It was Xavier’s birthday, a big day for parties and friends and he dressed carefully in front of the mirror. Xavier sighed and examined his image. Cursed to be an extraordinarily handsome young man, with black hair and innocent blue eyes, he smiled wanly at his reflection. He needed a shave.
Conditions aboard ship had improved when he had been promoted from cabin boy to cook hand, and there were fewer of the insulting stares. It might have been easier for him since he was the owner’s nephew, but the crew of the Dorianne was unaware of his birth connection. The secrecy was given as a condition for his employment when he had been caught as a stow-away. The other crew members only knew that he had his own berth, and had fought accusations that he was sleeping with the Captain.