A year of idleness had made me very depressed. I needed a vacation. My finances were getting low, but I still had a few thousand dollars left. I drove down to Miami and bought a ticket for a cruise. A friend of mine told me cruise ships were a bachelor’s paradise. He said there are usually fifty women to every man. He was not exaggerating.
On the first day, I stayed in my Cabin and slept. On the second day, the social director came around and knocked on my door. He said they were having a dance that evening. They were in desperate need of men. After a brief conversation, I assured him that I would attend.
After I had dinner, I made my way to the dance hall. It was like falling into a river of hungry piranha. I had never experienced so many women who were completely out of control.
After about an hour of having women of all sizes, shapes, and ages, hanging on me, propositioning me, and in a few cases attempting to fondle me. I finally made my way to the door and escape out onto the deck. I walked around to the other side of the ship, and I leaned against the railing looking out over the ocean. There was a full moon. Its reflection spilled out across the expanse of the water. It was hypnotizing. After a moment or two of serenity, a voice from behind me broke the silence.
I turned around to see who had spoken. The shadows obliterated any recognition. Once again, I heard her voice. She had a somewhat deeper voice than the average woman.
“A man takes his life into his own hands going into a dance hall on one of these ships.”
The woman, I judged to be somewhere in her late twenties. She had long dark hair and a slender figure. She stepped out of the shadows and stood by me at the rail. The moonlight flooded the area where we stood. I stared at her perfectly chiseled profile. I felt special chemistry the first moment she was next to me.
I decided to inquire. “Were you in there with the other ladies?”
“Not tonight. But I saw you leaving a few minutes ago. There were at least three- women that followed you out, but you managed to evade them.”
“I didn’t realize I was being followed,” I said.
“I was only kidding!” You were not followed.” she said with a smile in her voice. “My name is Antoinette Rossi,” she extended her hand to make my acquaintance.
“Frank Parkman,” I responded.
When I took her hand in mine, I had a strong urge not to let it go. We stood for a moment, hand in hand until protocol dictated, I release it. Our eyes, however, maintained their fixation. “May I buy you a drink?” I suggested. I held my breath as I anticipated her answer.
“I don’t drink when I’m working. (After a short pause) However, I could use a cup of coffee.”
We walked to the all-night restaurant on the lower deck. We found a quiet place in the corner, and we settled down for a conversation. “You mentioned before that you were working. Do you work on the ship?”
“No. I’m on my way to Antigua to conduct business.”
“What kind of business, may I ask?”
Somehow, the businesswoman did not seem to fit her persona. If I had to make an educated guess, I would say she works for the NSA or the CIA. I somehow knew before she answered that she wouldn’t give up the name of her employer.
She paused. “I am not at liberty to say.”
“Oh, you work for the government?” That is usually the stock answer for someone who is working for government intelligence, or one of the other agencies that do covert activities.
“Sometimes the government is one of our clients,” she responded.
“Oh,” I said, feigning disinterest. If the government is one of her clients, I couldn’t help wondering who the others might be. Her professional intrigue was not the reason I was attracted to her. Other than Lisa, I had known a lot of women in my twenty-nine years of life. Until now, none of them had fixated on me like Antoinette. There was something about her that immediately breathed new life into me. I somehow knew that this woman was going to be an important part of my life. There was a certain chemistry that existed between us almost immediately.
“And what do you do, Frank?” She craftily changed the subject which didn’t go unnoticed by me.
“I am retired from the Air Force,” I said facetiously.
She smiled. When she smiled, it lit up the restaurant. What a beautiful, magnificent woman, I thought.
“You’re too young to be retired, Frank.”
“Yes, well. I’m not retired by choice. It is more like taking time off to decide where I go from here.”
“Do you like to travel to exotic places?
“Doesn’t everybody?” I softly exclaimed.
I continued to admire her beauty.
Our conversation continued well into the night.
The ship was a day out from Antigua. Antoinette and I spent the rest of the trip getting to know one another. When there is a part of someone’s life that is secretive, getting to know them becomes complicated. We had dinner together and then spent the last night at the ship’s railing looking out at the moonlit ocean. It was at that point, that I leaned over and kissed her. When her lips opened and invited my tongue in, I had the feeling she was experiencing a reciprocal sexual attraction. The rest of that evening was spent holding hands, and it ended with a good night kiss. I wanted to take her to my Cab. I had a strong feeling she would not accept my invitation for a myriad of reasons. My thoughts at that moment were to be patient and to see where we might go from here.
When we reached Antigua, Antoinette asked me if I would like to spend a few days. I didn’t have an itinerary. So, what the hell! I accepted her invitation. I informed her that my funding was limited. She said since she had extended the invitation, she would foot the bill. Normally, I would not let a woman pay my expenses. I thought; maybe someday I can pay her back. I wanted to spend some quality time with her, and I might not have another opportunity.
We stayed at a genuinely nice, expensive hotel. Our rooms were adjoining. Both rooms had a view of the ocean. They were larger than most of the hotel rooms that I had been familiar with; the rooms had a large sitting area and a dinette. After we unpacked, we donned our bathing suits and met at the pool. Up until that time, I had not gotten a good look at Antoinette’s body. Every time we had met on the ship, she was either wearing a dress or slacks. Seeing her in that bathing suit aroused me. All I could think of was how much I wanted her in my bed. As we lay next to one another on the beach towels, several minutes passed without either of us saying a word. I didn’t have a clue as to what she might be thinking.
She rolled over on her side and looked directly at me. “How would you like a job, Frank?”
I must admit that I was somewhat taken back by her question,
“I would, but it depends on what kind of job.” My first thought was that she is not interested in me for a personal relationship. She wants to recruit me.
Finally, Antoinette admitted that she was a recruiter for an organization called the ‘Company’. She said that the ‘Company’ was looking for people with military training in aircraft.
When I began my active duty out of ROTC, I was put into Helicopter training. After a year of flying Helicopters, I became fascinated with flying jets off aircraft carriers. I learned there were a few Air Force pilots flying aircraft with the Navy. I put in for it. I was accepted. Then I was sent to Pensacola, Florida for additional training. I qualified on the Navy A-7. I was assigned to a carrier and began flying missions over North Vietnam. On my seventh mission, I took a missile hit and wound up in the Hanoi Hilton.
She told me she had done a background check on me and had a copy of my service record. She knew every aspect of my military career. “If you are interested, the ‘Company’ may have a job for you flying aircraft.”
“Where would I be flying?” I inquired.
She said, “It will be in different parts of the world depending on the mission. The ‘Company’ missions are defined by need.”
“How much does this job pay?”
“You would be paid by the mission. The normal pay is between fifty to one-hundred-thousand dollars. It would all depend on the level of difficulty.”
The thought crossed my mind again that Antoinette was not interested in me personally, but professionally. I did need a job, but I was also interested in developing a relationship with her. I needed to know where we, as men and women, were going.
“Does this mean our relationship is going to be ‘exclusively’ on a business level?” I inquired.
She looked at me and took a dramatic pause. “You don’t have to give me your answer now.” She hesitated before continuing. “I think, in a few minutes, you will understand where I would like to take this relationship.”
She took me by the hand and helped me to my feet. We went into the hotel. When we arrived at her room, she stopped. “I want you to come in.”
I began to feel a sense of excitement. I was sure at that moment we were going to be intimate.
Her room was a reverse carbon copy of mine. We entered. Just inside, she turned and put her arms around me. We kissed. I reached behind her and untied her bikini bra, while she fumbled with my swim trunks. Before long we were both naked, only breaking from the kisses momentarily to navigate toward the bed. Once I had her beneath me, I wasted no time. I entered her within seconds. She was moist and inviting, conforming to me with ease. Before I could move, she gently pushed my shoulders. I rolled over so she could be on top. As she moved her hips, she watched intently for my reaction.
She said in a low voice, “Do not come until I tell you.”
Every time she felt me pulsating, she eased up her gyrations that allowed me to hold back. Every time I wanted to release; she stopped her movement allowing me to continue.
She was able to control me like that several more times. Eventually, she closed her eyes and said, “Okay, let it go, I’m coming.”
We came together. Spasms rocked both our bodies as we rode that way for what seemed like forever. Finally, once we had quieted, Antoinette rolled over, and we lay together for about an hour. At that point, I fell asleep.