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"She's not to be trusted." Jeremiah Smith was leaning against the wall, just inside of Raider's cabin door. The maps Liberty had left, spread out on the large table, several of the Captain's crew, including his first mate, Issac Burgess, standing around discussing the Eastern venture.

Raider was standing, hands on the table for balance and glared across the room at the gruff looking pirate.

The thin, bearded man came away from the wall and took a step toward the gathering. "Have ye forgotten what she did at Saint Mary's? Nearly got us all hung, she did!" He had been picking at his dirt-filled nails with a bent nail and used it to mimic slicing his neck from ear to ear. "She's evil as they come, and ye well know it."

"Mind yer tongue, Smith." Burgess turned on the man.

"Hold!" Raider stood up. "Let him have his say." And motioned to Smith to continue.

Jeremiah stopped in his tracks, focus darting between his Captain and the first mate. He started to speak, mouth open, the nail in his hand forgotten, but thought better of it.

"Come, man. Ye have some words of wisdom to be told? A bit of advice to be laid on the table?" Raider crossed huge muscled arms over his chest. "Pray, tell us more of that night."

"I mean no disrespect, Capt'n. But StarCastle has a dangerous jealous streak that can turn on a man when she ain't bein' the prime piece." He grinned, looking to the others to support his claim. "She'd have yer balls nailed to the gallows that night, had she had her way, and almost did." Another look around the room only to be met with silent stares. "Ye hardly had time to hitch up her britches and..."

"Enough!" Burgess was in the smaller man's face, his dagger drawn, the tip of the deadly blade under Smith's hairy chin. "That was two bloody years ago, dog! The Capt'n don't need you tellin' him..."

"He's right." Raider eased down into the large chair, leaning back to contemplate Smith's reminder of that night. Indeed he'd have been swingin' by morning, necked stretched had his men not been alerted of the trouble Liberty had created for him when she stole into the middle of an honest, and very profitable bedding. He did need to consider her wild nature when she did not get her way. Still, he pondered the proposal, taking Smith's concerns into on...

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The Canopy Pirates
Ile de Torture ~ Tales of Pirates and Buccaneers

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