The sun warmed her face and calmed her, much the same as the seas breeze did when it ruffled her hair. She looked completely out of place, standing on the dock in her deep blue designer suit and heels, scanning the rows and rows of boats tied in their berths, but she didn't care. Slipping off her jacket, she unbuttoned two of the mother of pearl closures that went up the neck of her silk blouse. Her outfit was fine in air-conditioned offices and cars, but it was sweltering outside in the real world.
Glancing down at the slip of paper in her hand, she read again his boat's berthing location. She doubted that he'd really thought she'd write it down when he gave it to her, the last time they chatted, but something had made her do it - marina address and all. What had made her carefully tuck it into her wallet and keep it was beyond her understanding. She was only realizing that she'd intended to make this detour all along.
She smiled as she read his boat's name again: "Time to Ponder". Pondering is precisely what she had been doing in these long months since they had met on line. They'd met on line in a writer's chat room. Both had proverbial "day" jobs, but their hearts were into writing and they'd corresponded for some time about it. Critiquing each other's works had been very helpful to her especially - his praise giving her the confidence that she needed to put her writing on the line. While she still kept her previous position, she was beginning to get responses to her efforts at publishing.
But that wasn't what brought her to the marina on this hot summer afternoon. Jack had sparked her imagination and touched her heart and she'd decided she wanted to meet him. The fact that her most recent business trip had taken her to his town only made it seem like kismet.
Walking carefully along the wooden dock in her high-heeled shoes, she watched for his boat, thinking she'd recognize it from the pictures he'd sent. Sure enough, there it floated, all 33 feet of sleek comfort, bobbing on the gentle swells in the harbor. Standing next to it, it occurred to her that she didn't know how to "knock" on a boat. She knew he was there - or at least he'd said that he'd planned to spend the weekend on it - but part of her had pictured him on deck. She wasn't comfortable just getting onto someone's vessel any more than she would have walked into someone's house.
So even though she felt foolish, she cleared her throat and said. "Uh... Ahoy?"
That's when she heard the music coming from below deck, so she summoned up some more courage and called louder, "Ahoy, there!"
The radio was turned down and there he was, poking his head up through the door in the deck. "Yes, what's..." and then he saw her. She was the last person he'd expected to find on this dock, at his boat, but there she stood - more lovely than he had realized, even from her picture. "Lianne", he breathed, staring. It was awkward for a moment, her standing on the dock, dressed for a cabinet level meeting and him in his trunks and t shirt with a dirty rag in his hand, but she made it work.
"Permission to come aboard?" she asked and they both laughed. He dropped the rag and stepped up to take her hand.
"Permission granted," he answered, waiting while she kicked off her heels and raised her shapely leg over the boat's side. He couldn't help but watch those legs as her skirt rode up her thighs and he glimpsed the lacy tops of her thigh high stockings. She caught his glance and though her cheeks reddened, she didn't lower her gaze. "I'm glad you came," he said softly and she decided that she liked his voice as much as his writing.
"So am I," she smiled, still holding the hand that had helped her aboard. Their eyes were locked on each other for an endless moment and she wondered if they would kiss then. Instead, he released her hand and taking her elbow helped her to one of the cushioned seats on the deck. The sun was setting and the afternoon breeze had picked up somewhat, but it was still hot and perspiration was making her silk blouse stick to her skin. She felt out of place and physically uncomfortable and began to wonder what she'd been thinking - coming to a marina dressed in a business suit. Even as the thought entered her mind, she knew that it had been a now or never move. If she'd taken the time to go to the hotel and change her clothes, she'd also have changed her mind.
When Jack offered her a cold drink, she gladly accepted wiping some sweat from her brow and smudging her makeup at the same time. She looked up into his face and felt her nerves relax - he was so obviously pleased to have her there. She also felt heat wash through her body like molten lava as she followed his gaze to the way the wet silk was clinging to her breasts.
Once again, their eyes met and they smiled, accepting both the pleasure of meeting for the first time in the flesh and their attraction to one another. "You know, "he said, "I have a shower on board... you look hotter n'hell..."and even as he said it they both caught the double meaning and laughed lightly.
"A shower would feel great, " she agreed and he liked the music of her laughter as she spoke, lingering on his ears. "But I haven't brought a change. I'd hate to get back into this sweaty stuff after I'm all clean and cool"
He offered her his hand again. "No worries. I'm sure I've got something that will work for you. C'mon." and he led her into the below deck cabin. She sighed with pleasure as the cooler air hit her and laughed lightly.
"I never thought that your boat would be air-conditioned!"
He smiled. "Hey! What pleasure vessel could live up to its name without it?" He loved the way her face reddened at the word 'pleasure'. Was it possible she was thinking the same way about him?
After giving her a quick explanation of the shower's workings he told her he'd be on deck... if she needed him.
The cabin had never seemed quite so small before. He could feel her presence everywhere he turned, brushing up against her needlessly on his way up the steps. Once in the blaze of the setting sun's heat again, Jack shook his head at Lianne's affect on him. He wasn't a schoolboy or some callow youth smitten with the "big city" career woman. He knew what he wanted and what he liked in a woman as well as what he could offer to her.
He glanced back down the stairs and caught sight of her through the window in the door, her slender leg propped on the edge of the bunk as she slipped her stocking off and wasn't startled by the rush of sensual heat that shot through him. She affected him that way on line, so it only made sense that he should be gripped by the desire to race down there, take over the task of peeling those silky hose from her legs and then taking their place, plastered to her body. Perfect sense.
Sense and reason had nothing to do with it, he knew. And while it might well be the only thing on HIS mind since he saw her mere minutes before standing on his deck, it might have nothing at all to do with why she'd come to see him.
Smiling ruefully at himself as he finished coiling the rope that secured the boat to the dock, checking it for the night he thought; but a man can dream, can't he?
The sound of her voice calling from below deck brought him out of his reverie and he took one last, calming breath before going to join her. Lianne had had more than her share of stress over these last few months and he'd tried to be there for her, as a friend. He'd be there for her again - no matter where his mind and body wanted to take them.
Secure in this resolve, he stepped down into the cabin, only to be brought up short.
She was standing in the dwindling sunlight, still damp from her shower, clad in nothing but one of his clean tee shirts. Her short, dark hair was still wet and rather than the smooth coif of her normal hairstyle, it was drying into soft, unruly curls. She'd washed her face clean of make up and while it no longer accented the drama of her large, dark eyes, it made them seem almost doe-like, vulnerable. He noticed that there was a small beauty mark at the corner of her lip... one normally hidden by meticulously applied lipstick.
Through the baggy tee, he could see the contours of her breasts, full and even pendulous without the shape defining constraint of her bra, the slight roundness to her belly and the inviting curve of her hips and bottom. He felt his body's primal response to this vision in his stirring manhood.
He'd thought her lovely before, in silk and linen and high heels. He found her breath-takingly and heart-stoppingly beautiful in beads of water and his tee shirt.
She was talking to him, gesturing at the pair of drawstring gym shorts he'd pulled out for her still laying on the bunk. "... and then the string broke and I couldn't keep them on..." she was saying.
It didn't matter what her words were. He closed the distance between them, standing so close she could feel the heat from his sun-warmed skin dancing with her shower cooled flesh. His hand reached out and touched the skin of her face and she closed her eyes briefly at the sensation. For a moment they stood like that, he searching the depths of her impossibly dark eyes as she gazed back into his crystal blue ones. She smiled and reached out to caress his soft beard.
"I knew your eyes were blue," she said, "But they're more than that... like clears pools of mountain water... reflecting the sky..." Then she blushed and he wanted her even more. "I'm sorry... that was..."
He stopped whatever she'd been about to say with his lips, gently pressing into hers. As if she'd been waiting for this all along, her arms wound themselves around his neck, her mouth softening sensually into his kiss. Heat exploded in him and he pulled her tightly into his embrace, moving softly across her willing mouth, tasting, caressing. His ears delighted to the pleased whimper she made, parting her lips to let his tongue join hers. He felt himself getting harder, just with this kiss. There was no real shyness here, but neither was she brazen. Her kiss was as open and honest as she was, telling him clearly of her desire.
His hands traveled across her body, through the thin material of the tee shirt, caressing her back, feeling the tense muscles in her shoulders and beginning to massage them. She purred with pleasure as his hands released some of the stress from her week.
"Oh, Jack, that feels soooo good," she sighed and he had an inspiration.
"Lay down," he suggested, motioning to the bunk "and I'll give you a real massage."
Her expression was puzzled for a moment as he handed her the still damp towel she'd used in her shower, but then smiled as she instinctively understood his intent. They both knew where they were doing this hot summer night, but neither wanted to rush things. They were still new to each other and there was a seductive energy behind gradual revelations. She smiled as she took the towel from him and turning her back, she slipped it under the tee, securing it around her slender waist. When she turned back to face him, her cheeks were slightly flushed with color, heightening the paleness of her skin. Reaching out, he touched her cheek again.
"We really do need to get you out into the sun more," he said softly. Turning her face into his hand, she kissed the palm. It felt like electricity running up his arm and he swallowed to maintain his control. "Lay down on the bunk," he instructed her, his voice roughened by passion.
Without a word, she complied, laying face down on the comfortable mattress. Jack gathered up a small bottle of fragrant lotion he kept for after sun and sat down on the edge of the bunk, near her towel-covered hips. Taking the bottom of the tee, he slid it up her back. Without being told to, she lifted her upper body and helped him move it over her shoulders and off her head. He tossed it aside.