A/N - a word of warning, this is fluffy - I am going to have to write some very serious angst now to compensate. As ever thanks to Elflordsmistress for her wise words and encouragement - I was determined to give up on this but she kept me going. I may even be glad to have got it out of my system.Prologue
The invitation looked up at him from the workbench as he sipped his coffee. The stark elegance of the white card with its gold trim a contrast to the sawdust it lay amongst.
But he wasn't looking at the invitation, wasn't even looking at the letter that had accompanied it. His gaze was abstracted; his mind had travelled years into the past – back to a time when he had been a different person - a husband and a father, as well as a Marine. And just as there was no such thing as a former Marine, he had never stopped being a husband and a father either. Some people might say that was the problem.
Normally he would have thrown the invitation in the trash and thought nothing more of it – it's what he did every other year. But the letter gave him pause – reminding him that there were such things as old friendships, old debts.
The letter contained a request he could not easily ignore – especially since it asked only that he gave up a little time. Though he had a busy life with a job that involved unpredictable hours he knew he would be given the time he needed.
The reluctance was his – stemming from an unwillingness to face the past. But he was not a coward; he could face this.
Decision made, he sent a brief message to say that he would be there and, since the event was months away he tried very hard to forget all about it. And if he didn't entirely succeed then he kept the failure to himself.