What Happens on a Cruise, Stays on the Cruise - Part 5
Lemaruh, you are such a flirt! Harry beamed, as he took the last two stairs to where she stood.
He wrapped her arms around her back at the same time, pulling her close to him as he asked.
How does anyone let you out of their sight for a minute further have you cross the Atlantic for a week?
Who says there's anyone?
The beam remained across his face as he wagged his right forefinger at her.
Ah! Ah! Young lady, what's your story?
She tried twisting her way out of his hold and out of answering the question. The result was her shrieking with laughter just outside the night club as Harry guarded all her escape routes. The madness only broke when the ship's captain and one of the engineers encountered them as they walked by. On learning that Lemara was on her first cruise, he gave her a warm welcome and invited her and Harry to visit the bridge the next day. And as the conversation became decidedly technical between Harry, the engineer and the captain, Lemara jauntily excused herself and headed into the night club.
The current song faded but the DJ already had the dance hooked on the new beat, and the whoops went wild. There were no barefoot dancing on tables here, not yet at least but this Hoedown Throwdown had potential. Never one for letting a good tune go to waste, Lemara was straight in on the dancefloor - no hesitation. Miley Cyrus' mezzo-soprano vocals had those decibels cranked and in turn, everyone zig-zagging, sticking and gliding across the floor - the atmosphere was more than infectious. Such was the mood that the DJ gave way to an encore - another Hoedown Throwdown Showdown.
It was during this second showdown that Harry entered the club. Although she remembered he had pointed out that dancing was not his forte, Lemara excitedly motioned for him to join in. He waved back as if that is what she was doing and took a seat at a table blocked by four rather tipsy guys. Halfway through the encore, Lemara realised that while her dress may be well suited to the dinner table, it wasn't quite so for line dancing. But no dress was going to salt her dancing game.
The encore finally ended, and she sauntered over to the table where Harry was seated comfortably in a lounge chair. As she walked passed him to sit in the adjacent chair, he held onto her wrist, swung her onto his lap and shouted over the music into her ear.
I have ordered a Martini Mix, what would you like?
With Gin or Vodka?
With a lemon or an orange twist?
A lemon twist
It's Langdon, Harry Langdon
Mr Langdon, did I tell you that I like you already?
Not quite but I think you have shown me. His eyes intent.
A waiter appeared with a variety of nibbles for the table along with Harry's Martini. Lemara ordered a Beverly Hills iced tea, to which Harry raised an eye.
Are you planning on crashing early or waking up late?
Lemara picked up a handful of nibbles and was all smiles.
Does it matter? She asked.
Harry inhaled, but as he was about to answer, a reggaeton beat burst through speakers. Well, the club went wild once more, including the half wasted guys sat at the next table. This DJ was intent on keeping his crowd tonight. Lemara still sat sideways on Harry's lap, took a sip of his Martini and began to switch her hips to the beat. She could feel his package burgeoning, and he reached out to hold her hips still. An attempt to stem the development but instead she planted a kiss on his lips and kept switching.
Lemaruh, if we keep doing this, I won't be able to get up.
She laughed, but the music had marinated through to her bones and was much more than she could handle. She shimmied, threw her head back and when her eyes met his again, they were peppered with intent. She held onto Harry's hand as she got up to go to the dance floor, wanting to take him along with her but, he released her hand. She smiled, leant in and kissed him and off to the dance floor she went.
And as she got onto the dance floor, she remained facing Harry, giving him a private dance. Hands poised on her hips, she swayed them from side to side. The rhythm continued to take hold, she raised her right hand, sexily splayed her braids across her face and twirled.
Twirled directly into Justin's groove. Justin said nothing. He held her left hand, her right hand still on her forehead and spun her away from him and then back to him. Justin now held onto her waist. Her right hand, he laced around his neck, and he wrapped her left hand around her back, framing her body like a portrait.
The song ended. Justin pulled her close and whispered in her ear.
You are a sensational dancer!'
Lemara smiled and bowed out but not before acknowledging he wasn't so bad himself.
All that grooving had left her dehydrated like the Atacama desert. And just like the Atacama elevated at some sixteen thousand feet above sea level, she too was on a high as she jaunted back to where Harry had remained seated all that time. But whatever altitude levels Lemara was hanging out at, fell sharply like an aircraft in severe air turbulence. Harry was not happy, and his face wrote it out.
As Lemara passed the table of rowdy guys, one of them yanked on her wrist. She twisted her right arm free, and as she did, he went for her left arm. Harry leapt from his seat to dam the flow of events. So that Harry was now holding the guy's right arm, which was holding onto Lemara's left arm. But in Harry doing so, he knocked the guy's drink, and it now streamed down the front of Lemara's dress.
And in no uncertain terms, shouted over the music.
She is with me.
Lemara's eyes went from Harry's to Mr 'Overly Tipsy' in time to see him sober himself up. Harry then prized Lemara's hand away and led her out of the club.
As they cleared the noise of the nightclub into the quiet of the stairway, Harry halted and turned to Lemara.
Are you okay?
Dropping his tone on okay, making it more a statement than a question. The frustration visible on his face, but he said nothing else. He paced off some four or five steps and just as quickly paced back to Lemara, his shoes clicking on the marble floor as he did so. Harry closed his eyes, rested his forehead against hers, squeezed her with both his arms, and whispered.
I don't know what it is about you Lemaruh, but you are driving me frightfully crazy.
Her heartbeat raced, but she was undecided as to whether it stemmed from the fractious situation, which had just unfolded inside the club or watching him hold himself together or was it a combination of both.
What if I said the feeling is mutual?
Lemaruh! Lemaruh! Lemaruh! He repeated out of frustration.
He gave her another squeeze, inhaling her scent and then catching a waft of whatever the college boys' drink was that spilt onto her dress.
They walked back to Lemara's room so she could change out of the damp dress and go for a late bite. She emerged from the bathroom in a blue dress, buttons down the back to see Harry remove his second cufflink and place on the desk.
Sufficiently comfortable Mr Langdon?
Should I not be?
Walking over to where Lemara was standing doing up her buttons and elected himself as head button upper. And on finishing declared he had only done the buttons up three-quarters of the way. His reason for doing so was, he could swiftly remove the dress later.
And as he said that, the ship shuddered and swayed ever so slightly.
Even the ship quakes in anticipation of you, Harry! Lemara cheered.
Because even she knows something good when she sees it! Harry retorted with a wink.
They took that as a queue to go and get some food as they realised they were both quite hungry.
It had just gone past one am when they arrived at The Grill at the back of the ship. Another two young couples still dressed in their dinner wear, sat chitchatting at a table over beer and just-baked pizza. One of the ladies waved, and Harry and Lemara waved back at which point the rest of the table waved too. They motioned for Harry and Lemara to join them, but they politely declined.
They found a double lounge chair and laid back on it. The balminess of the night, the natural scent of the ocean and some soft steel pan music tingled through the air - it was a moment. Out there in the middle of the sea, the sky was asleep covered by a blanket of stars.
Its beautiful, isn't it?
Ahuh! Was all he said as he kissed her forehead.
Lemara, could not see Harry's face, but she sensed he was deep in thought and was reticent. A waiter appeared, offered a blanket and took their order of a beef burger, rack of ribs and two Jack Daniels and coke.
What are you doing tomorrow?
Still looking up at the stars and only taking a moment to glance over to Lemara, he replied.
Do you not mean, what are we doing tomorrow? I'm not so sure I want to let you out of my sight.
Don't you worry that drug will soon wear off, Mr Langdon. Was Lemara's witty remark.
He gave a half-suppressed laugh but once more became quiet.
By the way, I am on one of those group excursions tomorrow visiting Chacchoben and Kohunlich Mayan ruins.
What! Exclaimed Lemara, lifting her head to see his face.
Cancel your group excursion and accompany me on a private one.
His eyes remained on the night sky; his face was calm. Lemara supported her head on her left arm, and with her right hand, laced her fingers through Harry's left palm. And then Lemara remembered his ring finger from earlier. Tapping on his left finger, she enquired.
What is your story, Mr Langdon?
He finally tore his attention away from the night sky he had been outstaring ever since they sat down earlier and looked at Lemara. Inhaling deeply but quickly, becoming rather sombre after he did so.
He looked away to where his left hand now clasped Lemara's and looked back to her face before continuing, taking another breath as he restarted the conversation.
... She passed away two years ago following complications at childbirth.
The heat escaped Lemara's body, and it unexpectedly felt like they were sailing the Antarctic, not the balmy waters of the Caribbean Sea.
We had been married for two and a half years. The wedding band, I took off two months before the cruise.
There was a rawness to his voice as he continued to speak. Lemara held his gaze, but that's because she felt she could not now look away, neither did she know what the best thing to say was. If she were honest with herself, she would let out she was tearing up inwardly and felt his pain. She would let him know her stomach was churning the way it did one Christmas when she tried Finnish soured milk, because who wouldn't after hearing that.
I am so sorry to hear that. Lemara finally said.
Harry went back to peering at the night sky, and now Lemara understood why.