Chapter 64

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"Maybe I didn't bring enough," Cowal said looking at Hailie eating.

"That could be true," Hailie said. "There is definitely too little pudding and berries."

"You can't survive on only pudding and berries but for tonight you can have as much as you want," Minerva said refilling her bowl.

They were sitting on a mat in Hailie's favorite place. They used to go there often. She didn't think anything bad could ever happen there. Her mind went back to the kiss. She ducked her head and shoveled more of the pudding in her mouth. Kelly was curled up and sleeping on Cowal. The moon was bright and everything had a silver glow. She almost considered bringing Eli to see it but she wanted some time alone with Cowal and Minerva. Cowal had told them where Hailie would be that night so they wouldn't worry when he went to get the food. Minerva, Hailie and Kelly had gone to their tent to get the mat and lanterns and then set up the place.

Hailie emptied her bowl and laid back on the mat.

"I am stuffed," she said.

"Too stuffed for seasoned potatoes?" Cowal asked opening up another container.

Hailie sat up. "You wait until now to tell me you had those? Give them to me. I will make space."

"Ask nicely," Cowal said, grinning.

"May I devour those potatoes please?" Hailie said.

He handed them to her. Minerva chuckled.

"I don't think you understand what 'ask nicely' means," she said.

"I do, I just choose not to," Hailie said, her mouth full of the seasoned potatoes.

"Have you decided then? If you will stay or not?" Minerva asked.

Hailie swallowed before she answered. "There was never really any question. I cannot stay here. You were wrong. They are not guilty. I will miss you guys, I did before and I will miss you even more now, but I cannot stay here and I like it there, on the ship with everyone."

"I would prefer if you stay here but I won't force you. It's good that you're happy with them. I was worried when you left by yourself. At least this time I've met the people you're with. They seem like good people," Minerva said.

"They're pirates. Calling them good might be an insult," Cowal said.

"I do not think even they remember they are pirates. Zigzag is weird and not too bright. Shen and Celeste are so... mushy and always stuck together. They like to order me around like you guys. The Captain is far softer than he appears. Kendra is... well fun and dangerous at the same time. Roberto is nice but I do not know much about him, same with Indira. Lilly is spoilt but nice if a little reckless and mischievous sometimes and Tom and Dylan are like that as well. Gordon likes to cook and would rather avoid fighting because he says his hands are his tools and he cannot get them hurt or dirty but he is surprisingly lethal, with and without a weapon."

"What about Eli?" Minerva asked.

Hailie scratched her head. "The only thing I can really say about him is that there is a lot more to him than meets the eye. I did not believe that any of them were really pirates but finding out the Eli was Elijah Trent was probably the most shocking."

"And I thought he was the most obvious," Cowal said.

"He is different whenever he leaves the ship," Hailie said. "Gordon said he was on board for months before he made the connection. Zigzag told him that Keagan threatened me and the penalty for coming back here. Eli looked angry."

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