Chapter 5. The Morning After
The first sensation she was aware of, was the smell of food, then the texture of the bunched up blankets and she heard water and a slow rocking of the room.
Stretching, she was face down in bed, naked. That itself was not strange, but the Egyptian cotton sheets were not hers. The pillow she had her arms wrapped around was nearly the full length of her body, it was firm and very nice to curl up with, she pulled herself as close in to the pillow as she could and enjoyed the slight odor of cedar. Whoever it was
She yawned and stretched again, snuggling close to the body-pillow it was a comfortable bed and… Something else, it rocked slowly.
But, not like a waterbed. Her brain buzzed with thoughts.
She was on a boat!
And the smell of bacon was pervasive. Normally not a breakfast eater, usually coffee and toast. But that smelled heavenly.
Between the slight smell of cedar on the pillow and the bacon in the air, her tummy rumbled in hunger.
She stretched, then slid her leg over the giant pillow, holding it in a big hug and close her eyes again, enjoying the smells and sounds. She could hear someone clanking around in the kitchen, with banging pans. They were cooking.
A wonderful way to wake up, she softly thought. Her hands rested on each other as she was reluctant to wake up.
Another deep breath through her nose, rosemary? Someone was going all out for breakfast.
Her hands felt odd, opening her left eye, something was on her hand. It sparkled in the soft morning light like it was lit by fire from within, a pretty little thing, like someone gets from those machines that promised swag with just a few coins. She might keep it for a while, it was cute.
She sat up and looked around, she could not find her clothes anywhere in the smallish bedroom. Opening the dresser against the wall, she pulled out a t-shirt that made her laugh!
“The box read: Requires Windows XP or better. So I installed Linux.” Printed on the front of the soft cotton pullover.
*Oh, great! A nerd.*
Reading it with a wonder of what kind of person she might have slept with the previous night, male or female, she was never very picky when she was high. From the smell coming from the kitchen, she was betting it was the pretty Asian who she saw when she was having dinner with…
What was his name? Chart… No. Harte.
She met him in the Chart House.
She pulled the t-shirt over her head. It fit a broad-shouldered person and it hung loose, down to mid-thigh.
*Not the Asian girl I saw last night.*
She flinched when she scratched herself with the ring when she pulled the shirt on.
Then she closely at the ring on her finger. It was a faceted-cut gold ring with white gold inlay, this was no cheap swag from a vending machine.
*A wedding ring?* She was looking at the jewels as she walked out into the main room of the boat.
He moved with his back turned as the cook knocked about the kitchen. Broad shoulders that went down to a slight V to his waist fit the t-shirt better than it fit her. On her, it was a night-shirt.
She gave a polite cough that startled him making him laugh.
“Care for some coffee? O-j? Tea or champagne?”
She sat gently at the table, her legs ached and the vinyl surface of the seat was cold to her skin.
“Ugh.” Kaylee’s lips were dry as she gave a crooked smile, she had a slight hangover. “You did not just take me raving. You took advantage.”
He put some rosemary potatoes on a plate, eggs Benedict and a glass of champagne and orange juice and put it in front of her. “And I said ‘Okay’ and you laughed at me. I don’t think you believed it.”
“I can’t be married. I’m going to college here and I’m not going to graduate for at least two more years.” Kaylee gasped. “Mom and dad will flip out! Oh my…”
She paused, a momentary loss for words.
“God. You have said that a few times now. You are in panic mode. Slow down a little, take a breath. Now, breakfast or it’ll get cold. ” He put his plate on the table and pour himself a glass of mimosa. But the drink was of a different shade and slightly different flavor.
“A beautiful breakfast and a blushing mimosa for a beautiful blushing bride after one heck of a night. You about wore me out. You went to sleep finally about an hour before sunrise.” Note-Pad smiled. She finally remembered the nickname she gave to him on the beach.
“Last night is a blank and my thighs are tired. They are trembling like I ran a marathon and my shoulders are sore like we did a bike-hike along the trails in the back country.” Kaylee laughed nervously. “I…You…er…”
“Who are you?”
“My name is Thomas. Thomas Harte. You don’t remember at all last night?” He looked at her with a twinkle in his eye. “You and I were sharing some drinks when you took a few pills then smoked some pot.”
“No, not at all, I may have taken too much Z. Usually I get extremely touchy and enjoy a body.” She took a bite of the hollandaise covered poached egg and what looked like ham.
“Omygod,” She said it as one word. “This is wonderful!”
“Sorry for the ham, I didn’t have Canadian bacon.” Thomas smiled. “Well, you did that for sure. Especially after smoking a bowl full of weed.” He laughed. “And you liked looking at that ring.”
“Where did I get this ring?” She looked it over. “It looks real.”
“The one on your finger?” He asked as he took a drink from the glass with the red-orange cocktail, washing down his bite of food. “I bought it for you, just before we got married.”
“Married?” Kaylee ’s fork stopped in mid-air. Her eyes got large as the plate that held her breakfast. “What do you mean, married?”
The meaning of it all sank in as she wrapped her mind around what this man and cook was saying.
“We are married.” He said in a tone of describing last nights news.
“WHAT!?” Kaylee exclaimed. “Yeah, right. Not possible.”
“We were dancing and got to joking,” he explained. “And I said we should get married.”
“Then you dared me, because you didn’t think I could make it happen.”
She still rejected the growing realization that he was serious and all he said was a fact.
“Oh no, no no no.” She gasped. “This is not real.”
“Read the license.” Thomas slid an embossed paper over to her with a smile.
“We are married?” Kaylee . “Oh no! No way! This is not real?”
Thomas smiled as he sipped some coffee.
“It’s real. We got married last night in Las Vegas.” His voice was calm to her tight voice. “Care for a refill on mimosa, Missus Harte?”
“VEGAS?” She shouted at the paper. “MARRIED? Oh my god, this isn’t happening. How did we get there? Where are we?”
“We are back in Ocean Bay, safe and sound. It took only an hour to get to here from there. A little longer to come back.” He said calmly. “You wouldn’t let me file a flight plan, we were… uh… occupied. Then when we did get wheels up, we overshot the coast by more than an hour’s flight. Set off a few alarms I had to deal with.”
“Oh my god.” she said again. Kaylee jumped up. “How? I would have remembered going through security.”
“Well, no. You flew naked in that chair over there after smoking a bowl. Then we made love on top of the plane so you could look at the stars while we did it.” He smiled and continued to chew. “Right at this moment, you are more dressed than you have been all night. Not counting you wearing your little black dress to get married at some place near the Vegas airport.”
“An Elvis impersonator performed the ceremony.” He laughed softly, it was clear he enjoyed the surprise. “And you picked out the most expensive ring you found while we walked through the city, looking for a chapel that was open. We came back here and you made love to me the rest of the night, until we nearly fell off and then moved to the middle of the fuselage.”
“I’m not following, how did we get to there from this boat during the night?”
Thomas laughed softly and poured the both of them some fresh coffee.
“We are on a Russian built flying yacht. A customized Beriev Be-240ER.”
“A what? Are you are serious?” She stood up and paced. “We’re in Russia?”
“Yes, serious as a heart attack and no, we are not. We are not in Russia,” He smiled and shook his head. “You are on the “Pacific Wizard” in Ocean Bay. It’s a medium-sized jet with a boat hull. It’s quicker than commercial flights, too. We only need about an hour to get to Vegas.” Thomas smiled. “You flew naked during the trip there. For someone who was careful at the bar, you like to run around without clothes.”
“Well, yeah. I do.” Kaylee nodded. “But, how did we get married? How did we do this? This is wrong on so many levels.”
“Um, sorry?” Thomas froze in the middle of a bite. “Care to elaborate on that?”
“How did you and I get married? How how did I agree to that?” Kaylee rubbed her forehead, leaning over. “This is so wrong.”
He put down his bite and sipped his coffee slowly. Thomas looked at Kaylee with a quizzical look.
“Well, you made a few comments as we talked. I said we should get married and you are one heart I could fall in love with.” Thomas said as Kaylee ‘s eyes followed his gestures. “You said I better not say that without meaning it. Then we came here drank some more wine, you smoked a bowl. Then we went to the top of the plane and you kept me to my word. We left from here on the Wizard. Landed in Vegas, did the deed and flew back. We were back well before sunrise, you opened the door and dropped your dress into the ocean, then dragged me to bed.”
“Oh.. this is so much worse.” Kaylee paced, pulling at the shirt she wore. “I… I don’t know, I need to tell my parents. Oh my god… how they will react to me being married? And I only met you yesterday – Naked on a beach and in a fight! That won’t go over well.”
“Well, we can avoid that part of the discussion.” Thomas winked.
“No, not what I meant. I have a sort of boyfriend at home.” Kaylee gasped. “He won’t understand this at all!”
“A “Sort-of” boyfriend?”
“Well, we attend different schools now, he is going to Mazama University up north, but when we were in high school we were exclusive. Every time now when I’m home and he is there, we are together all day, every day. With anyone else, I am careful, but never with him. We have an open, but solid relationship, our plans are to get married after we graduate.”
“That’s complicated.” Thomas said helpfully.
“Oh… yes. And you are not making it any easier with you sitting there, understanding and listening.” She gave a deep sigh. “How did you get this, this… what did you call it? Flying boat?”
“Well, I’m comfortable.”
“Who are you?”
“An author. Perhaps you remember? I’m Thomas Harte, your husband.”
“What can we do? How could it be legal that we’re married?” She asked. “I don’t know how I could do that. Harte? Not sure if I have ever read your stuff.”
“You were walking straight, smiling, talkative. Never slurred your words.” Thomas said.
“So I was… sober?”
“You were as baked as you could be and showed no signs of slowing down.” Thomas nodded. “And the sex was amazing, we even joined the mile-high club.”
Kaylee laughed and hid her face in her hands
“Oh god! Sex on the plane? Who was driving?”
“Autopilot. Not one-hundred percent according to rules, but this bird is quite advanced.”
Kaylee took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to get a grip on what happened the night before.
“That would have been memory to enjoy for years,” She toyed with the ring on her finger, but did not remove it. “Well, until I can figure out what to do. I need to find out what happened and who to tell.”
“You need to slow down a little. You are in full panic mode when there’s no need. I would wager you are nearly hysterical by the way you’re talking.” Thomas chuckled. “We can annul it. I can look it up on the net and find out what it takes. It may already be too late.”
“Too late?” Kaylee blinked. “How so?”
“We have consummated all the things we could and did all the things that married folks do.” Thomas winked.
“What do you mean?” Then her eyes got big.
OH!” Kaylee laughed and blushed. “Oh my god! So that is why I’m chaffed. I have never done that! “
“You can’t say that anymore. Last night you insisted.” Thomas said as he typed on the laptop computer. “You are sure you’d like to annul this?”
“Well.” She said. “Can we? I have never been married before. And we have done a lot already.”
Thomas looked at her sharply.
“Do not play with me. You teased and impressed me last night. I will only do this one time, I’m too busy to be doing the weekly wedding and divorce like some people in my circles do.”
Kaylee laughed softly, he was right, she was in panic mode and could not decide what to do. She picked up the paper with the seal embossed on it.
“I won’t force you to do that. You say we got married and this looks legit.” She looked the paper over. “We have a month to figure it out. I will be leaving for home after summer session for the break. If we work out well? I’ll take you with me and we can figure out what to do with the Glenn then.”
“Who is Glenn?”
“That is my boyfriend back home. He won’t be around, either. He sent me an email a few weeks ago that he had to stay through July to take care of business there.” She nodded. “I think he failed a class and has to take summer session to make up for it. I don’t have to go home, and I can make extra credit by independent art studies during the summer.”
“So you can stay here?” He smiled. “I can say I like that idea.”
“Well, Mister Harte, being as you are my husband.” She winked. “And as long as you promise to help me fix this issue in a month, I want to have a memory of doing this as a wife.”
He stopped laughing as she stood up slipped his shirt off and dropped it to the floor. The new wife took him by the hand into the bedroom shaking her bare bottom at her new husband.
The waves on the ocean were not all by wind for the next few hours.