I brushed a stray hair out of my eyes and stared at the ship skeptically. It had…seen better days.
Ali sighed over my shoulder. “Really?”
“Are ya comin’ or not?” the rough looking man at the top of the boarding ramp demanded impatiently.
“The sails are cracked,” Ali muttered.
I glanced up at the rigid translucent sheets that powered the sun ship. They were more than cracked. The one closest to the rounded bow even had a hole. How had they made it to the dock? Their energy storage must be phenomenal.
The man saw where I was looking and grunted. “Got caught inna rock fall under Typher’s Mountland. We got a slot in the repair bay on the way out ta melt ’em back together. So if ya lovely ladies could get a move on, tha’d be splendid.”
That was feasible. The hovering island was home to a crumbling cliff that was notorious for dumping rocks with no warning and it wasn’t impossibly far out. Despite appearances, this was a good ship if it could make it from Typher to the docks before repairs.
I stepped toward the ramp, but Ali grabbed my arm. “Liz!” she hissed.
“It’s the only ship that gets us there before the deadline,” I reminded her. I lifted her hand off my arm and pressed a kiss to her fingers before I wrapped them securely in mine and squeezed them. “It’ll be fine.”
I herded Ali up the ramp, checking to make sure our trunk followed us without issue. She hovered anxiously while I held my hand out so the man could scan the tiny chip embedded just above my wrist.
His scanner read my chip and beeped. “Jus’ the one cabin then?” he asked, tapping at the screen.
I nodded. “Just the one.”
He gave us instructions to our room, coded the room’s door to us, and told the computer to give us access to the passenger areas. We were told to carry the trunk in the halls, not float it, then he stomped off.
Ali snorted. “Full service ship, this is.”
I laughed at her indignance and changed the settings on the trunk. “Come along, my lady.”
She huffed but let me lead the way through the cramped door that led below deck. A long hall and one sharp corner later we were settling the trunk on the floor of the room that was our home for the next two weeks.
Ali looked around, curious. “This actually isn’t bad.”
I flopped down on the bed and stretched. “I can live with it.”
Ali sat by my hip and fidgeted.
I held in my sigh. “I’m sure,” I told her. For at least the millionth time.
“The council could still change their minds.”
“If they do…”
“If they do, I shall retrieve my blade and shielding from the trunk and rescue the damsel from the tower.”
She laughed, as I had meant her to. “It’s just…”
“It’s not every day that the prime asks to marry the assassin hired to kill her and the council is a mite bit jumpy?”
“Yes, that.” Ali laid down, curling into me and resting her head on my shoulder. “It’s just if we meet their silly deadline and they still change their minds, you’ll have to kidnap me again. I’m not sure I want to be kidnapped again.”
I wasn’t concerned. Ali was very persuasive and alarmingly charming. We would get what we wanted.
And if we didn’t, I would just kidnap her again. I’d already done it once, after all.