If I thought there was a culture shock on Grenada, it held nothing to the light of the tiny island wherein we dropped anchor. Our first port-of-call. If it hadn’t been for the small group of spear toting Natives waiting for us on the beach, I would have said the island was deserted. Funny thing about Islanders. They are extremely cautious of people, and may seem unfriendly until they get to know you. It is there way, no doubt born of a lifetime of pirates and the like coming to steal and terrorize them.
‘Are you ready to go ashore, Sister?’ Stephen asked as he sidled up to me.
I looked from him to the Natives and back again.
‘L-I-P’s. Local Indigenous Persons. In this case, the old adage about carrying a big stick applies. These L-I-P’s are peaceful despite their aggressive appearance. They know Captain Marlin well. These people are just as friendly as they look angry. You’ll see.’ Stephen winked. ‘Whatever you do, though, keep your habit on. They aren’t afraid of the Sisters, and respect the office.’
‘I – I don’t even know why I’m still wearing it. I mean… I’m not even sure I’m still a Sister of the Order.’ I reluctantly admitted, brushing my hand down across my stomach. Oh, how quickly my world had changed, was changing even now.
‘Once a Sister, always a Sister in my book.’ He winked again. ‘Same rule of buddies applies here as it did on Grenada. Only here, it’s even more important. No sneaking off, not even to take a whizz. Understood?’
‘Good. The Captain has assigned me to keep watch over you. I don’t intend to lose you.’
I rolled my eyes at him.
‘No eye-rolling, either, Sister Sarai. I’m deadly serious about this. Here, you’re a hot sticky bun to a starving man… a divine treat they all want a piece of. It’s my job to see that they don’t get even a nibble. As far as they are concerned, you are mine.’
I laughed at him. ‘I belong to no one, haven’t you heard.’
Stephen snorted back. ‘Stubborn as hell, too. I’ll cut to the core… If you want to live to see tomorrow, then you’ll stick to my side like super glue. Do you understand that?’
‘Yes – Sir.’ I mocked a salute. It was his turn to roll his eyes.
‘Sister, I’ve got to teach you how to do a proper salute.’ He shook his head as the Captain walked past us.
‘All aboard that’s going ashore.’ Captain Marlin’s voice called out loud and clear.