Summary: After a night of unexpected passion, Jeff embarks on his own journey of self-discovery as he examines his emerging feelings for Ginger. "Patriots" inspired this very short missing scene Homefront story.

Disclaimer: Homefront characters belong to their creators. No copyright infringement intended. No profit is being made.

Author: Tracy Diane Miller

He stirred momentarily before abruptly opening his eyes. He wasn't sure what had awakened him from such a peaceful sleep. Had it been the quiet breeze that had invaded his room, the cool air caressing his face? Or, had the smell of Mom's bacon and eggs that left the kitchen and stealthily crept up the stairs towards the attic, conquering his nostrils with their pleasant allure, forced him to surrender his slumber? As much as he had always so willingly abandoned sleep in favor of breakfast, it wasn't the promise of food this time that had been the culprit. The answer lay in the empty place next to him in bed. Without a word, she had left before he had awakened. And now Jeff wondered what Ginger could be thinking, how she was feeling about their passionate encounter last night.

Good Lord! What if he had, somehow, unintentionally hurt her? Jeff quickly dismissed this notion. If he had hurt Ginger, she wouldn't have wanted for them to do it again and she wanted that. They both had wanted that. Still, what had he really known about the "rules" of intimacy; this experience had been his maiden voyage. When Charlie and Hank teased him during the preparations for Hank's bachelor party, his male pride had caused him to imply that he had experience with women to disarm their accusations of his ineptitude.

Jeff had never really dated. Only baseball had captured his interest, his passion so consumed by the sport that he had never taken the time to consider any other kind of passion. Well, not before Sarah anyway. But as much as it pained him to admit it, Sarah had never really been his girl. Fate had "loaned" her to him; their kisses and loving gazes purposely hidden from the outside world. Both he and Sarah harbored intense guilt over their clandestine relationship aware that Hank would be devastated if he had known of this ultimate betrayal. How could love be wrong? Jeff had questioned. Only the circumstances of his and Sarah's love were wrong. It was nobody's fault, not really. He and Sarah had fallen in love. Yet, their secret interludes, most recently with the laundry hanging on the clothesline the only witness to the steamy kisses, didn't constitute dating.

But Sarah had chosen Hank over him and Charlie Hailey had taken a war time bride and dishonored his pledge of matrimonial to his hometown sweetheart. Jeff and Ginger became kindred spirits in rejection. His attic bedroom had become a safe harbor, a sanctuary to the both of them.

The funny thing was, he had never thought of Ginger as a woman. She had always just been his sister's best friend. In fact, in searching his mind, Jeff wondered if he had even "liked" Ginger. Sure, she was swell (as far as dames were concerned), but she talked too much and knew nothing about baseball. It wasn't as if he and Ginger had anything in common.

Then, why was he feeling this way now? Last night would be the most special night of his life, a night that he'd never forget. But Jeff realized that he wanted more than just physical intimacy with Ginger. He wanted to get to know her better. He wanted to date her.

With a renewed purpose, Jeff resolved that he'd go to Brandstatetters and tell Ginger how he felt.

Breakfast would just have to wait. Right now, neither food nor baseball seemed very important.

The End