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McMurphy's Tavern
The group had assembled at McMurphy's Tavern for an impromptu engagement celebration. No one was really surprised that he had proposed it was that no one expected it to be so soon.
Harm and Sturgis where standing together exchanging that male hug; the one where they shake hands and hug with one arm.

"Well, you've actually done it. You're a lucky man. Bobbie is a great lady." Harm told his friend. "Yeah, I know." Sturgis said as he smiled and looked at Bobbie.

"How did he do it?" Mac asked. "Let me see your ring." Harriet said. Bobbie showed them her ring and told them how Sturgis proposed. "He walked into my office and actually got down on one knee."

"That is so sweet, have you thought about the wedding yet?" Harriet asked.

"No, but I have thought about my bridal party." Bobbie said with a smile.

The group gathered together in a toast to their friends. The music was playing in the background and they started singing.

I-I-I, I'm hooked on a feelin'
High on believin' that you're in love with me
Lips are sweet as candy; the taste stays on my mind
Girl, you keep me thirsty for another cup of wine
I got it bad for you; girl but I don't need a cure
I'll just stay addicted and hope I can endure
All the good love when we're all alone
Keep it up, girl, yeah ya turn me on
I-I-I, I'm hooked on a feelin'
High on believin' that you're in love with me...

They were all having such a good time joking, singing and dancing around that no one noticed when Victor Galendez, Gunny, knocked into a woman walking past them causing her papers to fall from her arms.

"Excuse me, Ma'am," Gunny said as he bent down to help her pick up her papers. "Let me help you with that."

"Thank you, I guess I wasn't looking where I was going." The woman replied.

Gunny was about to say something back when he looked at her. Her creamy white skin was surrounded by a halo of red curls. Gunny was completely lost looking into her hazel eyes. "I'll take that, thank you." The woman said trying to get her papers back.

Gunny snapped back to reality, "Where are you sitting? I can carry these there for you." He was still holding some of her papers.

"I'm just going to the other end of the bar, it's okay." She replied, took her papers and walked away. Gunny just stood there watching the woman. He couldn't move, he was frozen.

"Gunny? You okay?" Mac asked. "I'm fine, did you see her?" Gunny said.

"Who?" Mac questioned. "That woman." Gunny replied. "Wow!"

"Gunny go talk to her," Mac said. "What have you got to lose?"

"Ma'am I can't do that." Gunny replied. "Gunny go and that's an order." Mac said tongue in cheek.

Gunny walked over to this mysterious beauty he had just met. She was a little thing but with her red hair and porcelain skin he could tell she was a fireball. "I just wanted to apologize again," he said.

"It's fine, really. Not to worry." She replied.

"Well let me buy you a drink to make up for it." Gunny was trying hard. Ok, white wine, please. My name is Simone and you are?" She asked extending her hand.

"Gunny, I mean Victor. I am in the Marines Corp, everyone calls me Gunny." Gunny replied. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Well Gunny, a marine? Really? That must be very interesting." Simone said.

"It is, I was a with the New Mexico State Police and then came to the Marines." Gunny said. "What do you do?"

"I am a third grade teacher. You aren't going to believe this; I just transferred here from Arizona. We were practically neighbors." Simone said.

Gunny just stood there talking to this incredible woman, he knew he was leaving his friends but he didn't care.

"So are you waiting for someone?" Gunny asked.

"No, sometimes I like to come here and relax while I grade papers. I hate going back to my empty apartment." Simone answered. "I know what you mean. It can be lonely." Gunny said.

"Tell me more about yourself Simone." Gunny asked he did not want the conversation to end.

"Well, there's not much to tell. I was teaching at a school in Arizona and this position here opened up so I jumped at the opportunity. " Simone said.

"Any hobbies?" Gunny asked.

"Of course, every body has hobbies," she laughed. "My passions are baseball and I love watching planes. I had a chance to see the Blue Angels a few years ago and it was absolutely amazing." Simone said.

"So you a Diamondbacks girl?" Gunny asked.

"You know it, watching Luis Gonzales kill the Yankees last year in that final game was one of the biggest thrills." Simone laughed.

"What about you Gunny, any hobbies?" Simone asked. "I got a few." He said with a smile. "Baseball is cool, and being in the military, jets are always a thrill."

"So what else Gunny?" Simone asked.

"How about dinner? How about now?" Gunny was being rather bold, but he didn't care he could not let this woman get away.

"Love to, let me just get my things together." Simone replied. The walked to a table and sat down.

"What do you do in the Marines?" She asked.

"Well I am a Gunnery Sergeant and I work in the Judge Advocate General's office. It's not front line but I am serving my country just the same." He replied.

"Gunny, no matter what a person does in the military whether it's filing papers or firing a gun, it is still something to be respected and honored." Simone said.

Gunny was in awe of this woman. She gave the perfect response to his comment. Until he had heard it he didn't know what the prefect response was, but now that he had, he knew it.

"It's the same for you Simone. You're shaping the minds of the future. What could be more important than that?" Gunny commented.

"I guess we are even. I prepare them for the future and you ensure they have one." Simone said. God this woman is amazing, Gunny thought.

Their meals were delivered and as they ate they talked about everything under the sun. The differences between the cold dreary days in Washington and the beauty of the West.

"What I miss most are the sunsets, the colors the reds and golds that paint the sky." Simone said.

"The air is so different there." Gunny said.

"Gunny would you like to come to my class one day? In light of the events in the world today, I think it would be good for my students to meet a real live military man."

"It would be an honor, Simone. I just need to clear it with my Commanding Officer." Gunny replied.

They finished their meal and were enjoying coffee when Simone said, "I should be going, and I still have all these papers to grade. I expect my kids to hand things in on time, I should return them on time too." Simone said.

Gunny walked Simone out of McMurphy's and to her car. "It was a pleasure to meet you Simone." Gunny said.

"I feel the same Gunny." Simone replied.

"I hope I will see you again." Gunny said. Simone smiled and said, "You will."

Gunny places a gently soft kiss on Simone's lips. She got into her car and he watched her drive away. As he turned to walk back into the bar, he put his hands in his jacket and pulled out a piece of paper. It was her phone number; she had slid it in his pocket as he kissed her. Oh yes, Simone. Gunny thought. We will see each other again.

Gunny decided not to go back into McMurphy's. He turned and walked towards his car. Smiling to himself, he had met the one.