"He wanted to lead his men into battle. He wanted his deeds to be remembered, like those of his father and his grandfather before him. He wanted victory and fame.

Until, one day, he met a woman who challenged everything he believed in, a woman who made a difference. And his life was never the same."

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Thyrias pulled Lyssia with him, over to the side of the ship. Dismay crossed his face. The two ships were now too far apart for them to jump. Only a rope could help them cross, but they did not have the time to find one.

Thyrias shoved her hastily behind him as another pirate jumped him. Lyssia gasped and shut her eyes, wishing this were over. It looked like they would be trapped on the pirate ship, for the distance between the pirates and the northern raiders widened with every minute that passed. She wished that Thyrias had never come for her.

The ship lurched beneath them, almost throwing them off their feet. The pirate Thyrias was fighting landed on his back, and Thyrias took full advantage. He put a hand around Lyssia’s waist again and dragged her over the fallen pirate. She clung to him, wondering where he was taking her. Why would he risk himself for her? She was only a captive.

Thyrias stopped. He uttered a low exclamation under his breath, and she followed the direction of his gaze. The northern raider ships were only a few feet away, coming straight for the pirate vessel. Their steel-rimmed prows glinted in the light of the sun.

He ran over to the side of the ship and pulled her up beside him. Lyssia cast a glance down at the water below them, and her heart sank. She could not swim.

“Hold onto me,” Thyrias ordered. Then he leapt, taking her with him.