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Cold rain continued to fall without reprieve. Unrelenting, merciless in it’s intent to turn the ship into a water logged vessel of pure misery. Every inch of the ship was soaked, saturated to the point where the water just sat unabsorbed, there was no possibility that it could get any wetter. The sails hung limply, soggy patches of white against the dark sky. This was not the time to fight the waves or force direction. This was a time to grip the helm and hold on, staying upright the only goal.
Shane’s hands were wrinkled prunes and Bette felt the cold dampness down to her very bones. It was her turn at the wheel, her feet planted, her eyes scanning the horizon and skyline. All she saw was white capped waves, dark clouds and streaks of lightening.
“I’d be drier if I lived in the bottom of the sea…” Passing a bottle of rum to the Captain, Shane squeezed out her hat, plopping it back on her head with a grimace.
“You’d be warmer too. Fuck…” Bette took a long draught from the bottle, the bite from the liquor moving down her throat nicely.
And on and on it went, no end in sight… dark and stormy, lightening off in the distance and thunder rumbling overhead. The ship valiantly met each drop with all the gusto Bette demanded of it. Cresting another wave, the bow rose high then came crashing down on the other side and Bette felt the pull of the rope around her waist to keep her onboard.
There was no time to dry out, no time to sleep, no time to take a break. She missed the sun, she missed being warm, but mostly she missed Tina. Missed her with a yearning in her heart that ate at her insides, her own dark cloud over her head. Gulping hot coffee with a splash of rum, she urged her trusty crew on, determined that today would not be the day her ship sank.
When she could, she made time to check on the blonde every few hours, worried more than she could say about the arrow injury and Tina’s fragile heart. Killing Sir William unraveled the healer, this Bette knew. Tina had never killed before. And it ate at her like an insidious poison, this Bette knew as well.