Copyright © 2010 by Melissa Good
Message from Author
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Copyright © 2010 by Melissa Good
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Parts of this work are fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, or events is entirely coincidental.
ISBN 978-1-935053-28-6 (eBooks)
eBook Conversion September 2010
Cover design by Angel Grewe
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Message from Author
New York has played a frequent part in my stories and not always in a flattering light. Many natives have accused me of being mean and not liking the Big Apple but the fact is it's the hometown I just never lived in and a place that has always held a piece of my heart. Not long ago I crossed the Atlantic and came into NY harbor by sea as both of my sets of grandparents did and realized at some level it would always be home.
~ Melissa Good
THE SUN PEEKED over the horizon lighting up an already coral pink sky with the bland yellows of morning. Its rays spread over the flat calm water, faint ripples brushing only lightly against the hull of a motor yacht bobbing quietly at anchor. >
A seagull circled overhead, its white wings outstretched to catch the slight breeze as it watched the water's surface hoping for an easy breakfast while the air was still comfortable, and before the sun started really heating things up.
Inside the boat's cabin it was equally quiet and peaceful. The main living space was dark and cool, sprinkles of light coming in past the curtained windows to illuminate a blue and tan interior, and splashing over the body of a half asleep woman meandering around the counter into the kitchen.
Blond, sun bronzed, and dressed in a sleeveless shirt that came to her mid thigh, the woman stopped to yawn and stretch, rubbing her eyes as the boat rocked a little. She leaned against the counter waiting for it to stop.
"Hope that wasn't some dude with a couple of wave riders and a six pack." Kerry paused to peek out one of the windows, drawing aside the curtain to let the light in before she ambled over to the small refrigerator and removed a bottle of juice from it.
"Did you just say you wanted a six pack for breakfast?"
Kerry turned and leaned against the kitchen counter as she watched her tall, dark haired partner climb the steps from the forward cabin into the living area. "Have you ever seen me have beer for breakfast?"
"Always a first time." Dar squeezed into the kitchen area with her and ducked her head taking a drink from the bottle Kerry offered her. "Besides, it has grain or wheat or whatever in it, doesn't it?"
"Hm." Kerry took a sip from the bottle herself. "You know it's probably healthier than those Frosted Flakes you're about to pour in a bowl." She bumped Dar with her hip. "Glad it's Sunday?"
"Always." Dar leaned back and gazed around the interior of the boat. "Sometimes I think my parents had the right idea."
"Living on the boat?"
Kerry felt the motion as the boat rocked gently under her. "Well, now that you got that satellite dish installed and we can get TV and internet--"
"It'd be tough on Chino," Dar mused. "Think we could teach her to use the head?"
Kerry took another swallow of juice. "She's a Labrador. Anything is possible. I keep expecting to walk into my office and see her sitting at my desk sending email."
Dar chuckled. "Maybe we should try taking her out on one of these overnights first." She eased past Kerry and went over to the door that led to the back deck. "I'm going to kick over the engines to charge the batteries."
"Want me to bring your coffee up there? I may jump in before breakfast."
"In my coffee? Fabulous. Bring it up then." Dar winked at her on the way out the door, letting it close behind her as a shaft of bright sunlight appeared and then disappeared.
"Punk." Kerry chuckled to herself, as she put her bottle down and turned to the coffee pot, hearing the rumble of the diesel engine and the vibration of it through her feet as Dar settled it into idle. She whistled softly under her breath as she scooped fragrant ground beans into the basket and poured water into the machine.
She turned as the coffee started dripping and headed down the steps into the front part of the boat. She ducked into the comfortable master cabin and pulled off her shirt trading it for a one piece swimsuit. "Living on the boat. Hm."
Kerry regarded her reflection in the wall mounted mirror and paused to imagine what that would be like. "It sounds good," she informed herself, "but I think I'd miss the broadband." She wrapped a towel around her neck and went back up into the main cabin where the coffee was almost finished dripping. "Not to mention Starbucks."
She took two cups, appropriately milked and sugared, and went out onto the back deck to find Dar loitering there, bathed in the early sunlight of a late August day. "Rats. I wanted to climb the ladder with this tray in my teeth."
Dar tipped her head back and watched as her partner set the tray down on the outside counter. "Nice morning," she commented. "Want to go down near Pennecamp later for a few dives?"
"Sure." Kerry handed Dar her coffee, then took the seat next to her with her own cup, putting her bare feet up against the transom.
It was warm, and humid expected weather for the time of year. On the edge of the horizon she could see the faint gathering of clouds that toward the afternoon would likely result in a thunderstorm.
Expected. Very normal. Kerry exhaled and flexed her toes. "So, how did the meeting with Hans go? I never asked you about that on Friday."
Dar had her sunglasses on, and was sprawled in the chair in a tank top and a pair of cotton shorts. "Pretty good. I really wanted to be there when those ships got into port, but now I'm glad I postponed going over until week after next."
Dar chuckled. "Hans said it was the most excitement in those parts since World War II, and not in a good way. I'd rather wait and meet with their executive board. A lot more fish to fry, and the European sales team is drooling so badly we had to send them three cases of old lobster bibs."
Kerry sipped her coffee. "Well, you get one week to shake them all up, and then I'm heading over there. That's a lot of infrastructure we're going to need."
"No kidding." Dar wiggled her toes. "Sure you don't want to come with me?"
Kerry sighed. "Stop teasing me, Dar. I told Angie I'd go up there and help her pack up to move. I can't back out on her now."
"I know. Sorry."
"It's not like I want to go to Michigan, you know.
"I know," Dar repeated. "Hey, it'll give me a week to scope out the best beer spots for you," she added, resting her elbows on the deck chair arms. "Hey, what do you think about softball?"
Kerry nearly choked on a mouthful of coffee. "Bw--" She swallowed. "Huh?" She turned her head and looked at her partner. "What brought that on?"
The taller woman shrugged. "I bumped into Mariana in the hall Thursday, and she said she had a bunch of people asking her if we could form a softball team to play in some half assed corporate softball league or something around here."
"I didn't think it sounded all that stupid, and the league raises money for charity," Dar reasoned, "and we're done with that other stuff for now."
"So, she asked you because she expected you to play?" Kerry put her cup down and half turned resting her chin on her fist.
"The other choice was bowling," Dar said. "I don't know about you, but for me the biggest draw of the bowling alley is the cheese fries."
"Hmm." Kerry wrinkled her nose. "I think I'd like to try softball. I never played it in school and I wanted to."
"You said that once," Dar remarked. "I think you look really cute in a baseball cap. Sounds like it might be fun."