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I deal with people all day in my job as an assistant bank manager. I love people. You have to, to do what I do every day. But when it comes time for my vacation, I usually just want to get away and have time by myself. I don’t mean go live in a cabin in the Rockies for a week. I mean just have the freedom to either be around people if I choose to or be by myself.
That’s why cruises are one of my favorite ways to vacation. I can sit on my balcony if I want and not see anybody for hours on end. Or I can take a shore excursion and lay on the beach with my iPod and tune out the world.
Or…I can pick and choose from the roughly one thousand five hundred men on the ship. Now, I figure half of them are either too old or too married (or both) to be worth pursuing. Two hundred and fifty might be gay or under eighteen. That leaves five hundred men.
I don’t claim to be Jessica Simpson or Angelina Jolie, but with the right outfit on I should be able to attract the attention of at least ONE out of five hundred men.
This particular cruise began in San Juan and headed south to places like St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. There was only one day the entire week that we didn’t stop at a new island. So I had ample opportunity to work on my sunburn and, of course, shop.
Anybody who has cruised will understand the phenomenon that I find kind of freaky: despite the fact there are three thousand people on the ship, it seems you are constantly seeing the same few people. Maybe it’s because we keep the same schedules, or eat at the same places, or sit near the same spot at the pool. But day after day, the same people are around me.
Sometimes they are easy to spot because of physical features, like the fat lady who really shouldn’t be wearing that two piece bathing suit; or because of their actions, like the couple obviously on their honeymoon who should have just stayed in the cabin if they were going to do that stuff.
Other times, they are one of the chosen five hundred. I start fantasizing about these guys the moment I step off the plane. OK, I admit it. Sometimes it starts on the plane. But by the time I’m on the ship my eyes are relentlessly scanning the crowd for a potential…um, well, ‘companion’.
So when one of these guys starts popping up everywhere I go, I start paying attention. The trick, naturally, is to ascertain his availability. That’s where my people skills come into play.
On this trip, it was the second day that I began to notice one guy in particular. Thinking back, I sensed that I first saw him during lunch the day before. He was with two other guys, but was clearly the best looking of the group—about thirty, my age, with longish hair, above average body and great smile. Later in the day I saw him at the ridiculous muster drill. Since his life jacket hid the upper half of his body, I was forced to concentrate on his cute butt. Then I think I saw him at one of the bars with the same two friends. At no time did I see another female around.
This scared me a little; fearful he might be one of the two hundred and fifty. There was only one way to find out.
We arrived at St. Thomas before I was even out of bed. I love to get up, pull open the drapes covering the sliding glass door, and walk out onto the balcony to get my first look at the ‘island of the day’. Charlotte-Amalie, St. Thomas sits on a beautiful bay with mountains surrounding three sides. It’s a spectacular view from the ship.
Far below, people were already mingling on the dock. My stomach was telling me I wasn’t going anywhere without eating first. So I drug myself back into the cabin and took a shower.
Cruises are great because you can’t spend all morning trying to decide what to wear. You can only pack so much. The rest, you buy. On a beach day it’s even simpler: bikini under something else. On this day, the something else was a Colorado Avalanche jersey (hockey, for those of you not into the greatest sport on Earth). It’s long enough on my petite frame to almost classify as a dress. Not real flattering for the figure, but cool.
I decided I would come back to the room after breakfast to get my beach stuff, so I put a few things in my small bag and headed for the buffet-style restaurant. The ship was buzzing with people and the wait for the elevator was agonizing. Finally, one showed up with just enough room for me to squeeze on.
I did a double-take when I saw the good-looking dude and his friends at the back. I smiled and he flashed that killer grin back at me. I watched him by using the shiny metal around the buttons as a mirror. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he was doing the same to me. I’m not sure if a blush reflects, but I had one.
We all got off on the floor with the restaurant and joined the herd of people heading that way. I wondered how many more times that day I’d see him.
I immediately got in the omelette line and tried to decide on whether to include mushrooms or not. I decided not to, and stuck to my usual ham and cheese. çankaya escort bayan Once I had my omelette, I went straight for the pastries.
“Go Avs,” I heard from behind me.
I turned and almost dropped the plate when I saw it was him. “Oh, hi. Are you from Denver?”
“No. Vancouver, eh?”
I giggled at his obviously fake Canadian accent. “Oh. That means I’m not supposed to like you.”
“OK. Be that way.” He reached around me to grab a pastry, lightly making contact with my arm. “I was going to ask you where you were going to be today so I could be sure to be there.”
“Then I won’t tell you Megan’s Bay,” referring to one of the best, but most crowded, beaches on St. Thomas.
He looked at me with those gorgeous dark eyes. “Not in that jersey, I hope.”
“Nope. Far less,” I said, making sure to take the exact same type of bread he did.
“Then I’ll look for you.”
“Can I buy you a drink if you show up?” I asked.
“You don’t have to bribe me,” he said, moving over to the bacon and sausage area. I was right behind.
“It’s not a bribe. Just wanted to add an incentive.”
“What if you buy a drink for some other dude before I get there?” he asked, putting a small piece of bacon in his mouth.
This guy was good. I love challenges. “I’ll tell him to get lost.”
“Not into long-term relationships, huh?”
I tried not to laugh. “Seven days max.”
He smiled. “What a coincidence.”
We were at the end of the buffet line. “So maybe I’ll see you there?” he asked.
“Maybe.” I grinned and walked away, looking for an empty seat.
I thought about sitting with my back to him, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to sneak a peek at him every now and then as I ate. I felt my heart rate almost return to normal five minutes into my breakfast. I eventually left the restaurant before he did, with high hopes that he’d take me up on my bribe/offer.
When I returned to my room, I packed up everything I’d need in a beach bag. I stood in front of the mirror for a minute to work on my hair, but it’s short enough that a few sweeps of my hand put it in place. Besides, the wind would just undo it all in an instant. I had my pass to get back on the ship; I had my wallet; I had my iPod and a book; I had sunscreen and a towel. I was ready for Megan’s Bay.
I had not booked an organized excursion for St. Thomas. I knew there would be plenty of cabs at the dock, as long as I remembered to get back before the ship left that afternoon. So as soon as I was off the ship and at the end of the long pier, I began looking for my transportation to the beach.
A long line of cabs awaited me…and the hundreds of other people leaving at the same time. I headed for one cab and got there about the same time as a young couple. When it was obvious we were all headed for the same vehicle, the man asked where I was going. Luckily, they too were headed for the beach so we agreed to share the cab and the cost. It worked out great.
It was their first cruise so I gave them as many tips as I could during the trip to the opposite side of the island. The time flew past and soon we were there.
After settling with the cab driver, I began my search for the perfect spot on the beach. I didn’t need much—just a small space for my towel and bag. No umbrella; no chair. Just sand and the sun and the sea.
It was mid-morning and fairly deserted. I knew that would change as the busloads of people on excursions began arriving. I staked out a spot within easy walking distance of a bar and snack stand, just in case my handsome friend from Vancouver showed up. Then I arranged my stuff and pulled off my jersey.
When I’m on a cruise, far away from the people I work with every day, I’ll wear stuff I’d never wear at home. In this case, it was my bikini. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not a prude. I love a short skirt and revealing top as much as the next girl. But when it comes to swimwear, I’m a little braver in St. Thomas than I am at home.
I bought my bikini the week before I left. It was a strapless model that crossed below my breasts. The bottom was considerably smaller than I normally get, but hey, I was on vacation. Even if it didn’t attract any guys, I’d have a good tan.
Technically, public nudity is illegal on St. Thomas. The locals frown upon it. But when there are two or three ships at the dock, each containing a few thousand people, a beach like Megan’s Bay is bound to have a few bare breasts. That was my reasoning, at least, as I prepared for a long day of tanning…some of it topless.
I’ve already acknowledged that I’ll never make the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. My breasts are simply adequate. But because I’m fairly short, I’ve always watched my weight. So, my waistline, hips and ass are more than adequate. Thus, I don’t feel embarrassed to lie on a St. Thomas beach in a smallish bikini at the age of thirty.
And if I take my top off to expose my simply adequate breasts, they can arrest me—along with the dozens of ankara rus escort other women who will be doing the same thing. Of course it never happens because we all spend money on things like…margaritas.
For the first half hour or so I watched the people arrive. There were the typical family groups with kids wearing inflatable things on their arms, old couples, young couples and the occasional single, like me.
Megan’s Bay is horseshoe shaped with hills rising on three sides and the ocean straight ahead. Because of the geography, the water is calm and clear. The sand is not the pure white you might associate with some of the more exotic islands, but it gets so much use it’s always going to look a little worn.
Soon, umbrella chairs and blankets were creeping closer and closer to my little space. I got out my iPod and turned onto my stomach. After untying my top, I pulled it off and set it beside me. Then I relaxed.
When I woke up my back was starting to burn; or, my burning back woke me up. Whichever it was, I knew it was time to turn over. I looked around and found the beach considerably more crowded than when I fell asleep. But I swallowed my pride and rolled over, revealing my less-than-perfectly tanned breasts to whoever wanted to look.
I applied a small amount of suntan lotion to my exposed skin and lay back down. A quick scan of the beach had shown at least two other topless women, so I knew I’d at least have cellmates if the beach police came around.
It was during this second nap that I awoke to the incredibly frosty sensation of ice-cold water dripping onto my right nipple. As soon as I was fully awake, I instinctively put one arm across my chest and grabbed my top with the other hand. I stared up at an outstretched arm holding a bottle of beer over my body.
I sat up, wrapping my bikini top around me in the same motion.
“I couldn’t wait for you to buy me a drink any longer.” The voice could only belong to my new Canadian pal.
I had my top secured by the time I turned and looked up into his face. The sun forced me to shade my eyes for an instant. Then I took the beer from him.
“Thank you. Want to share a towel?” I asked, patting the small space next to me.
“Sure.” He sat while I took a drink and admired his well-toned body. The boxer-style swimming suit didn’t offer much of a chance to admire anything else, but I was only half-awake anyway.
“So you don’t have any problem showing the entire island your beautiful tits, but as soon as I show up you hide them,” he complained.
“Nobody else on the island showered them with fuckin’ ice water.”
I saw his eyes focus on the still-wet tops of my breasts. He reached out his hand. “Maybe if I just wiped them off…”
I slapped his hand away. “Don’t you dare! I don’t even know your name and you’re already trying to molest me.” It was a lame way to get his name, but it worked.
“Rachel,” I replied without him even asking.
“Hello, Rachel. Nice beach, eh?” He was looking out over the water—or at the topless girl a few dozen yards away. I couldn’t tell.
“Where are your friends?” I asked.
“Down the beach a ways,” he said, pointing off to our right. “I’m sure they’re scaring off some poor young thing by now.”
“If they’re as good at it as you…”
“Hey! You offered to buy me a drink. You didn’t come through. Who’s scaring off who?” he said.
Mike rolled his eyes. “Great. Of all the women on this boat I picked the school teacher.”
“I’m not a school teacher,” I said between drinks.
“What are you?”
“I’m the CEO of General Motors,” I said convincingly.
“And I’m the king of England.”
“Then you shouldn’t go around disturbing half naked ladies while they sleep,” I said.
“The problem for you is,” Mike said calmly, “now I’ll only recognize you if you have your top off.”
“I’m sure glad this isn’t the nude beach on St. Maarten,” I replied.
“There’s a nude beach on St. Maarten?”
I tried to look disgusted. “Didn’t you do your homework before coming on this cruise?”
“Nah,” Mike said. “The other guys called me at the last second to ask if I wanted to fill in for a guy who couldn’t make it. His wife decided maybe he shouldn’t go. Another reason never to get married.”
“Not into long-term relationships, eh?” I asked, happy to return the favor.
Mike collected water on his finger from his beer and flicked it at me. I ducked and yelled in protest.
“So, will I see you at one of the bars tonight?” he asked.
“Probably. Sure you’ll be able to pick me out?”
“Wear something with a low neckline,” he answered with an obvious glance at my cleavage.
“I can do that.”
He stood and began weaving his way through the crowd towards the other end of the beach. I found it funny that he seemed to go out of his way to come within a few feet of the two or three topless women I saw. I smiled and stretched out on my back again.
I ankara etlik escort got back to the ship about an hour before the 5:30 p.m. departure from St. Thomas. I had plenty of time to shower before heading out for something to eat. There’d be no more fitting into my bikini if I continued to eat…and drink…the way I had been. So, I had something light and healthy and then returned to my cabin.
After sitting on the balcony for a while, I visited the casino and won $25 playing roulette. I’m not very good at the game but I like the social aspect of it. It always amazes me that people can be so happy losing their money. Whatever.
Late evening approached and I was anxious to change clothes and start searching the bars for Mike. I had packed two short dresses that met his requirement of having a low-cut neckline. I chose the red one that plunged considerably deeper than I felt was necessary. But, I liked the way it came in at the waist and then flared out to almost resemble a cheerleader’s skirt. It would have to do.
For some reason, I strode through the sports bar first, allowing my narrow-mindedness about men get in the way of common sense. He would, of course, go straight to the bar where he would assume all single women would congregate—the piano bar. Sure enough, there he was sitting around a circular, glass table with one of his friends.
I nearly got to him before he saw me. After a quick once-over with his eyes, he welcomed me, introduced me to Derek and invited me to join them. I accepted, crossing my legs gracefully as I sat and remembering, now, just how far up my legs this dress tended to rest. I made no attempt to pull it down for fear of my nipples being exposed.
Derek graciously left us alone after five minutes.
“You look great,” Mike declared.
“Thank you. Do I look like I’m on a cruise?”
“Yes. Very relaxed,” he said.
“I’m buying this time. What do you want?” I asked, starting to get out of my chair.
“No you’re not. Sit down.” I obeyed his order, never one to argue with a gentleman. “What do YOU want?”
I watched him walk to the bar. I guessed he was a couple years younger than me, maybe twenty seven or twenty eight. He had on a tight t-shirt and dress shorts. Overall, he was pretty good looking, but then I realized I wouldn’t be sitting here in one of my most revealing outfits if he wasn’t.
We sat and talked for another half hour before he asked if I wanted to move to another lounge. We endured a half dozen singers doing karaoke in one of them, then lost a few bucks in the casino. He was a lot of fun to be around and seemed very comfortable acting as my ‘date’ for the evening.
“So what are your plans for tomorrow?” he asked as we left the casino.
“Let’s see. St. Maarten,” I said, trying to recall the itinerary. “Probably shopping…and, of course, Orient Beach.”
“The nude beach.”
His eyes lit up. “Oh, yeah. You mentioned that earlier. Well, that’s where you’ll find me.”
“I figured that. Where are we going now?” I asked.
“I don’t care. If you need to get back to your room…”
“Will you join me. I have a balcony.” I wasn’t sure why I felt obligated to try to convince him with the balcony thing, but I really did want him to come.
He paused. Then said, “Sure.”
Halfway to the room I was pretty panicky. I really didn’t know this guy, but he hadn’t done a single thing to make me NOT want him in my cabin. He HAD done a lot of things that I liked and seemed to indicate his attraction to me. He talked to me even when I had a top on. So maybe everything was OK.
My cabin was a typical balcony cabin with a very narrow alley in the middle of the room between the bed and dresser. Beyond that it opened up into a sitting area with a couch and table. Then you got to the sliding glass door that led onto the balcony.
When we made it to the sitting area I told Mike, “I’m afraid I don’t have any drinks to offer you. Will you stay anyway?”
He smiled. “Of course. But this might be the only place on the whole ship you can’t get alcohol.”
“I know what you mean,” I said. “They must make a mint on that stuff during the week.”
I unlocked the balcony door. “Let’s see what it’s like out there.”
Mike was close behind me as we stepped onto the ten feet wide balcony. You don’t realize how dark it can get until you’ve looked out over the ocean on a dark night. There was no land in sight and just one tiny light from another ship way in the distance. The only sound was that of the waves created by the boat. On a vessel with three thousand other people, it was hard to believe you could feel isolated.
I leaned over the railing and looked left and right.
“Anybody else around?” Mike asked.
“Nope. Just us.”
We were standing close together in a setting that I couldn’t help but find more than a little romantic. When I looked up at Mike I pretty much lost control. I leaned into him and we kissed. It wasn’t the normal tentative first kiss. This was passionate with a full embrace involved and audible moans, at least from me. Our bodies ground together in the warm, humid Caribbean air.
When I could breathe again, I said, “Wow. I’m sorry, Mike. I’m not really sure…”
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