Whisper City

All Rights Reserved ©

Sheila Sharp

I hate beaches. But after talking with Eric I’ve found that he has never been and wanted to go. After him taking a bullet for me, even if it was his job, I wanted to say thank you. And I wanted to be alone with him, too.

“You’re taking a cruise?” My dad asked and I nodded. “I was gonna find out about this when?”

“Now. And yeah, Kady asked me if I wanted to go and I said yes. It is over Spring Break, dad,” I said in reply during dinner. Eric sat silently in his room down the hall, his door open and light on. He was probably reading and I knew he could hear the conversation.

Mom was out at a conference and wouldn’t be home till late tonight and Ashley, like always, was out at a party. Living up the high life. Literally.

“But you hate the beach,” My dad said. It was clear he was recalling the family trip down to Florida a couple of years ago. I recalled the trip as well with distaste, but didn’t let my sour feelings towards the trip seep out.

Instead I rolled my eyes. “Dad, I don’t have to go to just the beach.” I smiled at him. “I could shop, too. Not only that, but their culture fascinates me and the cruise is fun as well.”

My dad studied me, glanced at Eric’s room and nodded. “Fine. But he has to come with you.” I sucked in my lips and nodded, making it look like that was the distasteful part of going.

“I thought he would have to.” I shrugged to make it seem like it wasn’t a big deal, but in my head I was cheering victory. Eric and I were going on a romantic trip together.

About a month later Eric and I were on a cruise with my friend Kady. Kady was a senior and she had no attention span whatsoever. How she graduated I will never know. She left me with Eric quicker than I said hi and didn’t give me a chance to say bye. For her this was her pre-senior-trip trip and she had only plans of getting wasted and having sex this week. She apparently was going to spend the time with her secret boyfriend, not that she had told me about that.

I didn’t mind and instead I enjoyed the silence and comfort Eric brought with him while we hung out in the small library of the ship. Our room wouldn’t be ready for a while and I knew how little people thought of doing anything but drinking on a cruise, so we waited for our room to be done in the library.

I felt bad for Eric, he wasn't allowed to wear his mask on the cruise due to security reasons and it made him seriously uncomfortable to not be able to hide his face. He could wear his hood and sunglasses, but they didn’t cover nearly enough to make him comfortable. He was a twitchin nervous mess when we had to wait in line and go through security checks with so many people around him. His jacket hood didn’t cover much of his face and he didn’t look anyone in the eyes, not that anyone would know with his sunglasses. He had kept drumming his fingers on his leg so much that when we finally got to the waiting room I had to hold his hands to make him stop. We were early, as I thought it would help Eric seeing as I thought not many people would be there early, and so we had to wait a bit until we could actually board. However a lot of people came early so my plan had backfired.

I had tried not to laugh at him while I watched him probably have an anxiety attack, “Calm down. Jesus, you look like you’re going to hyperventilate.”

“Couldn’t I have just drove you down to a beach or something? Airports have less security checkpoints than this.” He complained, gripping my hands hard. I rolled my eyes at him.

“No, we couldn’t have. My dad knows I wouldn’t willingly go to a beach unless someone forced me to. So driving or flying down to a beach would have just sent up a red flag. But I have always wanted to leave the country and so to me this is a win-win. You get to go to the beach and I get to see a different culture in action.” I squeezed his hands, making him look at me with a nervous and slightly terrified expression. “And you kept getting called out of line to be checked because you look suspicious with how nervous you are.” I laughed as his eyebrows dipped under the sunglasses, meaning he was giving me a glare. After a moment he had looked away nervously and started biting his lip because he couldn’t tap his fingers.

“I don’t like people seeing my face.” He said defensively and I let go of one of his hands and cozied up to the side of him, entwining my fingers with his.

“You need to calm down,” I repeated and he snorted.

“No I don’t,” he said as he used his free hand to start that annoying tapping with his fingers again. I grabbed his hand and he stopped, sighing. “Sorry,” he muttered. ”But it is easier said than done, Shea. And your ‘friend’ Kady freaks me out, do you know how many times she has touched my butt? She almost got my glasses off, too.” He complained, frowning. “I’ve never met such a...” he searched for the right word and I nodded, knowing what he was trying to get at.

Kady always came on strong to the guys she wanted and it was one of the reasons so many people liked her, she either wanted you or she didn’t and that was respectable. There was little drama when dealing with Kady because she was so blunt with her feelings. But the part where there was drama was due to her inability to understand the word ‘no’. “Headstrong? Bold? Blunt? Any of those describe her well. And a touchy, uncomfortably so, kind of woman.”

I laughed at him, “That is because most girls think scars are hot. Kady especially does. And it’s fine, I know you are just getting used to showing people your face.” I patted his arm sympathetically, trying to hide my smile. “But did she really touch your butt?”

He only huffed in response and I laughed merrily at the thought, wondering when that happened because she hadn’t done that when I was around.

But as we read in the library he was much more calm, really getting into his book. As I had thought no one came into the library when we were in there. So we read and I even played sudoku puzzles until the cruise director made an announcement that we could go to our state rooms. He almost ran out of the door but I reminded him to sign his book out and he did while I signed mine out, too. Then we went exploring for our room.

When we got to the elevators which were just around the corner from the library we both stopped to look at the number on our cards and then looked for the number on the chart. I found it first and hummed. “Deck 6.” We were on deck 3 and I looked up at him. “Wanna walk or take the elevator?”

He looked at the stairs and then shrugged and pressed the button for the elevator. “We’re on vacation, so what the hell.”

I smiled at him and hummed as we waited for the elevator. Two elevators came by but those were going down and so Eric and I waited and the third one was going up so we walked in. A group of boys moved over to allow us in and I laughed as we walked in. “You know in the time we waited for this elevator we could have been to our room already? We are so lazy,” I joked and sent Eric an amused smile. He returned the smile and nodded, agreeing with me.

Eric pressed the 6 button and the doors closed. “Well, it is vacation, so...” He trailed off and I thought he was trying to make a point, but when I looked up, smiling, I noticed him biting his lip. He was staring at the others in the elevator and they were openly looking at him and then they laughed, looking at him like he was freaky. Just for a moment their blatant rudeness shocked me enough to stare at them with disgust on my face. My eye twitched as I looked at them in their neatly groomed attire. Eric and I weren’t dressed to the nines, like they were, but we weren’t dressed like freaks, either. I knew they were laughing at Eric and I.2

I heard Eric sigh tightly and I felt my blood boil when one of them asked, “What’s wrong with your face? Hillbilly fire? Did you use your health care money to pay for this trip?” His friends laughed and I gasped at just how murderous that stupid and assholish comment made me. The sudden crash of anger made me shake with rage. Having no control over my rage, I didn't think about what I did next.

“Fuck you.” I stated before I could stop myself, not even realising I had cursed. I took a step away from Eric and at the guy who had made the comment. His eyes widened. “He was in the army protecting you and your asshole friends. Not that I can expect you ball-less cunts to-” Eric covered my mouth with his large hand and pulled me to his body, keeping me from lashing out by trapping my arms with his other arm. I sucked in an angry breath through my nose and glared at the boys hatefully. They in return gave me shocked and embarrassed looks.

I looked up at Eric in rage, debating on stomping on his foot. He was giving a tight, embarrassed smile to the guys. But before I could get out of his grip the elevator dinged to level 5 and I switched my gaze to watch the boys rush off. Eric didn’t let me go until the doors closed again. “That was unnecessary, Shea.” I looked up at him, the rush of anger gone as quickly as it had come, and I studied his face. It was red, with anger or embarrassment or something else I don’t know. But his lips were sucked in and he was badly fighting off a smile. “Sorry, I’ve just never heard you curse so much before. I’m serious, it was unnecessary, but...” He shook his head and laughed, a merry sound that made me happy.

I chuckled at him and shrugged, slightly surprised and embarrassed with myself for getting that angry. Then I remembered why I was angry and the anger flared up a little bit. “You weren’t going to say anything. I know you. So it was necessary. Jerks shouldn’t get away with being jerks.”

He laughed a bit, face still red, and then the elevator dinged and we were on level 6. His humor drained a little as we had to pass people to get get to our room. He followed me closely in his nervousness. Apparently he didn’t find the previous affair funny enough to recreate. I didn’t either and so I hustled my way to find our room. Once I did he leaned over me and used his card to unlock the door and then he opened the door with me in front of him. I walked in and to my immediate right was a key card holder. “Oh, cool.” I took Eric’s key and put it in the holder with mine then I walked farther in the room. Eric followed me so tightly his chest was pressed against my back as he tried to urge me farther into the room.

The room was sort of small and on the left were shelves and to my right was the bathroom. The two shelves and bathroom created a hallway leading to the main part of the room. When you got there, there was a desk connected to the shelves with an ordinary sitting chair set up. Under the desk was a black fridge and above the desk in the corner where it met the shelves there was a TV playing safety procedures. On the same wall as the desk was where the bed was put up against. The bed had a night stand on the side near the floor-to-ceiling window that was as wide as Eric’s shoulders.

I looked back at the one bed and chuckled. I heard the door finally close behind me and Eric sigh contently, then he must have seen the bed because then he growled. “Seriously. We are signed up as father and daughter.” He grumbled on about the stupid bed, yet he didn’t back away from me with the door now closed behind him.

“Well,” I said as I turned around, chest to chest with him. “I don’t mind.” I smiled flirtatiously as his face turned slightly red.

“Shea,” He began but stopped when I grazed a hand on his good cheek and let my other hand slide up his chest, over his shoulder and curl into his hair.

He leaned into my touch and I leaned up to kiss him. I have wanted to kiss him since the accident and getting this close to him and watching his reaction to my touch gave me the courage to go for it. We were alone, with no one to stop us from kissing like last time when my dad had came home. My hand curled in his hair tightened excitedly as I stood on my tip toes and slightly pulled his head down for me to even reach him.

My lips just grazed his, and for a wonderful moment I was sort-of kissing him, but before anything interesting happened he pulled back sharply and said in a scolding manner, “Shea!” Then his tone softened and he looked away from me, “I-I can’t...”

I let go of him and he took a step back from me, turning to lean his back against the wall of the bathroom. He didn’t say anything and he wouldn’t look at me. He looked like he was angry and I so I nodded to what he said, not wanting to make him angrier. Feeling terrible for trying to kiss him and trying not to show him how much that rejection hurt, I spun on my heel and walked around the bed to better see the view we got with our window. "Look at our view."

"Beautiful," he said after a moment and I nodded. Not sure if he was talking about the view, because when I looked back at him he was staring at me. He had his head against the wall with a yearning look on his face. "Sit down on the bed." I didn't ask questions and sat down on the plush bed.

Surprised by how soft the hard looking bed was I fell back on it. "Wow, this feels really soft. I never thought it would be so soft." I grabbed a pillow above my head and laughed as I set it over my abdomen, squishing it to me. "Everything is so soft." I looked at Eric to see him sit down next to me.

I sat up when I saw how determined and serious his face was. “We need to talk about us, Shea.” I met his eyes, we shared a moment of just staring into each other’s eyes before I drew in a deep breath and looked away.

His eyes looked so pretty and his look was so desperate, as if he had something to say that was hard for him to. Like maybe how he didn’t want to say how he really felt. It made me want to kiss him again and maybe do a little more. I stared at his lips before I realised just how obvious it was that I was staring at his lips and instead stared at the pillow which had fallen off my stomach and now laid on my lap.

Of course he wouldn't want me, he had been the one to break it off. Hurt sizzled in my chest and I frowned. "There is no us," I looked back at him. "Remember?"

With a guilty look on his face he shifted closer and took the pillow slowly away from me. “I want you to know why I’m hesitant to...” I looked up at him and saw that he was really close to me. It made the urge to kiss him grow and my head tilted closer to his.

I looked up at his eyes, noting that he was staring at my lips, too. “To?” I asked, urging him to go on. I moved away from him a little bit as to not kiss him again or tempt him to kiss me before he could tell me what he wanted to say. We both had such little self control...

“Why I’m hesitant to let us,” he gestured to him and then me, “go on, or continue. Or whatever, you know what I mean.” I looked down and nodded for him to go on. His hand slid over the bed and to my hand where he grabbed it. I squeezed it back, staring at our hands. His touch felt really nice. “Do you remember how I told you about how I hate my father.” I kept my eyes on our hands and nodded. “Well I, uh, think that you need to know why before I can let anything more come from... Us.”

I didn’t know what to say or do so I nodded again, still staring at our hands, my heart rate increasing as I felt his breath on my cheek. He sounded disappointed when he sighed my name and asked me to look him in the eyes. It was obvious he wanted me to say something. But what did he want me to say? I looked him in the eyes with uncertainty, not sure if what he was going to say would allow me to again be his lover or break it off for good. The mixed signals were driving me crazy and I didn’t want to say something or do something to make him clam up again, and so I fought with myself as I decided to speak or not.

His eyes showed a kind of fright that I had seen whenever I had first seen him maskless, a kind of naked feeling enveloped me as I realised just how personal this might be for him. “Go on?” I asked, not sure if my input really mattered. Yet it apparently gave him the courage to get out what he had wanted to say because he spoke before I could finish speaking.

“The reason I hate my father is because he was a rapist.” He said slowly, staring at me with a steady gaze, gauging my reaction. My jaw dropped from the bomb he just dropped and my head jerked back in surprise. That wasn’t what I had been expecting. I tried to see where he was going with this, but didn't see a connection.

“Um.” I said stupidly, even more unsure of what to say because that wasn’t the speech I had been preparing mentally. As every second ticked by that I didn’t say anything the more nervous Eric got. But then I thought about the people in which he got paid to kill and that he said he did pro bono jobs, too. My shock melted to curiosity and I tilted my head. “Did you kill him?” He looked down and I quickly said, “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

“No, no. I...” He looked back up at me and shrugged. “I want to, I feel like you need to know. It’s what broke me and my first wife up.” He played with my fingers and I let my head fall on my shoulder, a small smile on my face as I realised that this was him resuming our relationship. His other hand tucked some of my hair behind my ear. “I don’t want us to break up over something so stupid. Which is why I need you to know that I broke up with you that night, because while you were drugged you told me that I had hurt you during sex. It scared me and the fact that you didn't tell me made me feel worse about it.”

"Eric, I didn't tell you because-"

"Because you wanted me to be pleasured. I know, you told me. But that doesn't change the fact that I had hurt you. Or that I hadn't even noticed that I did." I gave Eric a sad look as he gazed at me with shame in his eyes.

"Eric," I whispered, shifting to hug him. "I promise I'll try to communicate better." He returned the hug with a solid grip and I relished his body heat and the feeling of him.

I smiled happily, unable to contain myself now that he just technically said we were back together. I wanted to kiss him so I glanced at his lips to give him the hint. He took it and leaned in as well, meeting me halfway in a soft kiss that was almost uncharacteristic for Eric with his appearance, but felt so right with his personality.

When we pulled away I kept my eyes closed, licking my lips and sighing happily. “That was really nice. I missed kissing you.” I said in a daze, my body tingling with a feeling of euphoria. Eric’s rough hand gently slid down from the side of my face and he gently traced a finger over my lips, making the tingling intensify. He kissed me again and the kiss wasn’t as soft as the first time. There was more passion with it, more need and so much so that I responded by getting to my knees and tilting his head back. I broke away to get a better angle before going back into a heated kiss, moaning with the excitement and the pleasure of his lips working against mine. Having been technically broken up it had been 2 weeks since we had last kissed and the feeling of him turned me on.

Eric’s hand fell from my face to trace down my body before he wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me flush against him. He gave a groan of disappointment as I broke away from his lips to kiss the scarred part of his face down to his jaw and then up to his ear. I heard him chuckle and I giggled along with him, my heart soaring as I put my forehead on his shoulder. He kissed the base of my neck and blew out a big breath.

“I don’t know how anyone would be able to break up with you once they’ve kissed you,” I said as I pulled back and put my arms on his shoulders, locking my fingers behind his head. “You’re magical.”

He laughed and fell back on the bed, bringing me with him so that I was laying on him. I could feel his boner through his pants and blushed, but I didn’t want to move because it was turning me on even more and my need for him was driving me crazy. “Well apparently if you look like someone you do what they do. Which reminds me, I never finished my story.” He met my eyes and smiled. It was such a beautiful sight that I stopped breathing, caught up in the beauty of his smile and the curve of his eyes. It was the happiest I’d ever seen him and it was beautiful.

“You’re so beautiful,” I told him, tracing his jaw. Under my adoring gaze he became even harder and shifted uncomfortably. I blushed harder and cleared my throat. I shifted off of him and instead laid on my side next to him. “Sorry, go on.”

And so he went up on his side, facing me, and completed his story. He told me about how he didn’t find out until one day his father came home drunk and with a little girl. His father hadn’t been a stupid man and he didn’t beat Eric or his mother. But Eric had stayed home that day due to being ill and his mother had stayed home from work to take care of him. His father had supposedly gone to work and so he hadn’t know that he was home.

But while his mother was out getting him medicine, he was home in his bed and he heard the little girl crying and his father yelling. He had gone to investigate and found his father forcing himself on the girl. He was so young he didn’t know what he was doing and so he just watched, confused. It had taken his mother coming home and make such a big deal about it to actually make him realize that what his father was doing was wrong.

“I didn’t kill him then, it was years later when he was released from jail that I actually wanted to murder him. I didn’t then though, either.” He thought about it and counted with his fingers. “It was five... seven years after he got out that I killed him. And yes, he was the first person I killed.”

I put my hand on his arm, “He deserved to be murdered.”

He nodded and replied airily, “I know, but he was still my dad. And if there is one thing I can say that I got from him and that is my interest in younger women.” He looked at me and I narrowed my eyes at him as his gaze held a little shame in it.

“Nothing wrong with a taste, but raping is evil. No is no.” I said and he nodded. He sucked in a breath and looked away from me and I knew what he was going to ask so I interrupted him. “No, Eric. I know what I’m doing. I’m perfectly aware of our relationship and I am just as aware as you are. Don’t doubt yourself, me, or us as a couple. I know I made a mistake by not telling you that it hurt that one time, but I know better now."

He looked at my face and studied me, “Are you sure? I’m not pressuring you or anything am I?”

Realizing that he needed to really assure himself for this relationship to be healthy again and for him not question everything, I looked him deeply in the eyes. “Eric I’m not doing anything I don’t want to do. You’ve known me for years, you know I don’t do what I don’t want to and I don’t get with anyone I don’t want to be with.” I lightly grabbed his face and rubbed my thumbs over his cheeks. “I want to be with you, Eric. Please don't push me away, I love you.”

He studied me for a minute more, then he closed his eyes and put his forehead to mine. When he opened his eyes again he smiled. “Good, because I love you, too.”

I gave him an adoring look and he brushed my hair out of my face, his finger touching me so lightly I couldn’t help but shiver. He smirked at the reaction and I blushed a little, embarrassed by how turned on he made me. I wondered if I had that much of an effect on him him as well, but decided to save the question for later date.

Instead I focused on his wonderful gaze that held emotion he hadn’t fully exposed to me in a while, which was strictly just a look of adoration. There was no amusement or annoyance or an undertone of anger mixed in. It was just adoration. It made his eyes sparkle and I kissed his nose, then I kissed his lips.

He returned the kiss lightly, keeping the kiss tender and sweet, just how I liked it. When we broke away I sighed dreamily, thirsting for more of his touch. “Seriously,” I said slowly, kissing him again just as tenderly and sweetly as we had before. “Magical.”

He chuckled softly and turned to lay on his back, a beaming grin on his face. I snuggled into his side and we lapsed into silence, listening to the TV as it played the emergency procedures on a loop. After a while I lifted my head from his chest, wanting to talk. “We’re gonna have to leave the room to go do the emergency thing at five, how much longer till five?”

“Huh?” Eric asked and he cleared his throat, and looked down at me, blinking sleep from his eyes. “What?”

“What time is it?” I asked instead, realising he had fallen asleep.

“Oh,” he replied tiredly, lifting up his right arm and checking his watch. “About two thirty. Why?”

“Because we have to go to the emergency thing at five,” I told him, reaching up to pet his soft hair. “How do you keep your hair so soft?”

“By sweating,” he replied, laying his head back down with a sigh and closing his eyes. “Do you think I could go back to sleep, or am I sleeping after five?”

“After five,” I replied, patting his chest sympathetically, deciding to trick him into staying up. “Because if we miss the emergency thing by falling asleep then we have to pay a fine or something.”

Instantly he was awake and sitting up, “I’m so not risking that.”

I laughed and rolled over on my back. “I know you won’t, penny pincher.”

He snorted, “I know you have a better vocabulary than that, Shea.”

I shrugged, an awkward motion when you are laying down. “Eh, it’s what I could think of on the spot.”
And so we spent the next ten minutes talking before we decided to eat. “I think we get free room service as long as it isn’t some midnight order, and if we don’t then oh well. Let’s do it anyway. I don’t want people to be rude to you, it’s not fair.” I told him from the bathroom while I was washing my hands. The door was open so he could hear me and he appeared in the doorway. I looked at his frowning face and gave him a confused look. “What?”

He stepped into the small space with me and I turned off the water. I picked up a towel to dry off my hands as I turned to him, giving him a curious look. “If people decide to mock me don’t say anything, they feed off that. And stop bringing up me being in the army, I don’t like bringing that up.”

I took my turn to frown at him and put the towel down, my hands dry. “If people say one rude thing about you I will try to control myself, but you know how I get around rude people. I get angry and I don’t do well controlling anger very much.” Then I smiled and said, “And I will play the army card as much as I want. I like to brag about you being in the army.”

He let out a defeated sigh, “But I didn’t get these scars from the army.”

“So?” I asked, putting a hand on my hip. “They don’t know that.”

“Shea,” he pleaded. “Please?”

I bit my lip and pouted. “But a chemical explosion in a lab doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as an explosion during war. Nor does it make you seem like a badass, which you are.”

“Exactly,” He stated and I sighed, giving in. “I’m not trying to stick out here, Shea.”

“Fine, your wish is my command.” I said in a sarcastic voice, giving him a small smile.

He kissed the top of my head, stopping to smell my hair before he pulled away and muttered, “Good girl. Now let’s go eat food up in the cafe, then we can eat dinner at the nice place that they offer.”

I nodded and followed him out of the bathroom, grabbing our key cards as he opened the door. “They better have cheese fries, I love cheese fries.”

He smiled easily, even outside of the room, and grabbed my hand. “I’m sure they will have french fries at least.”

I entwined my hand with his and smiled at him, “Okay, I’ll deal with that.”

Later after we got back from the emergency thing Eric and I decided to check out the arcade. It was across the ship and down a few floors, but the walk was worth it and we instantly went to the open air hockey game and started up a battle. It didn’t take me more than a second to realise that the key card was what you slid to make the machine work. Eric was impressed with my ability to recognise a credit card slot, especially since I only go shopping about twice a year.

I merely smiled at him as the game started up. “Call me gifted,” I joked with a sly look as I looked down to see if the puck would come out my side or his. However as soon as I looked down to check Eric hit the yellow puck into my goal. I jumped at the loud clack of the puck before I looked up angrily at him. “Hey,” I said in a hurt voice, “That’s cheating.”

“Always expect the unexpected,” He said cheekily, winking at me. I flipped him off and he chuckled. “Ouch,” he replied sarcastically.

We played and he won. We played again and he won again, so I looked at the pac man machine in the corner of the room and wandered over to it, ignoring Eric’s friendly jests about being a sore loser.

I played some pac man and Eric went and played another machine. After another couple of minutes in the arcade some people started to come in and so we left, deciding to go to dinner. It was close to seven anyway which was when we usually ate dinner.

Nothing fancy happened. We were placed in the very back hidden by a half wall. I made some jokes about it and we ordered a three-course meal. It was a fancy place and the food was great. We both ordered waters and ate the food with light small talk, both of us anxious for when we got back to the room after dinner.

“So,” I said after I swallowed my carrot cake. “Did you see anything on the itinerary that you wanted to see or go to after this?”

He shook his head, setting down the water he was about to drink. “No, did you?”

I shook my head with a shrug, “No, but I did hear that they have a really fun pool party on the last night of the cruise. I’d like to check that out if you’re up for it.”

He nodded and shrugged, “Sure. But after dinner if we have nothing to do we might as well just go to our room.” I nodded in agreement and we both took our sweet time finishing our desserts.

After dinner we went right back to our room and Eric claimed the desk to read while I claimed the bed. We both settled down into our books and we read for a good hour and a half before he set down his book, finished with it. At the sound of the thick book being put down I looked up from mine. I looked at him, “Finished?”

He nodded and sat back in his chair, “Yeah, good book. I would recommend it to you, but you don’t like historical novels.”

I nodded and looked back at my book. I read a couple pages, feeling his stare on me. And after a couple more pages I looked up at him, meeting his intense stare with a questioning look. “You don’t seem very close to Kady, she didn’t even say hi when she saw us in the hallway.”

“I’m not,” I replied easily. “Not really.”

“Then why did she invite you?” Eric asked.

“She didn't,” I smiled brightly. He looked away from me and looked around the room, inspecting it. “Surprise.” I knew he understood because he laughed a little bit before again looking around the room. He touched the desk delicately, tracing the grains of the wood.

He sighed, a smile lingering on his face. “And your father will never know, will he?”

Knowing that he meant that this trip was for him and not for me, I nodded. “Never, unless you tell him, because I’m not.” I let my finger be my bookmark as I scooted off the bed and tapped Eric’s chair with my foot.

He understood what I wanted and pushed the chair back from the desk, letting me sit on his lap. His arms went around my waist and my arms went around his neck. I nuzzled my nose with his before I kissed him softly. He returned the kiss and we kept it soft. When we broke away he took his turn to let out a dreamy sigh and I kissed his bottom lip while he sighed, lusting for the taste of him.

His grip tightened on my waist and I wound my hands in his hair, losing my spot in my book and ignoring the thump it made as it collided with the floor, as our kiss became more heated. When we broke for air again, both panting, he stood up and we stared at each other as he took off his shirt and I followed suit with mine. We tossed them to the floor carelessly and he stared at my chest while asking, still breathless, “Lights on or off?”

“Off,” I said as I unbuttoned my pants and let them fall around my ankles, I kicked them away and Eric licked his lips as he took in the sight of me before he turned around and walked to the door where the light switch was and turned off the lights. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the darkness, but when I saw Eric’s shadow I walked toward him and he walked toward me. I heard his pants drop and his belt click as it hit the floor. He ran into the chair and pushed it in.

I giggled and he cleared his throat, embarrassed. When I reached his shadow I touched his chest lightly and felt him shiver as my hands lightly wandered everywhere, taking in the feeling of his chest. Some of it was smooth and some was rough due to scarring. I kissed his chest and started to work my way down, hands grabbing his briefs to pull them down, when he grabbed my arms and brought me back up to my full height. He leaned down to kiss me roughly on the mouth, moaning into the kiss and making me moan, too.

We broke apart and I pulled him back to the bed, falling down on it and letting him crawl over me. We resumed kissing and I wrapped my legs around his waist and he responded by grinding into me. I broke away to let out a half moan half pant. He kept grinding on me and I felt myself twitch under the pleasure which the friction brought and I started to drool as my head lolled back. Eric took this opportunity to feverishly plant hickies on my neck.

The night only escalated from there and he and I both enjoyed the makeup sex.

We docked first somewhere in the Bahamas. I had stayed in the room with him the whole time while we were at sea reading, having sex or just talking and telling stories that the other hadn’t heard before. We ordered in food, seeing as it was free until 11 at night to 4 in the morning, not that we were up at those times, anyway. But now I was forcing him to leave the state room.

“You don’t like beaches,” he monotoned as I urged him to go to the bathroom and put his swim trunks on. I myself was in a bra, swim top, and panties with my swimming trunks. It felt way more comfortable than a bikini or a one-piece that I had to wear for school.

“No, but this isn’t for me,” I said as I shoved him in the bathroom and towards a stall. “Get changed.”

“Get out of the bathroom, dork,” he said as he begrudgingly entered the small stall.

Smirking I walked out of the boy's bathroom and waited under a palm tree for him to come out.

When he did he sulked out. T-shirt still on and his pants around his shoulders to hide his face. He had already had to deal with kids laughing at him and for that I felt bad.

However, I knew that he was excited about the beach by how his bare feet started to play with the sand as he made his way towards the palm tree. I hooked my arm with his and skipped along side him as we made our way over to the beach.

“Can we not be near a lot of people?” He asked and I nodded.

“Sure,” I responded.

“Thanks,” he said as we passed the large group of people amassing on the slightly rocky beach.

“No problemo,” I responded simply, giving him a smile.

He returned the smile and I felt his arm relax a little bit. I rested my head against his arm contently, feeling pleased by being able to publicly act like a couple.

We walked a bit more down the beach until he said that it was good and far enough away from the people. “Cool,” was my reply and then I laid down my towel, took my shoes off and laid down.

He stared at me.

“What?” I asked, looking up at him. I gestured to the ocean, “go enjoy.”

“You don’t want to get in?” He asked as he set down his towel and wallet on my legs to not get them sandy. I moved to put my legs over his stuff and laid on my back, hands under my head.

“As you know I’m not a beachy person,” I shrugged. “This trip is for you.” He stood there a minute, beckoning me with his eyes. “Do you want me to go with you?” I asked sourly, not wanting to get into the ocean.

“Yeah.” He shifted on his feet and looked at the sparkling blue water. I noticed that he had his pants around his shoulders still and I sighed. “It’s prettier in person.”

“Looks deceive,” I said wisely, giving the ocean a slight glare. Terrible memories flashed, reminding me of the time I had gone to the beach in Florida during the summer before 8th grade. I remembered playing in the water with my sister and being shoved down, the salty taste and the burning in eyes when a wave crashed into me. The nasty sand that got everywhere and in everything. The damnable sun that burnt me. I hadn’t had a good time at the beach. “It’s salty and burns your eyes. But it does clear up sores quickly.” I smiled at him and made a show of standing up. He gave me a side glance and I took the pants off of his shoulders and threw them on my towel. “But it does look pretty.” He started to move forward but I grabbed his shirt. “Take it off,” I snapped at him, the ocean putting me in a bad mood.

“Why?” He snapped back.

“‘Cause it will be wet the rest of the day if you don’t.” I tugged on the shirt and then smiled as I leaned in and whispered sluty-like in his ear, “Take it off, Eric.”

He grimaced and shook his head. “You just killed your chances of hearing another story.” I laughed at his tense reply and ran after him when he started walking towards the ocean.

“Oh, come on!” I hugged him from behind and rested my cheek against his back. My fingers snuck down his chest and to the hem of his shirt. I started to pull it up and he grabbed my hands.

“No.” He growled. “I’d like to keep it on.”

“I’d like you to take it off,” I replied with a snicker. He glared at me and I huffed, walking away from him. “Spoil sport, I’m serious about it being wet the rest of the day.” He looked away at the people down the beach. “And your shirt is white, so it being wet would pretty much be see-through.”

“I know,” he said stiffly and frowned, debating.

I followed his gaze at the people who were running around with the masses in bikini’s and speedos. I saw the kids that made fun of his face for being scarred and frowned at them, wanting to hurt them for being so rude. “I can break their faces, you know. Give them something funny to laugh at.” I glared at them and I heard him chuckle behind me. I looked over my shoulder and scowled at him. “Don’t laugh at me, I’m trying to defend you.”

“They look funny enough already.” He said lovingly and I laughed with him about it. “You play the army card too much, you know that?” He asked, looking at me with humor in his eyes. I glared at him and chewed the inside of my cheek, thinking about how to answer without insulting him.

“I can play that card as much as I want, they were being rude little... little...” I grunted instead of cursed and growled a little more in different tones. “I can’t believe you stopped me from punching that... that...” I growled again and huffed out a breath. I counted to ten and looked up at his smiling face. I let my shoulders sag and gave him a sad smile. “You should have at least punched him, it would make me feel better. I can’t believe he got away with that.” I shook my head before I launched into another rant. He already had a conversation with me about that last night when we had finished round two of that night.

He just rolled his eyes and patted my head. “Kids are ignorant, and are rude a lot of the time, but they get better as they age.” He smiled at me and started to walk closer to the water and I grabbed his arm. He stopped and looked at me, raising an eyebrow. “What?”

“One, I’m gonna ignore the shot at being a kid cause he is older than me. Two, you gotta love yourself, man.” I sighed and tugged at his shirt. “Don’t let them bother you, be free!”

He chuckled awkwardly and gently pried my hand away from his shirt. “We are not having this conver-”

“Yes we are.” I held his hand and stared at him. “Why are you so afraid of letting people see your scars?”

“I’m not afraid of letting people see my scars.” He snapped, and I rose both my eyebrows at him.

“Seriously? I had to force you to take your mask off. And when I did get it off you kept your face hidden with your hands. Or am I getting that night wrong.” I asked, slightly angry that he snapped at me. I was his friend and he knew that. I just wanted to help him past his self-hatred of his scars. I wanted him to feel comfortable in his own body, especially since he made me feel better about being in my body.

“No, you’re not, but that was because I didn't want you to know it was me.” He said matter-of-factly. He clicked his tongue and started to walk towards the water again and I followed him, angry that he would walk away. But at the same time feeling bad because I might have made it worse. I hugged him again and he sighed. “Fine, but only if you take off your shirt.” He smirked smugly at me and I glared at him for saying that. Then I thought about it and shrugged, making his smirk drop off. “Dammit.”

“Ha,” I said as I easily took off my swim top to reveal my sports bra. His sour look was humorous, but I wanted him to comply so I gave him a stern look. “Your turn.”

He grumbled angrily, but stripped off his shirt, crossing his arms over his chest when I took it from him. “You win,” he said bitterly, not looking at me. “Happy?” He asked.

“Very,” I replied in a chipper tone and bit my lip while smiling at him. “I’m gonna go make sure our clothes stay un-sand-itized.” I giggled and he rolled his eyes at my lame joke.

I ran off and put our tops on my towel and when I jogged back to him he was at the edge of where the water reached just staring at the ocean. I stood next to him and let him enjoy his moment before I looked back up at him and cleared my throat.

“What?” He asked, looking at me. I smiled at him and he narrowed his eyes a little. “What?”

I smiled wider and grabbed his hands, moving to be in front of him I pulled him into the ocean. “You are such a drama queen.” I said adoringly and he rolled his eyes.

“I don’t get a moment to enjoy the smell? Not a moment?” He asked, amused.

“You do,” I said and I stopped with the waves crashing into my calves. “Here, we can relish the slightly warm water and take in it’s nasty smell.” I then made a show closing my eyes, tilting my head back and then taking in a loud, deep breath. “Ahh,” I said as I let out the breath. “Your turn,” I said in a sarcastic manner and then I watched as he gave me a dull look. I squeezed his hands. “Come on, don’t be shy. Take it all in!” I cried throwing my head back again and spreading our arms out wide. I laughed a little at him because he was still giving me a dull look. I swung our arms and decided to wait for him to do it.

“Fine.” He curtly replied, giving in. He tilted his head back and then took in a ridiculously loud breath and then made a monster sound as he let it out a moment later.

“Yes!” I cried enthusiastically, impressed with him. “Perfect, now we can go farther out.” I began to drag him again and when the water reached my back I let go of his hands and fell back into the water.

When I reemerged I flung my hair behind me and looked at Eric who had stopped walking. I gestured for him go down in the water and he did. When he started to come up again I jumped on him, arms coming around his neck and I planted a kiss on nose.

“Did I ever tell you how sexy you look when you emerge from water with a background of epic clouds?” I asked innocently, teasing him by keeping my face close to his, but not kissing him. His head tilted a little at the compliment and he smirked handsomely.

“Did anyone ever tell you how hot you look when bite your lip?” He asked, and I giggled, blushing at the compliment. He tried to lean in for a kiss, but I leaned away just to annoy him.

I nuzzled my nose with his and he started to walk deeper into the ocean. When the water came up to the middle of his chest he stopped again and I wrapped my legs around his middle, giving me an anchor to sort of stop moving with the motion of the ocean. As if by second nature his arms wandered around my waist and hooked themselves there. But with the little movement that I did have I was pretty much humping Eric. Not that he or I minded. I was too focused on the fact that we were grinding to tease him anymore and he successfully landed a kiss on my lips. I feverishly kissed him back, tightening my legs around him. We both moaned at the friction and I smiled into the kiss. He smiled, too and we broke away. He was much more relaxed with the cover of the water and being far away from others than he had been on the beach.

He looked down at his boner and sighed. “Dammit,” he moaned as I kept grinding on him involuntarily. I kissed his lower lip and then his jaw and then made a trail of kisses up to his ear.

“Ever thought of having sex in an ocean?” I felt him shiver as my breath tickled his neck and he groaned wantingly.

“We are too loud to ever get away with that,” he replied humorously. I laughed with him, and nodded in agreement.

“True,” I pulled back at arm's length and gave him a serious look. “We’ll save that for Cancun.” I winked at him and he used one hand to roughly squeeze my butt and bring me closer.

“Sure, just as long as we make sure your parents don’t come on that trip either.” His smile was daring and fun and I threw my head back to laugh. The idea of my parent’s faces seeing us having sex made me amused. They would freak out.

“Ha! Yeah, let’s make sure they don’t ever find out, I’m not sure they would be fond of a minor and her bodyguard.” I told him, and he nodded, sighing in slight disappointment.

“I never get along with any of my girlfriend’s parents,” He joked. However instead of sounding humorous he sounded kind of sad and I gave him a sympathetic look.

“How are you enjoying the ocean?” I asked after a bit of us just staring and sometimes kissing. I was playing with his dry hair and he was kissing my collar bone. He sighed against my skin and I shivered.

"I'm loving it," he responded against my skin, resuming his kisses. I moaned a little when he lightly bit the bone and sighed in pleasure. "But I would be open to moving to a less populated area." He gave me a flirty look and I returned it, leaning down to capture his lips in a sweet kiss.

"I wouldn't mind that either." And with that we were out of the ocean. We dried off quickly and the feeling of sand everywhere started to make me angry. "Please tell me you got your fill of the ocean,” I growled as the epic clouds that had made Eric look really sexy about an hour ago now started to let down a pouring, heavy rain. “Gah! Damn beach.”

Eric chuckled and quickly put all of our dry items in his non sandy towel and tossed me my shirt. I used my shirt to cover my head and violently shook my towel out to get most of the sand off of it. Sadly, because the towel was wet, most of the sand stuck.

“Urgh,” I groaned and sighed. “I’m canceling our shopping spree for today.” I tucked the still sandy towel under my arm and

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