Chapter 48 –Sted’s New Billet

Sted had moved his few belongings into a small apartment in the personnel housing ring. After reporting to the Space Navy’s  Research and Development section, Sted had been assigned housing space and an office. The Navy had even pulled up his records and prepared a complete set of both regular and formal naval dress uniforms and had them delivered to his apartment. The first time he walked into the unit with Jessica and his travel bag in tow, he was more than a little surprised to find the place completely laid out. The furniture was all in place, the pantry was stocked, and the refrigerator and freezer were filled with several weeks’ worth of supplies. He even had a small office with current naval issue communication equipment.

As a ship’s captain, Sted was not used to having so much space. On a destroyer class ship, the captain’s quarters were about a quarter the size of this apartment.

“What do you want to do first?” Jessica asked. Both of them had worked the “day” shift (a holdover from planet-bound way of thinking), so they were free for the next sixteen hours. The twenty-four hour/three-shift mode of operating was still standard, even though they were far out from Earth and its twenty-four hour rotational cycle. Some human habits just seemed to have a life of their own.

“I had planned on spending time setting up the apartment, going to the commissary to stock up on supplies, and then getting some shuteye, hopefully with you by my side,” Sted replied. “Now it appears we have a little more free time. How about I put together a quick dinner for the two of us while you go out to the commissary and pick up some wine? After that, I want to spend some time with you. If it’s not too forward of me, I think we should discuss possibly moving in together.”

“Wow! You don’t mess around, Captain Richardson,” Jessica teased. “I’ll take a little extra time getting the wine while I think about your generous offer. Give me about thirty minutes. I’ll get a fresh set of clothes for tomorrow morning, too. I think we may be ‘discussing’ this offer for most of the night, and I want to appear at least somewhat fresh at the office in the morning.” She chuckled on her way out the door.

As Sted opened the pantry again to see what he might prepare on short notice, he could not keep the grin off of his face. Yes, this night had a lot of potential.

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