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    R. Eric
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North Meets South, Worlds Collide - 68. Chapter 67

In memory of my Daniel. You'll live forever!

I woke so comfortable as I heard Tony’s light snore next to me. I smiled hearing that he was comfortable. I determined to be there for him to make sure he continued to be there.

That morning we got up, changed to shorts and t-shirts (not your Hanes or other t-shirt used as underwear) and enjoyed our day at sea. There were many things to see on this great ship. This was a cruise ship, yes, but the feeling was again was it not a party ship. There was no cruise director using a bullhorn announcing games and contests. At least not yet. Tony and I didn’t hide that we were romantically involved as our hands were usually together or arms around each other. Other than the reception we got the night before, no one had a problem with it. Our relationship didn’t involve anyone else. We even did our own version of the scene from Titanic! The one where we stood on the very tip of the ship on its bow, the ship behind us unseen and the vast expanse of water before. I will admit, that was an amazing thing to experience. You got this exhilarating feeling of flying over the water.

“That was really great!” Tony said looking back at the bow as we left.

“Yes, isn’t it odd that Rose was so keen on committing suicide at the beginning ends up one hundred and three and one of the only ones pulled from the water after the Titanic sinks?” I asked.

“It makes for a better story.” Tony put pointing out the obvious.

 

We enjoyed the pool area on the Pool Terrace a while and just like before, Tony got darker, I just got red. Again. This time I didn’t need to ask about getting a tan artificially, it was going to happen.

Tony chuckled from his deck lounge without opening his eyes knowing me now. “Don’t worry, I already scheduled appointments for you. By the end of this voyage, people may swear you’re black!”

I smiled turning on my side, reaching over stroking his hair. “We don’t have to go that far. Just a nice brown will be fine.”

One eye opened as he looked at me with it. The smile grew on his face. “Go as dark as you like.” He grinned as we kissed gently in front of anyone and everyone and we didn’t run ashore or anything, no sirens and no screams from others!

“Can I offer a drink, Gentlemen?” A British female voice asked. That was another thing about this ship. No crowds around a bar, which always was on the party ships. There were bars all over the ship, but here, they came to us!

I frowned as I looked at my watch and then realized I wasn’t wearing one. “It’s not even noon yet.”

The woman laughed. “Does that matter? You’re not driving.” She said. “It’s after nine.”

“In the morning.” I put with a chuckle.

“So?” She asked.

Tony laughed, too. “She has a point.”

So, I was drinking before noon. It was good! I looked at the many passengers. They could be anyone. People that scrimped and saved to go on this trip or millionaires that paid the price willing and easily, but right now we were all the same. We were on vacation!

Then Tony discovered Sir Samuel’s. Sweet things made with Godiva chocolates that had you salivating with everything a person could want and never knew were, truffles and other candies and most important, COFFEE! I mean good, good coffee. Served hot or cold and I had the best cold latte ever and was resolved to have one often on this ship.

We shopped in the Mayfair Shops for unique gifts for everyone back at home. That took most of the rest of the morning.

Lunch was also great, but as it ended Tony groaned as he pushed away from the table.

“Is there a problem?” I asked knowing what he was moaning about as he held his stomach. “This is Queen Mary! There can be no problems onboard.”

Tony nodded as he rubbed his stomach. “Yes, but tomorrow, I’m working out!” He grinned. “They have a wonderful gym here.”

I nodded. “I knew they would.”

“But tonight, we dine with the Captain!” Tony said happily as he grinned. “That will be formal.”

“Good thing we prepared.” I chuckled.

 

The Captain’s Table was wonderful. Tony and I wore our tuxedos for the first time that night and I think he and I were making an impression. Of course, I knew Tony was a handsome man and that tux he wore just made him look even better. The entertainment that night was the G32 nightclub was more energetic. Good music and a lot of dancing as Tony and I found out we were not the only same gender couple onboard. There were two other male couples onboard and one female couple. Who knew about any others? There were a lot of people on this ship.

The next day, even before Tony got his coffee, we were on the Promenade Deck at the gym using state of the art equipment. I worked out as well, but I kept watching Tony. My mind did go to the possible illness he might have and it was hard to believe he could be sick at all. He worked out with his usual dedication. His muscles were normally toned and fluid. I was aroused, so I quit staring, but I saw Tony grin to himself before I looked away. He knew he was being watched by me.

I had my appointment at the spa and got my first application for my tan. Those Scottish genes just had a hard time making a natural tan.

The dinner group was there again.

“And where were we last night?” Louise Parker asked with a smile.

“Dining with our good captain.” Tony replied simply.

Ben Parker chuckled. “We’re dining with him Thursday. Now, what is you do, Tony?”

I grinned as I put my hand on Tony’s hand. “My husband is brilliant at making money. He’s channeled that ability to others, making them money.”

Tony chuckled with a slight bow of his head and turned a little pink. “I oversee investments and do stocks, bonds and other financial ventures.”

Ben nodded with a raised eyebrow. “You must be good. You seem to be a success.”

“He is a success. He’s very good.” I put in. “I am a man of leisure.”

Tony frowned. “Only because someone else sold the hotel. He was a manager of a prominent hotel in Charleston.” He growled. “He is also very good and a success.”

The waiter came and took our orders.

“We’ve already taken one home with us.” Tony said in a mutter to me. “We’ve enough human souvenirs.”

I smiled said back quietly. “Shut up. You love Sasha as much as I do.”

Tony chuckled.

We had another day at sea, but when we woke the next morning. I looked out our window at Doubtful Sound, but we weren’t just doing Doubtful Sound. We’d spend a few hours here, then sail on to Dusky Sound and last Dunedin. We boarded a small boat that came to the ship that took us around to see the many untouched beauty that was almost all Doubtful Sound. Surrounded by thick vegetation covered, rounded peaks that said they were of great age. The water was teaming with life from the bottlenose dolphins that swam nearby us seeming to tease us and even a few whales that surfaced a little farther away and spewed water in the air as they breathed. I was snapping pictures at every turn. It was a rainforest here and it rained more almost every day here, which it did only lightly. We were fine, though. It was very nice. I snapped another picture.

“There’s a limited memory space, you know?” Tony chuckled as he rode beside me.

I nodded leaning my back against him, but took another picture. “We should have gotten a camera with bigger memory.”

Tony shook his head. “We got the one with the most!”

I waved him off and took another picture. “I’ll go through them and put them on the computer, wipe the memory here and start over.” I grinned at him and then kissed him. “No worries.” I waved at the area. “Look! It’s breathtaking! The water, those hilly peaks and the animals! This is paradise!”

Tony leaned in kissing me. “I knew you’d like it.” He looked around. “Perfect for my favorite nature loving farm boy. It is pretty.” Then he grinned mischievously. “But no Dunkin Donuts and not even a Starbuck’s!”

I patted his chest. “We’ll have coffee in Sir Samuel’s back on the ship.”

Tony nodded. “I’m holding you to that.”

 

We sailed to the next stop called Dusky Sound. This time we were only there less than an hour. We did get to see the seals on Seal Rock sunbathing.

 

Then we went again this time to Dunedin. This was a port and welcomed us. I smiled at the town off our ship. Most of the areas we saw were not really developed, but left to nature. The places like Dunedin and later were developed a little. It still had the pristine cleanliness of a environment respected by the people that settled here.

“Dunedin is Scottish Gaelic for Edinburgh.” Tony grinned as he nodded toward the town. “Your people made this town.”

“Which means there has to be a good Scottish Restaurant or Pub here.” I grinned. “Let’s look for it!” I took his hand and hurried to look up where that would be here on the computer. “This will be a jeans night. Okay?”

Tony chuckled as he followed. “Okay.”

 

Stuarts Street was the perfect place! Mac’s Brewbar. This was more like it, for me. It was lively and casual. Relaxed.

I smiled at Tony as we ate. “See? Now this is good food!” I ate a chip I’d gotten with my fish and chips.

Tony groused, but he was smiling. “If you say so. Anything to please you.”

I nodded. “Well, I like it.” I munched the chip. “None of this touches any part of you that’s from the British Isles?”

Tony gave a shrugging nod. “That part of me must be overshadowed by the Italian city boy’s side of me.”

“This whole trip is because of my ancestors and those who are British, Scottish and Irish. The Queen Mary and this part of the world was settled by people from England, Scotland and Ireland. They brought their culture here. This is beautiful!” I said logically. “Just eat your fish and chips.” I looked at the clock on the wall. “Eat! They’ll leave us at seven! That’s an hour and a half away!”

 

We got back with ten minutes to spare. I’m never late. We showered and changed for a nice evening, but this time Tony pulled me into the Commodore Club. I didn’t say anything, he’d done what I wanted, so I did what he wanted. This a club that was on the bow to allow wonderful views as we left Dunedin. This club specialized in martinis and cocktails. He persuaded me to try an “Over the Top Martini.” With a name like that, how could I say no? Tony grinned as I had a reaction at the first sip. It was always the first sip that got you.

“It’s all top shelf stuff, Mitch.” He sipped more. “G’Vine Gin, Sloe Gin, Cherry Brandy, Fever Tree Tonic…” he swallowed enjoying the taste. “Even a former Baptist has to admit it’s delicious.”

I nodded. It was good, but again, I tasted the alcohol. That pallet of mine. “You don’t have to get me drunk to sleep with me, you know?”

He grinned. “I know, but you have to say this is good.”

I chuckled. “It’s good.”

 

That night we went to The Royal Court Theatre and saw a comedy act that was like the martini, or maybe it was because of two martinis for me. Over the top. I was almost crying he was so funny. All English weren’t stuffy. Playing on the stuffy exterior was funny.

Another night of loving and relaxing and we woke again with a new town. This was Wellington, this was a city…sort of. To me it was a city, to Tony it was still a small town. It wasn’t New York. We walked the beach and took the cable car to the mountains and saw the view of the landscape. I was again taking pictures left and right.

“On a scale of one to ten? How is this trip so far?” Tony asked smiling.

“At least a nine and half, but there is plenty more to come.” I pulled his shirt bring him closer kissing him, my face next to his as we embraced. “This trip has been amazing, but you know I’m not motivated when you try to impress me. This trip has impressed me.” I ran my hands over his back feeling his warmth and his solid presence. “I love you, Tony.”

Tony smiled. “I know.”

Copyright © 2017 R. Eric; All Rights Reserved.
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This a club that was over the bow to allow wonderful views as we left Dunedin. This was a club located over the bow?

 

Did they see any Dúnedain in Dunedin? Any Ents in Doubtful Sound or Entwives in Dusky Sound? How about Hobbits or Elves in Wellington?  ;-)

 

And that mist whales produce is condensation from their exhaled breath, not spewed water.  ;-)

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No, there were no elves or Hobbits I saw.  And to me they spewed. no condensation.  My perspective.  :*)

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 I am happy to see Mitch and Tony enjoying themselves. Even with Tony's health issues at the forefront. 

 Looking forward to what else the trip brings us. I so enjoyed the line about "Human Souvenirs". Makes it sound like they acquired Sasha by means of human traffickers!

Edited by BlindAmbition
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thank god you got fish and chips into this story! but they are much better in England! :P

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