"Matty, I am going to miss you so much!" Grace said a tear rolling down her face as she held him close to her.
"Don't worry; as long as you look at the moon each and every night I am sure we will be just fine!" Matty said trying not to let her see him cry.
Grace just nodded and stepped away letting him pick up his bag. She stood there looking at him hugging herself. All Matty could do was smile and kiss her nose and then her forehead.
"I'll be back before you know it."
Grace sat on her new apartment eating Oreos and peanut butter, smiling at Sam’s shocked face.
"Wait a second, you are pregnant!" Sam yelled as though she were mad at Grace, "And you are four months along. You already went to your first appointment. And the baby will be born in July?"
Grace smiled and nodded, placing more peanut butter on her Oreo. She laughed again at Sam staring at her.
"Have you told the Dad? Who is the Dad?" Sam asked she only had those to questions left.
Grace's smile faded and it quickly was replaced with sorrow and guilt, "Matty."
Sam looked at her as if she was a ghost; quickly Grace got up and went to the pantry putting up her food. Sam followed right behind her, watching her every move and the way she nervously fumbled with everything.
"You mean, Matty is the dad, you haven't told him and you don't plan on it, because you think he forgot about you?" Sam said looking at her best friend and waiting for the nodded that was quickly there.
"Plus, I don't want to tell my mom. I just want to disappear!" Grace said grabbing her hair, "I don't want the baby to know my mom or know that her dad could be shipped out at a moment’s notice or that he may be dead. And I can't tell it when his/her dad will be home cause I won't know!"
Tears were starting to run down her cheeks so Sam quickly changed the subject, "What are you going to name it?"
"Joey no matter if it is a boy or a girl," Grace said rubbing her small but noticeable baby bump. "After Joe, I think that someone should remember her, even if it is just me."
x-x-x-xTwo years later....
Matty quickly ran to his car hardly waiting for Landon to get in before taking off. It had been two years since he had seen Grace or Sam. He was supposed to have come back last year in September but a close friend of his had gone MIA and Matty had a gut feeling he was still alive. So he had persuaded the rest of his squad to stay for another year. They had found there friend but he was dead, he had only been dead for a day. They had come so close, and yet they were too late.
"Matty, stop day dreaming and pay attention numb nuts!" Landon yelled holding on his seat as Matty avoided the big truck in front of him.
Matty could tell Landon wanted to add something but he had stopped himself. He shook of the thought though just excited to finally see Grace. He quickly was turning into Grace's apartment complex parking lot earning him a well-deserved honk from a nicely dressed business woman on her way to work.
Matty parked and slammed the door running quickly inside with Landon following more slowly but at a jog.
Landon knocked on the door to the girl’s apartment unable to stand still.
"I don't want any cookies I have told you million times th-" Sam cut off when she opened the door seeing the two men in uniform. Tears welled in her eyes and she threw her arms around Landon, "I missed you! You are never allowed to leave again! Do you understand?!?"
Landon just laughed and hugged Sam back kissing her forehead, "I won't I promise, thanks for the letters."
Matty pushed past them and seeing Grace wasn't in the living room he ran to her bedroom and flung open the door. But there was nothing in there no bed, no pile of clothes, no night stand, nothing was there at all.
"She got a new place." Sam said standing behind him with Landon’s arm draped over her shoulder. "I can give you the address it is in the city."
Matty checked the address to make sure it matched what Sam had given him for the fifth time. It was the right one just like it had been the first time he checked. He slowly raised his hand and knocked on the door to the apartment. He heard a softly shuffling and then the door opened, it was Grace standing with a little girl that was holding onto her leg.
"Matty?" Grace asked picking up the child as if to protect her from him.
"Last time I checked," He said smiling seeing a tear run down her cheek. "Can I come in or do I have to stand in the hall?"
Grace stepped aside and put down he girl, "Joey, go wait for Mommy in your bedroom, I will be right there."
Joey nodded and ran away stealing a glance at Matty before she disappeared.
"What are you doing here?" Grace demanded not hugging him or anything.
"Um, I don't know coming by to say 'Hi' to my girlfriend who apparently forgot about me all together!" Matty said keeping his voice low hurt obviously in his eyes.
"I didn't ever forget about you!"
"Really? Then why did you just tell that girl to wait for Mommy!" He yelled not even worrying about the girl anymore.
"That girl is your daughter!" Grace yelled pointing to where Joey was now standing with a smile on her face.
"I have a Daddy!" She squealed and ran over to Matty raising her arms for him to pick her up.
Matty picked her up and she took his hat putting it on her head. He looked at Grace she was shaking her head as if she was happy yet pissed.
"Come on Joey, it's time for my little monkey to go to bed." Grace said taking her from Matty and swinging her making her laugh and almost lose Matty's hat.
Matty followed Grace to Joey's bedroom and watch as Grace made up a story for Joey. Grace kissed her on her head and she whispered something to Grace that made her smile, "Well you would have to ask him that yourself!"
Joey stuck her head under the covers and Grace motioned for Matty to come bend next to the bed. "Come on Joe, he doesn't bite!"
Joey's head peaked over the edge of the blanket, "Can I sleep with your hat?" She asked quickly going back under the covers.
Matty laughed and started to tickle the lump under the covers, "As long as you don't let it out of your hands!" He said as she giggled.
Joey nodded and closed her eyes, Matty looked over and Grace was walking out waiting for him before she closed the door.
Grace walked over the couch and laid back sighing, "Why did you come to find me?"
Matty sat next to her and wrapped his arms around her bringing her close to him, "Because when I said I loved you I meant it. Why didn't you tell me I was a Dad?"
"I didn't want you to think I was going to have a hard time be myself."
"Will you tell me about her?" He asked looking at a picture of Joey that was on the coffee table.
"She turns 3 in July. I named her after Joe. She looks like me but acts so much like you! She loves jokes and teddy bears. Her favorite color is the rainbow. She says there are just too many colors to only pick one. She loves to talk ever since she was able to she hasn't been quiet! And her imagination is amazing today we played space pirates that were looking for hidden treasure in a black hole....She was willing to risk her life for mine when we played."
Matty smiled as Grace told him everything, "I want to know her I have missed almost 3 years of her life. I can't miss anymore of her or your life, Grace. You two are now the most important people in my life."
Grace paused a moment and then felt his large arms grip her tighter, "I don't want you to leave either, but..." She trailed off looking into his eyes.
"But nothing, I love you and Joey. You love me and I know that if she gives me a chance Joey will love me too." Matty moved a piece of hair from Grace's face, "If I fuck it up then I will leave and never talk to either of you again! Just give me a chance."
Grace smiled and slowly craned her neck and kissed him passionately. "First rule of being a Daddy is no F-bombs!"
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with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/love-stories/the-power-of-the-moon-ch7.aspx">The Power Of The Moon ch.7</a>