Tab rolled through the space port fairly quickly, happy that the Arillia had docked somewhere decent for a change. It wasn't as great as some of the ports in the center of the system, but it was better than the dives farther out. This one had more than one place to buy parts, anyway, and he even knew some of the dealers.
That knowledge came in handy when it came time to make deals. He turned up his nose at the first couple of jokers trying to sell him couplings and ignored the third, knowing his reputation for selling refurbished goods as new. But the fourth stall was a direct hit and he grinned as he wandered closer.
"Tab!" the man behind the crates said, smiling. "Long time, man. Where the hell have you been?"
Tab's grin grew wider as he held out his hand to shake. "Been on the Arillia," he said to Kenva. "Shipped out with her a few months back. She's a nice bird." Had a damn fine captain, too, in Tab's opinion. "Got those engines singing."
Kenva gave him a long look. "Heard Bane had trouble."
Tab nodded. "Bane's dead. Pirates." That had been moderately awful, and a time Tab didn't want to revisit at all. "She's Will Pilot's now. We fly her faster now, better."
Kenva nodded, suddenly all business. "How fast?" he asked, stepping back.
Tab outlined some of the modifications he'd made and listed parts he needed to make sure they stayed that fast; Kenva had a couple of ideas for more, but Tab wasn't too sure Will would give him that many credits to spend. "We'll have to see," he said finally, signing off on what he did need. "Deliver? We're in bay three until the day after tomorrow."
"Delivered," Kenva confirmed. "Watch yourself with these mods, though, Tab. You're going to up the flying class if you're not careful, and then there'll be a fucking ton of paperwork to do."
"Will's good with a pencil," Tab said with a wink as he moved off. Man was good with more than a pencil, too, and Tab had ideas about that.
He took his time as he walked through the port, wondering if he really should buy what he wanted. Might be hard to explain what he wanted old fashioned rope and leather strips for. Hell, he wasn't even sure if Will would go for it. And then he saw a stall near the pay showers offering... tubes. That's all they were, he thought, until he walked closer.
Some slender and some thick, the tubes were clear and looked utterly bland, varying in length from four inches to almost a foot long. "What are they?" he asked the woman standing with them.
She smirked at him and picked one up, seemingly at random. "Give me your hand."
Tab looked at the tube and then at the woman, dressed in tight leather and what had to be paint. She looked more exotic than most he'd seen around the rest of the port. Finally, he held out his hand, palm up.
She put the tube flat on his hand and curled his fingers around it. "What do you feel?" she asked with a sly smile.
Heat. The tube warmed, the smooth surface getting almost hot. He raised an eyebrow.
"There are others that get cold. Ones that shock. Ones that burn, cut, tingle, vibrate... whatever your tastes are."
Tab looked at the tube in his hand and started to smile. "How much?" he asked. "For... something that will..." He shrugged.
She gave him a long look. "Depends. Do you want to hurt or does your partner?"
Tab shrugged again and she smiled. "I see." She gathered three tubes and held them out to him. "Thirty creds, and you'll have some surprises."
Tab looked at the tubes and nodded slowly. "All right," he said, reaching for his wallet. He still had ten creds for a shower, and a few more in case he saw something else he wanted. "I gotta go."
She laughed and took his creds, passing the tubes over with a wicked smile. "I'll bet you do."
Tab shoved the tubes into his pockets and adjusted his cock. He really did have to go. He had to find Will.
He caught sight of Will, brown curls shaved down almost to the skull -- that was new -- as he passed one of the Golden Cup, shaking hands with a short, portly fellow. Both men were nodding, smiling, so maybe Will had found some cargo for the other half of the hold. The man hated traveling light.
Mr. Portly left and Will turned back to the bar, sipping at a glass of amber liquid and making a face -- the busier ports might be better for business, but they never had the best booze.
Will was wearing his customary leathers, pants tight, outlining the sweetest ass Tab knew, and the leather jacket was over a tight black t-shirt. Will wore the leathers to look tough, but Tab knew better; Will walked and talked a good game, but there was a sweet kid under all that bluster.
Tab walked up to the bar and signaled for a drink before he looked at Will. "What the hell did you do to you hair?" he asked.
Will gave him a grin and took another sip, resulting in another grimace. "It'd been too long for too long."
Tab snorted. "You just got tired of me yanking it."
"Maybe." Will tossed back the rest of his drink like a shot. "Damn, we should buy a bottle of that to use as acid."
Tab grinned. "Yeah, if you want. Or we could just drink acid. So, you get us cargo, Captain?" He looked at Will's head again, not sure if he was too thrilled to have the curls gone. He did look more like a grown up, though, and they'd grow back.
"I did. I mean, the Parson's Alley load was paying enough to go with just that, but we had more than half the hold empty. I hate traveling that light." Will grinned, the wide smile making him look younger again. "Tuso's paying standard and it's on the way. He was having trouble placing his load anywhere but the big commercial freighters and they charge three times what we do."
"What is it?" Tab asked. "Hard to place means... well, is it going to get us in shit again, baby?" Trouble was something Tab made it his personal mission to avoid these days.
"Nah, he just doesn't have a full load but for the little jumpers who won't go as far as Parson's Alley and didn't want to get hit up for commercial freighters rates. Things are going too good for me to pick up illegal goods, Tab. We're just getting on our feet again -- I'm not going to jeopardize that."
Will was more cautious than Bane, their former boss and the Arillia’s former captain, had ever been, Tab had to give him that. Of course Bane had paid with his life and Will had paid for Bane's mistakes with his ass, so that made sense.
Tab nodded. "Okay," he said. With one hand he lifted his glass; the other he passed over Will's butt, more or less possessively. "Holy shit, this is disgusting!" He almost choked after he swallowed. "Fuck."
"Hey! There's nothing wrong with my ass!" Will gave him a glare, but those blue eyes were twinkling.
Tab's cough turned into a snort. "Not a thing," he agreed. "Except it's in those pants and we're out in public. Let's go, flyboy. Drink somewhere more private."
"You showered yet?" Will asked him, eyes dropping down his body, settling somewhere south of his waist.
"Not yet." Tab grinned and shifted his hips a little. "Got ten creds left... think it'll buy us some privacy?"
"It might with my twenty." Will gave him another look and then took off, headed for the lower level showers.