*Many thanks to Kate for beta-ing this piece.
By Sea Spinner
Morton tore off his t-shirt and fell back onto the sun lounge, sweat still
dripping off him from the early morning run he’d had with Lee Crane. He closed his eyes and decided to soak up the
rays in the hot humid summer climate of Samoa.
He was almost thinking about nodding off when Lee pressed a cold glass
of orange juice into his ribcage.
it out,” he yelped, spilling some of the drink as he jumped.
grinned at him. “Thought you needed it
more than I did after that run.”
the Admiral’s scientific forum could run over time? When do we have to back to the boat again, we
could just go AWOL.” Chip teased.
dropped his long lean body down on a lounge beside him and took a sip of his
own juice before answering.
want to be around the Admiral when he found out two of his command crew didn’t
turn up for duty because they were having a good time?”
laughed, shook his head and clinked his glass against Lee’s. “Well, here’s to the next two days in
as Lee nodded, took another sip and closed his eyes against the sun. “Yes, paradise is the word.”
there’s a singles night at the nightclub tonight,” Chip said.
seem to have very vivid memories of the last
singles night you made me go to,” he replied accusingly.
you were voted the most eligible bachelor, what’s so bad about that?” He snickered as he recalled the night in
at him. “That wasn’t the part I was remembering.”
said the blonde without missing a beat, “so I might have inadvertently given
your phone number to some of the women.”
“Some of them,” he snapped. “I was screening calls for about a month
afterwards. What did you do, write my
number on the wall in the ladies toilet?”
laughed so hard he nearly choked on the mouthful of juice he’d been drinking. In fact, he thought some might even have gone
up his nose.
just thinking of you, old buddy,” although the sincerity in his voice didn’t
quite make it to his eyes.
“Let’s not think of me for a change, or your
new duties might include cleaning the bilge out during our next dry dock,”
just trying to help out a friend,” mumbled Chip, trying hard to keep a straight
face as he closed his eyes again.
there for a while, watching the coconut palms sway in the soft breeze. The small waves rolling onto the soft white
sand provided him with what amounted to music for his ears, a symphony of
nature. He glanced at Chip, who had
apparently gone to sleep, then unsuccessfully tried to fight off his own
weariness. The Admiral had forced both
he and Chip to take a few days off while he went to the Pacific Rim
Oceanographic Conference, and Chip had found the small resort after it was
recommended by one of the New Zealand Navy officers. It had helped of course that she’d been
blonde, slim and was going to stay in the same place. He shook his head as he thought about it, leave
it to Chip to find an attractive woman the first hour after leaving the boat.
me, are you Lee Crane”
snapped open, Chip still seemed to be asleep, and a pretty woman with long dark
brown hair and almost transparent green eyes was leaning on the rail
surrounding the deck.
something wrong?” he asked apprehensively.
laughed and continued talking with a distinctly Australian twang. “No, someone said you were a qualified diving
instructor. The island instructor’s gone
down with a stomach bug. I wondered if
you would mind giving me some tips? I
don’t mind paying, I just want to get out and do some diving, the water’s so
shouldn’t go out diving alone, especially if you’re not qualified,” he reminded
dropped. “Sorry, I’ll find someone
followed her slim figure as she turned away, then he flicked Chip a quick look,
trying to reassure himself that his friend wasn’t setting him up. As far as he could tell, he was still asleep
and developing a nice red glow on his stomach.
An evil grin crossed his face. He
was tempted to leave him like that and see how Jamie reacted to a case of
sunburn on his XO, but in the end he decided it wouldn’t be worth the fallout
and threw a hat and towel over him before he left.
what’s your name?”
gracefully around, her bare feet hardly making a mark on the white sand. “Lily.”
brings you here?”
here on…on some leave with a friend,” she replied.
drained the contents of his glass and sighed, at least it would give him a
chance to see some of the sea life up close and personal.
I’m not doing much,” he replied congenially.
“Give me a few minutes to change and I’ll meet you down at the beach.”
tanned face lit up in excited smile Lee was glad he’d said yes. “Sure, thanks heaps, Lee.”
into his bathers, grabbed his scuba gear and walked the thirty yards down to
the beach, blissfully unaware of the conspiratorial grin that spread across his
friend’s face behind him.
the beach and groaned, he hadn’t realized the real diving instructor would be
there in the morning, he usually an early afternoon class. There’d be hell to pay if Lee noticed the
other scuba group heading into the water, but it was worth the potential
fallout to see his friend finally wind down for long enough to enjoy the short
He gave a
self-satisfied smirk just thinking about how easily he’d set Lee up again, but
the smirk quickly slipped from his face as soon as he noticed Lee staring at
the diving party. He grimaced as Lee
swung around to cast him a dark look that said he’d be paying for quite a while
for this little good deed. He idly
wondered just how dirty the bilge was and shrugged as he saw Lee continue to
show Lily how to prep her gear. Yep, it
was definitely worth the fallout. He got
up, stretched and sifted through some papers on a nearby table. Now, where was that room service menu again,
all thoughts of bilges and dry dock already gone from his mind.