Blessed tried to keep the look of betrayal
off her face. It wasn't the first time Constance had set her up to do something she most certainly didn't want to do, and it wouldn't be the last time either. Besides, Blessed wouldn't have to win the fight–she'd just throw it before it got bad. They couldn't very well beat the pirate group bloody before they got on the ship. That would set Plan B, kill everyone, in motion way too fast.
They had to try to finish this the right way at least. Even if that would end with Blessed getting chucked off the boat and Pierce and Constance commandeering the ship on their own. Constance was a powerful mage and a skilled fighter. She'd protect herself and take care of Pierce.
Blessed was still incredibly uneasy about leaving them be.
Thought the Big Pirate was their de facto leader, it seemed, she couldn't take her eyes off the jerk who was holding Pierce. The Brawny Pirate strangling Pierce's collar had the look of a man who'd just gotten a free dinner. The rest of the group traded elbow blows, sniggering like there was some kind of inside joke. There was, Blessed supposed, to them. Getting picked up and taken in as slaves was the plan, though.
For a moment, Blessed felt that she couldn't wait to wipe that smile off his face. He was holding Pierce like a sack of potatoes, like he was worth so little when he meant so much. She clenched her fists. If they did get in a fight, she'd have to hold back enough that he didn't get knocked unconscious.
That was a lot, but she knew she could do it. And she knew she could still make it hurt.
Blessed was shocked at herself. She didn't like the feeling of wanting to inflict damage on someone else. She was caught between her horror at hurting anyone and her desire to protect her friends and her duty to complete their mission. Blessed had never felt so at odds.
The feeling was unbalancing, to say the least.
Blessed panicked for half a second after the Big Pirate's question. Had she already forgotten? But no, she remembered, thankfully.
"We were trying to get to Lexelle," Blessed said, relief in her voice. Relief at remembering the plan, but if they thought it was because she imagined they would help the castaways, so much the better. "Anywhere is better than here, though. Wherever you were going is fine for us."
Never seen a lass like me, Blessed thought, feeling her face turning redder. They were mocking her. She had expected it, but the blow still cut deep. They were just pirates, she thought. They didn't matter to her. What mattered was that the Pirate dropped Pierce, that the mission would go well, that they all came out of this alive.
Blessed bit her lip. Her insides churned uneasily. She was a woman. And she was stronger than any of these guys. She didn't have to be worried.
But she really, really was.