Empress of the World – Epilogue


That summer of my sixteenth year had started out so terribly. The plans I’d made had come to nothing because of that summer-long cruise. But what had started with so much anger, bitterness and resentment ended on a much higher note.

The time I spent aboard the Empress of the World was the best time of my life until that point. A couple of days after I watched my brother’s boyfriend plow his virgin ass, I finally had sex with Jake. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as what I discovered with my brother. And, yes. Liz was right. Jake was small, barely any larger than Gavin. Still, Jake and I hooked up a few times over the course of the cruise.

I called it fucking. But what I discovered over the seventy-two days at sea, sharing that cabin with Orion, is that what started out as mind-numbing sex grew into mind-numbing love making. The only thing that came close to rivaling those incredible moments of intimacy between me and my brother at the end or beginning of each day at sea, were those moments in the day when Gavin joined us.

Although he said he was gay, Gavin never showed any revulsion or flagged in his performance with me, and I could see the look in his eyes that he loved every minute he spent inside me. Maybe not as much as when he was inside Orion, but it was close. I’m sure of it.

Before that summer, sex had been something to do to feel that powerful orgasm that I could never get on my own. My boyfriends had just been a means to an end. I learned to love on that cruise, and that’s something that can never be taken away.

Even Mom noticed. It was the day before the Empress was due in Christchurch, New Zealand. The four of us, me, Orion, Mom and Max were dining in the main dining room. Mom had been looking between me and my brother when she said, “Have you changed your mind about the cruise yet, Jackie?”

I shrugged. I wasn’t ready to admit to Mom that I had completely changed my mind or that I was having the best time ever.

Mom continued, “I’m really glad to see you getting along better with your brother. One day you’ll realize that friends come and go, but family is forever.”

Orion and I both blushed. Mom really had no idea how close we’d grown. She continued, “As you get older, the few years’ difference becomes unnoticeable. I really hope the two of you can become best friends.”

Still feeling the heat in my face, I leaned over to the chair next to mine and reached an arm around my brother’s shoulders and gave him a hug, “Yeah. I was kind of crappy to him before the cruise. And I am sorry for the way I behaved toward him over the past couple of years. If I have to be stuck on a ship away from my friends, I’m glad it’s with Orion.”

With that, I leaned in and gave his cheek a quick peck, with turned Orion’s face an even deeper shade of red. Mom and Max laughed at my brother’s apparent discomfort.

Everything I said to Mom was true. By the end of the cruise, my best friend in the world was my then thirteen-year-old brother. When school started up again in the fall, even though we did our own things, I made sure that at least every couple of weeks, we would have our own date night, where we’d go out to eat, catch a movie and just hang out. Of course, living in Max’s large house, our bedrooms were on one side of it, while his and Mom’s was on the other. The only thing between our rooms was a shared bathroom. We made love to one another as often as possible, at least until I graduated and went away to college.

But that didn’t change how I felt about Orion, even as our lives sent us in different directions. And still now, even to this day, when I need a break from my husband or my kids, I know Orion is just a text message away.



The summer I turned thirteen was the best summer of my life. I discovered love for the first time. Also discovered, I could love more than one person the same way. Gavin got a reprieve from Nathan as his friend pursued and caught that Hispanic kid, Carlos. Even now, with the perspective that comes with years, I can’t say if I enjoyed more those moments of intimacy with Jackie each morning and night, or those moments when it was just me and Gavin, or those moments when it was all three of us. I suppose all were special in their own way.

I learned also that sometimes, love is an action verb, not an emotion. If you don’t work on it, you’ll lose it. Even though Gavin and I promised we’d stay in touch and try to get together the next summer, our best intentions weren’t enough. Sure, we facetimed and texted for a couple of months, but life happened and those text messages and facetime calls happened less often until they finally stopped. Gavin and I just grew apart.

I had a few sleepovers with friends and fooled around with a couple of the boys from school, but none of them held my attention like Gavin had. No, throughout the next couple of years, my one constant companion and friend was Jackie.

It was the summer before she went to College Station to attend A&M. I had just turned fifteen. Even though Mom seldom came over to our side of the house after bedtime, out of habit, I still locked my door. And as I made my way through the connecting bathroom, I locked the door to the hall in it too. Jackie’s lamp was still on as I opened the bathroom door to her bedroom. She closed the book in her lap and smiled at me. “I was wondering if you were going to come.”

I was wearing some red bikini briefs. With some help from Max, after the cruise, I had finally got Mom to stop buying those embarrassing white briefs. Jackie’s eyes lit up when she saw the bulge in the red fabric. The intervening two years had been good to me. I was five or six inches taller than her by then. I was still a grower rather than a shower, but Jackie knew how to make me feel good about my body even when I was a soft three inches. But at that moment, my erection pushed the fabric out, leaving a nice gap between my ripped abdomen and the front of my briefs, and once I reached her, she pulled the material down, freeing my five and a half-inches.

Over the previous years, we’d experimented with just about every position we could imagine. But that night, her last in the house before college, she wanted to ride me, and I was happy to oblige. I liked this position. Once she sank down on my shaft, she leaned forward, pressing her petite tits against my chest and kissed me. She shifted above me and I rocked my hips up and down and we settled into our comfortable and familiar lovemaking.

When you’re not-quite fifteen and horny as hell, you’ve got the stamina of Hercules. When I felt my balls start to bubble and I came inside Jackie, neither of us were satiated. Within a couple of minutes, I took her from behind. Before we fell asleep in each other’s arms, I lay on top of her and made love to her one last time.

The next morning, her alarm went off at five. That was part of our routine. Slip into her room, fuck like bunnies for a while, fall asleep next to each other, have the alarm go off, and slip back into my own bed where my alarm would eventually go off, officially starting a new day.

The next morning, she left for college and we didn’t have sex again.

Until she came home at Christmas. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been with a few boys. But only one girl–Jackie.

Going to UT during the mid-twenties was fun. Perhaps it was just the circles I ran in, but it seemed like there were more gay men than straight at college. But I didn’t find anyone. I was just settling into my first job after college, with a job Max had set up for me when my phone buzzed. I had a friend request on one of my social media apps. My heart pounded when I saw the image from the alert. Sure, it had been nearly ten years, and even though he had a blond mustache and goatee, I would recognize Gavin anywhere.

The End

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