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, 113

“Captain, can I talk to you for a second?”

Louis had addressed Natalie, but Pax also looked up, though he was driving the ship, so only a little bit. They were sailing east now, having come around the southern coast of Kyaine. The sea was clear. But it wouldn’t be forever.

Natalie was looking at Louis, who had a rather throbbing erection. That was unusual for him, since Denver was standing beside him. “What’s the matter?”

“Nothing,” Louis promised. He looked a little flushed. “I’d like to ask for some shore leave.”

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, 108

“We are here today to unite two members of this crew in marriage,” Natalie said, standing at the helm in front of Pig and Jade, who were grinning wildly like it was the best day of their lives, which Pax supposed it was, and good for them.

Everyone cheered at that. They were wearing their fanciest clothes, which for some of the crew meant they were wearing an entire outfit. Pax himself was wearing a set of very frilly, lacy, formal dress clothes from the Empire, where Jade was from, with brocade and trim that was in line with Dolovin fashion to represent Pig’s culture. Everyone said it was too fancy for a ship wedding, but there was no such thing as too fancy for a wedding, and besides, Pax had to be dressed enough for himself and Nate, who, if he’d had a body, would probably have worn a shirt to the wedding.

Stowaway, 107

“Thanks for everything,” Robin said, as Pax lingered in the doorway.

“Of course. There’s nothing to thank,” said Pax, nodding. “You know I’d do anything for you.”

“I do. But it always means a lot to me. I know you have to go back now.”

“I do,” Pax agreed. He sighed. “But I appreciate having spent all this time with you.”

Stowaway, 104

“Being a patriarch isn’t such a big deal,” Louis said, as Pax considered the injury on his lower back. It was just a shallow scratch, nothing to be concerned about, apparently. Dragons supposedly healed fairly quickly, in any case.

The claw marks on his chest were a little more serious, but they’d probably be fine too. Denver was putting ointment on them just in case. “I think it’s a really big deal,” Denver said. “And you’re just good at it.”

“I mean obviously I’m good at it,” Louis said, tail swishing. He hit Pax’s ankle. “Sorry.”

Stowaway, 100

“I think we can safely assume at this point that the navy isn’t going to be catching up with us,” Natalie said, looking at the map weighted down to the table in Alse’s meeting room.

“I think we can rather unsafely assume that, given how unsafe we’ll be,” Pax countered. “But it’s fine. This is why Denver helped us acquire all this additional backup from Ran Errevir. We’ll be okay.” He gestured around at Ran Errevir generally to indicate how okay they were.

“Indeed,” promised Alse, gills frilling as he looked at Denver. “There is no need to worry. Our bargain is unassailable.”

Stowaway, 95

“This,” said Pax as they sailed level with the abandoned ship, “is not the pre-orgy tone I’d hoped to set. Spooky abandoned ships are really more of a post-orgy activity, though I suppose as these things are measured, one could make the argument that we are still in the post-coital period from the last orgy.”

And really if you think about it, Nate said, too cheerfully for the location, We’re always potentially pre-orgy, so there’s no real point in worrying about setting tone, because you’d be setting the tone for your whole life, and then you’d never have time for spooky abandoned ships.

“I suppose that’s fair.” Pax shifted in mild discomfort. “And spooky abandoned ships are very cool. On the subject of tone, however, now seems an opportune time to point out that the tone you’re currently setting in our general physiology is highly inappropriate to spooky ship exploring.”

But highly appropriate to pre-orgy time, Nate reminded him. Your idea.