Moonlight and the lights of Rhodes Town shone on the ink black water. Waves lapped gently against the side of the ship. Distant music swelled and ebbed from the dining room.
Joshua Addison had never felt more alone.
He'd had a partner when he'd won this two-week cruise around the Mediterranean six months ago, shortly before Drew had left him for another man. Now Josh was here alone thousands of miles from home. He'd flown to meet the cruise liner on the island of Rhodes, boarded, walked around his first-class cabin, then come out on to the private balcony. He'd been aboard approximately ten minutes and already felt like hurling himself into the ocean.
A sudden cry split his self-pitying reverie.
"Shit, what are you doing, Freddie? Why are you using your teeth? Christ!"
Josh's glance jerked sideways. He gazed across the wall separating his balcony from his neighbours', squinting at two shapes in the dark.
There was a man on his knees being held by the hair by a man on his feet.
"Sorry, I've got cramp in my leg. Fuck..." The man on his knees shook one leg out behind him violently.
"Jesus, you nearly bit my dick off."
Josh's face heated with blood and he tried to sink back into the shadows in case his neighbours thought he was a Peeping Tom.
It was too late.
"Shit," cursed the man on his feet, fumbling at his pants while his partner lurched up.
The man giving the public sexual favour stepped towards the wall with a cheeky grin. Of small stature and thin, with dark hair, he was dressed smartly for dinner, even if his shirt was luminous pink. "Hi, you must be our neighbour. We were just"--he coughed "christening the place." He held out his hand.
Josh regarded it dubiously before shaking. "Josh Addison."
"I'm Freddie Booth, this is Erik Dalby."
Freddie's partner approached the wall. Taller, with red hair and a nice smile, he put his arm around Freddie's waist. "Sorry we disturbed you."
Josh was more embarrassed than his exhibitionist neighbours. He mumbled something appropriate.
"Who're you here with?" Erik asked.
"No one." Josh glanced back towards the safety of his cabin, desperate to closet himself inside.
"Why not?" Freddie asked boldly.
Josh glared at him. "Because I'm sad and lonely and have no friends." He stalked back to his cabin and slammed the door.