The We'll Go Sailing Affair
It was all Napoleon's fault, you see. One night I had turned down Napoleon's offer of something to make my headache feel better. It had been a tough day at work, the kind that reminds you that you're not getting younger. My declination didn't stop Napoleon from sticking this rock hard rod in the middle of my back and doing his damn best to convince me otherwise.
Finally, when it became apparent his efforts were truly being wasted, he flopped back and sighed. "Do you know what we need?" The answer seemed obvious to me.
"A rubber doll—one with steel belted radials to keep up with you." I was too tired to put much more thought into the matter.
"No, although that's a thought. We need a real, honest-to-God vacation."
"Ha!" I mustered up as much doubt as someone half asleep could. "The last time we tried that, you ended up in a body cast and begged me to cut just one little hole in it."
"It's a nice thought, I agree with you, but it's impossible all the same. Now go to sleep."
Next thing I knew I was standing at the Port of New York, staring up with mixed feelings at a big cruise liner. Trust Napoleon to be able to swing something like this. It made me wonder exactly what sort of relationship he really did have with the Old Man. Now I knew why I'd been sleepy all morning and why my coffee had tasted a little off. Napoleon had ground up some Dramamine and added it along with my morning sugar allotment.
It wasn't until later that I learned he'd also doctored my medical file, recommending a four-week revitalization period to aid my recovery from various THRUSH niceties. Of course, someone had to come along to make sure I stayed relaxed and who better than my partner?
Anyhow, he was all smiles as he preceded me up the gangway. He was wearing these white pants that were making me turn inside out to keep from getting a hard on and he knew it...or at least, I thought he did. I decided that I needed to concentrate on something else, so I gave the ship another looking over. It had been a long time since I'd been on a vessel of any real size, the last time being the days just before my country was about to declare war on the United States because of the wheat blight.
I looked over my shoulder at the stack of suitcases and trunks that were piled dockside. I didn't like leaving our suitcases unattended and was a bit puzzled as to how the porters would know where the suitcases went.
A tall, too blond for it to be natural, man in a crisp white uniform approached us as we made the deck and offered his hand. "Welcome to the Magellan. I'm Rod, your cruise director."
"Solo and Kuryakin," Napoleon responded, holding out his hand for a brief handshake.
"Good to have you aboard." He shook my hand and I barely kept from wincing at the limp response. Where did some men learn to shake hands? "I hope that you will both..." he trailed off, looking at his clipboard with great concern.
"What's wrong?" Napoleon rocked up on his toes to look over the top of the board.
"There seems to be some kind of mix-up," Rod stammered. Obviously, he was the sort of man not used to making mistakes. "You've been assigned a single."
"A single what?" It sounded deadly to me.
"A cabin with one double bed." He hurriedly scanned through other sheets. "Unfortunately, we are sailing full. If it's any consolation, it's an owner's suite."
"Oh," Napoleon paused dramatically. "Well, I suppose we can make do. It's only sixteen days. What about you, Illya?"
"We'll think up something," I agreed. "Maybe..." I let it hang and Rod looked anxiously from me to my partner and back.
"If you're sure?"
"Mistakes happen and I'm always willing to overlook one." Napoleon put special emphasis on the last word. Of course, Rod had no way of knowing Napoleon had actually booked a single on purpose. What was the good in relaxing if the person you intend to relax with was in a different bed?
"Very good, sir. It's up the stairs to the right and then just follow the signs. You're on the Dolphin deck, Cabin 1012."
"Thank you." Napoleon was off with that and I hurried to catch up with him.
"Owner's suite?? Just how are we paying for this, Napoleon? Don't tell me a rich uncle of yours died," I sputtered as we threaded our way through the throngs of people that cluttered the ship's lobby and hallways.
"Don't fret, my little blond worrywart. You're on medical leave, after all. Your disability check for the next four weeks covers this quite nicely."
"My what? What medical leave?" I was willing to strangle him right then and there, but we had arrived at the cabin. Napoleon just grinned at me and unlocked the door.
I hurried in, taking care not to trip over the lip of the threshold. The cabin was nice, certainly more spacious than anything I'd been in during my younger days. Already a basket of fruit and wine graced one of the small end tables in the sitting room and I started to chuckle.
"What's so funny?" Napoleon demanded, tucking his key away. He glanced about to see if he could pinpoint the source of my amusement.
"It's the size of this cabin. We had forty, maybe fifty men in a space half this big."
"Then the bathroom will bring back memories. Take a look in here." Obviously, the designer had run out of room by the time he'd gotten there. "We'll have to stand on each other's shoulders if we intend to use this at the same time. Now there's an image for you. Pity the bathtub is only big enough for one."
"We could always take a shower," I pointed out.
There was a knock on the cabin door and a moment later, in walked a young man, Filipino, from the look of it, who introduced himself as our steward. He then proceeded to haul in our suitcases and take us on a grand tour of the cabin, as if we couldn't figure out the difference between the balcony and the bathroom.
The young man, I say that, but he had to be close to our age, set one suitcase on the bed and pointed out the card that listed all the important numbers for service. Then he was gone with a wave and a smile. There were days when I didn't like my job, but I couldn't imagine doing his. I watched him go to the next cabin and knock. Already, the hallway was clogged with luggage. I slipped the do not disturb sign onto the door handle and dead bolted it, all without Napoleon being the wiser.
I walked to the bed and glanced at the suitcase; it was mine. Excellent. I unlocked and opened it, rooting around until I found what I wanted.
"Your unpacking can wait," Napoleon interrupted, and if he'd thought about it that would have been his first clue that I was up to something. I never unpacked and I pulled the suitcase off the bed. He settled his suitcase beside mine and went to look out the glass door, giving me an excellent view of the white pants again. The ship's horn blasted, warning people that departure was imminent and anyone going ashore had better get there. "Do you want to go up on deck for the send off?"
I shook my head slowly and smiled. "I was thinking of a more personal kind of send off here."
Napoleon grinned, the light of the devil in his eyes. "It's the pants, isn't it? You haven't taken your eyes off them since I put them on." This wasn't true, but I wasn't about to argue, not with what I had hardening in my pants.
Years of close association as partners, friends, finally lovers, made speaking unnecessary; we talked with our bodies, at least until Napoleon tried to flip me over onto my stomach.
"No, Napoleon. On your hands and knees, please," I said and he hesitated. Being in the bottom position was hard for him. It made him feel helpless, trapped, and unable to control the situation. It was also why I liked to occasionally assert myself, giving me a feeling of dominance when I wanted it. I don't mind bottoming, but I never wanted him to forget it was my choice, not his.
"We need something," he murmured eventually. He knew I'd never hurt him and he knew why I did this, but it didn't mean he had to like it.
"I know. It was in my suitcase." It was at that point that he realized what I'd been after in my unpacking. I had the tube of lube much too quickly for him.
I squeezed some on my fingers and worked it all over until they were slick.
"Breathe, Napoleon," I whispered as muscles clamped shut against my fingertip. I kept teasing until the muscles relaxed and then I slipped in just a little, then out, slowly easing my finger in deeper and deeper until I hit his prostate.
There was a gasp of delight and I smiled, all the while continuing to stroke him and murmur assurances into his ear as I kissed and licked the sweat from his back. I worked carefully, gently, making it as pleasant and erotic as I could until I couldn't wait any longer. "Napoleon?"
"Do it now, please." His voice was strained with emotion. He was as close to the edge as I was, which was exactly where I needed him to be.
I entered him, knowing the moan that followed was only partially from pain. I wasn't big enough to hurt him as much like he made it sound. Don't' get me wrong, I'm not lacking, but Napoleon is just very vocal. The first time, it had scared me right out of my erection, but eventually I realized it was only part of Napoleon's very vocal nature. He always let me know exactly what he was feeling. You have to love that in a sex partner.
However, as far as I was concerned, I wasn't going to make a single sound until I found out just how thick the walls in this cabin were. Of course, that was all well and good until I started to climax. Then it was all I could do to keep quiet. Poor Napoleon's shoulder took the brunt of the punishment as I did my best to not utter a sound.
"If you're hungry, we could have gotten something to eat first." It was his only complaint as he rode out my climax. I pulled out slowly and massaged the bite mark I'd left on his shoulder. "Nice, but I'd rather have you rub something else," Napoleon murmured as he rolled over, revealing a rock hard erection. I was delighted to oblige with a blowjob. The day Napoleon lasted longer than a couple of minutes from one would be when I started to suspect him of messing around. The man does enjoy his oral sex.
He arched his back, plunging as deeply into my mouth as I'd permit—I wasn't choking for him or anyone else. He tried to thrust again, a normal reaction, but I got my hand around his dick and controlled his movements. His fingers worked themselves into my hair, trying to encourage me to move faster than I wanted to. Finally, I took mercy on him and let him come. It was either that or try to explain the bald spots later on.
Afterwards, we lay in each other's arms, sated, content, and sleepy. "Happy?" he asked, pulling his pillow into a more comfortable position.
I muttered something affectionate, kissed him and nodded off. We never even heard the farewell blasts or felt the ship as the behemoth shook free her moorings and headed out into the Atlantic.
No, it was at dinner that all the trouble started. The call to muster woke us and we both stumbled from the cabin, life vests in tow. The drill, albeit mandatory, was short and to the point. We each had to put our life jackets on and acknowledge that we knew where we had to go in case of an emergency, a maritime law ever since the Titanic. We got back to our cabin with barely enough time to throw on our suits. That left Napoleon a bit grumpy, but I was determined to cheer him up one way or the other.
The dining room was crowded when we arrived and we were taken to a table where another couple was already seated, no real problem with that. Both of us were used to making conversation with relative strangers.
The male member of our dining companions was much taller than either of us and he seemed to have a roving eye for the ladies, although I couldn't see why. His wife had brunette hair that shone in the room's subdued light, deep blue eyes and an appealing figure. I thought of Napoleon at that point. He was still quite the ladies' man, unable to resist even the plain ones until we became more than merely business partners. Now he looked and went through all the motions, but there was only one person he was taking to bed these days.
I darted a look at him, but he was busy ordering drinks for us. Wonders of wonder, he wasn't even interested. I credited that to the afternoon's activities and let our dining companions continue to ramble.
"Kuryakin, huh? What is that—Hungarian or something?"
"It's Russian, actually," I heard myself answer something that was almost second nature to me now. Back home, we never would have asked, but this was America.
"Hear that, honey? You and Mr. K," I cringed at the nickname, "should have lots to talk about. Heather here is a history teacher."
"A noble profession. We all owe a great deal to teachers," Napoleon quipped, finally noticing our Helen of Troy and gracing her with a smile. "I have always admired anyone who takes their lives into their own hands so regularly. I'm Napoleon Solo."
The waiter arrived with our drinks, a bit of a surprise in such a crowded room. He set the double vodka neat in front of me and the scotch in front of Napoleon. Our companions were drinking water.
"I must admit that instructing college students is a challenge, but I wouldn't say I take my life into my own hands. Many of the stories you hear about teachers are greatly exaggerated, just as I would imagine, oh, say a spy's life would be."
For a moment, I thought Napoleon was going to choke to death on his scotch and I pounded him wholeheartedly upon the back until he waved me off.
"You all right? Too strong?" I knew what made him choke, but played along.
"Went down the wrong way. Excuse me." He dabbed his mouth with his napkin and took a deep breath. "So, tell me, Mrs. Wolverton, what sort of history do you teach?"
"Russian history." The response was enthusiastic and my interest was immediately piqued. "I think Catherine is one of my favorite people. She was responsible for so much."
I agreed and off we went. It wasn't until coffee was being served that I realized how the two of us had dominated the conversation all night, discussing one czar after another.
"Well, I guess I'm going to call it quits and pack it in for the night." Napoleon dropped his napkin to the table and stood. How peculiar that was, I'd never known Napoleon to turn down a sweet of any kind. Yet, even stranger than that was the tone he said it in. It was certainly nothing anyone else would have noticed, but I did. Then I realized that something was wrong. He'd been growing slowly angrier at me all evening. Could it be that Napoleon was jealous? True, I had a habit of looking directly at a person when talking. Could he have mistaken that for flirting? I knew he was possessive, almost oppressive at times, a fact that usually was the cause of our infrequent, but fiery conflicts.
"Think I'll do the same," announced Mr. Wolverton. "Heather, do you want to come or stay here?"
"I'd like to finish our discussion if that's all right with you and Mr. Kuryakin."
"Certainly, honey, I think you'll be safe with him. He's too small to attack you." With a hearty laugh and a back thump that nearly landed me in my coffee cup, off he went with Napoleon, talking as if they were long lost brothers.
We finished our desserts and coffee. Then we left the dining room and closed down the nearby bar and were standing on the deck, gazing out at the dark ocean before I even had an inkling of what time it was or even how drunk I'd gotten. It was one of the hidden kinds of drunk that hit you all at once when you make the mistake of trying to count up all the drinks you'd had.
I was seriously thinking about excusing myself and going to find a restroom, when the first wave of invaders hit. Heather's husband, very angry and vocal, suddenly appeared beside us, shouting all sorts of insults and accusations.
I was wondering what his face would look like if I told him I didn't fuck women, but I could give him a better time than any other bitch, just before I flattened him of course. That was when Napoleon showed up. It seemed to be the night for mysterious appearances. Yet, he bothered me. I'd never known Napoleon to lose control in public, our fights were very private and something that we always worked out. Not only was he matching Wolverton in shouting, he was drunk. That was a first for me and probably him, too.
Soon he and Wolverton were at it. Heather was trying to calm her husband down and I figured it was about time for me to do the same. The way they were shouting, they were good for a few minutes more and I hoped Napoleon remembered that, like me, his hands were registered as deadly weapons and he'd keep from socking the idiot.
"Napoleon, enough!" I kept my voice firm. I took one of his arms and for a minute I thought he was going to make the mistake of throwing a punch at me. For a long time, he just stared at me, then the rage kicked back a notch and he pulled away, I think in embarrassment, and he walked swiftly away.
Wolverton, his wife in his wake, stomped off in the opposite direction. The storm it would seem had passed. With a sigh of relief, I headed down to our cabin.
I half expected Napoleon to be there, but when he wasn't, I wasn't alarmed. We were on a ship and there weren't very many places he could go. He'd be back when he'd calmed down.
A hammering woke me and I first thought it was my head. Certainly, I'd had enough alcohol last night to host a jack hammer convention in my head today. I managed to wake up a little more and finally placed the sound as coming from the cabin's door. Napoleon must have forgotten his key or the maid was damnably early. A quick glance out the window indicated that the sun was just rising.
"Coming," I mumbled, but it did nothing to abate the noise. I pulled on a robe and went to the bathroom to relieve my aching bladder and for some aspirin. Since the pounding gave no indication of letting up, it could just wait a couple more minutes, which it did, but it didn't sound any too happy about it.
I finally sighed and looked out the peephole. A red-faced stranger was standing there, apparently nursing a bruised hand and ego to boot. I fumbled with the deadbolt and opened the door, gesturing in.
"Well, it's about bloody time," roared the man.
I winced in response. "And it's very nice to meet you too. What can I do for you?"
"You know a Napoleon Solo?" Red Face was not deterred.
"Only in the biblical sense," I murmured as I collapsed onto the couch. Either he didn't know or care what I meant for he repeated the question. "Yes, I know Napoleon Solo, but don't ask me where he is."
"I know where he is. He's in the brig, under arrest for suspicion of murder."
My first thought was to wonder aloud if Napoleon meant to kill the husband, the second was to feign disbelief, I finally settled on a safer, "What?"
"Mrs. Heather Wolverton has gone missing. Mr. Solo was the last person seen with her."
"What about her husband? I thought the spouse was always the first one suspected in a disappearance. And how do you know she's not on board?"
"We did a thorough search. Witnesses said they saw Mr. Solo arguing with Mrs. Wolverton and that he struck her—
"Never!" I cut him off. "Napoleon would never strike a woman without provocation. He couldn't."
"You don't think so, huh? We have witnesses."
I was doing a slow burn and felt my own control slipping. "He would not have hit a woman."
Red Face was beginning to get on my nerves, which, admittedly, wasn't that great a feat this morning. "Just how well do you know this Mr. Solo?"
Mr. Waverly, forgive me for my sins, I prayed silently and stood. Going to the bureau, I pulled out our ID wallets and tossed them to him. "Now, what does that tell you? It should tell you that we are UNCLE agents and UNCLE agents really do know better than to go around killing innocent people. In fact, that's what we try to prevent. His hands are licensed weapons. As to how well I know Mr. Solo, you will note that this cabin has only one bed in it. Suffice it to say I know him very well. Now, do you have any further questions or are you going to take me to my partner?"
Poor Red Face looked like he was ready to have the floor swallow him up at any moment, not just because of embarrassment, but probably he also thought I might make a grab for him any second. I headed for the bedroom before he could say anything else.
When I came out, Red Face hadn't moved, his expression still one of thinly-disguised confusion. I walked over to him and tugged the ID wallets out of his grasp. He didn't resist much, obviously more concerned with his reputation than his job.
"Will you take me to Napoleon now?"
Napoleon looked up from his bunk and smiled with relief when he saw me. "At last, a friendly face." His clothes were rumpled and his face was gray.
"I've come to spring you, kid." Admittedly, my western drawl needed work, but I didn't think it warranted the grimace Napoleon gave it and then I remembered. If I was feeling off, he'd be feeling twice as bad and had not had the benefit of aspirin. "Bad head?"
"Almost as rotten as your John Wayne impression."
"You're in enough trouble without slandering my abilities," I said as I sat beside him. He still didn't move. "What happened last night, my friend? I never saw you behave like that before."
"Nothing!" he snapped. "That's what I keep telling these baboons, but they don't believe me."
"Careful, Napoleon, don't bite the hand of your feeder. You were half out of your mind last night, accusing me of doing some pretty terrible things, which, for the record, never ever occurred. You stormed off and I made the mistake of not following you. What happened after that, Napoleon? You must remember something."
"Nothing." His voice dropped to a whisper. "I didn't kill her, Illya. I can kill someone in a dozen ways and make it look like an accident. Why would I be that stupid? But I can't very well tell them that." The brown eyes were haunted, something I'd never seen in Napoleon before. He was always so certain, so sure of himself.
"Okay, I believe you. Let's get you back to the cabin. You've been released upon your own recognizance."
"I don't know, Illya. I feel very odd and if I did truly lose control last night, it might be safer to keep me here."
"I will be with you now." I got him to his feet, sliding one arm around his waist to help him up. He draped an arm over my shoulders and I held the hand to keep his arm in place. We headed towards the door when Red Face, whose name I learned was Travis Hopwell, came in. "I suppose you're going to tell us not to leave town or at least not to jump ship." I paused and smiled gently at my partner. "Sorry." I stroked his hand with the back of my thumb and Napoleon managed a weak smile.
"See what you can make out of it. You obviously know him real well." His eyes were on my hands, staring as if he'd never seen one man coming to the aid of another, for that's what it was at the moment.
"Let's go home, Napoleon." I blissfully ignored the man and concentrated on getting my partner away from this place.
The cabin had been made up while I was gone, so I got Napoleon tucked into bed. I gave him some seltzer for his stomach and closed the curtains. Once I was sure he'd dozed off, I left, taking a moment to put the do not disturb sign on the door.
It took me longer to find out what cabin the Wolvertons were staying in than it did to pop open the cabin door.
The cabin was much smaller than the one we were in. That suited me just fine—that meant fewer places to look. I went quickly through the drawers with her things. I wasn't expecting much there. Instead, it was beneath a stack of dress shirts, some with a black armband sewn into them... interesting... that I found the insurance policies. That struck me as odd. Why would anyone travel with life insurance policies unless they had some reason to keep them close at hand and available? I had a feeling that Mr. Wolverton had had every intention of coming back from this trip a widower.
I made sure everything was as I'd found it, then went over to the nightstand between the two twin beds.
I know what you are doing. I saw you! Tell the truth or I will. I wrote it in block letters. That seemed a little melodramatic, but it was enough to get a start out of him, especially if he were truly guilty.
I slipped out and managed to walk five feet before the steward exited from another cabin. He smiled politely as I passed, but I made sure to stoop and keep my head turned from him.
Napoleon was still asleep when I returned from my sleuthing. I had discovered nothing else except that you could get sore feet even with sneakers—a fate I thought was reserved merely for dress shoes. No one could help me out, as far as seeing someone else with Heather after Napoleon. I felt a little guilty about not feeling more remorse for her than I did. She was brilliant and her students would no doubt miss her, but Napoleon was all that mattered to me now.
I plopped down on the bed and he came awake with a jerk.
"Oh, it's only you. I thought..."
"Who else would be in bed with you?" Technically, I wasn't "in bed," but that was beside the point. "How are you feeling?"
"Better, I think. At least, things have stopped spinning." He eased himself back onto a pillow and closed his eyes. "How do you do this to yourself?"
"Easy, you drink too much, too fast."
"No, I meant, you, personally. I've seen you with a dozen hangovers and you're never this sick."
I chuckled and scooted over so I could hold him and massage his temples with one hand. "Wrong. I'm just used to it and have learned to deal with it. I don't believe it though. This is your first hangover?"
"There may have been one or two incidents when I was younger, but I never drink enough to lose control. An agent can't run the risk. That's always the time when the bad guys jump you." He relaxed against me. "Did you find anything out?"
"No, and I questioned everyone I could think of, except for Wolverton himself. I couldn't find him anywhere, although I did pay his cabin a little unauthorized visit. Interesting man, he must be an insurance salesman."
"What makes you say that?" Napoleon half turned to look at me. Already his eyes were starting to droop shut again.
"Had a bunch of insurance policies in his cabin, hidden in his shirts."
"You're lucky if no one accuses you of breaking and entering."
"I am a spy, after all. I'm just doing what comes naturally." I smiled at him, but didn't share with him the message I'd left for Wolverton. The worst he could do would be to tell the police, but I wasn't stupid enough to sign my own name. "What possessed you last night?"
"I don't know. Sheer stupidity, I'm afraid. With all the attention you were paying to her, I guess I forgot you're not sexually interested in women anymore." He braced himself up on his elbows and looked directly into my bloodshot eyes.
"Or any less. You were jealous, Napoleon?"
"Would you think lesser of me if I were?" His gaze dropped. "I saw the two of you talking, really talking. Not about work, or death, but stuff that I couldn't. And she was so beautiful, I just was worried I wasn't... enough anymore."
"You are being stupid. There's no one I want besides you. You should know that by now."
"Yes, I should. Anyhow, I came back here and started on the wine. I was already a little tipsy, but I figured you would be back soon and we could talk it out. Then when you didn't come back and didn't come back, I got worried."
"You didn't look worried last night. More like some enraged bull elephant."
"When I saw him threatening you..."
"Napoleon!" I spoke more sharply than I intended and he winced. "Sorry." I lowered the volume. "If I felt threatened, I certainly could have handled it myself. I've taken on men twice his size and lived to tell the tale."
"I know, but all I could think of was to protect you. That's what partners do, we watch out for each other." He looked at me long and hard, then dropped his gaze. "When you intervened, I realized what a fool I was being and headed back to the cabin."
"You never made it back."
"I woke up out on deck, freezing, and with a couple security guards shouting at me. Well, they were probably just talking, but it sounded much louder. I didn't kill her, Illya. If I'd have taken anyone out, it would have been him, not her."
"Security indicated that you knocked him out."
"Not me. Look." He offered his knuckles and I could see that they were bruise free, but we both knew that didn't clear him. He could drop a man a dozen ways without striking a blow.
I kissed the knuckles and leaned back to think about the facts as I knew them. I could probably hypnotize Napoleon, but that usually wasn't permitted as evidence in a court of law. "Mr. Waverly is going to have our heads, if not our badges, for this, you realize," he murmured, settling back against me.
"I know, but we'll fight it. If you say you didn't do it, then I believe you."
"You're emotionally involved."
"I am and I intend to keep it that way." A knock on the door interrupted me and I sighed. "Don't go away, I'll be right back." I rose and closed the door behind me.
It was my red-faced friend and I admitted Mr. Hopwell with a smile.
"How's your... um. Your um..." He stumbled on the word.
"Partner? Still recovering. He's a novice when it comes to tying one on."
"I've got some news that will make him feel better."
Napoleon had gotten into a robe and stumbled out to join us, still looking like death warmed over. "What news would that be, Mr. Hopwell?"
"Mr. Wolverton just confessed to having killed his wife. He said that he knew we were onto him and it was only a matter of time. You wouldn't know how he happened to have come to that conclusion, would you, Mr. Kuryakin?"
"No idea whatsoever." I worked at keeping my face neutral and innocent.
"I don't believe you."
"That makes two of us," Napoleon muttered, fastening on one of his famous fess up now looks. I just smiled innocently, something I am equally famous for.
"Does that mean all charges have been dropped against Mr. Solo?"
"He's cleared, although I would appreciate it and consider it a special favor if the two of you could keep a low profile while on board. If it ever got out that we catered to..." He hesitated. "You know, it could ruin our reputation."
"If that's how you feel about homosexuals, perhaps it would be better if we changed shipping lines in Bermuda."
"Homosexuals, hell! I don't care what the two of you do behind closed doors. I'm assuming that you know what is and isn't presentable behavior by now. I was referring to the spy part. The last thing I need is a bunch of amateur spies sneaking around on my ship. I've only got one more year until retirement and I'd like it to be as smooth a year as possible."
I laughed and was soon joined by Napoleon. I had the feeling that after a tremulous start, this trip was going to turn out fine.
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