Author Topic: BARATARIA  (Read 24288 times)

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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2008, 07:56:06 PM »
Andre awoke the next morn, the rock of the ship let him know that they were once again underway, but was it still toward the goal he had set for Le Faucon de Mer? He certainly hoped so, too much of the future was riding on this single prize now to allow one silly skirmish with that dog Lafitte to let it go. The loss of this one bit of plunder would set them back years to say the least and how would he be able to explain his unexpected absence to Benjamin and Aaron?

He felt Caesaire nestled in his arm, her head resting on his chest, her own soft arms around him. Only the sweet rhythmic warmth of her breath on his skin told him that she yet slept. “Forgive me for putting you through that, Mon amore.” He thought to himself. “I would never have had you endure such fear, but I knew I would not be able to leave you here either.” He smiled with satisfaction, at the least now both he and Jean knew what the outcome of a fair fight between them would be. All bravado aside, he was never sure who would win, until this duel.

His head still throbbed slightly and he reached around to tenderly feel the goose egg on the back of his skull. Wincing as his fingers set off a fresh stab of pain he hoped Francois, or one of the others had killed the cowardly pig who had struck him from behind. As it was it would most likely be a few days before he could comfortably wear his hat again. Gently he tried to slide out from Caesaire’s grasp, only to have her grip him even harder in her sleep, a slight frown wrinkling her brow as she moaned negatively.

The tender smile that graced his lips would have spoken volumes had any been there to witness it. Even asleep she was unwilling to give him up for a moment and Andre had little doubt the duel on the beach had much to do with steeling her resolve. He sighed happily and idly stroked her hair. How long had he dreamed of being hers? That was an easy one to answer. Since the moment he realized that his feelings for Sebastian’s cousin were far deeper than even he had realized. Perhaps even from the moment she had given him the little paper heart as a child.

Gladly he would have lain there in her comforting arms, but there was too much to do now that Lafitte had forced this little diversion on them. He had to make sure they were still on the course he had set for them, and there was still the matter of Garnier DePaul to settle. While he had been a bit surprised to see his old captain in the long boat He was not at all sure why. Was it some deception of Jean’s to gain a spy on board his ship? He had to find out just what had transpired on the beach while he was unconscious.

He attempted to replace his body with the huge feather pillow, only to have it fail as he had known it would. No sooner had he traded places with the headrest than Caesaire’s soft blue eyes fluttered open. “Mon amore?” She sleepily looked up to see him standing at the bedside. “Come back to bed, Cher. You should not be up and about yet!”

Andre smiled as he leaned down to kiss her tenderly on her forehead. “I’m afraid I must, Cheri.” He whispered softly, his heart pounding with the love he felt for her. “There is much that I must attend to before we overtake our prize. Assuming we can overtake them now. That dog Lafitte may just have cost us time we could ill afford.”

“But your head.” She protested.

Andre winked, running the back of one ringed finger gently down her cheek. “It is nothing, Cheri. I’ve suffered worse over the past few years. To let a little bump hold me down now would be a fool’s folly. Besides I promise to do nothing more taxing than talk.”

“Very well, Cheri.” She slid from the bed and wrapped her arms around him. “But I must insist on going with you.”

“I would not have it any other way, Mon Amore.” Andre smiled lowering his lips to hers.

Garnier stood at the starboard rail with John Hubbard. He stroked the polished wood in admiration. “I’ll give Andre this, John.” He grinned. “He has certainly kept his vessel in top form. She shows barely a days wear. If I did not know otherwise, I would guess her to be fresh from the shipyard.”

“Aye.” John nodded. “Ye know as well as I just how fanatic he be about keepin’ things ship shape, so ta speak. Until Caesaire showed back up in his life, this ship be the closest thing the man had to a true love.”

DePaul laughed aloud, drawing a bit of unwanted attention from many of the rest of the crew. “All too true, Mate. Never saw a lad turn down so many women in my life, especially for a Frenchman. Unless he paid them for their services he ignored their very existence.”

“And now we both know why.” John grinned. “I swear I thought the lass were goin’ ta slit Lafitte’s throat then and there!”

“Had Andre not moaned and diverted her attention, I believe she would have.” The former captain of the Hazard scowled thoughtfully.

“Indeed, she would have.” Hubbard confirmed. “She knows it not, but with that one act she laid any thought the rest of us had about her allegiance to rest. With a vengeance.”

From the corner of his eye Garnier noted the hard stares some of Le Faucon de Mer’s crew were aiming in his direction. “It would seem that I am the one under suspicion now.” He noted ruefully.

“Aye, perhaps from the rest of the crew, and maybe Jaquie.” The quartermaster paused to relight his pipe. “From Francois, Etienne, and I? Not a prayer. We know how ye felt about the lad. He were as much a son ta ye as if he were born from yer very flesh. Besides, ye know the kind of loyalty Captain Beaudouin can inspire in a man.”

Garnier DePaul chuckled again. “Oui. He never knew it, but he almost took the captain with him the day he took Le Faucon de Mer for his own.”

“And ye never knew how much it pained him ta go agin’ ye.” John stared DePaul dead in the eye. “It were the only part o’ the mutiny he has ever regretted.

At that moment the door beneath the quarter deck opened and Andre emerged into the evening sunlight, Caesaire’s arm hooked through his. His hair, neatly combed and held in place by a fresh burgundy silk headscarf, flowed over his shoulders. He had shaved and groomed himself before setting foot on the deck. Only his cavalier’s hat was missing.

Caesaire was also refreshed by the bath and clean black silk dress that she wore. Strangely enough it complimented the pirate’s gear she had put on as well. She smiled, thinking of how she had proven to Andre that the copper tub would indeed hold two as easily as it would hold one. A pity duty called as hard as it did. Things had nearly gotten out of hand during the horse play they had engaged in as they bathed each other.

The cheer that arose from the crew as they became aware of their captain’s presence was all the proof DePaul needed to understand the truth of John Hubbard’s words. It was one thing to command the respect of your crew, it was another to command their love as well. He felt pride well up within him. Andre had learned his teachings far better than he could have hoped for.

Andre smiled and bowed before turning his attention to the navigator. “Mr. Randal! What be our present heading?”

“Nor’ by Nor’ East, Captain!” The grinning Englishman shouted back and Andre breathed an inward sigh of relief at the news. They were still on course towards the prey.

“Well done, lads!” He shouted loudly for all to hear. “Our best speed now and one of you villains get below to bring up a keg of our best rum!” A second cheer rose from the deck and riggings as he turned to John and Garnier. “John. Fetch Francois and Etienne, we will meet in your cabin. Garnier, if you will come with me, we have much to discuss.”

“Aye, Captain!” John saluted and left to round up Andre’s other two friends. Garnier DePaul walked over to stand in front of Andre and bowed.

“Lead on, Captain Beaudouin.” He said filled with pride at the ease his former cabin boy handled himself in front of the men. “I shall surely follow.”

As they left the deck to go below several of Le Faucon de Mer’s crew secretly placed bets as to whether or not he would return alive.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2008, 08:02:40 PM by Blackjack Roberts »

Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2008, 07:13:13 PM »
"You are NOT going without us!"
Andre turned to see Jacqui and Caesaire standing there both tapping their boots impatiently.
Caesaire stood nose to nose with Andre. But only because he bent down to look into her blue eyes.

Garnier de Paul had tried to hide his smile. He had heard about Christophe Trosclair's little girl and what a handful she was. Jean certainly bit off more than he could chew when he took up with her. De Paul had seen her around the blacksmith shop when she had come to deliver her goods by the back way. Though Lafitte had never introduced them, he remembered tipping her hat to her and she always rewarded him with a smile.
From what de Paul had seen on the beach, he wondered if Mademoiselle Trosclair was more than Andre Beaudouin could handle. Somehow he thought that Andre was up for the challenge.
"Andre, Captain Villard and I both insist that we are included on your parley. Jacquie came to the rescue of Le Faucon when it looked like Jean was going to use my own ship against you. We owe her a debt of gratitude."
Jacquie supplied, "And Mademoiselle--or is it Captain?--Trosclair kicked Jean Lafitte till he didn't know his own mother's name! I am sure he saw the entire galaxy, not just stars."
She took off her hat and bowed low to Caesaire.
"Mademoiselle, I must say Hell has never seen such fury as a Creole woman whose man has been wronged!"
Andre looked from one to the other. He raised his eyebrow. They both raised theirs back. He laughed and said, "You both have shown your mettle. Alright! Entrez-vous!"
Andre opened the door to John's cabin. The table had been cleared of map. Francois and Etienne were sitting at the table. John was uncorking a bottle of brandy.
Andre stepped aside to let Jacquie and Caesaire enter.
Garnier de Paul entered and took a seat.
Francois's brow furrowed, "Captain Beaudouin, do you really think this is a place for"
Jacquie quietly brought out her dagger and casually ran her finger down it.
"As you were saying, my randy little pup?"
Francois looked sheepish. "As I was saying..'do you think this is the place for brandy? Or would rum be better?' "
Jacquie burst out laughing."Tres bien, my pet! Tres bien!"
Andre grinned, "Nice save, Francois."
He held the chair out for Caesaire and John did likewise for Jacquie.
The Captain of Le Faucon de Mer looked over those gathered at his table.
John had poured brandy for all from a carafe of Murano glass with matching snifters. A gift bestowed upon him by Andre. He knew how John loved comforts as much as he did.
"Now. I need a few answers. What happened? Caesaire is a little unclear on the subject as she was too emotionally caught up in it."
He patted her hand. "Not to find fault, love. Things happened so fast. I want to know who it was that struck me and what happened to the coward?"
All looked to Garnier de Paul. He cleared his throat and said, "It was Parker."
"Parker? Benjamin Parker?"
"Oui, Andre. He threw a belaying pin and I shot him. Mon Dieu, I cannot abide a man who does not play fair! I do not know if it was Jean who planned it with him or--"
"Mais non. Jean Lafitte is many things. But he would not do that."
All eyes were on Caesaire. She continued softly, "I spent time with Jean. He was my captain. He taught me to read a marked deck and I won the Shattered Dreams in a game of cards.
Caesaire looked down and struggled with an explanation. She didn't want to reveal that the real reason she was in possession of it was that it was a gift that Jean gave her for being...with him. He was always amused by her and loved to show her off when he had his dinner parties. Caesaire on his arm. Caesaire seated on his right. Caesaire hosting his lawn parties. Caesaire in his..
"Caesaire?" Andre's gentle voice brought the blush to her cheeks. He held her hand. "Jacquie, it is enough that she had it. To lose a ship as such would hurt anyone."
Caesaire looked at him with love in her eyes. But she looked around the table and tilted her head defiantly.
"Jean Lafitte killed my crew. I would have gladly spilled his blood in the name of mes amis who died unnecessarily. As much as I loved that ship, it now represents sorrow and pain. Because he had a vengeance against me, ten men lost their lives. And now it is time to let it go. I sail with Captain Beaudouin as his future wife."
Jacquie laughed. "And a better match I could not think of!"
Andre smiled proudly. "It is no secret that I have loved her since we were children."
Francois held his head in mock sorrow. "Oh, the humiliation of being used!"
They all laughed and then Etienne spoke up.
"Now to the situation at hand."
He nodded to Captain de Paul. "He saved your life, Captain. Yet he is a captain too. How shall that be?"
Andre looked to Garnier. "You know that I shall not give up my position, Garnier."
Garnier smiled broadly, "I have no designs on your ship. This is not a vengeance ploy. You secured Le Faucon de Mer as a---how shall we say?---' a spoil of a preemptively salvaged vessel'. Although it was a mutiny, I now prefer to think of it as a 'deviation of ownership.' "
"She deserved better than to be used as a slaver ship."
"I agree. I saw the vessel and coveted her for myself. But I see she did go to the better man. Jean would have had his way and she would have been a tug."
Garnier cleared his throat. "And now to another problem we need to address, Captain Beaudouin."
"And that would be..?"
"Your crew. I noticed some unrest and perhaps downright hostility from some of the members."
Andre nodded. "The attack you graced us with is still fresh in their minds, Garnier. Can you blame them? They knew who you were. Most of these lads are from New Orleans and Bayou Lafourche. Your reputation as a man under Lafitte precedes you. But no worries, the crew shall be alright."
To the rest, Andre said, "I would be desirous to speak to Captain de Paul alone, s'il vous plait."
Etienne, John and Francois rose and clapped de Paul on the back. They were happy to have their old Captain among them, that there was no hard feelings. Jacquie put her dagger away and grinned at Andre. "Please to tell him that Captain Jacqueline Villard consorts with no man, Captain Beaudouin!"
They all laughed.
Caesaire hung back. "Andre..."
He touched her locks, kissed them and whispered, "It shall be fine. Go to our cabin. I shall be there in a bit. Garnier and I have some business to conclude."
Caesaire reluctantly left.
Andre turned to Garnier, poured him another brandy and grinned, "Good to see you, mon ami!"
Garnier raised the glass to him. "Good to be back!"
"And now...let us parley."
"What do you wish to know?"
"Why is Lafitte so hot to exact vengeance on me, aside from the usual thorn in his side."
Garnier nodded towards the door.
"The reason? The reason is now in your cabin, Captain. The reason is in your cabin."
« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 09:23:50 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2008, 08:38:46 PM »
“I thought as much, Papa.” Andre sighed. Garnier shot a quick look at the door as Andre laughed. “Do not concern your self, Mon pere. None will listen at the door here and I have never told them. Not even Caesaire.”

De Paul grinned. “It is not that I am ashamed of you, My son. Au contraire, I could not be prouder, but I am shamed that I left your mother without ever knowing she was with my child. How is she?” Try as he might Garnier could not keep the regret from his voice.

“She is well, and happy, and as lovely as ever.” Andre smiled sadly at his father. “I bought her a house in the Quarter, and she lacks for nothing.”

Garnier de Paul stared at the polished oak of John’s table top. “As I should have done all those years ago.”

Suddenly he looked up and stared hard into Andre’s eyes, so like his mother’s that he fought the lump they brought to his throat. “What they did not tell you, Son, was while we were all focused on that traitorous dog Parker, Lafitte was about to make use of the opportunity and end your life.” Andre’s eyes hardened. “Caesaire was looking at you, and drew her own pistol, shooting the cutlass from Jean’s hand. Before any of us could react she had pulled your sword, ran to Jean, and near kicked the man’s head off. She held your blade to his throat and I believe had you not moaned she would have killed him then and there. Her ship had little to do with it I am certain.”

“I tell you this because I do not wish you to make my mistake.” He continued sternly. “Hold on to her, Andre. Do what ever it takes to keep her by your side. An amore of this kind comes but once in a lifetime and you will never forgive yourself for letting it get away. This I know all too well. I lost mine to Anton Beaudouin.”

“He was a good man, Papa.” Andre said softly. “He loved us both, gave me his name, and raised me as his own until the day he died.”

“I know, My son.” De Paul sighed. “By the time I came to my senses I had no right to interfere and after he died your mother had every right to reject my offer. I had hurt her too deeply. See you do not do the same.”

“I shall not, Papa.” The determination in Andre’s voice brought a smile to Garnier’s lips. “Caesaire Trosclair is the only woman I have ever loved. I once thought fate had stolen her from me and it nearly killed me. I will be damned if I willingly give her up.”

“C'est bon, Andre. C’est bon.” Garnier de Paul raised his snifter of brandy to his son. “Douceur de vivre, Mon fils!”

“Douceur de vivre, Papa.” Andre echoed as they clinked snifters together.

“Papa?” Andre asked. “Was Caesaire ever with Jean Lafitte?”

“Would it make a difference, Andre?” Garnier returned.

“Non!” The dark haired buccaneer replied with out a moment’s hesitation. “It is in the past, and there it shall stay. What matters most is now, but for my own peace of mind I must know.”

“Oui. Briefly.” De Paul answered truthfully. “She soon left him to go her own way and none of us could fathom why. He gave her everything and doted on her like none other.” He winked at his child. “I think I now know why.”

Garnier looked at his son, remembering the first time he laid eyes on the boy. The lad’s hair and eyes were a dead give away and he had immediately petitioned Jean to allow him to serve aboard the Hazard. Marie had refused to even let him lay eyes on his son, but he knew the moment he did. So much like his mother that it brought an ache to his heart, but at last he had a chance to make it up to him. He began to teach the boy all he knew.

“Come, Captain De Paul.” Andre stood  grinning. “It is time we settled things with the crew and I have a lady awaiting me.”

“Non, Andre. I am captain no longer.” Garnier grinned. “I am now a pirate serving on the ship of his son, and for the life of me I can think of nowhere I would rather be!”

“Gather ‘round ye dogs!” Andre bellowed as they emerged onto the deck of Le Faucon de Mer. “I have accepted Garnier de Paul as a part of the crew. Until he signs the Articles and makes it official I expect you dogs to treat him with the same respect as you do each other! Is that clear?”

Garnier de Paul swelled with inner pride as the crew shouted “Aye, Aye, Captain!” to a man. The only scowls were from the men reaching for their purses to pay their comrades off on their bets.

Instantly John, Etienne, and Francois were gathered around shaking De Paul’s hand and clapping him on the back. Something that did not go unnoticed by the rest of the crew, raising their opinion of the elder pirate more than a few notches. Andre excused himself and headed to his cabin as soon as he could.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 06:34:55 PM by Blackjack Roberts »

Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2008, 07:48:42 PM »
Garnier de Paul looked around the cabin he was to share with John Hubbard. It was then that he realized he had no gear. Not even a change of garments. Everything was still aboard Le Harpy. Le Harpy! What an insult to a fine woman who was the love of his son's life.
His son.
It brought a smile to his face when he thought of  the child he had with Marie Doucet. He took his pipe out, fillling it with tobacco from the leather pouch he always carried.  Drawing deeply and exhaling it in rings, he thought back to the day when when he was confronted with the truth.
Was it really twenty years ago? He remembered it as if it were only yesterday....

"Une fleur pour votre amour, Monsieur?"
The pirate looked up from his rum as he sat at the open-air tavern in the French Market. His breath caught as he looked into the hazel eyes of the flower girl.
Her hopefulness was almost heart-breaking. Before him stood a simply dressed jeune fille in a dress that had been washed and washed repeatedly. She was immaculately clean but her dress had been mended. Her beautiful black hair was brushed back from her face and tied with a ribbon that had looked like it was discarded and picked up.   Her smile was shy and her cheeks were rosy in spite of the fact that she was a bit underfed.
She carried a basket that had seen better days but was filled with fresh flowers.
To Garnier de Paul, he thought he had just seen the most beautiful angel sent to earth. He smiled gently at her and said, "Let me see what you have."
She kept her eyes down and a blush spread over her cheeks. "I have camellias and roses. There are gardenias and carnations. I! I have a few daffodils too."
He reached into his pouch and pulled out his gold coins.
"How much?"
"For which ones, Monsieur?"
"For all of them."
"For--for ALL?"
He smiled broadly at her astonishment.
"Let's see Monsieur..."
She totalled up what she had and gave him the sum.
He handed it over and she gave him the flowers.
In turn he handed them over to her and said, "Pour vous, Mademoiselle."

Her face registered pleasure as she blushed. "Monsieur, no one has ever given me flowers before."
She held the rose up to her nose, smelling it appreciatively.
He smiled at her and asked, "Ce qui est votre nom?"
She dropped a curtsey and said in a clear voice, "Marie Doucet."
He kissed her hand and said, "Heureux pour faire votre connaissance, Mademoiselle Doucet..."

John Hubbard broke through his reverie and Garnier shook his head as if to clear it.
"You looked a million miles away, man."
A wistful smile crossed his face.
"Just visiting with some ghosts from the past. They always cross your mnd at the most inconvenient times."
"Women, eh? They always leave you with nothing."
Garnier looked towards the door. "Not always. Sometimes they give you an unexpected gift. And this one gave me the greatest gift of all."


Caesaire had changed her clothes from the black silk dress and into breeches and a gauzy shirt. Her hair was braided and hung down her back. Andre came into the room and looked at her.
He could barely contain his smile. "Cher, I expected you to be a little less...presentable!"
She put her arms around him and tilted her face up to his and smiled. "Anticipation makes it that much sweeter, my love. We do need to present a united front to the crew. I daresay we have spent so much time here that your crew will begin to think that John Hubbard is the captain."
Andre chuckled. "My crew could never understand why there was no permanent Madame Beaudouin, cher.
Now that they have met you, they know that no one could ever compare to la petite jeune fille that stole my heart when she gave me hers so many years ago."

She smiled gently and whispered, "Have I told you this lately, mon cher? Je t'aime.  Avec tout mon coeur, mon amore."
His lips never left hers as he reached over and put his cavalier hat on her head.
"Now! You look like a real piratess, Mademoiselle Trosclair!"
She took his hand and as they left the room, she laughed. "Oh...and how am I going to explain this to Pere?"
He closed the cabin door and shook his head. "I'm sure you will think of something, my love. After all, like you and Sebastian used to say, 'Je suis un Trosclair!'"
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 08:40:30 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2008, 06:10:19 PM »
Andre moved with ease among his men inspecting their work with pride and praise, clasping forearms and patting backs everywhere except the ones who worked the rigging. These he did not let go unnoticed and shouted his praise up to them to receive a salute and smile from each name he called out. Stopping from time to time to lend a hand where needed. Caesaire constantly at his side, receiving many deep bows along with many “Mademoiselle Trosclair’s” and even a couple of “Mademoiselle Beaudouin’s” before the flustered pirate realized his faux pas.

Soon everything had been thoroughly inspected, redone, and put into the finest fighting shape Caesaire had ever witnessed. It was small wonder Le Faucon de Mer had been as successful as she had been. No detail seemed too small for Andre’s attention. Everything from the wear on the lines to the condition of the powder had been thoroughly gone over. She had even noticed that while he was joking and helping his men with their tasks he was slyly checking their fighting spirit and morale. In every way he was honing the pirate vessel to a razor’s edge.

The sun was dipping into late afternoon by the time he was satisfied. Andre met with the core of his friends on the upper deck, Caesaire’s arm draped through his as the two pirate lover’s leaned against the aft rail. The addition of Garnier de Paul to the inner circle seemed to bother no one with the exception of Jaquie. For her part she simply eyed the elder pirate and held her peace, for once.

“With luck we should overtake the El Pata del Tigre sometime in the morning.” Andre observed. “That is provided our little detour of pride has not put her further beyond our reach.”

“It is at least a good sign that she was near.” Jacqueline Villard spoke up. “Otherwise the Calypso’s Revenge would have not made the time they did to intercede for us at the beach.”

“Aye.” Andre Beaudouin frowned. “My allowing Jean to goad me into that confrontation has cost us a trump card. Of this I am sure.”

“Then it was no accident that Captain Villard’s ship was so near?” Garnier asked.

“Fraid not, Mate.” John Hubbard laughed. “Part of Andre’s plan ta take that ship with as little fuss as possible were to have Jaquie’s ship shadow ‘em. Give ‘em something else ta worry about while we headed ‘em off.”

“Catching them in a pincer and having them threatened by two sets of cannon!” De Paul exclaimed. “Tres bon, Mon ami’s, very sly.”

“Perhaps not so sly now, My old captain.” Andre continued to grouse. “The Calypso was also keeping us advised of the galleon’s position by homing pigeon. That was how Jaquie was able to summon her to us so quickly, but in doing so she may have lost the dog. We have not had another word from Jaquie’s crew since. And it is a big ocean.”

Caesaire put her arm around her man’s waist. “Do not be so fearful, Mon Amore. By the look of waterline on the Pata del Tigre she was far too heavy to have made better time than we and I doubt that Spanish peacock would dare to throw any of that cargo overboard for the sake of speed.”

“That’s it!!!” Andre exclaimed seizing his love in his arms and swinging her around in a circle of joy. Caesaire held his hat, already too big for her, to keep it from being slung overboard. “He would not sacrifice the cargo, but he just may have thrown as many of the supplies as he safely could overboard, and much of that would float!!”

Andre set her gently back onto the polished deck and immediately kissed her passionately. “I owe you a debt, Cherie.” He whispered huskily before turning to his grinning companions. “Jaquie, send one of the pigeons and have The Calypso begin a search pattern for any floating stores from the galleon. Allow for drift and have them signal us as soon as they find her.”

Smiling, Jacqueline leaned close to Caesaire and whispered. “It would seem I have sorely misjudged you, Pretty pretty. Were you not Andre’s woman I would make a bid for you myself.” She winked wickedly before turning to fulfill Andre’s request, chuckling at the blush that flushed Caesaire’s face.

“And she has the nerve to call Francois randy!” The stunning blond piratess huffed beneath her breath as she watched the tall Jamaican leave. “She’s as bad as any man I have ever known!”

“Including me, Cher?” Andre breathed sensuously into her ear, sending waves of desire racing down her spine.

“There are exceptions to every rule, Cherie.” Caesaire smiled tenderly running the tips of her fingers down his jaw line. “Besides, it is now sunset and I intend to collect my debt before this night is through.”

“Mon Deiu!” Francois Loupe rolled his eyes to the sky. “I told you we should have smuggled a couple of les femmes aboard from Cuba, Etienne.”

“With everyone engaged in the throes of amore who would be left to sail Le Faucon, Mon cousin?” De Marigny laughed.

Garnier de Paul shook his head chuckling. If nothing else his son’s command would seem to be as humorous as it was efficient. “Marie,” he thought, “I hope you are as proud of our offspring as I. We did well, Mon amore.”

Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2008, 09:26:46 PM »
Garnier and Andre walked up to the quarterdeck as the sun began to set. They both took out the thin black cigars that they both favored and lit them on the lanterns. Garnier chuckled.
"What's so amusing, Garnier?"
He smiled. "Look at us!"
Andre looked. They both were leaning forward on the gunwale, their chin resting on their left hand and their right arm draped over the side. Their left foot was hooked behind their right leg.
Andre laughed. "Do you think anyone else would notice?"
Garnier shrugged. "Would it matter to you?"
Andre was quiet a moment. "Not really. But I won't disrespect the memory of Anton Beaudouin. He loved me and my mother. It wasn't easy making ends meet. He had a small shop where he was a millwright. Maman was devastated when the yellow fever took him. It was very hard. I was nine when he died and Maman had to take in laundry. It wasn't long before she became the housekeeper to Silvere and Isabella Trosclair. We had a small cabin behind their townhouse. Not fancy but it was clean and we made it home."
Garnier stared at the waves and flicked his ashes into the whitecaps.
"I had no idea, Andre, that I had a son. Your mother was so young. The first time I saw her, she was so shy. Her dress had been mended over and over and her shoes were worn. The stockings that I saw were patched as best she could. It broke my heart to see a girl that beautiful struggle with poverty. And..I lost my heart to her."
Andre said grimly, "That's not all she lost, I gathered. Did you ever wonder what became of her after you left?"
Garnier nodded sadly."I tried to find her. But no one seemed to know where Marie the little flower girl was.'
Andre stared at the water too. "She found out she was with child and Anton Beaudouin, her childhood friend, offered to do right by her. Make her an honest woman as it were."
After a minute, Garnier asked quietly, "Was she happy, son?"
Andre nodded, "Yes, she was. While there were no flames of passion, they did love each other. Anton was there for me always. And I felt his passing like a young son would for his father. I didn't know he wasn't my father. My mother sat me down and had a heart-to-heart talk with me. I remember it so well. It was the day after Caesaire disappeared from my life. I sustained two blows in less than a week. I didn't know who I was or where I belonged. I had lost the girl I loved and lost my father all over again."
Garnier could only say, "I'm sorry, Andre. I remember your mother speaking fondly of her friend Anton Beaudouin.  When you showed up, young whelp that you were, at Jean Lafitte's blacksmith shop, hat in hand and asking to sign on with one of his ships, I saw your mother in you. Same hair, same shaped eyes and the smile..oh, the smile. So like Marie's. I knew you were her son. On a hunch, I searched the Quarter for a Marie Beaudouin and then I saw her. She was coming out of the cathedral on a Sunday. She recognized me. I'll never forget the hurt in her eyes. I had told her that her son had signed on with Jean Lafitte and the first words out of her mouth were, 'Mon Dieu!'
She was extremely upset and the words were pouring out of her. She told me I was never to betray the memory of Anton Beaudouin to you. It was at that moment I realized that the reason I felt the connection between us was that you were my son.
"Did Maman ever confirm it?"
"No. She told me to stay away from you and that was proof enough for me. My heart broke when I saw her. I realized I still loved her. But she wanted nothing to do with me."
Andre chuckled ruefully. "Maman always knew her own mind. And proud! As proud as a queen. We had hard times but she instilled in me a sense of gallantry. We were poor but my clothes were always impeccably clean. She always said, 'Andre, it is not what you wear but what you are inside that counts. No one can ever take that away from you.' She taught me to be a Creole gentleman, to take what life handed to me and turn it to my advantage."
"And you have, Andre. I couldn't be more proud of you."
"Merci, Papa--PAPA!--how strange to say those words to you!"
Garnier reached in his pocket for a flask. "Join me, Andre?"
Andre grinned, "I shall have to decline. Seems I have a debt to pay. And I always honour my debts."
Garnier grinned as he watched Andre walk eagerly towards his cabin. "Tres bien, Andre. You hold the world and your love in the palm of your hand."
He toasted his son and smiled to himself.
Life was good, he thought. Very good.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 09:19:22 AM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2008, 08:02:36 PM »
As Andre neared his cabin he caught the faint whiff of jasmine incense. A smile broke across his face. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine his luck could take such a fortunate turn. All that remained was for The Calypso's Revenge to pick up the trail of their quarry and he would not only have the most beautiful woman ever to grace New Orleans as his, but he would hold all of Louisiana in his hand.

He wondered if he dared to reveal his father's secret to his love. After all she did deserve to know that he was actually the son of Garnier de Paul. Perhaps that would be something better left for later. There was no telling how either Garnier, or his mother would react. Smiling he turned the knob of the ornate oak door to a sight that took his breath away.

Caesaire had laid out the top of his dining table with a sumptuous feast that she had secretly conspired with the cook to prepare well ahead of time and had Etienne and Francios help her to spirit the meal into the room while he spoke with De Paul on the quarter deck. Two tall white candles burned in the center of the white table cloth. Enticing aromas of shrimp, lobster, and steak mingled with the smell of freshly baked bread and steaming vegetables. All of this was pleasing enough to the senses, but the main attraction for him was the sight of his lover.

She had obviously taken the opportunity to bathe and make herself as alluring as she had been the night she first set foot onto Le Faucon de Mer. Her long blond hair was a windswept mass of huge curls that cascaded down both sides of her shoulders in a golden waterfall. Her white soft skin nearly glowed in the candle light and she had lightly rouged her lips into a most pleasing shade of red. A barely noticeable dusting of tan powder along her upper eyelids set off her sparkling blue eyes and her thick lashes never seemed so long before.

Even this had not been enough for her. All her charms were even more displayed by the black silk floor length dress she had chosen for the night. Every sensuous curve of her body was gracefully augmented by the soft shimmering highlight of the polished silk and as she moved towards him the trails of light seemed to slide along her form like the hands of some unseen lover. Even more enticing was the fact that she was bare foot, something that was strangely more erotic than had she been wearing the finest of ladies footwear.

Andre folded her into his arms and almost immediately stopped breathing as he realized that beneath the soft sheath of black material Caesaire was as naked as the day she was born. "Une amante, I thought I was the one to be paying my debt to you." He breathed huskily once he had remembered that he had to.

"And so you shall, Mon chéri." Caesaire whispered so close that her warm breath caressed his ear sending shivers of desire down his spine, her lips playfully tugging at the gold earring. "But no one ever said that payment could not be a joy as well."

Tenderly she led him to the table and he noted with some confusion that there was only one place setting. With a knowing smile she had him sit down in the only chair and proceeded to fill the oversized platter with the delicacies of the table. As soon as she had finished she sat in his lap and choosing a plump shrimp brought it to his lips. realization struck him with equal amounts of love. She had planned a lover's feast and they spent the meal feeding each other with equal amounts of food and love. Food becoming a statement of adoration and passion.

Soon the Creole buccaneer could stand no more, his hunger sated, his appetite raging. Andre stood, lifting her in his arms. Caesaire gently wrapped her arms around his neck, her full lips meeting his in a deep kiss that spoke more of her emotions than poor words could ever express. He willing his own ardor for her into the intimate contact. When the kiss finally ended he strode to their bed and gently placed her on the satin covers.

All but ripping the white silk buccaneer shirt from his chest Andre lowered his body to hers. Passion and love radiated from those hazel eyes as he let his fingers trace down the side of her finely boned face, lifting her chin slightly to plant soft kisses along her neck. Her small moans of pleasure goading the tender touch of his lips into something more primal. Her nails raking his back as she moved against him in heated desire, softly calling his name.

He rose long enough to unlace the front of the dress, then lowered his lips into the opening he had exposed. Caesaire's sharp intake of breath matched her need as she gripped his hair and tried to pull his lips even closer to her burning flesh. His hands softly tracing every curve of her body he could find.

"Je t'aime, Mon amant, Je t'aime!" She whispered over and over.

"Je t'aime, Mon fiancée, Je t'adore." He breathed heatedly against her exposed skin, Before he gently pulled the intervening silk from her body.

Quickly Andre stood and shed the last of his own vestments, returning to her arms with all the haste he could muster. Caesaire's own lips locked to the side of his neck with a desire so strong his eyes rolled into his head and he gently pressed her head closer to him. Their love play built until they felt like volcanoes of passion that could no longer contain the boiling magma of fiery love within themselves.

Andre rolled onto his back taking her with him. Soon the world was lost to their lovemaking as the volcano's erupted again and again.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 08:15:34 PM by Blackjack Roberts »

Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2008, 09:13:45 PM »
"Andre? Mon cher, I want to talk to you about something."
Andre murmured, "Hmmm?"
He was almost asleep. Drowsily he asked, "And what do you want to discuss, mon amour?"
Caesaire propped herself up on her elbow and ran her fingers up and down his arm.
"I want to talk about our wedding."
He opened his eyes and took her in his arms. Still half-asleep, he asked, "I suppose I could get Garnier de Paul to marry us as technically he is a captain. Just not THIS ship's captain."
Caesaire shook her head no.
"It's not good enough."
That was enough for Andre to fully wake up. He said, "What do you mean, 'not good enough'?'"
She smiled and said, "I want a wedding. In a cathedral. With attendants."
He laughed softly and said, "My, my, ma petite. You have been planning!"
"Andre, it is the dream of every young girl to have the white gown--and stop laughing!--and flowers and her family there."
"And where do you want this wedding?"
"In St Louis Cathedral. With Pere Antoine officiating. And my father walking me down the aisle. I want the dress, I want the veil, I want the flowers, I want the music, I want the..."
Andre had silenced her with a kiss.
"And that you shall have then. Any particular day?"
She nodded. "As soon as we get back to New Orleans, I want us to speak to Pere Antoine. If we need any kind of absolving, I want to do this good and proper. Andre, I have waited my entire life--well, my life so far--for you."
He laughed, "Absolving, eh? And what do we need absolving from?"
She drew him closer to her and whispered softly, "I'll show you...."
"Madame Beaudouin?"
She turned around. Before her stood a handsome gentleman with silver hair and sparkling brown eyes.
"Oui?" she said, a bit confused.
"Pardonnez-moi. It has been a while. Do you not remember me?"
She gave him a quizzical look. Surely she did not travel in the same social circles as this Creole gentleman.
Marie Doucet Beaudouin had only acquired her house over on Dauphine Street in the last year. Her only son Andre had purchased it for her and had provided for her to live comfortably. Until that time, she had been taking in laundry and had been a housekeeper for Isabelle and Silvere Trosclair.
A sudden realization came upon her.
"Monsieur Trosclair! Bonjour!"
He took her hand and kissed it, saying, "How pleasant to make your acquaintance again."
Within a half hour, Marie Doucet Beaudouin and Christophe Trosclair were sitting at a cafe taking a repast of cafe au lait and beignets. Christophe could not help but think how Marie had kept her looks despite the hardships she had, trying to raise a son like Andre by herself. Her black hair was in a twist with a jaunty hat on her head, the feather sweeping down on her cheek where her dimple showed when she smiled. Her dark eyes sparkled when she spoke. She had kept the genteel ways she had been taught by her mother before she passed away when Marie was only fourteen. Her frame was petite and her figure was trim. The deep red of her dress complemented her creamy skin.
"And how is Andre?" Christophe asked. He wondered if she had heard the rumour that her son was with his daughter. God only knew where.
"Andre is fine. He is trading in the Caribbean exporting rum and distilling it. He has bought a plantation in the Bahamas and I hope he settles down soon. I do miss him in New Orleans though.
Christophe poured another cup of cafe for her.
"You do not know then?"
She shook her head no. "What are you talking about, Monsieur Trosclair?"
"Isabelle was over the other day. She said Sebastian saw Andre and Caesaire in a longboat headed for his ship."
Christophe nodded solemnly. "It seems your son is with ma petite jeune fille, Madame Beaudouin. And from what Sebastian told his mother, they are in love."

Marie sat there with a stunned look on her face, her full lips formed a perfect 'O'. "Then it is true!"
Christophe raised his eyebrow. "What would be true?"
Marie shook her head and said to herself, 'So like his father. Is there anything that Andre does not get that he wants?'
"Pardon, Madame?"
She picked up her coffee cup and her smile hid behind it. She recalled that summer morning so long ago...
"In here, Andre."
Marie had an armload of laundry that she was carrying to the table to fold.
He sat down and said, "I need to talk to you."
She cupped his face and looked into his handsome hazel eyes. For a minute there, she saw the look so like his father that her breath caught.
"And you look very serious, my dear. Together we will solve whatever the problem is."
"I want to marry Caesaire Trosclair."
Marie dropped her hand from Andre's face. She shook her head.
"Andre, do you realize that she is only twelve?"
Andre said quietly, "I am aware of that, Maman."
"And you are seventeen?"
"Oui, I am aware of that too."
Marie wanted to shield Andre from any hurt. She said gently, "Andre, she is of Creole society."
He looked up at her with fierce determination. "Are you saying that I am not good enough for Caesaire?"
She hesitated and picked her words carefully. "No, my son. Caesaire would be a very fortunate girl to have a boy as fine as you."
He looked up at her, the pain evident in his eyes. She gave him a sad smile and said, "Forgive me, Andre. I meant a man as fine as you."
"I have known Caesaire for the last eight years, Maman. Since she was four years old and Tante Isabelle took over the care of her when her mother died."
"Oui, Andre. But she is only twelve!"
He nodded. "I know. I intend to wait until she is fifteen to wed her."
"But Andre that is three years from now."
"I know, Maman. But it will give Monsieur Trosclair enough time to get used to the idea. I can then make my way in this world and prove I can take care of her."
"And do you have a trade in mind?"
"I have been talking to Monsieur Bacas. He is the cabinetmaker over on Toulouse Street and has agreed to take me on as an apprentice. Then I will be able to support Caesaire."
"When did you decide all this?"
"In the last few days. By the end of the year, I intend to ask Monsieur Trosclair formally for Caesaire's hand."
She brushed his hair out of his eyes and said softly, "I only want what is best for you, my darling."
He took her hand and gave it a squeeze. "And Caesaire is best for me, Maman. I know now that she is all I ever wanted."
Just then, there was a knock on the door. Sebastian Trosclair's voice came through.
"Andre! Come on! The fish are biting over on the River and with any fortune, we dine like kings for lunch!"
Andre gave his mother a kiss and a gentle touch on her shoulder. He whispered, "Not a word, Maman! Sebastian wouldn't understand."
That evening when Andre came home, he told  Marie the news that Sebastian had delivered to him. Caesaire had gone away to Charleston for schooling.
Andre came home and immediately went to his room.
It was the only time she heard Andre cry since he was nine. Two months later, he ran away to sea.

Marie brought herself back to the present day. Andre had run away to sea. He may have left a poor cabin boy but he returned a man. A man with a missing piece of his soul. Perhaps now he had filled it. Marie was sure.
She returned her gaze to Christophe Trosclair, put her coffee cup down and smiled softly.
He looked at her and repeated, "I'm sorry, but as I said, our children seem to have run off together. They are together right now doing God knows what."
"You don't say, Monsieur Trosclair. You don't say!"
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 04:45:41 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2008, 07:50:12 PM »
"Oui?" Andre answered the discreet knock at his cabin door several hours later.

"Pardonnez-moi, Captain." Francois muffled voice came from the other side of the thick oak door. "But a little bird has come with some news that I believe you will wish to examine."

The captain of Le Faucon de Mer Shot from the covers. "I shall be there at once!" He shouted, snatching his trousers from the floor. His britches were halfway up his legs before he thought to turn around and quickly kiss his woman. "Forgive me, Cherie." He mumbled excitedly. "Unless I miss my guess this will be the news that will make our little cruise worth while, or we will return home empty handed."

Caesaire wrapped her arms around his neck, her blue eyes sparkling with excitement. "Then I ask that you wait for me, Mon amore, and I will consider it. The message will not change between now and then."

"But of course, Mon amoureux." He replied, trying to pull up his pants at the same time and tumbling onto the bed as he lost his balance. Caesaire laughed lightly as she hugged him all the closer.

"Do not be so anxious, Cher." She whispered close to his ear. "I will not be more than a moment and we can receive the news together."

As Andre turned to reach for her Caesaire slid deftly from his arms and the bed, wrapping a silk sheet around her and giggling as he fell face first into the pillow. He propped himself up on one elbow, watching as she playfully ran to the tub closet. Turning she blew him a kiss and disappeared inside with a wink.

"Mon Dieu!" He grinned happily. "Should our wedding day go anything like this they will be pulling me out of the cake!"

Pulling his leather pants on fully, he drew the lacing tight and made his way over to the wash basin. Rubbing his hand across his face he picked up the mug with the soap and boar bristle brush. She was quite right there was more than enough time and he would rather have her by his side in all things. Stropping the razor on the leather strap he began to whistle a jaunty sea chantey. He could feel it in his bones. This was good news.

Christophe Trosclair Stared opened mouthed for a moment at the raven haired beauty across the table from him. "Then you approve?!" He asked incredulously.

"Mais oui, Monsieur Trosclair." Marie smiled openly. "I have known for quite sometime that my Andre was in love with your daughter. He was heart broken the day she left for Charleston."

Christophe opened his mouth to repeat the same arguments he had given to his sister the week before, but something held him back. He looked at her with new eyes, eyes that had somehow failed to see her in all the years she was a servant in Isabelle's employ. Sitting here with him now, dressed as properly as any lady of breeding he found her breathtaking. It had been so long since he had noticed another woman. Suddenly he found himself engaging in a whole new conversation than the one he had intended.

"Madame Beaudouin." He began.

"Oui, Monsieur?" Her smile made his heart flutter like it had not since Caesaire's mother had died.

"I was wondering, if I may be so bold, would you do me the honor of dining with me tonight at Rospierre's?" He rushed the last words out like a nervous school boy.

"Ayyyyyheeee!" Andre shouted as he held the small scrap of paper in his hand. "They have found her, Mes Ami's!!"

John Hubbard grinned. "The Calypso's Revenge has found our quarry, Captain?"

"Aye, John!" Andre hugged Caesaire close with one arm waving the message high above his head. "Not only have they found her, they have sent us the longitude and latitude she should be at by tomorrow morning! Caesaire's plan has worked like the charm!"

Turning to Etienne his voice filled with joy. "Take these cordinates to the pilot, Mon Ami, and instruct the crew to make our best speed. By God we will take this prize yet!"

Andre drew his life's love into a tender embrace. "Mon coeur." He whispered softly. "How can I ever repay you?"

"I am certain we can think of something, Mon loup." she smiled drawing his mouth to hers.

Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2008, 12:21:49 PM »
Andre broke open a cask of wine and shouted, "Drinks for all!"
A cheer went up. To Etienne, he said, "This calls for a feast!
Etienne grinned and said, "As you wish it, mon capitan!"
Garnier de Paul clapped his hand on Andre's shoulder and said, "Well done, son! Well done!"
Andre gave him a two fingered salute and grinned, "Things are falling into place, Garnier. By tomorrow, the ship will be ours, the spoils will be stored on Le Falcon, and it is onward to New Orleans and freedom for the City. The iron fist of Spain will have been broken and the port will be flying the French flag once again!"
Caesaire stood back and watched her beloved talking to Garnier. There was something so similar between the two of them. She thought back to when they were youngsters. Sebastian had to run an errand in the market for his mother. Caesaire and Andre sat on the riverbank eating their pralines and waiting for Sebastian to return....
"Oui, Caesaire?"
"Andre, do you miss him?"
"Your father."
Andre was silent for a moment. "Yes. Very much so."
Caesaire reached over and touched his hand.
"I understand."
He looked at her. She was looking out over the river.
"I didn't have my maman very long. Four years. Here I am ten. Do I remember her? Hardly."
He said softly, "I had my father a bit longer.  It is hard to lose your father at nine. At any age. My father was a good, hardworking man. Now my mother has been alone for six years."
She smiled with tears on her lashes and said, "She is not alone, Andre. She has you."
Andre looked at the little girl who had been deprived of a mother's love. He knew Monsieur Trosclair only casually. But to his keen eye of observation, Monsieur Trosclair did not know how to relate to his petite jeune fille. The care of Caesaire had been consigned to Tante Isabelle, who did love Caesaire with all her heart. She treated her no different than Sebastian.
Andre watched the ships plying up and down the Mississippi on their way to the Gulf.
"What do you suppose it is like out there, Caesaire?"
"Out where, Andre?"
"Out in the ocean. The Caribbean. Do you suppose it is paradise as they say it is?
She picked up a few daisies and was making a daisychain.
"I don't really know, Andre. I hadn't really thought about it."
Andre laid back on the grass, his arms folded under his head as he studied the clouds.
"Someday, Caesaire. Someday."
She said shyly as she continued to weave the flowers. "And will you come back to tell me about it, Andre?"
He turned to her and smiled. She was holding her daisy chain.
Carefully he took it from her and put it over her neck.
He said softly, "Oui, Caesaire. I may even take you for a trip there."
She touched the daisy chain tenderly and beamed, "Then I shall look forward to it. How does this daisy chain look?"
"Like a bunch of weeds around your neck!"
She turned around and Sebastian stood there with his hands on his hips.
"I swear, Caesaire. You get more and more like a girl every day.  Pretty soon you will be wondering who will fill your dance card at the King's Ball. Before you know it you will be married to someone like Raoul Picou, wearing fancy hats with feathers and white gloves. IF he wood be dumb enough to have you!"
Caesaire looked at the grass, her face flaming red and her spirits drooping like the daisies.
"Sebastian, please..."
Sebastian turned to Andre, his exasperation showing. "What! Oh, allright. Let's go home. Ready, Mademoiselle Daisy Le Fleur?"
Caesaire bit her lip and tried to show she didn't care. Andre picked up a daisy she had dropped.
She could barely get out, "Merci beaucoup, Andre."
He gave her a quick bow and whispered, "Avec plaisir, Mademoiselle Trosclair."
Sebastian turned and said impatiently, "What is taking you two so long? Mon Dieu!"
Caesaire and Andre were uncharacteristically quiet.
But a bond had been formed between the two of them.
A bond formed from loss.

"Caesaire, darling? Your wine."
Andre handed her a crystal goblet.
Her thoughts snapped back to the present and she gave him a radiant smile.
"Merci, cherie."
She looked toward the crew who were readying the decks for a feast. "The wine is excellent, Andre. Where did you get it?"
He chuckled. "From a Spanish frigate that happened to be heading towards Savannah with a hold full of Madeira wine. We kept the casks for any celebration we deemed appropriate. In this case, the crew needs to be as sharp and precise as can be to take the ship. We know that the captain is pompous. It should be an easy take but you never know. If the crew has the wine, they feel special. If I gave them rum, they may have a tendency to overdrink and then what good would they be?"
She wrapped her arm around his waist and drew him to her.
"Can you see why I love you so much, mon amour?"
He drew her near and pushed the hair back off her shoulder.
"Tomorrow will be an important day. John, Etienne, Francois and Garnier know what we have planned."
"Garnier? I beg to differ, Andre, but until yesterday, Garnier was loyal to Jean Lafitte. How can you trust him?"
Andre kissed her forehead and said, "Trust me on this one, cher."

The night saw the crew of Le Faucon de Mer feast on good food. The wine flowed but not to excess and the musicians played their tunes all night long. By midnight, Andre assembled his crew together for a serious talk, outlining what was in store and covering all contingencies. As the last one straggled down to their bunks and the night crew took its watch, Andre and Caesaire stood on the upper deck. She leaned into him as he wrapped his arms around her, her head resting against his chest.
"Andre, do you ever think it odd that we both were looking at the same sky and maybe at the same time? Perhaps even wishing for the same thing?"
His breath was soft in her ear as he said, "I do believe the Fates smiled on us, my darling. Because here we are."

Lying in bed that night, wrapping their arms around each other, Andre said quietly, "Cher, I must have a serious talk with you."
She looked up at him. "Oui, Andre. Where do you want me during all of this? Covering the quarterdeck? Watching from the gunwale? Or do you want me where the powder is?"
"No. This is what I want, Caesaire. I want you to stay in these quarters. I want you to hide under the bed and keep the door locked."
Andre continued, "I am serious. I cannot be focused on the capture if I have to worry about you. I need all my attention on the galleon. With any fortune, the ship will surrender peacefully or without much of a fight. But I cannot be wondering if you are alright or if you are being held at knifepoint or if some Spaniard is spiriting you off on the other ship."
She was silent.
He took a deep breath and asked, "Will you do this for me, cher?  It is not that I think you are incapable of fighting and you demonstrated well-placed kicks and your skill with a rapier.  It is for my own peace of mind."
A long silence and then Caesaire said softly, "Aye. For you and you alone, I shall stay out of the fight."
He kissed her and said, "Merci, mon amore. It puts my mind to rest."
He blew the candle out, both alone with their own thoughts on what was at stake.
Andre had a fortune to gain and a city to return to France.
Caesaire had a husband to wed and a family to anticipate.
The next day would see them persevere in their dreams.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2008, 07:49:30 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2008, 10:10:33 PM »
The Sun had barely risen above much more than a few feet above the ocean by the perception of the eye when the call came down from the Crow's Nest of Le Faucon de Mer.

"Ship Ahoy!!" Pierre Mansle shouted down to the deck, sending the crew into a flurry of activity. "Four points off the Starboard bow!!"

Andre Beaudouin brought the polished brass spyglass to his eye. The grin beneath his black waxed moustache told John Hubbard all he needed to know, but he waited for his captain's orders anyway.

"It is her, Mon Amis!" Andre's voice was one of both triumph and exhilaration. "The Pata del Tigre!"

"Standard orders, Captain?" John asked.

The Creole buccaneer scanned the waves beyond his target for some moments before answering. Standard orders meant that they would run up the colors of the East India Trading Company and pretend to have need of aid until they were within hailing distance of the galleon. Then the gun crew would suddenly raise the cannon doors and fire chain shot into the rigging and sails of the prize, effectively disabling the vessel for boarding, or surrender. Andre seriously doubted Captain Juan Carlos would allow another ship that close to the Tigre, so he was searching for Jaquie's ship. Surely she could not be that far behind.

His smile widened even more as he caught the sight of a topsail rising above the waves some distance from the prey. "Non, my old friend." He chuckled as he snapped the telescope shut. "Not this time. This time we go in as what we are. Pirates!"

Captain Beaudouin handed the glass to Francois. "John, make ready two cannon with ball. Use your best gunners as we do not wish to sink her, just yet. The rest are to use chain shot only."

"Aye, Captain!" The quartermaster grinned and saluted before leaving to ready his gunners.

Andre turned to Etienne de Marigny, loosening the saber he favored for boarding in its scabbard. Beaudouin had dressed simply for the task ahead, forgoing the long coat for only a silk burgundy buccaneer shirt, baldric, belled boots, and black doeskin britches. His long raven colored hair held back by a burgundy head scarf. Two flintlock pistols were lodged behind his wide black leather belt and several throwing daggers lay in their sheaths along his back.

"Etienne, make ready the boarding party." He clapped his first mate on the shoulder. "I've little doubt that Spanish dog will not surrender peacefully."

"Without doubt, Mom Ami." Etienne held out his hand and the two friends grasped forearms firmly before parting.

"Francois, gather your musketeers. We will need all the covering fire they can supply once we are ready to board that scow." Andre made the same gesture to Etienne's cousin.

"With pleasure, Mon Capitian." Francois Loupe grinned as he grasped Andre's forearm. It was no secret that the man hated the Spanish with a passion. "For Madame New Orleans." He whispered.

"For New Orleans." Andre nodded.

"And what of the three of us?" Jacqueline Villard asked, nodding in Garnier Depaul's direction.

"We three shall lead the boarding party." Andre shrugged and smiled. "Once on board your own crew should be boarding from the other side. They will obey you much faster than they would Garnier, or myself. Garnier will command half of my party to secure the lower decks and the cannon, just incase they have any ideas and to prevent any reinforcements from joining the fight above decks."

He winked to the ebony piratess. "I'm sure you and I can handle the rest of the dogs."

"I know we can. My girls are the best there are!" Jaquie grinned showing her even white teeth. "And your pretty, pretty?"

Andre frowned for a moment. "I have asked that she not engage in this fight and stay in our cabin, but knowing Caesaire I cannot be certain of her doing so."

"Of course not! She is a woman." Jaquie laughed aloud, holding her hand up.

The two pirate captains grasped hands, locking their thumbs together. "Take all you can..." Andre began.

"Give nothing back!" Jacqueline finished the time honored pirate philosophy with a wicked smile.

"Raise the colors!" Andre shouted. Watching with pride as the skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger unfurled into the sea breeze.

Captain Juan Carlos lowered his own spyglass, a stream of the foulest curse words he knew issued from his lips. There could be no doubt now. He recognized the ship bearing down on him as the one from Cuba. The one that was supposed to have been attacked by pirates. The truth of it was now flying from her aft rigging for all to see. They were the pirates and he had fallen right into that French pig's trap!

He had suspected something when twice his lookout had spotted a ship apparently shadowing them. Then suddenly it had vanished and he had thrown the stores overboard, lightening the ship to gain speed and leaving just enough provisions to barely make it to the Canaries. He had hoped that he had been simply imagining the threat and that if not the ploy would succeed in putting them off of his scent long enough to reach the safety of a harbor. He knew better now.

Somehow word of his cargo had gotten out. Somehow that miserable French peacock had discovered the secret and had used those two doxies of his to pry their heading from him. How could he have been so stupid, so blind? The Count would certainly have his head if they survived this encounter.

"All hands to battle stations!!" He shouted. If they thought the Pata del Tigre would be an easy mark they were soon to find out how wrong they could be. Juan Carlos' career, if not his very life, depended on defeating the two pirate ships. Nothing less than total victory could save him now.

Shear weight from the treasure carried by the Pata del Tigre had made the normally slower galleon even slower, and harder to maneuver in a sea battle. As Le Faucon de Mer attempted to cut off the larger vessel from the front the sound of the Tigre's bow chasers cut out across the waves. William Randal spun the wheel hard to starboard and all but one of the cannon balls struck the sea. The one that hit the Faucon grazed the port side leaving a seven foot gouge high along her bow.

Randal swung the frigate back to her port making a bee line for the galleon's port side, angled so the bow chasers were useless and presenting the smallest target possible to the few port guns that might be able to fire on them. Le Faucon's own bow chasers thundered and the Tigre's forward mast toppled like a felled oak. At the same moment the report of cannon fire was heard from behind the Spanish ship as she tried to turn her bow chasers onto Andre's ship a second time.

Huge splinters of wood and debris flew from the ship's aft as the cannons of the Calypso's Revenge hit their mark shattering the rudder. The smaller sound of rifle fire could be heard from the Pata del Tigre's aft deck. Le Faucon de Mer prepared to turn again for a broadside to the remaining sails of the galleon.

Caesaire Trosclair felt the ship shudder a split second after hearing the sound of distant cannon fire. She knew from her own time in command of the Shattered Dreams that the Faucon had been hit, but not badly. At best it could have been no more than a railing that suffered. The sleek fighting vessel showed no sign of slowing, so the sails and masts were still intact.

She paced the floor of the cabin. Despite her promise to Andre she had changed into battle garb, exchanging her dress for britches, shirt, and jerkin. She could understand her lover's concern for her safety and for that reason alone she had agreed to his proposal. Still her own concern for him made it far more difficult to keep her word than she had counted on. Men died in fights such as this and she would much rather be by his side than cloistered away from him like this.

Making her decision she began to arm herself. If Andre did not know she was above deck he could not worry about her. He could still concentrate on the job at hand and she could be there by his side should he need her. Caesaire would wait for the boarding party to secure them to the galleon and then she would join her man above deck.

Like twin precision dancers the two pirate ships cut along either side of the wounded galleon. Their broadsides sounding almost as one they unleashed their respective fury into the sails and rigging of the Pata del Tigre. Return fire from the Spanish ship belched out its flame tinted white smoke a moment later, obscuring their vision for a few tense moments.

Wood, a couple of the port side cannon and several bodies flew into the air across the deck of Le Faucon de Mer as several of the Spanish cannon balls struck home. Andre cursed loudly shouting for Francois' riflemen to open fire early in an attempt to at least disable the topside cannon of the larger ship. Several Spanish gunners fell to the deck as the muskets hidden in Le Faucon's riggings opened fire.

A second report of cannon fire from the Creole frigate suddenly roared to life. John Hubbard had withheld fire from Le Faucon's lower guns and now opened up with the skill of a surgeon. More than two thirds of El Pata del Tigre's lower cannon were blasted into twisted useless oblivion before Andre's ship had passed. The creaking sound of weakened wood echoed out across the yards separating the ships as the Tigre's main mast toppled backward onto her deck. The Spanish war vessel was at last dead in the water.

A cheer went up from the pirate crew. Andre Beaudouin marched to the rail of the quarter deck, saber drawn. Garnier Depaul, and Jacqueline Villard on either side of him. "We are not out of this yet, Mes Amis!" He shouted, instantly commanding the attention of his men. "Mister Randal! Bring us around! Boarding parties, stand by with the grapples! By God, we will take this prize, or die in the attempt!"

A second cheer arose in a deafening roar from the deck as the pilot brought the frigate around to baredown once more on the helpless galleon. Le Faucon de Mer's cannon blasted out a third time. The remaining cannon on the Pata del Tigre's port side were destroyed. Musket fire sent balls whizzing across Le Faucon's deck as the Spanish sailors opened up on the advancing pirate ship.

Under Francois command Le Faucon de Mer's sharp shooters laid down enough firepower to allow the grappling hooks to sink deep into the wood of the Tigre, pulling the ships close enough for the boarding planks to be dropped. Barely five of the pirate crew were hit as Andre, De Paul, and Jaquie lead the screaming horde of buccaneers across the wood and into the waiting Spanish. On the opposite side of the Pata del Tigre Jaquie's female pirates were mirroring the event. The ringing sound of steel meeting steel sang out all around them.

Caesaire burst through the door beneath the upper deck, sword in hand, just in time to see Andre and the others charge at full speed across the boarding planks. For a moment she considered returning to their cabin, but the sight of her love leading the party onto the Tigre overwhelmed her heart with pride. She would not let him face any danger that she herself would not face. With the cry of a seasoned warrior on her full lips she raced after the boarding party, the cutlass Andre had fought Lafitte with brandished high above her head.

Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #41 on: August 10, 2008, 12:48:11 PM »
Andre Ran to the head of the wide boarding plank, pistol in hand. Francois' sharpshooters had done their usually efficient job, leaving very few men with firearms standing. His bejeweled hand drew a bead on one of the remaining of that number and sent the ball rocketing through the man's heart just as he caught the saber of a second Spanish sailor on his own sword. Spinning the man's arm in a wide arc he ended the move by running his steel through the sailors chest, then leaped the short distance down to the deck of the galleon.

Jacqueline Villard landed onto the deck closely followed by Garnier Depaul and the rest of the howling crew. Juan Carlos watched in horror from the quarterdeck as the main deck of the Tigre turned into a chaotic blood bath with the pirates drawing most of the blood. He crossed himself and said a silent prayer to Mother Mary before turning to the several armed officers behind him.

"Stand ready and save your ammunition!" He screamed above the din of the battle. "We must hold this position at all costs! These treacherous dogs will take El Pata del Tigre over our dead bodies!!!"

The resounding cheer that his men answered him with did little to relieve the fear he felt in his gut as he turned to once again survey the carnage below. The wily Frenchman was slowly winning the day.

Unknown to Andre Beaudouin, Caesaire had boarded the ship with the last of the boarding party. The path cleared by Andre and the others left them with little resistance, but she still found herself engaged in a heated sword fight with one of the ship's defenders. Although no more than a midshipman, the Spaniard was well versed in the art of swordplay and neither could gain an advantage over the other. Time and again their weapons rebounded off the others with a ringing clash like a pair of cymbals gone mad.

Jaquie had fought her way to the other side of the ship to take command of her crew. With sword in one hand and her dagger in the other the African beauty was making quick work of any man foolish enough to stand in her way. The gracefulness with which she fought looked far more like a dance than fighting as she would spin, or duck, only to leave one of her blades buried in some vital part of her opponent's anatomy.

Just before he could lead the half of the pirates below, Garnier spotted a flash of long blond hair from the corner of his eye. "Mon Dieu!" He breathed as he recognized his son's love fighting aboard the Spanish vessel instead of safely aboard Le Faucon de Mer where she was supposed to be.

Quickly he grabbed one of Andre's crew by the arm. "Mon Ami," He shouted, "take the others below and carry out the captain's orders. I must insure now that he does not lose everything in taking this prize!"

To the confused look on the man's face Depaul nodded to an area close to where one of the boarding planks lay on the rail of the ship. The pirate's eyes widened in surprise and he whistled loudly. "Do what you must, Ami." He nodded and turned to the door leading to the lower decks. Just before he disappeared through the opening Garnier heard him add as an afterthought, "The captain is not going to like this."

"That is the understatement if ever there were one!" Depaul thought to himself as he ran to fight by Caesaire's side.

Andre and several of his men had fought their way to the foot of the stair's leading to the upper deck of the Tigre. He had already expended his second pistol and in a fashion similar to Jaquie now fought with a dagger in his off hand. Halfway up the steps one of Juan Carlos' men aimed a pistol at him, only to be rewarded with the Creole pirate's dagger buried to the hilt in his breast bone as Andre threw the blade before the man could fire.

Rifle fire from the Faucon de Mer discouraged any further attempts at gunplay long enough for the pirate's of the two ships to swarm the quarter deck. Hopelessly outnumbered Captain Juan Carlos' men dropped their pistols and he played the last card left to him, hoping that he was dealing with a man as cultured as he seemed to be instead of a butcher. One could never tell with pirates.

"Parley!" He shouted above the fray below.

Andre froze at the traditional cry for negotiation. "Monsieur?" He looked quizzically at the Spanish captain, suspecting a trap.

"Senor." He spoke directly to Andre as an equal. "Are you a man of honor, or simply another uncouth barbarian like any other pirate I have encountered in these waters?"

"What do you propose, Monsieur?" Beaudouin smiled wickedly at what he guessed was coming next.

"Call off the attack on my ship and I shall order my men to cease as well." Juan spoke evenly. "Let us settle this between ourselves. Should you win our duel we will surrender El Pata del Tigre to you without further bloodshed. However, if I defeat you in fair combat your men will leave my ship and crew in peace."

Caesaire had no more than dispatched the sailor with whom she had been fighting since she sat foot on the foreign ship when she caught another figure racing toward her. She jerked around, her empty hand filling with her bullwhip. It's nine feet of braided leather would gain her some measure of breathing room and perhaps cause a more than a few of the Spanish to think twice before engaging her in single combat.

She stopped herself just in time as she recognized Garnier Depaul, her whip hand drawn back to deliver the sting of her lash. "Monsieur Depaul?" She asked to reassure herself.

"Aye, Madame." The grizzled veteran scowled. "And what are you doing here? Andre would be beside himself if he knew."

"I could not stay safely aboard while he put himself at risk." Caesaire explained. "I would far rather die at his side than worry myself to death awaiting his return."

"That is understandable, Madame Trosclair." Garnier pulled his last pistol and shot an advancing sailor between the eyes. "But my.....Captain Beaudouin will be upset none the less."

Caesaire looked at the older buccaneer hard for a moment, certain that he had been about to say something else, but was unsure what. Then she was too busy cracking the vicious leather in a wide arc about them, keeping the remaining forces around them at bay, to think about it.

"I have no doubt he will, but I would rather face his anger than my own fear over his welfare." She shrugged, before they were both too busy with the fight to be concerned further.

"Agreed." Andre smiled and shouted for his crew to stop their assault. Captain Juan Carlos called for his remaining crew to cease as well. Though it took a few moments, mostly due to several heated solo fights between Jacqueline's female crew and a few Spaniards who did not accept the fact that they could be bested by a woman. Eventually the antagonists were subdued and turned their collective attentions to the raised deck.

Soon the main deck was cleared enough for the duel. The respective crews separated into a circle around the two captains. The sword fight was both short and deciding. Although a fair hand in the art of fencing, Juan Carlos found himself no match for the Creole pirate and was soon disarmed and helpless, Andre's sword pinning him to the mast, the tip of the blade a fraction of an inch from his throat.

"We surrender, Senor." He spoke lowly, his face red with the embarrassment of his defeat. Then he called to his crew. "Surrender your weapons and stand down!"

Soon all that remained alive of the Spaniards were put into the longboats and set adrift with enough food and fresh water for several days. The crews of the two pirate ships began to divide the treasure between the vessels. By mutual agreement they would sort out the division of the spoils in Jamaica, at Jaquie's own hidden bay. Her first mate and lover insured that as long as Jacqueline remained aboard Le Faucon none aboard the Calypso would attempt treachery, no matter how tempting the prize.

A broadside into the waterline from both ships sent the Pata del Tigre's empty hull to the sandy floor of the Atlantic below. The two pirate ships set course for Jamaica. As She slowly sank from sight Captain Juan Carlos debated whether he should join his ill fated ship rather than face the fury of Count Manuel Eladio.

Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #42 on: August 17, 2008, 11:43:52 AM »
From the decks of Le Faucon, a mighty cheer rang through the evening air. Andre grinned at his crew and yelled, "Liberté pour la Nouvelle-Orléans!"
The men responded, "Viva la Nouvelle-Orléans!"
Andre shook each man's hand in turn until he came to a pirate who hung back by the gunwale, trying to sneak away.
"You! Over there! Stop where you are or you will feel my blade through your gut! You! Spaniard!"
The person tried to keep edging away. Andre strode over to him, turning him around and whipped his cavalier hat off him.
Blonde hair tumbled down from the hat and cascaded down.
Caesaire looked up at Andre and managed a weak smile. "Bon soir, mon cher."
He took her by the arm and said quickly, "You weren't on El Pata el Tigre..were you?"
She didn't say anything but looked down at the deck.
Andre wiped his hand across his face and said lowly, "Mon Dieu, Caesaire, YOU COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED!"
She raised her head defiantly and said, "But I wasn't!"
He took her by the shoulders and shook her. A delayed fear was in his eyes. "What would I have done if anything had happened to you?"
"Andre, you are fretting for nothing!"
"Fretting? By all that is sacred, I think fretting is an understatement! I gave you explicit instructions to stay in our cabin! You disobeyed me!"
Her eyes flashed. "Disobey is a word that I do not tolerate, Andre! I do not take orders. I prefer mutual respect. You want me in the cabin? SO BE IT!"
She yanked her hat out of his hands and jammed it on her head.
All that Andre could hear besides his heart pounding was the stletto click of her boots on the deck and the distinct slam of his cabin door.

The crew all tried to stifle their grins as he whirled around to survey them.
He mustered up his devil-may-care attitude as he yelled out, "The finest casks of wine to be opened! Courtesy of Spain and Count Eladio!"
As the men were celebrating, Andre walked over to the gunwale and looked out over the darkened sky. The sun was dropping down into the sea like a liquid sphere. Garnier walked over to Andre, giving him a goblet of the wine.
He gently clapped Andre on the shoulder. "A prize well taken, my son. I couldn't be any more proud of you."
Andre looked at the wake cutting through the inky sea. He said softly, "I could have lost her, Père. She could have been killed. What would I have done then?"
Garnier took a sip of his wine and looked out onto the sea also. "She fought as well as any crewman of Le Faucon, Andre. You should be proud of her."
He slammed his fist onto the gunwale. "But she was told to stay in the cabin! A Spaniard could have run her through! How would I deal with finding her on the deck..dead?"
Garnier shrugged. "I can only imagine."
Andre's hand was shaking as he tried to steady the goblet. "Mon Dieu, I am beginning to think that the life of a pyrate is not one I would wish for Caesaire. In my mind's eye, I always pictured her as sitting on a verandah, a warm breeze ruffling her white dress as she fanned herself. Not wielding a rapier and engaging in swordplay!"
He looked back over to the closed door of his cabin and said quietly, "And now she is upset with me."
Garnier chuckled, "I dare say 'furious' is the word you are looking for, son."
Andre looked to his father and said, "I suppose I ought to make amends, oui?"
"Oui!  I have learned one thing about a woman with that much tempestuousness and passion---they flare up easily but are just as forgiving. And the rewards are quite satisfying!"
He clapped his father on the shoulder and said, "Then I should set things right."
Garnier nodded. "Just take her in your arms and tell her that you love her."
He laughed uneasily. "As simple as that?"
Garnier nodded again. "Where is she to go, Andre? She's stuck here on the ship with you!"
Garnier found himself smiling as he looked back to his son as he headed towards his cabin.
'It's not like walking to the gallows, son....'
Andre paused long enough to motion Francois over to him.
"Oui, Andre?"
Andre said quietly, "Francois, you and John have the ship. It appears I need to do some damage control."
Francois grinned. Andre said defensively, "It was an honest reaction that was over-reacted. We all make mistakes, Francois. Even me."
His friend nodded, "Aye, Andre. She startled Garner for sure. He went over to talk some sense into her but she was hell-bent on being by your side. She is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the rapier. And even the whip."
"The whip?"
"Oui. She cracked it and woe to those who got in the way!"
Andre shook his head. "A whip. Who would have guessed little Caesaire Trosclair could do all that?"
"Obviously not you, mon ami!"
Andre turned the knob gently and opened the door. Her back was to him and she was gazing out the porthole window.
She turned to him and her face was streaked with tears. He walked over in three quick strides and took her into his arms. Her sobs racked her body as she buried her face in his chest.
"Our first fight, Andre...I'm so sorry."
He rocked her back and forth like a child. "Hush, ma is I who should apologize."
Her voice was barely audible until he lifted her chin up.
"I never should have disrespected you in front of your crew, Andre. And slamming the cabin door was inexcusable."
He looked quizzically. "You are not apologizing for going against my wishes for you to stay aboard and in the cabin?"
She looked at him with surprise. " Because I am not. Andre, my place was by your side and fighting next to you."
He held her at arm's length and said fiercely, "No, it is not, ma cher. Your place is to keep safe for me. For us. After all, we have our sons and daughters to think of."
"Our children. Caesaire, you do want to raise a family, do you not?"
She looked around. "I guess I never thought of it, Andre. I suppose we could always put a cradle in the corner over there."
Andre looked at her with astonishment. "Caesaire, a pirate ship is no place for les bébés !"
"But..but...if you go to sea, my darling...and if I have children, is this going to work out, Andre?"
He drew her to him and hugged her dearly.
"Caesaire, ma petite, I think we have alot to work out."
She looked up and gave him a sly smile. "Starting with a magnificent necklace you will give me to make up for our first fight!"
"And choose carefully,  Andre....or we shall have our second fight!"
He kissed her and said, "Ready for Jamaica?"
"Ready for Jamaica, mon amore....but is she ready for US?"

« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 11:59:15 AM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2008, 09:09:19 AM »
The crystalline blue waters of the hidden Jamaican cove that served as Jacqueline Villard's base of operations lapped languidly against the hulls of the two pirate ships anchored a few yards off the beach. Only the seagulls and parrots bore witness to the seemingly endless parade of longboats that traveled back and forth from the ships to the shore as the respective crews worked to empty the holds of the booty they had taken from the ill fated Pata del Tigre.

Caesaire's eyes widened with each passing of the boats. "Mon Dieu!" She whispered. "Is there no end to the treasure?" She had gone to their cabin and had missed the unloading of the cargo into the ships.

Andre grinned as he gently increased the pressure of his arm around her waist. "There is, Mon Amore, but it will take a while to see it. This is why I was so adamant about capturing this prize. To my knowledge she is the richest haul ever taken."

"I would be inclined to agree." She returned the hug.

Jaquie walked up to the knoll on the beach where the two lovers supervised from, Francois, Etienne, John, and Garnier in tow. She had removed her boots, as was her habit whenever she came ashore in her home, preferring to feel the sand of Jamaica between her toes. A huge sparkling white grin spread across her mocha features.

"Well, Andre," The ebony piratess laughed, "it would seem this adventure has paid us better than all of our previous business ventures combined!"

Beaudouin threw his head back and laughed. "I would not go that far, Captain Villard. We have taken many wealthy prizes between us over the past few years. She is though, the largest we have taken to date and I doubt we will see another like her, N'cest pas?"

Jaquie laughed just as heartily. "No, I think not. From what you have told me I would bet we have nearly bankrupted the Spanish dog who this belonged to. What was his name again?"

"Count Manuel Elaido." Andre grinned. "I have heard mention of him before in Cuba. A very wealthy and powerful man. Second only to Joseph some say, but both you and I know how a tale grows with the telling." He looked hard at the huge pile of treasure mounting on the sands. "Perhaps this time the tales are not so exaggerated."

"Cest la vie, Captain." Francois frowned, his arms folded in satisfaction across his chest. "No motherless son of Spain deserves to be so rich."

"Patience, Mon Ami." Andre smiled. "Soon enough Madame New Orleans will be free of King Phillip once and for all. First we will need to know exactly what our take has been, then we will need to convert the bulk goods into the currency of gold and silver."

"No matter how we look at it, we're going to be here for awhile, Mates." John Hubbard broke in. "A week at the best."

"To say the least." Etienne added. "Even with Andre and Jaquie informing the merchants they usually deal with in advance. I wonder if they will have enough to take such a prize off our hands?"

Andre winked. "Fear not, Ami, both of us made certain it was clear that what we would have to offer this time could break their collective banks. Once everything is sorted out into lots I don't think we will have much trouble. Our buyers have made the handsome profit from us before, they will be ready."

Jacqueline stretched like a cat. "I for one am ready for a bit of relaxation while our crews get the booty into our store houses. Let us retire to my veranda and celebrate our fortunes."

"That is the best idea I've heard in days." Caesaire exclaimed.

"I agree." Andre stroked his goatee thoughtfully. "But first John and I must see to the Crews. They will want to be paid a little and we must have guards on the treasure. We shall join you in a few hours."

"As you wish, Mon Cher." Caesaire kissed him lightly on the cheek. "But do not take too long.

Jean Lafitte sat in his study, brooding. Looking out the window of his home on Barataria to the south he half expected to see the hated lines of Le Faucon de Mer coming into view, not that he could take action against her while Caesaire was still aboard. Beaudouin's growing power in New Orleans would also have made such a rash action more than a bit problematic for him. The man would have to dealt with in a more covert fashion.

Ruefully he raised the glass of Cognac to his lips and sipped. Things had gotten far more complex now that the city had grown into a major port of trade. The formerly small colonies to the north were becoming richer by the day and their demand for the amenities of life grew with them, as did their demand for slaves. If only he could have made Andre see that, but the man's aversion to the slave trade had set them at odds. Now with Caesaire taking up with him the rift between them was beyond repair.

The French pirate lord rubbed his chin at that last thought. He had been more than a little surprised at Caesaire's actions on the beach. Had that Creole dandy not distracted her at the last moment Lafitte could not be sure what she may have done. It boggled the imagination that Caesaire could care so much for any man. Even while she had been his woman there had always been a certain aloofness to the woman. A wall that no amount of attention, nor finery could breech. No matter how hard he had tried.

No matter. Even if Andre Beaudouin had managed to find the way into Caesaire's heart he would not keep it for long. Jean was not about to allow the upstart to defeat him. Soon enough Lafitte would get his chance again and this time he would not fail, Andre would die at his hand. It was just a matter of time and a bit of patience.

"Entrez" Jean said sourly at the expected knock on the double doors to the study. Standing as the female house slave opened the door for Benjamin le Renard to enter.

"I must say, Jean, the look on your face is rather un-welcoming." The politician frowned. "I would have thought you to be a bit more happy to see me. Is there something troubling you? Perhaps I can be of assistance."

"Nothing I can not take care of, Mon Ami." Lafitte reached across the desk to offer his hand. "A minor irritation that will soon be remedied and I am glad to see you again."

Jean poured a second crystal for his guest, motioning for Renard to be seated. "Now, Ami, what is the offer have you asked to see me about?"
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 04:41:07 PM by Blackjack Roberts »

Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2008, 05:19:30 AM »
Jacqui and Caesaire walked up a footpath that lead through a small jungle. As they broke free of the trees, there stood a beautiful Creole cottage.
Caesaire gasped. "Oh, Jacqui! What a lovely home!"
Jacqui grinned. "Thank you, my pretty-pretty. I 'inherited' it from a planter named Ambroise Beaulieu."
The house was a beautiful shell pink stucco with a white veranda wrapping all around the house. Dormer windows graced the front of the house and hurricane shutters straddled the sides of the large windows. Palm trees and banana trees graced the shell walkway up to the house. The front door was reached by a series of five steps of cypress. The mocha-hued piratess opened the front door. A woman of about forty appeared, wearing a bright tignon and a flowing dress.
Jacqui grinned. "Bonjour, Maman!"
The woman's face split in a grin. "And you have decided to come home to see your Maman, n'est-ce pas?"
Jacqui turned to Caesaire and said, "Caesaire Trosclair, voici ma mere! Maman, c'est Caesaire Trosclair.  Les vies de Caesaire à la Nouvelle-Orléans."
Caesaire extended her hand to the dusky woman. "I am pleased to meet you, Madame...?"
Jacqui's mother smiled and clasped Caesaire to her ample bosom. "Je suis Perrine Villard. Please! Let me get us some lemonade and we shall get acquainted on the verandah."
Caesaire looked at Jacqui and asked, "Would you mind terribly if I freshened up a bit first?"
Jacqui shook her head and said, "Of course not, ma petite. You will find a room at the top of the stairs. That will be for you and Andre. The other rooms will be for John, Etienne and Francois."
Perrine raised her eyebrow. "Francois? Francois Loup?"
Jacqui's laughter trilled through the house. "Oui, Maman! Francois Loup."
Jacqui's mother could scarcely contain her mirth. "Ah, the randy chien!"
They both laughed.
Caesaire entered a beautiful room with a four-poster bed and a huge dresser with a mirror. The coverlet was in a white downfilled blanket.A large braided rug centered in the room. A few paintings graced the walls.  A copper tub was in the alcove. She smiled to herself. The pitcher and wash basin was of the finest china and the soap smelled of camomile and sandalwood. She washed her face and dried off with a soft towel of Turkish cotton. An ivory brush was on the dry sink top and she ran it through her hair. After primping a few minutes, Caesaire ran down the stairs and onto the verandah. There seated in a rocker was Jacqui's mother.
Suddenly, Caesaire felt shy.
Perrine broke out in a wide smile and leaned over, patting a wicker rocker with a cushion of batik cotton.
"Jacqui will be down in a bit. She is meeting with her overseer. He takes inventory of her booty and arranges for receipt of money due."
Casaire was surprised that Perrine took exceptional pride in her daughter's dangerous 'occupation.'
She thought back to her father, Christophe. Pillar of the Creole community and her 'occupation' was a source of embarrassment to the point he lied about it. She remembered hearing that he was telling his cronies at the gentlemen's club that Caesaire was in Paris arranging for the fashions to be shipped from dressmakers to the finest shops on Rue Royal.
Perrine fanned herself with a large peacock fan. She took a deep drink of her lemonade and poured a glass for Caesaire.
"Merci, Madame Vilard."
"You are welcome, petite! I must say that Andre Beaudouin did very well for himself."
Caesaire nodded happily, "This is treasure beyond compare!"
Perrine shook her head. "Mais non, ma petite! I meant you."
"You have met Andre?"
"Oui. I daresay that Andre was the one man I hoped would change Jacqui's...persuasion. But it is not meant to be."
Caesaire didn't know what to say so she sipped her lemonade. Mama Villard sighed. "I suppose with the way Jacqui came into the world, it soured her on men."
Caesaire said, "Pardon?"
Perrine shrugged. "It was the way of things. I was on a slave ship bound for Sainte Domingue. Jacqui was conceived on the voyage over. Her father was a Spaniard. I don't even know his name."
Caesaire's mouth dropped open and she didn't know what to say. Perrine patted her on the leg.
"Ma petite, Jacqui is my pride and joy. Do not fret. I gave up hating that Spaniard years ago."
Just then Jacqi came out the door.
She grinned at her mother and said, "Did I not tell you, Maman, that Caesaire Trosclair was made for Andre?"
"Oui, that she is!"
Jacqui sat down and poured herself a glass of lemonade and grabbed a palm leaf for a fan. "And I can imagine it shall be a most interesting evening when the men get here."
Andre muttered to himself, 'It has to be here somewhere....'
"Looking for something, Andre?"
John Hubbard stood among the booty that was still being tagged and sorted.
"Just a small chest that was made of cedar.  It was mahogany with carvings of roses on it. I was just a bit intrigued by it."
"How big?"
Andre spread his hands out about a foot. "About like this. I was a bit curious about it because it seemed like a chest meant for a lady."
Francois chimed in, "Probably contains a high-born lady's unmentionables!"
Etienne whispered, "Then don't mention it!"
After a half hour of sorting through things and tagging them, Garnier came across the chest in question.
"Is this the one, Andre?"
The captain looked up from a gold chalice he was holding. "It looks like it."
Garnier handed it to Andre. "It seems a bit heavy. Must be for a very large Senora!"
He took it and headed towards his cabin. "I'll open it in a bit and add it to the booty. You know how I love a mystery and I allow myself one on every plunder!"
Within two hours, the crew had their payment and was heading merrily towards the port of Negril where rum and doxies abounded.
Francois, Etienne and John were clearing the last of the booty. Andre slipped back to his cabin, anxious to see what the intriguing chest contained. He thumped it soundly. It did not have an echo so he knew that it had something in it. A keylock secured the lid in front.
No key.
Andre took out a pocketknife that had belonged to his stepfather Anton Beaudouin. He gently worked the knife into the keyhole, sliding it up and down and all around. After about ten minutes, he heard a click.
Very gently, he slid the button to the left and carefully lifted the lid.
What Andre saw caught him by surprise. The chest was filled with silver and gold coins of the Spanish realm. There were loose gemstones. Rubies, emeralds, sapphires and amethysts scattered throughout.
He sorted through it and that is when he found it.
A small box with a miniature of a peacock painted delicately on the lid. The sides were of inlaid mother-of-pearl and the clasp was of gold.
Andre's fingers gently slid it open.
And the contents made him gasp.
'Mon Dieu!'
He reached into the box and pulled up a three-strand pearl necklace as a choker. In  the center was a ruby.
A single solitary ruby.
The biggest ruby that Andre had ever seen.
He held it up and the light caught it.
Andre looked further into the box. A name was engraved in the lid in delicate script.

Dolores y Castillo Eladio

A smile spread over Andre's face as he put it in the box. It was a gift to the Countess Eladio!
He laughed to himself.
'Alors, Countess! I know of a neck this would look better graced upon!'
He put the necklace back in the small box and slipped it into his pocket.
'Ah, Caesaire! I want a kiss for each pearl and something special for the ruby!'
He locked his cabin, a jaunty spring in his step as he envisioned the look on Caesaire's face when she opened the box.
It would be a token of his love and penance for their first fight.
The Creole buccaneer smiled broadly as he anticipated the gratitude of his beloved.
"Domage, Count Eladiio! But you shall have to find another gift for the Countess! It is more fit for a queen. And a pirate queen at that!"
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 08:36:01 PM by Welsh Wench »
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