Notes: if you didn't like the first one, you're gonna hate this. Keep that in mind. Slight Mac-bashing, but since she's my fave character, will you forgive me? Please? *g*
Thanks: Mariposa, for liking Loren and asking for a sequel. *g* Didn't expect this to turn into a series, did you? Well, neither did I.
Timeline: six months after 'The Unlikely Couple' mid-November.
Mac's neighbor banged her fist against the wall, prompting Mac to yell, "Sorry, Mrs. Robson!"
"Mac, what's the big deal?" Harm asked over the phone. "You knew that I'm in love with her."
Mac squeezed her eyes shut and grimaced, although Harm couldn't see the expression. "Okay, Harm... I was humoring you, okay? Humoring. As in, I didn't believe you were serious. I mean, God, it's your MO. Find a woman who is needy and weak and fall for her."
Harm laughed. "Mac, Loren is anything but needy and weak. In fact, a lot of the time she pushes me away because I crowd her. I can't count the number of times she's told me to... well, go somewhere and do something, neither of which are compliments."
"I don't believe this," Mac said, half to herself. "You want to marry Singer, of all people."
Harm sighed angrily. "Mac, I know you don't like her, but please keep the insults to yourself, okay?"
Mac changed the subject. "So why are you telling me this?"
Harm was silent for a moment, reconsidering the purpose of his call, based on Mac's reaction. "Well, I haven't actually asked her yet. And... well, I need your help."
"Let me get this straight. You want my help for you to propose to Singer?"
"I don't think so, Harm. I'd do a lot of things for you, but this is not one of them."
Harm sighed. "Mac, please. Come on, it's not that big a deal."
"What do you want me to do?"
"I just want you to help me come up with a really romantic way to propose to her."
"Harm, I can't help it! I hate the woman! As in, can't stand her! I'm not going to help you propose to her! Try Harriet." With that, Mac hung up the phone, feeling slightly bad about her treatment of Harm.
Harm stared at the phone in shock, slowly hanging it up. "I can't believe she was so rude about it," he mumbled to himself. Harm sighed and picked up the phone again, dialing Bud and Harriet's number, expecting to go through the same thing.
Three hours later...
Harm took and deep breath and knocked on the door. A moment later, Amanda, AJ's girlfriend, opened the door.
Harm smiled. "Hi, Amanda. Admiral in?"
"Yeah, come on in. I'll get him." Amanda opened the door for Harm and disappeared into the kitchen to retrieve AJ.
"Harm," AJ said evenly as he came into the living room, leaving Amanda in the kitchen.
AJ sat down in the chair across from the couch where Harm was sitting. "Something you wanted to talk to me about?"
"Yes, sir." Harm took another deep breath. "Sir, this weekend I'm going to ask Loren to marry me."
AJ blinked, that being the only thing he let himself do to show his surprise. "I see. And I assume that one of you will be transferring out of JAG?"
"Yes, sir. I've looked around a bit and I have a spot for me and a spot for Loren lined up, depending of which one of us wants to transfer."
AJ glared at Harm. "And you were going to mention this when?"
"Um... right now, sir? I wanted to ask you if Loren could be taken off weekend duty this weekend. Bud and Harriet have agreed to watch David, and I was going to take Loren away. And if she accepts my proposal, one of us will put in for transfer. If she doesn't, I'll put in for transfer anyway."
"I see. All right, Harm, I'll take Lieutenant Singer off weekend duty. She can switch with Colonel MacKenzie, next weekend."
Harm cringed at the potential fireworks, but decided not to push his luck by pressing the issue. "Thank you, sir. I'll let you know on Monday how it went." Harm stood up to leave.
"Harm." Harm turned back to his CO. "Good luck."
Harm smiled. "Thank you, sir," he repeated.
Next day after work...
Loren opened the door. "Harriet? what are you doing here?"
Harriet smiled and pushed past Loren into the apartment. "I'm here for David."
Loren frowned as Harm came out of the baby's bedroom, carrying David in his cuddle-seat/car seat and a diaper bag. "Here you go, Harriet. Have fun."
Harriet took and baby and bag from Harm and smiled. "I'm sure we will. Hey, David! Hey, baby boy!" Harriet rubbed her nose lightly against David's giving him a soft Eskimo kiss. "Well, we're off! You guys have fun!"
"We will!" Harm laughed.
Harriet left the apartment and Harm closed the door behind her then turned to the slack-jawed Loren. "Honey? What's wrong?"
"What... what's going on, Harm?"
Harm smiled. "You'll see. I've packed a bag for you. You ready to go?"
Loren frowned. "Go where?"
"You'll see. Come on."
Loren let Harm lead her to his Lexus and help her in. Within minutes, they were on the road, heading off to God knows where.
A few hours later...
Harm pulled into the old, gravel driveway and cut the engine. "Well, here we are."
Loren looked around curiously. "Where is here?"
Harm opened the door and jumped out, followed by Loren. Walking around to the back of the vehicle, he pulled out their bags and slung them over his shoulders. "We're at my grandma's farm," he said, lightly kissing Loren as he walked past and up to the porch.
"Is she expecting us?"
Just then the door opened. "Harmon!" the old woman exclaimed, embracing her grandson.
Harm dropped the bags at his feet and wrapped his arms around the old woman. "Hi, Gram. How's the farm doing?"
Sarah pulled away and shrugged. "Just as it was the last time you were here." Sarah looked past Harm to Loren. "So, is this your lady?"
Harm grinned and took Loren's hand, pulling her up next to him. "Yes it is! Gram, I'd like you to meet Loren Singer. Loren, this is my grandma, Sarah Rabb."
Loren held out her hand, but was pulled into a hug instead. "Pleased to meet you, ma'am," Loren said.
"Oh, hush!" Sarah said happily. "You're Harmon's lady. Call me Gram. Or at least Sarah, ma'am makes me sound too old!"
Harm chuckled and picked up the bags again as he watched Sarah lead Loren into the house, showing her around.
"Now, Harmon, I wasn't sure if you wanted two rooms or just one, so I made up your old room and the guest room just in case."
Loren looked at Harm, wondering what he would say. They had slept together, yes, but they had yet to make love and they didn't spend every night together.
"We'll see," was all Harm said as he bounded up the stairs to put their bags away.
Loren tilted her head and frowned up after Harm.
Sarah chuckled. "Oh, Dear, don't worry. He's always like that. Always has been, just like his daddy and granddaddy."
Loren smiled. "What were they like? Harm talks some about his father, but never about his grandfather."
Sarah got a faraway look in her eyes. "Oh, Harmon never knew Peter. He died before Harm was born. That is, before Harmon's father was born. If you want to know about Harm, just look at Harmon. It's amazing how much alike those two are. Sometimes I wonder if Trish contributed any DNA at all to Harmon!"
Loren laughed, then looked up when she heard a loud thump, followed by a louder curse.
"Harmon!" Sarah scolded.
Harm's voice floated down the stairs. "Sorry, Gram!"
Loren and Sarah laughed, then continued talking as Harm messed around upstairs.
The next afternoon...
"Where are we going, Harm?" Loren asked as Harm led her through the woods.
"Just trust me, Loren. Come on, we're almost there." A minute or so later, the woods gave way to a clearing.
"Oh my God," Loren breathed. "Harm, did you do all this?"
Harm just smiled. Small white lights covered the trees and reflected in the snow, giving the area a heavenly glow to it. In the center of the clearing, was a large sleigh-type seat. Harm led Loren over to it and opened the door, holding out his hand to help her in.
Loren took Harm's offered hand, using it to help boost herself into the luxurious seat. "This is beautiful," she whispered, pulling off her gloves and running her hands over the snow-sprinkled purple velvet fabric.
Harm climbed in next to Loren and took her hand. "I'm glad you like it." Harm took a deep breath and pulled a matching velvet box out of his pocket. The speech that he had memorized and rehearsed flew from his head as he stared at the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. "Marry me," he said softly, his voice full of emotion.
Loren looked up into Harm's eyes, her eyes misted over with tears. "Yes," she whispered back.
Harm opened the box and showed Loren the ring. At her gasp, he explained it. "My dad gave it to my mom when he asked to marry her. And my grandpa gave it to Gram, when he asked to marry her. You'll be the third Mrs. Rabb to wear this ring."
Loren held out her left hand and Harm slid the ring onto her finger. "Mrs. Rabb. I like the sound of that."
Harm smiled and leaned over to kiss his new fiancée. Their lips touched and Loren's lips parted under Harm's insistent tongue. He slowly explored her mouth and she returned the favor. When they finally broke apart, both were gasping for air.
Harm leaned his forehead against Loren's. "I don't want to use the wedding ring that dad gave to mom. She still wears it and I don't want to ask her to give it up."
Loren smiled. "That's okay, Harm."
Harm smiled and puffed a breath, ruffling Loren's hair. "Do you want to go ring shopping when we get back to DC?"
Loren pulled back and tilted her head at Harm. "When do you want to get married? If you want to get married right away, then yes. If not, it's not as high a priority."
"Then let's wait a while."
Loren smiled and leaned in to kiss Harm again. "Okay." Loren pulled back just before their lips met. "Harm! What about JAG?"
Harm pulled Loren back against him, turning her around so that her back was pressed to his chest. "I talked to the Admiral on Thursday. As long as one of us transfers, it's no big deal."
"Either or." Harm took a deep breath. "I've been looking around for both of us. I found a couple of positions. One for me, one for you. I think we're both really suited for them, but..."
"But we both want to stay at JAG." Loren finished.
Loren was quiet for a moment, thinking. "I'll go."
Harm frowned. "Loren, you don't even know what the position is."
"I trust you. Besides, I've realized that even if I had the possibility of becoming the first female JAG, which I don't think I do, considering what the Admiral thinks of me, there are other women ahead of me in that regard. Colonel MacKenzie, for one."
"Okay. When we get back to the farm, I'll call Admiral Morrison. He already agreed that if you transfer, it will be effective today at 1200."
"So that means I'm already transferred."
"As soon as we call, yeah. Why?"
Loren smiled, slightly shyly. "Then we can make love whenever we want to."
Harm smiled. "Do you want to."
"Yes," Loren whispered, kissing Harm.
The two lovers were soon lost to the world, not noticing the cold as their bodies generated an intense heat that consumed them both.
"Commander, Lieutenant," AJ greeted. "I assume you have something to tell me?"
Harm grinned. "Yes, sir! On Saturday afternoon, Loren accepted my marriage proposal. She has since been transferred to Admiral Morrison's command, sir."
AJ frowned. "I haven't gotten the paper work, yet."
Just then Tiner knocked on the door. "Excuse me, sir, but this just came for you. It's marked urgent, from Admiral Morrison."
AJ rolled his eyes and dismissed Tiner. He opened the envelope and pulled out Loren's transfer papers. Signing them, he put them back in the envelope. "Well, Lieutenant. As of Saturday at 1200 hours, you are under Admiral Morrison's command. Would the two of you care to share something with the JAG staff?"
"Yes, sir!" Loren exclaimed, grinning.
Harm grinned as well and said, "Admiral, when I talked to Admiral Morrison, he said that while Loren would officially be under his command, she has this week to tie up her cases or reassign them. She reports directly to him next Monday."
AJ nodded. "Does that sound good to you, Lieutenant?"
Loren smiled happily. "Sir, anything that allows me to marry Harm sounds wonderful."
AJ raised his eyebrow in mild shock at the change that had come over Loren. Ever since she got pregnant she had mellowed, and more so after David was born, but this...! She was human now!
"Well, I suppose you should go announce your engagement and the Lieutenant's transfer. Dismissed."
Harm and Loren both stood, bracing at attention. "Aye, aye, sir," they said simultaneously, then left the office. AJ followed soon after, wanting to be there when they gave their announcement.
"Can I have your attention, please?" Harm called. Nobody stopped. "Attention on deck!" The bullpen froze and Harm smiled. "Thank you."
Loren hid a grin, then smiled openly as Harm took her hand.
"Loren and I have an announcement to make. As of Saturday, we are engaged!" Harm turned Loren's left hand slightly, letting the small diamond catch the light.
A cheer went up, but Harm held up a hand to stop it. "Also, Loren has been transferred to Admiral Morrison's command."
The bullpen was silent as everybody struggled with how to respond. They were glad that Loren was leaving, but they didn't want to seem too happy about it. Loren rolled her eyes and finally Harriet approached the two.
"Congratulations, Commander, Lieutenant, on your engagement. And Lieutenant, I hope that you're happy with your new duty station. Maybe we'll see you around JAG some time."
Loren smiled. "Thank you, Harriet. Maybe you will." She let that hang in the air for a moment before adding, "But I doubt it. Apparently Admiral Morrison has been after me ever since I was on the Watertown helping with the intelligence work. That's what I'll be doing under him."
"Well, at least we'll still see you at parties and such when Commander Rabb comes."
Loren tilted her head, regarding the smiling Harriet. "You know," she said softly, so that only Harriet and Harm could hear, "I truly believe that you mean what you said."
"Of course I did, Loren," Harriet replied, equally soft. "I will miss you, even if you did annoy me to no end." Harriet grinned mischievously and Loren laughed. Harm just shook his head and smiled.
Mac came up to Harm and lightly touched his arm, inclining her head to the side, then walking to her office.
"Loren? I'll be back in a minute, I think Mac wants to talk to me."
Loren smiled. "Sure. I better get to work, anyway. One week isn't quite long enough to finish up my cases."
"Okay. See you for lunch?"
Loren grinned. "Bet on it."
Harm and Loren parted company, Loren heading to her desk, Harm to Mac's office.
"Mac? What's up?"
Mac looked at Harm. "I can't believe you're actually marrying her."
Harm sighed. "Mac, I love Loren. Truly, honestly, completely love her. And I'm sorry you're having such a hard time realizing that. But until you can... Mac, I just don't see how we could be friends if you're continually insulting my fiancée. God knows I don't want to lose your friendship, but... well... Loren means more to me."
Mac's eyes filled with hurt. "You better get to work, Harm," she said, her voice soft and hard all at the same time. "See you in court."
Harm frowned. "Sure, Mac."
Five months later...
Harm held his hand up for Loren as she got up into the quaint horse-drawn carriage, much as he had on the afternoon that he proposed. Once they were both seated in the navy blue velvet interior, Harm motioned to the driver to go. The carriage drove through the cobble-stone paths of the park just outside of Bealsville, and Harm and Loren took in the sights, sitting beside each other, hand in hand.
Soon the carriage stopped in front of a short row of tents, nothing more than vending booths. Harm got out of the carriage and helped Loren out, his hands around her waist as he lifted her out of the carriage and lightly set her down on her feet.
"Come on," Harm said, tugging Loren over to the third booth from the far end. they walked under the tent and Loren's breath caught in her throat.
"Harm..." she whispered.
"Pick one," he whispered in return.
Loren looked over the display of wedding bands. Considering the size of the town, and the size of the tent, Loren was surprised at the number of rings there were.
Loren was about a quarter of the way through looking at the rings when she saw the set. "Harm."
Harm came up next to his fiancée and looked over her shoulder at the rings she was pointing to.
"Aren't they gorgeous?"
Harm smiled and wrapped his arms around Loren's waist. "Very. You like them?"
"Yeah," Loren sighed, leaning back into Harm's embrace.
"Then we'll get them." Harm motioned to the attendant, who came up to them. "We'd like to try those ones, there," Harm said, pointing at the rings.
The attendant, an older woman with a name tag that read, Elise, smiled. "Of course." She unlocked the case and pulled out the box, placing it on the counter.
Harm picked up the woman's wedding ring and turned Loren to face him. He pulled off her engagement ring and slid the wedding band on, then placed the engagement ring back on her finger. "Well?" he asked.
Loren stared at the rings and turned her face up to look at Harm, tears beginning to form in her eyes. "It's perfect," she whispered. Loren picked up the man's wedding band and placed it on Harm's finger. Then, repeating his question, she asked, "Well?"
Harm smiled. "I love it."
Loren smiled back and they both took the rings off, immediately feeling the loss. Harm turned back Elise. "We'll take them."
Elise smiled at the young couple. "For the grandson of Sarah Rabb, half price."
Harm started to protest. "Ma'am, I can't..."
"Of course you can!" Elise insisted. "Please. For me."
Harm sighed. "If you really want to..."
Harm pulled out his credit card and paid for the rings, telling Elise that he would be back later in the day to pick them up, as he didn't want to lose them on the carriage ride.
"Of course, of course. And if you don't mind, Harmon, may I talk with your fiancée a moment?" Elise smiled at Loren, who smiled back.
Harm frowned. "Of course. Loren, I'll just wait in the carriage, okay?"
"Sure. I'll be there in a bit." Loren watched as Harm left the tent, then turned back to Elise. "What did you want to talk to me about?"
Elise leaned closer to Loren. "Have you thought about having the rings engraved?" Elise pulled off her wedding band, and pulled a man's wedding band from a chain around her neck. "My husband, God rest his soul, had ours engraved." Elise held the rings together and showed Loren.
Loren took the rings, looking on the inside. Singularly, Elise's ring said, "Love... Daniel" and her husband's said, "Devotion... Elise." When they were put together, there was a heart with a rose in the middle on them.
"That's beautiful," Loren breathed. "And the detail...!"
Elise smiled. "There's a shop just round the corner from my regular shop. Danson's Crafts. James Danson does all the crafts in there, including engraving. I could have him to something for the rings. Paid from my pocket. To see Sarah's grandson happy."
"Elise, I couldn't..."
"Dear, I insist. If you don't want the engraving, that's okay, but if you do, let me pay for it. Please."
Loren sighed. "All right. Let me think for a minute." Loren gave some thought to what she wanted on the rings, then said, "Okay. On Harm's I want my name, Loren. L-O-R-E-N, and family.. And on mine, Harmon, and love. Between the two, I want it to say David. That's my son."
Elise smiled. "All right. I'll wrap them up so that Harmon can't take a peak at them before he should."
Loren laughed. "Thanks, Elise." She glanced over her shoulder to see Harm watching her. "I better go before Harm leaves me here!"
Elise laughed with Loren. "I don't think that's possible. He'd never leave you."
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