Catnip, Rosemary, Rage and Time
Following his departure, Billie’s eyes stopped at another table. Billie recognized the blond lady with diamonds, with her handsome companion. Billie’s heart skipped a beat, realizing they were staring at their table. “Don’t look now, but that lady with diamonds is staring at me,” Billie whispered to Glenn.
“What are you talking about? Where?” Glenn asked incredulously. “Over there. Three tables to your left.”
“Oh, I see her. Did you notice those diamond teardrop earrings she’s wearing? They look big from here.”
“She’s staring at me again.”
“Do you know her?” Gretchen overheard their conversation.
“No,” Glenn answered, curtly. “Billie imagines she’s always staring at him.”
“She was up on the Sun Deck earlier, doing the same thing.”
“You’re just imagining things.” Glenn attempted to dismiss Billie’s contention.
“There’s something about her I like.” Gretchen noticed her elegance from afar. “I do like the earrings she’s wearing. I would love to have something like those.”
“They are beautiful.” Glenn agreed.
Their attention returned to dinner when their waiters, Bruce and Manuel, arrived.
Billie studied Bruce, noticing his tall stance and extraordinary masculinity. He became infatuated with his smile when he greeted them. He also was taken asunder by the shorter Manuel’s broad smile and bright, glistening, white teeth.
“Hello, my beautiful guests. What would you care for cocktails before we get started?” Bruce bowed with an elegant stance, exaggerated with humor.
Deciding to continue with the Merlot wine, they ordered another bottle.
Manuel left to retrieve more wine.
“We have a kicking, colossal shrimp cocktail, and an Asian vegetable assortment with two dips, hot mustard and tangy plum, to start your meal with appetizers.” His voice emphasized “colossal”, speaking directly to Glenn, his hands gestured size, seductively.
“The shrimp sound delicious; we’ll have that.” Glenn’s face turned a slight shade of red.
“The vegetables sound good.” Gretchen included Horace in her order
When Bruce left to place their orders, he whispered in Manuel’s ear. “The two guys are handsome. I think they are a couple.”
“You’re simply catering to your kind.” Manuel hesitated, his return to Table 9 with the wine.
“Yes, of course. They seem like fun. Think I’ll slip them invitations to the Greek Lounge Party, tonight”
“Be careful, now; don’t go causing trouble.”
“I won’t,” Bruce lied.”
Manuel rushed off to table 9 with the wine, while Bruce placed the orders for appetizers.
After they had placed their orders for dinner, Billie was the first to comment on the appetizers. “This ‘kickin’ sauce’ needs more of a kick. But the shrimp are sweet. And have good texture too.”
“You’re right about the sauce. How were your hors d’oeuvres?” Glenn referred to Gretchen and Horace.
“They were grand. I preferred the mustard sauce. A bit tangy.” Gretchen glanced at Horace, who nodded in agreement.
“The waiters are great.” Glenn licked his lips, noticing Bruce and Manuel’s arrival at the table with the main entrée.
Manuel set Gretchen and Horace’s prime rib dinners before them.
Bruce stooped his head nearly on Glenn’s lap as he placed his salmon entrée before him.
Glenn blushed but smiled, appreciatively.
Billie raised his arms, accommodating Bruce the same gestured presentation for his salmon.
“Enjoy your dinner, men.” Bruce smiled and bowed.
Manuel stared at Bruce, his face expressing scorn.
After a few minutes of silence, Billie shattered a few minutes of the culinary induced silence. “Didn’t our travel agent promise superior food on this Princess cruise? After this I wonder if we’ve been misled. It may be king salmon, but it had an odd accompanying marinade. I prefer salmon with a lemon butter sauce. What in the hell was this sauce?”
“It tastes like a sweet, orange, tarragon concoction. You know how I disdain tarragon.” Glenn’s lips puckered, expressing his displeasure.
“I should file a complaint with Victor.” Billie’s voice tapered, when he noticed Glenn’s punitive stare.
“Don’t say anything,” Glenn whispered in Billie’s ear. “Manners before confrontation. And don’t get so stuffy. Besides, Bruce is our waiter. I’d like to see more of him, perhaps without clothes.” He grinned.
“Who wouldn’t?” Billie muttered in agreement. “I’ll express my humble satisfaction.”
Gretchen and Horace were too involved with their prime rib to hear their conversation.
As they ate dinner quietly, Billie’s eyes wandered to the table where the mysterious woman and her handsome companion sat. Noticing they were continuing to stare towards their table, Billie jabbed Glenn in his side. “She’s still giving me the eye treatment.”
Glenn looked at the table three rows away. “No, she’s not. They’re too busy enjoying dinner, as you better do.”
“No, she’s still staring.”
“Are you still talking about that lady?” Gretchen intervened.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” Glenn insisted.
“It does mean something,” Billie labored on his opinion of the current situation.
“That woman has been looking at me for some reason. I don’t think it is because she finds me handsome.”
“Why are you so concerned?” Gretchen refrained from putting the piece of prime rib on her fork in her mouth.
“It’s nothing to worry about.” Glenn glared at Billie, signaling to simmer down. “Just relax.”
“Okay.” Billie frowned.
“I would like to meet her sometime.” Gretchen’s attention remained focused on the woman until her stare was noticed.