"Hi, Jack." A quiet feminine voice spoke from the side of his bed.
Jack turned his head toward the voice and greeted his visitor, although he knew she was there. "Hey, Johanna, I didn't think I'd see you today." As she had walked across the room, every man on the ward greeted her. Seven other masculine voices, individually issued a quiet or boisterous, "Morning, Jo," and a quiet wolf whistle supplemented a few of those greetings.
"Oh, well," she said hesitatingly. "It's Tuesday." She laughed easily and teased him. "And you can't see anyway."
"Yeah, but the unveiling is tomorrow afternoon. I thought you'd wait until then."
"I didn't ... Jack ... I thought family ... ah," Johanna faltered, cleared her throat, put one hand on his forearm, and leaned a little nearer to ask quietly, "Will they let me be here for that?"
"Yeah," Jack said laughing and patting her hand. "I asked the doctor if I could have at least one person on my side."
"Al-l-l-right," Johanna said with excitement, "I'm spending the night with Aunt Toy, anyway."
"I'd like that. You'll have to tell all your boyfriends that you're with another man. Did the folks get off okay?"
Not bothering to tell him, again, that she didn't have a boyfriend, Johanna answered the question about their parents. "Yeah, Mom called bright and early, not long after they drove out of the driveway. She said there were only two arguments. The trunk held all six suitcases and the box of books. I think our mothers are sharing the back seat with Dad's new ice chest."
"Who won the arguments?" He grinned knowing his question wasn't necessary, only wanting to see what she would say.
"Guess," Johanna teased him back.
"No way," Jack shook his head. "It's a dead lead pipe cinch, Mom and your mother won, but only because Dad and your father let them."
"You got it." Changing the subject, Johanna asked, "Do you want to go for a walk outside?"
"You better believe it. I'm tired of being shut up inside this damn room all the time. I haven't had a smoke all morning."
"Hum-m-m," Johanna did not tell him he should quit smoking, although not everyone else was so reticent.
"No comments, I've heard all of them. I'll quit, maybe, when this is all over with, or when my wife tells me she doesn't like kissing cigarette breath."
"You don't have a wife," Johanna chided him for teasing her.
"Not yet, I've been waiting for you to grow up." He had said this to her before, but that was when she was much younger. It suddenly occurred to Jack that he hadn't teased her about it, for several years.
Jack Bledsoe was in a ward at a military hospital. He had a bandage across both eyes, which had been in place for several weeks. A corpsman put a bandage across his eyes in the field. A triage nurse replaced it in an emergency field hospital after he washed off some of the blood, when he temporarily closed the wounds. A surgical technician replaced it again, after surgery on the tissues around one eye. When Jack arrived at his final destination, there was another surgical procedure, around the second eye. The following day would be the first time in more than a month he would know if he could actually move his eyes as easily as the doctors had promised. It would be another month, or longer, before he could ask about continuing his military career.
He had not told, and would not tell, where he was, or what he was doing, when he was injured. Jack did not speak of such things, nor do those around him speak of his activities. They accepted that Jack was a soldier, doing a dangerous job, and doing it well.
Walking down the street of any city, Jack would blend with the other pedestrians. In his early thirties, he was a little over six feet tall, weighed a little more than 200 pounds, and walked with an easy stride. His sun darkened skin, dark hair, and dark eyes were almost non-descript. Most people described him as good looking and a few women had been bold enough to call him a hunk. They might have been a little more vocal with their compliments if they saw him after an hour of calisthenics. However, it was what went on inside his head, which made him unique. Jack was a survival specialist, a weapons expert, and had a phenomenal memory.
While Johanna helped him into a wheelchair, reminding him not to bend over or exert himself, his memory was busy with what he knew about the young woman who would push his wheelchair outside, until they found a place where he could walk, with his hand on her shoulder. He remembered the tiny baby his neighbors brought home from the hospital. Jack's sister, Becky, was eleven and he was a teenager, the same age as Johanna's brother, George. She was part of the vacations when the two families first began to combine their plans and have a good time at a campground or somewhere a family could go for fun, without breaking their budgets. With the older children grown, as soon as Johanna was old enough to stay with her favorite aunt, or could stay home on her own with another neighbor's friendly cooperation, the two couples, all four of the parents who were teachers, started going somewhere sunny. They rested up after the school year, attended a few weeks of classes in furtherance of their chosen careers, or took long naps, and read the books they'd been saving all year.
Jack taught Johanna to ride a bicycle. He taught her to swim. Her brother taught her to read before she started school, and later, how to use a computer. Jack's sister taught her how to braid her hair and Becky gave Johanna the clothes she outgrew, so Johanna could play dress-up. She was nine years old when Jack graduated college and left for his first military assignment. He held her hand a few years later, when her brother and his sister, as newlyweds, were buried side-by-side. They were on their honeymoon when a tire blowout caused their car to crash down the side of a mountain.
For almost six years, she wrote him a letter, or sent him a greeting card, almost every week. Somewhere, in all his packed gear and personal effects was a heavy cardboard box, which originally contained a pair of boots. That box held letters and cards, most of them from Johanna. She never forgot Jack's birthday. She usually sent him a silly valentine, a special Christmas card, and cards she thought would make him laugh. She sent him an announcement of her high school graduation and a curl of her hair when she finally decided to get it cut. The lock of hair was almost a foot long. Inside his wallet, were at least six photos of her, every one of them signed, "Love, Johanna."
He suspected she had a similar collection of letters and cards from him. In fact, her collection was much larger. Her box contained the invitation to their sibling's wedding and photos of the wedding party. Many of the letters he wrote her included one or two photographs of some amazing sights from around the world. There were a few newspaper clippings of significant events in his military career, and a small stack of photos showing him and his fellow soldiers. He usually wrote their names on the back of the photos, because she asked for the names if he did not. In one envelope was a lock of his hair. After reading a teenage romance novel, she asked him to send it to her.
In the last couple of years, they had exchanged some email messages, an occasional online chat, and a few telephone calls, but most of their communication was old-fashioned snail mail. Johanna mailed most of her letters to an FPO mailbox. There were times when his mail finally caught up with him or he returned to his home base, from where ever Jack was, and found four or five letters and cards waiting from her. She was always the little girl next door, until the last couple of years or so, when something changed. For Jack, it was subtle, undefined, and uneasy.
On Jack's last trip to see his parents, Johanna took him to the airport when he left. Right before he walked away from her, she put her arms around his neck and kissed him. The kiss surprised both of them. She stepped back and blushed. Jack put his luggage down, pulled Johanna into his arms, and really kissed her. He has thought about that kiss for almost two years. At the time, he was almost twice as old as she was.
Jack knew Johanna's voice. He knew her smell, spicy and soft, probably the bath soap she used and something like baby powder. He knew the feel of her hand when she put it on his arm. What he did not know, was what she looked like. Statistics, sure he knew those, five foot eight, 118 pounds, dark blonde hair, brown eyes, and a small scar on her right knee. Things like a square lower jaw, a cute nose, and pierced ears don't change. She wrote him about that day, and her mother's reaction and Jack sent Johanna a small pair of carved jade earrings. She sent him a photo of the day she received her high school diploma, but he still did not know what she looked like. He did not know what size her breasts were, if her hips were narrow or wide, or if her waist was as small as her mother's was. He had not seen her in almost two years.
"Wait, wait, I need to get the foot rests folded up. Golly, you're in a hurry." Johanna complained when he started to push himself out of the wheelchair.
"Alright, okay," Jack lowered himself back to the seat, not very patiently, but he let Johanna help him. "It's just getting out of that place. Damn, I'm tired of this."
"You're not patient for a patient." She giggled at the double entendre. "Here's the bench, turn around and step back about one foot."
"Humph," Jack grumbled, leaning against the back of the seat. "Yo-Yo, will you hold the lighter for me?" he asked, holding out his cigarette lighter as he put a cigarette between his lips.
"Okay, Jack-Jack," she used a smart-alecky tone of voice to remind him she didn't like the old nickname.
"Ah hell, I shouldn't have done that, huh?"
"Yes sir, Major Bledsoe sir."
Despite the way she said it, Jack laughed, "Truce, okay?"
"Okay," Johanna agreed, letting him know she was just having fun. "So what time tomorrow do the blinders come off?" she asked, her voice turning serious.
"I don't know, the nurse just said, sometime after lunch," he grumbled.
"Okay. How about if I bring you a plate of enchiladas for lunch and then we can just wait for the doctors?"
"Yeah, as long as it's your enchiladas, and not junk from a restaurant," Jack said, and waited to see what Johanna would say.
"Hey, how do you know about my enchiladas?"
"Ah ha, you're not the only one who writes to me. I'm kidding. Dad says you're a good cook."
"He volunteered to help me, if I would fix six packages for him to put in the freezer. He said when your mom fixes healthy food he won't have to go hungry."
They sat while Jack smoked and then they walked for a while. He paced his strides to Johanna's steps and slowed down as she did, by sensing her body language transmitted from her shoulder through his hand. Jack knew something was bothering Johanna, she was unusually tense. He had learned she was a quiet person, but not as silent as today. In the last few weeks, they had become comfortable with each other, more than they ever were when she was younger. While their parents worked the last few of weeks ending their school year, finishing their paperwork, and preparing for their vacation, Johanna had spent a couple of nights with her aunt. Most of Tuesday and Thursday she spent with Jack, or as much of those two days as the hospital personnel would allow. Thursday evening she would drive the 150 miles back to their hometown. She usually came back for one long day over the weekend, accompanying his mother and father.
However, Jack sensed something was bothering her. He tried telling her a few stories about places he had been or things he had done, but nothing worked. After he smoked another cigarette, he turned halfway toward Johanna and held out his hand. It was a signal he used to let her know he needed to know she was there beside him and that he needed the touch of another person. She put her hand in his and felt him squeeze.
"What's wrong, Baby?" He clinched his teeth. He did not mean to use that word. To him it was a term of endearment, but to her it meant she was the youngest of the four children who spent so many years together. Her dad called her Baby, sort of a nickname, until he began to use Yo-Yo. It was the way she said her name when she first started talking and could not say Johanna, because her mother preferred to old German pronunciation.
Johanna had tears in her voice when she asked, "Are you going to be alright?"
"Hey," he said, as he slipped one arm behind her, the other hand under her arm and easily lifted her up, pulling her over to sit on his lap. "Sh-h-h, sh-h-h," he said when she gasped. Jack pushed Johanna's head against him and held her. "It's going to be okay." He rocked her back and forth for a moment and then relaxed against the back of the bench. "I can see. We already know that. One eye is better than the other, but the damage was to muscle and skin, not the eyes or nerves."
"What about them, I mean the military, you know? Will they let you stay, or will they discharge you?" They'd had one conversation about the future of his military career. Jack told her he had asked and was waiting for an answer. He had not mentioned it again.
"I'll fight it, if they do. But I have two job offers to choose from, if they win, alright?" Jack felt her nodding, but she did not relax. "But that's not what's really bothering you, is it?"
"You're not going to make this easy for me, are you?"
Jack knew what the problem was. It was gnawing at him, taking little bites every time she came to visit him. Johanna walked up to stand beside his bed or the chair where he sat, she touched him, and he felt it.
Jack knew she would have a counter to every objection he had. He was injured. His career was in jeopardy. His job was dangerous. He was almost fourteen years older than she was. Johanna needed to go to college. She was too young for a relationship. She had never mentioned anything about having a long-term boyfriend. Hell, as far as he knew, she'd never even had a boyfriend. She never mentioned boys in any of the letters she wrote.
He thought he was in love with her, but he was not certain. It was just too new. Jack had already learned Johanna was a lot more mature than she was a couple of years ago. He had only kissed her one time. Their parents were going to have a hard time seeing their families joined by another marriage of their children.
"Ohmygod," he whispered, realizing where his thoughts are going. "Jo?"
"Hm-m-m?" Johanna asked, as her cheek rested against the roughness of his shirt. She was enjoying being this close to him and did not want it to end.
"What?" She sat up, putting some distance between them.
"Wait," he said, putting his hands out and bringing them in toward her, until he had his hands on her upper arms. Jack slid his hands up until they are on the sides of Johanna's neck. A few inches higher, and he was holding her face. "Now, kiss me."
He guided her face toward him as the young woman leaned forward and kissed him quickly, but returned to her stiff backed position on his lap.
"Jo?" When she did not respond he said, "Now, this time, really kiss me."
"Don't talk dammit, don't think, just kiss me. I have kissed you a sum total, of one time, as long as you don't count a couple of little pecks. I want a real kiss, dammit. Just kiss me."
"Jack we're out in the middle of..."
"I don't give a fuck if we have the whole damn hospital watching. Kiss me. Like you mean it, kiss me."
Slipping her arms inside his, she put them around his neck and leaned forward, pressing her lips against his. His hands moved, one, going behind her head, and the other, around her back, holding her against him. He took his time to taste her, sliding his tongue across her bottom lip, the tip coming back along the seam between her lips. A soft moan escaped her as he deepened the kiss when she opened her mouth for him. He felt his erection growing, and wanted to smile, but he was too busy kissing Johanna. She was delicious, warm, soft, exciting, and Jack was in heaven having her so near with her responding to him.
Johanna's breathing increased as the kiss continued. He felt her breasts rub against him. As carefully as he could manage despite his shaking hand, he moved his hand between them and placed it on her breast. He was rushing, but he could not resist. It had driven him crazy for two years. She pressed herself against him, capturing his hand, and squirmed when she felt his erection under her.
Barely able to breathe, Johanna broke the kiss and rested her forehead against his neck, panting.
"Oh, baby. Oh my. Oh God. I want a helluva lot more than a kiss, now." He put his hand on the back of her head, holding her against him. His breathing was almost as labored as hers was. "No, no, don't move," he pleaded when she started to get off his lap. He added, "Oh, yes," when she resettled her weight.
"No, don't say anything right now. I need a couple of days, alright?" Jack chuckled, "Can you do that, for me?"
"I guess so. I'm not sure what..."
"Just, wait Baby. Okay?" He waited a moment, and then he added, "I just need a couple of days to decide some things for us. You understand what I mean when I say "for us"?"
"For us," it was a statement, not a question. She may have an inkling of what he meant, but he was asking her to wait.
"That's my girl," he said, pulling her back to rest against him, with his erection throbbing between them. He didn't care that she felt it. She needed to know what her nearness did to him.
Although there were cheers in the ward, when Johanna arrived the next day, the cheers didn't begin until she leaned over Jack for a kiss.
She blushed as she started to straighten up and Jack caught her. "More," he demanded and pulled her down for a much more thorough kiss.
He kept hold of her hand and moved over on his bed, "Sit here beside me so I can touch you."
When she sat down, one of the other men raised his voice, "We can take a walk if you two want to lock the door." He appealed to their other roommates, "Right men?"
"Sure," was heard along with another positive response. Another patient responded. "I'd rather stay and watch," which was summarily seconded by another, and then a third.
"Jack" Johanna appealed quietly to him to do something about the comments.
"Pipe down, guys," Jack admonished his friends. "You're just jealous."
"Damn right," was repeated from bed to bed until every man had let Johanna know how he felt about her.
The unveiling was almost anticlimactic. At least, that was true for the medical people. They knew what to expect. The plastic surgeon knew there was still some work to do on some of the scar tissue, but he wanted to wait a few days, or as long as a week. The eye specialist was very pleased, but still cautious about some nerves near the eye socket. Jack was the most nervous person in the room. Johanna stood across the room, watching, her lower lip held between her teeth. When the bandages were finally removed, she was smiling, the damage that she could see was much less than Jack had described.
Jack took a deep breath, let it out, and looked across the room, not paying any attention to the doctors in the room. His eyes searched for Johanna and when he found her, he could not take his eyes off her. Good lord, she was beautiful. She was a pretty, sixteen year old and now, she was breathtaking. The long braid down her back had become a cap of soft curls. He already knew the size and shape of her breasts, or at least one of them, and now he could see both, pressing against the softness of her shirt. Her hips had filled out, and with her mother's narrow waist, she had an hourglass figure. She was taller than he remembered and her legs seemed to go on forever. She was not a little girl anymore. He remembered the wolf whistles when she walked into the ward and could not blame a single man for giving her that salute. However, he may have to be a little stern with Johnson the next time he says, "Marry me, Jo. Marry me."
Not long after the doctors completed their discussions, Jack and Johanna agreed that she would drive him several states away for the next round of minor surgeries, after the doctors specifically cautioned him against driving. He needed more time for healing, before he can trust the muscles around his eyes for that kind of movement. So having Johanna to act as chauffer, and a car available would make it easier to get around town, back and forth from temporary housing, and to the various buildings of the large hospital complex. Jack would not have to depend on the frequent use of a taxi or the on base transportation system.
He could not stop looking at her as she listened to doctors explain what the next treatments would be. Jack watched her expression when she turned to look at him, to gauge how worried he was about the medical treatments he still faced. He wanted to touch her, hold her, kiss her, but contented himself with holding Johanna's hand, and tried to understand her trembles were because the primary doctor was still withholding permission for him to return to his unit. Nor would the doctor commit to a recommendation that would allow him to remain in the military.
Before Johanna left the hospital, her cell phone needed charging and Jack knew he could leave the next day. He called his parents and told them he was just fine, and said, "Yes, sir," at least five times. He also talked to Johanna's dad and said he would take care of her and make sure she got home safely as soon as he got a release to drive.
A quick trip to a nearby shopping mall added three more changes of clothes to Johanna's wardrobe and a dent in her credit card balance. She refused to take Jack's credit card, saying she wasn't sure the stores would accept it. She lost an argument with her aunt who insisted Johanna and Jack use her larger vehicle for such a long trip. Aunt Toy also convinced Johanna to bring Jack back to her house for the night so they could make the trip in one day. Toy won the second argument because there was a risk they may have trouble finding overnight lodging during the height of the vacation season on a major interstate highway.
The next afternoon, they both agreed that using Toy's car was the smartest thing they could have done, despite the higher cost of gasoline. Jack asked several times if Johanna was tired, but she said she was enjoying the trip. It was the first time they had more than a few minutes alone together and they seemed to have a lot of things to talk about, Things that had happened in their lives, the details of which neither of them could remember writing.
Just after dark, they were driving up to the temporary military housing office. It took Jack a few minutes to confirm his reservation and sign everything, but they were soon in a fast food restaurant for a quick meal. Their next stop was walking behind a shopping cart at the Post Exchange selecting snacks and shampoo, plus whatever else they walked past that either of them decided they could not do without for the next few days.
"Oh shit," Jack said when he stepped into the housing unit. He dropped the suitcases he was carrying and turned back to take a bag of snacks from Johanna.
"What?" Johanna said as she walked into the room.
"We need to go back to the housing office. We were supposed to get a suite, not a single bedroom."
"They're closed," Johanna told him as she walked into the room to leave the bags in the small kitchenette.
"Is it that late?" Jack looked at his watch and exclaimed, "Damn. Jo, I'm sorry."
"I'm not," she told him walking back out to the car for another load of bags. He watched her walk by him and just stood looking at her as she walked back into the room. "Do you want that coffee now, a soda, or just some water to drink?"
Ignoring him, she said, "You go take your shower and I'll make the coffee."
"Jo," he tried again.
Johanna pointed to the bathroom and says, "You shower and I will shower, and then we will talk. Okay?"
She giggled when Jack said, "Yes ma'am. Just like I said, I'll go take a shower while you make me some coffee."
"And find me that tube of stuff I'm supposed to put on that scar," she told him as the bathroom door closed.
Jack was closing the latches on his suitcase and putting it in the small closet when Johanna walked out of the bathroom. "You make good coffee ... oh my god. Damn," he said as he sat down on the end of the bed. "Jo, where did you get that ... that, what the hell is that?"
Johanna turned around quickly, showing the negligee and the very, very, brief sheer lace panties underneath. "You like?" Johanna bent over and showed him a lot more than cleavage. "It's one of Aunt Toy's old costumes."
"Aunt Toy? Aunt Toy? That's a ... it's a ... like ... that's something a dancer in a strip joint would wear."
"Yeah, how do you think she bought her house and everything else? She danced until a few years ago." Johanna walked over to stand in front of Jack and used the shin of one leg to separate his knees.
He looked down at what she was doing and asked, "Your Aunt Toy was a tittie dancer?"
Johanna nodded as she stepped between his legs, put her arms around Jack's neck, pulled his head forward to rest against her, and then leaned over to run her tongue around the curl of his ear. She sucked his earlobe into her mouth and flicked it back and forth. Surprising him, she gave him a shove, which he did not resist. He landed on his back on the bed and watched Johanna climb on top of him, her knees pressed against his ribs.
Johanna lifted her hips and began to pull his t-shirt out of his jeans. She slid her hands under his shirt, moving her hands from side to side until she had the shirt all the way up to his neck. She leaned over, kissed Jack softly, and then straightened up.
"Jack, I don't know what I'm supposed to do next," Johanna's chin trembled. "Aunt Toy said all I needed to do was wear this and you would do the rest."
He put his arms around her, pulling her down to rest against him and slowly rolled her to the side. "Are we going to talk now?" When she nodded, he brushed the hair away from the side of her head and reminded her, "I told you I needed a couple of days." She nodded again. He leaned over and gently kissed her, "So, what do you want?"
"You," she answered, and lifted her hand to gently touch one of the scars above his eyebrow. "I just want you."
"You don't know what you're asking," his voice was deep and husky.
"Yes, I do," she responded, and then Johanna surprised him. She listed most of the reasons he has been telling himself the last two days, his age, her age, his job, his current career, or the new one he will have if he could stay in the service. "But none of that matters. I don't really know if you want me. Right now, that's all that matters to me." She took a deep breath and finally said quietly, "I've saved myself for you, Jack."
"I was afraid of that," he admitted quietly, watching her eyes fill with tears.
"Oh please, don't be afraid. One of us is enough." Johanna raised her head and put her face in the softness of his neck.
"Yeah, I know. Okay, alright. I want to crawl inside you and stay there all night." He lifted her up to face him and kissed her hard, moving over her mouth, and finally raised his head to look at her. Before she could say anything, he held up one hand, "Baby, it's late, you're tired, I'm exhausted, and I'm not ready. I want this to be very special for both of us. Can I have one more day, please?"
"Thank you. Can I go to sleep now?" At least she had her answer, sort of.
"Can I sleep with you?" He had been thinking he would probably end up on the floor, but now, he had a chance to be as close to her as he wanted and was not going to pass up that opportunity.
"Will you hold me? I'm just a little frightened right now."
"Yeah, I want to do that. But, you need to take this thing off. It's itchy and it's definitely not how I've imagined you for the last two years."
"Jo. Jo, honey, be still, don't move," Jack groaned against the back of her neck.
"Um-m-m," was Johanna's wordless response, as her hips moved slowly, up and down, rubbing along his erection.
Jack's arm was all the way across her. Only a very thin t-shirt was between his palm and her nipple as his fingers slowly squeezed her breast. He pulled his fingers from her breast and slid his hand down, across the flat plane of her stomach, inside her panties. He continued down, until his hand was cupping her sex, his middle finger slipping between the lips of her vulva. She was wet, oh so wet. He lifted his finger and then laid it against her and pressed his flat finger down, until it separated the outer lips again. He did it again and again, lifting his finger and pressing it down, spreading her moisture around. Each time the base of his finger rested between her lips, he slid from side to side across her clit.
He whispered in her ear, "Easy baby. Let me do this for you. Just enjoy it. Mercy you are wet."
She was panting, moving back against him, and twisting as he stimulated her. His mouth moved down her neck, back up, and then to the soft spot under her ear. Suddenly she gasped and arched her back as his finger slipped out. His hand held her heat, feeling the muscle contractions, while her legs clamped his hand and her juices seeped through his fingers. He could smell the musk of her climax, and felt a shudder go across her shoulders, as she held herself pressed back against him.
He was still, holding her, allowing her to relax and her breathing to return to normal.
"Jack, why did you do that?"
He chuckled, nuzzled the back of her neck, and spoke softly, "I just wanted to touch you."
Jack slipped his hand out of her panties; put his hand further between her legs, under his erection, pressing it up against her wet panties. He slowly moved his hips, sliding his fingers up and down along his cock, pressing himself against her. "I told you to be still."
"I couldn't, I mean, it felt so good. I was tingling."
"I know baby, now be still," he told her again.
Instead, Johanna lifted one leg and laid it across his upper leg. She put her hand down between her legs and slowly closed her hand around the base of his cock, holding him and a handful of his sweat pants.
Still moving his hips, he told her, "Not so tight Baby, easy. Oh lord, cheesh, damn, almost there Baby."
He grabbed the waist of his sweatpants, jerked them down, put her hand back around his cock, and shoved his fingers inside the leg of her panties. He pushed two fingers inside her heat and moved them in and out to the rhythm of his movements. He growled in her ear, "Hold me baby, oh fuck, I'm gonna cum, Baby, hold me, hold me, ahh-h-g-g-g."
Johanna felt the throb of his climax rippling across her fingers, his hot cum hitting her thigh and his hot breath on the back of her neck. As his cock jerked in her hand, she shuddered when Jack's finger scraped across her tender clit and moisture flooded down her leg.
Jack pulled her shoulder toward him as he moved away from her, until she was flat on the bed, so he could lean over, and kiss her. His mouth moved from her mouth across her cheek, to her ear and back to Johanna's mouth. Pushing his tongue into her, nibbling on her lower lip, he continued kissing her as he worked his way down her neck, while his hands hold her breasts.
Finally able to slow down, he rested his forehead on hers, their breathing still ragged and fast. "Damn, I didn't mean to do that. It's not safe for me to be this close to you."
Johanna saw Jack smile and the twinkle in his eyes, something she had missed for so long. She closed her eyes, "I was dreaming about you. Was that what it feels like, Jack?"
"Yeah, but it's a whole lot better." He rubbed his chin along the side of her neck. She hunched her shoulders to get away from his rough day old beard. "Now, get up and go take a shower, while I fix the coffee. We have places to go, people to see, and things to do."
She dressed and dried her hair while Jack showered and shaved. When he walked out of the bathroom, he stopped, and just stared at her. She was standing with her arms above her head, brushing her hair. She was wearing stockings, heels, and a dress that emphasizes her small waist. It fit her figure as if it was made especially for her. "Ohmygod, is that the dress you were wearing one day last week?"
"Yeah, I guess so," she answered as she turned around and looked at him, not sure what he was asking. She walked across the room and stood in front of him, rose to her toes, and kissed him on the mouth.
"No wonder," Jack exclaimed. "Oh my, do you have any idea how beautiful you are?" He took her hand, led her to the bed, sat down, and pulled her between his legs so he could rest his cheek against her as he wrapped his arms around her.
"What's wrong Jack?"
"There is absolutely nothing wrong, Jo. Everything it just wonderful and I'm the happiest man you will ever know."
He was not going to tell her that one of the other patients on the ward, Johnson, told him Johanna was the most fuckable woman he had ever seen. He felt like he would explode all over the man, until Johnson said Jack did not need to worry about Jo. She was never going to look at another man as long as Jack Bledsoe was in her life.
Johanna was in a new and unknown world. She watched Jack as he put on his uniform, clothes she had only seen in the movies, on television, or the news. She learned to walk on Jack's left side, because he wanted to hold her hand and he needed his right arm free to give or return a salute and participate in bone crushing handshakes. She lost track of the number of times she heard, "Hey, Bledsoe," or "Is that you, Bledsoe" and then stood still as men slapped backs, punched arms, grasped shoulders, and tried to avoid shedding tears when they greeted someone they had not seen in a long time, or never expected to see again.
Johanna also lost track of the number of times one of those men raised his eyebrows when Jack introduced her as "Miss Johanna Preston" and felt the gentle warmth from the easy handshakes she received, along with a few winks, and at least four kisses on her cheek. She blushed from one man's marriage proposal, done on bended knee, despite the red flush that went up Jack's neck. She watched men eat a tremendous amount of food, carry loads she could not begin to lift, and move about with a confidence few civilian men demonstrate. She sat on hard chairs while Jack followed a secretary, or a clerk, into some very large offices, which he left later, sometimes with a scowl on his face and others, with a solemn face she learned to recognize as his pleased, but not particularly happy, look.
Every time he emerged from an office and saw Johanna sitting waiting for him, reminded him how happy he was to have her with him. When he left those administrative and command offices, Johanna asked him questions that caused him to think about what he really wanted to do for the remainder of his career.
They ate fast food for lunch and started working their way through a very large medical complex, aided by a map, which helped them find all the different buildings Jack needed to visit to schedule a whole list of appointments. Sometimes she waited in the car, parked near a small building. Other times she went inside a large building with him, walking down halls, looking for the various offices where he needed to make appointments or confirm others already made for him before they left the hospital. Her calm reassurance of some of the medical terms and procedures surprised him at first, until he learned how much research she had done during the weeks between learning of his initial injuries and the final removal of the bandages.
Sitting with the map on his lap, Jack directed her down several streets of the military base. "Alight, turn left at the next corner and turn into the parking lot on the right side."
"That's a church?"
"Yeah, it's a chapel, come on," he said as he opened his door and walked halfway around the car to take Johanna's arm.
So late in the day, the inside of the building was gloomy, but Jack seemed to know where he was going. He walked all the way to the front of the chapel and pulled Johanna down to sit beside him on one of the front row pews. They sat still for a few moments. It was quiet inside, the late sun shone through the stained glass windows, spreading color across the room.
In a subdued voice, Johanna said, "It's pretty in here."
"Yeah, I like it, too." He picked up her hand and held it for a few moments, looked at one of the windows, and then turned his attention to her. "Jo, I'm in love with you." When she turned to him, he added, "Wait. Don't say anything. You were always the little girl next door, the pretty, little girl next door. The letters you sent me sort of kept me sane, kept me grounded, especially after Becky and George. You were always there reminding me why I was doing what I did. A couple of years ago, the last time I was home, when you took me to the airport, you kissed me. Oh mercy, it was like an explosion went off inside me. I remember kissing you back. I could not come home the next year. I was too afraid of what I felt for you."
Jack leaned over and kissed Johanna very gently. "A few weeks ago, I wrote my dad a letter. I sent it to the school because I didn't want Mother to know about it. I sort of hinted about how I felt, and about kissing you. I told him about all the things that concerned me, but that I wasn't going to let that stop me from coming home on my next leave. I had to know if what I felt was real or something else. I guess between the time of my letter, and the day I was injured, there wasn't really enough time for him to write back. Anyway, the first time he and Mom came to see me in the hospital he made some excuse to get mom out of the room. Dad told me that I was a man and I had to make a man's decisions."
Jack slid off the pew and knelt in front of Johanna, took her hands in his and said, "Johanna Preston, will you marry me?"
"Just, yes, it's really that easy for you?"
"Yes, Jack. I love you." She put her hand on his cheek and leaned forward to kiss him gently.