“I have to get up soon.” Vinny strokes my head as he speaks.

“I know. But I’m so comfy.” I snuggle closer to him, his warm body feeling incredible flush against mine. My body uncaring that it just spent the last hour greedily consuming his, the desire for more of him is just never quelled. Selfishly, I want to stay in bed all day, forget the ride they have planned, and keep him all to myself. I’m worried that today will be hard on him. Nico, on the other hand, thinks it will be good for Vinny. Help him get past the sour memory of his lost father by riding in the Veteran’s fundraising motorcycle run again this year. I’m not so sure. The loss to Vinny, of a father that never really was, came harder than anything else. He grieved the loss of a man he honored from the time he was a child. A veteran that he clung to for purpose in his darkest hours.

As Vinny gets dressed, I’m still undecided on giving him what I’ve planned. For five weeks, I’ve tossed the idea back and forth, one day thinking it was a great idea, the next wondering if I was crazy for even considering giving it to him.

Eventually, we both begin to get dressed. “You okay?” I sit on the bed next to Vinny. He’s been quiet since he got back out of bed.

He nods silently, seemingly lost in thought. “There’s lots of Veterans out there that should be honored. I keep telling myself it’s not about me. But it’s hard not to be reminded.” He pauses. “I don’t know, I feel like I lost someone, yet I never really had them to lose.”

My decision finally made for me, I walk to my purse and pull out an envelope. Removing a single page I’d written and balled up so many times, I offer it to the man I love as comfort. Vinny takes it and begins reading.

Staff Sargent Charles Fisher, Jr.


Survived by his parents, Charles Fisher, Sr. and Laura Cantly Fisher, Staff Sargent Charles Fisher, Jr. was laid to rest on January nineteenth, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight.

A dedicated, two tour military hero, Sgt. Fisher was killed in the line of duty in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Three days before the end of his second tour, Sgt. Fisher was passing through Helmand in route to the US Embassy, when he came upon a bus exploded by the detonation of a suicide bomber.

Acting quickly, and without regard for his own safety, Sgt. Fisher dragged seven children from the burning vehicle while under enemy fire. As he removed the final child, insurgents moved in closer, finding a new target for their hostile fire, hitting Sgt. Fisher five times. All victims were rushed to a nearby military hospital. Miraculously, all seven children survived. Sgt. Fisher was pronounced dead on arrival.


A look of confusion on Vinny’s face, I remove the dog tags he’d ripped off his neck the day he found out the truth about his father.

“These dog tags belong to a hero. I researched the ID number. The man you’ve honored by wearing them may not be your father, but I thought you would be proud to wear them today anyway.”

Vinny closes his eyes for a minute and I watch as his throat works to swallow. Eyes opening to a window of emotion, pain that was only just recently in the forefront being overshadowed by caring and love, he leans down and lowers his head. Gently, I slip the worn tags around his neck, softly kissing his cheek.

Vinny pulls me against his chest for a hug, wrapping his arms around me tightly. “You rewrote the ending of my story with the truth.”

I smile against his chest. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I guess I did. Releasing his grip on me, Vinny pulls his head back enough to look into my eyes. His baby blues shoot an arrow straight through my heart, “I’m rewriting the ending to our story, Liv. I’m giving you your happily ever after. I promise.”

Finally, more than seven years in the making, I have no doubt that he will.

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