A grand meal they had aboard First Watch, set to the cheers of the Caribes as they hauled in their own dorado, fished out from beneath the great mats of sargassum that had come to envelop the vessels as they drifted. Peggy, being much relieved from her sea sickness by the calm, set to cooking the tender fish as soon as the cuts were handed down from the cockpit. The four of them ate hearty, and when the dishes were dry, Willie said he'd take the watch, and let Jack know if anything came up.
Gratefully, Jack went below to catch up on lost rest. He sprawled out on the berth, interlinked fingers beneath his head. The cabin door opened, and Linda walked in, closing it behind her. Without saying a word, she began to unbutton the shirt she wore. Jack lay there motionless, speechless; simply admiring her striking beauty as she silently disrobed. With even greater attention, he watched her as she bent over the bunk, her erect nipples brushing his legs as she crawled o. ver him. She paused to kiss his belly just above the waistband of his shorts, then slowly worked her way up his torso. Jack ran his fingers through her hair, flaming red in the sunlight coming through the open hatch. At last she reached his neck, softly dragging her bottom lip across his skin before finding a place to kiss. Jack's hands now stroked her back, causing her to arch with pleasure as she made her way to his ear.
Finally their lips met, and for what seemed like hours they kissed softly and deeply to the rhythm of the gentle swell. Jack's hand ran from her soft face, down her neck, across her shoulder, then down to her firm breast which hovered just above his chest. Linda shivered as he traced her breast with his finger, then ran his hand down her side to her waist...
Their bodies lay intertwined, glistening with sweat in the still air. Noses nearly touching, both gazing deeply into each others' eyes. Jack's thumb lightly traced her elegant jaw, then to her ear lobe and back again to her chin. She ran her fingers lightly up and down his breast bone while her foot stroked his calf. They lay there for half an hour until one finally spoke.
“Tell me about your life before” Linda softly whispered.
“I was a boat builder” Jack replied, equally soft. “I had a good business. Kept mostly to myself. On Friday nights I'd go to the neighborhood bar to meet my friends, and on the weekend I'd sail. Sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. I had a good life...”
He trailed off, obviously lost in some vision of his past. Several minutes went by before he spoke again. “What about you?”
“I was in school, studying to be a pharmacist.” she replied quietly. “One more year to go before...”
“Did you have anyone special?”
“No. Not really.”
“Pity, such a beautiful woman.”
She blushed, then said “Not that I didn't have my troop of suitors, but I was busy with my studies.”
“I bet you were. So how did you come to be at sea with our little band?”
“My uncle lived in Rockport. We were a close family, and when the roundups began, he sent for me to come with him and my aunt. We sailed away for the Keys... God, Jack, it seems so long ago.”
“It does. Like it was another life. It was another life.”
“What do you think will happen to us?”
“I wish I knew. I wish I knew where we could go in safety. If there is any safe place left, that is.”
Linda grasped him tightly, and there they lay, sleeping in each others' arms 'til sundown.