When Alysin decided to surprise her boyfriend at work with dinner, the surprise was on her. Since he was going at it with his secretary on the conference table, she packed a bag and called her BFF. Jolie and Alysin had been traveling the country, working as digital nomads for ten years ever since graduation. Taking this as a sign it was time for a new move, they decided to take a cruise, regroup, and make a plan.
Then she meets Mr. Bedroom Eyes. Following her lead, they pretend to be married so that she can rid herself of the guy who started hitting on her before the boat left the dock. Though it was supposed to be a momentary arrangement, he asks her to take it one step farther. Then another and another. The cruise promises to be memorable in every way that matters.
Along the way, Alysin learns that she won’t have to fake an orgasm if she’s with someone who knows what to do, that not all men suck, but the best ones suck really well, and that sometimes what starts out as something pretend, can fast become something completely real. Will the woman who lives life with no regrets, regret that she made that stupid rule about not exchanging names and contact info?
All over the ship, the party atmosphere had taken hold. The cruise was predominantly made up of adults, thank god. Nothing will ruin a good time faster than a crying baby or whiny toddler. Shoot, throw in a child with a full-blown temper tantrum and I want to put a loaded gun in my mouth. I seem to have managed to escape any hint of maternal instincts. I have yet to experience a biological clock scare. I’m probably more likely to encounter biological warfare on American soil than suffer from that ailment. Who knows? Maybe I’ll feel differently in five or ten years. At the same time, I seriously hope not.
The aromas of the buffet on the lido deck hit me the minute I exited the elevator. Then I remembered that if I planned to enjoy the buffets and maintain my slim size six figure then I would need to start taking the stairs. I frowned. Maybe I should take the mid-morning Pilates class that seemed to be offered daily, or walk the track. I chuckled. I don’t own a pair of sneakers. Pilates it would be.
After loading a plate with salad, fruit, potato salad, and some nice southern fried chicken, I found a table by the windows that was vacant. Setting the plate down on the granite, I started to pull out my chair when a man came out of nowhere and did it for me. He wasn’t in uniform. This wasn’t a crewmember being helpful. Nope. I had already attracted a new douche. How the hell did they always seem to find me? If this was any indication as to how the rest of the week was going to go, it was going to feel like a year. I’m not the kind to hibernate in the cabin to avoid problems. I find a way to make them go away.
This time would be no different. After he helped me push in the seat, I spoke. “Thank you.” Then I focused on my food and started eating my salad. Sometimes, I just can’t get enough roughage.
“You are welcome, gorgeous.” He smiled at me, a smile that clearly cost him more than most people make in six months. “So, do you have a name?”
I was chewing and didn’t rush that part to answer him. It would be good for him to wait. He needed to be as uncomfortable as he was making me feel…or would have been making me feel if I wasn’t already worn out on men at the moment. Leisurely, I swallowed.
“Yes.” Then I loaded my fork with another bite and kept on eating.
Clearly, I had flustered him…not enough for him to leave me alone, mind you, but his soft underbelly was beginning to show. It was all squishy and pink. He laughed it off. “What is it?” He asked in what was probably his most seductive tone.
“You already guessed it. Gorgeous. It’s right there on my birth certificate. Imagine how that could have gone had I not lived up to the hype.” I looked at him evenly, not even cracking a smile.
Would you believe he just kept talking, like we were old friends or soon to be bedroom buddies. That guy couldn’t have pried his way into my room with a crow bar. Nope. My vagina was closed to him for sure.
Finally I interrupted him, which was just as well since I had tuned out everything after his empty chuckle. “So, dude, what makes you think I was eating alone?” I asked with more than a hint of annoyance.
“Well, you walked in here alone,” he began nervously.
“Yes, well, that’s not the same thing as being alone.” This was the kind of moment that normally Jolie would rescue me from. She would show up and do something to ensure the guy knew we were “lovers.” Maybe this time I was on my own. Then I saw him. He had those classic good looks, pretty without looking feminine; a strong jaw, beautiful warm brown eyes, and rich brown hair that was both thick and curly. Why couldn’t that guy have pulled out my chair?
Standing, I stepped in front of him. “Babe, did you not see me? I was right here. Did you get my Coke?” I could see that he was mildly shocked. I could fix that. In a few seconds he was going to be majorly shocked. I planned to render him speechless…and malleable. I stood on my tiptoes and planted a kiss on the tip of his nose. As I imagined, I was offered a hungrier look. That’s when I made my move. Slowly, I matched my lips to his and then shifted so that I was angled and we were kissing…really really kissing. He played along. Seconds later he had played right into my hand. Wow wow wow.
“Help me, please,” I breathed into his ear.
“Anything for you, sexy.” He sealed his vow with a kiss on my cheek that totally did not suck. He looked over at my intruder. “Who’s this guy?” He asked, jerking his thumb in the guy’s direction.
“I have no idea. I’m sure he was just keeping the seat warm for you though.” I smiled at him and frowned over at the guy who was keeping me from my meal.
“Uh, yeah, I was just leaving,” the man mumbled. Then he stood up as he mumbled and soon walked away.
The new guy sat down. I stared over at him. “Hey, don’t mind me. I just ended up getting drawn into your little charade. Hope you don’t mind if I enjoy my meal while we keep up appearances?” He smiled
“Nope. We’re good,” I replied.
Though I was smiling at him, I had little to say. There was so much going on in my mind…and thanks to Jolie, having an orgasm wasn’t part of that. Still, I wasn’t going to turn down the possibility of some amazing guilt-free sex with a hot guy for anything. Only I wasn’t sure how to gain his attention. My smile hadn’t worked. The kiss hadn’t accomplished anything. What was it going to take to get a man like that to be interested in spending a few meaningless days on a cruise with me?