Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pay back

“I hope to give no offense,"Kurga buffered, "but I must confess, Sister Prudence, you surprise me.”
“You know nothing about me.”
“True, but you do not fit my image of the hardened Sand Sea boat captain.”
“You don’t strike me as much of a missionary either.”
“From what I can tell, coming from you, that is a compliment.”
Prudence shrugged.  “If you choose to take it as such.”
“And Ch’voga, does he strike you as the missionary type?”
All that was visible of the woman beneath the robes were her eyes, hands and feet, yet every one of them visibly constricted and Kurga thought he could have sensed the animus had he been blind and deaf  “To a fault.”
“You on the other hand, if again, I may risk offending, strike me as a woman of sensibilities.  Perhaps, even a woman of business?”  She turned her gaze on him.  The hostility was gone from them to be replaced by what he supposed was her usual expression; the look of someone who sees a bug and is trying to decide if it is worthy of swatting.  She said nothing however so he continued.  “Which begs the question, what then do you get out of this journey?  Surely there must be less dangerous voyages you could have made?  What would make a sensible Sea captain risk life, limb and livelihood for a fool’s errand?”
She proved to him they both knew the identity of the fool to which he referred by returning her gaze to his partner.  “It seemed the best way to pay him back.”
“For granting you your freedom?”
“For jilting me at the altar.” 
It occurred to Kurga right then, there were two meanings to the phrase, ‘pay back.’

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