Disclaimer: I do not own Adventure's Inc. or anything related to it.
Gabe stretched slowly as he twirled around in the chair. He rubbed
his eyes with the heels of his hands.
"Oh Hades, how I hate the grave yard shift." Gabe sighed as his dark
head fell back. "Why did Judson pick me? Mac loves this shift. She
can be all secretive and such, while I am just plain tired."
Gabe grousing was interrupted by a huge yawn. His eyes drooped even
more as he continued to mumble on about the unfairness of the situation.
Mackenzie Previn, on the other hand, snuggled contentedly in her
bed. Her arms wrapped around her pillow like an oversized teddy
bear. It was probably a good thing no one could see her like this.
This did not fit the hard-as-nails image Judson Cross and Gabe
Patterson had of her.
Mac burrowed her head deeper into her pillow, her black hair sliding
like silk across her bare back. "Oh honey, you shouldn't have," Mac
murmured with a dreamy smile on her face. "Oooo, don't stop that
feels soooooo good." Mac's midnight ramblings faded into soft coos of delight and a smile
of pure contentedness.
Judson Cross was not asleep. Not even a bit sleepy. If the truth be
known, Judson was restless and hot. No not that hot, but room
temperature hot. His room felt like an oven. He had already discarded his white tank and
shucked his pajama bottoms for a pair of knit boxers. Fingers interlaced behind his
head pulling already taunt abdomen even more into relief. There were
a few old white lines from past scars, but nothing to really detract
from the sheer beauty of the man. Finally, Judson could take it no more.
He swung his legs over the bed and padded softly to the door.
'I am going up on deck. It has got to be cooler there than it is in
here.' He thought to himself while quietly walking past Mac's door.
He worked his way to the top deck. He looked in the window to see
Gabe snoring softly into his cradled arms. Judson laughed to himself. 'I know
someone who will be getting an earful about this tomorrow.'
He made his way to the side of the boat. The moonlight reflected on
the rippling shallow waves. The water looked clear, cool, inviting.
A lover's embrace just waiting to ease the tensions of the day.
"What happened to me?" Judson sighed to the wafting breeze. "I used
to be so free and open. Now, I am cautious, secretive, timid even."
A nearby fish jumped as if in response. "I don't mean on the job,
but with myself. I still love the adventure and danger, but I feel
that something is missing."
Judson walked slowly back to the diving platform and dangled his legs
over the side. "Why is it that I cannot let Mac see a different me. I mean Gabe and
Mac. Oh hell, who am I kidding. What is it about Mac that troubles
me? I have never been good with the serious relationship stuff--not
just romance, but even the everyday friendship."
The stars winked on and off in the inky blackness as Judson laid his
heart bare. "What do I feel for Mac? Is it friendship? I have
never had anyone I trust more than her. She would do anything for me
and I her. Sometimes I wonder if it is love? Yeah right, the
elusive Mackenzie Previn paired with a wandering pirate."
Judson laughed softly at the image of himself with a patch and Mac in
a flowing dress. She would look beautiful, but not Mac.
A sly look came over Judson's face as he slowly peered left and
right. "Forget about worrying over things that won't change, instead
I will go swimming."
Now Judson had made it a cardinal rule that no one goes swimming in
the ocean alone and especially at night, but he was the captain so....
He stood up and stared at the quivering blackness below. There was
enough moonlight to highlight the waves and the area beyond the ship.
Judson paused for a moment, then suddenly he reached and skimmed the
knit boxers off his body and threw them on the floor.
In one perfect motion, he dove into the inky blackness. Immediately
his senses were bombarded. The silence entombed him. The coolness
of the water caressed his bare body. With his lungs burning, Judson
made for the surface.
He leapt from the water like a dolphin, throwing his head back in
abandonment. Mac and Gabe would not have recognized their team-
mate. Smooth, strong, tan arms sliced through the water. The muscled legs
kicked with confident strokes. The moonlight bathed his bare body
creating a moving marble statue.
Judson dove, played, and careened through the water with the
enjoyment of a child at Christmas. 'Oh, how he loved the water.
Here he felt like a god.'
Anyone looking at him would have to agree. Judson did not notice his
own perfections. The wide muscled shoulders that could carry a heavy
load or hold a sleepy head. He never paid attention to the sheer
masculine beauty of his face or the way his golden hair, golden body
and blue eyes were the stuff of dreams.
Cavorting in the water naked, Judson resembled a fabled merman,
waiting to entice some young woman away from her mortal family and
into his passionate embrace. Tiring of his energetic play, Judson lay on his back
and floated in the moonlight. Normally, he would not be so bold as to display
himself, but he was assured that Gabe and Mac were fast asleep.
Finally, Judson made his way back to the boat. He reached the
platform and readied his body for the leap back to reality.
"I thought you always said that swimming alone at night in the ocean
"Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe you are not the venerable Judson
Cross, but a creature of myth that has lost your way."
Judson sighed and looked up at Mac. "How long have you been there?"
Mac smiled slowly, a light burning behind her eyes. "Long enough to
know that you sunbath in a swim suit."
Judson groaned in disbelief and dropped his head back to the
platform. He felt more than saw Mac sit down beside his head and drop
her legs in the water.
It disturbed him somewhat to have Mac there beside him. In the dark,
him naked, and her bare feet just a few inches from him.
"Judson," Mac began softly. "What is wrong? I mean not with the
skinny dipping, which of course is perfectly all right. I mean, I
have skinny dipped myself once or twice, but never in the ocean at
night. I wonder what it is like...?"
Mac stopped abruptly as Judson's hand closed over one of her ankles
dangling beneath the water.
"Mac, you are babbling." Judson said as his hands stroked the smooth
and silky flesh of her calf. "Nothing is wrong. My room was an oven,
so I came out here to cool off. The water looked so inviting, that I
just wanted to......get away."
Mac tried to concentrate on Judson's words, but the feel of his
calloused fingers molding her flesh distracted everything else.
Judson mistook her silence. He floated closer to her and laid both
hands on her knees. Floating between her parted legs, Judson raised
his hand and cupped her face. "Mac, you are the most important
person to me. I trust you just like you trust me. Don't worry.
Everything will turn out all right."
Mac's mind was in a state of confusion. This was Judson, her best
friend, her confidant, her.....There her mind quit. She was not
ready to finish that thought.
For all her toughness, Mackenzie Previn was vulnerable. Her one
weakness was the belief that she was not destined for love. Her life
so far had not been that great in that department. She needed Judson
too much to love him.
With a silent sigh, Mac shook her head and adopted a smart ass
smile. "Oooo, you are so going to owe me. Now, what do I get for
NOT telling Gabe about your midnight excursion? Hmmm....I know no
grave yard shift for the next three days." Mac waited expectantly for Judson's reply.
Inside Judson felt his heart drop. He had all but declared his love,
and she only thought of him as a friend. Closing his eyes for moment
to file away the pain at losing the possibility of Mac's love, Judson
bowed his head.
He then gave a theatrical sigh and shrugged his shoulders. "If, and
I repeat, if Gabe never hears of this, I will consider your request.
Now would you, please hand me my boxers?"
Mac fingered Judson's boxers which she had been running through her
hands. She could swear she still felt the warmth from his
body. "Well, I guess so. Here catch." With that, Mac threw
Judson's boxers up in the air.
Judson had to make split second decision. Leap out of water and
catch the boxers, thus giving Mac a potential eye full, or wandering
back to his room in wet underwear.
'What the hell!' he thought. He leapt out of the water and caught
the boxers in his hands. When he turned back to the boat, Mac was no
where to be found.
Judson climbed back aboard the boat and slipped his boxers over his
damp body. It would be long time before he would ever forget this
Gabe sighed as he slowly opened one eye. He glanced at his watch.
Only 20 minutes had passed. He watched Mac leave the diving platform
with her face downcast and troubled. A few minutes later, Judson
also wandered back towards his room.
Gabe mirrored his friends' troubled look. He then reached for the
controls and moved the temperature setting for Judson's room back to
its normal position.