The premier was in Los Angeles, and Harm, Sarah, and AJ flew down together. However, Harm had taken some time off to spend the week with Renee, and Mac and AJ were to fly back to Virginia together. Alone.
The movie was surprisingly good, what AJ saw of it. He spent most of the time concentrating on not looking at Sarah, an internal monologue running through his head. Almost as much time was spent drinking the brandy offered.
As he reached for his fifth decanter, Harm grabbed his extended hand.
"Woah, Admiral, slow down a bit, huh?"
AJ shot him a look that could kill; eyes narrowed, body coiled to pounce, then visibly relaxed. If it wasn't his place, Rabb was still right. He needed to be in control of himself. AJ waved the server away and turned back to the movie. He allowed himself a glance at Mac through his peripheral vision. She was sipping a glass of mineral water with a lime bobbin in it. He tried not to look at her face. Instead, he saw the lipstick mark on the rim of the glass...how her fingers curled delicately around the glass…the gnawed on fingernails. He smiled in amusement.
Suddenly, everyone around him was standing up and applauding. He followed suit. The movie was over.
"Did you like the movie, Admiral?" Renee asked sweetly. "You were
staring awfully hard at the screen." She raised her eyebrow
A.J spread his arms, as if to say he didn't know what she was hinting at. "Indeed," he said simply. "A fine piece. Colonel," he addressed MacKenzie, "We'd better get going. There's a lot of work waiting for us at the office," he looked pointedly at Harm.
"Aye, sir," she said. They departed.
They took a taxi to the airport, and changed clothes for the flight.
AJ got into a pair of LEVI blue jeans and a grey sweat shirt
emblazoned with NAVY in blue chenille letters. Mac also wore blue
jeans and a grey sweat shirt, but hers read USMC in green. They
laughed upon seeing each other.
"Hello, jarhead," he said playfully.
"Hello, squid," she replied with a smile. Then realizing who she was talking to, Mac reddened and looked down.
Not a line to cross, AJ, not a line to cross
They got on the plane and to their seats without saying a word.
AJ figured saying nothing was better than letting something slip, so he ordered a scotch when the flight attendant came around with drinks and set out to go to sleep. He had been dozing for sometime when he felt Mac's nails digging into his thigh. He cautiously opened one eye, then another. Mac was wide-awake, and visibly shaken. Her jaws were clamped together and there were goose bumps on her arms where they peaked out from the sweatshirt sleeves. AJ shortly felt the reason of her apprehension as the plan shook violently. He saw a streak of lightening out the window, and reached over Mac to draw the blinder closed.
Mac looked up at him. "Hi," she said.
"You could've woken me up," AJ chided.
"I tried," she blushed.
Damn the line. She needed him
AJ pushed the arm rest up and put his arm around MacKenzie. He pulled her as close as their seatbelts would allow. "Shh, Sarah. It'll be okay," he soothed quietly.
The intercom clicked and a voice came on. "This is your captain speaking. Due to an approaching storm, we will be making an emergency landing in Dallas, Texas."
"Please make sure your seat belts are fastened, and your seats and tray tables are in their upright and locket position. At this time, we would ask you to turn off all electronic devices, including cd player, gameboys, and personal computers," a flight attendant took over. "And, please try and remain calm."
AJ took Mac's hand, their fingers intertwining. AJ felt the pressure in his ears building up until they popped. The plane shook and trembled, vibrating back and forth, up and down. AJ held Mac closer. Just then, the air masks fell from the ceiling. "It's going to be a rough landing," on of the passengers remarked.
any landing you can walk away from… The pressure was changing rapidly, and AJ put on first his air mask, and then Sarah's. The wheels hit the pavement, and bounced up again, only to come down to the pavement again. The jet taxied to a stop. A great cheer went up from the relieved passengers. "There are no flights out of the airport tonight," a flight attendant interrupted their glee. "You are welcome to stay in the airport lounges, but you may be more comfortable in a local hotel The planes will remain grounded until at least tomorrow afternoon. This storm's not going anywhere."
And neither are we.
AJ got in line to rent a car, figuring they wouldn't be able to catch a cab, and the closest "local" hotel not booked up was 30 miles away. By the time Chegwidden got to the rental counter, the only thing left was a station wagon.
"I'll take it," he sighed.
So, with their carry-ons, they got into the VW and set out for the hotel, racing against the storm. Two minutes in, and it was sprinkling. By ten, it was a complete downpour. AJ flipped on the bright lights trying to see through the rain and the darkness. He strained his eyes, willing them to ignore how tired he was.
"AJ!" Mac shouted.
The roaring of a motor. Headlights of a Mack truck. Coming straight towards them. AJ swerved to miss it, the tired squealing as they crossed he white line. He slammed on the breaks to avoid hitting the rocky hillside. AJ sat there on the side of the road. He looked at Mac. "What happened?"
"It wasn't your fault, sir," she assured him. "He was on our side of the road."
"Must have fallen asleep," AJ said almost inaudibly. He pressed his foot on the accelerator. The engine growled; the tires spun; but the car didn't move. Chegwidden groaned. "I'll check it out," he said, opening his car door and stepping out. He walked around to the back of the car. I am not in the mood for this. AJ felt himself slipping in the mud, but it was too late to regain his balance. "Damn!" he shouted. He fell forwards and hit the crown of his head off the rocky hillside. He rose to a sitting position, and felt his head. There was a warm, gooey substance. Blood. He cursed again.
MacKenzie rolled down her window and stuck out her head. "What's the situation?" she asked.
He groaned. "Get in the driver's seat, Mac. I'm going to have to push us out of here."
"Aye, sir," she said, stifling a laugh. What the hell did she have to laugh about anyways? He looked down at himself, covered from head to toe in mud, and grinned. I guess I am quite a sight. AJ pushed on the rear of the VW, and it started to move "Try and push on the gas," he shouted to Mac. She did, and the car hopped out of the ditch.
Chegwidden got back into the car.
"Maybe I should drive the rest of the way," MacKenzie said cautiously.
"Be my guest," agreed A.J., closing his eyes and laying back his head.
"You shouldn't go to sleep," Mac warned. "You might have a concussion."
AJ groaned, but kept his eyes open the rest of the trip.
When they finally arrived, A.J. insisted on accompanying Mac in to get a room, even if he was less than presentable. He pulled his SEALS cap out of his carry-on, and slipped it on his head to cover the gash.
"Two rooms," A.J. stated when he reached the counter.
"Sorry, sir. With all of the grounded airplanes, there aren't any regular rooms left." "Well, what do you have?" A.J. asked pointedly.
"All we have left is the honey moon suite."
"We'll take it," he snapped.
They had to go outside to get to the room, and the stotrm showed signs of getting worse. The lightening had stopped for the moment, but the rumble of thunder in the sidtance told A.J. it was far from done.
When they were almost to the room, it started to hail.
"Great," AJ spat.
"Are you up to running the rest of the way, sir?" Mac queried.
AJ grabbed her hand so they wouldn't fall. "Let's go for it," he said. They ran to their room through a obstacle course of puddles, cars, and falling hail.
AJ shoved the key card in the slot and opened the door. He flipped on the lights and sat on the edge of the only bed. "Do you mind if I use the bathroom first?" he asked as he peeled off his boots and socks.
"Go ahead," she answered, lsmileing slightly, "I think you need it more."
"Thanks," he said dryly, and went to the bathroom..
`A nice hot shower ought to do it,' AJ thought. He looked around the luxurious bathroom. `Where's the shower??' AJ sighted. Being the honey moon suite, there was just a tub. `Great.'
AJ started the water and waited for it to warm up. He peeled off his mud-caked shirt and jeans, and then his underwear, which had somehow also gotten muddy.
Chegwidden put the plug in the drain, and sat in the tub as the water rose around him and turned brown. He tried futilely to get clean, but couldn't in this water. He pulled the plug.
Mac swore in the other room, loud enough for AJ to hear in the bathroom. She had a mouth like a Marine. "Are you ok?" AJ called, knocking on the wall.
"I got something in my eye," she winced. "Can I use the sink?"
He pulled a towel off of the rack and laid it over his midsection. "Enter." "Mac, if you're losing your eyesight, you don't have to ask permission to come in.
After splashing water on her face (that also ran down to the white tee-shirt she was wearing, AJ noted) she looked over at AJ. "Oh my! You've got to let me look at the right away. Hold on I'll get the first aide kit from the mini-bar," she left without waiting for him to deny her.
AJ reached up and felt that besides the caked blood, there was more still running from the wound.
"Got it," she came in, then looked at the tub. "Oh, AJ! What color was the tub when you started?"
He looked down at the now brown tub and grinned. "White."
"Tip your head back," she said. AJ shivered when she put her hand on his face.
"Cold?" she raised her eyebrows.
He nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
"Let's fill this back up, then," She put in the plug and turned on the hot water. It started to fill the tub, murky, but not opaque. Mac reached over his head to get a wash cloth then dipped it in the water and brought it to AJ's forehead.
`Get a hold of yourself, A.J., she's not interested. She's just trying to help. She's been nothing but clinical. Professional. As well you should.
Then she moved the wash cloth down, massaging his temples. Lower to his shoulders. Lower still. AJ gave an involuntary shudder.. Mac pulled back "I'm sorry," she said "I shouldn't have. It was wrong."
AJ wanted to say something. He wanted to say it couldn't be wrong- it felt so right. He wanted to say she was right, they couldn't do anything…could never bee. And maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the night of bad experiences one after another, but AJ couldn't say anything.
MacKenzie was back to being clinical now. "You've lost a lot of blood," she diagnosed. "And it's not stopping. I'm going to need to stitch you up."
"You can do that?" AJ found his voice.
"I'm a Marine, Admiral, I can do anything," she smiled carefully. She grabbed another washcloth and twisted it up. "Here, you can bite down on this."
AJ could think of things he'd rather have in his mouth, but just waved it away. "That's ok, Colonel," he forced himself to call her by rank, "I'm a SeAL, remember?" He'd play along...for now.
AJ felt the needle enter his skin. His eyes immediately moved to hers. He could get lost in those chocolate brown eyes. And that's exactly what he did. While Mac brought the needle in and out, in and out, until it was finished, he stayed in her eyes not making a sound. "Thank you," he said, when she'd finished.
"Didn't that hurt?" she cocked her head sideways, and did a sort of half-smile.
He couldn't take it any longer. Damn self-restraint. Damn the line. He reached out and pulled Sarah MacKenzie into the tub on top of him. AJ kissed her soundly on the lips. Sarah kissed back. Deep. Penetrating to his very essense. She made a guttural sound. Or maybe it was him, he wasn't sure.
"Do you think this is smart?" she questioned softly. She knew it would be his ass on the line when it came down to it. "Probably not," he responded. "If we do this...it's only for now; for this moment. When we go back to the office, we have to act like nothing's changed...at least until we figure this out. Until we figure out our careers. Sydney, Brumby. Maybe we'll never figure it out, but we will always have this moment, Sarah. Do you still want to do this?" AJ closed his eyes, not wanting to know the answer if it was negative, but preparing himself to accept it.
She took a breath.
"Yes, AJ. We've had two near=death experiences in one ngiht, and to have you be mine this one night is better than never at all."
AJ was reminded of Queen's song "One Year of Love." Well, they were only given one night, ut AJ thought some of the lyrics applied here. "'One sentimental moment in your arms is like a shooting star right through my heart'," he quoted.
"I didn't know you liked Queen," said Mac.
"There's a lot you don't know about me, Sarah...yet," he pulled Mac's sweatshirt over her head. He started kissing her. First at her stomach, following the trail of baby-fine hair. Her arms. Her neck. Working his way up to her lips.
"Call me practical," she moaned, "but do you tihnk it's a good idea to sit in te bathtub when the lightning comes back?"
AJ laughed a deep throaty laugh. He schooped Sarah into his arms and stood, water dripping down his sinewy muscles, the towel falling forgotten to the floor, and carried her to bed.
Scroll down for rated R ending....
AJ lay Mac on the terry-cloth blankey covering the bed. He positioned himself above her keeping his weight on his knees. He placed his hands palm-down on either side of her head and lowered himslef down push-up style until his lips hovered over hers. AJ brushed Mac's lips with his, catching her lower lip between his teeth. He tugged on it, then released as he began to explore the rest of her body. He suckled his way down her neck, then placed a trail of kisses alon gher clavicle. Mac's hands carressed every part of him she could reach, and AJ felt her foot beginning to slide up his leg. He caught the foot in his hand and sat back on his butt. AJ massaged the foot thoroughly, paying attention to each toe individually, and then began making his way ack up her body. He sucked on her instep and smiled at her quick intake of breath. He pulled her wet sweat pants off. She lifted up her hips to help, at the same time thrusting her pelvis towards him. He pushed the sweats down to her ankles where she kicked them off with her feet. He ran his hand lightly up the edge of her legs, tracing her silhoette in his memory. A flash of lightning lit up the room causin Mac to jump involuntarily and AJ lost his balance, his head landing at the juncture between her thighs. He breathed her scent in, puulling the Victoria's Secret underwear down. AJ felt his hear racing and he was barely touching her. He scooted his way up her body. AJ kissed Mac and her tongue sought out his, sucking it into her mouth at the same time AJ lowered himself into her. They began to move up and won, her hips bucking to meet his thrusts. Breath in. Breathe Out. There is no sound. We move together up and down We levitate, our bodies soar our feet don't even touch the floor-Darren Hayes, Insatiable They climaxed at the same time , and he collapsed on top of her. He started to push himself off, but she stopped him. "Don't leave...inside of me," she breathed. AJ grinned and pushed himself close to her body, wrapping his arms around her shoulders, then rolled over taking her with him so he was now on the bottom. Mac fingered his chest hair and began teasin a nipple. AJ felt himself stirring inside of her and knew, for her, he would always be insatiable.