Author Topic: BARATARIA  (Read 25308 times)

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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #75 on: June 27, 2009, 08:08:25 PM »
"Over my dead body!"
Christophe and Andre both looked up. There on the circular staircase stood Caesaire.
Her eyes were blazing and her face was flushed with anger.
She took the stairs in a measured gait and stood there staring down her father.
"How DARE you presume to choose for me! I shall wed who I want!"
"Caesaire..." her father started.
"Mais non, Pere! I am a full grown woman with a mind of my own.  Is that what the dinner party last night? I was being put on display like a prize cow?"
"A cow? Non, cher--more like a prize flower in a garden show!"
All three of them whirled around to see Sebastian enter the room. He raised his eyebrow.
"Was I not supposed to come in just yet?"
Andre walked over and stood next to his childhood friend.
"It appears that your uncle has another in mind for your cousin," he said tightly.
Sebastian laughed. "And what does the lovely Caesaire say about it?"
She drew herself up and said, "The lovely Caesaire says that Pere and Benjamin le Renard can go---"
"Oops, Caesaire! Your 'convent breeding' is slipping! Now, as your lawyer, I have a very simple solution to this. Care to hear it?"
All three just stared at Sebastian.
He cleared his throat.
"Yes, well. Caesaire, do you love Renard?"
"Do you love Andre?"
"Since I was a child."
"Andre, do you love Caesaire?"
"With all my heart."
"Have you forsaken all others?"
"None have claimed my heart ever."
Sebastian looked at Christophe and shrugged his shoulders, his hands palm up in supplication.
"I did what I could, Uncle Christophe. But there you have it. Clear as mother's milk. Now...when do we eat?"
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #76 on: July 06, 2009, 10:56:12 AM »
Andre stood in the parlor desperately trying to control his temper. The revelation of Christophe Trosclair that Renard had asked for the hand of his beloved in marriage all but unhinged his mind with murderous rage. The simpering lawyer he could understand, and better still presented no true threat. Benjamin, however was another matter altogether. He had allowed himself to trust the man. Worse he had been cajoled into admiring him as a patriot of New Orleans. Now, he wanted nothing more than to blow the traitorous dog’s head off on the dueling field. Only Caesaire’s rejection of the whole idea held him back from storming out to murder his former partner.

Sebastian felt a chill run the length of his spine. He had known, and loved as a brother, Andre Beaudouin since childhood. Far long enough to be able to read his friend’s moods like an open book. Although the Creole pirate’s face remained calm, the flash in those hazel eyes spoke violence of the most ungodly kind. It was not hard to guess just who the victim was to be, and he could not allow his brother to make such a horrible mistake. There were many things a pirate could do with impunity in New Orleans. The murder of someone as important as Benjamin le Renard was not counted among them.

Placing a hand on Andre’s shoulder confirmed his worst suspicions. The muscle beneath the silk finery was as hard with tension as a rock. “And you, Mon frere, now know beyond doubt Caesaire’s heart. As if you did not before. I believe the matter is more than settled. Now let’s enjoy the evening’s repast. J'ai faim.”

“Je suis désolé, but the matter is far from settled.” Christophe began. This was still his house, and he was yet the head of the family Trosclair. He would be damned if his wishes in the matter would be so easily brushed aside.

“Then, perhaps you would allow me to settle it, Monsieur Trosclair.” The four of them turned to see the servant standing nonplussed at having walked in on the family argument, Benjamin Renard at his side.

Andre’s face went blood red and his eyes shot daggers of hate at his former friend. Only the tightening of Sebastian’s hand on his shoulder and Caesaire slipping her arm thorough his on the opposite side kept him from attacking the man then and there.

“Please, Andre, forgive me. I had no idea that you and the lovely Mademoiselle Trosclair were…involved.” Renard bowed pulling his hat from his head. Straightening back up he looked directly at Christophe. “In light of these facts, I fear I must withdraw my request, Monsieur Trosclair. Had I known that Caesaire was already involved with my good friend Andre, I would never have proposed it in the first place.”

“But…but, Monsieur!” Christophe Trosclair sputtered, feeling the situation slipping from his control. “Surely we may yet discuss the matter! I am after all her father.”

Benjamin smiled graciously. “I am afraid there is nothing to discuss, Monsieur. I have rarely met a man that I hold in such high regard as Andre Beaudouin, and I shall not stand between him and the woman he loves. If you will take the advice of a stranger, Monsieur, neither will you.”

Andre felt the rage melt from him like dew before the rays of the morning sun. “M-monsieur Le Renard, I do not know what to say.”

Renard raised one hand. “Say nothing, Andre. Just find it in your heart to forgive my faux pas.”

“But, of course!” Andre extended his hand to the politician, his heart soaring as his last obstacle to the dream of marrying his one true love cleared with his friend’s words.

“Now, if you will all forgive me, I will be on my way.” Renard smiled again, shaking the offered hand firmly. “I would think you all have much planning to do. Congratulations, my friend.”

“Well, now that that is settled.” Sebastian grinned, breathing an inner sigh of heartfelt relief.

Back on the cobblestone streets of New Orleans Benjamin hailed a passing carriage. “Monsieur Drausin D'Estrehan’s, s'il vous plait.”

“Oui, Monsieur”

Settling back Renard grinned wickedly. As he had surmised there was a need to do a bit of damage control. He had tipped his hand much to soon with the rash decision to ask for the hand of the much sought after Caesaire Trosclair. She would still prove useful as a pawn against both Beaudouin and Lafitte. More so now if she did marry Andre. He could always acquire her later once the dust settled.

Yes. Patience is indeed a virtue and she would be more receptive to him as a concerned friend than a forced lover. He could afford to wait for his chess pieces to clear themselves from the board. Then she would be his willingly.

Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #77 on: July 15, 2009, 08:26:57 PM »
Sebastian watched the carriage of Benjamin le Reynard disappear around the corner.
Something is not right....
He caught Caesaire's eyes and he could read her concern in them. Christophe was trying hard to control his emotions as he reached for a bottle of brandy on the sideboard.
Only Andre looked calm. Relieved, even. This was not like Andre, Sebastian reasoned.
He cleared his throat. "I was invited for supper, and eat I shall. What is for dinner?"
Christophe downed his brandy in one gulp.
"Poulet et poisson, Sebastian. Shall we all adjourn to the dining room?"
Dinner was a very quiet affair. Sebastian and Andre kept up a conversation regarding the price of merchandise in the port and what certain goods would bring. Christophe poured himself a great deal of brandy and ate little.
Caesaire moved her food around on her plate, not saying anything at all except, "Plus de vin, s'il vous plait" to the maid.
When dessert was brought, Christophe excused himself. "Pardonnez-moi, but I have an appointment in the morning and I must retire for the night."
He pushed his chair in and nodded to each of the young men. To Andre he said, "It was nothing personal, Andre. You are a very prosperous young man. And a Creole. I shall bid you goodnight."
To Caesaire he said in a low voice, "We shall see each other at breakfast, cher." He kissed to top of her head and reached to touch her cheek with the back of his hand. She sat there stonily, swirling her wine in the goblet.
Nothing was said.
After Christophe climbed the stairs, Caesaire exploded, "Fils de chien!"
Andre and Sebastian exchanged shocked looks. Sebastian nodded towards Andre and said, "It is the wine talking."
But Caesaire retorted, "In vino veritas."
Andre took her hand and said in a low voice, "Cher, please. He is your father. And it is over now."
She looked at Christophe incredulously. "You think it is OVER? It has just begun, Andre."
Sebastian looked up at the stairs where his uncle had ascended. "Might I suggest we take our evening libations to the courtyard and partake of the cool river breeze?"
The three settled in the walled courtyard where the crickets were chirping and the sound of a riverboat was heard in the distance.
Andre and Caesaire sat there quietly, Caesaire more so than usual. She reached for the wine bottle and Sebastian put his hand over her glass.
"Non, cher, you have had enough."
She looked from Andre to Sebastian. "Please tell me you don't accept Reynard's bowing out so easily!"
Sebastian shook his head. "I don't for one second believe he gives up that easily."
Andre's voice came from the dark. It had an edge of steel to it. "Nor do I."
Caesaire looked from one to the other. "But--but the way you two were acting...."
Sebastian said, "The key word is 'acting'. Good Lord, cousine! What do you take us for? Fools?"
"Of course not..I mean!  What I mean is you were so wonderful at it, you surprised even me!"
The men grinned. Andre said soberly, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." He stole a glance up to the room where Christophe had lit a candle.
Sebastian drank his brandy. "I'm discreetly checking on Reynard to see if he has any skeletons in the closet."
Caesaire rubbed her forehead. "This is all too much. All I want to do is marry Andre. Properly. With a cathedral wedding. It's what every girl dreams of."
Andre touched her hand and said softly, "You shall have your dreams, cher."
Sebastian rose and tucked the brandy bottle under his arm.
"I'm staying at Mere's house tonight. Too late to go anywhere but next door."
He kissed the top of Caesaire's head and said gently, "Don't fret, ma petite. It will all work out."
Andre and Caesaire watched Sebastian slip through the gate, whistling a merry tune as he ran up the stairs of the house next door.
Andre took Caesaire's hands in his. In a low voice, he said, "Mon cher, I think our plans will have to change."
"What? Andre, you aren't backing out in marrying me, are you? Please say you will marry me!"
Andre took her in his arms and held her close. He whispered in her ear, so only she could hear it.
"I think the Cathedral is out of the question. Caesaire, my love, I think we need to get married."
"Of course we will, Andre. We need to post banns and we can do that by next week after we talk to Pere Antoine."
His voice startled her.
He looked into her eyes.
"We do it now. Tonight!  Caesaire, we see Pere Antoine tonight and by the morning sun, we shall be man and wife."
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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #78 on: July 20, 2009, 09:58:35 PM »
"Andre! Wait there and I will be right down."
"Non, mon can't have any of the servants see you. Climb down."
"Climb down holding onto the vines. I'll be here to catch you."
Caesaire whispered, "Stand back for a minute."
She threw her valise out the window and watches as it landed softly on the shrubbery below.
Cautiously she hitched her skirt up and threw one leg over the sill, then the other. Tentatively she grabbed hold of the vines. Miraculously they held. As she descended down the fifteen feet, she saw Andre grin. At the last five feet, she closed her eyes and jumped into Andre's waiting arms.

Caesaire opened her eyes and thought she had never seen such tenderness on Andre's face since they were youngsters in the Trosclair courtyard those many years ago.
He set her down gently and picked up her valise. Grabbing her hand, they hurried down St Louis Street to Rue de Chartres.


Pausing at the Cathedral steps, Andre held her hands.
"Cher, I need to ask one thing. Are you sure? You will marry me now? Tonight?  Because when we cross over the steps, there is no going back."
She nodded, her eyes shining. "Oui, Andre. I will marry you. Now. Tonight."

Quietly Andre opened the door to the church. He led her to the altar. "I'll rouse Pere Antoine. Stay right there."
As he disappeared out the side door to the priest's quarters, she looked around. Opening up her valise, she slipped into the confessional and within five minutes, Caesaire emerged.
She wore a dress of white lawn and lace. She shook out a white mantilla, lovingly caressing the folds of it.
'A part of you will be with me tonight, Maman...even though you aren't with me, you will be in spirit.'
She attached it to her hair just as Andre walked into the sanctuary with a very sleepy, very grumpy Pere Antoine.

"Caesaire, this is the most crazy idea you and Andre have ever had."
Caesaire looked deeply into Andre's eyes and smiled but she spoke her words to Pere Antoine.
"Pere Antoine, if you don't marry us here and now, I shall promise you that Andre and I will be here for confession tomorrow."
Pere Antoine scrambled to take his book of marriage and his place in front of the altar.
Andre reached from behind his back and placed a bouquet of white and pink roses into her hands. Her breath caught as her eyes filled with tears of happiness.

Pere Antoine paused and then gave them a smile of approval.

"Andre and Caesaire, have you each come of your own free will to give yourselves to the other in marriage?"
They said in unison, "Oui."
"Will you honor and love one another as husband and wife for the rest of their lives?"
"Will you both accept children from God lovingly and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?"
"Oui, Pere."
"Join right hands, s'il vous plait."

"Inasmuch, Andre and Caesaire have declared before God and the Church and this congregation to wed."
Andre looked at Pere Antoine and said in a whisper, "But Pere, we are the only ones here."
The priest glared at him. "Do you think I am blind? Of course I know that! But you want this done good and proper---unbreakable, as it were. So we shall do it my way--the right way!"

"Andre, do you take Caesaire as your lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish until death do you part?"
He solemnly answered, "I do."
"Caesaire, do you take Andre as your lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death do you part?"
She looked lovingly at him, "I do."

"Do you have rings?"
Andre reached in his pocket and handed both rings to Pere Antoine.
"Bless these wedding rings as symbols of deep faith and peace."
Andre slipped the ring on Caesaire's finger and said, "With this ring I thee wed and pledge thee my troth."
Her fingers trembling, she slipped the ring on Andre's finger and repeated, "With this ring I thee wed and pledge thee my troth."
Pere Antoine yawned and said, "I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride. As if you haven't already..."

Andre gently placed his finger on Caesaire's chin and lifted her face to his.
He placed a long lingering kiss on her lips.
Pere Antoine yawned again and his final words as he blew out the altar candles were, "Now I don't care what you do. You can stay in bed doing God knows what--and I am sure I know too--I just don't want to see you at my confessional tomorrow. It has been sanctified by the Church, by me and by God. So...the marital bed is all yours!"
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 10:06:13 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #79 on: August 06, 2009, 11:14:49 AM »
“And now, Andre, my husband, any regrets?” Casaire coyly pulled the bed linins above her cleavage as her newlywed husband laid the silk coat across the back of the chair in their room. She smiled beguilingly as Andre fumbled with the cumbersome clothing in his haste.

“Only two, My dear Wife.” He grinned as he fought with the suddenly uncooperative ribbon that formed the constrictive tie around his collar. “That I was unable to provide you with the proper society wedding of your dreams, and that this ridiculous modern way of dressing makes disrobing an all night affair!”

She burst out laughing. “Come here before you hang yourself and save the Governor the price of a new hemp.”

Andre’s breath caught in his throat as the covers slid to Caesaire’s waist while her delicate fingers tugged at the nearly hopeless knot his impatience had made of the tie. A half smile curled the edge of her full mouth, satisfaction that, even though they had already been lovers, she could still make the man she loved as awkward as an enamored school boy.

“Well, Mon amore,” she spoke softly as the stubborn knot yielded to her, “there was little else we could do, given Pere’s stubbornness. Besides, I do have my lifelong wish granted. I have my childhood love for my very own now.”

The pirate’s eyes softened to the deeper hazel hue that she had often noticed when he looked at her in love. “That you do, Mon cher. As far as my heart was ever concerned it was never in question. Yet, still, I would see your every wish granted as long as there is breath in my body to do so.”

Gently his mouth lowered to hers, a gentile kiss meant to show the tenderness in his feelings that all too quickly turned into the fiery cousin named passion. With one hand Caesaire pulled loose the black silk ribbon that held his below the shoulder mane of coal colored hair back. With the other she tenderly guided his body down to hers. Andre’s own hands moved with a will of their own as the mother of pearl buttons of his shirt came free as if undoing themselves.

With love as the only language needed they switched endeavors and his hands softly caressed the warm curves of her form while her own made quick work of his remaining garments. Only the thin coverlets separated them as he stroked her alabaster cheek with the back of two ringed fingers. She locked her fingers into his hair, burying his ever moving lips deeper into the sweet flesh of her neck.

Unable to prolong their passion any longer, Casaire wriggled free of the bed clothing’s embrace. Her heated body undulated and entwined with Andre’s as she returned his caresses with the love of a hundred women. Soft, pale silver moonlight flowed through the window pane over their lovemaking.

“Make ready to dock!” Juan Carlos shouted from the quarter deck as the sailors scrambled to obey.

“Is she here, Capitane?” Count Elaido eyed the port of New Orleans like a wolf looking for the weakest member of a herd.

“I do not see her, Count.” Carlos replied nervously. “Perhaps this Andre Beaudouin has taken the treasure elsewhere for safe keeping?”

“The treasure is no more.” A feminine voice answered behind the two men. “As I already told you, it was sold in Jamaica, and the profits brought here for safekeeping.”

Count Manuel Elaido whirled, a vicious snarl curling his lips. “I know what you told us, Senorita Juliana!” The nobleman leaned menacingly close to the abandoned piratess. “Seeing as you were part of the other crew who stole my property you will forgive my skepticism, Si?!”

Marie Juliana nodded and back away from the count and his lackey. She had been aboard the Lady of Spain long enough to know better than to push the tyrant in any way. At least she would have the time to warn Jaquie. They could make their escape together and leave Andre Beaudouin and his crew to take the consequences.

Elaido waited until the girl was well away from them before turning his back on her and lowering his voice to where she could not hear him.

“Once we have made port, Captain, I want you to keep an eye on that one.”

“As you wish, Senor.” Juan Carlos nodded slightly. He had already made that decision and given the order to two of his most loyal men. “And the Falcon? Shall we enlist the aid of the Governor?”

“No, you fool!” Count Elaido’s eyes narrowed menacingly. “It’s bad enough that half the fortune will have to be recovered from Jamaica, I’ll not have word return to Spain of it’s existence! We shall make discreet inquiries only! Then once we have both pirates in our hands we will have no more need of this one. You will see to that personally!”

“Si.” Carlos stared at the lower deck.

“I shall have the treasure back and whole, one way or another, Carlos.” The count’s eyes gleamed in the night. “Then we shall make an example of those who stole it.”
« Last Edit: August 24, 2009, 09:25:32 AM by Blackjack Roberts »

Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #80 on: August 10, 2009, 10:57:39 AM »
Caesaire rested her head against Andre's chest, trying to catch her breath. Andre tenderly stroked her back as they lay there together, finally one in spirit as well as in body.
She teasingly smiled to him, "Any regrets now, Monsieur Beaudouin?"
He kissed the top of her head and whispered, "Only one."
Caesaire looked up at him with questioning eyes.
He replied, "That we should have done this years ago. Our lives may have been so different."
She took his face in her hands and looked deeply into his eyes. "Oui, but we would have been different people then. Now we have learned to hold on to what we have. And appreciate it more."
He pushed her hair back from her face and nodded. "I still regret not having you all those years."
Caesaire looked around the room.
"I do love this room.  It is so...warm and inviting."
Andre laughed, "I think I did the inviting. And the warmth was your contribution."
She looked down. "I must ask, Andre. Did you ever bring any other woman to this room?"
He tilted her chin up and met her gaze. "Mais non, cher. This room was reserved for you a long time ago."
"Oh, Andre...."
He silence the rest of her query with a kiss. And in the moonlight, they showed how much they loved each other. And how desperately they were willing to hold on to what they have.
Marie Doucet hummed a French tune as she poured a cup of cafe au lait and took it out to her courtyard. The summer sun had risen in the sky and gave all indications it would be another steamy day.
As she sat down with a book, a voice from the wrought iron gate said, "Ah, so this is where you live!"
Her head jerked up and her coffee cup rattled in the saucer.
"Garnier de Paul."
"May I come in?"
Marie frowned. "I have nothing to say to you, Garnier."
"I think you would do best to let me in, Marie. What I have to say is not for everyone's ears."
She put her cup down and then opened the gate.
In the twenty-eight years since Marie had first met Garnier, he seemed to be even more handsome and appealing since that day she met him in the French market and he had bought all her flowers.
This had been only the second time she had seen him since that day he sailed off.
And left her with a remembrance of their time together.
A child she named Andre.
Garnier stood there, not quite knowing what to do. Marie Doucet had matured into a beautiful woman. As a girl, she was exquisite. The years had refined that.
She was wearing a simple dress of rose with white lace on the collar. Her hair was loose but held back from her face with silver combs.
She stood there regally with her head held high.
"What makes you think Andre is here?" she asked.
He hesitated and then plunged in. "As his mother, I expected him to be here."
"Garnier, he is a grown man. Surely you should know that. Have you checked the places down on Bourbon Street? You may want to start at Madame Badeau's."
She shrugged, "After all, he is French."
Just then, another voice called through the gate.
"Madame Beaudouin?"
She looked over to see Christophe Trosclair standing at her gate. He was dressed in a silk suit and was carrying a box.
She looked at Garnier and walked over to the gate, opening it.
"Monsieur Trosclair! What a pleasant surprise!"
"Bon jour, Marie. I was passing by the patisserie and I smelled beignets. They are fresh and....oh! pardonnez-moi. I did not realize you had company."
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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #81 on: August 10, 2009, 10:58:13 AM »
The two men sized each other up like wary dogs over a bone. Christophe was dignified and elegant. Striking in appearance with deep brown eyes and silver hair, the way he carried himself spoke of his Creole breeding. He was dressed in the finest of suits made of silk and Garnier was sure it had come from Paris.
Garnier, on the other hand, was dressed in breeches of wool blend with a silk shirt. He wore leather boots, of excellent quality but they had showed scuffiness that indicated he hadn't exactly been in the finest of homes in the Quarter. He had a sash of scarlet and a leather baldric. His cavalier hat was worn but neatly blocked. The only thing new were his plumes on the brim. While Christophe carried a walking stick, Garnier was sporting a French rapier.
Marie looked from one to the other and said politely, "Monsieur de Paul, may I introduce Monsieur Trosclair?"
Christophe extended his hand and Garnier took it in a gentlemanly handshake.
"Trosclair? It seems to be a name I remember."
"It is a name you will find throughout the Quarter."
Realization dawned on Garnier.
"Do you have a daughter named Caesaire?"
Christophe felt his face getting red as he realized that he was talking to a pirate. Most likely one who had had business dealings with his daughter. May even have possibly been one of her paramours.
Stiffly, he said, "Yes, I do have a daughter. Caesaire."
Garnier's face broke out in a grin. "Well, well! This is a coincidence. I am here to give my....captain a message and I thought he may have been here visiting his Maman. I do believe my captain and your daughter are...acquainted."
Christophe's face hardened into a mask of embarrassment, knowing that this man knew what his daughter and his captain had been engaged in.
Christophe said solemnly, "Caesaire and Andre Beaudouin are childhood friends. Her cousin Sebastian was always with them."
Marie, sensing the tension, asked, "Christophe, would you care for a cup of cafe with chicory? It would go wonderfully with the beignets you brought."
Garnier grinned and said, "Madame Doucet, I dare say I could use a cup of cafe too."
Creole society prohibited rudeness so Marie nodded her head. "I was just about to ask if you would join us but I am sure you have---"
"Why, no, I certainly don't! My business can wait. I am sure Andre and I will cross paths later this morning."
Marie muttered, "I wouldn't be so sure of it, Garnier."
"Excuse me, did you say something, Madame Doucet?"
"I asked if you would like sugar in it, Monsieur de Paul."
'Mais non. Chicory cafe is just fine."
Christophe had no choice but to sit down with Marie and Garnier. She opened the box and exclaimed, "Just the way they should be! Hot and covered with powdered sugar."
She put them on a plate and passed one to Christophe, then to Garnier. For all his roughness around the edges, Garnier was a gentleman with manners.
Marie had remembered he had mentioned that his family, the de Pauls, had escaped Paris one step ahead of the guillotine. To Marie that meant he had nobility blood but he was hiding it.
If that were the case, he superceded Christophe's Creole blueblood.
Marie asked, "And what urgent message do you have to relate to my son, Monsieur de Paul? Perchance I should see him."
Christophe sat sipping his cafe. Where did this man come from? And more importantly, when will he leave? And take his captain with him?
Garnier put his cup down and said, "There is a ship spotted in port that Andre should know about. A Spanish ship that he may or may not want to purchase. For his fleet. I feel it is imperative he know about this ship. Would you tell him to contact me? I shall be aboard Le Faucon de Mer, as he well knows."
Just then, footsteps were heard coming down the winding staircase. Soft whispers and a woman's lilting laughter.
Marie, Garnier and Christophe looked up.
There, arm in arm on the staircase were Andre and Caesaire.
Andre's hair was was tousled and his face was joyful. He was wearing his breeches and his silk shirt was on but unbuttoned. Caesaire's face was aglow and she was in a silk dressing gown.
The two of them stood in shock on the staircase.
Staring up at them were their respective fathers and Andre's mother.
Both fathers turned to Andre's mother.
She shrugged. "They came to me late last night. All the inns were full. My dears, will you show them?"
Andre and Caesaire both raised their left hands, palms towards them.
Two rings reflected in the sunlight through the window.
Marie just sighed.
"After all....they are French!"
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 04:38:05 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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« Reply #82 on: September 05, 2009, 09:24:50 AM »
“Français, ou pas!” Christophe Trosclair’s outrage burst forth like a weakened levy at the sight of the plans he had laid for his only daughter withering away, as if they were a flower too long deprived of water. “This is inexcusable, Caesaire! I’ll not stand for it! We shall have this marriage annulled at once!!”

“We, Papa?!!” Caesaire had heard enough and her own brand of the Trosclair temper rose in a storm of emotion. “I am old enough now to make my own decisions! You can no longer shut me away in a monastery, nor decide whom I love!”

Christophe’s face went white as his daughter advanced on him, shaking her finger wildly in his face.

“When I first returned home you were set upon returning to France! Now simply because you feared that I would return to Andre you would stay here and interfere in my plans for happiness? You would stay to barter me off like some prize possession?! To increase the social standing of the Trosclair name?!! Non!!! Non!!”

“You could separate me from Andre while I was a child. You could crush my heart then, but you could never crush my love for him! Like it or not, Pere, I am Mrs. Caesaire Beaudouin now, and there is nothing you can do about it!!!”

Christophe’s mouth worked soundlessly for several moments, then he slammed his silk hat down onto his head, snatched up his white silk gloves and polished walking stick, then turned to Marie, clearly struggling to contain his upper class prejudice.

“Je suis désolé for this outburst in your home, Madame Beaudouin. Excusez-moi.” He said in a voice that was far too soft for the anger that burned in his brown eyes. “With your permission, I shall take my leave now.”

Turning to his daughter he simply said, “We shall see, Mon fille, we shall see.” With that Christophe Trosclair stormed from the house, climbed into his waiting carriage and soon vanished down the cobblestone street.

Marie Beaudouin stared after him for some moments. She knew that Christophe was an honorable man, but there was obviously something about her son that set him beyond reason. Perhaps becoming involved with him would not be such a good idea after all. She would have to think seriously about it later, at the moment there was her son and new daughter in law to think about.

Caesaire was cradled in her husband’s arms, hot tears of rage soaking the left breast of his white buccaneer shirt. “Damn him! Damn him!!” She wept softly. “He thinks he can simply dictate my life for me as if I were no more than l'enfant?! A child?!”

“Hush now, Mon Amore.” Andre whispered gently, one ringed hand tenderly stroking the back of her long golden curls. “It is done now, and we are man and wife. Perhaps your father will see that once he has time to become use to the idea.”

Marie placed one consolatory hand on the young woman’s shoulder. “Oui, Mon fille. It was just a shock to him. I’m certain he will come to accept your choice in time.”

Caesaire turned from her husband and lover, looking deep into Marie’s hazel eyes then fell weeping into the older woman’s arms. Andre’s mother hugged her and looked to her son.

“Pardon us, My son, but there are things that only another woman can help with.”

“Of course, Mama.”  He watched as his mother led his distraught wife back up stairs to the room where they had been so happy mere moments before. Oh so fickle fate it seemed had taken a very bad turn this morning.

Andre slowly poured himself a steaming cup of the strong French coffee and slumped down into a chair opposite his father. Garnier shook his own head sadly.

“Damned society snob!” He hissed beneath his breath. “Perhaps I should have told him…”

“Told him what, Papa?” Andre’s voice broke sadly into Garnier’s thoughts, and he suddenly realized he was speaking aloud. “He still thinks of me as just a street waif, and nothing can change that.”

“Nothing, Andre. Just the musings of an old salt.” DePaul recovered quickly. There was no reason to put his only child in such danger. Perhaps one day he would let Andre know, but not just yet. “Anyway, though I hate to be the bringer of more bad news…”

Andre dropped his head onto his crossed arms for a moment and cursed softly. What more could possibly go wrong on a day that was supposed to be the happiest of his life? He sighed deeply and raised his head to look at his father.

“What Now?”

“A Spanish frigate just docked in the harbor. Among the person’s who disembarked were a certain Captain that we ran into a little while back, and that girl you made governor of her own little island on the way here.”

“Mon Dieu!” Andre swiped one hand slowly down his face. “could today possibly get any worse?!”
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 09:59:05 AM by Blackjack Roberts »

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« Reply #83 on: September 27, 2009, 08:57:46 PM »
Christophe slammed his walking stick down on the wooden floor and threw his silk hat onto the hat rack, deftly landing it on one of the hooks. He tossed his white gloves on the buffet table.
The servants who were in the vicinity furtively looked at the calm and cool Monsieur Trosclair who finally had lost his composure. By noon the entire Trosclair household would remark on this momentous day. Coupled with the fact that Caesaire Trosclair had not slept in her bed that night.
He poured himself a brandy from the sideboard and downed it in one gulp. Another Trosclair tradition broken--Monsieur Trosclair never touched spirits until after four o'clock.
The housekeeper looked to the servant girl and exchanged worried glances.
The last they heard was the door to the courtyard slam off its hinges.
Isabelle Trosclair and Sebastian were sitting in the joined courtyard having a late morning breakfast of pastries and coffee. Christophe walked over and lowered himself in a chair.
He poured himself a cup of cafe and added brandy from a flask. Isabelle raised her eyebrow but said genially, "Well, bon jour to you too, Christophe."
He scowled, "Mais non, Isabelle, ce n'est pas bon jour."
Sebastian could barely keep the mirth from his face.
Christophe said tightly, "The two of them--they went and did it."
Sebastian waved his hand airily, "They have 'did it' for quite a few months, Uncle Christophe."
Isabelle's face took on a shocked look.
Christophe disdainfully replied, "They have married."
"When?" Isabelle asked.
"Late last night. How they managed it, I shall never know!"
He slammed his fist against the table and the china jumped. Isabelle reached over to catch her coffee cup just as it was about to tip over.
"She deliberately disobeyed me! Going behind my back and marrying Beaudouin. That--that pirate!"
Sebastian poured himself a cup of coffee. "Times are changing, Uncle Christophe. Men and women are making their own matches. And this is not only an economically sound one, they are in love. Always has been. I've known it for years."
Christophe took a deep sip of his brandy-laced coffee.
"There is a much more suitable match for Caesaire."
Isabelle asked Sebastian, "You know who he is talking about?"
Sebastian nodded. "Benjamin le Renard.  The name aptly fits. Fox. He is as crafty as one."
Isabelle turned to Christophe. "She is happy with Andre. I swear, I have never seen her glow as she does in his presence. Can you not for once do something for her, Christophe?"
Christophe frowned. "Like what?"
She answered, "Be happy for her."
Christophe threw his napkin down and rose. "I can see you and Sebastian are taking their side. I shall see you all later. I have a  few things to do."

Isabelle turned to Sebastian and said, "I don't like the looks of this, Sebastian."
"Maman, things will be alright."
She sighed. "I know. Christophe may be quick to anger but he cools down quickly. "
Her beloved son shook his head. "No, things will be alright because Andre made sure their vows are airtight."
She raised her eyebrow. "How so?"
He grinned at his mother and said, "Pere Antoine."
She saluted Sebastian with her coffee cup. "Any more sanctified than that, the Lord himself would have to officiate!"


Christophe brooded in the parlor, then picked up his gloves, hat and walking stick. He turned to his housekeeper Madame Dervain and said, "I shall be gone a few hours. If my daughter shows up, please tell her I shall be home the rest of the evening."
He went out to the livery behind his house, ordered his carriage and when he was settled in it, he tapped his coachman.
"To Monsieur le Renard's over on Burgundy and St Peter's, s'il vous plait."
Christophe settled back in his seat. All was not lost. As long as his daughter was not with child, an annulment was the only option left.
Dissolve the marriage and pretend it never happened.
Dissolutions can be had for a new baptismal font or a gold-trimmed altar cloth....
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 09:26:25 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #84 on: October 03, 2009, 12:49:12 PM »
Andre downed the remainder of his coffee, stood up, and walked over to the cedar chest that rested against the wall in his mother’s sitting room. Opening the fragrant chest he removed two polished pistols, a rapier, several daggers, and a burgundy sea coat. Quickly he armed himself then took a sheet of parchment from the desk and dipped a quill into the inkwell.


I am more sorry than you can know, for I would much rather spend this day in your arms, yet I must attend to some urgent business for both our sakes.

I shall not be gone long, I promise, and I shall bring you back that beignet I owe you.

Please await me here with Mama, Mon amore, and I promise to make my absence up to you as soon as I return.

Je t'aime.

Folding the note in half he wrote Casaire’s name on the outside and placed one corner under his empty coffee cup.

“Come, Garnier.” the Creole pirate captain assumed his usual on board persona and grinned wickedly. “Let us see what our former friends may, or may not have in mind.”

Garnier de Paul rose from his chair and donned his own hat at almost the same moment Andre did his own, both sliding two fingers across the brim in a mock salute that brought smiles akin to naughty school boys to their faces.

“You have a plan, Mon capitan?”

“Aye. That I do, but you will have to do the bulk of the drinking for the both of us.”

Garnier did his best to look saddened. “Well, if I must, I must. Any sacrifice for the safety of Le Faucon de Mer. Your plan would not, perhaps, involve a further sacrifice at Madame Badeau’s would it?”

“Mon Deiu!” Andre rolled his eyes skyward as he put one arm around his father’s shoulders and guided him towards the door. “I am not married a day and already mon papa is attempting to get my wife to castrate me! You have spent far to much time in the company of François, I think!”

“Mais Non!” The elder pirate pretended to look shocked. “But after all…I am French.”

A short time later the two buccaneers entered The Three Bells tavern. A common watering hole for thirsty pirates and sailors who frequented New Orleans, Andre was pleased to see that his instincts had once again proven correct.

Not only were several of the new ships crew mulling about, drinking rum, and chatting pleasantly with the prostitutes, but several old friends and acquaintances were in attendance as well.

It took fairly little gold to loosen the proper tongues, and confirm the news that his father had brought to him. Not only was captain Juan Carlos, and Juliana in attendance, but Count Manuel Elaido himself. This did not bode well, and Andre dispatched the news to the rest of Le Faucon de Mer’s crew up river as well as Sebastian.

“That was far easier than I thought it would be, Mon fils.” De Paul commented as they left the tavern. “You would think men would know better than to speak secrets in the bedroom.”

“Ah, but Papa, the Spanish do not know what the tongue is for.” Andre chuckled.

Garnier nearly doubled over with laughter. “Non. That they do not. Where to now, back home?”

“Oui.” Andre smiled. “But first I must stop at the pastry shop. I have a debt to pay.”

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« Reply #85 on: October 16, 2009, 04:51:17 PM »
Marie led Caesaire into the parlor that was outside her bedroom. It was a sunny room, decorated in shades of green and yellow. The vase on the credenza held sunflowers and the curtains were drawn back to reveal a window overlooking a small courtyard. Flowers bloomed everywhere in Marie's garden as sunlight streamed through the windows.
"Come, Caesaire, ma petite. Asseyez-vous."
Marie motioned to an overstuffed comfortable chair with flowered fabric. She sat in the matching one.  Marie silently handed Caesaire a handkerchief.
"I am so sorry, Madame Beaudouin. Usually I am more in control."
Marie patted her hand. "It is to be understood, ma petite. It is not every day that one is married."
Caesaire smiled wanly, "Especially to a man like Andre Beaudouin."
Marie broke out in a broad smile.
"Oui! My son is--how shall I put it?--a man avec beaucoup de joie de vivre! He is very much in love with life. And---"
She hesitated.
Caesaire looked at her with a questioning look. "What?"
Marie smiled. "He had everything he wants now. The girl he was fond of is now the woman he loves."
"Are you pleased, Madame Beaudouin? That Andre has married me?"
She nodded enthusiastically. "If my Andre is happy, then I am happy!"
"But aside from Andre, are you happy to have me as a daughter in law?"
Marie smiled exuberantly. "Ma chere, I could not be more pleased. I have watched you grow from a young girl into a woman that will do the Beaudouin name proud!"
Caesaire clasped her mother in law's hand and exclaimed, "I shall be the best wife Andre could ever hope for!"
"I know you will, Caesaire. And I hope that you can convince Andre that settling down in New Orleans will be the best thing. I would so love to have both of you near--and of course the little ones that will come along."
Caesaire blushed a bit. "Andre and I haven't really talked about children. We are too busy getting to know each other again, Madame Beaudouin."
Marie laughed, "Please--call me Marie. I don't expect you to call me Maman since you only have one of those."
Caesaire grew quiet, then said, "I missed having a mother. Oh, please do not misunderstand. Tante Isabelle is wonderful and very loving."
Marie nodded. "I understand. My maman died of yellow fever when I was ten. I was sent to an orphanage. It was then that I had to make my way selling flowers in the market to sailors."
"And that is where you met Garnier de Paul."
Marie's face was a combination of shock and embarrassment.
"You--you know?"
Caesaire said softly, "Andre told me but it was not until after he asked me to marry him. It is not known among his crew. Not even Etienne and Francois know. He told me because he felt I should know. It was to let me know exactly who I am marrying. But it wasn't hard to figure out when I saw Garnier and Andre together. They tilt their heads the same way. The way they lean on the gunwale and smoke their black cigarettes. Identical traits."
Marie grew solemn. "I have never seen them together."
Caesaire was astounded. "Never?"
Marie played absentmindedly with the lace on her collar. "Not until this morning.  Caesaire, since you are now part of the family...Garnier left before I found out I was expecting. Oh, please do not think badly of him! When he returned to New Orleans, I was married to my best friend--Anton Beaudouin."
Marie continued, "Anton raised Andre as his own. He could not love him any more than if he were his real father."
Caesaire said softly, "How wonderful for you that you found a man who loved you."
Marie nodded. "He did. I don't want you to think badly of Garnier, Caesaire. It was my choice, right or wrong, to keep Andre from Garnier. I did not want Andre to bear the stigma of being the son of what I later learned to be a pirate--well...maybe a privateer.  But to a sixteen year old girl, it was all the same. A romantic notion. But my practical side took over.
I loved Anton and he provided a roof over our heads and food on the table.  Times were hard, I won't deny it. When Anton died, I then became housekeeper for your Tante Isabelle and Uncle Silvere. But you know the rest."
Caesaire gave her a gentle smile. "You raised Andre wonderfully. Even at a young age, he was very chivalrous. My Tante Isabelle told Uncle Silvere once that Andre Beaudouin had more of the Creole gentleman in his little finger than some of the finest dressed dandies on Royal Street!"
Marie beamed, "She did? It is always wonderful to hear nice things about your child, Caesaire. Always remember that when they do well, it is a reflection on you."
Caesaire nodded. "I hope that when the time comes, I shall be as good a mother as you are. I only wish my Maman had been alive to see me grown and married."
"You love Andre. He loves you. And together you will build a life on that."

Impulsively, Caesaire leaned over and hugged Marie.
Marie's eyes filled with tears.
Caesaire gave her a warm smile and said, "Thank you, Madame Beau--"
She started to laugh. "I just realized there are two Madame Beaudouin's in Andre's life!"
Marie gave Caesaire a hug. "Ma petite, I cannot tell you how pleased I am that my Andre has chosen you for a wife! He is the happiest I have seen him since....well, since he had a family with a mama and a papa. And soon you two will have children of your own and make me a Grandmere!"
Caesaire blushed at that and unconsciously rubbed her abdomen.
"Oui, Marie! And that shall be the happiest day of my life."
Marie linked arms with hers.
"And shall we go downstairs to see what the gentlemen are up to?"
As they descended the stairs, it was eerily quiet.
"Now where do you suppose they are off to without a word?"
Caesaire picked up a note she found next to Andre's coffee cup. She scanned it quickly.
Marie waited, knowing it was impolite to read another's notes, especially from a newly married man to his wife.
A smile came over Caesaire's face.
Marie put her hand to her chest and breathed a sigh of relief.
"No bad news then, cher?"
The new bride smiled. "Non. He loves me. After all, he is bringing me a beignet and if that is not amore, then I don't know what is!"
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 04:37:27 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #86 on: December 09, 2009, 09:20:47 PM »
Benjamin le Reynard stepped down from his carriage, entering the law office of Mssr Drausin d'Estrehan, Esquire.
A man looked up from the law books he was putting back on the shelves.
"Est-ce que je peux vous aider ?"
"Monsieur d' Estrehan, s'il vous plait."
Just then, Drausin came out of his office.
"Monsieur le Reynard! Always a pleasure. And what brings you here?'
Benjamin took his gloves off. "It is about the property that Trosclair owns. The one you were interested in."
Benjamin's eyes darted over to the clerk Pierre.
Drausin nodded. "Please. Let's discuss the real estate in my office. Pierre? Please see that we are not disturbed."
Benjamin sat in a chair across from Drausin's desk. Drausin's hands were folded under his chin as he looked at the man sitting across from him.
Benjamin leaned back. "She is engaged to Beaudouin."
Drausin replied, "I know."
Benjamin raised an eyebrow. "You know?"
The lawyer sighed and looked out towards the River. "Oui. I saw her on the banks of the River a few days ago, taking in the sun. We had...words. She told me Beaudouin is her future husband."
"And you are going to let her slip away? Just like that?"
"Not much I can do when she herself announced her intentions."
Benjamin surveyed him with a concealed disdain.
"And you are going to hand her over to him on a silver platter. You are a Creole! Do you not understand what that means?"
Drausin narrowed his eyes.
"What are you talking about?"
Bejamin raised his eyebrow. "You could arrange a ball at the plantation of yours and invite the engaged couple. With Beaudouin's  temper it wouldn't take much for him to be insulted. A duel beneath the old oaks may remedy the problem. You would be on hand to console the charming Mademoiselle Trosclair and Andre would be out of the picture."
Drausin looked out over the Mississippi from his window.
"A duel...."
Benjamin gathered up his gloves and leaned in to say in a low voice to Drausin, 'It is either that or a visit to Marie Laveau. Powerful gris-gris for a price."
Drausin looked sharply back to Benjamin.
"Voodoo? You want me to resort to voodoo?"
Benjamin turned with his hand on the doorknob.
"From where I stand, these are your only two choices to win back your lady love."

As he settled back into his carriage, a smile played on Benjamin le Reynard's face.  Drausin d'Estrehan will prove very useful.
Very useful indeed for doing his dirty work. 
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« Reply #87 on: December 31, 2009, 01:03:25 PM »
Drausin d'Estrehan mulled over the suggestion. A duel would be the honorable thing, but he had never been a ‘man of action.’ Preferring wits to brawn he had devoted far more of his life to what he considered more civilized pursuits, and had left the physical aspects of New Orleans life to those suited to such exploits.

No. A duel was out of the question, as he had no doubt the outcome would lead to an early grave and Caesaire still in the pirate’s arms. Poison? VooDoo? Both offended his slightly tarnished sense of honor. To get Andre Beaudouin out of the picture was imperative, but to resort to such filthy methods would tarnish his reputation beyond repair, should they be discovered. Secrets could only be kept by two when one was dead, and attempting to assassinate a figure as powerful as Mademoiselle Laveau was more risk than he cared to take.

There had to be an easier solution. One that would leave him blameless in Andre’s murder, and Caesaire within his grasp. Suddenly an inspiration struck him. Were there not rumors that Aaron Burr had won certain duels by using a very special set of dueling pistols? Ones that he kept with him? Perhaps that would be the answer.

Quickly  Drausin grabbed his overcoat, a hefty amount of cash, and hailed a passing cab.

“Monsieur Basset’s,  s'il vous plait.” He sank back into the cushioned seat.

“The gunsmith’s, Monsieur?” The driver asked incredulously, never before had Drausin d'Estrehan  asked to be taken to any manufacturer of weapons.

“Oui.” Drausin smiled. “New Orleans is becoming a rather dangerous place, and I believe it is time I took steps to protect myself with more than mere words.”

“As you wish, Monsieur.” The driver snapped the reins and set off.

Andre and Garnier strolled lightly through the door, a small paper wrapped package tucked in the crook of the captain of the Le Faucon de Mer’s arm. Andre swept his hat onto the wooden peg near the door and made his way over to the table to tenderly kiss his wife’s cheek.

“I trust you have not been waiting long, Mon Cher?”

“Non, mon amore.” Caesaire gently touched her full lips to his for a moment. “I trust that is the payment of your debt I see in your arm?” She teased.

“Mais oui!” Andre grinned like a guilty cat. “The finest beignets Le Jordan’s has to offer, Mon Cher. And just fresh from the oven, if I were not misled. Is there any fresh café, Mama?

“In just a moment, Son.” Marie set to preparing a fresh pot.

Caesaire’s eyes sparkled with girlish delight as she began to unwrap the package.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 01:07:59 PM by Blackjack Roberts »

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« Reply #88 on: February 02, 2010, 08:14:07 PM »
Caesaire opened the package and gasped. There, nestled down between two delectable beignets was a small package wrapped in red paper.  She lifted it out and smiled at Andre with love in her eyes.
"And what have you been up to, my love?"
He leaned back and crossed his arms over his chest. "Whatever do you mean, mon amour? I got you the beignets that I promised."
Garnier and Marie looked on with amusement. Garnier whispered to Marie, "You have taught him well, Marie. He is quite the romantic."
Marie's eyes had a faraway look as she responded, "It is in his genes, Garnier. He came by it naturally."
Garnier's face coloured. "I am so very sorry, Marie...."

"Mon Dieu! Will you look at this?"
Dangling from Caesaire's delicate fingers was a silver chain with a heart as a pendant. The words 'I love you' were engraved as if in a childish scrawl.  Andre couldn't help grinning at her astonishment. She leaped out of the chair and threw her arms around his neck, peppering his face with kisses.
Andre's eye were full of merriment.
"I take it you like it?"
"I love it!"
She held it up for Marie to see and then stopped. "Andre, it's's it?"
He nodded. "I described a certain valentine to the jeweler and he crafted it perfectly."
"But when did you find time?"
"When we got into port. The business I had to attend to included a trip to Monsieur Becnel. I intended to give it to you at your grand cathedral wedding but circumstances dictated we were a bit in haste."
Her eyes shone as she said softly, "I still had my cathedral wedding, Andre. And in retrospect, I wouldn't have it any other way. Just you, me and God."
He held up his finger. "And Pere Antoine."
"He was only there for validation. Oh, Andre!'
She held him close to her.
Andre looked at his parents. "Maman? Papa? I do believe that Caesaire would like to show her appreciation. In private."
Caesaire's face registered shock as she lightly slapped his chest.
"ANDRE! Mon Dieu!" But she couldn't help but giggle as she put her arm in his.
Marie raised her hand. "Go, my children! After are French!"
Andre grabbed Caesaire's hand and they ran up the stairs.
Once in their room, Caesaire turned around with her new necklace in hand.  She swept her hair back from her neck and whispered, "Will you do the honours, cher?"
He kissed her neck and took the locket out of her hand. Placing it on her throat, he clasped it. She turned around, the heart resting gently at her cleavage.
"How does it look?" she asked breathlessly.
He looked at her lovingly. "Like it was made for you!"
Her dressing gown fell gently open as Andre encircled her waist. He buried her face in her hair as he whispered, "You can keep the necklace on, cher...."
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 09:11:17 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #89 on: February 02, 2010, 08:14:49 PM »
Marie and Garnier looked up at the stairs.
"I think we won't see them for a while, Marie. After is their honeymoon. And they ARE French!"
She nodded. "I am hoping she can tame him."
Garnier laughed. "That one? I doubt it. She drew a sword on Jean LaFitte and almost ran him through. She is as wild as he is!"
"I was afraid of that. Little Caesaire Trosclair would tag along with Andre and her cousin Sebastian. They tried to lose her frequently but she was tenacious."
Garnier looked out the window to the courtyard outside.
"I missed so much, Marie. And I didn't even know I had."
Marie felt the awkwardness and picked up her coffee cup.
"Would you like some more coffee, Garnier?"
He looked surprised.
"You are inviting me to stay?"
She nodded. "I think I am."
She poured his coffee and sat quietly.
"You have a lovely house here, Marie."
"Andre bought it for me with his first...commission."
"He is a man that the men look up to, Marie. You should be proud of him. And he is
determined to bring New Orleans back under French rule.  If anyone can do it, it is our son. He has a very able core group, too. Francois and Etienne will stand by him to the end. And his English quartermaster John Hubbard. Mon Dieu, Marie! A father mutinied by his own son!"
"Did he not tell you? I was the captain of the Hazard.  Of course, I knew Andre was my son by that time. His gestures, his like mine. So much so that it was commented on quite frequently by the crew. Once in a while I would hear him referred to as 'Garnier Junior!" Behind our backs, of course."
Garnier took a sip of his coffee and continued, almost as if this conversation was a catharsis for him.
"When he told me his mother's name, I knew right away he was our son. I was shocked, to say the least. But I always felt it. Right here, Marie."
Garnier pointed to his heart.
"Even though he was leading a mutiny, I couldn't be any prouder of the command he took. He took more than half our crew with him.  And all because he wanted the ship we took as his own. Jean LaFitte was going to cut it down to redesign to carry human cargo. Andre said we are pirates, not peddlers of human beings.  So he cut the tow rope and sailed off."
Garnier's eyes took on a look of pride. "He stood on the bow of the ship. I swear, I never saw his eyes so sad.  He stood up straight, looked me in the eyes and saluted me. Not in mockery, but in sincerity and with heartfelt regret."

Marie felt her eyes inexplicably tear up, not only for her pride in Andre's compassion but for the pain that Garnier had endured as the apparent treason committed by his own son.
Softly, she said, "I want to let you know that Antoine Beaudouin loved Andre like he was his own son. He was good to him and Andre loved him. And by marrying me, he saved our son from being hung with the title of bastard child."
Garnier felt embarrassed. "Marie, I had no idea. When I came back to port, I asked everyone in the market where Marie the young flower girl had gone. No one knew. Or if they did, they weren't saying. Until I saw the old woman who sold pralines. She told me Marie had married and that was all she knew. And I quit looking at that point. I had hoped you were happy. But I never forgot you."
Marie looked down, not saying a word. He rose and picked up his cavalier hat.
"Would you mind if I called on you while I am in port? After all , we share a son."
He raised his eyes to the upstairs window.
"And God willing, we will share lots of grandchildren."

Marie nodded. An image of Christophe Trosclair's soft brown eyes flashed through her mind but she found herself saying, "Oui, Garnier. I would like that."
Show me your tan lines..and I'll show you mine!

I just want to be Layla.....


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