All right, here's the thing. I've been at HQ
for three weeks now, and there is something I can't put my finger on. Something
that has everything to do with Harm and Mac. I mean, I only buy the
"we're-just-friends" thing to a certain extend. It's pretty obvious
that they're more.
But in that case… I mean, Harm is supposed to be with Sarah, someone I've yet to meet, and Mac is with Zach. Although there is something different about the guy. Anyway, Harm and Mac are way too close for just co-workers. And before you start, yes, so are Casper and I, but we're siblings. He's my half-brother. Not that we make that public knowledge, but he is. Can't help it. His father cheated on his wife with my mother, and voila, here I am. We found out by accident a couple of years ago.
Casper looks at me. "What's up?"
I shake my head. "Nothing."
"Mandy…" Does he really have to drag my name? Especially the short version?
"It's just… Don 't you think there is something about Harm and Mac?"
Now he's rolling his eyes. Great. Thanks for the support, Garcia. "And what do you think is there between Harm and Mac, Mandy?"
I lean back in my seat and thoughtfully chew on a bite of my burger. "Don't you think it's weird Harm never talks about Sarah? I mean, he's a proud dad and all, he can talk hours about anything that is going on with Shireen, but he barely mentions Sarah. For a guy in love, it's a little… strange."
Casper arches an eyebrow at me. "What would you have him do, Mandy? Scream it of the rooftops?"
No need to exaggerate, Cas. I roll my eyes. "No, he doesn't need to scream it of the rooftops but he could say something. Wouldn't you talk about Jenna when you guys finally decided to go down the aisle?"
Jenna is his girlfriend. They've been together for a little while now and I have this suspicion that my brother is going to pop the question soon. Casper shrugs. "I think you're reading way too much into this. So, Harm likes to keep his private life to himself. He has every right to. Stop being nosy and finish your burger."
He's only two years older than I am, but he can be the annoying, responsible, big brother sometimes. Yuck. "And what about Zach?"
My brother lets out a sigh. "What about Zach?" He's annoyed, I can tell. Too bad, he's gonna need to suck it up.
"Don't you think that there was something about him?"
Casper cleans his hands with a paper towel and looks me directly in the eye. "Amanda Jones, will you please stop sticking your nose into other peoples business? I don't know who told you to be this nosy, but it sure as hell wasn't Dad and I don't think your mother did it either. Let Harm and Mac live their lives the way they want to. If Mac is happy with Zach, she's happy with Zach. If Harm doesn't want to scream it of the rooftops how happy he is with Sarah; well, he doesn't have to."
Cas knows he's right, and so do I, but I still don't like it. Silently, I take another bite of my burger. There has been this mysterious thing around Harm and Mac for as long as we've been here. They take days off together. The first couple of days they came to work in the same car. Left in the same, too. I can practically sense that the conversations they have in Russian are personal instead of work-related. Frankly, Harm and Mac are way too comfortable around each other.
Suddenly, I hear laughter behind me. I know that laugh. Turning around, it's Harm and Mac. They must be talking about something funny, and they're heading to our table.
"Hey guys," Mac smiles. "Mind if we join you?"
Shaking our heads, Cas and I slide over. It's funny to see how people so close have so totally different eating habits. Harm's plate is loaded with salad, while I can't even see Mac's plate under the fries and the burger.
Cas and I trade looks and I clear my throat. "So, how's the family?" Ow! You're soooo gonna pay for that, Garcia. Kicking me under the table is low!
Harm looks up. "They're fine, thanks."
See, that's the kind of answers I've been getting from him when I ask about Sarah and Shireen. Seriously, sailor, I need some more background info on the girl! "If you don't mind me asking, what does Sarah do?"
That question brings a smile to his face and for a fraction of a second, his eyes dart to Mac. "Sarah's a lawyer, just like I am. We met a couple of years ago because of work."
"Love at first sight?" If looks could kill, I would be dead and buried by now, but I don't care. Harm is finally telling me something! Yay!
He chuckles. "For me, pretty much. It took her a little while to fall in love with me, though."
Yeah, right. Not if he used that killer smile of his. Mac calls that his Flyboy-grin. I can tell you in all honesty, that there is not a woman in the world that's unimpressed by that smile.
"Really?" Mac interferes. "That's not what I heard."
Harm seems surprised. "That so?"
"Of course. White House Rose Garden, those blue eyes of yours and that smile that makes every girl week in the knees… It would take a little while to fall in love with you, yeah." That last part is playful.
"Whatever you say, Mac."
It takes a while for my brain to register what they've said. The White House Rose Garden?! Excuse me?! I almost choke on my sip. "Are you kidding me? You and Sarah met in the White House Rose Garden? How many freaking strings did you have to pull for that?"
The two of them raise their eyebrows. "None," Harm says. "Total coincidence. Very happy that it happened, but it was a total coincidence. I got rewarded with my DFC and Sarah was there because of her uncle."
A small smile plays around Mac's lips. What does she know that I don't? Probably everything. There has to be a way to get more info. A whole lot more info. Even if I need to drag it out of them. "So, you guys met, declared your love and went over to the first Justice of the Peace to get married?"
Mac bursts out laughing and so does Harm. What's so funny? Really, it's not that funny. Eventually, their laughs die down. Mac wipes the tears out of her eyes. "Sorry," she apologizes.
Harm shakes his head. "If that had been the way it happened… God, that would've saved us time. Nah, we danced around each other for the better part of two years before we finally started dating."
They danced around each other for the better part of two years? "Why would you do that?"
He swallows his bite and shrugs. "Lots of reasons. We build a solid friendship, had the trust, the attraction… the whole nine yards. What we didn't have was the certainty of each other's feelings. Then one of us got the guts to say it out loud, finally, I might add, and here we are."
To him, it's obviously no big deal. But man, dance around your soul mate for two years! Talking about patience. Or insecurity, maybe. I don't know. Maybe both.
"What about you guys? You might want to know everything about us, but that goes the other way around, too." She looks expectantly at me.
Now my brother is really mad at me. Not sure I will live this down. I shrug. "Not much to tell here. Single girl. Haven't dated in a while."
"Really?" Mac's eyebrows shoot up to her hairline. "Sorry, I didn't mean to sound this surprised. You just don't strike me as the kind of girl who… Oh, never mind." She takes the last bite of her burger. Where she leaves it… I don't think I'll ever know.
"What about you?" Harm turns to Casper.
Casper glares at me and smiles at Harm. "Living with my girlfriend."
"He's going to propose soon," I quickly add.
"Mandy!" Ah, so I guessed right!
Harm smiles. "Congrats. Decided you want to spend of your life with her?"
Casper nods, a bit uncomfortable. "Yeah. I can't come up with a reason not to ask her."
Yep, my brother the romantic. Nah, he's not a softie or anything, but sometimes he just mellows up. He may be a Marine but under that uniform… Harm starts to clean up the table and rises out of his seat. "I'd like to stay with you guys to continue this interesting conversation, but I'm expected in court in a little over twenty minutes and I need to get up. I'll catch you guys later."
Mac follows him with her eyes as he walks away. I have to admit that the view is not bad. Not bad at all. There is one more thing I need to know, though. "Mac?"
"Mmm?" She has trouble tearing her eyes away. "Sorry, what?"
"You've met Sarah, right? Is she nice?"
Mac smiles and pats my back. "You'll like her, Mandy. Trust me."
And that's the only thing she tells me. How's that supposed to help me? I'm not an inch closer to understanding why they are so close. Not a damn inch.