Kirk woke as the sunlight shining through the small porthole near his bunk swept accross his face. It was already warm and humid and Kirk knew it was going to be a scorching day. He pulled on his cut-offs and climbed up from his cabin to the deck of his catamaran, surveying the lines, rigging and wind powered generator with a practiced eye. Finding that all was well, he went to the side, dropped the ladder, and executed a passable swan dive into the Caribbean.
As the cool, clean water cleared the cobwebs from his head, Kirk began to swim slow easy stokes around the hulls of his boat, checking the fiberglass and metal fittings. The 32 foot gleaming white boat had been a dream since his adolesence. Starting to sail when he was just 10 years old, he was an accomplished sailor by the time he started college. He knew that one day he would have his own cruising boat, but he had never thought that it would come to him so young. At 28, he was single and independent. He had started working for a fledgling computer company part-time while in college studying computer science. Once he graduated, he started working full time, helping to develop communications software. It was a great job, working with a creative group of people in San Diego, but it wasn't perfect. The company was lean. There were a few bounced paychecks and nonexistent raises and the landlord would show up each month to make sure she was paid first. The owner and president kept his principle team together, making up for the shoestring payroll by making each employee a part-owner. They released their software just as the Internet was becoming 'the next big thing'. It was an instant sucess. Before long, they moved into nicer offices and started to work on new products and not long after that, the men in suites started to show up with offers from the major software companies. They remained independent until their second product hit the market with a bang and then, in a whirlwind of negotiations and meetings, the company was sold in a cash deal. Kirk's share, including accumulated profits from sales of software, came to almost four million dollars.
Kirk was given a contract to stay with the new organization at a much higher salary and for the next year he worked for the new management team. The spark was gone, however, and he knew it. The new management was interested in getting products to market fast and cheap and Kirk's designs were executed by cadres of programmers in Asia and beamed by satellite each day for Kirk to check. Realizing that with even moderate interest, his windfall would give him almost $300,000 a year in income, after setting aside a sizable amount for retirement investments, he quit at the end of his contract. It was an amiable parting and he had a casual consulting contract that provided a stipend each month. All in all, not bad for six years work, he thought as he swam back to the ladder.
Kirk climbed up the ladder to the cats' deck and let the morning sun start to dry him. He made a note to replace the line to the Zodiac that he towed and used as a runabout and then started to get the Zodiac ready for his short trip to the pier of the hotel that he was anchored off. After checking the outboard motor and fuel tank, Kirk pulled a T-shirt on and grabbed his knapsack.
The motor started on the first try and Kirk pushed away from the hull of his boar and got behind the controls of the 10 foot rigid inflatable. All it took was one hard twist on the throttle and then a slow coast onto the beach. The hotel's beach staff grabbed the line and helped Kirk pull the Zodiac onto the beach. Kirk went up the stairs to small outdoor cafe and ordered his standard breakfast of a croissant, rich black coffee served French style in a large cup, and freshly cut slices of mango. He grabbed the english-language daily paper, which was published mostly for the tourist-trade, but from time-to-time did feature interesting stories and gave him an idea about how the markets were doing in the States, and started reading. He had a cellular phone and computer, but phone service was spotty and expensive on the island.
"Excuse me, sir, but is that your boat?" The question was asked in heavily accented english, the speaker obviously French.
Kirk turned around to see a young woman, about 23, with short blond hair and skin tanned the color of honey. Her eyes, bright blue, were squinting against the glare of sunlight off the sea. Her face was thin, but pleasant, with a small mouth and a straight nose which was peeling from a slight burn. Kirk saw that she was looking at the beached Zodiac.
"Yes, it is," he said. "Can I help you?"
"Can I rent it? I would like to dive near the island for only an hour or so. The other places won't rent a boat for less than a day and I can't afford that."
Kirk was suspicious. He had a tourist visa and was not supposed to engage in any business activity, especially activity that would take money away from the French charter boat business. He had done some casual charter trips in the four months he had been on the island, mostly for American tourists who wanted a sunset cruise around the island or a day trip to some of the nearby islands. He charged less than the going rates and after he figured in the cost of food, drink, fuel and maintenance, he barely made money. It was more a way to spend some time with some fellow Americans on this French administered island, and to sail the boat he was so proud of.
"Well," he responded, "I can't charter it, but I am up for some diving. How about I take you out and we can share expenses."
She thought about it for a moment and then said "Oui, but there is my sister too. Is the boat too small for three and our gear?" Her pernounciation of "oui" as "way" told him she was Parisian.
Kirk nodded towards the catamaran gently swaying 150 feet from shore and said "That's mine too - we can take either one."
Her eyes got big as she saw the large sailboat with its elegent lines. She stuck out her hand and said "I am Giselle and my sister is Caroline. What time can we go?"
Kirk shook her hand, holding it a bit longer than necessary. He looked at his watch, a Rolex he had splurged on when he cashed his stock in. He had errands to run, but it was only 8:00 a.m. and he could be back to the beach my 10:00.
"My name is Kirk. How about we meet here at 11:00 and we'll go out for about two or three hours." He told her he would bring water, soft drinks and some snacks.
She agreed to meet back at the beach at 11:00 a.m. She walked down to the water's edge and took another look at the boat before skipping off towards the guest rooms.
Kirk finished his breakfast and went to the stairs marked "Epicine / Pool". He had an agreement with the hotel that he could use the freshwater shower in the bathrooms next to the pool in return for helping to keep the hotel's computer running. His boat had a shower, but the freshwater tank was small and it was expensive to buy water on an island where the only source of clean freshwater was a large desalinization plant. After a quick shower and shave, Kirk got in his car, a beat up Japanese built jeep, and drove to the capital city of the island. The work day was just starting and the narrow roads were crowded with Puegots and Renaults jockying for the few parking spots. Kirk parked near the main market and made his way to the post office and bank. Quickly conducting business there, he stopped by the small computer store he had invested in. They sold few systems, but a fair amount of software and made most of their money maintaining the computer systems at the various hotels. He spent a few minutes there looking at the inventory and picking up the replacement battery for his laptop computer and then walked back to his car. The next stop was the large French-owned grocery store for provisions. He bought a case of water, a few six packs of soft drinks, beer, two bottles of white wine and some fruit. He bought ice for the cooler on the boat, hoping that he wouldn't be a traffic tie-up on the way back. The next stop was at the bakery, for a baguette and a few excellent small sandwiches.
The drive back to hotel was uneventful. Passing through the small town near the hotels, he noticed that the numbers of tourists had increased greatly - it was August after all, a time when nearly all of France went on vacation and a lot of them vactioned at French islands. Kirk saw the other American who lived on the island opening their shops and bars. here wasn't a large community of Americans, so they knew each other well.
He quickly loaded the groceries onto the Zodiac and headed out to the boat. The ice was starting to melt as he packed the cooler. The small refrigerator in the galley consumed too much power to use unless he really needed it. Living aboard the boat for the five months he owned it had taught him to be tidy and organized, but it still needed to straightened up. He moved around with assurance, knowing when to duck to avoid hitting the low overhead, and when to pick up his feet to clear the hatch. He moved back to the deck to and pulled up a few buckets of seawater to wash the windblown dust off the deck and to cool the surface. At the transom, he pulled up the single fishing line and discovered a small sargent-major fish struggling on the small hook. He slammed it on the deck to stun it and then called Posiden, the kitten he had found in the boat yard when he bought the boat from a broker in Florida. Posiden scampered out of the second cabin and ran over to where the fish gasped on deck, and started to attack it. Kirk made a mental note to wash the area off just before he went to the beach to get the two sisters. Moving forward, he made sure that his scuba tank was fully pressurized with air and then he went below to change and make sure his guests would be comfortable.
He stripped off his shorts and T-shirt and stopped to look in the mirror for a moment. At 5'10", he was not tall but he kept his weight at a trim 170 pounds by swimming every day and running on the beach at least three times a week. His simple diet, exercise and fresh air kept him healthy and the sun kept his skin tanned to a deep copper color and his short hair a burnished golden blond. Good looking in an all-American guy kind of way, he was always popular with girls even as a "computer nerd" in college. He had not had a serious relationship since he left San Diego nearly six months ago. He pulled on his bathing suit and got a clean T-shirt out of the locker then went to the head to brush his teeth. He checked to make sure the bunk in the second cabin was made and that the cat's sand box, tucked away in a corner of the deck, was clean. Posiden was just finished eating when Kirk walked to the back of the boat, so he kicked the remains of the fish over the side and rinsed the scales and scraps off the deck with a bucket of water while Posiden scurried to get out the way. Kirk knew from experience that the young cat would spend a few minutes bathing himself and then find a shady spot on the deck to sleep.
Kirk jumped into the Zodiac and started to motor to the beach just as Giselle walked up with a younger girl in tow. Kirk guessed that she was Caroline. Whatever the relationship, it did not look like a good one just now. From their body-language and the way they gestured when spoke to each other, they seemed to be fighting about something. Giselle waved at him as he nosed onto the beach and jumped over the bow onto the hot sand. She ran over, her small breasts shaking under her oversize T-shirt. She said that Caroline did not want to go because she preferred to watch music videos in their room, but that their parents had insisted. Kirk asked if the parents wanted to go too and Giselle explained that they had flown to the regional capital late that morning for business and would not be back until late that night or the next morning.
He walked over to where Caroline sat on the large duffle bag which he assumed held their diving gear and stuck out his hand, flashed a big smile and introduced himself. She gave him a prefunctory shake as she stood up and walked closer to the boat, her head bobing to the music playing through headphones half hidden in her brown hair. Grabbing the duffle, Kirk walked back to the Zodiac and pushed the nose around into the light surf. Giselle gave Caroline a little shove towards the boat and they both climbed in.
Kirk was able to size up the sister who sat in front of him on the boat for the short trip back to the catamaran. Caroline, though younger, was bigger - taller and heavier - then Giselle. Her brown hair and eyes stood in contrast to Giselle's blond hair and blue eyes.
When they pulled up next to the cat', Kirk held the Zodiac in place while the girls climbed up the ladder onto the deck. Giselle went first and Kirk followed the view of her firm, bikini-clad ass climbing the ladder inches from his face with appreciation. Caroline went next, after glaring at Kirk until he backed away from the ladder - but still glimpsing her bathing suit covered bottom peeking out from under the large and baggy cover-up she wore. Kirk followed with the duffle and quickly tied off the Zodiac. Within a few minutes, he started the catamaran's small engine and prepared to sail. Although the boat could be sailed single handed, it was easier with a crew and Giselle was a willing student. Caroline helped too, grinding away at a winch when Kirk shouted the request so he could be heard over the noise made by the wind, the outboard motor, and the mp3 stereo that Caroline still listened to.
With the sails up, the catamaran made a steady six knots, so Kirk turned the motor off and enjoyed the sound of the wind beating against the sail and rattling the rigging. Kirk took orders for soft drinks and poured some for himself. He showed them around topside and explained that there was a bathroom and he would explain how to use it if necessary but he hoped it would not be. Giselle moved to the front of the catamaran, bringing a towell she took from the duffle. Caroline moved to a seat under the shade of the canopy and took out a French fasion magazine and started to read. Kirk was wondering if this was a good idea after all. His conversational French was limited and Caroline's english skills were unknown and, anyway, she looked like she would rather be anywhere but on a boat.
Kirk heard Giselle asking for help up front, so he made sure the self-steering gear was working and went forward, grabbing a few cans of Coke on the way. Giselle was reclining against the steeply raked front of the main cabin, between the two large plexiglass windows, struggling to get the towel to stop whiping in the wind. Kirk showed her how to wedge the edges under the window sills and hatchs. Able to finally relax Giselle then pulled off her large T-shirt and, seemingly without a thought, reached around to untie her bikini top. Kirk was used to seeing women on the beach, from teen-agers to grandmothers, topless, but the sight of a women actually taking off her top in front of him was still exciting. It wasn't being nude, he thought, it was getting nude.
Giselle acted like nothing happened. She sipped her drink and then applied tanning oil to her arms and to her breasts, which were small and cone shaped and topped by small aureoles and nipples, tanned-brown by the sun. The oil had the effect of darkening her skin from honey to cinnamon color and the cool sea air made her nipples stiffen. She had no tan lines, so Kirk assumed she had been tanning topless for a while. Kirk was kneeling next to Giselle, afraid to stand because he was sure that she would see the excitment he was feeling. Just then, he heard Caroline. She was leaning over the the top of the cabin and started to speak in rapid-fire French, her voice rising in volume and pitch. Apparently finished, she turned on her heel and went back to her seat to read.
"She does not approve that I am nude...is that right?" Giselle said.
"Well, you are not nude - we say topless. But many of the French do it." Kirk answered.
"Naturally, but Caroline is not like that. She does not show her body and she is - how do you say - shy - around boys."
She swept her hair back away from her face and Kirk noticed that she did not shave under her arms. The hair there was fine and blond. Glancing down, he noticed that like many european women, she did not shave her legs above the the knee. Unlike many of his friends back in San Diego, he did not find underarm hair offensive and even if he had, it was a fact of life on this island.
The wind suddenly shifted so Kirk made his way back to the cockpit. Caroline glanced at him as he turned of the self-steerer and adjusted the lines and rudder to stay on course. His partial-erection was straining against his bathing suit, but his T-shirt covered him so he was concerned that Caroline might think the wrong thing about him.
Suddenly, she was standing next to him. Almost as tall as he was, the wind blowing against her baggy cover-up forced the material back to reveal a more womanly figure than her sister. She looked like a classic 36-24-36, but with a broad back that indicated that she spent at least some of her time swimming.
"Show me how to drive this." she said, her accent thick.
Kirk moved back to let Caroline stand between him and wheel. He showed her the compass, and the course he was following to the small island now only a few minutes away. He gave her a brief description of the lines and sheets but could tell she was not following him. She steered, like most novices, constantly going left and right of the mark, never letting the boat settle on course. During one turn, she pointed the bows across a wave, lifting the twin hulls so that they crashed back into the water and threw spray on her sister, who shrieked with unhappy surprise. Caroline seemed pleased with herself and tried it again, this time angling across a larger wave so which rocked the boat hard enough to make her step back to keep her balance. Kirk put his hands out to catch her, but she stepped back too abruptly. His hands closed around her waist as her ass pushed back onto him. He could feel the twin globes spread and give as she pressed back and he knew that Caroline could not avoid feeling his cock. Caroline turned and moved away but Kirk saw the quick look at his groin and her sly smile. She was teasing him to try to upset her sister, he thought.
Kirk dropped the sail and let the boat drift into the the lee of the small island. Giselle dropped the anchor into the clear, calm water at his command. Kirk quickly grabbed his tanks but then noticed that the two women only had masks, fins and snorkels. He explained that when Giselle had said dive, he assumed that she meant scuba-dive and not snorkling.
He suggested that they all snorkle at the surface, but he would use the scuba gear to explore areas for them. They agreed and Giselle, with her bikini top back on, jumped into the water. Caroline grabbed the hem of her T-shirt and slowly pulled it over her head. She was wearing a one piece bathing suit, cut high in front and fairly low in back, with tight straps. As she pulled the T-shirt over her head, Kirk saw her clearly defined muscles on her upper arm and that she too did not shave her armpits. Her underarm hair was thick and dark brown and sticking to her skin with sweat. She turned and Kirk could see the broad muscles of her shoulders and upper-arms. She really is a swimmer, Kirk thought, as he buckled on his weight belt and then grabbed a plastic bag of stale bread.
Caroline jumped in, followed by Kirk. Giselle joined them and they swam on the surface to the edges of the reef. Giselle was comfortable in the water, swimming with smooth strokes and keeping her head down and looking at the reef a mere 15 feet below. Caroline took longer, more powerful strokes, but her head darted around like she was afraid that something would sneak up on her. The water was warm and they could see down to about 40 feet, to the base of the reef. They swam around the sea fans and coral heads, spotting electric blue tropical fish, starfish and once, for a second, the head of a moray eel. Every few minutes they would stop and discuss what they saw. Kirk decided to give them a story to take home, so as they passed over a school of yellow-tails, he dove down and opened the bag of bread and started to scatter the pieces in the water. First one fish, then another peeled off from the school and took a piece of bread. Giselle stopped swimming and floated to the surface to watch the spectacle and Caroline followed her. Now, must of the school of fish, about 40 in all, surrounded Kirk and rushed in to take pieces of bread. He adjusted his bouyency vest so that he slowly rose and the fish followed him. Giselle swam down to meet him and eagerly took a piece of bread. As the fish fed, he could see her eyes light up and then heard her shriek with glee, forcing a burst of bubbles out, as one of the fish nipped her finger. He swam to the surface and tried to entice Caroline to swim down and feed the fish also, but she would not move.