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Are you as obsessed with the certain world cruise that is taking social media by storm as I am?

The second I saw the first TikTok, characters and stories just popped into my head. 

They sank their teeth in and just wouldn't let go.

They started asking... 

What if this was supposed to be your honeymoon? 

What if you fell in love on vacation? 

What if you fell in love TWICE? 

Why Cruise is exclusive to my Ream Community. This will be a serial romance, published in episodes until the story is complete. Head over to Ream to join the adventure now!

Ream Stories is an subscription based membership community much like Patreon. Authors carve out there own little universe. It's a private place where I can share my current projects and create unique experiences for my readers.

There are three different tiers at $5, $10 and $25 a month. Each tier has its own benefits and perks!

My plan is a chapter a week until the story is complete. That may change over time!

So, Girl meets Boy. Then Girl meets another Boy. She has to choose between them. Right? Nope. She doesn't have to choose. My why choose stories involve multiple characters who have intense and intimate relationships with multiple people. Love is not a finite resource. All these relationships happen with the knowledge and consent of all the people involved. There is no cheating. You should also note, that everyone is queer to some extent.

Absolutely... when it is finished. Why Cruise is avaliable for pre-order, but I would go live until at least the fall. I'm publishing this on my Ream Stories page as a serial, so you'll get a chapter a week. Once complete, then it will go on retailers. So join the fun, and read along as I write!


Mackenzie Walker

Rose petals were strewn all over the perfectly made bed. It was romantic and beautiful.

I wanted to throw up.

The steward moved around the suite pointing out different features, cataloging the amenities. I was frozen. I couldn't tear my eyes away from the bed.

“I presume Mr. Alwood will be joining us later this afternoon?" That was more of a question than a statement. I guess it was a bit unusual for a couple to board the ship separately.

My heart pounded. I could feel the blood drain from my face.

"He won't be joining us.“

Us. Not me. It made it less threatening to have this be about a Royal We than plain old me.

The steward’s face stilled to a perfect customer service smile. I could see him doing the math in his head, like gruesome calculus where a squared plus b squared did not equal honeymoon suite.

He didn’t pepper me with questions. Hell, I had questions that I couldn’t answer. He moved swiftly to the little seating arrangement and the spread of celebratory nibbles that were already laid out for us. Chocolate covered strawberries. A crystal glass with caviar, and creme freche. Even one of those mother of pearl spoons.

He pulled the bottle of champagne out of the icy holder. With no ceremony, or fanfare, or words of celebration, he expertly popped the cork with a twisting motion and filled a glass. Just one glass from the pair of flutes perfectly arranged next to a towering bouquet of white roses..

He stepped to the balcony and slid the door open with that soft shushing sound that only sliding glass doors made. With a faultless smile that didn't touch his eyes, he gestured outside.

”It's customary to enjoy your first glass of champagne on the balcony," he said. I couldn't tell if his voice was colored with empathy or pity.

I clutched my overstuffed bag tighter to my side. I knew my knuckles were white. They had long since lost any sensation. I was numb everywhere.

I took the glass from him and stepped out onto the balcony. There are two loungers on my right and a tiny table and two deck chairs on my left. The steward reappeared with the ice bucket and champagne bottle. The door sighed closed behind me.

I sat, plopping the heavy Birkin on my lap and flexed my fingers. The sparkle of the five carat diamond ring practically blinded me. It shone brighter than the little white caps from the port. I twisted it off my finger. This took more effort than my last cardio class by the way I was panting.

With one hand, I wedged the books I had panic-bought out of the Birkin, tearing through the other odds and ends that I didn't know how to pack in an effort to find the note. It was on cheap copy paper from a stash of everyday office supplies.

Eyeing the railing, I had the sudden urge to chuck the ring - the note, the Birkin, myself, overboard.

Instead, I downed the glass of champagne in one go, and then refilled it. I set the glass down, I needed two hands to get to the zippered pouch. I had never opened it before and it needed a tug.

I dropped the ring in there, and pushed it snug into a corner to keep it safe. I folded the note, making crisp creases with my nails.

I'd read it over and over, but the text just looked like some code from an ancient scroll written in a dead language. It was English, I understood every word, but it still didn't make sense. The more I thought about it, the more delusions and hallucinations spiked in my imagination. Maybe he had been body snatched or forced to write this under duress at the hands of deranged terrorists. It wasn't even in his handwriting. He had emailed it to the concierge of the hotel and made the concierge print it out to give it to me.

One phrase was seared into my eyes. I had to google it because I didn't even know what it meant.

Shut up ring.

I can't go through with a shut up ring.

My throat was dry. I took a sip of champagne. It was tart and the bubbles tickled my nose. The first time I had had champagne was with Devin.

I tucked the letter into the pouch with the ring and slid the zipper tight. You weren't supposed to put anything in the little pouch inside your Birkin bag. Any weight in there could deform the perfect angles of the bag. You really weren’t supposed to put anything in your Birkin, period. They were for show, not utility. I was breaking all the rules with my bag stuffed to the gills. What did it matter now? Everything was already ruined.

My head swam a little as I stood to go back inside. It was from the champagne, right? Not the past sleepless 24 hours when my life just fell apart.

I stepped back into a very different stateroom. The over-the-top floral display with a Mr and Mrs glitter banner was gone. In a call last week with the cruise coordinator, Devin had insisted the room be “filthy with flowers.” It was gone now, replaced with little vases of sedate arrangements that dotted every surface of the room. The steward must have broken down the bouquet. There was zero evidence of the rose petals that had blanketed the bed. One of those goofy rolled towel animals was sitting on the edge instead.

My luggage was stacked up neatly by the walk-in closet. The heavy black garment bag was draped over the stewards arm

“Once you've unpacked, I can put your bags in storage for you if you'd like. I can take this now…” his deep voice drifted off into polite nothingness.

I swallowed hard and shook my head.

“Why don't we just… "

We not me. We were in this together now. I looked around for a place to put it.

“The second walk-in?" He suggested, stowing away the bag without waiting for my consent.

The Birkin banged on my knees as I held it in front of me. Nothing felt sturdy enough to support it. Everything was a bit unreal right now.

“This evening, the sailaway party will be followed by a banquet for all Admiral Club members in the…”

“Do I have to?” I blurted out. I’m sure I sounded pathetic. I mean, who goes on a cruise and doesn’t want to do cruise things? “It’s been a long day and I think I need to rest.”

“Of course Miss. Room Service is 24/7. I’ll come check on you around 7 to see if you need any assistance.”

“I… I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name.”

“Alessandro.” His smile was warm and real. It was the kind of smile someone gave you when they knew your secrets, but would keep them safe. He tugged lightly at the sleeves of his shirt of his impeccable uniform. “I’m your cabin steward. You can think of me as your personal butler for your stay. I’ll introduce other staff to you as we get underway.”

I nodded and looked around the stateroom again. It was small. Well, it was small considering it would be my home for the next nine months.

Alessandro lingered by the door. Oh, right. A tip. I hung the Birkin over one arm and dug into it for my wallet.

“Miss Walker,” Alessandro stilled my hand, “gratuities have already been included. It’s my pleasure to be of service to you.”

He gave the stateroom one last sweeping glance. I supposed he was checking for more offending flowers. With a slight bow, he stepped into the hall and pulled the door shut softly behind him.

My bag was still gaping open. I pulled the first book out as I walked to the closet. I scanned the table of contents. A Bad Bitches Guide to Starting Over did not have a chapter on “How to survive your boyfriend giving you a Dear John letter just as you’re about to board your nine-month honeymoon cruise around the world.”

I dropped the book to the floor and overturned the bag. Two more self-help books and a leather bound journal tumbled out with a rainfall of makeup and toiletries. The floor was now littered with the odds and ends of a life I was leaving behind.

I shoved the Birkin and the remaining evidence of the marriage that will never be in the walk-in with the garment bag and shut the door. I jiggled the handle, making sure it would hold all the monsters at night.