"Oh for goodness sake Jo, would you please get a move on!!" North was just about at the end of her patience. They only had an hour to go before they had to meet the others at the docks. She had been ready hours ago, but as usual Jo had last minute things to pack.
"Oh keep your mission pants on North." Jo laughed. "They're not going to leave without us you know. This is a special invite for all of us, so even if we do 'miss the boat' so to speak, they'll find a way to get us to the ship."
"Oh, you'd love that wouldn't you?" North just looked at her friend and shook her head. "I can see it now.... 'After the ship had left port, 2 members of the Covert Lovers had to be airlifted out to the ship as they had been late in arriving.' Yup, you would just love that."
Jo laughed again. Not much got her down. "Hey, that sounds like a plan. Just think of the impression we would make on the cast."
"What am I going to do with you Jo? Never mind don't answer that. And where the heck is Tig? He should have been here a half hour ago."
"Don't worry, he'll get here in plenty of time. I can always count on my Tig." Tig was Jo's hubby and he agreed to be our taxi service for the day. He had already taken two loads of our girls down to the ship from Covert Lovers Headquarters.
A few months ago we had recieved a special invitation from the head honcho's at LFN Productions to go on a one week, all expenses paid cruise with the cast and crew of the show. They were going to be filming a segment of one of the episodes and decided to use some of the mailing list members as extras. We had a bunch from our list going and there were some from the Harem and the Royettes going too.
North glanced at her watch and realized that time was getting away on them. Just then the door to Jo's room burst open and Kathy came charging in.
"Oh good, I'm not too late." she said, out of breath.
"Kathy, what are you still doing here?" North asked, surprised to see her. "I thought you left with the last group?"
"Nope, got a last minute phone call and told them to go ahead, that I would come down with the two of you." she explained. "I've got my stuff all ready to go by the door."
"I'm ready too, but Jo here decided she couldn't do without a few things."
"Oh quit picking on me Mommy North, or I'll tell a few tales about my late night lusting partner." Jo chimed in as she pushed down on her suitcase and managed to snap it shut. "You don't want that now do you Mommy dearest?"
North looked at Jo and smiled. "Ha! You got nothing on me. In fact, I think it's the other way around, if you ask me"
"I don't think so North."
Kathy looked to the two of them not having a clue as to what they were talking about. She was fairly new here at CLHQ and didn't know all the people yet. She was hoping to get to know them better on the cruise and from the sounds of it, it would be interesting.
Hearing a commotion in the hallway, the girls poked their heads out to finally see the late Tig.
"Sorry girls, got a flat a few miles from here. If we hurry we may just make it on time." he explained as he grabbed his wife's bags. "Whoa Jo, what have you got in here? Rocks?" he asked as he groaned under the weight.
"Nope. Just my stuff."
North looked at the two of them. Tig was so understanding of Jo's obsession with LFN. "Well, folks, we better get this show on the road."
The traffic was heavy as they made their way on the highway. Tig was weaving in and out of the traffic, trying to find any hole that he could to get them there quicker but also in one piece.
When they were getting close to the docks Tig looked at his watch and frowned. "Well girls, don't be surprised when we get there and they've already set sail. According to my watch, they should have left 20 minutes ago. It's too bad the roads were so congested. I figured we would have plenty of time still, but who would have thought that in the middle of the day we would have problems like this."
"Don't worry about it Tig." North grinned. "While you were getting the bags into the car, I called the ship's head office and they agreed to have a helicopter waiting for us to take us out. In fact it seems as though they already had one on standby courtesy of LFN. The girl on the phone laughed when I explained what happened. She told me that the ship would be waiting just outside of the breakwater. They had to make room at the dock for another liner that was on a tight schedule."
Tig looked at North in the rearview mirror and smiled. "Lucky for you girls then."
"Yeah, very lucky for us." Kathy agreed. "I think this is going to be loads of fun and I can't wait to get to know the rest of the girls and to actually meet the cast of the show is a dream I have had for a long time."
North nodded her head. "Yup, it will be fun. Looks like Jo is going to get her wish come true too."
Tig drew his brows together with a questioning look. "OH? and what wish is that, pray tell."
Jo had been sitting quietly in the front seat and now she spoke up. "Nothing dear. Nothing at all."
Kathy and North broke out laughing. North had whispered to Kathy what had been said just before she had come into Jo's room, so she was clued into Jo's 'wish'.
Tig started to laugh too. He knew his wife. "Let me guess." he turned to Jo. "You wanted to make an entrance, right?"
Now it was Jo's turn to laugh. "Gee, am I that predictable?"
All three of them answered in unison. "YES."
"Okay, that's it. I have got to change my ways. Yup, going to find some way to surprise you all one of these days."
"Yeah, when pigs fly." North piped up.
Finally reaching their destination, North and Kathy said thanks to Tig and went into the office to make the final arrangements for their flight out to the ship.
After saying her goodbyes to Tig, Jo joined them and they made their way to the helicopter pad. The pilot introduced himself and got the girls buckled in before stowing their luggage.
Trace, Sherry and Aly were on the middle deck watching the boats coming out of the harbor when they noticed the helicopter coming closer to the ship. They had been concerned when Tig didn't return in time with the last load of girls. Aries had been with them and had gone to see what could be done about waiting for them. She came back with the news that they couldn't wait and would have to set sail on time. She was so upset that she headed to her cabin not wanting to watch with the others as they left the dock.
Aly looked to the other two. "See, I told you we had stopped here for a reason."
Trace looked to her bud and asked the question, both she and Sherry had on their minds. "Oh, and what reason is that?"
"That North, Kathy and Jo would find their way to the ship. North can be pretty resourceful when she has to be."
"Wonder what the reason for the hold up was." Sherry said as she held her hand to her eyes to shield the sun. "Who wants to take bets as to whose fault it was?"
"Nah. That's too easy. I think we all know that our money would be on Jo anyway." Trace quipped back. "Besides we all know that Jo just loves to make an entrance."
Aly cupped her hands to her forehead as well and watched as the helicopter reached the ship. "Yeah, you're right as usual Trace. Probably Jo's fault. But I still can't wait to hear the story behind it."
Roy and Peta were lounging on the balcony off Roy's stateroom when they heard the helicopter approach. They had just finished their lunch and were going over their lines for tomorrow's segment.
Roy was the first to speak. "Well, it looks like our late arrivals have finally arrived."
"Yup, looks like they have. It was good thinking on Joel's part to have the helicopter handy. He must have been clairvoyant to have arranged this beforehand."
Roy being the practical joker of the bunch suggested they go and greet the latecomers. "Let's see who had the nerve to hold us up this way." He was grinning ashe said this though.
"Oh, no you don't. They may take you seriously and then be all upset and then who knows what will happen." Peta shook her head as he got up off his chair and headed towards the door. Well, she may as well join him to make sure he didn't carry it too far.
The pilot turned in his seat and spoke to the girls. "Just hang on until the rotors stop turning and then I'll get you out of there."
The three of them had enjoyed the attention they had received from everyone. They did as they were told and in no time were out of the chopper and on the flight deck. It was then that they realized how large the ship was.
"Well Jo," North started, "I sure hope you are ready to do the explaining. I can only imagine what this is going to cost us!!"
"Yeah, yeah. No problem." she laughed. Then she turned around and noticed who had come onto the deck. She stopped laughing abruptly which made the other two turn and look as well.
"Oh my gosh." Kathy whispered. "It's Michael and Nikita.. uh, I mean Roy and Peta." She never thought she would meet them under these circumstances and that made her nervous. Her knees were going weak and it took everything she had not to shake.
"Wow, I wonder if everyone got a greeting from them." North whispered. "I can't believe they would come up special for us."
Roy and Peta strode up to the girls. Roy was practicing his patent stare as he stepped in front of the girls. Jo wasn't intimidated in the least and stared right back at him with the same expression. North and Kathy just stood by and watched the silent interplay between them. Peta had a hard time controlling her smile as she too looked on.
"Hi girls. I"m Peta and I think you all know my sidekick, Roy." she said as she held out her hand.
Jo and Roy didn't budge but North introduced herself and Kathy to Peta and then nudged Jo who still hadn't taken her eyes off Roy. "Oh hi, I'm Jo, nice to meet the two of you."
Roy still stood there and then finally broke his silence. "Okay, what I would like to know, is who is responsible for holding up the ship and making us wait?" He sounded stern as he said this and he too was still staring.
"Well, if you must know, it was my husband. He had a flat on the way back from dropping some of the girls off. I wasn't worried though," she continued. "I knew that arrangements would have been made."
"Oh, I see." said Roy, finally breaking the stare as he looked to North and Kathy, who was still weak kneed. "So you didn't think it would matter that we would be held up?"
"Oh lighten up Roy. Give the girls a break." Peta looked to the girls then. "Why don't we get you inside and find your rooms so you can get settled in. They've already served lunch but I am sure that we can arrange to have some meals sent to your room."
North looked relieved. "Thanks Peta and thanks for the welcoming committee. I'm sure the other girls must have been thrilled to meet you as they boarded."
Roy then turned to North and smiled. Suddenly North felt HER knees go weak and wobbly. "Oh no, we didn't greet the others. There will be a formal meet and greet at dinner tonight. We just had to see who thelate comers were."
"Oh, don't worry North," Peta assured her. "Roy is our practical joker on the set and he couldn't let this pass by without at least trying to get your goats."
Roy laughed and helped the pilot get the bags together as they all strode over the deck and inside.
The girls got their stuff settled into their rooms, had a quick lunch and met up in the lounge with the others.
Aries rushed up the them and gave them all a hug. "Boy am I ever glad to see you!! I thought for sure that you would have to miss out on all this."
Jo hugged her back and said, "No way, no how was I about to miss out on this. Tig had a flat on the way back from dropping you guys off."
"Hey, wait a minute." North said. "It wasn't just Tig's fault. Even if he would have been back in time you were nowhere near ready."
"Sure I was, wasn't I Kathy?"
"Oh no you don't. I may be a newbie around here but you aren't going to drag me into this." she laughed.
Jo went over and put her arm around Kathy. "You and me girl are gonna have to have a talk one of these days." Kathy's eyes got wide. "Oh, don't worry, nothing bad. I just need to fill you in on the goings on at CLHQ." Jo continued noticing the alarm in Kathy's face.
Aries and Aly started laughing. Aly looked to Kathy and reassured her. "Don't pay any attention to Jo there. Her bark is worse than her bite."
"I can hold my own. Once I know my way around," Kathy responded. "I"ll make sure I get her back for this."
North made her way over to the Harem group and said hello. "Missy, so glad to see you here. Looks like we have a lot from both our lists here."
"Hey North. I see you made a grand entrance." Missy laughed.
"Hmm, you noticed huh? Well, that was all Jo's doing I'm afraid to say."
"Ahh, Jo. Yup, that certainly is her style. Just has to make an entrance and be noticed. I should have guessed when I didn't see her after our group had boarded. I think I'll go on over and say hello. It's been a while since I've seen her." With that Missy walked over to the group of laughing girls.
"...and then I just stared him down." Jo ended her story.
"Stared who down?" Missy asked, having missed the first part.
Jo turned to Missy and gave her a big hug. "Why Roy of course. We had our own welcoming committee to greet us after we landed."
Missy, shaking her head in wonder at her friend, just smiled. "Leave it to you Jo to make such a grand entrance. No fair either as we have to wait until tonight to meet the cast. I'm sure you made a lasting impression on our Spy boy."
"Yup, sure did."
Just then one of the ship's pursers went to the front of the room and announced that the room would need to be cleared out in order to get ready for that evening. "I would suggest you go to your rooms and get some rest." he said. "I think it will be a late night tonight. I also want to remind you that tomorrow will be an 'off' day, but shooting of the scenes will be starting the day after. You will all be given your assignments after lunch tomorrow."
The girls made their way to their rooms to rest up for the evening's festivities. They were all looking forward to meeting the cast and crew of their favorite show.
The evening's festivities were well under way. All the cast and crew had been introduced just before the evening meal was served. The cast had all been at the head table with the crew interspersed amongst the rest of the guests. There had only been one interesting incident so far and that had happened during the actual meal....
"Ladies and Gentlemen, if I could have your attention please!!" Roy spoke over the hubbub of chatter. When everyone realized that he was standing and saying something, they stopped what they were doing and listened.
"Now, as you all know, we had a slight delay today after we departed the docks. Well, I thought I would like to introduce everyone to the 3 ladies who were responsible for our delay."
Gasps could be heard through the silence of the room from a table in the center. North, Kathy and Jo were taken by surprise with the announcement from Roy. Jo just looked at the other two and whispered, "Just follow my cue girls." With that Jo stood up and after a few seconds the other two reluctantly joined her.
"Hey Roy. We're right here." Jo laughed taking him by surprise. She started to walk up to his table with the other two not far behind. North and Kathy had no idea what she was up to and were almost scared to find out.
"Well, well, Jo." he covered his surprise quite well. "I see you are no worse for wear tonight."
"Oh, we're on top of the world Roy. I mean who else got a personal welcome from Spyboy himself??"
"Oh you naughty girl." he laughed. "Here I thought I could get you and you go and turn the tables on me."
The rest of the guests were laughing by the time Jo, Kathy and North sat back down to finish their meal. As usual Jo didn't let anything or anyone get to her.
Everyone had a chance to mingle with the stars of the show and they were also told that each evening after the day's shooting they would be shown the rough cuts and out-takes. The girls were all excited with the part that they would be playing in this particular episode.
Roy walked over to Jo's table and spent a little bit of time talking to all the girls. Aries and Sherry were more than thrilled at the time he took with each of them as well as dancing with them.
It wasn't long and the evening was over. It was the wee hours of the morning before everyone made their way back to their rooms and got settled in for the night.
The shooting schedule was kept for the most part for the week. They had to rearrrange a few of the shots because of rain, but everyone had been good sports about it.
The last day of the cruise came quickly and the girls were reluctant to leave. They had had a wrap up party the night before and were all given official T-shirts and jackets from the show. Jo even had the nerve to ask Roy if she could wear his mission pants that he had worn all week and much to the surprise of the others, he agreed. She had been the belle of the ball the night before and had a blast pretending to be Nikita in a spoof she did with a few of the other Covert Lovers.
As the girls departed the ship, Roy gave each of them a resounding kiss.
this story copyrightę 1999, Northstar
Closing the booklet after she had read the last story,she was no closer to making a decision on which cruise to take. They all sounded like so much fun. Well, she thought to herself, the only way to make a decision isto put the pamphlets in a bag and pick one. With THAT decision made, she went to bed...
I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our Illusions contributors this week.
I especially want to welcome Nabiki and Tasamin for writing their very first Illusion!! You both did an excellent job and we look forward to having you do more!!!