17. Chapter Seventeen
Soft caresses were against my bare back. I was still clothed, as music hummed softly in the background. "Beautiful, you've all but slept the day away. Are you ill?" I turned my head, seeing Carlisle beside me on the bed. He was propped up on one arm, looking at me. "Lack of sleep is a bitch. Thus turning me into one as well." He chuckled, "Ah the more feisty." He was extremely flirtatious, but cautious with it as well. "My boss, well friend is coming over with his husband, and kids." I was muffled, talking into my pillow. Carlisle smiled, "Steve right? Yep I remember him. Peter as well. They visited while you were ill." I nodded. Carlisle kissed my cheek, "That'll be nice." I smiled. He smelled amazing, and I wanted him. He looked at me, "Esme what is it?" I blushed. I wasn't going to say to him, "You smell amazing." but my mouth worked faster then my brain. I blurted it out, accompanied with a soft purr in my tone. Carlisle grinned, and leaned over moving my hair exposing my neck. He gently pressed his lips against my pulse point, "Relax." He kissed softly, his hands exploring the rest of my back. I relaxed, as he slowly slid my shirt up, soft kisses trailed my spine. He whispered, his lips gently brushing against my skin, "I can stop if you're uncomfortable in any way." He waited for her response. She was quite, her heart was beating faster, with excitement, and nervousness. "Love?" He questioned again. I inhaled deeply, "Sorry it's been a while. It's like virgin territory for me." my tongue caressed my lip, trying to relax. "Want me to slow down." Another soft kiss against my bear skin. His warm breath, and scent were aboslutely intoxicating, and to die for. My heart was already awake, and read to go. It had done it's warm up session, and just hung around waiting now. He was patient with me. I couldn't answer, I was so unsure. Part of me was anxiously excited, wanting to feel his body entwined with mine. His hands all over me. The other part was terrified of any sort of sexual encounter. It wasn't so much because of what Charles had done, it was because; I'd never been intimate with anyone of my own except for Scott. "Hey storm." Lee shouts to his captain. Ara stopped and turned, "No storm jokes, heard em all." Lee winked at her, "We are on patrol for crying out loud, the CO has gone back to base because he's sick, carry on and I'll punish you." Eight guys roar with laughter, Ara burst out laughing, "Dirty minded sod." Ara scratched at her leg, realizing her mobile phone was in her pocket, and that could be bad. "Alright guys, follow in my footsteps, tread where I do." They started marching. Carlisle saw his phone light up, and start to buzz. "Give me a moment love." He kissed my shoulder, and read the screen. "One minute." He quickly got up, and grabbed it, leaving the room. The desert was quiet, except for their footsteps that seemed to echo, "Keep an eye out for any one suspicious and remember stay behind me unless told otherwise." Ara had given her orders, the boys nodded. "Hello?" Carlisle spoke waiting for a response it seemed. I pulled the comforter over my head, and closed my eyes. I assumed it was work, why else would be get so quickly. The desert quiet was disturbed by gunfire, "Down," Ara shouted then radioed in, "enemy contact, one mile, east of our position," she then spoke to the lads, "do not fire unless told," she looked down, "hell," breathing in fast, "Stewart, possible IED, an inch from my face, no one move, I need to think fast." The gunfire was rapid. Carlisle sat down on the stairs, and listened. His blood thundered through his veins. His best friend, wasn't answering. She was in danger. He could do nothing to help her. He ran his hand through his hair with his free hand. The nausea hit him like a strike of lightning. The gunfire cooled off, Ara got out her binoculars, "They're retreating," thinking fast, "all of you stand up slowly, don't take your eyes off the enemy, I'm gonna get up in a moment and try diffuse this thing, what a time to not have Tim from bomb disposal with me," she watched as the guys got up, they looked scared for the captain. I listened quietly to Carlisle sigh. He was bothered by what ever he was hearing. I climbed out of bed, and make my bed. I walked out quietly, and joined him on the stairs, sitting down beside him. He wrapped his arm around me, and pulled me close. He kissed the top of my head, remaining quiet. It wasn't work like I'd originally thought. Now I was extremely concerned. I'd never seen him look like this. Ara began talking to herself, "Okay, wriggle backwards a few inches." She did so carefully, and got out a pair of small plyers, "Alright next move, get kneeling." her boys watched her anxiously as she slowly rose to her knees, her heart thundered. "Feel like I'm having a heart attack." She half laughed, and started poking at it, taking a closer look, theres some kind of delay, her eyes grow wide. "Run, now, I order you!" Ara scrambled to her feet, both legs were numb, managing to walk fast, "Please let it be quick, look after Carlisle for me." Ara prayed. BOOM! The explosive echoed a few seconds later the line went dead. Carlie's shoulders slumped. He was quiet. His hand holding the phone up to his ear, dropped. He turned pale, and appeared to be in a daze. "I need to go. I love you." He stood up, and walked down the stairs, and out the door. There was nothing else to be said. I was left sitting there, wondering what the hell had happend. My heart broke, and I was left speechless. I pulled myself together, and took a shower. Dressing seemed to be so difficult. I wasn't sure what I wanted to wear. Yoga pants, wool socks, and a long sleeve shirt, and Scott's hoodie from college. My hair was up in a messy bun. No makeup, a bra was a miracle. I checked my phone, but no messages, or missed calls from Carlisle. I sat on the edge of the bed, and felt so confused. I stared at the photo of Scott, and I for some time. "It felt right. I shouldn't have rushed it." I pushed off the bed, and grabbed my phone sending Alice a text. "When you get this, please let me know. We need to talk." I sent the message, then made my way downstairs. I set up at the table for the gang. I pulled out a bottle of wine, and set it on the table. The kids most likely would want milk, and I grabbed that next. I retrieved plates, and set the table, along with glasses, and waited, until they arrived. I knew the kids would play, and have a great time. Steve, Peter, and I would talk. I just didn't have much to talk about. It was 5:30 according to the clock hanging on the wall. They arrived right on time. Carlisle was wandering around the city streets, still in a daze. Only earlier that day she had phoned him to say she was leaving and starting a new life. A new life by his side, just as he had always imagined, not now though, fate had let him hear her voice one last time. No more fun times, messing about, no more warm hugs from her, hugs that could melt your heart, no, he felt guilty, the demons had won and he felt it was his fault. Finally he arrived at his residence, Carlisle went straight upstairs and began looking through a huge photo album, it was as though he could hear her voice right beside him. The guys arrived, and walked in. "Ez you here?" Peter called out. The kids came running, wrapping their arms around me. "Auntie Esme." I smiled, and kissed the top of their heads. "Play room is waiting for you two." They squealed and started running. Peter's smile faded into concern, "What's wrong doll?" He set the food down, taking his coat off. Steve shuffled in, after shutting the door. "Whoa. What happened?" I shrugged. "Baby girl come here. What happened." Peter grabbed my hand. I sighed, "We were relaxing. I was apprehensive about moving too fast, but he understood. Then he got a phone call, and he just left without a word." My shoulders slumped. Ara's final words echoed in his mind, "Let this be quick, look after Carlisle for me." She had always been that way, putting everyone before herself, he let the tears come crashing down his cheeks, he screeched, "You're punishing me, aren't you?" He looked upwards, "because' I left her." Carlisle remembered the day she told him she had signed up to the British army, his heart almost stopped, he never wanted her in harms way, she had been through enough, he wanted to protect her. Ara's choice of words came to bite him,"You moved, I need to get out, to see the world maybe even make a difference, I don't blame you, you've spread your wings, allow me to do the same."She proved her metal, stuck it out and enjoyed life as a soldier. He didn't know what to do anymore, he'd have to wait for the dreaded letter from the MOD, shaking his head he couldn't believe she had gone, she had finally left him.