After a chance meeting with a stranger in Paris, Robin is pretty sure she has found her soul mate. But to think with her heart again scares her. Can her love survive time, distance, and tough choices?
From the valet, I watched as the cab proceeded down the street, turned the corner and disappeared.
With a heavy heart, I went back inside and got breakfast. Then I went back up to my room and laid down. I didn’t get a chance to dwell on Robin for much longer, though.
It seemed like my head hardly touched the pillow when my cell phone rang.
Unwillingly, without even looking at who was calling, I made my thumb push the green button, to return to the demands of a busy doctor’s life. “Meyers.”
Steven’s voice said, “Don’t sound so excited, soldier.”
Despite myself, I chuckled. “Sorry. I guess this means it’s back to work?”
“Yes, it sure does. I do hope you spent those forty-eight hours decompressing.”
I grinned to myself. “Yeah. You could say that.”
“Good. Cause I’m on my way over.”
“Great. I think.” I’d completely forgotten about Steven’s surprise.
“Well, don’t thank me or anything.”
“That depends on what you have in store for me.”
“Don’t worry, it’s good. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“I’ll meet you in the lobby.”
“Good. We can discuss this in your room.”
A little while later, Steven clicked open the locks on his briefcase and handed me a large flat manila envelope without preamble.
“So, this is the surprise you were mentioning?” I asked.
“Yes. Your life is officially about to change.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Why don’t you open the envelope and find out?”
The room was quiet for a minute as I slit open the large manila envelope with a pocket knife and finally extracted new orders. The form was short and sweet. I looked up. “What is this?”
Steven was grinning like an idiot. “The General wants you to be his new personal physician.”
“Are you serious?”
“Of course I am. Even a General needs forty-eight hours to have your orders changed.”
“And why me, exactly?”
“I told you, I recommended you. Fixing his gas was the audition.”
“I guess I aced the audition?”
“Sure did. You’re going to love Aviano.”
“Going to love what?”
“Aviano Air Base. Over at Aviano, Italy. Within driving distance of the Italian Alps.”
“Is that what you meant by Italian food?”
“I take it Cindy already knows?”
“Of course she knows.”
“How is it your wife knows about this before I do?”
“Noah, chill. You know I only spring good surprises on you.”
I settled down, a little bit. “Yeah, okay.”
“General Hammond is now the Deputy Commander of United States Air Forces Europe, and he is putting his HQ at Aviano.”
A grin spread across my face. “Sweet.”
Steven’s grin was even wider. “You bet. But first, there’s one little thing we need to take care of before we’re off to Italy.”
“Yeah? And what’s that?”
“We’re off to RAF Lakenheath.”
“Yes. The general is doing a quick tour of the base and the one nearby.”
“Cool. I’ve been wanting to visit England.”
“What’s that grin?” Steven asked.
“Nothing.” My voice was all innocence.
“Dude, there’s only one reason for that silly grin. Tell me I’m wrong.”
“No, you’re right.”
“So, tell me about it, man! You know Cindy will ask.”
I chuckled and said, “There was a meteorology conference here at the hotel.”
“And she was there for the conference?”
“She civilian or military?”
“Military. Air Force, in fact.”
“Dude, you don’t play it safe, do you?”
“Hey, it wasn’t my fault.”
“What’s her name?”
“What does she look like?”
I sighed. “Like a chocolate Goddess from heaven.”
“Dude, we’re going to have matching chocolate wives!”
“That’s right,” I realized. “I tend to forget Cindy is black.”
“You just wait and see. Cindy is going to love her.”
“Whoa! We’ve barely gone on two dates. It’s a little early to be talking about having her meet you guys. Or about getting married.”
“Not with that stupid grin on your face.”
“Okay, okay. Am I staying here or what?”
“Nope. Pack your things, you’re coming with me. You’ve got a room at the Chateau.”
“Wow. Your general works fast.”
“Damn right he does. Told the French Air Force he absolutely could not go on without you.”
“Okay. So, what’s happening in England, besides the inspection?”
“Another high-level meeting I can’t tell you too much about, with the Royal Air Force.”
“More stress for the general?”
“Yep. Although, the British are usually more straightforward.”
“Okay, let me get my shit together.”
“Speaking of which, I hope you brought a clean uniform.”
“And why would I need another uniform?”
“Because, after the inspection at RAF Lakenheath, we’re going to a little party with the Royal Air Force before the meeting in London starts. Kind of an ice-breaker.”
“Super, but that’s gonna be a bit of a problem.”
“What do you mean?”
“Dude, I only packed one clean uniform and it’s not a dress uniform. The rest of my shit is back in Spain. Remember?”
“You’re right. I’m sorry. Talk to the general’s tailor. Maybe she can get you a dress uniform.”
“No problem. But before we go, there’s one more thing I have to lay on you.”
Steven handed me a little flat box.
“And what’s this?”
“Why don’t you open it?”
I did. Captain’s bars sat on the little velvet bed. I looked up at Steven.
“See, what did I tell you?”
“Say it for me.”
“Congratulations, Captain Meyers.”
I cracked a wide grin. “I think I like the sound of that.”
“Good. Now let’s get your shit together.”