Homecoming Ch. 05


This chapter was edited to correct a date discrepancy/error that was driving me crazy — no more, no less. Everything else in the story is exactly the same.

Thanks again Techsan for editing this piece. I hope my gratitude doesn’t start to get boring. As always, all comments are welcome and appreciated.


However, those of you interested in the dynamics of the two main characters, this chapter might be important to you. Hang in there…the steamy stuff is coming…I promise

Chapter 5

Ste-Mere-Eglise, France, June 6, 1944

That hot June evening almost three years ago and its aftermath always left a bitter taste in Daniel’s mouth whenever his thoughts would turn to her. He should have handled it differently. Maybe then he would have had the chance to tell her how much she meant to him — how much he loved her; how that one night in her arms, in her room, had changed him forever.

Instead, he’d taken the coward’s way out. He’d denied his feelings for her and lied to himself, wasting precious moments with the one person whose memory was now keeping him alive. Now, he was fighting for her and she didn’t even know it.

Daniel shifted uncomfortably on the bed and bent down to loosen the tourniquet. He’d almost forgotten about that…almost. The throbbing in his leg began anew and in earnest now that he was no longer distracted, lost in thought. After he’d checked his leg and determined that the tourniquet was doing its job, he turned back to the window and the fireworks display the view provided him – courtesy of the Allied Forces and the Germans’ resistance.

Had he known that the average life-expectancy of some of his fellow officers landing on the beaches of Normandy was about 32 seconds, he would have realized that he’d already beaten the odds just by surviving this long. Gratefully, he had no idea of the horrific casualties that the Allies were suffering on that day.

At this moment, his only thought was of surviving — one more second, one more minute, one more hour. The farm woman would come back for him. Of this he was certain. How could she not? The fates had been smiling on him this early morning — but for how long?

By all accounts he should have died when his aircraft transport had veered off course from the target in the inclement weather only to come under heavy fire. He should have died when the wind carried him away from the drop zone and right in the center of their target, Ste-Mere-Eglise, precisely at the same moment the townsfolk, supervised by German soldiers, were in the midst of battling a fire.

With the town’s alarm bells clanging, and the inhabitants yelling and bustling below in their futile attempts to save the burning house, Daniel couldn’t have imagined a more dramatic entrance as he watched some of his comrades practically land in the Germans’ laps. From his vantage point in the air, he could see that one unfortunate soldier’s parachute had gotten caught on one of the spires of the town’s church. The wretched soul hung there helplessly awaiting detection by the enemy, unable to free himself from his certain death-trap. Daniel’s fate had been kinder.

Instead of being shot at like a fish in a barrel or landing directly in the chaotic conflagration below, he’d landed just outside the town…and shattered his leg. For precious seconds as he lay there awaiting inevitable detection and capture, he heard the screams of his fellow soldiers as they were cut down like clay pigeons on a skeet shooting range. The tragic farmers had rescued him from certain capture because fate had intervened.

Daniel was fated to become a farm woman’s savior, not a martyr. At least that was what he hoped as he leaned his back against the ornate headboard of his impromptu hospital bed and turned his thoughts back to her, and everything he’d done wrong that following morning—after their encounter, after their near detection.

At the very least, he hoped he live long enough to erase some of his regret. He’d have to live long enough to make things right between them.

Plagued by thoughts of his own mortality and the countless reasons why he’d have to live, Daniel didn’t notice the passage of time. He didn’t notice that the throbbing in his leg had stopped, replaced by…nothing. He didn’t even notice when his head dropped onto his chest and his eyes closed.

He thought he’d just rest his eyes for a second. If he closed them tight and concentrated, he could conjure that lovely cinnamon face that he’d held in his hands that sweet June evening. If he closed his eyes, just for a second, he could remember how she tasted; how wonderful she smelled; how enraptured he’d been when she arched her back and allowed him to give her infinite pleasure.

If he could just close his eyes for a second, he would be with her again.

If he just closed his eyes istanbul escort for a second…

Just one second.

He closed his eyes and he was with her again.


Raleigh, North Carolina— July 1, 1941

As always, morning came too soon for everyone in the Carven house, but it came much earlier for Daniel. Relieved Lu’s mother hadn’t stopped by to “speak” to him about his and Lu’s “argument,” Daniel still felt more than a little uncomfortable about the turn of events of the previous day and last evening. To make matters worse, he’d now resigned himself to the impossible task of avoiding Lu for the rest of the summer.

His plan — he believed — was a good one. He’d decided to wake up before the crack of dawn to make repairs to the smokehouse and barn and then head into town to order parts for the skeletal remains of the tractor. The tactic was designed to stay out and away from the house in order to avoid sitting at the breakfast table with the three women. At least this way he would put some additional time and the light of day between him and Lu and the turn of events from the night before.

The only problem with that strategy was that Lu had also decided to wake up with the tradesmen and make an early morning of catching up on chores that she’d neglected the day before. Spotting Daniel hauling planks of lumber in the direction of the smokehouse, Lu had decided that a dark, isolated building would be just the place to finish their “discussion” from last night. Besides, she needed a distraction from the conversation she’d had with her mother; and, the sight of Daniel’s sweat-drenched body, his wet T-shirt already slick with perspiration and clinging to his body like a second skin, was simply too delectable to ignore.

Using a steaming cup of coffee as an excuse to venture out to the smokehouse, she sauntered out the door and towards the small building. She struggled to keep the cup level and the hot liquid in its place, but her shaking hands protested mightily, resulting in a few minor splashes. She burned her hands with the steaming brew and cursed bitterly under her breath as she walked down the path towards the smokehouse.

“Damn, girl!” Lu muttered to herself as she approached the building, the sounds of hammering and grunts concealing her approach. “Keep it together…you’re just going to walk up to him and offer him a cup of coffee — no big deal, you idiot.”

As she rounded the corner to the back of the smokehouse where Daniel was working and weaving a colorful tapestry of obscenities himself, Lu nearly lost what little was left of her composure. Whatever they were feeding him at West Point should have been packaged, patented and sold to all the men in Raleigh.

Lu had seen pictures of sculptures by masters who celebrated the male form — impossibly sculpted torsos, chests, legs and arms adorning smooth marble images of gods. Daniel could have served as their creator’s muse. Somewhere between the time he’d disappeared behind the smokehouse and she’d had an opportunity to follow him, he’d shed his sweat-drenched t-shirt.

The skin of his bare torso, now glistening with perspiration, looked like it had been painted on top of the muscles underneath. His sun-kissed back and arms exploded with power even when his body wasn’t in motion. She’d caught him unawares with his back to her, leaning his head against the rotted slats of the smokehouse and muttering unintelligibly to himself.

She couldn’t be sure but Lu could’ve sworn that he was muttering obscenities as he inexplicably banged his forehead on the old wooden planks. He seemed frustrated beyond consolation; and, she wasn’t sure she was supposed to see him in this state. Unfortunately, she couldn’t tear her eyes away from him either.

Her hands ached to stroke the sculpted muscles of his back. She wanted to run her fingers through his dampened tendrils of coal-black hair, now a mass of unruly curls from the errant attentions of Daniel’s large hands absent-mindedly running through them.

Thinking better of it, Lu made herself known by softly clearing her throat — she was desperate to find something witty and nonchalant to say in order to break the tension caused by her sudden invasion of what was obviously a private moment. The words didn’t come fast enough. Startled, Daniel spun around on his heels to face a very meek and slightly embarrassed Lu holding a cup of coffee.

“I uh…I thought maybe you could use this since they probably made you give up cigarettes your first year at West Point,” Lu fumbled — a weak attempt at levity and a reference to the previous night’s activities.

Daniel studied her with annoyance, wondering just how much of that display she’d witnessed. He’d started working on removing the rotted slats in the back of the smokehouse, lost his concentration because of thoughts of her, and brought the claw-end of the hammer down on his fingers escort bayan while trying to pry a particularly stubborn nail from its place. Although his finger had paid the price for his wandering mind, it was the realization that he was once again thinking of Lula that had brought the stream of curses and head-banging.

“What the hell are you doing sneaking up on me like that, Lu? You could have gotten yourself smacked in the head with a flying board or this goddamn hammer,” Daniel scowled, once again over-compensating for other emotions he was trying to suppress.

“Oh, stop being such a pain in the ass curmudgeon,” Lu waived a dismissive hand at him — she was actually grateful that he’d shaken her out of her Adonis-worship with his harsh tone.

“It’s not like you’re building the fucking sisteen chapel or anything,” she scoffed.

“It’s a freaking glorified outhouse for Christ’s sake. Any average moron can fix the damn thing. Get it together, man. Here’s a cup of coffee — or maybe you’ve already had too much of the stuff?” She withheld the steaming cup with mock suspicion before finally offering it up to him.

Daniel’s eyes narrowed for a moment. He had suspicions of his own. Since when did little miss “get it your own damn self” fetch coffee without being asked? He reached out and took the offering from Lu’s hand as if he half expected her fingers to turn into snakes.

“Thanks,” he grumbled before taking a wary sip.

He had a sinking feeling that this cup of coffee was a ruse to either talk about last night or “talk” about last night in a more carnal sense. Either way, he wasn’t prepared to let the “Mouth of Wake County” take the lead on this one — even if words needed to be said.

“Lu, look…about last night…” Daniel started before he was cut off with another dismissive waive of Lula’s hand.

“Yeah…about last night…I wanted to talk to you about our little argument and how it was resolved,” Lu emphasized both the words “argument” and “resolved” with pantomimed quotation marks.

“I don’t care why you did it or what you were thinking, but I thought maybe I’d give you the opportunity to continue in that line of thought and see where it takes us,” Lu finished, feeling very clever about the way she’d euphemized the situation.

“Yeah…okay…I see where this is going,” Daniel conceded, running a nervous hand through his tortured locks.

“Lu, I have no earthly idea what the hell got into me last night,” Daniel fumbled, as he inwardly groaned — his start didn’t even sound half as convincing as Lu’s sad attempt at frivolity regarding the subject.

“What I meant to say is…what happened between us was wrong. It is never going to happen again. We are never…never…going to mention it to each other or to anyone else. How’s that for clarity of thought?” Daniel offered, mentally patting himself on the back for presumably dodging the unpleasant task of actually having to vocalize what had taken place between the two of them the following night.

“Oh…you think so, huh?” Lu responded as she crossed her arms across her chest and eyed him with a look that could melt metal.

No, he hadn’t dodged any bullet. The battle was just getting underway.

“Okay…so let’s say I pretend that you didn’t come to my room last night with the lame excuse of bringing me my dinner after you were the cause of my punishment in the first place,” Lu started, the hardness in her tone becoming more brittle with every word.

“Let’s pretend further that you didn’t grab me and kiss me in the middle of what was supposed to be me kicking your ass from here to hell and back. Let’s pretend that all that shit never happened…m’kay?” the brittleness was taking on an icy sheen as she continued.

“Even if we pretend that none of that happened, just how in the hell are we going to pretend that you didn’t put your head between my legs? Who in the fuck was that begging me to watch him? Where the hell do you get off acting like you are so above it all now? And don’t say you didn’t like it, because it looked to me like you enjoyed it just as much as I did.” Lu couldn’t believe she was having this conversation with Daniel of all people — but there it was.

“First of all, clean up your fucking mouth,” Daniel warned through gritted teeth, oblivious of the hypocrisy of that statement.

“Second, just where in the holy hell did you think this would go? What else would you call what happened other than a monumental fuck up of all proportions? What in Christ’s name did you think was going to happen afterwards? Did you think we were going to waltz downstairs and tell your mother and mine that we’ve decided to fuck each other’s brains out? Do you really think that would play to the fans in the stands?” Daniel’s voice was reaching near hysteria and Lu began to wonder if the scathing tone in his voice was for her benefit or his.

“Or maybe…just maybe…you thought that we could continue to Bostancı escort simply hop into each other’s bed every other night while our parents slept in the rooms downstairs…hmmm?” the last bit was delivered with a practiced superior sarcastic tone that often made Lula want to gouge Daniel’s eyes out with grapefruit spoons whenever he used it on her.

“Funny how you didn’t come up with all these questions before you fucked me with your mouth, you asshole,” Lu spat back, her body visibly tensing.

Daniel blinked. He didn’t remember Lu being so…caustic. But he had to admit that she was right. He’d started the whole damn thing and now he was taking his anger and frustrations out on her — practically blaming her for questioning the expectations of something so bizarre that even he was want to comprehend how it could have happened. Until, of course, he took a more thorough glance at the glorious goddess of fire standing before him.

Oh, yeah…there was that. Unbeknownst to Lu, she’d become a siren practically overnight.

Shit, there was that whole thing between them of which she was completely unaware until last night. Shockingly, she seemed to be taking it in stride, wanting to explore what came next. On the other side of the spectrum, Daniel had given into panic, deciding that denial and rejection was the more “mature” way to face the issue. Now he’d pissed off what had been a relatively calm goddess of fire and turned her into an instrument of destruction. What the hell had he been thinking?

Settling into her element — the world of uncomfortable confrontations—Lu circled Daniel like a hungry lioness to his wounded wildebeest. There was no doubt about it — he wasn’t getting out of this unscathed. He braced himself for the bolt of lightning.

“Just so I’m perfectly clear on all this,” Lu began, relishing the confrontation far more than any rational human should, “You…Oh, how should I put this more delicately? You fondled me with your mouth; begged me to watch; made me cum; reveled in the whole ordeal; were only stopped from continuing to do God only knows what because my mother walked in on us; and, you have the audacity to stand there and lecture moi about consequences? Mon Dieu!” Lu paused for dramatic effect, knowing that each word coming out of her mouth was dripping with venom thinly disguised as guileless inquiry.

Daniel rolled his eyes and crossed his arms across his chest. Who in the hell thought it was a good idea to buy this demon a dictionary in two languages? He had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach that she’d leave no remains when she was done.

“Huh…what’s that? You don’t have an answer?” Lu continued with mocking incredulity.

“Ok…let’s assume that everything I just said was correct — mainly because it is correct. But for argument’s sake, let’s just assume, shall we?” her voice had adopted a sugary sweet tone that Daniel definitely didn’t like.

“Making that assumption, I just have one question for you. I’ll try to make it a simple one because I know your horny addled brain isn’t capable of much else. Just what in the name of all that is unholy makes you think that I’d let you get away with treating me like a light switch? You think you can turn me on and off with a snap of your fingers? You think you can treat me like shit, then seduce me and then revert back to an asshole whenever you fucking well feel like it?” she was rounding in for the kill.

“Sorry, that was three questions but answering any one of them will do,” Lu paused before stepping directly into Daniel’s personal space, her finger stabbing him in his bare chest with the delivery of every other word.

“Let me answer the question for you, you miserable ass. Hell, NO! I am not going to let you get away with this,” her rage impossibly gaining strength as she continued to seethe.

“No fucking way in hell am I going to let you treat me like some kind of pathetic homeless dog, begging for scraps of attention. That shit is through…through!” she emphasized the last word with a sweep of her hand.

“I don’t give a frog’s fat ass who you are or how many simpering girls you have killing themselves for your affection. You are a piece of shit and I’m glad you revealed this to me sooner rather than later. You are, in a word, a ‘prick tease’.” Lu’s face stopped inches from his own at the accusation.

“And before you start trying to lecture me on semantics and the difference between men and women, shut it…I don’t want to hear one more goddamn word come out of your cowardly, miserable mouth…and you are a coward.” Daniel snapped his mouth shut at Lu’s bull’s eye shot.

“You honestly think I’m stupid enough not to realize that what happened last night was not exactly normal behavior for us? Did you think that the moment you left the room last night I was asking Mamma to pick out our fucking china patterns and send out wedding invitations? Christ, you must think I am an idiot!” her impeccable art of delivery was punctuated by a dramatic shake of her head.

“All I wanted was for us to work this out together. And here you are, acting like my goddamn father, lecturing me about the impropriety of your actions.” She smiled humorlessly before continuing.