As is my want, I thank my LadyCibelle and Techsan for their patience, proof reading, editing skills and of course encouragement they always give me.
This story returns to common theme of mine, that I do hope some of you will enjoy.
It was a strange feeling to get whilst sitting in an open-air nightclub in the mountains not far from Naples in Italy. Oh, you know the sort of place all geared up for the tourists and all very plastic for my liking really. But the crowd I was with wanted to visit the place so I'd gone along for the ride.
Some old bird — well, I don't suppose she was that old really, and she had some figure on her actually, but if she'd been a stripper, I probably would have been a lot happier — was giving it the vocals on what was supposed to be a traditional Italian folk song. Anyway I think the guys were just about getting the idea of why I'd suggested that this excursion was one that we could do without joining. I had done this same cruise more than once in the past.
I was on the cruise with a bunch of friends from the office, some husbands and wives, some couples who were thinking about it and a collection of waifs and strays — of both sexes who hadn't found anyone who could put up with us for very long. Yeah, you got it, mostly divorcees. Whether the committed ones thought that some of us might connect or not, I don't know, but when the trip was being planned we were sought out and invited to attend.
I'd done this cruise the year before, with a pal of mine. He'd got lucky and found himself a tasty widow from up north somewhere. They even got hitched after the holiday and were still going strong. He'd been accepted by Betty's children as a replacement daddy and was appearing to be enjoying the job.
I'd hung around with Betty's sister, just to... well, to give the lovers a little privacy. Yeah, I scored with Betty's sister but there wasn't any chemistry there, if you know what I mean. It was more like a fifteen-day one night stand.
Anyway, having lost my best prowling buddy, I joined this party on the cruise this year hoping I might get lucky and find my dream girl like Mike had. Or, at least, score a few nights during the trip. Okay, I'd bedded Carol, one of the women from accounting, and Jean, a pretty young thing who was married to a guy from sales who got seasick on the first day. How the hell anyone can get seasick on one of these modern floating islands they call cruise ships I will never be able to understand; the things don't rock and roll at all - well, not in the Med anyway. But the bugger recovered and found his sea legs pretty quickly, bringing an end to that little game.
Anyway that might explain why I was sitting in an open-air nightclub that evening, but it didn't explain the feeling that I'd suddenly got. I'm sure you know the feeling; the blood flow to your ears suddenly increases, and they feel hot. Most folks say that it's a sign someone is talking about you, but I'm pretty convinced that it's a kind of in built radar telling you that someone is watching you. Yeah, the blood flow to your ears increases because you are aware that you are being scrutinised.
I checked the likely candidates. Jean's husband who might have sussed that I'd banged his wife most of that first afternoon. Nope, that silly bugger seemed to be enthralled with the warbler on the stage. Carol, perhaps, was hoping for a rematch this evening? Nope, she was eyeing up the lump in one of the ship's entertainment coordinators' trousers and he was eyeing up her front suspension. I figured I'd not get another look in there on this trip.
Everyone else at our table was watching the tits rise and fall on the warbler as she sang - well, she did have an impressive pair, almost as good as Carol's, but with a lot less covering them.
So I looked around at the people sat at tables near our own, twisting and turning to survey them all. No, there was no one looking at me. Everyone appeared to be staring at the stage trying to get some clue as to what the warbler was singing about; or maybe watching those tits, wondering when they were going to fall out.
I turned back and tried to concentrate on them myself, doubting that they would fall out; she probably wore the same dress every night. And if they hadn't fallen out since the previous year when I'd last been in that club, they were unlikely to put in a showing that evening. But I suppose there has to be a first time for everything.
But I couldn't even concentrate on that wish. I still had that damned feeling and my ears were burning even hotter. I looked around again, standing up this time so that I could see the tables further off. But no eyes were cast in my direction.
"Was-up?" Ronny Fisher asked as I sat down again. Ronny was my cabin partner on this trip.
"Dunno, Ronny. I got the feeling someone's watching me!"
"Ears burning, are they?" Carol asked. She must have noticed my fidgeting as well.
"Yeah, they are. Damned disconcerting it is too!" I replied to her.
"Probably some hot Latino woman who's hot for your body!" Carol joked.
"Well, It ain't going to be you tonight, that's for sure!" I whispered to her having leant close. "I've been watching you eyeing up that guy's equipment!"
Carol elbowed me in the ribs and then acted as if she hadn't heard me.
I kept getting the feeling several more times during the rest of the evening. Especially when I slipped out to the gents. I made my way back to our table slowly and only after surveying the whole crowded nightclub from the door. But no one appeared to be looking in my direction.
On the coach ride back to the ship the uneasy feeling I'd had in the nightclub subsided. But I will point out that there were a good half a dozen or more coaches, with maybe three or four hundred people on them. Anyone could have been emanating the waves, or whatever they were, that I'd picked up on in the club.
I found myself stopping on the ship's gangway whilst going back on board, because for an instant I got the feeling again. I looked around but now there were hundreds of people looking at me, wondering why I'd brought the cavalcade back on board to a halt.
"What gives with you?" Ronny asked when we got to one of the bars for a nightcap. I do believe that I was still scrutinising everyone who entered the bar.
"Dunno, Ronny, must have been a disturbance in the force." I smiled at him, trying to make light of my behaviour.
"Do what?" Ronny asked looking at me as if I'd gone completely gaga.
"You remember 'The Force' in 'Star Wars'. Obi One said he felt a disturbance in the force. Well, in the nightclub... I dunno, I felt a presence of some kind."
"It was Darth Vader; he said he felt a presence that he hadn't felt for many years," Ronny corrected me.
"Yeah, you could be right! I felt there was someone in that club tonight that I knew and it frightened the arse off me."
"Why did it frighten you?"
"Dunno really. Probably because I couldn't see them."
"Or didn't recognise them. Probably one of your old conquests." Ronny suggested.
"Shit, I hope not. Damn bad form, old boy, to forget the face of a woman you've laid," I joked.
"Jesus, John, what you got? A filofax for a brain? Carry a bleeding photo album in your head or something? You're always on the bleeding prowl." Ronny grinned at me.
"Just because I'm on the prowl, Ronny, don't mean I get that lucky all that often."
"Anyway quit worrying. There were a couple of coaches from some place else there tonight. Whoever made the disturbance in the force could have been on one of them."
"I don't think so somehow, Ron. I got the feeling again when we were coming back on board."
Ronny and I finished our drinks and decided to call it a night. But not before I'd taken another good scan of the bar.
When we woke the next morning the ship was at sea, heading for Palma in Majorca. I was up very early, much before Ron made a move; he'd be snoring away for another couple of hours.
Dressed in my tracksuit to ward off the sea breezes, I took my morning run on the track around the top deck. Probably not the five-mile run that I did every day at home; I just ran until I was bored of passing the same joggers again and again. Then I headed for one of the open-air pools and put in a few laps whilst it was still almost empty. There was a much larger pool below decks, intended for serious swimming, but I liked swimming in the open air.
After a shower I joined Ronny and the rest of the gang for breakfast, before Ronny and I donned our swimming costumes and headed out on deck to catch some rays and watch the bikinis go by, near one of the pools. We hadn't been there long before Carol and her cabin mate joined us.
Both women took a swim then Ronny and I applied sun block to their bodies and they did the same for us. It was while I was applying the sun block to Carol's back that I got that damned feeling again. Whether I faltered in my labour or I tensed up, I'm not sure. But Carol was aware that something had happened.
"You all right, John?" she asked.
"Yeah, it's just..." I was saying.
"The force again?" Ronny interrupted.
"Yeah," I said looking round.
"Blond about sixteen and wearing a little yellow bikini," Ronny announced.
"What are you on about now, Ronny?" Carol asked.
Ronny who'd been lying on his back whilst Gloria, Carol's cabin mate, massaged sun block into his chest, looked across at Carol and me who were both staring at him.
.... There is more of this story ...