She knew that he could wait all day, and all night, too.
Time and tide didn't matter if you were far enough out.
And that was where he lived, where he did business: far enough out.
Far enough out that laws didn't reach.
Far enough out that no-one could hear you crying in the darkness.
Far enough out that anything could happen.
Two and a half weeks they'd spent becalmed. Seventeen days of nothing but each other. Nothing but the sound of his voice and the slap of his hand on her thigh, telling her to get into position again.
Again?she'd think out loud to him with her eyes.
Yes, again, he'd reply with his furrowed brow, as if she'd been insolent, or stupid, for asking.
What else is there?
She hadn't worn clothes in months. That had been fun, in the first weeks. The freedom! And the sex! He was better than average, knew a thing or two. Liked to play: spreading Vegemite on his skin - chest, thigh, cock - and making her lick it off. Laughter like she'd never had before. Love hearts in her journal, their names entwined in four different colours of ink.
Then the wind dropped to a whisper, then to a rumour, then to nothing at all.
'Make yourself comfortable, my love,' he'd said, one tanned hand plucking absently at a guyline, his ocean-grey eyes squinting at the horizon. 'We might be here a while.'
So masterful. So in command. She'd dropped to her knees and sucked him off right there and then. The salt on his skin almost as strong as the salt of his cum. She let him know she'd finished by licking him one finishing stroke, like a cat cleaning itself, up through the middle of his pulsing balls; at that he'd reached down and tousled her hair.
'Good poppet,' he'd said.
And that was when she'd remembered that he was easily twenty years her senior.
Not that that mattered.
Not at all.
Not at first.
She loved his tales of sailing the seas alone as a young man. It didn't matter to her that these tales came from a time when she herself was as yet unborn.
Not at all.
Not at first.
But then, in the second half of the first week with the sails rolled up useless, it happened.
He turned into her dad.
'You need to wash those dishes,' he'd said, in a voice just exactly dad-shaped. 'Do it now. I don't want to get sick out here just because you were lazy about washing some fucking dishes.'
Of course her dad would have not said "fucking". And he would have not-said it in exactly the same tone of voice that this man just had, this "Experienced Sailor and Companion" (as his magazine ad had proclaimed him to be).
So she stood at the tiny galley sink and washed the fucking dishes.
Then, with the bubbles still popping on them in the rack, he'd caught her wrist, pulled her away from the sink, bent her over the A3-sized table, and stuck himself into her.
Just stuck himself right on in.
This time, no laughter.
This time, it was punishment.
As he thumped against her, she remembered sitting on the balcony of the Oceanspray Hotel with him that first time they'd met, the art deco edifice perched on the hillcrest like a liner about to sail out across the twilight bay. Him sitting there like Hemingway, even down to the rolled-neck jumper and hand-clipped beard. Her with bare feet and an all-over tan, her top some filmy, flimsy thing, barely there. The waitress with the blonde dreads magnetised, unable to keep away; he politely flirting back, playing the game.
All the oceans, and all the skies, he'd promised her that night, his eyes twinkling above the rim of his beer like bad santa.
She knew then and there that she'd finally be happy and safe, with this wonderful, mysterious, dangerous man.
He thrust into her hard, the cabin contents rattling with the force: three times, pause, then three times more.
Six of the best.
Then he knotted one handful of fingers in her hair and gripped her hip with the other handful. He drew himself out, and she thought it was over.
Then with the hand not snagged in her hair he plied her arse crack open like splitting a peach and spat, spat fair into her arse! She could feel the hot, wet spittle sliding down between her cheeks, a humiliating insect crawling where no insect should go.
Then he pushed his cock right into her shitter.
She gasped with the shock of it. Collapsed forward onto the ridiculous table, mashing her sunburnt nipples against its indifferent laminex, his tight fingers in her hair bringing tears.
He kept on going, up and up her arsehole, further up than she could fathom there to be enough cock to reach.
Then again with the pulverising thrusts: three in a sickening row, then the pause, and then the other three.
He held still for a moment, and she tried not to sob. Then, where a younger man, raised on Internet porn, would have pulled out and sprayed his load over her back, he stayed buried deep inside her shithole, forced her cheeks ever more painfully apart, and emptied himself into her with a deep, beachmaster grunt, like a surging Elephant Seal keeping his recalcitrant harem in line.
The magazine ad had mentioned nothing of this.
When he pulled out of her, really finished this time, he wiped the shit streaks off his cock with their one teatowel.
'Clean this,' he said, flinging it into the soupbowl-sized sink, and then he went up on deck to look at the dormant sky and leave her to do the tidying up.
She allowed herself one sob once he was gone. She timed it to coincide with, be covered up by, the rhythmic ding of the chandlery as the yacht slowly rocked back and forth on the long, oceanic waves.
Her dad had never fucked her up the arse, of course, but he had smacked her. Smacked her hard, and out of all scale to the misdemeanour. He'd smacked her over her skirt or pants all but that one time, and that one time when he'd smacked her bare derriere had been the last.
Sometimes she admitted to herself that that one time, that one time when he'd been in such a murderous fury that he'd pulled her pants and underpants right on down and smacked her good and hard on her bare pink skin, that one time had been the most arousing moment of her life. She'd longed for it to happen again, in fact, ever since. Actually lay in bed with insipid boyfriends spent and limp beside her, and longed for it to happen again.
Not anymore, though.
And that was almost two weeks ago.
Things had not improved since then.
She no longer worked the boat: now she did chores. Before his cock had slid up inside her arse that first time, she had been an equal partner in their adventure, and 'working the boat' had been a welcome duty. It had been a simple joy to empty the crap-bucket over the side, to prepare the humble but ingeniously nutritional meals from their little packets, to check the bilge and crank the little handle unnecessarily...
But now it was all chores.
Even the sex.
Especially the sex.
On Day Seventeen he was fucking her face to face, for a change. Giving her anus a break. She was juddering to his thrusts, unable to look him in his bleary, middle-aged man's eyes, when they both heard it. She wanted to push him away, spit his thrusting stiffness from her like an unneeded splint, but he caught that look of flight glistening in her eye and pinned her to the bulkhead. He pursed his lips in her face, white, sea-split lips, and finished fucking her good and proper before he lifted his weight from her, and let her go.
She crawled out from the cabin like a survivor emerging from a car wreck. Her hair streamed - actually streamed! - in the wind. She began the rituals that would billow the sails, carry them away...
He watched her from the cabin mouth, bemused.
'Bring her about, you dozy cunt,' he drawled. 'You'll be no good to me with the boom upside your pretty little head.'
The island had no name on the chart. She wasn't even sure it was on the chart. There was a blob the shape of one half a yin-yang symbol that she thought it might be. She had no idea if it was the yin or the yang, or even if it was either.
She folded the sails like a flying fox might wrap its wings about itself, making the yacht go into a secret place, disappearing it as best she could. The only way to judge her work hiding it, she thought to herself, would be from a distance. Without another thought, she dove into the glass-clear water.
Three powerful strokes, a pause, then three powerful kicks, and she was away. Reluctantly she surfaced from the cocoon of underwater, and looked back at the world.
It looked as ridiculous and as small as that A3 table had looked that day he'd bent her over it.
She turned and struck out for the yin/yang, happy to have either.
The sand felt ignorant beneath her. It didn't move, it didn't breathe.
It reminded her of a boyfriend she'd once had to put up with for a whole three months, until he'd finally gotten the picture.
It was nothing at all like the living world she'd escaped from.
The shushing of the tiny breaking ripples was a parody, pathetic. The island was practically silent; she might well have been the first person to ever lie on its dead sands.
She closed her eyes.
When she opened them again, it was morning.
How had she slept all that time?
The yacht was still there. Still much the same, except that he had tidied the sails away even more than the way she'd left them, in his fastidious way. She could imagine him aboard, moving about, doing things. The white hair on his red-brown chest curling. Leatherglove fingers working. Dark cock swinging.
The yacht was not far enough out that she couldn't hear the chandlery, rattling against the mast, clear and musical across the flat water.
She stood up, felt the sand sticking to her legs and back, to her bum. She brushed it off her hands. Her hair was moist from the night air, wavy with the salt that made up so much of her life now.
The water was blood temperature. She could barely feel it.
Step by step, she moved closer to the moment when she would once again leave the stable and solid world behind and be immersed in that fluid and moving world, the one that she had grown into in so short a time.
As the water closed over her knees, she wondered what her dad was up to, right at that moment.
She really should send him a postcard, she thought, next time she got far enough in.