Michael almost walked past the girls’ room, but then he had to double back because something didn’t seem quite right. On second glance, he found it was because Joanna was upside down.
Joanna was hanging off the top bunk of the bunk beds she shared with Charlotte. She was wearing a pair of what looked like Samuel’s pants, belted tightly at the waist with her shirt tucked into them. She’d hooked her ankles up around the guard rail, and was letting herself hang freely, her blonde hair falling in one ponytail-ed curl away from her head, the tip dusting the ground gently as she swung. Michael took a second to properly take her in before he laughed. “What in the world are you doing up there?”
“I am so bored,” she complained, twisting in a way Michael couldn’t quite follow so that she ended up landing softly on the ground on her hands and knees. She stood up and dusted off her hands and knees, she fixed Michael with a glare like it was all his fault she was bored. “I mean, I’m really glad that the last job went well and that we all have a little extra jingle in our pockets. But I get so bored when we’re not working. There isn’t even a decent Hall in this town so I can go make a little more with my extra money betting against big strong men who want to teach me how to play pool.” She crossed her arms and pouted a bit.
“You would be bored because there is nothing threatening our life, security, or freedom at the moment.” Michael sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Might I suggest that you relax during our downtime? Or would that be too much for you to handle?”
“I did relax, Mikey. I relaxed and rejuvenated and slept and made fun of everyone on the team for their different relaxation techniques, and now I’m bored.” Joanna skipped over and slid her hands into Michael’s swinging their arms back and forth in between them. “Come on, now, there has to be something you need to be done. Some task that can eat up some of my time before we’re moving on. Anything.
“I’ve got nothing, Jo. We’re on downtime. We’ all relaxing while we got the luxury to do so.” Michael gave her arm a big swing, lifting it up above his head so Joanna had to go up on her tiptoes to keep the grip.
“Well, where were you going when you came back here? What do you have there?” Joanna pointed at the folded letter in Michael’s other hand. “How come,” Joanna turned her head to see Ash’s name written on the front, “Ash gets a job?”
“That’s not a job, it’s a message. It’s between Ash and myself and you will not worry about it or go poking around in business that you should not be poking around in, do you understand?” Michael’s voice was firm, and Joanna looked appropriately ashamed of herself as she dropped his hand and gave him a little nod.
“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.”
Michael looked down at Joanna and softened a bit. “I really don’t have anything for you. Have you tried asking Kingsley? Or your brother?” Joanna scoffed and Michael raised a defensive hand. “Okay, okay. Then try asking Samuel. I’m sure he could create a challenge for you even if he doesn’t have one on hand. He’s a creative little thing.”
Joanna considered it for a moment before smiling. She popped up and gave Michael a quick kiss on the cheek. “Thank you,” She skipped out of the room and Chris laughed as he watched her go.