My Journey Ch. 06bynpanxx©
I took a few steps to my right to get a better look at was going on.
All of the people in the terminal were stepping aside, clapping and yelling as John walked from the gate to security. Even the morons of the TSA stopped what they were doing and recognized my son as he approached. Old men, presumably veterans themselves, extended their hands to shake John's, or simply patted him on his back. A pretty mom and her little girl waved.
"Merry Christmas, Marine!"
Greetings echoed throughout the terminal as my son got closer. He appeared to be bewildered by the exuberant greeting. I knew John well, and I knew what he was thinking. This is what the Pratt men do. We volunteer to be Marines to defend our country and all who dwell in her, not because we desire attention, but because we love her.
As John got closer, he finally saw me. He exchanged high fives with the passers-by but never took his eyes off mine. He smiled broadly, knowing now he was truly home.
Me? I was a fucking basket case. No matter how hard I tried I could not stop myself from weeping. When he was less than ten feet away I snapped a very smart salute which he promptly returned.
"Welcome home John" I said, embracing my oldest child.
In unison, the crowd let loose with one final cheer and round of applause.
"It's good to be back dad. I missed you so much."
"You've missed more than just me Corporal. Lot has happened since you've been gone. We can't wait to fill you in." I released my son from my death-grip. "Did you check any bags?"
"Yes sir, I did."
John looked at me at saw my smile, knowing what he had just done.
"Oh, sorry sir... uh... dad."
"Nothing to be sorry for son. It shows me you are a well disciplined Marine."
"Thank you sir."
We both laughed out loud at that last one.
As we stood at baggage claim waiting for his bags, strangers of every size, shape, and color thanked John for his service or welcomed him home. A shapely, well dressed woman in her forties slipped a piece of paper in his hand and kissed him on the cheek. As she walked away, she held her hand to her face, simulating a phone, and mouthed "Call me!" Her sensuous perfume lingered behind her.
John glanced at the paper briefly and promptly shoved it in his pocket.
"Have you been getting a lot of that on the trip?"
"No sir. First time actually."
"She was a good looking woman. Are you gonna call her?"
"Hard to say sir. I'm not home all that long and I have a lot of things I would like to do. If I was home for good I'd be calling her already. I love my women a little oldersir" he stated unequivocally.
"So, what all do you want to do while you're home?" I asked.
"Sleep in a soft bed. Eat some good food. Have a couple of beers. Hang out with my family. If I have any time left, I might go see a movie sir."
He certainly had my sense of humor, and that last one had us laughing heartily.
"There's my duffle. Can you grab it dad?"
"Got it. Anything else?"
"Just a box of Christmas presents. Ah, here it comes."
John retrieved the box from the carousel.
"That's it. Ready to roll dad?"
"Let's go. What did you have planned before we surprised everyone tonight?"
"Well, to be honest, I'm so hungry I could eat the asshole out of a menstruating desert bison. Think we could stop for something to eat sir?"
"What did you have in mind?"
"A greasy cheeseburger with onions and fries would rock sir."
We stopped at a joint close to the house that was locally renowned for it's oversized burgers and a generous serving of fries.
John and I sat in a booth and ate our lunch. His burger and fries were gone almost instantly.
"You still hungry?" I asked.
"Yes sir I am."
"Here, you can finish mine" I said as I slid my basket toward him.
"Are you sure sir?"
"Looks like you need it more than I do" I said as I patted my belly.
"You've lost some weight since I left, haven't you sir?"
"I have. One of the many changes you've missed."
John and I sat at the burger joint getting reacquainted, killing time until we headed to the house to surprise everybody.
Trish and Tina were generally home by 5:15, and since it was Wednesday the twins wouldn't have athletic practice so they would already be home.
After about three hours at the diner it was time to head to the house.
"Are you ready for this John? Do you have any idea what's about to happen? There's gonna be mayhem, screaming and tears."
"I would be disappointed if there wasn't sir."
I pulled into the driveway where Trish and Tina were already parked.
Shutting the car off I said "Let's go!"
As I walked in the door I shouted "I'm home!" As previously agreed, John waited patiently by the door for his queue.
I heard Ellen and Mark answer from the dining room table.
"Where's your mom?"
"I'm right here" she said as came into the kitchen from the lavatory, the toilet running behind her. I gave her a hug and a quick kiss.
"Hi" I said.
"Hi" she replied. Ever since our summer orgy, this simple greeting had become our standard, and we both knew it to mean far more than just "Hi".
"Where's Trish?" I inquired.
I heard her clomping down the steps as soon as I finished asking. "Right here! Hey baby!" she said as she gave me a kiss and a squeeze.
"Listen, I know I should have called ahead of time, but I picked up this homeless guy today." (I wasn't lying, technically. John was homeless.) "I bought him lunch at a greasy spoon diner, but he's still really hungry and I thought he could join us for supper, you know, with it being the holidays and all. Would that be OK?" I asked.
"Of course Clark" Tina answered without hesitation. "We have plenty."
"Come on in!" I yelled down the hall.
The instant our son rounded the corner, Tina bolted to him knocking bowls and food off of the counter as she went. She leapt into his arms and squeezed his neck with hers.
"OH MY GOD!! YOU'RE HOME!! YOU'RE ACTUALLY HOME!!" Tina finally screamed, weeping openly and uncontrollably. "OH-HOHOHO MY GOD!! MY SON IS HOME!!"
I looked at Trish. She was standing in the kitchen, both hands over her mouth as she jumped up and down in joy, tears streaming down her flawless face.
Ellen and Mark were on their feet, crying, and making their way toward John. Tina refused to release her hold on her son, so Mark and Ellen hugged him from the side.
Trish waited patiently for John's mom and siblings to finish their emotional reception. After all, she hadn't even met John yet.
"Oh my GOD! I'm so rude! John, John, John come here!" She took John's hand and led him into the kitchen.
Trish was wiping the tears from her eyes as her wife and nephew approached. She eventually looked up and met his gaze. It was less than a second before Tina started to speak, but I could tell Trish and John had already made a connection.
"Trish, this is our oldest son, John. John, this is your Aunt Trish."
Trish flung her arms around John's neck and hugged him close. John in turn enveloped Trish with his powerful arms and held her close. He wept, his tears dripping into her hair.
"I am so happy to finally meet you Trish" John whispered, overcome with emotion.
"Likewise John" she sniffed back her running nose. "I have wanted to meet you for a very long time. Welcome home Marine."
Suddenly the five of us let go with a great shout "WELCOME HOME MARINE! OORAH!"
"OORAH!" John replied.
We cleaned up the mess Tina had created when she rushed her son. Mark and Ellen were still welcoming their brother. Tina rinsed a dish rag in the sink and asked "How long have you been planning this?"
"Just about a month" I answered. "It was John's request that I keep it secret."
"Thank you for the most wonderful Christmas gift you could ever give me Clark. I am shocked."
Tina and I were at the kitchen sink, finishing the task of cleaning up the meal that had found it's way to the floor.
Trish stepped behind us and put an arm around each of our waists. "What a great surprise! We are going to have a wonderful Christmas, aren't we?"
"It's going to be perfect! Our first Christmas with all of us together!" Tina answered, still very emotional.
"I am so excited to get to know John! He is so polite and so handsome. Just like his dad."
I was humbled by Trish's comment.
I heard John say "You're not the scrawny little girl you were when I left, Ellen. You've really grown up!"
"Thanks John. You look fantastic yourself! I love your hair-do!" Ellen said. When John left for boot camp he had a normal civilian head of hair. Now, of course, he sported the typical Marine Corp "high and tight" cut. Ellen was teasing him, but in all honesty, it really was a great look on him.
"And look at you Mr. Football Stud Guy. How did you get so ripped?" John chided his brother.
"Been hittin' the weights. I want to be ready for boot camp" Mark replied.
The three of them sat at the table and got reacquainted while the three of us scrambled to get a meal together since half of the meal had found it's way to the floor.
"I don't want to do this. I want to sit and talk to John" Tina declared.
"Go ahead honey. Trish and I will get dinner ready" I said.
"I'm sure Trish would rather not. Why don't we just order pizza?" Tina suggested. Trish and I both liked that idea. Trish and I quickly put everything away, and I dialed for takeout. We all sat around the table and talked while we waited for our supper.
Once the pizza arrived, the ravenous hoard tore into the food, the six of us demolishing four large pizzas in no time flat.
"The house looks wonderful mom. You do a great job of decorating" John said.
He wasn't blowing smoke. Tina loves Christmas, and always does a spectacular job of making our home a warm and inviting place for the holidays. This year the house was more elegant than ever as there was one more person aiding in the work.
"Thank you John. Trish deserves a lot of the credit this year. I couldn't do it without her."
We spent the next few hours at the table updating John on some of the things that had happened here while he was in Afghanistan, and he did his best to describe for us what it was like to be separated from his family, in combat, in a country thousands of miles away. He told us that he thought of us everyday and it was the one thing that kept him alive.
"I know it's still pretty early, but I've had a pretty rough couple of days. If y'all don't mind I'd like to hit the rack."
"No problem sweetie. We understand." Tina said.
"We've kinda sorta commandeered your room John, so you can sleep in my bed if you want. I'll sleep with Aunt Trish in her room" Ellen offered. Of course, Ellen knew that Trish slept with Tina and me and that Trish's room was almost always unused. But John didn't know that.
"I don't mind at all, as long as it's not a cot!" John said. "Well, see you all sometime tomorrow. Good night."
Tina rose from her chair and hugged John goodnight. "I'm so happy you're home son. Goodnight" she said and gave him motherly pecks on the cheek and lips.
Trish then hugged him too, offering "Welcome home Marine. I'm so glad to have finally met you. I'm looking forward to getting better acquainted in the next couple of weeks."
"Me too Aunt Trish. Good night."
I hugged him too. "I'm so very proud of you son. Goodnight."
"Thanks dad. Goodnight you two" John said as he released me and, exhausted, turned toward the hall to Ellen's room.
"Goodnight Bro!" Mark called.
"Goodnight John. See you in the morning!" Ellen shouted.
Before sitting down, Tina took my face in her palms and smothered my face with kisses as she thanked me repeatedly. "You know you're going to pay for this, right?" she asked, causing us all to laugh.
Mark and Ellen set about cleaning off the table and taking care of the dirty dishes while Tina, Trish and I all held hands at the table and basked in the warmth we felt at having our whole family together for the first time.
As it approached 10:00, I realized that I too was exhausted. It had been an emotionally draining day.
"I'm going up. Don't stay up too late you two."
"Goodnight dad" "Goodnight daddy" the twins offered.
"We're right behind you baby" Trish said as I dragged myself toward the stairs.
I was already in bed when my two brides arrived. They quickly stripped and lovingly embraced each other in a display of the affection they shared.
"I'm so happy you hit it off with John. He seemed to really take to you" Tina offered.
"He's a wonderful, polite young man. You two should be proud" Trish told us.
"We are" I said.
"I hope this next thing doesn't offend you, but John is fucking gorgeous!" Trish declared.
Of course we didn't take offense, and it allowed us to segue to a topic that needed to be addressed.
"We need to tell John the truth about us, and let him in on the other activities if he wants" I said.
"You're right Clark. Trish, what do you think we should do?" Tina asked.
The two beauties climbed into bed and discussed the option on how we were going to break the truth to John. We recognized John to be a mature young man, and would confront him directly. I left the details to Trish and Tina, and closed my eyes for some much needed sleep.
When I woke in the morning, my nostrils were filled with the scent of brewing coffee. I slipped on a pair of sweat pants and a sweat shirt and made my way to the kitchen.
Trish and Tina were at the table, sipping on mugs of coffee.
I leaned down to kiss Trish. "Good morning baby" she said.
"Good morning" I replied
"Good morning honey" I said as I leaned in to give Tina a kiss.
"Good morning" She answered.
In my best patented deadpan smartass way I asked "Why aren't you getting ready for work?", only to be met with indignant stares that spoke of the incredulity of the question.
Trish was the first to catch on. Smiling she looked at me and said "It never ceases to amaze me that you can be such a smartass this early in the morning."
"Just one of the many reasons you love me!" I answered.
"When the offices open we're calling in. We're sure they'll let us take some time off to be home with John" Tina said.
"So, did you decide how we're going to give John the truth?" I asked.
"Yep. We decided we'll do it Christmas Eve" Tina answered.
Trish and Tina then went on to fill me in on the details of the plan they had devised. It was simple, well thought out, and I agreed it would be the best way to get everything out in the open.
The next two days passed quickly. John did a lot of what he said he wanted to do. He slept a lot and he ate a lot.
Unfortunately for me, we decided that until John knew all of the details there wouldn't be any playtime for us.
The night of the big reveal, Christmas Eve, finally arrived. Our family enjoyed a wonderful meal together before we all retired to bed.
Trish, Tina and I lay in our king size bed gently kissing and touching each other, raising our level of arousal before exposing the secrets that had been kept from our oldest child.
At 11:30, Trish and Tina got out of bed and dressed in their finest Victoria's Secrets lingerie. Trish donned a dark green push up bra, matching garter belt and stockings. She had the provocatively good taste to not wear panties. Tina wore the same ensemble, only it was bright red. It was Christmas after all. They were stunning. Lingerie had never looked this good.
Both applied subtle makeup, giving them a sophisticated, yet seductive, appearance. They took turns brushing each other's hair. I watched in rapt fascination as they stared lovingly at each other in the mirror as they engaged in their foreplay.
It was almost midnight, and the time had come. The three of us quietly crept down the stairs to the living room. Trish took a seat in a wingback chair to the left of the fireplace, the Christmas tree behind her right shoulder, her right leg femininely crossed over her left. Tina sat in another wingback chair to the right of the fireplace, her left leg femininely crossed over her right. They both rested their forearms on the arms of the chairs.
The scene was exceptional. It was sexy, it was beautiful, it was romantic, and I had never seen anything like it in my life. I grabbed a digital camera and took a couple of quick pictures of my goddesses in all of their sensual splendor.
"Next year's Christmas card" I said. Tina and Trish snickered as I headed down the hall to get John.
"John" I whispered, shaking his shoulder as I tried to rouse John from his slumber. "Wake up, buddy."
With a deep breath John woke up. "Dad? What's going on? What time is it?" he asked.
"It's midnight John. Put on your robe and come in the living room so we can give you your Christmas present."
"OK, I'll be there in a minute" he answered.
I exited Ellen's bedroom and hurried to the dining room where I would wait for my queue.
John came down the hall in his terry cloth robe and turned into the living room.
He took one step into the room before coming to a screeching halt as his eyes fell upon the two scantily clad women sitting in front of the warm fire.
Trish and Tina sat with wide, knowing smiles on their faces as John's eyes roamed over their silky sheathed legs and satin encased bosoms.
"Wow" was the only response he could muster.
"Merry Christmas, John" Trish said.
"Merry Christmas, son" Tina offered.