****This is the end of Chapter 4!****
When they were finished with their leave paperwork, Kate and Spencer had to finish their shifts but made plans to pack the car after dinner and leave early in the morning. “I’ll Google the route later, and print out directions. What time do you want me to stop by tonight?” Spencer asked before going his way.
“Eight o’clock ok?”
“Works for me.”
Editor’s Note: Things are constantly changing in the military and at the time I started this book, most leave paperwork was done with forms in triplicate copies. Today, many forms are filled out by computer, but for the sake of my story, I kept it old school to add this scene. And leave usually isn’t granted by a First Sergeant either, but can be recommended to an airman’s commander. I just love fiction, don’t you?
Sorry for the delay in the next post of Heir Force. I was helping my daughter with an essay and her first attempt was over 1,000 words in one looong paragraph. I introduced her to the tab and enter buttons. ¦⊃
I also had to figure out the rest of this chapter and finish one of the scenes before I could continue. Alas, enjoy!
After driving home from Kate’s, first thing Spencer did when he got home was throw a load of clothes in the washer, and then found the phone charger in a kitchen drawer. When he took care of that, he changed into old sweats to change the oil. His duplex had a garage and he already had six quarts of oil on hand. When that was done, he went through the refrigerator, dumping out old leftovers and milk. He added the dishes to the dishwasher and with what was already in it had enough to run it. Then he bagged what little perishables he had left and walked over to Mrs. Pettigrew’s.
Kate turned to Spencer and searched his face. He was looking out the window lost in his own thoughts. Kate saw compassion, confusion and was that… love? For her? She couldn’t deal with that right now. She had enough to deal with already without exploring those feelings. She took a deep breath. “Spencer, will you help me? Please?”
Spencer turned from the window and looked at Kate. After a few seconds’ silence, he answered, “Of course, I was planning on it. But I have a few conditions.” He cleared his throat and swallowed.
“Like?” Kate wasn’t sure she wanted to hear this.
A few days later, Kate looked for Spencer when she got to work. “Hey, Spencer.”
“Hi, how are you doing?” Spencer looked like he was headed out somewhere, since he was spinning his keys on his fingers and had his hat on.
“Fine I guess. Are you free after work?”
“Sure.” Curious, Spencer dropped his keys into the front pocket of his uniform pants.
“Can you come over?”
Spencer nearly choked on his water in the kitchen. Uh oh. He was in for it now. He set his glass on the counter and turned around, ready for Kate’s next onslaught.
“Yes, Kate?” Spencer tried to play it innocent.
“Do you know exactly what these papers say?” Kate huffed.
“Not exactly, no.” And that was the honest to God truth.
Kate walked back to the living room and cleared her throat. She didn’t sit back down. “I owe you an apology. I’m sorry for kicking you out last time. Since then, I’ve had time to think about things and have realized I’m not doing the right thing by Sarah.”
Spencer stood up and walked over to her and put his hand on her shoulder, squeezing it. “Apology accepted. I’m here to help anyway you need, okay?”
Kate nodded. “I’m still a little mad at you, you know.”
“I figured as much. I was between a rock and a hard place as they say.”
Before she left the house, Jen texted Spencer to let him know Kate was coming around. Jen didn’t know if Spencer was back from his TDY yet or maybe sleeping. He and Kate had such crazy schedules all the time. She was glad she had a ‘regular’ day job. At least that’s what she thought Kate was doing when she babbled earlier—coming around. Jen put her phone in her purse and left for the nearest café and ordered the hot drinks through the drive thru window.
A few minutes later Jen was listening to Kate’s story. Kate ended it with, “So, how can I possibly leave her there any longer?”
Kate dialed Jen’s number as soon as she found her phone in her purse. When Jen answered Kate blabbered on about her realizations.
Jen said, “Kate! Slow down. What’s going on?” Jen turned down her stereo before sitting down on her sofa and waited for Kate to calm down.
Kate shared with Jen the revelations of the last few minutes. “So, I’m a horrible mother and I haven’t even started yet!”
“Kate, calm down. You’ll be okay.” Jen looked at her watch. It was nearly nine at night, but it was Friday and she didn’t have to work in the morning. “Listen, I’ll pick up some hot chocolates and I’ll be over in a few minutes. Will you be okay until I get there?”
“Yes. I’ll try.” Kate hung up and decided to take Buttons for a short walk. Her anxiety needed an outlet. Though it was obviously dark out, there were numerous lights placed around the complex which were bright enough to make her feel safe and she wouldn’t leave the area anyway.
The night was warm and humid, the stars twinkling miles overhead. She tried to calm her beating heart and pace herself, but she was nearly running around the tennis courts. This was crazy. She was going to be a mother!
Until next time,
For the moment, Kate continued to work like a robot and took little notice of what was going on around her. She knew that there was a little girl several states away waiting for her to pick her up. But she just couldn’t deal with it. Every time she thought about it, it made her insides quake like Jell-O.
At home, after each shift, she took out pictures of her and John and wiped away tears at what could have been. She thought about all the times John looked like he had something to say or had a secret. Now she knew what it was. And it made her so sick, she couldn’t think straight.
Spencer had been gone on his TDY for several days already and Kate was used to being alone. Kelly had tried talking to her one day, but she blew her off. Kate had no desire to discuss the situation. Jen worked in supply and their schedules hardly coincided. Kate had a week of night duty coming up and she was looking forward to it. Most nights were pretty quiet until the weekend when some partied too hard and did stupid things.