Author’s Notes for “Cruise Doubledate With My Sister”

What was the inspiration for this story?
I saw a headline for some article on the Internet about people being sick on a cruise. I had read an article earlier about people who got sick on a cruise were frustrated that the only compensation that got from the cruise line for a week of hell was a voucher for another cruise. Bam! That gave me the idea of a sister doing a cruise with her brother because she had gone on a cruise with her friends, they all got sick, she bought her vouchers and needed to use them. What would push the sister and brother together? It was a short hop to their dates for the cruise knew each other before and wind up dumping the brother and sister to go off by themselves. The brother and sister had to live in different places for that to work. At that point, the brother and sister were going to be in love forever. Then I thought about what if they were discovered on the last night of the cruise. That led me to the idea of the girlfriend trying to restore the relationship.

Now, I was faced with the challenge of justifying the girlfriend dumping the brother and then a few days later wanting to get back with him. I had read an article on a woman leaving the purity movement and that gave me the idea of the girlfriend being driven to dump the brother because of religious guilt. After that, everything was just details. I pulled the details of Rebecca’s romance with Paul from that article.

I looked for a name for the brother’s girlfriend that would be picked by a fundamentalist family. I was hoping for a New Testament name, but didn’t find any I liked. I finally picked “Rebecca”. Then I wondered about going with “Rebekah”. “Rebekah” turns out to be Jewish. However, researching “Rebekah” led me to “Rebekah Mikaelson”, which was something like the look I wanted for Rebecca. So I decided to model Rebecca after Claire Holt. As I was researching that, I came across a picture of Phoebe Tonkin, Claire Holt’s co-star on the “H20: Just Add Water”. She looked very different from Claire Holt and I decided to model the sister after her. At some point, I jettisoned modeling the girls after Claire Holt and Phoebe Tonkin and went with the more generic short, blond cheerleader and Italian amazon.

Caitlin and Thomas came off the SSA babe name list. I thought briefly about having them call each other “Kate” and “Tom” when alone, but decided it worked better with Rebecca if they were use to always using full names. Another advantage of Thomas was that Jacob could make an ass of himself by calling him “Tom” and “Tommy”. Jacob was originally going to be “Jeff” which had just popped into my head. Then I talked to someone named Jacob and I thought that would make a better name for a fundamentalist.

It wasn’t until pretty late into the editing cycle that Thomas had any type of description beyond height. 6’3″ seemed the top end of reasonably “really tall”. Having him so tall and Rebecca so short worked for the story because (1) they would be a memorable couple, which was important and (2) it gave Thomas a reason for not wanting to go out with Rebecca. One day, I was reading the story comments on LitE and someone complained that the author should have provided some description of the male character, so I gave Thomas a quick description. He had to look something like Caitlin, but different enough that Caitlin’s Italian looks would be a family joke.

What do I particularly like about this story?
* I think Thomas, Caitlin and Rebecca are well developed characters. They have their flaws that they struggle with throughout the story and learn to overcome some of them
* Devout Christians in literotica stories are usually total asses and/or hypocrites. I liked how I had Rebecca struggle with her faith
* The story has a lot of strong life messages in it – gambling is bad, telling people to wait until marriage to have sex causes them to get messed up, it takes a lot of patience to make a relationship work, sex is an important part of a relationship but not the most important part
* The story is really two romance stories, both of which end happily (though one more so than the other)
* It’s huge – around 34K words. Three big sex scenes. A lot happens in the story. It was a bitch to finish and to edit, but I am pleased that I pulled it off
* I spent a lot of time trying to reduce the wordiness of my prose. Hopefully I pulled it off

What do I think I might get grief about?
* The brother and sister not staying together. I am hoping Caitlin coming up to visit mentioned in the Epilogue offsets that
* I don’t know how people are going to react to Rebecca being a devout Christian. The devout Christians I have seen on Literotica (including my own story) are assholes and/or hypocrites
* No cruise that I could find was 8 days. No cruise line follows that itinerary. Cruise ships don’t have hand-scoop ice cream shops. The excursions came off of viator.com and may not be offered by cruise ships. I’m sure there are other details about the cruise I got wrong
* I have no clue if someone would have to fuck a small woman slowly because her vagina is so tight
* Some might find Rebecca’s story about Jacob boring. However, it sets up the final sex scene
* Thomas is just too nice
* People wanting the final sex scene to include some girl-on-girl action between Caitlin and Rebecca

What were the inspirations for the sex scenes?
None

What of note got cut from this story
* At one point, I was going to have as a side story that Caitlin was having man problems because of anger issues and refusing to give people the benefit of the doubt. Thomas gets her to see who giving people the benefit of the doubt will improve her life. There wasn’t enough time to shoe horn that into the story. Caitlin worked better as tough but fair woman
* I had several paragraphs about Rebecca having an elaborate braid at the start of the cruise and a fuller description of her braid at the end. I wanted people to think she had a braid at the end like the one the Rebekah Mikaelson had. In the end, I decided I was spend way too much time on Rebecca’s hair for very little value. I took out the braid in the first scene and reduced the braid at the end to an “elaborate braid”

Major editing changes for the story as it was written?
* Originally, there was no scene from Rebecca’s point of view. Instead, she comes back to the cabin, convinces Thomas to take her back, makes love to Thomas, then tells Thomas and Caitlin most of what was the scene from Rebecca’s point of view. There were a number of problems with that – her coming back comes out of the blue; the post-sex conversation was really, really long; there were reasons to doubt the sincerity of it
* I was going to cut the stripping scene out of the story as I felt people would want Rebecca to disappear as quick as possible so the story would move on to what interests them – the romance between Thomas and Caitlin. But my editor felt that Rebecca came across initially as a frigid bitch and no one would be happy to see her get back with Thomas over Caitlin. So I put back the strip scene and did some other changes to make Rebecca a more likable character

Any other notes?
* I thought about publishing the story as two chapters. I decided against it as (1) I personally rarely read chapter stories and I want to get this story as widely read as possible and (2) it is a complete story and I don’t want people thinking there will be more. I learned that lesson with Heather and Michael.

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What would a sequel to “Cruise Doubledate With My Sister” look like?

I’m hopeful that my story “Cruise Doubledate With My Sister” will be well-received. If it is, people will ask for a sequel. The obvious hook for a sequel would be Caitlin’s five-day vacation with Rebecca and Thomas where she’s going to give Rebecca some more in-person sex lessons. I don’t intend to write a sequel, but if I were to write one, what would it look like?

Let me start by saying why I think Rebecca requested the additional in-person sex lessons. She’s come around to the viewpoint that the timing of sex and marriage isn’t that important. What’s important is the strength of her relationship with Thomas. Thomas’ affair with Caitlin and the sex lessons Rebecca had on the cruise improved and strengthened her relationship with Thomas. He was so happy with their improved relationship that he asked Rebecca to marry him only two months after she moved in with him. Caitlin’s actions on the cruise made it clear that she has no long-term interest in Thomas, so she’s no threat to Rebecca’s relationship to him. They aren’t married yet, so it’s all extra-martial sex. More sex lessons over Labor Day looks like all upside, no downside.

Option 1 – Caitlin and Rebecca become bi-sexual
This option for the sequel is I’m sure the crowdpleaser. I’m sure most people would want as Rebecca’s final lesson how to let Thomas fuck her ass while she eats Caitlin’s pussy.

I know in erotica that it is super common for a woman whose lover has/is going to fuck another woman to become sexually attracted to the other woman. It’s fun! It’s arousing! It makes no sense to me! Bisexuality is from what I can tell fixed and relatively rare. Having two people at the same time realize that they’ve been bisexual all along is something that I can’t figure out how to pull off in my writing (actually, I’m thinking of doing it for a sequel to “Cycling Weekends With Sis” but the whole sequel would be built around building up to that). Nor could I write a sequel where Thomas decides he wants a threesome with Rebecca and Paul.

What I think Rebecca would enjoy is sex sessions much like their last morning together – she’s involved with Thomas as he and Caitlin have sex. She enjoys making Thomas happy and allowing Thomas to be happy, but not having to make the emotional/physical effort of having sex. I would see her finding such sessions very arousing and once Caitlin departs, she’d be far hornier than normal.

Option 2 – Rebecca looks to marry off Caitlin
There is a risk to Rebecca’s relationship with Thomas in the future – Caitlin wants to move to Boson once she has two years in her current job. Caitlin 1400 miles away isn’t a threat; Caitlin living in Boston, quite possibly in their apartment, is.

The best way for Rebecca to shut down that threat is to marry Caitlin off. She and Thomas know a lot of successful single guys. The Labor Day weekend would alternate between sex lessons and partying with friends. Rebecca would be trying to find Caitlin a roommate and a boyfriend for when she moves to Boston. Rebecca would stop Caitlin’s sexual access to Thomas once they get married, perhaps even after Labor Day. Very logical, but would make readers unhappy.

Option 3 – A long-term relationship of occasional wild weekends
So this is how I would do a sequel
* Labor Day weekend would be five days of sex between Thomas and Caitlin with Rebecca involved but not having sex
* Thomas and Rebecca go to Wichita for Thanksgiving and repeatedly slip away with Caitlin for more “sex lessons”
* Caitlin gives Thomas a one-person bachelor party with Rebecca’s approval
* Rebecca tells Caitlin that as much as she enjoys the “sex lessons”, she won’t let Caitlin have sex with Thomas if she moves to Boston as that is too much of a threat to their relationship
* Instead of moving to Boston, Caitlin gets a job in Baltimore. Once a month, she goes to Boston for a weekend of sex with Thomas while Rebecca roots them on
* Happy with those weekends, Caitlin throws herself into her job and doesn’t worry about dating anymore

Some back and forths with my editor

My editor wrote:
You’re going to want to kill me, but I thought of something. The cabin scene with the striptease is AFTER Rebecca runs into Jacob. At this point, she’s thinking that Jacob is the answer to her prayers (not Caitlin, as it turned out). With that being her mindset, maybe the striptease sequence isn’t all that realistic. Maybe it’s better if at that point she seems distracted – not bitchy, just stand-offish – and purposefully avoids any kind of sexual activity with Thomas, since she’s feeling that God has sent her Jacob to take Thomas’s place. The discussion of whether or not she’d fucked Jacob made her seem more bitchy, so maybe have them discuss her relationship with Jacob in a more fatalistic way – the way she’s thinking about it at this time.

I replied:
I think it’s fine the way it is. At the time of the striptease, she’s thinking that Jacob is seriously involved with Caitlin. It’s only after Jacob tells her that he’s close to breaking up with Caitlin (while Thomas and Caitlin are taking a walk) that she begins to consider the possibility of getting back together with Jacob.

Sunday morning, I had Caitlin go in search of Jacob to offer him a bribe:

“I’ll go look for Jacob and offer to pay him to stick to our story. Can you fund that, Thomas?”

“I can get two hundred dollars on the way to the airport if we can find an ATM.”

“That should do.”

“Won’t he take the money and still tell people what really happened?” asked Rebecca.

“I don’t think so. The cruise was a disaster for him too. He broke up with two women, both of whom think he’s a jerk. When you left him, he was plunging deep in debt. I think he’ll want to avoid talking about the cruise as much as we do.” Caitlin gave us an ironic smile. “And for people to believe him if he did tell him the truth, they’d have to accept that you went from being in love with Thomas to being in love with Jacob to back being in love with Thomas within a week. What are the chances of you doing that?” Caitlin winked at me. “Okay, I’m off. I’ll be gone long enough for you two to make love again. There’s nothing like a slow morning fuck.”

My editor didn’t like that at all:
she was just going to kill Jacob for spending all of her money and now she’s going to pay him for his silence? I’d rather she go threaten to beat the shit out of him if he didn’t agree to comply and make him bet his balls on it.

I replied back:
How is she going to know if he tells anyone about the trip? He doesn’t live close to her. It’s unlikely that any of his co-workers at the truck stop are friends of Caitlin’s. A weak threat is going to make him more likely to tell everyone to prove that he isn’t afraid of Caitlin. She asking him to do the right thing for Rebecca and a bribe is way of sweetening the request

My editor responded:
I didn’t see the point of involving Jacob in the first place. They won’t be in contact with him any more, Rebecca and Thomas live well outside of his sphere of influence, and he didn’t know of the incestuous relationship. Rebecca unceremoniously dumped his ass. As I said, Caitlin had just finished freaking out because he’d spent all of her money, so I don’t see why she’d choose to buy his silence – to what purpose? From what I’ve seen of Caitlin, I don’t believe her capable of making a “weak threat.”

I couldn’t argue with that and re-wrote that part of the story.

Heather and Michael Ch 04

I got a PM yesterday:

Can you please publish the next chapter(s) of Heather and MIchael? I’ve been waiting a long time, and you supposedly had at least chapter 4 finished a while ago.

I replied:
I have the one sex scene in the story to write, then refine, refine, refine. I would guess that it would take 2-3 weeks for me to finish it.

I write to get views and comments and I know that I’m not going to get lots of those with a new chapter in an old series, so I’m focusing on other stories. I have two stories that I want to submit for the Summer Lovin’ contest in August. Perhaps after I finish those, I’ll finish out Heather and Michael.

Attached is what I have for chapter 4. It sets up Chapter 5, when Heather and Michael get back together.

From an early draft of “Cruise Doubledate With My Sister”

I keep a “Not Used” file where I put writing that I’m going to radically change or cut. I originally had Caitlin going through some issues. This section is after Thomas and Caitlin’s first day by themselves where they went on the river cruise. During the excursion, Caitlin had gotten upset several times over trivial offenses and Thomas had had to tell her to chill out.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
We grabbed our dinner at the buffet and then sat down at a table with no one nearby. I wasn’t in the mood to see people having a good time eating together. It had been a bad day and I was in a crappy mood. I didn’t feel like talking and Caitlin looked pensive, so we ate in silence for a while.

“There’s something I haven’t told Mom,” said Caitlin. “This is just between you and me.”

“Okay.”

“I was in a car accident my junior year of college. I had gone to a party with Scottie, my boyfriend of the time, and he was driving us back to his place. He was drunk, speeding and ran a red light. We were flying across a big road with three lanes on each side. I could see this minivan coming from my right and we were going to smash right into the driver’s door. I thought we were going to kill some poor mom. Then at the last second a Mercedes drove in front us from our left and we smashed into it instead. The cars were totaled, but no one was hurt. Scottie was taken to jail for drunk driving.”

I looked down and noticed that Caitlin had barely eaten anything whereas my plate was almost empty. She pushed some of her food around.

“I’ve always been attracted to the Bad Boys, the Crazy Guys, the hardy partiers. Scottie was definitely all that. And he came very close to killing someone in front of me.”

Caitlin set her silverware down and looked at me.

“While I was helping Scottie with the legal hassles from that, you called up and told me that you had an offer for this fantastic job up in Boston. Great pay and interesting work. Scottie was also a senior and he wasn’t having any luck in finding a job. He’s going to work for his dad. Another senior I had dated for a long time was hoping to get a job at the Post Office.”

She gave me a rueful smile and shook her head.

“I want to be like Mom,” she said. “I want to have kids, be an at-home mom and live in a nice house like Mom and Dad have. I want to be that mom in the minivan. Scottie’s parents have money, so I thought if we wound up getting married that I could have that. But after the accident, I started thinking about what kind of father would Scottie would make. Did I really want to have as a husband someone who regularly got smashed and drove drunk?”

Caitlin stopped and looked around. We were still alone. I got the feeling that she didn’t want to be overheard.

“I broke up with Scottie and tried dating nice guys. Guys like you. Guys that were sweet and caring and smart and had a bright future in front of them. Someone who I thought would make a great husband. And they started dumping me. I had never been dumped before. Each guy dumped me with basically the same statement – they loved the sex but couldn’t stand being with me. I think Jacob had already passed that point and the only reason we were still together was this cruise.”

She picked up her fork and held it up for some reason.

“Then my big brother, who I know loves me dearly, who is the nicest, most patient guy I know and who is doing his best to make sure I am having a good time – he tells me that I am ruining his day and that I need to shut up or go away. I am so,” jab with a fork, “fucked”, another jab, “up.”

She set her fork down, then set back in her chair and crossed her arms. It was like she felt that had presented an air-tight case that she was fucked up and she was challenging me to poke a hole in it.

“You’re not fucked up,” I said. She was obviously unimpressed with that statement. “Speaking for myself, I am not only a conflict avoider, I am a drama avoider.”

“Oh great. I’m driving you away even more.”

“Do you want to learn or do you want to bitch?” I asked sternly while pointing a finger at her.

Her nostrils flared, indicating I had scored a point, then she was silent as she got her temper under control.

“Learn,” she said.

“Okay. I live a boring, pleasant life. No drama. No craziness. I give people the benefit the doubt. Because of that, my life is filled with nice people that I like and care for. You need to come that place, accept that point of view and then I think your caring and loving nature will really shine through.”

“You think I’m caring and loving?”

“Yes.”

“Then you’re the only one. I think that I am a tough bitch who chews people up and spits them out.”

“Who made sure I had a good time the summers I was home from college? Who worked hard to set me up with Suzie?”

She didn’t have a rebuttal for that.

“The first step to getting to where I live”, I continued, “is to give people the benefit of the doubt. You weren’t doing that today and that was what was getting me so upset.”

I racked my brain for an example of how she needed to give people the benefit of the doubt. I thought of one.

“Let’s take Jacob,” I said. “What do you think of him?”

“He’s a lying sack of shit. I wish you would beat the crap out of him.”

“Then a great example”, I said, giving her a small smile. “From what you said, Jacob showed up on this cruise already wanting to dump you. The only thing keeping you together was the sex and the anticipated fun on the cruise. He gets here, sees Rebecca, realizes that he can have a much better time if he dumps you and gets back together with Rebecca. So he does so. It was an obvious, logical thing to do.”

“I haven’t told you this,” said Caitlin. “Sunday night, I asked Jacob when we got back to the cabin what the hell was going on. He told me that he was just being nice to an old friend and that he had no interest in Rebecca what so ever. That he was looking forward to having a great cruise with me. Then he pushed me down on the bed and we fucked. The next afternoon, he told us that he was madly in love with Rebecca. Why the hell didn’t he tell me that Sunday night?”

“What did you expect him to say? That he was madly in love with Rebecca and hoped to dump you for her as soon as possible? What would that have gotten him?”

“A sleeping place on the floor.”

“Exactly. I don’t think Rebecca had made up her mind to dump me Sunday night. She could have decided to stick with me and then where would have Jacob wound up? He came on the cruise to have sex with you and have fun doing stuff with you and that would have been over.”

“So you are saying that it was okay to lie to me.”

“I’m saying that what he did was understandable in that circumstance. Everything he did was understandable. Don’t get me wrong – I think he’s a jerk and I want to beat the crap out of him. But it is easier to accept that Rebecca picked him over me if I believe that he is a normal guy looking for true love just like me.”

Caitlin sat there stunned.

“I…I can’t believe you think that about Jacob.”

“Believe”

With that, I sat back in my chair and folded my arms.

Caitlin was quite for a while, taking that all in. Then she picked up her silverware and started eating.

After a few bites, she asked, “Do you want to get shitfaced tonight?”

“Why?”

“Because you feel miserable over losing Rebecca.”

“And how would that make things better? In college, I got shitfaced once. Sitting in the bathroom puking my guts out afterward was probably the worst I have ever felt physically in my life. I don’t care to re-live that moment.”

“Will you do me a big favor tonight and drink more when we’re dancing than you’re used to? I don’t want to get drunk, but I want to get buzzed and it isn’t fun drinking that much alone. Do that for me and I promise to do my best to stay in Thomasville the rest of the cruise.”

“Okay,” I said. We went back to eating our dinner.

* * * *

Our talk at dinner seemed to have clear the air and the tension between us dropped. After dinner, we went shopping for a while at the cruise ship’s shops. It mainly consisted of Caitlin looking at clothes then complaining about how she didn’t have the money to buy anything she wanted. But she didn’t take her frustrations out on me or some stranger.
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It just didn't work in the story. It was much better with Caitlin being the rock that Thomas rebuilds his life upon. There wasn't enough time for Caitlin to learn a big life lesson and Rebecca to come back to Thomas.

Still, it's an idea I would like to explore in a different story. It's hard for me to imagine how I would set it up. But then again, someday something might happen and a full story may pop into my head built around this concept.

From an early draft of “Cruise Doubledate With My Sister”

I keep a “Not Used” file where I put writing that I’m going to radically change or cut. This is what I had before I created a section from Rebecca’s point of view:
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I reached over and gave Caitlin’s hand a squeeze.

“And I’m glad you were here when she came back. I probably would have taken her back if you weren’t here, but I don’t think I would have ever trusted her again. I’m glad you really pressed her. I’m too much a softie to have done that. When I saw you press her and Rebecca never wavered in that she loved me and would do anything for me to take her back, it convinced me that she loved me.”

“I do love you,” said Rebecca as she gave me another kiss.

“Oh, and we got out some problems in our relationship that we needed to resolve.”

“I’m going to try my best”, said Rebecca, “but I can’t change overnight.”

Rebecca shifted on me so she could look at Caitlin better.

“Caitlin, I’m glad you were here too. You made me face somethings I should have faced a while ago. And I really appreciated the sex tips. This was a really fun love-making session.”

“If there is one thing I know a lot about, it’s sex,” said Caitlin. “I lost my virginity in seventh grade and fucked my way through junior high, high school and most of college. It’s given me a lot of happy memories, but it hasn’t gotten me close to finding the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

“And I have,” said Rebecca as she squeezed me.

“Call me any time for more sex tips. I’ll be glad to help out.” Caitlin paused, then asked, “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what happened between you and Jacob? The last we saw you two, you were deliriously happy.”

“Jacob. Well, let me back up a bit. We were both virgins when we started dating and giving him my virginity was a really big deal for me. It was something I wrestled with for months before doing it. I had been told by everyone for as long as I could remember that sex before marriage was wrong. I already told you that we didn’t really break up and instead said if our relationship was meant to be, then God would bring us back together. When I got to Boston, it was the first time I wasn’t with people I had grown up with. I had gone to OU with two long-time friends. Boston was completely different than Texas and Oklahoma. I was terribly homesick. I kept dreaming about Jacob showing up, sweeping me off my feet and carrying me off to marry him. He was my first and true love.”

“Then I met Thomas. As he wasn’t a devout Christian, I didn’t want to date him and he accepted that. He was fine with being friends. We did stuff as friends and had a great time together. Eventually, I found myself falling for him. I told myself that was wrong and I held on to the dream of reuniting with Jacob even tighter in order to keep my feelings for Thomas at bay.”

“I got here and there was Jacob. God had brought us back together. He was just as handsome and wonderful as I remembered him. He swept me off my feet. Sunday night, he wanted to tell you two that he and I were going to resume our romance.”

“The little weasel,” I heard Caitlin mutter.

“I told him that I wanted to think more about it. What I wanted was for the four of us to be friends on the cruise and have a good time together, then formally break up with Thomas at the end of the cruise. On the excursion Monday I could tell that Thomas had figured out that I had chosen Jacob over him and I didn’t see any point in faking that I wanted to be with Thomas.”

Rebecca gave me a hug. “I’m sorry, Thomas. I know I hurt you then…”

“We’ve been over that,” Caitlin interrupted. “Tell us your story. I want to hear it then go to sleep.”

“Okay,” Rebecca continued. “Being with Jacob at first was a dream come true. Monday was great. Tuesday was great. Wednesday was great right up until bedtime. I didn’t want to have sex and Jacob got upset about that. By Thursday, the euphoria was wearing off.” Rebecca shifted to look up at me. “I started thinking about you Thomas all the time, wondering how you were doing.” She shifted back to look at Caitlin. “That night when Jacob and I had sex that night, it wasn’t very good for either of us.”

Rebecca choked up at this point. “He told me how sex with you Caitlin was so much better than sex with me.”

“Wow,” Caitlin said.

“He wasn’t trying to be mean. He was giving me some feedback on how to improve our relationship.”

“But it hurt like hell?” asked Caitlin.

“It hurt like hell. The next day, he told me that I should take sex lessons from you. He acted like it was a joke, but I could tell he was half serious.”

“What an asshole!” said Caitlin. She reached over and gave Rebecca’s hand a quick squeeze. “The jokes on him – you had a sex lesson from me and I thought you were a great student.”

“Thanks. Friday, I thought a lot about sex. I was trying to think how to improve sex with Jacob. Sex with Thomas had been better than the sex I had with Jacob in college. I didn’t think much about that at the time because I felt guilty for the immoral pleasure of it. Now that I was having sex with Jacob again, it wasn’t as good as the sex with Thomas. I realized that in bed, it was obvious that Jacob was self-centered and impatient. He was that way all the time, but it was more obvious in bed. I didn’t marry him after college because he didn’t make me feel special enough. In bed, it was obvious that Thomas was caring, kind and affectionate. He was that way all the time. And that was why I couldn’t love Jacob though I badly wanted to and that was why I loved Thomas.”

“If being caring, kind and affectionate are important to you, then you need to do whatever it takes to keep Thomas happy. You aren’t going to find a more caring, kind and affectionate guy.”

“That’s why I wanted to come back to Thomas. But what could I do? I couldn’t say ‘Hey, let’s switch back’. My plan was to cool things down with Jacob and not have sex with him anymore, then tell him at the end of the cruise that I didn’t think it would work. On the flight home, I would start to repair the damage I had done to my relationship with Thomas.”

“But you’re here now,” said Caitlin.

“Yeah. Let me tell you one more thing and then I tell you why. Last night when I was in bed with Jacob, I had a panic attack. What if Thomas had found a new woman on the cruise? If he had started a new relationship, I wouldn’t have a chance to restart ours. This morning, I told Jacob that I wanted to take a long walk around the deck by myself. What I did instead was search for Thomas. I found him playing mini-golf with you. I watched you two for a long while.”

“Did we look like lovers?” asked Caitlin.

“I didn’t think about that. But you were clearly having a great time together. I wished it was me that Thomas was laughing with.”

“What do you think of Thomas and I being lovers?”

“I don’t know. A week ago, I would have found it disgusting. But it’s not like Jacob and I have been just holding hands this week. I forced you two together. What are your plans once the cruise is over?”

“We had talked a just little while ago,” said Caitlin “and we agreed that we would make love one more time tomorrow and then we would go back to being a normal brother and sister.”

“If Thomas had been in bed with any other woman tonight,” said Rebecca, “then he wouldn’t have let me in. I think it all worked out for the best.”

“Tonight, I feel like I saw your true colors, Caitlin,” Rebecca continued. “I liked what I saw. You’re tough but not mean. You love Thomas and want what’s best for him. You’re generous and caring. I feel like if I asked you for help, you would gladly do anything as long as it didn’t hurt Thomas.”

“Let me finish,” said Rebecca, “so we can all go to sleep. We went to the show tonight and then Jacob wanted to go gambling. I was fine with that as I didn’t feel like dancing with him. Gambling had been fun and exciting the first two nights when Jacob had won. He was so happy and joyous when he was winning.”

“But you don’t always win,” I said.

“You’re right. Jacob was a grumpy loser and it wasn’t fun watching him lose. In fact, it was painful. Jacob told me that he had been praying all day and he felt God was going to giving him success tonight, that he was going to be win back all the money had lost on the cruise. He had lost quite a bit. I told him prayer doesn’t work that way and he got quite angry. We went to the casino and he played Blackjack. Right away, he lost and lost. He wasn’t just grumpy then – he was abusive. He blamed me for his bad luck. I didn’t have enough faith in him. If I just believed in him he told me, then God would reward our faith. It was too painful to watch him keep losing. I told him to stop gambling and let’s go back to the cabin. He cursed me out. I told him we were through and fled the casino. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t want to see Jacob again. I didn’t want to be in the cabin when he came back. I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I walked around for a long time then I came here. If Thomas hadn’t let me in, I was going to spend the night wandering the ship.”

“I’m glad that I let you in,” I said. “I’m glad you’re back. Now, let’s go to sleep.”

Rebecca snuggled into her usual spot on my chest. With my right hand, I cupped her ass like I always did when she slept on me. With my left hand, I held Caitlin’s hand. She went to sleep on her side, facing us.

I was glad Rebecca was back. I had never gotten over her and I loved her. I was glad that she had accepted that she loved me. At the same time, I loved Caitlin and I didn’t want to let her go.

I drifted off to sleep.
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