Closed and Hacking

Leigh awoke to another of those pre-dawn love-log-in-buns plus profoundly powerful affectionate and romantic cuddly love moments that seriously and compellingly made her want to do rash things to forever more continue to have this extremely blissful experience. Clark, as usual, remained asleep through his tree trunk tumescence. She wondered whether he had any awareness whatsoever that his hands were gently repeatedly squeezing her belly fat.

She drifted back to sleep, loving all the feelings and the whole experience, dreaming of the fun they’d have on this new day—sharing it together!

Hhhhhhh huuuuuu hhhhhhh huuuuu Aaaaaahhhh! Oh, Chonky! Aaaahh! You’re so… succulent! Hhhhhh And faaaaat!

“Hhh hhhh hhh hhh Oh Neener! Hhh hhh I love this! Hhhh hhhh I love you inside me! Hhhh Aauuggh Yess! Grab my fat! I love you feeling my fat! And feeling your neener!

Clearly, Clark and Leigh were thoroughly enjoying each other sexually, to start their morning. This 12th. of March 2020 Thursday was voyage day 8 for her, day 7 for him. It and much of the following day would be excellent at-sea days to enjoy all the Sapphire Prince had to offer. At the moment, neither of them could think of anything better than her stateroom’s “cloud” bed, as a cloud-like sex platform.

It was great sex, with a great ending more about a love bond frightening in magnitude than orgasms, though truly both of those. Faster, more intense, and more stereotypical than usual in these ways, their push to finish and move on was driven as much by anticipation of sharing breakfast and a gym workout as their immediate intense passions that refused to wait.

HaaaAAhuuu Hulllp PTTT! one cruiser passing Leigh and Clark by in one of the wider hallways spit a big opaque colorful glob into his handkerchief.

Thaaat’s nice” she sarcastically whispered to her love.

Let’s keep walking, and be sure to wash our hands before breakfast.

In one of the larger public areas, they heard a loud AAAAAAAAACHOOO!, with people scrambling to get away from the sneezer, and others cursing her.

Taking the elevator, a fellow passenger continually sniffed and snorted, her breathing sounding like she had gravel in her lungs. “Does it feel hot to you in here?” she asked.

“No” replied Leigh, shaking her head as was Clark.

Leigh couldn’t believe what she was seeing on the Sky deck, as they approached Jimmy’s Buffet. “Waaa? ‘All buffets are closed? Please use one of our standard restaurants or room service’?”

Clark pulled them closer together with his wrapped-around-her arm, “What were you hoping to have?”

“I didn’t and don’t know, which is why I wanted a buffet” she responded glumly, with bird lips. “Was hoping for inspiration.”

“Here I was hoping for an explanation regarding why the buffets are closed.”

“Sanitary reasons” a nearby crew member responded, having overheard them as he was swabbing the deck with what to him was an overpowering alcohol-based cleaner, which neither Leigh nor Clark smelled at all. “Too many COVID-19 cases on board, so Captain Cranch and Royal Prince management have agreed to step up CDC-recommended procedures.”

“But Royal Prince Cruise Lines flies under the flag of Panama, doesn’t it?”

“Oh don’t I know it! Thing is we operate mostly on the west coast of the U.S. serving a majority of U.S. passengers. The captain is God at sea under most foreign flags, thus when he says we’re following the CDC recommendations of his choosing, that’s what’s going down.”

Leigh paused to think about how “going down” was not a phrase she wished to be hearing on a ship at sea—at least not from a crew member!

“Honestly, all this food comes out of galleys of the same design run by the same people, other than Glissando with its name-brand chef and hoity toity ‘kitchen’. Just pick one of the sit-down get-served restaurants that’s not overcrowded and has what you want and call it good.”

“Thank you.”

“You got it—no handshaking, though!”

“Sorry; thanks!” Clark saluted, not knowing what else to do.

Turning his attention back to Leigh, he saw she was looking at something on her small portable screen. “What’s happening in handheld land?”

“Was checking to see whether the Royal Prince app had any stats on available seating or reservations for the restaurants.”


She looked up from her screen towards him with a hybrid vexed-amused expression, “App’s down.”

“On the back end.”

“Probably. I’ll take your word for it” she grinned, pushing her plush butt into him, “You certainly seem to be well-versed in back ends and pay close attention to them.”

He pulled her in tighter so he could kiss the back of her head.

After she turned around for a proper intimate hug and kiss, they were on their way to find an open breakfast venue.

“I may not have to go to the gym if we wind up covering every possible deck with a restaurant on it” Leigh commented during their search on the big Grand Promenade deck.

“How many more do we have?”

“Restaurants or decks?”


“Three of each: decks and restaurants. One per deck that we have yet to check.”

Glissando wasn’t open for breakfast, and wasn’t what they wanted anyway. Sip And A Wink Pub and Home Comfort were both full, which is to say as full as the new rules allowed, with every other table required to be empty to ensure sufficient social distancing.

It wasn’t until they made it up to the Lido deck and found the small Oasis restaurant open and not overcrowded that Leigh and Clark felt they had a chance for breakfast.

“Hold on please, folks” the hostess which the Oasis didn’t usually have greeted them, along with a body block at the entrance.

“I see all kinds of open tables” said Clark.

“Those have to remain vacant, to keep the virus at bay.”

It amused Clark the way hostess Felicia (per her name tag) dipped her voice down and avoided calling SARS-CoV-2 by name (if she even knew the name), as though the virus might hear her and strike viciously.

Leigh, who was getting hungrier by the moment, was less amused. “Not even an opening for someone on the Pampered Gem plan?”

“I’m sorry, ma’am. It’s a matter of social distancing per the captain’s directive, applying equally to all fare levels. It’ll only be a few minutes until an in-service table becomes available. Let me get your name and then you two can go enjoy the view over nearer the pool, and I’ll call you when a table opens up.”

Reluctantly, they went along with this least-worst option. With several newcomers approaching the restaurant projecting airs of malaise and sounds of wheezy breathing, they felt just as good establishing some distance.

Leigh managed to get her breakfast burrito: another avocado green tortilla one at that. “Same lackluster flavor as the one from the buffet” she sighed.

“You know why that is, yes? And why my burger is nice and hot and the texture’s good, but the flavor’s on some other cruise?”

“Yes, and we’ve discussed this and I really don’t want to think about it.”

She so very much didn’t want to think about COVID-19 that her mind wholly suppressed any awareness of how she was feeling a touch feverish. Her fatigue she easily chalked up to all the walking carrying around more of herself from yesterday’s massive lunch meal.

Coughing and wheezing amongst other cruisers at other tables in the small restaurant repeatedly dragged her mind back to this unwanted subject.

Hack! Hack! “None of this food has any taste to it!” came from a raspy-coughs gentleman in Leigh’s sight, diagonally nearest them behind Clark.

Before she could clear that comment out of her mind from the table diagonally behind her to her left she overheard, “The morgue’s full, Tim. It only holds 4. They’re going to be putting them in the food walk-in freezer, I just know it!”

“If the sickies would just stay in their staterooms instead of coming into places like this, we wouldn’t have this problem! Is this table salt some new healthy de-flavorized variety, or what?”

Others at other tables coughing and/or wheezing were speaking in languages wholly foreign to Leigh’s ears, adding no information she could understand.

Between all this and the impatient line of waiting cruisers forced to wait outside peering hungrily through the windows, both Leigh and Clark wound up eating less and faster than they otherwise would have. Tough to tell whether they were happier getting out of there, or the next people in line were happier that they could finally be seated and eat.

“You feel so nice” Clark couldn’t help commenting to Leigh on their hip-grinding hand-holding walk (and elevator ride) up to the Sports deck.

“So do you” she smiled his way.

“But I’m all hard and bony, and you’re all soft and—hhhhhh—cushiony.”

“You’re half right: the half about me. You, Neen, are all hard and—hhhhh—hunky” she intentionally mimicked his gasp.

Both being dressed for the gym before going to breakfast saved them time, in hopes of getting a gym slot. For reasons unknown and possibly or possibly not related to the restaurant seating map being down, she’d been unable to make a gym reservation since first trying last night.

Soon as they were actually on the Sports Deck and nearing the Fitness Center they found out why: it was dark and closed. A sign on the door said nothing other than:


“That’s less than informative” noted Clark.

The spa was still open, Leigh noted. Given her good experience there before, she figured they’d at least know the story regarding the Fitness Center. “Let’s go find out the deal” she suggested, leading him by the hand and happy that their arm span and her rump size was such that of necessity he had to keep bumping into her butt.

The looks of worry on those behind the counter were concerning.

“Yes. We’ll close right now. Is it in the scheduling system already?… OK, good.… Absolutely.… Thank you. Bye.” Finished with the phone call, after a deep sigh massage therapist Humberto (as revealed on his name tag) told the new arrivals, “Sorry folks, we have to close immediately, per captain’s orders.”

“Why?” asked Leigh.

He looked uneasily towards his on-duty female colleague Gail, then back towards Leigh, “COVID-19. It’s here on board, and it’s spreading too fast. We’ve been disinfecting the whole time—we always disinfect and otherwise use proper cleaning and sanitary procedures—but orders from above per Royal Prince’s interpretation of U.S. CDC guidelines plus other international recommendations are that there’s still too much unknown about the spread, so non-essential services where people gather need to shut down.”

“Isn’t that pretty much everything?! What’s the point of a cruise without a spa, a gym, restaurants, pools, et cetera?”

“I know; I absolutely get it. Captain’s word is law when we’re at sea, so it is what it is.”

“Is that the real reason the Fitness Center is closed?” asked Clark.

“The sign is literally correct—or was, before this newest order came down. Several passenger infections have been traced back to someone who used the Fitness Center for over an hour. Not knowing what equipment and so on he used and with conflicting information on the transmittable lifetime of novel coronavirus on various metals, plastics, foam, and other materials in there, it’s been cleaned and shut down waiting the worst-case longest time estimate to time out. If they were still open, they’d have to close down now along with us.”

“For how long?”

“No idea, sir. This whole thing is unfolding faster than I can believe. The situation changes hour by hour.”

“There’s going to be a lot of sore, stressed, chonky passengers on board if everything remains shut down.”

The way Leigh brightly smiled and grabbed and wobbled her belly fat as she spoke confused the two massage therapists. Little did they know that not only did a part of Leigh not truly mind the exercise shutdown, she was having a blast titillating her man, feeling some of the results against her butt as he stood intimately behind her.

Ill-at-ease from Leigh’s observation (and her prodigious plumpness), Gail thought she might be able to help, at least slightly. “We can’t help with the gym equipment, but if you have someone to massage you, we can help with that.”

Clark and especially Leigh grinned like fools, leaving the spa each carrying a large grocery sack-sized tote bag chock-a-block with massage lotions and oils, extra-soft towels, hand sanitizer, and even a wooden massage roller in her bag and a wooden egg-shaped with 4 feet massage device in his.

“This is going to be even better than either the gym or the spa!” she gleamed.

“Sure you’re OK with missing out on exercise.”

“Better: this gives us more time for sexercise! But I would rather take the stairs back down.”

As they reached the staircase, an announcement blared to life over the ship’s P.A. system.

“Attention cruisers: effective immediately we are under Quarantine Level 1. Quarantine Level 1 requires all passengers who are ill or who have any symptoms of contagious illness to return to their staterooms and self-isolate. Those with symptoms of fever and/or fatigue and/or muscle pain and/or dry cough are at particular risk for transmitting COVID-19 disease. Those with minor breathing difficulty must return to their staterooms and contact the infirmary immediately. Anyone with moderate to high breathing difficulty and/or chest tightness please proceed immediately to the infirmary for triage. All cruisers are urged in the strongest possible terms to social distance a minimum of 2 meters or 6 feet, avoid touching your face, and please wash your hands well: 20 seconds at least with soap and water, or hand sanitizer. More information and the most current updates are available from your stateroom’s infotainment system and the Royal Prince app. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation, and for sailing with us on the Sapphire Prince.”

The message repeated multiple times, next in Spanish, then Italian, then German, then Chinese, then Japanese, before the entire loop repeated a second time, starting from the initial English version of the announcement. It went on long enough that they’d returned to Leigh’s stateroom before the last cycle completed.

Soon as her stateroom door was closed and locked and they’d set down their spa goody bags, Leigh sunk herself into her handsome hunk, wrapping her arms around him. “Oh dear. Isn’t it too bad that you’re going to have a very fat cruise girlfriend, because of the Fitness Center closure?” Her beaming grin came through in her teasingly sarcastic tone, making it abundantly clear that she too looked forward to her seemingly forthcoming burgeoning abundance.

“You don’t seem sad about that.”

“I’m not sad.” Hack! “Excuse me! And I’m very hot for you!”

He held the back of his hand to her forehead. “You’re very hot in general, Chonk. Sexily yes of course, but here I mean thermally. Honestly, Leigh: how do you feel?”

“Tired” she sighed. “More so than I ought to be, so early in the day. I’m going to be so pissed if I caught this thing.”

“That’s better than worried.”

“Oh, I’m that too! I’m in the elder age category more greatly affected by it.”

“So am I, and I still think it’s a steaming mountain of bullshit, using age as a proxy for a weakened immune system, or the ability for the person’s immune system to respond.”

“The statistics show it’s true.”

“There’s insufficient data for true minimally-biased statistics! They’re not testing zillions of people who likely have been exposed and are asymptomatic!”

“I don’t wanna argue with you. And I don’t want to be sick, and maybe die!

“Too bad it’s not sunny today, else you could go sit in the sun on your balconette and absorb some vitamin D.”

“Why not you too?!”

“Because” he nose-rub kissed her, “you are contagious.”

“Then you just infected yourself!”

“We’ve been kissing like crazy! Of course I’m exposed to whatever you have. My plan is for you to stay here and rest and start healing, while I go seek out some zinc and vitamins C and D.”

She quickly pressed the back of her hand to his forehead. “You’re overly-warm too.”

“That may be, but I’m not coughing nor having other symptoms yet, beyond the anosmia. If you have a scarf I can purloin as a bandana I’ll cover up with that, otherwise I’ll strive to keep my distance from others both for them and for me.”

“Why not just have room service deliver?”

“Betcha they’re vastly overbooked and can’t do it. I believe vigorous in-person lobbying in the infirmary will prove more effective.”

You’ll bring the stronger disease back here!

He grabbed her, striving to be gentle as he shook her, “Chonk!: you’re being irrational! This is one disease! Hasn’t had time to mutate yet. The difference in effect is the difference in each person’s health and immune system response, and for those on meds interactions with the meds. What’s that official CDC boilerplate we keep seeing? Something like ‘Most people develop mild symptoms or are asymptomatic’?”

But we both have fevers!

“Yes we may. Hence why I am going out now to go get some things that along with rest, plenty of fluids, relaxation, and letting go of stress ought to help our immune systems better cope, whether we have everyday rhinovirus, or regular or novel coronavirus, or whatever else.”

Far more like a petulant young newlywed than a mature cruise girlfriend, Leigh provided plenty of pouty whine to Clark along with the only scarf she’d packed, politely demanding that he come right back to her right away, soon as he picked up what he hoped to obtain.

Knock knock knock

{Ulllgh, I feel awful} thought Leigh as she hefted herself off her bed to answer the door.

Thankfully, it was Clark, and he was properly wearing the scarf bandana.

“How did you do?”

He held up 2 packets, “Two zinc capsules, seen here—that’s it. That’s all they’d give me, at any price I might pay them.”

“You had to pay them for those?”

“No. These and the two packets of two 500 milligram vitamin C tablets were free, and all we get” he concluded with a loud sigh, immediately handing her one of the zinc packets.

As he removed the scarf he asked, “How are things here?”

“Fever-hot, achey, and tiring, or I suppose tired. What’s it like out where I’m not supposed to go?”

“Weird. Some people are acting what I consider rationally, going about their business maintaining distance from those not in their group. Others are acting paranoid, like everyone else is about to launch a COVID-19 rocket grenade straight at them. Still others are acting like nothing’s happening at all, ignoring all distancing and non-contacting advisories. Crew and staff are wiping things down and cleaning like mad, most but not all of them wearing medical masks or those white construction workers’ dust masks. All the ones I saw wore gloves.”

She looked sad, sucking her solitary zinc lozenge.

“We’ll get through this, Chonk” he assured her, gently embracing her.

“Staying with me?” she asked hopefully.

“Unless you want me to go or Captain Dictator requires it, that’s my plan.”

“You sure we’re exposed to each other enough that it’s safe for us to be close to one another?”

“Yes. Along with a functioning immune system and sufficient nutrition, love can heal.”

“Come to bed with me and heal me please.”

Love, in the form of gentle caring affection and companionship did help heal, at least a little bit. So did the zinc tablet.

“Love the tea” Leigh told Clark from the comfort of her “cloud” sick bed. “Wish there was lunch to go with it.”

“You and me both, girlfriend. They’re going to have to step up their delivery game, if too many cruisers are confined to their staterooms.”

They’d ordered lunch in plenty of time: before noon. It was getting on to 1:30 and still no sign of lunch, nor status updates.

“Good thing I ate about 5 lunches-worth at lunch yesterday.”

The blissful look merging with her existing tired-ill-spacey look and especially her circularly caressing her own belly hoisted his sail significantly.

Knock knock knockRoom service!

By the time Clark made it to the door and opened it, the delivery person was long gone.

It was totally worth it to see the gleeful expectant joy of his cruise girlfriend awaiting his delivering the delayed sustenance. Despite being a year older than him and weighing more than he did, in this moment she was his little girl, and he was bringing all he had to care for her.

The juicy lamb potstickers and pork fried rice they shared satisfied them in most ways.

“Mmmmm… I sure am looking forward to getting my sense of taste back” she confided.

“Me too.”

“At least this is hot, and the texture’s nice. How’s your fever?”

“Better, actually.”

“Let me feel.”

“That’s what he said” he giggled.

“Feels are for dessert. Annnd you do feel cooler. How’re you doing that?”

“Zinc, vitamin C, and loving you. Not necessarily in that order, though prolly better in that order with this disease. Would that we had more of the first two starting days ago when we each first noticed the loss of taste, we might not be on the edge of something now.”

“We don’t need more love?”

He nuzzled deep into her side. “I think we’re saturated with that: we have all it’s possible to have.”

C-Huhh, C-Huuh she coughed. “Sorry.”

“Anything coming up?”

“Thankfully no. It’s the dry cough.”

They got back into the food, going through it in fairly short order.

“No, you can’t give me the rest of yourrrs!” she whined, with a punctuating cough.

“Why not? I’m doing fine.”

“You sure?”

“With the innocent, sweet look you’re giving me now, I wish I had a whole other container to give you. Or at least be able to go readily fetch one with minimal hassle, like on a normal cruise when everything’s open” he sighed.

“I could definitely eat it, I’m sure.” Her patting her own fat belly as she commented not only aroused him but also made him feel as though he was bonding deeper in love with her, despite such a thing not being possible. She welcomed the gentle circular belly caresses he gave her as she happily consumed the rest of their lunch.

Claiming the empty containers and utensils from her he asked, “More tea?”

“Not right now, thank you.” Eh-Huuh! “Think we should order dinner now, so it’s ready on time?”

“An hour or so early for that, if the time delay’s about the same. Hopefully they’ll have pulled things together so there’s not so much of a delay. I mean, I don’t really understand what the delay’s about. Normally they have to serve the same number of people, so it shouldn’t be any different at the kitchen end.”

“It’s likely the delivery end.”

“Has to be. I would’ve thought they’d have contingencies in place for this, given how common norovirus is on cruise ships.”

His smile upon returning from disposing of the empties brought out hers. Both of them were excited to get back to on-bed cuddling, notwithstanding the cloud of marginal illness.

The bed bounced a bit as he adjusted into position, during which he noticed something. “Are your hips bigger?”

“My hips are fatter, yes, and you may caress them. As well as any other part of me.”

“That might get us into things you may not feel up to getting into.”

“I’m feeling better now, thanks to the zinc and the vitamin C. And your love!”

He felt and saw the rapid change in her demeanor to one of generous amorousness: the sultry lip puffing-up, her searing sensual gaze aimed directly at him, the sinuous motions she made, her hands slithering like sex snakes onto him, one of them unbuttoning his shirt and slipping in.

“Somebody may want to consider seeking my new fat. Ya never know where I may be hiding it.”

“And here all this time I thought you were hiding it in plain sight” he grinned, slipping his hand under her leggings’ and panties’ waistbands. Once he did and had a quarter minute to feel around, his expression changed to amazement. “My gosh Chonky! I can– I can’t believe how much more of you there is here!”

“Mmm hmm” she purred, knowing what he liked and in this moment liking all she was very much herself.

Passions crept up, clothes crept off. To no one’s surprise and certainly not theirs, Leigh Down and Clark Barr were once again sharing immersive fatlovesex, mostly lying down.

Dinner arrived in a relatively timely manner—much sooner than lunch at around half an hour after they ordered. In the process of serving it, Clark saw something that disturbed him. “Chonk: you’re shivering. If you’re going to remain nude under the blankets, please at least let me get a top for you to wear to cover your upper body out of the blanket.”

She made a pouty bird lip, sighing “Hhhhhhhhhhh, alright.”

With sad puppy dog eyes of sincerity, he caressed her bare, intermittently shivering shoulder. “I want you to get better.”

“I know; so do I. Thing is, hhhhhhhhhh, if this really is COVID-19 and runs 14 days, the cruise will be over before the illness, and I’ll miss out on night after night of sleeping wholly nude in bed with you the way I’d hoped.”

“Hhmmh hhmmh” he chuckled.

“What?” she asked as she snatched the container of spaghetti with meat sauce from him so she could start eating.

“Thinking about how we’ve gone from the first day I boarded where I was close to the last person on the planet you wanted to see, totally ruining your cruise, to now where being anything less than head-to-toe skin-to-skin with me every night will ruin your cruise.”

“Mmrmpf” she mumbled as she chewed, “I wasn’t expecting to discover that we’re compatible beyond what I could have imagined, nor that I’d fall crazy deep in love with you.” Hack! Hack!

He shot her an expectant look.

“There’s a fleecy yellow long-sleeve pajama-like top in the vine suitcase.”

“Is your other suitcase named Hollywood?” he snickered.

“It’s got a vine pattern on it, alright?!” Huuck!

She looked even more adorable once it was retrieved and on her. Far better than that, she ceased shivering.