Chapter 1: The Fateful Cruise

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, NonConsensual, Reluctant, Coercion, Tear Jerker, Paranormal, BDSM, DomSub, MaleDom, Spanking, Rough, Light Bond, Safe Sex, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Masturbation, .

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1: The Fateful Cruise - Carla is lonely. She can't enjoy sex for its own sake. Carla must have an emotional tie to the man she sleeps with. She decides, for her vacation, to go on an exotic cruise, something she has never done. She falls for Quinn, and finds herself his naked prisoner. But Quinn has a secret, pain from his past that could destroy both of them. Can Carla can learn who hurt him and bring healing to the man she is coming to love. Can love grow when it starts with force and is watered with pain?

Sherry Wilson put her fork down in exasperation. "Carla. What's the point of having lunch together if all you're going to do is eat? Have you heard a word I've said?"

Carla Baxter looked up from her lunch. The smile on her face was forced. "Yes, Sherry, I have been listening. I am just not interested. You know I'm not into the bar scene."

Stabbing one of the ravioli on her plate, Sherry waved it like a baton as she spoke. "Good grief, Carla. All you do every night is sit at home, watch TV and pretend you're happy. Get out there, enjoy life!" The ravioli made it into her mouth and she exclaimed around her chewing, "What you need is a really good fucking!"

Carla's fork rattled loudly in her salad bowl when she dropped it. Her look fired daggers at her friend, not because the suggestion was insulting, but because Sherry knew better. "I've told you before, Sherry Marie Wilson, I need more from a guy than a hard on and the ability to use it. I need to be connected with him. I want to know who he is and for him to have taken the time to know who I am. I want to be able to talk with him, really talk, about things that matter."

"Oh my God., Carla, you're describing a husband, not a lover. A lover wants your body, not your brain. It's nice to have your body wanted. Trust me, I know. If something comes after that, then okay. But I, for one, like the feel of a man deep inside me, making me squirm and gasp. I don't need a rocket scientist for that."

Carla knew everything her friend said was true. Sherry had been in a long succession of relationships, though some of them stretched the meaning of the word. One, Brad, had been for two years and might have gone as far as marriage if he had not been transferred to Brisbane. Many had been true one night stands that Sherry could not even put a name to. Her friend truly loved the purely physical side of men.

"Sherry. I'm not like you. I need a relationship first. The idea of just picking up a guy and going to bed with him holds no appeal for me. You, Cindy and Gavin need to stop trying to remake me in your own images." Carla's trio of friends had spent most of the 15 years or more they had known her trying to fix her up with boyfriends and sex partners. Add to them, her mother's constant harping about why she had not found a good man and gotten married, and you had one frustrated, and apparently tolerant with her friends, woman.

"How would you know? You've never done it. Carla, by your own admission, you were celibate for five years after losing your virginity at 16. After that, you've had four boyfriends, all of whom you made wait for over a year before you went to bed with them. All of them eventually dumped you. You've never had a one night stand. You can't possibly know how much fun they are or aren't. You need to try."

"I don't want to, Sherry. Anyway, no one's going to pick me up in a bar. I'm just not pretty."

Now Sherry's fork hit the plate, but not by being dropped. "Don't you dare start on that again. You are not ugly."

"I didn't say I was ugly, I said I wasn't pretty. I mean, have you looked at me? I have small tits. My body goes straight from my shoulders to my waist and then bulges. It's not fat, but it is thick, thicker than men like. My face is forgettable, not ugly, but no one remembers it. I've seen what men want, you just have to look at their magazines, like Maxim and Stuff."

Carla did not have a bad self image, just an honest one. The way she described her body was simply accurate. There are no curves to speak of until she reached her hips, where every ounce of excess body weight settled, and her breasts are small enough that a bra was completely optional. If she were interested in passing for a man, strapping down would not be overly painful. There was nothing wrong with her face, it simply lacked any distinguishing features that someone would remember later. She would be a police nightmare if she were a criminal.

She had dieted in the past. She quickly realized that the only way she was going to keep that bulge off was to starve herself indefinitely. She did not want that. Now she kept her five foot, seven inch body at a comfortable 140 pounds. While not what many would consider ideal, it was within healthy tolerances and, more importantly, it's the size her body seemed to want to be at.

Sherry shook her head. "You know, Carla. There are guys out there that think you look just fine. Not everyone wants an hourglass waist or a Dolly Parton chest. Give them a chance."

"They do want a woman that will screw on the first date. That's why they're in bars in the first place, an easy lay. I don't want that."

"You may not want it, but you do need it. You're going to die a spinster if you don't get out and enjoy what life has to offer you. But, it's your life, I can't live it for you."

"That's right, you can't." Carla sipped her lemonade and took her friend's hand. "Listen, I appreciate how much you care for me. You keep bringing this up because you want to help. I love that you care so much. But, I am different. I can't do casual in a relationship."

"Will you at least do something different for your vacation? Two weeks of listening to your mom badger you about why you're not married will leave you needing a vacation from your vacation, just like last year. Do something bold and daring, something you would never dream of doing in a million years. Live life, don't just walk through it."

"I'll think about it, I promise."

"Good girl."

Carla Baxter worked at Hansen and Louis Importers and Exporters LLC. She was the head of the East Asian division and oversaw two dozen employees who were responsible for three million dollars of goods going into and out of the country every month. The goods her division handled were bought and sold by businesses throughout the USA. She pushed herself hard and expected her employees to do so as well. However, she had two hard and fast rules, learned from harsh experience.

Lunch time was lunch time. She did not allow working lunches for her employees. Rule two was similar, quitting time meant you left work and went home, or out, or anywhere that did not involve doing work. She had seen too many employees and supervisors, in the past, burn out because they skipped lunches and took work home with them. No one was indispensable and they had three shifts for a reason. Her policy's success was in the retention figures for her division. In the last three years, they had only had to replace one employee and that was due to a new baby and the decision to stay at home with her. She was not as strict about vacations, but anyone with more that a month of accumulated vacation time had to use some of it up.

Carla spoke five languages; Chinese, Japanese, Korean, English and Spanish. Her knowledge of East Asian cultures had stood her in good stead, allowing her to anticipate market trends on the other side of the Pacific. She had a Master's in Business administration and BAs in international studies and business computer programming. She was on track to be promoted to Vice President of International Relations when the current VP retired in seven more years. Professionally, her life was excellent.

Her personal life was a different story. In many ways, Carla was a lonely woman. Yes, she had friends. Sherry, Cindy and Gavin were her best friends. But, as Sherry had said, she had had only four boy friends in the twenty years since she graduated from high school. The reason for the death of romance in her life was her need for true romance instead of just sexual romance. She appreciated flowers and chocolates as much as the next woman, but she wanted more. Carla craved a man who could and would spend time just talking with her about any number of subjects. She needed her mind romanced as well as her body and emotions. With someone of Carla's intelligence, such a man was hard to find.

She had almost given up the dream of finding a man who could give her what she wanted in a mate. That's what she wanted, a mate, not just a sex partner. He didn't have to fill all her needs. That's what friends like Sherry and Cindy Hibson were for. Her mate? He had to not just be able, but want to discuss the events of the day and the latest book they read and be a mirror for issues at work. He had to love her and she had to love him. Not just love her, but be able to express that love in words and deeds. A desire for her body was a distant third in importance, nice, but simply accepting would be good enough.

She was beginning to suspect that she wanted too much. But, she could not help it. For Carla, sex was more than a simple physical act. It was the culmination of a relationship. Sex was the third leg in the tripod of relationship. This is why she believed that she would never be satisfied with one night stands. It's also why she believed now, that she would never find her soul mate. She wanted too much from him. No man could be all those things. There were times, late at night, when she was alone with her feelings, that she wished she could be shallow and just enjoy the act of sex for its own sake. Yes, she could climax and enjoy it, but, the few times she did have a one night stand (Sherry did not know of these), she had sunk into a depression that took weeks to recover from. "Never again," she would tell herself, but every two or three years, she would give in to the desire for something different.

Several weeks passed with no major change in Carla's life. It was a Friday evening and she was at home getting ready to watch The Ghost Whisperer while checking her personal E-mail. Her vacation was scheduled in a month and she had no idea what she was going to do for those two weeks. She agreed with Sherry, visiting her mom was out of the question. Then she saw the E-mail. "Last minute cruise deals!" She had never been on a cruise before. Opening the letter, she saw that it was an advertising spam that offered opportunities to fill last minute cancellations on cruises at a reduced rate. Clearly, she wasn't going to take up any of these offers, but she did know that airlines, hotels and cruise lines liked to book full and would offer deals to fill spots at the last minute.

For some reason, a cruise sounded like a wonderful vacation. Instead of allowing a spammer to hack her computer, she closed the letter and did a search of cruises. Several refinements later, she found several cruise lines offering last minute deals on upcoming cruises. The choices of cabins were slim and all of the dates were within the next month, but the prices were good. One that caught her eye was advertised to go to the real Caribbean instead of the tourist's Caribbean. Most of the islands that would be visited were lesser known stops. The ship itself was unremarkable, a typical cruise ship with the usual amenities. The cruise was three weeks instead of two because they had extended layovers at some of the stops to allow for passengers to explore some of the less settled areas under the care of trained guides. There was a mountain climbing expedition (all 4000 feet worth), three scuba diving stops (one of which was a cave exploration), and a five day jungle hiking and camping stop.

Carla booked herself a spot on the cruise and then logged into the company computer and extended her vacation for another week. She could not wait to tell Sherry about this. This was daring, something she had never dreamed of doing in a million years. With three weeks, she might even find a man and get to know him well enough to try to start a relationship. For the first time in years, Carla Baxter was excited about her vacation. She was determined to enjoy herself

The next month passed in a blur. Work went as well as it always did. The division was prepared to handle her extended absence. Carla trusted her staff fully and had no concerns about how things would go while she was gone. The team worked so well together that she could drop off the face of the earth and they would be able to carry on without her, for the short term at least.

Carla spent some time shopping. Very little of her wardrobe was suitable for tropical climates. She wanted to not just go on a different vacation; she wanted to be different on the vacation. Several sundresses, pairs of shorts, jeans and t-shirts, tank tops and swim suits to add to her more formal cocktail and evening wear. Another shopping trip added some sexy lingerie, just in case, as well as a few new pairs of shoes in various styles. She topped off her new outfits with some new stockings and a teddy and a set of garters. Two days before she was scheduled to leave on the cruise, she treated herself to a new hair style, waxing, a complete manicure/pedicure and a facial. She also purchased some condoms, just in case.

The next day, she was on a plane to Miami, from where the cruise was scheduled to depart. She had splurged on a luxury suite at the Miami Hilton and availed herself of the sauna and spa facilities to make herself feel like a princess. By eight the next morning, dressed in a sundress and sandals, she boarded the Mystic Queen, leaving the world she knew behind and entering the world of island mysteries.

The first day aboard ship had the usual schedule of safety instructions and drills that all passengers were advised to participate in. As the Captain put it, "While we have never had to employ these measures before, think of them like seat belts. Isn't it reassuring to have them there?" Carla dutifully attended all the safety lessons and drills and even volunteered to be the 'man overboard' in the pool

The Mystic Queen wasn't the largest cruise ship sailing the Caribbean, but that did not detract form the luxury on board. In addition to the formal dining room, there was a buffet that had a different theme every day of the week, two specialty diners (one traditional island cuisine and one gourmet French), three lounges that were open 24 hours a day and room service. Two of the lounges had dance floors, one with ballroom dancing and one with modern music.

There were diving lessons, taught by a certified diving instructor, for those who planned to take any of the scuba diving trips,. While Carla had once earned her certificate, it was long enough past that she signed up for one of the lessons as a refresher. The ship did not have a casino like some liners had, but did have a small theater. All in all, one could spend three weeks on board and never get bored.

On the second day, Carla was taking a few hours to work on her tan when a man's voice spoke up beside her. "Excuse me, is this chair taken?"

Carla opened her eyes and saw a total hunk standing over the chaise lounge beside her. He stood a little over six feet and probably weighed around 200 pounds. She could not find an ounce of fat on him, yet his body did not have that ugly overdeveloped musculature frequently accompanying a rigid workout schedule. His tan was deep and even and his brief swim suit fit him like a glove, revealing well endowed muscles there as well. She smiled up at him. "No, I don't think so, but I have been dead to the world for the last hour."

"Hi. I'm Harold. It's a pleasure to meet you." He held out his hand.

Shaking it, Carla answered, "Carla. It's nice to meet you too. Is this your first cruise?"

Harold lay down on the lounge, setting his towel over the back. "No. I've taken a traditional cruise before, you know, stopping at St Croix, the Bahamas, St. Thomas. I wanted to try something different this time. How about yourself?"

"My first cruise. It sounded really interesting and different. And it's nice and long."

"It should be very enjoyable. That's a nice start to your tan. You keep this up and we may have trouble telling you apart from the natives on the islands."

"Thank you. You seem to have a head start on yours."

"It's easy to keep up a tan in Arizona. Do you need some more sunscreen on?"

Carla hesitated only a second before deciding, "I came on the cruise to do something different." Smiling, she asked, "Would you mind?"

"Not at all."

He took the bottle and applied the lotion to the exposed areas of her skin. She was not sure whether to be pleased or disappointed that he was a perfect gentleman and did not let his fingers stray under the edges of her swimsuit. His hands were strong, but smooth. He definitely did not work with his hands, yet knew how to use them. The process was much like a massage with the way he did it and Carla thoroughly enjoyed herself. Afterwards, they talked a little about small stuff and soaked up sunbeams.

When the ship's bell chimed noon, Harold turned his head. "May I buy you lunch?"

"That would be hard," she answered, "since the food is all free."

"Now don't go spoiling my illusions. The man is supposed to buy the meal, and we should at least pretend that I can."

"Well, in that case, buy away," she said with a chuckle.

They had lunch in the buffet while she learned that he was a stock broker on a long vacation. He was single and on the cruise alone, hoping to meet a woman to enjoy the cruise with. He was a natural talker, able to hold up his end of a conversation with ease, yet he didn't dominate it to the exclusion of herself. He showed an interest in her job at the company. They had a lively debate about the usefulness of tariffs without descending into acrimony. By the time lunch was over, Carla knew that she liked Harold.

He begged off the scuba lesson, thanks to an inner ear problem that prevented him from being able to go deeper than five feet without pain. The skills came back to her quickly. She loved the feeling of floating in the water and was looking forward to the diving tours. She was a little nervous about the cave dive, but the instructor promised a chance to practice cave diving in the pool. By the end of the first lesson, she was assisting some of the other students in basic breathing and swimming techniques (scuba swimming is different than regular swimming).

They met again at dinner in the main banquet room. Afterwards, they spent three hours dancing in one of the lounges. Neither was an exceptional dancer, but they did manage to avoid stepping on each other's toes. The moon rose late that night and the couple watched the moon rising over the water, separating from its shimmering reflection in the waves. The ship had the outer lights to minimum, allowing the full panorama of the night time sky to be seen. Eventually, he led her back to her cabin, stealing a brief kiss before wishing her a good night.

Carla fell asleep quickly, seemingly so she could reach her dreams as quickly as possible. She dreamed of Harold and herself, entwined in her bed, kissing passionately. Her breasts were flushed, the entire areolas enlarging with arousal and the nipples erect. Her pussy was wet and engorged in anticipation of blissful penetration. Her hands were at his back, caressing and pulling him closer. His cock was stiff and full, leaving a trail of precum across her leg. His mouth was at her neck, licking and sucking at it. His hands were massaging one breast and her ass.

Her dream self was writhing under his ministrations. "Harold, please fuck me. I need to feel you inside me." He pulled himself up and plunged his cock deep into her cunt. Carla gasped in pleasure as her pussy gripped at the welcome intruder. His thrusts were deep and slow while his lips found hers and consumed her cries of desire. Carla was lost in pleasure, unable to do anything but accept the ecstasy that was being forced upon her.

As she dreamed, the sleeping Carla was dripping pussy juice onto the sheets as she writhed in time with herself in the dream. Her hand was at her pussy, caressing her lips and clit in her sleep. Her moans sounded to the otherwise empty cabin, signaling her rapid approach to orgasm. The two Carlas reached climax at the same time. The dream Carla screaming in ecstasy as she and Harold came together, and the real Carla cumming more sedately as her body stiffened while her pussy quivered around her fingers, the only sound being a slightly louder moan.

When Carla woke up in the morning, the smell of sex was thick in the air and she was lying in a wet spot on the bed. For several minutes, she had difficultly determining whether the dream fuck had been real or not. It was only the lack of semen on the sheets or her body that convinced her that she had simply had the erotic dream of all time.

"I must have it bad for Harold. A dream fuck after only one night? I wonder if my body is trying to tell me something. Dare I go for the real thing? Am I going to make a mistake? Maybe Sherry is right? Maybe I just needed to do something wild and crazy to see that I can enjoy a good hard fuck for what it is?"

Her thoughts continued like this for much of the morning. She had breakfast at the buffet, eating sinful amounts of bacon, scrambled eggs covered in melted cheese and apple crisp. Already, she was comfortable walking around in her swim suit, a sarong and sandals. She retired to the upper deck for more work on her tan, finding Harold there already.

"Hi. Would you care to do my lotion again?"

"I'd love to."

While he was rubbing sunscreen into her skin, he asked, "How was you night? Enough sleep I hope."

"Yes, it was wonderful." She thought for a minute and then rushed forward, before she could talk herself out of it. "I dreamt of you."

"You did? That's amazing! I had a dream about you too. Was I a good guy in your dream?"

Carla blushed as she remembered his cock thrusting deep into her cunt. "Yeah. You were good. What was your dream about?"

"Ah..." Harold seemed to be embarrassed at the question. It was a first for him.

"What's wrong? Was I the evil bitch from hell?"

"No! Definitely not the evil bitch."

"Did we make love?"

Harold coughed.

"We did in mine." Carla could not believe that she had just shared that. She held her breath, waiting for his reaction to her admission.

"In mine, you were wonderful. Sexy, erotic, hot, passionate, insatiable. It seems like we're on the same wavelength."

"Yes, it does. What are we going to do about it?"

"I know what my lower brain wants to do about it."

His oily hands reached around her and held her close. Carla shivered at his touch. Her pussy was responding, yet she felt a stab of fear. Things felt like they were going too fast.

"I'm ... I'm not ready yet. Can we go a little slower?"

He pulled his hands back. "Of course. I would never rush you. We have three weeks to figure out if we really want what our dreams want."

"I'm sorry, Harold. I need time to think. I have to go."

Carla practically ran back to her cabin. Once there, she sat on the bed, shaking like a leaf, talking to herself.

"Carla, you idiot, you'll drive him away. This is too fast. I've only known him one day. Trust your feelings. I don't know what I feel. God, I'm so wet. I want his cock in me. I want to suck him and fuck him. You don't know him well enough, girl. Damn it! Can't I just enjoy a fuck even once? It's been so long. There's time, I don't have to decide this minute. I want him so badly."

Her mind awash in confused thoughts and debating itself, she flung herself down on the bed and cried. All the loneliness that had accumulated over the years burst out of her. For three years there had been no man in her life. It wasn't so much the sex she missed, but the connection with an opposite. There was no one to share her life with. No one to share the fears and triumphs and desires and dislikes with on a daily basis. Her heart and soul yearned for that special person she no longer believed she could find. Because she no longer believed, she misinterpreted her needs as sex. If she couldn't have what she truly needed, her heart would settle for the drug that would make the pain go away for a time, sex, raw hard sex.

She spent the rest of the week, enjoying Harold's company or in her cabin, wrestling with her dreams and desires. Harold was a gentleman through out the week. The two ate together regularly. They danced in the lounges and walked in the moonlight in the evenings. Each night, he would escort her to her cabin, lingering long enough to give her a chance to invite him in, but not pressing the issue. Each day, she felt she had drawn closer to him. Back in the city, this much contact with a man would have taken months of dates. By the end of the week, she felt like she had truly come to know him. Every night, she dreamed of sleeping with him. The first scuba trip passed without Carla going on it.

She had made up her mind by the morning of the ninth day of the cruise. Carla had no idea whether sleeping with Harold would end up a mistake or not. She did know that she would never forgive herself if she didn't, at least once. Even if it didn't work out in the long run, she knew she wanted the sex. Sherry was right. She needed to be fucked, well and truly fucked. It might as well be with someone who was simply hot.

She put on her most revealing swim suit before she left. She had a continental breakfast and found Harold on the sundeck again. His eyebrow raised at the sight of her in the far more revealing swim suit. He again rubbed sunscreen onto her skin. When his finger strayed slightly under one of the cups on her top, Carla stiffened briefly and then relaxed with a moan. Encouraged, he let himself slip under the edge of the other cup and the edges of her bottom. He never made contact with her pussy, but did feel the quiver in her loins at the probing intrusion.

Both had been avoiding talking about their dreams and desires for each other. She did spend the entire day with him, even asking that he stay and watch her scuba lesson. The tension between them grew steadily as the day wore on. Harold realized that something had changed in Carla today. She seemed ready. Each time he applied more sunscreen and she showed no sign of resisting it, his fingers grew bolder at the edges of her suit. As they watched the sun set beneath the waves, he held her close, her back against his chest. One hand rested on her breast and the other on the front of her suit bottom. Carla made no move to remove them. Carla made the fateful crossing. She had accepted the sexual contact, her willingness to go farther was almost shouted out by the way she leaned back into him.

He turned her around and bent to her lips. He kissed gently once, then harder, pulling her to him. Her arms reached around him as well and her lips opened at the slight knocking of his tongue. While one hand held her head to his, the other caressed her back, sliding in the traces of lotion still on her. Her hands were at his back, holding him close, pressing his cock against her pussy. When they broke the kiss, he took her hand and led her to his cabin.

Inside the cabin, they embraced again. Their kiss was even more passionate than the one on the deck. His hand slipped down the back of her swim bottom, running his fingers along the crack of her ass. His other hand caressed her back. One of her hands rubbed against his back while she ran her fingers through his hair. When they came up for air, she brought her hands to his front, running one over his chest while the other went lower and felt along the outline his rigid cock. His hands cupped her small breasts, the thumbs slipping under the bra of her suit to brush the nipples directly.

Carla's need was growing with every second of contact between them. Her whole body was tingling in anticipation of the coming ecstasy. In spite of not having been swimming for five hours, the front of her bathing suit's bottom was damp. She could feel the damp part of his suit as she massaged his cock through the fabric. Harold slipped the cups off her breasts, revealing the engorged areolas and erect nipples. With a hungry lust in his eyes, he bent forward and licked at one, and then the other, breast.

They backed toward the bed until Carla's legs were touching the edge. While her breasts were being worshiped by his mouth, she slipped her suit down her body, letting it fall, unnoticed to the floor. Carla moaned in pleasure as Harold's teeth lightly scraped across her sensitive nipples. He bent her over backwards and lightly held her hands behind her to keep her breasts pushed as far forward as possible.

Harold released her hands and breasts, pushing down on her shoulders. Carla resisted his pressure, saying, "No. Condom first" He reached over to the night stand and pulled several packets out of the drawer, all but one dropping on the stand's top. He handed her the packet. One hand held the top of her head while the other pulled his swim shorts down, releasing his throbbing cock from its prison. She rolled the condom over his cock, smearing some precum across her fingers at first. Slowly, he pushed himself into her mouth with a groan of pleasure. The warmth that enveloped him caused him to gasp and pull Carla's head closer in.

As his cock pressed farther into her mouth, she felt her stomach tighten and her throat develop the first tickling of a gag. She managed to pull back a little and run her tongue across his sheathed cock. She could feel him throbbing with every swipe of her tongue and she tried to pull her head off before he came. His hand exerted more pressure as she resisted him. When she felt the tensing in his cock, she took him in deeper. He cried out and spurted into the tip of the rubber.

He kissed her again as his free hand peeled the condom off and dropped it in the waste basket. With her cunt free, Harold was able to slide his hand against her wetness and across her clit. Carla gasped and thrust against his hand as shivers flowed through her body. Harold leaned her back against the bed with her waist at the edge. He knelt down between her legs and brought his lips across her pussy lips. Carla started thrusting against his face as his tongue continued to lick at the folds of her pussy lips. As her thrusts became more energetic, he probed her entrance, allowing her own motions to fuck her cunt with his tongue.

It took very little of this for Carla to go over the edge. With a scream, her body went rigid and her pussy quivered around the tongue that had impaled itself inside her. Harold brought his hand up to diddle her clit while she was cumming, sending her orgasm into overdrive. Her back arched and her hands flailed and grasped at the covers on the bed. Her breath caught as her body was overwhelmed by the pleasure-wave that rolled over her. Only when her back descended to the bed, did Harold pull back from her cunt and let her finish coming down from her climax.

"That was so great," Carla said as she caught her breath. "I want to fuck you tonight. Will you make love to me tonight?"

"Yes, I think that will be possible." He stood up, revealing his already semi-erect cock. He sat down beside her and ran his hand across her breasts. She purred at his touch and caressed his ass. She sat up, with some help from him and brought one hand to his cock, sliding her fingers through the slick remains of his semen that was on it. Slowly, it grew in her hand, leaking precum to add to the slickness. Carla's pussy was juicing again in response to the feelings on her breasts.

They leaned in to kiss again, falling back on the bed, their hands still at one another. This time, they went slower, taking time to get to know their bodies. In the midst of their activity, he fumbled for another condom from the night stand. Carla was amazed at how fast he recovered. A new condom was slipped over his cock. When he thrust into her, she cried out. Side by side, they thrust against each other while their hands roamed everywhere, craving the touch of the other's body. Carla came once, her body freezing again while he continued to thrust with increased fervency. His mouth, pinned against hers, consumed her screams, as her cunt tried to milk his cock of the cum it was not yet ready to give.

The extra stimulation from her orgasm propelled him quickly towards his own climax. As she came down from her climax, she tensed her pussy as much as she could, reveling in the moans that accompanied each clench against his cock. He came in the middle of one of her clenches so that she could feel every pulse of his cock as he emptied cum into the rubber. She reached down and diddled her clit to send herself over the edge one more time.

As they came down from their respective orgasms, she whispered, "I love you." As she did Carla did not notice the momentary tensing in his body.

They slept in his room, arms wrapped around one another. In the middle of the night, they made love again, this time with less haste and more tenderness. When Carla woke in the morning, Harold was not there. A note on the bed stand, next to the cabin phone, indicated that he had gone to a rock climbing class and that he hoped to see her for lunch. She showered in his room and redonned her swim suit to make the trip to her room. There, she put on a pair of shorts and a tank top, then headed to the main dining area to catch a continental breakfast.

The ship was scheduled to stop at their third island today (the two had not gone ashore on the first two). They would spend two days there. The first day had the second scuba excursion planned. This one was in a shallow reef and would not test anyone's skills very much. Like the one Carla had missed, the area could be explored by snorklers and would give the students their first sea water experience. The 37 students were to go out in groups of six, accompanied by two instructors.

Carla signed up for the third trip, allowing her time to meet Harold for lunch first. The couple enjoyed a meal at the soup and salad bar while Harold listened to Carla talk about how much she was looking forward to the diving trip. She reminisced about dives she had made in the distant past.

After lunch, Carla changed into one of her swim suits and joined the group at the launch. They were to take 15 minutes traveling to the reef, two hours diving (including anyone's attempts to qualify for a basic certificate), and another 15 minutes returning. The passengers were talking excitedly as the launch bounced across the waves towards the reef. Once the boat was anchored, she instructor gave final instructions.

"Okay, folks. Remember, we use the buddy system out here. No one swims alone, no matter what. Each pair must remain in sight of either myself or Hans. This is the safest dive we'll make, but no dive is a cake walk. I don't want anyone trying to take samples back with them. We have souvenirs in the gift shop if you just have to have a shell or some other underwater treasure. Remember, we are not in an aquarium. These are wild animals in their natural habitat and will defend themselves if they feel threatened. No touching! Everyone clear?"

When they nodded their heads, he gave the final instructions. "I'll be qualifying anyone who thinks they're up to it at the beginning. Hans will take those who are already qualified or aren't ready straight away. If you're not qualified, stay on the surface. Okay, let's get in the water."

Carla and her partner, an older lady named Jasmine, stayed and qualified. Like Carla, Jasmine was requalifying after a long dearth of diving experience. Once they were done, they swam into the heart of the reef. The two women swam with practiced ease past the colorful coral. Their pace was slow, allowing for them to take in the beauty of the animals and plants that made the reef a thriving natural community. They saw a school of clown fish heading towards the surface, into the glare of the sun. Following it, they were caught be surprise when the school scattered, revealing three jellyfish descending.

Carla, recalling that the diaphanous sea creatures could have poisonous tendrils, pushed Jasmine to one side and tried to swim away. The push delayed her enough that one jellyfish grazed her arm with a touch of fire. It was all she could do to not scream in pain from the agony that lanced across her skin. She could see through tear filled eyes, a red rash forming at the point of contact. As her right hand came around to grasp the burning left arm, Jasmine appeared and clamped her hand on Carla, shaking her head and pointing up.

The senior dropped a dye marker to indicate a problem and guided the suffering Carla to the surface. As soon as they broke water, Jasmine spat out her regulator and asked, "Can you breathe okay?"

Groaning in pain, Carla nodded her head. Jasmine nodded her head, visibly relaxing. "Good. It's not a nerve toxin then. If you touch the rash, it could spread."

Hans appeared then. "What's the problem?"

"Carla was touched by a jellyfish and there's a painful rash on her arm. She can breathe okay."

Hans pointed to the launch. "Take her to the launch and get her back to the ship. There is ointment in the first aid kit. Have the doctor look at her. I'm afraid Jasmine, you'll have to abort your dive as well since you have no buddy."

Jasmine sighed. "I know. Maybe I can join one of the other groups?"

"We'll see. I think we do have an odd person in the last group."

Once the ointment was applied, Carla was in far less pain. On board ship, the doctor gave her a specific remedy for the poison that had, by now, caused her skin to blister. She was told to stay out of the water for the next several days and to check back in with him in three days or if it got worse. Carla and Harold were planning to spend more time together after the dive, so she went to his cabin to link up with him.

When she got there, she was about to knock when she heard him talking. "Yeah, it looks like we're going to be here for at least two weeks ... They got a virus that wiped data through out their entire network. We have to check each hard drive individually to make sure the virus is gone and the data recovered ... Yeah, honey, I love you too ... How are the kids... ?"

Carla stifled a cry and backed away from the door. Harold, if that was his real name, was married. He had a family. There was a wrenching in her chest as she realized that she had been lied to and used. She ran to her cabin, desperate to reach the sanctuary of her room before the tears flowed from her eyes. Once in her room, her control was lost and she collapsed on the bed, sobbing uncontrollably.

Carla felt like she would never be able to trust again, never be able to risk again. This cruise was her big 'do something spectacularly spontaneous' trip and it took only four days for the consequences of being wild and crazy to bite her in the ass. She realized that she could not win. Her normal approach to love and romance had left her still single after 20 plus years. Her trip on the wild side had broken her heart. Why did she even try anymore? She resigned herself to stop trying for love. As for the cruise, she would spend the rest of it in her cabin.

She ended up crying her self to sleep. Harold's knocks on her cabin door went unheard that afternoon. When she awoke, the sun was hanging low on the horizon. Her belly rumbled in hunger. She ordered dinner from room service and spent the rest of the day in her bed, eating comfort food and reading her romances. Now she envied the heroines of the books, jealous that they had an author looking over them, making sure that they had happiness in the end.

She did not remember falling asleep that night. A knocking on the door woke her up. She realized that she was still wearing the bathing suit she had gone scuba diving in. Peeking out the peephole, she saw Harold. Anger burning, she pulled the door open.

"What do you want?" she yelled.

"Whoa. What was that about?"

"Oh, I don't know. What do you think I'm mad about, daddy?" The sarcasm dripped like acid from her voice.

Harold's face blanched for a moment at the question. Then an almost snarling leer filled his face. "If you were worried about that, you would have asked before you fucked me."


Carla's hand left a red imprint on his face. "You bastard! You hide that you're married and it's my fault? You arrogant, self righteous, son of a bitch!. I don't ever want to see you again! Get out. Get out of my sight!" She slammed the door in his shocked face and collapsed on the bed in tears again.

Carla spent the next three days locked in her room, subsisting on room service and romance novels. On the fourth day since fourth scuba dive, the fourteenth day of the cruise, Carla realized she was going stir crazy. She had read every book she had brought twice. She noticed that the ship was scheduled to stop at another island that day. There would be a four day stop here so that the passengers could visit a local village and experience true Caribbean life. The caving dive was also to take place here on the third day of the stop.

"Some time off the ship would do me good," she muttered to herself. "Maybe they have more books I can buy."

She ventured out for breakfast. Harold was visible in the distance with another woman. When he noticed her, he steered his new conquest away from Carla. Carla did not care. After their very loud blow up, anyone who didn't know what kind of cad he was, deserved what she got. She would, if she had the chance, warn the woman about who he really was. At least Carla would not have to suffer his presence. When they anchored shortly before lunch, Carla decided to go ashore. She had dressed in a sundress this time and was looking forward to some shopping.

Eager to escape the ship and Harold's presence, Carla took the first launch to the dock. The town of Chrisobos did not have a major port, preventing the Mystic Queen from docking directly. The town was built around a central square where the main well was located. It seemed that the major industry for Chrisobos was fishing. They passed numerous small fishing boats on they way in and the dock was practically overrun with services to support a fishing industry, such as it was.

In the central square, several women were setting up small booths. Baskets of knick knacks or other locally produced items were visible. This little impromptu shopping mall seemed to be the only bow the town made to the sudden influx of tourists. The other businesses, those in more permanent buildings, looked as if they were selling the same things they always sold to the locals. There was occasional foot traffic to the well by women or children with containers for water. Everyone seemed friendly and chatted with the visitors, but no one other than those with the booths initiated any contact.

Unlike most of her fellow passengers, Carla wandered away from the booths that were designed to sell to tourists and visited some of the permanent local shops. She picked up a few local spices that she hoped to use in her cooking back home. The food items available were all fresh and perishable. She smiled at the site of the ship's boson negotiating for supplies to take back to the ship. It seemed that the ship's menu was to get some local flavor added.

There were also shops that sold modern goods. The selection was limited, but they had the ability to order items to be shipped in. The stores had many modern conveniences, such as electric lighting and modern toilets, so they were not the primitive, backward society that the tourist booths in the square tried to portray. She wondered how many of the people taking water from the well actually needed to make the trip. It seemed that even the 'authentic' Caribbean lifestyle had to be manufactured for the tourists.

There was a local diner set back from the square, on the edge of where the private dwellings were located. Inside, she found only a couple of other non-locals sitting at tables. While she did not recognize them, she assumed they were also passengers. Carla took a table against a wall and waited a few minutes. She quickly determined that you ordered at the counter and the food was brought out to your table. She walked up to the counter and studied the menu written on a chalkboard above the counter.

All of the food choices seemed to be local dishes. Beverages included many familiar names such as Coke, Pepsi and Budweiser. There were a couple of drinks that she did not recognize and assumed to be local in nature. The man behind the counter waited patiently for her to make a choice.

"Excuse me miss." A well tanned gentleman with a strong Caribbean accent, had joined her at the counter. "You seem to be having trouble making a choice from the menu. Can I be so bold as to offer a suggestion?"

Carla looked at the man with a suspicious eye. "Fool me once..." she thought to herself. He wasn't bad looking. He stood about 6 feet tall and weighed around 180 pounds. He was clearly in good shape, trim with a firmness all over that spoke of little excess fat. His general appearance was rugged and, while there were no calluses on his hands, the skin was rough, speaking of some form of physical labor in his life. If she chose men on their appearance, she would already be putting the move on this one.

"That would be nice, mister..."

"Sanchez, Quinn Sanchez."

"Thank you Mr. Sanchez. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with most of these dishes."

"If I were you, I'd get Anna's rice shrimp, deep fried pineapple and the Maluga draft. You do like garlic? There's a fair amount of garlic in the shrimp."

"I love garlic. I'll take what he said," she ordered, turning to the man waiting. Looking back at Quinn, she added, "I'm sure I will love it, Mr. Sanchez."

"Please, Quinn. My employees don't even call me Mr. Sanchez."

"Very well, Quinn. I'm Carla." She held her hand out to shake his.

He took her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it with a light touch of his lips. "My pleasure. Not many of the tourists make it as far as Anna's. But, I suspect that you're not an average anything, let alone tourist."

Carla's hand tensed as he kissed it, wondering what he intended and whether he was married as well. Given how courteous he had been, she couldn't rebuff him. She walked back towards her table while Quinn went back to his. The meal was brought out shortly and she found it to be fabulous. She could taste the garlic as well as other flavors in both the rice and the shrimp. She recognized the effects of long term marinating. The Maluga draft was a dark, rich beer with a hint of nut in the flavor. As someone who always had liked pineapple, she was able to savor the deep fried flavor that accentuated the sweet and sour taste of the tropical fruit.

For his part, Quinn found that he was drawn to Carla. He wasn't sure why yet. There was simply some quality about her that he found attractive. He watched her eating Anna's signature dish. She visibly savored every bite without making a big show. He knew he wanted to get to know her better.

"So, how was the food?" Quinn had walked up next to her, without her noticing, again.

"It was great. Thanks for the suggestion."

"I'm glad. I'd hate for one of the few discerning people to visit us to get the wrong impression."

"I'm not so certain about discerning," she muttered under her breath.

Quinn did not miss the hint of pain in her voice. Someone had hurt her recently. She was both vulnerable and leery. A gentle hand was called for. He found that her being hurt bothered him. He wasn't conscious of why, he just did not like that she was in pain.

"Come now. It is clear to me that you are someone who can tell the gold from the dross. After all, you managed to avoid Chrisobos' version of a tourist trap. If I were to take a wild guess, I'd say you work in a profession that requires you to make discriminating judgments between numerous options where the differences are small and the possible effects large. How am I doing?"

Carla was impressed. He had pretty much described what import/export was all about. "Quite well, actually. Let me try. I'd say that you work as the leader in a profession that is labor intensive. There is a lot of hard work involved, in the outdoors, yet you don't do much of the actual labor now."

"Ah. More proof of your discernment. I own a tobacco plantation about twenty miles from town. And what do you do when you're not visiting the Caribbean?"

"I work in the import/export business." Carla found herself drawn into conversation with Quinn, in spite of her misgivings. The reason Harold had been able to fool her so well was his ability to meet her needs in a man. Quinn met those same needs. He was intelligent and articulate. He genuinely seemed to enjoy talking with her. Carla had not been lying when she had told Sherry that she needed to be able to talk to a man about matters of substance and to be able to get to know and be known by him.

They talked for hours, the subjects of conversation drifting with time. She learned that the island had first been visited by the cruise line 15 years ago. In return for allowing themselves to be a destination, the line invested in the invisible infrastructure that enabled modern society. In the last 15 years, electricity and plumbing had been made available to the people of the village. While much of their lives were unchanged, the quality of those lives had improved. The ship's doctor used the three days to set up a small clinic to deal with any number of physical problems that had accumulated in the time since the last visit.

Carla found that she shared much of herself with Quinn. By the time night had fallen, he knew that she was the supervisor of her division, that she was single and unattached, that she had very strong opinions on the separation of work and play. Without being told, he was able to deduce that she had had few boyfriends, none of whom had gotten close to marriage. Quinn now sensed that her pain was because someone had broken her heart very recently. He could tell that she did not believe she would find love, a fact he had difficulty fathoming. To Quinn, she was a woman that a man could love. He found Carla to be intelligent and insightful, with a sharp wit and an easy laugh, when she allowed herself to. She accepted her body the way it was and wasn't starving herself to make her body some weird caricature of the female form nor was she trying to be what she was not by adding to the modest breasts nature had given her.

In fact, Quinn Sanchez was becoming interested with Carla Baxter. He wanted her and would do anything to achieve that goal. Carla sensed his obsession and believed that it was physical. She was different from the women on the island. She imagined that he saw her as an exotic attraction, one to be pursued and captured for a brief while. The memory of incredible sex was fresh in her mind and she was rebounding from Harold's betrayal. For the one of those rare times in her life, Carla found that she wanted a one night stand. She wanted to be seduced into Quinn's bed and shown ecstatic pleasures, only to disappear from his world and life the next day. She wasn't sure she could let him yet. The pain of Harold's betrayal was too fresh, too painful. What he wanted in his obsession was something she was unable to even contemplate. By the time she knew what he really wanted, it would be too late.

After dinner at Anna's, Quinn walked her back to the dock where she could catch the launch back to the ship. She allowed him to hold her hand on the way, and she gave him a light kiss on the cheek before she left. Carla was in her own little world on the trip back. She slept without tears for the first time in four nights. When she woke, her first thought was of Quinn. Would he be there?

She dressed in shorts and a tank top over her swim suit. The first thing she had noticed on the island was that dress there was very casual. Even Quinn had been wearing jeans and a polo shirt. She packed a day bag with her towel, sunscreen and sunglasses. She grabbed a quick breakfast from the buffet and was on the first launch to the island. This trip, she took a little time to look at what the ladies in the booths had to sell. She used the opportunity to subtly ask them about Quinn Sanchez. She was able to confirm that he was, indeed, a bachelor, and that he owned a plantation on the far side of the island. He always visited the town when the ship was here, charming the pants off (sometimes literally) the unattached females who visited the town.

Reassured that he had been honest with her and knowing that his intentions matched her own, she explored the outer areas of the town that she had become distracted from by his company. In the areas beyond where the average tourist would visit, she found life taking place instead of being staged. Children were playing and women were doing chores around their houses that anyone from anywhere would have recognized. There were water pumps in three different locations. She even saw two jeeps parked behind a couple of the houses. While she had her camera, Carla did not take any pictures. It didn't seem appropriate to snap photos of people's daily lives.

Two children bolted past her, yelling something she didn't catch. A woman yelled after them in Spanish, "Carlos, Maria, behave yourselves. You almost knocked the lady down." Turning to Carla, she apologized. "I'm very sorry miss. Are you okay?"

"That's all right," Carla answered in the same language. "They were just playing. I suspect you'll be happy they have run off some of that energy by tonight."

"Yes, you are right, I will. Do you have children of your own?"

"No, I'm afraid not. My sister does and I've seen what they can be like if they don't play hard during the day."

The villager gave a knowing smile. "Are you with the cruise ship?"

"Yes I am. My name's Carla, Carla Baxter."

"I'm Maria. If you don't mind my asking, it's unusual for the cruise people to come to the real village. Why are you here?" There was a hint of caution in her voice, as if she had to suspect something, but didn't want to.

"I don't know for sure. I guess I wanted to see what life here was really about. The town looks so ... artificial. It's what I might expect to see, but too perfectly what I expect."

"And what do you see now, miss."

"I see normal. It's not how people live in the states, but it is too. I guess it's nice to see that children still play, housework still needs to be done and mothers still worry about their children. Granted, I wouldn't be cooking bread in a communal oven made of stones, but I would be making sure I had bread in the house."

Maria's expression softened. She could see a good soul here. "Would you like to join my family for lunch?"

"I would love to, provided you let me help in some way. I warn you though, I'm not a good cook." "At least not over a fire," she added in her head.

"Can you clean dishes?"

Carla laughed. "Yes, I think I can clean the occasional dish."

Carla spent the next hour heating the water and cleaning the dishes that had been used at breakfast. While it was strange to have to heat the water over a fire first, the process was no different than what she did at home. She knew that Sherry would never believe that she had spent part of her vacation cleaning someone else's dishes and asked Maria to take a picture of her at the chore. Lunch was a simple affair, just a blend of three vegetables steamed over the fire with fresh bread and butter. Carla noted that the only animals in the village were goats and knew where the unusual taste in the butter came from.

It was as lunch was finishing that she heard it. The sound of a diesel engine was coming out of the bush. Several of the children jumped up and ran off towards the sound, screaming "Quinn! Quinn's back!" Maria saw the look in Carla's face when she heard the children.

"Ah, you've met Quinn."

"Yes, he suggested what to have for lunch at Anna's yesterday."

"You know that Quinn will try to sleep with you, no?"

Carla had become very comfortable with Maria in the last couple of hours. "God, I hope so," she said without thinking.

"Ah. So you are willing. That is good. Quinn is a lonely man. The cruise ships, they help him fight the loneliness."

The truck was coming into view, creeping along with a children's escort. "Why is he lonely? I would think he would have no trouble finding someone to share his life with."

"I cannot say. Something or someone hurt him in the past. I think he is bitter with love. So he sleeps with the tourists and then stays on his plantation. There are always women, on the boats, who want the pleasure and no emotions. It is good for him, and I'm glad that this time he has found someone nice. Be sure to let him seduce you. It is something he needs."

"I'll do that. It's kind of fun to be seduced, I think." The two women shared a knowing smile.

Quinn's pickup had finally made it to the edge of the village. He got out and was mobbed by the kids. His hand appeared from his pocket holding a bunch of hard candies which he distributed with a practiced ease. When he looked up and saw Carla, his smile increased in size. He made his way over to her. Carla decided that not wading through every child in the village was a wise course of action.

"Ah, Carla. I see you found the true Chrisobos. What do you think?"

"It seems very normal. I enjoyed a chance to wash some dishes." From her face, he could tell that she honestly did enjoy that mundane household chore.

Turning to Maria, he exclaimed in mock horror, "Maria! You put this pretty lady to work?"

"No Quinn. I offered her lunch. She insisted on working. Who am I to deny a tourist that experience if they wish?"

"So, what would the tourist lady wish to do today?"

"I don't suppose you know how to swim?" she asked mischievously.

"Carla, this is a small island. Most children swim before they walk. The correct question is, 'Do I know where the best swimming spots are?' The answer is yes. If you'll hop into my limo here," he waved his hand at the pickup, "we can be there in a matter of minutes."

"Lead on Mr. Sanchez, lead on."

They talked as he drove the old truck through the bush. The topics were not of importance, just the fact that they seemed able to communicate with each other about anything. When he stopped, she looked ahead and saw a sandy beach leading into a lagoon. There was a slight ripple on the water's surface from the little of the ocean's waves that managed to survive the breakers that protected the lagoon.

"I assume you have a suit in that bag of yours?" he asked.

"No, I have a suit on under my clothes." With that, she pulled her top off and slipped out of her shorts, revealing the form fitting single piece suit she had worn.

Quinn eyed her with obvious approval, something she was unused to. Her breasts tingled under his gaze and she felt a rush of heat flow through her that had nothing to do with the tropical climate around her. He pulled his own shirt off, letting Carla see his chest for the first time. Like his arms and legs, it looked lean, yet with strength. She could picture herself leaning into that chest with pleasure.

They swam for hours, broken up with bouts of sunbathing. He showed her some of the beauty under the water and above it. They watched birds, fish and insects, all dressed out in brilliant colors. They also watched one another. They were able to laugh together at a bird struggling with a nut. For several hours, Carla forgot about Harold and the heart ache. By the time the sun was low on the horizon, both knew the game they were playing and the parts they were assigned. The end of the play was predetermined and both accepted that with joy.

They were sitting on the beach, watching the sun as it neared the horizon. Quinn put his arm around her and pulled her in close. He kissed the top of her head and she sighed. Carla leaned her head against his shoulder. One arm slipped behind his back, returning his embrace. When he bent down towards her again, she raised her face to receive his next kiss on her lips. It was a brief kiss that she renewed quickly with more passion. Their mouths opened and their tongues intertwined. Carla's other hand reach behind his head and pulled him tight. They lay back in the sand, still embracing and kissing.

Quinn brought one hand to the shoulder of her suit, slipping a finger beneath it. When she didn't complain, he pulled it down. Carla's breast revealed itself in all its unremarkable glory. Quinn's head moved lower, caressing her nipple with a light touch of his tongue. Carla bent her head back, thrusting her chest towards his mouth. He sucked her areola in and letting his teeth lightly drag against her. She moaned as her nipple hardened under his touch.

He slipped her other breast loose and let his fingers play over that feminine instrument. Carla lay back and gave him better access to her body. Quinn's hand slipped down to between her legs and felt the dampness that was seeping through her swim suit. He rubbed his hand against the fabric of her suit, feeling the pressure when she thrust against him. His other hand began to pull her suit down.

Carla suddenly found herself in Harold's arms. She remembered giving in to him and hearing him later, telling his wife how much he loved her. An anguished cry escaped her lips and she rolled away from Quinn, clasping her suit to her chest. Quinn raised on one elbow and looked at her, confusion on his face, with just a little hurt.

"Carla. What's wrong?"

"I ... I can't. I don't know. I can't. Not right now."

"What is it? What can I... ?"

"No. It's not you. I just can't. It's too soon..."

Carla could not bring herself to admit that she had been seduced and betrayed by a married man. She could not admit the depth of the hurt. The desire and pain were both evident in her eyes.

"Please. Can you take me back to town? I can't tonight. Maybe..." She left the promise? unfinished. She found that she was at war with herself. She wanted him, she wanted to give in and let him totally seduce her. Her ability to allow herself to be seduced had been damaged. Harold raised up in her mind and she hated it. The bastard had stolen her capacity for romance, the ability to trust.

Quinn was hurting. He wanted her and knew that she wanted him. Yet he decided to not force her. His memory was stirred. Melanie. He had tried to force her and now she was gone. That pain had not surfaced for a long while. He had wanted Melanie as strongly as he wanted Carla. He knew that he could not bear to lose her again. For the first time in a decade, he had found someone who took away the pain of losing Melanie, instead of just covering it up. If Carla left him, the pain would be redoubled. He wondered how he could gain her trust and convince her to stay, if only for a little while.

Quinn now realized that Carla's pain, whatever had caused it, had happened on the cruise ship. Could she come to want to leave the ship? As they gathered their things and drove to the docks, Quinn was sure that he could win her forever if she did not return to the ship when it left. But how to accomplish that first step? It turns out, sometimes people just get lucky, or unlucky, depending on your point of view.

Carla let Quinn know that she would be back in town after the cave dive. She cried the whole trip back to the ship. Her body ached with need and her heart yearned to touch another's. She despaired that she could not even seek the balm of sex to hide the pain. The other passengers sat apart from her, not looking. That night, she cried herself to sleep.

In the morning that pain had receded. Carla was looking forward to the cave dive that afternoon. She took breakfast in her cabin, not wanting to risk seeing Harold again. She arrived on deck for the dive 15 minutes early. Several of the other women in the dive group seemed to make a point to not be near her. Jasmine, the senior she had dived with earlier was the exception.

The group was smaller this time. Only those who had their qualifications were allowed to cave dive. After last minute instructions on cave and dive safety, the dozen divers and their two guides boarded the launch and set out for the underwater cave site. The plan was to dive the cave and then return to the town for any last day shopping or sight seeing.

Carla found the cave dive to be unlike anything she had done before. The environment of the confining cave was so different, yet still beautiful. It was as if they had entered another world, a world where light was the intruder and the sightless were at home. The two hours of the dive were over too soon. Once everyone was aboard, the launch took them to the town.

When Carla came ashore, she saw her. The woman that she had seen with Harold was at one of the booths looking at native wood carvings. She felt a twinge of responsibility and walked over to the woman. She had just finished her purchase when Carla arrived.

"Excuse me."

The lady looked up at Carla with an unfriendly countenance. "What is it?" came the unpleasant voice.

"He's married."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Harold. He's actually married."

The lady's faced flushed red. Her voice was unrestrained and carried far. "You conniving, manipulating bitch!" Carla was dumfounded at the unexpected attack. "He warned me you might try some cheap stunt like this. You cheat on your husband with him and then try to smear his character after he finds out."

The lady's hand came out of nowhere and slapped Carla's face. Carla took two steps back, her hand over the red imprint of the hand on her cheek. Her mouth hung open in shock. Carla looked around and saw that everyone was looking at her. From their faces, they all believed that Carla was the cheating spouse and Harold was the innocent lover. Her eyes filled with tears and Carla ran blindly away from the town and the people's stares.

She seemed to run into a brick wall that caught her before she fell. Looking up, she saw Quinn. Her tears became sobs as she clasped to him like a life ring on the ocean. Anger swelled in Quinn as Carla's pain rolled over him. He held her, letting her tears soak his shirt.

When her tears slowed, she tried to speak. "I can't go ... They were all looking at me ... I can't face..."

"Carla?" he asked, "would you like to come up to the plantation for the night?"

"Please, yes. I just can't go back to the ship, not tonight. Maybe never."

As he took her to his truck, he smiled a grim smile. She had come to him, though he did not want it to be this way. Never the less, he could try to win her now.

The drive to the plantation took half an hour. Her tears had stopped by then. The mansion looked just like the mansions that she had seen in pictures of the south in the days of slavery. Sprawling and white, it was surrounded by a stone fence on all sides. There were two entrances. One led to the fields themselves, currently full of tobacco plants at near full growth. The other was the one they were driving towards. There were several out building on the grounds themselves. The lawn was carefully manicured with decorative bushes forming natural walkways. She could see a couple of people about, doing things she did not immediately recognize.

He parked the truck in front of the main entrance and led her into the house. An elderly woman was standing in the entryway waiting for them.

"Master Quinn. You're back early," the woman noted.

"Good evening Bonita. This is Carla. She will be staying for dinner and the night. Would you make sure that Juan makes extra for dinner?"

"At once, Master Quinn." Bonita scurried off to pass the message.

"Welcome to my home, Carla."

"It's very beautiful, Quinn, and very large. How many people do you need to keep it up?"

"Not many, really. Much of the space isn't used these days. Bonita keeps the place in decent shape. Juan does all my cooking. Carlos is the grounds keeper. They are all that remains of the larger staff that was here when my father was alive. There are a dozen workers for the plantation, but they have their own house near the fields. Fifteen people plus the two of us."

"I was a little surprised that you're not a part of a larger conglomerate. I wouldn't think that an independent plantation could survive."

"If we tried to sell the tobacco to cigarette companies, I would never make it. We make gourmet cigars. With the ban on Cuban cigars in the states, we can offer faux Cubans and fill the hole in the market. I dread the day Castro dies. That will probably end the ban and undercut my ability to sell my product. I guess I'll have to sell the plantation once that happens, and become an employee instead of an owner."

"So this is a fairly small operation?"

"Yes. I think we make about a million cigars per year. With that low production, we can ask a high price and make enough to keep this place open."

"How do you get them to the states? You're not on the coast and the dock at the town is hardly suited to serving cargo ships. In fact, that small a production would not bring ships here."

"There's an airstrip on the far side of the fields. I have a small puddle jumper that can make St. Croix where I can sell them to a wholesaler. It's also how we get the supplies we need to keep the place running."

They had been walking the whole time they talked and had ended up in a library. The walls were covered with bookshelves. Books filled the room. Carla's eyes widened at the largest personal library she had ever seen. She momentarily forgot Quinn and wandered the room, taking in the titles. There were classics, pulps, new releases and every other type and style of book she could think of. There was even an entire shelf given over to romances.

Turning to her host, she whispered in awe, "Quinn. This is fantastic. Is this all yours?"

"It was my mother's, originally. I've added to it with things I like to read, but I'm not the reader she was. There's another room in the house with dozens of boxes with books in them. She would add books by removing some and storing them. She would also rotate the stored books back into the library. I remember seeing her in here with a box open, a book in her hand, the rotation temporarily forgotten as yet another book she loved once caught her attention again. I know you love to read, so I thought you'd appreciate my mother's passion."

"I do. I do appreciate it. I could spend an eternity here, enjoying each book, discovering the secrets locked inside each page of every volume." Turning to him again, "Quinn, you must have loved her very much to have kept her dream alive for so long."

Carla saw the first hint of the pain that Maria had mentioned move briefly across his face. She wondered what could have taken such love and linked it with such pain. She was almost sorry she was not going to get to know this man any better.

He showed her the rest of the house that was currently in use. The upper floors and the basement were not used by anyone. There were rooms for Bonita and Juan. Carlos had a small house on the grounds where he kept to himself. Carla got the impression that several of the main floor rooms were not really used either, but were maintained simply because there was no effective way to close them off. By the time his tour was over, dinner was ready.

They didn't eat in the main dining room. In fact, Carla wasn't sure it had been used in years. Apparently, Quinn did not have meals for a dozen or more people these days. Dinner was the last thing Carla expected to eat on a Caribbean island. The spaghetti and meatballs was scrumptious. The garlic bread had plenty of garlic to taste and the salad would have put an Olive Garden salad to shame. The conversation continued to flow easily between them over a wide variety of subjects. Even when they disagreed about something, the discussion never descended to the level of argument.

After dinner, Quinn asked, "Would you care to join me on the veranda?"

"I'd be delighted."

They sat on a suspended swing, looking at the stars in the sky. Carla, who had lived in a city for most of her life, was amazed at the sheer number of stars that were visible. When Quinn put his arm around her waist, she leaned into his side, resting her head on his shoulder. His hand lightly caressed the side of her breast. The fabric of her suit actually enhanced the sensations from his fingers. She let her hand rest on his leg, caressing lightly through his jeans.

Carla could feel her nipples swelling and moaned into his shoulder. Quinn pulled he closer, letting his fingers brush across the nipples hidden under two layers of fabric. Carla pushed gently against his hand to encourage him. Her hand moved closer to his crotch, enjoying the twitch in his leg as she did. Slowly, gently, they explored one another. Her other hand slipped under his shirt, running through the hair on his chest. His other hand caressed her arms, encouraging them to continue their own explorations.

"I can't Quinn. I'm sorry. Maybe..."

"Carla. Who hurt you so badly?"

"There was a man on the ship. I thought he was nice. We slept ... He was married."

"Bastard!" Quinn's anger was somehow reassuring to Carla.

"It's worse. After I confronted him, he spread that I was the married one and that he was the injured lover. It's all over the ship now. I don't know how I can face being on the ship for another seven days."

"Don't. Stay with me. I can fly you to St. Thomas in a few days and you can catch a plane back to the states."

"I don't know. It's tempting."

"You don't have to do anything. Just relax here on the plantation. Visit the village if you like. Actually enjoy the rest of your vacation."

"Can I sleep on it? Let you know in the morning?"

"Sure. We will need enough time to get your bags off the ship."

"Thank you Quinn. This is a very nice offer, even if I decide not to."

"Let me show you to your bed."

Carla was able to sleep the night in relative peace. When she woke, she knew she could not go back to that ship for another six days. The humiliation and stares that would haunt her would be unbearable. She dressed and found Quinn.


"Yes, Carla?"

"I want to stay. How soon can we get to the ship to get my luggage?"

"We can leave now, if you wish."

"Good. The sooner this cruise is over, the better."

Quinn drove her to the town where she was able to catch the first launch back to the Mystic Queen. She first went to see the captain and let him know that she was debarking at the island permanently. He was disappointed, but not surprised.

"I'm sorry you feel the need to do so, Ms. Baxter. I understand why, but I wish you would stay. You do realize that there will be no other ships by here for at least a month?"

"I've made other arrangements to return to the states."

"For what it's worth, Ms. Baxter, the crew does not believe the rumors."

"I appreciate that Captain, I really do. It's not the crew that I want to avoid."

"I'll let the launch know to take you and your bags ashore."

"Thank you Captain."

Two hours later, Carla was back on the island, standing at Quinn's side as the last of the passengers boarded the boat to return to the Mystic Queen. The two returned to the mansion.

Over the next three days, Quinn showed Carla everything about the plantation. She met Juan and Carlos. He explained the history of the island and the plantation. She had to borrow a pair of shoes from Bonita. It seemed the vegetation near the plantation was hard on shoes. Barefoot would be impossible to do for anyone adverse to cutting the soles of their feet ragged.

They spent much time together. Just about everything was a subject of conversation at one point or another. Like she did with Harold, Carla found herself growing close to him. Months of dating were squeezed into just a few days. It didn't take long for the relaxed and carefree atmosphere of the island to dim the memories of the pain that the cruise had brought.

The third night found them on the veranda swing again. Carla was wearing a light pair of shorts and a tank top. Quinn was wearing his ubiquitous jeans and t-shirt. This time, when Quinn started his caresses, she was eager to return them. The bodily explorations of four nights ago were relearned. He leaned over and kissed her gently.

"Quinn, I want..."

"I know. Let me."

He leaned in and kissed her. She met his gentle kiss with a more passionate one. Their tongues probed and enjoyed what they found. Quinn's hands pulled her onto his lap, keeping their lips locked the whole time. One hand was now supporting her weight while the other explored the rest of her body. He roamed over her belly, her sides, her legs, brushing her mound briefly as he did.

Carla broke her kiss long enough to whisper, "Quinn. Don't stop. Take me and make me yours."

"I will. You already are, you just don't know it yet."

Her arms wrapped around his neck when they resumed their kiss. His hand found her pussy and rested there, rubbing slowly through her shorts. She gasped as the fabric of her suit caressed her folds and clit under his ministrations. She broke the kiss to pant and gasp in pleasure, only to have him pull her back into it. He locked her head to his while his hand increased its pressure on her pussy. Unbelievably, she was nearing her climax and he had yet to remove a single article of clothing.

"Oh God." Carla was beginning to wriggle on his lap but found that she was pinned in place by the relentless pressure on her cunt. "I'm going to ... I'm so close ... Oh God, don't stop!"

Quinn smiled at her pleasure, evidenced by not just her cries, but by the moisture that had soaked through the thin fabric of her pants, dampening his hand. A little more pressure and he sent her over the edge. As he felt her body stiffen, he kissed her again, locking his lips to hers and capturing her screams. Carla felt like she had exploded, leaving nothing behind except for her ecstasy. She humped his hand through her orgasm, trying desperately to extend the glorious feelings that were flowing through her.

As she came to her senses, Carla was aware that she was empty, not yet fulfilled. "Quinn, it's not enough. I need you. I need you inside me. Please, take me. I want you in my mouth and my pussy." Her dislike of cum in her mouth vanished as her lust overcame her. That rational part of her that knew depression would come after this one night stand, weighed the cost and found it a reasonable price this time.

Quinn picked her up. With seemingly no effort, he carried her to his bedroom. He placed her on the California king sized bed. She moaned as the silk sheets caressed her exposed skin. His hands reached for the bottom of her tank top and her hands went for the button of her shorts while he pulled her shirt off. She had not worn the unnecessary bra today. When he grabbed the legs of her shorts, Carla lifted her ass to ease its passage. Her hands pushed her panties off right behind her shorts.

Carla's aroma was released to act as the aphrodisiac it was. Quinn ran his hands up her legs and along her sides while she danced on the sheets, caressing herself on the silk beneath her. Quinn's hands continued their loving assault on her torso, teasing her with near misses of her breasts. Her hands went up and ran themselves against his chest, ending up at his cock, locked in his jeans. Her hunger for him peaked.

She slid herself down his body, landing on her ass with his enclosed cock up against her face. After she pulled his jeans down it disappeared quickly into the depths of her mouth which elicited a groan from him. Quinn began to thrust against her mouth and, with her head against the bed Carla could only accept the gentle brutality that his urgent need created. Her hands went around his waist, gripping his ass cheeks and pulling him in even tighter. As his cock thrust repeatedly against her, Carla let her tongue catch his foreskin and pull it back to expose his tip more completely. Her breaths were short and furtive, grabbed in those short intervals when her throat did not have a cock embedded in it. A small corner of her mind was surprised that she was not panicking at the near suffocation she was experiencing, but she had little awareness of it.

Carla had asked to be taken and she was feeling very taken. This moment was about his pleasure and she reveled in the fact that he was using her for that pleasure. It didn't even cross her mind to try to pull off when he was ready to cum. Instead, she took the sudden tensing that accompanies a man's near orgasm as a signal to take a deep breath (as deep as possible, at least) and pull him deeper. His hands came down and held her head tightly against him. She felt the cum travel the length of his cock and spill out against the back of her throat. Unable to breathe, she could only sit there and swallow the slimy fluid as it trickled down her throat and fight off the impulse to gag against the mass of cock that was lodged against the back of her throat trying to suffocate her.

Even as his cock started to soften, he held her face close, staying in her. As her throat cleared, she was able to swallow and breathe. Her tongue caressed the cock inside her mouth, causing him to clench at the pain of his sensitive head being touched repeatedly. Only his moans of, "Yes!" prevented her from stopping. Her tongue milked the last of his cum from his cock, uncaring of the unpleasant taste.

He finally pulled out and lifted her to her feet. His arms embraced her tightly and his lips found hers again, kissing deeply. His tongue probed to its full length, freely tasting of himself in her. Carla's breath caught as his hand descended between them and cupped her pussy directly this time. He dropped her onto the bed again, lifting her by her pussy and sliding her along the silk. Her hands buried themselves in the sensuous feel of the silk, pulling the fabric over her breasts and belly.

She whimpered when his hand left her pussy, only to gasp when a stream of air rushed across it. When his tongue licked at her folds, her arms convulsed, pulling the sheets completely over her. Silk caressed every inch of her upper body while a tongue did its impression of a silk sheet as it caressed her pussy. Never before had Carla felt pleasure from every inch of her body. She exploded again, her body sinking into a lake of pleasure, becoming enveloped and lost in the sensations. Quinn didn't stop there. As her body clenched in the rigidity of its orgasm, he plunged his tongue deep into her cunt and literally drank from the juices she produced. When one hand reached up and thumbed her clit, a second orgasm started before the first could fade. Her lungs failed her and she could not breathe enough to scream. Still he continued, licking and fingering her pussy, prolonging her climax in a seemingly geometric increase of duration. Waves of pleasure rocketed through her body. She began to shake, her body unable to contain the sensations locked inside. Panting, she rode yet another orgasm that started at the peak of the last. Blessedly, he pulled his face away to watch the silk covered body in front of him writhe in ecstasy.

When Carla returned to the real world, she was purring. She felt both satiated and in need at the same time. Her body was floating from the effects of four orgasms in rapid succession, yet the aching emptiness in her pussy was still there. She felt the bed sink next to her and reach a hand out through the silk cocoon she had wrapped herself in. His body was there, lying on its side. Exploring, she found a cock, semi-hard, that throbbed at her touch. Another hand, Quinn's, pulled the sheets away from her face, letting him take in the glow of her face. He bent over and kissed her, leaving herself on her lips. His hand worked its way under the sheets to her breasts, caressing the erect nipples they found.

"I need more. I need you to fill me. My cunt is so empty. Fill me with all of you."

He didn't answer her, but slid the sheets off her body and started to caress her belly again. Her hand, freed of the silk glove, caressed his cock, encouraging it to new life. Without even being touched, Carla could feel her pussy lips engorging again, reaching out to gasp his cock as soon as it came within range. Soon, Carla was writhing again, reaching to pull Quinn down upon her, inside her.

"Fuck me, Quinn, fuck me hard. I want to feel you inside me and know that it's you every second you're there. I need you to take my cunt and make it yours."

He grasped her hands and held them above her head while he shoved his newly erect cock into her cunt with one massive thrust. Carla gasped and cried out at the violence of the penetration. Her arms struggled to caress him, but were unable to free themselves. His weight pinned her to the bed so that all she could do was receive the hard fucking she had begged for. As his cock ravaged her cunt, Quinn's mouth ravaged her face with equal ferocity. Her face was soon covered in saliva from open mouth kisses that were being forced upon her willing body. His chest rubbed against her breasts, adding yet another level of stimulation.

Carla was rapidly being overwhelmed by the raw diversity of feelings her body was subjected to. The silk against her back, the fucking of her pussy, the kisses on her face and the chest hair against her nipples all combined to propel her to another orgasm. He didn't stop when she was once again paralyzed by pleasure. Quinn's cock felt like it was growing to fill her entire pussy. Carla lay forgotten for the moment, all of his awareness focusing in his cock. It needed more time before it could climax again, yet it was experiencing nearly unendurable pleasure. He was growling with the need to explode, yet he knew that he was not yet close enough.

Quinn's thrust became even more brutal, literally pounding against her body as his speed increased. He was vaguely aware that her cries had changed from moans of ecstasy to whimpers of pain as her clit recoiled at the intensity of contact after several orgasms. Yet, Carla would not stop this desired assault if she could. She was being taken, as she had asked. The soreness she would feel in the morning would be a welcome price for the glory she was experiencing tonight. Carla had reached the edge yet again when Quinn roared and thrust one last time. His cock erupted, filling Carla's pussy with his seed. The feel of hot cum pulsing into her cunt was all she needed to cross over one last time to her own orgasm. Her body worn out, Carla passed out from the intensity as her body shuddered beneath Quinn's.

Afterwards, while Carla slept, Quinn lay beside her, contemplating what he was intending to do. He gazed on the sleeping form of one of the most passionate women he had ever met. He had wanted her from the moment he had seen her at Anna's. He wanted her, not just for the next few days, but for all time. Quinn was a man who was used to getting what he wanted. Only once had he failed to fill his desires, losing Melanie. Never again would he let that happen.

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