Chapter 76

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"So some guy drugged you and took Hailie?" Shen asked. "How did that even happen? Gordon has to force you to drink anything other than alcohol and you were drugged with tea!"

Eli wasn't even a little surprised that Shen was so angry. He'd noticed the huge soft spot he had developed for Hailie. He'd even threatened Eli twice, that time after Winston had come on board and he'd seen Hailie sleeping with her head on his lap and the other time when they were on that island when she had fallen asleep on top of him.

At the moment, everyone was gathered in the dining hall. When the sun had gone down and they hadn't returned, everyone (except for Roberto and Celeste) had gone out to look for them, even Lilly, Tom and Dylan, because they were the fastest runners.

"Do you think I wanted to be drugged?" Eli asked harshly. "I thought that if they had to take someone it would be me, not her. Why would they take her? She doesn't have anything." She'd given him the book and the pearls before they'd left the ship.

"He's fine," Celeste said after looking him over. She sat down next to him. "Start from the beginning. Whose house were you in, in the first place?"

"Does it matter? They have Hailie. We have to go after Winston," Lilly said.

"You're picking up too many bad habits from Eli," Kendra said.

"Quiet, all of you," the Captain said. Everyone stopped talking. "Eli, you're saying Terrance had you drugged and Winston took Hailie? That doesn't sound like Terrance."

"I know who he is." He ran his hand through his hair to pull it away from his face. "Does it really matter? He's not with Winston now and Winston is the one who has Hailie."

Kendra handed the paper Lady Shaffer had given him to the Captain.

"We can't win this fight," Kendra said. "There's no way we can go up against so many."

"Not by ourselves," the Captain said, squinting at the paper.

"Are you talking about those people we don't speak of?" Gordon asked. "Because I don't want any one getting in my way of killing those men who took Hailie." This was the first time he'd said anything all evening. He'd just been stewing in his seat looking angrier by the second.

"You'll be killing innocent people," Justin said. Everyone looked at him. He cleared his throat. "I mean, yes there are bad soldiers but not everyone on those ships are soldiers or bad."

"We're not holding a court case," Zigzag said. He wasn't sitting at the table with the rest of them, but at one of the smaller ones to the side with his feet on the table. "I say we kill them all, and if Justin says anything we start with him first."

"Justin, if you're staying here you need to remember that we are pirates," Celeste said. "Soldiers are our enemies regardless of their morality. Just as they will kill us without asking our reasons, we will kill them without asking theirs. It's not very complicated."

"And they took Hailie!" Lilly said. "They deserve death!"

"That's my girl," Zigzag said. He leaned over and they high-fived. Eli narrowed his eyes. Since when was she his?

"Why are you even here?" Eli asked.

Justin leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. "I have my own promises to keep. I did tell Hailie that I would show her what a real soldier was like, even if I have to dispose of some of them to do so."

"How can we find out which way they went?" Roberto asked.

"We climbed to the nest but we couldn't see anything," Tom said. He and Dylan sat down at the table.

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