“I don’t know why you can’t pick your brother up, ” Bianca said on the phone with her friend Greta.
“We’re getting a surprise ready for him. You know it’s his birthday next weekend. We’re doing a big combined welcome home party. It’s taking a lot to organize. ” Greta paused. “Because I’m off next weekend for the celebration, I couldn’t get this weekend too. And I thought you might like to pick him up since you’ve been sending him letters for the last couple of years. ”
Bianca groaned. “Sending letters is totally different than talking and seeing him in person. The last time I saw Caleb, I was a chubby little girl who followed him around everywhere. ”
Greta laughed. “Well, you’re not anymore. You can’t keep avoiding him. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that every time he gets leave, you go MIA. He’s home for a while now teaching new recruits, so you won’t be able to avoid him the whole time. Unless you move. ”
Bianca wondered if her work would okay a transfer. She was their star wedding cake maker.
“Don’t even think about it, Bianca. I will hunt you down and drag you back. ”
Sighing in defeat, Bianca looked around the airport for Caleb. “Fine, but he doesn’t know what I look like. I haven’t se—”
“Yes, he does. I’ve been sending him pictures of us, of you. ”
“You what?” A bunch of people turned to glare at Bianca. “You did what? I told him no when he asked for pictures. ”
“Why on earth would you do that?”
Scrubbing a hand over her face, Bianca looked up at the arrival board to see Caleb’s plane had landed a good ten minutes ago. “I was scared. I didn’t know what picture to send. I look nothing like the girls I remember he liked to date. I’m not five-seven with legs that go on forever, a blonde, or a size under double digits. I don’t think I ever will be any of those things. I’m a wedding cake maker and designer, and I like taste testing my food too much. ”
There was quiet on the other end of the line for a moment before Greta replied. “You do realize the way to a man’s heart is with food. ”
“You can say that because you’re a size ten, and your mother taught you how to cook. Hey, aren’t you supposed to be at work? That’s why I had to come and pick Caleb up instead of you?”
Bianca was met with another silent reply, and a niggling feeling came over her that Greta was up to something more than just a welcome-home, birthday surprise for Caleb.
“Sorry. Busy working and getting the surprise ready to go. Talk later. Bye. ”
The uneasy feeling got bigger as Bianca put the phone back in her bag. Straightening her shoulders, she looked around again. Army men come out of the gate in full uniform, and she slowly walked forward. “Oh my, they do look so good. ”
An older lady next to her chuckled and asked, “Yes, they do. Any of them yours?”
Bianca shook her head and started to say no when Caleb walked out with two other men. Tall, he stood well over six feet with broad shoulders and a tight muscular body. Bianca couldn’t see much of his dark olive skin in his Army uniform. His hat covered his jet black hair and his piercing deep dark brown eyes set above a strong masculine jaw.
Caleb searched the crowd before his gaze stopped on her. He stalked forward. “Hey, beautiful. ”
Bianca stared at him, stunned, as he pulled her to him, and his mouth come down on hers. He held her tightly as his lips crushed hers and his tongue traced her lips, asking for entry.
With her mind going a million miles a minute, it took her a moment before she moaned, wrapped her arms around Caleb, opened her mouth, and met his tongue with hers.
He pulled away, leaving her panting, and she wondered if she’d fallen into some parallel universe.
Caleb smiled down at her, showing perfect white teeth. “Ready to go. Just need to grab my backpack. ”
Speechless, she nodded as he grabbed her hand and walked over to the baggage carrousel. She trailed behind him probably looking like a stunned mullet. Caleb didn’t let go of her hand when he grabbed his big backpack, shoved it on one shoulder, and then pulled her toward the exit.
“Where did you park?”
Bianca pointed to her left, not trusting her voice to talk.
“Do you still have the little white sports car?”
She froze, and he stopped and looked back at her. “How do you know I have a Honda Integra?”
A huge grin spread over his face. “The first picture I got from Greta was of you with the car your parents bought you. She told me all about how you corrupted her to go racing in it. ”
Bianca watched his eyes light up as he moved to box her in against the car behind her.
“That’s not the best part. The picture she sent is of you laid back on your car, posing in only a white bikini. ”
She gulped, and thought of the best way to kill her best friend…scratch that, ex-best friend the next time she saw her.
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