Hey ya'll…I need a vacation from angst. I need something light, fluffy and honestly, smutty. *Snickers* In honor of the holiday season, I'm writing a Christmas one-shot. Hopefully, it'll put me in the holiday spirit. I desperately need it. Ya know? I mean, my home is decorated, but I'm sooooooo not feeling the holiday spirit right now.

Anyhow, summary…Isabella Cullen is at home in Washington State. She's a middle school teacher, missing her husband, who is deployed in Afghanistan. It's been over a year since she's last seen her husband and this will be the second Christmas in a row that he will miss, with no luck in sight of his request of leave being approved. Her only wish is for her husband to be safe, in her arms, on Christmas.

Across the globe, Edward Cullen is working his hardest to grant his wife's wish of being home for Christmas. He also wants to tell her, face-to-face, that after his tour of duty is over, that Edward would be returning home. Permanently. Will he be able to make it home to his beautiful wife?

Thanks to Chandrakanta for creating the banner and for my girls (and guys?) in my group to encourage me to write this. Like I said, I need a break from the angst. This will be an amazing journey. Pictures for the story will be on my blog and tumblr. Links for those are on my profile. Here's your Christmas gift from me to you….

I'll Be Home for Christmas


"Okay, ladies and gentleman, you will have a test next week on Nothing but the Truth. You can use the last ten minutes to study with your face partner, using your flashcards you created during class," I said wearily.

It was the last period of the day, Friday afternoon a week before our winter break and all I wanted to do was go home. Desperately, I needed to talk to my husband, Edward, who was fighting another man's war across the world. I missed him something fierce and I was resigned to the fact that he was going to be spending another holiday in the desert of Afghanistan. And I was going to spend Christmas alone.

Well, not really alone. I've got my family but it's not the same.

"Mrs. Cullen?" asked one of my students, Kate. "Can we use our study guide on the test?"

"Do you all think it will help?" I replied. My students fervently nodded. "Well, then. You can use your study guide. But as a trade-off, you cannot do test corrections if you bomb it. Okay?" Again they nodded, working on filling out their study guides with their partners until the bell rang at 2:30. I bid them farewell before walking to my duty post in the front hallway of the building. Standing out there were my two friends, Alice Whitlock and Rose McCarty. Alice also happened to be my husband's sister. "Hey guys. I'm sooooooooo happy it's Friday."

"Me too," Rose grumbled. "I don't know about you, but the students are extra squirrely this week or something. It's like they're allergic to their seats!" Rose taught sixth grade language arts. Her husband, Emmett, worked as a pediatrician at the local hospital. He and Rose were currently trying for their first baby, but have been unsuccessful.

"It's the opposite for me," Alice said, twisting her wedding rings. "My students are one step up from drool."

"That's because you went to the theater yesterday and didn't get back to school until nearly midnight." I snickered.

"True," she giggled. Alice was the choir director. She, along with the band director, Topher, brought three hundred students to see the musical Wicked in Seattle. The only day that was available was Thursday, yesterday. Suffice it to say, if a band or choir student was in school today, they were zombies. "I was that teacher. I put in a video."

"We're all allowed to have those days," I shrugged.

"Do you have a date tonight with Edward?" Alice asked.

"He's supposed to be back from patrol tomorrow. If we do have a date, it'll be on Sunday," I frowned, playing with my lanyard that was around my neck. "I understand why he's there but I miss him. I need him home for Christmas. It's been over a year and a half since I last saw him in person. If he's not home on Christmas, it'll be two Christmases that he's missed!" Edward, like Emmett, was a doctor. However, he felt a strong calling to the armed services. After he completed his medical degree, he enlisted as a doctor in the Army. With my husband's stellar grades and glowing recommendations, he was assigned the rank of captain. After basic training, he was deployed to Afghanistan as a field physician. By the end of his first tour, he had been promoted to Major. My Edward had a cool head and never lost it under pressure.

"Are you up for some girly company?" Alice asked. "I think Jasper is hosting the guy's monthly poker night. I do not want to be there while they burp, fart and discuss sports." Jasper is Alice's husband. He's a psychologist at the local hospital, Forks General, specializing in soldiers and civilians who are suffering from PTSD. The 'guys' that were going over to Alice's house are Emmett, Ben Cheney, Mike Newton, both teachers at the middle school where Alice, Rose and I teach, and Carlisle, my father-in-law, the chief of staff at the hospital.

"Aren't you tired?" Rose snorted.

"I am, but my exhaustion is trumped by the examples of manliness that will invade my house in about three hours," Alice deadpanned. "Anyhow, I have to go to the Thriftway, pick up food and munchies for the boys and then I'll be over?"

"Sounds good to me," I said. "If I can't have my date night with my hubby, I may as well have some girly time with my two best friends!"

We left our post and went to our classrooms. I made sure I had copies made for next week before logging off my computer and walking out to my car: silver Volvo SUV. Edward was a bit of an overprotective man. Even though he was thousands of miles away, he still wanted me absolutely safe. So, before he deployed, Edward bought me this car that was the safest in its class. I loved him for his protectiveness, but would rather have him with me than over there, saving wounded soldiers in the battle field.

Stop sounding so bitter, Cullen!

I know Edward had put in for leave over three months ago. But his commanding officer was dragging his heels on his response. Christmas was less than two weeks away. Our Skype dates just didn't cut it anymore. I needed to touch, feel and love up on my husband.

Suffice it to say, I wanted to be walking funny after my husband leaves.

Just saying…

That's if I let him go.

My drive home was short. Parking the car in the garage, I walked inside after I got the mail. I paid the bills and made sure I had food for our impromptu girl's night in before checking my email. It was the most reliable way that Edward and I communicated while he was overseas. Once a month, I'd send him and his unit care packages, filled with goodies that the men and women need. We'd talk once a week and Skype as often as we could. But it still wasn't the same. As I opened my email, I saw a message from my husband. It brought a smile to my face.

To: Isabella Cullen

From: Major Edward Cullen, M.D.

Re: No news…

My dearest Bella,

I was hoping that when you got this that I could say that I'd be home for Christmas. But, Colonel Black still hasn't given me a response. I'm beyond frustrated, my Bella. I miss you more than words can say. I can't believe that it's been over a year since I've last held you, kissed you and made love to you.

However, I'm trying to keep this as positive as I can. My guess is that no news is good news. You know? They haven't told me no. (But, they haven't told me yes, yet). I'm going to keep praying that I'll be in your arms on Christmas, my love.

Anyhow, time on patrol is so tedious. We've, thankfully, not had any attacks on any civilians or armed forces. I'm grateful for that. Our supplies are dwindling and we're not due for another shipment of medical supplies for at least two weeks. It's so cruel to try and be a doctor without simple medications. Setting a bone while the patient is awake is awful for the patient and for me. The patient is aware of the pain I'm inflicting. For me, I have to listen to them scream in agony.

Enough of me griping…

How are things back at home? Are your students ready for break? Are you ready for them to be on break? I remember when I was a kid…that week and half before Christmas break was torture. The end was in sight but it ticked by at a snail's pace. And then the two weeks off? Done in the blink of an eye.

Cruel, I tell you.

I've got to go, baby. I should be back to base by Saturday. I'll Skype you on Sunday, 3pm, your time. I love you more than words can express. I'll keep praying that my leave will be approved so I can be the ultimate Christmas present, my beautiful wife.

Be safe and I love you,

Your Edward

I sent my husband a quick response, explaining that I was having the girls over and that I missed him with my whole heart and soul. I'd tell him more when I spoke to him via Skype on Sunday.

A few hours later, Rose and Alice, along with my mother-in-law, Esme and my own mom, Renee, came over for a girl's night. We drank Boone's Farm Wine and got silly, eating pizza and garlic bread. Alice and Rose had to be driven back to their respective homes by my mom, who was shockingly sober. They had really let loose, relaxing and being complete goofballs as we watched cheesy romantic comedies from the eighties.

Once they were gone, I started putting the food away and washing the dishes. Esme helped me. "Have you heard from my son?" she asked.

"I have. He sent me an email today. We're going to Skype on Sunday," I answered. "I miss him and I want him home, Esme."

"I know you do. We all do," Esme said, hugging me. "Do you know if he's going to re-up?"

"We haven't had a chance to talk about it. He's done, officially, in June. He always said that he didn't want to be a career officer. He's been deployed twice and been in the service for four years," I said as I put my wine glasses back into the china hutch. "I want to start a family. I know Edward does, too. But, that constant fear that he's going to be hurt or killed overseas?" I huffed out a breath. "I want our babies to know their father. Am I being selfish?"

"No, Bella. Edward felt the call to be a physician for the army. Now? I think he's satiated that need to serve," Esme said quietly. "When he calls us, he constantly asks about you and how you're faring. In his voice, I can hear the guilt seeping through. He feels guilty that he chose this, pulling you apart for months and years at a time. You've been married for five years and out of those five years, you've been apart for over three of them." Esme pulled me into a hug as I quietly fell apart. "Just keep positive, Bella. Edward will be home soon."

"Okay," I said as I tightened my hold on her.

She left after helping me put all of the plates and food away. I dragged my body up to the bedroom, curling up on the huge king-sized bed that Edward and I bought as soon as we were married. Edward was over six feet tall and anything smaller than a queen sized bed was too small for my too-tall hubby. Even though the bed was huge, we always managed to curl up in a clump in the middle. Edward was a notorious cuddler and it was one of the many things I loved about him. It was also the biggest thing I missed about him. I missed his warmth and safety surrounding me as he folded himself around my body.

Edward and I met in college as freshmen. I was an education major and he was obviously pre-med. We met in an intro to psychology class and paired up to work on a project. We started off as friends, maintaining our friendship all throughout our freshman year of college. One night, during our sophomore year, Edward had had too much to drink at a party. We were walking back to my apartment because neither one of us could drive. Outside of the door, Edward blurted that he loved me. Not the most romantic moment in our relationship, I'll tell ya. But, I'd been harboring a hell of crush on Edward and hearing him say that he loved me, albeit in a drunken outburst, solidified that what I felt was more than a crush.

So, I did what every other girl in that position would do…a gorgeous man says he loves you when he's drunk…Kiss him senseless? Nope. I put him to bed on my futon. The next morning, Edward woke up with a killer hangover but his feelings didn't change. However, he wanted to woo me and not fall into a meaningless college relationship. That night, he took me out on the most romantic date, spoiling me with all of my favorite activities. At the end of the night, Edward took my face in his hands and stared at me, his green eyes shining with such love and devotion. Just before he kissed me, he whispered his love to me and brushed his mouth against mine.

I was hooked after that. I mean hooked. I was Edward's for life. Our relationship was strong and the love we felt for each other was nauseating. Alice reminded me of that on a daily basis. In regards to our relationship, we took things slowly. I had never been with anyone, and was in full ownership of my virginity. Edward had lost his in high school and had a failed relationship prior to ours in college. I didn't want to rush into a physical relationship, but we did 'sleep' together often. You know, sleep? We didn't make love to each other until our junior year. Ironically, I lost my virginity on Christmas Eve with Edward. He was perfect, making me feel safe, loved and cherished.

When we graduated, I started teaching in Seattle while Edward went to medical school at UDub. He proposed the New Year's Eve just before his third year. We got married that summer. He had one more year of school before he could start his residency. However, when he graduated from med school, he dropped the bombshell that he wanted to be a physician in the United States Army. That news and unanimous decision caused us to have our hugest argument ever. I didn't want him to go. He felt compelled to go. One of the cases he worked closely on while he was in his last year of medical school was a double amputee from Afghanistan. Edward wanted to make a difference in those soldier's lives. I couldn't fault him for his desires, but I hated that he felt the need to leave me, leave us, in order to fulfill his needs.

Edward felt guilty about leaving me. We'd been together for nearly five years as a couple and only married for a year. As a compromise, we moved from Seattle to Forks, where I grew up, so I could be closer to my parents if something happened to him while he was a world away. His parents had also moved there. Carlisle, Edward's father, was hired as the chief of staff at Forks General Hospital. Esme was a retired interior decorator. My parents were also retired. My dad was the chief of police while my mom was a teacher in the elementary school.

We'd been in our home for a month when Edward prepared to head to basic training. Driving him to SeaTac and leaving him there was the most heartbreaking moment I'd ever experienced. He came back for a month after his six weeks in basic training before he was shipped off to Afghanistan for his first tour of duty. He came back for six months before he was shipped off again.

After being with him for nearly six years straight and then nothing? I just missed him. So fucking much.

Caressing his dog tags that hung around my neck, I eventually drifted off to sleep. A troubled sleep, but sleep nonetheless.

The next day, I spent cleaning the house, doing laundry and grading papers. I didn't hear from Edward but he couldn't always gain access to the internet when he was on patrol. Hell, I was shocked that I got an email from him yesterday. Once I was done with my chores, I went to Port Angeles to go Christmas shopping. I wanted to get a care package ready for Edward, just in case he wasn't coming home. If he had to celebrate Christmas in a desert, I wanted to make sure that I sent him something. I also finished shopping for my parents, Edward's parents and by the grace of God, if Edward was home, something for me to wear just for him.

After I finished shopping, I drove to my parent's house to eat dinner with them. Charlie was watching hockey on his new flat screen and Renee was making some weird concoction. It was my usual Saturday routine. Rose and Alice had tried to get me to go out with them but I usually refused. I hated being the fifth wheel. Whenever Edward was home, we'd go in a heartbeat, but I didn't want to drag my friends down nor beat off drunk single guys with my shoes, despite my huge bling on my ring finger.

Pitiful, Cullen. Edward would want you to have fun. Not sit at home and pine away for him.

Early on Sunday, like just after one in the morning, my cell phone chimed with a message. I checked it immediately. Edward was back from patrol but was going to get some sleep before calling me on Skype at three in the afternoon, my time. I was so excited that I couldn't go back to sleep and I got up, baking cookies for my coworkers and wrapping presents. Around nine in the morning, I crashed. The excitement from the email from my husband worn off. I set my alarm for twelve and snoozed on the couch.

At a quarter to three, I made sure my hair was curled and my makeup perfect as I logged onto to Skype. This was the closest thing I could get to a date with my husband until he was home and was going to damn well look beautiful for him. I was surfing the web when the ping from Skype announced that I was getting an incoming call. Flipping over to the Skype window, the most handsome face filled my screen.

"Edward," I breathed, seeing his green eyes and scruffy face. "God, I've missed you."

"My precious love, I've missed you more," he sighed, caressing his computer screen. His voice was gravely from exhaustion and his tanned skin showed obvious bags underneath his eyes. But it all melted away when he smiled crookedly at me. "You're so gorgeous, Bella. I want to reach through the computer and hold you so tightly."

"You're not the only one," I sniffled, wiping my tears away. "I keep praying that you'll get approved for leave, Edward." More tears streamed down my cheeks.

"Don't cry, my precious love," Edward cooed. "I don't want to see my beautiful, perfect wife cry."

"Come home and then I won't," I quipped sadly. Edward frowned deeply. "Sorry. I know you don't have control on whether or not you get approved. It just seems like everyone else has their leave approved almost instantly but Colonel Black…"

"It doesn't seem like it, Bella. It's the truth. I'm in charge of the field hospital and the new doctors they sent over are so green. One guy, Dr. Call, nearly got himself killed because of his inexperience." He ran his hand through his cropped bronze hair. It was longer on the top but trimmed closely at the sides. "The private he was working on was shot in the middle of a firefight. Dr. Call removed his helmet and a bullet just zinged him on his temple. I pulled him and his patient out of there. They're both on their way Heidelberg, Germany right now, getting patched up. Dr. Call, I believe, will not be returning to active duty but working at a VA hospital. The private has a long road to recovery. His femur was shattered by a bullet."

"You're okay, right?" I asked, visually checking what I could from the computer.

"I'm fine. A little hard of hearing from the explosions, but I'm okay, my precious love," he said. "So, tell me about you. How are things back in Forks?"

"Boring, but okay. The girls came over on Friday for an impromptu girl's night in. We drank cheap wine, watched cheesy 80s romantic comedies and ate lots of junk food. Alice needed to be out of her house because Jasper was hosting poker night."

"I can only imagine at how pungent that room smelled," Edward laughed. "Almost as bad as the camp here! I can't wait until I'm home so I can take a shower without twenty other guys."

"I'll be more than happy to give your privacy, Dr. Cullen," I giggled.

"Oh, no, Mrs. Cullen. I don't mind your company. Actually, I want to make sure that you're all clean," he growled, his eyes darkening. "Add it to the list, precious."

I pulled out my notebook and wrote down 'in the shower,' underneath the tab of places we want to make love. "Done, baby," I smiled. "Anywhere else?"

"Parking lot, in your car. I want the world to see the Volvo rocking and know that I'm the one making love to you," he said, gulping deeply. "Fuck, I miss you making love to you, Bella. I just…I would give just about anything to be with you, my precious love. In fact, once I'm off Skype, I'm going to demand for leave, Bella. It's not right for us to be apart this long."

"I know," I sighed, caressing his cheek on the computer screen. I wanted to ask him to not re-up after this tour. But, I'd rather do that face-to-face.

"Major Cullen?" I heard in the background.

"Yes, Sergeant?" Edward responded, turning toward the voice.

"We need you. Private Clearwater is running a fever and is delirious."

Edward sighed, nodding solemnly. "I'll be right there. I just need to finish talking to my wife." His voice took on a hard edge and I could hear the frustration in his voice. A few seconds later, he turned to face. "Duty calls, precious. I'm sorry to cut this short. I hate that!"

"I know, baby," I said, giving him a plastic smile. "Go save some lives, Dr. Cullen. I'll say my prayers tonight that you're in my arms by Christmas."

"Bella, I love you with my whole heart, soul and everything in between," he said, his voice sounding anguished. "Be safe and strong, my precious love. I'll try and call you on Wednesday. I'll send you an email with the time."

"Kay," I said. We both kissed our fingers and then touched the screen before it went black.

That Skype call solidified one thing: my husband needed to come home.

xx IBHFC xx


"Sergeant Lahote," I barked.

"Sir?" said the man who interrupted my phone call with my wife.

"Do you have a wife, girlfriend, family back at home?" I asked, my temper quickly fraying.

"A family, Major Cullen," he said, his voice wavering. "No significant other."

"How often to you speak to them?"

"Once every couple of days," he shrugged. "Why, sir?"

"That phone call that you interrupted was the first time I'd talked to my wife in two weeks. TWO WEEKS! All for a low-grade fever!" I snarled.

"Sir, I'm sorry. Captain Volturi asked me to get you, sir," Sergeant Lahote whimpered. "Am I in trouble?"

I sighed, pinching my nose. He was just following orders. Insane, stupid and useless orders, but orders nonetheless. "No, Lahote. I'm frustrated and unfortunately you're getting the brunt of said frustration. Go to bed, Sergeant. You've got KP duty tomorrow."

He scowled before saluting me, skulking back to his tent. I turned on my heel, walking with a purpose to my commanding officer's tent. Colonel William Black led us. He was a great leader and I respected him. For the most part. However, he refused me leave more often times than not. As of right now, I had nearly six weeks of leave time accrued and I could not take it because of his need for me. Yes, I was the officer in charge of the field hospital, but I have every right to see my family as the rest of the troops in our division. I knew that Colonel Black would be awake. The man never slept. He was like a damn robot or something. Walking to his tent, I knocked on the door and waited for him to beckon me inside.

"Enter," he said, his voice deep and resonant. The colonel looked up at me and he smirked. "I was wondering when you'd come in to bother me."

"Sir," I said, standing at attention. "Permission to speak freely?"

"Go ahead, Major," he said, leaning back in his squeaky chair.

"I need to go home and see my fucking family. I'm this close to leaving AWOL," I snarled. "I was on a call with my wife when Lahote interrupted me, demanding my attention for a patient that could have been handled by a medic. The look in her eyes, sir, was heartbreaking. I've got six weeks. SIX WEEKS of leave accrued and I want to use it. I put it in months ago and grunts who put in for leave last week got their approval."

"Major, you are invaluable to this unit," he said, pride ringing clear in his voice.

"I won't be as valuable if I'm dead. I'm working insane hours and the time away from my wife and family is killing me more than hours," I spat.

"Being insubordinate is not the way to get your leave, Major," Colonel Black growled.

"Sorry, sir," I said, backing down immediately.

"Edward, I'm being perfectly honest with you. I'm trying to get another physician with your expertise to head up the field hospital. But, none of the candidates have panned out. I was praying that Dr. Call would be that man, but obviously didn't work. My son, Jacob, is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. He worked at a VA hospital in Washington D.C. He's never been in a combat situation, but he's a fine physician. If it works out, I'll have you on the next transport to Germany and then back to the states."

"I could be home for Christmas?" I asked, my heart stammering against my chest.

"Perhaps a few days prior," Colonel Black smirked. "Our division is not scheduled for patrol for a few weeks. If Jacob works out, you can have a month off. You'll need to be back by the end of the January. Now, it would be in your best interest to get some sleep, Major. You've got a doctor train starting at 1100 hours. Clear?"

"Crystal, sir," I said, feeling lighter and freer than I'd felt in months. I just prayed that Colonel Black's son wasn't a moron like Dr. Call.

xx IBHFC xx


The last week before Christmas break.

In teacher speak…hell.

The only week that's worse is the week before summer break.

The kids have zero focus. All they want to do is spend two weeks off, sleeping all hours of the day, hanging out with their friends and enjoying Christmas or whatever holiday they celebrated.

On Monday and Tuesday, I gave tests because I'm just downright evil. I was pissed off because my time with Edward was cut short because of that medical emergency. Then, our email exchanges were very brief due to a new doctor starting at the base and my hectic schedule.

Early Wednesday morning, I got an email from my husband. Praying that it was a time for our Skype date, I opened it eagerly.

To: Isabella Cullen

From: Major Edward Cullen, M.D.

Re: Skype

My precious love,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I have to cancel our Skype date. We had an attack on a nearby base and I've been up to my elbows in patients. I promise…PROMISE…to make it up to you, my love.

I'm so sorry to be breaking your heart. I pray that you can forgive me.

I love you, with all that I am, my precious.

Soon, I hope, I'll be in your arms, begging for your forgiveness.

Also, another location for our list, love…the front door.

All my love and devotion,

Your Edward

"Well, crap," I snarled, exiting from my email.

"What crap?" asked Alice as she skipped into my room.

"I was supposed to have a Skype date with your brother and well, he had to cancel it," I said, my face displaying my disappointment. "There was an attack at a base nearby and…" Tears fell out of my eyes and I fell apart. Alice wrapped her arms around me. "It could have been him, Alice!"

"I know, Bella," she said, hugging me tightly. She stayed with me until the bell rang, indicating the beginning of the school day. Thankfully, I had first period off and was able to pull it together. However, I was just going through the motions of teaching. I didn't care whether or not the kids understood what I was saying.

The rest of the week carried on the same way until Friday. The students were squirrely and ready for break. I was just ready to crawl into bed and not get out until January sixth. I hadn't heard from my husband since that email, breaking our Skype date. A black cloud hung over my head and I was the female personification of Ebeneezer Scrooge. During lunch, I ate in my classroom, crying into my cup of soup. Alice and Rose had to run errands during their lunch so my usual lunch mates were gone. I didn't want to spread my cranky mood to anyone else. I just stayed in my room, eating cold soup and nibbling on some string cheese.

After my lunch, I had just one more class and then I could go home. My students were working on a crazy Christmas Carol worksheet that I had given them, while watching Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The movie finished and I gave them the last ten minutes to talk until the bell rang. I was chatting with one of my students when I heard a knock at my door. The student sitting closest to the door opened it.

"Hello, Mrs. Cullen," came my favorite voice. Turning quickly, almost giving myself whiplash, I saw my husband, dressed in full uniform, standing in the flesh in my classroom.

"Ed…Ed…Edward?" I squeaked, my hand crushed to my chest.

"Surprise, my precious love," he said, grinning crookedly. Tears were streaming down my face and my heart was about to stammer through my ribs.

"What are you doing standing here?" asked Kate. "Go and give him a hug, Mrs. Cullen!" She stood up and gently pushed me. It was all I needed to sprint into his arms, wrapping my entire body around my husband's.

"You're home! You're home! You're home!" I sobbed, kissing his lips and burying my face into his shoulder. My class cheered and whooped excitedly. I could care less that they saw me fall apart and witness a very intimate moment. My husband was safe and back home. Edward put me down, taking my face in his hands. His thumbs gently rubbed my cheeks. "I love you, Edward."

"As I love you, baby," he said, brushing his lips against mine once more, earning a round of coos from my class. He blushed before standing up tall, like the soldier he was. "Sorry, guys. I couldn't wait to see her."

"It's okay," said my girls, swooning over my hot hubby.

"That's a pretty amazing Christmas present, Mrs. Cullen," snickered Kate. "Can I write a letter to the Armed Forces and get a soldier delivered to my door?"

"Probably not, Kate," I giggled, threading my fingers with Edward's. As we did, the bell rang. "Have a safe holiday and I'll see you all next year!"

"Bye, Mrs. Cullen and Mr. Cullen," my class sang, sprinting out of my classroom.

Once they were gone, I closed my classroom door and stared hungrily at my husband. God, he's a sight for sore eyes. "How? When? HOW?" I rambled, touching every inch of him that was appropriate.

He took my hand and sat down on one of the desks. He pulled me between his legs. His hands went to touch my face again. I was still crying like a damn baby. "My love, I saw how much our separation affected you," he whispered, wiping my tears away. "The information about the attack on the nearby base was a bit of a white lie. Yes, there was an attack but it wasn't nearly as bad as I made it out to be. Pretty much, I bought myself time to fly from Afghanistan to Germany and then from Germany to home. I've been on one plane or another for the past two days, Bella. Colonel Black was trying to finagle it so I could have a month with you. His son is the acting field hospital chief while I'm away."

"I've got you for a month?" I sniffled.

"Until January twenty-fifth, my precious girl," he said, pulling me closer to his body. "I'm a civilian until then and I'm not letting you go until I leave for my last five months as a physician for the army."

"You're not going back?" I asked.

"No, baby. This face," he said, kissing my lips with so much love and sweetness, "I've missed it too much. I'll be done in June. My last day, ironically enough, will be my thirtieth birthday. We can start our family, be a truly newlywed couple and just be."

I threw my arms around his neck, kissing his face and laughing happily. "I seriously hope your family doesn't expect us anytime soon!"

"They don't, my precious love," he growled sexily. "Well, not right away. Christmas Eve is still scheduled at Casa de Cullen and Christmas Day is at your family's place. Until then, I've got a year and half's worth of love making to do."

xx IBHFC xx


Dr. Jacob Black was an amazing physician. Within the first three hours of him arriving on the base, we had an influx of casualties. He was calm, cool and collected, handling them with the ease and professionalism that rivaled my own bedside manner. With that, Colonel Black made arrangements for my departure early the next morning. I was eternally grateful for the break. Getting away from the heat, the sand and the constant barrage of mortar fire was sounding like absolute heaven.

Plus, going home to the most beautiful woman on the planet? What's above heaven?

Packing my duffel, I sent Bella a quick email about breaking our Skype date. I hated doing that, but when I would normally talk to her, I'd be somewhere flying over Luxembourg.

Two days and five flights later, I arrived at SeaTac. My mother was picking me up. I wanted to surprise Bella. From what my mom told me, Bella was struggling with my absence and I wanted nothing more than to run into her arms, never letting my girl go.

I'd been so fucking selfish in enlisting in the Army. My heart was in the right place, but seeing what it was doing to my wife, the love of my life, shattered me. I already told Colonel Black that I wasn't coming back in June. He suspected as much. He knew I wasn't a lifer. My dad already had a job for me at Forks General. I'd be an attending physician in the emergency room, floating as a trauma surgeon when needed. I would start when Bella went back to school in August. I'd have the summer with my wife. Perhaps, work on starting a family.

Sex. Lots and lots of sex.

"Edward, do you want to shower before going to meet up with Alice?" Mom asked.

"Is that your polite way of saying that I stink?" I quipped, smiling crookedly.

"Yes, son," she giggled. "Do you have clean clothes?"

"I have a fresh uniform in my bag. All of my civilian clothes are at the house," I answered. She nodded, pulling into the driveway. My parents moved to Forks not long after Bella and I did. My dad was just hired as the chief of staff at Forks General. Alice's husband was a psychologist in Forks and also did some work in Port Angeles. Alice and Jasper lived in a home in Port Angeles and wanted to be closer to them, along with being close to Bella. They knew my deployment was going to be hard for my wife.

In the house, I quickly showered, shaved and attempted to style my very short hair. I hated the military crew cut, but it was necessary in the middle of a damn desert. I'd let it grow out while I was home and come June, I'm going to be a damn hippie! Okay, probably not but it's going to be a hell of a lot longer.

I want to make sure that I still have my usual odd bronze hair color as opposed to gray. Alice, who is two years younger than me, colors her hair to hide the gray.

Finishing up my shower, I dressed in a pair of clean fatigues. All of my clothes, my civilian clothes, were at my house with Bella. Despite wearing desert camouflage, I sprayed on some cologne and made sure I was snazzed up as possible. Leaving my duffel at my parent's place, my sister picked me up and we drove to Forks Middle School. We ate lunch in the choir room.

"Alice, tell me. Honestly, how is Bella faring with my being gone?" I asked as I nibbled on my soup in her classroom. We were sharing a brother/sister lunch before I was sequestering myself with my wife in our home in various states of undress.

God, I sound like a dirty old man. I do plan on doing more than just having sex. Talking, cuddling and just being…sounds perfect.

"She's struggling, Edward. I know that Bella loves you with all of her heart, but she can't help feeling abandoned," Alice replied. "She doesn't go out. She's sad most of the time and constantly worrying over you. When she got that email about the attack on Wednesday morning? She was a hot mess."

"Shit," I spat, pushing my food away. "That was a ruse to cover up the fact that I was in the air, trying to get home to her, Ali."

"She'll probably forget her worry once she sees you," Alice giggled.

"Was this a smart idea? Surprising her at school?"

"Big brother, she needs this," Alice smiled, taking my hand. "Now, you get to hang out with me until a quarter after two, Dr. Cullen. Then, I'll send you to her classroom."

"Are you teaching?" I asked.

"I am, but it's seventh grade general music. The kids will probably pester you with a million and one questions," she smiled. "Or you could pick up a guitar and show them a thing or two."

"I'll go with that," I smirked.

We finished our meals and then chatted about Alice's life until the bell rang, indicating that the last period had begun. As Alice predicted, all of the kids had a million questions for me. The boys had some major hero worship, seeing a live soldier in their school, while the girls tittered and swooned over my plan to surprise my wife. I jammed on the guitar, Alice singing along with me and it was a lot of fun.

Before I knew it, Alice's cell phone beeped and she gave me a huge smile. I bid her class goodbye and walked down the hallways to my wife's classroom. Alice, once she found out that I was coming home to surprise Bella, had approved my being in the school building. She was the one who signed me in and was 'vouching for me.' With each step closer to room 138, my heart was about to explode out of my chest. I could feel my wife but I couldn't wait to feel my wife.

That wouldn't be appropriate in school. I don't want to be labeled a sex offender, thank you very much.

I'd have to wait until we got home to take my wife as often as I could. Seriously, I had a year and a half of lovemaking to do to her. Yes, we'd managed to get each other off via Skype and some sexting, but it wasn't very often. Being in a camp with a hundred soldiers didn't really afford me much privacy. I had more than most with my own private office in the field hospital, but it was a tent. It's not like the guys couldn't hear what I was doing.

But, when we did do it…fuck me sideways, it was the hottest thing ever.

Stop, Cullen. Walking into your wife's classroom, surrounded by children, with a boner…not advisable.

I reached the door. Adjusting my uniform, I mentally berated myself for not changing into civvies. Too late now. I knocked on the door, waiting for someone to open. A petite blonde student was the doorman. Her hazel eyes widened as she ushered me in. I scanned the room, searching for my wife and I saw her talking to a group of students near the window. For the first time in nearly a year and a half, I felt at peace. I was home. Clearing my throat, I spoke, "Hello, Mrs. Cullen."

Her head whipped around and seeing her chocolate brown eyes, shimmering with tears, her face flushing and her body trembling as she stared at me. I don't know how it happened, but the next thing I knew, I was holding my sobbing wife in my arms as she clung to me. My arms were around her tiny frame. Her strawberry shampoo wafted into my nostrils and her curves filled me. I held her, trying to be mindful of the students in her room.

Placing her on her feet, we kissed sweetly and chastely, murmuring our love for each other. My Bella, though, looked so shattered. Yes, she was happy to see me but I could see the strain in her eyes from her constant worry. That solidified my decision to not go back once my time was done in the army. I served and I fulfilled my need to help those soldiers in need, but now my time was at home. With my wife.

The bell rang and Bella wished her students a safe and happy holiday. They did the same, leaving us in an empty room. I told her my news about not going back and our month together. The sparkle that I loved so much in my wife came back and all I wanted to do was take her home and fuck her on every single flat surface in our house.

Down, boy.

I waited impatiently as Bella shut down her computer, pulled on her coat and grabbed her keys. I needed to get her out of here. My inner-caveman was yearning to claim my Bella. "You look like you're about to jump out of your skin, Dr. Cullen," Bella smirked.

"You have no idea, Mrs. Cullen," I said, my voice taking a husky tenor. I took her keys from her hand, brushing my lips against her ear. "Are you ready for me, baby?" She let out a shuddering sigh, collapsing against my chest. "Are you ready to feel me inside of you, making you come?"

"You drive," she hissed, looking up at me with hooded eyes. I smiled, kissing her as deeply as I could in her school before twining my hand with hers. I went to walk down the hallway, back toward the office. Bella had other ideas. She tugged on my arm, leading me out the doors just outside of her classroom.

xx IBHFC xx


My husband was home. He was home. In the same country. Same state. Same town. SAME. CAR! My amazing husband was driving us home.

I couldn't fathom it. Really, I couldn't. In fact, I just constantly touched him to ensure he was real. Seeing his handsomely tanned face, his muscular body, his long, dexterous fingers with my ring around his left finger, his smell, his everything.

"I'm not going anywhere, my precious love," he said, taking my hand into his and kissing my palm.

"I'm just making sure you're really here," I murmured, tracing his veins on his hand. "And that I get to keep you for a little over a month."

"Yes, love," he replied, shooting me a warm smile before turning onto our street. Our home came into view and Edward pulled into the garage. Turning to me, his green eyes were feral and needy. "I hope you're not attached to your clothes, Mrs. Cullen. They will not survive." I whimpered, my panties flooding with my desire. "There will be no part of you that will not be reclaimed as mine, Isabella."

Fuck, my possessive, horny husband. I loved it when he was like this. It was very rare that Edward was like this, but when he was, we had the most amazing, toe-curling, earth-shattering and mind-numbing sex.

He shut off the car, getting out and helping me out of the passenger seat. Pressing me against the car, Edward lifted me easily. My legs wrapped around his waist and I latched on around his neck. Striding away from the vehicle, he carried me to the garage entrance into our kitchen. Inside of our home, he spun me to balance me against the door. "I want you," he purred, kissing my neck.

"God," I moaned.

"I need you," he continued, his lips never leaving my skin as he unbuttoned my winter coat. "I desire you in a way that I've never desired you, my Bella. My precious love."

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" I hissed, rocking against his growing arousal.

"But not against the garage door," he snickered, putting me on my feet. Tugging on my hands, he led me to our living room. He shrugged out of his fatigue jacket. His t-shirt hugged his body like a second skin, displaying his well-toned and muscular torso. Spinning quickly, he crashed his lips against mine, pulling off my coat. I was pinned between my needy husband and the wall. His fingers were dancing along my hem of my t-shirt, a red shirt with a picture of Little Ralphie from A Christmas Story with the phrase saying 'You'll shoot your eye out.' He tore my shirt from my body, revealing my very plain white bra. "God damn, you're perfect," he growled, cupping my breasts with his calloused hands.

I tugged at his shirt, pulling it out of his fatigues. Quickly catching on to what I wanted, he tore the shirt from his body, tossing it haphazardly behind him. His plundered my mouth with his tongue. Roughly, my bra was shoved up and my breasts bounced out. His hands palmed them, flicking my nipples with his thumbs. Edward's lips dragged down my skin and he reached my breast. Eagerly, he pulled my right nipple into his mouth, sucking on it fervently. Reaching behind me, I unclasped my bra and threw it across the room. "Fuck yes," he growled against my tit. Moving his lips to my other breast, he repeated the actions. My fingers tangled into his too short hair, tugging on the strands. Straining my lower body, I was arched against the wall. I loved his mouth on my breasts but I wanted it elsewhere.

Thank goodness I still keep up with my regular waxing appointments.

Based on Edward's fervent kissing, it was his plan all along. Making quick work of my jeans, he slid them over my hips along with my panties. Stepping out of them, Edward nuzzled my navel, staring at my bare pussy. "Never again will I be away from you this long," he said, looking up at me. He peppered my belly with kisses before spreading my legs. He inhaled deeply. "You smell so sweet, Mrs. Cullen. I've missed this so much. Tasting you as you come. I need to taste your succulent pussy, Bella."

"What are you waiting for, Dr. Cullen?" I purred.

"Not a damn thing," he growled, tossing one of my legs over his shoulder and baring my sex for him. With a low snarl, he ran his tongue along the length of my slit.

"Holy fucking shit!" I shrieked, coming as soon as his tongue touched me. Edward's eyes shot up to me. There was a wicked, feral glint in them and I just knew that I was in for the ride of a lifetime. His one arm wrapped around me while his tongue tasted every inch of my sex.

Flicking my clit as my release dribbled onto his face.

Fucking me with his tongue while he circled my clit with his long-ass fingers.

Tasting my asshole.

Sliding his fingers in and out of me, curling them just right.

Making me lick his fingers before he eased his middle finger into my ass.

It was the hottest moment of our lives together. Edward was claiming me with his mouth. I was eagerly awaiting until he claimed me with his cock.

I was also anxious to do the same with him and my mouth. I'd missed sucking him off. My husband had the most perfect dick in the planet.

After three very wet orgasms, I slid down the wall in a heap. Edward pulled me into his lap, his fingers touching every inch of bare skin. "I'd missed that," he cooed, squeezing my breast. "I had forgotten how excited you get when I kiss your pretty little pussy. I'm coated in your cum, my Bella. I'm so fucking yours."

"I forgot how much of a potty mouth you have, Edward," I giggled, caressing his damp cheeks. "But, I don't fucking care. I love your potty mouth. I love your potty mouth on my wet and needy pussy."

"Are you still wet, Isabella?" Edward asked, reaching between my legs. I shuddered in ecstasy as his finger slid inside of my body easily. "Damn, baby. Already ready for my cock?"

"If you don't get it out, Edward, I'll be forced to resort to handling this situation myself," I growled, reaching for his belt.

"Oh, I intend to see how you make yourself come, Bella, but not right now. I need to be buried inside of you. Balls deep, marking you as mine." Edward kissed me hungrily as we stood up. Guiding me to our couch, he helped me onto the cushions as he quickly divested himself of the rest of his clothes. His long, thick cock stood at attention, leaking from the tip. As soon as he was close enough, I wrapped my hand around his cock, stroking him slowly. "Oh, baby, I'm aching for you. If you keep doing that, I'm going to be finished before I even got started."

Moving me so I was against the arm of the couch, with a pillow against my back, Edward kissed me passionately. I could taste my pussy on his lips and tongue as he teased me with his fingers. His cock was pressed against my thigh. It was so hard. Incredibly hard and twitching to be inside of me. "Edward, fuck me," I begged, rocking my hips along his length.

"Yes, my love," he said, his voice straining as he pulled back. Grasping his cock, he rubbed it along the length of my swollen, wet and aching core. His eyes moved up to me and he found my entrance, easing inside of my body. My pussy stretched around. The guttural moan I made was so sexy and animalistic. My walls pulsated around him, quaking in pleasure. "My Bella, my love," he choked out. His eyes were glued on where we were joined. "I'm home, baby."

"Hmmmmm," I whimpered, desperately wanting him to move. "Edward?"

"I'm just trying to not explode," he said, his face sweating. "I honestly forgot how tight and wet you are. Fuck, baby…" He pulled out only to slide back in. I moaned, grasping the couch cushion behind. "Bella, I hope you weren't expecting romance and flowers. I need to fuck you. I have to see your tits bounce as I slam in and out of my, my love."

"What are you waiting for?" I growled, bucking against his cock.

"Absolutely nothing," he growled back, rearing back only to slam into me. I let out a scream and began to unravel under my husband's sexual prowess. My breasts bounced, like Edward needed and my sex was leaking from my need of him. He leaned down, his lips hovering over mine as he filled me with his dick. Our eyes were trained on each other while he marked me, claimed me, fucked me.

"Harder," I pleaded. "I need to know that you're home."

"I'm home and I'm not going anywhere," he grunted, obliging my request. His body was rocking against me. The couch was creaking ominously as he pounded in and out of me. "I love you, Bella. Even while I'm miles away, I always love you." He tossed one of my legs over his shoulder and it allowed him to move much faster and go deeper inside of me. "Fuck, baby…I'm so fucking close. Come on my cock, Bella. I need to feel you come around me."

I snaked my hand between our bodies and circled my fingers on my clit. Edward groaned, watching where we were connected as my hand brushed his cock and made my clit even harder with my rough caresses. My other hand cupped around his neck, kissing him deeply. Edward groaned as his tongue invaded my mouth. His thrusts lost their rhythm and he pressed his forehead against mine. Our breaths were coming in erratic pants. "Edward," I moaned, my pussy clenching around his thick cock.

"I feel you, my beloved," he ground out. "Just a few seconds longer, baby." He slammed into me four more time and with the last thrust, he let out a loud roar, filling me with his release. I screamed along with him, allowing my own orgasm to wash over me in waves of absolute joy, ecstasy and sexual desire. Edward collapsed on top of me, burying his nose into my neck as he slipped out of me. I could feel our combined release drip out of me with each aftershock from my powerful orgasm. Rolling us so we were on our sides, Edward slid his leg between mine and held me to his sweaty chest. He covered our naked bodies with a throw and stared into my eyes. "Merry Christmas, my precious love."

"Best. Christmas. Present. Ever," I mumbled as I curled up against my husband's chest and allowing sleep to overtake me.

xx IBHFC xx


We were in our bedroom. Bella was curled up on my chest, sleeping soundly. After our romp in the family room, I carried my sleeping beauty up to our bedroom. It smelled decidedly like my wife and it lacked my presence. Now, I understood why she was so sad. I was absent from our lives and I made a vow as I slipped between the crisp white sheets that I'd be the most attentive, loving husband while I was on leave and spoil her every moment of every day.

I was exhausted but I couldn't sleep. I just watched the sleeping angel on my chest. Her hand was pressed above my heart. Her wedding set sparkled in the dim light of the tiny Christmas tree in our room. There was no space between us but I needed her closer. Inside of her, ideally. It was indescribable as I felt my wife's warmth surround me as I slid inside of her silken walls. My heart was about to stammer out of my chest and the love I felt for my Bella, my precious love, encompassed my soul.

I knew that we were not leaving our home until Christmas Eve. But I wanted to get her a present. With my marathon flights, I hadn't had the opportunity to go shopping for her. In my mind, I knew what I wanted but I was afraid that I couldn't get it by Christmas.

"Hmmmm, my Edward," Bella murmured, nuzzling her face against my neck. "Home."

"I don't want to leave, my precious one," I whispered against her curled brown hair. I held her closer to my body and reveled in her tiny, feminine body crushed against me. My wife was perfection. She was tiny, just over five foot two inches. She was proportionate with a slender waist, flared hips and perfect breasts. She'd always been gorgeous to me, but seeing her naked body after a year of being away from her, she was a goddess.

The way her body responded to my ministrations was fucking hot, too. Whenever I went down on my girl, she grew so excited that her arousal seeped from her sex. My face was covered with her juices and I reveled in being completely doused in her scent. It was one of the many things I loved about her. Bella was so responsive to our foreplay. She especially loved when I talked dirty to her. I had a killer 'sex voice.' I didn't understand what that meant, but if it made my wife come, then I'll gladly repeat doing it.

My hands wandered over her lithe, sexy body. Even as tired as I was, I wanted more of her. I truly meant it that we were spending the next three days in various stages of undress. I wanted to have my wife whenever and wherever we wanted. No interruptions. No barriers. No stresses of distance, time and heart fail. She was mine and I was hers. Not able to contain myself, I rolled her so she was on her back before turning Bella so her ass was pressed to my cock. My fingers slid along the smooth skin of her belly. Reaching around her, I cupped her breast, massaging it gently.

"Someone's frisky," she purred, rocking her ass against my growing arousal.

"I've got a hot, naked woman in my arms. Of course I'm frisky. I'm a guy," I said, nipping at her earlobe. "I want to know what you did while I was gone. How did you make yourself come?"

"Really?" she asked, craning her neck to look at me. I nodded, slipping my hand between her legs. She spread her legs, allowing me easy access as I languidly touched her clit. "You're doing a pretty amazing job right now."

"I want you to masturbate for me. Show me," I commanded, pulling my hand away.

She pouted before pushing me onto my back. "If you're going to watch me play with myself, you're getting an up and close personal view, Dr. Cullen." She straddled my chest, spreading her legs for me. Her needy pussy was less than a foot away from my face. "Tell me what to do, Edward."

"Touch your breasts, my beautiful wife," I said, putting my hands behind my head. She rolled her hips before cupping her tits, twisting and twirling her nipples. "Make them really hard."

"Like this?" she asked, tugging on her breasts. I nodded, licking my lips. As enticing as her breasts were, it was her lower lips that were holding my attention. Her sex was dripping with arousal from my commands.

"As nice as that is, your pussy is begging for some attention, my precious love," I growled. "Feel how wet you are, baby."

Bella licked her lips, snaking her hand down between her breasts and to her sex. Her fingers barely grazed her swollen clit as she shuddered. "Edward," she moaned, her head falling back. "God, it's so good when you're here."

"I know, my beloved," I said. "Why is it so much better? Is it because I can touch you? Kiss you? Love you? Fuck you?"

"All of the above," she ground out as her fingers languidly ran along her swollen folds. "I never get this wet when I'm all alone. Seeing you stare at me hungrily…best aphrodisiac ever."

"I can see how wet you are. Smell your arousal. I know that's all for me, Mrs. Cullen," I smirked. "Put your fingers inside of your pretty little pussy. Feel what I do to you, baby."

She dipped her fingers inside of her body. The squelching sound of her fingers made me groan. She was dripping with her arousal. I wanted to lick her, taste every inch of her but I wanted to also see how she got off without me. It was erotic and taboo. "Holy hell," she moaned, pumping her hand in and out of her pussy. "So good, Edward."

"Taste it," I choked out. "Take your fingers out of your pussy and tell me what it tastes like."

With a whimper, Bella removed her hand. Wrapping her mouth around her wet fingers, she eagerly suckled on them. Fuck. Me. That's so fucking hot. "So sweet and tangy," she growled, releasing her middle finger with a pop. "You're better, though. Am I going to get my taste of your cum?"

"After I see you, Bella," I said, spreading her legs further apart. "Fuck yourself, baby. Come all over me. Scream my name. Play with that needy pussy until you erupt in pleasure."

Bella braced herself on my arms and she began rocking against her hand. She was curling her fingers inside of her body while grinding against the heel of her palm, causing her clit to rub against that. My wife was biting on her lip, trying to stay quiet. "Let go, Bella. I want to hear you."

"Hmmmm," she moaned, her hips rolling against her hand. "Yes…Edward, I'm so close."

"Come all over me, Mrs. Cullen," I commanded, staring at her pussy. She chanted my name, pounding her fingers inside of her body, curling them at just the right angle. Her chants morphed into incoherent moans and I could see her pussy begin to clench around her fingers. Her hand moved out of her body and she rubbed her clit. With a gush of her juices, she screamed, dousing me with her release. Bella had always had wet orgasms, but never to the point where she squirted. I was shocked and so turned on, seeing her body react that way. She collapsed, rolling off of me and panted heavily. I didn't even wait for her to completely cool down. I eased her hips up, sliding into her wet folds from behind.

"Oh, GOD," she sobbed as her body gripped me almost painfully.

"A year of love making, my precious love," I growled out, taking her from behind. I watched as my dick eased in and out of her, claiming her as my wife and my only true love. Feeling like she was too far, I pulled her up and crashed her back to my chest. Cupping her breasts, I rolled my hips and felt my own orgasm build. "I love you, my Bella. So fucking much."

"Edward, yes," she whimpered, turning her head. I kissed her lips, devouring her mouth as I slid in and out, feeling her from the inside. "I love you, too. I can't…please…come. Please? Please?"

"Don't beg, my Bella," I cooed, reaching between her legs and circling my fingers around her clit. Her hands gripped my neck as I thrust in and out of her as hard as I could. My balls were tightening and my release was going to come hard and fast. Seeing my wife unraveled like this was nothing short of the most beautiful thing on the planet. My Bella was the sexiest woman in the world and the fact that only I made her feel like this was humbling and erotic. "Fuck! Bella…God, you feel so fucking amazing. Your pussy is clenching me so tightly, my precious love. I'm…"

"Let go. Come inside of me," she cried, gripping my neck painfully. Staring into my wife's eyes, I exploded inside of her, filling her pussy with streams of my release. We both fell to the bed, panting heavily. My cock slipped out of her and our mixed juices trailed down her leg, onto the sheets. I languidly ran my fingers along her beautifully feminine curves, kissing her neck, her ear and sucking on her shoulder. "I don't know about you, but I'm starving," she giggled.

"Do you want to know what I missed more than this?" I asked, rolling her so she was facing me. I pulled her into my arms, sliding my thigh between hers.

"What?" Bella asked, touching my lips with her fingers before kissing me sweetly.

"Your lasagna," I smirked.

"I'm not making lasagna, Edward. It's nearly nine at night and you've pounded my pussy into oblivion. If I make something, it's gonna be mac and cheese or a frozen pizza," she deadpanned. "Besides, I'm bringing it for Christmas Day at your parent's house."

"How about delivery?" I suggested. "Bella Italia?"

"We're going to have to get dressed," she quipped.

"I'll get dressed. You stay naked. I want to feast on your delectable little body," I growled. And feast I did. I feasted so much that we missed the window of opportunity for delivery. We had a frozen pizza, each, at three in the morning, before collapsing from sheer exhaustion.

Late the next day, I slipped out of the house to drive to nearby Port Angeles. Bella was down for the count. With all of our lovemaking, she was completely knackered. Dressing in civilian clothes, I drove to a local jeweler to see if they have something close to what I wanted to by Bella for Christmas.

I had forgotten how much I loved wearing jeans. Jeans are fucking awesome.

Anyhow, I left Bella a note, saying that I would be no more than three hours. I prayed she just stayed asleep so she wouldn't have a chance to miss me. Thankfully, luck was on my side and in the jeweler, I found her present. Bella's engagement ring was always on her left hand, along with the diamond eternity band that served as her wedding band. Her engagement ring was simple. It was a one and half carat round diamond set in platinum. I wanted to give her more, but I knew she would have pitched a fit. I figured since I missed our wedding anniversary, I could combine our five year anniversary along with the anniversary of our making love for the first time. So, I got her a three stone diamond halo ring. The three stones represented our past, present and future.

Thrilled that the jeweler had it and was willing to size it almost immediately, I brought the ring back, dropping it off at my parent's home before I drove back to my Bella. As predicted, she was still asleep, tangled in our bed sheets. She was still naked from our lovemaking and I couldn't help but join her.

It was so good to be home.

xx IBHFC xx


"Do I have to wear a tie?" Edward grumped as he buttoned his dress shirt. "I mean, hell! I'd rather be home. With you. Naked."

"We've been naked for nearly four days straight, Edward. Yes. You have to wear a tie," I said, smoothing out my red dress that I chose for Christmas Eve at Edward's parent's home. The last few days had been blissful. Edward and I had been insatiable for each other, but I could definitely feel it today. My legs were sore and my poor pussy was bruised and battered. I loved every moment of it, but I needed a break. "I'm going to make sure that everything is ready to go. Do you remember how to tie a tie?"

"Yes, Bella," Edward said, sticking out his tongue at me.

"Mature, Dr. Cullen," I quipped, smacking his ass before darting out of our bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen, I checked the lasagna, the cookies and bottle of wine we were bringing to Casa de Cullen. Next to the door was a bin filled with presents for Edward's family, plus a small one for Edward from me. Alice had come through for me and gotten me platinum dog tags with Edward's name, my name, the anniversary of our first date, our wedding and his final day in the army. I also had our birthstones added along the bottom, with spaces for any children we may have. On the back, there was a caduceus with Edward's name and rank engraved underneath. He couldn't wear them while he was in battle, but once he was home, it was a reminder of where he came from.

Edward came downstairs, wearing a pair of slate gray dress pants, white shirt with an obnoxious Christmas tie. "Edward, really?" I quipped, pointing to the Rudolph tie he was wearing.

"You said I had to wear one, so I may as well be festive," he smirked. "One of the kids from my peds rotation got this for me since he had thrown up on me after a nasty chemo reaction." He pressed a button and his tie began singing. I arched a brow. "Come on! You, as a middle school teacher, should appreciate the cheesiness of this. If I have to wear a tie, I'm wearing this one."

"Fine," I grumbled. "You can wear it only because you're just too adorable." I gently tugged on the tie, pulling him to kiss me. He eagerly did. I smiled against his mouth before pulling back. "Okay, Dr. Dorky, I need your muscles to carry the bin out to the car."

"I can handle that," he said, picking up the bin easily. I held the lasagna and balanced a bag in my other arm before following him out into the garage. The drive over to Edward's parent's house was quiet. He held my hand, caressing his thumb over my knuckles and smiling each time he touched my wedding set. As we pulled up, he kissed my knuckles before hopping out of the car and helping me into his parent's place. Esme greeted me warmly, hugging me tightly. Carlisle, Edward's father, kissed my cheek and asked if I was shocked with Edward's little surprise. In between our rounds between the sheets, Edward said that this was a highly technical and secretive op that required the efforts of all his family. Esme picked him up from the airport while Alice was his key to get into school building.

I was normally one who hated surprises but this one was perfect and I was over the moon happy. Edward was home with me for a whole month. I was giddy and thrilled. If only I didn't have to go to work while he was home, but I at least had my two weeks off with him.

After we ate a filling meal, we went to midnight mass. Esme wanted her whole family at church since we were all reunited. We obliged her request, singing Christmas hymns and enjoying the visiting gospel choir who made the church sing with praise. Once the service was over, we drove back to the Cullen's home, opening the presents from our stockings before going to bed in our respective rooms.

Yes, we stayed at their house.

Early the next morning, Alice roused us excitedly, wanting to open our presents. Esme and Carlisle admonished her, reminding Alice that my parents were coming over to do our gift exchange at eleven. We had some time before they would arrive, so Edward and I went back to sleep while Esme made breakfast for our families. I felt somewhat guilty for not helping her, but I couldn't pull myself away from Edward's safe, warm arms.

The call of bacon was too strong to keep us in bed for long. Showering and putting on our jeans and sweaters, we ambled downstairs, eating a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, monkey bread, bagels, cream cheese and a ton more of wonderful breakfast foods made by Esme. She even made mimosas in honor of Edward's surprise return from the Army.

As we were finishing up breakfast, my parents came over with their bags and presents. Hugs and kisses flew around freely. My mom was absolutely shocked to see my husband by my side while my dad was overjoyed that I was smiling. I'd gone over to their home more often than not in tears, missing Edward with my whole heart and wanting him by my side. Charlie, my father, was usually the one who held me together because he was a night owl. He'd hold me as I sobbed for my empty heart and weary soul, afraid that Edward would get hurt or killed while he was over in Afghanistan.

We moved from the kitchen into the living room, settling down by the Christmas tree. Edward and I were curled up in an overstuffed chair. He held me in his arms, nuzzling my neck as Alice and Carlisle passed out gifts to everyone. Our families were so incredibly generous with our gifts. From Esme and Alice, I got a new wardrobe, it seemed. Edward received a ton of dress shirts and ties for his new job as an attending physician at Forks General. My parents got us a weekend trip in Vancouver with an open date to go to rekindle our romance.

We don't need any help with that, thank you very much.

But, their hearts were in the right places. It would be nice to go up to Vancouver and just fuck each other silly in a hotel room. Edward's darkening eyes indicated that he was on the same wavelength as me. Licking his lips, he kissed the soft, sensitive spot behind my ear. "Hotel sex is some of the best sex, Mrs. Cullen."

I nodded dumbly. How can my husband render me speechless with one statement? God, I love him.

The last two presents on our pile were to each other and they were both small. Before I lost my nerve, I plucked my gift to my husband and handed it to him. "Open mine first," I said, handing him the present. Eagerly, Edward tore off the holiday wrapping paper and tossed it to Jasper who was working as garbage man.

Edward chuckled when he saw the box, noticing it was from a jeweler from Port Angeles. "Great minds," he murmured before he opened the gift. His green eyes widened when he saw what was on the satin pillow. "Wow! Bella, this is amazing."

"What did you get, big brother?" Alice chirped.

"A set of dog tags, complete with all of the important dates of our relationship, along with our birthstones," Edward said, taking out his present. "Why are there spaces in between of our birthstones, though?"

"For when we have babies, we can add their birth stones to your tags," I said, giving him a shy smile. His responding grin so wide and beautiful that I nearly started crying at the sheer beauty of it. He crushed his lips to mine, hugging me close.

"I can't wait until we can add birthstones to this, my precious love," Edward murmured against my ear. Pulling back, he asked me to put on his dog tags, which he wore proudly. Then, he handed me my gift bag. Edward, while able to stitch up a human, couldn't wrap gifts to save his life. They looked like balls of paper, ready to be thrown in the garbage. So, he quickly learned to use gift bags or get me to wrap them. I pulled out the tissue paper, reaching into the bag and pulling out a very similar box to Edward's present. "See? Great minds!" he laughed.

"What did you get me?" I chided.

"Well, consider it to be a Christmas/Anniversary/Valentine's/Birthday present," he explained. Edward gave me a hopeful grin, knowing full-well that I hated to be spoiled. "Open it, my beloved." With sigh, I creaked open the box. Inside was the most gorgeous ring I'd ever seen. Which is saying something since my engagement ring was beautiful. "Each stone represents something. The two smaller stones represent our past and our future. The past is in the past and future is unknown, that's why they're smaller. The largest stone is our present. Each day is gift and every day that I get to wake up with you amazes me. Because each day is a gift, that's why we call it the present. Wear this, Bella, on your right hand, and know that I'm always going to be with you. Our future is nothing but smiles, happiness and love. I promise you that I'll be there, every step of the way, until I die," he vowed quietly.

We heard a loud smack and Jasper groaned. "Why can't you be romantic like that, Jas?" Alice hissed.

"Because I make up for it in other ways," he snorted, waggling his brows. "You weren't complaining last night."

"Ugh, that's my sister you're talking about," Edward moaned, rubbing his face. "I do not need that visual."

"Nor does her father," Carlisle grumbled.

Once we finished with the presents, Edward and I were wrapped up in our little bubble. Edward was holding my hand, staring at the ring that now adorned my right hand. "You didn't have to get this for me, Edward," I admonished lightly. "You coming home was present enough."

"I know, but it felt wrong to not get my wife a Christmas present," he chuckled.

"When did you get this?" I asked.

"Saturday," Edward snorted. "You were dead to the world and I slipped out for a few hours to buy this. You hadn't even moved when I came back."

"Well, some hot doc kept me up most of the night, making love to me," I giggled, snuggling into his arms.

"I wonder who that can be?" he quipped, kissing my lips softly. He cupped my cheek, staring into my eyes. "Merry Christmas, my Bella."

"Merry Christmas, my hot doc," I said, curling up in his arms.

xx IBHFC xx


The month went by way too quickly. Before I knew it, Bella was standing with me in a security line in SeaTac, waiting to send me back Afghanistan. I was dressed in my fatigues and the mere thought of being away from my wife for five months made me sick to my stomach.

But it was five months. Then, I was done.


A civilian.

A doctor.

A husband.

"Send me an email as soon as you are able," Bella said brokenly. "I need to know that you're back safe."

"I will, my precious love," I murmured, tightening my hold on her. "I wish I didn't have to go back. Being with you this month has been amazing." Cupping her chin, I looked into her beautifully sad eyes. "Five months, Mrs. Cullen. I'll be back and will never leave you in five months. I promise."

"I'll hold you to that," Bella said sadly. Two fat tears fell from her eyes. I crushed her to my chest as we shuffled closer to the security checkpoint. "Be safe, Edward. Don't take unnecessary risks. Come back to me. Please!"

"I'll be back. I can't not be with you, my precious love," I said, my voice catching. "You're my life. You're the reason why I live. I love you with my whole heart, my entire soul and every fiber of my being, Bella." I reached the front of the line and Bella began sobbing quietly. I took her face in my hands. "No tears. I'll be back."

"Kiss me, Edward," she begged. Tears were still falling down her flushed cheeks. Unable to deny her, I crashed my lips to hers. Her soft lips melted into mine as we hungrily claimed each other in the security line. A man clearing his throat behind me broke us apart. I realized that I was up next. Shit. Bella stepped out of the line, grasping my hand. "I love you, Edward. Five months."

"Five months, my precious love," I vowed, kissing her right hand, allowing my lips to linger on her new ring. "I love you forever."

She smiled sadly and I stepped away from her, holding my ticket, military ID and passport. With one more smile, I turned to the TSA agent, getting my ticket scanned. She directed me to a short line and I went toward the security screening. Turning once more, I found my Bella. I pressed my hand to my heart and felt tears stream down my face. She did the same before turning to go.

Five months.

I don't know if I can make it.

Traveling back to Afghanistan was not as long as my flight back to Forks, which was a nightmare. It was much more direct. I flew to Washington DC where I was placed on an Army transport that was scheduled to land in Kandahar. From there, I'd take a helicopter to camp. Nearly twenty-four hours in the air, I landed in Afghanistan. Once I was in Kandahar, I sent a text to Bella, saying that I was safely on the ground, waiting for my ride to camp. Her response was short and sad.

I'm glad you're safe. I miss you and love you – B

I went through the motions of being a soldier and a military physician. I treated injured men for everything from headaches and sunburns to lost limbs and bullet wounds. Colonel Black decided that I wasn't going on patrol anymore. He knew I was only biding my time until I was done with my tour. His son, Jacob, took my position, while I kept up the field hospital in the camp.

After a particularly hard night in mid-March, I went to check my email. Immediately, I saw a message from Bella.

To: Major Edward Cullen, M.D.

From: Isabella Cullen

Re: As soon as you get this…


Love, Bella

I pulled up Skype and saw that Bella was online. It was a little after four in the afternoon back in Forks. I pinged her and Bella's beautiful face filled my screen of my laptop. "Edward!" she breathed.

"Are you okay?" I asked, my heart stammering. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong," she blushed. "Well, um, not really."


"Hold on. I'm sending you something," she said, clacking on her computer. "Did you get it?" I checked my email and saw another message from my wife. I opened it, seeing an attachment. With the attachment, I opened the file, seeing a grainy picture. A sonogram. "Well?"

"I got it," I said, scrolling down and on the fourth picture, I saw the distinct outline of a baby. "Bella? Whose sonogram is this?"

"It's mine," she sniffled. "Congratulations, Daddy."

"You're pregnant?" I asked, my eyes wide with shock, looking at the baby that was growing in my wife's belly. "How?"

"If you're asking that, you really shouldn't be practicing medicine, Edward," she giggled.

"Shut it," I snickered. "I thought you were on birth control."

"I was but I let my prescription lapse in October," she said, her face flushing a deep pink. "When you came back, we never really talked about it, plus we were so into doing each other that it slipped my mind." She bit her lip, looking guilty. "Are you mad?"

"No, Bella. Never! I'm surprised and so incredibly happy," I said, caressing her cheek on the computer screen. "How far along are you?"

"The doctor thinks that conception happened on Christmas Eve," Bella replied. "After you left, I was feeling run-down and just blah. I thought it was just depression because of you going back to Afghanistan. I battled through it but I still felt like shit."

"What about your period?" I asked.

"It's always been wonky and so I thought I was having a wonky moment. Anyhow, it wasn't until we had a staff meeting and I was sitting next to one of my teammates, Mrs. Gallagher. Her perfume hit me like a ton of bricks and I sprinted out of there to puke. Alice, Rose and I went to a local pharmacy during lunch and I peed on the stick. As soon as I did that, the test registered me as pregnant. I just had my first prenatal appointment today. I'm roughly thirteen weeks along, just passing into my second trimester."

"A baby," I said wistfully, looking at the grainy photo. "We're going to be parents, Bella."

"I'm so excited but so scared, Edward. What if something happens to you? What if…" she whimpered, wringing her hands.

"Nothing will happen to me. Colonel Black has me staying on the base. I'll be home before you know it and I'll be there for you and our baby," I vowed. "We're having a baby! Bella, I'm so happy. Are you showing?"

"Not really. I've got a bump between my hips but you can't really tell," she shrugged. She stood up, pulling up her shirt and displaying her belly. It wasn't flat like before. I could see a roundness to it. My eyes filled with tears as I touched the screen, wishing I could be there with her. "Edward? Are you alright?" She sat back down and noticed I was crying. "Baby, please don't cry. I'm an emotional mess and seeing you with tears in your eyes? So not helping."

"Sorry, my precious loves," I sniffled. "I'm just so happy. I can't wait to be there for you. Both of you. One request, though."

"What's that?" Bella asked.

"Don't find out what it is. I want to be there when the doctor is able to let you know," I said. "I'm going to be missing enough appointments. I want to be there for the big one. You know?"

"I think I can handle that," she said, her lips pulling up into a wide smile. "I'll schedule it for the day after you arrive home. My OB has hours on Saturday." We talked for a few more minutes before the craziness of the day caught up with me. It was well after four in the morning and I had to be on duty by 1100. Reluctantly, we hung up, crooning our love for each other. I also said that I loved our baby and that I couldn't wait to meet him or her.

As I went to sleep, I dreamt of a green eyed cherub with my Bella's hair, smiling up at me. I was going to be a daddy. A daddy!

xx IBHFC xx


"Ugh, I'm as big as a house," I grumbled, putting my hand on my belly. I was trying to find something to wear to greet Edward. He was arriving at McChord Air Force Base. I couldn't get anything to fit over my baby belly. Huffing out a breath, I swiped a blue dress and put it on. Fluffing my hair, I slipped on my ballet flats and waddled down to my living room. Carlisle and Esme were coming with me to greet my husband and the father of my baby. "You all ready?"

"Make sure you go to the bathroom first," Carlisle chided.

"Good point," I giggled, going to pee. My bladder was the size of a peanut with the baby. Every five minutes, I had to go. Finishing up in the bathroom, I walked out to the car. We were driving two cars. I'd be following Carlisle and Esme. Adjusting the steering wheel, we took off to Tacoma. Two hours and three pit stops later, we parked and waited for the plane to arrive with Edward. It was due to land in a half hour. I was giddy and nervous. Giddy because my Edward was coming home. Permanently. Nervous because what if he didn't like what he saw? The last time I saw him, I was skinny, sexy and not pregnant. Now? I was the size of a beached whale and definitely not feeling all that sexy. Plus, this was not according to our plan.

While he was home in December, we made a plan of what we wanted. We'd try to have children, really going for it while I was off for summer vacation. We wanted one last summer of freedom before having babies. But, that all went away when I discovered I was pregnant. I was overjoyed at being a mom and so scared that our baby would never meet their father. Thankfully, there were no huge issues with Edward's time in Afghanistan. He finished out his tour, heading up to Germany at the beginning of June for his psych evaluation and beginning the process of ending his time with the Army.

Twisting my ring, I saw a plane approach the airport. Within a few moments, a large transport plane landed, taxiing to the opening of a large hangar. Esme grabbed my hand and we waited for the soldiers to deplane. It seemed like forever for the soldiers to begin entering the hangar. Most of them were army privates, wearing desert fatigues.

Ten minutes later, the officers deplaned and standing in his full major's uniform was my husband. He proudly walked off the plane, shaking the hand of commanding officer of the base. A file was handed to Edward and he smiled when he opened it. Shaking his hand again, Edward began searching for us in the crowd. We were off to the side, sitting on one of the few benches. Carlisle eventually stood up on the bench, whistling loudly and waving wildly. Edward's eyes widened and he moved quickly through the crowd. I could tell that he wanted to sprint to us, but being an officer, he had to show restraint.

Breaking through the crowd of reunited families, Edward got to us. Carlisle helped me to my feet as Edward finally reached us. He hugged his parents tightly before turning to me. "Bella," he breathed, taking off his hat. His hair was longer and perfectly mussed. He reached out, laying his hands on my belly. Our baby decided to make its presence known and he kicked at Edward's hands. "It's real, my precious loves."

"Yes," I said, tears falling down my cheeks. He crushed me to his chest, lifting me up off the ground. I protested, saying I was too heavy but Edward just held me tighter. Placing me gently on my feet, I looked up into his eyes. "Welcome home, Dr. Cullen. I love you so much."

"As I love you, Mrs. Cullen," he said, bending his head to press a soft, gentle kiss to my lips. "I told you I'd be back."

"You did," I giggled. "You'll be home for every Christmas. No curmudgeony colonels keeping us apart."

"Every one, my precious love. I'll be home for each and every Christmas," he smiled crookedly, laying his hand on my belly and pressing his lips to mine. My husband was home.