It was bound to happen.

After all, when a company tries to run as “lean” as ours does, all in an effort to save a couple bucks (by my estimation, literally about.03% of our overall travel budget) it’s Murphy’s Law that something wrong is going to end up happening.

My name is Tyson Behrend and I work in the trade show business. I go from city to city setting up, breaking down, and working in trade show booths for a variety of different industries. If I were to describe my job it would be somewhere between spokesmodel and union grunt.

While most of what the viewing public sees looks like a finely tuned machine, I can assure you it is anything but. While there were regular issues with customer facing solutions not functioning properly or not even showing up at the event, there were also things that affected me more personally; lost luggage, incorrect hotel room reservations, declined corporate cards, etc.

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy my job as I actually love it. Legitimately, I am a person who seriously enjoys all the details of what I actually do for work. I enjoy getting my hands dirty when the physical work happens, I love the professorial aspect of the presentation portion of my job, I can’t get enough of meeting and interacting with new people at every different location. But, it would be nice if I didn’t have to worry about all the stupid crap.

My travel partner is Stacy Carruthers. We’ve been working together for about two-and-a-half years now and make a great team. It helps that we are both in the same demographics for just about everything. Same age, ex-athletes, good looking, adventure loving, etcetera. Both of our sets of parents have wondered how we haven’t become a couple with how close our jobs require us to be and, honestly, we have joked about how we ourselves are surprised at the same thing. But, we haven’t ever moved past anything outside of being platonic friends.

It isn’t to say that we haven’t had what would be considered by many to be “relationship like” interactions with one another. We dined together constantly, exercised as partners regularly and allowed each other to vent when necessary. Plus, based on how cheap our company was when it came to our travel, we had shared a hotel room on more than one occasion and even had come to keeping an extra set of underwear in one another’s luggage based on the number of times one of our bags came in late. We had been in tight physical spaces on multiple occasions and have seen each other in underwear more than a handful of times due to the job and the travel snafus. We have just never had any sort of physical relationship. If it wasn’t for how easy going both of us tended to be and how much we enjoyed the work, the BS could have been a problem.

Anyhow, it was May and we found ourselves on the southern, Atlantic coast of Florida. The good news is that we were in Miami. The bad news was just about everything else.

First, no luggage. Second, no hotel. Third, no conference. Fourth, stuck.

“Basically, it’s an off-season hurricane,” our travel agent told us. “Blame meteorologists, blame global warming, blame whatever or whoever you want. Nobody saw this coming and so now plans are gonna’ have to change.”

We were standing in the lobby a hotel that we had confirmed reservations for, a decent place in Sunny Isles, just north of Miami Beach. The problem was that they did not have the confirmation we were holding in our hands. It wasn’t something completely abnormal and a call to the home office usually did the trick.

“Unfortunately, everything is getting locked down. The conference is cancelled, the airports are shut down, car rentals have been suspended. Basically, like everybody else, you are stuck.”

“Stuck where? Can you at least get us rooms? How long are we going to be here? We have no clothes.”

“Rooms? No. Room? Yes. Because everything is shut down it means that last nights guests didn’t get to leave. But, the good news is we got someone on the phone and they confirmed a room in the hotel that you are currently at. As far as how long you are going to be there? Well, you were originally booked for 5 days. The airports are shut down for a minimum of 2 days and will be incredibly backed up after then. We’ll see what we can do but suspect you will be there the entire time. As far as clothing? The company has allowed $120 each to go grab some items. It isn’t much but I hope it helps.”

We were on speakerphone and both Stacy and the hotel front desk person had incredulous looks on their faces. I know that others would have blown out of frustration but I kept calm as I knew it wasn’t the travel agents fault. Afterall, they were just doing their job. Plus, it appeared that we were getting a free vacation… even if that vacation was going to be on lock-down in a hurricane.

After handing us our keys the front desk person handed us a couple of robes and sets of slippers.

“Normally reserved for suites,” she said. “But I think you could use them.”

Our room was very different from what we were used to in that we were on a high floor with an incredible, ocean view. It must have been the only room available as our company never would have sprung for something like it. It was slightly larger than a “normal” hotel room that we would usually get however we were limited in that there was only a single, large king.

“I call side by the bathroom,” Stacy said as she dropped her backpack and purse on the floor and strolled over to the window.

It was fantastic working with someone so laid back about everything.

The sky was already dark and we could see dark clouds rolling in.

“This is both really cool and kinda’ scary at the same time,” Stacy commented, never turning from the view.

“I hear ya’,” I responded as I stepped up next to her. I honestly had never seen the sky like that before.

“Do you think we will be safe up here? Would it be better if we were on a lower floor?”

“I have no idea. I would assume it’s fine since they let us come up. I’m gonna’ hop in the shower quick if that’s okay. I wouldn’t mind washing the travel off.”

“No problem. I’ll go after you.”


It was a few hours later when I woke up. We had been lounging on the bed after both getting cleaned up, taking advantage of the robes and a rare day off.

“Wakey, wakey,” Stacy said in a sing-song voice when she noticed me stirring. “I’m getting hungry, want to get some dinner?”

I sat up in bed and, in doing so, noticed that my robe had opened during my nap. My dick fully exposed.

“Oh, shit,” I said out loud, only calling more attention to the situation, as I pulled the robe closed. “Sorry about that.”

“It actually worked out well,” Stacy responded with a sly grin. “The movie wasn’t very good so at least I got a good show out of it. You must have been having an, uhm, pretty good dream… if you catch my drift.”

I felt my face turned bright red. There would be zero chance of getting an erection at that point as all the blood in my body had seemingly rushed to my cheeks and ears.

“You need to clean up that forest down there, dude.”

Stacy and I had conversed on the subject before. Honestly, there really weren’t any topics that hadn’t been broached during our time together.

“I thought you said hair is back in,” I responded, thankful that she was taking yet another bump in the road in stride.

“Hair, yes. Jungle, no. Trimming ain’t just for women, my man.”

“Well, I shall take your suggestion under consideration. Now, what’s for dinner?”


I woke up sweating.

The room was pretty dark and I was unable to get a visual of the time from the in-room clock. Searching around, I found my phone, plugged in but not charging. The power had gone out. I remembered that Stacy and I had both fallen asleep on top of the covers after a room service dinner of burgers, salad and beer and could hear her soft breathing on the bed beside me. My phone had enough charge left in it that I knew that it was almost 6am. More than the time, I was concerned about the temperature as it felt like it had to have been in the upper 80’s in the room. Hot and sticky, it was no wonder I was sweating.

I stepped to the window and pulled the curtain open just enough to find a storm raging outside. Honestly, it looked pretty bad. I was curious as to how what looked like pretty strong winds had not woken either of us up.

I turned to survey the land in our room and found Stacy in what I can only assume was a similar position to mine the day before: sprawled on the bed, the lower portion of her robe thrown open, a patch of longer-than-expected pubic hair at the union of her legs. I made a mental note that I would have to rib her about it when she woke up.

It was so freaking hot.

I walked to the bathroom and, as quietly as possible, ran some cold water in the sink to splash on my face. Not quiet enough it seemed.

“What time is it,” a groggy Stacy said as she made her way into the bathroom.

“Just before 6,” I responded, leaning back against the vanity.

“Too early.”

She had pulled her robe together but, in the soft glow of the wall-mounted nightlight, I could see her pull it open and up around her waist before sitting down on the toilet seat. A steady deluge almost immediately rang off of the porcelain below her.

“You don’t want any privacy?” I asked with a chuckle.

“Too early to care. Besides, we’re joined at the hip for the next 5 days, most likely stuck in this room. So, news flash, I am going to have to go to the bathroom and I’m not going to try and hide it.”

“Good point.”

I made my way back to the window outside and again peeked my head through the curtains. It wasn’t long after the toilet flush that Stacy joined me, basically cuddling up into my arm in order to get a full view.

“Wow,” she whispered. “It looks really bad out there. I can’t believe that it didn’t wake us up.”

“Well, not directly,” I countered. “But the power is out and we have no AC. I woke up because I was sweating so much.”

“I’m going back to sleep.”

It was the only response I got before she shimmied herself away from me and I heard her plop onto the mattress behind us. With nothing else to do, she was right, and I made my way to my side of the bed.


It was past 9am when we were awakened by the room phone ringing. It was the front desk asking if everything was okay in the room, apologizing for the lack of AC and asking if there was anything they could do for us.

“A couple more robes would be appreciated,” I responded. “And how can we get some food?”

When the call was over I opened the curtains and flooded the room with a dull grey light. The storm raged on outside.

Stacy opened her eyes. It was well past the hour that she would normally be getting up so I wasn’t worried that I was breaking her out of any deep slumber.

“So,” she asked in a flat, less than amused tone, “got any plans for the day?”

I told her that we would be able to go down to the front desk to get clean robes, something that we could basically do each day. I also told her that, because the hotel was now working with extremely limited staff, there would be no more room service, at least for the day. All meals would be served buffet style in the main restaurant downstairs.

“Quite honestly,” I added at the end of my explanation. “I was thinking about just going down in my robe. Do you think anyone would care?”

“Meh. Fuck ’em if they do. Count me in.”


We had been in the dining room for a bit, taking our time with a long, extended breakfast, when Stacy started whispering to get my attention.

“Psst. Psst. That guy over here has been staring at me. I think he is trying to see if I have anything under my robe.”

I did my best to scan the room in an unassuming manner knowing that if I was obvious about visually calling out her voyeur, they would very likely give up the act. Indeed, there was an older gentleman, probably in his early 60’s, periodically but obviously taking extended glances in our direction. One might have assumed it was because we were in robes to begin with but, when we got to the dining room, I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of the guests in what would be considered “less than normal” wear. There were a few more in robes, some in obvious pajamas, others in obviously mismatched pairings like dress shirts and gym shorts. While I couldn’t believe that everyone in the hotel had been subject to lost luggage like our own, it was apparent that others in the hotel were at least taking getting held hostage by the weather in stride. The hotel, for its part, was trying to ease the stress of the guests as well and was offering free champagne and mimosas to those of age, something that Stacy and I were absolutely taking advantage of.

“You’re right. Though you shouldn’t be so full of yourself to think he is staring at you. I mean, I am quite the hunk of beefcake, afterall.”

“Oh, lord, get over yourself. Not only have I caught him staring directly at me, but nobody would want to see you. Certainly not with that jungle bush.”

“Do I hear the pot calling the kettle black? I should have you know that when I woke up this morning I found you with your robe spread open. You aren’t exactly sporting a minimalist zen buddist garden down there yourself.”

Stacy released an audible guffaw and paired it with a shocked-but-excited look on her face. Pulling her robe close to her chest in an obviously sarcastic display of propriety.

“What? You’ve seen me? How dare you?!” Her tone was a hushed facetious scolding. “My honor!”

I caught her admirer out of the corner of my eye, he was staring with a lack of abandon. It was obvious our antics had caught his attention. It was also obvious the champagne had gotten to us.

“I dare you to flash him,” I whispered.


“Yeah, give the old guy a thrill.”

“I mean, how?”

“I don’t know, make it somehow discreet or accidental. Open up your legs when you get up. The rope will probably fall to the side by itself.”

Stacy’s eyes darted to the man looking at her. I could see his eyes immediately drop but, when she looked back to me, her own face was full of excitement.

“If I do this, you are going to owe me. Do you really want to start this game?”

“Double dog,” I responded with a smile.


While I didn’t see any sort of exposure myself, I was confident in the knowledge that Stacy completed her challenge when I watched in real time the man’s eyes go wide and a look of worried panic spread across his face as if he didn’t know what he was supposed to do next.

We walked casually out of the restaurant and to the lobby but, when we got to the elevator doors, Stacy practically ripped my arm out of its socket as she pulled me into her, so excited about her successful completion of the challenge.

“Did you see his eyes?!”

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” I said in a dry tone, “you could have given him a heart attack.”

“Me?! You were the one who dared me! It’s your fault!”

“You know I’m just kidding. You’re a beautiful woman, it probably made his week.”

Stacy was still hanging on to my arm but pulled herself up and kissed me on the cheek. It was most certainly something she had never done before and not the least bit unwelcome.

“That was fun,” she said. “Maybe I have a bit of an exhibitionist streak in me.”

“Could be good for continuing a game of truth or dare,” I responded.

“Hang on there, buddy. It’s my turn. I just have to think of something for you to do.”

“Okay, I can appreciate that. Please just remember that society is usually quite a bit more lenient when it comes to female nudity than it is with male. I don’t think it would benefit either one of us for me to get pepper-sprayed and arrested.”

“Don’t you worry.” She gave my arm another squeeze, holding it tight to her chest. I could feel her heart racing.


We got back to the room and Stacy threw the curtains open. The storm was raging outside. She stood there for a moment, just taking in the sight.

“Crazy out there,” she loudly whispered.

“Yeah,” I stood next to her in my reply.

“Were you serious about what you said down there?”

“Uhm, what did I say?”

“That I’m a beautiful woman?”

I was not necessarily sure where this was coming from. Of course I thought she was beautiful. Stacy knew she was beautiful. She knew that I knew she was beautiful. She knew that other people knew she was beautiful. There was nothing really subjective about it. Objectively, she was beautiful.

“Well, of course I meant it. You are a beautiful woman.”

“I appreciate hearing it. I get hung up on insecurities sometimes, you know?”

“I guess. Most people have some. To the outsider looking in though, it just doesn’t make sense. Yes, you are beautiful. And, from someone who I believe knows you pretty well, you are a wonderful person too.”

“You’re sweet,” she responded and stepped into me for a hug. “Sorry about the emotion, from someone who has been with me drinking before you know my mood changes, this is sometimes just how it happens.”

“Hey, a day in the life. Now I know who I can open up to when my time comes.”

“Yeah, right, you big oaf. Like you even have any feelings.”

There was a knock at the door and I went to answer it, finding a housekeeping rep who, though would not be making beds or doing any cleaning, was handing out additional soaps and shampoos. I dropped them off in the bathroom and took a moment to check myself out.

Six foot tall, right on the nose. 178lbs. Relatively lean. 28 years old. Dark brown hair, somewhat wavy. Dark, dark brown eyes, almost black. Square jaw. I chuckled to myself. Admittedly, there was very little “wrong” with me.

But, insecurities, ya’ know?

I pulled my robe open and looked at my torso. For the last 10 years I had had body hair just creeping up. In high school it was a simple “happy trail.” A decade later it was a hairy stomach and chest that made an awkward “T” shape on my body. I couldn’t stand it. I had tried grooming but found myself to be just a bit too lazy to keep up with it. It wasn’t like I had a problem with the hair either, it was just the strangeness of the look of it on me.

“Checking yourself out?”

Stacy’s voice shocked me and I yanked my robe shut.

“Aww, I don’t get to check you out too?”


“Yeah, really. You’re an appealing guy, Tyson.”

I hesitated on the thought for a second. While it isn’t like I am self conscious, it still is nerve wracking to literally physically expose yourself to someone. The high from the champagne wore off quickly.

I opened my robe, slowly, but obviously enough to try and prove that I wasn’t self conscious about the situation. Internally I could feel my heart race. I could only imagine that my dick was shriveling up into itself, not exactly the impression I wanted to give. But, c’est la vie.

Stacy, for her part, was the best judge one could ask for.

“Not bad at all,” she said, nodding her head in approval. “You must work out.”

It was a joke that we had between us, something we mentioned any time either of us saw an attractive or fit person. A nod to the old movie, “Dumb and Dumber.”

“Not so bad yourself,” I responded. “Except that jungle bush of yours.”

Stacy slapped me on the arm. “That’s it! That’s the dare! I dare you to let me groom you!”

I felt my face fall flat.

“No. Not going to happen.”

“What?! You have to! I did your dare!”

“Stacy! What are you even going to do it with? A steak knife? Do you even have scissors? Clippers? A razor? We have no luggage, remember? Stores aren’t open.”