Caution: This Action/Adventure Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, .
Desc: Action/Adventure Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Steve and Chuck sail off to to Europe with their families for business and pleasure. This story will be better understood if you have read the other stories within Florida Friends.
Finally! We were on our way. Although the gulf coast of Florida was still in sight, I was relieved to have the Lucky Lady under full sail, headed south to sail around the keys and out into the Atlantic.
After the excitement of getting underway had subsided, only Lisa remained with me at the open wheel on deck. I punched up our anticipated course on the GPS/auto-guidance system and sat back on the built-in lounge that surrounded the rear of the helm area.
I looked at Lisa and asked, "How's your bruise from the knife?"
Lisa smiled at me, "Still discolored, but it doesn't bother me at all. No problem."
"That one scared me, Honey, it was too close." I was staring at her, thinking how much I cared for her and didn't want anything to happen to her.
She said, "Me too. This last month has been non-stop. I know we are considered go-to people for hot ops, but this has been too much. Both of us have come too close. We may be using up our luck."
"I've kind of thought that myself," I said, still gazing at the woman I admired so much. "If you don't mind, I'm going to ask that they lay off us for a while. I haven't been able to attend my Deputy Marshal responsibilities the way I should lately, either. I keep thinking and actually fearing they are going to tell me to become only an ops guy with the Secret Service."
Lisa stated, "I've wondered about that. I know you try to do everything and advise your stations through E-mail but you haven't had much face time with your deputies. Is John taking up some of the slack?"
I answered, "Only when a station manager has something serious happening. Wanda has been going out for transfers and retirements. She can do them under my guidance and no one has objected. Now that the escapes are down, the stations have pretty much settled down. Our manpower was reduced when Homeland Security took over all of the air marshal responsibilities. They took almost all of our older, semi-retired, guys from us, and that also meant a big budget cut for us. The escapee problem kept our numbers up, but we'll probably get cut again next year. My job as senior deputy isn't a big deal now that there isn't as much bad happening."
Lisa said, "Sure hope the rest of the world settles down. With the Secret Service responding to help out on immigration problems that are associated with counterfeiting and such, that group seems to be really busy lately."
"You understand, Lisa, they have been using us like CIA operatives, except that we're doing it domestically. I'm surprised that group hasn't contacted us. I'd bet they have contacted my Marshal and John."
"Isn't your Marshal getting to be retirement age?" Lisa asked, after leaning over and giving me a peck on the lips.
I answered, "Yeah, he is getting up there, but his job is supposed to be almost purely political, without a lot of pressure. It's his association with the Secret Service that's kept him so busy. He's been active all over the country, where he normally would only be over our area. I think the guy that's going to say goodbye first is John. He's had a couple of scary close calls lately that is making his mind up for him. I think he wants to go somewhere and live off the money he has stashed. If he sells his place near DC, he could go just about anywhere and live happily ever after."
Lisa said, "What about us, what do you think we should do?"
"Don't know, Babe. I do know that I don't want you on any more ops like these last few. No more line of fire ops, period. You're supposed to be a watcher, someone who reports back to the service what you observe. I know some of that has changed now that you're out in the open, but you could earn just as much flying the way you were. You don't need whatever the service is paying you."
"Well, look who's talking. You've obviously come into buckets of cash and you're still pulling duty from both services. I think they're paying you the max they can for a field operative, but I'll bet you haven't spent hardly any of your regular pay. You're getting money from S&S Air Charter, as well as whatever cash Ben Phillips has invested for you. I even get the feeling you have cash stashed in Costa Rica too. And speaking of Costa Rica, what are you going to do with an island? You are really spread thin, Chuckie boy."
Thinking about our conversation, I said, "Lisa, I don't know how the Service is paying you, but since you've been on some line of fire ops, I hope they've jacked up your grade."
Lisa said, "I was fully paid throughout the period of time I was an observer. As I got closer to you and was working full time with S&S, I had to turn in my salary from S&S, less any direct expenses related to the job. They don't let you double dip, that's for sure. Just like being a Deputy Marshal and a Secret Service agent; we get a little extra, but it's called a cross-service stipend, nothing to write home about. We both make good money, and I've been able to bank most of my income, but that's been because of my relationship with you. I think I'll have Marie look up all of the regs concerning cross-agency operations to see if we're leaving any money on the table."
I told Lisa, "We really don't need the money; we need more time just for us, for our family to be together, and for all of us to figure out whether our giant family is really going to remain a viable group. I worry about the girls. After they have reached their personal goals with me, will they stick around? They didn't sell their house and they keep it up just as if they still live there. They do stay at our house all the time while I'm home, but I think they stay over at their place when we're out of town."
"They do," Lisa said, "All of them say they miss being in their own place, but like to be with us when we're home. You know they have done a bunch of remodeling in anticipation of having babies. I haven't seen all the changes, but from what I hear, they're extensive."
"My thinking is," I answered Lisa, "The girls want to keep their house as a fallback place in case our relationship goes south. I don't feel as if our family is temporary, but I guess if I look at it honestly, it could be. Since we can't all get married, there is no real commitment. I've committed to you, the girls, and I guess to Tina too, but I'm still not sure about Maria and our oriental sisters."
Lisa laughed, "I think the girls just enjoy bringing more women lovers into the mix. To keep them, they need to integrate you into the mix. Taiying and Sing enjoy being a part of our large family for security they've never had. Maria likes you and thinks you might become her Toro."
"Toro?" I asked.
Lisa grinned, "That would be her breeding bull. You've already bred three women, and have indicated you are keeping all of them, so you have become someone who can keep and provide for her. Her heritage says she must provide you children. You'll have to keep an eye on her."
"I think I need to select one of you to manage the rest, to make sure that normal little girls, such as Maria and the sisters, have the opportunity to find potential mates outside our family. I'm getting a little paranoid by having so many women."
Lisa laughed, "Oh come on, Chuck. Do you mean you don't enjoy having a harem with the variety you have? You, Sir, have a very integrated multi-racial mix. They all adore you, and we all get along so far. I really think we get along because we all like girls and we all like you."
"There's lots to think about, Lisa. I'm old fashioned enough that I would like to have a wife, not a wife among my harem."
Lisa hugged me as I stood at the big wheel. I didn't need to be doing anything as the electronics were handling everything. It just seemed to be where I should be. I suppose this trip could shake out a lot of feelings and perhaps give me some insight as to how our family was going to work.
Lisa softly said, "That brings us back to the island."
The wind was picking up, making the boat heel over a little, but it also made the rigging groan with some lines snapping against booms. The sail was stretched out nicely, billowing from being pushed so nicely.
Lisa was still waiting for me to respond to her comments and her question about the island down south. "I haven't thought the whole island thing through yet. There are bunches of different things I want to do down there, and I've asked Mark to go down and figure out what will be required for wind turbines. I told him to take Caroline with him and to have the charter service take him down. I've called the condo to tell the boat people to expect them. They will take the two of them out to the island. They can also call out there to let them know someone is coming to work with them. I told Mark to try to get some utility carts shipped to the island as well. The guy has it together and will probably enjoy the serenity of the island."
Lisa asked, "Are you thinking about staying down there often?"
"Yes, actually; I think that would be great a place for us to relax at. It could be a place for our huge family to gather ourselves to find out how we all fit together. We've just slid along without ever really talking about our family structure. I've let it go too long, and now we have three more people that I think all of you girls consider as family. What's with you guys and wanting more women? My goodness, you had a quorum for a pajama party before those three. You were sneaking Lena in, and you've already made it plain that big Tina is going to be a loose part of us when she comes this fall."
Lisa hugged my arm and looked up at me with a slight blush. "You know all of us really enjoy other girls. Maria, Taiying, and Sing are really sweet. Those three fascinate your original Fab Five, as you call them. I don't know what it is at our house, but it is full of women that are at a flashpoint nearly all the time. The three that are pregnant are just as bad as the ones who are not. I didn't think Tina was all that much into girls, but every time Brandy or Tiani get a chance, they are fooling around with her. The way I've heard it, Maria, Lena, and Tina were having a nightly, or daily, party. Tiani and Frieda are all over the two oriental girls. I've kind of become the odd girl out because I've been so busy. Brandy and Tiani, along with Taiying and Sing, love me up every chance they get. Like I said, our house is an all-girl orgy waiting to happen every day."
I laughed, "I'm sure glad you girls can take care of each other. There's no way I can keep up with all of you."
It was Lisa's turn to laugh. "You sure have been giving a good imitation of a guy that's willing to line 'em up and do 'em all. Christ, you did all those girls in Costa Rica, plus Julie, and you did me real nice. I'll make sure you eat well and get your exercise so you can keep up. Just keep putting on the stud imitation like you've been doing. You'll take care of us just fine. You're the one who opened Pandora's Box with Julie. She was just fine until you decided to include her with the condo and boat girls. Now she's going to want to be included often. Don't accuse us girls of bringing them all on. As a matter of fact, you are responsible for Lena, Tina, and big Tina too. You also were the one to give Maria the okay to move to the new house, so you are just as guilty as us girls."
I protested, "I only offered them a place to stay. Lena was supposed to stay at arm's length. Tina surprised me by joining with me and enjoying the girls. Julie was sort of a part of all those women in Costa Rica. You and Tina kind of talked me into that. Maria wanted to remain our housekeeper when we moved. All of them just happened; I didn't try to seduce any of them."
Lisa gave me a peck on the nose while standing up, "How about a cup of coffee or glass of iced tea?"
"Thanks, iced tea sounds good. The sun feels good out here today, although it is a little cool."
Five minutes later, a nude Lisa came out with a tall plastic glass of iced tea. She said, "Most of the women are up top sunbathing. I'll be back to talk and keep you company later. Are you going to begin shifts soon?"
I said, "We're doing four on during the day and two on at night. There are six of us right now, and if Kathy feels like she can do it, that would make seven."
Lisa announced as she headed into the salon to go up top, "Put me down to begin learning too. I want to learn captain responsibilities too."
As soon as Lisa left, Steve and Dewey came out carrying tall glasses like the one I had. They sat on the lounge seating and Dewey said, "Tough duty. I see you're using the electronics on this tub. Pretty neat set up you have. The boat will almost sail itself." He leaned over to check the two radar screens. Dewey asked, "What do you have them set at? One looks like about five miles and the other twenty-five. A little close, aren't they?"
"Naw, I have both units set up for tracking every target. The display will show a line for every target for the last thirty minutes. See, push this button and the lines show that none of the craft are paralleling us. There is this one on the twenty-five mile scope that is going in the same direction as we are, but appears to me to be angling toward the coast. The unit updates the target lines once a minute. If I choose another setting, it will retain the lines on the screen all the time, but that's too confusing. I'd rather push the button every so often to check up. The collision avoidance will advise me of anything that is within ten miles and is on an intersecting course. When we get out into open water, I'll set them up for ten and fifty miles. That way we can see weather coming early."
Dewey said, "You seem to have this sea captain stuff down. I know you haven't had that much training. You've studied well."
With a smile, I said, "I'm doing alright. You two guys have given me a lot of training and a lot of confidence. If you add in how much help all the equipment on this boat is, a kindergarten kid could sail this thing."
Steve asked, "So the way the roster is, Sue is from noon to four, Juanita is four to eight, next Mercy starts the night tours until ten, I'm on until midnight, and Dewey is on until two. You're back on from two to four, with Sue on from four to six. Juanita is back until eight, when we go back to the four hour shifts, with Mercy on from eight to noon. With the rotations, we'll all get about the same amount of day and night duties. It'll just keep rolling around. The two hour shifts at night should keep us alert."
Dewey asked, "I thought Kathy had her captain's license?"
Steve said, "She does, but she doesn't have a lot of experience yet. She's going to come on duty with me to keep learning. I told her to have you work with her too, Dewey. You're the master instructor."
I told Dewey, "I can always use some more training too, Dewey. Any area you think I might need more work on, jump in and teach. I want to be sure I know how to operate this boat, or any other good sized sailing or motorized vessel, correctly. I know it takes experience, but it also requires knowledge."
"You're doing fine, Chuck," Dewey said. "You've done everything exactly right so far, and you obviously know more about the electronics on this boat than anyone else."
I smiled, "Not necessarily. Steve is just as familiar with these electronics as I am. These are almost the same as the Have Mercy and the Mercy Mercy. I haven't been on the big motor yacht, yet but I'm betting it isn't any more modern than this is."
Steve said, "You're right, Chuck. You know the electronics because of your flight training and time in the cockpit. All the help these things provide are nice and makes it easy to stay on course. I like the way your autopilot corrects the course even with the slight changes of wind direction."
I told the two guys, "According to the books, there is an alarm that will go off when the wind changes sufficiently to reposition the sails. You still have to manually let out or take in some line to adjust for wind direction. You can do all of that with the windlass motors, as the boat won't do it for you."
"Dewey and I will have to study the books for this boat," Steve said. "I'll have the girls read up on them as well. Night duty at the inside weather helm should be a perfect place to study, unless there is some weather."
I said, "If there's any weather, I want to be at the helm for most of it. I've had a little experience, but I want to make sure I know how the boat acts, and feel I should be responsible during any heavy stuff."
Steve said, "That's probably good. Dewey and I will be with you so we also learn how the boat acts in weather. We all need to know how the boat works."
At that moment, Martin walked up with a pitcher full of ice and tea. He held it out, "You boys ready for a refill? Thought I might play hostess and get some sun. Most of the women are up top. The two oriental girls are below deck with the kids right now. They sure seem to love little ones. I'm surprised they don't have any of their own."
I told Martin, "I'm not sure of the whole story, but those two got out of China when their husbands were incarcerated for having opinions that differed with the government's. Both of their husbands are now deceased and they apparently didn't ever get a chance to begin families."
Martin chuckled, "Well, I'm sure you'll help them out with that, won't you, Chuck? You have three with growing bellies, why not some more? That little Latin girl that looks like Juanita looks ripe too. What's her story?"
"You know what, Martin? I don't know all of the particulars, but I do know that she doesn't have any close family around either. It might be that they are all in another country, but she's alone here as well. My women do seem to attract strays."
Steve laughed, "Yours and mine both, Chuck."
Martin said, "I'm going back down below. Beth and Missy have a big roast in the oven and I need to watch it. I'll see you boys when it's beer time."
As soon as he was in the salon, Steve said, "How about I bring up some of your arsenal so that it's on deck. I noticed you have the salon seats by the door set up for rifles too. Considering we'll be off the coast of the Keys, I'd feel better if we had equipment near."
I said, "Okay, the office door is open, and you have to use left to five, right to seven, left to eight, and right to eleven. That's five, seven, eight, and eleven for the combination lock on the gun cabinet. Bring up all eight M-16s and the four shotguns. There are magazines for the M-16s and two types of shells for the shotguns. I have the explosive rounds and the double ought buckshot. Lisa and I will bring up our MP5s and my .308. I doubt whether I'll need the fifty caliber."
Dewey exclaimed, "Holy shit. How much armament do you have? You haven't even mentioned any pistols yet. Isn't that dangerous with all these kids around here?"
Steve told him, "If we need them, they'll be within easy reach. They'll be where the kids can't get at them without us being aware. Watch the console when I lift the salon seat."
Steve went into the salon and lifted the big cushion by the door. A light came on and a beeper began sounding on the console. I reached up and pushed the reset button to shut the beeper off, but the light stayed on until Steve put the cushion back down. Steve came back out and said, "Chuck and I talked about the weapons and the kids. This was the way we thought we could handle the problem. Out here, there is a locker by the wheel that will hold a couple of rifles, a shotgun, and at least one pistol. As long as we keep the locker shut, the salt air won't get at them. We'll have to make sure we break everything down at least weekly to keep ahead of the salt air."
Dewey said, "You two seem to know what you're doing. How many of the girls can shoot? I know Sue, Mercy, and Juanita can, but how about Kathy and yours, Chuck?"
With an amused smile, I said, "Lisa is a crack shot with a rifle or handgun. Brandy and the girls have all been practicing for about six months now. The two oriental girls have some military experience. I'm not sure about Maria, but I'm sure my girls have been taking them all with them. Brandy said that Kathy goes with them when they go to the range. They've been practicing with rifles and pistols. I think we have it covered. The range has a couple of ex-army types that have taught the girls cover and how to position themselves to shoot. I feel very secure with them around."
"Wow!" Dewey said, "I had no idea you guys were preparing yourselves so much to defend the boat. I guess Steve's girls let the others know how important it is for them to be prepared. I should probably do that with Sheila and Sheena. Perhaps your girls can provide some instruction for them."
Steve said, "Have Lisa work with them. She has a lot of experience and can probably teach them easier since she's a girl. As soon as we're out to sea, you can even let them do some live fire out on the deck. A round will only carry for a mile or two so we'll know if another craft is in the direction we're firing."
I said, "I'll tell Lisa when she comes back from sunbathing. Go get some of the weapons and I'll bring mine up after lunch."
Dewey and Steve left just as nine naked women came out of the salon. The Fab Five, Lisa, Maria, Mercy, and Juanita came to the wheel area and sat on the lounge seating cushions by the helm. I could see into the salon that the other women were coming down the ladder from up top and going below to probably get ready for lunch.
Brandy said, "Darn, I wish we could make this a nude cruise. I love to be naked out on deck like this."
Mercy said, "It's a little chilly right now, but it's really nice if you're out of the wind with sun on you."
Tiani said, "Nancy and I don't need that much sun, but it is nice to lay out a little. We have to use more sunblock than the rest of you, though."
Juanita said, "Maria and I are going to be darker than either of you two. I think Sue will be too, the way she tans. We'll all be island girls, or at least look like them."
Mercy said, "Speaking of island girls, have you girls gotten any indication from Chuck about when you're going down to see this island he now has?"
Brandy said, "Not yet. Lisa and Tina saw it, and we have a couple of hundred pictures of it. I'll get the memory stick with the pictures out and we'll look at them this evening. That place is gorgeous. The main house is huge too."
Juanita said, "Let's get dressed and help get lunch started. It's almost noon, so Sue is on duty next. Chuck, you may need to set the sun cover up for Sue, since she's already been out in the sun for a while."
"No problem, Nita, I'll just push this button right here and watch." I pushed the button marked 'cover' and shade cloth moved on rails and covered the whole helm area."
Mercy said, "Another innovation that Chuck had the Magellan guys install. It isn't a hassle to put up and take down the sunshade now. Come on, let's get lunch."
Lisa and Sue came out of the salon right at noon. Sue said, "Lisa and I have had lunch, so give me a quick tour of your setup and go eat. I'm going to begin showing Lisa about the boat and about being at the helm. She's going to get Kathy's books to read so she can get ready for her test. She wants to be ready to help out when you guys go sailing. I'll bet some of your other women will want more training too."
I said, "Nancy, Judy, and Frieda all took the formal classes, but don't have any practical experience yet. I'll have them come up with me and work with you girls, as well. It would be good to have a big crew of captains when we go out with the family. I am planning on spending more time on the water in the future."
Lisa said, "I'll make sure Brandy and Tiani take an interest as well. I'm surprised Brandy is letting something as important as being rated as a captain slip by. She's usually the first to want to compete with guys."
I showed Sue how the auto-guidance helm worked, and how it was set up with the GPS. I showed her how the radars worked with their history trace. None of the traces indicated any craft intersecting or paralleling us. Sue said, "I have the helm, go eat."
Lisa gave me a peck as I went by. Steve and Dewey were coming up the curved stairway, or ladder, as I entered the salon. They brought the weapons to the salon seating and lifted the cushion. Lisa came running in, "There's a beeper going off and a red light on the console that Sue doesn't know what it is."
I went out and explained that it was to indicate that the seat where the arms are stored had been lifted. I showed her the reset button and the beeper went off, but not the light. Sue said, "That's a neat idea. We need that on the other boats. Good thinking."
I also showed her the button for the sunshade. Sue smiled and said, "Yeah, we don't need any more sun right now." She pushed the button and the sunshade moved into place. Sue asked, "Is that another of your ideas?"
I smiled and nodded heading back into the salon.
After helping to store the weapons there, I took a couple of M16s and a shotgun to the helm and put them into the weatherproof cabinet. Lisa asked, "Are you going to bring anything to shoot them with?"
"Let me bring you some magazines and a couple boxes of rounds. I'll bring both some explosive and some double ought shells. You two can load the magazines while you're out here."
Sue said, "Bring all of the magazines out here and the boxes of rounds for them. We'll get them loaded up, stow some out here, and put the rest under the cushion."
I told the two girls, "You'll see the slots for the magazines. We'll get some bandoleers for shotgun shells out so whoever grabs a shotgun can have extra shells. Remember to load two explosive rounds last so you have them to shoot first if you have to. Put the shot shells in first. I think all they will hold is five of the three and half inch, and that includes one in the chamber. Check the safety before you put them in the rack."
Below deck, there was pandemonium in the galley. At least, all the kids were creating kid pandemonium in their excitement to eat. Steve's eleven, along with Dewey's four, made up a big group to feed. Barb, Kathy's oldest, was actually directing the kids pretty well. Barb had been a last minute addition to the crew, as she had obtained permission to fulfill her school course work and transmit it, along with a log of our travels. The school thought the trip would be more educational than being in class.
The adults were grabbing sandwiches that had been made up as they passed by the counter. It appeared to be that Missy, Beth, and Glenda had made up the sandwiches. A huge platter of them was rapidly disappearing. I took a sandwich and filled my glass with ice and tea again.
The kids were at the special table that had been installed on the boat. Each place setting had a place for a plate to rest in, as well as a round hole that the plastic glasses the kids had for milk or juice fit in. The glass was the same size as mine on the bottom. I noticed that Beth was sitting with the kids and had a coffee cup in her slot. That told me that even the cups had the same size circumference so they would be stable in heavy weather.
Beth was cautioning the kids to slide their glasses into the holder before they let go so they wouldn't spill. Something else the kids needed to learn about living on the boat.
Steve and Dewey announced that after lunch the kids could go out on deck to play for a while. They were to stay away from the railing or they would have to put on life jackets. I could see that Mercy and Kathy intended to be with Steve and Dewey. A couple of my girls acted like they were going to be out there too.
When the crowd exited to go out on deck, the parents and grandmas put sunscreen on the kids before they rushed up the curved stairway to the main salon. I followed to get an idea of how big the area really was. The stairway was more toward the front, where the weather helm was. The weather helm took up the entire front of the salon. There was standing room around the dash area, along with seating all around behind and next to where the captain could guide the boat. An impressive array of monitors and instruments were around the wheel of the helm. On the opposite side of the salon from the stairway or ladder, behind the helm, was a round bar area with ten stools around it. Looking up that side of the lounge, there was a couple of tables with four chairs around them, and seating along the outside of the salon and a row of two sided couches that faced the outside seating, as well as the other side of the salon/lounge. On the opposite side of the lounge, after the big open stairway, was a cabinet area that stored the music equipment and controls for the boat's speaker system and the stereo. The cabinet looked large enough to hold a dozen guitars and other instruments. There was an area that had a keyboard, with seating behind and on each side of it. Next were a couple of lounge tables with four chairs at each. There was still an amazing amount of empty floor space in this huge salon. I suppose it was a good thing, as there were a lot of people on board.
Dewey and Steve gave the kids the safety instructions again and let them out on deck to run. The boat is long enough the kids could get up a real head of steam running around the boat. The beam is broad enough to give the stern a wide area for the kids to toss balls. I watched as Danny tossed a Frisbee to Manny. The wind caught it and it was carried out away from the boat. Stevie hollered, "I told you. The wind will even carry a tennis ball off the boat. Watch your cap or it will go too."
About that time, Stevie's cap started to take off, but he grabbed it in time. Greg was standing near the rail, watching his cap sail out over the water. Stevie hollered to the others, "Take your caps and put them in the salon or we'll lose them all." The kids all ran for the salon to deposit their caps.
Trixie and Dixie were jumping rope with Bonita and Lizzy. Mike and Tom were with Stevie and Greg talking and pointing toward the coast. Danny and Manny had a pair of cheap field glasses, looking back at a powerboat heading toward shore. Steve, Dewey, Martin, Beth, Missy, and Glenda were all out on deck watching the kids.
I decided to have something else to eat and went back to the galley. Maria was working on something for supper and pointed to the platter on the counter. There were a couple of sandwiches left on it, so I took one and went into the lounge with my sandwich and glass of tea.
Taiying and Sing were sitting in front of the big flat screen TV, using the satellite to watch news from China. I watched with them, but didn't understand anything that was being said. Most of it looked like propaganda to me, but what do I know. Some kind of game show came on that made the sisters laugh, as the contestants had to do various imitations.
When I finished my sandwich, I got up to leave and Sing asked, "Do you have to leave? That was nice for you to sit with us. We will watch American TV if you want."
"That's okay; I just wanted to watch with you while I ate. I'm going to do a couple of things in the cabin. I'll see you later."
I went to the cabin and got my suitcase of weapons out of the closet. I got the .308 ready, and after thinking about it, put the fifty caliber together. Just to be on the safe side, I unfolded my MP5, set it next to the closet door, and hung my combat vest on it. I made sure to take six twelve round, extended magazines for the 308 and six magazines for the fifty, three explosive, and three standard. I took everything up to the salon and put them on the side of the cushion area. I looked up and saw Sue peering at me around the side of the helm, making sure who was into the weapons area.
Outside at the helm, I told Lisa, "Go get your rifle out and put it by the closet door. Put some magazines in your combat vest and hang in on the barrel of your rifle so it'll be ready if you need it. There are M16s and shotguns under the lounge seat, along with my fifty and the .308."
Lisa smiled and said, "Aye, Aye, Sir. Right away, Sir," running past me quickly so she didn't get swatted.
Sue said, "Lisa's a quick study. Her flying experience makes her familiar with the instruments, and she understands weather too. I've had her change directions a little, using the wheel, so she knows what it feels like. As soon as she takes her class and test, she'll be ready. You can probably let her help you on your shifts unless she wants some instruction from everyone."
I said, "I think that's what she has in mind. She wants to get some knowledge from everyone before she only spends her time at the helm with me."
Lisa came up and said, "My rifle is on the other side of the door from yours, so we won't grab the wrong vests. Yours has four different types of magazines in it and weighs a ton. You know you probably don't have to carry all of the different magazines at the same time."
I shrugged, "You never know what you need, so that's the way I keep the vest. That's why they call it a combat vest."
Lisa rolled her eyes and went to stand next to Sue.
The kids were going inside the main salon to do what they wanted to do. Bonita went straight to the piano, turned it on, and began playing scales. She looked up at me and asked, "Where's the music at? Lisa said she had the fake books on disk with a monitor. Where's the monitor?"
I went outside and motioned for Lisa. "Bonita wants to know where the monitor is for the fake book CDs you have."
Lisa went into the salon and went to the piano. She pushed a button and a laptop came up from the top of the piano. Lisa pulled the keyboard down, leaving the monitor upright. She opened a drawer showing Bonita and me several CDs in slots. Lisa said, "Load a CD and it will autorun. Rags has tons of these and made me copies. If we're all playing up here, we can turn the laptop, it'll swivel from side to side if we need. This should work better than the regular fake books. At least they won't take up so much space."
Bonita looked through the CDs, selected one, inserted it, and waited for it to load. Lisa left to go back out to the helm while I watched to see what Bonita would play. She paged through the directory, looking through some Elton John stuff.
She stopped at "Your Song" and began going through the music. She first did a one handed melody, but she was mouthing the words at the same time. I sat back marveling at the talent I was watching. The third time through, Bonita began playing full chords with her fingers picking up some stray keys to fill in. The remarkable thing was her little girl voice singing the words and actually making what she was doing sound good. I was shocked at the way the little girl was progressing with what seemed to be abilities beyond what could be expected.
Bonita finished with Elton John and I looked over to see she was paging through some Tom Petty stuff. Now that's diversification. She went from Elton John to Tom Petty in seconds. She began going over the melody of "Mary Jane's Last Dance" but was mouthing the words and grinning while she was doing it. She seemed to like the catchy verses.
She stopped playing and looked at me, "Go away. I'm practicing for something for later. Danny and Manny are going to help me with this and it's a surprise for mom. She loves this song because she's always singing it. You'll see, us kids have some songs we've been practicing at our lessons."
I asked, "When are you going to practice your violin? I can't wait to see how you're doing."
"Maybe later, but probably tomorrow. I'm in the mood to play the piano or the guitar right now. That's why I'm playing Elton John stuff. He's really good. Mom and Gramma Beth have lots of his music. I have a lot of it on my iPod too. Anyway, go away. You'll hear us tonight after supper."
I began to get up, but Bonita held up her hand. "You don't have to leave. I need to go below and get the guys to practice with me in the lounge. There are a lot of verses to that song." The little girl got up and ran down the stairs.
Dewey had been sitting on the other side of the big salon, reading from one of those electronic readers. He looked up and said, "That's some kind of kid, isn't she? I can't believe the way she is progressing with her musical talents. She's doing a lot of it on her own, isn't she?"
I nodded, but also commented, "She does work a lot on her own, but she has piano lessons, two different guitar classes, and now violin lessons. I keep thinking she'll burn out, but she's either at a keyboard or playing a guitar all the time."
Dewey said, "Sheena loves Tom Petty. Sheila and I are more into jazz and blues, but Sheena is a real country fan. She'll be singing right along with the kids when they do their thing."
I stood up to go below. "I'm looking forward to the kids showing us what they can do. It'll be interesting."
Down in the office, I logged onto the Internet and went over a couple of E-mails. John had a couple of questions that were easy to answer, until I got to the last one.
It read, "Security just informed me some island property off the coast of Costa Rica was transferred to you. They said there was only a token payment for the island. How did you really pay for this thing? Are you getting ready to leave? Let's talk about this before you leave us in a lurch. John."
Uh oh. I always forget that the various services keep a close watch on everything I do, and watch wherever I go. Nothing seems to get past them. How do I explain that some lady who I didn't know, or had never met, just gave me an island, complete with a home and people to take care of it?
Might as well try, so I called John. "Hey, John, thought I should reply to your comment about the island. You're not going to believe this, but a lady had my boat staff take me to the island. After being shown around the island, she surprised me by saying she wanted to give it to me, but with one condition."
"What condition?" asked John.
I answered, "I have to agree to maintain the island and take care of the residents of the island for as long as I own it. The residents are more like caretakers. They do some farming for food for themselves and some crops for some animals they have. They are pretty self-sufficient, and even sell some of their excess vegetables, along with the wool from the small herd of sheep they have."
John asked, "So the island is really self sufficient?"
"Not completely; there is a cost involved, but I should be able to cover it by putting a chunk of my money into an investment trust that should cover the expenses."
John asked, "Why you? Why not me or someone else down there?"
"It's because of that guy that I had the run in with a while back. Everyone down there thinks I'm some kind of savior for having set those guys adrift in an un-motorized houseboat. Since they haven't come back, they may have drifted to an uninhabited island somewhere and are enjoying fresh fish."
John scoffed, "Don't you mean more like enjoying being fish food? Give me a break. I know what you're capable of, and if those people down there think you're a hero, good for them and good for you. But an island? That's a bit much, even for you."
I told him what Julie had told me. "The lady who owned the island said after I had rid the community of the problem, she had me investigated and found out I had some holdings, and I was the kind of person she wanted to look after her island and people."
"And what's this lady's name?" John asked.
"As if you don't know, John. Her name is Julie Montgomery. Her intent is to move back to England to be with her kids and grandkids."
John asked, "What do you mean intent? Has something changed?"
"She's on the boat with us now. She's riding back to the UK with us. From the way she's talking, she may go with us to Italy and the Riviera too."
"You're so damn lucky," John said, "You're on your boat right now, huh?"
"On our way south to go around Key West. We'll be out in the Atlantic sometime tomorrow."
"So this lady adopted you, or did you adopt her?" John asked this with sarcasm in his voice.
I answered, "I think we've just become good friends, John. She is a very energetic, likeable person. She's very well off and says that her late husband provided for their kids as well."
"You amaze me, Chuck. Every time you do anything, something good happens to you."
I said to John, "You can't complain too much. You've told me you are well fixed, and from the way you've been talking, you might be on your way to retirement. Are you thinking the Keys? Perhaps Costa Rica?"
John said, "You're right, I am thinking that I might want to stay away from the shit we saw recently. You have to be about fed up, as well. From what I heard, that problem with the boats was pretty bad."
"It was John, and I have to tell you, there have been too many bad ops crammed into a very short time. My asshole is so puckered I may never be able to shit again. I don't think I scare easily, but these last few weeks have me shaking in my boots. I need this vacation to loosen up and get my mind right."
"I hear you, Chuck. I've warned everyone that you are more than due an extended vacation. You have enough incident and injury time coming that you won't have to worry about using up any vacation. Relax out there, and I'll keep your office going while you're gone. Try to get back in ninety days or so. I would think you will be, as don't you have a couple of ladies that are about to pop?"
"Late March, April, or May, John. We should be back here by the middle to late March, at the latest. They are in good health, and from what the doc says, the three shouldn't have any problem with our sailing adventure."
John sighed, "Having some rugrats around is going to make you think about getting away from the craziness even more. You've been a go-to guy for so long, we may have to find another crazy person like you to carry on. We really do need some ops leaders."
I told John, "You know where to find them. Put out some feelers for any young guys, or even older ones, who are getting out of the military. The training and experience they have is what makes them so valuable."
"Yeah, yeah," John said. "I know where they are and who to look for. I just have to sell them on coming with us. Some of them are going to be tired of dodging bullets and explosions. I'll get personnel to begin working on it." John hesitated, then asked again, "You didn't answer me before. Are you going to go down to that island and hide? Are you thinking of quitting the service?"
"I've thought of it, John, but I don't want to quit. I think I would rather avoid some of the craziness for a while. I'll have to get those other guys to let me be, too. I do want to spend some time down at that island to get to know the residents, and to see how to use it to host all of my friends."
John offhandedly said, "You know Central Intel has been sniffing around your file here, at the Secret Service, and your service record. Have they contacted you?"
"No, and they might as well not. There's no way I'm getting involved with another group that enjoys putting their men into compromising positions. Like I said, I need a break from the crap I've been sent to clean up. I'm done for a while."
"Okay then, Chuck. I need to get back to work, but thank you for calling about my note. Makes me feel better knowing you're not planning on leaving. I'll watch your joint for you until you get back. Call in every once in a while, but if you need to call in, I'll E-mail you."
I said, "Bye, John, be good."
He was laughing at that comment as he hung up.
I leaned down and opened the door for the safe that was in the left desk pedestal. When it was open, I gazed at the stacks of hundreds that were still there. Good insurance, but that cash could have been doing some good for someone, somewhere. I pulled the box from the Miami jeweler from the safe and looked inside. The box was actually a jeweler's ring display tray. I was gazing at the rings, thinking how smart I had been to ask for so many extra rings. I wonder why I did that. Why would I ever have wanted fifteen rings? Was it because I could afford it? Was it because of how many diamonds that were an exact match? I just shook my head, closed the box, and put it back into the safe.
When should I give the girls the rings? I wanted the moms to be to have them before they popped. I really wanted them to know they belonged. I really wanted to give Lisa her ring too, but I kept wondering whether it would drive her away. Would it be more than she would really be able to commit to? Would her desire for women be so great she would run from me? There's only one way to find out. If I lose her, so be it. If not, it's going to be a great life.
Should I give rings to Maria and the Chinese sisters? Tina wasn't available to get her ring. Should I give one to Lena? Would she really be someone who would become committed to a group relationship the way we were? Who knows? I think any decision on Lena needs to wait until she finishes school and matures a lot more.
I was feeling a little drowsy, so I went up a deck to our cabin and lay on the bed.
Judy was laying next to me kissing me gently on the lips. I woke to see her smiling at me. She pulled me close to her, and said, "It's time to wake up for supper. Everyone is up in the salon having some before dinner drinks. Come up with us."
I rolled from the bed, helped Judy up, washed my face, and followed Judy past the delicious smells in the galley up to the main salon.
Everyone was there, including all of the kids. Bonita was playing the piano while five of the other kids were playing their guitars. This was perfect, being entertained by the kids while the adults were enjoying some refreshments.
Lisa came over and gave me a hug and a kiss, and told me, "I learned all about the navigation system on board. Sue taught me about sail configurations too. Dewey came out and went over why different sails were used in different wind conditions. It's really interesting to learn this stuff."
We were at the bar, so I asked Lisa if she wanted something. She said scotch, so I poured us each of us some Black Label over ice. I wondered what happened to the Dewar's. That had been the previous favorite.
As we were sipping our drinks, I looked out toward the helm to see Juanita standing at the wheel. Maria was with her, and you could see Juanita was giving Maria instructions about the electronics. Seeing the two of them together made you wonder if there was some family genetics common between the two. They really did look a lot alike.
Lisa said to me, "Can you believe the kids. They're playing a bunch of different tunes they have learned. Bonita told me they had a surprise for us later. Do you know what it is?"
"Bonita told me that Danny and Manny had been practicing a special song with her for her mom. I think I know what it is, but just be surprised if it is as good as I think it will be."
Lisa smiled, "You and I need some time to make some music too. I'm looking forward to us doing some jamming together. I really am craving some hard blues."
Beth was going among everyone, advising us that dinner would be served as soon as everyone was at the table.
The kids were already seated at the galley table with full plates in front of them. Bonita and the other kids came running down the curved stairway and turned into the galley. Taiying and Sing sent them off to wash their hands before they sat down. The adults were standing around the big dining area table that was now loaded with food.
When the kids were all seated, the two Chinese girls came to the big table and stood behind their chairs.
Martin held up his hand and said, "This first night out on the water, I'd like to give thanks for our abundance and this wonderful excursion we are on. Will you pray with me?"
Martin said a short meaningful prayer, asking for guidance and protection on our voyage ending with an 'amen.' Glenda looked over to the kids' table and said, "Okay, kids, you can eat." They immediately dug in.
We all enjoyed a great roast beef dinner. This was really a great meal. I found out that the meal had been put together by almost all of the women, Dewey, and Martin. They had each done a little at a time so no one had to work hard at getting everything ready.
While eating, I had time to think of the dynamics of this group. Steve is obviously the leader, with Dewey a close second. Dewey had more experience sailing, but Steve had some great experience as well. Steve's ladies were the most proficient at sailing and all seemed to have a place within the big family. Even the new lady, Mickey, seemed to have a slot she fit into with the other ladies. I suppose if Steve's group could get along, my somewhat larger group could as well.
Then it came to me that the female groups had leaders among them as well. Mine wasn't that simple, but Lisa had assumed a leadership role while Brandy was right up there too. Brandy deferred to Lisa on a lot of things, but Tiani was also a leader and seemed to be able to coordinate the ladies. I really haven't been home enough to really understand how the Chinese sisters and Maria fit in. They entered the relationship as paid housekeepers, were they still in that capacity or did the other ladies consider the three to be a part of the group?
Too confusing for me.
I hurriedly ate and relieved Juanita and Maria so they could eat a warm meal. When they came back, Juanita thanked me, saying that it was nice that I took care of my ladies the way I did. I went back downstairs to see the cleanup begin.
When the meal was finished, the kids moved to the big below deck lounge while the dishes were being washed and put away. There were so many people helping, it only took a few minutes before we were all going up the stairs to the main salon.
Most everyone went out on deck to move around a little, and get the circulation going. I considered going downstairs to the exercise room, but put it off until tomorrow.
Back in the main salon, we put some charts on the big table behind the captain's chair and plotted our course around the keys, estimating the various times. We discussed whether to cut through the drawbridge passage, but unanimously agreed to go around Key West because of the extended wait time it often took to get the drawbridge up.
We were beginning to discuss the island when the kids came up to the salon. Some had guitars, while most of the others just gathered around Bonita at the piano and the guitar players. Bonita announced, "This is for mommy, Kathy. She is always singing along with this at home and plays it on the stereo all the time."
The kids began playing with a good syncopated rhythm, playing the chorus one time through, then all of the kids began singing in a manner that was almost rap, "She grew up in an Indiana town, Had a good lookin' mamma who never was around. But she grew up tall and she grew up right, with them Indiana boys on an Indiana night."
The really cute thing was Kathy and Sheena immediately stood to dance and sing along with the kids. The other women who knew the lyrics sang along as well. Lisa was standing next to me and elbowed me, "So that's what they were practicing. I couldn't tell, as they would stop every time I got close to them."
I smiled and said, "Pretty cool, aren't they."
Lisa said, "Listen to them; they're all doing the key changes right and playing right along. I didn't even know Danny, Manny, and Greg were that interested in playing."
Whispering, "I think all the kids enjoy playing. Bonita just takes the different ones and uses them to the best of their abilities. They're all singing the lyrics to this. That's a lot of song to remember. Listen how some are playing harmony. Where did they get the music for that?"
"That's really something," Lisa said, as the song continued.
The kids did the entire song through twice, with lots of good guitar strumming, and brought the piece to a close.
The applause from parents and friends was really loud. The kids were all grinning as they had played the surprise and had performed very well. Kathy wanted them to do it again, so the song was repeated with as much enthusiasm as it had been played the first time.
When that was over, Bonita and the guitar players began playing some of the standards they enjoyed playing.
I still wondered where Bonita found the music for the harmony for the song they played. I had to ask when the last piece was done. "Nita, where did you get the music for the harmony on the 'Last Dance?"
Bonita grinned and said, "My new laptop has MIDI software. If I load a music file or play into it, the program will print out accompanying harmony. It will even give me the music for other instruments. If you'll play your bass with us, I can get the sheet for it too."
I asked, "Whose idea was it to get you a new laptop?"
"My piano teacher suggested it to momma Mercy and momma Sue. They went to the Apple store and brought home the one I have. You'll really like it. It has a lot of neat features on it so I can record anything I invent. You know, songs or music pieces I think up. It will record them as well as create the music score. If I want extra bars of harmony, it will give me that too."
Lisa was standing next to me and asked, "Did you see the laptop and PC in the studio? They are probably the same."
Bonita said, "I took momma Mercy to see what you had over there. That's how they knew what model to get. The people at the Apple store remembered Lisa from when she bought her stuff."
I was turning to leave, when Bonita asked, "Won't you two play with us? We'll do some stuff you guys want to do. I need you to teach me more blues stuff. That's always fun to relax with."
Lisa and I opened up the cabinet and got out two of our electric guitars. Lisa had her SG, and I got out the Les Paul she had given me. Over the next hour, we played some low volume blues that had everyone in the salon relaxed.
About that time I saw Dewey and Steve begin opening up the inside main helm, as Steve was coming on duty at ten, I suggested the kids put their instruments away for the night. I had to promise to work with them tomorrow and throughout our vacation. Actually, I looked forward to the time I would spend with the kids.
Moms and Grandmothers were soon shooing kids down to the crew's quarters to get into bed. They must have been pretty agreeable about going to bed, as it was less than fifteen minutes later that everyone was back up in the salon.
While I finished my drink at the bar, Lisa was messing with the piano, playing various songs she had brought up on the laptop used for fake books. Looking at the back of the monitor lid of the laptop, I realized that this one was an Apple too.
"Lisa, does this laptop have the Midi software too?"
Lisa smiled, "You bet. It also has connections to all of the sound composing controllers too. You don't think I would pass up the opportunity to spend your money on music equipment, do you?"
I told Lisa, "I guess not. We are lucky to be able to have all of the fancy equipment to play with."
Lisa smiled, "We are going to record some of Pop's stuff and E-mail it back to him. I want us to do a couple of full productions so he knows how good his music is. We can use Bonita to play with us. We might even teach the kids how to play more blues. We could have an acoustic guitar blues orchestra."
I had to chuckle at that. "That would be something, wouldn't it; a real first, fifteen or so kids, all playing various parts of some real blues. We'll have to work on it."
Some of the people that had been in the salon were migrating to their cabins. Lisa and I put the laptop away and covered the keyboard. The bar had been cleaned up by Taiying and Sing, who washed all the glasses as well as the bar. The five and Maria had already gone below, so Lisa and I waited for the oriental sisters to finish and we all headed below together.
It was just after ten-thirty, and the master cabin was quiet with the lights low, so the four of us used the bathroom before getting into bed. There was a lot of hugging and kissing, with lots of goodnights coming from each other. Just like the Waltons, there seemed to be one more goodnight after the other.
I think we were all tired and a little apprehensive about our first night on board. In almost seconds, there was regular breathing, and at least one almost soft snore, as everyone slipped into sleep.
Just before I drifted off, Lisa turned her head and kissed me gently. I could see her eyes smiling in the darkened cabin. She turned back over, with me hugging her back on the outside of the bed so I could get up for duty at two o'clock. That finished my day.
Primary Editing by Pepere
Proofing and Continuity by Sagacious
Europe and Legal Knowledge by Rotorhead
Last one through - Deenara2000