“What a strange coincidence, finding you in an out of the way place like this.” Phenris changed the subject.

“It isn’t a coincidence at all. I heard rumors of an enormous man, fitting your description, who was looking for work. I scheduled my hauls so I could port here. Looks like my hunch was right. Here you are, drinking away your profits.”

“I was going to work my way home. I’m still working some things out, in my head is all. I left to find out where I came from, but it wasn’t what I expected. I don’t even know how to explain,” he repeated.

“Olsen will want to see you. Can I send him word that you’re safe at least?” Dragon ordered a round of rum from the silent bartender.

“You can, but Dragon, I’m not ready to face him yet. I found some things out about myself and about Olsen. Some of them were really bad things.”

“Look, whatever Olsen was, and wherever you come from, it doesn’t matter to me one bit. We both already knew he was a scoundrel, he cheats on his taxes. I know, I’ve seen the books. Still, he took in two foundlings like us. He’s the only parent I’ve ever known. I didn’t need to go searching to come to terms with that. As for the rest of the things you discovered,” Dragon paused, taking a shot.

Phenris did the same.

“When you’re ready, you can share them. Then, we’ll deal with them together. You’re my closest friend, and no amount of sexual tension is going to change that.”

Phenris let out a breath like he’d been holding it for an eternity. “It’s good to be home.”

“I hate to cut this short,” Dragon smiled wistfully, “And I really do want to hear all about your travels, but I have deadlines to keep, and they’re getting away from me. I’m leaving in an hour, and I already have cargo. If you’re still looking for work, I could use a first mate. Wait! No! One more round before you answer, just a quick one.”

Dragon waved frantically to the bartender. The man, who was with another customer frowned at her deeply. She flashed him a large gold coin, and his expression changed. He rushed to oblige her, leaving his other customers to grumble.

“What kind of ship is she?”

“A two sailed schooner. I call her The Lady In Rapture.”

“How many crew?”

“Just myself, and you if you’ll have the job.”

“You pilot a schooner by yourself?” Phenris’ eyes were wide with admiration.