Lerra stretched out her legs and lounged back into the soft pillows on her bunk with a relieved sigh. The plush bedding and overly stuffed pillows were the only real indulgence she allowed herself, and she had to admit that she was starting to appreciate them a little more with each passing turn. "We'll put in to Coral Bay tomorrow and pick up that fellow that Fielton sent for. Hopefully he hasn't been waiting too long."
"We spending any time in port?" Jerroll asked.
"No more than we have to." She was loathe to move, but Lerra rolled over and stretched one arm under the bunk, tugging a bottle out from under it. "The quicker we get Fielton's friend to Amber Hills, the more of this he'll be willing to part with."
"The sacrifices we make for business," he said with a small smile. He'd been hoping to look up a girl or two in Coral Bay, but there were others at Amber Hills. And good liquor was definitely worth making a speedy trip.
Lerra snorted as she pried the cork from the bottle. "If Hynus is waiting for me on the dock again, _you_ get to deal with him. I'm tired of the big pouting eyes."
Jerroll took two glasses from a cabinet. "I'll tell him I'm sleeping with you now. That usually makes them go away."
She grinned and poured them both a generous helping of the dark amber liquor. "Except for the foolish ones. I don't think Hynus has the courage to pick a fight with you over me, though."
"You need to stop picking these needy men," he teased.
"They _look_ so normal," she complained, resisting the urge to plant a less-than gentle foot in his side. She wasn't going to risk it while he was holding that expensive alcohol. "How am I supposed to tell that they're going to turn so clingy?"
Jerroll shrugged. "I don't know. I suppose I shouldn't talk. I've had my share of clingy lovers too, although it doesn't bother me as much as it does you. It's a boost to the ego to have someone pine for you."
"They can pine all they want," she replied, rescuing her glass from him.
"It's when they think start getting posessive that I get annoyed."
He took a long swallow and smacked his lips. It was good stuff. "Well, that's what I'm here for, to take care of your problems."
"And to keep me honest," she reminded him with a grin. "I wonder if Benaroy will have any business for us this time around."
"Hmmm, with all those new people putting a strain on his supplies, there should be something he needs. He might not have the marks for it, though."
"Shaving a little of our profit off would be worth it to keep him feeling friendly though." She sipped at her drink and savoured the rich taste. "It's nice to have one or two places where we can put in without risking much trouble. Let's just keep anyone who can't behave on the ship this time."
"A very good idea," Jerroll agreed.
"And you get to play Captain for Fielton, of course." Lerra rolled her eyes. "I'm fairly sure his love of money would overcome his disdian for women in power, but I'd rather not test it while he's so fond of you."
The First Mate grinned. "I can be very charming and polite when I need to be. It increases both profits and bedmates."
Lerra lifted her glass to him. "Here's to more profits, and willing bedmates who can be pried free in the morning."
"And to the best Captain on Pern!" Jerroll added.
"I'll drink to that," she replied, and did just that.
Last updated on the December 29th 2006