Author: Hearts of Eternity PM
Time has a curious way about it, always able to move ahead, sometimes leaving hearts behind. For Sam and Mikaela, they didn't realize how far behind their hearts really were until fate, in the form of well-meaning Camaro, intervened. Sam/MikaelaRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Sam W. & Mikaela B. - Chapters: 20 - Words: 131,960 - Reviews: 465 - Favs: 249 - Follows: 266 - Updated: 07-09-10 - Published: 10-04-08 - id: 4575693
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Back again, peoples~ Always with a new chapter, yes? Hope you all enjoy!
JJ- Thank you so much~ I do try to deliver quality work. ^_^
Katanagirl16- Awww, thanks so much! I'm glad you like the writing. =) And yes, I am a girl, so being the Queen is no trouble for me. =P
Bigguy204- Goodness, thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed all of those aspects of the chapter~! =)
GBscientist- I'm all for breaking up happy moments, but sometimes people just have to have a little bit of happy calmness in their lives. It won't last forever, but enjoy it while it does. ^_^
Divinations- My goodness, to receive a review at any time is an honour and a delight, so I'm glad you decided to review at all. I'm flattered that you like my depictions of Sam and Mikaela as they struggle with themselves and each other. I hope you continue to enjoy the story to the end. ^_^
leoshunny1985- Thank you~
head in the clouds 14- Thank you so much~
Supermel Returns- Hahahaha, how invigorating it is to hear someone enjoyed the sex as much as you did! XD It's unfortunate that Megan Fox will not be returning to the Transformers franchise, but rest assured that Mikaela Banes is going no where in my writing. She's staying put, preferably with Sam! XD
Sutzina Zion- I'm glad you enjoyed so many aspects of the chapter. It was a delight to write the sex, and always a treat to hear that readers delighted in the sexcapades as well. XD
Read, Review, & Enjoy, my friends~
While schemes, trickery, and a bone-melting blow job had worked just fine the day before at keeping Sam with her, Mikaela had to admit that trying for sexcapades two days in a row was stretching things.
For one, Sam was a busy person. He really did have a lot do. The longer she kept him away from his work, the more it piled up. Keeping him distracted for too long was just asking for a fall. And Sam wasn't the kind of person to dump all his work on another colleague. He could send some of his tactical evaluations to Prowl, who would go over them with a fine-toothed comb anyways, but that was the extent of it. Everything else he'd do himself, whether out of guilt or an inability to relinquish control like that.
Another reason Mikaela didn't try to keep Sam for a second day in a row was because she was damn tired. Tired in a good way, yes, but still exhausted. Every inch of her felt deliciously sore. Sam had worked her so well, if felt as if he had imprinted himself on her skin; the feeling of him being with her would never go away. She needed a day to recover from the sex. Recover from the emotional connection that kept going deeper with every moment she spent with him, every time they connected with their bodies and more. The day before had been a necessary detour from reality, sex to get her mind off of other things, but now Mikaela needed time and space to get her barriers back in place.
Plus, if those weren't reason enough, there were still boxes of Mikaela's stuff that needed to be unpacked.
Which was why, after the one brief round of morning oh-my-god-I-have-got-to-have-you sex, Mikaela and Sam found themselves at the Lennox homestead for breakfast.
As could be excepted, they were teased mercilessly for their absence the previous day. Epps and Will took great joy in their needling. Viktor teasingly flirted with Mikaela, if only to raise Sam's ire. Sarah and Maggie tried to referee the men, only ended up embarrassing every party involved. Billy again regaled everyone with the terrifying tale of catching Uncle Sam in his boxers and Mikaela in a sheet, which only added more fuel to the teasing fire. Annabelle was no help in that arena, lamenting that she now had to seek counselling for the traumatic experience. Chase inserted bawdy humour that had everyone blushing red, while Haellie took a thankfully more neutral ground- trying to muzzle his wife.
The two recipients of the teasing could only laugh at all the wild and hilarious accusations being tossed their way. Anything that came too close to the truth had them discreetly catching each others' eyes, their cheeks pinked, and they would look away with their own secret smiles on their faces.
No matter how discreet they tried to be, the sharp eyes of their friends never missed a thing. With every meaningful glance, every light brush of their hands, even the surprise kiss Mikaela planted on the side of Sam's mouth, they only served to confirm what everyone already knew. Not only was Sam (still) head over heels for his woman, she was head over heels for him, too. The signs were so obvious, it was almost painful to watch. Something precious and fragile was blooming between them, something that needed to be cherished. To see the soft look that came into Sam's eyes every time he looked at Mikaela, looking better than he ever had in a long time, and to see the same look reflected on Mikaela's face... It was a blessing.
Which was exactly why, as Sam's human friends and family, everyone from Viktor to Billy was damned determined to have Mikaela stay and be a part of the family. They'd all be better for it. Sam and Mikaela especially.
Unfortunately, just because life on base could be held at bay for a little while, didn't mean it stayed away indefinitely.
All too soon, Bumblebee was rolling up outside the open French doors of the Lennox home dinning room. After customary greetings, he regretfully imparted the need for Sam to get on base for a video conference with several prominent military powers. Bumblebee had stalled for as long as he dared to give his friend time with everyone, but now the need was too great to delay any longer. With that directive delivered, there seemed no reason for anyone else to delay the inevitable. Work for the day had to begin. So those who needed to, followed Sam down to see to their own duties.
Despite numerous invitations from Sarah and Maggie to join them in the greenhouses and computer labs, Mikaela chose to stay above ground. If she truly had a desire to go into the subterranean base, it wouldn't be to hang around and get in everyone's way. She'd go down to help Ratchet and relearn everything she forgot over her absence. Her tutoring would have to wait for another day, though. The CMO was currently on high alert for injured Autobots coming after an encounter with some Decepticons. Hence Mikaela staying where the sun shined.
The only other human to be left behind was Chase, who still simmered violently over being barred from work the day earlier. She still howled over not being an invalid, no matter how many times she was assured no one thought of her that way. With a pair of ear plugs and a lot of patience, Mikaela managed to finagle Chase into helping her to the dirty dishes for Sarah. By the time they were stacking them away, Chase was calm enough to offer a proper invitation for Mikaela to hang out with her for the day. It was an offer Mikaela could hardly refuse. Being alone for the day unpacking didn't appeal to her the least. And, according to Chase, why bother unpacking if she was going to leave soon anyways?
There wasn't much for Mikaela to say after that, so she found herself walking to the Hendrix barn-cum-home in Chase's wake.
If anything, there was such a bluntness about Chase that Mikaela couldn't help but like. In a way, she was much like Gloria, in that she didn't put up with bullshit. Familiar territory like that was comforting when everything else felt like it was upside down. Probably one of the reasons Mikaela felt strangely comfortable with the relative stranger.
Yet another reason for the strange comfort was the fact that Chase and Haellie were the ones closest in age to Sam and Mikaela- being 35 and 37 respectively. A certain camaraderie came with having someone to relate to in that respect. Not that the others were much older, ranging in their late forties to early fifties now. Sometimes, though, it was easier to connect with someone young enough to be your sister.
And much unlike the others of the 'main gang', which was what Mikaela was beginning to call the small group of families that surrounded her and Sam, Chase didn't bother to scheme or needle for Mikaela to stay with Sam. If she wanted to say something, she looked Mikaela in the eye and said it baldfaced. For what very little Mikaela knew of the woman, she was beginning to suspect Chase would call out a Decepticon if she were faced down with one. It was oddly refreshing.
Although that oddly refreshing aspect kind of backfired on Mikaela when, upon entering the Hendrix home and having the door shut, Chase pinned her with a look and stated: "So, you're in love with Sam."
With yet another conference call over and done with, hopefully without any major feathers ruffled, Sam began sorting out the mess he'd made of his desk during the ordeal. And, yes, it had been an ordeal. The same way being taken as a prisoner of war was.
Of the three major military powers in the world, America, Russia, and China could act remarkably like a trio of catty teen-aged bitches when they wanted to. Only they were more dangerous, seeing as they had paranoia streaks a mile long and itchy trigger fingers hovering over nuclear buttons. Constantly suspicious of the others and always wanting to stick their noses into Cybertronian business in hopes of picking up some technology that would give them an edge over the competition. Sam, as ambassador between the Cybertronians and his own race, was the lucky guy who got to play mediator between the species. His job only got better (Read: worse) when he had to play referee between the three countries as well.
"The joys of living the dream," Sam sighed, scrubbing a hand across his face.
Notes he'd made throughout the conference were littered across a menagerie of all paper surfaces, including several Russian and Chinese dictionaries he used when trying to understand what the hell was being shouted at him. Viktor thankfully kept him fluent enough in Russian to know when he was being cursed at. Chinese, however, still tripped him up.
Slipping the notes away into an appropriate binder, he made a couple more notes to look into some poignant issues addressed during the session. These notes were then stuck to his computer screen so he wouldn't miss them. Dictionaries were slipped away, pens and pencils returned from whence they came, one potted plant upright once more after having a large textbook thrown at in in a brief stint of America's-representative-being-a-douche induced rage.
Hopping for a little bit of calm, he turned on some music, going for some old soft rock from the 60s and 70s.
Just as he leaned back in his chair in preparation to stare aimlessly at his LCD ceiling for the next thirty minutes in hopes of lowering his blood pressure, a knock sounded at his office door. Sam didn't even bother to tilt his head down to regard his possible company. He didn't say a word. He pretended he wasn't there. It was a futile hope that whoever was on the other side would go away, but still Sam held out hope anyways.
In the end, the door was opened and Haellie stuck his head in.
"Coast is clear?" he asked in a mock-whisper, looking about the room as if the human representatives of the video conference were actually lurking around in the shadows.
"Yeah, you're cool," Sam sighed, waving his friend in.
With a gracious smile, Haellie loped into the room and took up residence in the chair on the other side of the desk. He had a fibre glass tablet tucked under one arm, it's blue screen revealing the specs for whatever latest engineering feat he and his team were cooperating on with Wheeljack and the other technical-minded transformers. By the lively look in his eyes, he had something interesting to say and was just waiting for Sam to invite him to say it.
"Well?" Sam prompted, assuming a laid back pose in his seat, feet braced on the edge of his desk, legs crossed at the ankles.
"Well what?" Haellie replied, smiling wider.
"You came here for a reason, didn't you?" Sam pressed, cocking an eyebrow.
"Didn't I?" Haellie continued to evade, now leaning back in his own chair to mirror Sam's pose. He then placed his tablet in front of him and began to scribble absent notes across the blueprints with a sleek little stylus.
"Man, I will kick your ass if you're just here to bug me," Sam warned.
Haellie guffawed at the threat, even though there was a very good chance Sam could take him out. Instead of goading his friend any longer, Haellie put him out of his misery, saying- "Turns out your woman is with mine today." He added a smile on the end to make the statement seem less like a death sentence.
Sam visibly paled beneath his tan. "Seriously?"
Visions of coming home tonight to a frothing man-eater suddenly came to mind. Chase was a wonderful, strong-minded woman, but hell if she wasn't an Amazon in a past life. It wouldn't be beyond the woman to covert Mikaela to her philosophy. Sam swallowed hard. "How do you know?"
"I have my ways. Mostly, my wife tells me." Haellie tapped a few things on his tablet, bringing up a few texts Chase had sent, and then turning the screen around for Sam. "Take a look." A handful of harassing texts were there to read, including questions regarding whether or not Mikaela would like to live in Queensland or New South Wales, Australia. Several of them openly dared Haellie to ask Sam for his opinion.
A bit of colour came back into Sam's face in the form of an angry flush. "Your woman is a real jewel, you know that?" he growled.
"Yeah, but I love her," Haellie shrugged, making it clear that he cared for little else beyond that fact. He then added for Sam's benefit, "She only does things like this because she knows it gets to you. If you keep giving her a reaction to feed off of, like you do every time, she'll keep doing it. If you stop, she'll stop."
"Tell her she can damn well stop first, because now she's getting personal," Sam said, and then scowled when he realized how much he sounded like he was pouting.
"Sorry, I know she's touching nerves now." Haellie had the grace to at least look a little sheepish as he returned his tablet to his lap. "She's only being extra vindictive right now because she's been barred from work. Helping Mikaela and being mean are all she has to occupy her time right now. You know she doesn't do well sitting around with nothing to do."
"Then do us all a favour and never get her pregnant again," Sam intoned darkly. "My sanity will not survive her being barred from work a second time."
"Pussy. Sanity is for the weak," Haellie joked.
Sam groaned in annoyance. "If I proclaim my weakness, will you go away?"
Haellie only grinned wider. "I came here to cheer you up, 'cause I knew you'd be needing it after dealing with the Three Stooges. So here I am, cheering you up."
"You suck at cheering me up so far."
"I haven't been trying yet."
Sam narrowed his gaze. "Start trying."
"Okay, sure, I'll try, but first I have to say something out loud before it drives me nuts."
Sam waited a beat, and then demanded, "Well? Spit it out!"
With an acquiescing shrug, Haellie took a deep breath, looked Sam in the eye, and stated, "You're in love with Mikaela."
After the initial 'L-word' bombshell had been dropped, Mikaela had been left floundering for solid ground. What was she supposed to say to something like that? Denial was on the tip of her tongue, but it didn't quite make it past her lips. She was spared the bother of answering such a question when three big, black furry bodies suddenly bowled her over and bathed her in slobber. All she could do was flail about until a solid hand caught hers and hauled her to her feet. Chase then barked at her dogs and they turned tail and fled.
"Well?" the woman pressed, one eyebrow arching.
"Well what?" Mikaela stuttered, her cheeks heating.
"You love him, right?"
"I don't know," Mikaela sighed dazedly, even though every fibre of her being screamed Yes! Yes! Yes!
"Huh... yeah, right." Chase rolled her eyes and walked away. "Come on, don't just stand there. Australia isn't going to research itself, now is it?"
The sudden change of subject threw Mikaela for a loop. She stared for a moment, and then shrugged. "I guess not."
And that had been it.
For the following hours, they sat in the living room of a gigantic couch big enough to seat a couple of grizzly bears while they poured over as much Australian content as they possibly could. Not that all of it was helpfully, really. Watching old episodes of the Crocodile Hunter and listening to AC/DC probably didn't count for much. However, in between rocking out to tunes like "Back in Black" and laughing at Steve Irwin's crazy antics wrangling some animal, they did work together to try and sort out Mikaela's uncertain future.
So far, they knew that the major cities were too much of a risk; yes, there were a lot of people Mikaela could blend in amongst, but there was too much media. Her face might be caught somewhere she didn't want it to be, posted to YouTube or something like that by accident. It was easier to be as off the grid as possible. Small town, maybe. Some place where she could find peace.
"Okay, how about this place?" Chase offered, clicking the print icon on her laptop for the online brochure she was checking out. On the coffee table in front of them, the wireless printer buzzed to life and spit out the brochure. Mikaela snatched it, gave it a once over, and then shook her head.
The paper was tossed into the growing pile of paper to be recycled.
"Why not?" Chase wondered stubbornly.
"It's in the middle of the outback," Mikaela pointed out flatly.
"No it's not, it's only on the very edge," Chase pointed out, indicating to the right panel on the brochure. "I don't think you can own property right in the middle anyways."
"Still, I don't want to live there," Mikaela insisted.
"You gonna give me a reason?"
"I don't want to live in the middle of the outback."
"I said it was on the edge," Chase snorted. "Besides, you lived in the middle of the desert with the Vautzes; what's the difference?"
Mikaela's lips compressed into a stubborn line. "I'll be by myself out there, that's the difference."
"Fair enough," Chase sighed, and then went on clicking through various property listings that had potential. Money was no question, so she ran the gamut from shitty hovels to state-of-the-art luxury homes. Whatever caught her fancy.
Mikaela went back to her own laptop, borrowed from Haellie without his knowledge, which Chase had happily lent to her earlier. It was a monster-sized laptop with a 17-inch screen and probably more gigs of RAM than what could possibly be legal. It was certainly an imposing piece of technology, probably containing top secret documents for whatever project the man was working on with the Autobots. However, the imposing nature of the laptop was offset by the desktop wallpaper, which happened to be a photograph of the Hendrix couple standing at the top of a mountain somewhere, both decked out in heavy duty mountaineering gear, with eyes only for each other as they grinned, flushed from excitement over reaching the summit.
Up on the screen currently were various screens depicting various Wikipedia entries she was reading of the different towns she might soon be living in. In several other screens, she was looking up every poisonous animal she might possibly encounter. Given her unlucky streak for encountering dangerous creatures, since she counted Decepticons as Very. Dangerous. Creatures, she was most likely going to encounter everything that would kill her. Probably all on her first day being there, too.
Chase's cell phone suddenly chirped, announcing an incoming text. She shifted to sit up, her cheeks turning ruddy when she had difficulty bending forward around her rounded belly for her phone.
"Here, I'll get it," Mikaela offered, sparing the other woman any further embarrassment. The phone was scooped up and handed to the owner, who flipped it open and laughed.
"Haellie," she said for Mikaela, her smirk fond and humoured as she read the text. "He suggests we skip Australia all together and look at New Zealand instead."
"Why?" Mikaela dared to ask.
The phone chirped again, as if in answer to her question. Chase snorted as she read the new message. "He says prostitution is decriminalized and brothels are legal there."
"He's charming when he wants to be." Chase dragged her gaze from the top of Mikaela's head to the tips of her toes. "You gotta admit, you're pretty hot. You'd make a fortune being a whore."
"You're welcome." Her phone chirped again, and her grin turned Cheshire. "Sam says if you dare become a hooker, he'll buy your contract so you can be his hooker for the rest of your life. He doesn't care how expensive you are."
Mikaela crossed her eyes, her cheeks staining pink. "I don't know whether I should be insulted that everyone thinks I'd make a good prostitute or flattered that Sam would make the effort to buy me."
"Be flattered," Chase offered, her fingers flying across the keys to type her response.
"Because that's what I just told him you were," Chase laughed, pressing send.
Sam stared at his phone, reading the message that just came in. He wasn't sure if he could trust Chase's words or not.
"What she say?" Haellie prompted from the seat he had refused to vacate all day. Ever since that wonderfully loud 'L-word' statement he'd made, he hadn't bothered to leave. While Sam was man enough to admit he was in love with Mikaela, he'd even said it out loud a couple times before, having it thrown in his face so boldly kind of struck him dumb. After the trauma, Haellie had boldly proceeded to cheer Sam up by keeping a running commentary of the texts his wife was supplying them with. Most of them stopped being vindictive, just describing what the two women were doing at the moment, and it actually did serve to cheer Sam up a bit.
While Haellie didn't leave the office for his own work- seeing as all his work was downloaded to his tablet- he was good enough to leave Sam to his own work for the majority of the day. They worked in companionable silence, ploughing through their respective mountains of work. It was only when Haellie started texting Chase again that Sam looked up from his work, subsequently getting involved when he learnt the topic of discussion.
"Says she'd be happy to be my hooker," Sam replied, a little dazedly.
"Who? Chase?" Haellie wondered, eyebrows arching.
"No, Mikaela," Sam corrected, rolling his eyes.
"Oh, huh... well, ask her how much to pay for her?" Haellie prompted.
"Why? Looking to buy here, too?"
"No. I want to tell Viktor," Haellie replied, grinning. "I'm sure he'd love to have a shot at her."
"Do it, I dare you. All I need is one little reason to kick your ass, and then I'll kick Ashcroft's ass," Sam growled, thumbing the phone's keys to send his response. "There, I asked how much." Moments later came the reply, which Sam stared at for a long while, his mouth pursed.
Curious, Haellie sat up. "Too rich for your blood?"
"She said it'll cost me an arm and a leg," Sam said, then looked down at his one human arm. "I've only got one arm left."
Haellie shrugged, considering the price with a modicum of mock-seriousness. "You love your woman, right?"
"Then it's worth it."
Bolstered by the mini pep talk, Sam returned the text with an assurance that he would pay with any body parts necessary. That only served to blow up in his face when Chase merrily replied with a highly embarrassing and disturbingly graphic demand on the one body part Sam was most unwilling to part with. This was quickly followed by a barrage of rapidly typed, horribly misspelled texts from Mikaela, who presumably had stolen Chase's phone, pleading for Sam not to give up that body part. She was rather fond of it. If anything, he could pay in instalments, granting use of his body parts whenever she saw fit, however she saw fit. Sam didn't see much point in arguing such a fine business deal.
Soon after that, there came a knock at the door and the Autobot's communication officer Blaster, standing only a little over six feet tall, came in. Normally an amiable bot, he looked unusually awkward coming into the office. He had one hand to the side of his head, unscrewing his audio dial and shaking it out as if he could dump out whatever was stuck in his head.
"Something the matter?" Sam wondered, rising from his seat.
"Um, sort of, I mean- not really, it's just..." the little Autobot shrugged, screwing his audio dial back in. "You do remember that since we're completely off the grid, all phone and text messages are routed through me, right?"
The two humans stopped dead, their cheeks staining pink.
Seeing the display, Blaster shook his head. "That's what I thought. Try and keep is PG-13 for future reference, will you?" He backed out of the room and let the door close behind him.
Haellie cleared his throat as soon as the Autobot was gone, casting Sam a humoured look. "That was slightly embarrassing."
"You think he sent a warning to the girls, too?"
Sam shook his head. "If he did, Chase would probably be assaulting us with texts that could make a porn star blush."
"That woman has a talent for talking dirty when she's in the mood," Haellie agreed sagely, clearing speaking from experience.
They caught each others' eyes and laughed. When they quieted, Sam was hunched over his desk, elbows braced on the desktop while his chin sat on his upraised hands. Haellie absently clicked through a few things on his tablet screen, but didn't pay them much mind.
"Hey, Hael- what if she really does go?" Sam suddenly intoned, now subdued. "What if I can't convince her to stay?"
"You're not willing to let her go, are you?" Haellie asked softly.
"If our roles were reversed, could you give up Chase?" Sam met his friend's gaze, his dark eyes clear with simmering emotion.
"No, never." His answer was automatic and sincere.
"And I can't give up Mikaela. Not again," Sam sighed.
"What will you do, then?"
The answer didn't come easily. For a little while, it looked like Sam was struggling with it. In the end, his shoulders sagged and he said, "If she leaves... I'm going to go with her."
For a moment, Haellie's expression turned surprised, then morphed into understanding. "If that's what you've got to do, go for it."
Now it was Sam's turn to be stunned by such quick encouragement. "You really think I should?"
Haellie nodded. "You gotta do what you think is right."
"Being with her is right." Sam scrubbed a rough palm across his face. "There's just so much work here to do, though..."
"And there are enough people here to do it." The other man waved a russet-skinned hand. "You've always done things yourself because you don't want others handling it, but maybe it's time you start letting others help you. You're going to have to let others do your job if you leave, and even if you get Mikaela to stay, you can still give us a little trust to do some of your jobs for you. You're a good man, Sam, but you can't carry the weight of the world by yourself."
Sam nodded, his gaze pensive as he stared down at his phone.
Haellie leaned across the desk to clasp Sam's shoulder, drawing the man's gaze up. "Don't start packing just yet, okay? You still have time to convince Mikaela that this is where she belongs."
Sam's smile was a little strained as he asked, "You think I can pull it off?"
"You can see it in her eyes, Sam. She has feelings for you, but she's afraid. Any sane person would be after everything she's been through. But you wanna know what vibe I'm getting from her? She looking for more reasons to stay than she is hoping for reasons to go."
Sam sucked in a hopeful breath, letting it out slowly. Did he dare to hope? "It doesn't make things any easier that your woman is practically pushing mine out the door."
Haellie chuckled, shaking his head. "Chase wants to see you happy as much as anyone else, but she does things her way. I'm willing to bet she's working her own angle right now, even if it doesn't seem like it."
Sam's expression turned wry. "So long as Mikaela doesn't end up as as an Australian or New Zealand prostitute, I don't care."
Haellie grinned. "Sorry, buddy, that was kind of my suggestion."
Noting the time, Mikaela was surprised to find that the day had gone by so quickly. It was already going on 6:30 and it still felt like noon to her.
Chase seemed to have noticed the time as well, since she snorted and frowned lightly. "Typical- late again," she sighed. "I guess I'm stuck doing dinner." Heaving her laptop to the side, she eased to her feet with a groan. Her hands smoothed down her rounded belly, grimacing. "Little bugger doesn't stop kicking me. See? Feel this." Without warning, Mikaela's hand was snagged and set to Chase's belly. Beneath her palm, she felt little fluttering kicks and bumps. There was a very active baby doing somersaults in there.
"Are you due soon?" Mikaela wondered, taking her hand back.
"Any day now, I guess," Chase shrugged.
For a second, unease crossed the woman's face. "Terrified." Then her unease was gone, shaken off and stuffed away. "Right now, I have got to go pee. And then I will start dinner."
She wandered off for the bathroom while Mikaela waited in the kitchen, feeling strangely at home in the open concept space. No matter where she seemed to go on base, she felt at home, actually. Only a few days here already and she felt like she was settling into the rhythm of things and becoming a part of it.
A long, deep sigh breathed along her thigh, startling her from her thoughts. Looking down, Mikaela discovered Bear, Dog, and Rotten staring up at her with big, brown dog eyes. How such sweet dogs ended up with such names, she didn't want to know. Smiling indulgently to the giant brutes, she stroked each of their heads and watched as doggy-smiles of contentment stretched their wide faces.
"What do you think, boys- Australia or New Zealand?" she asked softly.
The droopy-faced Newfoundlander heaved himself up in order to drag his wet tongue over the length of Mikaela's face.
"That is so gross," Mikaela playfully admonished, which the two Rottweilers apparently took as an invitation to drag their own tongues across Mikaela's slimed face. One of them wuffed gently, nudging her with a velvet-soft muzzle.
"Even you three think I should stay, huh?" she laughed, wiping her face with the collar of her shirt.
"Dogs know when someone is part of a pack," intoned Chase, back from the bathroom. She wiped her hands down the front of her maternity jeans, coming into the kitchen. With a short whistle, her dogs came to her, each to receive a fond pat and scratch behind the ears. "They think you're part of this pack."
Mikaela appraised the beasts carefully before lifting her gaze to other woman's. "Do they really think I'm part of their pack?"
Chase shrugged. "They're smart dogs." She said no more as she came deeper into the kitchen, dragging this and that out. Random ingredients. She was no chef, but she managed to follow the directions on the backs of boxes relatively well. Every time Mikaela got up to help, she was shooed back to her seat. It was obviously a pride thing that prevented the other woman from accepting help. AC/DC was still playing in the background, filling the house with the rocking tunes of "Highway to Hell". Mikaela simply allowed herself to drift off, not realizing she was staring until she was called out on it.
"If you keep staring at me, you're going to give me a complex."
"Sorry," Mikaela laughed, dutifully looking away.
"You wanna ask me something?" Chase prompted, having read the look on Mikaela's face right. "I get the feeling you've been thinking."
"It's just..." She worried her bottom lip between her teeth. "Why are you helping me?"
"Because you needed help." It was as simple as that.
Mikaela shook her head. "No, I mean- I thought everyone wanted me to stay, and here you are helping me leave. What's up with that?"
Chase's dark eyes glinted as she tossed a smirking look over her shoulder. "You make it sound like you don't want to leave. Thinking of staying, are you?"
"I- it's not... I just want to understand. Yesterday you were like everyone else- saying I'd stay, and today you've done everything to help me leave. I don't get it."
"I never said anything about you staying. I said Sam has his sights set on you and he's not going to let you go without a fight," Chase corrected her, hacking away at vegetables. "That, if you haven't noticed, is a fact. He'd hold you tight with both arms if he could."
Mikaela pressed a hand to her chest, feeling as her heart fluttered in her chest. "Then why help me leave, if you know Sam wants me so badly?"
"I'm not about to force you to do anything you don't want. You say you don't want to stay, so I'm helping you leave. If you wanted to stay, I'd help you do that, too." With one last chop to a pile of hacked up carrots, Chase turned around to lean against the counter and regard Mikaela with a crooked smile. "Besides, if Sam wants you, he'll work for you. You're worth the effort. Australia or not, he's the kind of guy to do whatever it takes."
"Whatever it takes, huh? I'd believe that," Mikaela said ruefully. .
Chase canted her head, black eyes softening. "If you go, he'd go with you."
That caught Mikaela's attention, her heart fluttering. "He wouldn't leave his work behind."
"No? I bet he would." A knife was waved as Chase tried to make her point. "I'm not a romantic person by a long shot, but the way he looks at you, it's like there's no one else in the room. He'd follow you in a heartbeat. I think he'd give this all up."
A frown pulled at the corners of Mikaela's mouth, her chest tightening a little. "I don't want to take him away from here, though. You guys, the Autobots, you're his friends and family."
"So? You could be his everything. Can you say the same?"
Mikaela shifted in her seat. "What do you mean?"
"Would you give up a boring normal life in order to have everything you never dreamed of?" Chase asked lightly, turning back around to start hacking away at her next vegetable-victim. "You could have everything, too, you know? If you were willing to take a chance."
Everything. Mikaela let the thought float around in her head, warmed and frightened it. Never, in all her life, had she ever really considered having "everything". She had more of a survival outlook on life, getting by on the essentials. Doing the least risky things. Dating Sam and being part of an alien war sixteen years ago had been the riskiest thing she'd ever done. It had been her most heartbreaking risk. And the most rewarding. According to Chase, who seemed to know what she was talking about, Sam was prepared to give up everything for her. Was she woman enough to do the same for him...?
Movement just over her shoulder startled her. Haellie's immense form came into sight, creeping along quieter than what Mikaela would have thought possible for such a big man. He caught her eye for a moment, shared a warm smile, before he crept up on his wife. His arms came around her, drawing her to his body. Chase's surprise was evident in the way she jumped, hissed, and nearly stabbed her husband's hands with the knife she was wielding.
"Whoa there, sweetheart, just me," he murmured, his amusement evident in his deep voice.
"Who says I wouldn't stab you anyways?" Chase snorted, irked to have been surprised.
Mikaela watched the scene with a twinge of guilt prickling at her. Voyeurism had never been to her taste, but now she found her eyes hungry to watch the scene unfold. Chase may have been over six feet tall, yet she was dwarfed next to her husband. He was big and broad, strength evident in every coiled muscle, contrasted by the ultimate gentleness he exuded. His hands settled on Chase's protruding belly, shaping his large palms over the flesh, holding her as if she were a precious treasure. He laid a kiss to the hollow where her neck met shoulder. The deep rumble of his voice filled the air, though his words were muffled by Chase's skin.
In that moment, a deep ache came to life in Mikaela's heart. A taint of sad jealousy. She wanted something like that. She wanted someone who could hold her, hug and kiss her.
A deep breath in brought with it a familiar scent, just as a pair of arms came around her from behind. A pair of lips pressed just behind her ear, softly rumbled words flooding heat through her body-
A gasp erupted from Mikaela, quickly stifled as Sam leaned around and pressed his mouth to hers. When he pulled away, there was a smile decorating both their lips.
"Miss me?" he teased.
"Maybe," she breathed.
Sam's eyes softened, his arms coming around her as if he had read her mind and knew what she craved. Mikaela came into the embrace of his body without hesitation, absorbing the heat, revelling in it.
"I got off work at a half-decent time," he intoned, quirking a half-smile.
"You're improving," Mikaela hummed, rewarding him with a tender smile, leaning against him and breathing in his wonderful scent. Was this what she really hungered for? The calm contentedness of being held. Cherished. Knowing someone... loved you.
Someone cleared their throat. It turned out to be Haellie, his arms still around Chase, his chin resting on her shoulder. He met Mikaela's gaze and smiled handsomely for her.
"Do you want to stay?" he asked, which had her eyes widening, wondering if he had read her mind. Seeing her expression, amusement lit his eyes. "For dinner, I mean," he amended.
"Oh," Mikaela breathed, laughing a little. She glanced to Sam, who waited patiently for her answer, content to follow her lead, and then to Chase, whose smirk was both encouraging and challenging. Finally she met Haellie's gaze again and smiled sincerely "Sure, I'd love to stay."
For dinner, and maybe longer.