And when he arrived home after his last shift on the Force, he walked through the door to be greeted by a most unnerving sight.
His suitcases - packed and waiting for him.
Immediately, Mac's blood ran cold. The nightmare had come true. Any words he might have said were snatched from his throat by a unknown force. Instead, his felt his body begin to shake, and silently, he broke down before the luggage, his brain unable to process what he was seeing - let alone its meaning.
When Roxy came bouncing into the room merrily, looking like the giddiest, most giggly girl in the world, Mac hastily clambered to his feet, and looked her square in the eye.
Part of him longed to release his building anger - to scream, to shout, and to stamp his feet. A different part was on the verge of tears, ready to beg and plead to the woman he loved to change her mind. However, it was a third emotion that eventually won out: a feeling of eerie calm, acceptance, and a desire for the one he most cared for to be happy - even if that meant a life without him.
In other words - true love.
Despite her spirited entrance, Roxy had noticed Mac's distant expression, and she turned towards him with concern.
"Mac? What's wrong?"
Sighing, and drawing in a nervous breath, Mac approached her.
"Roxy," he began, "I love you more than anything else in this world. But... I know that you and me aren't the most compatible people. I accept that. All I want is for you to be happy, and to be with someone who can make that happen. And, if you've found someone who can do that better than me, then... whoever he may be... I wish you both well. I'll just... pick up my things, and go."
Roxy listened to this statement patiently and attentively, but by the time Mac had finished, she couldn't help herself... and she burst into a fit of mad laughter.
"Mac," she chuckled, "what the hell are you going on about? You're not going anywhere, and neither am I! Not right now, anyway!"
Mac's head popped up like a meerkat's, shocked.
"But... but, the suitcases..."
Roxy looked around. As she spotted the two green cases on the carpet, she tutted in frustration.
"Oh, Marcel, you daft bugger!" she hissed. "I asked him to get those down from the attic for me - but I told him to put them somewhere out of sight. I swear, if the little sod has spoilt the surprise... "
"What surprise?" Mac asked.
"I was worried you might have figured it out already," she said, "what with all the phoning around I've been doing. Johnny's been a real pain in the arse - he almost cancelled my order. Needless to say, I wasn't best pleased with him."
As Mac heard the name, he recalled the strange conversation he had overheard before.
"Johnny?" he said, quizzically.
"The baker on the high street," Roxy explained. "John Stevens and Son."
"But why were you phoning the baker?"
"Well... for the cake, of course."
"What cake? No-one has a birthday this month."
"A wedding cake."
"Why? Who's getting married?"
In response, Roxy slowly got down onto one knee.
"I'll confess," she told Mac softly, "I took a bit of a gamble."
Grinning, she reached into her jean pocket, and brought out a golden wedding band - whilst Mac's hands flew to his mouth as he desperately stifled a gasp.
"Mac," Roxy continued, "I know I've haven't been the best friend or the best partner in the world - not by a long way. All my life, I was so afraid that if I let myself get close to you, something bad would happen."
"Years ago, when we were nearing our thirties, I almost took the leap... but then that damn bullet got fired, and it scared me too much to carry on. But since then... I've had a lot of years to think things through, and I don't want to leave this world with any regrets. I truly am sorry for all the times I hurt you - but I thought I was acting for the best. Now, I realise the error of my ways, and I know what I really want - for you to stay by my side forever as my husband."
She looked up at him, smiling sweetly.
"So, would you do me the honour of making me Mrs. Roxy Rhodes Miskin?"
A pause followed. Mac stared at Roxy, his body trembling once again.
"Roxy," he whispered, "are you really sure this is what what you want? I... I can't deal with another false alarm - not now."
"Yes, Mac," she told him firmly. "I know it is. After all... I love you."
Mac's eyes widened.
"What... what did you say?"
"I love you," she repeated.
It was the first time in their lives that she had ever told Mac this. Tears of happiness began to roll down the cheeks of the ageing Miskin - his inner rejoicing too powerful to put into words.
"Well?" Roxy asked, still waiting on an answer. "Do you want to marry me?"
Grinning, Mac snatched up the ring, and slid it onto his left hand.
"I do," he replied, eagerly. "Oh, Roxy - of course I do!"
Quick as a flash, he helped Roxy to her feet, and pulled her into a tight bear hug: locking his lips with hers to seal their new arrangement.
And thus, two weeks later, Mac and Roxy - the childhood partners in crime and the adult partners in justice - were finally joined in that most sacred and special of ways: through the marriage vow.
"Well," she remarked, "I guess there's no going back now, is there?"
"Geez, you're not regretting it already, are you?" Mac asked.
Roxy shook her head.
"No, love," she told him. "Not now. Not ever. Not for a single second."
Still, the last few days hadn't been smooth sailing. Roxy's ongoing debate with the baker's shop had been showing no signs of a resolution. It was only when Mac insisted on being handed the phone and him mentioning the words "police officer", "connections" and "lawsuit" that Johnny Stevens revealed that the cake would be ready for them to collect the next day - and it was, allowing the newlyweds and their gathered guests to enjoy it.
As the ceremony slowly drew to a close, Roxy kissed her new husband on the cheek, wanting to catch his attention.
"I've told Marcel to get our cases ready," she said.
"Why? What do we need them for?"
"Not very perceptive for a detective, are you?" she muttered.
Taking hold of Mac's hands, she pulled him towards her, and whispered seductively in his ear.
"You and I, Mr. Miskin, are having a honeymoon."