The Night Crossing

Erika Lynne Fitzpatrick
11 mins read
Published almost 3 years ago

“It was your idea to go without a cabin,” Emma said. She dug through her backpack, looking for another long sleeve shirt to put over the one she already wore.  

“I know, and I am eternally sorry,” Rachel said. “We will find a place to warm up. It will be fine. Maybe they will turn the heat on in a bit,” she added, although she sincerely doubted it.

It was early July, and the two were taking the overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. Traveling with just the basics, Emma and Rachel had left their heavier clothing behind. A warm spell misled them into believing that the cooler air of the last several weeks was behind them. Tonight, though, they understood the full spectrum of weather that encompassed a Scandinavian summer.  

As Emma doubled up on her layers, Rachel ordered two coffees from the cafe. Really, Emma thought, they should have just bought a bottle or two of wine from the duty-free shop and warmed themselves that way. A coffee, though, would do for now.  

“Let’s find somewhere else to sit,” Emma suggested. It was almost midnight, and the glare of the fluorescent light reflecting off the institutional-white walls was too much for her to absorb at this hour.

Leaving the cafe, they walked to one of the seating areas. A glassed-in room, reminiscent of an airplane cabin, was filled with seats. There, they could at least recline and get some rest. The late-night ferry was to take fourteen hours. If they could find a spot, eight hours of much-needed sleep would be a welcome treat for the two.  

Entering the darkened room, Emma and Rachel waited for their eyes to adjust to the movie-theater lighting inside. Here, it was warm. Maybe it was only the collective body heat, but the warmth was comforting and only intensified the fatigue that was quickly taking hold of their bodies. Scanning the room full of sleeping children, parents and older people, they searched for an empty space. They found none.

Emma and Rachel left and moved on to another area, hoping for better luck. “Shit. There isn’t a single place to sleep on this shitty boat. I’m tired and freezing, Rachel,” Emma fumed, after checking on the fourth and final seating area on the ferry. “I’m going to find some place to sleep. I don’t care where. If I’m frozen in the morning, I’ll blame you.” 

Emma stormed away, backpack slung over her shoulder, coffee cup still in hand. Rachel, stung by Emma’s tone, stood frozen, absorbing her misplaced anger. Surveying the barren corridor, Rachel quickly contemplated her options. In the end, she decided an argument was the last thing she wanted or needed now. 

“Wait, Emm.” Rachel would appeal to Emma’s penchant for whiskey to smooth things over. Rachel was nothing if not a peacemaker. “Listen. Let’s go buy a small bottle whiskey for our coffee. We will have just enough to warm us up and put us to sleep. Please?” She gave Emma the I-know-you-can’t-turn-this-down smile. “Truly, Emm, I am really sorry.” 

“Fine,” Emma conceded, knowing that she was placing blame unfairly on her best friend. “Where is the duty-free shop?”  

The signs to the shop led them through a long maze of corridors. As they traversed the halls from one end of the ship to the other, they could hear the echoes of men and women, clearly enjoying the trip more than Rachel and Emma.

“The duty-free shop?” Rachel asked a passing group of drunk Swedes. She pointed in the direction she thought was correct.

“Closed two hours ago,” one said, slightly wobbly on his feet. “It can’t be open after ten. You didn’t know that?” he said, his English perfect, despite his intoxicated slur.  

“No, but thanks,” Rachel said, turning to catch up with Emma, who had kept walking.

“Wait,” he called after her. “We have plenty. Can I give you something?” He was tall, blonde and looked to be her age - mid-twenties, maybe. The stereotypical Swede. Even his clear blue eyes fit her Swedish male fantasy.

“My friend and I were just going to get a small bottle of whiskey for our coffee,” she said raising her cup. She added with a coy smile, “You know, to warm us up a bit. We weren’t quite prepared for how cold it would be on the ferry.”

“Ah, your first time on the ferry? OK. Got it. Wait a moment.” He called ahead to his friends who had stopped, waiting for him. He ran over to them, grabbed a bag and returned. From it, he pulled out a bottle of whiskey. Opening it, he said, “Here. Take what you need.”

Rachel was intrigued by his boyish good-natured generosity. “You didn’t have to, but thanks,” she said, happy to take whatever he was offering. She removed the plastic lid from her coffee cup, now half empty.  

“Here,” he said, grabbing the cup from Rachel and filling it to the brim with whiskey. As he handed it back, he said, “Enjoy. Maybe we will see you later.” He locked eyes with her and smiled. “If the whiskey doesn’t work, we have other ways to warm up,” he propositioned and turned back to his friends, who had now taken an interest in their friend’s conversation.  

Rachel laughed. “Maybe,” she teased, tipping her cup in his direction. “Skol.” 

Catching up with Emma who had stopped to wait at the far end of the hall, she said, “Here, I…”

“Are you hooking up tonight, too?” Emma interrupted. Her snide remark hurt Rachel, but she let it go once again.

“No, I got us a drink. Let’s find a corner and sit for a bit. That’s what other people are doing,” Rachel said. Here and there, people leaned against the walls, huddled under blankets, trying to catch as much sleep as was possible on the thinly carpeted metal floor.

“Take a sip first, though.” Rachel handed Emma the cup. Emma took a long sip and coughed as the whiskey-laden coffee left her lips. 

“OK. It’s a start,” Emma conceded, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.

The two found a long hallway of cabins towards the stern of the boat. There, in the back corner, they settled in for what would hopefully lead to some sleep. Taking out the light blankets both had packed, they snuggled up next to each other and covered themselves. Slowly, with the whiskey taking hold and their body heat concentrated, both began to relax. 

After ten minutes of silence, Rachel said, “See, Emm. It’s all good.” Rachel found herself, once again, in her typical role of the soother of Emma’s raw, often overly-sensitive nerves.

“I’ll just feel like shit tomorrow,” Emma said, her words less biting, numbed by fatigue and liquor.

“What can I do, then?” Rachel asked. The two had never argued in their two years together in school. This was unfamiliar territory that Rachel preferred not to be in, especially now.

“I just need to relax,” Emma said, her knees drawn up to her chest.

“How?” Rachel asked. Then, in an attempt at levity, she added, “You know I give awesome massages.”

Emma looked straight ahead, expressionless. “I think that would help,” she finally said.

“You really want one?”  Rachel had offered in jest but if it would help, she was game. 

“Yes. I definitely think it would help,” Emma repeated. “And then, maybe I can forgive you,” she said with a sly smile.

“OK. But be aware my hands are not Mark’s,” Rachel teased. Last semester, Emma had a brief, but intense relationship with Mark, another student in their program, that had not ended well. 

“Fuck you,” Emma whispered. “Now, I am not sure that your massage will fully make up for all of this,” her tone teasing, but with a hint of aggression. The whiskey was taking effect, and Emma’s words, movement, and posture softened. Rachel could feel the tension melt from Emma’s body as she leaned against her.

“OK. Let’s get this started then,” Emma said, slowly rising to her feet. 

“You can just sit between my legs,” Rachel said, moving the blanket aside. 

But Emma was suddenly emboldened. She stood in front of Rachel and peeled off first one shirt and then the other. Now clad only in her black bra, her thin frame wobbled again as she turned and plopped herself between Rachel’s legs and pulled the blankets up around her neck.  

“You know the best way to warm up is for you to take your shirt off, too. Skin against skin,” Emma tilted her head back and nuzzled Rachel’s neck.

“You are insane.” Rachel’s embarrassment was hard to hide. Nonetheless, a twinge of excitement raced through her. She had never experienced this side of Emma. And while perplexing, there was an unexpected allure. 

Both regularly dated men, with whom they had varying degrees of success. Never, though, had Emma hinted that she might be interested in anything more than a platonic relationship with Rachel. Or any other woman, for that matter. But maybe tonight, the chill, the fatigue, the Baltic air, and the whiskey was just the tonic to send Emma into a state that Rachel was beginning to feel would be hard to undo.

And so, despite her nagging apprehension, Rachel permitted herself to do what she could have never anticipated. She stripped off her sweater and t-shirt. Her body, thicker and more athletic than Emma’s, had always been a source of unhappiness for her. Tonight, though, an ocean away from home, she decided to embrace it all.  

As she submitted, the hair on her arms bristled, and she wondered if it was the sharpness of the cold air or the feel of Emma’s soft warm skin on her body. While pondering the newness of it all, Rachel was ripped from her thoughts when the harsh glare of the florescent lights suddenly turned off and was replaced by tiny track lights that lined the corridor. Rachel glanced at her watch. It was 1:00. The silence of the hall and the protection of the shadowy light was all Rachel needed now.

The last of her worries faded and the sensations of her body took hold. A crescendo of excitement was growing inside of her. Emma’s skin against her body and her hips between her legs sent Rachel’s mind reeling. 

“You feel nice,” Emma cooed, sinking deeper into Rachel. 

Rachel pushed Emma’s long dark hair to one side and began rubbing her shoulders. She moaned with every new part of her back and shoulders that Rachel touched. Emma’s soft groans of relaxation only added to Rachel’s arousal. And now, Rachel allowed her feelings to go where they pleased. 

As Rachel continued to caress Emma’s shoulders, Emma whispered, “That feels amazing. Thank you.” She reached back and took Rachel’s hands. “Your hands are so warm.” And then, “I want to feel them other places.” She cocked her head back and whispered her request into Rachel’s ear. 

Without waiting for a response, Emma gently guided Rachel’s hands over her breasts. Rachel felt the hardness of her nipples, her fingers just grazing their tips.

“Touch me,” Emma implored, and she let go of Rachel’s hands.  

Rachel slowly began exploring Emma’s tits. Feeling how they fit in her hands, Rachel squeezed and softly tickled Emma’s nipples. It was like cradling two peaches, strikingly different from the heaviness of Rachel’s breasts. As she drunk in these new sensations, she felt her own nipples tingle under an invisible touch. This was her first time touching another woman, and her hesitation was obvious. But she knew what felt good, and so she continued. 

Rachel nuzzled Emma’s neck and kissed her ear. She let her hands drop to Emma’s stomach and felt the peach fuzz on her soft belly. As she rubbed and caressed, Emma pushed her body harder into Rachel’s. Emma’s hands, which had slowly rubbed Rachel’s jean-covered thighs, now reached behind and searched her body. When she found Rachel’s pussy, Emma whispered, “Ah, there. You’re wet already.”

Rachel, following Emma’s lead, began exploring the waistline of Emma’s jeans.  Unsnapping the button, she slid her hands into the moist heat of her pussy. Surprised to find that she was devoid of hair, Rachel said, “You’re smooth.”

“Do you like it?” Emma asked, pushing her hands harder against the crotch of Rachel’s jeans.

“I do. I just didn’t expect it of you,” Rachel said.

Emma’s desires poured from her lips, “I want to feel you. Let’s be naked.” Her suggestion was a long, soft string that Rachel, now fully ensconced in the effect of the whiskey-laden coffee, was easily swayed to follow. All inhibition now was lost. It was only her longing that grew with Emma’s every request.

Not waiting for agreement, Emma pushed the blanket down. She wiggled herself out of her jeans and black panties. Another rush of excitement swelled within Rachel. “What if someone comes?” Rachel asked, though her smile negated any apprehension in her voice.

“We’re fine. Pants off,” Emma commanded, as she reached down and tried to pull down Rachel’s jeans.

Rachel leaned back and let Emma pull off her jeans. Her ass felt the cold of the metal floor, despite its thin cover of industrial carpeting, and reminded her that both women were now naked in the middle of a public hallway. Quickly, she grabbed the blanket to cover up.

“What about me?” Emma asked, kneeling in front of her, softly stroking the full pink lips of her pussy.

“Come, then,” Rachel said, holding the blanket up.

Emma slid in next to Rachel and covered herself. Both sat with their backs against the wall. Rachel hooked her leg over Emma’s and slid her fingers along her thigh, to her pussy. Exploring the soft folds of her skin, Rachel was surprised to feel the contrast between the thinness of Emma’s body with the thick heaviness of her pussy. 

Finally, landing her fingers on Emma’s clit, Rachel asked, “Can I?”

“Fuck, yes,” Emma moaned, her head tilted back. “But, slowly,” she added.

Rachel complied. Emma’s hand now began its slow meander around Rachel’s pussy. It drove Rachel wild, and she moved her hips, trying to land Emma’s fingers in her pussy. “Please,” Rachel begged, grabbing Emma’s wrist and forcing her hand to her pussy.

“Not yet,” Emma whispered, eyes closed, taking in the feel of Rachel’s rhythmic dance of her fingers on her clit.

“Yes, now,” Rachel begged. She pulled her hand away, now soaked with wetness from Emma. With the blanket falling away, she swung around and straddled Emma. The chilly air against their exposed bodies jolted them out of their pleasure momentarily, and Emma reached for the blanket. Emma lay back on the floor, and as best as they could, covered them with the blanket. 

Now pussy to pussy, Rachel rubbed herself against Emma. As their wetness mixed, they glided over each other in a soft rhythm. Breathing in unison, Rachel kissed Emma. The softness of her lips and tongue was like nothing she had experienced and her body spiraled toward pure ecstasy.  

“Let me have your tits,” Emma gasped, her breath heavy with desire.

Rachel raised her body up enough to let her heavy breasts graze against Emma’s small mounds of flesh. Seeing them, so different yet so close, was enthralling. As their nipples grazed one another, Emma reached up and grabbed Rachel’s tits. She pulled them to her face and began to lick and suck them. The intensity with which she attacked them surprised Rachel. It felt like nothing she had ever experienced before. The assuredness of Emma’s hands mixed with the softness of her tongue was magical.  

As the two explored each other, Rachel felt only the gentleness of everything that transpired between them. There was no tension, no strain, no sharp edges. Each movement was understood and accepted wholly. It felt to Rachel as if she was experiencing sex for the first time again. This time, without any barriers, making every sensation pure and very real.

From above, Rachel watched Emma’s pleasure grow. Her cheeks flushed, and her movements became more powerful. Her focus was now only on Emma and the growing wave of pleasure between them. She closed her eyes and just felt. Rachel knew she could not hold on much longer. She knew, too, that Emma was nearing climax. As she slipped deeper into her body, she turned her head to better hear Emma’s breath. 

As she did, she opened her eyes. Through the dim light in the corridor, she saw a figure. He leaned against the wall, motionless. He was far enough away that she couldn’t make out his features, but could tell that he was strong and well-built—like her Swedish whiskey donor.

Unable to quell the flood of come that she knew was rushing towards them, Rachel panted, “Emm, he’s there. Watching.”

Emma breathed and bit down on Rachel’s hard nipples. “Good. Let him watch. Fuck me harder. Now.”

Her demands and disregard for anything outside of her body plunged Rachel into a trance of unmitigated desire. She rubbed hard and fast against Emma’s smooth pussy, crashing her clit into the hardness of Emma’s pelvis. As Emma began to come, Rachel felt a gush of new wetness fill the spaces between them. It was what she needed for her final release. As she felt her own orgasm take over her body, she fell against Emma, both of their bodies convulsing in unison.

In the dark hallway, the wave of pleasure slowly receded. But, the memory of their climax continued to spike inside them—their bodies shuddering with the final remnants of pleasure.  

Finally regaining her breath, Emma pushed Rachel’s hair aside and asked, “Was it good?”

Rachel smiled. “You have no idea.”

Rachel rolled off Emma. As she lay, absorbing the warmth their bodies had created, Emma nuzzled close. “Look, Rachel. No one,” Emma said, nodding down the hall.

Rachel turned her head and searched the darkness of the hallway. 

Emma was right, no one. 

As Rachel turned back to Emma, she wondered if she had imagined him watching them. As the heaviness of sleep overtook Rachel, she hoped that it was not all her imagination.