All at Seabyadam applebiter©
I knew it'd be like this. I said it would be like this, almost from the start, but was I listened to? Of course not. Heavens! Where would we be if people started listening to their kids?
Not on a bloody cruise, that's for sure. And when I say kid, I'm 42: Hardly a minor, except in my mother's eyes where I still wear short pants.
Ok, so I could have just said no, but then my parents wouldn't be here either and I'd spend the next few years hearing about the cruise they never had. So I caved. I agreed to come along and here I am, stuck on a boatful of old people, feeling like a teenager and damned certain I'm not going to find one. The deal was simple: My parents paid my fare so I'd be available to push my Dad's wheelchair around various ports of call but the rest of the time was mine to waste as I pleased. I'd held out for a stateroom nowhere near theirs and with a double bed because I like my own space.
Four days out of Southampton, I was sitting by one of the Oriana's pools, reduced to ogling a woman my own age. Where's the fun in that? Where were the nubile nymphs in skimpy bikinis that should be parading around a floating swimming pool en route to the Mediterranean? The only good thing about the lack of distractions was that I was finally finishing writing my first novel.
"Oops! Sorry. What are you writing?" The oglee from the pool stood in front of me and 'accidentally' dripped on my netbook. As I reached for a napkin to dab the drop of water off the screen, she sat down opposite me.
"My mother warned me not to talk to strangers."
"She probably told you off for staring at them too, but it doesn't stop you. I'm Aud." She leant forward, made a long arm and helped herself to my OJ. Her accent was very Home Counties and distinctly Money.
"Adam." I introduced myself, grateful for the interruption after four days of 'young man…' and 'Sonny…' and myopic sidelong glances at the scruffy young man with the long hair (meaning me) who was probably only on board to rob them all and make off with a small fortune (very small) in amethyst earrings.
"So Adam, what are you writing?" She fished an ice cube out of the OJ and sucked on it, ignoring a drip of juice that fell into her cleavage. I didn't ignore it: my eyes followed the damp trail of the drop from where it hit her skin until it disappeared into the shadows between her breasts. "Adam?" Aud snapped my attention back to her face. She was smiling.
"Sorry… I…" I searched in vain for an excuse.
"You didn't answer my question." She dropped the ice back in the glass and sipped my drink.
"A novel. A romance."
"A romance novel? You don't look the sort to be writing that kind of book. What's it called?"
"'Adventures in Doggerel and Dogma.' It's about an agnostic poet's infatuation with a beautiful, young and very devout Catholic girl. It's a bit of a departure from what I usually write about but I had a load of cheesy poems I wanted to find a use for and the novel gives me an excuse to publish them."
"Hmm." Aud put down the glass. "So what do you usually write? Anything I might have read?"
"Oh dear. Here comes the conversation stopper… I write pornographic short stories and publish them online."
"Really?" Her eyes sparkled. "Not Literotica by any chance?"
"Yes." I was pleasantly surprised she'd heard of it.
"You know, I've been reading stories on there for years. Oh, this is marvellous!" She actually clapped her hands together. "What's your pen name?"
"Doesn't ring any bells, but there are so many authors aren't there?" She didn't wait for an answer. "Anyway, what brought you on board the Oriana?"
"My parents. Dad's in a wheelchair and Mum's too old to push him around so I got volunteered to come along. Though God only knows why they wanted a cruise: The food's too rich for them, they're both on medication that keeps them away from bars and half the ports of call aren't wheelchair accessible. Waste of money really. How come you're here?"
"My husband's the captain. Ex husband, I should say. We've been happily divorced for five years now. I don't like flying and he's got a big boat so it sort of makes sense to travel by sea.
What about you? Married?"
"Never even close to it. I have commitment issues. I do have a son though: He's training to be a commercial pilot."
"We never had children." Aud's smile faded.
"Sorry. Sore point?"
"A bit. It's another good reason for cruising. This tub's strictly grown-ups."
"And there was me thinking the porn would be the conversation stopper. Another drink? Something with a higher octane level than orange juice?"
"No. Thank you." Her smile returned, but I didn't believe it. "I think I'd better go and get changed before lunch." She stood quickly. "See you around, Adam."
"It was nice to meet you." I stood too, offering my hand. She took it and shook it. "Where did that OJ go?" I glanced down the front of her bikini, following the now dry, but slightly sticky looking trail left by that errant drop of orange juice.
"Down boy." She pushed me back into my seat but the smile was convincing again. "Bad dog!" she shook an admonishing finger at me, turned and sashayed away along the deck. Watching her hips swaying as she left, I thought whatever the reason, the lack of kids had its up side: no stretch marks and a very trim figure.
When Aud was out of sight I packed up my gear, strolled back to my stateroom and had a very satisfying manual orgasm while thinking about her.
* * * * *
"Did you go ashore yesterday?" Aud found me in the gym a couple of days later, putting in a few miles on an exercise bike. She looked great in lycra with just a hint of perspiration. I must have looked a wreck. I could feel my vest clinging damply to me and more than a little sweat had dripped off my nose onto the frame of the bike.
"Hello again." I gasped. "Yes. Give me two minutes and I'll tell you all about it." I glanced at the timer on the console in front of me: Just under two minutes to go.
"I'll be in the spa." Aud walked away. I watched that hip action again for a few seconds, then put on a burst of speed for the last minute.
After a quick shower I slipped into the Jacuzzi opposite Aud. There was an elderly couple in there with us who had been with my parent's and I yesterday for the tour of Athens.
"Hello again. Adam, isn't it?" I was recognised by the Jenkins's.
"Hi Mr Jenkins… Mrs Jenkins." I was polite, but I kept my eyes on Aud, whose smile mocked me. "Did you enjoy the Acropolis?"
"Very much. It was my first visit you know? But Ralph…" Mrs Jenkins glanced at her husband. "Ralph has been there before."
"During my national service. I was a photographer. Used to have to photograph every building and vehicle for Whitehall. Somebody used to look at my photographs and decide what needed a coat of paint." Ralph Jenkins smiled wistfully.
"I hope they didn't decide to repaint the Acropolis." I made a lame joke.
"Oh, I didn't photograph the Acropolis." He missed the point. "I had a few days leave and caught a boat there to see the sights."
"Ralph." Mrs Jenkins interrupted. "I think he's teasing you. Adam? Have you been to Greece before?"
"No Mrs Jenkins, but I've read a lot about it."
"Guide books don't do it justice do they?"
"You misunderstand me. When I said I read all about it, I meant Euripides, Sophocles, Aeschylos and Homer, not the Rough Guide." I treated Mrs Jenkins, former schoolteacher and intellectual snob, to my best patronising smile. "In the original Greek mind you. My grandfather insisted." I noticed Aud trying not to laugh.
"You read the classics?" Mrs Jenkins sounded surprised.
"For one of my degrees." I nodded. "And, in a way, for both of them: Geometry, starting with Euclid." I pulled academic rank on her. It was a bit cruel really, because she couldn't help the way she was. "But if you'll excuse me, I need to shut my eyes for a few minutes. I'm exhausted." I slipped down lower in the water and shut my eyes, relaxing as the turbulence massaged my back.
"You can open your eyes now. They're gone." Aud's voice in my ear roused me. I must have actually dozed off while feigning sleep.
"Old people! They're a waste of hot dinners." I sat up properly, noticing how much closer Aud was than before.
"Be nice." She admonished. Sitting back a bit. The water was deeper this side of the tub and came up to her neck, depriving me of a decent view. "I've been reading your stories."
"Yes. Really. You're quite a pervert, aren't you?"
"They are fantasies. Don't believe everything you read."
"But they're such vivid fantasies and there are recurring themes. I feel I know so much about you now – sexually."
"Which ones did you read? And which did you enjoy most?" I wanted to know what she was into, to redress the balance in the 'knowing each others dirty little secrets' stakes.
"'Who shaves The Barber?' is my favourite. Suzy's so in control. 'A Brace of Pheasant' is good too. I liked the way that kept doing flashbacks. 'The Place Of Remembering' was really kind of sweet. You know, Adam, I think after reading that one I do believe you could write a romance. I've only read part one of TLC but I like the characters already. Sabine is another 'in control' woman."
"So your favourites are the stories with lesbian characters. Interesting." And I was interested: I'd never actually met one of my readers before and Aud was amazingly attractive for someone respectably close to my own age. To be honest, I'm shallow about looks and like young flesh.
"And you have an anal fixation. You appear to be particularly fond of analingus. Hmm?"
"Like I said before, they're fantasies." Hell! Why not admit it? "I haven't found a girl who'll let me try that yet, but it sure looks fun in the movies."
"Honestly. I haven't had lesbian sex either, but I write about it plenty."
"Ditto. But as you said, it sure looks fun in the movies. I guess I just haven't met the right girl… yet."
"Aud, shall I tell you the difference between my stories and reality?"
"If this was one of my stories, I wouldn't have to tell you how hard I am right now."
"And if this was a story, what would I do with that information?"
"Something terribly rude that would ultimately lead to an afternoon of debauchery in your stateroom."
"And in the real world?"
"Well… if you were going to get offended, you would already have got out of the tub so lets assume you're at least a bit flattered. You're also clearly enjoying teasing me. I reckon the main inhibiting factor is that steward with all the towels. I'll bet she knows who you are and you don't want to embarrass your ex-husband."
"Or myself. Yes, the crew know me. At least, quite a few of them do. I'm glad you realise there are far more boundaries in the real world."
"Oh, I know all about boundaries, but if I may cross one briefly, this isn't the first time you've left me high and dry. I'll be able to give my porn collection the night off again after this conversation."
"You masturbated because a drop of orange juice ran down my cleavage?" Aud recalled my fixation from our first encounter.
"And the view of you walking away. As you pointed out, I have an anal fixation and you really are callipygian."
"I remember that word from 'Barber'. I had to look it up. You're not going ashore with your parents today? The island of Lesbos should appeal to you." the subject suddenly got changed.
"Can't. Dad can't get in and out of a launch so I'm off duty until Istanbul."
She stood, moving to the steps. Pausing at the top, incidentally allowing me the best view yet of her bottom, she glanced back and said "Then you can make use of that classical education and be my personal tour guide for the day. We can catch the tender at eleven o'clock if we hurry."
I had to wait a couple of minutes for my erection to subside before I got out of the water.
* * * * *
"So this is the home of girl on girl action." Aud whispered as we stood on the quayside at Mytilene.
"Actually, Sappho came from the other side of the island, Ereros, and while the words 'sapphic' and 'lesbian' derive their etymology from her and here, they were first used as euphemisms for female homosexuality by the Victorians.
Lesbos was the island's patron deity and was masculine, not feminine."
"You sound like a proper tour guide. I hope you're not going to keep that up. We're supposed to be having a bit of fun."
"I could have fun back in my stateroom. You dragged me ashore to torment me some more. You're a prick teaser."
"Like Sabine?" Aud mentioned one of my characters and the penny dropped.
"So you are going to let me mmm mm mm mmmm?" I struggled to complete my question while Aud dragged me into a doorway and kissed me for the first time. She didn't hold back. Her tongue dove into my mouth, flicking over my own then retreating, taunting me to give chase. I stopped trying to understand Aud and threw all my attention into kissing her. I was very aware of her hard nipples as her breasts pressed against my chest. I was soon aware of my own hardness too, hot against her flat belly as she pulled herself against me. I let my hands slide from the small of her back to her bottom and cradled her buttocks in my hands, feeling, even at that remove, the warmth between her legs.
"That's enough." She pulled away from me. "I just wanted you focused on what we're doing here."
"Keeping me frustrated is what we're doing."
"Until midnight." She patted my cheek affectionately. "Tell me some more about this island." She hooked her arm through mine and drew me out of our shadowy doorway.
"Ok." With her tacit promise of a shag tonight I played along. "Sappho isn't the only famous poet from here. Before her there was Areion, who invented the dithyramb style of verse – the progenitor of tragedy. Then there was Terpander: a gifted poet but most famous for adding three strings to the lyre and inventing the seven note scale.
Alcaeus is probably the most famous poet of this island apart from Sappho, whom he was romantically linked with."
"So Sappho liked men too?"
"So it would seem. Perhaps she was just teasing him because she knew he wanted to fuck her. That goes on a lot on this island."
"Does it?" Aud glanced sideways at me and appeared to think for a moment before stopping, forcing me to stop too, and whispering, "I'm not just teasing you. We have ten more days on the Oriana and I want to test out some of your fantasies because I've had quite a few lovers but none of them ever talked about sex the way you do in your stories.
Patience, Adam, I decided yesterday that I wanted to fuck you. We're going to have a great holiday. Now tell me more about Sappho."
I do love hearing posh girls use the f word. Feeling mighty manly all of a sudden, I swung Aud around for another kiss, before carrying on with 'the tour'. "She wrote about three girls in particular: Atthis, Anactoria and … what was her name? … Gyrinna.
Here's a sexy bit of trivia. Atthis is also the name of a genus of hummingbirds."
"Why's that sexy?"
"Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach named them. He was an orchidologist. He observed these particular hummingbirds feeding from orchids."
"Patience." I admonished Aud gently. "In Robert Heinlein's Notebooks Of Lazarus Long, Lazarus makes the cryptic comment 'Have you noticed how much they look like orchids? Lovely.' It took me a while to realize he was talking about pussy."
"Yes, I can see that. But only when they're held open."
"Which is the best way to see them. Anyway, the point is a 19th century orchid expert saw a hummingbird dipping its tongue into a pussy shaped flower to suck up its sweet juices and decided to name it after a famous rug muncher's young girlfriend."
"Not the most romantic way of putting it." Aud flashed me a stern glance.
"I didn't say it was romantic, I said it was sexy.
Tell me about you. What do you do when you're not cruising?"
"The same thing I do when I am cruising: spend my husband's money."
"My late husband. Please don't be shocked but I married for money. I was twenty and beautiful, he was forty-five and very wealthy. He doted on me, showered me with gifts, offered so much I never thought I would have. It was wonderful for a few years, until my second miscarriage." Aud looked deeply unhappy recounting this. I drew her to a low wall and we sat. She continued. "The doctors said our only chance of a baby was via a surrogate.
That was when Cyril started to lose interest in me. He really wanted a son and I wasn't going to provide him with one. We went through the motions, attending fertility clinics, finding a surrogate, I went through the quite painful procedure of having my eggs harvested, and – equally painfully – I turned a blind eye to Cyril's affairs with other women.
Before we had a chance to finalize the surrogacy, Cyril got one of his secretaries pregnant and asked me for a divorce. I told him if he tried to divorce me, I'd drag every one of his dalliances into court. I had names, addresses and photographs too, because I'm not a fool and I'd hired a private detective months before.
Cyril called me all sorts of unpleasant names then collapsed: a massive heart attack.
The secretary tried to sue for half the estate on behalf of her unborn child but as soon as it was born – a girl, not the boy Cyril had wanted – a paternity test proved Cyril wasn't the father. And that's my shameful story."
"Can I ask a personal question?"
"You can ask. I may not answer it."
"How old are you?"
"You're in your prime, deeply desirable and loaded. How come you're on holiday alone?"
"Because I wanted to get away from everyone. I've just split up with someone. You're going to be my rebound relationship."
"Fair enough. I like to know where I stand. I'll make you a deal: I'll be your rebound relationship if you'll be my muse for my next erotic story."
"Mister, we have a deal." Aud shook my hand firmly and was smiling again. "But we still have to find something fun to do until midnight."
"I think lunch might be a good place to start. This island is famous for its ouzo."
"Ok, but remember you don't have to get me drunk."
* * * * *
We had a pleasant enough afternoon: we visited the amphitheatre and I got at least one finger past her guard during one of our frequent cuddles. She turned out to be seriously turned on. There was enough moisture on my finger to draw a smilie on the stone step we were sitting on. Aud laughed and I photographed it for posterity. Sure, I could have licked my finger instead: I thought about it, but decided that my first taste of Aud's pussy was going to be a proper taste. So I went for the humorous touch instead and got another kiss for making her laugh.
I dined with my parents that night, told them all about Mytilene, omitting any mention of Aud – they'd only want to meet her and I am ashamed of my parents. Instead I waxed lyrical about the history of the island, its poets and its pivotal role in the politics of the ancient world, the famous rebellion, the massacre that never was, the mercy dash 186 miles overnight from Athens, by trireme, to spare the population of Mytilene. Others at my parents' table had questions, which I answered at length until my mother was bored enough to be convinced she'd had a lucky escape – not having gone ashore with me. Dad likes history in small doses and mainly when it's about the industrial revolution. Mum's interest in the subject stops at period dramas.
When the oldies all wandered off to see one of the live shows the Oriana hosted, I pleaded fatigue – it had been a long day in the sun and we were in Istanbul in the morning – and retired early to see what midnight would bring.