ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL
Mac had been gone for over three hours now. Harm was back in Mattie’s room,
holding her hand, talking to her.
“You are so good with her,” a nurse who was changing the IV out told him.
“You know, they say that patients in a coma can hear you.”
“I know,” Harm said, his voice sounding very tired. “That’s why I keep
talking to her.”
At that moment, unknown to Harm, Trish and Frank arrived. When asked who
they were, Frank came up with an answer quickly.
“We’re Mattie’s grandparents,” Frank told the nurse. Seeing the tears in
Trish’s eyes, the nurse could not refuse them.
“Why don’t you wait here. You can see her and Commander Rabb through the
window. He refuses to leave her side.”
“Thank you,” Trish said, her voice breaking.
As Frank and Trish stood there, what they saw broke their hearts. They could
tell that Harm was talking to her, but it was equally obvious that Mattie
did not hear him. Harm would lift his hand every now and then to run his
fingers through Mattie’s long hair. The nurses looked at both of them, once
again feeling their pain. Gloria, one of the nurses, asked Trish if she
would like to sit down, but Trish refused, saying she wanted to see her son
The nurse left them alone. Trish saw a side of her son that she had never
seen before, and he looked so alone. Her heart split into a million pieces.
He must be going through hell, she thought.
“I never thought we would see our son this way,” Frank said, startling
“Neither did I. Oh, Frank, I wish we had met Mattie when Harm first told us
about her. I’m so sorry we took that trip to Europe instead of coming out
here to see Harm.”
“Trish, we’ve always respected Harm’s privacy. You know that he could have
brought her out to see us at any time, or for that matter, we could have
stayed with her when he was on one of his missions. Our son has always done
what he belived was best, just as we did. It’s important for him to know
that we are here for him now, and if he wants us to stay, we will.” Frank
had tears in his eyes as he watched Harm stroking Mattie’s fingers.
They could not hear what Harm was saying, but it looked to both Frank and
Trish as if he was singing to her. Trish sobbed as she saw her son wipe a
tear away, then put his head down on the pillow. It was only then that Trish
realized what Harm was doing.
“He’s praying, Frank. I can’t remember the last time I saw Harm pray. He
became so bitter after his father’s death, I think he stopped believing in
God. Oh, Frank, I can’t stand to see him in so much pain. Why is he alone?
Why aren’t his friends here? Why isn’t Mac here with him?” Trish buried her
face in Frank’s chest.
“We’re here, Trish,” Frank said, a lump in his throat. He watched as Harm
stood up. “Look, Trish, he may be coming out.”
Trish and Frank watched as Harm continued to stroke Mattie’s fingers, then
bent down and kissed her on the forehead. The seconds seemed like hours to
Trish. Finally, Harm straightened up and rubbed his eyes once again. He had
no idea that his Mom and Frank had been there for almost thirty minutes,
Walking out of Mattie’s room, Harm actually walked past Frank and Trish, not
really seeing them. He saw two people comforting one another, until he felt
his Mom’s hand on his arm. It was only then that he truly saw them. He just
stared at them. They had not notified him that they were flying in. He felt
Trish’s arms around him, and Harm pulled away.
“Please don’t, Mom. If I allow you to comfort me, I’ll break down, and I
can’t do that. I have to be strong for Mattie. Right now, I’m the only one
she has,” Harm’s voice was ragged and broken.
“What can we do, Harm? We won’t get in the way, but we can’t let you go
through this alone,” Frank told the only son he had ever had.
“There’s nothing to do, Frank. That’s what is so frustrating about all this.
Her condition is unchanged. The specialist has been honest with me.”
As Harm spoke, Gloria, the nurse came up to them.
“Commander, why don’t you take a break? You haven’t left her side since your
wife left, and you need to get some rest. I understand you’re his parents,
and Mattie’s grandparents,” Gloria said, turning to look at Frank and Trish,
who had a shocked look on their faces.
“Yes, we are,” Frank finally answered after several seconds.
“We are going to need at least two hours with Mattie. She is going to have
her bath, and the linens will be changed, and the doctor has ordered some
additional tests, so why don’t the three of you go out and eat.”
“Can I see her for just a few minutes,” Trish asked, needing to touch the
young girl who had captured her son’s heart as only a daughter could.
“I’m sorry. I have forgotten my manners again,” Harm said, turning to his
mother and Frank. “This is my Mom, Trish, and my…my Dad, Frank. This is
Gloria, one of Mattie’s many nurses. They just flew in from California and…”
“Oh, well, then of course you need to see her,” Gloria said. “I’ll tell the
other nurses to wait a few minutes. I don’t think the doctor will mind if
the three of you go in.”
“Mom, are you sure you want to do this,” Harm asked.
“I’m sure, son. Let’s go see our granddaughter,” Trish looked from Harm to
The three of them walked into the silent room, the silence broken by the
beeping of the four monitors. Gloria led them in, and then walked out,
giving them time alone with their favourite patient.
“She’s so beautiful, Harm,” Trish said, gently running her fingers through
Mattie’s long hair.
“I call her my sleeping beauty,” Harm said, trying to hide the ache in his
“Do you mind if I ask if there’s any change,” Frank asked.
“No, I don’t mind, but let’s wait until we get out of here. The doctors have
told me to keep talking to her because she can hear me. I keep telling her
that she has to get well because there is so much we have to do yet.”
Trish went around the bed and took Mattie’s hand in hers. Looking down at
the beautiful, but very silent young girl, Trish’s eyes filled with tears,
but she managed to hold them back.
“Harm’s right, Mattie. You have to get well so that I can enjoy having such
a beautiful granddaughter to show off to all my friends. Besides, Harm needs
you, you know. You have been one of the best things that has ever happened
to our son.” Trish bent down to kiss her forehead.
Harm and Frank looked on, feeling both pride and pain for the manner in
which Trish was taking it all in. They were proud of her strength, and felt
her pain for Mattie.
Gloria came in just then and told them that she hated to hurry them, but
they were going to have to ask them to leave for about two hours.
“You can come back as soon as we are finished,” Gloria smiled at all three
of them. “I’m sure Mattie will be glad to hear all of you, just as she was
to hear her stepmother.”
It was then that Trish remembered again the shock they had felt when one of
the nurses had mentioned Harm’s wife. Trish hid her astonishment quite well,
as did Frank, as the three of them told Mattie they would be back soon. Harm
was the last one to kiss her once again.
Harm took Frank and his Mom to the one restaurant he had frequented often
since his arrival in Blacksburg. He liked it because he could have just
pasta with a lobster sauce, a salad, or whatever else he wanted that didn’t
include meat, although they did offer it. This is where he had been just a
few hours ago with Mac.
After sitting down and placing their orders, Harm told them Mattie’s
prognosis. Once again, it was difficult for Trish to keep her composure, but
for her son, she did.
“The general has kindly offered to move her to Bethesda, where he feels she
will have better care, but the doctors here don’t recommend moving her. All
we can do is wait and hope.”
“And pray,” Trish added, without too much emphasis.
The conversation during dinner was about what Harm would do if Tom Johnson
could not take care of Mattie on his own. Frank and Trish immediately
offered to help.
“If Mattie becomes my responsibility alone, then I will try to find a way to
“Harm,” Trish interrupted him. “We have excellent hospitals in California.
Why don’t you bring her out there? That way, we can all help take care of
“I can’t ask that of you, Mom. Mattie’s care will be very difficult…”
“You aren’t asking us, Son,” Frank spoke up. “We’re offering.”
“I will retire from the Navy if Mattie becomes my responsibility. Actually,
that’s too harsh a word. Yes, I’ll take care of her, but she won’t be a
burden to me. I just hate to think that she will never have a normal life.
Mom, I wish you had met her. She was full of life and had her future all
planned out. She wanted to be an aviator like me. Why did this happen to
her? She’s been through so much tragedy for being so young, and now her own
life is in question.”
“Somehow I expected you to retire as soon as I heard about this accident,”
Trish said. “We won’t pressure you, but we do want you to know that we would
love to have her with us. We can hire nurses to help us out. You know, the
house will belong to you after we’re gone, so why not share it while we can
all enjoy it. It’s just an idea, Son. Just think about it, okay?”
“Thanks, Mom, Frank. I promise you that I will consider it. It all depends
on what happens now.”
“What about her father,” Frank asked.
Looking at his Mom and Frank, Harm wondered how much he should tell them.
Harm went into an explanation on the fact that Tom Johnson was taking it
very hard, and just hadn’t been around to see his daughter in several days.
He left out the part about Tom’s drinking.
“Has he gone back to drinking?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Harm answered, remembering that when he had asked for
guardianship of Mattie, he had explained to them about Tom’s drinking. “As
angry as I am with him, it’s got to be devastating to him. He had just
reconciled with Mattie, and now he’s lost her again, and he just can’t
“Can we change the subject to a more pleasant topic,” Trish said, as she
finished her meal, put her napkin aside and looked at Harm. “How long have
you and Mac been married?”
“Married? What are you talking…oh, what the nurse said,” Harm sat back and
smiled for the first time since they had arrived. “Mac came by to see if I
needed anything and to tell me that the general has given me as much time
off as I need.”
“Hmm. Couldn’t the general have told you that over the phone? So when did
you get a wife?” Trish was enjoying watching her grown son blush like a
“It was all a mistake, Mom. I’m not married. Mac came by, and well, we’ve
been friends a long time, so she hugged me. Just at that time, the doctor
came by and assumed she was my wife.”
“So did you and Mac go mute all of a sudden,” Trish continued teasing him.
“I imagine he still thinks she’s your wife since the nurses believe the same
thing. So, when were you going to tell us?” Trish suddenly stopped, seeing
the most painful look in Harm’s beautiful eyes.
“Actually, Mom, I was going to tell you. Not that I have a wife, but that I
have asked Mac to marry me. She finally accepted, but this changes so much.
I just can’t ask her to give up her life in the military, especially now
that she is the new Judge Advocate General’s right hand person. He depends
on her a lot. Plus, Mac enjoys her career. How can I ask her to give all
that up now?”
“Wouldn’t you do it for her if the situation was reversed,” Frank asked
quietly. “If you and your Mac have finally gotten to the point of discussing
marriage, don’t you think that you should give her the option of making her
“He’s right, Harm,” Trish said, stroking Harm’s arm. “Being in love may make
the world go around, but it isn’t always painless. If she accepted your
proposal, don’t you think she loves you enough to stand by you during all
“That’s just it, Mom, how long is this going to go on. We’ve talked about
having children of our own. When I met Mattie, and especially when I asked
to be appointed her guardian, it was my doing. Mac had nothing to do with
it. She didn’t even know about it until the day we went to court. Yes, Frank
I would give up anything if Mac needed me, but for now, I can’t make any
plans. She has a career she loves, and I can’t ask her to give it up for
something that was my doing. I don’t care about the Navy anymore. I had
planned on retiring anyway so that Mac and I could get married, so retiring
to take care of Mattie just changes my plans.”
“It doesn’t have to, Son,” Frank put his hand on Harm’s shoulder. “You have
chosen to be alone, and I’ve not interfered, and I will not do so now, but
please don’t think that you are alone. We’re here for you, and I’m sure Mac
feels the same way.”
Harm, Frank and Trish talked for several more minutes before Harm said he
wanted to go back to his hotel and take a shower and change clothes before
returning to the hospital. Frank and Trish had already rented a room at the
same hotel after Frank had made some inquiries. They got back to the
hospital at 9:00 o’clock, just in time to go in and see Mattie.
FALLS CHURCH, VA
Mac walked into the bullpen, she was bombarded with questions regarding Harm
and Mattie. Jennifer felt quite guilty for not having gone to see her, but
everytime she even thought about it, she would break down. She kept
remembering the hours they had waited to find out if Bud was going to live.
Now, remembering the vibrant Mattie Grace, Jennifer stayed away, wanting her
memories of her to be happy ones. If Mattie survived, Jennifer would go to
visit her, but she couldn’t bare the thought of seeing her so still.
Mac answered everyone’s questions, surprised that the general did not put an
end to their lack of work. After almost thirty minutes, Cresswell called Mac
into his office.
“Sit down, Mac,” Cresswell said, closing the door behind them.
“How bad is it, Colonel? Since you’ve met my daughter, Cammie, you can
probably understand how I empathize with Commander Rabb. Is it as bad as it
“Worse, General. I’m sure that you know by now that her father was and is an
alcoholic. He’s gone back to drinking, unable to handle the situation. It’s
difficult to fault him. The man lost his wife not long ago, then his lost
his daughter to Commander Rabb for several months. When he finally
reconciled with Mattie, and things were finally looking up for them, this
tragic accident happens. So, it’s all up to Harm now.”
“I have to tell you, Mac, that Commander Rabb has already requested that the
paperwork for his retirement will be started immediately. I don’t want to
lose him, but if it is as bad as you say, then I can understand. I know it
seems as if I have pushed him out of JAG, and in many ways I have, but when
I came here, I saw a lot of things I didn’t like. Yet despite all that, I
certainly don’t want to lose a man like Harmon Rabb. You and he have
established a reputation of being the very best. I am so sorry this is
happening to him, and to you.”
Mac looked up at the general, seeing a smile on his face. Harm and her had
been so careful, or at least they thought they had. Mac was shocked when the
general explained why he was keeping them apart.
“Now that you’ve met my wife, and my daughter, well, you know how I feel
about finding happiness even in the military. I was quite concerned that if
the SECNAV suspected that there was something going on between you and the
commander, he would take action. I have talked to him since then, to tell
him about what’s happened in Harm’s life, and also to inform him of Harm’s
request for retirement. It seems he has suspected all along, but like
Chegwidden, he just looked away. So, I wanted to tell you that you could
have a day or two off if you want to return to Blacksburg. I know that
Commander Roberts has been asking several times a day for time off to go see
Commander Rabb. As long as we don’t have a critical case come up, why don’t
you take off the rest of today and tomorrow as well. And tell Commander Rabb
that we are all thinking about him. Be aware that if something comes up, I
will call you right away.”
Mac was speechless. She had gotten to know the general and knew how he liked
to talk, even though at the office, he was very quiet and private. She
couldn’t believe what he had told her about separating her from Harm, and
most especially, the reasons why. She sat there, unable to even say thank
“Well, Colonel, do you want the time off?”
“Yes, Sir, and thank you so much. I think that’s what is so tragic about all
this. Harm refuses to leave the hospital, but I think if I am there, I can
at least get him to go out and eat. He looks exhausted, and even the doctor
and the nurses told me to try and get him to rest. Thank you. I’m sure that
Commander Rabb will be very grateful, and Sir, can you hold up on the
retirement papers for a few days. I’m hoping for a miracle.”
“I intended to, Colonel. The SECNAV doesn’t want to lose Commander Rabb
either, but like me, he does understand his reasons. Just let us know what
is happening, and if it is at all possible to transfer her to Bethesda, he
can at least be closer to her, without being away from home. Give him our
best wishes. Now, you better go before the kids come in and start asking you
“You know, Lt. Graves, Lt. Vukovic, Commander…”
“I’m on my way,” Mac interrupted him. She thanked him once again and then
she was on her way out. She wondered whether she should call Harm, but then
decided to surprise him, even though he hated surprises almost as much as
THE FOLLOWING MORNING
Harm had spent the night in Mattie’s room, at least until 4:00 in the
morning, when Frank came over.
“You two go back to the hotel. I’ll stay with her. Harm, please let me do
this for you, and for Mattie.” Frank stared in Harm’s eyes. He saw the
sudden relief and acceptance in his eyes.
“I’ll take Mom back, then get a couple of hours sleep. I’ll be back by 0600,
“If that’s 6:00 AM, that’s fine. Please try and get some sleep. You know,
Harm, when Mattie wakes up, she is going to need you to be strong and
healthy. Do it for her if you don’t want to do it for yourself.”
Surprisingly, Harm nodded and gave Frank a smile. Harm was more exhausted
than he would admit, even to himself. He and Trish walked out.
After eating and taking a shower, Harm fell onto the bed. His Mom had gone
to her room as soon as they had finished breakfast. Thanking her, Harm went
on to his room.
Falling on the bed, Harm realized how much he appreciated Frank and his Mom
being there for him. He missed Mac, but he was still doubtful about
involving her in what may be a life-long commitment, not to him, but to
taking care of Mattie. Harm’s mind was too tired to think anymore, and the
blessed darkness of sleep allowed his body to rest.
couldn’t believe what the general had said. She had been so terrified that
General Cresswell would separate her and Harm when she first learned he was
being considered to replace Chegwidden. In a way, he had done just that, but
his reasons for it were so different from what Mac had thought at first. It
seemed that General Cresswell knew about them, and he had been protecting
them by keeping them apart. She laughed, wondering what the general would
think if he knew they had been together every chance they got, even when
they were on assignment.
“The laugh may be on you, Mac. He probably does know that already. Harm will
get a kick out of it.” Mac’s words the last she spoke as she drifted off to
Mac had gone home and packed, wanting to get an early start in the morning.
She could hardly wait to see Harm. It had been so strange. When they kissed
at the hospital, their love was overflowing, but somehow their passion knew
it was not the time for it to make its presence known. Their kisses had been
Leaving her apartment at 0745, Mac stopped and got some breakfast to eat
while she drove. When she realized that she was leaving in the middle of
rush hour, she decided to go in and eat breakfast before she got started.
The weather was beginning to clear up and she hoped it wouldn’t rain or snow
until she was in Blacksburg. She was optimistic about being able to spend
several days with Harm. Of course, Mac had no idea that Trish and Frank were
also in Blacksburg.
Looking out and seeing that the traffic was slowing down just a little, Mac
asked for her check, paid it, and then settled herself to get on the road.
It was on that long drive that Mac began to think seriously about Harm’s
words. He wanted to protect her, as always, but they were already committed
to each other. She knew that if this had happened to Chloe; it would not
have changed Harm’s love for her nor his plans for them. Mac realized now
that she still wasn’t pregnant, but somehow, that didn’t matter right now.
She had to be there for Harm, and for once, she was going to convince him
that they had to face their future together.
All thoughts of the very handsome Lt. Vukovic had left Mac’s mind since the
general had told her about Mattie. She was angry at Harm for not telling her
at first, then realized he was just being Harm. Always the protector, he
didn’t want to mess her life up.
They would have a life together, Mac vowed, even if she had to force Harm to
marry her. She was so tired of the hurt they had caused each other, and now,
she also knew that the only reason she had been so flattered over Vukovic’s
attentions was because of her fear that she was failing Harm with her
inability to conceive the child he wanted so much.
Things had changed, and now Harm really needed her.
“No matter how much you push me away, Harmon Rabb, I’m not leaving you.
After all we’ve shared in the last two and a half months, I’m not letting
you go. We waited nine years to be together. I am yours and you are mine,
and together, we will take care of Mattie.” As Mac said the words aloud, she
felt the urgent need to see her Harm again, to feel his arms around her and
if possible, to feel his lips on hers.
The driving was slow until she finally got out of D.C. Realizing what time
it was, she knew that it would be at least another hour before she even got
to Blacksburg, and another twenty minutes before she got to the hospital. It
would be almost 1130 before she saw Harm, perhaps even longer.
Harm had the
longest sleep since he had been by Mattie’s bedside. He was shocked to see
how late it was. His first reaction was to call the hospital, which he did.
Gloria, who was at the nurses’ station, answered the phone.
“Commander Rabb, I’m so…
“Is there any change,” Harm interrupted, not giving Gloria the chance to
finish. “Is my Dad still there?” Harm found it strange that he used that
name for Frank, but somehow, he thought his own father would approve of it.
“No change, Commander. Your father has been by her side all night. He is
such a nice man. We talked for a while last night while I was checking
Mattie’s vitals, and he is just so worried about her. I’m glad they’re here
to give you time to rest.”
“Thank you, Gloria,” Harm sounded disappointed. Indeed he was. He kept
hoping everytime he slept, even if it was for a few minutes, that when he
woke up, the nightmare would be over and Mattie would be awake, smiling at
her and most importantly, sitting up in bed. “Tell my Dad that Mom and I
will be there soon.”
“Take your time, Harm,” Frank’s voice came over the phone. “They are going
to bathe her, change her linens, and get her all prettied up for when you
come to see her. They said it would be about two hours. How’s your Mom?”
“I haven’t seen her yet. I don’t know if she is still asleep and I hate to
wake her up. Why don’t you come on back to the hotel? Since we can’t see her
for a couple of hours, we might as well have something to eat. I’ll wait for
Harm decided to call Mac after he hung up. It took three rings before she
“MacKenzie,” Mac had answered, hoping he didn’t have bad news..
“Rabb here,” Harm felt a smile on his face just hearing her voice. He felt a
tightening of his heart imagining her beautiful face.
“Harm, is Mattie…I mean…,”
“Nothing’s changed, Mac. I just needed to hear your voice. It’s selfish of
me, I know, but hearing your voice, and seeing you yesterday, and tasting
your lips, well, it’s helped to make all this a little more bearable.”
“I love you, too, Harm,” Mac smiled, a tear leaving a trail down her cheek.
“You’ll let me know if you go out on assignment, won’t you?”
“Of course I will, Harm,” Mac smiled. “By the way, the general said to tell
you that he sends his best wishes and should you need anything, just let him
know. I think the SECNAV also sent best wishes. Everyone at work wants to go
and spend time with you, but General Cresswell said he would wait until you
“Thank him for me, Mac. The general is very perceptive. I would rather not
see anyone until we know something, hopefully something positive.”
“Harm, I have to go. I’ll call you later,” Mac said as she saw an accident
up ahead, and the traffic at a standstill.
“Take care, Mac,” Harm said, hanging up.
It was only after he hung up that Harm realized he hadn’t told Mac that his
parents were with him. When she told him that she had to go, Harm had
assumed that General Cresswell had called her in to his office. Selfishly,
he hoped that he would not be sending her on a faraway assignment on the
other side of the world.
On the road, Mac groaned as she saw the overturned eighteen-wheeler. It
would add another hour to her trip and she was so anxious to see Harm now
that she had heard his voice. There was little Mac could do except wait
until they were given the go-ahead.
Turning the radio on, Mac spent the next forty-five minutes reminiscing
about Harm, about how much she loved him, and how, somehow, at this time,
having a baby was not the all important thing in her mind. All she could
think about was being there for Harm. She needed him as much as he needed
her. That’s when she realized that she would be happy with Harm as long as
they were together. If they decided to adopt, that would come later. Right
now, she wanted to be with Harm as much as she could.
and Trish had gone to eat. Since Harm wanted breakfast, they went to IHOP,
where they could get whatever they wanted. It turned out all of them ordered
an omelet and talked about Mattie.
“She’s so beautiful, Harm,” Trish said for about the tenth time.
“I know, Mom. To me, Mac is the most beautiful woman in the world, but
Mattie comes in a close second. I love both of them so very much in
different ways, and…”
“And you are a very lucky man,” Trish said, knowing what Harm was going to
say. “Don’t push her away, Harm. Give her the choice, and let her know you
will accept her choice whatever it is.”
“I have Mom. It’s just that…”
“Harm, doesn’t Mac have a little sister, not a biological sister, but one
she adopted much as you have done with Mattie,” Frank asked.
“Yes. Her name is Chloe. She and Mac are very close.”
“Tell me, Son, if this had happened to Chloe, would you walk away from Mac,
not wanting the burden of having to take care of her?”
“I know what you’re trying to do, but this is different. I am ready to
retire from the Navy. I’ve already sent in my papers. Mac loves being a
Marine. I can’t force her to stay with me, and I can’t use our love to
“Do you think she would consider it entrapment,” Trish said, “or do you
think that she would push you away just as you want to do with her? Love
isn’t always easy, Harm. You know that all too well, but if you can’t
believe in your love for Mac and hers for you, then why even ask her to
marry you? Marriage isn’t always easy, and tragedy can strike married
couples just as easily as it has done to you.”
Harm took a deep breath, looking from Frank to his Mom. Why couldn’t he call
Frank Dad? He was the only Dad he could remember, except for the unrealistic
memories he had of his own father. He knew what they were doing, and he
wished Mac was there. He missed her.
“I see your point, Mom, Dad,” Harm said, seeing the surprised look on
Frank’s face and an even more surprised look on his mother’s.
Harm insisted that his Mom and his new “Dad” get some rest before they went
back to the hospital.
“There’s no point in all of us being there at the same time. If we take
shifts, it won’t be so tiring on anyone, but I’ll warn you that I will be
there most of the time.”
Frank and Trish agreed, smiling at their son as he waved to them on his way
back to the hospital, which had become home to him these last few days.
It had been a
full two hours, but when Harm arrived at the hospital, the doctor was
examining Mattie. He immediately became concerned, but one of the nurses
told him that the doctor was only making his rounds.
Harm was sitting all alone, his arms hanging past his knees, his head back.
He felt Mac’s warmth so close to him, closing his eyes tightly. He was
beginning to imagine her now. Then he felt her gentle touch on his face.
“Mac,” Harm turned to her, staring as if she is some kind of image. “I’ve
been thinking about you.”
“I thought about you all the way here.”
“Mac, how did you…”
“I drove. I was talking to you when I ran into an accident, which is what
delayed me. How is Mattie, and how is my husband,” Mac teased, or tried to.
“No change in Mattie, but your ‘husband’ is very happy to see you. I didn’t
know when I would see you again. General Cresswell…”
“You wouldn’t believe how worried he is about you, about Mattie. I guess
he’s thinking about his own daughter. Everybody sends their love and best
wishes. Has the doctor been here this morning?”
“He’s with her now. It’s so good to see you, Mac. If you only knew how much
I want to hold you and kiss you,” Harm said, drinking in Mac’s face.
“Then why don’t you. I’m your wife, remember,” Mac said, turning to him and
putting her arms around his shoulders. “I’m sure the doctor won’t mind.”
Harm didn’t wait. He pulled Mac to him, capturing her lips in a more
passionate kiss than he had intended it to be. Her response tore him apart.
“You two must be newlyweds,” Dr. Rosenbaum’s voice startled them, causing
them to pull apart. “I’m glad to see you again, Mac. This husband of yours
is a very lucky man.”
“No, Dr. Rosenbaum, I’m the lucky one. Is there any change in Mattie?”
“No change really, however there was a slight change in the MRI we took last
night from the one before. I don’t want to raise your hopes, but if she
continues to remain the same, perhaps even improve, that could be
encouraging. If Mattie continues this way, we might try removing the
respirator for a few minutes.”
“Isn’t that a little dangerous,” Harm asked, holding Mac close to him.
“It can be, but we will wait until we feel it’s safe. If her MRI continues
to show a significant improvement, Mattie has a good chance of pulling
through this. It isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to take months, perhaps
years of physical therapy, but if she’s the fighter you tell me she is, she
will make it It won’t be easy, but she’ll make it.”
“Can we see her,” Harm asked, his arms still around Mac.
“They’re getting her ready for the MRI. I know this is difficult for you,
Commander, but we will be needing some extra time with Mattie today. With
the changes in her MRI, we would like to do some very specialized tests in
the various areas of her spine in order to localize her extent and severity
of her injuries to each area. Since your wife is here, take advantage of the
time off. You two should get some rest. So, are you newlyweds?”
“A little over two months,” Mac said, smiling at the look on Harm’s face.
Once again, the sound of his beeper interrupted their conversation as Dr.
Rosenbaum hurried off to another case.
“Does this mean I can call you Mrs. Rabb?”
“I can hardly wait until I really am Mrs. Rabb,” Mac said, brushing her lips
against his softly.
“I’m glad you’re here with me, Mac. Hearing the news with you made it even
better. We should try to find Tom and let him know.”
“You are a softie, aren’t you, my love?” Mac reached up and caressed Harm’s
face seductively, suddenly feeling a very recognizable sensation overcome
Harm also felt the old familiar hunger for Mac as he drew away and looked
deep into her eyes, to the love that was so beautifully obvious, it took his
breath away. Since Mattie’s accident, Harm’s only thought had been of her,
but with Mac so close to him, savoring the scent of her shampoo and her
soft, but very enticing perfume, he realized it had been a long time since
they had been together.
“I know, I feel it too,” Mac said, resting her head on his shoulders.
Harm took her face between his hands, framing it as he gazed at her, then
slowly, his lips came down on hers, sharing his soul with her. She responded
gently at first, then their kiss deepened until their passion overwhelmed
them. It was as if the entire world had disappeared and there was only Harm
It was at that precise moment that Frank and Trish rounded the corner and
stopped, almost running into each other. Harm didn’t see them. His eyes were
closed as he drew Mac closer to him. Trish and Frank felt like voyeurs, but
they were fascinated by Harm’s ability to express his love so openly. Trish
could not remember her son ever revealing his feelings or accepting someone
else’s love so completely as he did now. They could see Mac whispering in
his ear, but they couldn’t hear what she was saying, and it was at that time
that they both looked at one another and walked out of sight.
“That must be my daughter-in-law,” Trish said, smiling through her tears.
“Now, Trish, Harm said they weren’t married, but we are about to meet
Colonel Sarah MacKenzie, finally.”
“I know, but Harm has asked her to marry him and she said yes,” Trish’s eyes
“How can I be feel so much joy over seeing my son’s happiness, when there is
so much tragedy in his life?”
“You’re his mother, Trish. You love him. You want your, our son to be happy,
and we know that in one way he is, but we also know that love is never
perfect. There will always be problems or obstacles to…”
“Frank, Mom,” Harm’s voice interrupted whatever Frank was going to say.
“When did you get here?”
“We were looking for you,” Trish said, looking at Mac.
To his own amazement, Harm blushed a bright red. He knew, without a doubt,
that his Mom had seen them kissing. Holding Mac’s hand tightly, he turned to
“Mom, Dad, this is Sarah MacKenzie. Mac, this is my Mom, Trish, and my Dad,
Frank,” Harm’s voice was a little shaky as he introduced Mac to his parents.
He was also still getting used to calling Frank ‘Dad’.
After going to see if they could see Mattie before the testing started, they
found her room filled with technicians and hospital equipment. The four of
them decided to just get away from the hospital for a little while. Mac knew
that Harm wanted to find Tom.
Trish and Mac became instant friends, perhaps because they were the two
women in this world who loved Harm the most. Since Dr. Clark had told them
that it would be at least two, maybe three hours before they could see
Mattie, the four of them decided it was time for them to get to know each
“So, Mac, tell us this story about how you came to be Harm’s wife.”
Although the situation had definitely not been a funny one, by the time Harm
and Mac finished the story, the four of them were laughing.
“Is anybody hungry,” Mac asked.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you that my Marine eats enough for two men, but
maintains her beautiful figure easily. I didn’t even think about asking you
if you were hungry, Mac. What do you want, besides a dead animal, that is.”
Harm got swatted from both sides, from his Mom and Mac. They found a small,
but very nice restaurant that seemed to have a little of what each one of
As they ate, Trish couldn’t stand it anymore. She had to ask the question
that was driving her to wild distraction.
“So, have you and Harm set a date yet, Mac?”
Harm had his fork halfway to his mouth and suddenly stopped. He waited for
the answer with as much anticipation as Trish did, then suddenly remembered
“Well…” Harm and Mac had spoken at the same time. He smiled at her, telling
her that she was first.
“I was hoping that it would be very soon, but what with Mattie, and not
knowing what’s going to happen, I’ll wait until Harm feels the time is
right. I’m not going anywhere.” Although Mac was answering Trish’s question,
she was looking at Harm.
Frank looked at Trish, trying to get her to back off, but to his surprise,
“I was also hoping for a wedding very soon, but I think we should wait. I
know the doctor told us not to get our hopes up, but it’s too late. I am
hoping that things will be okay for Mattie, for her sake, not necessarily
mine. Then it’s up to Mac. She has become very important at JAG, not that
she hasn’t always been, but I really don’t think it would be fair to her
until we know.” Harm saw the hurt look in Mac’s eyes. Would he never stop
“Both of you have a logical reason for your choices,” Frank said. He put his
arm around Trish and looked straight at Harm. “However, I do have to tell
you about this man and woman who fell in love. She had been married before
and had a son. Her husband was dead, and although I knew she would always
love him, I was persistent. Although her son didn’t care for me too much,
well, actually, he downright resented and probably hated me, but I talked
Trish into marrying me anyway, and here we are thirty-five years later,
sitting across from that same young man who almost kept us from getting
married. Sometimes love makes life a little easier. No pressure from me,
Son,” Frank chucked as he finished his story.
“This is different, and you aren’t being fair, Dad,” Harm said, emphasizing
the word Dad.
“No pressure from me, Harmon,” Frank repeated, as Mac and Trish burst out
Mac had been concerned from the moment she realized that she had intruded on
Harm’s time with his parents, but now all her doubts were gone. She already
felt as if she was part of the family.
Frank and Trish went back to their hotel after almost two hours. Trish still
looked tired, and since Frank had been at the hospital all night, he was
TWO HOURS LATER
parents left, Harm drove around looking for Tom, hoping to find him and give
him some hope so he would sober up. Not finding him, they returned to the
hospital. Harm and Mac had waited for almost thirty minutes before they were
told they could go in to see Mattie at last.
Mac held Harm’s hand as she felt his entire body shudder. Mattie was still
in a coma, still his sleeping beauty. Mac released Harm’s hand so he could
go to Mattie. Standing back, she heard the man she loved so much talk to
this young girl who had touched his heart so deeply.
“Mattie, the doctor gave us some good news today. He said that you are going
to make it. You have to wake up, my sleeping beauty, so I can tell you about
Mac and I. Mattie, you have to fight harder than you ever have before so you
can get well. You will walk again, and I’ll be there watching you. I’ll even
walk you down the aisle when you get marr…” Harm broke, as he put his head
down on the bed, the tears falling once again.
It was only then that he felt Mac’s hand on his back. She gave him life and
hope with her touch, but she gave him so much more. She gave him the
strength and courage to go on.
“We will both watch her walk down the aisle, looking as beautiful as she
does right now,” Mac said, succeeding in keeping her own voice from
breaking. Mac had only been at the hospital a few hours total, but Harm had
not left Mattie's bedside. He was so devastated.
Harm insisted that Mac go back to the hotel and get some rest since she had
driven all the way from Falls Church.
“I don’t want to leave you,” Mac said.
“You aren’t. Not really. Just go get some rest. I’ll stay here until Mom and
Frank come back, then I’ll get some rest.” Harm shrugged his shoulders.
“I refused to leave Mattie’s side for three days. Everyone has been telling
me to get some rest. I never realized I needed it until last night. Now you
go and get some rest. Mac, stay in my room, okay, unless you’d rather not.”
“That’s the only place I want to be. I had no intentions of staying anywhere
else. Do you think your mother and Frank will…”
“They know how much I love you, Mac. Get some sleep, okay?”
realized how emotionally drained she was until she got into the big tub they
had and just closed her eyes. It was so strange. Mac had been planning to
walk away from Harm if she could not conceive a child, yet the only thing
that mattered now was that they would be together, and whatever happened to
Mattie, she wanted them to face it together. She finally understood what
Harm had told her when she had been so upset over not being pregnant. She
loved him, not a child she didn’t even know yet, probably never would now.
The thought of life without Harm was more painful to Mac than anything she
had endured in her entire life. Whatever her foolish behaviour had been with
Lt. Vukovic was over, but then again, there had not really been anything
between them. He flirted, she responded, but not so much that she led him
on. No, Sarah MacKenzie knew she belonged to Harm alone.
Mac fell on the bed, not thinking she would sleep, but sleep she did for
almost four hours. When she woke up, Mac actually didn’t know what time it
was for just a second. It was almost 2100. She looked around for Harm and
didn’t see him. Although she had taken a long, soaking hot bath several
hours earlier, Mac took a quick shower. She had put her bra and panties on
when she heard a noise. Mac put a robe on to see who was at the door, hoping
it was Harm and not the cleaning crew.
Harm came walking in, looking worried and exhausted, but when he saw Mac,
his beautiful smile appeared on his face. The sight of her soothed his soul
and gave him life. He stared at her as her robe fell open. He had needed Mac
beside him over the past week, the long, agonizing nights as he kept vigil
over Mattie, but it was a different need. His need for her had been an
emotional one. Now, as he gazed lovingly at her, his need was so different.
“Is…Harm, is…Mattie okay?”
“There’s no change in Mattie’s condition. Mom and Fra…Dad are with her now.
You are so beautiful, Mac. Every time I see you like this, you take my
breath away. It’s…Mac, it seems like an eternity since…” Harm’s voice was
husky, filled with desire.
Mac ran across the room to him, throwing her arms around his neck. This
time, when they kissed, they were in the privacy of their own room, and
there was no holding back.
HARM AND MAC
SOME PRIVATE TIME
her almost in mid-air, but as her lips crushed against his, his response was
one of hunger and fierce need. His tongue plunged deeply into the warmth of
her mouth, then dueled with hers. Mac felt Harm trembling as he held her,
gently, yet at the same with an intense urgency. She also knew he needed her
love as much as she needed his. It would heal the open wounds and give them
courage for whatever lay ahead. It truly did seem like an eternity since
they had last been together, sharing their passion. Harm picked Mac up, her
robe falling off as he carried her to the bed. As he set her down in front
of him, he reached behind her and unclasped her bra, her breasts revealed to
him in all their glory.
Mac was shaking as she struggled to get Harm’s shirt off, then suddenly just
yanked at it, buttons flying all over the place. She began pulling at his
belt, her fingers suddenly shuddering so much she could barely grasp the
buckle. Harm, never releasing her lips, pushed her hand away gently, taking
his belt off. His shirt went flying across the room, landing near the
Her hands were all over him as Mac pressed closer and closer to Harm. She
needed to feel him, feel the heat of his skin against hers. They were
gasping as they separated long enough to take a deep breath only to seek
their lips out again. Harm’s shoes and socks were gone, along with his
pants. The only thing left were his boxers.
Harm’s hands were on Mac’s breasts now, kneading them, squeezing them
against the other, until he broke away from her lips to take one of them in
his mouth. He heard Mac whimper, then moan louder, until it turned into a
cry, calling his name out as they both fell on the bed.
Rolling over on the bed, Harm wrapped his arms around Mac, letting her heat
become his, surrendering his heart and soul to her. Slowly, they began to
caress each other with long sensual strokes, followed by long kisses all
over their bodies. The euphoric haze began to engulf them, bringing them
closer and closer. The last of the obstacles between them, Mac’s panties and
Harm’s boxers joined the rest of their clothing on the floor.
Mac had a seductive smile across her lips. The warmth of her fingers as they
danced across his body made Harm lose all coherent or logical thought. It
seemed like months since he had touched her as his hands became reacquainted
with her silky body. Mac moaned and buried her face on top of his head as he
swallowed one of her breasts, insatiable for their taste. The room became a
haze of colour, sensations, emotions and needs so fierce it made them
shudder from the force of their love. Their foreplay was ecstatic as Harm
kissed, tasted and loved every part of Mac, and in turn, she tasted,
nibbled, kissed and loved every part of Harm until finally, their bodies,
their passion demanded to be completed by their union. They could not wait
With the blood roaring through his ears, Harm lifted up, gazing down into
Mac’s face. Their hands entwined as he began to thrust into her, his breath
becoming ragged as he felt the heat of her warm, wet walls pulling him in
deeper. Mac wrapped her legs around Harm’s rear, setting an incredible
rhythm that matched the beat of their hearts. The emotions that overwhelmed
both of them were frightening in their intensity, yet excruciatingly
spiritual and complete in their union, not only of their bodies but of the
very depths of their souls.
Emotionally, Harm and Mac could not be closer than they were at that moment.
Physically, their being united so closely made it impossible to separate one
from the other, for they were as one. In one another, for one another, with
one another, Harm and Mac created a mystical and ecstatic heaven of their
Harm buried his face in her hair as her nails raked his back. He withdrew
over and over, only to plunge in deeper and deeper until they felt the heat
erupting through them, becoming a tidal wave of one emotion, one sensation,
one incredible ecstasy after another. It took them to the very heights of
eternity, and then plunged them into a myriad of colours, sounds, mystical
wonder and a euphoric ecstasy. The heat of Harm’s love poured into Mac,
filling her with his very essence even as her own love washed over Harm.
They could not breathe for the magic of their release, as it seemed to go on
forever, finally enveloping them in a cocoon of their blessed love.
As they began to float back down, their lips sought each other out once
again, tasting the saltiness of their tears. Mac was awed by the many ways
in which Harm could give her pleasure, but even more awed by the way he
loved her. There could never be any doubts, any fears whatsoever that he
didn’t love her with his very soul.
“I…lo…I…love…you,” Harm said, against Mac’s hair.
“No…not…not as…much as…I lo…love you,” Mac managed to get the words out.
Harm was no longer able to hold himself up, finally rolling over, taking Mac
with him. She landed almost on top of him, raining kisses across his face
and chest. She finally rested her head on his chest as his hands continued
to caress her back.
They were quiet for several minutes before Harm spoke up, wanting to tell
Mac what was in his heart. Playing now with her hair, running his fingers
through it, he gazed down at her.
“How could I have ever pushed our relationship aside because I thought
flying was more important to me? Nothing compares to being with you, to
sharing all my feelings with you. I’ve wasted so much time.”
“We both did, Harm. It’s all in the past now, but there is something I want
to clear up between us. Before I do though, we both made mistakes and wrong
choices, but the point is that we are together and we will face the future,
whatever it holds for us, as one.”
Harm bent down to kiss her, as their kisses had a way of doing, instead of a
gentle kiss, it deepened and became more intense. Mac finally drew away,
looking into Harm’s eyes.
“Wait, Harm. I need to tell you something. A few weeks ago, we sort of
argued over my constant talking about Vukovic. I want to tell you why I was
“No, don’t stop me. Harm, we made a deal over five years ago to have a child
together. Now that we have accepted our love, I thought I was not going to
be able to fulfill that dream for you. I told you not to make promises you
couldn't keep, but it's me who might not be able to keep that promise. I
know you kept telling me that we could adopt, or that I was enough for you,
but I felt I was being very selfish. When Vukovic came to work, I saw all
the women falling all over him, and I won’t deny that I found him very
attractive also, but he could never measure up to you, not in my eyes.
However, in February, when I found out I wasn’t pregnant yet, I hatched an
idea. If I could make you jealous of Vukovic, if you could think the worst
Harm’s lips swallowed the rest of Mac’s words as he pulled her to him,
kissing her with all the love he had to give her. He could feel her shaking
against him. Mac could not resist him. Their tongues came together in a
joyous reunion. Harm’s fingers began to dance across Mac’s body, touching
all the sensitive areas he had discovered, finding more each time they made
love. He finally let her go.
“Don’t you ever do that again,” Harm said, his voice ragged and deep. “I
could never think the worst of you, and Mac, I love you…Mac, I don’t know
how to show you…”
“I do,” Mac said, this time interrupting him with a devastatingly passionate
For over thirty minutes Harm and Mac enjoyed tasting their love. Harm let
Mac have her way, as she always did, but then he did the same to her,
sending her into a frenzy of moans, whimpers, and at last into a flight
across the heavens. By the time she finally came back to him, he was ready
for her again. Taking the nurturing she offered him, he could feel both of
them needing the wonder of their lovemaking once again.
“Please, Harm, I need you in me,” Mac whispered into his ear. He had never
heard more beautiful words.
Harm lifted his head from her breast, the most beautiful look in his eyes,
as he lost himself in Mac’s beauty. He kissed her nipples one last time,
then lifted up, his lips landing on hers. As if in a trance, he lifted up
once again, flipping them over and settling beneath and between her legs.
His aching arousal touched her wet, throbbing bud, causing both of them to
moan, swallowing the moan in their kisses.
Harm and Mac were both lost in an enchanted mist of love, their love, the
most beautiful love of all as Mac took him into her so intimately and so
joyously, making them one forevermore. They were indeed one, for there was
no separation between their bodies, hearts or souls. He tried to go slowly,
but Mac wouldn’t let him. He lifted her up, putting his hands on her hips
and pushing her down on to him over and over as he began thrusting so deep
inside of her, they were unable to breathe.
Mac wiggled her breasts against his lips, turning the flames into a fire
totally out of control. Placing his hands under her arms, Harm began to
thrust in and out, deeper and deeper until he felt the magic of her burning
walls surrounding him. Taking one of her breasts in his mouth, the searing
dance of lovers, that they had now come to know so well, began. Each time it
was a little different. Each time it brought new and unknown and mystical
pleasures to them.
Harm and Mac loved each other as they had never loved anyone, for this was
perfect because their love was perfect, and their passion was incredibly
ecstatic. Harm accepted Mac’s surrender, as she accepted his. They were a
perfect fit. Harm felt Mac’s body tightening around his, knowing she was
close. They were both so close, yet they held back, wanting it to last as
long as possible, but their passion didn’t agree. A loud roar filled their
ears, the rippling of the flames that united them burst into a ball of fire
and ice, colours and darkness, as their passion exploded. Mac devoured
Harm’s tongue as she felt his love pour into her, their bodies unable to
stop thrusting into one another. Their journey into the heavens seemed to go
on forever, for their kisses continued to inflame them.
Mac continued to thrust into Harm, even as his hands held her hips, pushing
her into him over and over. Neither Harm nor Mac realized that they were
both gasping for breath from the force of their release, a release that
seemed to have no end.
As the euphoria sheltered them in a cocoon of floating sensations, mystical
intimacy, unbelievable love and sheer ecstasy, Mac’s eyelids began to
flutter. Harm gazed at her, his heart, body and soul filled with a powerful
love for his Mac, his Sarah. He saw her writhing with their passion, even as
his own strength began to fail him. Wrapped in each other’s arms, they
drifted down to reality, but their love was eternal. Harm felt Mac slipping
until she was resting on his chest. Kissing the top of her head, he finally
separated from her, already missing her warmth. He heard Mac’s soft moan as
she, too, missed him being one with her.
The afterglow of their glorious lovemaking lasted until Harm and Mac fell
asleep, their arms keeping them infinitely close.
SEVERAL HOURS LATER
Harm and Mac
rushed into the hospital. They hadn’t planned on being gone for such a long
time, but they had gotten carried away. Calling his parents’ room, Harm had
not gotten an answer.
“They must still be at the hospital, Mac. I didn’t realize we’ve gone for so
long. You do have a way of distracting me, but I’m not complaining. I hope
Mom and Frank aren’t complaining either.”
As they got off the elevator on Mattie’s floor, the doors opened to reveal
Frank and Trish standing there, waiting for the down elevator.
“Mom, Frank, I’m so sorry. I overslept…” Harm was interrupted by his Mom.
“Don’t worry about it, Harm. Frank and I have had several breaks because
they have been running tests on her again, and another MRI. Dr. Clark said
he hoped he would have some news for you later tonight or early tomorrow
morning. I’m just glad you finally agreed to get some rest.” Trish noticed
that neither Harm nor Mac would meet her eyes. She smiled.
“Can I see her now,” Harm asked.
“If you hurry. I swear this has to be the cleanest hospital I’ve ever seen.
They are getting ready to change the bed linens and bathe her again,” Frank
“Dr. Clark explained that it’s necessary. Since she is in a coma, she could
easily get bed sores, which could get infected. That’s the reason they bathe
her and change the linens so often. They massage her back a little, and put
lotion on it. Gloria, the nurse, explained it all to me.”
“It makes sense. Why don’t you and Mac hurry on in. They’ll give you a few
minutes with her.”
“Are you going back to the hotel,” Mac asked, noticing how tired Trish
looked. She felt a little guilty, knowing that she and Harm were responsible
for keeping her so long.
“Why don’t we wait for you? We haven’t eaten, although Frank got a cot for
me and I slept for about three hours. Go on before you can’t see her.”
Harm hurried in, holding on to Mac’s hand. The guilt began to overwhelm him
until he realized that even if he had been there, it would not have changed
her condition. He also realized that he was going to have to devote his time
to both Mac and Mattie because he couldn’t lose Mac now.
Gloria saw them arrive and ushered Harm and Mac in, telling the nurses who
were in the room already to give them about five minutes.
“I’m sorry to be so late,” Harm apologized as he walked up to the bed. There
was no change, well, maybe there was. “She doesn’t appear to be as pale as
she was earlier.”
“You’re right,” Mac said. “It breaks my heart to see her so still when I
remember the vivacious young girl she has always been. Mattie, you are so
beautiful.” Mac had turned to Mattie, looking down into her face. Picking up
her hand, Mac continued.
“You know, Mattie, you need a prince to come wake you up since Harm calls
you his Sleeping Beauty. Listen to him, Mattie, because he loves you very
much.” Mac could not continue as the words choked her. “I’ll give you a
minute alone with her,” Mac turned to Harm, then left the room.
“Hi, Mattie. It’s Harm. I hope you recognized Mac’s voice. Can you keep a
secret, Mattie? I asked Mac to marry me and she said yes, and now all we
need is for you to get well so you can be at our wedding. Mattie, you fought
so hard to keep Grace Aviation going. Then you fought to find a way to
forgive your father. Now it’s your life you are fighting for, but more than
that, you need to wake up so I can see those mischievous eyes of yours that
I love so much. I love you, Mattie. Please come back to me, to all of us.”
All the time Harm spoke to her, his fingers stroked her hands, or he ran
them through her hair. Tears welled up in his eyes, but only a lone tear
escaped to leave a wet trail down his cheek.
“Commander, it’s time,” Gloria came in and told him he had to leave.
“I’m leaving now, Mattie, but I’ll be back. Gloria is going to make you even
more beautiful than you are right now. I love you. See you soon.”
Harm left to join Mac, Trish and Frank, but he also had a mission to
called into JAG to let General Cresswell how things were going and to ask if
she was needed, hoping he would say no.
“Nothing crucial here, Colonel, so stay another day. I’m glad to hear that
Commander Rabb’s parents are there now. When you return, I may give
Commander Roberts permission to visit Harm. He asks about him every day. Our
best to everyone.”
While they were eating, Harm had managed to pull Frank aside, telling him he
needed some time alone to go look for Tom Johnson.
“I’d like to find him, and then go back to the hospital for a few hours. You
and Mom must be tired, so why don’t you take Mom and Mac back and let them
get some rest.”
“Mac’s not going to like that, Son,” Frank said.
Harm realized that he had to tell Frank the truth. When Frank heard what
Harm was going to do, a big smile appeared on his face.
“Are you sure you don’t want your Mom to help you out with this,” Frank
“For once in my life, I actually want to surprise Mom and Mac.”
“Why don’t I go look for Tom while you run your errand. I’ll just tell your
mother that I am going to help you. Maybe we can get Mac to go back with
Regardless of how much Harm objected, he realized that Frank had a point.
Harm could see immediately that Mac didn’t like the idea of being separated
from him, but almost as if she was in on it, Trish said it would be a great
time for her to get to know Mac better. Mac could not object, but Harm could
see the warning in her eyes.
Harm and Frank took off together after dropping Trish and Mac off at the
hotel. Frank set out to look for Tom, after leaving Harm at the shop he had
Within one hour, Harm had completed his mission and was quite pleased that
he had found just what he wanted. Frank showed up to pick him up within
“Did you get it,” Frank asked.
Instead of answering him, Harm pulled out the tiny box and showed it to
Frank. The engagement ring that Harm had selected had three diamonds on it,
adding up to three carats. The band was yellow gold, but it was the three
diamonds that made the ring so special. The two-carat diamond in the centre
was mounted higher than the other two, one on each side. The diamonds were
princess cut, multi-faceted, making them shine whenever light fell on them.
Frank looked at the ring, then turned to Harm.
“It’s beautiful, Son, and Mac will love it. You couldn’t have selected a
better ring than this one. Are you planning on giving it to her soon?”
“Yes, tonight if possible, or in the morning. I want Mom to see it, and I
want Mac to have it before she has to return to work.”
“Harm, I’m proud of you,” Frank stated in a simple, yet quite genuine tone.
“Despite all that you are going through, you can still believe in the future
and the love you and Mac share. We wish you all the happiness in the world,
and that the miracle we are all praying for will happen and Mattie will get
“I don’t know if I deserve Mac, but I don’t ever want to be without her
again. Let’s go back to the hotel.”
“Didn’t you want to go back to the hospital?”
“I called them. There’s no change in Mattie. I’d like to give the ring to
Mac before we go see her again. I know that Mac will want to show it to
Mattie,” Harm paused, a lump in his throat.
“She’ll see it, Son, she will.” Frank could see the tears in Harm’s eyes,
tears he refused to release.
“Thank you for helping me, Dad. Any luck with Tom?”
“I went to all the places you told me that he goes to, but no one seemed to
know him. I looked into other bars, but it seems as if Tom might be off
someplace, nursing his pain. Or maybe he is sobering up.”
“I hope so, Dad, I hope so. Mattie forgave her father once, but I doubt she
will forgive him again. He doesn’t even know that there’s a little more hope
for Mattie yet.”
tried so hard to stay with Mac as long as possible, but her exhaustion
finally got the best of her. They had talked for over an hour, and Mac
already knew that she was going to love her future mother-in-law.
Mac had returned to Harm’s room, wondering how long he would look for Tom.
She decided to take a long, soothing bubble bath and almost fell asleep. She
smiled, realizing that Harm had kept her up for hours, or was it the other
way around? She still couldn’t believe that all this was really happening,
and although she was quite aware that they were facing a very difficult
time, they were going to face it together.
The water had turned lukewarm when Mac finally got out, wrapped herself in a
huge towel, dried and fluffed her hair out and when into the bedroom to find
some clothes to put on. She hadn’t brought much with her since she had no
idea how long she be able to stay, so she had bought a dress that she knew
Harm would love. Looking at it, she wished he were with here. Her wish was
answered within seconds. Mac heard the door open and turned to see Harm. Her
heart skipped several beats as he looked at her.
Harm stared at Mac, taking in her state of dress, but mesmerized by her
lips. He could not breathe from the ache in his heart. Would he always feel
this sense of being lost, of needing and wanting and loving Mac more than he
ever thought possible? He made love to her with his burning look. This was
his Mac. His Sarah. And soon, she would be his wife. Harm took a deep breath
and slowly walked to her.
“I think you get more beautiful every time I leave you, even for a minute,
and then come back to you,” Harm whispered, as he got closer to her. “I need
you in my life so much.”
“When you look at me that way, Harm, you take my breath away. I can feel
your lips on mine even before you touch me. Ha…Harm, I love you so much I
ache all over when I am with you, just looking at you, so perfect and all
Mac’s lips were so close to Harm’s, he could feel their warmth on his face
as she took each breath. As he drew a deep sigh, her hair swirled around
her. He reached her before she had a chance to say anything else, her words
stilled as he crushed his lips against hers. Harm’s tongue swept into the
warm depths of her mouth even as hers reached out to taste him, making it
impossible for either one of them to breathe. The need for oxygen made them
separate long enough to take a deep breath, with their lips instantly
seeking each other out once again. As their kisses deepened and became more
demanding, their bodies were pressed against the other.
Mac’s towel, wrapped around her body, fell to the floor. Her fingers were
shaking as she pulled Harm’s sweater off, then his tee shirt. She pressed
her bare breasts against his chest, eliciting a deep moan from both of them.
Within seconds, Harm’s clothes were on the floor, on top of Mac’s towel.
It would be over an hour before the euphoria of their lovemaking, of a
passion so intense, finally became an afterglow. Aftershocks of their
ethereal fulfillment, of a love that seemed to get better all the time
continued to fill their bodies as Harm held Mac against him. He had
forgotten about the engagement ring until now. He thought rationally for the
first time since he had taken Mac into his arms. This would be a perfect
time to give her the ring.
Lifting his head up, he drew back just enough so that he could see Mac while
he asked her to marry him once again. Although his voice was still a little
shaky, he was determined not to wait any longer to put the ring on her
finger. Gazing down at her, he bent down and kissed her lightly. His heart
“Mac, do…I mean…well, every time we make love, it just gets better. Do you
think you would like to spend the rest of your life with me, sharing this
with me because, Mac, I don’t think I can live without you.”
“I will spend the rest of my life loving you, Harmon Rabb.”
“Good, then will you marry me, Sarah MacKenzie, as soon as possible?”
Looking up into Harm’s eyes, Mac could see the shimmer of tears. She had
known Harm for nine years, yet she had seen him cry only twice. Once had
been when he learned of his father's death, and the second had been on the
Guadalcanal as they had waited for hours to find out if Bud would live. In
the last few months, she had seen him cry unashamedly, when they made love,
also for Mattie, and now for her. Mac was so full of love for this beautiful
man next to her, her heart felt like it would burst. She sat up and put her
arms around his neck, looking into the same beautiful eyes she had fallen in
love with so many years earlier.
“Yes, Harm, yes. I will marry you today if you want me to, or tomorrow, or
whenever. I love you so much that nothing else matters except us being
together and facing whatever life has in store for us, as long as we face it
as one. Yes, my love, I’ll marry you.”
Mac reached up to kiss Harm, but he turned away from her, leaving her a
little puzzled. She saw him reach down for his clothes. He seemed to be
searching for something, so she waited. He finally straightened out and took
her in his arms again.
“Then let’s make this official, okay?” Opening the jewelers’ box, Harm
pulled the ring out and took Mac’s left hand. “Accept this ring from me, my
beautiful Sarah, and know that a wedding ring will be placed next to it very
soon.” Harm slid the ring on Mac’s finger as he watched the shock on her
Mac tried, oh how she tried, but she could not keep the tears of happiness
from falling. She was speechless as she felt the ring on her finger, staring
at the beautiful diamonds. She looked up at Harm, her voice still failing
Putting her arms around his shoulders, Mac pulled Harm to her, her lips
capturing his in a scorching kiss that needed no interpretation, for it was
so filled with love, Harm could only respond by making her his again.
AN HOUR LATER
Harm and Mac
went to talk to his Mom and Frank. Trish saw the ring on Mac’s finger the
second she walked in the door. Harm wondered if Frank had told her about it,
but her surprise seemed genuine.
The four of them went to a nearby restaurant, toasted to Harm and Mac’s
engagement, and of course, Trish asked if they had set a date.
“Not until we know about Mattie, Mom,” Harm said.
“Of course, that was so insensitive of me. I’m just so happy to see my son
so much in love. Why don’t Frank and I go to the hospital to stay with
Mattie so that you and Mac can be alone this evening?”
“It’s okay, Mom. Besides, I haven’t really seen Mattie today except for a
few minutes here and there. I have called and checked on her several times,
but she is still in a coma.”
“It may be a very small wedding, Trish,” Mac said, “at least until Mattie is
better. We can always renew our vows afterwards. As long as we are together,
and Mattie is okay, nothing else really matters.” Mac felt Harm’s hand on
her thigh, squeezing her.
Trish could see the adoration in Harm’s eyes every time he looked at Mac.
She returned each gaze with one of her own, loving him with her eyes. It was
quite apparent that they were both intoxicated, addicted and obsessed with
one another. Trish had never seen her son this happy, despite the pain of
Mattie’s unknown future. She was glad that Harm had Mac by his side at this
time, for it would make the ending so much easier for him.
“Life is never easy, is it? You and Mac have finally gotten together after
all these years, and this tragedy has to happen. It’s tragic, not just for
you and Mac, but for a beautiful young woman who has her whole life ahead of
her. If you taught her anything in the time you had her with you, Son, it
was to fight for what you want, just as you have,” Frank’s emotional words
were felt by all.
“Thank you, Dad,” Harm said, truly touched by Frank’s words.
Harm and Mac
did not arrive at the hospital until after midnight, but the nurses let them
in. The nurses, Gloria, Audrey, Dottie, Lupe and so many others had fallen
in love not just with Mattie, but with Harm and now, Mac as well. They were
also aware of his status in the military from the very beginning, and that
his time was very limited, but once he had seen Mattie, he had not left her
side. Harm had seemed so alone right after the accident and for several
days, but since ‘his wife’ had arrived, they all saw the change in him. Harm
and Mac were so obviously very much in love, and it seemed to change the
atmosphere of Mattie’s room.
“Mr. and Mrs. Rabb, it’s nice to see you both again,” said Audrey, one of
the nurses who had met Mac on her first visit, but had not been on duty
since then, until tonight.
Harm and Mac smiled. They were holding hands, their bodies close together.
This time, neither one of them bothered to correct them.
“It’s good to see you again, Audrey. How is my Sleeping Beauty tonight?”
Harm began to walk towards Mattie’s bed, not really waiting for the nurse’s
“She seems different somehow. Also, her sleep patterns seem to be undergoing
a very subtle, but very definite change. Although she’s still in a coma,
this is more of a very deep sleep. Why don’t you talk to her? I know she
loves listening to your voice. Mrs. Rabb, could I get you anything?”
“Thank you, no, and the name is Mac.”
“Mac? For such a beautiful woman. Commander, you have to change that,”
Audrey teased them.
“I do. I call her Sarah, which is her first name, but everyone at work has
always known her as Mac. What does it mean that Mattie is in a deep sleep
now? You say she’s still in a coma, so what’s different.? Does that mean
that she is no longer in…”
“Her brain waves have changed. I’m sure that Dr. Rosenbaum told you that he
is very hopeful about Mattie’s condition. When he first saw her, he was
surprised she had survived the crash at all, but now, he says there’s hope.”
“I know. He told me that earlier when I called. If you don’t mind, we’d like
to tell Mattie something very special. I mean, you can stay, but…”
“I do have other patients, so I’ll leave you two alone with your Sleeping
Beauty.” Audrey smiled at both of them, then turned and walked out. Her
heart was breaking for this very special family that had become very special
After Audrey left, Harm walked to one side of the bed while Mac went around
to the other one. Harm immediately bent down to kiss Mattie on the forehead,
brushing some stray hairs aside.
“How’s my Sleeping Beauty doing today,” Harm said softly. It was a question,
but he had become used to the idea that she was not going to answer him yet.
Mac looked at Harm, loving him even more. She had never seen this side of
him, and a wave of sadness engulfed her as she realized what a good father
he would been to their own child. Just for a fraction of section, Mac was
filled with guilt once again, knowing that she was denying him the
realization of that dream. Then Harm looked up at her, and the love she saw
in his eyes took all her doubts away.
“What,” Harm asked, looking at the look on Mac’s face.
“I wish Mattie could hear you, Harm. You are the best father anyone could
ever hope to have, and if that’s how your father was, no wonder you still
love him so much. It’s just that…”
“Don’t say it, Mac. Look, between Chloe and Mattie, we have our two
daughters. They will be a handful as it is. Our love for one another is
going to help us to be there for them whenever they need us. I love you,
Mac. I thought I could do this without you, but I can’t, not now, not ever.”
“I know I couldn’t live without you. Besides, I’m already Mrs. Rabb,” Mac
Harm saw the pain in her eyes. He knew that she still felt bad because she
thought she was to blame for them not having a child of their own. The
thought struck both of them at the same time.
“You know, Harm…”
“Mac, why don’t…”
Harm and Mac looked at each other as they spoke simultaneously. They looked
at each other, smiled sheepishly and then gazed down at Mattie. Mac spoke
first, her voice barely audible, but firm.
“I've been thinking, Harm. You know, I’m due to visit my gynecologist in
about four weeks. I may ask her to put me back on the birth control pills.
That way, there’s no chance of a pregnancy that may keep us from being there
Turning to look at Mac, Harm wondered how it was possible that they both
thought so much alike. Suddenly, Harm saw Mac, heavy with their child, but
it was just an illusion, one both of them had wanted for so long. With a
heavy heart, he spoke.
“It doesn’t mean we are going to give up, but perhaps it would be best for
now, at least until we know more about Mattie. Mac, you don’t mind, do you?”
“Of course I mind, Harm, but then again, it will give us that much more time
to practice for when we can plan…” Mac couldn’t finish the sentence, but she
smiled at him, trying to show him that she was okay.
“Are you sure about this, Mac? You know how I feel about us having a baby.”
“I know, Harm. I feel the same way, but you need to spend more time with
Mattie instead of with a pregnant wife who is throwing up all the time.” She
tried to make light of it and Harm knew.
“When we do have our child, Mac, I want to be there for every part of your
pregnancy, even the throwing up, the being irritable; even blaming me for
your discomfort. Oh, Mac, I’m so sorry…”
“Don’t, Harm. I know I’m getting up in years,” Mac smiled when Harm rolled
his eyes. “But we will have our baby, whether we adopt or have our own.”
Harm was holding Mattie’s hand all during their conversation, stroking her
soft fingers. He would glance at her every now and then. Mac was also
glancing at Mattie, but her attention was on Harm. Therefore neither one of
them noticed that Mattie’s eyes seemed to move beneath her lids.
Mac went out to get them some coffee, giving Harm some private time with
Mattie. She stood at the window, looking at Harm talking to Mattie. She
couldn’t hear what he was saying, but she was amazed by his tenderness. She
pushed the guilt away, knowing that Harm loved her as much as she loved him.
After about an hour, Mac went back into the room.
“There you are. I was beginning to think you had gotten lost somewhere, or
some handsome devil had whisked you away.” Harm seemed to be in better
spirits. Mac stole a look at Mattie. She hadn’t moved.
“A handsome devil already whisked me away, and I would never let him go.”
‘What’s his name,” Harm teased.
“Commander Harmon Rabb. Do you know him?”
“Rabb. What a silly name. I hope you aren’t thinking of marrying him,” Harm
pulled her to him, capturing her lips in what was supposed to be a light
kiss. Somehow, their kisses had their own mind and before they knew, Mac was
almost on Harm’s lap, her arms around his neck as she whispered in his ear
that she could hardly wait until they were alone again.
“I like the name Rabb, so don’t you dare criticize it, or I’ll lock you out
of our room.”
“Oh, you will,” Harm said, running his hand along her inner thighs,
listening to her soft moan. “We’ll see how long you last in there.”
“About two seconds, if that long. Now, let me up, Mr. Rabb, so I can visit
“Yes, Mrs. Rabb, but we’ll continue this later. Talk to our Sleeping
Mac smiled and went around to see Mattie. Gazing down her, Mac found herself
praying. Then she spoke to Mattie.
“Hi, Mattie, it’s Mac. You look so absolutely beautiful with your hair
draped across the pillows. Harm’s right, you do look like a beautiful
princess just waiting for her prince to kiss her and wake her up. The last
time we spoke, Mattie, you told me to take care of Harm now that you were
moving back home.”
Harm looked at Mac in surprise. She had never told him about the
conversation Mattie had had with her just as she was about to return to her
father and her home. Mac looked up and smiled at Harm.
“Look, Mattie, Harm’s surprised. I never told him about our talk.”
Picking up Mattie’s hand, Harm reached out his other to take Mac’s. If only
Mattie would wake up, his world would be perfect.
“Mattie, remember I told you the other day that I had asked Mac to marry me
and she agreed. Well, guess what, I got her an engagement ring tonight. Do
you want to see it?”
Mac was having a difficult time keeping her emotions under control. Her
heart ached for the pain in Harm’s eyes and heart as he looked at Mattie.
Instead of crying, Mac turned her hand over and showed the ring to Mattie as
if she could see it.
“Harm has excellent taste, Mattie. This ring is exquisite. We can hardly
wait for you to wake up so you can see it. I think Harm wants to know if you
“If you had been awake, I would have asked you to help me pick it out.
Mattie? Mattie? Oh, my God, Mattie.” Harm watched in awe as Mattie’s eyelids
fluttered. “Open your eyes for me, Mattie. Open your eyes for yourself. Oh,
honey, I love you so much, and we have so much to tell you. Mac? Mac, get
Mac was stunned. Mattie eyes opened slightly, then closed again.
“Keep going, Mattie, keep going my Sleeping Beauty,” Harm pleaded as Mac
pushed the call button, not wanting to leave.
“Kiss her three times, Harm, on the forehead, on the tip of her nose and
lightly on her lips. You’re her Prince Charming, even if you are her Dad.”
Harm held tightly to Mac’s hand as he bent down and kissed Mattie’s
forehead, telling her that he loved her. He kissed the tip of her nose and
told her that he needed her.
“You need to wake up and start living again, Sleeping Beauty,” Harm said, as
he kissed her lightly on the lips.
By then, Audrey, Dottie and Lupe were in the room, witnessing what appeared
to be a miracle of love. Audrey had called Dr. Rosenbaum as soon as Mac
pushed the call button.
“Wake up, Mattie. You’ve been asleep for hours. That’s it, open your eyes.
Mattie, can you hear me?” Harm’s voice was trembling as he pleaded with her
to wake up.
“Mattie, it’s Mac. Can you hear me? Please, honey, open your eyes so Harm
can see them again. He keeps telling me how much he misses seeing the
mischief in your eyes.”
Neither Harm nor Mac could hold their tears back as Mattie called out Harm’s
name. Even Audrey and Dottie were crying. They could see Mattie struggling
to say something else.
Mac, who had gone over to Harm’s side when the nurses came in and started
checking Mattie’s vitals, now turned and buried her face in his chest. The
sound of her name coming from Mattie made Mac lose it as the tears continued
to fall. Just then Dr. Carter walked in. Mattie had closed her eyes again.
“What have we here,” the doctor asked, seeing the huge crowd.
“She…spoke,” Harm choked the words out. “She opened her eyes.”
As happens in hospitals, whenever there is a drastic change in a patient’s
condition, the doctor immediately ordered Harm and Mac out so he could
examine Mattie closer.
“NO!” Mattie’s adamant demand, weak as it was, made everyone turn back to
her. “Harm. I…want…no…don’t leave.” Despite the fact that her voice was
extremely frail, Mattie made her wishes known.
“I’ll wait outside, Harm,” Mac said, but she was also stopped by Mattie’s
“NO! Harm, Mac,” Mattie paused, as if struggling to find the strength to
continue speaking. “Don’t leave.”
Mattie finally opened her eyes wide. Harm went to her side, taking her hand
in his, bringing it to his lips to kiss it. Mattie looked over at Mac. The
look in her eyes was unmistakable. Mac joined Harm, her tears falling as
Mattie smiled at both of them before closing her eyes again. She would not
let go of Harm or Mac’s hands, holding them tightly in her one free hand.
“Since you are the best medicine for Mattie, I guess you stay. Let me check
her quickly,” Dr. Rosenbaum said, overwhelmed by the miracle that had just
taken place, and by the intense emotions that filled the room.
“Harm, where’s…my Dad, my…my…oth…other Dad?”
Without hesitating for a second, Harm replied to her, shocking Mac.
“We sent him home to get some rest. He’s been so worried about you. I can
Harm hesitated, not knowing what to tell Mattie next. He had no idea where
Tom was, or had been for the last five days now. He had to find him. Dr.
Rosenbaum looked at Harm, not knowing whether it was the right thing to do.
“No, let…him…rest,” Mattie said, sounding very sleepy.
“Mattie, are you okay,” Harm asked, just out of sheer need to hear her voice
“Sleepy,” Mattie said, finally letting go of their hands.
“I will, honey, but you will be there with us. We need you in our lives,
Harm had wrapped his arm around Mac’s waist, holding her close to him. He
could feel her trembling almost as much as he was over Mattie’s unexpected
“Mattie,” Dr. Rosenbaum looked at her. “Is it okay if I ask Commander Rabb
and Colonel MacKenzie to step outside for just a few minutes? I really do
need to examine you and you are talking too much right now. I need you to
calm down a little. They’ll be back in a few minutes.”
Mattie looked over at Harm and Mac, surprising everyone by smiling at them.
There was so much she wanted to tell them, but she was so sleepy. She didn’t
want to sleep anymore, but she could hardly keep her eyes open.
“Okay,” Mattie’s voice was barely audible. “I love you, Harm. I love you,
Mac.” With those words, Mattie closed her eyes once again, filling both Harm
and Mac with fear.
Dr. Rosenbaum quickly examined Mattie briefly before turning to Harm and Mac
with a big smile on his face.
“Mattie has gone back to sleep, but this time it’s a normal sleep. She’s no
longer in a coma. Why don’t the two of you step outside and I’ll come out
and talk to you in a few minutes?”
Harm reached out to touch Mattie’s hair again, brushing his fingers lightly
across her forehead.
“We’ll be right outside,” Harm told Mattie, but she was sound asleep.
Lupe, who had come in at the doctor’s request, followed Harm and Mac out,
just to reassure them.
“Mattie has had a great breakthrough tonight. She’ll sleep for sometime, but
she is out of the coma. One obstacle has been conquered, and it was done
with the love you have for her, Commander Rabb, and yours as well, Mrs.
Rabb. Somehow, we all knew that when Mattie came out of the coma, it would
be because the commander would be with her, and now that you are here also,
it was even better. Would you like some coffee?”
“I don’t think I can drink anything right now,” Harm said. “Mac?”
“No, not right now. Maybe later.”
Lupe left them to go back into Mattie’s room. The curtain had been drawn and
they could no longer see her. Harm and Mac were still in shock, but somehow,
it was a good kind of shock. Mac took Harm’s hand and led him to some chairs
that were just outside the ICU.
“You did it, Harm. You brought Mattie back to you by talking to her all this
time. Oh, Harm, what a unique and incredible man you are.”
“I didn’t do it alone, Mac,” Harm said. “I’ve been talking to her for over a
week now, but it was you who helped me bring her back to us. Mac, what am I
going to do? I told her that Tom was resting. I have to find him.” Mac could
see how worried Harm was, and there was very little she could do.
“My beautiful Harm, you can’t do it all yourself. Tonight we were given a
miracle. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, Tom will show up without you having
to go out to find him. Maybe you and I can go look for him after we leave
here in the morning.”
“You’ll need to get some rest. I just think he needs to be here, especially
since she asked for him. I’m so glad you were with me, Mac. I love you so
much.” Suddenly Harm smiled.
“I bet Mattie woke up just to see what kind of ring I got you,” Harm said,
but his emotions got the best of him and he broke down, just as he had when
the doctors had come out to tell them that Bud was going to live, even
though he had lost a leg.
Mac held Harm in her arms, letting him cry even as her own tears fell. This
had to have been the most beautiful, most wondrous, most exciting and most
miraculous day of her entire life. She knew that the hard times were just
beginning, but Mattie had overcome one obstacle. With their help, Mac knew
that Mattie would fight to walk again.
“Well, when Mattie sees the ring, she is going to be very proud of you,” Mac
said, resting her head on top of his. That’s the way they still were when
Dr. Rosenbaum came out to talk to them.
The night was filled with one surprise after another for Harm, Mac and
Mattie. Once she came out of the coma, Dr. Rosenbaum asked Harm’s permission
to remove the respirator, even if it was for a few minutes. All of them were
back in Mattie’s room by then. Harm was shocked until Dr. Rosenbaum said
that they would wait for several hours before making this attempt. The
doctor also explained it to Mattie.
“Mattie, if we see that you can’t breathe without it, we will immediately
put you back on it. We certainly don’t want to take chances at this point,
and it is up to you and your, I mean Commander Rabb.” Dr. Rosenbaum wanted
to add that her father should make the choice, but since Tom Johnson had not
been present for a week, it would be Harm who would be asked to make this
Harm refused to agree until Dr. Rosenbaum assured him that he would be in
the room, and even told Harm that he could also stay in the room, which was
“If we see that Mattie is having problems, we will turn it back on. I am not
removing the respirator, I am just turning the power off. If she cannot
breathe without it, it’s just a matter of turning it back on. It won’t hurt
“When do you want to do this,” Harm asked, hoping he could go find Tom
before Dr. Rosenbaum would take this action. “I’d like to go look for her
“How about no later than noon today? That would give you several hours to
feel reassured, and for Mr. Johnson to return.” Dr. Rosenbaum hated saying
those words, knowing that Mattie might be very disappointed. He added a
condition, making it possible for Harm to lie a little more. “Remember that
if Mr. Johnson is present, he has to be completely rid of his cold, or he
can’t be here.”
Harm looked from Dr. Rosenbaum to Mac, knowing exactly what the doctor was
doing. No one wanted Mattie to be disappointed, so if Tom could not be found
and sobered up, they had an excuse for him not to be present. Since there
were no phones allowed in ICU, they felt everything was covered.
Putting his arm around Mac’s waist, Harm shook his head in agreement,
winking at Mattie, who was already getting sleepy again after a very
exciting and tiring two hours.
Once everyone left, Harm and Mac stayed behind although Mattie had gone back
to sleep. Harm noticed that Mac kept glancing at ring, then touching it with
her other fingers. It looked so beautiful on her, almost as beautiful as she
was, Harm thought as he gazed at her lovingly.
“Harm,” came Mattie’s voice, surprising both of them. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Mattie. Do you know how happy you’ve made me, just saying
that one word? I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but I sort of miss you
being sarcastic to me.”
“So…when are…you going…to marry Mac,” Mattie grinned at him. It was
difficult for her to talk, and her voice was very raspy.
“As soon as I can get him to a minister or justice of the peace, or an open
field where we can repeat our vows,” Mac said, noticing that Mattie had
reached for her hand also.
Mattie tried to laugh, but all she could do was smile. She picked up Mac’s
finger to look at the ring, nodding her approval.
“You…took good care…of him,” Mattie said, closing her eyes momentarily.
Harm and Mac blushed, laughing as they realized that a fifteen-year-old girl
was causing their faces to turn red.
“She did, Mattie,” Harm said, leaning over to kiss Mattie’s cheek.
“Ha…r…m.” Mattie’s voice was barely audible. Harm leaned in to hear what she
was saying. When he lifted his head, he looked down at her. “He…did…”
“Mattie, your Dad has been taking this very hard. He’s doing his best, and I
promise you that he will be here in a few hours when they take the
respirator off. Why don’t you go back to sleep.”
Mattie closed her eyes, holding tightly to both their hands, then letting
them go as sleep overtook her once again.
Harm lifted his hand to his lips, motioning for Mac not to say anything.
Instead, they waited until they felt sure she was in a deep sleep and then
called the nurse. Audrey came in right away.
“Commander Rabb, you and your wife should get some rest. It is going to get
very exciting here in a few hours. We will take good care of her.”
Leading both Audrey and Mac out, Harm then told them what he had to do.
“Audrey, I lied to Mattie about her father, and I have to try and find him
before Dr. Rosenbaum removes the respirator. Mac, that’s why I stopped you.
I didn’t want Mattie to hear you ask me about Tom.”
“I suspected as much, and so does Dr. Rosenbaum,” Audrey said. “It’s almost
5:00 am, so why don’t the two of you get some rest. I think the doctor would
like you here around 9:00 so that you can reassure Mattie. With you here,
she’ll be more receptive, and less afraid to the removal of the respirator.”
“Thank you, Audrey. If anything changes, or she asks for us, please call
“I will, Commander. Mrs. Rabb, take your husband home.”
“Audrey, we have to clear something up,” Mac said.
“You don’t have to. I figured out that the two of you aren’t really married,
but I can see that you are engaged now.”
“How did you…”
“Maybe I’m wrong here,” Audrey interrupted Mac, “but I think even the
military would allow a wife to be by husband’s side at a time like this,
even though Mattie is not really your daughter. When I first met you, I saw
the change in Commander Rabb, and I knew then. I think this is quite funny,
really. Who was the first one to mistake you for husband and wife?”
“I should have known. He then told the nurses that he hoped you would get
some rest now that your wife was here, so it sort of spread.”
“Well, Audrey, that was very perceptive of you to notice I wasn’t wearing a
wedding ring,” Mac said, smiling and wrapping her arm Harm. “Thank you, and
yes, we are engaged now.”
“Congratulations,” Audrey said, looking at her watch. The new shift would be
“Please, Audrey, call me Harm. You’ve been very kind me during all this
time. My military rank isn’t that important.”
“Okay, then Harm, go home and get some rest, and congratulations to you as
well. I think you are both very lucky to have each other.”
Harm looked down at Mac, seeing her eyes burning into his, and he nodded in
agreement. They were indeed very lucky to have each other.
Mac knew that
Harm was anxious to go look for Tom, but she insisted that they have some
“It’s going to be a very long day, Harm, and who knows when we will eat
“Okay, but let’s see if the coffee shop at the hotel is open. That way, you
can go upstairs and get some sleep as soon as we get through eating.”
“I wish you would let me go with you, Harm. You didn’t look for him last
night, did you?”
“No,” Harm grinned, but did look guilty. “I was busy with other things.”
“Like getting my engagement ring, right?”
“Guilty as charged. Frank looked for Tom while I went shopping. Actually, I
had already been to the jewelry store earlier in the week. I almost bought
it then, but I didn’t want to…”
“You didn’t want me to sacrifice my life, even if living without you would
have been an even worse torture for me.”
“I love you, Sarah MacKenzie. I want to make you so happy, and as always,
there are so many things keeping us apart.”
“Not anymore, Flyboy. You put this ring on my finger last night. If you are
going to back out now and tell me that our passionate lovemaking made you do
it, you’re out of luck. You’re mine now, Harmon Rabb.”
“What time is it,” Harm grinned, leaning over to take Mac in his arms and
kiss her. After almost a minute, they came up for air.
“How should I know,” Mac whispered huskily. “When you kiss me like that, who
cares what time it is.”
the hotel a little past 0600, they were glad to see that the breakfast bar
had just opened up. Harm and Mac got a table.
Ordering their meal, Harm and Mac settled into a comfortable conversation
regarding what taken place earlier. Harm held Mac’s hand, his thumb
caressing the silky skin between her thumb and forefinger. They kept
marveling at everything that had happened, and all of it here in Blacksburg.
Their meals arrived and Mac started eating immediately. Harm gazed at her,
grateful to have her by his side.
Half way through their meal, Mac looked up. Her eyes grew wide. Harm glanced
at Mac, then followed her eyes to what she was looking at, or make that,
whom she was staring at. Harm’s eyes also widened.
“Good morning, Son. Did you just get in from the hospital?” Frank had
someone with him, and it wasn’t Trish.
“Tom! Dad!” Harm stood up, a bewildered look in his eyes.
“May we sit down,” Frank asked.
“Of course. What’s going on? Do you want some coffee? Tom, it’s good to see
you.” Harm was rambling one thing after another, trying to figure out what
was going on and assessing whether Tom had been drinking.
It didn’t take long for Frank to tell Harm what he had done. A waitress came
over and took Frank and Tom’s orders, served them coffee, then left them
“Dad, what’s going on?”
“Well, I knew how concerned you’ve been about Tom. I went out in the middle
of the night, going to every bar in town, but I couldn’t find him. However,
I did run into someone who knew him, an Elias Stone.” Frank paused, waiting
for Harm to comment.
“Mr. Stone told me about Tom.” Frank had continued when Harm hadn’t said
anything, but then he noticed him looking at Tom. It was obvious that Tom
wanted to complete the story.
“Tom, are you okay,” Harm asked.
“I’m fine now, Commander. If you don’t mind, Sir,” Tom said, addressing
Frank, “I’d like to finish the story. Harm, when you found me on the street,
drowning my sorrows in a bottle as I’ve always done, you shook me up in more
ways than one. After you left, I realized how much I envied you, and how
jealous I am of you even now. You are so strong. You are a man of honour and
integrity, whereas I can’t…”
“Tom, each of us copes with our demons in our ways. I’m not quite the man
you think I am, but I would like to hear what you have to say right now.
It’s very important.” Harm looked at Mac, wondering if he should tell Tom
about Mattie. Her nod was almost non-existent, but Harm saw it.
“After you left me that night, I started thinking about all the things
you’ve done for my daughter, and me as well. You couldn’t find me because I
went home. It was there that I searched my soul for my weaknesses. You’ve
been so supportive of me. I couldn’t disappoint Mattie again, and I
certainly couldn’t let you down. I spent the last four days drying out,
sobering up, and realizing how lucky I am. That’s where your father found
me. Elias was the only one who knew where I was, and that’s only because he
drove me home. He checked up on me during the next few days. I don’t want to
make any promises, but I also know that Mattie needs me, not a drunken man
who makes her ashamed of being my daughter. I love Mattie more than you can
imagine. I’m sorry I let you down, Commander. I’m sorry…”
“Tom, we all have weaknesses, obsessions, and faults. The main thing is that
you realized it, and now you have done this on your own. I have some news
about Mattie, and I’m very glad you’re here.”
Harm noticed how tired Frank looked. Turning to him, Harm reached out and
took his hand. Admitting his own faults in front of Tom would be a good
“I’ve been a fool where you’re concerned, Frank, I mean Dad. So many years
of wasted resentment are lost forever now, when you could have been part of
my life all along. I can’t ever thank you enough. You look so tired, Dad,
but I do want you to hear the news before you get some rest. Tom, Dad,
Mattie is out of the coma. She’s talking, not much, but she is talking. She
asked for you, Tom. Dr. Rosenbaum wants to take her off the respirator in a
few hours, and Mattie wants you there with her.”
Frank and Tom looked at each other. Harm knew that they had just realized
that Mattie had come out of her coma about the same time Frank had found
Tom. Tom didn’t even try to hide his tears this time. Harm could see the
shimmer in Frank’s eyes as well.
Mac was sitting so close to Harm, seeing three grown men cry. For the first
time since she had become a Marine, she realized that ‘being tough’ included
the ability to let go of their pride and surrender to emotions of love,
pain, loss and acceptance. Mac felt her own tears gliding down her face. She
felt Harm squeeze her hand. There was so much love in that moment, at that
table, and within those four people, it was almost tangible.
Seeing Frank’s love for Harm was incredible, both for Harm and Mac. Then
there was Tom’s love for his daughter. For Harm, there was his undying love
for the young woman who had brought them all together. And love filled both
Mac and Harm’s hearts, the love they had denied and pushed away for years,
and their own love for Mattie.
Lying in a hospital room, Mattie Grace Johnson seemed to smile in her sleep,
feeling the love of those so close to her. It was Tom who broke the silence.
“Do you think I could go to the hospital now,” Tom looked at Harm.
It was only when Tom looked at Mac that Harm realized he had never
introduced her to him, and he didn’t know if he remembered her.
“Of course you can, Tom. Do you remember Colonel MacKenzie?”
“Yes, I do. She talked me into letting you keep Mattie while I sobered up.
It’s good to see you again, Colonel.”
“Thank you, and it’s Mac. It’s great to see you. Would you like Harm and I
to take you back to the hospital?”
“No, I have my truck, but thank you. You’re welcome to go…”
“Why don’t we give you some time alone with your daughter,” Harm said,
seeing the smile on Tom’s face.
Thus it was that Tom Johnson returned to the hospital to see his daughter.
Harm spoke to Frank alone, once again thanking him and asking him to forgive
him for all the wasted years.
“It’s now that’s important, Harm, not yesterday. I think I’ll go upstairs
and get some sleep. Do you think it would be okay if we come to the hospital
with you? Since Mattie doesn’t know she has two doting grandparents, it
might make her feel better.”
“Of course, Dad. We’ll see you in a few hours. You are giving Mattie a
wonderful gift, Dad. I have my Dad now, and you brought Mattie’s father back
to her. Go get some sleep. We’ll see you later.”
Harm and Mac went upstairs to their room, their arms wrapped around each
other. It had been an extremely emotional day for all of them. Removing all
their clothes, they crawled into bed, reaching for the warmth each had to
give the other.
“You know, Mac, I am truly blessed. As for you, my little vixen, you are
both my weakness and my strength, and I will never be able to get enough of
And love each other they did, but not physically. With their warm bodies so
close, Harm felt the emotional and spiritual fulfillment that Mac gave him.
They kissed hungrily, but it was the communion of their souls that made them
feel complete. No longer alone, Harm and Mac fell asleep wrapped in their
TWO DAYS LATER
and Bud stood in General Cresswell’s office. It was Harm’s first day back
since their return from Blacksburg. Tom, along with Harm’s parents had
insisted that they would be there for Mattie.
ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL
had removed the respirator twice, and on the third time, it was completely
disconnected. Mattie was overjoyed to see her father, and meeting Harm’s
parents had been an added bonus for her. Each hour had brought new
When General Cresswell called Mac on the second day of Mattie’s miracle,
Harm realized he had a decision to make.
“Harm, the general needs you for an assignment, if you can leave. I’ve been
keeping him updated on all of Mattie’s improvements.”
Mattie had looked at Harm, seeing so much love in his eyes; love for her,
love for his parents, but mostly, an incredible love for Mac.
“You’re going to have to leave me eventually, Harm. I have Dad, and now, two
very special grandparents to take care of me. Go with Mac,” Mattie had
insisted. Harm had finally agreed, but not until being reassured by Dr.
Rosenbaum and the nurses, and of course, Tom and his parents.
Trish had been delighted that Tom asked them to stay at his house. Since
there was no urgent matter that would make Trish or Frank leave, they
intended to settle in for a few days at the least.
Harm and Mac had driven home the night before, arriving at Harm’s apartment
and falling into each other’s arms exhausted, but not too exhausted. They
had all the energy they needed to surrender to their love and passion once
again, or was it twice? However many times it was, Mac kept telling Harm
that they had nine years to make up for, making him smile and reach for her
BACK TO JAG
stood before their Commanding Officer, General Gordon Cresswell. Harm had
been touched by the general calling him in a few minutes earlier to inquire
about Mattie’s recent improvement.
“The offer of help is still good, Commander,” General Cresswell said. “I
know how I would feel if it was my daughter, so if Mattie needs anything,
I’ll do my best to make sure that she gets it. I’m also very glad to hear
that she is no longer in a coma. I hope things continue to improve.”
“Thank you, Sir, for being so understanding of my time off.”
“Emergencies happen all…ahh, there you are. Commander Roberts, Colonel
Mackenzie, I have some assignments for you. Commander Rabb, it’s nice to
have you with us again,” Colonel Cresswell said, as Mac and Bud walked in
Bud was totally oblivious to the change in Harm and Mac. The only thing he
was happy about was the news about Mattie, and having Harm back.
Mac hoped that she and Harm would be sent out on a mission together. It had
been so challenging, yet even more exciting when she and Harm found ways to
be together during missions. She hid her disappointment when Harm and Bud
were sent to Oklahoma to expedite matters in the case of seventeen young men
who had been killed, all from the town of Kresge, and most of them being
good friends. Details of the incident were given to Harm and Bud, and then
they were dismissed. Mac’s heart seemed to skip several beats as Harm left
the room, knowing she would be sent somewhere to the other side of the
world, most likely Iraq, which is exactly were her mission was to take her.
Not having time to say goodbye, Harm and Mac walked to the break room, both
of them with the same intent.
“I already miss you, Harm,” Mac said, turning around quickly to face him.
“I’ll be worrying about you as well as missing you,” Harm said, wishing he
could take her in his arms and kiss her. “We’ll just be in Oklahoma, while
you’ll be so far away from me.” Without thought, Harm walked over to her,
leaning down to her and brushing his lips against her, quickly stepping
Mac looked behind Harm, saw no one and stepped back towards him to plant one
more kiss on his lips, this time a little more than just lightly.
“We’re taking too many chances, Marine,” Harm said, his voice soft and
filled with desire.
“With you, I don’t care anymore. Besides, I want to take this ring off this
chain and wear it on my finger so that everyone will know I belong to you.”
“Soon, Mac, very soon. You know, we are liable to be sent to permanent
assignments that would keep us apart, and…”
“Don’t even say it, Harm. The military has kept us apart for way too long…”
“It wasn’t just the military, Mac, it’s been us as well, but this time, I
can’t let you go. By the way, I think the general is sending me to Oklahoma
so that I can still be close to Mattie in case I am needed.”
Mac drew back, smiling as she looked into Harm’s eyes.
“So, you think the old man has a heart, huh?”
Harm told her how he had called him in earlier so that he could inquire
about Mattie and to offer his help once again. Just then Bud came in, but
thankfully, all he heard was something about the general and Mattie.
“We’ll be leaving in less than an hour, Commander,” Bud said.
“Yes, sir, Commander,” Harm said, his beautiful eyes lighting up and that
beautiful smile of his making Mac wish she had him all to herself.
“That wasn’t an order, Sir. I mean…”
“Bud, when are you going to learn that I am teasing you,” Harm said. He
didn’t realize until that moment how good it felt to be back with the people
he had worked with for so many years. “I’m ready if you are.”
“Okay, Sir. Goodbye, Colonel. We’ll see you in a few days, I guess.” Bud
turned and left, giving Harm and Mac a few precious seconds together.
Harm reached up and felt the ring through Mac’s clothing. Running his finger
across her lips, he smiled again.
“Just because it’s not on your finger doesn’t mean you aren’t mine. I’ll be
thinking about you every second.”
“Give yourself a few seconds to complete your investigation, and I know I’m
yours. Just don’t forget you’re mine.”
“Never,” Harm said as he walked out the door.
Bud again was good, but it wasn’t like old times anymore. Lt. Commander Bud
Roberts was no longer the naïve, but brilliant officer who had looked up to
Harm. He was a Lt. Commander himself, and his new status seemed to have
change his personality. Harm found himself longing for the animated,
innocent, and much loved young officer, studying hard to be a lawyer.
Now, Bud talked about his three sons and a daughter. Harm suddenly smiled as
he remembered when Bud had first met Harriet. Harm and Mac were sent out on
an investigation. Bud had been with them, and that’s where he met Ensign
Harriet Simms, aboard the Seahawk. He recalled looking down at them, smiling
as Mac walked up to him. She also glanced down upon Bud and Harriet.
“I just had a scary thought,” Harm had told Mac.
“Their children,” Mac had replied, reading his mind.
Now, almost ten years later, Bud and Harriet were married, had a beautiful
home, four children, and lost one child. Suddenly Harm’s thoughts went to
Why had he wasted so much time? He thought he had all the time in the world,
but truth be told, he loved her even back then, only his career came first.
In but a few minutes, Harm relived his life from the moment he first met
Mac, shocked at how much she looked like Diane, his lost love, who had been
murdered by her senior officer.
“Mattie is going to be okay, Sir,” Bud said, mistakenly thinking that Harm
was worried about leaving her.
“I know she will, Bud. Her father is with her, and my Mom and Dad are there
as well. I call them several times a day, and from what they have told me,
Mattie is making slow but steady progress. They will be doing another MRI to
see if the diagnoses regarding her spine might have been slightly off. I
“What?” Harm saw the puzzled look on Bud’s face.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard you call you stepfather ‘Dad’, Sir.”
“Bud, would you please call me Harm. Things change, Bud. I just never
realized how special Frank was until the last few years. Calling him ‘Dad’
seems to come easier every time I say it. Life and things change, Bud. Look
at you and Harriet. When we first met you, who would have thought you and
Harriet would be married with four children by now. I might add, you need to
give Harriet a break,” Harm said, smiling and trying to ease the serious
conversation. It worked. Bud chuckled.
“It should be you and the colonel who should be married and have children by
now, Harm,” Bud said, not realizing he was opening up some painful wounds.
“Mac and I have waited too long, but who knows what the future will bring,”
Harm said, glad to Bud hadn’t caught the clue he had just given him.
“I think we’re here, Sir.”
Mac had also
arrived in Iraq. Details of the events that had brought her to this place
once again were given to her. She requested to talk to the boy’s mother,
Mrs. Alraza. As she arrived, she could see the suspicious looks she got from
all the native people. No matter how much they had tried to help, the U.S.
military was still looked upon with distrustful eyes. She walked into Mrs.
As Mac’s mission progressed, she saw the love between Mrs. Alraza and her
son, Mahmud. Each day made her miss Harm even more. Even in this godforsaken
place, the love of a parent for his or her child was all-consuming. In
talking to the beautiful woman, Mac wondered what she was doing in this
dusty, burning hot in the day, and perhaps some relief at night place. She
had lost count of the times she had been to Iraq and Afghanistan, and
countless other places.
Separated by thousands of miles, Mac, like Harm remembered the many times
they had been here together. A smile crossed her lips as she recalled the
night they had spent in the mountains of Afghanistan.
“If you want, I’ll call room service and have them send up a room divider,”
Harm had said.
“I’m just giving you your space,” Mac had replied, as far away from him as
she could get under the circumstances. Even then, she knew her feelings for
him were too much for her to take the risk.
Harm had laughed. “Mac, how much more space do I need,” he had said, waving
his hand to indicate the vast space that surrounded them. “Besides, it’s
only going to continue to get colder. If we don’t share body heat, we are
going to freeze.”
“Is that an invitation,” Mac had said, trying not to express her true
They had cuddled up, staring up at the stars like two lovers would have,
only they weren’t lovers back then. She had felt Harm trembling as he
crossed his leg over hers, pulling her close to him. Her own heart had been
racing as their cheeks had touched and they looked up at the stars.
Remembering that mission, and how he had been injured when they hit a land
mine while she was driving was giving Mac some thoughts that shocked her.
Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie had fought hard to get where she was now. She was
proud of her service to the military, and the awards she had received.
Perhaps if she and Harm had not put their careers ahead of their love, they
would be married by now, and perhaps have a child, if not more. Did she
really want to be traveling all over the world once she and Harm were
married? NO! Her answer came so quickly; it shocked her.
Mac had to hear Harm’s voice, but before she called him, he called her.
“Mac, I miss you so much.”
“I was just thinking about you, Harm, remembering all our missions together.
I wish you were here with me, or better yet, I wish we were both at home so
I could wrap my arms around you and pull you on top of me.” Mac’s voice was
soft, yet Harm heard something he had never heard in her voice before.
“Hmmm. That does sound very tempting, Marine. How’s your investigation
going,” Harm changed the subject, worried about the way Mac sounded.
“It’s going. I shouldn’t be here too much longer. How about you and Bud?”
“It’s very tragic. It seems incredible that seventeen young men, all from
the same town, young men who grew up together, and now have died together.
It’s not a big town, so everyone here is affected by these deaths. Everyone
knew at least one of the young boys who gave their lives. It’s tragic. Mac,
I miss you so much. I’m trying so hard to forget you are on the other side
of the world.” No matter how much he had tried, Harm’s love was much too
powerful to ignore, not now.
“I’m sorry, Baby, I shouldn’t have said that. I was trying to be
“I miss you, Harm. I don’t want to be here anymore, not unless you’re here
to share your body heat with me like you did in Afghanistan. Harm, I don’t
want to be separated from you anymore. You called me Baby. I’ve…you’ve never
called me that until now.”
“You are, you know. I mean, you are my Baby, the one I love so much. How
much longer will it be before you leave,” Harm asked.
“If things go the way I expect, probably late tomorrow, or early the next
day. Even if I leave tomorrow, it will still take me almost twenty-four
hours to get home. What about you?”
“I’d say another couple of days, maybe three. We didn’t expect to have a
trial, but something happened last night. I’m sure we can be back in three
days at the most.”
“Whichever one of us gets home first, the other one will be waiting at
“Then I hope it’s you, Mac, because I like the way you wait at home for me,”
Harm said, vividly recalling the many times Mac had either been in the
shower when he got home, or waiting in bed for him.
“I better go, Harm. Just hearing your voice is enough to arouse me, but I
want you to give me what I need. I love you, Harm. There's something I want
to talk about when I get home.”
“Talk? Not about our past, I hope.”
“No, Flyboy, about our future. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Marine.”
After hanging up, Mac felt the loneliness even more. She hated hanging up
because it meant she couldn’t hear Harm’s voice anymore, but she started to
count the hours until they were together again. If things worked out okay,
they would both be home on a Friday, and they would have the weekend off.
Smiling, Mac already knew what they would be doing during their nights and
Indeed, Mac’s case wrapped up the following day, but she didn’t have
transportation out until early the next morning. Mac was pleased with
outcome of her mission. She began to make plans for her return and most
importantly, to seeing Harm again. Just thinking about him made her shiver
from the inside out.
town of Kresge had been shocked when the lone survivor, Lance Corporal
Vanarsdale had been arrested for setting the fire at the Marine Recruitment
Centre. Harm and Bud had been sent to Kresge to facilitate the financial
aspect for the beneficiaries and to offer support and psychological help to
the families who had lost their loved ones. Now, with the arrest of the
Lance Corporal, it had turned into an Article 32 hearing on charges of arson
and willful destruction, even though he had denied setting the fire, but all
the evidence had pointed to him.
To their credit, the people from Kresge had been most kind to Harm and Bud.
They were simple people who didn’t quite speak as correctly as Harm and Bud
did, but their generosity in light of their losses, made the situation so
Unfortunately, in the end, Lance Corporal Scott Vanarsdale admitted he had
set the fire. Harm, feeling the pain of the entire town from his own
experiences with Mattie, was astonished when the young man turned to the
townspeople to make his apology. The reception he got gave Harm hope for the
betterment of this world after all. The corporal had waived his right to a
court trail, instead choosing to serve the time offered. Once again, Harm
and Bud were astonished when at the end of Scott Vanarsdale’s apology; the
citizens of Kresge stood up and forgave him. The men and women of Kresge
were a forgiving, and understanding people.
The ending to their case was extremely uplifting. The government had given
each young man’s family a rather large sum of money. The townspeople elected
to donate some of it to build a monument to the seventeen young men who had
given their lives in the service of their country. Harm and Bud marveled at
these people and were pleased at the outcome, even if Scott Vanarsdale would
have to pay for his crime.
It was late Thursday night when Harm finally got home. He had talked to Mac
earlier and he knew that she would not be arriving until the following day.
He decided to surprise her. Realizing she would be tired after a long trip,
Harm sent her a message to meet him at her apartment. Mac had been puzzled,
but she didn’t mind. She would be seeing Harm in a few hours and that was
all that mattered to her now.
Harm had arrived in plenty of time to report to work on Friday. He had
insisted that Bud go straight home, knowing his friend was anxious to see
Harriet and their children. Harm even told him to take a couple of hours
extra in the morning before coming in.
“But what about the paperwork, Sir? General Cresswell expects it on his
“I’ll do it, Bud. You need to go home to your family.”
Bud had reluctantly left the final paperwork to Harm, and gone home. Now,
Harm sat in his office, getting ready to give the general the final report.
He had been hard at work for over thirty minutes and was almost finished.
“Good morning, Commander Rabb. You’re here early”, came General Cresswell’s
voice, causing Harm to stand at attention immediately. “Sit down, Commander.
Why are you here so early?”
General Cresswell took the chair in front of Harm’s desk, watching as Harm
followed suit, easing into his own chair.
“I sent Commander Roberts home so he could be his with his family, and I’m
finishing up the paperwork on the Vanarsdale case to give him an extra
couple of hours this morning, Sir.”
“That was nice of you,” the general said sarcastically, softening the
sarcasm with a smile.
“I know how much he misses Harriet and the children. Besides, Commander
Roberts has covered for me all this time that I’ve been in Blacksburg. It’s
the least I could do for him. The paperwork will be completed within the
“Don’t rush, Commander. Why don’t you tell me about the people in Kresge
Harm proceeded to put his pen down and push his file away. Within fifteen
minutes, the general had the whole story. He had interjected several
comments during Harm’s account of what had transpired during their stay in
“Sometimes we forget that it is those simple, innocent people that we are
fighting for, along with all the others as well. I’m glad it turned out so
well. Have you heard from Mattie’s father?”
“Yes, Sir, I did. The MRI revealed that her injury, though quite serious, is
not as bad as they had believed at first. The doctors aren’t making any
promises, but they do seem more hopeful that someday she will be able to
walk again. It may take years of physical therapy, and perhaps some surgery
along the way, but the doctors are very hopeful. Knowing Mattie, she will
surprise everyone of them because she has such a will to live her life as
“That’s good to hear, Commander. Tell me, is her father with her?”
“Yes, Sir. He sobered up again, and with Mattie needing him so much, perhaps
this time he will make it. Mattie loves her father very much. That love will
go a long way in giving Tom Johnson the strength he needs.”
“I understand she’s quite close to you also, Harm,” the general said, making
Harm look up at him at the use of his given name. It wasn’t often that
General Cresswell addressed him by his first name.
“For a time, yes, she was. I think Mattie always knew she loved her Dad, but
she hated what he was doing to himself. I was there for her when he wasn’t,
but she needs him with her now.”
“You’re being way too modest, Commander Rabb. I have a daughter, Cammie,
just a few years older than Mattie. I know how important it is for Mattie to
know that should her father ever fail her again, she has you to turn to;
someone she trusts and loves. Tell me, Harm, would you be willing to take
assignments overseas for long periods of time?”
Harm looked at the general, then down at his hands, then out the window,
then back at the general. The question had come right out of the blue. In
those few seconds, Harm realized that Mac had been right. They were about to
be separated, and no matter how kind, or generous, or tempting the general
made the offer; it was still an obstacle that stood in their way, one that
could tear Mac and him apart yet again.
“I would have to talk to Tom, Mattie’s father. I would also have to talk to
Mattie, and my own parents as well. Mom is used to me being gone for months
at a time without hearing from me, but Mattie is another matter. It would
also depend on how long I would be gone, and how far away. Even without the
accident, and what she will have to endure in the coming months, at Mattie’s
age, she needs people she can trust, people that are reliable.” Harm
realized that the use of the word ‘Mom” had made him sound like a little boy
instead of a commander in the Navy.
“We make sacrifices in the military, Harm. I was not always there for
Cammie, her brother, and their mother. I know I should say that I regret it,
but when I joined the Marines, I knew what it would entail. When my wife
married me, she knew that I might be gone for months, perhaps years at a
time. I’m sure that Mattie would encourage you to take an assignment that
might advance your career. Since you aren’t married, you are one of those at
the top of the list. Besides, you’ve spent years here at JAG. Wouldn’t you
like to move on, perhaps to a more challenging post?”
Once again, Harm did not comment, or answer right away. His mind wandered,
not just to Mattie, but to his parents, who were getting old; and most
especially, to Mac. He could not bear the thought of being separated from
her again, not after finally admitting their love. These last few days
without her had been painful, and even now, he was counting the hours until
he saw her again.
“I’ve made sacrifices also, General Cresswell. I understand how you feel
about your daughter, but she was not in Mattie’s condition. I may not be her
biological father, or even her adopted father, but I promised to be there
for her. As for my career, well, Sir, the Navy has been my life for almost
twenty-one years now. Perhaps one of the reasons I’m not married is because
of my commitment to the Navy. Besides, I promised Mattie, and I can’t let
“A promise is very important to you, isn’t it?”
“It defines who I am, Sir.” Harm’s voice was firm, but Cresswell could hear
the undertone of bitterness. “I’ve broken too many promises already, and if
Mattie needs me, then I will retire before I fail her. I’m sorry, Sir. I
know that’s not the answer you wanted to hear.”
“Why haven’t you ever married, Harm,” the general’s question shocked Harm.
It was almost as if he hadn’t heard anything Harm had said.
“The Navy had always been my first priority, and because of that, I’ve hurt
a lot of people.”
“You mean when you returned to flying?”
“Yes. I hurt others, and I hurt my career.”
“Why did you do it?”
“I guess you could say I was foolish, but it was my dream to be an aviator,
like my father had been, and when I was given a second chance, I had to take
it. I had to fulfill my own promise to myself.”
“You still haven’t given me a reason why you’ve never married. You are a
good-looking man. I’m sure women aren’t in short supply where you’re
concerned. Is there someone special that you are waiting for, or have you
already found her?”
“I don’t know you very well, General Cresswell, and perhaps I never will.
However, I get the impression that you are baiting me.”
General Cresswell did not answer, just gave Harm one of his stern looks,
expecting an answer from the younger officer. Instead he got another
“Am I being reassigned,” Harm finally asked.
“Reassigned? Not that I’m aware of, but in the military, things can change
very quickly, and it’s important that you are not only aware of the
situation, but prepared to make the move when the order is given. Is Mattie
the only reason you wish to remain here?”
Harm stood up and walked to the window, staring out. He wondered then if the
general knew about him and Mac. Mac had said that she had an indication that
he did. Is that what this was all about, or was a transfer for him imminent?
“Having served in the military for as long as I have, General, I am well
aware of the changes that can take place overnight. I was hoping, since
you’ve been so concerned and generous regarding Mattie, that you would
realize how difficult it would be for me leave this area. If I were being
transferred, it would depend on where it is as to whether I accept it or
not. I would like to remain close enough to Mattie that I could fly in to be
with her as often as I can.”
“Mattie has her father. I also understand that your parents are helping out,
and just recently, that her aunt has returned to Blacksburg to aid in
Mattie’s recovery. Even when she was under your care, you were assigned
missions that took you to Iraq and other distant, and inconvenient
locations. She was left in P.O. Coates’ care quite often.”
“How did you know about her aunt, Sir?”
“I call the hospital everyday, Harm. Her aunt, Eugenie, has talked to me as
well. You see, I already knew about Mattie’s continued progress. Eugenie
informed me that she had talked to you for a very long time last night,
assuring you that she would be there to help Tom with whatever Mattie
“If you already knew all this, then why…”
“How long have you known Colonel MacKenzie,” the general asked, once again
ignoring Harm’s comments.
Harm looked at his commanding officer. He was nothing like Admiral
Chegwidden had been. Chegwidden didn’t beat around the bush, which is
exactly what the general was doing. Why didn’t he just ask what he wanted to
know instead of interrogating Harm as if he were on the stand?
“If you know about Mattie and Eugenie, then you must know how long I’ve
known the colonel,” Harm said, sitting back down, his voice on edge.
“Perhaps I should rephrase my question, Commander Rabb. How long have you
been in love with Colonel MacKenzie?”
General Cresswell saw the stunned look on Harm’s face. He didn’t tell Harm
that it was so obvious to everyone but them that even a blind man could see
how much they loved each other. Instead, his fingers formed a steeple as he
waited for Harm’s reply. He looked quite nonchalant about the matter.
“I…who said…I…” Harm stammered for several seconds, his face turning a
bright pink, causing the general to chuckle.
“I’m waiting, Commander.”
Harm acknowledged the fact that the general was indeed baiting him, but it
wasn’t about Mattie. It had all been about Mac. He wasn’t going to lie
anymore, or deny his love for her. He was tired of the military dictating
what emotions he could, or could not express openly. He was also tired of
having Chegwidden, the SECNAV, and now General Cresswell determining Harm’s
“Since you seem to be aware of it already, Sir, yes, I am in love with
Ma…Colonel MacKenzie. As for how long, almost since we met.”
“Are you aware that you could be court…”
“It doesn’t matter anymore, General. I’ve been in love with Mac almost since
the day we met, but our military careers kept us from each other all that
time. Instead we turned to others, only to realize that we could not love
anyone else. If you want to court-martial me, Sir, do it, but Mac is not a
part of this.” Even as the words left his lips, Harm realized how his last
words must have sounded to the general.
Surprisingly, the general stood up, walked to the door and closed it,
returning to the chair in front of Harm. He sat down.
“If you haven’t declared your love to her, Harm, you are one damn fool.
Somehow, the way you blushed when I mentioned her name tells me that you
aren’t quite that big a fool and that Mac is a very willing part of it. So,
here’s what I can offer. I do intend to transfer one, or both of you out,
which will leave you free to follow your heart. You may be separated for a
while, since the posts you and the colonel deserve are far apart, but it
will be for a short while, until I can get you a closer billet.”
Harm was speechless. Here was this man who had taken the place of now Ret.
Admiral A. J. Chegwidden, and one with whom Harm had felt no close
connection, openly discussing Mac’s and his future. When he realized what
the general had said about him blushing, Harm felt his face getting warmer
and warmer remembering the plans he had for Mac and him that evening.
“It’s quite refreshing to see a man your age blush, Harm. Now, why don’t you
finish your paperwork and go on home. There’s nothing pending here, and I am
really trying to break in the new kids, Mayfield, Graves and Vukovic. If I
need you, I’ll call you.” The general started to walk away, then turned back
to him. “It’s amazing how you and the colonel have managed to keep your
professional lives out of your personal ones. Right now, we need both you
and the colonel here to train our younger lawyers, but eventually, you both
deserve your own command, so be prepared. Take care of yourself, Commander,
and tell Mattie we are all thinking about her. As for Mac, well, I’m sure
you’ll know what to tell her.” General Cresswell walked out laughing as he
saw Harm blush an even brighter red.
Harm managed to mutter out a weak “Thank you, Sir,” as he stood up when the
general left. Sitting down, Harm realized what had just happened. He also
thought about the transfers that the general had mentioned. Harm knew he did
not want to be separated from Mac anymore. These past few days had been
torture for him, and from the sound of Mac’s voice, he knew she missed him
just as much as he missed her.
It was 1500 hours when Harm went in to tell the general that he was securing
for the day. The report on the Vanarsdale case had been placed on the
general’s desk hours ago. Harm had tried to do some of Bud’s work for him.
Now, he was anxious to go home and put his plan in motion. Mac would be
arriving a few hours later, and Harm wanted to go home and shower, then go
grocery shopping before he went over to Mac’s apartment.
Harm had stopped at the grocery store on his way home. He had gotten all the
makings for omelets and French toast in the morning, and a steak for Mac
tonight, along with the makings for a crab-pasta dinner for himself. He had
everything he needed for a salad and baked potato for Mac, to go with her
steak. She loved sautéed mushrooms, so he made sure he had all the
ingredients to make her homecoming special, grinning as he realized that
food had little to do with making the next few hours unforgettable. He kept
whistling as he shopped, looking at his watch every two or three minutes.
Mac had called him to say that she would not be arriving until 1945, but it
would take at least thirty to forty minutes before she actually got home.
Harm had groaned a little. It meant that much longer before he saw her, but
she refused to have him pick her up, saying it would only waste time.
“I want you waiting for me at home, Harm. Don’t plan on getting any sleep
tonight, Flyboy, because I have really missed you.”
“Like I haven’t missed you, huh,” Harm had chuckled. “Just hurry home,
By 1725, Harm went into the shower. Mac was always saying how much she loved
taking a shower with him, just as he did. Although he missed her not being
with him now, the anticipation of their reunion was much more compelling. He
could sense her close, hoping her plane had landed early. Looking over at
his watch, he realized it was much too early, yet he felt her presence so
vividly, it was almost as if she was with him. Harm glanced at the phone,
which was resting on the lavatory, wondering if he should call her. He
decided to wait, once again surrendering to thoughts of how they would spend
this weekend. Harm was whistling and then broke out into a song.
“My Secret’s Love No Secret Anymore,” Harm sang out. He could never remember
being this happy and filled with so much expectation.
Harm had talked to Tom, Eugenie, his Mom and Mattie earlier, so he didn’t
feel as guilty when he told them it would probably be late Saturday before
he arrived. Even Mattie had sounded almost as happy as he was.
The water rained down on Harm as he washed his hair, still singing about his
secret love not being a secret anymore. He hoped that Mac would want to talk
about setting a wedding date soon. Even though they spent all their free
time together, Harm wanted to be able to call her his wife, and to hear her
call him her husband. Harm was lost in his plans for tonight when he
suddenly felt the warm feeling he always did when Mac was near. Then he felt
her hand on his shoulder. He turned and saw a delectably naked Mac in the
shower with him.
Mac didn’t let him finish, capturing his lips in a hungry kiss, their
tongues colliding in a frenzied dance of their own, one that would match
their bodies in a few minutes. He felt her bare breasts against his chest,
moaning loudly and pressing against her. Her touch had caused an instant
reaction from Harm, as his burning erection brushed up against Mac. She
swayed against him, her fingers in his hair, pulling him closer to her. They
forgot they needed to breathe, but a minute later they broke apart briefly
to take in the much-needed air, only to unite their lips once again in
hungry, demanding kisses.
It was a shower that only lovers would ever indulge in. Their lips would
part for a few seconds to breathe, but their lathered hands were roaming
over each other’s bodies, causing them to tremble with passion. Mac loved
having Harm wash her entire body with his big hands, leaving trails of heat
wherever he touched her. He put his hands on her breasts, drawing them
against the other, crushing them as Mac moaned, telling him to kiss them. He
didn’t even feel the water falling on his face as his lips left hers, his
tongue leaving a hot trail down her neck to his destination. It was a
delicious obsession of their love to which they surrendered so completely.
It was an addiction to one another that they knew would last throughout
“Ha…I…I…now,” Mac cried out.
Harm picked her up and held her against the wall, her legs going around his
waist. He took one breast in his mouth, hearing Mac calling his name over
and over. Harm brushed his engorged member through her wet folds, against
her throbbing bud, causing Mac to shudder against him. Harm took the other
breast in his mouth, nibbling and biting her, pulling and nursing fiercely
until he heard Mac cry out.
Somehow Harm heard her through the euphoria that was fast consuming them. He
managed to turn the water off, carrying Mac to the bed even as the water
dripped from them. Nothing mattered. They fell on the bed. Their kisses were
driving them wild, but when Harm took his erection once again and ran it
through Mac’s moist, heated folds, and resting it on her aching bud, she
grabbed him and pulled him into her. Their intoxication with one another was
so overpowering their bodies shook visibly. It was as if the entire world
was experiencing a gigantic earthquake, but it was just their rejoicing in
With her nails raking down his back, Harm crushed his lips against hers,
their tongues dueling as he began to plunge into her. This time it was Harm
who let out a low growl as he felt her wet, hot walls surrounding him,
tightening around him. The movement of her hands was frantic, as her legs
began to pull him in deeper and deeper. The fact that they could not breathe
did not matter. Mac already felt the ripples of heat turning into an
inferno, totally out of control.
Everything except Harm and Mac and their passion disappeared as their bodies
pummeled into the other, bringing them closer and closer, lifting them
higher and higher, until there was a loud cry from both of them, as the
waves of fire overwhelmed them. The sound of their blood rushing through
them, leaving a roaring echo in their ears, was soon followed by the fiery
waves of their passion. They had reached the highest peak, then suddenly
plummeted into nothingness, only to be filled with overwhelming emotions and
sensations such as they had never known. The glory of their love created
brilliant fireworks, and colours. They were engulfed in a beautifully
excruciating intimacy and sheer, raw ecstasy. Mac’s released washed over
Harm, even as his emptied into her, burning them with a love so pure, so
intense, it was truly magical.
Harm was having difficulty holding himself up as he tried to roll over, but
Mac would not release him, instead keeping him in place. Panting heavily,
Mac refused to let Harm leave her after they finally floated down from their
journey into paradise.
Burying his head in her hair, Harm leaned on his elbows to take his weight
off Mac. His breathing was still ragged, his heart still racing, and his
body still trembling from the wonder of their incredible lovemaking. Once
again, he tried to roll over, but again, Mac pulled him down against her.
“Don’t leave…me…yet, my love. I’ve missed you…so much, Harm. Right now, all
I… want is to feel…complete, and the only…way is to have you inside of me.
Oh, Harm, I love…” Mac buried her face into his chest, spreading kisses all
over him. “I love you so much.”
Wrapping his arms around her, Harm rolled over, holding her tightly against
him so he could grant Mac her wish. She was on top now, and he could just
look at her, take her breasts in his mouth and never let go. Smiling up at
her, his fingers began to stroke her in feather-like caresses. The
aftershocks of their powerful release still filled them, leaving them
wanting more. He ran his thumb against her nipple, then squeezed it between
his thumb and forefinger. He hungered for their taste. He groaned as Mac
began to ride him again, aware that they were far from finished. Grinning at
her, he took one of her breasts in his mouth and nursed contentedly until
their passion became more persistent.
This was Mac’s favourite position because Harm could devour her breasts even
as she sheathed him, pulling him deeper and deeper into her. It was what she
had been dreaming about during her trip home. Mac pulled Harm’s face away
from her breasts, capturing his lips in a scorching kiss that literally
sucked the breath out of him. Their bodies were still flushed from their
previous lovemaking, but neither Harm nor Mac were letting them rest. Taking
his tongue in her mouth, Mac began sucking on it even as she began her
assault on him. They both groaned as Harm began to grow inside of her, not
slowly, but with a fierceness that left Mac elated and soaring once again.
They both shuddered from their passion. Mac knew that within seconds, Harm
would flip them around and then he would pound into her. Harm surprised her.
Instead, he put his hands on her hips, put one long leg around her and set
an incredible rhythm.
Releasing her lips, Harm took her breast in his mouth, devouring her as she
had done to his tongue, his hands raising her up and down, faster and
faster. They were drenched in sweat, but every movement was painfully
delicious, taking them higher and higher. Harm sucked on her breast,
matching his movements. Their moans intensified as they felt the waves began
to envelop them once again, lifting them to even greater heights. Harm
grabbed the other breast in his mouth, biting on her nipple, then swallowing
as much as he could and sucking their sweet nectar. Mac’s head went back.
Harm continued to lift her and push her down onto him as the flames erupted.
Harm and Mac’s hands were all over each other, their bodies tingling and the
roaring in their ears becoming the culmination of their passion as Mac’s
love washed over Harm and his poured into her, hot, fast and filling her
with his very essence, his very life.
Gasping, Harm began to lose his strength as that mystical euphoria consumed
them, wrapping them in a cocoon filled with new emotions, new sensations,
mystical and magical bliss, and an overwhelming sense of intimacy. Mac,
still shaking, finally rested her head on Harm’s chest. Harm was trying
desperately to catch his breath. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her
against him even as he felt the waning ripples of their fiery fulfillment.
Breathing harshly, Harm bent down to kiss the top of Mac’s head, feeling her
wet hair against his lips. Slowly, as the minutes passed, Harm and Mac’s
breathing began to take on an almost normal rhythm. So little had been said
in words, but volumes had been spoken with their lovemaking.
Harm felt Mac’s hand pulling gently on his chest hairs. The afterglow of
their incredible passion still filled them. Suddenly, he realized that Mac
was crying. Lifting her face up gently, he looked into her eyes and saw such
“What…what’s wrong, Mac?” Harm remembered her words about wanting to talk
and he felt the fear consume him.
“I don’t…please…don’t make…I don’t want to leave you again,” Mac sobbed.
“I…missed…missed…you so much.”
“Oh, my Baby…my Mac…my Marine, I…love you so much. Mac…”
Mac’s fingers pressed against his lips, stilling his words. She knew she was
acting silly, but it wasn’t until they became one that she realized she
didn’t ever want to leave him again, especially if it meant going half way
around the world. She had to make him understand how she felt, but for now,
she was content and ecstatic just being with him.
Harm pushed her hair back, looking into her beautiful eyes, eyes that he got
lost in every time he looked into them. Gazing into those eyes, Harm was
amazed at how much he loved her, his Mac. She had become his entire reason
for being, for everything he did. He had never believed himself capable of
loving any woman this much. He placed a gentle kiss on her lips, tasting the
saltiness of her tears.
“Mac, let’s get married right away. I know it won’t change anything, but
everyone will know I belong to you and you alone.”
“That’s all I want now, Harm. I want to be your wife, to help you take care
of Mattie, and to spend the rest of my life by your side. I don’t care about
my career anymore.”
“Sshhh. You don’t mean that, Mac. You’re…
“Yes, I do! Harm, I don’t want to be so far away from you ever again. It’s
taken us nine years to get to this point, and you’re the only one I care
about now. Please believe me.”
“I do believe you, Mac, but you’re not thinking clearly right now. Besides,
if anyone will leave their career behind, it will be me. I have enough time
in to retire. You don’t.”
“I don’t care about that, Harm,” Mac said, sitting up and looking at Harm.
She loved him so much, it was almost painful, but when they were together
like this, she was awed by her feelings for Harm.
Harm pulled her down onto the pillow, his arm behind her, the other drawing
her closer bending over her until their lips met. They shared their wondrous
kisses for several minutes before she cuddled up to him, her eyelids
beginning to close. He pulled the blankets over them, holding Mac tightly
against him and they fell asleep, exhausted, content, and ecstatic to be
together again. Harm had not given a thought to the fact that Mac had come
home early, and instead of meeting him at her apartment, she had walked in
while he was taking a shower. Actually, all rational thoughts had left Harm
the second he saw Mac standing before him. Once their lips met, he was
oblivious to the outside world. Now, the two tired, but contented lovers,
held each other, even as sleep began to overcome them.
TWO AND A HALF HOURS LATER
Harm woke up with a start, feeling as if someone was watching him. He
reached for Mac, but saw her sitting up, smiling and just looking at him.
“Do you know how perfect you are, Harmon Rabb?”
“Perfect? Me? You may rethink that when you’re angry with me, or we go up
against each other in court. But now you, my one and only love, my beautiful
Mac, you have no equal. You’re a woman that every man would love to possess,
and every woman is either envious of, or terrified you might take their man
Mac laughed, running her hand along Harm’s long body, reaching for the one
thing she wanted to feel in her hands.
“Oooohhhh, that’s not fair, Mac. Oh, don’t stop. Aaaahhhh, that feels so
Needless to say, it was another forty-five minutes before Harm and Mac got
up, took individual showers, at Harm’s insistence, and got dressed. Not that
Mac wore much. She knew that tonight was just beginning for them.
Harm was standing in the kitchen, wondering whether he should make breakfast
or dinner. It was the middle of the night, but he knew that Mac had to be
starving. She walked into the kitchen, stepped up to Harm, and kissed him
lightly on the lips.
“Hmmm. You do taste good, Harmon Rabb. I could get used to this,” Mac said,
her fingers traveling seductively down Harm’s chest.
“There’s a lot more where that came from,” Harm said, lifting her head and
bending down to capture her lips. Keeping the kiss light, Harm drew back.
“Speaking of tasting good, you know you are some delicious dish. I know I
could live with that for the rest of my life.”
“Then why did we get out of bed,” Mac grinned impishly. “I guess the floor
is okay, since the bed is all wet.”
“Aren’t you hungry,” Harm asked, then stopped. “Hey, how did you know I was
still here? Didn’t I tell you to meet me at your apartment? Besides, you
came home very early.”
Mac smiled coyly at Harm. There was so much more to their relationship than
just their physical passion, although it was a major part of it, she knew,
yet she felt such a strong connection to him. Mac knew, without a doubt,
that their love had been pre-destined. It was also the most beautiful love
she had ever known. The very thought of being separated from him was the
only thing that kept her from complete happiness. Now, she turned her
attention back to him.
“Well, I knew you would be thinking of ways to surprise me, so I thought I
would surprise you.”
“But how did you know I was in the shower?”
“Let’s just say I’ve gotten used to your ways. Besides, I was going to jump
your bones wherever you were. The fact that you were in the shower made it
perfect. I see you picked my clothes up.” Mac put her arms around his waist.
“By the way, have I told you how much I love you?”
“No, I think you showed me, but I’m very insecure. You may have to show me
again, and well, maybe even again,” Harm said, reaching down to kiss the
hardened nipple peeking out through her robe. “Hmmm. I love the way you
taste. So, you were going to jump my bones, huh? Care to do it again after
we have something to eat, before I hear you complaining?”
“No complaints coming from me. So, what was your surprise?”
“I was going to make dinner for you. I even got you a steak, makings for a
baked potato, and sautéed mushrooms. Oh, and of course, a salad. I was also
going to have a hot bath waiting for you, and after that, well, I thought
we’d go…ouch,” Harm yelled playfully as Mac swatted his behind. “What’s
wrong with that, may I ask?”
“My surprise was better,” Mac said, wrapping her hand around his now very
alert member. “Oh, my, what have we here?”
“Mac, you have to eat something. Oh, forget I said that…Ma…ac,” Harm groaned
“I could have dessert now and have dinner later,” Mac said, grinning up at
Harm as she knelt in front of him.
“You are insatiable, Sarah MacKenzie…aashhh…Mac…ooohhhh,” Harm said, knowing
she was going to have her way with him. He wasn’t putting up much of a
“I think the bed would be more comfortable,” Mac said, grinning
mischievously up at Harm as she tasted him again.
“The bed is all wet,” Harm said, his knees about to give out. A low growl
escaped him as he felt the heat of Mac’s mouth envelop him. “The sofa,” he
said, picking Mac up and going into the living room.
Slapping his hand away, Mac pulled Harm’s boxers off. Oh, was he ever ready.
Licking her lips, Mac swallowed him, hearing him groan. She wanted to make
this last, so she was going to have to torture him, albeit a torture he
would enjoy thoroughly, and one she had been fantasizing about since she got
on the plane, several hours earlier than she had told Harm.
Mac did indeed torture Harm, but he wasn’t complaining. They had no concept
of how much time had gone by until Harm could not hold back. Regardless of
how much Harm had tried to change Mac’s mind, she had known what she wanted
and no one was going to keep her from attaining her goal. Somehow, Mac felt
so much pleasure in seeing Harm throw his head back, his eyes closing
heavily, and finally, calling out her name as she felt his body trembling,
and his voice calling out her name.
Harm returned the favour, and an hour later, Mac begged for mercy, weakened,
but loving him even more with every second. They grabbed some pillows and
got a blanket and fell asleep on the floor in order to give their bed a
chance to dry off.
It was indeed an unforgettable twenty hours for Harm and Mac. They had
rested very little, and slept even less. Harm had finally made the omelets
for them, insisting they both needed to keep their energy up. It was only
then that Harm went back to asking Mac how she knew about his whereabouts
when she was supposed to have met him at her apartment.
“I knew you would be planning some kind of special evening, Harm, and I
really did intend to go to my ex-apartment (Harm chuckled), but when I got
the chance to leave a few hours earlier, I was on the plane before the pilot
was, and here I am.”
“Are you sure? I don’t believe you. You just couldn’t wait to jump my bones,
so you lied to me…Mac, how many times do I have to tell you I’m not
ticklish.” Harm was having a difficult time trying to hold his laugher in.
He finally pinned Mac’s arms behind her.
“Now, being ticklish is your style. I’ll offer you a deal.”
“A deal,” Mac said, cocking her head to get a better lock at Harm.
Struggling not to giggle, she stared at him. “What kind of a deal?”
“If you stop tickling me, I won’t tickle you,” Harm said.
“Aha! So you are ticklish…wait…wait…okay, okay, no more tickling. Harm, are
you as happy as I am?” Mac’s last question was quite serious.
“Happy? No. I’m delirious. I feel as if I’m fantasizing all this and that if
I let you go, I’ll wake up and it was all a dream. I can’t begin to tell you
how happy I am, Mac.”
“So am I,” Mac said, solemnly. She reached up and caressed his face. “You
know, you are absolutely perfect.”
“How can I possibly be perfect when it took me, what, nine years to tell you
how much I love you? That alone makes me a fool. But you, on the other hand,
you’re the ultimate woman. I bet Venus, Aphrodite, and all the other
goddesses of beauty and love envy you because you are so beautiful, and the
way you make me feel when we are making love, well, they could take lessons
Mac had to laugh at Harm’s ridiculous comparison, but when she looked into
his eyes, she realized that that was how he saw her. To him, she was the
most beautiful woman in the world. She had her comeback.
“I bet even Narcissus would be jealous of your perfection, Harmon Rabb. You
can name all the Greek, Roman, Norse and other mythological gods who were
supposed to be the most beautiful, the bravest, and the best lovers and you
could teach them a lot.”
"Narcissus? Mac, that guy was so vain, he fell in love with himself, and
there are times I don't even like myself. The only one I love is you."
“Well, okay, let’s make it Apollo, oh, I know, the statue of David. Yep, you
fit that one perfectly.”
“Boy, are you a kidder,” Harm said. “Hey, they were gods. The only time I
feel like one is when you make me feel like one, and you are an expert at
that, my beautiful Mac.”
“Come on, Harm, even the real David would be jealous of you. You make him
look puny. Let's say you are much better...ah...endowed? And I bet none of
them can fly an F14 or a Hornet,” Mac giggled. “Okay, it’s time to get
serious. It’s getting late. We should be leaving soon. I’m anxious to meet
this Aunt Eugenie.”
“Now I know why I love you so much. You truly do make me feel like a god. We
better get going. I’d like to see if Mom and Dad will take a break and get
some rest. You really think so, Mac?”
“That none of them could fly a Tomcat or a Hornet?”
Mac jumped on him, looking into his eyes. Loving him this much was
frightening, but it was also the greatest gift she had ever received. They
kissed for a few seconds, then got up and started to get ready to leave.
During the long hours of making love, Harm had removed Mac’s engagement ring
from the chain and placed it on her finger.
“The general knows about us, Mac, and I’m tired of hiding our love. We don’t
have to tell them that the ring is from me. Just tell them that you are
engaged and very happy.”
Mac had looked at her ring, loving the feel of it on her finger. Even if
General Cresswell knew, she had to talk to Harm first about something she
had been thinking about for several weeks now. So, the ring was now on Mac’s
finger, glittering everytime the light fell on the diamonds.