Piras having a flashback:
Piras strode into one of Laro’s bars. He was thinking about relaxing with a few drinks and maybe finding companionship for the evening. He looked forward to showing off a little, especially to any captains of the disreputable raiders and low-level transports and couriers he’d seen docked at the station.
His good mood evaporated the moment he saw his helmsman, Dramok Ibly, and Weapons Subcommander Nobek Damirt drunkenly singing a crude Dantovonian tune to the disdainful amusement of the other patrons. In a moment, Piras was furious with the pair, his eyes seeing them through a red mist of rage.
Drunk in public on a military installation! Which meant they’d gone beyond their approved ration of alcohol. Worse still, they were members of his crew, displaying poor discipline and making him – the newly minted destroyer captain Piras – look bad.
Humiliation made him a terror that day. He’d held nothing back, unloading a barrage of verbal and physical abuse that left even the Nobek cringing on the bloodied floor. He got on his com and shrieked for his security to fetch the shamed men and throw them in the brig before he killed them.
Piras was well aware he’d given the bar’s patrons as much entertainment as the drunken songsters had. Only after he’d watched them dragged out in cuffs by the security detachment did he turn his glare to those watching. As he took in the wide eyes and gaping expressions of his fellow fleet members, he wondered if he’d gone too far.
He was on the verge of slinking away to his destroyer when a low, amused voice spoke in his ear. “Now that is how you command men. Best display of leadership I’ve seen in a long time. Can I buy you a drink, Captain?”
Piras looked around to see a virile, feral Nobek at his shoulder. Big. Muscled. His heavy brow and wide jaw made his features somehow handsomely animal, especially with a cloud of black, wavy hair. The man looked like walking danger. The magnificent creature’s direct stare and hint of a knowing smile made Piras feel hot all over. His aura of power pulsed at Piras. The Dramok’s fury and embarrassment were gone in a wash of pure lust.
The delicious brute took a step back, just far enough to offer the customary bow. “Fighter Squad Leader Lidon, sir.”