Author’s Note: 


You can blame ABBA, or Pierce Brosnan for this one!



A Man after Midnight

by Diane Kachmar


            “Why don’t we go in there and ask,” Chip Morton suggested, pointing to a brightly lit taverna up the narrow island cobbled street, from which pop music was blaring.

            Lee Crane stopped and glanced over at his XO, raising an eyebrow. “So you are finally admitting you don’t know which way we go to get back to the harbor?”

            “I could be a bit turned around,” Morton admitted.  “Getting hit in the head with a plate will do that.”

            “I told you not to yell, “Opa!”

            “Yeah, yeah,” Chip rubbed the side of his head. “Why didn’t you yell, duck?”

            “I was under the table, not getting whacked in the head,” Crane answered.

            Morton gave his friend a disgusted look.  “Sometimes, when your training kicks in, you’re no help at all!”

            Lee smiled. Once again his instinct about the situation had worked to his advantage, at least where flying tableware was concerned.

            “Why don’t you ask, you look more like a native than I do,” Chip suggested.

            “Only if I visit the men’s room first and wet your comb. Tonight was your idea. It’s up to you to get us back to the boat.”

            Morton began walking again. “Yeah.  Me and my bright ideas.”

            Lee trudged after his friend. It hadn’t been that bad, except all the streets looked alike. Particularly after splitting that bottle of ouzo with dinner. He reached out to open the taverna door.  “After you.”

            The bar was deserted, which belied the loud music. Lee could have sworn a party was going on in there, given the music.

            Chip squared his shoulders and walked over to the bar. “Excuse me,” he addressed the large balding man who was wiping the surface. “Could you tell me how …”

            A door flew open in the back and suddenly the room was filled with laughing, gaily dressed young women. They were all talking at once in nonstop Greek. Both he and Chip were totally engulfed by the brightly colored, scented wave of motion.  Motion that picked them both up and propelled them into the back of the establishment.   

            Lee found himself squeezed against one of the roof pilings on the far side of the room. Two of the young ladies held his arms while others wrapped ribbons around his wrists and arms, securing him loosely to the pole.

            Then his captors left him to join the other group that was hoisting a protesting Chip Morton up onto one of the many tables. Morton had evidently been chosen to be the first victim of whatever revelry was about to ensue.

            None of the ladies were armed, so Lee doubted his friend was in any real danger.  Crane was not at all sure he wanted that kind of attention lavished on him.

            Lee twisted his hands experimentally and the ribbons moved. He rotated his wrists some more as all the women’s attention turned to alternately fondling, tickling and wrapping Morton into total submission.

            One of his ribbons came undone and then another, as Lee worked swiftly and quietly to free himself. Once loose, he slid quietly to the floor and under the nearest table.  Doing a quick recon of the room, he determined the quickest route to the door and crept noiselessly in that direction.

            With all the whooping and laughing coming from the tables above him, Crane doubted he would even be missed. He would go find a responsible parent – they couldn’t be far away; the bartender would know – and get his friend released. Not that Morton would thank him for that intervention, but his duty seemed clear.

            Lee made it to the end of the cover of the tables, only to find a pair of shapely legs blocking his exit. An elfin face with green eyes peered under the table and asked him laughingly, in Greek, where was he going?  Then she reached down to help extricate him out from under there.

            Lee moved clear of the table legs and stood up.  He shrugged and then let her drag him back into the celebration. There was something to be said for leaving no man behind as well.



The End