Chapter 5: On Board the Golden Dagger

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Benji was sitting in a crowded room someone had called the brig. His hands were chained, but the man next to him was in a worse position. He had chains on his wrists and ankles and one around his waist but it was hard to tell with his attitude. He had spent the last hour flirting with every girl within sight.

"Would you shut up for a minute? They should have gagged you as well," Benji said.

The man shot him a winning smile that he was sure could get him any woman in the room. The girls sitting across from them were blushing. "Are you jealous I'm not giving you any attention? All you had to do was ask. Anything for a pretty face," he said with a wink.

Benji shifted away from him and the man burst out laughing, or was he just a boy. He couldn't have been more than two years older than Benji. The man had short dreadlocks that didn't even reach his shoulders, his skin was dark, his teeth were white and his eyes were the brightest green he had ever seen on a person. It contrasted his skin colour and it would have looked strange and even frightening if they weren't accompanied with that easy lopsided grin of his. The girls wouldn't stop whispering about them. Not even the bruises on his face or the dried blood on his shirt could take away from his looks.

"Not interested," Benji said.

"Don't be like that. Once you get to know me a little more I'm sure we'll become close friends."

"Not if I can help it," Benji muttered.

His thoughts went back to his sister and Hailie for the thousandth time that hour. There was no way of knowing how they were. At least they hadn't been captured. Faith would be so scared.

"Thinking of a girl?"

Benji snapped out of his thoughts. "What?"

"The only way a man would make a face like that is if he's thinking of a girl. So who is she?" The man's eyes had softened. Maybe he was flirting so much to take his mind off something. There was no harm in telling him. It wasn't like the pirates had any intention of turning back for two girls and he was sure Hailie would have hidden the two of them by now if she hadn't already.

"Two girls. My sister and my friend."

"Sister? Is she as pretty as you?"

Benji kicked the man's leg.

"I'm guessing it's a younger sister then," he said.

"She's six so don't get any ideas."

The man nodded. "And what about the other girl?"

"I don't know her age. She looks maybe about sixteen at most but I think she's older than that."

"Is she pretty?"

Benji thought back to the first time he saw Hailie. She had been standing on top of a huge rock, he was sitting on the sand below. The wind had been blowing her hair and clothes back, the waves had been rough, crashing against the rock and throwing spray into the air. She was looking out at sea as if she was surveying her territory. Then she had taken a few steps back and ran to the edge, diving off just as a wave broke, entering the water with barely a splash.

"Yes, but that wouldn't be the first word I would use to describe her."

The man nodded looking a little wistful himself. He seemed to be miles away from the Golden Dagger. "I understand. I know a girl like that. Now if only Eli wasn't standing in the way." He leaned back against the wall. "What happened to them? Did they get captured or killed?"

"They escaped."

"Really? That's good. I'm sure they're fine then."

"How would you know?"

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