Author Topic: EL LOBO DEL MAR  (Read 3361542 times)

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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2008, 04:20:11 PM »
"Nicely done, Jack. Put your foot in it up to the damned hip, as usual" he thought. Wench's words stung as sharp as any steel, but he couldn't let her know. Not now. Not when they're this close to finding out what's in the chest. Business before personal feelings.

"Wait! I... apologize." he sputtered. "I was out of line, saying what I did. You are, after all, my guest, and I've treated you poorly. Please, sit and eat. I know you're hungry. And, like it or not, we are still partners in this enterprise. You get half, even if my cooper has to cut the bloody thing in two and melt it down."

Jack walked to his chair and sat heavily. "And you can have the damned annulment. No arguments from me." The words tasted like ash in his mouth. "So, go on. Have a look at the chest." He poured more rum for himself and watched Wench over the top of his cup as he drank.
She turned around at his words, 'Wait! I...apologize.'

An apology coming from Captain Jack Wolfe? Did I hear right? She relented and sat back down. In a calmer voice, she said, "I do believe I shall have a piece of the lamb. But please go easy on the mint sauce. And maybe some bread. But that is all. Oh! And some rum...thank you!" she said as Jack handed her a plate.
She ate like the lady she was and pretended not to be. Breeding will always tell. After all, no one knew where she really came from....or who she really was.

She glanced at Jack. There really is a fine line between love and hate. Love? Don't be silly! What the two of you had certainly was not considered 'love'. After all, he hardly crossed your mind in the last eighteen months, Honour....
She had used the name so much in the past few years she had grown very accustomed to it.
And he certainly acquiesced to her request for an annulment. Guess that is what he really wants too. I expected him to protest a little more.
A small voice inside of her said, 'Disappointed, Wench?'
She answered aloud, "Certainly not!"
Jack looked up. "Did you say something?"

She got up and walked over to the chest, running her hands over the smooth silver inlay.
What was REALLY in there? she wondered. The possibility of losing that captain that she left it all worth it?
Jack could almost heard the deep voice of his father. "Aye, Jackie boy! What be in yer head, lad? Woo her again? Have ye naught enough woe and heartache over this one? She bewitched ye, then worst of all, took yer money, ye git! I raised ye better, ye sallow..."

He banished the memory. The Moors call it the ibad, the "demanding memory", when your mind finds itself conjuring up conversations and recollections unbidden. Some ghosts are best buried forever, not carried about like a rude monkey.

He swallowed the punch, and it tasted suddenly bitter. Jack scowled, dismissing it as mischief from his long-passed father. He put the cup down.

"Run your lovely hands all over it, if you please. I'll be damned if I can find a single seam or pry point. It's as if no one wanted it opened ever again. But, we shall open it, Honour Bright. For we have the keys, and the will." Jack drained his cup, and looked at Wench perhaps overlong, then headed for the door. "We need more sail. I'll tell the Quartermaster..."

He felt a soft hand upon his shoulder, and found Wench's face tantalisingly close to his.
He turned around a little too quickly, their faces only inches away. She took a step back quickly.
"I just wanted to thank you, Jack." she said.
"Thank me? For what?"
"For not killing me----right away." she finiished lamely.
He looked at her dress, a look of puzzlement crossing his face. She looked down.
"What is wrong? Did I spill something on it?"
He shook his head. "No..just something about it...."
She suddenly realized. "OH! Well...this was the dress I was wearing when you first met me. Funny, isn't it? Of all the dresses, well, at least out of the few I have left here, this was the one I picked out."
She reached over and helped herself to an apple. She took a bite and offered it to him.
"Was it really only eighteen months ago, Jack? Seems like another lifetime you crossed my wake that night....."
She was right. He couldn't puzzle out why she would show such sudden sentimentality. Had she sniffed him out? Jack suddenly felt off his footing in his own game. Or was it a game?

He looked at Wench as Adam must have looked at Eve. Temptation in her hand and her eyes.

Jack stepped forward and took the apple from her hand. He regarded it, looking thoughtfully at the bite she'd rended from it. "Show me how it tasted," he said, and pitched the apple over his shoulder. He took Wench in his arms and kissed her deeply.
She felt herself giving in to those old feelings and emotions. If that was what it was. She kissed him back and felt her knees go weak. As always when he kissed her.
She broke away and her breath came in short ragged gasps.
"Damn you, Jack Wolfe. Just...DAMN YOU!"
Her face turned crimson. But was it a flush or a blush? Passion? Or

How could she ever tell him the captain she left sleeping in her bed two mornings ago was his former First Mate turned captain? And his best friend?
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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2008, 04:22:18 PM »
Jack's head was spinning... from the almost forgotten taste of her lips, or the effects of the rum? "Now, now, love. I'll stipulate to earning a well-deserved place in Hell. Better parties, eh?" he said, almost purring. He started to close the distance between them, but Wench kept her face turned from his, her cheeks almost crimson, refusing to meet his eyes.

His suspicious nature began to stir, but Jack was never one to retreat at the first sign of adversity. "What's this? You're blushing like a schoolgirl! I'm ever so flattered..." he said, and reached to stroke her cheek. Wench pressed her hands against his chest, enforcing a soft buffer between them. Still keeping her eyes off his, she began to reply.

"You... damn it, Jack! I..."

The heavy latch of the door to the great cabin clacked loudly, and the door swung lazily open as an inebriated Josiah Briggs wobbled in. He was draining his mug as he saw Jack and Wench practically in a lover's embrace, and he nearly choked on his grog.

"Do you bloody mind, Briggs? Go raid the Surgeon's stores!" Jack growled.

"I think this concludes our business, Captain Wolfe. I see the chest is not a fanciful notion of yours but a viable commodity. So, yes, together we shall open it and share the wealth or whatever is inside. That shall be the end of the partnership. We get an annulment and we go our separate ways. I will wish you the best in whatever endeavor you may find yourself in."

Briggs stood there at the door with a dumbfounded look on his face. Jack glared at him.
As she put her hand on the doorknob, Captain Jack asked her casually, "Been meaning to ask you. Since you've been around--"
She said, "WHAT?"
"--not what you think I meant. I just meant since you have been different places...have you seen Cade Jennings around any of the ports?"
Her blood froze and she could barely get out, "Why would you ask that?"
"No reason. Just have lost contact with him, that is all...."

"Get about you scallywags. We have repairs to do. This dingy will make nice wood for our repair job. Thank you, Doctor for supplying us so." called out Pearl.

The Doctor still stood there with his mouth wide open.

"Ye might want to shut yer trap there, Doctor, flies might be nesting in such before too long." said Mr. Jacobs.

The Doctor closed his mouth firmly into a scowl. "Well, I see what you have become now." He said sternly.

"What I have become?" replied Pearl. "I have always been a P....independent merchant." said Pearl with a smirk. "A captain has to take some liberties if we're going to make a profit, sir." "You've just been pressganged into her majesties privateers."

 "... The last I heard, he'd gotten a ship of his own and set off on his own Account. A shame to lose a first mate of his stripe. A good friend, and a good pyrate. He saved my sorry hide in more than a few close scrapes." Jack chuckled. "And one of the few blokes I actually trust. If you do happen to run into Cade, love, tell him I send my best regards."

Jack bowed deeply. "If your appetite return, dear Honour, you know where to find me. And my table. We stand ready for your pleasure." He let the double entendre settle in. "And now, if you'll excuse me, I have ship's business to attend to."

Wench turned to leave, with Briggs falling in behind her. "Not you, Josiah!! Get your scabrous arse back in here. I'd like to chat a bit."
She unlocked the door to her quarters, her heart pounding. To ask about Cade Jennings, of all people! And then that bit about...well, it would be a cold day in hell when she ever became a centerpiece for Jack's table!

How could she tell Jack that she wanted her annulment to be free to pursue a possible long-term relationship with his former first mate?
She flopped down on the bed and looked at the ceiling. Why couldn't I have married a nice, decent man, had children and just died?
It was odd running into Cade a few months after she ran off. She was in Glenlivet, sitting at a table with some of her friends when Cade Jennings came strutting in, dashing as the day she last saw him on the deck of El Lobo del Mar.
She recalled the conversation she had with him on the deck the night before. They had been in Barbados for the month because El Lobo needed some work done on her hull. They were planning on sailing out the next morning.

Jack had too much to drink and had passed out in their room. She was restless and couldn't sleep. So she went on top of the deck to relax. Cade was there and in the course of talking, he told her he had decided to strike out on his own. He had a tip that a ship, The Gryphon, was ripe for the taking. He had the promise of a crew and he was going to tell Jack he was leaving as soon as they reached Port Royal.

One thing led to another that night and when all was said and done, Honour knew she could never sail one more day on the same ship with the two of them.

The next morning, Jack stumbled out of their cabin, unaware that she never did make it back there. She told him she had been thinking. She wanted to stay in port and look at some sugar plantations for a possible investment into their future. Jack had thought it was a good idea and had arranged to pick her up on the return trip in a few weeks.

No sooner had his sails set when she was able to secure a way out of Barbados with Captain Blake, a friend they had met up with in Barbados. She gave him a story and he agreed to let her sail back to Tortuga with him. To throw everyone off the track, she then procured another way to Glenlivet, no one knowing where she was or what she was doing.

When Cade showed up at the Bilge Pump Pub, she had a few ales with the now Captain Cade Jennings. He had asked about Jack and she told him she annulled her marriage. That seemed to work very well for Cade and they then instituted a standard arrangement that if Cade was in port, he always had a place.
It was a workable plan.
And it did work.

Until that day Captain Jack Wolfe himself walked into the Bilge Pump Pub.
Jack stood beside the great cabin's table, toying with the large knife he'd used to carve the lamb. He kept his back to Briggs, who fidgeted uneasily in the heavy silence.

"Cap'n, I'll just be headin' back to me bunk..." Briggs offered.

"Shut your mouth, you git!" Jack spat, jamming the knife into the tabletop for punctuation. He turned to face the quartermaster. "Do you have any idea what you just interrupted?!"

Briggs shook his head sadly. "It's worse than I feared, it is. That... that she-devil's done bewitched ye again, hasn't she?"

"Take care, Josiah. The rum's addled you brain more than usual." Jack tried to sound threatening, but his fraudulent denial rang hollow.

"As you say, Cap'n. My mistake." The wobbly quartermaster turned to leave.

"Heave to, there!" Jack barked, as he picked up the knife again. "I'm in no way through with you yet. You'll not get off that easy. Bring your worthless hide over here."

Briggs cautiously approached the table. Jack picked up one of the marble dining plates and shoved it roughly into his hands. Josiah flinched, expecting the knife instead of a plate. He looked down, dumbfounded, as Jack began piling the plate with food.

Astonished and relieved, he laughed, "Jack, God love ye! Here I thought ye were angry enough to flay me hide off!"

"I am," snarled Jack. "You get to serve this to our bonny guest."
Briggs cautiously and with great trepidation made his way to Wench' s quarters. He took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
"GO AWAY AND STAY AWAY!" was heard from the other side of the door.
"Umm..T'is me. Briggs. Captain Jack wanted me to bring you this here plate of..."
Wench flung the door open and Briggs looked up with dread.
But she smiled a glorious smile and said, "Please, Mr. Briggs! Do come in!"
Briggs looked around for another person. Then he realized she said 'Briggs'.
She nodded and stepped aside. Briggs hastily put the plate down and gave her a run-on sentence.
He took a deep breath and continued, "andwellitisabouttimeIbeleaving."
She smiled warmly and said, "Why, thank you very much."
Briggs narrowed his eyes. "OK, what did ye do wi' the she-devil? Where is the Captain's Missus?"
She looked at him questioningly. "I beg your pardon?"
He said, "Don't be a-playin' tricks on me mind! I dinna know ye had a twin!"
"But--I have no twin!"
He said suspiciously, "Then why ye bein' so nice t'me?"
She sat down and motioned for Briggs to sit also. "Because you saved me from a fate worse than death, Briggs! It coud have complicated things."

Briggs looked bewildered. "But Captain Jack be really upset wi' me. Thought for sure he would cut me up like a Christmas goose!"
She waved the notion aside with her hand. "He'd never do that. You are his right hand man."
Briggs said, "Don't be a-foolin' around wi' the Captain. I think he still has feelin's fer ye."
Wench laughed and said, "The only thing he has feelings for is what is inside the chest. Well, soon that will be settled and we all go our separate ways. Maybe richer, maybe wiser."
She offered Briggs a biscuit and he declined.
"I'd best be gettin' back on the deck, need to check things out."
He stood to go and said. "An' I be a-thankin' ye fer not be killing me."
She smiled, "You're welcome. And thank you for bringing me the plate of food."
Josiah Briggs put his hand on the doorknob. "Cap'n Jack be plenty sore I interrupted."
Wench laughed and said, "I'll bet he was!"

She looked out the port window at the sea. Another night and day and this will all be over, she thought.
But for some reason she couldn't get the thought of the way he kissed her out of her mind...and unfortunately the way she responded to him.
As always.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 07:12:29 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2008, 04:24:40 PM »
Pearl and her crew headed for Tortuga. The Doctor was found himself enjoying the sea air, hard work and of course, the view of Pearl. "She is a striking woman" thought the Doctor as Pearl stood there with her face to the sea breezes.

"Ah, this is where I am to be." thought Pearl. "Now, to get some provisions in Tortuga and then make for the sea to do some raiding." Pearl smiled. "The New Spanish king would have some lovely prizes leaving the for Spain soon. Wouldn't want to miss them."

Jack sat down and tried to clear his head. He couldn't stop thinking about her. Suddenly, the mystery of the ancient chest was not as important as it once was. He picked absently at his food. Above him on the weather deck, he heard the current watch strike eight bells. "Noon, already?" he thought. He stared at the chest. Within moments, his thoughts drifted back to Honour Bright.

"Stay on task, Wolfe!" Jack said out loud. He pushed back from the table and left the great cabin, striding purposefully down the narrow companionway to the steps that led to the weather deck. He put his head down as he passed the door to Wench's cabin, his heels striking the deck heavily as he fought the urge to stop.

He arrived on the weather deck in time to see Briggs climbing the steps to the holy ground of the quarterdeck. "That's strange," Jack thought. "The man's head is still upon his shoulders. What's she up to?" He made a mental note to keep a close eye on his friend and quartermaster as he climbed to the quarterdeck.

Briggs was standing at the aft taffrail, looking absently abaft. Ned Tomlinson, a young, lanky man from Cornwall, was manning the wheel. Despite his age, he was a talented sailing master.

"Master Tomlinson, how fare we?" Jack inquired.

"On course, Captain," Tomlinson replied. "We'll make landfall by evening next. I'd suggest we lay by until the following morning before we approach the island, as there's not a chart to be had of a safe approach."

"No common charts, lad. Once we make landfall, I'll take the wheel."

"Aye, Captain. I'd hoped you would. That little cay scares the hell out of me."

Jack laughed. "You're a smart one, young Ned. As you were."

Turning his attention aft, Jack approached the pensive quartermaster. Just as he was about to speak, a lookout called from the mainmast crow's nest.

"A sail! A sail! A sail, to larboard!" the lookout cried.

Jack took the glass from beside the wheel and examined the unknown ship. She was an East Indiaman, riding fat and heavy in the water. Her stays were loose as she attempted to beat against the wind. He lowered the glass and looked down to the weather deck, and the expectant faces of the crew looking back at him.

Stepping to the rail, Jack cried out "We have the weather gage, and more guns! Our prey's weighed low with cargo, and cannot run nor fight. So, I ask ye, gentlemen; have we a prize? What say ye?!"

The crew replied with a chorus of "Aye!!" Nodding approval, Jack barked "Then to your stations! Larboard guns; load half with chain, and the rest I want double-shotted with grape! Starboard guns; load half with balls, and the rest with langrage! Bowchasers, stand ready! Snipers, to the shrouds! Now, Master Tomlinson, steer us to. Show her our starboard guns on my mark. Briggs, stand by to show French colours to this doxy. The cay and chest will wait a while longer."
She heard his boots come down the hall. Her breath caught in her chest as she waited and she exhaled as she heard them pass by.
A little voice inside her said, 'Disappointed, Wench? You know you wanted him to break the door down and....'
"Nonsense!" She said to herself.
She listened out the port window. She heard the orders being given to load the guns. OH NO!
Does he really plan on..NO! I want off this ship!
She saw men running up and down the deck. She thought, 'Why can't he just get the treasure in the chest and let me go HOME? Cade must have left port by now. He was due to sail that afternoon. DAMN! He's not going to do this to me!'

She flung her door open in a fury. Men were scurrying back and forth.
Wench walked up to Captain Jack Wolfe and yelled, "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR BLEEDIN' MIND? Stop it! Stop it right now, Jack Wolfe! I won't allow you to act out your piracy! NOT WITH ME ON BOARD!"
She stamped her foot. "You get me off this ship and you get me off THIS SECOND, DO YOU HEAR ME?"

Captain Kirst spotted the pirate ship on the horizon. He was patting himself on the back for disguising himself as an East Indian Trading company ship. Now the pirate would come to him instead of him chasing it. The new paint job was worth the effort of careening off the isle of Tortuga.

He rode low in the water after securing 15 more guns in the port. Lovely spanish models, most likely taken from one of the King of Spain's galleons. This would make his gun total now 75. Once he caught the Pirate Mad Jack, he would have to jetison some of these guns for speed.

A bemused look of surprise came over his face as Honour stood defiantly before him. "You won't allow me? The crew have spoken, love. And in this trade, no prey, no pay." He began walking ever so slowly toward her, backing her toward the mizzen mast. "Now, we are going to take that ship, most likely without firing a shot unless they resist. If the notion offends your tender sensibilities, you're more than welcome to hand over the Sun key and take your leave of us. You look like a strong swimmer, petticoats not withstanding."
For every step he advanced, she backed up one.
"Ow!" she said as her head struck the mizzen mast. Their eyes were locked in some sort of 'line drawn in the sand' conflict.
A look of defiance crossed her face again. Without breaking gaze, she reached under her overskirt and undid her drawstring. The petticoat dropped to the deck.
Still not looking away, she took her booted foot and kicked the petticoat high in the air. The delicate fabric wafted high in the sea breeze before landing on Captain Jack's head and swirling down around his shoulders.
She said evenly, "If you like it so much....THEN YOU WEAR IT!"

She turned on her heel and strode purposefully back to her quarters. She took the armoire and slid it in front of the door. Then she slid a chest of drawers in front of that. To top it off, she propped a chair under the knobs.
She looked out the port window onto the deck and saw Jack struggling to get the silken finery off him but it was tangled in his rapier. Honour yelled at him, "Please DO let me know when this is all over! I shall be in my quarters.....WASHING MY HAIR!"

She sat on her bed and crossed her arms in front of her chest. Not the oak one but her own chest. She yelled out the door again, "IF YOU GET YOURSELF KILLED, JACK WOLFE, DON'T COME WHINING TO ME BECAUSE I'M NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO YOU!"

She fumed, "MEN! Always have to play pirate, don't they?..."

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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2008, 04:26:13 PM »
"Damn it!! For God's sake... #@$%ing Hell!!" Jack swore as he struggled to disentwine himself from Honour's arial petticoat attack. Her lacy underthings had entwined inexorably with the ornate basket-hilt of his sword. He unbuckled his baldic and let the whole mess slip to the deck. Looking about, he found his men staring at him, stifling their laughter.

"Well, what are ye looking at, ye dissolute gobs?! Why aren't ye at yer stations? Shall I flog ye all by me own hand? Snap to, and be handy!! The last to be ready shall wear these fine frillies!!" Jack shouted at his men. To a man, they scurried to their duty stations, eager to escape their captains wrath in times of action.

Jack turned back to his command staff. "You! Master Briggs! Do something with this bit of fluff!"

He flung the torn petticoats to the Quartermaster. Turning to the rest of his men, he barked "Carlisle!! Bring us closer to our prey. I want to reverse at the last moment, and spray a raking shot across her bow, then cut back to port, and bring our heavy guns to bear. The rest of you; stand ready the grapnels! Make ready the murder guns! I want this prize, and the Devil defy me to take her!!"

Catching the epithets hurled by his secluded bride, Jack went to the larboard rail and shouted over, "Oi!! Lovely bride o' mine! Shut yer cakehole, yeah? We're a bit busy up here! Either join me, and show yerself as the bold soul we know you are, or hide below decks in silence! Unless ye've got something to hide from the world, dear Honour Bright... Which I think ye might."

Jack turned from the side, and smiled to himself.
She sat there on the bed and bit her lip. Smooth move, Honour. Now he has your best petticoat and either the crew are taking turns wearing it or it is torn to shreds. She remembered the last time she was with Jack and he committed an act of piracy. How she got sick at the sight of all that blood and how she had to stitch up Jack's arm because there was no ship's surgeon.

She fought down the rising wave of nauseousness that was beginning to overcome her. No, I won't do it! I'm not a coward. But enough is enough!

It has to be somewhere. She rummaged around in the chest of drawers.
She checked the armoire.
Not there.
She reached under the mattress. Her hand curved around something. Could that be it?
She pulled it out and there it was.
The flintlock.

I have to stop him before he kills me or himself! She opened the door and walked with a determined stride to the top deck. There was Jack, looking all dashing. Damn him! It would be so much easier if he had a peg-leg and a parrot and no teeth.
But her bravado was fading from her.
She walked up behind Jack and pointed the flintlock. He turned around.
The weapon began to shake in her hand and she said in a trembling voice, "Don't make me shoot you, Jack. It stops. And it stops now."

Just then, a resounding sound and El Lobo shuddered violently.
El Lobo ground to a halt against an uncharted sandbar. In the haste to overtake their prey, no one, including the half-drunk Jack, thought to take proper soundings.

Jack's head stung as it bounced off the deck. Honour ended up sprawled across him, her flintlock skittling across the deck. "No!!" he howled. "Sails, drag to windward! Helm, hard starboard! Run out the larboard guns!! Anything we can afford to lose, see that it's lost!!"

Pulling Honour close, he looked deeply into her eyes. "Sweetheart, this really isn't this time for overt displays of affection." He jumped to his feet. "Briggs! Get her below and safe! And Hobbs!! Lose the cargo! All but the rum!"

The hull made a sickening sound as it drug languidly over the sandbar. She was dragging free, but at an agonizing snail's pace.

Jack watched as the East Indiaman sluggishly plodded it's way toward his ship. "Merde" he thought. "It just gets better and better..."
Her heart pounded as Jack had pulled her close but then roughly shoved her off him. Briggs yanked her up from under her arms and propelled her through the door of her quarters. A slam of the door, a quick turn of the lock.
She rattled the door and yelled, "LET ME OUT!"
She kicked the door. "OW!" as her booted foot hit oak.
She could feel the scraping from the hull as it groaned to free itself from its barred prison.
She sat down on the bed, frustrated beyond belief.
Then she realized something.
Jack's words. 'Get her below and safe.'
He wanted to keep her safe.

Did he still care for her? Did he even still love her? Was it ever love or just a mutually satisfying relationship?
She whispered to no one, 'Keep yourself safe, Jack.
Because she really did want to find the answer to her rhetorical question.

Jack judged the fat, slow East Indiaman a good ten to fifteen minutes out. "Master gunner! Reload the larboard guns! Double charge, half with balls, half with langrage! I want to cripple that sow with the first broadside!"

He pounded his fists against the quarterdeck rail. "Damn it! What have I done? Why couldn't I have just steered away from this prize, and not put her in danger?!" Jack thought. "Well, we're in it now, up to our necks. Either we win, or they die trying."
Honour tried to fight the rising panic in her. What if the crew dies? What if the ship sinks? What if I am stuck here and can't open the door and the cabin fills with water? And what if no one rescues me? Or worse, what if the other ship finds a woman on board?
I'm only twenty-one! I don't want to die!
Captain Jack Wolfe has messed my life up from the very first night I met him. DAMN HIM!
If only I had stayed in bed Not even going to think about that. Not now.
I just want to go back to Glenlivet.

She felt the guns being loaded. She also felt her eyes filling up with tears. When this is all over, who will be left?

Jack ground his teeth as he felt his ship, El Lobo del Mar, scud and scrape her way to the lee of the storm-created sandbar. Her timbres groaned in protest, but no calls of leaks or springs came from below. Our quarry hove steadily into sight. "Carlisle! My glass, please."

Taking the brass eyeglass from the helmsman, Jack strove to divine the true nature of the ship standing into them. To his dismay, the primary optics were cracked. Useless, except for the grossest of details. Through the cracks, he could see that the oncoming "merchant ship" was not as loose in her stays at merchants tended to run.

"Stand ready on the larboard guns, men! Strong hearts, and steady hands! Let them stand to, and give 'em hell when the word is given! We'll break free yet!"

Jack turned his back to the weather deck, praying that his men believed his words. Looking about, he saw Briggs climbing the step the the quarterdeck. "Oi! Briggs! What's in your head, man?!" He turned on the Quartermaster like a man possessed. "Get yer scabrous arse below and watch over my wife! Do you understand me, Josiah?! Move!!"

Mr. Briggs looked upon his Captain, and nodded agreement. In his heart, Josiah couldn't believe his captain of over 20 years was putting the safety of a woman over the ship. But, Jack has always been a fair an true captain. So, he went below to watch over possibly the one woman to show him some semblance of kindness in a very long time.

Jack looked out upon the oncoming East Indiaman. "That's it, love. Come closer. Come to Ol' Jack. Run in, and you'll ne'er catch us, God be willing!"
Honour looked out the port window, glimpsing the action. She saw the merchant ship coming towards them and Jack's command to 'stand ready on the larboard guns.'
Oh Lord, he's really going to do it!

She heard the tumble of a lock in the door. Hastily she picked up a bowl that had fruit in it. Dumping the fruit, she hid behind the door. As it opened, she raised it and just as it was about to crack down on the intruder's head, she caught it in time.
She put it down and looked at Briggs with concern. "I am so sorry! I--I thought you might be one of the crew members who decided to bother me while Jack was busy and I--I--what are you doing here?"
"Captain Wolfe sent me down here to watch over ye."
"Watch over me?"
"Aye. So no harm comes to ye. On account of the ship is about to attack and..."
Honour broke out in sobs. Briggs awkwardly put his arms around her and patted her on the back with a 'There...there....'

Trying to stop crying, she sobbed to him, "I'm so afraid of dying...Josiah."
She had never called him by his Christian name before.
"Mrs.--Honour---Captain Jack is the best. We shall prevail."
"And if we don't?"
"Then we give it our best shot and may the Lord have mercy on our souls."
That brought a fresh round of tears from her.
'If something happens and I don't make it, Josiah, will you do something for me?"
"Aye, Honour."
"Please tell Cade Jennings what really happened to me."
"Cade Jennings? Ye've been in touch with Cade Jennings? Haven't seen him since he decided t'go on 'is own account."
She wailed, "Josiah, I am so confused! I don't know what to"
"I'm not getting yer drift, Missy."
She looked up at Briggs with tears running down her face.
"Cade Jennings has asked me to marry him. And I don't know what to do now!"
Briggs stood thunderstruck. "You, ma'am, to be married to Cade Jennings? That bloody reprobate, 'ou betrayed Cap'n Jack?! 'ow could you? The Cap'n will ne'er say such, but he's mightily betrayed by Cade." Josiah spat upon the deck. "It pains me to say that man's name, ma'am. The crew knows the score, as they'd ne'er speak the name o' Cade Jennings unless in a blood oath!"

Briggs lowered his head. "Ma'am. I implore ye. Cade Jennings betrayed Jack over a minor difference of payment. Jennings sought to change the articles of payment, to tip them in his favour. The Cap'n resisted, stating that a fair gunner and passable navigator does not deserve greater shares than a Quartermaster. I can't argue with the just ruling of the Cap'n. Your betrothed, however much you love him, is a mutineer, and a foul and dissolute man. I stand here, as your guard. And I will protect you to the death. But Cade Jennings is a man to put to yer stern, ma'am, and not look back again. I'll kill 'im meself, should I get the chance."

Briggs stepped to the door, and locked it. He spun about, smartly checking his pistol and cutlass. "You're now safe and protected, good lady. I'll stake me on life on the matter" he stated.
Honour sat down on the bed and whispered, "No. No, it's not possible!"
She stood up, trying to absorb all of what Briggs said.
"Cade wouldn't do that. He couldn't! He's honorable. We only took up with each other in port after he thought Jack and I had an annulment. And that time on the deck was only..."
She shut up at that point, realizing she had already said too much.

Her head was swimming with new revelations. A traitor? Cade? No! He saved Jack twice. Why would Briggs feel this way? And why was Jack acting like they were still friends?

She looked at Briggs sadly.
"I thought you were starting to like me, Briggs. How dare you say such lies about the man I had planned on marrying?"

She pushed the thought far down that there was a problem.
She was already married.
To Captain Jack Wolfe.

She said to no one in particular, "I should have become a vestal virgin. Life would be so uncomplicated."
She turned to Briggs and with a catch in her voice, she said, "You lie. I shall never believe that about Cade."

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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2008, 04:27:33 PM »
"If you think me a liar, mum, that's yer lot." Briggs offered. "I offer ye the truth. Jennings is a liar and a mutineer. Aye, he saved our good Cap'n's life more'n once. But that don't absolve the man from 'is foul deeds. Especially after he left Jack for dead after takin' 'is ship! That's 'ow he went off on 'is own Account... By thievin' a ship out from under Ol' Jack. I guess you need to be sussin' out where ye stand, ma'am. With what be right an' true, or with that rank bastard, Cade."

Josiah cocked his head, listening to the orders being issued above. "We'll be seein' action right ready, ma'am. If ye be believin' in God, or his kin, I suggest ye say whatever prayers ye got. Cap'n Jack will see us through, as 'e's done afore. I'll keep ye safe, ma'am; as safe as houses. That's what I swore to me Cap'n, and that's what I'll do." He turned and smiled at Honour. He steeled his eyes as her protector and guardian. Straightening his thick, uncomfortable buff coat, he prepared for the worst.

"Ye might want t' snug up behind me, ma'am. Not for me own pleasure, mind ye, but for yer own safety. I'm the Cap'n's man. No harm shall fall yer way, as what I can help."
Honour nodded wordlessly to Briggs. Her heart was pounding. And all because I had to go into the Bilge Pump Pub that day for an ale and some information on finding Captain Spleen.
Jack came back into my life to turn it upside down.
Once again.

Her mind was trying to sort out what Briggs had told her about Cade. Cade never mentioned Jack. But the opportunity never really arose as she and Cade didn't talk too much about the past when they were together.
Briggs looked out the port window and said, "She's bigger than she looked from afar. Best brace yerself, Honour Bright. Looks like we may be in for a rough time."

No sooner had the words gone from his mouth when the air reverberated with the sound of the guns.
The East Indiaman neither changed her flag nor answered hails as she stood in against us. Her only silent answer was to reef her sails and draw a parallel course to us. El Lobo continued to drag off the sandbar at glacial speed. If anything she was slipping starboard faster than the was forward. "Just a few seconds more..." Jack thought.

And then, he saw the last thing he'd dare nor thing to see. The merchantman began running out her guns, on not 3, but five decks. Their prey wasn't a fat merchantman, but a damned floating weapons platform built for one purpose - destruction.

Snapping into action, Jack began shouting orders. "Snipers! Remain aloft, look for officers and dispatch them! Yardsmen, back to the deck! Gunners, stand ready and true! Bo'sun, alert me at first matchlight!"

The seconds passed at an excruciating pace. Jack touched the wheelman on the shoulder, and handed him the ship's glass. "I'll steady the wheel, Mr. Carslisle. Take your young eyes and find their master."

Young Carslisle took the glass, and move to the rail of the quarterdeck. Jack closed his eyes tightly, knowing that he'd just condemned the lad to certain death.

Carlisle's voice was elated. "Cap'n Jack! I think I see 'im! He's just amidships... Cap'n?"

The top two gun decks of the East Indiaman erupted in smoke and a hail of metal. Mr. Carlisle's question went unanswered as his head became a fog of pink mist.

"Snipers!! Target amidships! Master Gunner, how damaged are we?!"

"Some damage to the fo'c'sle, sir! Most o' their shot went over and 'tween... We're in good shape! Is the word given, Cap'n?" The Gunner cried.

"Aye! The word is given, Gunner! Let's make our purchase off this bar!! FIRE!!!" Jack howled.

"Fire all!! All at once!!" shouted the Master Gunner. And with his command, the left side of El Lobo unleashed her fury, as double-shotted guns spoke in full throated voice. The ship heeled over a full 50° to starboard. The crew held fast on the halyards as bodies flew belowdeck, and El Lobo found herself suddenly free to navigate.

Jack struggled to his feet as his ship righted herself. "Steady us up, mates! Reload the guns! We're out of here!"

He looked behind at the merchantship, and realized at once that El Lobo had popped free not unlike a cork from a beer bottle. The merchantman fired her lower guns, but her every shot fell behind the pyrate. "Clap on all sail, and keep our heels to 'er!! Move!!" Jack commanded. And his crew responded to a man.

"Gunner, how many dead have we?" Jack inquired.

"Six, sir. The wheelman, a sailor, three of my men when a gun exploded, and one reported below." the Gunnery Master reported.

Jack's mind reeled. "One dead below? Gunner, you have the bridge. Keep up at a full run!" He didn't wait for an acknowledgment of his order. He was already in motion, flying down the steps and through the narrow companionway to Honour's cabin. Without knocking, he threw his shoulder against the door and burst in. Briggs had just regained his feet. Honour was still lying on the decking. Jack raced over to help Honour regain her feet.

"What.. what happened? Why aren't you on deck, doing whatever pyrate foolishness you claim to do?" she asked, a bit rattled and annoyed.

"I... I was afraid you were injured."

"No worries, Cap'n. Not a scratch on me" Briggs chimed in with cheery sarcasm.

Jack shot him a look. "Honour, you're not injured? Thank God! I'd never have forgiven myself had harm befell you!"
Honour stood up and took a quick inventory of her body parts. Arms and legs seem OK. She looked down and saw her bodice lacings had come undone. She seemed to be overly stuffed and fluffed.
With a red face, she tucked them back in. A smile played on Jack's lips as he watched her rearrange her person but when she looked up, she saw his sober face.
"I am alright. Everything seems to be present and accounted for."
She couldn't quite believe the look on Jack's face. Gone was the sardonic look on his face.
It was replaced with one of concern. Almost...tenderness?

'Watch yourself, Honour!' she said to herself. He always lived up to his name of 'wolfe' before.
Remember, this is the same man that somehow you woke up married to. The same man that pulled a pistol on you. The same man who held a knife to your throat not once, but twice. The same man that kidnapped you. The same man who....

She hesitantly reached up to touch his cheek and said in a halting voice.
"And you? You are alright?"
She quickly drew her hand away.

What am I doing? This isn't the way it is supposed to go....
"We are free of our sandy prison, and presently making all speed to our destination. We've lost six good souls, and taken some damage aloft. If our enemy cuts back with the wind to give chase, she'll foul on the same bar we did, but much worse. It she takes the long way about, we'll still outrun her." Jack looked deeply into Honour's eyes. "Thank God you're unharmed, darling. I'd feared the worst." He lingered until he heard the Quartermaster clear his voice for the second time.

"Aye! Mr. Briggs! Accompany me to the weather deck. I need to know just how badly we've been damaged, and to prioritize repairs."
Jack touched Honour's hair gently, and left her cabin.
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2008, 04:29:21 PM »
She sat down quickly on her bed. For the second time, Briggs interrupted a moment where things got too intense. She exhaled a breath she did not know she had been holding.
She tried not to think of the six men who needlessly lost their lives due to the headstrong ways of their captain.

Was Cade like this when he was at sea? Did he put his men at risk to obtain treasure? She could not reconcile herself to the thoughts.
She laid down on the bed and pulled the covers up.
From the sheer nervousness of it all, she allowed herself to give way to the tears that were held back.
She was so confused. Jack....or Cade?
Which one was causing her confusion?
She was afraid of the answer she already had formed the question to.
It was Jack that was confusing her mind.
And her heart.

In her exhaustion, she fell into a deep sleep.

They'd gotten off very lucky. Minimal springing of the hull from running aground - nothing the pumps couldn't handle with only two men. Some of the sails would need repair, and the men had already begun the grim task of clearing away the debris of the exploded cannon.

The remains of the dead had been wrapped in sailcloth, along with two cannonballs per man. Jack walked past the fallen, in a slow review. He turned around after passing sixth and looked back across the bodies. He took yet another long pull on the bottle of rum he'd been numbing himself with throughout the entire inspection. Making one last pass, he poured a bit of the rum on each silent form. "Your last rations, mates. Drink up."

The rum did little to divert his mind from the matter most distracting him; Honour Bright. Jack regarded the nearly half-empty bottle with disappointment, then pushed it into the hands of a nearby crewman. "Right! Make sure this is properly disposed of. Smartly now, Mister... you know your own name. Off you go!" He made his way past the bewildered but happy sailor.

He had every intention of going back to his own cabin and catching a bit of shut-eye. But as he passed Honour's cabin, he found himself unable to go any farther. He put his ear to the door, listening for any movement within. After hearing nothing, he knocked softly. The door was ajar, and he slowly opened it to see her sleeping peacefully. The filtered sunlight gently lit her face as she slept. He crossed to her bed and bent down to kiss her cheek.
Honour stirred and then slowly opened her eyes at the feel of a soft touch on her cheek. She looked into Jack's brown eyes and could see the deaths of the young men had touched him deeply. Death, no matter how many times you had seen it, was something you could never quite get used to.
She felt moved at the sight of his face. He looked weary and sad. She reached up and touched his cheek.
The situation had been leading to this point since that day she crawled out on her hands and knees at the Bilge Pump Pub.

Putting a finger to his lips, she whispered, "Don't say a word, and we shall get along just fine...."

Her other hand drew him closer to her.....

Their lips met, and Jack's blood was instantly aflame. The comfortable familiarity of her kiss, coupled with the nearly rabid anticipation of this moment, to be with her again... The heat of their bodies rose and entwined. She drew him closer, so intimately; and Jack was instantly willing to succumb to her passion.

The Sun key. Even as Honour and Jack explored each others bodies, tearing at one another's clothes, Jack's mind went back to the key.

Where had she hidden it? "My God, her kiss is intoxicating," he thought. "I want her so much, but damn it! Where did she hide it?!" He continued to meet her passion, but nonetheless began to feel beneath her pillow and along the headboard, hoping to stumble across the key.

The search was fruitless. His frustration began to interfere with his previous intentions, and Honour picked up on it.

"No, Jack... We've been through so much... Let it go. Be with me, now." she implored. "Lie with me, and forget... What the hell are you doing?!"

Jack pushed himself up over his estranged bride, knowing full well he'd been caught. "What do you mean, darling? I'm your's, completely. Why don't you get on top, eh?"
"Why don't you get the hell out of my ROOM? ALL ALONG YOU WERE AFTER THE KEY!"
She pushed him off her with all her might and Jack landed on the floor.
Honour wrapped herself in the coverlet, her hair entangled around her shoulders and a sweat sheen on her body. Her chest was heaving with indignation and her breath was coming in ragged gasps. She jumped up and threw the door open.
She picked up a candleholder. The problem was, a candle was still burning in it. With hot wax.
Honour was standing there with it in her hands. The wax was beginning to puddle on the bottom. Jack quickly did a mental projectory of where that wax would be landing.
He backed up quickly.
The entire ship could hear what she was screaming at him. "YOU PERVERT! YOU--YOU DIRTY DOG!"
She took her hands and pushed on his chest with all her might. He flew out the door and hit the opposite wall in the companionway.
She slammed the door shut and locked it.

Jack stood there in nature's own, the tussle quickly dampening his ardor.
"NEVER!" she yelled.

She walked over to the porthole and tossed his clothes out. It took about thirty seconds for them to be consumed by the whitecaps. His boots were tossed out next.
"NOW make your way back to your quarters, Jack Wolfe!"
He pounded on the door. "Throw a blanket out, you $#@!@!!"

She propped the chair under the doorknob and dusted her hands off.

Who needs Briggs, anyhow?
Jack stood out in the hall, wearing nothing but what God gave him at the first, pounding on Honour's door. "Honour, love... PLEASE let me back in! At least give me back my breaches! Honour?"

He looked about, and found Briggs standing at the end of the companionway, smoking his pipe.

"Ye keep tellin' me you'll teach me how to 'andle women, Cap'n. Yet, I'm not convinced I'll survive yer teachings, sir. Seems I'll get me head taken off faster than not. Here! You'll be needin' this!" He tossed a wool blanket at his captain.

"Briggs, I'll thank ye not to mention this to a soul." Jack said, as he wrapped himself in the blanket.

"All depends, Cap'n. Next ship what comes along as a prize, I get made Captain, free and clear. Agreed?" Briggs posed, his face ringed in smoke.

Jack took a hard look at his quartermaster, and extended his hand. "Agreed." He silently avowed to make great pains to take a canoe or coastal sloop at the next available chance. Skulking back to the great cabin, Jack slammed the door behind him. "Damn it all, I'd just broken that shift of clothes in..." he thought.
Briggs stood there laughing to himself at the predicament his cool and collected captain had found himself in. She certainly could match him wit-for-wit. Maybe even had the edge on him.
He heard Captain Jack's door slam and reverberate off its hinges. Obviously it didn't go as well as he had planned.

Briggs tucked his pipe back into his pouch and sighed deeply. Do I dare go to the tiger's door? His curiosity could withstand no longer and he knocked.
A stream of unlady-like language came through the door.
He knocked again and said, "Honour? It's me. Briggs."
Briggs tried to hold his laughter back.
"I value my life. I'm alone."

She opened the door a crack and saw him. She let him in. Briggs tried not to laugh at the sight of her.
Her hair lay in a tangle down her back. Her lip coloring was smeared. Two bright pink spots appeared on her cheeks. She was wrapped in a coverlet and held a vase in one hand, ready to crack it down on anyone who crossed her.
Briggs said soberly, "Having a bad day, are we?"

She sat down on the bed and said bitterly, "He was only after the Sun Key. Damn him. DAMN JACK WOLFE! He hasn't changed. He never will."
She crossed her arms and tried to keep her coverlet from slipping down.
"When I get my share of the treasure, I intend to hold him to his part of the bargain. I get the annulment. Or I swear to God.....I'lll go back AS CAPTAIN JACK WOLFE'S WIDOW!"

She walked over to the porthole and looked out. Then she turned to Briggs and said defiantly, "I intend to go back and marry Cade Jennings. Nothing you can say will change my mind."

She hadn't really planned on marrying Cade.
But what better way to stick it to Jack Wolfe?

"Now, now, Honour, ma'am; if I may be so bold." Briggs started. She looked back at him, and nodded. "I shouldn't be here, much less give a care about your plight. Me first service be to the Cap'n and our good ship. But ye've taken to burthening me your fears and troubles, so I give ye this as advice. Cade Jennings is no better, nor worse, than Jack Wolfe. Difference is, Jack's been at this business a good bit longer than Cade. Given a square fight, Jack would no doubt win from certain treachery what comes with age and experience. But all in all, Jack's a good man, down deep. He's fought the fights, and lost more of himself then most men hope to ever gain. And despite his greed, I can see one certain thing in his eyes that I haven't seen before - he does care for ye, ma'am. I'd stake me life on it. So you think on it, Honour, ma'am. If you marry Cade, mutineer and worthless bastard that he be, you're no better off than ye be now. Better the devil ye know than the devil ye don't. I'll be leaving ye now, ma'am."

Josiah doffed his hat, and exited Honour's cabin, shutting the door quietly behind him.

Jack tried to lie down and seek some solace in sleep, but it would not happen. His mind raced about the Sun key, their present destination, and Briggs. That galled him the most - that Briggs would leverage such a situation to better himself... then he found himself laughing. What should a pyrate do, but avail himself of a profitable situation? After all, this is no Royal Navy ship. Jack would blow it to Hell before the RN would ever take her.

"Right. Enough of this falderall. If I can't rest, no one else shall." Jack fumed. He pulled on a fresh shift of clothes, drank a bit of claret, and left the great cabin.

As he made his way down the companionway, he came upon Briggs as the quartermaster was exiting Honour's cabin. "Well, nicely done, Mr. Briggs. Finished what I'd started, you opportunistic cur?! It appears I've trained you too well."

Briggs began to explain, but Jack raised his hand to silence him. "I have no desire to hear it, Josiah. You wound me deeply. We'll settle this later. As men of honour." With that, Jack stormed off to the holy ground of the quarterdeck, leaving Briggs in stunned silence. He couldn't believe it. His own Captain had challenged him to a duel.
Honour sat there on the bed, her pride wounded beyond belief. Still wrapped in her coverlet, she reached behind the books and drew out the Sun Key.
This was the cause of more misery in her life than she thought possible from a piece of brass.
She threw it against the wall with all the force she could, hearing it clatter as it hit the floor.
She flopped back on the bed and stared at the ceiling.

'What are you going to do, Honour?' she thought. 'Are you going to stay in these quarters until Isla Muelle nursing your hurt feelings? Or are you going to go out there and show the world you don't care?'

She dropped the coverlet, and went to the armoire. In it was a dress of soft butter yellow. Slipping it over her head, she let it flow downwards. Defty lacing up the front, she then selected a pair of boots in soft kidskin. Good thing I did leave some things behind. She slipped her feet into them and then selected from a box in the back a small necklace with a topaz gem. She fastened topaz earrings and then brushed her hair and held it back with a black satin ribbon.
Applying a few cosmetics, she looked in the mirror and was satisfied of what she saw.
She reached into the back of the drawer under some petticoats and found what she was looking for. She inserted the sgian dubh in her boot.

Honour held her head high and was ready to face the crew--and Captain Jack--as if nothing was wrong.
With her hand on the doorknob, she had one last thought.
She picked up the Sun Key and hid it back in its hiding place. She then withdrew a small box she had hidden in her pocket the day Jack decided to take her on the unnannounced 'cruise from hell'.

She slipped the diamond ring on her left hand, ring finger.
A little present from Cade Jennings.

Because after all, revenge is a dish best served cold.

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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2008, 04:40:50 PM »

Still seething as he reached the quarterdeck, Jack demanded to know their position. The new steersman, Jason Harper, reported that the lay 16 hours out of Little Muelle Cay. Jack nodded approval, yet still shot Harper a look that made the young man want to crawl under the wheel.

Dr. Gander, the ship's surgeon, approached. "Captain, we need you to say a few words over our dead. They're ready for you, sir"

Jack sighed. "Aye, Duckie, I'll attend presently." He hated this task above all others. Some small words would be spoken, the names read, and the bell rung. And each silenced soul would be spilled over the side. Yet, it must be done. He walked stiffly down to the main deck and took his position next to the litters carrying the dead.

"We consign these, our Honoured dead, to the depths. May God show mercy unto their souls." He spoke the words in a wooden way, their usual gravity falling flat. Each man's body was sent over the side, until all six were gone forever. Returning to the quarterdeck, he fished out the rum bottle he had stashed there. He took a huge swallow, and recorked the bottle.

To his surprise, Honour appeared on deck shortly after. She was done up in her finery, walking with an unusually haughty aire. Every head turned as she came on deck, and marched right up onto the holy ground. She looked toward the sun, running her long fingers through her golden hair. A glint of jewels on her left hand caught Jack's attention. He walked over to her and took her left hand in his.

"It's lovely! Matches your eyes. Strange that I don't remember giving this to you, my recalcitrant wife. Nice to know I still have good taste, even when I black out."

Honour withdrew her hand quickly from his.
"You didn't."
She let it go at that. Let him wonder, she thought maliciously.
She looked off in the distance.
"I came to pay my respects to your men. I was watching from the companionway. It was a shame. And so needless, Jack."
He looked at her and reached out to touch her cheek. She caught his hand and said quietly, "What just happened in my room? I hope the memory keeps you warm on cold, cold nights, Jack. Because that is the last you will see or touch my body."

She turned and walked away.

"How sad that you have warmer thoughts for dead men than you do for your own hubby!" Jack mocked. "So, I didn't put said bauble on your hand. Who did? And is that what all the annulment yammering is for? You've trotted off and betrothed yourself before ending our marriage? Like it or not, love, you're more of a pyrate than you want to admit."

He drank some more rum as he let his words sink in. "A simple question, if I'm to believe that ring real. What is his name?"

"And how sad that you have warmer thoughts for a piece of brass than me."
She walked slowly back to him. She was going to enjoy twisting the knife.
"And it is none of your business who he is. Look at every one of your friends and crewmates, Jack. Look at them and wonder if all those nights you passed out, I didn't find any of them a better man than you!"
She delivered the ultimate coup de grace. "At least he finishes what he starts."
She reached over, grabbed the rum bottle and took a deep swallow.
Tossing the bottle to him, she said, "Drink up, me hearty. Yo-ho."
As she walked off, she flung over her shoulder,
"Cheers, love."

Jack caught the bottle, and watched her walk away. Her words were like knives in his belly. Taking the last swig from the bottle, he threw the empty vessel over the side. "Jennings," he growled to himself. "I owe that mutinous dog a thing or two. The edge of my blade, for starters."

Honour walked back to her quarters and gently closed the door. She felt like she had been avenged. If so, why did she not feel good about it? She knew she had laid the lowest blow to a man. She sat down on the bed and thought, 'Never let it be said that he didn't deserve every syllable of it.'

She looked at the clothes strewn around the floor. Picking them up, she saw a few in tatters. She took them and flung them out the porthole window. Won't be needing them anymore...
She reached under the bed and grabbed the bottle of rum she had swiped from Jack earlier in the day when his back was turned.

Husband, indeed! When did he ever act like one? She wasn't a wife, she was a commodity. That is, when he wasn't pulling a pistol or a dagger on me, she thought bitterly.
And the ultimate rejection....
Honour took the rum bottle and uncorked it.

Yes, looks like a long night. What second better way to keep warm?

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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2008, 04:42:01 PM »
Jack's face burned like a brand as Honour stalked from the weather deck to her quarters. He swore in his heart to take the life of Cade Jennings when next they met.

He laughed involuntarily, like the wind being kicked out of him. The realization struck him like a bolt from the blue: He'd been pining for Honour all this time! Of all the women he'd lain with, she held his heart. And the literal key to riches untold. She was suddenly, in Jack's eyes, the perfect woman. But the ultimate conundrum lay before him... to take the treasure what laid before them, or let her escape once more?

He snorted, to regain his composure, and narrowed his eyes at Briggs as the quartermaster emerged on the weather deck. "Josiah! I need you here." he yelled. Briggs stepped briskly, as if all were suddenly right. He was soon at his captain's side.

"Watch the ship, Mr. Briggs. I should hate that we miss our appointment on the sand come the morrow. Check your weapon and blade. You'll need them dearly."

With that, Jack stalked off for the great cabin. His heart was black, and he was sure no soul could lift it.

The gun crews busied themselves cleaning the cannons, making sure they were ready. One crew in particular payed special attention to the business conducted on the quarterdeck.

"Aye, Eli. Our moment is near!" Samuel Burgess, a Cornwall man, hissed. "As I told ye when we came aboard on that backwater island, we'll soon be masters here! Stick fast! And we'll be as kings!"

Elijah Meredith, a lad of Devonshire, followed the lead of his elder. He was frighted to the point of shaking, but he did as he was told. Even though he knew it meant mutiny.

Burgess' face was a masque of hatred. "28 days I been aboard this hulk, an' not one bit o' honest pyrating have we done! Ill used by Cap'n Jack we are!"

He stood from his post, and yelled out among the present gun crews. "So," Burgess said, just loud enough for the other gunners to hear. "'Ou's with us? I say we cut the throats of our 'commanders', take the Captain's sweet doxy for our own, and set off on our good and proper course? 'Ou be with us?" Burgess cried.

Meredith heard Burgess' words, but this young heart knew the wrong of it. Eli wanted no more than safe and sound passage to Port Royale. He busied himself by trussing up the gun, knowing full well that his lot was now cast as a mutineer.
Man after man looked first to each other, then back to Burgess, until 11 of them cast their lot with the mutineer by spitting into their palm and shaking the Cornwall man's hand. The rest of the men put their backs to the traitors and busied tehmselves with their duties. Their actions gave tacet approval to the mutiny, though they preferred to wait out the plot and cast their lot with the victors.

Burgess grinned triumphantly. "Aye, lads. We'll get this ship turned 'round right! A 'Devil's Dozen', we are, and the Devil take who don't stand their full measure... Ain't that right, Eli?"

The nervous boy nodded, but couldn't quite find his voice. The murderous look in the eyes of the men before him made his blood run cold. "Yeah... yeah, that's right." he stammered.

Burgess laughed as he looked back toward the quarterdeck. Briggs was oblivious to the cabal forming on the weather deck, as he was lost in his own thoughts. "This'll be easy as nickin' candy from a baby, lads. You four," Burgess said as he swept his hand from left to right, "you'll take the quartermaster in his quarters. You next four, you'll take the old man. And the last of us," he sneered, "we'll be taking the Captain's lady. And we'll ensure ye each a turn. Given she lasts that long!"

The mutineers laughed and jostled each other as they contemplated the plan laid out before them. Burgess looked like a maniacal demon in the lantern light.
The mutineers laughed as they heard Burgess' words. Even Meredith joined in the grunts and barks of approval. He'd never lain with a woman, and Honour was so beautiful...

His reverie was broken by Burgess slamming a wet gun swab into his hands. "'ere ye go, boy," Burgess mocked. "Slide this into your lady, and service her rightly!" The laughs of the men rang in Eli's ears, and his face burned. He did as he was told, but his thoughts went to cutting the throat of Samuel Burgess the first chance he got. Eli made a grand, nearly pornographic mockery of swabbing the gun, and it served to get Burgess back on topic.

"Aye, now... ye skilled groups have yer missions. We act on two bells after the change of watch. That be in 3 turns of the hourglass. Briggs will be fast asleep, and the rest of our quarry will still be ripe and ready. Show me a man, right now, what ain't ready for this adventure! Show me now, or I'll cut your throat meself once we take action!"

Every man steeled themselves before the lead mutineer, including the frightened Meredith. The die was cast. Burgess would be given the deck at the turn of the watch. And Hell would come with him.
Time seemed to slow as the mutineers pretended to go about their tasks. All eyes were on Briggs, when at last he turned the glass with his own hand. "Mister Burgess! The watch is yours. I'll be below, should anyone need me. Make it so."

With that, Josiah Briggs turned command of the ship over to Master Gunner Samuel Burgess. The die was cast, and the mutiny was on. "An hour more, me hearties! An hour more!" Burgess hissed from the Holy Ground. "An hour more, and we feast as kings!

The men knew full well that Burgess was exaggerating his position, but they didn't much care. They all felt ill used by Captain Jack, and not a one of them had made any coin at all under Jack's watch. And to think that he'd build wealth on their backs with no recompense to them? Seldom was a crew more ripe for mutiny.

Briggs paused at the stairway leading down to the weather deck. "Stand fast, good men! Take heart that Ol' Jack will show us the way! Riches be ours, lest ye fall into the wiles of others! Your choice, lads. Be wise!" With that, Briggs went below. Burgess stared over the railing with hatred in his eyes. The men watched the interplay between the two men, and their reactions were codified. The 12 mutineers remained staunchly behind Burgess, and the rest kept with the Captain.
Time passed achingly slow. Meredith busied himself at the guns, though his watch was technically over. He couldn't sleep if he'd wanted to. He looked to the other men, who jeered and jostled with him, in a brotherhood of deceit and hatred that galled him to his core.

The watch glass drained down, and the hour arrived. Burgess called from the quarterdeck, "We move, now!!" Cutlasses and pistols were brandished, and the mutineers made for the afterdecks as quietly as a bunch of munitous curs could manage.
Honour finished the bottle of rum and walked over to the porthole, pitching it out.
"Drink up, Neptune! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did." *hic*
She let her clothes fall and drop-kicked them into the corner, crawling into bed and pulling the covers over her head. Within moments, the rum had done its job and she fell sound asleep.

She was deeply into sleep but in the background of her mind she heard footsteps running down the deck.

She rolled over, pulled the covers back over her head and muttered, "Damn pirates! You'd think this was a tavern....."
Jack couldn't sleep. Rum wouldn't quiet his mind, so he decided for the delightful euphoria of khat. He chewed the African tree bark and reveled in it's bittersweet taste. The drug had just taken it's full effect when he heard a strange noise at the door, like the thud of metal against the bulkhead. Thankfully, khat is a stimulant. He shouldered his baldic and grabbed a pistol from the bookcase. Slowly, he approached the door. He could hear hushed voices beyond the threshold.

Readying his weapons, he whispered to himself "One, two, three... three and a half, three and three quarters... FOUR!!"
Jack yanked open the door of the great cabin, to find four men crowded into the narrow companionway before him. Foremost was the huge form of one David Wells, a Gloucestershire man, well over six feet tall. Jack's eyes were like saucers as Wells raised his boarding axe, with all intent of bringing it down on his captain's skull. Jack lunged forward to catch Wells' axe with his cutlass.

Left with naught but his pistol and his wits, Jack opted for the obvious; he kicked with every ounce of his being right into the crotch of Wells.

The big man looked down at Jack, and smiled. Jack's eyes widened as he looked up at Wells' grin as he whispered "Eunuch?"

Wells' eyes rolled up into the back of his head as he dropped like a sack of potatoes to he deck. The men behind him were in disarray as the big man crumpled.

"Aye!! Have at ye, ye scabrous dogs!!" Jack yelled, as he climbed over Wells' fallen body. As he charged, he fired his pistol into a gunner's mate, named Gilbert, and slashed hard against the neck of another, named Felix. He flipped the spent pistol over in his hand to act as a club as he chased the last of the four, named Fielding, down toward Honour's cabin. He drew heart as he saw two prone bodies outside her quarters, but snarled viscerally as a man named O'Keeffe dragged her out at gunpoint. Men could be heard running on the decks above, so Briggs had not yet been taken.

All parties drew up short at the entrance to Honour's quarters. Fielding turned and brandished a knife. "So, Cap'n. How you guessin' to get by me?" the man laughed. Jack shrugged, and clubbed the man over the head with the brass end of his pistol.

Jack immediately brought his cutlass against the broadest part of O'Keeffe's throat. "Now, ye worthless half-witted piss-ant dog," Jack hissed into the young man's ear. "How badly do ye want me to spill your bastard's blood all over this lovely woman's head? Let her go, damn you!"

O'Keeffe let Honour go, only to look square into the eyes of his Captain and smile. His thumb moved to the lock of his pistol. Jack looked to Honour and yelled "Drop!! Now!!" as he swung his cutlass hard against the neck of O'Keeffe. The young man's head spun off his shoulders before he could fire his pistol.

Honour had dropped to her knees, and caught the pistol before it hit the deck. She spun it about in her hands and leveled it at Jack's head. "Where there hell were you, you drunken bastard? They saw me in my bloody stays!!"
Honour cocked the pistol.
Jack's eyes opened wide.
She aimed the muzzle.
He started to speak, "But Honour, darling...."
She squeezed the trigger.
And fired.

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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2008, 04:44:04 PM »
Jack started at the sound and looked down at his chest.
No hole.
No blood.

A thud was heard from behind.
And a body fell. There went Barton.
"Got him!" Honour breathed.
Jack dove for Honour and fell on top of her.
Just then a cutlass slashed where Honour's head would have been. Jack reached into Honour's bodice stays and whipped out her bodice dagger, throwing it with sheer force.
"Hey! I told you my body was off-limits to you, you bastard!"
"Uuuh....! "
Canfield fell right on top of her. Jack pushed him off and in one fell movement, pushed Honour into her quarters, slamming the door behind her.
All he could hear was muffled swearing and the door being kicked repeatedly.
He went off in search of the other mutineers, determined no one..but no one...should ever take El Lobo del Mar.
Or Honour Bright.
Jack made all haste back to his cabin, wiping the blood off his cutlass as he walked. There hadn't been a gang coming after him, so the mutiny had to be limited to a few reckless fools. "I'll be damned it anyone takes what's mine while I draw a breath. Not my ship, not... never." he growled.

He entered his cabin, looking around to make sure he had no company. Opening his old sea chest, he retrieved an ornate double-flintlock that had belonged to his father. He checked the fittings, and quickly loaded both barrels. "I get the feeling I'll be needing your help, dear old Dad. Keep my aim true, if you're not too busy." he whispered. Rummaging around, he found a plain but very sharp dirk, and slipped it into his belt.

With a cold fury burning in his belly, he began the hunt of those who'd moved against him and everything he held dear.
"Ow!! Damn you, idiot! Careful with that cutlass!" Edward Freil yelped at his compatriot, Allan Covan. "If you had half a brain, you'd carry a pistol like me. Now, keep back!"

"And with your half a brain, careful you don't go shootin' yourself in the foot, fool." Covan mocked, but still backed off a few steps. "What makes you think Briggs is hiding down here in the hold? We were supposed to be checkin' his quarters, like Burgess said!"

Freil sneered. "Which is exactly why were here, and not where Briggs might expect us to be! We're outmaneuvering him, because I'm smarter than he is. Simple as that. Now, get that light over here."

"Brilliant scheme. Outmaneuver a sleeping man by knocking about the opposite end of the ship so as not to disturb his slumber. I'm dazzled."

Freil spun and pointed his flintlock at Covan's head. "Who did Burgess put in charge of us? Who? It sure as hell wasn't your silly arse, now was it? You listen to me, and don't forget it! Now, shut up and help me find Briggs."

Satisfied that he'd put Covan in his place, Freil turned and walked authoritatively into a stack of heavy crates.

Jack hung back in the shadows at the aft of the hold. "Very nice," he thought. "My day gets a bit easier."
Honour kicked and kicked the door but it wouldn't give.
'Damn English oak!" she swore. She hastily dressed in a pair of breeches and a long shirt that must have been Jack's. At least it smelled vaguely of rum and leather which meant it was his. Comforting, in a way. It kept slipping off her shoulders.
'Next time I get kidnapped, I make sure there's someone my size on board'....
She reached under, unlaced and threw her bodice stays off. Quickly she laced her boots up and packed her sgian dubh in it.
'No one takes ME without a fight!' she whispered to herself. 'Damn that Jack Wolfe! If he had just left me in port, I'd be all snuggy-bug in a nice cozy bed instead of being out in the middle of the deep blue.'
She felt her heart quicken as her inner voice said, 'And you are loving every minute of it and you know it, Honour. How many times a day did he cross your mind? Five? Six? Seven? More than that?'
She muttered to herself, 'You know, some day I'm going to find that inner voice and kick its little arse.'

Honour slipped her bodice dagger into bodice. 'CRAP! NOW what do I do?' She glanced at the boarding pike and thought for a second...'now, where would I put it?'
She hastily looked over the room. She'd already thrown all the vases and crockery at the door. Looks like I've used up the allotment Jack had given me. Candle wax? No, the wick is almost spent....
She took a deep breath. Too quiet out there. She said a quick prayer for Jack's safety. You know....just so he could get her back to port alive.
Because she had a bad feeling she didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell with this rabble.

Honour heard the doorlock being unbolted.
She hastily slipped the bodice dagger into the other boot. As she stood up, the door swung open.
She said softly, "It's about time!"

She looked up into the hard look on Samuel Burgess' face.
"Aye, me darlin'...I'd say you were right about that..."
Jack moved quietly as he stalked his prey, stealing over the ballast stones, lurking among the hogsheads, barrels, and casks stored in the main hold. Freil and Covan continued to argue with one another.

"Damn your sorry eyes, I've had enough of your noise!" yelped Freil. He grabbed a small lantern hanging on a nail in the hold and lit it. "You go that way," he ordered, motioning to starboard, "and I'll go this way." He motioned larboard. "Try not to get your silly arse killed, yeah?"

"Aye, I'll take the starboard side, fair enough." said Covan. "And watch your own worthless arse, lest ye find it at the wrong end of a blade!"

"Are you calling me out, ye sod?" barked Freil.

"If I call ye bastard arse out, it'll be on dry land. We'd settle it like men. At least I would. Get yer head about ye and set to finding Briggs. Enough rubbish! Off with ye!" Covan chided.

Jack was able to make great headway as the two men squabbled like fishwives. He followed Covan until they were at the starboard hull. As Covan turned, he found Jack's blade at his throat. The lantern played over the blade as it rested against the mutineer's neck.

"I should have kept a better eye on you and your friend when you signed on at our last port. Submit now, and I might show you mercy and maroon your worthless hide." Jack whispered.

"Never!" Covan yelled. In an instant, his blade was against Jack's. The battle was on.

Covan hacked and slashed like a man possessed. He knew his life hung on this fight, and he threw himself into it completely. Jack parried Covan's fury, waiting his prey out. He knew that Covan would soon be spent, so a defensive posture was the best strategy. Soon, Covan's arm weakened, and Jack took up the offensive.

Pressing his advantage, Jack beat Covan backward until the mutineer could retreat no further. Jack engaged him close, and spun the cutlass out of the man's hand. Jack pressed the tip of his cutlass against Covan's chest. "Renounce your master, and you might live." stated Jack. He looked right into Allan's eyes.

"Never! You aren't fit to captain this ship!" spat Covan. Jack's eyes darkened.

"Wrong answer." Jack said flatly. He lunged suddenly, driving his cutlass completely through Covan's body. He twisted the blade to make sure the deed would be be complete. Covan gasped and grabbed the blade as his life faded, and slumped to the deck, dead.

Jack withdrew his cutlass and wiped the blood from it on his sash. He regarded Covan's dead form with some small regret, and turned to pursue Freil. As he went to step forward, he felt the cold brass of a gun barrel being shoved under his chin.

"Well, well, Cap'n sir... Fancy meeting you like this!" Freil sneered. He cocked the pistol and grinned a greasy smile. "We were looking for Master Briggs, but I stumble across you! Killing you will be a joy, and quite the feather in my cap with Cap'n Burgess!"

"Burgess?!" Jack growled. "That worthless son of a -" His words were cut short by Friel jamming his pistol harder against Jack's jaw.

"Say goodbye, Jack Wolfe. Your time here is through." grinned Friel.

Jack closed his eyes and waited for oblivion. What he felt was the gun barrel drop away from his throat. He opened his eyes to see Friel's face twisted in a masque of confusion. The sound of a blade being withdrawn could be heard next, and Freil dropped like a sack of potatoes.

Behind the crumpling form of the mutineer, Jack could see the familiar face of his quartermaster, Josiah Briggs. "Now, Jack, about that duel you seem so hot after. Are ye willin' to listen to reason now, since I just saved yer Godforsaken arse again? What say ye?"

Jack felt his face burn red with shame and relief. "Josiah, my blood brother. Please forgive my foolishness! I was wrong to ever doubt your faithfulness. Please forgive me!"

"Aye, my Captain. I knew you'd come around. But that woman, if I may be so bold, gets you all twisted up like I've never seen!" Briggs smiled.

"From your mouth to God's ear, Josiah. Once this is over, I swear - "

Jack was cut off by a woman's scream from above. Jack charged off like a man ready to do battle with the Devil himself. Briggs shook his head and joined the chase.

"Where have I heard that before?" laughed Briggs as he ran after his Captain, ready to join battle with whatever lay before them.
"You? You're behind this!"
Honour's voice came in a whisper as she tried to calm the rising sense of panic that engulfed her.
He reached out to grab her by the hair.
"Damn right. I be the brains behind this and if the crew under new management, shall we say, have done what they were supposed to do, I am now the captain of El Lobo del Mar."
Honour shook her head and said, "No. You'll never take Jack Wolfe. You can't. He's MAD Jack Wolfe. He's too crazy to be killed. He--he'd never allow that to happen."
Burgess thrust his face next to hers. "Aye, do ye hear him anywhere? Ye think he'd allow me to get into this Holy sanctuary if he were still alive?"
"He's occupied elsewhere. You will never take this ship. NEVER, you hear me?"
Burgess sneered, "And ye know what that means? As I am the captain, ye now be the captain's wench. And ye do as I say!"
His dirty hand trailed down her cheek. She shuddered as his hand wandered southwards and across her chest.
He smirked, "Just checkin' ye fer weapons. Although I see ye have no place to put them."
Heaven help her if he found her sgian dugh and her bodice dagger that were tucked down into her boots.
If only I could reach them, she thought.....

His hand glided over her hip as a leer crossed his face. As he skimmed down her leg, she took her booted foot and ground it into his instep. Burgess yelped in pain.
He struck her across the face and barked, "Meredith! Guard the door! It's about time this wench learned who was in charge here!"
Meredith looked in fright from Burgess to Honour. "NOW or I wet my dagger with yer innards, whelp!"
Meredith ran out of the room.

Burgess grabbed her again by her hair and pulled her close to him, his mouth on hers. She fought the instinct to get sick. She extended her hand, her nails raking down his face, five long scratches on his left cheek.
He let go and put his hand up to his face. She aimed for his eyes but he caught her hands and pushed her onto the bed.
"That's going to cost you, trollop!"
He grabbed her roughly and as his hand clamped over her mouth, she bit down hard. He screamed and she grabbed the candle holder with a puddle of hot wax swirling around the wick. She flung it into his face.
He yelled again and Honour used that to her advantage as she leapt off the bed and made a break for the door.
She flung it open and as she vaulted her body through the door frame, Burgess grabbed her by the hair and threw her backwards.
She let out a scream.

Meredith ran as if all the hounds from hell were after him. He saw Jack and Briggs rushing up the deck.
Gasping, he shouted, "Quick! In her cabin!"
Jack and Briggs pushed him aside and ran as if someone's life depended on it.
Because it did.
Honour's life.
And that meant Jack's life, too.
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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2008, 04:45:41 PM »
Jack's eyes were flame. He elbowed Meredith hard in the face as he and Briggs stormed Honour's cabin. The boy crumpled in the corner, trying to staunch the blood flowing from his broken nose. Burgess drew his dagger and held it against Honour's throat as Jack drew his pistol and cocked it. Briggs stood at the ready beside his captain with his cutlass drawn.

"Let her go, you worthless son of a belch!" Jack growled. "So help me, I'll blow your brains all over this cabin."

Burgess laughed. "Try it, Wolfe. And your sweet doxy will draw her last breath." The oily man pressed his dagger harder against Honour's neck.

Honour swallowed hard. "Jack, you have two shots. Kill me if you must, but don't let this bastard live!" she hissed.

"Not an option, love. But die, he will." Jack swore. He felt Briggs' fist bump him in the back twice. Jack shifted his feet to signal he was ready for whatever Josiah had in mind.

"You now what your problem is, Wolfe? You've gotten soft. This silly wench has your head all twisted up. You've forgotten what it is to be a pirate." Burgess mocked. "I threaten her, and the Lobo is mine. That's not the Wolfe of all the stories. Drop your weapon, Jack, and I promise to be merciful."

The fire seemed to go out of Jack's eyes. He let his aim drop, and he sighed heavily. "Honour, he's right. I'm sorry, but I can't risk it."

Honour's eyes grew wide with disbelief, when she saw a smile play across Jack's lips. Briggs shouted "For glory!" as he dove to Burgess' left. Burgess twisted his body to follow Briggs, and Jack dropped to his knees and fired his pistol. The ball buried itself deep in Burgess' right shoulder, and the mutineer dropped his dagger. As the man grabbed at his wound, Honour tore herself from his grasp and fell into Jack's arms. Briggs pressed the point of his cutlass against Burgess' chest.

"Shall I finish him now, Captain?" Josiah asked.

Jack couldn't tear his eyes from Honour's. "No, my friend. We keep to ship's articles with these two. They put their marks to paper, and I intent to honour their pledge."

Briggs struggled to contain himself, but obeyed his friend and Captain. "Aye, sir. I know a length of rope that will suit our purpose nicely." Josiah took a half step back, but did not drop his blade. A small patch of crimson on the mutineer's chest showed just how close Briggs was to running him through.

Jack stroked Honour's hair. "Are you all right, darling? Are you hurt?"
Honour raised her hand to her cheek. A darkened splotch was forming across it where Burgess had struck her.
"I--I think I'm alright."
In the corner they heard sobbing. It was Meredith, curled up and crying because he knew the Fates had now spun his life-thread and were cutting it.

Honour broke herself reluctantly from Jack's embrace and knelt down next to the boy from Devonshire. She said softly, "Eli, did you honestly think you could best Jack Wolfe?"
He covered his eyes with his forearm and shook his head. "I had no choice. Burgess threatened to throw me overboard if I didn't cast my lot in with his."
Jack said grimly, "You are a mutineer and you know what happens to them that do not meet their end at sword or pistol."
He nodded wordlessly. "Aye. I do."
She couldn't help herself. Softly she said, "Jack--he's just a kid."

Briggs asked him, "How many of you were there?"
Eli shuddered, "Twelve."
Briggs said, "Think we got them all then."
Honour held her hand out. "I'll watch Meredith but please get that piece of garbage out of my sight."
She nodded towards Burgess. "I need a weapon, Jack. Please let me have your dirk."
"Are you out of your mind? I'm not leaving you here alone."
She said, "I would feel alot better if you and Briggs took this despicable dog to the brig and locked him up."
"Jack, I will be fine. Please let me handle this one," she said in a low voice. "Really. It will be alright."
Reluctantly Jack turned his weapon over to her.
He pointed his pistol at Burgess and said, "Let's go."
Burgess said, "I demand medical assistance!"
Briggs laughed, "Why? That ball in your shoulder will just help you sink a little faster."
Jack kept his pistol on Burgess and Briggs patted him down for weapons. Another dagger was found.
"Here, Honour. A spare."
She nodded and said gently, "Hurry back, Jack."
He gently drew her to him and kissed her. "Aye. I shall."
Burgess yelled, "Oh, get a room, you two."

Honour sat on the edge of the bed and scooted a chair out to face her with her booted foot.
"Eli, have a seat. Let's parley."
Eli sat down, blood splattering the front of his shirt. He looked down and couldn't meet Honour's gaze.
"Look at me, Meredith."
He raised his head. Tears welled in his eyes again.
"How old are you?"
Almost two years younger than me, she thought. She took a cloth and dipped it in a basin of water and washed his face. "I don't want you to squirm. Take this like a man."

She took his nose and moved it a bit to straighten it out. He looked at her with gratitude.
"I guess I can have a straight nose when I swing."
She sat down in front of him. "Not necessarily. I heard you yell for Briggs and Jack Wolfe. If they couldn't have found me, heaven knows what would have happened. And for that I thank you."
Eli looked down and started to cry again. Almost inaudibly, he whispered, "I'm so sorry, Miss Bright."
She looked away, unable to meet the misery in his face. She said quietly, "It's Mrs. Wolfe."
He looked at her incredulously. She explained, "No one except Briggs knows but I married Jack under strange circimstances eighteen months ago. We've been...separated."
"You? And..and the captain?"
She nodded and laughed self-conscioiusly. "Two souls that never should have been bound up with each other. But that is besides the point."
He wiped his eyes with his hands. She went to the armoire and gave him a shirt.
"Here. Jack may kill me for showing mercy to a mutineer. Eli, I can't promise anything. I really can't. I've seen Jack Wolfe in murderous rages before. And usually when I have, I've been the reason. He's not called 'Mad Jack' for nothing. But I am going to do my best to see you are spared. I am going to plead your case. I think setting you off in the next port and having you book passage back to Devonshire would be best for all concerned. Jack can never trust you and I can't say I blame him. I'll make sure you have enough coin and get a safe passage back to England."
He gave her a gratified smile. "Ye are an angel, Miss Bright."
She reached under the bed and withdrew a bottle of rum.
"I'll help you if you help me."
"How, Miss---Mrs. Wolfe?"
"Don't tell Jack I have this bottle!"
Briggs bound Burgess' hands tightly behind him. Jack shoved Burgess forward. "You know the way to the Surgeon. Don't make me drag you, dog."

"I've got rights!" Burgess bellowed.

"You go nothin', mutineer! Jack, why are we sparing this cur?" Briggs growled.

Jack laughed. "Why, he's going to be a right shining example," he said, grabbing Burgess by the collar and slamming the man's wounded shoulder into the bulkhead. Burgess howled in agony. "An example of what mutiny buys you on my ship."

Burgess stumbled forward, blinded by pain. The constant prod of pistol muzzles gave him plenty of incentive to keep walking.

"Josiah, I'm sorry." Jack said. "I doubted you, and I was wrong. I hope you can forgive me."

Briggs chuckled. "Jack, I've seen every one of your moods, or at least I thought I had. You care more for the Missus than you want to admit. But I think she got the message. Lord knows, the rest of did!"

Jack laughed. "Aye, Josiah. My hand is played."

"And I do forgive ye, Jack. But ye owe me a cask of rum!"

"Two casks, Josiah! All yours. And than you." Jack smiled.

They arrived at the ship's Surgery. Briggs opened the door and shoved Burgess through it. The mutineer stumbled to a bunk and sat down.

"Doctor," Jack said. "I'll need you to pack this man's wound, once I'm finished with him."

"Captain, the man's bleeding quite a bit! Shouldn't I patch him up now?"

"No. I have a question for him." Jack turned to Burgess, and walked towards him slowly. "A dozen men are dead because of your damned folly. Are there any more?"

"Wouldn't you like to know, captain mine?" taunted Burgess.

Jack slammed the butt of his pistol hard against Burgess' wounded shoulder, and used his other hand to grind it in. The prisoner tried not to cry out, but did despite his best efforts.

"ANSWER ME!! NOW!!" Jack bellowed slamming the pistol home once again. "ARE THERE ANY OTHERS?!! ANSWER ME, DAMN YOU!!"

Briggs stood back and coolly watched his Captain conduct the interrogation. He didn't have the stomach for the lengths Jack was willing to go to, but he admired Jack's ability to extract information.

Jack raised his pistol to strike again, and Burgess flinched hard. "No others!! They're all dead, save the boy! Every one! No more, please, no more!! Show mercy!! I forced Eli, I swear it! I forced him!!"

Jack Wolfe shoved his pistol back into his belt. "Doctor, you have a patient. I'd prefer he not go all toes up on us before sunrise. He has an appointment with the noose." He looked contemptuously at Burgess. "Ask God for mercy, you worthless son of a belch. I have none to give to the likes of you."

The surgeon went about cleaning and dressing Burgess' wound. "Hell of a job, keeping a man alive so he can be executed," he muttered. "Quit fidgeting! Or I'll kill you myself!"

After a few minutes, the doctor left his patient. "There! He'll live more than long enough for you to stretch his neck. He's released."

"Thank you, Doctor. Time to secure the prisoner, Josiah. To the bilges with him."

"Aye. No better holding place for shyte of his kind." Briggs agreed.

Minutes later, Burgess found himself chained in the bilges, awaiting his destiny with a length of hemp come sunrise.

Jack knocked softly at Honour's cabin door. "I'm here for the boy, Honour. Please open up."
Honour rose up and opened the door.
Jack stepped into the room. Honour stood there in his shirt, her hair in a braid but coming down in tendrils around her face. She had on boots and the hint of a sgian dubh in the shaft of the boot. Jack's shirt kept slipping off her shoulder. Self-consciously she hoisted it up.
A dark bruise was on her left cheek.
"On your feet, Meredith."
Eli couldn't meet Mad Jack's eyes. He kept his head down.
"Jack? May I speak to you in private?"
He nodded. He called up to the quarterdeck. "Briggs, I need you to watch the prisoner."

Jack led the way down to his cabin. He sat down in his chair and pushed the charts and maps aside. Reaching under the desk, he pulled a bottle of whiskey out.
"Can you use a drink, Honour?"
She said, "I've never needed one more than I do now, Jack."
He handed her a tankard and filled it generously.
Jack looked tired and worn out after the evening's attempted mutiny.
"Sit down, Honour."
She sat down. "Jack, what do you intend to do with Eli Meredith? The poor boy is scared to death."
"I know, but he was a mutineer."
"He was coerced into it."
Jack said, "Burgess told me as much. At least the stories are coinciding. I think I need to shackle him to the foremast until I decide what to do with him."
"Might I make a suggestion?"
"I'll listen to whatever you have to say. You proved your mettle when you shot Barton."
She shrugged. "Pure instinct."
He tried not to smile. "Well, you scared me to death, I must admit. So what is your suggestion?"
"I think all of us could use a decent night's sleep. Could you shackle him to a bed in Briggs' room? That way Briggs can get some rest, Eli Meredith won't be out in the elements and I won't be worrying about if he's getting wet or if he's comfortable."
"You have a soft spot for him?"
"I see one frightened young man caught in a situation he didn't know what to do. He has redemption, Jack. When we get to a port, I say give him coin and let him book a passage back to England. I daresay Eli Meredith will never set foot off solid ground again."

Jack nodded. "You are as smart as you are beautiful, Mrs. Wolfe."
She coloured at that. If it was the compliment or the name change, she didn't know.
Honour stood up and headed towards the door.
He raised an eyebrow. "Do you realize this is the first time we have spoken civilly to each other?"
Her hand was on the doorknob as she said over her shoulder, "Let's not get too used to it."

Jack placed his hand over hers. "Honour, please, do not be so quick to leave."

Honour searched his eyes, and released the doorknob.

"You're forgetting your whiskey," Jack smiled. He topped it of and handed Honour her glass. "To be honest, I rather enjoy quiet conversation with you."

Honour blushed as she sipped her whiskey. "Jack, since when did you become a romantic? Even if I were inclined to believe you, and I don't, I'd always be the third woman in your life after the sea and your ship."

The whiskey combined with fatigue hit Jack harder than he'd expected. He could see the weariness in Honour's eyes, as well.

"Perhaps it's best if we both turn in, love. We've a busy day ahead of us tomorrow. There's a bit of nastiness to take care of at sunrise. You might want to stay below until I send someone for you. But before you go, let us have a final toast, darling. To our prosperity."

They clinked glasses, and drank deeply. Honour smiled as the whiskey began to warm her bones. "Very well. I'll wait for your word. Good night, Jack."

"Pleasant dream, Honour. Until tomorrow." Jack watch as she left the great cabin and quietly closed the door.
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2008, 04:50:40 PM »
Full of rum and the whiskey that Jack had generously filled a tankard with, Honour was feeling her way back to her cabin by holding onto the wall.
'Last time I ever party with two different kinds of spirits, ' she muttered to herself.
She knocked on her own cabin door and Briggs let her in.
"Briggs, how did THAT happen?"
"Sorry, Honour. He laid down and next thing I knew, he was snoring."

Honour looked over at the sleeping form of Eli Meredith. He was curled up in her bed on top of her covelet.
She gently brushed the hair of of his face and covered him with an extra quilt.
'Such a young kid,' she thought. Poor Eli was blackmailed into mutiny. He hadn't a clue on what he had been in for.
She turned to Briggs. "You're exhausted too, Briggs. I'll tell you what--I don't have the heart to wake Eli up so why not let him sleep here. We can lock the door from the inside and he can't get out. Besides, if he escaped, where is he going to go? I think Jack has his scared to death and he wouldn't dare try to spring Burgess. Not that he would anyways."
"You think that wise?"
"I'll take full responsibility for him, Briggs. You go back to your quarters. I would suggest you 'steal' a bottle of rum from Jack's secret cache--which is not so secret--and numb yourself into oblivion."
Briggs laughed lightly, "Like ye did, Miss Bright?"
She drew herself up and said, "He's in no better shape than I am, Briggs."
"Aye. Jack no doubt pounded the bottle pretty heavily himself. But if Eli is sleeping here, then where do you intend to sleep?"
She turned to hide her blush.
"I'll find a place."

Briggs took his leave. Honour looked at the sleeping lad. She tucked the blanket around him. She blew out the candle and locked the door.
Walking quietly down the companionway, she took her chances.
'What are you doing, Honour? Are you out of your mind?' she thought. But it was either that or sleep on the floor. And it was cold.

In his inebriated state, he left the door unlocked. She quietly slipped into the room.
The candle was almost burned down to the wick. She blew it out and kicked the whiskey bottle out of her way.
Crossing the room, she paused.
The moonlight cast its beams through the porthole, affording her just enough light to make out the sleeping form of her husband.
Funny, she thought. I never really think of him as my husband. After all, I never spent much time on the ship. Most of the time--a whole month--was spent in port in Barbados.

Jack was sprawled all over the bed. That figures, she thought. Even in his sleep, he's greedy!
She drew her chemise tighter around her, standing there trying to decide if it was worth it. The dampness from the floor was beginning to seep through to her bare feet.

She carefully drew the quilt back. Seems to be a very small space. If I can just lie quietly...I don't need to sleep. Just get some rest....

She slipped very quietly into the bed, pulling the covers up to her chin. All of a sudden, Jack rolled over and his arm fell across her body.

Oh, great! Trapped! She tried to slide down but she was pinned. She tried to lift his arm gently up but he seemed to grip a little tighter.

She sighed.
Oh, well.....may as well make the best of a bad situation. At least he is warm.
She snuggled closer.
After all, he's bound to roll over again...
It was her last thought before her eyes closed.

The mutiny had taken everything out of Jack. He had sat on the edge of his bed while the days events whirled like a cyclone in his mind. Twelve worthless crewmen dead, and a thirteenth to hang at dawn. He laughed out loud at that irony that would mark the end of Samuel Burgess. But his thoughts quickly turned to the ship. 6 dead in the encounter with the East Indiaman, and and now this. That left 21 of the 40 he'd left port with. They'd be all right, but there'd be not a hand to spare.

He took another deep drink from the bottle of whiskey, and the numbness he'd been looking for began to wash over him. He could finally relax. His wife and his ship were safe. His wife. How easy it had become to think of Honour as such, and not some necessary aggravation to endure and then abandon. As he relished the feel of more whiskey in his throat, he remembered when he first saw her that fateful day in Barbados. Wise beyond her years, and an untameable spitfire. Time had made her wiser, he thought, but her recklessness had become firey determination and independence. He couldn't help but admire her, but at the same time, there was something more than that at play.

He had finished off the last of the whiskey, and tried to carefully put the bottle down one one of the two sea chests beside the bed. To his wonder, the bottle became two, and both of them past through one of the chests and bounced in perfect unison on the decking. He pulled at his clothes and nearly got hopelessly tangled in his shirt, but managed to free himself. The bed threatened to duplicate itself before his eyes as the bottle had, so he fell onto it before it could finish. In moments, he was sound asleep. He never heard Honour slip into the cabin, and then into the bed beside him. But in his dreams, he was on the weather deck of his ship, holding Honour in his arms as they looked out to the horizon.


Before retiring for a well deserved night's sleep, Briggs had seen to it that the the bodies of the dead mutineers were collected and taken to the weather deck, and that the decks were cleaned. Once all the bodies were retrieved, the cooper set about weighting them with heavy scrap metal or chain shot. No canvas would be wasted on these dogs. They would be covered with a tarp until first light, when they would be dumped unceremoniously into the sea.

The bosun whistled a somber tune as he tied the noose Burgess would wear come morning.
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2008, 04:52:59 PM »
The hours spun by as Jack and Honour lay together in sweet slumber's grace. The watch bell rung eight stokes, marking the start of the morning watch. Jack stirred from his slumber, knowing that his presence would soon be demanded on the quarter deck. His eyes fluttered open, and he breathed deep the morning air. He was befuddled at the scent of jasmine and that something extra, that something that spoke of a woman. That special scent of a woman that sends a man's head reeling. He stoked the pillow beside him, knowing quietly that Honour had lain with him through the night.

"Love, you needn't have slipped out so." Jack whispered. The first rays of morning light streamed through the cabin's gallery windows. He stretched, straining his aching muscles. He rose and pulled on a fresh shift of clothes, knowing full well the duty that lay before him.

Jack walked down the companionway, pausing at Honour's door. He rapped twice. "Honour, dear, I have a nasty bit of business to attend to. Please stay in your quarters until I send for you, if you please."

Within moments, he heard her reply. "Aye, I'll wait until you call, my husband."

He touched the door, wanting to open it and hold her in his arms. But the call of duty pulled him onward. As he reached the weather deck, he heard the last of the mutineer's bodies splash into the water. He cast his gaze forward to the foreyard, and saw his trusted friend Josiah with Samuel Burgess by his side. Young Mr. Meredith was in attendance as well, his hands and feet bound in shackles. The lad visibly trembled with fear, tears welling in his eyes. Jack laced his fingers behind his back as he walked at a mortuary pace toward the condemned man. He locked eyes with his friend Briggs, and nodded the signal that told Josiah to place the noose around Samuel Burgess' neck.

"Samuel Burgess! You are found guilty of inciting mutiny against this command and crew. You are hereby condemned to hang by the neck until dead, dead, dead."

"I have something to say!" cried Burgess. "I have a right to speak!"

"You have nothing, you scabrous dog! Say what you will to God, for my ears are deaf to you!" Jack spat. He took hold of the hemp rope that had been slung over the foreyard. Josiah took hold of the rope behind his captain. The bosun and three crewmen joined behind, taking a firm hold on the rough rope. Jack drew a full breath, and called to his men.

"Haul away! One and all!" With that command, Samuel Burgess was hauled 20 feet into the air by his neck. He kicked and struggled as his life was slowly strangled from him. Finally, his body twitched it's last, and he was dead.

"Tie that line off," Jack ordered. The bosun tied the hangman's line off to the foremast. "All of you! Look upon that man who hangs dead before your eyes! Look among you, and take note of the missing crew. They defied me, and are dead and gone! Pay heed to the lessons before you!"

He looked around the weather deck, and met every eye of his crew. "Gentlemen, you are dismissed" Jack said to his command crew. "And take the whelp below and chain him to a bed in the Infirmary. We'll make him someone else's problem when next we make port."

He looked out to the shoreline of Little Muelle Cay, and smiled.

"Oi! Drop anchor here! Ready the longboat! I'll bring up the chest to be loaded. Master Briggs, you have command. I have business ashore with my wife."

Jack went below, and rapped softly against Honour's door. "We've arrive at our destination, love. Time to produce the Sun key, darling."

He paused for a moment, and moved on to the great cabin to retrieve the chest, the Moon key, and the journal of Armand Lafourche.'Aye, I'll wait until you call, my husband.'

The words that escaped from her lips startled her as she heard them echo off the walls of the room. She walked over to the bookcase and removed the book of Japanese prints, removing the key from its hiding place. She turned it over a few times. It was spindly and of dark gold. She held it up to the light and examined it. Tapping it in her hand, she began to think back to that evening in Barbados.

It had been four months since that fateful night in Beaumaris, Wales. She had thrown things in a few duffel bags, saddled Taliesin and grabbed Muir her wolf-dog on her way out. As she kicked her heels hard into the white stallion's flanks, she galloped off into the woods under a blanket of darkness.
She only glanced back once at the manor house and what it contained.
Two dead men.

"Gentlemen? Lay your money down!"
She had been in the port of St Lawrence in Barbados for about a month. Working as a tavern wench, she also knew how to work her way with the gambling house. Sometimes dealing cards, sometimes even playing and coming out on top more often than not.

The words reverberated around the room. She jumped out of her seat and yelled hotly, "I am not! You just happen to be a poor player and worse loser! And I can think of a few other things you are probably terrible at!"
He hauled back and slapped her across the face.
She put her hand up to her cheek in shock. Recovering rapidly, she withdrew a ruby-inlaid bodice dagger from its sheath inside where she always kept it.
Quickly she pointed it at him and said, "You can either go with your face sliced vertically or horizontally. But I guarantee your nose will suffer."
Their faces were only a few inches apart. He sneered. Still looking in his eyes, she threw her dagger down.
And nailed his foot in his leather boot.

He let out a scream of pain and the house 'protector' was there in an instant. She said with disdain, "Take this detritus out of here and make sure he never comes back."
Within five seconds, the brigand was escorted out. Face first.

She walked over to the bar and poured herself an ale. Sitting down, she put the cool tankard to her cheek to keep the bruising down.
"Amos! Your sword, please."
The barkeep drew his sword and she took the blade to look at her face in the reflection of steel. Wonderful, she thought. It will be a honey of a bruise.
She heard soft laughter behind her. She turned and there he stood.
Captain Jack Wolfe.

She cooly said, "Think it was funny?"
"Not at all. I was just admiring your....spunk."
She closed her eyes against the pain and winced a bit.
"Let me see that," he said.
She gingerly took the tankard away from her face and he touched it.
"Aye! That renegade struck you fiercely, for sure!"
She said quietly, "Occupational hazard."
"You work here?"
"I don't exactly hang around here for my health."
"That ale won't help much with the pain."
He signalled to Amos.
"Whiskey. And keep it coming."
"I'm not sure of this..."
"Trust me."
"Your name, please. I don't drink with strangers."
"Captain Jack Wolfe of the El Lobo del Mar. Ported this morning."
She extended her hand and said, "Honour Bright. Tavern wench at your service."
He took her hand, kissed it and said, "Miss Bright, I do hope to see much more of you while I am in port..." 

« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 04:56:04 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2008, 04:57:26 PM »
As Jack approached the great cabin, he noticed that the door was ajar. He silently cursed himself for not locking it before going topside. He drew the dagger from his belt, took a deep breath, and shoved the door open to confront the intruder.
There was his opponent, sitting leisurely in the middle of the room... taking a sunbath. Ship's cat "Little Puddin'" looked at the ship's master for a moment, and yawned. Jack laughed, enjoying the momentary respite from the day's burdens.
He fetched the golden chest from it's resting place and set it on the table. While it wasn't too heavy to lift and move, but carrying it through the jungle unaided was out of the question. He retrieved Lafourche's journal from the writing desk, then rummaged around in his sea chest until he found a tarry cloth pouch. Inside it was the Moon key.
When Jack turned back to the table, he found that Little Puddin' had abandoned his ray of sunlight for a perch on the ornate chest. The sleek gray cat pawed playfully at the pouch, his jade eyes glittering at the prospect of a new toy. Jack smiled and stroked Little Puddin's neck, and his thoughts drifted back to the events that set this long, strange trip into motion.

Jack Wolfe and his mate, Josiah Briggs, were in a Barbados tavern drinking to their latest good fortune; a fat Dutch merchantman loaded with calico and spice bound for St. Maarten. It was a pity that they'd had to burn her, but the VOC had agents everywhere looking for their "preemptively salvaged" vessels.

"YOU CHEATED!" boomed a drunken voice from behind them. The two men turned to see the loudmouthed sot squared off with a strikingly lovely young woman. She refused to back down even though he was head-and-shoulders taller, and she snarled a retort that they couldn't quite make out.

But the brute obviously did. He slapped her hard across the face, but she still defiantly stood her ground. Jack put down his cup, and stood to draw his pistol and intervene on her behalf. Josiah put a steadying hand on Jack's arm. "Careful, now, mate. Are ye sure ye want to be stepping in to this squall?" Briggs asked. Before Jack could respond, the drunk howled in pain. The patrons began cheering as he was escorted out of the tavern face first by two very large men. Jack's eyes were locked on the captivating spitfire as she walked to the bar.

"The storm seems to have passed, my friend. But I'd be remiss in me duties as a gentleman if I didn't pay my respects, yeah?"
Josiah laughed and topped off his captain's cup with rum. "Careful, now, Jack! She looks like more than a handful, even for you!"
Jack downed his drink. "Maybe you're right. I'll trust you to auction my effects before the mast," he smiled. And with that, he sauntered over and introduced himself to the lovely Honour Bright...
Honour gazed at Jack but there was pain in her eyes. The brute had struck her harder than she had thought.
She asked the handsome pirate, "Are you sure the whiskey will help better than the ale?"
He smiled disarmingly at her and said, "As sure as I am standing here, luv."
Amos set two shot-glasses in front of them.
"Keep the bottle here," he said to Amos and winked. Honour looked over at the card-table and sighed.
As her head was turned, Jack whispered to Amos, "And bring another bottle and keep it hidden."
Amos grinned and nodded.

She turned her attention back to Jack.
" just made port?"
"Just this morning. I need to do a little..unloading."
"Really! And what could that be?"
She cupped her chin in her hand and gazed up at him from under long lashes.
Before he could answer, Briggs came over and sat down. Jack scowled at him.
Briggs said, "Time to be leaving, Jack me boy..."
Jack turned his attention back to Honour and she gave him a dimpled smile.
"Not yet, Briggs. I'm occupied. I would be derelict in my duty if I didn't make sure this young lady was alright."
Briggs frowned and whispered, "She looks to be alright. She looks to be more than alright."
Jack said, "If ye want to play nursemaid, then head back to the ship."
Briggs turned and said out loud to no one, "That one be trouble with a capital T. Can see it in her eyes, I can..."
The tavern door slammed behind him.

Jack laughed, "That takes care of him!"
"He seemed a bit put out."
"Nay, luv, he just worries about me."
"He must have good reason. What did you say the name of your ship was again?"
"El Lobo del Mar."
She put her finger to her lips and with a quick intake of breath, said, "El Lobo del Mar? Why, she is a legend in these waters! None is said to outrun her!"
Jack beamed with pride. "Aye, that would be my ship, love."
She took a deep drink of the whiskey, reveling in the warmth going down. She was beginning to forget about the bruise on her cheek.

"My, my! " she said. "I hear bits and pieces of tavern gossip that echoes through this port. A Dutch merchant ship was overtaken a few days ago by--dare I say?--pirates. The Captain--what was his name again?--oh, yes! Pieter de Witt. He was at the magistrate's office filing a report for the VOC on the burning of his vessel, the Stad Utrecht. Seems he and his crew were set adrift in a skiff and were rescued three days later by Portuguese fishermen.
Jack gave her a wide grin and said, "I wouldn't know a thing. And besides, I was almost a completely innocent bystander."

Honour laughed and said, "That's good to hear! I wonder what booty the vessel was carrying."
Jack leaned forward and poured another whiskey for Honour and himself. "Oh, I imagine the usual. Calico. Spices. Coffee. Wine. And twenty-seven chests of gold and silver guilders."
"Tw-tw-twenty-seven chests of guilders?"
Honour was astonished. Jack lit a pipe and took a deep draw on it.
"Now, did I say THAT?" he grinned.
She laughed and said, "I'm sorry. No, I didn't hear that at all! My, it is getting awfully warm in here."
Jack smiled devilishly and said, "More whiskey, my dear?"
Jack poured another whiskey. "I daresay you are beginning to feel better already."
She raised an eyebrow and said, "Indeed. I feel just fine. In more ways than one."
She leaned closer to him and ran her finger up and down his arm and whispered in a husky voice, "And I daresay I am going to feel alot better very soon. VERY soon."

Jack began to melt into her irresistible allure. The heat of her breath on his ear as she spoke the words "VERY soon" made more than the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He looked her squarely in the eyes. "What be your aim in all of this, darling? I'm not some young seaman, ready to believe the enchanting words of a landlocked doxy with honey on her tongue and gold in her eyes. Tell me true; is it me, or is it the prize I carried in?"
Honour's face flushed crimson. "Jack Wolfe, you bastard!" she declared. "How dare you question my intentions! I may work the tables in a tavern, but I'd never come scraping after the likes of you!"
She stood her ground, her nose less than an inch from Jack's. Never dropping his gaze from her eyes, he cocked his head and grinned.
"Fair enough, darling. I believe you." His lips came dangerously close to hers. "Forgive me for being a cynic. Goes with the territory, as it were." He couldn't tear his gaze from hers. He was drawn in, unable to escape, unable to resist.
"You're still a bastard, Jack Wolfe." she whispered. "A dangerous, magnificent bastard." With that, their eyes closed, and their lips met in a passionate, searching kiss.
"There's one more thing ye need to be knowing, my darling," Jack exhaled, barely able to catch his breath. "I know of a treasure of unspeakable wealth, and I know where it lies... Are ye interested?"
Honour's eyes became ablaze with desire. "Aye!" she exclaimed. "Lead on!"

The next events swirled like an uncontrollable storm of passion. More drink, coins scattered on the bar, the heat of their passions growing ever wilder, the world fading away as Jack and Honour sought to become one.
The memories became a blur for Jack. There was the passion that went out of control in the tavern, being sent across the lane to the magistrate's office, and banging on his door until he answered. Both Jack and Honour imploring him that his services were needed straight away.

"Oi! Open up in there! You have a wedding to perform!" Jack howled. Honour clapped her had over his mouth. "Pssst! Who the hell would want to marry your sorry arse, ye stinkin' pyrate. Unless it be me, of course..."
The magistrate's door bolt clanked, and the door swung slowly open. The judge emerged from the shadows.
"The hour is late. What service may I provide you?" he scowled at the drunken pair.
"We wish to be married, your worship," Honour blurted. She looked at Jack, and elbowed him playfully in the ribs. They both dissolved into laughter.
The judge was nonplused. "Fine. we can do it right here. You, sir!  What is your name?"
Jack looked back at the priest blankly. "Um, John Michael Wolfe, your honourableness."
Honour got a case of the giggles. "You really haven't done this before, have you?" she snickered. The judge's patience was wearing thin.
"You!" he snapped. "What be your name?"
Panic overtook her. She searched the ether, and finally met the tired man's eyes.
"Honour Bright, your worship," she declared.
"Honour Bright?" echoed the judge. Jack offered a shrug.
"Then, by the power vested in me by the Crown of His Majesty, William III, I pronounce you... wait. You do have a ring to make this good and proper, right?"
Jack searched his frock frantically. Finally, he produced a gold trinket, and tried to attach it to Honour's blouse.
"You're sodding out of your gourd, ye stupid git!" she exclaimed. "What manner of wedding piece is this?!" She regarded the ungainly trinket of gold. It was an ugly thing; a disc of gold with arms reaching out.
Jack met her eyes. "Darling, I swear I'll get you an honest ring."

The ceremony. The vows. The kiss. Making love until they were both utterly exhausted. They fell asleep, still entangled in passion's embrace. Good God, what had they done?!

The sunbeams were starting to drift through the window in Honour's room above the tavern. She rolled over in her bed and absent-mindedly stretched out. She A body? She opened one eye and....whaaat?
A man? She peered over the sheet, seeing the back of...someone. Very fearfully she lifted up the sheet over her body. Her face flamed hot.

Then she looked down at the floor and saw a trail of clothes that led to the door. Except the order they were in, they were shed hastily on the way in, not out of the room. Next to her side of the bed was a puddle of silk. She kept looking from under the the body next to the discarded silk....back under the sheet and to the body again.
Honour tried to move as far as she could to the edge of the bed. She quietly leaned on her elbow, keeping the sheet up around her chin. Her head pounded from the whiskey and she rubbed her temples. The body rolled over and she looked upon the sleeping face.
It was the pirate from the tavern the night before.
Captain Jack Wolfe.

Bits and pieces of the night before started to reconnect in her mind. Alright, so this isn't like it is the first time I have had company in my bed, she thought. We'll just say it was great and nice to know you and if you're ever in port again.....
Inexplicably, she felt really good. Better than she should have. In spite of the fact that her head was pounding from too much whiskey.
She carefully wrapped a sheet around her and got up. As she passed the dresser, a piece of paper caught her eye.
She picked it up.
A marriage license.
Two names were on it.

John Michael Wolfe.
Honour Bright.

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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2008, 04:58:45 PM »
It felt suddenly chilly to Jack. Without opening his eyes, he reached for the bed sheet, only to find it missing. He opened one eye. 'Oh,' he thought. 'Women always do that sheet stealing thing. Time to face the music...'
He rolled over and felt the bed beside him. 'Hmmmmm. It's still warm,' he purred lustfully.

He opened his eyes to find a glowing yet perturbed young woman before him. She held a crumpled piece of paper in her hand. He smiled, and tried to shake his memory as to her name. "Good morning, my lovely!" he offered. "Don't tell me... You're name's Reneé! No, um, Rina! No, no, that's not it! Rhia..."
Her face was crimson with rage. "No, you idiot!! Read it! It's all there in official print!" she bellowed as she threw the crumpled document in his face. "And I'll ask you to never try and 'remember' that name again!"
He unfolded the document she'd so graciously presented him. 'Blah, blah, blah, Holy Matrimony, blah, blah, John Michael Wolfe and Honour Bright'. Jack looked at her suspiciously. "What kind of bloody name is 'Honour Bright'?"
She balled up the sheet and threw it at him. "It's my damned name, you oaf!" she hollered.

Jack pulled the sheet from about his head, and regarded her nude form standing fuming before him.
"Ah, well, that makes all the difference in the world, love! Why don't you bring your lovely self back into bed, and we can discuss things further, yeah? And I do recall your name, but 'Honour Bright' suits you somehow. That's good enough for me. So, what's it to be, darling wife? You, standing there, naked to the world yet somehow unappreciated? Or here in this nice, warm bed, fully appreciated by me?"

Honour thought for a moment, and all things being equal, Jack Wolfe wasn't that disgusting. In fact, he had a certain allure...
She got back into bed, and Jack threw the sheet back over them like a matador's cape. She climbed astride her unintended husband. "You'd better make this count, you bastard," she whispered, as she settled onto him.
"As always, darling," he replied. Their eyes locked, and they kissed deeply as yet another round of passionate lovemaking began.
When all was said and done, Honour laid back against the pillow trying to catch her breath from the ardent kisses.
Jack looked at her with smoldering dark eyes. She was both afraid and drawn by the fire they had stoked in each other.
She whispered, "You certainly don't give a woman a chance to think, do you, Jack?"
He laughed throatily, "Faint heart never won fair lady, yeah?"
She looked at him warily, "Where do you get the 'lady' idea, pirate?"
He chuckled, "Woman, I have been savvy to the ways and means of both doxies and damsels. And you, my dear, are no mere tavern wench."
She turned away and murmured, "You are mistaken."
He put his finger under her chin and turned her head so she couldn't tear her eyes away from him.
"I think not. You have all your teeth. They are white. You don't jump on your food and drink like you shall never see another morsel or another tankard again. Your dialect, Welsh though it may be, belies an educated gentry. You stood up for yourself against that brute yet not in a slatternly way. But as one with smarts and wits."
She jerked his hand away and said, "You are mistaken. My mother was a housemaid and my father was a stablehand. I am the result of too much ale and moonlight. Father was long gone by the time of my birth. Mother died when I was a child. I was raised in an orphanage. End of story."
Jack regarded her thoughtfully. "Aye. If you say so, wife. Wife! Ye gads! I now have one."
"You never had one before?"
He laughed. "Never got caught before. luv. You?"
She looked away and pulled the sheet around her. "No."
He looked askance at her. She's lying, he thought but decided to let it go.

Jack stood up and reached for his clothes. He pulled the shirt over his head. Ripped. Damn!
As he put his boots on, he looked over at the woman who was now his dearly beloved. Her arms stretched over her head, the sheets swirling around her. Her hair laid in a tangle around her shoulders and her eyes reflected some sort of dreamy afterglow.
He gave her a grin and she put her hand up.
"Oh, no, you don't!"
He laughed and took her in his arms, giving her a passionate kiss. Then he headed towards the door.
She said indignantly, "And where do you think you are going?"
"Back to my ship."
She took the marriage license and threw it in his face again.
"Guess again. You think you can just...just....just....and then LEAVE?"
Jack shrugged. "Never been an issue before."
She said darkly, "You've never come up against Honour Bright."
He retorted, "And you have never tangled with Captain Jack Wolfe, doxy!"

She jumped out of bed, the sheet tangled around her. She raised her hand to slap him and he caught her by the wrist. With the other hand, he reached over and whipped the sheet away from her. She glared. Their eyes met and suddenly they were right back where they started again.

As she succumbed to the depths of their passion, she whispered huskily in his ear, "So, tell me about this treasure...."
Honour's touch was like a narcotic for Jack. Every scent, every taste effected him like never before.
"Hmmmmmm? The what?" he asked as he nuzzled her neck.
"The treasure, lover. The one you were going to tell me about. Remember?" she purred. She slipped her hands around his neck and dropped his frock coat off his shoulders. Her hands moved to his belt, and with one deft tug, it fell to the floor.
Jack chuckled softly. "You want to know about the treasure I've been chasing?" he whispered in her ear. "You know those chests of guilders I brought in? They might as well be sailcloth in comparison."
His waistcoat fell next.
Honour's brilliant blue eyes widened. "That's right, darling. Imagine a chest of solid gold, containing the wealth of a lost people. And I'm going to retrieve it. So, might I interest you in coming along for the ride, dear wife of mine?"
He felt her hands rake upward along his back, and his already torn shirt ripped the rest of the way through.

Honour's eyes narrowed in a feral, intensely sexual way as she slipped back into bed. Jack's eyes drank in her beauty as she lay before him.

"The boots are mine, lover. I'll trust you know how to shed those trews and find your way into bed with me," she called, like a Siren.
He could only hope to fill her every desire, and she, his...
She slowly woke up, the twilighted dusk fading the shadows from the walls.
"Jack? Jack?" she whispered. He was sound asleep.
She sighed and reached over for a blanket. Wrapping herself in it, she lit a candle that was on the dresser. The shadows immediately came to life.
She walked over to the wash basin and pitcher and filled it. Reaching into the drawer, she found a bar of soap and washed up. She peered into the mirror on the washstand. She looked closely at her face. A blush was on her cheeks. She brushed her hair and yawned.

She poured herself a glass of wine and sat in the chair, staring at her bed. She could scarcely believe nor comprehend the enormity of what she had done the previous night before.
She was a tavern wench yesterday. Today the bride of a pirate. She shook her head as if to clear it and achieve an understanding.
On the dresser was a brass object. She picked it up and examined it. This was a key. Jack had tried to pin it on her as a sign of their pledge to each other.
Like it would take the place of a gold ring.
She opened the drawer and threw it in. Worthless piece of metal! And ugly.

She drew the blanket around her and tucked her legs up under her. What a shock to wake up and find herself married. She looked over at her new husband sleeping in her bed.
A wave of guilt swept over her. She felt disloyal to the memory of the only man she swore she would ever love. She ran her fingers through her hair, deep in thought.

Spying the marriage license that was crumpled on the floor, she bent to pick it up. Smoothing it out, she looked at it. It certainly looked legal. She hardly remembered filling it out. Damn whiskey!
The date was right. That early, early morning.
John Michael Wolfe.
Honour Bright.

Suddenly it occurred to her. The name.
Honour Bright.
She hardly knew the man who was now her husband. The only thing that she knew at this point was his name and his ship. Not where he was from. Not even his age. She did know one thing. He could really hold his whiskey. And he was good in....
She pushed that thought out of her mind. That doesn't count. Not really.
She sat back and closed her eyes. A thought occurred to her and a smile came to her lips. A loophole in case she should need it.
Because when it all came down to it...
Who was Honour Bright?

She slipped back into bed to get some sleep. Shivering, she curled up next to the warm body in her bed.
As he woke and reached for her once more, she put her hand on his chest and whispered.
"Not again. Not till you tell me about this treasure."
Jack redirected his hand from the curve of Honour's hip to tenderness of her face. "Fair enough, darling. Here's the full truth about the treasure I'm after. On the island of Isle Muelle, there dwelt a people called the Kala'anok. They built a glorious civilization until the Spanish came along and drove them out. They encapsulated their entire wealth into a golden chest, and devised a mechanism that prevented the Spanish from opening the chest unless they had both he knowledge and the key to reveal it's secrets. Kind Ferdinand's hordes never sussed out the solution, but the gentleman I seek, Armand Lafourche, did. The chest is in my possession, and in the next few weeks, I'll have Lafourche's journal. Then, we'll both be rich beyond our wildest dreams. So, what say you, dear wife? What else would you like to know?"
She bit her lip in concentration.
"It seems a little far-fetched. I mean, a journal? Why doesn't this Armand LaFork-"
"Whatever. Why doesn't HE go for the treasure himself?"
Jack laughed as he buried his face in her neck and traveled downwards. Honour pulled his face up to look in her eyes.
She repeated, "Why is HE not the one to go for it himself?"
"Because he is as crazy as a loon."
"You're kidding?"
Jack laid back and folded his hands behind his head. "I kid you not. He had the journal bound in human flesh."
Honour covered her mouth with her hands and fought back nauseousness.
"Hu--human flesh?"
"I told you he was crazy. Anyway, I found out where he is. In Antiqua. So I am sailing to Tobago to talk to the head of my smuggling operations and then on to find Armand LaFourche and buy the journal from him."
"But what if he wants to split the treasure with you instead of selling the book outright?"
Jack chuckled as he caressed her skin. "Now, darling, he is not to know I have the chest. I am telling him I am looking for it. He will want a king's ransom if he suspects otherwise. And speaking of chests...."
Honour jumped out of bed and dragged the sheet with her.
He sighed and propped himself up on his elbow. "You know, that sheet does absolutely nothing for you, love."
She opened the dresser drawer and pulled out the brass key.
"Is this the key?"
Jack shook his head. "No, it is one that I have under lock and key on El Lobo del Mar. That is just a trinket that I picked up in St. Maarten. It was thrown in a chest with some...."
He shrugged. "It was a little different. I was going to trade it for an ale. Why spend the guilders if I don't have to? A smithy could melt it down and use it to fashion another key."
She held it up to the candlelight.
"Ugly thing, isn't it?" he said.
She looked at it carefully. "It's all spiky and scratchy looking with a hideous face on it. Looks like an Aztec sun."
She threw it back into the drawer. "And that--THAT!--is what you decided was your token of 'the holy bonds of matrimony?' An ugly piece of brass that is all tarnished."

Jack smiled at her and patted the place in bed next to him. She ignored him.
"Ah, such a petulant look, my sweet. I swear upon my sainted mother's grave that I shall have a gold ring slipped on your finger before the end of the week. I just need to sort through some Spanish treasure on my ship and--"
She drew the sheet around her tighter. "You intend to give me...leftovers? From your ill-gotten gain?"
Jack couldn't help but laugh. "Consider it my salary from my job. I swear, there is this lovely one with three emeralds--"
"Emeralds? How did you know that emeralds are my favored gem?"
"A wild guess."
She murmured, "It is almost as if you can see straight to my soul, Jack Wolfe. As if my every thought was there exposed..."
He raised his eyebrow, laughing low. He got out of bed and swept her in his arms.
"And are you ready for a sail upon El Lobo del Mar? As I said, I need to meet with Cade Jennings in Tobago. He is there setting up another smuggling operation and then he will return to Barbados. A good sort, I think you will like him. And, dear wife of mine, think of it as a honeymoon cruise. Combining business with pleasure, yeah?"

She thought of her job as tavern wench and the prospect for excitement. However long they loved. Love, she wondered. Hardly. But there was something of a draw...
She hadn't felt that way since that day two years ago.

Suddenly she thought of those twenty-seven chests of gold and silver guilders and what they were worth.
And what she may be entitled to as Captain Jack Wolfe's wife.
She wrapped her arms around him and whispered, "I heard Tobago IS lovely this time of year..." and backed him up against the wall.
She looked at him and asked, "How old are you, Jack?"
"Thirty-four. And you?"
She laughed and said, "I turned nineteen in April."
Jack's head hit the wall with a thud.
He started laughing and couldn't stop.
"What is so funny?" she asked.
He thought of what Briggs would say. 'Cradle robber' would be the kindest thing.
"Nothing, my sweet. Nothing at all. Now...where were we?....."
Their passions satisfied for the time being, it was time for them to address another shared need - hunger. The afternoon sun shone down from a crystal clear sky as Honour and Jack emerged from the Inn. As they walked arm-in-arm down the street, Honour began fidgeting with her dress.
"What's wrong, darling? Need to go back upstairs? I'm sure our room's still available," Jack teased.
Honour shot him an exasperated look. "What are you, a pirate, or a rabbit? And I thought you knew your way around a corset," she laughed. She finally managed to get her clothing adjusted, and she noticed Jack smiling at her.
"I never claimed knowledge of how they go on, love," he smiled. "Come along, now. We have a ship to attend to!"
"I thought we were going for something to eat?"
"What better place to eat than where the cook works for me? Besides, I have a few people I'd like you to meet."
"Jack, I'm not sure..."
"Oh, pish-tosh, darling. It'll be fun! And I can't wait to show you off," Jack beamed. He took Honour gently by the hand, and they continued onward to the waterfront.

At the entrance to the docks, Jack spotted Briggs giving orders to some of the men bringing supplies to the ship. "Mr. Briggs! A moment of your time, if you please!" he called. Briggs quickly finished talking to the dockworkers began walking towards Honour and Jack. His pace slowed as he recognized the lovely young woman on Jack's arm, but not the odd smile on Jack's face.
"Josiah! Come here, my friend! You remember..." Jack began.
"Aye! The feisty lass from the pub last night. So good to see you again." Briggs interrupted. "Umm, Cap'n, the men are still fittin' out the ship. I take it they get another night ashore, as per..." he nodded in Honour's direction, "... the usual arrangement?"
Honour's face flushed red, but not with embarrassment. "How dare you!" she started.
"Mr. Briggs! Hold your tongue for two moments and allow me to introduce to you Mrs. Honour Wolfe!"

Briggs looked as if he'd been slapped. "You mean... you... and she..." He pulled off his hat and began wringing it like a rag. "Oh, sweet mother's love. I knew I shouldn't have left that pub! Uh, beggin' your pardon, ma'am. Mrs. Cap'n. I, ah..."
Briggs blinked. "Aye, sir?"
"Go. Ship. Now. Quickly."
Briggs nearly fell twice in his haste to extract himself from his pit of faux pas.
Jack smiled sheepishly at his fuming bride. "That went relatively well, don't you think?"

Honour turned to Jack, two bright spots of red on her cheeks that spread down to her neck and beyond.
"You think that went 'well'? My God, Jack! What is he like when he is perturbed?"
Jack slipped his arm around her waist and drew her to him. As he kissed her neck, he whispered, "Forget about Briggs for now, love. He's just a bit--startled--by the news. But I can tell he's happy for me. Us."
She pulled away and frowned. "Oh, I'd say he's beside himself."
Jack laughed. "Yes, well, Briggs will come around. Now..let me show you the captain's quarters."
She gave him a smile and said, "Yes, well, don't get any ideas. I am starving. For food. I haven't eaten since last night."
With a wicked grin, she added, "And I've burned up quite a few calories."

Jack opened the door to the cabin. As Honour attempted to walk through the door, Jack grabbed her around the waist and said, "Oh, no you don't! I do believe it is my duty to carry you over the threshold, as it were."
She put her arms around him and kissed him as he lifted her up.
Behind them, they heard a slight choking noise. Jack turned around and said, "Briggs! What are you doing here?"
Briggs' face coloured. "I need to discuss a few things with ye, Captain."
Jack sighed and said, "Very well. Let me get the bride situated and then I shall be there."

He set Honour down and she took in the captain's quarters. The great cabin was spacious, about 25 feet wide and 12 feet deep. There was a large bed to starboard. The coverlet looked to be of a soft silk. Her eyebrow raised as she detected a woman's touch in the surroundings. Could it be that Jack had 'previous company' that was a little deeper relationship?
A 6' oak dining/meeting table was in the middle of the space. To the side was a 3' wide desk, messy with charts and instruments. On the forward bulkhead there was a huge bookcase, stuffed with literature, maps, and charts. Two evenly spaced oil lamps hung from the overhead. Plenty of shuttered windows to provide light most of the time, whatever direction the ship was heading.
Jack took her hand and kissed it. "I shall not be long. Just long enough to get Briggs straightened."
"You mean straightened out?"
Jack laughed and said, "Whatever!"
Show me your tan lines..and I'll show you mine!

I just want to be Layla.....

Offline Welsh Wench

  • Legendary R/ Member
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  • Lady in Wanting, Pandorean, SandwenchETTE, IWG
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2008, 05:00:16 PM »
He headed up to the quarterdeck where Briggs was standing at the rail looking off into the horizon. Jack leaned against the rail and crossed his arms.
"So, Josiah, are you not going to congratulate me on my nuptials?"
Briggs blasted, "Jack, what was in your head? Were ye so full of whiskey that ye weren't thinking?"
Jack's face turned a bit red as he said, "You want to know the truth, Josiah? She wouldn't!"
Jack said, "She said we had to be married first."
Josiah looked dumbfounded. "A tavern wench that was a VIRGIN?"
At that Jack was a bit uncomfortable. " guess she wasn't after all. But she was serious and said she wouldn't until we were properly wed. So...I wed her."
"You married her. You married a wench just to bed her? JACK WOLFE? Just who was doin' the seducing, Captain? Her? Or you? Because what it is looking like, is that ye were roped in."
"Well, I wouldn't exactly say that...."
Josiah said darkly, "I should have stayed with ye, I should have. I saw the looks between ye. Just how much whiskey did ye drink, Jack?"
"Well, I think I quit counting after the third bottle..."
Briggs retorted, "I hope that little bit o' heaven on earth was worth it, Jack."
"What do you mean?"
Josiah said hotly, "I mean to say is she worth all that booty we took from the Dutch merchant ship? dangnubbit, Jack! Twenty-seven chests of guilders..."
"Maybe she just wants the calico..." Jack interjected.
Josiah slammed his fist down on the rail. "If ye were a doxy, would ye want calico or guilders?"
Jack's jaw tightened as he said in a low voice, "Choose your words carefully, Mr. Briggs..."
"Think, Jack! THINK! Can ye buy guilders with calico? Because if ye had guilders, ye can buy all the calico ye want!"
"Well, somehow I can't see Honour wearing calico..."
Josiah added, "And the guilders may be the lesser of your troubles."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean to tell ye, that as yer dearly beloved, she may now be entitled to a share of the booty we take from here on out!"
"She wouldn't do that..."
Josiah walked off but flung over his shoulder, "I'd put that crate under lock and key. And never--EVER--tell your glowing bride about it."

Too late.

"Josiah, you worry overmuch." Jack pandered. "There's more than enough baubles and nonesuch in my cabin to keep her from a crate marked 'Sundries'. I'd wager she's more interested in my desk than some ordinary box."
"Aye, Jack," Briggs sighed. Josiah felt in his bones that Jack was making a grave mistake, but he'd not buck his captain and friend.
Jack drank in the salt air, and felt renewed by it.
"Josiah," he spoke in a low voice. "I will thank you to address my bride with the proper respects she's due from here on out. I've not disclosed one bit of information what would make her wise to the Ancient's treasure."

Jack sighed heavily and turned toward his friend. "I'm not a young man anymore. I've well breached thirty, and you know what that means for a man like myself. Settling down, perhaps, should the Account prove too taxing. Death, should I be too slow. What fate awaits, me, Josiah?"
Briggs' eyes darkened. "You, Captain Jack Wolfe," Briggs announced, "are the commander of this ship and crew! Aye, we've been friends for nigh on 20 years. And this is the first time I've heard you ever express doubt in your abilities. Where be your head, Captain, mine? Are ye a captain of men, or a lubbard husband?"

Briggs' words hit Jack like an avalanche. Jack caught his breath, and snapped his eyes open.
"Mister Briggs, you will never address me in such a fashion again! I am your captain, and will be for the foreseeable future! Aye, we've been friends for many, many years. But I'll be damned should you tell me which way my heart should turn! Honour touches me like none other, Josiah. I wish you could understand. But that's the extent of what I'll explain of myself.
Jack drew a ragged breath.
"Now, see to the crew. We're setting sail for Tobago come first light. I want to know how Jennings is coming along with the smuggling operation there. And let me know should we sight prize sail. I'd like a prize or two before we finish the next four day's travel."

Jack went below without waiting for acknowledgment from Briggs. He reached the door to his cabin, and hesitated. "What are ye doin', Jack?" he thought. He shook his head hard, and shrugged off Briggs' warnings.
He knocked twice, turned the knob and opened the door. Honour was sitting on the bed, with a curious look on her face.
"Is everything all right, Jack?" she queried.
"We're headed for Tobago, my darling. We'll set sail come the morning. If we're lucky we'll take a prize or two before we make landfall at my nest. For now, settle back. My crew are at your beck and call."
Jack sat on the bed beside her. "I've sent for food. Roast piglet and potatoes. We should have it within the next hour or so. May I get you something to drink?"
Honour stood up quickly, just about knocking Jack off the bed. "Set sail? In the morning? I can't! I have to go back to my job as tavern wench. And I have no clothes with me. I left them in my room."
Jack said, "No, you don't. You're Mrs. Jack Wolfe now, you don't have to do anything about that tavern wench job. And as far as clothes...."
Jack walked over to the armoire and opened it. "There are plenty of clothes in here for you."
Honour's face turned red and she walked over to the armoire.
"Are you out of your mind?"
Jack looked surprised. "Is there a problem?"
"Problem. You want to know if there is a problem?"
She grabbed a dress and threw it on his head. He swatted at the silk that swirled around his shoulders.
Her face flamed. "You expect me to wear a dress that belonged to one of your--your----your--"
Jack ripped the silk away from his face and said, "Friends of the female persuasion?"
"More like one of the strumpets for hire! Look at this dress! Cheap! And the smell! Roses? And cheap ones at that! And this one!"
She picked up one in a hideous purple. "She must have been eating without the use of any utensils!"
She shook the dress at him. "Besides her lack of taste, she dribbled food on this one."

Jack was taken back. "Hell, it's only clothes..."
She crossed her arms and said, "I refuse to wear any dress that belonged to another woman. Particularly one who..."
"Pretty uppity for a tavern wench, aren't you, love?"
She clammed up. No need for him to know what her background really was. It would only lead to questions.
Questions that she did not want to answer.
He put his arms around her and nuzzled her neck.
"And what would you REALLY like, my love? We have an hour before the roasted pig and I---"
"I want to go shopping."
"Shopping. If I have to go to Tobago, I need new clothes. And there are a few things I want to pick up in my room."
"I'll go with you then."
She kissed him and said, "Now, darling, you would just be bored out of your mind waiting for me to shop. I'll be back within the hour. The shopkeepers know my size."
"A tavern wench? How would they know your size unless you frequented them."
She felt her face getting red. "Well, some of them come into the tavern with their husbands. They have taken a liking to me. And being of a smaller size, they used me for their 'model' to try the dresses on."
She looked at him, hoping he bought the lie.
He sighed and said, "How much do you need?"
She mentioned a modest sum. Jack gave her double and said, "Buy what your heart desires, luv. Meanwhile, I shall look through the booty for that ring with three emeralds I promised."
She gave him a deep kiss and then smiled. "I shall be back with an hour. Then I shall be ravenous!"
She gave him a grin but closed the door before he could detain her further.

As she walked through the ship, she felt someone's eyes on her. She turned in time to see Briggs hurriedly looking back over the deck. His face was grim.
Oh, well. Let Jack deal with him.
Honour walked into the tavern. Amos looked up.
"This is a relief! After all that whiskey you consumed with that pirate, I was going to have the boys search the harbour for your body if you didn't show up! What the HELL have you been up to?"
Honour sat down and sighed. "It's a long story, Amos. But I think I shall be taking a leave of absence."
Amos exclaimed, "Just like THAT? No notice? You can't be serious. All the vagabonds and rogues who traipse through that door always ask for you. You'd better have a good reason for leaving me high and dry, dearie."
She held out her hand.
Amos frowned. "At what?"
"OH! Well, there's supposed to be a ring there."
"I got married last night."
"Married. YOU??" Amos stumbled over the words.
She raised her eyebrow and retorted, "Is it that incredible that someone wanted to marry me?"
"No. Just never expected you to end up with Captain 'Mad' Jack Wolfe, of all people."

It was Honour's turn to be surprised. "You know him?"
"Know him? Everyone knows him! He's a legend in the Caribbean. Rumoured to front alot of the smuggling operation and black market trade in these waters from a remote location. Some say St. Maarten, some say Antigua. Trinidad...Tobago..."
Honour cupped her chin in her hand. "You don't say. And now I am Mrs. Captain Jack Wolfe. How about that!"

Amos poured her a tankard and one for himself. "And I imagine you are the first to tame him, too. How did you do it?"
She smiled mostly to herself and said to Amos, "Let's just say I had something that he wanted."

She went upstairs to her room and picked up a duffelbag. Peering inside, she saw a fortune in jewelry and coin. The same with the second bag. She then went to her armoire and pulled out armfuls of dresses and gowns.
She threw them on the bed and then began folding them carefully in several trunks. Crimson velvets and azure silks. Vibrant greens and yellows. Into three trunks they went. She sat on two of them to close them.
Keeping the third one open, she emptied the dresser drawers. In back of the top drawer she found the brass key. She looked at it closely. It looked like a rendition of the Aztec Sun god Huitzilopochtli.
She hefted it in her hand. A bit on the heavy trade it in on that gold ring with the three emeralds.
She put the key in her pocket and continued to pack.

When she was finished, she went downstairs and over the bannister, she called, "Amos? May I borrow Lucas for about an hour?"
Amos came over to the stairs and said, "I guess so. What for, though?"
"I'd like to have him deliver these three trunks to El Lobo del Mar. My husband--didn't think I would ever utter those words again!--and I are sailing for a bit. Think of it as my honeymoon, Amos."

Honour took one last look around the room. She had buried the two duffel bags deep in the bottom of one trunk and covered it with a black velvet cloak. Lucas came to the room and said, "Amos said ye be leavin' us, little lassie. I shall sorely miss ye."
She gave him a hug and said, "As I shall miss you, Lucas. But you never know what happens in this life. You take what you can when you can and move on."
He grinned and said, " 'eard ye bagged a big one, Missy. Ye be Mrs. Captain Jack Wolfe, ye be!"
She looked under the bed one last time and pulled out a pair of boots. Wonder who they belong to?
She shrugged and handed them to Lucas.
"Here, Lucas. Wear them in good health!"

She walked downstairs and Amos stood there with a woebegone look on his face. He faltered a bit as he said, "I am going to be missing you, wench. A lot of good times here."
She gave him a hug and said, "Don't look so sad, Amos. I shall be back for plenty of visits. I may even someday buy a sugar plantation here."
"To raise little pirates?"
"Perish the thought, Amos! Perish the thought!"
She opened the door and headed back to the ship.

And wondered what awaited her in Tobago.

Jack emerged on the weather deck with his arms full of the dresses Honour refused to consider wearing. He was humming a tune as Briggs approached him.
"Cap'n, your wife went ashore a few minutes ago, in a bit of a hurry, if you catch my meaning. And what's all this ye be bringin' topside?"
Jack's eyes narrow as he thrust the bundle into Josiah's arms. "She's gone shopping, you git. Honestly, Josiah. The more I try to teach you about women, the less you remember. Backslide much more, and you'll be a right ready candidate for the Royal Navy."

Briggs spat out a bit of lace that found it's way into his mouth, and he stuffed the dresses into a barrel. "Jack, you trust this woman, having known her naught but a single night? You're the most distrustful, suspicious man I know? What were they serving last night, absinthe?"

Jack turned to face his first mate, with weary eyes. "Josiah, must we go through this same tired exercise every time we meet? Honour is my wife, and she will have every respect commensurate of her station. So tell me true, old friend of mine. Can you accept this fact, or not? There are plenty of ships coming and going from this lovely harbour. Care to sign on with one of them?"
Briggs brow furrowed. "Of course not, Cap'n. I should be happy for ye, after all these years, and all those lovely... well, you know."
"More for the rest of the men. At least now, they have an honest chance," Jack laughed. "So, where are the plans Jennings' provided for the new operation in Tobago?"
"Are ye still serious about setting up a smuggling hive on the Spaniard's doorstep?"
"Briggs, think about it! Aye, the Spanish Empire is expanding like mad. But economically, they're overextended. Their far-flung outposts need the goods we can provide. If we control the choke point of the "Galleon's Passage" between Trinidad and Martinique, we have the pick of all the major traffic to and from the Spanish Main, which we can provide to the good citizens of Trinidad for a considerable profit. With Spain back on their heels, it's our time to strike. You know as well as I that Jennings can move goods and slaves better than most, and for a good profit. Now, where be those plans?"

Show me your tan lines..and I'll show you mine!

I just want to be Layla.....


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