Disclaimer: I don’t own them. Okay, well I did make up Lyndsey, but I won’t make any money off of her.
What She Doesn’t Know
by Christina A.
Summary: She knows he can’t tell her about his ‘job’, and she knows how much it bothers him. She’s also determined not to let it ruin her marriage.
What She Doesn’t Know
by Christina A.
It took guts to be a soldier, be it Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or National Guard. The country for which the soldier served didn’t matter either. It still took guts to do it. Bravery expressed itself in many different manners. A soldier could go above and beyond the call of duty. He or she could rush into a firefight and save countless other soldiers. He, or she, could crash his plane during a brave maneuver that saved an entire squadron of fellow soldiers. Bravery was personified in many ways.
The most unsung hero of any of the Armed Forces, though, was the spouse. This was something of which Lyndsey Mitchell was sure. She loved her husband unconditionally. She was by his side no matter their separations, no matter how many long hours she had to sit by his hospital bed. No matter how many times he had to look her in the eyes and tell her that he couldn’t give her the truth of the situation, she stood by him.
She was married to him. Yes, he was also married to her, but his first love had to be the military.
There were times when it tore her up inside to watch him walk out of their home. He would be gone for days, come home with injuries, and still he couldn’t tell her why.
It was all classified.
His new post had been the worst as far as Cameron’s silence about the work that he did. Whatever it was excited him in a way little else had. She could see that in his eyes, but he couldn’t tell her why.
She should have been used to it by now, and most days, she could overlook it. She filled her days with her bookstore. It was a semi-successful venture and the third one they’d owned. Lyndsey loved reading. It filled the lonely nights when Cameron didn’t call or didn’t come home. The latter of the two was the worst for her.
With this new posting, he could be gone for days. All she would be told from the officers on the base was that he was ‘on assignment’. He could be killed, and she would never know the real reason why. It was enough, if she really thought about it, to drive her away from him. Although she knew she’d never leave him because of it, sometimes it was very difficult for Lyndsey to stay.
Love carried her a long way, however. When Cameron was home, they made the most of it. They didn’t talk about his job or what he couldn’t say. They concentrated on one another. She laughed at his horrible jokes. He listened intently as she described the latest book she was reading. They debated current issues or took long walks. They cooked dinners together and ate them by candlelight.
Those moments were the ones that kept Lyndsey from leaving. She craved them with every ounce of her being. After over fifteen years of marriage, there were times when he could still make her feel like a giddy schoolgirl. Why would she walk away from that?
She understood how the military worked and had long ago come to accept that there would be times when he couldn’t tell her everything, or anything for that matter. So she learned to enjoy the good times and found ways to deal with the lonely ones.
She laughed when he told her how strong she was. She never considered herself brave or heroic. Her husband was, but not her. She didn’t argue with him, though. He insisted.
Cameron and Lyndsey Mitchell argued about other things instead. For a man who was supposedly disciplined by the military, he never picked up his wet towels. He rarely put the lid back on the toothpaste. He would set drinks on the end table without using a coaster. Thankfully, these were the biggest subjects about which they argued. Lyndsey was positive he did many of these things on purpose. He loved aggravating her, mostly because he enjoyed making up.
They couldn’t even argue over their parents. Lyndsey adored her mother-in-law. Cameron’s grandmother made her a part of the family the day that they met. Her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles… Her entire family loved him. No, the melding of the Mitchell and Huston families had been seamless. Lyndsey was more than content to be a Mitchell.
She could always depend on his family to be there for her. She and his mother had split duty sitting at his bedside after the crash. There was little beyond abuse or extra-marital affairs that would keep her from leaving. Between Cameron himself and his family, Lyndsey loved them all.
She knew the secrets weighed on his mind, though, and she did her best to let him know they never swayed her love or commitment to him. Though there were days when she would retreat to her bookstore and rearrange displays just so she could arrange her own thoughts. Just as he loved his work, she loved her own. She would come to the store where she was now, and lose herself in the stacks of books. She let her mind run free. She allowed herself to hate, if only for a moment, the job that could some day take her husband from her. She would remind herself of why she fell in love with him in the first place. She always came back to that… to him.
His voice startled her, and she nearly dropped the books that were in her hands. She had to take a moment to calm her racing heart and to gather her cluttered thoughts so she could speak. “I should have never given you a key,” she admonished as he chuckled.
“I’m not quite sure where the fun in that would be for me. I rather like to see you flushed with your hair flying all over the place.”
“You’re such a romantic,” she said, now fully calm. She shelved the last book and turned to face him. “You really know how to make a girl feel special.”
“Ah, but you see. My girl is special and beautiful… and here at her store with her books. I thought I would surprise you, and tell you I’m home. Thought I’d pick you up and take you out on a date.”
He’d closed the distance between them and effortlessly settled her in his arms. Her eyes met his as she said, “A date would be perfect, Cameron. How long before you leave again?” She knew her worlds would cause him a pang of guilt. She knew he wanted to tell her all the details, and she knew he couldn’t. She gave him a genuine smile and kissed him. “So we make the most of tonight, you leave in the morning, and I’ll see you when you get home.”
His voice reflected his regret even as he was anticipating an evening out with his wife. “I say that I am the luckiest man alive and I don’t deserve your love or devotion. Won’t try to talk you out of it though. I’m selfish like that.”
His comment caused her to laugh. She left her arm threaded through his as he led her from the store. “Oh I agree that you’re very lucky. Any other woman would have left long ago. You ALWAYS leave the lid up.”
Laughing with her, he said, “Well at least I ALWAYS flush.”
And that’s how it had always been with them. It would always be like that for them. They accepted what they couldn’t change and loved despite wishing they that could. That was what Lyndsey held onto through the dark times… past, present, and future.