December 12, 2004
Harm woke up and was startled for a moment, not knowing where he was and
what had woken him. It took him only a moment to remember that he was at
Mac’s, but the reason why he’d woken up was still unclear to him. ‘I
guess it was a bad dream,’ he thought and closed his eyes, trying to
fall asleep again.
That’s when he heard it. A quiet voice. Someone was talking and the
sound came out of Mac’s bedroom. But that wasn’t the only noise
disturbing the silence in the dark apartment. Now he could hear it
clearly. A sniff. Someone was obviously crying. “Mac,” Harm muttered to
himself and got worried. Slowly he got up from the couch to make his way
to the bedroom door. It was slightly ajar and a dim light was shining
through the crack.
Harm touched the door, but for a moment he was unsure about whether or
not he should go ahead and find out what’s wrong behind that door.
However, another little sniff coming out of the room made up his mind.
Slowly he pushed the door a bit, so that he was able to look inside.
He could see the bed and the sight in front of him made him smile.
There, on the right side of the bed, was Mac. She was lying on her back
and on top of her, with his head placed on her chest, was Jimmy. He
sucked on his thumb while Mac was rubbing his back in a soothing manner.
Mac held a book in her other hand and quietly read the story for him.
Harm immediately detected that it was Jimmy’s favorite story ‘Bedtime
with Winnie the Pooh’. Harm knew it so well since he’d read it many
times for his younger godson.
By now Harm could hear that Jimmy was the one crying. Then he let his
eyes wander a little bit further and could see that his other godson was
lying in the middle of the bed. He was snuggled up to Mac and obviously
Unaware to his mind, Harm’s hand pushed the door even wider and his feet
started to move further into the room. Suddenly the door squeaked and
made his presence known.
Mac heard the squeak and looked up from the book just to see Harm
standing at the doorway. He didn’t say anything and just watched the
scene in front of him. She tried to read his look, but for some reason
it was unreadable for her.
“Hi,” Mac whispered and watched him close the door before moving even
further into the room.
“Hey,” Harm quietly replied. “Is everything okay? I heard the sniffling
and got worried.”
Mac nodded her head. “Yeah, everything is okay. Jimmy had a bad dream
and woke up. I heard his crying through the baby monitor and it woke up
Little AJ as well.” Then she looked down at the older boy. “Thankfully
he is already asleep again but Jimmy is still fighting his tiredness
Harm again didn’t say anything and simply looked like he was memorizing
the scene in front of him. Mac saw his reaction and the longing in his
eyes. Without thinking twice she tapped the space right next to her and
Little AJ, asking him to join them without using any words.
Harm didn’t need to be asked twice and quickly moved around the bed to
get slowly into it, trying not to wake Little AJ up in the process.
As soon as he was seated Mac held out the book to him. “Here, want to
read the rest? It shouldn’t take much longer to get Jimmy back into
“Sure,” Harm softly answered and started to read the story from where
she’d left off.
Just like Mac foresaw, it didn’t take long for Jimmy to fall asleep
again and even when he was already asleep, Harm didn’t stop reading the
story until the very end. “It worked like a charm,” Harm quietly said
and softly touched Jimmy’s cheek, getting a little sigh in response.
“Yeah, at least there was no need for a lullaby this time,” Mac told him
and smiled. “I think we should bring them back to bed. It should be safe
Harm nodded and together they brought the boys back to the guestroom.
“I can’t believe that Jimmy’s crying didn’t wake me up earlier,” Harm
commented in bewilderment as soon as they were back in the living room.
“Not even you running through the living room woke me up.”
Mac smiled and nodded her head. “I guess you were more tired than you
“Yeah, I guess that’s it,” Harm replied and got down on the couch,
trying to find a comfortable position to fall asleep again. “Let’s get
some more sleep. Night, Mac.”
“Good night, Harm,” Mac tenderly said but didn’t walk back into the
bedroom. She stood at the doorway of her bedroom and watched him trying
to fall asleep again. She could see that he was troubled by not finding
a comfortable position.
Harm beat the pillow, turned on his back and groaned. ‘It wasn’t that
uncomfortable earlier. Not uncomfortable at all,’ Harm wondered and
looked up at the ceiling. That’s when he saw the outstretched hand in
front of him. He followed the arm and looked up into Mac’s smiling eyes.
“Let’s go to bed, Harm,” she tenderly told him.
“Are you sure? It’s really not a problem for me to sleep on this couch.”
Mac nodded her head and took Harm’s hand into hers. “I’m very sure,” she
said and hand in hand they made their way into her bedroom. “But no
“Who? Me? No, I’m Prince Charming, Mac. You won’t even know that I’m
lying right next to you,” Harm pointed out with a grin and then thought
to himself. ‘This is going to be a long night.’
‘Yeah, right. Like that could happen. This is going to be a long night,’
Mac thought to herself and then said out loud. “Just try not to snore
too loudly. Oh, and be aware that, should you hog the cover, you’ll be
out of my bed faster than you can say ‘oops’,” she joked.
“Wow, you’re one demanding lady in bed, huh?” Harm chuckled, glad and
even a bit surprised that the situation between them wasn’t awkward at
Mac smirked and raised her eyebrow. “You bet, Flyboy,” she told him
before closing the door behind her.
Someone was watching her. Mac could feel it and immediately woke up. She
could hear Harm’s quiet snoring right behind her and knew that he was
Slowly she opened her eyes and came face to face with her intruder.
“Hey, honey,” she whispered and gently touched Little AJ’s cheek,
feeling beads of sweat and drops of tears on it. “Bad dream?”
Little AJ nodded his head and took a deep breath. “I’m scared,” he
quietly told her.
Mac nodded her head and moved a little backward, being careful so that
she wouldn’t disturb Harm in his sleep. Then she raised her blanket. “Do
you want to sleep here, honey?”
Little AJ once more nodded his head and quickly crawled into the bed
next to Mac. She covered his little body with her blanket and then drew
him into her arms, making him feel safe.
“Auntie Mac?” He whispered.
“Was Uncle Harm scared too?”
“What do you mean, AJ?” Mac curiously asked.
“He’s sleeping in your bed too. Does that mean he was scared just like
me?” Little AJ asked full of innocent.
Mac had to smile and for a moment she didn’t know how to answer the
question. Little AJ always tried to make the grown-ups around him
believe that he already was a big boy, and that there’s nothing that
scared him. The thought that his Uncle Harm was perhaps scared after
having a bad dream as well, made him feel better. If it was okay for his
hero to be scared, then it was okay for Little AJ to be scared.
“Yes, honey. Your Uncle Harm was scared too. But now everything is okay
again and he’s asleep.”
Little AJ giggled and tried everything to be quiet. “He’s snoring.”
Mac chuckled. ‘Yeah. Well, at least he doesn’t hog the cover,’ she
thought before giving her godson an answer. “Yeah, he does, doesn’t he.
Does it bother you?”
“No, daddy snores too. Only much louder,” AJ told her as a matter of
fact and yawned. “Mommy always says he sounds like he’s sawing off an
“Well, we’re happy then that Uncle Harm doesn’t know how to snore that
loud. Do you think you can go back to sleep now?”
“Yes, Auntie Mac. Good night. Love you,” he said and already sounded
more asleep than awake.
Mac kissed his forehead. “Good night, honey. I love you too,” she said
and closed her eyes.
Little AJ’s even breathing, Harm’s quiet snoring and the blowing sound
of a wind outside were the last thing she noticed before joining her
boys in dreamland.
Harm groaned, not liking the wake-up call he got today. “Turn the radio
off, baby,” he said fretfully, still more asleep than awake and tried to
get the warmth he was holding in his arms even closer to him. “It’s
Sunday and we can sleep in.”
The only answer he got was a quiet murmur and Harm didn’t understand one
Mac sighed, not wanting to wake up. This was such a nice dream she had,
and she didn’t want to let it go. “I said, I don’t have a radio in my
bedroom,” she whispered with a sleepy voice and yawned.
“Then what’s this squealing noise?” Harm annoyingly asked and started to
kiss her neck. ‘Hmmm, she tastes good,’ he thought and then took a deep
breath. ‘And she smells even better.’
‘This feels nice,’ Mac thought. ‘And it feels so real….’ Suddenly it
dawned on her. ‘Wait, this isn’t a dream. This is real,’ she continued
to let her mind wander and finally woke up with a bright smile on her
She could feel the warmth right next to her; his warmth. Harm was
spooned against her from behind and one of his arms was wrapped around
her middle, slightly running circles on her belly underneath her pajamas
top, which caused goose bumps to form on her skin. Her head was pillowed
on his other outstretched arm. Harm’s legs were tangled with hers and
she could feel his hot breath against her neck while he continued to
kiss it. She had no idea how or even when they ended up in this
position, but she really liked it. ‘I better wake him up before this
gets out of hand though,’ she thought and then said out loud. “Harm,
Mac slowly opened one eye and could see that the spot where AJ had slept
earlier was now vacant. That’s when she finally figured out where this
noise came from.
“I’m awake,” Harm muttered against her neck and his breath tickled her
skin. “And I wish we could shut off the squealing so we can go back to
Mac chuckled. “For some reason I doubt you’re totally awake, and don’t
let your godson hear that you’re calling his singing ‘squealing’, Harm.”
“The noise you’re hearing is coming from the baby monitor. AJ’s singing
‘The Bare Necessities’ to his brother. Jimmy loves this song.”
Harm stopped kissing her neck, opened his eyes and looked up to see the
baby monitor standing on Mac’s nightstand. He listened more thoroughly
to the sound and indeed discovered Little AJ’s voice. Harm let his head
fall back to the pillow and groaned. “How can a child be so cheerful so
early in the morning is beyond me.”
“Has to be his genes,” Mac quietly answered and slowly moved onto her
other side so that she came face to face with Harm.
Now she was able to look into Harm’s eyes and could see the bright shine
in them. It was clear to her that he knew exactly what he’d done
earlier. Maybe he didn’t mean to call her ‘baby’, but the kisses were
given intentionally. That she was sure about. “Hi.”
“Hi.” Harm smiled and started to caress her cheek with his fingertips.
“Good morning, Beautiful. This is really nice,” he softly told Mac,
first pointing at her and then at himself.
Mac nodded her head. Waking up in his arms was indeed a nice thing, and
something she’d dreamed about for a long, long time. “Yes, it is. Very
“Please don’t expect me to apologize for waking up with you in my arms,
or for kissing you,” Harm quietly begged and tucked one loose wisp of
hair behind her ear.
“I won’t,” Mac told him in a whisper and with a shy smile on her face.
Harm eagerly returned her smile with one of his own. “Good. And also
know that I was awake enough to know who I was holding in my arms and
who I was referring to as ‘baby’.”
Slowly their heads started to move forward, longingly waiting the moment
their lips would finally meet.
“Ooof,” Harm and Mac groaned out at the same time when a little
whirlwind bounced without any warning onto the bed and right on top of
them. They took a deep breath and let their foreheads touch. They’d been
so near, but obviously it wasn’t the right time. With a sigh they both
let their look wander to Little AJ, who was sitting with a wide grin on
“Good morning!” Little AJ yelled with a cheerful voice and giggled.
“It’s time to get up, I’m hungry,” he announced as a matter of fact and
interlocked his arms in front of him. “Can we have dinosaur pancakes,
Harm groaned again and glanced at Mac, who still looked a little
shocked. “Do you think that if we ignore him long enough he’ll go away
again?” He hopefully asked her in a whisper.
Mac looked at him with a ‘get real’-look. “Sure, Harm. Sure,” she
answered in sarcasm.
“Damn,” he quietly cursed to himself and threw his head back into the
pillow. Then he looked at his godson. “Sure, AJ. Dinosaur pancakes sound
like a great idea. That is, if your aunt has the supplies in her
Two pair of eyes were now looking at Mac. “Sure. Shouldn’t be a
problem,” she confidently answered.
“Cool!” Little AJ yelled and jumped out of the bed. “Come on then. We
have to hurry. The quicker we’re done, the faster we can go sledding.”
Then he took Mac’s hand into his and started to pull her out of the bed.
Of course he wasn’t strong enough to do that, but Mac more or less
willingly helped him and got out of the bed. Less willingly was Harm
though, who had to let her go from his arms.
“Why don’t you go ahead, AJ? We’ll be right there,” she told her godson
and stretched her weary muscles.
“Okay!” Little AJ called out and ran out of the bedroom. It only took
him a few seconds before he once again started to sing cheerfully, this
time performing his favourite song ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’.
Mac turned around to look at Harm and saw that he’d thrown the blanket
over his head. She shook her head and chuckled. Mac took one corner of
the blanket into her hand and pulled it away from him. “Time to get up,
Harm. You’ve heard the little man. He wants your famous dinosaur
Before Mac had any chance to react, Harm was grasping for her arm and
pulled her on top of him. “I won’t get out of this bed before I get my
‘good morning’-kiss,” he said with a pout.
She looked at him with a raised eyebrow and smirked. “Now who’s so
demanding in bed, huh?”
“You haven’t seen anything yet, Marine.”
“Really! And now kiss me for Pete’s sake,” Harm commanded with a grin on
Mac licked her lips and moved her face a bit closer to his. “My
pleasure,” she whispered and gave him what was meant as a quick and
teasing peck on his lips.
However, after their lips parted Mac looked into Harm’s eyes, only to be
greeted by a gaze full of love and desire, and she was sure that the
same look mirrored in her own eyes. That was all it took for Harm and
Mac to come together again in a slow, long and loving kiss. Harm sighed
in relief and both thought ‘About damn time’.
“Auntie Mac! Uncle Harm! When are you coming?” Little AJ called from the
kitchen. “I’m waiting.”
Harm groaned as they broke their kiss and Mac slowly moved away from
“Come on, old man. Time to feed the youngsters.”
Harm took her outstretched hand and got up from the bed as well. Then he
drew her back for another short kiss. “We are so doomed,” he told her
and got a giggle in response.
“Go get freshen up while I get Jimmy. We’ll meet in the kitchen.”
“Okay,” Harm said and made his way to the bathroom before turning his
gaze back to Mac. “And Mac?”
Mac stopped at the doorway and looked back at Harm. “Yeah?”
“We need to talk,” he softly told her.
Mac smiled and nodded her head. “We will, Harm. Believe me, we will,”
she said and walked out of the bedroom.
‘Yes, we will,’ Harm thought and stepped into the bathroom.
AN – Okay, for this story let’s pretend that there’s a parking lot in
the backyard of Mac’s apartment building and that she can overlook it
while glancing out of her windows. We always got to see the front of the
building, but that doesn’t mean Mac’s apartment has to be out to the
front, right? Thought so… ;-)
Harm was in the kitchen preparing the dinosaur pancakes, while Little AJ
and Jimmy kept him company. They were both seated on the little kitchen
table, still wearing their nightclothes and anxiously awaited their
breakfast. Mac hadn’t joined them yet, since she was still in the
bathroom to freshen up and getting dressed.
“Okay, guys. Here’s your breakfast,” Harm said and served each of them
one pancake and got himself one too. Then he filled one of Mac’s mugs
with coffee and took a place right next to Jimmy, so that he could help
him with his breakfast.
“Hmmm, this is yummy, Uncle Harm,” Little AJ told him and took another
bite of his with maple syrup covered pancake.
“Morning, boys,” Mac greeted from the doorway and determined made her
way to the coffee machine to get herself a mug of coffee. She took a
long gulp and sighed in relief.
“Want some pancakes, Mac?” Harm asked and held his fork with a piece of
pancake to her. “Here, taste it.”
Mac raised her eyebrow and grinned. “Do you want me to open my hangar
Harm laughed, remembering their little feeding party yesterday. “Yes,
please. I could even do the airplane noises again,” he offered and
“Nah, that won’t be necessary.” Mac obeyed and ate the piece of pancake
Harm offered her. “Hmmm, very good.” Then she got closer to him and
whispered into his ear. “I think you’re a keeper, Harm. You for sure
know how to make pancakes.”
Harm looked at her with a raised eyebrow and smirked. “That’s it? That’s
the way to your heart, MacKenzie? Pancakes?” He asked astonished. “You
should have told me that years ago.”
“Nope, there are still two or three more things you need to know how to
do, but I think you can handle it,” Mac joked but then got serious
Harm immediately saw the change in Mac and knew that something was
Mac looked at Little AJ and could see that he was still engaged with his
breakfast and didn’t care about his surroundings. Then she turned her
gaze back to her partner. “Do you have a minute? I would like to show
“Sure, lead the way,” he answered and followed Mac into the living room.
“What’s wrong, Mac?” He asked worriedly once more as soon as they were
out of the boys’ earshot.
Mac just nodded at the muted TV before pointing to the window.
“Uh oh,” Harm commented after watching the news for a moment. Then he
followed Mac and joined her at the window. “Oh my.” Harm let his gaze
wander as if he was searching for something and shook his head. “Ummm,
“Ummm, where’s my car?” Harm once more overlooked the backyard of Mac’s
apartment building, but he couldn’t find his car.
“I think it’s there,” Mac answered him and pointed to a wall on the left
side. “At least the antenna looks familiar to me.”
“I don’t see anything, Mac. Wait, let me re-phrase that. I can see a lot
of snow out there, but not my car.”
“Can you see the snowdrift over there?” Mac asked and got a nod as
response. “There’s an antenna sticking out of it and if I’m not
mistaken, that’s where you parked the car yesterday.”
“In other words… my car is under this nice blanket of snow?”
“Yup, that would be my guess.”
“That’s… lovely. Really… impressive.”
“Yeah, it is, isn’t it?” Mac replied and turned around to take another
look at the news of ZNN. “I’m not sure what’s more impressive though.
Seeing your car totally covered with a blanket of snow or the fact that
a snowstorm raged last night and we all totally slept through it.”
“I take it that you’ve watched the news for a while before you came into
the kitchen. How’re the prognoses? We’re stuck, aren’t we?”
“Yes. They gave out the advice not to leave the house if it isn’t
necessary. The weather report says that the worst is behind us and that
everything should be calmed down by tomorrow.”
“And that means going sledding is no longer an option,” Harm concluded
and took a deep breath.
“Yeah, that’s a given.”
Harm saw the sadness in Mac’s eyes and took her face into his hands to
give her a short but sweet kiss. “Come on; let’s go back to the boys. I
think we need to have a talk with Little AJ.”
Mac just nodded her head and followed Harm back into the kitchen. She
still felt taken aback about what happened between them in these past
twenty-four hours. It was such an amazing feeling she felt deep in her
heart and she couldn’t stop the nearly goofy looking grin that took
place on her face.
However, as soon as she entered the kitchen and saw the grinning AJ in
front of her, she felt the pang of sadness coming back again. Mac knew
how much AJ wanted to go sledding and that he would be disappointed
about the change of their plan.
Harm took one of her hands into his and tenderly squeezed it. He knew
what she was feeling right now, since he felt the same. Something needed
to be done and he had to come up with it.
“I’m stuffed,” Little AJ said as his godparents entered the kitchen.
“Can we go now?” He asked with a glimmer in his eyes and Harm and Mac
knew what he meant.
Mac sat down on the stool right next to him and ruffled his hair. “I’m
sorry, AJ, but we can’t go sledding today.”
“Why not?” The glimmer in his eyes was gone and the disappointment on
his face was clearly visible now. “You said that if there’s enough snow
we would go sledding and there is enough snow. I checked it this
morning. Come look.” Little AJ jumped from the stool and wanted to run
into the living room but Mac gently held him back.
“AJ, there was a snowstorm last night, and it simply isn’t safe for us
at the moment to go out of this building,” Harm tried to explain but saw
that by now the disappointment on his godson’s face was mixed with
sadness and even a little bit of anger.
“That’s not fair,” Little AJ cried and offended ran out of the kitchen,
in response knocking off his plate from the kitchen table.
Mac sighed and closed her eyes for a moment. “That went well,” she said
while the loud bang of Mac’s bedroom door was heard in the otherwise
Jimmy started to cry as soon as his brother ran out of the kitchen and
the plate hit the kitchen floor. The banging of Mac’s bedroom door made
him cry even more.
Harm took his younger godson out of the highchair and cradled him in his
arms, kissing his forehead. “Sssshh, it’s okay, Jimmy.” Then he looked
at Mac and gave her an encouraging smile. “Tell you what. Why don’t you
go and try to talk with him, while Jimmy and I clean up this mess and
try to come up with a plan B.”
“Yeah, I better go and try to talk to him,” Mac answered and suddenly
realized what he’d said a few seconds ago. “A plan B?”
Harm nodded his head. “Yeah, there’s always a plan B. You just have to
try and find it,” Harm explained and sat the now calmed Jimmy back into
Mac, being now deep in her thoughts, only nodded her head before leaving
the kitchen while Harm got the broken dish up from the floor. He was
just dumping the broken plate into the trashcan when he saw that Mac
remained standing at the doorway, having an intense look on her face.
“Everything okay?” he asked worried.
Mac didn’t answer him, nor had she heard him. Too important was the
thought she had on her mind. Was it possible?
“Always?” She only asked in a whisper so that Harm nearly hadn’t heard
“Yes, Sarah. Always,” Harm immediately answered her without thinking
twice, knowing exactly what she was asking about. They were still
talking about children, just not about Little AJ and Jimmy anymore.
They smiled at each other before Mac nodded her head and walked away to
have a talk with AJ.
Harm took a deep breath, looked at Jimmy and shook his head. “It’s not
even much later than nine o’clock and I already feel like I’ve lived an
entire workday,” he told him with a chuckle.
Jimmy responded with a giggle and started to babble. Harm laughed and
nodded. “Yeah, you’re right, sport. Family life is a lot of fun, isn’t
it? But now we better come up with a good plan B, or else this day may
end in a disaster.”
Mac took a deep breath and slowly opened the door to her bedroom. At
first she couldn’t see Little AJ anywhere and only after she entered the
room was she able to see him cowered behind her bed, on the left side
right in front of the nightstand. His knees were pulled to his chest and
Mac couldn’t see his face, since he’d laid it on his knees and crossed
After closing the door behind her, Mac moved deeper into her bedroom and
walked around the bed. Every now and then she could hear his sniffs and
hiccups. With a sigh she took place on her rattan armchair and looked at
Little AJ, who hadn’t looked up so far.
Mac watched him but didn’t say anything. She wanted to give him the time
he needed and hoped that it wouldn’t take long for him to open up and
talk with her.
Little AJ suddenly looked up and into her eyes but still didn’t say a
word. His face was tear-stained and slightly red while the
disappointment was still clearly visible in his eyes.
“You know, if you keep your lips like that for more than three minutes,
they will stay that way,” Mac softly told him, talking about his lower
lip, which was stuck out in a pout. She remembered that her uncle Matt
had told her that when she was a little girl and had pouted that way.
AJ immediately reacted as he’d heard his aunt’s words, pulled his lower
lip into his mouth and bit on it.
Mac raised her eyebrow in wonder when she saw what her godson was doing.
“Why are you doing that?”
Little AJ sighed and wiped off the tears on his cheeks. “Because I think
I was keeping my lips that way for more than three minutes,” he
whispered with a teary voice. “I don’t want them to stay like that.” As
soon as he’d finished his explanation, he was biting on his lower lip
She nodded her head and gave him a little smile. “I’m sure it wasn’t
more than three minutes, AJ. Your lips are looking fine.”
“Are you sure?” Little AJ quietly asked.
Mac once more nodded her head and confirmed her statement. “I’m
AJ slowly got up on his feet, went to the armchair and sat down on Mac’s
lap. Then he threw his little arms around her neck and hugged her. “I’m
sorry, Auntie Mac,” he whispered into her ear and Mac could hear that he
was on the verge of starting to cry again. “I didn’t mean to do it.”
“What are you sorry for, AJ? What didn’t you mean to do?”
“I broke the plate and ran away,” he told her, still whispering.
“Oh, honey. I know you didn’t mean it,” Mac answered him and pulled him
even closer to her. “It was only a plate and nothing to worry about.
Little AJ sighed in relief and Mac could feel that his little body
relaxed again. “’kay. I love you, Auntie Mac.”
Mac kissed his wet cheek. “I love you too, honey.”
Mac’s living room
The dishes were put into the dishwasher and Harm already had changed
Jimmy, who was now sitting on his blanket, playing with his favorite
toys. The CD player was playing some jazz music in the background while
Harm was cleaning the living room.
Doing household chores and listening to soft music always helped him to
come up with a good idea for court and he hoped that it would help him
to come up with a good plan B for today. He believed in what he’d told
Mac earlier and knew that he would come up with one.
“Come on, Harm, there has to be something,” he murmured to himself and
took the bowl with candies from the coffee table to place it on Mac’s
dining table. “Think, man. What did you like to do as a kid while you
were at your grandma’s around Christmas time? Just think Christmasish.”
Harm sighed and walked to the window, looking out at the Washington
version of Winter Wonderland. He thought about the many times he’d spent
as a kid at his grandma’s farm in Belleville. They were often snowed in
and could only spend their days indoors and barely leave the house.
However, it was never boring back then, since his grandmother always
knew how to entertain her lively grandchild.
Harm turned away from the window and walked to the dining table to get
one red gumdrop out of Mac’s candy bowl. He took a bite and had to
smile. ‘I still remember the first time she’d taught me how to make
chocolate cookies or when we...,’ he started to think and suddenly had
to stop when it finally dawned on him. “That’s it,” he said out loud
with a smile and nearly ran into Mac’s kitchen. “Please tell me it’s
Harm opened a few of Mac’s cabinets in hope of finding everything he
needed for his plan. However, soon he had to give up in frustration.
Most of the supplies they would need simply weren’t available in Mac’s
“What now?” Harm asked the room and looked back into the living room,
watching his little godson playing on his blanket. “No way are we being
Scrooge the entire day. Right, Jimmy?”
Jimmy just babbled cheerfully and continued to play with his toys.
‘Scrooge?’ Harm thought and had to smile. “Bingo,” he suddenly said out
loud and walked into the living room to get Jimmy into his arms. “Come
on, sport. It’s time for a visit.”
Together they made their way out of Mac’s apartment, ready to accomplish
the mission called ‘Plan B’.
Meanwhile in Mac’s bedroom
“So we can’t go sledding?” Little AJ asked and raised his face from her
shoulder so that he could look into her eyes.
“No, honey. We can’t go sledding today.”
“Why not?” He wanted to know; still not understanding why they couldn’t
go sledding even though it was snowy outside.
Mac slowly got up from the armchair, still holding Little AJ firmly in
her arms. “Ooof, you’re heavy, AJ.”
“I’m five, Auntie Mac. I’m a big boy and I have to be heavy,” Little AJ
proudly answered her and giggled.
As soon as she stood on her feet, he circled his little legs around her
waist, clinging tightly to her. “Let me show you why we can’t go today,
“’kay,” AJ answered and together they made their way into the living
The first thing Mac noticed was that neither Harm nor Jimmy were no
where to be seen or heard. The only sound in the room was coming from
her CD player. ‘I guess they are in the guestroom,’ Mac thought and
walked straight to one of the living room windows.
“Can you see your uncle Harm’s car out there?” Mac asked her elder
godson and watched him while his prying eyes were searching for Harm’s
Little AJ shook his head. “No. Where is it?”
Mac pointed at the wall on the left side of the parking lot. “It’s over
there. Can you see the snowdrift right in front of this wall? Right
under this blanket of snow you can find your uncle’s car.”
“Wow, it’s snowed in,” Little AJ enthusiastically replied with wide-open
“Yes it is, AJ. The snowstorm last night created quite a few of these
snowdrifts and it isn’t really safe for us at the moment to go out, just
to have some fun with our sleds,” Mac tenderly tried to explain the
“Oh.” Little AJ thought about everything his aunt had just told him.
“Does that mean we’re stuck and can’t leave the house?”
Mac gave him a little smile. “No, if it would be necessary, we’re able
to get out of the house. But as long as no one of us is seriously sick
or hurt, we shouldn’t leave the house at the moment.”
“For how long? Will we have to stay for days?” Little AJ curiously asked
and Mac was glad about his interest, knowing that he started to
understand the reasons.
“I’m not sure yet, sweetie, but I think by tonight we’ll know more.”
“Okay.” Then a bright smile took place on Little AJ’s face, just like
the one he had on his face this morning before Harm and Mac had to tell
him about not being able to go sledding. “Maybe Uncle Harm, Jimmy and I
have to stay more days here. That would be sooo cool,” he said
Mac couldn’t hold back her laughter about her godson’s enthusiasm and
gave him a quick hug before letting him down on his feet again. “You
would like that, huh?”
Little AJ strongly nodded his head and grinned. “Mmm-hmmm.”
“What?” Mac asked, knowing that something else was on his mind.
“What about Mommy and Daddy? Do you think they can come home tomorrow?”
Little AJ asked while they sat down on the couch.
Mac wasn’t sure how to answer his question. “I’ll tell you something.
Why don’t you try to call them later today? I bet they would like to get
a call from you.”
Mac smiled and nodded her head. “Of course you can.” She ruffled his
hair and was taken aback when her apartment door suddenly opened and
Jimmy slowly walked into the room. He was followed by his uncle, who had
his hands full of bags and boxes. “Where are you two coming from?” Mac
asked in surprise.
Harm gave her his best flyboy grin and placed the bags and boxes onto
her coffee table. “Oh, Jimmy and I just visited the Ebenezer supermarket
and got everything for our plan B,” he told her enthralled.
Mac just raised her eyebrow and let her gaze wander to the bags and
boxes before returning it to her partner’s shining eyes. “Explain
yourself, Mr. Rabb,” she said and could hardly await his explanation.
Harm immediately gave her a salute. “Aye, aye, Ma’am,” he said and hoped
that Mac, and even more important Little AJ, would like the plan B he’d
come up with.
Mac still looked agog at Harm, eagerly awaiting his explanation about
what he’d planned. “Come on, Harm. Don’t keep us waiting here. What is
this ‘supermarket’-talk about?”
“The Ebenezer supermarket,” Harm corrected Mac’s statement with a smirk
and took a seat in one of her armchairs, placing his younger godson on
his lap. “Jimmy and I visited the Ebenezer supermarket. Oh, and may I
add what a very nice lady you have as a neighbor, Ms. MacKenzie. She
reminds me a lot of my grandmother. Mrs. Ebenezer says hi by the way.”
Mac frowned and then raised her eyebrow. “You two were visiting Mrs.
Ebenezer? Why?” She incredulously asked, not believing her ears were
working right at the moment. “Please, Harm. Tell us about your plan B.”
Now more than before Mac was impatient to hear about her partner’s idea.
“What are you up to?”
“If you insist,” Harm promptly said and thought about what happened just
a few minutes earlier.
A few minutes earlier
Mrs. Ebenezer’s Apartment
Harm lightly knocked on the door and hoped he wouldn’t disturb Mac’s
neighbor. Jimmy stood right next to him, watching his godfather with
After a lot of thinking he’d finally come up with a plan B to do another
Rabb family tradition with his favorite boys and girl. However, soon
Harm had to give up this idea since Mac’s kitchen was simply missing
most of the supplies they would have needed.
Thankfully, he found a package of chocolate chips in one of her cabinets
while rummaging through Mac’s kitchen and immediately thought about
baking his grandma’s favorite chocolate chip cookies with Mac and his
godsons. Only two ingredients were missing and Harm now hoped to get
some help from Mac’s neighbor.
“Yes?” An elderly woman asked through the partly opened door.
“Mrs. Ebenezer?” Harm asked and got a little nod as response. “My name
is Harmon Rabb. I’m a friend of your neighbor Sarah MacKenzie.”
Mrs. Ebenezer immediately showed him a bright smile and opened the door
of her apartment wider. “Oh, you’re Sarah’s commander.”
At first Harm frowned while hearing what Mrs. Ebenezer was calling him,
but then he returned her smile and nodded. “Yes, Ma’am.”
“What can I do for you, Commander? Sarah and Little AJ are okay, aren’t
they?” The elderly woman asked with worry clearly audible in her voice.
She looked down at Jimmy, who shyly hid his face behind Harm’s leg.
“Please call me Harm and yes, Ma’am, Sarah and AJ are okay. But
obviously we’re stranded in the apartment today and I thought about
baking some chocolate chip cookies, but…,” Harm started to explain.
“But Sarah’s kitchen doesn’t have the ingredients for the cookies,” Mrs.
Ebenezer concluded Harm’s sentence and chuckled. “Am I right, Harm?”
Harm laughed and shook his head in wonder. “You really do know my
partner, don’t you?”
Mrs. Ebenezer just nodded her head and laughed as well. “I once asked
her if she had some vanilla extract I could borrow and Sarah told me
that she had none and that baking wasn’t really her thing.”
Now it was Harm nodding his head. “It obviously is still not her thing,
because the vanilla extract is still missing. And so is baking soda.”
“Why don’t you and your little boy here come in, Harm? I’m sure I can
help you out,” Mrs. Ebenezer said, letting him and Jimmy enter her
“That would be great, Ma’am. At first I thought about making a
gingerbread house, but to find any ingredients for this project in Mac’s
kitchen was literally a dead end. I think we could’ve made the icing and
the decoration, but that’s about it,” Harm told her while he and Jimmy
followed the elderly woman into her kitchen.
“So baking chocolate chip cookies wasn’t the first choice?” Mrs.
Ebenezer asked and took the vanilla extract and some baking soda out of
Harm took the items out of her hands. “Thanks, and no, baking the
cookies wasn’t my first choice. I wanted to do one of the Rabb
traditions and make a gingerbread house with Mac and the boys. I’ve done
quite a few with my grandmother while I was a little boy, but I guess
that’s something we’ll have to do another time.”
“Maybe not,” Mrs. Ebenezer only replied.
“Maybe not, Harm. I think I can help you out with your problem.”
Mrs. Ebenezer smiled at him and pointed with her forefinger behind her
back. “The tradition you had with your grandmother as a child is the
same tradition my grandson and I have. Timmy, my daughter and son-in-law
wanted to visit me this weekend but sadly, my grandson got the flu and
they couldn’t come,” she started to explain and then turned around to
show Harm all the items she had for the gingerbread house. “I already
baked the wall, roof and chimney pieces. I would like you to take them
and the other stuff I bought for the icing and the decoration.”
Harm was perplexed. “Are you sure, Ma’am?”
“Very. If you don’t take it I would throw all this into the trashcan
“I don’t know what to say,” Harm quietly answered, still being perplexed
about the offer and the positive outcome of his little visit.
“Just say thank you, Harm. I’m just glad that I can help and I know
you’ll have a great time.”
Harm quickly gave her a peck on her cheek and then one of his best
flyboy grins. “Thank you, Mrs. Ebenezer,” he said and then came up with
an idea. “I’m sorry about your grandson though. Why don’t you just come
with Jimmy and me? You could spend the day with the boys, Mac and I. You
could help us build the gingerbread house. I’m sure the kids and Sarah
would love to have you around.”
Mrs. Ebenezer smiled and shook her head. “Thank you, Harm, but this is
something you should enjoy with the boys and Sarah,” she disclaimed.
Then she got an impish grin on her face and winked. “Maybe you and Sarah
could practice for the future.”
To say that this statement made Harm speechless and feeling dumbfounded
was an understatement. First she was calling him ‘Sarah’s commander’ and
now this one. ‘What’s going on here?’ Harm thought to himself. “What
exactly has Mac told you about me, Mrs. Ebenezer?”
“Oh, not much. It was more the things she hasn’t said. You know, the
words you can read in between.”
Harm chuckled. “You sound like a lawyer.”
“No, Commander. Just like an old woman with a lot of experience and a
very good knowledge of human nature,” she explained and then added with
a smile. “And now you better go before Sarah calls out the cavalry.”
Harm once more kissed her cheek and gave her a bear hug. Then he took
the items from the kitchen counter before following Mrs. Ebenezer and
Jimmy to the apartment door. “Thanks for everything, Mrs. Ebenezer.”
“My pleasure. Please tell Sarah I said hi.”
“Will do,” Harm promised. “Goodbye.”
“Goodbye, Harm,” Mrs. Ebenezer said. Then she looked down at Jimmy and
waved. “Bye, bye, Jimmy.”
Jimmy shyly waved back before following his godfather back to Mac’s
End of Flashback