“Don’t leave. Not yet.” It was more of a request than a demand. It disarmed him somewhat. Was the tone, pleading?
                “But—“he didn’t know quite what to say, so he blurted his fears out, “—why ain’t you just killed me already?”
                “There’s little profit to be made in a dead body,” he averted his gaze then, “well, in most circumstances.” He knew exactly what that meant. Once he stopped being a profit, then he would be disposed of. Simeon did not like being used. He sat down anyway.
                Looking around he could see but a few patrons. He hadn’t realised they’d been watching him. But when he looked their way, they suddenly resumed conversations. Doubtless if he tried anything, they’d slit his throat and dumb his body in the sea without anybody so much as coughing in protest. Who cared about the life of a pirate anyway?
                The man finally let go of his arm, obviously seeing the decision made in Simeon’s eyes. And then all the questions hit him like high tide. Yet he knew they’d just crash against the shore and do nothing. This fella was clearly not in much mood for reminiscing.
                “Relax. Nothing will happen to you whilst I’m here.” Finally, the barmaid came over with a strip of cloth to clean up the spillage. He spoke around her like she wasn’t there. “But we should make this quite quick.” Every word of his seemed to beget more questions in Simeons mind, but he restrained. The sooner he was out of this, the happier he would be.
                “Agreed, I have customers to sell to.” He snorted at this, and drained the rest of the tankard, slamming it onto the ground. The barmaid picked it up. She was a pretty thing, and on any other night, he would have made a move on her already.
                “Please, who do you think you’re talking to.” He finally finished laughing. “You were always a funny guy.” And just like that, his face dropped. “No, I have a business opportunity for you, which could make us very rich—“
                “—us?” it came out involuntarily, but it sparked a little hope in him.
                “Indeed. Like I said, there’s profit in you, and I treat my associates well. I find it gets the best out of them.” The waitress came back, two more tankards in hand. “Drink.” He ordered. This time Simeon didn’t hesitate. He downed half the tankard in one gulp and wiped his mouth
                “So what’s it to be?” he questioned, using the ale’s fire for extra confidence. “Royal warship? Merchant convoy? Diplomatic fleet?” each as outlandish as the next, but how else would they get rich? He drank the rest. It went straight to his head and he had to steady himself. Damned if he did the job, damned if he didn’t, so why not just get pissed and have done with?
                A few moments passed by in silence. Simeon belched and grunted in impatience. The man continued to look at him with a coy smile. Only the barmaid broke the silence.
                “Anything else Garrin?” she asked.
                And finally, he spoke. “No thankyou,” he nodded her away and then focused on Simeon. “None of those.” He whispered. He leaned in to say the rest, and Simeon found himself doing the same. “We’re going to take advantage of the King’s tournament.” 

The End

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