Midnight Swim

Rating: PG

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

was dangerous."

Judson froze.

"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

night.

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.

THE END