Kaz urged the boys towards Halse. “Go on. Halse’s not all that bad.”
He sauntered off to distribute bowls and joke with the other crewmembers. Halse tapped a ladle indecisively on the rim of the pot, looking the two of them up and down.
“Come on, Olivette. Feed the kids or take it up with the Captain.”
“Watch it, Bowman.” She pointed the ladle at Shay. “You first, sunshine.”
Cyprus shoved Shay to move. The other boy gave the pirate his best cheeky grin, and Halse spooned out a dribble of thin, greenish stew for him along with some misshapen bits of meat.
“Think you’re as charming as Kaz pretends he is,” she said, portioning some for Cyprus and then for Kaz, too. “I ought to whack you now and spare myself the trouble.”
–Elyan White, “To Those Who Seek Sirens”