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By MonaCK and Cathy Roberts

John stepped into the huge main dining room of the ship and looked around. Everyone was dressed formally and it reminded him of all the charity fund raisers he had attended during his life, especially the one held annually at the Children's Museum. The year before, Abby had been his date, this past year, Susan had gone with him. John smiled as he thought about Dave being his date for the next one. As his eyes swept over the room, they found the Captain's table. There were already a few other passengers and crew members seated at the table, but John didn't see Dave there. He also didn't see the Captain, but that didn't keep him from worrying.

"I don't see Dave, do you?" he asked the person who stepped up next to him, and he turned his head and saw it was Luka. The man looked incredible in his black tuxedo and John was more than aware that several men in the dining room were staring openly at Luka. And rightly so. John wondered though, what it would be like to be stared at that way and know that all of those staring wanted him. Not that he'd ever get the chance to find out, even if Luka wasn't standing by him no one would give him a second look.

Luka flinched, but didn't say a word. His eyes swept the room, and almost involuntarily a smile crossed his lips. There were some *very* nice looking men and women on board ship. Maybe it wasn't the end of the world if he and John were no longer an item...before they even had the chance to become one. But still...he was not looking forward to having to spend the evening with the enemy as it were.

"I don't see him yet...but the Captain's table is usually towards the back of the room," he said, his eyes looking around once more.

"Maybe he isn't gonna show," Maggie quipped as she stood near Randi's side. Social events like this made her a bit uncomfortable, and now that all eyes were on the four of them towards the center of the room, Maggie felt a bit self conscious. So, it wasn't doing much to improve her outlook on having dinner with Dave.

"It's over there" John gestured in the direction of the table. "And if Dave said he'd be here, then he'll be here." John started to walk away and toward the Captain's table, hoping to see Dave as he made his way there.

"You can never fault a man with confidence or argue with a man who walks away," Randi quipped as she followed John toward their table.

Dave stood nervously next to the captain of the ship. He had literally sold his soul to be here -- and still the only reason that his friend had agreed to switch places with him was because Dave explained that it was because he would be be seeing an old friend who he hadn't seen in almost a year. But still -- it was worth having to work some extra hours while in port -- he had told his friend that he would work the dining room while the guy gallivanted in Hawaii.

Dave looked around the room, worried a bit as to what was gonna happen...but more than anything he just wanted to see Carter...man...he was sure that he was gonna look fine in his tux...and as the man came into view, Dave was not disappointed.

Dave was in his dress whites, and there was almost nothing stopping his desire for the guy from being in full view. In fact, Dave had to move his hands down in the hopes that it would be covered. Just bein' in the same *room* as Carter..

"Good evening John, Luka, Randi, Maggie," Dave said formally. He was sitting at the same table as the captain. It wasn't like he could even begin to hit on Carter.

Before John could say anything to Dave, the Captain stepped forward to greet them all. "Ah, our medical contingent. Dr. Malucci was telling me that he worked with most of you in Chicago. It's nice that the four of you can have this chance to catch up on old times. In case you haven't heard by now, I'm Captain Reynolds, and you must be the lovely Dr. Doyle?" He reached out to shake Maggie's hand.

Maggie held out her hand. "Yes. I'm Dr. Doyle -- but please -- call me Maggie. I hate formality," she said with a grin. "This is Randi Froznack, and our friend Dr. Luka Kovac."

Luka smiled shyly and stepped up to shake the captain's hand. "It's very nice to meet you, Captain Reynolds," he said sincerely. However, his eyes were not on the captain. They were on John and Dave.

"It's nice to meet all of you," Captain Reynolds said sincerely. He then looked over to the additional man in the group. It did not go past the captain that this man couldn't seem to keep his eyes off of his young doctor. It wasn't surprising, especially this particular week. *Most* of the men on the ship had been unable to keep their eyes off of Dr. Malucci.

As the Captain spoke, John's eyes were riveted on Dave. Just as he had thought, the man looked even better in his formal uniform than he had in his working one, and it was doing the most sinful things to John's penis -- such as making it get hard when he had to meet the Captain. Oh, well, the worst that could happen was that the man would think John was reacting to him and be flattered about it.

Dave couldn't help but return the stare. Man. The feelings that he felt for this guy just seemed to grow every time he saw Carter. And now was no exception. And as Dave's eyes swept Carter's body, he couldn't help but focus on the...oh man...*raging* hard-on that Carter was sporting. Man. He sure hoped that the captain didn't notice that...

"This is Dr. John Carter," Randi took over the introductions, discreetly nudging John in the side as the Captain smiled in his direction.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Carter," the Captain said.

John blinked several times as his focus on Dave was suddenly broken. But he then realized the Captain was speaking to him and he smiled and grasped the man's hand firmly as he shook it. "It's a pleasure to meet you, too, sir. You've got a beautiful ship here."

"Thank you. I've been lucky enough to be her captain for the past three years. Please everyone, take a seat. We're expecting a few more passengers and then we can start dinner." He gestured at the table behind him.

Dave sort of wanted to sit next to Carter. Okay. He more than sort of wanted to. He really wanted to. But he wasn't sure if that was proper protocol, and certainly he couldn't sit before everyone else at the table did.

Luka sat at a seat towards the middle of the table. And he hoped that John would sit next to him, but he wasn't going to hold his breath. Surely, John would want to sit next to his boyfriend, and not next to him.

Randi and Maggie found seats across the table from where Luka had settled himself. And they too, eyed both Dave and Carter, wondering where the two of them were going to sit.

Maggie knew one thing for sure. Dinner was going to be *far* from boring.

John was holding back, waiting for Dave to sit down first so he could sit by him, but Dave wasn't moving. Maybe he wasn't allowed to sit down before the Captain did? John needed a valid reason to delay things, and was just about to excuse himself to the men's room when the Captain addressed him once again. "I'd be honored if you'd take the seat to my right, Dr. Carter." That was the seat usually reserved for the passenger throwing around the most amount of money on a cruise by booking that particular cabin suite. Captain Reynolds didn't really care if the four of them were splitting the cost of the cabin or if Dr. Carter was paying for it on his own, the cabin had been reserved under his name, and he was the one that would be catered to the most.

The Captain then turned to Dave. "Dr. Malucci, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like for you to sit at the end of the table to act as my co-host for the evening."

Before Dave could answer, John spoke up in an effort to find another seat. "I'd be more than delighted to sit next to you, Captain, but I'm sure that you have passengers more deserving of that honor. As a matter of fact, I think that you'd have much better dinner conversation if you had Dr. Doyle to your left and Ms. Fronczak to your right. Dr. Doyle's family has long been in the law enforcement sector and they're quite well known back in Chicago. Ms. Fronczak is a well known and highly regarded fashion designer, although she doesn't like for people to make too much of a fuss over that. That's why it was agreed for me to be the one to make all the cruise arrangements."

The Captain's smile faltered slightly as he considered what John was saying, then it returned fully. "Thank you for setting me straight on that. I certainly wouldn't want to slight the ladies in any way. Excuse me." He walked over to where they were seated and John took a step toward Dave.

"That was close. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to the men's room, but I'd appreciate it if you could save a seat for me if the other guests arrive before I get back." John said.

Dave nodded. "Yeah.. yeah I can do that. Go. I'll have you sit next to me on the other end of the table," Dave said, as he smiled back towards Carter. He resisted the urge to out and out kiss the guy, and settled for just watching him walk out of the dining room towards the bathroom. Then he turned back towards the table, and ultimately towards the end of the table that the captain had indicated. Acting as the co-host was actually a pretty big deal. Dave was praying that he didn't screw this up.

Luka watched as, after quiet conversation, Randi and Maggie got up to change their seats, Maggie sitting to the captain's left, and Randi to his right. They were both flirting with the man in their own way -- Maggie just to see if she could, and Randi because.. well...she was attracted to men in power.

Luka's eyes then shifted towards Dave who was now sitting at his end of the table, waiting for John to come back, Luka surmised. There was one seat separating Luka from where Dave was sitting, and Luka was going to make sure that that was where John would sit.

Another small group arrived to the table, and the Captain excused himself to say hello. And soon, they were all seated after having been introduced. They were the group that was staying in the next smallest suite down the hall from where Luka, John, Maggie and Randi were staying.

John lingered for a bit in the men's room, wishing he had a cigarette to pass the time, but he had given up smoking -- again. After ten minutes had passed, and he had been spoken to by numerous men, some of whom seemed to be having bladder control problems as they kept returning, John decided it was time to get back to the table. He washed his hands, then headed back to the dining room.

The Captain's table was nearly full, with only one seat remaining -- the one next to Dave. With a smile, John sat down, then realized that he was also sitting next to Luka. Everyone had something to drink in front of them, so John figured he hadn't missed much.

"Thank you," he said to Dave as he pulled his chair closer to the table. "I hope the only thing I missed was the drink ordering?"

"That's right," Dave said, actually happy to be sitting on the opposite side of the table from the captain. It kept him out of the guy's watchful eye. "And I figured on you ordering a Coke, so I did that for you. They should be back with it soon."

Luka smiled over to John, unable to deny that he was still attracted to the man, even though John only had eyes for someone else. But Luka also couldn't help but notice how attractive the man sitting across from him was. Luka's eyes, while still mostly on John, also kept drifting towards the man. He was the only male in the group of four that had sat down. And Luka wondered exactly what his situation was. Were they just four friends who had come on the cruise to have some fun? Or was he part of a couple?

"Hi. I'm Mike. And this is my sister Susan," the man finally said, as he gestured towards the woman sitting beside him. The fact that Luka had been staring had not gone unnoticed, and Mike had to admit that Luka was one attractive man.

"I'm Dr. Luka Kovac," Luka said, his voice soft and his accent prominent. "And these are my friends, Dr. John Carter. and Dr. Dave Malucci, who is also the ship's doctor.."

"Nice to meetcha," Dave said, smiling broadly.

"You're staying in the suite down the hall from ours, aren't you?" John asked as he smiled across at Mike and his sister.

Mike nodded. "Yup. Myself, my sister, and my sister's two friends," Mike said, gesturing towards the other women. "I sorta got dragged on here. Sis says I need to get out more. Ah well. Here I am. I'm making the most of it...having some fun.."

A smile flickered on Luka's lips, and he kept alternating his gaze between John and Mike. Hmm. He was not usually one to play one off the other...but if John was now committed to Dave, the least that Luka could do was try to have some fun.

Dave honestly didn't give a shit about this other guy, and where he was staying. His mind, eyes...everything...were focused on the object of his affections.

And he was already trying to count down to how long it would be before he could excuse himself to sneak up to Carter's cabin.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," the captain finally said, drawing all of their attention. "Dr. Malucci and myself would like to welcome you to the Captain's table. Your server will be around shortly to take your orders, and all of your drinks are on me tonight as a token of my gratitude for your patronage on my fine ship. I hope you enjoy dinner, and please, do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions about the ship itself or the activities on board here."

John had noticed the way Luka kept looking across the table at Mike, so he decided to try to do what he could to find out if Mike was 'agreeable' to the kind of fun Luka had to offer. "So, tell me, our suite has three bedrooms, the dining area and a sitting area. Is your suite laid out the same way?" he asked, hoping to find out just where Mike was sleeping.

Mike nodded. "Yup. Though I think we don't have a dining area -- just a sitting area. And the third bedroom, which is the one that I'm in, just has a double bed. I guess that's my punishment for being the only guy in the group," he said with a grin.

This pleased Luka. It meant that Mike was not 'with' any of his sister's friends. And if he was on this cruise...

"I see. Ours all have king sized beds, which is good for Randi and Maggie down there, since they're the ones having to share a bedroom," John said, hoping that it would give Mike a clue that Luka was also unattached on the cruise.

John smiled up at the steward as his cola was delivered. "Thank you." He picked up the glass with his left hand while his right hand went under the table -- and onto Dave's lower thigh. Feeling thankful for the fact that the table was a bit on the narrow side, John's smile brightened.

"So, Susan, are you having a good time so far?" John asked the sister, hoping to give Luka and Mike a chance to talk with each other. Since he felt as if he were keeping Dave cut out of the conversation a bit, John gently squeezed Dave's thigh, letting him know that he was all too aware of his presence.

Dave's eyebrow went up as John squeezed his thigh, but he didn't say a word. The hard-on he was sporting was assuring him that he wasn't gonna get up and go anywhere any time soon...so he sat back and acted as if he was just observing the table, even though his mind was racing a mile a minute.

Susan nodded. "I am," she said honestly. The ship is just beautiful...and there are *so* many activities! I mean, I can't believe all the stuff there is to do. Isn't there just so much to do, Mikey? I mean...shuffleboard, ping pong...even a wine tasting! I was going to go to the wine tasting, but then Sharon," she gestured at one of the other women, "over here told me that I'd better just save my appetite for dinner, so I've saved it for dinner. Isn't that..."

Mike finally interrupted her. "Susan. Take a breath..."

"Sorry," she said, grinning sheepishly over to John. "I get excited when I'm nervous."

Luka couldn't help but grin, and he cleared his throat. "I...umm...I don't suppose that you would be interested in checking out the night club they have on board ship," he said, as his eyes focused up towards Mike. "I understand that they play some good music..."

Mike thought for a moment, and then grinned. "Yeah...it'll be good to get out of the cabin for a little while. That sounds like fun."

John's smile widened as he listened to Mike and Luka make their 'date' for later, and he began to relax now that he knew Luka wasn't going to be sitting around the cabin doing nothing. Hmm -- maybe he needed to make sure that Randi and Maggie stayed out late as well? He had bought those silk lined handcuffs Dave had mentioned, and a few other things as well, and John wasn't sure he wanted his roommates around to overhear their use.

"I think Randi and Maggie would enjoy that, too, don't you, Luka?" John turned to look at him as he asked, hoping Luka would get the hint that he wanted the cabin mostly to himself later. Or, more accurately, wanted it for him and Dave later.

"Uh.. sure," Luka said, his smile never faltering though he wanted to scream inside. "I can ask them for you. I think they would like it, actually."

Dave's smile grew larger. Yeah. It looked like he *was* gonna have Carter all to himself that night. All to himself to make up for lotsa lost time. Yeah, he could handle that. He could always feign that he was with patients if anyone asked where he was. Even if he pretended that he was following up. And in a way he sorta was. Since Carter had come down to his office earlier, he was technically a patient. And, therefore, needed some follow up.

"That would be nice, thank you," John replied, glad he didn't have to get out of his seat since a part of his body was already 'up'. Dave's body was far too close to his own for him to *not* respond to his presence.

"What do you two do for a living?" John asked the siblings as he saw a waiter approach the other end of the table, apparently telling everyone down there what their dinner choices were.


Dinner was very nice. Susan talked almost non-stop which made it difficult for Luka to learn anything more about Mike, his apparent date for the evening, but Luka figured that there was plenty of time for that to happen. Besides, it seemed that unless he wanted to be up half the night to be listening to John having sex with Dave in his room, then Luka was going to have to make himself scarce for quite a while.

Luka had chatted with Randi and Maggie, who agreed to go to the nightclub with Luka and his friend. Randi was just happy that Carter and Dave seemed to be getting along so well. Maggie wanted to keep an eye on Luka and make sure he was okay.

Dave was getting more and more antsy as the meal went on. He didn't want to be there any more than it seemed that Carter did. Carter kept glancing over to him while the meal was going on...and then, thankfully, the meal was over. They had to stay through dessert, just to not be rude, but soon the party began to disband.

"Uh...I gotta get downstairs...finish up some charts," Dave said, smiling broadly as he winked towards Carter. He certainly couldn't say that he was running up to Carter's cabin. As he gave Carter a hug, he whispered in his ear that he'd be up at his cabin in fifteen minutes.

And after making his goodbyes, he swiftly headed out of the room.

As dinner ended, John found his arm being claimed by Susan. "Are you coming?" she asked him, her eyes looking hopeful.

What John wanted to say was that he wasn't, but soon would be, but he didn't think that would sink into her brain. Dinner had shown him that Susan wasn't as bright upstairs as her brother. "I was up early this morning and I think I'm just going to turn in early. The rest of you go ahead and have a great time dancing."

He immediately felt bad as Susan began to pout as she turned to her brother, John's arm still in her grasp.

Luka looked over to Mike and shook his head. As much as he would have wanted to try to force John to be by his side, Luka knew that was wrong, and it would only lead to John being miserable because he wasn't with Dave.

"SusieQ, let him go," Mike said, taking the signal from Luka. "I'm sure that John will come out to play with us another night," he said.

Susan reluctantly loosened her grasp. "Okay. Only if you promise to come out to the club one night this week."

John smiled at her. "I promise. Now go on and have fun." He looked over at Luka, and, as soon as Susan's back was to him, he mouthed "Thank you." Then he headed for the other exit and hurried to the cabin. He wanted to get the stuff he bought out before Dave arrived.

Luka watched after John as he left, and then quickly focused his eyes back on his date for the evening, and then to the rest of the group. "Are you all ready to go?"

Mike smiled and nodded. "Yes. Lead the way," he quipped. And soon the group of seven were en-route to the club located on the top deck of the ship.


Dave had done a bit of paperwork, looking at the clock every five minutes to see if enough time had passed before heading up to Carter's cabin. Placing a sign on the door with his pager number, Dave locked up and headed upstairs, intent on heading up to the now familiar suite as quickly as possible. He didn't bother bringing a change of clothes -- he figured he'd sneak down to his own cabin before his morning office hours to change into a fresh outfit.

With a smile on his face he knocked on the door of the suite. Yeah. He was looking forward to this. He was back with Carter. His life was now back on track.. and everything seemed to be more in focus.

And he felt better then he had in a long time.

John had been nervously pacing the floor of the suite, checking his watch every few seconds and fighting back the urge to open the door and stare down the hallway as he waited for Dave to arrive. Still, when the expected knock came on the door, John jumped, suddenly feeling nervous.

He wondered if Dave had changed clothes, or if he was still in his formal uniform? The only thing John had done was remove his jacket and tie, although he had wanted to be naked when he answered the door for Dave. That idea was stopped when he wondered what he'd do if someone else was in the hallway walking by, or if the others returned right then. So, clothes stayed on.

John opened the door with a huge grin on his face. "Hey," he simply said, and then he stood aside so Dave could get out of the hallway and into the room where he could be properly greeted.

"Hey yourself," Dave said as he entered the room. "So did you manage to do some shopping after you left my office this afternoon," he asked as John shut the door behind him.

Dave hoped so. He certainly wasn't gonna complain if they spent the evening doing some of the stuff that they used to do together. "I gotta tell you...you're friggen irresistible, Carter. It took all my willpower not to jump you on the Captain's table," he teased.

John smiled, "I would have let you, too. Hold on." John made sure the door was locked, and then he turned back around and gathered Dave into his arms, kissing him deeply, his own lips slightly parted.

Dave was gonna say something about getting fired if he had let that happen, but his thoughts were cut off by the feeling of Carter's arms and lips on him. His tongue instinctively went into Carter's mouth, exploring as he swept around. Man...the feelings that Carter woke in him...simply amazing.

He was rock hard still -- carried over from their contact earlier in Dave's office...and the touchy feely under the table in the dining room. Man. Dave wanted this...wanted him.. wanted everything...

As the kiss ended, he was nearly breathless.

"Let's...take this...into your bedroom..."

"That's a very good idea. That's where the things I bought this afternoon are, waiting for you." John smiled shyly as he took Dave's hand and started to walk toward his bedroom door. "I know I can get pretty demanding sometimes, but tonight I want you to be the one totally in charge. You don't mind doing that, do you?"

"You think you can give up the rein's of power?" Dave asked, chuckling as they walked into the bedroom. "I mean...yeah...you *can* be pretty demanding. You think you can handle me ordering you around?"

"Definitely," John replied. "In fact, I *insist* that you order me around." He grinned as he began to unbutton Dave's jacket. "You must be hot having to wear a jacket and a shirt. I know I was hot in my jacket."

"Oh, it's definitely hot in here," Dave quipped, as he shrugged the garment off of his shoulders. He knew he was gonna have to spend the bucks to have this uniform pressed, but it was worth it. "So where's this bag of stuff you got to play with?" Dave turned to Carter once more. "We have all night...and I intend on taking advantage of it."

"It's already out of the bag." John went over to his dresser and picked up the items as he named them. "I bought the handcuffs like you suggested. Two sets, just in case. I bought this cream that's supposed to make a guy last longer. And this is neat, body paints. You paint whatever you want on a person's skin and then you can either lick it off or wash it off. There's six different colors to play with and the clerk said that they all taste good. I bought this for the girls." John held up a fake penis. It was a decent sized one, but nowhere near Dave's size. "I thought they'd get a kick out of it, especially Randi." He put it back down and looked back at Dave. "I'm all yours for the night, Dave. Just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it."

Dave*had* to laugh at the dildo that Carter held up. "You did a good job picking it out. I'm sure Randi will appreciate it," he said, still laughing slightly. Body paints...handcuffs. "Did you read my mind?" Dave asked, reaching over for a tub of body paint. "I was thinking that these might be fun...not that I'm any kind of an artist...but I think you likely won't mind if I don't paint very straight lines, huh?"

Dave put the container back down on the dresser, and turned to face Carter once more. "You're gonna watch me strip...and then I"m gonna watch you strip...I wanna see you take every article of clothing off."

Dave reached for his shirt, and slowly, painstakingly, unbuttoned each button and shrugged it off of his body. Letting it fall down beside him, he soon did the same with his shoes...his pants...his socks...his underwear...

He was completely naked before Carter, and sporting a hard on that looked almost painfully large. Dave was *so* full of desire, it almost overwhelmed him.

To be continued
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