Chapter 28

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"You look happier. What happened?" Eli asked when she reached back to their table.

"How can you tell? Her face didn't change," Zigzag said.

"It's pretty easy to tell," Roberto said. His plate was no longer in front of him. If anything he seemed to be keeping an eye on the others in the room. Indira had disappeared. Kendra was eating as if she'd been starving this entire time. She also looked like she hadn't slept in days. Hailie hadn't seen the Captain since Shen had stitched his arm.

"Maybe you need glasses," Gordon said. Only half his food was gone. It didn't look like he could stomach any more.

If it was this obvious she needed to work harder on hiding her emotions.

"Is he awake yet?" Faith asked.

"No. Celeste said he should wake up in an hour," Hailie said.

"She was awake? How is she?" Roberto asked.

The image of Celeste and Shen kissing popped into her head. "Much better I think."

A hand rested on her shoulder. "Hailie, we haven't had a chance to talk since last night."

All the hairs on her neck rose and it felt as if she'd been dropped in a pit of slime. Her good mood was completely demolished. She could already feel the beads of sweat running down her back. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath letting it out slowly trying to gain some control. She moved her shoulder and his hand disappeared.

"I have told you before not to touch me," she said. She spun around to face him. "There is no need for us to talk, Reggie. I am very busy at the moment."

Reggie was Hailie's height or a little shorter. He was one of those men who mended boats. There were women who found him attractive but every time Hailie saw him she felt a strong urge to run, throw up and then take a bath.

"I still haven't thanked you yet," he said.

"There is no need to thank me. I did not go for you. I did not even do much fighting. If you want to thank someone then there are many people sitting at this very table who deserve your thanks. I am not one of them."

"I know that's a lie," he said, smiling. She wanted to punch him but his head was so hard she'd probably break her hand.

"It is not a lie. If you will excuse me, I need to help Gordon clean up." Hailie turned, ready to make a run for it when he grabbed her arm. Her fist clenched but before she could hit him, Eli was standing next to her, his hand clamped around Reggie's wrist. Eli didn't look as if he was using much force but Reggie's face contorted with pain.

"You shouldn't harass my crew while they're trying to work," Eli said.

"Come on dude. I was just trying to talk to her. Right, Hailie?"

Her hand hung just above the handle of her knife. She was itching to pull it out.

"Don't be like that, Hailie. See? I still have the scar from last time," he said pointing to a long line on his neck. That one had been a warning, only deep enough to leave a mark. This time she wouldn't be so nice.

Reggie jumped when Roberto's hands clamped down on his shoulders.

"Breakfast is over. It's time to get to work. The deck needs scrubbing," Roberto said, shooting Hailie a discreet wink. Eli let go of his wrist and Roberto led him away.

"You cut him?" Eli asked. He looked amused obviously remembering when she held the knife to his neck. The difference was she had never planned to cut Eli.

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