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The Fateful Cruise
Sherry Wilson put her fork down in exasperation. “Carla. What’s the point of having lunch together if all you’re going to do is eat? Have you heard a word I’ve said?”
Carla Baxter looked up from her lunch. The smile on her face was forced. “Yes, Sherry, I have been listening. I am just not interested. You know I’m not into the bar scene.”
Stabbing one of the ravioli on her plate, Sherry waved it like a baton as she spoke. “Good grief, Carla. All you do every night is sit at home, watch TV and pretend you’re happy. Get out there, enjoy life!” The ravioli made it into her mouth and she exclaimed around her chewing, “What you need is a really good fucking!”
Carla’s fork rattled loudly in her salad bowl when she dropped it. Her look fired daggers at her friend, not because the suggestion was insulting, but because Sherry knew better. “I’ve told you before, Sherry Marie Wilson, I need more from a guy than a hard on and the ability to use it. I need to be connected with him. I want to know who he is and for him to have taken the time to know who I am. I want to be able to talk with him, really talk, about things that matter.”
“Oh my God., Carla, you’re describing a husband, not a lover. A lover wants your body, not your brain. It’s nice to have your body wanted. Trust me, I know. If something comes after that, then okay. But I, for one, like the feel of a man deep inside me, making me squirm and gasp. I don’t need a rocket scientist for that.”
Carla knew everything her friend said was true. Sherry had been in a long succession of relationships, though some of them stretched the meaning of the word. One, Brad, had been for two years and might have gone as far as marriage if he had not been transferred to Brisbane. Many had been true one night stands that Sherry could not even put a name to. Her friend truly loved the purely physical side of men.
“Sherry. I’m not like you. I need a relationship first. The idea of just picking up a guy and going to bed with him holds no appeal for me. You, Cindy and Gavin need to stop trying to remake me in your own images.” Carla’s trio of friends had spent most of the 15 years or more they had known her trying to fix her up with boyfriends and sex partners. Add to them, her mother’s constant harping about why she had not found a good man and gotten married, and you had one frustrated, and apparently tolerant with her friends, woman.
“How would you know? You’ve never done it. Carla, by your own admission, you were celibate for five years after losing your virginity at 16. After that, you’ve had four boyfriends, all of whom you made wait for over a year before you went to bed with them. All of them eventually dumped you. You’ve never had a one night stand. You can’t possibly know how much fun they are or aren’t. You need to try.”
“I don’t want to, Sherry. Anyway, no one’s going to pick me up in a bar. I’m just not pretty.”
Now Sherry’s fork hit the plate, but not by being dropped. “Don’t you dare start on that again. You are not ugly.”
“I didn’t say I was ugly, I said I wasn’t pretty. I mean, have you looked at me? I have small tits. My body goes straight from my shoulders to my waist and then bulges. It’s not fat, but it is thick, thicker than men like. My face is forgettable, not ugly, but no one remembers it. I’ve seen what men want, you just have to look at their magazines, like Maxim and Stuff.”
Carla did not have a bad self image, just an honest one. The way she described her body was simply accurate. There are no curves to speak of until she reached her hips, where every ounce of excess body weight settled, and her breasts are small enough that a bra was completely optional. If she were interested in passing for a man, strapping down would not be overly painful. There was nothing wrong with her face, it simply lacked any distinguishing features that someone would remember later. She would be a police nightmare if she were a criminal.
She had dieted in the past. She quickly realized that the only way she was going to keep that bulge off was to starve herself indefinitely. She did not want that. Now she kept her five foot, seven inch body at a comfortable 140 pounds. While not what many would consider ideal, it was within healthy tolerances and, more importantly, it’s the size her body seemed to want to be at.
Sherry shook her head. “You know, Carla. There are guys out there that think you look just fine. Not everyone wants an hourglass waist or a Dolly Parton chest. Give them a chance.”
“They do want a woman that will screw on the first date. That’s why they’re in bars in the first place, an easy lay. I don’t want that.”
“You may not want it, but you do need it. You’re going to die a spinster if you don’t get out and enjoy what life has to offer you. But, it’s your life, I can’t live it for you.”
“That’s right, you can’t.” Carla sipped her lemonade and took her friend’s hand. “Listen, I appreciate how much you care for me. You keep bringing this up because monsters of cock porno you want to help. I love that you care so much. But, I am different. I can’t do casual in a relationship.”
“Will you at least do something different for your vacation? Two weeks of listening to your mom badger you about why you’re not married will leave you needing a vacation from your vacation, just like last year. Do something bold and daring, something you would never dream of doing in a million years. Live life, don’t just walk through it.”
“I’ll think about it, I promise.”
Carla Baxter worked at Hansen and Louis Importers and Exporters LLC. She was the head of the East Asian division and oversaw two dozen employees who were responsible for three million dollars of goods going into and out of the country every month. The goods her division brought into and out of the country were bought and sold by businesses throughout the USA. She pushed herself hard and expected her employees to do so as well. However, she had two hard and fast rules, learned from harsh experience.
Lunch time was lunch time. She did not allow working lunches for her employees. Rule two was similar, quitting time meant you left work and went home, or out, or anywhere that did not involve doing work. She had seen too many employees and supervisors, in the past, burn out because they skipped lunches and took work home with them. No one was indispensable and they had three shifts for a reason. Her policy’s success was in the retention figures for her division. In the last three years, they had only had to replace one employee and that was due to a new baby and the decision to stay at home with her. She was not as strict about vacations, but anyone with more that a month of accumulated vacation time had to use some of it up.
Carla spoke five languages; Chinese, Japanese, Korean, English and Spanish. Her knowledge of East Asian cultures had stood her in good stead, allowing her to anticipate market trends on the other side of the Pacific. She had a Master’s in Business administration and BAs in international studies and business computer programming. She was on track to be promoted to Vice President of International Relations when the current VP retired in seven more years. Professionally, her life was excellent.
Her personal life was a different story. In many ways, Carla was a lonely woman. Yes, she had friends. Sherry, Cindy and Gavin were her best friends. But, as Sherry had said, she had had only four boy friends in the twenty years since she graduated from high school. The reason for the death of romance in her life was her need for true romance instead of just sexual romance. She appreciated flowers and chocolates as much as the next woman, but she wanted more. Carla craved a man who could and would spend time just talking with her about any number of subjects. She needed her mind romanced as well as her body and emotions. With someone of Carla’s intelligence, such a man was hard to find.
She had almost given up the dream of finding a man who could give her what she wanted in a mate. That’s what she wanted, a mate, not just a sex partner. He didn’t have to fill all her needs. That’s what friends like Sherry and Cindy Hibson were for. Her mate? He had to not just be able, but want to discuss the events of the day and the latest book they read and be a mirror for issues at work. He had to love her and she had to love him. Not just love her, but be able to express that love in words and deeds. A desire for her body was a distant third in importance, nice, but simply accepting would be good enough.
She was beginning to suspect that she wanted too much. But, she could not help it. For Carla, sex was more than a simple physical act. It was the culmination of a relationship. Sex was the third leg in the tripod of relationship. This is why she believed that she would never be satisfied with one night stands. It’s also why she believed now, that she would never find her soul mate. She wanted too much from him. No man could be all those things. There were times, late at night, when she was alone with her feelings, that she wished she could be shallow and just enjoy the act of sex for its own sake. Yes, she could climax and enjoy it, but, the few times she did have a one night stand (Sherry did not know of these), she had sunk into a depression that took weeks to recover from. “Never again,” she would tell herself, but every two or three years, she would give in to the desire for something different.
Several weeks passed with no major change in Carla’s life. It was a Friday evening and she was at home getting ready to watch The Ghost Whisperer while checking her personal E-mail. Her vacation was scheduled in a month and she had no idea what she was going to do for those two weeks. She agreed with Sherry, visiting her mom was out of the question. Then she saw the E-mail. “Last minute cruise deals!” She had never been on a cruise before. Opening the letter, she saw that it was an naught america porno advertising spam that offered opportunities to fill last minute cancellations on cruises at a reduced rate. Clearly, she wasn’t going to take up any of these offers, but she did know that airlines, hotels and cruise lines liked to book full and would offer deals to fill spots at the last minute.
For some reason, a cruise sounded like a wonderful vacation. Instead of allowing a spammer to hack her computer, she closed the letter and did a search of cruises. Several refinements later, she found several cruise lines offering last minute deals on upcoming cruises. The choices of cabins were slim and all of the dates were within the next month, but the prices were good. One that caught her eye was advertised to go to the real Caribbean instead of the tourist’s Caribbean. Most of the islands that would be visited were lesser known stops. The ship itself was unremarkable, a typical cruise ship with the usual amenities. The cruise was three weeks instead of two because they had extended layovers at some of the stops to allow for passengers to explore some of the less settled areas under the care of trained guides. There was a mountain climbing expedition (all 4000 feet worth), three scuba diving stops (one of which was a cave exploration), and a five day jungle hiking and camping stop.
Carla booked herself a spot on the cruise and then logged into the company computer and extended her vacation for another week. She could not wait to tell Sherry about this. This was daring, something she had never dreamed of doing in a million years. With three weeks, she might even find a man and get to know him well enough to try to start a relationship. For the first time in years, Carla Baxter was excited about her vacation. She was determined to enjoy herself
The next month passed in a blur. Work went as well as it always did. The division was prepared to handle her extended absence. Carla trusted her staff fully and had no concerns about how things would go while she was gone. The team worked so well together that she could drop off the face of the earth and they would be able to carry on without her, for the short term at least.
Carla spent some time shopping. Very little of her wardrobe was suitable for tropical climates. She wanted to not just go on a different vacation; she wanted to be different on the vacation. Several sundresses, pairs of shorts, jeans and t-shirts, tank tops and swim suits to add to her more formal cocktail and evening wear. Another shopping trip added some sexy lingerie, just in case, as well as a few new pairs of shoes in various styles. She topped off her new outfits with some new stockings and a teddy and a set of garters. Two days before she was scheduled to leave on the cruise, she treated herself to a new hair style, waxing, a complete manicure/pedicure and a facial. She also purchased some condoms, just in case.
The next day, she was on a plane to Miami, from where the cruise was scheduled to depart. She had splurged on a luxury suite at the Miami Hilton and availed herself of the sauna and spa facilities to make herself feel like a princess. By eight the next morning, dressed in a sundress and sandals, she boarded the Mystic Queen, leaving the world she knew behind and entering the world of island mysteries.
The first day aboard ship had the usual schedule of safety instructions and drills that all passengers were advised to participate in. As the Captain put it, “While we have never had to employ these measures before, think of them like seat belts. Isn’t it reassuring to have them there?” Carla dutifully attended all the safety lessons and drills and even volunteered to be the ‘man overboard’ in the pool
The Mystic Queen wasn’t the largest cruise ship sailing the Caribbean, but that did not detract form the luxury on board. In addition to the formal dining room, there was a buffet that had a different theme every day of the week, two specialty diners (one traditional island cuisine and one gourmet French), three lounges that were open 24 hours a day and room service. Two of the lounges had dance floors, one with ballroom dancing and one with modern music.
There were diving lessons, taught by a certified diving instructor, for those who planned to take any of the scuba diving trips,. While Carla had once earned her certificate, it was long enough past that she signed up for one of the lessons as a refresher. The ship did not have a casino like some liners had, but did have a small theater. All in all, one could spend three weeks on board and never get bored.
On the second day, Carla was taking a few hours to work on her tan when a man’s voice spoke up beside her. “Excuse me, is this chair taken?”
Carla opened her eyes and saw a total hunk standing over the chaise lounge beside her. He stood a little over six feet and probably weighed around 200 pounds. She could not find an ounce of fat on him, yet his body did not have that ugly overdeveloped nubiles porn musculature frequently accompanying a rigid workout schedule. His tan was deep and even and his brief swim suit fit him like a glove, revealing well endowed muscles there as well. She smiled up at him. “No, I don’t think so, but I have been dead to the world for the last hour.”
“Hi. I’m Harold. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He held out his hand.
Shaking it, Carla answered, “Carla. It’s nice to meet you too. Is this your first cruise?”
Harold lay down on the lounge, setting his towel over the back. “No. I’ve taken a traditional cruise before, you know, stopping at St Croix, the Bahamas, St. Thomas. I wanted to try something different this time. How about yourself?”
“My first cruise. It sounded really interesting and different. And it’s nice and long.”
“It should be very enjoyable. That’s a nice start to your tan. You keep this up and we may have trouble telling you apart from the natives on the islands.”
“Thank you. You seem to have a head start on yours.”
“It’s easy to keep up a tan in Arizona. Do you need some more sunscreen on?”
Carla hesitated only a second before deciding, “I came on the cruise to do something different.” Smiling, she asked, “Would you mind?”
“Not at all.”
He took the bottle and applied the lotion to the exposed areas of her skin. She was not sure whether to be pleased or disappointed that he was a perfect gentleman and did not let his fingers stray under the edges of her swimsuit. His hands were strong, but smooth. He definitely did not work with his hands, yet knew how to use them. The process was much like a massage with the way he did it and Carla thoroughly enjoyed herself. Afterwards, they talked a little about small stuff and then just lie together soaking up sunbeams.
When the ship’s bell chimed noon, Harold turned his head. “May I buy you lunch?”
“That would be hard,” she answered, “since the food is all free.”
“Now don’t go spoiling my illusions. The man is supposed to buy the meal, and we should at least pretend that I can.”
“Well, in that case, buy away,” she said with a chuckle.
They had lunch in the buffet while she learned that he was a stock broker on a long vacation. He was single and on the cruise alone, hoping to meet a woman to enjoy the cruise with. He was a natural talker, able to hold up his end of a conversation with ease, yet he didn’t dominate it to the exclusion of herself. He showed an interest in her job at the company. They had a lively debate about the usefulness of tariffs without descending into acrimony. By the time lunch was over, Carla knew that she liked Harold.
He begged off the scuba lesson, thanks to an inner ear problem that prevented him from being able to go deeper than five feet without pain. The skills came back to her quickly. She loved the feeling of floating in the water and was looking forward to the diving tours. She was a little nervous about the cave dive, but the instructor promised a chance to practice cave diving in the pool. By the end of the first lesson, she was assisting some of the other students in basic breathing and swimming techniques (scuba swimming is different than regular swimming).
They met again at dinner in the main banquet room. Afterwards, they spent three hours dancing in one of the lounges. Neither was an exceptional dancer, but they did manage to avoid stepping on each other’s toes. The moon rose late that night and the couple watched the moon rising over the water, separating from its shimmering reflection in the waves. The ship had the outer lights to minimum, allowing the full panorama of the night time sky to be seen. Eventually, he led her back to her cabin, stealing a brief kiss before wishing her a good night.
Carla fell asleep quickly, seemingly so she could reach her dreams as quickly as possible. She dreamed of Harold and herself, entwined in her bed, kissing passionately. Her breasts were flushed, the entire areolas enlarging with arousal and the nipples erect. Her pussy was wet and engorged in anticipation of blissful penetration. Her hands were at his back, caressing and pulling him closer. His cock was stiff and full, leaving a trail of precum across her leg. His mouth was at her neck, licking and sucking at it. His hands were massaging one breast and her ass.
Her dream self was writhing under his ministrations. “Harold, please fuck me. I need to feel you inside me.” He pulled himself up and plunged his cock deep into her cunt. Carla gasped in pleasure as her pussy gripped at the welcome intruder. His thrusts were deep and slow while his lips found hers and consumed her cries of desire. Carla was lost in pleasure, unable to do anything but accept the ecstasy that was being forced upon her.
As she dreamed, the sleeping Carla was dripping pussy juice onto the sheets as she writhed in time with herself in the dream. Her hand was at her pussy, caressing her lips and clit in her sleep. Her moans sounded to the otherwise empty cabin, signaling her rapid approach to orgasm. The two Carlas reached climax at the same time. The dream Carla screaming in ecstasy as she and Harold came together, and the real Carla cumming more sedately as her body stiffened while her pussy quivered around her fingers, the only sound being a slightly louder moan.
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