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Hearing the soft clank of grav boots they both looked towards the door in expectation as she stepped through. Her short black hair was still tangled from sparing with Beech, her cheeks were flushed and all she had on over her skin tight, white thermal suit was a pair of shorts. Keri was a very beautiful woman and she knew it. "I'm going to shower, Derek, and then I'll be back to relieve you," their third partner said then turned and left.

Rubbing his hands over the stubble on his face Derek yawned and said, "I'm ready for a break. A month with no planets or ships to see makes a shift at the controls boring."

"Another week and we should be at the refueling station and then you can look at something different," Beech replied.

"I know," Derek sighed. "And I'm ready. No offense but I want to have a conversation with someone besides you two."

"You could spar with Keri sometimes. That would break up the monotony. It would help you lose some of that gut you're getting, too," Beech told him with a grin.

Derek looked down at his midsection and grunted. "Maybe so. I think I should start with you though and let you teach me. She knows more than I do and might hurt me."

Beech laughed and said, "She might." Standing, he told his partner, "She should be done in the shower soon. I'm gonna clean up and sleep for a few hours. If you're up in time we'll start then."

Stepping back out the door he saw Keri heading towards him on the catwalk. Her hair was still slightly wet and she had changed into a pair of baggy, tan cargo pants and a blue long sleeved t-shirt with a skull and the name of some band on it. She had a rather large fighting knife hanging from her belt and he knew she had a throwing knife strapped to the inside of each forearm under her shirt. There was a pistol with a short suppressor in a holster under her left arm. Since she had been kidnapped by the pirates and then rescued by the two men she was always armed. There was no way she was going to let herself be taken again. Beech was pretty sure she even slept with her gun and knives.

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