"It's just dumb luck, Jude." Tom took Judy's hand as they walked along the shore. "Stop thinking about it."
"That's easy for you to say. You weren't running around in a milk carton!"
"Nope," he said, biting back a grin. "My legs aren't as good as yours."
"It's not funny, Hanson," she warned.
Their footsteps came to a halt. He moved around to face her and gently took her face in his hands. "If you could take a step back and just look at it from a different point of view."
"It's hard to step back while stuck inside a bulky cardboard box and even harder to run."
"But you caught the bad guy despite all that." He smiled. "Just try for me.
Breathe in…breathe out… Think about something else. Something fun." His voice dropped to a husky whisper. "How we spent last night."
The skeptical look in her eyes slowly faded and began to glitter with remembered passion. But as quickly as it appeared, the glow dimmed to murky despair.
"Hanson, that man looked me in the eye, told me how great he thought I was and then put me in a milk carton! Officer Milk Carton! Do you know how humiliating that is?"
He couldn't make light of the situation any more. Collaring a thief didn't matter. Judy's pain ran deep and broke his heart. He pulled her into a tight embrace. "Baby, I'm sorry. I thought if you joked about it, you'd feel better."
"I don't." She rested her head against his chest. "I know you're trying to help and I appreciate it. Really, I do. I just hate being the laughingstock."
"Everybody does." He kissed her forehead. "What can I do to make it better?"
"Being in your arms is like a magic potion."
His chest swelled. She was right. Life was perfect when it was just the two of them. No one knew about their relationship, yet. With Jump Street on vacation for the summer and maybe not coming back in the fall, they decided to act on their attraction. It was the best decision he ever made.