Chapter Twenty- Six

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Lord Fitton watched concerned as Claremont absentmindedly rubbed where he'd been shot

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Lord Fitton watched concerned as Claremont absentmindedly rubbed where he'd been shot. It had been a few months since the incident. Claremont was healing up nicely although he'd be permanently scarred. Lord Fitton was glad that he was doing so well although he did not look forward to the day when Claremont would begin resuming his old duties. Having grown quite accustom to his daily presence.

"Giving you trouble is it?"

Clara looked up from her sketch of Lord Fitton's latest find, and looked at him confused.

"Your arm. You were rubbing it again. Does it still ache?"

Clara shrugged. It did at times. It had become a good storm predictor but other than that she was just grateful to be alive and not in deep trouble. She had earned the respect of the crew. She in fact was treated almost like a royalty and the thought made her smile.

Fitton's breath caught in his throat and he busied himself with his papers suddenly. Maybe it was best that Claremont resumed his cabin boy duties. Fitton found himself getting far too attached. There was a knock on the door and Fitton bade whoever was on the other side to enter, grateful for the interruption.

Sturgis came in and Fitton said, "Time to eat already?" Sturgis always came to collect Claremont at the same time each day. Claremont had already begun helping the cook with meals for the officers. Fitton sighed. "Very well, Sturgis. Claremont, off you go."

Clara hesitated. She was almost done but knew there was no way to argue her point and rose to collect her things. She took the set of drawing pencils, watercolors, and charcoals that Lord Fitton had given her as a gift and placed them in the bag she used to carry them all and placed it over her shoulder. As much as she enjoyed the artwork she longed to write again.

What a tale she could tell. In the few months she had been aboard the Whispering Wind she had learned so much, her experiences had increased ten fold. She took Sturgis' arm and he lead her out of Lord Fitton's room. She sometimes wondered if Lord Fitton suspected that she was not a man. The way that he looked at her when he believed her engrossed with her work made her ache for Benjamin, but she quickly disregarded her feelings as ridiculous.

"The Captain wishes to see you," Sturgis said as they made their way through the ship.

"Me?" Clara whispered, "Whatever for?"

"Can't say. Don't know," Sturgis said.

If Sturgis could see Clara's face he'd wonder at her frown. "Now?" she asked.

"Yes."

Clara sighed. She guessed she couldn't put it off. It was inevitable that they would have to speak again, so to speak. Redgrave hasn't said but a few words to her over the last few months. She stood quietly by when the officers ate, serving whatever needs they had. He was getting her progress reports from Doc so he'd be aware that she was doing much better.

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