Starts at WW2, but the main story is a number of years later. Romance
She clung to him as the train whistle blew, "Promise me, you'll write!"
"You know I will, nothing could stop me. I do love you."
The train whistle blew mournfully again. Pete pulled her closer and kissed her. "Will you marry me?" he whispered.
Grace nodded tearfully as Pete pulled a small object out of his pocket. He placed it in her hands, and then ran to the train. Grace waved as it slowly chugged away, until it was nothing more than a dot on the horizon. She remembered the package he had placed in her hands. It was an engagement ring.
"Private Winters, headquarters tent on the double."
Pete put away the letter he was writing to Grace. Two years of this blasted war, and there seemed to be no end in sight. He hurried over to headquarters, wondering why on earth he was being called there.
"Private Winters reporting as ordered, sir," he said mechanically.
Major Sheppard looked up, "Ah good. Sit down, Winters."
Pete obeyed, a little more at ease rearding his commander's good humor. Sheppard finished what he was writing then looked over at Pete.
"Winters, in the time you've been under my command you shown some interesting strengths. You're qick on your feet, never get your feathers rustled, and you are an extremely good fighter."
"Thank you, sir."
"Unfortunately, those qualities don't make for a very good private, which is why I recommended, and was granted, that you be given the rank of Colonel."
Pete looked at his commander in unbelief.
"I need to put you, and the men you pick to go with you, on a mission to see exactly what the enemy is doing. Are you clear so far?"
Pete grinned, "Yes, sir!"
Grace examined herself in the mirror, smiling slightly. The ring Pete had given her glistened in the sunlight. It had been his mother's family heirloom, and he had entrusted it to her. All of Pete's family had died when he was very young, but soon she would become his family.
Grace's mother had refused to let her wear the 'trinket' as she called it on her finger. Instead, Grace wore it on a chain around her neck. This way, no one but the immediate family knew Grace was 'disgracefully' engaged to a man of absolutely no importancy or wealth. Still, her mother pushed other men towards Grace, yet Grace refused to even look at them.
She sat down at her desk to write Pete another letter. If only this war would end so he could come back to her!
"Pete!" whispered Bill as the five men made their way through the dense forest, "I hear something."
Pete signaled the other men to duck down. A few seconds later, a German soldier passed by. All the men held their breaths as the Nazi stood there for a moment, looking into the very bushes they had crouched down in. Right as he turned to leave, Bill shifted posiions, and a branch snapped. Grabbing his gun, the soldier started to walk back, but another soldier called him away.
For at least ten minutes none of the men made a sound, it seemed as if they weren't even breathing. Finally, Pete stood up and motioned the other men to do the same. It was clear.
"That was close," one of the men mumbled.
"Sorry, Pete," whispered Bill.
Pete nodded in understanding, but didn't say anything. He knew it could have happened to anyone. Bill lied to get into the army early, and was constantly unsure of himself. He looked up to Pete, and Pete watched out for him. "What diresction did they go, Jim?"
"South...but something isn't right, sir."
"It's just your nerves. We need to hurry back to camp before it's too late."
Behind them, a branch snapped. Three Nazis stood there, their guns aimed directly at them. The men had no choice but to surrender.
Grace stared at the ceiling. Five months, FIVE MONTHS! and no word from Pete. Nothing, even her letters were returned back to her. Not even a letter from the War Department saying he had been wounded or hurt.
This waiting was torture. Never knowing if he was alive or dead. She remembered that in one of his letters he had asked his commander not to write a letter to her telling her how he had died. So would she know at all? Her mother told her to forget him, but she refused to believe he had died.
The moment they met she had felt a connection to him. She had been spolied and selfish then, and he had changed her so much. That connection was still there, wasn't it? If he were dead wouldn't she feel it?
"This game of yours has gone on long enough!" shouted the German commander. "Nothing I do to you will make you tell...so, I try something else."
Pete was breathing heavily. He had just been in solitude for what seemed like years. He had stopped counting, or guessing because he had no window, after two weeks. Before that, they had tried torture and starvation, yet he still hadn't given up his information.
The door opened again, and Pete saw his men brought in. They looked much betetr than he did, which he was glad of.
"Pete!" cried all the men when they saw his condition. They tried to go to him, but the commander got in their way.
"We have asked your colonel nicely and not so nicely for the information we want. Yet, he has continued to disappoint us. Each of these men has been well-cared-for, Colonel, but we grow weary. Everytime you refuse us, we will kill one of your men."
"You wouldn't," he growled.
The German laughed, with such a menace the hair on the back of Pete's nech stood up.
"Tell us what we want to know!" he barked. They had forced all four men to their knees, and pointed to gun at Jim.
Pete stared at Jim, unbeleiving what they were about to do. Jim nodded to him, it was okay, the information was to important to divulge, he would be alright.
"No," said Pete, barely able to hear himself, but the Nazis heard him. A shot erupted from the silence, and Jim slumped to the floor.
Pete stared at the limp figure, tears filled his eyes, but he didn't seem to care.
"Well, now you see how serious we are, give us what we want to know!"
"Don't tell him anything, Pete!" shouted Josh, but before the words were fully out of his mouth, he also lay limp on the floor.
Pete fell tipsy, he was going to fall, this couldn't happening! But he couldn't tell, these men were all going to die!
"Colonel?" asked the commander sweetly. "No one else has to die."
Matt met eyes with Pete, he also shook his head,it would better to be dead than to be a traitor to their own country. Pete looked away as the gun sounded, and he heard the dull thud, as his body hit the floor.
"You're murders!" he said through gritted teeth. Then he saw Bill. He was just a boy, they couldn't kill him! Bill looked at Pete and he saw his fear, but at the same time he saw the boy's resolve to die as bravely as the other men.
"NOOOO!" screamed Pete as he lept up, and attacked one of the soldiers with a gun. Everyone was too surprised to do anything. and Pete began shooting wildly. Somehow, he made it outside.
"Pete!" cried Bill, as Pete was still shooting at the Nazis. Pete heard him, but only vaguely, finally the Nazis seemed to reain their senses and started to shoot back. Pete started to run.