can let that sustain me until you think you can say it again. I love you,” he said.

“I love you, too.”

He slid his left hand over hers, lacing his fingers through hers. He raised her hand up a little looking at the ring there. He’d tried to picture it on her finger and failed to see it properly. Wearing it on his pinky finger just wasn’t the same and he sure as hell wasn’t going to ask another woman to try it on so he could see what it looked like. She was the only one he ever wanted to wear it. Well, maybe a daughter or granddaughter one day.

“You like it?”


“Me, too. I saw it and just knew it was supposed to be yours.”

“You did well.”

“Thank you, Princess.”

“For liking the ring?”

“Well, that, too. Saying yes, going outside your comfort zone for me. Saying you miss me and really showing me you miss me are sometimes different things.”

“If I didn’t want that…”

“I wouldn’t want to hear you say it if you didn’t want it. It just turns me on hearing you say something so improper.”

“I say improper things all of the time.”

“It’s not the same.”

“Am I getting too heavy?”

He snorted at that. “No, but if you want to move you can. We could get dinner still, too.”

She laughed softy. “Yes, let me put on a new skirt and underwear.”

“You may want to rethink the skirt angle if you ever want to actually leave this room.”

“I’ll take my chances. Besides it’ll make it easier later. You have seven months to make up for in less than two days.”

“I will do my best.”

“I’m sure you will. What are you doing?” she asked.

“Watching you change.”


“Because I can, Princess, because I can. It’s as simple as that.”

“Oh,” she said.

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