Catacombs of the Heart
Part Nine

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18           19           20           21          


Washington, D.C.
Sunday, October 5, 2003
0145 Hours (local)

Harm, Mac, Denise, and Jen had met the previous night and gotten everything straightened out. They had found an outfit appropriate for Jen to wear; dark and sexy, but not too revealing. And of course, the wire was hidden. A van was parked around the corner from the club with one of the guys from the D.C. Police inside, listening to Jen. Denise was wearing a pager, put on vibrate, so she could be notified should something of interest concerning the case be said. Mac and Jen were going to arrive at the club around 2300 together and Harm and Denise would show up at about the same time. The setting up of the pairs had taken some time, as it seemed natural for Harm and Mac to go together, and that had been the original plan, until Mac pointed out that Harm and Denise had already been to the club, so what if they were spotted again, this time with different people? So it was decided that Mac and Jen would show up together and Harm and Denise would show up together. Ideally, Harm and Denise would arrive first (Mac and Denise joked that they would set his watch five minutes fast without telling him), so when Jen arrived, she would have full back up.

Additionally, another problem was presented with Jen's cover story. If they didn't catch their man on the first try and Jen let it slip that she was home on leave, her story would be blown. They had wanted to have her home on leave from somewhere, as it would make it more consistent with the stories of the other girls, but there was a possibility that they would be there for several nights, in which case, she wouldn't be home on leave for several weeks. So, for the night, she was Ensign Jennifer Martin, normally stationed at Pax River, but comes home to visit family and friends on her weekends off.

Both parties had arrived on time. Harm and Denise set up station in the chairs around the dance floor so they could keep their eyes on the corner. Initially, Jen and Mac got some drinks, non-alcoholic, and sat in the back, talking. Harm bought drinks for him and Denise, also non-alcoholic, and chatted for a while. He and Denise got up and danced for a few songs, trying to blend in. Mac and Jen were catching the eye of a few guys. Finally, one approached them and Jen went off to dance with him. While Jen was their bait, Mac was also allowed to dance, but she had a story of working for a law firm and hanging out with Jen when she wanted to. And even though Mac was older, they still had a strong friendship. Should questions be asked, Mac had mentored Jen when she was in high school. And Mac's cover name was Mackenzie Rushmore.

After nearly three hours, lots of dancing and several drinks later, they were no closer to getting their man. At one point, Jen had been near the back corner, talking to a guy, and Harm and Denise had been dancing. They had taken a break and decided to sit for a few minutes. They had kept their eyes on the guy, and he in turn, was keeping his eyes on the two of them. So, improvising for a moment, Harm pulled Denise up and backed her up against the wall to kiss her. He had told her to watch the guy, but do it discreetly. And for several minutes, this worked, until Jen walked away from him and found Mac at one of the tables, glaring in the general direction of Harm and Denise.

Jen eyed Mac's glare and saw Harm pressing Denise up against the wall. "He is hot, isn't he? Too bad he apparently has someone."

"Huh?" Mac jumped. She had seen Jen walk away, but she hadn't noticed her grabbing the seat next to her.

"The guy, over there, he's hot, isn't he?"

Mac turned to Jen and studied her for a moment. There was laughter in her eyes. Mac relaxed and said, "Yeah. Too bad all the good ones are taken."

Jen laughed.

"So, what did that guy want?" Mac asked.

"The same thing they all do: to take me home." Jen had done an excellent job conforming to the role, easily slipping back to something resembling her wilder days. And she was enjoying it, the chance to be someone else and be a little crazy.

Mac took a sip of her drink. Harm and Denise had backed off and were wandering back through the crowd to the bar. Glancing down at her watch, not that she needed to, she said, "You ready to head out for the night?"

Jen glanced around the club for a moment before nodding. "Yeah."

The two ladies rose from the table and headed up the stairs. As she went, Mac caught Harm's eye, making sure he knew where they were headed, and offered him a flirtatious smile, more for appearance's sake than herself or Harm. Harm smiled broadly back at her and winked. They needed this to look good.


Mac's Apartment
Washington, D.C.
Sunday, October 5, 2003
0247 Hours (local)

They had all agreed to meet back up at Mac's apartment afterwards so they could discuss the events, or the lack thereof, that occurred at the club. Mac's apartment had been chosen because it was the closest to the club and everybody but Denise knew where it was. By the time Harm and Denise arrived, Mac and Jen had already rinsed off in the shower and slipped into more comfortable clothing. Mac was in a white pajama set, with little stars and moons on it, for the night and Jen was in a pair of black pajama pants and a long-sleeve t-shirt. The two of them were sprawled out on Mac's couch when Harm and Denise arrived.

Denise sank into the chair near the couch and Harm went into the kitchen to get two bottles of water. He handed one to Denise when he passed and he dropped down to the floor, stretching his legs out in front of him and leaning back on his elbows.

"Okay," Mac began, her eyes closed, "if anyone wants to stay here tonight, you are welcome to it. I will point you into the direction of blankets and pillows, but you'll have to get them yourself because I don't think I can move."

"Sounds tempting," Harm said as he lay back on the carpet.

Denise yawned before she spoke, "Then, let's make this quick. Jen, did you get anything from anybody?"

"Nope," Jen mumbled.

"What about that guy you were talking to near the end?" Denise questioned.

"Same old song. He just wanted to take me home. Very persistent." Jen yawned. "Too bad for him, I wasn't interested. But I did talk to him; let him down gently, made him feel good about it. No use in making enemies."

Mac spoke, "So, do we get to…" she trailed off as a yawn escaped, "do this again next weekend?"

"Appears that way," Denise said. "Unless something comes up. We checked the corner as we left at closing time and there was nothing."

For a moment, nothing more was said. Finally, Harm got to his feet. "Come on, I'll take you back to my place for your car," he said to Denise.

Denise dragged herself out of her chair. "How about next time, we all meet here beforehand? Then I'll have my car here and Harm won't have to do any extra driving."

Mac nodded. "Whatever. Can I go to sleep now?"

Harm let out a small laugh. "Go to bed, Marine."

"Go home, Sailor. Drive carefully."

"I will," Harm said as he led Denise out of the apartment.

A minute later, Mac turned to Jen, who like her, had her head leaning back on the cushion of the couch, her eyes closed, "Seriously, if you don't want to drive home, you can stay. I have an extra toothbrush."

Jen turned and looked at Mac. "You sure?"

"You never know when you'll need a spare toothbrush," she said, smiling.

Jen smiled back, "Thanks."

"It'll be like old times," Mac said with a smile.

Jen giggled. "I guess it will, except I'm not your prisoner now."

"No," Mac agreed, "you're not. You've come a long way, Jen. I'm proud of you."

"Thank you," Jen responded, almost blushing.

Mac stayed where she was for a moment longer before getting to her feet. Jen got up as well and followed Mac into her bedroom. While Jen brushed her teeth, Mac laid out some sheets and blankets on the couch and set up a pillow. Mac said goodnight to Jen and collapsed into her own bed.



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