Alyssa Bloom blinked her eyes open and yawned, leisurely stretching out her long limbs and sitting upright on her large queen-sized bed. She massaged her temple and gingerly rubbed her eyelids. Suddenly, her arms dropped to her side and her eyes shot wide open. Alyssa spun hastily around trying to focus on her bright blue alarm clock. It read: 7:45 p.m. She smacked a slender hand to her forehead, groaning.

"Where are those two brothers of mine?" she muttered, rising out of bed and hurriedly looking for her hairbrush. She spotted it lying on her vanity table and hastened to it. Having picked it up, she brushed her shoulder-length black hair and pulled it neatly up into an attractive ponytail. Side bangs completed the look. Alyssa took a seat on her comfy chair and did her makeup in front of the face mirror.

Pink lip-gloss, black mascara, black eyeliner, light blue eye shadow, and a small spritz of perfume completed the look. She looked down and scrutinized her appearance. She slid out of her t-shirt and baggy beige capris and replaced them with a knee-length jean skirt and a blue halter top. She also put on her favorite long diamond earrings, two silver rings with rubies on each hand, matching blue layered necklaces, and her silver watch. Alyssa checked herself over again in front of her full-length mirror. "Not bad," she thought to herself, admiring her jewelry. She slipped into silver sandals and heard them click as she walked down the stairs to the main floor of their room. "Being on a cruise ship sometimes makes me sick," she complained to herself, after having been swept to the right and then to the left as the ship kept moving.

"Alyssa!! You finally awake…we was waiting for you for a whole hour!!" seven-year-old Evan exclaimed as he saw his older sister emerge from behind the staircase.

Alyssa smiled at her brother. "Yeah, I'm awake. Sorry for making you wait, little bro."

"Well, since Lys is up, can we go to the big New Year's Party for kids upstairs now? I'm tired of staying in here….it's sooooo boring," ten-year-old Lucas grumbled, his short arms crossed over his chest.

Alyssa ruffled her two brother's brown hair and chuckled. "Sure, let's go. You guys look dressy enough for a party. Well, it IS just a kid's party. Ok, come on; let's head for the party."

With that, Lucas jumped up from his comfortable seat on the leather couch and practically raced to the elevator. He pressed the "up" button and waited impatiently for the door to open. Two minutes later, the elevator doors opened. He walked in and waited for his brother and sister to get in. When they did, he pressed the "8" button and clapped his hands excitedly. "There's gonna be so much food, Evan!! And there'll be video games, dancing, paintball wars, EVERYTHING!! I can't wait!!"

At last, the elevator reached its destination. As soon as the doors opened to let them out, Lucas, followed by Evan, shot through like a rocket in search for the big party that was held on that floor. They were greeted by loud music blaring from speakers, big bright balloons, and confetti.

Alyssa giggled at the happy expression on her brother's face. Then her smile faltered. "If only Daddy and Mama could be here…then this would be the best New Year's," she reflected, twisting the silver ring on her third left finger absent-mindedly. She broke out of her trance when she felt someone tugging her jean skirt. She looked down to meet the adorable bright sea-green eyes of her youngest brother. She was still amazed at how much the Bloom kids resembled each other. They each had wavy black hair, slender noses, pink lips, and sea-green eyes. Not wanting to ignore her brother, she smiled at Evan and asked, "What do you want?"

Evan shrugged his thin shoulders and said, "I wanna go to the big people's party. Can't we just leave Lucas? He's big boy now." He sent her a mischievous grin.

"Nice try, honey, but we have to stick together. This ship is bigger than any other ship we've ever been on so I have to keep an eye on both of you or something bad might happen when I'm not looking," Alyssa explained, taking hold of Evan's hand as they made their way around.

"Please, Lys? Can we go upstairs?" Evan pleaded, his lower lip trembling.

Alyssa sighed and nodded. "Okay, but first let's find Lucas. If we have to drag him to the "big people's party on the next level," so be it," she smirked.

Evan laughed. "Okay," he agreed.

Aaron Karalis moaned softly. Was this day gonna get any worse? He was the son of one of the richest men in all of Greece, which meant he had to be an example of a perfect son, or his father would disown him, and then of course, he already inherited his father's business because his father retired, which made him into a workaholic, and after that, he was forced to go on this dreaded cruise ship because of the reason that he was a workaholic, and now this. He had to go to the New Year's Party on the 9th floor, just because the Mayor invited him. He didn't want to go. He wanted to stay in his suite and watch TV or work on some computer files that needed to be done before the cruise was over. But no, Father forced him to go on this trip. What did he say again to persuade him? Oh, yes, "You work too hard. Ever since you inherited my business, all you do is work. Why don't you take a break?" Aaron sighed. "Sometimes I wish I was poor," he thought grimly to himself. Then he sighed again. "I'd better make myself presentable before I head down to the party to meet the Mayor, oh…and his daughter"…with that, he moaned again, only this time, it was a loud mournful sound…

"Isn't it beautiful, Chris?" Jennifer Ramsey took in all the fancy lights, balloons, long tables piled high with buffet food, and then turned to her fiancée.

Christian Jameson nodded his blond head, staring deeply into her pretty blue eyes. "Way gorgeous, Jen…" he murmured, caressing her hand that was on the crook of his arm.

Jen hummed. "I was talking about the scenery, sweetie," she joked.

Chris grinned. "Yeah? Well, so was I."

Jen nodded, then arched her eyebrow as she noticed someone very familiar making his way to them. Her eyes grew wide as she saw the tall, dark, and handsome figure of her dad. "Oh, boy…" she muttered under her breath, "He doesn't look too happy…"

She felt Chris stiffen beside her and she gave him an encouraging smile.

Christian just smiled back nervously.

Her father and Christian never really clicked. Her father thought that Chris was just a tad too wild. Chris, on the other hand, thought Mr. Ramsey was way too strict. This cruise was one of Jen's crazy ideas to try and pull the family together. Jen's mother died a few years ago, leaving Jen and Robert (her father) all alone. Robert was always away on business trip leaving Jen t home in the hands of a nanny. Although Jen loved her father a lot, she often wished that he could've been there to see her grow up. "This'll work…trust me, it'll work," she repeated over and over again in her mind, "please work…"

"Mr. Jeffrey Wiggins, I welcome you to the board! Please make yourself comfortable. We have a lot to discuss," Mr. Whitman said kindly, "We thank you so much for your generous contribution to help our company serve its purposes."

Fifty-one-year-old Jeffrey Wiggins just nodded his head, full of white hair, and made himself comfortable. "This is gonna be a long night…" he guessed, taking a small sip of his drink, "A very long night…"

"Elena! Get to work, girl! You have no reason to just lie around like a princess when there's work to be done!! Get up and go serve this food to table number 55. GO!!" the chef practically screamed in Elena's ear.

Fourteen-year-old Elena Santiago immediately obeyed and scampered out of the large kitchen and swiftly dodged the other tables until she reached table 55. After having served everyone their meals, she quickly jogged back the kitchen and watched quietly in her dark corner as everyone else hurried about, trying to cook food and such.

"I wish I was back home in Mexico. I wish papa didn't send me here to get a better life. I wish I was with mama, Chiko, Pippa, Marco, and Joy. I wish I never came on this cruise ship," she whispered to herself, "I wish I could die right now."

I hope you liked it. This is the first chapter of "Pontus". "Pontus" means "god of the deep sea." Thus the cruise ship and, you know, whatever. Anyways, this story is almost like "Poseidon," just a little more of a twist. Hope you enjoy it, and stay tuned for the next chapter!! I'm working on it!!!! 

Stay sweet,

Jade Ocean