Chapter 18: Bane's New Bed

POV: Bane

While I was used to sleeping on the ground for the convenience of others. I didn't expect to be tossed from my hammock for the comfort of an ungrateful daughter of the captain. The implication bothered me more than the actual action, seeing as it wasn't the captain's idea, but Kelsin's.

She was the definition of pain in the arse. It took only a week for the crew to figure this out, and they all learned that staying away was their best bet. She was a loose cannon ready to blow apart the haul.

I'd had enough by the time we reached the ship the first day, but two weeks of her unbearable presence was enough in my opinion. All she did was sit in the riggings and glare at anyone who approached her, or she would sit beside the rails and sharpen her rapier on the stone used for scrubbing the scum build up from the deck. Faalen couldn't use it due to the rough edges being completely dulled.

Her blatant disrespect didn't even seem intentional, just habitual. She was almost trying to prove a point, that she didn't need their opinions. Not unless they wanted to lose a hand.

But then I found her today, sitting with her feet dangling over the rails as if she contemplated jumping over the edge, and I knew she was insane. I approached her wearily, intent on dragging her back if that was indeed her intention. However, I paused when I noticed her long braid had been let loose, and her black hair was floating around her shoulders.

It was early morning, before half of the crew had made there way above deck. I circled around and came to settle my hands on the rail, peering out at the sun as it crept over the horizon. Dawn, the tranquil part of the morning I used to watch with Anne.

I furrowed my brow and looked down at my hands, rubbing my forefingers against my thumbs. The skin was layered with scarred tissue and calluses. I had been pulling ropes so long my hands couldn't be ripped apart by anything anymore. I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed before, or that Anne hadn't pointed it out herself.

A shift caused me to pause and glance at Kelsin from the corner of my eye. Her curved frame was clad in her usual trousers and white shirt, although she had nothing on her feet to keep them dry. It was at that moment I realized her right foot reached farther than her left. That explained her crooked stance.

"You know," she said. "if you intend to stare, then do so with your mouth closed and keep the drool off the wood."

I blinked, taken aback by the sudden lash, and too busy berating myself to see her smiling as she looked at me.

"Bane is it?" she asked.

I looked at her and nodded, "It is."

She hummed, "James talks about you often."

I swallowed and turned back to the water out of pure insecurity about what to say to that. Was that a good thing, or something to be ashamed of?

"Says you're a love sick puppy over that piece of shit he calls a first mate," she said, and I shot her a glare. "Between all the praising that is."

"Love sick," I shook my head and chuckled. "That's what he calls it."

"No," she said. "I simply read between the lines."

"Ah," I frowned. "Why does that seem to concern you?"

She didn't respond, instead sharing a frown of her own and turning away to fiddle with the ties of her shirt. There was a small charm hanging from a cord around her neck there that I'd seen her wear constantly. A small, metal dolphin.

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