Empress of the World – Part 2
“Where’d you say you went to school?”
I hadn’t told the beefcake anything about myself. Not yet, anyway. But as I drank in his gaze, I was tempted to spin a story. And why not? Hiss wavy brown hair and emerald eyes were enough to make me weak at the knees. Even the barbed wire tattoo wrapped around his arm made him more alluring.
Jake was way more alluring than his friend. When I smelled the familiar hint of weed on Allen, I lost interest in him pretty fast. I knew Jake probably liked his weed too, but he was smart enough that he didn’t reek of it.
I considered lying about where I went to school. Jake obviously thought I went to college somewhere. What difference would a little lie make? I’d watched my mom’s relationship with Orion’s dad fall apart from a series of lies.
Thinking of my brother, I turned and saw him sitting on the side of the pool with another boy. He looked a bit older than Orion. Maybe fourteen. But he was hot, wearing nothing but a form fitting red speedo. I like guys with short, styled hair and the boy’s long, golden locks were a bit of a turnoff. But only a bit. Take Jake, his hair was spiked, with the tips frosted almost a grayish blond.
Or, I realized with a shock, Orion’s. My brother’s light brown hair was short. He didn’t spike it, but combed it to one side. But it was short enough on top that it was naturally spikey. That’s when I noticed Orion’s shoulders were slightly wider than his narrow hips. That was new. Last year, he was all skin and bones. But now…
I shut the thought away. I flashed Jake a wide smile, “I’m at the University of Texas. Well, I will be in the fall. What about you?”
“UCLA. Well, for another year. Then, it’s on to the cold harsh reality of the job market.”
Hearing Jake talk about the job market, I realized maybe I was lucky having this summer to enjoy myself. I wasn’t willing to forgive my mom, not yet. But as I listened to Jake, I felt a lot better about being on this cruise.
After a bit, Jake stood and said, “It was nice visiting with you. I’m just about boiled. Me and Allen are meeting up with our folks for dinner. Later tonight there’s a bar on deck seven. Maybe we’ll see you then.”
Once they left, I realized I was hot. And most of it wasn’t from talking with Jake, although there was a bit of that. My skin felt cool against the Southern California breeze as I climbed out. I made a note to myself to not stay in the hot tub for over thirty minutes at a time.
Orion was back in the pool when I came to collect him. The ship had let loose with an ear-splitting blast. That was the signal that the ship was about to leave port. It also meant we were only a couple of hours away from needing to meet Mom and Max for dinner. Mom had put her foot down and the first night at sea would be with the entire family.
When Orion swam over to the side, I raised my voice to be heard over a ship’s announcement, “Hey, you want to watch the ship leave out?”
He nodded, “Yeah. Sure.”
He used his arms to push himself out of the pool. Water sluiced off his swimming suit, which clung to his hips in ways that reminded me a bit of Jake climbing out of the hot tub. I closed my eyes for a moment, wondering where in the hell were these thoughts coming from about my brother. When I opened them again, Orion was getting to his feet. As his hands brushed the fabric of his suit down, I swear I think he was smoothing out an erection. What the fuck?
I turned and hurried over to the lounge chair where we’d dropped our towels. I wrapped one around my torso and tossed him the other one. A few moments later, we leaned against a railing as the Empress of the World slowly slid away from the dockside. Feeling the slight rumble of the ship’s engines under my feet reminded me that this was it. For better or worse, my next two months would be on board this ship. I wasn’t sure I was willing to let Mom forget that she’d ruined my summer, but thinking about Jake and that kid I’d seen Orion talking to, maybe this summer wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Orion and I watched until the dockside fell far behind. I chanced a look at my phone. “Oh, shit. We’re supposed to meet Mom and Max in an hour.”
We hurried back to our cabin on deck nine, where I headed directly into the bathroom. While I looked forward to enjoying the bath that our mini-suite provided. This wasn’t the evening for that. I stood in the shower, letting the water cascade over me. Thoughts of Jake and that boy Orion had been with crept into my thoughts and before long, it wasn’t only the water making me wet down there. Even though we had little time, my fingers worked their way down my stomach and across my shaved pubic mound until my index finger slid beneath my clitoral hood.
I leaned against the side of the shower as my body tingled at my touch. My other hand moved away from my small breasts and joined in pleasuring me; one hand rubbing and massaging my clit, the other’s fingers shoved up my pussy, until my knees buckled and I fell to the floor of the shower.
I was still trying to clear my head when there was a loud knock at the bathroom door, “Jackie! You okay? What was that noise?”
My pussy clenched the two fingers buried to the hilt while my other hand rested against the wall. My body shook as another orgasm hit me.
The door shook, but I had locked it when I came in. Still collapsed on the bottom of the tub, I managed to call out, “I’m fine, Orion. I dropped a bar of soap.”
My brother’s voice was still boyishly high, “Alright. You almost done?”
On their own volition, my fingers were moving in and out of my pussy as I felt myself about to give way to another orgasmic wave. I stopped moving my fingers long enough to call out, “All-almost. Just a few minutes more.”
I closed my eyes, thinking about the teenage boy I’d seen talking with Orion earlier. The way the speedo stretched over his body was enough to bring me to another orgasm, helped along by my busy fingers. Then, clenching my eyes, my mind grabbed onto another image. Orion was climbing out of the pool, his swimsuit clinging suggestively to his thin frame. But in his front, a protrusion confirmed a boyish erection.
I came again, and this time I pulled my fingers from between my legs. Oh, fuck. I’d done it again. What the hell is wrong with me for my thoughts to return to my little brother?
I turned off the water and climbed out of the shower. I dried myself off before realizing I’d left my clothes in the room. Before I realized what I was doing, I smirked and wrapped the bath towel around my torso. I looked in the mirror. At least all my parts were hidden as I unlocked the door and stepped back into our cabin.
While I had been in the shower, our luggage had arrived and now my bags were at the foot of the bed. My brother had already changed into a pair of khaki slacks and a knitted collared shirt. And as I came over to my bags, I felt his eyes on me. I nearly yelled at him to stop perving me, but before I could open my mouth, my thoughts returned to that moment in the shower when I came to an image of his erection hidden only by the thin, wet fabric of his swimsuit.
I found one of my nicer blouses and a matching skirt and set them on the bed. In a different bag I found a matching pair of pink panties and bra. Then I looked up and watched Orion’s face turn scarlet as we locked eyes. I scooped up my clothes and hurried back to the bathroom. I paused at the door long enough to look back at him and wink, “You wish, perv.”
Jackie and I met Mom and Max outside the dining room a few minutes before eight. Mom looked radiant; her face was aglow as we stepped into the opulent dining room. I figured she had been in the spa, working hard to spend some of that onboard credit. Who was I to begrudge her? I had my own plans on my part of our onboard credit. On our way down to the dining room, we had passed a store that sold expensive chocolates.
The dining room was enormous, with seating for hundreds of passengers. But they amazed me at the speed with which the wait staff took newly arrived guests to their assigned tables. Our waiter, a young man from the Philippines, whisked us to a table for four, where he held out the chairs for Mom and Jackie before deftly depositing menus into each of our hands.
My heart sank as I looked over the menu. I scanned it and saw nothing that looked like a hamburger or fries. Most of the items sounded foreign. Before Max came along and swept Mom off her feet, I’d never eaten at any place nicer than an Applebee’s. Even over the past year, whenever Max took the family out, we hadn’t gone to places with unfamiliar things on the menu.
I glanced around the table. Mom’s eyebrows were knitted together in concentration while Jackie wore a surprised look. It would be just like her to know what some of those items were. Finally, I leaned across the table and asked Max, “What do you think I’d like? I don’t know what most of the menu items are.”
Max’s lips turned up at the corners, “Can’t find the hamburgers?”
I felt a smile tug at my lips too as I shook my head.
My mom’s fiancé said, “Any dinner you eat in the dining room will typically have four courses. An appetizer, soup or salad, then an entrée, and then your favorite part, dessert. Why don’t you try to tiger shrimp for your appetizer and a Caesar salad for your salad? You can’t go wrong with those.”
Then he glanced back at his menu before adding, “Do you like steaks? They have a New York Strip.”
What red-blooded Texas boy doesn’t like steaks? I nodded at that.
“See, that wasn’t too hard, was it?” Max asked.
When the waiter came and took our order, after I had asked for the steak, he asked, “How would you like that cooked?”
I had no idea there were choices in how they could fix your steak. The few times Mom had grilled steaks on the grill, we took it however they turned out. I shot Max another look, and he came to my rescue again. “Why don’t you try it medium rare? It’s easier to cook a steak a bit more than to undo an overcooked one.”
That was one of the best meals I’d eaten in all my twelve years. Before the cruise, my idea of fine dining was the Olive Garden.
It was pushing ten by the time dinner was over. We had taken Amtrak from Austin to Los Angeles, so at least I wasn’t suffering from jetlag, but it had been a long day and I was ready to find out if the bed was as comfortable as Jackie had said.
Mom stopped me and Jackie just outside the dining room and gave us both hugs, “If you two need me for anything, don’t hesitate to let me know. Don’t stay up too late. There’ll be plenty of time to discover things.”
By the time Jackie and I got back to the room, I was barely keeping my eyes open. I brushed my teeth and then pulled my shirt and pants off, letting them fall where they may on the floor, before crawling under the covers.
The last thing I recall before falling asleep on that first night was an indignant Jackie, “What the fuck? You can’t just sleep in your underwear.”
I was still feeling stuffed after dinner when we got back to our cabin. My thoughts ran to Jake. He had mentioned that he was going to be in one of the bars down on deck seven. And it was tempting to leave Orion in the cabin while I went out for my own fun. Before I could decide what to do, my little brother had brushed and then stripped down to his underwear before crawling under the covers.
Some boys wear colorful boxers, others wear those boxer-brief combos with long form-fitting legs. Not Orion. Mom’s idea of underwear for us kids is Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. Tighty whities for my brother and white cotton panties for me. I’d been spending my allowance on prettier things the last couple of years. But as I saw him in his form fitting white briefs, it was clear Orion’s priorities were different.
I was a bit miffed when he didn’t respond to my reasoned complaint that he couldn’t wear just his underwear to bed. The least he could have done is put on a pair of shorts or pajama bottoms. But he was asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow.
His soft snores made it easier to decide what to do. A moment later, the cabin door closed behind me and I headed toward the elevators.
The stores on deck seven were closed, but the bar was open. This wasn’t like some kind of seedy bar filled with smoke, like what I imaged all bars are supposed to look like. No, this bar was different. There were thick, comfortable chairs set up in sets of four that surrounded a grand piano. Some guy was playing and singing a Garth Brooks song while the people closest sang along. There were even a couple of families sitting in the bar area. I guess I didn’t have to worry about being ID’d here.
I found Jake and his pothead friend, Allen, sitting in a couple of chairs. Across from them was a girl who looked to be with them. A half-dozen beer bottles sat on the table between the chairs, and the college students looked like they were having a good time listening to the music.
Jake saw me as I edged my way past some barstools near the piano. He waved me over and when I was close enough to hear him over the piano man singing about friends in low places, he nearly shouted, “Hey Jaqueline, get you a beer?”
I found myself nodding, even though the last time I’d had a sip of beer I spat it out. Of course, that was last year and at one of my girlfriend’s sleep-overs.
When I took the empty chair, Jake nodded toward the girl sitting next to Allen, “That’s Liz. She’s this bozo’s fuck buddy for the cruise.”
I was shocked at the apparent bluntness, but Liz just flipped Jake the bird, “You’re just jealous because I won’t suck your little cock.”
Jake flashed a nervous smile at me as his cheeks turned scarlet. Then he returned Liz’s bird, “Your loss. It’s not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean.”
Liz leaned forward and pinched Jake’s cheek, “You keep telling yourself that, Jake. But it’s hard to cross the ocean in a rowboat.”
Jake stuck his tongue out at Liz before turning to me, “Better make that two beers. After the roasting Liz is giving out, I need another one.”
A moment later, a waitress came over and took his order and after a bit, she swapped out the empty bottles with two full ones.
Jake had half emptied his before I could put the bottle to my lips. The taste was sour, just like before. But I wasn’t about to stop. The last thing I wanted right then was for Jake, his pot-head friend, or the razor-tongued Liz to think I wasn’t a college girl.
By the time the piano man played some Billy Joel, my bottle was still three-quarters full, but Jake had downed another beer. While Allen and Liz had their heads together singing about some guy making love to his tonic and gin, Jake leaned over and said, “Come on, Jaqueline. Let’s get out of here.”
I left my bottle on the table and let him take me by the hand. A handful of steps later, he pulled me onto the promenade. We could hear the waves lapping against the side of the ships as we leaned against the railing. Jake still held my hand as I watched the moon’s reflection on the water. Between the brilliance on the moon and all the lights on the ship, only a few stars were visible. Nevertheless, it was an amazing sight. I relished the idea of having another seventy to which to look forward. It would be a cold day in hell before I’d admit it to my mom, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.
“What you think of the Empress of the World so far?” Jake said.
I glanced up at him. His blond locks looked almost black against the shadows of the promenade. “Not as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, knowing there’s people my age helps. A cruise for most of the summer? I thought for sure it would be a bunch of old, wrinkly ladies.”
Jake chuckled as he leaned against the railing, “Don’t discount the geriatric brigade. I bet a majority of the twenty-two hundred passengers are retired. If we try to take over the ship, they could kill off every guest under twenty-five with just their prescription meds.”
I laughed, but then wondered if Jake had a point. There were a lot of old folks on the cruise. It made me wonder about why he and his friends were aboard. “So, how’d you end up on this old tub?”
Leaning against the railing, Jake shifted to face me, “You mean you weren’t just dying to leave all your friends, maybe a job, or summer school to take a trip into the Pacific Ocean?”
The smile on his face showed that someone had paid a lot of money for those straight, pearly whites. I chuckled, “That’s my story. What about you?”
Still holding my hand, he said, “It was Allen’s idea. He just graduated, and this is his last fling before taking a job in San Jose in the fall. Me, I’ve still got a year to go. But the idea of spending the summer drinking all I want, seeing some beautiful sights, and hanging out with gorgeous girls, how could I say no.”
Hearing him talk about hanging out with beautiful girls made me wonder if maybe Jake was more like my last boyfriend after all. But as he smiled down at me, I decided I had time to figure that out. And even if he was like that asshole, I was away from home and more or less free of Mom’s interference, the idea of a casual fling didn’t sound so bad.
I flashed him a smile, “I bet you say that to all the girls.”
Jake laughed and turned to face the water, “All the girls equals you. So, are your parents really getting married in New Zealand?”
I nodded. “Well, my mom is getting married to her fiancé. They dragged me and my kid brother on this cruise so we could celebrate with them.”
Nodding, Jake said, “I was wondering who the kid was you kept checking out when we were in the hot tub.”
My thoughts were flooded with an image of Orion climbing out of the pool. I couldn’t shake the vision of the soaking material of his swimsuit clinging to his little erection. Why the hell couldn’t I get rid of that image?
“Checking on him, not checking him out. We’re from Texas. Not Arkansas.”
Jake’s bark of laughter caused several other couples who were leaning against the railing to glance our way. “Touché. I guess going back to your room is out of the question then.”
Fuck! Jake sounded more and more like my ex. Still, he was handsome. And we’re going to be at sea for a while. Casual sex sounded better and better.
“Yeah. Fraid not. But this party is barely getting started, Jake. Maybe I’ll see you at the pool tomorrow.”
With that, I caught him by surprise when I let go his hand and headed back toward the elevator without a backward glance. The whoosh of the doors sliding closed brought with it exhaustion. The day had been very long and a glance at my phone showed it was nearly midnight.
Back in the cabin, Orion was asleep on his side of the bed. Since falling asleep, he had pushed the top of the bedspread down until it exposed his chest. I can’t recall the last time he and I had shared a bed. Maybe never. But his soft snores were almost sonorous, drawing at my exhaustion.
Ignoring the luggage resting at the base of the bed, I kicked my shoes off. Next, I pulled my blouse off and lay it across one of my suitcases. Then my skirt, until I stood next to my side of the bed in just my underwear. Reaching behind me, I unclasped my bra and lay it next to my shirt. I felt weird, almost dirty, standing over my sleeping twelve-year-old brother in nothing but my panties. At that moment, that memory of Orion’s erection framed in his swimsuit’s soaking wet material gave way to wondering what he would look like naked. I wanted to push that thought away. Technically, we’re half-siblings, but as far as I was concerned, Orion was my brother, and my dirty thoughts had no outlet.
I hurried to the suitcase containing my underwear. I found a white sports bra and pulled it on and then climbed into bed and pulled the covers over me. A few minutes later, thoughts of Orion and Jake fled as I slipped into an exhausted sleep.
Copyright 2021 – Caliboy1991
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