It went without saying that the odious little dog belonged to the odious little chef. In fact, Kurt’s revolting little wiener dog was also named Kurt—which just went to show how overblown the chef’s ego was—something that caused no end of confusion on board the yacht where Keaton and the human Kurt worked. Both dog and chef completely ignored Keaton when he made his request. As Kurt the chef lifted the meat cleaver higher above his head, Kurt the dog hurled his quivering little body forward again, attaching himself to Keaton’s trouser leg by, appropriately enough, his front canines.

Kurt, please,” Keaton said again, running a hand through his dark brown hair. Though at this point, he wasn’t sure whether he was directing the entreaty to the man or the animal. The meat cleaver understandably troubled Keaton the most, but right now the dog seemed the more reasonable of the two. “Just calm down,” he added.

Nein,” Kurt said—the chef, not the dog—reverting to his native tongue, which was always a good indication that he was very, very angry. Not that the raised meat cleaver wasn’t also a good indicator, but Kurt’s use of German did cause concern. The chef pointed to the man who stood cowering behind Keaton and said, thankfully in English—sort of—“Not until you tell that Kotzbrocken to get out of my kitchen.”

Technically, the room where Keaton and Kurt—and the Kotzbrocken, for that matter—were having their...“international incident” seemed like an appropriate enough term for what was going on…should be referred to as a “galley” and not a “kitchen,” since they were on a boat. A really big galley, too, since it was a really big boat. But Keaton figured now probably wasn’t the best time to school the chef in matters of nautical jargon. Instead, he lifted both hands in the internationally recognized gesture of Please, for God’s sake, don’t hurt me, and repeated, “Kurt, I’m begging you. For the last time, put down the meat cleaver.”

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