Romantic Suspense, contemporary Romance
The One I Want
A series of love stories by JET & ELLIE MASTERS
Love is everywhere in this swoon-worthy, steamy series of combustible couple’s romance stories.
True Love, Soulmates
Happily Ever After
Second Chance Romance
You’ll find it all in The One I Want series
If you believe in true love, love at first sight, and soulmates, these stories are your happily ever after.
Treasure hunting leaves little room for romance…
Brie Hamilton has learned to trust logic, not emotion. Fairy tale endings and love at first sight simply don’t exist. Then a sexy historian hires her to captain his research vessel and she starts to question everything—including why she shouldn’t sleep with her boss…
Brent Calloway has spent his career hunting for sunken treasure. Now, the biggest discovery of his life is finally within reach. When he suddenly loses his captain, he needs to scramble fast and find a replacement. He just never expected his new employee to be a woman. Now, the keys to the success of the entire operation—and maybe even his heart—are in her gorgeous, capable hands.
But treasure tends to attract trouble—and in this case, that means treacherous enemies and even a few modern-day pirates. Looks like Brie and Brent will have to fight more than the lure of forbidden desire if they want to find their happily ever after…
Saving Brie is a steamy, instalove, contemporary romantic suspense about love at first sight. It features a protective hero and the smart, feisty heroine who steals his heart.
Grab your copy today and let the binge-reading begin.
(Saving Brie was originally published as Brent.)
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CHAPTERs 1, 2, & 3
“What the hell, Gus?” I slam my mug down on the counter. “What do you mean you can’t captain for me? We’re supposed to ship out at first light. You can’t leave me high and dry like this.”
My timetable doesn’t allow for delays. Stopping the operation to find a suitably licensed captain can take days, if not weeks. By then, it’ll be too late.
It’s time to take advantage of Hurricane Julian’s work. Storms of that magnitude move massive amounts of sand beneath the waves as they sweep up the Gulf. It’s my hope enough sand shifts to expose what a lifetime of research says will be there, but I have to get there now.
Not weeks from now.
“Like I said,” Gus gives an overly dramatic sigh. “My doc says no-go. Can’t ship out.” Gus has already tied on four too many beers and stares back at me with bleary eyes. He thumps his chest. “My ticker needs help.”
His liver needs more help at the rate Gus pounds the beer.
“But can’t you postpone your appointment for a week or two?” I flinch at the whine in my voice and clear my throat.
All I need is a couple of days to sail down to the Keys and a week to explore the wreck I know is buried there. I stand to score the find of a lifetime—nearly a billion dollars in gold bullion.
Gus’s heart isn’t that sick. Is it? Although, if Gus dies while on my ship, there will be hell to pay.
“Nope.” Gus takes another swig. “Gotta do the stress test tomorrow, and depending on that …” Gus leans forward, his expression dour. “Doc thinks I need to go under the knife.”
I curse. Luck favors the prepared, and I’ve spent a lifetime getting ready for this moment. Now Gus leaves me hanging because of a bad heart?
“You can’t back out.” I try a different angle and hope I don’t sound as desperate as I feel. At least I no longer sound whiny. Maybe I can bully Gus into reconsidering? “We have a contract, and you took an advance.”
“We have an understanding.” Gus sucks down the last of his beer and gives a loud belch. He waves to the bartender. “Gimme another. And if it’s about the advance, I’ll give it back. No worries about me keeping what ain’t mine.”
“You gave your word.” I try to keep the irritation out of my voice, but from the wide-eyed stares of those at the end of the bar, I fail miserably to do so.
A beat-up shack, the Tipsy Pickle, teeters on pylons driven into the basin of the marina decades ago. The place barely passes health inspection, and probably only with a healthy exchange of under-the-table cash. Paint flakes off the weathered exterior; stale beer and dried-up piss create a pungent atmosphere inside. But the alcohol is cheap and the food amazingly good.
I’m surprised the Tipsy Pickle hasn’t been bought out, stripped down to the pylons, and rebuilt to attract a more up-and-coming crowd. Yuppies, hipsters, and Millennials love their booze as much as anyone, and they don’t blink twice at overinflated prices. The Tipsy Pickle doesn’t attract that crowd, and as far as I’m concerned, sits on a goldmine.
Not that one can tell from the thin and haggard crowd.
Tired men hunch on dilapidated stools and prop weary elbows on tables worn smooth by decades of use. Half of the tables are occupied, most by individuals not interested in sharing their beer and food with others. Music crackles through tired speakers, creating enough sound to cover most conversation without drowning it out completely.
A quick glance reveals no likely candidates for my sudden captain’s vacancy. These are dockworkers and deckhands. I need a licensed commercial boat captain to pilot my research rig down to the Keys.
“What the hell am I going to do? You can’t leave me hanging. Don’t you know anyone who can step up?”
The door bangs open, letting in a sliver of light. By habit, I look to see who enters.
Like something out of a movie, light spills around the slender form of a woman, putting all her curves on display—and what amazing curves they are. Trim and toned, the woman has amazing tits, a tiny waist, and hips a man can grab a hold of while he pounds himself into oblivion.
I can’t help but gape.
Not alone in my admiration, every head in the bar swivels to fix on the apparition.
Chin lifted, the woman pauses at the doorway and scans the interior. After seeing who’s inside, I think she’ll run from the rough crowd, but the woman doesn’t hesitate. With effortless grace, she glides across the floor; an ethereal creature, she makes a beeline for the bar.
She picks her path with care, avoiding the occupied tables, and heads to a group of empty stools a few seats down from me and Gus. When her gaze meets mine, she smiles, and it’s like a choir of angels lifts in song. The soft cushions of her lips part and her tiny pink tongue darts out. I can’t help the natural reaction of my body and adjust my perch on the stool.
What stunning lips.
Perky and raspberry red, I debate my next move as all manner of filth runs through my mind.
With a face cut right from the pages of a men’s magazine, all present track her passage. Even after she sits on the stool, all eyes remain glued to her stunning figure. If any are like me, they wonder what she might look like spread out on the cover of the annual swimsuit edition, or better yet, stretched out naked in bed.
When she glances at me, blue eyes like a calm summer sea give a slow, languid blink. Her wavy brown hair, cut short at the shoulders, shimmers despite the dim lighting of the bar. She gives her hair a casual flick and my heart flutters. Her eyes narrow as she peers through the dimly lit bar, staring directly at me, then a spark of recognition flares and a smile curves those raspberry-red lips. She slips off her stool and comes toward me.
Feeling cockier than is wise, I prepare to charm her into my bed, where I can see how close my fantasy lives up to reality.
If Gus’s heart issues ruin the chance of a lifetime, at least I can spend the night with this beauty wrapped around me as I listen to her breathy moans filling the sweltering night air.
But she doesn’t approach me. I’m not the object of her attention. She stops short, coming to stand beside Gus.
“Gus!” She gives the fat bastard a hug and kisses Gus’s cheek. “How have you been?”
What the hell?
“Well, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.” Gus beams at the beauty. “It’s been over a year, Brie. Whatcha doing in Tampa?”
“Relocating a client’s yacht. Just pulled into dock.”
“Is that so?” Gus’s bleary eyes brighten and he sits up a little straighter.
I peer around Gus, waiting for an introduction.
The bartender brings over wine and sets it in front of the woman. Far too inquisitive, the asshole checks out her tits with open-mouthed hunger. I want to lean over the counter and smack the prick for being such a flagrant asshole. There’s a thin line separating admiration and flat-out disrespect; one this guy crosses by miles.
“You headed out soon?” Gus empties his beer. This time, instead of letting his belch rip, he covers his mouth and lets the burp slip out quietly.
“Nope.” She glances at me but makes no attempt to introduce herself.
Gus, being the ass he is, doesn’t make introductions. Regardless, I hold eye contact and give her a tip of my head. In a second, I’ll take care of Gus’s oversight. She stares at me with curiosity flickering in the depths of her baby blues, but she dismisses me to continue her conversation with Gus.
“I’ve got a couple of weeks off.” She sips from her drink. “Although, I may have to change that. Lost my on-time bonus with the storm.” She leans close and places her hand on Gus’s thigh. “And guess what?”
I can’t keep my eyes off her delicate fingers and wonder what it might feel like to have her hands on me. I’m starting to hate Gus.
“What, darling?” Gus eats up her attention.
“You know the rig that capsized?” Her delicate voice rises in pitch.
“It’s all over the news.” Gus gives a vigorous shake of his head. “They said it could’ve been the worst spill of the century if not for the guys who capped it before it tipped.”
“Well, those guys spent a week in a lifeboat, and I picked them up.” Excitement lights her face with a rosy glow.
“You don’t say?” Gus leans back and crosses his arms. “I’m impressed. Haven’t seen anything in the news about that, but I’m not surprised. You’re a real angel.”
“I don’t know about that, and that rescue cost me my bonus.” She takes another sip, peeks at me out of the corner of her eye, then focuses back on Gus. “Know of any work?”
“As a matter of fact…” Gus slaps his palm down on the bar. He turns to me. “Looks like I found you a captain.”
I jerk, not expecting the conversation to head in that direction.
The brunette gives a slow, disappointed shake of her head. “Yeah, dickwad, this fucking chick is a captain. Welcome to the twenty-first century, mate.”
She certainly has the mouth of a sailor. Now, why does that turn me on?
“Look, I didn’t mean to offend—” I hold up a hand.
“Oh, you offended pretty damn well.” She gives me the back of her shoulder. Smooth and bronze from the sun, her flawless skin practically glows.
I lean toward Gus. “Look, I need a captain with experience, not a—”
“Not a what?” She turns back around, showing me how poorly I keep my voice down. “You don’t think girls can pilot boats?”
“It’s not a little boat, and yeah. I don’t need a chick piloting a damn boat. I’ve got a real ship out there.”
Gus giggles. It’s an odd sound coming from such a large man. The laughter turns into a wheeze and evolves into a coughing fit. The brunette gives me a sideline glare as she smacks Gus on the back until he can breathe again.
“You don’t look that good.” She thumps him again.
The bartender brings Gus’s fifth beer over, but the woman picks up the glass and sets it out of Gus’s reach.
“He’s done for the night,” she states, completely at ease taking control and speaking for Gus.
“You took my beer, Brie.” Gus gives a little whine. “Give it back.”
She peers into his eyes. “How many have you had?”
“One or two?” Gus lies, but the chick isn’t having it.
She looks to the bartender, who holds up five fingers.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Pour him water and keep it coming. You’re drinking two glasses of water, then I’m taking you home. You still with Stella? Or did she leave your ass?”
“Still with Stella,” Gus says with a grump. “She won’t leave me.”
“Okay, give me your keys and I’ll get you home.”
Gus tugs on my shirt. “Brie’s your captain. If you really want to shove off in the morning, she’s your man.”
“Not a man, Gus.” Her gaze cuts to me, full of challenge rather than the curiosity I saw before. “I’m better than a man.”
I stepped into that wrong. Not to mention, there will be no twisting in the sheets with this chick, not after pissing her off in what can only be called an epic failure.
But a chick? Gus can’t possibly suggest this slip of a girl has the chops, let alone the credentials and commercial license to captain my ship.
Gus leans over. “Brie’s an excellent captain, man. Seriously.”
“I’m not operating a weekend charter, Gus. You’ve seen my ship.”
“I have, and Brie can handle it. She’s a pro at yachts larger than your little research rig. I should know. I taught her.”
I step around Gus and stand behind Brie. “Is that true?”
“Depends? What’s it pay?”
“Don’t you want to know how big it is?”
Her eyes cut down to my crotch, then she slowly drags her gaze back up my chest.
“In my experience, it’s never good to ask a man how big something is if you want the truth. They exaggerate and I’m usually left unimpressed.”
I raise a brow, loving her spirit. This chick promises to be a challenge. It’s been far too long since a woman excited me.
“I’ve never failed to impress a woman.”
“That remains to be seen.” She turns to Gus. “You ready to go home?”
“I s’pose. You gonna work things out with Brent?”
“Depends on whether he’s able to impress me. I still haven’t heard how much, how long, or how big.”
I power behind Hurricane Julian’s fury in a seventy-foot luxury yacht. A Category 5 monster, Julian tears up the Gulf, ripping at least one oil rig off of its anchors and flooding coastal towns all the way from New Orleans, Louisiana to Panama City, Florida.
“You eager to get to Tampa?” Aiden Cole sits beside me and munches on his sandwich. He brought my lunch. It sits untouched beside me as I navigate the channel markers into Tampa’s harbor.
During the twelve-day journey from Rio de Janeiro to Tampa, my crew encountered several squalls, one violent storm, and we trail behind Julian’s passing. Julian cost us a day’s worth of travel. We lost another day rescuing Aiden and his men.
“More than eager,” I say. “We’re behind schedule.”
“Is that a problem?” He stares out toward the channel markers, a wistful expression on his face.
“It’s never good.” I’ll lose our on-time arrival bonus.
“You do this all the time? Relocate boats from Rio de Janeiro to the States?”
I was hired to relocate a wealthy client’s yacht, Chastity’s Dream, from its berth in Rio de Janeiro to Tampa. With the storm and the rescue, the ten-day voyage stretches out to twelve and my crew’s on-time arrival bonus goes down the drain.
“Chastity’s Dream …” He gives a slow blink. “Is it a play on names?”
“Could be, but the client’s daughter is Chastity. I’m not sure if he’s that clever.”
Aiden cracks a smile. “Well, Chastity is a rough name for a girl.”
“My girl is still busy with princesses and unicorns. I’m not going to be ready for boys or what comes next.” He wipes at the corner of his mouth, trying to hide his smirk.
“I bet you’re eager to see her.”
“After a week bobbing at sea?” He straightens in his seat. “You bet. Can’t thank you enough for fishing us out of the water.”
Aiden and his men were on that ill-fated oil rig that capsized during Julian’s rampage. It’s all over the news. They barely escaped into their lifeboat when a mega wave slammed into the superstructure.
Aiden and his men are being touted as heroes for their quick thinking to cap off the well. The rig is a complete loss, but their actions prevented the environmental disaster which could have followed.
“Hey, we talked about that. You can’t keep thanking us.”
Aiden and his men give thanks for their rescue over and over.
“Well, when the transponder failed to activate, I got worried. After a couple of days, we became concerned. After a week … well, let’s just say, we were really glad you found us.”
“I’m glad Juan saw your lifeboat.” I smile at the relief on his face. I get it. Anyone who lives on the water is well aware of how dangerous it can be. “There’s not as much boat traffic out here as you’d think. You could have been stuck for weeks.”
“Then I’ll say thank you as many times as I want.”
“I suppose so. I can’t imagine being in one of those lifeboats, let alone for a week.”
Aiden looks nothing like the haggard, seasick, and dehydrated man who emerged out of the red torpedo lifeboat less than a day ago. We tow it behind us, a constant reminder of what they endured.
“Duncan and Randall are good men, but yeah …” He rubs at his jaw. “A week crammed in that thing was rough, although the bonus was getting fished out by a yacht. Much better than the tin can accommodations of a freighter. You’ll have to thank the owner for the hospitality.” Aiden takes another bite out of his sandwich and lifts the plate containing mine. “And the food. You should eat.”
“Thanks.” I grab my sandwich. Speaking around a bite, I make a vague gesture toward land. “How is your daughter going to handle your plans to propose to a woman she’s never met?” I wink at him.
“I’m not worried. Callie is going to love Ariel.” Aiden talks nonstop about the courageous helicopter pilot who evacuated his injured men off the rig in the middle of a hurricane.
I can’t help but smile, but it’s quickly followed by a frown. The love bug bit Aiden bad.
As someone with nothing but a string of failed relationships behind me, I’ve given up on love. Happiness can be found on the open seas. Relocating mega yachts across the globe might sound lonely, but it’s my dream come true.
“What about Ariel? Does she know you have a daughter?”
His eyes light up. Anytime he talks about the helicopter pilot, his entire demeanor brightens. I wish there were a man who loved me half as much as Aiden loves Ariel.
“She does, and I can’t wait to tell Callie about the proposal.” He talked my ear off about how best to propose. I wish I could be there to see the woman’s reaction.
“After I see Callie and tell her about Ariel, I’m doing it.” A grin splits his face and joy shines in his eyes. “By the way, when we hit dock and I forget to say thank you again, just know I’m truly thankful.”
I lean over and give him a peck on the cheek. “Ariel is one lucky girl. We should be docked within the hour, and don’t forget you promised me pictures of the wedding.”
“Actually, I’d love if you came to the wedding.”
“Yeah, you. It would mean a lot to me if you came.”
I don’t know about that but find myself agreeing.
Aiden scans the horizon. “I’m going to grab Duncan and Randall.” He leaves me to navigate the final channel markers alone.
In less than an hour, we say our final goodbyes, along with another round of thank you’s to my crew. I wave as Aiden and his men walk down the long pier with an escort of company officials and Coast Guard investigators. A toppled oil rig is no small matter. They will have red tape to attend to before heading home to reunite with loved ones.
My first mate helps me secure the boat and I notify our employer we’ve arrived. The rest of the crew has another billet waiting in Rio de Janeiro and a flight to catch, which leaves me alone for the first time in nearly two weeks.
I tilt my head and take in a deep breath. It’s time for a drink.
The arrogant bastard laughs at my comment. Perhaps he’s surprised I have the balls to call him out on his sexist remarks? It’ll be interesting to test out that theory.
“I’m sure it’s plenty big and long,” he says. “As for how much? That depends on what we’re discussing.”
“We’re discussing a job, nothing more.” Does he insinuate what I think he does?
“The job is two-thousand a week.”
I lean forward, trying to figure out what color his eyes are without being too obvious about it.
He continues, “And for the record, I’ve never had to pay for what you’re thinking.”
“What exactly do you think I’m thinking?” I scrunch my face, not sure how insulted I should be by that comment.
To be fair, Brent is handsome. From the twinkle in his eyes to his gentle expressions, I love the way his voice changes pitch. The deep reverberations skate across my skin, powerful and determined, when he tries to get a rise out of me. The smooth tones whisper along my nerves, calming me and giving the sense he’s a man to be trusted. He challenges me, pushes my buttons, and isn’t ashamed in the slightest by his sexist remarks. Most men lack that kind of confidence, but he rocks it. Although, he should be ashamed of his antiquated views.
He insults me, checks me out from crotch to tits, barely makes eye contact, and yet I can’t stop looking into his mesmerizing eyes.
Are they gray? Or blue? Or the rarest silver?
Whatever color, they have a hypnotic quality, and I fight against getting lost in their depths. Too many promises simmer there and flirt with my desires, giving birth to fantasies I’ll never admit to having. It’s a struggle to restrain my anger toward him, which makes him eminently more dangerous because he’s the kind of man around whom bad decisions are made.
“Do you want the job or not?” His eyes twinkle.
There it is again, danger sparking. It makes me think about things I shouldn’t, especially when negotiating a contract—like how his lips might move in a kiss, or how his hands might feel upon my skin as he traces the curves of my body.
An achy throb pulses between my legs, at once unwelcome and entirely too enticing.
I clear my throat and close my eyes, breaking the connection and the spell he weaves. Giving a hard swallow, I school myself to remember he’ll soon be my boss.
If the terms are good.
If I accept.
Anything else will be off the table. Not that I’ve ever been lucky in love. For that reason alone, I should run. Far and fast won’t be quick enough.
But I won’t.
I won’t because pride demands I take Brent down a notch. His insults demand a response, and I’ll show him exactly what a woman can do. But more importantly, I need the money.
In this job, I constantly run up against stereotypes. Men refuse to believe a woman can be successful in traditionally male-dominated jobs. Yet, in the same breath, they refuse to hold the door because the women’s liberation movement taught them doing so is wrong. I need a man somewhere in the middle, and while I can hold my own damn door, it’s nice to have a man step up and be a gentleman without being intimidated by my strength.
The sad truth is that true gentlemen no longer exist.
I should refuse. I should walk away.
Yet again, I won’t.
He’s the one in a tight spot, at least if I understand the context, which gives me leverage.
“Why aren’t you taking the job?” I turn to Gus.
He points to his heart. “Stella made me see the doc about my pains. I’ve got a stress test in the morning, and the doc said I might need a bypass.”
“Oh, Gus!” I fuss over him.
Gus shoos me away. “It might be nothing, but I gotta do the test. If I don’t, Stella will leave me. Unfortunately, I was supposed to ship out with Brent in the morning.”
“I see.” I have more than leverage. Brent is desperate.
A good captain can make upwards of a hundred grand a year. At two thousand a week, the pay Brent offers is nothing exorbitant but more than fair.
“Make it three-thousand,” I say, “and I’ll do it.”
“Three-thousand?” Brent chokes on his drink. “That’s highway robbery.”
“Technically, I think the phrase should be high-seas piracy, but I think that metaphor is wrong as well. Take it or leave it. I was looking forward to having two weeks off.” I very much need the money and have been dreading two weeks ashore. He doesn’t need to know that, though. “If you find someone else, no skin off my back.”
Brent’s eyes narrow. “Seeing how short notice it is, and you haven’t seen my boat, why would you consider it?”
“Consider it a favor for a friend. Gus can’t do it, and I’m willing to step in. But it’s short notice and you’d be inconveniencing me, so three thousand.” I thrust out my hand, curious to see what Brent will do.
“Twenty-five hundred, two weeks guaranteed, each week after is three thousand. You work until the job is done.”
“No end date?” I cock a hip forward and pull back my hand. “I’ve never had an open-ended contract before. What is it you do?” For that kind of money, it must be good.
“Oh, you’re going to love this.” Gus finishes the second glass of water the bartender brings.
“Does it really matter?” Brent crosses his arms over his chest—a very broad, muscular chest. The veins of his forearms pop out under his skin.
I almost lick my lips but catch myself and press them into a hard line instead.
“Is it legal?”
“It’s legal, but time-sensitive and you’ll need to sign a non-disclosure agreement.”
“An NDA?” That piques my interest. “I take it you won’t tell me where we’re going until I sign?”
“We’re headed to the Keys. The general destination isn’t a secret, but rather what happens next.”
There aren’t many things requiring an NDA that involve the Keys. There are illegal things, but Gus wouldn’t do business with a drug dealer, which leads me to an alternate assumption. An area known for hurricanes, shipwrecks, and buried treasure, billions are lost in the sand beneath the waves.
“You’re a treasure hunter.”
He uncrosses his arms and thrusts out his hand.
“Do we have a deal?”
I have a lucrative job. Whether relocating yachts or working on charters, my pay allows for a comfortable life. The problem comes in the debts my parents racked up, the cost of my brother’s college tuition, and the poor choices I made in men. Full bank accounts were emptied after disastrous breakups.
I was too trusting, or just plain too stupid. There is nothing I can do except move on, dragging a pile of debt along with me. Men are pricks. I don’t trust any of them, but that doesn’t mean I won’t work for one.
Gus slurps his water while I give Brent the eye.
Which of us is the most desperate?
I counted on that bonus to give me a couple weeks of relief from the demands of my job. It’s been a long summer booked solid with charter gigs along with several relocations as hurricane season kicks into high gear. Normally, I relocate yachts away from Florida to safe harbors to the South this time of year, but fate brought me to Tampa and now this.
As soon as our hands touch, electricity races up my arm, lifting the fine hairs with the energy pulsing between us. His thumb rubs over the back of my hand, tracing the delicate veins with an inquisitive touch. His grip tightens, not too hard, nor too soft. He holds me with determination and tugs me toward him.
“I guess we have a deal. You’re mine until the job is done.” His voice deepens and rumbles, sending a chill down my spine.
I nearly combust with the frisson of heat generated from his touch alone. What would it be like to have his lips pressed to mine, or better yet, tracing a determined path along my sensitive flesh?
This promises to be a disaster.
Brent doesn’t let go when I pull my hand free from his grip. He looks as surprised as I feel, and just when I try to yank free, he suddenly lets me go.
Running a hand through his hair, he takes a step back. “Pier Nine, eight sharp. The Pendragon pushes off at nine.”
I rub at my hand and notice him looking at his as well. Did he feel it too? Not that I’ll ask. Instead, I focus on business.
“How many crew?”
“Three.” He upends his drink and finishes it.
“Three?” I take another sip of my wine.
“You, me, and my partner, Donald Talbot.”
“You run a lean operation.”
My first thought is he doesn’t have the cash to waste on crew, but other than his brief choking spell, he doesn’t blink at offering twenty-five hundred a week, three thousand if we go beyond two weeks. Money isn’t an issue. The NDA hints at secrecy, and that’s more than enough enticement. I’m all on board. We’re going treasure hunting.
“You have yourself a captain, boss.”
My gear is stowed on Chastity’s Dream. The owner won’t be coming until the day after tomorrow and I have my berth until then.
“I’ll have the contract ready for you in the morning, as well as the NDA. Do you want to take a look at the Pendragon tonight?”
That sounds like an invitation for something I shouldn’t be doing with my new boss.
“I’ll see Gus home and make an early night of it. I’m familiar with a wide range of vessels, so it’s not necessary, but I’m concerned about the size of your crew.”
“A vessel that size should have a ship’s mechanic on board.”
“I’ve got that covered. Donald is good with a wrench as well. We know the Pendragon inside and out.”
“Really? I’m surprised you don’t know how to pilot her.”
“Oh, we’re both licensed captains.”
I scrunch my brow. “Now I’m confused. Why do you need me?”
“Like you said. Three is a lean number. We need a third to stay topside while we dive. You don’t dive, do you?”
“As a matter of fact, I do.”
“Even better. You don’t mind if we use you for dive support? Do you know how to use compressors to fill the tanks?”
“I don’t. There’s usually ancillary staff for stuff like that, but I can learn.”
He nods. “Good. That helps out. Would you be interested in filling in as a support diver if needed?”
“You’re the boss. Just tell me what you need.”
“I need a captain, but the more you can help out, the better for Donald and me. It’ll allow one of us to stay topside during some of the discovery dives.”
This job keeps getting more and more interesting.