TITLE: Nocturnal Activities

TITLE:  Nocturnal Activities

AUTHOR: Susan Zell

DISCLAIMER:  All characters from "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World" series are the property of John Landis, Coote/Hayes, DirecTV, New Line Television, Space, Action Adventure Network, Goodman/Rosen Productions, and Richmel Productions. No profit has been made by this venture. Apologies to any and all that have been left on or off the above list due to the shake up in production. I've borrowed the explorers to tell a long Lost Tale.

SUMMARY:  A sweltering heat wave makes for some nocturnal activities between Roxton and Marguerite.



TYPE: Romance, Roxton and Marguerite style. You know it won't be easy or dull.

WARNINGS: Sexual situations

NOTES: End of first season somewhere when the couple is realizing something more exists between them.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: To all my faithful betas. What would I do without you! Accept my undying gratitude.

COMMENTS: Another PWP story from me. That's so unlike me, but this scene got into my head and wouldn't leave me alone until I put it down on paper (so to speak.) Southern summer heat stroke brought it on, I think. Thank heavens it's fall!

Nocturnal Activities

By Susan Zell

            The air was cloying; he couldn't breathe.

            Lord John Roxton had had enough. He needed to get find someplace cooler than his stifling room in the treehouse. He roughly pulled on his pants not bothering to button them up all the way or even to draw the braces over his broad muscled shoulders. Even that small amount of clothes was more than he could stand at the moment. Sometime during the night, he had removed the modest sleepwear he usually donned in hopes of finding some peace from this sweltering night, but it had been to no avail.

There was no reason to wear his shirt upstairs since everyone was asleep at this late hour and he relished even the smallest fraction of air that might brush against his overheated flesh. He padded upstairs in his bare feet, silent and steady. However, any hope of his movements making the air seem cooler vanished, and his exertions only made him hotter.

He had spent many a night in a tropical jungle, both on the plateau and off, but this night seemed to be unbearable and endless. He dreaded the coming of day when the blistering sun would only make it worse. Hell, it was well past midnight and the air still hadn't yet cooled off. Grumbling quietly to himself, he gained the main level, aiming directly for the kitchen and the bucket of water set by the hearth.

There was no fire burning, nor had there been for three days. It had been too hot even to cook. Instead their meals had consisted of warm fruit and dry nuts. Not much for someone with as voracious an appetite as his, but he didn't care too much. The heat sapped that enthusiasm as well. All he wanted was to find a cool spot and get some sound sleep, something that had been near impossible since the heat wave had begun.

Picking up the ladle hooked to the side of the bucket, he took a deep draught of the tepid liquid. His lips curled unconsciously into a frown at the lukewarm temperature. It wasn't refreshing at all. Still, he dumped the rest of it over his head and down his back, hoping to make the night air seem less intense.

To his dismay, there wasn't enough of a breeze inside to make a difference. He strode to the balcony and stood there at the rail, praying for some relief to come his way in the form of a gentle wind.

His eyes closed and he imagined that a storm was brewing, and the trees were starting to sway in the stiff breeze that was heralding its approach. It would be glorious and cold, sweeping down off the mountains, holding a hint of ice crystals in their grip. It would rush over his skin and bring shivers of cool pleasure. He couldn't contain the soft exhale of bliss at the mere thought.

"That must be some daydream."

The soft lilting voice startled him and his hands shook the outer rail as he recoiled slightly.

"Damn it, Marguerite! You scared the hell out of me." His tone was hushed but taut. Leave it to Marguerite Krux to spoil a perfectly good fantasy.

The heiress slipped up beside him in that slinky way she had, the flow of her nightshift and dressing gown swirling along behind her.

God, how was she standing it, all covered up like that, he thought.

He could see small beads of sweat dotting her brow in the moonlight. She was practically glistening. Tendrils of saturated hair lay clinging to the curve of her face. She had her long, thick hair pulled back and braided, though with the sheer weight he doubted that it afforded her any relief in this sauna of a plateau. However, she was beautiful even when dilapidated from the heat, straight with a poise that spoke of a woman of substance and grit. Her pale skin glowed beneath her dark hair.

Marguerite eyed Roxton's half-naked form standing tall at the rail. Immediately she noted that he wore nothing under his pants. It sent a shiver up her spine that did absolutely nothing to cool her skin. She let out a slow suffering breath and dragged her gaze upward. Unfortunately, it tried to linger on the man's bare chest. Smooth and chiseled and damp.

She forced her gaze away and found him staring intently at her own exposed state. She coughed, loud and commanding. He jerked out of his little trance, and embarrassed, he glanced away, searching for something to merit conversation in the darkness.

"Too hot," he mumbled. "It was too hot downstairs." He was trying to rationalize his obvious lack of manners. A poor attempt to be sure.

"Indeed," she muttered back. "It's hard to catch one's breath."

Her voice was like the barest of whispers, soft and sultry and drifting on the heated air. He snapped a fleeting peek at her creamy breasts, curving just below her wrap, and then jerked his gaze away again.

Where the hell's a breeze when you need one? And baring that, a good stiff drink, he thought.

The word stiff did little to alleviate his problem. It was a bit too accurately descriptive. He kept himself facing the rail so the state of his involuntarily reacting body wouldn't be noticeable. He should have worn his undergarments and not just his near threadbare cotton pants.

"I couldn't sleep," he told her in a strained hiss. "Thought there might be some more air up here."

"Is there?"

"No," he growled. He longed to look at her again, to caress her hot skin and feel it sear his fingers. Such heat as that would be bearable. It took all his willpower to restrain himself, but he knew it was a tenuous hold at best.

Marguerite was faring no better. Why did he have to be here? she lamented. Lord John Roxton was not conducive to remaining cool in any shape, way or form. Right now, she was ten times hotter than she had been down in her room.

"Are you all right? You look flushed."

She jerked out of her thoughts and found his eyes upon her again. "What? No, I'm fine. I'm just hot. And you don't look so fresh yourself."

He smiled then, or should she say, he smirked, his teeth flashing white and wide. One of his thick fingers had wandered to her and toyed with the cut of her robe at the neckline.

"You might be cooler if you took this off."

Her eyes widened at his boldness and then immediately narrowed. Oh, it was to be that kind of night game, was it? She was more than eager to play. Heaven forbid, I be outwitted by the likes of John Roxton. She could defeat him blindfolded.

"Yes, well, perhaps running around like a near naked savage isn't quite my cup of tea." Her eyes raked his bare chest and bulging pants. He actually colored a bit to her delight.

But then he quickly rallied. This was an old game for them; they both enjoyed playing it, even in the oppressive heat of a sweltering summer evening.

"And what exactly is your cup of tea, my dear? Parading around wrapped in a silk robe in the dead of night?" His finger dropped down to tug at the V in the center of her chest. It pulled apart easily and Marguerite made no move to stop it.

"Who could drink tea on a night like this?" she purred. "A cold drink of crystal clear water from a sparkling fountain, sliding down the back of my parched throat is much more inviting." She lifted her head so her long graceful neck was exposed.

He swallowed convulsively. "Sounds … refreshing. Do you know where a thirsty man could drink from such a fountain?" His voice had deepened so it rumbled in his throat.

She loved it when it did that; he sounded so … primitive and menacing, like a sleek panther prowling through the dark jungle. It sent shivers coursing through her; she struggled to find her own voice. "Perhaps if one used his imagination, he could find it." It came out sultry and inviting. She wasn't sure if that was what she had intended or not.

He released a slow, shaky exhale. The robe was now askew and exposed her white shift that clung tight to the curves of her body. His hands lifted to grasp her slender waist.

"You don't want to know what I'm imagining," he rasped.

A flutter of heat surged from her stomach and nestled deep in the very core of her. With a subtle shrug she let the robe slip from her shoulders and puddle on the floor around her feet.

"Do tell," she whispered.

His hands rose and brushed lightly over her swollen breasts; his hands were so wide that they covered the expanse fully. She wanted to feel them completely engulf her. Her skin burned as if held to a flame.

Roxton let slip a slow moan as the battle inside him to be an English gentleman lost precious ground.  He dipped down abruptly and captured her lips with his, drinking deeply of her. She responded in kind, drawing him nearer. It only fueled him more.

His hand found the back of her neck and buried itself deep in the hair at her nape, hopelessly entwining his fingers in its strands, but she needed no coaxing as she ravaged his mouth, feeling the brush of the day's stubble on his cheek, trapping her lips against his, stealing the air from her very lungs.

Then he pulled back unexpectedly.

"What is it?" she gasped, searching for breath.

He looked around the room and out over the plateau for a minute.

"What?" she insisted, getting annoyed and a little nervous.

"It's right about now that we're usually interrupted," he remarked with suspicion.

She couldn't help it. She laughed. So did he after a moment.

"You're right," she told him.

They both stood at arm's length, waiting for the inevitable disruption, but only silence greeted them in the stagnant air.

Marguerite raised an eyebrow. "Seems quiet enough."

"Hmm-mm," Roxton responded warily. "Just give it another few seconds."

They waited some more and still nothing happened.

Then Roxton grinned in triumph. "Looks like we're in the clear."

"So it appears. Well, what are you waiting for?"

With a wolfish gleam, he gathered her again in his arms and captured her swollen lips with his own once more. She felt him ease her back against the wall and press up against her. There was no mistaking his need as his hips thrust against hers. She leaned into him, letting him know that she was willing.

His head bent to her neck and proceeded to nip and nuzzle there till she thought she'd go mad. He coaxed her down onto the floor and laid her head on the pile of her discarded robe.

"You know," he groaned. "This is doing nothing to keep us cool."

"No … it's not," she agreed though she made no move to stop what she was doing. Neither did he.

He pushed the straps of her gown off her shoulders with his thumbs. Her skin was smooth and pale, like white silk. He leaned over her keeping his weight on his elbow, drinking in the sight of her, relishing the fact that he could do so without stealing small, insufficient glimpses. His hand slid down the length of her body, tracing every curve, eliciting small gasps from Marguerite as his rough palm barely scratched the itch that consumed her. She writhed beneath his touch.

She drew him down to her and he came easily. Her hands roamed over his muscled back, fighting the urge to rake his skin with her nails.

A noise below them startled them both and they froze.

"What was that?" he asked, his head cocked and listening.

"Challenger, I think. His room is right below us."

Roxton moaned. "Figures."

"I doubt he'd hear anything over his snoring."

"You're horrible."

"It's true."

He shook his head and slowly started kissing her face, her cheeks, her throat. Then he got serious for a moment, his voice a breath of wind in her ear. "Marguerite, once we start, I'm not going to be able to stop. I won't allow it."

"I don't want you to stop."

"Are you sure about this?"

"Yes. Very."

He pressed down onto her, no longer listening to his inhibitions and morals. He was the hunter now, not the well-mannered lord of his roots. His fantasies had come to life before him and he could no more fight against it than the ocean could fight the pull of the corpulent moon. With a sure hand, he yanked up her nightshift, dragging his callused palm up her smooth leg, finding a home at her core.

Marguerite let out a strangled gasp, trying desperately to stifle her cries, fearful of waking anyone. In this heat, she doubted anyone was sleeping soundly. For a moment she had reservations about what was happening, but as Roxton had said, it was too late.

And she rejoiced. She too was fighting against waves of desire that she had long repressed. Months of sheer sexual tension had left her battlements weak and surmountable.

Roxton rose over her, magnificent and primal, his face a mere shadow behind the brilliance of the moon outside. But she could feel every tremble in his body as he lay over her, fighting to go slow and tender. She reached a hand to caress his cheek and then pulled him feverishly down onto of her.

She had had enough foreplay.

A crack of lightning broke the night, illuminating the sky. Both of them jumped. Marguerite's arms wrapped around him, taken by surprise by the sudden violence of the storm.

"It's alright," he soothed. "Just the freakish weather."

Unfortunately, beneath the sound of the storm could be heard the rest of the treehouse rousing at the commotion outside. Roxton sighed mightily and Marguerite cursed with venom. With a groan, Roxton rose and lifted Marguerite up.

They adjusted their garments.  Roxton eased up one of Marguerite's straps back onto her slender shoulders, curving it slowly up over her with a rough thumb. It paused as it finished its task. He bent and brushed his lips against neck, her ear and then her mouth.

Her tongue danced with his, rough and needing, knowing it would be some time before they were allowed such an opportunity again in the crowded treehouse.

A cold wind stole over them and Marguerite shivered at its touch. Roxton stepped back and retrieved her robe from the floor, relishing the soft texture of the material and loving the fact that it was still a pale second in comparison to Marguerite's velvety skin. He draped it over her shoulders and ran his large, warm hands over her arms.

"This isn't finished," he whispered fervently in her ear.

Any response from Marguerite was postponed as Ned Malone tromped up the stairs.

"That's some storm brewing!" he exclaimed, buttoning his shirt.

Marguerite glared at the oblivious journalist as if it was his fault that the night's activities had been interrupted.

            Ned quickly stepped aside from the angry, frustrated heiress as she stomped past him. Then he tried to make her see the bright side. "The storm may have disturbed your beauty sleep, Marguerite, but at least this way the heat wave is over." He maneuvered toward the balcony to look at the weather for himself.

            She scowled at the silly, clueless man debating whether she should club him with his journal or just go back to bed. She chose the latter. Before she did so though, Marguerite paused on the stairwell and gazed back at Roxton, her eyes held memory and promise. There was no mistaking the message. This matter was far from over.

A smile played over her bruised lips. "I guess we all need to cool off – for now," she purred.

Every muscle clenched inside of Roxton and did the exact opposite of what Marguerite suggested.


He spun to the railing and clutched at the bar, knowing his body's physical reaction was all too clearly evident. What they didn't need right now was Ned Malone to notice.

"Feels good after all that heat, eh Roxton?" the reporter pointed out still staring up into the sky.

"Yeah, feels great," groaned the hunter, willing his body to cease its cravings and settle.

The young man rattled on about rapidly changing weather patterns but all Roxton heard was Marguerite's soft laughter and then her departure back down to her sleeping quarters.

The thought of her lying out on her bed with her hair strewn upon the pillow and her nightshift wrapped around the bends of her body, only made his situation worse. He hissed out a tortured breath.

So when the sky opened up and dumped freezing rain upon him, he just stood there. It was the next best thing to a cold shower.

Malone jumped out of the way and back into the protection of the treehouse. To his surprise Roxton didn't follow him. The man only stood there in the downpour, staring up into the rain.

Malone watched him dumbfounded. "Hey, Roxton, you're getting all wet."

"Shut up, Malone," the hunter sighed with relief. "Just shut up."

The end.