Chapter 260: Getting Underway

on October 28, 2014 in Volume 2 Book 8: Elven Holiday, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort

In Which Relationships Are Up In The Air

After throwing my coat over the plush loveseat I’d been eyeing in order to save it, I headed for the kitchen area. I supposed that technically it was a galley, but I wasn’t sure if the party boat was actually sufficiently shipshape to warrant calling anything aboard it something so… nautical.

“Are you sure about this?” Nicki asked, following behind me as I headed to the fridge.

“It’s not like we’ve wandered into someone’s house,” I said, not at all sure as I begun but getting more so as I went. “If there’s anything in here, that means it was put here for our use, and it will probably be thrown away tomorrow when we leave. If there’s not any food, we should figure out that before we’re in the air or it’s going to be a long trip.”

I think I sounded pretty confident, though I was actually working out this reasoning to reassure myself as much as Nicki. Still, I couldn’t see a flaw with it… and the fridge was stocked, and in a way that suggested a catering department had done it: everything on trays.

Nicki’s attention had been drawn to three covered silver dishes set out on the counter, the kind of metal breadbox-over-a-burner-looking things they set up at buffet-style receptions.

“Oh, chafing dishes,” she said. “Flameless, but hot.”

“Is that what a chafing dish is?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “What did you think they were?”

“I don’t know… it always just sounded uncomfortable to me.”

She giggled, which became a snort as she tried to stifle it.

“Anyway, I guess you’re right,” she said. “But, I mean… should we really start before the others?”

“Let’s take the initiative and get a few things set up,” I said. “That way it’s all ready and no one else is standing around wondering.”

It didn’t seem likely that a boat load of elves would show that kind of deference, but some of them would be more hesitant than others. I didn’t want to assert myself on this trip purely for my own benefit, to move myself up the hierarchy of the court… I wanted to blur it, and that meant making everyone feel welcome to everything that was available.

“Should we maybe wait until we’re underway?” Nicki suggested.

I looked around the room. There weren’t exactly restraints, nor was anything really impact-proofed. In fact, while I was sure the boat had been bobbing slightly in the breeze. The chafing dishes didn’t seem to be secured in any way, either… while the lack of an open flame meant there wasn’t much safety risk from a spill, it would still be a spill. There was also the matter of the stack of porcelain plates sitting out on the counter.

“I think we’re pretty well motion-proofed in here,” I said. I turned back to the fridge and pulled out a tray of sliced meat and cheese, which I carried to the table and uncovered, snagging a small slice of ham for myself. This was my way of showing myself and anyone else who noticed that I was doing this as someone who wanted to get down to eating, not a servant. “Come on, let’s get a nice spread laid out.”

We’d created and grazed from a nice assortment of party foods by the time any of the elven entourage started filtering up the ramp. Glory and Grace were the first, and while I’d been wondering what was keeping everyone, I realized that no one had wanted to board ahead of the queen.

Glory gliding in arm in arm with her sister would send a message, since Grace was the lowest ranked actual member of the court. The others could take it as a sign that she was being promoted over them, or that the boundaries were going to be more fluid and the rankings less formal on this trip. The latter would be the the easier to believe for most of them, because it would be the more palatable.

“Looks like you’ve got the party started,” Glory said, releasing her sister’s arm and striding towards me. Other elves were just starting to drift in at the back of the boat as she reached me. She slid around me like a dancer, her fingers trailing around my waist and then down my butt. “I approve.”

“I didn’t think we’d be standing on ceremony tonight,” I said. “Given the hour.”

She nodded. Though she didn’t add anything in a whisper, I still felt something like the ghost of one, and knew that she really did approve.

If I’d had any doubt of that, it would have evaporated when she pulled me in for a kiss. I didn’t exactly count the seconds, but it lasted long enough for the last straggler to have made her slow way on board.

The full census of Glory’s court was seventeen elves, plus herself. I knew most of them by sight only as her courtiers, as they tended to be a bit shyer and more retiring than the typical brash middlings. Wisdom, one of the newer members, was one of the more forward, and even she seemed like a bit of an introvert.

The penchant for translating their Elvish names into Pax words that invariably ended up being common nouns also contributed to the way they ran together in my head. I didn’t have any illusions that I’d have all of them down for good by the end of the trip, as names and faces had never been among my strong suits, but I was looking forward to the chance to get a slightly better handle on who was who.

“Having second thoughts?” Glory asked me.

“No,” I said. “You know me… I have way more than two thoughts about everything, but in this case, they’re all good ones. Thanks for asking before we cast off.”

“Actually, we already have,” she said. “Talking to our pilot, finalizing the details of the route, signing the final contract, and all that is what took me so long. We cast off as soon as Flower was aboard.”

“Guess I was right about the motion-proofing.”

“Once we reach cruising altitude, we can go above deck,” she said. “Don’t worry, it’s weatherproofed, too.”

“…there didn’t seem to be a whole lot going on, on deck,” I said.

“I meant the top deck, Mackenzie,” she said, and she gestured to a spiral staircase I had managed to overlook. It was a slender thing, parked out of the way, which I supposed was probably a standard feature of boat architecture. Or did it count as architecture when it wasn’t a building?

“I’m… more interested in the hot tub,” Grace said. She was standing with her arms draped around Nicki in what seemed like a passing imitation of how Glory had hers wrapped around me. “But I guess it’s a long night?”

“There’s another one up top, little mirror,” Glory said. “But there’s no need to wait, if you want to get wet now.”

“Oh… I brought my suit, but I didn’t think I’d need it tonight so it’s at the bottom of my suitcase,” Nicki said, but Grace had already stepped back and was lifting her long, icy blue gown up over her head and off. Her chest was bare. She peeled her matching panties off and dropped them on Nicki’s head, leaving nothing on except for the gauzy blue veil that covered her mouth.

It took me longer than it probably should have to realize that I was staring at… the person who claimed my friend as her girlfriend. As soon as I did, the heat rose up in my cheeks and my gaze dropped, but Glory caught it before it hit the floor… taking me by the chin and tilting my head back up.

“Go ahead and look,” she said, laughing. “It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, is it not? I love my little mirror so much. She is the second most beautiful sight in the world, and believe me, it is a very close second.”

Now Grace blushed, which she seemed to do more than most elves… I didn’t know if it was because she didn’t like the attention, or because she wasn’t used to her sister praising her and expressing fondness for her so openly.

“Oh, that is so sweet,” Nicki said, and the way she was looking at us made me think she wasn’t talking about the compliment Glory had just paid to Grace.

“Uh, you realize she meant herself, right?” I said. “Grace is second most beautiful because she looks like Glory.”

“Oh,” Nicki said. She turned to Grace. “Well, still… good for you.”

“Come on,” Grace said, pulling Nicki towards the sunken pool.

“Wait, do you want me to get naked in front of everyone?” Nicki said.

“Unless you’d rather get your clothes wet,” Grace said. “Honestly, I’m not picky.”

It was kind of amazing how much Glory’s words seemed to have emboldened Grace, though she’d honestly been getting slightly more confident over time throughout her relationship with Nicki.

While Nicki was a little slower to strip down than Grace had been, she didn’t seem to mind. I’d always had the impression that Nicki had longed for a wilder life than the one she lived, though I also worried that she might not like it as much as she thought she would if she found it. Well, if this trip did nothing else for her, maybe it would give her a chance to get her feet wet and see how much she actually enjoyed it.

Because she was taking her time… and also wearing more clothes… I realized I was watching my friend strip down before she had actually gotten out of her underwear. Glory again kept my eyes pointed at her.

“Go on, I’m sure she doesn’t mind,” she whispered… and it was kind of surreal to have Glory actually whispering in my ear with her lips right next to it. “Look, she’s not hiding… honestly, I think she’s a little excited. And it’s not as though she doesn’t ever look at you. Besides, look around.”

I did, and noticed that the clothed bodies were an increasingly rare subset of the population on board the boat. Most of the elves had at least stripped down to their panties, and many were completely naked. Some had even cast their veils aside.

“Should I be getting naked?” I said.

“You should be whatever you want,” Glory said.

“And what if I want to be with you?”

“I think I want to be in the hot tub,” Glory said. “But I’m amenable to other things… something more private, or something public but more cozy than intimate.”

I thought about it, and though a lot went through my head, it didn’t take long, since it was mostly just re-arranging the thoughts I’d already been chasing around. This was my chance to set a tone. Like Nicki, I could… sample… things on the trip without having to commit to doing them all the time. Anyway, it wasn’t like I’d be doing it alone. On top of virtually everyone else being naked, Nicki was, too… and as the non-elven outsiders in the group, we were very much in the same boat as each other.

Metaphorically, I mean… we were all in the same boat literally.

“What do you think, Mackenzie?” Glory prompted.

“I think… my clothes could be taken off,” I said.

It was something of a strategic choice… I had no illusions about my ability to make disrobing into some kind of erotic art showcase, but I knew that Glory could turn stripping me into a treat for herself, and I wanted it to be.

“Take off your boots and socks,” she said, and I did.

She slid my sweater off more fluidly than I had put it on. She brushed her hands across my belt buckle, and it was undone. My outer t-shirt came off next, and then my jeans were unsnapped. My other t-shirt came off, and then she slid around behind me, grabbing the top of my jeans at each hip and sliding down, taking my pants with her. She guided them off each of my feet in turn, me lifting them slightly to accommodate.

I was in my underwear now. I was pretty sure that this made Glory the last fully-dressed person on the boat, outside of the pilothouse, though I didn’t look around to check. Glory came around to the front and pressed herself up against me, and then my bra was undone. She slipped it off me with almost impossible ease, and then… though I didn’t really follow what happened next at all… I was aware that my panties were gone.

Glory started by undoing her lavender veil, which seemed interesting to me, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant. Not all the others had their lower faces veiled, either, as was often the case when they expected to be making out and no guys were around, but Grace had left hers on… though maybe she’d just been in a hurry to get into the water.

Glory took her purple dress off by shouldering out of it and then wriggling it down her body. She took longer to get it off than her sister had, though only just… and if she had been wearing anything underneath it, it went down with the dress, leaving her standing naked and perfect in the midst of a circle of purple silk. She took the veil and wrapped it around my neck it like a chiffon scarf.

Stepping out of the fallen dress, Glory took me by the hand and led me towards the tub. I saw that Grace and Nicki had taken up quarters in the back corner… insofar as a slightly lumpy oval could be said to have corners… so they were facing outward. Or they would have been, if they weren’t facing each other, practically in each other’s laps and definitely in each other’s faces.

Grace had indeed removed her veil.

And I was staring again.

“Oh, come on, Mackenzie,” Glory said. “It’s far too early in the evening to start looking away now.”

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15 Responses to “Chapter 260: Getting Underway”

  1. spess imvader says:

    Here is me wishing Mackenzie finally has some hot time with Nicky!

    Current score: 1
  2. P says:

    Mackenzie’s confusion about how to think about and how to refer to things while on a boat is really funny, especially since she’s just doing it in her head.

    Current score: 0
    • zeel says:

      Which is all the more funny if you’re the kind of person who actually does such things. I worry about that kind of thing to myself constantly, but it never really matters since I rarely say anything about it.

      Current score: 2
  3. The Thinker says:

    Wait, wait…

    I don’t want to go on vacation! I want to go back to MU where an elite team of badasses has been assembled for a special mission.

    Current score: 0
  4. readaholic says:

    When among elves…

    Current score: 1
  5. pedestrian says:

    Ahh, “The Lark Ascending” as composed by RV Williams based upon the poem by George Meredith,

    is playing on NPR right now.

    Current score: 0
  6. Arancaytar says:

    In fact, while I was sure the boat had been bobbing slightly in the breeze.

    That sentence is missing something I think.

    Current score: 0
  7. Arancaytar says:

    “Oh… I brought my suit, but I didn’t think I’d need it tonight so it’s at the bottom of my suitcase,” Nicki said, but Grace had already stepped back and was lifting her long, icy blue gown up over her head and off. Her chest was bare. She peeled her matching panties off and dropped them on Nicki’s head, leaving nothing on except for the gauzy blue veil that covered her mouth.

    Until the end there, I was reading that Grace had just undressed Nikki, not herself.

    Current score: 0
  8. Hollowgolem says:

    Brings back memories of the first time I was undressed with a lot of other undressed people. I was the little brother of a sorority in college, and a rather similar situation occurred once we got to the hotel for an after-party the evening of a formal dinner.

    In our case, chocolate syrup was also involved. Also, one of the new pledges and I got to clean up afterward. We made a bit of an extra mess, and then cleaned everything up. And now we’re engaged!

    I feel like experiences like this, where you consider what boundaries you have and why, are good for college kids to have, as long as they’re not doing anything genuinely dangerous.

    Current score: 4
  9. Arancaytar says:

    Just noticed this:

    Chapter 261: Getting Underway

    Does the Callahan OT count as chapter 260 then?

    Current score: 0
    • zeel says:

      It shouldn’t, based on past practices I would guess this is an oversight.

      Current score: 0
  10. Anvildude says:

    So if a chuckle and a snort is a Chortle, is a giggle and a snort a Gortle?

    Current score: 0
  11. Zathras IX says:

    Naked ambition
    Is seldom if ever so
    Publicly unveiled

    Current score: 6
    • Allan B says:

      Your Haiku’s are always beautiful and to the point!

      Current score: 1