I'm No Troublemaker
Jerroll led the boy up the gangplank and toward the stern of the ship, where Lerra was supervising a few supplies being loaded. "Look what I found, Captain."
Lerra glanced from Jerroll to the boy and back again, one eyebrow going up. "A boy? You know, there's not a shortage of those, Jerroll. I wouldn't be too proud of yourself yet."
The street urchin's blue eyes were wide in surprise. A woman? The captain was a woman? He'd stowed away on more than one ship in the last turn or two, but none of them had had women captains. He didn't know it was even allowed. Perhaps she was the rule-breaking kind, like himself. This thought tickled him and he offered the woman a wide grin, pushing curly black hair from his face in hopes of making a good impression.
The First Mate chuckled. "But _this_ boy is the very same one that helped himself to my marks a few sevendays ago. I thought it would be fair to have him work off his debt."
"Oh really?" Lerra studied the boy a little more closely this time, taking in the grin with a snort of amusement. "He seems awfully pleased with the idea of working off his debt."
The mischievous lad schooled his face into a more serious look, "Oh, no Capt'n," he stated with a little bow. "My smile 'as all fer you, mam. I do see the error o' my ways tho an' wanna pay my debt - make it right. Jerroll 'as saved me twice now an' I owe 'im. I kin be a right fine hand at all sorts o' things," he asusured her. For three square meals a day, Loki could be all sorts of charming, and he truly did feel some obligation toward the First Mate.
Lerra quirked that eyebrow at Jerroll again. "You think he'll be more use than he is trouble? We haven't had a decent cabin boy in a while."
Jerroll looked down at his recruit. "I think he has potential."
Standing his tallest and puffing his chest out so that he quite nearly looked the eleven turns he could rightfully claim, Loki cocked his head with a confidant air, "I'll be the best ya've ever had an'then some."
Lerra braced her hands on her hips and tried to hide her smirk of amusement. "Are you gonna have problems taking orders from a woman?
Because this is my ship, lad, and I'll toss anyone who can't understand that right on over the side."
Loki shook his head in instant denial, "I like an' respect anyone willin' to break a few rules," he answered his eyes dancing with mischief, "'Specially if they be stupid rules or what is it those'r called...soshal konvenshuns?"
Jerroll chuckled. "I could have guessed you were a rule breaker."
"Only when it needs doin'" the boy stated with a grin for the First Mate. "I'll be good whilst aboard. Don't fancy a swim in the deep."
"I should think not." Lerra unbent enough to smile. "Well then, boy.
What's your name?"
"I'm called Loki, Capt'n."
"Well, Loki. If you can keep yourself in line and do everything Jerroll says, I think maybe we can give this a go." She grinned at him a little dangerously. "I'd be careful about messing with the rest of the crew, though. They're nice enough folk if you don't cross them, but a troublemaker'll get tossed over the side just as quick as someone who can't listen to me."
"I'm no troublemaker," Loki replied, casting a furive glance at Jerroll.
He smiled at the boy. "You can start fresh here, Loki."
The hopeful look Loki sent Jerroll's way was quickly masked. His uncle had once told him that he was born trouble and would never be anything but that. The boy had to wonder if he really could change. His little jaw set in determination as he muttered to no one in particular, "I'm gonna do jest that."
"Well enough." Lerra nodded to Jerroll. "If the First Mate says you'll do, then you'll do. Why don't you show him around, Jerroll, and explain to him what he'll be doing." Lerra held out a hand. "Welcome to the Silver Sails, lad."
Last updated on the July 18th 2007