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   Chapter 17 An unexpected visitor

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 13520

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:03


The rest of the journey and the tests of the ship went well. Even the cook that had come aboard was feeling better and managed to do his work without too many problems. Draiky however was glad to see him leave.

Daniel did what he could to avoid the Seigner's daughter and succeeded in that. Ulaman helped, as he understood that there was definitely no chemistry between them, apart from a destructive one.

As the harbour came back into view, Daniel was surprised by a gentle tap on his arm. It was the daughter of the Seigner.

"Excuse me, Mr. Zacharias. I would like to be at the front side of the... ship when we arrive. Do you deem it safe to stand there?"

It took Daniel a few moments to get over his surprise, then he nodded. "We'll be on our way for at least another hour, miss."

"I don't mind, sir, " Rayko said. "It would really please me."

"In that case I am sure we can find you a safe spot. One moment please, Miss Dandra ko Galem." Daniel walked off to Bilk and told him where he'd be, taking the Seigner's daughter to the bow.

"This way, please, miss, " he said upon his return. They walked to the place Daniel had in mind. "I assume you want to see how we come into port?"

"Yes."

They arrived at a safe place, far away from moving ropes and masts.

"If you wait here for a moment, " Daniel said. He grabbed a large roll and stacked that against the railing. A Bactine body had its advantages.

Rayko looked in disbelief as he lifted the immense stack of rope. It weighed at least two hundred and fifty pounds, she estimated, and he handled it as were it a pillow.

"It is perhaps not the most comfortable seat, but you could sit on it if you get tired. Miss."

"Thank you, Mr. Zacharias. That is kind of you, but I am sure it won't be needed." She even condescended to show him a little smile.

"Very well, Miss Dandra ko Galem. I'll come back for you once we're moored, if you agree with that."

"Of course." Rayko stepped in front of the large bundle of rope, rested her hands on the railing and looked out over the water and towards the harbour.

Daniel waited for a few more moments, but she did not pay attention to him anymore. Just as well. He made his way back aft and divided his time between the bridge and helping the men stow sail and roll up roll. From the bridge he kept an eye on Rayko and grinned as he saw her sitting on the stack of ropes.

The hawkers were thrown, able men caught them and secured the Pricosine. Daniel saw a few carriages already down at the quay, so the Seigner had received the communication that they were almost back. Good. And good riddance.

As the men were lowering the gangway, he walked to the bow and made sure to make enough noise for her to hear him coming. "Miss, we've arrived, and everything is ready to disembark. Are you ready too?"

Rayko looked at him as if she was trying to put a value on him. "I am indeed ready. Thank you for remembering me."

She walked with him, to where the men had collected her suitcases on deck. The cook had already taken his leave.

Landlubber, Daniel thought with a grin.

Rayko bravely stepped onto the gangway and looked down. It was steeper and deeper than she had thought. She stepped back, and red-faced she said: "I hope I do not inconvenience you, Mr. Zacharias, but would you please escort me down?"

Daniel grinned without showing it. "My pleasure, miss." He carefully picked her up, knowing that the eyes of the whole crew were on him.

Rayko hesitated for a moment. Then she put an arm around Daniel's neck. She buried her face in the clean shirt he had put on just before fetching her. Her eyes were closed tightly, she did not want to see this.

Daniel stepped onto the gangway and started walking down. He occasionally told her where they were. Halfway down, three quarters already. Just before the last steps, the wind caught Rayko's dress. It hooked behind something and a loud tearing noise was heard. Daniel felt how Rayko stiffened in his arms. He walked on as the damage was don

er and called for a carriage.

They went into the apartment. They needed no light. Clothes fell, Bactine bodies connected, and the cable slipped into connectors. They spent most of the evening and part of the night making love in that amazing way that left them both drained.

-=-=-

Daniel woke up. He knew, before he had his eyes open, that Rhonda was not lying next to him. He got up and found her looking out the window, the morning light painting the town and the harbour in soft pastels. He slipped his arms around her.

"No, Daniel. Don't." She slowly pushed his arms away, yet remained standing against him, looking outside. "You know this won't work. Not with us."

"I know. But holding you feels good."

"Okay then. Hold me. But that's all."

Daniel wrapped his arms around her again, but the moment was gone and lost forever. After a few minutes he let go. "I really want to thank you, Rhonda. For visiting me."

Rhonda turned and leaned against the wall next to the window. "I wanted to. Just a visit. To check on you. My privilege, since I reconstructed you." She grinned. "It's good to see you again. Too bad I have to go again."

"I still have a few days off, Rhonda, " Daniel said.

"That's good for you. I have to leave today, Daniel." She walked to the table with the shoulder bag, pulled out her clothes and put them on. "Thank you, for a wonderful dinner. For renting the dress. And the night I got to spend here."

"Do you want me to come with you?"

She shook her head, sending her short black hair dancing. "No. I would appreciate it if you could call me one of those carts and program it for the Embargo plaza or whatever the place is. I get frustrated spelling out the numbers that the thing doesn't understand."

"You mean the Embarcado Circle, " Daniel grinned. "Yes, I will do that. And I'll pay the fare for you." He got dressed.

Rhonda folded the dress and put it in the shoulder bag, together with the hairnet and the little hat. She chuckled as she looked at it for a last time.

Daniel picked up the bag and escorted Rhonda downstairs, where he called for a carriage. In silence they waited until it arrived, and Rhonda got in.

"Thanks for everything, Daniel, " she said as he set the destination for her using the hydger.

Just as he left the carriage, she quickly kissed his cheek. Then the door closed and the carriage pulled away into the traffic.

Daniel stared after it until it was lost in the hustle and bustle. Something inside him rolled over and scratched in a most painful way. He looked at the bag in his hand. He turned and started walking towards the dress rental shop, the scratches getting worse with every step.

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