Chapter 41

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Hailie couldn't believe how nervous she was standing outside the Captain's door. She knocked and his voice told her to come in.

He was sitting in an armchair with a book. Sunny was sitting on the chair next to him. The room had windows all around. He could lie in his bed and see the stars. She wondered what it must have been like last night seeing the waves and the lightening.

"What is it Storm? Have you decided what you're going to do? We will reach tomorrow morning according to Indira. Do you need some money?" he asked.

"I came to ask you if I can stay," Hailie said. "Not just me, Faith and Benji as well, since I promised to take care of them. I like it here with everyone and so do they." Her words were falling over themselves trying to get out of her mouth.

"They can't stay here. Their parents are waiting on them."

"That was another thing I wanted to ask you. Would it be possible for you to help me take them home?"

"What is your plan, should I say no?"

"I would have to send a message to their father and wait on his instructions. In the meantime... I will have to find some way to make money since I do not have enough to even buy another pack of cigarettes. I should have enough to send a short telegram to their father though."

"And after that?"

"I will wait to hear what he says."

"I meant after they have gone home. What do you plan to do then?"

Hailie shrugged. "I do not have much of a plan. Maybe I will go for a walk, take a job when I need money for something other than food. There really is not much else for me to do."

The Captain didn't say anything for a while.

"That night when I got drunk, I told you I didn't want you on my ship. Why do you think I'd say yes now considering our deal was that you'd leave once you got your friend back?"

"Because we were once close. I have never done anything to hurt you apart from that incident at the cove. Your problem is with my father. Why should I be punished for something he did?"

"I can't forgive someone who has threatened the safety of one of my kids."

There was a point in her life where she had been in that category. She swallowed the nostalgia. "I do not want to hurt anyone. I like them. All of them, except Zigzag, and Kendra could have stopped me then. You know that. You said yourself that you cannot leave me alone because I have an anger problem. Everyone here has their problems. You said that. And I can control my temper. I pose no danger whatsoever to the people on this ship. The only fight I have had here was when that man attacked Gordon." She paused. "Are you telling me those eight years that we knew each other meant nothing?" That was a low blow and she knew it, but it was an honest question, and judging from his reaction, it was having the desired effects.

"What about your revenge?" the Captain asked.

"Should I give up the chance to have a home and friends so I can kill a man? What do I do after that? My family is dead and killing him, though satisfying, will not change that. I will gladly give up my revenge so I can stay here."

Captain Johan didn't say anything for a while, then he stood up from his chair, placed the book down on his bed and walked over to his desk. He pulled out a deck of cards.

"Do you remember how to play?" he asked.

She held back an arrogant snort. "Of course I remember."

"We'll play ten games. If anyone wins more than you, then you're off the ship."

"What game are we playing?" she asked. A gamble. This was something she was familiar with.

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