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The two young men at the end of the bar looked out of place. They also looked like they could handle anyone who mentioned it. They were both gorgeous. The smaller one was almost pretty, but his movements suggested training and she had the feeling some of the 'pretty boy' was intentional deception, or even imposed. She wondered about that thought a bit when she had it, but not long. His shoulders were very wide and they gave her other thoughts. Men might see long light-auburn hair and necklaces and think "womanish," but no woman would.

The big man was as interesting as his much smaller friend. He was massive and his open shirt showed thick dark gold curls and heavy muscle. She suddenly realized she'd looked too long at the pale streaks in his curly, dark blond hair. He'd noticed her. Well, maybe they were looking for a ship captain. Her careful display of a docking disk clipped to her collar identified her as such.

Lura battled to get her surge of hope under control. Her wrist comp was flashing for permission to release standard info on her qualifications and Cotton's listed stats. She hadn't updated them in awhile. Arousing the curiosity of the big four corporations was dangerous. She preferred wondering where her next meal was coming from to accepting it from a corp, or else. Another request came immediately after she'd tapped approval. She approved it and wondered. She didn't see any but the two who looked like they might have any interest, or enough credit, to hire even an in-sector ship like hers.

When the two men at the bar stood, she saw their true sizes. The smaller was probably a few cens shorter than her one hundred seventy-seven. The big one was near, or over, two meters. She allowed herself a smile when they headed toward her. It surprised her that she had to work to keep it non-committal.

As they walked toward her, she realized the half-dozen necklaces the smaller one wore didn't move. They were attached to the shirt. The thought 'pretty' was imposed returned and it brought a great deal of curiosity with it. She had the feeling satisfying it was going to change her life, but caution lost the argument when the big man spoke.

"Hi, Tock Wain and Dollan. May we join you, Captain Lake?"

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