Baby Bonanza (Maureen Child) – Chapter Six

It’s three days later, and the ship’s docking in Acapulco. Mary Curran tries to convince Jenna to go shopping with her but Jenna declines, thinking about the last days she spent with Nick:

They’d spent nearly every minute together, and when they were here in this suite, the spacious accommodations seemed to shrink to the size of a closet. [Seems to me like she could have stayed in her (very small) cabin and only be in half the trouble she’s in now. And have more room.]

Then her thoughts wander to the dinner the Currans, Nick and her had the night before.

For so long, she’d thought of him only as a player. A man only interested in getting as many women as possible into his bed. A man who wasn’t interested in anything that wasn’t about momentary pleasure.
Now she’d seen glimpses of a different man. One who could enjoy himself with people who weren’t members of the “celebrity crowd.” A guy who could buy silly T-shirts for babies he wasn’t even sure were his. [Because you only ever buy presents for you own kids. Especially when you have a whole lot of money.] A guy who could still turn her into a puddle of want with a glance.

I’m sorry to say this, but if you’ve never seen this part of him, why the hell were you attracted to him in the first place? Especially with the picture you had of him?

I’m sorry, but I need a bit more of a reason to understand this than attraction for attraction’s sake. [Like say, you love a serial killer, but you like him because when he’s knitting, his concentration is so very endearing. (And because you might be deluding yourself.) I’d understand that better than “he’s an asshole but I like him. Period”.]

Anyway, Mary suspects that Jenna likes Nick and that Nick likes Jenna back (and I feel like I’m in kindergarden). She asks if Jenna wants to talk about it and even though Jenna would really like to have a friend, she declines because it would be too long a story.

Honey, it isn’t: You didn’t tell him you were an employee, you fucked with him, he found out and kicked you out, you got pregnant and now you’re back because you need money. Doesn’t take long at all.

But I’m kind of happy that I don’t need to read this story again.

Anyways, Mary gives in and leaves and Jenna heads on deck to enjoy the sun and relax.

Nick on the other hand is very busy. (Because he’s a control freak who can’t delegate anything.) This time it’s the band who’s making trouble. He tells Teresa to tell them if they don’t behave they’re going to stay in Acapulco.

The last few days had been hell. [No, not because of the band.]Being with her every day, sleeping down the hall from her at night, knowing she was there, stretched out on a king-size bed, probably wearing what she used to-a tank top and a pair of tiny, bikini panties-had practically killed him. He’d taken more cold showers in the last three days than he had in the past ten years.

Look, there is such a thing as making your life harder than necessary – you were the one to insist that they should sleep in the same suite and that they should spend as much time together as possible. You think that’s a bad idea now? Then just don’t do it anymore!

Anyway, because he can’t handle her sleeping in the next room he decides that that night, he’s going to sleep with her – before the results of the DNA test are back (which they will be the next day). Why the results of the DNA test are relevant for that, I’m not sure but anyway.

Teresa tells Nick that she doesn’t think that Jenna is trying to fool him. And then she embarks on a lecture of how she always thought Jenna was a sweet girl, even though she made a mistake and that Nick shouldn’t think badly of her and blablabla. Nick wants her to be right, so he can feel good about banging Jenna, and he doesn’t want her to be right because he doesn’t know how to handle a good woman.

Anyways, Nick decides if the kids are really his then he’s going to be a part of their lives – and if Jenna doesn’t want that, Nick is taking the children away from her. Because that’s definitely the best thing for the kids which is of course his only concern. This has nothing to do with staying in control of everything ever, he’s just thinking about the children.

That night, Jenna is getting ready for dinner. She stands on the balcony of the suite, waiting for Nick when she hears music.

The plaintive instrumental seeped into her soul and made her feel wistful.

Excuse me, while I go puke to rid myself of this kitsch excess. This statement is made even more ridiculous by the fact that I’m pretty sure that the band on a cruise ship sounds like a band hired for weddings and such – and that any music of this kind could “seep into somebody’s soul” is a hilarious notion.

This sentence reminds me of an advise for writers I read once. I don’t remember who said / wrote it (I’m thinking Proust but I could be terribly mistaken) but they basically said: When you’re proofreading what you’ve written, find every sentence you especially love and then delete it. It’s rubbish.
I think that’s what should have been done here. And for the next paragraph as well:

She sighed, leaned on the balcony railing and stared out at the sea. Moonlight danced on the surface of the water in a shimmer of pale silver. Clouds scuttled across a star-splashed sky, and the ever-present wind lifted her hair from her shoulders with a gentle touch.

 Nick enters the balcony and they both think about the first night they’ve met.

 “You were dancing, alone in the dark,” he said, as if she hadn’t spoken at all. As if he were prompting her memory. “You didn’t notice me, so I watched you as you swayed to the music, tipping your head back, your hair sliding across your shoulders.”

Who the hell talks like that? After some more pseudo-poetic ramblings, Nick gets to the point: He still wants Jenna, now more than ever. Jenna feels the same way but hides behind some clichés – this would be a mistake, we shouldn’t, the fire of the passion is too strong and la-dee-frickin-dah.

Her mind fought with her traitorous body, and Jenna knew that rational thought was going to lose. The need was too great. The desire too hot. The temptation too strong. She did want him. She’d wanted him from the moment she first saw him more than a year ago. She’d missed him, dreamed of him, and now that he was here, touching her, was she really going to turn him down? Walk away? Go to her solitary bed and pray she dreamed of him again?

 Or maybe she should just fuck him and get over it and him.

Look. There can be physical attraction without emotional attraction, there can be emotional attraction without physical attraction and in very happy cases, you have both. So far, I’ve heard nothing but how hot Nick is, indicating to me that what they have is pretty much physical only. And if that’s the case for both of them, why not just sleep together?

Sex is no solution to emotional differences between two persons but it can damn well be a solution for bilateral lust. It’s not that big a deal.

So, finally Jenna gives in and leans in to kiss him. Nick comments on this by saying “Atta girl”, which would have made me kick him in the nuts, hard. “Atta girl” is something you say to a dog or in the best case someone you expect to do anything you say, not an equal partner or somebody you want to sleep with.

Jenna doesn’t care and they kiss. Here’s the highlights of this page:

(…)

a kiss that stole her breath and set her soul on fire

(…)

who needed air?

(…)

spirals of heat dancing through her bloodstream

(…)

divining her secrets

(…)

molten desire

(…)

the wonder of his touch

(…)

magic of the moment

Yes, that’s all in one page. Isn’t it wonderful?

Things heat up and Nick undresses Jenna. And people, I have an announcement to make! This is the first time I’m going to quote a passage here which I. ACTUALLY. LIKE! I’m dumbstruck and at least as amazed as you must be…

In the year since she’d seen him, she’d grown, changed, and now that she was with him again, she was more, so she was able to feel more.

Unfortunately in this context, it doesn’t make much sense. Because the way she lets Nick treat her, the way she takes his orders and follows them, she still isn’t much of her own person. If she’s grown so much, imagine how small she must have been before that…

Nick goes down on her breasts and Jenna gets to the question I’ve been asking myself all the time as well.

Why was he the man her heart yearned for? [I don’t know, sweetie, I don’t know…]

Which is kind of a weird moment for her to be thinking this, isn’t it?

Nick turns Jenna around so her backs to him and starts fingering her (“explor[ing] her damp heat”, sorry). Then:

She was empty but for the sensations he created. [What happened to the stuff I like? The she’s more so she can feel more thing? Now she’s completely empty except for the things he puts inside her (pun quite definitely intended).] He dipped his head and whispered into her ear, “Watch the sea. See the moonlight. Lose yourself in them while I lose myself in you….” [Okay, Nick, you and me, we gotta talk about what qualifies as dirty talk…]
She did what he asked, [Of course she did.] fighting to keep her eyes open, and focused on the shimmering sea as he dipped first one finger and then another into her heat. [Is she burning down there? It’s her pussy, call it her pussy.] Jenna’s breath hitched and she wanted to close her eyes, the better to focus on what he was doing, but she didn’t. [Why? You want to close your eyes, you close your eyes. It’s not like Nick wants to look into them as he’s standing behind you anyway… Apart from that, what kind of sentence is that? “I wanted to do it, but I didn’t.” Sucks.]

Ms Child compares Nick’s fingers to a concert pianist, which makes me wonder what exactly he’s doing – playing the clitorial fifth symphony by Beethoven?
And then she explicitly states that Jenna’s body is Nick’s instrument. Hellooooo, objectifying! Rarely have I seen you this uncovered!

Then Nick tells her that she should come for him and her body “strove to reach the peak Nick was pushing her toward”. Sorry, but this sounds more like competitive sports than sex or an orgasm… But it fits their relationship dynamic perfectly.

Finally, Jenna does come. Then Nick scoops her up and carries her to the bedroom. He tears off his clothes [yes, he’s not undressed yet. Apparently Jenna didn’t want to see his magnificent (I’m presuming) body or feel his skin on hers. In good old porno tradition, the woman gets naked, while the man stays dressed as long as possible] and “surrenders to the inevitable”. How… sexy?

His body ached and clamored for release. Every inch of him was humming, just touching her. Lying beside her. Jenna. Always Jenna who did this to him. Who turned him into a man possessed, a man who could think of nothing beyond claiming what he knew to be his. [She. Is. Not. Yours. *growls* She. Is. Hers. And how do you know anyway? She never said so! I know this is nitpicking and that people find the notion of possession romantic and “he said that I was his and I melted” is kind of an recurring story theme. But there is so much wrong with this notion, I don’t even know where to begin…]

Nick gets a condom (YAY! YAY! YAY!), and then “invades her” [*headdesk*]. They fuck which is described in rather lyrical terms:

Their rhythm set, they danced together, bodies joined, melded, becoming one as they reached for the same, shattering end that awaited them. He stared down into her eyes, losing himself in their depths.

Yadda yadda yawn.

When their done, the chapter ends with:

When he collapsed atop her, he still wasn’t sure just who had seduced whom. [And I’m not sure why I should care.]

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