Directly following the events in Evie Adventure #2, Right Where She Wants Him, Evie embarks on a new adventure that will take her far from Rith. In Right Where She Wants Him, Evie intercepted a sultry foreign spy, exposed a corrupt senior government official, and ‘met’ a handsome guard. But those events may pale in comparison to the peril and intrigue she experiences when she sets off on her own.
Evie Adventure #3: Chapter 2: Seeking Passage
The following morning, I woke with a clear head and ready to set off on my mission. I donned my usual black skinsuit and pulled my burgundy leotard and bodice over it. My backpack was already loaded and closed, so all I needed was to clip it in place onto my suit. One by one I put my knives and other tools in their places, and then I was ready to go.
Fortunately it was seasonably warm, and I only needed a light coat. I’d lost my Cryptae-issued chainmail-lined coat on a past mission and never replaced it. I grinned when I realized there was a chance I’d be able to retrieve it on this one.
My journey to Chowheim was largely uneventful. By ‘largely,’ I meant that I only had to deal with the occasional ordinary riff-raff. Highwaymen who wanted to take advantage of a woman traveling alone. Goblins who wanted to invite me to something called an ‘annual totem dedication ceremony.’ A small brush fire reportedly caused by a flighty gnome.
I felt really bad for the two goblins inviting me to their festival when they told me their expected guest of honor, some other young woman, had failed to show. Still, I’d had enough experience with goblins to know ‘guest of honor’ was code for ‘humie girl to be shared by the whole tribe.’
I kept an eye out for Angry Girl, but fortunately she never made an appearance. On the way out of town I watched for Will and the pretty blonde, Aly, but unfortunately they didn’t cross my path, either. At least they both gave me a reason to want to return to Greytrade sooner than later.
Traveling through Chowheim was a different matter. Rangers weren’t welcome in many places, and in a seedy port town like this, Rangers were often targets for those unappreciative of law and order. Especially after dark, when liquid courage was consumed in every tavern, all-out brawls overflowed into the streets, and henchmen of the flesh merchants were on the prowl.
I made my way stealthily to the docks and quickly found the pirate ship I was seeking. It was easy to find; not only was it one of the largest, it was one of the few kept in pristine shape. Its captain was a strict and demanding commander who insisted on maintenance and cleanliness. She was also as gorgeous and statuesque as she was fierce and intimidating.
I slipped aboard near the stern and climbed to the upper aft deck. The sole sentry on the weather decks was slowly ambling his way to the forecastle, giving me time to conceal myself with a vantage point above the officers’ cabins. The sentry made five agonizingly slow full laps of the ship, passing below me each time, before the target I was seeking came into view.
My breath caught in my throat when she stepped out of the aft cabins and made her way to the upper aft deck carrying a lantern. She was even more stunning than the first time I’d seen her. A breeze off the ocean swept her free-flowing auburn hair, revealing her softly rounded face, her full lips, and her captivating blue eyes. They were her only features capable of drawing my eyes from the bounce of her breasts in her bustier as she climbed the stairs.
When I first met her, she was brash, fearless and arrogant. I could tell now, watching her move, that she’d changed. She carried herself with a cool confidence and moved calmly–albeit sinuously–to her destination, not pausing for a moment as the sentry jumped out of her path. It was such a shame, I thought, that I was here on business and had no time for a dalliance.
She stiffened her posture almost imperceptibly, and spoke without turning toward me: “Yer know, comin’ aboard me ship wi’out leave gives me th’ right t’ do what I want wit’ yer. Again.”
“You’d have to catch me first, now wouldn’t you, Catherine?” I replied quietly.
“Done it before. Can’t see why I couldn’t again.” She finally turned to look toward me in my hiding place above her. “And that’s ‘Captain’ to ya, Ranger. Wanna come down ‘ere an’ see who ends up on top this time?” She subtly moved her hand to the hilt of her blade.
I slipped down to the deck, and landed with my hands out to the sides, palms forward, offering no threat. “Not looking for a fight, Captain. I’m not here to trouble you, I need your help.”
“Aye, that’s rich, you needin’ my help.” She maintained her skeptical look and tense stance. “What ya be needin’ from me, Ranger? Get to th’ point.”
“I’m looking for passage to Mayab. Or, at the very least, to Revana, so I can get another ship to Mayab from there. And of course, I’d pay you generously for the inconvenience.”
“What is it wit’ you Rangers? I ain’t no ferry service, an’ sure not fer the likes o’ th’ Cryptae. Got no need fer yer kind o’ trouble on me ship.” She paused, and calmed herself. “Why Mayab?”
I contemplated telling her if she didn’t take me, it was none of her business, but that wouldn’t set the right tone–I’d welcome any help she had at this point. I explained how Vyndra was engaged with profiteers looting the primitive southern continent, and how I was sent to investigate.
“I don’t meddle in that type o’ business,” Captain Catherine responded scornfully. “But I know someone who does. Crusty ol’ drunk who sails out o’ Revana.” The corner of her mouth curled up in a wry grin. “An’ I know someone who can get yer t’ Mayab an’ get yer a meetin’ with the old sea dog, too. Yer might even like ‘im, seems yer type. Bit o’ a bastard.”
Her little grin made me suspicious, but I was genuinely grateful. “Thank you, Catherine.”
“Don’ thank me yet. Yer a Cryptae Ranger. Yer not goin’ t’ sail with ‘im lookin’ like that. But I got an idea fer ya.” She told me she’d arrange for the other captain to meet me on her ship the following day. And we discussed the preparations I’d need to take tomorrow to pull off the ruse.
Catherine nodded toward the port. “So I’ll be seein’ yer tomorrow then,” indicating she was ready for our conversation to be over. “I’ll have the other cap’n here by three. Mr. Thrak ‘ll meet yer at th’ end o’ the docks at two. That give yer ‘nuff time t’ prepare yerself?”
“Yes. I have a contact here in town who can help me prepare and watch my back.”
“Until t’morrow, then, Evangeline,” she nodded in dismissal.
I turned to go before I realized I had one more question. “Say, I don’t suppose you’ve seen my Ranger coat? Black, real heavyweight? Went missing when I was on your ship last time.”
Catherine narrowed her eyes. “Ain’t seen it,” she replied in a casual tone. “P’rhaps one o’ me crew traded it fer a case o’ wine…or mebbe they gave it t’ some pet they was shaggin.”
Now it was my turn to be indignant. “Case of wine?…Pet??…that coat was lined with fine chainmail! It was priceless!!”
“Hmm. More’s th’ pity then. Well, mebbe th’ pet needed it more. Prob’ly makin’ good use o’ it.”
I could tell she knew more than that, but the sentry was coming around again. I nodded. “Been good seein’ you, Catherine. I’d give you a hug and kiss but then I wouldn’t want to leave.”
She grinned. An’ if yer did, I’d not be allowin’ yer t’ leave. Yer could stay ‘til morn, Evie.”
Spending the night in her cabin sounded better than catching a few hours’ sleep on my contact’s floor. But I had many arrangements to make by two tomorrow. Her inviting smile didn’t help.
“Another time, Catherine,” I murmured with a smile of my own.
I turned quickly to go before I changed my mind.
Chapter 3 of Evie Adventure #3 coming soon!