La Jolla, California
Friday, July 2, 2004
1604 Hours (local)
After lunch, Harm and Mac had stayed inside the house, chatting. Mostly, Mac was filling him in on the activities at JAG and some of her recent cases, including the thieving Petty Officer, who was out of the Navy, spending a few years in jail, and ordered to get counseling. Mac told him stories that Bud and Harriet had shared about AJ and Jimmy, who were both getting bigger everyday. After the heat of the day had passed, the two decided to go down onto the beach for a little while, even though Mac was so tired she was having trouble keeping her eyes open.
Looking at herself in the mirror of the bathroom, Mac sighed. She had debated which swimsuit to bring for the weekend and ended up bringing two, a simple bluish-green one piece that actually stayed up when swimming, and the one she had on. Biting her lip, she wasn’t so sure she should be wearing it. It wasn’t that she was ashamed of her body, far from it; she worked hard to stay in shape. But it was Harm she was swimming with. After everything they had been through recently, she wasn’t so sure it was appropriate; she didn’t know if she was ready to push the issue.
The knock on her bedroom door, and the sound of Harm calling her name, brought her out of her reverie. “Hey, Mac? Are you ready?”
Shutting off the light in the bathroom, Mac stepped into the bedroom and picked up her towel, which had blue and green stripes on it and red, orange, yellow, and purple fish scattered about. Here goes nothing, she thought to herself, opening the door.
When Mac opened the door, a thousand butterflies burst out of cocoons in Harm’s stomach and took flight. The band that was wrapped around his chest tightened and he found it hard to breathe. Mac was more than beautiful, beyond gorgeous. She was a goddess. His mouth opened and closed while he tried to think of something to say.
“Is this okay?” she asked.
Harm allowed his eyes to travel up and down her. The black bikini was small, leaving little, but just enough, to the imagination. It set off her slightly bronzed skin perfectly, completing the image of the goddess that she was. Her long legs traveled from the floor up, a small triangle of fabric covering what he knew lay beneath. Two ties, one on each side, held the material in place. The material ended well below her belly button, and if Harm had to guess, he would say that if it sat just a little bit lower, he would be able to see some hair. The flat planes of her well-muscled, but decidedly feminine stomach, was a testament to how hard she trained to stay in shape for the Marine Corps. And above that, was her chest, which Harm tried not to linger on. He did notice, however, that the black triangles that consisted of the top of her suit contained everything, but only barely. A string ran along the bottom of the triangles, connecting them, and he assumed, tied in the back. From the top of each triangle was another strap that went up and disappeared behind her neck, presumably tied together. Moving further up, was her face, which was in all of Harm’s best dreams. A face that said that she was waiting. “Uh, what?” he asked, unaware that she had even spoken.
“Is this okay?” she repeated nervously.
Harm smiled, blushing slightly. “If you lose your suit, I’ll help you find it,” he blurted out.
“You think I should change?” she asked, taking a step back.
“No,” Harm said quickly, grabbing her hand. “It’s fine. Come on,” he said, tugging her along after him.
Mac followed him down the stairs and as they headed through the kitchen, he dropped her hand. On the back deck, Trish was working with some flowers.
Trish looked up at the pair and smiled. They did look good together. Harm was wearing a pair of navy blue swim trunks and Mac, in that bikini, looked like a woman out to catch a man. “Have fun down there,” she said to them.
Glancing at Mac, Harm responded, “We will.”
As they walked down the steps, Trish said under her breath, “Not too much, I hope. It may be our property, but there are people down there.”
Down on the beach, Harm and Mac laid their towels out, Mac immediately flopping down on hers. “You put sunscreen on, right?” Harm asked.
Mac nodded, “Up in the room. You?”
“Yup. I’ve been working on my tan, but I don’t need to look like a lobster to do it.”
Mac was lying on her stomach, her head on her arms. She lifted her head and turned to look at Harm. “I can tell. Some of the paleness has faded,” she grinned.
Harm rolled his eyes.
“Seriously, you look good. You’ve put some weight back on, you’ve got some muscle tone back.”
Looking down at his stomach, which was not as well muscled as it once was, Harm responded, “Not as much as I used to.”
“You’ll get it back,” Mac reassured. She turned away from him again, closing her eyes.
Harm leaned back on his elbows, watching the motion of the waves as they crashed and rolled up the beach. “Mac?”
Her arms muffled her voice. “Hmm?”
He swallowed before he spoke, “When you opened the door up there,” he began, “I… you…”
Mac opened her eyes and turned to look at him, waiting for him to continue. “Cat got your tongue?”
“Something like that.”
“Why don’t you just spit it out?” she suggested.
“You look incredible,” he said, meeting her gaze briefly before looking away.
Mac smiled as she looked away again. “Thanks. You’re looking good over there yourself.” She lowered her head again and closed her eyes. Within moments, she was asleep, despite her best attempts to stay awake.
Harm looked over at her and knew she had fallen asleep. Knowing she was tired, he wasn’t surprised. She had gotten up early to catch the plane and flying west was always tiring. He was content to sit beside her, watching her doze in the afternoon sunlight. A little while later, he roused her just enough to get her to roll over. He could imagine her chewing him out because he allowed her to sleep the whole time on one side.
Some time after flipping over, Mac turned her head to the side and opened her eyes. Harm was lying on his stomach, watching her. She smiled at him, her eyes squinting in the sunlight. “Have you done anything besides watch me?” she asked.
Harm thought for a moment. “No. I woke you up to roll you over once, but that’s it.”
“My tan thanks you.”
“Well, tell your tan I said you’re welcome.”
Mac closed her eyes again. “If I don’t get up, Harm, I’m going to sleep here for the rest of the day.”
“We could go back to the house,” he suggested. “You could lay down up there.”
“I could… But it is July, I’m at the beach, I don’t have very much time here, I’m here to spend time with you… I’m sure you can think of something better then sleeping up at the house. I’ll do that tonight.”
“We could swim,” he suggested.
Mac opened her eyes again, gracing him with a smile. “That sounds good.”
Harm smiled back and quickly bounded to his feet. Mac slowly rolled over and accepted the hand up that Harm offered. She was still pretty tired, but she really didn’t want to spend the whole day sleeping.
The water of the Pacific Ocean was warm and Mac loved the way it felt as it hit her toes. “You think I could convince the Admiral to let me stay out here?” she asked.
“No,” Harm said, shaking his head. “He wouldn’t let you come. Not unless he came, too.”
“That might take some of the fun out of it,” Mac said, laughing.
They stepped out further into the water. Mac could feel the tide tugging at her suit, but it held and she knew Harm was disappointed.
La Jolla, California
Sunday, July 4, 2004
2121 Hours (local)
The fireworks were done and Harm and Mac were alone on the beach, Trish and Frank having left them some time ago. The sand beneath Mac’s toes was still warm from the sun earlier in the day, but the moon and the stars were the only thing overhead now. She was in a pair of shorts and a lightweight button-down shirt, and despite the warmth of the evening air, the ocean breeze sent occasional shivers up her spine. For a long time, she and Harm had just been enjoying each other’s company, knowing that she had to leave the next day.
Without thinking about his actions, Harm reached down and picked up Mac’s hand, which had been resting between them. “This is nice.”
Mac squeezed his hand and nodded. “It has been good.”
For several more minutes, the pair just watched the waves roll ashore. A couple was strolling along the beach, holding hands. They paused in their walking to share a kiss, and for a moment, Mac wished she were a part of that pair, Harm making up the other half.
“What are you thinking?”
“Nothing, really.” She was quiet for a moment. “You?”
“I think that as soon as the doctors let me, I’ll come back east.”
“Does that mean you want to come back to JAG?”
“I’d like to.”
Mac squeezed his hand. “I hear a ‘but’ in there.”
Harm said nothing for a full sixty seconds. “But I’m not sure it would be the right move.”
Mac nodded. “And why is that?”
Once again, Harm was silent before answering, this time for much longer than sixty seconds. He turned and looked at Mac and when she felt his eyes upon her, she returned the gaze. “Do you want me back?” he asked.
“At JAG? Of course I do.”
Harm glanced down at his hands. Holding their joined hands up, he asked, “But what about this?”
Mac studied their hands for a minute. “We’ll see where it goes.” She knew what he was getting at, but she didn’t want to keep him away from JAG if that was where he really wanted to be. They would take things as they came, see where the road led.
Harm nodded and looked away. He figured her response would be similar to what she gave him. After many long minutes of silence, their hands still joined, Mac shuddered, and Harm felt it. “Are you cold?” he asked.
She shook her head. “Just a cold chill. I’m fine.”
Harm released her hand and pulled her close to him, draping his arm over her shoulder. “This better?”
Mac nodded and Harm could feel the movement against his chest.
Later, Harm looked down and noticed that Mac was looking up at him, her brown eyes twinkling. “What are you thinking now?” he asked.
“Nothing,” she responded, smiling softly. She certainly understood Harm’s concern for the state of their relationship upon his return home because she felt those same fears. Despite her confident tone towards Harm, she needed someone to make her feel better about the situation.
“Yeah, right. I know you’re thinking something.”
Mac continued to gaze at him for a moment before answering. “This whole weekend has been nice. I needed to get away from everything back home. And I can’t wait until you come home, because I have missed you.” She swallowed before going on, “But when you get home, when you come back to JAG, because I know you want to, will it be the same?”
“Will what be the same?”
“You and me. Will you still feel the same way?”
“That’s never going to change.” He knew that no matter what happened between them, he would always love her.
“What if we mess this up?” she asked.
“We’ll try again.”
“After the last time, after everything, I don’t know that I could try again if this doesn’t work,” she admitted weakly. She didn’t know if her heart could take that kind of pain.
“Then we’ll have to make this work,” he whispered. He wasn’t sure there would be enough of him left to try again either if they failed. He felt just as scared as she sounded.
Mac pulled herself up and away from Harm and looked at him.
“Are you scared?” he asked.
“Of getting hurt again. Of hurting you. Of losing you.”
“You’ll never lose me, Mac.”
“That’s my line.”
Harm smiled and reached for her hand again. “Would it make you feel better if I said I was scared, too?”
It was Mac’s turn to smile. “Do you think we can?”
“I know we can.”
Mac looked away, out to sea.
He watched her for a moment, pondering his next move. “Mac?” he whispered, his voice just barely strong enough to carry on the wind.
She turned back to him, her eyes questioning.
Harm scooted forward, removing his hand from hers. Mac looked away, but Harm raised his hand to her chin and lifted it so that she was looking at him again. She swallowed and he asked, “Is this okay?”
She could barely hear him, but she knew what he was asking. Her breath had left her when he touched her chin and she was waiting for it to return, but as long as he continued to look at her like he was, with such love, such adoration, and such wanting, her breath wasn’t going to return. She nodded her head, but only barely.
Harm gently touched his lips to hers, so lightly at first that Mac thought it was her imagination. But as he increased his pressure, she knew this was very real. Reaching up with one hand, she moved it behind his head and pulled him closer, increasing still further the pressure of his kiss. His tongue slipped out of his mouth and traced the shape of her lips, running along the seam between them, begging for entrance. As Mac opened her mouth to grant him access, he reached around and pulled her closer to him, nearly pulling her onto his lap. When his tongue slipped inside, Mac let out an involuntary groan of pleasure, her other arm snaking around Harm as she pulled herself to him.
They finally broke for air and Harm asked again, “Is this okay?”
“As long as it’s me you’re kissing,” Mac responded, smiling.
Harm looked down at their legs, now entangled, Mac half on-top of him. “I’m sorry about that whole mess.”
“I know. I’m sorry, too,” Mac said. “I’m sorry I got so angry that I never gave you a chance to apologize or explain or anything. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer before about what was going on in my life. I’m sorry for pushing you to it.”
Harm smiled, “How about we both just admit that we’re sorry and leave the whole event in the past, work on going forward from here?”
“Forward sounds good,” Mac nodded.
“Good. Then kiss me again,” Harm insisted, pulling Mac’s head forward again.
She went along willingly.
Harm’s fingers tangled in her hair, his other hand ran up and down her back, every once in a while slipping beneath her shirt to feel bare skin. Likewise, one of Mac’s hands could be found wandering beneath Harm’s shirt, touching his skin. Gently pulling Mac to the side, Harm laid her down on the towel they had been sitting on. They continued to kiss, their tongues dancing to a rhythm as old as time itself. Side by side they lay, exploring each other with their mouths and their hands. One of Harm’s legs was between Mac’s. She found herself pressing on his thigh and could feel Harm’s arousal on her other thigh.
As they pulled apart for a moment to catch their breath, Harm spoke softly, “I haven’t felt this good in a long time.”
“Since the accident?”
“Since…” Mac trailed off, thinking of so many things.
“Maybe not ever,” he whispered as his lips captured hers again.
Long minutes later, Mac pulled back. “Harm?”
“Do you want to go up to the house?”
It was a simple question, but Harm didn’t know what she meant by it. It was an innocent question, but the gleam in her eyes suggested there was more than just what appeared on the surface. He nodded, hesitant to voice his thoughts and ruin the spell that had been cast over them.
Mac pulled herself away from Harm and got to her feet, holding her hand down to help him up. Once on his feet, Harm picked the towel up and shook the sand out and they walked back to the house, hand in hand.
After hanging the towel over the deck railing, they went inside. Both were relieved to neither see, nor hear, Trish and Frank anywhere. They didn’t so much as care where they were, just as long as they weren’t around them.
Still holding hands at the top of the stairs, Mac pulled Harm towards her room. Only then did he show the first signs of hesitation. “Mac, are you sure?”
Mac nodded, smiling.
“It’s not that I don’t want to,” he went on, “I just don’t want to mess this up.”
“We won’t,” Mac responded, her words similar to the ones he had spoken down on the beach, implying a confidence she didn’t completely feel. But she wanted this, wanted him. She needed to be with him tonight. Kissing him again, she kept him from speaking any more, dragging him into the room. Harm shut the door quietly behind them.
They fell onto the bed together and continued the exploration that had begun down on the beach, deepening it, taking it further. Mac had left the bedside light on earlier and she reached to turn it off, but Harm stopped her. “Don’t. I want to see you.”
Mac smiled softly and left the light alone. Kissing him again, she lifted the hem of his shirt to pull it off him. They separated so she could bring the material over his head, ridding him of the garment. Their lips met again, but only for a moment as Mac moved to explore. Her lips longed to touch every inch of him, from his ears to his jaw down his throat across his shoulders and around his nipples. She longed to run her tongue through the perfect amount of chest hair across his chest. Taking her time, she did exactly as she wanted.
Harm’s long arms reached down and slowly unbuttoned her shirt, slipping it off her shoulders. Once bare, Harm’s hands explored the soft skin of her backside before he pulled her up to kiss her lips again. “Your turn.” Taking his time with his exploration, he kissed her over her red bra and down her stomach, hesitating at her belly button. Kissing his way back up, he halted his exploration momentarily to reach underneath her and unclasp her bra. He gently freed her breasts, in awe of their perfection. Leaning down, he lightly kissed one already hard nipple, swirling his tongue around the areole, his fingers rolling the other nipple. After a few minutes of this, he switched, sending his tongue to the opposite nipple, giving it the same treatment. Kissing his way back up, he found her lips again, his tongue slipping easily inside. One of them moaned; Harm wasn’t sure whether it was him or Mac.
Rolling them over so she was on top, Mac kissed her way down his torso again, following the narrow trail of hair down south. Reaching the waistband of his pants, she slid her hands up his legs, moving to unbutton his jeans, her hands brushing his hardness. Harm groaned in response. As Mac worked to remove his jeans, he lifted his hips, allowing them to slip off. Mac moved leisurely back up his legs, her hands moving achingly slow, lightly skimming his skin, causing goose-bumps to form. Reaching his thighs, her hands moved up the legs of his boxer shorts, her progress slowing even further. “Mac…” Harm hissed out between his lips. She was going to kill him.
Smiling, Mac slid her hands back down his thighs, moving back above his boxers. As she straddled him, he reached up to touch her breasts. Moving his hands down to unbutton her jean shorts, one of his hands snaked inside, brushing against the lace of her underwear. This time it was Harm that rolled them over, easing Mac’s shorts off once he was on top. Kissing his way back up her legs, he maintained eye contact with her. He was drowning in the chocolate depths of her eyes, but there was no place he would rather be.
Harm kissed her mound over her red, lacy, underwear. “Were we being patriotic today?” he asked as he kissed, losing himself in the scent of her arousal.
“Maybe,” Mac whispered, arching her hips forward, urging Harm closer. She was going to die if he didn’t do something soon.
Moving away from her core, Harm kissed his way up her body, stretching himself across her to find her lips again. His voice a whisper, he said, “I like it.”
Between kisses, Mac responded, “I… like… you…” When her simple statement was completed, she flipped them again, placing herself, once more, on top. Her core was hovering mere inches from his organ. Smiling with a devilish grin, she slid one hand inside his boxers and grasped him firmly.
“Oh, God, Mac,” Harm groaned. He wanted to yell, he wanted to explode. But yelling would alert his mom and Frank, and exploding now would end their activities before they got started.
Mac moved her hand up and down him, slowly. Finding the drop of liquid already present in his excitement, she spread it around, circulating out from the tip of his length. She had only felt him once before like this, but it was quick and desperate and she had not been able to truly enjoy the experience, or even see what she was doing. But now, Mac was certain she would never get enough of touching this man, pleasing him.
As she pulled her hand away, Harm mourned the loss of contact. The sound he emitted was close to a whimper.
Mac only continued to smile as she gently pulled down his boxers. Raising his hips once again, Harm felt the material slide off him. Spending a moment looking at him, Mac marveled at the sight before her. Lowering her head, she placed a kiss on the tip of his penis, tasting him.
Harm groaned again. Kissing her way down his length, Mac ran her tongue back up like she was licking an ice cream cone. Moving his hands, he gripped her head, urging her onward. He didn’t want her to feel like he was forcing her to do this, but he wanted what she was offering. When Mac placed her whole mouth over him, he thought he was going to die in the warm heat that was her mouth. Moving up and down, her tongue swirling around, she stroked his thighs, sometimes hard, sometimes soft. And every once in a while, she would use one hand to play with his balls. He didn’t know what she would do next, but if she didn’t stop, he was going to explode.
Mac felt him drag her up. Her lips found his, desperately seeking to be connected to him. Rolling them again, he tugged her underwear down as they moved. Once the thin scrap of material was gone, Harm traced the outline of her lower lips with his fingers. Slipping one finger into her slit, she gasped. Sliding his fingers through her wetness, he teased her clit. Harm moved his lips from hers and kissed his way down again, his tongue licking the skin in the valley between her breasts. As he reached the juncture between her legs, he slid one finger further into her, causing her to moan in pleasure.
Tentatively, he reached his tongue out and lapped at her juices. He had tasted her once before, but it wasn’t nearly enough. That night, he had wanted to do so much more, take them so much further, but it hadn’t been in the cards. Now, it was their turn. Slipping a second finger inside, Harm’s tongue teased her clit. “Harm!” Mac called, losing herself in the sensation. Arching her hips forward, she pushed Harm’s fingers deeper inside. The spring inside was twisting tighter and it was about to release. “Harm…” she moaned, her knuckles white from her tight grip on the sheets.
Swirling his tongue around her clit, he bent his fingers deep inside her.
“Oh God!” she yelled.
From between her legs, Harm grinned. It was a beautiful sound, one he would never grow tired of hearing. Moving back up, he laid beside her as she came down and was caught off guard when she rolled back on top of him.
Crashing her lips on to his, her tongue invaded his mouth as her center hovered above his erection. She lowered herself, not on to him, but close enough to lubricate him.
“Mac…” he breathed as she broke the kiss.
“Do you want this?” she asked.
“More than anything. I want you.”
Mac kissed him again.
Harm struggled for control and rolled her under him again. He was poised at her entrance. Sliding himself along her, he lubricated himself further. Mac moved her hips forward, encouraging him. “I want to feel you, Harm. Inside me.”
Harm began to ease himself inside.
They both groaned at the beginning of their joining.
“Are you okay?” he asked, with just his tip inside.
“Don’t stop,” Mac begged.
Harm slid a little further in, unable to stop himself. “No, I mean, are you okay? We agreed to wait another year.” His voice was strained and it was taking all of his self-control to not give in and bury himself completely.
Mac paused at this. Shaking her head, she wanted to cry. “I’m not, Harm. Do you have anything?”
Shaking his head, his heart broke even as he slid further inside. “I left them at home. I wasn’t planning on using them out here. Do you?” He knew by the look in her eyes, though, that she was as unprepared as he was. They had come so close, but they were going to have to stop because they weren’t covered for birth control.
“I wasn’t expecting this to happen,” she whispered as she moved her hips forward, unable to stop.
Harm was almost all the way in, and knowing it might be all he would get, he went ahead and pushed the rest of the way in. Hesitating to even think of his mom and Frank in such a manner, Harm doubted they would have any condoms. It looked like they were stuck.
Mac wrapped her arms around Harm, pulling him closer. “I don’t want to stop,” she whispered. Moving her hips, she emphasized her point, her breathing heavy.
Harm moaned, thrusting in response. Breathing heavily as well, he could smell their arousal, the scent of Mac’s shampoo, the smell of the beach. He never wanted to leave now that he had found his piece of heaven.
Mac clung to Harm like it was all she had. They both kept moving, neither willing to call a halt to the experience. Rolling herself back on top, she willed herself to stop.
Mac was bent low over him, her torso pressing against his. Leaning up and kissing her, his hands explored her backside. Reaching low, he clutched her rear end, pulling the skin taut, the action causing her to gasp. “Oh, Harm…”
They were both still moving. Mac didn’t have it in her to stop this union. “What if…” Harm began, desperate to continue, “I pull out.”
“I could still get pregnant,” Mac breathed heavily.
“If that happens, we’ll figure it out. I promise,” Harm managed to choke out.
Mac nodded, knowing she shouldn’t accept this, but powerless to stop it. Her body and her heart were staging a revolt and refused to listen to her brain.
Harm rolled them over once more and balanced himself on his forearms above her. “God, Mac…”
They continued the slow dance they were engaged in, both of them knowing they were playing with fire. Mac trailed her nails up and down his back while Harm twisted her hair around his knuckles. Their groans, moans, gasps, and hushed words created a song to which they alone danced.
Harm felt the tension building in her and knew she was close, but he didn’t know if he could hold off until she finished. “Mac,” he breathed. “Let it go.”
Her breathing quickened even more. “Harm!” she called as quietly as she could.
Feeling her muscles contract around him, he tried to hold on as long as he could, draw out the pleasure for her, but he knew he couldn’t last.
“Oh, God, Harm…” she moaned, louder this time.
Was there ever a more beautiful sound? At the last moment, Harm called her name and pulled out, barely making it. Spilling his seed over her stomach, he collapsed on top of her.
For many long minutes, they lay together, catching their breath. The scent of their union filled the room. Harm breathed in her shampoo, mingled with her sweat, and Mac could smell the traces of his aftershave, also mingling with his sweat. Finally, Harm pulled off her. Neither of them knew what to say.
Mac moved to the side a little and grabbed a tissue from the nightstand. Wiping Harm’s seed off her stomach, she carelessly tossed the tissue on the floor and moved back next to him, curling herself around him, one hand splayed across his chest.
Harm pulled her close with one arm under her shoulders. Rolling onto his side, he wrapped his other arm over her and nuzzled into her hair. His voice barely audible, he said, “Love you.”
“Love you, too,” she whispered back, just as quietly.
Harm moved to slip out of the covers as Mac started to doze off.
Tightening her grip around him, she said, “Stay.”
It was all he needed. Harm reached up and turned the light off, content to settle in for the night.