Letting Go, and Grabbing HoldbyRedEmerald©
Author's Note: I would like to thank everyone who read my first story and especially those who left so much encouraging and positive feedback -- I was really overwhelmed with the sheer volume and magnitude of positivity I received. Thank you all so much!
Incidentally, by way of responding to the most common question I received about my first story: No, that story did not happen to me -- but Jessica is my real name, and I do look like the girl in that story. I altered the real "Jessica" (not her real name) to be me, for two reasons -- one, to make it easier to write in the first person, which isn't my most natural mode of writing; and two, well, suffice it to say that if you'd ever met "Diane", you'd know why I love to fantasize about being in "Jessica's" place. Since everyone who read that story got the pleasure (I hope) of hearing it, I got the pleasure of imagining it happening to me for a little while.
Anyway, since things seemed to go pretty well the first time, here's my second story -- this one, unlike the first, is a work of almost complete fiction, and is quite a bit lighter than the first. If you shouldn't be reading adult material, don't read this. Otherwise, please enjoy.
So...relationships suck, right?
Okay, I'll admit, I was a hopeless romantic. Still am. Back then, though, I was in one of those phases where I wasn't. You know where those phases happen -- right after a relationship rears up and bites you on the ass, right? Pretty much.
I had just broken up with my girlfriend. Nice girl, sweet as hell, but with this pesky habit of hooking up with her ex-boyfriend whenever she got drunk. Really annoying. The first time, I got past it -- I figured, you know, that she was freaking out about getting serious, and so on. The second time, I thought it was really uncalled for, but what can I say, I loved her. The third time, she got pregnant. That pretty much killed the romance for me.
As chance had it, my best friend Caitlyn had just broken up with her boyfriend too -- which really surprised me. She and I had been sharing an apartment since graduating together -- we had shared a dorm in college, and it had worked out pretty well. The apartment was definitely an upgrade from the dorm room -- separate bedrooms were a luxury -- but it was still a pretty cheap place, since neither of us was making much money yet. Cheap, as in thin walls. Very thin. Tissue paper. If I'd rubbed something greasy on the walls, they would have turned transparent.
For night after night, I'd have to listen to her and her boyfriends. Don't get me wrong -- I can totally understand why men were always around -- Caitlyn's a knockout. About eight inches taller than I am -- almost six feet tall. Dirty blonde hair to her shoulders, green eyes, and a great body -- she was the star of the college swim team. To her credit, she wasn't easy -- she put those boys through hell before she let them in her bed -- but once they were there, they certainly weren't in hell anymore. Caitlyn, as far as I could tell without ever having watched, was loud, responsive, and creative. When you hear shock in a former college quarterback's voice at what a girl's doing in bed -- well, I can't even guess.
My romantic life, on the other hand, involved far less fireworks. I've been told I'm pretty, which is good enough for me. I'm short and wiry, with very dark hair but big light blue eyes, a startling combination I've always liked. I'm slim, but with enough curves that, in T-shirt and jeans, I look like a girl. Again, good enough for me. I've refused to wear a skirt or a dress since I was ten. I played tennis and field hockey, and wore my hair boy-short until I graduated college. I've always been relatively feminine, but needless to say, I was never really "in the closet".
Anyway, after my latest breakup, I decided I wanted to get away for a while. Since Caitlyn had just broken up too...hold on, that reminds me. I hadn't figured out yet why Caitlyn had broken up with her boyfriend. They'd been going out for more than six months, and rather than just a lot of "oh, baby" and "don't stop" from her bedroom at night, I'd been hearing a lot of "oh god, I love you" and "yes, darling, more, more". Then it was over. I figured the usual would happen: she'd pretend it was mutual, then have a drink or two and sob to me about how he dumped her -- or how she found him chained to the wall being whipped by his sixty-year-old gay lover. Not kidding.
So I wanted to get away for a while -- at least long enough so that my ex-girlfriend could figure out I didn't want to see ultrasound pictures -- and Caitlyn was in the same place, so we found a trip we could take together where we would be totally isolated from the world for a while. We flew out to the Caribbean, and found Ellis Tours.
Ellis Tours was really just a couple with a boat who wanted to make money cruising around the islands they loved anyway, so they would take on a half-dozen passengers or so and float around the Caribbean for a few weeks. They gave us a great deal -- apparently, they saw a lot of recently broken-up passengers on their boat.
Oh, by the way, if you want to know more about their boat, don't ask me. I don't know much about boats. It was big. It seemed to be made largely of wood, and it had some number of sails. We didn't actually "sail" very often -- apparently, it moved slower when using its engine, and a slow cruise was the whole point, so Carla and Don didn't use the actual sails much. A boat with a motor and a steering wheel doesn't take that much of a crew, either, so we weren't expected to contribute much other than untying the occasional rope or turning a crank or whatever. I didn't pay much attention. I wouldn't have picked a boat, myself -- they're obviously not really my thing -- but Caitlyn had always wanted to take a cruise, so there we were.
Carla and Don Ellis owned the boat -- she was Latina of some variety, and gorgeous. Tall, leggy, dark hair, medium-dark skin, big grin. Don was white under his tan, and built like a linebacker. Tall, huge shoulders, powerful build. Surprisingly for a man that size, he was actually pretty sweet -- quiet, calm, and upbeat, as though he were the biggest, strongest high school guidance counselor that ever lived. They were a great couple -- very much in love, constantly touching and kissing.
Our fellow passengers were a pretty mixed little group. Robert was just a middle-aged man on vacation -- he seemed like a lawyer, or a stock broker, or something. Tim was a college student working on some kind of research project -- at least, that's what he claimed. I think he was just one of those enterprising types who found a way to get college credit for going on vacation. Lucy was a tiny girl -- even shorter than I am -- with the darkest skin I'd ever seen, but big soft pretty eyes and a shy smile. I admit that she caught my eye right away -- but I wasn't here to rebound.
Oh, and there was Chris, too -- Chris was a skinny redheaded girl with a thick Irish brogue and a great laugh, but she had a fiancé back home. Apparently, there was also a friend who was supposed to come with her, but didn't show. Chris decided to go anyway, since her tickets were non-refundable. I applauded the instinct -- even if unavailable, she was pretty, and I've always had a thing for an Irish accent. Then again, who doesn't?
We all got on the boat, with the usual round of introductions and small talk, and found cabins. Aside from the master suite where Don and Carla slept, there were two double cabins and two smaller cabins -- closets, really, with bunks in them. No one much cared -- we'd only be sleeping there, after all. Robert and Tim, as the only other men on board, took one of the doubles, while Caitlyn and Chris shared the other -- Lucy was shy about sharing a room, and Caitlyn and I hadn't flown several thousand miles just to share a tiny room again, so she was happy to stay with Chris. The two of them hit it off right away. Lucy and I had the single cabins to ourselves.
As the boat left the little port -- a lovely little seaside town with a great many smiling people, which is a very nice way to start a voyage -- we all changed. The men just wore their swim trunks all the time, of course, while Caitlyn and Chris wore bikinis with tank tops or light t-shirts over them. Lucy and I wore thin shirts and shorts, what I called our "boat clothes", as opposed to what we wore to go swimming. I'd brought a swimsuit, as had Lucy, but didn't want to lie around in it for days on end.
So the eight of us sailed -- or cruised, or whatever -- out onto the big bright blue ocean, with a lovely sunny day beaming down on us. Within minutes of lying on the deck chatting with everyone, I felt months of tension draining away. There is no feeling quite like being in the middle of nowhere with interesting people and absolutely nothing else to do.
After several hours, Chris and Caitlyn had settled in for some serious sunbathing, while Lucy was playing cards with Robert and Tim and Don, and I found myself sitting with Carla near the little room where all the boat's controls are. Again, don't ask -- there were levers and wheels and buttons, and some lights. That's about all I know. If we'd hit a storm or something and I'd had to steer the boat for more than three seconds, we wouldn't have survived.
"...and things just obviously weren't going to work out," I finished the long, depressing story of my breakup -- believe me, the abbreviated version you've heard is quite enough.
Carla shook her head. "Some people never learn," she sighed. "We had a nice couple out here last time who were trying to patch things up after one of those. I don't think either of them spent a night in their own cabin -- or with each other -- the whole trip."
I laughed. "How efficient -- they got their rebounds out of the way while they were still in the middle of the relationship."
She laughed as well -- I liked her laugh. Very soft but very open and friendly, and her brown eyes sparkled when she laughed. "Tell me this, though -- why did a smart girl like you give her three chances?"
I winced. "I'm probably too romantic for my own good."
"Ah, don't ever say that," she nudged me playfully with her elbow. "Can never be too romantic." She grinned. "Don's never given up being romantic."
"It's easier when you're as happy as you two are, I think."
"Well, yes," she admitted. "The trick is to find things you both enjoy, and enjoy them as much as you possibly can."
"Like cruising around the ocean?"
"Exactly." She nodded, reaching past me to do something with the controls. As she leaned past me, she glanced at my eyes, which surprised me. The last time anyone had looked at my eyes that way I'd...well, ended up looking at ultrasound pictures. I resolved to assume it was just a curious look.
"Could you find Don for me?" She asked then.
"Oh, sure," I got up, still a little confused, but I had shaken it off by the time I got back up on deck and made my way forward to where Don was sitting with the other two guys and Lucy. "Hey, Don?" They'd insisted that they'd throw anybody who used "sir", "ma'am", or their last names off the boat.
He looked up at me, smiling that big toothy grin of his. "Hey there, lovely." He called all us girls by some complimentary term. I suspected at the time that it had more to do with a bad memory than any real desire to compliment us. I know now I was wrong -- he just honestly loved women of all types -- but that's what I thought at the time. I still liked it, though. What girl doesn't like being called lovely?
"Carla needs you," I reported.
"Oh, sure." He glanced down at his cards and slapped them down on the deck. "I had crap anyway." He got up, and stepped past me on his way to join his wife at the controls.
"Hey, Ashley," Tim greeted me. "Want to join us? We could use a real fourth -- Don's a terrible poker player." Robert nodded enthusiastically.
Lucy just smiled shyly up at me. I shrugged. "No, thanks." I stretched, looking up at the sunny sky. "I think I'll find a quiet spot for a nap."
Robert smiled. "Good idea." I half-expected him to ask if I needed company, but he had some class.
I wandered away, but halfway up the ship toward the back -- or stern, whatever, leave me alone about the boat -- I heard footsteps behind me.
I turned, smiling. "Oh, hey, Cait. Got enough sun?"
Caitlyn smiled. "Of course not. I have three weeks of sun to soak up before we go back to dear old dreary home."
I shook my head. "You're going to look like leather when you're forty -- you know that, right?"
"The pool boy under me won't mind," she smirked.
"You'll look terrible in leopard print, though," I told her.
She laughed. It was something of a running joke between us that she looked forward to being a cougar more than she looked forward to any current relationship. It was a good humorous way for her to look past whatever moron had broken her heart this time.
She stepped up to me, squinting. "What's that in your hair?"
"What?" I reached up, frowning -- and discovered a little pale pink rose blossom stuck behind my right ear. I stared at it. When the hell had that happened?
"I didn't think you were a flowers-in-the-hair kind of girl."
I snorted and shook my head. "I'm not...I didn't put it there."
"Oh, really now?" Caitlyn raised an eyebrow. "You matched up with someone already? That's quick for you."
"I did not!" I said indignantly.
Caitlyn laughed. "Sure...oh, I believe you." She stepped past me, rolling her eyes, and I stared after her indignantly. "It looks good, though," she shot teasingly over her shoulder as she left.
"I didn't put it there!" I called after her, and looked at the flower for a long moment before tucking it back behind my ear, desperately trying to remember if I'd put it there. It didn't really seem like something I would do.
I wasn't paying much attention when I made my way to the back of the deck where there were a couple of lounge chairs set up in partial shade from the tallest part of the ship. I tugged one of the lounge chairs over into the shade -- I don't tan, I burn -- and sprawled out comfortably on my stomach, in a position where I could stare out at the ocean behind the ship as we cruised along, enjoying the sea breeze and the sound of the waves. There was a faint rumbling from the ship's motor, but I didn't mind it -- I like a little cover noise when I sleep.
There's something about sleeping on a boat when you're not used to it -- your dreams get really bizarre. I remember only pieces of my dreams, but they all had a common theme -- at some point in all of them, someone was stroking my hair. That didn't seem normal.
When I woke, the sun was a bit lower in the sky, but there were two other lounge chairs pulled up around me. Lucy was asleep on one, with Carla on the other. I remembered the dreams, and the sensation of having my hair stroked, along with the flower in my hair, and I wondered.
That night, I discovered something else about sleeping on boats -- they usually don't have air-conditioning. It gets hot in the Caribbean -- which is fine during the day -- but you'd think that once the sun went down, it would get cooler. Maybe it does in the resort spots -- probably why they put the resorts there, I suppose -- but where we were, it didn't get cool. It stayed hot. If I didn't know better, I would have said it got hotter. There was some kind of fan system that circulated air through the boat so it wasn't too stuffy, but it was still very warm inside. I began the night climbing onto the bed in my t-shirt and shorts -- but it didn't take long for me to realize that I was going to broil that way. So I stripped off the t-shirt and the shorts.
Now, understand me, I'm not much a girl for nudity -- I'm actually pretty shy about it -- and I don't usually sleep in so little even when I'm sleeping with someone, but I just couldn't stand the suffocating clothes. In just my panties and a thin sheet over me, I tossed and turned in the heat, trying to fall asleep.
This time...my dreams were not cooling me off. Not so much weird as...unrelenting. I writhed through dream after dream of bare skin, hot slick flesh, warm lips. I heard moans in my ear...soft, slow moans, gasping, quick moans, and those deep moans of satisfaction that follow a really incredible orgasm. My dream lovers were the faceless type -- I wasn't dreaming about anyone in particular -- but I couldn't shake them. I woke up once, and probably would have done something about my arousal, but I felt unaccountably shy about doing that in a strange place. You know that feeling, right?
I fell back asleep, and the dreams continued, one after another. Hot, bare bodies pushed against mine, warm lips covered me, and hands explored my body in ways I could never remember feeling in real life. Somewhere in the middle, though, the dreams stopped being tortured. More of the moans in the dream became mine. I arched against caressing fingers, met soft, eager lips with my own, and ran my fingers through soft hair. I felt strong hands on my back, lifting me, and soft hands on my legs, opening me. I felt that delicious, spasmodic thrusting of a truly eager lover, and the warm, wondering feeling of a girl's lips during a first night together.
Finally, in my dream, I did something I don't think I'd ever done in a dream before. I came. Hard. I arched against those lips, bucked my hips frantically against that wonderful, magical touch, and squealed through an orgasm that left me breathless, trembling -- and snapped me awake.
I almost sat up, but my body was too deliciously heavy to move. I felt sated and drowsy the way only truly good sex can make you feel. I didn't have to check to know that my panties were soaked, but I did know that the sheet was almost completely off my body -- I'd writhed around so much in my sleep that the sheet was twisted around one leg, leaving the rest of me bare. I managed to move just enough to pull the sheet back over myself, and moaned softly as I lay back. The room was so dark -- without the internal lights on, and no external lights to intrude, the cabin was pitch black. The only sound was my lightly panting breath.
I really needed to find someone who could make me feel like that again. If only they really existed.
The next morning, the boat was still a boat, and the ocean was still out there doing its ocean thing -- you know, waves, a few birds, that kind of thing. Caitlyn and I were lounging on the chairs at the stern. Lucy was asleep not far away.
"Wow." Caitlyn ran a hand through her hair. "That's some kind of dream."
"No kidding." I sighed, stretching my legs out. I still couldn't make myself move too fast.
I snorted. "Yeah, right -- I came here to get away from those kinds of complications."
"What complications? Sounds like somebody -- in your dream, anyway -- made you come really, really hard. What's complicated about that?"
I snorted again. "You know I'm not really about that, right? I mean, a little rebound here and there is a healthy thing -- but I'm not looking for that."
Caitlyn looked over at me, confused. "Looking for what?"
I flushed slightly. "It felt...real. Like there was something real there." Caitlyn looked blank. "I mean," I went on lamely, "it's not like it was just sex, there was...something. I don't know how else to say it."
"Hmm." Caitlyn shrugged. "It was just a dream. Probably that romantic part of you attaching something else to it to make it hotter for you."
"Good point." I grinned. "It certainly added something to it."
She laughed. "Sounds like it. I wish I could have a dream like that."
"If we stew in our little saunas every night for three weeks, you probably will."