Cruel Summer

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Chapter 7

Carter

I closed the fridge door, finally finished the stocking and all the feasible prepping. Despite stripping down to my bikini top with denim cutoffs and also having my head inside an icebox for the last fifteen minutes, it was still hot as… well the Australian tropics inside the cabin. Two hours prior, Linda had rushed up onto the boat with the next tour’s groceries, claiming she was in a rush because she had finally gotten her lady balls together and asked Hot-Cop Joe out for lunch.

I had smiled for my friend and was genuinely happy for her, but to say it deflated my lunch hour was an understatement. Not getting that precious hour lunchtime with a person who liked me, could joke with me, wanted to hear what I had to say. I hadn’t realized how much I needed it until I ironically took a job with people who weren't here for my thought, and another person who seemed to despise them. I had chosen to stay on the boat, resting in the few hours we had between passengers and prepping. Lord, I was tired. Sure, I slept, but it was far from peaceful.

Was I really nearly 23? I felt like I was housing the soul of a 65-year-old woman who ‘had seen some shit’. Logically, I knew that wasn’t true. There were people in the world so far worse off than me, it couldn’t compare. I was literally in the 1%, yet I shunned it once I skidded out and fucked up.

Twenty-three.

Mom would undoubtedly be sad that we weren’t spending it together in some grand manner. Though her PR girl, whateverhernamewas, would probably remind her that having a party like that so soon after the trial, even if it was extremely well kept out of the papers, would look in poor taste.

Dad would be starting to get to the end of his rope with waiting me out. I turned on Jenny’s phone once every two weeks, just to check-in. Dad had written back and begrudgingly accepted my plea for a little ‘me time’, as long as I messaged once a month to let him know I was okay.

The heavy, weary tread of Jackson’s footsteps on the top deck walked above my head, and I ignored him and went down to the bathroom to wash my face. The water from the tap was warm and did nothing for the way of relief, but I still ran a washcloth over my neck. Dad’s sailboat at Cape Cod had three air conditioners in the cabin, and I had never even thought twice that other boats wouldn’t have such luxuries.

The footsteps above could be heard everywhere and my eyes drifted up to the ceiling, trying to imagine the man walking across his boat. I just couldn’t figure him out. I thought I had. I had my space, he had his. He had his reasons for hating me, I dutifully respected them and kept my sidelong glances to a minimum.

But then he started to change his approach, kept bringing it right into my face. I was sick of being a punching bag in lieu of his former flame and he had lost the power to bring out my stutter about three weeks ago. So instead, I let out some much-pented anger, it wasn’t the words I wanted to say. To tell him he could take his well-defined jawline and strong thighs, and heated stare and fuck off with them.

Instead, I gave him the best young, millennial sarcasm I could muster. Only to find out it did nothing to back him off, only more grimaces. The man was definitely trying to get me to quit.

Maybe I should, I stared at myself in the small oval mirror. Six weeks working on a boat with very few of the comforts I had known. Shit, I hadn’t even slept in a bed in all this time. I would definitely say I had grown, was better at juggling the responsibilities and having some fun. Taking my snorkeling time only after I had done all the work. I had enough cash now to buy my own way back home, heck I could probably even take a week vacation traveling down the coast back to Sydney in between.

But no. I still didn’t feel ready to stick my feet back into the all-consuming lifestyle of Foxwood Glen. Mom and Dad meant well, but it was too easy to get complacent. To forget that normal people didn’t just call for their private plane when they wanted to vacation on the coast. I would be assimilated and swallowed up fast if I went back home now. I needed to grow my into myself first before I grew in Mom’s elitist mold that was waiting for me.

I closed the bathroom and checked my watch, the passengers were due to arrive at 2 pm for embarking and we would pull out at 2:30. I still had some 10 or 15 minutes until I would go out there and meet them with the manifest. I looked around the small cabin with the three beds in it. Sheets done, trash emptied, floor and mini bathroom cleaned, all done. I leaned up against the wall for another moment’s respite.

Jackson’s tread was coming down the thin hallway, and a moment later he turned the corner to stand in the small doorway, his large frame almost filling it completely. Think of the devil, and he’ll come and find you just to play with your head. His eyes looked me up and down, staying on my bare stomach. In the heat of the small cabin, my bikini top still felt like it was too much. Jackson had once given me a warning about keeping my employee shirt on, but since we were in harbor, there was no air coming in through the small window in the cabins, and no passengers yet, it felt okay.

I straightened up with his presence. The man’s size still disarmed me, especially in the close, intimate quiet of the cabin. His presence didn’t bring out my stuttering anymore, but Jackson Vail was still one of the most overwhelming sources of sex and masculinity I had ever been close to when he wasn’t being an asshole. Shit, maybe even still when he was.

His eyes were still caressing my bare stomach and jean shorts, and I unconsciously squeezed my legs together with his green-eyed gaze in the quiet of the small, hot room.

The action must have been too noticeable, or he was thinking of something else because he gave his head a subtle shake and spoke,

“You finished in the cabins?”

“Just. Rubbish is ready to be taken out on top.”

“Kitchen?

“Stocked and ready,” I replied with a fake perkiness I didn't feel.

He gave a small grin, and his eyes noticeably wandered down again, almost seductively.

Holy shit. What was this really happening right now? We stood there for a few more moments in silence. Me, hot, sticky, and dirty in a small cramped room full of beds, and Jackson, filling the doorway and my escape. My heart picked up and my stomach filled with something I hadn’t felt in a long time.

“Jackson, did you need something else?” I asked innocently, almost challenging. I still could be wrong. He might be checking me out and I might be about to get a slap on the wrist for an unprofessional dress or something similar, using it as an excuse to finally get me off his boat.

But that gaze spoke of something else. He frowned at my question and tilted his head in a chastising manner. He took a step into the room and towards me, leaving a few feet between us before shutting the thin door behind him.

“Do you always play this game?” he gritted out, and my body felt alert with the new, condescending tone. His question might have been meant to be sexual, but I frowned at the intention. How the hell was I playing around here?

I squared my shoulders on the man, who had now braced his hands against his hips like he was expecting some poor excuse and was going to rip it to shreds.

“I don’t play games. Not anymore, Captain.

Jackson’s brow furrowed at my sassy reply, and the reminder that this was most certainly workplace harassment. Still, he reached up for his baseball cap and threw it on the bed, his long dark hair spilling out and hovered around his eyes that were almost angry at me.

“You think I don’t know what you’ve been doing ever since you stepped aboard my boat? You don’t think I see it. The fucking puppy look long glances in my direction, every time I get in an out of the water, your eyes might as well be hands trying to grab me, Malibu.”

I took a deep breath. Talk about a ‘J’accuse’. He wasn’t wrong, but it wasn’t my fault that I had a male sexpot of a coworker and Captain of a ship. Dominating the seas with strength in his forearms and thighs. Still, I only ever furtively looked or thought I had. I needed this job, I wasn’t ready to go back yet. I shrugged it off like it was a simple misunderstanding.

“You’re nice to look at. But I’m sorry, and will do my best to stop if it makes you uncomfortable.”

He took a step forward and my inside tensed. The small room might as well have been a janitor’s closet, he was nearly chest to chest with me with that one small step. Ever so slowly, an arm came up to the wall above my head and he was suddenly everywhere. Leaning down to meet my face, his hair fell forward and obscured his right eye. Sexpot wasn’t the right word for this man.

Achilles, or another seaworthy Grecian god who had a face and chestful of hair and if the outline of his wetsuit was telling the truth, was an ideal for any woman now going on 9 months celibacy.

If an ego ever developed in this man, he could have found himself a promising career in porn or something similar that would take him far away from the little insular world that rose with the highs and lows of tourist season.

He could go anywhere with a face and body like that, paired with this stare, but he was here. In Australia, in a little surf town that shuttled divers and beachgoers to paradise. He was here, in a medium-sized sailboat, in a small hot cabin, leaning forward and looking like an apex predator about to go for the kill. And my body was fucking screaming for him.

He didn’t say a word after my offer to never look at him again, and he was still leaning forward, crowding me against the wall space between beds. That hot stare lowered to my chest and undoubtedly the rapid breathing swelling it up and down. His eyes might have been elsewhere, but mine stayed glued to his face. He didn’t look angry anymore, but focused, his mind was thinking hard on something, and I reached up to touch the dark beard covering his jaw. He still didn’t look at me with the contact, but his free hand grazed the top of my jean shorts and started to wander down my hip, lightly touching the denim.

I should have looked down to see what that hand was doing, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from Jackson’s face, from the beard I had wanted to caress for weeks. I had rarely seen it without anger, or frustration. Heck, I would have settled for slightly annoyed every now and then. The only time I saw it otherwise was when he was asleep. When it was gentle and vulnerable. When she wasn’t in his thoughts.

I touched his cheek, running my fingers through the hair. Rough against the grain, but soft to the touch. His wandering hand reached the end of the frayed shorts at the top of my thigh, and his fingers now tiptoed across the skin and quickly pushed aside the thin denim of the crotch and my bikini bottom. I gasped with the invasive action and my body stiffened, pressing itself up against the wood paneled wall as Jackson’s fingers quickly found my clit, wet and ready for them.

His eyes finally raised themselves to mine when he realized what he had found and my hand on his cheek grasped his nape. I wanted him, my body made itself ready for anything he would deign to give it. It always did, but now he was actually taking it up on its unspoken offer. But he didn’t gloat. Instead, he started to move his fingers around the hardened nub, teasing it and stroking it while he watched my face for a response.

I hadn’t been touched in nearly... god knows how long. And I had never been touched like this. Sober, in the bright daylight, vertical, pressed up against a wall, and being stared down like we were in a gunfight. He was watching to see if he would get a response and he got one in spades. I leaned my head back against the wall, my eyes squeezing themselves from the pleasure and a guttural moan coming from my throat.

Those fingers, now encouraged, picked up their pace slightly, and the man got another moan for his reward, as well as my right leg, raising itself to brace against the bed beside it. My hands, for want of something hard to hold, came to his shoulders, gripping and kneading, and I spoke to the ceiling above,

“Jacks..”

“Don’t talk.” he sternly cut me off, and the hand on the wall above my head suddenly came down and clutched my throat gently, the wide grasp reaching firmly around the base. The fingers circling inside me changed their position, and his thumb now replaced them, while I felt a thick finger make its way down and slowly entered me. It curled itself up and in, and a new wave of pleasure joined the milieu as he thrust it in and out.

My chest heaved now, closing the small gap between our bodies, and I looked back to his face, heaving with breath, his stare holding mine. I couldn’t take it, the intimacy of the moment, it was too much for my body, and I gave the ceiling my attention again, hoping not to explode.

Jackson’s hand around my throat tightened slightly with the newly exposed neck, and I felt his lips press up against a patch of hot, dewy skin before a tongue flicked out and gave a long, strong lick to the hollow of my throat. I gave a long exhale with his stroke, relishing the feel. This was the most erotic experience of my life, and he must have known it, because the lips came against my throat again as his hand pushed my neck back to the wall, and I could feel them smiling.

“Carter,” the thrusting finger started to go faster, the thumb gave a steady pressure and continued to circle. He breathed into my ear this time, “...come on my fingers.”

He forced a moan from my lips again as his fingers picked up their pace, and the hand was now starting to really clench my throat. The pressure of his hand gave me something to strain against, to fight against, and push the tension swelling my body into. My shallow, frantic breaths were easy, and I felt his own in my ear. I was close, so close, and my moans encouraged those merciless fingers into a frenzy.

Finally, after an age of tension and suspense, the dam of my orgasm broke against his fingers and I moaned, almost screamed up to the ceiling. The hand strongly clutching my throat now came to clasp over my mouth, stifling the sounds, and his fingers kept up their pace to ride out the pulsing orgasm throbbing around them. He could feel my insides clenching against them, eventually shuddering my entire body.

After a few moments of heavy breathing into each other’s ears, our chest pressing against one another, he slowly withdrew his fingers, and too easily from my gap in the crotch of my shorts.

He took a step away and into the middle of the small space, intently watching my body, flush against the wall, my leg still lifted on the bed spreading me wide, my chest still heaving for air. I watched while he brought his fingers to his mouth and sucked them like a lollipop.

I gave him no reaction, through my hooded eyes. My body was still in recovery like I had been given whiplash. Sweat was now trickling down the same neck that was in his tight clutch, and it fell down the valley of my breasts.

All I could do was just watch him as those goddamn green eyes still stared me down.

After a moment, he straightened up, wiping his fingers on his pant leg, and looked at his watch. His face changed slightly, the focus and heat had left, and now he was some kind of confused as if he had just forgotten the time.

“Time to get the guest. Take the trash out on your way down the jetty.”

And with that parting command, Jackson turned out the room and walked back down the hallway, sounding like he was going below to the small crawl space for the engine.

I watched the empty doorway for a moment longer, my face most likely a picture of shock and its own confusion at his sudden departure. Jackson hadn’t taken off a stitch of my clothing, he didn’t kiss me, he had even choked me in some kind of mild BDSM. It was new, raw, and carnal. It was the best orgasm of my life.

There was no way the man could get me to quit.

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