“It is required by the code that I kill any privateers I
come into contact with—a waste, really. You were brave.”
Barren moved his arm back and thrust the blade toward the
young lord. Larkin moved quickly, snatching Leaf’s cutlass from his hand, she
deflected Barren's sword and stood between the two.
“No!” she cried fiercely. “You will spare him!”
“You do not command me!” Barren’s voice was deadly.
“What would you gain from his death?”
“He cannot be trusted!”
“You've spent all your life killing the wrong people! How
many more lives will you take to pay for one?”
Barren let his blade fall to his side. His gaze seared
her, and he could tell she was afraid. Her eyes were wide, and she breathed
heavily, but her hands tightened on the hilt of Leaf’s blade. For a moment, he
wanted to end her life. Then he would have no more interferences, but he knew
he couldn’t. He took a step toward her, eyes narrowing.
“Move,” he commanded. Larkin glared up at him and shook
her head. Barren tightened his jaw.
“It's okay, Larkin,” she heard Jonathan's voice. “Move.”
Barren watched as she turned to face Jonathan. Because
she was distracted, Leaf was able to reach forward and pull her away from the
scene, ripping the blade from her hands. Barren
stepped forward, repositioned himself before the man and pointed the sword at
Jonathan’s neck. All Barren had to do was push ever so slightly and blood would
pool on the ground, a terrible gurgling sound that would fill the air. Larkin
would scream—scream that he was a monster. Only now, she would see it, she
would really know it.