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That Was Then, This is Now - Part 4


Chapter 17 

Rabb Guest room
0400 hours

Mac was slowly waking up from the sweetest dream shed ever had.  Stretching her arms, she had to pause to consider the hard form beside her.  Feeling Harms arms wound tightly around her, she realized there was more to her peaceful nights sleep than just a good dream.

She had finally made glorious, splendid love with Harmon Rabb Jr.  With amazing clarity she was able to finally understand what her therapist had been trying to tell her.  Only four percent of something wonderful is better than one hundred percent of nothing.  How could she have been so blind, so stupid?

Wondering for a moment what time Gram woke up, and if she and Harm should move upstairs, she felt Harms breath on her neck and couldnt resist snuggling into his warmth.  She didnt want to leave him, not now, not ever.   Whatever her chances of conceiving or carrying a child were, Harm was right; what really mattered was that they be together.  That was the only thing that mattered.

November 1941

Well, there wasnt but five of Webbs men left and by the time the judge came to town there wasnt nobody who would find those snakes anything but guilty of attempted murder.  Yup, all six of em, Tom Webb too, swung from the gallows nice and legal like.

Things were finally startin to look up for the town and the Doc.

Calamity 1876

Turns out Kaley and Maude were pretty good at the doctoring thing.

Will you stop pushing yourself?  Youre overdoing it.  Youre going to rip up my nice needlework. Kaley fussed, trying to get the Doc back in bed.

You did do a nice job. I may have to let you stitch up all my patients. Doc tried to grab for Kaley with his good arm. Hed been staying at Kaleys since hed been shot. It had been over a week since the shootout and he was feeling a whole lot better than he had been.

The first few days were touch and go. Maude and Kaley dug out the bullet and sewed him up but a slight infection still must have set in because he fought one heck of a fever.  Kaley was in a panic at the thought of losing the Doc. Shed waited her whole life for a man like him and the thought of losing him was breaking her heart into millions of little pieces. There wasnt a soul in Calamity who didnt breathe easier when the Docs fever finally broke and he woke up asking for Kaley.

You better behave yourself or Maudes going to say youre good enough to be sent home. Kaley swatted him gently.

Grabbing hold of her wrist and gently tugging her down onto the bed next to him, his voice lowered I dont ever want to leave you again.  Kaley OHara, this may not be the romantic place you deserve, but I love you.  Will you marry me?

Just a short while ago the widow probably would have said no.  The last thing the Doc needed was to be saddled with someone like her and all her baggage.  After coming so close to losing him, there was no way she could turn him down.  If there was one thing she was absolutely sure of, she knew she didnt want to live another day without him.

What must have been only seconds seemed like hours to Doc.  His mind was already running through ways to convince her to change her mind if she said no when he finally heard her.

Yes, yes, Hosiah Rabb.  Ill marry you, as soon as the doctor says you can get out of that bed. She knew darn well he was probably going to say he could get out now, but she knew he needed at least a little more rest before hed be up to what she had in mind.

Pulling her a little closer, Doc reached over and kissed her.  It was a short kiss but filled with all the promise of years to come.   When they finally separated, Kaley ran eagerly to the bedroom door.

JEN! she called downstairs as loudly as she could.

Running up the stairs in a panic. Jen came to a panting halt at the doorway, staring at the two people with grins as broad as the Rio Grande.

Something wrong? she asked. The wide grins made no sense, but Kaleys call scared the bejeezus out of her.

Sorry, didnt mean to alarm you.  I just wanted to let you know youd better start cooking.  It seems were going to be having lots of company this weekend.

Walking back to the bed, she took hold of Docs hand.

Yes maam, Doc echoed happily. Looks like were having ourselves a wedding!

The following Sunday, Doc was pacing back and forth in his parlor, waiting for the church to fill up with guests.

You know, youre going to wear a hole in that floor if you dont ease up. Daphne Beaumont chuckled.

Ms. Daphne, how are you? Doc was a little surprised to see her.  Although shed agreed to stay on in Calamity so she could be close to her daughter, Daphne Beaumont hadnt had the nerve to leave the house since the blow up with Joseph. Despite knowing the town didnt hold anything against her, this was the first time since that horrible night that she had ventured out of her own home.

You didnt think I would miss this big day, now did you?  Daphne Beaumont smiled brightly.

No, maam.  I dont suppose I did. Doc nodded graciously at her.

I know your mother and father didnt have enough time to come for the wedding, but if you wouldnt mind, Id be honored if youd allow me the privilege of standing in for Charlotte today.  She and Docs mother had once been good friends before she married Joseph.  This was her way to make things right again.

Ms. Daphne, I couldnt think of a better woman to have here in mothers stead. Thank you.  Doc smiled honestly from his heart. 

Extending his arm to her, Doc led Mrs. Beaumont over to the church, and down the aisle to seat her in the place normally reserved for the mother of the groom.

Harriet had helped Kaley spruce up her best dress.  She tried to talk Kaley into going with the trendier white wedding gown, but Kaley insisted on wearing her Sunday best.

Doc could have cared less what she wore.  His eyes saw only the radiant woman walking towards him. 

Just about the entire town had been involved in some way or other preparing for the wedding feast.  Jen was in charge of the cake and making sure they had enough food.  Maude, Mrs. Perkins, and too many women to count had cooked enough to last a week.  There were lanterns scattered all over the Roberts ranch creating a nice romantic glow.  The music carried softly through the air enticing everyone to dance and enjoy the evening.

Doc and Kaley had pretty much danced with every person in town at least three times. The fun, and of course liquor, had been nonstop. The party would most likely continue well until morning, but the night was already feeling very long for the newlyweds.

Doc couldnt believe this day had actually come, and now it was almost over.  Hed been looking for Kaley for some time when he finally spotted her across the room. Just as he was about to make his way up beside her, Harriet came flying across the room like a jackrabbit, practically knocking Kaley over before hugging her ecstatically.

Im really glad youre so happy for us, Harriet, but I cant breathe, Kaley chuckled, pulling away from Harriets tight grip.

Oh, Im happy for you too, but Jeremiah just asked me to marry him! she squealed.

Suddenly sharing the blondes enthusiasm, Kaley kissed her on the cheek and hugged her again before asking, What did your mother say?

Oh! I forgot to tell mother. Turning at the speed of light, Harriet ran off in the other direction.

Not having been close enough to hear, Doc walked up to his bride, What was that all about?

You have to ask? Kaley grinned.  Jeremiah asked her to marry him.

I guess its safe to say she said yes. Doc smiled, wrapping his arm around Kaleys waist while his eyes followed their friends across the dance floor.

Its getting rather late, or early depending on how you look at it, Doc chuckled into his wifes hair.  His wife, his heart swelled at the thought, he was going to like saying that.  Do you think maybe its time we made our escape?

Sneaking out the back door, Doc and Kaley rode to the privacy of the OHara ranch the Rabb ranch for now.  Helping her down out of the carriage, Doc escorted Kaley up to the porch before opening the front door and scooping her into his arms.  Kaley couldnt help the giggle that escaped as he carried her all the way up the stairs to her room.

No, she whispered hesitantly.  Not in there. Turning her head she pointed with her nose down the hall.  Well take the master bedroom.

Immediately, Doc understood, she must have still been using the bedroom she had shared with Clete. 

No one had used the master bedroom since her Aunt and Uncle had passed on. Clete had talked about taking over the big room, but Kaley had refused. 

Stepping into the pristine room, Doc slowly carried his bride over to the beautiful bed.  Hosiahs eyes couldnt help but take in the size of the unusually large bed.

Do you like it? She smiled. I had it made especially for you.  I figured it couldnt be easy for a man your size to get a good nights sleep in an ordinary bed, and even less if you have to share it. Kaley tried very hard not to blush at that last part.

Sitting down beside her, Hosiah took a moment to run his hands over the intricate carvings at the foot of the enormous bed.

This was incredibly thoughtful of you. Hosiah was actually choked up.  She was right, he had never slept without his feet hanging off the bed for the better part of his adult life.

The quilt and linens are a wedding gift from Mrs. Perkins and some of the ladies in town. Kaley watched his eyes carefully, hoping he was pleased with her gift.

Without saying a word, Hosiah pulled out the gold watch Kaley had given him earlier in the day.  Life with you is going to be filled with pleasant surprises, isnt it? he asked quietly.

I hope so. Unconsciously, her hand moved to the diamond broach she wore.  Hosiah had given it to her the night before. For generations, all the Rabb women had worn it on their wedding day. As the oldest son, hed held onto it for years in hopes of someday finding someone worthy of giving it to.

Unable to say another word, Hosiah turned to look at his beautiful wife. Slowly, almost trembling, his hand reached forward to softly caress her cheek.

Kaleys eyes closed at the first feel of his hand against her skin.  His touch was so delicate, so loving, her breath caught in her throat.  Her heart was pounding rapidly in her chest; and she was sure if he couldnt see it, he could definitely hear it.

When Hosiahs fingers ran down her cheek and across her chin to gently brush across her lips, Kaley couldnt stop the quiet gasp that escaped at her sharp intake of breath.

Doc pulled his hand away instantly at the small sound.

Kaleys eyes flew open wide at the loss of his warm touch against her.  Her dark eyes were drawn to his sea green pools like a moth to a flame.

Why? she managed to quietly whisper. Her hand reached out for his.

Why what? The mere touch of her hand on his was like striking a match, a fire instantly burned inside him.

Whyd you let go of me?

You soundedunsure. 

Lifting his hand and placing it on her rapidly beating heart, she whispered, Ive never been more sure of anything in my life.  Im just I guess Im just a little nervous. This time Kaley couldnt stop the blush.

The corners of his mouth curled up in a familiar smile. So am I.  He managed to whisper back before his lips softly met hers.

Chapter 17.5  (ADULT)

Hed only felt her lips beneath his one other time, the night on her back porch, the night that decided their fates.  Hed longed to kiss her round pouty lips from the moment she stood holding a rifle over him at the ravine.  Every time she smiled, her lips called to him. Only now, now he could finally respond.

Reaching one hand behind Kaleys head, he carefully removed a comb from her hair.  His lips continued dancing with hers as his hand removed still another comb from her thick brown locks. 

Kaley slowly pulled away and rolled her head, her hair falling gracefully around her face, down to her waist. Her eyes locked with Hosiahs, her nervousness slowly melting away as the flames within burned stronger. Her heart raced wildly, as his eyes scanned up one side of her face and back down the other, his fingers gently following the same trail as his gaze, down her cheek and across her soft lips.

Breathing deeply, she willed her fingers to move. Never releasing her eyes from his loving gaze, Kaley fumbled with the buttons of her dress.  She had managed to completely unbutton the front of her dress and yet Hosiahs eyes had never once departed from their adoring journey of every inch of her face. 

He vowed to take his time with this woman and show her all the tenderness and love she deserved.  Allowing his fingers to glide down her neck, he gently brushed one finger along her collarbone, past the edge of her camisole. 

Her eyes drew shut at his delicate caresses.  She could feel every drop of blood pulsing through her body, racing to be near his tantalizing touch.  Her heart almost stopped when he paused to remove her bodice and then the camisole so his lips could blaze a trail from the base of her chin, down her throat, to linger softly across the exposed tops of her breasts. 

Kaley was so lusciously entranced in his hot caress, she didnt even notice when he managed to slip off her skirt and slip, and untie her corset.  Suddenly she found herself lying in a near state of undress, desperately wanting this mans mouth to kiss and awaken every single square inch of skin on her body. Any nervousness she may have felt was long gone.  Her body was crying out with need and want for this man, for his kiss, his touch, for all of him. 

At the same moment Hosiah slid her corset out from under her with one hand, his other hand pulled her chemise up along her waist, pausing, his eyes scanned hers briefly, as though asking permission. 

Placing her hands on the edge of her chemise near his, Kaley pulled it swiftly over the top of her head leaving her breasts bare before the man she loved.

Hosiah swallowed hard at the beauty in front of him.  Almost shaking, he slowly ran a finger down the swell of her breasts, then circled around the one, then the other.  Placing his hand flat on one breast, he gingerly squeezed and kneaded the soft flesh.  Carefully watching for Kaleys reaction to each and every touch, Hosiah swelled with desire as her eyes rolled shut with intense pleasure, her breasts heaving forward instinctively craving more.

Instantly, she was overcome with a rush of desire as his hot, wet mouth descended on the other breast.   His tongue swirled and licked the taut nipple before sucking in the heated mound. Flames were shooting painfully throughout her body as his tongue continued to lick, tease, and kiss the sensitive flesh.

She didnt think she could stand the torturous pleasure any more when she felt his fingers brush down the sides of her hips, igniting still another fire as he slid her bloomers down her legs.  A whimper of agony escaped her lungs when he stopped his attentions on her breast to unbutton her shoes and completely remove the last of her undergarments.

She was now, finally, completely naked before him, and Hosiah Rabb didnt know if he could stand another minute without being inside her.  Quickly removing his jacket and vest, Hosiah removed the collar, and then unbuttoned his shirt and pants. In only a few more seconds, hed managed to remove all of his clothing and shoes and was lying carefully beside his beautiful bride.

Kaley was awed at the love she felt for this man. Every cell in her body was screaming for more of his touch.  She could feel her desire pooling heavily in her belly as she throbbed with need for him. Running her fingers across his strong chest, Kaley inched closer and captured his lips with hers.

Their tongues tangled in an exquisite duel, their hands roamed and savored the feel of naked skin.  Carefully rolling partially over her, Hosiah propped himself so one hand could gently fondle her breast, while the other hand worked its way around her side and across her flat stomach.  Slowly his fingers slid down her front and across her curls to gently rest against her thigh.

Kaley gulped loudly when he brushed against her.  When his agile fingers came back up her thigh, and slipped between her folds, she gasped for air.  The tingling sensations shooting through her every extremity were more than she could stand. Her hips began rocking wildly as his finger swirled and teased the sensitive nerves. 

Hosiah! Dear, God, She couldnt help but cry out when his mouth sucked in her already burning nipple at the exact moment he slid his fingers inside her.  Her body was writhing beneath him, his name rolling off her lips, over and over. 

Her voice crying out his name was the sweetest thing hed ever heard.  His own body was wracked with desire.  She was so warm, so soft, so responsive to his touch.  Shed been dripping with desire, and he wanted her so badly. 

Kaley. He wanted to see her eyes, he needed to see her eyes.

Gripping the sheets beneath her, Kaley bit her lower lip as she forced herself to look at the man who was so skillfully playing her body as though she were a masters violin. 

When their eyes locked, Hosiah nudged his tip at her entrance. Instinctively, Kaley thrust her hips closer.  This was more than he had counted on. He needed to draw on every ounce of control he had.  He was not going to plunge into her like a drunken husband. Taking several deep breaths, Hosiah slowly eased himself inside her. Pausing to slide out and then slip back in, he gently rocked in and out until Kaley was completely adjusted to his presence.

In only a few minutes they had found a rhythm as though theyd been making love to each other their entire lives.  Their pace quickened as every thrust met every stroke.  The desire coiling within them was growing ready to burst when with one final stroke every nerve within Kaley exploded in glorious ecstasy.  

Feeling her tighten around him, and hearing her now raspy voice calling his name, was all Hosiah needed to send him over the edge, his body convulsing around her in waves of pleasure.

Rolling over to his back, Hosiah pulled his wife across him. Grinning like a Cheshire cat, he ran his fingers through Kaleys long hair. She was so beautiful. He just couldnt resist kissing the top of her head.

Kaley was comfortably snuggled against him, happily indulging in the sound of his beating heart against her cheek.  She was in complete awe of the way she was feeling.  Never once in all the years shed been married to Clete Randell had she experienced anything like what she just shared with Hosiah Rabb. 

I love you.  Kaley, mumbled into his chest.

Shifting their tangled bodies so they were face to face, Hosiah gently cupped Kaleys cheek in his hand. I love you, Mrs. Rabb. Today, tomorrow, forever.  In a movement that almost felt like slow motion, their lips came together in another sweet dance, a dance that was repeated over and over for many years to come.

Chapter 18

Harm and Mac sat curled up together on the sofa listening to Gram reading more of the saga.   There had been an awkward few minutes for Mac when she and Harm finally emerged from the guest room, but the huge grin Gram was trying to hide immediately wiped away any concerns Mac had about possibly offending her hostess old fashioned sensibilities.

Immediately after breakfast, Gram made herself comfortable in her rocker and began reading again.  Harm and Mac had been completely entranced by the story of the wedding.  Harm found himself drawing circles on Macs hand with his thumb. When Gram got to the part about the I Dos, Harm squeezed Macs hand tightly in silent affirmation of where he wanted things to go, delighted when Mac smiled back.

Closing the book, Gram stood up and stretched. I think Im going to get started on lunch.

How many more volumes are there? Harm inquired.

Well, things quieted down quite a bit after Doc and Kaley got married.  Theres a bit of excitement when the boys are growing up.  Hosiahs son James was a hoot.  Theres several pages dedicated to his antics with Teddy Roosevelt. Gram chuckled to herself. But Doc definitely took up most of the history.  Im still working on the last volume.

This was their last day with Gram, tomorrow was time to head back to DC.  Harm wished there was more time to read all the history.

How many boys did they have? Mac asked.

Four, Gram announced proudly.  Kaley teased Doc for years about having to wait for grandchildren to have her girls.  They were retired in rocking chairs and Kaley would still joke with Doc about trying one more time for the girl.

Did she have any granddaughters? Harm interjected.

Eventually.  I think they had four or five grandsons before young Jeremiah broke the spell and had three girls. Gram shook her head.  First one was named Kaley after her grandma.  The next one was Teressa after Kaleys Aunt Tess.  Cant remember off hand what they named the baby. Gram walked towards the kitchen, her brow curled in thought pondering the name of that last grandbaby.  Secretly, she wondered how much longer it would be before shed have her own great-grandchildren to spoil.

Kaley is a nice name. Harm lifted Macs hand, kissed it gently and then returned it to where it had been resting on his lap.

Mm Mac was glancing through the rest of the photos further along the story. Harm, look at this. Mac pointed to a photo of James Rabb with Teddy Roosevelt.  He looks just like you!

I think it would be safe to say he looks like his father. Harm couldnt resist chuckling at her enthusiasm.

Heres a picture of Hosiah with Kaley and all their kin taken at the ceremony in 1921 when Calamity was renamed Rabb for Doc and how he saved the town from the railroad. Harm, the babys name was Sarah, Mac exclaimed excitedly. See the three ladies to the right in the front row?  Kaley Rabb Perkins. I wonder if that was any relationship to Mrs. Perkins and her daughter Irene? Mac giggled. Teressa Rabb and Sarah Rabb.

I guess it was fate that I fall in love with a Sarah. Harm smiled as Macs eyes widened. Dont look so surprised. You have to know I meant it when I said I loved you.

Id hoped it was more than hormones and friendship. Mac tried not to blush.

His face turning deadly serious, Harm twisted Mac around and pulled her fully onto his lap, looking her straight in the eyes.  I have been in love with you for as long as I can remember.  I love you more than life itself and nothing on earth will ever change that.

Harm waited for some sort of understanding from Mac.  He hadnt expected the tears that slowly began to trickle down her cheek.

Harmon Rabb, I hope you know how much I love you. Mac reached her arms around his neck and drew him in for a searing kiss.  The only thing keeping them from letting it escalate into needing to go back to the bedroom was the knowledge Gram was cooking only a few feet away.

The rest of the day was spent in quiet acceptance of the new turn in their relationship.  Gram was especially pleased to see them holding hands, stealing kisses, and sharing starry-eyed glances from across the room.  She had seen it hidden in their eyes the minute they arrived, but was elated to now see them freely expressing it.

It was with great reluctance the next morning that the three adults stood on the front stoop.  Even Baron could tell this was the antithesis of the happy arrival of a few short days ago.

Now that you know where I am, I expect you to make sure he comes home more often, Gram told Mac, even though she was really talking to Harm.  Stepping in for a hug, she whispered into Macs ear, Remember, I want lots of great-grandchildren.  So long as you and Harm raise  em, theyre mine.

Walking over two steps to where Harm stood, Gram tried valiantly to hide her tears. Dont you be a stranger anymore, she scolded, batting back the tears.  Harm felt a heavy weight drop in his pocket as his grandmother hugged him goodbye.  Finally, she pulled back slightly, still holding onto him. I found this last night and thought you might like to have it. She drew back in to kiss him on the cheek and then stepped back up onto the porch.

You two better get going before I change my mind and siphon all your gasoline. She tried to laugh.

The first part of the ride home was made mostly in silence, each one wondering how, or if, things would change once they got home.

I suppose were going to have to talk at some point, Mac mentioned softly.

We are. Harm felt his heart tighten in his chest.

This is probably as good a place as any.  I mean at least neither of us will be able to run away, Mac sighed.

Or push the other away, Harm added.

I told you I was sorry for that. Mac reached over to hold his hand. I wont do that anymore, I promise.

I know. Harm turned slightly to smile at her. Do you really want to do this now?

Yeah, I think I do. Mac turned to look out the window, mumbling maybe under her breath.

Where do you want to start? Harm questioned, almost holding his breath.

I suppose at the beginning would be asking too much. Mac tried for a joke, but it didnt work.  Taking a deep breath, she continued. You said you wanted to be a part of my life and not be looking in anymore. After the last couple of nights, I think its safe to say you are most definitely in my life. The corners of Macs mouth twitched slightly, trying to suppress a big grin.

Harm made no effort to contain his smile.  Its what Ive wanted for a long time now.  Its why I went after you in Paraguay.  Its why I waited through Webb.  Its why Im still here.

Is it enough? Mac raised an eyebrow.

Harm turned suddenly to look at Mac, not sure where she was going with this.

Ive got less than a five percent chance of being able to conceive a child. Our child, Mac elaborated.

Mac, honey, I told you.  If you really want to carry a child and cant conceive, there are options. If its what you want, Ill try them all.  Harm tried to keep his eyes on the road.

And if none of them work?

Then we can adopt.  All I care about is that whatever we do, we do it together.

You have no doubts? Mac hadnt eased her intense glare.

Without hesitating a single second, Harm shot back.  Not a one. 

He had told her over and over, in several ways, but she needed to hear it one more time. One last time.  She had to be sure.  After nine years of misunderstanding, she wasnt going to leave any room for misinterpretations, not when they were so close to having what shed always wanted.

It wasnt long before Harm was turning off the road and pulling up to Macs building in Georgetown.

He carried her bag up to her apartment, his palms sweating nervously as she opened her front door.

Where do you want me to put this? Harm asked, trying to hide his nervousness.

On my bed, if you dont mind. Mac waved at her bedroom door.  She wasnt quite sure what to do next either, and was glad to buy a few extra minutes to decide her next move.

Harm came out of the bedroom more quickly than Mac had expected.  Walking towards each other, the two didnt know quite where to look or what to say.   Almost in stereo they began,

Uh, should I Would you...

Unable to ignore the ludicrousness of their discomfort, they each broke out in roaring laughter.  Pulling Mac into his arms, they practically stumbled over each other before she settled her head comfortably in the crook of his neck.

You in a hurry to go home or do you want to stay a little while? Mac mumbled into his chest, once theyd stopped laughing.

Thats an unfair question. Harm tightened his hold around her.

Why is that counselor?

Because I wont ever be in a hurry to go home if youre not there, and Harm hesitated to say what he was really thinking.

And Mac encouraged, pulling her head back slightly to look up at his expression.

Anything less than forever with you will never be long enough. His eyes locked on hers, as he enunciated each and every word very carefully.

Suddenly, the room was spinning and Mac couldnt feel the floor beneath her.  All she could feel were Harms strong arms pulling her in closer, his lips descending tenderly on hers.  Her knees threatened to give out from under her. It felt as though she was melting in his arms for an eternity and yet only an instant.  Her body was turning to Jell-O as his kiss continued to awaken every nerve ending throughout her body.

When Harm pulled away from her lips and began slowly kissing the edge of her mouth, across her chin and under her ear, Mac heard herself finally speak.

Stay, Harm.  Dont go. Her eyes rolled shut at the heat that was flushing from her neck to her toes.

If I stay now I wont ever want to leave. Harm kissed her lips once again, reluctantly, he let go when she tried to answer.

Then dont ever leave. Pulling herself away, taking a deep breath, Mac looked into his eyes.  I told you I wont push you away anymore.  If you want forever, so do I.

Starting now? Harm searched her eyes.

Starting now.

February 14, 2005
Front porch of Admiral AJ Chegwidden, USN Retired

Harm stood behind Mac looking down at the ancient gold watch she held in her hands, his arms wound tightly around her. 

I hoped youd like it. Harm whispered in her ear. Gram slipped it to me our last day at the farm.  She told me later that Kaley gave it to Doc on their wedding day.

Mac softly read out loud, To HR my love, my life, my everything.  KOR

Since it says everything I feel for you, I thought, I hoped

Turning swiftly in his arms. Oh, Harm was all Mac managed to say before throwing her arms around him and devouring his soft lips in a passionate kiss.

Ahem, Ahhheeeemm AJ cleared his throat as loudly as possible one more time while contemplating if it was time to paint the porch ceiling yet.

Admiral, everyone is waiting Harriet stopped suddenly, noticing AJ staring up at the ceiling.  Her eyes searching for something of serious impact, she looked back at the Admiral in utter confusion before noticing the kissing couple out of the corner of her eye.

Yes, Harriet, I know. Would you care to try? AJ challenged, a glint of sheer delight dancing in his eyes.

Certainly, sir. Smiling to herself, Harriet turned to fully face the two senior officers lost in each other, and shouted as loudly as possible without disturbing the neighbors, ADMIRAL ON DECK! 

Still pressed together, turning only their faces towards the offensive announcement, Harm and Mac glared at Harriet until they caught sight of AJ chuckling behind her.

Seeing them come immediately to attention, AJ couldnt resist letting out a huge belly laugh.

At ease.  I think its fairly safe to assume that you dont have to stand at attention on your own wedding day.  I believe all Lt. Sims is trying to tell you is that your guests are waiting inside for you to cut the cake. Turning away, his shoulders still shaking with laughter, AJ escorted Harriet into the house, and held the door for the newlyweds.

AJ had been surprised to receive the call four weeks ago announcing their plans to get married and requesting to hold the small private ceremony at his house.  He was more than happy to oblige and truly pleased to give the bride away for real this time.

Turning to follow AJ into the house, Harm hesitated at the door and looked at Mac,

Ready, Mrs. Rabb?

More than youll ever know, Mr. Rabb.


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