I flew to Miami. Alone. I boarded the cruise ship. Alone. And now I sat in the bar. Alone. I began looking back on the events that made all this happen.
My wife and I had married right after high school graduation. Everything was fine and she worked while I went to college to get a degree in structural engineering and worked part time. After I graduated and got hired on at a large architectural firm, she began college and received a degree in accounting. She was smart and carried extra courses and finished in three years.
What with her studies and me spending a lot of time at the gym and with some my buddies from high school, the last year of our marriage suffered severly. I had begun spending extra time at the gym, not to check out the women but the men. I had suddenly found myself fantisizing about going to bed with them and having sex. I had never had thoughts like these before and did not understand them now but couldn't get them out of my head.
We had talked and I suggested that we take a two week cruise to try and bring back the fire in the marriage that we had previously had. She agreed but two weeks before the departure, I came home from work and found that she had moved her things out of our house and left a note saying that she had filed for divorce and left me her attorney's card.
I checked with the cruise line but couldn't get any refund. I was going to take my loss and stay home but all my buddies said that I needed to go and meet some women and have fun. They said that it would be good therapy. I finally agreed and here I am. Alone in the ships bar drinking by myself.
It was then tht i suddenly realized that a man about my age had sat down next to me. I turned to him and he smiled as I said, 'Hi.'
'Hello to you. Man you were really deep in thought there.'
'Was I?' I asked.
'Fuck yea. I've been here about ten minutes and I'm half through with my beer.'
'I'm sorry. I'm Matt Rivers,' extending my hand. As we shook hands he said his name was Josh Davis.
I took a good look at him when he smiled. He had a beautiful smile and a chiseled face. His haor was dark and short and he wore a short neatly trimmed moustache and goatee. His eyes were emerald green and from what I could tell from his tight polo shirt, he was well built. The open collar revealed the hint of a hairy chest and his slacks were snug. 'I need to invite him to join me in the gym', I thought.
'You alone?' he asked.
'Yea, but I wasn't supposed to be.'
'Oh.' was all he said. 'This your first cruise?'
'Yea. I didn't think that I'd ever find my suite, but I finally did.'
'Damn, a suite? It must be nice. All I can afford is a regular stateroom but I always get an outside room with picture window. What deck are you on?'
'Eight. Suite 8C.'
'Hey, I'm on eight also room 8012.'
We talked about what we did and he said he was from Atlanta and was a city cop there, but asked me to keep it quiet.
'Why?' I asked.
'Any time any little fucking thing happens that requires an investigation they asked if there are any law enforcement officers on board to aid with the investigation. I'm on fucking vacation.'
'I understand. My lips are sealed,' I said, making the motion with my hand that my lips were locked. He began laughing and said, 'I like you.'
He was single with no girlfriend, had his own apartment and lived alone. 'Man, I couldn't be happier.'
I liked Josh. He seemed easy to talk to and that he would be a lot of fun to be around. I needed that. I looked at him and said, 'Say, why don't we get a few beers and head up to my room and sit out on the baclony and watch the world disappear as we pull out?'
'Sounds perfect.' He ordered six beers sent to the room and gave the bartender his card to bill it to his room.
We headed to the room and his was just a few doors from mine. He paused and said 'I'll be there in a minute. I want to change and get comfortable.'
No problem. I might do the same. I'll leave the door cracked so just come on in.'
'You got it,' he answered and went into his room. I continued on to mine and when I entered the bedroom, off the sitting area, I found that my bags had already been unpacked and my things put away in drawers. 'Damn, what service,' I said softly to myself. I began looking for shorts and a shirt. They were all hung in the closet.
I pulled out what I wanted to wear and began undressing. Just as I removed my slacks, I heard Josh say, 'It's just me. Fuck this place is nice.'
'Come on in,' I said.
He stepped to the bedroom door with me standing facing him in just my briefs. He smiled and said, 'Damn, I don't see how you can wear those things. I go commando as much as possible and if i have to wear drawers I wear boxers. I love the freedom of letting everything swing free, if you know what mean. It's a lot more comfortable.'
'Really? I've never done it.'
'You should try it sometime and see for yourself.'
'I guess now is as good as any. If he wakes up, no one here knows me so what the hell.'
As I slipped off my briefs, Josh laughed and said, 'From what I can tell, if he wakes up, everyone will know you.'
I could feel my face turning red as I pulled up my shorts, minus any underwear. I decided fo the time being to go shirtless.
'Have you checked out this place yet. It's awesome,' he said.
'Not yet. I had to find my clothes. Someone unpacked for me.'
'That was your stewards. No bodies like me have to unpack out own things but the big wigs in suites get it done for them by their stewards.'
'Yea. This is my third cruise on this ship. For the regular passengers, there is one steward for every twelve rooms or so, depending on how full they are. But ther are two stewards that are assigned to just two maybe three suites. They work twelve hour shifts. Any time you request anything it will always be delivered by one of them, depending on which one is on duty at that time. They even come in at night and turn down your bed. All passengers get that service.'
'I see that I have a lot to learn from you about cruising.' I saw a slight smile come across his lips.
We looked over the suite and checked the mini-bar. The prices of the stock was unreal. I decided to leave it untouched if possible.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door. When I answered, two stewards were there with our beers. After standing aside to let them in, they sat the tray on the coffee table. They both were nice looking, well built and looked to be in their early twenties.
The taler spoke saying, 'I'm Greg and this is Mike. We'll be your stewards for the duration of the cruise. If you need anything just call and we'll be glad to be of service in any way possible.'
'Thank you, Greg.' I tipped each one five dollars.
After I had shut the door, I saw Josh laughing.
'What's so funny?'
'Just what they said. Think about it. Let your mind go into the gutter.'
I thought for a few seconds and said, 'Oh shit. Surely they didn't mean it THAT way.'
'Probably not, but you never know, but I'm the suspicous kind. I can read people pretty good.'
By now we each had a beer and were standing at the railing of the balcony. 'How do you read me?' I asked.
'Well, you're a married man on a cruise by yourself. For some reason she didn't come and you're trying to figure out if it was your fault and if so how much.'
'Damn you're good.'
'Maybe that's why I'm the youngest detective in the history of the Atlanta Police Department.'
'Hoow did you know I was married?'
He reached over and took my left hand. I was still wearing my wedding ring.
'I'm so used to it I never thought about it.' I began telling Josh about my marriage and as I talked it seemed that a load was being lifted off me. What I didn't say was the reason I was at the gym so much. After finished I slipped the ring off and considered throwing it overboard, but slipped it in my pocket instead.
'Matt, if you want to talk at any time day or night just call me. I mean it. I'm a good listener and it will do you good to get it all out.'
'Thanks, Josh. I feel better already. Like you said, getting it out really helps.'
'I meant what I said, even if it's the middle of the night.'
We each had a second beer as we watched the Miami skyline disappear on the horizon. As it did, Josh asked what I was going to do for dinner.
'You're the one with the experience. You tell me.'
He explained that we could get dressed in suits and go to the main dining room, or stay casual and eat at one of the small cafes on the decks, or order room service.
We decided to order room service and ordered two steak dinners. I placed my order, giving my suite number. Then Josh ordered his giving his room number but requested that it be delivered to Suite 8C as he was having dinner with me in my suite. Before long, Greg knocked on the door carrying a large tray with our meals. We had him set it up on the balcony.
We ate our dinner and as we finished off the beer Josh said, 'We'll dock in Key West tonight. You want to go out in the morning and do some sight seeing. 'I'll be yur guide.'
'I'd like that, but I feel really tired right now. Do you mind if we call it an early evening?'
'No, not at all. You're probably tired because of getting rid of some of that stress.'
'You may be right. What time in the morning?'
'I'll be here about eight and we can go down and have breakfast before we go ashore.'
'Great. I'll see you then.'
As I sat our dirty tray out in the hall, Greg happened by and asked, 'Would you like for me to turn your bed down, Sir?'
'Not tonight, Greg, but thanks anyway.'
He nodded , smiled and disappeared with the tray.
The next day was fantastic. Josh and I had a great time. After lunch I spotted a bar and as we passed, I suggested that we get a beer. As I stepped in, Josh said, 'Matt, wait,' but I ignored him and went in with him following.
We walked up to the bar and ordered and when my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I noticed that all the customers were men. Looking around further, I saw two guys in a corner booth kissing. I turned and looked at Josh.
'That's why I tried to stop you. I knew that this was a gay bar.'
'Well, were here so let's enjoy our beer.'
'People might think we're a couple<' he said with a smile.
'Fuck them,' I said, putting my arm around his shoulder.
He began laughing and asked, 'Have you ever been around gays?'
'Yea. My best friend in high school was gay. It was wild the way I found out.'
'How was that?'
'well, we lived two doors apart and had been best friends since our freshman year when he moved to town with his family. We were almost like brothers. When you saw one of us you usually saw the other. Anyway, it was our senior year, and we never knocked when we went to each other's house. One Saturday I saw his car in the driveway and knew that his parents were out of town. I thought I'd invite him to dinner then see if he wanted to go out running around. I got to his house and wlked in and he was naked in the living room with two guys that looked like college students. He had one in his mouth and one in his rear. I was so shocked I froze. He jumped and told the guys to leave although they daid they weren't through. He said they were. As they dressed he slipped on some shorts and took me to the kitchen and we talked. It turned out that he had been gay and having sex with guys since his sophomore year. We talked a long time and I accepted who he was and we remained friends. I kept his secret for him.'
'So it didn't bother you when you were around him that he was gay?'
'Nope. He was still the same old Tony. When his parents were killed in a car wreck about two years ago, I saw him at the funeral. there was a guy there that stayed close but not too close. Tony got me off to the side and told me that it was his life partner. After nearly everyone left the house after the funeral he introduced me to him. He was nice and seemed to really care for Tony.'
'A lot of people wouldn't have been that understanding.'
'Yea, I know but it didn't change who he really was, and that was my friend.'
We finished our beer and as we got up to leave, I took Josh's hand in mine until we were out on the street.
'You devil,' he said.
We did some more sightseeing, and after returning to the ship we showered and went to dinner in the main dining room. Later, we went to the disco for a while before heading to our rooms.
I undressed and stayed nude. Josh had been right about going without underwear. It was a free feeling and I stayed that way after undressing. My bed had already been turned back so I slipped under the covers and was soon asleep.
at some point I woke myself up crying and shaking. I couldn't stop no matter how hard I tried. Reality had finally set in. I thought of Josh. I picked up the phone and dialed his room.
'Hello?' he aid sleepily.
'Josh...' was all I could get out.
'Matt? What's wrong?'
'I can't stop. Can you come down?'
'I'm on my way.'
I cracked the door open and returned to bed. Withing seconds, Josh was there in just a pair of shorts, sitting on the edge of the bed.
'Josh, I don't know whats wrong. I woke up doing this,' I sobbed. 'I can't stop. This may sound strange, but would you hold me?'
'Of course I will.' He pulled back the covers to lay beside me and noticed that I was nude. Quickly removing his shorts, he slid in beside me, wrapping his muscular arms around me. I lay my head on his shoulder and sobbed harder.
'Let it out, Matt. Let it all out. I'll be here as long as you need me.'
At some point I drifted back off to sleep, cuddled in Josh's arms. We both woke up that way the next morning.
'How are you doing?' he asked.
'Better. How can I ever thank you. I know this must have been awkward for you, climbinmg in bed with a naked man.'
'Matt, nudity is not dirty or awkward or anything else unless you make it that way. I stripped down also.'
'Josh, I know that reality set in last night. I need to talk. You ready to listen and not judge'
'Of course. Start talking,' he said.
TO BE CONTINUED.............