Stowaway, 116

The Omtec Prime was a very round merperson with dark blue colouring and lots of long frills, all fringed with orange and then yellow. Zhe had dark eyes that were set apart in zhier head and a small snout for a nose, and zhier body paint was swirling patterns of yellow.

When zhe spoke, zheir mouth was full of multiple rows of sharp teeth, and Pax was quite certain he saw a venom sac in there as well. Zheir ‘Vyle was accented in a way that suggested it was not zheir first language, but it wasn’t hard to decipher.

“I’m so grateful to finally meet you,” Zhe said, clapping zhier hands together. “The Emvel Prime’s messages about the mysterious sky people were so fascinating. You must be Captain Natalie.”

Stowaway, 114

Kein was on the ship when Pax came up from the cargo hold, which was annoying but would hopefully be mitigated by helpfulness at some point.

“There’s a visitor to the ship,” Keone informed him with a salute. “They came from the ocean, which may be obvious as they’re a merperson. But I don’t know enough about the geographic distribution of merpeople to know if that’s as obvious as it seems and I don’t want to be racist, so I thought I’d add it with apologies if it’s unnecessary.”

“As far as I know, all merpeople live in the ocean,” Pax assured Keone. “The possibility of there being subsets of the species living in inland seas and saltwater lakes does exist but has not yet been explored. I plan to hire expeditionary forces once it’s summer in the places where I have access to such bodies of water.”

“Okay,” said Keone. He looked over at Kein. “Who are they, by the way?”

Stowaway, 112

Pax woke up thinking that he should cut his hair today. It was brushing his eyelids, which meant it was too long as it could obscure his vision during critical moments, and then everyone might die and it would be all his fault.

He should get Manuel to do it, he’d taken to doing people’s hair for them and it would look nicer that way than if Pax did it himself. He could do that and then wax himself as well all in one day. A day of hair removal.

As Pax thought all of that, he opened his eyes, trying to sit up without waking Matthias, who was holding him from behind, his body tight against Pax’s. Not waking Matthias was a lost cause since nobody in Pax’s family was a heavy sleeper, but if he was gentle enough, Matthias would just roll over and go back to sleep. He’d had nightmares last night.

Stowaway, 111

“Everything is in order,” Denver said, handing Pax the inventory list.

Pax nodded, scanning it while Nate very casually squeezed Pax’s asshole around his own cock. Everything did appear to be in order, and he hadn’t even gone behind Denver and counted everything himself, because he trusted Denver. “Thank you. I know you found that exercise pointless, but it eases my mind to know that nothing has vanished from the ship in the last two days.”

“I know,” Denver said, patting Pax’s full ass. “There’s nothing wrong with being thorough, and even if there was, it’s not like I opened every crate and barrel and sack, I just counted them and confirmed that they were all where they were supposed to be. Then I compared them to what I counted before we left because I knew you’d ask, and then added all the new supplies we took on just now.”

Pax coughed quietly, blushing. “Thank you, that was very thoughtful. I appreciate you accommodating me.”

Stowaway, 109

Pax was going to get a neck injury if he didn’t stop going back and forth between all these weddings and wedding parties.

First had been Jade and Pig’s very touching and fast wedding with little in the way of formal rituals. Then, scarcely two days later, Pax had gone with Denver and Louis, who were going with Alse and his delegation, to attend Princess Gabrielle and Prince Franz’s royal wedding in the Dolovin capital, and that had been extremely lengthy and also quite moving, if far more ritualized. That had been followed by an equally lengthy and somewhat staid party at the castle, which Pax had enjoyed. Now, he’d come back and they were on an island having a shirtless wedding party for Pig and Jade and he was pretty sure Nate was drunk, which was unfortunate because Nate was using his body to drink.

Admittedly, that was only two weddings and two wedding parties, so perhaps characterizing what had been a series of objectively happy moments as ‘all these weddings’ had been unfair both from an emotional-supportive and numerical standpoint.

“Uh, okay,” said the shirtless boy serving drinks at the party. “So do you want another one?”