Day 3 (cont)
Smythe stepped onto the turbo lift carefully and sent it toward the gym. I won't do too hard a workout tonight; I've drunk far more than I should have. I'll just do some cycling and have a long sauna, get some of the alcohol out of my system. Why did I suddenly have such a need for whiskey? It doesn't make sense. I entered the rec room for a coffee, resolved that issue with MacDowell and Jones, and then I had this overwhelming urge for a stiff drink. It wasn't the issue; I've dealt with sexual harassment before. I've dealt with Jones before, too, at least once on that same subject. Which seems to leave only...
She kept her head down, refusing to look at him. She took a deep breath and crossed her arms, which deepened his view of her cleavage.
No! That wasn't it! There's plenty of women on this ship, if I can't wait until shore leave, but that one is a subordinate!
The turbo lift reached his destination, and the door opened. He stepped forward to exit, his thoughts black as well as muddled, when someone ran right into him and knocked him to the turbo lift floor.
What happened? Why am I on the floor? Surely I'm not that drunk. No, someone ran into me. A great weight lay atop him, one of his arms encircled a very feminine body so that hand rested on a round buttock while the other hand fondled a firm, large breast. This is what I need. All the right curves, and plenty of them. And I know she's been working out, but I can still smell the lilacs--
A cold icicle replaced his spine. Lilacs?
"Oh, dear," she breathed.
His eyes popped open, but his vision was obscured by red curls. Beyond those, he vaguely saw the turbo lift door re-open and an angry, naked Bugalu pounced inside. The negro stopped short in shock at seeing the two of them on the floor. "Woops."
"What in space is going on?" he bellowed, and rolled her delightful body off him. "MacDowell-" He stopped when the helmsman offered a hand to help him up, finally realized the younger man wasn't naked, only shirtless.
"I didn't see you," she breathed as they both climbed to their feet. She evidently didn't think he'd heard her, for she moved closer, stared at him with round green eyes. "I swear I didn't see you! I was getting away from Bugs, see, 'cause I played another trick on him, and ... I didn't see you!"
Smythe backed away from her until he felt his back pressed against the turbo lift's curved wall. This is what I need. All the right curves, and plenty of them. No! Not this one!
"Give me that!" Bugalu snarled as he grabbed some material out of her hand.
She turned her head with a jerk, as if suddenly reminded the helmsman was also present. "You've got to believe me, Bugs, I didn't see him!"
"I believe you," Bugalu told her quietly.
But the look Bugalu gave the engineer was calculating. Like he's assaying the competition! Surely he knows I wouldn't-!
MacDowell, however, continued on; the pitch of her voice drifted higher as she began to babble. "I'm trying to be a good girl, Bugs, you know I am! But I can't hit anybody anymore, he won't let me. And then Tall Bear asked me out, and I-- And you took your shirt off, and how could I possibly resist that? But then I ran right into him - of all people! - and we were on the floor, and-" Bugalu suddenly pulled her away from Smythe and tickled her, producing instant peals of laughter.
"What are you doing?" Smythe demanded. He looked up at a familiar noise, realized the turbo lift door had opened again.
"She's a jokester," the helmsman replied. "She's been using practical jokes to ask for my attention ever since she arrived. Well, now she's got it."
Smythe hesitated, put a foot in the door so it couldn't close again, some part inside of him screaming that he should leave. Now. Still, the thought intruded; That could be a threat.
Bugalu turned his head to look at him. "Good night, Mr Smythe."
Smythe stiffened at the dismissal. "Will you be alright, MacDowell?"
"I asked Colleen!" he snapped.
Bugalu shrugged, stopped tickling her, and held her up for a moment. Then he took a small step away, leaving her gasping for breath as she leaned against the wall. "Mr Smythe would like to know if you're going to be okay if he leaves you alone with me, Mac."
Round green eyes stared at Smythe for a long time. It was all he could do not to succumb to their siren call, not to step back inside the lift. Then her attention shifted to Bugalu, and Smythe firmly kept his foot on the threshold. After a long moment, the redhead threw her arms around the negro. "Your place, Bugsy, please!"
Well, there's no mistaking that. Smythe refused to admit her decision had disappointed him. He stepped outside the turbo lift and let the door close on the two lovers. All the right curves, and plenty of them. He sighed. Forget the cycle. Just a sauna then. And after that, a long cold shower might be just the thing.