Even though I worked in the hospitality industry at a popular island resort, my life was mundane. To numb me. I tended a noisy pirate bar, listened to crazy stories from the tourists and thought some of them needed real therapy. But mostly, as a man, I minded my own business. I blended into my surroundings like a chameleon.

Until I didn’t when he walked in the bar.

A hot man, under the radar, had slid onto the bar stool and now perched in front of me. He was stealth-like. Maybe he was used to not being seen and I’d forgotten how to look. But that was history, because I saw him. Every hot, hunky part, and I buzzed with heat.

“Jack. Rocks.”

“You got it.”

I performed my usual barkeep routine. I plunked the iced glass in front of him and poured. He picked it up and sipped, holding the liquid a minute in his mouth before he swallowed. I wanted to be savored that way. Instead of waiting to see what would happen or if he needed more Jack, my new found excitement got the best of me.

“Any special island plans?”

He swirled his drink. “No. Just a stopover.”

That was an unusual answer. We weren’t a stop-over kind of place, but then again, the marina just reopened after they finished the hurricane damage repair.

“You’ve got a slip at the marina?”

“Yeah. I’m sailing down to Key West for the season.”

“What do you sail?”

“A two-masted hand-built wooden schooner. Crew of three.”

At that moment, I wished I knew something about boats to sound intelligent. Active attention was all I could pull off. He seemed pre-occupied, like something weighed on him. As a bartender, I know.

“You and the crew need any entertainment recs while you’re here?”

“No. My mates had friends nearby, so they’re hanging with them for several days.” I felt a lonely vibe, one I’d love to chase away.

“Maybe you could use some fun?”

“Appreciate the offer, but I’m good.”

He finished the glass. Dropped cash on the bar and left. It was as if he dragged me out the door with him. He captivated me and I wanted to spend time with him.

After my early shift ended, it began my three days off. I decided to walk to the marina and check out his boat.

I hadn’t really seen the marina reconstruction; it had been corded off for so long. That’s what I told myself. As I walked across the parking lot, the boat he described came into view. Even someone like me could appreciate its majestic beauty.

The boat, tied onto the pilings of the outside floating dock, was a stage for a shirtless Adonis working. My heart fell into my stomach from the jolt. I moved within earshot.

“Hey, I thought I’d come see what she looked like.”

He stood holding a line of rope and stared down at me. It was a look laced with surprise and I hoped, interest. “She’s something, huh?”

“It’s art to me. I know nothing about boats.”

He paused. I could feel him thinking. Why do I like the dark and mysterious men?

He stood at the top of the entryway, back lit with the early dusk sky. I may have stepped into a photo shoot with the hottest model alive.

“Come on up and I’ll show you around. I’m Mark Liner.”

“Thanks, Jase Turner. I’d love to come aboard.”

For the next hour, I learned about the history of the boat’s construction, all the places it had been, sailing terminology, and him.

We sat up top with drinks, rocking with the light lapping water. It was soothing. I began to understand how someone could be a water person.

“I don’t mean to press you, Mark, but your trip seems to have some undercurrents.”

He threw me a knowing glance. “Does that question come from your bartender or your therapist training?”

I shrugged. “I observe. If you want to talk about it, I’m here.”

“Maybe.” He looked out at the horizon. “So, you’ve never sailed.” A true deflection.

“Nope. This is my first time on a boat.”

“Would you like to go out on the water with me?”

Lucky me. I had the time and no plans. “That sounds awesome.”

“Can you leave tomorrow?”

“I’m free for three long days.”

“Three long days, huh?” In that moment, Mark gave me the once over and the tiny hairs on my body were clapping. “Bring your overnight gear.”

“Sounds good.”

“Jase, to be clear. I’m gay.”

My face nearly broke from my grin.

“What a coincidence, Mark. So am I.”

“Bring whatever you like for pleasure.” My wheels were turning. How long had it been? “And be ready to crew.”

“Aye, aye, captain.”

“We set sail at 9 am.”

***

On my way to the marina, I stopped by the drugstore to get a fresh box of condoms and a large lube. My brand-new P-vibrator was itching for a turn.

At the car, I packed the new supplies in my duffle bag and attempted to calm my jitters as I drove over to the marina. It had been a year since I had been with a man. After Barton picked the job in Barcelona over me, I stayed away from all men. I didn’t want to feel that pain anytime soon. For some reason, I felt like Mark would understand that because I knew he was hurting over something.

The sun peeked through the clouds as I approached his ship. The morning light was even better at highlighting his body. He wore a tee-shirt with cut out sleeves and board shorts. A light sheen of perspiration danced across his biceps. My cock twitched. One part of my body was ready to do this again.

“Hi, Mark. Permission to come aboard?”

“Good morning, Jase. Permission granted.”

And without thought or pretense, I kissed him hello like I’d done it a hundred times before. He tasted of salt and suntan lotion. I pulled away when I realized what I had done.

“Why’d you do that, Jase?”

“Kiss you or pull away?” I rubbed my hand across my tingling mouth. “I overstepped.”

Mark squinted. “I like a man who knows what he wants.” He squeezed my shoulder and kissed me back with enough lust to cause me a dizzy spell.

“Are you going to be giving me instructions?”

Mark tilted his head. “Do you want me to give you instructions?”

I chuckled. What a sexual innuendo. “I meant about helping on the boat. I’m a novice here, remember?”

He smirked at me. “Judging by that kiss, you’re a pro in other things.” I thrived on compliments, and one from this hunk revved me up.

“I’m also one who likes privacy. Maybe we should get going.”

Mark showed me how to cast off and set the ropes for later. His methodical work put me in a trance. I watched a master sailor and imagined how his body looked when he worked other things. He said he didn’t really have a plan for sailing, we’d just drop anchor whenever. I was ready for ship work to be over so I could focus on us.

Clouds rolled in, and Mark announced it was a good time to take a break. I agreed. We had brought food up top and arranged it on the lifejacket box across from the side bench. Talking was at a minimum, and I enjoyed the comradery of silence.

After we ate, Mark broke the quiet. “What did you bring for pleasure?” His directness warmed me. Barton would never have asked that question. He’d just expect I’d done something for us.

“Condoms, lube, a new P-vibrator, and an active imagination.”

Mark chuckled and looked out at the sea. “A man after my own heart.”

“Which part?” I asked.

“The whole package.”

“Flattery will get you everywhere, Mark.”

He turned toward me. “I’m sensing you didn’t get it much.” I nodded my head and looked away.

“Too bad. You deserve it.”

Where has this man been all my life? I do deserve it.

I stood and squatted between Mark’s legs. My fingers itched to touch him, so I placed them on his thighs. “This okay, Mark?”

“More than. When I asked you to come out here with me, there was no pretense. I wanted you at the bar.” His stare pierced my soul. “And now you look pretty warm in your shirt. Take it off.”

I grinned and pulled it over my head before I served up a hot kiss on his salty, chapped lips. When I slipped my tongue in his mouth, our dance began. Callused hands roamed across my shoulders and squeezed. My shorts tented. He pulled me close, our chests together and the connection was so overwhelming, I shuddered.

“Hey, what’s that about, Jase?”

I gazed into his emerald eyes. “Intensity. I’m not used to it. My last relationship didn’t have it, unless it came from me.”

“I can’t imagine having sex without dual intensity. It is a real connection after all. I like giving. I think that partly came from being on the sea. The tides, the storms, the rhythms never stop. They fill me up and I give it back, to myself and to someone who moves me.”

“I moved you, Mark?”

He played with my hair. “Do you know how many bars I walk into? And how many people notice my pain?”

I rose and sat beside him on the bench and clasped his hand.

“I felt the pain.”

“Yep, you did, and I want it to be gone. It’s time. I’ve lost someone forever, and I can’t keep grieving. It’s not good for me. I want to get back to my familiar rhythms so I invited you to help me.”

I squeezed his hand. “I’m here. How can I help?”

“It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been sexual with another person. I’m ready.”

“Mark, it’s been a year for me, so you’re in good company. I’m ready for pleasure.”

“Good. I’d like to try out that P-vibrator on you.”

The sea breeze picked up, pushing me. “Yes.”

We stood up and went below where I’d stowed my bag. I retrieved my stash of stuff and plopped in on the large bed.

“I’d like to look at your body, Mark.”

“It would be my pleasure.”

Off came the cut-out tee-shirt, and then he unlaced the waistband of his board shorts. Mark paused and looked up. “Would you like to do the honors?”

My mouth watered. Unwrap this package? God, yes. I walked toward him, tracking his gaze on me. I loosened the waistband and shimmied the shorts down his legs, and he stepped out of them. Perhaps my heart would leap out of my chest. The blood coursing through me echoed my excitement. I looked before I touched.

He was hung and beautiful.

My staring seemed to ignite a fire. His cock hardened.

I continued to look at him, all of him. “You don’t have tan lines.”

“Nah, I’m comfortable in my own skin. I like to be totally free on the water when I can.”

“Would you turn for me? I’d like to appreciate your backside.”

He pivoted, and his sinewy ass drew me in. I moved forward and gripped each cheek and massaged. He pushed back, meeting my touch.

“Let’s lay on the bed, Jase.”

“Yeah, let’s.”

With one step he kneed the mattress, rolled onto his back and made room for me. “Hand me the lube, condom, and vibrator.”

I grabbed them up and sat beside him on the bed. My breathing labored. When was the last time I was this turned on?

“Here’s my plan, Jase. We’re going to take time exploring each other and then I’m putting a condom on this vibrator, lube it up, and I’m going to fuck you with it. After that, you can use it on me. Sound good?”

“Better than good.”

I leaned over and kissed him. Mark nipped my lip as he pulled me down on top of him. “Wait, let me get my shorts off.”

“Damn, you are in a rush. I planned on taking them off with my teeth.”

“You keep saying things like that and my dick won’t allow the pants to come down.”

He rumbled with a belly laugh. “I love your sense of humor, Jase. Take off your damn pants.”

I stood and was quick about it.

Then we were two naked men ready to discover. I gawked at the bronzed hunk on the bed smiling at me. He was so open and appreciative. This was good for me. I crouched beside the bed and stroked his arm.

“What if I had a different plan, Mark?” I wondered if he heard the quiver in my voice.

“I’d say it’s a two-way street.” He held my gaze, and I basked in his candidness. I wanted him to feel me. I wanted to create something new. Leaning into his body, I nuzzled his side and kissed his hipbone. When I glanced up, his cock bobbed, and Mark had put his hands behind his head and watching me intently. The connection spurred me on.

I climbed between his legs, and Mark spread them for my body to fit as I kneeled. With my hands stroking his thighs, I delighted in the dusting of hair on his legs and around this cock.

“You taking in a show, Jase?”

I looked up again. He was smirking. “What if I am? I bet you’ll give as good as you get.”

“Wow. You do know me.”

He swallowed his next words when I deep-throated his cock and held him there. I buried my nose in his nest of pubic hair. His fresh soap scent filled me. My hands roamed his chest, and he squeezed them. I sucked him slow but with gusto, until I pulled my mouth off his cock.

“Jase, I think you sucked my brains cells out.” Mark rolled his head back onto the pillow.

“Just lay back, and let me make you feel good.”

Mark groaned as I sucked him deep into my mouth and pulled up again.

“So good, Jase.”

I burrowed my nose against his balls and licked him with all the tenderness I could muster. It seemed like the salve he needed the most. With a light suck, I pulled one of his balls into my mouth and rolled my tongue around it. His body shivered under me.

A pre-cum bead sat on the top of his cock, and I circled it with my thumb before I stroked him. The wind picked up, and the boat rocked, urging me forward. But I wanted to own him with my mouth. I wanted to suck his pain out and replace it with pleasure and connection, so I did.

As my head bobbed, he threaded his fingers through my hair tugging, before the muscles of his body clenched and froze as his orgasm ripped through him. He lifted his shoulders off the bed with small jerks and lusty moans.

My heart sang. Mission accomplished. I licked him clean and crawled up his body where I rested my head on his shoulder.

“Jase, thank you.”

“For what? An awesome blowjob?”

“Well yes, but something else. I’ve been racked with grief over losing my Dad, and you gave me my first reprieve. You reminded me; this too shall pass.” Mark sighed and pulled me close.

At that moment, I realized Barton had never popped into my mind. Maybe Mark and I were a balm for each other. We laid there locked in an embrace, rocking to the motion of the waves.

The ocean produced a basic life rhythm, a reminder that we always go on.

“Hey, Jase. Just because you gave first doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about my plan.”

I chuckled. “And Mark, we have three long days to make that happen.”

“Yep, and in between you can tell me why you are an available man.”

I tweaked his nipple. “Now who’s attempting my bartender skills.” I grabbed his chin and winked. “Maybe I’m taken.”

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