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Christina smiled despite herself. “I was all out of crushed souls, so I used dashed dreams instead…”
“Ah, that’s what the aftertaste is….” Bette looked into the bottom of her now empty mug and glanced up to catch the amused expression on the blonde’s face and she laughed then snorted, making them both chuckle.
Lady Christina reached to take the empty mug and Bette fumbled with the buttons on her blouse, but with the bandaged hand she could not work the small circles through the holes. Christina put the mug down and helped undo the blouse, looking curiously at the brunette.
“It’s wet… and bloody… and probably smells… definitely smells….God, I fucking disgust myself,” Bette said, pulling the shirt off and trying to stand, but sinking back down to the bed when a new wave of nausea hit her.
Lady Christina took the white blouse and balled it up, moving to the chest at the foot of the bed to dig through until she found a man’s black button up shirt. She approached the brunette and helped her put it on, buttoning it up before stepping back, unsure of what to do next.
Bette looked at her, “I beg you not to speak of tonight to anyone, I have a reputation to uphold. If the crew knew how… if the crew knew…” She ended her sentence there, trusting the Lady to know her meaning. “I do thank you for your assistance.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Lady Christina replied and it was true. She had no desire to tell anyone about this strange night and wanted time to process the conflicting emotions evoked by the Captain. She yawned, covering her mouth with the back of the hand and running her hands through her hair.
Bette looked at her, “I know you are exhausted, please… lay back down while the moon is still high. I promise you nothing but safety while you sleep…”
And Tina believed her, nodding as she returned to her side of the bed. She lay facing the brunette, wanting to keep an eye on her if she needed something. Bette managed to get to her feet and stumble just outside the door to the stern of the ship where the Captain’s restroom was located. Christina heard the murmur of voices and Shane peeked into to look at her, but withdrew quickly.
Bette returned without incident and lay carefully on the other side of the bed, also facing the blonde.
Lady Christina was already asleep, or pretending to be, and for the first time Bette was given time to study her would be healer. There was a faint bruise on the left cheekbone and the Lady was far too thin for one of her lineage, suggesting rough treatment while in the care of Lord Bates.
Bette decided she would make his life miserable for the next four days, he should pay for every missed meal and insult to the tiny blonde. She closed her eyes while thinking of possible humiliations for the nobleman, falling asleep to the rhythmic breathing of Lady Christina.