I passed out as soon as I knew my Krewe was safe. My parting orders to the Krewe was to watch the new comers and make sure that they didn't try anything funny. Then I went to sleep, The next day, I woke up to the sound of fighting all around. I stormed out of my Captain's chambers and found that the 2 newest additions to my ship had already found themselves in hot water. "What in the hell is going on out here?" I shouted. The Krewe turned to me in a panic, looking at the bloody hole in my shirt, I suppose they were expecting to find me dead this morning, after all I was stabbed in the side last night. But I walked just as plain as day, and from their vantage point could see through the hole in my shirt and see that whatever stab wound was there was no more.The 2 newest members of my Krewe had already found themselves in hot water with the rest of my Krewe. Apparently they were all upset that this new woman killed their Captain. But me walking out of my quarters stopped the argument in its tracks. Feeling half drunk I staggered towards the frey. "And now some answers from the 2 of you." I questioned them about who they were and what they were good at, and if they were willing to work on my ship. I would have dropped them off at the next bit of land we saw if they had told me no, but I think they both knew that I was willing to help as long as they were. In truth I bore no ill will to the woman who stabbed me, I would have done the same thing in her position. I found out that his name was Asher and hers was Kit and they weren't a couple as I had previously thought, they were marooned shipmates and were looking for their next connection. That just so happened was the barkeep that Viktor so mercilessly killed the night before. I welcomed them to my ship and talk them they were more than welcome to stay and work on my ship but that they would be expected to work just as hard as anyone else and the fact that they were new wasn't going to help them. Asher told me he could be of service to me as a chaplain and that kit could cook. I was glad to have a cook on board finally, but told him I had no need of a chaplain, God wasn't found on my ship but he if he could sail and navigate I could use him, he agreed to that much. He grinned at me every so often and held tight to his battle bible. They blended into my Krewe well, they worked hard and they never complained although I could hear Asher from time to time comment on my previous life. Asher had begun to preach quietly on slow days to some of my krewe who still believed that there was a God in heaven. I never hung around long enough to listen, I'd always storm back to my quarters usually mumbling obscenties about the idiocy of faith. But we went on this way for what seemed like forever, becoming a close knit family as I had hoped my ship would become. Greg and Missy got married at port in the islands by Asher a year after they first stepped foot on my boat, Kraven and Wulf were already married, but they had a real celebration a month after Greg and Missy's wedding. Kit complained to me a lot about being single and wishing for some company other than mine and Asher's. "Lu'a, why don't you ever feel the same needs as me?" Kit was all to curious about why I never felt the need to get close to men. "Ahh Kit Love it's a long story but it ends sadly. Let's just say that I did love once and he died and I don't feel the need to go searching for it again." That ended Kit's questioning but not Asher's. He would find me late at night while I sat on the Moorhead of my boat, staring off into the sea and he would ask me all sorts of things about the life I'd lead. I tried to ignore him for the most part, not giving him any of the answers he seemed all to desperate for. But one night changed it all for me and for my Krewe, the day that Wulf and Kraven left us. She'd been sick for days at sea and when I realized that she was too far gone for me to fix I headed for the nearest port city with a good doctor. A day later we pulled into a small Irish port and took Kraven ashore. An hour passed in the doctor's room and we got nothing. No word no sounds not one single bit for anyone to hear. Wulf paced up and down the hallway non stop, sweat beading on his forehead, hands wringing nervously the whole time. I'd never seen the man so shaken and he and I and the rest of the Krewe had seen the worst of times together. This day had shaken us all to the core. Seconds ticked by like hours waiting for some sign that Kraven would live. Then the doctor emerged. "She's fine, she's just with child that's all." A group sigh of relief came, but sadness followed. THe doctor told us that she could not go back to sea, that her and the child needed rest and that they would have to stay in that little irish town. I gave them as much gold as we could stand to part with and found them a little house not far from town. We all stayed in port long enough to settle them into their house and make sure they had everything they needed to raise their baby and then we left. Everyone else teared up but I said my good byes and without so much as another word I headed out the door and back to my ship. The Krewe followed shortly after and we made our way out of port. I made everyone work twice as hard, we had contracts to fill and we were now days behind. I lashed out at everyone, pushing them day and night to get our work done. I didn't sleep for 18 days while we completed the contracts for the king. When we pulled into our English port for delivery of the goods the King had requested, I was overcome by sleep. When I woke, the dawn had yet to break over the horizon, and we were still in dock. Asher came into my room. "Lu'a," he said in a soft tone "Lu'a we need to talk." "What Asher, and make it quick." "Well the Krewe is a little worried about you and unhappy. You've been working us like dogs around the clock for almost a month, since Kraven and Wulf left. We aren't you slaves and we need a break. Can't we just stay in port for a while, enjoy the favor that we have gained from the King. Everyone is dead on their feet, including you." "Well Asher you are free to do as you please, so is the rest of the Krewe if you want to stay in port then stay, but this ship sails tomorrow morning. More work to be done more contracts to be filled." "Lu'a I know you're hurting inside, but you can't hide from everything at sea, you'll have to face these demons you run from before too long or they will kill you." His words hit me hard. They burned me right to the core, I knew he was right. But I couldn't face them yet. "Asher I'm not running from anything! I am trying to keep us all fed, if you don't like it stay in port other wise shut your damned mouth and get to work!!" With that he left my room, and slammed the door. I did, however give thought to the fact that my Krewe was unhappy and needed the rest so I gave them a week in port and access to all the gold that they had earned. I told them that they had 7 days and I didn't care what they did so long as they stayed out of trouble and were back on my ship at dawn on the 8th day. They cheered as they gathered their things and left the ship for a little bit of merriment. Everyone left the ship but me. I knew there would be no joy to be found in this port, or any other. The man I loved was dead and I'd never feel that fire again. After I thought that everyone was gone I finally let the sadness have me. Tears ran down my face as I thought of Kraven and Wulf happy with their child, living and loving everyday- something I would never find. A life that wasn't meant for me. I cried hard and loudly thinking no one was around. No one but Asher. He found me crying on the moorhead of my ship well after dark. "Lu'a what's wrong? Are you hurt?" Furious that he had seen me like this."Nothing get the hell out of here,I thought I'd ordered you all off my ship!" He ignored me " Here take this." He offered up a hankerchief. I took it and began to wipe my tears away, he stopped my shaking hand and did it for me. The feeling of his hand on my face stirred something in me, a longing that I thought was long dead. The feeling of desire, of wanting something, someone. I looked at him and for the first time really saw him. A handsome man, green eyes and dark hair, skin that was kissed by the sun. He was beautiful and I wanted him. But there was no way a man of God could ever want a woman like me, one who'd been a whore and a killer, not that he knew some of those things. But I couldn't let myself fall for him like I'd fallen for Zane, so I let the fire I felt turn to rage, and he was going to burn in it for this.