"Denizen, you rotten cutthroat!" Kaly yelled from under the pirate. Her voice was only slightly muffled by the floor. "Get off of me or I'll–"
"Or you'll what?" Denizen snarled. "Throw a cantrip at me?" He glanced at Adheera, but the other female only stared with wide eyes; she did not approach. He returned his attention to the healer beneath his knee. "I could crush you before you breathed another word if you raised your blade again."
Kaly stilled. Denizen knew she could still fight, if she must; he'd sparred with her often enough over the years, and watched her do tricks he could never match. And he hadn't attempted to injure her; h
"All hands!" Fahd called. "Storm brewing! All hands on deck. You, too, rookie," he said to Jericho, son of the late merchant captain Remington. "Go help with the rigging."
"Yes, sir," the youth replied. He ran to do as ordered.
Denizen climbed out of the hold. "How are the skies?"
"Blacker than the bottom of the devil's heart, Captain," Fahd replied. "I've only seen the skies like this in the desert storms."
Fahd gripped the railing and peered out, trying to see with his night-born eyes what the rest of the crew could not. "The storm is between us and port! Might be we could sail around it in four days–"
"We may n
"What do you seek?" Denizen muttered. He resisted the urge to pace, and he glared out at the other ship as though it were to blame for his present immobility.
Pacing would mean struggling with the gods-damned robe that kept wrapping itself around his legs. Tripping over it, possibly, or simply opening it to expose his scales to the air.
To expose his scales to the sun. The other crew must've seen his ship hidden beneath these cliffs. Even in the evening light, only a blind man could miss so large a ship. But they couldn't know whose ship it was. Not yet. They couldn't know that The Deep waited for them. Letting that light reflect off his sc
The merchant Remington shifted his feet. He tried to keep his eyes on the ship's course, but he found his gaze pulled towards the straits.
He didn't know why he was here. He had no business along this stretch of coastline, no dealings with the things that sailed these parts.
He was no coward to run from danger, but right now he wanted nothing more than to return to the island. To see his son safely back with the boy's wife and daughter.
But his esteemed passenger had other ideas.
"Steady, captain," the councilor said. "You can sail those cliffs, can't you?"
"The cliffs aren't the trouble," Remington replied. "Sir," he added after a momen