FINALLY!! This chapter just WOULD NOT get written!! At one point I finished it and deleted the file because I thought I had a copy. Shheeeeeeeeeeesh!!

Anyone says the word sequel and I will hunt you down.. NO SEQUEL.

All of these stories are gonna be up on my webpage, whenever that gets finished. I am pretty much gonna start with the FF section and the work the rest when I have a chance. I think that is most important anyway. ;) And the page will be in white so it's easy to read. ;)

Okay so... enjoy!

Jackie

Chapter 4 – Warmth

"Here you go, miss." Kyle Hudson Senior and his wife Martha, had owned Hudson lodge for a little over thirty years. Originally owned by a wealthy family and left abandoned, the Hudson's bought the and turned the lodge into a bed and breakfast.

Carefully, Mac took the steaming cup of tea that was offered. "Thank you so much." She took a sip, savoring the warmth as it spread through her body.

"I fixed up room three, you are welcomed to stay here as long as needed." Martha handed Mac the key and smiled. "Get some rest, dear."

"What about my head?"

Martha took a look at Mac's eyes again, satisfied that the injury did not cause anything more than a very mild concussion. "The laceration isn't deep, that will heal in a few days. . .as for the concussion, it's not very serious. I say with some sleep you'll be fine. Get going, Kyle's making his famous chicken noodle soup. . .I'll bring some up once it's done." She helped Mac get to her feet and followed the younger woman up the steps, confident that things would be fine. "Do you think Junior will find her friend?"

Kyle Senior wasn't anything if not a positive and confident man. "I have a feeling that Sarah's friend will find his way to her.". . .

. . . In the wilderness, Harm was struggling. He'd always prided himself in pushing his body to the absolute limit and then pushing a bit more. This time, he was about to shut down. The wolf attack had left the skin at his shoulder and forearms painfully marred. Only a surprisingly well landed punch had the animal scampering away. The attack had made his trek a near impossibility. Every rustle of leaves and even the crunch of his own feet in the snow seemed to attack his nervous system. He was waiting for the pack to find him an attack again.

To make matters worse, he was walking blindly. The light he was following seemed to disappear entirely. A similarity in the terrain didn't quite help. At one point Harm believed he was walking in circles. That was until he heard what sounded like a car coming to life. Following the sound, he came upon the lodge. "Wait! Wait!" He yelled at the driver, trying to get his sore body to move fast enough in the snow to catch up. The driver didn't hear him and Harm was left to face the possibility of the lodge being empty. "I'll break in." He thought out loud, recalling that Mac was still out there needing his help.

He was surprised to find the door open. "Hello?" He peaked passed the open door to find an older man moving towards him. "Oh thank God." He resisted the urge to drop to his knees in thanks. "I'm sorry to barge in. . .My name is Harm, I'm an officer for the US Navy. . .My partner and I were in an car accident. . .I think she has a concussion. . .she needs. . ."

"Sarah's here." Kyle Sr. interrupted waving off Harm's attempt at an explanation. "My son saw you two go over and rushed back here to grab the tow truck." He patted Harm on the back and led him towards the living room where equally comfortable arm chairs sat in front of fireplace.

Harm wasn't sure if he understood. In this day and age it was difficult to trust a mere stranger and yet, how could the man know Mac's real name if? "She's here? Sarah. . .Sarah MacKenzie is here?"

"The pretty Marine Colonel, yes." He looked Harm over, noticing the heavy scratching at his uniform's arms as well as the blood that marked the collar of his shirt. "Martha!" Kyle yelled for his wife and then instructed her to bring the first aid kit. "What happened out there?"

"Wolf attack." Carefully, Harm pulled off his coat and sports jacket. Blood marked the shoulders and forearms of his formerly crisp white shirt. The epaulet on the right side was shredded, barely hanging on. "I need to see her." He tried to stand up but Kyle settled him back down.

"My wife used to be a doctor. . .I think it would be best if she checks out those marks."

"You don't understand; I think she has a concussion."

Martha chose this moment to step back into the picture, first aid kit in hand. "Sarah's fine. . .It's not a serious head injury. You on the other hand. . ." She trailed off, frowning at the blood patches on his shirt. "We need to make sure you don't get an infection from those bites."

With a sigh, Harm gave up the fight and allowed the couple to tend to his wounds without making a fuss about it. He was happy to be somewhere safe and after he saw Mac, he could finally relax and, hopefully, forget all that had happened. Once Martha was done, he was given the spare key to room three and assured that food would be sent up soon.

Inside the room itself, Harm did not find Mac, but the signs of her presence were there. Her uniform was folded neatly and placed the top of a small table, her coat thrown over the back of the chair. About to call her name, he stopped as the sounds of running water caught his attention.

It wasn't difficult to remember a day dream he had, Mac clothed in nothing but a small blue towel and droplets of water. Better still, her naked body covered in nothing but bubbles from her bath. Any way he thought of it, Mac looked damn good when she was wet.

A rush of air came out of his lungs as Harm let out the breath he was holding. He was either going to really rock the boat or keep in play what they set into motion that evening with a kiss. What was left of his coat Harm dropped onto a chair along with his jacket and tie. He toed off his shoes and nearly stumbled trying to remove his socks as he walked towards the bathroom. Next came his belt, all items leaving a trail to his destination.

The door was open, saving Harm the need to make the decision to knock or not to. The bathroom light cast her shadow against the shower curtain, the temptation laying in wait. He'd always been attracted to her, but chose duty over desire. As much as he hated seeing Mac with someone else, Harm was never sure that it would work out until he felt the fear of losing her. A few minutes more and it was likely that she would have been Sadiq's most prized victim in his compound of torture. He'd saved her but the prize wasn't his to get. Then again, maybe his usual insecurities breathed to life along with their banter. It did hurt his pride to watch Mac kiss Webb no matter what the reason for the kiss was. Somehow, no matter who came between, it always ended up the same way, with just the two of them left. Maybe that is how it should have been from the beginning.

Quickly, Harm stripped out of the rest of his clothing, pulled back the curtain and slipped into the shower. "Harm." He'd startled her at first, but the overwhelming sense of joy eased any awkwardness of seeing him standing naked in front of her. She didn't have much of a chance to react as his mouth fastened to hers. He kissed her hard, passionately, as if he hadn't seen her in years.

Mac had no reason to push him away, something that she'd been doing for over a year. No, this time she held tight and kissed him back with fervor. She pulled him to her and under the warm stream of water. He winced as she ran her hands over his torn flesh causing her to pull away and study him carefully. "What happened to you?" Carefully, she ran her fingers over the mauled skin at his shoulder.

"A wolf. . . I still don't know how I made it here." Harm's body shivered as Mac's hands gingerly caressed the marks on his chest from the seat belt and then moved out to the scratches on his arms.

"I'm sorry you went through this." She leaned forward, pressing her lips against the marks on his chest.

Harm pulled her to him, molding her body against his own in a fierce hug. They'd been in more precarious situations and yet, he felt almost the way he did once he learned about Mac's mission to Paraguay. "I'm so glad you're alright, Mac."

When he pulled away, Mac studied his expression and the beauty of his eyes that she tried so hard not to drown in. Now, she wanted to drown. Harm leaned in and kissed her slowly, searchingly, as if he wanted to unravel every last mystery of Sarah MacKenzie. Harm was sure he never wanted a woman more in his life and, from the way she was caressing his body, it was obvious that her desire was just as strong. "I want you." She whispered in a voice that Harm had only heard in dreams.

The hard planes of his body felt exquisite as their bodies fit perfectly together. "I want you too." Harm pushed her back against the tiles. His knee slipped between Mac's legs, bringing their bodies even more closely. Her mouth came to the torn flesh of his shoulder where Mac kissed softly. She trailed those kisses upwards to his neck where she nibbled slightly. "Oh, Mac."

Feeling him touch her so intimately was almost surreal. She'd longed for his touch for so long, to the point that she'd given up hope. Pushing him away had been the most difficult endeavor but, she'd been so broken that it was her turn not to be ready. "You're so beautiful, Mac

She pulled his hair gently, enough to urge his mouth back on hers. Mac's fingers trailed over the tip of him causing his body to shudder. She smothered a smile with a series of kisses before pulling him closer to her. "I want you."

Harm held Mac against the tiled walls, loving her body with his until exhaustion nearly claimed them both. His body leaned heavily against her, thankful of the shower wall that was probably the only thing still holding the both up. His lips sought out the curve of her neck which he kissed lovingly. "Sorry. . .I really wanted that to last longer."

Gently, lovingly, Mac ran a hand up and down his back. "Nothing to be sorry about. . .I knew our first time wouldn't last but it was explosive."

Much later and only because her head was starting to ache again, Harm and Mac lay together in a large, comfortable, king sized bed. The Hudson's had brought them each a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup, tea and crackers. Kyle junior had loaned them each a pair of sweats. "Yes sir. . .I agree. . . of course." Harm was speaking into Mac's cellphone, relaying the information of their accident to Admiral Chegwidden. "I'll make sure the Colonel gets plenty of bed rest." His innuendo earned Harm a hard punch to his bicep. "Aye, sir and thank you." He snapped closed Mac's phone and placed it on the nightstand next to him.

"Considering I didn't hear any yelling, I say he took it well?" Though a little downtime to recuperate was certainly needed, they still had a job to do and a judge to face who didn't particularly like her newly acquired boyfriend.

Harm shrugged, "I honestly think he's beginning to mellow out."

"Up and coming nuptials will do that to you."

At her comment, Harm couldn't help but think of what a marriage between the two of them would be like. Definitely unconventional but, he was sure they would enjoy every moment of it. "So, I guess we have a couple of days off. . .Kyle said that it was supposed to snow pretty badly for the next couple of days." He slipped next to Mac, pulling her body closer to his. "Chegwidden mentioned that I should take care of you." Leaning forward, he brushed his lips gently over Mac's as his hand trailed over her hip.

"We wouldn't want to upset the Admiral, would we?" She pulled him down, holding Harm tightly as they kissed. Who would have thought that a rather precarious situation would lead to something good? "I really do love you, you know?"

Harm's smile spread widely, he was genuinely thrilled that she did. God knew he'd loved her for so long, too long. He was glad he didn't give up. "I love you, too, Sarah. . .No matter what, I don't want to lose you. . .And I don't want to go through this animosity again."

"Deal." Mac pressed a palm to his cheek, enjoying a shift in their relationship she was sure they'd never attain. Fate had a way of kicking things into place. Or, in their case, crashing things into place. Mac was going to mention that she still had a bit of a headache, when his hand slipped under her sweats and over naked flesh. She could always rest another day. For now, it was time to divulge in a discovery of a relationship that was long over do.

THE END.