In which Sule pushes Olaf to try to get him to lose his temper, with very unexpected results.
"You didn‘t answer my question, ox," Sule snapped, and gave Olaf a shove, or tried to; it was like pushing against the stone face of a cliff. He snarled and shoved harder, this time causing Olaf to stumble just a bit.
"Stop it." Olaf growled, frowning, his heavy blond brows drawn together.
Finally, a reaction. "Stop what? Stop this?" Sule asked, slapping Olaf on the shoulder, then on the chest. "This?" A kick with his instep to the side of Olaf‘s calf. "This?" A cuff to his head.
"And if I don‘t?" Sule stepped back, lifted his fists into position for a serious fight, began shifting his weight back and forth from foot to foot. It was too bad there would be no witnesses, but fighting on board would probably be enough to get the oaf expelled from the crew. It would be his word against Sule‘s.
"I don‘t want to fight you."
"That‘s too bad," Sule said and shot out a fist. It caught Olaf on the chin, knocking his head back but not causing nearly the impact Sule was hoping for. Before Sule could hit him again, Olaf threw the blankets aside and rushed forward, his shoulder hitting Sule in the chest, driving him backward, slamming him into the bulkhead. Sule‘s head banged against the wood, and then his body was pinned there by Olaf‘s. No room to kick, Olaf holding both of Sule‘s wrists tight against the bulkhead as well. Sule snarled and looked up to meet Olaf‘s eyes—it infuriated him that he wasn‘t quite tall enough to look directly into them. What he saw there wasn‘t anger or hate—he would have recognized those emotions in someone else‘s eyes—but he didn‘t care. He jerked his right wrist free, or tried to, but Olaf kept it pinned to the bulkhead. He pulled harder, but he could not break the grip on his wrists.