Sarah MacKenzie was rooting through the refrigerator for something to eat when the phone began ringing. Her dog barked after every ring. “Okay, okay, I’m coming,” she hollered to both the phone and the dog.
“Sarah…”the voice on the other end said softly.
“Yeah. I heard about the hi-jacking. I’ve been so worried. I wanted to fly to Korea as soon as I heard, but they wouldn’t let me off. If there would’ve been something I could have done, I would have come anyway, to hell with them. You’re more important.”
“Oh, Mic.” He could be so sweet sometimes.
“So, have you made up your mind?”
“Mic!” Then other times… He was persistent, though, she’d give him that. Mic had proposed to her in Australia. Sarah wasn’t ready, but agreed to wear the ring on her right hand until she was.
“Sorry,” he said, but she could see him smiling at the other end of the phone. He had a great smile. “I need to see you.”
“When?” she asked. “We both have work.”
“I don’t care how or where, but I have to see you, Sarah.”
“Mic, this is exactly why we can’t work. We’re on two different continents. We both are dedicated to our work.”
“Sarah, we’ll make it work, I promise.”
“Okay,” she sighed.
”Okay, we’ll make it work, or okay, you’ll see me?”
“Both, maybe. Right now, okay I’ll see you, but you’re going to have to figure out how.”
“I will. I love you.”
“Oh Mic…” she paused, not quite able to get the words out, though it was how she felt. “See you.”
Sarah hung up the phone and sank down to the tiled floor. She did love him, she truly did, but…. Could it work? She wanted to believe that it could.
Mic Brumby hung up the phone, and started thinking. How could he see Sarah? He didn’t know, but he knew that he had to. RAN had yanked him back from the JAG in the states to help in Eastern Timor. It wasn’t likely they’d let him take leave to go back there. Things were too hot. They wouldn’t let him go, but he’d told Sarah he’d figure it out, and he was going to. He just didn’t know how yet.
Sarah went to work at the Judge Advocate General the next day in a daze. And every day there after for about a week. She was thinking about Mic. About what she’d say to him when they were together, about what they’d do. “I’m sorry, what?” she asked her partner Harmon Raab, Jr.
Harm gave her a look, “Where are you Mac? You’re certainly not here.”
Mac stood up to clear her mind. “I know Harm, I’m sorry. I’m just preoccupied.”
“That’s none of your business,” she tried to sound gruff, but she couldn’t keep anything from Harm. He was her best friend.
“Thinking about switching that ring over again?” he said, nailing it right on the head.
“Well,” she stumbled.
Just then Admiral Chegwidden came out of his office.
“MacKenzie. In my office. Now.” He was her saving grace. Even if he was going to yell at her, it was better than being grilled by Harm. She knew he didn’t approve of her and Mic. But it really wasn’t his business.
“Yes sir,” she said, leaving Harm.
“Have a seat,” he said, once she came in. She sat in one of the matching black leather chairs facing his desk. She waited for Chegwidden to go around to his side of the desk and sit down, but he didn’t. He sat in the chair next to her.
“Colonel MacKenzie,” he began.
“Let me finish, Mac.”
He cleared his throat. “As I was saying, Colonel MacKenzie. You’ve been in a daze the last week, and I feel your work may be suffering…”
“I’m sorry, sir, I won’t let it happen again.”
“Sarah, please, just let me finish.” He hardly ever called her by her first name. Something was up. She hoped she wasn’t in trouble. “I’m going to recommend a week’s paid vacation. Get your head cleared. Go somewhere. Australia, maybe?” He tried, unsuccessfully, to suppress a grin.
“Sir,” she protested, “I really don’t think I should. I have a case coming up.”
“Bud will take care of it. Now that’s final. Dismissed.”
“Yes sir,” she said, and got up to leave. She hadn’t put up much of an argument, but the truth was, she was relieved. Now maybe she would go to Australia and surprise Mic.
“Yes Admiral. Thanks a heap. Anything I can ever do for you.”
“Yes, well, I’ll keep that in mind, Commander. Her flight arrives at 0800 tomorrow morning.” Chegwidden said.
“Thanks again, Admiral.”
“Oh, this isn’t a gift. You do owe me, Commander.”
“Yes sir- wouldn’t have it any other way.”