A/N – This part, just like the last one, contains a few Italian sentences. Like I said, Italian for sure isn't a language I possess and should there be any mistakes, I do apologize. It's a beautiful language and I tried my best to work with my knowledge about it but if you still find any mistakes, please feel free to let me know so I can correct them. Thank you e mille grazie!
Another A/N and a personal note you'll find at the end of this part…
A Snowy Date In Belleville – Part 7
Disclaimer - See part one for all important information
A slight tickling feeling on her face and a strong sweet scent in the air stimulated her senses and slowly brought Mac out of her slumber. Cautiously, she opened one eye then the other, adjusting her vision to the light in the room and blinked against the glare of the sun. As soon as her eyes adjusted to the brightness she recognized Harm sitting beside her on the bed; his lips curved into a beautiful smile.
"Good morning, Sunshine," he softly said, leaning forward and kissing her gently.
Mac yawned and stretched her tired body before placing her pillow against the headboard of the bed so that she could sit upright. "Mmmm… good morning," Mac murmured in a sleepy voice, rubbing her tired eyes still feeling a bit disoriented.
However, before she could say more or ask anything, Harm held the source of what had tickled her and smelled so sweet in front of her. "Thank you," she whispered and took the dark-red long stem rose from him and held it to her nose taking a deep breath and closing her eyes, she inhaled the amazing fragrance of the flower. "This is a beautiful rose, Harm."
"So are you. I saw a flower shop while I was down town to get us something for breakfast and realized that I have never given you roses in all the years I've known you, or any flowers for that matter," was his reply.
"Well, there's a first time for everything," Mac replied with a sweet smile that suddenly turned into a frown when she realized that Harm was fully dressed. Her thoughts drifted to what he'd said, to the bright daylight that was shining through the windows, and to the tray with their breakfast and a crystal vase filled with more dark red roses at the bottom of the bed. Oh… something was definitely wrong here.
"Mac, is everything okay?" Harm asked worriedly as he saw the look on her face, placing his hand on her shoulder to give it a gentle squeeze. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah… ummm… I mean…. I don't know…." She slowly shook her head. "I'm not quite sure…. Harm, what time is it?" Mac quietly asked and stared at him with a confused look.
Raising an eyebrow, it was Harm who now looked bewildered and more than a bit surprised as he shrugged looking at Mac. "It's around eleven thirty but how come you and that inner clock of yours doesn't know it?"
"Eleven thirty," Mac repeated his words in a mumble to herself. "Oh shit," she suddenly yelped and jumped out of bed way too fast just to sway as soon as the dizziness caught up with her.
"Woah!" Harm cried out and quickly caught her arm to steady her before she fell flat on her nose. He embraced her from behind and gently tugged her down onto his lap. "Please slow down, honey, and tell me what's wrong with you. You're worrying me here."
Mac closed her eyes and took a deep breath to steady herself before she started to chuckle. "I'm okay, Harm. Don't worry. It just took me by surprise how late it already is. I mean, I remember laying down to hold you for just a few minutes after ending the phone call before I made breakfast for us. Now here it is four hours later, you're fully dressed, already were in town and made us something that looks delicious for breakfast," she explained in astonishment. "I can't believe that I fell asleep again. How long have you been up anyway?"
Harm laughed and placed a kiss on her nose, intensifying his hold on her. "The country air is doing wonders for people, especially for city dwellers. With your jet lag I'm not surprised that it hit you as hard as it did. And as for me, I woke up again around seven and watched you sleep for a while before I joined Grandma for a little breakfast."
"You should have woken me. I mean, what about Mattie? You said we should leave Belleville around nine o'clock to pick her up and we're already way behind schedule," Mac rambled in a rush and started to nibble nervously on her lower lip.
"Hey, hey… slow down," Harm tried to hush her, but Mac already wiggled herself out of his embrace to get on her feet again. "Mac… come on…."
"Don't worry. Just give me a few minutes to take a quick shower and we can go," she said and walked to her bag. "I can't believe I fell asleep again," Mac repeated her words and bent forward to open her bag. "I mean, I'm the perfect clinical specimen when it comes to insomnia and of all days for my body to triumph over it, I have to pick one of the most important days in my life," she scolded herself in a whispered murmur. "Stupid. This is just stupid."
Harm quickly followed her and before she could finish opening her bag, he placed his hands on her shoulders. "Mac, please slow down and take a deep breath," he said and turned her around to face him, caressing her cheeks with his thumbs. "I took care of everything and there's no need to rush or to blame yourself, okay?" He kissed her forehead and for a moment he let his lips linger on her soft skin. "We have enough time to enjoy our breakfast before we get on the road."
"But Mattie…," Mac started to say but Harm interrupted her immediately.
"Taken care of," he softly explained with a smile. He walked them back to the bed while holding her hands in his gently squeezing them to calm her. "I called her earlier and told her that we would pick her up a bit later."
Mac made a noise that sounded like an un-ladylike snore. "I bet she took that well," she said sarcastically and slipped reluctantly underneath the blanket that Harm held up for her.
Harm crawled across the bed to take his place right next to Mac and got the tray from the end of their bed to place it between them. "She took it very well actually. Mattie ordered me to let you sleep as long as necessary so you can get back all the strength you'll need for the next four days," Harm told her with a chuckle which turned into hardy laughter. "She also suggested I should follow your lead and get some more shut-eye myself so I won't be a grumbler over the Holidays. I so do love that saucy girl."
Mac raised her eyebrows and took the glass of orange juice Harm held out for her. "Thank you. Getting back all the strength I'll need for the next four days? What is she up to? Running a marathon or something?" She asked jokingly and took a long gulp of the fresh-pressed juice.
Harm laughed and shook his head. "Not quite, but she expects us to have at least one movie marathon in our schedule. Then, of course, there's the sledding marathon. I can tell you, Mattie's just as high-spirited as Little AJ when it comes to going sledding," he explained taking the plate with the bagels from the tray. "Do you want honey or the creamy, chocolaty hazelnut spread?"
"Hmmm, I think I'll go with honey, thanks," Mac replied and Harm gave her a half of a wheat bagel with honey. She took a big bite and then held the bagel in front of Harm so he could take a bite too. "I'm sure I can handle the movie and sledding marathons, just like everything else she desires to do. I just hope we can persuade Grandma to come with us. I know we already asked her yesterday evening and that she said no because she knows we don't have a lot of time to spend with Mattie and she doesn't want to interfere."
Harm nodded in agreement and gave her a smile over the brim of his coffee mug but didn't say a word, as Mac seemed to be on a roll right now.
"I mean… it is Christmas after all. And Christmas is family time, a time to be together, to be optimistic about the world, life, and the year to come. How could she possibly interfere with us?" Mac concluded sighing in frustration. She took another big bite of her bagel and saw Harm's amused smile and glimmering eyes. "What?" She asked taking a quick sip of her orange juice. "What's so funny?"
"Oh nothing," Harm said grinning.
"Oh nothing, huh? Then what is that goofy grin of yours about?"
Harm burst out laughing and shook his head. Quickly he took Mac's bagel out of her hand to put it on the tray and placed her half-empty glass on the nightstand beside him.
"Hey, I wasn't finished yet," Mac protested but Harm didn't care and shoved the tray between them out of his way and to the end of the bed before pushing a now giggling Mac down on her back to crawl on top of her. "Okay, maybe I was finished."
That was all Mac was able to say before Harm's lips came crushing down on hers for a passionate searing kiss. She circled her arms around his neck and ran her hands through his thick hair, trying to pull him even closer to her.
The moment Mac felt Harm's tongue on her lips she parted them welcoming him with a whimper. Their tongues began to duel, probing and seeking more. Mac moaned as she savored the taste of coffee on Harm's lips.
When the need for air made them break their kiss, Harm started to place sweet little kisses on her forehead, eyelids, and then her nose and cheeks before letting his lips wander to nuzzle her neck. "Hmmm… I know I told you already, but I really love the new haircut you got, Mac," he breathed against her throat letting his tongue follow the line of her pulse, talking about the much shorter haircut she got while being in Italy. "It makes it so much easier for me to find and nibble on this certain spot underneath your ear… right here."
As soon as he had found her ticklish spot, Mac giggled and tried to twist herself out of his grip. "Harm… don't… stop… please… that… that tickles… stop," she said out of breath and smiling. Harm stopped and looked down at her. "Well that's the fun part about it," he said and gave her a boyish grin, wagging his eyebrows suggestively.
Mac slightly slapped his upper arm. "What brought that on anyway? Not that I'm complaining."
Harm shrugged and gave her lips a quick peck. "It's just what you said about Grandma, Mattie and Christmas being about family. I love how those words sound coming from your lips. You're the greatest Christmas gift I could get this year," he softly said and fortified it with another loving kiss. "I love you Sarah MacKenzie soon to be Rabb."
Mac took his face into her palms. "I love you too, Harmon Rabb Jr." She pulled his face even closer to hers and kissed his lips with all the love she felt for him. "And I meant what I said. We should talk Grandma into coming with us to Washington. It would make this year's Christmas even more special than it already is."
"I'm all for it and the same goes for Mattie. But I should warn you. Grandma is very pigheaded when she wants to be."
Mac shrugged her shoulders and gave him a determined grin. "So? I can be just as pigheaded after all I am a MARINE," she said and both laughed. "We are a dream team, and convincing her should be a piece of cake."
"Yeah, you sure have a point. Okay, then let's finish breakfast and go talk with her," Harm suggested and moved off of her to get the tray from the end of the bed. "And if she still refuses, we can always think about kidnapping her."
"It's a deal," Mac said happily and once more jumped out of bed.
"Hey, where do you think you're going now?" Harm asked as his eyes followed her. "Come back before the coffee gets cold," he said sitting on the edge of the bed, watching her every move.
Mac chuckled and threw him a quick look over her shoulder giving him a wink. "I'm not going far. I just want to get a Christmas gift out of my bag that I found for you while I was in Italy."
"A Christmas gift? For me?" Harm gave her a dazzling boyish grin and rubbed his hands in excitement. "Oh, I love unwrapping Christmas gifts. But it's not Christmas Eve yet."
Mac got down on her knees to open her bag. "I know, but it's something I wanted to give you while we're still alone," she mused and took a little wrapped package out of her bag, staring at it for a few seconds.
"Hmm… now that sounds very interesting. Just promise me you don't have any unpleasant gifts coming from Italy in store."
"What do you mean?" Mac asked in wonder as she stepped in front of him kneeling down between his legs.
"The phone call you got earlier. I hope the office in Italy isn't going to bother you during the Holidays with work related issues."
"Oh no, don't worry. The phone call wasn't work-related."
"It wasn't?" Harm asked a bit surprised getting a head nod from Mac in response. "Hmm, I thought, since you were talking Italian, you got the call from the Naples office."
"The phone call was from Naples, but not from the office," Mac started to explain and smiled at the confused looking Harm.
"Oh," was all he said.
"It actually had to do with your Christmas gift," she continued with a smile and gave Harm the little wrapped package. "Merry Christmas, Harm."
Harm took the gift from her and leaned forward a bit to give Mac a sweet kiss. "Thank you," he quietlysaid and just as he'd done in the past with the early Christmas gifts he got from his godchildren and Mac, he shook it like an anxious child just to be greeted by silence.
"Hmmm…," Harm commented in wonder and before unwrapping it he slowly opened the little card that was attached. "Ti amo, amore mio," he started to read out loud the first well-known Italian words written by Mac. 'I love you, my darling.'
However, the next few sentences were a challenge for him and even though he recognized a few words, he looked up and met Mac's eyes, seeking her help. "Could you?"
Mac nodded but didn't take the card from him. She didn't need to read it, since she knew every word she'd written for him inside out. Italian wasn't a language she knew well, but with the help of her dictionary and a very nice elderly senora she met in a café in Naples, she was able to express her feelings for Harm through this beautiful language. She didn't know why, but she simply had to write these words in Italian.
She smiled at him and took his hand into hers, giving it a gentle squeeze before placing a tender kiss on it. "Tu sei l'amore della mia vita. You are the love of my life," she softly started to render. "Voglio passare l'eternità con te…. I want to spend eternity with you…. Una vita per stare con te non basta perché ti amo…. One lifetime is not enough because I love you'," she finished in a whisper and gave his hand another squeeze. "And now please open the gift before I start crying again."
Harm grinned and took a deep breath. Mac was not the only one close to tears. Slowly and gingerly he started to unwrap his gift, finding a little green box underneath the paper. Just as cautiously as he had unwrapped the gift, he started to open the little box while Mac watched him eagerly, once again nervously nibbling on her lower lip.
Harm opened the lid of the box and carefully lifted the white tissue in it. When he saw the item underneath the tissue, Harm stared at it for a few seconds until his brain caught up, he then gasped sharply.
Harm's head shot up and his eyes immediately found Mac's teary ones. "Sarah?" He whispered her name, desperatelytrying to find the words but just couldn't.
Mac saw the question in his eyes while his lips moved to speak, but no words were forthcoming. Speechless herself, Mac just nodded and kept chewing on her lower lip.
"Yes?" Harm whispered unbelievingly. "Yes?"
Mac ardently nodded her head over and over again, still unable to speak as her tears ran freely down her cheeks.
"Yes!" Harm cried out, throwing his gift onto the bed before taking Mac's head into his palms. He drew Mac closer to him and kissed her with all the love and passion he felt. He got up from the bed pulling Mac to her feet with him.
As soon as the need for air made them break their kiss both began to laugh heartily. Harm lifted Mac into his arms so that they were at eye level, spinning them around over and over again. "I love you Sarah MacKenzie!"
Mac giggled delightfully and screeched, "Harm stop. You're making me dizzy.
I love you too, but you have to stop."
"Harmon Rabb Jr., behave or I'm coming up and putting you on a time out," Sarah Rabb yelled jokingly from the kitchen, smiling pleasantly as she heard the loud laughter coming from her grandson and his soon to be wife. 'These kids,' she thought and shook her head with a chuckle, turning back to do the dishes.
Harm and Mac burst into a new fit of laughter as they heard his grandmother's warning and Harm stopped spinning them mid-way, smiling cheerfully at Mac. "Yes, Ma'am," he answered loud enough for his grandma to hear. "I'm sorry. It won't happen again, Great-grandma!"
A short moment of silence followed his statement until the sound of broken dishes and a loud curse coming from Sarah Rabb went floating through the house.
"Oops," Harm said and gave Mac a goofy looking grin.
"Harm!" Mac said and slapped his chest, not believing what he had just done. "You're unbelievable." A part of her still couldn't believe it. Again and again she recalled the phone call from earlier and the confirmation she got from Dottore Totti.
Harm didn't say anything and just kissed her once more. "Come on, I think there's something we have to tell Grandma. I'm sure by now she's still wondering whether or not she heard right. Besides we still have to persuade her to come with us," he told her happily and dragged a just as happy looking Mac out of their room, down the stairs and to the kitchen where his grandmother was still cursing while picking up the broken dishes. "She won't be able to refuse now."
Back in the bedroom, the midday sun's rays twinkled brightly on Mac's Christmas gift for Harm. A gift, which reflected the newest event of many to follow in the lives of Harmon Rabb Jr. and Sarah MacKenzie soon to be Rabb.
It was a little toy cradle with a badge saying 'Tanti Auguri papà'. 'Congratulations Daddy'.
A/N - I don't know how many times I re-wrote this last part LOL. Repeatedly I tried to insert a certain scene where Mac would tell Harm everything about the 'when' and 'how' she found out, but every time I tried it, it didn't work out the way I wanted it to and I always ended with the realization that right then and there they simply wouldn't care about the 'when' or 'how'. In my eyes anyway... :-) Therefore, I stopped trying to use this scene and decided to go without it. At least for now…
Also, on a more personal note… I think a few of you already know that I'm planning to work on a revised edition of my story 'The Need To Feel Free Again'. However, due to some real life issues, it may take some time to be done and 'A Snowy Date In Belleville' possibly will be the last story of mine for quite some time, even though I still have the hope it won't come to that! Anyway, thank you so much for everything, especially for the great and amazing support I received throughout the years! You gals and guys are awesome! Take care everyone. Love, – Michaela aka Michi