“Through the shallow, no less.” Dragon’s chest swelled with pride. “It helps to be the adopted daughter of one of Makawi’s wealthiest merchant traders. I get some nifty equipment.”

“Even with the fancy equipment, that’s still a two day journey.”

“Thirty six hours, but it pays well. With your help I could do the run back to back without crashing for twelve hours in between. I’ll split the profits with you fifty-fifty, minus ship repair and docking costs. What say you?”

“I guess I’m your man.”

“That’s what I wanted to hear.” Dragon smiled and lifted her shot glass. “A toast. To us!”

“To us.” Phenris repeated, downing the stinging liquid.

Dragon stood, dropping a handful of coins on the bar. Phenris stood with her, leaving his own meager pile of coins beside hers. After paying, the captain made her way down the mud and stone pathways that led to the piers.

“If you can still pilot half as well as you drink, you should have no troubles with the shallows.”

“Better, I’ve been practicing.” Phenris grinned down at Dragon. “How long have you been running the shallows?”

“A few months now, but there’s no way I can keep it up. At least, I can’t do it by myself. Even I have limits. When I heard you were back in the islands with nothing better to do than skulk around bars, I figured, here was the perfect opportunity. We both benefit, that is, if you don’t mind taking orders from a slut.”

“Don’t say it like that.” Phenris shifted uncomfortably.

“Why? It’s true. I eaten a lot of pussy and smoked a lot of cock since you failed to deflower me. I think that fills the bill.”

Phenris laughed, a throaty belly laugh. “I take it all back, Dragon. You haven’t changed one bit.”

The two of them walked in silence down the muddy path to Dragon’s ship. Dragon was lost in her memories. She was content to let her childhood friend keep to his own thoughts.

Dragon’s ship was sitting low in the water, and that made her wince. She’d been wincing since she picked up five of the heaviest crates she had encountered in her time as a courier. If it wasn’t for her strict no questions asked policy, she would have popped one open to see what the devil could weigh as much as a box of rocks.