Saturday 7:30 am
For the first time in almost a year you have to wake up early, you enjoy your weekends by sleeping until noon.
Unfortunately your calendar says today you have to, if you want to join your friends in this trip. You're kinda excited because you haven't been in a cruise ship and you love the idea of traveling with your friends like when you were in high school. It's going to be amazing so you get up, take a shower and dress up. You don't have time to have breakfast but it's ok you're not hungry anyway. You take your baggage and wait until the uber picks you up.
It's 9:45 am when you get to the terminal you can see Danny, Betty and Elsie there already so you go and greet your friends.
"hey guys how have you been?" You say and smile because you didn't realize how much you missed them and you're glad that after so much time you haven't lost the connection with them
"Hey Hollis! " Danny says and you can see her wide smile and her eyes light up
"Hey Laura! Gee you haven't change at all since last time we met" - Betty says and you blush a little because you don't really remember too much about the last time you saw each other and you're pretty sure it's because of all the alcohol you drank that night, maybe that's why everything is blurry when you try to recall what exactly you did and why you woke up naked in your backyard. Nope! It's better if you don't go there, you're here to enjoy this trip. Yeap! So move that memory on the back of you mind. Done it!
You think Betty just realized what you thought (or try to think) about, you can see that look in her eyes, the smugness look like she knows what happened but she wants you to ask her. But maybe later you're too sober for asking things that you know are going to get you embarrassed so you smile awkwardly and change the topic
"Soooo Elsie! What have you been doing?" - you ask desperately, you need to change the topic before you start blushing and Danny gives you the concerned look that you hate because it reminds you to your dad.
"Well I've been traveling around, you know one of the benefits of being a photographer" - Elsie says while she winks
"That's great" you said and then a silence for a minute, you try to get yourself busy by checking if you have your passport, your ID and some cash. Your going to miss your tardis mug, maybe you should've brought it after all you've had it since college you Sigh dramatically and kick yourself mentally because now you're thinking that you should've brought it.
"Jeez, this trip was supposed to be about having fun and meet your friends that you haven't seen for almost two years...who spit in your chocolate L?" - Laf says smiling and you almost forget about your thoughts until they talk about your chocolate but you tell yourself that you have to have fun so you jump and hug them hard
"Having some problems breathing here" they say and you stop hugging them and go to hug Perry
"Laura, darling how have you been? We haven't known anything from you in a long time. Is everything alright?" She asks
"Everything is fine, Perr. I was doing some research and I couldn't find time to call you guys sorry about that" - you apologize and you're sincere because from all the group Perry and Laf are your best friends, they were next to you when you came out to your parents, they were the ones who picked you up from that party the first time you got drunk and called your dad and told him you were gonna have a sleepover so that he wouldn't find out about your drunk condition but the most important reason why you love them both it's because they never left your side the day your mom passed away, they supported you when you didn't want to go on. You love them because they let you know that your mother wouldn't like you to be sad, she'd like you to be happy.
Perry has a clipboard with her and starts asking if you have what you need
" - Passports
- any ID
- Drink package
- Luggage (including toothpaste, toothbrush)
- Dresses for the welcome party and the formal night
- Casual clothes
- Night clothes
- First aid kit
- Flip flops..." - "I think we already got your email with all the requirements for this trip" Betty interrupts Perry and you're kinda glad she did because people are starting to get into the ship and for the first time you see it. It's a eighteenth decks ship and it's huge and you wonder how something so heavy can float. You gotta ask an officer about this.
"Hey guys! People are getting into the ship already. Let's go!" - you say and you can't hide your excitement
"Hell yeah! Let's go!!" Laf practically yell and you laugh because they look as excited as you are
"Honey, you just need to be sure that everything is alright-" Perr tries to stop them
"Seriously?" Elsie chimes in "I'm sure we don't miss anything, all of us read the mail you sent us...two months ago" she adds and you can see she just wants to be onboard already
"Well the ship ain’t going anywhere without us so we-" Perry starts saying but now it's time for Danny to interrupt her and you feel the frustration in Perry because no one lets her finish a sentence
"This paper says that the ship is sailing at 10:30 am and the cruise line is not responsible for passengers that couldn't make it because they already gave you the itinerary...so we should go now" Danny says picking her backpack up
"Yeah! We gotta go like right now" you say jumping and trying to get into the ship as soon as possible, Laf and Elsie are practically racing to see which one makes it first. At the end Elsie wins because Perry scolds Laf because you mustn't run in the terminal you can fall or make another person fall, they can do nothing but frown to Elsie who winks at them with a smug smile.
Finally you get into the ship you didn't know the security there were so strict it's like the airport you can't get any alcohol beverage (but you think this is because they want you to buy the drinks from the bar of the ship) after they have checked your luggage, they took a picture of you and gave you a card so now that is you ID on this ship and you can pay almost everything with that card, they ask you to let your passport in your stateroom and only take it with you when you go off the ship.
You're happy all your friends and you are in the same deck "Aloha" which is the 10 floor the accommodation steward introduces herself as Mellanipe but she says you can call her "Mel" she gives you her page number so if you need anything you can page her and she'll get it for you.
"Holy crap! There's a chocolate on my pillow" - Laf says "I'm feeling like a boss" they start laughing and you see Betty rolling her eyes maybe it's not new for her she's the face of an important news channel so she must've been in a lot of cruise lines vacations
You smile at Laf and say: " wow that's nice I'll get to my room and leave my luggage"
"I'll go with you" - Danny says and you get a little annoyed because you think she's trying to get overprotective again, you sigh and she hears it " my stateroom is in that direction too so we can go together" she adds
"Yeah? Ok then let's go" you say and you're not sure if you buy that statement or not
"We'll meet in the sail away party then" Perry says
"Yes" - you say while everyone else just nods
You can’t believe you're traveling in a cruise ship, you smile at yourself and start unpacking but then you see the bathroom and you see a bath. "Holy Hufflepuff are those aromatics salts" you yell.
It's almost 1:00 pm and you can't be in your room anymore the journalist in you wants to go and see what's going on at this time on the ship so you have the map of the ship that Perry gave you in order that you don't get lost because well it's a huge ship so you read it and you go to the atrium (which is midship decks 5, 6 and 7). Deck 5 (Piazza) is where the international cafe is, you wanted to buy chocolate but you buy an iced coffee at the end. There's a little stage, that according to the barista Ell, is where the champagne waterfall is gonna be placed tomorrow at the captain welcome party, some piano concerts and as you're going to Mexico they're gonna be a group of Mariachi which is awesome, you always wanted to learn Spanish but it was complicated for you to understand with all those rules and verbs and times you Sigh just to remember.
Anyway Ell advices you to go to the sail away party. You thank her and go up one floor.
So now you are in deck 6 (Fiesta) there are the shops which are closed right now, the security guard tells you that they cannot be opened until you're literally 50 miles from shore and it's because as the shops are free taxes that's the requirement by law. There's nothing else to see so you go to deck 7 (Promenade) and you're kinda amazed by it. Promenade deck is where there're the Steakhouse bar, it's classy and there's a ballroom and you meet the bar supervisor Monica, you tell her this is the first time you're in a ship and as you're excited you start asking questions. "So how is working in a ship? Do you get well paid? Sorry that is not a good question. Where do you guys sleep? Do you have the same staterooms as we have? Can you go on shore when we're on port? Do you live alone or you share your cabins?" You breath and when you're about to keep asking you see Monica rolling her eyes and suddenly you get that maybe this is not the first time someone asks her all these questions. You're about to apologize but then she shows you a polite smile, take a deep breath and says "working on the ship is amazing I love traveling, getting to know people and learning others cultures" she moves her head close to you but doesn't invade your personal space and adds "and I get paid for this" you smile - "paid is good if you love what you do, we live on decks 2,3,4 and 5 depends of your department for example I live in deck 4 we don't have the same cabins as the passengers have, actually they’re smaller, we can go on shore if we're not IPM and we do share cabins, cabins are for 2 people from the same department you know people from the bar in one block, the same as people from restaurant or accommodation" she says almost breathless and you kinda notice that she said all these trying to imitate the way you talked which would make you feel insulted but the way she talks shows you her charisma and you just smile and then you ask "so what IPM means?"
" In Port Manning" she says " you know that when we're on shore passengers got off on tours or by themselves. But some passengers stay that's why some crew are required to stay too so that in a case of an emergency the crew can help" she tells you
You're relieved that they thought about this " is it the same people who stay?" The question slips your lips before you realized
"No, we rotate. For example today I'm IPM so I can't get off the ship until next port" Monica says
"This is pretty interesting" you say and you kinda curious about how interesting is working on a ship "well it's time for me to meet my friends upstairs" you say to her "I'll see you later! I'm coming back with my friends" you wave your hand to her and she does the same "nice to meet you" she says
It's almost sail away party time so to take the elevator and go direct to deck 14 (Riviera) according to your map there're 3 bars, the ice cream bar, the pizzeria, the grill and the horizon buffet. As you took a the midship elevator you're in front of Calypso bar which is also a cafe bar, you'll come back later for a coffee, first you wanna find the others. After walking around for 5 minutes you see Betty in a really small swimsuit, she's swimming in the pool and you can see Perry applying some sun block to Laf who is smiling with heart eyes to her, they look so much in love together, you hope you find someone who can look at you the same. You wave at them when they see you, you're making your way to them and suddenly you feel something bumps you hard and you don't have stability, in fact you can't feel the floor anymore and you see yourself breathing water and you curse yourself for that because you feel your lungs burn but as you fell by surprise you didn't have the time to get air and now you're feeling dizzy, you can hear Perry's voice yelling and when you think you can feel the bottom of the pool you feel soft warm arms around your chest and you feel someone pulling you up, you try to open your eyes but you feel them heavy. You start coughing trying to get some air but there's still water in your lungs. You feel hands on your chest trying to make you stay still "don't move cutie! Trying to help you here" - a raspy voice says and even though you're desperate for getting the water out of your body you stay still.
You feel a hand touching your chin trying to open your mouth and the other plugging your nostrils, soft lips touching yours is what you feel next, air getting into your lungs making you coughing instantly and throwing up all the water you've drank. Finally you can breath so you take a deep breath and smile to the person who practically save your life. You try to get up but you hear Perry's voice "do not get up yet darling you need some rest"
"She's right L" Laf adds you decide they're right so instead of getting up you open your eyes and then you see her. The first thing that catches your attention is black wet hair that shines under the sun, you see her eyes, she has dark brown eyes that are deep like she's seeing your soul and you feel your cheeks getting warm just by the way she's looking at you. You try to avoid her eyes now so you lower your gaze and you see perfect lips parted trying to get air probably because she just gave you CPR or because she got into the water to get you and you know it requires strength although you're short. Then those lips got close and a smirk is shown up, you've just been caught staring her lips. You're blushing now
"Gosh Hollis are you alright you're getting red" you hear Betty's voice and it's not helping you that other people see you're blushing
"Y-yeah I'm fine" you can't help your stuttering but now you're nervous because this beautiful girl is looking at you and you can't think anything to say to her except
"It-it's nice to have you here" you see her arching and eyebrow " I- I mean it's nice you were here because you save and maybe if you weren't I should've got drowned and this would've been my first and last cruise. So yeah thank you for saving me" and you regret so much start talking because now you feel breathless and that doesn't help you in this air- needing situation
"I'm glad you're ok cupcake!" She says with a sultry voice then she gets closer to your ear "It's a pleasure to save a girl if my reward is kissing a beautiful girl" she almost purrs in your ear and you didn't think you could get redder.
"Karnstein, can I have a word with you...now" there's a voice you don't recognize and you hear the Greek goddess next to you sighs, she gets up without looking away from you. Then She winks at you and turns around.
You try to get up again and now it's Danny who chimes in saying "OMG Hollis what the heck happened? Are you alright? Do you want me to carry you to you cabin?" You Hear the concern in her voice you Sigh
"I'm ok Danny! It's just I think I slipped or something and I fell into the pool but now I'm alright" you try to assure everyone that you're fine
"Actually some kids bump you when they were running to the ice cream bar, Frosh" Laf says
"Really, kids?" You ask and you don't believe those little bastards did this to you. You get up first unsteady and then you can get your back straighten and look where Karnstein, the beautiful girl with the black silky hair went. She's talking to an officer in white uniform you can see two stripes on her shoulder and even though you can't hear what they're talking about you can see this officer has an air of authority and you feel it too because now she's staring to where you are, you try to look to any other place but where they are after a moment your eyes go back to where they are and you see how the beautiful girl who saved you is going who knows where and you can see she's upset about something, you don't know why but you start walking where the officer is, you wanna say thank you again to the beautiful girl. So you approach to the officer and ask.
"Hey officer, could I ask you where the girl who saved me went? It's just I wanna say “thank you” to her" you say as soon as you're close Mattie, you just read her name tag and she's the bar manager.
"Good afternoon miss, I assure you she knows you're thanked for what she did. I sent her back to her cabin to change her clothes I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be healthy if she starts her shift with a soaked uniform" Mattie says dryly
"Oh!" It's your only answer and when you see Mattie rolling her heels so that she can go
"So she works in the bar department? Can you tell me which bar she works? I'd like to talk to her...later of course I need to change my clothes too" you giggle and Mattie just arches an eyebrow and that reminds you to the Greek goddess with the black hair. You clear your throat "at least can you tell me her name?" You ask politely and put your best puppy's eyes
"Karnstein, Carmilla Karnstein" Mattie says and you smile, it's a beautiful name for a beautiful woman. "And she works...?" You push a little and Mattie frowns "she will be bartending in the Mermaids bar which is in the Riviera deck" she deadpans.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" You say "I really appreciate this"
"Uhum, Laura dear I think we should get going to your cabin you need to change your clothes before you get the flu and spend this trip in isolation" Perry says
"Excuse me what? Isolation? For just the flu ha!" You think it's a joke
"Actually as they're more than three thousand people on this ship any virus could become an epidemic that is why we're careful with those things" Mattie chimes in "well I hope you are ok miss and I hope you enjoy this trip with your friends" she says with a tight smile
"Oh thank you Mattie" you say and she's taken back probably because she thought you didn't read her name tag. She smiles again and excuses herself
So you're back in your cabin with Perry who insisted to be with you just in case “you feel indisposed”. You change your clothes, now you're wearing a white dress with sunflowers, you weren't sure to wear swimsuit not after what just happened upstairs but then you thought you're not gonna feel bad about just one little incident. Besides for some reason you want Carmilla to see you in swimsuit you don't know why, maybe it's because of the way she talked to you earlier in that sultry raspy voice that made you have goosebumps.
"Are you ready to go dear?" Perry ask you "I think you're having temperature you're getting red" she says and you smacks your head mentally because your own body's betraying you. "I don't think so Perry it's just that it's so hot in here you know" you say "well let's get going the party is starting in 15 minutes" you add and pray to the universe Perry forgets about your red cheeks. "Oh yeah! Probably Lafontaine is already drinking they said they would like to try the drink of the day" Perry comments
"Really? We can’t get any alcoholic drink until we're sailing? I mean really?" The first thing you hear as soon as you get to the Mermaids bar is Laf asking the bartender in a disbelieving voice
"I already told you buddy...twice" you recognized that voice you've heard it before but without that annoying tone. You get closer and it's her, it's Carmilla.
"Carm-Carmilla" the name slips your lips without permission and you feel her eyes on you now. You meet them and you feel something twist in your stomach, something you haven't felt before and you smile like an idiot when her eyes soften. "Hey" she said "someone here is asking for my name...I guess" and there it is that smirk again. It's infuriating but hot at the same time, how's that even possible? "Well I wanted to know who was the girl who saved me...that- that's all" and you hate yourself for stuttering but you are not able to sound sure about your statement maybe because it was an excuse to know her, you can't deny there's something about her that pulls you to her like a magnet you could feel it because it's the first time in years your heart skips a beat. Now you avoid her gaze and you take a look at her attire she's wearing a white shirt with green stripes at her shoulders And turquoise short shorts that make you see those long pale legs oh crap you feel your cheeks blushing again you stop staring (again) and turn to Laf who is looking at you with a shit- eaten- grin smile and you know they caught you staring at her so you clear your throat and ask "and why can't we order something with alcohol before sailing? It's not supposed to be the 'sail away party'"
"Well cutie that is because before sailing there's gonna be a drill, we do it every turn around day which is every time a cruise is starting. In case you don't know anything about it, there's gonna be an announcement telling you to go to your cabin and collect your life jacket so that we'll teach you how to use it" she winks at you.
"You're gonna teach us how to wear a life jacket?" You say
"That's awesome" Laf squeals
"Great so we're not having drinks until then" Betty groan
"Well I don't care about drinks if someone like Carmilla here is gonna teach me how to wear a life jacket. Would you help me to wear it if I ask you to?" Elsie says and you roll your eyes because she's not subtle at all and yeah Carmilla is beautiful and yes she's sexy and she makes you think in not so PG-13 things but Elsie really?
"Of course I'll help you sweetie" Carmilla answer and you hear Elsie squealing and Carmilla smirk at her. There's a tug in stomach when you see this, you don't like that feeling maybe is something you ate, yeah that's it.
"A very good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Sapphire Princess. The last group of passengers are getting into the gangway so we would be able to sail in a few minutes. In ten minutes time we're having an emergency drill so that passengers would know where to go and what to do in case of a real emergency. As soon as you hear the sound of the ships bells, you should go to your staterooms, collect your life jacket and proceed to your muster station. The muster stations are located in the sixth and seventh decks Fiesta and Promenade decks and they're divided in letters. The letter of your muster station is in your stateroom key. This is the captain speaking and I wish you an amazing trip, welcome on board again...attention stairway guides and muster personnel you must be in position in 5 minutes time"
"Soooo it is true we have to go back to our cabins" Laf says
"Wait you thought I was lying" Carmilla says while she's rolling her eyes.
"Of course I thought you were lying or at least making fun of us" they answer back instantly
"Gotta say I didn't believe you either" Betty says.You're about to interrupt this conversation just because you don't like the way they talk to Carmilla
"Well then I gotta go to take my life jacket I hope I find you in my muster station Carmilla" Elsie says
"Looking forward to it" she answers
You clenched your jaw because Elsie is really getting on your nerves and you don't know why, you just met this woman but you can't help it. You sigh
"Hey creampuff you're ok?" Carmilla ask you but you're upset because she's flirting with Elsie
"I have a name you know!" You bite back almost groaning
"Really? Who knows" she deadpans and you realized you didn't even introduce yourself and when you're gonna say your name-
"Sorry guys but I gotta go to my muster station" Carmilla says as she's taking a bright light green baseball cap and put it on her head. Then she takes a life jacket from under the bar and she's gone as soon as she's gone there's a guy in her place and probably he's just there to watch the bar until the drill is done.
"Laura, honey let's go" Perry calls you out of your thoughts
"Yeah.right.let's.go" you say
"Is something wrong Hollis?" Danny says "you're a little off since the incident in the pool" she adds and she's right but you just deny everything.
"Yeah. I'm. Alright. Why?" You don't sound so sure and you hate it.
"Ok? So let's go now" she says
You find out that even though your friends and you have your staterooms in the same deck you belong to different muster stations. For instance Perry and Laf belong to muster station "D" which according to the map is the Explorer's bar. Danny, Elsie and Betty belong to the station station "E" which is the Steakhouse restaurant and you belong to station "F" that is the Club Fusion's bar so now you and three hundred more passengers are waiting in that lounge in order to learn what to do in an emergency.
"Attention stairway guides and muster personnel you now can relocate to your positions in Your muster station" you hear the officer in charge talking by the speakers of the ship.
You're sitting next to the bar in a very tall chair and you see her, Holy Hufflepuff! How can anyone be sexy wearing a life jacket? She takes off the life jacket and put it on the floor. She's asking some passengers not to wear theirs not before the personnel show you how to. OMG you feel like you're the creepy guy who stairs beautiful girls, you sigh loudly and she turns around to face you, your eyes meet again and you see a small smile in her lips before turning into a smirk.
"Well, well, well cupcake you're in my muster station! Lucky me, I guess" she winks and you blush
"Laura...My name is Laura" you say
"Laura" she repeats, you don't find it endearing and you are a little regret because you miss the sugary nicknames - "well sweetheart it's nice to meet you" she lower her voice a tone and you find it so sexy. Then an officer starts explaining about the emergency signals and where the life boats are situated, you just stare at Carmilla you eyes go down on her body, she has this pale skin and some curls at the end of her hair that you just realized are lovely in that ponytail. You fix your look in her face again and see that smirk and again you feel the heat getting to your face because you're busted. She caught you staring again.
"Ladies and gentlemen now the muster personnel and the stairway guides are going to show you how to wear a life jacket" the officer says
"First put the life jacket around your shoulders and tight the stripe as much as you can" and while he's speaking you see Carmilla doing every step at the same time "There's a flashlight in your life jacket which is on the left side and it'll start flashing as soon as it touches water" she points the little flashlight and shows it in three different direction so that all the people around her can see it. "There's a whistle in your life jacket which is in your right side" she points the right side of the life jacket and when she locks her gaze in your eyes you see a small smile in her lips and you smile too.
"Now we're going to show how to jump over board and this can only be a request from the captain and captain only" the officer says in series tone "First put your left hand on the right side of the life jacket, this is to prevent the life jacket could harm you at the moment you get into the water, cover your mouth and nose with the other hand so that water is not getting in your lungs when you jump. Look straight and take one step forward. Do not jump. I repeat do not jump" you see Carmilla mimics everything and she's adorable.
"Once again ladies and gentlemen we welcome you in the Sapphire princess. Now we're about to start the sail away party in the fourteenth and fifteenth decks, the cruise director and the cruise staff are waiting for you to celebrate the beginning of this cruise. Also you can enjoy the drinks from the bars, the drink of the day is Mucho Mango. In the name of the Sapphire princess crew we wish you enjoy the time in this trip"
And that's how the drill ends and you gotta go back to your cabin to put your life jacket in it's place and go meet your friends after that.
"Hope to see you upstairs cupcake" you feel the goosebumps in your whole body when you listen to that raspy voice really close to you so you turn around and catch Carmilla's dark eyes checking you up and down. "Hey" really Hollis? She says something and the only thing you are able to say is hey?
"Hey" she replies with that sexy smirk in those red lips, "gosh you're so sexy" you blurt out and your eyes wide at the statement, she laughs and it's really crowded everyone tries to get to the elevators so you're stuck with her next to you. Then you see something in her eyes, you're not sure what it is and for a second you think she's trying to say something to you but she changes her mind and says "well buttercup see you later" and suddenly she opens an “only crew” door and disappears behind it.
There's a very load music and a British man introducing himself as the cruise director while the cruise staff are asking the other passengers to go and dance with them.
"Jeez Laura where have you been?" You hear Danny and you turn around and see her next to you, Elsie is flirting with a girl from the cruise staff for some reason that doesn't surprise you, Betty is at the bar talking to the bartender who you recognize as Monica from the wheelhouse you go there and say hello to her "Hey Mon! I thought you were at the wheelhouse bar?"
You ask "well we rotate our locations to where gets busy for example now there're a lot of people because of the sail away party so a couple of bartender from other bars come here and help" she says and that makes sense it.
"So what's in today's drink?" Betty chime in "Mucho Mango, which is coconut rum, Bacardi rum, sugar syrup and mango juice" Mon says. "OMG that would be lovely for Laura she loves sugary things" Betty answers and yeah she's right that sounds delightful "I'd love one of those please" you ask Mon and she starts preparing it "I'd like a jack/coke in a tall glass please" Betty ask as you start looking around so that maybe you can see a dark hair near by but nope she's nowhere. "Are you by any chance looking for someone" you hear Laf and when you look at them you see a giant grin "Who. Me. Haha" you try to sound relaxed but you fail and the grin in Laf's face gets wider "Maybe the beauty who saved your life earlier" now it's Elsie who teases you. "Of course not! I'm just waiting for my drink here" your tone is a little bit higher than you expected "Eh, Laura your drink has been there for almost 5 minutes and Monica here is waiting for your card so that she can charge it" Betty says and you Sigh "I'm really sorry Mon i didn't mean you to wait for so long, I didn't realized so much time has passed. There you have my card-" you start rumbling "it's ok don't worry about that" Monica says and you mouth a thank you to her when she give your card back, you sign the check and put her tip inside the folder she gave you.
"And I mean I know it's my first cruise trip and probably that's why I got so excited but I do really want to have party without any of them asking me if I'm alright. I mean probably they treat me like a child because of my height. I don't know I just hate when they do this" you slurred "And now that I almost drowned in the pool earlier they're all like 'are you ok Hollis?' Or 'Laura, honey is everything alright' or 'so you like Carmilla since the first time you saw her or you like her when she kissed you'-"
"Wait! Carmilla as Carmilla Karnstein, the bartender kissed YOU? A passenger. She really did that even though it's totally against the rules of the company?" Monica is shocked and you gulp "well she didn't kiss me, she was doing CPR to me she was the one who took me out of the pool when I fell-"
"WAIT!" Monica says again and after she realizes some people have turn to look at her, she lowers her voice "Carmilla Karnstein got into the water and saved you?" She asks you "wow I never thought this day would come" she adds
"What do you mean?" Well now you're curious by her reaction and the way she talks about Carmilla. "Well Carmilla is not an active person, she usually does her job pretty good but if there's a way to avoid doing something she would take it" Mon tells you "I mean she's not a bad person actually we get along very well. She, her Cabin mate and I usually go to shore together and they're so funny when they start bickering for little things, I laugh so much by the faces they make when I say they're like a twenty year marriage" she starts laughing when she remembers this and you felt like someone just threw you a bucket with cold water. "She. Has. A. Girlfriend?" The tone in your voice makes Mon stop laughing and stares you like she wants to read what you're thinking and maybe, just maybe she sees the interest in Carmilla is not just about thanking her for saving you.
"Carmilla and Ell? Ha!" She snorts "I don't think so Laura they're best friends just that" she adds
"How can you be so sure? I mean you just said they're like a couple" wait a minute are you jealous of her? How it's that even possible? You know Ell is a beautiful woman, with her blond hair and those deep blue eyes of course Carmilla and her are more than best friends, gee they are like models and probably they're the perfect couple, they'll have the perfect family, the perfect house and the perfect dog. Ok Laura calm down! What's happening? Why do you feel so dirty? Maybe it's because Carmilla has this beautiful, sweet woman and she was flirting with you, how can she do that to her? When I see her again I'm gonna-
"I'm sure because Ell is my girlfriend and It would be a little uncomfortable for me if they were you know a real couple" Mon says smiling
"Wait! Ell is your girlfriend?" You ask
"Yeah, I'm sure she is my girlfriend" she says dryly "she's been my girlfriend for the last two contracts now...that would be more than a year" and she smiles just to think about it
"Oh" the word escapes from your mouth
"Ok darling I think that's all for tonight. According to the bars rules I cannot give you more drinks for a while now. May I get you a glass of water?" Mon sounds so formal and calmed that you nod instantly
"I think I get going now. Need to rest it's been a long day" you say before you try to get up from the chair and now you feel the alcohol going direct to you legs which are trembling "Miss Hollis, are you ok there?" You know this voice where did you hear it? Where? "Miss Hollis would you like a glass of water?" This person asks "Monica, how many cocktails did you let miss Hollis drink?" She talks to the bartender
"Three mucho Mangos" Monica answers "that's all Mattie, you know how stick to the rules I am" she says. And there's the answer it's Mattie the bar manager "well in that case I'd call the purser desk to get in touch with your party so that they can pick you up and take you to your cabin or would you like me to call security and they can escort you to your cabin?" Mattie asks you and you automatically know that this is not the first time she's been in this kinda situations.
"I'll call one of my friend they'll pick me up" you say and you hate it because you're slurring "can I-would you mind telling me where the nearest phone is?" You ask "there's one here you can borrow it" Monica tells you and you love she's so polite and formal so you thank her and try to remember which is Laf's cabin number they're the only one who doesn't treat you like a child. Okay it's ringing and you see Monica's asking something to Mattie with wide eyes, Mattie laughs and it's the first time since you get here you see her so free. The only thing you thought she did was smirking then she recovers her composure and answers- "Hello?" You hear Laf's sleepy voice you didn't think they were sleeping and actually you don't even know what time it is "hey Laf it's Laura I'm in the mermaids bar and well I got a little tipsy and I need someone to pick me up" you sigh "can you please come and save me? And please! Please don't let anyone else know about it I don't want anyone starts treating me like a toddler" you beg
"Of course I ain't saying anything to the others...been there in 5 minutes I'll say Perry I'm taking a walk to the open deck which isn't entirely a lie" they tell you "just wait for me there frosh" they ask you
"Ok. Awesome. Bye" you said before hang up.
Monica starts to close the bar and ok that means you're the last person in the bar.
"I'm sorry I didn't let you close the bar earlier probably you're tired it's been a long day and-" you say and Monica smiles "oh don't worry Laura, the bar closes at 12:30 and it's 12:45 so" she trails off "Yeah but I'm really sorry I didn't realized it's too late" you confess
"Do not worry miss Hollis, I can assure you there's not problem and Monica didn't have any problem in staying a little longer" Mattie tells you
"That's true!" Monica says
"Hey frosh?" You hear you friend calling you, turn around and there they are "Oh Laf thanks god! Thank you so much for coming" you start walking to them then you stop and turn to face Monica and Mattie wave a hand to them "good night and thank you for everything Mon...good night Mattie thank you too" you say and start walking again now you only wanna get to your cabin and sleep.
"Sooo you didn't find your mystery bartender again? For a moment I thought you were with her when you said you were at the Mermaid's bar" Laf says smiling they haven't drop the topic since they saw the look in your face when you told them you ran into Carmilla in the drill.
"No, I was with Mon actually" ok Hollis you gotta sound more secure next time you talk about this. "Hey do you know that in the name tag besides the name obviously and the position, it is also the nationality too" you change the topic because you don't wanna talk about the girl with black beautiful hair "for example Mon is from Canada like us and Mattie is from Morocco, she speaks English pretty well don't you think?" You see Laf knows you're trying to change- "I think that there must be a requirement for them to speak English well, Perr and I meet a guy from South Africa who works in the accommodation department Theodore but he told us to call him just Theo. Seems to be a nice guy" they say.
You two take the elevator and Laf is telling you about how Perry spent 15 minutes applying an extra layer of sunblock, that's so Perry you think, she's like the mom of the group and even though you hate it sometimes that is part of who she is. "Thanks for doing this Laf I really appreciate it. I know if I would've called Danny she would patronize me, the same Betty and probably Elsie wouldn't even answer the phone probably because she's in the nightclub drinking...and I can't talk about Perry-" you say
"It's ok L! I know sometimes they like to control you-" they tell you
"Sometimes?" You can't avoid sound sarcastic because it's true they look at you like a lost child you Sigh you're too tired for this. Let's hope tomorrow will be a better day,
"Sorry I didn't mean it...I think I'm really tired thanks again Laf. Goodnight!" You hug them "Goodnight L, see you tomorrow at breakfast?" They ask
"Of course see you in the morning" you say while opening the door. You fall on your bed and you don't even wanna go and brush your teeth but you do it anyway, change your pajamas and finally fall asleep.
An annoying ringtone wakes you up and you curse, you hate waking up so early, you check the time in your watch. it's noon which is early for you, you work in the nightclub bar so you stayed until 3:30 am the day before. The bar was closed at 1:30 am but you needed to do the stock take and helped your waiters to clean the bar, today's port is Vancouver and you're pretty sure Mattie would do the bar rounds early, she does them every turn around day. The telephone rings again you know who's calling by now "What?" You say and your voice is raspy because you just woke up.
"Hey Guapa! Not good morning for me?" Ell's voice sounds on the other side of the line "Anyway, it's noon already and you practically begged me to wake you up so that you don't be late...again" she deadpans and she's right last turn around you were late and almost get a warning but Mattie just gave you a speech. Definitely you don't want that again.
"Yeah I know! Gracias por llamar bonita" you say
"Gee even in Spanish you sound so sarcastic. I can't believe I met Monica and you the same year and she can't understand even some words...how do you Learn so fast these things?" Ell says sighing.
"Well maybe it's because I've heard you rumbling in Spanish every time you guys have an argument...and I love how you curse in Spanish" you roll your eyes. "Besides you know I love learning languages" you add.
"Maybe you need to teach Monica how to-" she got interrupted by an unknown voice
"Excuse can I get an iced coffee please?" That voice says
"Of course! just give me a second please" You hear Ell's voice
"Anyway I gotta take a shower otherwise I'll be late again, ciao Bonita" you say to Ell
"Nos vemos guapa!" She answers, you know that means see you cutie or something like that. Ok you need to improve your Spanish.
It's 1:30 pm and you are at the crew mess you need to eat something before your shift begins it's gonna be a long day. You take a plate and start picking some salad, mash potato and fried chicken. After that you walk through the crew mess until you find your spot in a particular table you sit at the end of it and start eating.
"She lives!" Will shouts and the people turn to see him. He smirks
"Shut up idiot! You don't need to bother other people just because you need to have some attention" you scold him. Your little brother thinks that just because he's one of children of this company’s owner everybody has to treat him differently. You're sure that is not why your father required in his will that all of his children must work in any department in the ship in order to know how hard is to work in a cruise line. "Come one Kitty it's almost your last cruise then one more contract and you'll be able to leave this place" he says it with disgust "and don't tell me you like being here just as Mattie does because we both know you hate getting up early" he adds
"I hate waking up early but that doesn't mean I have to be an asshole with the others employees" you say dryly "have you seen JP? I know he has the same schedule as me" you ask
"The little nerd is picking some food, he'll be here in a minute" Will says "I gotta go though need to be upstairs. I got coke table and sell the drink packages" he sounds bored
"Lucky you" you smirk
"Yeah! Yeah! One more cruise and vacation for me. I'm waiting for that" he says that cleaning his imaginary tears
"Good afternoon Carmilla!" You hear the voice of your favorite brother
"JP" what? He's your favorite brother yes, but that doesn't mean you have to tell him that. "How it's going?" You ask
"Oh! Well I couldn't sleep well. Will turned the lights on at 5:00am because you know now that he is Club Fusion he had to do coffee station"
"But JP, you have to tell him these things it's not fair for you, we stayed until three in the morning you needed to rest. He knows and he must respect that" you sound angry because sometimes Will is such an asshole.
"I already told him but he says he keeps forgetting" JP replies
"You know what I'm telling Mattie she will talk to him because if I talk to him probably I'll punch him and I do want to finish my contract without troubles" you say while fisting your hands
"Let's not involve Mattie please" he begs and you know it's because Will is blaming him if something happens. You roll your eyes how can you be triplets? This is the question you've been asking yourself (and your mother) for years. You sigh "you have to talk to him JP otherwise he's doing it again" you finish your meal and say to JP you're going upstairs. You have to be early just in case Mattie has found something she doesn't like in Skywalkers, your bar.
You're out the elevator and the first thing you see is a tiny girl being pushed into the pool for some little brats. As she's falling you notice that one, she obviously didn't see it coming so she didn't have time to get some air and two, for some reason you wanna help her (even though you know there're lifeguards) .
So you don't think it twice and dive into the pool to take her out, you don't care about your uniform or being late anymore. She is almost at the bottom when you get her fortunately for you she's tiny so you don't have any trouble to get her out. She's moving desperate to get some air, she has water in her lungs though she tries to cough you hold her chest and say "don't move cutie! Trying to help you here" and you're relieved when she stays still while you try to apply CPR, you stop when she start coughing again and you see her throw up the water she drank.
You see the tiny pretty girl starts thanking (and rambling) about you saving her life. You arch and eyebrow and say "Glad you're ok cupcake" then you tease her because she's blushing and you wanna know if she can get red-der so you say "It's a pleasure to save a life if my reward is kissing a beautiful girl" you regret it instantly as Mattie's voice chimes in with a "Karnstein can I have a word with you...now" you roll your eyes, and go where she is. Both of you walk away from the cutie girl's group
"Can you tell what the heck are you doing?" Mattie says with a low voice. You know that although she says it as a whisper she's scolding you
"Really? I just saved a life and you're asking me what I'm doing?" You deadpan
"You know what I mean Carmilla, now you gotta go and change your uniform and you were supposed to replace Rey, he's been working since 10:00 am and he needs to have lunch" she says with a serious tone. She's right you know but- "What was I suppose to do? She was drowning and the lackwits we have as lifeguards didn't even see her fell" you defend yourself.
"Kitty cat, you're a bartender that's your job you should've let them do theirs" she's quiet and adds "look I'm not saying you did wrong because it'd be a lie, you saved a girl as a sister I'm proud you helped someone. But as your bar manager I'm telling you to go to your cabin change your uniform and come ASAP we need to set up the sail away party's drinks" Mattie commands and you nod and start going back to your cabin.
There're a ginger trio and two blondes sitting in the bar and asking you for alcohol, you explained to them they got to do the drill first and they think you're joking.
"Carm-Carmilla" you hear a voice, you turn around and see that tiny girl from the pool. "Well someone's been asking for my name...I guess" you smirk because she blushes.
"Well I wanted to know who was the girl who saved me...that- that's all" she answers back. She's staring at you, you can feel her gaze in your shoulders, your legs. She asks why can't they drink alcohol, you explain (again) that first the drill then the drinks. You tell them why the drill is important
You hear the drill announcement and excuse yourself, put your "muster" cap and take your life jacket.
"Are you kidding me" you mutter the cutie girl IS in your muster station in fact she's in front of you.
"Well, well, well cupcake you're in my muster station! Lucky me, I guess" you tease and she introduces herself as Laura. Laura Hollis, it's a cute name so unconsciously you repeat it and you see disappointment in her look.
"well sweetheart it's nice to meet you" you say then the officer in charge start explaining about the drill and you mimic everything he says.
The drill is over and you need to get ASAP to Oasis bar to help with the drinks.
There're a lot of people and it's really crowded, the girl in front of you is Cutie girl Laura.
You get closer to her ear and say "Hope to see you upstairs cupcake" she turns around and replies a "Hey" she's adorable you think "Hey" you answer and smirk when you catch her looking to your lips.
"gosh you're so sexy" she blurts out the sentence and you laugh she's embarrassed for what she said and you're about to say something to reassure her but instead you just say "well buttercup see you later" open one crew only door and you're gone. "What the hell just happened?" You mutter to yourself why didn't you say a sultry comment? Or something? You leave that thought for later now it's working time.
You went to Oasis to help preparing the Mucho Mangos but Monica sends you to Skywalkers
"Mattie is waiting for you there to check the bar with you" she says with a apologetic look
"Really? She's doing the bar rounds now?" You sigh "ok I go then" Monica is your supervisor and your friend "see you in a bit" she smiles
"Mattie?" You call your manager
"In the pantry Karnstein" and there she is. Looking at the walking fridge
"Is something wrong?" You ask worried
"Well I guess your pantry boy didn't dry this today and as a bartender you're supposed to be in charge everything gets deep cleaning" she says dryly
"I did! We did clean everything and maybe Kirsch forgot that one. It won't happen again I'll check it out by myself next time" you're serious about this statement because you love working as a bartender and you try to be responsible
"I know Kitty" her eyes soften "gee I'm gonna miss you little monster, the other bartenders are not as much immersed as you are" she adds
"Well JP, Ell and Monica are pretty good" you say because it's true they're responsible and professional when they're working.
"I know but three good responsible bartenders in a ship with eighteen bars..." she sighs
"Mattie, you just need one of our family glare to make the others do whatever you asked them to" and you're totally convinced that "the glare" could terrify anyone
"Ok Kitty time to work, go change for a casual uniform and start opening this bar" she says before walking away
It's almost 10:00 pm and there's literally three people in the bar because it's the first day people are tired. By now you know that's why.
"So Carmilla, how do you speak so well English? I mean I thought people speak German in Austria" the blonde asks, her name is Elsie and you recognize her from cutie Laura's group
"That's because I was born there but my family moved to England when my siblings and I were seven years old-" she interrupts
"Your siblings and you?" Elsie asks
"Yeah well we're triplets" you say and she wide her eyes
"So there're two more girls exactly like you. Wow I'd like to see that" she tells you in a flirting tone
"Actually We're two men and me" you shrug
"Oh" she looks disappointed
"My siblings work here too" you add and take her empty glass she ask for another drink with her hands
"Do they? Really? Your family really likes working in ships huh?" She laughs
"Kinda!" You say and prepare another Milky Way martini for her
"Excuse me can we have another round of Mojito's please" SJ asks and you smile at her you know her from a previous cruise. She's a platinum card passenger that's means she's elite for the company.
"Of course SJ, I'll send a waiter with the drink there" you say
"Thanks Carmilla" she goes back to her table
Elsie is gone by 12:30 am and you're cleaning the counter. SJ and Natalie (now you know she's SJ's fiancée) are dancing in the dance floor. JP gets five minutes early as usual and you can go on break before closing the bar.
It's 2:30 am when you make the last call and you can close the bar. After that you call the night manager and let him know you're closed now
You open the door quietly, you don't wanna wake up Ell and not, it's not because she transforms in a monster when her sleep is perturbed and no, you're not afraid of her of course not. It's just that you get dizzy when she starts speaking and curses in Spanish. She speaks so fast. Wait she's not here probably she's in Monica's cabin. You take a shower and wear boy shorts and a tank top.
After a while you hear the door open and Ell's voice "see you tomorrow love"
"Goodnight honey. Love you" Monica replies
Ell closes the door. "I could practically hear you rolling your eyes" she deadpans
"Ha.ha" you say she knows you so well though "you're so disgustingly in love" you say from your bed
"Someday you'll find someone you would be disgustingly in love too" wait, is she threatening you?
"I don't think so guapa! Not happening" you smirk "why would I like a person when I can have as many as I want? Besides you know I don't do relationships" and it's true you've never been in a serious relationship.
"That's because you haven't-" she starts saying
"Met the right person yet" you finish her sentence "yeah yeah! I'd like to keep talking about this for the hundredth time but I'm really tired so time to sleep Bonita...goodnight" you close your eyes and fall asleep quickly.
"Dormilona wake up! It's almost noon" Ell says
"Five more minutes" you answer and she laughs
"Oh come on I've started my shift at 10:00 and I'm not complaining" she says
"Yeah but you finished at midnight. It's not my fault you prefer going to you girlfriend's cabin instead of sleeping" you deadpan
"But I missed her" she whines
"God you guys are gross. I swear one day I'll get diabetes" and she snorts
"Ay Dios Mío niña eres una dramática" she says
"I'm not a drama queen! It's true" and you smile
"We love you too" she tells you
"Yeah.yeah. I know that guapa" you answer you like the connection you have with Ell. She gets you well
"By the way, Mon told me yesterday you saved a pretty girl?" She winks and you froze "How did Monica- She wasn't even there-" you start
"Come one gatita!" Ell says "You know how gossip travels on board" and she's right. You sigh
"Well she was a passenger who needed help so I helped her" you say with a bored tone
"And this passenger is cute? Like a little ball of sunshine?" She teases
"What? I didn't see that. I mean she was drowning I didn't see her face" you try to sound unaffected. Ell knows you too well, goddammit you hate she knows you that well.
"Yeah right!" She sounds skeptical "and if I tell you that Mon talked to her when she was at Oasis yesterday and this girl really wanted to see you" she adds "wait what? She was looking for me?" And you curse you fate, you would've been in that bar but Mattie called you. "Well today it’s a sea day so I'm sure we'll see each other-" you start
"Carmilla" Ell turns to look at you in the eyes "you know I was teasing and she's a passenger right? Whatever you think that could happen is not happening because that is totally against the company's policy" she's serious and she's right
"Don't worry Bonita, probably she just wanna thank me (again) for saving her. Besides I'm leaving next cruise I'm not jeopardizing my appraisal for a passenger" you're honest you have not worked so hard to lose everything for a girl you don't even know.
"I know you're smart gatita" Ell is getting ready to nap now
"I need to get ready for work" you say.
1:25 pm Outrigger bar (aft pool bar)
You get to the bar and greet Sonja (a Serbian bartender who you may or may not have a one night stand last contract)
"Finally I'm starving!" She moves her hands up to make it more dramatic you roll your eyes
"Sorry cutie but I start my shift at 1:30 so you have to stay 5 more minutes" you love pushing her bottoms because every time she's around other bartenders she complains about you. You have the feeling that probably and You repeat probably, is because you didn't even talk to her after that night. "So I'm gonna walk around and make sure there're not dirty glasses or plates" you add
"Seriously? You can send a steward for that" she yells/whispers knowing there're passengers and she can't make a scene.
"Well I don't see any steward right now soooo" you start walking away. "Carmilla" she says and you smirk when you see her glare, then you roll your eyes and say "ok! You can go now" you go to open the bar door so that you'd be behind the counter.
"Thanks" she says between clenched teeth
"Oh you're very welcome cutie" you put your best smug smirk and she storms out besides you.
It's almost 4:00 pm and there's literally no one in here, as it's sea day there're some activities inside the lounges but at least you expect some passengers. Instead you haven't seen anyone since your shift started
"This.is.boring." You mutter sighing
"What was it?" You’re startled at the voice you hear and turn to you right and wow you see a toned body and amazing arms and does she have a six pack? Holy shit! She does have a six pack. Laura Hollis has a amazing body under all that dorky and adorable clothes. What are you doing Carmilla? Say something. You scold yourself
She's smiling at you, she's adorable. You clear your throat "Hello cupcake" you say rising one eyebrow
"Hey" she says. She looks around then look at you with a questioning look
"Even though it's a sea day people sometimes prefer to be inside the ship where the AC is" you explain
"I can't believe they do that. It's a beautiful day and there's a pool here and...holy crap those are hot tubs?" She says excitedly
"Yes they are creampuff" you say and you didn't realized you were mimicking her the smile in her lips with yours
"Ha- have you forget my name?" She asks shyly
"Of course not! You're Laura" you say serious as she starts fidgeting
"It's just...well you keep calling me pastry name and you meet hundreds people in each cruise so I thought you probably forget my name-" she rambles
You give her your best sultry voice "maybe I like calling you like that because you remind me a pastry" you wink and you see her face turning red and you laugh
"Ha.ha so funny" she tries to be serious but she can't hide her smile "So how are you?" She asks
"Well I've been working here and there" you deadpan
"True" she says "I mean I know you work here and that was a silly question-" you see her apologetic look
"It's ok creampuff. I know what you mean" you try to make her to relax a little "My bar is Skywalkers the nightclub and as it's closed until 6:00 I have to roam around the other bars" you explain and why are you telling her these things?
"That bar is in the eighteenth floor isn't it?" She asks and you nod. Then she sits by the counter and automatically you ask "Would you like something to drink"
She smiles and says "Do you have grape soda?"
"Grape soda?" You say
"Yeah, I don't usually drink" she answers
"But you're on vacation and we're going to Mexico. You're supposed to have fun" you tell her
"I don't need alcohol for having fun" she answer and you know she's right
"Fair point" you say "grape soda it is then...ice?" You ask her
"Easy ice please" she smiles
It’s about to be 5:00 pm and Laura and you have been talking for a while now (mostly she’s been doing the talking) she told you about her work as a journalist in a newspaper, about how and for how long the ginger trio and her know each other.
You don’t want to go but your break is at 5 and you need to take a shower, change your pool uniform for the formal one because today is the captain welcome party.
“Hey Laura, I’m about to go on a break now. Another bartender is coming to replace me, so I was a pleasure to meet you again” you say
“Oh, yeah. Yeah it’s a pleasure meeting you too, Carm” she says and you kinda like she called you like that.
“If you’d like you can go to my bar around 7 and we could keep talking” and you smile when you say this
“I think I’d love that” she answer and both of you are smiling now
“Uhum” you hear someone clearing their throat, so you turn to your left and see an embarrassed face.
“Oh, hey Ell. How’ve you been” you try, and that’s the key word, you TRY to sound as unaffected as possible. Your mind keeps telling you that your best friend hasn’t just caught you “flirting” with a passenger. Is it flirting when you invite her to your bar? I mean you probably want to keep the company’s slogan “escape completely”. Besides if she goes to Skywalkers she may buy some drinks so the company wins, right?. Right? Anyway, Ell breaks your train of thoughts.
“I didn’t mean to interrupt your...conversation” she says while looking at you. “But you’re going on a break and Monica sent me to replace” she adds
“Oh, hey Ell!” Laura says with a grin “do you remember me?”
“Of course, Laura. Right?” Ell asks
“Yeah, that’s me” Laura nodds while pointing at herself with a lovely smile. Stop it Karnstien! There’s no time to appreciate this beautiful creature. You can feel Ell’s eyes on you.
“Alright, then I’ll be going. Thanks for coming early Ell...see you around cup-I mean Laura” you correct yourself because you don’t want to give Ell any indication what you’re thinking. So you wave your hand and go to your cabin.
As you’re showering, you keep thinking and thinking about why are you doing/feeling? This is not what you expect to be your penultimate cruise. In fact you thought this would be a boring cruise and now you have literally met a girl the day before and your brain started to create some scenarios with the two of you in a hot tub. Easy Karnstein, you don’t want to go there...and not where you’re taking a shower. You shake you head and go to change your uniform.
When you realized the time, it’s 5:40 so you have twenty minutos to eat something in the crew mess and go to your bar, which you hope is as clean as you left it earlier. Sometimes the bartender who replace you don’t care and they don’t clean their mess after they make the drinks, you roll your eyes at that thought.
It’s 7:20 pm and for some reason that maybe you know but you don’t want to accept yet, you wait for something or maybe someone. You’re deep in your thought when you hear your name being say by someone, you snap out of your dilemma
“Gosh, I’ve been trying to catch your attention for a while now, mate” Monica seem annoyed by your distraction and of course is wrong.
“I’m really sorry, Mon” you apologize “I’ve been a little distracted today”
“I can see that, darling. Are you okay?” She ask preoccupied. You shake your head “yeah, I’m ok. Just a little distracted. It won’t happen again I promise” you say
“I hope so. I wouldn’t like if a passenger comes and feel there not being treating as royalty” she grins “no we don’t” you smile. You’ve met that kind of passengers, actually you have met all the kinds of passengers.
“Anyway, I came here because. It’s gonna be busy here later, after the champagne waterfall” she says “formal nights are the hardest” she adds
At 10 pm you go on your last break of the day, it’s a thirty minutes break so you just go to see the stars out of the bar.
The night is a full moon and you can see the stars shining in the sky, it’s hypnotizing. One of the advantages of this work, besides travel around the world and meet people form everywhere, is the view. You’ve seen some Northern Lights when you went to Iceland and once when you were going back to Vancouver from Alaska. You tal your time to see the sky, how can the same star you see shining amazingly be dead already by now? How small we are to that light? You redirect your look to the see, the reflection of the moon is like silk moving smoothly at the sea and small waves forming by the ship’s turbines makes it look like a mirage.
“It’s beautiful. No, no beautiful...breathtaking” a voice startle you. You don’t have other option to jump a little and turn to see Laura Hollis in a dark blue long strapless dress, you’re mesmerized by her. “Gorgeous” you say as she approaches to you, but you’re not talking about the view anymore.
“Hey” she whispers nervously, her eyes shining at the moonlight, her toned skin looks like so smooth, you think it’s getting you some ideas you shouldn’t have. What’s happening? You don’t, you mustn’t have these thoughts. It’s not ethic, don’t screw it up Karnstein. Don’t fail to your father like this.
“Are you okay? You’re too quiet right now” Laura states
“Just enjoying the view” you smirk- what the hell I just told you, your brain is screaming. “I mean the moon and the stars are beautiful” you add. “Nice dress cupcake” you smile when she blushes
“Thanks, we’ve been at the captain welcome party. It was pretty interesting how much alcohol passengers can drink” she comments thoughtfully. I could write about it she says and you laugh a little.
“What?” She asks smiling too
“Well, you’re on vacation and you still think about work. That would mean that you love what you do” you explain
“I do love what I do for working” she declares as she take a clumsy step close to you, suddenly she stumbled with her dress and you think “this girl keeps falling she might have two left feet” while rolling your eyes.
“What the he-“ you start saying but she collapsing against you and you try to hug her and hold on the nearest handrail and-
“Hey Carmilla, your break finished five motives ago. What is so important you’re doing her-“ Ell ask
It’s 9:00 am when someone knocks at your door. You groan because it’s the first time you drink that much (it wasn’t too much but you’re such a lightweight) and they decide to bother you this early. There’s another knock and you groan again.
“I’m coming, I’m coming” you say “where’s the fire” you ask when you open the door.
“Laura, are you ok?” Says Danny “you didn’t answer the phone and Perry got worried so I came here to see if you’re okay” explains
You fight the urge to roll her eyes and sigh “I’m vacation, I think it’s normal to relax these days” you defend yourself
“I know what you mean, but Perry has tried to reach you and you know the itinerary she sent us by e-mail...two months ago. She didn’t want you to be late so she called and you didn’t answer. I offer to come because she said she would come personally with the security personnel...and I knew you would be upset if that happens so” Danny trails off
You sigh again, this is unbelievable but any complaint you have would be worthless so you get into the bathroom and start brushing your teeth, when you finish you go out the bathroom and choose the clothes you use for the day. “Danny, tell Perry I’ll be there on time” you say
“You know the name of the bar, right?” She asks
“I know” you curtly say
“Oh, ok. See you there then” Danny answers awkwardly
You make your way to the bathroom again in other to take a shower. “It’s gonna be long day” You mutter
By 9:35 you get to “Club Fusion” bar, you know it because it’s your mister station so you’ve been there. When you get into you can recognize your friends table (it’s the loudest one”. You can see Betty and Elsie’s bored face showing that maybe you’re not the only one that had an interesting evening yesterday.
“Hey guys! How are you?” You ask
“Finally you get here, Hollis. Perry was about to report you as missing” says Betty rolling her eyes at the idea.
“Well Laura wasn’t answering her phone and I called almost twenty times” Perry declares
“They won’t take your overprotective esa as a good sign here” Betty affirms
“I don’t know why you have to be as much concerned with Laura” adds Elsie “what if she met a girl yesterday and they were “busy” with breakfast today” she smirks and Laura gets the same color as a tomate.
“Why don’t we stop talking about Laura and the secret lovers she might get in this cruise” grin Laf as if they know something else.
“Guys, the bingo is about to start, let’s focus on the game” Danny tries to lessen the situation.
“A very good morning ladies and gentlemen, the bingo is about to start. If you’re interested in playing, you can buy them on the right side of the stage. Good luck and don’t forget that the drink of the day is “The ultimate Bloody Mary” a member of the cruise staff comments
“I’ll kill for a Bloody Mary right now” Elsie says “I had the worst hangover ever”
“Maybe if you wouldn’t drink too much the first day of the cruise, you wouldn’t have it” Danny answers flatly
“Then, where would be the fun?” Elsie smiles “besides I was having a good time with that sexy bartender we met yesterday” Elsie says.
You froze in your chair
“You mean the one that refused to have us drinks?” Betty asks
“The one who saved Laura here” Perry concludes
Everyone noticed you’ve been quieter than ever so they all look at you and you fidget under all those looks
“Uhm,” someone next to you clears their throat “good morning guys, I’m Will and I’ll be your bar steward today. May I offer you something to drink?” He asks
“Oh yes please!” Elsie hums
“I’d like one too, what’s the name of the drink of the day again?” Betty asks
“The drink of the day is “The ultimate Bloody Mary” Will answers
“I’d like one” Elsie says
“Me too” Betty adds
“May I have a can of coke, please?” Perry asks
“I want a morning dew” Laf says
You see this guy and he reminds you to someone but you can’t recall who, you think you may know but from where. You think hard
“Eh Laura?” Laf snap you out of your train of thoughts
“Eh?” You answer
“Will is waiting for your answer” they tell you
“Ow, I’d love to have some grape soda” you answer quickly
“Ok, so two drinks of the day, one coke, one grape soda and a morning dew, right?” She asks
“Yeah” everyone says while nodding
“Your drinks are here” Will starts to set all the glasses. “As the bingo is starting, if you need a refill or another drink, you can call me” he assures
“Mmm, Will. I’ve seen your name tag. You’re from Austria, right?. Is it possible you’re one of Carmilla’s siblings?” Asks Elsie and you get shocked. First of all, siblings as in plural? Second of all, Does their family like to work on board? Third of all and most importantly how does Elsie know all this information? Your mind can’t stop questioning all these things-
“Yeah, Carmilla is my sister” Will says politely “we are tri-“ he gets interrupted
“Triplets. I know, she told me about you guys” Elsie smirks
“Oh really?” Will asks smirking
And now you can recognize that smirk, how couldn’t you recognize it before.
“You really like to work on the ship, huh? Betty says
“That’s what I said, yesterday!” Elsie chimes in
“Woah, what are the odds for triplets to work at the same time on the same ship?” Laf wonder “how many ships does this company have?” They say touching their chin
“Seventeen so far but there will be nineteen by the end of this year” Will answers grinning “but the company gives the chance to choose the ship we’re going, I mean we “linked” ourselves so that we could be in the same ship” he explains
“That makes sense now” Laf says
“Ladies and gentlemen, we will be starting the Bingo in 5 minutes time” announces the cruise staff
“If you need something else, just call me” Will smiles politely
Okay, okay, okay. So for some reason you have this little twist in your guts, like something’s wrong with Elsie having information that you don’t have. Is that jealousy? It can’t be, why do you feel like someone took something you liked. No, no Hollis! You shouldn’t think like this, you’re talking like she belongs to you and you hate it when people start to objectify their couple. Wait! Your couple? Jesus, you’re worst that I thought, You sigh
“Are you okay there, L?” Laf elbow you gently. You smile and answer weakly “yeah. I’ll go to the restroom before the starts” you say while you stand and start walking, just before you almost collide with a bar steward. “Uh, sorry” you say and she just glares a little, you’ll have to make it up for “Rosita”, that sounds like a pretty name.
“B14! I repeat B14!” Cruise staff yells on the mic
“OMG I’ve never been this close” announces Danny
“Really?” Smirk Elsie and Betty explodes with laughter, some people, who apparently take the game pretty seriously, glare us.
“Oh sweet lord, I need two more numbers” Perry is too concentrate she doesn’t have the time to scold them.
“N42, I repeat N42” cruise staff says
You look at your Bingo card and you realize that in fact, you are not lucky today.
“B3, c’mon B3, say it!” Perry wides her eyes and you have never seen her this competitive
“Oh,oh, Perry got all competitive again” Laf
“Again?” Everyone asks, you arch your eyebrow to make Laf elaborate
“Well, once when we were playing monopoly and I was winning...I don’t remember much about that evening” Laf touch their head
“Don’t be that dramatic!” Perry hissed “it was an accident” she says with gritted teeth
“B1! Hey that’s what I said to my wife, honey Be the one” he winks and people laugh “I repeat B1” he says again
“BINGOOOO” an old lady with gray hair and thick glasses yells
“Goddamnit” Perry scowls
“Woah, there” Laf cover their head
“Jeez” Danny looks at her agape
“Who knew she got all this” Elsie adds
“I don’t even know to react to this” Betty says
“Holy smokes!” It’s the only thing you can say
“Someone called a Bingo there!” The cruise staff says “let’s me double check...and yeah it’s a Bingo ladies and gentleman, congratulations. What’s your name?” He asks
“Sybill. Sybill Trelawney” The lady answers smiling
“Hi again guys” you redirect your look to Will, who is picking up the empty glasses of your table “may I offer you something else?” He asks
“Sorry Will, I’m afraid we won’t play anymore” Laf answer “at least we won’t, right Perry?” They look at her pleading
“Yes, sweetie” Perry sighs “I think we should get going” she adds
“What about you guys? Are you staying?” Asks Laf
“Are you kidding?” Answers Betty
“we’ve been playing this because of you. If it was for me, I’d be sleeping” complains Elsie
“Why don’t we go upstairs?” Danny suggests looking at you “there’s the ice cream bar” she smiles
“YES!” You answer
“And there’s the Oasis bar...” Elsie mimics Danny’s voice
“YES!” Betty says aloud, both laughing
“Ha.ha so funny” you deadpan “Guys, I’ll go to my room for my swimsuit and see you up there” you say
“Oh, that’s a great idea, I’m doing the same” Betty says
“Me too” Elsie chimes in
“Okay, then we see upstairs in 30 minutes, right?” Danny Asks
“Yes!” The three of you answer
“Guys, let’s don’t be late. I don’t want you to spoil your lunch” Perry adds
It’s around 3:50 pm, you already have ice cream, a hamburger, you got lunch around 1:00 pm. You got another ice cream. Then Perry made you wait for an hour to get into the pool. You glare at the kids that made you fall yesterday and you realized that maybe you should work on that glaring because they didn’t even care. You have been playing with Laf in the pool while Elsie and Betty flirted with almost all the staff, specially the bar staff. Danny is reading “The hunger games” and as you have done all of this, you are bored now. And that made you think about Carmilla, and her silky hair, deep eyes and pale legs. Yeah, apparently being bored makes you think about a certain bartender that you haven’t seen since the day before. So you get out of the pool and tell your friends you’re going to the restroom, you don’t want to lie to them but you don’t wanna make them think you don’t enjoy their company either. After all, this trip was because you wanted to reconnect with each other.
You walk through the horizon court, you haven’t go any farther, you haven’t seen the back of the ship, you inner investigative journalist tell you to go so you go.
When the gates open, there’s a sign that says “Outtrigger Bar”.
You see a lovely and calmed view. After that you hear a voice that you kinda recognize as if you’ve hear it hundreds times.
“This.is.boring” says that voice
“What was it?” you ask because you’re not sure if she’s talking to you or not. She jumps a little when she turns to see you, you can see her eyes wondering on you, you blush a little.
She looks thoughtful, you smile at her
“Hello cupcake” she says and your smile widen
“Hey” you say. Then you look around and you realize that this place is empty. You raise an eyebrow as questioning why if this place is quiet, beautiful and it has Carmilla here. Don’t start Hollis, this beautiful girl probably has a girlfriend/ fiancée or wife or maybe she’s straight and have a family oh gosh stop thinking those things.
"Even though it's a sea day people sometimes prefer to be inside the ship where the AC is” she explains.
"I can't believe they do that. It's a beautiful day and there's a pool here and...holy crap those are hot tubs?" You say excitedly. You need to tell your friends about this. It’s amazing and no one comes so it could be your friends and your place for this cruise.
“Yes, they are, creampuff” she’s answers as she smiles at you and you love that smile. Then you think, she hasn’t said your name so maybe she forgot it, I mean there’re a lot of people and what, you have known each for 24 hours. She must forget, you try to explain to yourself but it doesn’t help that twist at the bottom of your stomach.
“Hav- have you forgot my name?” You Ask nervously
“Of course not, you’re Laura” she answers serious and determined and you fidget.
"It's just...well you keep calling me pastry name and you meet hundreds people in each cruise so I thought you probably forget my name-" you ramble
"maybe I like calling you like that because you remind me a pastry" she says in that sexy voice she has and OMG. You start blushing hard, how can you react to that? Maybe her personality is like that and you think she’s flirting. Yeah, that’s it.
“Ha.ha so funny” you say seriously but it’s impossible not to smile back to her.
"So how are you?" You ask
"Well I've been working here and there" she deadpans
“True” you say sighing "I mean I know you work here and that was a silly question-" she looks at you with concern.
“It’s okay, creampuff. I know what you mean” she says calmly "My bar is Skywalkers the nightclub and as it's closed until 6:00 I have to roam around the other bars" she adds and you smile because she’s sharing info with you. Look at that Elsie! You think.
"That bar is in the eighteenth floor isn't it?" You ask, you already knew this because Perry and her map.
You think it’s awkward the way you’re talking so you take a sit in a stool of the counter and she got this look and professional posture. She ask you you wanna a drink and you ask her if she has grape soda.
“Grape soda?” She asks surprised
"Yeah, I don't usually drink" you answer. It’s true but it’s also true you drank too much yesterday and you don’t wanna know anything with alcohol.
"But you're on vacation and we're going to Mexico. You're supposed to have fun" she says smiling
"I don't need alcohol for having fun” you answer
“Fair point” she declares and don’t push anymore “grape soda, it is,then...ice?” she adds
“Easy ice, please” you answer.
You’ve been talking for a while now and Carmilla answers all the questions you have about the ship, and her.
She’s told you she and her siblings are in the bar department, they’re triplets and no ones believes them when they say that. Also, that even though they’re triplets their personalities are totally different from one another. For instance, Will is kinda jerk (not your words but hers) and JP which is short for Jean Paul is shy and kind...and she murmurs as close to you as the counter between both of you let her, “he’s my favorite brother” she winks. She told you they go back to England when their contract ends and this is the penultimate cruise they’re in. One more and they will be on vacation, she’s planning to go to Spain though. Ell promises to take her to all the touristic places she knows and she will cook “Paella” for her, she loves it. It wouldn’t be the first time she goes to Spain though, she used to travel a lot because of her parents’ job.
You also tell her about you and your friends, and now that you think about it. You’ve practically told her all you life. Probably you just forget your experiences in second grade, you roll your eyes at yourself. How can you talk that much without realizing, and the main question would be, how Carmilla keeps listening without saying anything. How can she look at you like she cares about it?
Around 5:00 pm she says she’ll be get going and another bartender would come to replace her.
“Oh, yeah. Yeah it’s a pleasure meeting you too, Carm” you say blushing.
“If you’d like you can go to my bar around 7 and we could keep talking” she says. Is she inviting you there? Does she wanna see you again? You can’t stop those butterflies in your stomach at that idea. “I think I’d like that” you answer in a flirty voice, well the flirtier you have. And suddenly the mood is killed by someone clearing their throat. It’s Ell, you got a little nervous because maybe she catches you flirting with Carm.
“Oh, hey Ell. How’ve you been” Carm says nervously like a kid who’s been caught doing something bad and her mother is about to scold them. “I didn’t mean to interrupt your...conversation” she says looking at Carm and it looks like they’re having a conversation with the eyes but you don’t want to interfere so you awkwardly start sipping your melted...ice? You sense the faint taste of soda on it and you cringe at it.
“Oh, hey Ell, do you remember me?” You ask
“Of course, Laura. Right?” Ell asks
“Yeah, that’s me” You nod. Then Ell explains she’s there because her girlfriend asked her to.
“Alright, then I’ll be going. Thanks for coming early Ell...see you around cup-I mean Laura” Carm says and you kinda miss her calling you with cupcake or creampuff.
“Soooo how has been your day on the ship?” Ell asks
“It’s fun I mean there’re a lot of things we can do while we are on board” you smile
“I’m sure of that” she deadpan and you kinda feel like she’s implying other things. But you don’t comment anything else, maybe she, in fact, saw you flirting. Is it ethic for a passenger to flirt with a employee or is it quality as harassment? Holy smokes you haven’t thought about it, until now. Maybe Ell thinks you’re harassing her best friend, because Monica told you she was her best friend and cabin mate. Holy Hufflepuff!
“Are you ok, Laura?” Asks Ell “you’ve been quiet these ten minutes” she adds
You were invested at the last piece of ice in your glass but when she says that, you turn to look at her deep blue eyes. Her expressions have changed, she looks sincere now. “I’m okay” you answer
“Would you like something else?” She asks “maybe another grape soda” she smiles
“That would be nice” you tell her. “I know you guys already be annoyed by this question but, how is it working on board? I mean you have the chance to see the world” you say
“I love traveling and I love working here” she answers “besides I’ve met the best people here...my fiancée for an instance. If I hadn’t come here I couldn’t get the chance to her...or Carmilla, she’s my best friend. If I’d stayed at home I would never met them or see the world” she answers “you know, there’s a saying where I live. It says: life’s too short to have the wrong job. I’ve thought about it and it’s true. Some people don’t get the chance to choose what they want, I did. That made me appreciate what I have now.” She explains and she’s right, like totally right. Son you tell her
“You’re right. I couldn’t agree more, I don’t know what would I do if I couldn’t be a journalist” you comment. “So, you’re from Spain. Where in Spain?” you ask, it’s easy to talk to Ell, she got this air of confidence and charisma. You like her.
“Actually, I was born in Peru but my parents immigrated to Spain when I was a child so I was raised there, that’s why I have the accent” she smiles
“Peru?” You think and you remember all your geography lessons “that’s where Machu Picchu is, right?” You ask enthusiastically. She smiles “yeah” and your smile widen because Mrs. Cochrane would be proud of you.
“Have you ever gone back to Peru?” You ask “do they speak English or Spanish there?” You add
“I’ve been there a couple times to visit my “nona” who’s still there and my cousins” she says
“Nona?” You ask
“That’s how we call our grandma’s in Spain” she explains
“Oh!” That sounds lovely
“And to answer your question, they speak spanish in Peru. Is not the same Spanish though” she explains
“It’s like British, Australian or American English. They don’t sound the same and some words have different meaning. So that’s the same with Spanish” she adds
“I always wanted to learn Spanish but I was so bad at it” you say honestly “the only thing I say, and just because I’m Canadian is “Lo siento and gracias” you say and Ell laughs “those are the same words Monica knows in Spanish...and as you know she’s Canadian too” she laughs harder.
“You see!” You laugh too.
“Oh dear lord! Finally I could find you. Laura, why didn’t you say you were coming here?” Asks Perry. She look like she’d have a nervous wreck.
“Holy smokes! I totally forgot that, Perry. I’m really sorry” you apologize
“It’s okay dear, just let’s go to prepare for the captain welcome party” she says
Oh crap, you totally forgot about your friends as soon as you saw Carmilla and after that you had a great time talking to Ell. Your friends don’t deserve that, but you forgot how in a way they control you. You sigh. You turn to see Ell and she looks at you like expecting for you to say something else but you can’t, your friends and agreed to come here to have time for yourselves.
“It was lovely to talk to you, Ell” you say politely.
“Me too” she says smiling
You get into the horizon court to take the middle ship elevator. You apologize with Perry again but she doesn’t push for any other explanation than you being forgetful .
You attend to the captain welcome party. You’re wearing a long blue dress, it’s strapless so you can show your arms. You feel like Rose in titanic, and you can’t avoid to picture Carmilla wearing a tuxedo, asking you to dance. Okay Hollis you’re daydreaming again, it’s a nice dream though.
Before the party start you listen to the music and get immersed in it, you love this song. It’s one of your mother’s (and your) favorite
Ain’t no mountain high
Ain’t no valley low
Ain’t no river wide enough baby
If you need me call me
No matter where you are
No matter how far
Just call my name
I’ll be there in a hurry
You don’t have to worry
Cuz baby, ain’t no mountain high enough...
“Hollis, where you’ve been?” Asks Betty “Perry was about to have a stroke, she made us look for you in every deck, literally” she complains
“I’m sorry Betty, I forgot about the time until she found me” you explain
“It’s okay for me, you know I don’t like when they get too patronizing” she says
A voice startles you “OMG Laura! Are you okay? Why did you disappear like that? You should’ve told me, I would go with you. Did something happen? The only thing Perry said is that’s she found you and you were coming to the party” you can see a little vein in Danny’s forehead.
“Yeah, sorry about that Danny. I’m ok” you say. You don’t like the way she’s treating you, like a child but you feel guilty because you didn’t say anything and disappear
“Stop interrogate L!” Laf chimes a little annoyed “she’s not a kid, she’s free to go whe she wants to go” they continue
“But” Danny tries to defend
“But nothing, she’s an adult. She decide what she wanna do. Besides, we’re at the party now. So stop killing the mood” they state
You jus sigh, thanking Laf for it. They take your arm and drive you to the other side of the Piazza. “So did you have fun with the mysterious bartender” they smirk
“How could you-“ you start
“Well, you have these shine in your eyes...I know you L. Maybe I don’t say things but that doesn’t mean I don’t see them” they smile and you smiles as well.
“We talked a lot” you answer “...well, until her best friend came and caught me flirting at her” you cringe
“Damn! you flirting eh...I would’ve loved seeing that” they say
You both see Perry waving you to go and join the group.
The music stops and the cruise director starts presenting the officers in charge of the ship. The captain,the first officer, the commodore, the HGM (hotel general manager), the F&B manager, the main chef and the employee of the month, who is Jean Paul Karnstein. You finally met the last brother of your crush, she looks like Will But his eyes are kinder. He smiles, he doesn’t smirk like Carm it Will. He even blushes when they call for him to step next to the captain.
“He looks nice” Laf says
“He looks tasty” Elsie declares
“Oh common girl! He looks so innocent, you can’t think on corrupt him” Betty laugh “Gee, you’re feisty Elsie” she exclaims
“Stop objectifying people. It doesn’t matter their gender, that’s wrong Elsie” you say
“Laura is right, you’re being totally rude” Danny says
“Oh guys, you’re so not fun” Elsie complains “besides, I was joking” she adds
The captain starts to fill a champagne waterfall made with champagne glasses, it’s lovely. Everyone takes a glass from the waiters who are passing with trays full of them. You see Will and wave him
“Oh, hey Will. How’s your night?” You ask
“Well kinda busy” he says looking around “formal nights are the busier ones”
“I see. Your brother is the employee of the month” you grin to him
“yeah!” He says “JP is a lovely guy. But I’m the handsome one” he winks
You laugh, because they’re identical. The only difference is their eyes, besides JP looks shy and you know for sure Will isn’t. He’s being flirting with Elsie since they met or at least that’s your opinion.
After the officers start filling the champagne, they say passengers can do it. So Laf is the first one going there, then Perry and Danny. Elsie is too distracted talking to Will to go and Betty met a guy who came with his family.
It’s your turn to go and JP help to step on the stage.
“Hi, welcome on board miss” he says
“Hi JP, how’s your evening” you greet
He is taken aback “how did you-“ he starts
“I’ve met your siblings” you answer smiling
“I see, I’m wonderful this evening. Thanks for asking miss? You notice he has the British accent stronger than their siblings.
“Laura. Laura Hollis” you introduce yourself
“Pleasure to meet you, Mis Hollis” he says
“Likewise” you say
They take a picture of you (and JP) next to the champagne waterfall.
“My feet are killing me” Betty complains “I think I get going guys. See you tomorrow” she says
“Me too” Elsie says
“I think Perry and I are going too. Tomorrow is port day and she’s planned a lot of things for us” Laf says
“Yeah, Guys. It’s better if we rest now. Tomorrow is gonna be a long day” Perry adds
“Okay then, see you tomorrow guys. Laura do you want me to go together to our cabins...I mean as they’re in the same direction” Danny ask
“Okay” you say
“Goodnight Danny” you close your door and finally sit on your cabin’s bed. You’re about to undress but, you mind takes you to this afternoon, you have a lovely time with Carmilla. You wanna see her again, besides she invited you to her bar and she might think you didn’t care, you look at your watch and it’s about to be 10:00 pm so you take your cabin key and go upstairs.
The ship is almost empty, some people from accommodation vacuum the rugs. You guess it’s because everyone is on a tour tomorrow.
When you go out of the elevator and you’re about to enter the Skywalker’s bar (or the disco bar) you see a silhouette close to a balcony next to the bar. You recognize it so you got there.
You don’t wanna intrude but it escape you mouth before you can stop it.
“It’s beautiful. No, no beautiful...breathtaking” you say and you see she jumps a little then she looks you straight in your eyes and says “gorgeous” and OMG you’re getting dizzy for the way she said it. Your brain decides that this is perfect moment for stop working
“Hey” it’s the only word your mouth can elaborate, for someone who loves talking you’re having a hard time with it. You look at her nervously. Then you realize that she hasn’t said anything else either, you get nervous again and ask “Are you okay? You’re too quiet right now”
“Just enjoying the view” she says smirking and, was that flir- is she filtri-? You ask yourself, “I mean the moon and the stars are beautiful” she says back tracking “nice dress cupcake” she adds and your face get red.
“Thanks, we’ve been at the captain welcome party. It was pretty interesting how much alcohol passengers can drink” you say and you’re including Elsie, Betty and Laf in that statement. She smiles and you ask her “what?”. Then she explains that just someone who love their job would think about work in the middle of a cruise to Mexico.
You do love your job you say and when you try to reach for the handrail, your feet decide not to accomplish that (simple) job, you find yourself falling (again), oh Hollis what wrong with you, seriously?
“What the he-“ she says before you collapse against her.
You can hear the song playing at the disco is a Spanish one, you don’t know the name.
Bésame, bésame mucho
Si fuera esta noche la última vez
Bésame, bésame mucho
Que tengo miedo a perderte
By the time you open your eye again, you see Carm face close to yours. She managed to hold you and hold the handrail for stability, if you see the scene well you’re like hugging awkwardly, you can smell her aroma. It’s like vanilla and Calvin Klein 35. You’re looking into her eyes and she’s so close to you, her eyes are so deep you think they can see your soul. You wanna get closer.But once again, the situation is cut by someone else. Someone you think would get the wrong idea about this.
“Hey Carmilla, your break finished five motives ago. What is so important you’re doing her-“ Ell ask and you detach yourself from Carmilla, who looks whiter than ever. It may be the moonlight. Carmilla takes another step back from you.
“Oh yeah, I, I gotta go to work...because it’s my turn to work. Because I work here” she rambles nervously
You stay there standing in front of Ell who’s staring you but not saying anything.
You clear your throat “I almost fell and she caught me before I could get hurt” you feel the need to explain because Ell sees you suspiciously. Being under her deep gaze is stressful and she’s not saying anything.
“Don’t have the wrong idea about what we-“
“I don’t” she says “I know Carmilla she wouldn’t take advantage of anyone. She wouldn’t break the rule” she explains in a serious tone. She walks away and get into the bar. You feel like you shouldn’t go there but if you don’t it would be like you’re hiding something and that’s the last thing you want, you sigh and get inside.
There’re some people there dancing slowly while you get close to the counter. The you recognize the song.
...Shall I stay
would it be a sin
If I can't help falling in love with you
Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
some things are meant to be
take my hand, take my whole life too
for I can't help falling in love with you
“Good evening ma’am, how may I help you?” JP asks you before he realize it’s you. “Oh Miss Hollis, how are you? Would you like something to drink?” He smiles
“Hey JP, busy night?” You ask. You try to find Carmilla with your eyes but she’s not here, you saw her came in but you don’t see her.
“I’d like a glass of water please” you say
“Of course, plain water or would you like ice on it?” He asks
“Plain water would be fine, thanks” you answer “uhm JP, May I ask you something?” You fidget with the glass in your hand
“I’m here to help you, miss Hollis” he says
“Have you- have you seen Carm- Carmilla” You ask nervously
He raises his eyebrows at that question, like he’s surprised by it but then he’s eyes soften and he turns to see the pantry. “She’s talking with another bartender there. I’m sure she’s coming in a moment, miss” he says
Oh man! You made her have problems, and you didn’t even want that. You have been daydreaming with it but you didn’t want her to be in trouble. I mean nothing happened, it was a stupid accident. Just you being the clumsy one you are.
“I knew it was you!” Someone sits next to you, it’s Elsie. You roll your eyes. “Weren’t you tired?” You ask a little fiery
“Weren’t you, though?” She answers back
“I came to see the place you talked so much this morning” you lie
“I see. Well I came to see JP here” she smirks at him and he blushes almost dropping the Boston glass.
“I like the shy ones” she sends a devilish smile. You look apologetic to him “it was nice to see you again JP. Goodnight. Elsie, see you tomorrow” you say goodbye
“Miss Hollis, wait a few more minutes, she’ll be-“ JP understands your pleading eyes, they’re begging him not to say anything else in front of Elsie. “-goodnight Miss Hollis. It’s always a pleasure to see you” he smiles. The last thing you hear is Elsie saying “so it’s just you and me kiddo” and JP laughing nervously
When you get to your room, you don’t know what to think. So many things in less than three days. When you came on board you didn’t think this would happen. You get undress and take a shower. You don’t know why you got the feeling that something happened when Carmilla caught you before you fall. It was like both of you belong to the same puzzle and now you feel that you two fit together. Oh crap! You’re in trouble girl! You growl
Songs in this chapter:
“Ain’t no mountain high enough” Marvin Gaye
“Bésame mucho” - Cesaría Evora
“Can’t help falling in love with you” - Elvis Presley
As soon as the pantry’s door is closed, Ell starts with the interrogation.
“What the heck Carmilla? Why do you have a passenger in your arms. A PASSENGER! In the passenger area! Do you know what would happen if someone else see you? Even if it was an accident, you could get fired for this-“ you interrupt her
“But it was an accident!” why would Ell think you could take advantage of Laura. You know she drank at the captain welcome party, you could smell it. But even if she was completely sober it would’ve been unprofessional to do something like that.
You thought about it, because you’re really attracted to her but you decide to put your emotions aside, you’ve worked years for being where you are, you won’t throw all that to the toilet.
“You really think I could do that? Ell you know me for fuck’s sake. I would never-“ you try to explain
“Then why were you hugging?” She shots back
“We haven’t! She stumbled and I caught her before she fall” you says desperately. You’re losing it, Ell loves you and gets worried about you but the last thing you want is someone like your mother. You’re mad at Ell, why can’t she just believe what you say. “You know what, I don’t care if you believe me or not. I know what I’m doing. End of discussion” you say before opening the door to get to the bar.
You’re fuming, from all people you wouldn’t imagine Ell doubting you. She’s your best friend, she’s being unfair and you hope she knows that. You breathe trying to calm down, you see JP blushing cheeks.
“What’s going on, brother? You ask
“Ein...Hey Carmilla. I was about to ask if I can go for a little break. Please?” he begs. You nod and he goes as fast as he could.
Then you see a certain blonde coming to the counter. You try to sound as professional as you can, “good evening Elsie, May I help you with anything?” You ask
“Yeah, I’d like a lemon drop martini please” She asks
“Straight up or on the rocks?” You ask
“As James Bond says, shaken. Not stirred” she winks at you. You smile politely. You prepare it and serve it in a chilled glass
“Thanks, Carmilla” she punctuates your name. Oh my gosh, you think, she literally has flirted with the three of you, you should ask Mattie is she did the same to her when she met her at the captain welcome party. That would be a record, the blonde may have flirted with four siblings. You grin at the idea of sharing this theory with- You frown, you remember you’re mad at Ell and now you don’t wanna talk to her. Why did she has to react like that?
By 12:30 the bar is empty, your stewards are cleaning the lounge. Picking the dirty glasses while the others are helping Kirsch to clean the pantry.
“Hey Carm, here are the schedule for tomorrow, or I may say, later” Monica grins but then her eyebrows frown at your lack of reaction
“Are you okay?” She asks worried. You sigh, you don’t want to involve Mon, she’s your supervisor and if she finds out she could tell Mattie a.k.a. the bar manager and you could be in trouble (even though you’re innocent). On the other side, Mon has always been a good friend, she’s calmed even in times where everybody runs like a headless chicken. You sigh again
“Then...are you telling me? Who is giving you hard time?” She says calmly “do you wanna talk about that?” She adds. You see her eyes, Monica’s eyes always show you the sincerity of her words.
“I think I’d like to talk to you...as a friend. But after work, would you be available?” You ask knowing the time.
“I’ll always be available for a friend. We could meet at the crew bar. Do you want me to tell Ell or just me?” She asks gingerly
“No. I would like to talk to you, alone” you say trying to not show your emotions right now
“Ok, then I finish with this” she points the schedules “then, I’ll be waiting for you at the crew bar” she says.
“Thanks Mon” you say before she goes. She answers with a smile.
You’ve done by 1 am, you know the crew bar is closed by midnight. You would’ve like a drink right now, when you get there you see Monica in the smoking area, she doesn’t smoke but she’s talking to another supervisor. Reynaldo, he’s from Philippines. When she sees you she excused herself and go to where you are.
“Hey, come here” she says. She knocked the already closed bar door, and when they open it. they give her a six pack of “XX” beers, you raised an eyebrow to her. She smiles, “I bought them before they close and asked them to put them on the fridge. I knew you finish late and I’m sure you wouldn’t like to drink warm beers and me neither” she explains. You smile, Mon always thinks about everything. Every detail.
“Shall we?” She asks and point one empty table, you both go there silently. You’re organizing your ideas, you don’t want her to have the wrong ideas as Ell, and have an argument with her too. You sigh
“Now we’re alone, Carm. How may I help to mitigate your problem?” She asks sincerely. You clear your throat.
“I don’t like beating around the bushes. So I’ll say it and you’ll tell me what you think about it, okay?” You ask
“Okay” Monica nods
You breath, “You know I saved a passenger from drowning the first day of this cruise right?” Mon nods without saying anything “well, I talked to her today and had fun. She asked me about my life after the contract finishes and I told her everything I’d like to do when I’m done with this contract, she told me about her friends and her, her parents. Almost everything” you take a breath again “well before going to my break, we were talking and I’m not gonna lie, I was kinda flirting” you stopped to see Monica’s reaction, she just raised her eyebrows in surprise but doesn’t comment anything. You take this opportunity to continue, “and she was too, I’m sure of it. After a while, Ell got there and I’m pretty sure she heard Laura insinuated that she liked to see me again. And that was because I invited her to Skywalkers.” You ramble “she didn’t showed up, at least until my last break. I didn’t wanna go downstairs and instead I went to the balcony and see the stars, you know I love seeing them” you say. Are you nervous Karnstein? You think, is this a good idea? You’re already midway there’s not backing out now. “So she went to the same balcony, and by the way, almost gave me a heart attack. Because I wasn’t aware of her presence until she said something. We talked about the view and the stars and when she tried to get closer to the balcony she stumbled and almost fall but I caught her. And I won’t lie, we kinda have a moment. Because she looked at me like no one ever has and believe me, my head was a mess with all these ideas about her. I restrained myself because I know it would be taking advantage of someone.” You breath, when you see Mon wides her eyes at all the information you’re sharing without breathing. Is rambling contagious? Because you don’t remember talking this fast nor this amount of words before. Anyway, you take another deep breath and go on, “then Ell showed up and saw us kinda hugging but we weren’t. We were holding to avoid falling, we just forgot to separate after that. The next thing I know is, me walking away to go back to work but Ell didn’t let it pass even after I said it wasn’t what it looked like.” You sigh “she’s my best friend, Mon. Why wouldn’t she believe me?” You breath again while Mon drinks a big sip of her beer. “She knows me for god’s sake. She knows I wouldn’t do something like that...with a passenger.” You close your eyes “even if I like her” there you go, you say it. You like Laura Hollis and if the situation were different, you’d probably do something. But things are like that, and you accept your bad luck. You inhale, “I can accept that” you turn to look at Mon.
She looks at you, take another gulp of beer. You get impatient, “then, what should I do?” You ask desperate. She stays silent for another moment, you can see she’s thinking what she will say.
“Firstly, thanks for trusting me. I appreciate it, I’m glad you consider me as close to you as I do. Secondly, let me tell you that I ain’t judging at all. Things can get out of your hands when you don’t expect it, and unfortunately this time it happened to you, my friend” you see sad eyes looking at you “I wish I could give you an answer to this but I can’t. The only thing I can say is that you gotta ask yourself if it’s worth it, to jeopardize your job and your future in the company. If you can deal with it. I’m sure you take the best decision for you, because this is about your happiness. And Carmilla-“ She pauses and this is the best time for a restaurant waiter to connect his phone to the speakers, you sigh when you listen to the lyrics.
If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?
Shit, this isn’t helping at all. You turn to see why Monica stops talking, when you see her she’s already looking at you. She clears her throat, “ and Carmilla, no one would live your life but you. If you get the chance to be happy. Then hold onto it like a frilling lifejacket” you see determination in her eyes. Something sparks inside you, you don’t know what it is yet...maybe hope.
“Thanks” you say sincerely. She smiles at you. but then frown when she sees her watch.
“It’s almost 3 in the morning” She says shocked
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to disturb your sleep routine-“ you start
“Hush kid! I didn’t say it for you. I was supposed to see Ell-“ she sees your sad eyes again, maybe she realizes you and your best friend who’s also your cabin mate had an argument and you don’t wanna see Ell until you calm down. You know bad things happen when someone is mad, people could get hurt with what the other can say. Like Ell hurt you when she didn’t believe you.
“Hey, you wanna go to my cabin and share it for tonight?” Mon says
“Supervisor, are you inviting me to your cabin?...may I be worried about this proposal?” You say it with a neutral face
“What? No, I just. I thought-“ Monica’s reaction makes you explode in laughs
“Oh, Come on Carmilla! Don’t tease me like that” she tries to be serious but fails “are you coming?” She asks
“Yeah, I think Ell and I need some time to chilled out” you answer “thanks Monica” you add
“Okay then. Let’s go” both of you start walking to the door.
When you woke up you see you’re alone in Monica’s cabin, you’re lucky her cabin mate has a boyfriend and They practically live at his cabin.
You see your cellphone but it’s dead. Look at the cabin phone’s watch and it’s almost nine in the morning, the ship has docked in Puerto Vallarta. It’s a beautiful place, you think you can go out for a while and walk. Think about all this mess.
Maybe eat some tacos or fajitas. You love fajitas, but first you gotta go back to your cabin. And if you’re not wrong Ell would be at the international cafe so you won’t see her. You don’t want her to tell you the things she said yesterday again.
You get up and move faster now that the watertight doors are opened (they’re opened when the ship is on port)
You take a shower and get dressed. You’re wearing a black tank top, dark blue shorts and red converse. You put a book, your iPod and your wallet inside you backpack.
Before you go outside, and as usual, you have to show your Laminex, for them to know you’re crew and you’re not IPM. They check your backpack and you’re free to go.
While you walk, you see a lot of the ship’s passengers and they say hello to you when they recognize you without the uniform. They’re two more ships on port so they’re a lot of people.
You try to cross the souvenir market, it’s always busy. Everyone wants to buy a souvenir to take home.
“Carmilla! Hey Carm!” You hear someone calling you turn to see your favorite brother.
“JP, how are you? What are you doing here? I thought you said you wouldn’t go off the ship in this port” you recall what he told you a couple of days ago.
“Yeah, But Fernando told me he could help me to find the mezcal I promise to buy for uncle Matt” he smiles
“Oh I totally forgot he wanted that. Why don’t you buy two bottles and tell him that’s for me. I pay for them” you take your wallet and give him a twenty dollars bill.
“I’ll send them and tell him, the other two are from you.” He smiles. You’re about to excuse yourself, you love your brother but you kinda need some time alone.
“Hey Carmilla, I hope you forgive me for this, but I completely forgot to tell you that Miss Hollis went to the bar yesterday. She...She was looking for you. I think she wanted to talk to you. I told her you were in the pantry and you’d go to the bar in any minute, but as soon as she saw her friend she decided not to wait anymore.” He says “I was a little flustered with Elsie’s remarks. I do apologize for forgetting it, I think it was important for her to talk to you” He comments sadly.
“Wha-what?” You got paler than ever
“Are you okay?” He asks
“No. I’m not, little bro” you says “I-“ you get interrupted
“Carmilla hola, I didn’t think you were coming too” Fernando says
“Hey Fer” You greet “actually I was going for a walk and get some food” you say
“That’s cool, we’re going to eat too. Right JP?” says Fer, oblivious of your worried face
“Well Fernando, I was hoping you could help me to buy other things here” interjects JP
You know your brother saw you and probably he knows you need some alone time. See, that’s why he’s your favorite brother.
“Oh, okay. But we can catch up with you later” Fer tells you “you need to improve your spanish muchacha” he adds
“Vale” you say (that means okay)
“Too much time with Ell, Spaniards say “vale”. In Mexico, we say “está bien” or “sale y vale”” he winks
“Está bien” you say. Fernando makes you remind Ell and you haven’t talked yet.
“Now if you excuse me, I gotta go” you hug your brother and say goodbye to Fer
You keep walking until you find one of you favorite restaurant un puerto Vallarta. “Poblanos” You salivate at the thought of some spicy enchiladas. Ell always says that you love too much spicy food. But what can you do? It’s delicious. You get inside and take a seat.
“Good morning, how are you today, Miss? I’m Barbara and I’ll be your waitress” she smiles at you
“Hey Barbara, nice to meet you. May I have the menu please?” You ask politely and thank her when she gives it to you.
“Anything to drink?” She asks
“A strawberry margarita would be delightful right now” you smile and she writes on her notepad
“I’ll give you some time” she says going back to another table. After some minutes she comes back with your drink.
“So do you have anything in mind?” She asks
“I’d like to have some ‘crema de Chile poblano’ and ‘quesadillas’ please” You ask
“Okay, I’ll be back in a mo’” she says
You’ve finished your food and your drink fast, gosh you will never get bored of being in Mexico. You wave Barbara and ask her the check, she gives it to you
“Thanks for everything Barbara.” You says. You give her back her folder, and make sure to give her a good tip.
“Thanks to you miss” she smiles
You want to go to the restroom before leaving the restaurant and go back to the ship.
Before you get into the restroom you see the side where the karaoke is. Someone is getting on the stage while their friends are clapping. As you enter the restroom, he starts singing
Usted es la culpable
De todas mis angustias
Y todos mis quebrantos
Usted llenó mi vida
De dulces inquietudes y amargos desencantos
When you’re washing your hands, someone get inside the restroom too. You ignore their existence until...
“Carm- Carmilla?” she says and her voice sends chills through all your body you turn your face to her
Perry woke you up at 6:30. AT 6:30 AM! You growl because you’re on vacation. According to Perry, and as any of you complaint about her tour plans this trip. All of you agreed to get up early. You hate yourself for no reading her frilling mail, you sigh and start walking to the gangway.
“Okay guys so if you forget about today’s itinerary. First we’re going to ‘Bahía de banderas’ and after that we’ll go to eat something and then we’re going to the ‘Malecón of Puerto Vallarta’ so let’s go” Perry says clapping
“That sound fun”
“Nothing better to plan a trip months before it”
“I told you guys should read it”
“Why didn’t I read it?”
Say Danny, Betty, Elsie (sarcastically), Laf and you respectively.
By the time you get to the restaurant you’re starving.
“I feel I haven’t eat in years” You comment
“Me too, I’m dying for some quesadillas and a margarita” says Elsie
“I want a Mango margarita” Betty states
“Hey Guys, I’m going to the restroom so if the waiter comes I’d like ‘tacos al pastor’ and coke” you says.
While walking there you see a guy singing while his friends (you assume) are hugging one side like in the concerts, you smile them. Maybe you could tell your friends there’s a karaoke here. You listen what he’s saying but you don’t understand what the meaning of the song
Usted me desespera
Me mata, me enloquece
Y hasta la vida diera por vencer el miedo
De besarla a usted
It’s a nostalgic melody, probably a sad song? You’re thinking you should take some Spanish lessons online, you like the language but you’re not good at it.
When you open the restroom door you expect anything but running into with the person who has been in your mind since she rescued in that pool.
“Carm- Carmilla?” The world escape your mouth before you could do something. You see she turns her head so fast you’re afraid she could get whiplash.
“How are you? What a surprise to meet you here.” You say
“In the restroom of a restaurant. Yeah, it’s surprising” she says teasingly and you blush. Why your own body betrays you any time you’re next to this woman?
“My- my brother told me you asked for me yesterday?” She asks
“Yeah, I wanted to know if I get you in troubles. You know, because Ell looked upset when she saw us, I told her it was my fault that I was about to fall for you...I mean fall with you and you saved us” you didn’t think you could get any redder but here you are.
“Breathe cupcake” she says “it’s okay, I mean it did looked like we were doing other things but I explained to her-“
“Did she believe you?” You interrupt her and you hear her sighs
“Nope. Not at all” she says trying to sound neutral but you can see she’s hurt by it
“I can talk to her again and she will understand, besides nothing happened” not that I didn’t want it to happen, you say in your mind. “I can make her understand-“
“No cupcake, I think it’d be better if you let me solve this with her” now is her time to interrupt you
“But I’m sure-“ you say
“It’s okay Laura” she says and you didn’t realize you kept walking to her until now that she is closer. You get flustered with the proximity, it’s like you’re magnets and it’s inevitable to be apart from her when she’s around. Someone gets into the restroom and cut your train of thoughts. You turn to see who is when you see Carmilla frowning. Oh oh, how can you always be at the wrong time, in the wrong place with Carmilla?
This cruise started like any other, you didn’t expect that in less than three days you would found your best friends in awkward situations with a passenger. Neither you thought you two would had an argument and she wouldn’t go to the cabin. You got worried, your mad at her because her excuses when it’s about Laura Hollis are unbelievable. You paged Monica’s beeper to ask for Carmilla but she didn’t answer it.
It’s almost three in the morning and you know you should be sleeping, you sigh and tried to sleep for a couple of hours.
Your morning starts with a phone call from you fiancée telling you that Carmilla spent the night in her cabin, so you know she’s really mad. So mad she doesn’t wanna talk to you, you feel ashamed you didn’t believe her. She’s never lied to you and now that you think she’s wouldn’t do it. Maybe your eyes deceived you, you sigh. You fuck it up with your BFF.
When you get to the cabin she’s not there but you know she came back because the towel is wet and she left her phone near the tv.
Monica asked you to go out and eat something, you thank your girlfriend, she knows you might need a time off from the ship.
You’ve walked around until you get to the restaurant, Carmilla was the one who told you to eat there the first time Monica and you got out from the ship together as a date. You missed Carmilla and you know you have to apologize with her. She’s never done anything for you to think she lies.
“I’m going to the restroom, love” you say to Mon
“I go with you, I wanna wash my hands before we ask the food” she says
While you go to the restroom you hear a girl singing, you love this song. It’s a song from Cristian Castro, “Azul”
Fue una mañana que yo te encontré
Cuando la brisa besaba tu dulce piel
Tus ojos tristes que al ver adore
La noche que yo te ame
This song reminds you of your fiancée. You dedicated it to Mon because you feel the same when you met her. She sighs contently
“That’s our song” Mon says smiling. You translated the song for her, she loves it too.
When you get into the restroom you are more than surprised when you see your best friend very close to a certain blonde who happens to be a passenger where both of you work.
You raised your eyebrows at the scene in front of you. It’s Monica who breaks the silence
“Oh hey Carm, Miss Hollis” she says smiling, you see her acting like nothing happens.
“Hey Mon, Ell” Carmilla says seriously “I was get going to the ship, hope you have a great time here” she smiles at Mon and left with any other word
“Excuse me” says Laura
You puffs and say “and what about this. It’s an accident too? It’s just fate who deceive me” You comment
“Ell, don’t judge” says Mon carefully
“Mon, we both know that that can’t happen it’s against the rules. Carmilla knows better-“
“Ell, you don’t know what had happened here. Stop thinking they’ve been doing something wrong” Mon interrupts and you can’t believe what she’s saying, is she defending them? Didn’t she see how close they were when you both get there?
“How can you say that? You know perfectly that’s unethical!” You answer
“Unethical?” Mon says angrily “Elizabeth Sheridan, I’m your supervisor. You’re my subordinate, what we have it’s unethical too. You’re not complaining about us, do you?” You know she’s mad when she calls you by your full name “in all the time I’ve met Carmilla, I’ve never heard her even joke about our relationship knowing that it is not allowed. She never judged you or me, and you told me she even encouraged you to ask me on a date” Monica says. You have no answers for this statement, she’s right.
“I know you’re her best friend and I’m pretty sure you’re doing this because you’re worried about her. But please believe if I tell you that the last thing Carmilla would want is someone who patronizes her. She needs a friend right now and so sad you’re not there for her like she was for you. And you know what, she deserves to be happy, if she wants to go and date this girl who, by the way is really sweet and I can see she likes carmilla too, then she should do it. You always say life’s too short for not doing what you like. This is Carmilla’s choice and if she decides to go for it. We support her and if something goes wrong then we go and stay by her side till she gets better. Because that’s what friends do” she concludes. You are speechless, Monica shut you up with all she said
“I ain’t hungry anymore” she says “see you on board” she says while walking back to the ship and you stay there speechless.
You girlfriend is right and you know that. Now you feel sad because you just did something you hate about people, judging.
You’re sad because Mon is mad at you too and you’re angry at you for being so insensitive with your friend.
You wash your face and go back to the ship. On your way to the door you see Miss Hollis and her party, she’s deep in thought and when she catches your eye, she frown a little. You should apologize to her but this is not the time. You’ll do it next time you see her.
When you get on board you go directly to your cabin, Carm is reading.
“I- I wanna apologize for being an asshole with you” you start. She turns to see you.
“I was so worried about what would happened if someone sees you with Miss Hollis, I didn’t realize what I was implying. Please forgive me Carm” you say honestly
“I-“ you interrupt her
“I haven’t finished yet...I want you to know that if you decide to give it a shot with her, then you have all my support and I’ll apologize to her as soon as I see her again-“ you say
“I won’t give it a shot, Ell” she says sadly
“I can’t do that” she says and you swear you’ve never seen her this heartbroken but you don’t say anything, as Monica says it’s Carmilla choice and she decides whether fight for Laura Hollis or not. She decides the later though and you can’t help but feel guilty. Shit you fucked it up.
“Chasing cars” - Snow Patrol
“Usted” - Luis Miguel
“Azul” Cristian Castro
You had all the way back to the cruise to think about what you were gonna do. You didn’t like the answer but you knew it was te best for you...your career, you promise your father you wouldn’t let him down and you’ve been doing a good job until Laura Hollis showed up this cruise. But as logical and objective this decision was, it didn’t lessen that twist in your stomach. A hunch that you were probably making a mistake.
You try to entertain yourself with a book, but as soon as you have it in your hands your cabin mate shows up.
“I- I wanna apologize for being an asshole with you” she starts. And you turn to see her for the tone she’s using.
“I was so worried about what would happened if someone sees you with Miss Hollis, I didn’t realize what I was implying. Please forgive me Carm” she says
“I-“ you try to tell her, she was right but she didn’t let you finish
“I haven’t finished yet...I want you to know that if you decide to give it a shot with her, then you have all my support and I’ll apologize to her as soon as I see her again-“ she rambles but you’ve already made your mind and you tell her
“I won’t give it a shot, Ell” you try to keep your voice neutral but you know she would see through your eyes. The way she looks at you like she could see your pain.
“But-“ she tries to say but you need to cut her, otherwise you could change your mind.
“I can’t do that” that’s all you say. “And I’m not talking about it anymore” you finish. Ell looks at you with shining eyes but say nothing.
Your daily routine on board doesn’t change, you haven’t seen Laura and you’re happy for it (on one side) because seeing her would hurt you.
When you open the bar at six, the ship’s still on port. As the sail away is at seven, passenger are getting back with souvenirs and big mariachis hats, you remember Will bought one the first time you came to Mexico.
“Hey Carm, How was your food? Did you go to the same restaurant? Fer and I couldn’t find you so we eat by ourselves” JP’s voice makes you jump as he breaks your train of thoughts.
“Oh, hey JP. Yeah I just...wanted to get on board again to sleep a bit more” you lie
“I see” he says. He clears his throat “when we get to the restaurant, we ran into Miss Hollis and her friends. Did you get the chance to see her?and I say this because she looked like she really wanted to talk to you yesterday?” JP states trying to accommodate his tie nervously.
“Actually, I did.” You answer “we solved the misunderstanding we had yesterday, so yeah” you say with no enthusiasm and he notices it, deciding not to touch the topic again.
You don’t want to talk to anyone right now, so you tell him you’re going to do some stocktake and he nods.
You’ve taken your time for doing the stocktake and you did some cleaning at the walk-in fridge, even if you knew it was Kirsch’s job.
Will enters the pantry and you raise an eyebrow to him.
“You’re not supposed to be in ‘Club Fusion’?” You ask
“And you’re not supposed to be making drinks?” He shots back, you glare at him.
“They’re in brata out there. Why aren’t you helping JP?” He exclaims
(Brata ín cruise slang means that it’s busy as hell)
“No one told me that” you defend
“Nobody has to. You’re place is out there” he says
“Why are you so concerned about it? You’re the laziest of the three of us. Besides I was doing stocktake” you huff
“JP is going crazy and the other steward just paged Monica. You gotta go out there, before you get a speech from your supervisor” he says
“Why did he do that?” You roll your eyes “I’m going” you fix your tie and put your vest again. When you walk out the pantry, you could see Will wasn’t exaggerating. It was like everyone came back to the ship straight to the bar. You approach to JP as he was making Five Mojitos at once.
“Why didn’t you call me, JP?” You ask annoyed
“I thought you needed some time by yourself, Carm. You looked like you didn’t want to interact with anyone. And I thought I could handle this” he says and this is why he’s your favorite brother, you don’t need to say something for him to know what you need.
“Thanks kid” you say and he smiles “you’re welcome” he says putting all the drinks on the counter for the stewards to serve them.
“Alright, let’s do this kid” you tell him winking.
By the time Monica comes, you both already manage to make almost all the drinks, Will is talking to a group of people before you call for him. He approaches with some empty glasses
“I wanted to thank you for telling me, the little one needed some help” you tell him sincerely
“Hey, we’re siblings no?. Besides I couldn’t see him that stressed or he could cry” he says
“Oh I know you love him even if you don’t say it” you tease
“Yeah, Yeah. Whatever. I know you love him too” he says, then he directs his eyes to the youngest one “Don’t you think JP?” You turn to see JP smiles widen
“Oh I know that.” JP answers you try to be smooth and roll your eyes.
Monica approaches when you’re wiping the counter, JP is refilling the ice and Will went back to “Club Fusion”. By the time she got there you already had it under control so she watches how everybody was working.
She walks slowly like she’s counting her steps and you can see she’s trying to figure out what to say.
“Carm, May I have a word with you? Later not now. Can we meet in the crew bar when you’re done?” She asks
“Of course. I’ll page you” you say and she smiles “Okay then we see you later” she says before going back “wheelhouse” bar (her bar)
After you paged Mon, you go straight to the crew bar and meet her there. You took off your tie.
“Mon, what’s up?” You say directly, she’s been fidgeting with her hands when you arrived.
She clears her throat, “I- I don’t want to intrude on your personal life. But I wanted to ask you if you make up your mind about Miss Hollis. She seems to like y-“ you have to interrupt her, you can’t let her finish.
“I did actually” you try hard to look unaffected
“You did?” She waits for you to elaborate, you don’t say anything “then? Are you telling me?” She asks
“I...I won’t do anything to let Miss Hollis think that my intentions are other than professional” you say
Monica sees you with raised eyebrows but doesn’t push. “I see” she says “then I’m glad you cleared your thoughts...and feelings” she adds. Tomorrow is Cabo San Lucas, why don’t we get out together” She smiles.
You’re taken aback by her calm, “it’s a date” you say trying to smooth the environment, knowing she would blush at your teasing.
“Eh I didn’t me-“ she starts but she sees your smile “why do you always tease me” she whines “Ell and you always tease me like that...” she stops, turns to see you “have you- have you two talked about yesterday?” She asks gingerly
“Yeah, she apologized and we’re okay now. She even wanted to encourage me to give it a shot” you have a sad smile on you. “But I had plenty of time to decide what’s best for me...for my future at work” you fail to sound sure
“I’m glad Ell and you made up. You’re so good to each other, like pinky friends” she laughs
“Hey! We’re not ‘pinky friends’” you complain “we’re bad ass women with a lot of sarcasm, we’re two people who happened to get along pretty well...besides we love teasing our supervisor” you grin
“I’m sure of the later one” she agrees.
You’re happy you got Monica and Ell with you, they’re family.
You’re too tired to move from your cabin. You just showered and go straight to bed. Perry made you walked a lot, but you know it was worth it. It was beautiful and you took a lot of pictures.
Although you went to this amazing place, you couldn’t stop thinking about your favorite bartender. She was scared, you could see that in her eyes when you told her you would talk to Ell, and when Ell and Monica got into the restroom you knew that Ell and Carm weren’t at good terms and it’s your fault. You and your clumsiness, you sigh.
You try to sleep but can’t stop thinking about the dark haired.
Gosh, Perry is gonna kill you if you don’t get up on time for tomorrow’s tour.
“A very good morning, ladies and gentlemen. This is the captain speaking to welcome you to another day in the ‘Sapphire Princess’. Today’s port is Cabo San Lucas, we will use the tenders to make you get on shore. The tenders are leaving every ten minutes and it would take five minutes to get on shore. Please remember that today the ship is leaving at six o’clock, the last render would be returning at 5:30 we recommend you to come back before that time”
“Okay guys we already had breakfast, we rest for thirty minutes so now we can go to the gangway. First stop, ‘Playa del amor’. I’ve read it’s beautiful. I’ve already arranged everything, the tour is from the ship so they will lead us there and then on shore” Perry says proudly
“That’s great! But what will we do in ‘Playa Del Amor’? You haven’t said that yet” asks Betty
“I did, in the e-mail I sent you” Perry smiles
“When will she accept that the only one that read that mail was Laf” Elsie murmurs next to you. You giggle
“We’ll go snorkeling” she says calmly like nothing happens.
“Holy shit that’s awesome”
“ I told you you should’ve read it before”
“Holy Hufflepuff, that’d be amazing”
Betty, Elsie, Danny, Laf and you say at the same time. You can’t wait to go there, you make a victory dance before making a fist bump with Laf.
You were amazed by the marvelous creatures of the sea. You’ve see a lot of things but the sea lions and the manta rays got all your attention, you didn’t want to say it but you feel like Ariel. You just needed to see Sebastian and Flounder, that thought made you giggle. Carmilla would be an excellent siren, like sirens, her beauty can be hypnotizing. You sigh you haven’t seen her since yesterday and couldn’t even had the chance to talk to her. Why would you have a crush on your vacation knowing that you won’t see her again?
“We’re here. Please get off the tender carefully” a security guard from the ship advices.
As everyone starts walking to the exit door, Laf elbowed you gently. “Don’t think too much or your head will explode,L” they say, you smile taking a gulp of water “I’m sure you’re thinking about a dark haired woman who’s good with her hands” they wiggle their eyebrows making you choke. They laugh hard as you try not to die, coughing for some air. Then they say “I hope you know I meant her skills for making drinks” they have a shit eating grin. You blush because you did had not so PG-13 thoughts. You try to glare at them but they just start laughing again.
“Laura, dear are you okay? You look like you will get some fever. Your cheeks are red and you’re sweating” Perry says concerned
“L is fine, Perr. She just choke with the water” they grin
“Oh, are you okay honey” Perry rubs you back
“I am Perr, don’t worry” you answer
“Guys, we’re waiting for you. Let’s go to eat something” Elsie interjects
One of the advantages of working in the nightclub is that, it’s opened at night. So you have plenty of time in the day to go on shore if you want. Monica has picked you up at your cabin, Ell put some sunblock on her arms and face and you did the same.
The restaurant is nearby so you just walked there. Monica and Ell has the “day” off so they decide they’re going on a tour later, you, on the other side, gotta go back on board earlier than them.
When you get to the restaurant you expected a good meal with your friends, who haven’t touched the topic. You expected a good Gold Margarita on the rocks, you expect anything but Laura Hollis and her friends. Is destiny mocking you? It’s too late for going to other place you were talking to Mon and Ell so you were already at a table when Elsie calls your name, you’re totally sure you got paler.
“Carmilla, hey Carmilla. What a coincidence to see you here!” She says excited.
You try to sound unaffected “Hey Elsie, how are you? - I’m okay. These are my friends, Monica and Ell” you introduce them
“Yes I’ve seen them in the bar. Nice to meet you” she waved at them.
“Pleasure” says Mon smiling
“Me too” says Ell but looking at her suspiciously. Eyeing Elsie’s hand on my shoulder then moving her eyes to the table where Elsie has been a moment ago. I turn to see Laura Hollis right into the eyes, I get up from the chair immediately.
“It was nice seeing you” you tell her “hello guys” you wave your hand to the group, they do the same. “I-I’m going to the restroom. Excuse me” you say while walking.
“Really? I was going there too” she smirks and you feel uncomfortable, you’ve never felt uncomfortable with a woman. You felt flattered in any case, but this is different. Laura is seeing you and you feel a pang on your stomach when you see her.
“You know I’m going too. I need to wash my hands, aren’t you going babe?” Ell comments and you can breathe
“Yeah, eh, I think I’m going too” Mon says and you turn to see them behind you. You can see Monica smiling and Ell winks at you. You feel relieved you don’t have to be alone with Elsie. You don’t want to accept you care about what Laura thinks of you.
Elsie, is left behind with stunned.
You eat your burritos while Monica and Ell are eating quesadillas, you take a gulp of your gold margarita. Even though, you try to distract yourself talking to your friends but your eyes always go back to the blonde girl who’s laughing with her friends.
Monica clears her throat and you snap out of your mind.
“So there’s a party at the crew bar tomorrow. The theme of the topic would be ‘The 60’s and 70’s’. You’re coming right?” She asks excited. “You can be Danny Zuko and I’ll be Kenickie so that Ell could be ‘Rizo’ I know she loves that character” Mon explains
“Oh yeah, yeah. Come on Carm it’d be fun!” Ell says “besides you already got the leather jacket” she smirks. You roll your eyes but you love the idea you would have your mind busy. “Alright” you sound bored but Ell hugs you anyway and Mon says “yes” enthusiastically. You smiles at these two dorks.
You go back to the ship, leaving your friends with their plan of a tour to “El Arco del Cabo”
It’s inevitable not to feel this twist in your guts when you see Elsie walking to Carmilla’s table. Seeing her touch Carmilla’s shoulder, you frown. Why would you be jealous? You literally met this woman some days ago.
It doesn’t matter how long you met her, when you talk to her it’s like you knew each other for years. Your frown change when you see Ell look from Elsie to you. She has a pity look in her eyes and you wonder why, that doesn’t help the pang on your stomach.
You try to look away when you see Carmilla is looking at you. She’s surprised and she gets up from the chair as if it burns. You can’t hear what they’re talking about ambit you can see Carm is not the same, Then Ell sees her girlfriend and they both go with Carmilla, you assume they’re going to the restroom....together? Elsie is there but she doesn’t move for a minute, then she comes back to the table. You want to ask what happened, but Laf beats you with the question.
“It seems they’re a pretty close group. Isn’t it?” The smirk
Elsie shrugs and comment nothing which makes you wonder more about it.
You ask for a burrito and a coke. Everyone is enjoying the food, talking about the previous tour and the one that’s coming after lunch.
Betty is showing Elsie the video she got on her GoPro. Laf and Perry are having a secret conversation, they’re talking too low for someone to hear. So Danny is the only one who can see the glances you’re sending to Carmilla.
On one hand, you’re happy she’s talking to Ell. You know they had an argument when you asked if everything was okay between her and her friend. You see the three of them talking lively, you smile at the way Monica is explaining something. You wish you could hear that conversation, you wish you could go there and talk to her, how can someone miss a person that they met some days ago? But at the same time is like you’ve known each other for years. You turn your head when you feel a hand on yours, and see Danny looking at you concerned.
She got closer and whispers “are you okay, Hollis? You’ve been looking at that table for almost five minutes” she says
“I’m okay Danny” you answer “just wondering what are they talking about, they look like they’re having fun” you earn a raised eyebrow from Danny, she turns to see Carmilla looking at you, then she stares at Danny’s hand on you so you snap your hand from hers. Leaving Danny staring at you and then at her as she frowns.
After some minutes you see Carm going out of the restaurant by herself while Mon and Ell stay for some more time.
You get up to go and talk to her but Danny gets up too. “What’s going on Laura?” She asks and everyone at the table turns to see you. You show a tight smile, “nothing’s happening. I was going to the restroom. Can’t I now?” You answer. You never snap but Danny getting overprotective again bothers you. You start walking to the restroom as you glare Danny, you had your chance and now it’s gone.
When you’re going back to your table. You hear someone’s calling you
“Mis Hollis, May I have a word with you. Please?” You turn to see Ell a little nervous. You nod and approach them
“Would you take a seat, please?” says Mon “we would like to talk to you for a minute” she adds
“O..Kay” you say
“First of all, I would like to apologize with you, Miss Hollis. I apologize if I made you feel uncomfortable in any way. I let my imagination flied when I saw you with my friends and I judged you without all the matters” she seems embarrassed “I’m deeply sorry for it”
You notice Ell is sincere, you smile at her and say “sure I would’ve thought other things too. I accept your apology, and I’m glad you and Carm could clear all the doubts”
Monica looks at you like you got three heads, then she and Ell are having a conversation with the eyes. You feel like a third wheel until they see you.
“Miss Hollis-“ Monica starts
“Call me Laura please” you ask her
“Laura, I hope I’m not seeing things wrong. And I do apologize if I misunderstanding the situation, and I hope I’m not intruding” Mon says
You see Ell rolling her eyes as her fiancée is beating around the bush.
“We’d like to know what are your intentions with our Carmilla?” Ell asks directly. You could feel the warm traveling from your neck to your cheeks
“I- me- we- wh- why do you ask?” You’re supposed to be a journalist, words are supposed to come easily to you. And here you are, struggling with what you try to say
“Listen Laura, I know it’s not my place but I feel like I broke something that was developing between Carm and you. And although at first I didn’t agree, I may admit Carm looks sad whenever she sees you. And I’m guessing it’s because she knows it would be unprofessional from her to do something about this crush she has on you. And I know she would be furious if she knows we interfere in her decisio-“
“What decision?” You say cutting Ell‘s rambling.
“Well, as you know relationships between passengers and workers aren’t allowed on board. It’s unethical and I may or may not remind Carmilla that these days” she sighs “Carm doesn’t seem herself, she’s lost in her thoughts these days.” Ell explains
“So What was her decision?” You ask and you can’t avoid the excitement, you see them as they hesitate the answer. “Oh, I understand” you deflate
“Things are complicated, Laura. Carm wouldn’t doubt it if she could choose. But her situation on board is particular and she must behave if she wants to accomplish her goals” Monica explains but doesn’t say something concrete so now you’re wondering what the heck means ‘her situation on board is particular’
“What do you me-“ you try
“I think only Carm should explain it to you” Ell says
“She’s not talking to me” you blurt a little hurt in your tone
“Well that’s why we called you. But you have to promise you won’t say we had something to do with this” Mon says
“What is this exactly?” You ask, now they got all your attention.
“Laura, we’re done with the food. It’s time to go if we want to catch the tour on time” Danny interrupts the conversation. She suspiciously glances at the couple next to you.
“I’m sorry, we didn’t mean to monopolize your time. Miss Hollis” Monica’s voice sounds professional when she sees Danny.
“No, it’s okay” you answer and smile
“Mon, look at the time. We’re gonna be late to our tour too” Ell says watching at her phone
“Oh, hi guys. Nice to see you have some time off of the ship, Where are you going anyways?” Perry asks as all your friends get close to the table
“We’re going to ‘El arco del Cabo San Lucas’ today. Right Ell?” Says Monica
“Really? We’re going there too” Laf chime in “what time is your tour?” They ask
“Mmh, from 2:30 to 3:30” says Mon looking at her ticket.
“As crew, we can take the cruise tours too” Ell says smiling
“That’s great guys, why don’t we all go together” you say
“I’m sure they’d like to have their privacy” Danny says with a little bite in her tone
Ell turns to see her and say. “Oh, don’t worry Miss Lawrence. We’d love to go with you” she smiles. You can’t avoid the giggles
“Then let’s go” You say as you start walking, Ell and Mon are by your side immediately
“That’s great, We’ll have time to polish our plan” Ell whispers
You’re thinking about ‘The plan’ or as Ell likes to call it, the “M.I.L.F’s”plan. You roll your eyes at that. Ell’s laugh when you asked her what does “M.I.L.F.” Stand for?
“It means” she cleared her throat to make some suspense, the “Manage to Involve Laura with Fangface” states Ell as Mon almost choked on her orange juice.
The tour was amazing, when you got to ‘the arc of Cabo’ you realized they tour guide was right, the rocks looked like triceratops drinking water. You’ve also learned that the arc separates the golf of California from Pacific Ocean.
You got on board earlier than you thought, Perry was worried you wouldn’t get on time so she made you take a tender before five in the afternoon, your friends are tired because they’ve been up since early in the morning. You, on the other hand, can feel a energy all over your body, an exciting feeling. You can’t stop thinking about the plan, Ell has it all well thought.
You can’t help to go around the ship, try to avoid overthinking about tomorrow night. Your feet take you to Outrigger, the view is amazing. You love it.
You take out your phone to take a picture of this view, you see the time on it and smile.
“Hey” her raspy voice surprised you even though you knew she was there when you watched your phone. You turn to take a seat on a stool next to the counter
“Hey” you say, and there’re the butterflies in your stomach again.
“How was your lunch?” She asks and you see something in her eyes, you can’t place it, and it’s gone in a second. “Did you have fun?” She adds but she’s looking to the horizon now, another ship is sailing.
“Yeah, I’d love my lunch” you answer “I also talked with Ell, she apologized”
“She told me she’d do it. I’m glad there’re not hurt feelings...because there aren’t, right?” She says
“Nope, there aren’t. I understand why Ell did that-“ she cuts you off
“Do you?” She asks
“Well, she’s your friend. And friends don’t want their friends make mistakes. I happened to be in the wrong place three times, I would’ve thought the same” you explain.
A bar steward passes clearing the tables in front of the counter, and you see Carmilla’s behavior changes.
“May I offer you something to drink?” She asks smiling but it’s her job smile, not the one she gave you when you talked a couple of days ago. You don’t want that smile
“A grape soda with easy ice, maybe?” She says her eyes shining with something you can’t still place
“I’d like that very much” you say
She serve the soft drink on a napkin she put when she asked you if you want something to drink. Then she got quiet, almost self absorbed, and as usual you get nervous because you hate the silence.
“You know the rocks in ‘El arco de Cabo San Lucas’ look like triceratops drinking the ocean water. I mean that’s pretty amazing, right? How they were formed like that, it’s mind blowing. Besides did you know that ‘La playa del amor’ is formed each four years. And the food is delicious, I think I live eating Mexican food. It’s aweso-“
“Cupcake, cupcake, breathe” she says giggling “or you’d pass out. I knew that, because it’s not my first cruise to Mexico. And I agree with you, I could live on Mexican food, actually Ell always says that in my past life I was Mexican or Latina, because I love spicy food” she says smiling
“Really? Me too” you say
“I can’t imagine someone like you eating spicy food” she comments
“Why not?” You frown
“Well, someone as sweet as you. I would think your diet is basically sugar...Saying this, I may say that bunched up face you made is hilarious buttercup” she purrs, you blush inevitably and there’s that look again, she looks li-
“There you are, Laura. Perry told me you’d be here probably” you snap out of the hypnotizing gaze Carmilla has on you.
“Oh, Danny. What happened?” You ask, annoyed by the interruption. You turn to see the red haired as she walks towards you.
“Well there will be playing ‘The great Dictator’ in movies under the stars...in front of the oasis bar. I was wondering if you like to go with me...us. Perry and Laf are already there, I couldn’t find Betty and Elsie though” she says “they have popcorn” she smiles
You look at Carmilla, she’s glaring at Danny. You glance Danny an she’s doing the same, the serenity of this place has changed in less than a minute.
“Is it- would it be okay if I-“ you trail off
“You don’t need to ask for permission Miss Hollis, you can go with your drink there. Enjoy the movie with your girlfriend” Carmilla coldly, she’s busy arranging the bottles behind the counter.
“We’d better go, our friends are waiting” Danny touches your shoulder
“Excuse me please, I gotta refill the ice” says Carm, disappearing inside the pantry.
You stand up, take your can of grape soda and leave. You enter “the horizon court” fuming why the heck there’s always someone interrupting you when you’re around Carmilla? You wonder
“Laura, wait. What happened? Why are you mad?” Ask Danny
You turn to see her “it’s nothing” she couldn’t understand anyway, she will think your too naive and she will patronize you.
You try to walk faster but Danny’s steps are larger than yours...agh you hate your tiny legs right now.
You’re walking faster when a voice makes you stop “Oh hey Laura” says Monica
“Hey Mon, how are you? It’s been a while” You ask distracted by the flashback of Carmilla’s eyes on you when she said you had a girlfriend. Why didn’t you deny it.
“Laura, we literally saw each other 3 hours ago” she laughs
“Oh yeah. It’s true” you try to laugh but it’s empty. Then an idea gets in your mind “Mon, May I-“
“We should get going Laura” says Danny
“You go first, I’ll be there in a minute” you snap
Monica’s eyes widen and so Danny’s. “I’ll be there Danny. Just go first okay?” You don’t have energy for this.
“Okay” she says before start walking forward
“Would you mind telling me what happened? You were excited about the plan” she giggles, probably remembering the name “did something happen?” It looks like she realized where you’re coming from.
“Did something happen between Carm and You?” She whispers the last part. You sigh heavily “she might be thinking I have a girlfriend” you say and her eyes bulge
“But how- who- why would she did think that?” Mon tries to keep it cool. The key word would be “tries”
“Danny went to the bar, saw us, and got all overprotective again” you sigh again
“Then Carmilla said I should go with my girlfriend, after that she would be refilling the ice and went inside the pantry, I didn’t see her get out again” you says
“I was going there to replace her, why don’t you let me talk to her. Okay?” She says, she walks in direction of Outrigger but stops to see you “oh Laura, Ell gave me this for you” she gives you a piece of paper. “It’s for tomorrow night” she winks.
Movies under the starts is awesome, it’s played next to the pools and close to the hamburger and pizza place. Literally under the stars, the sky is clear and you can see some stars shining.
You’re comfy next to Perry who’s playing with Laf’s hands, they look so in love. You smile at them, maybe some day you’ll have this with...someone Yeap someone who can be, may be Carm. Yo think about the way she looked at you when Danny showed up. Was she jela- could she be though? But if she is, why did you feel like she got her walls up like she was struggling to talk to you.
Monica and Ell told you, she likes you and she was sad about being away for you. For ‘her situation’ you wish you could ask her what the situation is.
“Laur the movie is over” Laf says
“Huh, Sorry I was a little immersed in myself” you explain. Perry and Danny are walking to the elevator, you go to throw your paper bag in the trash.
“It’s okay crushes on bartenders” they say
“Wha- What?” You snap your head too fast
“Relax L, you could get a whiplash. Besides I don’t see why you react like after all the heart eyes you both share when you are in the same room since the day she took you out that pool” they explain as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
“Things are kinda complicated, Laf” you sigh
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out, tomorrow is sea day so you’ll have some time with her” they encourage “and if you want to distract the group. Just ask” they whispers this last sentence and you smile at them.
“You’re the best” you hug them
“I know that...now let’s go to sleep, it’s been a long day” they say yawning
“Okay” you say
The bar was empty (as usual” people think the bar are in forward and middle ship, they always forget the ones in the aft. It’s relaxing for you though, you can read while waiting for someone to come and replace you.
The slide doors open and you see the person who has settled in your mind. You smile, but then you remember she was holding hands with Sasquatch, is she her girlfriend? Why would she flirt with you if she has one? Why do you feel this horrible pang in the pit of your stomach? Are you jealous? No you can’t, you already made a choice Karnstein. Suck it up and keep going.
“Hey” She says
“How was your lunch” you ask, “did you have fun!” you add and you need to make it professional Karnstein, she is a passenger and she probably has a girlfriend. You cannot back out.
“Yeah, I’d love my lunch” she says “I also talked with Ell, she apologized” she adds
“She told me she’d do it. I’m glad there’re not hurt feelings...because there aren’t, right?” You say
“Nope, there aren’t. I understand why Ell did that-“ she starts, but does she understand? What exactly did Ell said?
“Do you?” You ask
“Well, she’s your friend. And friends don’t want their friends make mistakes. I happened to be in the wrong place three times, I would’ve thought the same” she explains. So all this is just both of you being in the wrong place and wrong time, you can’t help the disappointment.
A Siddish, an Indian bar steward, picks up the dirty glasses in front of the counter, that’s a remind you that you are working, that you made a decision and it wouldn’t be fair with Laura to keep talking like you could have a chance.
“May I offer you something to drink?” You ask, trying to give her your professional smile, you feel a little hypocrite but you can’t smile at her as if your inside weren’t hurting just by the thought that you won’t have even a chance, it’s like she knows you better than any other person, you see her looks at you uncomfortable as if she would know that that’s wasn’t your real smile.
“A grape soda with easy ice, maybe?” You advice
“I’d like that very much” she says, you put a napkin before you grab the can, you can’t stop looking at her, she’s poetry. Her honey hair shining in the sun, the way she looks at you. Even her dorky dress with a huge blue telephone booth, you know it’s from a dorky series, JP made you watched when you were younger.
“You know the rocks in ‘El arco de Cabo San Lucas’ look like triceratops drinking the ocean water. I mean that’s pretty amazing, right? How they were formed like that, it’s mind blowing. Besides did you know that ‘La playa del amor’ is formed each four years. And the food is delicious, I think I live eating Mexican food. It’s aweso-“ she rambles and you don’t get how can she talk this much without breath.
“Cupcake, cupcake, breathe” you giggle “or you’ll pass out. I knew that, because it’s not my first cruise to Mexico. And I agree with you, I could live on Mexican food, actually Ell always says that in my past life I was Mexican or Latina, because I love spicy food” you say and it’s too easy to forget she’s a passenger, you feel so at ease when she’s close to you.
“Really? Me too” she asks
“I can’t imagine someone like you eating spicy food” you comment
“Why not?” she frowns and you love that frown, love? Like! You like that frown. Yeah, that’s what you like.
“Well, someone as sweet as you. I would think your diet is basically sugar...Saying this, I may say that bunched up face you made is hilarious buttercup” What the hell Karnstein! You’re not supposed to say those things. You smile because she blushes and you can imagine making blush everyday.
“There you are, Laura. Perry told me you’d be here probably” Someone says and you turn to find that red haired giant.
“Oh, Danny. What happened?” She asks, you can feel she’s kinda annoyed, but the agent orange is getting close to her as if she doesn’t care, Laura is not happy to see her. Does she have an argument with her girlfriend?
“Well there will be playing ‘The great Dictator’ in movies under the stars...in front of the oasis bar. I was wondering if you like to go with me...us. Perry and Laf are already there, I couldn’t find Betty and Elsie though” she says “they have popcorn” the giant smiles and you wanna punch her in thee face, woah there Karnstein, she’s a passenger too. You need to keep your feelings controlled.
“Is it- would it be okay if I-“ she says, is she asking your permission? In front of Sasquatch?
“You don’t need to ask for permission Miss Hollis, you can go with your drink there. Enjoy the movie with your girlfriend” You snap, why, why do you react like that? She’s not yours, she is hers.
“She’s no-“ you don’t want to hear anything else.
“We’d better go, our friends are waiting” The giant touches her shoulder and you can’t take it anymore.
“Excuse me please, I gotta refill the ice” you need to get out of there so you get inside the pantry.
“Hey Carm, How is it- Hey whats wrong?” Monica says approaching to you
“Don’t you dare to lie to me kid!” She says “you don’t need to bottle up everything you feel, you have the right to feel down and show it” she says, Monica has always been like a psychologist of the group. Always listening to everyone and reacting so calmly to any problem.
“I’m sorry, I just need some time. I’ll go to change my uniform to open my bar, alright?” You ask you can’t think straight right now
“If you want to talk...you know my page number kid” she says smiling
The bar is empty, like literal empty. Just the stewards and you, JP is supposed to come from his break in a while.
Having this time to yourself (well kinda) make you think about certain blonde, who happen to be in your mind and you shouldn’t think about her now that you know she’s with someone in this cruise...in this cruise where you’re a worker. You only want to sleep now.
You don’t remember what time you fell asleep yesterday, you were tired as hell but couldn’t quiet sleep. You thought about Carm and how she assumed Danny was your girlfriend, and how eager you were to tell her she wasn’t.
The telephone rings and you answer it immediately.
“Hey Frosh, we’re going to have breakfast together, are you up to go with us?” Laf asks
“I’m still in my pajamas but I’ll be there” you say
“They have Mexican breakfast!” They say excited
“I’m going” You say before hanging up and rush to the shower.
By one in the afternoon, you realized time passes too slowly. You’re trying your best not to show your excitement.
“I’m going for a drink” you let them know before you go to Mermaid’s bar. Your heart is pounding hard when you see Carmilla with sunglasses, in her shorts and white shirt, you smile automatically.
“Hey” you say taking her by surprised. You notice she has that look again and as if she remembers something she starts looking at the micros
“Good afternoon, Miss Hollis” she says and okay, you know that’s your last name and you shouldn’t hate the way she says it, so distant.
“May I offer you something to drink?” She sounds professional, so different from the conversations at Outrigger. You sigh
“I’d like a grape soda please” You say
“There you go, Miss-“ she says
“Why don’t you tell me wha wrong then we can solve it...instead of being so cold” you cut her off. You at her and when your eyes lock with hers, She sighs heavily.
“Look cupca- Laura, I- I might think that something coul- But it wasn’t, I apologize if I misread the situation. It won’t happen again” she says and she’s nervous.
“Why do you say that? I thought we- we were...getting to know each other” what else can you say? You can’t tell her you have a massive crush on her, just like that.
“I thought the same, but I don’t think your girlfriend like that” she says
“She’s not my girlfriend, she’s just a friend” you explain
“Well by the daggers she sent me yesterday and the way she touched you, I thought you two-“ she says
“Well you were wrong, Danny is jus a overprotective friend” you say. There’s something else in her eyes. The way they shine, you like that look.
“don’t say” she says and you giggle
“Sooo How was your day so far? Made too many cocktails already?” You ask
“Well, I started my day here at noon. After this I gotta go on a two hours break and then straight to Outrigger” she sighs “then I’m going to change today’s formal night. Then I’m opening my bar” she smiles
“Wow, you guys work really hard here, I hope you got time to relax” you say, you already know they have a disco party tonight
“Oh yeah, actually there’s a party tonight for us too” she comments
“Really? I bet it’s funnier than the ones here” you add. Ell already explained to you how the party are, you don’t want to slip anything though. She raises an eyebrow, then she get close to you and whispers
“They can be a little wild” she winks before saying “but don’t tell anyone” you giggle, you like her when she’s like that, so carefree.
“That’s interesting” you say
It’s 2:30 you both are engaged in a conversation/bickering what’s the most embarrassing situation you were caught in. You laughed hard when Carmilla told you once a seagull robbed a slice of pizza from her hand. You both laugh when you say, you spilled your grape soda on your white shirt in your first day of work. You can get used to this kind of conversations.
Someone clears their throat and both turn to see Danny glaring at Carmilla. “Laura, we’re going eat something before going downstairs. Want to come” she says. Carmilla sees her scowling
“I think I’m okay here, Danny. I’ll see you later” you say, Carmilla smiles at you
“Carmilla, it’s time for your break. You gotta change for your formal uniform” a bartender enters the bar, startling Carmilla (and you by his deep voice)
“Oh, hey Rey” she clears her throat “I- I should get going” she looks at you “See you later cup- Miss Hollis” she says and you know she’s calling you like because there’re other people there.
“See you later, Miss Karnstein” You answer and she got a small smile before disappearing behind the pantry.
“So are you up for that, guys? I mean it would be fun” Perry’s high pitched voice indicates her excitement
“I’m in” says Laf
“You’re always in when it’s about Perry” Elsie smirks and they show her their tongue
“I’m in too Guys, I think it’ll be fun” you say, besides you need to get your mind occupied
“Then I’m in too” says Danny and you see Laf rolling their eyes. You wonder when they stop getting along.
“I’m in too. I’ll record everything and laugh about you when we got home. Maybe I can blackmail you about it” Betty chimes in
“Well it starts at 8:30 so we have plenty of time to choose wisely the right one” Laf say
Your friends and you get to the “Explorer’s” bar at eight because you saw it was already getting busy by 7:30 so you choose a large table to sit and wait for the show to start.
By 8:20 an English man named Peter stands besides the stage.
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I hope you’re enjoying your time on board. Today’s we’ll have the ‘karaoke night’ here, I’ll pass these songs books so you can choose which songs are available. If you want to participate in this show, I suggest that you look for the song you want to sing and write it down in these papers” he points to the little pieces of papers on the table next to the stage. “As this activity is very popular, there will be only 20 performances and 20 performances only” he gets down the stage and put the song books in a table.
Laf go to grab one of them as you go to grab some paper and pencils Peter left on the table.
“Okay, May the best win” Laf says grinning
“Thanks” says Betty smirking
“Wow you’re so humble guys” Elsie says in a sarcastic tone
You take the time they’re wasting talking, to look for a song that you like, until you find it.
“Claps for our third participant, Helena” says Peter whole the public starts clapping. He clears his throat and say, “well now we have a duo, I guess...let’s welcome to Perry and Lafontaine” he claps
“Hi guys how are you today? Are you enjoying your time on board?” He asks
“Oh yeah definitely. It’s amazing” says Perry nervously
“What about you?” Peter looks to Laf
“Yeah, it’s being marvelous” they say grinning
“Well then let’s start with the karaoke part, right?” He winks at the public and they laugh. “Music, DJ” he yells
If you had
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?” Laf start slowly while Perry is giving herself a pep talk or at least it looks like that.
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgettin'
What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out
He's chokin', how, everybody's jokin' now
The clocks run out, times up, over, blaow!
Snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked
He's so mad, but he won't give up that easy? No
He won't have it, he knows his whole back's to these ropes
It don't matter, he's dope, he knows that, but he's broke
He's so stagnant, he knows, when he goes back to this mobile home, that's when its
Back to the lab again yo, this whole rhapsody
Better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him...” she takes a breath
“What the hell is that?” Elsie asks “were they this good the last time we did karaoke?” Betty wonders
“Oh man, I’m out.” Danny deflates
“That’s why they were so excited to be here” you say
“They even bet they would win...those bastards” you can see Elsie’s vein in her forehead beating
“We’re doomed” Betty says
The public starts cheering and clapping as the song comes to an end. They even got a stand up ovation.
“OMG, that’s was amazing!” Says Peter as he approaches to them. Perry is sweating and tries to gain some air “thanks” she says.
Danny, Elsie and Betty chickened our and decide not to sing, you’re sure they bet with Laf and now they’ll have to pay them
“And now we have the chance to hear to our next ‘singer’...she is Laura Hollis. Come own guys let’s cheer her up, I want to hear your hands clapping” says Peter
Now that you feel all the eyes on you, you start to feel nervous. You didn’t think there were this much people.
“Hello Laura, how are you? Is this your first cruise?” He asks
“Yeah- I came with my friends” you wave to them
“Come one Laur you got this!” Yells Betty
“You can do it Frosh!” Laf say
“Why don’t we hear to Laura guys? Claps for her” he asks, he walks down the stage while the music starts playing, you’re nervous but you know you can do this. Your eyes makes you see in front of you as you see Carmilla next to the counter looking at you, the deep eyes make you feel your cheeks warm. You take her attire, she’s wearing a white tuxedo shirt, a black bow tie, which wow, and a burgundy vest. She looks beautiful and it’s inevitable for you not to smile at her. She smiles at you when you lock eyes
“My life is brilliant
My life is brilliant
My love is pure
I saw an angel
Of that I'm sure
She smiled at me on the subway
She was with another man
But I won't lose no sleep on that
'Cause I've got a plan
You're beautiful, it's true
I saw your face in a crowded place
And I don't know what to do
'Cause I'll never be with you”
you sing looking directly at her, if you knew she would be here maybe you’d chosen another song. She beams at you and you do the same.
You see the bar manager, Mattie, talking to her and makes snap her head too fast, you think she could hurt herself doing that. Then she’s looking at you and then at Mattie, she nods eventually. Not before glaring at the bar manager.
“Yes, she caught my eye
As we walked on by
She could see from my face that I was
And I don't think that I'll see her again
But we shared a moment that will last 'til the end
You're beautiful, it's true
I saw your face in a crowded place
And I don't know what to…”
You keep singing, although your focus is on the dark haired bartender. Peter approaches as the song finishes “let’s give a round of applause to Laura Hollis!!” He says as everyone claps, including Carmilla who’s beaming at you and her smiles can light the sun.
“Oh guys, I don’t know if I told you but usually someone from the crew sings representing us. We need Will Karnstein here to sing-“ he says but Mattie is by his side taking the microphone “good evening ladies and gentlemen, I apologize but Will couldn’t make it. He got the CCP party right, but I got his sister. Carmilla, Carmilla will represent us” your eyes bulge and turn to see Carmilla, you can see her neck getting pink as she searches for a song in the book.
“Okaaaay, then let’s welcome to Carmillaaaaaa Karnstein!” Peter yells. Everyone starts clapping and the bartenders and stewards are cheering for her.
“Hello, Carmilla. How are you tonight?” Peter asks her
“Hey, Is be honest and it was better before learning I was the one singing. Actually I came to see my brother sings, I was planning to record him and probably blackmail him in a future” she deadpan and everybody laughs loudly.
“Oh she’s funny” someone in the next table yells.
“Okay, Carmilla. You can do this, some on guys a round of applause for Carmilla” Peter says. You can’t wait to listen what she sings. She locks eyes on you.
“Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me
I don't want to leave her now
You know I believe and how
Somewhere in her smile she knows
That I don't need no other lover
Something in her style that shows me
Don't want to leave her now
You know I believe and how
You're asking me will my love grow
I don't know, I don't know
You stick around, now it may show
I don't know, I don't know
Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her
Something in the things she shows me
I don't want to leave her now
You know I believe and how”
You’re mesmerized by her voice, her eyes look at you like there’s no one else around you. You didn’t realized she walked closer to you, until she was in front of you, smiling. You grin at her until someone clears their throat and she has to walk back to the stage.
“Wow, that was amazing” Peter says “cl- claps for Carmilla Guys!” He says as Carmilla goes to the counter again. Mattie is looking at her suspiciously
“That’s was nice. Isn’t it Frosh?” As Laf
“Yeah” you can’t find the words to say something else
“Not that bad” says Danny who is looking at Carmilla
“Don’t be jealous Danny. She did sang, you gave up before you had the chance to sing” Betty rolls her eyes, you tune them out.
“I’ll be back, soon” you say as you start walking to the counter. Carmilla turns to see you and you smile, she smiles too
“Uhm, May we help you with something, Miss Hollis?” Mattie cuts the eye contest between Carm and you.
“Eh, yea- I- I’d like a-“ you start
“Grape soda with a glass of easy ice on the side” chimes Carmilla winking at you, you giggle
“That predictable, eh?” You say
“Kinda-“ Carmilla says
“I’ll send a steward at your table Miss Hollis, keep enjoying the show...and you” she turns to Carmilla “you may go back to skywalkers” Carmilla sighs
“It was a pleasure to meet you, Laura. You have a beautiful voice” she says, you blush
“You too, Carm” you say
“See you around” says Carm while she starts walking to the mid ship elevator.
You sigh contently as you walk back to your booth.
“And the winner is...or rather I’d say the winners are...Lafontaine and Perry!!” Peter says and everyone claps “you won free drinks for your party and you. Tonight at ‘Skywalkers’ bar” Peter comments
“I knew something good would come from this”
“Thank you very much”
Elsie, Betty, Laf, Danny Perry and you say at the same time.
After eating some burgers and French fries on deck fifteen. Your friends and you go to the nightclub.
As soon as you get there, the blasting sounds of Taylor Swift’s song
Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate (haters gonna hate me)
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake (the fakers baby)
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
You see how Carmilla rolls her eyes at the song, you can’t avoid the smile in you lips when you go to the counter.
“Nice song eh?” You tease
“Oh yeah, so deep” she deadpans
“Don’t be grumpy, Carm” you say.
“Okay, cupcake I won’t be. Now tell me why do I have the pleasure to have you here” she says
“My friends won the karaoke contest” You answer
“Oh congratulations! Then you have free drinks, right? Do you want the usual?” She asks
“I’d like that very much” you say smiling
“By the way, you have a beautiful voice” Carm says and you blush
“I may say the same” you answer, she smiles.
When you got your drink, you turn to see Laf and Perry dancing, Betty and Danny drinking cocktails and Elsie flirting with Will?
By 11:30, you looking how Carm goes to make a drink for a girl who’s asking for a Mojito.
“Hey, I’ve been waiting for your call” whispers Ell, you jump a little
“Oh, right. Sorry I was kinda distracted” you see Carm shaking the Boston glass
“I see that- but we need to go if we wanna do” she turns to see if someone is looking “What we wanna do” she hisses
“Okay, then let’s go. Just let me say goodbye to my friends” you say whil you approach to Perry
“Hey Perr I’m going now. See you tomorrow” you say
“Alright dear. Goodnight” she says “I’ll tell the other ones, don’t worry” she adds
“Thanks Perry” you say
When you get out of the bar, Ell is waiting for you outside.
“Come on Laura, I had to ask a couple of favors for this but everything for making this night ‘the night’” she concludes
“Thanks Ell” you say
Songs in this chapter:
“Lose yourself” - Eminem
“You’re beautiful” - James Blunt
“Something” - The Beatles
“Shake it off” - Taylor Swift
You’re tired as hell when you enter at your cabin. People celebrated like tomorrow wasn’t a port day.
As soon as you close the door you’re bombarded by Ell rambles.
“Finally you’re here, you took your time. What happened? You were supposed to be here 30 minutes ago. I was about to call to the bar to ask for you...wha- what are you doing?” She asks
“Well, I’m tired. So I’m going to sleep” You deadpan
“No, you’re not” she exclaims “you will go with me and we will meet Monica upstairs. Besides you promise to go with us and I didn’t waste almost an entire can of hairspray to have this hairstyle just for you to not going” she says exasperated
“No- I- well-“ you sigh, you know you can’t win this one “I’m changing-“
“Great, I got all your clothes arrange here” she claps her hands before pointing at your bed.
You roll your eyes, how can someone changes from kid of the devil to innocent girl.
When you get at the disco you feel like you travel back on time, you can see everyone’s using bell bottom pants and colorful shirts.
For instance, Ell is wearing a pink jacket, black blouse, black skirt, black belt and red flats. You look at her and yeah she’s definitely “Rizos”
You are wearing your leather jacket, a white T shirt, black skinny jeans, white socks and black shoes. You find out that your dress style haven’t changed that much.
“Carm, I’m calling Mon and tell her, we’re already here Okay?” She cuts your train of thoughts
“Vale mujer” you say
“Okay so Ell asked the people from the cruise staff for this costume. It’ll fit you” Mon says
“Yeah, she told me that” you tell her grabbing the clothes and going to the restroom. Once you’re done with that you get out of the restroom and take a look on the full body mirror Mon has in her cabin.
Light yellow sweater wrap on your shoulders, white blouse, long light yellow skirt, white belt, white socks and white flats. You really look like Sandy. You turn to smile to Mon, and you realized someone else is with her.
“Laura, this is Aleksandra from the Lotus spa. She’ll do your hair, right?” Mon asks
“Hi Laura, nice to meet you. I’m doing it fast” says Aleksandra with a thick Ukrainian accent.
“My pleasure and thanks for helping me” you say
“It’s okay. I owe a favor to Ell so we’ll be even” she smiles
You wonder if Ell has some kind of mafia on board, because she got you the costume and now the hairstyle. The journalist in you tells you to investigate this but later now you must be concentrating in something or better say someone else.
After Aleksandra made your hair, she says her goodbye and you thank her again. The telephone rings and Monica answers it in the second ring.
“Aha, Okay. We’re going now.” She says
“Ok, let’s go” she tells you as she opens the door. She starts to guide through crew only pass ways to take the elevator. Then she makes you turn to passengers area in the eighth deck until mid ship, she pushes a crew door, when she does it, you hear the load music inside. It’s a song you like, but you don’t remember its name.
Come on, let's twist again like we did last summer
Yeah, let's twist again like we did last year
Do you remember when things were really hummin'?
Yeah, let's twist again, twistin' time is here
Besides the loud music, the disco is crowded. All of them bowing their heads to the song that is played by the group on the stage.
“Laura, wait here I’ll find Ell, okay?” Mon says
“Okay” you smile at her. You can’t deny that you haven’t been this nervous since your father took you to “The Wizarding World” you try to keep your breath even.
“I’ve heard you sang at the karaoke contest instead of Will tonight” Ell says
“Yeah, Mattie made me do it. Can you believe she called me to go ‘help’ at the explorer’s bar and when I got there she told me I was about to sing” you complain. Your sister can be so manipulative, specially when she knows you won’t say yes.
“Carm, I wanted to ask you for a favor” you see Ell getting nervous
“Yeah, of course. What’s going on?” You ask concerned
“So I was thinking in a surprise for Monica and well I thought I could sing for her but...I have had sore throat these days and I was wondering if you could sing so I can dance with her tonight” she rambles
You’re taken aback by that but you know how in love those two are, so you don’t even doubt it.
“I can do that” you say “when I’m singing and what I’m singing” you ask. Ell points Monica approaching so she speaks.
“Right now, go to the stage, the band already know that you’re going. They put the lyrics on the screen so it would be like karaoke...thanks Carmilla. Love you for that” she says quickly then she goes to kiss Monica. You raise you eyebrow, sometimes you think Ell has a mafia on board or maybe it’s her charming personality but she always gets what she wants. Well no time to waste, you gotta go to sing.
You can see Ell and Monica kinda running to you.
“Hey Ell, I wanted to thank-“
“No time for that ‘cupcake’” she says “take it” she hands you a wireless mic. “We’re doing karaoke time. The lyrics will be playing in the screen and your sign would be the band starting to play in...a minute” she says
You wide your eyes “what the what?” You ask desperately “you didn- I wasn’t read- what did you just say?” You can’t concentrate enough for forming a coherent sentence.
Then the band starts playing a “Grease” movie song
“What are you waiting for? Go to the stage kid” Ell says
“Good luck, Laura” says Monica smiling “you can do this” she raises her thumbs up
You start walking to the stage when you hear a raspy voice singing
“Summer loving had me a blast...” she starts oh gosh it’s Carmilla’s voice, you’re not freaking out...ok yeah you’re freaking out.
“Summer loving happened so fast...” you sing, your voice a little shy. From where you are you can see she snaps her neck looking for you while you make your way to the stage
“I met a girl crazy for me...” she sings eyeing all the crowded place
“Met a boy cute as can be” your voice stronger now
“Summer days drifting away to oh oh the summer nights...” the both of you singing as she sees you climbing the stage
She looks at you with those deep dark eyes, trying to decipher is this is real. And you can feel the same. Now you’re one more person who owe a favor to Ell, Monica and her are the best.
“Tell me more, tell me more
Did you get very far
Tell me more, tell me more
Like does he have a car”
the band sings this part of the song. while Carmilla gets closer to you and you raise your hand to hold hers. Little by little you get more confident to move around the stage and she follows your lead. People start cheering you, they dance and sing along.
As the song ends, Carmilla wrap her left hand on your waist from behind. You shudder under her touch and lean on her.
“Summer dreams ripped at the seams but oh those summer nights” you both finish the song, you turn to caress her cheeks as she plays with your hair. Like no one else is in the room, your heart is racing and you can’t avoid to notice the way she looks at you, adoration in her eyes and you’re probably doing the same.
It’s not until people start yelling “sing another one! Another one” that you realized neither of you moved from the stage. The girl from the band approaches to you.
“Hey Guys, are you singing another one? Because we have time for another song” she explains
“I think I’d like that” you say as Carmilla looks at you
“Which song are you singing, cupcake?” She asks
You talk to the band, they nod and you speak through the microphone.
“Okay guys, I know this song is not from the 60’s or 70’s and I hope you like it” you say. Then you raise your hand inviting Carmilla to hold it when she does you can feel goosebumps. You like how your hands fit together.
The band start the intro as you turn to see Carmilla in the eyes
“Now I've had the time of my life
No, I never felt like this before
Yes I swear it's the truth
And I owe it all to you” you sing to her, her eyes shine and she grins. It’s almost like- is she blushing? You make Carmilla ‘the sexiest bartender ever’ Karnstein blush.
“Cause I've had the time of my life
And I owe it all to you” she sings
“I've been waiting for so long
Now I've finally found someone to stand by me” you continue. You’re surprised she pull the two of you together and start...waltzing?
“We saw the writing on the wall
And we felt this magical fantasy” she keeps singing holding you close to her body
“Now with passion in our eyes
There's no way we could disguise it secretly
So we take each others hand
'Cause we seem to understand the urgency” the both of you sing as she swirls you and you end up in her arms again. Holy Hufflepuff! Is this a dream? Because if it is, you don’t wanna wake up. You’re close enough to smell the leather and musk aroma she has and it’s driving you crazy.
“Just remember” you say
“You're the one thing” she purrs
“I can't get enough of” you continue
“So I'll tell you something”
This could be love” both move around the stage as the crowd sing along with you. Your turn to see them holding their glasses up as they try to dance this song, others bow their heads feeling the rhythm. You see Monica and Ell dancing slowly one holding the other. Monica says something in Ell’s war and you can see her shudders.
I've had the time of my life
No, I never felt this way before (never felt this way)
Yes I swear it's the truth
And I owe it all to you
'Cause I've had the time of my life (I had time of my life)
And I've searched through every open door (you do it to me, baby)
Till I found the truth (you do it to me, baby)
And I owe it all to you
The song starts fading away, and you couldn’t think the public can get louder but they do.
When climb down the stairs with Carmilla’s hand con yours, everyone congrats you. Saying you must be the new singer of the ship, you smile because they haven’t noticed you’re not crew.
“Come here, cupcake” Carmilla purrs in your ear, you tremble at the proximity.
She takes you to the smoking area, you frown because you didn’t know she smokes. Then she’s pushing a door and you’re met with the warm salty breeze of the opened deck. You haven’t been here (and you thought, you’ve explored all the ships. Well at least the ones that are for passenger) so this must be just for crew.
The slow massage of her thumb in your hand makes you snap of your thoughts.
“Wha-what are you doing here” she asks breathlessly “you- how- how did you know where- and your costume...what?” She rambles and she’s so cute when she does it. You noticed she just rambles when you’re around, was she as nervous as you?
“I- I thought it would be a good idea of I show up and see you. I didn’t plan on singing though” you say
“Yeah, that was-“ you see the realization in her eyes “it was Ell, right? She wanted so badly that I come here and then she asked me to sing for Monica and her- gosh that woman” she says
“She was the one who panned everything, Carm. She took care of everything, well Mon and her” you admit
“Remind me to thank her” she says as she cups your face getting closer and you can’t help but close your eyes. She close the gap between you and the kiss is like having fireworks inside you, it’s slow but sensual, sweet but desperate at the same time. Your hands go to the nape of her neck as you deepen it. She takes you by the waist and crush your bodies together. You let out a small moan when you feel your bodies collide, the need for air makes you break the kiss. She follows your lips, that makes you giggles. She opens her eyes and the intensity of her eyes makes you shivers, she looks at you with adoration and probably you’re doing the same. You kiss her again, you can’t believe this is happening. You finally kiss her, you’ve been dreaming to do that all this cruise. She breaks the kiss this times, you can her panting. You keep looking at her.
“You’re staring, cupcake” she says smiles. You hide your face in her neck inhaling her perfume, memorizing all that she makes you feel.
“I just can’t believe this is happening. Am I dreaming?” You admit
“I should be the one saying that. I’ve thought bout kissing you since the first day we met” she says and you bite your lips to suppress the grin. You can’t stop smiling
“I was a bout to say that” you confess
The way she wraps her arms around makes you feel secure and you both lean on the balcony seeing at the stars shining I the sky, you got silent but it’s not uncomfortable. On the contrary, it’s the first time you don’t feel the need to fill the silence with your rambles, you enjoy this, it’s something intimate you’re sharing with her. She keeps caressing your hand with her thumb, it’s soothing.
Then she sighs nervously, “I-“ she sighs again, you move a little to have the space for seeing her in the eyes.
“What’s wrong?” You ask frowning, is she regretting this? You can’t stop the panic feeling as you feel a flip in your stomach.
“I-You- ahh! Would you like to go on a date with me tomorrow? I mean you don’t have to- but as tomorrow it’s my day off” She’s rambling. How can she be that cute?
“Carm, of course I want to. I’d like to do that very much” you say, you brush your lips together again. You notice she likes touching your hair. A cold breeze makes you shiver, after all you have just the think light yellow sweater.
“Are you cold, cupcake” she asks
“No-Maybe-Yes” you say
She giggles and that’s you new favorite sound. “Why don’t we get inside and enjoy the pasty before it ends” she suggest
“But, I want to be with you like this” you pout, she brush her thumb on your pouting lips.
“They think you’re the new singer, who actually didn’t come in board today. So we can use that” she says. She tugs your hand and guide you inside again.
“Ohhhh here come my favorite new couple” Ell grins
“So did you like the surprise?” Mon asks
“I loved it” you say hugging them both
“I may say, you did a good job” Carmilla says grinning
“Oh don’t be like that Carm, I’m sure you loved it too” Ell says hugging the dark haired, Carm reciprocates the hug.
“Oh, hey guys! Let’s take a picture of the ‘Grease’ team” a bearded man interrupts the conversation
“Oh, hey Robert” says Ell
“this is Laura. The new singer” Carmilla says
“Pleasure to meet you Laura” he says
“Robert is one of the photographer of the ship, he came on board yesterday in Cabo San Lucas” Ell explains “we know him from a previous contract”
“Okay girls, let’s take a picture. Smile for the camera” he says
You see the small smile in Carmilla’s face.
“Is Carmilla Karnstein smiling?” He teases
“Yeah, Yeah. It’s the influence of a certain ball of shine here” she points at you. Your smile widen
Robert shot the picture, “I’ll give the copy to all of you tomorrow, okay?” He says.
“Nice” says Ell
The party ended an hour ago, it’s almost 2 in the morning, Monica and Ell went to their cabins already.
Ell hugs you tightly saying her goodbye, Mon did the same.
you yawn but you don’t want this to finish now.
“Okay, that’s the fifth yawn so why don’t we go to your cabin” your mind goes to others things you two could be doing in your cabin. No, You’re moving too fast. You didn’t even have a date together and she’s suggest-
“Cupcake, I said that we could go to your cabin because I wanted to walk you there. Just that. I didn’t mean anything else” She says “we’re having our first date tomorrow and you should rest” she adds
You blow a breath, “Yeah, right” you say “let- let’s go” you add
The trip in the elevator is fast, maybe because you can’t keep your hands off Carmilla hair or maybe because you live in deck 10 and the crew bar is in deck 8. You don’t know.
You guide her through the hall way until you get to your cabin.
“This- this is my cabin. Aloha 307” you say
“Then I’ll call you tomorrow or I may say later. To let you know when and where we’re going” she steps closer and kisses You slowly, you kiss her back.
“Goodnight” she whispers
“Goodnight, Carm” you whisper too
You stay in front of your door until she disappears in the hallway. You make a victory dance and swirl until you’re faced with a red haired you know too much
“Oh, Danny Hey” you say awkwardly
“Why are you wearing those clothes, Hollis? What are you doing up at this time? And why are you dancing in the hallway?” She inquires
Songs of this chapter:
“Let’s twist again” - Chubby Checker
“Summer Nights’” - Olivia Newton John & John Travolta (“Grease” movie)
“The time of my life” - Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
“Oh, Danny Hey” you say awkwardly
“Why are you wearing those clothes, Hollis? What are you doing up at this time? And why are you dancing in the hallway?” She inquires
“What are you doing here, I mean at this time?” You ask too
She sighs “well I couldn’t sleep so I went for a run in the open deck” she explains. Now, “care to explain?” She asks
“I- I mean we-“ you widen your eyes
“We?” Danny frowns
“Oh hey Hollis, the party was awesome right?” Elsie chimes in excitedly. She’s wearing a white blouse, light blue skirt with white dots on it that goes to just below her knees, white lace socks, a pink scarf and black flats. Her hair a little disheveled and her red lipstick was smudged
“Elsie?” Danny and you say at the same time
She only smiles, you think she may be a little tipsy
“Anyway Hollis, May I have a word with you” Elsie says taking a step between Danny and you. “In private. Excuse us Danny, please” she adds
“Okaaaay” you say, suddenly feeling weird about all this. Because if she is wearing those kind of clothes, that would only mean-
“Okay, then I let you talk girls, but I don’t think staying up until this time would help you if we are going on tour later” says Danny
‘Holy Hufflepuff! You have a tour later, why didn’t you read the frilling itinerary Perry made’ you curse yourself.
You get into your cabin waiting for Elsie to get inside too.
“So wh- what did you want to talk about?” You ask hesitant
“Aren’t you gonna thank me?” She asks
You raise your eyebrows, “I beg your pardon” you say
“Well can you imagine if Danny discovers you were on a date with Carmilla-“ Elsie says
“We-we weren’t...on a date” you try to justify
“It didn’t look like that to me with all the dancing and the singing. I thought we were in a musical movie” she smirks “anyway, Danny mustn’t know we went there. She could complain the crew ‘let’ us get inside the crew area and our ‘dates’ can be in troubles” she explains
She’s right, knowing Danny, she could blame anyone but you. She thinks you are some innocent woman. You roll your eyes at that thought...Wait what?! “Who was your date?” You ask
“Laura, darling we can be ‘sisters-in-law’. My date was Will of course” Elsie says
You eyes bulge, “but I thought you were flirting with Carmilla?” You say surprised
“I was, but just for research. From all the triplets, she was the one who only looked at you whenever you were near. I also thought you would ask me to back off, but neither of you say something. So I just pushed some bottoms and wanted to see what happens” she shrugs
“Well then. What is the plan? lie to everybody in the group?” You deadpan
“I don’t see any problem in that” she says
“The thing is, I have a date with Carm later and I don’t know what to do with the tour we have” and why on earth you’re telling her this Hollis? You thought
“Tell them you don’t feel okay. And then go out with the sexy bartender” she makes it sound so easy, you wince at the thought of lying, you don’t like lying. Basically because you’re bad at it
“I don- I can’t lie to them in their faces” you say honestly
“Then call Perry in the morning and tell her you feel seasick or something” She says blankly. does she have an answer for everything?
You sigh, you have to lie if you wanna go out with Carm. Otherwise they’ll ask and Perry and Danny will freak out about your shenanigans with the dark haired. The beautiful dark haired who kissed you tonight, who sang with you, you can’t stop the smile on your lips
“Oh come on! You just think of her and you can’t avoid the goofy smile” she says sarcastically “I can have cavities if I remember how you two sang on the stage...” she looks at you, a small smile on her face “you two seem very happy together Laura” she adds and you can see the sincerity in her eyes
“Thanks, for helping me. Hope you get your chance with Will too” you say
“Then call Perry in the morning and I’ll make sure to tell them I saw you a little sick” she says walking to the door “ah, if Danny asks you where we were tonight, tell her we were on Skywalkers, they were supposed to have a party after we left...although we both know that’s a lie” Elsie waves her goodbye and left to her cabin.
You go straight to the bathroom to have a shower and take out all the hairspray you have on your hair, wash your teeth, put your pajamas and go to sleep.
By 7:30 am you can’t be in bed anymore, you call Perry. You’re hands are sweating and you’re happy she can’t see you right now otherwise she’ll know you’re lying.
“Hello” Perry answers
“hey Perry. It’s Laura” she says
“Oh Laura sweetie, Good morning. How are you?” Perry asks
“Well, I was calling to tell you that I won’t be able to go on tour today-“
“What? Why? What happened? Are you okay?” Perry asks concerned
“I’m not feeling okay today so I think I’m staying in my cabin, maybe by the time you come back, I’ll be better” you make that giggle you do when you’re nervous
“I’m going to-“ Perry says
“NO! I mean no, Perry. I already took a pill and I’m about to fall asleep. I called you so that you don’t get worried...please enjoy the tour and see you later” you ramble
You can practically feel Perry struggling with her thoughts. You also feel someone taking the phone from Perry’s hand
“Hey Frosh, So you’re not going with us, eh?” Probably they’re smirking
You clear you throat “Laf-“ you know you can’t lie to them.
“It’s okay, I know, L...get better” they say
“Thanks” you say
“We’ll see you later” they say before hanging up
By 9:00 am the phone rings and you can’t about the butterflies in your stomach.
“Hello” you say already smiling
“Hey, cupcake” her raspy voice makes you shiver. “So how did you sleep well? I hope you did because we’re meeting out of the ship in an hour. Is that okay?” Carm says
“Yes, that’s okay. Then I’ll get ready, see you in a hour” you say. But you’ve been ready since an hour ago, you can’t say that however. She may think you’re too eagerly to see her, even though you are eagerly looking forward to seeing her.
By 10:00 am, you’re outside the ship. Knowing you’re friends are already on a tour. You eyes are searching for the dark haired. Until you feel someone touching your shoulder.
“Hey” She says with that raspy, sexy voice. You turn to see her in black shorts, with Ray Ban sunglasses, dark blue tank top and black converse. Your smile widen when you see her smiling too.
“Hey” you say almost breathless at the view.
“Are you ready for our first date, cupcake?” She asks while both start walking through the Ensenada pier.
“Sure I am” you say.
“Then we’re walking to one of my favorite places in Ensenada, don’t worry is about 7 minutes walking. Is that okay?” She asks taking your hand in hers and you skip a beat. You are walking hand-in-hand, you can’t stop thinking how your hands seem to fit in.
“If I’m allowed to walk like this with you then I can walk a thousand miles” OMG that sounds less dorky in your mind. But you consider it a win when you saw her blushing.
“I- anyone has said such adorable things to me” she says “you’re adorable, Laura” she tracing her thumb on your hand. You turn to see her making her stop tracking so that she doesn’t collide with you.
“What happened, creampu-“ She asks, having almost no time to finish when you make your lips crushed. She reciprocates the kiss immediately as you put you other hand on her hair.
She hums in the kiss, making you smile which makes her smiles too, breaking the kiss, she kisses your hand before start to walk hand-in-hand again.
“I’m happy I came to this trip. Meeting you is one of the best things I’ve experienced” you say lovingly, she pulls you closer. You can inhale her perfume, you lean in and she pecks your lips.
“I’m happy to meet you too, Laura. Let me tell you that this is the first time I’ve ever felt like this with someone and I’m happy that that someone is you” she says and you can’t stop the kissing. You’re not fond of PDA but you don’t care about it so much with her.
You made in 12 minutes, that’s thanks to the kissing session.
The restaurant is a place named “El Corralito”. When you get inside you see almost all the walls have one dollar bills on it, all of them with some phrases/ names/ quotes. You like it
“Why don’t we go to that table?” She asks pointing one of the furthest one. You raise your eyebrow but go anyway, when both of you are sat. You ask
“Isn’t this table too far from the others one” you ask
“Well, this table is perfect. Because first, I’m friend with the owner here and he will take care of us. Second, we could have some privacy from the others customers and third, I would be able to kiss you without showing too much PDA to the others” she concludes
“My, my Carmilla Karnstein, are you implying there will be a lot of kissing” you tease
“I hope so” she smirks
You lean into her and peck her lips, you’re about to deepen the kiss when someone clears their throat.
“Good morning ladies, May I offer you something to drink?...here’s the menu” a young man says
“Thanks” you say while reading in the menu
Apparently Carmilla doesn’t need the menu, because she orders immediately. “I’d like Charlie’s Fajitas with corn tortillas, guacamole and a blended strawberry margarita” then she looks at you. You can’t believe she’s eating all of that.
“You need to try this, cupcake. You’re gonna love it” and the smile she has is enough for you to say, “I’d like the same please”
“Okay, I’ll be back in a few minutes with your drinks” he says
Carm and you wanted to spend your awaiting time having another kissing session, you were leaning for another kiss.
“Carmilla Karnstein, I’m so glad you came. How’s the ship life nowadays” a man in his middle thirties says
“Charlie, ship life isn’t the same without you...and you food. We miss you so much” she says before addressing you “Charlie this is Laura Hollis my gir- my friend from the ship too” she says, did she want to say girlfriend?
“Pleasure to meet you, Laura” he says before smirking and adds “is this one taking care of you? Just tell me and I’ll give her a virgin margarita”
You blush. She says “hey, don’t mess with my cocktail”
“She’s treating me pretty well” you smile eyeing her. And she gives you this warm look that makes you shiver
“That’s good! I’m happy for you Carmilla, you certainly deserve happiness. And I can see that, now I’m going to make your orders. It was nice to meet you, Laura. Enjoy your time here and if you need something call me” Charlie says
“Thanks” says Carm blushing
“It was a pleasure meeting you too” you say
After he’s gone, you move your chair closer to Carm. You reach for her hand as she sees you.
“You know, I like the way our hands fit together. As they belong to each other” you say “I know it too soon but after this date” you hesitate a little, but go through it. “Will you be- I mean, Would you like- will you be my girlfriend?” You know you’re blushing and probably you’re the same color as a tomate but it worth it when you see her eyes shining as if she was waiting for that question.
“I think I’d like that very much” she pecks you “I wanted to ask you the same when we were getting back to the ship.” She explains
You kiss her intently, she caress your face trying to get you closer to her. And the young waiter is clearing his throat again, when you both see him, he has a tray with your cocktails. You sigh on her lips and sit properly.
“Your drinks ladies” he says knowing that he just interrupted your moment.
“Thanks” you say while Carmilla glares at him. He excuses himself and goes to other table.
You pass by the huge Mexican flag that is there, you ask another tourist to take a picture of you two hugging each other with the flag waving behind you. It’s a lovely photo, you promise Carmilla you will share the picture with her when you get to the ship.
There’re a group of mariachi playing for the tourist, people gather around them. They start playing song, gosh you need to learn more Spanish.
Si nos dejan
Nos vamos a querer toda la vida
Si nos dejan
Nos vamos a vivir a un mundo nuevo
Yo creo podemos ver
El nuevo amanecer
De un nuevo día
Yo pienso que tú y yo
Podemos ser felices todavía
Carm plays with your hand as you are listening to the song. You know it’s a romantic one.
Carmilla gets closer to your ear and whispers.
“If they let us
We will love each other for life
If they let us
We are going to live in a new world
I think we can see
The new dawn
Of a new day
I think that you and I
We can still be happy.
That’s what they’re saying” she trails kisses on your cheek until she get to your lips. Her raspy voice near to you ear makes you have goosebumps.
You feel dizzy at how much butterflies she makes you feel. Kissing her is like having firework, not actually it’s like having a supernova explosion inside you. You can’t avoid the heart eyes you’re giving her.
Then she grabs you from your waist and starts bouncing your bodies slowly, then you realize she’s making have a slowly dance, you put your hand around her neck. Some people are cheering you up.
Si nos dejan
De todo lo demás se los olvidamos
Si nos dejan
Si nos dejan
You are aware she likes waltzing when she starts swirling you. When she has you close to her again, she kisses your earlobe and translate the last part of the song.
If they let us
We forget about everything else
If they let us
If they let us
And you’re kissing again, people start to cheer and the singer yells “that’s love guys” making you both blush
It’s around 2:30 pm and you’re sure your friends are done with the tour at “La Bufadora” So probably they’re walking around here. That’s when Carmilla asks you to go back on the ship you’re more than happy to oblige.
When you get inside the large boat, she walks you to your cabin, “would you like to come inside” you say as you open the door
“I’d love to, cupcake. But I’m sure that if I go inside I won’t want to leave” she says, you face falls. You wanted to be with her alone like in the party.
She takes a step forward until your bodies are inches away.
“Cupcake” She says holding your chin to make you look at her. “Why don’t you go to the bar later and after my shift we can come here and be by ourselves” she proposes
You smile at her again. “Okay”
“Okay” she repeats before pecking you and step away from you. “I’ll see you later, love” she says and you’re blushes as heck.
You thought the trip would make you and Laura get closer again. You looked forward this trip and even plan what you two will do. But from day one it was different, you know something happened.
At first you tried to brush it off, but the way she looked at the bartender who took her out of the pool. The blush in her cheeks when she talked to her,that made your stomach churned.
You haven’t see her again with so probably it was in your mind, besides you know Laura, she would never do something so impulsive. But Laura has been disappearing every time she could, you can’t deny it anymore. You’ve seen her talking more with crew than with her friends, with you.
That’s something that bothers you, why is she being like that? And also there’s the way she looks at that bartender, like she care about her. It makes you feel sick.
There’s also the fact that The bartender was flirting with her when you saw them in the Outrigger bar. Laura was flustered when you got there, you know her too well to see she likes her. But this bartender probably wants her as a one night stand, you know how people like her are. And Laura is to naive to see Karnstein’s cruel intentions.
That is what makes your blood boils, you need to protect her.
Even though your friends and you went to “La Bufadora” and it’s a beautiful place, you can’t help but to worry about Laura. She was feeling sick this morning, you’re going to her cabin as soon as you go back. Also you need to find out why she was wearing those clothes, you don’t buy Elsie’s excuse.
“Look Guys, there’s a souvenir market a block on the right” Laf say looking at their phone, they break your train of thoughts.
“Then let’s go” You say, you’ll buy something nice for Laura.
The group is a block from the huge Mexican flag, you can see some mariachi playing while some tourists give them some tips for it.
Then you frown at what you see, you see Karnstein kissing a woman on the cheek before claiming her lips. You knew she was a flirt, you want to approach and take a picture to show it to Laura, she’ll realize about her intentions with her.
“Dan, let’s go” says Elsie who redirects her eyes when she sees you frowning at the group of people.
“What’s going on?” This time Laf come to ask why the two of you stop walking. Also redirecting their look to where you’re looking.
“It’s just-“ you try to explain. But you can see both of them widen their eyes and sharing looks.
“I saw someone from the ship”!you don’t wanna say who you’re talking about
“Well It’s port day everyone from the ship would like to walk around” Laf say laughing awkwardly
“Yeah, that’s true. I’ve just seen a waiter from the restaurant we eat on board” Elsie says
“Maybe you’re right. Let’s go” You say and as soon as they turn to walk, you take your camera and take a picture of the group. Just in case you say to yourself.
You buy a magnet for Laura, it’s a cute one.
When you get on board again everyone is too tired to go for a walk, you want to go to Laura’s cabin but first you should call.
The phone rings but not answer so maybe she’s sleeping or she went to eat something. You walk to the Horizon buffet and she’s not there, you grab some fruits and Orange juice.
Then you remember the picture you took, you take your camera out of your backpack and search for that photo. Until you find it, you zoomed it a little if you’re lucky you could Se Karnstein and the other woman.
“What the hell? Laura? You gasp. Karnstein is kissing her and Laura is letting her doing it. Your stomach drops, this can’t be possible. That’s unethical and she taking advantage of Laura. You’re furious.
When you’re going out of the buffet, you run into the bar manager. Miss Belmonde, so you go to her.
“Good afternoon miss Belmonde, May I have a word with you, please?” You ask trying your best to sound calmed
“Good afternoon Miss...?”
“Lawrence. Danny Lawrence” you say
“Oh right! You’re friend with the passenger fell on the pool, right she asks and your remember that was the first time Karnstein “kissed” Laura.
“Yes, she’s my friend.” You say
“What can I do for you, Miss Lawrence?” She asks politely
“I’d like to ask you to supervise your crew better” you spit, the rage taking control of you.
“I beg your pardon” she says taken aback by your words.
You can’t hold your rage anymore, but you don’t yell.
You turn to see Mattie before saying
“Well you should keep an eye on your crew though, maybe if you do that. Carmilla Karnstein wouldn’t be luring my friend Laura like a teenage boy” you say that with so much venom “Because if you don’t make her back off, I won’t hesitate to go to the HGM” you threaten
“Let me take care of my crew, Miss Lawrence” Mattie says quietly “I’ll have a word with Miss Karnstein, you should be sure of it” she says before going to her sister’s bar
It’s about 8:00 pm when your sister comes to the bar.
“May I have a word with you, Carmilla?” Mattie asks. You were talking to a passenger with Ell by your side making a drink. Both of them turn to see Mattie as her voice is too serious even for her. You gulp and walk to your sister.
“Is there any problem with the stocktake?” You ask
“I’m afraid I’m here for something else” Mattie says moving to the pantry indicating you to follow her, you frown but go anyway.
“You’re worrying me, what’s going on Mattie?” You ask when you get inside the pantry
“I’m here because there has been an accusation of harassment against you.” Mattie tries her best to keep her voice neutral but you can see the fire in her eyes. It’s dreadful.
“WHAT?” You can’t help the raising of your voice “that’s not true, I would never do that” you say “who is implying that?” You are seeing red right now.
“Miss Laura Hollis-“ Mattie starts
“Laura? Laura wouldn’t do that
she’s-“ you get interrupted
“Laura? I didn’t know you and her were friends or you call like that to all the passengers?” Mattie asks in disbelief
“Of course not, Mattie. It’s just- Laur- Miss Hollis and I get along since that first day, but I’ve never harassed her or anyone” you say looking at your sister’s eyes
“And if she gives you any indication she likes you? Would you? - would you take a step forward for it? And please let me remind you I’m your boss right now and if you try to lie to me, I’ll have to send you home, Carm” says Mattie with a stern voice
You can’t lie to your boss, your sister. You know Mattie can easily ask for the videos in the cameras on the ship, so you blow air until your lungs are empty. Then inhale slowly
“First I didn’t- and I fight it out, I swear I tried not to, I thought about our father and the promise, and my future. I tried my best to walk away from her. But it’s impossible not to fall for someone like her, she’s such a sunshine. And, and I’m kind of dating Laura Hollis” You take another breath
“Carmilla. Do you understand the magnitude of this situation? Not just for you and your future on board. Also the consequences for the company if they try to sue you, to sue us” Mattie says
“I can’t believe Laura said I harassed her-“ your voice indicates how hurt your feel right
“It wasn’t Miss Hollis per se but it was one of her friends who just threatened to complain to the HGM. So I have no other option than protect you and protect the company, little monster” Mattie says quietly
“What do you mean?” You ask. And as in queue two tall muscular men get inside the pantry, one of them greets Mattie
“Did you call security?” He asks
“Yes, I did. I want you to escort Miss Karnstein here, to isolation, we got the impression she might be sick” Mattie says turning to see you and before you can say anything, Mattie says “it’s better if you just go. Otherwise I’ll send you home with no coming back, Miss Karnstein” she says coldly
“This isn’t fair Matt-“ you talk with hurt in your voice, this can’t be happening
“You don’t have other option” Mattie concludes
“We’d better get going, Miss Karnstein” the security says
When the pantry’s door is opened, Ell sees her best friend getting out the bar with the security men.
“What’s going on, Mattie!” She asks desperately
“This is none of your business. You will stay here replacing Carm for the rest of the cruise” Mattie demands
“What happened to Carm? Why can’t she be here?” Ell pushes for an answer
“Miss Sheridan, I just put my sister in isolation and probably she’ll get a warning for her behavior. Don’t doubt I would be giving you a warning too if you keep making questions” Mattie says with a low threat voice
Ell couldn’t say anything else if she wanted to keep her job
“And don’t you dare to say anything to that little one. I‘m sure you’re my sister’s accomplice in all this mess, if I discover you talk to her- in fact if I see you five meters near Miss Hollis, then you’re fired” Mattie concludes
Ell is stunned by Mattie’s words. She’s never seen the bar manager like that. Saying she’s in shocked is the understatement of the year, so she waits until she calmed herself, then she walks outside to prepare cocktails.
As soon as she’s on break, she pages Monica. She starts pacing waiting for her fiancée’s call.
“Ell, is there something wrong with the bar? Where’s Carm? She’s supposed to be here-“ Monica enters the bar, of course she would come instead of calling, Ell rolls her eyes.
“Mattie made two security guards take Carmilla who knows where and she said I would be fired if I get near Laura Hollis!” Ell explains exasperated
The expression of terror in Monica’s face is indescribable.
“Holy crap! So she found out, what should I do? If she sees me talking to Laura, probably she would know I’m in too.” Monica starts hyperventilating
“Hon, calm down” Ell rubs circles in Monica’s back. The bar is almost empty and no ones is actually looking at the PDA.
“I’m afraid there’s nothing we actually can do” she sighs “I thought Carm could have a lovely farewell day with Laura, but this got out of our hands. I’m sure the beanpole has something to do with it” Ell assures “I knew she was bad news when I saw her the first time” she adds
“Love, we don’t know that. I don’t like her either but we can’t make assumptions without any proves” Monica says, Ell frowns
“My sixth sense is telling me, she is the one involved in this mess. Why couldn’t she be happy for her friend...unless she is interested in Laura too” Ell thinks aloud
“Hey love, lets not go there. We should focus on what can we do to help Carm, without being fired” Monica says
6:00 am and you haven’t slept at all. How could you? Passengers are disembarking right now and you can’t go and look for Laura, explain to her, your sister sent you to isolation like a toddler who had bad behaved.
The speakers of the ship are on, they’re sharing soft romantic music and it’s driving you crazy, it’s like they’re mocking you. You groans at the sound of the song that started seconds ago
The moment we met
I just couldn't explain
I find myself drawn to you naturally
When I saw your eyes everything changed
And somehow I knew
You were different from the rest
Mattie asked the security to take the cabin’s phone so you couldn’t call anyone. She practically kidnapped you, you’ve tried to put yourself in her shoes, tried to think about your company. But as you tried the thought of Laura and her warm skin next to you makes you think she’s totally worth it.
Maybe you’re crazy for thinking like that but Laura was inevitable, you tried hard to stay away from her and little you could do when the blonde smiled and you think Laura has the shiniest smile, and it's such a bright smile it's a miracle that I didn't set something on fire. The only thought of Laura makes your heart hurts.
This may not be our time
And the world may not be on our side
But our love is written in the stars
Her eyes glisten, she lost her.
There’s a knock, and after few seconds a nurse gets inside.
“Good morning Miss Karnstein, I’m Arantxa, I’ll be the one who takes care of you all the isolation” she says a little too excited
“Nice to meet you” you say and get back to bed, she indicates you to sit as she starts controlling your signals. You sigh heavily
“Are you feeling okay? Do you have any problems at breathing?” She has a little frown on her eyebrows
“I’m just- kinda tired of doing nothing. Sorry” what else can you say? Hey I fall for a passenger and sister kidnapped me and I’m here with anything but the regret of not seeing Laura again....I didn’t even ask for her number/email/ address/ zip code.
“You’re free to go, you’re exams says you’re healthy so there’s no need for you to be in isolation anymore” says Arantxa, the Spanish nurse who has been monitoring you these two days.
You offer a sad smile “thanks” you say preparing your stuff. Mattie has the decency to send someone with your toothbrush and your pijamas.
You can’t deal with people right now. Your last cruise started yesterday, so Laura is in Canada by now and you couldn’t say goodbye.
What’s worse, she must think you’re a terrible person who kisses and runs. You sighs and leaves the room with any other interaction with Arantxa.
When you get to your cabin, Ell is not there. You take a shower and change for your uniform, you page Monica from your cabin, you need to know your schedule. You need your mind busy before you start with all the self loathing and self destruction.
You answer at the first ring “What happened Ell, I thought you were on shift-“ Monica says
“It’s me Mon-“ you start
“Carmilla!” She yells and you’re sure you left ear won’t be the same by her high pitch voice “how are you? Where did they send you? We tried to find the cabin and maybe send a message but we never figured it out” she explains
“It’s okay Mon, I know how Mattie could be” you sigh sadly “may I have my schedule for today, please?” You ask
“Carm-“ she clears her throat “Carm, I’m not longer your supervisor. You’ve been changed to The Steakhouse bar, your supervisor is Rey now. I’m sorry” she says apologetically
“Oh, I- it’s okay Mon. I’m paging him. See you later” you say before hanging up
The days of your last cruise were terrible slow and everything reminds you to Laura and the unfinished story that you two had.
You’re looking forward to go home and stay away from everyone, especially Mattie. You haven’t talked to her and she has the decency to leave you alone these days. She has no rights and she knows.
A few days after you get to London, you “unlinked” yourself from your siblings so your last contract you would be sent to another ship where any of them will be.
It’s kinda sad because you won’t see Ell or Monica. That’s another story too, they asked you to go to Spain as you planned but you don’t want to be around anyone. You love them and they’d probably try not to seem too in love. You can’t do that to your friends.
Your last contract ended in a blink of an eye, they wanted you to get a promotion that you subtly rejected. It wouldn’t make any sense, mainly because you’re not coming back. You haven’t decided which office you want to work yet. Probably as far as you can from Matska.
Now you’re more focus on taking a plane to Spain. It’s been 8 months since you’ve seen Ell and Monica, and this would be the best way to see them.
They’re getting married in a week, you’re going earlier to catch up with them. They haven’t touched the topic and you appreciate it, you cannot be unhappy at their wedding. Your friends don’t deserve that, besides you’re Ell’s best woman.
Songs in this chapter:
Si nos dejan - Luis Miguel
Be with you - Aicelle Santos
Perry called you 30 minutes ago, asking if you felt better. You told her, yes you felt much better.
So you’re gonna see your friends at dinner.
You want to see Carm again, even though you’ve been with her all the morning. You want to be in her arms, feeling the warm of her body next to you, inhale her perfume. You also think both of you need to talk about what will happen after this cruise ends, you want to keep seeing her. Maybe when she goes on vacation you can meet her and have a relationship, sort of. You’re not sure about the how but you certainly want her to be in your life.
You sigh, it would be hard being away from her when she goes to work again. Long distance relationships are difficult but you know this, what you feel for Carmilla is worth it. You can’t imagine this would happen here and it such a short time develop this feeling for her.
It’s like you were meant to be, like two pieces of puzzle that belong to each other.
A knock on your door interrupts your train of thoughts.
“Coming” you say as you approach to open the door.
“Hey dear, how are you?” Ask Perry as soon you open the door.
“Hey, Perry” you see behind her “hello guys, how was the tour?” you say.
“We thought it would be a good idea to pick you up for dinner” Perry explains
“It was awesome Frosh” Laf answer
“We took a lot of pictures” Betty says
“And we bought a lot of things at the souvenir’s market” Elsie chimes “right Danny?” She adds
“Uh- Yeah, we bought souvenirs” Danny says.
She has a little frown and she looks like she’s studying you. Maybe she didn’t buy the “sick” excuse you claimed this morning.
“Great guys. Why don’t you tell me everything while we go to dinner” you say taking a light sweater and your keycard. “Let’s go” You say
You didn’t expect they would pick you up, but they probably miss seeing you today, that makes you feel a little guilty for lying to them.
“So what are the plans for later?” Ask Betty, She’s looks tired but probably she doesn’t want to waste time, tomorrow you’re going home. You sigh, you’re going home. You’ll miss Carm and the salty breeze you got used to.
“I’m going to Skywalkers to party till the end” Elsie bounces happily
“Me too” you say. Everyone turning to see you.
“Would that be a good idea Laura dear? You didn’t feel okay today because you partied yesterday” Perry says
“That’s true. You’ve been sick, so sick you didn’t go with us today” Danny says. You feel her some biting in her tone
“Ye-Yeah but come on guys it’s the last day. Don’t blame me for trying to have fun, we came to have fun, right?” You look around the group. Betty nods, Elsie winks at you and Laf grin
“You’re right Frosh! We’ll have fun tonight so let’s go change and go upstairs” Laf says excited
“I guess you’re right and we have the right to have fun the last day of cruise” Perry comments
“Yeeeeiii” says everyone but Danny
It’s almost 9:00 pm when you meet you’re friend in the aft elevator to go to the disco bar. The butterflies in your tummy haven’t stopped since you got dressed to see Carm again.
When you get to the disco they’re more people than you thought they would be. You’re about to go to the bar to greet your girlf- Carm But Danny grabs you by the arm, when you turn to see her
“What?” You can’t avoid sound annoyed
“You go to pick a table I’m going to the bar” she says too eager to go
“But-“ you start
“Let’s go Laura” says Betty as she passes by your side
You sigh and go, you will have time to share with Carm after her shift anyway “Okay” you say.
By 9:30 you can’t help it but go to the bar as your friends are dancing.
You search the bar but Carmilla it’s not there. There’s this feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes it churn, you brush off that feeling.
There’re JP and Ell though so you can ask them, maybe she’s in break.
“Hey Guys” you greet them
“Laura!” Says JP smiling “how was your day today?” He asks
“Pretty well thank you. What about you?” You say. You turn to see Ell as she avoids your eyes, you raise and eyebrow. You’re about to say something about it.
“What about you Ell?” You ask expectantly
“I-“ she says nervously
“May I have another Mojito?” Says a brunette
“Oh, S.J. of course! I’ll take care of you right away” Ell says jumping to that side of the counter
“What happened?” you blink and JP shrugs
“JP, have you seen Carm...illa” you ask awkwardly
“No, I just came from ‘Club Fusión’ though. Maybe she’s in break” he says “when she comes back I’ll tell her you’re looking for her” he adds and you nod.
By 11:30 you haven’t seen Carmilla at all. She’s supposed to work here, how can’t she be in her bar at this time? Has something happened to her? She was right when you got on board. You go to the bar again, you see Ell goes to the pantry as soon as she sees you getting closer.
Okay, that’s weird. And you’re gonna find out what the frilly hell is happening.
“JP, hi again. May I talk to Ell, please?” You ask as he nods and goes inside the pantry too.
JP goes out after some minutes, a blush in his cheeks.
“I’m sorry Laura. Ell took the crew elevator inside the pantry” he says “she says it was her break”
“JP, what going on with Ell? And where’s is Carmilla?” You ask a little annoyed by Ell’s behavior
“I really don’t know, Laura. I haven’t seen my sister since this morning when she went out” he says sincerely “I’ve never seen Ell like that before” he adds
“JP, I know what I’m about to ask is not allowed but” you hesitate at this. But not knowing what’s happening bothers a lot. “May I have Ell’s cabin number or her schedule after her break?” You plead with your eyes. You put your best puppy eyes.
“Ell is coming back in 30 minutes. But you didn’t hear it from me, otherwise I’ll get a warning” JP worried
“I won’t say anything. I promise...thanks” you say before going back with your friends.
It’s midnight and people are going to their cabins, tomorrow everybody leaves in the morning.
You see Ell making her way to the counter, you stand and go to talk to her before she gets to it.
“Ell, can we talk?” You say walking next to her.
She winding her eyes and start shaking her head vigorously. “No, we can’t. I’m sorry Lau- Miss Hollis” she says and you feel slapped. Why the heck is she doing this?
“I just want to know what’s going on? Where’s Carm? Why are you behaving like that?” Your voice cracks and you have to clear your throat.
“I- Carm-“ she starts
“Miss Sheridan, you’re in working hours. Your place is inside the bar” Mattie’s voice startles both of you
“That’s where I’m going, miss Belmonde” Ell practically runs to the bar.
Mattie clears her throat. “Is there any problem with the cocktails, Miss Hollis?” She asks
“I was wondering where Carmilla is? This is the last day and I wanted to say goodbye to her” you say
“Miss Karnstein was transferred to another bar-“
“What? That can’t be true” you say in shock
“Mis Hollis, is there something I must know?” She inquires “is there any problem between Miss Karnstein and you?” She adds
“I- we- no” if you say something Carmilla could be fired. You sigh heavily
“Then, let my bartenders work” she punctuated each word. You feel small under her intense and arrogant look.
“I just need a word with Ell” you say trying to turn to the bar
“Mis Hollis, if you harass my bartender I will be forced to call security” she threatens
You step back and look at her eyes, she’s honest with her words.
“Laura, dear. Is there any problem?” Perry asks
“No. I’m going to the table” you say deflated
You went back to your cabin, you can’t stop thinking about what happened to Carmilla, why Ell was behaving like that? And Mattie...Did she know? Why was she so aggressive?
You haven’t slept at all, your mind relives the night before trying to figure it out.
The ring of your phone makes your stomach flips, you think Carmilla is the one calling.
“Hello!” You say excited
“Good morning Laura. I was checking if you were already awake” Perry says and you deflate
“Yeah, I- I’m awake” you say almost whispering
“Don’t forget we’re meeting in the theater. The gangway would be in that deck but we have to wait until they call our color luggage” she informs
“Yeah, I’ll-“ you sigh “I’ll meeting you there” you say before hanging up
When you get to the theater your friends are already there.
“Good morning Laura”
“Good morning Hollis”
Laf, Perry, Elsie and Betty greet
“Hi guys” you wave your hand to them.
Danny just sees you. She looks like she’s struggling with something, you should ask about it when you get to the airport or maybe when you get home.
You sit with a frown in your face thinking about a logical explanation for the day before when a song is played by the radio.
The moment we met
I just couldn't explain
I find myself drawn to you naturally
When I saw your eyes everything changed
And somehow I knew
You were different from the rest
Is it wrong that I feel this way?
I don't know if I should walk away
But my heart tells me otherwise,
For once in my life I want to do what feels right
Your lost in the lyrics, you feel identified with it. You sigh for fifth time
“Laura, can we talk?” Says Elsie
“Yeah” you say
“In private” she says pointing one corner of the room. You walk there and turn to see her.
“You’ve been weird since yesterday, What’s wrong?” She asks
“Carm and I, we went out yesterday and it was amazing but- we were supposed to meet at the bar, and we went, I waited for her until I realized she didn’t get back. Then I ask Ell or at least I wanted to ask her. But she was distant...and, and then Mattie came and ask me not to ‘harass’ her crew” you take breath
She glances you surprised, “wow Hollis, you really know how to talk eh?” she says
“I’m serious, Elsie. I’m worried about it. She didn’t even call me to tell me what happened” you want to cry, your eyes shine but you take some deep breaths.
She rub her hand on your arm before saying.
“I don’t want to say this, but maybe she got what she wanted and then sent her old sister to clean up her mess” she says
This may not be our time
And the world may not be on our side
But our love is written in the stars
You frown, “what? What sister?” You ask
“Well Mattie, She’s her sister too. Didn’t you know?” Elsie says tasing her eyebrows
“No, I- we really didn’t talk about that. And I don’t believe she could do that. She was so caring yesterday. She was the one who told to go to the bar in the first place. Why would she do that if she didn’t want to see me again?” You inquirer
“I don’t know-“ she starts
“A very good morning ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed your time aboard the Sapphire Princess. Passengers with the yellow luggage tags are allowed to disembark. Once again we thank you for choosing Princess Cruises, come back new” says the officer
“Alright, let’s go girls” say Perry grabbing her suitcase.
You walk slowly almost waiting for Carmilla to show up and explain to you what happened, to give you her email or her phone number. But the hopes does when you put a foot outside the ship.
You can’t believe she just let you go that easily after everything she told you yesterday.
A month ago:
“I wouldn’t ask you to do this if it weren’t important and you know that!” You huff
“But- If Mattie finds out. I’m dead” JP says shaking his head
“Look mate, we don’t have other option. Don’t do it for us. Do it for Carm, do it for your sister” Monica says while rubbing her hand on your back
He sighs, “Okay, I’ll do it” JP Says
“Besides JP, Mattie is not longer your boss. You work in the main office and she is in Morocco right now, she won’t find out” you say
“Okay, I’ll call you when I get it” he says before going to the office again.
“I can’t believe we’re doing this” Monica takes a deep breath
“Me neither” you answer
A few days later JP calls you and you go to the main office in Santa Clarita, California.
“Good morning ladies” says JP as you get inside his office
“Hi JP” Monica says
“Hey, JP. So did you get it?” You ask nervously.
“Yes, I did. And let me tell you it was difficult, but here it is” he says handling you a piece of paper.
“Thanks” you says hugging him
“Don’t mention it. It’s for my sister and I appreciate you’re doing this” he says fidgeting with his hands
Monica takes them in reassurance, “we know you love her, and she loves you too...on her sarcastic broody way though” she says as he smiles
“Thanks again JP, We’ll See you in a couple of months. Right?” You ask
“Yes, of course.” He says nodding
“Babe, are you sure you don’t need me here?” You ask as she helps you with the suitcases
“Don’t worry about it. I can do it, trust me” Monica says
“I do trust you” you peck her lips “I love you” you say
“See you in two weeks” she says
You go to the right path, where the airplane from “Iberia” will take you to Madrid.
While Monica takes the left one, she’s taking “Air Canada” to Toronto and then to start with this plan.
You called for an Uber to get to this address, you see the piece of paper in your hand
“Suite 100, 366 Adelaide St. W.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada”
Your Uber comes and you blow a deep breath before getting down the vehicle.
You knock at the door twice before it’s opened by a Laura sleepy in pajamas and with her hair disheveled.
“Oh hey” you say
She widen her eyes and look around probably not believing you’re there.
“Monica?” She says and you smile because she remembers your name.
“Hey” you say warmly “May I come in? I would like to talk to you about something important” you explain
“Ye-Yeah! Of course come in” she says still doubting if this is really happening
When you get inside she asks you to take a seat in one of her kitchen stools while she makes cocoa for her and coffee for you.
“Soooo What- I mean why are you here? How did you know my address? Why would you have address?” She asks pacing in her kitchen
“If you allow me to tell you the whole story, you’ll get it” you say
“So what you’re telling me is, that Mattie somehow found out about Carmilla and I, and she mainly kidnapped her for two days until my cruise was over so that she wouldn’t be in touch with me. And she threatened Ell to get fired if she says something or get close to me?” You nod
“So Ell and you decided to ask JP’s help now that he works in the main office, which is something wonderful but wasn’t he a bartender? I may ask an explanation for it too. As I was saying, he looked for my information in the data base so that you could come and tell me all that.” You nod again
“And, and Carmilla wanted to see me and she was so sad she unlinked with her brothers and sister to be alone in another ship because she couldn’t stand Mattie after she did what she did.” You nod for the third time
“Wow, that- that’s pretty impressive guys” she says and you smile.
“Please don’t think that I just came here to tell you all that and go home, I’m here because Ell and I, we saw how happy you were together and if nothing has changed, I mean if you still feel something for Carm...you- would you like to go to Spain and see her in two weeks. I- Ell and I, we’re getting married and we’d love to see you there” you conclude
“Holy Hufflepuff! You’re getting married! Congratulations!” She hugs you “I may have to change my schedule- or I can take all the days off I didn’t take for the almost 8 months I’ve been working” she says
“Then it’s settled” you says taking off your backpack.
“Yeah” she says brightly, you can see she can’t stop the grin and you know it’s because she’ll see Carm
“I’m going to Spain in two weeks and Carmilla is supposed to be there in a week, so if you want to we can book you a flight ticket and you get there with me, is that’s okay” you ask
She thinks deeply, maybe taking some reserves for everything she just heard.
“Okay, let’s do it” she finally says
“Why do mean Monica hasn’t come here yet, she’s supposed to marry you in a week!” Carm says
“She’s not running away, she needed to run some errands before she comes here, so you’re coming to pick her up or not?” You say, you know that if she says no, you’ll make her change her mind.
“Are you kidding me? I haven’t seen that girl for 8 months, I missed her more than I missed you” she smirks
You touched your hurt and with a fake hurt in your face
“You’re losing me, Karnstein. I may have to change my best woman” you say as she rolls her eyes
“You know I was joking right?” She says
“And you know I was joking too” you say hugging her. “Come on grumpy cat, let’s go before her airplane arrives”
You made a poster with a phrase and you made Carmilla hold it as you’re going to jump to kiss your fiancée you need your hands free.
“She doesn’t know I’m coming, right?” You ask nervously, this is one of your most impulsive actions, you have never even thought about getting into a plane and go the other side of the world for a girl. But you hadn’t met Carmilla yet, and she’s worth it.
“She doesn’t know the plan” Monica says
You remember that time Ell had a plan with a funny name.
“So what’s the name of the plan this time?” You ask smiling
Monica shrugs “Winning The Fangface Back” she says
“I like how much effort she puts in the name of her plans” You comment
“Oh you have no idea” Mon says “let me call her and ask her if she’s here already”
You nod. Mon waits a minute until Ell answers, “Hey babe, how are- what do you- But she says the next week- Yeah, Yeah, she’s with me but- Okay, improvising...vale!” Mon says
You frown when you hear her laugh nervously, you’re supposed to be the nervous one. She hangs up.
“Hey Laur, you remember when I told you Carmilla was going to come next week for the wedding?” She asks
“Mmm- Yeah, Why?” You frown again “what happened? Oh- don’t tell she’s not coming, oh gosh I should’ve known. Oh my god this is embarrassing-“ you ramble
“She’s here with Ell. She thinks she’s picking ME up, obviously doesn’t know you’re here too” Mon says
“What? She’s here, ohmygodohmygodohmygod! What are we going to do? What do I do?” You ask nervously
“Laura, please breathe. What we’re going to do is go there and you’ll see her. Isn’t that the reason you’re here? Isn’t that the reason you’ve traveled this far?” She reasons
You take a huge breathe “Yeah, well I didn’t know She’s was going to be here” you say
“I take this as a signal, you two belong to each other” she says calmly
Ell is pointing something in the poster she made and she’s telling you to fix it, you roll your eyes but do it anyway. The last thing you want is her rambling in Spanish, you remember how dizzy they made you feel. You’re fixing the damn letter that is almost falling when you hear
“Hey love! How are you?” Monica says
Ell jumps to her fiancée and clings on her like a koala. You stand up and smile at her.
“Monica” you say hugging her awkwardly because Ell is in the middle and it’s like it’s a three persons hug.
“Hey Carmilla, how are you?” She asks
“I’m good” you says but you know your tone is not convincing.
“You know I think I may know how to cheer you up, my friend” she says
“Yeah, how?” You ask
“By introducing you a friend...she will be my made of honor” she says. It’s then when you realize there’s someone else with you. A blonde woman whose face is covering by a book with big yellow letters “what to do in Madrid”
“Yeah- no thanks. I don’t think is a good idea” you say sincerely, you haven’t get over Laura and probably you never will.
“At least let me introduce her” she insists
You frown, Monica never insists when you say no, she respects your choices. You don’t want to be rude though.
“Okay” you roll your eyes
“Carmilla, let me introduce you to my friend Laura. Laura Hollis, She’s Canadian like me and it’s her first time in Spain. She’s my made of honor too” she grins at you while your eyes widen.
She starts putting down the book and you can see her beautiful hazel eyes with that smile, you smile immediately.
“Hey- Carmilla, nice to meet you” she says smiling
“What- what are you doing here?”
You asks incredulously
“Home is where the heart is and mine is finally back. Missed you”
she finally says before you hug her like a life jacket. You hug her fearing she disappears if you let her go again.
You turn to see Monica and Ell side hugging, your shining eyes telling them thank you.
“I missed you too, cupcake. My cupcake” you manage to say