The boat was already moving fast when Lotye’s observations were interrupted in a disgraceful way. Something dark flew out of a narrow back alley and towards the boat. Lotye only saw it out of the corner of her eyes, but she instinctively ducked, falling back into her old patterns, because she thought it was a kind of net, thrown by someone out to get her. Evidently, it was not a net, as the heavy body coming to rest on the bottom of the boat and her knee proved, rocking the whole small vessel. It was a grown man, wearing the common clothes of a sailor, whose hand rested on her knee.
By the gods, what is this man doing? She wondered in a fraction of a second, before she remembered her own high jinx. Then again, I’m probably not the one to ask such questions. Instead, she decided to take action against his hand, which by now seemed to get along much too comfortably on her knee. With both hands, Lotye shoved the man’s arm away from her and got to her feet in the same motion, rocking the boat even harder.
“Get your filthy hands off me, you scum-sucking maggot!”, she cursed as if she was the sailor and not the man in front of her, most likely destroying the image of the well-behaved young lady that one could have had in the last few hours, in the process. “May the next leg you feel up give you a good kick in the bollocks!”
While the new passenger struggled to stay on his feet, Lotye stood panting, more out of surprise than real anger. Still, it did not feel bad to let herself go a little bit, blowing off the steam of all the different emotions she had tried to repress since her arrest. I’d hate to say it, but I actually rather enjoy this. The man didn’t seem to care all that much. He didn’t apologise, didn’t introduce himself, he just grinned and spoke a line she rather would have expected to hear in some sleazy tavern. Who dishes it out should be able to take it.
Conveniently, he had just put away his simple black mask, opening his face up to the second part of Lotye’s offensive. With the speed and dexterity one learned in her profession, she raised her hand and planted a hefty slap right on his smarmy smile, resulting in a satisfying smack.