“It’s Brent,” he answered. “I’ve got to talk to you, Steve.”
“Okay, come on in.”
Brent walked through the door. Stephanie and Darrel were eating dinner. “Have a seat,” Darrel said. “Now, what is it?”
“There are some big thunderheads coming and I think we should go into one of the docks around here,” Brent told him.
“You’re right,” Darrel said. “I’ll go radio in and tell them we’re coming.”
Just then they heard the sound of the anchor coming up and the boat starting. Darrel, Brent and Stephanie ran out to the bridge. They saw Steve there. “Steve,” Darrel yelled. “Shut off that motor and lower the anchor.”
“What,” Steve yelled back. “I can’t hear you.”
Darrel ran up the stairs, shut off the motor, and lowered the anchor.
“What are you doing that for?” Steve asked.
“I was just going to ask you the same thing,” Darrel told him.
“Oh,” said Steve. “I was just taking the boat out for a quick run.”
“Jeez,” Darrel said. “This isn’t a toy. You could have run us into some rocks or something, you jackass.”
“Hey,” Steve said. “Don’t call me a jackass, fool!”
“Listen,” Darrel said. “I’m in charge on this ship and if you ever do a stupid thing like that again, I’ll …”
“You’ll what?” Steve dared him.
“I’ll put your lights out,” Darrel told him.
“I’d like to see you try,” Steve said, almost yelling.
“Oh yeah?” Darrel said.
“Yeah,” Steve yelled.
“Okay, here goes,” Darrel said, pulling back his fist. He threw a punch for Steve’s face. Steve ducked and slugged Darrel in the side of the head. Darrel lost his balance and fell down the stairs backwards. As soon as he hit the deck, Steve came down to get him.
“Darrel, Steve!” Stephanie yelled. “Stop it! C’mon you guys, cut it out.”
When everyone heard the commotion, they came running outside. By this time Darrel had gotten up and had just punched Steve as hard as he could in the stomach. When Steve doubled over, Darrel hit him in the face and Steve’s nose started bleeding. Steve stood up and slugged Darrel right in the mouth. So now they were both bleeding all over the deck. Darrel was about to hit Steve again when Lance stepped in. “Okay you guys,” he said. “Break it up.”
They didn’t break it up, so Kevin said, “C’mon Lance.” Kevin and Lance grabbed Steve and Darrel from behind and held them in a full nelson.
“Now what’s this all about?” Lance asked Darrel.
“This idiot,” Darrel said, “was trying to sail the ship. He could have sunk us.”
“Listen to this guy,” Steve said. “Trying to make it all my fault. He came up there and started punching me for no good reason at all.”
“Here, you boys,” Candy said, giving Steve and Darrel both damp washcloths. “Clean yourselves off.”
“Thanks,” they both said.
Steve tilted his head back and held the washcloth up to his nose. Darrel gently dabbed his swollen lip and winced in pain when he pressed to hard. Cari came over and stood by Steve. She took the washcloth and wiped off the blood that had run down his chin. Stephanie wiped the blood from around Darrel’s mouth.
“Hey, look,” Kris said. “It looks like the clouds are blowing away.”
“Yeah,” Cathy said. “I guess we can have that party tomorrow night.
“Hey, Darrel,” said Steve. “Look, I’m sorry I got so mad, okay?”
“All right,” Darrel agreed. “Sorry I was acting like such a big shot. Let’s just forget the whole thing and enjoy the rest of the trip.”
“Okay,” Steve said, patting Darrel on the back. “C’mon, let’s go have a beer.”
“Yearh” Darrel said, trying to smile, but with his swollen lip, he just looked funny.
“The rest of you people can come, too,” Steve called to everyone else. And they all went.
The next night at the party everyone was having a good time, especially Cari. She was completely bombed. Kevin had brought six bottles of champagne on board with him. Out of the four bottles they opened, Cari drank about one and a half bottles. She toasted Candy and Kevin about a dozen times. “Honey,” Steve said. “Don’t you think you should go lie down? I think you’re a little bit drunk.”
“Who, me??” Cari asked. “No, I’m not drunk. I’m just a little, eeny, teeny, tiny bit tipsy, that’s all.”
“Okay,” Steve said. “Whatever you say.”
“Yeah,” Cari mumbled. “I’m the boss. And if I say I’m not drunk, then I’m not drunk. Do you understand, big boy?”
“Yes ma’am,” Steve agreed. “I understand.”
“That’s right …” Cari began. “Uh oh.”
“What’s the matter, honey?” Steve asked.
“C’mere,” Cari said. “I wanna tell you a secret in your ear.”
Steve bent over so Cari could talk into his ear. “What is it?” he asked.
“I think I’m gonna be sick,” she told him. “But don’t tell nobody. It’s a secret.”
“Well,” Steve said. “If you don’t want anyone to know, then I think you had better be sick over the railing and not on me.”
“Okey dokey,” Cari said. “Now if you would be so kind as to direct me there, I will go and be sick in secret.”
“There you go,” Steve said, pointing her in the direction of the railing. “Go straight ahead and don’t fall in.”
“Thanks very much,” Cari slurred as she walked away. She fell twice on the way there, but she finally made it to the rail and was sick in secret.
To be continued …