I rest my hand on the rope testing the tension. After twenty-four months at sea I can read the feel of the wind through the ropes.
Reaching up I wipe spray out my beard as I look up at the sail. One corner is sagging a little. I give the windless a half turn and see it tighten.
Satisfied I go back to my seat by the transom. I sit listening to the hiss of the sea along the hull as I sip at my beer. The salt taste on the can from cooling it in the sea compliments the flavor.
I watch the last light of the sun as it sinks below the horizon. It’s beautiful how the sky is every color you can imagine and some you might not.
I know Kim would have loved to have seen the waters of the Pacific drinking the sun. A part of me wants to delude myself and say I can feel her beside me.
But no. I’m alone.
Like I’ve been for more than two years. I take a long pull on my beer. A brand made in Hawaii it tastes gritty towards the last. I toss the can with the dregs into the wake of the ‘Aurora’.
I blink away tears. Two years, two days. It feels the same; always will I figure.
Looking at the first stars I check my position. Close enough.
Debating another beer, or dinner… hunger wins.
Getting up my bare feet grip the deck boards securely. Long gone are the days of replacing expensive deck shoes. Way too many days since I first pulled the ‘Aurora’ out the harbor in Boston. I’d felt lucky to have gotten to Bermuda alive.
Seven months island hopping through the Gulf had taught me the ship and how to sail her. Then I got adventurous. I took a hop across the pond.
Ireland, Scotland, England, across the channel then down past a dozen ports in Europe. Never staying, but a day, or so in each. Then I was off the coast of North Africa.
A coin toss sent me south but I debated flipping it again. I could feel the pull of my Spartan ancestry pulling me towards the Mediterranean and then the Aegean.
I sailed down past where Bart Roberts met his end. I raised a glass of Rum to the tea teetotaler memory as I sailed past. The current and winds then took me west across the south Atlantic. I watched the Faulkin islands slip past. I remember watching the news about the war there when I was in my teens.
By this time I was so cocky, hell I was the king of the sea! Greatest sailor to pull canvas since my namesake John Paul Jones dropped his last anchor!
The Horn taught me my place.
Humbled I repaired in Argentina and waited out the storm season in harbor. I finally sailed around the Horn in flat calm with the sea like glass. I was still a nervous wreck.
Around Galapagos and up the coast I began to feel a pull for the deeper waters to the west.
I turned the bow of the ‘Aurora’ toward the Big empty after resupplying well in Peru. The weeks sailing the long open waters to Hawaii. When you can’t see the land no matter how long you look and only your memories remind you it even exists you have time to think. You can find out a lot about yourself.
Like that you will piss yourself when a humpback whale gives the bottom of your boat a hard tap in the middle of the night. He was probably just curious.
I fire up the hot plate and get a pan of oil heating up. I unwrap the fillet. I caught a red snapper this morning. He hits the oil with a nice sizzle. The frying fish smell soon fills the cabin.
As I cook I think back to all the meals she made me years ago. I couldn’t boil water back then without burning it. I season the fish with a pinch of this and that. Spices I’ve gathered in my travels.
When the fish is done I switch off the hot plate and hit the button on the microwave. Going out on deck I pull in the rope and strip another beer off the plastic loops. It’s ice cold from its journey through the sea.
Wish I could tell Kim about the time when a shark bit off three of my beer. She would have laughed to have seen my face when I pulled in that severed line. She would have said I was contributing to the delinquency of a fish.
The snapper is flaky, and tastes of salt and oil, It goes well with the rice I microwaved. As I eat I do a mental check of my stores.
There area a lot of islands ahead. I’ll need to resupply, but the need isn’t great yet. There are hundreds of places ahead that will do for what I need. The marshal islands, Philippines, hell even Japan, and New Zealand. Almost any direction I chose has islands.
Whipping oil and salt off the plate with a piece of bread I debate my course.
North, south? Either way something new to see.
North would take me up the coast of Russia, around into the Bering Sea. Stop at maybe St. Paul, or Kodiak to resupply before the trip down the Canadian coast.
California? Didn’t really want to go back to the U.S. Hawaii was so crowded. I’ve had my fill of people for the moment.
South? A lot of places down that way I haven’t seen. Australia, then maybe over to India. Maybe I could go down the side of Africa to Madagascar. Round the Cape of Good Hope!
Maybe I should flip a coin. Not that it really maters I wont be staying long in any one port.
I decide not to decide. Always a good choice.
Pushing away my empty plate I pick my book up from where I left it last night. Peter Benchley’s ‘Jaws’.
Kim would have laugh herself sick to see me reading this out here on the ocean. The first time I read it I didn’t even want to go near the freshwater lake near our house, let alone the beach.
Gone through quite a few books out here on the sea. It’s a good place to read. My favorite by far is Patrick O ‘ Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels. I’ve actually managed to go to several of the places he mentions in the books. Some are very different. Some haven’t changed a bit.
My eyes get heavy as I read. Leaning into the cushions I settle in for a nap. My sea anchors are out, my lights are on, and I furled down the sail so only a bit of canvas is catching the wind. Like many a night I drift off to sleep sitting up on the bench seat. My head rolls with the sway of the ship. It’s almost like sleeping in a rocking chair.
My bladder wakes me around midnight. I get up and go piss away the beers I drank earlier. The yellow stream disappears into the dark water without even a splash.
I shiver a bit and settle in on the seat at the transom. I open the lid of the box beside the transom and take out the leather pouch. The glowing coal of my pipe is soon blazing in the dark. I blow a puff of vanilla cavindish smoke into the night air. Leaning back I look past my sail and mast to the dark night sky and the bright stars. I feel pity for the people in their cities who never see the sky like this. After a bit I see a shooting star, then another.
Soon the sky is alive with them. After awhile though they start to make me feel sad. Even the beautiful stars seem to be dying.
I shiver again.
Getting up I head back down into the cabin. I curl up into my bunk, and try to go back to sleep.
After twenty minutes I give up trying and sigh. I reach down into my shorts and pull out my cock. I start to pull and squeeze on myself.
My mind travels back into my past hunting through the women I’ve been with and the ones I wanted but didn’t get.
Sharon, the middle aged neighbor who taught a young teen boy so much one summer.
Michel the girl I dated through collage.
I shake my head and sigh as Kim fills my thoughts despite myself.
My cock finally starts to get hard as I remember flashes of our time together. Almost like a highlight reel of our sex life.
I moan as I pull on my cock as hard as I can.
“Oh Kim, oh my beautiful Kim.”
My moans soon fill the cabin and drift out into the night. They are familiar sounds in this boat. I don’t see any reason to be quiet out in the middle of the Pacific. As my breathing quickens I grab the cloth from the shelf beside the bed. I lay it under my pumping hand.
I cum crying out my late wife’s name to the waves. My eyes are full of tears even as I wipe the head of my cock clean and fold up the cloth. It goes back on the shelf. Probably need it a few nights from now.
Sleep comes for me quickly now but my dreams are of Kim.
The anchors hit the flat water sending ripples out. I see Islanders on the beach. Some are looking out at me. A few wave.
Long gone are the days when hundred of canoes full of half-naked women would pile out to meet any arriving ship. Damn.
Going to the back of the ‘Aurora’ I pull in the leader rope attached to my small boat. It rides in my wake most of the times, though a huge effort can get it up onto the front of the boat and lashed down if weather looks bad.
I grab a small travel bag from down in the cabin and my pipe from the box by the transom seat. Pulling the boat in tight I climb down my ladder rungs and balance as she rocks. In the early days I tasted a lot of seawater doing this little trick.
Using an oar I push off the side of my ship and settling the oars into the locks start pulling for shore. I have a small outboard motor in the supply cabin but I haven’t used it in forever. Like the big diesel engine on the ‘Aurora’ it’s been ignored unless absolutely needed. Sails and muscle have taken me half way around the world.
As I near the shore I see a dark skinned man in shorts wade out. I ship my oars and step out into the knee-deep surf. Together we pull up the little boat. Never have gotten around to naming it. Debated calling it the Kathrin after the ship in the Cary grant movie Father Goose, or maybe the Jenny after Forest Gump.
I thank the man. He grins back at me and tries to talk to me in english. I listen politely not understanding half of what he’s saying. His accent is horrible. I look up and see a jeep pull up and two official looking people get out.
“Welcome to Kiribati. Your passport please?” one of them asks me with a smile in near perfect english. The other just watches me, his hand on his belt not far from an old service revolver.
O great I’ve found the Barney Fife of the Pacific.
I give Sheriff Andy my passport. He asks my purpose in being here.
‘Just want to restock some supplies and site see for a day.” I tell him as I take back my passport.
He directs me to a near by group of building as the best place to get supplies, then hands me a tourist brochure from his back pocket.
“Have a wonderful time.” Sheriff Andy tells me with his grin.
Barney gives me a hostile nod and follows his partner back to the jeep.
As they pull away I look over to the guy who helped me pull by boat up. He jerks a thumb towards the departing jeep then makes a gesture like he’s jacking off.
He grins a gap-toothed smile at me.
A little broken english latter and he’s loading about fifty pounds of smoked fish into the boat and settles down to watch it for me. It’s amazing what a few American dollars can get you in the right places.
I head over to the cluster of old metal shipping containers and corrugated metal that’s being used as buildings. I’ve seen this same sort of place in many lands. Take a shipping container cut the sides off it and you have a roofed over metal building with steel awnings that can be locked up tight and survive a hurricane. Although here in the pacific I think they call them typhoons. Thank the Japanese for that bit of confusion.
Moving into the crowded little building I do some quick shopping. It doesn’t take me long to find what I need. I keep hunting for the special things that I take from each place. Things that give the place a memory in my mind.
Three guys carry the stuff to my boat for me. A quick trip back to the ship to unload and then I’m back. This time I have my camera around my neck. I have a huge box full of undeveloped film that someday I will get turned into pictures.
Walking around I snap a few photos of memorials built to honor those who died fighting here back in WWII. A British colony the place only became independent a little while back. You can still see the influence of the english. A Polynesian with a Manchester United football shirt is a prime example. Though the newspaper box with the London Times newspaper is a bit of a surprise. Looking at the date it’s yesterdays. Impressive.
I soon have a small gaggle of little brown children following me around laughing. I know in some places you have to be careful of these. Only the IRS are better thieves.
They direct me to a place to sit down and eat. Open air tables covered in sunshades with a kitchen area inside a more, or less permanent building. It’s owned by their family apparently. I watch with a smile as they are all given pieces of peppermint and sent back out to bring in more tourists.
A lovely young woman comes over to me and gives me a delightful smile.
“Welcome sir. I’m Tamara, I’ll be your waitress.” She smiles at me apparently pleased at having gotten that much out without and slip-ups. I grin back at her.
“Coke to drink, and other than that you chose.”
She looks at me for a bit then goes to get something I hope will be good. I watch her as she walks away. She really is beautiful. Maybe twenty…ish? Dark hair, skin the color of wildflower honey.
She comes back with a glass-bottled coke that drips cold water. Strange you can’t seem to get these anywhere in the U.S. but they are all around the world. She pulls a paper towel off a roll and folds it under my bottle. Nice both napkin and coaster. A slightly potbellied man comes to the table carrying a tray. She takes a platter and sits it in front of me.
British fish and chips wrapped in news print. I smile up at her and mouth thank you. She grins back at me.
The man notices the exchange from a few tables away where he’s’ serving the other platters from his tray. The look he gives me isn’t very friendly. I ignore him and concentrate on my food. I do see him grab her by the arm as she passes him on the way back into the kitchen.
When she comes back out to see to the other guests I notice a bruise on her arm. I bit of dark on the already brown skin.
My thought focus inward to all the places I’ve seen where people are either nice or even outright brutal to each other.
“Can I get you something else sir?”
I look up at Tamara then down at my food. I have eaten every crumb without tasting it. I notice my coke is nearly gone.
“Another one of these if you please Tamara.” She smiles that I remembered her name. With a nod she goes off to the back. I see the man looking over at me again from the other side of the restaurant. Fed up with him my eyes lock on his and I give him a cold stare. After a moment he looks away.
Looking down I find myself reading the salt and oil saturated newsprint on my table. Just as I’m getting into a story it’s lifted away and my new coke is placed in front of me. I look up at Tamara round face. Her eyes framed with that dark hair really capture my attention this time. I can see why the man would be jealous. I smile at her and give a slight nod towards my drink.
“Your welcome sir.” She says giving a nod back. Then her eyes light up with a look of laughter.
Sitting there sipping my drink really tasting this one. I’m startled as she walks past me she places a newspaper in front of me on the table. It’s the London times I saw earlier; no sorry this is day before yesterdays. I think. I smile at her, more of a grin really. She nods her head back with a similar grin.
Leafing through the paper I see what’s been going on in the world. I check the business section and see that my former company is still struggling to recover from the loss of its CEO and founder. Me. The stock isn’t as low as the last time I checked though so maybe it’s starting to recover. Not that I really care much anymore. The company had been my dream, sailing the world had been Kim’s. We gave up her dream to pursue mine. When she pass I returned the favor.
I check a few places where I still have stock but I know My investor can watch that sort of thing better than I. So long as I can still pull out a grand from any national bank whenever I have a need I don’t care what he does. He can buy stock in hamsters for all I care.
The antics of the British royal family or english soccer are of little interest to me, but I read them with a near hunger anyway. I reach for my coke only to find the bottle empty. Tamara’s hand brushes mine as she tapes the top of the bottle with a finger. I look up towards her face but my eyes stop at her breast for a second or so. When my eyes reach hers she’s giving me a grin. Caught. With her skin I can’t tell if she’s blushing but for some reason I think maybe she is. She shakes a finger at me.
“Naughty Boy.” She says with a south London accent to her voice. I grin at her like the boy she’s called me. “Another Coke?”
“Yes if you have a restroom, no if you don’t.”
“Restroom?” she asks puzzled.
I wrack my sun-baked memory for a few seconds.
She gives a giggle and nods her head. She points to the side of the restaurant.
Getting up I leave my paper on the table to hold my spot and walk around to the side. I find a small-enclosed alcove with toilet seats on a bench like shelf. Opening the lid I look down into a half oil drum. I see a bag with shredded coconut husks sitting near by. The place actually has very little smell. I make quick use of it non-the less.
As I step through the bright colored curtain I see the short pot bellied man waiting for me. For a second he looks like he might try something but then realizes I tower over him. Also a year at the mast has me made of mahogany. I stare down at him without saying a word till he moves out of my way. I watch my six as I walk past him.
Tamara is at my table with my third coke. I stop by the table, but don’t sit back down. I fold up my paper and take the cold glass bottle from her. Our fingers touch for a second. She looks up at me smiling.
I fish an American five-dollar bill from my pocket and hand it to her. It’s far and beyond the bill, but I catch her hand as she turns to go.
“You… keep the change, my dear.” I tell her as I tuck my paper up under my arm while juggling a sweaty coke bottle.
She gives my hand a quick squeeze and grins at me.
“Thank you sir.” The south London accent is back.
I smile and walk off towards some taller buildings I see in the distance. They have the made of marble look that the British tried to cover the world in a century ago.
I stop and turn to look back at the little café. She’s watching me. On impulse I lift my camera and snap a shot of her. She smiles for the photo.
The man scowls in the background.
Shaking my head I walk away. I know that if I had a house he would be by tonight to throw rocks at the windows.
I have got to get out of Mayberry.
I spend the rest of the day doing the tourist thing. The place is proud of it’s British past unlike some places I’ve been where they threw the English into the harbor along with the Tea.
I sit in a small park watching sea gulls squabble with pidgins over bread crumbs other people at tossing to them. For a bit I think of how much Kim would have laughed to see pidgins on a pacific island. Then my thoughts drift away from her to the lovely young lady I met earlier. Tamara. That causes a grin of it’s own. Kim would have been teasing me about her all day long if she had been here.
If she had been here…
I get up and take my tired feet towards the harbor. The sky is falling and I’ve decided to sail with the tide. The sea is calling with a lovers longing for me.
My little boat is sill under the watchful eye of my first friend here. He tries to tell me something, but his accent is still horrendous. I just grin and nod till he smiles at me. He gives me a hand getting the boat off the beach. I stopped for more supplies on my way back. I don’t feel like stopping again for awhile.
Mostly English beer. I gave my friend a six pack. He was waving and drinking as I rowed away.
Eager to get underway I put the supplies on the back deck and get to untying sails. They crank up and the near constant breeze sets them to billowing out. A turn of the wheel and the dark waters catch the nose of the ‘Aurora’
Plopping my butt down on the transom I hook a six-pack to the rope and drop it behind me to cool in the sea. British stout, I’m sure I’m committing a crime of some kind, but I like beer cold. I fill my pipe and prop my foot up on a case of fruit. I really should go put it all away, but I’m drained from my time ashore.
Interaction with my fellow humans does that to me now.
I reach down and make a meal of some of the fruit. It won’t last long anyway.
Soon comfortably full, I reel in a cold beer and settle into the padding watching the sail as I drift on the edge of a nap. I watch the sunset and the first stars fighting for the sky. My moneys on the stars to win.
Standing up I go to the side rail and take a piss then go to the wheel and flip on my lights, front and aft. I check my course by the stars. Close enough, I think and lock the rudder on this course.
As I go to sit back down I trip over a box and nearly take a header off the back of the boat. The adrenaline rush at how bad that could have been pops my eyes open like nothing else could have.
Still shaking at the idea of having to watch the ‘Aurora’ sailing away a flying Dutchman as I tread water in her wake, I make my way carefully back to the wheel and flip on the main lights. The six big spotlights on the mast wash the deck with light. I grab up a case of canned soup and make my way past the cabin to the front storage hold. When I lift the hatch to the hold I again nearly fall off the ship.
I look down into Tamara’s eyes. Her face aglow in the lights from the mast, it looks up at me from the darkness. She’s sitting on a large coil of rope next to my chain locker.
“What in the hell are you doing here?” I ask finally when my heart starts to beat at a regular pace again.
“Please no send me back.” Her english has deteriorated with I’m guessing fear. “Please don’t”
“Come up out of there.” I tell her sitting down the case of soup. I catch her hand as she goes to step out and all but pull her up. She weighs almost nothing. As I get her up close to me I see her face.
There are large swellings under her eyes and crust of blood at her nose and lip. I see dark places on her arms as well.
“Please.” She says in a soft whisper.
“Look I’m sorry your father beat you…”
“He no my Father!” she says hotly.
“Your husband then.”
“He no my husband either! Though my father making me marry him.” She looks down and sniffles.
Oh god a crying woman. The ultimate bane of all men the world over. I sigh and shake my head.
“Look, I’m sorry. Some of it maybe my fault. Look I rally can’t let you stay with me here though.” I look at the length of the ship.
“Just take me to the next Island.” She looks up at me. Her tongue gives the split in her lip a compulsive lick that makes her flinch.
I look up to the stars for guidance, but the bright spotlights, so very rarely used for this very reason, hide them from me.
“I’m an idiot for saying yes but ok.” I tell her looking back down at her.
“Oh thank you sir.” She says with the south London accent back. I’m startled as her arms go around me.
I hesitantly hug her back, patting her shoulders lightly as she hold me in a death grip. I finally have to force her arms apart as I feel myself start to respond to her. What? Give me a break. It’s been two years since I’ve held a woman close to me and this delicate flower of the pacific, smelling of coconut oil and female sweat is enough to tempt a priest.
“If your staying onboard help me with the supplies.” I tell her as I separate us.
She looks up gives a sniffle and nods her head.
Working together we quickly get everything stored away up front.
Sitting down on the transom seats I turn off all but one of the lights. I heard the generator kick on to help the battery about half way through the packing.
“Do you want a drink?” I ask looking at her.
“Will beer do?” I ask as I start to pull in the rope. If she doesn’t want one I sure as hell do.
She gives me another nod.
I pull two off and toss the rest back in. She holds the cold can and looks at me strange.
“Cold?” she asks with a raised eyebrow.
I roll my eyes heavenward.
“Either drink it or go get a hot one from up front. You know where we just put them.” I tell her as I pop the top on mine.
She opens hers and hesitantly takes a sip. Making a face she sits it down and goes to the front of the boat. Chuckling I flip the switch giving her back a light till she gets back here. When I turn it off the single light seems dim in comparison.
“So what happen, Tamara?” I ask after taking a long pull on my beer. The condensation drips onto my chest like icy drops of fire.
She looks up at my face for a second.
“You still remember my name?”
I nod and smile.
“I don’t know yours.’ She says looking at my face. I realize then that I must look as exotic to her as she does to me.
“It’s John Paul, but you can call me JP.”
“Close enough.” I say smiling she grins back at me. “Now what happen Tamara? Why did he hit you?”
Her smile fades.
“He’s always hitting me. Ever since father tell me I going to marry him.” She shrugs.
“Your father know he’s hitting his daughter?”
“Why does he let him?”
“Fetu, tell father I look at other men. I need to be disciplined. Father getting old he wants me to be married. He tell me to mind my place.” She looks down at her drink and takes a long sip.
“Fetu? The guy at the restaurant right?” she nods. “He did this to you because of me looking at you while I ate?”
She nods. I see her swallow.
“What else?” I ask softly “I can tell there’s more.”
She looks up at me.
“He saw the money you gave to me. Called me a whore. Accused me of planing to sneak off to be with you tonight. Said that’s why you give me so much.”
“Well he clearly isn’t a good judge of women, in addition to being a fool. As beautiful as you are you would be worth a hell of a lot more than five dollars. Hell that wouldn’t even buy a kiss. I’m sorry if what I did got you in trouble. That wasn’t my intent.” I shrug and get up.” Are you hungry? Or did you eat up all my stores up front?”
She looks terribly ashamed of her self. Even with her complexion I can see her blushing. I laugh.
“It’s alright. Come on I’ll fix you something.” I grab up the sipped at beer. It’s probably still too cool for her, but I figure that make it just right for me.
I turn on the cabin lights and turn off the spotlight. They seem even dimmer still. It takes me a moment to adjust. As I head for the galley she brushes past me.
“I can cook. I fix dinner.” She turns and looks at me in the dim light. “You sit, drink …cold beer. I cook for you.”
Laughing I have a seat and watch her bustle around the small galley. I call out to her where things are till she has everything she’s looking for then she shushes me.
“You drink.” She tells me sternly.
I chuckle again.
She gives me a strange look then returns to her cooking.
Though the smells are different, having a woman cook for me brings back a flood of memory. I find myself turning the worn ring on my finger.
“Where your wife?”
I look up from my hand to see Tamara placing plates of food in front of us. I don’t recognize anything, but it smells delicious. Looking up at her face I see her eyes leave my ring and meet my eyes. I sigh.
“I’m a widower. She passed away.” I tell her softly. Her dark eyes furrow as she hands me an empty bowl.
“Passed away? Oh died! I’m sorry.” She starts to fill my bowl with food from the platter. “How long ago?”
I pick up my fork and take a small bite. I nod at her.
“It’s delicious. She passed two years ago.”
She again looks at me strange.
“Two years? You no remarry?’ as I shake me head she looks at me with a sad expression growing on her battered face. “You loved her very much.”
I stop with the fork in my bowl. It takes me a moment to answer.
“She was my life. I didn’t find that out till she was gone.” I take a sip of beer. It goes with the food rather well.
She eats in silence for a few minutes.
“What happen to her?” She asks me softly.
“Oh she got on my nerves so… I toss her off the back of the boat and the sharks ate her.”
Tamara head comes up and her eyes go round. Then she gives me a look as I grin at her. The grin slowly fades.
“She got sick. Though we didn’t know she was sick till it was too late to do anything. She felt fine, then felt bad, then she was gone.” I go to put a little more food in my bowl but she grabs the spoon before I can touch it and fills my bowl. It’s more than I was going to get but I can’t refuse its so good. I smile at her.
She smiles back at me, her swollen lip making it look odd.
“Jeepee, you good man to love woman that much.”
I shake my head.
“I’m just a man. I don’t make no claim to be a good one.” I’m soon swallowing the last bite from the second bowl. “This was delicious, thank you for making dinner.”
“You want more?” she goes to pick up the spoon. I shake my head.
“I’m full. Thank you though.”
I sit back in the seat and just look at her.
“Why would your father have to worry about you being married? You cook wonderfully and you’re beautiful to look at. That the two prime qualities most men look for in a wife, in every part of the world I’ve been to anyway.”
She looks down at her empty bowl. She doesn’t answer.
“What is it Tamara?” I softly push a hand across the table towards hers. “You can tell me. I won’t judge you no matter what.”
She looks at my hand then up at my eyes. She gives a small sigh.
“Father was married twice. When he was young he was very handsome man, like you. He catches the eye of a woman from England. She young, far from home. He nice man my father. They have lot of fun together. They marry ” she grins “Have even more fun together, Then I born. Mother gets…with child…again. Her and baby both die. Father remarries local girl. Friend from childhood. She nice to me.”
She pauses still looking at the platter of food. I realize then she’s still hungry but won’t eat because I’ve stopped. Moving quickly I take the spoon from the platter and fill her bowl to the brim. She looks up at me startled then smiles at my grin. I sit back.
“So she treats you nice, but others don’t. Because your mother wasn’t from the islands?” she nods. I nod understanding. “Back in America they call that being a half breed. I wouldn’t think the men of your island would care all that much about something like that.” Then I recall that the english held this island for centuries. They can be some of the more pureblood snobs in the world. “Then again maybe I can.”
“Mothers’ no want sons to marry…half breed girl. Not when plenty of island girls around needing husbands. So father get Fetu, old friend of his, to promise to marry me. Offer him part of restaurant.” She gives a sniffle. “Brothers very angry with father. Can’t take it out on father he old.”
“So they take it out on you?” she nods. My fist clinches on the table. “Your Brothers have they hit you as well?”
She gives a small nod. I realize her eyes are on my hand and I make my fingers relax.
“So your brothers have been hitting you because your Father all but sold you to a man who also hits you.” I give a nod. “I can see why you ran away. Okay…well. I’ll help you in anyway I can. If I take you to the next island will you be ok there?’
She gives me a nod, but I can see something in her eyes. I decide to let it go for the moment. I get up and scrap the last of the food into her already half-empty bowl. As I head towards the sink she goes to hop up but I stop her with a finger.
“My boat! My boat my rules. You cook I clean, I cook you clean. Understood?” she gives me a quick nod. I smile, “Finish your food so I can wash that bowl.”
As I tidy up the galley she eats like she’s never even seen food let alone just finished three bowls. Going to her I take the empty bowl and slide my half-finished beer to her. It’s warm by now. She looks up at me and gives me a puzzled smile.
“Drink the rest. I only like them cold.” I take the bowl to the sink and give it a scrub.
“You a strange man Jeepee.” She tells me softly.
“Just raised in a different part of the world. Come outside when you want. I want a smoke.”
I head upon deck and to the box by the transom. My pipe takes moments to pack. The tobacco I bought this morning was from England and still has the flavor of the pubs in London where I first tried it. I sit on the padded transom and watch the stars appear from behind the sail. The wind is light so I leave the sail higher than I would most nights. I see her hesitantly make her way through the hatch.
“Sit where you like.” I tell her as I take a sip from my now super cold beer. I have two more left if the sharks aren’t getting drunk again.
She takes a seat on the small steps by the side of the cabin. She sits quiet for a bit then looks over at me. I know my face must look demonic light by the glowing red coal of my pipe and the clouds of smoke that curl out from my mouth can’t be helping the look.
I rest my pipe in my hands and look out at the moon as she rises up past the water line. Her face is huge as she clears the horizon. I can make out individual craters.
“You from America Jeepee?” I her ask softly.
Looking over at her she is lit by the moonlight. The shadows of pale light across her face give her an angelic quality.
The demon and the angel. How appropriate.
“Yea. I was born in a little town in Mississippi.” I take a puff on my pipe stem. “Have you ever seen a map of the US?”
“Yes in school. I don’t know where Msippy is though.”
I grin. I could correct her but even Americans have a hard time with that one sometimes.
“Remember there is a big river runs through the middle?” she nods. “It’s where that river nearly meets the Gulf of Mexico.”
“New Orleans?” she asks getting up and moving over to sit closer to me. Curiosity brings the angel to the demon. That the demon has no bad intentions wouldn’t be believed, even when it’s true.
“It’s not to far from my home town. Just a few hours drive.” I see her eyes widen. I smile as I realize that she’s from a place where if you drive a few hours your in the water. “I use to sneak down there with my friends for Mardi Gras every year.”
“Mardi Gras?” she asks leaning in towards me.
I take a sip of my bear and lean back.
“It’s a big party, last for days. My friends and I would go there to watch the women.” I tell her grinning at the memory.
“Why? What are the women doing?” she asks me. I can see her smiling her face back lit from the moon now.
“They lift their tops and flash their breast at he crowd. The crowd throws them coins and beaded necklaces. It’s a lot of fun. Good food, good music.”
“”And women getting half naked.” She says with a grin.
I lift my pipe to my mouth and nod as I relight it. She laughs at me. She sniffs the air as I puff my pipe.
“Does it bother you?” I ask sending the smoke away from her face.
She shakes her head.
“No I don’t think half naked women would bother me.”
“I meant the pipe smoke. Does my pipe bother you?” I ask with a grin.
She looks at me strange.
“Why would it? It smells nice.” She tilts her head and takes a long sniff at the air.
That I’m not in America where even outside some people act like your waving arsenic at them hits me forcibly. I look at this beautiful woman sitting next to me. Young enough to be my daughter. Beautiful beyond belief. And so very exotic.
Getting up I go crank down the mainsail to about half its full height and tighten the front sail down as well. I give the boat a once over then head back to where she’s sitting watching me.
“It’s getting late.” I flip on the cabin lights again. “Lets get some sleep.”
I head into the cabin and go to the locker at the foot of my bunk. I grab out some sheet and a blanket. Going back to the table I reach under it and pull a pin. It drops to about two foot off the floor. I rearrange the cushion on it and Walla a near full size bed. I look up as she stands at the doorway watching me. I can see a look of almost apprehension in her eyes. I smile at her softly and spread out the sheets on the bed.
“You can sleep here, Tamara. It’s more comfortable than it looks.” I have to fib a bit this table hasn’t been used as a bed the whole time I’ve owned the ‘Aurora’. “You get colder than the blanket can help there are more in the locker by the foot of mine. Use what ever you need.”
She looks around the cabin
“A…lo…restroom?” she asks almost pleadingly.
I smile and take her back out on deck and show her where I have a bit of the rail cut away and a place to hook your feet as you hang your butt off the side. She looks at me for a second then bursts into laughter. I shrug.
“Pray for no sharks.” I tell her as I head back down to give her some privacy. I can still hear her laughing even as I crawl into bed.
She comes back inside and looks at me in my bunk and then at the big bed I’ve made up for her. A very sweet smile slowly graces her beautiful face. A single tear rolls down her cheek.
“The light switch is there by the door.” I tell her softly.
She nods. Turning she flips off the light. I hear a rustle of cloth.
“Good night Tamara.” I tell the dark softly.
A darker shadow appears by my bed. The moon light wane now as she rides high in the sky shows me an image of unsurpassed beauty. Her skin glows.
I feel her lips as she kisses me. The silk like feel of a woman’s lips against my mouth is something I’ve almost forgotten. Her kiss lingers for several seconds then she softly parts us.
“Goodnight Jeepee. You very good man.” She tells me softly her lips just inches from mine. “Money you already gave me, plus help you giving me. I would have sleep with you. I owe you at least that.”
“Tamara, You don’t owe me anything. I owe you.” I tell her catching her hand in the dark. I give it a small squeeze.
“Why you owe me?” she asks puzzled.
“Because I was right. Five dollars couldn’t buy a kiss that wonderful from a woman as beautiful as you.” I see her smile in the dark. “Now go to bed. Sleep well. Have beautiful dreams.”
“I think I’m in one already.” I hear her say softly. I don’t think she meant for me to hear her. As she turns to walk away I see the curves of her bare ass lit from the moonlight.
I turn over in the bed facing away from her.
‘Your not the only one ” I tell my pillow softly.
It’s a long time till I can get to sleep. My cock a hard bar in my shorts. The need to cum is almost overpowering, but I don’t dare.
I know that I couldn’t be quiet.
I wake to the smell and sound of food cooking. I turn over to face the galley and get an eye full of wonderfully shaped ass as my morning wake up.
In her cut off shorts and tank top, wearing an apron I never use she’s standing in front of the hot plate. As I turn over she looks at me and pouts wonderfully.
“I wanted to have this done for you before you wake Jeepee.” She tells me giving her foot a little stamp. “Where you keep tea? I couldn’t find it.”
Chuckling I sit up, giving my beard a scratch.
“That’s cause I drink coffee. Although I think there is some tea it the back of the top cupboard.” I point to the door in question.
She turns and reaches up to open it. Her legs stretch up and her ass does wonderful things in those shorts. Seeing that she can’t reach I get up to help. Reaching past her I catch the box and bring it down to her. For a second she is all but in my arms. The smell of her is intoxicating.
“Thank you sir.” Were back in London town. “How do you make coffee? We never served it at the restaurant. Not enough people asked for it.”
I show her how to make a pot then she shoos me out the galley like I’m a little kid not someone twice her age. As I walk past the table I notice it’s a table again. It also looks cleaned. Heading out onto deck I step over to the rail. I know the morning wood I’m struggling with isn’t just because I needed to pee. I look up towards the rising sun as I pee a long stream of yellow into the big blue.
I’m still standing there looking at the rising sun when she brings me out a cup of coffee. Though I’ve put my cock back in my pants.
“Your breakfast ready Jeepee.” She tells me from the hatchway. I turn towards her. Her eyes jump up from my waist level to my eyes. Then she turns back into the cabin.
She was checking out my ass. I think to myself. Well fares, fare.
I look back to the horizon just as I step inside.
“Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.” I whisper to myself softly. I remind myself to crank up the long range and maybe the radio as well.
As I turn back towards the cabin I wonder briefly if were having kippers.
No but there is some of the smoked fish involved in it some how.
I sit through breakfast just watching her. The swelling under her eyes have started to fade and the blood is gone from her nose. The lip still looks puffed up a bit and I know the bruises on her arms will take weeks to fade completely.
“What are you going to do on the next island?” I ask her as I sit sipping my second cup of coffee. Oh… very strong!
She looks up from her food. Maybe she’s still a little full from last night, but she’s only been picking at it. I doubt the reason even as I think it.
“I’ll find work.” She tells me softly looking back down at her food.
“But you’ll be a stranger there. Right?” she nods without looking up. “And although my eyes can’t see it you blood lines show to the people from these islands. Yes?”
She nods again.
“So odds are you wont get good work. Just whatever crap no one else wants to do, right?”
“Yes sir.” She says softly.
“You don’t have to call me sir, Tamara. My time in the Military is a life time ago, and I’m not a knight.” I say with a grin.
She looks up at me and seeing me smile gives me a smile in return.
“Yes Jeepee. I mean no Jeepee; I won’t find good work. But I can do whatever I have to till I make me enough money to attract a husband who wont care that I’m…half-breed.”
I just look at her for a few seconds. She stares back at me for a few seconds herself, then looks down at her food. Like she’s ashamed to look me in the face.
I take a deep breath.
“Tamara.” She looks up. “In front of the nose of the ‘Aurora’ is the whole wide world. I’ve got plenty of supplies, even for two people to live on. I don’t have to stop at the next island, or the one after that, or the one after that. Hell if were a little careful with the food she could sail all the way to Australia without a resupply. No one there would give a damn about who or what your parents were. There might be some difficulties since you don’t have a passport, but those can be overcome. Hell it’s a former British colony. You would probably feel at home in some of the cities.”
Tears roll out the corners of her eyes.
“You saying I could stay Jeepee?” she sniffles. “Till then at least?”
She comes around the table in a rush and slams her lips into mine. Her body so light still has mass and I’m driven into the cushions by her. My hands have a mind of their own as they come around her. It’s several minutes before our lips part. I look up into her bright eyes. Smiling I shake my head.
“Damn girl you keep that up, I’m going to have to sail you all the way to England.” I give her hip a pat. “Up, I’ve got to go check on something.”
She squirms off my lap and I stand up. The difference in our height brings home the difference in our ages in a way nothing else could. Damn she just a kid I think as I go past her towards the back wall of the cabin.
Pulling aside a sliding panel I turn on the long-range radar. I flip on the fax printer. If I’m close enough to a station I should get a weather report automatically printed out about every hour. I know the next Island is about two days ahead of me.
Yea, right about where that large angry place is on my radar sweep.
I quickly look through the charts. Howland Island, Baker islands. Flipping through my books show them to be U.S. territories, but nothing but coral atolls. More dangerous than the open sea really. I hear the fax start clicking. Looking at the satellite map I follow the storm path. Of course… right for me. Tracking northeast. If I go north I may get above it. The winds on the southern edge would be the worst. I check the currents and look for submerged reefs on the charts. Nothing I can’t cross. The ‘Aurora’ doesn’t draft to deep. A good and bad thing at times. I wish right now she had a deep centerboard like some of the racing ships her size. With the winds coming my way I could use it.
“Things are going to get bad Tamara. Come on I need your help.”
She looks up startled as I rush past her and out onto the deck.
“What is it Jeepee?” she asks me as she comes out on deck behind me. I’m at the back rail windlassing in the small boat.
I point to the horizon west of us.
“In a few hours time that will start to get black. We got a big storm headed this way. You know how to drop a sail?” I ask as I continue to crank. She shakes her head. I look up at the two sails still at half. I consider cutting away the small boat. The lost time it will take to drop the sails and get it aboard may mean our lives. By the same ticket if the ‘Aurora should heel over that might be our only way except swimming. “Here you crank in the boat while I get the sail.”
I turn over the windlass to her and rush past her to the sails. I quickly get them cranked down. The ‘Aurora’ comes slowly to a drifting halt. Rushing back I catch the rope and guide the small boat around the side till it’s beside the storage hatch. I hook the windlass strap to the side of the boat and with her on one and me the other we get it cranked up and over the hatch. I lash it down with the ratchet straps and I lock down the hatch with its metal wing nuts. One on each corner.
As I’m cranking the sails up full I start to see the horizon darkening. I check all the windows to the cabin and make sure every thing is sealed tight. The ‘Aurora’ under full sails with a good tail wind all but jumps up and sprints across the waves.
“This one of the storms they call typhone Jeepee?” Tamara asks me as she sits down on the transom seat.
“Typhoon.” I say with a tight grim. “I hope it don’t get that bad. If I can get north of it, the winds will come around behind us and push us away from it.” I see the line off the back of the boat. “Pull in the beer will yea, I could use a drink.”
Opening a locker near the side I pull out a harness I haven’t worn since trying to round the Horn. I look at the large D rings near the wheel. I had hoped to never use them again. One day I’ll learn to check the weather before I leave harbor.
“Here.” She hands me the cold can. “How can I help?”
I pop the top and look to the blacking sky.
“Get bellow. Make sure everything is stowed away as tight as you can make it. The cabinet doors will lock if you turn the handles to the right.” I gesture with my hand to show her how I mean. ” Make sure nothing down there will go flying around.”
She nods and starts down into the cabin. I look back at the storm, then up at my sails trying to calculate in my head how long I can run at full sail.
I look back to the cabin hatch.
“Yea darlin?” I say not thinking.
“What if you can’t get us north of it?” she asks looking worried.
I smile then shrug.
“I’ll drop canvas to bare mast or maybe a storm sail. Put a sea anchor off the bow to keep us into the waves and come below to ride it out. The ‘Aurora’ took the storms off ‘The Horn’ for two weeks before I got into a harbor. Before I got her she rode out a couple of hurricanes in the Atlantic and the gulf. She’ll make it through this. Now go on and stop worrying.” She smiles and nods. I watch her disappear bellow I look back at the blackening sky. “I’m doing enough worrying for the both of us.” I say softly to myself.
Over the next hour the wind shifts till I have to be constantly adjusting sails and heading to keep them full. The sea starts to get angry as well. Soon the ‘Aurora is ride up and down like it on an old wooden roller coaster. I lock the rudder and go bellow to check on what she’s done. I looks good. I grab a few crackers to give my stomach something to do besides slosh. I look at her. She’s sitting at the table reading my copy of ‘Jaws’ I grin at her when she looks up and make clicking noises with my teeth. She smiles back at me shaking her head.
Back on deck I pick up the harness and hook it around me. Originally designed to stop falling construction workers it’s really a bit of over kill for a boat but a America’s Cup sailor told me to get it when he found out I sailed alone. After ‘The Horn’ I called from the harbor and thanked him. Several times.
I hook the lifeline to the D-ring by the wheel. I wait on hooking the second one. Laying a hand on the wheel I feel the ship alive under my hand. I unlock the rudder and watch the waves ahead. The fight to keep us going northwest and into the waves at the same time soon becomes a challenge.
I watch truly humbling displays of lightning to the south of me. I pull close the zippers of my yellow rain suit as the drenching begins soon after. Reaching down I pull two metal straps up from the deck plates and hook my feet under them. I hook on the second lifeline not long after that.
Running like a wild horse the ‘Aurora” begins to lean away from the wind, her tall mast at times almost skimming the nearby wave tops. I stand on the deck, braced against the wheel. I start to laugh as I realize I’m humming the theme to Gilligan’s island. I watch the water slipping by at times almost below me.
Sliding open a panel I access controls I rarely use. Electric motors turn the forward windlasses and both sails drop about five feet down The mast head come up from the angle it was running by about the same. I flip a heater switch and hold it for a few minutest then a second switch and the big diesel engine comes to life for the first time in six months. I see my lost speed come back up.
Capping the crest of a wave I look south towards a hellish world of black. The sky and the water have met and are at war with each other. I watch my pennant to the top of the mast. Still the winds haven’t turned.
I juke us further north by a few degrees. It costs speed and I have to take in more sail. I up the throttle speed to compensate.
Minutes of terror become hours of the same. Twice I see Tamara stick her head out the hatch top and call something to me. I can’t hear her even five feet away. The howl of the wind through the rigging is like a banshee wail.
Finally no mater how far north I point us I can’t get the black sky off my bow. Then it’s north of me. I look at the pennant, and give up what I’ve been trying.
“You son of a whore.” I yell into the storm.
I flip the switch and watch as the front sail rolls down into its boom. I flip the other and the aft sail does nearly the same. I lave only a small triangle of cloth standing up to act as a weather vane. Unhooking one lifeline I hook it to the cables running fore and aft. I hook the second line to my harness and start forward.
The spray over the bow soaks me even more thoroughly than I already am. I toss out the sea anchor and head back. I turn the rudder lose to find her own path. I lay my hand on the back line feeling the tension.’ ” “It’s up to you now old girl. Keep us safe.”
I grab the little bag with my pipe from the transom box and lock it back. I shut off the motor and head through the hatch. I seal it tight behind me.
Tamara is there helping me out of my harness and rain suit. I hang it on the hooks by the hatch door.
“We in trouble Jeepee?” she asks me as I walk past her towards the back of the cabin. Opening a locker next to my bunk I pull out some dry clothes and a towel.
I nod as I strip off my sodden shirt. As it clears my head she is there to take it from me.
“Yea darlin we are.” I take the towel and dry my shaggy hair. “But I have faith in the old girl to take all the sea can give and bring me through it safe.” I tape on the wood rail beside my hand. Sailors, superstition kind of goes together. I watch her wring out my shirt letting the water fall into the sink. She looks back at me
“Your shorts are just as wet.”
I look at her face for a second then undo the button and sip them down. I step out the sodden denim and hand the dripping cloth to her. I grab up the towel from around my neck and turning away from her I dry myself. As quick as I can I step into a pair of dry shorts and pull them up.
I feel her take the towel from my hand then she gives me a slight push that sits me down in my bunk. She begins to vigorously dry my hair for me.
Looking out from under the cloth I see her breast jumping from the force of what she’s doing.
I smile at her as she dries my face and beard. She smiles back.
“You got nice ass Jeepee.” She says smiling at me.
“And you have a beautiful one Tamara.” I don’t resist as she wraps my blanket around my shoulders.
“You tourist man no be looking at my ass! You get me in trouble with my husband to be.” She tells me grinning.
“Well he’s a fool who can’t appreciate how wonderful a woman he had. Don’t worry about him, I’ll keep you safe.” I say still joking.
I see the grin drop from her face slowly.
“I know you will Jeepee. I know you will. You have faith in ‘the old girl’. I have faith in you.” She smiles at me softly. Then knocks on the wood board by my bed the same way I did.
I get up and give her a quick hug. I have to fight myself to not make it a long one. To add kisses to it. To not tumble her into my bunk.
Going to the radar I check. I’m in what looks like a sea of dark angry looking clutter. I do see that the worst of it appears to be to the south of us. I brace myself as the ship rocks side to side violently. As we slip into the trough I move to my bunk and unhook two ropes. They crisscross the bunk.
I turn to see her trying to hold onto the metal handrail by the table.
“Here, lay down and get under these. Try to hold on. Wraps a leg around them if it gets worse.
After I get her squared away I go back to the radar and just watch it and the barometer. I cringe as several time I hear things hit the top of the cabin. I can only guess what they could be, but none of my guesses are good.
Finally I see the barometer rise a single degree. Then another. I make my way towards my bunk I see her bright eyes looking at me from the shadows.
“I think were past the worst of it.”
She pats the bunk beside herself.
“You come, try to sleep.”
I’m about to say I’m not tired, but a yawn shows that to be a lie even before I say it. I look at her, I know I shouldn’t. It will be a line once cross I will always be tempted to cross again.
The ‘Aurora’ heels over violently all but throwing me into my bunk. Giving in to the wills of these two ladies I crawl in beside her and hook myself in place with the ropes. The bunk is a good space for me to sleep by myself. Two people in it… well lets say it’s very cozy and leave it at that.
The howl of the wind and the lashing of rain on the cabin roof overhead are a constant. The roll of the ship soon slides her tight up against me. I wrap her into my arms and rest my chin on her soft hair.
“Call me darlin.” She says softly. “I like the sound of it. Are we going to be ok?”
Her words are a soft whisper against my chest.
“Yea darlin, we will.” I hug her to me tight, the smell of her filling my nose, the warmth of her my arms. I listen to whatever is lose rattle around up top. “Were going to be just fine.”
I snuggle into her, as I haven’t done to a woman in so very long. I fall asleep feeling her playing with my chest hairs.
I wake to the light of dawn coming in through the small windows. My arm feels dead where the rope has cut off the circulation. As my eyes open I see where my hand is laying and I wish it wasn’t numb. My right hand has Tamara’s bare breast cupped in the palm.
Her eyes pop open when I try to move my hand unsuccessfully. She looks down at it then up at me and grins.
“Good morning to you sir.” She says smiling.
I try to move my hand again with no luck.
“I’m sorry Tamara my arm is asleep. I can’t move my hand, you’ll have to help me. The hands so numb I can’t even feel what I’m touching.”
Grinning at me still she helps me get untangled. Then before I can stop her she climbs over me. She stops when she is in front of my face. Her lips are inches from mine, so that I feel the breath of her words.
“I told you call me Darlin.” She places a kiss on my lips and slides her soft body across me. Looking down at me she adjusts her shirt. “I fix us breakfast you go check on ship.”
Rubbing the painful pins and needles out of my arms I open the hatch and walk out onto the deck.
The small triangle of my aft sail I left up has shredded its top grommet and hangs limp across the back deck. I see several ropes that are only frayed and frazzled ends. Going forward I find one of the ratchet straps that hold down the small boat laying ten feet from where it should be, wrapped around a cleat. It’s close enough to above my bunk to be what I was hearing. The tail end of the skiff had moved back and forth enough to scar the metal hatch cover it’s strapped to, but that just cosmetic. I pull in the sea anchor as I scan the horizon. To the northeast I can see a dark line near the horizon’s edge that all that left of the storm.
I see Tamara step out on the deck, ducking under the cloth sail. She has a cup that steams in her hand. Walking back to her I take the cup of coffee and smile.
“All in all, not bad. It was far worse when I tried to go round the end of South America. But then I was in those storms for a lot longer.”
She lifts the edge of the torn sail.
“You can fix it?” she asks uncertain.
“Just as soon as I get done doing something more important.” I tell her trying to hide a smile.
“What’s that, Jeepee.”
“Finishing my coffee and the breakfast you’ve made.”
She grins at me. I place a hand around her back and guide her back down the cabin steps. My fingers rest on the small of her back right above the gentle rising curve of her ass.
All in all it takes two days work to get the ship back in order. I take two triangles of sail cloth and start to stitch them to either side of the torn sail but she soon takes away the needle and oiled twine and starts doing a better job than I can. Going to the forward hatch I get the small boat back in the water and the hatch open. All the supplies are a jumble, but I manage with a lot of cussing to get the bundles of rope pulled out onto deck.
Replacing the modern nylon with old fashion Manila hemp rope was called foolish when I asked for it, but now it makes repairs far easier. I can splice the natural rope together. I, with a little help from a boson chair soon have the rigging squared away. I rehook the back sail when she has it repaired and run it up and down a few times.
Not that there is any wind. I look up at the pennant. It’s hardly fluttered in the last hour. Looking out at the waves they have settled even more. I know that soon we will be sitting becalmed. The storm has robed this area of it’s wind.
I remember from my reading that this area is famous for these sort of weather events. Patrick O’ Brian made it part of one of his stories in fact.
I check the fuel gauge on my way to the cabin. I used a good bit, but it’s hardly a dent in the big tank. Unlike the sailing vessels of old I can get us out of here if the wind doesn’t come back soon.
Walking towards the back I almost take a gainer into the sea when a window opens right in front of my legs.
“Sorry Jeepee.” She tells me from by my feet. I watch as she pops open the rest of the windows on this side. Then the other. Walking across the cabin roof I hop down onto the back deck. Turning to the hatch I get handed a large hand full of my clothes.
“Put those up to air out Jeepee.” She grabs a broom from beside the hatch door and I soon see clouds of dust and fine sand starting to drift out the windows
Recognizing the will of a woman at work I do what men for thousands of years have done. I get away from her. I run my clothes up a line they hang flat like strange pennants. I fetch her a bucket of seawater when she asks for it. Peeking in one of the windows I see her on her knees with a scrub brush giving the floor the scare of it’s life.
Going forwards I grab a dive mask and my snorkel. Hopping into the blue I start checking the side of the ship under the water line. Using a scraper I pop off a few barnacles that offend my since of perfection. I dive under the Aurora and come up the other side.
I hear my name being called franticly from the back of the ship. I swim round till she can see me.
“You scare me. I no find you on deck.” She gives her foot a stamp.
“Sorry Darlin, just checking the hull.” I toss my mask up onto the back of the boat and pull myself up. I slick the water back from my hair and beard. I notice her eyes on me. “Done cleaning?”
“Good for now. Till I can get something more to clean with. You no have much.”
I grin and shrug. I look back up at my clothes. They hang unmoving.
“We may be here a few days. I can move us with the motor if it gets to be too long as stay. The only thing close is Howland or Bakerer islands”
“Nothing on those. Old run down buildings and birds.” She tells me. I nod in agreement. “So we sit till wind comes back.” She looks down at my faded denim cut offs. “Why you wear shorts into water?”
I give a shrug and look past her into the cabin. I remember when it last looked like that. The day I bought it. Come to think of it the restaurant had been spotless. I look back at her. “You’re a great cook, you can clean, and you look beautiful and your dad could only find you a pot belled man who beat you?” I shake my head. Grabbing up my mask and snorkel I start towards the front.
Looking back at her I see her grin.
“You forget my best feature. I have beautiful ass.” She gives her hips a wiggle.
Laughing I nod in agreement and go forward to stow my stuff.
I wake from a nap on the transom seat when I hear a splash. Looking at the deck I see a pile of clothes. Looking over the back of the seat I see a brown skinned sea creature frolicking in the water. And it’s not an otter. Getting up on my knees I lean over the back seat and rest my heat on my arms. I just watch her.
The peek of a dark nipple the round curve of her hip. Her ass breaks the water when she dives. A thing of beauty, at play in the blue water. She sees me watching and ducks under. A few second latter she comes up just under. I lean out a little father and look down at her sparkling eyes. I smile at her as she wipes water from her face. She smiles back.
“You come in and swim Jeepee?” she asks kicking up. Her fingers catch my beard tugging me forward mischievously. “Come swim with me.”
“I was enjoying watching you.” I look up at the sails. They hang flat calm. Not even a breeze stirs the top pennant. Reaching over I flip the bale and the back anchor drops with a splash.
I stand up and, knowing it for the mistake it is, let my shorts drop to the deck. I step off the side and the water warm at the top cold a few feet down rushes up past me. The feeling of the bubbles as they climb up my body is stimulating. Through the water I see her naked body swimming towards me. We surface face to face not inches from each other.
“What was your wife’s name?” she asks looking at my face.
I’m a bit taken aback by the question. It wasn’t something I thought I would be asked while swimming in the sea.
I tread water for a second then blinking the salt from my eyes I answer.
“Her name was Kim.”
“What did she look like?” Tamara asks softly.
I look at her silently for a second.
“Why do you want to know?” I ask puzzled.
“I’ve see you look at me. The way a man looks at a woman. Do I remind you of her? The way I look.” She asks me softly.
I shake my head after a second. Slowly I smile.
“No my Darlin. Your dark, she was pale. Your hair is black, hers was red. You features are from the people of the pacific. Hers were from the green island of Ireland. No your nothing like her in the way you look.” I reach my wet hand up from the water and brush her hair back out her eyes.
“Then why do you look at me?” she asks.
“Because I’m a man and you’re a woman. Because your beautiful.” I smile at her as I tread water. Just inches from her.
She pushes forward into my arms in a rush. Our lips meet in a very wet kiss. Our legs scissoring together in a near frantic effort to keep us afloat as we kiss. Her body is warm in my arms after a second. Her lips all but attack me in fierce melding of lips, and tongues. Finally I kick us a little to the side and catch the anchor chain with one hand. Holding us above the waves I can only keep one arm around her but she holds us together. She breaks the kiss.
“You really think I’m beautiful? I know you’ve said it before but do you really mean it?” there is almost a desperation to her question.
“Of course I mean it. Why would you think I wouldn’t?” I ask, maybe a little too sharply. She looks at my face for a second then pulls from my single arm embrace. She surges up and catching the side of the ship pulls herself from the water. I catch a quick glimpse of a dark tangle of hair between her legs then I hear her feet on the deck of the ‘Aurora”, running into the main cabin.
Catching a toe around the anchor chain and grabbing the side of the boat I pull myself into the ship. I step into the cabin to find her curled up in my bunk crying.
I grab a towel from the table and wrap it around my hips. Going over to my bunk I sit down beside her my knee against the soft curve of her ass.
I softly caress my hand down her hip.
“What is it, my darlin?’ I ask softly. “Why are you crying?”
She hugs herself to my pillow. Her wet hair soaking the pillowcase but I can’t be annoyed with her. Ever so slowly she stops crying. I wait for her to tell me. Giving her the time to gather her thoughts.
“They said I was ugly.” She says softly.
“Who did? Your brothers?” I ask after a second. It takes me that long to try to see how anyone could think this beauty to be ugly.
“Everyone.” She says softly with a whimper. “They said I looked like a Lish girl.”
“A Lish girl? Oh an English girl!” I brush the back of her damp hair. “Turn this way, look at me.” Slowly she does. “You look like a goddess. You are as beautiful as any woman I have ever seen. They were just being mean because they all look the same while you look better than they do. I can’t have been the first to look at you. I know that other men who came to the restaurant had to have had their eye on you. Would they have done that if you were ugly?”
She breaks eye contact with me. Then she doesn’t answer.
Leaning in I catch her chin with my fingers and gently turn her back to face me.
“What is it Darlin?”
“They said that just proved that I looked like a Lish whore.”
I feel my temper rise. For a wild second part of me want to turn the ship around. To return to her home and give them all a piece of my mind about the way they have treated her. But it passes. I know I’m just one man. I can’t change the world. But maybe I can help in a small way.
” I want you to listen to me now. And believe what I say.”
She looks up at my eyes.
“You do not look, or act like a whore. Because you’re not one. You are a lovely young woman who has had a lot of mean people treat her badly. What they did was wrong and cruel. But your believing it was just as wrong…and cruel. Cruel to yourself and to the memory of your mother. She loved your father. Loved him enough to give him a wonderful daughter and then to die trying to give him a second child.” I gently brush the side of her face. “That she loved you, I have no doubt of. Not a single one. You know that right?”
“Well your mother was a Lish girl, and if in anyway you look like her…you need to be proud of that. Proud that you can look like someone who loved your father and you that much.”
Slowly, ever so slowly I see a small smile appear on her face.
“Thank you Jeepee.”
“Your welcome darlin. Now get your beautiful wet ass out of my bed, you’re soaking my mattress.”
She dissolves into a mixture of tears and laughter. Wrapping her arms around my head she pulls me down to her. I stop the kiss just inches from her.
“What is it Jeepee?” she asks her wet eyes just close enough to mine for me to see the gold flakes in hers.
“You are a beautiful woman. A beautiful ‘young’ woman. I’m old enough to be your father. I shouldn’t be kissing you.”
She smiles at me.
“Then don’t…but I’m going to be kissing you.”
Her mouth meets mine wet and hot. I can taste the salt from the sea, or from her tears. Her tongue is at my lips demanding entry. I can’t lie and say I’m reluctant to let it in.
She pulls at my head drawing me down towards her. I stop her and break the kiss.
“Darlin!” she all but snaps at me.
I blink my surprise at her tone. Then slowly smile.
“Darlin…I ‘am’ old enough to be your father.” Her fingers are at my lips Stopping me from speaking.
“I want you to listen to me now, Jeepee. And believe what I say. You’re not as old as the man I was to marry. He was fat and stank of cheep wine all the time. He called me bad names and hit me whenever he could…or just felt like it.”
Her fingers brush my hair back from my eyes.
“I am a young woman Jeepee. Woman, not girl…woman.” She catches the back of my neck and pulls hard at me. “And this woman wants you.”
I let her pull me into the bed with her. Her body is warm against me as I stretch out beside her. Her hand goes to my waist and pushes open the towel. Her fingers curl around my cock. I’m rock hard in her hand.
“And I think you want me.”
I can not deny that to either her or myself. Taking a deep breath I bush away the shouldn’t does in my head and give in to the demands of this beauty at my side and to my own needs. My hands run down her, my fingers caressing her hard taunt skin. She is firm in my arms. Her body tight and supple. Like an eel she wiggles in my arms till she is on top of us. I shift a little under her till I’m standing perfectly between her thighs. She reaches between us and I feel her finger take hold of me again. I moan as the head passes through her lips. It feels just like she’s kissing it with her mouth.
First and inch then two pushes into her. She is tighter than any woman I have ever had. In an almost painful hard embrace my cock slides the last few inches into her body. She grips me with a contracting of her inner muscles that feels like fingers running the length of me.
I moan as I push up with me hips. I feel her fingers steadying her on my chest as she starts to grind herself against my cock.
“Oh Jeepee, your big.”
I chuckle a little at that.
“I’m just your average size darlin. It’s you that’s tight. My god it feels like your rubbing me raw your so tight.”
“You like?” she asks me looking at my face.
“No darlin I don’t like it, I love it. You feel wonderful.”
I feel her thighs strong and firm rubbing against the side of my hips as she drives herself onto me. Her body and mine start to finally give us some lubrication to make this easier on us both. Soon she is bearing down onto me. Her passion getting the better of her she digs her fingernails into my chest. I feel hairs pulled out but I really at this time don’t care.
“Oh my god Darlin yes!” I’m slipping into and out her in a frantic pace now. The wet smack of us hitting together is so erotic. My hands grip the cheeks of her ass, the tips digging into the warm crack between.
She gives a hard gasp when I brush her hole. . I remember Kim and not a few other women in my life loving being touched there. Tamara seems to be no different. She arches back against me. I run a hand up her body cupping one of her breast. The nipple dark and hard as a pebble from a sandy beach.
I drop my hands to her hips and pull her to me as I thrust into her faster and faster. I can feel myself getting close.
“Yes Jeepee?” she asks panting.
“I’m close to cumming. I might get you pregnant. I need to pull out.”
She leans down till her face is inches from mine her hands gripping the side of my head. I can smell her sweaty body. The smell of her skin, like the scents of the island she’s from, beautiful and exotic.
“Cum in me please Jeepee. I want you to.”
I stop my thrusting and look up into her flushed face.
“Yes Jeepee please!”
I pull her down to me and or wet bodies rub together our lips come together in a frantic kiss as I plunge into her and pull out my whole length. Then drive back inside.
I feel her shuddering and a deep guttural scream nearly deafens me as she clutches herself to me. I run my hands down to her ass and drive her down onto me as I thrust up.
“OH MY DARLIN!” I feel like I’m never going to stop cumming as I unleash long streams of my passion into her. Deep into her. I after the third shot feel hot liquid flowing out down the side. There isn’t any room in her tight body for more.
“Oh my Jeepee.” She hugs tight to my chest I pull her down till her body rests on mine. I move my hands down and push her knees down. I feel her weight come to rest on me like a heavy warm blanket. I kiss and nibble at the side of her neck as she pants for breath by my ear.
“I never felt that before.” She says softly beside my ear.
“Never felt what? A man cum inside you?” I ask puzzled.
“No. What happened just before you did that.”
I gently push her up from me and sit up with her resting in my lap straddling my hips. I look into her beautiful eyes.
“You’ve never felt an orgasm before?” I ask her.
“Was that what it was? I thought only men do that.” She looks at me with a strange expression on her face.
“Oh no. Women do it as well. If anything yours are even stronger than ours. No one ever told you this? Not even your Stepmother?”
She shakes her head.
I lean into her pulling her tight against me. As I shift a little I notice the feeling of wet running down my leg. I know it’s a mixture of our passions.
I hold her too me. Feeling her breathing as it slows to a normal pace. I smile at her softly.
“Well a woman can and does have an orgasm. You just had one. The fun part for you is that you can have many more in a night than any man could ever have. If the right attention is being paid to you.”
She looks at me for a second then slowly begins to run her fingers through my long hair. The tips of her fingers trace my eyebrows, almost petting them. She runs a finger across the wrinkles by my eyes, like she’s trying to brush them away by her touch. I stair up into her face watching her struggle her way through too many new thoughts. She runs a finger across my bottom lip then down into my beard. I see a slight frown.
“What?” I ask tilting my head a little.
“The hair here. The men of my island don’t really have it. Unless they have Lish blood. Even then it’s not this thick.” She runs her fingers down the side of my jaw line.
“Do you want me to shave it off? I didn’t use to wear a beard. It just got easier to let it grow.” I run my fingers up her smooth back in a mindless caress.
“I don’t know. What would you look like?” she says looking me over.
Smiling I shake my head.
“Sorry I don’t have any photos of me. I can shave it and if you don’t like it I can let it grow back in. Sound fair?”
“But what if you don’t like it? How would that be fair?”
“Because while I’m playing with my razor shaving hair I want to shave you.” I look down to where we are joined. The look on her face is more than worth my beard.
“I don’t know Jeepee…”
“If you don’t like it just let it grow back.”
“Why would you want to do that? Make me look like little girl. I already younger than you are comfortable with.” I love how we seem to keep going back to London every time she gets a bit out of sorts. I have to keep the laughter out my voice.
“I would want to shave you there for the same reason you probably want me to shave my beard.” At her look I smile. “So I don’t get a mouthful of hair when I’m kissing you.”
For half a second she looks puzzled then her eyes widen. Her mouth forms a perfect ‘O’ then she starts to giggle.
“You would kiss me there?” she giggles, when I nod she blushes so much I can see it even with her dark skin.
“I know you must have heard of people doing that.” I tell her smiling. “And you my little island princess look like you would be sweet as honey.”
Giggling she rolls off the top of me and snuggles into my side.
“Like I say you strange man Jeepee.”
I pull her protectively into the circle of my arms and hold her to me. Soon I hear her breathing soften into a steady rhythm. Opening my eyes I look at her sleeping face. So beautiful, so innocent and young. Every middle aged man day dream come true so why do I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I’m certainly not taking advantage of her need for help. If I had took her to bed the first night she was onboard it would have been that.
I finally decide I’m feeling a bit of guilt. Like in some way being with Tamara is being unfaithful to Kim.
She would have laughed herself silly to know I was feeling that way. Kim always encouraged me to take a lover if I wanted. She was far more open about sex with others than I had ever been. Probably how and where I was raised compared to her upbringing.
I gently brush Tamara’s hair with my fingertips. She snuggles tighter into me with a soft murmur the goes quiet.
Kim would have loved her. In every since of that word. She would have found Tamara to be a daughter, friend and lover all in one.
Wondering if that may be part of my problem I drift off to troubled but unremembered dreams.
Fed up with the giggles I grab Tamara around the waist and toss her into the sea. Going down into the cabin I fish around in the cabinets till I find a roll of aluminum foil. I use a baking pan I’ve never used but never gotten rid of to make a reflector. I watch wet clothes fly over the back rail to land with a splat on the deck. I can still hear her laughing.
Going to the front of the boat I sit down in the sun and put the reflector under my chin.
I tune out her giggles. They have been a near constant since this morning when She woke to find me shaved.
It had never occurred to me that almost twenty months with a beard would leave my jaw line a pale white under my beard.
Tamara had about peed herself when I washed off the last o the soap and hair.
I listen to the soft lap of the ocean on the side of the ship and half dose. The suns hot but like a warm skin massage to my face.
“I’m sorry I laughed at you Jeepee.’ I hear a soft voice whisper.
Opening my eyes I look up the length of her gorgeous nude body, to her face. I feel myself stiffen at the sight.