24 - What Happens on A Cruise, Stays on The Cruise
Though not thunderous because you'd never label Joshua as a shouter or screamer, authoritative, yes, but never a shouter. Those words thundered in her ears.
What do you mean?
An unexpected chuckle or was it shock that gushed from her lips.
I came back here last night looking for you, and you weren't here.
Josh, it was me who let you in last night or rather this morning.
Maybe this morning you did, but last night I came back, and you weren't in.
Josh, when was this? Eyes marooned on him.
The question asked, the answer not necessarily desired. Because what is Joshua talking about? What other time last night did he come back to the suite?
I came back here after I ran into Jada and her mother.
Her brain glitched, a poker face refraining from coming to her rescue, remembering when last she saw Jada and her mom; she was with Harry. Jada, Jada drunk at the bar, Jada spouting she thought Harry was her boyfriend...
I went back to the Sports Bar to get you. Piping up.
Eyes still marooned on him, her brain went down memory lane in dread.
His towel stopped halfway up, drying his three-day-old unshaven face. Poker, painting over any of his telltale signs.
And you weren't there. I then went looking for you, and since you were nowhere to be found, I came back here. The question is, where were you?
A small smile brushed his face.
What was that? Wanting to smile back but instead employed the countenance of a stern face guard.
What was...? He failed to finish the sentence.
Josh, you just smiled after I said I couldn't find you. On a night when our ship was lifted to high heaven, dropped to low hell and smacked from left to right.
He sure smiled then, even chuckled but said little more after that, and Joshua is never void of words.
Tell you what. Why don't you tell me why you came back here late night bacchanalian and half-naked with Natalie?
His eyes darted from her out the glass-panelled bedroom walls, then returned to her still sat on the bed.
I came back here with Natalie?
The answer soaked in mortification.
His response shrunk in volume as he said her name. And even then, her face went a shade of ash as he did.
Yes, you did. Her response quick.
We had a few drinks.
That was it?
How many were a few drinks, Josh? Shooting back.
Honestly, hun, I cannot remember. Had a few in the sports bar with David. The race finished. I went to look for you at the pool bar. You weren't there. Natalie said she saw you, Jada and her mom heading in the direction of the rooms, so I came back here.
Wrapping the towel around him as he spoke. He stopped. Both the sentence and the towel wrapping, coming to a synchronised finish. But there it was again, 'Natalie said' and she inwardly flinched.
But surely that story isn't finished. Lemara folded her arms side-eyed Joshua. No one spoke. Lemara because her brain played catch up. Was this Natalie's or Joshua's version of events? If Natalie had chosen not to mention Harry, smart woman, but if she had and Joshua had decided not to mention him, now that made her nervous.