The Deceptive Masseuse
by K. A. Williams
The bartender had been casting glances at me while I sipped my drink. My shirt was too tight, my skirt was too short, and my feet hurt. There weren’t that many customers in the bar of Space Station Omega right now, although there were several ships currently docked.
A man dressed all in black from his fedora to his boots walked in, followed by another man in casual clothes, which were brown like his hair. I had seen them leave their ship earlier in the day, and I’d been waiting on them to come here.
The one in black noticed me and tapped the other one on the arm. They came straight to my table. “Hey, honey,” he said, “what’s your name?”
“Ava. That’s a lovely name. I’m Morgan, first mate on the Maple Queen, and this is Captain Falcon.”
“It’s nice to meet you both,” I said. “I wonder if you could help me. My boyfriend ran off with another woman he met here at the space station, and I’m stranded,” I said, shifting in my uncomfortable chair. My skirt hiked up further on my thighs, but not far enough to reveal the small stun gun tucked into my garter.
“The Maple Queen is a cargo ship, and I don’t usually carry passengers. Can you pay?” Captain Falcon asked me.
“I could work for my fare,” I said.
“What kind of work can you do?” he asked.
I stood up, balancing on my high heels, and moved behind Falcon. “This,” I said, and started massaging the captain’s shoulders. I could feel the tension begin to ease away.
“Okay,” Falcon said in a minute. “You seem to know what you’re doing. We’ll give you a try.”
“I’m next,” Morgan said.
Falcon laughed. “When we get back to our ship.” He looked me up and down. “And after I get Ava some different clothes. You look miserable; your ex-boyfriend must have picked out your outfit.”
“Thank you,” I said. “You’re right, I am miserable.”
Morgan looked disappointed.
We took a rolling sidewalk back to their ship, and Captain Falcon led me to a cabin once we were on board. “It’s vacant,” he said. “The previous occupant left most everything here, including clothes that should fit you.”
“What happened?” I asked, looking around. Since there was limited space on a cargo ship for the people, it was minimally furnished with a single chair, bed, and a dresser with mirror. Feminine items cluttered the dresser top, and clothes peeked out of its drawers. I could see some pairs of shoes under the bed.
Falcon hesitated before deciding to tell me. “You’re not the only one who’s been deserted at a space station. The galley is always open when you get hungry, but the cook prepares hot food only three times a day. Supper is in an hour. See you there.” Falcon shut the door.
I changed clothes and rested awhile on the best mattress I’d ever lain on. A knock woke me up. I opened the door to find Morgan standing there, without his hat.
“I’m here to escort you to the captain’s table,” he said. “I preferred the other outfit, but you look more comfortable.”
“I am,” I admitted, stepping outside in my new low-heeled shoes.
He showed me to the captain’s table, and we sat down together. Falcon joined us almost immediately. The food was plentiful and good.
“We’re still in port because we’re waiting on the cargo we’ll be transporting. It’s late as usual, but at least it’s non-perishables,” Falcon explained.
“I’m glad we hadn’t left,” Morgan said, “or we wouldn’t have met Ava.”
“No, we wouldn’t have,” agreed Falcon. “Do you like your cabin?”
“I love it. The mattress is wonderful,” I said.
“Is it?” Morgan asked. “Maybe you’ll let me have my massage on yours, mine is too hard.”
Falcon glared at him. “Maybe you can have your massage standing up in the hall and not in Ava’s cabin.”
After supper, they walked me back to my cabin.
Three of the crew came down the hall toward us, armed with stun guns. “We’re mutinying,” said the biggest one. “All we do is haul cheap cargo, and the pay matches. My brother’s got a job on a Cargo Class 4. They’re raiders, and he’s rich. We won’t hurt you if you’ll leave the ship peacefully. We’re joining my brother on Space Station Delta.”
Falcon and Morgan stepped in front of me. I pushed my way through them. “Don’t hurt me,” I said. “I’m new here and I’d like to join you.” I walked toward them, hands up.
The big guy smiled. “I’m sure we can find a use for you. Go to my cabin and wait for me. It’s number five; three doors behind us.”
I smiled and said, “I’ll be waiting.”
I moved behind them and while their attention was focused entirely on Morgan and Falcon, I pulled my little stun gun from the pocket of my borrowed pants and quickly shot the three of them in the back.
Falcon and Morgan stared at me with wide eyes and open mouths.
“I’m an undercover police officer,” I said and displayed the small badge hidden behind the collar of my blouse. “The patrol ship is cloaked nearby. My assignment was to investigate this ship because it’s a Cargo Class 4 like the one that’s been raiding. I’m going to the radio room and call in my report. The police can arrest the real raiders on Space Station Delta.”
Falcon and Morgan were waiting on me outside the radio room. Neither man said anything although they both looked unhappy. “I’m sorry I lied about my nonexistent boyfriend stranding me on the space station,” I said. “I like it here, and you need a security officer.”
Falcon smiled. “You’re hired.”
“You’ll be great,” Morgan said, then frowned. “Does this mean I don’t get that massage?”
Copyright © 2020 by K. A. Williams