Sunday, April 24, 2011
"You heard me Jerry, get hold of the kid and get him in for a tryout."
"You sure? The team is doing pretty well if that's what you're worried about."
"It's been bugging me since we talked about it, turning Wes down." So it was more something had been bugging him but the less anyone knew about this the better. He glanced over at MacKenzie who was tapping away on her Blackberry. They were headed back to the Soho apartment in a cab and the building super had left a message that the window would be repaired today. It felt weird going back but since they knew no one would be waiting pointing a sniper at them, they were safe.
"Ok, you're the boss. I'll get it done."
"Tonight--can you make sure it happens tonight, the call and arrange the try-out for tomorrow?"
"Sure Jon. I don't understand what the rush is but I'll get it done."
"Thanks Jerry. I just want to make sure he's not snapped up by someone else." Some quick thinking bought the conversation back to logic rather than the ravings of a lunatic. "Call me when it's done or if you have any problems getting hold of him or something."
"Ok Jon will do."
Jon disconnected the call and blew out his breath. "It's done, I didn't sound like a desperate idiot did I?" He wiped his palms on his jeans, they were out of danger but MacKenzie's partner still wasn't home and wouldn't be until this deal was set in motion. He covered his face with his hands, god he hoped David would return in once piece and ironically it was now all up to him. The roles were reversed and it was him that was putting this whole thing right when he always had expected she would. That was OK since it was his fault they were in this mess in the first place.
Her gaze met his and she smiled. "No, not too bad."
He managed a half-laugh. "Gee that's reassuring." He took her hand and linked his fingers through hers. "Are you ok?" It was the lamest thing he probably could have asked. Good one Jon, of course she's not.
"I'll be better when I see David." She snuggled in and rested her chin on his shoulder. "What about you? You did pretty well out there you know."
He lifted his brow. "You think so? I don't think I've ever felt more unprepared for something in my life."
"You did fine. We got what we needed to out of it."
"Yup, just a brother protecting his brother." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I still feel responsible, he was right you know."
Her chin lifted and she let her hand slide out of his and frowned. "Come on Jon. That guy is a thug and you can't blame yourself for this."
"Even if it's not this, you know he's right. I walk around throwing my cash at these charities promising better lives for all but how can I expect others to do that and follow by example when I can't even get my own principles to match what I preach." He was responsible for this and he'd take it as a learning curve, there wasn't much he could do about what had happened but he'd make sure it never happened again.
Her hand cupped his knee. "Jon, you're a wonderful wonderful man. Don't make me get all mushy and girly about this but you know how I feel about you and there's a reason I love you."
He rested his hand on top of hers. "Not just for my good looks and amazing talent in the bedroom?"
She snorted, "so sure of yourself huh?" She leaned over and kissed him on the lips. "No all of those things are just a big bonus to who you are. You're caring, you're headstrong and passionate about what you love. Including me. And you have a big heart to make a difference in this world. Many people in your position don't do half of what you do, so stop beating yourself up. I mean it or I'll have to kick your ass, and you know I can."
He winced. "Don't remind me. It still busts my balls that I'm with a woman that could kick my own ass if she chose to." Truth was, it turned him on. The strength this woman possessed was a huge turn-on to him, physically and mentally. He rolled his head back against the seat and closed his eyes. Was this really over? It didn't feel like it was, he felt flat but at the same time stunned. Could he really move on with this woman and have his old life back? It seemed too good to be true. True or not he opened his eyes and cupped the back of her neck and dragged her in, pressing his forehead against hers.
"MacKenzie. I've never met a woman like you. You're amazing and you've put up with my shit for the last few months and believe me, I know I'm not an easy guy to live with but I can't imagine living without you and I don't want to have to." His thumb swiped her strong jawline as she smiled.
"Jon, you know I love-"
"Shh--let me finish. Call it having a second chance, I feel like that's what I've been given here and I'm not going to blow it. MacKenzie, I've already been there and done that enough to write the book on it. So, marry me." He searched her eyes and his heart pounded in his chest. It was the right thing to do and he knew it.
Her eyes widened and then the lines around her face softened as she grinned. "Yes."
He sealed it with a kiss, his hands shot up into her hair as he dragged her in. His tongue swiped across her bottom lip and into her mouth where he tasted her and let the kiss simmer between them. Her hands slid up his chest and around his neck. When he went into this he had never expected that they would come out of it like this, destined to be together. But what more could he possibly as for in a woman, she was the perfect training partner, she didn't take any of his shit and she loved him unconditionally. She was beautiful, graceful and had more strength than he ever could imagine.
By the time they had arrived back at Mercer Street MacKenzie was happy. She had no hesitation when Jon asked her to marry him, she never could explain it to anyone better than they just fit together perfectly. They understood each other and they knew how to live together with it. Jerry had text Jon back to confirm Wes had been successfully contacted for a try-out tomorrow. They'd fulfilled their part of the deal, now they had to wait for David to be released.
The whole thing was crazy looking back, never in a million years would she have picked this as the motivation of launching an attack on Jon, in her findings in the case it was never listed anywhere that Wes was related to Blackwatch. She had to guess that Wes had a fake identity courtesy of his brother, to be protected from the life his brother led as often with gang’s revenge killings easily targeted family members. It was a smart move from the kid, she'd give him that but the whole way this went about was just fucked up. She was sick of blaming herself, sick of Jon blaming himself. They needed to move on and providing she watched David walk through the door completely unscathed that's precisely what she intended to do. God, she missed her office, her people and just doing mindless investigation such as cheating marriages. Bring on the affairs! She'd never complain again about that as long as she lived.
The glass fitter had put in temporary Perspex to keep the apartment weather-safe. Everything else was just as they had left it-in a hurried mess. They both cleaned up the apartment and all the time she kept her Blackberry on her but still no messages had come through from David to indicate his release. She was restless so she snuck out to the balcony that overlooked downtown Manhattan and paced. She looked at her cracked screen for the billionth time that hour but still nothing. She just wanted to even out for good after this but she couldn't without knowing the fate of her partner.
"Kenz, you OK?" Jon walked out onto the balcony with a bottle of wine and two glasses but rested them on the table when he saw her.
She nodded but who was she kidding. It was Jon. "I just want him home."
He took her hands. "Still nothing yet?"
She shook her head. It was a deal and it was done so why the hell hadn't she heard from him.
"I'm going to get you a whiskey." He squeezed her hands and left her.
"Dammit just ring!" She screamed when it vibrated in her palm back.
"Hello?" She gripped the railing of the balcony, it was his number but she held her breath.
She closed her eyes and blew out her breath. "David. Thank god where are you?"
"I'm home. I would have come to you but I just had to see my fiancée', you understand right?"
Her hand landed on her heart. "Yes, god yes-of course I do. Are you OK? How is your gunshot?"
"It's fine, clean through the shoulder. Hurt like hell but turns out gangs are readily equipped with medical supplies, it's sore but it's fine. What happened? What the hell did they want?"
"But you're OK David, just tell me you're OK and they didn't hurt you any more than that?"
"I'm fine Mac, honestly, I won't be playing tennis this season but they didn't hurt me anymore than the shot. Are you guys all OK?"
"We're fine--all fine. I think it's over." She explained the meeting with Blackwatch and the connection with Wes.
"Wow--the things we do for family huh? Jesus Christ. Are you sure Jon's doing the right thing letting the kid into the team?"
She nodded. "Yeah I do. This kid's amazing. We're going to watch him tomorrow try-out."
"You're going to watch football?"
She paused and laughed. "Why yes, yes I am. And then we're going to see Jon's kids, he's only mildly excited. It's time to move on, all of us. So much so that Jon's asked me to marry him and I accepted."
"Way to go Jon! That's great Mac congratulations, I mean it. You deserve it. I better have an invite to the wedding."
"Invite? You'll be my best man thank you very much."
"Glad to be of service." As per usual, she didn't know what she would have done without David throughout the years. She really didn't, she was blessed with such a good confidant.
"Are you sure you're OK? I went out of my mind David."
"I'm fine, seriously Mac. I have some explaining to do to my wife and she's probably not going to be happy with me."
"It's my fault, I dragged you into this, tell her that. She can yell at me if she wants to."
"Will do. I better go and do that, but I just wanted to let you know I'm OK."
"God, thank you David. I'll pop around tomorrow after the try-out and make sure with my own eyes you're OK."
"I wouldn't expect anything less from you Mac."
"Take care and thank you again for everything you did for us." She sighed as she disconnected the call and her shoulders eased. She smiled as Jon's arms snaked around her from behind and he pressed his body into her. He may have complimented her for having all the strength in the world but she loved the weight of him, behind her, it gave her strength.
"He's home then?"
She rested her hands on his at her belly. "He's home, he's safe. It's over." She moaned as his lips brushed the side of her neck.
"I beg to differ MacKenzie Cooper. It's not over, it's just begun."
There will be an epilogue to follow :) But thank you so much for following the story of MacKenzie and Jon, I've appreciated all the support throughout the story more than you'll ever know :)