This week, in Moving Forward, Marshall and Lee reach their destination, the cruise ship Wandering Star in Galveston. Join them there for the start of their cruise. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
Moving Forward #19 (5.1)
The Wandering Star was the most beautiful ship Marshall had ever seen. Never mind that it was the only ship he’d seen up close and personal. That didn’t matter to him. This was the ship he and Lee were taking an actual honest-to-God vacation on, and that’s all that mattered to him.
The night before, they’d dropped off Denver and Dustin at their hotel and then gone on to their own, where they relaxed in their room and screwed around, then took a short nap before meeting the other two men for dinner at a nearby diner. After that, they went to a tavern and knocked back a few drinks before heading back to the hotel for the night.
This morning they’d driven down to the Port of Galveston, where Lee had pre-arranged for parking, and then headed to the cruise terminal. They stood in line with the other men who were going on the cruise. Everyone was in high spirits as they waited to present their boarding documents and identification. Next stop was security, where they went through an X-ray machine, and then were directed to the check-in line.
Marshall had never seen so many rules and regulations, and all of it just to get on one ship.
At check-in, they presented their ID and documents to the representative of the cruise line, filled out a health form, and received their cruise card, which served for boarding and as a room key and onboard credit. They were also given a schedule of the day’s events, and a handy map of the ship.
Finally, they boarded the Wandering Star.
“We’re going to head down to our cabin,” Denver said, “maybe get settled then check out the ship. Catch up with you later.” He tugged at Dustin’s arm. He seemed reluctant to part company, but Denver persisted, so Dustin finally left with his cousin without comment.
Lee turned to Marshall. “We could go down to our cabin, too, but the luggage won’t be there yet.” He consulted the map in his hand. “Or we could just go up to the Panorama Deck. I bet it has a great view.”
“Let’s do that.” Marshall thought that idea sounded like a winner. He’d rather be alone with Lee—relatively speaking—than be forced to fend off Dustin’s company any more than he had to. Luckily, the two couples had gotten cabins on completely different floors. Marshall had been half afraid he’d find out they were next door to one another. This was much better.
It was a beautiful day to head out to sea. They stood together at the railing. Marshall glanced up into the turquoise sky. Not a cloud in sight, just the sun, a growing lemon drop, rising above the horizon. There were other cruise ships in port, as well as a number of smaller vessels, but these paled in significance beside the Wandering Star, at least in Marshall’s estimation.
Other men lined the railing in close-knit couples, many of them hand in hand. Maybe the single guys were inside, scoping out the bar or something. There’d be time for that later.
“Have I remembered to thank you for taking me on such a great trip?” Marshall turned toward Lee, closing the small distance between them. He wasn’t afraid of showing affection in public here. Hell, the ship was full of horny gay men—some with partners, some without. Nobody would even bat an eye at them.
“You have, but I’m sure you can show me again, later on, in our cabin.” Lee grinned as he circled Marshall’s waist with his arms, bumping hips. As if they were doing an intimate two-step, but without the music.
“You know I will.” Marshall ground himself boldly against Lee, claiming his lips. They kissed, long and hard. Marshall leaned his head contentedly on Lee’s shoulder. He slid his hand into the back pocket of Lee’s jeans, comforted by the feel of Lee against his palm.
“You remember we won’t leave port until tonight, right?” Lee reminded him.
“I remember. I just like being out here, that’s all. Just like being with you.”
They stood there for a while, then decided it was time to check out the cabin and see if their bags had been brought in yet. Lee checked the map. “If we head down this way, I think those elevators will take us closest to where we want to go.” There were elevators situated throughout the ship for the guests’ convenience. Getting around the large ship would not be a problem.
Once inside the elevator, Lee pressed the button marked Empress Deck, which was the seventh deck. “I did some research before I bought the tickets,” he confessed. “I liked the looks of these rooms. I hope you will too.”
“I know I’ll just love it,” Marshall said.
“I thought, seeing how it’s your first cruise, and mine too, that we should be able to look out on the ocean every day.”
Didn’t that sound like a great idea?
Once they left the elevator, they turned a couple of corners until they found themselves in the right corridor. Room 7256 was just a few doors down, on the side facing the ocean. Lee used the card to open the door.
“Go ahead,” he prompted Marshall. “Check it out.”
Marshall didn’t wait to be told twice. He rushed inside, boiling over with curiosity to see the room they’d be sleeping in for the next week. Their cabin had a large bed. Marshall thought it might even be king size. Small wooden tables were on either side, and there was a couch which he thought might fold out to another bed. A dresser with mirror, and a door which he discovered led to their private bath.
But the most astounding feature of all….
“We have a balcony!” Marshall cried out. “A real honest-to-goodness balcony.”
“And it’s all ours,” Lee said.
Marshall threw his arms around Lee and kissed him soundly.
to be continued
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