Eddy had told me to stay away from Jericho. I had to be loyal to her, as she had been loyal to me. The years stretching out behind us of the not so distant days when all we had was each other. I’d relied on Eddy’s wit and disguise to survive. I owed her everything.
I wandered the ship, trying to stay out of the crew’s way. I lost myself in my thoughts as i strolled along the outer walkway that encircled the lower deck of the ship. I skimmed a gloved hand along the metal railing feeling the wind pull at my hair and skirts. I was at the back of the ship, where the wind was slightly less. I watched as the clouds merged with each other in our wake. They repaired themselves like synthetic skin from the tear made by the airship.
I leaned on the railing, entranced by the scene for a while before I heard booted footsteps behind me. I straightened and turned to see Jacer, repaired and dressed. He looked very handsome in a piratical button-up shirt, open at the collar and black trousers tucked into shiny black boots, most likely a borrowed ensemble from Jericho.
"Hello," I greeted him formally.
"Hello." Jacer matched my tone. "I trust that you and Miss Eddy worked out your differences?"
"Something like that," I conceded. "We decided to let that ship sail on."
"What ship would that be? I see no ships." Jacer gestured at the sky behind me.
"It's a metaphor," I said with a sigh. I didn't want to explain it. Jacer seemed to pick up on my mood and didn't press for any more answers. I turned back to the sky. Jacer walked over to stand beside me, resting his elbows on the railing.
We stood in silence for some times, Jacer's steam tinting the air around us before being dispelled by the wind. I was tempted to explain everything and I bit my lip to stop myself. Jacer still made me nervous, his emotions hidden behind his features. I couldn't tell his thoughts, or even his mood. He just stood, patient and still, hardly blinking as he took in the view.
"Eddy said to stay away from Jericho." I blurted out. Jacer nodded.
"I will," he said. I giggled a little.
"Not you. Me, I have to let him go." I waved a hand, going for nonchalance. "I have to ignore the first man who's taken an interest in me since..." I stopped.
"Since your father left?" Jacer supplied the end of the sentence for me. I nodded.
"Something like that."
"Miss Eddy was interested in the Captain as well." Jacer said, somewhat stiffly. I looked over at him, noticing a shift in the way he stood. His back was rigid and his hands were balled into fists. Hesitantly, I reached out a hand and pressed it between his stiffened shoulder blades. The heat from his internal engine had warmed the cloth of his shirt. The pressure seemed to calm him suddenly. I rubbed my hand across his spine until the tension was gone.
"Don't worry," I said quietly. "That ship is sailing."
Maybe. I added in my thoughts.