Lunch was ready after our little meeting, so we went into the galley to load our plates. Alice The Drunk’s wife had made a large pan of pastry with hamburger, veggies and gravy inside. The food was good. I was a little surprised that she could cook so well for so many people. It was the ideal recipe for that kind of group.
“Alice how do you manage to cook for a dozen people, I could never do that,” I admitted as I filled my plate the second time.
“I am the lunch lady for a high school in our home town. I cook for hundreds of kids a day, this really is like a vacation for me.”
“Well the food has been delicious so far. I hope you don’t give up on us.” I felt the floor move under my feet. It was obvious we were underway.
“Oh my, I will have to go make sure everything has a top on it. Talk to you later Maxine,” she said turning her attention away from me and to the food. I didn’t mind at all.
I went to the bridge to meet the captain. I wanted to know if he planned to give me trouble. “So Captain, have you sailed this ship before?”
“This was never my ship, but I have sailed her since we both retired. I get pulled out of retirement every couple of months to carry a special load somewhere.”
“Ever been to Somalia?” I asked.
“No, and I’m not looking forward to it this time either. It’s a nasty dangerous place,” he said.
“Well it’s my job to be sure you are safe, so we should try to work together.” I suggested.
“Sweetie, I’m almost seventy years old. You don’t need to bullshit me. I heard a rumor on the dock that you were running guns. I don’t care, but I do want it known that I am not going to die for your guns.” He spoke english with an accent. My guess was that he was Greek or maybe Italian.
“Well, I hope it doesn’t come to anyone dieing,” I suggested.
“I heard your speech in the mess. If it comes down to it, I am going to surrender this ship and your cargo.” he said.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” I admitted. What I kept in mind was that someone would have to lock his ass in his cabin. I didn’t think they could try me for mutiny, since i would just be doing my job. After all I wasn’t really a crew member. I also made a mental note to talk to Alex about his captain.
With that in mind, I went to find my tools. I didn’t need the big stuff just the Glock and derringer would do for the time being.
I took the pistols from Alex even though, I figured that for most of the first week, all I had to do was work on my tan and catch up on my sleep. Even if that were the case, I wanted to be able to defend myself, if push came to, who could push the hardest.
“I’m not anywhere near the badest chick on the planet, I am just the badest one in the room at any given moment. The ones that are badder than me, don’t run in my circles,” I said it to Morris who had asked. I also laughed when I said it, so that he would know I wasn’t being an arrogant ass.
“I keep hearing what a hard bitch you are, but I ain’t seen it,” he replied.
“I’m only hard when I need to be and then only as hard as I need to be. I try to always keep it proportional.
“So I also heard you like to sleep around?” he asked.
“You are just full of question aren’t you?” I asked.
“I am a reporter,” he informed me.
“Not on this job. If you try to be one, I will have Mike fire your ass. You are here to make images for the TV show, not do some freelance piece of this job. Remember who you are Morris.” I smiled but he knew I was serious.
“Point taken,” he replied.
“Good, And yes I like sex. I like sex with hard men. I like sex with soft men. I like sex with hard women and I like sex with sensitive women, I just like sex.” I admitted.
“So, should I throw my hat in the ring?” he asked.
“Only if you are tired of the hat, I don’t screw the men I work with.” It was a lie, but I hoped he didn’t know about Martin.
“This a private meeting or can anyone join in?” Alex asked as he seated himself.
“You can come on in, Morris here wanted to know, if it was true that I am a slut,” I commented and watch Morris wither.
“Well are you,” Alex asked.
“I am whatever I need to be, to get the results I need.” I replied.
“Good, I’m the same way.” Alex admitted. “So you ever had sex on a coastal freighter?”
“Good Lord, we aren’t really going to do a show and tell about my sex life.”
“Why not? it has to be more interesting than mine,” Morris said.
“Well, I’m going to turn in, it has been a long day, I am also still suffering from jet lag,” I said as I stood to go.
“Want me to walk you to your cabin?” Morris asked.
“Morris, I can find my cabin and if that was meant to reassure me, a man with a camera isn’t much protection, except in case of pirate attack.”
“So I take it that means, no thanks,” he suggested.
“You can pretty much count on it,” I said.. “So good night gentlemen, I’m off.”
“Ease up on her,” I heard Alex say as I started to walk away. I stopped to listen.
“Are you planning to screw her yourself?” Morris asked.
“Mister Morris believe me when I say, nobody screws Maxine Stone. That comes not from me but from men who have known her in different situations, over a period of time. You can try having sex with her and might even manage it, but you aren’t going to screw her.
I smiled as I walked on to my tiny cabin. I slept like the dead even with the vibration of the boat. I probably should have worried about that, but I didn’t, I just went with it and fell asleep. When I awoke the next morning, I had just plain slept out. There was no sunshine streaming into my room, as there was at the apartment. There was no alarm clock and there was no pressure to get out of bed and ride. So I just took a short nap, before I got out of bed for the first time that day. It was by far the most sleep I had in years.
I was too late for breakfast, but there was coffee. The coffee was restaurant grade but it was hot and black so it was acceptable. I sat at the metal table, which was bolted to the floor of course, with my coffee and tried to wake up. Too much sleep makes me feel as dopey as too little. I would prefer too much though.
“Maxine, I need a favor?” Alex asked as he walked through the door.
“Good morning to you too. I’m fine how are you?” I said smiling.
“Okay you want small talk first or do you want to know what I need?” he asked.
“Okay what do you need and please do be original. I hate men who want the same things all the time.”
“It’s not that. I’m not Morris.” he said.
“Okay what is it then?” I asked.
“It’s Mary Ellen,” he informed me.
“You mean the sleazy car salesman’s wife?” I asked
“Yes her, she is sunning herself on deck,” he said.
“Well you told her it was a vacation. And it is dead winter back home, so I thought I might work on my tan as well.” I suggested.
“You hadn’t planned to do it naked had you?” he asked.
‘No, but then she has a much better body than me,” I replied.
“I know she has a good body, and she is getting a lot of attention.” he said.
“I don’t think the guys would do more than enjoy the view,” I stated.
“Not our guys but the crew. The captain is not happy either.” Alex did look worried.
“So exactly what is it you want me to do?” I asked.
“Couldn’t you talk to her. You know explain that we are at sea and anything could happen. The crew is not exactly boy scouts.” He admitted.
“Neither are your guys. Would anyone really bother her?”
“I don’t want to take a chance that one of the crew says something. Her husband has access to firearms remember?” he said.
“Okay, I’ll have a talk with the woman. I don’t know if it will do any good or not.” I admitted.
“It would be better from you, after all it is a security issue..” he said.
“Like hell it is, but I said I would talk to her.” I said it smiling at him, so that he knew that I was thinking wimp.
I went onto the deck only after I put on my bikini. I walked around the ship until i found the best spot, for sunning myself. Then I moved a chair to it, and stretched out. I waited about twenty minutes before Mary Ellen showed up.
She started to open her robe when I spoke. “If you don’t have a swimsuit or some other kind of clothing on under that, don’t open it.” I said quietly.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“I mean no more nude sunbathing. You are just too much for these poor sailor boys to stand. I’m afraid we will have a three man riot and you might get hurt. I am responsible for security and if I can prevent problems, it is much better than trying to deal with them.”
“What are you going to do, if I take the robe off anyway,” she said looking me in the eye. She didn’t seem to get it.
“Well in that case I will kick your ass and lock you in your cabin. If you husband gives me any shit, I will kick his ass and throw him in with you. So unless you want to spend the rest of the trip, with a black eye and with your husband locked in one of those tiny cabins, I would suggest you go back and get the skimpiest bikini you own and wear that.” I smiled sweetly.
“That is so hot,” she said.
“What?” I asked. I couldn’t believe it.
“We saw those TV show promos, so we went back and watched the web vids. That macho shit is so hot from a woman who can really do it. I will put on the bikini just for you. If you want to see me out of it, just let me know.”
“Trust me sweetie any other time and place you would have a deal, but I’m working and frankly my bed is way too small for anything fun to happen there.” I said.
“This isn’t finished,” she said.
“The nude sunbathing better be finished,” I informed her.
“Okay, okay, my pubic area was getting burned anyway. I have never gone hairless before. My husband wanted me to do it.” She paused a moment looked at me with a smile, then asked, “Did you ever eat a hairless one.”
“That really isn’t any of your business,” I replied.
“You have I can tell. Was it better than one with hair?” she was really pushing her luck.
“Not really, now go get dressed.” I demanded. At that moment she opened her robe so only I could see. She really did have a beautiful body. Then she turned slowly and walked toward the doorway which led to the cabins.