What Happens on a Cruise, Stays on the Cruise - Part 6
The food arrived, you smelled it before you saw it.
The table of four had long since retired, replaced by the honeymooners from dinner. They later reclined to the far end of the deck in a lesser lit area. Except for the two members of staff, Harry and Lemara were alone.
Harry being his usual self, cut the ribs, placing them in the centre of the table to share. Lemara, on the other hand, munched on her burger only remembering to offer a bite just before the last two mouthsful. Having finished her burger, she helped herself to some of Harry's ribs. He sat back, admiring the way she ate.
And before they had a chance to see the bottoms of their two glasses of Jack Daniels and coke, another two materialised. As the waiter placed their drinks down,
Lemara thought to herself that if anyone had ever died on a cruise, it wasn't from thirst.
They sat back into the double lounge chair; eyes to the midnight sky, conversation zigzagging from their most anticipated destination to excursions booked. For Harry, his most anticipated stop on the itinerary was the next one, Costa Maya and seeing the ruins. For Lemara it was Grand Cayman, it was on her bucket list of Caribbean Islands to visit, along with the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Grenadines.
Which island are you from, Lemaruh? A lot of interest in his tone.
Hazard a guess! As she turned her body towards his.
What's my prize for getting the answer correct? Casting a glance her way and then back to the night sky.
I'll accompany you on your private tour tomorrow Mr Langdon.
Lemaruh, you've already been cancelled off that excursion of yours and coming with me.
And he said it with such no-nonsense, that Lemara all but agreed in words.
So come on, what's the prize for getting the answer correct?
Get it right, and you'll soon find out. She teased.
Harry turned onto his side, facing Lemara. His face covered her face, and then his lips covered her lips with a Jack Daniels' warmed kiss. Laying back onto the chair, she wrapped both her arms around his neck. Her lips parted, and they danced crosses and figure eights with their tongues. Then letting each other up for some salty Caribbean air only to resume their Argentine tongue-tangoing once more.
Lemara felt a warm patch on her leg and then another. As she moved her lips away from Harry's, he muttered.
It's going to pour down, gesturing upwards as he did so.
A little punch-drunk, Lemara moved her head away from his, she then felt a drop of moisture on her face and another. And the rain came down. She grinned at him, now realising what was happening and what he meant.
Do you know what I like to do when it rains?
Her eyes perused his face for the answer, but he had it written in his seductive tone. His eyes trace her curves through a dress now stuck to her body, with rain. Harry catches her eyes once more, and they were sensual, tantric even, connecting like nothing before. He covered her body with his, resumed his kisses, this time like sweet marshmallows, kissing like they were the only two people in the middle of the Caribbean sea. Her body deliciously settled into his, breathing together while the rain slapped down on them until they were both sodden.
It was the sound of footsteps getting closer as they ran, splashing in the rain that drew them out of their sensual coma. The rain seemed to stop, so did the footsteps, and the canopy of an open umbrella appeared over them carried by staff. They took a moment to adjust themselves, drops of rain dripping off Harry's face onto Lemara's he whispered in her ear.
Eight minutes to your room and four minutes to mine.
When Lemara booked this cruise a few days ago, it was so she could create some thinking space, decide what or where she was going with the one she left in London. There was nothing concerning there, gosh no. Still, for whatever the reason, she was questioning herself and her place in the relationship. And he had unwittingly agreed for her to have this time, though he'd, much prefer she had opted for a staycation, something closer to home. But if she were to be wholly honest, it was a little treat to herself too for having completed her Masters. So this amorous encounter was never in a million what this holiday was supposed to be but goodness, this man had made himself wholesomely irresistible.
It was wrong but felt right. Like absentmindedly putting a dollop of butter into your cup of coffee one morning instead of your omelette pan, and discovering you love this new silky taste. Wondering how you had gone all those years drinking coffee as you had.
Lemara agonised over the situation. Progressing this liaison any further would add salt to a wound that didn't need it, but the salt was already added the moment she allowed him into her thoughts.
I'll deal with London when I return to London, Lemara told herself, tonight, she wanted to stay where she was.'
Yours! She ultimately breathed.
Harry gets up, walks around to where the waiter is standing holding the umbrella. With one arm outstretched to Lemara, he helps her up off the lounge chair, her dress clinging to her body like wet glue. Harry notices the waiter's eyes - transfixed on Lemara. He keeps hold of her hand, with the other; he takes the umbrella off the waiter, looks him in the eye and clipped.
I'll take it from here.
She looks at the waiter and then back at Harry, overly amused with the situation.
With clenched jaws, he laces his fingers through hers, his stride as self-assured as himself, his eyes focused on the corridor ahead. She senses his thoughts and her body went warm in the wet dress. He said nothing as they walked to his room. Arriving there, he spins her, placing her back to the door and pauses without opening it. His eyes full of intent, locked on hers, their thoughts transparent. Her dress that had remained quarter way unbuttoned all night suddenly felt tight across her chest. Then he leaned in, placing his left hand on the doorpost, and letting the other trace down her spine as he pulled her close. Her body whirled from the sensation of his touch, controlled and gentle. His eyes moved slowly from her lips to her chest and back to her lips again. As her arms moved from around his waist and begin to caress their way up his neck, he grabs them and pins her to the door.
They move in for a kiss, but he bypasses her lips and nibbles passionately on her ear. Through this, he mouthed.
Once we go past this door, it's unlikely we'll want to turn back.
As he does so, she bites down on her lip to stem the sensation he was creating.
She pauses, trying to clear her mind from the steamy thoughts that had settled in. Was he testing or teasing her?
She reaches around once more for his lips, he complies, allowing them to brush against each other.
In doing so, he opens the door and walks in. With a rawness in his voice. He said.
I'm ready to be handed those controls if you are.
She knew exactly what he meant and she wavered briefly, but only long enough to reignite their storm. It was clear there was nothing to dampen the sparks he'd been igniting for the last two days. Instead, she wanted his sparks to collide with hers. As she breezed over the threshold, Harry's lips met hers. His tongue plunged and the door closed. His blazer and her dress fell to the floor. He hoisted her unto his hips. She wrapped her legs around him feeling his need as they spun into their tornado.
She catches the sound of a shower running to the left of her. And as she opens her eyes, on her right, are opened glass-paned walls with billowing white drapes, masquerading over a teak decked balcony. On the outside, nothing but eternal blue skies. She blinks to adjust her view from the blazing sunshine. Two wine glasses accompanied by an almost empty wine bottle seem to glint at her. She looks at the vacant half of the king-sized bed and then to her naked body half cloaked under the duvet, and the storms of the night flooded back to her. She embosoms a pillow, closing her eyes as his scent trickles streams of after the storm. Gales of an unbridled night recurred uninvited through her mind.
A ping and then another from a phone in another room brought her back to reality. Lemara looked to where the sound came from and caught sight of a baby grand. Next to that, a dinner table with six chairs. As her eyes trailed back to the bedroom, she realised her entire stateroom (bedroom, bathroom and wardrobe) would fit into his suite some five times, not including the balcony.
The shower stopped, and the storm god that was Harry emerged from the bathroom, towel in hand tousling his wet hair.
And that view, that view was so damn good from there...
He was very toned, which suggested he routinely graced a gym with his presence somewhere. Except for the inking of a lion's head raising hell on the right half of his chest and onto his shoulder cap and a scar just below that, he was unscathed.
Realising Lemara was awake, he dropped his arms along with the towel to his side and strolled over to the bed. He sat on her side of the bed, leaned over and nibbled on her lower lip.
How is my tempestuous woman?
Lemara raised an eyebrow and with prolonged stress on 'your' quizzed.
Your tempestuous woman?
Harry lifted his head ever so slightly, took a quick sweep around the suite and smirked devilishly.
I don't see anyone else here. Do you?
Then, I guess you bring out that tempestuous woman in me! Mirroring his tone, biting back on his upper lip and running her fingers through his damp hair.
As she did so, he peeled back the duvet, his nakedness hovering over hers, he leaned in and went for a long syrupy kiss. She felt his storm gathering, and he reached for a cocoon in the drawer of the bedside table. Lightning struck. Her warmth collided with his fresh out of the shower coolness, fogging and clouding their senses. She drifted through an intense rumble of thunder, and the cloud exploded, raining down oceans in the name of Harry Langdon.
As he lay there holding her through the calm that followed that storm, she found herself wanting to stay there, wanting to spend the rest of the cruise with him.
As Lemara exited the bedroom into the living area, there was a knock on the door of the suite, dressed only in an unbuttoned white shirt of Harry's she looked up to see a butler walking in breakfast on a trolley. She froze.
Good morning, Mr Langdon!
Seeing Lemara standing in the doorway of the bedroom, extended greetings to her too.
Good morning, Ms Heisen!
Turning back to Harry, he asked.
Where would you like breakfast served sir? With much familiarity.
On the balcony please James.
James rolls the breakfast out to the table and chairs on the verandah. He gives the table and chairs a thorough wipe down, although from where Lemara was standing, she was sure she could already see James's reflection on the table. He served breakfast and disappeared.
Harry, who sat across the room working on his laptop, never once looked up from what he was doing.
Lemara looked over to where he sat and asked.
Harry, how does your butler know my name?
I told him you were here. Possibly even seen you.
You told him I was here? Why? She flashed.
On my way to the gym, I requested some coffee and fresh-pressed juice delivered, should you have woken up and the need arose.
You left me here alone? And where is the coffee?
Its a suite on a cruise ship Lemaruh, not the torpedo room of a submarine. Besides, going to the gym was my only antidote to the last few hours. And keep my hands off you. The coffee is in the kitchen, and I left a note on the bed. Ahh, he's also taken your dress from last night to be laundered.
Lemara leaned on the doorway to the bedroom, arms now folded across her chest, causing the shirt to splay at her hips. She took a quick scan of the suite looking for the kitchen, when Harry finally looked up at her with an observing eye and then back again to his laptop, leaving her feeling naked. Without looking up a second time from what he was doing, declared.
By the way, I like that shirt on you.
Lemara felt herself blushing as she stood staring back at Mr Confidence himself, his eyes pinned to his laptop. She took another look at the crisp, white shirt of his that she wore and wondered if that was down to him. She remembered noticing how neatly his shirts had been ordered in the walk-in wardrobe. Shoes polished for reflection and surmised, he must have a military background because no one shines shoes that way anymore.
She took a quick examination of the suite, glass walls ran the entire length of it so that no matter where you were, you had an eternal view out. Lemara recognised it to be one of the Penthouse suites she came across when she was making her own booking. It also matched his style of martini - clean, fresh.
She stepped out into the living room, and there on her right was the kitchen. She turned back to Harry and asked.
You've been to my room every day, how have I never been here?
I suppose you didn't want to.
She looked at him a little perplexed and seeing this he continued.
On the very first day, I gave you my room number, (no one else has been that lucky) and that was before you even knew my last name. The second day, I rectified that and gave you my last name.
And a whole lot more, Lemara mouthed to herself.
But Harry's concentration was now back to his laptop, where his fingers of both hands were thudding away on his keyboard like a two-horse race at Ascot.
Today I'll get you a key, and you can move in.
Mazed by the nonchalance of his statement, Lemara gave him a long hard stare and quipped.
What makes you think I want to move in here with you?
He was clearly taken aback by her response, causing him to look up from his laptop, but as he was about to respond, she interrupted him.
What has you so glued to that laptop?
He looked overly amused at her as he said.
She glared at him. And what is it that you do?
Lemara was a tad puzzled at her mood that was going slightly salty. But was she upset with him for being on his laptop? Or had the magnitude of the lay of the land sunk in and she was now going salty with herself? Harry being the intuitive guy that he was, sensed it.
I have a wine import business. Shutting the laptop and walking over to Lemara as he responded. But enough about me, I want to know ALL about you. Swooping her off her feet and carrying her out to the balcony where breakfast was laid out.
Through bites of smoked salmon and eggs on brioche, she told him that she had just finished her Masters in Communication and Media Studies and that her ideal job would be that of a Travel Publicist. She talked about landing such a role with an international hotel chain or cruise line and who her perfect company would be to work for.
His eyes fixed on her, coffee in his hand as he sat back, absorbing everything she excitedly vocalised of her raison d'être.
She went on to tell him she was from an island in the Caribbean, and when he told her he knew of it, she stopped talking. Flabbergasted that he did.
Lemara also shared she had one older sister; but that she had died 3 months ago in a car accident.
Another of the reason she was questioning her current life. Was this it? Or was there more out there to be explored and lived? Not that there was anything the matter with her present life, some would call it rather cushty.
But having said that she realised that she and Harry had something a little in common.
Neither of them said anything, they simply sat solemnly looking out at the sea.
A little while later, the matter of the visit to the bridge came up and given the time, agreed on stopping by sometime between returning to the ship and going to dinner.
Hand in hand (you'd think these two boarded the cruise as an actual couple) they walked up to the security point just before disembarking the ship. On checking her handbag, Lemara realised her purse was not in it. Pointing this out to Harry, she turned on her heels to dash back for it.
You won't be needing it, but Okay!
Spinning back around to him, Lemara questioned.
Why won't I need it?
Where we are going today 'mi morena hermosa', it's just the driver, the tour guide who is meeting us there, you, me and nature. He said with a twinkle in his eye.
And what if we got separated? Smiling coyly at his term of endearment.
Lemaruh, since I laid eyes on you, has there been anything to suggest that I'd like to be anywhere else?
Lemara pressed her lips together, and although she knew the answer, she searched his face, it mirrored his words.
Or are you planning on running off with a Costa Mayan playboy?
She teased a smile at him and cracked on back to her room. He ran his fingers down her back as she walked off, drawing the attention of the ship's immigrations' officers.
Twirling onto her bed face down like a woman who's had an unbelievably mesmeric few days. She lay still on the bed, letting it all sink in. As Lemara lay there, she thought her senses were tricking her thinking. She could smell a very familiar fragrance. She dismissed it, thinking it was her clothing or something of his she had brought from London. Just then someone cleared their throat, it had another trick of familiarity but being that she was thousands of miles away on the east coast of Mexico, it didn't register as it should. Never the less it became apparent that there was someone else in the room.
Annoyed to discover that once again, she had walked into her room and left the door unlocked. But excited, all the same, to think that Harry not wanting to spend a minute away from her, had come back. She rolled onto her back and exclaimed.
Missing me al...
Lemara's voice trailed off. Her stomach cartwheeled, her chest burned, and the bottom of her belly boiled. Her body stiffened as she felt the life drain away from her.