Author’s note: If you haven’t read “Of Panties and Pirates”, you can do so here. It’s not necessary, but you’ll get more of the jokes. Hope you enjoy.
The damn woman is as stubborn as she is sexy. And her refusal to look at me is especially infuriating. It’s a hell of a view though.
“Look, all I’m saying is you should get at least one or two weapons installed on this ship of yours.”
“I heard you the first thousand times,” she says. Finally she swivels her chair around and stands to face me. “I’m a trader, not a pirate. I have standards.”
“I’m not suggesting you become a pirate. I’m suggesting you protect yourself better. You have a reputation now.”
“Thanks to you and your little…” she glances down at my crotch. “Trigger finger. The answer is no.”
She pushes past me and exits the bridge.
I follow her out the hatch and into the kitchen. I pour us some coffee and we sit down at the table. The silence hangs there for a while as we sip our drinks and act nonchalant. I decide to press a little further.
“If I walked up to a woman on the street and told her I was thirsty and wanted some milk, she’d probably slap me in the face. But if that same woman happened to be standing next to a cow, she’d bend over and squeeze the cow’s tit for me.”
She looks at me like I have Tribbles crawling out of my pants.
“What’s your point?”
“My point is that everything has its own context. Pirates pick the weakest ships. If they see you are armed they’ll leave you alone.”
“Oh yeah? Try to guess what context this is,” she says and flips me the bird.
For a second I forget what were talking about because all I can see is her long, slender finger and its glossy, deep red nail. My god, the places that thing’s been.
She rolls her eyes and slams her cup on the table.
“If other traders see I’m armed, they won’t trade with me. And if the cops see I’m armed, I’ll be forever handing over my manifest and sitting in queue waiting to dock at every port while being scanned for contraband. And if pirates see I’m armed they’ll think I’m some piss-ant space jockey trying to horn in on their racket and they’ll blast me anyway. Yeah, you really thought this through didn’t you.”
“I’m just concerned about you Jess, that’s all.”
The proximity alarm cuts us off. We race back to the cockpit. Jessie throws herself into her chair and tells me to take the pilot’s seat.
“But I’m not the pilot.”
“Well they don’t know that do they? Sit down!”
I sit and she turns on the com.
“Trader vessel, you are targeted. Prepare to be boarded or we will fire on you.”
“What did I tell you? If you had-”
“You finish that thought Devon, and I’ll gouge your eye out with my thumb. If I had guns we’d already be dead. That’s an Archer Heavy Raider. Basically a space going weapons platform. What we need is a good pilot. But you saw to that didn’t you?”
“Son of a bitch.”
“Maybe, but you shouldn’t have shot at him like that.”
“No I mean, son of a bitch. Sit down and strap in.”
I guess the look on my face was serious enough for her not to ask why. She sits down and I start flicking switches.
“What the hell are you doing? We’re not fast enough to out run them.”
“Don’t need to out run them, just out fly them. Archer Raiders have a blind spot.”
“Are you high?”
By now the pirates must know were running so I don’t have time to answer. I hit the thrusters as if we are making a break for it then shut them off again as soon as they begin pursuit. They fly right past me. What most people don’t know is the Archer’s triangular thruster configuration leaves a nice pocket directly behind the ship just big enough for a small vessel like ours to hide indefinitely.
“Let’s see your old pilot do that.”
I’m smiling like an idiot and Jessie looks pissed.
“Why didn’t you tell me you can fly?”
“Because I don’t want to be part of your crew. I like what we have. I didn’t want it to feel weird when we do those nasty things in your bunk.”
“If we get out of this I’m going to kill you.”
“With what? I have all your panties.”
“Just get us out of here,” she says and folds her arms across her chest.
Man she’s sexy when she pouts.
“Only if you promise to hire another pilot.”
“Now’s not the time for demands.”
“Yeah it is. It’s the perfect time for demands.”
Before I can say another word Jessie’s arm shoots out and grabs me by my collar. She pulls me in close and kisses me. A deep, rough, lustful kiss. It ends with my bottom lip pinched in her teeth. She shoves me back into my chair and cuffs me in the head.
“You’re an ass.”