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To her right slouched Shane, First Mate, enforcer of rules and order. She spoke with the Captain’s voice and was never questioned. Bette trusted Shane above all others, giving her full rein to command her ships and order her men and women. Shane was devoted, many and more had tried to find the weak link in their relationship, to bribe, to blackmail, to threaten Shane into treachery. All had died, most publicly. A few so horribly Candace shuttered to think about it.
To her left sat Alice, The Whisperer, collector of gossip and rumors and hearsay. More people died from the news Alice collected than from battle as they sailed from port to port, everyone eager to earn good favor by murmuring in that vixen’s ear. She had an uncanny nose to sniff out the truth, lying to her was as costly as betraying Bette.
Alice never forgot a face and rewarded handsomely those whose information yielded good results. She was the one whose information opened castles without bloodshed, negotiated trades with mongrels and tyrants, ignored royal bloodlines to produce a bastard heir at the last moment. She did it all to build wealth, lift Bette’s group higher, stir up trouble.
Carmen was there too, her back to the wall and her eyes watching every newcomer that walked through the door, every person that came close to Bette was scrutinized and assessed. She sat with her foot up on her chair, her thigh high boots made of soft leather and her eyes like ice. She wore large hoop earrings, her blouse scandalously low cut and she preferred red lipstick and dark eyeshadow. Carmen was a stone cold killer, they all were, but Carmen used poison, death by a thousand cuts.
She was fucking Shane, Candace knew, the only woman brave enough to let Carmen touch her. Carmen’s touch could mean one’s quick demise. Most of her victims never knew it was coming until she was long gone but she could also act quickly, a piercing of the skin when she shook hands could result in death seconds later.
Then there was Dana, with a quiver of arrows slung casually over her back, her bow within reach. The Archer. She was easy going, smiley, friendly… until battle was called. Candace had seen Dana pierce the throats of three men in line for battle with a single arrow across the bow of two ships. All were dead before they knew the life had been taken from them. She was deadly with her arrow, skilled at thievery and dangerously unafraid. And she did it all with a smile.