Plan of Attack
February 1, 2012
Inspired by the Wonderful Wednesday Activity! On VinF&D group.
Our boys are sorely in need of a vacation, so let's send them on a cruise to the Bahamas! :)
Here's your assignment...
There are many, many things to do on a cruise, including on-board activities and off-ship excursions. What activities do you think each of our boys would choose? Would they spend their time in the casino, reading by the pool, in one of the bars, parasailing, or...? You can use actual cruise activities and/or excursions, or make them up, silly or serious, as you go.
“Come on, Ezra!” JD whined, you’ve got to have some plan.”
Ezra strolled along at his own pedestrian pace causing his six friends to have to adjust their step if they didn’t wish to leave him far behind. He shook his head and gave his friend a relaxed smile. “I have no plans except to stroll around this magnificent ship and do whatever I please, whenever it pleases me.”
Vin, who had been caught up in JD’s excitement at being on a cruise ship for the first time, paused and took a good look at their undercover agent. Ezra looked more at ease than he’d seen him in some time. Their last few cases had fallen back to back, requiring Ezra to go from one undercover assignment to another with little down time. Vin fell into step with Ezra. “I think Ezra’s got the right idea, JD. Seems to me we normally spend our days planning our actions down to the minute. I’m all for some unplanned fun, ‘long as it takes us by the skeet shooting gallery,” he finished with a grin.
Ezra smiled back at the sharpshooter. “Do not let me dictate your plans, Vin. This is ‘our’ vacation. Everyone should be allowed to do whatever they wish.”
“As long as we all meet back for dinner,” Chris said, uneasy about having all these troublemakers out of his sight for too long.
The others chuckled at Chris’ mock glare.
JD’s shoulders slumped a bit. “Oh, okay. You’re right,” he said with less enthusiasm. Vin and Eazra shared a glance.
Buck grabbed JD’s arm and started to propel him along the hallway. “Come on, kid. I want to get the first shot at picking which game we get to play. You feel like racin’ or shoot ‘em up?” he asked, plowing on, not giving the kid a chance to answer. “Don’t make a difference to me, either one’ll be great to play on those big screens they got. I wonder which one will attract more of the female guests though?”
The others laughed as the sound of JD and Buck bantering got lost the further away they got.
“What about you guys?” Vin asked, “any specific plans?”
Josiah stuffed his hands in the pockets of his Dockers and settled into the slower pace set by the Southerner. “I had some ideas, but nothing set in concrete. I understand they have quite a library…”
Nathan snorted. “You’re going to waste your time on a cruise reading? You can do that any time.” He shook his head. “I’m heading for the rock climbing wall, then the spa and maybe later tonight a little dancing,” he added with a quick two step, his arms out as if holding a partner.
Chris chuckled. “What will Rain say?” he teased.
Nathan grinned. “I’ll just tell her I was practicing for the next time we go out dancing.”
“Sounds like an enjoyable day,” Ezra said with a smile.
“You’re welcome to join me,” Nathan said, eyeing his friend with a little concern. Ezra had been working too hard the last few months.
“While I appreciate the offer, I do not intend to indulge in anything as strenuous as rock climbing today,” Ezra answered. “Possibly later in the cruise, but not today.”
Josiah nodded. “I’m with Ezra, nothing too physical today, it’ll be good to relax, but I do want to get in some snorkeling when we get into port.”
“Me too,” Vin added eagerly, Chris and Nathan nodding their agreement.
Ezra just smiled.
“What about you, Chris?” Nathan asked.
“Well, I understand they have golf…” he trailed off looking at Josiah who huffed and shook his head.
“I’ve sworn off the game, Chris, you know it does anything but relax me,” Josiah admitted ruefully causing more laughter.
“There’s miniature golf,” Vin teased.
Josiah looked thoughtful. “Now that is a possibility,” he replied with a chuckle.
Chris looked at Ezra, a gleam in his eyes. “I thought maybe I’d hit the casino.”
Ezra met his gaze calmly, having expected this ribbing from his leader. “Perhaps,” he said enigmatically.
Vin laughed. “Well, I’m going to go find the skeet shooting, ya’ll come on by if ya wanna see some fine shootin’,” he said with a broad grin and a wave as he strode ahead.
Nathan watched Vin go for a second then looked back at the others. “You sure you don’t want to go climbing?”
The other three shook their heads.
Nathan shrugged and smiled. “Okay, see ya later tonight. Have fun doing… whatever.”
Josiah, Chris and Ezra finally reached the doorway that led out onto the deck. They paused at the rail to take in the view. It was a beautiful day, clear blue skies with just a few wispy white clouds and a slight breeze to keep it from being too warm. The pool on the deck below was already buzzing with people of all ages, splashing and laughing in the early morning sun.
Chris sighed. “Think I’ll go for a swim.”
Ezra and Josiah waved as he headed for the sweeping staircase to the deck below, just noticing that Chris was wearing swim trunks with his tank top. Female heads turned to watch as the blonde pulled his shirt off, shucked out of his deck shoes and took a dive into the pool.
Ezra chuckled. “I’d say it’s a good thing the others didn’t decide to go swimming right now as well.”
Josiah’s grin broadened as he watched Chris end up surrounded by several lovely ladies who gave each other glares behind Chris’ back. “We could go down and even the odds a bit, brother.”
Ezra laughed. “Feel free, Josiah. I truly am satisfied to take a stroll. Something will strike my fancy eventually.”
Josiah nodded, accepting Ezra’s decision. “All right then, a swim, a quick gander at the library for some reading material after the sun has gone down and then… who knows what,” he finished with a toothy grin. “Look out ladies, here I come.”
Ezra laughed again as Josiah trotted down the stairs calling Chris’ name and attracting his own looks from the female guests. Buck was going to have some competition it seemed.
After a few moments, Ezra meandered back inside through the main entrance where other entertainment could be found. He passed the stores and the casino, making note of their location for later. He did owe a few people a unique token of appreciation that might be acquired on ship, or perhaps in one of the ports. The exercise room and game rooms were both noted, Ezra thought he heard Buck’s voice cry out in dismay as he passed.
Finally he ended up near a room where children’s voices could be heard, shouting, laughing, even a cry here and there. Ezra entered the hall where a long window overlooked a wide open room filled with jungle gym equipment, toys, and children. Other adults lined the hall, watching through the window as they chatted with each other or simply remained silent enjoying the moment of peace. Within the room he could see other adults in the ship’s uniform supervising the play, making sure no one got hurt.
Ezra leaned back against the wall, casually crossing one ankle over the other as his hands automatically pulled a deck of cards from his pocket and he began to shuffle. The combination of shuffling and watching the children play eased the last of the tension from his lean frame and he sighed peacefully to himself.
A pleasant looking woman standing a few feet from him turned at his sigh and smiled at the look on his face. “Brings back memories of when I was a kid,” she said. Ezra smiled back and nodded. “One of them belong to you?” she asked.
“No,” Ezra admitted, realizing how that might sound.
“Me either,” the woman said. “My sister’s kids are in there,” she said tilting her head presumably to point out the children in question, but there was a large group and Ezra couldn’t tell who she meant. “We’re hoping to wear them out a bit before we leave them with my brother-in-law so Sherry and I can have a little girl time,” she admitted wryly, tucking a strand of reddish brown hair behind her ear.
Ezra grinned. “Family vacation?” he asked.
She shrugged. “Sort of. They had an extra ticket and dragged me along. Not that I struggled too hard,” she grinned. “You?”
Ezra nodded. “I’m here with my brothers. They all wanted to ‘do’ something, I just wanted to relax for a while.”
She nodded and stuck out her hand. “I’m Cathy Southerland, pleased to meet you.”
Ezra straightened away from the wall, grasped her hand, turned it and brought it to his lips. “Ezra Standish, at your service.”
Cathy blushed, her brown eyes sparkling. “My, my, a true gentleman to go along with the Southern accent. I do declare,” she said roughly imitating Scarlet O’Hara.
Ezra chuckled. He looked past her into the room, then back. “Would you have time for a stroll around the deck?”
Cathy glanced over her shoulder and whatever she saw seemed to confirm that she would. “Absolutely.”
Ezra offered his arm and led the way. Perhaps he’d have to make plans for the rest of the trip after all.
I love feedback! JudyL