This week, in Moving Forward, Marshall and Lee arrive on St. Croix, and decide what they want to do on their first day. See what they decide in this week's episode! Then see what the other Briefers have been up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
Moving Forward #34 (8.1)
They gathered everything they would need and fit it into a beach bag, which Marshall offered to carry.
“We bringing lube?” Marshall asked hopefully.
Lee shook his head. “I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t the private beach I told you about. This is a family friendly tour.”
Marshall frowned in disappointment. Lee chuckled and patted his cheek. “Don’t worry, we’ll get to the private beach. And we’ll definitely take advantage of its privacy.”
That was heartening. Marshall couldn’t help but smile at the thought of what they could do beneath this beautiful sun and sky. They were undoubtedly not the only ones thinking that way, not with a ship full of horny, gay men.
Roger was right on time. They met him in the hallway and disembarked the ship together. They’d brought their passports with them, just to be safe. In researching the cruise, they’d seen comments from people who’d gone on other cruises and while passports were not strictly speaking mandatory, they could be very useful in certain circumstances. Better safe than sorry.
The sightseeing boat was a short walk from where the Wandering Star was berthed. They weren’t the only ones from the cruise who seemed to have the same idea. Marshall recognized a few of the men who were headed in the same direction.
As they drew near to the sightseeing boat, the sound of gay calypso music wafted toward them. Marshall spotted the musicians; they were standing on the lower deck. They wore brightly colored T-shirts and big smiles as they played their huge steel drums.
When they bought their tickets and headed up the gangplank, Marshall noticed a number of other passengers were already on board, seated on both sides of the boat. Some were swaying to the soft Caribbean rhythms, drink glasses in hand.
“I think we might find more room up there.” Lee indicated the upper deck. Marshall and Roger agreed, and they climbed the stairs which led up. There were fewer people here, probably because of the sun. What the heck. They were from Texas. They could handle the sun.
They made themselves comfortable, watching as the last of the passengers embarked.
“I don’t know about you,” Roger said, “but I could go for something wet and tropical. My treat.”
That did sound good, Marshall had to admit.
“Much obliged,” Lee said. “We’ll catch the next round.”
“Good plan,” Roger said with a grin.
“I’ll come with you,” Marshall offered. Three drinks was a lot for one person to handle. “If you’re buying, least I can do is help carry.”
As he turned to follow Roger, Marshall received a thumbs up and a smile from Lee. “Be right back,” Marshall mouthed.
Not surprisingly, the bar was busy, so they had to stand there for a few minutes before they could even place their order. Marshall took advantage of their proximity to the band to watch them play. He tapped his feet to the catchy beat, his eyes scanning the boat, observing the other passengers. There were a few families with children of assorted ages, and a number of couples, young and old, mixed genders.
Everyone seemed happy to be there. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. A balmy breeze played about the ship, which eased the heat into a pleasant warmth. What more could he ask for than this perfect vacation?
Suddenly he became aware of a too-familiar face, in the far corner of the desk. The man’s head was turned, presenting his profile, and at first Marshall hadn’t placed him as someone he knew. But now recognition washed over him, and he stiffened slightly.
Damn. Dustin had come along too, apparently.
He hadn’t see Dustin since he’d run out away from them at lunch the day before. That’s the way Marshall had hoped to keep it, but apparently that wasn’t meant to be. For an irrational moment, Marshall wondered if Dustin had somehow followed them on the cruise, and did he intend to spoils things for them. Then he noticed the redheaded man sitting beside Dustin. His arm was about Dustin, and seemed caught up in intimate conversation.
Looked like Dustin had decided to play the field after all. Hopefully that meant he’d given up all thoughts of Marshall.
Marshall turned back toward the bar. No sense in letting himself be spotted if he could help it. The bartender was just placing three umbrellaed fruity-looking drinks in front of Roger, who handed him some cash. Marshall picked up two of the drinks, despite Roger’s protest that he could handle two himself.
“Already have it,” Marshall pointed out. Roger laughed and stopped arguing as they made their way back up top.
Marshall handed one of the drinks to Lee.
“That looks refreshing,” Lee commented, just before he gave Marshall a sharp look. ‘Everything okay?”
Marshall seated himself beside Lee before answering. He took a deep breath. He didn’t want Lee to think he was upset about this, ‘cause he wasn’t.
“Yeah, it’s all good,” he assured him. “You’ll never guess who I spotted on the lower deck.”
Lee’s eyes narrowed slightly. “Dustin?”
“You don’t think he…”
Marshall shook his head. “I wondered that at first, but then I realized he’s with someone, so I don’t think so.”
Lee didn’t look happy, but he relaxed a little at that. “Well, that’s good then. Did he see you?”
“I dunno. I stopped paying attention. I don’t care what he does.” Marshall took a sip of the drink. It was tart and sweet both, with a good rum flavor. “That’s tasty,” he commented.
Lee leaned close enough to whisper in Marshall’s ear, “Just like you.” Marshall’s cheeks warmed at Lee’s words, even as Lee took a quick nip of his earlobe.
“I’m proud of you,” Lee murmured. “For not letting him get to you.”
“There’s no reason, he means nothing to us,” Marshall said. “He’s not going to ruin our time for anything.”
to be continued
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