||4,400 Words, 15 pages
(8.5 x 11")
about Season 6, episode wise, and readers should probably check
out “The Week” stories before reading this one.
been a long week . . .
I’m fifteen minutes early. I held myself off for as long as possible,
even forced the Lexus to a stop at
every yellow light on the way over. Frankly, I’m impressed at my
willpower, given that I’ve been dying
to see her for the last sixteen hours.
I went to sleep fantasizing about what today might bring. Woke up
wanting so badly my whole body hurt without her. Spent the past half
hour pacing my apartment wondering, hoping, about what would happen.
Then, desperate to kill time, decided to analyze my obsession with this
My relationship with Mac is the only one I’ve ever worked at. With the
others, I gave in when it suited
me, compromised if the sex or companionship were great enough. But with
Mac, I compromise, even sacrifice, simply because she is Mac. So much of
myself is invested in her, in us, that it has come to define me.
During our first years together, I laughed about it. I couldn’t win a
case or hear a joke, or even see an odd rock on my morning jog without
wondering what Sarah MacKenzie would think of it. Then I became annoyed.
She was a partner, a friend, and nothing more; what right did she have
to dominate my thoughts that way? And why the hell was I letting her?
Now, it is automatic, unconscious. When something happens, I look to her
because it would be unnatural not to.
If any of my buddies told me he felt this way about a woman at whom he’d
never even made an honest pass, I’d call him whipped and a coward and
laugh in his face. So it is with some degree of self-disgust I knock on
her door and roll to my heels in anticipation.
The door swings open, and my mouth literally starts to water. Mac stands
before me in a purple silk robe, which was knotted with apparent haste
and now gapes conveniently down the front. Nothing too indecent yet, but
I’ll take what I can get. She smells like heaven, and her skin is still
glowing from the shower. Her hair is just dry, curling a bit around her
face. God, she is so gorgeous.
“You’re early,” she announces with understandable surprise.
I can feel myself staring at her cleavage but decide not to stop until
she calls me on it. Still too
dazzled for intelligent conversation, I say the first thing that comes
“You’re running behind.”
“I am not.” She sounds as offended as if I’d just insulted her lineage.
I would grin if I could open my
mouth without drooling.
“So,” she says after a moment’s pause. “I’m trying out a pair of those
new contacts today. You know, the ones that turn your eyes red? What do
Okay, so I know I’ve been busted. But I’ve been awake and half-aroused
for three hours with just the thought of her. She’s going to have to be
a little less subtle if she expects me to act like a respectable
Just then, a slim, delicate finger comes into my line of sight. It slips
slowly down the opening of the
robe, blazing a trail my own are itching to follow. I watch as it glides
further, between her breasts,
through the shadow of silk and skin, dragging my eyes down, down . . .
I’m ready to fall to my knees and beg when she flips the robe shut and
cinches it defiantly tighter.
Swallowing a devastated whimper, I glance up at her and try to summon a
Shaking her head knowingly, she sets a hand on her hip and steps back so
I can come inside.
“Enjoy the view?” she asks dryly.
I feign indecisiveness. “I could use a longer look. Why don’t you open
the shades again so I can examine more closely?”
She turns with a scoff and saunters back to her room. I stare after her,
appreciating the scenery from that end nearly as much.
Less than five minutes later, she emerges, clad in a long-sleeved black
shirt and blue jeans that fit
snugly to each curve and plane. I barely blink, although after six
years, I’m still surprised that she
can look so good so fast.
“Did you have breakfast?” she asks as she leads me to the kitchen.
“Uh-uh.” I reach down to pet Jingo, who’s hot on our heels, but he’s too
busy winding himself around Mac’s legs to notice. He whines anxiously as
she crouches to pour dog food and filtered water into his dishes.
“I’ve got Corn Pops, toast, and oatmeal, if you want,” she offers,
looking up from where she sits scratching the dog behind his ears.
“Thanks.” I move to the fridge for some bread. “You want some toast?”
“No, thanks, I’ll just make some oatmeal.”
She’s been on an oatmeal kick lately – bananas and cream or apple
cinnamon. I’ve seen her eat it for
three meals a day more than once in the past few weeks. Last Tuesday, my
worry got the better of me, and I quizzed her frantically all morning
about her latest doctor’s appointment and cholesterol levels. Suffice it
to say, she was not amused. Heated words were exchanged as to her
irresponsible eating habits and my overbearing nosiness. We nearly came
to blows when I ordered her a salad at lunch, despite her request to the
contrary. In the end, we agreed to trade information – her cholesterol
count for a story about my most embarrassing childhood moment. After I
delved reluctantly into the humiliation that was my birds-and-bees
discussion with Frank, she came out on top by blithely informing me her
cholesterol levels were actually below average. Then she laughed at me
for half an hour. Clearly I do not want a repeat performance, so today,
I simply shake my head and hand her the milk.
Breakfast is uneventful. I brag about finishing all my paperwork for the
week and leave out the part about waking up in the night to a vision of
her wearing a bikini and sunglasses, stretched out on the hood of a
Corvette. When we’re done, I put the bread away and grab the battered
canvas cooler from the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. It’s at least a
decade old and used to live in ‘Sarah’s’ trunk. Now it stays at Mac’s,
since she’s the one who always brings the food when we go flying. Mac
reaches past me to get the Thermos, and her body brushes my arm. That
fast, all the self-control I’d mustered seated opposite her at the
kitchen table flees, and I am reduced to a teenage kid half-crazy with
lust . . . again. She ties me into knots so effortlessly, and the worst
of it is, she doesn’t even know it.
I linger for a moment in the cool air of the fridge, hoping it will do
some good against the beast within.
Then, with a semi-lucid mumble, I turn to follow her to the door. And
catch the top of a black lace thong peeking out from her waistband.
This is going to be a long, long day.
We’re in the air by about 10:00. The pre-flight check took nearly twice
as long as usual. She watched over my shoulder, breathing in my goddamn
ear for chrissake, until Bruce Lampe, who owns a plane at the
other end of the hangar, cut his hand on some scrap and asked for her
help. I’ve never been so grateful to the old man in my life.
The plan is to fly around for a couple hours, set down somewhere for
lunch, hang out for awhile, and come back when it starts getting dark.
We take turns at the controls. After all this time, Mac’s almost as good
behind the wheel of a Steerman as I am – would be if she weren’t so
cautious. I’ve just taken over and executed a complex series of loops
when the rich sound of her laughter floats back and hits me like a fist
in the gut.
And that’s when I snap.
It was getting better, I argue with myself. It will get better,
my mind insists even as I tilt the stick
to the left, swooping towards the biggest clearing in sight. This, I
know, is a lie. It isn’t getting
better, hasn’t for a long time. I’ve been struggling for years just to
keep a grip on the thin layer of
control I’ve managed to preserve around her. Some time in the past few
days, that hold has loosened, just slightly. Fatally. And now, things
have to change.
My landing is a bit rougher than usual. As soon as possible, I leap from
the cockpit, its confines
suddenly tight and uncomfortable. Mac’s on her own on the dismount – if
I touch her now, I won’t be able to stop.
Sucking in air through my teeth, jaw clenched so hard the muscles cramp,
I take a few steps away and stand with my back to my Sarahs. It’s
getting better, it’s getting better, it’s getting better, I chant
silently, desperate to convince myself. It’s almost working when a light
thud announces Mac has disembarked. She comes up behind me, and
everything within screeches to a halt. She touches my elbow, and it
jerks forward uncontrollably.
Frowning in concern, she moves to face me. Becomes all I can see through
eyes that are greying around the edges. “You okay?”
Even as I order – plead with – myself not to reach for her, not to move,
she stretches up and brushes cool fingers over my forehead, destroying
me with one quiet touch.
My lips are on top of hers in a heartbeat, hands fiercely holding her
head still so I can savor this first instant of chaos. I drag at her
lower lip with my teeth until her mouth opens wide enough to let me
inside. I’m not sure I really knew what I was doing up to this point.
But once I taste her, awareness floods me in a rush of familiar longing.
I know this flavor, this sweet, dark drug. This is what I’ve been
waiting for, dying for, every minute of the past six years. And, God,
was it worth it.
I tilt my head to accommodate the tongue that tentatively, then with
greater insistence, prods my
own. Her hands lift to my chest, fist on the lapels of my jacket as she
rises on tiptoe to press closer.
Reckless, I spin around to pin her against the fuselage, practically
crushing her with my body. She
moans low in her throat and hitches a leg behind mine, and I swear I’m
ready to kill or die for her. In a
rare stroke of genius, my befuddled brain decides there’s too many
clothes between us and that the
situation must be remedied immediately. Clumsy fingers unwind from her
hair to yank down the zipper of her jacket, shove the offending material
off her shoulders. I almost smile when I feel her mirror the action.
We both pull our hands back long enough to rip our coats the rest of the
way off, then dive together
again, more urgent, wild. I rear back with barely-controlled violence,
and Mac whimpers in disappointment. The sound chokes to a gasp when I
duck to feast on her throat. I’ve gone half-crazy lying in bed wondering
what her neck would taste like, how it would feel to run my tongue along
that sexy little scar. Now I know - I know - and it is so much
better than any of my dreams. She is so incredibly soft here, and on her
back, where my hands have slipped beneath her shirt, mad for skin. I
knew she would feel this way, but it’s somehow unbelievable that she
really does, that we’re really here. And that, new as this is, I can be
so sure I will never get enough.
Mac skims her palms up my chest, down my back, and is just peeking her
fingers under my t-shirt when a warning screams through my head that I
can’t hold off much longer. The little sailor and I have been ready for
this for the past 20 hours or so, and though I have developed a bit of
self-control since my teenage years, I don’t have the will of a saint.
If I did, I’m sure Mac could quickly dispose of it anyway.
I mumble a few attempts at her name, which she easily stifles with
nibbling, experimental kisses that leave all thought trailing into
oblivion. Then a particularly forceful thrust of my hips against hers
and the excruciatingly enticing consequence brings the issue once again
to the fore.
“Sarah,” I pant, nearly abandoning all good intentions when she follows
my lips blindly with her own. “Sarah - ” for she is ‘Sarah’ now, the
friendly nickname replaced by the more intimate, infinitely more
meaningful one I save for special occasions – “if you want to stop . .
.” Another pause for burning,
sloughing breath. “Tell me now.”
Her eyes drift open and come into focus; I can see rationality returning
in their near-black depths.
“Harm,” she says slowly, solemnly.
My heart sinks in bitter, dizzying disappointment. I know that tone.
This is not good.
“We are not going to make love for the first time standing against your
plane in the middle of nowhere.”
Devastated by defeat, I drop my forehead onto hers, praying for the
strength to back away. How could I have been so stupid, so insensitive?
This is Sarah MacKenzie, always the best and sometimes the only thing in
my life. She deserves a thousand times more romance than I’ve provided
“You’re right,” I murmur, hoping the sincerity of my apology is evident
through the agony of rejection in my voice. I should’ve stopped sooner;
it’s going to take awhile to bounce back from this one. “I’m – ”
“You’ve still got that blanket in the back, right?”
For a heartbeat, I can do nothing but blink at her stupidly. I think my
mouth is hanging open. I know my heart is. She can’t mean what I think
she means . . .
Jesus Christ, I realize as I open my eyes to find her grinning slyly up
at me. She does. Thank you, Lord, she does.
Because I fear I may swallow my tongue if I start to talk, I merely nod
and wonder if she can tell by my eyes how much I adore her at this
I don’t know what, exactly, Harm is trying to telegraph with that
electric blue gaze of his, but if
he keeps looking at me that way, I’ll go up in flames. I don’t remember
why he stopped kissing me, but I’m not waiting around for him anymore.
Grabbing him by the shirt collar, I pull his head down to have my way
The groan he makes in the back of his throat when I kiss him is about
the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard. Betting I can make him do it again, I
suck on his tongue for a moment, then nip the end of it
suggestively. And win the bet.
Just when I thought I was firmly in control of the situation, Harm bends
his knees, slipping them between mine. Then, in a surprisingly fluid
move, grabs my six and straightens abruptly, trapping me with his body
at my front, his plane at my back.
Ooohhh, I like this, and my moan lets him know it. As my legs vice
around his hips, he grinds himself
against my center, torturing us both. Restless, I push back into him and
run my lips along his jaw to his ear. Harm has really great ears. My
hands slide down his back to drag at the hem of his t-shirt, but before
I can get it more than halfway up, he’s pulling away, letting me go. If
I weren’t clinging to him like a burr, I’d be back on the ground. I hum
my disapproval into his throat before scraping the skin there with my
teeth; if he thinks we’re stopping now, he’s got another think coming.
“Mmm . . . blanket . . .” he pants, then grabs my hips for another
desperate thrust. “Mac. I have to . . .
blanket . . .”
Damn me for making that stupid comment about the blanket when I need him
here, now, I don’t care if we’re leaning on his plane or the front door
of JAG headquarters, for chrissake.
“Hurry,” I concede, already busily working the shirt up his sides.
He mumbles a vague assent and jars me against the fuselage a few times
while he gropes behind the
backseat for the scratchy old picnic blanket he keeps there. Finally,
finally, he snags it, and I get his undivided attention once more.
Still holding me, he staggers a few steps into the field and drops the
blanket. My mouth finds his again as my hands abandon his shirt for the
delightful stubble on his cheeks. Oh, God, does this man taste good. I
could do this all day – will do this all day – but definitely not today.
Today my whole body has flashed into a burning void that only he can
Intent on that goal as I am, he moves his hands from my ass to my shirt
and rips it off almost sooner than I can raise my arms. I hear him
breathe my name in the second before he tears off my bra and latches
onto one breast, suckling fervently.
“Ooohh, Harm . . .” Everything I am leaps from that spot to my core and
back again in a dizzying,
breathless rush. Never in my life have I been so wet, so ready, for a
man as I am at this instant.
His answering hum is somewhere between hunger and contentment as he
leaves that breast and fastens onto the other. Mindless now, and
whimpering with it, I clamp his head in place and buck against him,
frantic to assuage this pulsing need. The warm, liquid tugs at my center
build to an unbearable heat.
“Harm, please,” I beg, my voice high and dazed. “Harm . . .”
He can’t have managed it too gracefully, but I barely feel the impact as
he lowers us to the ground and lands on top of me, without breaking the
hold of his lips. His hands run from my ribcage to the dip of my waist,
where he fumbles with the fly of my jeans before jerking them down. He
jerks up long enough to toss them and my underwear impatiently away,
leaving me completely naked and himself scarcely rumpled.
For a moment, he simply looks at me with eyes so hot and ravenous, I
want to soothe and inflame all at once. Then his lips are back on mine,
and all I can feel is the delicious friction of his jeans between my
Knowing neither of us has much farther to go, I yank at his shirt again,
desperately. “I want this off!” I
demand, frustrated and petulant and too aroused to push him away even
Obedient for once, Harm whisks the shirt over his head, then trails a
line of kisses down my belly as he removes his slacks and boxers. If I
could see clearly, I’m sure it would be a wonderful show to watch. But I
am past the point of teasing, aching for him to finish me off. Grabbing
his cock in a tight fist, I stroke once, twisting ever so carefully and
subtly measuring, preparing myself for the size of him.
He stills completely, lets out a gut-wrenching groan, and thrusts
convulsively into my hand. “Mac, God...”
Then he is grasping my hands, and I must be able to see again, because
his face is looming above me, taut with passion. I purr and nudge him in
blatant invitation, practically sobbing with anticipation.
“Mac,” he gasps, control straining. “Mac . . . six years . . . I can’t
take this slow.”
My God, does he think I want slow? After the way I’ve practically thrown
myself at him today, where the hell would he have gotten an idea like
Lucidity returning for one brief moment, I quirk a brow at him, squeeze
his fingers, and suggest in the
most seductive tone I can manage, “Then take me fast.”
His eyes snap shut, and for a second I’m afraid I’ve lost him, until he
ducks his head and whispers
something to himself that sounds suspiciously like, “Holy shit.” Judging
by the reverent look on his face when he glances back at me, I get the
feeling I’ve just fulfilled Harmon Rabb Fantasy #243. But he doesn’t
give either of us much time to dwell on it before sinking into me.
To his credit, he takes that first thrust slower than necessary, giving
me a chance to stretch in
accommodation of his sizeable bulk. When he’s in to the hilt, it hits
home: I have Harm inside me. From the look on his face, I could keep
him there forever if I wanted. And God, do I want. He is everything I
craved – hot, hard, huge – and right where he belongs.
Okay, I declare, enough time to adjust. Grinding my hips upward at the
same time I squeeze him snugly inside, I open my eyes and say, “More.”
With that, he simply lets go. He pounds into me over and over, pulling
out nearly all the way before ramming back again with bone-jarring
force. This – God this – is what I need, the only thing that can
possibly relieve the hot, slick tension winding through me, wringing me
out to dry. I am shouting his name now, with every touch, and when he
reaches between us, brushes my clit with rough fingers, I scream for him
Raw, pulsing, floating, I feel him thrust once more before burying his
head in my neck and coming in a long, hot rush that makes me shiver with
We did it, I think on a wave of relief and giddiness and an utter sense
of rightness. Harm and I finally
did it, and it was so good, took me so far, I will never be the same
again. Struggling to return my
breathing to normal, I trace patterns on his back and wait.
It’s another six minutes and twenty-two seconds until he moves, and then
it’s only to tilt his head up and shoot me a drunken grin.
“Holy shit,” he mutters incredulously, his eyes droopy and endearing.
“You said that already,” I remind him without even trying to hide a
smile. “Think of a new one.”
He considers it a moment, and his look turns boyishly hopeful. “Can we
do that again?”
“Right now?” It’s not that I’m opposed to the idea – hell, if it’s half
as good as our first attempt, it’ll
be just this side of mind-blowing – but my body still feels like one
giant, quivering nerve ending, and I
could use a bit of a breather before round two. Besides, I’m not the one
“Well, give me a couple minutes. That was . . . that was really
The evaluation is mediocre at best, but the tone of his voice when he
hesitates over it, when he murmurs my name, make up for that.
“I’ll say.” My agreement is light and easy; Harm gets uncomfortable when
we’re serious about things like this, and the last thing I want is for
him to draw away. But the part of me that hasn’t given up all hope longs
“Sarah.” He tips my chin up, then rolls to his back, taking me with him.
His expression is so . .open as he stares at me. So tender I have to
swallow back unexpected tears. Abruptly, he stretches up and plants a
soft, humble kiss on my lips. “I’m yours.”
The tears come then, with a smile and an ache that sweetens my chest.
Gently, he tucks a strand of hair behind my ear, lingers to brush my
cheek. “However you want.”
Taking a deep breath, I secretly gather my courage.
Desperately trying not to get my hopes up, to convince myself that even
if this is the wrong answer, things will be all right, I watch him and
“Because you’re everything I need, everything I want. I love you, Sarah.
You know that.”
Oh, I do now. My heart seeps out of my chest and into his. I bid it
farewell with a broad, serene smile.
Reaching up to stroke his whiskered face with my knuckle, I whisper, “I
love you too.”
He lightens the moment with a little shrug and smirk that carry only a
shadow of his typical fighter
pilot’s arrogance and infinitely more contentedness. “I know that.” But
the look in his eyes tells me he
needed to hear it as much as I did. Maybe more.
Playing along, I roll my eyes in a mock-glare. “Fine. See if I try being
nice to you again.”
“Oh, so you were just being nice, huh?” This time, the grin is cocky as
ever and twice as dangerous.
“Absolutely,” I assure him haughtily.
Undaunted, he twists so that I am once again on my back, his long legs
pinning mine. His gaze glints with a challenge. “I bet I can make you
I bet he could too. But I’m sure as hell not giving in now. “Hah!” I
scoff, defiant. “Terms?”
Thoughtfully, he licks his lips, glances down the length of my body.
Already, I can feel my resolve
weakening. Pathetic. “I’m sure we can work something out.”
“Give it your best shot.” Please, I add silently.
Something catches his eye, and he nods to the right. I follow his gaze
to the folded square of wool beside us.
“You know, Mac, we never did make it to the blanket...”