“Uncle Steve!” Grace ran into his arms, and he wasted no time folding her into his embrace.
Steve held her close, the feel of this precious girl in his arms providing him with the reassurance he desperately needed. In his heart, he knew that she would have been alright no matter the outcome of the hostage situation – Danny would never allow his daughter to be harmed, and Steve would always come to her aid.
Perhaps that was why she was so calm, far more so than her dad and her “uncle”. She trusted them to protect her, knew they would move heaven and earth to keep her safe. It was an immutable fact, as indisputable as the sky was blue.
After she stepped back, it was Danny’s turn. He pulled his partner close and rested his chin on Danny’s shoulder. Only then did Steve’s accelerated heart rate begin to slow, and he suspected it was the same for Danny. He could feel his best friend’s form shaking, and rapid puffs of air danced across the exposed skin of his neck as he tried to get his breathing under control. For all his Jersey bluster, he was human, and this whole ordeal surely took its toll on him (never mind the additional trauma of realizing his little girl was growing up and had a boyfriend).
As for Steve… he needed moments like this. Over the years, he and his team had treaded the narrow path between life and death many times. They always overcame the situation (so far), but the crisis was never over until Steve could touch each of them – a handshake, a clap on the shoulder, a hug – ANYTHING to remind himself that his ohana was okay. This was especially the case for one Danny Williams.
Sometimes Steve wondered about that. He had trouble defining this thing, whatever it was, that he shared with his friend. He puzzled over words and banter exchanged between them, such as Danny’s declaration that he’d give him a hug or a kiss, to “pick a base”. He contemplated the turbulent emotions that simmered beneath the surface whenever Danny had spoken of Gabby, or Rachel, or Melissa. He marveled at the peace and contentment he experienced whenever he and Danny were together, regardless of what they were doing.
But for now, he was satisfied with this. He was appeased, having held Danny in his arms, the evidence of his survival palpable. There would be time for late night, sleepless contemplation later. This moment was about the victory, the happiness of knowing they were all alive and well.
Steve smiled at Danny and Grace. He allowed his partner to take his arm and lead them away. They were alright, they were safe, and they were together. That was enough… for now.
1. Words of Affirmation: Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
2. Quality Time: In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
3. Receiving Gifts: Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
4. Acts of Service: Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
5. Physical Touch: This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.