Men. The captain’s heavy tread thudded behind her. Always on the lookout for trouble—not to avoid it, but to leap smack into the middle of it.
An itch fretted Finney right between the shoulder blades. She wasn’t about to scratch it, though. Wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
Port Nora governor’s daughter, eh? Rounding the corner and descending the companionway to the passenger cabins, Finney realized she didn’t know which one was the girl’s.
Then she saw Haldis backing out of a doorway, bobbing his head as if bowing to royalty, a sloppy grin on his young face. “Yes, ma’am. I will, ma’am. Sahir’s the best cook in the sky. I’ll bring your tray back directly.”
He backed right into Finney, stumbling over her feet, but he might as well have been floating on a nebula. His vacuous gaze barely grazed her face before he wandered in the direction of the galley.
Finney slanted a disgusted look ceilingward before landing a crisp rat-tat-tat on the door.
A breathy, sensuous voice replied, “Come in.”
Finney glanced back. Arms folded, Kristoff leaned one shoulder against the opposite wall. He did not look happy, but he made no move to stop her. She pushed the door open and stepped inside, closing it behind her.
The only light came from the porthole. A soft pale glow skimmed the side of the woman’s face as she sat beside the window. She lifted a slender hand. “Another of the captain’s excellent crew. I’ve never met such accommodating fellows in my life as the men of the Martina Vega.”
“That’s all well and good, miss”—ignoring the outstretched hand, Finney planted one boot on an empty chair and leaned forward into the light, resting her crossed arms on her upraised knee—“but the pilot of this here fine freighter just happens to be a woman.”
c. 2008, Keanan Brand