By Paulette Keister



Authors note: After months of saying to myself, "yes I can…. no I can’t". I decided to go for it. I figured you’re never too old to try something new. So here it is, my first attempt at writing a story. I’ve tweaked it so many times I lost count. I welcome your comments. Be gentle though, self-confidence is ready to turn tail and run!


§ § § § § § § § § § §


Commander Jennifer M. Crane was sitting in the over stuffed chair in the outer office of Admiral Harriman Nelson. He was searching for a Marine Research assistant for the Institute and she was on pins and needles waiting to be called into his office for her interview.

Angie, the Admiral’s secretary came out of his office and said, "he will be with you in a few minutes".

"Thank you." Jennifer said in a somewhat confident voice.

Her heart was beating a mile a minute. She couldn’t believe that she was going to meet the man she had admired for a long time let alone being interviewed for a position at NIMR.

She told herself, "Get a grip girl… you don’t want him to see you’re a nervous wreck."

Just when she thought she couldn’t stand the wait anymore, the phone rang.

"Yes sir, I’ll send her right in." Angie told the Admiral. She smiled at Jennifer and said, "you can go in now… good luck!"

"Thanks I need it!" Jennifer said with a grin.

Jennifer picked up her portfolio, straightened her uniform and walked over to the door and knocked.

"Come in." She heard him say in his rich sonorous voice.

She took a deep breath and opened the door.

"Good morning Admiral Nelson. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me."

Before sitting down in the chair facing the Admiral’s desk, she handed him her resume and letters of recommendation. Admiral Nelson took them and started reading. "I see that you graduated from Annapolis. Top of your class no less. You majored in marine biology and research. Impressive Miss Crane."

Thank you Sir. It’s been a passion of mine for a long time. As you can see I’ve been working at the Naval Base in Los Angeles for the last few years."

"That was a dumb thing to say," she told herself. "He can read!"

The Admiral was remembering that he had served with a Lee Crane some years back on the Nautilus.

"Crane," he said out loud. "Do you happened to know a Commander Lee Crane?"

"Why yes Sir I do. He’s my brother. He’s told me several stories about you and his experiences on the Nautilus." He’s been serving on the USS Cheyenne for the past year."

Harry took a moment and looked at her. "Yes, now I see the resemblance," he thought to himself. She was slender and had dark wavy shoulder length hair, rich brown eyes but was not as tall as her brother, probably about 5’ 7". "Yes, a beautiful woman indeed. Get a hold of yourself Harry! This is a job interview, she’s not a contestant interviewing for the Dating Game."

Of all the men and women he had interviewed for the position, he felt that she was the one most qualified. He could see the passion in her eyes when she talked about the projects she had been working on and how she loved the sea. There was something that drew her to him. He just couldn’t put his finger on it.

"Being a Navy brat I guess the love of the sea runs in the family," he heard her say as he came back from his thoughts. "Yes, she’s the one."

"Well, Miss Crane I have just one thing to say."

"Oh no, I blew it! She thought to herself. I was rambling on too much. Here it comes, those famous words, don’t call us we’ll call you."

"Yes Sir?" she said in a shaky voice.

"You’re hired. How soon can you start?"

"Whenever you need me to… how about tomorrow? …Sir." She was trying very hard to keep her composure. She was so excited at the thought of being his assistant.

"The only drawback is that you have to resign from the Navy." He said to her.

" Already taken care of Sir. I typed it up my resignation last week… just in case."

The Admiral chuckled, "Pretty sure of yourself were you? "

"No Sir, just had my fingers crossed is all."

Admiral Nelson pushed the intercom button, "Angie, could you come in here please?"

"Yes Sir, right away," was her reply. As she entered his office he said, "Angie, I want you to meet my new assistant, Commander Jennifer Crane. Would you please show her around the office and introduce her to the rest of the staff. She will be starting Monday morning."

"I’d be happy to Sir," smiling brightly.

Jennifer stood up and said, " Thank you for giving me the chance to work with you. You won’t be disappointed."

"I’m sure I won’t Commander." Nelson said with sincerity.

"By your leave Admiral" as she turned to go he said, " We’re not that formal around here Jennifer…. if I may call you by your first name."

"That would be fine Sir," she replied. She was almost out the door with Angie when the Admiral said, "When you are finished getting familiar with your new surroundings I would like to take you to the sub pen and show you around Seaview. We will be going on a research mission next week and I need you to go with me. You might as well jump in with both feet. Say around 1400 hours."

"Yes Sir. I would love a tour of the Seaview." The thought filled with excitement.

When she left his office Angie said, " Congratulations Commander. I’m sooo happy that he finally decided to hire someone. You were number 25 on the long list of interviewees. He must have really been impressed with your credentials… I mean your job experience. " They both laughed.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

As Jennifer and Angie returned from their rounds, Admiral Nelson was anxiously waiting in the outer office, ready to take her to his pride and joy, the Seaview.

"Ah, there you two are. Just in time for your tour Jennifer."

"Ready when you are Sir."

As they headed out the front doors and deep into the grounds of the institute, she felt like she was walking on air. Reality had set in. She is going to work with this brilliant, wonderful man she had admired for so long. She felt blessed. As they made their way to the underground access the Admiral pointed out the various facilities along the way. Finally they reached Seaview’s berth. He took her by the elbow and said "watch your step" as they descended down the many steps to the dock. When they neared the bottom, she got a glimpse of his magnificent boat. It took her breath away.

"She’s beautiful!" she gasped.

"Thank you. I think so too", he replied with a twinkle in his eye.

As they started across the gangplank, Lt. Commander Charles Morton was coming across.

"Chip! Chip Morton! I haven’t seen you in ages!" She was surprised to see someone she knew.

"Jennifer? Lee’s little sister? It is you!" He was Lee’s best friend and he hadn’t seen her since she graduated from Annapolis.

Giving her a quick hug he asked, "How are you? What are you doing here?" He was full of questions. Just then he noticed that the Admiral was standing there with a curious look on his face.

The Admiral quipped, " I take it you two know each other."

"Sorry Sir," they both said in unison. "Yes, we do."

"Mr. Morton, I was just about to give her a tour of our Lady. Commander Crane has agreed to be my personal research assistant. She will be sailing with us next week when we leave for our mission."

"Yes Sir!… ah, I would be HAPPY to show the Commander around." Chip hadn’t seen Jenny in several years. He couldn’t believe his eyes... she turned into quite a beauty. "Man, oh man, Lee would kill me if he knew what I was thinking about his little sister!" mumbling to himself.

"Thank you for offering Chip, but I’m sure you have something else you that requires your attention."

"Yes Sir. I was on my way to check and see when the supplies would be arriving." He could tell that the Admiral wanted to show her around himself.

"Carry on Mr. Morton." This was one tour he wanted to give himself.

"Aye Sir." Chip turned and walked toward the ship stores.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

They entered through the embarkation hatch and made their way to the Control Room. He introduced her to the Captain John Phillips, Lt. Patrick O’Brien and a few other officers. After the introductions, They started walking aft. Everyone in the Control Room was watching them leave… standing there with their mouths hanging open… they couldn’t believe their eyes…He had hired a woman. A gorgeous one at that! Of course the Admiral was never one to be conventional. There was only one way…his way! And he usually got what he wanted. They could tell that he was trying to impress her. He was strutting around the ship like a peacock with his plume fanned.

He showed her the Missile Room, Reactor Room, and the Circuitry Room. He took her to sickbay and introduced her to Dr. Jameison. Next they went to "Officers Country" and showed her where her cabin would be which was next to his. He made a mental note to tell Chief Curly Jones to see that the cabin was made ready for her.

Their next stop was his pride and joy. The Labs. He showed her a few of the experiments that he was working on.

Jennifer was speechless. It was everything she ever dreamed of. The labs had every up-to-date piece of equipment that there was… plus a few more. She was very impressed."Admiral this is absolutely wonderful."

"Thank you Jennifer. I'm glad you like it. We'll be spending a lot of time in here."

"I'm looking forward to it."

Smiling he said, "I've left the best for last. Come with me."

They left the Lab and went forward to the Observation Nose. She couldn't believe her eyes. There were windows instead of steel plates.

"This is amazing, what is the composition of these "windows?" She inquired.

"It is called Herculite. It’s a transparent steel. It will withhold the pressures of the sea just as well as solid steel plates."

"Simply amazing!" is all she could say.

Nelson looked at his watch. Over three hours had gone by since they came aboard.

"I’m afraid I’ve kept you too long. It’s past 1800 hours. You probably had other things to do."

She smiled, "Not at all Admiral. I wouldn’t have miss this tour for the world."

"Since I’ve kept you so long, would you care to have dinner with me?" He blurted out. Then he thought to himself," Way to go Harry, couldn’t you come up with a better line than that?"

"Do you always take a new employee out to dinner?"

"Yes, I do. It’s my way of welcoming you to the NIMR family." He lied.

"Then I would like that very much, Sir." She was stunned. He had asked her to dinner. She was grinning ear to ear. She couldn’t wait to tell Lee about her new job.

As they left Seaview, he knew in his heart that he had made the right choice. Yes indeed, she was the one for him, in more ways than one.




Jenny was taking a break from the many proposals on her desk. The Admiral had come to depend on her more and more over the last few months. He said that he trusted her judgement on which proposals were worth his consideration and Seaview’s. He had taken her on just about every mission there had been since she started. She walked over to the balcony and opened the door. The sun was starting to set. The waves were gently rolling to shore glistening like diamonds and there was a gentle breeze. She loved sunsets. It was the most peaceful time of day for her. She couldn’t believe how quickly the past six months went. She loved her job, Seaview, the crew and Harriman Nelson.

She was desperate to talk to Lee. She wanted to ask him his advice. But when it came to calling or e-mailing his "baby Sis" he was lax in that department. Just wait until she gets her hands on him next time he’s on shore leave.

The sun had finished setting and with a sigh went back to her proposals.

Little did she know that Harry was standing at his balcony door watching the same sunset. He was thinking about her. He had come to discover that she was becoming a brilliant scientist in her own right. She had helped him immensely the past few months. Some of Seaview’s missions had turned out to be dangerous and she met them head on with the best of them. The two of them work together like a well-oiled machine. The crew loved her too. She had become one of them. They trusted her with their lives. She was a beautiful, intelligent and passionate woman and he had fallen in love with her. Yet he was afraid to tell her for he was 14 years her junior. Could she love an old sea dog like him? He could be pig headed, opinionated and he was set in his ways. He just didn’t have the nerve to tell her. He went back to his desk and took a cigarette out of the pack and lit it. Somehow he would just have to find the courage.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Admiral Nelson had been monitoring a report from NASA regarding a malfunctioning surveillance satellite that was falling out of orbit heading for the South Pacific. He arrived at the office at 06:00 hours. He saw light coming from Jenny’s office. He lightly tapped on her door and received no answer. He slowly opened the door. There she was, her head on her folded arms, asleep. She had been here all night.

Putting his hand on her shoulder he gently shook her. "Jenny, Jenny?"

"Hmm, she sat upright with a start. " Admiral, I’m sorry. I must have dozed off. I was keeping an eye on the status of the satellite.

"You were here all night weren’t you."

"Ah, yes Sir. I knew you would want to talk to NASA this morning and I wanted to have the reports up-to-date. I took it upon myself to call and inform them you would be calling at 08:00 hours. I hope it wasn’t too presumptuous of me"


Harry smiled, "Ah, another hidden talent of yours, a mind reader! Thank you. I’ll be in my office if you need me for anything." As he went into his office he thought, "No wonder I love that woman. She’s always one step ahead of me. One of these days you better tell her how you feel before she slips through your fingers and finds someone else."

An urgent meeting was set up with NASA officials regarding the recovery of the satellite and Harry was leaving immediately with Captain Phillips. Before he left, he stepped into her office to inform her of his plans.

"Jenny, John and I are leaving. While we’re gone would you see to it that preparations are made for Seaview to get underway as soon as we get back. "

"Yes Admiral, I’ll call Chip and have him gather the crew. She’ll be waiting and ready to sail when you return. Oh, Sir… be careful." For some reason she had a bad feeling about this meeting.

"Thanks Jenny. See you when I get back."


§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


As she was finishing the final instructions that the Admiral had requested when she head a knock on her door. "Come." It was Angie. Her face was drained of color and a look of dread in her eyes.

"Angie, what’s the matter?"

"Oh Jenny, there was an accident… The Admiral’s car, it was ambushed on the way to the meeting." Her body went rigid with fear. "Oh god please, not Harry!"

Captain Phillips is dead. So are the driver and both guards. She couldn’t contain herself any longer. "What about Har…the Admiral, Angie, is he…she just couldn’t say the words. Angie had a strong suspicion that Jenny was in love with him and the look in her eyes confirmed it.

"The Admiral is just fine. He managed to jump out of the car just as it went over the side of the mountain. Just a few scrapes and bruises. Someone stopped to help and the Admiral used their cell phone to call for the Institute’s helicopter. He continued onto the meeting. He said he would call you when it’s over."

"Thanks Angie…please let me know if you hear anymore details." Angie turned and went back to her desk leaving Jenny to her thoughts.

"I can’t believe that John is gone…what a waste! The crew admired him so."

She was sorry that Captain Phillips and the security officers were gone but she was grateful that Harry had been spared. " That’s it! No more putting it off. After this mission you WILL tell him how you feel no matter what! "

Admiral Nelson returned to the Institute several hours later to the relief of his secretary Angie.

"Admiral I’m so glad that you are alright. I’m sorry about Captain Phillips and the others."

"Thank you Angie" he replied with sadness in his eyes. " I’m going to my office for awhile."

"Yes sir, I’ll let Jenny know that you are back. "Boy, will she be happy to hear that!" She smiled to herself.

"No, that’s alright. I’ll tell her myself." For awhile he thought he would never see her angelic face again! He went into his office and put his briefcase on his mahogany desk, hung up his coat and hat and headed for Jenny’s office.

He knocked on her door and heard a tense "come in."

She was standing on the balcony staring out at the ocean lost in thought.

In his most authoritative voice, "Is Seaview ready to set sail Commander?"

"She turned with a start and walked towards him smiling, "Yes sir!" Impulsively, she put her arms around him and gave him a huge hug not caring if it was proper or not!

Finally letting some of her feelings show and looking into his eyes, "Are you sure you’re alright… I was so worried about you."

He smiled at her and answered, "Yes I’m fine… really!"

"Well OK….I’ll accept that for now. I’m so sorry to hear about Capt. Phillips.

He was a good man," replying sadly. Will you be taking command until you find someone to be her skipper?" She returned to her desk and sat down.

"No… since this is a critical matter, the Navy has loaned me her best submarine commander. "Boy, is she going to be surprised!" thinking to himself. I believe you know him, a Commander by the name of Lee B. Crane."

Startled, she jumped up, "Who did you say? You mean my brother…. that Lee Crane?"

"Unless you know of another Lee B. Crane in the U. S. Navy. Yes, your brother Lee," laughing as he replied.

Falling back into her chair still stunned by what she just heard, " Well, I can’t believe it. My brother, the Captain of the Seaview…at least for one mission.

"Good, now I can give him a piece of my mind for breaking his promise to call me more often," saying with a "wait till I get my hands on him" look.

Smiling to himself, "Oh yeah, is he in for it now! " He had seen that look on her face before. Back to the business at hand. "Oh Jenny, Dr. Richard Beckman from NASA will be arriving shortly. He will be accompanying us on the mission. When he arrives join us in my office. Lee is going directly to the sub."

"Very well sir. Let me know when you’re ready Admiral. I’ll have the updated report for you by the time Dr. Beckman arrives."

Leaving her office he replied, "Thanks Jenny, what would I do without you!"

"I hope I never have to find out," thinking to himself.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Angie hit the intercom button. "Sir, Dr. Beckman is here to see you."

"Thanks Angie show him in. And please tell Jenny to join us now."

"Right away Sir. Quickly relaying his message, " Jenny, Dr. Beckman has arrived and he and the Admiral are waiting for you in his office."

"Thanks Angie, on my way." Taking a deep breath, "Well, I guess its show time!" She rose from her chair and headed to the Admiral’s office.

Knocking, she heard the familiar "come in".

"Dr Beckman, I want you to meet my assistant, Commander Jennifer Crane. She will be accompanying us on this recovery mission. Jenny, this is Dr. Richard Beckman."

Shaking hands she replied, "A pleasure to meet you Doctor."

"Same here Commander Crane." He turned and gave him a quizzical "she’s a woman" look. Before Dr. Beckman could say anything, Nelson gave him a harrowed look and added, "Commander Crane has top security clearance and has been on top of the situation since the satellite started losing altitude. So let’s sit down and discuss our plan of action." He wasn’t going to give him a chance to object.

Spreading out the maps and reports over the conference table they started to plot Seaview’s course and speed in order to arrive at the estimated coordinates before the satellite crashes into the sea.

"I can’t stress how urgent it is to reach the coordinates on time. There are foreign powers that want to stop us from recovering the data that it holds. We can’t let that happen. So if there is nothing else to discuss, I suggest we get started."

Jenny gathered up the reports and maps off the table and handed them to the Admiral to put in his briefcase. The phone rang.

"Jenny, will you get that for me?"

"Aye Sir." She picked it up and after a few moments replied, "Thanks Angie, I’ll tell him."

"Sir, Angie called to tell you that Lee has arrived and is on Seaview. If you will excuse me for a minute I’ll get my things and meet you at the outer door."

"Very well."

After she left, Dr. Beckman looked at Nelson and asked, "Are you sure about her coming on this mission? You know it’s unheard of for a woman to serve on a submarine."

Seeing the look on the Admiral’s face he knew he would live to regret what he just asked.

Harry was losing patience with his male chauvinist attitude towards Jenny.

"Dr. Beckman, she is a seasoned member of the crew and has been on more missions than you can shake a stick at….I trust her with my life and so should you. So is there anything else you want to know, DOCTOR?"

Knowing that he had just be chastised he could only reply, "No Admiral, we should get going."

"Yes, I agree. Enough time has already been wasted." They both rose from the table and walked out the door. They found Jenny talking to Angie while she was waiting on them.

"Ready to go Commander?"

"Yes Sir."

Grinning at her he said, "Well, let’s go meet our new Captain shall we?"

Laughing she replied, "Aye Sir, let’s see what our new Captain is made of."

Hmm, must be some kind of inside joke" Dr. Beckman thought to himself.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Captain Lee Crane and the Exec, Chip Morton was standing on the dock awaiting their arrival.

"Hey Lee, when’s the last time you talked to Jenny?" Chip inquired.

"Oh, a few months ago, why?"

"Well, you do know that she’s coming on this mission don’t you? Just last week she was grumbling about how you hadn’t called her in months, and didn’t answer her last e-mail. Said "Some brother she has! She could run off with some sailor and get married and have a couple kids before you would call her to see how she’s been! So, buddy old pal, be prepared to meet thy maker!"

Swallowing hard Lee looked at Chip and said, "Man, I’m in BIG trouble!"

Chip spied the Admiral’s car pulling up to the dock. "Here they come. Get ready."

As the group approached the gangplank Lee and Chip saluted and said, "Welcome aboard Admiral."

"Hello Lee. Dr. Beckman I want you to meet the Captain of the Seaview, Commander Lee Crane and our Exec Chip Morton. Lee, I am assuming that you know my assistant, Commander Jennifer Crane."

She stepped up beside the Admiral. "Hello Commander. Nice to see you."

Seeing the look on her face he knew he was in for it. "Hi Jenny how have you been?"

Smiling with a piercing glare she answered, "Just fine Commander. Thank you for asking."

"Oh no, I’m really in for it! If the look she’s giving me was a dagger, I’d be a dead man right now!"

Harry thought he’d better save his new captain and said, "Let’s all get below and shove off. We haven’t much time."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Everyone went below. Admiral Nelson told the Captain to set a course for Wake Island.

"Lee, I’m going to my quarters. Come to my cabin in about 30 minutes to discuss our course of action."

"Aye sir"

Lee turned to Chip, "Mr. Morton take us out, ahead dead slow."

With a crisp reply," Aye Sir, maneuvering, ahead dead slow."

"Aye sir, ahead dead slow."

Nelson turned to Jenny, "Will you show Dr. Beckman to his quarters?"

"Yes sir. This way Dr. Beckman." As she led him up the spiral steps to Officer’s Country, she thought to herself, " Great!! How did I get the job? This guy is a piece of work if you ask me!" She didn’t like this man at all!

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

He was dying to know the connection between Nelson’s assistant and the Captain since they both had the same last name. When they reached his cabin she opened the door, " This is your cabin Doctor. After you have settled in the Admiral would like you to join us in the observation nose to go over the recovery plans."

As she turned to leave Dr. Beckman decided to just come out and ask her, "Oh Commander, I noticed that you seem to already know the Captain and since you both have the same last name…I was wondering… are you two married? Divorced?.."

She turned with a start and gave him a glare. "Of all the nerve! How dare he ask her such a personal question." With all the politeness she could muster she replied, "No Dr. Beckman…if you must know the Captain is my brother. Will there be anything else?"

"Ah, no just curious is all. " With the look she gave him he immediately regretted asking that question.

"Very well. We hope you find your accommodations comfortable." She turned on heel and went out the door. " It’s going to be a LONG mission with that man on board."

She started to head for her cabin and cool down before the meeting. She never met anyone so annoying in her life! Maybe Lee would be in his cabin

unpacking. She could kill two birds with one stone… chastise him for not calling her lately and inform him what a jerk Dr. Beckman was. She knocked on his door.

"Come in."

She entered and closed the door behind her. He had his back to her and didn’t see who had come in. He turned and saw his sister standing there with a smirk on her face.

"Hi Bengie long time no see!"

"Hi Sis… I’ve missed you. Jeez, old boy, you better come up with something better than that!"

She wasn’t going to let him squirm out of this one. "You couldn’t prove it by me. Ever heard of a cell phone? E-mail?… and furthermore when is the last time you talked to Mom, huh?"

"Well I think…ah, it was last….

Jenny interrupted with a "I thought so!" She walked over to him smiling and gave him a big hug. "You’ll never change will you?"

"Well, I have been trying…

Snickering she said, "As far as I can see not hard enough!"

With a slight frown on his face he asked, "Jenny will you please do me a favor?"

"What’s that?"

"Could you please not call be Benjie in hearing distance of anyone. You know I hate it when you call me that." It had been her nickname for him since they were kids.

"Why Lee, I’m hurt… I thought you liked it when I called you Benjie?"

"I didn’t mind it when we were kids…but now it’s kinda embarrassing. Makes me sound like that dog from the movies years ago."

"I know…. why do you think I still call you that?" she said teasingly. "And makes for good blackmail material." smiling inwardly.

She started to get serious. "Lee, I need to talk to you about something." Just then the intercom buzzed.

"Lee, " it was the Exec.

"Yes Chip, what is it…"

"Admiral Nelson would like you to bring Dr. Beckman and Jenny to the Observation Nose. He’s ready to start the meeting."

"Right away. Jenny’s here with me. We will stop by Dr. Beckman’s cabin and get him."

"Aye Sir." Chip hung up the microphone chuckling to himself. "I knew she wouldn’t waste anytime giving him the what for!"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

They retrieved Dr. Beckman and escorted him the Observation Nose where the Admiral was spreading out the map and charts on the table.

"I just received the exact coordinates for point of entry from NASA. It will hit the ocean here," circling a spot on the map with his pencil.

"About 100 miles from Wake Island. We need to be there by 0900 hours on Friday ready to recover. That gives us three days to get there. Remember this a surveillance satellite and any of our government’s enemies would like to see that we don’t get there in time. The information it contains would bring a lot of money on the black market."

Lee turned to Dr. Beckman, "And what is your part in the recovery of the satellite?"

"I’m here to remove the information from the satellite and see it safely back to our government. You understand that it mustn’t be damaged in anyway during the recovery process," looking at Lee and then at Jenny, he answered rather haughtily.

Irritated Lee replied, "I know my job Dr. Beckman. I’ve done this type of recovery operation before."

Admiral Nelson saw the look of fury building in Jenny’s eyes. It was the same look that that just flashed in Crane’s. "Oh no, I think this meeting better come to a close… in a hurry!" "Is there anymore questions? He didn’t give anyone time to think about it. "Very well. That will be all."

Jenny rose from her seat. "Admiral, I will be in the lab if you need me." She turned and went through the Control Room and headed for the lab. "What an arrogant little twerp. I couldn’t take much more of the way he kept looking at me. I have to remember…it’s for the good of the country."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Lee went back to the plotting table, which left Dr. Beckman and the Admiral alone.

"Admiral may I speak to you a moment?

Harry was almost afraid to ask. "Yes Doctor, what is it?"

"Your assistant was most rude to me earlier. I should think that guests would be treated with more respect."

"Go on… what happened?"

"Well, all I did was ask her a question about your Captain.."

Becoming more irritated by the minute he asked, " What did you ask her?"

"I asked her if she and Commander Crane are or had been married." replying innocently.

"YOU ASKED HER WHAT!" Bellowed the Admiral loud enough for all the control room watch to hear. In a quieter voice he replied, " Well Doctor, if you want her to show you respect I suggest that you begin by showing her some! Before he could respond Harry said, "Now if you would excuse me I have some work to do. I’ll have Mr. O’Brien give you a tour of our boat. Dinner is at 1730 hours in the Wardroom. Mr. O’Brien."

"Yes Admiral…"

"Would you please give Dr. Beckman a tour of the boat. When you’re finished show him to his cabin so he can rest before dinner."

"Aye, Sir. This way Dr. Beckman," motioning towards the Control Room.

"Harry couldn’t believe what he just heard. "No wonder she looked like she could spit nails…guess I better go to the lab and try and smooth some ruffled feathers!"

"He got up and started walking aft through the control room. "Lee, I’ll be in the lab if you need me."

"Aye, Sir."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Harry opened the door to the lab and found her staring at the new species of fish they had discovered on their last mission. She was lost in thought and didn’t hear him enter the lab.

"Jenny, are you alright?"

Jumping at the sound of his voice, "Admiral, you gave me a start. Yes, I’m all right. Just thinking."

"Must be something important."

She had been thinking about him and how to tell him about her feelings. "Yes, Sir, you could say that."

"Well, I wanted to talk to you about Dr. Beckman." Before he could say anything else she went off like a firecracker.

"Oh Admiral, now you know that I get along with everyone and I show all visitors the proper respect when they are on board but Dr. Beckman is another story."

She was talking a mile a minute… he couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

"That man had the audacity to ask me if Lee and I were married! Can you believe it? Just because we both had the same last name! That man is one irritating, chauvinistic, prying, over bearing, little twit!!"

By now she realized that he was laughing. "What’s so funny, Sir?"

"I’m sorry Jenny, I know all about it…. he told me what he asked you.. he had the nerve to tell me that you were rude to him.."


Harry started laughing again. By now the fiery look in her eyes could launch heat-sinking torpedoes. "Now, now calm down. I put him in his place. I told him that if he wanted respect that he needed to show you the same."

By now she was feeling rather foolish for going off. "I’m sorry…"

"Don’t be.... to be honest I agree with your description of the good Doctor…but if you tell anyone I’ll deny it!" By now they were both laughing.

She looked at him and said, "Thanks for listening to a ranting woman... It sure made me feel better."

"Did I have a choice?" he teased.

"Oh hush, Sir." She looked at the clock. " Well it’s almost time for dinner. Guess I better go to my cabin and change… and sir, I promise to be on my best behavior."

Twenty minutes later Harry stopped by Jenny’s cabin. He tapped on the door.

"Come in."

She was just getting ready to go to the Wardroom. "May I escort you to dinner Commander?"

"Why Admiral I would be delighted. " He was happy to see that she was smiling again. As they left the cabin, he offered her is arm and they headed down the corridor.

Dr. Beckman was sitting with Lee and Chip at the Admiral’s table waiting for them to arrive. Lee looked at the two of them when they entered. He now knew what his sister wanted to talk to him about.

The Admiral helped Jenny with her chair. "Waiting long Lee?" he asked as he took his place at the table.

"No Sir, we just sat down."

Jenny thought she better make an effort to engage in conversation with Dr. Beckman. " Did you enjoy your tour Doctor?"

"Yes, Commander. It was very interesting. Thank you for asking."

She wondered what was wrong. He was being polite to her. What’s he up to?

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Dinner was served. The evening was filled with the usual small talk and the events of the day. Eventually the room was empty except for Lee, Chip and Jenny. Harry and Dr. Beckman had gone off to the Missile Room to check the area that the satellite would be stored.

"Lee, before you turn in for the night would you stop by my cabin. I need to talk to you for a few minutes."

"Sure Jenny. Give me about 30 minutes. I need to check the conn then I’ll be there."

"Thanks big brother." she rose and headed toward her cabin.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

She was standing in front of her desk checking over some reports when she heard a knock on her door.

"Come in Lee."

"How’d you know it was me? It could’ve been Dr. Beckman…" teasing her.

"Oh PLEASE…I take it you heard the story from the Admiral?"

"No, Chip told me."

"How did Chip…. Oh never mind. There’s something else I want to talk to you about."

Before she could say anything Lee asked, "So why are you afraid to tell him?"

"Tell who?"

"Admiral Nelson."

"Tell him what?"

"You know."

She was starting to get irritated with her brother.

"Lee Crane what are you talking about!"


Stunned, she stared at him and leaned back up against her desk. "What makes you say that? You don’t even know what I wanted to talk to you about."

"You don’t have to tell me. I know that look. I see it in your eyes when you’re with him. Everyone else sees it too. Hey, I can still read you like a book you know. Just like when we were kids."

"Oh Lee, is it that obvious?"

He walked over and gave her a hug, kissed her on the forehead and headed for the door. "You need to tell him. I’m sure you’ll be surprised when you do."

"Why is that?"

Flashing her a big brother smile, "Because when he’s with you or sees you he has the same look in his eyes."

Exasperated she replied, "Oh go to bed Lee. See you in the morning."

"Good night Jenny," then headed for his cabin.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

The Admiral and Dr. Beckman spent most of the day preparing for the retrieval of the satellite and discussing the information that it held. Jenny went about her daily tasks and finished them early. She decided to go forward and sit on the "front porch" for awhile before dinner. They were running submerged but she still loved to watch the sea race past the windows. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to happen. So far the cruise had been quiet… too quiet. Nothing or no one had tried to stop them. "Hmm what’s that saying… famous last words?"

Deep in thought she didn’t hear Harry and Dr. Beckman approaching to join her. Harry could see that something was troubling her. He knew that look on her face.

"Something wrong?"

She turned with a start, "Oh Admiral, Dr. Beckman.. I didn’t hear you come forward."

"Obviously…. OK Commander, out with it… what’s the matter?"

"Well, it’s been too quiet…and I get the feeling that something is about to happen. We’ll be at the co-ordinates tomorrow afternoon and so far no one had tried to stop us."

Dr. Beckman injected, "You have a feeling? He started laughing, I’m glad you’re not in command of the boat!

She glared at him, "I’m sorry you find that funny. It’s just a gut instinct."

In a stern voice Harry replied, " I wouldn’t dismiss her instinct so lightly Doctor. Her "feeling" has been right on the nose more than once."

Lee overhearing the conversation came over to the table. "Admiral, I heard what Jenny said and I tend to feel the same way. I have the men keeping a sharp watch on radar and sonar for movement of any kind."

"Very well, Lee. Carry on."

She glanced at Lee and gave him a quick grin. "Thanks Lee."

Deciding to change the subject, she turned to the Admiral "I see that it’s almost time for supper. I believe tonight’s menu consists of "Cookie’s" specialty, stuffed pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables. He also told me he made that delicious Pineapple cake for dessert. The one with the cream cheese frosting?"

Realizing that he was hungry, Dr. Beckman uttered, "Well shall we go the Ward Room then? Wouldn’t want all that good food to get cold!"

They headed aft and Harry stopped for a moment. "Lee, are you coming?"

"Right behind you Sir. I want to check on a few things before supper."

"OK Lad, don’t take too long. "Cookie’s chops go fast!"

"Aye Sir!"

Smiling to himself as he headed to supper, "humph, like sister, like brother!"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Friends, family and tomorrow’s recovery mission were discussed among the officers in the room. The night’s menu was delicious as usual. Lee and Chip were engaged in conversation and didn’t notice Jenny whispering to the Admiral.

"I think "Cookie" is trying to impress our good Captain with his cooking. They are Lee’s favorite you know."

"And I wonder how he found that out?" asking her with a gleam in his eye.

Grinning she replied, "I guess a little birdie told him!"

Just then the klaxon went off. "Battle stations, battle stations."

Lee jumped up and picked up the nearest microphone. "Control room this is the Captain. Report."

"Captain we have contact on sonar. A sub at 15,000 yards approaching fast."

"On my way. Mr. Morton let’s go."

"Aye Sir."

The Admiral gestured toward the door, "Dr. Beckman I think it would be safer if you would return to your cabin until we have taken care of the tail we seemed to have acquired. Jenny, will you see him to his cabin please? I’m going to the Control Room. Join us as soon as you can."

"Of course Sir."

She hurriedly escorted Dr. Beckman down the corridor. "It will be safer for you here Doctor."

"Thank you Commander…I must admit that you were right. I’m sorry I doubted you."

Taken aback by his comment she answered, "Thank you sir. Please remain here until we lose whoever is on our tail." She closed the door and headed for the control room.

As she entered she heard Kowalski shout, "Torpedoes approaching from stern."

"Hard right rudder" ordered Crane.

"Hard right rudder, aye sir."

Everyone held onto their respective stations as she turned sharply. There was dead silence in the Control Room as everyone listened to the sounds of the torpedoes as they passed by. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. But it didn’t last long.

"Missile Room. Ready aft tubes one & three for firing."

Chief Jones answered smartly. "Aye Sir." A few seconds later, "Captain Crane, tubes one & three ready for firing."

"Firing will commence on my command."

"Aye Sir. Standing by."

"More torpedoes approaching, bearing 105 degrees. Kowalski yelled.

"Missile Room…fire one…fire three." Seaview shuddered as the torpedoes left their tubes. They waited for the heat seeking missiles to find their target.

After a few tense moments Kowalski said, "Direct hit sir…scratch one sub."

"Hard left rudder. All ahead flank."

Again, the enemy torpedoes missed Seaview but instead exploded into a large rock formation. The shock wave shook her, tossing the officers and crew around like rag dolls. She lost ballast and was headed for the bottom.

"Captain, hitting bottom in 10 seconds."

"All hands, brace for collision."

Lee was grabbing the microphone as he got back up on his feet shouting, "Damage Control report!"

"Damage to the ballast tanks. Minor leaks in frames 40 and 46. We can have them fix within two hours."

"Make it an hour. We have a schedule to keep."

"Aye Sir."

They both had been thrown across the control room. Harry was thrown into the bulkhead supports. He regained his balance then helped Jenny up off the floor. She had hit her head hard on the plotting table. Concerned he asked, "Are you hurt Jenny?"

Holding her head for a moment then answering, " No, I’m fine Admiral, nothing a couple of aspirins won’t cure."…Then she noticed he was rubbing his left arm.

"I should ask the same of you….maybe you should have Doc look at your arm."

He dismissed her suggestion with a wave of his hand. That's the last place he wanted to be right now. "No, I'm fine." answering as he walked toward the plotting table.

"If you say so… Sir." "Sure Harry, tell me another one!" muttering to herself.

"Attention, this is the Captain. Until further notice this boat is on silent running status. All except for the repair detail, there will be no unnecessary movement or noise until we arrive at our destination."

Just then Dr. Beckman came clamoring down the spiral staircase.

"Admiral Nelson, what’s happening? Are we on the bottom? You realize we haven’t much time to reach ….

He was in no mood to deal with this man. "Doctor please. We are making repairs and will be underway shortly. So if you would kindly return to your cabin and…"

" Admiral, I’d rather sit in the observation nose if you don’t mind."

"Fine, just stay put and keep quiet!"

A short time later….

"Captain Crane, repairs completed. Ready to get underway."

"Very well. Mr. Morton, get us off the bottom. Level off at 300 ft. All ahead flank. Maintain silent running until further notice."

"Aye Sir."

As Harry was heading for his cabin he turned, " Oh Lee, I’ll be in my cabin if you need me. Jenny, we have some paperwork to take care of."

"Right behind you Sir… oh what should we do with Dr. Beckman?"

Grinning, " Just leave him in the observation nose. I told him he could help by keeping a sharp eye open for anything out of the ordinary. That should keep him occupied until we’re ready to pick up the satellite."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

"Admiral, this is Crane. We’ve reached the coordinates."

"Thanks Lee. We’ll be right there."

Upon entering the Control Room they were greeted by a beehive of activity. Captain Crane had just given the order to secure from silent running.

"Mr. Morton, bring us up to periscope depth."

"Blow ballast. Come to 90 feet." Seaview rose with no problems.

"Holding at 90 feet Captain."

"Up scope." Lee commenced to scan the area for any unwanted vessels.

"Anything on sonar Kolwaski?"

"No nothing Sir. All quiet."

"How about on radar Riley?"

"All quiet Captain."

"Very Well. Keep a sharp eye out for anything that might remotely look like trouble," Lee ordered.

Admiral Nelson was impressed by Lee’s abilities to command his submarine and the men had already given him their trust.

"Good job Captain. I see we arrived with a few minutes to spare. Let’s get to the surface and retrieve our cargo before we have anymore surprises."

"Yes, Admiral."Mr. Morton, prepare to surface."

"Aye Sir. Surface, Surface." The Klaxon resounded through the ship.

As the Seaview broached the surface, Chief Jones brought jackets forward for the Admiral, Captain Crane, Dr. Beckman and Jenny. "Here Sir, it’s going to be a bit chilly topside."

"Thank you Curly."

They ascended the hatch ladder one by one until all were on the flying bridge. Chief Jones handed binoculars the Admiral and Captain. Harry checked his watch and started scanning the skies for any sign of the satellite.

"See anything yet Lee?"

"No Sir…wait, I think I do.. yes, looks like it’s heading for the port side."

"Recovery ready…it will hit the water in a few minutes." shouted Nelson.

On an impulse, Jenny picked up the mike. " Kowalski, any signs of unwanted visitors on sonar?"

"No Commander. All clear."

"Riley, how about radar."

"Nothing here Ma’am."

"All right. Riley, keep a sharp eye open. We don’t need any surprise visitors from above."

She replaced the mike. " I don’t like this. I’ll sure feel better when this thing is safely tucked away in the missile room." Just then the satellite hit the water with such a force that made Seaview rock sharply. When the waters calmed and the rocking subsided, they made their way to the deck port side.

They were watching the recovery process when the klaxon sounded.

"Battle stations. Captain, this is Morton. Radar shows a plane headed directly for us. Looks like a bomber. You better hurry with that thing!" urged the XO.

Lee went to the nearest microphone. "Chip, make ready for emergency dive as soon as our cargo is aboard and have missile silo number one ready for firing."

"Aye Sir."

"Jenny, it’s too dangerous up here. Take Dr. Beckman down below. We’ll join you shortly," yelled Harry.

Dr. Beckman started to argue with him. " No Admiral, I’m not going below until it’s safely aboard."

"Look Dr. Beckman…. just then the plane dropped a bomb as it made it’s fly by.

"HIT THE DECK!" yelled Crane."

The Admiral grabbed Jenny and covered her with his body and hung onto the handles attached to the deck. A great wall of water swept over them. When it dissipated, everyone stood up. Jenny was the first one to hear a cry as someone went over the side. She looked to see who it was. That’s when she saw him hit the water… none other than Dr. Beckman.

He was flailing about yelling, "HELP, I CAN’T SWIM!"

"I don’t believe this!!" Without hesitating she went over to the flying bridge, grabbed a floatation device and dove into the ocean. As she did, she heard Harry yelling, "MY GOD WOMAN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

She went under, came up and started searching for him.


The sea was still churning from the explosion but she managed to swim against the waves to get to him. She pushed the device towards him and told him to grab a hold.

"Hang on Dr. Beckman. We’ll swim over to the side of the sub. Just don’t panic and you’ll be alright."

Just then Seaview fired her missile. A few seconds later a fiery explosion lit up the sky. The missile had found her target. One less enemy plane to clutter the peaceful heavens above.

Several crewmembers were scrambling to help them up the side. They both looked like drowned rats standing on the deck.

Harry didn’t know who to be the most furious with, Dr. Beckman for standing there arguing with him about going below or Jenny for pulling such a stupid stunt by jumping in the frigid ocean to retrieve him.

"Well don’t you two think you better go below and get some dry clothes on before you catch pneumonia?" He bellowed.

"Aye Sir."

"Commander, when you’ve both changed report to Sickbay and have Jamie check you out."

"Oh boy, is he angry!" She knew better than to disagree with him but Dr. Beckman didn’t.

"Admiral, I’m ok…"


Realizing that Harry was not in a good humor, he meekly replied, "Yes, Admiral whatever you say."

"And Commander,"

"Yes, Sir?"

" I want to see you in my cabin immediately after you are released from Sickbay, is that understood?"

"Quite sir." she answered contritely.

As they headed for the hatch, Harry said, "Oh Dr. Beckman, just so you know, your satellite is being safely tucked away in the missile room as we speak."

"Thank you Admiral."

Jenny and the Doctor climbed down the ladder. As she stood there, dripping wet, Chip came up to her with his hands on his hips, a disbelieving look on his face and asked, "What happened to you?

" I ah, jumped into the ocean to rescue Dr. Beckman. When the wall of water hit us he lost his balance and it swept him over the side."


"Yes, I’m afraid so. The Admiral is furious to say the least. I better get to Sickbay before he and Lee come down the ladder. If he sees me standing here he will probably break me down to seaman and have me scrubbing the deck till I’m old and gray! So if you will excuse us Mr. Morton…" And with that she hustled Dr. Beckman through the control room and down the corridor. They made it out just in time. The Captain and the Admiral came

down and ordered the deck cleared. Within minutes they were ready to dive.

"Take her down Mr. Morton. Level off at 200 feet. All ahead at flank speed and resume silent running until further orders. Let’s head for Pearl Harbor."

"Aye Captain."

"Lee I’m going to the missile room and check on our cargo and then I’m going to my cabin."

"Yes Sir." With that Harry left the Control Room.

"Chip you have the Conn. I’m going down to Sick Bay for a few minutes."

"Going to read her the riot act are you.." Chip grinned.

"You got that right. Turn about is fair play as they say…"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

When Lee arrived at Sickbay Jenny was sitting on the exam table. Jamie had just finished checking her vitals and for any injuries she might have sustained.

"Well, how is she Doc? Think she’ll live? Hmm, not when the Admiral and I get through with her!"

"Oh Captain Crane. Yes Sir…they are both fine." Just then Dr. Beckman came out of the small examining room. He walked over to her.

"Oh Commander, may I have a word with you?"

"Yes, Doctor what’s on your mind."

"I ah, well I…just wanted to thank you for saving my life. I was wrong about you. Whoever penned the phase, "You can’t judge a book by its cover" is right, you can’t… and I’m sorry I misjudged you." He was actually apologizing to her.

She was amazed. "Your welcome Doctor Beckman and apology accepted." He turned to Jamie and Lee.

"If it’s alright I would like to go to the missile room so I can check on the condition of the satellite."

Jamie replied, "Yes, you’re free to go Dr. Beckman."

"Thank you." He nodded to Crane as he left.

Lee then turned towards Jenny. "Uh, oh…here it comes.."

"Jennifer Crane…..what made you do a fool hardy thing like that? Do you know you could’ve been badly hurt or heaven forbid you could have drowned? What would I have told our mother then?"

Lee was scolding her like she was a child again.

Defensively she retorted, "He was screaming that he couldn’t swim and well…somebody had to save his miserable hide!

They both just shook their heads. Jamie put his hand on her shoulder. "OK young lady, you’re free to go. You were lucky this time."

With a grim look on her face, "Thanks Jamie. I may be back though…. I have orders to report to the Admirals cabin. He was none too happy with me."

"Oh my, well, you better get going," Doc responded.

"Would you like me to walk with you Sis?" offered Lee.

"Oh, sure…sorta like Dead Man Walking? No, thank you very much! I know the way!" She scowled at Lee and went out the door.

Jamie grinned at the Captain, " Do you think she learned her lesson?"

"Lee chuckled and said, "I doubt it!"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Lee returned to the Control Room. Chip was standing at the plotting table and noticed Lee coming towards him with a ridiculous grin on his face.

"I take it you gave her a hard time?"

"Sure did Chip…Doc did too. And as we speak she’s probably getting a dressing down from the Admiral."

Chip winced, "Ooh, glad I’m not in her shoes!"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

She walked down the corridor to Officers Country and stopped at his door. Taking a deep breath, she knocked and waited.

"Come in."

"She opened the door and entered. Harry was working on a pile of papers.

He looked up and saw that it was Jenny. He slammed his pen down on the desk and stood up and started yelling.

"Jennifer Crane, would you mind telling me what in blazes possessed you to do a foolhardy thing like that? Do you know what could’ve happened? Well, what do you have to say for yourself?"

"Well…Sir…I heard someone yell for help. Then I saw it was Dr. Beckman. Well, even though he’s annoying and obnoxious, somebody had to save him!"

Harry walked around his desk, his facial expression softened, put his hands on her shoulders and looked deep into her brown eyes. "Woman, you knocked about 5 years off my life with that little stunt. Don’t ever do that again!"

She could only reply, "Yes Sir, I’ll try not to." With that he drew her to him and held her close for a few seconds. " Hmmm, guess Lee was right!" smiling inwardly.

He released his embrace and took a step back. "See to it that you do. There’s something else I want to discuss with you. " He walked back to his chair and sat down. He motioned her to sit also.

"I’ve taken some steps to hiring a new captain. I want to offer the job to Lee. Do you think he’d take it?"

"Oh Admiral, he’d take it in a heartbeat. It’s a wonderful idea. The men already work well with him."

"Good. I’m waiting for a message from Navy HQs…Let’s go down to the Observation Nose and wait for a reply. We deserve a little break.

"Aye Sir…with pleasure." With that they both got up and headed out the door.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Jenny went on to the Nose while the Admiral stopped at the plotting table to check you their position.

"Lee, any further sign of trouble?"

"No Admiral…all quiet. I just cancelled silent running. I don’t think we’ll have anymore trouble."

"I agree. Let’s surface and cut speed to two thirds. It will give the reactors time to cool down a bit. Oh, when you have time, come and join us in the observation nose.

"Aye Sir. I’ll be there in a few minutes."

Harry descended the spiral staircase and walked over to join Jenny at the windows. She was gazing out at the glistening sea lost in thought.

"I never tire of this view," he said as he stood beside her.

"Neither do’s so calming and peaceful," she answered. Breaking her concentration, she turned to him and asked, "Are you still mad at me?"

"No Jenny, I was never mad…you just had me scared to death."

"I’m sorry, I didn’t stop to think about the consequences but you know I would’ve done it for anyone. Why, even if it had been Admiral Starke!"

Harry chuckled. "Yes, I know you would. What a sight that would be." He then changed the subject. "How does having dinner served here in the observation nose tonight sound to you? It would be a pleasant change from the Ward Room."

Smiling, she answered, "That would be very nice…and maybe we’ll be treated to a beautiful sunset as an added bonus."

"Good it's settled. I'll go let 'Cookie' know of the change."

Harry was informing the Galley where to serve dinner when Lee came down and joined them. He walked over to his sister. Trying to keep a stern look on his face he said, "You know I had to lecture you don’t you? As Captain I had to…."

"Oh horse pucky…it was payback time…wasn’t it? And you enjoyed it every moment of it didn’t you?"

Breaking into a huge smile, "Immensely!"

"You just wait…I’ll get you…when you least expect it"

Sparks entered the room with a message and handed it to Captain Crane.

"For you Sir."

"Thanks Sparks." Lee commenced to read it. A look of utter surprised crossed his face.

"Problem Lee?"

"It’s a message from Navy HQ…I’ve been discharged!!!" Lee didn’t understand.

A sneaky look came over the Admirals face, "Well you can’t be become permanent captain of the Seaview if you’re still on active duty now can you?"

Lee was speechless. "No Admiral, I guess not… smiling he replied, "Well, since you twisted my arm…I accept. Thank you."

"No, it’s I that thanks you Lee!" Harry replied.

"Welcome to the Seaview family Lee," as Jenny gave him a hug.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Dr. Beckman had finished his work and joined them in the Nose. As ordered, supper was served in the observation nose. "Cookie" was a superb cook. Of course, the Admiral always hires the best. The sunset Jenny hoped for was absolutely beautiful.

Dr. Beckman turned to Lee. "Captain Crane, I hear you are now the permanent Captain of the Seaview. Congratulations Commander Crane."

"Yes I did accept the Admiral's offer and thank you." Lee politely responding.

"What time will we arrive at Pearl Harbor tomorrow Captain?"

"We should be there about 1000 hours. There will be a car waiting to take you to the dock where the USS Houston is waiting. I know you’re anxious to get the data and the satellite back to NASA."

"Yes I am. If you will excuse me it’s been a rather tiring day. I’m going to say good night and turn in early."

"Good night Doctor," chimed Harry.

After spending a couple hours of reminiscing about the good old days when the Admiral had taught classes at Annapolis and the mischief Cadet Lee Crane and Cadet Charles Morton got them into, they realized it was getting very late.

Jenny rose from her chair stifling a yawn, "Well, I don’t know about you gentlemen, but I’m awfully tired. I’m going to turn in. Good night." She rose from her chair and headed towards the spiral stairs.

Harry, rising from his chair said, "Wait and we’ll go with you."

As they entered the Control Room Lee said, "You go on ahead, I’ll be there in a minute." He made one final check on their course and speed. Sprinting up the stairs he then caught up with Jenny and the Admiral. Chip had already gone to his cabin. They stopped in front of Lee’s door. Putting her hand on his arm, she smiled. "Congratulations Lee. Now I won’t have to worry so much about your whereabouts!"

Laughing, he said, "Good night Sis."

Harry escorted her to her cabin. He hesitated for a few seconds then gave her a quick peck on the cheek. "Good night Jennifer."

Standing in the doorway of her cabin, she gazed into his sparkling blue eyes and responded, "Good night Harriman," and then closed the door.Upon entering his cabin his thoughts turned to how much he loved her and what he was going to do about it.


§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


It was 0950 hours and Seaview would be arriving at Pearl Harbor within a few minutes. The Admiral and Jenny had helped Dr. Beckman get his precious cargo ready to be transferred to the carrier that was waiting to take him to Los Angeles.

"Well, Doctor, we’ll be docking in a few minutes. Do you have everything you need?

"Yes, Admiral. The satellite is secure for unloading and I have all the information safely tucked away, " as he patted his briefcase. He glanced over at Jenny and continued, "I’ve learned quite a lot on this mission. Thank you."

His statement surprised the Admiral. He simply replied, "Your welcome Dr. Beckman." As he looked out the windows, the docking procedures were being completed. Captain Crane ordered Chief Jones to crack the hatch.

Lee came forward and said, "Dr. Beckman are you ready to go? They’re waiting for you topside." He turned and said good bye to everyone and left.

"Well, I think a few days of shore leave is in order, don’t you agree Captain?"

"Yes Sir, I agree totally… and so did the cheering seamen.


§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


Most of the crew and officers had left the boat. Lee, Chip, Jenny and the Admiral were still on board. Lee and Chip were finishing up reports and would be going ashore later.

Jenny had gone to her cabin and changed into a lavender flowered dress. She wanted to do some sight seeing. "I’ve got to talk to Harry. It’s now or never," she decided. So taking a deep breath she knocked on the Admiral’s door.

She heard the familiar, "come in." As she entered she asked, "Are you ready to go ashore Admiral?" There he was, sitting at his desk, pen in hand and working on a pile of papers.

"I thought shore leave meant everyone Admiral? You included."

He didn’t look up as he answered, "Oh, maybe later. I need to finish these reports."

"Admiral, it’s a beautiful sunny day. I know you could use from fresh air."

Impulsively, she walked over to the side of the desk, took the pen out of his hand, laid it down and closed the folder of reports.

"Just what do you think you’re doing Comman…" at that moment he looked up and saw how beautiful she was in her flowing sundress. She reached down and took his hand and looked him in the eyes, "No more reports… I want you to come with me… I need to talk to you about something that’s been on my mind for a long time."

Her touch was electrifying. He stood up and they took a few steps towards the door. He hesitated, quickly pulled her to him and kissed her passionately. After a few moments he took a step back. "And what is it you want to talk to me about Commander?"

"Funny, I can’t seem to remember now."

"Hmm, maybe I can refresh your memory," and kissed her again. Just then they heard a noise at the door. It was Lee.

"Oh pardon me Admiral but you know that is my sister you’re kissing."

Jenny gave him a "go away" look out of the corner of her eye and with one kick of her foot promptly shut the door in his face. He laughed to himself all the way to the Control Room where Chip was waiting to go ashore. "Boy, wait till he hears about this!"

Chip was impatiently checking his watch when he saw Lee. He noticed he was smiling from ear to ear. Raising an eyebrow he said, "What did you do to Jenny this time."

"I didn’t do anything," replying innocently. "Let’s get going and then I’ll tell you all about it."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


She had been waiting in the Nose for him only a few minutes. He had changed into a white short-sleeved turtleneck and navy Dockers.

"Are you ready to go? I thought we would go have some lunch. I know a little café not far from here."

"That sounds wonderful. I’m famished. Oh, I wrote Lee a note and told him where we were going. I slid it under his door."

"You did?" He said with a grin. "So did I."

As they climbed up the hatch ladder they both thought to themselves what they had written. " Lee, went sightseeing… don’t wait up!"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


They had a quiet lunch outside on the shaded patio of a little place appropriately called Ocean View Café.

"This is a lovely place. I’m glad you brought me here. The view is beautiful."

"Yes, very." He was pretending to look at the ocean. Actually his gaze was on her. "Yes, very beautiful indeed."

When they left the café he took hold of her hand and started to walk down the palm-shaded sidewalk. "Where would you like to go now?"

"I would really like to go the USS Arizona to pay my respects and leave some flowers."

"That sounds like a wonderful idea. There’s a flower stand up ahead. We’ll get some and then head there.

They walked up and Jenny picked up a bouquet of carnations. Harry spied some fragrant red roses. He plucked one from the container and paid the lady for their purchase. They walked away and hailed a cab. He helped her in and shut the door after himself.

"Where to?"

"The USS Arizona Memorial."

He then turned to Jenny and handed her his rose. "One American Beauty deserves another."

"Oh Harry, it’s lovely. Thank you."

The ride was short. They left the cab and started down the steps. They stood a few moments in reflection and tossed the flowers in the water then moved on to the wall listing all the names of fallen sailors and officers alike. Spending over an hour they decided to walk down the street. They browsed in several little antique shops along the way. Growing tired they stopped and had a cool drink. They hadn’t paid any attention to time.

"All this sightseeing has made me hungry. Let’s go have some supper. Any suggestions?" Harry inquired.

"Well, I would like to take a walk along the beach first. I need to talk to you and then we can eat.

"Let’s see. There is a place called Paradise Cove. It’s right along the beach

and they have wonderful food.. music and dancing."

Giving him a playful look, "I see…sounds like you’ve been there before."

"A few times."

"Oh, anyone I know?"

Caught off guard by her question he answered, "Well….ah, no I don’t think so!"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


They found a fairly private part of the beach. Hand in hand, they started walking in the white sand along the shoreline. A gentle warm breeze blowing in over the ocean. There was a silence between them. Each trying to figure out how to share the feelings they have for each other.

Jenny stopped. Harry immediately turned to her. "Something wrong?"

"Harry…" She looked up into his eyes, took a deep breath and said, "Harry, I love you… so very much. I’ve wanted to tell you for so long but I was frightened."

Pulling her close, "Why, Jenny?" He could feel her heart pounding.

"I was afraid that you would tell me it was just a crush, that you were too old for me…or you didn’t feel the same way. It would’ve hurt too much."

Holding her tightly he kissed her tenderly several times. "Oh Jenny, I’ve been such a fool. I too was afraid to tell you because of the difference in our ages, and maybe you wouldn’t want an older man."

"Oh Harry, I…"

Looking deep in her dark brown eyes, " I love you Jennifer Crane. I love you with all my heart, ever since the day you became my assistant."

Smiling back at the handsome face before her, "It seems we both had the same problem. Lee told me that everyone else could see how we felt. Said it was written all over our faces. He always did seem to know what was on my mind."

They started walking again and came upon a rock formation. "Oh, the sun is starting to set. Let’s sit on those rocks for awhile and watch. Looks like is gonna be a beauty." He found a flat set of them and helped her up and sat down. They sat there holding each other, watching the brilliant colors dance across the sky and fade into dusk.

Jenny sighed, " That was the most gorgeous sunset I’ve ever seen… maybe it’s because of who I’m watching it with."

Harry laughed, "Well, you’re probably right. "

He kissed her again, stood up and took her hand. "Are you ready to go and have supper?"

She stood up. "Yes, I’m starving. Guess love does that to a person." They both laughed.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


Walking slowly back towards the restaurant, both feeling like they were on Cloud Nine. Harry abruptly stopped, turned and looked into her eyes.

"Jenny, I don’t want you to be my assistant anymore. I.." He saw the color drain from her face. "Way to go Harriman, that didn’t come out right."

She felt like her world had just collapsed. Pulling her hand from his and her voice trembling, asked, "What did you say?"

He took both of her hands in his, "Sweetheart, let me finish. I want you to be my wife. I’m asking you to marry me."

Realizing she'd been holding her breath, she let out a sigh of relief. She threw her arms around his neck and kissing him several times answered, "Oh Harriman, Yes!

Yes, I would love to marry you!"


§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


They made their way back to the restaurant. Harry requested a quiet little corner table where they could sit and discuss their wedding plans and how they would break the news to Lee and everyone else. They dined on lobster tails and champagne to celebrate. Music had begun to play and couples were making their way to the dance floor.

Over and over I look in your eyes,

You are all I desire,

You have captured me,

I want to hold you, I want to be close to you…

"Would you like to dance?"

"Why Admiral, I’d love to."

He led her out to the floor. Holding her close, he kissed her tenderly and started to move with the music.

Could I hold you for a lifetime?

Could I look into your eyes?

Could I have this night to share, this night together?

Could I hold you close beside me?

Could I hold you for all time?

Could I, could I have this kiss forever?

As they danced, nothing else mattered. It was as if everything and everyone had disappeared and they were the only two people there. They had each other and that was all that counted.


I don’t want any night to go by,

Without you by my side,

I just want all my days,

Spent being next to you,

Lived for just loving you and baby oh by the way…


As they were dancing, they did not see Lee and Chip enter and sit at a table across the room. Chip had noticed the couples dancing. One in particular caught his eye. They looked familiar. Some were moving over to the side in order to watch the couple dancing in the center of the floor. He nudged Lee in the arm.

"Look at the couple over there dancing."

"Which one? There are several of them."

"The one in the middle. Do they look familiar to you?"

Lee looked and did a double take. "Chip, I don’t believe it. That’s Jenny and the Admiral! I recognize the dress she’s wearing. So that’s why we haven’t heard from them all day.

"Wanna take bets as to who is going to be your new brother-in-law?"

Lee looked at Chip and chuckled, "No bets needed. I already know."

They sat watching them as the song was coming to an end.

Could I hold you close beside me?

Could I hold you for all time?

Could I have this kiss forever?

All the couples stopped dancing except for Harry and Jenny. All of a sudden they realized that the music had stopped. Everyone was looking at them and clapping. Acknowledging the other couples they went back to their table.

As they sat and finished their champagne, Harry stopped and asked her, "How does the idea of eloping sound to you?"

"Elope? Nothing would make me happier. Do you have a date in mind?"

"How about tomorrow?"

She almost choked on her drink. She could've sworn he said tomorrow.


"You heard me right…..tomorrow."

"But we need to get a license…rings…what about Edith? Lee? We leave for Santa Barbara day after tomorrow."

With a twinkle in his eye he replied, "I have a good friend who happens to be a judge and owes me a favor. I’m sure he would be happy to help us out."

Shaking her head, "I should have guessed."

Second, I saw a lovely little jewelry shop just up the street and before you say you need a dress you can get one in the morning. Third, I’m sure everyone will under stand. I don’t want to waste anymore time to start our new life together. "

She leaned over the table and kissed him. " OK, Harry.. I’d love to marry you tomorrow. We better head back to Seaview. We have a big day ahead of us." He motioned for the waiter, paid the bill and they headed out into the moonlit night.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Lee and Chip kept themselves hidden as the two of them left. Chip raised an eyebrow.

"Do you think they saw us?"

"No, Lee chuckled. I don’t think they saw anything or anybody."

Relief crossed Chip’s face. "Whew…Good! I wouldn’t want them thinking we were spying on them. The thought of being keelhauled or swabbing the deck the rest of my career sends shivers down my spine."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

It was 2300 hours. Their taxi pulled up to the main gates of the Naval Complex. Harry helped Jenny out and then paid the driver. Slowly they walked down the dock to where Seaview lay waiting for them. They entered the embarkation hatch and climbed down the ladder. The Control Room was dimly lit and deserted, except for security. Making their way to the Observation Nose, they stood in front of her windows in silence, holding each other, watching how the moonlight played upon the sea and the stars dancing in the sky like sparkling diamonds.

"Oh Harry, I wish this moment would never end. You holding me here on Seaview, gazing at the sea in the moonlight. It’s so beautiful."

"Yes, so do I, but it’s beauty comes up short next to you."

"Why, Admiral Nelson, I bet you tell that to all the girls." she teased.

Harry guffawed, "Not anymore sweetheart, not anymore! Well, we better turn in. It’s past midnight and we have to get up early. "

They headed towards Officer’s Country. Standing at her cabin door, he gently kissed her. "Sweet dreams Jennifer."

"Good night Harriman. I love you." She entered her cabin. He then went to his door, stood there for a few seconds and reflected on what a fortunate man he truly was.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


A ringing sound was interrupting her dream. She was dreaming that she had just married the Admiral. When she fully awoke she realized that her dream was going to become reality today. She reached and turned off the alarm. It was 0730 hours. Better get up and get dressed. They had a lot to do today. "I wonder what Lee will say when he finds out?" A mischievous grin crossed her face. "It will serve him right. That’s what he gets for yelling at me in Sickbay."

Just as she had finished getting ready there was a knock at her door. She opened it to find Harry standing there.

"Are you ready to go?

"Yes, I am. We can leave a note on the plotting table. Lee or Chip will find it."

"Fine. Let’s go get some breakfast and then we can go talk to Judge Wilson."

They made their way to the Control Room. To their surprise Lee was already there, going over some papers.

"Admiral, Jenny. Where are you two off to so early?"

"Ah, we’re going for breakfast. Then do some more sightseeing, shopping... you know, the usual things a person does on shore leave." Jenny felt like she had been just caught coming home late from a date and had to quickly come up with a good excuse.

"Oh, well, ok. Have a good time."

"Thanks big brother. See you later."

Harry chimed in. "Bye Lee. Take care of Seaview while we’re gone."

"Aye, Sir." Lee knew that sneaky look on his sister’s face. Those two were up to something and he was going to find out what it was. Just then Chip entered the room.

"Morning Lee. Anything special you want to do today? O’Brien is on Forenoon Watch and Henderson is on Afternoon Watch. We can go to the beach, go scuba diving…" Chip noticed that Lee was not paying attention to him. "Or we can go pick up some chicks?"

"Wha …what did you say?"

"Well, that got your attention! I said what do you want to do today?"

"Chip, we’re going on a spy mission. My sister and the Admiral are up to something and I want to know what it is."

"YOU WANNA DO WHAT? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?" Chip shook his head in disbelief. "Are you trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records for having the shortest stint as captain of a submarine in history?"

Lee glared at him. "I’m going find out what they’re up to and you are going to help me. Go change into your civvies and meet me here in 15 minutes."

Chip swallowed hard. "I was afraid that’s what you were going to say!"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

As they sat and finished their breakfast in the quaint corner café, Harry took out his cell phone and called his friend, Judge Arthur Wilson.

"Arthur, Harry Nelson here. Do you have a few minutes this morning to see me?

I need you to do me a favor… well, I’d rather tell you in person. Your office in an hour?"

That will be fine. See you then." He turned off his phone and put it back into his shirt pocket.

"We better get going. We don’t have much time." They grabbed a cab and told the driver to head downtown to the courthouse.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Lee and Chip saw the two of them get into the cab as they were walking down the sidewalk.

Lee elbowed Chip in the arm. "Chip hail that cab over there..

"Lee, are you sure you want to do this?"

"YES, I’m sure… get the cab, I don’t want to lose them." Chip gave the driver a wave and he pulled up and they got in.

Lee urged the driver, "See that cab turning ahead of us? Follow it until the couple in it gets out. But don’t get too close."

The driver acknowledged and pulled away from the curb.

Lee and Chip saw the cab pull up to the courthouse and leave Harry and Jenny out. Lee had their driver stop several yards away. They left the cab and started walking towards the steps. Lee stopped.

"Now why would they be going into the courthouse?

"Duh Lee, don’t you get MARRIAGE LICENSES at a court house? Chip threw him a "how dense can you be look."

"What? Lee was at a loss for words. "She wouldn’t get married and not tell me…would she?"

"She’s your sister, what do you think? What was is she said about paybacks being a…"

"She would wouldn’t she!"

"Yep, I’m afraid so Lee."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Upon entering Judge Wilson’s office, he rose and shook Nelson’s hand.

"Hello Harry, nice to see you. It’s been awhile."

"Hello Arthur, good to see you too. Arthur, I want you to meet someone." He took her hand in his as she took a few steps to his side. "This is Commander Jennifer Crane."

"A pleasure to meet you Judge Wilson."

"Please, have a seat and call me Arthur."

"Thanks. Arthur, I need a big favor. I need you cut through some legal red tape and rush some paperwork for me.

"What kind of paperwork Harry?"

"Well, a marriage license. Jenny and I want to get married this evening. We decided to elope before Seaview heads back to Santa Barbara tomorrow morning. Arthur, would you be able to perform the ceremony for us?"

"Why Harry, I thought I’d never see the day! I would be honored to marry you and Jennifer. We can do it here in my office…"

Jenny interrupted. "I would really love it if we could have the ceremony on a secluded part of the beach at sunset. Is that possible?"

Judge Wilson smiled. "Of course. That sounds like a perfect setting…I have an idea. Why don’t you come to my beachfront home tonight. We’ll have it there. He wrote down the address and handed it to Harry.

"That would be wonderful Arthur. Thanks, I owe you one."

"No Harry the pleasure is all mine! You deserve all the happiness in the world. I’ll take the license home with me so you won’t have to come back here. Why don’t you come to the house around 6:00 p.m. That way we can get all the legal stuff out of the way. Now, I just need some information and I can get the ball rolling."

After about 20 minutes of filling out forms they were ready to leave.

"Thanks again, Arthur. See you tonight."

"Bye Harry.. Jennifer."

They left his office and headed out the main doors. She slipped her arm through his as they made their way down the steps and stopped.

"There’s a jewelry store just up the street. Shall we check it out and see if anything catches our eye?"

She kissed him and smiled, "Let’s go."

As they walked Jenny uttered, "Harry, I get the strangest feeling that someone is watching us."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Lee and Chip saw them come out of the building. Following at a distance they watched them enter the store. Lee made Chip peer into the window to see what they were doing.

Chip moved back to where Lee was standing and clapped his hand on his shoulder. "Well old buddy, guess this confirms it. They’re in there looking at wedding rings."

Lee felt dejected. "I don’t believe it! She’s actually going to get married and not tell me until it’s over. My only sister, not inviting me to her wedding. Since our dad is gone, I had always assumed I would walk her down the aisle."

Chip tried to think of something to say to make him feel better. "Well, look on the bright side. You’re not losing a sister, you’re gaining a brother-in-law that just happens to be an Admiral…and your boss!"

Lee looked at him and glared. "Oh thanks, now THAT makes me feel a whole lot better."


§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

They had looked at just about everything the jeweler had and then she spied them. A pair of diamond cut white gold bands, engraved with two small hearts linked together, just like their lives would be, together forever. They were perfect. "Harry, I want those," as she pointed to them in the case. The jeweler took them out. He sat the small box on top of the case so they could exam them. They were beautiful, even the right sizes.

Harry handed them to the clerk. "We’ll take these."

"Excellent choice."

With their purchase completed, they left the store and stood on the sidewalk for a moment. While they were deciding where to go for lunch. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed two slender figures duck behind the corner of the building. Someone was following them! Why would anyone follow…It couldn’t be Lee, he wouldn’t…yes, he would…and drag Chip along with him in the process!

"Harry, someone is following us. Let’s go up to the next building, go around the corner and wait for them to show themselves."

"What makes you think someone is following us?"

"Trust me….and I know who it is."

They walked a short distance turned left, and then stood in a doorway. Their wait was not long.

"Come on Chip, they went this way. I don’t want to….


Some kind of ONI agent he was. In all the missions he had been on he always managed to elude capture. Now he’d been caught… by his own sister no less. She scared him half to death by jumping out in front of him, let alone poor Chip. He looked like he was about to have a heart attack.

Harry injected, "Yes, Captain I would like to hear your explanation also."

He went on the defensive. "I knew that you were up to something… you had that look on your face that you used to get when you would come in late from a date and mom would catch you. You were going to get married and not tell me weren’t you?" She could see the hurt look in his eyes.

She turned to Harry and said, Let’s go somewhere and have lunch. We can tell them what we’re planning. OK?"

One look into those big brown eyes and he could refuse her nothing. Smiling he answered, "Alright sweetheart, there’s an Italian restaurant not far from here that’s excellent. Sound good to everyone?"

"That’s fine Sir," was the reply in unison.

"Good, let’s get a cab."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

While they sat and waited for their meals to be served, Harry spoke first.

"Lee, you’re right. I asked Jenny to marry me and she said yes. We agreed we didn’t want to wait and decided to elope before we head back to Santa Barbara. I’m sorry we didn’t tell you."

"I’m sorry too Lee. Would you consider giving me away…. please?"

Flashing her an immense smile, "I’d be happy to Sis," and gave her a peck on the cheek.

Harry looked at his XO. "Chip, would you be my best man?"

"I’d be honored Admiral, thank you."

Harry wrote down the address for Judge Wilson’s home and handed it to Lee. "Here, we need to be there at 1900 hours. The ceremony is at sunset on the beach…Jenny’s idea."

Lee couldn't resist teasing her. "No big surprise there."

"Very funny." She reached over and smacked his arm. Just then the waiter arrived with the delectable dishes.

As they were savoring their meals, Jenny decided that she would make her brother go shopping with her. "Oh Lee, there’s one more thing I need to do and you can help me with it."

"What’s that?"

"I need to buy a new dress. Shouldn’t take long."

Lee started coughing and quiet snickering was heard. Replying with an innocent look upon her face, "Now Lee you KNOW Harry can’t go with me…

It’s bad luck for the groom to see the dress before the wedding!"


§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


They only had a few hours until they needed to leave for Judge Wilson’s house. Jenny had dragged Lee into several dress shops. She couldn’t find anything she liked. This was the 4th shop and Lee looked like he’d rather be on an ONI mission getting shot at than be here with her. "That's what he gets for spying on me!" smiling to herself.. Finally, she found the perfect dress. Five minutes later they left the dress shop.

Lee looked at his watch. "Thank goodness that’s over!" They had just enough time to go back to Seaview and change into his dress blues. "Anything else you need Sis?" He was praying the answer was no.

"All done. Guess we better get going." Lee hailed a cab and instructed the driver to take them to the Naval Complex.

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Upon arriving at the dock they saw the Admiral, already in his dress blues, waiting for them. Chip had just pulled up with a car from the motor pool.

As he was getting out of the car he flashed Lee an innocent look. "What took you so long? We thought something happened to you two," knowing full well that dress shopping isn’t a quick five minute deal.

Lee frowned at him as he walked towards the hatch replying, "I’ll tell you later. I need to go below and get changed."

The Admiral was impatiently pacing beside the Mercedes he had procured from the motor pool. "Jenny, we need to get going."

She handed him her dress. "Harry, I’ll be right back. I just need to get a few things from my cabin. I’m sure Judge Wilson won’t mind me changing there." With that she disappeared down the hatchway.

A few minutes later Jenny emerged from the hatchway. "All set."

He helped her into the car, walked around the front of the car to the driver’s side. Before he got in the car he said, "Oh Lee, before you go, we are leaving now so we can take care of the paperwork. Do you still have the address and directions I gave you?"

"Yes, Admiral."

"Good. You and Chip just make sure you are there by 1900 hours." See you then." He got in and the two of them drove off.

Chip sat in the car and waited for Lee. Twenty minutes later he emerged from Seaview. He saw Chip sitting behind the wheel and walked around to the passenger side and got in.

"Chip, I want to make a quick stop before we go the Judge Wilson’s."

"Sure Lee, Where to?"

"I’ll tell you as your driving. Let’s go."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

As Arthur handed the papers to Harry said, "That should do it, all signed and legal. We can perform the ceremony anytime you’re ready."

"We decided to have two witnesses. My brother and our XO." Exchanging a quick gaze with Harry, "They stumbled onto our plans…literally."

"That’s fine. I’ll inform Margaret to show them in as soon as they arrive." He then left the room."

Jenny was pacing the room, something she did when she was nervous. "Not getting cold feet are you?" teasing her.

She stopped and turned, seeing the wry smile on his face answered, "No Harriman, how about yours? Are they cold?" Walking over to her he slipped his arms around her waist and passionately kissed her. "Hmm, definitely not."

Just then the door opened. It was Margaret. "Excuse me Admiral, Captain Crane and Lt. Commander Morton are here." She stepped aside and let them enter the room.

"We’re not late are we?" inquired Lee.

"No, you’re right on time. Arthur, I want you to meet Jenny’s brother and Captain of the Seaview, Commander Lee Crane and our XO Chip Morton. Gentlemen this is Judge Arthur Wilson." Shaking Lee’s hand and then Chip’s he replied, "It’s a pleasure to meet you both.

Jenny decided she better get ready. "Oh Margaret, is there somewhere I can change?

"Of course, if you would come with me. We’ll get you fixed up in a jiffy. Don’t worry about a thing!" Margaret loved to fuss over everybody. Jenny picked up her things and followed her. She quickly turned and gave him a captivating smile and said,

"Wanna meet me on the beach in 15 minutes sailor?"

"Just try and stop me woman!" He watched her leave the room. Never in his wildest dreams did he think it possible to love someone as much as he loves her at this moment.

As Lee and Chip were helping themselves to some ice tea, Arthur noticed a look on Harry’s face that he hadn’t seen in years. He went and stood beside him.

"Harry, something wrong?"

"Wrong? Heavens no! Quietly he said, "Arthur, I never dreamed it possible to be this happy. I thought I was destined to live the rest of my life alone. Then my life changed the day she walked into my office. One look at that beautiful face and I knew. Oh, I didn’t want to admit it. Kept telling myself that she wouldn’t want an older man. I wasted a lot of precious time not telling her sooner. She’s intelligent, funny …and her love make’s me feel young again."

He put his hand on Harry’s shoulder. "You deserve it Harry and don’t you forget it. Seeing the way she looks at you, I can see the feeling is mutual." Arthur looked at his watch. "Well it’s time we got these two married. Shall we?"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

The Admiral, Judge Wilson and Chip headed for the beach and left Lee behind to wait for Jenny. He was pacing like a nervous cat. "Don’t know why I’m nervous, I’m not the one getting married!" Just then the door opened.

It was Margaret smiling ear to ear. "She’s a beautiful bride, don’t you think so Captain?"

The dress she had picked out was a princess style in a pale shade of Lavender crepe and white Chantilly lace. Her velvety brown hair was drawn behind her ears and a small lily tucked above the left one. As she turned in a circle in front of him she asked, " Well, what do you think?"

He was speechless. For a moment he drifted back to what seemed not so long ago, that his little sister was running around in pigtails, following him every where like a puppy. Now she stood before him, a beautiful grown woman, about to be married.

"Oh Sis, you look absolutely gorgeous."

"Thanks Benjie." She reached out and took his right hand, "Are you ready to give your sister away?"

"I’ll will never give you away, but I will share you with the man you want to spend your life with," teasing her.

"Well, let’s go. We don’t want to keep him waiting…he tends to get a little impatient."

"Oh, you think so do you?"

"I know so…trust me."

They left the room and went out onto the patio. The sun was starting to set and it was going to be perfect. She put her arm through Lee’s and walked towards the men that were waiting for them along the shoreline. As they drew closer she felt the love and passion coming from his eyes, embracing her. She now knew marrying Harriman Nelson was her destiny. She loved him with all her being. They stopped for a moment and Lee asked, "Jennifer, are you sure?"

"Oh, yes Lee, very sure." He kissed her on the cheek and took her right hand and placed it in Harry’s left.

"All I ask Admiral is that you make her happy."

"For the rest of my life Lee, for the rest of my life."

They turned and faced Judge Wilson. Smiling at them he said, "Shall we begin? Captain Crane, you stand next to Jennifer and Lt. Commander Morton next to the Admiral."

"I am honored to be asked to perform the ceremony to unite these two special people in holy matrimony. I’ve known Harry for many years and I am pleased that he has found someone that will give him untold joy for the rest of his life. I know that he will return it twice fold to you Jennifer. Harry, take Jennifer’s hands and repeat after me. I Harriman…"

Gazing deep into her eyes and into her soul, "I Harriman, take you Jennifer, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health till death we do part."


"I Jennifer, take you Harriman, to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health till death we do part."

"The rings please." Chip dug into his pocket, pulled out the box, opened it and handed them to the Judge Wilson. He held them in the palm of his hand and Harry took the smaller one. "Place it on her left hand."

Still holding her hand gently slipped it on, " Jennifer, with this ring I thee wed."

She then took his ring, slipping it on his finger, "Harriman with this ring I thee wed."

"By the power invested to me by the state of Hawaii, I now pronounce you husband and wife… and you may kiss the bride!"

Cradling her face in his hands and wiping the tears from her cheeks with his thumbs, "I love you, then softly kissed her."

They turned to see Lee and Chip grinning ear to ear. They each took turns shaking the Admiral’s hand and holding and kissing the bride. Her dream had just become reality.

Arthur injected, "I would also like to congratulate the bride if I may.." and gave her a hug. "Let’s go back up to the patio, I had Margaret put a bottle of champagne on ice. Can’t have a celebration without it!"

After several hours of conversation, champagne toasting, picture taking and cake cutting Lee informed Chip that it was 2100 hours. They needed to get back to the base and make sure everything was in order for the cruise back to Santa Barbara in the morning. As they were leaving he said, "Oh Jenny, here’s our wedding present to you both," and handed her a key.

"What’s this for?"

"It’s for the Bridal Suite at the Ala Moana Hotel. We didn’t want you to have to spend your wedding night aboard Seaview…wouldn’t be very private."

"Oh Lee, I’m speechless… thank you, thank you both!"

Before walking out the door, "Oh Admiral, I left a wake up call for you.

Wouldn’t want you two to be late and left standing on the dock with no way to get home!"

"Very funny Captain."

"See you both tomorrow…bright and early," he said with a grin. "Let’s go Chip."

Judge Wilson escorted them to the front door. Shaking Lee’s hand and then Chip’s he said, "Good night gentlemen. It was a pleasure to meet the both of you."

"And you too Judge Wilson. Good night." He closed the door behind them and went back to the patio where he found Harry and Jenny getting ready to leave.

"Arthur, we need to get going also. Thank you for opening your home to us. I owe you one."

"Harry, you don’t owe me a thing. I was happy to do it. Come back anytime."

He walked them to their car and watched as they drove off. He strolled back to the house grinning to himself, "Harry Nelson, married…will wonders never cease."

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


It didn’t take them long to reach the Ala Moana. The valet quickly stepped up and opened the door to leave Jenny out while Harry came around the front of the car. "Allow me to get your luggage sir."

Giving the young man a wink, "There is no luggage son."

"No lugg…aah….yes sir, no luggage."

The doorman opened the crystal etched door as they approached. "Good evening Admiral and Mrs. Nelson. We’ve been expecting you."

As they continued walking up to the front desk, she gave him a quizzical look, "I wonder how he knew…in unison they said, "Lee."

Harry approached the desk and showed the clerk the key. "Ah yes, Admiral Nelson, your suite is ready. It’s located on the 15th floor, first door on the left and a view of the Pacific as requested by Captain Crane."

As they were going up in the elevator, she made a mental note to express her gratitude to him. He knew how they both loved to watch the ocean on a moonlit night. Lee was a true romantic at heart, even though he wouldn’t admit to it.

They exited the elevator and walked a few steps to the room. Harry opened the door. "We have to do this right." Picking her up, he carried her over the threshold.

"Harry, put me down." As he did she glanced around the room.

"Oh, my..."

The room was something out of a romance novel. A heart shaped bed with red satin sheets and spread. Lace curtains blowing gently in the ocean breeze as the moonlight danced upon the water. A single red rose lay on each of the pillows. "If this is a dream, I hope I never wake up!" They walked onto the balcony and stood for awhile listening to the sounds of the ocean waves lap along the shore. She turned and gazed into her new husband’s bright blue eyes as she loosened his tie, pulled it off of his neck and loosened the first few buttons on his shirt. "Well, Admiral Nelson what shall we do now?"

Wrapping his arms around her waist he pulled her close, feeling the rapid beat of her heart. " Well, Commander Nelson, what do you want to do?"

Looking over his shoulder replying, "Well, maybe we better try out that big bed over there…since we’re sailing at 0930 hours tomorrow morning. We need our rest you know."

"Why Jennifer, are you propositioning me?"

With a lascivious look in her eyes, "Who moi?"

"Yes, you!"

"You better believe I am."

She reached for the switch on the lamp and turned it off. The moonlight filtered into the room. "Well, guess I can't fool you. Now what?"

As they fell backward on the bed laughing, he gave her an alluring look, "Oh, I'm sure we'll think of something!"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Lee and Chip had informed the crew of the event that had taken place the night before. The crew had made sure that Admiral Nelson’s baby shone like a shiny new dime. They used spit and polish on just about every inch of Seaview and she was ready for the newlyweds to come aboard and sail home.

"Mr. Morton, status report..."

"All stations ready to set sail after the Admiral and Commander come aboard."

"Very well."

"Captain Crane, message from the main gate. They just left the Admiral’s car pass."

"Thank you Sparks."

Lee picked up the microphone. "This is the Captain. Admiral Nelson’s car just entered to complex."

"Sparks, "pass the word… all hands lay to the quarterdeck."

Every seamen and officer were in their dress uniforms. They lined the deck and gangplank facing each other waiting for the Admiral and Commander

to arrive.

"Chief Jones, all set to pipe them aboard?"

"Yes Sir…and if I may say, it’s about time they tied the knot!"


§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


Leaving the car at the motor pool, they started walking hand in hand the short distance to where Seaview was moored. He glanced at Jenny and saw she had a pensive look in her eyes.

"Something wrong sweetheart?"

"What? Oh not really. I was just wondering what everyone else is going to think of our elopement. I hope Lee and Chip didn’t broadcast it all over the ship…it’s something we should tell the crew together." They rounded the corner and Seaview came into full view.

"Well, guess we won’t have to worry about that… Look." What a sight to behold. Every crewman and officer was standing at attention waiting for them to come aboard.

Tears of joy were forming in her eyes, "Oh Harry…"

"Why are you crying?"

"Don’t you see, our ‘family’ is waiting to welcome us home, every one of them. It’s so touching."

Harry shook his head. "Women, I’ll never be able to figure them out."

As they approached the gangplank, everyone saluted and Chief Jones began to pipe them aboard.

As they saluted back, Harry asked, "Permission to come aboard Captain?"

"Permission granted, Admiral."

Congratulations were heard from every crewmember they passed. Eventually they came to the embarkation hatch. With heartfelt thank yous’ to everyone, Harry gave the order. "Gentlemen, let’s head for home!"

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Seaview’s new captain had effortlessly guided her out of the harbor and into open waters. Harry had made an excellent choice in his new captain. He knew she would be well taken care of by him…and received a new brother-in-law as a bonus! They were now 12 miles out and running topside at standard speed. Finishing his conversation with the officers, he saw his wife standing there, staring out into the Pacific, as if hypnotized by the deep blue waves. "His wife." He would never tire of those two little words. He came up behind her, put his arms around her waist and whispered in her ear, "Penny for your thoughts."

"Harry, you startled me. I was reflecting on how lucky I am to be a part of your life."

Just then the crash doors started closing. Turning around they saw Lee and Chip standing there, with huge grins on their faces. The doors were now closed, giving them all the privacy they wanted. Cradling her face in his hands he looked into her eyes. In that beautiful face gazing back at him he saw an endless flow of love. He knew in his heart that their bond would never die, no matter what.

"Are you happy Jennifer?"

"Yes Harriman, extremely happy."

"Well, when we get home we’ll look for a new …"

"Harry, your place on the Institute grounds is just fine. I don't need the proverbial two-story house and white picket fence. Wherever you are, I'm home. Wherever Seaview and the crew goes, that's home. As long as you and I are together, nothing else will matter."

Stealing a quick kiss she declared, "Face it, you’re stuck with me forever!"


"Yep, afraid so."

"Sounds heavenly."

They went back to watching the cool blue waters of the Pacific wash over Seaview as she continued her journey back to Santa Barbara.

"Umm, Harry, what are going to tell Edith when she finds out we were married?"

Running his fingers through his hair, "Edith? Oh no! I forgot to call her…I better e-mail her.. And what do we tell your mother?"

"Mom? I’ll bet money Lee already ratted on us."

Laughing he answered, "Well, we better come up with something good…let’s see, how about..."















Song: Enrique Iglesias….. Can I Have This Kiss Forever







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