Wolves on the Water ((attn: Brig, Drew and friends))
Kai sat in a deck chair, her feet tucked to her bottom, her knees pressed against her chest, her hands wrapped around a steming mug of apple cinnamon tea. She'd spent the night on the boat, alone completely and blessedly alone. It had been some time since she'd be alone. Oh, she'd been by herself, but there were always people nearby. There was no one here and it was a silence she relished for its rareness. Friday after work, she'd met the board maker and had tested the new board on the waves off the beaches in the Park. It was a smooth ride and she'd spent several hours on it, before sunset brought her in off the water. The board was now secured in a surfboard rack on the port side of the boat and she was hoping there were some good waves that afternoon.
She'd talked with Drew Thursday morning and they'd ironed out details, and then she'd emailed Brig, letting them know that all the equipment they would need was provided unless anyone wanted to surf, then they had to provide their own board. The caretakers of the island were expecting them at three so that the couple could take a much needed day and night of shore leave. So Drew and his friends were supposed to show up around one. She'd told Brig to come anytime Saturday morning, but to be there by one. He'd not given her any indication of his arrival, only that he'd be there in time.
She had given herself the luxury of sleeping in until after the sun had risen, then swam the distance between the boat and boat house for an hour, showered and was sitting in a pair of shorts and a light green camisole, sipping tea as she awaited the arrival of the captain, first mate, cook and steward that were all employed by the Aquarium to man this vessel whenever it was needed. And Brig she was waiting for Brig.
She was nothing if not completely honest with herself, and while she was looking forward to meeting more pack mates and making new friends, she admitted that she was more looking forward to spending more than half an hour with Brig. The why of it still hadn't fleshed itself out in her mind and she rather enjoyed the mystery of that as well.
LT could not help but grin as his Uncle sat nodding repeatedly in the passenger seat of one of the Piper's silver Excusions. He had actually asked that question five minutes earlier, but Uncle Brian kept nodding as he stared out at the water.
He had never known his Uncle to shy away from anything, but even LT had to admit that the open sea wasn't one of his most favorite things. It was one thing to Command a mission involving water, and the Commander did so without so much as a single flinch, but recreational activities? That was a completely different thing. Reaching out, LT put his hand on the CO's shoulder to stop him.
'Sure,' his uncle said looking at him. Then he seemed to right himself and shrug with a smile. 'Mind over matter, boy.' Pointing at his temple, he pulled his bag out of the back seat and exited the SUV.
'Sure, Uncle Brian.' LT got out and took the cooler of food out of the trunk. 'No, I got it,' he said as his Uncle tried to take the cooler. 'Interested in seeing the boat.'
Brig was one hundred and ten years old, yet seeing the water made him unbelievably uncomfortable. It wasn't quite a phobia, not...really, and it wasn't as if he wasn't a strong swimmer. It was just...unnatural. Swimming...in water? Shaking off his nervousness, Brig put his arm around his nephew's shoulders and gave him a firm squeeze.
'Taking me up on the offer to come with, then?'
'I don't know, maybe,' LT replied squinting at the horizon.
'You could call Carol? Have her meet us here before one?'
LT remained silent as they walked down the boardwalk per Kai's directions.
'You're thinking about telling her, aren't you? You like her that much, huh?'
LT looked at him with squinted eyes and sighed. Brig looked at his nephew - he was technically in his late 30's, almost 40 now, but he could not help seeing him as a boy when it came to personal things between family. LT was troubled, although not with the way he felt about Carol, but what it would mean in the future.
'You love her, I can see that,' Brig said quietly, 'you just do what you feel is right for you and her.'
'I know, Uncle Brian,' LT replied quietly.
Looking back toward the water, Brig spotted the boat Kai had procured and let the conversation drop. They walked up to the boat and yelled up.
'Ahoy there! Permission to come aboard?'
She went to the side of the boat, leaned out over the railing and waved. "Permission granted. Let me be the first to welcome you aboard the Aqua Aquarius!"
Laughing softly, she leaned on the rail as she watched them climb the gangplank. LT made her hesitate in her greeting with Brig, instead of hugging him like she wanted to she smiled and offered a hand to them both.
"Good morning Brig, LT. Will you be joining us today?" The question was directed to the lieutenant, but her eyes were on Brig.
'Well, my uncle invited me,' looking back, he watched his uncle take up Kai's hand and kiss the back of her fingers gently, murmuring a hello. With a chuckle, he politely excused himself. 'But I don't think so. My sea legs are a bit wobbly and I'm off to see someone. Thank you though.'
Walking back down the gangplank, he gave his uncle and Kai a final wave and jogged back toward his SUV.
((OOC - LT out!))
Still holding her hand, he gently massaged it as he murmured softly, 'I hope you realize that I'm probably going to be throwing up as soon as we hit open sea.'
He was exaggerating, at least he hoped he was, but pointed at her with a finger as he added, 'So I expect lots and lots of brownie points for showing up today.'
The rest of her body didn't cooperate at all and she was glad to break the tension she felt with laughter. "Yes, you get lots of brownie points."
She pressed her hand to his cheek and grinned. "Every big bad wolf that's afraid of the water but comes on a boat for a girl gets lots of points almost a whole ten."
Laughter bubbled out of Kai as she gave his cheek a pat. "I'd offer to hold your hair back, but..." She ran her fingers up through his hair, down his neck to rest on his shoulder. "I'm sure you'll be fine and if you're not...well I won't hold it against you."
'Alright then,' he said pointing at the length of the boat, 'show me around this dingy here. All the choice puke spots, too, if you please.'
She started them off toward the bow and spoke as they walked. "There are three decks on this boat, the lower deck holds the cabins and research lab. This is the second or main deck and it holds the galley, dining area, forward and aft open decks and crew quarters. The upper deck holds the bridge."
A sweeping gesture of her arm encompassed the boat. "She's a hundred and twenty feet from bow to stern, and can hold up to twelve researchers if four of them are two couples. The Aqua Aquarius crew is responsible for finding the remains of a German U-boat that sank off the coast during World War II."
They walked around to the front of the boat, and she stopped to look out over the water. "We're not going far, only about fifty nautical miles due east from here. And the island's about six square kilometers."
She turned and gave him a crooked smile. "Come on I'll show you where we're bunking for the night."
Kai began to descend into the boat when he tugged her back up. 'I meant to do this about a minute ago, but got a nervous about it. I'm good now.' Before she could ask why, he pulled her close and kissed her.
He wrapped one arm around her waist and cupped her face with the other. The kiss was chaste, to begin with, but once he felt her body relax against his, he parted her lips with his tongue and deepened the kiss. Brig wagered his odds of getting kneed in the groin were dissipating as she returned his kiss.
It had been several months since he had kissed a woman. Carol had been the last and now she was dating his nephew, quite seriously apparently. He mentally winced at that thought, but discarded it just as quickly. Kai was a lovely girl and seemed receptive to his charms. Definitely worth getting to know, even more so kissing.
Catching her bottom lip gently with his teeth as he pulled away, he captured both her lips again with his as his hand reached into her hair and entwined his fingers with the soft strands. He was an aggressive kisser, he just couldn't help it, but he wanted to be clear that he enjoyed her company and was looking forward to this trip without acting like a pirate and throwing her on the deck for some pillaging.
Oh but it had so long since she'd been kissed, and Brig was damned good at it. Her body responded in a melty relaxy kind of way and pressed against him as he deepened the kiss.
Her hands slid up to rest on his chest, and slowly a bit reluctantly she pulled away, smiling at him. "Yep, you seem fine." Was her somewhat breathy response to the pounding of her heart and the struggle of her lungs to feel with breath, and the wobble in her knees.
Reign growled as she rubbed her eyes behind her glasses which were tinted dark in the bright sunlight. She'd just gotten in from a tournament on Thursday only to have the Boy sitting on the edge of her bed -early- Friday morning and cheerfully informing her she had weekend plans. She'd had to quickly make arrangements for the mutt and get the blue out of her hair and now she was headed to a boat, against her better judgment. He was just so damned hard to say no too.
Even as she growled at him he didn't flinch, he just smiled more.
"Yeah yeah yeah whatever. You need to get out more you're turning into a hermit. Think of it as a vacation."Â?
"I was going to sleep. That's a vacation too."Â?
She snapped, he snorted.
"It is boring. Besides you've been complaining we don't see each other since I took the night shift."Â?
They approached the boat, which was bigger than he'd anticipated, but being a desert rat, he didn't know what protocol was. Did you just walk on or what?
He called as Reign snorted at him, Drew couldn't tell if she was embarrassed or amused. He just shrugged and grinned again.
"Little pig little pig let me in?!"Â?
It was less obvious than 'huff and puff and plow your house down any way. Drew thought it deserved points for style.
She walked to the railing of the boat and waved down at Drew and company. "Ahoy Drew! Come aboard. Though usually you ask permission a bit less...fairy tale like."
Pushing back from the rail, she waited for them at the top of the gangplank. "Welcome aboard the Aqua Aquarius."
Brig had the luxury of Kai already knowing what he was, considering she was one herself, but he's struggled in relationships with humans and always managed to avoid that conversation, ending the marriage before it got too serious. Guilt washed over him as he thought that - marriage is serious, but he was still glad he never told any of his ex-wives.
He pushed those thoughts away and looked back at Kai. She was young, fun, and smelled delicious. He'd enjoy it for what it was right now - fun.
"Everything I needed to know about sailing I learned from Gilligan's Island. Besides it worked didn't it?"Â?
And that was all that mattered wasn't it?
He cast a quick glance behind him to make sure that Reign hadn't vanished, she was suborn enough to do that.
Oh look, Brig was here already too. Drew wondered for a second if he was interrupting anything, but as it was too late to do anything about it and he wasn't going to embarrass any one by asking if they wanted to be alone he didn't let it phase him or slow him down.
"Heya S...Brig. This is Reign. Reign this is Kai and Brig. Reign this is Kai, its her boat and this is Brig and... well he is."Â?
He didn't feel the need to explain anything else about Reign and their relationship. She was family and they were friends and that was enough for him, he figured it would be enough for everyone else.
Hauling herself up the gangplank she took a look at Kai and Brig. Kai was pretty, at the very least cute and her guess was the Boy had flirted with her a bit. Reign wasn't at all jealous, just just knew Drew. Brig was another matter, good looking guy and older which was a little refreshing. But he was probably a wolf and so he was probably even older than he looked.
She shoved her glasses up top of her head for the introductions, squinting a bit, but she made it a habit to look people in the eye the first time she met them. Reign smiled at each of them in turn and offered her hand. She had a good grip and she knew it not that she pushed it or anything, it was just a hazard of her profession.
"Nice to meet you both. If he gets obnoxious you have my permission to throw him overboard."Â?
She took the offered hand of Drew's friend. "A pleasure Reign. And technically this isn't my boat, but I get to use it when it's free and I want to, so I guess it's mine, sort of."
Reign had a firm hand shake and Kai liked that. She was almost always annoyed with girls who shook hands all limp wristed and weak.
"I have no doubt he'll get obnoxious, but if he get's too bad, Brig can sit on him."
She laughed at her own joke, something she was apt to do now and again. "Drew where are the rest of your friends?"
Reaching out, Brig took Reign's hand and gave her a polite nod. 'Reign. Pleasure.' Turning back to his cooler, he circled his arm around it and grabbed his bag with the other.
'Where do you want us to stow our stuff, Kai?'
"I just hope it doesn't come to that."Â?
Where were those two slackers? It was a fine question.
"I think Wil had a class and it might have gone long and Jared was driving but they should be along in a minute or two. Oh and I know its last minute but Jared said he might bring Celeste but it depends on her schedule... well that and if they are fighting."Â?
All three were about Drew's age, in their mid to late twenties. Wil and Jared were brothers they'd grown up somewhere in Wisconsin. Jared had a job in the city and was the more athletic of the two playing on the same softball team Drew did. Wil was more of a bookworm but had a good sense of humor. Both were just under six feet and build like brick walls. Celeste, if she showed up, was a tall curvy African American girl, she and Jared had been dating for a while.
Just as he gave an apologetic shrug about the guys being late there was a shout of,
"Benally! Where are you you skinny punk?"Â?
Drew trotted over to the rail and waved.
"Only two then. So you can't shoot me for bringing unplanned guests."Â?
The two Midwestern wolves came on board exchanged polite greetings and introductions. Both of them remembered helping Kai with her bags and asked if she'd gotten settled in OK. As obnoxious as they could be with Drew they were both very polite until they got to know people.
Reign cheerfully agreed with Kai.
She was happy enough to hang back and just let things settle in, although she was a bit on Brig's side, she'd love to drop her stuff somewhere. Then maybe just kick back and get some sun, maybe try some fishing.
Wil and Jared shouting up at Drew made her smile a bit as she settled her dark glasses over her eyes again. They were good kids, the three of them seemed to keep each other in line and she was comfortable around them. She had a feeling most people were, or at least could be, they were so relaxed and open.