| Pleasure Cruise - Hostess
(c) Copyright 2000 by Wiseguy
Greg's face was tightening up, his breath coming in short grunts. I put
my hands on his butt and pulled him toward me while squeezing on his cock
with my inner muscles. His eyes opened a little wider and looked down at
me. I made it a point to breathe faster and harder, as if I was right on
In a few seconds Greg came with a loud grunt. I felt him twitching
inside me and promptly started a series of short, loud gasps. My arms and
legs squeezed and released with each breath. I kept it up just long
enough, letting go with one long, satisfied sigh as Greg collapsed on top
We cuddled together for a few minutes in silence, letting our breathing
slowly return to normal. Greg rose up slowly and looked into my eyes.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
Putting my heart into it, I pulled his face down and answered him with a
long, open- mouthed kiss designed to curl his toes. "You tell me," I
replied in a teasing, sultry voice. "Was I?"
He gave me the strangest look. For the briefest moment, I thought he
could see right through me, could tell what I was really thinking. Then he
smiled and winked at me. "Way beyond okay," he said. "This is going to be
a fun trip."
I checked the bedside clock: 3:25pm. "Speaking of which, I'm due on at
four. Excuse me, please?"
"Of course, my dear." Greg rolled off and let me up to shower and dress.
My plan was to shower quickly, stay busy, and get on deck as soon as
possible. Once under the water, though, I found myself holding the same
old debate within my mind. I hated deceiving Greg; it left me feeling
terribly guilty and underhanded.
Get a grip, my realist side said. So you faked another orgasm -- big
deal. It's not as though you're on him.
Maybe not, my conscience replied, but it's still lying. How long can I
keep lying before he sees through it?
He'll never admit it even if he does, retorted the realist. No wants to believe that he can't make his woman cum.
So then the lie will go both ways ... that's even worse.
"ARRRGH!!" I growled at myself, shaking my head violently under the
running water. I really didn't have time for this. Greg and I had first
met as crewmates about four months before, but we'd only been lovers for
about six weeks; this would be our first voyage together since then. The
Captain had been reluctant to accept both of us for this trip -- he's had
some bad experiences before with couples on his crew -- so the last thing
we needed was give him a reason to regret it on the first day.
I dressed quickly in a gray skirt, black pumps, and a simple white
blouse. The navy blazer that identified me as one of the ship's crew
completed the ensemble. I was able to give Greg an extra-long goodbye kiss
and still get up to the dining hall ten minutes early. That was fine by
me; once I started working, I was too busy to think about my personal
On this cruise, I was one of several hostesses. In my case, that means
I circulate among the passengers answering questions, taking requests to
the DJ, expediting service, and if need be lending a hand to anyone from
the waiters to the bartender if they get backed up. My scheduled tour was
four to midnight in the main dining hall, a high-visibility, high- demand
post. I'd done it before and had earned the confidence of the Captain and
the cruise director.
Since it was the first night of the cruise, I made it a point to meet as
many passengers as I could. From the early arrivers through the main
dinner crowd, the evening was a blur of faces and names, each one carefully
repeated and stored for later reference. People love it when you remember
I knew this particular trip was billed as a "hypnoerotic" cruise, but I
really had no good idea what that meant. I found out when the first live
performance started after dinner: a hypnotist who called herself Mistress
Ursula. I had half an eye on the show as I continued to circulate among
It started out like every other hypnotist show I've seen: a few
volunteers come up, the hypnotist starts telling them to relax, close their
eyes, etc. A few people in the audience faded out listening to her; one
couple in the third row really spaced out, and ended up joining her on the
stage. Then things turned strange. Mistress Ursula's tricks started
getting more and more sexual, and as they did the audience got more
absorbed into the show. At one point I found myself standing and staring
while she had one woman stand there in trance while her husband ran a
microphone all over her body. I could tell by the woman's moans that she
was really enjoying it, and then suddenly they touched her ear and she had
a loud, prolonged orgasm. My face felt ten degrees hotter in just a few
seconds -- a large part of me wanted to be that woman, or at least to like her just once with Greg -- and I hastily focused my attention on
adjusting the leaves of an artificial palm tree while I tried to compose
The show continued, and although I was determined not to pay any more
attention to it I couldn't help but notice when Mistress Ursula had a woman
sit down in the last remaining guy's lap and start pulling his face down to
her breasts. Each time she did he would go limp, and then the woman would
wake him up only to repeat the whole thing. At first it was his wife, but
then Ursula had the get up and a totally different woman took over.
She even opened her blouse and had the guy on her nipple. That
disturbed me a little, even though the didn't seem to mind. I
wondered, would she mind if she weren't in Ursula's thrall?
The show finally ended, and most of the passengers started to go their
separate ways. Quite a few lingered on the dance floor while the bus staff
cleared tables; another good portion wandered over to where the dessert bar
would be opening soon. I realized I'd been going non-stop for over 5 hours
and was overdue for a short break, so I took a seat at a vacant table near
the back of the bar area.
Hank the bartender sent me a sandwich and a glass of ginger ale, which I
ate and drank appreciatively as I looked at the people in the bar. An
interesting discussion seemed to be forming at the corner table; apparently
several of the people who had witnessed Mistress Ursula's performance were
professionals, because they were discussing the difference between stage
shows and therapy. Half my mind kept listening, while the other half
resumed the tired debate that had dominated my shower.
Then one of the at the corner table opened a velvet bag and pulled
out a crystal. It caught my eye immediately: a teardrop shape, it had
seemingly millions of facets that seized the different lights in the room
and threw them off again in different directions. The guy held it straight
up and down, the string steady in his fingers, and started talking about a
demonstration. I couldn't quite make out everything he was saying, and was
too tired to try, so I just watched the crystal as my mind wandered back
onto its usual path. At some point I became aware of a second voice, a
female, then of both talking together. The crystal slowed down, then
swayed a little more, dancing and resting, and still I gazed
absent-mindedly into its depths. I was tired, I realized, very tired. My
eyes wanted to close.
Things get a little fuzzy from there. I remember a hand on the back of
my neck, a reassuring female voice drifting through my blank mind. The
smell of hot fudge and peanuts, and the taste of fresh vanilla ice cream to
go with it. I must have drifted off, because when I opened my eyes again a
few minutes later I noticed Hank grinning at me. That woke me up the rest
of the way, and I realized my break had to end. On my way out of the bar I
took one more look back at the corner table: Toni (I didn't remember
meeting her, but somehow knew that was her name) was talking intently to
her husband (Rob, something told me), who seemed to be asleep. Quite a
crowd had gathered around to watch. I wondered how many had noticed me
snoozing in the back row.
Ill-advised as it was, I had to admit my little nap had done wonders for
my frame of mind. I felt refreshed, energized, and much less worried than
I had been at the start of my tour. I still thought about Greg -- and, for
some reason, hot fudge sundaes -- but I wasn't fretting anymore.
When Joanna came to relieve me at midnight, I made a beeline for the
crew quarters area. I knew Greg would be sleeping because he was on the
early tour. Greg maintains the ship's electronic systems: the computers,
navigational systems, communications, even the public address and sound
systems. In one of the more amusing examples of the enduring power of
seafaring tradition, he carries the title of "engineman" even though he
seldom goes anywhere near the engines.
I also knew where he'd be. The crew's quarters were all designed for
single occupancy only, with beds too narrow for company, so I was sure Greg
would be in the cabin assigned to him, a few doors down from mine. I
stopped at my own room long enough to shed the blazer and my hose and
freshen up a little. Feeling a little daring, I also left my bra and
panties behind then tiptoed over to Greg's door wearing my skirt, blouse,
and nothing else.
The door wasn't locked so I crept in quietly, leaving the lights off.
The sound of Greg's steady, slow breathing told me he was quite asleep. It
seemed a shame to wake him, but I wanted my hot fudge sundae -- a thought
that made perfect sense to me at the time.
Moving slowly, I rolled back the blanket. Greg was on his back, arms at
his sides, wearing only his boxers. I put my hand over the front of them
and caressed him gently until I felt his cock standing up, then carefully
worked it through the opening. It looked delicious -- I could almost see
hot fudge dripping down the sides. Grabbing the base like a long ice cream
cone, I tilted Greg's cock toward me and started lapping at the head.
As soon as my tongue touched his cock, the most incredible sensations
filled my mouth. He tasted exactly like the perfect hot fudge sundae. The
rich, sensuous vanilla taste of the ice cream came first, then the strong
sweetness of the chocolate, and finally the extra touch of ground peanuts.
I took long licks, short licks, even put the whole thing in my mouth and
sucked hard, and the flavors persisted. I heard moaning and felt a hand
cup the back of my head, so I turned around enough to see that Greg was
"Hi, honey," I said, a little unintelligibly because I didn't want to
stop enjoying my sundae. "Mind if I indulge?"
He stared for a second, his eyes fighting to adjust, before croaking,
"Be my guest."
I went back to my dessert, lovingly licking layer after layer of ice
cream and chocolate. Greg started to moan, and his hand wandered over my
back. It lingered for a moment between my shoulders, feeling for the bra
that wasn't there. He tried to reach around to a breast, but my arms were
in the way. I wasn't about to let up on my sundae, so I swung my lower
half around and wiggled my butt suggestively. He took the hint and reached
up under my skirt. He gasped when he realized I wasn't wearing underwear.
I felt him tracing little circles in the juices that were dripping down my
inner thighs and opened my legs a bit more.
Soon I felt fingers in the fur on my mound, and then his thumb slid
easily into my slit. Greg gives great thumb -- he pushed it in all the
way, letting the skin at the base of his thumb part my lower lips and rub
against my clit. At the same time he pressed on my mound with his fingers.
It felt so good I almost let go of my sundae for a second.
My hips started gyrating on their own, and before I realized what was
happening I felt a surge of delight rush through my body -- I was cumming,
and cumming hard!
I found myself panting heavily with Greg's delicious chocolate-covered
cock still in my mouth. Still in the throes of my unexpected climax, I
closed my lips down and hard. Greg grunted and clenched his
muscles, and then a fresh burst of hot, gooey chocolate sauce burst out of
the middle of my ice cream. It was absolutely the best hot fudge I'd ever
tasted. I gulped greedily as it came out, swallowing and with
gusto, until my dessert was gone.
"Thank you," I told my stunned boyfriend as I tucked his cock back into
his boxers. "That was delicious." Then I laughed softly and crept back to
my own room.
When I woke in the morning, it was with a sense of awe at what had gone
on in the night. I had a strong memory of going down on Greg and tasting
hot fudge and ice cream. I had an even stronger memory of his hand up my
skirt, and the way I had from his touch. Just that memory had me
reaching absent-mindedly for my crotch. I caught myself and chuckled. For
the first time in many months, I felt like a sexual being. That orgasm was
the best I could remember having -- better even than any I'd had with
Ray! That name soured my mood like lemon juice in my milk. Ray was
history; he'd walked out on me months ago, with barely a word of
explanation or even goodbye. Why the hell was I thinking about him again?
Why the hell was I thinking about him again? It felt like an important
question, but I had no answer.
Then I thought of an easier question: what had happened to me last
night? The answer was so obvious I couldn't believe I hadn't realized it
until just then. I remembered sitting in the bar area, listening to the
hypnotists talking, seeing that crystal come out, feeling sleepy ...
Idiot, I scolded myself, you didn't fall asleep -- you let yourself get
hypnotized. With that realization came a flood of extra memories: the
woman from the center table talking to me, asking if my lover was on board,
asking about my favorite dessert, asking if I'd like to experience a
hypnotic phenomenon, and telling me to relax, let go, let it happen; the
taste of a delicious sundae; the hunger that could only be satisfied one
And then the orgasm, of course. Whatever was going on with me, whatever
had been holding me back with Greg up to that point, had been well and
truly set aside at least for one night. Maybe more? There was only one
way to find out.
I checked my bedside clock: 8:40. Greg was already on duty, and would
be until three. We had one hour between the end of his tour and the start
of mine -- that was the time slot we'd taken advantage of the day before,
why not do it again?
I gave it my best shot, that's for sure. From the comms office I sent
him a page telling him I'd be waiting in my room at the end of his tour.
When three o'clock came I stripped, stretched out on my bunk, and waited.
Greg did not disappoint. Not only was he right on time, but I could
tell when he opened the door that he was already hard. Finding me laid out
stark naked threw him off a little -- I had to remind him to come in and
close the door before someone else walked past.
Once inside, he didn't bother undressing all the way. He just pulled
his off, then dove between my legs and started feasting. It felt
exquisite. Greg was pulling out all the stops: tracing my lips, teasing my
clit, running his hands up and down my thighs, even reaching up to caress
my at the same time. I felt the initial rush of arousal and
thought for sure this would be another great climax.
Twenty minutes later, though, I was still stranded on a plateau. I
wanted to cum, I could feel myself teetering on the edge, but I couldn't
quite get there. My sighs and moans turned into frustrated grunts.
Eventually Greg had to come up for air. I could see the disappointment
in his face, too. "I'm sorry, Dana," he said, and my heart sank at the
sadness in his voice. There would be no pretending this time.
"It's okay," I said, not sure what else to say. "It's not you."
He just nodded unhappily. "It's three thirty; we should probably talk
about this later, or you'll be late for your tour." He was right. We
shared a long embrace and a tender kiss, then I pulled myself up and got
ready for work.
By the time I had taken my post in the dining hall, I had a plan. I
kept an eye on the entrance as people filed in and out. My vigilance paid
off around 7:00 when I saw a familiar figure enter from the port side.
My quarry was female, a little over average height, with
auburn highlights. She had a thin, sculptured face that suggested strong
intelligence, but with a warm smile that she used freely. Tonight she wore
a well-tailored pantsuit that looked both classy and comfortable. She was
with her husband and another couple; I wasn't positive, but it looked like
the same group I'd seen her with the night before in the bar.
I tried my best to keep them in my sight without obviously hovering.
Our eyes met a couple of times but if she recognized me she it didn't show
on her face. Finally, after they'd been served dinner and eaten most of
it, I saw her get up and head for the restrooms. I told Hank I was taking
my break and crossed the room midway through, positioning myself in her
She flashed that welcoming smile at me as she approached. "Dana, isn't
"That's right," I nodded. "It's kind of you to remember, Doctor."
"Call me Toni," she replied, then she cocked her head to one side and
looked at me curiously. "Is there something I can do for you, Dana?"
I felt my face growing -- she seemed to be looking right into me.
Suddenly all my planning went out the door, and I found myself searching
for words. "There might be," I stammered. "Are you ... seeing people ...
on this trip?" Brilliant, I chided myself. That sounded like a lame
One eyebrow rose, and her lips curled in an amused way. "You mean,
"My husband and I set aside some time each day for private sessions.
What did you have in mind?"
I needed a deep breath before I could answer. "I really don't want to
get into it here," I said. "Could we talk privately for a few minutes?"
On the starboard side of the hall is a broad, open deck area. Later in
the evening it would be fairly crowded with people watching the sunset, but
it was still too early for that yet. I took a deep breath, let it go, and
then started telling Toni my story.
She was easy to talk to, I discovered quickly. She listened quietly,
nodding at the right times, keeping eye contact, interjecting a question
here and there. I told her that I love Greg, but that I seldom manage to
have an orgasm with him. I confessed to faking it on a number of occasions
to avoid hurting his feelings. Then I told her about what I'd experienced
the night before after I'd been hypnotized.
"I think I can probably help you," she said at the end of my story.
"Why don't you come see me at ten in the morning?"
"I'd like that very much."
She smiled again and clasped my hands. "Tomorrow, then. We're in room
I felt so relieved my eyes started to water as I thanked her.
The stage act for that night was a calling himself Suzerain. He
started out by getting six attractive women to volunteer to be his
assistants. He made a big show out of hypnotizing his volunteers, then
marched them one by one into a cabinet no larger than a phone booth. He
spun the cabinet around, opened it up and it was empty. Once the applause
died down he closed the cabinet again, spun it in the other direction a few
times, and opened it again. Each time he opened it another of his
volunteers marched out, still apparently deeply hypnotized, but their
clothes were gone -- each was now wearing a tiny, sequined bikini that left
nothing to the imagination except how they gotten them on in that
He then used his new assistants to perform a series of very dramatic
illusions. One assistant was sawn in thirds, reassembled the wrong way,
then returned to normal; another was transformed into a mannequin and back
again; another was made to float high above the stage and the crowd, then
brought back down. At the end of each trick, the assistant used would
reappear on stage in her original clothing, wake up, and be dismissed to
thunderous applause looking dazed and confused.
After the show Toni and her party adjourned to the bar area and took up
their corner table again. A crowd gathered around them as it had the night
before, and before long the crystal came out of the bag and I could hear
the slow, deliberate, soothing tones of their voices talking to the crowd.
I wanted so much to go back there, to let myself be drawn into their spell
again, but I'd already had my break for the evening.
I slept fitfully and little that night, my mind too full of anxiety to
let me rest. On the plus side, I was awake enough to have breakfast with
Greg. He was startled when I told him I had an appointment at ten, then
confused when I told him it wasn't with Dr. Anders, the ship's doctor, but
with a passenger. I promised to explain all later, and he accepted that.
The first class section sits apart from the rest of the main deck, in
the forward end of the ship. The first two cabins are VIP suites with
separate bed and sitting rooms, luxury baths, and a patio. Units 3 through
30 are the larger single rooms, featuring an L-shaped space with a
sitting/working area near the door and the sleeping area around the side
semi-concealed, with a luxury bathroom tucked into the middle. The rest of
the first class units are similar to a plush hotel room, slightly smaller
but well fitted out.
The door to unit 6 opened immediately at my knock and I found myself
face to face with Toni's husband, a sandy-haired with a quiet, academic
look to him. "Hi," he said, smiling. "I take it you're Dana?"
"Yes. Is Toni here?"
"Sure," he answered, motioning me inside.
Toni was sitting at the writing desk reading something on a PowerBook.
When she looked up and saw me, she closed the lid and stood up to greet me.
"Good morning, Dana. Do you remember my husband, Rob?"
"I think so," I answered, shaking the man's hand. "To be honest, I'm
not sure I was awake when we were introduced."
Rob laughed. "I'm not sure I was either, so I guess that makes us
This end of the room was furnished with an overstuffed love seat, two
chairs, the writing desk and a coffee table. Rob took the other chair
leaving me the love seat, which was conveniently in between them. I sat
down and promptly sank deep into the pillow-like cushions until I thought a
crane might be necessary to get me out again.
"Okay," Toni began. "I thought we'd start out by getting you to relax a
bit, get comfortable with talking to both of us. Then --"
"Wait a second," I interrupted, trying to rise up a little bit. "Both
of you? Is that really necessary?" The prospect of discussing my sex life
with a was disconcerting.
"We normally do work together," Toni explained. "Does that make you
"Well ... " I couldn't find the right words. I hadn't really been
prepared for the idea of talking to Rob, although I had no reason not to
trust him. How could I say that without offending anyone?
Fortunately, Rob saved me. "It's okay," he said, giving me another warm
smile. "Some things are easier to discuss with just your own sex. I can
use the time to buttonhole a few authors and find out if they've decided on
joining the panel yet." Rising from his chair, he put his hand out to me
again. "It was great meeting you, Dana. Good luck."
As the door closed behind Rob, I looked back at Toni apprehensively.
"Is it really okay?"
"It's fine," she said reassuringly. "It's important that you be
comfortable mentally as well as physically."
Toni got up from her chair and settled into the love seat next to me,
her body turned slightly toward me. I expected the magic crystal to come
out at any moment. "You still seem tense," she observed. "Why don't you
close your eyes and take a nice, deep breath for me?"
I did as she asked, several times, and felt the tension seeping out of
my body with each breath. Toni started talking in that soft, soothing way,
and before I realized it I was floating in a warm, relaxing tub, talking
with Toni about all the things that bother me. We talked about Greg and
how much I love him, and how much it hurts me when I have to pretend to with him. We talked about other I'd been with before Greg, especially
Ray. I remember becoming very sad when I told her how Ray had left
suddenly, with no explanation and no warning; I think I even cried. I
remember Toni holding me, rocking me, telling me to go ahead and let the
sadness out. Then she took me deeper and everything went fuzzy for a
The next thing I remember is waking up on Toni's bed. I felt as though
I'd been crying for an hour: my face felt wet and sticky, my stomach was
tired from sobbing, I had a base case of the dry heaves, and I felt totally
drained. Toni's hand touched my forehead, and a cool cloth wiped around my
face. "Relax, Dana," Toni said softly. "You've opened up a pretty large
piece of emotional baggage. You're okay now, but I want you to stay here
and rest for a while. Nobody is expected here until three, so you've got
plenty of time."
"I think we found the emotional cause behind your problem," she
explained. "Things will start to come back to you at their own pace. The
important thing right now is to realize that you've been hurt, but you're
getting better now. You may feel some things churning up for a little
while, but the worst is over."
"Close your eyes now and rest," she said. "I'll come back to check on
you now and again."
I spent the next couple of hours in Toni's bed, drifting in and out of
sleep. I know I dreamed, and I was left with the feeling that my dreams
were disturbing, dark, brooding things, but I don't remember any of them in
detail. Toni came in a couple of times to check on me, and Rob did once. I
was grateful to both of them for being so kind.
By one o'clock I was feeling more like myself again. As I climbed out
of bed and started to straighten up, I heard the main door opening quietly.
I peeked around the corner and came face to face with Toni. "How are you
feeling?" she asked, studying my face with a caring but critical eye.
"Better." As I said that, it really rang true inside me. "Much better,"
I added as the conviction grew.
"Good. Would you mind if I take a quick peek under the hood?" She
motioned toward the bed.
I sat down on the edge and looked up at her. "Okay." Toni's hands
reached up to my face and she began to massage my temples gently. A lazy,
happy sort of haze drifted into my brain and the world receded ...
I was back in my own bed, although it never occurred to me to wonder how
that had happened. I was naked, and I was aroused. Greg was with me,
lying on top of me, his face buried between my breasts. I put my hands
down to caress his shoulders as he kissed and suckled on my breasts. It
felt so good having him there. I closed my eyes and let go the feeling
sweeping over me. I felt an energy collecting and growing in my loins, and
then suddenly it burst free. I was cumming, with Greg still on my
The sensation faded, but didn't completely go away. I felt Greg's lips
moving down my body now, kissing the valley between my breasts, then down
to my navel, and moving further still. That wonderful feeling began to
build again as his lips approached my center. Then he was going down on
me, his tongue doing expert work on my most sensitive places. I moaned and
sighed and felt myself climbing, as if I was on the up side of a roller
coaster. I was going to again, I knew it. Sure enough, moments later
I felt his tongue brush my clit in just the right way and I climaxed,
riding the coaster up and down a dozen steep waves. I heard shrieking and
squealing and dimly realized it was my own voice doing it. I didn't care,
though, because I was in ecstasy.
My head cleared a little, and I found I was on all fours. Greg was
behind me, his hands reaching around to fondle my breasts. I felt his cock
slip inside me from behind and looked back at him. Seeing the passion in
his face lit a fire inside me and I pushed back against him, meeting him
and squeezing him. I wanted to make him cum, I wanted him to feel as good
as I did. He kept getting longer and harder, each stroke taking him deeper
inside me. I felt the tingling start and knew that it was happening again.
I concentrated on taking him in, squeezing tight, doing everything I could
to send him over the edge. It worked -- I felt his body tense and then his
cock started to quiver inside me. He grunted hard as he came, his cock
pumping slowly and steadily. I kept him well inside, milking him, and
within seconds I was cumming again myself.
... then I was awake again, sitting on the edge of Toni's bed, looking
up at her smiling face. I was out of breath, as if I'd run a marathon, and
my crotch felt soaked. "What happened?" I asked, bewildered. "What's
"A little positive visualization," she answered soothingly. "You're
doing very well indeed, Dana. I think you're going to be better than
It felt so good to hear that; it amazed me a little how much I had come
to trust and rely on Toni in such a short time. "I don't know how to thank
"No thanks are in order yet," she cautioned. "This was just one very
good session. I'd like to see you at least twice more for follow-ups, and
depending on how that goes I may want to refer you to someone after the
cruise is over."
"You mean I'm not cured?" The disappointment was swelling up inside me
Toni sighed, placing her hands on my shoulders. "It doesn't really work
that way, Dana. What you've done today is examined the emotional issues
that have kept you from fully letting go with Greg. You've opened up an
old wound and cleaned it out, but it still has to be protected and allowed
to heal. That will take some time. Expect some strong emotions to come
churning up, apparently at random, for a few days -- that's normal after a
session like this."
I nodded, and Toni continued. "I've given you some suggestions that
should help with the process," she explained. "You will find yourself
feeling more open with Greg, and that will help you to enjoy your
lovemaking. You've shown yourself that in your own mind, you can have
orgasms easily and freely. We can work on that some more in the time we
have left on this ship. Believe me, you will be fine in every way -- I
just don't want your expectations to be unrealistic. Do you understand?"
"Yes," I said truthfully. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," she said, joining me in a motherly embrace.
When Greg's tour ended he came to my room as usual, but we quickly
decided to use our time to talk. I gave him a fairly complete of
my session with Toni -- as much as I could clearly remember, anyway -- and
he seemed impressed. It occurred to me during the that we don't
spend nearly enough time really listening to each other. Greg said as much
at the end of the tale. We were connecting on a new level in that half
hour, and we were both a little bummed when it had to end so I could go to
It was a busy night in the dining hall. The feature act was a
well-known hypnotist/comedian, and more people than usual came early to
dinner and lingered to see his act. At one point I saw Toni and Rob at
their usual table and came over to greet them. When I saw their dinner
companion, my mouth fell open. "Greg!"
"Hi, honey," he said, clearly enjoying my reaction. "Rob and Toni
invited me to join them and see the show. It was a chance to see you too,
so I jumped at it."
"You watch these two," I told him in a mock warning. "If you seem them
pull out a big, shiny crystal ..."
"Yes?" he prompted.
Toni's eyes met mine, and she winked secretly. "Look deeply into the
center of it and concentrate," I finished with a sly grin.
The comedian was good. Busy as I was, I had to stop several times to
laugh. Greg and I made eye contact often from across the room, but I
didn't get much time to speak to any of them. After the comedian they rose
up and adjourned to the bar area, in what was clearly becoming a nightly
custom. I wondered briefly whether Greg would become part of another of
Rob and Toni's demonstrations.
When midnight came I was physically tired, but still feeling better
emotionally than I had since we'd left homeport. I made my way below decks
to the crew quarters, opened my door, and got one more happy surprise: a
rollaway bed had been pulled up next to mine, and Greg was sacked out in
it. As I closed the door he stirred and sat up.
"Where'd you get that?" I asked, dumbfounded.
"Housekeeping," he replied with a shrug. "Rob and Toni said you
shouldn't be alone tonight, so here I am."
I rewarded his self-sacrifice with a very hot kiss, and started
undressing for bed. As I pulled off my underwear, I saw Greg lift his head
and start sniffing the air. "Do you smell cinnamon buns?"