Peepshow

The dryer buzzed signifying whatever had been tossed around was finished. Serena dragged her feet removing them. She’d folded the sheets with a fine crease, and the only thing left was to return the scratchy blanket to Leo’s room. She chewed the inside of her cheek, what were the odds that he’d still be busy? Stowing the clean sheets, she dragged her feet slower as she approached the cabin belonging to the passenger Leo.

Vas was padding up to the galley when he saw Serena doing what looked like a death march with what might have been neatly folded death shroud in her hands. “Geez Serena? Who rained on your parade?” Vas a with a tsk. Normally the girl had a bit more bounce to her step when she wasn't scrambling out of his way that is.

Serena gripped the blanket tighter, but even after a good washing didn’t want it all that close to her body. “I have to finish makin’ up Leo the passenger’s bed, Crew Chief. I figure he’ll be back to his room by now, and he is kind of… “ She couldn’t think of an adjective worthy of the man. “And I should probably apologize for ruining his nice picture of Marisol, which I also don’t much want to do.”

“Vas made a face like he just bit into something bitter. “I’ll come help you, it’ll go faster.” He offered. “Don’t worry about that picture either … I don’t think she knew he was taking them.” Vas said clearly insinuating how much of a creeper Leo was being. “He doesn't like me much and the feeling is mutual so maybe if I come with he’ll leave so we can get it done in peace. If he mentions the picture play dumb. I’ll back you.” Vas promised. Clearly, there was no love lost there. Leo was after all only here under the Captain’s grace and because he paid. The punk could not wait for that slimy pig to be gone from the ship!

Serena shot a fleeting grateful look to the Crew Chief, a skip returning to her step as she stopped in front of the passenger’s door. Giving the Chief a sidelong glance, she knocked softly on the door. “Leo? I need to finish making up your bed.” She lowered her voice. “I hope he’s wearing pants.”

“Oh buddha … he better be wearing pants.” Vas muttered.

Serena kept her eyes upward, just in case. Leo, as it were, opened the door and was in fact half clothed, bare chested after his shower. “Great,” he replied, opening the door. “You can --” He stopped short upon seeing the punk alongside the deckhand. “What’s this?” He replied, blocking the doorway.

“Crew Chief is gonna help with the bed.” Serena replied, hoping playing dumb was a general term rather than exclusive to the photos.

“Pass.” Leo replied. “I’d prefer not to have my room stink of cheap cigarettes.”

“I only smoke in the cargo bay nǐ bèn tuǐ tuófēng yuán (you dumb leg humping ape).” Vas said with a snort. “You want the bed turned over or not. My deckhand has better things to do otherwise and she won’t be able to get to it till tomorrow.” He said dismissively. No really it was a ship there was always something that needed attention but dealing with Leo was at the bottom. Vas thought digging out filled up latrines on Ezra was less stressful than being in the same ship as Leo. Still no matter what Vas felt he would win. Leo dismissed him and Serena AWESOME! He let them in and Vas would needle the man into a frenzy out of the room so Vas could see exactly how creepy the man really was. Win win!!

Leo sniffed the air, and crinkled his nose. “Clings to you like gum to the sole of a shoe.” He determined. “Fine. Flip the mattress, but make it snappy,” He looked at Vas and snapped his fingers for emphasis. “I have things to do, and I’m sure you have scut work elsewhere that needs done, Jat.”

“Crew Chief Jat you over perfumed tribade.” Vas said crinkling his nose and snorting out the awful stink. “And it’s get done when it gets done. You don’t like it go wait in the gally and stew.” He said brushing by the overly coifed poodle of a man. Vas glanced over his shoulder at the puddle of slime that passed for a Leo. “I think we might need the plastic cover for the mattress … what do you think Serena?”

“Aye, Crew Chief,” Serena replied, “I’ll be happy to grab one.”

“No need.” Leo replied. “And that’s Mr. Bennet to you, Crew Chief Jat. These mattresses are uncomfortable enough without you adding to the discomfort. I want it flipped end over end, both horizontal and vertical. And I notice you’re taking your sweet time with my upgrade to a nicer cabin.”

“Yea, ain’t your call … you don’t like it you can take it off after we’re one and remake your own bed.” Vas said ticking his head to Serena for the go-ahead. “Don’t like it take it up with management.” The punk shrugged.

“I plan to.” Leo shot back, as Serena scampered off for the plastic cover. Leo inadvertently shot a glance to the girl’s backside as she did, before turning back to Jat. “Getting fired once wasn’t enough for you? Don’t forget who is paying a pretty penny for the pleasure of this shit bucket you call a ship.”

“Awe. If it’s so bad go find yourself a luxury ship instead of gorram cargo ship” Vas said dryly. “Otherwise the complaint box can be found in cargo bay. You know ... the tall sealed silver container where I keep the drogo shit.” He said with faux innocents and wry smirk.

“And take all of my financial backing with me. Without me, you ain’t got a pot to piss in, punk. Your captain knows it. You apparently though, are a slow learner.”

“Either that an uncharacteristic show of concern … which we both know isn’t or are you just full of excuses not to jump ship.” Vas said unperturbed.

“This ship does offer a few fringe benefits that are frowned upon on luxury liners. Here comes one now.” He shot back as Serena returned with a plastic mattress cover.

“Still frowned upon even on this ‘shit bucket’.” Vas stated. “Just remember … castration out in the rim is still an enforceable punishment.” He said with a dark grin. “So quit eye banging my crew … or I’ll get the riding crop again.” Vas added with dark mirth. Of course, Vas didn’t turn or flip the mattress before helping spread the plastic cover over and tucking it in. All Vas could think was ~Poor mattress is going to have to be burned after this.~

“Frown all you want, but touch me again, and you’ll regret it ‘til the day you die, Crew Chief Jat. Now, go earn what I pay you, while I talk to your Captain about a well-deserved upgrade.”

Vas waited till he was sure the man was gone. “No shower in the world is going to wash the skevv off. Can’t wait till he’s gone … gorram flamethrower this room is what I’ll do.” Vas gripped. “Oye … in the cargo bay there are those bed strappy things to keep the sheet from sliding, can’t help but think if they make the bed lumpy or not. How about you go grab ‘em so we can test ‘em out?” Vas asked trying not to look to mischievous. “Maybe one will snap and hit Leo square in the cock … who knows. Karmic justice might exist.”

Serena giggled at the thought before bounding down the hall to the cargo bay to find them.

Vas wasted no time. He figured he would need all the time he could get to find th- the photos were in Leo’s top drawer. Buddha the man’s ego was undoubtedly huge. It was really disturbing the amount of photo the man had taken and most disturbing was the disproportionate amount of photos of … him!

~Why the hell was Leo taking so many pictures of me?~ Vas though through narrowed eyes. It was just downright disturbing. More in fact than pictures of Jacy, Serena, of anyone. Perhaps the most concerning was the close-up Leo had managed to take of the tattoo on Vas’ back as the punk showered.

Vas couldn’t help but curl a lip in disgust. The fact Vas did find at Leo sized box right then and there was show or massive restraint. He was so ratting Leo out to Riley. He was going to look forward to the fresh hell she would rain down on him.

“Here you go, Crew Chief, you want I should put them on the bed? Serena asked, skipping back into the room. Seeing him hold a picture, she drew a sharp breath. “Did you spill somethin’ on one of his pictures too?”

“Naw … but I did find out he’s taking pictures of the crew in the shower.” Vas said bluntly his nose wringing as he took the most incriminating ones to give to Riley. Damn right he was going to get the ones that put Leo in the worse light possible. “Let’s finish making the bed and then feed him to the bear that lives in the cockpit.”

Serena had questions she didn’t want any answers to, so she quietly finished helping the crew chief, then loped after him on the way to the bridge.

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