Chapter 33 Ho'ao*

After a few days of recuperation, interrogations, and final paperwork filed, Doug disbanded the unit and told them they were free to continue with their daily lives. Graham and Becky announced their engagement after their official notice of no longer working together. Sammie and Jarod let the team in on their secret and almost gave Doug a coronary. He'd never put a team together that was too emotionally involved romantically and he understood why they'd kept their relationship a secret. He praised them for a job well done and each of them another shot at being field agents. They all turned it down enthusiastically and told him they'd help him again if there were truly a national emergency.

Doug left the briefing in awe of how well the team had worked together though they've only known each other for a short while. He wished he could keep them in active duty and he'd become their handler, but he knew too that forcing them would not be a good idea. At least he still had Sam left. He'd received Niles' resignation before the briefing and couldn't argue with his decision. He knew he'd grown too attached with Sammie and Jarod, and since they've already learned of his position, it was a bad idea to let him continue his assignment to keep tabs on Sammie and Jarod. Obviously, he hadn't done quite as good a job as in the beginning or did he maybe not report Sammie and Jarod's relationship on purpose to protect them. He didn't know the answer and sighed in defeat knowing that he had three of them to be assigned a new guardian. It was going to be hard since they will likely be on their guard knowing that they would be watched by the agency. He still remembered the confrontation between Jarod, Sammie and Niles shortly after Niles turned in his resignation.

"I can't believe you were spying on us. I thought you were our friend," Jarod told Niles while trying to control his anger and hurt.

"I'm sorry," Niles told them sincerely and looked at both of them. "It was not my intention to lie to you about my position, but you of all people know the rules of the agency."

"You shouldn't be too hard on Niles," Doug interjected. "He didn't report everything about the two of you otherwise I would have known you two were romantically involved. His reports were actually getting really boring and repetitive I stopped reading them altogether." He gave them a smile.

Jarod's anger receded a bit and Sammie all but forgave him.

"Listen, I was fond of you both and grew to love you as part of my family. I will understand if either of you no longer wish me to be in your life anymore, but I do hope that you forgive me and not shut me out of your life completely because of something that was beyond our control." Sammie's heart all but melted with his sentiment.

"Well, I do have one question," Jarod stated in a serious tone.

"Anything."

"Are you really gay?" Jarod asked with a huge grin on his face. He forgave him immediately because he knew that he was only doing his job and not once since they've known each other had he betrayed him personally or professionally. He'd given his all as his magazine editor and more as his friend.

Sammie chuckled and Doug let out a guffaw. The tension in the air lifted and everything was back to normal.

"Boy if I was then I'd give Sammie a run for her money. I'd have you tied around my little finger." Sammie laughed then and gave him a hug. Jarod grabbed both of them and they shared a group hug.

"Glad to know, but how are you going to act when you go back to The Bay?"

"Does that mean I get to keep my job because I'd just resigned from the Agency?"

"You bet old man. Maybe you can tell us stories on how you managed to play a gay man for over fifteen years."

Doug was happy for them, but he couldn't help but feel the loss again of great field agents. He still hadn't found anyone that compared to Jarod besides Sam and he still hadn't come across anyone that came close to the best female agent he'd ever had in his team, Sammie.

He was sorry to hear that Alex's death was because of the hate and jealousy of one woman and he told her not to blame herself about what happened. He also told her that sometimes there are things that were meant to happen and she should accept it and move on. When Doug left, Sammie only had one nagging question.

"Should I tell the kids that their dad was murdered by a cruel woman who intended to kill me and take over my life?" she asked Jarod.

"Honey, the kids have been through it once. If you tell them why, it might dredge up old hurt that should be left buried in the past. I see the way you are beating yourself up right now and I don't think you'd want the kids to go through it, do you?" She shook her head as she tried to block out the tears that threatened to fall.

"She would have planted the total stranger with Alex's face just to get back at me. How could anyone be so cruel?"

"I don't know, sweetheart. All I know is how relieved I am that the man wasn't really Alex." Sammie looked up at him questioningly. "I'm a bit selfish when it comes to you. When I saw his face I felt my world crumble before my eyes. I was thinking about how I had to let you go and it left a hollow place in my heart."

"Oh, Jarod," was all she managed to say before she kissed him thoroughly.

Since Carl was still alive, they'd questioned him on his face. He didn't have much choice but to admit to having plastic surgery. He did admit to not being able to go through with the assignment as he leered Sammie up and down. Even in jail he had the nerve to make Sammie shiver with disgust. They were just glad he was behind bars where he belonged. The other members who had survived where also put in jail while the tech team was offered positions at the agency. They confessed into breaking into the US government computers but they were told they'd been hired to do exactly what they did. Lisa had misled them into believing her company had been contracted into the covert operation to test the government computer security. They were asked why they believed her since her company was into import and export and she'd told them that it was only a front for a secret government operation. How could they not believe her with all the soldiers about?

"So, Jarod tells me that you're not really gay." Sam confronted Niles as the sat in the back patio of Jarod and Sammie's cottage. They'd decided to stay at the resort since Sam was granted a month of vacation and Jarod decided Niles didn't need to be back at work for at least a week or so. He wanted him to rest and get back his strength as well as give the drugs he'd been administered time to leave his system.

"No, unfortunately though I know you had the hots for me, I'm as straight as an arrow."

"Sam and I would still like to know how you played the gay guy for so long," Jarod yelled out by the grill. Sammie came out with the drinks and set them down on the table.

"Oh you two leave him alone. I'm sure it was an easy role for such a magnificent agent, ex-agent."

"Thank you Sammie. But really, I'd had to sneak my girlfriends in since I couldn't be seen in public with a girl. Patrick and I." he looked away somberly.

"I'm sorry about Patrick. I guess he'd been your partner for a while. I miss him too. He was a good friend as well."

"He was a great friend and a good agent. That freak of a woman caught us on our way to Crystal Springs. He'd tried to fight back, but they didn't tolerate it. They just shot him and left him to die on the side of the road. We were on our way to meet our girls. He was finally going to ask his girlfriend to marry him."

"Oh, God. Have you called them yet?"

"Yeah, I also called his family and the bureau sent some men to recover his body. They'd brought it to Arlington and will release his body to his family in a couple of days after the autopsy."

"What about your girlfriend?"

"Oh, well she never wants to speak to me again." Sammie laid a hand on his shoulders and told him everything will be okay.

Jarod and Sammie decided to gather their immediate family in Hawaii to have an authentic Hawaiian wedding before they had their church wedding. They'd called their family and asked them to join them for a week in Hawaii. The kids were excited and Tony who'd spent sleepless night worrying about his mother, Jarod and Sam was finally able to breath a sigh of relief. The agents assigned to watch them were relieved of their duties two days after the confrontation.

"So, how's Uncle Sam?" Tony asked over the phone.

"I'd let you talk to him, but he's asleep right now." They'd let Sam and Niles bunk in their cottage for the first few days since the resort was booked. It didn't give Jarod and Sammie time to be together, but Jarod understood Sammie's need to spend time with her twin. "He's doing fine now. Lots of scrapes and bruises."

"How are you and Jarod?"

"We're fine sweetie. Jarod has his shares of bruises too, but we're all okay. Did I tell you Uncle Niles is here as well?"

"Don't tell me he's one too?"

"Well, as of yesterday he's officially no longer employed with the agency. And get this, he's not really gay."

"What!? Are you serious? I would have never guessed with the way he acted." Tony let out a chuckle.

"Well, we're not sure how he's going to re-enter the world as a straight guy, but we're going to figure out a way. He'd like to stay where he's at with the paper and with our family."

"Okay, so you want us to get packed and meet you in Maui?"

"Yes, grandpa and grandma too. Jarod's plane will be taking you here then go back for the other half of Jarod's side who can't get away instantly. Will you be given time off from you part time job?"

"Well, if they don't give me the time off, I'll just quit. I can't miss my own mother's wedding now can I?"

"Are you sure it has nothing to do with it being in Hawaii and the beach full of lovely bikini clad girls?" Sammie chuckled.

"Well, there is that. But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do," he sighed as if it would take such an effort to be in Hawaii.

"Hayley will be madly jealous if you tell her that."

"Well then I won't tell her," he chuckled. "I'll let you go. I'm sure you and Jarod need your rest."

"Bye, honey. I love you."

"I love you too, mom." Sammie sighed. She hadn't heard such relief in her oldest son's voice since the whole mission began not even two weeks ago. She missed her kids so much.

Jarod wrapped his arms around her knowing how much she missed her kids. And if truth be told, he missed them too. He wondered if Sammie will ever tell them what really happened, about Lisa and their dad's look alike. But he also knew that as a parent she would try to block them out from all the ugliness in the world. He would too.

Sammie turned to return the embrace. She didn't what she would have done without him. She was sure she would just have cold bloodedly killed Lisa after hearing what she had done if it hadn't been for Jarod's re- assuring glances during the time of Lisa's confessions in the dungeon. She still couldn't believe that one person was responsible for so much misery in her life and in Jarod's as well. She sighed again so relieved that everything was over and that she could safely enjoy her life with Jarod and her children.

The beach was surrounded with loke lanis - pink cottage roses - Maui's official flower and their loving families, which included Niles. They looked at each other both wearing authentic Hawaiian garbs for their authentic Hawaiian wedding. She was wearing a white on white Hawaiian print dress with spaghetti strings and a ruffled neckline. Jarod wore a matching Hawaiian shirt with coconut buttons and white cotton pants. They both had leis made with loke lanis as well.

The officiating reverend or Kahu was Reverend Gregory Kalanikapuaenui who wore his kihei (similar to a roman toga). He would say the blessings in his native Hawaiian language and translate it to English. He allowed Jarod and Sammie to exchange their own vows and after 20 minutes or so Jarod and Sammie were pronounced husband and wife. As he kissed his bride a resounding cheer was heard throughout the beach. It was the best feeling in the world to be loved.

A/N: The end. Hope you enjoyed this story about the Collins-Parker family. This is only the beginning. Next will be the story of Sam and Charly. if you recall Jarod has a sister named Charly. Read and find out how they get together again for A Second Chance.

*Ho'ao is the ancient Hawaiian term for marriage, which literally translated romantically to "stay until the dawn"