Friday, August 14, 2015

McRoll--Jet Lag

Okay, McRoll girls, here's Part 3 to send you into the weekend with something fun to read!  (As always, I do not own these characters and this is just for fun and entertainment.)

If you missed any previous installments, you can read Part 1 here
You can read Part 2 here

Part 3---Jet Lag

Steve walked up the steps to his front door, exhaustion seeping through every inch of his body. They’d searched for Sameer, used every channel they had, but he was nowhere to be found. Which means he probably had the nuke and was putting his plans in motion to use it.

He rubbed his eyes and held back a yawn. Getting out of the water and seeing Catherine again seemed like a lifetime ago, instead of this morning. He unlocked the door, hoping she was here.

Turning on the entryway light, he saw that her suitcase wasn’t there anymore. Silently taking the stairs to the second floor, he didn’t see her in bed or any lights on in the bathroom. His stomach sank. She wouldn’t leave, would she? He walked to the window, peering outside. She wasn’t on the beach. Would she have gone for a run? Hopefully not this late.

He stopped at the top of the stairs and saw her in the shadows of the couch, curled up in a corner. Relief raced through him. He let out a breath and started down. From the angle she’d fallen asleep in, her neck was going to ache when she woke up.

He crossed quietly to the couch and sat down on the other end, watching her. She looked so peaceful when she slept, all the worry and uncertainty gone. Her hair had come out of her clip and curled around her throat. He wanted to reach out and touch it, to pull her close and just hold her until the sun came up. They didn’t even have to speak, just be.

But he couldn’t do that. Not yet. He took the blanket off the chair beside him and covered her with it. Pulling it over her legs, he noticed a scar on her shin that he’d never seen before. How had she gotten it? When? His stomach tightened remembering his own scars he’d picked up on his last trip to Afghanistan. They’d both suffered and changed and that’s what the issue was. Could they pick up where they’d left off with the people they were now?

He didn’t know.

Gently picking her up, he settled her in his arms, keeping the blanket around her. “Steve,” she said, sleepily.

“I’m here.” He pressed her closer. She was thinner than she should be, and he frowned. Had she not gotten enough to eat while she was overseas? Or was she not taking care of herself? Apparently they had a lot more to talk about than he’d thought. He carried her toward the stairs. “I’m just getting you a little more comfortable, okay?”

She didn’t answer, just locked her hands behind his neck and snuggled deeper in his arms. He kissed her temple as he took her into the bedroom and laid her on her side of the bed. She grabbed his forearm before he could step back. “Did you find Sameer?”

“Not yet.” He sighed, wishing he had better news, that he could tell her it was okay. “It’s not over, though.”

She was struggling to wake up, but he knew the jet lag was dragging her under. She needed the rest and there wasn’t anything she could do right now anyway. “We’ll start again the morning. Just get some sleep.”

She nodded and reached for his hand, intertwining her fingers with his, like she’d done so many times before. He sat down on the bed, staring at her small fingers in his hand. It was tempting to climb in and hold her. He hadn’t slept well in months and part of that was not having her near. His body was just able to fully relax when she was next to him.

And he wanted her next to him.  Rubbing his thumb over the back of her hand, all he could think about was how many memories were wrapped up in their hands. Holding each other. Waving goodbye to each other. Protecting each other. Comforting each other. Their hands had always been the perfect fit, working together. But could their relationship hold on?

He sighed and let go, standing next to the bed. He was tired and she was too tempting. They had so much history and right now that seemed more important than anything. He knew her as well as he knew himself.

But was that still true?

She’d experienced things in Afghanistan that he had no idea about. She’d told him not to wait for her. And he needed to sort out his own feelings that he’d set aside about that. How ironic that the day she came back to Hawaii was the day a nuke went missing.

 Maybe he should just lie down next to her and let the chips fall where they may in the morning. They could face it together. But in his heart, he knew he couldn’t. They both needed answers and a good night’s sleep.

He brushed his fingertips across her cheek and pulled the blanket higher. “See you in the morning,” he murmured. He grabbed his pillow and headed downstairs. Laying down on the couch where Catherine had been, he let the sound of the ocean waves calm him. Glancing upstairs, he turned over, trying to get comfortable. She was here. Safe. And they had time. Before Kono’s wedding tomorrow he’d get some answers. How long was she staying? Where did they go from here?

Closing his eyes, he let the answers he hoped she’d say run through his mind.


Unknown said...

I am flattering that you told me that you posted this chapter because of me!!! That's very fast. Thank you!!!! Totally love this. I love how detailed your writing is, love how detailed you describe Steve's emotions when he got home trying to find Cath. That is so sweet to read. Can't help myself smiling all the way. And the thought of Steve that Cath is thinner than before is super sweet - probably the best thing in this chapter. Totally in love with this.

I still wish it could be longer huhu. Though I know you have more important things to do in your real life. Looking forward to the final chapter, yet I don't want it to end, because I have nothing to look forward to. I'm starving for high quality McRoll fictions.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

LuckyStar, you make me smile! I love writing for the McRoll girls. We have a ton of fun together, don't we? You're awesome to read all my stories. Thank you!

Unknown said...

You're very welcome. You're my life-saver (this month). I have nothing to read and that's when you come in. Yes we do. A lot of fun. I'll never forget this xoxo (You should write more McRoll stories, even though you don't get paid :'( ) Or you can write your novel using Steve & Catherine, using the same characters & write your own novel. I swear I will buy it, regardless of how expensive it could be and how poor I am hahahaha.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

I was looking over the next part of the fic and I could really stretch this one into five or six parts. Might give you something to read until the premiere at least. :)

And, if you're open to it, my novel All Fall Down features a Navy SEAL named Rafe who is pretty amazing and a hostage negotiator named Claire who matches him. Remind you of anyone else we know? LOL And the ebook is free right now so it would fit your budget. :)