The author reserves all copyright privileges. This work may not be reproduced except for personal use without the consent of the author, and may not be linked to pay sites.
Dedication: To my friend Ry who inspired this work, and to Don Hanratty who encouraged me to post it on nifty.
If you would like to e-mail, my address is JETjt@aol.com. I would enjoy hearing from you.
RON AND BRYAN
Chapter Twenty Eight
The sun had disappeared below the horizon when the friends gathered in the upper lounge of the yacht P-T II. The men had changed clothes with all in dress pants, collared shirts and jackets. Sam and Tom, the oldest men in the group, wore ties, while Ron wore an open necked shirt, light pants and a dark blue Blazer with a small family crest embroidered on the pocket. The boys were the most casual of the group. They all wore matching light blue polo shirts over dark blue sweaters which they had found placed in their cabins. The ensembles were completed with dark long trousers and leather shoes. The boys all were incredibly handsome.
The cute young steward that had been introduced as Peter Taylor was tending bar. The other, Jeffery King, was serving appetizers and taking drink orders. Ron had met most of the crew before though Captain Larson had informed him of two replacement members since his last cruise on the PT-I.
Peter was tall, about 6'-2", blond, blue eyed and slim. He was very handsome as were all the crew members. He had a youthful energy that exuded from his ample frame and a smile that bespoke of confidence and joy in his work. Jeffery, on the other hand was shorter and had darker features, including black hair and black eyebrows that framed and highlighted a gorgeous head and face. His body was well proportioned and was the more muscular of the two stewards. Both men wore long dark trousers and short sleeved collared shirts with " PT-II" embroidered on the left pocket. Matching ties completed their uniforms.
Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves as Ron looked around the main salon. The younger guys were all on the stern deck sitting at a round table and joking among themselves. In the salon, Matt was chatting with Bryan and Alan. Tom Cordero and his partner Sam were sitting on a sofa and in deep discussion with Jeff and Phil, the new whiz kids from Las Vegas. Lonnie and Jack Smith were outside standing at the stern rail sipping margaritas.
Ron crossed the salon and opening the sliding glass door leading to the outer deck, stepped through. He greeted the youngest group as he walked past, heading toward the rear rail.
"Hi, guys," he said greeting Lonnie and Jack, "I hope you're enjoying yourself so far."
As Lonnie nodded in agreement, Jack said, "Hi, Ron. Everything is wonderful. Our accommodations are great and the crew has treated us like royalty. We're really enjoying all of this."
Looking at Lonnie, Ron said, "As Jack knows, it takes a lot of effort by a lot of good people to make all of this possible. We're going to start bringing our top people and our best performers on cruises to reward their hard work in making this a reality. I really consider this yacht theirs, not mine."
"That's really generous, Ron," Lonnie replied. "You must have a hell of a team."
"Yes, it's incredible. You have never seen a better bunch of people. They care for their work and have a real closeness to each other that makes us a formidable body. As we grow and become more diverse, it is harder to keep that kinship that we have nurtured;but, I think that the cruises will help keep our people together, especially those who aren't part of our Las Vegas operation. Jack here is one of our stars. I only wish that Ted were here tonight."
Jack looked at Ron and smiled.
"He's here, Ron, at least in my heart. Somehow I think he is looking down on all of this and is smiling. I still miss him and think of him constantly; but I know that he wants me to go on and to seek a full life. He has left no shadows. I thank God every day for letting me love him while he was with us."
"Yes, I agree. You were both lucky to have each other. There can be no sorrow in that."
Ron excused himself and headed for the table where the youngest guys were talking.
"May I join you?" he asked.
Robert, the young staffer quickly got up and pulled another chair for Ron up to the table. Ron sat down.
"Having a good time guys?" He asked.
"Yeah, this is great," Tim gushed. "This is the coolest boat. We have been all over. We love your game room too. Wow; computer video games, and pool table, darts and all kinds of fun stuff."
"How 'bout you Robert?"
"Yes, sir. This is great. I feel a little guilty though. I sort of feel like I'm in the wrong place and that this is too good to be true. I keep thinking like I should grab a mop and start helping the crew."
"Well, I admit it is a bit of a change for all of you; but it really is true and its going to be a lot of fun. If you guys need anything or want to talk, I'm always around. I hope you will feel free to talk to me and just be a friend. Now, I'd better go in and chat with our other friends or they're gonna come out and give me a hard time for ignoring them. Have fun guys. And I really meant it when I offered my help with anything."
As Ron stood, they all thanked him as he turned and went back inside the salon.
"What a nice guy," Tim said. "He's the one that seems like a fairy tale!"
"How did you mean that?" Mitch laughed.
"Both ways," Tim answered grinning.
As Ron circulated among his guests, the time passed quickly. Ron had spoken to each of the small groups and again with Lonnie and Jack when they had came in from the cool breezy deck. He was seated with Matt, Alan and Bryan, when Tony, the Chief Steward, announced that dinner was ready. Everyone rose and moved to the dining room.
The table was gorgeous. A navy blue linen tablecloth provided the backdrop of a table enhanced with the glistening implements for use in dining. Gleaming white china rested on gold serving plates. Resting on the china plates were dark blue linen napkins with sterling silver napkin rings. On either side was sterling baroque patterned silverware which was surrounded with smaller plates and stemmed crystal glassware. The table was adorned with name cards at each place and was crowned with a beautiful orchid flower arrangement in the center, flanked with baroque candelabra on either side. The light sound of chamber music completed the picture.
Two stewards dressed formally, replete with white gloves, ushered the diners to their places. Couples were split up and were surrounded by the people that they knew least on the voyage. Ron sat at the head of the table and Matt sat at the opposite end. The seating arrangements were designed to foster new acquaintances as all couples and suite mates were all seated diagonally opposite at the table from their room partners. The youngest guys were separated and sprinkled around, interspersed among the older men.
Each person stood behind their chair. Ron asked them to bow their heads as he offered the prayer.
"Heavenly Father, We gather here at this table and at this time of year to give you thanks. We thank you for our prosperity. We thank you for our working comrades that are not with us tonight. We remember our families and loved ones as we enjoy this fellowship. Thank you for each other; for the love and friendship that surrounds this table. We know that you have blessed us not only with material things but with those gifts we cherish most, the love we share for each other. We ask for your guidance and blessings on all here tonight. Now we thank you for this meal and for the many gifts that you have bestowed upon us. We pray in your name. Amen."
A soft chorus of "Amen." was heard as the prayer ended. The men raised their heads and took their seats.
The two waiters quickly filled the wine glasses including those of the younger guests, except that theirs were filled only half way. The guests began to converse with each other. When the glasses were all filled a melodic tapping of silver on glass was heard from the head of the table. Conversations quickly died off and everyone looked toward Ron.
"My friends, I hope that you enjoy the dinner. This and the last on our trip will be the only formal dinners on this cruise. The others will all be casual. I thought it fitting that we dress tonight in appreciation for each other and for the old and new friendships that this trip may enhance. The seating arrangements were designed so that we could get to know each other better, whatever our ages or backgrounds might be. After dinner we will adjourn to the upper lounge where we will meet the crew and enjoy after dinner drinks and some entertainment. I now would like to offer a toast. I toast the bond that has brought us together, 'friendship!' "
"To friendship," echoed around the table.
Wine glasses were raised, clinked with those nearby and sips were taken.
"And now for a nautical joke."
Groans from grinning mouths were heard from around the table
"I knew we were gonna have to pay for this trip," Bryan quipped.
Laughter rose as the guests prepared for the worst.
In his best Norwegian accent Ron began.
"Ole was fishing with Sven in a rented boat. They could not catch a thing. Ole said, 'Let's go a bit furder downstream.' So they did, and they caught many monstrous fish. They soon had their limit, so they went home. On the way home, Sven said, 'So ve can find da place again, I marked da spot right in da middle of da boat, Ole.'.... ' You stupid,' said Ole. " How do you know ve vill get da same boat next time!"
Laughter rang out amid groans and raspberries.
"Ah, the grateful accolades of my captive audience," Ron said laughing as he took his seat at the head of the table.
The waiters quickly removed the china plates from the table and replaced them small plates on which stood stemmed crystal glassware. The rims were hooked with shrimp and the centers were filled with chopped celery topped with a red cocktail sauce. On the plate of each service was a small sterling cocktail fork which matched the silverware already on the table. The meal had begun.
It was a culinary delight and the service without fault. As each course was served the conversation became more lively. On Ron's right was Tim, the youngest of the group, and on his left was Sam, the oldest. Their conversation was spirited after a bit of hesitancy by Tim at first to join in. Tim was thankful that Ron had taken some time to explain table etiquette to him before the trip. He watched Ron and was careful to use the same appropriate knife, fork or spoon with each course that was used by Ron. Brandt and Rich had a little more trouble but were so happy and cheerful that no one seemed to notice any faux pas that occurred. Robert, the oldest of the younger crowd was wary of all the utensils too but had been careful to follow the lead of the older men around him.
After the appetizer was served, a wonderful Caesar salad was prepared by the Chef with much flare in a large bowl on a serving stand, It was then dished onto salad plates which replaced the appetizer dishware. Moving around the table, the waiters offered fresh croutons and fresh graded parmesan cheese for the salad enhancement.
Following the salad course, generous bowls of french onion soup were served in individual deep bowls topped with a baked crust. A tray of garnishes containing chopped onions, crushed bacon and two different graded cheeses were offered for embellishment.
After the soup course was consumed, a crushed sorbet was served to clear the palate in preparation for the first main course dish. After the cold but tasty treat was consumed, the small dish ware and tiny spoons were removed.
The first main course of grilled halibut was served with a side serving of fresh asparagus lightly steamed maintain it's crispness. The halibut was prepared the way Ron liked it best, with a salting of dry taco seasoning lightly sprinkled over the fish before it was grilled, giving the normally tasty but rather bland fish a rich flavor. Several of the guests commented on its wonderful taste. The servers who had replenished the white wine served before the first main course, now filled the larger and shorter stemware with a rich red wine.
The second main course was then served. Three-inch thick filet mignon tenderloins, with medallions of carved mushrooms, topped with a warm béarnaise sauce, were presented with saffron/ lemon potatoes. A corn salsa with goat cheese completed the dish. The beautiful servings looked too perfect to eat, but the aroma drove the diners to dig in with gusto. As the diners completed the main courses, the plates were taken away and quickly replace with the desert.
Each diner was served with a desert plate the size of a main course plate. On each plate was mounded, in the shape of a crescent, with a miniature ice cream beach and mountains. On the each was foliage made of slivers of mint leaves topping tiny candy palm tree trunks. The other side of the plate floated a chocolate ship that looked like the P-T II in a bay of raspberry sauce. Slivers of chocolate in the shape of shark fins circled a white chocolate row boat which was heading for shore.
Everyone felt almost guilty; that they were eating works of art, but plates were soon clean.
Pleasantly stuffed, the diners rose to take their coffee and afterdinner liquors in the upper lounge. Climbing the curved stairway in the atrium connecting the two decks, the guests could feel the result of their gourmet meal in the bulges of their stomachs and tighter trousers. Arriving in the lounge they took seats around the room as the stewards brought coffee, Grand Marnier or Cointreau drinks for the guests as well as the usual after dinner mints.
As the guests relaxed, Captain Larson appeared. Standing in the opening to the atrium, he addressed the guests.
"Gentlemen. I hope you enjoyed your first of many meals aboard. I would like to welcome you again and to introduce our crew."
Ten crew members filed into the room lining up next to the Captain.
"On my left is my right-hand man, Gary Franklin our first mate. Next to Gary is Tony Cruz, our Chief steward, and his serving assistants, Mike Cary, John Maples, Peter Taylor, and Jeffery King. I believe you have met all of these gentlemen earlier today. Next, is our engineer who manages all the power and utility systems on this vessel. He is assisted by Bill Tanner, who also does duty in the galley, the engine room and is our communications systems specialist. Finally, I'd like to introduce your Chef , Pierre Antoine and his assistant, Terry Vernon. Missing from our assembly is Manny Boneventure, who is tending the bridge."
The crew received a standing ovation.
"Also sailing with us on this trip is David Parker, who arrived in the helicopter earlier today. He will be helping with your sightseeing needs. And finally I'd like to introduce my son, Hans Larson, whom Ron has so graciously allowed aboard for this our maiden voyage."
Another round of applause was given.
"I hope you've enjoyed the beginning of our adventure. The best is yet to come! Thank you."
Applause was again forthcoming and most of the crew filed back out of the salon. Jeffery King moved to the black baby grand piano and began to play. The soft music created a soothing atmosphere that brought a mood of contentment to the older lovers in the room.
Tim, Ron's "foster" son, had instantly fallen in love. Hans was drop-dead gorgeous. The Captain's 17-year old son was just oozing sexuality and good looks. Tim's dick had begun flooding with the responses that his eyes and brain translated into the blood pressure of youthful passion when the young man was introduced. Tim was embarrassed as his dick had became hard; and, he was only glad that he was not standing and was wearing a fairly long sweater.
That protection mostly vanished when the entire guest assemblage rose to their feet applauding the whole crew. He had no choice but to join them, hoping that a quick dick adjustment and the sweater was sufficient to conceal the evidence of his desire. His eyes had connected with the young Hans whose own gaze then dropped down the torso of the cute young passenger. A grin and a wink replaced the polite smile that had graced the handsome young face as his eyes again met those of Tim.
Tim's complexion turned scarlet as he realized that the tent in his trousers had been discovered by the youth. As soon as the applause began to die down Tim quickly retook his seat. Ron had thanked the Captain and his crew as the crew members began to disburse. Ron walked over to the Captain and invited he and his son to join the party. Captain Larson graciously accepted. Knowing that the Captain had met all the guests but that his son had not , Ron took young Hans by the arm and began to circulate with the Captain following, introducing Hans to the passengers.
When they arrived at the space where Tim and Robert were now standing, the Captain made the introductions and introduced the young men to his son.
"Robert, Tim," this is my son Hans. Hans, this is Mr. Robert Cantwell and Mr. Tim Harris."
Robert extended his hand in an offered handshake and Hans took it, giving it a firm grip. Then turning to Tim, Hans smiled broadly and offered his hand to Ron's cute young ward.
"I'm very pleased to meet you," he said.
A bolt of electricity shot up Tim's arm as he grasped the hand of the young sailor.
His face turned a bright red and he stammered, " Uh, I'm real pleased to meet ya too! And, oh, just call me Tim. I'm not used to that 'Mister" stuff."
In spite of his embarrassment, he smiled in sincere pleasure.
"Uh, Hans, whatcha doing after this dinner thingy is over" Wanna shoot some pool?"
Hans grinned and looked at his father for permission.
"Sure Hans, It's O.K. You've been cooped up in my cabin or on the bridge all day."
"How about meeting us in about a half hour in the game room? " Robert suggested.
"Sure, that would be great!" Hans said.
Taking Hans by the arm, Captain Larson said, "Well, come on son. Let's go meet the rest of the guests. You'll have lots of time to talk to these guys later."
"Bye, Guys. Later," Hans said as they moved away.
"Bye, Hans," they both echoed.
When Ron, the Captain, and his son were out of hearing range, Tim turned to Robert and said. "Wow! Is he cute!"
Robert laughed and said, "Yeah, he is. I can see that he got your attention. Let's finish or drinks, and go change into casual clothes. Maybe you should take a cold shower too!"
His eyes moved down Tim's body at a bulge in Tim's crotch that was unsuccessfully hidden.
Tim's face resumed its scarlet color as his gaze followed that of Robert's.
* * *
Back in their cabin, the boys peeled off their sweaters and carefully folded them and put them away in drawers. They both then slipped off their trousers, shoes and socks. They both had a chance to check each other out again as they put on shorts and slipped on deck shoes that had also been furnished with the room. They smiled at each other, admiring the ample equipment which each had been endowed by their parents. Tim's mind however was more nautically minded and he had a hard time concealing his excitement of his discovering Hans and the resulting swelling in his groin that he fought to control.
"I hope you don't mind my coming on to Hans that way, Robert. I know that we're supposed to be roommates and all. I hope you ain't mad at me."
"Never fear, little buddy. I got my eye on one of the crew."
"Oh yeah? Who"
Robert smiled and said, "What do you think of Jeffery King?"
"Yeah, the dark haired waiter that was serving drinks and playing the piano? He is so cute! And a great body too, unless I need glasses. Man! And did you see those eyes. They were so pretty. I could have just jumped into them pools. Does he have a boyfriend?"
"I hope not, but I intend to find out as soon as I can."
"Go for it buddy!"
The boys both grinned at each other as they stepped into the companionway and headed for the game room.
* * * * *
Stay tuned. The trip is just warming up. JET