Operation: Road Not Taken3
Part 1

Disclaimer: I don't own them, except for the original characters.
Archiving: Various JAG lists, my JAG sites. Please ask before taking them elsewhere.
Rating: NC-17
Pairings: Harm/Mac; Clay/Jen and others...
Spoilers: Anything is fair game...
Thanks to Amy for her mini-beta on part of this.
A/N: Begins 6 months after Operation: Road Not Taken2.
In the Interim: AJ is retired and living in Italy, spending time with both his daughter Francesca.
Jack Keeter has quit flying missions for the CIA and is flying training missions out of Pax River. He and Catherine have been married for five months.
Bud has finally been promoted to Lt. Commander, but is aware that he probably will not receive another promotion because of his disability. He and Harriet are expecting their third child.
As a result of Jen's suggestion, Clay has resigned from the CIA and is teaching Geopolitics at a local university. He and Jen have been seeing each other, but Jen has held back, uncertain that he's not just grateful to her or still on the rebound from Mac.
Harm, Mac and Mattie (and Dammit) have settled into family life. Mac is still sitting on the bench, since Harm has been the temp JAG since AJ's retirement. Mattie seems to have recovered from her father's death with few scars, but has she? The stress of trying (so far without success) to have a baby is starting to tell on Mac, and Harm's at a loss for how to handle it.
On top of this, the new JAG will be arriving shortly to take over.

Friday, December 9, 2004
1900 Hours Local
Rabb Home
Falls Church, Virginia

"It's just - impractical, Mac," Harm said as he and Mac worked on making dinner.

"Impractical?" she repeated. "*You* had one for how many years?"

"Almost fifteen," Harm admitted. "But that was different -"

"Different?" Mac questioned. "And if this has anything to do with gender, Harmon Rabb, Jr. -"

"I was single and didn't have any other responsibilities," Harm finished. "I *sold* mine, remember?"

Mac turned from what she was doing to look at him. "That's what this is about, isn't it? You're upset because you chose to sell your precious Vette while I kept mine!"

"That's not the problem, Mac," Harm insisted. "I just think we need to look at the larger picture here. Christmas is coming up - what if mom and Frank decide to come in at the same time that we need to take Mattie and some of her teammates to a volleyball game?"

"That's not likely," Mac said, turning back to the counter to take her frustrations out on the vegetables she was slicing. "Mattie doesn't have any games scheduled for the week before Christmas."

"It's a hypothetical scenario," Harm pointed out. "We'd *both* need the Lexus, since you can't get more than two people into the Vette."

"Then we'd switch carpooling the team with another parent," Mac said. "Or ask Trish and Frank if they would mind getting a taxi or renting a car -"

Harm stirred the contents of the pan in front of him, and then lowered the burner as he formulated another plan of attack. "Why not just trade the Vette in for something a little bigger?" he finally said.

"Because it's *my* Vette and *I* don't want to!" Mac said in a tightly controlled voice, her fingers gripping the chef's knife tightly. "Besides, I thought we were going to let Mattie drive it -"

"As much as I respect Mattie's ability to drive, Mac, there is no way in hell I'm going to let her loose in DC with a car like that. The insurance alone would be cost prohibitive."

"Having the Vette and the Lexus has worked out so far, hasn't it?" Mac questioned. "No conflicts?"

"Not yet. I'm just trying to anticipate -"

Mac continued to talk, but her voice was quiet, barely audible, in fact, and Harm had to stop talking to hear her. "After all, it's not as if I have a houseful of kids to transport like *some* people, is it?"

Ever since Harriet's announcement during Thanksgiving dinner that she was pregnant again, Harm had noticed Mac's increased tension and been the recipient of sometimes barely concealed anger. Turning the burner off, Harm moved to stand behind his wife, reaching around to gently remove the knife from her hand before putting his arms around her. "It'll happen, honey," he promised, spreading his hands over her stomach. "It's only been six months -"

Mac turned into his arms, burying her face against his chest. "What if he was right, Harm?" she asked, her voice muffled by the fabric of his shirt.

"What if who was right?" he asked.

"Sadik. He said I was - barren. What if -?"

"Oh, honey," Harm sighed softly, kissing her soft hair while silently consigning that bastard to a thousand hells for the emotional damage he had done to this woman. "He was wrong. In his twisted way of thinking, if a woman gets past twenty-five without kids, she's got to be barren. Doesn't mean it's true."

"But -"

Harm placed a finger under her chin, drawing back just enough to look down at her face. "Have you talked to Dr. McCool about this?" Mac nodded. "What did she say?"

"That I should make an appointment and find out."

"Then you should do that."

"I'm afraid to," she admitted as she buried her head against him again, and Harm closed his eyes, knowing how much that admission cost her to make. "If I can't have children -"

"It wouldn't matter. We have Mattie. But you can and will, Sarah," he said. "Would it make a difference if I went to see a doctor, too?" he asked.

"You'd - be willing to do that?" she asked, looking up at him again.

Harm smiled, rubbing his thumb across her cheek. "Haven't you figured out yet that I'll do just about anything to make you happy, Sarah Mackenzie Rabb?"

She gave him a watery smile. "I think I'm finally beginning to understand it."

"Good. Now. We'll make the appointments tomorrow and go from there. And whatever happens, we'll take care of it. Agreed?"

"Agreed," Mac repeated. "I love you, Harm," she told him, pressing her cheek against his shoulder as she gave him a hug.

"Not half as much as I love you," he replied, and when she looked up to dispute his proclamation, he silenced her with a long kiss.

"You two are at it again?" Mattie sighed, ending the moment. "Come on. You've been married for six *months*. Honeymoon is *way* over, people."

Still holding Mac in his arms, Harm grinned at the girl. "We've got eight years to make up for."

"I'm hungry," she complained, and Harm looked down at Mac as he felt her shaking with laughter.

"So am I."

Sighing and shaking his head, Harm released Mac and turned the burner back on under the pan before grabbing a rag from the sink. "Then make yourself useful by wiping the table down and setting it." He tossed the rag toward Mattie, who caught it easily before giving him a snappy salute.

"Aye aye, Commander." Her response was punctuated by sticking her tongue out at him.

"Careful there, plebe, or you'll find yourself walking punishment tours," Harm warned, one brow lifted.

"I'm not worried," Mattie said, coming over to get plates and utensils. Winking at Mac, she said, "I'm good friends with the lady who sleeps with you, remember?" Everyone laughed at her remark while she placed the dishes around the table. "Would it be okay if I spend tomorrow night over at Liz'?" she asked. "It wouldn't just be us. Some of the girls are going to see a movie and then go to the mall. Liz suggested that we could crash at her place for the night."

"Have we met Liz?" Harm questioned, the name being unfamiliar.

"Not yet. She's - new. But she's really cool. Her dad's in the Marines. He's overseas right now."

"Is her mother okay with having a horde of teenage girls staying overnight?"

"Yeah. Her mom's cool, too. Like I said, we're all just gonna hang out. Talk about boys and stuff."

"And stuff," Harm repeated, looking at Mac. "Can you translate that from teenager to English?"

"You can go, Mattie," Mac said.

"Thanks, Mac. Besides, I figure it would give you two some private time. You haven't had much of that with me around."

Harm gave Mac a concerned look before going over to put his hands on the girl's shoulders. "Mattie, you're not in the way, and I don't want you to ever think that you could be. Do you understand me?"

"Yeah," she said, smiling at him. "Where's dinner? I'm a growing girl. I need food."


"Since Mattie's going to be spending the night out tomorrow night, why don't we do something special?" Harm suggested later as he and Mac worked in the study while Mattie took care of the dinner dishes.

"Such as?" she asked, meeting his gaze across their desks.

"Dinner out. Someplace with candles and soft music. Maybe a little dancing?"

"Sounds nice."

"Then it's a date?"

"You bet, Flyboy," she told him, the earlier anger having abated. Mac had always suspected that Harm was a romantic at heart, and being married to him proved it. He was forever surprising her with roses or chocolates, doing thoughtful little things that she had only realized later that he had always done but she'd never noticed. "Harm, about earlier -"

He looked at her, waiting for her to finish.

"I'm sorry. You're right about the Vette."

"When you're ready to get rid of it, you will. I shouldn't have pushed it."

"Why don't we go look around this weekend?" she suggested. "See what's available?"

"If you want to," he told her with a smile.

"It won't hurt to look, at least. Find out how much they might give me on the Vette."

"Should be quite a bit. The mileage isn't that high - and she's still in good condition."

"Not as much as you got for yours, though," Mac pointed out.

Harm grinned. "Well, mine was a classic," he reminded her.

"So will mine be in another twenty years," she countered.

"Dishes are done," Mattie told them, coming to the door. "You two aren't still arguing about the Vette, are you?"

"We're not arguing," Mac said. "We're having a discussion."

"Oh. I could solve the problem easily," she suggested. "I'll be getting my regular license in another few months - and I'm going to need a car."

"We'll find one for you," Harm said. "Something small and economical. You are *not* going to drive a Vette around DC at sixteen," he declared. "It's too dangerous."

"You don't trust my driving?" she questioned, and Harm winced, knowing he should have phrased the statement better as she continued. "Of course, I don't guess I blame you, considering -"

Rising from the desk, he moved toward her. "Mattie, I didn't mean that. What happened wasn't your fault," he said, referring to her father's death. "Insurance on a Toyota or Hyundai will be bad enough. Insurance on the Vette for you would be astronomical." He placed an arm around her shoulders. "Besides, I'll sleep better knowing you're not out there being targeted by car-jackers or insurance scams."

She put her arms around him, pressing her head against his chest. "You're right, Harm. And I wouldn't want to cause you anymore worry. I'm going to bed. I have to be at school early tomorrow for a meeting."

"How early?" he asked.


"I'll take her in," Mac offered. "I have to be in early myself."

"Thanks," Mattie said, giving Mac a quick hug as well. "Night."

"Night, Mattie. Love you."

She nodded and left the study, leaving Harm standing there watching the empty door until her footsteps faded away up the stairs.

Seeing it, Mac turned off the light at her desk and went to him. "It wasn't your fault either, Harm."


"The accident. You had no way of knowing what was going to happen. Don't blame yourself."

"I know, Mac," he sighed. "I just should have seen the signs, realized that it was too soon to let her go back to him. If I had -"

"Hindsight's a wonderful thing, Harm. Too bad it doesn't work the other way. Why don't we turn in as well?" she suggested.

He nodded and reached across his desk to turn out the lamp. "I'll lock up and let Dammit outside for a few minutes and then be right up."

Mac kissed him. "Don't be too long."


The next morning, Harm settled back into his office after staff call when the telephone rang. "Rabb," he said as he answered.

"Hi there."

"Hi, Mac. How are things up there this morning?"


"Same here. I have meetings scheduled all day. Except for lunch when I'm having lunch with a beautiful woman."

"Anyone I know?"

"Possibly," he said, laughing. "I made the reservations at La Cote D'Or for tonight," he told her."

"Ohh. I can see that I'm going to have to dress up. Maybe that little black dress -?"

"You wear that, sweet thing, and we might not make it *to* the restaurant."

"Might be worth it," she replied, her voice causing Harm to glance up at the doorway just in case someone else might be listening in.

"Damn, Mac," he sighed. "I'm not going to get any work done now."

"That's the idea, Flyboy."

"You know what they say about payback, Marine."

"Is it too late to raise a white flag of truce?"

"Way too late," he said, grinning. "Did you call just to make me crazy or was there another reason?"

"I wanted to let you know that I called and set up that appointment for next Monday afternoon. My doctor suggested a fertility clinic not far from here."

"Okay. What time do we have to be there?"

"1300 hours."

"I'll make sure my schedule is clear," he said. "How long will it take?"

"They said about an hour. You're sure you want to do this, Harm?"

"I said I did, remember? Besides, I still have a promise to keep." His intercom buzzed, and Harm frowned. "I have to go, honey. See you at lunch."


Jennifer Coates was in her bedroom, looking for a missing red high heel shoe when she heard someone knock at the front door. Glancing at her watch, she sighed in frustration. Deciding that Mary would let him in, Jen kept looking, tossing shoes right and left.

A moment later, Mary tapped on the door and came in. "Your date's here."

"He's just a friend, Mary," Jen told her. "Aha!" she said, holding up the missing shoe with a triumphant smile.

"Yeah, right," Mary Crandall snorted in disbelief. "Then why are you wearing *that* dress, Jen?" she questioned.

Slipping the shoe onto her foot, Jen glanced at her reflection in the full-length mirror. "What? This thing? I've had it for ages." But Jennifer checked her reflection again, suddenly noticing how short the black skirt was, and how tight the red sweater that matched the shoes was, revealing a *lot* of cleavage. Even the black jacket she was wearing didn't hide that. "Maybe it *is* a bit much," Jen decided, moving to take the jacket off.

But Mary stopped her. "What are you doing?"

"Changing into something that doesn't make me look like a - a street walker," Jen replied.

"I don't think he'd mind in the least," Mary said, jerking her head toward the living room where Jen's date was waiting. "You look really hot, Jen. If I were you, I'd go for it. I don't understand why you haven't."

Jen sat down on the bed, tugging at the hem of her skirt as she did so. "You don't understand, Mary. He only started dating me because he was lonely. His last relationship was -"

"You've been seeing the guy for six months, Jen. The 'other woman' is married - happily - to someone else. Believe me, if he wasn't interested in you, he wouldn't still be hanging around."

"You really think so?" Jen asked, chewing on her lower lip.

Mary shook her head. "You are a *sad* case, Jennifer Coates. If you could see the way he looks at you when you're not looking at him -"

"How does look at me?"

"Like a man who doesn't see anyone else in the room. I think it's romantic." She picked up a tube of lipstick from the dresser. "Fix your lipstick. I'd give anything to be in your shoes, Jen. A rich, handsome older man so infatuated with me that he can't see anyone else? I'd be in heaven." She grinned into the mirror as she watched Jen repair the damage done by chewing on her lip. "Of course, right now, I'd take poor, average looking and young."

Jen put the lipstick into her small red beaded purse and stood in the middle of the room. "How do I really look?"

"You're gonna knock his socks off, girlfriend," Mary predicted with a wide smile.

"I don't *want* to -" Jen began, but stopped when she saw the look of disbelief on her roommate's pretty face. She tugged at the hem of her skirt and made an abortive attempt to pull the front of her sweater higher before moving toward the door. It was now or never, she decided, placing her hand on the doorknob and pulling it open.

Clay was standing at the windows when he heard the door open, and turned. "Sorry I wasn't ready," she apologized, uncertain of what she saw in his expression. "Is this okay? I wasn't sure -"

"It's - fine," he said. "You look - Wow."

"It's not too short, or -" she indicated the low-cut neckline. "Is it? I can go change -" she said, turning toward the door, only to stop as Clay spoke again.

"No. You don't have to. You look lovely, Jennifer," he told her, smiling. "I'll be the envy of every man in the city. Are you ready to go?"

Mary came from Jen's room, holding her overcoat. "You might need this."

Clay took it from the other girl and held it while Jen put the coat on, then put on his own coat before extending an arm in her direction. "Shall we?"

Downstairs, Clay unlocked the passenger side door of his car and opened it for Jen, trying not to stare *too* much at her long legs as she got inside. Closing the door, he walked around and joined her, starting the engine and turning on the heat first thing.

"I overdid it, didn't I?" she said.

"Overdid what?"

"Maybe this isn't such a good idea, Clay. Our going out to dinner -"

"Jennifer, we've had dinner before -"

"Not with me dressed like -"

"Like an incredibly attractive, - no, make that beautiful - vibrant young woman?" he finished for her. "It's nice to see you trying to be yourself instead of what you think I'd like you to be."


"I think you know what I'm talking about, Jennifer. You're a smart woman. What I don't get is whether this tonight is your way of finding out if I'll back off because you think I'm worried about being embarrassed to be seen with you."

Seeing the confirmation of his words in her eyes, Clay sighed as he reached over to take her hand in his. "Why can't you understand that I *like* spending time with you, Jennifer? Why can't you trust that? Or is it that you've decided I'm too old for you -"

"No!" she insisted. "That's not - I just -" Her dark eyes finally lifted to his again. "I don't want to be the rebound girl, I guess."

"Rebound?" Clay asked. "Is that what you think -?"

"You and Col. Mackenzie were -"

"Barely more than friends, Jennifer. I'll admit that I was in love with her. But it's over. I'm ready to move on." He placed a finger under her chin, turning her head so that he could look into her eyes again. "And I was hoping to move on with a smart, funny, beautiful young woman who's probably too young for me but makes me feel alive for the first time in a very long time."

"Clay -"

"Why don't we go have dinner?" he told her. "We can talk about this later."


Smiling, his finger stroked her cheek before he put the car into gear and turned it out into the street.


Harm reached across the small table and took Mac's hand in his. "This is nice."

"I'm glad we came," she agreed.

"So am I." Seeing Mac's eyes move from him to a spot over his shoulder, Harm started to turn, but she stopped him. "What is it?" he asked.

"Clay's here."

"Alone?" Harm asked, trying once again to turn around, only to find his wrist held in a tight grip.

"Not exactly. Jen's with him."

"Jen?" Harm repeated, turning the other way just in time to see Clay remove Jen's coat before holding her chair out for her.

"Harm?" Mac said, squeezing his hand to get his attention. "You're staring."

He turned back around, giving her a sheepish look. "Sorry."

"Jen's a very attractive young woman," Mac told him. "Especially when she's dressed like that."

"Young being the operative word," Harm agreed.

"Clay doesn't seem to mind."

"Apparently. She told me the other day that he likes teaching instead of traveling everywhere. Gets to spend more time with his mother."

"And with Jen, I think."

Now it was Harm's turn to get Mac's attention. "Thinking about what could have been?"

She smiled at him, shaking her head. "No. Just noticing how happy and relaxed Clay looks. He looks younger. I really think she's good for him."

"You do realize that we're going to have to pass right by their table to get out of here, don't you?"

Mac grimaced. "You think you can behave yourself if we stop to say hello?"

He placed a hand to his chest. "You wound me, Mac. I *always* behave myself."

"Uh huh," she nodded. Glancing over Harm's shoulder again as Clay looked up. "They know we're here," she said, lifting her hand in recognition.

"Don't look now, but Harm and Mac are here, too," Clay told Jen, smiling as her eyes widened and she reached down to try and pull her skirt down a little more. But the action merely drew Clay's attention to the cleavage revealed by the low-cut, tight sweater she was wearing. "Jen. Relax. You look beautiful."

Jen turned her head slightly and gave the other couple a quick, nervous smile of acknowledgement before turning her attention back to the menu before her. "This is so embarrassing." She muttered something under her breath.

"What was that?"

Sighing, she buried her face in the menu. "I'm going to burn this damn skirt and sweater when I get home."

"I hope not," Clay responded, laughing when she lowered the menu to give him a look of confusion. "I wouldn't mind seeing you wear them occasionally."

Jen smiled, a dimple appearing. "You mean that, don't you?"

"Hey, you might not have noticed, but I saw almost every man in this place watching you. Most of them were probably wondering why a sexy woman like you was with someone almost old enough to be her father."

"You're not old enough to be my father. There's only fifteen years difference in our ages. Besides, I like older men. Guys my age are still only thinking about one thing."

Clay's grin made her blush. "And I'm not?" he asked, reaching over to take her hand in his, rubbing the inside of her wrist with his thumb.

"Clay," she hissed, but didn't remove her hand from his until the waiter approached with their drinks and asked to take their order.

Across the restaurant, Harm and Mac finished their coffee and he held her coat, leaning forward to say, "You ready for this?" into her ear, glancing toward Clay and Jen's table.

"I think the question is: are you ready?" she countered, smiling up at him.

Harm extended a hand toward the walkway through the tables, following. "Hello, Clay. Jen," he said pleasantly, making sure to keep his eyes on Jen's face and not on the expanse of skin below it.

Clay rose to his feet, ever the gentleman. "Mac. Harm."

"Colonel," Jen said, her smile still nervous. "Commander. How's Mattie doing?"

"She's fine," Harm answered. "Spending the night with a group of friends."

"Oh. Tell her I said hello. I haven't had as much time to talk to her lately -"

Mac frowned upon hearing that. "I thought -" she looked at Harm. "Didn't she say that it was Jen on the phone the other night?"

"I thought that's what she said," Harm nodded.

"I haven't spoken to Mattie in over a week, ma'am," Jen told her.

"We probably misunderstood," Harm said. "She's made some new friends - changing schools again wasn't easy for her."

"That can be difficult," Jen nodded.

"How is the new job going, Clay?" Mac asked.

"Better than expected. I still have trouble believing that it's real some days, though. Keep expecting to wake up and find myself God knows where, trying to track down a terrorist or whoever."

"You miss it?" Harm wanted to know.

"No," Clay answered without hesitation as he looked across the table and smiled at Jen, taking her hand in his. "I have good reasons to like being in DC all the time. Keeps me closer to the people I care about."

Mac slipped her arm through Harm's. "You two need to come for dinner soon. I know Mattie would like to see both of you."

"You know how to reach us," Clay pointed out.

"We'd better do it soon," Jen told Harm. "Once the new Admiral takes over, I have a feeling things are going to be pretty busy."

Clay frowned. "They've settled on the new JAG?"

"Admiral Krennick. She's due to get her second star and takes command next week."

"First female JAG," Clay said, shaking his head. "This should be interesting."

"You never dealt with Krennick did you, Clay?" Harm asked, trying to remember.

"No. But my - predecessor did."

Harm grinned. "Assistant Secretary David Bair."

"Poor man was a nervous wreck after dealing with Krennick over the incident with China."

Both Mac and Jen looked at Harm. "China incident?" Mac questioned.

"Long story," Harm told her. "We'll have dinner soon," he told the other couple.

"It was nice seeing you both," Mac said.

"Same here."

"Night," Jen said as they other couple moved away toward the door. She looked at Clay. "You really are over her, aren't you?"

He returned the smile. "That's what I've been trying to tell you, but you haven't wanted to believe it. What made you come to this sudden realization?"

"You barely looked at her while they were here," Jen noted.

"Why should I look at her, when you're here?" he asked, leaning forward and placing his hands on the table, palms up. Giving him a shy smile, Jen placed her hands in his.

"This isn't going to be easy, though."

"It'll be as easy or as difficult as we let it be," he responded, releasing her hands when their food arrived.


"Why are you frowning?" Harm asked Mac as he drove the Vette through the streets toward home.

"I'm *sure* that Mattie told us that Jen was on the phone the other evening."

"Why would she lie about that, Mac?" Harm questioned.

"I don't know." She sighed loudly. "Maybe we've both been so worried about work and - other things that we haven't been paying close enough attention to her. Have you actually met any of the parents of her new friends?"

"I've spoken with a couple of them on the telephone," Harm relied. "Not face to face." He started to frown. "Maybe you're right. Hopefully, once Krennick takes over I'll be able to get some free time."

"I think we need to both work on that. I'm sure Admiral Morris would be willing to let me have some time off if I asked for it." She shook her head. "Here I was thinking that I'd been doing a good job with Mattie."

"You have been," Harm insisted, picking up her hand and placing it on his thigh. "Now that we've identified the problem, we'll fix it. But we can't do anything about it tonight." He thought for a minute. "The weather's supposed to be nice this weekend. A little cool, but clear. It's been a few weeks since we went out to Leesburg. We can all drive out Sunday and fly for awhile," he suggested.

"I'll leave the flying to you and Mattie," Mac told him. "Flying in forty degree weather in an open cockpit? No thanks."

Harm grinned. "Wimping out, Marine?"

"Being sensible, Sailor," she told him, returning the grin with one of her own.

A few minutes later, he turned into the driveway and opened the garage door. Pulling inside, he killed the engine and closed the garage door behind them before finding the latch that released the seat and sliding it backward, away from the steering wheel. "Ever made love in a Vette?" he asked, leaning toward Mac.

"A little cramped, isn't it?" she questioned, but her hand was moving slowly up his thigh, squeezing and caressing.

"Where's your sense of adventure?" he asked, running his fingers lightly across her collarbone, causing goose bumps to appear on her arms and shiver to run through her body. His knowing smile froze in place when Mac's fingers closed over him. "Sarah," he whispered, leaning even closer to capture her lips with his, trying to pull her closer, only to find his efforts frustrated by the stick shift and brake handle.

Mac drew back, her eyes shining and full of promise. "You've never done this either, have you?"

He didn't answer as his hand fell to her thigh, sliding across the silky stocking, pushing her skirt up until he felt soft skin. Glancing down, he inspected the situation, smiling as he realized that she wasn't wearing panty hose as she normally did, but thigh-high stockings. Seeing her sexy smile Harm zeroed in for another kiss as he tugged her around in her seat and across to straddle him, never breaking the connection of their lips.

Feeling her warmth against his hardness, Harm groaned and continued to lift Mac's skirt up around her waist, finding himself only vaguely surprised to discover that she didn't have any panties on. "Sarah?"

She smiled, pulling her blouse over her head and tossing it into the passenger seat before leaning toward him and whispering into his ear, "I took them off when I went to the ladies room that last time," before tracing the shell of his ear with her tongue.

Realizing that she'd been commando while they had spoken to Clay and Jen, Harm felt himself grow even harder and moaned when Mac sucked his earlobe into her mouth. Deciding that it was time for some payback, Harm's own tongue traced a line along the top of her lacy bra, leaving a damp trail to each lace covered peak, which he circled with deliberate slowness.

Mac's fingers worked to loosen his tie and unbutton his shirt before they found the fastening of his trousers, lowering the zipper with equal deliberation, her eyes on his as she reached inside his boxers and pulled him out, scooting back as much as she could to stroke him.

Harm fumbled for the lever to release the back of the seat, letting it fall back just a little, giving them more room to maneuver. His fingers made quick work of the front closure of her bra, peeling it from her breasts to cup them in his hands, burying his face between the mounds as his fingers and thumbs stroked the sensitive peaks.

Mac lifted up slightly, just enough to position him beneath her, and then sank down again, their sighs of shared bliss loud in the small car. It still amazed Harm how complete he felt when they were joined like this. As if he had found a missing part of himself, the most important part: his heart. Her lips covered his again, demanding, begging, refusing to accept anything but complete and total surrender.

Harm capitulated without a fight, letting her take the lead, his hands on her waist as she braced her own hands on his shoulders to raise and lower her body in a slow, sensuous dance. He captured one taut peak of her breast in his mouth, circling it with his tongue, gently biting down on the tender flesh.

A shiver went through Mac's body, so strong that he could feel it all the way to their joining. Harm kissed a path from that nipple, down into the deep valley between her breasts and up the other, capturing it in a similar fashion, biting a little harder this time. Her breathing was ragged, unsteady, and Harm lifted his hands to her breasts, pinching her nipples, rolling them between finger and thumb, watching her face as his climax approached.

"That's it, honey," he whispered. "Let it go. My beautiful Sarah. That's it -"

Suddenly Mac's body arched, pressing her breasts more fully into Harm's palms, her head back as her orgasm began. "Oh, oh, ohhhhh," she cried, her fingers gripping his shoulders with enough force that Harm knew that he would have bruises there tomorrow. He dropped his hands to her waist again, lifting her body with his hips, finding his own release inside of her tight body, feeling his essence filling her.

The climax of their lovemaking left them both spent and gasping for air, Mac's head resting on his shoulder, her hand tangling in the hair of his chest while his were rubbing her back gently. "Oh, babe," he finally said once he had the strength to talk again. "That was -"

She smiled, and lifted her head to look at him with passion-glazed eyes. "Still want to get rid of it?" she asked.

"Not right away," he said, dragging his fingers through her dark hair. "We can buy another car for Mattie. And we'll work around things until then."

"I knew you'd see things my way eventually," Mac told him, putting her head on his shoulder again. "I don't know if I can move," she sighed.

"If we don't, neither of us will be *able* to move," Harm warned, giving her a light slap on her bottom as he opened the door. "Out."

He grabbed her blouse, bra, and purse, handing them to her before fastening his trousers and getting out of the car behind her to follow her into the kitchen. She was still wearing the stockings and heels, but nothing else, and Harm hung back, appreciating the view as she walked through the kitchen. Stopping by the refrigerator, she opened the door, leaving Harm to lean against the counter, arms crossed, watching her.

She turned from the fridge, lifting a bottle of mineral water to her lips, only to stop as she saw him standing there. "What?"

"Just enjoying the view," he said with a leering grin.

She grinned, doing a slow turn around. "Like what you see, Sailor?" she asked, lifting the bottle to her lips and taking a long, slow drink, circling the top of the bottle with her tongue as she looked at him. Smiling, she tipped the bottle again, this time allowing some of the water to fall on her breasts, the cold liquid bringing the tip to a point once again, and after a glance toward Harm, she repeated the action with the other breast before slowly walking toward him, her tongue again toying with the top of the bottle.

Harm uncrossed his arms and legs to take the bottle out of her hands and take a long drink of it himself before putting it onto the counter. Pulling her into his arms, he returned her earlier kiss, demanding her surrender just as she had his earlier. When she relaxed against him, Harm gathered her up into his arms and carried her toward the stairs . . .


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