The Cruise

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From the Author:

This is a fictional story based on two cyber friends that have never met in person. After a few years of e-mails, chatting and roleplaying, Jess and Don have never exchanged pictures but he has sent her a few voice clips. Also, Don, along with his coworker Danny, work in an environment where women are not easily ‘accessible’ so they tend towards celibacy for months.

I hope that you enjoy the story.

~~~~~~~~~~

Taking a deep breath, Jess inhaled the wonderful sea air and sighed peacefully. The months of scrimping and saving for this Mediterranean cruise seemed a distant memory now that she was actually here, basking in the atmosphere. No one had felt any inclination towards traveling with her so against her family and friends’ objections, she had decided to vacation alone.

She snapped abruptly out of her reverie when someone impatiently nudged her from behind, as the buffet line moved.They feed us nine times a day, how on Earth can these people be starving? she thought, shaking her head in amusement.

People were moving around her to get to the food so before the hungry wolves trampled her, she quickly perused the offered selection. Jess speared her fork into the last slice of orange at the same time that someone else did and sighing in exasperation she glanced up, noticing a handsome man smiling at her.

“I’m sorry. Please, take the orange,” he mumbled in a sexy English accent, noticing her annoyed look.

“No, that’s OK, you can have it,” she offered, disarmed by his politeness.

“I insist,” he replied.

Arching her eyebrow at his stubbornness she muttered, “No, I insist. Besides, I’ll just wait for the fresh refill.” A grin spread across her face when he started laughing.

“Hey, that’s not fair. You get fresh oranges while I get stuck with this dried up piece of fruit. I’ll wait for the refill as well,” he said decisively, the twinkle in his eyes underscoring his serious tone.

An employee standing behind the buffet, named Gepetto (according to the name tag pinned to his shirt) overheard their conversation and said in an accent that Jess couldn’t quite place, “Pleasa, Madama es Signoro, alla our fooda is fresha alla the timma.”

Glancing from the employee’s beguiling expression to the stranger’s mirthful one, Jess bit her lip, trying to control her laughter. Patting Gepetto’s hand, she soothed, “I’m sure it is but I’ll still wait for the fresh oranges.”

Aggravated, he stalked off and Jess turned back to the attractive gentleman, who was now grinning broadly at her. “Some people are so touchy. You’d think that he grew the oranges himself,” she said laughingly.

And to think that I was going to have a boring time choosing my food, he mused. Finding this woman enthralling, he wanted to keep talking to her while they waited for the refill. “So, are you enjoying the cruise so far?” he asked.

About to reply, Jess paused and stared at him. There was something vaguely familiar about him, which made no sense since she had never met him before and she definitely would have remembered if she had. Mentally shrugging, she replied in excitement, “Oh yes, it’s only been one day but I’ve been having a great time. I can’t wait to tour some islands.”

He stared down at her with a captivating smile and she found herself confiding, “I was a little leery about vacationing alone but I’m definitely glad that I came.”

“You’re here all alone?” he asked in amazement. Upon seeing her defensive expression, he quickly added, “I just figured that someone as lovely as you would have a flock of men surrounding her.”

Inexplicably pleased that he found her attractive, Jess blushed from his compliment. “My, my, you’re quite the charmer,” she murmured. “Well then, according to your theory, you should be here with a flock of women.”

Enchanted, he gazed at her for a moment before replying, “Not a flock, just one. She’s over there.” He pointed in the direction of a table where a pretty brunette was sitting, picking at her food. “Already eating her breakfast while I’m here, still waiting for an orange.”

Disappointed, Jess’ smile fell. She was having so much fun talking to him and had hoped that she could get to know him better but knew that that would never happen now.Just my rotten luck again, she thought.

Just then, Gepetto returned with a fresh tray of oranges. Setting it down with a grumble, he glared in their direction then stalked off. Chuckling, Jess put a few slices on her plate and then turned back to the Englishman. Reluctant to leave but knowing she had to, Jess said, “Well, it was nice chatting with you. I hope that you enjoy the rest of the cruise.”

“You too,” he replied, feeling strangely bereft as he watched her walking away.

~~~~~~~~~~

Having enjoyed an active, yet relaxing day, Jess ate her dinner with the other people that were assigned to her table. In spite of being the only one without a companion, she didn’t feel lonely until the dancing started. Sitting back and illegal bahis sipping her coffee she sighed as she watched the couples swaying to the music.

Unbeknownst to her, the Englishman from the morning buffet was sitting five tables away and was staring avidly at her; thinking that she looked beautiful in her sexy red dress clinging lovingly to her. She couldn’t be more than 5’2″ but in spite of being so petite, she had curves in all the right places. Noticing the wistful expression that crossed her face, he got up and ambled over to her. “May I have this dance?”

Glancing up in surprise, Jess’ heart fluttered a bit.Oh gosh, it’s him! she thought. Really wanting to, especially since the band was playing her favourite Sinatra song,The Way You Look Tonight, she nevertheless hesitated. “Um, won’t the woman you’re with mind?”

“Janice? No, she wouldn’t object to a few harmless dances, I’m sure. Besides, she’s not feeling well and excused herself to go to the Ladies Room.”

Jess nearly laughed out loud at his use of the wordharmless. There was absolutely nothing harmless about him, the man positively oozed sexuality. Unable to resist, she accepted his proffered hand and was lead onto the dance floor. Her eyes lit up in delight when he assumed the proper stance: one hand against her side and the other holding her hand up, keeping a respectful distance between their bodies.

“Be warned, I tread on toes,” he mumbled, with a regretful glance down at her strappy sandals.

Jess sighed dreamily as they danced. She couldn’t understand why she felt so comfortable around him, especially since they had just met today.The good ones are always taken, she thought sadly. To distract herself from her yearning, she glanced up at his handsome face and murmured, “So, where are you from?”

“Hmm, do you want the short answer or the long, complicated one?” he said with a grin.

“A short answer will suffice,” she replied in amusement.

“Well then, I’m from England, Bristol actually… and you?”

“I’m from Canada.”

“Canada, hmm. I have to definitely visit that country some day, especially since it seems to be filled with such lovely petite brunettes.”

“My goodness, you certainly exude charm,” she said with a slight blush tingeing her cheeks.

Grinning at her reaction he muttered, “Thank you. By the way, I’m Don… and you are?”

“I’m…” Pausing, Jess stared at him in amazement, making a sudden startling revelation.His name is Don… his sexy accent… he’s from Bristol… No, it couldn’t be, she thought. “Is Danny with you?”

“No, he went on another cruise with his new lady friend,” he replied in bafflement.

Before he could ask her how she knew about Danny, her eyes widened even further and she shrieked, “Oh my god!” launching herself against his chest and hugging him tightly.

He glanced down at the clinging woman in bemusement. “Um, did I step on your toes?”

She kept her arms wrapped tightly around him as she looked up with a joyous smile. “Who would have thought that I’d find my Sweetie on a Mediterranean cruise?”

“Jessica?” he said in astonishment.

At her giddy nod, he let out a whoop and picked her up, twirling her around in a circle. She giggled happily when he set her down onto her feet again.

Standing in the middle of the dance floor, clinging to each other, they were oblivious to the stares that people were giving them. Their complete attention was focused on each another.

“I had no idea that you were planning on taking a cruise as part of your vacation.”

“Ah yes, it was a last minute thing that Danny planned. He knows how much I hate cruises so he assured me that this one would be fun.” Finally face-to-face with his Poppet, his gaze roamed over her features, drinking in the sight of her. “Looks like he was right,” he muttered absently.

Jess was doing her own gazing. Just a few short minutes ago she had thought that this man was a handsome charming stranger but now it was different, he was her Sweetie. Lifting her hand, she tenderly stroked his cheek and then lightly traced the rim of his glasses. “I like your windows,” she said, both of them smiling as they reveled in the discovery of their chance meeting.

Janice chose that moment to appear at Don’s side. She saw the way they were holding and looking at each other and didn’t like it. “Sheesh Don, I can’t leave you alone for one minute. You’re always flirting with women.” Since she wasn’t feeling well, her words came out more irritable than she intended.

Reluctantly letting go of Jess, Don wrapped his arm comfortingly around Janice. “Now come on, you know I’m all yours,” he cajoled. Recalling his manners, he murmured, “By the way, Janice, this is Jessica.”

Smiling, Jess held out her hand. “No need to be upset, we’re just friends.” However, she frowned when Janice ignored her hand and gave her a dismissive glance.

“Don, I’m not feeling well, can we go back to the room?” she asked.

“Of course,” he replied. Turning illegal bahis siteleri towards Jess, Don reached out and clasped the hand that she still had extended in both of his. He was loath to leave but he always departed with the woman that he arrived with. “It was great to finally meet you Jessica. Try not to break too many hearts on this cruise.”

“I’ll try,” she responded, just before she surprised Don by pulling his head down and giving him a brief, hard kiss. Stepping back, she slowly opened her eyes and her wistful gaze met his regretful one. Turning to Janice, she forced a grin to her tingling lips. “That was just a hello and goodbye kiss for my dear friend.”

Not waiting for Janice’s response, Jess quickly headed back to her table. Feeling stupid, she berated herself.God Jessica, did you have to kiss him, especially in front of Janice? The whole episode left her so out-of-sorts.

~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning, the ship made a quick unscheduled stop at an island because it was rumoured that someone was very ill. Wanting to soak up the scenery, for however brief, Jess decided to head out to the deck.

She was sitting on a lounge chair with her knees drawn up so that she could do a crossword puzzle but she wondered why she was bothering since she kept staring off into space, thinking about Don.

As if her thoughts had conjured him up, a shadow moved over her just before she heard a sexy English voice say, “Temptress.”

She glanced up in time to see Don admiring her body, clad in shorts and a tight tank top that bared her midriff. “Excuse me?” she muttered with a smile, feeling her heart pick up speed, a natural occurrence every time he was in her vicinity.

Bending down he pointed to 7-across on the crossword, where the clue wasSiren. “Ohhh,” she said, laughing. Quickly filling in the answer Jess glanced back up at him. “Have a seat Don,” gesturing towards the chair next to hers, “You’re giving me a crick in my neck.”

Chuckling, he disregarded the adjacent chair and sat down on hers, next to her feet. They gazed at each other for a long moment then she mumbled nonchalantly, “So, um, where’s Janice? Is she still sleeping… exhausted from last night?”

Don frowned at the mention of Janice. “No, she’s on her way home. Apparently she got food poisoning from some shellfish that she ate, the poor dear and it’s quite strange since no one else on this ship seems to be sick. She probably ate the fish before boarding the ship.

“Anyway, I tried to leave with her but she insisted that I stay. She didn’t want to ruin my vacation so no amount of arguing could convince her otherwise.” He shrugged a little uncertainly.

Thank God she was nice and insisted that he stay, otherwise, I’d never have seen him again, she thought. Yes, Jess had been jealous of Janice but didn’t like hearing that she was very ill. “So that’s whom the ship docked for. Aww Don, I’m sorry to hear that, now you’re all alone on this cruise.” Needing some sort of contact, Jess patted his arm lightly, showing her concern.

He, in turn, covered her hand with his much larger one and the sadness slowly left his eyes as he gazed at her. “Well, I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m all alone, you’re here,” he muttered with heat growing in his eyes.

For as long as she had known Don, one thing was for sure, he had no trouble picking up and bedding women. He loved women, in all shapes and sizes and therefore, never considered staying with one woman for longer than was necessary; someone else always came around. He had told her all about his escapades so she knew what a womanizer he was. Well, she definitely had no intention of being his next conquest.

Frowning, Jess removed her hand from underneath his and her dark eyes started to spark with anger. “So, you just said goodbye to Janice and immediately want to take up with me, is that it? Well Don, I don’t appreciate being a stand-in and I certainly don’t want to be another notch on your very etched bedpost!”

“Now Poppet, it’s not like that,” he said, trying to soothe her ruffled feathers. He reached for her again but she pulled back, her look stubborn and hurtful. Realizing that he had no chance of getting through to her while she remained upset, he quickly relented. “OK, OK, but we can still hang out as friends, can’t we?”

After a long pause, she finally conceded, “Sure, that would be fine.” Staring at him, she unexpectedly asked, “Have you had any sex since you went on vacation?”

“Er, no. Janice wanted to wait till we got on the cruise but then she got sick,” he replied, shrugging. “Why do you ask?”

“Just curious,” she murmured as she stood up. “Well Sweetie, I have to get to a Spanish dancing class so I’ll see you around.” As she walked away, he didn’t see the huge wicked smile forming.Let the games begin, she thought.

~~~~~~~~~~

Don sat comfortably in the lounge chair that Jess had recently vacated, smoking his cigarette as he gazed at the panoramic view before him. He was hardly canl─▒ bahis siteleri aware of his surroundings though because his attention was focused elsewhere, mainly on thoughts of Jess. They had shared so many fun times chatting and roleplaying but he never really had expected to meet her in person. Yet here she was on this very cruise; what were the odds of that happening? Perhaps he did have that golden horseshoe up his butt that she often kidded him about. In spite of her misgivings, he had every intention of spending more time with her; she wasn’t going to get away from him so easily.

Having come to his decision, Don got up and went in search of an employee to find out where the Spanish dancing lessons were being held. Upon finding one, he was informed that it was on the upper deck so he promptly headed in that direction.

Spotting Jess, he leaned back against a column and watched her enjoying herself immensely. She was giggling at her mistakes and squealing in delight when she got the movements right and he couldn’t help grinning broadly, vicariously joining in on her fun. At one point, she saw him and waved happily, acknowledging his presence.

As soon as her lesson was over, Jess sauntered over to Don just as he was pulling out his cigarette pack. Before he could guess her intentions, she grabbed his pack and lighter and held them behind her back. He frowned in annoyance because she had professed on numerous occasions that his smoking wouldn’t bother her, yet here she was already having an issue with it. The thought abruptly fled when she took out a cigarette, placed it between his lips and lit it for him.

Having noticed his irritated expression, she smiled up at him, “I don’t mind if you smoke, you know that. Just blow the smoke in the opposite direction though cause those French cigarettes do smell awful.” She waved her hand in front of her face to fan away the smoke while wrinkling her nose, teasing him. Her smile widened when he started to chuckle at her antics.

Jess put his pack and lighter back into his shirt pocket then paused. With him this close, she needed to touch him, couldn’t stop herself actually. Her eyes followed the movements of her hands as they traced the contours of his chest, sliding slowly down to his waist then back up. Pleasantly absorbed in her task, her thumbs brushed over his hard nipples, loving the feel of him.

She heard his soft groan and was glad that he seemed to be enjoying her caresses as much as she was. God, she could touch him all day but she had to stop, otherwise, she’d cause a riot by ripping off his clothes and exploring every inch of him, right here in front of everyone. Shaking herself out of her delectation of his body, she slid her hands up to rest them on his shoulders. “Are you following me, Don?”

With his body still reacting from her touch, he slid his arms loosely around her and stared down at the little flirt in amusement. What an indescribable feeling it was to hold her in his arms, it felt so right. Focusing on her question, he replied, “As a matter of fact, yes. Was wondering if you’d care to join me in touring Rhodes. It makes no sense for us to go off alone and I’d definitely enjoy the pleasure of your company.”

Her face flushed in pleasure at the prospect of spending the day with this captivating man. “Oh Don, you’re so sweet and I’d be delighted. Just give me a little time to shower and change, so meet me at my room, number 280, in about an hour?”

His eyes skimmed down her body and he felt himself hardening further as he envisioned Jess in the shower. “Are you sure that you don’t need any help? I could hold the soap for you,” he said mischievously, holding her against him a little tighter. Apparently, she had the same effect on him in real life as she did in cyber and he was in big trouble if she continued to hold him at bay.

Oh boy, she better watch it with him, he was such a temptation. If she wasn’t careful, he’d have her in no time and she just couldn’t let that happen, not yet at least. Laughing, she stood on tiptoe and lightly kissed his lips… not an easy task since he was 6 feet tall. Stepping back, she patted his butt. “I think that I can manage Sweetie but thanks for the offer.” With a wink, she turned and walked away.

He remained where he was standing and watched her depart, the sultry sway of her hips capturing his attention. Her wink triggered his usual Pavlovian response, although a real wink was definitely a lot sexier than a cyber wink. His hand drifted down to his aching hardon but he stopped himself just before he caused a scene. Closing his eyes, he tried to regain control.

Damn, he wanted to hoist her over his shoulder and carry her off to his bed. He recalled telling her that he wasn’t aggressive but he was certainly feeling that way now, especially after months of forced celibacy.Control Don, think she might get a bit panicky if you attacked her.

~~~~~~~~~~

Before going to her room, Jess stopped off at the Entertainment Desk to see if there were any other classes that she’d be interested in taking. There were so many choices that she ended up taking longer than she expected, and as a result, had to rush frantically in order to be ready for Don when he picked her up.

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