Chapter 27

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The dining hall was louder than she expected. Hailie swallowed and pushed through to the kitchen. She heard someone mention the word 'drunk' but she ignored them and made her way. She didn't see Gordon at first. He was crouched behind the counter.

"What are you doing?" Hailie asked.

"Too many people. I hate cooking when there are people around," he said. "I don't know them."

Gone was the man who had seemed fearless during the fight, managing to shoot her a smile and a wink right in the middle of it. All that confidence was gone. What was left was a shaking man hiding behind a counter. Apparently normal people were more terrifying than pirates. She was inclined to agree with him.

"I do not think we can do anything about that for now. They have nowhere else to go. The ship doesn't have enough rooms for everyone. What did you do before when there were more people here?"

"They were busy with the ship or sleeping. This room was empty most of the time. The women took the rooms and the men slept either here or in the cargo hold or on the deck, we used the hammocks but they all knew I hated the company while I cooked so they left during that time and then came back."

"I do not like the crowd either but it is morning and we have been up all night." She bent down and pulled out one of the crates from the cupboard. Gordon had to showed her where they were earlier. "I am feeling a little hungry as well."

"Let's make something quick then," he said standing up.

Gordon hadn't been joking when he had said "quick". It was hard for her to keep up. They didn't make anything extravagant. All they served was eggs that had been boiled before, beans and more of those cornmeal cakes, though with less sugar and more salt. Gordon said that they would save the tins for later. Roberto had brought up some crates of silverware and barrels of diluted beer. She was pretty sure it hadn't been diluted before. Peeling the eggs took the longest, but it didn't seem like anyone minded the menu. By the looks of it, they hadn't even been getting much water to drink much less food.

It wasn't until they'd almost finished sharing out the food to everyone that they saw more of the crew. Hailie and Gordon shared for themselves last and sat at the table. The man named Zigzag was very strange. The first thing he did was hug everyone. Indira had been eating but even she wasn't spared and she got a kiss on her cheek as well. She didn't look like she minded. She was smiling and Hailie just realised that she'd never seen her smile before. She really needed to start paying more attention.

Eli had gone down to get the kids. Tom and Dylan had just taken their plates and disappeared. Faith had sat down next to Hailie without a sound, still looking a little afraid. She was picking at her food. When Lilly came in her eyes lit up at the sight of Zigzag and she crashed into him, giving him a tight hug.

"Maybe I should get kidnapped more often," he said returning it. He had a huge grin on his face, bigger than before. Eli didn't look too pleased, but didn't say anything when he sat down next to her.

Zigzag finally caught her watching him. "How's Benji?" he asked.

"Shen said he would be fine when he wakes up."

He nodded then his eyes widened. "Wait, why are you sitting in my seat?"

"What are you talking about?" She really wasn't feeling in the mood for this. Her skin was crawling. Too many people in one room.

"That's my seat. I always sit there. Eli tell her."

"Stop being such a baby. Just sit somewhere else," Eli said.

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