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"We couldn't have planned better weather," Fallon said. Her musical voice held satisfaction rather than reproach, and Rhea allowed herself to relax under the weight of Fallon's touch.
"Yes, milady. Perfect."
"We'll round the cape long before Tremont wakes to find their princeling missing."
For that, Rhea had no response. As a new conscript to Gabby's crew--and glad of it, she reminded herself--she had no say in how Fallon conducted ship's business. Her lot in life now, somewhat similar to what it had it been at the abbey, was to follow orders with a glad heart.
Her silence prompted the captain to exert a gentle pressure on her arm and turn her toward the ship's aft deck. "This is where your job begins, my foundling. Our prisoner is your charge until his ransom's paid, so go and tend him. Keep him calm and quiet. I so hate to hear a man whimpering, or worse cursing, through the night. He'll be waking soon and starting to demand things, as the wealthy always do."
Rhea's stomach knotted beneath her tunic, and she pressed a palm to her belly to ease the discomfort. The nursemaid skills the sisters at Carnatta had taught her made her a logical choice to care for the Gabrielle's crew members on the rare occasion one of Fallon's hardy followers was hurt or ill, but Rhea saw this assignment as more punishment than privilege. An angry lord would treat her as a servant no doubt, and being associated with the pirates who'd drugged his tavern drink and absconded with him in the middle of the night would certainly earn her no more than his contempt.
She stifled a sigh and gave Fallon a sidelong glance. The captain's golden hair glittered in themoonlight, and her eyes flashed with mischief.
"Aye, milady. I'll care for him as best he permits me."
Fallon winked at her and patted her behind to move her along to her chore. "If he's rude to you, call Tessa in to discipline him. She'll enjoy it, and he'll learn proper manners quick enough with his cock in a vice." Fallon laughed, tucked her thumbs into her belt and whirled away to survey her ship.
Rhea winced at the idea of torturing the prisoner. The sisters had taught her not even to step on the meal worms that left their larvae in the bottom of the grain bins in the abbey's cellar. Every living creature, so they said, even those deemed a nuisance to man--or woman--should be treated with kindness. She doubted kindness to the captured lord would result in anything more than his disdain, but in order to please her captain, Rhea vowed to do her best. Hopefully it would be sufficient to keep their prisoner amenable to the situation, or she had no doubt there'd be a place for her in the brig right along with him.