Chapter 10

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Luel looked over the rail of the ship, out at a vast, seemingly endless expanse of ocean and felt her heart as a heavy weight, labouring in her chest. The distance between her and Eavan was growing and the knowledge of how terribly afraid he would be ate away at her. Thank the gods she hadn't told him of the child, he'd been saved that heartache at least. She closed her eyes and told herself not to be so faint hearted. The very idea that Eavan was sat at home mourning her loss was preposterous. He was very likely on a boat much like this one, more than likely aided and abetted by Corin and Laen. She felt certain that Corin would do all in his power to help Eavan and she well knew that Laen still felt the need to make amends for Eavan's blindness and disgrace, no matter how many times Eavan told him it had been none of his doing in the first place.

"All will be well," she murmured, her hand covering her belly.

A scream from the rigging, followed by a thud and a bellow of pain behind her seemed to contradict that sentiment however and she spun around to see a man being laid out on the deck. He was bleeding heavily from a wound on his arm. She turned to look at Dragon, who had become her constant shadow on board. After ten days locked in the cabin she had being going out of her mind and so he'd agreed to give her some freedom, as long as she stayed close to him; something she had no problem with whatsoever. She had seen the way some of the men looked at her and knew it was only his presence that kept her safe.

The ship's surgeon appeared on deck and Luel watched with interest as he inspected the wound, she turned to Dragon with a frown.

"Is there no one on board with healing magic?" she asked in surprise.

Dragon gave her an incredulous look and snorted. "Do you seriously think the kind of men who end up as pirates and smugglers are the kind with healing talents?"

Luel gave a rye smile as she realised how foolish the idea was. "No, I suppose not, how silly of me." She continued to watch the surgeon at work with growing agitation. "But does he have any idea of what he's doing?"

Dragon shrugged. "Doubt it. The last surgeon was killed in a raid, Trent there volunteered for the extra pay, no one else wanted the job so ..." He shrugged again at Luel's look of utter disbelief.

"Gods," she said in alarm. "If he keeps on the fool is going to kill him!" Making up her mind to not stand by and watch a man get maimed for life, she rolled up her sleeves and pushed her way through the crowd who had gathered to watch.

***

It took Dragon a moment to realise Luel's intent and by the time his brain had caught up and got over the surprise of it, the damn fool woman was elbowing her way through the crowd.

"Shit," he muttered, and followed after her to find her glaring at Trent, a massive ex warrior from the Dark Fae King's guard, with her arms folded and an expression of fury.

"Stop that, this instant," she demanded, as Trent looked up at her, his thick blond brows drawn together. Dragon thought he looked more surprised than angry ... for the moment.

"If yer wantin' my attention, wench, ye must wait yer turn," Trent replied with a leer. "I must stop this man bleedin' out but I'm more than willin' to see to ye directly after."

There were guffaws and lewd remarks all around after that and Dragon looked to Luel to see how she would take it. To his surprise, far from looking like she would run away sobbing, she seemed thoroughly unimpressed.

"Oh, is that what you are doing?" she asked with a haughty lift of one eyebrow. "Forgive me, I thought you sought to murder the man in full view of his comrades, as that is surely what you will achieve if you continue." She sniffed and looked down at him with disdain.

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