Chapter 12

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"Oh, for the love of the gods, do stop being such a big baby!"

Dragon looked down at the floor, and covered his mouth with his hand to smother a laugh. Luel had been on the ship for little more than a fortnight and had somehow established herself as ship's surgeon. The big man currently laid out in front of her had a violent temper and a reputation no one aboard would want to cross. He was known as Cutter, due to his fondness for blades, and yet at this moment he was regarding Luel with the air of a wounded five-year-old.

"But dammit, it hurts like a bastard," the furious Pirate roared.

Dragon watched as Luel put her hands on her hips and regarded Cutter with patient frustration. "I know it hurts," she said for the fifth time. "And it will continue to hurt if you don't let me treat it. If you don't let me treat it, it will not only continue to hurt, it will get worse, and then you will lose the whole leg. Now tell me, what would you prefer? A few moments pain, and a fully functioning leg? Or shall we just have done with it and chop the whole thing off now?"

Cutter stared at her for a moment, before letting loose with a stream of obscenities that made even Dragon raise his eyebrows. Luel just crossed her arms and watched him, until the tirade was over.

"If you're quite finished?" she asked, one eyebrow raised.

Luel walked away, ignoring Cutter's huffs and went to get some scissors to cut away the cloth from the nasty wound running up his calf.

"She might be easier on the eye," Cutter muttered to himself. "But she got no more bedside manner than any other bone setter I've come across."

Chuckling, Dragon nodded. "True enough," he said. "But then if she didn't shout and bawl at you, you would take a blind bit of notice. At least you know she'll do a decent job and you won't bleed out or lose the limb."

"True enough," Cutter conceded. The big man sighed and stretched out, cracking his shoulder joints. "Gods, I'll be glad to get off the ship and move around freely for a bit."

"Oh?" Dragon frowned, looking at him in surprise.

Cutter's rough hewn face split into a smirk, giving the impression of a grinning cliff face, he scratched at his beard which was thicker than the hair on his head."Oh, aye, I forgot. You weren't at the meetin'."

Dragon snorted and turned his back on the man to look out the porthole. "I wasn't invited."

"Aye, well, Dain don't like you does he," Cutter said, grinning and showing several missing teeth and one gold one that glinted in the sunlight that slanted across the tiny space that served as sickbay.

"The feeling is mutual," Dragon grumbled. "What's afoot, are we careening?"

Cutter nodded. "Aye."

Further conversation was cut short as Luel got to work on his mangled leg and Cutter was in no mood to talk. Dragon went back to staring out of the porthole and blocked out Cutter's muttered curses. Careening could work to their advantage. It would take a good few days, maybe a week to careen the ship. They would also take the chance to hunt and take on some fresh meat, and more importantly water. He was certain that Luel's husband, and more than likely the Prince Corin, were in pursuit by now. So it was possible it would give them the chance to catch up. Of course it could also give them the chance to go sailing past. But that would mean that they would be waiting for them when they arrived. Either way, Dain was out of his mind. The fool had no idea what he was facing. Dragon could only pray that he was there when Eavan and Corin caught up with him. He'd give his right arm to see Dain when he came to realise just what he was facing when finally confronted with the Prince and the Dark King's ex personal guard. That would be a good day.

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