Despite her reservations, Jenny spoke up mere seconds after Tia smiled at Shaun’s disarming quip.
“Charming, isn’t he?” she said.
“You say that with an edge,” said Shaun.
“Considering where you went with me after you used that voice and those looks to recruit me, can you blame me?”
Shaun came over and gave her a small kiss on the forehead. “I’m not going anywhere like that with anyone but you.”
Jenny gave a soft smile.
“Certainly not now,” he said softly. “Not with them here, unless you want to really try something different…”
“Four,” Jenny said with a rising edge in her voice.
“Okay, sorry,” Shaun said as he backed away.
“They’re cute when she threatens him like that,” Georgie said to Tia.
Shaun picked up the pad and pulled up a more detailed map of the Canadian side of Lake Erie. “Hmmm… Right about here, yes.”
Jenny and the other women came in closer as Shaun expanded the image.
“Right around Long Point,” he continued, “just as any vessels coming ‘round come abreast of Dunkirk, here. If they were trying to make the most of their transit, they’d be going full steam just within sight of shore. They’d still be in Canadian waters, but close enough that a quick course correction could get them away.”
“Would U.S. claims keep the vessel from being pursued?” Jenny asked.
“It’d slow down the Canadian navy a little, which means you’d need to be quick to get to a haven. Somewhere where you could unload quickly, or hold up for a bit if you threatened them.”
“And then what?” Georgie asked.
“Hopefully it works out,” said Jenny. “It’s like Tia said in the car, how the bigger ships don’t ever think that they’d see pirates because we go after the runners and bootleggers, not the lakers. And unlike the small craft, they probably don’t have any idea how to react.”
“But wait,” said Georgie. “How do small craft go after a laker?”
“The same way they used to off Somalia,” said Shaun.
“But won’t they expect something like that?”
“If they were sailing off Somalia, yes. But years later, when pirates based out of Bangladesh and Greece used the same tactics, they had some initial success because no one sailing off their coasts was expecting pirates to try that there. And since there have not yet been any attempts on bigger ships on Lake Erie, we can trust the one universal constant, human stupidity, to be on our side.”
“So we have to be smarter than them, then,” said Georgie.
“At least smart enough,” said Jenny. “In terms of what we need, over and above what we have, that needs us to come up with a checklist and a few plans.”
“And for that,” said Shaun, “I need something more than just mixer. Who wants to be a good girl and top me off with a real drink?”
“And who wants to still be able to open his jaw to speak and walk and do other things if he behaves himself?” Jenny asked with a cutting smile.
“If there are indeed ‘other things’ when we’re done,” he said as he went to the kitchen to fix a drink.
“You’re probably going to need to ‘take one for the team’ when we’re done, aren’t you?” Georgie asked.
“Looks it,” said Jenny with a sigh.
“We can wait for you two. We’ll find something to do while you-”
“No, we won’t,” Tia added.
“Just trying to go big,” said Georgie…
All content Copyright © 2012 James Ryan