The music bared in Hoot's ears, the flight was an estimated ten hours. He was hoping to catch some sleep before he landed. Was greeted by his momma and her new boyfriend. Hoot was not sure how he felt about him. It'd been a long time since his dad had bailed out. He had ten hours to think it over.
Beside him Sanderson sat watching the inflight movie, "A walk to remember." The flight would be hell, with a drunk greek in the next row. Hoot looked over at Lambross who was out like a light.
Vodka and six musce relaxers would do that to you.
Hoot looked back to the window as they flew over Africa.
He was flying into Atlanta to fly to Baton Rouge. It would be murder, Diana would be at the airport picking up McKnight. He would see her but not long, and with Danny there, he doubted it would be quality time.
Beside him Sanderson got up to use the small bathroom. Which smelled like a outhouse soaked in lysol. Hoot closed his eyes and listened to the music. Praying it would drown out the chick flick.
Of all the military planes, he got this one. If Danny weren't on it he would suspect the Colonel.
Then music was gone!
Hoot lifted his head and saw why, Danny sat down beside him. Hoot looked over for Sanderson who was gone. Danny promptly told him, "I need a word."
Hoot looked to the Colonel, "What about?"
"Don't bullshit me, Gibson."
This surprised Hoot, but it didn't appear so on his stoic face. "A'ight. What do you want?"
Without so much as warning Hoot or lowering his voice, Danny asked, "Are you sleeping with my daughter?" Danny had never been one to pussyfoot around. He wanted to know and he was going to ask.
Hoot looked stunned at Danny, unable to so much as speak to the colonel. Behind the two Delta's took off their headsets, this music was much better.
"Do you honestly think I want to sit next to you? Talking about my baby girl, in this manner? Well I don't but I'm her father, and I will love her more then you can even imagine. So we can have a talk now.....or over dinner with Diana. It's your choice."
"Fine. Just not that." Hoot sighed, looking out over Egypt.
"What? Are you a virgin?"
Hoot turned back to Danny, "No! I'm not talkin about this with you." "We're on a plane together for the next ten hours. I'm going to find out what your funcking intentions are, with or without your cooperation. And don't fucking tell me they're noble. You've been with my daughter for three fucking years and didn't tell me, and don't tell me you haven't touched her in three years. Don't insult my intelligence."
Hoot looked at Danny with almost spiteful eyes. Annoyed and angry he asked, "What do you want to know?"
Danny leaned forward and asked, "If she gets pregnant, what are your intentions? Do you have any intention of marrying my daughter? What if I die? Are you going to take care of her?"
There had been many times when Hoot thought of those very questions. Many times he thought about marrying Diana, even if she got pregnant. The very idea of her pregnant brought a surge of feeling Hoot hadn't felt before. "We've talked about getting married."
"You've talked," Danny demanded, unsure if he liked the idea.
"Yeah. Diana wants to know what you think. She loves you Danny, she wants ta know what you think of her marryn me. You know, life on base. Apparently you've not been really favorable of tha idea."
Indeed Danny hadn't, Danny made a face. He could remember all the times he told Diana not to marry military. Most the time he had been joking. Even now with Hoot looking at him he didn't really like the idea.
"You know her mother died on me, in Germany. Diana grew up on base after base, everywhere I went she came, well most everywhere. I think the longest she stayed anywhere was six monthes in Japan. Never once did she complain about it, not one time." Danny told Hoot, though he was sure he knew.
Hoot didn't answer Danny but listened.
Danny looked Hoot in the eye, "What if she gets pregnant? Do you have a home? A car? Hell, do you even have a bank account?"
"Yeah, I do. I've thought about her gettin pregnant.....I'm not sure about a baby, yet. But if I did have one, I'd want it to be with Diana."
"Do you see her married when she's pregnant? If she's not, I could have you sent to hell, you'd never see the bayou or Diana again. I'll not have my daughter the mother of a deadbeat." Danny warned.
Hoot shook his head, "That won't happen. In six monthes my time is up."
This surprised Danny, "Are you going to re-enlist?"
For a moment Hoot was silent. He looked at his empty hands, neither had any rings, especially his left. "I don't know. If I don't.....I don't know what I'd do yet. I joined tha Army outta high school. I've never done anything else....but do I wanna be a lifer? I don't know just yet, I was gonna talk to Diana about it."
Danny listened to the man. Danny was a lifer, a choice he never regretted once in his life. He knew if Hoot stayed in his life probably wouldn't change. So he spoke quietly, "If you want to stay in for life, I respect that, but speak with Diana about it. If you want to marry her, I'm giving you my blessing. But that doesn't mean I like you."
That made Hoot laugh, "Good. I don't like you very much either."
Danny smiled, speaking with a broad smile on his face, "You know if you make my baby cry. Not even your dentist will be able to identify your remains."