Jennifer Marie Stephenson bolted upright. Not quickly. She had been asleep. Somewhere deep down inside of herself she had heard the door close. Was it part of the television program that was on in the background? She couldn’t be sure, but after the last time her husband had come home at that time it had not gone well.
She had felt exhausted after finishing her computer class at the Community College. She had been teaching an advanced class in computer programming. She had stayed even later, working on an exercise for the next assignment: “How to harness the strength of Cloud Storage Computing.” She had some good students who were themselves leaders in that field. Still, she had arrived home before her husband and had been reviewing other recent writing on the subject.
Jenny pulled off her wire rimmed glasses and laid them on the small stool beside the couch. Groggily, she pulled herself into an upright position and instinctively pulled her long tee shirt to make sure she was covered. It was all she had on, and the last time her husband had come home late, after the night class he taught, their neighbor, Sam had been invited in for a drink.
Jenny had fallen asleep while reading. Her book had been cradled in her arms and her glasses were still on as she lay curled up on her side. With the television on, she had not clearly heard the door open or shut. She had not heard the “Honey, I’m home. Are you decent?” Her husband, Ben had gone into the kitchen, taken two beers out of the refrigerator and Sam had followed him into the TV Room. Jenn had been curled up on the couch. Unfortunately for her; fortunately for Sam, Jenn was too groggy to realize that her long, thin tee-shirt had not been pulled down far enough.
Ben had walked in first, realized what he saw, but was too confused as to what to do about it. Sam was right behind him and delightfully shocked at what he saw.
Sam knew Ben had a beautiful wife, but for the most part had only seen her in a sweater, jeans and athletic shoes. Once in a while, he got a glimpse of her in her cut-offs working in the yard. He had always fantasized about the forty-year old neighbor but was reluctant to act on it.
He and Ben had been sharing rides on several evenings to the junior college a few miles away. Ben was teaching a class in economics and he was taking some classes in photography.
“What to do now?” wondered the shocked neighbor. He and Ben had clearly seen Jenny curled up on the couch. She hadn’t woken up yet, and her top was clearly exposing that luscious mound of hers. “What a fucking sight!” Ben screamed to himself.
“What’s on TV at this hour?” Ben tried to ask in a loud voice as he tried to make noise as he purposely stumbled into the room. What else could he do? Ben knew he was in the room and knew what they had both seen. Ben turned and sat down on the couch with one beer in each hand. “Wake up, hon. We have company.”
Ben tried to sit in front of Jenn for a sort of cover. Sam remained standing, his view somewhat obscured by his hosts position. Slowly, groggily, Jenn realized the situation she was in. Embarrassed, she sat up; turned to put her feet on the floor and her face down against her knees. Embarrassed, she used her hands to pull down futilely on the hem of her garment. She was too embarrassed to look up or respond. “What had they seen?” she wondered.
“How long have you been asleep; hon?” Ben asked. He was trying to defuse the situation, as though nothing had happened. He didn’t know whether to be embarrassed for his wife or aroused at the scene they had walked in on. At some level, Ben had probably been intrigued with the prospect of having his wife exposed to strangers. This was unplanned and unexpected. Never-the-less, there was an erotic and exciting aspect to it; walking into the TV Room, hitting the light switch with his elbow and having him and a neighbor treated to this erotic sight. He had no idea how to react.
“Hmmmmmm...” The groggy woman seemed to groan as she struggled to gain her senses. “Maybe they didn’t see anything. Maybe with the lights off initially ... Maybe with her husband sitting down next to her ... Maybe ... She tried to shut it out of her mind.
“Why don’t you guys take that beer into the living room? I don’t want any of it spilled in here.” She said; somewhat trying to cover her embarrassment. She had to get out of there with some sort of dignity, and couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“Sure, hon.” Her husband said as he looked up to Sam; hoping for him to lead the way out so Jenn could gather herself. “Go get your robe and come on back into the living room to discuss that website with us.” He said as he followed Sam out into the other room.
Jenn tried to make herself more presentable. She put on a short, white, terrycloth robe. She wrapped it around her; tightened the cord and crossed her arms in front of her as she walked into the kitchen. By now, Sam and Ben were crowded around the laptop checking out a website. Jenn knew what they were looking at. Evidently, Ben was not willing to let it go.
Their marriage had gone somewhat stale over the last few years. Their daughter, Madison was a teenager now, and did not need her mother to wait on her hand and foot any more. At the age of fourteen, in Kansas, you could drive to school and any related events. She could drive herself to work if she had to. To this end, Madison had taken a part time job as a waitress/hostess so she could always say she was on her way to school, work or a school event if she was stopped.
It had been somewhat of a long struggle since her birthday. Jenn had an instinct to keep driving her daughter; to keep her perception that she was needed and that her daughter was still a child. Madison was determined to show her independence and insisted she was self-reliant.
Jenn had spent the previous summer with her father and Madison rebuilding a Geo Tracker. They had removed the motor, had the head and block planned; added new bearings; ground the valves and added new rings. After several attempts to put it together, it had held up for a number of months with nothing coming apart; no fluid leaks and no left-over parts. Now the jubilant freshman had a 4-wheel drive car that should survive most winter snowdrifts and get to work or school without much worry. Having rebuilt almost everything, she now had a good idea where everything was and had a good idea how to fix most things. Having spent that much of her spare time that summer, she was not about to hot-rod or abuse her first car. She also had instructions that there would be no passengers.
With all of that over, Jennifer was looking for other new experiences. Now her daughter didn’t seem to need her. What was next? She seemed hesitant when her husband, Ben, had first showed her the new website she was not familiar with: crewseekers.net. “What’s this?” she had asked.
“It’s a website for sailboats.” He had replied. “People with sailboats need crews. Others who want work can look there for jobs. Some people are just looking for a cheap ride; a cheap vacation where they don’t have to do very much work.” He answered.
Jenn watched as Sam and her husband peered at the screen and scrolled down the notices. There were trips across the Atlantic; across the Pacific; island hopping down through the Caribbean and on down the coast of South America. The couple looked at the advertisements for several hours. The study went into days and weeks.
Jennifer was intrigued. She knew her husband wanted some other ideas to spice up their marriage. Perhaps this would be a way to get him away from work for a while. He could take a sabbatical from his teaching position at the college. He had turned it down last summer. Maybe now it was time. Should they bring their daughter too?
“Awww, Mom; I just got this job and I’m making good money now.” Her daughter had whined. “Can’t I stay with Aunt Susan this summer? She can’t work with Cousin Jimmy still not old enough for pre-school. I could help baby-sit when I’m not working.” Jenn had let it go. She could always use her daughter as an excuse if she wanted a gracious way out of this trip.
Finally a couple of weeks before school was out, they got a reply to their own notice on the website:
“Married, middle aged couple is seeking passage/light work on a sailboat during the summer. First choice would be near Hawaii or Caribbean area. No experience in sailing. Expect to pay for our own meals.”
Jennifer had opened the email:
I’m Lucifer Santana. I’m taking a 60-foot yacht from Hawaii to Fanning Atoll in about three weeks. I do this for a living. I am taking this boat there for a couple who have just purchased it from an individual in Hawaii. If you want to fly to Florida, I can meet the two of you there and we can fly to Hawaii together. From there, we will sail to Tabuaeran, pick up another boat and return to Hawaii. We will have a crew of four. (The two of you will be half of the crew.) I will have two others who will do most of the work. If the two of you can alternate the night shift, we will be fine. We just can’t sit in the ocean at night with everybody sleeping. We need somebody awake at night to make sure some unexpected cruise liner doesn’t run over us. You just have to wake me up so I can move the boat before we get smashed.
Food will be minimal. Not much drinking. You can bring your own food or help pay for a week or two at a time. We have a large freezer and refrigerator. We can all cook our own food or share cooking duties.
Let me know in a couple of days one way or the other. If you don’t want this job, I need to let the next couple have time to decide.
Ben and Sam were intrigued with the notice. They could not believe it would be that east for two novices to get a free trip half way across the world.
Jenn tried to act like she wasn’t interested. She tried to come up with as many reservations as she could. She tried to come up with as many ideas as she could to nix the trip.
Jenn had spent many summers with her sister, climbing various mountains in the national parks, Canada, everywhere along the Colorado Rockies and even a few in South America. Most of it had been done without her husband. The spark in their marriage had begun to diminish. Perhaps it was time to try to spend more time with this “Inside House,” husband who had little desire for adventure.
She was astonished that the name of Lucifer Santana had come up: a ghost from the past.
“How could this coincidence come up?” she wondered. Lucifer couldn’t possibly know that her name was now Stephenson. “Maybe this was not the same Lucifer Santana?” she wondered. Maybe she should have leveled with her husband, before they had married. Maybe then, it wouldn’t be so awkward. “He will never fucking know.” She thought. “Why level with him a secret he would never find out?” she had told herself at the age of about twenty two.
“Ummmmm, hon; why don’t we keep looking on this website to see what other offers come up?” she had casually and nonchalantly asked. “But honey, almost all the posts want experienced sailors.” He replied.
Both of them had let the issue drop. After an hour or so of perusing all of the possibilities, Sam excused himself and went home.
The next day was Saturday. Jenn was out in the back yard in her shorts, high lumberman’s work boots, blue oxford long sleeved men’s work shirt and baseball cap. She didn’t hear the doorbell.
“Honey; there’s somebody here to see us.” She heard behind her. Jenn put down the trowel and turned. “Oh, fuck!” her mind screamed. She had not made it up. It was the same Luc Santana that she had known in college.
He was just as tall and just as trim as ever. His hair had a little grey in it; not much. He looked like he could still play. Luc had been on the track team and was the gunner on kick-offs and wide receiver on the football team. He had played briefly for the Chiefs; until he had dislocated his hip. After that he seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth.
Luc had offered her tickets to go to the games he was in. He had offered her plane fare and lodging to the away games too. She had helped take care of his house when he was out of town, but knew where it would lead if she had followed him out of town. She had been married by then, and her friendship with Luc was a big dark secret between her and her new husband.
“Luc, this is my wife; Jennifer. Jenn, honey, this is Lucifer Santana; the man who had the post on the website for help on his sailboat. Luc extended his hand. “Glad to meet you, Mrs. Stephensen.” He said as they shook.
“He doesn’t fucking recognize me.” She said to herself.
Jenn had been a late bloomer. In high school and the early years of college, Jenn had been a string bean. Maybe 5’-6” tall and not too much over 100 pounds. She had short red hair, wire rimmed glasses and about as flat as a flounder.
Now that she was married, borne a child and was forty years old, things had changed. She still had the waist and hips of a fourteen year old boy. Her legs had filled out and her abs still rippled underneath her tee-shirt from four years on the diving team. Her red hair was almost waist length and woven into a fishtail braid down the side of her head. Having a child had rounded her breasts out to a Diane Lane or Nicole Kidman kind of build. Her brown leather, almost knee-high work boots framed her legs between the hemmed blue denim shorts and the top of the boots. Luc tried not to stare; looking only at her eyes as he smiled.
“I was on my way across the country, and the flight got delayed because of bad weather in Florida. There are some bad storms, and they are here until morning.” He said; never taking his eyes off of Jenn.
“I know I can get somebody to help of the trip, but I’m here right now, and though I would stop by and see what both of you are like in person. He looked around. “Some of my biggest concerns are that I don’t want anybody on drugs or of any kind of questionable morals. I can tell just by walking through your house and looking at your yard, you would be a good fit for this trip.” He said as he glanced back and forth at the couple.
Jenn tried not to stare at him. She tried to hide any sort of sign of recognizing him. “He has no fucking idea.” She thought as she furtively searched his eyes for some sign of recognition.
Jenn looked at her husband for his reaction. Neither seemed to show any signs of reservation. Jenn did, but he chose to dismiss it as just her natural hesitation to anything new.
With no objections, Ben took the initiative to agree to go on the trip. They finalized plans; made check lists of things to do and bring. Yes they both had passports. They had all the shots they needed. Everything seemed okay. Luc stood, shook hands with both of them and said: “I’ll see you in Florida in ten days. We can meet there, and take the same flight to Hawaii.”
Jenn didn’t remember much of the conversation with her husband after Luc left. She was still all flustered after meeting him, and somewhat glad he was gone. She didn’t know whether to be devastated or overjoyed that he did not seem to recognize her. Perhaps she should have put a few other thoughts together. If she had been more alert, she might have questioned how or why he had already purchased the plane tickets to Hawaii. It did not register in either of their minds that he would have had to have both their names to make the reservations. These thoughts had eluded both of them.
When the day came, Susan (Jenn’s sister) and Madison drove them to the airport and dropped them off at the terminal. They arrived uneventfully in Florida and were easily able to locate Luc at the airport. Cell phones are wonderful.
Everybody was dressed casually. Luc had track shoes, boot cut Levis, and a blue, button down short sleeved shirt. Ben had an Aloha shirt, track shoes and shorts. Jennifer had her long reddish blond hair braided into a French braid down her back; almost to her waist. She seemed to be more of a pair to Luc than her husband. Her high-heeled western boots, boot cut jeans and blue, long-sleeved oxford button-down shirt seemed to match what Luc was wearing. He grinned when he saw her. “We’re the twins.” He smiled as he looked at her. Jenn smiled at the tall black man who, at about 6’-7” seemed double her height.
“We’ll meet our other crew members at the harbor when we get to Hawaii” he said as he took Jenn’s heavy travel bag from her. “I’ve already checked my bag, so I can carry this for you he said as he slung it over his shoulder. “Thanks,” she replied awkwardly, thinking her husband could have offered.
When they got to Hilo, they were received by two large Hispanic men dressed much like Luc. Everybody got into a hummer and drove to the harbor. “The weather may turn bad soon, so we ought to get out of here while we can,” Juan Diego said.
“Jenny, this is Juan Diego and his brother, Carlo Diego. Diegos; this is Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson. Jennifer and Ben.” He said making the appropriate gestures. They all shook hands and Juan started the four-wheeled- monster.
“We have already packed everything but your own personal bags. We can get something to eat at Hilo Harbor.” Juan said as he looked at the group in the mirror.
When they got to the boat, Jenn was overwhelmed. She had never been on any kind of boat before; let alone one that was 60’-0” long with who-know-how-many sails. Juan took their bags onto the boat and gave them a tour. It would sleep eight, but there were only going to be four of them on this trip. Jenn and Ben could have the double bed in the back of the boat. Juan and Carlo would have the over/under arrangement at the front of the boat. Luc had any of the remainder he wanted; probably the one next to the kitchen and living space.
That evening, they all agreed to go to “Gabrielle’s,” a small restaurant up on a bluff, overlooking the surfers below. Jenn wasn’t sure what would be appropriate to wear, but didn’t seem to have many options. About the only thing appropriate for evening wear was something her sister and daughter had picked out. She hadn’t had time to check before it was packed. She was a little shocked when she saw it. It seemed much more appropriate for her daughter than herself.
Jenn had to admit that the green button front dress went well with her reddish hair and green eyes, but the length seemed a little scandalous for a forty-year-old mother. Jenn put on the green high-heeled shoes, green, almost transparent lingerie and watched herself as she buttoned the dress. It only came to mid-thigh, and the last button was about 3” above the hem.
The dress would have been great if she and Ben were to be alone, she thought. But having three others along seemed to throw a kink in the plans. “Oh, what the fuck.” She shrugged as she wound the string of pearls around her neck. The low scooped front was a little extreme for her she thought, but her sister had wanted something provocative for her and Ben’s getaway. She turned to look at herself. “Oh, fuck.” She thought. The back is too low for a bra. “Did she have the audacity to go without it?
The men were already on deck waiting for her when they heard the click-clack of high heels. The sound was slow and tentative. With her head down, Jenn tried hard to concentrate on the steep stairs and handrail. She had to steady herself as the boat rose and fell with the swell in the harbor. At the top, she shyly stood uneasily facing the four men. “Wow. You sure clean up nice, Mrs. Stephenson.” Luc said as the Diego’s both whistled.
Jennifer was not used to this and was unsure whether to be flattered or insulted. Ben stared in disbelief. Her already short dress parted considerable because of the missing last button on an incredibly short dress. He watched as her conical breasts jutted against the thin fabric. “What the fuck!” his mind screamed. “Did she understand how revealing the dress really was? Most redheads don’t tan. Jenn’s backless dress and almost non-existent hem line exposed a slightly freckled and magnificently tanned and toned figure that belonged on Vogue. Did she understand that every movement made her braless front shudder and sway with each step she took?
Jenn forced and embarrassed smile she did not feel as the men stared at her. She wasn’t sure how to take it. “You are spectacular, hon.” Ben said as he took her hand to help her off the boat and onto the pier. The men watched, stupefied as they watched her dress ride up as she stepped over the edge of the boat and up to the pier. She knew she was exposing a lot, but what else could she do?
The Diego’s walked ahead of her. Luc was on one side and Ben the other as she delicately tried to navigate the planks and slat openings in the pier with her high-heeled shoes. Both men were more than eager to put an arm under her to help. It was a way of walking very close to her; to be there to watch those magnificent boobs bob up and down with each click of her shoes. Both men holding her could not help but be in the right position to see down the front of her Décolletage. “Does she know what we can see?” Ben wondered as he held one hand under her right armpit. Jenn seemed to be intent on missing the openings between the pier timbers with her high heels. Either that or she was pretending to be pre-occupied with where she was walking to shut out the idea that she might be exposing herself. After all, without much effort she could look down the front of her own low cut dress and see one nipple or the other when she walked. “Shutting out” was probably what she was trying to do with her situation.
Gabrielle’s seemed like a large white jewel, an arboretum of glass framed in white aluminum. Orchids were everywhere. The floors were honed slabs of granite. Luc pulled out the chair for her and Jenn sat down. It was a little awkward. Normally the table is a convenient piece of furniture that will conceal a short dress. This one was all glass. Jenn tried to use her small clutch purse to hold the bottom of her dress together with her legs crossed. It seemed futile. The dress was almost to her crotch when she sat and crossed her legs. With the bottom button non-existent, she was almost naked.
Luc sensed her uneasiness and tried to keep the conversation going to distract everybody. “Do you and Ben get up early? We’re going to have to start early to beat a possible storm.” Luc said as he smiled. “Oh, thank God.” Jenn said to herself as she nodded and felt the attention had shifted from her dress to the agenda for tomorrow.
Jenn did not care for the Poi, but most of the shrimp and fruit dishes were extraordinary. After dinner, there were some fire dancers, hula dancers and other entertainment. Once the paid dancers were done, Luc asked Jenn if she wanted to dance. Jenn hesitated. She looked over at her husband. He seemed oblivious; showing neither anger nor jealousy. It seemed like a touchy situation. On the one hand she had come on this trip for romantic reasons. It just wasn’t supposed to be with Luc.
He took her hand and guided her to the dance floor. The Hawaiian music seems geared to romance. Jenn felt once Luc started, Ben would get the idea and cut in after the first dance. Instead, first came Juan. Then Carlo cut in. Eventually Luc came back.
“Ah, Mrs. Stephenson; you are so much more beautiful than you were in college. You have come a long way in the last 20 years.” Jenn froze. He did know who she was. “How ... how ... how did you know?” she stammered. “It’s not hard. The internet is a wonderful thing. With your college address and maiden name, it is easy to check marriage records and find almost anybody.”
“Why ... why... ????”
“My dear Mrs. Stephenson. I think we have lots of unfinished business; don’t we?” he smiled. “I was intrigued with you before. Now look at you. You are beyond anything I had ever imagined before. Does your husband know about us?”
Jenn didn’t answer. She turned to see if her husband could see her. “Could he see the blood drain from her face?” she wondered. She looked worriedly at her husband. Perhaps it was more of her imagination. She felt he could sense from her expression that something had gone wrong. Jenn turned so her back was to him as she danced. She could not go back to the table in this condition.
“He doesn’t fucking know; does he?” Luc said with a smile. “You little lynx. You married this man and have kept some huge secrets from him. What will he say when he finds out you were with a black man?”
Jenn’s heart almost stopped. She tried not to heave. “Please; you can’t tell him. It will kill him. If you have any compassion for either of us, you’ll keep quiet. I’m begging you.”
Luc didn’t say anything. Instead he let his right hand drop. It slid down her bare back. He turned her so Ben couldn’t see. With his back to her husband, he continued to let his hand slide down. Now the ends of his fingers slid down past the end of her backless dress; down to the top of her ass.
Jenn was frantic. What could she do? She peeked around his arm at her husband as she felt the black man’s fingers slide down farther. “Please; Luc. Please have some compassion for us.”
“You know you could clear the air with him by telling him about us.” He felt her stiffen. No response. Luc pulled her closer. Again his hand started down. He hand his whole hand down the back of her dress. She could feel his fingers caressing the crack of her ass. She knew she should just slap him and go back to the table.
“I used to fuck this asshole in college. Now he thinks he can just keep going.” That’s what she knew she wanted to do. On the other hand, Ben thought he was the first. She had implied that. She had not let him have sex until they were married. He was sure she had been a virgin. Now this. If she told about Luc, how many others would he think there might be? She knew Luc might just be vindictive to imply he was one of many.
“P ... p ... please, Luc; if you ever cared for me before, can’t you grant me the dignity of not telling?” They were at the back of the room now. Jenn had maneuvered herself there to keep her expressions of anguish as far away from her husband as she could.
He pulled his hand up out of the back of her dress. He moved the hand to the front of her dress between them. She felt him rub the back of his fingers across her left nipple. Does it count if it’s the back of a hand and not the front? It felt the same to her. Jenn looked up at him; hoping her expression of concern would make him relent. Her face reddened as she felt his thumb and forefinger roll her nipple. Why did it feel even worse; knowing he was looking down at what he was doing? It seemed like fucking a stranger with the lights on. “ P ... p ... please Luc. Please don’t do this to us.” He could see a tear streak down her face and into her dress.
“Isn’t this a wonderful place tonight?” Luc said as he spun her around. Now Ben could see her back, but not his hand on her nipple. “I wonder if your husband wants to take a turn to dance now that you’re all warmed up?”
“Please Luc. Let me go.” She begged. “Oh, here he comes now. Maybe he can see how aroused you seem to feel. I believe your nipples are something fantastic tonight. He’s going to see how far they are sticking out and want a turn with them too.”
“Let me go.” She hissed; afraid to see if her husband was approaching.
“One condition.” He said. “You either do what I fucking say, or he finds out.”
“W ... w ... w ... what... ?????” she stammered.
“Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. Take those panties off and give them to me at the table.”
Jennifer almost gagged. She was too speechless; too dumbfounded to react. She looked up at her husband who was almost to her. She forced a smile she did not feel. “I’ll be right back, hon.” She said as she reached one hand up behind his head and kissed him on the lips. She twirled and headed for the ladies room.
Ben was a little surprised. She just spun and left. What was with the tear? She hadn’t moved that quickly all night. Ben shrugged and walked back to the table with Luc. “I guess she had been dancing too long and just couldn’t wait any longer.” Luc said as he walked back with Ben to the table.
Jenn was in full terror now. “What could she do?” Here they were in Hawaii; no credit cards that she knew of. No place to stay. No way to get home. At least no way to do anything without raising her husband’s suspicions about her and Luc. She went into a stall and locked the door. She put her head down on her lap and sobbed. She stayed there for a while. Others came in and left. She knew she would have to go out soon or raise suspicion with her husband that something was going on.
Her heart was racing. “This is fucking insane.” Her mind screamed as she tugged the thong down past her thighs. She sat there a while, trying to adjust her mind to what she had to do. Never in her life had she ever appeared in public without her panties. She folded and twisted them into a tiny ball and put them into her clutch purse. She opened the stall door and looked at herself in the mirror. On one level, she knew you couldn’t look at her and know she had no panties. “Nobody will ever fucking know.” She told herself.
The door swung shut silently behind her as she left the bathroom. Once out of the bathroom hall, everybody looked at her. They stared. “These men know. They can tell by looking. They are all going to stand up and applaud. Look! Jennifer Stephenson has no panties. We can see from here. Hey lady; I can see your camel toe against the thin green fabric. Oh, wait those are beautiful coral pink nipples. You don’t have a bra either. Several bus boys dropped their stainless steel bus carts they were so startled. Everybody stood and applauded the pantiles woman.
It didn’t happen; of course. But that was what she saw in her mind as she faced the low light of the dining and dance floor. They were looking at her of course. They may have been thinking it too. But whoever may have realized her nakedness was at least civil enough to be discreet; to not stare.
Jenn clip clopped her way back to their table. She stared defiantly at Luc as he pulled her chair out for her. As he pushed it back when she sat down, he leaned over with his lips against her ear. “Where the fuck are they? Show me.”
Jenn looked up at him and forced a smile she did not feel. Ben, honey; can you go get me a drink? I’m ready to croak.
Ben stood. He looked at her, then up at Luc. He was going to the bar, of course, but something had changed since the last dance. What was it? His wife had changed too. What was it?
When Ben was about halfway to the bar, Jenn glared defiantly at Luc. She turned quickly to gauge whether anybody was looking at them. Obviously the two Diego’s were spellbound with her. Others couldn’t help staring at her either, but since she didn’t know any of them she tried to ignore them.
Without looking at her clutch purse, she opened it; took the black lace thong out and almost threw it at his plate. Luc didn’t look at the thong either. He stared at her as he brought them up to his nose and inhaled the fragrance of it. Perhaps the garment was issued in Channel No. 5, by Coco Channel. Maybe Jennifer Stephenson just had that sweet clear smell herself. Maybe Lucifer Santana was just demented and was drunk with the idea of her panties against his lips with everyone watching.
Ben was coming back with a drink in his hand. He could see Luc with his eyes shut; taking in a huge breath. What was up, he wondered. Where did he get those panties? By the expression on his wife’s face, he was beginning to put a few things together. Like the evening when Steve had walked into the TV room behind him, it seemed to have happened so suddenly, he didn’t know how to react. “Here’s your drink, hon.” He said as he sat and slide the glass over to her.
Why was her face so red? “Thanks.” Was all she whispered without looking over at him.
Luc figured he had her. But they were still in Hawaii. If he got too outrageous with her; if he humiliated her too much right now, she could easily leave. He would have to bide his time with her. He stuffed the panties into his pocket. “It’s getting a little late if we have to get up early in the morning and get to where we want to go.” He said as he stood and pulled Jennifer’s chair back.
“Thank God all that’s over.” Jennifer’s mind screamed. Her mind seemed numb as they went back to the yacht. She knew they had all talked. She had held up her part of the conversation, but couldn’t remember what it had been.
Before the sun came up the next morning, Ben and Jennifer were awoken by motors starting, men yelling and the boat moving. “It’s 4:30am. Time to rise and shine. We didn’t bring you here to sleep your life away.” Came Luc’s voce at their cabin door. The handle turned. He poked his head inside. You don’t really have to do anything until dark. You two take shifts, if you want, once we go to sleep. Plenty of time till then, but you may want to catch the scenery on the way out. You may want to watch things until we’re out of sight of land. He turned, shut the door and they could hear him thundering up the stairs.
Jenn thought that maybe Luc had taken pity on her and was going to keep her secret. He certainly hadn’t tried anything else that night. Luc was on deck, steering the boat when the couple came up. Ben was dressed in rubber deck shoes, khaki shorts and white tee-shirt. Jennifer came up a little more timidly. She was wearing Niki running shoes; a blue baseball cap and a green tee-shirt over a one piece swimming suit.
Luc took them on a tour of the boat. He explained how everything worked; how to raise and lower the sails. He showed them how to start and shut off the engines. He showed them were emergency kits, tools and other things. He explained the radar and flare guns. He showed them how to inflate the emergency life rafts and how the ship to shore phones worked.
Jenn felt a little better now. Maybe her secret was safe. They took four hour shifts through the night; staying awake and looking for anything unusual. Both of them slept on deck chairs next to the steering wheel. Sometimes they chatted in order to make sure the other one did not doze off.
After a few days, they finally sighted Fanning Atoll. Jenn had researched it on the internet. She had found it on Google Maps. She knew the population was about 500 people. The island was the vestiges of a giant volcano. The north half towered over water filled center. It was mountainous. The south half was barely above water. It was mostly sand, with lots of coconut trees and some mangroves on the edges.
Jenn knew they were several days early to meet the other boat. They were supposed to meet the buyer; exchange boats and go back to Hawaii. Things didn’t seem to be going quite the way it had been presented.
In the morning they arrived, Juan and Carlo came up from their cabin with lots of diving gear. They were speaking in Spanish. Luc stayed in the boat and seemed to be in control of something. The two Diego’s went over the side. Every so often, they would come up. They would pass up something to Luc. He would put it in a bucket. When the bucket was full, he took the bucket below deck and came back with the thing empty.
Ben was curious. He got closer. He could tell that about every hour, the divers would come up with a long, grey wool hunting sock full of something. He couldn’t tell what it was. “What do you think they’re doing?” he whispered to Jennifer.
“I don’t know.” She replied; not wanting to know or caring. She was just hoping to escape the ordeal with no other incidents like dinner on their first night.
“Look, hon; they’re doing something. It’s something big or they wouldn’t be out here in the middle of nowhere with a king’s fortune in diving gear. I’m going to find out, but I have to have your help.
“You’re going to have to occupy Luc long enough for me to find out what’s going on.” Jenn didn’t like where this conversation was going. “W ... w ... what ... do ... do you want... ?” She whispered, without looking at him.
Ben took her by the hand and went below deck. He opened her clothes bag and dumped everything on the bed. “Here. Put this on. Tell Luc you want to help. You are going to have to keep him occupied for maybe an hour down with the other divers while I try to find out what’s going on up here.”
Jenn didn’t like this one bit. She took the garment. It was a one piece swim suit that her sister had packed for her. Susan knew she and Ben were supposed to be on a romantic trip, so she had gone to the athletic store and got her several outfits. Besides the dress, this suit was supposed to be for Ben. Jenn held it up. It looked innocent.
She started to undress. Ben was watching her. Naked, she sat on the edge of the bed to put on the suit. To her horror, it was not what she had expected. It was almost a transparent nylon. “You can’t fucking expect me to wear this around those savages.” She thundered. Defiantly she put it on to show Ben what he was proposing. It was green. It was opaque to some extent; as long as it was dry. Jenn looked down at herself. The low scooped front hid almost nothing. It was thin enough that her long stemmed pink coral nipples were only enhanced by the fabric. “You can’t be fucking serious.” She said as she looked down at her crotch. She tried to pull at the cloth in a feeble attempt to hide the camel toe forming at the bottom of her suit.
“How do you think it will fucking look once I get in the water?” she almost sobbed.
There’s something going on down there, and I want to know what it is. In a futile desperate attempt at modesty, Jenn grabbed a tee-shirt and pulled it on over the swimsuit. She took several deep breaths and went up the stairs. She didn’t look at Luc as she approached him. She bent over to pick up an extra pair of goggles and air tank.
“I’m bored. Show me how to put this on and I’ll help you guys down there. She wouldn’t look at him. She didn’t want to be in this position.
Luc looked at her. What was up? He looked over at Ben, who was just coming up the stairs. He tried to read his expression. Not sure what was up, he looked at Jenn again. “Are you sure?” Again she wouldn’t look at him. “Show me what to do.”