Mediterranean Idyll Ch. 01

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Amateur

It was 7.30 in the evening of my twenty-eighth birthday, and I was sitting outside a bar on Tripoli’s Sharia Istiklal (Independence Street) with a half-litre of ice-cold Amstel in front of me, watching the young Italian girls walking up and down arm in arm in twos and threes on their regular evening passeggiata, chattering away to each other and eyeing the boys out of the corners of their eyes. Four years had passed since the events that I described in my submission ‘Eastern Idyll’ and the memory of my first love, Jenn, had slowly faded from the forefront of my every waking moment as I gradually came to terms with the realisation that I had lost her for ever and would have to get on with my life. During that time I had completed my term of service with the RAF, obtained both British and American commercial pilot licences and moved out to Libya, where I was flying small bush planes deep into the Sahara Desert in support of the oil exploration industry, earning an income well in excess of that I had been receiving as an RAF pilot. And getting in a lot more very enjoyable flying too! The government of King Idris welcomed Westerners, making it a popular part of the world for expatriates in which to both work and play.

One of the guys from the Tripoli Sailing Cub stopped by my table to enquire about my plans for the evening, and I confirmed that I would be down there later to treat everyone to a birthday drink. Sitting at the next table were a couple of attractive girls who looked somewhere about my age, and when they heard me speaking English one of them leaned across to ask me if I knew Tripoli. It turned out that they were cabin crew on an executive jet that had arrived at Idris airport from the UK that afternoon and was stopping over for a few days before continuing on to Egypt. It was the first time they had ever been to Tripoli, and they were soon asking my advice about places to go sight-seeing during the day and the availability of restaurants and night clubs in the evenings. Well, it seemed natural for me to invite them to join me as my guests at the Club so I did just that, to the great delight of the predominantly male members propping up the bar there.

OK, so now it’s description time, and it hardly takes me to point out that organisations who can afford to hire private jets for their executives are not likely to be repeat customers if reports get back to head office of flight attendants with big boobs, short skirts, legs up to their armpits and attitudes to match. These two, Ellen and Kate, were both brunettes, 5ft 4 or so in height – ideal in a cabin that lacks the headroom of a large airliner – with figures that were definitely feminine but not in your face. Trim and slim might be a good way of putting it and I could easily imagine the two of them looking extremely smart and capable in uniform. Tonight, however, they were wearing casual slacks and light blouses, and both of them looked quite delicious.

After a while someone suggested moving on from the Sailing Club to the night club in the basement of the Uaddan, the top hotel in town, and it didn’t surprise me when the girls said it was where they were staying. Later in the evening I was enjoying a slow, smoochy dance with Kate – and I was getting the distinct impression that she was enjoying it too – when she asked me what I was doing next day. I told her that I was scheduled to take a Beaver down to Esso-Libya’s concession 6 in a couple of days time but till then I was at their service and would they like me to show them around, and what sort of sight-seeing did they fancy? Kate wrinkled up her nose and said Ellen had told her that she might be busy elsewhere the next day, and by the look of her, moving slowly around the floor enveloped in the arms of a tool-pusher from one of the drilling rigs, I guessed she could be right. Kate had heard of the Roman ruins at Sabratha and wanted to have a look at them, and I also suggested that Tripoli Castle would be well worth a visit. She liked dinghy sailing and did quite a bit back home, and was there any chance of me taking her out while she was in Tripoli? I said that we might be able to fit some of that in as well.

Eventually, at two in the morning, she said that it had been a long day, she was totally bushed and it was time for bed. Would I pick her up later, say around 11am as she needed a late lie-in and then would have to check in with her captain up at the airport during the morning? I escorted her to the lift and deliberately didn’t even try for a kiss. She hesitated a second, grinned at me and then the lift doors closed behind her.

Eleven o’clock and Kate met me in the foyer of the Uaddan wearing sandals, short shorts with turned up cuffs at the top of smooth brown legs and a loose sleeveless top, knotted under her breasts and displaying a very acceptable amount of cleavage. I said she looked good enough to eat and she thanked me by reaching up – I am a good six foot tall – and kissing me on the cheek. I decided that this was a great start to sincan escort the day! We jumped into my battered Fiat 1100, drove out through the suburbs to the west of Tripoli and picked up the coast road towards Sabratha. During the drive she told me that she was engaged to Chuck, an American guy whom she was planning to marry at the end of the year. Till that date, she said, she was free as a bird, and although the word ‘available’ was not actually spoken, the inference was very definitely hanging in the air. She asked about girl friends, and I told her about Jenn. She put a warm hand on my bare thigh, said what a lovely but sad story, and assured me that someone else would surely come along for me one day.

Arriving at the site we bought some small snacks and cold soft drinks from the little refreshment shack just inside the entrance and had a quick look at the maps in the museum to get our bearings. Then it was out into the bright sunshine and a leisurely walk round three thousand years of history. She couldn’t get her head round the Roman dates on the inscriptions so I had to explain how to add up the M’s and the D’s and the C’s and told her that it was because the Romans had no symbol for zero that the Western world eventually turned to Arabic numerals. She had brought her camera with her to take shots of the site, and from time to time asked other tourists walking round the area to take some of the two of us together. Just for the record, she said!

Eventually we arrived at the far end of the site facing onto the sea and sat down on the sand at the top of the beach, looking out over the flat calm of the Mediterranean. Although the harbour was long since gone, it was easy to visualise Roman and Phoenician and Egyptian ships coming and going to and from the busy town all those long centuries ago, and I said that John Masefield had phrased it very well in the first verse of his poem ‘Cargoes’.

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir

Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,

With a cargo of ivory,

And apes and peacocks,

Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

I started on about how any self-respecting merchant in Nineveh would have found it far quicker to have sent his ivory and livestock and all that wood and wine by camel caravan direct across the desert to Palestine rather than by the long sea route round Africa, but half-way through my spiel Kate turned towards me and said she wanted to ask me something.

“Last night when we were by the lift, I was waiting for you to kiss me, but you didn’t”.

It was a blunt statement, her tone of voice making it more an accusation than a question. Hey, hey I thought, here is a girl who speaks her mind, and she will be expecting me to do the same.

“Well, if I had you might have taken me as one of those guys who believe that if you buy a girl a drink you’re entitled to kiss her and then get her into bed, and I don’t do that”.

“But you were quite happy kissing me on the dance floor”.

“Yeah, well, that’s what dance floors in night clubs are for, but I never got any signals from you that you wanted to take things any further “.

Without a word she reached out and put her hands either side of my head and pulled my face right up against hers, and it took me less than half a second to realise that in spite of her cool looks Kate was the most enthusiastic kisser that I had ever met in my life. She plastered her lips almost painfully hard up against mine, moving one hand round to the back of my head to pull me in closer, twisting her own head from side to side and using an active tongue to prise my lips apart so that we could explore each others’ mouths. I clamped my hands either side of her bare exposed waist just above her shorts and squeezed in so as to hold her in place and enjoy the feel of her warm body. Our attacks on each others’ mouths went on and on till eventually we came up for air and she backed off and grinned at me.

“So, captain, are you getting my signals loud and clear now?”

I said I was, and with my hands still round her waist pulled her across in front of me and down on to my lap, facing me with her bare knees resting in the sand either side of my hips and her body right up against mine. I slid my hands round to cup her butt, she wriggled down into a comfortable position against my cock and then we were kissing and kissing again and again till my lips felt bruised and sore.

Then I heard voices from a party of tourists who, with their guide, were working their way through the site towards us. We were obviously not going to get any privacy where we were, so we headed back to the car and took the coast road eastwards towards Tripoli. After a while she reached over with her near hand and started sliding her fingers up and down the inside of my exposed thigh, and I have to confess that I was rather enjoying the feeling of being felt up by an attractive woman at the same time as having to concentrate on sincan escort bayan my driving. It wasn’t long before it occurred to me that when I was not changing gear I had a free hand of my own that could just as easily explore the softness of her legs, and I soon found that running my fingertips right up between them to her shorts made her wriggle about with delight, raise her bum off the seat and push herself suggestively up against my hand. She twisted sideways and brought her other hand over to start undoing the belt buckle of my shorts, but I slapped it away.

“Every single driver on this road but me is an utter maniac, and there’s no way I can concentrate if you carry on like that. Let’s wait till I can get you into bed”.

She pretended innocence and asked me when that was likely to be and I said tonight, as I didn’t think we should waste any more time in night clubs when we could find much more interesting things to do on our own.

“Oh goody” she said “sounds like I’m gonna get fucked?”

I couldn’t help but laugh at her infectious, open enthusiasm and thought that if her love-making was half as energetic as her kissing I was in for an exciting time. I told her she was a cheeky monkey and said that Chuck was a real lucky guy, and that I was lucky too, having her all to myself for the night.

We got back into Tripoli in the late afternoon and walked around inside the Castle, all arched corridors within the stone walls, little open air patios and terraces, pillars and tiled floors, tinkling fountains and great clouds of purple bougainvillea growing up the white walls and contrasting with the clear blue of the sky. Kate remarked that it was one of the most magical places she had ever visited, something right out of the Arabian Nights. As we walked back to the Uaddan along the promenade in front of the harbour we agreed to have a break to clean up and get changed and then go out for dinner at a restaurant I thought she would like. And then it was the age-old question – her place or mine. She was sharing a room at the Uaddan with Ellen whilst I had a company flat in town, so the choice was a no-brainer. She asked me not to pick her up till 8pm, and when I raised my eyebrows at what was going to be a near two hour break she pointed out that any girl preparing for a romantic evening would need to have a long lazy bath and then leave plenty of time afterwards to make difficult decisions on such important things as the right choices of clothes and perfume. It’s a girly thing, she told me!

I went back to my flat, picking up some condoms at a pharmacy on the way, had a shower, shave and a change of clothes, and tidied things up – not that I lived in a tip, you understand, but I wanted to maintain appearances, and bachelors are bachelors. Clean sheets on the bed, scented candles in holders scattered around, an appropriate record ready on the turntable and a multi-pack of Durex conveniently secreted near the bed. As a one-time Boy Scout I have always believed in ‘being prepared’ at all times!

Coming up to 8pm I walked into the big, marble-walled atrium of the Uaddan and was waved over by Rita, my very favourite Australian receptionist. She gave me an envelope with my name on it, inside which was a very short message that had obviously been written in haste.

Jim,

Sorry, sorry, sorry, flying out to Alexandria at 2030 . . . crew already up at airport. Will be in touch.

X Kate X

Yeah, well, that’s the way it is in the aviation charter business – your personal life always comes second. I knew how she felt. Only a few weeks before, I had been down at the Sailing Club on a Sunday preparing to defend my record in a regatta, and my boss had pulled me out to fly an EP-9 on a casevac to Concession 32 where a worker at a drilling rig had lost his argument with a large piece of oil-field ironmongery. It’s the way things go! Though since Kate knew neither my post box address nor my surname, I couldn’t see how on earth she was going to ‘be in touch’. I went over to the Hollywood restaurant on Sharia 24 December, (known to expatriates as Christmas Eve Street, the day in 1949 that the United Nations gave Libya its independence after the long years of Italian occupation), the only place where I could get a decent steak not smothered in Italian sauces, and drowned my sorrows with a bottle of wine.

I should have had more faith in a woman’s ability to think outside the box. Coming back a few weeks later from an extended trip into the desert there was a packet waiting for me at the office that had been sent over from the Uaddan. In it was a letter from Kate and some shots of the two of us at Sabratha – she had put them into an envelope, written ‘Jim, Desert Pilot’ on the front and sent the whole lot in another envelope to reception at the hotel with a request to pass it on to me. She apologised for standing me up, was desolated at having missed ‘our night of pleasure’ and wished that we had had time to get some escort sincan dinghy sailing in. I wrote back to thank her for the photos, told her that I shared her sorrows, and mentioned that I was going to Marmaris, in Turkey, on my own in early September to enjoy some sailing, and would think of her. I had told her on our trip to Sabratha that I had holidayed there the year before, staying for a couple of weeks at a British-run sailing club where I could laze by the pool or take out any of the dinghies whenever I felt energetic. I had also enrolled on a three day course on yacht sailing while I was there, obtaining my Coastal Skipper qualification and gaining a bit of experience in handling a 34 foot Beneteau.

Little more than a week later I received another letter from Kate, sent to the correct post box this time, telling me that she had been dumped by her American fiancé, and asking if there was any chance of her joining me in Marmaris for a week, which was all the leave she had left. She said she intended to forget all about Chuck, was looking for lots of TLC, and reminded me that we still had some ‘unfinished business’ to deal with. That was Kate all over, I thought to myself with amusement, making it very clear what she wanted and what she was prepared to offer in return.

I wrote back that I would love to have her join me and suggested that she obtain a brochure from the UK office of the club and then decide whether she wanted to stay at the clubhouse and make use of the dinghies and yachts on a day by day basis, or live on a yacht with me for the week with the freedom to sail anywhere we wished. As you might have guessed, I was being very crafty here! If she opted to stay on shore she could book a single room or a double one, either of which would be an indication of the way she was looking at this holiday and my part in it. And if she chose the yacht option she would be well aware that below deck there were only two cabins, a saloon – a sort of kitchen/diner – and a forward cabin beyond it containing a double bed and nothing else, with all that that implied. To my delight she said that she would love to spend a week on the yacht with me, and would I make the necessary arrangements. So that’s what I did!

For my first week at Marmaris I had a single room in the clubhouse, relaxing in the sun, sailing and swimming and even getting some more time in on another Beneteau with a couple who wanted an extra guy on board as capable crew in exchange for treating me to lunch at a beach bar. On Tuesday – changeover day – I went to Dalaman in the coach with the returning holiday-makers and an hour later the plane flew in from the UK with the new lot. And then Kate came through the arrivals gate, slim and delightful and smiling, carrying her gear in the soft sports bag which I had recommended as being a lot more sensible on a yacht than a hard-shell case. As we were in public we exchanged very decorous kisses and then sat side by side in the coach on the long haul back to Marmaris, chatting away and bringing each other up to date on our lives. She didn’t seem to want to mention Chuck, so I let the subject drop and told her what our arrangements were for the rest of the day.

After booking in at the Club we went down to our yacht, Vega, and stowed Kate’s gear away, enjoying an energetic kissing session as soon as we were down in the cabins and out of sight. Quite a while later, while she was freshening up at the shower and toilet block I moved my own stuff in and then busied myself checking out the sailing equipment in the lockers. She returned and went below to change out of her travelling gear, and when she came back up the steps into the cockpit she took my breath away. Back in Tripoli we had heard all about these new-fangled miniskirts that were apparently taking the UK fashion world by storm, but this was the first time I had ever seen one in the flesh, as it were. Kate was wearing what appeared to be little more than a pelmet of some oatmeal-coloured material round her hips, beautifully setting off practically the whole length of her slim brown legs, and above it was another of those sleeveless tops knotted under her breasts that showed off her figure so well and suited her to perfection. When I got my voice back I assured her that she looked good enough to eat, and she loved the compliment!

We went up to the clubhouse for the usual arrival party, introduction to the sailing staff and a buffet meal, and then slid away, anxious to be on our own. Kate put both arms round my waist and one of mine was over her shoulders, hugging her soft body up against me as we wandered slowly down through the warm evening towards the little marina. As we stopped at the top of the steps leading down to the jetty, she slid round ahead of me and leaned back against my chest, pulling my arms around her and flattening my hands underneath hers against her bare midriff. We stood for a while looking out over the moonlit sea and watching the lights of the fishing boats moving slowly through the night, and I was happy just to hold her tight, dropping kisses on her ear and the back of her neck while she made ‘mmmmm’ noises deep in her throat, wriggling a bit against me and letting me know without saying a word that she was enjoying what I was doing with her. Then she spoke.

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