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“I could kill him,” he said quietly, fingering the point of his knife. “Slit his throat in the night and heave his body overboard. Nobody would be any the wiser.”

She sighed as she dipped a cloth in a bowl of water and dabbed it on his back.

“That wouldn’t help any,” she whispered. “They’d think of you straight off. The rest of them would turn on you as soon as he was missed.”

He winced at the touch of the cloth.

“Valid point,” he admitted. “Captain goes missing they’d look at the last man he whipped.”

She rinsed blood from the cloth and carried on. “Besides which, the rest of the crew think I’m bad luck. Without the captain to order them otherwise…”

“He wants you for himself,” he said, clenching his fists. “I’ve seen the way he looks at you.”

She leaned forward and gently kissed his cheek. “Well he can’t have me. Now put your knife down. There are better ways to get revenge. Slower, subtler ones.”

She stood up and cupped her hands around his face, his beard bristling against her palms.

“You don’t mean-”

She smiled and hushed him with a kiss.

“Oh, I won’t kill him,” she said. “I’ll make sure he has plenty of time to ponder the error of his ways. Better still, we’ll be safe ashore before he ever realises his doom.”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: The Three Word Wednesday prompts this week are Heave, Ponder and Valid.)