is a fictional story which contains scenes depicting sexual acts. All the
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`So . . . what do you
think, honey?' I asked Ben as we hurried across toward where we could see
Matt and Luke standing on the deck of the old boat.
Ben just looked at me,
without saying anything, but I kind of got the feeling that he was a little
disappointed in what he saw.
I think I can safely say
that the old fishing boat had seen better days. The white paint on its hull
was flaking off in places, and the pale blue trimming all over the boat,
which would have made it look quite neat when it had been fresh, now just
looked tired and faded. Even the name `Wanderer', painted on the
boats' front and across the front of the wheelhouse, was now barely
discernable, giving the impression that the boat had definitely seen better
All in all, I don't
think the sight of the boat tied to the wharf did very much to instil
confidence in either of us and when, moments later, the engines turned over
and a huge cloud of thick, dark smoke billowed from the exhaust, our
confidence levels slipped just that little bit lower.
`We had better hurry if
we don't want to miss the boat,' Ben said to me, grabbing my hand and
almost dragging me along. Even us we ran across the car park though, I knew
that his spirit of adventure was starting to wane. I just didn't think
that the excitement I had earlier sensed in him at the prospect of going out
on the water was there any more. I hoped to God that I was wrong, because I
think Ben desperately needed something like this possible job to give him
some purpose in life.
When we finally stepped
onto the boat, where we found Justin and Scott and Matt and Luke, the first
thing that we felt was the deck alive under our feet, while around us the
thick smoke swirled, filling our nostrils with the acrid smell of diesel,
which I hated so much.
`Hey guys. Nice of you
to show up!' Justin said to us as we joined them. `Where are the others?
Aren't they coming down too?'
`Sorry, it was my
fault,' I said to him. `We had to get some petrol and then the car
wouldn't start! Tim and Guy are still back at the house.'
`That's OK, although
old Cye was starting to get a bit tetchy,' Justin replied. `I was just
going to show Matt and Luke around the old tub, so come on, I'll take you
to meet him, then you can get the guided tour.'
As we started toward the
wheelhouse Ben whispered, `At least he got the `old tub' bit right!'
`Ssshhhh!' I quickly
With Justin leading the
way and Scott bringing up the rear, we headed in single file for the
wheelhouse, walking along the narrow space between the railing and what I
assumed were the hatches into the holds where the fish would go. This was
all new to me also, having never been on board anything like this boat
before, and I quickly found myself becoming fascinated by everything about
it, unable to resist running my hands over various fittings and pieces of
As we reached an open
doorway a crusty old character who looked to be in his sixties stepped out
to meet us. He was wearing a blue and white checked flannelette shirt, which
somehow seemed to match the fading and peeling paintwork on his boat, and
had a short grey beard and grey hair, upon which was perched a tattered dark
blue knitted beanie.
`So, these are the
stragglers, eh?' the old man said, obviously referring to Ben and myself.
`Yeah, Cye, that's
them,' Justin replied. `This is Ben and Samantha. They had car
`Hmmppff!' came the
gruff reply as he looked us up and down, before adding, `Well, I'm
pleased to meet ya, all the same.'
`Thanks,' Ben said to
him, holding out his hand, which Cye then shook. `We're pleased to meet
you too. I'm really looking forward to this.'
`That's good lad, but
I dare say you may think otherwise after a few trips out of this gentle
little harbour,' Cye replied with a chuckle, before then turning his
attention to me and giving me a smile which revealed several missing teeth.
The old fisherman reached
out his hand toward me, which I politely shook. His grip was firm, yet his
hands felt surprisingly soft, then holding my hand with the palm facing down
he quickly leant over and kissed the back of my hand said, `Enchanted,
`Knock it off, Cye!'
Justin scolded. `Don't go leading her on . . . it'll only break her
heart when we tell her what you're really like!'
`Cheeky bloody spunk
rat!' Cye spat back at him, which brought gasps of surprise from a few of
Behind me Scott was
chuckling to himself, but judging by the looks on the faces of Matt and Luke
and Ben, I knew that they were just as startled as I suddenly found myself
`You can relax folks,'
Scott said to us. `Don't take too much notice of them, they're like
this all the bloody time. Sometimes I have to think about which one of them
is actually supposed to be the grown-up.'
`Hey, watch it there
young fella, or do you want me to go and tell `em all about the time I
found young Justin and you . . .'
`Hey, give it a rest old
man!' Justin said, cutting in quickly.
Glancing quickly at his
face I could have sworn that his cheeks were suddenly looking rosier than
they had been a few moments ago, and I suddenly found myself wondering about
what it was that had brought on such a reaction.
Cye chuckled to himself
for a moment, obviously amused at whatever it was that he held over Justin,
then slapping his young companion on the shoulder he said, `Anyways lad,
hows about you take `em and give them all the grand tour of the old tub
while I get `er ready. Then we'll push off and see how these young
land-lubbers manage a trip out on the big blue yonder, eh?'
replied as the ancient mariner turned and disappeared into the wheelhouse,
with Scott following him.
* * * * *
All up, I suppose the
`Wanderer' was about fourty-five or fifty feet long. Not overly big for
a fishing boat, but then again, being a girl and having never even set foot
on one before this I really didn't have any idea how big a fishing boat
Justin showed us around as
if he were an old hand, which I suppose he almost was really, despite his
tender age. We were shown above decks and below decks, with our tour guide
nimbly skipping from one part of the boat to another without any hesitation,
while most of the rest of us were having trouble just staying on our feet in
some places as the vessel rocked around beneath us.
When we had arrived a
short time ago the day had been clear and bright and the waters of the
little harbour were quite calm. By the time we started back toward the
wheelhouse the wind was starting to pick up and the waters were now quite
As some of us held tight
to the railing, Justin calmly explained what this was for, and what that
did. I had this feeling that Ben and Matt were having trouble keeping up
with everything they were being shown, but I knew that once they got the
hang of things they would both be just as adept at this as Justin obviously
When we eventually made it
back to the wheelhouse we found Cye leaning against the door frame with his
arms folded across his chest in front of him, studying us carefully, while
Scott was leaning against the railing at the side of the boat.
`Alright then, who's
staying and who's going, eh?' he asked. `Sorry, but we don't got
room for all of yer.'
`Just Ben and Matt,'
Justin answered. `We'll see if we can't make fishermen out of them, eh
`Well lad, I reckon if I
can turn you into one, I won't have any trouble with either of this
pair!' Cye declared, which only earned him a swift clip up the back of his
head from his young apprentice.
`See what I mean?'
Scott said. `They're like a couple of school kids.'
Agreeing with him I said,
`I think the school kids might be less trouble!'
`Hey there lassie,'
Cye responded. `I've made land-lubbers walk the plank for less than
`Yeah, but none of them
were as pretty as her, were they Cye?' Justin added.
`Aye lad, I think ye be
I wasn't sure what to
make of all this banter, and judging by the looks of confusion on Ben and
Matt's faces, neither did they. If nothing else though, at least it showed
that there was some sort of camaraderie between the skipper and his one man
crew, and I was so hoping that at least some of that would rub off on my
`Alright then Cye,'
Scott said, while placing one hand on my shoulder and another on Luke's,
`how about I get this other pair out of your hair and we let you guys get
out of the harbour for a bit?'
`Scott, I reckon
that'd be a grand idea,' Cye replied.
* * * * *
With the three of us
watching from the wharf, after having said our good byes onboard, Ben and
Matt performed their first official sea-faring duty and pulled up the short
gang-plank, placing a void between us that I have to say left me feeling a
little uneasy. I don't know why that was, but I suddenly had this ominous
feeling of dread.
At the front of the boat
(which is the bow, isn't it?) we saw Justin nimbly leap from the boat to
the wharf and untie the forward line, before jumping back onboard and giving
the all clear to Cye, who was standing by the wheel in the wheel house. At
his signal Cye nodded and pushed a lever forward on the board in front of
him (I suppose you would call it a dash-board, but who knows?) and the
engine suddenly came to life. In an instant it changed its tone from the
quiet purring sound that it had been making while idling patiently, to a
sound that made my ears ring, telling all and sundry of the great power it
possessed. Accompanying this change was another burst of acrid smelling dark
smoke, which had us all coughing and spluttering.
I managed to look across
at Scott and Luke, although I wasn't sure of what I expected to see from
either of them. Scott was looking like a proud father as he watched Justin
work, which made me smile, while Luke was just as nervous as I was by the
look of him. He glanced at me while I was looking at him and managed a
nervous kind of smile. I reached out and took his hand and gave it a
squeeze. He squeezed my hand in return and as we watched the old boat slowly
edge away from the wharf I think we both realised that even though things
were about to change, it was for the best.
We watched as the boat
arced out into the middle of the harbour and then headed for the end of the
break wall, its bow slicing through the choppy water and the whole boat
rocking up and down as it powered forward.
We could easily see Ben
and Matt and Justin; they were all standing at the bow, young and handsome
and carefree, waving back at us, their faces covered with smiles and with
their already damp hair plastered to their foreheads. Every now and then we
could also catch brief snippets of their laughter carrying back to us on the
`It looks like they're
enjoying it so far!' Scott said to us both, then he noticed Luke and me
holding hands, clutching onto each other, and smiled. `They'll be
alright,' he said, trying to reassure us both. `Cye is a safe as houses,
he's been on the sea all his life, and he reckons that Justin is a
natural. Your boys are in pretty safe hands.'
`Thanks,' I said.
`I'm sure they'll be OK.'
`Why don't you two
head down to the end of the break wall?' he said, pointing toward where
the rock wall jutted way out into the harbour. `They'll go right past
`Have we got time?'
`Sure, if you hurry.
It'll take `em a little while to get there yet.'
Not needing to be told
twice I started dragging Luke by the hand. `Come on!' I urged. `What
are we waiting for?'
With Scott's laughter
ringing in our ears we set off for break wall, running along the wharf until
we reached the point where the rock wall started to jut out into the
harbour. It was about two hundred metres to the end of the break wall and we
could see the `Wanderer' starting to power through the water now, as it
started to pick up speed, while we ran along the flat concrete surface, with
curious locals who were fishing from the wall all looking up at us as we ran
`Are we going to make
it?' I called to Luke, almost breathlessly.
`Yeah,' he answered.
`Just keep going.'
Glancing back over my
shoulder I saw that Scott was coming as well, although at no where near the
pace we were running at. I'm not sure what he was making of the pair of
us, a couple of lovelorn teenagers already pining for our mates, but I had a
fair idea that he found the whole deal at least somewhat amusing.
As we neared the end of
the break wall we found ourselves almost in front of the boat and could see
the three of them all standing up the front waving to us, under the ever
watchful eye of Cye, who was visible at the wheel.
Ben was standing in the
middle of the three of them and as they drew closer I saw him put his hand
on Justin's shoulder and climb up onto something, which I couldn't see
because of the shape of the bow. He looked down at Justin and said something
to him. I could see Justin and Matt both laughing at whatever it was, then
as Justin held onto Ben's shirt in the middle of his back, Ben held his
arms out wide and leant forward into the wind, while also shouting something
At first I had no idea
what it was he was saying, then as they drew closer and I caught a few
words, I started laughing too. Just as Luke also did beside me.
`We're kings of the
world!' was what he was saying.
`You idiot!' I yelled
back at him, laughing and being sprayed by sea mist and being looked at by
the local fishermen as if I were a total nut case.
By this time Scott had
joined us, and the `Wanderer' was almost level with the three of us as
it navigated the passage between the end of the break wall and the far
shore. From here they still had to veer between the wall on which we stood
and another wall that jutted out from the far shore, which protected the
entrance to the small harbour, then after that they would have nothing but
open sea in front of them.
`So far so good,
then?' Scott said to me.
`Well, at least he
hasn't fallen in, yet!' I replied, but just at that moment Cye leant on
the ships horn and gave an almighty blast, which startled us, not to mention
almost shattered my ear drums.
And we weren't the only
ones to be startled either, as I saw Ben suddenly slip from where he was
I think I screamed.
It was almost like we were
watching in slow motion, as I saw his foot slip and his body lurch forward,
almost falling out over the front of the boat. It was only Justin's quick
reflexes that saved him from going in I think, as he still held onto Ben's
shirt with one hand and also managed to reach around his waist with the
other arm, then haul him backwards.
It all happened so
quickly; too quickly even for Matt to be able to lend a hand, and as I stood
there trembling, looking at Ben and Justin on the boat still clutching each
other, I could feel my heart beating furiously
Scott quickly placed his
arms around me, reassuring me that everything was alright, but as we both
stood there, both looking at our lovers clutching onto each other, I had
this strange feeling that the same things were going through both of our
EDited by Ed
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