“Captain Matheson! Captain Matheson!” The runner cried out as he rode through the camp, coming to a stop in front of the command tent.
“I’m Captain Matheson,” Charlie called out as she emerged from her tent, one hand on the sword at her waist.
The boy held out a leather pouch. “A dispatch from General Monroe, Ma’am.”
Charlie took the pouch from his outstretched hand. “Thank you, soldier. Go find yourself some dinner and a bunk.”
Hurrying back inside her tent, she opened the pouch, tossing it to the ground in her haste to get to the letter inside. She ran her fingers over the Monroe Militia brand turned sideways in the melted wax, the tactile feeling causing her to shiver. It was the one sure way to know that a message was actually from Miles, Bass or herself. M for Matheson and Monroe, but turned sideways. Ripping it open, she quickly scanned the contents.
“Captain Matheson, I have arrived at Fort Liberty Hill and will be here until daybreak Monday. If your company could spare your presence, I would certainly make the three-hour ride worth your time.
General Sebastian Monroe”
Charlie was yelling for her second in command as soon as she saw the words Liberty Hill.
“Ma’am?” Jimez saluted as he hustled through the tent flap.
“I need a horse, now. I’m headed to Liberty Hill. I’ll be back sometime Monday.”
“Yes, Ma’am. Enjoy your trip, Ma’am.”
Charlie ignored him as she grabbed her saddle bags, shoving in a change of clothes, two bottles of liquor and the gift, wrapped in brown paper, that had sat on her desk for weeks now.
Throwing on her leather jacket, she checked her weapons grabbing what extra ammo she had for her gun. Pulling on a pair of gloves she stepped outside where Jimez was waiting for her with her favorite mount. Taking the carrot that he offered her, she presented it to the gelding who lipped it from her palm while Jimez attached her bags to the back of the horse.
“I took the liberty of adding some food and water to your supplies, Ma’am, and if I might be so bold,” he added, holding out a hat and scarf.
Charlie smiled. “What would I do without you, Jimez?”
“Walk around with a perpetual cold, I’m sure.”
Charlie snorted as she mounted her horse. Returning his salute she was off.
Two hours and forty-five minutes later she rode into Fort Liberty Hill. “Where can I find General Monroe?” she inquired of the men on gate duty.
“That’s classified information, Ma’am.”
“That’s Captain Matheson to you, Sergeant. Now, you can either tell me where I can find the General who specifically asked for me, or you can run along and fetch your superior, who’ll then take me to the General, who’ll hear about just how helpful you were.”
The soldier beside him turned green before stepping forward. “The General’s being housed in the First Officer’s house next to the Mess, Captain. Is there anything else we can help you with?”
“I’ll need someone to come along and see to my horse.”
“Yes Captain, I’ll send for someone immediately,” the man said turning to get another soldier's attention.
Making her way through the tent city to the building being used as a kitchen, Charlie turned to her right, coming to a stop in front of the small house that was in reality, nothing more than a one room cabin. Grabbing her bags off the horse, she handed him over to a man who appeared at her shoulder.
“He worked hard today, so do me a favor and baby him,” she requested, watching the man lead the horse away. Taking the two steps that led to the door, Charlie knocked.
“It’s not locked,” she heard him call out.
Pushing open the door and closing it behind her, she bit her lip at the sight of her husband submerged in a tub of water, placed in front of a stone fireplace. Dropping her bags she began to undress. “Miss me, Soldier?”
“Charlie!” Bass yelped, pushing to his feet, sending water sloshing over the side of the tub.
She paused in tugging her boots off to run her eyes up and down his body, cataloguing all the new scars.
“If you’ll hurry and get undressed, you can do more than look,” he promised, his eyes smoldering as he watched her undress, one article of clothing at a time. “Faster, Charlie,” he growled, as evidence of his desire reared it’s velvety, smooth head.
Charlie smirked as she pushed her panties down over her hips, kicking them aside when they reached her ankles, leaving her naked except for the chain that lay between her breasts. “Like what you see, General?”
“That would be Mr. Monroe to you, wife. Now, stop being a brat and get over here,” he demanded.
Having missed him too much to continue with her game, Charlie flew into his arms.
Bass sighed with joy as his arms closed around her. “Missed you so much,” he whispered against the top of her head as she nodded her agreement.
“Come on, the water's still hot,” he directed, helping her step into the bath as he sank back down into the water. Pulling her down on his lap facing him, he grasped her face in his hands as he kissed her.
Charlie moaned as his tongue brushed against her lips, begging for her to open to him, which she did without hesitation, her hands threading through his hair as she ran her slippery slit up and down his swollen member.
Dropping his hands to grasp her ass, Bass lifted her up high enough so that then next time she slid down, his engorged cock was encased in her tight, swollen sheath, her hardened nipples rubbing against his firm chest.
Charlie broke their kiss with a gasp, head falling back, letting Bass twist the long strands of her hair around his fist.
Biting the curve of her neck, he immediately soothed the skin with his tongue, his hips bucking up against her, his only thought to bury himself deep inside her as he came.
Charlie keened in his ear, shuddering in his arms as she joined him. With a satisfied sigh, her forehead bowed down to rest on his shoulder.
Bass lay his head against hers as their breathing slowed, his fingers dancing up and down her spine. “I’m so glad you could make it,” he whispered, softly kissing her temple. “I’ve been miserable without you.”
Charlie gave a tired smile. “Jimez is lighting candles in your honor as we speak.”
Bass snorted. “I heard you’d been getting a bit cranky.”
Charlie nipped his neck lightly with her teeth. “Blanchard talks too fucking much. However, I’ll use and abuse him as much as he’ll let me, because I come bearing presents.”
“You’re the only present I want,” Bass swore as his hands ventured underneath the water, his fingers trailing along the valley between the fleshy globes resting against his raised thighs.
“The water's getting cold, and there’s a nice warm bed, right there,” Charlie moaned, as long calloused fingers delved into all the right places leaving her panting.
Bass chuckled as he nuzzled her neck. ”Alright, we’ll do it your way.”
Holding her hand as she stood, Bass let his eyes roam her figure. “You’ve lost weight.”
Charlie shrugged as she stepped out of the tub, reaching for the towel on a nearby stool, “Maybe a few pounds.”
Bass stood, accepting the towel that she handed him. “I was already worried about you.”
“I’m fine, Bass. It’s nothing more than working through dinner.”
“I expected Jimez to take better care of you than that.”
Charlie rolled her eyes. “I’m a big girl, Bass. I can even drink whiskey all by myself,” she said, pulling out the black label bottle from her bag.
“Charlotte Matheson Monroe,” he breathed, taking the bottle as carefully as one would take a newborn, “Where did you find this?”
“Happy Valentine’s, Bass.”
“B-b-but Miles will be here tomorrow night. Shouldn't we wait on him?” Bass stammered as he looked wildly between the bottle and glasses.
Dropping her towel, Charlie snatched the bottle away from him. “We’ll save him a glass,” she said dryly, unscrewing the cap to pour them each two fingers, holding one out to him.
Taking a sip, Bass closed his eyes with a blissful sigh. “I haven’t tasted anything this good since…” Opening his eyes, he discovered his wife looking at him with a tilted head, “our wedding night.”
“Mmmhmm,” Charlie hummed, making her way to the bed, glass and bottle in hand. “Perhaps you should compare us and make sure you remember correctly,” she said lazily from where she lay sprawled across the bed, taking a sip from her own cup.
She watched as he slowly advanced towards her with a look on his face that make her nipples pucker and her pussy clench.
Climbing up on the bed, he straddled her waist, dipping his finger in his glass to paint her body with whisky. He ran his finger over her lips, before dotting behind her ears. Covering her nipples liberally with the amber liquid, he slid further down, drizzling her belly button before lapping it up with his tongue.
She was breathless with anticipation as he slowly spread her legs, pushing them towards her chest, gasping as he poured the rest of it over her splayed pussy. With a grin, he tossed the glass over his shoulder where it landed heavily on the wooden floor as his mouth descended, leaving her howling with pleasure.
Taking his time, he sucked every drop of whiskey from her sex, his tongue chasing every stray trickle, until she was begging him to fuck her.
Flipping her over, he entered her from behind, listening to her muffled cries as she buried her face in a pillow, her body already jerking and shaking in the throes of an orgasm. Thrusting in and out of her time and time again, Bass' fingers grasped greedily at her hips as she muttered incoherently.
Pulling out of her pussy, he pushed her to the bed as he grabbed her ass, squeezing the fleshy globes around him as he thrust between the warm flesh before spilling himself against the small of her back.
She whimpered softly when he fell on the mattress beside her. Pulling up the covers, he wiped at her back with a corner of the sheet, before tucking her in beside him. Sliding a leg between hers, he pressed her tender, wet sex against his leg.
With a moan, Charlie reached for him.
“Sleep now,” he whispered, running his hand against her skin in long strokes as she relaxed, safe once again in his arms.
Jerking awake at the knocking at the door, Charlie frowned when she realized that she’d slept the entire night through.
Bass grinned as he called out to the soldiers.
Throwing the blanket over her with a squeak, Charlie slid down the sheets as Bass calmly talked to the brigade of men that piled into the small cabin..
Coughing something about payback, Bass bent his knee tenting the sheet, giving her better access as he hid her activities from the men moving in and out of the small cabin.
Just as the last man exited the cabin, closing the door noisily behind him, Bass exploded in her mouth, his jaw clenched and hands gripped painfully in her hair.
As his body relaxed and he leaned back against the headboard, Charlie popped out from underneath the covers. “Do I smell bacon?” she asked, sniffing the air. “Oh my god, is that real coffee!” she exclaimed, pushing the covers away as she spun around on her knees, crawling towards the edge of the bed closest to the table.
She was stopped by a calloused hand wrapping around her ankle pulling her backwards. “I think you forgot something.”
Letting him tug her backwards between his legs, Charlie rested against his flushed chest. “Oh, yeah? What’s that?”
“Happy Valentines Day, Mrs. Monroe,” he whispered in her ear as something cool brushed against her collarbone. Another chain joined the other, laying between her breasts. This one was shorter and held a disc of beaten silver, bearing their new logo.
“How many more ways are you going to find to brand me?” she asked, rubbing the beaten metal between her fingers.
Holding the wrist that bore his brand to his lips, Bass pressed a reverent kiss against the raised flesh. “As many pleasurable ways as I can find.”
Smiling, Charlie lifted her hand to his cheek as she whispered, “I love you.”
“Please, I’m starving and there’s coffee,” she whined.
“Go on,” Bass laughed, reaching for his pants as she tugged on his shirt.
The men trudging in and out had been busy, stoking up the fire, removing all traces of last night's bath, leaving a steaming bucket of water near the fireplace and clearing away the dirty dinner dishes replacing them with heaping plates of breakfast food.
Charlie piled her plate high before filling her mug from the nearby coffee pot, pouring one for Bass as well.
When she couldn’t eat another bite she made her way over to her pack, pulling out the brown wrapped package. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” she whispered, pressing her lips to his cheek as she sat it down in front of him.
“I told you, the only present I wanted was you.”
“Then consider this a bonus,” she murmured as her tongue slid along the shell of his ear.
Bass unwrapped the paper to find a thin, leather-bound, commander's field journal.
Carefully opening it, he read aloud the poem that had been carefully transcribed by his wife.
I carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
Grabbing at the hand that rested on his shoulder, Bass pulled it towards his mouth pressing a kiss upon her knuckles before pressing it against his chest. Turning the page, he sucked in a breath as a sketched portrait of Charlie stared back at him.
“You’re so beautiful,” Bass whispered, running his finger gently over the drawing. Wordlessly, he quickly began turning the pages of the journal, stopping on one near the back.
Charlie pounded him on the back when he began to make choking noises. “That bad huh?” she asked taking the journal away from him, turning it in several different directions. “I wasn’t a huge fan of that one,” she said with a shrug, handing it back to Bass.
He slid off the chair, pacing as he turned the next page to discover a drawing of Charlie, this time, laid out nude on the bed, everything about the picture in stunning detail as she lay on the bed, arms stretched above her, legs together, slightly turned, hiding the junction of her thighs, her breasts pointing proudly at the artist who must have stood over her. Even the rings hanging on the chain between her breasts were in incredible detail. Rage flowed through his veins at the thought of another man seeing his wife this way.
His emotions must have shown on his face as Charlie slipped the book out of his hands once again.
“Gretchen’s pretty talented if I do say so myself,” she commented flipping through the book. “Blanchard introduced me to her at one of those stupid balls that he likes giving. During our first session we talked, as she sketched this portrait, about what I wanted. The day we sketched this one, she told me to think about my favorite memory involving you.”
“And what memory did you pick?” he asked gruffly, watching as she smiled softly.
“Our wedding night.”
Flipping to the last page, she turned the journal to show him the full length nude of her. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted a picture of you. I suppose, I selfishly assumed you’d want one of me,” she said sadly.
Bass groaned internally, knowing he had royally fucked this up. “Hey you, come here,” he coaxed, holding out his hand to her. As she moved closer, he took the volume out of her hand.
“No one has ever given me a gift as beautiful and as thoughtful as this, Charlotte. To be able to pull this out every night that we’re apart and imagine that you’re there with me is priceless,” he told her pushing a piece of hair behind her ear. “You’ll have to forgive me if the thought of another man seeing you like this clouded my enthusiasm.”
Charlie tilted her head with a smirk. “How do you know I don’t like girls?”
She heard the growl rattle around his chest before he answered, pulling her close. “Then perhaps the next time we’re at home in Austin, we should invite her over to play.”
This time it was Charlie’s turn to growl. “I don’t like to share.”
“Who said you were the one that had to share?” he replied with a wolfish grin, pushing her back against the bed as her eyes went wide in surprise.