The Dreaded Office Boat Cruisebydrteetho©
Another entry into the 2013 Summer Lovin Story Contest!
It was one of those company outings that well-meaning social committee members organize in a futile attempt to foster "team spirit" and raise "employee morale". Corporate HR-types tout these kinds of events to the CEO's and other big-wigs, saying they will create "more motivated" employees, and "more motivated" employees will become more "productive" employees, which will lead to higher profits and blah, blah, etc. etc.
The head honchos don't know any better because they have either forgotten what it's like to be on the ground floor or had no idea in the first place since they'd been parachuted from their fancy business schools and positions of family privilege into their high-ranking jobs with fancier titles, so they green light these events before retiring to their posh executive offices, pouring themselves a glass of whisky and looking out the window of their high-rise office towers, visions of dollar signs in their eyes.
If these people had any clue, or if they just spent a few minutes to observe the behaviour of the employees, "Undercover Boss" style (you know, go incognito and don't be too obvious or direct in the attempt, because then everyone would just clam up and not say an unhappy word in their presence), they would see these outings for what they really are; chances for disgruntled employees to get drunk and bitch about their no-good bosses, stupid bossy clients and/or the dumb corporate rules that prevent real work from getting done. Oh sure, you had your corporate-ladder-climbing types and your members of the "old-boys" network that raved on and on about how excellent these events were, but your average worker bees, the men and women who are the real engine behind any successful organization, loath them and find themselves either essentially forced to attend, or they end up going against their better judgement.
That's the situation I found myself in, on a lousy, stormy Monday morning in late June. One of our company's administrative assistants, and one of its most enthusiastic social committee members, Rebekah, was doing all she could to sell me on the latest such event her team had cooked up. It was a Thursday night riverboat cruise. The second-last Thursday in August, specifically, the date chosen presumably to ensure it conflicted with as few summer vacations as possible while also avoiding running into the Labour Day weekend. This timing would allow the powers-that-be to convince, cajole and/or guilt trip as many as they could to show up.
"Come on, everyone's going! It will be fun!" Rebekah exclaimed.
"I don't know, these things are kind of lame, don't you think?" I whispered conspiratorially. I had been considering possible excuses I could use to gracefully bow out of this commitment. Honestly, if it were anyone else, I would have made up an easy lie on the spot and not looked back.
But Rebekah was different. She was one of the sweetest, nicest and most genuine people I'd ever met. She joined the company's social committee out of a real desire to help her co-workers bond, develop friendships and have fun, and she had none of the hidden agendas that her fellow committee members possessed in abundance. I liked her a lot and we got along very well together, sharing many jokes and laughter during the work days.
And if that weren't enough, Rebekah had her own, unique way of presenting a convincing argument.
"Awww, come on, Jakey, don't be like that!" she pleaded, a pretend frown on her face. She used the pet name she had bestowed on me soon after we met. She enjoyed doing this with everyone else she knew, sometimes thinking for days about which nickname would sound like the most fun to say. To me, it was one of her more endearing qualities, though others in a bad mood or with a pessimistic outlook on life probably found it very annoying. Ah well, I thought, fuck 'em if they can't take a joke!
Rebekah was always happy, or at least seemed that way. That was one of the two things I noticed most about her ever since I started working for this company.
The other thing? She was spectacularly, insanely, heartbreakingly beautiful.
She possessed soft skin, coloured in a light creamy shade of mocha, a result of her family's Middle Eastern origins. Her face was wonderfully expressive, with her sparkling eyes and perfect smile. Her slim yet dangerously curvy hourglass figure was topped by a large set of impossibly firm-looking breasts. The high-heeled boots and shoes she favoured only accentuated the curvature of her smooth, shapely legs and nicely formed hips. Not to mention her delicious, rounded ass.
When you combine all that with her infectious laugh, happy, upbeat personality, and the way she was just so darned nice to everybody... well, it meant Rebekah was way, way out of most guys' league. Certainly miles above the station of an average Jake like me.
"Jakey, it's such lovely scenery on the river! There'll be music, they'll be serving hors d'oeuvres and drinks... it will be awesome!" Rebekah was working hard to persuade me, and oh god if she didn't jump up and down in excitement and send those breasts of hers into a gentle, rolling jiggle. The sight hypnotized me, though I did my level best not to stare at the spectacular show she unwittingly gave me.
She mistook my hesitation while trying not to perv her for genuine consideration of her request, and she stepped in to seal the deal. "Do it for me, Jakey! Please?" she asked in a syrupy-sweet voice, at the same time giving me the sad puppy-dog eyes.
Just like that, it was all over. If she had asked me right then to rob a bank bare-ass naked, I'd have said yes.
"OK. For you, Rebekah, I'll go. But only because you asked so nicely!" I answered.
"Yay! Thank you so much!" she yelped in joy. "You'll have a great time, I promise!" Before I could realize what was happening, she quickly closed the distance between us and hugged me tightly. I felt the wondrous sensation of her body pressed up against mine, but in the modern environment of heightened sensitivity over sexual harassment, I briefly panicked as I had no idea where I could put my hands that wouldn't get me in trouble. I looked around and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw no one around us, and I patted her on the back as she released her hold around me. My hard-on pressed against my pants and I wondered if Rebekah felt or noticed; if she did she gave me no sign.
Rebekah went over some of the details of the cruise, though to be honest I didn't pay much attention to what she was saying. I was sure that as the day got closer I'd figure out what I needed to know. Plus I was too busy admiring her luscious body while trying not to look like a creep. I wished I could better control myself, but, damn it, she was just so hot. I sighed inwardly at my dilemma.
She took a quick look at her smart phone to check the time. "Oh, I have to go now, my boss will be done his meeting now, and he'll be expecting me to work, ha, can you believe that?!" she chirped on happily, without a care in the world.
"OK, well don't let me hold you back, I don't want to get you in trouble," I said. "Have a good day, Rebekah."
"Thanks Jakey! See you around!"
She waved goodbye and turned around. I watched her walk away, the movements of her shapely legs and the exaggerated sway of her hips and ass mesmerizing me. I shook my head and forced myself to snap out of it. There was no sense in me spending so much energy desiring Rebekah. Better that I just keep our status as it was, good work friends but nothing more, and let that be the end of it. Definitely easier that way, and much safer.
Because, surely, I had no chance of getting together with her.
No chance at all.
It was now late July, and any thoughts of company-mandated boat cruises were far from my mind. It was a beautiful, pleasantly warm summer Saturday. 'Finally', I thought to myself as I checked the forecast this morning. For once, the weather was cooperating; far too many weekends this summer were marred by poor conditions. They had either been cool, cloudy and generally best described as "blah", or unbearably hot days with relentless, sometimes destructive, thunderstorms.
Not exactly a lot to look forward to.
But not today. The sun rose high in the clear blue sky, and I immediately made plans to enjoy the break in the weather.
I lived in a great spot, close to downtown and right across the street from a large, popular public park, a green oasis in the heart of the city, right along the river. I filled my water bottle, put sunscreen on my arms, neck and lower legs, put on a ball cap and my sunglasses, and headed outdoors, stopping by my storage locker along the way to grab my bicycle. Something simple, like a good brisk bike in the park and then resting on a bench to watch the water and people go by, sounded like a great plan to me.
It turned out to be just as invigorating as I imagined. Lots of people were taking advantage of the beautiful day so a significant portion of my bike ride consisted of weaving and dodging through the crowds. Despite that inconvenience the ride was great. I got a nice sweat going and a good burn in my legs, and the feel of the light breeze blowing across my face was refreshing.
I slowly pedaled towards the benches by the river-side pathway to properly cool down. I finally found an empty bench so I claimed it immediately. I took a much needed rest, took a long drink of water and enjoyed the lovely weather and the peaceful sights and sounds of the river flowing by.
I must have either fallen asleep or zoned out, I'm not sure which. All I know is that one minute I was idly watching the scene of nature within the city before me, and the next my eyes were closed as I heard a familiar voice.
"Jakey? Hey, Jakey, it is you!"
I opened my eyes and smiled at what I saw.
"Rebekah! Fancy meeting you here!" I said. She looked casual, in a blue t-shirt, denim shorts and canvas sneakers, but no less gorgeous. I could feel my manhood start to awaken, and rested my bike helmet on my lap in case it decided to get too out of control.
"I know, right?! What an awesome day it is!"
I readily agreed. I then noticed the two people standing behind Rebekah, another pretty woman who bore a familial resemblance to my co-worker, and a young boy wearing a baseball cap to cover his bald head.
"Who are your friends?" I asked her.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, and happily motioned them forward. "Jakey, this is my sister Chandra and her son Alex. Chandra and Alex, this is Jakey!"
I smiled. "I know Rebekah likes calling me Jakey..."
Chandra rolled her eyes and smiled. "Yeah, I figured. It's kind of her thing."
"Yeah. But you can call me Jake, if you like. Everyone else does."
Rebekah, Chandra and I all laughed. I shook Chandra's hand and did the same with Alex. The boy smiled when I said hello but did not say anything back.
"Sorry," said Chandra. "He's quite shy."
"No problem," I replied. "Kids are like that sometimes."
"So how do you know my sister?"
"Rebekah and I work together."
"Yeah!" Rebekah piped in. "He's my work husband!"
Chandra laughed but looked a little puzzled as well. "Work husband?"
"It's an inside joke," I replied. "Long story."
We talked for a while, nothing serious, just "getting-to-know-you" stuff and all that. It was really nice to speak to Rebekah outside of work, and Chandra was pleasant as well. Alex barely said two words, but that didn't bother me... no need to unnecessarily scare the boy, I figured, especially if he was as nervous as he appeared.
He did finally speak to his mother towards the end of our conversation. "Mommy, I'm hungry," he said.
Chandra checked the time and said to Rebekah, "Yeah, it's getting late, we should go now. And I need to get to the pharmacy before it closes to pick up Alex's medication."
"OK," she replied. "Oh, before I forget... when is his next appointment?"
"It's in two weeks."
"Right, got it." Rebekah then turned to speak to me. "Sorry Jakey, we have to go. We're meeting our parents for dinner tonight. I wish you could join us!"
"Maybe another time," I suggested with a smile, though I was far from sure that would ever happen. "I'll see you on Monday."
We each said our goodbyes and got ready to part ways.
"Don't forget about the boat cruise, Jakey!" Rebekah said.
"How could I forget?" I retorted. "You only remind me of it every other day!"
She laughed and stuck her tongue out at me as if she were a naughty little schoolgirl caught misbehaving. She was trying in her own unique way to annoy me, but it only looked sexy to me. I wanted to passionately kiss her and suck on that tongue... and many other parts of her body too, come to think of it.
"Well, too bad, I'm reminding you anyway!" she taunted. "It's less than four weeks away, you know!"
I watched them leave... or, more accurately, I watched Rebekah's ass sway back and forth as they left. It wasn't the first time I watched her in that way and it definitely wouldn't be the last. I imagined holding and caressing her ass and wondering just how marvelous that would feel.
I sighed, realizing I was pining for her again, angry at myself for wasting so much emotional energy on an ultimately fruitless dream yet powerless to stop myself. Damn, I had it bad for Rebekah. Why did she have to be so beautiful, so nice, AND so unattainable?
It just wasn't fair, dammit.
It was now the second-last Thursday in August. The evening of the boat cruise. I won't lie. Part of me... a big part... hoped for a sudden thunderstorm, tornado, plague of locusts... anything to prevent the cruise from happening.
Instead it was clear and crisp, hinting at the change of seasons that would arrive in a few weeks. A lovely looking sunset was already in progress. I was at the dock and about to board, trying to shake the ridiculous daydream I was having that I was a prisoner boarding the ship that would take me to Alcatraz or some other island prison.
Rebekah was my only saving grace, the only reason I had decided to go on this stupid cruise in the first place. The sight of her standing on the boat near the docking point helped wash away my crazy visions. They certainly never had anyone that looked like her on any of those prison ships!
She wore a windbreaker but had it unzipped, so I could see the soft pink blouse she had on underneath. Her breasts strained the material of that blouse, being held in check only by a few magically heroic buttons. She wasn't showing much of the skin of her legs despite her short black skirt, but that was only because she had chosen to wear tall black leather "fuck-me" boots that reached just below her knee. Holy hell, did she have any idea how hot she looked?
She was happily greeting everyone coming on board, but she seemed to perk up even a little more when she saw me.
"Jakey!! So happy to see you!" she squealed. She embraced me and I was barely able to stifle a groan. She felt so damn good pressed up against me, my erection quickly grew and I'd be poking her with it before long if I wasn't careful.
"Hey Rebekah! Guess we lucked out on the weather, didn't we?"
"Definitely! You'll have fun tonight, you'll see! I have to finish greeting everyone else, but I'll come find you later, OK? See you soon!"
Playing the perfect hostess, the perfect social committee leader to the last. I sort of envied Rebekah in that moment. I wished I had something in my life that could make me feel the same kind of enthusiasm she apparently felt about everything.
Soon enough, everyone was on board, and the boat set out for the open water. I relaxed and tried to enjoy the cruise for what it was. I spent some time socializing with my supervisor and some others in our division before the boss said he wanted to mingle. We soon saw his definition of mingle was to go kiss up to HIS boss. The rest of us shared a smirk and went our separate ways. Sighing, I roamed around the boat, trying to find someone else that I felt like talking with.
I ended up running into some of the sales guys. I definitely did NOT want to talk to them! Don't get me wrong, most of the company's sales force is made up of good people. Perfectly nice, relatively normally functioning human beings. Unfortunately there's a small clique in this group who act like braying jackasses... and that's when they're sober. Allowing them access to alcohol and putting them on a small enclosed space with other people and no chance for escape that doesn't involve a marathon swim in uncertain surroundings seemed like a Darwinian experiment gone horribly awry.
"Jake! Get your ass over here!" the ringleader, Shane, yelled at me. I cringed, sighed and walked toward them, resigned to my fate.
Shane laughed loudly and one of his buddies shoved a plastic cup of beer into my hands.
"Great night, isn't it, Jake?" Shane said. "Great night to scope out all the hot chicks!" I smiled awkwardly as I felt him slap my back hard enough to spill some of the beer onto the floor while all around us his cronies were laughing out loud. Clearly, they never got the memo regarding the modern heightened sensitivity toward sexual harassment.
"Damn, there are some hot chicks that work here!" one young, wide-eyed kid, clearly a wannabe looking for acceptance into the group (though god knows why he'd even want such a thing), said with wonder.
"Damn right, kid!" Shane said. "But the hottest piece of ass by far is Rebekah, am I right guys or am I right?!" Everyone agreed. Even I found myself nodding my head before I caught and scolded myself for being so careless as to give these jerks any encouragement.
Shane, emboldened by everyone's positive reaction to his pronouncement, continued to hold court. "That Rebekah's got curves for days! And that bitch is fucking hot for me, I can tell!"
"Then why did she run away after you grabbed her ass earlier?!" one guy was brave enough to say. Shane shot the offender a brief look of anger but recovered his composure.
"All part of the game," he said boastfully. "She's playing hard to get with me! But she wants me. I can tell she's got it bad for good ol' Shane right here!"
The whole crew laughed again and Shane exchanged high-fives with a few of them. I was so sickened by the whole exchange I got out of there as fast as I could, downing the rest of the beer on the way. Shane's last words of "Hey Jake, if you see Rebekah, you tell her to get her sweet ass back over here, got it?!" rang in my ears. The thought of him getting his hands on Rebekah made me sick to my stomach. She was meant to be treasured and loved, not treated like a piece of meat or a notch on a bedpost.
I wandered around for several minutes, trying to find a quiet spot away from everyone. I was feeling rather un-social, and I just wanted this cruise to end so I could get the hell of this boat and go home.
Eventually I made my way to the front of the boat, where I saw Rebekah leaning against the railing, staring off in the distance. This was a very uncharacteristic state for her, and it worried me. I had been ready to dismiss the words of Shane and company as idle boasting, but now I was starting to wonder.
I sidled up to the railing and stood beside her. "Hey, Rebekah," I said.
"Hey," she replied, but said nothing more.
The silence extended for several minutes. My concern for her increased. This wasn't the same Rebekah I had come to know. It looked like if anyone was going to break the silence it was going to be up to me.
"Rebekah? Are you all right?" I asked.
She didn't respond at first. Then I saw her body gently shake and heave and heard her soft hitching sobs and my heart broke for her. I patted her back and she immediately engulfed me in a desperate hug. I held on to her as her tears flowed, trying to ignore the sensation of her boobs crushed against my chest.