"How's Jack doing?" Steve asked through the webcam. LeighAnn held up the one and half month old. Steve had been gone for three weeks and it had been the most difficult time she had. She had gotten used to getting up at nights and spent the time she was rocking Jack talking to Mel on the phone since she was up at the same time. She would also write to Steve when she had the chance. Still, actually seeing his face was better than any of that.

"He's getting so big." Steve said as leaned in closer as if wanting to reach them through the screen.

"Yep he looks like you." LeighAnn said Steve smiled.

"So how are things back in the US?" He asked

"They're fine. Mel and I are working on classes together while Will and Jack are nap buddies. I miss you." She said

"I miss you too." He said smiling and LeighAnn smiled back holding Jack closer to her.

"How's Ryan?" She asked knowing Mel wouldn't be able to talk to him until tomorrow.

"Oh he's fine. The best in the company." LeighAnn nodded approvingly knowing Mel would be proud to hear that. There was a small buzz and LeighAnn's stomach sank a little at hearing it as she always did.

"I have to go." He said smiling sadly. LeighAnn nodded and ignored the evil little voice saying this could be the last time she would see him. He pressed his hand to his lips and touched the camera with them. LeighAnn did the same first with her lips and then pressed a finger to Jacks touching the camera lightly.

"I love you both so much." He said and LeighAnn nodded not trusting herself to speak. The video cut to static and she let the tears fall as they usually did.

"LeighAnn!" Melanie called as she stepped through the door.

"What?" LeighAnn said smiling appearing around the corner with Jack and a burp cloth on her shoulder.

"I got a letter from Ryan!" She said


"So he actually sent a letter!"

They cooed over it and giggled like they were back in high school as they tried to decipher his horrible handwriting.

It was just around Thanksgiving that she with difficulty pushed Jack's stroller through the door the crisp air showing her breath. Her scarf got in the way so she took it off and tossed it frustratedly behind her onto the porch. Finally, she got the stroller inside and with a sigh of relief turned around to retrieve her scarf. She froze. A bus was pulling away from the driveway and a figure was walking up to the house. He was only half up when she ran down the driveway and straight into Steve's arms.

"How, what are doing here?" She asked pulling away to look at his face. He smiled and LeighAnn took the hat off of his head to reveal his close shave hair.

"Just came to surprise you." He said and LeighAnn laughed as he wiped tears of happiness from her face. She pulled him into a kiss and sighed contently as he wrapped his arms around her.

"I want to see Jack." He said and LeighAnn immediately grabbed his hand and lead him into the house. Steve took Jack out of his car seat and cradled his tiny body to his. Jack stirred a little and his big blue eyes looked up at Steve. Steve smiled in delight as his tiny hand caught around his finger.

"You have gotten so big." He said LeighAnn laughed.

"He loves to eat." She said, "And he is a wiggler." She added as he moved around in Steve's arms. He laughed and grabbed the small bag he had been carrying.

"You didn't bring much stuff back," LeighAnn observed her heart sinking. A cloud passed over his face and he pulled her closer.

"I'm only back for five days." He said and LeighAnn felt her heart sink faster.

"Why did they let you come back?" She asked curiously.

"They said we could come home for Christmas for three days or come home for Thanksgiving for five days. LeighAnn nodded,

"You could have called." She laughed

"I wanted to surprise you." He said pulling her in for a kiss.

Steve had wanted to spend the day with LeighAnn and Jack So they spent the day at home with Steve insisting on hearing everything he had missed and all of jacks landmarks. LeighAnn told him everything completely thrilled to have him home. She called up Mel and soon she and Will were at the door. She hugged Steve tight and welcomed him home.

"Ryan told me to tell you that he loves you." he grinned and Melanie laughed

"I could send a kiss back for him but I don't know how much he would appreciate it."

They laughed and LeighAnn went to the kitchen to start dinner. Mel volunteered to watch the kids while Steve went to go help her. The soup just had to simmer when LeighAnn felt Steve put his arms around her. She leaned back into him with a contended sigh. He planted a soft kiss on her neck his hands lightly kneading her back. Arching into his touch like a cat, she gave a surprised gasp when her bra came loose. Thinking it must have been an accident she reached behind her to fix it but Steve's hands stopped her as they disappeared underneath her shirt.

"Not here!" she whispered frantically even as she bit back a moan as his hands traveled up.

"Just finishing what I started in the place I started it." He said turning her around so he could kiss her. LeighAnn was having trouble thinking of an excuse.

"What about Mel?" she gasped as his hands traveled up her thigh.

"We'll be quiet." He whispered lifting her up onto the counter and bunching her skirt up. LeighAnn gave a small scoff that he ignored as he lifted her shirt over her head. Not wanting to be outdone, she gave in and ripped his t shirt over his head.

"We're going to have to be quick." she half gasped half moaned out as his belt hit the floor

"Don't worry I doubt you'll last long." he chuckled. LeighAnn rolled her eyes but any answer she would have given was immediately forgotten when his pants came undone.

LeighAnn didn't want to move as she rested against his shoulder, her hair a mess and her lips swollen from biting and sucking. Steve leaned back and kissed her quickly before pushing off the counter and readjusting his pants and grabbing his shirt off the floor. LeighAnn followed suit and checked the soup quickly. It looked ready so she went to grab Mel. Mel was sitting on the couch and as soon as LeighAnn walked into the room she saw her bright red face. However when their eyes met Mel smirked and she picked up Will.

"Big shoes?" she said innocently and LeighAnn couldn't stop from heat flooding her face.

"I turned the TV on about ten minutes ago." Mel said casually and she walked out the room.

It seemed like no time at all before it was time for Steve to go back. He spent every moment he could with Jack as if cramming in time to be father. Jack soon would rather go to Steve instead of LeighAnn when it came to bedtime and mealtimes. They would go the park everyday and even though he was too young to really appreciate it, Steve and LeighAnn had a blast taking him to the zoo. However, Steve still found time to show how much he missed LeighAnn, very thoroughly. They would be walking out of the baby room after putting Jack to bed; and LeighAnn would find herself pushed up against the wall and Steve capturing her mouth in a searing kiss that would sometimes make it back to the bedroom or when LeighAnn asked for a demonstration of what he had learned. He could get very creative in how to apply combat moves and demonstrate military tactics.

He had to go back though and LeighAnn once again felt her heart in her throat as he boarded the plane. Jack had cried as soon as he had set him into LeighAnn's arms and wouldn't be quieted until Steve took him back. He almost missed his plane because he was so reluctant to let Jack go. Finally, though he put him back in LeighAnn's arm and tried not to weaken at the sight of his sons bottom lip trembling. He kissed LeighAnn quickly and gave Mel a hug goodbye. Mel had come with them this time and after they had dropped the boys off with a babysitter, they went out to lunch to the Talking Teacup. LeighAnn sipped her tea slowly while Mel helped herself to a sandwich.

"You okay?" Mel asked and LeighAnn shook her head.

"Me neither. Just seeing you and Steve together made me want Ryan back more than ever."

LeighAnn looked up at Mel who shrugged.

"Sorry." LeighAnn said suddenly feeling a little guilty of how she had been with Steve with Melanie right there.

"For what? For showing how much you love your husband when he's right there in front of you? Don't ever be sorry for that." Mel said and LeighAnn nodded.

"I'll just be happy when he comes back for Christmas. Wanna go shopping for some Christmas presents for him?" Melanie winked and LeighAnn laughed, as she knew there was a lingerie shop right around the corner.

"Sure I think I'll get something too that'll blow Steve's mind."

"And the video camera you're going to be using!" Mel laughed and the pair paid for their tea and headed out the door.

They were in the shop jokingly holding up sheer Santa themed teddies when LeighAnn paused as she remembered her nights with Steve.

"What's wrong?" Mel asked

"Well, it's just at night Steve would have dreams?"

"What kind of dreams?"

"Nightmares. He would toss and turn for hours just muttering and there was nothing I could do. He didn't want to talk about it."

"I guess he'll talk about it when he's ready." Mel said trying to sound optimistic.

"Yeah." LeighAnn said not convinced but she pushed it to the back of her mind. Steve was strong he would be alright.

It was five in the morning when LeighAnn's phone rang. One glance at how early it was had her scrambling towards the phone.

"Please, not Steve, please." She prayed and saw it was Mel calling.

"Hey." She said her stomach dropping as she heard ragged sobs over the phone.

"Mel?" She said

"It's Ryan," And the sobs started again