Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Moving Forward #33 (8.1)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for some flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who offer you our best flash fiction every week, from 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

In Moving Forward, Marshall and Lee begin their first actual day on the cruise, having arrived at their first destination - St. Thomas! Wonder what the day will bring? Find out in today's episode! Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Moving Forward #33 (8.1)

Marshall stretched languidly in the comfortable bed. Not bothering to open his eyes, he automatically reached for Lee. When he encountered Lee’s warmth, he snuggled up against him, wrapping an arm about him as he pressed his face against Lee’s bare back. Lee covered Marshall’s arm with his, and they lay together in companionable silence.

Sounds began to gradually filter into Marshall’s consciousness, and as his brain began to sort them out, his eyes popped open. They’d arrived! They were actually in the Virgin Islands.

Unable to contain his excitement, he leapt out of bed and raced out onto the balcony. The island of St. Croix stretched before him. The boat had docked sometime in the night, and they were far from the only ship in the harbor, which bustled with activity. He’d never seen such beautiful water in his life, blues and greens in shades he couldn’t even identify. A real paradise.  Marshall raced back to the bed.

 “Lee, we’re here!” he cried excitedly.

Lee rolled over, pushing  back the sheet as he did. His expression was one of loving amusement as he smiled at Marshall. “Does that surprise you?” he teased.

“C’mon out and see,” Marshall beckoned, tugging on Lee’s hand. He’d gotten past being too embarrassed to step out on the balcony without any clothes. He knew they weren’t exactly in anyone’s line of sight.

Lee allowed Marshall to pull him out of the bed and onto the balcony.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” Marshall said in an awestruck voice. He’d never seen a place as lovely as this.

Lee wrapped his arms about Marshall. He softly kissed his shoulder. “It’s very beautiful,” he agreed.

“Wow, look at all the fishing boats. And oh, the sail boats,” Marshall said with rising excitement. “I wonder if we can go sailing while we’re here?”

“I’m sure they have tours for that,” Lee said. “You can probably find tours for anything you could possibly want to do.”

Marshall turned within the radius of Lee’s arms. “What are we going to do?”

“I thought we’d see what our options are and take it from there. I think everything’s listed in the ship’s brochure. Maybe order some breakfast and look it over while we decide?”

“Can we eat out here?”

“Absolutely,” Lee said.

They ordered a huge breakfast from room service, including a pot of coffee. By the time the food arrived, they were already dressed in colorful shorts and shirts and sandals and more than ready to eat. They couldn’t have asked for better weather. Warm, but not overly so. A gentle breeze that wafted enticing aromas. Plenty of sun.  While they ate,  they pored over the ship’s brochure, which included a list of things to do in St. Thomas, as well as shipboard activities. It all looked so enticing.

“Well, first question is do you want to stay on the boat or get off?” Lee asked practically.

That was a no-brainer. “I think I’d really like to go on shore and do something,” Marshall said. He figured they’d have plenty of time to be on the ship, but their time ashore was limited.

A knock on the door interrupted their discussion. “Probably the waiter come to get out stuff. I’ll let him in,” Marshall offered. He padded across the suite and opened the door. But it wasn’t the waiter who’d knocked.Iit was Roger who stood there. He too wore tropical looking garb, topped by a Dallas Cowboys baseball cap.

“Hey guys!” he greeted them. He was grinning and looked as excited as Marshall felt. “Hope I’m not interrupting anything?”

“No, come on in, we’re just hanging out on the balcony.”

Roger’s eyes lit up at the word balcony.  He followed Marshall outside. Marshall took the chair closest to Lee, and Roger sat across from them.

“Wow, this is awesome,” he said. “Love that hot tub. Is it as nice as it looks?”

“Nicer,” Marshall said.

“We were just deciding what to do today, did you have any plans?” Lee asked.

Roger scratched his head and considered the question. “Not really. I’d like to do something, just don’t know what. What about you? Got plans?”

Lee opened up a brochure that had come along with the one for the ship. “There’s this sighting seeing and beach cruise,” he said. “Takes about three hours, and that includes at least an hour at the beach.”

Marshall quickly scanned the itinerary, then slid the pamphlet toward Roger. “That sounds like fun,” he admitted. “You thinking about us going?”

“I am,” Lee said, “if you’re interested.”

“I’m definitely interested,” Marshall replied. He gave Lee an inquisitive look, one he was sure Lee would understand. And he did.

“Roger, want to come along?”

“Man, that does sound like fun. Sure I won’t be cramping your style?” he asked, looking between them.

“Not at all,” Lee assured him.

Roger broke into a wide grin. “Then I’m in. How soon does it leave?”

Lee consulted the brochure. “There’s a tour leaving in about an hour. That should give us plenty of time to get ready and get there.  In fact, we get  a discount for being on this cruise. Can’t beat that. Did you eat yet?”

“Yeah.” Roger patted his belly with a smile of contentment. “I’m good for a while. Maybe even until lunchtime.” He laughed. “I just gotta get my swimming stuff together and I’m good to go.”

“Us too,” Marshall said.

“Meet you in the hallway in fifteen minutes, how’s that?” Roger suggested.

“See you then.” Lee smiled.

Roger rose and saw himself out, admitting a steward who collected their breakfast dishes. He saw the open brochure and smiled.

“You going on the cruise?” he asked, and they nodded. “Take plenty of sunscreen,” he cautioned them. “Don’t want to burn.”

“Good advice,” Lee said. “Thanks.” He gave the man a tip and turned to Marshall.

“Let’s get it together,” he said. “Big day ahead.”

“Every day with you’s a big day,” Marshall replied and kissed him.

to be continued

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