Sally Part 26 for anyone who missed the last installment.
Stacey's heart jumped as he saw no other port but Andrill on the horizon. He never thought he'd be so happy to see that cesspool of a city, but it would be perfect for his getaway. He would find Sally as quickly as he could and then make it as far inland as he could. He didn't know the country well, but knew it as well as any other, and he doubted they would even come looking for a cook. It was perfect.
While the rest of the crew prepared to dock, Stacey just stood, staring at his future: just him and his boy, starting up a little inn. "Are you from Andrill?" The voice startled Stacey, and his stomach didn't leave his throat when he saw it was Mattias.
"Um... no, sir. No."
"Oh," Mattias's frowned and shrugged his shoulders, "It just looked like you were really intent on staring at it. Come on, we need help with the sails."
Stacey ran to a mast and started helping. That was close. Another slip up like that and he might as well tie up his own wrists. Mattias kept looking at him funny though, like he knew something was wrong. "You okay Stacey?"
"Yes, sir. Just didn't sleep well last night, sir."
"And why do you keep calling me sir? You haven't called me that since the first time you were on the boat."
Stacey could feel his face turning red. "I... I really can't say, sir." There it was again. Stacey wished as hard as he could that Mattias would just drop it and let them pull in to port in silence.
"Okay. After you get the food on the ship, I'd like to have a word with you in The Mace and Sword. It's a pub in Andrill." Stacey was sure happy he'd figured all this out before now. Just three months ago and he'd have met Mattias there, surely to be shipped off to chains and whips. Ready or not, this was the time to run.