Retrieving his weapon from the bookshelf, Harm followed Porter Webb into the kitchen, his mind still coming to terms with having just seen the woman put three bullets into a man and not bat an eye. It explained a few things about her son, he supposed. He had always suspected that she was a strong woman - and this incident had just confirmed that.
Wandering to the window that overlooked the terrace below the house, Harm could see Mac standing at the railing as Webb approached.
"Would you care for a cup of tea, Commander?" Porter Webb asked as if he were simply a visitor that she was entertaining. "It looks as if my son was making himself a cup before all of this began."
"No, thank you anyway, Mrs. Webb," Harm said, giving her a tight smile before looking out of the window again in time to see Webb's head jerk around from the force of the slap that Mac delivered to his cheek. He winced, thinking both that it must have hurt - and that if he'd been in Mac's shoes, he would probably have done a lot worse.
"I wouldn't worry about it if I were you, Commander," Porter said in a calm, even tone.
Harm turned to look at her again. "I beg your pardon?"
She poured hot water into the cup on the counter as she spoke. "You're concerned about Colonel Mackenzie and Clayton. I don't believe that you have anything to worry about in that quarter."
"All that matters to me is that she's happy, Mrs. Webb," Harm said, finally moving away from the window. Porter Webb finished making her tea, occasionally looking in his direction.
"I don't think that she would be happy with my son," Porter told him. Harm privately agreed with that assessment, but for other reasons, he was sure. "Some women aren't - cut out to be Company wives, I'm afraid. Even a strong woman like the Colonel finds it difficult to handle the secrecy and deception that's a major part of that." She took a sip of her tea. "You really do care a great deal about her, don't you?"
"We're just friends," he tried to say, but stopped as he recognized that look. He'd seen it on his own mother's face when he'd been caught out in an attempted deception.
"Really, Commander. You should at *least* be honest about it. I should think you owe me that much for saving your lives." Harm smiled tightly again. "You're in love with her, aren't you?"
"Yes," Harm answered, finding it almost as easy as when he'd said the same word to Mattie when she'd asked him that question.
"Then I hope things work out for you. Clayton will - manage. He always has."
Hearing someone at the front door, Harm grabbed his weapon as the familiar face of Harrison Kershaw appeared in the doorway. "I know you weren't happy working for the Company, Commander," he said, "But don't you think that might be a bit drastic?"
Harm slowly put the safety back on the weapon and stowed it in his jeans, giving the man yet another tight smile. Seemed to him that he was doing a lot of that suddenly.
Porter gave the Deputy Director of the CIA a long, considering look. "Commander Rabb wasn't aware that you were en route, Harrison," she told him, her tone that of a long time friend gently scolding him for being rude. "You should thank him. He saved my son's life again."
"I didn't do much," Harm insisted. "I was just along for the ride more than anything else."
"Somehow I doubt that," Kershaw said. "You are *never* 'just along for the ride', Commander. What happened here?" he asked.
"Why don't you let the Commander explain?" Porter said. "I'm going to enjoy my tea and I'd prefer not to think about the events of the past few hours, if you don't mind."
Kershaw indicated that Harm precede him from the room, and Harm lead the way back to the living room, where several other men were already working to clear up the mess that had been made. Simon Tanveer's body was now covered by one of the dust cloths, and Kershaw knelt to lift a corner, examining the man's face. "It would seem that there was more Agent Tanveer than there appeared to be."
"He was the Hawk," Harm explained.
Harm gave the man a quick run down of the events of the day, ending with Porter Webb's timely arrival to put three bullets into Simon Tanveer just before he would have murdered Mac. Kershaw listened carefully, only interrupting for clarification. "And that's it. Tanveer wanted to find out what Webb knew about the Abu Sayef network, Webb didn't give up any information. Not even to save Col. Mackenzie's life."
"And where are Webb and the Colonel now?" Kershaw wanted to know, looking around the room.
"They went out to the terrace," Harm told him. "To talk."
"I suppose I should thank you for what you've done, Commander Rabb. I know that you've had a hard year - I do hope things are getting better for you."
"That doesn't entirely depend on me, Kershaw. If you don't need me any longer -" he indicated the door.
"By all means," Kershaw said. "I know where to find you if I need to - discuss this further."
Harm turned to look at the man. "I'd rather you wouldn't. I'll submit a written report if I have to. But after this, I don't want any further involvement with the Company unless absolutely necessary. And I hope that Col. Mackenzie will feel the same. Good day, Mr. Kershaw," Harm said, leaving through the front door instead of the back - not wanting to run into Mac and Webb if they were returning to the house. He needed to think. To figure out what he was going to if Mac forgave Webb for all he'd done.
He took the long way around to the beach, not seeing any of the professionally landscaped gardens. He kept flashing back to the last time that Webb had faked his death - and something he'd said when they had been in a three way standoff with Clark Palmer.
Palmer had been threatening to kill Jordan if Webb didn't give him the information he wanted, and when Webb refused, Harm had brought his weapon to bear on Webb, telling him to give Palmer the information.
"I wouldn't tell him even if she was *my* girlfriend."
Webb had been willing to let Simon shoot Mac to keep his secrets. Just as he'd been willing to sacrifice Jordan so many years ago. Harm decided that should have decked the man when he'd first found him down on the beach. Just for the hell of it. As he reached the top of the beach, he stopped, seeing Mac sitting near the waves, looking out to sea. Harm hesitated, not wanting to intrude, but needing to let her know that he was there if she wanted to talk about things.
After all, he *had* told her that he'd be there for her, hadn't he? Even if she wanted to talk about Webb, he would grit his teeth and listen. Anything to keep her from kicking him in the teeth again the way she had the other day. Although, now that he thought back, he realized that she hadn't been abrupt with him because of his attempt to help her and to be part of her life, but because she suspected that Webb might be alive and she'd been confused and angry - and unwilling to share that information with him because of how he would have reacted.
Moving slowly along the beach, he sat down beside and just behind her, not wanting to crowd her. "You okay?" he asked.
"Yeah," she told him. "It's over with Clay."