"TAKE MY BREATH AWAY"

CHAPTER ONE

Title: "Take My Breath Away"

Author: Michelle Heath

Rating: MA for adult situations and language

Summary: Continuation of the "Salvation" series by popular demand

Disclaimer: I so do not own Hawaii Five-0; unfortunately! All original characters are the property of the author!

Date Written: March 19, 2011

A/N: Here is the fourth installment in the "Salvation" series as you all requested. For my new readers, you might want to read, "Her Salvation", "His Salvation", and "Their Salvation: Trouble In Paradise. Again.", before reading this story. To all my readers, thank you so much for reading and reviewing my stories and for sending me encouraging private messages and suggestions. According to the "traffic" reports I've reviewed on , a great many people have been reading my stories, for which I am very grateful, and I would dearly love to hear from all of you. I try to incorporate readers' suggestions into my storylines, but I cannot do that if I don't hear from you! Again, thank you for reading, and I sincerely hope you enjoy this story! Michelle

"Mommy?"

"Yes, Grace?"

"Can I ask you something?"

"Of course, darling, you can ask me anything. What is it?"

"Well, Caroline's parents told me I could call them 'Grandma' and 'Grandpa', and I, . . I wanted to know if it would be okay with you if I called Caroline, 'Mom'?"

(Rachel sees the uncertainty warring with hopefulness on her young daughter's face and her heart simply melts. Grace Williams has been through a lot of heartache in her very short life and her mother has absolutely no desire to be the cause of any more; at least, not intentionally. Putting down the book she was reading, Rachel walks over to the couch where her daughter is sitting, sits down next to her, and takes both of Grace's small hands in hers. Smiling lovingly at Grace, Rachel gently brushes a lock of blonde hair away from her child's face and allows her hand to linger gently on her cheek.)

"Don't you think you should ask Caroline that question, darling?"

"I wanted to ask you first. I didn't want to hurt your feelings, and, if it makes you sad, I won't say anything."

"Grace, you have not hurt my feelings in the slightest. I know you love me very, very much just as I do you, but I know that you love Caroline, too. Darling, your father and I both love you very much and we want you to be happy; if calling Caroline 'Mom' makes you happy, and she doesn't mind, it will be perfectly all right with me."

"Are you sure? 'Cause I don't, you know, call Stan, 'Dad', and I don't want to hurt his feelings, either."

"Stan asked you to call him 'Stan' instead of 'Dad', Grace, so I don't think he'll be the least bit upset. I am so proud of you, Grace, for thinking of other people's feelings. You're growing up, my darling, entirely too fast. Before your father and I know it, you'll be going off to college, and then getting married and having your own children, and, . . Well, that has nothing to do with your question, does it? Yes, Grace, it will be okay with me if you call Caroline 'Mom', but you must make sure that it is okay with her."

"I will, Mommy, I promise! I love you so much!"

"I love you, too, darling."

(Hugging her mother tightly, Grace "dances" up the stairs on her way to her room leaving Rachel touching her cheek where her daughter kissed her; a wistful expression on her face. . .

Standing on the balcony of their hotel suite, Caroline Williams smiles as she watches two children chasing one another playfully on the street below. Her smile widens considerably as she feels her husband's strong arms slide around her waist and the solid muscles of his chest as he pulls her back against him. This is their first full day in the beautiful Italian city of Verona, Italy, and Caroline couldn't be any happier; she's in one of the most romantic cities on Earth, the city that William Shakespeare designated as the home of his title characters, Romeo and Juliet, with her Romeo, and they're going to be able to spend two entire weeks here. She is just about to ask Danny what he'd like to do this morning when he answers her unspoken question by kissing her neck just below her jaw line and pulling her bottom closer so that she can have no doubt as to what he wants to do. Caroline cannot help the laughter that bubbles up inside her and it only grows louder when she turns in her husband's arms to face him and sees the slightly disgruntled look on his face.)

"Something funny, Caroline?"

"No. Absolutely not, Romeo. I'm just . . I'm just incredibly happy. I am so not laughing at your, um, at you. Frankly, I'm astounded that your . . that you want to . . . God, Danny, you're . . .Amazing."

"Better. So?"

"Can we at least order some breakfast from Room Service, please? I'm usually at my best when I have a little energy."

"Okay. Breakfast first. . . And you're pretty amazing yourself, Gorgeous."

"I love you, Danny."

(The waters off the coast of Oahu are full of all kinds of exotic and interesting sea creatures, and Kono and Tony Montgomery are having themselves a great time exploring a reef. Through his diving mask, Tony watches his wife as she gracefully swims from one place to another around the reef and he smiles around his regulator at the beautiful vision before him. Swimming up behind Kono as she is "playing" with a school of Kikapapu, Raccoon Butterfly fish which are a dusky yellow with broad and narrow black stripes, Tony grabs his wife's hand, pulls her to him, and pulls his regulator out of his mouth. Immediately knowing what he's up to, Kono pulls out her regulator and leans in to kiss Tony. If anyone had told her just a few, short months ago that she would be this deliriously happy she would have laughed in their face. . .

Steve McGarrett carefully lays the scuba tank he's just finished checking down on the deck and straightens his tall, muscled body to his full height as he looks out over the multi-hued waters of the Pacific. The sun shines brilliantly in an azure sky that is dotted with fat, fluffy white clouds, a gentle breeze is blowing, and the water is perfect for diving. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, Steve takes a moment to simply enjoy the peaceful calm surrounding him after the turmoil of the past few months. A slight sound gets his attention, and he turns around in time to watch his wife emerge from the cabin and step out onto the deck. Samantha McGarrett is an extremely beautiful woman; tall and shapely with honey-gold hair that looks like spun silk and cascades to the middle of her back and around her shoulders, sun-kissed skin, full, sensuous lips the colors of summer berries, and emerald green eyes that sparkle with life. Her barely there, pale yellow bikini hugs her lush curves like a second skin, and Steve's pulse rate accelerates quickly and he feels a tightening low in his body when a slow smile spreads across her face as she slowly walks toward him. Quite simply, she takes his breath away.)