The Heat is On

I stepped into the spray from the shower. The hot water shocked my skin, sending searing alarm signals to my brain, turning my flesh red before I could reach the knob to turn it down. “Hot!” I cried, then bit my tongue. I hoped no one heard that.

Not even the heat could make me relax. One wrong move and the whole masquerade would come crashing down around my ears. I scrubbed the grime from my skin. I closed my eyes only long enough to wet my hair, then I nervously added soap as I gazed at the shower curtain. I strained my ears for the sound of a creaking door.

Time to rinse. These unguarded seconds were the worst. I had to work quickly and thoroughly. Rubbing the water from my eyes at last, I opened them.

“Well, well, well.”

I gasped. There stood Martin, my closest ally and friend. His eyes were focused on my bare chest, his mouth held a smirk. Parading as a boy, I trusted him with my life, but as a girl, I couldn’t. It was death to be a girl aboard this ship.

Now Martin knew I had been lying.

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