Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter Five

Rusty steered the boat to a perfect spot, then dropped the anchor. They could still see the shoreline, but they were far enough away to be as loud and obnoxious as they wanted to be. Darrick got the beer out, Rusty turned on the music, and Sarah and Sam had a blast acting like they did when they were in college. Dancing, singing bad karaoke as loud as they possibly could, and drinking until the sun went down and the stars and moon were left to light their way.

Midnight came and went. Rusty fell asleep with Sarah wrapped in his arms. Darrick stood on the deck with a brown bottle in his hand as he stared out at the ocean. The nighttime view of it was simply amazing. He loved how the moon bounced off the blue surface and how he couldn’t tell ocean from sky on the horizon. He even loved the way Sam looked in the dim moonlight.

She stayed awake to keep him company and he had no reason to protest. She was everything he was looking for in a woman. She had the looks, the brains, she was funny but never tried too hard to be funny. He felt comfortable around her and he could tell that she felt the same.

Sam stood next to him at the railing and rubbed her hands over her arms to keep warm in the chilly air, “I forgot how cold it gets out here at night.”

“Didn’t you bring a jacket?” Darrick asked.

She shook her head, “No, I didn’t expect to still be awake this time of night. I don’t drink too often and when I do, I tend to be one of the first to pass out. “

He laughed, “Well, I’m glad that wasn’t the case tonight.”

She smiled at him and said, “Me too. I’m kinda glad Sarah made me come out today. Normally I stay away from anything that has to do with boating or being on the ocean.”

“Why’s that?” Darrick asked.

She shrugged, “I’d rather not talk about it. It’s pretty embarrassing.”

He shoved her playfully then said, “Oh, come on. It can’t be that bad.”

“To me it is, so you’ll never find out.” She said with a smile.

Darrick kept a smile across his lips and turned his eyes back to the ocean. A slight wave rocked the boat from side to side and he could see Sam gripping onto the railing. Her knuckles turned white and he could hear her gasping out of fright. The wave grew and the boat shook more intensely. He held the railing with his right hand and grabbed onto her arm with his left to keep her from getting too scared.

He looked back to the water and cocked his head to the side from confusion. The stars were slowly beginning to disappear and a grey haze was taking over. Lightning struck off in the distance, illuminating the fog overtaking the area.
“I didn’t know it was supposed to storm tonight.” Sam said, a hint of fear to her voice.

“I don’t think it is. I think it’s just a little lightning. Nothing to be worried about.” Darrick replied.

There was no thunder to follow the flashes of lights coming out of the sky. The air was quiet and soon the tide calmed down as well. The rocking of the boat came to an end and Sam loosened the death grip she had on the railing. Darrick still had his hand on her arm and she glanced over to him. The moment their eyes met, he took his hand away and passed her a bashful smile.

She ran her fingers through her hair, “I think I’m gonna get some sleep.”

He nodded in agreement, “Yeah, it’s getting pretty late. Might be a good idea.”

Sam didn’t say a word. She passed him a cute smile, then walked away from him, heading for the cabin below. Darrick rolled his eyes, hating himself for not stealing a kiss from her. He had the perfect moment and he let it slip through his fingers. He turned away from the railing, away from the lightning show in the sky, and disappeared below deck.

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