RenaissanceFestival.com Forums

Pirate Festival => Port of Call => Topic started by: Welsh Wench on July 10, 2011, 09:42:33 PM

Title: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 10, 2011, 09:42:33 PM
(http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e65/welshwench/ladydovesheader.jpg)


Zara Wolfe sat there in the cafe poring over her books and maps. Her brow furrowed as she fumed, "That island just appeared out of nowhere. Da was right. You just don't know what is out there till you look."
She took a sip of her tea and looked around. All sorts of vagabonds and riffraff plied their trade in the streets but no one would ever touch her. After all, she was the daughter of 'Mad' Jack Wolfe and her talent with a sword was well-known. Legend had it that her mother had bested a captain of expert swordsmanship. But that was just it.  A legend. Or so Zara was pretty sure.
The port town took on the atmosphere of the streets of Tangier or Marrakesh with its imports of silks and exotic spices. The smells in the air of coffee, cinnamon and salt air were home to Zara.
Taking a sip again, she sighed and stretched. The outdoor cafe was where she usually spent her afternoons. She told her Da that the salt air cleared her mind but in actuality it was the sights and smells that excited her. Her da always frowned but her mother understood. 'Let her be, Jack.' 'But Honour, darling...what if she meets someone?'
Her mother would giggle, "Like we met? The girl is only seventeen."
And then her father would say, 'Do you remember yourself at seventeen?'
There would always be a silence and then her mother would say, "Keep an eye on her!"

As Zara looked up, she saw some men taking stations at the entrance to the marketplace. They were dressed as  Saracens. Complete with turbans and cutlasses that looked like they could cut a forest in two. Her eyes darted from one to the other and she did a mental count. One...two...five...six.
Just then a young man walked into the cafe. He had light brown hair, blue eyes and was tall and broad of shoulder. His clothing was that of a pirate but he was well dressed for one. At least he was clean, she thought. His white shirt was of silk and showed a nice chest. Very nice, Zara noticed.
The breeches were black and his hair was held back by a red bandana. She took in the French rapier but something caught her eye.
Something she and her mother shared in common.
Great boots.

The man with the striped turban, who was obviously the leader, gave an imperceptible nod to his comrades.
They moved closer, closing ranks and cutting off any means of escape.
The pirate had ordered an ale and was unaware of the danger that was closing in on him.
Moving closer.
Zara looked and took it all in. A definite ambush was planned. Suddenly she jumped up and ran over to the young man.
"Benjamin! How dare you stand me up!"
The man turned to her and said, "I am sorry, Miss, I am afraid you have the  wrong man. I am----"
"Shut your mouth," she said between clenched teeth.
"But--"
She leaned over and threw her arms around him and kissed him soundly on the lips.
"But I forgive you, Benjamin. I'm just glad you made port and now you can come home to meet Mum and Da and we can tell them our plans."
She grabbed his hand. The Saracen chief motioned them to stay their weapons.  
"Come..let's tell them right now."
"Miss, I think---"
"Will you shut UP? Bollocks!"
She edged him to the edge of the cafe wall.

"Hey! You cheating bastard!"
The Saracens looked over and a fight was breaking out. At least that is what a bottle broken in the hands of a pirate in this town signaled.
When they looked back, their quarry was gone.
And so was the girl.
She carefully pushed the wall and it swung open.
"What the....?"
She said, "Shush!'
The pseudo door opened to a back lane.
"What is this all about?"
Zara looked over at him. "You were being stalked by Arab looking men. Did you not notice?"
"Of course I noticed. My father was right on the other side of me. I was to meet him."
"Father? I saw no one. Just Uncle Josiah."
The man looked puzzled. "Uncle Josiah? My father has no nieces. Just the daughter of a friend of his who calls him that."

 Zara stopped suddenly.
"But...he IS Uncle Josiah. I've always called him that."
The young man asked, "What is your name, lassie?"
"Zara. Zara Wolfe."

The man grinned. 'I don't believe it. Is it possible? The last time I saw you, you threw a mint chocolate cookie at me. I still have a bit of a scar where the nuts hit me on the hand."
Her face flamed with embarrassment.
"You don't mean...."
He bowed low. "Phillip Briggs, at your service, Miss Wolfe!"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 09, 2011, 10:04:27 PM
Phillip? Uncle Josiah's Phillip?"
He grinned. "The very same. My goodness, you have grown up, Miss Wolfe!"
She felt her cheeks blush. "I'd say the same for you. How long has it been? I was...what? Five the last time I saw you?"
He put his hat back on his head. "I think so. You were stuck in a tree and Father made me climb up and get you."
"You remember that?"
"Aye, I do. Father said you were always getting in one predicament after another. Like the time you were pulled out of one of the guns and your mother spent a week getting the gunpowder out of your hair."
"I did not!"
 
"Well, I wondered where ye ran off to!" Josiah puffed out of breath as he came up beside them.
" 'Ello, me little scalawag!"
" 'Ello, me Uncle Josie!"
Phillip laughed. "I thought only one woman called you that!"
Zara put her hands on her hips and tossed her hair. "Who do you think I got that from?"
"Renee."
"AUNTIE Renee. What were those men up to?"
Philip glanced over at Briggs and he glared at him.
"You may as well tell her since she saved your neck."
 
Phillip sighed. "Seems I played cards with a marked deck. Alfonso who heads the 'enforcers' in this town took offense that I lightened his purse. He must have put a price on my head."
Josiah sighed. "I was about to talk to Alfonso when you took Phillip out of the picture. I must be slowing down!"
Zara gave him a hug. "Never, Uncle Josie! And if anyone could do it, you could!"
He held up his finger. "Ah-ah, scalawag! You are forgetting who still carries weight in this town."
She sighed. "Ah yes, it would be Da."
 
Phillip looked over at Zara and marveled at the way she had changed. Her chestnut hair with auburn highlights was almost to her waist and a mass of curls. Eyes the colour of summer skies, so like her mother. And the tilt of her nose was Honour's but the defiant tilt of the chin was definitely a Wolfe's. But was she blessed---or cursed, depending on how you looked at it and were the recipient--with her mother's temperament or her father's?
Not that there was much difference....but could she receive a double portion?
 
Suddenly a prediction from years ago emblazoned his memory. From a voodoo woman in a dusky little tavern called LeLoup.....
"I see a female animal and she draw close to you. Very frisky, very young. She cause you problems. But one day she save you life."

Could it be...?
No.
Not possible.
Could it?

Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 14, 2011, 08:26:27 PM
 Josiah looked over at a tavern on the corner of the lane affronting the docks.
"I suppose I should talk to Alfonso so ye don't get your arse kicked, young man."
He held out his hand and the young man sighed. "Very well. It's all there."
Phillip handed over a pouch of gold coins.
"Please send my deepest regrets to Alfonso. What are you going to tell him?"
"That you had no idea the deck was marked. That you learned how to read a marked deck when you were on El Lobo in your formative years and subconsciously read them. When you realized the reason for your stroke of luck, you were filled with remorse and were on your way to pay back your ill-gotten gains."
"Think he will buy it?"
"Alfonso will figure it to be a lesson learned and your pockets are lighter."
 
To Zara, Briggs held out his hands.
"And you, little one--what are you doing in a tavern? Your father would have a fit."
She winked. "Then I guess it is best we don't tell him, do we? You know--for his sake."
Briggs pushed her hair back over her shoulder. "So like your mother you are--always quick with the reasoning and the wit."
She walked back to her table where her tea was cold and the sea birds had eaten the last of her scones.
"Bollocks!" she muttered.
Briggs burst out laughing. "I heard that."
Zara laughed too. "Old habits are hard to break. As much as Mum would try to."
She rolled up her maps."I guess I should put these away and..damn seabird! Left his mark right on the island!"
"Allow me." Phillip dipped his handkerchief in a cup of water and sponged off the offending matter.
"It's the least I can do."
"No, the least you can do is buy me a new hot tea and a scone."
She plopped herself in the seat and pushed the chair opposite her with her foot.

Briggs looked from one to the other and a wave of deja vu swept over him.
Wasn't it like this one time before in another world, another tavern? Another man and another woman...
And the result was seated there demanding a new scone.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 16, 2011, 07:41:53 PM
"Come, Phillip--time to leave."
Phillip gave his father a grin and said, "Now, I would be remiss in my manners if I didn't replace this young lady's scone, wouldn't you agree?"
Zara looked up at Phillip from under her long eyelashes, smiling demurely.
"I'm partial to the blueberry ones."

Josiah took out his bandana and began to mop his brow.
"Blueberries? Just like your mother."
"Mother and I are quite a bit alike, Da always said."
"How is your mother?" Phillip asked.
Zara took a sip of her tea.
"Doing wonderfully. She had another baby, you know. The 'Wolfe' pack, Da calls us."

Josiah put his hand on Phillip's shoulder.
"A word with you, please, son--if you don't mind, Zara? Ship's business, you know."
"Not at all, Uncle Josiah. I know how pressing things like that are."
Phillip sighed. "Oh, alright, Father."
He leaned over to Zara. "I'll be right back."

Josiah walked him out of earshot.
"Alright, what is the problem, Father?"
Josiah nodded with his chin. "There. There is the problem."
"Miss Wolfe?"
"I've seen that look on your face. The same look that got you in trouble in Havana. Remember that Count's daughter? The same look that got you in trouble with those triplets in Martinique. The same look that got you in trouble in Aruba. The same look that got you in trouble in-----"
"Alright, you made your point."
"Well, said young woman happens to be Miss Zara Wolfe. The daughter of Captain 'Mad' Jack Wolfe. The daughter of my best friend."
"You have reiterated who she is. She's a child, Father."
"Yes. A child of the female persuasion and from what I can see, she's laying a pretty good foundation to leap into womanhood. You watch your step. Friendship is one thing. Jack's daughter is another."
"I promise nothing is going to happen. I always throw the small ones back."
Phillip glanced back at her.
"I'll buy her another scone, send her on her way and meet you back at the ship. Alright? ALRIGHT? And Da, please don't give me that furrowed brow. You will clear it with Alfonso?"
"I will. Payment of your debt will lift that price on your head. The payment and then some. Penalties and interest no doubt."
"Great. But I will keep my sword and pistol handy. Just in case."
Josiah looked over and grinned. "She is a lovely little thing. Just like her mama."
He poked his finger in Phillip's chest.
"And she is my honorary niece so that makes you unofficially a-----"
"Cousin. I get it. Don't worry. Besides, I have a dinner engagement with Lenore."
Josiah looked over at Zara.
"Alright, you can catch up with your 'cousin'. But remember--I am trusting you."

Phillip made his way back to Zara.
"Everything alright with the ship?"
"Yes. Father just needed a little clarification on things."
Zara pushed her plate towards Phillip.
'Well, that was wonderful. And I thank you, Mr. Phillip Briggs. And now I must be going home."
Zara leaned over and gathered her maps but her neckline and what it afforded was not lost on Phillip.
"Da will want to see the progress I made on this map assignment he gave me."
"Map assignment?"
Rolling the maps up, she said, "Yes. Da always said that just because I am a girl, I should be able to support myself and not rely on a man for my comforts. At least material comforts," she said with a smile.
"So Da and I talked and I have an artistic talent and am good with figures and he thinks--as so do I--that being a cartographer would be a good occupation. So he pulled a few strings and called in a favor or two. I am apprenticed to Mr. Cosgrove."
She extended her hand to Phillip.
"Thank you for an exciting afternoon."
"And thank you for saving my life, as it were."
"Any time, Phillip Briggs. Any time."
Phillip watched as she put her cloak on.
"Well, I would be quite the scoundrel if I didn't see you safely home."
She gave him a dimpled smile.
"I'd like that."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 18, 2011, 03:10:29 PM
"Let's not go home just yet. Why don't we walk over by the dock? There is a lovely park just beyond it. I love to sit there and watch the ships come in. And I always see some that I know."
Zara gathered her maps and walked over to the cafe barrista. "Pierre, would you please hold these for me? I'll be back to pick them up later."
"Mais oui, Mademoiselle Le Loup. For you---anything!"
Zara linked her arm with Phillip's.
"Shall we go?"

"Now, then, Mr. Phillip Briggs---tell me what you have been up to since I last saw you. How long has it been? Five years?"
"I imagine about that. Mostly I have been sailing with Father."
"Whereabouts? I would love to see the world but Da is very protective. He says there is a lot of men who aren't the nicest."
"He's right. I've been overseeing the commerce side of our operations."
She looked up at him and smiled. "The legal or the illegal?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean I know all about it. I overhear Da talk to Mum about it. Late at night before they go to bed. But believe me, they do more than talk. I can only hope to find a man who loves me as much as Da loves her. And the latest proof is sleeping in MY cradle!"
Philip didn't know whether to laugh or blush. So he did both.

Coming around the bend was an old woman in a shawl. Zara said, "Wait here."
She walked over to her and hugged her. "Bonjour, Madame Hermione!"
"Ah, Mademoiselle Zara! Comment ca vas?"
"Je vais tres bien. Et vous? Permit me to introduce Monsieur Philip Briggs."
Hermione nodded cordially at Phillip.
"Est-ce que je peux prendre des sucreries pour mes frères et soeurs?"
Hermione handed over some sweet candies and Zara tucked the sack in her purse.
"Et pour les canards, s'il vous plait."
Holding the bag, she smiled at Phillip. I need to show you something. "Au revoir, Madame Hermione!"
I always buy something from her. She used to be Louis XIV's mistress, you know."
"Really?"
"No...but I like to imagine! Ah...here we are!"

She sat down and spread her skirts, patting to the ground next to her.
"Asseyez vous, s'il vous plait, Phillip. Now we wait!"
Within a minute, a large white duck with five ducklings trailing behind sought her out.
"She had them about a week ago. Are they not precious?"
The mother duck marched up to Zara. She quickly broke off a piece of bread and handed it to the mother who took the morsel out of Zara's hand. The babies followed suit.
"Amazing! She trusts you."
Zara gave him a puzzled look. "But of course! What's not to trust?"
"Well, animals usually shy away. They must have a sense about you."
She brushed the crumbs off her skirt and stood up.
"Let's walk a bit more. It's been ages. Aunt Renee looks wonderful. It was about time Uncle Josiah made a right proper married woman of her."
"Renee is the closest thing to a mother I ever had. She always said I was her son without the snot and dirty nappies!"
Zara laughed. "Yes, but she gets that faraway look in her eyes when she holds one of Mum's babies. Like maybe she wishes it was she and the life she could have had if my mum hadn't come along."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I think Da and Aunt Renee were once involved. I know she knew Da when they both lived in England. And she and Da have been there for each other through the years. But she and Uncle Josiah are well-suited. He grounds her and she puts the spring in his step."
"Miss Zara, is there anything you don't pontificate on?"
Zara looked thoughtful and put her finger to her lips.  Then she broke out in laughter.
"No, I guess there isn't!"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on January 18, 2012, 09:25:01 PM
"So, Phillip Briggs, what has kept you away from Barbados and visiting Maison Le Loup all these years?"
"Now wait a minute! I have been there. But you were either at school or with your friends.  But I have been in different parts of the world dispersing our sw--- I mean, our merchandise."
"Swag. I AM the daughter of Jack Wolfe, you know! But what have you been carrying lately?"
"Oh...coffee, wine, fine textiles...."
"And jewelry?"
"Sometimes."
She looked up at him. "How fascinating! Do you ever have any sapphires? I have some money saved and would be glad to purchase one from you. At market value plus a 10% finders fee."
Phillip took her hand. "If I find one worthy of you, I shall gladly give it to you in remembrance for a delightful afternoon."

Just then a large handsome lad marched up to Zara, completely ignoring Phillip.
"I have a dispute with you, Miss Wolfe."
She idly looked at her fingernails.
"And that would be.....?"
The young man held his cloak out.
"THIS! This was an expensive cloak from Paris!"
On the back was slashed a letter Z.
Zara took it by the hem and held it out.
"Why, so it was!"
"You ruined it! I demand retribution!"
 "I'm sorry but you must have snagged it on a branch."
"Excuse me, sir, but....." Phillip interjected.
"Who asked you?" the lad retorted.
Zara glanced at Phillip. "I can handle this."
She returned her attention to the lad.
"Yes, I did do it. You stood too close to me and you didn't keep your hands to yourself. No one stands that close to Zara Wolfe unless invited to. And you are not going to be drawing a map of my body unless I personally authorize and copyright it.  Be glad it was just the cloak."

He grabbed her by the arm and quick as flash, Zara reached into her bodice and whipped out a silver dagger.
"Now, Tristan, you have just one chance to leave with your nose and other body parts intact. And if you don't turn tail and leave, I'll carve my initials on you but without the benefit of a cloak. Savvy?"
He stared at her and she raised an eyebrow, mirth at the corners of her mouth.
"I don't repeat this offer. It expires in the next five minutes."
His face flushed and turning on his heel, he left.
Just as quickly as she removed the dagger, she returned it to its rightful place.
"Tsk!  Children!..... Now...as you were saying?....."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on February 20, 2012, 10:42:11 AM
Phillip stopped in his tracks.
"Zara Wolfe, do you mean to tell me that you took a sword to that man's cloak?"
She waved her hand airily.
"Oh pish tosh! What if I did? I was in a tavern--the Blue Moon, I think it was--and this big---"
"You were in a tavern?"
"No big deal, Phillip. Do you want to hear the rest of the story or not?"
He crossed his arms.
"Continue."

"Alright then. I was with some friends---Sally Monroe and Elizabeth Connors, I think it was--and that big oaf came over and put his hands on me. So what if I used to see him on a social level? NO ONE accosts Zara Wolfe without my permission. So I kneed him in a place he wouldn't soon forget and called him an weed puller.He had been drinking or else he would have remembered that. I decided to teach him a lesson. And a way to remember me."
"Does your father know what you are up to?"
"Up to? Up to what? I was doing him a favor by not telling my father. He would have made him into a shish kebab. He got off easy. "
Phillip chuckled. "And how did you learn the fine art of swordplay?"

Zara flashed him a smile. "My mother insists that all of her daughters learn how to defend themselves."
"Well, she had the right idea. After all she...."
Phillip broke off.
"She....what?"
He quickly added, "After all, she has the right idea to keep her daughters safe whatever it takes in this town."

Phillip thought back to a story his friend Zach Roberts had told him once about the indominatable Honour Wolfe. They had been in a tavern in Tortuga.....

"See that man over there?"
"Which one?"
"The one with the crippled hands."
"You mean Captain Jonas Corwin of the Golden Phoenix?"
"The very one."
"What about him?"
"You know how he got his hands that way?"
"I heard he wronged a tavern doxy."
"Something like that. Seems Jonas Corwin took up with a pretty young thing for the night. She wasn't a doxy, just a mixed up young girl who was looking for love in all the wrong places. Well, the story goes--heard it from his quartermaster--that he roughed her up pretty good. So when he was sleeping it all off, she took his clothes and tossed them out the window."
Phillip just about spewed his drink across the table.
"Well, that was ingenious!"
"It was the talk of the taverns for a few years. Still is, I guess, whenever Corwin shows up. But that wasn't the end of it."
"No? What more could she do to retaliate?"
"Corwin had to make it back to his ship wrapped in a coverlet--heard it had a bunch of little flowers embroidered on it--and it was during the day. Not a farthing to his name, either. She rolled him for whatever she could find on him. Well, a few  nights later, Jonas was in the tavern, trying to ignore the snickering and what passed for good-natured ribbing.  You know these pirates, they love to stick it to each other but Jonas was in a foul mood. And he was likkered up but good. And whose path did he cross but the girl!"
"Uh oh.....I take it he got even with her. A repeat of the night before?"
"It may have been what he intended but the lass was quick on her feet too. And one thing he didn't count on."
Phillip raised an eyebrow.
"She had companions that protected her and put the hurts to his hands?"
"Oh, no, Briggs--she was armed. Whether it was adrenalin or skill that kept her alive, she gave as good as she got. Unfortunately she was losing. Hurt her pretty badly. But she did have a bit of help."
"The crew?"
"No, the wharf cat. Corwin stepped on him and he sunk his claws in his leg. That was the advantage the lass needed. She racked him and then clocked him under the chin. He was out cold and she stepped on his hands in a fit of rage. Good boots with spike heels will do that, you know. His crew found him once again under some canvas. And his hands didn't heal right. "
"So did he ever find her?"
"No. He has been looking for her ever since. Swears one day he will find her and gift the crew with her. He's been searching from the Caribbean to Cadiz. Hasn't found her. She's probably dead."
Roberts leaned back.
"Yep...when he finds her, Honour Bright will be the star on the ship's Christmas tree!"

Phillip choked on his ale.
Honour Bright.
Now known as Honour Wolfe.


And her progeny now stood next to him.

Zara linked her arm through Phillip's.
"I have a wonderful idea. My parents would love to see you. Escort me home. And stay for dinner!"

He looked at the fascinating young girl next to him. But now he was seeing her with a different view.
Not a young girl.
A young woman.

"You know, Miss Zara Wolfe, I think I would like that!"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on April 10, 2012, 08:58:14 PM
Zara and Phillip walked up the lane on the outskirts of Bridgetown. The oak trees formed a canopy. The house never failed to draw admiration from Phillip in the times he had come with his father since he was fifteen.
The Wolfes were always hospitable and had treated Phillip as one of their own. It had seemed that Jack and Honour Wolfe had never aged and were just as much enamored with each other as the first time Phillip had met them.

Zara gave Phillip's arm a gentle squeeze and leaned close to him. He could smell the delightful scent of her. Not like other women who had doused themselves in floral sachets.
No, this young girl smelled of new-mown hay and sunshine. And Philip found the scent almost sending his head reeling.

"Philip, have you not been listening to me?"
"I'm sorry...what did you say?"
She threw her head back and laughed. "Your mind must be elsewhere. I asked you if there was a special woman in your life right now?"

A wave of guilt washed over Phillip. And a face came to mind.
Lenore.

Ah, Lenore. Lenore with auburn hair that shone like a copper penny and mesmerizing green eyes. She was statuesque and had a well-rounded figure. Not voluptuous but she was everything that held Phillip's attention.
Lenore was a year younger than Phillip. She had just returned from living in Venice, could speak fluent Italian and French and wore the latest in fashions. And if it wasn't the latest, then Lenore could certainly start the trend.

He had met her at a social engagement at her father's house. Rarely had men of the sea--and ones with dubious connections--been invited but for some unknown reason, Phillip and his father had been invited to talk a bit of business, a bit of socializing.
The house was grandeur but it was Lenore that caught and held Phillip's attention.
The lace...the rose scent. The cascading chestnut curls of her hair.
One look and he was intrigued.

It had been about a year that Phillip had been courting her. And the prospects of a diamond ring, a manor by the edge of town and the promise of a family were plans in the works.
Yes, Lenore was a woman who held her own and rose above others.

Phillip found himself glancing at Zara on his arm and he heard his voice saying, "No.....no one in particular."

'Where did that come from?' He thought bewilderedly.
Zara smiled up at him, looking at him from under her long lashes.
"In an odd way....that pleases me, Master Briggs!"

Phillip found himself smiling. 'You know....you've grown into quite a young lady, Miss Zara."

And all of sudden, the ring, the manor and the family plans grew a little blurry around the edges.
Maybe Lenore Culley could wait a bit.
After all, when you are the governor's daughter.........
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on May 18, 2012, 08:48:18 PM
"Mum! Da! I'm home!" Zara called from the foyer into the manor house. "I brought a surprise home! Can I keep him?"

From the back of the house a man's voice called out, "It had better not be another stray, you scalawag!"
"Oh, come on, Da--he is really cute!"

Phillip could feel the heat in his face rising. From the back veranda a man came out. He looked the same as Philip had met him fifteen years earlier. He took the pipe out of his mouth and a grin spread over his face.
"Well, well! I guess you can keep this one, Zara. Shall we put him up in the barn?"
Zara tapped her foot impatiently. "Oh, I don't know, Da. He can always sleep at the foot of my bed!"

Zara ran up and gave her father a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"I ran into Phillip at the marketplace and I invited him to stay for dinner."
He noticed she altered the truth a bit....the tavern had become a vegetable market in her slightly adjusted tale.

"The more the merrier, we always say. Zara is always having someone over. Her girlfriends and the numerous young men....."
He trailed off as he noticed Zara making 'cease and desist' motions behind Phillip's back.
As Phillip turned to her, she said demurely, "School work. Always school work.  I sometimes need help finding the occasional island or two."

From the parlour came a feminine voice, "You should ask your father for help on that. He knew the Caribbean like the back of his hand."
Jack called back, "But I couldn't find a maze."
A giggle was the reply heard.

Zara took Phillip by the hand and dragged him into the parlour.
"He's no cat....but he has a cute little nose all the same, Mum!'

On a rocker sat a beautiful blonde woman. She hadn't aged at all. In her arms was a little bundle wrapped in a pink blanket.
She beamed at Phillip. "How wonderful to see you again, Phillip! You ARE staying for dinner, aren't you?"
"Well, Zara did invite me and...."
"And if she hadn't, we would have. We haven't seen you in six months. Where have you been keeping yourself?"
"Well, Father had me working on the booty....I mean, the inventory that we had um...purchased in...Jamaica. Yeah, that's it. The Jamaica one."
Honour raised her eyes to the ceiling. "Oh yes, the Jamaica one. Coffee, tea, textiles....and some of it has already replenished the Wolfe wine cellars. When Jack isn't making his own from the vineyard over by the south pasture."

Phillip stepped closer to the blanket.
"A girl, from the looks of the blanket. What is her name?"
"Jack wanted Arabella but I was able to convince him we would NOT have a child that can be called Airy-belly so we settled on Reinette."

She pulled the pink blanket back and a tiny face, flawless, yawned as she slept. Black hair crowned her head.
Honour sighed contentedly,"I never did have any bald babies!"
Zara came in with an apple and handed one to Phillip.
As she casually munched on it, she asked, "Where is everyone else?"
"The boys are on that botany trip with Uncle Duckie over in Antigua and the girls are at Aunt Megan's for the night."

Zara linked her arm in Philip's. "Then it is settled. You are staying for dinner and I won't take no for an answer!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zara pulled her chair closer to Phillip. Jack reached over and passed the platter of meat to Phillip.
"So, Phillp, how are things in Havana?"
"Prosperous. The unloading of.....merchandise is simple. We drop it off, arrange the price with Fernando DeCastro and collect the money. He worries about the legalities and the distribution."

All of a sudden, Phillip felt a pressure on his leg and glanced down. Zara's hand had rested on his thigh. Unfortunately, she had taken to running her finger up and down his leg. He could feel the heat rise on his ace as Zara sat here with an angelic smile on her face, a soup spoon in the other hand.
"Phillip?" Jack asked.
"Hmmm?"
"Is it too warm in here?"
Zara looked at her father. "I feel fine but you know how it can get hot all of a sudden. At least that is my prediction. Phillip? Are you hot?"
Jack walked over and opened the French doors.
"There! That should cool things down somewhat."
"Not necessarily, Da---the night always gets quite sultry and steamy, as you know."
Phillip concentrated on his soup. "I'm sure things will cool down just fine."
Zara's hand kept a gentle but firm touch on Phillip's leg but suddenly he felt her foot gently run up and down his lower leg.
The only thought that went through his mind was, 'She's only seventeen?'

Honour walked in. "Renny is asleep. Now I can enjoy my meal."
She gave Zara a glance and she put both hands on the table. But her foot was still resting on Phillip's leg.

The dinner proceeded without any more incidents. Jack and Phillip talked of old friends and business deals over brandy. Zara sipped a small glass of wine.

Honour did a quick calculation. Zara was seventeen. Phillip was--how old? Twenty-six? Just about the same age difference....and she was transported back to a time when she herself was sixteen and a man named Rhys Morgan entered her life.
'This bears watching.....' she thought.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I really  must be leaving. I have business to attend to....and thank you for dinner and a lovely evening."
"Again, Phillip--you know you are always welcome here. You are family."
Honour stood up. "The baby is asleep and I rarely have all the children gone at once so I am going to take some time for myself. Jack, are you coming?"
He got a grin on his face. "I'll be right up," he winked at Phillip.
Zara gave Phillip a knowing look.
"I'll see Phillip out as the good hostess that I am. After all, he IS my guest."

They walked out the back verandah. Zara linked her arm with his.The smell of honeysuckle was too close to be come from any vine. No, it was from Zara.

She stood close to him. "It was grand seeing you, Phillip. And I daresay we shall be seeing much more of each other."

She stood on tip toes and before Phillip knew it, her lips met his in a sweet, searching deep kiss.
As they broke away, Zara sighed, smiled and said "I'll be seeing you soon, Phillip Briggs!"
She waked back into the house without a backward glance.

Phillip stood there, not quite knowing what to do.
'Oh my God...Lenore! I should have been there two hours ago!'

But then he said out loud, "I just snogged Mad Jack's daughter!"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 15, 2012, 12:42:53 PM
Phillip rode up to the mansion on the hill. By the light of the moon, he took out his pocket watch and read '9:30'.
"Damn! My arse is cooked!"
With great reluctance, he walked up to the manor door. Herndon the butler answered it.
"Good evening, Herndon. I seem to be a bit late."
"To say the least, sir."
"Is she in the parlor?"
"And waiting, sir."
"Oh, bollocks, " Phillip muttered.

He opened the door and saw Lenore standing there facing the mantle.
"Close the door, Herndon."
She turned to Phillip, controlled fury marking her features.
Her cinnamon hair was piled high on her head and tendrils framed her face. She was dressed in a pale green dress with ecru lace.
Her features were finely chiseled, with high cheekbones prominent in a regal face.
"You are late. Exceedingly late."
"I know. I'm sorry."
She crossed her arms.
"Well? I'm waiting."
"For what?"
"An explanation, what else?"
"I had a business meeting that went longer than I expected."
A white lie.
"And you couldn't break away?"
"No, I couldn't. It was a merchandise inventory and once you start it, you can't stop it."
Another white lie.
"Well, it is too late to go to the consulate dinner. Father went ahead of us."
She made a very definite gesture of throwing her evening wrap and fan on the couch.

Phillip helped himself to a brandy from the sideboard. If there was one advantage--and there were many--to courting the Governor's daughter, it was that he had access to the finest brandy that money could buy. Or ships could steal.
Not that Philip didn't have his own stash of brandy. But oh, so much better when it was hassle-free.

He took a deep sip and turned to face Lenore. She sat on the settee with her hands folded.
"Do you know how embarrassing it will be to walk in at this late hour?"
"I know and I am sorry."
She pouted.
"So what shall we do, Phillip? Go in late and breach etiquette?"
She ran her finger along the arm of the settee and casually said, "Or do we make good use of the time that my father is away for the night and the servants are retired for the evening?"

Phillip sat down on the settee next to her, putting his arm around her. She leaned against him.
"I suppose it wouldn't hurt anyone if we were to take some time for ourselves now, would it?"
He gently pushed the tendril away from her face and caressed her cheek with the back of his hand.
He kissed her ear and whispered, "And the servants will be the none wiser?"
She leaned in and kissed him. "They are instructed to never wake me up before 10:00."
"Then I shall climb down the trellis before 9:00."
She laughed and stood up, taking his hand.
"I'd race you to the room but I am wearing slippers with heels."
He touched her forehead with his. "That is a race I am willing to concede."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The moonbeams shone through the floor length window. Lenore slept soundly next to Phillp but sleep eluded him.
Lenore was everything he wanted in a woman.
She came from money.
Social connections.
Class. Always high-classed.
Yet she never let him forget it.

It was her haughtiness that bothered him. The feeling of superiority over most of the residents of Bridgetown.
She was like an Arabian mare---stately and statuesque and sedate in a social setting but with a streak of restrained enthusiasm when they were alone.

He slid out of bed and walked over to the window overlooking portside.
And suddenly he found his thoughts drifting to an untamed and untried little filly.

A wild filly named Zara Wolfe.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 08, 2012, 07:39:30 PM
"Lenore? Are you awake? I need to talk to you."
Phillip jerked his head up, startled out of a sound sleep.
Lenore replied sleepily, "Tristan? What is it?"
"I need to talk to you."
Phillip started to say something but Lenore put her finger to her lips.
"What time is it?"
"Eight o'clock."
"Too early. Come back later."
"This is important."
"Who is that?" Phillip whispered.
"Quiet!"
"What is this about?" Lenore asked.
"A little tart, what else?"

Lenore rolled her eyes. "Come back in an hour. I'm just getting up."
"Make it a half hour."
"An hour and not a minute too soon or I won't see you at all."

His footsteps were heard down the hall.
"What is THAT about? Who was that?"
"My brother."
"You're brother? I don't remember meeting any brother of yours."
She stretched. "Tristan just came back from school last week. He's always having woman problems."
"So what does he expect you to do about it?"
"Well, since you have no siblings, I don't expect you to understand. But it is what we do for each other. We are there for each other. I just prefer to deal with it after I have had my morning coffee."
"Well, seeing as we are already awake and he won't be back for an hour....."
He caressed her bare shoulder.
"Please, Phillip! I mean, it is DAYLIGHT!'
He furrowed his brow. "And your point is.....?"
Lenore smacked his arm.
"Wasn't last night enough for you?"
He raised his eyebrow.
She frowned. "Obviously it wasn't. Phillip, respectable people don't do...THAT in the morning."

Phillip sighed and reached for his clothes.
"I never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life," he muttered. "Daylight. Nighttime. What difference does it make when you are in.....love."
From behind the screen, Lenore said, "If you don't know the difference in propriety then I am not going to explain it to you."
She came out from behind the screen, tying the sash of her dressing gown.
Phllip put his arms around her.
She pushed him away. "Ah ah ah! Time for you to go."
He sighed and sat down to pull his boots on.
"I guess sneaking out the back door is out of the question?"
"Of course it is, with Tristan being home. I honestly thought he would be spending the night with some doxy he would have picked up. That is his usual habit."

Phillip perched on the edge of the window sill and peered down.
"Not too far to jump, I suppose."
He swung a leg over and put his foot on the trellis.
"Ow! Damn! Why do you have all these roses growing on this trellis?"
"Because it is my favorite flower. Now GO! Tristan will be here in ten minutes and I need to make myself presentable."

Phillip climbed deftly down, avoiding as many thorns as he could with the occasional expletive. The last eight feet he jumped, landing on his feet.

He walked over to retrieve his horse who was tethered by the stables.
"And good morning to you, Bruno!"
The bay stallion gently snorted a reply.
Phillip patted him as he mounted himself onto Bruno's back.
"Come on....let's go back to Renee's to get you a decent breakfast."
As he trotted towards town, his mind was contemplating the night before.

While Lenore was..adequate, she lacked the enthusiasm that Phillip had experienced among Renee's girls. Must be due to the high-class breeding, he guessed.
Suddenly he found himself thinking of the young woman he had known since she was a baby and wondered if Zara Wolfe was a 'morning' person.
He found himself laughing embarrassingly out loud.
'Stop it, Phillip Briggs!'
But it didn't stop him from wondering.

Yes, someone as young and vivacious as Zara Wolfe would probably fall in that category.....
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 04, 2012, 09:35:55 PM
"Lenore, are you finally presentable?"
She poured herself some coffee from a tea set that was on a tray.
"Yes, yes, do come in, Tristan. The door is unlocked."

"Well, it is about time. What takes you so long to get--as you say--'presentable'? One would think you were entertaining a gentleman."
Lenore smiled slightly and said, "A gentleman? Oh, perish the thought, Tristan. Now what is on your mind?"

Tristan sat down heavily on the brocade chair. Lenore frowned slightly but ignored it.
"Coffee?"
"Yes. No cream, no sugar."
"Now....what seems to be the problem in fifty words or less. I have an appointment with the seamstress at 11:00."
"It's a girl."
"So you said. And what is the problem with said girl?"

"I can't stop thinking about her. She's everything I want and nothing that Father would accept."
"A cheap doxy."
"Oh, if only it were that simple. No, this girl is...different."
"How so?"
"She wants nothing to do with me anymore."

Lenore poured his cup and handed it to him.
"Why, Tristan Culley, there are a hundred women in this God-forsaken town who would love to be with you. Courted by you. And you are pining away for a little tart?"
"Well, I wouldn't call it pining..."
"Alright, so it is not pining. So what is the trouble?"
"She's all I ever think about. All I want."
"For the moment. Have you tried the hearts and flowers routine?"
"She would see right through it."

Lenore gave an exasperated sigh. "What do you want, Tristan? Advice?"
He shrugged. "I guess I just needed to vent. She ripped my cloak."
He held his cloak out with the letter Z slashed in the back.
"Oh, dear--what brought that on?"
"Two days ago I was in the tavern. She was there with a few of her friends. I had a few ales--"
"A few?"
"Alright, so I had quite a bit. This girl and I had been seeing each other. In a fashion. I mean, I bought her dinner a few times and---"
"You thought it gave you proprietary rights to--"
"dangnubbit, Lenore! I am Christopher Culley's son! No one turns me down!"
Lenore put her hand up.
"Please! It looks like you found the one who did."
She tried to hide the mirth from her face.
"You think this is funny, Lenore?"
"Yes, I do. I think it is amusing that you can't get what you want from this girl."
She laid her hand mirror down.
"And be careful. If word gets out you failed with this girl, well.....let's just say your reputation as a great lover would never be worth the rumour it would take to dispel it."

Tristan paced the floor. "So...how can I win her heart?"
"Her heart? Or something else? Let's face it, Tristan--once you get what you want, the only view she will have of you is you hitching your britches up over your backside as you walk out the door."

Tristan's jaw set.
Lenore sighed. "Alright, Tristan--are you talking you want to marry this girl?"
"Oh hell no!"
"Then what is the problem?"
He shrugged.
"Oh ho!" Lenore chuckled. "What you want is to have what you can't have. And once you get it, you move on. Am I right?"
"Simplified, yes."

She looked him in the eye. "Then take what you want. You are Governor Christopher Culley's son and no court in the world will convict you. You can always claimed she 'provoked' you. And the society of Barbados takes a dim view of loose women. After all, this is NOT Port Royal."
"You mean I should just...."
"Whatever you have to do to get yourself out of this mopey state. I can't stand it when you get all pouty and moody over a woman. I mean, it's embarrassing."

He grinned and kissed her on the top of the head.
"I knew I could get the right advice from my big sister."
"Right advice? Or permission to clear your conscience?"
"Is there a difference?"
"Does it matter?"

As Tristan turned to go, he asked, "By the way, how goes it with Phillip Briggs?"
She stretched her arms above her head.
"Oh....I  expect to make an announcement any day."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on September 05, 2012, 11:12:49 PM
Phillip traipsed through the back door.
"Well, look who decided to make an appearance!"
Renee was taking biscuits out of the oven. As she put them out to cool, Phillip reached over to take one. She slapped his hand.
"Not until you give me a kiss!"
Phillip grinned dutifully as he kissed her on the cheek.
"Where's Father?"
"Checking on the mizzenmast for El Lobo. He is readying the ship for the run to Virginia."

Phillip buttered the biscuit. "I am supposed to take that shipment out. Father said he wanted me to take it. We are set to go out in about two weeks so any repair should be good to go by then. Jack has the fire pots going all night long to cook the cane down."
"Well, Will Harkness sure came up with a fool-proof enterprise. Jack has the air of respectability but can keep his hands into a few questionable activities. I couldn't see him any other way."
"Speaking of which, guess who I ran into the other day?"
Renee poured herself some coffee and sat down with Phillip.
"Josiah told me it was Zara Wolfe. I heard she provided a distraction when Alfonso's men were closing in. Very resourceful young lady, that one."

"I hadn't seen her in five years. Back then she was nothing but knees and elbows."
"Five years of maturity brewing, son."
He poured himself some coffee and added a splash of rum.
"She's turned into a lovely young lady."
"Yes, she has." Renee's ears perked up.
"I also had dinner at Zara's invitation."
"Did you now!"

Phillip felt his face redden slightly as he remembered Zara's wandering hand under the table.
"It was nice to see her--and Jack and Honour, of course. The new baby is beautiful."
"Isn't she though?"
"And named after you."
Renee laughed. "The closest I will ever get to motherhood."
Phillip laughed and Renee reached over to lay her hand on his.
"I take that back, Phillip. You are like a son to me. I couldn't be more proud of you than if I bore you myself. Sometimes I wish I had."
Phillip reached over and kissed the top of her head.
"You are my mother by choice, Renee. Sometimes that is the best."
Renee's eyes reflected her maternal love for Phillip.
"I wouldn't have it any other way, dear."

"So how are your plans with Leona?"
"Lenore."
"Right. Lenore."
"Well, I guess it is about time I made some concrete plans."
"And what would those be?"
"Oh....marriage. I guess I owe her that."
"Just because you have slept with her does not obligate you to marry her, Phillip."
Phillip pretended to be shocked.
"Renee!"
"It's no secret your room was not slept in last night. Nothing new under the sun."
Phillip chewed thoughtfully. "She will make a fine wife. Social connections...she's beautiful...money...."
Renee nodded silently. Phillip reached for a peach.
"Did you know that Zara is studying to be a cartographer?"
"No, I didn't. How admirable!"
"She's a smart one, that girl. Jack didn't want her to be dependent on any man. So she has an apprenticeship."
Renee stirred her coffee. "All the Wolfe children are destined for great things. Each are smart as a whip. And the best-looking family of children."
"Zara speaks French fluently. Did you know that? And generous. She bought sweets for her brothers and sisters the other day."

"Yes, she has grown up to be a lovely young woman."
Phillip pushed his chair in.
"Don't expect me for dinner. I have to go to a soiree at the ambassador's mansion."
"Ooh, look at you! So many social engagements!"
"Well, I have to make it up to....."
"Lenore?"
"Right. Lenore."

As he walked out of the kitchen, Renee smiled behind her coffee cup.
'For someone supposedly about to get engaged to..what's her name....you certainly seem enchanted by Zara Wolfe, Mister Briggs!'
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 03, 2012, 07:10:03 PM
"Renee! How wonderful to see you!"
Renee breezed across the verandah where Honour was sitting on a chaise with a glass of lemonade.
"Now you know I just wanted to see my little namesake!"
"Well, Jack said Bridgetown couldn't have another Renee so he thought Reinette was proper homage to you."
"And where is my little namesake?"
"She's upstairs with the nanny so I could take care of this correspondence." Honour set the paper aside.
"Lemonade?"
"I'd love some.
 Renee took out a flask and added a touch of spirits to it. She raised her eyebrow.
"Medicinal."
Honour laughed.
I'd be taking some myself but Renny is only a month old."
"Renny?"
"Jack felt that Reinette was too long for someone so small so we started calling her Renny."

Renee swirled her drink. "You and Jack pick the most unusual names. But then you have the most unusual children. And beautiful---all of them such a combination of the two of you."
"Each have their unique personalities and talents."
"As it should be."
"Speaking of children, Zara ran into Phillip in te marketplace yesterday. She invited him to dinner."
"Did she now!"
"It was wonderful to see him."
"He thinks of you and Jack as his second family."
"Renee, I can't tell you how happy I am now that you and Josiah are married."
Renee laughed. "Well, it only took ten years to get Josie to commit."
"But what a ten years it has been!"
Honour took a sip of her lemonade.
"Phillip has turned into a fine, handsome man."
"I couldn't be any prouder of him than if he was my own flesh and blood. Anne would be so proud to know how he turned out.'

Honour grew thoughtful.
"How old is Phillip now?"
"Let's see---he will be twenty-seven in a few weeks."
Honour grew silent.
"Alright, Honour Wolfe. I know that look. What is on your mind?"
"Nothing."
"Nothing, my Aunt Fanny."
Honour shrugged. "I was just thinking. Zara turned seventeen this past March."
"...and?"
"The look on my daughter's face.....no, forget it."
Renee patted Honour's hand.
"Phillip has been keeping company with Lenore Culley. We expect an announcement any day."
"That is good news. Will he put down roots here?"
Renee's brow furrowed.
"Honour, are you worried about Zara and Phillip?"
"No...not really. I mean, Zara is a handful.  Always has been. She's her father's daughter."
Renee hid a smile behind her hand. "And kind of like her mother, too?"

Honour grew silent and looked out to the sea.
"I was just thinking....."
"Of a young girl from long ago and her first love?"
She nodded imperceptively.
"Some wounds never heal, Honour. But they fade into a slight scar. Only you know it is there. But it is what gives us our character. Sometimes these scars catch us a bit off guard."
"I just saw the way Zara looked at Phillip."
"Honour, she has known Phillip since she was a baby. It is just a case of hero worship. Like a big brother."
Honour brightened. "You are right."

"Honour--are you thinking Phillip is not good enough for someone who has the Conaway blood?" Renee said quietly.
"Oh heavens no, Renee! You know me better than that. After all, Zara has half pirate blood in her. It is what gives all my children the zest for life they have."

Renee patted her hand.
"Don't forget half of that zest belongs to a little girl from Wales."
"It's just that Zara is of a certain age.....I know it pains Jack to think of some young man taking his place in Zara's life."
"I have no doubt there will be a string of suitors if they haven't been already been starting to line up."
"There have been a few hanging around. But I think Zara doesn't really give them more than a passing thought. IF they aren't scared off by the notoriety of her father."

Renee gathered her things.
"I wouldn't worry about Phillip being one of them. As I said, Lenore is as good as wearing that diamond ring. Not that I really approve."
She looked at her watch.
"Oh, Lord! Look at the time! Josiah will be home for dinner soon. I must get going."
She stood up.
"Phillip will make sure that Zara won't get hurt, Honour. And she will outgrow this. After all, we do survive our first loves. Phillip is the 'older man'."
"I'm sure you are right. Might we expect you and Josiah for dinner tomorrow night?"
"You know it. I'll bring the truffles."

Renee stood outside the door of Honour's home and put her gloves on.  A smile crossed her face. She may have survived her first real love. But she never forgot it.
And here she stood on his front porch and thought briefly about a life but for a few circumstances may have been her front porch too.

She squared her shoulders and entered her carriage. Sitting back, she smiled.
"Home, Jameson. Home."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 03, 2012, 12:35:45 PM
 
Tristan closed the door behind him, adjusting his eyes to the darkness.
"Hello?" he called out.
A wizened man came from behind the curtain in the back. The man was short with a long stemmed pipe, one eye bulged.
Tristan looked around in disdain. Dusty jars were lining shelves. A vat of....something was boiling.
"Aye, can I he'p you?"
"You are the apothecarist?"
"Alright. What's in a name anyways?" the man shrugged.
"You have access and can compound elixirs and potions?"
He nodded and motioned Tristan closer.
"If you want to rid yourself of a situation, I can help. If you wish to win the affections of a young lady, I'm your man. I can restore youthful vigor and help a man with a....problem. But you are a strapping young man so I daresay that isn't the reason why you are here," he cackled.
"Do you have a potion that will render a person unconscious with no memory of what happened to them?"
The old man nodded, "Aye, that I can. Just a few drops in some wine."
"How long will the effects last?"
"Oh....three to six hours. Depends on the stature of the person. The lighter the frame, the less you need. Come into the back with me."
Tristan followed the old man to the back room where there were herbs hanging to dry, bottles of inky liquid and a few beakers, mortars and pestles."
"Now.....do you want a love philter with that?"
"Oh hell no. I don't need the clinginess later. I just need to show a young lady a lesson in humility. And paybacks for a cloak ruined are deadly."

The apothecarist nodded. "This shall do the trick then."
"And no side effects?"
"Maybe just a headache."

A black cat entwined himself through Tristan's legs. Tristan jumped.
"Pay no attention to Lucifer, sir."
"So what is the best way to dose this?"
"Wine. Pour the vial into a glass of wine. Preferably claret or merlot. Something dark and sweet. It will cover up any bitterness."
He winked, "Besides, the individual will think that he/she passed out from too much spirits and the memory loss is due to that."
"Perfect. How much do I owe you?"
"Two pounds sterling, sir."
"Pricey but worth it in the end, I suppose." He fished into his pocket for the coins.
"Remember I was never here."
"Remember what, sir?"
"Right."

Tristan picked up his sack and closed the shop door behind him.
He held the glass vial up to the sun, its contents glistening as white as snow in the sunlight.
"Oh, yes, Miss Zara. You won't know what hit you."
And with a smile he said, "Or remember anything else."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 01, 2012, 09:00:29 AM
Zara sat at her table, swirling her cup of tea.
"I'll read those for you, cher."
Se looked up to see Hermione standing above her.
"You know I don't believe in them, Hermione. Although sometimes I think Da does."
Tales of an ageless voodoo woman on the small island of Castara drifted through her mind.
Hermione sat down. "For a cup of tea and a scone, I will tell you what the leaves tell me. And of your future."
"Alright, this may prove interesting. But don't for one moment think I will believe you!"
Hermione laughed. "Drink so I may read!"
Zara did as she was told and set her cup down so the leaves would settle. She crossed her arms.
"Tell me my future, Hermione!"

She looked at the leaves, tilting the cup this way and that. After a few minutes, she sat back and grinned.
"Are you ready to hear what lies in wait for you, ma petite Zara?"
Zara laughed. "Not that a few leaves will tell! You know I always believe you make your own destiny. Like my mum does. Well, except when my dad has HIS way--and that usually fills the cradle!"
Hermione shook her head and chuckled."One so young, one so worldly! You are not to know of such things---yet."
Zara grinned, "I am the daughter of Mad Jack Wolfe. I hear stories--legends, actually--of my father. Tales of exploits and the occasional wronged woman with loose lips. So what lies before me, Hermione?"

Hermione looked down and intoned, "I see a man in your future.You see the way the leaves are clinging to the side of the teacup? That means love. The two leaves swirling on the bottom is passion out of control.
"You don't say! Well, this is to be expected, yes?"
"Not necessarily. This be something good, something real!"
"Does it tell if I will marry him or how many children I will have?"
"Do not be ridiculous! This is only tea leaves!"
Zara and Hermione laughed. But the seer grew serious.
"There be an obstacle. A woman."
"Not my mum!"
"No--this woman is powerful. Close by. You watch yourself, Mss Zara. This be a great love but it not goes easy for you. She is connected and powerful. Just watch yourself."
"And when shall I meet this man?"
Hermione stood up and turned the cup upside down on the saucer.
"You already have."

She collected her bags and laid a sweet on the table. "Pour vous, cher."
Zara stared. She couldn't possibly mean Marcus....or Daniel...or Tristan...

"You look a million miles away, sweetheart. And a farthing for your thoughts."
Tristan slid into the seat opposite her.
"What are you doing here, Tristan?" she said coldly.
"Offering a humble apology for my uncalled for outrage yesterday. I overstepped my manners and am abjectly sorry for my uncouth actions."
He held his hand out to her.
Hesitantly she took the offered hand and Tristan brought her hand to his lips and kissed it.

"Zara, I'd like to buy you a glass of wine. To make up for my boorish behaviour."
She gave him a dimpled smile.
"Alright, Tristan. I guess that would be alright."
He signaled for the tavern keeper.
"Two clarets. Is claret alright, Zara?"
"Perfect. It is one of my favorites."
The tavern keeper paused to glance at Zara and then frowned.
"Does your father know you where you are, Miss Zara?"
She held up her book.
"Studying."
"At night?"
"Constellations, Seamus."
He shook his head and ambled off.
Tristan handed her a glass.
"I'd say to us..."
"But don't," she smiled.
She drank her glass of wine as Tristan watched her.
"Oooh...that was good but I feel a bit faint."
"Would fresh air help, Zara?"
"I--I think so."
He helped her up and guided her by her elbow, leading her outside.
"How about some sea air over by the park?"

She nodded. "That--that would be good."
As they neared the cover of the trees, Tristan said, "I--I feel a bit woozy myself."
"Really? You too?"
He stumbled and tried to catch himself. He leaned against the tree and lowered himself to the ground, then fell face first.
As he started to pass out, he heard a voice say,
"Never--EVER--try to pull the wool over the eyes of a Wolfe."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on January 01, 2013, 06:20:51 PM
"Zara? What is going on here?"
She jumped a mile.
"Phillip! You scared me! What are you doing here?"
Sternly he said, "I saw you having a drink with that....man. I remember him as being the one who threatened you when his cloak was ruined so I had a bad feeling and thought I would keep an eye on you. From a distance, of course. What happened? Did he have too much to drink?"
"No, Tristan tried to drug my wine. I saw him put a white powder in it. In the split second he paid Seamus, I switched glasses with him. Bastard had it coming."
"And so what do you intend to do?"
"Leave him here."
She took out her bodice dagger and began to slice through his shirt.
"Zara!"

She looked up.
"I'm teaching him a lesson he will never forget. You don't do what he intended to do to Zara Wolfe."
Deftly she sliced through his trousers and anything else that was in the way till Tristan was au natural.
Phillip grinned, "You are going to leave him like that?"
"Of course not!"
She started to unlace her bodice but it was knotted.
"Bollocks!' she muttered.
She took the bodice dagger out from where it rested out of sight and handed it to Phillip.
"Would you please slice through the lacings for me?"

She hadn't intended to make it sound a bit breathless but that is the way it came out.
He took her dagger and deftly flicked the blade under each lace. It gave way as though it were butter.
Phillip tried to concentrate on the task at hand but the nearness of Zara and the shapely curve of her kept him off-balance. A scent of honeysuckle emanated from where Phillip had the knife blade. The laces lay in little pieces on the ground.
"Zara, if you have no bodice you have no place to put your knife.
She leaned forward and Phillip caught a glance at what Zara had been hiding under there. He couldn't help but stare.
She looked up and him and said, "Hand me the dagger."
She took it and put it in her boot, taking her time to adjust it so it would be hidden.
"Now turn your back."
"What?"
"Turn your back."
He did as she told but was able to watch in his peripheral vision. Zara had turned her back and raised her arms. She lifted the chemise up over her head and picked up the bodice, slipping it on. The lack of laces did her no favor but it sure did one for Phillip.
She held her chemise in her hands and said sadly, "It's a shame. I really liked this one and it was new."
The chemise was silky and delicate lace at the neckline and the edge of the long sleeves.
"Zara, what do you intend to do with that chemise?"

She gave Phillip a sweet smile over her shoulder as she let the chemise drift over Tristan's naked prone form.
"I'm not so cruel as to leave him like that. He can wear my chemise into town."
Phillip tried to fix her with a stern look but she looked up at him so guileless that he burst out laughing.
She clutched the remnants of her bodice to her body with the other hand, trying for a little modesty. She shivered in the autumn air.
Phillip took off his coat and gently put it around her shoulders. "It's so you won't get goose bumps and you don't have to be trying to cover up with that little bodice."
She smiled gratefully at him. "Thank you, Phillip. You are always quite the gentleman."
" I would be remiss in my duties as a Briggs if I didn't escort you home, Zara. I want to make sure you get there in one piece."
She smiled, "And I will accept that offer. But we have one problem."
"What is that?"
"How do we convince my father that you didn't rip this bodice from me in passion?"

He looked shocked at her and it was her turn to burst into giggles.
"Come on, Phillip. I know the back way home and Da will never see us!"
"Shall we go?"
"Most certainly."
She leaned over Tristan's prone body and gave him a slight shove of her foot.
"Ta, love. Wear it in good health."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on February 01, 2013, 09:36:16 AM
"Tell me, how did you get involved with that scoundrel, Zara?"
She sighed.
"I was in the tavern and he took notice of me. I was looking over a book on astronomy. I always loved the stars. He came over and asked me if I wanted to see shooting stars, he could arrange it. 'You have to be joking,' I said. "
"That is pretty pathetic."
She laughed, "Isn't it though? And I told him if he kept it up, I could arrange for him to see the entire galaxy. And I showed him my fist."
He got my message and apologized. Then he offered to buy me a scone."
"And you are a pushover for a scone."
"Well, it WAS blueberry and I have a weakness for blueberries."
"Just like your mother."
"That story of how she met Da when she was six is a family legend. The blueberries made her memorable."
"No, your mother herself is memorable. After all, she captivated Mad Jack Wolfe. She even managed to trump Renee on that score."
"You would have thought Renee would have ended up as Mrs. Jack Wolfe."
"The problem is, Zara, is that Renee and Jack were two peas in a pod. Too combustible. Your mother completed him."
"Uncle Josiah didn't always think so. He didn't like her."
"Father was like a mother hen when it came to Jack. But he always went along with his schemes."
"Those two! Tales will be told for generations about them!" Zara laughed.

"How did we get on this subject, Zara?"
"I have no idea. But the Briggs and the Wolfe families are so entwined."
Both grew silent, each lost in their own definition of 'entwined.'"
Zara shivered from the cold.
"Here, let me warm you up a bit."
Phillip put his arm around her slim waist.

"Do you think there will be any repercussions from your encounter with that cur?"
Zara shrugged. "Think? Oh, I am pretty sure there will be. You don't send Tristan Culley walking through town in a chemise--with lace no less--and not expect a bit of a squabble."
Phillip stopped.
"Wait...what did you say his name was?"
"Tristan. Tristan Culley."
"I don't believe it."
"Believe what?"
"Tristan Culley, the Governor's son?"
"I guess so. He was always going on ad nauseam about how important his family is to Bridgetown. My eyes just kind of glazed over at that point. As if my Da is not the most influential man in this town. Covert as it may be...."
"But...the son of Christopher Culley. How did I not put that together?"
Zara stood there with her hands on her hips.
"Phillip Briggs, you are NOT making any sense."

"He has a sister named Lenore, yes?"
"I don't know her name but I've seen her. Nose in the air and thinking she is better than any of us. She is seriously in danger of drowning if she ever gets caught in the rain. Always wearing the latest fashions and never goes out without her parasol. Needs to keep that milky white skin, I guess. Bet she doesn't have any tan lines."
"She doesn't."
"What?"
"Nothing. What else do you know about her?"
"Not much. After all, stuck up Lenore doesn't travel in the same social circles with people like me and my friends. But we see her. Sally Monroe said she must be the biggest prude! Why are you so curious about this sister?"
Zara started to feel a bit of jealousy and didn't like the feeling.

"Oh...no reason. I was introduced to her at a social function a while back and just wondered if they were related."
"Well, they are and cut from the same cloth. I pity the man who ends up with Miss Frigid."
"Zara! You don't know that!"
She tossed her hair.  "Bet she doesn't even want to in the mornings."

"Let's get you home before your father sends one of his men out to look for you."
"Oh, you heard about that, huh? Well, all I was doing was swimming over in that pond. Midnight swims are wonderful."
"And you were supposed to be with your friend Sally but instead your father found out you were with some young man."
"It was all perfectly innocent so get your mind out of the gutter. And how did you find out about that anyways?"
Phillip chuckled. "There are a few legends popping up about you too, Cookie."
She giggled. "Cookie. You haven't called me that in years."
"It seems you always had a cookie in your hand. And you were willing to share them. Except when you got mad, you used them as a projectile."
"I'm sorry. But the scar isn't so visible anymore, is it?"
He laughed. "No, it healed nicely. Mrs. Avery stopped putting walnuts in your cookies though."

"We can go around the back veranda, Phillip. The lights are off so everyone must be in bed by now."
She grabbed Phillip's hand and they ran across the expansive lawn.
As they neared the steps, Zara said, "I guess I need to give you back your frock coat," as she moved to take it off.
"I can pick it up tomorrow. After all, never let it be said that I let Zara Wolfe go home half-naked."
Phillip gently wrapped the coat around her, his hand accidentally brushing her curves.
She touched his cheek. "You were wonderful tonight, Phillip."
"I'm just glad your father is in the house," he whispered.

"Too late," the voice came from the veranda porch.
Jack struck the flint and lit his pipe, his face lit up with the glow.
"Now.....do we have an explanation, Miss Zara Wolfe? Or do I just shoot Phillp right now?"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on March 01, 2013, 09:09:27 AM
"Da, it's not what you think!"
Jack pointed his pipe stem at her with a bemused smile.
"I suggest you put on something that will cover you a little more, missy. Then come downstairs and we shall all have a nice chat, shall we?"
Zara felt her face turn red.
"Yes, Da," and she went inside.

"Now, Phillip, I know there has to be a reasonable explanation for this for two reasons--one, that is my daughter and two, I know you are not stupid."
"Well, Jack, Zara had been having a bit of trouble with one of the lads in town. I happened to be passing by."
"And does this lad have a name?"
"Tristan Culley, sir,"
"The Governor's son?"
"Yes, sir. Seem he has been making unwanted advances on Zara."
"Do these unwanted advances deserve appropriate action? Maybe a chat with the young man so he will see reason and not do anything stupid again?"
"I think Zara took care of the problem, Jack. The lad had too much to drink and passed out. Your daughter, well....she taught him a lesson he won't soon forget."
"Oh, dear. Do I want to hear this?"
"I think so. Zara took out her bodice dagger and relieved him of his apparel."
Jack's mouth turned up in mirth.
"You mean to tell me Zara left Governor Culley's son buck naked to find his way back?"
"Not exactly. She left him her chemise."

Jack burst out laughing.
"Oh, that is rich! She is her mother's daughter!"
"I have to give her credit for originality. She could have left him as is. But she showed a bit of compassion. The lad will have to find his way home wearing her chemise."
"Compassion, my arse! Zara knew the best way to humiliate him!"

Jack took a deep draw on his pipe. "I've heard  that you have been courting Culley's daughter."
"I wouldn't exactly call it that. We have been to a few social functions together."
"So nothing serious?"
Thoughts of Zara in her little bodice with no chemise and her mischievous smile crossed Phillip's mind.
He found himself saying, "No, sir. Just escorting her to a few soirees. I find the upper crust of society too stuffy for my taste."

Zara came out of the house wearing a light chemise and skirt. She hadn't bothered to put on any shoes. She sat down primly on the porch swing next to Phillip.
"I see Phillip is still alive so I am to surmise that you couldn't find it in your heart to shoot him, Da."
Jack laughed.
"No, he told me about Culley's son drinking too much and passing out. I must say you found a rather unique way of dealing with him. Bravissimo, child!"
Zara laughed, "He had it coming. No one messes with a Wolfe!"

Jack stood up and kissed her forehead, chuckling.
"Your mother will pretend to be upset, you know."
"Then best we don't upset her, yes, Da?"
"Agreed."
He tapped his pipe weed into the shrubbery.
"And now I am retiring for the night. Phillip, thank you for seeing her safely home. It's late so why don't you just stay over in the guest room?"
"Thank you, sir. I appreciate that."
"Zara, don't stay up too late."
"I promise, Da. Goodnight."

Zara and Phillip sat on the swing. The moonlight played upon the ocean waters.
She sighed, "I don't think I could ever leave Barbados, Phillip. It's just so beautiful. What about you?"
"I do miss the green fields of England now and then. But then the weather is terrible. Then I think about the blood shed in the civil war and am glad I live here. Although Charles II does seem to have a bawdy court. Such a contrast to the dismal prospects under Cromwell. I'm glad I am here. And El Lobo gives me the freedom to see the world."
"Tell me about the New World--the Colonies."
"It's like England but on the other side of the ocean. We make a run up there about every three months. Captain Harkness takes the molasses and we take back tobacco and woolens. Lots of things like that. The Puritans do like their rum in spite of the sober way they dress. Will Harkness found a market and has made a fortune in it."
"Seems everyone has benefited from it. Da.....Uncle Josiah....even you."
She leaned closer to him.
"Thank you, Phillip, for being there for me. I don't know if I could have handled it by myself. I pride myself on being self-reliant. But this was a bit out of my league."
He laughed. "I think you did quite well for yourself, Miss Zara. But you're welcome."
She laid her head on his shoulder. "Do you realize I have known you all my life, Phillip? I'm grateful you left England to look for Uncle Josiah. I can't imagine my life without you in it."
He brushed the hair from her face and said softly, "You always were a beguiling child, Zara."
She lifted her face to his and whispered, "And I am not a child anymore, Phillip."
"No, you are not. Zara. You are an intriguing young woman."

He kissed her gently and at that moment, Phillip realized that Lenore Culley wouldn't be wearing that ring.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Jack? Is everything alright?" Honour whispered sleepily from the bed.
Jack pulled the blanket down and got into bed.
"Yes, darling. Now go back to sleep."
"Mmm....that's good," she said as she snuggled closer and went back to sleep.
Jack chuckled to himself.
'Everything seems to be going in a way I never expected.'
And with that he snuffed out the candle.


Zara i s now the #5 most read topic on this forum. Way to go, Babycakes! You are kickin' arse and taking names!
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on April 01, 2013, 07:39:37 AM
"Well, where have you been? Your bed hasn't been slept in. Again."
Renee chided her stepson as he walked in the back door.
He yawned and helped himself to a cup of coffee.
"I was helping a friend out last night. She kind of got in over her head in a situation."
"That was very gallant of you."
He took a flask out and added a touch of rum to his coffee, idly stirring it with his spoon.
He gave out a long pent-up sigh. Renee sipped her coffee and watched him over the rim of her cup. She could tell Phillip was perturbed but if she waited long enough, he would be forthcoming in due time. Most of the time he confided in Renee rather than his father.
She pushed a muffin towards him.
"Thank you, Renee, but I am not hungry."
He ran his fingers through his hair.
 
"Renee, have you ever had to do something you know would be best but someone would get hurt?"
"Yes, I have."
She wistfully thought back to the time when she had found that Jack had married Honour in the heat of...whatever heat Jack Wolfe had been in at the time. When Jack came to her to announce his marriage, he had already been married three weeks. But she had known about it within hours after the hasty nuptials. Word traveled fast in Barbados. And when Jack had come to her for solace, she gave him the advice to do right by his wife. It pained her to say it but she vowed never to let Jack Wolfe see how much she cared. How much it hurt her that he could never return her love.
Never mind the fact that when he left, Renee's establishment was a few vases lighter. After all, picking up smashed shards against a wall was therapeutic.
And when he showed up drunk at her door the night he discovered his wife gone, Renee knew that she would never be more than a friend.
A friend with benefits.
 
She shook her head to clear it and bring herself back to the present.
"Does this concern Lenore Culley?"
He nodded his head.
"I don't think I can marry her. Our backgrounds are so different."
"Sometimes opposites attract, Phillip."
"She has money."
"No sin to be rich."
"She's beautiful."
"You will have beautiful children."
"She wants me to quit the sea."
"Men have been known to give it up for their wives."
"Jack Wolfe did. But Father didn't."
"I never demanded it of him."
 
He reached for Renee's hand.
"You are one of a kind, Renee.  Why are you answering all my objections?"
"Because I want you to be sure of this, Phillip."
He took a sip of his coffee as Renee waited for him to talk it through in his own sweet time.
 
"The friend was Zara Wolfe."
"Zara? Oh dear me...what has she gotten herself into now?"
 
Phillip related how Zara could have been in a  bad situation with Tristan Culley and how she managed to get even with him.
"If you hear any repercussions brewing from this, you will let me know, Renee?"
"Wouldn't it be better for Jack to handle this? After all, it IS his daughter."
"No, Jack only knows part of the story. He doesn't know that Tristan tried to drug her. I think we are doing the right thing. Just let me handle it....please?"
She frowned.
"Alright, but if I hear anything that I feel Jack should know, I won't hold back and I will tell him."
"Would you clear it with me first?"
"Yes, I will."
"Thank you."
 
"Are you going to end it with Lenore?"
He sighed. "I think I would be doing her a disservice by marrying her when...."
His voice trailed off.
"When you are in love with another woman?"
His head shot up.
"How...how did you know?"
"The distraction. The questioning. The doubts. But I have a thought  for you to ponder."
"What?"
"Of all the women in the world, why did you have to fall in love with the daughter of Mad Jack Wolfe?"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on May 01, 2013, 08:37:39 PM
Tristan woke up to the light of the full moon. He tried to swallow but his mouth felt like he had swallowed a caterpillar.
Squinting at his surroundings, he shivered against a cold breeze.
The horrible realization came over him that he was covered only with a garment of thin cotton.
Pink.
And smelling of honeysuckle.
Frantically he glanced around, looking for the warm body it belonged to.
But he quickly came to the conclusion that she wasn't there.
Neither were his clothes.

He groaned, between his rapidly spreading headache and the notion that the only way to make it back to the Governor's Mansion was to wear the chemise.
It was that either that or go through the town wearing only what Nature had bestowed upon him.

Gingerly he got up and braced himself against the tree. 'Damn her...DAMN HER! How did she ever figure out....never mind. Just worry about it later. The main thing is to get back home without running into anyone.'

He slipped the chemise over his head and let it slide over his body, the fabric only reaching mid-thigh. 'I swear, if I ever get my hands on her, the draught will have been the least of her worries. Shang-haiing on a ship to the Barbary Coast, suitable punishment for that little tart. Let her try to claw her way out of that one when she is part of a sheik's harem.....'

Tristan looked both ways before he dared to venture out from the cover of the park's trees.
"Oh, you should have seen the tavern wench that was in there tonight..."
He recognized the voices of his two friends. Quickly he ducked to the shadow of the building, sliding down the alleyway. He picked his way from building to building, pausing to check his surroundings for any acquaintances he knew.

"What the hell do ye think ye are doing?"
He looked up to see a fat woman with a rolling pin in her hand.
"No-nothing, Madame. I was just---"
"Ye were 'just' my arse! A peepingTom, that is what ye are! Oi, I saw ye! Sneakin' a peek in the window, hopin' to catch a glimpse of God knows what! ALBERT! ALBERT!!!!"

Tristan took to his heels and sped down the alley way, his new garment flapping in the breeze. He rounded the corner and wiped the sweat away from his brow.

It took Tristan the better part of three hours to finally climb the hill the Mansion stood on. He put his foot on the trellis and hoisted himself up.
"Ow! Ow! Ow!" The roses outside the window of Lenore's room stabbed him at every turn. Finally he reached her window.
Tap! Tap! Tap!
"Lenore? Lenore! Let me in!"
"Huh? Wha--?"
Lenore sleepily raised the window and then covered her mouth as she stifled a laugh. Tristan hoisted one leg and then the other over the sill.
"Pardon me, Miss, but I think you want the room on the left."
"It's not funny, Lenore."
"Well, what happened?"
She tried to hold back her giggles.  She held the chemise out by the hem. "And by the way, that is a stunning shade of pink. It goes well with your complexion."

Tristan stood there with his hands doubled into fists.
"It's that tart. That doxy!"
"What, the one you were so hot after? I'm afraid to ask....but if you ended up with her chemise, what did she end up with? And----where are your clothes?"
"I have no idea."
"What do you mean, no idea? Weren't you awake for it?"
"I don't know WHAT happened. All I know is that I ran into her and we had an ale."
He then blurted out, "How she switched glasses on me, I will never know."
"Switch glasses?"

Tristan had his hand on the doorknob and turned to her as he was walking out.
"I'll change out of this...frou frou. Then I will fill you in on what happened--if I remember it."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"...and that is the when I woke up. Without my clothes, without my boots and without my sword. I swear---"

There was a knock on Lenore's door.
"Who is it?" she called out.
Herndon's voice on the other side asked, "Excuse me, Miss Lenore. I am looking for Mister Tristan. Have you seen him?"
"He's in here, Herndon, having morning coffee."

She opened the door.
"Pardon me, Mister Tristan, but a parcel was delivered to the back door."
He handed the package wrapped in brown paper.
"Thank you, Herndon."
He closed the door with a puzzled look on his face.
"I wonder what it could be?"
"Well, don't just stand there. Open it and find out!"
He ripped the brown paper off.
Inside were his breeches and doublet, accompanied by his hat and any other item of clothing he happened to be wearing. He lifted the shirt out and saw the even slice down the front of the shirt. The breeches and doublet bore the same rent. "What the hell...?"
Lenore picked up a piece of paper that fell out of the folds.
She read, 'If you ever bother the young lady again, I will personally see to it the clothes aren't the only thing that will be sliced. Your sword and boots are at the tavern for you to pick up.'

Lenore looked at carefully.
"It's a man's handwriting. It must be from the young lady's father or brother...or maybe even her lover."
Tristan grabbed the note and read it again.
"This isn't over, Lenore. Not by a long shot."

Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 01, 2013, 07:56:42 PM
"Good morning, Da....Mama!"
Zara waltzed into the kitchen, a smile on her face. She kissed her father on the cheek.
"Isn't it a lovely day?" she beamed as she slid into her chair.
Honour and Jack exchanged amused smiles.
Zara was wearing a new dress of spring green silk, a big bow adorned her hair and curved around her cheek.

"He's not here, Zara," Jack said.
The bow drooped noticeably.
"Oh."

He almost broke out in laughter at her drooping bow. It reminded him of another place and time. A woman named Drusilla with a bow that flew like a pennant above her head.
The disappointment on his daughter's face made him straighten up although he fought the mirth from his smile.
"Phillip left early to take care of some ship's business, dear. He is due to take El Lobo out on the Virginia run this time."
"Will he be gone long?" she tried to casually ask. And failing miserably.
"Six weeks with good weather and a strong tradewind. Eight weeks if there are a few problems."
"Someday, Da, I would like to go. Uncle Will said if I can come, he will have a ball in my honour and introduce me to the upper crust of Jamestown society. Please? May I go just once?"

Honour frowned.
"The sea is a dangerous place, young lady."
"It didn't stop you, Mama."
Jack burst out laughing. "She got you there, darling!"
Honour handed her daughter a basket of muffins.
"What I did out of necessity is not a pleasure trip for you, dear. You never know what danger is lurking out there. What with the Spanish main and all the upheaval in England now. Too many Spanish ships laden with gold and silver. All those pirates and privateers...the ships are just ripe for the pickings. And get that dreamy look off your face, Mad Jack!"

"Daydream? Me? Never!" Jack tried to hide his smile behind his coffee cup.
Zara buttered a muffin.. "I just think there is more to life than Barbados."
Just then there was a cry from the nursery.
Honour got up."I understand, love. I really do. Just don't be in such a hurry to grow up."
She kissed her daughter and left the room.

Jack turned to his daughter. "Now that we are alone, I want to talk to you. the next time you have trouble with a lad to that extent, please talk to me about it. After all, I was young once and know a bit about men and women."
"A bit, Da? I've heard stories."
Jack found himself turning red. "Don't believe all you hear, missy! You don't be getting yourself into a situation like that again."
"I will, Da." She hesitated. "will Phillip be back?" She tried to sound casual.
"I don't know. He pretty much knows the run and I expect he will leave within the week."
Zara stared at her half-eaten muffin, her face registering disappointment. She then stood up.
"I guess I wasn't as hungry as I thought I was." She pushed her chair in. "I'm meeting Sally and we are going to the bazaar. A new shipment of silks are rumoured to be there and the name Wolfe always seems to net me a fine price. Mama promised me a new gown and I get to choose the fabric. Spring, you know!"
She kissed her father and picked up her parasol.  "Tell Mama I will be home before dinner."
"Zara?"
"Yes?"
"Stay away from the tavern for a bit."
She gave him a wink and a wave. "I shall."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on June 01, 2013, 07:57:11 PM
Phillip walked into the tavern, carrying a burlap sack.
"Mornin', Seamus."
Seamus nodded. "Phillip, what have you got there? Cats in a bag?"
Phillip laughed, "No. I want you to do something for me." He slid a few gold coins towards the tavern keeper.
"There will be a lad coming in asking for these--" Phillip handed over a sword and a pair of fairly new boots.
"When he comes in, I want you to get him to tell you what happened. At least the way HE sees it."
 
"Will do, Phillip."
"Now, a nice ale would do. I'll be over at that table."
"Care to tip me off on what this is about?"
"Can't say much but he seemed to try to get into a young lady's pantalets uninvited and she taught him a lesson. He may be out to settle the score. Feel him out and if it is something I should know, tip me off to it."
"Sure thing. Here's your ale."
 
Phillip took a chair with his back to the wall which afforded him a full view of the room and within earshot of Seamus. He didn't have to wait too long. Within twenty minutes, Tristan with a determined stride walked into the tavern and up to Seamus.
"Was a package left here for me?"
Seamus picked up the bag.
"Care to describe said contents?"'
Impatiently, Tristan said, "A sword of Toledo steel inlaid with gold and silver. A pair of boots, hand tooled black leather. Detailed enough for you, man?"

Seamus handed it over. "Close enough, boyo."

 He leaned forward, "That must be some story on how you left your sword and boots behind, boyo. What happened to you?"
 
Tristan's jaw clenched as he began to examine his boots for any damage, such as a prominently placed "Z" cut into the expensive leather. He nodded with satisfaction when he found them to be unmolested. He then paused to see if anyone he knew was in the pub, and to his relief he found no one. Just a couple of sailors gaming at cards at one table, and a man sitting by himself at another, contemplating his mug of ale.

"Just between you and me, Seamus," said Tristan in a low but tense voice, "I got tricked by a little tart who is too clever for her own good."
 
"A smart bloke like you?" asked Seamus. He knew what a glutton for flattery Tristan was. It wouldn't take much to keep the young man talking. "She must be a devious one to get one over on you."
"She's devious, all right. Beautiful and beguiling as well. I do have my standards."
"Aye," Seamus nodded. He had seen some of Tristan's "standards", and it was his opinion that the lad was easily blinded by the alcohol he seemed so very fond of.
"Anyway, I approached her to reconcile a misunderstanding we'd had. Everything was going well, or so I thought. In the spirit of letting bygones be bygones, I poured some wine for the both of us. But she somehow distracted me, and in the process she drugged my wine!"
Seamus feigned astonishment "Did she, now? You're right, she's a schemer, that one!"
 
Tristan was seething as he spun his distorted version of events. "Then, once she was sure I'd been overcome by whatever potion of Morpheus I had been tricked into swallowing, she stole my boots and sword and left me there at the edge of the Common. I am an important man, Seamus! That little minx could have gotten me killed."
 
 "I can see why you'd be angry, lad. What's next for this evil woman what made a fool out of you? Going to have her thrown in gaol?"
 Tristan picked up his sword and slowly turned it over and over in his hands. "No, Seamus. Gaol is so... impersonal. No one plots against me so and gets away with it. I have other plans for her."
Seamus gave him a wary look. "Now, don't go making old Seamus regret he gave you that sword back..."
Tristan laughed wryly and belted on his blade. "Now, Seamus, I may be cross with her, but I'm no savage."
'There's more than a lass or two who'd disagree,' thought the inn keeper.
"Let's just say justice will be served."
"You know me, Tristan. No one on Barbados is safer with a secret than me."
"Trust me," replied the young man, his voice suddenly ice cold. "You don't want to know." But just as quickly as Tristan's had turned frosty, a warm smile broke across his face. "But there is something you can do for me, dear Seamus. I'm in need of a ship's captain. Preferably one who knows the Mediterranean, even the Barbary Coast. My sister will most likely be getting engaged soon, and I would like to surprise her with some fancy silks."

Seamus didn't believe the story about silks any more than he believed Tristan's version of how he had lost his boots. But the young man had quit talking without divulging enough information to do Phillip any good. Seamus wasn't certain why Phillip wanted to know what Tristan was up to, but he surmised it had to do with the mystery girl. He could think of only one way Phillip could get the information he wanted...

"You're in luck, laddy! You see that gent over there sitting by himself?" Seamus jerked a thumb in Phillip's direction.
Tristan nodded in the affirmative.
"He's your man. He's the one you want to talk to."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 01, 2013, 08:48:13 AM
Seamus gave an imperceptible nod to Phillip as Tristan looked away. Phillip nodded subtly back.
Finally Tristan sauntered over to Phillip and held his hand out. Phillip crossed his arms and surveyed him.
"Yeah?"
He withdrew his hand and sat down. Quietly, he said, "Heard you are a captain of discretion."
Phillip blew his cigarette smoke in Tristan's face.
"Maybe."
The pompous young man coughed.
He said, "I have a job for you. Disposing of a person."
"Don't do murder."
Tristan hastily replied, "Oh, I don't want this person killed. I want this person removed from this port."
Phillip looked at him with a jaded eye.
"Removed to...where?"
"Do you go to the Mediterranean?"
"Occasionally." Alright, so it is a lie, Phillip reasoned.
"Barbary Coast?"
He nodded. Tristan jingled a purse filled with gold coins.
"You deal with pashas?"

Phillip felt a knot in his stomach as he was beginning to see where Tristan was heading. Taking in an inaudible breath, he said as calmly as he could, "I've known a few. Silk trade and spices, all that."
Tristan lowered his voice."What about the flesh trade?"
Phillip fixed him with a steely gaze. "Unsavory business."
"Is that a no?"
He shrugged. "What did you have in mind?"

Tristan looked around and motioned Phillip closer.
"There is a young woman--and I won't shed a tear if she happens to disappear."
"You mean you want her shanghaied."
Tristan hefted his purse again. "I can pay handsomely to get rid of the 'problem'. You keep the price you can haggle for her."
"And who might this woman be?"
"Her name is Zara. Comes in heer fairly regularly to study and socialize. I'd like to not see her around here."
"What did she do to you?"
"Drugged me and then robbed me. Loose morals. Will do anything with anyone at any time."

Phillip felt his blood boil.
"So how did you want to go about this?"
"If you meet me here, I will point her out. Then you can take her away. Doesn't have to be the Barbary Coast. Hell, you can gift the crew with her for all I care. As long as she never makes it back here again."

Phillip blew another puff of smoke in Tristan's face.
He coughed.
"Let me think it over."
"There is no 'thinking it over'. If you don't have the stomach for it, I am sure there are plenty who would be willing to---"
"Alright. I'll do it. But this takes a bit of planning."
"But of course."
"Meet me here tomorrow night. We will work out the details. Payment and plan, all of the unnecessary stuff."
Tristan stood up and held his hand out once again.
"You won't regret this profitable enterprise. The young lady is quite beautiful, by the way."
"Uh huh."
He ignored Tristan's handshake once again and the young man dropped his hand down.
"Might I inquire your name, sir? For business purposes only, you understand."
"Cutler. Sam Cutler."
"And your ship is...?"
"The name is good enough for you."
"Tomorrow, then."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on August 01, 2013, 08:36:22 AM
Phillip headed up the hill to Jack's house. He really didn't feel like being the one to tell Jack that his daughter was the intended victim of a dangerous plot. But this went beyond drugging her wine. Her life was in jeopardy.  He knew Jack would know how to handle it.
Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the massive oak door.
"Well, Phillip! Come in, come in!" Mrs Avery exclaimed.
"Hello, Mrs. Avery. Is Jack at home?"
"He's out on the veranda with some business invoices. I do believe Eli is with him."
"I'll see my way back there, thank you."
"And you be stopping by the kitchen on your way out. I have some warm cinnamon buns. Young man like you needs to keep your strength up," she winked.
He grinned, "I'll be there!"
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
"Well, Phillip! Nice to see you." Jack looked up from his invoices. Eli rose and shook his hand. "How goes it, Eli?"
"Couldn't be better, Phillip. We've increased the crop of sugar this year. I think Harkness will be well-pleased. We are shipping him extra barrels of molasses. They will be ready to go when you are."
"How are Mirella and the boys?"
"Just fine Growing like weeds. Mirella is expecting again."
Phillip grinned, "You devil you!" to which Eli blushed happily.
Jack  smiled, "Eli--with Dafydd's help--has really turned this into a profitable business. Along with the horse breeding."
Phillip joked, "Once he stopped twisting his cap to the point where he always poked a hole in it!" Eli laughed but glowed under Jack's praise.
 
The men sat down and exchanged news and niceties, while Jack poured them some rum punch.
"Is Honour about?"
"No, she is at the dressmaker's. Then probably off to buy some boots. I swear that woman has more boots. Always had a penchant for them. I'm afraid Zara is following in her footsteps."
Eli stood up. "I'd better be going. Mirella will have dinner ready."
Jack smiled happily, "Thank you for clearing that invoice up for me, Eli. I didn't know where the extra twenty-five barrels figured in."
Eli shook Phillip's hand again. "Fair winds on the trip, Phillip. I know El Lobo will be in good hands."
 
As they watched Eli leave, Jack smiled, "Yep. Best thing I ever did was pull Eli off the water and set his feet on dry land."
 
Jack lit his pipe and turned to Phillip. "but I am sure you didn't come here to hear me extol the many virtues of Eli Meredith. The look on your face tells me there is a problem. Something with the cargo?"
"Nothing like that. I was contacted by one Tristan Culley."
Jack's eyebrow went up. "Oh? Do tell."
"I took his boots and sword to the tavern and used it as bait. He bit. Seamus the tavern keeper is a good friend. He sent Culley my way with a very interesting business proposition."
Jack was silent as Phillip continued.
"It concerns your daughter."
Jack took a deep puff but Phillip could see his jaw tighten.
 
Jack exhaled the smoke through his nose, and Phillip couldn't help but think he like a brooding dragon. Jack set the pipe down and leaned back in his chair.
"Go on."
Phillip took a deep breath before starting. "You're really not going to like this."
"I already know that, or you would have spit it out long before now. What did clay-brained lout say?"
 
"Tristan was looking to hire a ship. Fortunately, he doesn't know my face. I played along to find out his plan."
"If he learned one thing from his father, it's how to scheme. Just how does he intend to hurt my daughter?"
"Jack, he... he wants her kidnapped, and sent off. To the Barbary coast. And sold into slavery."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on August 01, 2013, 08:37:12 AM
Jack stared at Phillip for what felt to the younger man like a lifetime. Finally, Jack shifted his gaze out over the property. His eyes narrowed.
"Well," he said quietly, "we can't have that."
Phillip waited for him to say something else, but Jack remained silent.
 
His father had told him stories of Jack's exploits, and of his temperament. Of how a situation wasn't truly serious as long as Jack kept talking. Or shouting. But when he fell silent, even the fiercest storm would take pause. Phillip knew his father was exaggerating, as he often did when he spun a tale. But now, Phillip was beginning to doubt it was another exaggeration.
 
Finally, Jack broke the silence.
"Did you discuss a timetable yet?"
"No. I strung him along. I'm supposed to meet with him tomorrow night to talk terms."
"And you're supposed to leave for the Virginia colony in a week, correct?"
"Eight days, yes."
Jack chewed his bottom lip as he thought. "Then tell him that. Make it clear you leave a week from tomorrow. The pig has deep pockets, so make sure you bleed him."
"Fine, I can do that. And in the meantime, you'll spirit Zara off somewhere safe so it makes it look as if I've kidnapped her! Brilliant!"
Jack shook his head. "No. You will kidnap her."
 Phillip's mouth dropped open. "What?! Why?"
"Phillip, you know Zara. There is no possible way to keep her under wraps for more than twenty minutes. An hour or two if you give her a book, maybe."
 
"Are you sure about this, Jack?"
"Tristan Culley throws his father's money about just freely enough to buy a few favours. He'll have people snooping about to make sure Zara really is gone. She is my daughter. If she were to remain here, any ruse would be spoiled in a matter of days and she'd be right back in danger. She needs to be spirited away, as you said. And you're the one who is going to do it."
 
"But, I..."
"No. It's decided." Jack took a sip of his punch, then looked Phillip squarely in the eyes. "I trust you, Phillip. And I would rather she be in your care than trying to lock her away where there's a still a possibility of Culley getting his paws on her. We'll kick up enough of a fuss to convince him we don't know where she is, and that will be easier if we're not the ones trying to hide her. So make doubly sure El Lobo is ship shape and Bristol fashion, mister. Your cargo just got a hell of a lot more precious."
"What about Honour? Will she agree to this?"
Jack sighed. "Eventually. Leave that worry to me."
"And... what about Tristan?"
"Tristan Culley is mine. I'll stop short of mounting his head on the wall. He's not worth the effort to dust."

Phillip managed a smile at the thought of Mrs. Avery taking a feather duster to Tristan's head. But his mood sobered again quickly as he thought about the turn this day had taken.
"Jack, I promise I'll take good care of her. She will be safe, I swear my life on it."
Jack nodded. "Good. I'll hold you to that," he said, with no hint of a smile. "She's my baby, Phillip. She is such a large portion of my world, and of my heart. I can't bear the thought of losing her. It's taking everything I have to entrust her to you. Please do not fail me. Or her."
"You have my word."
"Good. Now, off you go. You have a ship to make ready for a princess. And I have to go explain things to the queen."
 
Phillip nodded, and hastily made his way across the lawn to his horse.
Jack picked up his pipe, and watched as smoke curled upward into the air from its bowl.

"Now then, Tristan Culley. Exactly how shall I make you burn for all this trouble you've brought upon my family?"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on September 01, 2013, 01:36:53 PM
Jack opened the bedroom door.
Honour had a new dress and some fabric lying on the bed. An opened box holding a new pair of boots was on the floor. Well, the box was on the floor but the boots were on Honour's feet as she stood in her chemise with another new dress she was holding up to her.
"Look, darling! I can still fit in the same size even after having Reinette. And look at the new.....oh dear. Are you cross with me for getting another pair of boots?
Jack, these were one of a kind and...... You are really displeased with me."
 
He sighed deeply. "Sweetheart, I have never denied you anything. I think we need to have a bit of a serious talk."
Honour's face was alarmed. "You aren't leaving me, are you? I swear, you always said you wanted a wolfe-pack and I did my best...haven't I? Seven children? Did I ever complain about it? No, I didn't and---"
Jack took both her arms and put them to her side. "It's about Zara."
Honour's face took on a panicked look.
"Zara? Oh no....what has she done?"
"Let's go out on and sit on the balcony for a bit. We have a bit of a....situation."
 Honour felt the blood leave her face.
"Oh no...please tell me she's not....I mean....Jack, I am too young to be a grandmother! Who is it? I swear if it is----"
Jack shook his head.
"No, darling. She's not in the family way. She seems to have 'crossed swords' as it were with a young man and he is out for revenge."
"What? What could Zara have possibly done? Turned him down for tea? Refused to go for a walk with him? What?"
 "It seems that the individual is Tristan Culley and---"
"That rogue? I've seen him in the market. He once tipped his hat to me and leered. He certainly didn't know I was your wife and certainly not Zara's mother. I gave him  a withering look and he turned his attention to someone else."
"Well, it seems Zara is in a bit deeper than that. He's been bothering her. To put it mildly."
 Honour grabbed Jack's rapier.
"Where the hell are you going with that, Honour?"
"To bother Tristan Culley. A bit more than mildly. And slice him neck to nuts."
"You can't do that!"
"Just watch me. That palmetto was nothing."

"Honour, STOP!" Jack voice resonated in Honour's ears just the way it had when he would give the crew orders aboard ship. Despite her anger, she felt compelled to comply.
"No one threatens my child."
"No one threatens OUR child," he replied. "No one raises a hand to my family, ever. This matter will be dealt with, Honour. I promise you that. But not this way. Please, put the sword down and sit with me so we can talk this through."
Honour looked at the blade in her hand, then back to her husband. Reluctantly, she propped the sword against the wall.
"You're right, as usual," she said with a sigh.
"Of course I'm right. Besides, a beautiful woman in nothing but a chemise coming at him with a sword? You'd probably be playing into a fantasy of his. Or one of mine. We'll talk about that later."
Honour sat down on the bed, her face clouded with worry. "This isn't a time for jokes, Jack."

"I know, love. And I'm sorry." He sat down beside her and took her hand. "Honour, things are moving quickly. We have to get Zara out of harm's way as soon as possible, but not in a way that would let Tristan know we're on to his plot."
"You're going to tell me about this plot, right?"
"I'd really rather not get into the details..."
"Yes you would. I know where you sleep and we're in a house full of sharp things."
"Now who is the one making jokes?"
Honour looked at him, with no hint of a smile touching her lips.

"Oh. All right, then. Details." He took a deep breath. "Zara wounded Tristan's pride a bit too deeply."
"How so?"
"She left him unconscious near the town commons, wearing nothing but, um... her chemise."
"What?! I mean, I like her style, it sounds like something I would have done. But does this mean they were.... you know..." She felt sick as she tried to fend off the thought of her daughter lying with that scoundrel.
"No, nothing like that. He was drunk, made a fool of himself with her, and passed out. She thought it was time to teach him a lesson."
" And being a Culley, he can't leave well enough alone. What does he plan as his revenge? Please, Jack. Tell me the truth."
"Well, love, you're right. His plan is over the top. He... he wants Zara gone. Spirited away. Permanently."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on September 01, 2013, 01:37:42 PM
Honour sat there, trying to process all that Jack was telling her.
"He wants her....dead?"
"Not exactly. He plans to send her to the Barbary Coast."
Honour whispered, "That bastard. That bloody bastard. Jack...how did you find all this out?"
"From Phillip. He was the one who helped her that night. Saw that she arrived home safely."
"God bless him. He always looked out for Zara like a sister."

"He did some reconnaissance work and found out what Culley was up to. Honour, darling, I know that you won't like what I am suggesting but we need to get Zara out of here for a bit."
"Oh no, Jack. There is no way I am sending her to a convent. You get rid of that idea right now."

"Darling, I think it would be best to put Zara under the protection of Phillip."
"What? Jack, are you out of your mind?"
"What do you mean?"
"An attractive, dashing man like Phillip and an impressionable girl like Zara?"
"Honour, get that thought out of your head. She will be safe with him."
Honour stood up and paced. "I was sixteen once. For goodness sake, Jack, I was married at seventeen and a widow at eighteen. A bride again and a mother all before I was twenty."

"She won't be with Phillip all the time. I want to send her to Virginia on this next voyage. Phillip will look out for her and deliver her over to Will Harkness for a while. I am willing to have Phillip stay with them to keep an eye on her so she doesn't give the Colonial boys  collective heart attacks. And you know how Will feels about Zara. The daughter he never had. He's always spoiled all the girls but Zara had the edge. It may be good for her to see a bit of the world. It wouldn't be for more than three months. The next shipment won't be ready till then and when Phillip comes back, I will have Josiah take the next run."

"Jack, have you noticed the way Zara looks at him?  He may care for her like a sister, but I don't think she sees him in a brotherly light."
He nodded. "I've noticed. Not something I've dwelt on, for my sanity's sake."
"Are you sure the is no other way to protect her?"
"I'm positive. I would never have suggested it if I wasn't. Honour, I don't like this any more than you do. But that Culley brat has forced us into this situation. You know keeping Zara under wraps here would be next to impossible. It would be only a matter of time before Tristan got his hooks into her. Sending her off with Phillip will let Culley think he's won."
"Then what?"
"Once he's become complacent, he will be dealt with. He thinks he's ready to play a man's game. I'll be the one to show him how it's played."

Jack caressed Honour's cheek. "I know it's not a perfect solution, love. But I trust her to be safer with Phillip than I can hope to provide for her here. I let him know that I'm not putting my faith in him lightly. And he understands."

"I think we need to invite Renee and Josiah over with Phillip. We need a plan to pull this off. Renee can help spread the word about Zara disappearing. Nothing spreads gossip quicker than at a sporting house."
Honour sighed. "Zara always never thinks out the consequences of her actions. She should have just come to you, Jack. You would have made it right before it got too far."

In a small voice, she whispered, "Jack, promise me we can get her away before Tristan Culley can hurt her."
"She will be safe. I promise you that. To be sure, we will have Simon and Geordie watch her as bodyguards. Unbeknownst her Zara, of course. They can blend anywhere and if Culley makes one move in her direction, they will put the hurts to him. But there is one thing."
"What is that?"
"To make it real, we have to stage an actual kidnapping."
Honour looked puzzled at him.
"How do you plan on doing that?"
"Phillip will go through it with actually kidnapping her. I say he whisks her away from a public place. Zara can be at the tavern studying. Philip somehow calls her over and she leaves her books on the table, never to return for them. Of course, her clothes will be packed in a trunk and already on board El Lobo."
"I'm sure Zara can pull off the kidnapping. If the theatre wasn't such a disreputable environment, she would have made it big on the stage. She would give Nell Gwyn a run for her money."
"Well, it's a good thing she is in Barbados. Charles II has a penchant for actresses. Nell Gwyn....Moll Davis...."
"Well, he can forget about adding Zara Wolfe to the list."

"Don't frown so, darling. She will be alright."
Honour felt her eyes filling with tears.  In a small voice, she said, "She's still my little girl, Jack."
He held her hand.  "I know, sweetheart. And if I had any doubt on the success of this, I never would go through with it. But Phillip as taken this run at least half a dozen times before. He stays in the main shipping lanes and no one has ever bothered El Lobo."
"I suppose we need to sit Zara down and tell  her the consequences of her actions. I wish she wasn't so impetuous, Jack. There were a few times that a few mothers would stop me at the bazaar and tell me how Zara broke their sons's hearts."
"I've never seen any of these young men come courting."
"They were intimidated by you."
"ME?"
"If you were a young man, wouldn't YOU be afraid of you?"

Jack chuckled. "I guess Zara will have to find a man who is older and self-confident."
They both looked at each other. Jack coughed slightly. "Yes, well, I guess I will have to have a talk with Phillip before the leave."
Honour nodded. "Yes, and the sooner the better."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 01, 2013, 12:09:39 PM
"Zara, look at this! The silk is wonderful!"
Zara picked it up and hefted it in her hands, running her fingers over it.
"The colour is beautiful." She held it up to her face. "Do you think it goes well with my eyes?"
Sally laughed, "You know it does!"
"I need something for my cousin Morwenna's wedding."
"The silk is just perfect for a new dress. Has she set a date yet?"
"As far as I know, it will be sometime in the fall."
Suddenly she stopped. "Sally...do you ever get the feeling we are being watched?"
Sally looked up from inspecting the tatted lace.
"What? Why do you say that?"
"Oh....just a feeling I get. I really need to replace that chemise."
Sally giggled. "And send the bill to Tristan Culley!"

Zara snapped her fingers. "What a perfectly marvelous idea!"
She sighed. "But I am sure he won't pay it."
Sally shook her head. "Zara, I don't know how you get away with half the things you do. Or even how you think up these things."
Zara said dreamily, "Let's just say I was inspired to get out of my chemise."
"What?"
"Oh...never mind."

They walked a bit towards a vendor selling cakes. Zara bought one for each of them.
Casually she asked, "What do you think of Phillip Briggs?"
"That wonderful example of what a man should look like? I think he is devastatingly handsome."
"Isn't he though?"
"Too bad he is old. I heard that he has been courting Lenore Culley."
Zara drew herself up. "Well...I don't hear any wedding bells, do you?"
Sally dropped the shawl she was looking at.
"What has you in such a snit fit? Oh, don't tell me! You fancy the dashing Mister Briggs!"
Zara retorted, "Don't be ridiculous. He's an old family friend."
She stopped suddenly. "Did you hear that?"
"Hear what?"
"Nothing, I guess. Just a feeling. Come on, let's get some tea and then I need to head home."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After dinner, Jack motioned to Zara.
"Your mother and I need to have a talk with you. Let's take our dessert out to the verandah."
Zara thought, 'Uh oh...this is never good.'
"Is this about my studies, Da? I know I have a bit of trouble with the reading of the stars. But I think in another month I will have it down pat."

Honour sat down on the chaise, looking to be on the verge of tears.
"Mama...? Is everything alright? Da..? Tell me nothing is wrong."
"Nothing that can't be fixed, Zara. First I need to know how you got yourself into a situation with Tristan Culley to the point that he was wearing your chemise."

Zara looked down. "He put some white powder in the wine he bought for me. He then tried to get me away from the cafe. I went with him because I saw what he had done and I quickly switched the glasses. Before we reached the lane by the harbour, he passed out. Mama, if I hadn't switched the glasses..."
Jack asked, "Darling, if he was bothering you, why didn't you come to us?"
"Because I was able to handle him. I wanted him to know he can't trifle with a Wolfe and I wanted to teach him a lesson he wouldn't soon forget."
Honour spoke up, "I can't say I blame you. And I must say that I may have done the same thing, considering the circumstances."
Her mind drifted back to a time in St Lawrence when she also taught a cruel captain a lesson he never forgot. Or forgive.

Jack said gently, "Darling, I am afraid young Culley didn't take kindly to your lesson. In fact, Phillip found out a few things."
Zara looked puzzled. "How?"
"It seems Phillip sent Culley a note to pick up his effects and a message warning him to leave you alone. Seamus the barkeep was in on it and steered Culley towards Phillip who was waiting it out. I'm afraid that Culley is arranging with Phillip to have you shanghaied to the Barbary Coast where young ladies of your beauty are sold to Arabian pashas."
"WHAT?" she practically shouted. "That low down...that...that...!"
Honour fought back her tears.
"Your father and Phillip have devised a plan but it has to be handled just right."
Jack continued, "Phillip is going to go along with the plans and kidnap you. But instead of the Barbary Coast, he will take you with him to the run up to Virginia where the two of you will spend a bit of time with Will. The voyage will take about three weeks, then you can spend two months there. By the time the two of you come back, the situation will have resolved itself."
"But...how?"
"You leave that to me."

Honour spoke up, "Meanwhile you have to carry on as though everything was normal. Your father has arranged for Simon and Geordie to watch over you. In the next few days, we will pack your trunk and anything you want to take with you. I suggest you take your astronomy books to study. Phillip can tutor you."
Jack continued, "When the time is right, Philip will kidnap you but the ship won't sail till the next day to avert any suspicions it was El Lobo you were on. Ships come and go in this port and even if Culley decided to check with the dock master, he won't see El Lobo on the list.

Honour started to cry. "Oh, sweetheart. I will miss you so much."
Zara hugged her mother. "Mama, I am so sorry. But I will be back before you know it. I'd better see what I want to take."
"Zara? Not a word to Sally or your other friends."
"Da...are you going to kill Tristan Culley?"
"No, darling. I won't kill him."

As Zara left the room, Honour said, "You won't kill him?"
"No, I won't."
"Then you are a better person than I am, Jack."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 01, 2013, 08:08:51 PM
Honour knocked softly on the door.
"Come in."
Zara had been gazing out the bay window at the ocean.
"Are you alright, darling?"
Zara nodded.
"Mama, I can't believe that Tristan would resort to such drastic measures."
"You wounded his pride, dear. Publicly. Men are prickly about things like that."
"But it was just to teach him a lesson. I meant no harm. It was just a prank."

Honour smoothed the hair from her daughter's face. "I wish there was another way to handle it.."
"But I will be alright, won't I? After all, I will be with Phillip."
Honour nodded. "I know. But we need to have a mother and daughter talk. About this situation."

Zara could feel a blush on her face.
Honour continued, "Darling, I know what it is like to be your age and in love."
"Like you were with Da."
She smiled, a hint of melancholy behind it. "Your father is my soul mate, darling. Always has been, always will be. But I was in love with a man at sixteen. He was my first love."
"Mama, I thought it was always you and Da."
She shook her head.
"Some things we leave in the past but they are always there, sweetheart. I met Rhys when I was ten and he was twenty. He was a man of the sea."
"Like Da?"
"Yes."
"In other words, a pirate. Mama!"

Honour laughed. "Alright, so he was a pirate. He was a friend of your father's and saved his life a couple times."
"Where is he now?"
Honour's face grew sad. "He passed away, Zara. Some years ago."
"Did he introduce you to Da? Is that really how you met?"
She shook her head. "Rhys told me if I was ever in trouble, to go to his friend Jack Wolfe. When Rhys died, I needed a fresh start so I sailed to Barbados and found your father. We fell in love and got married."

"Mama....is Rhys....I mean, you said you were in trouble."
Honour looked shocked but then laughed softly, "No, Zara. Rhys is not your father. You are Mad Jack's daughter through and through."
Zara hugged her mother. "I'm glad. I can't imagine having any other father!"
Honour grew serious. "And now we need to have a serious talk. You will be on the ship with Phillip for quite a bit of the time. While he is a very attractive man, I expect good behaviour out of both of you. While you are en route to Virginia, Phillip will help you with your studies. When you get to Virginia, he will turn you over to Uncle Will.  He has things to do in port, arranging the sale and storage of the molasses and anything else your father wants to distribute to the colonies."
Honour then smiled, "I am sure by then Phillip will be glad to relinquish his responsibilities to Will."
Zara's head snapped up and then she saw the twinkle in her mother's eyes. Zara laughed. "I'll behave, Mama. I promise. On ship and in Virginia."

Honour hugged her daughter. "Your brothers are with Uncle Duckie for the summer and the twins are with Aunt Megan it seems most of the time. So it will mostly be just Rennie, your father and me. My, how quiet the house will be!"
"Will Da have things fixed by the time I get home?"
"I guarantee it, love. If he wasn't sure, he would never let you come back to this...mess. I don't know what he has planned, but  he is always fair."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 02, 2013, 07:45:01 PM
Honour was placing flowers on the table, a worried frown on her face.
Jack came behind her and put his arms around her, drawing her close to him.
"All the turmoil here and you still try to make the place beautiful."
She turned to face him.
"Force of habit," she managed to smile. He smoothed her hair back from her face.
"Everything will be fine, Honour. I promise."
"I'll be glad when Josiah, Phillip and Renee get here. The sooner all the plans are set, the sooner I can breathe a little easier."
"You have the baby and the other kids to worry about. You let me worry about Zara."
"Are you worried?"
"No, I'm not."
"I can't help it, Jack. She's still my baby."
He said softly, "I know. Where is she now?"
Upstairs trying to decide what to pack. I think she is looking at this as an adventure."
"Like her mother would?" he smiled.
She kissed Jack. "I suppose so. There's the bell, it must be our dinner guests. Would you get the door, please?"

Jack opened the door to the three of them. Renee breezed by Jack.
"Where is my baby?"
"Upstairs with Honour."
"Then you know where I will be. Ta!"
"Gentlemen? To the verandah for brandy and smokes."

Settling back in the chair, Jack asked, "Has there been any backlash? Any rumours?"
Josiah shook his head. "Haven't heard any, but then I haven't been to the taverns and of course I stay out of Renee's business."
Phillip spoke up, "Tavern talk but not much. Just that Tristan Culley was seen walking naked through the town. A prostitute kicked him out for non-payment. I suppose that is preferable to walking home in a lacy, pink chemise."
"Any word on repercussions?"
They both looked at each other. "Not that we have heard."

Jack drew a deep breath. "It figures. The more devious, the more no one knows."
Josiah asked, "How is Zara taking all this?"
"I think in a way she sees this as an adventure. We need to emphasize to her how serious this is. I've thought all this out and we need all the pieces to fall into place so we can pull this off successfully."
"What do you have in mind for Culley?"
Jack took a puff on his pipe.
"Not quite sure yet, but the punishment will fit the intended crime."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The dinner plates were cleared off. Jack dismissed the kitchen staff for the evening.
"Let's all take our dessert out to the verandah. What we have to say, I don't want the staff to hear."
Honour had put the baby to bed and joined them on the verandah. Drinks were poured but Honour sipped lemonade.
"Please, Da, may I have a brandy?"
Jack relented and poured her a small glass. Then he began.
"Zara, I hope you realize the seriousness of what has happened. If Phillip had not the forethought to engage Seamus in the plans and hatched the scheme, we may well be missing one daughter to a fate no young woman would ever deserve."

She hung her head down. She said humbly, "I am so sorry, everyone. It wasn't my intention to inconvenience anyone."
Jack continued, "What I have to say will be held in strictest confidence. I am reluctant to burden you, Honour, with all the details but you need to have peace of mind. Josiah, you already know as my best friend. Renee, you have your ears to the ground so you can tell us what is the local gossip. Speculations. Phillip? Have you made any arrangements with Tristan Culley yet?"
"No, I am to meet him at the tavern tomorrow with the price of his blood money and provide him with an outline of what will happen. I've no doubt he will be waiting in the shadows to see his diabolical plot unfold."
"Phillp, meet with him and bleed the pig dry for what you can get. Split the money between you and Zara and have a good time at Culley's expense. Tomorrow I will go to the dock master- Edward is his name. He's an old friend of whom I have done favors for. He will register a fictitious ship--the Neptune's Trident--and it will be captained by Captain Samuel Cutler, scheduled to depart on the 23rd.
On the 22nd, Tuesday, Zara will be at the tavern. A note will be passed to her from Seamus, asking her to meet someone. Zara, you will leave your books, go out to the front of the tavern and head towards the port.  Simon and Geordie will be watching and protecting you.
Phillip, don a disguise or at least cover your face. As Zara passes the old warehouse, you will grab her and she will struggle. By this time, Culley will be satisfied is plot is working. Simon and Geordie will accost him if he tries to follow. Phillip will carry you to El Lobo. Your trunks will be there--"
"--along with your schoolbooks---" Honour added.
"---and you will stay there overnight and El Lobo will sail off to Virginia with the first tide on the 24th. I'll be on board to see you off. Checking to make sure the plans have all come together."

"Da, I'm scared."
"I know, sweetheart, but you have my very best men as bodyguards and who else but Phillip would I trust to carry you off?"
Renee added, "Anything you want me to do, Jack?"
"Yes. In about a week, word may stat to circulate that Zara Wolfe is gone. We may have to float the rumour that her parents think she ran off with a boy she had been forbidden to see.
Of course, Tristan Culley will have a private laugh, thinking he knows better."
Josiah asked, "Have we covered everything?"
"I think so. Anything you want to add, Phillip?"
"No. Except that I want you and Honour to know Zara is in capable hands. I will make sure she studies and I will keep her safe. Then we can turn the visit to Will into a holiday."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on January 01, 2014, 08:41:05 AM
Phillip had taken a seat with his back to the wall in the tavern. Seamus had aptly named it  the Sahara. He idly ran his finger over his tankard of ale when his mark had sauntered in. Catching Phillip's eye, he headed over to him.

"Ready to discuss the details of our venture, Cutler?"
"That's Captain Cutler to you."
Tristan nodded. "Understood, Captain. May I get you an ale?"
He nodded. "Two ales here, barkeep."

Seamus came over with the ales, Tristan giving him a few extra coins. He added, "For your trouble. And we are not to be disturbed."
Phillip replied, "We are discussing the price of some silks."
"And what goes in them," Tristan smirked.
Phillip kicked him in the shins under the table.
"OW!"
Phillip leaned forward and hissed, "Are you crazy? Keep your voice down, you idiot."
Tristan's face turned red with rage but he fought for control. He was too enmeshed into the plot to risk angering the captain.

"So....what is the price to get rid of the problem?"
"One hundred reales."
"WHAT? Are you crazy?"

Phillip sat back and lit his black cigarette, blowing smoke in Tristan's face once again.
"You're in too deep to just walk away, Culley. I have the ship, I have the reliability and I have the plans to dispose of the problem.  Are you also willing to risk that I may have people who just might drop a word or two around port on what happened to said damsel?"
"You blackmailing me, Cutler?"
"Oh.....blackmail is such a nasty word. Let's say I am being practical. You have a problem, I have the means to make the problem go away.  I advertise quick and discreet solutions. So that is my price. One hundred reales."

Tristan mopped his brow. "I don't HAVE Spanish reales.  I am about fifty short."

Phillip leaned forward. "Let me lay out what you are getting for that price. You are getting personalized service. Discreet, personalized service. That is worth one hundred reales. But I'll tell you what. I like you. I like your...ingenuity. Your style. How about fifty reales and  the rest in English pounds? Being Culley's son, I am sure you can lay your hands on it."
Tristan nodded. "Alright. Do we have a deal?"
He stuck his hand out to shake Phillip's but all he got was a face full of smoke.

Phillip leaned back. "You can leave the money with Seamus. He knows that if he steals as much as one real, I'll slice him like a sturgeon. Have it here no later than 5 PM."
Tristan sat down. "How do you intend to go about it?"
"That's for me to know. If I catch you within one hundred yards of the Sahara, I'll  slice you from stem to stern. Because---" he motioned Tristan closer, "---dead men tell no tales."

Tristan got up to leave. "Then I trust by Wednesday, the problem will be eliminated?"
"Tuesday night, the problem will be contained and by Wednesday it will be removed."
Tristan put his hat on.
"One thing," Phillip said.
Tristan turned, "What's that?"
"Your cloak. Consider it what the French call 'lagniappe'."
"You--you want my cloak?"
"Call it a gesture of good faith. A bonus for a job well done. And compensation for having you pay in those damn English pounds. They don't spend as quickly in the Caribbean."
"But this cloak is the finest wool from Scotland. It cost me deep in the purse. And it's lined, too."
"Hand it over.  It's a down payment that you won't welsh out on the deal."

Tristan and Phillip locked eyes. Finally Tristan took off the cloak.
"Alright. But it is so last year's, you know."
"Nancy-boy," Phillip muttered.
"What?"
"Nothing. Hand over the sword, too."
"Now, wait a minute! This is Toledo steel!"
"Leave it. Or I tell a few people what you have planned and being the protectors of women, they won't take kindly to that."

Tristan felt his face grow red but he finally unsheathed the sword.
"Great. Now you are letting me walk without a weapon through the town."
"At least I didn't leave you with a chemise."
"How--how did you hear about that."
"Thanks for the sword. Now---'Ta. That means get lost and leave the money with Seamus."
Tristan gathered what was left of his pride and left the tavern.

Phillip turned the sword over in his hands.
"Yep. Toledo steel. Silver with a basket of inlaid gold. Suitable gift for a wolf-pup, I'd say."
He stood up, picking the cloak up and held it up to the tavern light.
"And just her colour, too."

He walked out, whistling a tune as he left the Sahara for the night.

Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on February 01, 2014, 05:51:39 PM
Phillip drew a deep breath as he knocked on the massive oak door. This was what he dreaded. Facing Lenore.
"Good evening, Mister Briggs."
"Hello, Herndon. Would you please tell Miss Lenore I am here?"
"Certainly. Please wait in the parlour."

Phillip walked into the room to wait. He really wasn't in the mood to be there. But Lenore needed to know the plans. He glanced over to the decanter on the buffet and helped himself to some brandy.
'Not as good as Jack's but then, why would he have something that good?'
He walked over to the small table near the overstuffed chair. 
A few miniatures. He picked up the one of Lenore.
A beautiful woman with cascading auburn hair. The artist caught the haughtiness in her face. The next miniature was of Tristan. Dark and brooding.
Putting the two portraits together, there was nothing to indicate that they were related.

Herndon entered the room and cleared his throat.
Phillip turned.
"Miss Lenore said to make yourself comfortable and she will be with you shortly."
"'Shortly' can range from a few minutes to an hour, Herndon."
"Miss Lenore has never felt bound by the hands of a clock,” said Herndon, the ghost of a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.
“A world of truth there, mate.” Phillip regarded the miniatures again. “Since we have time on our hands, I was wondering... For sister and brother, Lenore and Tristan don’t share much resemblance.”
“It’s not my place to discuss family matters, Mister Briggs.”
“Yes, but...?”
Herndon shifted his feet as he looked at the mantle clock. “Miss Lenore never told you? About Tristan?”
“She rarely speaks of her brother.”
“Half-brother, sir.”
Phillip’s eyes went wide. “Half? I never even knew the governor remarried.”
“He did, ever so briefly.” Herndon cleared his throat again before continuing. “After Miss Lenore’s mother died, the governor became rather taken with a woman of... central European persuasion, shall we say.”
“Central European? Which country?”
“None specifically, sir. If you get my meaning.”

Phillip chuckled. “Well, that old dog. He fell for a gypsy, eh?”
“Regrettably, yes.”
“But you said only briefly. Did she pass on in childbirth?”
“No, sir. You might say she moved on. A permanent residence did not agree with her nature.”
"Tristan looks like trouble."
“He has always been impulsive, much to his father’s dismay.”
Phillip could see how these events could have shaped Tristan into the reckless, arrogant bully he was now. But it did not help to engender any sympathy.

Herndon poured himself a glass of sherry.
"Ah yes....beautiful thing, tall and lithe with long dark hair and the most incredible golden-brown eyes. She was quite striking. And quite light-fingered if you catch my meaning."
"She stole?"
"In a matter of speaking. The Governor did quite a bit of entertaining. And there for a while, the female guests would miss a bracelet here, a necklace there. A ring or two. Of course, no one would ever dare accuse the wife of the Governor. It was written off to maybe a servant or a loose clasp. Why, once Henry Morgan--the privateer--came to one of the soirees and was missing his gold cigarette case. He thought he mislaid it on the terrace. However, once she left, the clasps were somehow made better and the servants stayed the same."

"Where did he meet her?"
"On a trip to France. In the Basque region. He was on an official trip and came home with a wife."
"Well, I'll be damned!"
"Drina was her name. After Tristan was born, she exhibited signs of restlessness. She would go walking in the woods alot. And then one day....gone. The Governor made every effort to find her but never did. Somehow I think that Tristan exhibits the same recklessness, the same wantonness that she did. But she was a beautiful lady."

"'Beautiful lady'. Were you talking about me?" Lenore smiled as she descended the stairs.
She came down the stairs with her head held  high, a dimpled smile graced her face.
She held her hands out.
"I just received an invitation for us to a dinner in honour of the Duke of Cumberland when he arrives next week."
"Next week? When did this come about?"
"I told you, Phillip, that he was gracing us with his presence to inspect the colony. He and my father are meeting to discuss the matter of trade within the colonies and England and what is impeding them. Dare I say...pirates?"
Phillip felt the colour rise in his cheeks.
Lenore drew out her fan and waved it in front of her face. "But you don't have a thing to worry about., seeing that you are a merchantman. And the dinner will be ever so much fun."
"I won't be here."
"What do you mean, you won't be here?"
"I have to sail out in two days."
"TWO DAYS? You were supposed to sail in two WEEKS!"
"We have cargo that can't wait."
"Oh? And what cargo is that?"
"Oh...peaches....honey....sugar...."
"And they can't wait?"
"The cargo is....extremely fragile. Jack wants me to personally see it to Virginia."
"And what am I supposed to do until you get back? Knit?"
"Of course not. You can find an escort and go to the social events until I come back."
"Find an escort? Like you expect me to hire a man to accompany me?"
"No, I meant....I don't know what I meant. Can't you go by yourself?"
"By MYSELF?"
"Maybe you can accompany your father."
"When we started seeing each other, I said 'goodbye' to going by myself."
"Well, I'm sorry but this is an expedited run. Jack has some cargo he has to get out of here in a hurry."
"The hell with Jack Wolfe. Have your father go."
"It's my turn. Lenore, be reasonable."
"No, YOU be reasonable. When we are married, I expect this to change. Even if you have to find another vocation."

He sighed, got up to leave and bent to give her a kiss. Lenore turned her head and said tightly, "By the time you come back, I fully expect us to make an announcement."
He said nothing, put his cavalier hat on and walked out the door.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on March 01, 2014, 07:25:46 PM
Zara came into the parlour. Jack and Honour had been talking in low voices, Honour twisting a handkerchief in her hands. Zara could see that she had been crying.
Taking a deep breath, she said, "Mama...Da...I think this is it."
Jack rose and put his arms on his daughter's shoulders.
"It will be alright, Zara. Phillp will take good care of you."
She nodded, her eyes filling with tears. She laid her head on Jack's chest and started to cry.

"Oh, Da.....I'm scared."
"Don't be, darling. Just do what we planned. Take your books and sit at the far end table in the tavern. I know it will be hard but try to study. Simon and Geordie will be there for back up for Phillip. They won't take their eyes off you. And Phillip has McDowell  helping him. I am willing to bet that Tristan Culley and maybe even a few of his friends will be there to watch the drama.  Just act normal and when they grab you, put up a struggle and they will whisk you away. I know Culley wont' dare follow."
Honour spoke up, "Your trunks are already down on the ship. The ship will be sailing on Wednesday so Culley will think you left on any ship sailing out on Tuesday. El Lobo will be blameless."

Zara ran to her mother and the two hugged, both of them crying.
"Oh, darling....."
Zara cried like she hadn't since she was a little girl.
"I--I know I will be alright. Phillip will take care of me."
Honour looked into her daughter's eyes and said, "Remember all that we talked about. You take care. I think this will be the longest four months of my life."
She picked up Zara's shawl and wrapped it around her.
"You will always be my baby, Zara."

Jack said quietly, "Zara, darling, it is time to put this plan in motion. Here's your books and now go to the tavern. Simon and Geordie are here now. They will follow you to make sure Culley hasn't any other plans. Then they will report back to me to tell me you are safe. I'll be on El Lobo right before she sails to make sure you are tucked away safe."

She picked her books up and wrapped her shawl closer to her as if for protection. She was trembling but she said bravely, "I will be alright. After all, I am the daughter of Mad Jack Wolfe and Lady Conaway!"

The front door closed after her and Honour dissolved into tears in Jack's arms.
He stroked her hair and said quietly, even though he was fighting his emotions.
"She's right, you know. She has Wolfe and Conaway blood. A deadlier combination never existed before."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The wind was picking up and whipping Zara's hair around her face. The clouds reached around the moon like icy fingers. The trees were bending down. For some reason, the port never seemed so sinister. She shifted her books as she clutched her cloak around her.
She whispered to the trees in the lane, "Simon? If you are there, please give me a sign. Perhaps the whip-poor-will call that you taught me as a child. Because, Simon, I am really scared."
From the trees in the lane, the call came. Zara answered with her own and Simon called back again.
She whispered, "Thank you."
From the trees whispered back, "You're welcome."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on April 01, 2014, 08:27:23 AM
The lights of the tavern were bright as Zara sat down and put her books on the table. She remembered to take her old books. The current ones were packed in her trunk on El Lobo.
Seamus came over, concern in his eyes. " 'ello, Miss Zara. What can I get you?"
She looked up into his face, understanding written there.
"Hello, Seamus. I'd like an ale, please."
He laughed, "Miss Zara, your father would not approve."
"I know. But I think I deserve one now."
He imperceptibly nodded and touched her hand gently, giving her a reassuring pat.
She opened her books and tried to concentrate. As Seamus brought back her ale, he pressed a note into her hand as he handed her the tankard.
She opened it and read, "Don't worry. He's here."

 Zara sat at the table for the next hour as was the plan.
She found it hard to concentrate, her hands trembling as she held her books and tried to concentrate on  reading.
At the predesignated time, Zara gathered her books. She pulled her cloak  around her and shifted the books in her arms as she clutched them to her.

Trying to keep her voice from shaking, she called out, "Enough studying for tonight, Seamus. I'm heading home."
He looked up, trying to convey a silent look of support.
"Good night, Miss Zara. Pleasant dreams."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on April 15, 2014, 11:43:44 AM
Tristan Culley wiped his sweating palms on his breeches for the third time as he watched from a cramped table in a dark corner of the tavern. When would Zara finally get her nose out of that book and leave? He had been looking forward to this night. Sweet revenge on that little minx would at last be his! His emotions swung between giddiness about her impending fate and worry that something would happen to spoil it all.

He started to take another sip of his drink, only to discover his cup was empty once again. But as he raised his hand to get a the attention of a server, Zara rose from her table, collected her books, and walked out of the tavern. Tristan tried to contain his excitement as he stepped away from his own table and slipped outside through a rarely used narrow side door. Quickly and quietly, he made his way round the building and fell in behind Zara at a discreet distance.

She was taking her normal route home, one that would take her past some old warehouses. That was where he had recommended Cutler grab her. It would not be long now, and Tristan would get to see his plan unfold. He kept to the shadows and waited as Zara turned the corner. As he stepped into the lane to continue following her, two rough looking men stepped out of the shadows as well. And they weren't interested in Zara.

“Oi, where you off to, mate?” ask one.
“Enjoying the night air, same as you. Now, step aside,” ordered Tristan.
“Nah, don’t feel much like steppin’,” said the second man. The moonlight glittered off what appeared to be a large knife. “But I do feel like takin’.”
Tristan was growing angrier by the second, but fear of the sailor’s long knife was taking hold quickly. “I said, let me by. You don’t want the kind of trouble I can cause for you.”
“Half a mo’,” said the first man. “I seen your face before. You’re the gov’ner’s son, ain’t you?”
“Yes, and now that you’ve come to your senses, I’ll be going---”
Tristan’s words were cut short by the sound of a pistol cocking.
“Not till you’ve handed over your money, mate,” said the first.
“And maybe not even then, since you’re the gov’ner’s boy,” added the second.

Tristan listened to their words, and did what any half-drunk young man of privileged upbringing when confronted with a threat would do. He turned tail and ran for his life.

Once the young Culley had scrambled out of sight down the cobblestone lane, Davis and McGlynn burst out in laughter.
“We threw one hell of a scare into that brat, didn’t we?” chortled McGlynn.
“You almost scared me with that ‘knife’ of yours,” laughed Davis.
“What, this? Funny how a little shadow and moonlight can make an old steel bar play tricks on you, if you polish it enough!”
“Well, we’ve taken care of that pup,” Davis said. “We should catch up to Zara. She should almost be at the lane by now...”
 
As Zara walked past the end of the lane that led to the Wolfe estate, she heard a rustling behind her. She fought the urge to run. Suddenly she felt herself being grabbed from behind, a hand clamped over her mouth. The smell of leather filed her nose and a whisper as soft as a breeze, "It's me."
 
As planned, Zara struggled and lashed out with a kick
"Watch the aim, darlin'," Phillip dodged her kick. She struggled more." Good job, sweetheart. Keep it up," he said softly.
Another set of hands threw a hood over her. "McDowell here, Zara." he barely whispered in her ear.
Just before the hood went over her face, Phillip spun her around and their eyes met. He had on a hat pulled low and a kerchief covering the lower half of her face.
Their eyes met for a brief moment.In Zara's eyes, Phillip saw the heartbreaking mixture of fear and something else he didn't expect.
Trust.
Total trust.
 
Suddenly she found a rope being tied around her arms, pinning them down to her side but gently tied.She did have room to move but to all intents and purposes, it looked like she was incapacitated. She felt herself being lifted and flung over the shoulders of a man.
He whispered, "Now go limp. Pretend you have fainted. Easier to carry you that way."
She let herself go as Phillip carried her towards the docks.

As she was being carried up the gangplank of El Lobo del Mar, she felt her head being bumped along the pouch and belt that Phillip had around his waist.
"Oof! Oof!  Oof!" punctuated each step.
"Sorry, Zara," he whispered.
"It's alright. I know we are almost there."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on April 30, 2014, 11:52:12 PM
He set her down on the deck and McDowell whipped the hood off her face. Her hair was tangled and her face was sweaty from the cloth enclosing her.
"Sorry about that, Zara," McDowell said as he sliced quickly through the ropes.
She rubbed her arm to get the circulation back. "That's alright, McDowell."
She looked around at a few of the faces she recognized. A minimal crew was on board until they sailed off. Less lips to report on the unorthodox cargo.
 
Zara took one look at Phillip's worried face mixed with a grin of relief and she felt herself laughing with relief.
"Did we pull it off? Did we really?"
He took a damp cloth and wiped the sweat off her face.
"We did. You are now a guest on El Lobo del Mar."
"A guest? This ship is my family. I know every creak, every heartbeat in this deck. Every snap of the sails is like a breath to me!"
 
All of a sudden, she burst into tears and fell into Phillip's arms. He held her close and stroked her hair.
"There....there.....you are safe now. McGlynn and Davis were left behind to watch for Tristan. They will make sure he won't get any closer than the end of the warehouse and he can't see the docks because of that copse of trees."
She buried her face in his waistcoat and her muffled reply, "I--I'm sorry. I feel like such a baby."
"Nonsense. Any other young lady would have started crying when they were in the tavern. Oh and by the way, nice kick you had there. You almost hit me where it counts and if that had happened, I would have fallen to my knees and Tristan would have wondered why you were showing concern over a man who tried to kidnap you. So....me and my um......uh....well, we thank you kindly, Cookie!"
Zara burst out laughing. "You're welcome, Phillip."
 
McDowell tipped his hat. "Glad to have that over, Miss Zara. I must say it was a harrowing experience. Especially for me."
Zara broke from Phillip and gave McDowell a hug. "Thank you so much for being gentle. I didn't even break a fingernail!"
He grinned at her and said, "I'll let Phillip tuck you in then."
 
As he walked to his quarters, she turned to Phillip. "Are  you sure we pulled it off? No problems?"
"None that I can tell. I'll just breathe a bit easier when we clear the port. Now, let me show you to your quarters. When your dad redesigned the ship, he added an extra room attached to the captain's quarters. Your trunks and books are already there."
As he opened the door, a man was sitting on the chair in the corner.
"DA!" she shouted and ran into his arms.
 
Jack practically leaped off the chair and held her close. "Oh, thank God you are safe!"
"What are you doing here?"
"I couldn't stand it, waiting for word that you were safely on board the ship."
"You mean Mama insisted you come."
"It was a mutual decision. I had to see it with my own eyes that you were safe."
Jack felt his eyes start to well up but he willed himself to show his stiff English courage.
He held her at arm's length.
"And you are alright? The men weren't too rough?"
She shook her head. "No, Da. They were very gentle. It probably was the most gentle kidnapping in history!"
He walked over and opened a bottle of rum.
"And now I need this!"
She held out the glass that was on the table.
"I think I have earned my share."
He poured her a drink and laughed. "That you have, Miss Wolfe. That you have!"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 01, 2014, 08:07:02 AM
Zara stretched, then woke up with a start, momentarily wondering where she was. The creak of the ship reminded her that she had slept aboard El Lobo del Mar. She looked around her quarters. Small, cozy and elegantly appointed. There was a skylight above her and two windows by the side of the bed that opened to an ocean view. A small desk with a couple of chairs and an armoire in the corner. The brass bed was spacious and the coverlet was of down. A vase of flowers sat on the table.
'Probably from Da.'
She opened the note that was left propped up on the vase and read,

Welcome aboard, Cookie
~~P.

She smiled and ran her finger over the words. 'So...familiar. So....intimate. He must have come in while I was asleep.  Good Lord, I hope I wasn't snoring!'

A soft rapping at the door.
"Zara? Are you awake?"
"Yes, Phillip."
"Are you decent?"
"Define 'decent'."
 A low chuckle on the other side of the door. "Are you dressed?"
She hastily slipped on her dressing gown, fluffing her hair, pinching her cheeks and biting her lips.
"I am now."

Phillip opened the door, carrying a tray. "Ah, good. You hungry? The cook sent this over to you. In celebration of your successful kidnapping."
She laughed and took the tray from him, sitting it on the table.
"Oooh! Scones and scrambled eggs!"
She looked at him and grinned.
"A rose? From the cook?"
Phillip's face had a slight blush.that Zara found endearing.
"Well....the rose is from me."
She took it and sniffed it appreciatively.
"Damask. My favorite.
 'I have seen roses damask'd, red and white. But no such roses see I in her cheeks. And in some perfumes is there more delight than in the breath that from my mistress reeks,' "
"You know the Bard well," Phillip said.
"Not personally. But someday I fully intend to go to the theatre."
"Some day, perhaps, I shall take you to the Globe Theatre in London."

She clapped her hands in glee.
"And I shall be on the arm of the most handsome pirate in the Caribbean!"
"Your father is taking you?"
She threw her pillow at him and he ducked.
"You know full well who I meant! So what do we do today?"
"Since you can't leave the ship and we don't sail till tomorrow, we have to stay on the starboard side of the ship since it faces the ocean. Just so there is no glimpse of you from the harbour. Now, eat your breakfast like a good little girl and then you have an hour to study. Then I shall take you to the upper deck for a picnic lunch. But for right now I have to attend to ship's duties. I shall come by for you around 11:30. then this evening,.your parents are coming by for a farewell dinner with you. Now get cracking on those books, young lady!"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 31, 2014, 11:05:27 PM
 
Zara rushed over, looking for something to wear. Her lessons were done. She held up several dresses before deciding on a light dress of sunshine yellow. Zara reached for her straw hat with the wide brim. Perfect for sitting on the upper deck even though her healthy tan complexion was contributed to her gene pool by her father. She blessed the fact that she never burned.

Picking up the pink rose, she casually placed it in her cleavage.
Running up the stairs, she kept repeating, 'starboard....starboard...starboard...must stay away from port side.....Hello, Jacob....Hi, Sam....'ola, Jose....I see that cut on your forehead healed nicely, Barth....'

Everyone smiled and answered Zara as she ran past. She never failed to acknowledge anyone from the navigator down to the cabin boy.
The one thing her parents had always taught her.
You are no better than someone else.

Zara climbed the steps to the upper deck. Carefully she tucked her hair under her hat until she was starboard side. She inhaled deeply the salt air and settled in to read her book. Zara had inherited her love of books and learning from her father. Jack made sure each of his children received an education with an interest in languages. Living in a port town, it was easy to pick up.

She glanced towards the port. A small wave of homesickness washed over her but she fought it.
'Four months out of a lifetime but the opportunity of a lifetime,' she thought and smiled.
There was a slight clearing of the throat behind her. There stood Phillip looking all dashing and handsome.
"A bit of a repast after all your studying, Miss Zara."
She picked up the basket he offered her.
"Chicken croquettes...fresh fruit....a slice of cherry pie....this didn't come from the cook. This came from Mrs. Avery."
He laughed. "Alright, so your mother had it sent over. But--" he reached behind him "--the merlot is from your father's wine rack that happens to be in my cabin."
She smiled demurely, "You really are a take-charge person, Captain Briggs!"
"Only the acting captain on this run. I rather like being my father's navigator. How goes the studying?"
"Very well. It seems I can study much better in the fresh sea air. That's why I used to go to the tavern. The smells and sounds help my concentration. I do seem to have a bit of trouble with the night sky. Trying to find certain stars, especially how they relate to navigation. But seeing that we are on the ocean, maybe it will be easier. If you are willing to show me how to find the North Star."
"Did you know the Latin word for that star is stella maris?"
"Really?"
"Yes. It means sea star. Funny....I knew a lass once named Stella Maris...."

Phillip got a faraway look in his eyes that for some reason made Zara a bit jealous. He cleared his throat.
"Yes...well...when we are out to sea we can go up some night and look at the stars.
It may be easier to visualize it."
"I've always been better at learning by doing than by reading about it."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on September 01, 2014, 09:13:45 PM
 
McRae looked to the upper deck as he coiled a rope.
"What do you make of that, Davis?"
Th sounds of feminine laughter drifted down.
Davis shrugged. "I've been sailing El Lobo even before Captain Wolfe married her mum. And Wolfe is very protective of what is his own. Phillip's no fool. He's known her since she was a wee lass. Almost like a sister to him, she is.
"Yeah, but you know what the acting captain is like. Kind of reminds me of Cade Jennings when it comes to women. Nary a skirt can walk by that doesn't catch his attention. Remember that time in Havana? That little Spanish senorita?"
"You mean the one with the father that came after Phillip with a machete?"
"That's the one. Phillip shoved a table between the two of them and the machete cleaved straight through, splitting that oak table in two. The force of the table when it flung back winded the old guy. By the time he caught his wind again, Phillip was running for the ship."
"Oh yeah..and then there was that mayor's wife in Martinique...."

"I don't know, he's taking an awfully big chance if he sets his sights on Mad Jack's daughter. Remember when Cade Jennings was bragging he bedded Jack's wife?"
"Naw, he never did. I mean, he's still alive, ain't  he?"
"Yeah, but Phillip sailed with Jennings at one time and whenever Jennings was in port, he and Phillip would meet and go out carousing."
"So what makes you sure it isn't true about Jennings and the Captain's wife?"
"Well, Cade bragged all over the ports but he's still alive.  I think Mad Jack would have killed him if the rumours were true."

"Well, Mad Jack would die for his wife but he'd kill for his daughter."
"Doesn't matter when nature takes its course. She's young, she's a beauty and he's teaching her about the moon and stars. Lots of time under the stars."
"But Phillip is no fool."
"You think the head and other parts listen to each other? I'm willing to give it a month."
"HA! Care to make a little wager on that one, McRae?"
"You honestly think she's gonna land in Virginia an innocent?"
"I'm betting that Phillip has the smarts to know when to keep his distance. He's known her since she was a baby."
"Well, that baby has grown up, laying the groundwork for a nice leap into womanhood. And I am betting that Phillip will be there with a net."
"You're crazy."
"Am I? You hear that?"

The sound of a young woman's light laughter and a man's low chuckle reached their ears.
"Remember when Phillip was in Virginia the last run? The vicar's daughter?"
They both broke into laughter.
Davis looked up towards the deck.
"Phillip's not stupid. He wouldn't."
"Well, that young lady has always been very determined. And if she is anything like her father, whatever she wants she will get."
"But Phillip is like a brother to Zara."

Two more crewman passed by and stopped
"Laying wagers on the inevitable?" one of them grinned.
"Aye," laughed MacRae.
"We're in."

At the end, bets were placed anywhere from two days to two week to two months with Davis alone being the holdout.
And in the end, he felt he lost the bet even before they left port.

The laughter and a chuckle gave it away.   
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 03, 2014, 08:07:00 PM
Within the hour, the watch bell tolled.
"That's my cue to leave." He noticed the little furrowed brow on Zara's face.
"Ship's duties and all that. But your parents will be here around six for dinner. We sail at first light."
Zara sighed, "If you must leave, I will amuse myself with a book."
"Anything interesting?"
She held up a book. "Ancient Civilizations and How They Fell. Da insists we balance a book for enjoyment with a book to broaden our minds."
"Then I will see you later."
"Prynhawn da."
"What?"
She grinned. "Welsh for 'good afternoon'--courtesy of Mama. She doesn't want to lose the native tongue. I hear quite a few terms of endearment that she uses with Da. Not hard to figure it out."

Zara spent the afternoon on the starboard side of the ship. A little sunning, a little reading, a nap in between. Then to get ready for her parents's arrival so she headed back to her cabin.
Suddenly the door creaked open and a cat watched her balefully.
"Well, hello! And who might you be?"
"That might be Homer. Since he goes everywhere with us but never seems to make it to a home." Phillip was leaning on the doorpost.
"Wasn't Ulysses the beleaguered traveler?"
"Miss Wolfe, you are too smart for your own good!"
She hung up the last dress she was unpacking, putting the final touches on making the room her own.
"Well, Da made us read all the classics. He loved the Odyssey. And where did Homer come from?"
"We picked him up in Castara. Skinny as can be and living on scraps."
Homer landed on the bed and Zara plopped down next to him, scratching him under the chin.
"He's adorable."
"Adorable? A ship's cat?" Phillip laughed. "A mouser is what he is!"
She petted him behind the ears.
"Well, he's welcome here anytime. Aren't you, Homer?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Zara was putting the final touches on making the room her own, a knock was on her door.
"Zara, your parents are here."
"I'll be right out."
. Honour and Jack were reminiscing about the cabin enjoying a glass of wine.

"...and there was Honour shouting at me to get out. When I landed in the companionway, there was your father with that damnable smirk on his face. Telling me he didn't think he would survive my lessons on how to handle women."
Honour piped up with, "He managed all right. After all, he won Renee's heart. There you are, darling!"
 
"Mama!" Zara ran to her mother's outstretched arms.
"Oh, darling! Your father said you were safe and sound but I just had to be sure for myself."
"It was so scary---and exciting! Phillip was so gentle, so...wonderful!"
Honour squeezed her hand. "I had to see for myself that you came through the kidnapping unscathed."
She held Zara's hand up. "And you didn't even break a fingernail!"
Zara laughed. "Phillip was the gentlest kidnapper that ever napped me!"

Jack glanced over at Phillip who stood there with a grin on his face.
'Maybe this wasn't such a good idea,' he thought. But he had no choice but to trust Phillip.
Phillip caught the look that Jack gave him and immediately put on a sober face.
"I was just relieved when we pulled it off without a hitch and got her onto the ship."

Honour and Zara by then had moved over to the armoire and Zara was pulling out dresses.
They then launched into a discussion about boots and clothes.
"And when you are there, you need to see about the cottons, Zara. I know it will seem like a primitive place but...."

Jack said in a low voice, "The cur paid you?"
"Fifty reales and fifty English pounds sterling. I collected it from Seamus just before the kidnapping."
"Be sure to buy my little girl something special."

Phillip motioned Jack out into the small alcove and took out the sword.
"I lifted this off him. I figured it would be the skin of a leopard--a trophy--for Zara.
Jack hefted the sword and ran his thumb down the blade.
"Nice. Toledo steel. Dumb arse doesn't keep it sharp though. I am betting it hasn't seen any action. Pretty much for show and swagger."
"Got something else, too."
He pulled out the cloak and Jack laughed.
"You really did humiliate him!"
"It's a beautiful cloak. I thought Zara would look pretty in it. I'll give it to her when we are out to sea."

There was a knock on the door.
"Ah....dinner!"
The cook brought in roasted pork with apples, complete with side dishes and tarts for dessert. Jack brought out several bottles of port wine. The small talk continued until Jack scooted his chair back.
"Darling, I think we had better get going. Phillip has to be up at the crack of dawn to get the ship set to sail at first tide."
Honour nodded. "I have to get back to the baby. I am trying so hard not to cry!"
She hugged Zara tightly.
"Remember all we talked about. I am trusting you to be on your best behaviour. Both aboard the ship and in Virginia."
"I shall, Mama. It will be fun to see Uncle Will. He promised to have a party in my honour and introduce me to Virginia society."
Jack laughed, "As much fun as you can have with the Puritans."
"Jack Wolfe, don't forget your definition of 'fun' concerns your daughter."

Jack privately motioned Phillip aside.
"Everything is set," Jack said quietly.
"You sure you want me to do this?"
"The best wine and rum are laid in. I need you to make sure she hasn't run the place to the ground. I still own it, you know. Despite what she thinks."
"Alright, Jack. We will head out there."
"One thing--"
"Yes?"
"Keep Zara on board. Leave her with Davis. You will only be there the one afternoon."
"What if she won't stay?"
"Lock her in her room if you have to. If Honour catches wind of it, I won't be using a certain part of my anatomy for a long time."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 01, 2014, 11:09:39 PM
The next morning.....


Zara leaned on the rail of El Lobo del Mar as it pulled away from Bridgetown. She inhaled deeply the salt air as she watched the port get smaller.
"Always sad to leave our family behind," a voice next to her said. "And you are up early."

"My father was always on deck to see the ship leave port. It's the least I can do to carry on the tradition."
"Sad?"
"I hate to leave the family, especially Mama and Da. The baby will probably be trying to crawl by the time I get back. What about you? Are you sad to leave your loved ones behind?"
"I always miss my father and Renee is the mother I never had."
He hesitated. "And I always use this time to think. Clears my mind."
She looked back at the port.
"Somewhere....somewhere out there he is. Going about his daily life. Turning MY life upside down and thinking he got away with his plans."
"Did he, Zara? Turn your life upside down?"
"Nonsense! I am going on an adventure. And he will get what is coming to him. Da will see to that. I wonder what Da will do."
"Your father never did tell me. But I am sure the punishment will fit the intended crime. Not only to get revenge on what he was going to do to you but because he made Honour sad."

Zara reached over by the binnacle and came back with a bottle of wine.
"Will you do the honours?"
Phillip grinned and uncorked it.
Zara then poured the bottle over the side and then threw several flowers into the water.
Phillip laughed. "Carrying on the family tradition, Cookie?"

She smiled. "Da always said to give a lady rum--or in this case, wine--and flowers when you leave and she will always welcome you back when you return."
"It's a nice tradition."
"From what I can deduce, Da sure knew the way to a woman's heart. And more."
Phillip gave an embarrassed laugh.
"Well...."
"Don't go all shy on me, Phillip Briggs. My family didn't get so large by talking about it."
Zara watched as the petals swirled around before they were taken under.
She turned to Phillip.
"Now Bridgetown will welcome us back!"

She lifted her face to the early morning sun.
"So how many days till we get to Virginia?"
"If we hit the Gulfstream just right, I would say in about three and a half weeks. We have to  make a couple stops along the way though. One to Tortuga for supplies and one to Castara to drop off some goods."
"How exciting! I've always wanted to see Castara!"
"Hold on there, Cookie. You are staying on board. I only have to stay in Castara one afternoon. I will be back in the evening."
"So why can't I go?"
"There is no necessity for that. Nothing to see and it will be all business."
"So can I at least go into Tortuga with you?"
"Well..."
"Oh, please, Phillip! I'll be good. I've never seen Tortuga and I would love to do a bit of shopping myself. Maybe a new hat for Virginia?"
"We'll see. I suppose Tortuga would be safer than Castara anyways."
"So how long before we get to Castara?"
"Sometime tomorrow. We have a good wind and frankly, I want to drop the cargo and get the trip to Virginia underway."

"What are your plans for the day, Phillip?"
"I'll be occupied with making sure everything is set for smooth sailing to Castara. And you, young lady, should start on your studies."
"You are surely a harsh taskmaster, Captain Briggs."
"The more you study, the more time you will have for fun in Virginia."
"If I study hard, will you take me to Tortuga?"
"It's not a nice place for a young lady, Zara."
"Oh, please? Pretty please? I will be good!"
"As long as you don't mention it to your father, it is a possibility."
"Wonderful! I promise by the time I finish my astronomy book, I can tell you a thing or two about navigation!"
"I don't doubt it. I am afraid you will have to dine alone tonight as I have to eat with the crew and discuss matters."
"We'll see about that!"

In the end, Zara didn't dine alone and Phillip did dine with the crew.
And the crew loved her company.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 01, 2014, 09:15:44 PM
Mid-morning the next day.....

Phillip flung his leg over the side of the longboat.
"Wait! I'm ready!"
He turned and there stood Zara. She was dressed in snug-fitting breeches, a white silk shirt and boots to die for. A cavalier hat with feathers was perched jauntily on her head.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm ready at last. At least I think I am. Will I need to bring anything?"
"Zara, this is not a pleasure stop. It is strictly business."
"Well, then, we had best not tarry, wouldn't you agree?"

A low chuckle came from the longboat. Phillip looked over and glared.
"Cookie, this isn't a place for you. Now you be a good little girl and stay up here with the rest of the crew. I'll be back in a few hours."
"If it is only a few hours, then it won't matter if I stay or if I go."
"It will to your father."
"I want to see the palmetto that Mama massacred."
"Zara..?"
"Phillip....?"
More laughter from the longboat.
"This isn't fair. You are putting me in an awkward position."
"How so?"
"Heeding your father's advice or having a hard time saying no to you."
"Kind of like a devil whispering in one ear and an angel in the other?"
"Come on, Zara. Why don't you go study and I will bring you back something nice."
 "Like a coconut?"
"Yes."
"You have to do better than that."
Full blown laughter from the longboat.
"You two shut it down there!"

She brushed past him and headed towards the side of the ship.
He walked over to her and put his hand on her shoulders.
"Cookie....oh hell! When you look at me like that, wearing that hat, how can I say no?"
She tip-toed up and kissed his cheek.
"You can't!"

Zara sat close to Phillip in the longboat. He smiled as he gazed over the land in view. He found that he actually liked having her around. She was amusing company and on a par level with him as regards conversation and interests.
Zara was interested in everything.

"Why aren't we taking El Lobo to the docks?" she asked.
"Because I am not sure what shape the docks are in. They were in a state of disrepair last time I was here and with the storms that have come up, if they are not kept up, they are not safe."
"Phillip....who is Bonita?"
"Where did you hear that name?"
"I've heard Mama and Da talk. Mama always gets upset. Da tries to calm her down and they always shut up when I enter the room. So....who is she?"
Phillip sighed. "I had a feeling I should have listened to my better sense and left you on the ship."
"Nonsense!" She tucked her hand in his arm.
"So tell me the story."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on January 01, 2015, 10:58:14 AM
Phillip sighed.
"I shouldn't be telling you this......."
"Phillip, forewarned is forearmed. Now tell me about this mysterious woman."

"Her name is Bonita le Mystere but no one knows her real name. She is an Obeah priestess and has the uncanny ability to predict and foresee things."
"Like a fortune teller?"
"More like a prophetess."
"Do you think that she can predict my future?"
"I daresay she will look at you and know who you are."
"Because she can foresee things?"
"No, because you look like your mother except for the dark hair. That, my dear, is your father's contribution."
He continued, "There are stories about her ability to predict where ships are and what their cargo is and when to strike. There is also talk that she and your father had some sort of alliance. He loved the fortune and she loved the power she had over him."

"I'm sure Da made his fortune on his own."
"Oh, I am sure too. But let's just say that heeding her advice didn't hurt."
"What does she look like?"
"Tall and lithe. Very striking. Not what you would call beautiful but she has a regal bearing. Very mesmerizing eyes. And she wears her hair in dreadlocks."
"She sounds....spooky."
"And then there is always Drusilla."

"Drusilla? What an unusual name!"
"Unusual is the least of it. Drusilla is a bit off-base."
"Like not right in the head?"
"No, she's right but let's say the world walks one way and Drusilla may walk a bit on the edge. You have to experience Drusilla."
"And what does she look like?"
"Thin--almost to the point of skinny and small-framed. She's Bonita's cousin. And she has this wild hair along with a red ribbon. Supposed to be in a bow but more often not.  Sometimes the ribbon has seen better days. But she is harmless."
"Is Bonita harmless?"
"I'm not sure. But then I have never given her any reason to treat me otherwise. Your mother won't set foot in Castara."
"I would think that Mama would want to go back to where she and Da spent their honeymoon."
"Well, once upon a time there was an altercation. I'm not sure of the details but I heard Bonita accused your mother of some things. Your mama finally got fed up and cold-cocked her. She knocked Bonita out."
"No! Mother?"
Phillip chuckled. "I heard once that your father spent too much time on his brother's ship and instead of coming right back, they had their own reunion. Bottle after bottle. When he finally came back, drunken brother--the Admiral--in tow, your mother handed you to my father, punched your father on the jaw and then calmly took you out of Father's arms and walked off as if nothing had happened. Your father saw stars for a few minutes."

Phillip sighed.
"As I said, I shouldn't have told you all this. Don't tell your father."
She sat closer to him and whispered, "Phillip, I have a feeling there is going to be alot we don't tell my father!"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on February 02, 2015, 11:00:27 PM
 
Zara stepped lightly off the johnboat, her feathers grazing her cheek. She reached up and adjusted her hat.
Phillip started to laugh.
"What's so funny?"
"Nothing, really. Just the way you adjusted the feathers and your hat. Like your mother does."
Zara stood there with her hands on her hips.
"Who do you thought taught me the fine art of accessorizing? So show me the way, sailor boy!" He offered her his arm. Gently she tucked her hand. He led her down a lane near the waterfront. As they turned the corner, a sign blew in the breeze.


Le Loup


"The Wolf?"
He nodded. "The one and only. Your father won this in a game of chance."
"Was it always called this?"
"N, must have been something else."
"An did he win the voodoo woman in the bargain too?"
Phillip shook his head. "I never did hear how he met Bonita. For all I know, she came with the place."
He held the door open for her as they entered the dark tavern.

Zara and Phillip entered the darkened tavern.
"I can't see, Phillip."
All of a sudden, a face popped up from behind the counter.
"Hellooooo!"
Zara screamed and both she and Phillip jumped back.
A woman with dreadlocks sprouting every which way bound up in a tattered green ribbon. She was very thin with a comical face that you couldn't help smile at. Her dress was a colourful green and yellow print.
Phillip broke out in a grin as Zara continued to back up.
"Drusilla!"
"Oh, my my! De son of de handsome Briggs!  How you be and why you take so long to visit Drusilla?"
"Oh, we've been busy. We've been running up to the colonies but Jack wanted me to bring you some rum. Twenty four cases of it. He's been starting a distillery and wants to see how the rum will go over. And who might that be?"
He nodded to the corner.
"Dat might be Pedro.  Some of de pirates couldn't pay so dey give me a parrot. He got bad language."

Phillip walked over to pet the bird and was greeted by a volley of expletives.
Drusilla shook her head.
"Bonita threaten to break Pedro's beak if him not shut up. Bad, bad bird!"
Zara looked quizzically over at Phillip.
"Bonita...?"
Phillip hastily made introductions.
"I'm sorry, where are my manners? Zara, I would like to introduce Miss Drusilla to you.
Zara reached out her hand but Drusilla bent into a curtsey.
"Ooof! Cant' get up! Mr. Phillip, if him please?"

Phillip chuckled as he reached over to hoist Drusilla to a standing position.
"Whoa! Sometimes de knees lock! And such a pretty girl! You two be in love?"

Zara quickly glanced at Phillip as his face turned red.
"We've been friends for years, Drusilla. I do believe you know her father. He is----"
"De great Jack Wolfe," said a voice from the darkness of the tavern.
Slowly stepping out of the darkness came a woman much like Drusilla but classier. Her gait was measured as she strode into the room.
She stood before Zara and fixed her with a stare.

"Well, de handsome Phillip Briggs show up wit' a lady."
"Bonita, I would like to formally introduce you to---"
"I know who dat is. Dat be de daughter of dat good for no'ting JackWolfe and dat golden haired child he married."
Zara's eyes went wide. "How do  you know?"
"Bonita know many t'ings. De bones tell me you be here wit'in a fortnight. Dat and de fact dat golden-haired child has her face stamped on yours. 'Cept de hair be Jack Wolfe's."
She picked up Zara's curl and let it drop.
"You a pretty girl."
She turned to Phillip.
"You take her yet?"
Phillip felt his face turn red.
"Certainly not."
Bonita smiled knowingly. "Give it time."

Drusilla piped up with, "See, Bonita? Curse DO have a time limit!"
She turned on Drusilla. "You hush you mouth or I strangle you wit' dat ribbon."
"Huh! Like you did wit' de red one?"
She turned to Phillip and Zara. "I got lots of dem ribbons. Dis one matches my Monday dress. I call it my Monday dress because--"
"You wear it on Monday?"
"Yes."
"But it's Friday, Drusilla."
Drusilla thought for a minute and shrugged. "It be Monday somewhere."
Phillip whispered to Zara, "Don't. It makes sense to her."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on March 01, 2015, 09:05:34 AM
Bonita beckoned Zara closer.
"I toss bones for you. Den you see your future."
As Zara ventured closer, Phillip pulled her back.
"Don't believe anything she has to say. It's all a trick."
"You stay out of this, Master Briggs. De young one, she want to see her future."

Bonita reached into her black velvet bag and pulled out half a dozen bones. She closed her eyes and chanted, rubbing the bones. Then expertly she tossed the bones on the table and peered closely at them. Muttering to herself, she tossed them again. Frowning, she tossed them a third time.
"Ah! Dere it be--look!"
Zara and Phillip peered closely.
"See dat? De bones here near the edge of de table. It mean a problem wit' El Lobo del Mar. Edge of table mean disaster. Like when de ancients thought a ship would fall off de edge of de earth when de people thought de earth was flat."

Phillip frowned. "A problem? What kind of problem?"
"What do YOU think? What be de biggest threat to de ship?"
"Spanish?"

She fixed him with a stare. Then she turned back to the bones and tossed again. She looked closely and pointed.
"Dat dere---Dat de breast bone."
With that she turned her attention on Zara.
"De breast bone is in trouble. See de bones over here? Lots of dem. And one bone over here. De bone near de edge of de table. Dat bone mean too far away to help de breast bone."
Zara looked at the bones as if mesmerized.
"Wh-who is the breast bone?"
Bonita snapped, "Who you t'ink? De Captain Briggs, do he have breasts?  Only one person on El Lobo have breasts and dat mean big trouble for you." She pointed at Zara.

Phillip reached over and swept the bones off the table in anger.
"Stop it, Bonita. Stop it right now. You think it is nice to try to frighten Zara? She never did anything to you."
Bonita folded her arms across her chest defiantly.
"No--but her father use Bonita for his own selfish gains. Did him ever share with Bonita? No! And him bring him golden-haired bride to show off. De smuggling operation was a good t'ing until de golden-hair child turn Jack Wolfe's head around."
She pointed at Zara again.
"And de apple not fall far from de tree!"

Bonita drew herself up and glared at Phillip.
"You should know bones no lie. 'Member when you with dat Cade Jennings and Bonita knew who you were before him even say the name. 'Member dat?"

Phillip put his cavalier hat on and said tightly, "The rum and wine have been delivered to your back door, Bonita. Jack Wolfe still has an interest in this tavern."
"Only so him can't give ownership to Bonita. He not have a fortune if not for me."
Phillip grabbed Zara's hand and hurried her out of the tavern.
She glanced back at Bonita just as the door closed.

As soon as Zara and Phillip left the tavern, Bonita threw the bones against the wall.
Drusilla folded her arms and said, "Why you tell dem dat rubbish? I know better. De bones not tell you dat. De bones didn't do a t'ing"
Bonita fumed, "Because always de same wit' dat man.  De clouds surround him and I never see anything. Dat now extends to him little girl."
Drusilla shook her head. "So you make dem t'ink danger is lurking. Why?"
Bonita snapped, "Why should dey be happy?"

Drusilla followed Phillip and Zara out the door.
"Wait!"
She pressed an amulet into Zara's hand. It was a round disc with squiggles carved into it.
"Here--you take dis. It ward off evil loas. I like you and Captain Phillip. You be nice to Drusilla."
She turned to Phillip.
"Be very careful or she lay a curse on you and you not be able to.....you know. And her such a pretty t'ing, too."
She gave them each a quick hug.
"Don't believe everything that Bonita say. Bones no lie. But Bonita do sometimes."

With that she scampered off.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on April 01, 2015, 02:35:06 PM
Phillip grabbed Zara's hand and hurried her towards the harbor, all the while muttering expletives under his breath.
"Phillip, what on earth is your hurry?"
"The sooner I get away from that witch woman, the better I will like it," he fumed. "She is always trying to stir up trouble."
"Do you believe her?"
"Of course I don't. I just don't like the way she tries to play games with people."

Zara tossed her hair. "Well, I don't believe her. And I have never been to Castara Bay.."
She looked around. "It's beautiful here and the sky is so blue, just like in Barbados. My parents spent their honeymoon here and I could very well have gotten my start here."
"Zara!"
"Well, it's true. Oh, don't blush, Phillip. Certainly you know where babies come from," she teased. "Besides, I want to see the tree that Mama decimated."

"Zara, we really don't have the time. We need to leave with the first tide at dawn."
She put her hands on her hips and squinted towards the sun.
"From what I can see, it is just past noon. So we have plenty of time."
She locked her arm with Phillip's.
"Please? It won't take long."
"Well, alright. But remember---it's our secret. Your father would be far from pleased if he heard I let you step foot on this island."

As they walked down the path towards the bay, she asked, "What do you think the witch woman's predictions mean?"
"Who knows? Bonita can be vague enough to mean anything."
"And what about her cousin?"
"Drusilla? They broke the mold when they made her! But she has a kind heart even though her head is somewhere in the clouds."

They walked down a path behind the tavern. There in the clearing stood a tree with a twisted trunk. Deep hash marks were seen along the bark near the ground.
"My goodness, Mama really gave it all she had!"
"And from what I understand, your father, if he had not been quick, would have had his head removed. She was alot more savvy at swordplay than she let on."
Zara ran her hand over the tree trunk. "Poor thing."
"Cade Jennings was supposed to replace it but I guess he never got around to it."
"I'm glad he didn't. It is kind of like a remembrance of their time here. Please, can we walk a little more? We will be on that ship for the next three weeks and I just want to spend some time here on the beach. Can we stay till sunset?"
"Absolutely not! The place takes on a life of its own after dark. Jaguars are said to frequent it along with other nocturnal nasties."

They walked along in companionable silence till they came to the beach at Castara Bay.
"This is absolutely beautiful! Look at the beautiful flowers." She bent over and plucked a plumeria and put it behind her ear.
"How does it look?" She raised her head to show off the flower.
"Cookie, if you had a mermaid's tail, Poseidon would never give you up!"
She plucked a few and wove them together, stringing them around her neck. "Mama showed me how to make a daisy necklace when I was little."
He smiled at her enthusiasm. "That is one thing I love about you, Zara. Your zest for life. And you never fail to surprise me."
"And now I feel an urge to go swimming."
"Zara, no. We don't have time."
"Make time, Phillip. Be spontaneous! Life is not built around schedules."


Zara slipped her shirt over her head and loosened the drawstring on her skirt. It cascaded onto the sand. She took off her boots and stockings, stepping into the water.
"Ooh, that feels nice! Come on, Phillip! At least walk along with me. And look! A starfish!"
As she bent down to pick it up, Phillip scooped her up in his arms.
"You want spontaneity?"
She squealed with laughter.
"Phillip! Don't you dare!"
"Don't I dare...what?"
"Drop me!"
"One...."
"Phillip...."
"Two..."
"Don't even think of that!"
"....THREE!"

As he went to throw her in the water, she grabbed onto his shirt and jerked him into the water with her.
"Whoa!"

They both emerged dripping wet.
"Oh...YOU!" She splashed his face as she surfaced.
"Look at me! I am a total mess!"

Zara stood there with her chemise clinging to her curves. She picked seaweed out of her hair and laughed.
"Well, you wanted to see Castara Bay so I thought this would be the best way."
She laughed as she lunged towards him, dragging him down into the water with her.

As they surfaced, they stood dangerously close to each other.They stared at each other and Zara put her arms around Philip's neck, drawing him towards her and into a deep, searching kiss. He responded, pressing her body close to his, his fingers gliding down the side of her curves.
Suddenly he gently disengaged Zara's arms from his neck.
"No....no, Zara."

Zara looked at him as he turned to walk the few yards to shore, hurt and bewilderment written on her face.
"But....Phillip...."
"Zara, you are still a child.  Somewhat."
"I see," she said frostily as she gathered her dry clothes. Her wet chemise clinging to her left no doubt in Phillip's mind that he was dead wrong about her level of maturity. She pushed past him but not before she retorted back, "You know she's all wrong for you."
"What? Who?"
"Lenore Culley. I hear the crew talk. She's stuffy. And cold. Prim and proper. But if that is what you are looking for, then you made the right choice. For you. But ask yourself, Phillip--how long before you go out to search for more exciting and greener pastures?"

"I don't know what you are talking about."
"Oh....I think you do. But that is your business, Phillip."
She put her arms around his neck, dangerously close to him.

He gently took her arms and put them down to her side.
"Zara, I have known you since you were a tot. Practically family we are."
"Phillip, are you afraid of my father?"
He shook his head. "No. Jack is a man I look up to. And he is my father's best friend. But afraid of Jack? No, I am not. I'm not one of those clumsy beaus that call on you. I know what Jack expects out of me. And I intend to honour that trust. Zara, you are an answer to a dreamer's dream."
She started towards him but he put his hand up. "But I am grounded in reality and my duty to your parents."
"Understood, Mister Briggs. Shall we go back to the ship now?"
He squinted up toward the sun. "Perhaps that would be best."

He walked up the slope of the beach, Zara dutifully following him.
'An answer to a dreamer's dream, huh? Well, Mister Briggs, your reality is about to become your dream. Or is it the other way around? Regardless, by the time we reach Virginia, you won't be able to get me out of your mind,' she said under her breath.
"Did you say something, Zara?"
"Me? No, nothing. Nothing at all."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 20, 2015, 09:17:31 PM
The walk back to the ship was quiet, both Phillip and Zara not saying much.
And when evening came, Zara said she had a headache and opted to eat dinner in her  room.
Alone.
She needed the time to process Phillip's rejection.
But also to decide the best way to capture Phillip's heart.

Phillip sat with the crew and half-heartedly listened to the crew's talk and wondering what Zara was doing. The other half of the time he spent wondering what he was going to do with Lenore.
Settle into a sedentary life and maybe become a governor like her father? If he married her, the despicable Tristan would become his brother in law. And how would he handle his duplicitous part in the scheme to kidnap Zara--and bilk Tristan out of the reales he extorted from him? Not to mention the cloak and the sword.

Phillip rubbed his temples, finding a headache coming on.
"You alright, Phillip?" Davis looked over at him.
"Hmm? Oh...yes. Just a headache. I'll be in my cabin."

  Phillip paused.
"Davis?"
"Yeah?"
"Can I talk to you in confidence?"
Davis smiled, "I thought we were way past that point, Phillip. You know you can always talk to me and it goes no further."

Phillip pulled on his collar.
"What do I do about....her?"
"Her? As in Lenore Culley or Zara Wolfe?"
"Lenore. I mean Zara. Oh, hell...both. I don't know."
Phillip took a deep breath.
"Lenore is beautiful. Settled. Mature. Sophisticated. Educated. Connected."
"And the other?"
"Zara moves around like a wayward summer breeze. Uninhibited, delightful to be around. She's beautiful. And young. And...."
"The daughter of Mad Jack Wolfe."

He took a deep breath. "When we were in Castara, we got...you know...close."
Davis suppressed a smile.  Phillip hurriedly said, "I mean..oh hell, I don't know what I mean. And I don't  mean close in that sense so get your mind out of the taverns of Tortuga."
Davis leaned against the railing.
"I've known Zara since she was a toddler. Hell, I knew her father even before her mother entered Jack's life. Jack loves all his children unconditionally and equally. Save one."
"Zara."

"Maybe he is trying to make up for the way he treated Honour. Or maybe for not being there when she was born and the first year of her life. Hell, then again, what do I know?"
Phillip looked off into the sun setting on the horizon.
"I thought my life was all settled. Marriage to Lenore. The occasional run to the Colonies so I don't get too domesticated."
"Are you forgetting one other person?"
"What do you mean?"
"Stella Maris."
"Stella Maris doesn't fit into this equation. She knows the way things are between us. I've known Stella since I made my first run with my father when I was fourteen. Strictly...physical."
"She's a woman. She will be an issue, mark my words."

Phillip sighed. "It just gets more and more complicated, doesn't it?"
Davis lit his cigar. "Funny but I thought you and Stella would end up sailing off into the sunset together."
Phillip shrugged. "Stella isn't the sort of woman you bring home to your mother."
"Renee would understand."
"Understand, yes. Be happy about it? No."

"Trouble is, Davis, I just can't get Zara out of my mind. Maybe it's because she is here. But I find myself wanting her company all the time. She's interested in everything I am."
"Is that so bad?"
"She's a kid."
"Not really. You are using that as a defense instead of seeing her as a young woman. Most girls---young ladies, pardon me--are married by her age. My advice is this--if you can't get your 'Cookie' out of your system by the time we leave Virginia, you just may have your answer then."
"What about Lenore then?"
"I don't think she ever really was in here," said Davis as he pointed to his heart. "Now I am going to give  you some straightforward advice, pirate to pirate."
"What's that?"
"Quit your whining."

He put his hands in his pockets, strolling off and whistling a tune.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 20, 2015, 09:19:11 PM
"...and the constellation over there is Orion."
Zara nodded.  "And the stars in the middle are Reigel and Betelgeuse."
"So you remembered."
"Of course. You are a good teacher, Phillip."
"Well, you are an excellent pupil."

Zara glanced over at Phillip. The fences were mended between them when Zara found a large pink seashell. A strand of pink pearls was draped over it.
 A brief note said,

'Begging forgiveness for misunderstandings.'

Zara had smiled to herself, knowing that it bothered Phillip enough to make amends. She had greeted Phillip with a smile and nothing more was said.

She reached over and popped a strawberry in her mouth. When she leaned over, she afforded a view for Phillip that got his blood racing.
"Oh, I love to learn. But we've been studying for over an hour. The oil lamp looks like it has about an hour left. Can we please put the books away now?"
"Alright."

Zara walked over to the rail and looked up at the sky.
"Is that not the most beautiful sight you have ever seen?"

The sea breeze ruffled Zara's hair as she leaned against the rail, the wind fluttering the ties on her blouse.
She turned around and pulled a wicker basket from under some canvas.
"Surprise! I had the cook pack us a hamper for dinner. I didn't realize how late it was."
She pulled out a loaf of bread and cheese with some fruit.
"I'm glad the ship was restocked when we left Castara. Care for an orange?"
"You think of everything, Cookie."
"I also brought a bottle of merlot."
"Just like your mother. That's her favorite wine."
"Also some lemonade. The merlot is for after we eat."
She looked over the water. El Lobo was sailing at a good clip, the bow breaking through the inky sea. The heavens were holding a full moon.
"Mmm, now this is paradise. Will you be sorry to get to Virginia? We will be there in three weeks."
"Yes and no. It will be good to see what Virginia has to offer but I love the solitude that only the sea can offer."
He resisted the urge to brush the hair back and kiss her neck.
"Phillip, are you staying with the ship in Virginia?"
"No, Will extended his hospitality to me as well. I will be staying in the manor. Most likely to keep an eye on you."
She started to protest but caught the twinkle in his eye.
She laughed, "Well, you are doing a splendid job so far!"

They sat cross-legged next to each other on the deck. Zara leaned against the rail and gathered her hair up in one hand, fanning her neck.
"Lord, it's hot!"
"We're coming up on the Gulf Stream so we should get a good wind by tomorrow."
She sighed contentedly. "I could stay here forever."

He poured her a small glass of merlot.
"What do you want out of life, Zara?"
"What do I want?"
She refrained from saying, "Just you, Phillip. I want you."
Instead she said, "I guess I want what every woman wants. A home. Children. Most of all, a man who loves me. I want what Mama has with Da."
"They didn't always get along, you know."
"I know Da wasn't there when I was born. He was absent for almost the first year of my life. I think he always tried to make it up to me."

They were silent for a moment.
"What do you want, Phillip Briggs?"
"Me? I hadn't really thought about it. When you live a life on the sea, you just take it day by day."
She bit into an apple. Phillip began to realize how Adam must have felt when he was with Eve. That there was no one in the world but them and the deck was their own Eden.
"That's not an answer, Phillip."
"Alright then. I want happiness and a sense of contentment."
"You don't have that now?"
She resisted the urge to say, 'With Lenore?'

He shrugged. "I guess I do. But I still feel unsettled."
"Maybe the direction you are heading is not the one you are supposed to go. There's someone out there, Phillip, that is willing to make you her whole world. Someday you will realize that."
"I suppose." He held out his hand and helped her up.
She walked over to the railing. "Look here, Phillip!"
Zara had cupped her hands together and held them up to the sky. The full moon seemed to rest in her hands.
"Da always said that I have the world, and he would give me the moon. It looks like he did."

 
"So what are you looking for in a woman, Phillip?"
"Me? I hadn't thought about it. I like all kinds of women."
"I know but what would be your ideal mate?"
He poured another glass of merlot and leaned back, closing his eyes.
"Oh...she'd have to be smart. Very smart. Not just book-smart but intuitive. Reading people is very important. And she would have to have a sense of humour. Kind of devilish but with the heart of an angel. Always quick to laugh and a smile that is meant for only me. A sense of adventure. Doing things on the spur of the moment. But tempered with common sense."

Zara laughed softly. "You don't want much, do you?"
"She'd know how to run a house. And she would love children."
"How many children do you want, Phillip?"
"Oh, I don't know. As many as the Lord sees fit, I guess. Don't forget, I am an only child. It's a lonely way to grow up."
"So you are looking for a loving woman."
"Pretty much, yeah."
"And looks?"
"Oh hell yes. I have no preference as long as the sum total of all parts equal to a good-looking woman. And she wouldn't mind making love in a field of daisies or by a waterfall."

Phillip found himself colouring at the last remark. Whether it was the merlot or the moonlight or the company of Zara, he never spoke so freely of his expectations.
Zara smiled. "Pleasure comes at any time, Phillip. Love should not be bound by the hands of a clock."

He looked over at her and then smiled.
"Enough of me. What do YOU want in a man, Zara?"

"Oh, I want it all. But I want a man who will consider my needs and wants. I want a man who can smile readily. A man who when I gaze at him across a room , he knows exactly what I am thinking. He has to be brave but not afraid to let me see his tender side when we are alone.

She looked dreamily over the ocean. "And he has to treat me like I have a brain. He can be willing to discuss anything with me. I short, I want a man who would set the world on fire for me.
She turned to Phillip.
"He's out there and he has found me. He just doesn't now it yet."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 02, 2015, 09:39:23 PM
The next few days went by smoothly. Zara and Phillip spent the evenings on the top deck going over the constellations and navigation charts with Phillip quizzing her.
"You've got it down now, Zara."
"Well, you are an excellent teacher, Phillip."

He poured her a small glass of merlot.
"And that string of pearls looks wonderful on you."
She touched them gently.
"I had just the right dress to show it off."
It was a light summer dress in a peach pink.
"It never ceases to amaze me the number of frocks you have."
"Mother always said the clothes make the woman."
"In this case, I think the woman makes the clothes."
She noticed in this case Phillip did not refer to her as a 'girl' or 'young lady.'

"How long before we land in Tortuga?"
"Do you see the faint glow of lights over there?"
She squinted her eyes. "I can barely make them out. But yes, I do."
"That, Cookie, is Tortuga.  We will sail in at first light and then lay in for supplies and sail out the next day or the day after if we don't get it all done."
"I can't wait."
"For what?"
"To go shopping."
"Hold on--no one said anything about you going into town."
"What? You aren't making me stay on the ship, are you?"
"Zara, the town is no place for a young girl."
There it was again. The phrase 'young girl'.

She went nose to nose with him.
"That is what you think."
"That is what I know."
She picked up her books and frostily said, "Goodnight, Captain Briggs."
"Wait, Zara...."
But Zara was already down the companionway. Her only reply was a slammed door.
Phillip sighed, 'Here we go again....'

The next morning, El Lobo sailed into Tortuga with no problems. Jack had a standing order with the dock master and for an under-the-table consideration, all dock fees were waived.
'Cuts down on time and paperwork,' he always said.
As the gangplank was laid down, Davis said in a low voice, "Uh oh....you have trouble."

Phillip turned around and there stood Zara.
She was wearing black breeches that fit her snugly. A white silk shirt kept slipping off one shoulder and a large cavalier hat sat perched on her head jauntily, three white and one peacock feather caressing her cheek. Black boots completed her outfit.
"I'm ready," she said as she adjusted the black lace gloves on her hands.
"Zara...NO."
"What, are the gloves too much?" She glanced down and smoothed the black breeches over her butt.
"I told you no."
"And I told YOU 'that is what I know'. And I do mean K-N-O-W and not N-O. That is not in my vocabulary."
Phillip took his hat off and threw it on the deck.
"A temper tantrum won't do you any good, Phillip. You may as well save yourself some aggravation and acquiesce."
"What?"
"That means give in without a fight."
"I know what it means."

They both stood there with their hands on their hips, staring each other down.
Phillip sighed, "I give up."
He picked up his hat and then said, "But don't think you are going to be strolling this port by yourself. Davis--you will escort Miss Wolfe on her shopping excursion."
"Me? ME?" Davis squeaked out.
"And stay with Davis all the time. Am I clear?"
"Crystal, mon capitan."
Phillip turned to go with Davis following behind, "Me? Why ME? What did I ever do to you?"
 "You are the only one I can really trust, Davis."
And then he turned to Zara.
"And don't think you are getting carte blanche in port. Davis will be controlling the purse strings."

Phillip once again turned to Davis. Zara stuck her tongue out behind his back.
As he turned back to her, he raised an eyebrow and said, "Something wrong?"
"Yes--I seem to have some sort of cat hair in my mouth. Ack ack!"
She made a grand performance of taking a cat hair off her tongue.
"PHFFFT PHFFFTT! Alright, that is better." She smiled sweetly.
Phillip sighed. "Alright. She's all yours, Davis."

Davis said darkly, "I'll remember this, Captain."
"Oh, I have no doubt you will."
Zara took Davis by the arm.
"Don't look so glum, Davis. Come on--I'll buy you an ale."
"A dark one?"
"But of course!"
"Good. It will match my mood."
"Let's go, Davis. Shopping awaits! Ta, Captain!"

Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 04, 2015, 08:15:36 PM
Phillp pulled on a clean silk shirt and headed for the deck. He took a spy glass and aimed it towards the port.
"And...there she goes."
He ran his finger over the brim of his cavalier hat.
"Sullivan, the ship is yours till Davis gets back. If he is not back in three hours, turn the watch over to Brody. You need a break, too."
Sullivan shook his head. "Davis---poor bastard!"
Phillip grinned, "It is what it is."
"Think he will get even?"
"No. As much as he protests, secretly he will enjoy the excursion."
"So...where are you going all dappered up?"
Phillip straightened out his collar and said casually, "Oh....I have business to attend to in port."
"Boots shined and silk shirt, I'd say the business involves a lady."
"A lady with a celestial body, Sullivan."
"Or what she has. Redhead?"
"You know it. A taste my father and I share."
"Oh, yes, the ravishing beauty known as Stella Maris."
"Zara is safe on the arm of Davis. Far away to the bazaars and street vendors."
He winked to Sullivan, "Don't wait up."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Oooh, Davis, what do you think of this lavender silk?"
Davis held it up. "Too sheer for a lass."
She grabbed it back. "It will make for a marvelous gown."
He grabbed it back again. "Only if you plan on spending your days in a sultan's harem."
He firmly put it down. The vendor was not about to give up.
"Hey, mon, de lady have good taste. You wait here, young missy, I find colour for you."
He went to the back and fetched a rose-coloured silk.
"Very nice silk. You see. Spun by hand from silkworms demselves."
She held it up to her face.
"What do you think of this one, Davis?"
He exhaled loudly, "I'm not a fashion consultant, Miss Zara."
"I want a man's opinion."
"As a man? I'd love to see any woman in it....."
"That settles it then."
"...any woman except you. Phillip would not approve of your purchase, let alone your father.
"Then we'd best not tell them, shall we?"
Davis turned his head and muttered, "I didn't see a thing."
"Of course, you didn't."
To the vendor, she said, "I'll take it..." and whispered, "...and put the lavender silk in a bag too."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on September 01, 2015, 08:28:05 PM
Zara continued to buy silks and lace. Davis continued to fork over the coins with a deep sigh.
"What do you think of the black lace, Davis?"
"Like you are going to a funeral. Or up to no good."
She sighed. "Davis, you have no sense of style."
"Maybe not but I think I have an idea what is appropriate for a lady of your age."
"That's the problem. I'm not a lady. I'm just...Zara. With a capital Z," she laughed. "It's so easy to carve your initials on...things."
"That was what landed you in the situation you are in, Zara. Or contributed to it. I need to head over to the tobacconist. He always has a fine stock of English and Virginia tobacco. I'll be back in five minutes--FIVE--so don't you wander off. I want you to stay right here at this booth. Select what you want and I will pay for it when I get back."
"No arguing?"
"No."
"No criticism?"
"Not at all."
"Do you like the white lace instead?"
He shook his head as she called out, "Maybe I will buy both!"

Zara wandered over to the next booth that had fanciful hats. She gazed out at the harbor.
"Blatherscype....Neptune's Trident....Golden Phoenix, what a large ship that is!--Bonnie Lady...."
And that is when she saw him.

Phillip was strolling down the other side of the lane, dressed definitely not for purchasing supplies for a ship but more as a man going courting. He had on a white silk shirt, his hat perched rakishly with the new feathers he picked up in Castara. In his hand was a bouquet of flowers.

"What on earth is he up to?"

She followed Phillip at a discreet distance, making sure she stayed in the shadows. She watched as he turned down a lane and approached a cottage with a well-kept garden. He rapped on the door and when it opened, that was when she saw her.

She was a tall, voluptuous woman with curves in all the right places. Her red hair hung around her shoulders. She was dressed simply, in a dressing gown of emerald green which Zara was sure matched her eyes.

Phillip made a grand gesture of bowing, sweeping off his hat as he offered her the bouquet.The woman was smiling and laughing. Then she wrapped her arms around Phillip's neck and drew him into a kiss that was anything but casual.

Zara stood there for a moment, absolutely bewildered by what she saw and confused by the mixed signals she had been getting from Phillip the last few days.

Hot tears filled her eyes and she reached up to yank the string of pink pearls from her neck, then remembered they were locked away safely in a velvet pouch in her dresser drawer.
 
The one person who she thought she could always count on had now let her down and played her for a fool.
All thoughts of Davis looking for her fled her mind. She stood forlornly on the corner staring at the cottage door and wishing it would open and Phillip would walk through it. Hastily she wiped the tears from her face.

She suddenly felt the need for an ale even though she hardly drank any. In her pocket were coins that Davis didn't know about.
And the sign on the corner read

                                                          DIABLO DEL MAR
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 07, 2015, 07:37:30 PM
Zara brushed her hair back and straightened her hat. As she approached the door, she kicked it open.
All eyes were on her as she strode up to the tavern bar.
"An ale, please. And be sure it is cold."
The barkeep grinned and poured her a drink. She held it up to the light.
"What is this, a typhoid breeding ground? Now you pour this one out and give me a glass that I can see the other side out of."

He handed it to her with a smile. "That look better, little lady?"
She held it up. "If that is your best, I guess it will have to do."
She stared at the opposite wall while she downed it quickly.
"Another one, please."
"Either you are thirsty or are trying to forget someone, honey."  She turned and the voice belonged to a pirate, not totally unattractive. Rough but clean.
She said cooly, "Maybe one or the other. Maybe both. Maybe none. Why?"
"Just that we don't see women of your caliber in here."
"There a law against it?"
"None that I know of"
She held her glass up and yelled, "Another one, barkeep!"
The barkeep ambled over and Zara reached into her pocket for the coin.
"No, no...allow me."

She gave him a sideways glance.
"Thank you."
"You aren't from around here. Newly settled or just passing through?"
"Depends."
"On what?"
She tossed her head. "On what the night brings. What's going on over there?"
"Just a friendly game of chance. A few captains from the other ships get together when we are in port."
"You are a captain?"
"My manners must be lacking." He swept off his hat and bowed.
"Captain Benjamin Horton, at your service. And you are....?"
"Zara."
"Zara....what?"
"Let's just say Zara and let it go at that."
She turned back to the barkeep and yelled, "Another ale, keeper of the bar!"
Captain Horton slipped the coins to the barkeep and said, "Whatever the little lady wants, keep them coming. I think she is trying to drown out the memory of a man."

Zara glanced over again.
"So...what game are they playing?"
"A game of One and Thirty.".
"You don't say!"

Zara was glad she still had on her cavalier hat and the boots she wore earlier. It gave her an edge to look like one of them. Or so she thought.
She took off her hat and her hair cascaded down her back.
She walked over and the men at the table stopped and stared. She leaned over, affording them a glimpse of what lie beneath her blouse.
"Gentlemen? I have the feel of fortune. Deal me in."



Meanwhile.....

Davis--what's wrong?"
"I lost her."
"You WHAT?"
"I told her to wait at the silk shop. I went over to the tobacconist right across the booth. I swear I was only gone for five minutes and she was gone."
"Did you ask around?"
"I did. The silk vendor said something caught her attention. She said she would be right back and headed down Chauncey Lane. And she never came back."

A flood of guilt washed over Phillip.
"Alright. We split up. You go over by the vendors and I'll head south towards the harbor."
"And Davis?"
"Yeah?"
"Don't panic. This is not unusual for her. We will find her. But one thing is where Zara Wolfe goes, trouble usually follows. So don't overlook the taverns."
Davis rushed out.
Phillip headed towards the water.
'Zara Wolfe, what have you done now?' he said to himself.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 01, 2015, 09:18:45 AM
They scrambled to make room for her. She took her place next to the two least disgusting ones. At least they had their eyes, their teeth and from what she gathered, all their appendages.
Zara gave them a dimpled, demure smile and asked, "What are we playing, gentlemen?"

She made a point of making sure her coin pouch made a great deal of clinking noise.

"Why, little lady, we are playing One-and-Thirty. Ye familiar wit' it?"
She frowned. "One-and-Thirty? Is it anything like Ruff and Honours?"
The men burst out laughing.
The one to her left, Zechiel, yelled, "Hey, Bartholomew! Deal her in!"

The cards were dealt and Zara exclaimed, "Ooh! What pretty cards!"
Smitty, the pirate on her right, asked, "And what ye be a-drinkin', little lassie?"
She frowned as she concentrated on her cards. "Oh, I don't know....something light, I guess. I'm not thrilled with the ale here. Does this place have rum?"
The men guffawed and Smitty yelled out, "Hey! Murphy! Get this little lass a tankard of your finest 'light' rum!"

The game progressed for the better part of two hours. Zara was losing money right and left. The more she was losing, the more rum the men were buying her.
Finally, she was down to her last few coins.

One of the pirates, who filled her tankard up again, said, "Well, little lady, looks like Lady Luck didn't smile on ye after all."

She stood up, swayed over the table and then said, "Gentlemen, I have something much more valuable than a few mere gold coins. And I'll just bet you would like to know what it is. Ask yourselves, 'Do I feel lucky?' Well...do you, gentlemen?"


The pirates looked at her with expectation and anticipation. She placed her booted foot on the chair and resting her arms on her bent knee, she leaned forward and whispered, "I have access to a prime piece of property."
Smitty snorted, "We don't be needin' some piece o' land, lady. We be seamen. Saltwater be in our veins, not sod."

She smiled slowly and said, "Not all property is land. I happen to have in my possession a light frigate, three-masted and square rigged. Done in a basic black with burgundy red trim. The masthead is a snarling wolf. She has thirty-two guns and an arsenal to rival the Royal Navy's. Spanish-built and sleek, the Captain's great cabin is to die for. Or will be when it gets a bit of revamping. Even has a walk-in closet.
And best of all, it comes complete with a crew. Ready, willing and able."
"And just where ye be acquiring this vessel, Missy?"
She stood up and took a deep drink of ale and looked at them with glazed eyes. "Ever hear of a ship named El Lobo del Mar?"

The men were enraptured. Zara reached into her bodice and pulled out documents.
Not really proof of ownership. More like the receipt for some silk and a letter she had started to her parents.

"In my hand, gentlemen, are the proof of ownership papers."
Zechiel made a grab for it and she drew it back quickly.
"Ah ah ah....hands off, you reprobate. I am willing to lay the title to this vessel down on the next hand. So what do you say? Does anyone have anything of value that will be worthy of this?"

Ferguson, a powerfully built pirate with a gold tooth in front, said, "Aye. I was left three hundred acres in the Colonies. I'll lay the deed down for the chance to own the famed El Lobo Del Mar."
Someone piped up, "And how did ye be acquiring the title to said vessel, Miss...?"
Zara smiled sweetly and said, "Let's just say it's a family heirloom.

"Best, two out of three?" Ferguson grinned.
Zara tried to focus her eyes. "Sounds good to me. My, that---whatever it was--is delicious! Please, may I have some more?"
The gentlemen grinned and Bartholomew came over with a full tankard. She downed it and laughed, "It certainly goes down easily, doesn't it? But do you mind if we take a five minute break? I want to be sharp as a cookie for this."
Smitty yelled, "Five minutes! Then back to the table!"

Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 01, 2015, 07:27:41 PM
Ferguson sat with Smitty and they laughed at what they thought was a sure thing.
Smitty asked, "What you reckon to do about the crew on board El Lobo?"
Ferguson struck a match on his boot and took a long draw on his black cigar. "Either they join up or I dump them over the side when we get out of port."
Zara walked outside and stood in the night air. 'Oh, they've really underestimated me,' she thought. She laughed to herself and took a few deep breaths. If all goes right, I'll be the owner of a three hundred acres in the Colonies. All I have to do is play this final hand....

She walked back into the tavern, affecting a sway in her walk.
Ferguson came over with another tankard of rum and said, "Here. Allow me."
He pulled out a chair for her and she sat down gingerly. She hiccuped.
"Are you ready to play, Miss...? I be apologizing, we ne'er did hear your name.."
"Zara. Zara...Bright, at your service." She slurred her words. Then she giggled.
"I think I can play now. Yes, I am sure. Mr. Ferguson, are you ready?"

The deed to the land and the papers were laid on the table. The cards were drawn and One-and-Thirty commenced.
Ferguson won.
A cheer went up.

Round two.
Zara won.
Time for round three.

Zara now realized it was time to play her hand. She sat there and snapped herself out of her so-called alcoholic stupor. Silly men, she thought. She learned early how to look sociable without drinking half the alcohol offered. She was as sober as a nun at Easter services.

She remembered a lesson she had learned and learned well. And it was about to come in handy.
Her father had taught her how to read a marked deck.
And this deck had marks that would make a cheetah look like a connect-the-dot game.

"Gentlemen? I do believe this game will be the deciding factor."
The men looked to each other and were puzzled.
Where was the slurring?
Where was the unfocused eyes?

Before them sat a self-assured, totally in control woman.
And she wasn't the least bit drunk.

The cards were dealt and as the final cards were laid down, Zara let out a slow breath and said, "Thirty-one."
Bartholomew raised his hand and said, "Game over."
There was a silence from Ferguson as he couldn't believe what had just happened to him.
Zara scooped up the deed to the land in the Colonies and slipped it into her bodice, along with the receipt that was the pretend deed to El Lobo del Mar.

"Well, wasn't that a pleasant way to spend an evening, gentlemen?"

"ZARA!"

"Uh oh...busted."


Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on January 01, 2016, 07:09:43 PM

He strode over to her.
"Just what in HELL do you think you are doing?"
"Winning. What does it look like to you?"
"Time to go."
"But I'm on a streak. Look! I just won three hundred acres of land in the Colonies!"
"And with what collateral?"
"Well...um...."
"It were a ship called El Lobo del Mar," one of the pirates volunteered.
"Don't worry, Phillip. I didn't lose it. Look! I won land!"

He took the deed and asked, "Who does this belong to?"
A depressed pirate raised his hand.
"Me."

"Here--take it back. It is a fraudulent bet. She has no right to a ship that is not hers."
"You means he was playing with property that isn't even hers?"
He jumped up ready to grab Zara.
Phillip whipped out his pistol and said evenly, "We are going now. No harm done. She's underage anyways. And if you go for your gun, I will burn you. I will burn the very heart out of you."'
Zara crossed her arms. "Underage, you say. A woman, says I, who knows her mind and thinks she is staying around."
Phillip scooped her up and threw her over his shoulder.
As she was being bounced out the door, she waved enthusiastically and said, "Nice playing cards with you gentlemen. Oh and by the way.....that is a marked deck. 'Ta!"

Phillip set Zara down firmly on the ground about a block from the tavern. The rain was just starting.
"Oh, great!" Phillip groaned. "A storm is moving in."
Just then Davis ran up, out of breath.
"Thank God you found her."
It started to rain harder.
"Where the hell did you find her?"
Phillip glared at Zara. "She was in the Diablo del Mar in the middle of a card game. I'll explain later. Go on back to the ship and I will be there in a few minutes.
"I'm sorry if I caused you any worries, Davis," Zara called after him.
Davis turned around. "We'll talk later--and about the heart attack you almost gave me."

Phillip waited until he was out of earshot.
"Just what the HELL were you doing, betting your father's ship?"
She shrugged. "The cards were marked. I saw it as an opportunity to win some land. Da would have been proud."
"Do you always have to start trouble no matter where you go?"
From down the street came the sound of a window breaking. A pirate sailed through it and landed in the street.
She looked back and said, "Yeah...pretty much."

Phillip took her roughly by the arm. "We're headed back to the ship before they find you."
She shook off his arm and said haughtily, "I can manage to make it back to the ship under my own steam. I will thank you not to manhandle me."
She stood there with the rain coming off the brim of her hat, the feathers drooping and her shirt plastered to her body.

The two stared at each other, the rain pouring off Phillip's hat in torrents.
"We'll talk about this once we get back to the ship and into dry clothes," he said tightly.
"Fine," she retorted.

As they walked up the gangplank and onto the ship, the crew that was standing nearby parted silently like the Red Sea as they walked to the quarterdeck.
Zara left a trail of raindrop drips and her boots squished as she walked. Phillip wrung out his shirt tails.
"I suggest we both get into dry clothes and we can talk--"
"No. No need to talk, Captain Briggs. What you do on your own time is your business. What I do on mine, is my own."
"Oh, really? I seem to remember that what you did on your own time is the reason you are here on the ship. And having the audacity to put up your father's ship in a card game--I don't care if the cards were marked or not--was the height of recklessness. Have you no forethought at all as to what you put poor Davis through?"
"My apologies to Davis. Although you could hardly wait to pawn me off on him."
"What do you mean?"

She swept her cavalier hat off in a grand imitation of his greeting to the woman at the cottage and bowed deeply. She presented him with a rope and said quietly, "Go hang yourself."
"Zara..."
The only reply she gave was her boot heels stomping on the companionway deck and a slam of the door for emphasis.

Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on February 01, 2016, 08:17:21 PM
The next morning....

Davis stood on the upper deck and looked over the sea. Zara walked quietly up the stairs.
"Permission to join you?" she said meekly.
He nodded.
They stood there in silence for a few minutes.
"Who is she, Davis?" Zara said softly.
"Who is...who?"
"The woman with red hair who lives in the cottage down the lane from the port."
"Oh...that woman. Just a friend of Captain Briggs."
"Obviously. I...saw them."
"Oh?"
"Phillip had flowers and he bowed and handed them to her. She seemed very pleased. They kissed and he went inside."
"How long did you hang around outside?"
"Not long. I kept hoping he would come right out. But he didn't. It didn't take a genius to figure out what was going on inside."
"He's a normal, single man, Zara. These situations happen."
"But, Davis, I don't understand. He kissed me on the beach at Castara. He left me a beautiful seashell with pink pearls draped over it. Is he just playing a game with me?"

"It's not Phillip's style, Zara. He's always been pretty straighforward. Like his da."
"It took Uncle Josiah long enough to figure out he wanted Aunt Renee."
"Cautiousness, Zara. They are cautious men. That is what made your da and Josiah such good friends. They balanced each other. Your da had crazy schemes but Josiah was always the voice of reason. Even though he did go along with it."
Davis chuckled, "I remember a time in Antigua...." He caught himself and cleared  his throat. "Well, it was a long time ago..."

Phillip mounted the stairs.
"Zara, we need to talk. Davis, would you excuse us?"
Zara gathered up her hat and said frostily, "Don't bother, Davis. There is nothing to be said. Captain Briggs, you stay to your side of the ship and I will stay on mine. Shall I get some sort of tape to mark it off?"
"Now you are being a brat."

The first words were muffled but the last few were very clear.
"...and the horse you rode in on."

As Zara ran down the stairs, Phillip turned to Davis.
"Guess she is still mad."
"Guess so."
Silence.
Davis took a long draw on his black cigarette. "You don't know too much about women, do you, Phillip?"
"I know what goes where."
"A piece of advice. Leave her alone for now. She's hurt."
"I know."
"She saw."
"I know that too."
"She told you?"
He smiled wryly, "More like she gave me a demonstration."
"Ah well....this too shall pass. Can I ask a favor of you?"
"Sure."
"Can you make this ship go a bit faster? The two of you are driving me crazy."
With that, Davis threw his cigarette over the gunwale and walked off, waving goodnight over his shoulder.

Phillip sighed. "Yeah. That makes two of us, mate."

Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on March 04, 2016, 08:54:42 PM
The next morning--
 
Phillip strode up to the quarterdeck as Davis was taking a few measurements and adjusting the ship's wheel.
"Doesn't Harris usually do that?"
"Aye, but he's hung over."
"Still? We left Tortuga two days ago."
Davis grinned, "Well, he had a good time. Came back with nary a coin in his pocket. I gave him the hair o' the dog that bit him and he will be as right as rain come evening."
"Some navigator he is!"
"Aye, well, when he is sober he is the best."
 
Phillip walked over to the binnacle and put a healthy dose of rum into his coffee.
Davis frowned. "I take it the little lady has not made an appearance?"
Phillip shook his head.
"I thought I saw a flash of blue silk as I approached the galley but I heard a door slam. Quite loudly. Cook said she snuck down and fixed a plate and disappeared. An hour later, the plate was in the kitchen except it was clean."
Davis laughed, "She's pretty quick. But she can't stay in that room forever."
"Don't be too sure. Jack said when she gets her nose in a book, she forgets about everything."
 
He walked over and unfurled the navigational charts, his finger tracing the route.
 
"This is the route I want you to take, Phillip," said Jack. He took a long draw on his pipe before continuing. "It's not the swiftest, but it's the safest in the end. Any ship's master who has a lick of sense and any experience at all in these waters will recognise El Lobo's silhouette and give you a wide berth."
He pointed along a path on the map he had drawn in red ink. "Stay east of the Windwards until you reach Barbuda. Then bear hard west and slightly south, keeping St. Barthelemy to starboard and St. Eustatius larboard. Bring her to due west when St. Croix comes into view. Once you're beyond Puerto Rico, go north through the Mona Passage then follow the coast of Hispaniola until you reach Tortuga."
"Simple enough, but that's well away from the main shipping lanes. Wouldn't pirates be more of concern on this route?"
"Lad, just who do you think would give El Lobo the respect, and distance, she deserves? Pirates love shipping routes. I'm taking you out of them. Be sure to tip your hat as you sail on by. It costs nothing to pay courtesy to someone who knows better than to try to blow you out of the water."


??Phillip tipped his hat many times that day. And just as Jack had said, ship after probable pirate ship had begun to pace El Lobo, then casually veered away.
All, save one.

"Our position?" called Phillip.
"Nearly to the mouth of the Mona Passage, Cap'n," replied Davis.
"We'll make our turn as we pass Isla de Mona, due north, then take us west."
"North, then bear westerly, aye," replied Davis.

As they skirted the coast of Isla de Mona Davis pointed towards the horizon behind them.
"Phillip, ye might want to clap eye to our wake.
Phillip picked up the spyglass and looked out towards the southeast.
"Our shadow is still with us," Davis murmured. "The one we picked up as we passed St. Croix."
"Has he gained on us?"
"No. He's a patient devil. Hanging just at the edge of our sights, matching us turn for turn."
"Are you sure it's not some reflection or another trick of the light?"
"I'm positive. The masts are all wrong, for one thing. Two to our three. Best I can tell, he's a brig. Maybe bigger, but it's hard to say at this distance. We won't know more until he shows his hand."
"If he shows his hand. He may just be curious, waiting to see if we mistake him for a merchant and turn to engage. He can earn his reputation on someone else. Steady on, Davis. We'll bore him to death."
"Aye, Cap'n. Steady on it is. But the sooner we're rid of this ghost, the better, I say." He paused for a moment. "All the same, perhaps it would wise to put the gun crew on alert?"
"I'm not one to jump at shadows. I'm surprised you are. No, not until he moves to overtake us. We'll have time enough to make ready if that time comes at all."
"Aye, then. But you won't mind if I have two sets of eyes on that ship over the next few watches?"
Phillip thought for a moment. "Yes. I'll defer to your considerable wisdom. Make it so."
"And Phillip?"
"Yes?"
"This is your command, and the quarterdeck is your hallowed ground. But I don't give a damn what Cade Jennings taught you. It's a long fall from such a high horse. What he got was coming to him. This ship might be a wooden world, but it's no empire."
Phillip shook his head. "I did it again, didn't I?"
"That you did, Cap'n Phillip Briggs. Shoulder braids and quilled hats don't suit you much. We're all but simple folk, same as you. Same as your da Josiah, and same as Jack Wolfe himself. Now if you don't mind, Cap'n sir, I'll check on our shadow before the light fades."
"Davis, I'm sorry. Things have been going so smoothly; I guess it's gone to my head."
"Apology accepted. I'll be here, next time you need taking down a peg or two! And the time after that."

Davis walked to ??the aft gunwale of the quarterdeck and peered into to distance. "Just who the hell are you, pacing us so? Find another bone to chew, wee pup. You'll find no meat here. Only teeth."
 
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on April 03, 2016, 08:30:29 PM
On the quarterdeck of the pursuing ship, second in command Hector Alvarez lowered his spyglass and smiled.
"They have not changed course or speed. Your orders?"
The captain took a deep breath before stepping forward. He eyed his prey before saying quietly, "No change in speed? This is too easy. Increase ours. Make ready the forward guns. But take your time, Alvarez. I wish to savour this."

Alvarez nodded to his commander. He walked to the forward railing of the quarterdeck and cleared his throat.
"Gentlemen! Our time is now. Get aloft, and bring us to full sail! Master Orencia, have your forward gunners ready with chain shot. We do this for the pride of Spain, and the pride of our Captain Mendoza!"

Phillip jogged up the stairs to El Lobo's quarterdeck.
"And change, Davis?"
"Plenty. They just clapped on full sail. Time to play captain for real, Mister Briggs."
Phillips' eyes went wide. "Full sail!!" he shouted. "Every last bit of canvas we have, show it to the wind! Double time!"
The crew leapt to life, scrambling up the ratlines and untying the sailcloth as fast as they could.
"Recommendations, Mister Davis?"
"Well, we could run like hell on our current course and get overtaken. We're too heavy with molasses barrels to try and outrun them. We could dump cargo, but not fast enough to make a difference."
"I'm hoping you're just getting the bad news out of the way early? What else is there?"
"That bank of thick fog, twenty points off to starboard. We'll lose speed making for it, but we stand a good chance of losing our unwanted company once we're in."
Phillip bit his lip. "Do it. It's our best chance."
He looked behind and cursed himself as he saw the pursuing ship gain on his own with every passing second.

Alvarez looked to his captain. "We are within range. But they are making for that fog bank. If they go in there, we'll lose them."
Tranquillo Mendoza's eyes went hard. "Then we should explain it to them, don't you think, Hector?"
With a predatory smile, Alvarez raised his hand high in the air, then quickly made a fist.
A moment later, the forward guns of the Mercedez III spoke their authority.

The men on the quarterdeck of El Lobo instinctively ducked when they heard the other ship's guns fire. High above, chain shot tore through the sails, dramatically reducing their ability to carry the wind they so desperately needed to flee.
"Aft guns, fire!!" yelled Phillip. The guns blazed but went wide of their mark.
"Damn it all!" said Davis. "That's it. We'll never outrun them now."
Phillip just stared at the pursuing ship.
"Your orders, Captain?"
Phillip shook his head. "What? My what?"
"Do we run and get chased down like dogs, or do we stand and fight?" asked Davis. "Your orders, Captain Briggs?"
Phillip stared at the deck. "Order the men to heave to and take in sail. Signal to the commander of the enemy vessel..."
He took a deep, shuddering breath. "We surrender."

Davis' mouth dropped open. "Are you out of your mind?! This is Jack' Wolfe's ship! He would never give up without a fight, and you know it!"
"And he isn't here now! But his daughter is. And I'll not have her life put at risk over some damned molasses and a few coins. If you have a problem with that, Mister Davis, you can enquire about employment with whoever just fired on us. Am I understood?"
Davis stared at Phillip for a moment, then spat upon the deck. "Clearly. I hope to God you're right. 'Cause we're all dead if you're not."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on May 01, 2016, 07:33:20 PM
"Look, I'm thinking of everyone's safety. We're too slow and we're undermanned for battle. If it's all the same to you, I'd rather talk our way out of this than shoot."
"Aye," said Davis with a resigned shrug. "I guess my pride got the best of me. I'll give the orders and strike our colours. Hopefully, this Spaniard won't fire on a flag of parlay."
"One more order," said Phillip. "Have the men arm themselves. Pistols and blades stowed in easy reach. I want them ready in case things go any more against us."
"Now that's the Phillip Briggs I know. Consider it done, captain."
"Good man. I'll be below trying to explain our situation to Zara."
"And trying to convince her not to do anything Wolfe-like?"
"From your mouth to God's ear. Carry on, Davis."

As Phillip made his way to the great cabin, he could hear Davis issuing the bitter orders no captain ever wants to hear being carried out on his own ship. The very thought of surrender galled him, but no other alternative was available. He hoped that this was all some terrible misunderstanding, or at the very least something he could talk his way out of. But first things first. He had to convince Zara Wolfe to stay out of sight and out of trouble. Two things she was not known for doing easily. Never mind the fact he was offering up her father's prized ship for surrender.

He opened the cabin's door to find Zara reading the ship's log.
"What are you doing with that?" he asked.
"Don't you knock?" she fired back.
"This is my cabin. Why should I knock?"
"I could have been in an indecent state."
"My day might have had a bright spot, then. Zara, we need to talk."
"About the log book? It's boring."
"No, not about that. There's a—"
"Your penmanship is awful, too. Not only is it boring, it's hard to read. Double boring."

Phillip walked over to the desk where Zara was seated and slammed the log book closed. Zara sat back, startled, but quickly regained her air of ennui.
"Now that I have your attention," he said sternly, "Did you hear cannon fire?"
"It wasn't me if that's what you're getting at."
"I'll take that as a yes. We've been fired on by a Spanish ship. By the way they've pursued us, they mean to board."
"Outrun them, then," Zara sniffed.
"Impossible. We're too heavy. El Lobo is a freighter now, remember?"
She pushed the log book at him. "You can start by throwing this overboard. That should lighten us up nicely."

"Zara, I can see you don't grasp how serious that is. And that's fine. You're only a child after all."
Her fists balled in anger at his words, but she stayed put.
"When the Spaniard boards," he continued, "I will do my best to talk out way out of this. Give him a measure of our cargo, anything that will prevent him searching the ship. Anything that will keep you safe. But I need your cooperation. I need you to stay below and keep silent."
Zara was flattered by Phillip's desire to keep her safe. But to keep below and not make a sound when her father's ship is being boarded by Spaniards?
"I will agree to your terms, Mister Briggs," she said. "but on one condition."
"And what might that be?"
"If this is an act of piracy, you send that Spaniard to hell. I will not have my father's ship taken while I draw a breath."
"And what of me, Miss Wolfe?" asked Phillip.
"You're part of the crew. That makes you part of the ship, doesn't it?"
"Aye, it does."
"Then get your arse back here in one piece. I daresay I've become fond of it."

"So we have a bargain? You stay below and quiet whilst I take care of the Spaniard?"
"Yeah, I guess we do."
Phillip breathed a sigh of relief as he turned towards the door. Despite Zara's bratty protests, he felt confident she would stick to their agreement.

As he put his hand on the door handle, a loud bang came from behind him.
Zara had taken the log book from the desk and dropped it flat against the deck.
"Oopsie! Butterfingers me. Was that too loud?" she demurred.
"Zara, I thought you understood—"
Three loud thuds came from above, a signal from Davis that Phillip needed to return to the quarterdeck.
"We'll talk about this later," he said.
As he closed the door, he heard Zara reply in an odd sing-song, "No we won't!"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on June 04, 2016, 09:19:52 PM
Phillip made for the weather deck at a brisk jog. Something about their uninvited company had alarmed Davis. And anyone who knew Davis also knew he was a difficult man to rattle.

As he stepped onto the deck, Phillip could see the Spaniard closing in from astern on the starboard side. Davis was there to greet him as he climbed the steps to the quarterdeck.
"They're certainly taking their time," said Phillip.
"That ain't the half of it. I know why they've come after us," said Davis. He pushed the ship's spyglass into Phillip's hand. "Look to her stern, just below their flag."
Phillip did as his first mate instructed, and his mouth fell open. There, dwarfed by the flag of Spain that flew above it, was the ensign of the House of Mendoza.

"And I thought this day couldn't get any worse," muttered Phillip.
"You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw it, too," said Davis. "You'd think that old cripple would have given up his vendetta years ago."
"The prouder the man, the more twisted his sense of justice. But he'll get none today. Jack's not aboard."
"But his daughter is. To a man like Mendoza, spilling her blood is spilling Jack's. Any opportunity to hurt Jack is better than killing him outright."
"I've already told her to stay below and quiet until this is over. With a little luck, Mendoza should be convinced to let us go on our way once he knows Jack isn't here."
"Is that your plan, or are you wishin' out loud?"
"Do you have anything better?"
Davis shook his head. "Of course not. We'll try it your way, but if things go sour I say we take as many of those Spanish bastards with us as we can."
"I pray it doesn't come to that, but it's best to keep all options at hand when there's a Mendoza on the doorstep. Have the men secure their stations, Mister Davis. The closer they are to their arms, the happier I shall be."

Davis nodded and went to the taffrail. "All right, listen close! Every man to is to take his station and stay there, no matter what our uninvited guests do next. This galls me as much as it does you. But no man is to raise his hand in anger unless commanded to. Speakin' of which, General Order Twelve is still in effect. Now back to your posts!"
Phillip crossed his arms in puzzlement. "General Order Twelve? We have a General Order Twelve?"
"I made it up," Davis said with a shrug. "Sounds better than 'fill your hands and bring hell on 'em', doesn't it?"
"Not as colourful, but it will have to do." He looked at the closing Spaniard and shook his head. " Davis, am I doing the right thing?"
"If you're asking the question, then yes. I'd be scared if you were sure of yourself."

After what felt like an eternity for the crew of El Lobo, the Spanish ship came along side. Davis gave steadying words to the crew as grapnels flew from the Spaniard and dug into the flesh of their beloved ship. Within minutes, the two ships were lashed together. Two men swung over from the enemy ship, their black polished boots hitting the deck with a precisely timed thud.
Phillip stood at the top of the steps to the quarterdeck and glared down on the new arrivals. "I am Captain Phillip—"
"Silencio!" snapped one of the men. "You will speak only when permission is given!"
"I'm gonna enjoy shooting that one," muttered Davis.
Phillip's only reply was "Shh."

The Spaniards turned back to their ship, and one signalled with a wave of his hand. Two men lifted a large bundle roughly a yard wide and heaved it over the gap between the vessels. The Spaniards on El Lobo caught it handily, and in one fluid motion lowered it to the deck and unrolled it. It was a length of pristine crimson carpet, fit for the coronation walk of a king.
"I ain't believin' this," Davis groaned.
"My father sold the Medoza ego short," said Phillip.
Finally, an ornately dressed man with flowing black hair, his head crowned by a Cavalier-style hat with peacock feathers, swung over to the deck of El Lobo. He landed precisely on the red carpet that had been laid out for his arrival. The two men waiting for him bowed low and remained in that state as he casually plucked the doeskin gloves from his fingers. Once he tucked the gloves into the belt as this waist, he snapped his fingers, releasing his men from their obeisant state.
"You will now pay respect and honour to the Most Illustrious Viscount Tranquillo Mendoza!"

Two more men swung over from the Spanish ship to stand by Mendoza's side. While they too were well dressed, their clothing paled in comparison to their commander's. Several of El Lobo's crew became anxious but calmed down again when Phillip raised a steadying hand.
"Where is the captain of this ship?" asked Tranquillo.
"I am the captain," answered Phillip. "Phillip Briggs, at your service."
Tranquillo gave him a distrustful look. "I have no time for these perfidious games. Bring me the captain, and bring him now."
Phillip descended the stairs to the weather deck. "Perhaps I spoke too quickly for you to follow. I am the captain of this ship."
"Do you think me a fool?!"
"Since you're asking..." started Davis.
"Do you really think I do not recognise this ship? I have hunted her for years, to avenge my father's honour. I will ask only once more: where is Captain Jack Wolfe?"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on July 01, 2016, 08:03:58 PM
Meanwhile, back in Barbados--

Jack pulled on a jet black riding coat over his equally black waistcoat and shirt. He paused briefly to brush a bit of lint from his lapel before donning black riding gloves. The sound of someone clearing their throat stopped him as he reached for his hat.

"Black boots, trews, and coat? Turn round and face me."
He turned and faced Honour with a grave look.
She walked to him and snugged the black tricorn on his head. "Black, black, black. Black gloves, too? You know I hate this look on you. Have you turned highwayman?"
"You know I'd never do something so clichéd."
"Yet there you stand. I don't see a brace of pistols, so there's something."
"I'm going through a French phase. You know how it is."
"And you're ever so good with French. Even when you speak it. Now, where are you off to?"
"I'm off to make a point," he said grimly.
"Oh. It's come at last. Then I'll see you when you come home."
Jack kissed her cheek. "I promise this won't take long."
"Promise me, when you make your point? Make it stick."
He nodded, then slipped out of the front doorway like a ghost.

The young man struggled as he was wrestled down a set of stairs and through a narrow doorway. He could see nothing and hear scarcely more through the bag that had been thrust over his head. The next thing he knew, he was shoved roughly into a chair. His hand were bound behind him, and two more ropes bound his ankles to his wrists. He quickly found could not struggle without fighting against himself.
"I am Tristan Culley!" he shouted through the fabric. "I am the governor's son! I'll make sure you bastards pay for this! How dare you treat me like this!!"

Suddenly, the hood was ripped from his head. Tristan saw he was in a small, dank room. There was a table off to one side with an oil lamp that provided only stark illumination to the surroundings. Before him was a man sitting in a chair. A man he vaguely recognised.
"Shhhh," said the man, who kept his face lowered. He casually cleaned his fingernails with a long, gleaming knife. "You'll find I dare quite a lot. Now hush. The rats don't care for a ruckus. Makes them hungry."
Tristan strained to get a clear look at the man's face. "You're going to tell me who you are, and then you're going to release me. Or so help me—"
"Or so help you Daddy?" the man interrupted. "You're off the edge of the map, boy. You're dealing with me now."

Jack lifted his head and made sure the young Culley could get a good look at his face.
"Jack Wolfe. Only you would be so cowardly as to do something like this!"
"Brazen is the word you're looking for, boy. Brazen. Cowardly best describes what you intended for my daughter. Is the purpose of our meeting becoming clearer to that fly speck what masquerades as your brain?"
"Wait, you... This is all a misunderstanding! I never meant— or said! Whatever you think I might have intended, you've got it wrong! If you let me go, I won't say a word about this to my father. I swear!"
Jack lifted the knife to eye level and puffed away a bit of debris from its tip. "A misunderstanding? Let's recount the facts, eh? Just for a giggle. For starters, you contracted with a sketchy ship's captain to take a bound young woman as human cargo to somewhere along the Moorish Coast. To be sold on the flesh market there."
"That's a lie! I never—"
"Save it. That man works for me. He has for years. I trust him with my, and my daughter's, life. Same with the inn keeper. Remember him? The man who steered you to said sketchy ship's captain?"
"But she's gone, isn't she? Everyone knows she was kidnapped and carried off. You yourself posted handbills about her disappearance."
Jack leant in close. "So you do think you've beaten me. For someone who fancies himself the smartest man in the room, you're laughably slow on the uptake. I staged her abduction. I made sure she was spirited away because I knew you were too much of a plonker to think your plan could fail. So start walking things back, mate. This ought to be entertaining."

Tristan's face burned hot as he squirmed against his ropes. "I never really meant to have her abducted. That was just foolish talk on my part. I was drunk! I admit, it happens more than it should, but that's the truth of it!."
"So when you're drunk, you pay out large amounts of cash to people you don't know?"
"I'm not proud of it, but it has been known to happen."
"Boy, I've been drunk a time or two. But I've never been drunk enough to specifically buy passage for someone into white slavery. You might have had a few under your belt, but you knew exactly what you were doing."
"You can't prove it. I'll refute everything your man or the inn keeper has said!"
"What about the people in the public house tonight, hearing you brag about... oh, what was it again?"
Jack motioned, and Simon stepped out of the shadows. "He went on about how he sent, um..."
"I'm already cross enough, just spit it out."
"About how he sent that little Wolfe b*tch - sorry, sir - to whore her way out of Algiers."

"He's lying!" shouted Tristan. "I never said that, and you can't prove otherwise!"
Jack leant forward and tapped the tip of his knife on Tristan's nose. "Shouting will get you nowhere. Oopsy! I gave you a little cut there. Sorry, butterfingers me."
He moved the knife to Tristan's throat and tapped the flat side of the blade against his neck.
"Here's the thing. And don't flinch, you know I'm a bit clumsy with this knife. Simon has been in my employ since before you were born. I trust him. I don't trust you. I'll never trust you. And another half dozen people who work for me heard your bragging. And we have another problem, Mr Culley. You've made my wife unhappy. That doesn't sit well with me. Not at all."
Tristan swallowed hard. "What is it you want? Money? I'll give you anything you want."
"I'm far richer than your pauper father. I'm almost as rich as the East India Company. Try again."
"I'll give you anything. Just don't kill me! Please, I beg you, don't kill me!"

Jack smiled broadly. "Well, my brainless little friend, you are in for a treat!"
"You're not going to kill me?"
"No." Jack tapped the butt of the knife against Tristan's forehead. "I'm not going to kill you," he said, tapping Tristan's forehead with each word.
"Thank you," Tristan exhaled.
"Well, I said not me. So, you're welcome. Your living or dying, that's up to whoever buys you."
"WHAT??"
"This is the part of me not killing you for trying to sell my daughter into slavery bit. I won't kill you because that would be far too easy for a snivelling little twit like yourself. But there's still a debt, you see. And to settle that debt, there's a price."
"I already told you, I'll give you anything you want!" Tristan begged.
"And I already told you, you can't afford me. I may be easy, but I'm not cheap. No, young Tristan Culley, your fate lies elsewhere. Specifically, Constantinople."
"Constantinople?! Why there?"
"They have a thriving market that no one talks about much. A market for healthy, or in your case, pudgy, young men. You should fetch a fair price."
"Wolfe, you can't do this!" howled Tristan.
"Too late. I already have. Gents, take him to his ship. And gag him this time, please? I don't want the neighbours talking."
"Thy will be done, sir," nodded Simon.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 02, 2016, 08:48:39 PM
Meanwhile...aboard El Lobo del Mar

Zara poured herself a glass of claret and sat down to sulk. How dare Phillip allow her father's ship to be boarded? He should have been able to do something - anything - to evade capture. But no. He had to play it safe. Now she had no choice but to hide below and hope for the best.
As she brought the glass to her lips, the ship lurched as the interloper's hull rubbed against El Lobo's. The wine missed Zara's mouth and splashed down her white shirt.
"Damn it!" she grumbled. "This won't do."
She carefully opened the door to the great cabin and slipped into the companionway. There were no crew below, and she could vaguely hear someone talking on the weather deck. She ducked into her quarters and slipped on a clean shirt. And there it caught her eye.
'Hello, old friend.'
 
She took out  a scabbard and withdrew a ruby handled bodice dagger. The blade was about five inches. Zara carefully ran her finger down the edge. Her father had always taught her the importance of keeping a blade sharp.
She put the scabbard in the drawer and slipped the dagger into her skirt pocket.
 
Making her way down the companionway and nearing the deck, she could hear men's voices. One was Phillip's, but the other was unfamiliar. And definitely Spanish.
 
He was a very handsome man with an aristocratic face.  He was of medium height, broad-shouldered and muscular.His long hair was free and he had a white shirt with an abundance of lace on the cuffs and down the front. He wore a frock coat of black with gold trim.
She could only understand a word here and there but she gathered he wasn't happy and Phillip seemed to be trying his best to keep his temper.
And failing miserably.
 
"There is no Jack Wolfe aboard this ship," explained Phillip. "I don't know what you're hoping to accomplish here. We are but a merchant vessel bound for the Virginia colony."
"And yet, this ship has the distinctive lines of a pirate vessel named El Lobo del Mar, and before that, Mercedes. The latter name I know well, as it was my mother's. And you, Phillip Briggs, you bear the name of your father. Josiah Briggs, yes? First mate of Jack Wolfe?"
Phillip kept his silence.
"No matter. You have told the story, yes? To amuse your crew? Told them how your father, the criminal Josiah Briggs, lead a raiding party to rescue Jack Wolfe from the imprisonment he so rightly deserved?"
"My father," said Phillip through clenched teeth, "rescued his captain and best friend from the clutches of a madman. Your father. And saved Jack from certain death."

Zara listened intently to the exchange as she lurked just within the doorway to the weather deck. Her father had been imprisoned, and rescued by Phillip's father? Why had no one told her this before? And who was this Spaniard?
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on August 02, 2016, 08:54:17 PM
Tranquillo paced the deck, a wry smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Very good. Very, very good. This is the ship I have been seeking. I will take great pleasure in delivering her to my father. But you know where that coward Jack Wolfe is. You will tell me."
"Go to hell," said Phillip calmly. "You've found out what you want, but this is no pirate ship. And I'll be damned if you'll make her a trophy. Now finish your business here and be on your way."
Tranquillo's face twisted with rage. "You will tell me!!" he bellowed. He took a moment to compose himself and stepped close to Phillip. "You will tell me," he continued coldly, "or I will have the throat of every man aboard this ship cut while you watch. I ask you again, where is the coward named Jack Wolfe?"

Zara could not believe her ears. How would anyone dare call her father a coward? Her blood boiled as she listened to the Spaniard's lies. But she kept her head enough to see all eyes were on the Spaniard and Phillip. Seizing the opportunity, she slipped from the doorway to one of the small boats kept on deck and climbed under its tarp. It was surprisingly dusty and smelled of mould. Nonetheless, she was determined to hear what this horrid man was saying about her father.
 
She crept to the side by the gunwale, being careful to stay in the shadows. The canvas was thrown in a heap in the longboat on the end. She slid into it and covered herself, leaving only a small bit open to watch.
All of a sudden, she felt a sneeze coming on. She desperately put her finger to her nose, trying to cut it off. She sighed with relief as it was abated.
"Ah...choo!!"
Unfortunately it was at that moment the men stopped arguing. Silence ensued and she felt the canvas being lifted up by the blade of a rapier.
She stared up into the eyes of the Spaniard.

"Que Dios te bendiga, munequita," he said softly.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on September 02, 2016, 07:52:07 PM
He offered his hand to her and helped her out of the longboat. All Phillip could do was groan.
"Just what the HELL to do you think you are doing, Zara?"
"You told me to stay in my quarters. I got bored. I have every right to be on this deck."
"No, you don't. I'm the Captain. I give the orders around here."
"Since when?"
"Since the beginning of this trip. You are along because you had to cause trouble in Bridgetown."
Zara went nose to nose with Phillip.
"At least I kept it in Bridgetown. Unlike you."
"What does that mean?"
"I mean knocking boots with a tart old enough to be....your sister. Your OLDER sister."

Phillip felt his face turn red.
"And how would you know unless you were following me?"
"Following you? I was shopping and saw you hot-footing it down to that little cottage. Tart couldn't even bother to get dressed in mid-day. What was she, simmering like hot soup in the kettle for you?"
"What I do is none of your business, Zara."
Zara raised her voice. "Oh, really? Did you give her a pink pearl necklace too? Or did she get a different colour? How many pearl necklaces are out in the Caribbean gifted by you, Phillip?"
He retorted, "Who I see and when I see them does not fall under your business. It is MY business, Zara."
"If that is the case, then why did you butt into MY business with Tristan?"
"Because you were out of your league. If someone hadn't stepped in, you'd be halfway across this globe wearing a dozen veils and learning some new belly-dance for a pasha!"
"How DARE you bring that up. You are nothing but a...a..."

"Will the two of you shut UP?" Tranquillo pinched the bridge of his nose with his finger and thumb.
"I am TRYING to mount a decent boarding and the two of you are giving me a headache.
I must say, your cargo is infinitely prettier than ours and I will deal with that cargo in a bit.. Now....where is Captain Jack Wolfe?
"For the last time, Captain Wolfe is not on board," Phillip said hotly.
Tranquillo nodded to Alvarez. The quartermaster drew his rapier and pointed it at Philip's chest, pressing the tip of the blade ever so close to his skin.

Tranquillo stuck his face close to Phillip's. "Captain Jack Wolfe never leaves his ship in another's command. Now...where is he? Hiding like the coward he is?"
"My father is not a coward, you bastard!"

Tranquillo turned sharply and a smile slowly spread over his face. Softly he said, "Dios mio, this is even better than I had hoped for."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 11, 2016, 09:32:46 AM

Phillip's eyes never left Tranquillo's face.
"Let her go, Mendoza. She doesn't have anything to do with this."
"Oh, no? This is a blood feud between the house of Mendoza and the house of Wolfe. I intend to take Miss Wolfe back to Havana with me."

He caressed Zara's cheek with the back of his hand and brushed her hair back.
"Perhaps we shall take the way back leisurely--passing the time in my quarters uninterrupted. Then send her off to one of Havana's brothels. Or keep her as my own. Do to her what her father did to my mother. And maybe I will kill you just for the hell of it. But no, that would not serve my purpose. So this is the bargain. I will let you live. And you can take back the tale to Jack Wolfe of what happened to his beautiful daughter."
Zara's eyes closed in revulsion.
"I will take Miss Wolfe and she will be my puta. You know what a puta is, don't you, Captain Briggs?"
Phillip clenched his teeth and said quietly, "A whore."
Tranquillo laughed softly.
"Ah, yes. A whore."
Zara spat in Tranquillo's face. "I will NEVER be your whore!"
Tranquillo wiped his face and then smirked. He straightened his gloves carefully and  without warning, backhanded Zara hard across the face.
Phillip made an instinctive step towards Zara but Tranquillo drew his pistol and pointed it at Phillip's chest.
"Not a step further, Captain."
Zara rubbed her face, tears welling up in her eyes.

Tranquillo held her close. "Ah yes, she will serve her purpose. Perhaps we shall even have children. Grandchildren of Diego Mendoza, his sworn enemy. You can tell Jack Wolfe that."
Zara whispered, "I will never marry you."

Tranquillo laughed with derision. "Marry? Don't be absurd. My wife would never allow that. Now when--and if--she is of no further use to me, I will let her whore her way back to Barbados."

A solitary tear trickled down her cheek.
"Or maybe, Captain Briggs, I kill you and the crew and your quartermaster can tell her father the fate of the two of you."
He whispered in Zara's ear. "Are you trembling in fright? Or anticipation?"
He trailed his hand and cupped the softness under her chemise.
"Captain Briggs will die with the knowledge I will possess you. Or maybe he will have a demonstration of that first."
 
Phillip made a start towards Tranquillo. Tranquillo cocked his pistol, while holding Zara close to him.
"You are making my decision for me, Captain Briggs. And I think it is now time for you to meet your God..."
Just then the pistol shot up in the air. With lightning fast reflexes, Phillip whipped his pistol out of the belt near the small of his back and fired dead center into Tranquillo's chest.

 The Spaniard staggered backwards, releasing his grip on Zara.
His hand grasped the ruby handled dagger embedded in his chest and then slid down the wall, falling to the side.

The Spanish crew looked on in disbelief as their captain collapsed to the deck, not realising the crew of El Lobo had already filled their hands with swords and pistols. The Spanish quartermaster, Alvarez, moved to draw his pistol, only to find his English counterpart had a pistol levelled at his head.
"Go ahead," said Davis. "What's one more dead Spaniard?"
Alvarez took a ragged breath and raised both hands in submission. His sword clattered to the deck.
The crew of the Spanish ship looked at one another nervously, uncertain if they should attack the Englishmen. The crew of El Lobo outnumbered them two to one. Was their fallen captain worth a certain bloodbath?
"Tell them to drop their weapons," said Phillip. "There's been enough killing for one day."
Alvarez barked an order, and his men reluctantly placed their weapons on the deck.
"Seize that ship," Phillip ordered his men. "Confine the crew, and I want all of them alive."

Zara stood staring at the lifeless body of Tranquillo. But at the sound of Phillips voice, she flew to his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.
"It's all right," he said softly. "You're safe."
"He---he was going to kill you. I had to do something."
"Hush, Zara. It's over now."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 02, 2016, 07:40:36 PM
Phillip looked back at Davis, and the quartermaster gave his captain a knowing nod.
As Phillip led a trembling, unsteady Zara below, Davis took command of the situation.
"All right, you lot heard the captain," he yelled to his men as he relieved Alvarez of his rapier and pistol. "Step lively and collect any arms you can find. Bind those men on deck, and sweep below for anyone hiding. You there, Hobson!"
Hobson, a burly crewman who also served as ship's cooper, turned and put his hand by his ear to hear above the commotion. "Aye, sir?"
"Take your tools and two men over there. I'll be wanting their chain."
Hobson smiled broadly. "I'll have it for you, with pleasure!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Zara jumped as the latch clicked behind Phillip as he close the door on his way out. He had promised he would be back as soon as he could, after a few things had been taken care of. He assured her the danger was over and she was safe now. No one would ever harm her again.
 
She rubbed her arms as if a chilly breeze drifted through the cabin.
Suddenly she felt the need to retch. She ran to the basin and all she could manage was dry heaves. She hadn't eaten since the morning and there was nothing to come up. Hastily she stripped off her clothes and threw them out the porthole. The waves claimed them in seconds.
She poured water from the pitcher into a bowl to wash, scrubbing herself raw. Her skin burned from Tranquillo's touch as she tried to wash away the feel.
Zara looked in the mirror and what stared back was the haunted look in her eyes.
As if she were moving in a dream, she threw the towel down and pulled out a fresh chemise, cascading over her body.
 
Opening the door to Phillip's cabin, she walked over to the liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle of rum.
Anything to dull the ache in her stomach.
The cork came out easy enough and Zara poured herself a generous glass. She took a deep breath and coughed as the liquor spread its warmth through her body.
'Now I can see why Da and Uncle Josiah like it so much.'
She poured herself another glass and found it went down easier than the first one. Still one more.
Zara was not used to anything but an occasional glass of wine but there was an urgent need for something stronger. The bottle was soon dry. Anything to numb the scenario that kept playing through Zara's mind.
It didn't take long for the rum to take the desire effect. Zara found the room was starting to spin a bit. She spied Phillip's shirt on the bed and picked it up. She held on to it for dear life and stroked her face with it. Then she burst into sobs.
Zara had come so close to losing all that she held dear. Tristan was child's play compared to the Spaniard with an agenda and revenge on his mind. The animosity between her father and this man's father had still played out after all these years. Her parents never talked about it and if they did, it was in hushed tones that followed with silence whenever their children entered the room.
 
She barely crawled into her own bed, sobs wracking her body. If she hadn't whipped the dagger out of her pocket and stabbed Tranquillo when she did, by this time she would have been in Tranquillo's cabin, subjected to anything he wanted.
'I'm not sorry..I'm not sorry...I'm not sorry....' she whispered between sobs.
She clutched the shirt as she felt the alcohol take over her senses. The last thing she remembered as she landed on the bed sideways was pulling the sheet up to her chin as her head hit the pillow.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on December 02, 2016, 07:44:47 PM
In less than an hour, all eighteen crewmen of the Spanish ship had been rounded up and taken to the weather deck. They sat dejectedly with their hands bound behind them, helpless as they watched every pistol and sword be carried over to El Lobo. Some of the men prayed in a whisper, other sat silently, contemplating whatever fate awaited them. They could see their officers aboard the English ship, standing impotently as their vessel was ransacked. Finally, the English captain emerged from below deck.
 Phillip regarded the Spanish officers with a grim gaze.
"Alvarez, is it?"
Alvarez nodded. "What do you intend to do with us? With our ship?"
"We have no use for your ship. Regardless of what your captain believed, we are not pirates," said Phillip. "I will return your ship to you. You're free to go your way, and we will go ours."
"How can I trust you?"
"You're forgetting who was the aggressor in all this, Mister Alvarez. You will have to take my word that we mean you no harm."
The Spaniard nodded warily. "And what of my captain?"
"His body is already back aboard your ship, in his quarters."
"Gracias," Alvarez replied. "Though I do not think he would have given you the same... dignity."
"We'll never know, will we? Right, then. Back to your ship. We part ways, once and for all. Mister Davis, see to it these men make it back aboard their own ship without incident."
"Aye, they'll get back in one piece. All right, gentlemen, time for you to leave. I think you know the way."
 Phillip waited until the Spanish officers were ready to swing back to their ship before catching their attention one last time.
"Oh, and Mister Alvarez? Don't even think of trying to follow us. My men took the liberty of removing your rudder chain. These winds should take you somewhere near Havana, by my estimate. You'll be in the shipping lanes at any rate. Someone will find you. I hope for your sake they're friendly. Bon voyage."
Alvarez opened his mouth to protest, but he found the El Lobo crew starting to move toward the railing where he and his men stood. With a disgusted shake of his head, the Spaniards returned to their ship and shame that awaited them in their home port.
 
 
The Spanish ship was carried westward by the whim of the prevailing winds, while El Lobo made her way north en route to the Virgina colony.
Phillip stood at the gunwale, the bottle of whiskey at his side. He watched in silence as the other vessel grew smaller in the distance. Soon it would vanish from sight. The day's events and their aftershocks would not disappear so easily.

Davis came over and stood next to him.
"Nice shooting, Captain," he said quietly.
Phillip stared out over the black water, the hull of the ship cutting through with a white wake as it glided over the sea.
His eyes never left the view as he took a deep drink from the bottle.
"I won't have her live with the knowledge that she was the one who killed him," he replied. "I won't do that to her. As far as she will ever know, it was my shot that killed him."
Davis helped himself to the whiskey. "She lost a fair bit of innocence today, fearing for her life. You're a good man to keep the blood off her hands."
"Am I? I can't help thinking there's more I could have done, other things I should have done to avoid getting caught by that Spaniard. I'm supposed to keep the ship and everyone safe."
"You reckon you failed Jack, then."
Phillip nodded.
"To quote Jack, then; 'Bollocks!' The ship is still in one piece, so are the crew. We have all our cargo. And Zara, well, she got a nasty fright, but nothing more. Phillip, you did what you thought was right. And you made the best of it. We've had closer scrapes and laughed them off. Why are we treating this one like a funeral?"
"The stakes are higher this time, I suppose," replied Phillip.
"Don't get so damned wrapped up in what could have been. Learn from what happened and move on. You've got good instincts. Don't throw away your trust them."

Davis pulled Zara's dagger from his pocket. "Getting back to our Spanish friend; I retrieved this when they were scraping the peacock off the deck. I don't suppose Zara will be wanting this back?"
Phillip shook his head. "She has enough to remind her of this day. Throw it to the Locker for all I care."
The quartermaster looked at the dagger for a moment, then took his own pocket knife and pried loose the ruby from the dagger's hilt. He rubbed the stone against his shirt and handed it to Phillip.
"Keep it to yourself, and use it to buy the lass something pretty. She deserves that much."
Davis hurled the knife into the sea and walked away softly whistling a tune.
 
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on January 02, 2017, 08:37:19 PM
Phillip sat on the edge of his bed and reached underneath for the bottle of rum. He uncorked it and took a healthy swig of it. It went down smoothly. Too smoothly. In a matter of minutes, the bottle was empty. He reached into the liquor cabinet he kept and pulled out a bottle of Irish whiskey. Taken off that British ship a few years ago, Phillip was saving it.
Now, more than ever, seemed to be the right time. As he poured a few drinks, he ran his fingers through his hair.
The enormity of what almost happened made him shudder. If Zara hadn't pulled her bodice dagger out when she did, even out of reflex, he very well might be dead. And Zara would be community property of the Mercedes II and later on her way to Havana and God knows what.

He laid back and threw his forearm over his eyes. He almost failed in his mission. To keep Zara safe and deliver her to Virginia. He shuddered as he realized how close he had come in failing to keep his promise to Mad Jack Wolfe.

The whiskey was taking effect quickly. Phillip realized he hadn't eaten since lunch but the thoughts of food were far removed from his mind. He fell into a twilight sleep, images of smoke and screams and Tranquillo's smug face.
The scream...the scream!

He jumped up, and suddenly leaned against the wall, his stature unsteady from all the alcohol. He kicked an empty rum bottle out of his way as he made his way to the direction of the sounds of a night terror.
As he opened the door, there sat Zara straight up in her bed. Her face was streaked with tears. The bedclothes were tossed and her chemise drifted down off one shoulder. Her hair was in disarray and a sheen of sweat glistened off her.
"Zara? Zara! What's wrong?"

She had the corner of the blanket up to her face as she tried to wipe the tears off her face.
"It...it was awful. I saw his face. And then...."
She held her hands out as if inspecting them. "It--it's the blood. It won't come off. Phillip, it won't come off!"
Phillip sat on the edge of the bed and held her hands in his.
Very softly, he said, "Zara, there is no blood."
"But there is! Don't you.....see?"
She looked down and her laugh was brittle.
"Oh."
"You had a nightmare. And no wonder, after all that has happened today. "
He brushed her hair back and wiped her face with the blanket.

Her chemise clung to her, leaving no doubt in Phillip's mind now she was not a child anymore but a young woman.
"I can't stop shaking." She held her hands out and they trembled.
"Hold on." He went to his cabin and came back with a bottle of whiskey.
"Take a sip. A small---"
Zara put the bottle to her lips and coughed.
"----sip."
She coughed again as Phillip took the bottle away.
She closed her eyes as the warmth from the whiskey flowed through her.
"Phillip? Would you...would you please stay here till I fall asleep? I'm so afraid the nightmare will come back."

He hesitated. But Zara's imploring eyes and her hand reached for his arm.
"It's hard for a Wolfe to admit they are afraid, but I am."
"Zara, you are safe here. I am just in the next room. I'll even leave the door open."
She cast her eyes down.
He sighed.
"Alright. I'll stay."
"Thank you," she said in a small voice.
He put his feet up on the bed and laid down.

"Phillip?"
"Mmm?"
"What did  you do with....him?"
"He's on his way back to Havana. Probably in a vat of rum."
Zara looked stricken.
"I'm sorry, Zara. But that is the way they do it when they want to..."
She looked about to be sick.
"Never mind. That was thoughtless of me. His crew will see that he gets where he is supposed to."
"Where is the...the....dagger? Did it stay with....?"
"No. Davis pitched it into the sea. He thought you wouldn't be wanting it back."
She nodded silently. "Thank you."

Her hair fell in a tangle around her face. He gently brushed it back as they faced each other. She tucked her arm under her pillow and watched his face as he laid on the pillow next to her.
"Phillip? Do you ever think about....death?"
"Occasionally. Then I brush it aside and go on with living life to the full."
"That's just it. You've had a wonderful time. I'm just starting to come into my own. And the thoughts of dying without ever living a fulfilled life scares me."
"Zara, you are young. You have a wonderful life ahead of you."
"Can I ask you a personal question?"
"Of course."
"Do you intend to marry Lenore Culley?"

He sighed. "I'm promised to be engaged, Zara."
"That's not an answer, Phillip."
"It's all I can really say. Decisions will have to be made when I get back from Virginia."
She nodded, a look of misery in her eyes.
"Zara? Are you alright?"
She felt her eyes mist up and felt a bit sick to her stomach.
"I'm....alright. Except...."
"What, Cookie?"
"That's just it. You call me Cookie and it is a name from when I was a toddler." Her words came out in a rush.
"I'm not a toddler anymore, Phillip, and you can stop treating me like one. And there is one thing I am afraid of. It's coming back from  Virginia and not ever feeling the way I feel when I am with you."
She reached up and touched his cheek gently.

"If nothing comes of this, then I will at least know what love is. I can accept that if you decide Lenore is the one you want.  I will learn to live with that.
But for now, right here in this room and in this bed, it is just us.
It is what I want, Phillip, and I know it is what you want too."

The tears welled up in her eyes as she gathered up her courage to whisper what she had longed to say.
"I love you, Phillip."
And with that she kissed him.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on February 04, 2017, 09:58:41 PM
It took a few moments for Zara's words to wend their way through the whiskey haze and into his consciousness. He looked into her eyes and found himself utterly defenseless. She was Jack Wolfe's daughter. He had made some vague noises that sounded like a promise to Lenore Culley. Zara was not supposed to be alone with him like this, and he wasn't supposed to want her this badly.

"Zara... you... I..."
"That's the idea," she whispered, and she drew him into a deep kiss. 

She drew back from him and with trembling fingers, began to unfasten the tiny buttons on her chemise.
"Phillip...."
 "Shhh....," he whispered in the dark as his fingers took over the task.

The fabric fell away like a silken waterfall in the moonlight.
 Phillip gently pushed Zara back and kissed her neck.
Zara put her arms around Phillip, drawing him to her.
His lips grazed her shoulder.
 At that moment, the thoughts of Lenore Culley and the red haired woman erased from Phillip's memory.
 All he could think of was the young woman he had known since she was a toddler.  Now a passionate woman who wanted him, body and soul.

His hand slid over her hips, gathering the fabric of her silk chemise with his fingers. He gently lifted the garment over her head. Zara's eyes stayed locked with his. She responded in kind by tugging at his shirt, pulling it over his head and casting it off the bed to lie with her chemise. They kissed, an intense, fiery kiss that would not easily fall to embers. Zara felt light-headed, but not from the alcohol. The sensation of Phillip's skin against her own was intoxicating in ways she had never dreamed possible. Feeling his hands on her body, stroking her, caressing her, made her want him even more. Her fantasies could not prepare her for the rush of desire that overtook her at this moment.

Every practiced touch and kiss from Phillip seemed to carry its own electric charge, her body responding in ways she had not anticipated. She gave herself over to him without reservation, joining with him in an ever-heightening spiral of ecstasy.

To finally hold Zara in his arms, to at last acknowledge his feelings and desire for her, was like throwing off shackles for Phillip. The warmth of her body, the sweet smell of her skin, the taste of her kiss, every supple curve under his touch, made his blood burn. At this moment, no other woman mattered to him, just as to her no other man existed.

The lovers, no longer burdened by rules and pretense, could finally allow their smouldering desire to become one flame.


Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on April 03, 2017, 07:35:47 PM

Phillip tenderly brushed the hair back from her face.
The moonlight shone down on the couple through the porthole.
"I'm sorry, Zara. I didn't mean for this to happen."
She stroked his face. "I'm not sorry. And yes, I meant for this to happen so don't have any regrets."
He held her close and kissed her.
"I don't think I have ever seen a woman glow like you are now."
She laughed softly, "You underestimate yourself, Mister Briggs."
He took her hand and kissed it.
"You, my girl, are amazing."
"But I am not a girl anymore. And there is one thing I have learned."
He drew back and laughed softly. "Just one thing?"
"Alright, quite a few things but you know what fleeting thought went through my mind?"
"What?"
"Now I know that look Da would give Mama and the smile she gave in return. And why I have six brothers and sisters."
He laughed, "Well, it has been said that Jack Wolfe never left a woman unsatisfied."
She drew him close to her and kissed him.
"Phillip?"
"Yes?"
"Can we do this again?"

"What, now?"
"Yes."
"Zara, along with the whiskey, that took alot out of me."
"Is that why you were breathing heavy?"
"Well...no."
She rolled over and propped herself up on her elbow. She ran her finger down the side of his face and traced her finger on his lips.
"So...why?"
"Because it was your first time. I wanted it to be perfect for you. No clumsiness, no awkwardness. Just...pure bliss."

She laid her head on Phillip's chest and sighed contentedly.
" Da said you were to be my instructor."
He placed his finger on her lips.
"This is one lesson, Zara, that we aren't going to tell your father about."
He drew her close to him. "I guess we won't be getting much sleep."
Her soft voice echoed in the room. "No, I guess we won't."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zara snuggled up next to Phillip.
He gently stroked her back as he drew the blankets over her.
"How many days till we reach Virginia?"
"About ten days with a good wind."
"I wish we could stay here, Phillip. In this cabin and never have to surface again."
He laughed. "The crew needs me to get El Lobo to port. We had enough trouble.
"I need you too."
"Yes, but not the way they do."
She got up, the blanket trailing behind her as she wrapped herself up in it.
"The moon is still up. I imagine it is about two in the morning."
Phillip yawned, "More like two-thirty."
"How do you know?"
"Sailor's instinct. Now come back to bed where you belong."
She grinned and climbed back in.
He wrapped his arms around her and drew her to him in a deep kiss.
"I love you, Zara."

She pulled back suddenly. "What did you say?"
"I love you. God help me, I have tried to fight it but I can't deny it any longer. You are smart, beautiful, fun-loving. Everything I have ever wanted in a woman."
"A woman. Phillip, this is the first time you have admitted that I am a woman."
"Well...." he laughed. "I feel so free when I am with you. It's honest. It's real. Maybe I was just waiting for you to grow up."
Zara felt the tears well up in her eyes.
"Oh, Phillip....I love you. I love you with all my heart."

With that confession, Phillip knew there was no way he was going to marry Lenore Culley.
A conversation from a month back flashed through his mind.

"Are you going to end it with Lenore?"
"I think I would be doing her a disservice by marrying her when..."
"When you are in love with another woman?"
"How...how did you know?"
"The distraction. The questioning. The doubts. But I have a thought for you to ponder."
"What?"
"Of al the women in the world, why did you have to fall in love with the daughter of Mad Jack Wolfe?"

He sighed. 'Renee, you could give Bonita a run for her money with your uncanny talent for predictions. Or are you just stating the bleeding obvious?'

With that he blew the candle out and settled down to as deep a sleep as he had not experienced in a long while.
All the while holding the woman he could finally love completely.

Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on May 02, 2017, 07:52:03 PM
Davis stood at the gunwale, watching a few dolphins frolic in El Lobo's wake.
Keating sidled up next to him.
"Seen Captain Briggs?"
"Yes and no."
"What does that mean? Either you saw him or you didn't."

"It's that I mostly see the back of him  as he goes back to the cabin. Frequently."
"Ah, well, he's in love."
"More like a new plaything."
"Don't be so ticked off, Davis. You were young once."
Davis threw his cigarette into the water.
"He makes the lamest excuses. He has to check the charts. He has to write in the log book. As if he ever did before. But the one last night was the topper. He had to go back for his hat."
"So what is so wrong with that?"
"He was wearing it."

Keating laughed. "Well, we haven't seen much of Miss Zara. Either she is occupied with her books or Briggs took her clothes away."
"Regardless, ol' Mad Jack will be out of his mind when he finds out. After all, that's his little girl."
"Don't be too sure about that, Davis. Phillip has been like a son to Jack. Maybe this is all part of a master plan. She has to get married sometime and what better way than to arrange it with somone you select yourself?"
"Aye, well, he'd best marry the lass before she makes him a father and HER father a grandfather. That won't go over so well and young girls...well, they can be careless."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zara propped herself up on her elbow, the sheet barely covering her breasts.
She smiled at Phillip as he pulled his shirt over  his head.
"Do you really have to go?"
He leaned over and kissed her cheek.
"Yes, sweetheart, I have your father's ship to command. And the sooner we get to Virginia, the easier I will breathe."
Zara stretched her arms over her head. "OH...I kind of like passing time here."
He grinned, "I'll take that as a compliment."
"How many more days till we reach Virginia?"
"About ten days."
She ran her finger up and down the blanket languishly. "And that leaves ten nights."
He laughed. "I'm going to have to stop my afternoon visits. The crew is beginning to whisper and talk."
"Let them. After all, you tell them you are picking up papers or writing in the log."
"They aren't dim-witted, sweetheart."
"Well, maybe I need to go up on deck."
She started out of bed. He grabbed her from behind and pulled her back in bed, kissing her neck.
"Oh, I don't think so. I like you just where you are."

Davis passed the door and heard soft laughter and giggling from inside.
He shook his head. "Can't we make it to Virginia in seven days? If he says clap on more sail, he'll get no argument from me."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 02, 2017, 08:10:02 PM
Meanwhile, back in Barbados.....

"Good morning, darling," Josiah kissed Renee on the cheek as she sat there with her coffee cup in her hands.
She took a sip and smiled to herself.
"Good morning to you, too, love."
Josiah turned as he finished pouring himself a cup of coffee.

"What is that look?"
"What look?"
"That look like you know something and maybe want to say it but don't know if you should. Like a secret that is like a cat in the bag. You want to let it out but don't know if you should."
She laughed. "Josie, Josie.... what makes you think that?"

"Because I know you, Renee. Better than you probably know yourself."
She put her coffee cup down and traced her finger around the edge as a bit of a tease. That was when Josiah knew she was about to spill the beans. So he patiently waited.

"I was just wondering...."
"...about?"
"Oh...how you and Jack will look as proud grandparents at a baby's baptism."

CRASH!!!!!

Renee looked over. "
"Oh...was it something I said?" She asked with a cocked eyebrow.
"Where in God's green earth did you EVER come up with a notion like that?"
She leaned back and stretched her arms over her head.
"I've always thought it. But never got around to mentioning it."
"I think you have been adding a bit too much rum in your coffee."
"Oh, have I? Or am I the only one saying what is the obvious?"
"Renee, Phillip is going to marry Lenore Culley."

"I wouldn't be too sure about that."
Josiah mopped up the spilled coffee. "How do you figure that?"

She took the wet rag from him and tossed it in the sink..
"Here. Use this one to mop your brow while I explain."
He sat down and reached for the rum.
Renee set another cup of coffee down in front of him.
"Have you ever known Jack Wolfe to do something that wouldn't benefit him?"
"Well, no..."

"You take one starry-eyed seventeen year old. Add a tall, strapping good-looking man with
nothing to do on a ship for a few weeks but watch out for said seventeen year old. Anything is possible."
"Phillip wouldn't!"
"Would. Could. Probably did. Oh, don't look so shocked, Josiah. You know how Phillip is and what a determined young lady Zara is. Has that girl ever been denied anything she set her heart on?"

Josiah gulped his coffee. "Jack will kill him."
"Don't be too sure. What better way to ensure that you like your son-in-law than to handpick him yourself?"
"But that is so...calculated. Jack wouldn't do that to Zara."

"Who better understand human emotions and certain drives better than Jack Wolfe? He's just enabling Zara to get what she wanted all along. And giving Phillip an option instead of making the biggest mistake of his life by marrying that stuck up viper."

Josiah stood up and grabbed his hat. "I have to see Jack about some molasses that are due to go out next run. We'll forget this conversation ever existed."

As he walked out the door, Renee took another sip of her coffee and smiled.
"Don't be too sure, my love. I am betting it is already a done deal."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on July 05, 2017, 07:07:18 PM
Josiah walked toward the tall oak doors at the back of the estate house. He never could get used to having his presence announced, and the waiting for Jack to receive him always felt uncomfortably long. Jack often teased him about his actual reasons for preferring the rear entrance over the front. Closer to Mrs Avery's scones and tarts, he always said. And Jack's house always had an open door policy for those considered more family than friends. 

As he mounted the stairs, the sea breeze ruffled his hair. Life was good, he contemplated. Good friends, one he regarded closer than a brother. A beautiful, supportive woman to love him. And a son that would make any man proud.
'My son...' he thought.

Renee's fanciful suppositions rankled him. 'No, not possible. Phillip was a man of honour. A man betrothed to a woman of high society with the possibility of a meaningful career. He wouldn't throw away his chances on-- Josiah shook his head as if to clear it. Renee always had a wild imagination. And that she regarded Phillip as the son she never had made their relationship all the more special. Because he was a child of choice, not by accident. Accident, babies-- good grief, Briggs! Snap out of it!

He shifted the papers he carried to his other arm and knocked. Honour of all people answered the door, a baby on her hip and a streak of flour on her face.
"Josiah! Come in!"
He smiled when he saw her. "What on earth are you up to, Honour?"
"Oh, just helping Mrs Avery roll out some dough. The baby was in her cradle in the kitchen, and I just picked her up when you knocked. But you don't have to knock, Josiah. You are family. Next time just come in. Promise?"
 He gave her shoulders a squeeze. "I promise. Now, is the captain of the house around?"
"He's just finishing up with an invoice with Eli. Go right in."
 
Josiah made his way down the hall to Jack's study and de facto business office. In many ways, it felt like his many walks to the great cabin aboard El Lobo. The door was open, but he felt the need to knock anyway.

"Master Briggs! Since when did we begin standing on pretence? Make your way in, you scoundrel! You know where everything is," called Jack.
Josiah chuckled as he stepped into the expansive library Jack called a study. Eli was sitting in a chair across from Jack's desk, but for a change, the young man seemed relaxed. Unusually so. But presently he gathered up his papers and hat.
"Much obliged, Cap'n Wolfe."
"Eli, how many times must I ask you just to call me Jack?"
"At least once more, Cap'n. As you'll always be my Cap'n."
"On your way, Mister Meredith. All my best to your family."
Eli paused to acknowledge Briggs before he left the room. And Briggs couldn't help but notice the large brown bottle of rum on Jack's desk.

"Josiah!" said Jack. "What brings you round this fine day? Let me pour you a gulper, like old times."
As Jack poured the rum, Briggs said, "I recall it was me pouring you a gulper, you being captain and all."
"Again with the pretences. Here. Courtesy of Will Harkness himself."
Josiah knocked the cup back and found himself gasping for air. "What in blazes is that?!" he managed to croak out.
"Rum, of course," said Jack. "Unless you've lost your taste for it."
"My taste be just fine. What's left of it, after that. I'd stow it well away from the powder magazine if you get my meaning. How many have you had?"
"Two, before that one. I think. So, what's on your mind, my friend?"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on July 05, 2017, 07:07:55 PM
Josiah plopped into a chair and tried to formulate his words as the rum's effects began to work its ways with him.
"Well, Jack, Renee and I were talking..."
"Good man. Communication is the key to a happy marriage."
"No, I mean, we were talking about Phillip. More to the point, Phillip and a certain young lady we're both acquainted with."
Jack's eyes narrowed. "I don't believe either of us is sufficiently drunk enough to continue this conversation if it's headed where I think it's headed."
Briggs handed over his cup. "Aye, that be true enough."

Jack poured them each a generous portion, which was quickly consumed by both men. After a few moments of shuddering and head shaking, Jack said, "All right. What are your concerns?"
"None that you haven't had yourself on a sleepless night."
"Taxes?"
"Worse."
"Snoring? And don't tell Honour I said anything. It's a sensitive subject."
Josiah set his empty cup down on Jack's desk. "No. Not snoring. You see, Renee mentioned—"
Before he could protest, the cup was refilled and waiting for him. He gave a resigned shrug and picked it up.
"She mentioned how this certain young lady had caught Phillip's eye. And how he's taken quite a fancy to her."
He paused to gauge Jack's reaction.
Jack took another drink and nodded attentively. "Yes, and?"
Josiah took another drink himself to hide his puzzlement. "Well, them being from such different family backgrounds and such, it makes you wonder how her parents might feel about, you know, things."

"Ah, I see your point," said Jack. "A young woman's parents can be very protective. And rightly so."
"I said as much to Renee. But she doesn't see any rough waters ahead."
"Renee is an excellent judge of people. And I would agree. I think Phillip has found a fine match."
Briggs choked on his rum. "You— what did you say??"
"I said Phillip found a suitable woman."
"You'd best pour me another."
"Well, 'suitable' might be a stretch. She's certainly stuck up. And more than a little boring."
"I never thought I'd hear you say that, Jack. Not in a million years."
"Why not?" said Jack. "It's the truth. But there's not a lot of choice on this island for a strapping young man. He could do worse than Lenore Culley."
"Lenore? I thought you were talking about.. you know..."
"No, I really don't."
"Zara."
Jack shook his head. "Why would I be talking about her? You're not making any sense, mate."
 
"I do appreciate it, Josiah," said Jack as he topped off their cups. "To be honest, the thought had crossed my mind as we were planning Zara's disappearance. Phillip is a good man. The only scallywag on this island I would trust with her safety more is yourself."
"Then Phillip is—"
"Dear Phillip is a calculated risk. One that I believe I could live with."
"That's right kind of you to say, Jack. And Phillip is a smart man. Hopefully smart enough to keep from... well, you know."
"We're smart men, and I don't recall it ever slowing us down. Especially the times it should have had us racing out of the harbour. But I will know if anything untoward happened."
Josiah nodded. "A father's intuition about the well-being of his daughter, is it?"
"Far more practical, and inscrutable," said Jack. "The bed will tell the tale if there is indeed a tale to be told."
"That rickety old thing? It's been broken more often than a banker's promises, and triced up as if by a drunken spider."
Jack smiled and touched his nose.
"Ah! You rigged the bed!"
"During one of my inspections of El Lobo just before they departed, I took the liberty of making a few adjustments. Anything over the weight of a man plus a sack of grain and pop goes the bedposts."

Briggs burst out in laughter at the thought of the bed collapsing at an inopportune moment. "And them with no way of knowing how it was tied up in the first place..."
"Plus a red herring or two to confuse things more. That's where the missing deck gun got to, in case you're wondering."
"I'm hoping it doesn't come to that, of course," chortled Briggs. "But it would be a fine test of their ingenuity."
"Hang their ingenuity. My intention was to give them something else to occupy their time," said Jack. The two men clinked their cups together in agreement.

"By the way, has there been any word of the parcel I sent to the Barbary Coast?" said Jack.
Josiah shook his head. "They should be on their way back by now. Those waters aren't what you'd call hospitable."
He took another sip before continuing. "Jack, I know it's not my place to question your motives, especially in personal matters—"
"Which has never stopped you before. Go on, my friend."
"When the Culley boy threatened Zara the way he did, there wasn't a man aboard who didn't want to have a few words with him, shall we say. A few of those words being 'shark bait" and the like. But we knew you'd sort him out in due time and keep Zara protected."
"But?"
"I— I never quite expected you to go as far as you did with it. He's the governor's son, after all. Do you think it's wise?"
"Josiah, I could have killed him. Part of me wanted to. But then he'd never learn anything from his mistake."
"Isn't sending him off to a seraglio the same thing?"
"Not at all. Tristan will be well treated. Treated better than a slave, at any rate."
"So you didn't sell him to a sultan?"
"No. I didn't. It's not like I would get a decent price for him."
"You're going to have to fill in the map for me, Jack. You've got me lost."
"There is a particular sultan who owes me a favour or two. Remember when we convinced an East India company warship an entire Turkish fleet was bearing down on them?"
"When we were just six ships towing lighted rafts! How could I forget?"
"Tristan Culley is being delivered to that sultan to be a servant in the palace for no less than three years. After that, he's free to go."
 
"That's all fine and good," said Briggs. "But three years? What happens when he turns up here in Barbados lookin' for retribution?"
"He won't be in Barbados."
"How's that? The first place any man kept in irons wants to go once freed is home."
"And home he will go. To London Towne."
"Another favour called in?"
"Another favour," said Jack with a smile. "My having certain ties to the Admiralty, and those ties having their own to a lot of stuffy folk in white wigs, it means that in less than two year's time Governor Culley will be recalled to England. Much to his relief, I'm sure. And Tristan will be reunited with his father soon thereafter. The opera is always looking for a good contralto."
"Just one flaw in your plan," said Josiah. "Phillip has no love for Mother England. His heart be here, 'tween the waves of the Caribbean, same as you and me. Lenore will want to stay close to Daddy and even closer to high society, so marrying her means leaving Barbados and most likely the sea to boot. All the more incentive for him to keep his sights closer to friendly shores. If you catch my meaning."
Jack sat back in his chair. "Your meaning is caught, Master Briggs."
"How's that calculated risk playing out for you now?"
"In-laws? Us?"
"We've shared hard times and good fortune for a good many years. I reckon we could weather this as well."
Jack nodded agreement.
"Of course, it could all be a passing fancy on Zara's part, too. How likely is she to lose interest in something she's grown fond of?"
"She's still got that toy rabbit I picked up for her on the way to Wales."
Briggs' eyebrows went up in surprise. "Well, em... Probably a good thing we all get along so well."
"Then I suppose a toast is in order," said Jack. He hefted the bottle and noticed it was nearly empty.
"How about we finish the bottle, and save the toast for another day, eh? What say you?"
"Fair enough, says I," said Briggs as he drained his cup.
"Another day it is," said Jack.

Honour and Renee withdrew from the door of Jack's study.
"What did I tell you?" said Renee.
"Time for us to chat," said Honour. "And I know where the rest of Will's finest is kept."
"Lead on!"
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 06, 2017, 07:41:02 PM
 
 
Honour went to the cabinet in the smaller parlor and took a bottle of Madeira.
"Here. Take this."
She also grabbed two glasses and some cheese and fruit.
"Follow me," she said to Renee.

They walked out to the back verandah and settled in.
"The baby just went down for a nap so we can have a nice visit. The French doors are open and I can hear her if she even makes a peep."
Renee settled in to her chair and kicked her shoes off. She propped her feet up on the small footstool and breathed deeply the salt air.
"I always have a sense of peace when I come here, Honour. I can see why you fell in love with this house and it is a perfect place to raise a family."
Honour poured a small glass of Madeira and a larger one for Renee.
"I still am not up to having much wine. With having the baby and all."
"Is this the last of the Wolfe pack?"
Honour leaned back and smiled. "I have no idea. I have such easy pregnancies and deliveries and it seems all Jack has to do is wink at me and....*poof* I'm standing behind a baby."
Renee laughed. "I think it took a bit more than a wink."
"Perhaps the smile later?"
They laughed.

She passed Renee the platter of fruit and cheese. "Renee, are you sorry you ever had children?"
Renee took a few grapes. "Seriously? No, I'm not. The son I inherited by marriage I couldn't love more dearly than if I actually gave birth to him. But he was past the snotty nose and diaper stage and all the kinks had been worked out. In spite of Lydia's hatred for Josiah, she did raise Phillip with manners and kindness. Sometimes I forget that he is a stepson. I see Josiah in him but he has his mother's eyes. And from what Josiah has told me, she was a wonderful person."
"I once asked Josiah when he finally realized he was in love with you."
"Do tell!"
"It was that night in your garden when you finally presented Phillip to him. He said it was almost as if Anne had pushed Phillip towards him and stood back and smiled at you. He finally could let Anne's memory rest and it was almost as if she gave Josiah her blessing to be happy again. And he truly is. I have known Josiah for years. Not as long as you but in a different context. And I've never seen him more complete."

Renee paused and tried to discreetly wipe the tear that threatened to escape her eye.
"Thank you, Honour. I know Josie loves me without reserve but it is so nice to hear someone else reaffirming it."

Honour sipped her wine. "And speaking of children and love...."
Renee stretched out her arms over her head.
"Now, were we actually talking about that in the same sentence?"
"Not really but..."
"But you have a mother's anxiety about your daughter and if she is being taken advantage of."
"Oh, I doubt Phillip would ever do that."
"Honour, sweetheart, think back to yourself at that age. What were you feeling?"
"I thought the sun rose and set in Rhys Morgan."
"So...can you fault your daughter if she has those same feelings?"
"I don't want her to get hurt. I know Phillip has engagement plans with Lenore Culley."
"Don't be too sure about that. Look, this is all confidential woman-to-woman talk and we have known each other a long time. Frankly, Honour, I consider you my best friend. Good Lord, I never thought I would say that to a woman I once regarded as an intrusion into Jack's and my relationship! But I want you to know that once you and Jack were back together, Jack and I became just close friends at that point."
"I know that, Renee. To him, you will always be Pip Woolston. And I positively adore you. Aside from my sisters--and even then---I can tell you things I won't tell anyone else. So I guess I should come right out and say it."
"Go ahead."
Honour took a deep breath. "Do you think Phillip and Zara are sleeping together?"

Renee took another sip of her wine and glanced over the rim at her best friend.
"I don't know, Honour. My head says he wouldn't be that reckless. But my heart says otherwise. Now let me ask you a question."
"What?"
"Would it upset you if they are?"
"No. Yes. I don't know!"
"What does YOUR heart say?"
Honour sighed. "Who am I foollng? She's had a crush on Phillip since she was a toddler. Once in Scotland, I played a game with her. I drew pictures of people she knew. She was fascinated by the picture of Phillip and kept staring at it. When I gathered them up the next day, the one of Phillip was missing. I found it later in the tote she kept Bun-Bun. I just left it there. As far as I know she has it tucked away somewhere. So back to your original question, 'would I be upset?' "

Renee sat and waited for Honour to continue.
"No, I wouldn't say upset. I would hope they would use prudence and some self-control but..."
"But what?"
Honour laughed. "She's Jack Wolfe's daughter. At seventeen I have no claim to wrap her in wool and stick her in a nunnery. Let's just say if it happens, I wouldn't wear sackcloth and ashes. And if the inevitable has happened, at least I know the breeding of the young man."
"What about Jack?"

Honour poured herself a drink. "Jack? Jack is another story."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on September 02, 2017, 07:59:32 PM
Ten days later in Virginia

"Zara? Are you ready? We're about to dock."
She opened the door and stood there in a light summer dress of spring green with a parasol to match trimmed with green ribbon.
"I must say you look stunning. Will I have to fight off the local gentry lads?"
Zara adjusted her white lace gloves and smiled. "Oh, I don't think so. No one can hold a candle to you, Phillip."

And she was right. Phillip was wearing a new burgundy silk shirt that he purchased in Tortuga along with black breeches. A cavalier hat in burgundy with black feathers was perched rakishly on his head.
As they walked to the gallery, Zara hand resting on his arm, he said, "It will be nice to sleep in a bed that isn't rocking."
Zara whispered in his ear and Phillip exclaimed, "Oh, you bawdy wench!"
Her soft laughter reached the ears of Davis. He threw his spike down.
"Hey, Davis! Where are you headed off to?"
He grumbled, "To pay off a few wagers."

~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Uncle Will!"
She ran up to Captain Iron Will Harknesss and gave him a big hug.
"Zara, my sunshine! How was the journey?"
"Incredible and exciting! I learned so much from Phillip and---"
Phillip cut her off and extended his hand to Will. Will clapped him on the back.
"I take it the trip itself was uneventful?"
"Well, best tell the story over a brandy."
"Later, then."

Zara laid her hand on Phillip's arm and he smiled down on her. Will raised his eyebrow and didn't say a word. She closed her parasol and she gave Phillip a kiss on the cheek.
Will said to himself, 'Damn right we will talk about it later."

From the carriage window, Zara looked out over the passing scenery. "Oh, Uncle Will! This wasn't the wilderness I pictured. You are actually civilized!'
Will leaned on his walking stick. "Yes, indeed, civilization suits us here! I will have a ball to introduce you to Virginia society. A lot of eligible young men who would love to score one dance with you and be content to die happy.
He stole a glance at Phillip who stared out the window of the carriage.

Within half an hour, the carriage pulled up to a beautiful brick manor with ivy crawling up the sides. Four white pillars held up a second story balcony. In the fields, the songs of slaves filled the air.
"Tobacco. A crop that is profitable bar none. Not to mention my rum distillery near the wharf....and here we are!"

Phillip helped Zara out of the carriage. A young black man held the reins of the horses and quickly led them away to be groomed.
Suddenly the front door opened and a tall, lightskinned black woman in a pretty calico dress greeted them.
"Mr. Will, she is just as pretty as you said she was."
She curtseyed. "I am Dilcey. I shall show you to your room."
Phillip whispered, "I will see you in a bit."

Dilcey chatted enthusiastically about the house as Zara glanced back at Philip.
Will said, "Zara looks well. Almost glowing. She certainly has grown into a beautiful young woman.. Come on, let's go into my study."
They headed to a study where the books lined the walls and framed maps decorated the other wall.
"Brandy?"
"Yes, please."
"So, Phillip....sit down. You have my molasses?"
"All set to unload."
Will looked at his walking stick. "Good, good! Now do you care to tell me what really happened?"
"What do you mean?"
"On the voyage. I know chain shot damage when I see it. And a hole from a cannonball near the upper deck. What will Jack say when he sees the damage?"
"He won't. I intend to have it fixed before we sail."
Then he sighed. "Alright. Two words. Tranquillo Mendoza."
Will raised an eyebrow. "You don't say."
"Better pour yourself a brandy and settle in."
"For this, I will pour my best."
"It started out when we hit Tortuga....."
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 06, 2017, 12:51:16 PM
"...and I sent Tranquillo home with his crew. I hope they put him in a barrel of rum to keep him preserved by the time they get to Havana."
"This won't go well with Diego. I suppose I should be glad. I can't believe Diego is still alive."
Will tapped his leg with his walking stick.
"I have him to thank for this slight limp."
"I plan on taking the snarling wolf masthead off and replacing it with an innocuous one for the return voyage. I also paid the dock master off and we ported under the name Sea Hawk.
Will nodded.
 
"This won't go well with Diego. Not at all. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that old mad warlord is still alive." Will tapped his leg with his walking stick. "I have him to thank for this damned limp. I was one of the lucky ones on that occasion. Let's just say I'm happy for his loss. But you, dear lad, will need to keep a weather eye."
"It was a lesson I don't need repeated," said Phillip. "I plan on taking the wolf masthead off and replacing it with an innocuous one for the return voyage. I also paid the dock master off. We ported under the name Sea Hawk."
Will nodded. "So Jack never did put a placard on her stern, eh?"
"He never had to. No other ship has a profile quite like hers."
"Until today, according to the master of the Sea Hawk," said Will with a chuckle. "I'll see to it an appropriate one finds its way to you."
"You have my thanks," said Phillip.
"A gift for an old friend. And for the closest thing I'll ever have to a daughter."


Phillip smiled. "I know she thinks of you as a favourite uncle. I had no idea you felt so strongly about her as well."
"Zara has a way of making a lasting impression when it suits her," said Will. "It seems like only yesterday when she pulled herself up onto the couch beside me to share some treat she had. A charmer, that one."
"That she is," Phillip agreed.
"And she has a whole new set of charms now," Will continued. "She's become a fine woman."
Phillip nodded, a thoughtful smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"No doubt she turns the head of any man who isn't blind."
Phillip continued to nod.
"And how is your eyesight, Phillip?"
"Pardon? What?" Phillip replied. "Fine, I'd say. Why do you ask?"
"Oh, no reason. No reason at all," said Will. "Jack and Honour must have the utmost trust in you, playing courier with their eldest daughter. Not many men could take on such a burden."
"Perhaps," said Phillip. "But not many men have known her since she was a toddler. We're more like family than not."


"Ah, good!" said Will. "I'm happy to know it was easy for you to keep ship's business ahead of all else. No wonder Jack has such faith in you. Well then, I've occupied your time enough for now. I'm sure you would like to settle in and relax a bit."
"Thank you, yes. I would at that."
"Then off you pop. Up the stairs and to the right. Your room is two doors down."
"Thank you again for your hospitality, Will," said Phillip.
As he approached the door to the study, Will called  to him. "Zara's room is at the end of the hall to the left of the stairs. My apologies for the arrangement of accommodations. Those are my finest guest rooms. I hope it's no inconvenience."
Phillip put on his most charming smile. "Inconvenience? Not in the least. I hadn't given it a thought. I shall see you at dinner."


Will watched as Phillip climbed the stairs, and chuckled as the young man occasionally glanced in the direction of Zara's room as he went.
"But you're giving it plenty of thought now, I'll wager," Will said with a satisfied smile.
Title: Re: ZARA
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 05, 2017, 10:59:40 AM
Zara raised her head sleepily from the bed.
"Phillip? Phillip, it is past eight o'clock. Should you be back in your room?
He yawned, his voice still sleepy.
"It's alright. Will told me last night he had to get up by dawn to attend some meetiing at the town hall to discuss tariffs and importation of spirits. He will be tied up till late afternoon and said he would see us at dinner."

She rolled over to face him and traced her finger down his cheek.
"So....we have all morning. And afternoon....."
"You forget his eyes and ears are named Dilcey. I am sure she would report to Will if we didn't appear. Or if she came in to dress your hair or draw your bath and find me in here."
She kissed him.
"That tub looks like it could hold two."
He drew her to him.
"We'll never pull it off."

She sighed.
"Maybe we should go riding today. You don't have to deal with the ship, do you?"
"Not today. The ship will be ready in about a week and then Davis is going to take it up to Boston and New Amsterdam.

"Your father wants to make sure Tristan is out of the picture before we go back home so I think we are staying here about two months. Will extended the invitation indefinitely. After all, you are the granddaughter he never had and he dotes on you so."

Zara looked in the mirror as she combed her hair. "Then I definitely think the second choice for the afternoon is to go riding. Since you fear the wrath of.---"
"Miss Zara?"
She put her fingers to her lips.
"What is it, Dilcey?"
"Did you want your breakfast served in your room or would you prefer to go downstairs?"
"I'll take it downstairs."
"Alright. I'll ask Mister Phillip where he wants his breakfast too."

Phillip scrambled out of bed an reached for his breeches. Zara hastily threw his shirt at him.
"Go! Go!"
"How can I go when Dilcey is standing right there?"
"I don't know! I don't know!" Zara stood there fluttering her hands. " But Uncle Will will kill us if he finds out!"
"At the very least, he will look down his nose and say, 'I am very disappointed in the two of you."
"Is there a back door?"
"No. Only the trellis."
They both looked out the window.
"If I hold on and watch out for the thorns..."
"Phillip, NO!"
He had one foot out the window sill.
"It's not like I haven't done this before...."
"What?"
"Nothing. I'll climb down and then come in through the back door. If I see Dilcey, I will tell her I was down by the stables to see what horses we want to take for the day."

He gingerly climbed down.
"Ow! OW! Damn! Imported English roses! Probaby plundered a gardener's ship...."

Zara leaned her head out the window.
"Watch out for that last...."
BANG!
"....trellis."
"Now you tell me it is leaning against the dining room window."

Phillip made his last leap. Into a rose bush.
"DAMN!"
He turned and waved to Zara.
"See you at breakfast!"

As he walked off, he picked thorns and leave out of his torn sleeves.
Phillip traded knowing smiles with Zara as he joined her at the dining table. The table was arrayed with a pot of tea, an urn of delightfully pungent coffee, a platter of small scones complete with a small bowl of lemon curd.
"I'm glad you could join me," said Zara. "I hate to eat alone."
"And I would not think of disappointing you," said Phillip.


Dilcey entered the room with a platter containing two plates. Each contained a poached egg, a hash of fried potatoes with herbs, and a portion of ham.
"For you, Miss Zara," said Dilcey as she laid the plate in fron to Zara.
She moved to the other side of the table and slid Phillip's plate into place.
"I'm glad to see you found your boots, Mister Phillip," she said with a small smile. "And your waistcoat."
Phillip's could feel his face growing hot. "Yes, well, it's not often that I can be around horses, you see. And it was such a fine morning—"
Zara pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head, all the while trying to suppress a giggle.
"The breakfast looks lovely, Dilcey. Thank you."
"Mister Phillip, Miss Zara, enjoy your breakfast. If you need anything, just call." With that, Dilcey left the room.

Phillip and Zara dissolved into muted laughter.
"Thank you, said Phillip. "I was about to embarrass myself."
"About to?" Zara said. "I was doing damage control."