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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: January 18, 2021      Views: 10
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"The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in." -- Harold Goddard

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Chapter 26 of the book Two If By Sea
eyes like the sea
"Ranna Finds the Bluetooth" by Aiona

Ranna watched as James felt his face.

He winced as if in pain. "Damn it. I knew I should have gone down to get my sunscreen. But I was scared I'd get sick in your toilet again."

"You should have just asked me to bring it to you. I can get it now, if you like." Ranna shook her head at James, and then winced too when her injury from last night reminded her not to do that.

"Too late. What I need is aloe, not sunscreen. I have some of that in my bag too. Could you..."

"Yes?" Ranna saw a fleeting sadness in James's face, and was startled by the blueness of his eyes. Like the color of the sea on the horizon. She gulped. She was aware suddenly that she was alone on her sailboat with a man who was not Nadim. And she wasn't wearing very much in the way of clothing.

"...Could you get it for me?"

"Wait here." Ranna was relieved at the excuse to escape his gaze. She whirled around to point to the tray of food she had brought. "Eat." And then she almost fell down the companionway steps in her hurry to get far from the source of her discomfort.

Down in the cabin, her head swam with the pain. Everything below was still wet and a mess. However she found James's bag, still on the floor in the v-berth. By the time she returned to the cockpit, James had finished two of the flatbreads and was about to finish his third.

"This one?" Ranna hoped she had brought the right one.

"Mmprh!" James replied, still chewing. He gulped down the final bite of the third pancake. "Yes that's the one. Can you get the bottle out for me? My hands..." James showed Ranna his fingers, shiny with the butter. "From the bread-things. Those pancakes are awesome by the way."

Smiling, Ranna handed him a napkin from the tray, and then proceeded to rummage through his bag. Ranna held up a green cylindrical container. "This?" she asked tentatively. "Very strange medicine. I've never seen anything like this before."

"No, that's my wireless speaker. See?" James had finished wiping his hands, and took the speaker and turned it on. Then he took his cell phone from his pocket and did something. Raucous music filled the cockpit. "I bought off Wish-dot-com. Brand name these things cost about thir--"

James must have sensed her distaste at his auditory assault, because he pressed something on his phone. Immediately the music changed to something she recognized. Chopin's "Berceuse."

"Maybe you should look now that your hands are clean." Ranna handed James his bag, and then took one of the flatbreads to much on while she watched him pull a multitude of things from his bag, and muttering "Nope" over and over.

"Ah! Here it is!" James held up the green bottle with triumph. His expression was one of happiness as he spread the green gel-like medicine over his arms and face. In his zeal, he accidentally touched the autopilot, and the boat, which Ranna had set on a peaceful port tack, jerked into a starboard tack which caused Ranna and James to collide face-to-face on top of the port-side lazarette.

Ranna wasn't sure if her head was spinning because of her head wound or because she was forced to look into James's sapphire-blue eyes again. "James!" Mortified, Ranna shoved James off her, and worked to reset the autopilot.

"I'm sorry." James looked remorseful, and could only watch as Ranna checked the lines to make sure their abrupt tacking didn't loosen any lines in their cleats.

"He is like a child," Ranna thought to herself. "What patience Nadim must have had to teach me to sail!"

"James, I must teach you how to use these instruments. If we are to get to Dubai, you are going to have to be on watch at night sometimes."

James was silent.

"Also, if another storm comes up, I will need your help. You will need to know what to do." Ranna finished her survey of the boat, and sat down again to finish her flatbread, but then remembered. "I also made coffee. It may have spilled."

But, no, the teapot with the coffee was securely held on the gimbaled stove between the fiddles.

The book continues with James Tries Turkish Coffee. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.
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