Pirate Festival => Port of Call => Topic started by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:05:40 PM

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:05:40 PM
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Topic author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire had given her crew leave to go ashore. She slipped into her high-heeled boots, the ones she wore exclusively to town. Pulling the red dress over her head, it skimmed and swirled around her hips as it traveled southwards. She adjusted her hat, the one with the three large feathers and checked to make sure her cleaveage was where it should be. If things go well, I just may get into another little card game and add to my fleet. She looked out on the port towards Desire Street to see what ships were docked and who was in port. And to see what dear Papa has been up to in my absence.

Walking through these streets, the sights and sounds were so familiar. As she past Madame Laveau's place, she nodded to the old woman sitting in front.
"Caesaire! C'est vous, ma cher? Asseyez-vous! I shall tell you what awaits you!"
She gave a smile to her. "I am sorry, Marie. I have to visit my father to see how he is."
The old woman shook her head,. "Ah, pauvre petite! I have heard stories that votre pere intends to sell the place. Says since his daughter has run off from St Ursulines Convent and fell into company with Jean Lafitte's crew, there will be no one to care for the place as he intends to go back to France."
Narrowing her eyes, she said, "Oh, he did, did he? We shall see about THAT!"
Picking up the pace as she walked down Chartres Street, she passed Father Antoine. He stopped and stared at her. "Mon Dieu! Is it possibly little Caesaire Trosclair? Child, you have changed!"
She could hardly contain a grin. "Pere Antoine, as I live and breathe! Still think I am on the road to perdition?"
He shook his head. "The nuns tried. They really did. You chose otherwise. Where are you headed off to in such a fine steam?"
Caesaire said, "To keep my father from selling the home and then I am off to straighten out a few messes."

As she rounded the corner, she ran into the arms of someone. He caught her and said, "Pardonnez-moi, Mademoiselle!"
She looked up and into the face of her worst nightmare.
Jean LaFitte.

Caesaire looked at Jean and laughed. And in not such a pleasant way.
"If I wanted to stay in partnership with you, Lafitte, I never would have jumped ship. Now why would I want to partner with you on something that I can do all by myself?"
She leaned forward, affording him an ample view of her cleaveage.
"Mais non, cher. I can take care of this myself. As far as the old man is concerned, that house belongs to ME as his sole surviving heir. He wants to go back to France. Let him. But the house is mine. MINE. And it shall stay mine as a place for me to reside when in port."
She ever so slightly tapped the whip that hung on her side. He remembered that she was an expert and could flick anything out of a person's hand at twenty feet.
"So don't try your sweet-talk on me. And dont worry about the Spanish. I have them right where I want them."
She pushed past him and walked off, turning to wave.
"A bientot, love. TRY to get along without me!"

Caesaire entered the courtyard of the townhouse where she used to play as a child. Across the street the Grimas lived. I hope I can get into the house without seeing Alberto. Godfathers are nice. But I hate to hear him talk about how I've gone astray.
She latched the gate and entered the house.
"Pere? C'est moi--êtes-vous à la maison ?"
"Caesaire? Oui!"
A tall man with silver hair came out. "Ma petite! Comment allez-vous? Quand etes-vous arrive?"
"En anglais, s'il vous plait, Papa."
He sighed. "Very well."
She took off her hat and threw it down. "What is this I hear in town about you wanting to sell the house and go back to France?"
"I am old, cher. I want to go back to France and die in peace. You have left the convent and the sisters and taken up with that..that...pirate!"
He spit on the floor.
Caesaire said, "Don't be so dramatic. I am prepared to send you back to France. Right now. On one condition."
"What is that?"
"You give me the house. I'll give you money but you turn my inheritance over to me right now."
He said, "Just like that? You are prepared?"
"This was Maman's house too. You will not sell it and have strangerrs living in it!"
She turned to go. He said, "Just like that you are leaving?"
"I'll be back later."
"Where to, child?"
"I'm going to visit the nuns, what do you think?"

She walked down the street and came across a tavern. May as well have a shot of absinthe before I look Drausin up. He always was a good time. In the back room, she saw men. And cards. And men. And money. And men.
Walking to the back, she saw her old mentor sitting there. She smiled to herself. Ah, lady luck doth shine on her favored child!
She strode up, leaned over the table and smiled sweetly.
"Gentlemen? I have the feel of fortune. Deal me in."


Caesaire stood outside the tavern where she had just made a small fortune off the gentlemen playing cards. She laughed to herself as she remembered the look on Jean's face as she leaned over the table and ended up playing most of the night. They never even noticed that Jean was playing with a marked deck. I'll bet he cursed the day he ever showed me how it worked. But what could he say?
She walked through the French Market, buying a beignet from the nigra with a bright tignon tied around her head. Heading towards the Toulouse Street Wharf with a purpose in mind, she stopped and pulled the currency out of her bodice. It was a nice sum for an evening's diversion. Never have I seen men so eager to lose their money--and so cheerfully too!
After counting it out, she placed it back into what she considered the safest bank in the parish.

She looked up and saw the building she wanted next to the wharf. Entering, she said to a clerk sitting there. "I am here to see Drausin D'Estrehan. Please tell him that Mademoiselle Trosclair is here to see him."
The man nodded and went to a back room. Within a minute he came out and said, "Monsieur D'Estrehan will see you now."
She went into an office. There sat a devastatingly handsome man. His eyes were of deep brown. His hair was dark brown tied back in a ponytail. He was slim but strongly built and he had his sleeves rolled up. When she entered, his face lit up.
"Mademoiselle Trosclair! To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?"
She held out her hand and he kissed it. "I have come to arrange the purchase of my family home. Title transfer and all that, Monsieur D'Estrehan. Since you being a lawyer I felt comfortable asking you to handle the transfer."
He nodded and turning to his clerk, said, "That shall be all, Pierre. Mademoiselle Trosclair has me on retainer."
As the clerk left, Drausin asked, "You are really buying Old Man Trosclair out?"
"Yes, I am."
"Anything else I should know?"
She looked at him steadily. "What do you think?"
And with two steps, he swept her in his arms.
"About time you came back into my life, Caesaire..."
"Drausin.." she whispered.

Two minutes later, her chemise dropped to the floor.
And that was the best closing on real estate in Lousiana history.


Caesaire quickened her steps to the Ursuline Convent on Chartres Street. May as well get this over.
She knocked on the door of the Mother Superior's office.
"Entrez-vous, s'il vous plait.'
She opened the door. Behind a huge mahogany desk sat the nun who had been her nemesis through her teen-age years.
"Caesaire Trosclair. I thought we were well rid of you."
Caesaire laughed, "You are. Did you think I was coming back as a novice?"
"Heaven forbid. You gave this convent a bad name. Dancing in Congo Square with the slaves.. And on a Sunday too."
Caesaire shrugged. "And what my father didn't know didn't hurt him. Everyone should dance with wild abadon, Mother Superior. Even you."
"So why are you here, child?"
"I don't rightly know. To let you know I am alive and doing well, I guess."
The Mother Superior frowned. "Working with pirates and becoming one yourself is not considered 'doing well'."
Caesaire opened her mouth to protest but the Mother Superior held up her hand. "No use denying it. I know it to be true."
Caesaire shrugged, "I didn't do it for the money. I did it for the fun. I have made a success of what I do."
"And what is that?"
"Supply and demand. The residents of the City demand and I supply."
"And supply what?"
"Whatever they need or crave. Silks. Coffee. Gold from Spain to adorn the necks of the women of New Orleans.'
"A pirate."
"A privateer, Mother Superior."
"I'd rather you work in the brothel. At least you'd be safer."
Caesaire stood up. "I promised myself I would visit you at least once since I left. I fulfilled my promise to myself. That's it."

As she turned to go, the Mother Superior asked quietly, "Still seeing Jean Lafitte, are you?"
Caesaire gave her a wistful smile and said, "Only in passing."
She shut the door and stood out in the sunshine, the sights and smells of the City filling her senses.
'Let's see....I got a satisfying closing on Father's house. I visited the nuns. What else can I get into?'

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre Baudouin walked out from Madame Badeau’s, the young woman he had spent the night with all but draped around his shoulders. Dressed only in her chemise and knee length bloomers, her auburn hair a mass of tangled curls. Andre’s own state of affairs was not much better, his wide black leather belt was still unbuckled around his burgundy sash, and his matching long coat hung over his left arm which still clutched his sword and baldric. Wisps of long black hair had escaped his ponytail and hung over his face.

“Non, Cher, non.” The tanned beauty whispered huskily into his ear, her lips playfully tugging the gold ring piercing the lobe. “Stay but a while longer. My treat.”

Andre grinned, showing even white teeth beneath his waxed moustache. “Ah, Cheri, if only I could.” He spoke lowly as he struggled to slip the baldric over his shoulder with her arms in the way. “But I am now late for a rather important meeting, and there are times when the business must take precedence over the amore.”

“Bonne journée, mon cher.” He grinned, planting a quick kiss on her cheek as he pulled the long sea coat over his weapons. “Perhaps I may return tonight, au revoir”

As she watched the tall French buccaneer make his way down Bourbon street adjusting his burgundy Cavalier’s hat with the white and black ostrich plumes she smiled. There went perhaps the best French pirate in all of New Orleans. Pity Madame Badeau insisted on charging. She would have gladly bedded Andre Baudouin for free. C'est la vie.

Andre kept a brisk pace as he left the infamous red light district and headed for the docks. After three months in the Caribbean and two Spanish prizes under his belt he had been due. The only draw back to the life of a pirate he had ever found was such a long separation from the ladies. And so he kept, how was it the English put it, a lady in every port. That they all cost him a bit of gold bothered him not in the least. After all what was more important in life than a good meal and the company of a pretty woman?

It was a convenient arrangement. The life he had chosen for himself left little time for the wooing of a permanent lady love. What woman would put up with a man who spent months on end away from her arms. Perhaps one day, but until then working girls would suffice. Besides he had yet to meet a woman who could pull the strings of his heart.

By now his crew should have been able to sell the spoils of the two galleons. One he unfortunately had to sink, the other he put up for sale in Jamaica. That would mean Le Faucon de Mer would be all but empty with his men enjoying the fruits of their labors. He began to whistle a jaunty tune as he walked along.

“Andre Baudouin!!!” A rough voice, filled with anger called from the doorway of one of the many taverns that dotted the waterfront, freezing him in mid stride. Andre’s hand closed upon the gilded hilt of his broad bladed rapier.

“Oui?” He turned his head just enough to see over his shoulder. His left hand had already slipped a throwing dagger from the secret sheath inside the cuff of his coat. A large scruffy pirate whom he recognized as one of Jean Lafitte’s lieutenant slavers emerged from the dark opening, drunk and cutlass in hand.

“I told ye I’d be getting’ the chance ter settle with ye, ya motherless French pig!” The smelly hulk strode down the short steps into the street.

Andre slipped the dagger back into it’s sheath before turning around. The man was alone, and that would mean a fair fight. “Mon Ami, you lost at Liar’s Dice fairly. Is it to be my fault you could not bear to afford what you lost?”

“You cheated, and then had the gall ta put yer filthy French Creole hands on me!!” The unkempt ruffian howled. “I’m not near as drunk as I was last night, and yer gone ter pay!”

Andre’s brown eyes narrowed at the last insult. This English pig had succeeded in spoiling a perfectly joyous morning for him, and dared to use his Creole heritage as an insult. Any thought of leaving this stinking brute alive left the suave pirate’s mind.

“Very well, porc!” He hissed. “I hope you’ve spent a good night, it shall be your last!”

With a guttural howl the filthy brute charged Andre, intending to overwhelm his opponent with the pure force of his much larger size. Andre shook his head inwardly, this was going to be too easy. At the last moment he parried the downward slash of the rusty cutlass, whipping his own blade over until it rested on top of the drunken slaver’s blade. A grim smile spread across his lips as his opponents eyes widened with realization. Fast as a striking serpent Andre’s arm shot upwards slicing the offending pirate’s throat from ear to ear.

The uncouth ruffian’s sword clattered to the cobblestones as his dirty hands went to his neck in a vain attempt to stem the blood flow. Andre lunged forward at the man’s now unprotected chest running him through the heart and killing him instantly. Pulling a white linen handkerchief from an inner pocket he leisurely cleaned his blade, then tossed the soiled cloth unto the dead man’s body.

“Au revoir, mon ami.” He sheathed his sword and brought two fingers to the brim of his hat. “A pity you could not have been more of a gentleman, you might have lived to regret this day.”

From the deck of Le Faucon de Mer his own English Quartermaster waved. “Ahoy, Captain!” John Hubbard grinned. “And what trouble be ye bringing aboard with ye this time, Mate?”

Andre laughed heartily, clapping the broad shoulder of his friend. “No more than I seem to bring with me any other time, Mon Ami.” He then related the fight near the water front.

Hubbard gave a long low whistle at the end of the tale. “Lafitte may not be takin’ lightly to yer killin’ a one of his men, Captain.”

“C'est trop mauvais, My friend.” The tall dark haired pirate grinned. “Jean is not the only pirate in New Orleans. I did him a favor by ridding his crew of such a, how you say, blot upon his honor. Now why are you yet aboard? Do you not wish to partake of Lady Orleans pleasures before we set sail?”

Now it was John’s turn to laugh. “Already have, Captain. Just got back aboard meself, I did.”

“Very well, Mon Ami.” Andre stretched like a jungle cat. “I shall be in my cabin should any more of Jean’s men come to call. I must lay plans to replenish our pockets after this night.”

“Aye, aye Captain.” John Hubbard grinned as he watched his friend enter the door just below the raised deck to the captain’s quarters.

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:10:26 PM
Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre removed his long coat and hung it from one of the wood pegs mounted into the wall near the door. Shaking out the billows of his sleeves he adjusted his scabbard and set down behind his oak desk. For a moment he surveyed his domain with a small measure of pride. The polished oak beams, shining brass lamps, and the rich tapestries and small bits of plunder that he had taken a fancy to all testament to his rise from a poor street child in New Orleans to a ship owner and wealthy pirate.

Opening the top drawer to his left he removed a map, several papers, and spread them out onto the polished top. Studying the purloined letter he had taken from the ship he had to sink Andre let out a low whistle. According to a letter from the governor of Macao a shipment of Chinese silver, and rare Japanese silks were due to be brought across the Panamas, and from there shipped to Count Eladio. All without the knowledge of King Philip.

So if the prize were taken, then no one would be the wiser. Since the goods were of no official shipment they would not be missed, except perhaps by the Count. It would be both the richest, and safest, plunder Le Faucon de Mer had ever taken. They would be rich beyond their wildest dreams. Or at least until they made the next port.

Andre studied the map. Timing would be everything this time. As far as he knew none but he and the Quartermaster, John even knew of the shipment. All others who knew lay in Davey Jones locker. Except, of course for the Galleon chartered to ship the haul. From the letter, and the manifests he knew the ship was due to sail from Panama in three weeks, with a slight layover in Cuba.

Somewhere between Cuba and Nassau would be the best place to spring the trap. Then they could make berth back here in New Orleans, and have the goods stored weeks before the ship would be expected in the Canar…..

A sudden uproar on the docks near his ship broke Andre Baudouin’s train of thought. Though he could not make out what was being said he could plainly hear Hubbard,s voice raised in anger. He sighed and stood up, it would seem he would have to lay his plans later. Leaving his sea coat hanging on the peg, he stuffed two loaded flintlocks into his belt, adjusted his hat, and opened the door to the deck.

“You tell zat dandy sans mère I wish to speak with ‘im now! Ce moment même!!” Jean Lafitte’s voice shouted from the dock, his accent was thick with anger.

Andre chuckled at the insult. Seven of his men blocked the gangplank, and John Hubbard made eight. Andre decided to let Lafitte stew for a moment as payment for it, and straightened his shirt to while away the time, and prove Jean right.

“An’ I’m telling’ ye that Captain Baudouin is busy at the moment, and he’ll see you when he’s damn good and ready!!” John shouted back. “I’m not going at interrupt him just because you say so, Lafitte! Wot? Ye think yer the only pirate in N’Orleans??!!”

That was all Andre could take and gales of laughter erupted from him at hearing his Quartermaster echo his words of a few moments ago. Still chuckling he drew his rapier and walked over to the side of the ship. “Why, Jean, what ever is wrong, Ami?”

There on the dock, at the foot of his gangplank stood Jean Lafitte and four of his men. “Wrong??!! Wrong??!! Sacré bleu!!! You murdered Higgins not more than an hour ago, and you ask me what is wrong??!!!” Lafitte’s color turned beet red as he pointed an accusatory finger in Andre’s direction.

“Assassiné? Moi??” Andre grinned and crossed his arms over the gunwale, letting his rapier dangle loosely in his hand. “Non, Mon Ami. That filthy pig…and I do mean filthy…attacked me. I should allow myself to be hacked to pieces to satisfy your crew? Where did you find him anyway? In the butcher’s pig sty? He certainly smelled like it.”

Jean Lafitte stood open mouthed at Andre’s matter of fact demeanor. “He was drunk! You did not ‘ave to kill him! This cannot go unanswered, Baudouin!!”

Now it was Andre’s turn to become angry. He griped his rapier firmly, straightened up and pointed at Lafitte with it. “The reeking swine dared to insult my Creole heritage, Mon Ami! I will lay any man in his grave for that! Even you! I did you a favor, Slave Runner! Perhaps your stock will sell better without that pig’s ordure hanging about them!”

Jean looked up the gangplank. To a man Andre’s crew had drawn their weapons and stood at the ready. Like it or not he would have to back down this time. “Very well, Andre.” His tone became more civil. “But this is not over between us.”

“Another time then, Ami.” Andre returned lowly. As he watched Lafitte and his men turn on their heels and stalk up the dock.

“You know he’ll be back, Captain. Sooner or later.” John rubbed the stubble of his chin.

“Aye, John.” Andre frowned. “He is a proud man, but that is something left for later. Send three of the crew to fetch the rest of our drunken lot. Drag them back if necessary. There is no sense leaving them out numbered in town. We sail in three days. Until then I want them all aboard making ready, and out of the reach of Jean Lafitte.”

Reply author: Welsh Wench

"Well, that was a typical display of your temper, Jean!"
He heard the solitary clapping behind him. Whirling around, he came face to face with his former partner.
Caesaire walked up to him in a measured gait, slow and cofident.

"Ah, Jean! Always the hot-head, oui?"
His face darkened. "And what about you, ma petite? I have seen your temper, non?" He reached out to stroke her cheek.
"We used to go at it pretty well ourselves, cher. A partnership made in heaven. Or a little lower. It was mutually...satisfying. In all aspects."
She turned her head and he laughed. "Such a lovely shade of red! But the business end of it was getting in the way of the pleasure. It worked well. You would move the goods that would appeal to the ladies of New Orleans. No one suspected that Mademoiselle Trosclair was a privateer in her own right! And run through the blacksmith shop and finding its way into the parlors of Creole Society's finest. And all under the nose of the Spanish."
"And at a very nice profit, I might add. Which has benefited you too, Jean. Keeping your hands off the finery while you sully them in the slave trade."
He shrugged, "It is what is required to make this colony prosper."

"A problem, Caesaire?"
Caesaire turned to see her friend Solange D'Estrehan coming towards them, carrying a few packages. She looked back at Jean Lafitte and said haughtily, "None that I cannot handle. Monsieur Lafitte and I were just discussing the upcoming ball. Were we not, Monsieur Lafitte?"
He bowed low and said gallantly, "I do so hope you will save a spot in your dance card for me."
She gave him a brittle smile, "But of course I shall!"
He took her hand and kissed it, gazing into her eyes. "A bientot, Mademoiselle Trosclair. Till then."
He turned and walked up the street.

Solange put her packages down to draw her gloves on. "Drausin told me you were in his office earlier today. You were having your father's house turned over to you so Monsieur Trosclair could go back to France."
"Yes, we went over deeds this morning and it should only take a few days to file it with the city."
Solange hugged her friend. "I am so happy to have you living in the city now. We have hardly had a chance to see each other."
Caesaire nodded, not really paying attention. She was looking towards the River.

She turned to Solange and discreetly pointed towards a ship with her feathered fan. "And who might THAT be?"
Solange looked up from her packages and said, "Ah! That just happens to be Captain Andre Beaudoin of Le Faucon de Mer."
Caesaire leaned on the rail on the dock. She gazed intently at the fine form of the captain, his white shirt billowing in the river breeze and his rapier glinting off the sun.
"Could it be...? Andre Beaudoin? Mon Dieu, how we have grown up, ne nous avons- pas?"
Solange looked at her friend and said, "You know him?"
Caesaire nodded slowly, her eyes never leaving the captain.
"Oui. Certainement! He was the best friend of my cousin Sebastian. I used to tag along and they would torment me with frogs and all sorts of river nasties. Then I would go home and cry to Tante Isabelle. She would make them take me to la patisserie and buy me a beignet. That would really make them upset. La femme, you know. And that age how they hated me for that!"
She turned to face Solange, a look of devilment on her face.
"I do indeed feel the need to reacquaint myself with my childhood friend."

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre sheathed his blade once he was certain that Lafitte had given up, at least for the time being. He watched as his Quartermaster sent six of his remaining force to scour New Orleans for the remainder of the crew. As much as he hated to cut short their pleasures, he knew better than to leave them to Jean’s mercies. Lafitte had no qualms about taking advantage of an outnumbered man, in fact he preferred it.

Adjusting the ruffles of his cuffs he thought for a moment of Lafitte’s first insult, one that used to be a term of endearment when Andre was Quartermaster of one of his three pirate ships. A smile came to his lips, perhaps he was a dandy, but he had grown up a street child, and had spent many hours envying the wealthy of New Orleans. Their fine clothes, and clean appearance had become an obsession with him. He had resolved even then that he would one day be dressed in finery, and be as clean as they were.

As a result when he had joined with Jean and proved his worth to the man, his fortunes rose quickly with the Quartermaster’s share. He had begun to save a large portion of his earnings, the rest he had used for the finest of boots, shirts, breeches, and weapons. The first time he had shown up at Jean’s plantation in his finery, clean and perfumed, Jean had broken into fits of laughter. “You look like a motherless dandy, My Friend!” He had gasped, clapping Andre warmly on the shoulder.

That had been a long time ago, before the hard words, and the mutiny. Strange how the twists of Madame Fate can change so much. Turning friendly teasing into venomous insults, and pitting former friends against one another. C’est la gere.

“Captain?” John’s voice broke into Andre’s thoughts. “Are ye alright?”

“Il n'est rien, Mon ami.” Beaudoin grinned. “I was, how you say, chasing the ghosts of the past.” He waved one ringed hand in the air as if to clear it. “Now, what were you saying?”

“Ye said we were sailin’ in three days.” Hubbard repeated the words Andre had missed in his reverie. “Does that mean ye’ve figured out the timeline ‘o the prize?”

“Give or take, John.” Andre smiled. “They may be delayed passing through the Panamas, but I think I have an idea that should guarantee placing her in our hands.”

The Quartermaster of Le Faucon de Mer listened intently, the Captain was one of the most cunning men he had ever known. Rarely did Andre Beaudoin’s plans go awry, and on the occasions that they did he had seen the man pull more than one miracle out of his arse.

“Regardless,” Andre continued, “the ship will dock for her layover in Cuba in no less than two weeks from now to take on supplies for the voyage to Spain, and possibly to lay some much needed bribes. We will make berth there and wait. Did you purchase the broken mast?”

“Aye,” John grinned, “though I’ve little doubt the shipwright thought me mad as a March hare fer wantin’ it. She’s down in the hold now, next ta the spare.”

“Excellent, ami John!” Andre chuckled. “Along with the papers that I paid a house maid at the governors to steal we will have the perfect excuse to be in Cuba for at least a week. As far as the Spanish will know we are merely New Orleans sailors paid to ship coffee from Columbia to the New Orleans market. They will think we work for them. And if we need more time we could always have a few turns of "bad luck" repairing the mast.”

John Hubbard threw his head back and laughed aloud. “Aye aye, Captain! Now what are yer orders when our drunken dogs are finally aboard?”

Andre scowled in thought, then brightened. “First have them detail Le Faucon, for some reason she smells of the slave trade. Then send two squads of men, fully armed into the city. One to bring back a feast for the men, the other to find a replacement for poor Francois, the cabin boy we lost in the last fight. However, make certain they understand discretion. I do not want Lafitte getting wind of any of this. Later this night we will bring up the rum, and have ourselves a good old fashioned Creole barbecue!”

“Aye aye, Captain!” The Quartermaster smiled broadly at the prospect of a night of feasting and drink. “They’ll get it right, or I’ll set my foot at their backsides!”

“Aye, ami.” Andre laughed. “Of that I am quite sure. Come to my cabin afterward and we will fine tune the plan. Our timing will be everything this time.”

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:12:31 PM
Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre moved the lamp closer to the sea chart he had been studying with unbroken concentration. Dusk was beginning to fall, and the light in his cabin needed augmenting if he were to attempt to guess the route the Galleon would take from Cuba. He doubted it would follow the usual sea lanes since the letter stressed both discretion and stealth. It would seem Count Eladio was taking every precaution. Only blind luck had brought the shipment to the attention of the buccaneer.

The Faucon de Mer had just left Jamaica, having put their last prize up for sale there, when the second Spanish Galleon came into view. Using his usual ruse of being a Dutch trading vessel, Andre maneuvered to hailing distance under the Dutch flag then opened fire shattering the main mast. Swinging the Faucon around to the rear of the Spanish ship they then opened up with the bow chasers.

The Conquistadors fired upon them with muskets as the crew readied the boarding hooks, or returned fire. John Hubbard kept the men steady in his role as Quartermaster. The Englishman certainly knew his job well, and their losses were few compared to the Spanish. Soon the pirates swarmed the deck of the larger vessel.

Hand to hand fighting was both brutal, and bloody. Andre found himself engaged in a fierce duel with the Spanish Captain. Fortunately for Andre the Captain, though well schooled in the art of fencing, had obviously been leading a softer life than the average solider. Baudouin’s clothing suffered more than his body did.

Eventually their fight brought them to the upper deck. The captain was breathing much harder than his younger opponent. Andre pressed his advantage and soon locked three inches of his rapier into the wire basket of the Spaniard’s. A quick twist, a jerk and his adversary’s blade sailed over the side to sink to the bottom of the Atlantic. The Captain quickly surrendered, calling for the rest of his men to do likewise.

In the captain’s cabin he had discovered the letter, and orders detailing the secret shipment from the Orient. Andre thought long and hard about his choices. If he let this crew live, the chances were the fortune would be lost, as they would certainly warn the other Galleon. Outright murder didn’t set well with him, but he had his men and his future to think of. These were some of the hardest decisions a Pirate Captain had to make, if he had any conscience at all, and far too few did.

In the end he did what he had to do. Privately ordering his men to make the Spanish deaths quick and painless, he had the survivors executed to a man. Then placing a broadside just below the water level of the Galleon, sent her to join her Captain’s sword.

Now he had to take the prize. Too much blood had already paid for it.

He never heard the knock at his door, lost in thought as he was, and John Hubbard risked entering without leave. “Still brooding over them Spanish dogs, Captain?”

Andre started from his thoughts, then grinned. “You have sailed with me for too long, Ami.”

John shook his head slowly. “Yer problem, Andre, is you’re a good man. It ner sits well when a good man has ta make hard decisions.”

“Be that as it may, John.” Andre turned serious. “The decision was the only one I could make. Had we let those men live the prize would be lost. I knew that these times would come when we took Le Faucon for our own, and mutinied against Jean.”

The grizzled Quartermaster brightened at the memory. “I would have loved to have seen his face when he found out that we took the prize and over half his crew that day. The slave trade never set well with me either. It’s why I threw me lot in with ye, stead ‘o turnin’ ye in like I should have.”

Andre laughed loudly. “And do you regret it, Mon Ami?”

“Not in the least, Captain.” Hubbard grinned. “But to Hell with this. There’s rum, and the patrol what ye sent fer the provisions has come back. What say we start this shin dig early, and leave the details fer tomorrow, Mate?”

“I think that is a tres bon idea, Ami” Andre smiled as the sound of the musicians tuning up wafted through the thick oak of his door. “Après Vous?”

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire and Solange continued their shopping throughout the finest dressmakers and bootmakers in the Vieux Carré. They laughed as they came out of the millinary shop.
"That hat is perfect for you, Caesaire!"
The feathers from the brim swept her cheek and caressed her neck.
Caesaire smiled. "I always was partial to yellow!"
Solange said, "I'm getting hungry. Shall we stop for a beignet and some fruit?"
Caesaire drew her attention away from a shop window.
"That sounds fine. My treat."

From across Royal Street, two men were watching. They were dressed dashingly in their gauze shirts and breeches, rapiers scabbarded to their sides. Their cavalier hats cocked just so on their heads.
Etienne de Marigny and Francois Loupe were coming out of a tavern on Royal Street when they heard feminine laughter. Francois nudged Etienne and nodded in the ladies' direction.
"Ah....voici les belle femmes! Regardez!"
Francois casually crossed the street and, taking off his hat and bowing low, he said, "Ah, bonjour mademoiselles!"
Before Caesaire could respond, Francois had her hand in his and was bringing it up to his lips. As he gazed into her eyes, he said, "Un fleur de Nouvelle Orleans!"
Solange could barely contain her giggles. Caesaire shot her a look and gave Francois her most dimpled smile.
"Such a smooth talker with an even smoother way of introducing himself, Monsieur...?"
"Loupe. Francois Loupe at your service, cher. And you would be...?"
"Mademoiselle 'Isabelle Valcour'."
Solange coughed, "ISABELLE?"
Caesaire said quickly, "You will have to forgive Solange, she is used to me going by my first name. Marie."
Francois laughed and said, "I have eight sisters all named Marie. Marie Amelie, Marie Josephine, Marie Odile...well, you understand!"

Caesaire was clearly enjoying it. Etienne bowed and said, "And where would such lovely ladies be heading on this fine day?"
Solange replied, "We were about to get a bit of repast."
Etienne said, "I am Etienne de Marigny, just ported this morning. Would you allow us to join you?"
Caesaire was quick with, "We would be delighted!"
Solange started with, "But Drausin always said...."
Caesaire took Solange by the arm and hissed, "I don't care WHAT your brother said! Let's see what they want."

A half an hour later, the four of them were sitting in a small eating establishment on Decatur Street. Solange was clearly not happy about being with what turned out to be pirates. Etienne said, "Mademoiselle Valcour, I am wondering if you have ever heard of Captain Andre Beaudouin. He is captain of Le Faucon de Mer."
Solange said, "Why, 'Isabelle' was just...OW!"
Etienne raised an eyebrow. "Something wrong, Mademoiselle D'Estrehan?"
She rubbed her arm where Caesaire had pinched her, "Mais non! Just a sting from a scorpion, no less."
Caesaire turned her guileless blue-eyed look onto Etienne.
"I have never heard of him. Is he famous?"
Etienned and Francois burst out laughing. "His exploits are legendary but we are sure you may not have heard of him, two fine ladies of this town."
Francois ran his finger softly up and down Caesaire's arm. "Are you in for a bit of adventure, cherie?"
She delicately took a bite of her beignet. "Well, I don't know....a fine lady that I am."
Solange had taken a sip of her cafe au lait and choked.
Caesaire patted her on the back and said, "Are you alright, chere?"
Solange managed to glare, "Oui! I just found something hard to swallow."

Francois daringly put his hand lightly on Caesaire's back. "We are having un bon soiree upon Le Faucon de Mer if you would care to join us? We shall be having libations and barbeque and you are most cordially invited, ma cher."
Francois took her hand and gazed into her eyes. Solange said, "Look at the time! 'Isabelle', we really must be going."
Caesaire stood and Francois kissed her hand. "You will come?"
She smiled and said politely, 'We shall see, Monsieur Loupe. We shall see."
Caesaire and Solange gathered their things and bid the two pirates adieu.

Francois looked after the retreating forms of the two lovely women and Etienne said, "It will never happen."
Francois turned to him and said, "A sou tells me different."
They shook hands and lifted their glasses in unison. "Long may Le Faucor sail!"

As soon as they were out of earshot, Solange hissed, "You have been out in the sun sans parasol!"
A slight smile played on the corners of Caesaire's mouth. Solange erupted with "Sacre bleu! You ARE considering it!"
Caesaire took her hat off, adjusted the feathers and put the hat back on her head. "What better way to visit an old childhood friend?"
Solange stopped in the middle of Conti Street and stared at her best friend. "You wouldn't!"
Caesaire raised her eyebrow and said, "But of course! Captain Andre Beaudouin is about to meet his childhood friend. Only not as Captain of the Shattered Dreams. But as Caesaire Trosclair in the form of 'Isabelle Valcour."
Solange shook her head. "I certainly hope you know what you are doing, Caesaire."
She looked in a dressmaker's window. She put her hand on the shop's doorknob and smiled radiantly.
"I most certainly do, Solange. I most certainly do!"

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre’s joyous laughter filled the deck of Le Faucon de Mer, clapping his hands and stomping one bell booted foot in time to the raucous Creole and Cajun music that filled the air as the cook basted the spit pig slowly roasting over the portable iron pit they had hauled up from the hold. It’s mouth watering odor filled the air about the ship, mingling with the tantalizing smell of Gumbo and Jambalaya. The crew danced, either alone, or with one of the many ladies that the second patrol had returned with instead of the sent for cabin boy.

Several Kegs of ale sat tapped on their cross legged platforms, and a table beside them held not only the finest Puerto Rican rum, but fine wines and bourbon as well. The ropes of the well kept pirate vessel supported nearly thirty lamps, bathing the polished deck in bright amber light. The entire spectacle resembled more a Creole wedding feast than the deck of a fighting ship.

“Not a bad soiree eh, Mon Capitaine?” Francois Loupe shouted above the music and sounds of merriment. A filled tankard waved across the party only slightly sloshing some of it’s contents to the deck.

“You are drunk, Francois, but you are also correct, Mon Frère.” Beaudouin laughed loudly. “Not a bad substitute you have found for the cabin boy I sent you after either, non?” He motioned to the several swirling women in the middle of the fore deck, then cupping both hands to his mouth voiced his pleasure. “AI-YEEEEE!”

Loupe laughed loudly as the cry of Creole happiness was echoed several times from various positions of the frigate. While not actually related to his captain it always made him feel better when he heard Andre use the term to refer to either himself, or another member of the crew. “Well you know what ze say, Capitaine. Never send a Frenchman to search for a boy, he will inevitably return with a woman!”

The Captain of Le Faucon de Mer laughed as he retrieved his own tankard from the top of the small barrel beside the one he sat on. “Mais oui, even though you, Etienne and the others seem to have returned with several.” He took a long drink before continuing. “Still I hope there are no disagreements aboard. You seem to have brought too few.”

“Aucun problème, Capitaine.” Loupe grinned like a school boy. “There are still several invitations yet to be filled. I suspect they will arrive in their own time.” Then he leaned closer to Andre and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial tone. “One especially whom I hope will arrive soon. You should ‘ave seen her, Mon ami. Un belle blond femme.”

Andre placed one hand on his knee and half turned to Francois. Cocking one eyebrow high he pretended to frown. “I see, Frère. So this is how you spend your assignment? Chasing pretty blonds?”

“Mais oui, is there any……” Francois Loupe’s voice trailed off as he looked up. “Bon Dieu! Unless I am mistaken, Capitaine, that is her coming down the dock now!” He straightened up and adjusting his clothing on the fly made for the gangplank.

Andre chuckled as he watched the man all but run to welcome this particular woman aboard. Shaking his head he drained his tankard and set it down before returning his attention to the ongoing party, shouting encouragement to his men.

No sooner did Caesaire Trosclair pass a pile of tarp covered cargo sitting to one side of the mouth of the dock than a shadowy figure silently slipped from behind it’s shadows. For a moment it watched vigilantly as she made her way confidently towards the brightly lit ship and sounds of merry making. Then quietly as an alley cat it ran off in the direction of the Quarter.

“SHE WHAT!!!” Jean Lafitte hurled the crystal glass he had been drinking from against the wall, along with the remainder of the bourbon it contained. A nervous slave girl quickly moved to clean up the mess as he fumed, red faced. “She would not dare!!” he hissed.

“I’m afraid so, Captain. Saw ‘er meself I did. Came sashayin’ down Canal Street an’ made a bee line straight fer Beaudouin’s ship, she did.” The spy confirmed.

Lafitte paced up and down in front of his fireplace, one hand stroking his chin in thought. “Well if that hellcat thinks she can make a fool of me by forming an alliance with Beaudouin……” his voice trailed off menacingly. Suddenly he stopped in mid stride and whirled to face his spy.

“Parker! You are to take twenty of our best. Go down to the docks quietly. Once you are there you will all scale the side of The Shattered Dreams, kill the crew aboard and sail her up the river to our special dock.” Jean grinned evilly. “Let us see what kind of arrangement Caesaire Trosclair can forge sans vessel.”

“Aye-aye.” Parker grinned, and with a quick salute was gone back into the night.

“Caesaire, Caesaire.” Lafitte spoke lowly to the empty room as he poured himself another bourbon from the crystal decanter. “Maybe I can never have you again, Cheri. But I will be damned if I will let Andre Beaudouin possess you.

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire walked towards the dock. She stopped suddenly to see the magnificent ship known as Le Faucon de Mer. She did a quick stuff and fluff. Her boots were white kidskin and she had on a simple dress of white lawn. She had a shawl of palest pink. Her hair was piled loosely on top of her head but was coming down to frame her face.

For once she felt her breath come up a bit short. 'Am I prepared to meet Andre Beaudouin after all these years? He can't possibly remember me....can he?'
She paused at the rail of the dock, looking out over the River. Her thoughts drifted back to another time. A time when she was five years old....

"Sebastian! Sebastian! You come in here!"
Sebastian and Andre came trooping in through the parlor. The two boys were inseparable and as different as night and day in appearance. Where Sebastian had blond hair and crystal blue eyes, Andre was dark as a gypsy. His black hair complemented his dark hazel eyes.
Sebastian's mother stood there with her hands on her hips.
"What is the meaning of this?"
They looked and saw the little girl sitting on the chair, her feet not even touching the floor and her face was tear-stained.
They both looked at each other with guilt.
Isabelle Trosclair stood there, tapping her foot. "I'm waiting for an explanation."
Still they said nothing. Finally Madame Trosclair said, "Am I to understand that you put a frog down your cousin's back and threaten her with a snake?"
Sebastian looked down and Andre looked out the window. Sebastian said, "No, we didn't."
The little girl flew off the chair, crying and beating her cousin with her little fists.
Madame Trosclair pried the little girl off her son and said firmly, "There will be none of that, Caesaire."
Caesaire buried her face in her aunt's skirt and sobbed. She put her arms around her.
To Sebastian, she said, "You should be ashamed, son. She's been having a hard time since her mother died."
Sebastian scuffed the floor with his foot. "But Maman, she is a GIRL!"
Isabelle shot her son a warning glance. To the little girl, she said, "Dry your tears, ma petite. Sebastian and Andre will take you to la patisserie and buy you a beignet."
"But, Maman!" Sebastian protested but one glance from his mother and he shut up.
"Oh, all right..but we won't like it!"

"Madamoiselle Valcour!"
The name called out brought her out of her reverie. She put on her best smile and said, "Ah! Bonsoir, Monsieiur Loupe."
He took her hands in his and looked admiringly at her. "And you look as beautiful caressed by the moonlight as you were kissed by the sun!"
She gave him a smile and tucked her arm in his offered one. He led her to the gangplank of Le Faucon and asked, "And we shall have a grand time, oui?"
She quickly scanned her eyes on the deck for Andre Beaudouin and seeing his dashing figure, she gave him a smile and said, "I think this shall be an evening to remember, Monsieur Loupe."
Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:14:15 PM
Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

From the moment she came into view at the top of the gangplank Andre was overwhelmed with a strange sense of déjà vu. There was something familiar in her smile, something that told him in his gut he had met this woman before. He returned her smile with a slight nod of his head, then forcibly turned his attention elsewhere. She was the guest of one of his crew, and a friend. It would be bad form to show her undue attention. Still he would watch her from the corner of his eye at odd moments.

She was obviously from a well off family, as her demeanor attested to. She mingled with the crew while never making Loupe feel as if she was ignoring him. The overwhelming sense that he knew her from some where was maddening, like an itch that you couldn’t reach. The way she held her head when speaking, the lilt in her voice when she reverted to French, the way she unconsciously twirled her golden hair around one finger when…..

Attente un moment! He knew that habit. Rapidly the captain of Le Faucon de Mer searched his memory in vain. Damn it. This was impossible. No matter how much Andre Beaudouin strained he could not place this woman in his memory, and memory was one thing he prided himself on. He never forgot a friend, enemy, or a woman.

“A quoi pensez-vous, Capitaine.” The soft female voice brought him back from his search. There stood Francois Loupe with the object of his memory’s frustration. A slightly teasing smile played about the corners of her mouth.

“Pardonnez-moi, Capitaine. May I introduce Mademoiselle Isabelle Valcour.” Francois grinned has he formally introduced the beauty on his arm.

Andre stood and swept the burgundy Cavalier hat from his head, bowing he gently kissed the fingers of her offered hand. “Enchante, Mademoiselle Valcour.” Andre smiled his warmest smile. “Please make yourself to home aboard Le Faucon de Mer.”

Caesaire’s breath caught for a moment at the touch of Andre’s lips against the back of her fingers, and she felt her heart beat race. Suddenly she remembered the true reason she had insisted on following him and her cousin where ever they went. Quickly she hid her feelings. It was obvious Andre had not recognized her any more than she had him.

“Merci, Captain Beaudouin.” She smiled, a mischievous twinkle lit her blue eyes. “It is plain where your crew get their good manners from.” Andre’s smile did little to cover the change in his color, even in this light. “Pardon me for saying so, but you did not seem to be enjoying your little party a moment ago.”

“Pardonnez-moi, Mademoiselle Valcour.” He bowed for a second time. “But I was lost in thought. The price of being the capitaine, I’m afraid.”

“But tonight is not the night for such deep thoughts.” Caesaire smiled warmly. “With Monsieiur Loupe’s permission, perhaps I may take your mind from such burdens?” She nodded slightly to the area of the deck that was set aside for dancing.

Francois Smiled to his friend and nodded. As Andre took her small hand in his and motioned to the dance floor with his free hand he felt his heart race. “Apres vous, Cheri.” He smiled as he led her onto the deck.

The two guards on duty upon the Shattered Dreams watched the glow coming from the far away vessel. Just barely they could hear the sound of the music and laughter. Secretly they both wished them selves there instead of guarding Captain Trosclair’s prized ship. Their own shore leave was over, though, and most of the remaining crew were off in New Orleans. Barely eight men were now aboard and they regretted taking their own turn first.

“Think the Captain is over there?” Pierre asked.

“I think if there is a soiree within fifty miles of here she is there.” Jacques grumbled. “It would seem this time drawing the long straw was not in our…!”

The dagger suddenly drawn across his throat cut Jacques complaining short. The thrust of a cutlass a split second later dropped Pierre. With quick hand signals the twenty dark figures swarmed over the vessel. Ten bodies hit the water, and the moorings of the Shattered Dreams were soon cut free. Silently she made her way to the mouth of the Mississippi, and unnoticed slipped from view into the darkness.

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

As they made their way to the cleared deck, from the corner of his eye Andre saw John lean down to the lead musician and whisper something. The next tune changed to a softer, slower pace and several more couples joined them as Caesaire slid quickly into his arms. He made a mental note to either reward Hubbard with an extra share, or throw him overboard as soon as the dance ended.

Etienne de Marigny came up to stand beside his shipmate, a coin held between his fingers. “The sou I owe you, Mon Ami.” He grinned. “Unless you would like you make it double or nothing zat you have lost this game to the captain?”

Francois eyed the coin frowning for a moment, then grinned good naturedly as he placed it in his pocket. “Non, mon ami. I am not fool enough to take that bet. Women are naturally attracted to the power of position. And unless I miss my guess, our capitaine is in far more danger than even he realizes.”

“Then I am not imagining it?” Marigny queried.

“Non, any one who has known Andre as long as we can see it written across his face.” Loupe grinned. “John noticed first. Andre Beaudouin is infatuated with this woman.”

“Acclamation vers le haut, vieil ami. Regard.” Etienne pointed to the dock where several more girls were making their way towards the ship in a giggling group. “All is not lost yet, eh?”

“Mais oui.” Francois smiled, running one hand along the plumes of his hat. “Shall we leave Andre to his fate then?”

“Pourquoi pas?” Etienne shrugged, grinning. “There is not much we could do to save him from it.” The two men shook hands and made their way to the head of the gangplank to welcome the late arrivals.

Andre felt his temperature rise slightly as the soft form of Caesaire moved in time with his. Without warning he felt her move even closer to him, and he felt his next words stick within his throat. “M-Mademoiselle Valcour….” He began.

“Please, Captain Beaudouin,” Caesaire spoke softer than she had intended, and for a moment regretted her ruse. “Call me by my first name. Isabelle.”

“Tres bien...Isabelle.” He prayed that she could not feel the pounding of his heart in their closeness. “But what of Francois? From what I understood you are his guest.”

“Dans la verite, Capitaine Beaudouin.” Her blue eyes looked warmly into his. “I only accepted his invitation to meet you.”

“Then you must call me Andre.” He smiled warmly. “Isabelle.”

The song ended and he reluctantly relinquished her warm body as they turned to applaud the music makers. He noticed Francois and Etienne were happily chatting up two new women near the gangplank and breathed an inward sigh of relief. It was against his nature to interfere with his crew’s plans as long as they did not endanger the ship.

Smiling at his good fortune he turned to Caesaire and offered his arm. “Would you care to accompany me to the upper deck, Isabelle? There we may speak in privet, if you wish.”

Caesaire slipped her hand beneath his arm to rest in the bend. “I would be delighted...Andre.” she smiled warmly. “You simply must tell me all of your adventures.”

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Andre led her up the stairs to the upper deck. She looked around. It was secluded and quiet. The gentle lapping of the water against the ship was the only sound she heard.
Except one.
It was the beating of her heart.
"May I get you something to drink?" Andre asked graciously.
Caesaire said quietly, "Whatever you recommend is fine with me."
Andre reached into a small cabinet and produced a bottle of Cognac.
"The best France has to offer."

She looked at him covertly as he poured the Cognac into a crystal goblet. 'He certainly had changed from the street-smart boy I knew, she thought. How much older were Andre and Sebastien from me? Let's see...I was five. They were ten. So, that would make Andre twenty-seven now.'
Andre handed her the cognac.
"Ah, merci, Monsieur....Andre."
Andre took a sip and motioned for her to have a seat. She laughed. "I very much prefer to sit on the deck, if you don't mind! A habit from when I was younger."
Andre used this as an opening to find out. Where did he know her from? New Orleans? She was a woman of breeding. Certainly not a brothel. Had he dealings with her father? Was he an importer? A broker of port goods? Had he met her at a ball that he attended from the plantations along the River?
"Mademoiselle....Isabelle. I am sorry, it is unusual for me to use a Christian name when we have first met. Creole Society, you understand."
She sat there and smiled, casually twisting the lock of her hair.
It was driving Andre mad. Why was that gesture threatening his memory banks?
"Not to worry, Andre. I am now calling YOU by your name proper."
He asked, "Are you in town for a visit?"
Caesaire ran her finger over the rim of her goblet and daintily sucked the cognac off her finger. Andre was watching that subtle gesture with fascination.
She took another sip and said, "Mais non! I was born in New Orleans but I was sent away to school. In...Baton Rouge."
Her voice caught a bit on that lie. It would never do for Andre to know she was sent to St Ursuline's Convent. Two blocks from the Cathedral in Place d'Armes. She had stayed in the neighborhood, cloistered under the watchful eyes of the nuns.

She leaned forward, her legs tucked under her. He could catch the soft scent of honeysuckle and jasmine. It seemed to muddle his senses.
"And are you from New Orleans, Andre? I know nothing of you until Francois mentioned your name."
Andre had always been guarded in his dealings with others on his past. He said, "I was raised in the Quarter, on St Louis Street. My mother was a housekeeper for Monsieur et Madame Trosclair. I was friends with their son Sebastien. Blood brothers, we called ourselves."

The music drifted up to the upper deck. Andre stood up and held his hand out. "Vous inquiéteriez-vous pour danser?"
"Je serais enchante."
Andre took Caesaire into his arms and she melded her body to his. He could feel the indiscernible heat between the two of them. She had both arms wrapped around his shoulders as his hands met at the small of her back. Her head rested gently against his chest. Something...something! What was it about her? Like he had known her all his life.
Had he?
Or was he just mesmerized by this charming woman? He had known hundreds of women in his life. Wenches and ladies. Tavern girls and landowners' daughters. They were an evening's entertainment.
He felt himself drawn to Isabelle.

Suddenly they were no longer dancing but standing there on the deck under the stars holding each other.
Andre lifted her chin to raise her face to his. She touched his cheek gently. He drew her closer to him.
Their lips met in a tender kiss that had caught fire, deep and searching. Andre had never been so taken by the intensity of a first kiss. It actually had frightened him. And he was a man who had never known fear.

Isabelle felt her knees weaken. She was being pulled into the passion and was feeling powerless. Yet as she had learned before, 'always leave them wanting more.'
She reluctantly pulled away from his ardor and said softly, "Monsieur Beaudouin, you take my breath away."
Andre's eyes were full of desire. It would have been so easy to give in. Yet Caesaire knew that if she did, she may very well quench the fire that she stoked in him.
Andre stood there and for once in his life, he didn't know what to do. A beautiful, passionate woman. He wanted her at that moment more than he had ever wanted any woman before. It was stronger than anything he had felt before.
Was it the beginnings
He shook his head.
Not to Andre Beaudouin.
He wouldn't allow it.
Would he?

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:16:11 PM
Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

As Andre walked the deck of Le Faucon the next morn his mind kept going back to the night before and Isabelle. This was madness. Watching the men make the fighting vessel ready to set sail the morning after tomorrow, he barely registered their presence. The mysterious blonde lady filled his thoughts even now.

Who was she? He had searched his memory long into the night, certain that he knew her from somewhere. He was also just as certain that he had never before met any woman named Isabelle Valcour. Slowly he made his rounds of the ship, giving to all who did not know him the impression of a pirate captain inspecting the work of the crew. Eventually he made his way to the short stairs leading to the upper deck and strode up them.

“It would seem our captain has been bitten.” Etienne de Marigny observed to the quartermaster.

“Aye.” John Hubbard spoke thoughtfully as he watched Andre vanish from sight. “But you know he’s nere going to admit it. Least of all to himself.”

“Mais oui.” The first mate grinned. “Until now Monsieur Andre Beaudouin has fancied himself immune to ze arrows of Cupid. It will be sometime before he will come to terms with it.”

Andre stood at the aft of his ship, leaning with both hands on the rail he stared out to sea from the river port. The ghosts of the night before echoing within his ears. Her laughter, the twinkle in her rich blue eyes, the warmth of her body next to his as they danced here alone, and the kiss. Never before had he felt himself swoon to the kiss of a woman, but he had certainly done exactly that last night.

The passion that her lips had raised within him had nearly robbed him of any semblance of common sense. Only a supreme effort of will had kept him from making a complete fool of himself that night. Instead of offering to share his bed aboard Le Faucon, he had instead offered to see her home, as would any proper gentleman. An offer which she had graciously, yet firmly declined. Had he indeed made himself the fool? Had he been too forward with the kiss? Enough to turn her away from him? He certainly hoped not.

Suddenly Andre whirled around in frustration, crossing his arms in front of his chest and roughly slamming his backside into the molded railing. What in God’s name was he thinking? These thoughts were not his! He was acting like un garcon d'ecole, a school boy! A lovesick school boy! He would not have it! There was too much a stake and he needed all of his wits to take the prize he had set for Le Faucon de Mer.

Desperately he tried to rid himself of her image, only to have it float tantalizingly before his eyes. The sent of her perfume hung in his nostrils. The sound of her voice rang within his ears. He could still feel the softness of her in his arms. Like a dream that he never knew he had. How could he rid himself of it? There had to be a way to regain himself. There had to.

“Captain?” John Hubbard’s voice broke into Andre’s conflicting thoughts and the emotions they raised. A wave of relief flowed through him at the distraction. Anything to keep his mind off of the fact that he was not in her arms where he secretly wished he was.

“Oui, John.” He smiled with relief. “What is it, Mon Ami?”

“There seems to be a bit of a disturbance from last night.” The Quartermaster looked grim. “The Spanish soldiers are here, and their captain has some questions he would like to ask you.”

“Perturbation?” Andre’s brow furrowed. “Surly our little party was not that loud. Or was one of the guests Francois invited the governor’s daughter?”

“Nothin’ like that, Mate.” John Hubbard’s face turned grim. “It seems a ship was stolen from the port last night, and ten of her crew found floating under the docks.”

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire laid in her big four-poster bed draped with netting. She tossed and turned as dawn approached. She could not get the feel or the taste of Andre Beaudouin's kiss out of her mind. She rolled over and punched her pillow, her thoughts drifting back to the soiree and the evening before.

Andre looked at her in that minute before their lips touched with such an intensity that it made her weak even now.
'Fool!' she called herself. 'If I wasn't so stubborn and practical, I'd be lying in his arms right now!'
But did she have any guarantee that Andre would come calling the next day? And if he did, he would realize that Isabelle Valcour, whom he held in his arms and kissed under the stars was really the grown up version of a five-year-old that used to tag along behind him and her cousin Sebastien. How would he view her then?

Caesaire had broken away from his kiss and said, "Monsieur Beaudouin, vous enlevez mon souffle..."
She looked into his eyes and could see desire. Caesaire knew that look. She had seen it before in men's eyes. Certainly she was no stranger to the ways of men. Or physical love.

Drausin was foremost on her mind as her most ardent suitor.
He thought she was newly arrived back into the Quarter from a finishing school in Charleston. At least that was the story her father gave out to his associates. Father was too ashamed to admit his only daughter had taken up with Jean Lafitte, privateer and the purveyor of fineries to the best households of Creole Society.

She threw her covers off and went to her windows, looking out towards the River. She could barely see the outline of Le Faucon by the docks. The lights had been extinguished from the gaiety of the party. She sighed as she closed the shutters, climbing back into bed.

Caesaire threw the covers back over her head. 'This is madness! I never intended for this! It was a prank! A trick to see if he would remember who I am. Well, it certainly back-fired', she thought.
The huntress got captured by the game.

She sat up and ran her fingers through her hair. After the kiss, Andre hesitated. The party was winding down. Caesaire was afraid that if she stayed one more minute longer, she would make a complete fool of herself and that would never do for the daughter of Christophe Trosclair.
But Andre had taken her hand and asked her, "Est-ce que je peux vous escorter maison ?"
She fought every urge to say, "Mais non! I want to stay with you..."
Instead she had murmured, "Captain Beaudouin, I appreciate the kind gesture but I live up the street. It is quite alright. I got here on my own, I shall return on my own."
"But Mademoiselle Valcour, I would be remiss in my duties as a gentleman to not see you properly to your abode."
She touched his lips with her fingers and whispered, "Perhaps another time, Andre...'" and enfolded herself in his arms again.
They stood there, holding each other tightly, each not saying a word until Caesaire whispered, "I really must be leaving."
Andre walked her down the stairs. She could feel the questioning eyes of his crew on her. Were they surprised that Andre had a woman on the upper deck? Or the fact that she wasn't staying the night?

At the end of the dock, she took his hand and said, "We shall meet again, Captain Beaudouin. Of that I am certain."
She turned and started walking away. She heard Andre call out, "May I come to call on you like a proper gentleman?"
She was afraid to turn around lest she run back to him.
And with that, she walked into the fog that settled on Decatur Street.


The early morning sun streamed into her room, the sunbeams filtering onto her face. Caesaire snuggled deeper into her quilt.
A knock on her door.
"Allez-vous-en! I'm still sleeping!"
She threw the pillow over her head.
Insistent knocking.
"Oh, very well--entrez-vous!"
Eliza, a house servant, came in and shut the door behind her.
In a nervous whisper, she said, "Mademoiselle Caesaire, there are men here to see you."
Her head popped up from under the pillows.
"Men. Spanish soldiers. They want to know about a ship that is now gone. The Shattered Dreams. And a dead crew."

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre made his way to the top of the short steps leading to the main deck. There a few yards from the bottom stood a Spanish lieutenant, and three soldiers. They looked up as one at the appearance of the Creole buccaneer. The lieutenant had been deeply engrossed in questioning the crew of Le Faucon de Mer, ceasing his interrogation of François once the captain of the vessel had come into view. The arrogance that lit his brown eyes told Andre Beaudouin all he needed to know about the man.

“Bonjour, lieutenant.” Andre put on his most diplomatic mask. “And what, may I ask, can we do to be of assistance to you?”

“Ah, Captain Beaudouin. Buenos días.” The lieutenant’s voice was dry as dead leaves. “Is there somewhere we may speak in….privet?”

The question was meant as an order, and Andre knew it. His ship and crew were in danger from this man, and their fate now lay in his hands. “But of course, Lieutenant?”

“Guerrero. Lieutenant Enrique Guerrero.” The man’s eyes bore into Andre’s.

The pirate merely smiled warmly and gestured to the door leading to his quarters. “Tres Bien, Lieutenant Guerrero. We may speak in my cabin, après vous?”

The Spaniard gave him a half bow before moving to the door. Andre held the door open for the official. “Mr. Hubbard! See that we are not disturbed.” By giving the order to the quartermaster, instead of the first mate, Andre had given the prearranged signal to secretly prepare the Faucon to sail immediately should things go wrong and they had to kill the Spaniards.

“Aye, aye, Captain.” John saluted, then turned to give their key men their assignments while the soldiers waited for their commander, unaware.

Guerrero immediately sat down in Andre’s chair behind the oak desk, and the Creole pirate breathed an inward sigh of relief that he had locked the sea chart, and letters safely away before the soiree last night. He was also highly angered by the Spaniard’s arrogance, yet kept it off of his face and out of his voice.

“May I offer you something to drink, Monsieur?” he asked in his most gracious tone.

“No. Thank you.” The Spanish lieutenant returned icily. “While my inquiries of your crew has convinced me that you were indeed here last night the fact remains that you are a thief, and a pirate, Andre Beaudouin. Whether, or not, it can be proven at the moment. And I for one have little use for pirates.”

Andre felt the hackles on his neck raise and for a moment thought seriously about killing this Spanish dog. Instead he replied in a shocked tone. “Pirate? Je? Non, monsieur, you have me all wrong. I am but a simple merchant. I am....”

“You are a pirate, and a murderer, Captain Beaudouin!” Guerrero rudely cut him off with a certainty of conviction. “While nothing can be proven, yet. It is still my pleasure to inform you that until our investigation of this matter is finished both you, and your crew will remain docked here. Every ship that was in port last night are officially under house arrest until further notice.”

Andre nearly choked at the news. At the most he could delay a couple days longer, but any longer would put the prize beyond his reach. “But, Lieutenant, surely you cannot be serious! I have urgent business in Nassau that demands....”

“Your ’business’ can wait, Pirate!” Guerrero stood to leave, again deliberately cutting the protest short. “And perhaps King Philip’s ships can breathe a little easier with you safely here, instead of robbing them blind. Good day to you, Senior.”

Andre’s fists trembled with the exertion he applied to them in a Herculean attempt to control his temper after the Spanish pig had left. Damn him to Hell! Now the prize would sail safely into Count Eladio’s arms. He should have gutted them the moment they had set foot on Le Faucon de Mer! Thrown them overboard and sailed immediately. A discrete knock on his door ended the bloodthirsty thoughts that raged through his mind.

“Oui! Entrez!” He snapped.

John Hubbard poked his head through the door. “Is it that bad, Captain?”

Andre took a deep breath and released it loudly before replying in a more subdued voice. “Oui, my friend, it is that bad. That pig has us all hamstrung until the mystery of the stolen ship is solved. The prize will slip through our fingers with out our even trying for it, and all those men I had killed will have died for nothing!”

Hubbard had fully entered the cabin by then, and stroked the stubble of his chin thoughtfully. “Well, it may be no consolation to ye at the moment, but the lady ye were dancing’ with is makein’ a bee line straight fer us, and she sure don’t look like the lass what left the ship last night.”

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:17:19 PM
Reply author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire ran towards the dock to where she last docked the Shattered Dreams. A cluster of people were gathered around. She pushed her way through. There on the banks of the River, Pere Antoine was blessing the bodies that were covered with sheets.
"NO!" Caesaire screamed. "NO!"
Pere Antoine turned to her with sad eyes and said, "Oui, ma petite." He stiffly raised himself up from his knees and took her by the elbow away from the crowd.
Caesaire was trembling despite the warmness of the morning. She laid her hand on the priest and whispered, "All of them? All who were on board?"
Pere Antoine sadly nodded his head. She put her fist to her mouth to choke back the tears.
"Mon Dieu. Pierre....Jacques.....Lucien....mes amis. Mes amis....."
Pere Antoine held her and patted her on the back. "Perhaps, Caesaire, some spiritual guidance..."
She looked at him with a tear-stained face. "Non, Pere. NO! Do not give me a 'repent and sin no more, child' discourse."
She broke away from him and whispered, "I know who did this. And there will be le diable to pay."

She ran up St Peter Street to Bourbon, then to the stucco and brick small Creole establishment. From the outside it looked like a dwelling. She yanked the door open. Inside Dominique You and Pierre Lafitte looked up from some papers they were poring over.
"Where is he? OU EST JEAN LE CHIEN?!"
Dominque was startled. "Caesaire? What is wrong?"
The tears started flowing down her face. "My crew is dead. DEAD! And my ship is gone. Disappeared. Sometime during the night, the crew was killed and the ship was taken. And...PIERRE LAFITTE, WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU GOING?"
Pierre had gotten up and headed for a door in the back. She ran to him.
"Do you think you are going to warn that dog of a brother of yours that he has a distraught woman in his receiving room? LET ME SAVE YOU THE TROUBLE!"
She pushed him aside and flung the door open.
Jean Lafitte sat at his mahogany desk, his shirt sleeves rolled up, a thin cigar in his mouth.
"Bon jour, cher. What brings you here on this fine morning?"
The smoke from the cigar wreathed his face in blue smoke.
She flung herself at him, beating him with her fists. "YOU KILLED THEM! YOU KILLED THEM AND THEN STOLE MY SHIP!"

He grabbed her by the wrists just as Dominique and Pierre burst forth. Pierre pulled her off Jean.
Jean dusted himself off and said coldly, "I don't know what you are talking about but I strongly advise you to get yourself under control. It would never do for you to become known as a pirate diva."
She broke herself away from Pierre's grasp. She could barely whisper, "Murderer. Thief."
She turned and ran out.
Dominique and Pierre looked at Jean. He just shrugged.
"She's overwrought. A woman thing."
They closed the door and went back to their business.

Caesaire walked back to her house on St Louis Street, her emotions in a whirlwind. As she entered, her father came into the foyer.
"Caesaire? What is wrong?"
She flung her hat down and turned her face to the wall, sobbing.
"Jean Lafitte has stolen my ship and killed my crew that was on watch."
Alarmed, Monsieur Trosclair said, "You know that for a fact?"
She nodded and wiped her tears with the sleeve of her blouse.
"Oui, Papa.C'est vrai."
He motioned to take her in his arms and she held her hand up. "Please, no false sympathy, Pere. You are secretly relieved that I will no longer be at sea and shall settle down to take my place in Creole Society."
He exhaled a sigh. "Ma chere, it is time you stopped this vagabond existence. If your mother...."
She yelled, "Don't you DARE bring the memory of my mother into this! You have repeatedly told me how she would be shamed by me. Well, that is not true. Mother loved me. She accepted me as I was, as only a mother can. And now she is dead."
Christophe Trosclair's mouth went into a grim line as he said with controlled fury, "I loved her too. She was my wife. It is about time you married and had children. Mon Dieu, all your friends are married. Except Solange and she is about to be engaged to your cousin Sebastian. You need to settle down with Drausin D'Estrehan. He has been courting you for a few years now."

She shook her head. "No. Not now. Drausin is a wonderful companion and a charming and successful man. Another time, another place...perhaps. But no, Pere. Something is lacking. The fire. And once I had that, I could never go back."
Monsieur Trosclair looked at his daughter and said, "If you insist on acting like an alleycat from behind the Cathedral, I shall thank you to please keep it there. Behind the church, off Holy Ground and out of the light of day."
She ran up the stairs but not before she flung over her shoulder, "You never did understand, Pere. You never did."

She flung her clothes off and pulled out of her armoire what she needed. She put on her black breeches that fit snugly on her hips and down her legs. A black shirt, and a waist cincher of black leather. She took a leather belt and attached her scabbard with the rapier she took as a prize when she and Jean attacked that Spanish Galleon off the coast of Cuba. She took it out and looked at it. Fine Toledo steel with a swept hilt in gold. It was just the right size. Jean had given it to her as a present after they had made love in celebration.
Her face flamed with embarrassment at how easily she had been fooled by him.
She put on her black boots and grabbed her tricorn with the red feathers trailing half-way down her back.

As she descended the stairs, Christophe demanded, "And where are you going dressed like that?"
She opened the front door and said, "To exact my revenge. And I'm asking help from the only man I can trust at this time."
And with that she slammed the door.

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

“Isabelle?! She is coming here?!” The change that John witnessed in his captain’s mood was startling. Andre had gone from morose to happily excited in the literal blink of an eye. Never had he seen such a change overtake a man so quickly.

“Aye, that she is. But I wouldn’t be getting’ me hopes up yet, Captain.” John grinned. “The look on her face is anything but pleasant, and ye better see the way she‘s dressed first.”

“Getting my hopes up?” Andre Beaudouin’s mood changed yet again before John’s eyes, turning more somber and controlled. “I have no hopes to get up, Mon Ami. I am merely pleased that she has decided to visit with us again so soon. However, if she is perturbed as you say, perhaps this will not be as pleasant a call as I first assumed. Please go to greet the lady, and offer my apologies as I must make myself the more presentable.”

“Aye, Captain.” Hubbard saluted his friend with a grin before turning to leave.

“And wipe zat smirk off your face, before I toss your English arse into ze river!” Andre shot after the quartermaster’s retreating form, his accent thickening in his turmoil.

As the older man made his way to the top of Le Faucon de Mer’s gangplank he smiled at the changes he had seen in his friend. Never before had he seen Andre act in this way and it would do him good to at last find love in this life. He watched as Caesaire strode toward them, the determination in her stride was as evident as the clothing she wore. She could have easily made a member of their own crew in that getup, and John secretly hoped that her bearing wasn’t a forerunner to any displeasure with his captain. Andre would be crushed.

Caesaire stopped for a moment, a few yards from the magnificent fighting vessel. For a few moments the rage in her heart was replaced by softer emotions at the thought of seeing Andre again. The man was as breathtaking as his immaculate ship, and she felt the rise of the long crush she had held for him since childhood. Should she drop her ruse and tell him who she truly was? No. Not yet. She needed his aid now, and couldn’t be sure of his reaction if he learned the truth now. She would remain Isabelle Valcour for a while longer.

She pushed her feelings for Andre down for the moment, there would be plenty of time for that later. Once again she let her hatred of Jean Lafitte rise within her. Le chien jaloux malheureux would rue the day he dared to make a true enemy of her!

At the top of the gangplank she spotted John Hubbard, Etienne de Marigny, and Francois Loupe. A slight feeling of disappointment that Andre was not among them swept over her for a moment as she stopped at the foot of the gangplank.

“Permission to come aboard?” She smiled up at the trio, ignoring the few other pirates who periodically looked over the sides of the ship to see her.

“Permission granted, Mademoiselle Valcour, and welcome aboard Le Faucon de Mer.” John smiled warmly.

She hurried up to the waiting men. “Is Captain Beaudouin aboard? I must speak with him on a matter of high importance.”

“He’s here, Mum.” John smiled. “It’s just that he has been working with the crew this morn, and wished to freshen up a bit before greeting you himself.”

No sooner did the quartermaster fulfill his orders then the door to Andre’s cabin opened and Caesaire felt her breath catch at the sight. He had changed into a fresh white silk buccaneer shirt, whose billowing sleeves ruffled in the slight river breeze. The highly polished baldric cut a diagonal slash of black across his chest, it’s shining silver buckle glinting in the morning sunlight. His newly combed raven black hair was pulled back into a neat ponytail beneath the burgundy cavalier’s hat that rested at a jaunty angle on his head. A three inch wide black leather belt was strapped over the matching burgundy sash, it’s two knee length ends waving across the skin tight leather pants securely tucked into his knee high belled boots.

“Isabelle.” He crossed the short distance between them, sweeping the hat from his head, and bowing to lightly kiss the back of her fingers. “It is a pleasure to see you again so soon?”

She felt the warmth of his smile to her core, and again regretted her deception. “May we speak in privet, Andre?” She smiled warmly.

“But of course, Cheri.” He swept one ringed hand in the direction of his cabin door, then turned to his three friends. “Please see we are not disturbed, Monsieur de Marigny.” Then in a lower voice so that she could not hear. “And if the three of you don’t stop grinning like fools I’ll maroon you on the first spit of sand we come across!”

“Aye, aye, Mon Capitaine.” Etienne saluted, still grinning. Andre shot him a scowl for good measure before turning to open the door for Caesaire.

Andre quickly pulled one of his best leather cushioned chairs over to the front of his desk for her to sit in. “Rafraîchissements, Isabelle?”

“Mais oui, Andre.” She smiled. “After this morning I could use it.”

“Troubles, Cher?” He asked after handing her a crystal glass filled with his best Cognac. He removed his hat, setting it down to one side on the polished desk and sat across from her in his usual seat.

The genuine concern written across his face endeared him even more to her, but she had to set aside the feelings welling up within her. This would take a great amount of tact if she were to keep her secret. “Oui. Have you ever heard of the ship named The Shattered Dreams?” She asked.

“Les Rêves Brisés? Non, Isabelle. I cannot say that I have.” His brow furrowed.

Inwardly Caesaire breathed a sigh of relief. “The ship was mine. It was also the one that you may have heard was stolen last night.”

Andre Beaudouin’s Hazel eyes widened in surprise. “That was your ship, Cheri?” He swallowed a healthy gulp of his own drink before continuing. “No wonder the Spanish showed up on my door step this morning. They probably suspect that I was distracting you as I had your ship stolen, and her guards murdered. I swear to you, Isabelle, I had nothing to do with it!”

Caesaire nearly laughed out loud at the distress he was exhibiting. It was sweet beyond words to think she had made so much of an impression upon him. “Non, Cher.” She reassured him softly. “I know you would not do such a thing. I know full well who did this to me. I believe you know of him. Jean Lafitte.”

“Lafitte?!!” Andre bolted to his feet. “I will ‘ang zat chien from my yardarm by ‘is diseased bowls!!!” His accent grew heavy with his anger.

“Please, Andre, calm yourself.” She whispered to him, rising to embrace his trembling body. “I need your head clear if you are to help me recover my ship. Then together we can take our revenge against him.”

The moment he felt her arms around him Andre’s anger evaporated. Gently he gazed deeply into her blue eyes and stroked her cheek with the back of one finger. “As you wish, Isabelle.” He smiled. “Jean’s little prank on you has put us both in dire straights, but perhaps a friend of mine can help us both to, how they say, kill two birds with one stone?”

“Oh, Andre!” Caesaire almost jumped for joy. “Is this true?”

“Mais Oui, Cheri.” He grinned, putting his hat back on. “Let us go and see him now.”

As they made their way onto Saint Claude Avenue Caesaire felt the chill of dread run up her spine. She knew this area all too well and had fully guessed who Andre was leading her to. Her cousin Sebastian. There was nothing she could do about it now. Soon they would arrive at his office and her secret would be exposed to Andre. Mère de Dieu! How would he react to the news that she was none other than Caesaire Trosclair? Would the truth about her deception drive him from her? For the first time in years she prayed fervently that it would not. Not now when she was so close to making him her own.

Soon they arrived at the well kept Creole Townhouse with the sign that hung at the short walkway: Sebastian Trosclair, Attorney. Her heart sank as Andre turned to grin at her, and she fought the urge to run far away. All of her iron will was focused on keeping her panic from her face.

“Here we are, Cheri.” He smiled reassuringly. “A very powerful and well connected friend of mine since childhood. If there is any man who can help us, it is he.” Caesaire smiled warmly and nodded, not trusting herself to speak lest her voice give away her fear.

As they made their way onto the large pillared porch of the Townhouse she felt her panic rising with each step. This was worse than walking to the hangman. Andre reached up and rapped the large brass doorknocker loudly against it’s brass plate sending echoes through the house. Caesaire discreetly slipped behind him from view, and shut her eyes tightly in an attempt to make the nightmare go away.

“Andre!” The tall blond lawyer embraced his old friend warmly. “Is this a social visit, or have you gotten yourself into some more trouble which requires my aid?”

“A little of both, I’m afraid, Mon Frère de sang.” Andre grinned. “But I fear the large part of the trouble is not mine alone.” He moved to one side exposing the trembling form of Caesaire.

“Caesaire!” Sebastian shouted happily. “This is indeed a surprise. The three of us together again!”

“Bonjour, Cousin.” She smiled weakly.

“C-C-Caesaire??!!” Andre stammered open mouthed as the realization of how he knew her flooded his senses. “Little Caesaire Trosclair??!!! Mon Dieu!!!” He felt the world swim around him and Andre fell backward into the short hedges that lined Sebastian’s walkway.

“Andre!” Caesaire screamed and rushed to his side. “Are you alright, Mon Cher? I’m so sorry I deceived you, it was only a jest at first to see if you would remember me. Please do not be angry with me.”

Andre looked into her eyes, and smiled warmly. “Well, Cheri, at least now I know why I’ve felt I knew you so well. So much for my legendary memory, oui?”

The three laughed loudly as Sebastian and Caesaire helped Andre untangle himself from the shrubbery.

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:18:25 PM
Reply author: Welsh Wench

"More gumbo?"
Sebastian motioned to the soup tureen the servant girl held.
He had insisted that Caesaire and Andre join him for lunch. They were sitting in the brick courtyard, the soft fragrance of magnolias in the air. Sebastian had set a lunch of gumbo, fresh bread and crayfish etouffee.
Caesaire shook her head no. Andre eagerly nodded. Of all the things he missed while at sea, aside from the company of beautiful women, was the cuisine of the bayou countryside.
Caesaire laughed, "I'd know Minerva's cooking anywhere, Sebastian. No one could make gumbo like she could."
Sebastian smiled, "She will let no one in the kitchen when she makes the roux. Says it is a closely guarded secret. Although I do believe she has entrusted Lucille with the recipe."

The warm summer breeze flowed through the banana trees. Sebastian poured the chicory coffee in the teacups and handed them to Caesaire and Andre.
"Of course you will have some bread pudding, oui?"
Caesaire nodded happily. "Now that I shall have. With rum sauce?"
Sebastian looked at Andre with twinkling eyes. " Mais non, ma petite. You are still too little."
She playfully smacked her cousin on the arm.
"You are still teasing me, cousin!"

Sebastian took a sip of coffee and said, "How the two of you ended up on my front porch together has got to be one of the most fascinating stories. Caesaire, Uncle Christophe told us you were in Charleston at a finishing school. But I wasn't fooled. I heard stories that you had taken up with Jean Lafitte and were in Barataria for a time being."
Caesaire felt her face flame hot. She did not want Andre to know that she and Lafitte had been lovers at one time and she was living at his complex in Barataria for a while until she won a ship in a card game and decided to cut into his blackmarket trade.
She said, "It was a business arrangement. I helped him with his invoices and merchandise. Kind of a...consultant for his niceties that found their way into the parlours of the best Creole society homes. Certainly that was how I furnished my house on St Louis Street and...."
"YOUR house?"
"Oui. I bought Pere out. He wants to go back to France but he has been singing that song ever since I can remember. But he decided to give me my inheritance and Drausin D'Estrehan was kind enough to help me with the closing."
"Drausin? It all becomes too clear now! I had heard he was keeping company with a woman from a good Creole family and I had no idea that it was...OW!"
Caesaire had kicked him under the table.
Andre looked up from his bread pudding and said, "Problem, mon frere?"
Sebastian glared at Caesaire as she innocently took a sip from her teacup.
"Non! Nothing but a small problem I have had for a long time."
Andre nodded, "Aye. A cramp in the leg is no fun."
"Nor a pain in the...ah! But how did the two of you come to be at my front door together?"
Caesaire lowered her eyes while Andre smiled. "Votre cousine decided to play a prank on me. I had un soiree aboard Le Faucon de Mer and she managed an invitation."
"A prank?"
"Mais oui! It seems I had spent the evening being charmed by a Mademoiselle Isabelle Valcour, or that was the name she gave me."
Caesaire turned her innocent blue eyes on Andre. My, how he made her heart race! "I wanted to see if he would recognize me grown up."
Sebastian laughed heartily, "Ah! And I take it that it was unsuccessful, from the amount of leaves we had to pick off you, Andre!"
Andre chuckled, "I was half mad trying to figure out where I knew her from and...AHA! That is what drove me mad!"
Caesaire looked up. "What?"
"You are doing it now, cherie. Twirling that lock of hair around your finger. You did that as a child, as I recall. Mon Dieu, how you have grown up!"
He gave her a look that made her feel warm all over. Sebastian raised his eyebrow.
Caesaire and Andre?
After all these years?

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre sat back in the chair and stretched his bell booted legs out to one side. Leaning on his left elbow he crooked one finger around his chin, just below his lower lip. “An excellent repast, Mon Frere, as always. I fear though that your hospitality is not the reason your cousin and I have sought you out today.”

“I thought as much.” Sebastian grinned. “However, before we get to the crux of your problem, I’m afraid I have some papers which require you signature, Frere. A small matter of the transfer of the sugar cane plantation just outside of Nassau.”

“Ahhhh. Oui, the owners then have accepted my offer?” Andre smiled.

“Yes.” The blond Attorney grinned. “Your overseer will take possession in your name as soon as the papers are properly signed and registered with the Governor of the Bahamas. I would say you could expect to see a profit within the next three months. Sooner if your plan to use the bulk of your crop for the distillery goes as planed.”

“Sugar cane?” Caesaire interrupted, surprised. “But I thought you were a pirate, Cher.”

The two men looked at each other for a moment, then laughed heartily. “He is far worse than a pirate, cousin.” Sebastian chuckled. “Far worse. He’s a business man.”

Caesaire had reddened slightly and her cousin quickly continued. “One of the reasons that Andre and I were such good friends while we were growing up is that, although poor, he was as clever a person as I had ever met. Through me Andre has invested a large portion of his “acquired wealth” and owns several profitable enterprises.”

“And if you think I am a pirate, Cheri,” Andre spoke up with a merry twinkle in his eye, “you should see what your cousin charges me!”

This time she joined in the good natured laughter which followed. Secretly berating herself for underestimating Andre. Of course he would not have been as foolish as others of his profession and simply spent his gains as soon as he made port. Like herself, and Lafitte, Andre Baudouin looked to the future and made the most of what he plundered. While the two best friends were engrossed in the finalizing of Andre’s latest endeavor she sipped her coffee and eyed him with a growing, desire filled interest.

Drausin D'Estrehan was indeed a charming companion, and she did not regret one moment spent in his arms, but she also knew that something was lacking in their relationship. There was no fire, no real passion except for the quickly quenched moments they shared. What she was beginning to feel for Andre went far beyond such moments, beyond even the crush of a five year old little girl. Whether he knew it or not, Andre Baudouin would be hers.

Suddenly his voice cut through her reverie. “That then is the crux of both our problems, Frere. As long as Le Faucon de Mer is essentially dry docked neither of us can resolve our situations fâcheuses.”

Caesaire looked hopefully at her cousin as he sat back frowning. After a few moments of thought Sebastian smiled. “I believe something can be arranged. Recently our governor has asked me to help him in resolving a most delicate matter of his own. I am sure he can be persuaded to grant Le Faucon a special dispensation from the order.”

“Blackmail, Cousin?” Caesaire teased.

Sebastian shrugged. “If you wish, Little One. I prefer the term persuasive argument myself. Regardless you shall have leave to sail by tomorrow morning.”

“Then we will have much to do before then.” Andre rose, extending his hand to his oldest comrade. “I will, of course, see that you are well compensated on our return, Mon Frere.”

“Not this time, Andre.” Sebastian shook his hand. “Lafitte has attacked the house of Trosclair, and that is something that can not go unanswered. I wish the both of you luck.”

As Caesaire hugged her cousin goodbye he whispered to her. “You could not have made a better choice, Little One. Pirate or no, there are few men like Andre.”

“Why, Cousin, what ever do you mean?” She grinned as they parted, favoring him with a quick wink.

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Andre shook his best friend's hand and whispered to Sebastian, "Mon Dieu, how she has grown up!"
Sebastian whispered back, "If you don't treat her right, you shall answer to me, mon frere."
They hugged each other and Andre walked down the stairs to where Caesaire was waiting for him at the gate.
Sebastian shook his head. Andre Baudouin and cousin Caesaire? Will wonders never cease?

As he watched them walk down the street, a voice from behind him said, "Sebastian? Qui visitait?"
Sebastian turned to see his mother come outside to the garden.
"C'est Andre Baudouin, Maman."
"Andre! Sebastian, why did you not call me? You know Andre is like a son to me!"
Sebastian said, "Because he had a most delightful companion with him. I daresay, Maman, that our Andre has been stricken by Cupid's arrow. And this time he was not fast enough to dodge it."
"Mon Dieu! A woman has claimed his heart? Why did you not call me to meet her? I should like to see who this extraordinary woman is."
Sebatian could barely keep a straight face.
"Maman, she had the face of an angel and was very well-conversed. An intelligent woman of breeding."
Isabelle made the sign of the cross on her chest. "Ah, he has found a Creole woman to settle him down and he can give up this pirate's life!"
Sebastian rubbed his chin. "Oui, she is a woman of Creole blood, Maman. But as far as giving up a pirate's life, I daresay she would be more than willing to join him in that venture."
A confused look crossed Isabelle's face. "But you said she was a woman of breeding! Do I know this woman? She is from a good family, oui?"
Sebastian said, "Oui, Maman. From the best of New Orleans society. I am very surprised the two of them met. After all these years."
Isabelle impatiently tapped her foot and put her hands on her hips. "Sebastian Trosclair, if you don't tell me who this woman who has captured our Andre with her charm, I shall..."
"Maman, it is Caesaire."
"Caesaire? OUR Caesaire?"
"Oui. Our Caesaire."
Isabelle sat down suddenly on the chair. "Santa Maria! Caesaire Trosclair."

Caesaire and Andre walked down Royal Street. Caesaire had her arm lightly on Andre's crooked arm. One could not tell which one felt that fate had smiled kindly on. They were both lost in their own little world of good fortune.
Caesaire would glance at Andre's handsome face when she thought he wasn't looking. Andre would feel the looks of envy as they passed both gentlemen and privateers.
"Do you think you shall be ready to sail the morning after tomorrow, Isa---I mean, Caesaire?" He then blurted out, "Why did you not tell me who you were?"
She felt her face grow flushed. "Andre, you thought of me as a pesky little five year old who grew into a pesky eight year old. And by the time I turned twelve, my father sent me to St Ursuline's Convent. Not Baton Rouge or Charleston like he told everyone. He wanted the sisters to straighten me out."
"You were only a few blocks away all this time?"
She nodded. "Cloistered behind those walls only two blocks from the Cathedral."
"All those times I walked by the Convent, you may have been on the other side of the wall. Stucco and brick separating us."
She laughed, "Andre, you would continue to think of me as that little girl you were forced to endure all those summer afternoons. I know you and Sebastian were wanting to go swimming in the River but did not dare shed your clothes in front of la petite jeune fille!"
He laughed. "C'est vrai!"
She gave him a look and whispered, "And I am not la petite jeune fille anymore."
He laughed and said, "Are you saying you want to go swimming?"
As they rounded the corner on St Peter Street, they were engrossed in light-hearted conversation.
"Ooof! Excusez-moi, Mademoiselle...CAESAIRE?"

She was caught by the arms of the man she accIdently ran into.
"Mon Dieu! DRAUSIN!"

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:23:48 PM
Reply author: Blackjack Roberts
Drausin D'Estrehan stood open mouthed and stunned for a few moments. Of all the people he had never expected to encounter on St Peter Street, Caesaire Trosclair certainly topped the list. He quickly eyed the pirate whose arm she had been lightly holding. She, herself dressed in the clothing she wore as captain of The Shattered Dreams. He did not look like a member of her crew, but there was something familiar about the tall flamboyantly dressed buccaneer. New Orleans had long been known to be a city where piracy flourished.

“My dear Mademoiselle Trosclair.” He put on his official face. “What brings you so far into the city this time of the day?”

Caesaire quickly recovered from the shock of the sudden meeting with her lover. “Captain Beaudouin and I were just visiting my cousin, Monsieur D'Estrehan.”

Drausin’s brow wrinkled slightly. Beaudouin, Beaudouin….Andre Beaudouin. His brown eyes widened with realization. That is where he knew the man from. Captain of Le Faucon de Mer and rumored rival of Jean Lafitte himself. But, why would Caesaire be accompanied by him? Unless? He felt the rising heat of jealousy rise within him. Of course! Solange had told him of her intention to attend the soiree aboard his ship. An old childhood friend indeed!

“Caesaire, may I speak with you for a moment?” His voice held a flinty edge as he shot a glance at the Creole pirate. “In privet.”

“Non, Drausin, excusez-moi.” She smiled as graciously as she could at the moment. “Andre and I have pressing business that must be attended to.”

D'Estrehan’s temper broke at the rebuff and he roughly took her by the arm. “Andre? You are now on a first name basis? I am not one of your former playthings, Caesaire, to be easily discarded when you have found another!”

Several pairs of eyes turned in their direction at the sound of the raised voice, and Caesaire was keenly aware of the unwanted attention. “Drausin! Control yourself and unhand me this moment! This is neither the time, nor the place!” She hissed lowly.

“Non, Cheri!” Drausin continued, clearly beyond caring. “This is exactly the time and place! You will listen to…” His tirade suddenly stopped, and he looked down to find his wrist clamped in a viselike grip. A grip that belonged to Andre Beaudouin. Like a dash of ice water thrown into his face Drausin D'Estrehan felt his jealousy change to fear.

Andre leaned close to the distraught lawyer, his voice low and firm to keep the gathering crowd from hearing. His hazel eyes blazed with anger. “You will release her immediately, Monsieur, and you will honor her wishes, or by God I will gut you where you stand!”

Drausin released Caesaire’s arm without hesitation and Andre pulled the slightly built attorney even closer to him. “It is very bad manners to embarrass a lady like this in public, Monsieur. She will speak to you dans le privet when she is damn good and ready. Until then I would suggest you apologize and quite loudly.”

The attorney shivered involuntarily under the enraged gaze of the buccaneer. Drausin knew he was no match physically for the powerfully built sea farer. “Pardonnez-moi, Mademoiselle Trosclair.” He spoke loud enough for all to hear. “It was nothing, a misunderstanding. I will, of course, await your pleasure.”

“Think nothing of it, Monsieur D'Estrehan.” Caesaire favored him with a smile she did not feel. Her own anger welling up inside her. “I will be in touch shortly.” She leaned in close to him and whispered. “Drausin. If you ever lay hands on me like that again, I shall make a woman of you!” She glanced down at her whip for emphasis.

Placing her hand firmly in the crook of Andre’s arm she tossed her head and walked away down St Peter’s toward the docks. Drausin D'Estrehan felt his color change to bright crimson as the crowd they had gathered went about their business. Their low half murmured comments stinging him all the more.

“Perhaps I am no match for you in a fight, Andre Beaudouin.” He thought. “But there are other ways to match you. You will not take her from me without a fight. Caesaire Trosclair will be mine again.”

As they made their way back to Le Faucon de Mer Andre suddenly stopped. “Caesaire.” He spoke gently. “I would not have had that happen to you.”

“Andre, it was not your fault.” She began.

“Please, Cheri. Permit me to continue.” He smiled warmly. “I have no illusions as to your life before we met again. I have had my own share of lovers over the years. Your privet life is your own, and I have no desire to know of it. A woman has needs, the same as a man, and I make no judgments there. I suppose what I am trying to say is to me you are now, and will always be a lady.”

Caesaire felt a warmth in her heart spread through out her body at Andre’s gentile words of reassurance and she reached up to stroke his cheek. “Thank you, Cher.” She smiled. “However, I do believe it is time I changed attorneys. Do you think Sebastian could use another client?”

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire clung a bit tighter to Andre's offered arm. Andre smiled to himself as he looked down at the lithe form of the woman he knew as a child. She always had a charm. That was one reason why he tolerated her presence when she was tagging along with him and her cousin.
Andre thought back to that day when she was gone.

Sebastian came out of the house with a smug look on his face.
"She's gone."
Andre looked quizzically at his best friend. "Who is gone? Minerva?"
The cook had always been a favorite of theirs. She was always ready with a treat for them.
"Caesaire. She has been sent to Charleston. Some school to try to turn her into a lady."
"Where did you hear that?"
"Maman. She heard that and went over to Uncle Christophe's and told him he had no right to send her away. Uncle Christophe said it would be good for her as he couldn't raise her since Tante Clothilde died."
"Will she be back?"
Sebastian shrugged. "I suppose eventually she will be. But she's out of our hair now. Do you want to go fishing?"
Andre said, "Why not? We can cook them for lunch."
Sebastian laughed. "Provided we catch them, mon frere!"
Andre couldn't figure out why he felt out of sorts all day.
Like something was missing.
Something small and blonde.
He sighed.
He was going to miss being someone's hero.

Caesaire was lost in her own thoughts. That she was determined to be Andre Beaudouin's one and only was a given. And once Caesaire made up her mind, she always got what she wanted. At one time she had wanted Jean Lafitte. She thought back to the day she met him....

It had been a Sunday afternoon after Mass. She was supposed to spend the day in reflection of her penance for her sins committed during the previous six days. But what the nuns were not aware of was the fact that Caesaire would slip out of the convent and cross the courtyard under the shade of the trees when the coast was clear. She had carefully left the window unlatched so she could be back before the evening meal.
She had discovered that on Sunday afternoon, the slaves would congregate in what was known as Congo Square. The women would be dressed in the newest silks, gauze, muslins and percales while the men would beat the rhythms from their homelands. There would be singing and dancing with wild abandon, sometimes up to six hundred slaves enjoying what time they had off.
Caesaire felt the music penetrate her soul and before she knew it, her feet were tapping to the music and her body swaying to the beat.
It wasn't long before two of the slaves saw her enjoying the music. They pulled her into their dance circle, their faces grinning to see the blonde Creole girl become a part of their circle.
From that time on, Caesaire was hooked. And every Sunday, for almost a year, she would escape to the Square.

Then one day as Caesaire was heading back to the convent, she saw Sister Marie Josephine and Sister Marie Odile walking down St Phillips Street. If caught, she knew she would be punished and her good times would end. She saw a building built of brick and stucco with timbered frames. In desperation, she flung open the door and entered. Her eyes adjusted to the dark and she looked up into the eyes of Jean Lafitte.

Drausin D'Estrehan entered the tavern and sat at the mahogany bar.
"Aquavitae, s'il vous plait, Arnaud."
Arnaud set the drink down in front of Drausin.
"Trouble, mon ami?"
Drausin downed the drink and ran his fingers through his hair.
"Oui. A small package of trouble."
"Either it is a land deal gone sour or it is trouble a la femme."
Drausin held his glass aloft for a refill.
"It will take more to make me feel better, Arnaud."
"Care to talk, I am here."
Drausin's lip curled in derision.
"Two words. Andre Beaudouin."
Arnaud said in a low voice, "The captain of Le Faucon de Mer? That is no small package of trouble, ami. That is trouble you do not need. Is it a legal problem gone wrong? A shipment of goods held up on the docks?"
Darusin downed the whiskey and said, "Andre Beaudouin stole something that belongs to me."
Arnaud wiped off the bar and said, "But you are not in collusion with pirates--are you, Drausin?"
Drausin snapped, "Of course not! I am an upstanding citizen. You think I would consort with the likes of them?"
Arnaud leaned on the counter. "Then what problem do you have? No business dealings. It must be personal."
Drausin finished off his whiskey and slid his glass towards Arnaud.
"Have you ever heard of Caesaire Trosclair?"
"The daughter of Monsieur Christophe Trosclair who has the townhouse with the big wrought iron gate over on St Louis Street?"
Drausin accepted the next glass of whiskey and said, "Oui. The very same."
"I had heard she left the convent a few years ago. Fell in with some unsavory people. Rumoured to have fallen in with pirates and thieves. Namely Jean Lafitte."
Drausin nodded. "She consorted with him, ran away to sea and captained a ship named Shattered Dreams."
"Mon Dieu! That ship's crew was just murdered and the vessel disappeared!"
Drausin tossed off the rest of his drink and said, "I have lost her twice now. Once to the sea and now to Andre Beaudouin. Losing her once was enough. I shall be damned if I lose her again."


Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Anxiously Andre scanned the docks for the hundredth time, hoping beyond hope to see her hurrying along to make the tide. He had already delayed the morning launch, and several others trough out the day since the papers granting Le Faucon de Mer leave to set sail had arrived. Brought by none other than Lieutenant Guerrero himself. A bright point to the day, seeing that pig eat his own merde as he handed Andre the papers.

“You are free to set sail, Captain Beaudouin.” He had spoken with ice in his voice, and Andre could not help but to add insult to injury by laughing loudly. A laugh that quickly spread to the rest of the crew as the embarrassed official turned on his heel and stalked off up the dock. Francois swore he saw smoke coming from the man’s ears.

“And what would you say you see coming off of the captain, Mon Ami?” Etienne de Marigny asked as the two of them and the quartermaster watched him pace like a caged animal, stopping only long enough to stare at the head of the docks.

“Pure worry, Ami.” Francois Loupe returned. “Should we guess whom he is pacing for?”

“Nay, mates.” John Hubbard answered them all. “But he’ll not be able to wait much longer for her. If we miss this tide we lose all, and the captain can’t afford to let that happen.”

“Oui,” Etienne frowned. “Only the four of us know what is at stake this time. He cannot afford to have this prize slip through our fingers. Not even for her.”

The captain of Le Faucon de Mer took a long look at the waterline. In thirty minutes the tide would change, and all hope of intercepting the Galleon would go with it. As it was he couldn’t be sure they would arrive in time to catch her. He felt his disappointment change to something alien to his heart before Caesaire had reentered his life. Though it saddened him beyond expression he turned and shouted. “Weigh anchor, you scurvy dogs!”

As the sleek vessel slowly pulled out into the river he leaned against the rail, his eyes never leaving the dock. What could have happened to her? It would be at least a month before he would have the answer to that question, and he knew it would haunt him day and night until he knew. Was Lafitte responsible, or perhaps that smarmy little lawyer? It mattered not, either would rue the day they had heard the name of Andre Beaudouin should it prove so!

The frigate was nearly fifty yards from the docks when he caught sight of her. Caesaire virtually flew down the length of the pier, her arms waving high above her head, and the faint sound of her voice calling his name caused his heart to soar like his ships namesake. Before he could order a longboat to be launched for her Caesaire dove headlong from the end of the dock into the water, swimming for all she was worth towards them.

“Drop sail! Launch a longboat for us!” Andre shouted as loud as he could.

“Us, Mon Capitaine?” Francois asked, puzzled. In the next moment he found himself holding Andre’s hat and baldric as he watched in open mouthed shock. Andre had climbed onto the railing and dove over the side before anyone could stop him.

“Mon Dieu!” He gasped. “The man is insane!”

Etienne de Marigny and John Hubbard both laughed. “Oui, Mon frere.” Etienne wiped a joyful tear from his eye. “Is that not what amore is?” He turned and shouted. “Launch ze longboat! Captain overboard!”

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:25:49 PM
Reply author: Welsh Wench

Andre and Caesaire met halfway between his ship and the dock.
Caesaire gasped, "I was so afraid you would have sailed off without me and I would never have seen you again!"
Andre grabbed her by the shoulders and shook the water out of his eyes. "Cher, where WERE you? I thought for certain you had changed your mind. That you decided to...."
"NEVER! Andre, there is so much to tell you that I don't know where to...."
"Ah! Bon jour, jeunes amoureux! Lovely day for a swim, n'est-ce pas?"
The longboat pulled alongside them and Rene DuBois leaned over the side.
"Mon Capitaine, you are swimming with a young lady when you should be commanding your ship! "
Andre laughed, "Oui, but it is not just any young lady! It is the captain of the Shattered Dreams!"
Rene said, "Ah, well, be that as it may. I think we had better get the longboat moving before we have to row all the way to the Caribbean."

Andre pulled himself up into the boat and extended his arms to Caesaire. She climbed aboard. Andre looked at her in astonishment. She was dressed in a chemise and that was about it.
"Caesaire, where are your...clothes?"
Rene handed them both a blanket. Andre threw one over Caesaire. She drew it close to her.
"It's a long story, Andre."
"Then I shall hear it when we get on board. It is a good thing your trunks arrived late yesterday afternoon. They are safely stowed away in my cabin."
Caesaire began to shiver. Not only from the water, but Andre could sense something else.
Fear? Apprehension? He knew she would eventually tell him in her own time.

He remembered back to the time he and Sebastian dared her to swing across the bayou on the tree vine that stretched across the water and went to the other side. True, it hadn't been very wide to the bank but he remembered...

"Go ahead and do it! Or are you too much of a girl to try?"
Her little head tilted defiantly up and she bit her lip to keep it from trembling.
"Mais non! I am not afraid! I am NEVER afraid! Je suis un Trosclair! We are never afraid!"
Sebastian looked at Andre and smirked. "We shall see about that, n'est-ce pas, Andre?"
Andre just nodded. The little girl shut her eyes and took a deep breath. He didn't know why, but he felt his stomach start to sink. She was so little and delicate.

Wrapping her little hands around the vine she took a running jump and flew across the water. But being of light weight, she didn't have the momentum to carry her to the other side.
Andre and Sebastian watched her land in the water.
"Mon Dieu! Maman will kill me if anything happens to her!"
Sebastian and Andre both jumped in the water and dragged her to the shore. Andre remembered pounding her on the back until she coughed up the water she swallowed.
Relief flooded both the boys.
She sat there, coughing and gagging up the water until she had enough breath to say, "I almost made it and that counts for something, doesn't it?"
Reluctantly the boys nodded.
"Oui, Caesaire, we will grant you that."
They bought her a praline in exchange for her silence to Tante Isabelle.

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Andre helped her out of the longboat and up the ladder to Le Faucon de Mer. The crew stared open-mouthed at the woman in the wet chemise with the blanket wrapped around her. Their captain fared no better, water dripping from him and puddling at his feet.
"Back to work, you scurvy dogs! Haven't you ever seen a woman fished out of the water before?"
From behind the ranks, a voice called out, "Aye, but never a mermaid!"
Andre couldn't help but laugh loudly. Caesaire clutched the blanket closer to her.

Andre led the way to his cabin and opened the door. She stepped in and he closed the door behind them and said, "I shall leave you to change into dry clothes, cher. I'll be back in half an hour and we can tallk about what happened."
She nodded and said shyly, "Merci, Andre." She reached out and touched his hand. He brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it.
"I shall see you anon."
He closed the door.

Caesaire dropped her wet chemise and wrapped herself in the towel on the wash stand. She washed up from the pitcher of fresh water and washed the River water out of her hair. Opening her trunk she got out a simple dress and laced it up. She picked one of Andre's shirts off the floor and the scent of him on the shirt thrilled her. A combination of bay rum and....Andre. A comforting, masculine smell. She hugged it to her body. Just then there was a knock at the door and she walked over to answer.
Andre was at the door with a bottle of wine and some fresh fruit and bread.
"I thought you may be hungry so I took the liberty of providing us with a light repast."
He set the plate down and she sat on the bed, tucking her legs under her. To Andre, she looked so much like that little girl who fell in the bayou that he chided himself for not recognizing her that first night at his soiree.

Andre pulled up one of the leather chairs. He opened the bottle of wine and handed her a glass. She took it gratefully and then said, "I know you are wondering about the untimely delay and the most unusual arrival to your vessel."
He smiled, "It did cross my mind. You always knew how to make your presence known, Caesaire."
She took a deep drink and said, "I can hardly believe this myself."
"Start wherever you like, cher."
Caesaire took a deep breath and said, "I was kidnapped."

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Andre almost overfilled his glass, so taken back by her statement.
"Kidnapped? What? Where? How? By whom? Are you hurt? Where are your clothes? And what..."
Caesaire silenced him with a soft touch to his lips with her finger.
"I shall try to explain it as best I remember."
She took a sip of her wine.
"You told me to be at the dock at dawn. So I left the house and headed down St Louis Street. I turned on Bourbon and was cutting through the alley next to the cathedral when all of a sudden, someone grabbed me from behind. A rag with something on it was put over my nose and mouth and the next thing I knew, I woke up in a warehouse office. Very dusty and dirty. My dress and all my personal effects--even my boots!--were gone! All I had on was my chemise."
She blushed at that. Andre could feel blinding anger rising up in him.
"Do you think he..they...well,...."
Caesaire shook her head no. "No, my dear Andre. My virtue was safe."
"Any idea who it may be, cher? I shall see that they pay for the indignity that you suffered."

Caesaire rubbed her temples and closed her eyes.
"Whatever it was gave me a headache. The warehouse was down by Desire Street. Abandoned. I kept banging on the door but it wouldn't open. But I heard noise out the door. There was someone posted guarding it."
"How did you escape?"
"I pretended to be bleeding. Screamed that I was bleeding to death on a piece of glass. This burly man unlocked and came in. I hid behind the door and crashed a metal bar on his skull. That will be a headache for HIM."
Andre could feel his anger rising. He said tightly, "Any idea if it was Jean Lafitte or Drausin D'Estrehan?"
She shook her head and yawned, "I have no idea. I waited with that metal bar to make sure no one else would come and then I ran. I was so afraid you would sail without me, Andre! And when I saw your ship sailing out, I thought for sure I would be too late. That was when I decided to try to swim."
Andre stroked her cheek and said softly, "Just like that little girl who couldn't quite make it to the other side of the bayou..."
She yawned and laid her head on his pillow. "Umm hmmmm...."
And she was sound asleep.
Andre covered her with a blanket and kissed her forehead.
"Rest well, ma petite cher...."

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre closed the cabin door behind him, having taken care to lock it from the inside. On his desk he had left the only keys, and a note for Caesaire:


Here you will find the only keys to my cabin. You will be quite safe, and comfortable here. Your trunks are next to the starboard wall, and you will find soap and water, as well as a small oil heater to heat it with in the door next to them. A tub is also in the small room should you wish to bathe.

Please to make yourself at home. I will be probably be on the quarter deck should you have need of me. If not I am bunking with my quartermaster, John Hubbard. Ask any of the crew and they will direct you to the proper quarters.

Rêves doux, Cheri;

“Orders, Captain?”

Andre turned to find Etienne behind him. He placed a single ringed finger to his lips. “Our guest is sleeping. She has had a troubled time getting to us. Set course South by South east for that little island we discovered just above Cuba. Full sail, and our best speed, Monsieur de Marigny. There we will “repair” our forward mast and make for Antilla to await our prize. I shall be on the quarter deck should anyone need me.”

“Aye, aye, Mon Capitaine!” His first mate grinned, saluted, and turned to make certain that Andre’s orders were carried out. One of only four people aboard who knew of the secret shipment they meant to take, as well as Andre’s intentions for his share of the wealth. An intention that all four of them shared and would see become a reality should they be able to take this prize.

“Ah, Andre Beaudouin,” he thought as he watched while the crew unfurled all of Le Faucon de Mer’s sails, “you are without doubt the luckiest man I have ever known. Not only will our names be written in history should we take this ship, but you have at long last found amore as well. Puits fait, Mon ami. Puits fait.”

Andre glanced at the compass as the navigator adjusted Le Faucon’s course. Reveling in the pitch of her deck beneath his boots as she sliced through the waves with ease. Her polished deck gleamed in the sunlight as the occasional over spray of her bow deposited droplets of water there to glint like precious jewels. Almost as precious as the pearl which now slept in his quarters.

Even when he was younger she had fascinated him. The fearless little girl who had looked up to him as an older brother. He could never admit it to Sebastian back then, but he had never minded when she would tag along with them on their boyhood adventures. Having Caesaire with them had made him feel as if he were truly a part of the Trosclair family. Often he would find himself pretending that the petite blond was his own sister, and Sebastian his cousin.

Although he had gone along with the teasing to keep on Sebastian’s good side, it had left him feeling like a villain. He often would let Sebastian do all the talking when his mother scolded them for their ill treatment of Caesaire. Too ashamed to even look mama Isabelle in the eye he would stare out the window in a vain attempt to escape the sound of the little girl’s sobs. Tears he felt as keenly as if they were his own.

On the day she vanished from his life he remembered each and every time they had been cruel to her, and regretted each one. He had been too much of a coward to stand up for her then, as he knew he should have. Even to Sebastian. That night he had prayed for forgiveness and swore that if he ever saw his dreams come true he would make every one of those times up to her. If she ever came back he would never again fail to stand up for her and protect her. He would be the hero she had always thought him to be.

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:27:13 PM
Reply author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire stretched out on the bed with the down coverlet and snuggled deeper into the covers. She reached out and whispered, 'Andre...'
She woke up with a start and realized that she slept alone in that bed. Andre's shirt was crumpled next to her. She didn't realize she had taken the shirt to sleep with as she took a doll to bed with her as a child. She sat up and looked around. Judging from the darkness in the room, it was evening at the earliest. More probably towards night. She reached over and turned up the wick in the oil lamp. Andre had left it burning with a soft glow.
She smiled to herself. So considerate he is!

Caesaire sat up and stretched her arms above her head, yawning. There was a note propped up on the dresser. She walked over to it and read it. Then she saw the keys.
She didn't know whether to feel flattered or disappointed. Flattered that he thought enough of her to protect her. Disappointed for the same reason.

She walked into the small room and filled the copper tub with water and waited while it heated.
Andre's dresser was there.
And where there are dressers, there are drawers.
And where there are drawers, there are secrets.

She opened it quietly and saw a small cedar chest. Would it be wrong to open it?
Did that stop Caesaire?
Of course not.
She's a woman.

Inside were a few keepsakes. But one really took her by surprise.
It was a heart crudely cut from red paper and embroidered with some lace. There was a child's scrawl on the heart.
It said five words.


She felt the tears spring to her eyes as she touched the red heart that she gave with her own so many years ago.
Here we are, Andre.
You and I.
Will our hearts beat as one?

Caesaire went into the bathroom and tested the water. Just right. She saw that Andre had towels hanging up. Was there any creature comfort the man did not think of? Caesaire dropped her chemise and lowered herself into the hot water.
On a small table there was soap in a dish and some oil. She poured a bit into the tub and relished the feel of it on her skin. Sliding deeper into the hot water, she just soaked the turmoil of the kidnapping away.

The kidnapping. She reluctantly took her mind back there. Who was behind it? Jean Lafitte? Drausin D'Estrehan?
Did it really matter at this point?
Yes, it did.
Because it would determine how Caesaire, with Andre by her side, would get even with whoever hired the kidnapper.

Caesaire dried off and padded over to the trunks. She shook out a dress of black silk and stepped into it. The dress hugged her curves and where it dropped from her hips, it swirled out so the slightest of movements sent it into a gentle sway all its own.
She slipped on a pair of black boots in soft leather and gathered her hair up and pinned it at the nape of her neck. A few strands curled gently around her face. Fastening a chain of gold with a solitary emerald, which incidently was a gift from Lafitte, she glanced in the mirror and then deemed herself ready to present herself to Andre.
But not as Isabelle Valcour.
As Caesaire Trosclair, fully grown.
A woman in love.

The ship was quiet except for a minimum of crew. She spied him on the upperdeck, leaning against the rail. A circle of smoke wafted into the night breeze. She suddenly felt her breath catch as she whispered, "Bonsoir, Andre."

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre stood at the rear of his ship leaning on the rail where he had previously been fretting over his feelings for Caesaire after the party. He certainly was not fretting now, but at the time he had no idea that Mademoiselle “Isabelle Valcour” was in fact his long ago childhood friend. A friendship that had gone from brotherly love to something much deeper by the time she had turned twelve, just before she vanished.

He straightened up for a moment and removed a long, thin black tobacco cigar from the inside pocket of his burgundy colored leather jerkin. Leaning over he flipped the storm window open on one of the oil lanterns and inhaled deeply. Returning to his former position, he crossed his arms over the ornate railing, and happily exhaled a cloud of fragrant smoke, watching as it disappeared into the their leeway.

They were well underway now and all else would be left in the hands of Madame Fate, and good planning. Far more important to him was the fact that she was aboard with him. It was time to admit it. He had secretly longed for Caesaire to return to him. It had been the memory of loosing her that had kept him aloof to all others. In his secret heart he knew full well that he had fallen in love with her long ago, and had been heartbroken when he thought her father had sent her away from him before he had even the chance to tell her.

A contented smile graced his lips as he thought back to the day in February when she was six years old. Mama Isabelle had invited him to join with her family as they celebrated the day of Saint Valentine. He had bathed as well as he could that morning and dressed in the cleanest of his hand me down clothing his mother had acquired from doing the laundry of others. Gifts from her many satisfied customers, and as close as he would be to having new finery to wear.

Mama Isabelle had hugged him warmly when he arrived, carrying a small bouquet of wild flowers he had picked from the river banks.

“Andre, mon cher.” She had beamed, holding him at arms length to look at him. “You look quite the Creole gentleman. Please come in and enjoy yourself. Sebastian is in the back yard helping with the decoration.”

“Merci, Mama Isabelle.” He had grinned offering her the flowers he had held behind his back. “Pour vous.”

Isabelle Trosclair brought one hand to her lips, taking the flowers gently with the other. A small tear swam in the corner of one eye. Even in his poverty Andre Baudouin was every bit as much a gentleman as the most privileged of New Orleans. She leaned down to kiss his forehead. “Merci, Andre, merci. Now run along and see if Sebastian needs any help.” She smiled warmly as he had run off to obey her.

“Andre!” the small voice came from his right as he entered the large living room. He turned to find Caesaire standing shyly at one side of the curtained opening to the foyer. Quickly he looked around to see if Sebastian were near before kneeling on one knee in front of the petite little girl.

“Oui, Caesaire?” He smiled warmly to her, his voice soft.

“I-I have something for you.” She blushed slightly and turned to and fro as if uncomfortable. Then placed a small envelope into his hand, kissed him on the cheek and ran as fast as she could to seek her aunt.

Alone in the well furnished living room he opened the envelope and took out the red paper heart with the lace border and the scrawl of a child new to writing in the center. He could only guess how long she had worked on the valentine, and for the first time in his life he realized just how far her feelings for him truly went. Gently he placed the gift back in it’s envelope and hid it in his shirt. He had kept it secretly ever since.

The warm salt air mirrored his inner feelings. While Andre had never been one to give in to despair, he had from time to time felt slightly empty inside. There were times, especially when he was at sea for long periods, when he would idly wonder how his life would have been had Caesaire’s father not sent her away from him.

Andre had nearly worked up the courage to tell her of his own growing feelings for her when Sebastian had given him the news. His poor blood brother had been elated, and at times was more than a little puzzled by Andre’s brooding. Once he had even asked him if he missed her and Andre had lied through his teeth. The only lie he had ever told Sebastian.

He took the sweet rum soaked cigar from between his teeth and flicked the ash over the side, watching it disappear into Le Faucon’s wake. Now she was here with him, aboard his ship at a time when Andre was about to make another, more recent dream, come true. It seemed more than fitting. If their plan went as he hoped not only would he become one of the most powerful men in New Orleans, but he would have acquired the only woman he had ever dared to love in the bargain. Life was indeed good.

"Bonsoir, Andre." The soft sound of her voice raised his heartbeat. So lost was he in his remembrances that he had not even heard her approach. “It’s a lovely clear night, n'est pas?”

Before he could turn around to greet her she was by his side, the soft stroke of her hand down his back sent shivers of warmth through him. As he turned to her still leaning against the rail Caesaire saw the desire in his hazel eyes. It was not that she was unaccustomed to seeing desire in the eyes of the men who looked at her, but that there was more than just passion in Andre’s gaze. His desire was tempered by a tenderness she had never before seen in another’s eyes, except for his. It was a look she had not seen since she was twelve.

“Bonsoir, Cheri.” His voice held the same tone she had only heard him use when Sebastian was not around them. “The night is lovely, but I think it is not so lovely as you.”

“Merci, Cher.” She smiled gently reaching up to let her fingers trace his jaw line for a brief moment. Her stomach trembling with her rediscovered emotions for him. Slowly, Caesaire, she chided herself, slowly.

“And what are our plans for this voyage, Mon Capitaine?” She asked turning to gaze out upon the moonlit ocean. Lightening her voice and the mood in the air before her emotions consumed her.

Andre returned to his pervious position next to her. “We are bound for a small island a little above Cuba, Cheri.” He continued as warmly as before. “There we will change the forward mast for a broken one in the hold, and limp into port at Antilla for repairs.”

Caesaire smiled wryly. It was obvious that he had something extraordinary in mind. Why else replace a perfectly good mast with a broken one? She was even more pleased that he was reveling his plans to her. A clear sign that he trusted her with his secrets. She waited to see how far he would go.

“Once there we will await a Spanish galleon, the Pata del Tigre.” Andre continued without hesitation, and she felt the mood of before returning. “She carries a secret cargo of immense wealth, enough to make every man aboard wealthy for life. I intend to take her before she reaches Spain.”

“And then?” Caesaire asked huskily as she moved closer to him, placing one hand softly over his.

“We will return to New Orleans to solve the mystery of your missing ship, Cheri.” His own voice as deepened. “As well as to who kidnapped you. We will make them pay for their transgressions upon you.”

Without thinking she reached up and placing her hand against the back of his neck gently pulled his mouth to hers. The kiss was both tender and passionate, seeming to go on forever to them both. When they finally released the embrace her breath came in heated gasps. Andre simply pulled her close to him, more than contented to have her in his arms. He would leave anything more that may occur between them for her to decide when she was ready. He had waited for her for nearly twelve years, he could certainly wait a while longer.

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:28:32 PM
Reply author: Welsh Wench

"More cream, Isabelle?"
"Oui, Christophe."
Isabelle Trosclair sat in the walled garden of her brother in law's courtyard. It had been their habit once a month to meet and Isabelle would review his household accounts and they would share breakfast.
Silvere, Christophe's brother, was happy that his wife could help his widowed brother.
She took a sip of her cafe au lait and closed her eyes in contentment. Their houses were next door to each other. It had been convenient because Isabelle had taken on the task of mother to Caesaire from the time that she had been a little girl. It was hard for a man to raise such a handful of a daughter.

Isabelle put her cup down and reached for a pastry. Casually, she said, "I stopped over to see Sebastian the other day."
"And how is the boy?"
"Hardly a boy, Christophe. He is now twenty-seven. Caesaire was visiting him."
"Was she now! I admit, she has always been a headstrong girl but it will be nice when she accepts Drausin D'Estrehan's proposal."
"Proposal? Drausin proposed to her?"
"Mais non. As a gentleman, he spoke to me of it first and I have given my permission with my blessings."
Isabelle frowned. "Have you talked to Caesaire about this...proposal?"
"Non. Drausin wanted to do it in his own way. Very romantically. It will be good for her to settle down. Have children of her own. A home and take her place in Creole society. She will be an excellent hostess. After all, no one knows about her association with that..that..that PIRATE Jean Lafitte."
"Maybe Caesaire has chosen another."
Christophe snorted, "Do not be a fool, Isabelle! She just had dinner with Drausin a few days ago. He will tame her."
"I thought the convent had tried, Christophe. And failed miserably. She always had an independent streak. That is why she tagged along after Sebastian and Andre."
Christophe glowered. "The nuns tried their best. But my daughter was always hard to handle. And I had to get her away from----"
"From what?"
"More like whom."
Isabelle grew impatient. "And from WHOM did you have to get her away from, Christophe?"
"From Andre Beaudouin."

Isabelle almost knocked her coffee cup over.
"Andre? You wanted to keep her from ANDRE?"
Christophe nodded. "I was heading off a potential problem. I could see the way Caesaire would look at him. At dinner it was 'Andre this' and 'Andre that'. "
Isabelle bristled. "So what? They grew up together. They knew each other since Caesaire was five years old! Andre's mother worked for us. Silvere and I thought the world of her and a more honest woman you never would find. Andre has all of her good qualities."
Christophe waved his fork. "Yes, yes....but from such children come children. Caesaire was growing up fast and while Andre was an admirable young man, he also had nothing to offer."
Isabelle jumped up and threw her napkin down. "And so you decided to ship her off to St Ursuline's Convent! You had her less than two blocks away and only last year you told me where she had been all these years! She wasn't in Charleston like you told everyone!"

Christophe shrugged. "It was better this way. St Ursulines was a walled cloister. She was safe and would not be away from New Orleans. Let's face it, Isabelle. Les americains do not understand us. That is why we meet on Canal Street to do business. As genteel as it is, Charleston would not be the place for her."
Isabelle gave a sharp burst of laughter. "And she managed to escape that walled prison time and time again and run the streets! She ended up in the company of Jean Lafitte. An upstanding citizen, so they say, but a pirate no less!"
Christophe said resolutely, "And that is over now. Caesaire will be married to Drausin D'Estrehan."
Isabelle tried very hard to hide a triumphant smile. "Au contraire, Christophe."
He raised his eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
Isabelle stood up and said, "Because right this very minute, your chère fille is sailing on Le Faucon de Mer.
With Andre Beaudouin."
"That's ridiculous! She's not with him! She's..."
He caught himself in his words.
Isabelle gave him a sad smile. "You can't stop love, my dear Christophe. May as well change the course of the Mississippi."
"And how do you know that she is with Andre?"
"Because Sebastian was down at the dock and saw the two of them in a longboat heading to the ship. So you see, Christophe, your plans for your daughter backfired. Because the separation made them want each other all the more."
Christophe sat there, trying to assimilate all that Isabelle told him.
She stood and said, "Maybe some day you will understand your daughter. But I doubt it. You are a man. My advice to you is to let your daughter find her own heart's desire."

Christophe had nothing to say. Isabelle touched his shoulder and said quietly, "Let them love, Christophe. He is a fine man."
"He is a pirate."
"It's an occupation. He may surprise you yet."
And with that, Isabelle picked up her shawl and headed towards her own house.

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

As Andre looked down into Caesaire’s deep blue eyes he felt his old feelings rise to their fullest within him. The warmth of finally having her in his arms, as he had so long ago wanted to brought with it feelings of shame as well. How had she managed to love him through it all?

“Caesaire.” He breathed. “I would have you know that I have no excuse for my part in the torment your cousin and I put you through as a child. I was a true coward then, more afraid of losing my friendship with Sebastian than allowing my feelings for you to show.”

She looked back at him in silence, her heart secretly jumping for joy that he was unburdening himself to her. “But, Andre, that was so long ago. We were but children.”

He released her and turned to face the open sea, unable to look her in the eye, as he had been when tante Isabelle had scolded Sebastian and him for tormenting her. “That is no excuse, Cheri. The truth was that I loved you as my own sister back then, and I was too much of a coward to stand up to your cousin when he was doing his best to drive you from us.” He continued miserably. “I should have stood up for you, even to my best friend, but I did not. I only want you to know that I suffered with you, and as we grew my love for you changed. I did not get the chance to tell you before your father separated us. So I tell you now.”

Andre turned to face her again, tears of remorse swam in his eyes, threatening to spill over their banks. “Never again will I stand idly by while another abuses you, Cheri. I would gladly spend the rest of my life making all of it up to you. Even if you never forgive me for my part in it. I only want you to know that you were never far from my heart through all these years.”

“Andre.” She whispered as she slid deeply into his arms again. Now she knew for certain that she owned his heart, and why he had kept the little paper heart she had made for him as a child. Other memories of their childhood came flooding back to her. Of times when she found herself alone with him, and the kindness he had never failed to show her then. Times when he would make her laugh, and secretly comfort her when Sebastian was not around.

Now this confession to her. She felt his hands gently stroke her back, and the regret he held inside himself for all those years. After all this time she realized that she had been seeking his substitute in the other men of her life. She had discarded each one in turn simply because they were not, and could never be, Andre.

She raised her head from his beating chest and looked up into his sad eyes. “I forgave you a long time ago, Cher.” She whispered. “I knew you only did those things to please Sebastian.”

The joy that leapt into his eyes made her heart beat faster, and her breath quicken. Tenderly he lowered his lips to hers and a second kiss soon began to raise her passion. Deep and infinitely more tender than any she could remember, she let her hand stroke the back of his neck. She felt her longing for him grow ever stronger as the kiss continued, and she wondered how much longer she could bear to awake without being in his arms.

“Excusez-moi, Mon Capitaine.” Francois Loupe’s voice forced a quick and slightly embarrassed separation of the two lovers.

“What is it, Francois?” Andre asked, unable to keep a slight irritation from his voice.

“I am truly sorry to interrupt you, Captain.” Loupe continued. “Perhaps it is nothing, but I believe we are being shadowed.”

Andre and Caesaire looked in the direction that Francois pointed. There, just on the edge of the horizon, were the lights of another ship.

“Perhaps it is nothing, Francois. We are near the shipping lanes, yet.” Andre stroked his goatee thoughtfully. “But have the lookouts keep an eye on her anyway, just to be safe, and let me know if she comes any nearer to us.”

“Aye, aye, Mon Capitaine.” Francois saluted, then turned to relay Andre’s orders and leave the two of them in peace.

“My apologies, Cher.” Andre turned to Caesaire. “But with all that we have at risk with this voyage, the safety of Le Faucon de Mer is our main concern.” A tender smile grew on his lips as he gazed at her. “Especially with so precious a cargo aboard.”

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire kissed her fingertips and placed them gently on his lips.
"And you must see to your crew. As a captain, I do understand. Now, go! Be the captain I know you are."
He took her hand in his and brought it to his lips. "Cher, I shall bid you a good night and count the hours till the morning."
"I feel guilty taking over your cabin, Andre. It isn't right. I should have thought about all this before I..."
He silenced her with another kiss.
"No worries, Caesaire. John Hubbard has enough room in his quarters for me. Besides, we shall probably be consulting maps and charts tonight and be ready to put our plans in motion."
She so badly wanted to say, 'Stay the night with me.'
But she wanted to take this slow. It had to be right.
It had to be perfect.

Andre walked her to the cabin. He unlocked the door with the key she handed him.
"I shall bid you a good night, Caesaire, and see you in the morning."
She nodded and without a word, she embraced him one last time. He kissed her tenderly and from the depth of his soul, a man who had been dying of thirst and never knew it until he drank of the well.
She opened the door and went inside before she made an offer to share the bed.

Closing the door, she turned the key in the lock, feeling safe and secure that Andre was nearby.
She also felt very alone.
She hung her dress up and slipped into a nightdress. Pulling the coverlet down, she slid between the sheets. She laid there and gently stroked the pillow, wishing that he was next to her.
Her mind drifted back to that summer evening so many years ago......

Andre and Sebastian spent the day at the French market. Caesaire tagged along as usual. She had bought a few hair ribbons with her money and the boys had been checking out the swords from a blacksmith on the corner. She watched as Andre's eyes lit up when he watched the ships with their colourful flags come into port and unload their cargo. Standing next to him, she said, "You'd like to be out there, wouldn't you, Andre?"
Andre nodded. "Oui. Just look at the assortment of goods!"
Caesaire stood by, looking at the ships and fumbling with her hair ribbons.
Andre gave her a tender look and said, "You always have trouble tying them. Here--let me help you."
She turned around and handed him a hairbrush.
"Here. Tie it in a bow. A big bow!"

Andre took the brush and carefully brushed her silky hair, taking it in his hand. He gathered it together in his hand and tied a ribbon around it.
She looked at her reflection in the store window and exclaimed, "It looks....HEY!"

Sebastian came up behind her and grabbed the bow, jerking it out of her hair.
"What are you doing, getting all girly on us, Caesaire? Who are you setting your sights on? That new guy, Drausin D'Estrehan that moved over on Royal Street?"
Her face flamed red and she retorted, "Of course not!"
Sebastian began to laugh and sing, "Drausin and Caesaire..Drausin and Caesaire...
She felt the tears spring to her eyes with anger and humiliation. She jumped and tried to grab the ribbon back but Sebastian ran across the street and tied it to the harness of a horse pulling a dray.
He ran back, laughing. "There! That's much better!"
Caesaire's shoulders drooped as she turned and walked towards the River.
Andre said quietly, "Do you think that was nice, Sebastian?"
He raised his eyebrow and said, "What? Are you now Caesaire's champion? She's been a tagalong for seven years now."
"But, Sebastian, she's your cousin yet you delight in tormenting her. She's over on the riverbank and no doubt she is crying."
"So? It will be good practice for her when she finds a man dumb enough to marry her. She can turn on the waterworks for him!"
Andre said nothing and Sebastian glowered.
Oh, alright, let's go make peace with Miss Prissy."

They walked over to where Caesaire was sitting. She had been crying and whispered, "Bastard!" to Sebastian. To Andre, she whispered, "And YOU! You always let him get away with it! Don't I count for anything?"
She looked at the two of them and tried to contain her tears.
"Someday. Someday you both will be sorry!"
Sebastian retorted, "What are you going to do? Run away to sea?"
"Maybe! Maybe I shall join Jean Lafitte's crew and sail away and never see either of you again And then I shall come back richer than Midas and you will be sorry. I shant share any of it with either of you!"

Sebastian burst out laughing. Caesaire stood up and kicked out at him. He grabbed her foot and she landed on her backside on the grass. It was bad enough that Sebastian taunted her in front of Andre but this embarrassment was too much and she burst out crying.
Sebastian sighed and extended his hand to her. "Oh, alright. Get up. I'll buy you a pastry."

Caesaire and the boys sat enjoying the sounds of the summer night. The crickets were chirping, the June bugs were illuminating the dark of night. The riverboats were moving up and down the river, their paddles drawing the muddy water up and over. The night air was laced with the scent of jasmine. Caesaire leaned her head against the pillar on the verandah, fanning herself.
She turned to the boys and asked, "More lemonade?"
They both nodded. "Oui, Caesaire."
She put her fan down and went inside to get the pitcher.

Sebastian grinned at Andre.
"Looks like I made a faux pas! I guess goldfish and koi do not mix! Ah, domage! That is one on me! COMING, MAMAN!"
He passed through the hedges separating the respective Trosclair properties.

Within moments, Caesaire came out with the pitcher.
"Where is Sebastian?"
"Maman Isabelle found out about the goldfish."
Caesaire sat down. "Oh, dear!"
"Mais oui! I think we shall not be seeing Sebastian the rest of the evening."

Caesaire poured Andre a glass of lemonade and one for herself. They sat there in companionable silence until Andre broke it.
"Caesaire....about the hair ribbon...."
She said quietly, "I can replace it...but to see it on the horse was just too much."
Andre looked down at the brick courtyard. "It looked tres jolie on you, ma petite."
Caesaire said softly, "Merci, Andre. But if you have noticed, I am not so little anymore. I AM growing up."
Andre was glad of the creeping darkness.
"I have noticed, Caesaire."
He moved closer and cupped her chin. Their eyes met and then closed.
Andre kissed her gently on the lips, lingering. She touched his cheek.

They both broke apart, an awkward silence between them.
Andre said, "I must be going home. Even though Maman knows where I am, she will want me home before too long."
Caesaire stood up and said, "Then I shall bid you good night, Andre."
"Good night, Caesaire."

The next day, Caesaire was gone.

Two months later, Andre signed on with Jean Lafitte and left the port of New Orleans behind.

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:29:54 PM
Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre had Le Faucon subtly change course several times. While still headed for their destination the zig zagging pattern was chosen to conserve time while testing to see whether or not they were truly being followed. If the new ship were simply a trading vessel it would continue on it’s way and soon be lost to the night.

“She’s still with us, Capitaine!” Pierre Mansle called from the crow’s nest. “Just over the horizon, attempting to remain below our vision!”

“Well, Mon Capitaine, that is, how they say, that.” Etienne de Marigny frowned. “The bastard is most definitely following us.”

“Aye,” John Hubbard removed his pipe and spat into the scuppers in disgust. “and we can ill afford to have him make his move once we replace the forward mast.”

Andre placed both hands onto the railing stiff armed and stared out at the darkness where the pursuing ship lay just out of sight of the deck. “She could only have come from home.” He scowled. “Only they know Le Faucon de Mer has put to sea. It could only mean one of three things, Mon Ami’s. Either she is a Spanish vessel attempting to discover why we were able to escape the lockdown, or someone with a lot of juice wants to catch us unawares.”

“And the last, Mon Ami?” Francois Loupe inquired.

Andre turned to face his co- conspirators, a look of utter disgust in his hazel eyes. “She set sail from Barataria.”

“Damn it to Hell, of course!” Hubbard cursed. “Didn’t you say Caesaire suspected Lafitte of murdering her watch and taking her ship?”

“Oui, but let us not jump to conclusions just yet, Ami.” Andre looked thoughtful for a few moments. “Regardless as to who it is following us, we cannot permit this to go on.” He turned to the crew.

“Monsieur Randal!” He shouted up to the pilot. “Take her into the wind, full sail! Pierre, as soon as you lose sight of that fils d'une chienne shout out! The rest of you worthless sea dogs prepare to douse the lanterns as soon as Pierre signals!”

“An idea, Captain Beaudouin?” John Hubbard grinned.

“Aye, John.” Andre smiled. “As soon as we are out of his sight we will go dark. By all rights the captain will think he’s been spotted and we are trying to outrun him. He will most likely douse his own lights and attempt to over take us from our last known position. Head us off as it were.” He clapped Hubbard on the shoulder. “Man the guns, Mon Ami, we are going to try and head straight for her. As soon as we are in range fire the bow chasers right at her bow waterline. When we pass we will broadside the dog at the water line. Let the bastards swim home!”

“Won’t they return fire, Captain?” Francois grinned.

“I suspect they will.” Andre grinned wickedly. “But the last thing they will expect is for us to charge them, and if it is one of Jean’s vessels he gave up using bow chasers when he entered the slave trade. Makes more room for slaves by lowering the ship’s weight a bit more. We will swing wide to take us as far out of range as we can be and still do the damage. Besides a bit of cannon damage will add truth to our story when we make port in Cuba, non?”

Francois Loupe laughed loudly. “Oui, Mon Capitaine, oui. I shall make sure the pilot knows exactly what to do.”

“A bit of risk, eh Andre?” Etienne whispered as he stood at his captain’s side.

“Oui, old friend.” Andre turned serious. “And to be truthful I would prefer to run, especially with her aboard, but we cannot take the chance they would find us again and life herself is a risk, non?”

“Oui, Andre.” de Marigny grinned holding out his hand. “To Le Faucon and victory.”

“To victory.” Andre echoed grasping his friend’s forearm. “Now, let us rid ourselves of this parasite.”

“She’s running, Mon Capitaine” The call came down from the Hazard’s crow’s nest.

“Then Beaudouin has spotted us.” Captain Garnier Depaul scowled. “Full sail for Le Faucon’s last position! She will try and run with the wind to escape us! Pilot adjust our course to bring us in front of them! All hands to battle stations, and douse those lights!”

“Was it a mistake to leave them on, Captain?” The first mate inquired.

“Non, had we been spotted without them they would have been suspicious immediately. Now that our ruse of being a trading vessel has failed we have no choice but to obey Jean’s wishes and sink Le Faucon de Mer.” Garnier brooded.

“You sound almost sad, Captain.” The mate observed.

“I am, Lefever.” Depaul looked out to where Le Faucon de Mer had last been seen. “I knew Andre from the moment he signed on with us. Up until the mutiny he was a fine man, and a damn good pirate. I would still call him friend were our circumstances different.”

Pierre Mansle strained his legendary night vision to it’s limits as Le Faucon came about, leaving the speed of the wind for the element of surprise. Sweat trickled down the sides of his face. Everything rested upon his being able to spot their shadow before they spotted Le Faucon.

Desperately he scanned the wide area of sea where Andre had guessed their opponent would most likely come from. Below all was silent as his crewmates waited for his signal to spring into action. He saw the wake of the Hazard first, it’s white split rooster tail curling into the darkness as if some invisible finger were drawing a line in the ocean. “For points off the port bow, Captain!” He shouted at the shadowed deck below.

Without waiting for orders William Randal adjusted the Frigate’s course setting them on a collision course for the fast closing Hazard. Suddenly the other ship began to turn as her captain attempted to get his ship out of the trap he had fallen for.

“Hard to starboard, helmsman! Now!!” Captain Depaul shouted as they saw the Le Faucon de Mer bearing down upon them.

“Dear God! That fou aliéné is trying to ram us!!” The first mate exclaimed.

“Non, Lefever!” Garnier yelled realizing the trick that Andre had played upon him. “She’s trying to take us with her bow chasers!! Andre knows we no longer carry them and he’s going for our weakest point!! Port guns prepare to fire as she passes us!!”

Randal readjusted Le Faucon’s course to keep the front of the ships as aligned as he could. Fifty yards from the Hazard he heard the bow chasers explode into the night, and three feet of the Hazard’s port bow disintegrated into splinters as the hungry sea flooded into her.

“Hard a starboard!” Francois Loupe shouted to William and the helmsman spun the wheel with ferocity.

“Fire the broadside!” John Hubbard shouted as he ran from the bow to take his place with the port side gunners.

“Fire port cannon!” The quartermaster of the Hazard shouted at his own crew.

Both ships belched orange flame and white smoke into the night, but the rapidly increasing distance and quickly sinking bow of the Hazard sent her cannonball off their mark and only two impacted high on Le Faucon’s port side. Six of the frigate’s own shots exploded just above the waterline and more saltwater poured into the mortally wounded ship.

“Break off!” Andre ordered from the quarterdeck. “Mr. Randal! Resume course and speed!”

“Aye, aye, Captain” The pilot grinned as he turned the wheel back to their original compass point to the Southeast. A cheer swept the deck of the sleek pirate vessel as the smoking Hazard was left behind them.

“All hands abandon ship!” Garnier Depaul regretfully ordered. After he watched his crew ready the longboats on the quickly listing ship, he turned to watch as Le Faucon de Mer was swallowed by the inky blackness. “Well done, my young friend.” He whispered. “Once again you have proven your resourcefulness, and placed another thorn into Jean Lafitte’s side. I pray your luck holds out.”

The moment the bow chaser’s fired Caesaire sat bolt upright in the feathered bed. Leaping from her warm cover, she raced to put on her clothing and find some weapons in Andre’s cabin.

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire rifled through the sea chests....'has to be in here......any good captain worth his salt makes sure his cabin is armed...YES!'
She took out a dagger and two flintlock pistols. Checking to make sure they had shot, for once she thanked Jean for teaching her to shoot that summer she spent in Barataria. She locked the cabin door, stowing the keys in her boot along with the dagger. No time to put on a bodice....

She ran up the stairs and stopped.
There was Andre in command of his men. The ease with which he did that stopped her short. He was even laughing and joking with Ettienne and John Hubbard!
Caesaire hung back in the shadows and watched with awe.
Jean Lafitte was never like that. His mouth was always in a firm line. His brow furrowed when he concentrated. Andre may as well be in a tavern with his friends.

She watched as the smoke filled the night air. And then the command of 'Resume course and speed' and then the cheer from the crew. All of a sudden, Caesaire was filled with pride for Andre.
And for the fact that he was her man.
Was he?
He never told her he loved her. Not in so many words.
She began to play the 'what if' game.
What if he told me?
What if he wasn't friends with Sebastian?
What if I never went to St Ursulines?
Would my life be different?
What if....

Caesaire remembered that day all too well.

She had awakened early that morning to the sun streaming through the mosquito netting. She rolled over, smiling to herself. A glow began to spread through her very being.
Andre was the reason for it. She replayed the previous evening over and over in her mind. Skipping down the stairs, she saw her father sitting in the drawing room.
"Caesaire. Venez ici, s'il vous plait."
"Oui, Papa."
She sat down, but her mind was elsewhere and her eyes were looking out the window for any sign that Sebastian or Andre may be stopping by for her on their way to another adventure.
She drew her attention back to her father.
"Pardonnez-moi, Papa. It is such a beautiful day and I want to go outside and..."
"I've made arrangements for you."
"Oui. You are to go to St Ursuline's Convent this afternoon. Bessie has packed most of your things already.
"Papa! I can't go! I just can't! I'll have to leave Sebastian and Andre and go live with the NUNS?"

Christophe Trosclair's mouth was set in a firm line.
"You will only be a few blocks away, Caesaire. I can see you at Mass on Sundays and visit with you in the afternoons. It is time you had a formal education."
"But...but..but...NO! I shall not go!"
"But oui, you shall! And this afternoon. The streets of the Quarter are no place for a girl about to grow into womanhood. When you leave in a few years, you will make a good match with one of the Creole gentlemen who are landed along the River. Maybe one of the Marmillion boys or the D'Estrehans...."

Caesaire argued with her father for over two hours. Finally, with a tear-stained face, she was defeated.
A twelve year old girl was no match for a forty-two year old man. No matter how stubborn she was.

She ran out of the room and into Pere Antoine.
"Pardonnez-moi, Pere," and she dashed up the stairs.
Pere Antoine came into the parlour.
"I see she did not take the news well."
"Mais non, Antoine. She argued until she had no more arguments. Thank you for making the arrangements."
The priest nodded solemnly. "Caesaire, Sebastian and Andre Beaudouin have always been a fixture in the Quarter for the past seven years. You never saw the boys without each other and Caesaire was always tagging behind them."
Christophe sat in his chair and ran his hands over his face. "Precisely why she has to leave. She's twelve. Andre is seventeen."
Pere Antoine raised his eyebrow. "I don't quite understand."
Christophe let out a sigh. "Caesaire, even though she is twelve, has the mind and heart of a woman. A woman in love. And I am beginning to think that Andre has more than a friendship in mind for my little girl. Out of sight, out of mind."
Pere Antoine said quietly, "Andre is a good boy who is growing up into a fine man."
Christophe said quickly, "Oh, I agree. He is. I have nothing against the young man. Except for one thing. He is not right for my daughter. I removed the temptation and the potential problem."
Pere Antoine picked up his hat. "I am sorry to see it come to this."
Christophe nodded. "I did too. But I looked out the window and saw Andre kiss my daughter. From such children come children. She is too young. In a month she will forget Andre Beaudouin even existed...."

Andre saw her standing in the shadows. A grin spread over his face. He crooked his finger to her and she grinned back and ran into his waiting arms.

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Andre watched from the quarterdeck as the smoking vessel grew ever smaller in the night. Soon only the fires that had broken out in various places gave away her position. Had it been one of Lafitte’s? True she had carried no bow chasers, as he had correctly guessed, but that was not proof. With the exception of pirates and military few ships did carry them. If it were one of Barataria’s finest he could only guess at the implications.

Although in the end it would not truly matter, he knew he could only irritate Jean so far without upsetting the balance of their plans. For all his faults Jean Lafitte was loyal to New Orleans first, and that was something they might need to count on in the endgame. Perhaps his renewed love for Caesaire had already put that part of the plan in jeopardy, but that was not something he had planned on and he would be damned if he would give her up now after all these years.

Cest la vie. He had learned long ago that even the best laid of plans often went awry and the best that anyone could do was to remain flexible enough to adapt. If it did turn out that Jean was responsible for what had happened to Caesaire’s ship and crew that part of their plans would be a moot point anyway.

“Well, Andre, d’ye think we’ve pissed Lafitte off enough by now?” John Hubbard came up to lean against the rail, facing his captain.

A quick smile graced the lips of Le Faucon’s commander. “Perhaps, John. There is no proof she was one of Jean’s vessels.”

“Piffle!” The grizzled quartermaster grinned. “And just who else would be a chasin’ after us this time ‘o the night? That were no Spanish scow, and I doubt any other save us could have left port in New Orleans. I’m still not sure how you worked that one. It had to have sailed from Barataria.”

Hubbard’s logic was impeccable as always. Andre shrugged then grinned. “Unless the crew is very lucky it will be a few days before Jean knows. Even then he will never admit to it.”

“All to true, Mes Amis.” Francois chimed in as he and Etienne de Marigny joined them. “By the time he can do anything about it our job will be all but finished, non?”

“With luck, Francois.” Andre grinned. “We still have to catch the prey and take her. She’s not going to just give us her treasures, like so many of your women.”

Etienne and the rest burst out laughing. “Oui, but we can dream, can’t we?” He chuckled, then turned serious. “Will our friends be ready once we have everything in place?”

“Possibly,” Andre frowned for a moment, “but this is not something we should discuss here, mes amis. Below decks in John’s quarters would be much better. We did have to replace a few men in New Orleans and we can not be sure of their allegiance just yet.”

“And the lady?” John looked hard at Andre for a moment. “I’m sorry, Mate, but someone had to say it. Do you trust her? From what I heard she did take up with Lafitte for a while.”

“I would trust Caesaire Trosclair with my life!” Andre’s voice took on a dangerous edge.

“Easy, Andre.” John Hubbard raised one hand. “We had to know. If you trust her it’s good enough fer the rest of us.” Francois and Etienne nodded firmly.

Caesaire’s heart leapt warmly hearing Andre’s words. She smiled to herself hearing the tall Creole buccaneer take up for her without a moment’s hesitation. The conviction with which he spoke brought a tear to her eyes. If only he would say to her the one thing she wanted to hear from him. The one last thing that would remove all doubt from her heart. The one thing she had waited to hear from him since she was a child.

“Let us go below where there are less ears.” Etienne suggested.

“A good idea.” Andre agreed as he opened a lantern to light a fresh cigar. “I will join you as soon as I make sure all our new hands are above deck. The second mate could use a bit of the practice with his duty as well, n’cest pas?”

“Capitol idea, Mate! I’ve a bottle ‘o Jamaican rum what’s just beggin’ ta be opened!” John grinned in anticipation. “We’ll try and save ye a bit.”

As Andre’s three friends passed her hiding place she put a single finger to her lips. The three pirates looked at each other grinning and gave her a knowing wink as they passed without a word.

She watched Andre call one his crew over, and whisper something to the man, one hand on his shoulder. The pirate grinned and nodded quickly before he left to fulfill his new orders, obviously pleased. Andre took a deep final draw from his cigar before flipping the stub over the side and heading for the short flight of steps. Caesaire held her breath, her heart pounding furiously with her desire.

She almost giggled aloud at the look of surprise in his hazel eyes when he spotted her in the shadows of the quarter deck. Grinning wickedly he raised one ringed hand and crooked a finger, motioning for her to come to him. She grinned back and ran into his waiting arms. His warm embrace filling her with contentment.

“And how long have you been on deck, Cheri?” His smile belying the grim scowl he tried to effect.

“Long enough, Monsieur Beaudouin.” She teased, her voice a bit too husky.

Gently he hugged her closer to himself and he felt her snuggle deep into his arms. “There is something I must say to you Caesaire. If I am wrong to say it, please forgive me, but say it I must.”

He drew her away just far enough to look into her deep blue eyes. The same conviction she had heard earlier filled his soft whisper once again. “Je t'aime, ma petite. Je t'aime.”

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:31:50 PM
Reply author: Blackjack Roberts
Replied on: 02/08/2008 16:09:33

Caesaire looked up into Andre’s eyes. The love light that lit them was as unmistakable as a morning’s dawn. For so long she had waited to hear those words from him. Her stomach trembled in a strange mix of emotions that she had not felt before in her life. If this was a dream she prayed she would never see the morning come. She felt tears of joy rise in her eyes.

“Oh, Cher!” She buried herself in his arms, breathing in his air. Her voice choked with the overwhelming tide of her love. “How could such words be wrong coming from you? Have you any idea how I have longed to hear you say them?”

He wrapped her deep in his embrace, resting one cheek tenderly on her head. “And you, ma petite?” He asked softly, then felt her arms tighten around him.

“Je t'aime, Andre.” Caesaire whispered against his chest where his buccaneer shirt opened exposing his bare flesh. Her warm breath causing a shudder of desire to pass through his body. “I always have.”

Gently she felt one ringed finger lift her chin. Her lips sought his without waiting, pulling his head ever closer to her. Pressing her body as close to his as she could she drank in his kiss as if she had been starving all her life. Delighting in the feel of his own passion matching hers, measure for measure. His hands caressing her back, sending waves of pleasure through out her being. She would deny herself no longer. She would deny him no longer.

When they finally parted, all too soon for either of them, Andre looked into her eyes tenderly. “There are a few things I must yet attend to, Cheri.” He whispered quietly.

In answer Caesaire reached down into her boot, pressing the keys to his cabin into his hand. “Do what you need to, My Love.” She whispered softly to him. “But when you have finished, return to your cabin. Return to me.”

She returned to Andre’s cabin on feet that never touched the wood of the floor. Locking the door she began to make everything just right for the night she had dreamed of. Andre Beaudouin was now hers, and hers alone. Caesaire would make their first night in each other’s arms perfect. She would settle for nothing less.

She was certain she had seen, yes here it was. Jasmine incense from the Indies. Quickly she lit a charcoal briquette and sprinkled the powder on the glowing coal. Soon the sweet smell filled the cabin. Candles were next, not many, just enough to give the polished wood of the cabin a soft golden glow. Just enough to make the light dim enough to soften the vision.

Caesaire undressed, and checked herself in the mirror, quickly she brushed out her golden hair, patting stray strands into a halo frame for her features. Then she turned her attention to the bed. Straightening out the covers from before, she soon had them smoothed out to perfection, one corner turned down in a triangle.

Then she slipped in, wiggling over to the far end. Leaving a inviting space in front of her she draped the open cover around her legs, letting the cover drape over her knee and across her thigh to her back. Leaving herself exposed from the knee up she gently raised one knee in front of herself and waited, resting on one elbow.

Her heart beat faster as she heard the key turn in the lock. Andre entered the dimly lit cabin and hung his hat on one of the carved pegs that lined the wall next to the door beside the burgundy sea coat he wore when he left the ship. Turning he spied Caesaire’s lithe form awaiting him, and nearly dropped the sweet French wine he had brought from below.

“Mon Dieu!” He whispered at the vision of the woman he had given up as lost to him forever lay waiting for him. The soft smile of her lips made his heart beat like some mad drummer were furiously playing it. It seemed as if his breathing had also abandoned him. Never in his wildest dreams had the sight of a woman so effected him.

He walked quietly over to the bed, her eyes never leaving him. Drinking in his every graceful movement as he sat on the edge of the bed, one bell booted foot yet on the floor, the other bent at the knee in front of him and hooked behind the other. Smiling he poured the two crystal wine glasses to within an inch of their tops with the fragrant deep purple wine. Offering her one he sat the open bottle on the floor next to the bed.

“Of all the treasure and finery I have seen in my time as a pirate none have come close to your beauty, Mon Cheri.” He breathed huskily.

Caesaire’s eyes and warm smile spoke more to him in that moment that any words she might have said could. Tenderly they entwined arms and drained the goblets. As soon as she finished she dropped the empty crystal to the bed and pulled him into her arms. Her mouth hungrily seeking his as her hands pulled the long tail of his white shirt free from the confines of his leather britches.

She felt his hands gently stroking the length of her soft back as her own arms flew beneath the shirt to touch his bare flesh. She wanted nothing between them now, only the feel skin touching skin would satisfy her, as years of longing began to rise within them.

A slight wave of disappointment nudged her consciousness as Andre pulled back for a moment, but only to pull the garment over his head and discard it on the floor. Almost instantly he was back in her arms and they lay back into the soft pillows, passionately kissing once more, their hands exploring each other with increasing intimacy. Their lips tasting each others flesh over and over.

Without his knowing Caesaire had unbuckled his belt and opened his britches. Her voice dripped desire and love as she whispered, “This is not fair, My Love. I want you sans habillement as well.”

Gently Andre removed his boots and the last of his garments then lay down softly beside her. Tenderly he took her wrists in his hands and holding them in a firm, yet gentile grasp began to kiss her face. With infinite patience he moved to the side of her neck, Caesaire’s eyes closed with the thrill that the touch sent through her, gently biting her lower lip as his heated kisses traveled down her body in a slow torture of love she wished would never end. Her breath sucked sharply inward as Andre gave her the most intimate of kisses. Pulling her hands free she entwined them in his hair drawing him even closer to her.

Just before her passion became more than she could bear he rose above her. The purest love she had ever seen glowed from his eyes. Softly he stroked her cheek with the back of one bejeweled hand. Tenderly moving to the softness of her golden locks. A sharp gasp of passion escaped both their lips as they gave in to love’s final embrace, and the outside world was lost to their lovemaking.


Reply author: Welsh Wench
Replied on: 02/10/2008 21:13:36

Andre tenderly touched her cheek and put his hand under her chin to give her the gentlest of kisses.
"Merci, mon cher," he whispered huskily.
She stroked his hair back from his face and said softly, "For what?"
"For making a ten-year old dream come true."
Caesaire's eyes misted up.
"Oh, Andre. What time we have wasted! Who knows how our lives would have turned out if I had not been sent to the convent."
Andre reached over and picked up the bottle of wine, filling the goblets again.
He gave her a gentle smile. "Making love is thirsty work, cher. And I am parched."

She accepted the goblet and sipped, pulling the sheet up around her. Her hair was loose around her shoulders, her face was flushed and her eyes had a dreamy after-glow. Andre couldn't believe what had just happened. The girl he had deep feelings for in their youth was now the woman he possessed. He put his arm around her and she rested her head against his chest.
He bent his other arm to the back of his head and sighed. "Things happen for a reason, ma petite. Perhaps it is the way it was supposed to be that you came to me a seasoned woman and not a young girl."
She felt the tears trickle down her cheeks.
He stroked her shoulders. "Don't cry, cher."
She took the sheet and dabbed at her eyes. "I'm crying because..."
She stopped and he said gently, "Why?"
She held him close and said softly, with a blush on her face, "I am sorry you were not the man to take my virginity, Andre."
He stroked her pale hair and kissed her forehead. "No matter, ma cher. We are here together and that is all that counts."

Andre gently pushed her back to the pillows and kissed her neck slowly and sensually. Caesaire found her breath catching in her throat as she anticipated another round of lovemaking. She didn't care where they were. Only that they were together. His whispered 'Je t'aime, Caesaire' was the sweetest sound she had ever heard. To be with him after all these years. It was a schoolgirl's dream come true in the form of Andre Beaudouin. His hands wandered sensually down her body till she thought she would burst with her love and desire for him.

The early dawn found the two lovers entwined. They had scarcely moved from the way they had embraced each other before falling asleep.


John Hubbard stood on the quarterdeck breathing in the salt air of the new morning. Francois joined him on the deck. He clapped his hand on John's shoulder and said, "Ah, Andre is either checking the powder supplies or he is still asleep in your quarters."
John turned to him and took a deep draw on his pipe.
"No, Francois my friend. Neither."
Francois looked at him quizzically. "Then where is he?"
John pointed with the stem of his pipe towards the captain's quarters. "The captain, my friend, never made it back to my quarters."
Francois grinned, "It seems our captain has found amore at long last!"
John nodded, "Aye. And he picked a fine time to fall in love. Everything hinges on our meeting up with the Spanish ship. I can only hope that Mademoiselle Trosclair has not gone too far to his head that he cannot concentrate. Timing is everything."
Francois nodded, "Andre Beaudouin is an extraordinary man. He has never let the affairs of the heart cloud his judgment before."
The quartermaster tapped the burnt tobacco out of his pipe on the gunwale and sighed.
"Aye. But he never let anyone into his heart. Until now."


Reply author: Blackjack Roberts
Replied on: 02/15/2008 16:06:13

Andre quietly closed the door to his cabin behind him. He knew he should have been on deck sooner, but the pleasure of watching the love he had waited a lifetime for softly sleeping was too much to resist. The gentile rise and fall of her breast, the tender smile that half graced her full lips as she slumbered caused warm flames to engulf his heart. His body remembering the feel of hers as they loved. His love for Caesaire growing with each passing moment.

Quietly he had slipped from their bed, unwilling to disturb the angelic vision that lay so peacefully before him. With infinite care he had washed, shaved, and dressed simply for the day. He draped his baldric across the burgundy silk buccaneer shirt, twin French pistols stowed into the wide black belt that securely held the matching sash firmly in place. Waiting until he was at the door to slip on the knee high black belled boots over his supple doe skin leather britches. Blowing a soft kiss in her direction he entered the hall as silently as a ghost, locking the door behind him.

“Welcome back to the land ‘o the livin’.” John Hubbard teased as he came out onto the main deck. “I was beginin’ at think we’d have at drag ye out, Captain. Land Ho!” He pointed at the distant speck of island on the far horizon with his stubbled chin.

Andre turned to regard the small island. “Well done, Mes Amis.” He smiled, checking the position of the sun for the time. Just a few hours after dawn. “We have made very good time. All that remains now is to have the crew replace the forward mast. Leave the cannon ball embedded in Le Faucon’s side for the moment, and we will take a party ashore to bring back fresh water and supplies once we make harbor.”

“So soon, Mon Capitaine?” Etienne de Marigny asked as he approached, two steaming white cups in his hands. “Café?”

“Merci, Etienne.” Captain Beaudouin took the steaming mug gratefully, sipping the strong brow liquid with relish.

“Oui, Capitaine.” Francois leapt lightly down from the quarter deck to join them. “ We brought precious little supplies with us as it was, but they should be enough to make port.”

“Aye, Francois,” Andre nodded in agreement, the coffee chasing the last vestiges of the night from him. “However if we are to enter the jewel of Caribbean Spain with the story that we were waylaid by pirates….”

“Then the fewer store bought supplies we carry will add credence to the tale!” Francois exclaimed lightly slapping his forehead with his palm.

“And carrying fresh island supplies will make it look like our journey took longer than it did.” Etienne grinned roguishly. “Very clever, Mon Frère.”

“Aye.” John grinned, lighting a fresh pipe of aromatic tobacco. “And with the damage from our little skirmish last night the dogs will have no reason to doubt our story.”

“Also,” Andre continued, “although our voyage to Cuba is short enough, we will have to follow our quarry half way to the Canaries and then make the trip back. That is a quite a long voyage and it will be good to have as many supplies has we can before we take her. They will be scarce on the return home with the cargo aboard.”

“Then you’ve decided. We scuttle her?” John let out a long ribbon of white smoke.

“Aye.” The captain of Le Faucon de Mer spoke firmly. “We have no choice. We will permit the crew their longboats, and supplies, but the Galleon must rest on the bottom of the ocean.”

His three friends nodded in agreement, knowing that the one thing that set Andre Beaudouin apart from almost every other pirate captain who plundered the Caribbean was his unwillingness to commit outright murder.

“Then it is settled.” He grinned. “Now if you will pardon me, there is yet one more treasure that I must attend to. I hope the galley cook still has some café left.”

The light knock on the cabin door brought Caesaire’s deep blue eyes open. Instinctively she reached for Andre. Disappointed to find the space beside her empty. She pulled the cover high onto her chest. “Entrée.” She called out. A warm smile lit her features as Andre entered the cabin.

A large teak tray filled his hands, piled high with cheese, bread, and fruit. In the center a silver pot steamed, releasing the fragrant aroma of fresh coffee into the room. He closed the door with one bell booted foot, smiling like a schoolboy. Never before had a man brought breakfast to her, not even Drausin, and she felt as if she were a child with a crush again.

“Forgive me, Mon Amour.” He smiled softly. “But there were things that needed my attention, and you looked so lovely sleeping there that I could not bear the thought of waking you. I have brought you breakfast to make up for it.”

Caesaire smiled teasingly, letting her covering drop to her waist as she sat up. “Merci, mon cher. I am hungry, but not for food.” She held her arms out to him. “Leave that on the desk for the moment, and come to me.”

His heart pounded in his chest as he sat the tray down. Dropping his baldric to the floor, he laid the flintlocks next to the tray, then pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it to one side. Tenderly he lowered himself into her arms, giving in to the passion of her kiss. Their arms softly exploring each other as they lost themselves in their love for one another.

“And you were worried that his love would interfere with his ability to think.” Etienne teased John.

“Ye do know he is back in his cabin, don’t ye?” John grinned tapping his pipe out on his boot heel.

“No harm there.” Francois grinned. “A sou that we do see him again until we make harbor.” He held his hand out to Etienne.

“Non, merci.” The first mate laughed. “After all……he is French.”

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:34:35 PM
Reply author: Welsh Wench
Replied on: 02/17/2008 19:43:31

Andre stood up and reached for his shirt.
"Mais non, cher! Do you really have to leave me?"
Andre grinned, "Oui. Caesaire, ma petite, we cannot spend all our time in the cabin. What would the crew think of a captain that did not appear?"
"They would think he was a great lover that his woman already knows."
He bent over and kissed her on the lips. She gently encircled his shoulders and drew him down to her.
"Well, maybe for a little while....after all, I have a reputation to protect for all Frenchmen..."
All Caesaire could manage to do is giggle a bit before Andre stopped that with his lips.

Andre reached again for his shirt and then held up his hand. "Caesaire, I am a fairly young man. But damn, cheri!"
She laughed and laid back on the pillows, her arms above her head and she sighed.
"I never knew it could be like this, Andre. Oh, I imagined all those nights I was in the convent dormitory. You were never far from my thoughts. But I thought you were lost to me forever."
He took her hand and kissed it gently. "I think I started to fall in love with you when you were six and gave me that valentine."
Caesaire faked her astonishment. "You kept it after all these years?"
"Oui. I realized that the little girl with the pale blonde hair and deep blue eyes had given me not only a paper heart but her own as well. But the day I figured it out was the day that your father had sent you away. That first kiss told me all."

Caesaire stretched out languidly and ran her finger up and down his arm.
"Non, Cher. Please. I only have so much strength."
She laughed and said, "Pere may have well tried to stop a runaway horse. Love always finds a way. But look how our lives turned out. So much wasted time. Andre, I would have died for you. I did. My only escape was to run over to Congo Square. But I never saw you or Sebastian."
Andre leaned back against the pillows and stroked her hair back from her shoulders and her face.
"I signed on with a pirate ship. After you disappeared, I really found no future to stay in New Orleans. Sebastian was going to law school. I was thinking of becoming a doctor but lacked the funds. I didn't intend to stay on."
"Who did you sign on with?"
"Jean Lafitte."
Caesaire's mouth was a perfectly formed 'O' when she realized that her former lover was the captain of her present lover.

"Did you stay long with him?"
"Until the mutiny."
"Oui. A story for another time."
"A bedtime story?" she grinned wickedly.
"Oui. But for when the moon is full. We shall have a candlelit dinner on the upper deck under the stars!"
She reached for him, drew him close and whispered huskily in his ear, "Why can I not get enough of you, cher?"
He whispered back, "Because you are French, too!"

As Andre pulled his boots on, he asked her, "Your ship. Such an intriguing name. 'Shattered Dreams'. Why such a name, ma petite?"
Caesaire rolled over on her stomach and propped her chin with her hand. She ran her hand up and down the blankets and her voice was hushed.
"I must tell you first how I won her."

Andre sat next to her on the bed. "This would be so much easier to concentrate on if you were not dressed in what God gave you."
She rolled back on her back and crossed her arms in front of her chest. "Then I shall save it for another day if only you would lie with me again."
Andre shook his head no. "Cher, I never realized your....capacity for love. But tell me the story."
She sighed. "Very well. But you shall have to make up for it later. Jean had taught me many things. Being the gambler he was, he had me join him on the riverboat as he had business up in Natchez. One night he entered a high stakes game of cards. I joined them in the game. Jean had taught me how to read a marked deck. A Monsieur Babineau was losing badly. He had a fine schooner. Being the proud Frenchman that he was, he put the ship up as a bartering chip."
"You won her in a game of chance?"
She nodded her head. "I wanted to try my hand at supplying the ladies of New Orleans with what they needed and wanted. Being Creole and my father well established, no one would suspect that little Caesaire Trosclair was a privateer. I didn't like the way Jean was running things. So I went into partnership with him in the black market. I soon realized I didn't need him and we went separate ways."

"The name, ma cher? Why 'Shattered Dreams'?"
Her eyes started to mist up. "It was for you, Andre."
"Oui. The day I went in the convent and you went to sea was the day my heart broke. All my dreams were...shattered."
She couldn't hold back her tears any longer.
"I tried to pretend I didn't care. But Andre, it was you I wanted. I looked for you in every man that ever made love to me. But in the light of day, they weren't you. And I hated myself for it."
Andre gathered her in his arms as she sobbed. "So many nights I wished they were you. I tried to pretend that it was you...."
He rocked her back and forth and whispered, "It's all over now, Caesaire. Your shattered dreams. We shall mend it together."
She looked at him with the tears running down her cheeks. "I'm so sorry, sorry I did not wait for you...."
Andre silenced her with a kiss and whispered, "The crew knows where they can find me, I guess...."


Reply author: Blackjack Roberts
Replied on: 02/17/2008 19:49:52

Jean sat back in his chair pondering. Across from him sat the newly rescued Captain Garnier Depaul of the now scuttled Hazard. That Jean had to send an empty ship to bring back the rest of the crew sat not well with him at all. Once again Andre Beaudouin’s legendary luck had foiled his plan. Not that he intended for them to drown, the orders were specific. To sink Le Faucon de Mer and humiliate Beaudouin by depriving him of his prize ship, as well as Caesaire.

Uncharacteristically calm, Lafitte shook his head pouring two crystal glasses of bourbon for himself and Depaul. “Will the man’s luck never change?” He asked exasperatedly of no one in particular.

“Not all Luck I am afraid, Jean.” Garnier sighed raising the glass to his lips. “He knew just where to take us from, and just where our weakest point was.”

“Nonsense, Ami!” Lafitte guffawed. “No man can accomplish what that motherless dandy has in so short a time unless he is possessed of far more luck than is due him. Not even me.”

Captain Depaul turned his attention to his whiskey. Arguing this point with Jean would be a waste of time. When it came to the captain of the Le Faucon de Mer Lafitte had a blind spot as big as the swamp, and it would always cause him to underestimate Andre. He simply could not admit that the Creole buccaneer was anything more than a pretentious street urchin, and it was often the true cause of his humiliation at Andre’s hands.

“No matter,” Jean continued, “For the moment he has slipped the noose, but he must return to Mother New Orleans eventually. I will consider what to do about them then.”

“Them?” Garnier was puzzled.

“Oui.” Jean grinned. “The single female that I instructed you to bring back had you succeeded is none other than Caesaire Trosclair.”

Depaul almost spit the mouthful of bourbon across the desk. “Caesaire is with Andre?!” He choked out once he could swallow. Now it all made sense. Lafitte had never before made such a direct move on Beaudouin without some excuse, but if Caesaire was now involved with him. Yes. It would be more of a humiliation than Jean would tolerate. Then it was Lafitte who had murdered her guard, and stole The Shattered Dreams!

“Oui!” Jean Lafitte’s features dissolved into a mask of pure hatred for a moment. “I had hoped the loss of her ship would prevent her from partnering with him, but that has not been the case.”

Depaul stared open mouthed at his commander. Though no saint by any ones measure this was too much. He could hardly believe what he had just heard. Jean Lafitte was eaten alive by jealousy, and it was causing him to make decisions that Garnier was not sure he could stomach. Now he was secretly glad that Andre had sunk his ship. Jean was going too far.

“Thank God!” Andre whispered as the Le Faucon de Mer limped into the Harbor at Antilla. There moored to the docks the Pata del Tigre gently rose and fell in the clear blue water. They had made it in time, and now all that remained was to replace the broken mast in time to follow her out to sea when she left.

“It would seem our prize is waiting for us, Mon Capitaine.” Francois Loupe grinned.

Andre breathed easier as he stood looking at the ship that held the key to the other half of his dream coming true. Gently he increased his hold on Caesaire’s shoulder, drawing her closer to him in his joy. “Oui.” He smiled. “Once we arrive ashore and convince our hosts that we are in need of repair have some of our men take shore leave. Half with you, half with Etienne. Discreetly find out when she is due to sail. We want to be no more than three hours behind her.”

“And how will you know which route he shall take, Mon Cher?” Caesaire asked.

Andre laughed warmly. “For that, Mon Amore, I will need you, myself, and a friend of mine who should be staying quite near. She will prove the key to unlocking that secret.”

“She?!” Caesaire looked hard at Andre for a moment.

He smiled and pulled her deep into his arms. “Do not worry, Cheri. There is only you for me. She and I were never lovers, but we have had many profitable business arrangements. I was also never fool enough to try to bed her. Jacqueline’s preference in lovers runs to shall we say, her own kind.”

“You mean…..” Caesaire’s eyes grew wide.

“Oui, Mon Petite Cher,” Andre grinned wickedly and winked, “but do keep your feelings of jealousy. We will need them once the three of us find the captain of that Spanish garbage scow.”

Reply author: Mad Jack Wolfe
Replied on: 02/17/2008 21:52:19

Benjamin le Renard coldly regarded his new suroundings - an upstairs flat on Toulouse street. The moving crew had done an adequate job setting things up, but he was concerned about getting back to business. Andre and Caesaire were close by, and that bufoon Lafitte would show his face soon enough, The only real diversion awaiting him was his monthly meeting with Aaron Burr. Burr was still pressing his secessionist agenda, and Ben was all too willing to keep supplying him with just barely enough money. Once Burrs' conspiracy was found out, He could easily get his money back. But what to do with Burr? He doubted that a history would care much for an arrogant, capricious hothead. Burr would be dealt with in the customary ways.

"Will this be suitin' your needs, Monsiur la Renard." the landlady asked.
"It will be pefect, Madame D'Estrehan. He pressed a wad of money into her hand, "Thank you for everything."
"Oh, I can't possibly accept all this, monsieur!"
"Consider it a retainer, madame. And do try to shine up your appearance. Now, off you go."

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:37:27 PM
Reply author: Welsh Wench
Replied on: 02/22/2008 18:46:48

Andre docked the ship and made sure it was moored in the harbor. He went into the conference room with John Hubbard, Etienne and Francois. Caesaire was in the captain's cabin, looking for the right kind of dress that Andre had instructed her to wear for making port.
She shook her head as she looked in her trunks.
"Somewhere..somewhere..ah! Voici!"
She shook it out. It was a crimson dress with black lacings. She pulled out a pair of black lace gloves and took a parasol of red silk trimmed with black lace and an ebony handle. A pair of delicate shoes adorned her feet.
She shimmied into the dress and brushed her hair out.

She emerged on the deck to the astonishment of John Hubbard.
He whistled. "I must say, Mademoiselle Trosclair, that you look stunning. I mean, you look like...are you sure Andre wants you dolled up like that?"
She laughed and said, "I am sure Andre knows what he is doing. Although I must say he has been a bit vague. He told me to dress flashy to garner attention. Is this flashy enough?"
"If you are looking for all eyes on you, I think you have succeeded."

Andre came out of his cabin and breathed, "Mon Dieu!"
Caesaire looked at him with twinkling eyes. "I take it you approve, oui?"
"Mon amour, when I said you should dress to attract attention, I had no idea!"
Caesaire twirled around so Andre could get the benefit of the dress swirling around her legs. He gave a low whistle. "Mademoiselle Trosclair, if you wore that dress at the party, I would have insisted you stay with me instead of acting like the gentleman I profess to be."
She stroked his cheek and said, "Andre, you are always the gentleman."

Francois and Etienne joined them on the deck. Etienne feigned exasperation. "Francois, what are we going to do with the two of them? Always touching, always hugging!"
Francois shrugged. "He is the captain. He can do what he wants when he wants. And with anyone he wants, mon frere."
Etienne replied, "Captain, we must insist you put your passion on hold while we discuss the next step."
Andre looked over Caesaire's shoulder and said, "The next step is to seek Jacqueline Villard."
Francois instinctively lowered his hands to cover a portion of his breeches.
"Is that necessary?" he asked Andre in a hushed voice. Etienne and Andre let out a loud laugh.
"Oui, Francois, but I am sure you understand the way things are."
He muttered, "Oui. I surely will not make a faux pas like that again!"

Caesaire raised an eyebrow. "This must surely be an interesting story, mes amis."
Andre nodded in the direction of Francois. "Care to tell ma chere the story, Francois?"
His face could not get any redder. "I would prefer not to, mon capitaine."
Etienne elbowed his embarrassed companion and said, "Oh, go one! It was a moment of glory."
Francois scuffed his feet and said, "I'd rather not."
Andre sighed. "Very well. So be it. Caesaire? Would you accompany me to the cabin as I want to go over the plan with you?"
She put her hand lightly on Andre's offered arm and gave him a smile that melted him. "I would like nothing better."
As they walked off, Etienne shook his head.
"She will be the death of him, you know."
Francois watched them walk away, Andre with a look of total contentment and Caesaire like she had the world at her disposal.
He sighed, "There but for a twist of fate could have gone I."
Etienne clapped him on the back and sympathized, "Aye, but you lost her to your captain. No greater love hath any man than to lay his---"
"Don't say it, Etienne. Just...don't say it!"
They both laughed and walked toward the upper deck.

Caesaire snuggled herself deeper into Andre's arms, her dress a puddle of crimson silk and black lace on the floor next to the bed. Andre's shirt was hanging from the lantern fixture.
She traced his lips with her fingers and whispered, "Your crew will hate me. I am taking their captain away from them."
Andre kissed the top of her head. "Mais non, cher. They always chided me for not finding a love of my own."
"But, are....well, you are a perfect lover", she said quietly.
He ran his finger through one of her golden locks, wrapping his finger in it gently and kissing her ear.
"Cher, I did not say I did not know the ways of...physical love. But my heart was never given completely."
She looked up.
"And do I have your heart?"
He looked deeply into her eyes and said, "Completely, cher. It is yours to keep for all eternity."
He kissed her neck and whispered, "Now that I have found you again, Caesaire, I am never letting you go."

She looked up from resting her head on his chest, knowing that his heart beat just for her. She said, "Tell me the story of Francois and what happened. Why is he so reluctant to tell it?"
Andre's eyes were full of mirth.
"It happened in a tavern in Port Royal. But I shall make it a bedtime story for you tonight, cher."
She playfully took his face and drew it to hers. "Mais, non! You know what they say...'curiosity killed le chat but satisfaction brought her back'. Do you want me satisfied, Andre?"
He grinned, "Mais oui! As a Frenchman...."
She cut him off with, "The story, Andre, mon cher. The story?"
He leaned back on the pillows, his arms folded behind his head. He sighed. "Alright. The story. But that's all. As I said, it was in a tavern in Port Royal....."


Reply author: Welsh Wench
Replied on: 02/22/2008 22:01:42

Andre drew her close and she rested her head on his chest, idly stroking his ebony hair.
"Francois, Etienne, John and I decided to spend an evening's diversion at El Taverna del Toro."
Caesaire interrupted with, "Francois is a bit of a ladies' man, is he not?"
Andre burst out laughing. "A BIT? The man is legendary!"
Caesaire smiled, "I know. If not for his invitation, I never would have had a reason to come aboard Le Faucon de Mer."
"And for that I shall be forever in his debt. But to continue, we are in the tavern having a great time, spending coin, drinking, gambling and wom...."
"I didn't say anything, mon cher."
"Un huh, Andre. I will overlook that as it was before 'us'.
"Merci, cher. Francois had more than his share of rum. We all did. All of a sudden, a captivating woman walked in."
"Oui. Jacqui. Oh, don't look that way, ma petite. Jacqui, while a beautiful woman, would have been too much for even me to handle. But Francois has never known his limitations and plunged head-first into his flirtation."

Caesaire raised her eyebrow. "I have a feeling this was more than a flirtation."
Andre grinned, "Oui, Cher. You are very perceptive."
"I am a woman."
He kissed her and murmured, "Mon Dieu, I can attest to that!"
"Please continue, Andre."
"As you wish. Francois came up behind Jacqui and grabbed her derriere. He never told us what he said to her but she turned around and very seductively draped her sash around his neck and drew his face close to hers. Quick as a flash, she had her dagger--she keeps it sheathed to her thigh--and had it pressed against a very important part of Francois' anatomy."
Andre could barely keep the mirth out of his voice. "A part he is very partial to."
"Oh, my!"
"Oui! I have never seen Francois so nervous. She whispered, 'The only way I would consider your offer, Monsieur, is if I did a little alteration on you and made you into a woman. Except your chest is lacking. And we do not have enough'--and here she glanced to his breeches--'to make ample ones.' She let go of Francois and he scrambled backwards, fell into Etienne and they both fell into a gambling table where the stakes were extremely high. So not only did Francois almost become Francoise, he ruined a game of chance!
Fortunately I was able to smooth it over with the gentlemen of the tavern. Jacqui was another matter."

"She did not accept his apology?"
"What apology? In the end, I challenged her to a duel."
"You WHAT?"
Andre burst out laughing. "Cher, that is a story for another time. By now, John has come back with the address where she will be residing. So we need to put the plan into motion."

Caesaire rolled out of bed, taking the coverlet with her. Her hair lay in a tangle around her shoulders and her eyes reflected a contented glow from within her very being. She gave Andre a warm smile and said, "Je t'aime, Andre."
"Et je t'aime aussi, Caesaire. Mon Dieu, I never thought I would repeat those words!"
"Oui. I practiced them the night I got home from your father's house. I would have asked for your hand right then but I wanted to wait for you to turn fourteen."
Her eyes sparkled. "I would have said 'yes', Andre. Except for one thing."
"What is that, mon amore?"
"Just the hand, Andre?"
He grinned wolfishly "Oui, ma petite! I'd ask your father for the hand but it was up to you to offer the rest of the package."
She drew him to her and whispered as she kissed his lips, "A package that you have unwrapped, my darling!"
Andre sighed. "And now it is time to wrap that package again. We have a job to do. And if the plan is successful, we shall have a lobster dinner on the upper deck under the stars."
"And after, Andre?"
"Dessert. In my cabin."

She laughed as she grabbed her clothes. "I shall save some room for later then!"
Andre pulled his breeches on. "And now to business, I am afraid. Are you ready to meet Jacqueline Villars?"
Caesaire sighed, "If I must."
Andre chuckled, "Unlike Francois, I am afraid you are more her type!"
She threw a pillow at his head.
"I was afraid of that!"

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:45:19 PM
Reply author: Blackjack Roberts
Replied on: 02/22/2008 22:11:21

Andre and Caesaire walked through the streets of Antilla, he was more than a little amused by the lengthy stares that his love elicited from the men who watched them pass. If Jacqueline were equally prepared this would prove easier than his original plan, and he knew from their past business ventures that Jaquie was always prepared. The welcome, but unexpected addition of Caesaire was more than he could have hoped for.

The first bit of luck that she had brought to the venture came early on. The Spanish port master had barely even looked at their forged papers. Instead he had spent far more time undressing her with his eyes, and had completely forgotten to inspect the ship. Francois and Etienne had the hardest time keeping their laughter inside as Caesaire played the poor fool for all he was worth, intentionally striking the most sensual poses while feigning ignorance of her actions. John Hubbard slowly shook his head while the dock master wasn’t looking.

Once the official had left the five of them burst into gales of laughter, Etienne having to hold onto the railing for support. “Ah, Lass.” Hubbard gasped. “If what Andre has in mind for the captain of that scow involves a show like that, the poor bastard hasn’t a fiddler’s prayer.”

“Do not forget Jacqueline, Mon Ami.” Etienne chimed in, casting a sidelong glance in Francois direction.

“Aye, with two beauties like that at his disposal Andre will have their heading before nightfall!” John chuckled. More in response to Francois rolling his eyes to the sky and mouthing a short prayer at the mention of Jaquie’s name.

Caesaire slipped her arm around Andre’s waist and tittered behind her hand. “From what I have heard that is a rose with a rather sharp thorn.” She giggled.

“Mon Dieu!” The color of Francois face turned crimson. “Mon Frere! You told her?! Will I never live that night down?”

My appologies, Frere,” Andre clapped his friend warmly on the shoulder, “but I did warn you about her.”

“True, Mon Capitaine.” Loupe sighed. “My pride went before my fall, and now I pay the price.”

“Not as big a price as you could have paid, Mon Ami.” Etienne de Marigny put an arm around his friend’s shoulder. “Come, let us select our comrades for our mission, and begin. Who knows, there may be a few Spanish ladies who are in need of our company afterward.”

Francois brightened immediately. “Mais oui! Then why do we waste the time here?” He and Etienne walked jauntily off to fulfill their orders and seek out a few ladies in the bargain.

“I hope our teasing won’t bother Francois too much, Mon amore.” Caesaire watched the two shipmates motion to select members of the crew to join them.

“Non, Cher.” Andre grinned. “It was more his pride that suffered that night than his body. The company of a jolie fille and he will be his old self in no time. Shall we go?”

They arrived at a small hotel a few blocks from the port. Andre pulled a small piece of parchment from the outer pocket of his long coat and double checked the address. “Ah, here we are, Cheri.” He smiled. “The top of the stairs, third door on the left. Shall we?”

“Oui, Mon amoureux.” She smiled tightening her grip on his arm for a moment. “I am looking forward to meeting this woman.”

“Enter.” The liquid voice came from behind the door in response to Andre’s knock. The small room was decorated with colorful Jamaican scarves across the windows and island furniture. All in all it did not match a Cuban dwelling in the least. The tall statuesque woman slipped the wicked looking dagger back into the thigh sheath as she saw Andre come in to the room. Lowering her leg from the couch it disappeared back into the thigh slit of her dress hidden from view.

Jacqueline Villard’s full lips expanded into a sensual smile at the sight of her friend. Her mocha hued skin enhanced a beauty to rival the finest of New Orleans. Her slender limbs in perfect proportion to the sleek curves of her hips and breasts. The paisley patterned blouse she wore was pulled down to expose her gently curved shoulders where her coal black tresses draped across them to the middle of her back from beneath the red scarf across her forehead. Everything about the woman fairly breathed sensuality. Caesaire was not all that certain she approved of the Jamaican beauty’s relationship to Andre.

“Andre.” She breathed huskily as she briefly embraced the captain of Le Faucon de Mer, gently kissing one cheek. “I am so glad you could make it. I thought I was going to be entrapped in this room forever.” Her sepia eyes roamed over Caesaire approvingly. “And who is this?”

“Pardon my manners, Jaquie.” Andre grinned. “May I present Mademoiselle Caesaire Trosclair, Captain of The Shattered Dreams. Caesaire, Mademoiselle Jacqueline Villard. Captain of the Calypso’s Revenge.”

“Enchanté, Mademoiselle Trosclair.” Jacqueline took Caesaire’s hand and softly kissed her fingers. “Perhaps we may exchange tales of adventure later?”

“I am afraid not, Jaquie.” Andre smiling warmly as he placed one arm around Caesaire’s shoulders and looking into her deep blue eyes. “The lady is spoken for.”

“Enchanté, Captain Villard.” Caesaire replied as warmly as she could, slipping one arm around Andre’s waist, unsure if the slight coldness in her voice was due to Jacqueline’s unwanted attention, or her familiarity with her lover.

“Andre!” Jaquie grinned showing white even teeth. “Love has finally taken the captain of Le Faucon de Mer?! Surely the sky is about to fall on us all! Though I can see why.” She playfully winked in Caesaire’s direction. “You could not have chosen better, I think.”

“Love took me long ago, Jaquie.” He grinned back. “It merely took a while to come back to me.”

Jacqueline Villard walked to the cupboard and removed a unopened bottle of rum and three glasses. “Then this is a call to celebrate. Afterwards we may discuss your plan, My friend, and how much my share shall be.”


Reply author: Blackjack Roberts
Replied on: 02/28/2008 08:40:47

As the three of them sat upon the floor on the several overstuffed cushions that Jacqueline had arranged around the low slung coffee table, she languidly stretched out and lifted her glass to her lips with a slightly wicked smile. “Our original plan was for you to play my abusive lover, and have the captain of the galleon come to my rescue. Now that there are three of us, I would assume that plan has changed?”

“Lover?” Caesaire’s eyes narrowed for a moment in Andre’s direction. An action that did not go unnoticed by Jacqueline who threw her head back releasing a husky melodious laugh.

“Don’t worry your pretty head over that, Sweet one.” She smiled at the golden haired beauty. “Even though he did beat me fairly in a sword fight, I have no designs on your man. Yourself may be another tale altogether.” The ebony piratess winked playfully again at Caesaire, chuckling as the captain of The Shattered Dreams scowled at her for a moment.

“I’m afraid I am, as mon amore said, spoken for, Captain Villard.” Caesaire’s voice was laced with ice as she edged closer to Andre.

“Mais oui, Jaquie.” Andre spoke sternly, but winked to his friend. “Or should we have another duel for the sake of love?”

Unable to continue the charade they both burst into laughter, and Caesaire punched Andre on the shoulder, realizing that the two of them were teasing her. Still she was not completely certain that she had not spoken from her own jealousy over Andre. She had never before been jealous for another man, and it underscored how deep her feelings for him truly were.

“I should duel the both of you for that prank!” She grinned then partially changed the subject. “This is the third time I have heard of this duel. I believe the two of you owe me the rest of the story as payment for your crimes.” Caesaire leaned slightly on Andre’s leg.

“I am sorry, Cheri.” Andre gently stroked her back. “Jaquie does like to tease at times, and I could not resist the chance to play along. I promise to buy you a beignet once we return to New Orleans. As to the tale, perhaps Jaquie should like to tell it?”

“Gladly” Jacqueline grinned broadly. “Especially since I do not wish to re-live it.”

“My crew and I had just taken a fat prize that day, and I was searching for a few stragglers who were late to their watch.” She began. “A few of the others I had found told me that some had headed off in the direction of El Taverna del Toro.

“Once I had questioned the tavern keep, and discovered they had drunkenly left some moments before, I had ordered a rum before continuing my search. That was when some drunk fool came up from behind me and grabbed my arse, then whispered into my ear that he would make me forget all other men.”

Jaquie paused to refill her glass, then winked in Caesaire’s direction once again. “As you know by now, My pretty pretty, he was a bit too late for that. I draped my sash around his shoulders and gave him my most erotic smile to get even closer to him and drew my dagger with my other hand. Poor Francois never even noticed until I pressed it to his jewels. The look in his eyes was beyond price!” Her deep, husky laugh filled the small room.

“I threatened to make a woman of him and in his haste to save that which makes him a man he crashed into Etienne and a heated game of cards. For a few moments it seemed that a brawl would take place between Andre’s crew and the gamers, but he soon calmed them all down by adding to the original pot, and suggesting they play the hand over fairly for the additional gold. Then he came over to apologize to me for Francois behavior.”

She paused once again, smiling at the memory. “I was not so easily smoothed over, and was determined to have satisfaction from Francois. Andre said that François was far too drunk to duel, and I informed him that the fool should have thought of that before assaulting strange women.”

“What she actually said was; ‘Then he should be neutered like any troublesome dog, Peacock!” Andre interrupted, grinning. Jaquie burst into laughter for a moment.

“Aye, that I did. Aside from my own crew I had not run into any other pirate who was as well groomed and clean. Most are smelly pigs who know no water save that beneath their ships.” the dark skinned woman frowned in disgust for a moment before continuing with the story.

“Not my crew.” Caesaire whispered to Andre before returning her attention to Jaquie.

“Then Andre said to me; ‘Fair enough, Mademoiselle, but since this drunken fool is a member of my crew I must insist you deal with me first.’ I readily agreed and we stepped into the street at the tavern owners request.” Jacqueline continued. “I have fought many men as a woman in a man’s occupation, but never before had I been pressed as hard as Andre pressed me that night.”

“In the end he trapped me into thinking he had made a mistake and opened his left side to me. A dangerous gamble to be sure, but as I lunged for his chest he stepped to one side and trapped my arm beneath his, holding his rapier to my throat.” She shook her head slowly at the memory. “For the first time in my life I was forced to release my saber and surrender. Andre picked it up for me and returned it as a gentleman, then offered to help me find my errant crew.”

Jacqueline’s brown eyes sparkled as she finished the tale. “Andre is the first, and so far only man I trust. We went to my ship afterward and celebrated our partnership.” Suddenly she burst into laughter. “No, My pretty pretty. Not like that! We got stinking drunk and laid plans to take a couple of Dutch merchant ships bound for Amsterdam with a consignment of exotic herbs from Brazil!”

“And a profitable undertaking it was.” Andre smiled drawing Caesaire closer to him in a gentile hug. “Now for the new plan, Mon Cher’s. With the two of you in on this it should prove even better than the one we laid, Jaquie.”

“And what should this new plan be, Mon Cher?” Caesaire looked into his hazel eyes, relived that Andre had indeed not bedded Jacqueline.

“Not far from the first, Mon Amore.” He grinned wickedly. “We shall enter the tavern where the dog is, once Etienne, and Francois find it’s whereabouts, then Jaquie shall come along and play the part of a jilted lover. After a heated argument between the three of us we shall leave, and allow the captain of the Pata del Tigre to ‘comfort’ her.”

“But doesn’t she prefer les femmes?” Caesaire wondered.

“Indeed I do, My pretty pretty.” Jaquie grinned. “Though men still prefer me.”

“Once Jaquie has the information we need she will signal to me, and just like the first plan I will enter to beg her forgiveness, and she will spurn the pig to leave with me.” Andre chuckled.

“Leaving me to be jilted!” Caesaire sat up, placing her fists on her hips, a angry scowl on her face.

“Non, non, Cheri!!” The color drained from Andre’s tanned face. “We are merely play acting!! I would never leave you for another!!”

Caesaire and Jacqueline roared with laughter and his color returned with a few extra shades as he realized the trick his love had played on him. “Touché, Mon Cher.” He grinned, gathering her into his arms. “If you do half as well when we find our prey we will, as they say, have this in the bag.”

“Merci, Cher.” Caesaire stroked his cheek lightly with her fingertips. “But you still owe me a beignet.”

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:52:23 PM
Reply author: Welsh Wench
Replied on: 02/28/2008 20:51:24

The sun rose up over the Mississippi. Storekeepers swept the sidewalks in front of their shops, setting their wares in front of their doors. The smells of the city came alive. Patisseries, perfumeries, and the vegetables and fruit odors filled the air. The sounds of the ships on the River and the calls of one to another added to the patina of the City's reputation.

Drausin D'Estrehan smiled to himself. If all went as planned, Caesaire would see reason. Drausin would rescue her and she would be eternally grateful to him. The fact that she missed Andre Beaudouin's ship was exactly what that strutting swashbuckler deserved. Unconsciously Drausin rubbed the wrist that Andre had clamped on. Never mind that it was still tender and bruised. It was the humiliation in front of Caesaire.

He unlocked the door to his law office. Pierre Bechnel, his clerk, sat at his desk.
"Bon jour, Monsieur D'Estrehan."
Drausin put his briefcase down on the chair and thumbed through his mail. Absent-mindedly he said, "Bon jour, Pierre. Oh, I am expecting a Monsieur Bertrand in a bit. Would you please show him in?"
"Mais oui. But I checked the appointments and there was no such name."
Drausin walked to his office and before he shut the door, he replied, "He made the appointment after you left. I made it myself. Send him right back."

Within a half hour, there was a knock on the door.
"Monsieur Bertrand is here."
"Merci, Pierre. Fermez la port, s'il vous plait."
Monsieur Firmin Bertrand entered the room and Pierre shut the door behind them.
"Ah, bon jour, Firmin. She is safely esconced in the warehouse, oui?"
Firmin shifted heavily in his seat, rubbing his head. "Monsieur D'Estrehan, there is a slight problem."
Drausin's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean, 'slight'?"
"She's gone."
Drausin exploded, "What do you mean, 'gone'?"
Firmin retorted, "The little belch pretended to be bleeding to death from cut glass and when I went in to investigate, she brained me with a piece of crockery when she hid behind the door."
Drausin sat there in silence, not believing what he was hearing.
Finally he found the words his brain was trying to forumulate. "Where is she? WHERE IS SHE, YOU BUNGLER?"
Firmin couldn't quite find it to meet his employer's outraged gaze. "When I came to, I went to look for her. I ended up on the docks."
"What do you mean, 'ended' "?
Firmin snarled, "When you find something, you no longer look for it, oui?"
Drausin tried to get control of his temper. "So you found her."
"No. I found what happened to her though. I asked Monique who has the flowers in front of the Cathedral if she had seen Caesaire Trosclair and she had."
"So...where IS she?"
"She jumped in the River."
Drausin jumped to his feet. "She--she's DEAD?"
Firmin rubbed his head. "Of course not! She swam."
"Do I stutter? She saw Le Faucon de Mer heading out to sea and she called to the captain and when he answered her, she jumped in to catch up. I tell you true, Drausin, you have to respect a woman with that much love for-----"
"Shut up. SHUT UP! I have to think!"
Firmin held his hand out for his pay. "I did what you wanted. I kidnapped her."
Drausin retorted, "And you couldn't even do that right." He counted off the bills and handed it to Bertrand.
"Highway robbery, that is what it is."
Bertrand said, "I did what I was hired to do. I snatched her and threw her in the warehouse."
Drausin looked at him hard, "You were hired to kidnap her and then wait three days, just checking on her while I affected a rescue. She would have missed Beaudouin's ship and I would be her hero."
Firmin counted off the bills and yelled, "Hey! You short-changed me by half!"
Drausin looked at him coldly and said, "Mais non. You got what you earned. Be grateful you even received that."
Firmin glared and jammed his hat back on, wincing when it made contact with the lump on his head. The door rattled on the hinges as he slammed it.

Drausin sat there, staring at the wall. He suddenly broke a pencil in half and swept his desk top in a fit of rage.
He spoke out loud to no one.
'Have your fling, Caesaire, my sweet. Get it all out of your system. But I tell you true, in the end I will see to it that you come crawling back on your hands and knees to me. Begging for another chance. And will I give it to you?'
He opened up his desk drawer and took out a small jewelry box. Inside rested a beautiful ring with a marquis cut diamond.
'Oui, Caesaire, my darling. In a heartbeat.'


Reply author: Blackjack Roberts
Replied on: 03/01/2008 21:22:59

Captain Juan Carlos sat at his table near the rear of El Gallego. He had been lucky, there had been no delays with the shipment from Panama and he could now afford to relax for a few days before beginning the arduous journey back to Spain. In truth he could not wait to see Madrid again. These backwater outposts in the New World, while not without their charms, could not hold a candle to the civility of Spain herself.

He could hardly believe his eyes when the deckhands had loaded the holds of the Pata del Tigre. The list of goods staggered the imagination. Bolts of the finest Chinese silks, several tons of silver, exotic jade carvings, and jewelry. Just how Count Eladio had managed to acquire all this wealth was something he did not want to think about, but he had his suspicions. Considering the shipment of British East India Company Opium that mysteriously vanished between India and China was too much of a coincidence to ignore.

His reverie was interrupted as a couple walked into the tavern, his goblet of Sangria held halfway between his lips and the table. While the man was nothing out of the ordinary, save for the fact that he was a French pig, the woman on his arms was nothing short of stunning.

Her white skin fairly glowed in the dim light of the tavern. Her golden hair cascaded down around her shoulders in a glory of loose curls that accentuated her high cheekbones, and large striking blue eyes. The crimson red dress that she wore showed her finely chiseled curves off to a nearly exotic degree that a man would have to been dead not to notice. In fact he thought that even the dead would notice so fine a woman. Damn these French. What ever else you could say about them, the did have the Devil’s own luck when it came to women.

Covertly he watched as she folded the matching parasol she carried over her shoulder and sat down in the chair the French seaman held for her. He must have come from the new ship that docked this morning. The one that had a run in with pirates while sailing back from Brazil. Probably their captain from the look of him. A good thing they had warded off the attack, or hid her well. Pirates would have sold a beauty like her on the Barbary coast for a very tidy sum indeed.

They sat in total self absorbsion, seeing nothing but each other, and Carlos had just begun to wonder how it would be to hold such a prize in his own arms at night when the second woman entered the tavern. Every bit as gorgeous as the blond, the dusky hued picture of African womanhood scanned her surroundings then made directly for the two lovers. This was too much! Two women of equal beauty intent on a single man?! No one deserved to be this lucky, but it did seem the price was due for his luck.

“There you are Francois de Marigny!” She fairly screamed at the stunned lovers. “This is what you left our bed for??! This is what you threw away six years for??! Why she is as pale as something that crawled out from under a rotting log!!!!”

“How dare you, you savage!” The blond stood up with such force her chair slid a few feet away before upending. “At least he is now bedding a human being instead of a stinking ape who should still be swinging from a tree in the jungle!!!”

The dark skinned flower stared at the other with open mouthed shock, then hurled herself at her replacement, screaming in rage. “I’ll rip that golden hair from your head, belch!”

The blond beauty leapt at her attacker with equal ferocity. “I’ll tear your eyes out, Whore!!”

Only the tall Frenchman leaping to his feet between them prevented an all out bloody catfight. As it was he took several blows himself from the two women who did all they could to reach around his body in the attempt to get at each other with clawing hands and kicking feet. In the end a mighty shove to the African girl ended the standoff as she landed on her rump, looking up at her former lover in shock.

“I told you! I am done with you, Jaquie! Fini!!” The Frenchman bellowed at the wide eyed girl looking up at him with tears in her huge brown eyes. “I wish to never see you again!”

“Come, Cheri. Let us take our amusement elsewhere.” This last to the blond as they strode past the dark woman who’s tears slid silently down her face, until they left. She then covered her face and gave voice to the sobs that wracked her sweet body. Shrugging off all attempts at comfort from the several other men who witnessed the argument.

Juan Carlos smiled inwardly, perhaps he would not spend his last night in port alone after all. Slowly he rose from his table and crossed the few feet to where the lovely mocha hued girl sat weeping.

“Pardon my intrusion, My Lady. I am Captain Juan Carlos of the El Pata del Tigre.” He spoke softly, his voice dripping honey. “Perhaps I may be of assistance?” He extended his hand to her.

For a moment the raven haired black girl seemed on the verge of ignoring him as well, then her hands slowly dropped from her tear stained eyes and she looked up into his. “So you may break my heart as well?” She asked in a voice choked with emotion.

“Never, Senorita.” He replied as gently as he could. “We Spanish are not so fickle as the French.”

For a moment she looked him up and down, weighing his words. Then she softly took his hand and allowed him to help her to her feet. “Perhaps you are right, Captain. I’ve nothing to lose at this point save my loneliness.”

“Come. Share my table and some wine with me.” Juan gestured back to his table. “We should get to know each other better, Senorita…..??”

“Jacqueline. Jacqueline Villard” Her sparkling white smile ignited the flames of lust in him. “I think I would like that.”

Outside the tavern, no more than a block away, Andre and Caesaire almost sat in the street with their laughter. Soon Francois and Etienne joined them.

“I take it all was successful?” Etienne grinned.

“Oui!” Andre chuckled. “I do think my shins will be sore by morning though.”

“I am so sorry, Mon Cher.” Caesaire hugged him close. “But you did say we should make it look as real as possible.”

“And you did so to perfection, Mon Amore!” He grinned gently kissing her forehead.

“So, now what, Mon Capitaine?” Francois asked.

“Now you and Etienne will keep an eye on the two of them. When you hear Jaquie give that trilling war cry of hers, come to get me. Caesaire and I will not be far away from either of you.” Andre grinned. “Then we will finish this little play, and the Galleon will be all but ours.”

“Knowing Jaquie, I hope he does not get too bold with her.” Francois grimaced. “Or the Captain of that Galleon may sail off sans his family’s jewels!”

The four of them burst into laughter.

Post by: Welsh Wench on May 11, 2008, 03:53:27 PM
Reply author: Welsh Wench

Captain Juan Carlos signaled for the tavern wench.
"Mi dulce, por favor nos trae una botella de su mejor Madeira."
Jacqui sat back and quietly dabbed her eyes.
Juan Carlos fumed, "These French pigs! Always taking and taking and taking! And now this one has taken another in your place. Mi querido, how he has hurt you!"
Juan Carlos carefully wiped the tear from her cheek.
Jacqui let her lower lip tremble.
"And for that..that puta!"
Juan Carlos raised his eyebrow. 'If there are whores in this port that are that beautiful, then I have been frequenting the wrong taverns.'

He asked, "And where did you meet that French dog? I should think a woman of your calibre and beauty would be above such a man. Did I hear you right when you said you had given him six years?"
Jacqui nodded and let another tear slip down her face. "Si. He was my first lover. My only lover! He would see me whenever he was in port. We--we were to sail to the New World together and he was going to marry me! Give our two children a name to be proud of."

Juan Carlos slammed his fist down on the table. "Puerco!" He took Jacqui's hand. "That is criminal. If that--that man were on my ship, he should be flogged for his treatment of such a lovely flower. And a lovely flower such as yourself should not be plucked and thrown out. You deserve much better."
Jacqui nodded. "You are very chivalrous. Very kind to me. Such a handsome man, I feel honoured."

Jacqui could see that Juan Carlos thought himself to be suave. 'This would be easier than originally planned,' she thought.
Juan Carlos smiled and said, "More Madeira?"
Jacqui held her goblet out.
"As long as you continue to drink with me, I shall be fine."

Caesaire and Andre walked down the street, leaving Francois and Etienne to go inside El Gallego and watch covertly as Jacqui plied the captain with more wine and charm than he could handle.
"Cher, let's go in here to at least book our room."
"But, Andre, wouldn't it be better to stay on the ship tonight?"
He drew her close and whispered, "Mais non. Here we will be alone and have some time to ourselves. Francois and Etienne will head back to the ship. But first Jacqui will find the direction and time that the galleon is leaving port. Men like Captain Carlos are always willing to impress beautiful women."
At this Caesaire felt a bit miffed but tried not to show it.
"You think she is beautiful?"
Andre tried to keep a straight face but a small smile played upon his lips.
"Ma petite, since we were children, I was in love with you. You were made for me, my Caesaire. And I for you. The fates have brought us together and we shall not be parted again."
She touched his hair and rested her head on his chest. "I was in love with you ever since I was a little girl, Andre. And to think I thought I would never see you again."
He lifted her head and whispered, "You are mine, mon amour, for all eternity. But now we have to take care of business. Our whole future is riding on this venture."
She sighed and snuggled closer into his arms.
"C'est vrai. But Andre, one small favor?"
"I can deny you nothing, Caesaire."
She looked up into his eyes and with a mischievous smile, she declared, "I get first choice of the silks!"
He laughed and said merrily, "I shall personally wrap you in them!"
She kissed him fully on the lips and said, "As long as you also exercise the option to unwrap, too!"
He hugged her closely and said, "Oui, cher. As long as Jacqui can work her charm and find what we need to know!"

Reply author: Blackjack Roberts

Jacqueline gave Juan Carlos one of her most sensuous smiles as she tipped the goblet to her full lips. If this Spanish dog thought to get her drunk with this watery fruit drink he was sadly mistaken. She had held her own with many a seasoned pirate in rum drinking contests, and won most of them. This flavored water was weaker than grog, and as such would have little effect on her senses. Not that she was about to let him know that.

“You are so kind to me, Juan.” She allowed her speech to come out slightly slurred. “Nothing like Francois in the past few weeks.”

Etienne nudged Francois. “You are famous, Mon Ami.” He whispered, taking care that none other heard him. “It would seem the captain has used your name for his cover.” François rolled his eyes to the ceiling.

“This de Marigny is truly a fool to throw aside such a beautiful woman as yourself, Señorita.” The captain of the Pata del Tigre smiled.

Francois brightened and whispered back. “It would seem we are both famous, Mon Frere. Andre has appropriated both our names for his cover.”

Etienne shook his head, grinning. “As he has always said, Mon Ami. The closer one stays to the truth, the easier to remember the lie. So what is Jaquie’s signal that she has the information we need?”

“Remember that trilling war cry she uses when taking a ship?” Francois said.

“The one that sounds like someone is strangling the cat while pulling it’s tail?” Etienne frowned. “She’ll be heard all the way back to New Orleans.”

“Not this time, Frere.” His lifelong friend winked. “She will use a much lighter version. Then we go to fetch Andre.”

“And hope his britches are still on.” de Marigny chuckled. Francois nearly spit his rum across the bar.

Juan looked his conquest over intently, knowing that he would have to be slow and gentile if he hoped to claim this prize before he left for Spain. Perhaps he would visit her again in a couple of years, but for now there was only tonight to consider. All he would have to do is find a way to impress her enough. Women were usually drawn to wealth and power. Maybe he should make her a promise to return for her and take her to Spain.

“So, Senorita Jacqueline, if you do not mind my asking again. How did you come to be involved with that deckhand?” He smiled his most sympathetic smile while refilling her goblet.

“Please, call me Jaquie.” Her warm brown eyes set his desire on edge with their innocent gaze. “Francois isn’t a deckhand. He is a captain as well, Captain Carlos. He commands a merchant vessel from New Orleans.”

Juan Carlos laughed aloud for a moment. “The new ship in port that had a run in with pirates, I take it? And please, Jaquie, Call me Juan.”

“Why, yes….Juan. That is the one.” Jaquie let another tear slide down her sepia cheek and trembled her lower lip a little. “He is a very important man in New Orleans. Very wealthy. We were to be married there.”

Carlos chuckled again. “I am sorry, Jaquie, I do not mean to laugh. This French dog has played you for a fool. While merchant sailors do make a fair living, he is certainly not wealthy. I myself am commander of a whole fleet of ships for a very wealthy aristocrat in Spain. Count Eladio. Why I would venture to guess that I am paid more in a month than your unfaithful lover makes in a year.”

Jacqueline brightened immediately at his words, giving him every impression of an infatuated woman. “So much? Even for a country as rich as Spain is said to be, how can this be?”

“Because I am no mere merchant, Senorita.” Captain Juan Carlos grinned, puffing up with his own self importance. “I am trusted to make special voyages on behalf of the Count. Many of which I cannot tell you.”

Jacqueline’s brow furrowed slightly. “Oh….I see. Well, I must thank you for your kindness, Captain Carlos, but I shouldn’t take you from your duties.” She began to rise as if to leave.

“Please, Jaquie.” Juan Carlos hurriedly moved to recover himself and his prize. “I did not mean to make you feel untrusted. I am currently on a mission from the Count. A very delicate one. If you will honor me by staying, I will share with you some of this one.”

“Would you?!” Jaquie squealed like a school girl as she hurriedly sat back down.

“Si,” The amorous captain whispered. “But you must swear to keep it to yourself, and I can only reveal to you as much as my own crew knows.”

She reached over and placed one hand over his. “Just knowing that you think enough of me to trust me will be enough.” She sighed huskily.

“Very well.” He smiled, feeling the heat of lust rise within him at her soft touch. Madre de Deios, the woman all but breathed sexuality. Perhaps he would keep her after all. “I am currently carrying a cargo of wealth from the Orient for the Count. The shear value of which I will receive one fifth. That payment alone would buy your former lover’s ship thrice over.”

Juan grinned in satisfaction as he watched her eyes widen. “So much!” Jaquie feigned surprise. Aren’t you afraid of pirates?!”

“Not in the least.” He sat back smugly. “No one else knows of the cargo, and I plan on taking a route that none will suspect. We are also well armed.”

“But the pirates regularly sail these waters from here to the Bahamas!” She whispered, pretending concern. “Surely there is no route they do not sail.”

Juan Carlos laughed. “They sail the waters of trade in between here and the Americas, Pretty One. They will never expect us to sail below the islands, as it takes too long for merchant vessels to return to Europe. It is too far out of the way for most, so we will make use of it, and come north a few miles below the Canary Islands for supplies.”

“You are so clever, Juan.” Jaquie gushed. “But what of me? Will you sail off to leave me all alone once you are done with me?” A small quiver to her lips gave him the impression she was about to break into sobs again.

The Captain of El Pata del Tigre gently touched her cheek reassuringly. “I swear on my honor that should you consent to be my woman, I will return for you and take you to Spain with me.”

It was all she needed to hear. Jacqueline threw her head back and let out a trilling cry of triumph that turned more than one eye in their direction. Juan Carlos poured her another glass of wine, secure in the knowledge that he would not sleep alone this night. Unnoticed by him two of the many sailors soon left the tavern, as he turned to continue his conquest of this African beauty.

After a few moments he looked up and scowled. The French captain had returned without the stunning blond he had left with. He scanned the tavern and spotted Jacqueline with him. Without a moment’s hesitation he walked straight over to their table.

“Jaquie.” He begged. “Please forgive me, Mon amore. I have been the fool! It is you I love! You I can not live without! For the sake of our children I beg your forgiveness!”

“What of your new lover, Francois?” The ebony goddess cocked one eyebrow in the pleading Frenchman’s direction.

“She was unfaithful to me, My Darling!” He pleaded miserably. “She was having an affair with the first mate the whole time. They have left with all they could carry and are no where to be found. I realize now that only you truly loved me.”

To Juan Carlos’ shock she rose into his arms. “Of course I will, My Love. I will never forsake you.”

Juan Carlos bolted from his seat in outrage, only to find himself staring down the barrel of the flintlock pistol the Frenchman had pulled from his belt with blinding speed. The Spanish captain’s hands rose in front of him palm outward, as the French dog backed for the door, Jaquie in tow. “I’ll thank you to leave us alone, Monsieur.” He growled. “This is a privet matter between my fiancée and me.”

Juan Carlos stood red faced for a moment, then sat back down with a mixture of disgust and amusement. He could not afford to draw too much attention to himself with the cargo he carried, and no matter how lovely the woman he could not afford to get himself shot over her. Even after all he had put her through she had still ran back to that pig in the blink of an eye. Damn, but no one deserved to be as lucky as these French were when it came to women.

Once outside Andre and Jaquie grinned at each other, and ran for the room he and Caesaire had rented a few blocks away. “We were going to spend the night here, Jaquie, but now that I think about it we may all be better off aboard Le Faucon. It will be easier to keep an eye on the Galleon there, and harder for that pig to seek revenge if he is so inclined.” Andre said as they made for the hotel.

“I agree.” Jaquie grinned. “And it should make Francois most uncomfortable.” She added with a mischievous laugh.

Reply author: Welsh Wench

Caesaire smoothed out the sheets and the candles were lit. A bottle of wine sat on the small table in the room. Opening up the French doors that overlooked the cove, she inhaled the sweet smell of the island flowers. She smiled to as she heard Andre's footsteps outside the door. He opened the door and to her surprise Jacqui was with him.

He grinned when he saw Caesaire and drew her close to him.
"We did it, cher! Or rather Jacqui did it! She got the information out of the pompous captain as to the route they are taking!"
Andre reached over and hugged Jacqui. Caesaire said with a forced smile, "How wonderful she was able to do that!"
Andre said triumphantly, "I couldn't have done it without her. Or you, ma petite."
Jacqui squeezed Andre's hand. "And the booty is as well as ours!"
Andre turned to Caesaire, "We need to make haste and stay on the ship tonight. We have to keep an eye on the Galleon."
Caesaire said nothing and turned her head. "As it should be, Andre."
Jacqui looked at Caesaire and then to the bottle of wine and the bed turned down.
"Perhaps I should gather my things and meet you at Le Faucon, Andre."
She subtly pointed to Caesaire and then the wine and Andre said, "I shall see you there in about an hour, Jacqui. And thank you."

As Jacqui left the room, Andre turned to Caesaire and drew her close to her.
"Ah, mon amour. Are you alright?"
Caesaire said quietly, "Andre, I was wanting to spend a night with you on shore. No crew, just you and me."
Andre frowned. "But, mon amour, we need to be at the ready in case plans change. The future--our future--lies with the capture of this ship."
He reached for the bottle of wine and uncorked it.
Caesaire said with determination, "I happen to be a pirate captain myself, Andre. I am well aware of what it takes to capture a ship. And I am every bit as savvy as Captain Villard."

Andre stopped suddenly from pouring the wine.
"Oui, Andre?"
"Are you jealous of Jacqui?"
"Jealous? I am NOT jealous! I just...just wanted some time with you. Andre, we have found each other again. Is it a crime to want to spend as much time as I can with you?"
Andre handed her a glass of wine. "Of course not, ma petite. But we have a job to do and it has to be done with split-second timing. One little mistake and the prize slips from our grasp. And all our plans are for naught, Cher."
She took the wine and nodded. "I understand, Andre. But could you not send Francois and Etienne with Jacqui to the ship? They will know where we are and if there is a change of plans, they could come get us.
Her hands snaked around his neck and she pulled him closer to her. Her breath was warm on his neck as she nuzzled him.
Andre felt the heat rise in him and his lips sought hers. When they broke ever so slightly apart, he whispered, "Why can I not say no to you, mon amour? Even when you were a child, you could bend me to your will."
She snuggled deeper into his embrace and said softly, "I am not a child anymore, mon cher."
He picked her up and carried her to the bed. "As well I know."

Just then there was a knock on the door.
"Merde!" Andre muttered.
Francois and Etienne were standing at the door when Andre opened it.
"Oui, mes freres?"
Francois spoke in a low voice, "We are heading to the ship now and we came to see if everything was alright?"
Andre ran his fingers through his hair. "Oui. But Caesaire and I have decided to stay ashore tonight. Keep watch on the Galleon. Any sign she is ready to move out, send for me immediately.
As of right now, Jacqui Villard is the one to answer to."
Francois' voice registered alarm. "Jacqui?"
"Oui. She will be on the ship waiting and watching. So she will be in charge. A problem with that, Francois?"
Francois put on a false bravado. "Mais non, mon capitain." He shifted from foot to foot slightly.
"Bien. Then I shall see you in the morning. Bon soir, mes freres."

And the door practically shut in their faces.
Etienne tried not to laugh at Francois. "So.....will you be alright?"
Francois nodded miserably, "Oui. As long as sharp objects are kept away from Captain Villard."
Etienne clapped him on the shoulder, "Do not worry. I shall be there to protect your honour!"
Francois punched him playfully in the ribs. "I shall be counting on it, mon cousin! Otherwise you shall be explaining to Tante Josephine why her son is speaking soprano!"
They laughed as they headed towards the ship.

The story will resume shortly.

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on May 12, 2008, 12:00:07 AM
Andre turned into the room to suddenly find his childhood love in his arms. Tenderly he enwrapped her lithe form closer to him, all thoughts of the awaiting Galleon driven from his mind as Caesaire filled his every thought as much as his limbs.

“Forgive me, Cheri.” He whispered softly into her golden tresses. “In the heat of the moment….” He drew her as close to him as he could without hurting her.

“There is nothing to forgive, Mon Amore.” She whispered back, snuggling her cheek against the bare flesh of his chest where his shirt parted. The warmth of her breath sending goose flesh up Andre’s spine. “It was an exciting adventure, to say the least…..and it’s nice to know I could have made a living upon the stage, had I chose to do so.”

“In all the time I have known you, Mon Cher,” Andre raised her chin softly to look into her eyes. “I have never doubted that there is nothing you could not do should you wish to.”

For a moment Caesaire’s deep blue eyes sparkled from the praise, then her soft lips sought his with all the passion of a woman deeply in love. Then She felt his arm behind her knees as he lifted her into his arms. She lay her head on his shoulder and nuzzled his neck as he carried her back to the waiting bed.

Jacqui stood at the port side of Le Faucon de Mer, her right leg on the rail exposing her shapely brown thigh and by design the razor sharp dagger she kept sheathed there. Every once in a while watching Francois’s discomfort from the displayed weapon with glee from the corner of her eye.

“Mon Dieu!” He whispered to his cousin. “Will the woman never forget my faux pas?!”

Etienne slapped his cousin warmly on the back. “Try not to take it so personally, Ami.” he grinned. “She’s just playing with you. You know well Andre would never let her carry out her old threat.”

“Aye.” John Hubbard joined them. “I think, in her own way, she rather likes you, Lad.”

“I think I would be a fool to put that to the test, John.” Francois replied glumly.

“Well, if it bothers ye that much, I’ve a few bottles of rum yet that could help ya to forget for the night.” Hubbard winked.

“Rum you say?” The liquid Jamaican accent floated over to Andre’s three best friends. “Let’s post the first watch and celebrate our good luck as well says I.” The piratess’s gleaming white smile all but glowed in the twilight as she lowered her foot back to the polished wood of the deck and the dagger slid from view.

Francois’s eyes shot heavenward for a moment, and his hands involuntarily edged toward his nether region. A act that did not escape the African beauty’s notice as she chuckled heartily. “Don’t worry, I promise not to bare my claws if you promise to keep your paws to yourself my randy little dog.”

“You have no worries there,  Mademoiselle!” Francois almost shouted, his voice slightly higher than his normal tone. “I assure you my libido is fully under control where you are concerned, Madam Jacqui!”

“Good!” Jacqueline walked towards the door to the lower decks, putting more swing into her hips than was necessary. “Then let’s get moving. We waste good drinking time!”

“Dear God!” Francois breathed. “That woman will be the death of me yet.”

“Aye,” John Hubbard watched hungrily. “it’s a damn pity that treasure be out of reach, Mates.” He shook his head wistfully. “It’d almost be worth the risk.”

“That’s what you think, Ami John!” Francois said sourly. “I assure you, it is not!”

“Ah well,” Etienne chuckled. “Let’s get the watch posted and make nice with our temporary captain. Soon we will all be rich and then we can put our real plans into motion.”

Francois brightened at the thought. “Oui!” He grinned broadly. “I look forward to life as a New Orleans aristocrat.”

“You look forward to an endless supply of adoring femmes, Mon Cousin.” Etienne grinned wickedly.

“Guilty as charged!” Francois laughed. “And I shall make damn sure they all like men!”

Caesaire rested her head on Andre’s chest, just above his heart, listening as the beat slowed to something more normal than the rapid staccato beat their love making had driven it to. Her soft fingertips idly tracing gentile patterns on his well muscled torso in her contentment. Lost for the moment in her feelings for him.


“Oui, Ma Cheri?”

“What happened between you an Jean?”

For a moment she felt him tense beneath her fingers, then he relaxed and drew in a deep breath, releasing it slowly before replying. “A few months after Sebastian told me that your father had sent you away to the Colonies I signed aboard One of Jean’s ships as a cabin boy. The Hazard.”

Caesaire lifted her head, resting her chin on his chest as he continued while he stared at the ceiling. “Her captain was Garnier Depaul, as fine a captain, and as fine a pirate as there ever was. He taught me everything I know about commanding a pirate ship.”

“Soon I was knowledgeable enough, and skilled enough to become a full fledged member of the crew. Then during a raid on a small Spanish town near Panama, our quartermaster was killed in a fight with a pursuing Spanish frigate. Without thinking I began to give orders in his stead. Whether by luck or skill I do not know, Cheri, but we won and the first mate nominated me quartermaster. The rest of the crew, drunk with victory agreed.”

“Between the three of us we took more prizes than the rest of Jean’s fledgling fleet combined. Jean soon took notice of me and we became fast friends. He often talked of giving me my own command in a few years. Then Jean got it into his head that dealing in men would be a more honorable profession. We are Pirates, damn it! Not filthy traders in human flesh!”

“He began to strip down his ships to make room for slaves. Soon most of his fleet had become little more than cargo vessels. You can not imagine the stench. He kept a few of us to take more ships for him to haul slaves with. One day we had taken a sleek new British Frigate. A true work of beauty. I knew I had to have her, and that I would never captain a stinking slave ship for Jean.”

“Along with the first mate, and my two closest friends of the crew, we talked over half the crew into taking the frigate for our own, and being pirates. Not slavers. We mutinied and took the ship re-naming her “Le Faucon de Mer”. The Seahawk. The only regret was the look of betrayal in Garnier Depaul’s eyes as we sailed away with Le Faucon.”

Caesaire Thought for a long moment, then her eyes widened. “That would mean….”

“Oui.” Andre grinned at her finally tearing his eyes away from the visions of the past. “It was John, Etienne, Francois, and I that started the mutiny. Jean and I have been at odds ever since.”

“All I can tell you, Aaron, is what I myself learned shortly after arriving.” Benjamin le Renard was becoming weary of repeating himself. “Le Faucon de Mer set sail the morning before my arrival and as far as anyone knows is now anchored in Nassau.”

“And what good does that do for our time table?!” Burr shot back his face reddening with his mounting anger. “If New Orleans is ever to become more than just another providence she must become her own master! Our timing must be precise and Andre plays a key part in that plan!”

“So playing him against Lafitte to take control of Barataria is that important to your plan to make New Orleans an independent state?” Renard played ignorant.

“Of course!” Aaron Burr was nearly apoplectic. “Who ever controls that island can choke off the mouth of the river to all sea traffic. Not a single war ship could get through unscathed if Lafitte wished it so. We would be far better off with our own man controlling the island. Lafitte is too unpredictable to trust.”

“Well you know you have my backing.” Renard smiled as he slid the bulky envelope over to Burr. “Andre will return on time. You’ll see.”
“I certainly hope you are right.” Burr slipped the package into his coat and rose to leave. “You know where I am staying. Let me know as soon as you have word from Andre.”

Benjamin smiled to himself. That all Aaron Burr really wanted was to make himself ruler of New Orleans and was pushing his secessionist agenda as a means to that end didn’t surprise him in the least. What Burr didn’t know was that Renard had similar plans and more than a few secrets to aid him in accomplishing that goal.

He had not bothered to tell Burr about Lafitte’s former lover and partner sailing off with Beaudouin. An interesting turn of events to be certain. Especially since her own ship had vanished the night before, and the watch murdered. Then the story of her racing half naked down the pier to jump in and swim after the sailing ship. And, if he recalled correctly, Andre diving off the side of his own ship to swim out to her. Caesaire Trosclair could well be the Achilles heel of Andre Beaudouin, and that was something he had long waited to find.
Post by: Welsh Wench on May 15, 2008, 03:23:45 PM
Andre arose to open the French doors that led to a courtyard in the inn that he had taken for him and Caesaire. The perfume from the tropical flowers filled the night air. He looked out to see a full moon rise over an indigo sky.
He inhaled deeply the night air and wondered if he could be any happier. His ship was safely berthed, he was about to take the prize he set his sights on and the woman he loved was in his bed.
"Andre? Come back to bed. You shall catch your death of a cold."
He turned to look at her, his heart bursting with his love for her. How could he have been so fortunate as to find her once again? Although he had a feeling she had found him. Whatever, they were back together.
He gave her a smile as he came back to bed. She put her arms around him and drew him close to her.
"Captain Beaudouin,  you take my breath away!"
He touched her cheek with the back of his hand and said in a soft voice, "And now there is something that I must ask you, my petite."
She gave him a soft kiss on his hand and then said, "As you wish, my Andre."
"Did you love Drausin D'Estrehan?"
The question caught her suddenly.Her brow furrowed as she asked, "What brought him up, cher?"
Andre gently held her and asked in a voice that held not only a need to know, but one that may be afraid of the answer. He held her face between his hands and said in all seriousness, "I need to know."
Caesaire took a deep breath and said, "No. I didn't love him."
He kissed her lips tenderly and said, "That is all I need to know, mon amour."
She took his hands away from her face. "Andre, I never loved anyone but you. And I never will."
"May I ask how you met him?"
"You mean, considering that I am a pirate. Piratess...oh, let's just call me a privateer-ess!"
Andre nodded but his face reflected something....jealousy?
Andre realized at a young age that he was not of the same social standing as Sebastian and Caesaire. They were of Creole society. Their fathers were of the aristocrats. His mother was a housekeeper for Sebastian's family. Although Andre was never looked down on, he knew that he was not of their sort. No debutante balls, no Quadroon balls and no plantation barbeques upriver for him.
He had made his own way and he was disdainful of the plantation dandies with their fancy manners. What did they know about having to scrap out a living?
Caesaire curled up next to Andre. He put his arm around her and she wrapped hers around him.
"I met him at a barbeque last year. I had come back from Barataria where I had spent the winter with....." here she hesitated, "..Jean. Father had a cold that hung on and word was sent to me I needed to return home. Tante Isabelle was afraid he would not be with us much longer but he pulled through."
"Monsieur Trosclair always was a tough bird, cher."
"I think Tante Isabelle used it as an excuse to have me come home. You know how she never accepted the fact that I was moving 'merchandise' through the docks. Even though it was high-class silks and perfume and finery."
"Ah, you know what the women in New Orleans want."
"Precisely! Jean wouldn't know peau de soie from burlap. That is why he didn't really care as long as I gave him ten percent. I think it amused him but I made him accept the pecentage to keep it as business and not as some sort of 'amusement' for him. I truly was a successful businesswoman and I...."
Andre had put his finger to her lips."My precious...Drausin?"
He knew he didn't want to hear anything but not knowing would have pained him more."
He had to know that she was completely his.
Body, heart and soul.

She gently twisted Andre's hair around her finger and ever so gently drew his face close to hers. The sweet scent of her filled his every senses. She closed her eyes, smiling, and rubbed her nose against his.
He took her face in his hands and tenderly stroked her cheek with his finger, trailing down to her mouth. She playfully sucked on his finger.
"Cher.....please. We shall be completely honest with each other."
Caesaire sighed and rolled over on her back, looking up at the canopy of the bed.  Andre propped himself up on his elbow and traced his finger down her neck and southwards.
"Is it really important, mon amour? He is in the  past."
Andre nodded. "Oui, cher."
He didn't really want to know the details but he learned from Jean to keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. He had to know more about his rival.
Caesaire took his hand and drew it away from her. "My darling, if you want to know, then as much as this pains me, you must keep your hands to yourself. Drausin?"
"Oui. Drausin."
"Drausin's family has a sugar plantation in St Charles Parish. Sebastien is courting his sister Solange and he invited me to 'tag along' as he put it. It was the first I had seen Sebastian since I was sent away and then ran off to sea. He said, 'Old habits die hard, cher, so you may as well come along. Oh, I know Andre won't be there...'
I asked him where you were and he said you went into the merchant business in the Caribbean. I thought for sure you were in the import/export business!"
Andre laughed and pushed her hair back. "Please continue."
"As I said, it was a barbeque with a formal ball in the evening to celebrate the harvesting of the sugar cane. They have a lovely plantation home and a ballroom with a marble floor and French doors leading to a veranda and then steps leading down to another brick courtyard and---"
"Caesaire, enough with describing the house. You are delaying the inevitable."
She rolled toward him and propped herself up on her elbow too. Running her finger up and down his arm sent shivers down his spine.
"Drausin was introduced to me and after that he didn't leave my side. He has a law office down on Toulouse Street by the wharf. He oversees alot of accounts for the  River people. Rice, sugar and cotton goes through his brokerage even though he is a lawyer. We, um, started up a relationship that night. Andre, I swear there was never any real love there. It was just to fill a need and I never stopped loving you."
"But he thought he was going to marry you."
She sighed. "Yes, he did. He was going to ask my father for my hand. Solange told me. Oh, she was so excited at the thought that I would be a D'Estrehan!"
Andre looked deeply into her eyes and said, "And now?"
She touched his face and said softly, her voice filled with love for him, "And now that I have known real passion and love, I shall never let it go. Never let you go. Andre, I shall always be your woman. And I shall make sure that you shall crave no other. I shall be all that you need.
All that you ever want. Just to wake up next to you and knowing that you shall be at my side. And when the night comes, that we shall be as one."
Andre's voice grew husky with his desire for her. Drawing her close, he whispered, "Je t'aime, my darling Caesaire," as his hand gently pulled the sheet away from her and gazed on her.

Andre and Caesaire were like two people who had been dying of thirst and never knew it until they drank from the well of their souls.
The moon had risen and they were still locked in love for each other, niether knowing or caring if the world was crashing outside their door.
They had each other and that was enough for them.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on May 20, 2008, 09:19:45 PM
Jacqueline, John, Etienne, and Francois sat at the polished Oak table nailed in the center of the Quartermaster’s cabin. A single oil lantern waved languidly with the steady rock of the ship in her moorings, bathing the center in the only light as it hung from it’s peg above. Four pewter tankards slammed together beneath, slightly sloshing their contents with the ringing clash.

“TAKE WHAT YE CAN! GIVE NOTHING BACK!” Four voices exclaimed loudly in unison.

Francois sat opposite from Jaquie, and it was by no accident that they had the most distance between them. Two empty rum bottles kept company with a third that was well on its way to joining it’s brethren. A small silver platter held a few smoldering butts from the cigars that left a wavy layer of smoke in the air above their heads. Jaquie grinned above the cards she held, a fresh black tobacco cigar held in her teeth.

“So, Dogs, which one a ya is got the stomach at see me?” The Jamaican beauty laughed. “It’ll cost ya twenty silver.”

“I am in.” Francois grinned, counting out twenty silver coins from his stack and tossing them into the pile in the table’s center.

“Aye!” Nodded John, tossing his own bet into the pot. “And I’ll raise ye ten more!”

“Merde!” Etienne threw his cards into the pile. “She is too rich for my blood, Amis.”

“Nothing again, eh, Mate?” John winked.

“A lousy pair, and both of them deuces!” de Marigny groused, draining his tankard then reaching for the bottle.

“So, what do you think?” Jaquie took the cigar from her mouth and looked at the men each in turn.

“About what, Captain Villard?” John stared at his hand.

“Andre.” She lay her cards face down on the table. “The three of you know as well as I that he has never let a woman this close to him. I had heard she was once the woman of Jean Lafitte. Could she still be working with him? A trick to get to Andre?”

“Yer drunk, Jaquie.” John chuckled.

“As are we all.” The dusky piratess shot back. “Ye know as well as I that Rum can bring truth. What do you lot think?”

Francois set his cards down, quickly followed by the quartermaster. “Very well.” He said. “We have thought of that. Especially once we were made aware of her true identity.”

“True identity?” Jaquie echoed.

“When she first came to us she gave her name as 'Isabelle Valcour'.” John spoke solemnly. “When we learned her name was actually Caesaire Trosclair we did some discreet digging behind Andre’s back. She was at one time involved with Lafitte. She cut ties with him around the same time we mutinied. It could be a coincidence.”

“John voiced our concerns as delicately as he could after the skirmish we had with a ship that was shadowing us.” Etienne continued. “Andre was vehement in his defense of the mademoiselle. We accept his judgment….for the moment.”

“Then so will I.” Jacqueline scowled. “For the moment.”

“Why, Jaquie.” Francois just drunk enough teased slightly. “You sound almost jealous.”

In a flash that startled the three men at the table, Francois more than the rest, Jacqueline drew and buried her dagger in the table top. “I’ll tell you dogs a secret that none other knows, and if I ever hear it again I’ll cut all your tongues out and sew ‘em to your privets!”

The statuesque woman drew a deep breath. “Andre is the only man I ever considered giving myself to willingly, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let any she dog harm him….no matter how pretty.” She looked down, staring at the table top. “I tried the night of the duel.”

Jaquie’s cheeks began to glow with a pinkish undertone. “I got him stinking drunk, and did everything short of outright rape to get him to ask me…….The bastard ignored me!!!!”

Francois fell backwards with the chair from shock. “If I had known, I would have braved that duel!”

The cabin roared with the collective laughter. “Get your arse back up here and finish the hand, my randy little dog!” Jaquie choked with laughter. “Before we all grow too old to plunder!”
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on May 29, 2008, 05:58:46 PM
Soft orange light from several open windows colored the bluish purple haze of night. Light cooling breezes flowed lazily across the small balcony of Caesaire and Andre’s room, rustling the fronds of the many palm trees that remained in the township. A small patch of the ocean visible through the buildings at the end of the near vacant street.

Andre half leaned, half sat on the ornate ironwork railing, one arm around Caesaire, the other cradling her head against his chest. She snuggled her back closer to his bare chest and laced her fingers through his as it lay idle on her belly. Her other hand lay on the doe skin of his britches, her fingertips tracing random patterns gently above his knee. Content in the feel of his bare flesh touching hers where she had allowed the sheet she was wrapped in to slide down her back.


“Oui, Cherie?” He turned his head from the ribbon of light the full moon had painted on the ocean surface, and lay his cheek tenderly on her head.

“Of all the women you must have met, was there not one that brought out feelings in you?” She asked innocently.

Andre smiled gently against her head. “I paid for all my women, Cher.” He half whispered. “I will tell you a secret that none but I know. Not even my crew.”

Andre lifted his head as Caesaire slowly turned in his arms to face him. His hands insured that her thin sheet stayed in place before drawing her closer to himself again. “And what would that be, Amoureux?”

“When I thought I had lost you, I found that I could never love another woman.” He looked deeply into her eyes. “I could make love with them, but they were nothing. A poor substitute for the love I thought gone forever.”

Caesaire pressed closer laying her head on his chest as they both gazed out at the sea. “Le plus cher, I know that Jacqueline prefers women for her pleasures, but there is something more there. I am a woman, and I know there is something more to her relationship with you.”

She felt his chest vibrate as he attempted to hold back a chuckle. “There is, Cheri, but not what you would expect. The night of the duel, when we went to Jaquie’s ship, she did offer herself to me. In her own fashion. I pretended to be ignorant of her intentions.”


“Because if I would have offered her gold for a night with her…..She would have made a woman of ME!!!” The two lovers laughed so hard they had to sit on the floor of the small balcony.

“But you would not have had to offer her gold, Cher.” Caesaire finally choked out once she could catch her breath.

One bejeweled hand gently raised her chin to meet his dead serious eyes again. “Oui, Cheri. I would have had to offer her gold. You are the only woman beyond price to me.” Softly he lowered his lips to hers.
Post by: Welsh Wench on May 30, 2008, 08:24:09 PM
Caesaire met his eyes with a passion that matched his own. She stepped back and held her hand out to Andre. He put his hand in hers and she turned and led him to the bed.
Lips touching lips, skin touching skin....they could not get their fill of each other.
The morning light found them still wrapped in their passion's embrace but deep in slumber. The  sweet scent of the tropical flowers filled their room as the breeze gently blew the lace curtains inward.
Slowly Andre opened his eyes. He had not felt this content in his entire life. And as soon as they took the Pata del Tigre,  his life would be complete and he'd be rich beyond his wildest dreams. He could buy Caesaire a plantation..several of them. Perhaps even buy Destrehan....
Caesaire softly breathed his name, her voice ending in a little sigh. He brushed her hair back out of her face and kissed her gently.
"Bon jour, ma cher. Did you sleep well?"
She gave him a languid smile as she stretched her arms above her head and then wrapped them around his waist, laying her head on his chest, her honey-hued locks falling over them both. He smiled to himself.
Could Leofric have been any more contented with his Godiva?
She rested her chin on his chest and looked into his hazel eyes, her deep blue eyes telling him all that he needed to know. That she was his completely, and no other would come between them.
She traced his lips with her finger, Andre taking her hand and kissing the fingertip.
"My darling, I have never felt so protected."
He tried to stop the pounding of his heart but it was no use. His body ached for Caesaire and he knew that she felt the same. That nothing would do until they quenched their desire for each other.....
As they lay there in each other's arms, Caesaire held him tightly, her leg draped across Andre's. She gently ran her fingers up and down his arm and said softly, "Je t'aime, my darling."
Andre held her close and whispered, "Et je t'aime aussi, Caesaire."
In the next breath, Caesaire said, "Andre?"
"Oui, ma petite?"
"I want to find out what happened to the Shattered Dreams."
"We shall, love."
"And when I do find her, I want to let her go."

Andre sat up quickly, just about knocking Caesaire off the bed.
"What do you mean, let your ship go?"
She righted herself and said, "Andre, my love, I no longer care about captaining a ship. What am I going to do? Sail off on mine, you sail off on yours and we spend a few days here and there whenever we run into each other at port?"
She shook her head. "No, Monsieur Beaudouin. Now that I have found you again, I shall never let you sail off without me. I guess what I am trying to say is that I want to join your crew."
He tried to suppress a chuckle.
"And can you serve under a captain such as me?"
She gave him a look he was beginning to recognize. The flush in her cheeks, the smoldering embers in her eyes, her breath catching a bit....
"Aye, Captain Beaudouin. I can serve under or over or..."
He silenced her with a kiss.

"Oui, mon amoreux?"
"We need to leave and board le Faucon."
She groaned, "But I want to stay here."
He kissed her tenderly and brushed her hair back. "As do I, my darling, but we have a job to do."
She sighed. "And I, above all, understand this. Very well, Monsieur Beaudouin. As you wish."
She rose out of the bed, taking the sheet with her.
Andre chuckled, "I don't think that silk ever looked so well."
She gave him a backward glance over her shoulder. "There's more...."
"And all of it mighty pretty!"
"But we have to leave."
"Oui, cher. We have to leave."
"Can we come back here next time we are in the area?"
"You have my word on it, love."
She blew him a kiss and disappeared into the alcove.

Within fifteen minutes, both were dressed and ready to leave. The trunks had been sent ahead. Andre had arranged for a breakfast of bread and fresh fruit to be sent up while Caesaire made herself 'presentable' as she said.
But Andre thought the woman would look beautiful even in a flour sack.

As they walked arm in arm down the stairs, neither noticed the figure that was watching them covertly.
'Jean Lafitte will find this interesting. Very interesting indeed....'
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 01, 2008, 11:22:22 AM
Jean grinned evilly at the news. So Andre and Caesaire were in Antilla. When Beaudouin had unknowingly sunk The Hazard he had given them up for lost to him for the moment. From their last known course they could have ported anywhere from Jamaica to the Bermudas. Perhaps Andre’s incredible luck was finally beginning to desert him. It was about damn time.

“Captain Garnier, Make ready The Shattered Dreams.” Lafitte barked. “We sail within the hour!”

“Oui, Jean.” Depaul brought two fingers to his brow, turned on his heel and left the study without another word. He need not be a mind reader to know what Jean had in mind. All faith in his commander began to erode when Lafitte brought Caesaire’s ship to Barataria.

Garnier had stood in near shock that night at the sight of the missing vessel gently rocking in her moorings. So it was true. It had been Lafitte who had taken the ship and had the watch murdered. The sight made him secretly wonder if he should not have gone with Andre the morning they had cut the tow line from The Hazard to Le Faucon de Mer, as they had renamed her.

Watching a work detail scrape the ornate lettering from the aft he heard Jean say triumphantly. “A ship to replace the Hazard, Mon Ami! It is only fitting that since her lover sank my ship, she should replace it with hers, Nes’t ce pas?”

Lafitte turned to him with a smile. “Mon Ami, you are now the captain of, Le Harpy.”

He shook his head slowly at the memory, then suddenly stopped in his tracks, staring down the rise at the re-named Shattered Dreams. Did Jean say ‘we’? Lafitte was going along this time? This was not good. Not good at all.

James Parker sat across from Jean at the desk, nursing the goblet of bourbon in his hand. “I take it yer goin’ with us then, Captain?”

“Indeed I am, James.” Lafitte gazed off into space lost in his plan. “This time there will be no mistakes. It is time I settled with that motherless dandy and reclaimed my property.”

Parker wondered if Lafitte meant the Faucon, or the woman.

Andre stood on the upper deck, unconsciously stroking his hand across Caesaire’s lower back as Le Faucon de Mer slipped her moorings and began to edge her way out to sea, the soft groan of her rigging comforting to his ear. El Pata del Tigre had sailed three hours ago, followed by Jaquie’s ship Calypso’s Revenge an hour later. Excitement built in his breast like a passion at the thought of how close they were to the goal.

He felt Caesaire’s own hand return the caress and smiled softly. “Ah, Cheri. Soon we will have the richest prize in history under our belts and then we will make history.” He beamed down to her.

Caesaire smiled up into his hazel eyes. The breeze gently flapping the burgundy tails of his head scarf to the left of his black caviler’s hat. Framed in the black and burgundy plumes the sunlight glinted from the gold ring in his left ear. The thought that she was about to leave the slightly more respectable life of a privateer to become a full pirate for this man bothered her not in the least. He was hers at last.

“But, Cheri, I thought the shipment was secret. How will it make history if none but us know of it?”

“Ahhhhh!” He winked with a wicked grin. Caesaire had changed into the clothing she wore as the captain of The Shattered Dreams. Her loosely curled golden hair cascaded from beneath her tricorn to her shoulders, framing features that enflamed his heart with a mere glance. “That I will tell you tonight in our cabin. First there is a small, but important, matter that must be attended to. We are far enough out now.”

Striding to the rail he planted one bell booted foot firmly on the molded railing and leaned forward, resting one elbow on his knee. “Ahoy, ye motherless dogs!” He all but laughed. “Stand afore the mast!”

“Break open a keg of rum, lads, and see to it that every man has his cup filled!” He barked with a smile worthy of the best politician on his face.

Every pirate not needed immediately to sail the sleek warship gathered in a loose knot at the base of the upper deck. Casaire marveled slightly at the contrast. Although every one dressed like any other buccaneer she had ever met, the cleanliness and discipline rivaled that of a French naval vessel. Sunlight glinted from weapons, and countless polished brass buckles, and jewelry.

Andre motioned her to stand next to him at the rail, then unhooked his own silver tankard from the frog on his belt and marched down the short stairs to join his crew. “Before ye be one that wishes to join with ye dogs!” He spoke loudly as he went. “Bring forth the Articles of Le Faucon de Mer!”

Andre turned to face her in front of his crew and lifted his tankard as Etienne brought a rolled parchment up to her. The first mate unrolled the parchment and held it for her to read. She nodded , and he lay the lower half of the document on the rail. John Hubbard stepped to her opposite side and held out a quill and well.

“What say you Caesaire Trosclair?” Andre boomed from the lower deck. “Will ye make your mark before the mast, and swear by the Articles of Le Faucon de Mer?”

“Aye! I will, Captain Beaudouin!” She shouted as her eyes locked in love with his.

“What say you dogs!” Andre turned to the crew, his silver tankard still held high above his head.

To a man the various cups were lifted into the air with a roaring, “Aye!” Caesaire leaned down with a small tear of joy tracing down one cheek, and with the stroke of her quill Caesaire Trosclair, daughter of Christophe Trosclair, and captain of the privateer Shattered Dreams became Caesaire the Pirate.

Her heart pounded with the same excitement she felt when she would slip out of St. Ursulines Convent to dance with the slaves in Congo Square, as the crew downed the contents of their cups and cheered for her in welcome. Pere wasn’t going to like this news.
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 05, 2008, 08:05:34 PM
Etienne held up the parchment for all to see.
"Voici! A new pirate has joined us! HUZZAH!"
"HUZZAH!!" the cry went out from among the crew. Andre stood there with a huge grin, his smile stirring her heart.
Andre took the steps two at a time and grabbed her around the waist, whirling her around.
"Any regrets, love?"
She shook her head no. "I know that you will always protect me and if our lives should end in a battle, the time we have together is worth more than a lifetime without you, Andre!"
He held her close, taking her tricorn off and his cavalier hat too. He lifted her chin to his face and kissed her gently on the lips.
"I shall always protect you and defend you, mon cher. Now I want you to think carefully about this--are you sure you want to abandon the Shattered Dreams?"
She nodded. "The name no longer applies, my dear heart. My dreams are no longer shattered. But are realized. Andre, I love you with all my heart. I've loved you ever since I was five years old and gave you the paper heart along with my own."
At that moment, Andre thought he couldn't love her any more than he did.
Andre and Caesaire turned to the clearing of the throat. He broke out in a grin. But Caesaire felt herself automatically stiffen.
She extended her hand to Caesaire. "Welcome to the ranks of pyracy, my little beauty! Are you prepared to handle it?"
Caesaire smiled but it felt brittle on her face. "Do not forget, Captain Villard, that I too was a captain of a ship."
Jacqui smiled and crossed her arms in front of her. "Ah, yes.  A ship that ran up and down the Mississippi and into the coastal waters of the colonies. Have you seen combat, ma petite?"
Caesaire felt her face colour at what she perceived to be a deprecating remark to her abilities.
"While I am not a captain who has seen alot of battles, I had sailed with Jean Lafitte. I was more into a purveyor of good but I held my own and was able to slip things into port without paying duty-tax."
Jacqui laughed heartily. "Ah, that is what it is all about, n'est-ce pas? Using beauty and brains both!"
Caesaire locked arms with Andre and said  quietly, "I'd like to think that brains had more to do with it, Captain Villard."
Jacqui waved her hand in the air. "Agreed, Mademoiselle Trosclair!  Fortunately I can see you possess them both."
She looked from Andre to Caesaire and burst out laughing. "Quelle domage! Or maybe it is saints be praised that two most attractive people have found one another to the excluding of others!"
She shook her head as she chuckled. "I shall be seeing what devilment I can inflict upon that randy little pup of yours, Andre! Bon soir!"
Caesaire watched Captain Jacqui Villard walk away with a sway in her hips. Suddenly she felt a bit inadequate to be a pirate. Andre sensed that Caesaire was uneasy and he wrapped his arms around her.
"I will turn the ship over to John Hubbard and you and I shall spend a day up on the upper deck, just talking about anything and everything. How does that suit you, cher?"
"And could we have a picnic lunch there, with cognac?"
He chuckled. "As you wish, ma cher."
He turned to Hubbard and said, "The ship is yours, John. See that we are not disturbed unless an emergency. We shall have plenty to do tomorrow but for now, let us all relax and prepare for what lies ahead."
The day passed quickly, Caesaire and Andre spending the day to themselves on the upper deck, just enjoying each other. Jacqui was not to be seen when they came down as the sun had set.
Andre had made arrangements for the cook to prepare a special dinner. As they entered the cabin, a table was set with lobster and drawn butter, salad greens and a bottle of champagne.
"Andre! How wonderful!"
He laughed. "I want this to be a special evening, cher. One we will always remember."
She put her arms around him and kissed him. "Then it calls for a special dress!"
Blowing him a kiss, she disappeared into the alcove off his cabin.

As Andre uncorked the champagne, Caesaire emerged from the alcove in a dress of emerald green. Andre could feel his heart leap into his throat.
He whispered, "Mother of God, Caesaire you ever stop being beautiful?"
She could feel the blush.
"What a wonderful surprise, Andre."
He felt the velvet box in his pocket as he said, "And the evening is not over yet, my love. Not by a long shot..."
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 06, 2008, 10:27:46 PM
Andre lit the candles in the center of the table, then held out Caesaire’s chair for her. “Mon cher?” His dazzling smile off set by the coal black waxed moustache and goatee. The burgundy silk head scarf holding his long black hair in place as it flowed down past his broad shoulders. She felt her breath catch in her throat at the sight of the suave buccaneer who had claimed her heart since childhood patiently awaiting her pleasure.

“Merci, Mon amore.” She replied, unable to keep the husky tone of desire from creeping into her voice. She gently stroked his freshly shaven cheek as she sat.

“It is my pleasure, My love.” He smiled back, turning his head just enough to lightly kiss her finger tips as they passed. The warm mix of unconditional love and desire she witnessed in his hazel eyes almost causing her to forgo the repast before them so that she could satisfy a different hunger. Still there was more than enough time this night to satisfy all their appetites.

Caesaire also knew him well enough to know that Andre had something else on his mind this night other than just dinner and carnal pleasure. She had seen him in the same state often during their childhood together. Especially when he had something special planned, usually something he hoped would show another how he felt about them. For all his bluster and self confidence there were times he could be painfully shy. It was a trait that had endeared him to her long ago. She could wait long enough to let him play out what ever it was he had in mind.

They talked over old times together as they dined, laughing at the memories as they relived them. Finally arriving at the night Andre had first dared to kiss her. The last night they had set eyes on each other. It was then Andre’s mood changed slightly and she witnessed a small sadness edge into his mood.

“The next day, Mon petit, when Sebastian gave me the news that you had been sent away he was so elated.” Andre stared at his nearly empty plate, his voice soft and tinged with melancholy. “Little did he know that my heart shattered into a thousand pieces at that moment. I hid my feelings well from your cousin that day. Until the day he went off to privet school, and I went to sea seeking my fortune.” Caesaire felt a growing lump in her throat as she watched him once again bare his soul to her.

“No matter how I tried I could never forget you, Cher. In truth I didn’t want to.” He continued, his eyes rising to meet hers. “I still held onto the hope that one day I would become worthy of you and find you again. If nothing else to let you know how I truly felt for you.”

“Even if I would have found that you had moved on to another love, I wanted you to at least know that no other woman would ever claim my heart. That part of me was yours and yours alone.” A small sad smile played across his lips. “This had never been tested until the night Isabelle Valcour set foot onto my ship. In all my dreams of how beautiful you would become as a woman I never imagined you would so exceed my vision, Mon amore. That is why I did not recognize you.”

“Andre.” Caesaire breathed.

He smiled wistfully. “Even then I fought a losing battle to keep her out of my heart. I failed miserably. I should have known that though my mind could not recognize you, my heart knew who you were and was as helpless before you as it always was.” Slowly he stood and made his way to the side of her chair, kneeling beside her. “The first share I received from my service aboard The Hazard I sent half to my mère. The rest I used in those hopes of seeing you again.”

Caesaire reached out tenderly to cup his cheek in her hand as he gazed up at her. "I almost threw this away when I thought I had lost myself to Isabelle. It was for you and you alone, and I would never give it to another. I kept it hidden for over twelve years in hope. Now that the dream has come to life, I ask you to accept this…..and with it me.”

He drew the small velvet box from his pocket as if he were handling the most fragile of things. Slowly he opened it, holding it out for her to gaze on. “Caesaire, my only love, will you do me the honor of being my wife?”

Her eyes widened as tears of joy flowed unashamed from her bright blue eyes. There resting in the satin lining of the box was a ring of purest gold, set with a pear shaped diamond the size of the tip of her little finger, sparkling in the flickering candlelight like a star come to Earth.

For an eternal moment she was speechless as he gazed into her eyes, holding his breath, and praying as hard as he had prayed the night she left for the answer he so desperately wished to hear.

“Oh, Andre!” She whispered, drawing his head closer to hers. “Yes, Mon amore! Yes!!” Her mouth sought his in a kiss that was more tender, more passionate, than any they had ever shared before.

With infinite care Andre slipped the ring onto her hand, and stood up urging her into his arms. Their lips sought each other’s and soon the kiss became far more urgent in it’s desire. He felt her tugging his shirt from his britches and his hands responded in kind, slowly untying the laces of her dress. Soon their clothing lay beside her chair, Andre lifting her nude body into his arms as Caesaire nuzzled his neck, her arms clinging to him as she ran her fingers through his soft locks.

As he gently lay her on their bed his lips traced patterns of love on her own soft throat. Their breathing growing more heavy with their mounting desire. Softly they stroked each other’s bare flesh, the caresses becoming more intimate with each passing moment. Both of them wanting nothing more for the moment than to prolong the tender sweetness of their touching for as long as possible.

A sharp gasp of passion escaped Andre’s lips as he felt her soft hands touch him in the most intimate way a woman could touch a man. Electric waves of honeyed desire flowing through his very being as he felt her lips on his chest. Never had the touch of a woman aroused such desire in him and he shuddered with the pleasure.

He felt her gently push him onto his back and he complied happily, more than content to be her obedient lover. Wanting nothing more in the world than to be anything she wished him to be. To do anything she wished him to do. He was hers this night, body, heart, and soul.

A second, louder gasp of love soaked passion exploded from his lips and his eyes rolled momentarily into his head. Caesaire’s angelic face hovered above him, and she began to make love to him as no other woman ever could.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 08, 2008, 02:43:25 PM
“Mon Amore?” Caesaire whispered softly as they lay snuggled in each other’s arms. “Why is this particular shipment so important to you?”

“Ah, yes.” He smiled. “I did promise to tell you of the plan, Cheri. Merci, for reminding me.”

Andre rose slightly to prop his head on his left elbow while he idly played with her silky golden tresses. “Besides being the richest prize I have ever known to sail the seas, She will provide the final funds we need to make a special vision come true.”

“A special vision?” She asked, her hand lightly stroking his forearm.

“Oui. A plan that I entered into in the hopes that it would raise me to a status even your father would have to be proud of, and in that pride have no objections when I asked for your hand.” Beaudouin grinned. “Providing, of course, I could find you again.”

Her sweet eyes widened slightly with the realization that everything this man had done since the day Christophe Trosclair had sent her to St. Ursuline, from leaving his gentile nature behind to become a pirate. From the mutiny and theft of Le Faucon de Mer, to his refusal to become a slaver. Everything had been in the hopes of attaining one goal. To return to her, the only love he had ever known.

“I have always known that I was never in the same social class as you and Sebastian, Mon amore.” She felt a small lump begin to grow in her throat as he continued, a slight tint of sadness in his deep voice. “You both were from one of the best houses of New Orleans and I but a street urchin. I had seen Jean Lafitte rise in standing to where he would receive invitations to balls at the plantations and was determined to find a way to rise just as high in their eyes. Then your pere could not refuse my request.”

“Andre.” Caesaire whispered, feeling the warmth of tears begin to fill her eyes. A infinitely gentile finger touched her lips silencing her.

“Not long ago I met a man named Benjamin le Renard.” His tone brightened quickly. “He, and an associate of his from the Colonies named Aaron Burr had a plan to not only free Louisiana from Spanish domination, but to make her a sovereign state all to her own. Once my own exploits had become known to them they contacted me.”

Andre Beaudouin’s smile widened immensely at the thought. “They invited me to help them in that endeavor and I readily agreed. Just think, Cheri. Should we prove successful I will be known as the pirate who freed Louisiana and started a new country in the new world! Not even Lafitte could boast of such an accomplishment!”

His excitement was contagious in it’s fervor and Caesaire felt herself begin to thrill at the thought. “Papa could never snub his nose at a man who could do such a thing.” She thought as he continued.

“I soon told John and the others, and to my surprise they asked to help me in the plan.” Andre chuckled. “It is good to have such friends in life. Still, such lofty ideas require money and although Benjamin is quite wealthy he cannot shoulder the burden alone. So for the past few years John, Etienne, Francois, and I have been secretly expanding our own wealth in an attempt to provide the necessary funds to accomplish the goal.”

Caesaire smiled with pride at her man. “Then this shipment….” She began.

“Oui, My darling.” He beamed. “This prize will put us over the mark and we can begin to chase Spain from our home forever!”

A wicked grin played on her lovely features. “Such hard work deserves a reward.” She winked as she wrapped her arms around him, rolling onto her back and pulling him with her.

Benjamin le Renard sat at a table in the far corner of Arnaud's waiting for his man to report to him. He had dispatched him to Barataria as soon as the carrier pigeon had arrived with the news of where Andre and Caesaire were arrived. Unless he missed his guess the information would prove more than enough to goad Lafitte into action and he had found a perfect ally to help him in his plans to set the two rivals at each other’s throats.

Calmly he sipped his coffee as he thought about his last plan to finally get Lafitte and Andre to openly battle each other. Giving that smelly lieutenant slaver of Jean’s enough money to engage Beaudouin in a game of chance had seemed a stroke of genius at the time. He knew at least two things would happen. One, the man had been instructed to deliberately lose and then to use it as an excuse to kill Andre. Secondly the hulking brute was no match for Beaudouin’s fighting skills.

He had hoped the man’s death would be the spark to ignite that smoldering keg of animosity and get Lafitte killed by Andre’s hand in the process. That had been the risky part. Those two were too evenly matched and there was the very real possibility that Andre would be the one dead. He would have hated to lose such a useful pawn, but then he could have always had Jean arrested and hung for the murder if it had come to that.

He had made certain that he was well out of New Orleans before setting the plan into motion, telling Andre that he was needed to oversee the hiring of some new mercenaries for the upcoming rebellion. Yet, the plan went awry and the only thing that had passed between the two powerful pirates were more harsh words. Perhaps this time would prove to be more fruitful. If Andre could be prodded into killing Jean they could take Barataria without a single shot being fired.

Drausin D'Estrehan entered the café and scanned the room, smiling as he caught sight of his new friend waving him over to the table. “Bon jour, Monsieur Renard.” He smiled as the man rose to shake hands with him. “It was a success and Lafitte is even now readying to set sail and sink that bastard. Soon my fiancée will be mine again.”

“Well done, Drausin.” Benjamin smiled. “When I learned of your predicament from your sister, Madame Solange, I knew I had to help you if I could.”

“You are very kind, Monsieur.” The jilted lawyer smiled. “Come, let us order a bottle of Arnaud's finest and celebrate.”

Andre and Caesaire lay dozing in each other’s embrace, the past three days at sea had proven as much a paradise to them as the time they had spent ashore in Cuba. Tacking their way toward the Bahamas along the usual routes they would arrive at their destination long before the Pata del Tigre would, taking the much longer southern route.

Their days filled with the joy of each other’s company. Sneaking off to their cabin, or some other fairly abandoned part of the Faucon from time to time to love each other. The crew had gotten use to their sudden disappearances and would smile knowingly. The ring flashing from Caesaire’s hand offered all the explanation they needed and neither actually shirked their duties. There were worse ways to while away idle hours than amore.

The mid-morning light flowed through the windows of the cabin on the fourth day softly when the clanging of the ship’s bell brought Andre out of his reverie in her arms. Quick as a cat he leapt from the bed. Pulling on his britches and boots he grabbed his baldric from it’s peg near the door, slipping it over his bare chest. No time to properly dress he shoved his two pistols into his wide belt and bolted from the room as Caesaire struggled to lace her bodice.

“What is it, Mon amis??!!” He shouted as he burst into the sunlight, rapier drawn.

Jacqueline Villard, Etienne, John, and Francois were gathered at the port side of the ship. A long spyglass in Jaquie’s hands pointed at a quickly approaching vessel. “We’re not sure, Andre.” She scowled, handing the telescope to him. “They just appeared and made a bee line for us! Never heard of her before, but I do not think her intentions are good!”

Sheathing his sword Andre stared at the rapidly approaching ship, his open eye widened as her colors rose into the sky. The Jolly Roger. The only other thing he could make out was the name emblazoned on either side of the bow. Le Harpy. “All hands to battle stations! Raise our colors! Move you scurvy dogs!!” He handed the spyglass back to Jaquie as the deck of Le Faucon de Mer came alive in a flurry of activity. Soon the black flag of piracy flew from their own mast as well.

Caesaire ran out into the sunlight, two pistols of her own shoved into her own belt. A cutlass from Andre’s weapons chest in her own hand and a dagger protruding from the top of her boot. “Mon amore! What’s going on?!” She asked as she handed him the burgundy silk head scarf he had forgotten.

“We are not yet sure, Cheri.” Andre quickly tied his loose hair into place with the offered garment. “An unknown ship is making for us. If her intentions are a fight, she will find Le Faucon more than ready.”

Caesaire looked up and the color drained from her face. “Oh my dear God, Andre!” She exclaimed. “It’s The Shattered Dreams!”

“Are you certain, Cher?” Andre’s features darkened with rage at the thought of someone daring to attack him with his lover’s ship.

“Oui, My love! I would know her anywhere!” Caesaire’s voice cracked with the emotion she felt rise in her. The thought of someone threatening her man with her own ship almost more than she could bare.

John Hubbard and the gunners waited silently as the renamed vessel pulled into hailing range. All of their guns trained amid ships, when the voice came across the few yards separating the two war ships.

“Ahoy, you motherless dandy!!” Jean Lafitte cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted out. Andre’s eyes shot daggers at the figure of his former employer. “Since I would take it that neither of us wants to damage the other’s ship, I propose another, more honorable method of settling this thing between us!”

“And what would you know of honor, Slave runner?!!” Andre shouted, even John Hubbard wondered at the venom he had never before heard in his captain’s voice.

“Far more than you, Street child!!” Lafitte shot back. “Not two hours ahead is a small island! I propose we go ashore there with no more than six of our own crew and settle this once and for all in the old fashion! Just you and me! Winner take all!”

“I agree, You piece of filth!!” Andre shouted, his temper breaking. “You ‘ad better ‘ave one of your crew bring le shovel to bury you with, fils de pute!!!”

Caesaire’s mouth dropped open, though no stranger to the swearing of sailors she had never heard such a phrase come from Andre. Even from here she could see Jean’s face go blood red at the insult. Lafitte’s reply was even more unnerving to her as he shouted back with uncharacteristic calm.

“Very well, Andre! We meet for the final time there!”
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 11, 2008, 10:38:47 PM
Caesaire ran to the rail, her heart dropping to her feet so fast she was surprised she didn't trip on them. Her hands gripped the rail tightly as she shouted, "NO! JEAN, I WON'T STAND FOR IT!"
Lafitte laughed uproariously. "And what won't you stand for, my little traitor? The duel? The fact that I am--" and at this he ran his hand over the rail lovingly of the Shattered Dreams--"now the captain of this fine vessel?"
She could hardly find her voice as she managed to choke out, "You killed them all! Pierre..Lucien.....Jacques....why did you have to kill them?"
"Ma petite, it was not my fault. They chose to be on board, trespassing on one of my ships."
"YOUR ship?"
"Oui. The ship that I let you borrow."
"GIFTED! You GIFTED me with it!"
"I have an offer for you, ma come aboard this ship, be nice and we shall let Monsieur Beaudouin keep his ship, his crew and his life. His pride I take. That is non-negotiable."
Andre's face turned red with rage. "We shall see whose pride is taken, you dog."
Jean pulled his ship away and held up two fingers.
"Two hours, you motherless dandy. TWO! Caesaire, my darling, start packing your things. I shall be happy to give you a ride back to Barataria."
"NEVER!" she screamed.
As Jean sailed off, Caesaire turned to Andre. Never had she seen him so full of rage. She took his arm and said in a low voice, "Andre, please. Let us talk in private in your cabin."
Andre's mouth formed into a grim line. "Hubbard? The ship is yours. Temporarily, that is."
His crew parted like the Red Sea as Caesaire led Andre into the cabin and he shut the door.
Andre took off his baldric and reached for his shirt. Caesaire put her arms around him from the back and held him tight. He could feel her hot tears on his skin. Slowly he turned and put his hands on her shoulders.
"Ma petite, I have no intention of losing this duel. So dry your eyes now."
She shook her head. "Andre, things happen. Things we don't plan. Jean is crafty. He doesn't play fair. If he did, he would have let my crew live. He has something devious planned. Oh my love, I am begging you to not do this foolish thing. Do not let him goad you. Andre, my darling, I have just now found you. Don't take that away from me. I can't live without you! I can't! I WON'T!"
She clung to him tightly as she sobbed. All Andre could do was hold her. He felt tears spring to his eyes.
Why now?
Why when he found the love that he had been searching for? Would they only have a scant week to revel in their love for each other? What a cruel trick that fate had played on them.
He softly stroked her hair and rested his chin on top of her head, drawing her close to him.
"Cher, I won't let anything happen to us. But I can't back down from this duel. Have it spread all over the Caribbean--not to mention New Orleans--that Andre Beaudouin backed down? Ran scared? Sacre bleu, mon amour! Never! How could I ever garner your respect? How could I face you? How could I face my crew? To do so would be asking for a mutiny. Never show a sign of any weakness. EVER!"
Her tears spent, she looked up into his hazel eyes and touched his cheek. She nodded.
"As a pirate, I understand. As a woman, I am afraid. As your lover, I am terrified. But for you, I shall be brave. But know one thing, Andre Beaudouin. When you go ashore, I will be one of the six with you. THAT is non-negotiable."
He cupped her face in his hands and saw the determination on her face. He knew it was useless to argue, that they would waste precious time in doing so.
He nodded solemnly, "Reluctantly, I will acquiesce to this."

She held him close and thought, 'And if Jean Lafitte so much as harms a hair on his head, I shall run him through....'
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 12, 2008, 08:16:09 PM
Caesaire shivered inside as she watched Andre step from the longboat into the shallow water of shore. A few yards away on the beach Jean Lafitte waited patiently with his own men. The warm tropical air had turned suddenly cold to her, as Andre held out his hand to help her from the boat. She couldn’t help but wonder if this would be the last time she would hold his living hand.

John Hubbard, and Francois had manned the oars taking them ashore with Jaquie, Etienne, herself and one other crewman she had yet to meet. Looking into her lover’s eyes only his concern for her shone through the anger that still smoldered in them. For a moment the ring he had placed on her finger caught her attention and she fought to keep the tears from her eyes.

They had remained in their cabin for the first hour at her insistence making love. Only his logic that he would need his strength for the duel had dissuaded her from keeping him in her bed for the entire two hours and she prayed that if the worse should happen she would at least now carry a living part of him inside her belly.

Once they had emerged on deck his friends had surrounded them, John and the others shaking his hand. Jacqueline had embraced him briefly, whispering something she could not hear into his ear. When they parted she shook Andre’s hand and he smiled, the last one she had seen from him until now.

“Smile for me, Cheri.” He beamed. “Soon you will have your revenge on that pig.”

Without a word she wrapped her arms around him, kissing him with all the passion she could bring up from loving him since childhood. “Je t'aime, Cher.” She whispered as they parted.

Gently he placed his forehead against hers. “Je t’amie, Caesaire.” He whispered back.

“How touching!” Jean’s voice came across the yards separating them, cutting into the moment. “I hope the two of you enjoyed your final moments together! They shall be your last!”

Andre picked up Caesaire in his arms from the boat carrying her the few short steps to dry land before setting her down. Francois, John, and Etienne pulled the boat ashore after Jaquie and the last crewman leapt out, spraying salt water from their legs in their haste to join Andre and Caesaire.

Noticing the look on Caesaire’s face Jaquie leaned close to her. “Do not fear, My pretty pretty.” She whispered. “I have fought with your man before and this time I believe Lafitte has bitten off more than he can chew.” She winked.

Caesaire nodded, doing her best to put on a brave face for the sake of her man. She would have been more inclined to believe the tall piratess’ words had she not seen the treachery Jean Lafitte was capable of first hand.

The two crews stood with their backs to the anchored ships some two hundred yards away, separated by no more than a few yards themselves. Garnier Depaul watched in sadness as the two former friends squared off to face each other in front of their respective crews. No matter what happened now he was certain either death would spark a conflagration that would bring New Orleans to her knees.

Andre and Jean pulled their shirts off and handed their weapons to their seconds. Jean to Garnier, Andre to John. By tradition the only weapons they would be permitted were cutlass. Normally the fight would only last until one of them drew first blood. This time was different, this time the duel would be to the death and all who were about to bare witness to it knew.

The two antagonists walked a few feet away from their respective parties and held out their hands. Francois and Parker walked out to the combatants and held out the sheathed weapons. Almost as one Lafitte and Beaudouin jerked the razor sharp weapons free of their sheaths, the noon day sunlight flashing off the deadly polished steel. Eyeing each other evilly they began to circle each other slowly, waiting for some unspoken signal to begin.

“Finally it has come to this you dandy sans mere!” Jean spit. “Too long have I endured humiliation at your hands! It ends today!”

“As it should have long ago, Ordure.” Andre hissed back. “Until now it was no more than a silly game between us! When you caused harm to my amore you crossed the line. She will have satisfaction for her murdered crew this day!”

“Ze only thing she will ‘ave zis day is the memory of you spitting blood onto this beach, Creole tantouze!” Jean shouted.

“Dear God!” Francois sucked his breath in sharply. “Please tell me Lafitte didn’t just say that!”

Andre Beaudouin’s face went blood red with rage. A guttural howl of bloodlust erupted from him as he charged into Lafitte. Jean barely catching the vicious overhand strike on his own blade, feeling the impact of the stroke all the way to his shoulder. Quickly he stepped to one side and swung his own weapon in a horizontal fan at Andre’s midsection. Caesaire nearly screamed and held her hand to her mouth to stop it.

Andre leapt backward pulling his stomach away from the strike intended to gut him. As it was the tip of the sword missed by a mere fraction of an inch. Quickly he thrust forward, intending to skewer Jean as he fought against the momentum of the missed cut. Somehow Lafitte was able to swing his cutlass back in time to parry the deadly thrust and the two men separated for a few seconds. Each circling, looking for the slightest opening in the other’s defenses.

As if suddenly pushed from behind by giant invisible hands the two men charged each other again, each grabbing the other’s sword hand.  Around and around they struggled, sand spraying from their boots. Like two stags in the forest with their horns locked they strove to overcome each other with sheer brute force. The muscles tense to the point that the veins stood out in relief on their forearms and biceps. Their breath hissing between clenched teeth. Jean’s knee came up into Andre’s solar plexus knocking the wind from his lungs. Hanging on for his life Beaudouin fell backward, placing his boot in Lafitte’s middle and sending him flying over head.

Unable to catch his breath for a few moments Andre lay helpless, panting as Jean regained his feet and dove for his prone form blade first. This time Caesaire could not hold herself back and her scream sent the parrots flying from the jungle, adding their own screeching to hers. Andre rolled at the last second and Jean’s cutlass buried half it’s length into the beach were he had lain a moment before. Quickly Andre brought his own hand back clouting Jean on the back of the skull with the steel basket, stunning him.

Staggering to their feet the two enemies shot looks of pure hatred at each other as they struggled to shake off the pain. Andre holding his stomach, Lafitte the back of his head, their breath deep and heavy. Slowly the circled each other once more, their boots digging shallow trenches in the sand.

Without a word Lafitte charged in again, faking a overhand strike of his own he switched tactics at the last second and suddenly thrusting at Andre’s exposed chest. Caesaire desperately wanted to close her eyes, and Etienne went sheet white, cursing beneath his breath.

Andre grinned and twisted sideways, the cutlass passing into the air a hair’s breadth from his chest. At the same moment he had changed his grip on his own cutlass. Now holding the sword like a huge dagger he drove it downward into Jean’s thigh. Lafitte’s own cry of pain filled the silent beach as he crumpled to his good knee, using his own blade like a cane to keep himself upright.

“Now you, Fils de pute.” Andre huffed from the exertion of the fight. “I hope your dogs brought that shov…”

A whirling dark object flew across the few feet separating the combating pirates from their crews and ricocheted off the back of Andre’s head with a crack like the shot of a pistol. His hazel eyes rolled into their sockets and he collapsed like a rag doll to the sand next to the belaying pin. Caesaire’s eyes widened with shock as a second explosion filled the air. Both crews pulled their weapons in time to see Parker crumple to the sand, exposing Garnier behind him, the pistol in his hand still smoking.

“You back biting connard!” The grizzled captain growled. “Rest in Hell!”

As both crew’s eyes were riveted on the treacherous dead man Jean quickly flipped Andre onto his back. Grasping his cutlass in both hands he raised it high over head, intending to finish off his rival while he had the chance. “Rest in Hell yourself, Beaudouin!” He hissed quietly.

Suddenly a third shot rang out and Jean’s sword flew from his grasp, the blade severed no more than a half an inch from the basket. Before the stunned onlookers could react Caesaire jerked Andre’s rapier from the sheath John Hubbard still held. Throwing her smoking flintlock to the ground she covered the distance to Lafitte and planted the toe of her boot under his chin, sending him sprawling backward.

Jean shook the stars from his eyes to find Caesaire standing above him, the point of Andre’s prized sword pressed firmly against his Adams apple and a look of murderous rage in the blond piratess’ blue eyes.

“Look at me well, Jean Lafitte!” She screamed. “I am the last thing your damned eyes will see in this world!”

“Go ahead, Caesaire!” He shot back defiantly as he could, the fear in his eyes belying his tone. “My men have orders to sink Le Faucon de Mer if I do not return!”

“I do not think that would be a wise thing for them to try, Dog!” The liquid Jamaican accent came from behind Caesaire. “Look for yourself!” Jaquie had come up to stand at her enraged comrade’s side.

Slowly Jean turned his head as far as he dared with the steel pressed to his throat. The report of a single cannon underscored the sight he beheld. The new pirate ship had fired a warning shot across the bow of Le Harpy. He was now caught between to fighting vessels in a hammer and anvil move. Where had it come from?

Jaquie looked down hard at the defeated pirate. “That, Dog, is The Calypso’s Revenge. My ship. Surely you did not think I would trust the famous Jean Lafitte to keep his word, or his honor?” The African beauty sneered. “As soon as Andre was out of sight I sent one of our carrier pigeons, instructing my crew to come to us with all haste.”

A moan from Andre brought Caesaire around. Forgetting all about killing Jean she dropped the rapier and knelt at his side, cradling his head in her lap. “Mon amore. Oh, Mon amore.” she whispered, tenderly stroking his face and forehead.

“Very well.” Jean mumbled as he struggled to rise to his feet. “You have won for now, and I will take my leave peacefully. We will fight no more this day.”

Caesaire waited until Etienne, and Francois had come to carry Andre’s semi conscious form back to the longboat before she stood. Turning to Jean she drew back and slapped his face so hard she nearly fell with the force of the blow. Then spitting into his face she turned on her heel to follow her heart back to their home.

“Captain Depaul!” Lafitte shouted his face and pride stinging in equal measure. “We sail for home!”

“Nay, Jean.” Garnier answered quietly, yet firmly.

“What do you mean, no?!” Lafitte demanded. “Where will you go then?!”

“Where I should have gone all those years ago.” Garnier answered. “If he will have me, I go with Andre.”
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 16, 2008, 07:45:39 PM
Jean Lafitte stared hard at the captain formerly under his command. He hissed, '"Traitre!" and left with his four men, two of them carrying Parker's dead body.
As they pulled away in their longboat, Jean stared long and hard at his former companion--Caesaire Trosclair.
She stared back at him, a burning hatred in her eyes. Hate for what he had done to her beloved ship. Hate for murdering her crew. Her friends. And hatred for forcing the love of her life to narrowly lay down his life for her. What lengths these Frenchmen would go to in protecting what is theirs, be it possessions or people.
Jean turned away and stared at his vessel, the repossessed Shattered Dreams. Caesaire felt a tug at her heart for the ship that had been hers exclusively. How she had lovingly had the ship retooled for her own uses.
Shattered dreams....shattered no more. Here was her dream in a body of a man. A man that she loved with all her heart and soul.
The groggy voice calling out her name snapped her back into the present.
She threw Andre's rapier down and flung herself down on her knees next to Andre. Etienne had been supporting Andre. She gently stroked her only love's cheek.
He smiled wanly at her. "I'm still alive, like I promised you,  mon amore."
She tried to stop a tear from tracing down her cheek but wasn't succeeding. She smiled through her tears and said softly, "You promised to marry me, Andre Beaudouin."
He took her hand. "And I soon as I get rid of this headache."
Caesaire stood up and shouted to the men, "We need to get Captain Beaudouin back to Le Faucon. I see the scabbrous chien is now out of sight although his ship is still there. Etienne! Francois! Lift him gently--GENTLY, I said--into the longboat."
Placing Andre on the floor of the boat, she covered him up with a blanket. She brought it along just in case...she couldn't even put into words the real reason she brought it. Tenderly tucking it around him, she held his head in her lap, tenderly brushing his hair away from his face. Andre was pale, more so from the exertion the duel had taken although a kick in the solar plexis was nothing to dismiss.
Garnier dePaul sat on one side of the ship, his eyes stared straight ahead at Le Faucon de Mer. He had been a Captain and had engaged in a battle with the man whose ship he was now petitioning to sail under. How would Andre react when he gained his full senses?
As they neared Le Faucon de Mer, Caesaire said softly, "Easy, men. Please. Andre, can you sit up?"
He nodded.
Etienne and Francois carefully guided him up by the arms and onto the deck. John Hubbard was in conversation with Garnier DePaul.
The crew gathered around Andre and he managed to say, "Thank you all. I'm feeling a bit woozy so Francois will fill you in on what transpired."
To John Hubbard, he said, "You have the ship my friend. I just need some rest."
He said to his crew, "Garnier de Paul is a guest on our ship. He is to be treated with the utmost respect. De Paul? I shall convene with you in the morning. Caesaire? Let's retire."
Jacqui took her aside and whispered, "For the sake of the Lord, my pretty pretty, please let the man rest!"
Caesaire looked up at Jacqui and saw the twinkle in her eyes.
"I shall..and thank you for coming to the aid of Le Faucon. I can't  thank you enough."
She grabbed Jacqui's hand and squeezed it. A look of sadness flitted through her eyes as Jacqui said softly, "I'd do anything for Andre."

Caesaire closed the door behind her. Andre groaned and crawled into bed. Caesaire slipped off her shirt and breeches and pulled a chemise over her head. She took a basin of water and a soft cloth.
Crawling into the bed with him, she took his shirt off.
"Caesaire, mon cher, I need rest..."
She smiled and said, "I know that, mon amour. Let me take care of you."
She took off his boots and his breeches and slid his boots under the bed. Covering him up, she tenderly washed his face.
There was a knock on the door and within a minute she was back with a tray of food.
"Andre, the adrenalin must have depleted you. So here..I had the cook make you up some barley broth and some fresh fruit. And a small carafe of wine..Andre? Andre?"

She put the tray down and sighed. "It looks like you need your sleep more than anything."
She curled up beside him and wrapped her arms around him.
Before she knew it, she was asleep also.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 19, 2008, 07:56:06 PM
Andre awoke the next morn, the rock of the ship let him know that they were once again underway, but was it still toward the goal he had set for Le Faucon de Mer? He certainly hoped so, too much of the future was riding on this single prize now to allow one silly skirmish with that dog Lafitte to let it go. The loss of this one bit of plunder would set them back years to say the least and how would he be able to explain his unexpected absence to Benjamin and Aaron?

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But your head.” She protested.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As they left the deck to go below several of Le Faucon de Mer’s crew secretly placed bets as to whether or not he would return alive.
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 24, 2008, 07:13:13 PM
"You are NOT going without us!"
Andre turned to see Jacqui and Caesaire standing there both tapping their boots impatiently.
Caesaire stood nose to nose with Andre. But only because he bent down to look into her blue eyes.

Garnier de Paul had tried to hide his smile. He had heard about Christophe Trosclair's little girl and what a handful she was. Jean certainly bit off more than he could chew when he took up with her. De Paul had seen her around the blacksmith shop when she had come to deliver her goods by the back way. Though Lafitte had never introduced them, he remembered tipping her hat to her and she always rewarded him with a smile.
From what de Paul had seen on the beach, he wondered if Mademoiselle Trosclair was more than Andre Beaudouin could handle. Somehow he thought that Andre was up for the challenge.
"Andre, Captain Villard and I both insist that we are included on your parley. Jacquie came to the rescue of Le Faucon when it looked like Jean was going to use my own ship against you. We owe her a debt of gratitude."
Jacquie supplied, "And Mademoiselle--or is it Captain?--Trosclair kicked Jean Lafitte till he didn't know his own mother's name! I am sure he saw the entire galaxy, not just stars."
She took off her hat and bowed low to Caesaire.
"Mademoiselle, I must say Hell has never seen such fury as a Creole woman whose man has been wronged!"
Andre looked from one to the other. He raised his eyebrow. They both raised theirs back. He laughed and said, "You both have shown your mettle. Alright! Entrez-vous!"
Andre opened the door to John's cabin. The table had been cleared of map. Francois and Etienne were sitting at the table. John was uncorking a bottle of brandy.
Andre stepped aside to let Jacquie and Caesaire enter.
Garnier de Paul entered and took a seat.
Francois's brow furrowed, "Captain Beaudouin, do you really think this is a place for"
Jacquie quietly brought out her dagger and casually ran her finger down it.
"As you were saying, my randy little pup?"
Francois looked sheepish. "As I was saying..'do you think this is the place for brandy? Or would rum be better?' "
Jacquie burst out laughing."Tres bien, my pet! Tres bien!"
Andre grinned, "Nice save, Francois."
He held the chair out for Caesaire and John did likewise for Jacquie.
The Captain of Le Faucon de Mer looked over those gathered at his table.
John had poured brandy for all from a carafe of Murano glass with matching snifters. A gift bestowed upon him by Andre. He knew how John loved comforts as much as he did.
"Now. I need a few answers. What happened? Caesaire is a little unclear on the subject as she was too emotionally caught up in it."
He patted her hand. "Not to find fault, love. Things happened so fast. I want to know who it was that struck me and what happened to the coward?"
All looked to Garnier de Paul. He cleared his throat and said, "It was Parker."
"Parker? Benjamin Parker?"
"Oui, Andre. He threw a belaying pin and I shot him. Mon Dieu, I cannot abide a man who does not play fair! I do not know if it was Jean who planned it with him or--"
"Mais non. Jean Lafitte is many things. But he would not do that."
All eyes were on Caesaire. She continued softly, "I spent time with Jean. He was my captain. He taught me to read a marked deck and I won the Shattered Dreams in a game of cards.
Caesaire looked down and struggled with an explanation. She didn't want to reveal that the real reason she was in possession of it was that it was a gift that Jean gave her for being...with him. He was always amused by her and loved to show her off when he had his dinner parties. Caesaire on his arm. Caesaire seated on his right. Caesaire hosting his lawn parties. Caesaire in his..
"Caesaire?" Andre's gentle voice brought the blush to her cheeks. He held her hand. "Jacquie, it is enough that she had it. To lose a ship as such would hurt anyone."
Caesaire looked at him with love in her eyes. But she looked around the table and tilted her head defiantly.
"Jean Lafitte killed my crew. I would have gladly spilled his blood in the name of mes amis who died unnecessarily. As much as I loved that ship, it now represents sorrow and pain. Because he had a vengeance against me, ten men lost their lives. And now it is time to let it go. I sail with Captain Beaudouin as his future wife."
Jacquie laughed. "And a better match I could not think of!"
Andre smiled proudly. "It is no secret that I have loved her since we were children."
Francois held his head in mock sorrow. "Oh, the humiliation of being used!"
They all laughed and then Etienne spoke up.
"Now to the situation at hand."
He nodded to Captain de Paul. "He saved your life, Captain. Yet he is a captain too. How shall that be?"
Andre looked to Garnier. "You know that I shall not give up my position, Garnier."
Garnier smiled broadly, "I have no designs on your ship. This is not a vengeance ploy. You secured Le Faucon de Mer as a---how shall we say?---' a spoil of a preemptively salvaged vessel'. Although it was a mutiny, I now prefer to think of it as a 'deviation of ownership.' "
"She deserved better than to be used as a slaver ship."
"I agree. I saw the vessel and coveted her for myself. But I see she did go to the better man. Jean would have had his way and she would have been a tug."
Garnier cleared his throat. "And now to another problem we need to address, Captain Beaudouin."
"And that would be..?"
"Your crew. I noticed some unrest and perhaps downright hostility from some of the members."
Andre nodded. "The attack you graced us with is still fresh in their minds, Garnier. Can you blame them? They knew who you were. Most of these lads are from New Orleans and Bayou Lafourche. Your reputation as a man under Lafitte precedes you. But no worries, the crew shall be alright."
To the rest, Andre said, "I would be desirous to speak to Captain de Paul alone, s'il vous plait."
Etienne, John and Francois rose and clapped de Paul on the back. They were happy to have their old Captain among them, that there was no hard feelings. Jacquie put her dagger away and grinned at Andre. "Please to tell him that Captain Jacqueline Villard consorts with no man, Captain Beaudouin!"
They all laughed.
Caesaire hung back. "Andre..."
He touched her locks, kissed them and whispered, "It shall be fine. Go to our cabin. I shall be there in a bit. Garnier and I have some business to conclude."
Caesaire reluctantly left.
Andre turned to Garnier, poured him another brandy and grinned, "Good to see you, mon ami!"
Garnier raised the glass to him. "Good to be back!"
"And now...let us parley."
"What do you wish to know?"
"Why is Lafitte so hot to exact vengeance on me, aside from the usual thorn in his side."
Garnier nodded towards the door.
"The reason? The reason is now in your cabin, Captain. The reason is in your cabin."
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 25, 2008, 08:38:46 PM
“I thought as much, Papa.” Andre sighed. Garnier shot a quick look at the door as Andre laughed. “Do not concern your self, Mon pere. None will listen at the door here and I have never told them. Not even Caesaire.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instantly John, Etienne, and Francois were gathered around shaking De Paul’s hand and clapping him on the back. Something that did not go unnoticed by the rest of the crew, raising their opinion of the elder pirate more than a few notches. Andre excused himself and headed to his cabin as soon as he could.
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 29, 2008, 07:48:42 PM
Garnier de Paul looked around the cabin he was to share with John Hubbard. It was then that he realized he had no gear. Not even a change of garments. Everything was still aboard Le Harpy. Le Harpy! What an insult to a fine woman who was the love of his son's life.
His son.
It brought a smile to his face when he thought of  the child he had with Marie Doucet. He took his pipe out, fillling it with tobacco from the leather pouch he always carried.  Drawing deeply and exhaling it in rings, he thought back to the day when when he was confronted with the truth.
Was it really twenty years ago? He remembered it as if it were only yesterday....

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

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

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


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

She smiled gently and whispered, "Have I told you this lately, mon cher? Je t'aime.  Avec tout mon coeur, mon amore."
His lips never left hers as he reached over and put his cavalier hat on her head.
"Now! You look like a real piratess, Mademoiselle Trosclair!"
She took his hand and as they left the room, she laughed. "Oh...and how am I going to explain this to Pere?"
He closed the cabin door and shook his head. "I'm sure you will think of something, my love. After all, like you and Sebastian used to say, 'Je suis un Trosclair!'"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on July 09, 2008, 06:10:19 PM
Andre moved with ease among his men inspecting their work with pride and praise, clasping forearms and patting backs everywhere except the ones who worked the rigging. These he did not let go unnoticed and shouted his praise up to them to receive a salute and smile from each name he called out. Stopping from time to time to lend a hand where needed. Caesaire constantly at his side, receiving many deep bows along with many “Mademoiselle Trosclair’s” and even a couple of “Mademoiselle Beaudouin’s” before the flustered pirate realized his faux pas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garnier de Paul shook his head chuckling. If nothing else his son’s command would seem to be as humorous as it was efficient. “Marie,” he thought, “I hope you are as proud of our offspring as I. We did well, Mon amore.”
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 14, 2008, 09:26:46 PM
Garnier and Andre walked up to the quarterdeck as the sun began to set. They both took out the thin black cigars that they both favored and lit them on the lanterns. Garnier chuckled.
"What's so amusing, Garnier?"
He smiled. "Look at us!"
Andre looked. They both were leaning forward on the gunwale, their chin resting on their left hand and their right arm draped over the side. Their left foot was hooked behind their right leg.
Andre laughed. "Do you think anyone else would notice?"
Garnier shrugged. "Would it matter to you?"
Andre was quiet a moment. "Not really. But I won't disrespect the memory of Anton Beaudouin. He loved me and my mother. It wasn't easy making ends meet. He had a small shop where he was a millwright. Maman was devastated when the yellow fever took him. It was very hard. I was nine when he died and Maman had to take in laundry. It wasn't long before she became the housekeeper to Silvere and Isabella Trosclair. We had a small cabin behind their townhouse. Not fancy but it was clean and we made it home."
Garnier stared at the waves and flicked his ashes into the whitecaps.
"I had no idea, Andre, that I had a son. Your mother was so young. The first time I saw her, she was so shy. Her dress had been mended over and over and her shoes were worn. The stockings that I saw were patched as best she could. It broke my heart to see a girl that beautiful struggle with poverty. And..I lost my heart to her."
Andre said grimly, "That's not all she lost, I gathered. Did you ever wonder what became of her after you left?"
Garnier nodded sadly."I tried to find her. But no one seemed to know where Marie the little flower girl was.'
Andre stared at the water too. "She found out she was with child and Anton Beaudouin, her childhood friend, offered to do right by her. Make her an honest woman as it were."
After a minute, Garnier asked quietly, "Was she happy, son?"
Andre nodded, "Yes, she was. While there were no flames of passion, they did love each other. Anton was there for me always. And I felt his passing like a young son would for his father. I didn't know he wasn't my father. My mother sat me down and had a heart-to-heart talk with me. I remember it so well. It was the day after Caesaire disappeared from my life. I sustained two blows in less than a week. I didn't know who I was or where I belonged. I had lost the girl I loved and lost my father all over again."
Garnier could only say, "I'm sorry, Andre. I remember your mother speaking fondly of her friend Anton Beaudouin.  When you showed up, young whelp that you were, at Jean Lafitte's blacksmith shop, hat in hand and asking to sign on with one of his ships, I saw your mother in you. Same hair, same shaped eyes and the smile..oh, the smile. So like Marie's. I knew you were her son. On a hunch, I searched the Quarter for a Marie Beaudouin and then I saw her. She was coming out of the cathedral on a Sunday. She recognized me. I'll never forget the hurt in her eyes. I had told her that her son had signed on with Jean Lafitte and the first words out of her mouth were, 'Mon Dieu!'
She was extremely upset and the words were pouring out of her. She told me I was never to betray the memory of Anton Beaudouin to you. It was at that moment I realized that the reason I felt the connection between us was that you were my son.
"Did Maman ever confirm it?"
"No. She told me to stay away from you and that was proof enough for me. My heart broke when I saw her. I realized I still loved her. But she wanted nothing to do with me."
Andre chuckled ruefully. "Maman always knew her own mind. And proud! As proud as a queen. We had hard times but she instilled in me a sense of gallantry. We were poor but my clothes were always impeccably clean. She always said, 'Andre, it is not what you wear but what you are inside that counts. No one can ever take that away from you.' She taught me to be a Creole gentleman, to take what life handed to me and turn it to my advantage."
"And you have, Andre. I couldn't be more proud of you."
"Merci, Papa--PAPA!--how strange to say those words to you!"
Garnier reached in his pocket for a flask. "Join me, Andre?"
Andre grinned, "I shall have to decline. Seems I have a debt to pay. And I always honour my debts."
Garnier grinned as he watched Andre walk eagerly towards his cabin. "Tres bien, Andre. You hold the world and your love in the palm of your hand."
He toasted his son and smiled to himself.
Life was good, he thought. Very good.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on July 17, 2008, 08:02:36 PM
As Andre neared his cabin he caught the faint whiff of jasmine incense. A smile broke across his face. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine his luck could take such a fortunate turn. All that remained was for The Calypso's Revenge to pick up the trail of their quarry and he would not only have the most beautiful woman ever to grace New Orleans as his, but he would hold all of Louisiana in his hand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marie brought herself back to the present day. Andre had run away to sea. He may have left a poor cabin boy but he returned a man. A man with a missing piece of his soul. Perhaps now he had filled it. Marie was sure.
She returned her gaze to Christophe Trosclair, put her coffee cup down and smiled softly.
He looked at her and repeated, "I'm sorry, but as I said, our children seem to have run off together. They are together right now doing God knows what."
"You don't say, Monsieur Trosclair. You don't say!"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on July 28, 2008, 07:50:12 PM
"Oui?" Andre answered the discreet knock at his cabin door several hours later.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Madame Beaudouin." He began.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lying in bed that night, wrapping their arms around each other, Andre said quietly, "Cher, I must have a serious talk with you."
She looked up at him. "Oui, Andre. Where do you want me during all of this? Covering the quarterdeck? Watching from the gunwale? Or do you want me where the powder is?"
"No. This is what I want, Caesaire. I want you to stay in these quarters. I want you to hide under the bed and keep the door locked."
Andre continued, "I am serious. I cannot be focused on the capture if I have to worry about you. I need all my attention on the galleon. With any fortune, the ship will surrender peacefully or without much of a fight. But I cannot be wondering if you are alright or if you are being held at knifepoint or if some Spaniard is spiriting you off on the other ship."
She was silent.
He took a deep breath and asked, "Will you do this for me, cher?  It is not that I think you are incapable of fighting and you demonstrated well-placed kicks and your skill with a rapier.  It is for my own peace of mind."
A long silence and then Caesaire said softly, "Aye. For you and you alone, I shall stay out of the fight."
He kissed her and said, "Merci, mon amore. It puts my mind to rest."
He blew the candle out, both alone with their own thoughts on what was at stake.
Andre had a fortune to gain and a city to return to France.
Caesaire had a husband to wed and a family to anticipate.
The next day would see them persevere in their dreams.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on August 04, 2008, 10:10:33 PM
The Sun had barely risen above much more than a few feet above the ocean by the perception of the eye when the call came down from the Crow's Nest of Le Faucon de Mer.

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

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

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

"Standard orders, Captain?" John asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"For New Orleans." Andre nodded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caesaire burst through the door beneath the upper deck, sword in hand, just in time to see Andre and the others charge at full speed across the boarding planks. For a moment she considered returning to their cabin, but the sight of her love leading the party onto the Tigre overwhelmed her heart with pride. She would not let him face any danger that she herself would not face. With the cry of a seasoned warrior on her full lips she raced after the boarding party, the cutlass Andre had fought Lafitte with brandished high above her head.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on August 10, 2008, 12:48:11 PM
Andre Ran to the head of the wide boarding plank, pistol in hand. Francois' sharpshooters had done their usually efficient job, leaving very few men with firearms standing. His bejeweled hand drew a bead on one of the remaining of that number and sent the ball rocketing through the man's heart just as he caught the saber of a second Spanish sailor on his own sword. Spinning the man's arm in a wide arc he ended the move by running his steel through the sailors chest, then leaped the short distance down to the deck of the galleon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Parley!" He shouted above the fray below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dolores y Castillo Eladio

A smile spread over Andre's face as he put it in the box. It was a gift to the Countess Eladio!
He laughed to himself.
'Alors, Countess! I know of a neck this would look better graced upon!'
He put the necklace back in the small box and slipped it into his pocket.
'Ah, Caesaire! I want a kiss for each pearl and something special for the ruby!'
He locked his cabin, a jaunty spring in his step as he envisioned the look on Caesaire's face when she opened the box.
It would be a token of his love and penance for their first fight.
The Creole buccaneer smiled broadly as he anticipated the gratitude of his beloved.
"Domage, Count Eladiio! But you shall have to find another gift for the Countess! It is more fit for a queen. And a pirate queen at that!"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on September 12, 2008, 01:30:16 PM
Andre softly whistled La Belle Creole as the men made their way up the nearly overgrown path through the jungle that led to Jaquie's veranda. Every so often he patted the pocket of his burgundy sea coat smiling to himself at his luck. He had intended to search the finest jewelers in New Orleans to purchase the necklace for her, only to have the finest he had seen fall into his very lap.

"Ye seem overly pleased with yerself, Captain." John Hubbard leaned over to whisper. "If'n ye don't mind me say'n so. Find somethin' special did ye?"

"Aye, Mon Ami, that I did!" The Creole pirate laughed loudly, bringing the group to a halt. "Here, see for yourselves."

Andre pulled the inlaid rectangle from his pocket and gently opened it for them to see. Deep red light flashed from the nearly two inch oval ruby as an errant shaft of sunlight caught it through the wavering palm leaves of the overhead canopy. The sheer luminescence of the pearls surpassed anything the pirates had laid eyes on. Slight hints of rainbow patterns shifted on their surface giving their soft glow almost a mother of pearl sheen. Etienne and Francois stared, their mouths agape. Garnier and John simultaneously whistled lowly. Andre allowed himself the luxury of a small stab of pride.

"Well, Mon Amis, do you think she will like it?" He grinned widely.

"Like it?!" Francois echoed incredulously. "I think she will not let you out of le coucher for a week!"

"That, as they say, is the plan, Mon Frere." Andre winked as he closed the box, sliding it easily back into his pocket.

Garnier DePaul laughed uproariously clapping Andre warmly on the back. "I think you have been spending to much time with Francois, Capitian. Your motives keep leading you back to the boudoir."

"You make it sound like a bad thing." Francois puffed up with feigned indignity. "After all he..."

"We know...he is French!" The other three finished, laughing as they started up the trail again, leaving Francois to stare after them.

Francois shrugged, holding his hands palm up as he looked to the jungle canopy above him. "Mon Dieu. Did I lie?" Dropping his arms he raced up the path to catch up with his comrades.

Benjamin le Renard removed the thick manila envelope from inside his jacket and tossed it onto Lafitte's polished desk top. "Only this, My Friend." He smiled his best politician's smile. "As you may know Aaron Burr has long been pushing for Louisiana, in particular New Orleans to become an independent nation unto herself. Much along the way the Colonies have. I happen to agree with him to an extent."

"Continue." Jean ignored the envelope for the moment, waiting to hear what Renard had on his mind before committing himself.

"We have long been supporting a fellow pirate of yours, who has been amassing a small army to take New Orleans by force if necessary. Running out the Spanish once and for all and declaring Louisiana a free nation. As of now I believe he has finally amassed the capitol to go ahead with the revolution." Benjamin sipped the Cognac thoughtfully, carefully baiting the trap.

"I do not feel an outsider like Burr would be the best choice to lead our country once the deed is accomplished, neither do I completely trust that our man will agree with necessary changes once the deed has been accomplished." He smiled again. "But we still need you to help him. Barataria is strategically located to prevent any hostile reinforcements from spoiling our little party."

"One of those changes being you as the leader of Louisiana, I take it." The pirate lord grinned.

"Only for the sake of the new nation." Renard sniffed.

"Of course." Jean chuckled. "and who is this pirate you wish me to help free New Orleans?"

"Andre Beaudouin."

"Non!!!" Jean leapt to his feet, his face beet red with rage. "Non!!! There is no way on Earth, or in Hell I will lend aid to that Motherless Dandy!! Not for all the money you could place before me!! Good Day to you, Sir!!"

"Would you do it for Governorship of New Orleans?" Renard smiled calmly, noting the sudden change in his newest puppet's demeanor.

"Governorship?" Jean Lafitte looked at Renard with renewed interest at the implied offer.

"Oui. As I said earlier, I do not think Andre will like some of the changes that I will make for Louisiana to prosper. Once he has done his job both he and Burr will have to be......replaced. Burr I can handle politically, as he is an outsider. Andre is another matter all together. He will have to be dealt with more discreetly. I trust you will be able to see to that?"

Lafitte picked up the envelope from his desk with a wicked smile. "With pleasure, Mon Ami. With the greatest of pleasure."

Andre smiled warmly as the men made their way up onto the covered porch. Caesaire rising to hug him tightly. "I have missed you, Mon Amore." She whispered into his ear.

He held her out to arms length. "I trust Mama Perrine and Jaquie have been able to keep you entertained?" He looked lovingly into the Creole beauty's blue eyes.

"Quite so." Caesaire tilted her head to one side. Andre was up to something.

"Even so, Mon Cheri, I do believe I have a debt to pay to you for my boorishness on board Le Faucon." He scowled seriously. "I should have realized from our childhood you would never be able to accept being a kept woman. It was one of the things that attracted me to you so strongly."

He reached into his pocket as he continued. "I have the price you rightfully demanded. Something I believe will fit your new station in life as a Queen among pirates. More importantly as my Pirate Queen."

"This is yours, Mon Amore." He opened the small box for her to see the prize he had found for her.
Post by: Welsh Wench on September 17, 2008, 05:38:26 AM
Caesaire could scarcely catch her breath.
"Oh, Andre! Andre!"
She flung her arms around his neck.
"Does that mean you like it, ma petite?"
"Like it? Mon Dieu, cher, c'est magnifique!"
She turned around and lifted her hair off her neck. Andre fastened it on her neck. She let her hair cascade down and turned to him.
"Well? How does it look?"
Andre grinned. "Mon cher, I think the clams made those pearls just for you! And the it suits you!"
She held her hand out. "And it even came with a box! May I see it?"
He grinned and handed it over. She took it and traced the peacock with her finger. "What exquisite workmanship! Look at the detail!"
She opened it and saw Countess Eladio's name engraved inside the lid.
She looked up at Andre and whispered, "I think we are in trouble!"
Andre looked at her questioningly. "How so, Caesaire?"
Caesaire closed the box and replied, "A gift of this magnitude? Count Eladio either loves his wife very, very much or he cheated on her and is making amends. Or else...."
"Perhaps Count Eladio misappropriated funds somewhere along the line and transferred it to this little trinket."
Andre rubbed his chin and said, "You may have something there, ma petite."
Caesaire said, "Jean used to do the same thing. But he took his money and invested it in land. Look at Barataria."
Andre's jaw set. "And he was a slaver. Dealing in human flesh is no basis to build your wealth."
She sighed. "I was talking to Perrine. How terrible to be at someone's mercy."
Just then, Jacqui entered the room. "How did it go, Andre?"
He grinned and said, "We have the biggest prize we have ever had before, Captain Villard! Everything has been tagged and tomorrow we shall meet with our merchants for distribution. We convert it all to cash."
Jacqui touched the necklace on Caesaire's neck and smiled. "With an exception or two."
Andre laughed and touched the bracelets on Jacqui's wrist. "Or three or four!"
She squeezed his arm and said, "You know how I can't resist pretty-pretties!"
Andre moved close to Caesaire and said casually, "The usual place, Jacqui?"
She laughed and said, "As always! First door on the right, Frenchman!"
Andre took Caesaire by the hand.
"Wait till you see the view from the verandah upstairs!"
Andre unlocked the door on the second floor.
"This way, cher."
The door opened to a spacious suite. Two rooms. The bed was a four-poster with mosquito netting and a white coverlet edged in lace. A wicker dresser and rocker stood in the corner and a potted palm plant in the corner. A white ostrich plum for a fan stood in the corner. The french doors were open to admit the ocean breeze. The verandah overlooked the silvery sands of Jamaica.
She turned to Andre and he drew her into his arms. "It is just wonderful, darling!" she whispered. "Will we be staying here the night?"
"Most likely the week. Jacqui always gave me this room when I would stay here."
Andre drew the mosquito netting back. "And look at how high the bed sits! You would need a step or two to get into it!"
Just then there was a knock on the door.
"Andre? Pardon, but Etienne and I have the tally of all the treasure and I think you will want to go over it with Jacqui. She's waiting for you downstairs on the verandah," said Francois.
Andre held his hand out to Caesaire. "Coming, cher?"
She shook her head.
"Mais non. I shall want to stretch out on this luxurious bed. Don't be long!"
Andre close the door and went down the hall with Francois. "Is it as much as I think it is, mon frere?"
Francois gave a low whistle. "More than we imagined. Count Eladio must have bled the treasury dry to afford such luxuries. Damn Spaniards! Think they own the world!"
Jacqui was sitting in a wicker chair with John and Etienne sitting on the steps, a glass of iced sangria in their hands.
Jacqui's mother Perrine poured them each a glass and sat back down.
"Perrine, you are looking as fetching as always!" Andre said.
Perrine gave a laugh and slapped his knee.
"Go on wit' you now, Captain Beaudouin! You always be the flatterer!"
Jacqui lifted her hair off her neck and tied it back with a bandana. Her gold hoops flashed in the sun as she stretched her mocha-hued legs out. The gesture was not lost on Francois.
"Mère de Dieu, Captain Villard! You tease unmercifully!"
She touched her dagger that was scabbarded in her blouse and shook her head. "Randy dog, will you never learn? Do not make me do any alterations on you!"
Francois mopped his brow as the rest burst out into laughter.
Jacqui asked, "Where is your pretty lady?"
Andre replied, "She wanted some time to herself. She knew we would be embroiled in inventory lists."
Jacqui laughed, "I gave you the room on the end, Andre. For a reason!"
Andre raised his eyebrow and held out his hand.
"The inventory list, s'il vous plait, Jacqui?"
She laughed and withdrew it from a sheaf of papers.
"There it is!"
Andre skimmed through the list. "Mon Dieu, this has to be the motherlode of them all. We have more than enough to divide between the two crews!:
Etienne looked over Andre's shoulder. "And this shall be more than enough to secure Madame Nouvelle d'Orleans from Spain and return her to France!"
For the better part of an hour, the business end of the seizing of El Patre de Tigre was discussed and finally all terms were laid down.
"Shall we expect you and Caesaire for dinner, Andre?" Perrine asked.
The other men and Jacqui burst out laughing.
"He has been known to miss a meal or two, Maman Perrine!" John chuckled.
Andre laughed with them. "I have waited a long time for Caesaire, mes amis. For twelve long years.  And I am sure I shall wait no longer!"
He turned and took the steps two at a time.

Caesaire had dried off from the luxurious bath she took in the copper tub. Jacqui spared no expense when it came to the fineries of civilization. There were creams and lotions, pomades and powder.  She reveled in the luxuries now afforded by Jacqui's hospitality.
Andre opened the door and called out, "Caesaire?"
Caesaire came out of the small room and smiled at him.
"You are back faster than I had thought you would be."
He gave her a roguish grin.
Because there stood his Caesaire.
Wrapped in a sheet and wearing nothing but a three-strand pearl choker with a ruby.
And a smile.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on September 29, 2008, 02:09:56 PM
"Mon Dieu, Cherie." He whispered. "That necklace looks far more attractive on you than it ever did in that box."

Caesaire smiled wickedly as she moved slowly towards her lover, letting the towel fall to the floor just before she entered his arms. her right hand tenderly stroked the back of his neck as she gazed deeply into his eyes. Softly she whispered,"Mon amour." Then pulled his mouth tenderly to hers, the kiss both long and tender, tempered with just the right amount of rising passion.

"I believe we may be late for dinner, Cherie." Andre's voice was deep and near breathless from the desire she brought forth in him.

She glanced playfully at the bed and smiled. "Aye, aye, Mon capitaine!"

Jacqueline leaned with crossed arms on the rail surrounding the large porch of her villa, gazing out to sea. Her coal black tresses tumbled down about her shoulders, a half full tankard of rum almost dangling from her right hand. The straight line of her full lips and the steady gaze of her large brown eyes were the look of one lost in thought.

Perrine came out to stand beside her only daughter. "And what has you looking so serious, Child?"

Jaquie started for a moment. "Sorry, Mama. I was just thinking."

"And where is Marie?"

"I sent her to town. I don't feel much like sharing my bed this night." Jaquie tipped the tankard to her lips, swallowing hard.

"I think something is troubling you." Perrine frowned slightly. "Is it Andre?"

Jaquie laughed. "You know me better than that, Mama. Perhaps it is his lovely woman."

"Jacqueline Villard." Perrine placed her hands firmly on her hips. "You should know better than to lie to your mama like that. Do you think I did not see the way you looked at him when ever he stayed here with us? Do you think I am so blind that I do not see the way you look at him still when you think no one else is watching you?"

Jaquie dropped her head a moment, looking down. Her long black eyelashes all but hiding her eyes. "Of all the men I have known Andre Beaudouin is the only one I had ever considered taking to my heart and my bed."

"And now it is too late?" Her mother asked softly.

"Yes. It is." Jaquie's voice was small and quiet. "I have seen the look in his eyes when he gazes at her. There is no doubt to any who know him. Andre is completely in love with her." She looked up into Perrine's eyes. "And we both know he is far too honorable for anything else."

A tear slid down her smooth mocha cheek. "Oh, Mama. I waited too long."

Perrine drew her daughter into her arms, gently patting her hair. "There, Child." She spoke softly in a tone mothers often use when their children hurt in a way only the heart can hope to heal. "Though you may not want to hear it. Andre Beaudouin is not the only man worthwhile in the world. You have a right to despise them, I will not deny you that, but you have blinded yourself for the sake of a few. If you have begun to think of one man in this way do not let the actions of a few evil men keep you from them all. There are still some out there who know how a woman should be treated and you will miss them if you do."

"No, Mama!" Jaquie's voice raised with determination. "I have seen them all and they are all the same. They only want for one thing from a woman and then they throw her aside like leftover food until they hunger for it again. I have lost the only man who was what a man should be."

Perrine smiled knowingly. "I think not, Jaquie, but it is your own heart you must know. Some men wear a mask and act as they believe others think they should. Perhaps they are afraid of being hurt too."

She looked out at the gathering soft light of evening as the sun began to set on the other side of the island and sighed. "Dinner is ready."

Jacqueline turned her gaze back out to the sea. "I will be in shortly, Mama."

Perrine left, closing the door softly behind her. Jaquie stared out at the darkening ocean. It was true. Had it not been for the aversion of men she had learned when she was young she would have spoken plainly to Andre, told him of her feelings for him. For the thousandth time in her life she cursed the Spanish overseer who had taken her by force when she was no more than thirteen. The sickening smell of his unwashed flesh, the pain of his brutal violation of her body, and most of all his mocking laughter at her tears. All of these had combined to make her feel as she now felt about all men, save one.

Silent tears began to course down her cheeks. In some ways she wished she had never met Andre. In him she had seen a side of men she would have never thought existed. He had treated her with respect and kindness. He made no crude advances towards her, nor acted like her only worth was below her waist. He had made her feel like an equal, like a friend. There could only be one man in all the world who acted like that. All the rest were like his randy little dog Francois. Thinking only with the sword they had been born with. Deep down she had been growing tired of women. As beautiful as it was, there was always something missing for her. Something she felt she needed. Now it would seem her only opportunity to try and discover what that may have been had slipped through her fingers.

She heard the door open again behind her. "I'll be there momentarily, Mama." She said.

"Please excuse me, Captain Villard." For a second time she started at the sound of Francois' voice.

She whirled around so fast that she forgot to wipe the tears from her cheeks. Letting her free hand drop to her thigh. "And what do you want, Randy little dog?!" Her anger rising to her voice.

"I have come to properly apologize for my actions that night, Capitaine." His voice was calm and different somehow. For a moment she looked hard at him to reassure herself that it was indeed Francois.

The French pirate slipped a hand inside his coat and pulled out a clean linen handkerchief, offering it to her before he continued. "I know it is no excuse, but I was very drunk that night and I did not know who you were. Had I known I would never have said the thing I said to you, not for twice the amount Etienne had bet me to do it."

Shakily she took the offered cloth and hid her surprise at the gentleness of his smile as he continued. "I know how I am when the others are around. I have dug my own grave there, but I would have you know that it has shamed me ever since to have treated one of the finest women it was ever my privilege to meet like that."

Her mouth dropped open in shock as he bowed low to her. "I wish you would do me the honor of accepting this as my penance for being such the fool. It would at the least let me know that I have made some amends to you."

He held out a bracelet, something he had obviously stolen from the booty of the Tigre. A series of jade roses, separated by alternating pearls and connected together by a exquisitely crafted chain of purest silver. She reached out and took the bracelet admiring the craftsmanship.

Francois bowed again and smiled in a way she had never seen him smile before. "Merci, Mademoiselle Villard. Merci. You have no idea how much this means to me. Now, I will bid you adieu."

He turned to leave and it suddenly occurred to her that he had made no reference to her beauty, or the revealing way she was dressed. In fact he had not even looked at her with the desire she had so often seen in the eyes of men. Perhaps her mama knew more than she did about the ways of men.

"Thank you, Francois." She barely whispered as he opened the door. So softly she was sure he did not hear.

Francois stopped, the door half open. Without looking back she heard him say. "Votre bienvenue, Jaquie. It was the least I could do and too long for you to wait." He shut the door quietly behind him.

Jacqueline fastened the trinket around her wrist. Looking at the kerchief in her hand she slipped it into her belt and smiled.
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 04, 2008, 09:58:44 AM
Caesaire pulled her dress over her head and shimmied into it, the silk skimming and falling. Andre sat on the edge of the bed, pulling his boots on.
"Andre, are we really that late for dinner?"
"Mais non, cher. Jacquie told me seven PM and that it is. So we are just a bit fashionably late."
She touched the necklace as she gazed in the mirror.
"It is so beautiful, my darling."
He came from behind her and kissed her neck. "And I have been well thanked!"
She turned to him with a grin on her face. "Do you remember the daisy chains I used to make?"
He laughed.
"Oui. You wove them into your hair like a crown. And they were strewn around your neck. I thought you were most beautiful. Like a wood nymph!"
She put her arms around his neck and drew his face towards hers. Tenderly she kissed him as he wrapped his arms around her
As she laid her head against his chest, she asked, "When shall we be in New Orleans?"
"In about three week's time. One week to distribute the booty and another two weeks till we arrive in port."
He held her back, his hands on her shoulders as he looked into her blue eyes.
"Something is troubling you, cher. What is it?"
Caesaire sighed. "I just wonder how Pere is going to take the news that you will be his son-in-law, Andre."
Andre threw his head back and laughed. "The most respected Christophe Trosclair who will have a pirate sitting across from him at the table!
Christophe Trosclair had the small carriage pull up to the pink Creole townhouse. It was beginning to grow dusk as Christophe looked out. The house was three floors, each with large windows with wrought iron balconies. Pots of roses adorned each porched tier and baskets of ivies hung from the ceilings. The shutters were painted white and the door stood out in polished cypress. The windows were immaculate and were framed with curtains of lace.
He alighted and knocked on the door. To his surprise, Marie opened the door herself.
Christophe bowed and said, "Madame Beaudouin! I--I'm sorry. I was surprised to see you answer the door yourself."
Marie laughed. "It is an old habit, Monsieur Trosclair. Andre wanted me to hire servants so I wouldn't have to work anymore. But no one could run my household like I could. I do have a woman come in twice a week and help me and of course, there is a gardener to keep the grounds looking wonderful. But where are my manners? Please step in while I fetch my wrap."
Christophe stepped into the parlor. The furnishings were elegant without being gaudy as sometimes is the case with nouveau riche. Heavy drapery hung on the sides of the windows but the lace covered the curtains. Almost as if Marie could hardly bear to keep the sunshine out. The mahogany tables were highly polished and a few glass lamps were adorning the top of the tables, along with lace doilies. Vases of flowers were scattered about, their sweet smell subtly filling the room.  Christophe picked up a small miniature. It was the portrait of a young man. He had light brown hair and blue eyes and an air of quiet dignity. Christophe recognized him from seeing him as the man had worked at his trade. In fact, Christophe had hired him to do some millwork around his fireplace years ago.
Marie came into the room and saw him looking at the picture. She said softly, "That was my husband Anton." She took the miniature and gently held it.
"A fine man. A fine father. He's been gone sixteen years now."
Christophe said gently, "The fever?"
She put the portrait back and nodded. "And you?"
Christophe said quietly, "The fever too. Clothilde has been gone for eighteen years."
"Do you still think of her often?"
"When I look at Caesaire, yes, I do. So much like her mother, she is. Headstrong and willful. But Clothilde was different in that she listened. Caesaire does not listen at all. A rebellious one, that she is."
Marie laughed. "Perhaps this is a subject we shall have to discuss over dinner then."
He smiled, taking her cloak and draping it gently on her shoulders.
"Oui. I do think this is the time we shall have to take to get to know one another. As we may be related in the future, Madame Beaudouin."
" me Marie."
"And you must call me Christophe."
They sat in the restaurant, the remnants of a delicious meal of pork roast and potatoes, cinnamon apples and fresh vegetables on the plates.
"More wine, Marie?"
"Oui, Christophe. Un peu...that is enough!"
The two had made small talk for over an hour while dining.
Finally Marie broached the subject they had been leading to.
"I suppose we should talk about Andre and Caesaire."
Christophe sighed. "Please do not mistake me in this, Marie. Andre is a fine young man. But Caesaire was too young to make a match. And she was starting to run wild. Always into things with Sebastian and Andre. So I sent her to St Ursuline's to be properly educated."
"You mean she was not in Charleston as Isabelle had told me?"
"Mais non. She was close by so I could keep an eye on her progress and visit her. Marie, she is my only child and all I had left of Clothilde. I didn't want her to get in any...trouble."
Marie said evenly, "And you feel my Andre would get her in...trouble, as you so delicately put it."
Christophe could feel his face redden. While he did like Andre, he felt that Caesaire was meant for a man of a higher station in life.
He said, "I could see there was the beginnings of more than friendship between the two of them."
"And Andre, being a young man, would seduce her and leave her with a small package?"
"I was trying to spare our families any shame in our standing in the community."
"Christophe, you mean YOUR standing. I had none. Poor I was born, in poorness I raised Andre as best  I could and I have done well. He is a fine man and prosperous. He had invested whatever money he has made in land and businesses. He may have attained his wealth by unconventional means, but mark my words. Andre will be a force to be reckoned with in New Orleans. Whatever it takes. And I have a feeling your daughter will be right beside him all the way. And if they are together--as I think 'together' is a word you and I both know what we mean--there may be a mutual grandchild in our future. We may be related yet, Monsieur Trosclair."

Marie continued on.
"And as far as unconventional, it is a well-known secret--whether you like to acknowledge it or not--that your Caesaire was involved with Jean Lafitte, helping to smuggle in the pretties and fineries that bedeck half the women in New Orleans. Do you honestly think we would be able to afford the silks and perfumes if we had to pay the taxes and tariffs the port has imposed? I think not. it or not, we both have renegades for children and I, for one, am proud of them. Andre rose above his poverty and looks out for his maman. Caesaire made her way in a man's world by whatever means she could, laughing in the face of conventional society."

Christophe knew not what to say so he said the first thing that came into his mind.
"Dessert, Marie?"
She smiled behind her wine glass and said, "I do believe I shall, Monsieur Trosclair."
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on October 10, 2008, 04:10:00 PM
Caesaire and Andre walked among the prospective buyers crammed into the warehouse. Stopping here and there to make polite conversation as their clients perused the wares. The atmosphere was slightly different that Caesaire was used to when she marketed her rightfully taken plunder as a privateer with letters of mark to prove just claim to the goods. Although she did recognize some of the merchants there, they did not seem very anxious to be recognized by her. She knew them to be some of her highest paying clients and very upstanding members of New Orleans society with some of the richest clientele in the world.

Andre seemed to know each of them personally as he moved to shake a hand here, or chat up the particular quality of an item there. From the ease of the meetings she guessed this was not the first time many of these upstanding merchants had purchased goods of questionable origin from him. Many, she noticed, paid particular attention to the ruby choker he had given her. Appraising it's value from habit and raising more than a few eyebrows when they had settled on a price in their heads.

"Bonjour, Monsieur Hallett." Andre extended his hand to one of her former clients. "A pleasure to see you again at one of my little sales, Ami."

"Bonjour, Andre, Mademoiselle Trosclair." The balding dress shop owner nodded to her, clearly uncomfortable having her find him here. "I was just checking the quality of the silks." He managed a smile. "I must say, never have I seen such quality before. Most of what we get is of second quality at best. These rival the silk China keeps for themselves."

"A lucky catch, Monsieur." Andre shrugged, Pleased to have it confirmed that the plunder of the Tigre was anything but ordinary. "From what I could tell all of the goods are of the rare quality."

"Indeed, Captain." Hallett stroked one of the light blue bolts lovingly. "With material such as this I would be famous even in Paris." He lowered his voice and glanced about. "Do you suppose we could arrive at a privet price for the lot, Captain Beaudouin?" The hope and greed creeping into his voice.

Andre chuckled good naturedly. "I am sorry, Bernard, but the choice is not mine alone this time. Captain Villard had to help me with the taking of this particular prize and we both agreed. The prices will have to stand as they are. Of course, you may always ask her. I will agree if she may be persuaded."

Caesaire delicately put one hand to her mouth to hide her smile as the merchant went white with the thought. "T-Thank you, Non." He all but stammered. "I believe I have brought enough to purchase the lot. Merci, Andre."

Andre bowed. "A good day to you, Mon Ami."

Caesaire held her mirth until they were out of earshot, then broke into a gale of laughter. "I do believe Monsieur Bernard Hallett has had some dealings with Jaquie before, non?"

"Oui." Andre grinned, chuckling himself. "Most of these traders have been privy to sales of both of us. More than a few made the same mistake Francois made with her. She is a very lovely woman."

She turned to him, a mischievous twinkle in her eye. "She is in love with you, you know."

He gathered her into his arms. "Ah, Cheri. Perhaps so, but I choose not to notice. Business and pleasure do not mix well."

Caesaire leaned close. "So sure of that, are you, Cheri?"

"There are, as they say, exceptions to every rule." He let one finger trace the length of her face. "Still why would you believe her to be in love with moi?"

She lightly spun from his embrace, snapped open her black lace patterned fan and gazed at him teasingly over one shoulder. "A woman knows these things, Amore." Snapping the fan shut again she turned back, placing the tip against his chest. "You men take so little notice of the signs we give you, unless your minds are in the boudoir.
Andre effected a shocked look. "Moi?? Surely not, Mon Amore. I have ever been the most sensitive to the emotions of a lady."

"We will discuss that over dinner tonight, Monsieur Beaudouin. I hear there is a delightful tavern in town......and you still owe me a beignet when we return home to New Orleans." She winked playfully, turned and walked away with an extra swing to her hips.

Andre grinned, watching for a moment. "Mon Deiu." He thought. "At least I can say with you, Mon Amore, never will there be a dull moment."

Jean-Pierre Rousseau watched from a distance as Beaudouin strode away to catch up with Caesaire. It would seem that Monsieur Renard's information was more than correct if he were any judge of lovers. No, more than lovers. Had he not known better Rousseau would have sworn he had just witnessed an exchange usually reserved for those in a happy marriage. This alone made his mission more useful than his employer could have dreamed.

From what he had overheard as he pretended to be particularly interested in a Ming vase, they would be alone tonight in town. He could not wait for a better opportunity. Andre was too unpredictable to be allowed free reign in the up coming coup. He would have to be brought to heel sooner or later and Caesaire Trosclair had so far proved to be the best chance they had of doing just that. Even better, if what Le Renard suspected turned out to be true she could also prove useful in placing Jean LaFitte under his thumb as well.

This was almost too good to be true. The two most powerful pirates in New Orleans cowed by one woman? Sacre Blue! Who would have thought such a thing? Rousseau smiled to himself as he made his way to the entrance of the warehouse. If the woman were this exciting perhaps Monsieur Renard should consider keeping her for himself. C'est dommage. It was none of his affair. Once she was safely back in New Orleans Renard could decide what to do with his captured queen then. A double checkmate by the capture of a single queen. Well played, Monsieur.

Jacqueline Villard smiled wistfully as she watched Andre and Caesaire make the rounds of the buyers, her arm draped around the waist of Marie Juliana, her first mate and oft time lover. She tried to be careful, but there was little mistaking the wistful look in her dark brown eyes.

"You still pine for him, don't you, Jaquie?" Marie cocked her head to one side. Though she respected the Creole pirate captain she could not keep the jealousy from her voice. "Is that why you sent me away last night?"

"No, My pretty pretty." Jaquie lied. "It has been a long voyage and I wanted to spend time with Mama. Is that so hard to understand?"

"I suppose not." Marie sighed, letting the matter drop.

Jaquie hugged her closer. "Do not worry, Pretty pretty. I am just out of sorts at the moment. Give me a little time and all will be well, you will see."

Marie smiled as best she could and nodded. Perhaps that was all there was to it. Still, there were the times she had let pass. The times when in the heat of passion Jaquie had spoken a name other than hers without realizing it. The name of Andre Beaudouin. True it had not happened often, but it had been more than once. Marie was more than happy to see Andre finally captured by another. True, her captain, much like Andre had never committed herself to any one relationship, but Marie had always held out hope of becoming her one true love. Silently she thanked Caesaire Trosclair for stealing away Andre's heart and putting him beyond Jaquie's reach.

Jacqueline was again lost in her thoughts. Was it so much Andre she wanted, or was it something else? Since the rape she had never willingly shared her bed with a man. Andre had found the love of his life and was now beyond her hopes. Why did she still think of him? Why was it becoming harder and harder to be satisfied with the love of another woman? She had never bedded Andre and before him the thought of being touched that way by a man revolted her. She had never before lied to Marie, either. She should be happy. She should feel contented, but all she felt now was confused and deeply troubled.
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 14, 2008, 09:51:55 PM
Caesaire was pulling her white silk buccaneer shirt over her head as Andre came out of the bath.
"Andre, it shall be such great fun! I haven't been to Port Royal in such a long time. Besides, I learned in this sweet trade that the tavern is the place to go if you want to find out the pulse of the town. It is the next best thing to running down to the docks to see what ships have come in."

Andre reached in his dresser drawer for a shirt of black silk. "And I want to find out the news of Juan Carlos. Since he was in the Spanish shipping lanes, he must have been picked up by now. And I am sure he has some explaining to do to Count Eladio."
Caesaire carefully laid her new choker in the velvet box that Andre had given her.
"Cher, you are not going to wear the necklace?"
"Mais non, Andre. I saw the raised eyebrows and the speculation of how much it is worth. Best to go to the tavern in a very low-key manner. Besides, we both know there are pickpockets and thieves. No one can be trusted and I would hate to lose such a token of love."
Andre picked up his cavalier hat and ran his fingers over the burgundy and black feathers.
Caesaire sat on the bed and sighed. "I always love the way the cavalier hat dips down on your eye. It makes you look so....dashing!"
He smiled at her in the mirror as he adjusted his hat.
"Then perhaps you would like to look behind the chair, cher."
She jumped off the bed and within seconds brought out a hat box that Andre had hid.
"You didn't! When did you find the time to go shopping?"
"When you were admiring that set of crystal goblets. You were engaged in a conversation with Monsieur Becnel so I was able to slip over to the milliner on the other side and order the hat. Etienne picked it up for me. Go ahead--open it!"
She grinned at him and kissed her fingers to him. As she lifted up the box, there on a wrapping of silk was a cavalier hat of black brocade with dark crimson feathers trailing down the back.
"Oh...cher!" she breathed. "C'est tres bon! Je t'aime!"
She put the hat on and twirled around in it, looking over her shoulder and giving Andre a wink.
He grabbed her around the waist and they toppled to the bed.
They kissed deeply until Caesaire broke away and said, "Later, mon amore. We have a tavern to see and information to gather!"
Andre sat up and sighed, "Oui...but we shall discuss it later."
She stood up and grabbed his hands, pulling him up and close to her.
"Oui, cher. Of that you can depend on!"
Jacquie sat on the verandah, a bourbon over ice and a sprinkling of sugar in a tall glass. She put her feet up on the railing and had a cool cloth on her neck, wiping down the rivulets of sweat. The heat of the day had been almost unbearable except for a sea breeze. She could hardly wait for the evening when the breeze would bring in a bit of ocean coolness.
She closed her eyes, thinking of how different her life might have been if she had spoken up to Andre. Perhaps she would have been the one on Andre's arm instead of Caesaire. As much as Jacquie would love to hate Caesaire, she found it impossible. One night when Andre and Jacquie were in Antigua getting drunk to celebrate their latest prize, Andre had spoken of a childhood friend and had wondered out loud whatever became of her.
It was the look on Andre's face that sent her heart plummeting.
Jacquie knew nothing of this phantom love or how deeply Andre had been hurt by her leaving. Yet she knew this was no ordinary friendship. In retrospective, seeing them together put all the puzzle pieces together.
And yet still...
"Captain Villard?"
 "Yes, Francois?" she replied without even opening her eyes.
He cleared his voice and she slowly opened her eyes. Francois stood there in a clean white linen buccaneer shirt, his brown hair caught back in a ribbon and his cavalier hat was in his hand. His green eyes reflected something that Jacquie had not seen in a long time.
"Andre is um...occupied at the moment..."
At that Jacquie felt her heart plummet a little, and Francois continued, "...and I just came from the warehouse. The entire west sector of the goods has been auctioned and paid for. The bidders will be there at 9 AM to pick up their goods. Etienne has arranged the banking of the funds and has a full accounting that you and Captain Beaudouin can review in the morning."
Jacquie smiled at him. "And you did a very good job, randy little dog!"
Francois was startled. Gone was the derision with which she had called him that before. It was replaced by a gentle teasing.
He looked at her wrist and saw that she was wearing the jade bracelet he had given her as a token of his remorse for boorish behaviour.
"That bracelet could never grace a Spanish senorita's wrist as well as it does yours, Captain. I am to understand that you accept my apologies?"
She laughed gently and said, "Oui, Francois. I have forgiven--but not forgotten!--your little faux pas."
He smiled broadly, his eyes lighting up.
"Then I shall retire with a buoyed spirit, Captain Villard."
As he turned to go, Jacquie said quietly, "Captain Beaudouin and his lovely lady were going to the new tavern--the Three Crowns--and they have invited me to go along with them."
"How nice for you to be able to relax, Captain Villard."
"I was wondering if you would like to escort me."
Francois was taken aback. "But I thought you keeping company with someone from your crew."
Jacquie laughed quietly. "Marie Julianna was still collecting monies owed from the east sector.  Don't get any ideas, my randy pup. It is an escort, not a commitment but an invitation."
Francois grinned and bowed low. "Then I shall be delighted. What time shall we say?"
"Andre said nine o'clock."
"Then I shall meet you on the verandah in an hour, Jacquie."
"Tres bien, Francois."
Neither of them had noticed they had used their proper names.
"Cher, you look absolutely magnifique!"
Andre could not take his eyes off his lady love. Caesaire was resplendent in her white silk, buccaneer shirt and burgundy breeches. A black brocade frock coat and the new cavalier hat completed the picture.
Jacquie was accompanied by Francois. She wore her linen shirt of mimosa yellow with a pomegranate skirt and soft tan kid boots. Her hair flowed past her shoulders.
As the four of them walked into the tavern, all conversation stopped.
Caesaire whispered, "Was it something we said?"
Andre whispered back, "Stay close to Jacquie. She is well armed with her dagger and she has a pistol stuffed into her waistband.
All eyes followed them as they sat at a table.
"Either they are very impressed or they are very perturbed, mon capitan, " Francois whispered.
"Time will tell, Francois. Time will tell. But keep a sharp eye out."
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on October 24, 2008, 04:31:52 PM
Rousseau leaned against the bar making it a point not to stare at the foursome as they entered, hiding his surprise. Andre and Caesaire he had expected, but there had been no mention of them sharing the evening with another couple. This had complicated things and he secretly signaled his comrades to wait until he had assessed the situation more thoroughly.

His men went back to their drinking and conversation and he had hoped that the shocked silence from this unforeseen turn of events had not tipped their hand. Beaudouin he was certain they could handle, at least long enough to spirit his lover away. The addition of two more pirates made the outcome less than certain.

Pretending to hold a conversation with the lackey to his right he looked the four pirates over carefully. Jacqueline Villard and, could it be? Francois Loupe?! How could this be? The captain of the Calypso's Revenge was well known to despise men. Still it did complicate things further. Villard was well known for her ability with the sword and Loupe was one of Beaudouin's own men, as well as a personal friend by all accounts. All four of them were armed as well. Very prudent.

The original plan had been to engage Andre in a duel, thus allowing his men to spirit Caesaire away while he was thus occupied. There was little hope of that now as the additional members of his party would no doubt be watching each other's backs. He needed both time to think and to convey any new plan to his men. Perhaps it would be better to scuttle the whole mission.

Andre held out Caesaire's chair as Francois did for Jaquie. The room had returned to it's normal atmosphere almost as soon as the unusual silence had taken it upon their entry. He allowed his eyes to rake the room, searching for any hint of trouble, but to all intents and purposes everyone seemed to be ignoring their presence now. What could have possibly caused their arrival to illicit such a response? Suddenly a light went off in his brain.

Of course! Mon Deiu! How could he have been so dull witted? Jaquie! She was well known here in her home port. Seeing her being escorted my a man would have been enough to give him pause. In fact it had done just that when he and Caesaire had found the two of them standing at the bottom of the stairs awaiting their arrival. Though he had hid his surprise well he had expected Marie Juliana to be Jaquie's escort for the night. Certainly not Francois. Caesaire had discreetly squeezed his arm to signal her own disbelief.

The Creole pirate captain relaxed. There was no outward indication that anything else was amiss and he did not recognize anyone in the room as a potential enemy. Lifting his hand into the air he motioned for the serving wench.

"Mademoiselle, s'il vous plait." He grinned.

"Oui, Monsieur?" The pretty brunette smiled.

"Je voudrais..." Andre went on to order the finest rum and a bottle of the best wine to have with their lobster dinner.

"That, then, is the plan." Jean-Pierre Rousseau whispered lowly to the table he had moved over to. "We can not hope that such an opportunity will fall into our laps a second time and Monsieur Renard was explicit in his orders. One way, or another Caesaire Trosclair leaves with us this night."

"Are you sure, Mon ami?" One of the other two whispered back. "Andre Beaudouin is dangerous enough on his own, but with that hellcat at his side...." He let the point hang in the air as he glanced in Jaquie's direction for a moment.

"I know full well her presence changes things!" Rousseau hissed. "Don't forget one of his most trusted aides is here as well, but we have no choice. Either we take her now with just these three, or we try to fight with his entire crew! Perhaps hers as well! At least this way we have a chance!"

"Very well." The other spoke up. "We risk all now while the odds are better. We'll spread the word and await your signal, Jean-Pierre."

"As long as they stick to the plan we should have very little trouble." Rousseau grinned and stood to return to the bar.

Dinner had gone extremely well, Andre found himself smiling at the ease with which Jaquie and Francois were conversing with each other. It was as if an unseen barrier between them had been lifted and they were getting along like old friends. He leaned over to Caesaire and whispered.

"It would seem our "randy little dog" has gotten over his fear of the whip."

Caesaire chuckled slightly. "Or neutering as the case may be, Cher."

Andre almost spit the mouthful of wine he had taken across the table. Jaquie and Francios seemed oblivious to them, deep in their own conversation.

"Please, Mon amore, a warning before you become witty." He chuckled. "I am sure a face full of wine would break our companions mood, N'cest pa?"

As she opened her mouth to reply one of the pirates from the bar half staggered over to them, his eyes glued to her.

"Excusez-moi, Mademoiselle." He leaned rudely forward onto their table. "Are you not Caesaire Trosclair?"

"Mais oui, Monsieur." The blonde beauty replied icily. "Pourquoi?"

"Nothing much, Mademoiselle." Rousseau put on his best drunken smile. "I was perhaps wondering, if you would prefer the company of a true Frenchman to this Creole dandy?"

Andre was on his feet in a moment, his face beet red with outrage. At that very moment one of the pirates who had been sitting at the table behind them leapt up and grabbed Jaquie from behind pinning her arms helplessly to her sides and holding a razor sharp dagger to her throat. The other leveled a flintlock at Francois' head and a third pointed his own pistol at Andre.

"Come, come, Captain Beaudouin." Jean-Pierre smiled wickedly. "There is no need for the violence. Mademoiselle Trosclair will be quite safe in my company. Unless you decide to play the hero. Then who knows what may happen to her."

Andre fumed at the ease with which they had been taken unawares, his hazel eyes burning with rage. Before he could answer Caesaire smiled sweetly, dabbed her mouth with a lace napkin and stood up.

"Why Monsieur, all you had to do was ask in privet." She sighed like a bored lady of New Orleans. "To be honest I have grown more than a little tired of this lower class lifestyle. Sure it was fun as a bit of diversion, but far beneath my station as a Trosclair."

Rousseau's eyes widened, then he burst into raucous laughter. "So all of this was an act to have a bit of fun?!!" He asked incredulously.

"But of course." Caesaire smiled as she walked over to the kidnapper. "You don't honestly think a woman of my breeding would stay with such a low born ruffian as this, do you?! Why the very idea!"

Andre stared at his one love in complete shock. Had it all been nothing more than an act? Something to pay him back for the times he had allowed Sebastian to help tease her when they were children. He felt his heart begin to tear as she reached out her delicate hand for Rousseau to take. He fought as never before to keep the unbidden tears from his eyes.

No sooner had Jean-Pierre reached out to take her hand than Caesaire's boot flew from beneath her skirt, connecting between his legs with a loud thump. In a flash both of Francios' arms moved in a blur. With his left fist he knocked the pistol pointing at his head aside, sending the ball out of the tavern window. His right hand flew forward, a silvery streak crossing the short distance between him and Jaquie. Her assailant fell back dead, with a throwing dagger buried to the hilt in his right eye.

Jacqueline pulled her thigh dagger free, throwing it in one fluid motion. The pirate that had held Francois at bay was reaching for his sword as the deadly missile took him in the heart. Andre moved like a demon. Jerking one of his own pistols free he fired, a blossom of red in the forehead of the shocked man who had trained his pistol from Andre to Caesaire proved he had hit his mark. At that moment several more pirates jumped to their feet with swords drawn.

The foursome immediately drew their own weapons and the normally peaceful tavern soon turned into a battle ground worthy of any sea bound fight they had ever been involved in. Jaquie and Francois put their backs together and sent at least two more of their attackers to the afterlife. Andre and Caesaire fought side by side, every once in a while exchanging wicked smiles as soon the last of their assailants took to their heels and ran for their very lives.

"Now." Andre breathed heavily from the exertion. "Let us have some answers."

Turning to where Caesaire had felled Rousseau he found that at sometime during the fray the man had managed to escape. Quickly he pulled his remaining pistol and strode over to the tavern owner with murderous purpose.

"Since one pigeon has, how you say, flown the coop, I would suggest you start talking and quickly, Monsieur!" He growled at the frightened man who cowered beneath his pistol barrel.

"I swear, Monsieur, I had no choice!!!" The round balding man squeaked. "They arrived but a few moments before you, chased all my regular costumers away and swore they would kill me if I breathed a word!! Please! It is the truth!! I do not know them!!"

The terror in the man's eyes convinced Andre that he was being honest. Reaching into his pocket he pulled a small leather purse and weighed it in his hand for a moment before tossing it onto the bar.

"There should be enough there to pay for our meal and the damages." He scowled a bit anyway for effect. "Should we ever return and such a thing is happening you may always send a note with our meal, Monsieur."

The tavern owner breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you, Sir. I will!" He said earnestly.

Andre allowed himself a grin. "And by the way."

"Yes, Monsieur??"

"The lobster was excellent."
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 01, 2008, 10:05:57 AM
Jean Pierre Rousseau barely made it to his room at the inn. He crawled into bed and curled up, aching from the blow he received from the knee of Caesaire Trosclair. Sweat ran profusely down his face, both from the pain and the dread of having to tell Monsieur Renard of his failure to deliver Caesaire Trosclair in a timely fashion. He only hoped word of his humiliation did not reach the ears of New Orleans Society.
The four pirates walked quickly down the street towards Jacquie's villa on the shoreline. Ever vigilant, their fingers nervously tapped their rapiers and daggers, The men made sure their pistols were at the ready.
No one said a word.
Within fifteen minutes, they were sitting on the verandah, each lost in their own thoughts.
Francois finally broke the silence.
"What do you suppose they wanted?"
Jacquie shrugged. "Money?"
Andre lit a black cigar and said quietly, "They wanted Caesaire."
From the darkness of the chaise, she asked, "But why? Why me?"
Andre took a deep inhalation. "It is obvious, cherie. I see Jean Lafitte's hand all over this."
Francois said, "I am afraid I have to agree with Andre, Caesaire. Your ship and crew were murdered. And in port, I might add."
"But...but why?"
Jacquie said, "Isn't it obvious? Jean was not only spurned by you, he was almost killed by you. Retribution."
Caesaire suddenly stood up. "I'm not feeling well. If you will please excuse me, I'm going to bed."
Andre stood up with her. She gently laid a hand on his chest and said softly, "Please, darling, stay down here and enjoy the night air with Francois and Jacquie. I just have a headache."
He looked at her worriedly but she gently touched his cheek and whispered, "I'll be alright, Andre. I just want to lie down."
He nodded and gently squeezed her hand. In a low voice, he said, "I shall be up before too long, cher."
To Jacquie, she said, "I am very sorry to be the cause of any distress around here, Captain Villard."
Jacquie gave her a smile and said, "Into every life, a little spice must fall, pretty one."
"I don't like it. Not one bit. First her ship. Then the kidnapping when she was supposed to meet us at the dock. And then the encounter with Jean on the island. Now this."
Francois took the brandy that Jacquie had handed him. "Merci, Jacquie. I agree, Andre. There are far too many instances for it all to be a coincidence."
Andre frowned, "I don't know if he will attempt to have her harmed or what. And when will the next attack be?"
Francois swirled his brandy. "Who can say? I think we should maybe post a watch over Caesaire and keep her away from the marketplace. We only have a week to go."
Jacquie said quickly, "She's a very capable, headstrong woman. Will she agree to it?"
Andre's mouth drew into a tight line. "She will have no choice, Jacquie. I shall see to it that she understands. Her safety is of utmost importance. Now if you will please excuse me, I'll see to it that she is alright."
Andre went inside and Jacquie and Francois listened to his footsteps climbing the stairs.
"Things will be alright, Francois."
He said quietly, "I am sure. But I know that Andre will feel so much more at ease once he is back in New Orleans and makes her his own."
Jacquie couldn't help but feel a tug at her heart.
"What do you mean?"
"Did Andre not tell you?"
She shook her  head.
Francois continued, "He and Caesaire intend to be married as soon as they return to New Orleans. Whether her father approves or not."
Jacquie replied quietly, "I see."
Francois continued, "They have known each other since they were children. Andre once got drunk with me in a tavern in Aruba and told me there was a girl he had intended to marry but she was spirited off to school and he never heard from her again. Caesaire came aboard the ship about a month ago at one of Andre's legendary port parties and they immediately fell back in love."
Jacquie murmured, "I cannot compete with that."
"I'm sorry, what did you say?"
"I said, 'I cannot conceive of that.' I mean, falling so quickly in love."
"Andre never stopped loving her. And seeing Caesaire, I can see why. Funny thing, this...."
"In all the ports we have been in, all the women that Andre has known....none of them were blonde."
"It's almost as if he didn't want his physical needs intruding upon her memory."
"Like he would feel he is betraying or replacing her?"
"Something like that."
They were each silent for a minute.
"More brandy, Francois?"
"I don't mind if I do, Jacquie."
They sat in companionable silence, finishing their drinks, each lost in their own thoughts.
Andre knocked softly on the door, then opened it slowly.
"Caesaire?" he whispered.
She was curled up on the bed, her face in the pillow. She didn't answer him, but her body was shaking.
Alarmed, he walked swiftly over to her and realized she was sobbing.  He gathered her in his arms like a mother would a child and gently rocked her, his hands stroking her hair and making soothing sounds.
She buried her face in his shirt and continued to cry.
Muffled, he heard, "I want to go home. I want to go home, Andre!"
He held her close and kissed the top of her head. "We can't go home just yet, love. But we will. As soon as this business is wrapped up, we shall go home."
She clung all the tighter to him.
"And then you will marry me?"
"As soon as we get home, Caesaire."
"Bien," she whispered. "I won't rest until we are man and wife."
He lifted her face to his, gently wiping the tears off her face.
"Then let's do it now."
"Let's get married. Right here in Jamaica."


There was a loud, insistent knock on the door.
Rousseau groaned and hobbled over to the door.
The visitor in the dark cloak did not even wait to be invited in.
"Nous devons parler. Maintenant!"
Rousseau was still bent over, every movement delivering a wave of pain that only a man could feel.
"Mais non! NOW!"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on November 07, 2008, 08:55:25 PM
Still unable to walk without discomfort, Jean-Pierre hobbled back to set on the edge of his bed. "You will excuse me if I sit, Monsieur?'

Drausin D'Estrehan pulled the hood of the cloak back revealing his features. The scowl on his normally handsome face would have soured fresh milk. "I care not if you sit, or stand, Monsieur Rousseau." He sneered. "What I do care about is the fact that you and your men have failed to acquire Caesaire Trosclair!"

Jean-Pierre looked incredulously at Drausin for a moment, the heat of his own anger rising quickly within him. "Do not press your luck with me, Lawyer! At the moment I am in the greatest of discomfort from that she devil! If you insist on coming to me acting like you are my employer I shall surely see to it that Monsieur Renard will be informed of your untimely demise during our trip home!"

Drausin Took a deep breath, quickly calming himself. He had volunteered to accompany Renard's mercenaries for the opportunity to be Caesaire's keeper. As soon as he could spirit her away from that bastard Beaudouin he was certain she would see that they belonged together. Benjamin had promised that once Andre was out of the way she would be his.

"Forgive me, Monsieur Rousseau." He said in a far more friendly tone. Now was not the time to press his luck with this pirate, but once they returned to New Orleans with Caesaire, Jean-Pierre Rousseau would learn just how "helpless" this lawyer was. "My concern for the success of our mission got the better of me."

"Exactly what went wrong? From my vantage point across the street I could see very little of what happened inside the tavern. The windows of such places here are made in a way to discourage seeing what transpires inside, even though I was just across the street waiting to help spirit Caesaire away."

Rousseau tenderly swung his feet back onto the cot and leaned his back against the wall, groaning slightly. Drausin smiled inwardly. "I had not counted on them being accompanied. The last I knew Beaudouin and that she devil were to be alone. Thankfully I have the back up plan."

Drausin cocked an eyebrow quizzically, to which the mercenary smiled wickedly. "Have no fear, Baby sitter, Caesaire Trosclair will be in our hands before the week is out! This I promise."

"What?" Caesaire's mouth dropped open.

"I am serious, Mon amore." Andre softly brushed her hair back. Though no stranger to the pain of others he found that none ever affected him as much as Caesaire's did. He had felt it when they were children and the agony of seeing her hurt in anyway was as keen now as it was then. Perhaps it had been because he had helped to cause it then that he would do anything to keep her from it now.

"I know you would rather have the big wedding in the finest church of New Orleans, Cheri. If that is still your wish, I will happily wait. I offer it now in hopes it will ease the tears from your eyes and replace the smile I so dearly love upon your lovely face."

"Oh, Andre." She threw her arms around his neck. "I still want us to be married before all of New Orleans. I want every one to know that I am your woman. It's just all of this strife that Jean is putting us through.......I never wanted to cause such trouble in your life. He nearly killed you because of me!"

Andre chuckled. "Non, Cheri. Jean and I have been at odds for much longer than your return to me. And if that blow to my head has not rattled my memory it was I who had won that duel. If not for that treacherous lackey Lafitte would be the one feeding the gulls by now."

"But, Mon amore...." She began, tenderly searching his eyes.

"Non, Cheri." Andre gently cut her off. "I'll have no buts. Je t'aime, Caesaire. I always have, in one way, or another. You are not the cause of this, and I will not have you believe that you are. This thing between Jean Lafitte and myself has been brewing for quite some time now. Sooner, or later, it would have come to a head."

Caesaire thought for a long moment. "Very well." she said at last. "But I still wish to be properly married at home. I want Jean to know beyond doubt that he has lost me to you forever."

"It will be as you wish, Amoreux." He smiled softly as they fell into each others arms.

Francois and Jaquie leaned against the porch railing, absently staring at the white washed wall as they sipped their tankards of rum. And uneasy silence had fallen between them after Andre had left. One that strangely enough made their hearts pound.

After a long moment Francois spoke softly. "The night is getting late, Jaquie. I should be going. I do want you to know that I can not remember when I have enjoyed the company more."

Jacqueline started slightly. She had found that she was thinking deeply, imagining that it was her in Andre's arms instead of Caesaire. She felt a flush of guilt that she had been ignoring Francois. He had been a complete gentleman the entire night and had quite possibly saved her life as well.

"So soon, My randy little pup?" She said surprised at the huskiness that had crept into her voice.

"Mais oui, Mademoiselle. I....." Before he could finish he found himself in Jaquie's arm's as her full lips caught him in the most passionate kiss he had ever experienced. Without thinking he enclosed the ebony beauty in his arms and returned her tenderness before softly pulling away.

Gently he put his forehead against hers. "This is not fair to you, Cheri." He whispered tenderly. "I can not say that it is not something I want, for I do. But not like this. I feel this would be more from a pain you have and I will not take the advantage of you like this. You are too good a woman for that."

Slowly he drew his head away from her and gently lifted her chin with one finger to look into those huge brown eyes. "Give it some time, Jaquie, and if you find that you still feel the same I will always be here for you. I would gladly be yours when you are truly ready. Bonne nuit, Cheri" Tenderly he kissed her forehead, then her hand before leaving.

Tears of jealous rage filled Marie Juliana's eyes as she watched the exchange from the edge of the jungle. She had come hopping to find her lover and captain in a better mood. At the worst she would have expected Jaquie to still be a bit petulant after spending the evening watching Andre and his love all night, but nothing she could have imagined prepared her for this!

Turning she ran into the jungle towards the village. Her heart breaking with every step. No! this could not be! She would not lose Jaquie to a man!! Not now! Not ever!
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 18, 2008, 09:53:07 PM
Caesaire sighed happily in the arms of her buccaneer. He gently brushed her hair back and kissed her neck. "A sou for your thoughts, love."
She moved her body to snuggle closer to him, if she possibly could. "I was wondering how Mama Beaudouin will take the news."
"You mean of our engagement?"
"Oui. She was always very nice to me but as anyone would be to a little girl. I am wondering how she will feel with me as part of her family."
Andre kissed her and said, "She was very accepting of it years ago."
Caesaire broke away and said, "What do you mean, 'years ago'?"
Andre stroked her cheek. "That night I kissed you in the courtyard of your house was the night I decided I was going to marry you. So I went home and told Maman of my plans."
Caesaire pulled the covers up to cover them. "And what did she say? Was she surprised?"
"Oui et non. She pointed out how young you were but I said I was willing to wait until you were fifteen."
She laughed. "I am well over fifteen now, Andre."
His lips traveled down her shoulder. "I am well aware of that. As much as the child captivated me, the woman who replaced her has won my heart. I'm totally spellbound."
"Oh, Andre! I want us to see Pere Antoine as soon as we get home. But first we must tell your mother together."
"And then we tell your father?"
Caesaire grew silent. "That is a bit more complicated."
"And how so, my love?"
"Pere thought I was going to marry Drausin D'Estrehan. He all but had the invitations sent out."
Andre's lips set in a grim line at the mention of the handsome lawyer's name. "And we shall see Monsieur Trosclair together and tell him of our plans. His blessing would be nice but his permission is not needed."
Caesaire sighed and rolled over taking most of the blankets with her. Andre reached over and took a portion of it back and gently touched her shoulder.
"Cher, it won't be so bad. After all, when we return to New Orleans, we shall implement a new regime. France will take back what is rightfully hers."
She gave him a smile and put her arms around him.
"And you shall put Governor Claiborne in his place. Back to Virginia for him! I do like the sound of it. Governor Beaudouin!"
He laughed and said, "Let's not get ahead of ourselves, cher! A few things must be in place first."
"And then, my love?"
"You may start sending out the invitations to the wedding,"
She yawned and said, "It will be easy."
"I have no doubt."
"Oui. I just scratch out 'Drausin D'Estrehan' and add 'Andre Beaudouin.'"
The shocked look on his face was enough to send her into peals of laughter.
"You wil be the death of me, Mademoiselle Trosclair! But I shall die with a smile on my face!"
She curled up next to him and pulled the blankets up over them. "And tomorrow will be one day closer to home for us."
But there was no reply. She was fast asleep. He rose up and checked the lock on the balcony.
No sense taking any chances. After all, it could have been Caesaire the men wanted and nothing to do with Jean Lafitte or the taking of Count Eladio's ship.
Still, one couldn't be too careful.


Drausin D'Estrehan left the inn and walked quickly down the street. His blood boiled when he thought of Caesaire lying in Andre Beaudouin's arms. A place that she had previously occupied had been in his arms. He thought back to the barbeque and the ball that night where he had first laid eyes on Sebastian Trosclair's cousin.
Mademoiselle Caesaire Trosclair.
Caesaire had been escorted to the barbeque by Sebastian. Drausin had watched her covertly as she had a growing contingent of River lads vying for her attention. And it was then and there that he decided he had to have her.
Have her? More like possess her.
She wore a simple dress of silk, the colour of butter which set her creamy skin glowing. Her abundant golden curls were caught back but tendrils escaped that framed her face that she shielded with a white lace parasol.
That night at the ball, she entered on Sebastian's arm. Her dress had been changed to one of royal blue satin trimmed with silver. He hair laid loose around her shoulders and her laughter was unlike any he had ever heard before.
Drausin bowed deeply to her. He remembered his exact words to her--
'Mademoiselle Trosclair, you take my breath away."
Caesaire held he hand out to his and he kissed it. She gave him a dimpled smile and said, "Purloining is what I do best, Monsieur Trosclair."
From that night on, he was enchanted. And when Caesaire came to him warm and willing in the darkness of their courtyard.....
"Oof! Pardonnez-moi, Mademoiselle!"
He caught the arms of a red-haired woman with brilliant green eyes that shone with unshed tears.
"Excusez-moi, Monsieur."
She hastily pulled away and continued on her way down the brick lane. Drausin stared after her, then shook his head and continued to the nearest tavern.

Marie Juliana arrived at her destination. It was a dark cottage on the edge of town, the curtains drawn and the smell of herbs filling her nostrils. She cautiously opened the door.
"Entrez-vous." the voice came from the darkness within.
"Where are you?"
The candlelight cast shadows on the wall.
In the glow of the flames, a woman came forth. She was dusky-hued and dressed in a tignon and a colourful gown of cinnabar. Her smile was benevolent but there was a hint she could change her mood in a bat of an eye.
Marie Juliana took a deep breath and whispered, "I want to employ you."
"And what is it that you want?"
"A love potion. Or charms. Whatever it takes."
The Jamaican woman nodded. "And there is more you want."
Marie Juliana tilted her head up. "And something for a curse."
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on November 29, 2008, 01:56:55 PM
Benjamin le Renard walked jauntily up Gentilly Avenue. Every thing was going according to plan, some things even better than he had hoped for. Enlisting the aid of Jean Lafitte had been child's play. It was so much easier to get others to do what you wished them to once you knew their weakness. The pirate wanted nothing more than respectability and the destruction of his rival. By offering him both Renard had placed two of the most feared men in New Orleans at his beck and call. Though neither of them realized it.

Strangely enough the Achilles heel of them both centered around the same woman. Caesaire Trosclair. He chuckled to himself as he made his way down the street. A fascinating woman to be certain, he'd had the pleasure of meeting her a few times at one or two of Christophe's soirees. Though at the time a mere slip of a girl, who was rumored to be involved with Lafitte, he had dismissed her as naught more than a rebellious child intent on righting some imagined wrong upon her father. Now he wondered if he had been mistaken.

He had sent Rousseau with twelve of his finest to acquire her, then as an added bonus that fool D'Estrehan volunteered to accompany them as a nursemaid. The thought increased the smile on his lips as he tipped his hat to a passing lady. Drausin had his uses, but Benjamin had no illusions as to why the lawyer was so eager to serve. The same reason that placed Andre and Jean at Renard's mercy. A woman of such obvious talents may well prove worthwhile in acquiring for himself. Once she was safely within his control.

Arriving at the door of the townhouse he raised his walking stick and rapped lightly on the bottom of the plate to the door knocker. Within a few moments a servant opened the whitewashed panel wide.

"Oui, Monsieur?" The butler queried.

"Please inform Monsieur Trosclair that Benjamin le Renard is here to see him." He replied with his best serpentine grin.

To describe Count Manuel-Alfonso Elaido's reaction to the news of the lost treasure as a fit of anger would be akin to describing a full blown hurricane as a summer storm. Juan Carlos, former captain of El Pata del Tigre fairly shook with fear as the tall nobleman sent articles of the study flying in all directions simply because they happened to be in his way at the time. Visions of the torture and execution that surely awaited him grew within his imagination.

He and the remainder of his crew had the fortune of being spied and rescued by another Spanish vessel, a cargo ship, headed for Spain with a near full hold of exotic spice. At least it had seemed like fortune had smiled upon them until the shore of Spain came into view and the reality of his duty had set in on him. The string of ungentle curses that filled the room only confirming his dread.

Finally the noble stopped long enough to pass a rage trembling hand over his head, smoothing the disheveled coal black hair back into place. His gaze fixed steadily at the kneeling Juan.

"Baboso!" He spat. "How could you let a life's time of wealth slip through your fingers like that?!!"

Captain Juan Carlos dropped three shades of color before stammering a shaky reply. "Por favor, Count Elaido!! It was not my fault! I merely......."

"You merely were thinking from below your waist, Cabron!!" Elaido exploded once again. "Have you any idea at what your incompetence has cost me??!!! No, you do not! By all rights I should see you and your entire family executed!!"

At the threat Juan Carlos fell forward onto his face before his raging master, the quaking of his body quite visible now. "Por favor!!! Por favor!!! I beg you do not do this to my family!!! Do as you wish with me!! I am to blame, not they!!!"

Count Manuel Elaido gazed with some measure of satisfaction at his terrorized subordinate. The truth was there was little he could do publicly without attracting the attention of King Joseph. The treasure would have fetched triple what he had paid for it and set his plans into motion. Now, thanks to this fool he was all but bankrupt and no closer to his goal. As much as he would have liked to punish this idiot for costing him so dearly, he dared not.

"I shall do with you as I wish, Juan Carlos." He said in a more temperate manner. "You are going to help me reclaim what you lost, or I swear you will see your family executed before your eyes and I will see to it that you carry that memory for the rest of your miserable life!"

"Ah, Monsieur Renard!" Christophe Trosclair Came into the foyer without waiting for his guest to be brought to him, extending his hand before the gentleman had yet handed his outer coat to the waiting butler. "And to what do I owe the pleasure of this unexpected visit?"

"Christophe!" The younger man smiled warmly. "It has been too long, Mon Ami." Benjamin shook the offered hand warmly.

"To be honest, I have come to see you on a most important mission." Renard laid his trap carefully. "After all these years I have finally decided the time has come for me to settle down. I have come to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage."
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 10, 2008, 09:31:21 PM
Christophe was taken aback by the proposal just made to him.  He was pleased beyond belief and a bit baffled about the men who suddenly wanted his daughter as a wife. Caesaire had never shown a tendency to the domestic arts, much to his dismay.  How much better it would have been if she had been adept at handling a dinner party for sixty instead of captaining a ship from Barataria to Baton Rouge.
While not a pirate per se, Christophe considered her more of a 'privateer with a penchant for delivering silks and finery to the ladies of New Orleans.
He coughed slightly and said, "Please, Benjamin, let us sit down and discuss your proposal. You will have a cognac, oui?"
Benjamin sat in the overstuffed chair and lit his thin cigar.  He inhaled deeply and his gaze landed on a portrait above the fireplace mantel.  It was a portrait of woman the age of twenty. She had brilliant blue eyes and a thick mane of blonde hair curled and swept up. Her face was thin and delicate, showing a full, determined mouth and a defiant tilt to her chin.
Christophe's eyes followed to where Benjamin's eyes rested.  He said softly, "That was my beloved Clothilde. The fever took her when Caesaire was four."
Benjamin exhaled his smoke in rings. "A very beautiful woman. Your daughter looks just like her."
Christophe nodded.  "Sometimes it almost pains me to look at her, how much like her mother she is. But Caesaire is a headstrong, young woman.  She would need reining in and properly broken like a colt."
Renard nodded. "Christophe, I have observed your daughter from afar. What I mean is, we have frequented the same soirees and balls.  And I am attracted to her. The love will come later. But that is the embers after a conflagration, oui?"
Christophe nodded. "It is the way of the Creoles. Caesaire never did have her 'coming out' at Theatre d'Orleans. With her mother being deceased....."
Renard inhaled his cigar deeply. "Let us be honest, Christophe. She should have had her coming out affair when she turned eighteen. How old is Caesaire now? Twenty-one?"
"Yes. Twenty-two.  If she is not married by twenty-five, she will be considered an old spinster. And we know that she was keeping company with Jean Lafitte when she was seventeen.  She was his mistress, in fact."
Christophe felt the shame that Caesaire had brought on the Trosclair name cause his face to redden.
Renard picked up his gloves and put them on.
"I am willing to overlook the fact that Caesaire had gone astray. In fact, it most likely has added to her allure. We shall be in touch, yes?"
Christophe nodded. "Oui, Benjamin. I think we can work out a negotiation of Caesaire's dowry."
Renard tipped his hat. "Then I shall be in touch very soon. Adieu, Christophe."
Benjamin walked down the street, his steps lively. His plans were all falling into place.  He would possess body and soul of the gem that Andre Beaudouin prized more than all the plunder he had taken.  He would own the woman that had spurned Jean Lafitte, a woman he still moved heaven and earth for to regain.
And the Trosclair name would open doors to the elite Creole Society.  No matter what Caesaire Trosclair had to say, she would eventually let her head rule her heart.  A political future with Benjamin le Renard would win out over love and passion.
It always had before.
Benjamin walked quickly towards a cottage on Frenchmen Street, adorned with windowboxes filled with pansies.
And the waiting arms of a dusky beauty named Claire.
Isabelle Trosclair sat across the small table from her brother in law. He had a thoughtful look on his face alternating with a smile of success.
She raised her eyebrow.
"Christophe? That look on your face--I am not sure if I like it or not."
"Hmm? Oh.  I had a visitor today."
"Benjamin le Renard. He came here to formally ask for Caesaire's hand in marriage."
"Mon Dieu! I hope you turned him away."
"Not exactly."
"What do you mean, 'not exactly'?"
"We are negotiating the terms of Caesaire's dowry."
Isabelle stared incredulous at her husband's brother.
"Now I know you have definitely gone 'round the bend, like the Americans say.  Your mind is as twisted as the River!"
"It's a good match."
"It's a disastrous match and you know it! She's in love with Andre Beaudouin and she is with him right now."
Christophe waved his hand. "Simple lust. She will get over that. Infernos flare fast and die quick. A much better match is Renard. He has political connections and inspirations. Who knows, Isabelle? Perhaps a Trosclair standing by the side of a governor. And after that....?"
"Have you no regard for what Caesaire wants?"
"Caesaire will see reason. When she comes home, she will have time to let Andre Beaudouin down easily. With Benjamin asking for her hand, he will be free to take her out but of course she will have to have a chaperone."
"And what do you intend to do, wrap her up in Clothilde's wedding dress and present her as a gift for Benjamn le Renard?"
Christophe grew defiant. "If I need to."
"Sebastian doesn't like him."
"Sebastian doesn't have to. Sebastian is not marrying him."
"And what of Drausin D'Estrehan?  He asked for her hand in marriage and I heard you had given your permission and blessing."
"That was before a better match came along. Drausin has no signed contract de marriage so he will have to bow gracefully to Benjamin."
Isabelle stood up and put her hands on her hips.
"You have done a few things in your daughter's life, Christophe. But this one takes the cake. She is not chattel to be used to advance the Trosclairs into society beyond our heritage. Have you no regard for her feelings? What she wants? Who she wants?"
Christophe mused, "Do you think she will want to wear her mother's wedding gown? Or shall we order a new one from Paris?"
Isabelle threw her napkin down.
"You haven't heard a word I said."

She picked up her shawl and left without a word.

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on December 21, 2008, 01:43:36 PM
As was his wont, Andre leaned onto the aft rail of Le Faucon de Mer idly watching the churned waters of their passing. His only motion was to remove the black tobacco cigar from his lips long enough to flick the ashes into the foam below as he thought. Le Faucon's holds were filled with the remainder of the booty they had not yet sold, as well as their share of the profits, minus the amounts paid out to the crew while they were in Jamaica.

Uncharacteristically, Jacquie had insisted on joining them on the trip back to New Orleans, leaving orders for her own crew to finish with the sale of her remaining half of the unsold treasure while she was gone. Only Marie accompanied her and it seemed to Andre that the arraignment had not been Jacquie's idea. Normally they would have parted ways once the spoils had been split, but if captain Villard wished to vacation in New Orleans, who was he to deny a friend passage?

All of this was no more than passing thoughts compared to what truly troubled his peace of mind. The attack upon them at the Three Crowns. It was more than a little disturbing to him that they had seemed well prepared to spirit Caesaire away. Had they kept to their original plan to dine alone that night he had little doubt she would now be in the hands of the kidnappers, and he quite possibly dead. Only the last minute addition of Jacquie and Francois had evened the odds.

Andre could smell the stench of Lafitte all over the attempt. Who else but he would have both the reason and the resources to attempt such a thing? Who else but he would have dared? This animosity between them seemed to grow with each passing encounter. Soon there would have to be an end to it. A final confrontation. As soon as he and Caesaire were wed he resolved to finish this thing once and for all.

"Problems, Captain?" The voice of Garnier DePaul brought a half smile to Andre's lips as the elder pirate crossed his arms on the rail beside him, staring out at the retreating horizon as well. "After so successful a venture I would think the last thing you would be doing is brooding at the rear of the ship."

"Brooding, Mon père?" The captain of Le Faucon turned slightly to regard his father and friend. "And what would give you the idea I was doing the brooding?" He said a bit too cheerily.

"Because there are the times when you are quite predictable, Mon fils." Garnier chuckled. "From the time you signed aboard the Hazard this is where you could be found if you were troubled. That is how I knew you were up to something the day you took Le Faucon de Mer for your own."

Andre shook his head slightly. "I will have to unlearn some habits then." He joked.

"Perhaps." DePaul smiled back at his son. "Some habits are worth keeping. So what has your mind so occupied? Troubles with Caesaire?"

"Non." Andre looked Garnier in the eye. "In many way the same source that had occupied me then. Lafitte."

"I trust all is in readiness, Captain Carlos?" Count Manuel-Alfonso Elaido stepped aboard the Lady of Spain's deck without waiting for, nor asking permission to come aboard.

Captain Juan Carlos bit back his anger at the showing of disrespect and answered civilly. "Si, Count Elaido. We are ready to set sail with the tide. You will have plenty of time to inspect the men and return home before we leave."

"Leave?" The Count turned a sharp eye in the captain's direction. A dazzling white grin belieing the stern gaze. "Who said anything about leaving, Captain? Do you think I would trust the recovery of my property to your bungling a second time? No. I think not."

Juan Carlos reddened beneath his tanned skin as the Count continued. "My things have already been placed in your former cabin. I shall retire there and await our departure." Leaning close to the frustrated captain Elaido hissed lowly so that only he could hear. "Fail me this time, captain Carlos, and I assure you I shall return to Spain alone to deal with your family."

Daggers of hatred stabbed at the nobleman's back as he strode away towards his cabin, several servants in his wake. At that moment Juan Carlos would have paid a king's ransom to kill the man. Turning to his crew his rage nearly broke at the half hidden smiles brought on by his humiliation.

"What are you idiotas staring at?!! Make ready the ship!! And the next smile I see will earn the wearer fifty lashes!! We sail for New Orleans within the hour!

"Then why are we not following them?" Drausin D'Estrehan cocked his head slightly to one side, gazing at the rapidly shrinking ship headed for the horizon. "Surely if you plan on fulfilling your duty out to sea it would be better not to let Le Faucon de Mer out of sight."

"Said the land lover to the seaman." Jean-Pierre Rousseau grinned vilely. "Beaudouin is no fool. He would spot someone following him for miles. Non, Monsieur D'Estrehan. He will sail straight for New Orleans. Whether or not he makes it is another matter entirely."

Rousseau's low chuckle was so evil that the New Orleans lawyer shivered involuntarily as the man turned to his waiting crew. "Make ready the sail! I want us underway as soon as Le Faucon is out of sight!
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 24, 2008, 09:18:42 PM
Caesaire came quietly up the deck. Andre was in quiet conversation with Garnier. She looked covertly at both of them. Something about the two of similar.
She shook her head. It must be a coincidence....
She approached them. "Bon jour, Garnier."
He smiled at her with affection and returned her greeting. "It is a good day for fetching fair winds, Mademoiselle."
She breathed deeply the sea air and stood behind Andre and gave him a hug. Resting her head against his back, she closed her eyes.
"I have never been so happy as to put Jamaica to our rudder, mon cher."
Andre reached behind him and patted her head. "Moi aussi, my love."

She looked over at Garnier and smiled, "Surely you should be glad to be back in the colonies, Garnier? Perhaps to see your loved ones?"
Garnier gave her a small smile that Caesaire perceived as a momentary stab of pain.
"The sea has been my love for so long, cher, that no woman can compare. And we all know the sea is a jealous mistress. So I remain true to her."
"Where do you call home, Garnier?"
"Of late, here there and everywhere. But originally I hail from Mobile."
"I am surprised. I would have thought you were from New Orleans. You have the look of a Creole."
He laughed. "I did spend a bit of time there about twenty-eight years ago. It was a glorious summer."
She gave him a teasing smile. "I do believe there is a romantic story there, Garnier."
He looked out over the waves. "There was. But she is gone from my life."
"Gone? Did she die?"
Garnier did not glance over to Andre. "She married another who loved her, Caesaire."
Caesaire reached out and touched his hand. "I am so sorry, Garnier. Perhaps the woman never forgot you."
He laughed ruefully. "You are quite the romantic, Caesaire."
She reached over and stroked Andre's cheek. "I just want the world to be as happy as Andre and I are. And as soon as we are in New Orleans, Andre and I will go see Pere and tell him of our intentions to wed. And he will have to pay for a wedding the likes of which New Orleans has never seen before!"
Garnier smiled broadly at Andre. "It seems your future is sewn up, mon fils."
"You will be at the wedding, oui? It would make Andre and my happiness complete."
He patted Andre on the back and said, "I would not miss it for the world, Caesaire."
He walked back down to the lower deck.
Caesaire slid Andre's arm around her. "He loves you like a son, Andre."
Andre looked off to the sea. "He was my mentor when I was on the Hazard. He took me under his wing and showed me how to be the best I could be.  And how to be a man. "
She kissed her fingertip and placed in on Andre's lips.
"Please don't be so solemn, my darling. We are headed home. Home, Andre! Where we shall be wed and no one shall ever part us."
He chuckled and held her close. "You are set on a big wedding, oui?"
"Oui! Tante Isabelle will be delighted. She loves you like a son, you know. And Sebastian, well.....he will be overjoyed to have you truly as a brother of sorts."
"And your father?"
"Leave me to Pere. He will see reason."
"What of Drausin D'Estrehan, Caesaire?"
"Andre, Drausin is of no consequence. I want you to know one thing."
"And that is?"
She looked into his eyes and held his face in her hands. "I never told him 'Je'taime.' I have never--EVER--said those words to any man. You were the only man for me. There is only one problem."
"And that is?"
"We shall probably be in the same social situations. Sebastian is going to ask Drausin for Solange's hand in marriage since their father has passed away."
Andre chuckled. "So D'Estrehan can look at you as a relative, oui?"
She smiled. "I am sure we shall not see each other very often, Andre. I am now a retired privateer."
"If you want to get technical, mon amour, you are a pirate!"
She took off his cavalier hat and placed it on her own head. He tilted it back from her face, his hazel eyes warm with love for her.
He kissed her tenderly and said, "I cannot wait to stand before Pere Antoine and the whole city of Nouvelle d'Orleans and make you my own."
As they were about to kiss again, they heard the sound of a voice clearing behind them. They separated and looked behind them to see Jacquie and Marie. Jacquie's eyes were filled with pain but Marie's held a smug triumph.
Andre smiled, "Ah, bonjour, Captain Villard. I trust you slept well."
Jacquie recovered quickly and said a bit too brightly, "That I did, Andre. And a bon jour to you, Caesaire. You slept well, too?"
Caesaire nodded and gave her a warm smile. "Oui, Jacquie. But who could not when I slept beside mon amour?"
With that, she patted Andre on the arm and whispered, "I shall be in our quarters, love. "
Andre watched her go, a smile on his face. He then turned his attention to the two women.
"We shall be in port in a week if all goes well, Jacquie."
She nodded. "And will we be able to auction off the rest of the unsold treasure?"
"Mon ami Pierre Maspero will let me use his auction house over on Chartres Street. A good sort, Pierre. Although he deals in human flesh. He manages to keep Jean and Pierre Lafitte close to him. Sometimes that is where they do their orders for their smuggling. When they are not hanging their goods on the iron fence of the cathedral. Mon Dieu! The parishioners would leave the Sunday mass and then buy his goods in the alley. But he manages to fill the church's coffers so Pere Antoine is good with that."
Jacquie nodded. "That is good that Maspero will let  you use the exchange. Although I do not approve of his business."
Andre felt his face colour. He had forgotten that Jacquie's mother had once been a slave.
"Forgive me, Jacquie. I didn't mean...."
She waved her hand. "Maman is not a slave, Andre. She is a free woman of colour now. And she manages my estate so she is as free as anyone."
Marie wrapped her arm around Jacquie.
"And we should be going to eat, yes, Jacquie?"
Jacquie looked at Andre. How handsome he was. But she knew that she could never compete against the woman who he loved with all his heart. How hard to compete against a ghost who was a flesh and blood woman and had reentered his life.
Marie and Jacquie left.
Andre couldn't be sure. But was there a touch of malice in the look Marie shot back at him?
No matter. He would soon be home.
He relit his black tobacco cigar and gazed over the churning water. Would Marie be accepting of Garnier at the wedding? He sighed heavily.
He wasn't looking forward to confessing their sins to Pere Antoine. The priest who had baptized both him and Caesaire.
Sacre bleu, he baptized half of New Orleans.
Flicking the ash into the waves, he raised his face to the sun.
'Just get us to New Orleans with no problems, mon Dieu. That is all I ask.'
He turned and walked to his cabin where his bride to be awaited.
He smiled to himself.
'And who knows what surprises she has waiting for me!'
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on January 10, 2009, 12:02:43 PM
Andre flipped the stub of the cigar out into the blue gray waters. Filling his lungs with the fresh salt air, he happily released it in a rush. So far everything had come off with only a few rough spots and those had been handled as they occurred. It was useless to dwell on the inevitable any longer. C'est la vie! Once Le Faucon de Mer made port there would be little Lafitte could do to stop him. He would see his hardest won dream realized at last and then he would turn his attention to his former employer.

The sun was near to setting, and it's orange glow brought a thought to his mind. Raising one bejeweled hand he motioned for Etienne. After a few parting instructions to the pirate he had been speaking with de Marigny leisurely strolled up to his friend and captain.

"Ah, I know that look in your eye well, Mon ami." Etienne grinned beneath his moustache. "You have an idea, No?"

"Oui, Ami, oui." Andre clapped his First Mate on the shoulder warmly. "Tell me, are any of our musicians on duty at the moment?"

Jean Lafitte looked down at the letter on his desk, still hardly believing that the hand which wrote it was his. A formal apology to Andre and an offer to bury the animosity between them. Were it not for the standing offer from Renard the thought of pardoning the hurt of the Creole swashbuckler's betrayal of him would never have crossed his mind. He had given the boy everything! Had even gone as far as to consider making him his second in command! Only to find the former street urchin as unreliable and back stabbing as a treacherous Spaniard!

Jean squeezed his eyes tightly shut for a moment. He had suffered betrayal before, at the hands of many who he cared nothing for, but with Andre it was different. The French pirate had come to think of him as a son. A son he himself secretly longed for, yet had neither the luck, nor the time to acquire. That is what drove his rage. With a single act of mutiny Andre Beaudouin had broke his heart.

Lafitte poured himself a tankard of pure rum as unbidden memories flooded in upon him. When the news of the theft of Le Faucon de Mer reached his ears he promptly floored the messenger with a solid fist to the man's jaw.

"How dare you accuse Andre of such a thing?!" He bellowed. "I would trust Andre above even my own brother! Never would he steal from me!! I should cut your libeling tongue out myself!!"

The pirate cowered on the floor, one hand raised before him in supplication. "I swear it is the truth, Mon commander!"

"Then why has Garnier not brought this news to me, EH?!" Jean all but foamed. "Were such an unthinkable thing to have happened, he would have been the first to come to me!"

"I-I do not know! Captain Garnier has been acting strange ever since the mutiny! He has been drunk every day as we sailed back, muttering to himself, giving orders to Andre even after they left, as if the quartermaster were still aboard."

Lafitte sat back down at his mahogany desk. "Go!" He barked. "Find Garnier and bring him here. Carry him if you must, but I want to see him within the hour!"

The look in Garnier's rum laden eyes had told him all he needed to know before the man had even mumbled out his apology for losing the prize. Lafitte had taken it all in shock. After the drunken captain left he unlocked the center drawer of the very same desk he sat at now, taken the documents he'd had drawn up a few days before, making Andre an equal partner in all his enterprises and threw them into the fireplace.

How could Andre turn on him like this? The man could have just left, taken a job on another pirate ship. Had he asked Jean would have probably even sold the ship to him and they would have parted friends. It was a big ocean after all. But to betray him like this?!! It was unforgivable!!

Caesaire looked up at the door to her and Andre's cabin puzzled. Lost in the list she was writing for her and Andre's special day the last thing she had expected to hear on board was the sound of music.

The door opened wide and several of the crew entered with trays that steamed and filled the room with the smell of finely cooked food. Smiling Andre followed in their wake, pausing only to hang his hat on one of the wood pegs beside the door. The entourage quickly set the table, lit the two candles in the center, then bowed to her as they filed from the room. Andre gently shut the door and Caesaire was surprised again to find the sound of tender, floating notes continued to flow from the hall outside. He crossed over to the table, and drew her chair back. With a slight bow and a low sweeping motion of his ringed hand he grinned like a cat.

"Mademoiselle Trosclair?" He smiled.

Caesaire rose from the desk and glided over to the offered seat. "Merci Monsieur Beaudouin."

Andre picked up a linen napkin and flipped it over his left forearm. "And now, Mademoiselle. Might I suggest the bifteck de le champignon? I hear it is excellent."

Caesaire giggled at the false formality in her lover's voice. "Mais oui, garçon. That would be fine, but I notice there is no desert."

Andre leaned close to her ear from behind the chair. "That, Mademoiselle, is the special treat......and the reason the musicians play their music on the other side of the door." He whispered tenderly.
Post by: Welsh Wench on January 17, 2009, 10:06:30 PM
"Mmm...that was nice!" Caesaire propped herself up on her elbow and ran her finger up and down Andre's chest. He reached over and pulled her close to him. She snuggled next to him.
"You liked the bifteck?"
"I adored the bifteck but the dessert was superb!"
Andre chuckled. "You seemed to enjoy it with much enthusiasm!"
She playfully pinched his arm and he drew her into a kiss.
"Cher, I think it is time you and I had a serious talk."
Caesaire looked at him with her deep blue eyes. "Andre, if this will upset me, I would rather not spoil a perfect evening."
"The musicians have stopped and packed up for the night. Caesaire, I should have told you all this before I made my proposal to you. I am afraid I haven't been entirely truthful to you."
Her heart fell. "Oh, Andre! Please don't tell me you are really married and have a few children waiting for their papa to come home. Mon Dieu, what if you even have a dog? I will have to step aside and then I shall go into a convent and become a Mother Superior and then I will be a dried up old lady in a very unfashionable black and white habit and my father shall come visit me and make alms to St Anthony's bread for the poor and I shall have had to confess my sins over and over to Pere Antoine and I shall never be forgiven and you know what THAT means when I die and---"
Andre cut her off with a kiss.
"That, my love, has to be the longest run-on sentence in history! I cannot picture you as a nun. But I need to tell you something about myself that no one save two other people know. Not even Etienne or Francois."
"Oh, Andre, I could forgive you anything but the love of another woman."
He shook his head and idly stroked her hair.
"You need to know something. Especially if we are to have a family."
She propped herself up. "Oh no, you are one of those bleeders! I had read about them and Monsieur Portier is one even though he----"
"Caesaire, please. This is hard enough because I feel I am betraying a confidence I swore I would never break."
She nodded solemnly and took a deep breath. "I shall love you no matter what."
He stretched his arm idly behind him to hold onto the spindles of the headboard.
"Garnier de Paul. What do you think of him?"
"Garnier? I don't really know him all that well. The only thing I know is that he is from Mobile, he was in love once and she left him for someone else. Andre, that is so sad. I think he still loves her."
"I know he still does. He hasn't told me, but I know it."
"Do you know who she is, Andre? Maybe the two of them can rekindle their love and---"
"It's my mother."
Caesaire stopped in mid-sentence. "Your--your mother? Marie Beaudouin?"
Andre nodded. "They met when she was sixteen. He left a few months later and I guess I was the remembrance he left behind."
Caesaire put her hand to her mouth. "You--your father is Garnier de Paul and not Anton Beaudouin?"
Andre looked wistful. "I found out the week that you had left. It seems Garnier had showed up at St Louis right after Mass and Maman warned him to stay away from me. Providence saw to it that Garnier's ship was the one that I signed on. He recognized me right off and Maman's stern warning to keep away from me led him to believe what I had found out. One night we were engaged in a battle with a Spanish galleon. Garnier was shot in the thigh. It was touch and go but we managed to stop the bleeding. But at infection set in and he was delirious.  In his ramblings, he kept calling me 'son'.  And....I knew. I just knew it. "
"Did your mother ever confirm it, Andre?"
"She told me that Anton was not my father. I asked her who he was and she said he was a sailor who died. It was only when Garnier was on the mend that we talked. I told him that I would never tell Maman that I knew he was my father until she herself told me."
Caesaire's heart went out for the man she laid next to. She now understood the faraway look in his eyes and the wistfulness.
She said softly, "Andre, I don't care who your father is. You are your own man. I knew that the day you kissed me in my father's courtyard for the first time."
He held her face in his hands and kissed her tenderly.
"Je t'aime, Caesaire Trosclair."
"Et je t'aime aussi, Andre."

Garnier stubbed out  the last of the pipeweed  and tapped his pipe on the table. He leaned on the rail of the lower deck and looked out towards the horizon, where the New World was drawing ever nearer with each passing day.  He sighed heavily and said a prayer.
'Mon Dieu, please get us there safely. After all, there are grandchildren to be had.'

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on January 22, 2009, 12:01:42 PM
Marie rolled over to place her arm around Jaquie. Her green eyes snapped open as she encountered nothing but the empty space where the ebony piratess had fallen asleep that evening. The morning sun caught the violent spark of unreasoning jealousy that flashed in them and the first mate of the Calypso’s Revenge bolted from the warm cot. Striding over to her sea bag she began rummaging through it franticly as her tears blurred her vision, making the search even harder.

Drawing forth two vials she quickly emptied the contents of one into the bottle of wine she had brought with her from Jamaica, the other she secreted in the leather cincher of her clothing as soon as she had dressed. Wiping the tears from her eyes she jerked the door open and vanished into the depths of Le Faucon de Mer.

Jacqueline Villard leaned on the aft rail, much in the same way she had observed Andre do when troubled, or wrapped in deep thought. Her large liquid brown eyes watching as the eastern horizon turned lovely shades of gold, orange, and magenta with the sun’s imminent arrival. She had awoken just before dawn, slipping from her bed and Marie’s arms to quietly dress and walk the deck of her friend’s ship in the hope that it may provide the cure for her current state of confusion.

“Excusez-moi, Captain Villard.” A warm smile came to her full lips at the sound of the masculine voice, thinking Andre had perhaps risen early and found her there. Vanishing just as quickly in her disappointment to find Francois Loupe respectively standing a few strides from her.

“Forgive me if I am intruding, Jaquie.” The master gunner bowed slightly, the casual smile beneath his moustache belying the concern etched across the man’s face. “But you seem troubled, Cheri.”

The captain of the Calypso’s Revenge opened her mouth to reply, a mischievous twinkle in her eye, when the sound of Pierre Mansle’s shout from the crow’s nest cut her off.


The two pirates exchanged a puzzled look, then as one they raced down from the quarter deck and over to where John Hubbard stood staring intently into the long spyglass. Etienne de Marigny stood to the quartermaster’s right, his steely gaze locked on the small speck of a ship quickly growing as she bore down on them.

“Trouble, Mon Amis?” Francois queried, his eyes glancing at Jaquie for a moment.

“Too soon to tell, Mon Fere.” Etienne frowned. They were carrying a king’s ransom in hard currency, and it was obvious he considered any ship crossing their path a threat.

“Be that as it may, Lads,” Hubbard spoke without lowering the telescope. “She’s on a collision course, and if she don’t change it soon we’ll have no choice to treat her as hostile.”

Francois’ brow furrowed. “I will get the guns ready, just in case, Amis. If she turns out to be an enemy, we will have a surprise awaiting your orders, John.”

The clanging peal of the warning bell brought Andre bolting from the bed with such speed that he nearly fell flat on his face before he had gotten his legs untangled from the sheets. Caesaire no more than a second or two behind him. The two pirate lovers dressed in record time, wearing no more than they felt was necessary for a battle. For a moment Andre began to object to his life’s love accompanying him on deck. The very look in her bright blue eyes cutting off his argument almost as soon as he had begun.

“Very well, Mon amore, but I must insist that no matter what happens you do not stray from my side. Comprenez-vous?” He frowned. Caesaire smiled as sweetly as she could, then kissed him on the cheek.

“I would have it no other way, Cher.” She whispered into his ear just before they both ran from the cabin. A few moments later the forgotten door creaked slowly open.

Marie Juliana looked carefully about the cabin before she entered, quietly shutting the door behind her. Padding softly on bare feet over to the table she uncorked what was left of the wine Andre and Caesaire had left on the table. She fished the second vial from behind her belt and emptied the contents into the remainder of the wine, swirled the liquids around a moment, then replaced the cork and bottle.

Making her way back to the door  she cracked it open and peered outside to ensure the narrow hallway was indeed empty of prying eyes, then looked briefly back.

“You shall never take Jaquie from me, Andre Beaudouin!” She hissed to the empty cabin. “Never!!”

The deck of Le Faucon de Mer swarmed with activity as pirates took their positions all over the ship. Some hid in the riggings with muskets and pistols at the ready. Francois and the rest of the gunners crouched, hidden below the line of sight, cannons primed and ready. The remainder of the crew had armed themselves and stood ready to carry out any orders from either their captain, or the quartermaster.

Andre stood beside John. Garnier and Caesaire to either side of them. The foursome’s attention riveted on the approaching ship. Hubbard’s face was drawn with worry.

“Do you think she’s hostile, John?” Andre watched the ship like an opponent in a duel.

“She flies no colors, and even though we changed course several times she’s kept to a course ‘a interception, Captain.” John spit into the scuppers. “I’d say it’s a fair bet she….” Before the quartermaster could finish the approaching ship’s bow chasers exploded, sending a cannon ball flying across the Faucon’s path.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on January 26, 2009, 12:18:06 PM
Andre snatched the offered spyglass from John Hubbard’s hand and peered intently at the oncoming ship. The weight of the gold and coin they had exchanged for the treasure of Count Eladio would prove problematic in a sea battle, slowing the usually fleet pirate ship immensely. With her maneuverability cut Le Faucon de Mer would quickly be at the mercy of any other raiders who may have learned of their good fortunes in Jamaica. If perhaps he could spot the captain of the ship?

Suddenly Andre unleashed a string of Creole curses that made even the seasoned Hubbard wince at their ferocity. There near the port rail stood the grinning, hated form of Jean-Pierre Rousseau.

“What is it, Mon Capitaine?” Etienne inquired, puzzled by the anger written across Andre’s face for all to see. “Is it Lafitte again?!”

“Non!” Andre spat, his face blood red. “It is zat pauvre con who assaulted us at le taverne!” His accent had thickened with his rage.

“The batard who attempted to spirit Mademoiselle Trosclair away?!” François broke in.

“The same.” Andre lowered the glass. More in control of himself, he frowned. “Most likely he is working for Jean. There is a cloaked figure standing next to him. I can not make out who, but it could very well be him.”

“Should we fire on them?” John asked.

“Non, Mon ami.” Beaudouin’s face split into a wicked grin. “I have perhaps the better idea, depending on their greed.”

“You have an idea, Cher?” Caesaire looked quizzically at her lover.

“Oui, Mon amore, but it will depend on giving you up to them.” Andre winked.

Jean-Pierre smiled as he saw the white flag raise on Le Faucon. As he had guessed the additional weight of the full holds had hamstrung the New Orleans pirate, and he knew it. What ever else one could say about Andre Beaudouin, the man was no fool.

“You see, Drausin?” He nodded towards the pirate ship. “She is too low in the water, and Beaudouin will not risk losing both ship and treasure in a hopeless battle.”

D'Estrehan merely nodded.

“Once we have boarded her, we will have both the lady and the gold. Monsieur Renard should be more than pleased. Then we will send Le Faucon de Mer to the bottom of the sea. With all hands, of course.” Rousseau’s smile was twisted slightly with the wish that Caesaire Trosclair could be among those, but his orders were clear. Still, there was nothing said about the condition she should be delivered in, only that she be alive. There were many, more pleasurable ways to pay the she witch back for her affront to him.

“Captain Beaudouin!” He called out across the few yards that now separated the two vessels. “Stand down, and prepare to be boarded!”

“NON!” The reply came echoing back, and Rousseau’s eyes widened as Andre raised a flaming torch above his head. “At my feet is a trail of gunpowder that runs straight to the powder room. Should you, or any of your crew make a move upon my ship, I will blow her to Hell and you will gain nothing!!”

This was not good. Benjamin Renard had been explicit. Return with the woman at all costs. As long as Caesaire Trosclair was aboard the other ship he stood to lose both prizes. His mind raced for an answer when it suddenly dawned on him. Perhaps, like most pirates, Beaudouin valued gold above a woman.

“Captain Beaudouin! We only want the woman! Send her over to us and you may leave in peace! What say you?!” Rousseau held his breath, hoping Andre would fall for the trap.

After several tense moments Andre called back. “Very well! We have an accord! Give us a moment to get the longboat and your prize ready!”

Jean-Pierre and Drausin watched with glee as the struggling form of Caesaire was roughly brought to the small boat, her hands tied behind her back. The captain of Le Faucon de Mer watching impassively, still holding aloft the blazing torch. All eyes on Rousseau’s ship were riveted on the scene unfolding before them.

No sooner did the boat touch the sea when an explosion behind them rocked the deck, nearly tossing half the crew into the Gulf waters. Rousseau gripped the rail, looking up in time to see the two pirates and the suddenly free Caesaire pull two more pirates from under the water. The guns of Le Faucon belched smoke and fire. Chain shot tore through the rigging, severing several ropes as Andre’s ship raised her sails and began to pull away.

“Hard about! Return fire! Aim for her sails!” Jean-Pierre shouted franticly.

“Sorry, Captain!” The pilot called from the quarter deck. “The rudder’s gone. Blown clean off!

Rousseau slammed his fists into the railing as he watched the Creole pirate and his doxie wave from the aft of the rapidly retreating ship, angled so that neither port, nor bow cannon could target them. Then the Trosclair woman added to his humiliation by blowing a kiss.

Andre and Caesaire were still laughing as they entered their cabin.

“That was priceless, Cher!” Andre gasped.

“Well after you had sent your two best swimmers over the far side with a small tarred barrel of powder, a waxed fuse, and hollow reeds to breath through, I though it was the least I could do for poor Jean. A kiss in return for a rudder.” Caesaire grinned coyly.

Andre gathered her into his arms. “I think he got the better of the deal, N’cest pa?”

“Hmmmm.” The blonde piratess smiled. “Not quite as good as what I reserve for you, Mon cher.” She pulled his hungry mouth to her own in a deep, tender kiss.

“Come, Cheri.” Andre grinned as they parted. “Let us celebrate our good fortune.”

He reached for the last of the wine they had neglected to finish during last nights dinner and filled two goblets with the purplish red liquid. Handing one to Caesaire he smiled and lifted his own to her.

“To a safe voyage the rest of the way home, eh?”

“And a wonderful wedding once we arrive.” Caesaire added.

“But of course.” Andre grinned tipping the glass to his lips.

The door of the cabin burst in. Jacqueline Villard ran across the room screaming, “No!”, as she slapped the goblets from the stunned couple’s hands.

Post by: Welsh Wench on February 24, 2009, 08:47:02 PM
Andre jumped up and shouted, "Are you out of your mind, Jacquie?"
Caesaire coughed and mopped up the wine that had been spilled down her dressing gown.
Jacquie's breath came in ragged gasps.
"The wine--it is tainted!"
"Tainted? With what?"
"With a tincture of foxglove."
'WHAT? Who----why?"
She grabbed his arm and whispered, "I am so sorry."
"Jacquie, I insist on knowing what is going on."
Jacquie looked sorrowfully at Andre. "It was Marie. She made a tincture of the herbs and added it to your wine. After the skirmish, she offered me some wine. To calm my nerves or so she said. But i remembered the smell--oh, how I remember it. My mother had a garden and there was foxglove in it. She would make a compound for the lady of the house because she would get palpitations. It calmed her down. And I remember the scent. I always had an incredible sense of smell. The wine could not mask it. So I pretended to drink the wine. Marie Juliana kept watching me, asking me how I was. Like she was waiting...watching to see if I would be poisoned."
Caesaire's mouth was a perfect O.
"But..but she loves you! And you think she tried to KILL you? Jacquie, are you hearing what you are saying?"
Jacquie reached over to the bottle of wine and waved it under Andre's nose.
"Can you smell it? She tried to kill the two of us."
Andre's eyes were ablaze. "Mon Dieu, she almost took out Caesaire, too! Where is she?  WHERE IS SHE?"
Jacquie said softly, "She is in our cabin. I gave her a strong drink and she is unconscious. Andre, what shall we do with her?"

Caesaire raised her eyebrow at the implication of 'we' but decided to keep quiet.
Andre's Creole blood rose in his face and he fought for control.
"She tried to kill me. You. And she inadvertently tried to kill Caesaire. And would have if you hadn't intervened. If she were a man, I would hang her from the highest yardarm."
Jacquie looked down at her feet. "I have a suggestion and please hear me out. Marie Juliana and I have been...good friends for over five years. What she did was inexcusable. But she has had a hard life and she did save my life once. I suggest we leave her on an island that has the probability of being rescued. It will give her alot to think about in the meantime."
"But what of my crew? Mon Dieu, Jacquie--if it became known I let a potential murderer go...."
Caesaire interjected softly, "I think Jacquie knows best, Andre. You have never been a woman in love."
Jacquie and Andre both turned to her and she continued. "This is not condoning. But I would make the stipulation that she has to remain incarcerated while on shipboard and then left on an island. And with the stipulation that if she manages to survive, that if she ever steps foot near Le Faucon de Mer, she will be killed on sight. She will be hung if she ever gets near you or me or Jacquie."
Caesaire looked up at Andre. "Do you see my point, cher? You will be doling out the punishment on your terms. You will still command respect of the crew. But you have shown mercy to her and will sleep much better at night for it."
"But, Caesaire.."
She put her two fingers to his lips.
"Hush, mon cher. Leave her on an island where there is a good chance that she will be rescued. But she is obviously unhinged. The fear that she may die will be mental anguish enough. But her blood will be off your hands. And Jacquie will sleep better at night knowing she was not an instrument in Marie's death."

Jacquie looked at Caesaire with a newfound respect. She was not the shallow bit of candy that Andre had taken up with. She was a thinking, sensitive woman with a kind heart. The pirate captain of the Calypso looked over at Andre.
He sighed but his hand was still clenched. Caesaire noticed this and took his hand gently, stroking the back of it until he released the fist.
"I can't win against the two of you, can I?"
Caesaire kissed him gently.
"It is not a game, Andre. It is something you will feel better about later on."

Andre turned to Jacquie. "Explain it to John Hubbard. Have him incarcerate Marie Juliana and in two day's time we shall be coming onto a group of small islands. It is in the trade lanes and she stands a good chance of survival."
Jacquie grasped Andre's hand, the tears welling up in her eyes.
"Merci, cher."
And with that she left.
Caesaire raised her eyebrow and said a bit cooly, "She called you 'cher'. I knew she was in love with you."
He drew her into his arms and held her tight.
"I can't believe that Marie Juliana would be so twisted as to try to kill me.  But mon Dieu! She could have killed you too."
The enormity of what had transpired suddenly dawned on Caesaire. She could feel the tears welling up in her eyes as she realized how close she and Andre had come to a most unpleasant death.
"Andre?" she said softly.
"Oui, mon amour?"
"Can you pile more sail on and get us home quicker?  I---I want the comfort of New Orleans back under my feet again."
He tilted her chin up to meet his eyes.
"For you, mon cher, I'd do anything."
"Then take us home. Now. As soon as you can. I won't rest until we are settled in the city again."
"Why, Mademoiselle Trosclair! Does this mean you are willing to live in sin with me?"
She laughed shakily. "Of course not! A romp on the high seas is one thing.  Back in the parish, it is all so....sordid!"
"And where do you intend to live, mon cher?"
"Back home with Pere. I expect you to meet with him and formally ask for my hand---"
"--and other delectable parts--"
"--in person."
"And if he says no?"
Caesaire firmly set her jaw. "He won't. He can't. I won't allow it."
He laughed and swept her up in his arms.
"Have I told you how much I adore you, mon amour?"
She clung to him as if she would never let him go.
"Oui. But actions speak louder than words."
He raised an eyebrow. "And we are not in Nouvelle d'Orleans yet....."
Andre held her close and listened to the soft breathing as she slept on his chest, wrapped in his arms.
So many obstacles to overcome.
But he knew one thing.
Caesaire Trosclair was his and would be for all eternity.
He reached over and snuffed out the candle, thankful that they would soon be home.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on February 27, 2009, 06:47:09 PM
Marie Juliana watched from the edge of the water with tear stained eyes as Le Faucon de Mer grew smaller and smaller on the horizon. The revelations of the past twenty-four hours had been nearly more than the jilted lover could bear. She had fully expected to be hanged for her indiscretions. Either that or fed to the sharks. The fate that Andre Beaudouin had set for her was far worse than mere death in her eyes.

She had been brought up from the ship’s hold onto the Falcon’s polished deck. Her hands firmly bound behind her and the hard stares of the crew didn’t touch her. She had done what her heart had demanded of her and felt no remorse over the deed. Her only regret was that Jaquie had discovered her plot before its fruition. Instead of being joined with her lover in eternal sleep she now found herself alone in a decidedly hostile place.

Andre, Jaquie, Caesaire, and the officers of the pirate vessel stood at the rail of the quarterdeck, facing the deck below in solemn reflection. Marie stared back at the Creole buccaneer in full defiance as he broke the uneasy silence.

“Marie Juliana. You have attempted to poison the captain of Le Faucon de Mer, my friend and guest Jacqueline Villard, and worst of all Mon amore, Caesaire Trosclair.” Andre’s hazel eyes blazed in anger. “By the law of the sea we should hang you for your transgressions.”

Several shouts of, “Hang the wench!” rose from the crew until Andre raised one hand silencing the uproar. Marie did not cower, but still stared steadily upward.

“Non.” The pirate captain spoke clearly. “As many of you are aware, Mon Amis, I am not so inclined to commit the murder. However, a crime of such a magnitude can not go without the answer.”

The Creole pirate took a deep breath. Jaquie looked down at her former lover with a pitiless lack of any emotion, as Andre exhaled before pronouncing his sentence.

“Marie Juliana, you will be marooned.” Andre said, almost sadly. “You will be given supplies, and the means to defend yourself. There is a great likelihood that you will be rescued, but know this. If ever you come within a hundred yards of my crew, my ship, or me, I will not hesitate to kill you on sight. Comprenez-vous?”

Marie nodded slightly, then looked to Jaquie for the first time. “And what of you, my love?” She asked, searching her former lover’s dark eyes for any sign of pity.

Jacqueline met her gaze with an icy coldness that she had seen reserved for drunken males who would not take no for an answer. “It is the same for me, Marie. Despite what we once meant to each other, if you try to return to me, I will kill you.”

Only the rejection of Jaquie brought any emotion from the exiled piratess and she began to weep bitterly.

“Please, Jaquie!” She began to beg. “Please do not do this to me! I will not go anywhere near Andre, or his crew, only please don’t turn me away from you!”

The ebony corsair kept her composure for long tense moments, and then turned away to hide the sorrow and pity that welled up in her unbidden. Marie stood in open mouthed shock as her former captain and lover turned not to Andre Beaudouin, but into the arms of François Loupe. At that moment she realized that she had vented her rage at the wrong rival. It was not Andre who had been worming his way between them, but François!

As the pirate ship slipped from view Marie picked up the empty pistol they had left her with, along with shot and powder. Arming the deadly weapon she kissed it’s barrel, promising the weapon that soon enough it would lay one François Loupe in his grave. Then the abandoned woman began to move the food and fresh water up into the tree line, out of the beating rays of the sun. All she had to do now was wait to be rescued.

It would be a good three weeks before her wish would be granted.

“It is most certainly Le Faucon de Mer.” Jean Lafitte lowered the spyglass from his eye. “Andre and Caesaire are standing side by side on the quarterdeck.”

Benjamin le Renard raised his glass of brandy nonchalantly, as much to hide his surprise and anger as to drink. He stood beside the French pirate, looking out of the open bay windows of Lafitte’s mansion. The compound’s vantage point provided a nearly unobstructed view of any ship sailing in, or out of the port. He secretly made a mental note to reward Jean-Pierre handsomely for his failure, quite handsomely indeed.

“Well then, Mon Ami.” Renard turned to his newest puppet, and drained the expensive crystal. “I suppose I should return to New Orleans, then. I have news that Andre will be most anxious to hear.”

“Do not forget our arraignment, Politician.” Jean warned.

“Never, Mon ami.” Renard smiled. “Once he has outlived his usefulness and New Orleans is ours, Andre Beaudouin is all yours. Au revoir.”
Post by: Welsh Wench on March 16, 2009, 08:05:08 PM
"Oh, mon amour! The sight of her never fails to excite me!" Caesaire breathed.
Andre brushed the hair that had whipped across her face back from it and kissed the tip of her nose.
"I feel the same way, cher. Elle est magnifique, n'est-ce pas?"
She leaned her head against his chest and grabbed his arms by the wrist to encircle her from behind. Deeply breathing the air, Andre said softly, "And now the fair city has taken on a different air."
"How so, my love?"
Andre chuckled. "The last time we saw her, we were swimming for our lives to Le Faucon."
She gently touched his cheek, "And now we sail into her together."
He smiled at her, "Nervous?"
She shook her head no.
"Not even telling your father?"
Caesaire laughed lightly, "I am not telling him."
"But, cher---"
She brushed her fingertips across Andre's lips and gazed into his eyes.
"YOU are asking him."
"Oui! Vous. I believe it is customary among our people for the man to ask the father for his daughter's hand in marriage."
Andre threw his head back and laughed. "Just the hand?"
She gave him a devilish look. "After that, it is up to the woman to decide what she will give him. And how often."

Andre kissed her hand and murmured, "I have no doubt I shall not be deprived, cher."
"Will you stay with your mother, Andre?"
He looked at her with a bemused expression.
"I was hoping you would stay with me. There is an inn on St Peter that is quaint and small. Very quiet. We could be by ourselves, cher. No one--no crew, no friends. Just you and I."

She looked at Andre with a little remorse and a touch of tenderness.
"I say before, mon amour, that I want our marriage to begin on a fresh start. And that would include confessing our sins--don't look at me that way!--to Pere Antoine. You formally ask mon pere for my hand and then we have our engagement ball. It will be the likes of what New Orleans has never seen before!"
"And are you sure votre pere will have no objections?"
She said confidently, "You leave Pere to me. All you need to do is ask to make me your wife. He will say yes!---Oh, look, Andre! St Louis Cathedral!"
He held her close as they sailed into the port.
"We truly are home, cher."

Post by: Welsh Wench on March 17, 2009, 08:58:17 PM
"Pere?  Où êtes-vous?"
Caesaire threw her hat on the credenza in the entranceway.
She made her way to the courtyard. Christophe was sitting at the table with Tante Isabelle, having his morning cafe au lait.
Tante Isabelle came over and held her hands out to her niece.
"Caesaire, you look wonderful!"
Her father rose and kissed her on her cheek.
"And you have been gallivanting all over the seas, I understand?"
Caesaire pulled off her gloves and put them on the table. She sat down and reached for a beignet.
"Mmmm! I missed these most of all!"
Isabelle laughed. "There were no beignets where you were, my dear?"
Caesaire shook her head.
"No, but I managed to find something else to satisfy my sweet tooth."
Isabelle put her fingers under Caesaire's chin and lifted her face up to meet hers.
"Caesaire, it must have been very warm down there. You are positively glowing!"
The merriment danced in Caesaire's eyes. "Oui, Tante Isabelle! It was very warm---I daresay hot--where I was."
Christophe poured another cup of cafe and added the milk. "And where have you been, my dear?"
Caesaire frowned slightly, "When he says that, he is really asking, 'WHO have you been with, my dear?' Pere, I have been in the Caribbean with the only man I have ever loved."
Isabelle muttered under her breath, 'Mon Dieu, here it comes....'
Christophe dabbed his lips with his napkin.
"And where is Monsieur Beaudouin now, Caesaire?"
She looked at her father and turned to her aunt and said, "Now he is MONSIEUR Beaudouin. He has a first name, Pere. A name you always used. Andre. It's Andre, Pere."
He said in measured tones, "Yes, yes, I do know his proper name. But he is no longer the boy who would bring fish to the house on the pretext of seeing my daughter. Now he brings nothing and not even a pretext."
Caesaire fumed, "I am not a little girl anymore, Pere."
"And where is Monsieur----Andre---now?"
She loosened the laces on her dress and pulled her hair off her neck, fanning herself with her hands.
"He went to see his mother. He will be staying with her until he can--until he can take care of some business."
Christophe took a sip of his cafe again and said, "You will be home for dinner tonight?"
"Oui, Pere."
"I told you, Andre has business."
Christophe looked thoughtful.
"Then I expect you home for dinner.  And a wonderful surprise, ma fille."
"A surprise? What is it?"
"Not a what. More like a 'who'."
Caesaire said exasperatedly to her aunt, "These are riddles. Do you know the answer to it?"
Isabelle shrugged. "Je ne sais quoi."
Caesaire sighed. "Since Andre has business in the city, oui. I shall be here."
Christophe clapped his hands and said, "Tres bien!"
"What time do I make a royal command performance?"
He hid his smile behind his cup and said, "I do believe that eight o'clock will be just right."

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on March 21, 2009, 08:04:41 PM
Andre walked jauntily up the short cobble stone walkway that led to the sumptuous home he had purchased for his mother those long years ago. One of his dreams when he had signed on with Lafitte’s crew was to see her at last in the comfort that she deserved. Now not only that dream had come to pass, but soon another long held desire would be fulfilled.

The crew was immediately put to the task of sailing Le Faucon de Mer further up the river to the hidden camp and warehouse he had built on the advice of Sebastian. A very good idea that had been, for he doubted he could trust the secrecy of such a large amount of gold to the bankers of New Orleans. At least not at the moment.

He paused for a moment. Strangely enough Jacqueline had declined his offer to accompany him. Preferring, she said, to accompany the crew to the camp. Andre smiled to himself. He had noticed the quick look she had unconsciously shot in François direction. Mon Dieu! François et Jaquie? He hoped his old friend knew what he was in for. Jaquie’s passions, he suspected, ran far deeper than her anger. C’est la vie.

He rapped at the whitewashed door which soon opened to reveal the only woman, other than Caesaire, that he truly loved.

“Bonjour, la mère!” Andre gently kissed Marie Beaudouin’s cheek. “Comment allez-vous?”

“Je vais bien, mon fils.” Marie smiled. “Come inside and tell me all your news.”

“That is about all there is to tell, Maman.” Andre sipped his coffee. “All that is left for me to do is to ask for Caesaire’s hand, and….” He trailed off as his face went beet red.

“And what, mon fils?” Marie asked.

“Caesaire wishes to make a new start for us.” Andre answered shyly. “She wishes for me to go to confession.”

“And this is a problem?”

“Mais oui, Maman.” Andre stared at the floor. “I have not been to confession since I signed on with Jean.”

“WHAT!??” Marie Beaudouin grabbed Andre’s left ear, pulling him to his feet. “Andre Garnier Beaudouin!! What is the meaning of this?!! Have I not taught you better?!! You will go to confession, and you will do so this very minute!”

Father Antoine looked up from lighting the candles just in time to see a sight that had caused more than a bit of tittering and comment on the streets of New Orleans. Marie Beaudouin stormed through the doors of the church, angrier than a wet hen and leading her son by his ear.

“Pere Antoine.” Marie said breathlessly, finally releasing the tall buccaneer. “My son is here for a long over due confession. Would you be so kind?”

“B-but of course, Madame Beaudouin.” Father Antoine stammered, flabbergasted. “But confession must be taken willingly.” Behind his mother Andre mouthed ‘no’ and waved his hands in an attempt to stop the priest. Grimacing at his dismal failure he then rolled his eyes heavenward. His mother had a full head of steam and Andre would rather face the hordes of Hell than face her ire.

“I assure you it is willingly, Pere Antoine.” She turned to her son a split second after he quickly dropped his hands. “Is it not, Andre?”

“Mais oui, Maman. Mais oui.” The Creole pirate quickly agreed. “Après vous, Pere Antoine?”

“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.” Andre began in the confessional. “I do not know how long it has been since my last confession.”

“That is perfectly alright, my son.” Antoine crossed himself and prayed for the strength to make it through this one. “Just confess your wrong doings that I might offer you absolution.”

“Oui, Pere Antoine.” Andre took a deep breath. “I have slept with ladies of the evening. Jeannette Badeau in the quarter, Adelina Chaffee, Clarinda D’Aubigne, Melaina Faucet, Jocelyn Naffis,”


“Denissa Hallett…”


“Jocelin Danvers..”


“Oui Pere?”

“God only has so much time until the day of judgment.” Father Antoine mopped his brow with a handkerchief. “I am certain he knows their names. Shall we move on?”

“Oui, Pere.” Andre could feel his face burning in the semi light. “I have been with many women, and……Pere?”

“Yes, my son?”

“Are you certain I do not have to list all the women I have dallied with?”

“For Heavens sake, my son! I am sure!”

“Thank you, Pere, but I would feel more secure in my confession if I did so before I go on to my other sins.”

Marie waited patiently for her son to conclude his confession. His gentle hand on her shoulder awoke her. Her eyes widened as she realized the sun had gone down and night had fallen on the streets of New Orleans. Father Antoine seemed pale and exhausted.

“Is all well, Pere Antoine?” She asked.

“Oui, Marie. Andre has made a generous donation to the church and received absolution.” The priest mopped his brow for perhaps the thousandth time since the confession had begun.

“Merci, Pere, merci.” She smiled happily. “I shall see to it that Andre does not take so long to come to confession again.”

“Please do.” Antoine all but sighed with relief. He didn’t have the heart to tell her that the donation was the easiest answer. Had he given the usual penance Andre Beaudouin would have been saying Ave Marias until he was well into his eighties.

Just before they left Marie leaned close to the clergyman and whispered. “I can guess the bulk of my son's sins, and I am sorry his confession took so long, Pere. But, after all, he is French.”
Post by: Welsh Wench on March 31, 2009, 09:43:42 PM
Caesaire carefully took the diamond ring that Andre had given her and placed it on her finger. She had put it aside because it would never do to have it in plain sight when surrounded by pirates. Then she thought again and quickly removed it and put it  back in the black velvet pouch and placed it in the ivory jewelry box that belonged to her mother.
'I don't want to put it on until Andre asks Pere for my hand in marriage.'
She smiled and a warmth spread over her as she thought about her lover and how soon he would be her husband at long last. She began to regret she ever made him stay away but right was right in her eyes.
'A chance to start anew with a clean slate,' she thought. 'Andre probably had a very grueling half hour with Pere Antoine, poor darling.'
She began to think of her own confession that awaited her and her face began to burn like a brand.
'How do you confess your carnal sins to the priest that baptized you?'
She reached for her ivory hairbrush, brusing her hair to perfection.
'Father probably has another one of his boring dinner parties amounting to nothing but business.'
She reached into her armoire and drew out her dress of royal blue silk. She slipped into a pair of satin slippers and then looked through her jewelry box for a simple but elegant sapphire necklace. With a backward glance in the mirror, she deemed herself presentable and descended the stairs.
"...a fine state of affaires that will be corrected very shortly."
Caesaire reached the bottom and entered the parlor.
Benjamin le Renard stood up quickly, a smile on his face as he took Caesaire's hand and brought it to his lips.
"Mademoiselle Trosclair?"
She had a puzzled look on her face. "Do I know you?"
Christophe Trosclair hastily replied, "Surely you know Monsieur le Renard, Caesaire. He--"
Benjamin interrupted with a charming smile. "I am afraid Mademoiselle doesn't remember, it was so long ago. I was in attendance of a few of your father's soirees but the last time I chanced upon you was at the ball last spring at the D'Estrehan plantation. You wore royal blue then, as I recall."
Caesaire gave him a dimpled smile. "You have a very good memory, Monsieur le Renard---"
"--Benjamin, please, if I may call you Caesaire--?"
"--oui, but that was so long ago. Do you have business in New Orleans,--Benjamin, is it?"
He looked at her with a different appraisal. A beauty, to be sure, but one who was willful and subtly putting le Renard in his place. He felt his temper start to quicken but he hastily replied, "I have come to see your father about a few contracts."
Christophe answered, "Actually, Caesaire, Benjamin has asked for---"
"---some legal advice when it comes to a few tracts of land I want to purchase outside the city and your father was so kind to invite me for dinner."
Benjamin shot Christophe a look. Caesaire's father understood the need for discretion and deferred.
Caesaire withdrew her peacock fan and fanned herself.
"How wonderful," she replied distractedly.
'Why, oh why, did I make this foolish demand to Andre that he stay away? I can think of so many deliciously wicked things I could do with him and....'
"Shall we go in to dinner?"
Benjamin offered Caesaire his arm and she hesitatingly took it. She shot her father a look. Christophe followed, beaming.
Throughout dinner, Benjamin le Renard kept engaging Caesaire in conversation but her one word answers brought a look of displeasure to her father's face.
She didn't care. All she wanted was for the dinner to be over so she could retire for the evening and dream of Andre.
Dessert was served and as soon as the last of the bread pudding was finished, Caesaire stood up and extended her hand to Monsieur le Renard.
"I am very sorry to be excusing myself, but I have a full day tomorrow."
Her father said a bit sharply, "And what is it that has you dismissing us so early, Caesaire?"
She looked at her father with a bit of defiance on her face, "A matter of spirituality, Pere. You would not deprive me of an appointment with God, would you?"
Benjamin took her hand and kissed it. "I shall look forward to our next encounter, cher."
She took her hand away a bit too quickly and murmured, "Oui. Let's do lunch."
She turned and walked back up the stairs.
Christophe coughed into his napkin.
"That went rather well, don't you think?"
Benjamin replied stiffly, "Is she always this distracted?"
"As she said, she has a spiritual matter on her mind. She was raised in a convent, you know. Would you care for a brandy?"
Le Renard stood up. "No, thank you. I really should be going."
Christophe said quickly, "Do not let Caesaire's--distraction---upset you, Benjamin. With the right application, she will warm up to you with all speed."
Benjamin brightened, "I am sure she will. We shall talk tomorrow."
Caesaire sat by her window, looking over towards the Cathedral.
'Andre, I hope you took care of the little matter of confession.  And that it was relatively painless.'
She sighed and pulled the covers back on her bed. As she laid down, she stroked the pillow next to her and whispered, 'Andre, I wish you were here next to me.'
She closed her eyes, wondering how she could possibly plan a wedding in a week.
Because that is how long she would last before she would be like a cat on a hot tin roof without Andre's loving.
Post by: Welsh Wench on April 12, 2009, 09:11:07 PM
Caesaire wrapped herself in a large towel having come from her bath.  She opened her armoire and sorted through her clothes.
'Not this, not that...certainly not that....voila!'
She pulled out a dress of snow white lawn with a demure neckline and flowing sleeves. The bodice was fitted and the skirt had a flowing train that could be pinned up in the back.
She also found a white hat with a white lace bow. Sorting through the drawer of the chest, she pulled out white lace gloves. Then reaching under the bed, she found her white kid boots and the umbrella stand in the corner held her white lace parasol.
'Perfect!' she pronounced as she twirled in the full tilt mirror. With a backward glance, a smile played upon her lips.
'The Virgin Mary could not have looked so pure,' she mused.
Picking up her parasol, she went downstairs to face the world.
"Where are you going, Caesaire?" her father asked.
Caesaire let out a deep sigh. 'I was so hoping to scoot out the door before the Inquisition', she thought.
She gave him a dazzling smile and replied, "I thought I would take in the morning air with a stroll, Pere. I do so miss the sights and smells in Vieux Carre."
Her fingers were crossed behind her back.
Christophe frowned, "You are dressed very....pristine. Not your usual flair for the dramatic, ma fille."
He tilted her chin up to meet his eyes.
"You never could fool me, cher."
She returned his gaze. "Pere, I want to turn a new leaf, as it were. Show all of Creole Society that Caesaire Trosclair can be a proper lady."
"PROPER LADY? Oh, that is rich!"
She whirled around to come face to face with Sebastian. He lounged against the door jamb with a rakish grin on his face.
Caesaire gave him a dimpled smile and rushed over to hug him. He kissed the top of her forehead and said, "My, my, Miss Caesaire! Don't you look prim and proper! Are you going to work with the Ladies of New Orleans Aid for the Poor?"
She smacked his arm with her parasol. "No, I am going to the French Market. Care to come along?"
Sebastian laughed, "It's been a while since you and I have had a chat. I'll even buy you a praline!"
He gave Caesaire his arm and looked backwards over his shoulder to his uncle.
"I'll be back this afternoon for the signature on the contract, Uncle Christophe. The papers are on your desk."
As they stepped out into the sunshine, Sebastian burst out laughing. "You are NOT going to the French Market dressed like that! Now tell the truth. Just where ARE you heading?"
She pouted, "I am too going to the market.....eventually."
"Oh, and are you going over to Dauphin Street to see Andre? A social calll, perhaps?"
She swung her parasol at his waist and he stepped back just in time.
He gave her a hug and said, "Just like old times, cher!"
Caesaire laughed and said conspiratorially, "If you must know, I am going to see an old friend."
"Oh, really! And who might this friend be?"
"Pere Antoine."
Sebastian stopped dead in his tracks and put his hands on his hips.
"And what brought on this fit of piety?"
She tossed her head and flippantly said, "If it is any concern of  yours, I have a little confessing."
Caesaire said crossly, "Alright, Mr. Righteous. How long since YOUR last confession?"
He retorted, "That is between God and me, Mademoiselle Trosclair! Why the sudden interest in absolution?"
She opened her parasol and shaded her face. Whether from the sun or from a slight blush, Sebastian couldn't tell.
"If you must know, Andre and I are going to be married and I need to make the arrangements."
"And so you felt the need to wear white and look as pure as a field of cotton. Don't try to fool me, cousin."
She sighed. "You won't let up, will you?"
"Mais non!"
"Then buy me that praline and we shall talk!"
"Are you serious, Caesaire?" Sebastian picked his cafe au lait up to take a sip as Caesaire dabbed at the praline crumbs with her finger and touched them to her tongue.
"Mmm....I really was in the mood for these! And yes, I AM serious. Andre and I want to have a fresh start and do things right. After all, when I get married in the Cathedral, God will be present, oui?"
"I am not sure. Did he RSVP?"
Crossly, Caesaire replied, "Don't be so smart, Sebastian. Andre is going over to Pere tonight and ask him for my hand."
Sebastian gave her a grin that bespoke of his approval.
"And now Andre truly WILL be my cousin. C'est magnifique, Caesaire! Well done!"
She gathered her things.
"Will you please come to dinner? I would ask you to bring Solange along  but seeing she is Drausin's sister, it may be a bit..awkward."
"To say the least. But yes, I shall be there."
"Bien! See you at seven o'clock then!"
"Pere Antoine?"
The kindly priest turned around and inwardly groaned. Before him stood Caesaire Marie Trosclair, the jeune fille he had baptized, arranged the convent education for and watched as she headed in a direction totally unforeseen.
"Oui, my child?"
"Pere, I would like to make a confession."
He muttered, 'First the one, now the other....I am getting too old for this.'
"What did you say, Pere?"
"I said, "I think it can be arranged. I don't have to do Vespers till Thursday."
"But it is Monday morning, Pere. "
"Precisely, Caesaire. Very well...I am not getting any younger."
She gave him a smile. "Thank you, Pere."

He raised his eyes heavenward and prayed, 'Give me strength, Heavenly Father. Give me strength!'
Post by: Welsh Wench on April 13, 2009, 08:49:54 PM
Caesaire followed Pere Antoine into the confessional. He took a seat and gestured for her to sit.
"I'd rather we do this anonymously, Pere Antoine."
He looked at her with astonishment.
"But, Caesaire, I know it is you. What difference does it make?"
"I want the curtain. I want this anonymous."
He sighed and rubbed his temple where he could feel the start of a headache.
"Very well."
Caesaire sat in the confessional, a curtain between her and the priest.
"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been...oh, a long time...since my last confession."
"And how long is that, my child?"
Caesaire's brows knit. "Um....I guess since I have left the convent. I think I was...sixteen, maybe?"
Pere Antoine tried his best to control his outrage.
"And you are how old now, Caesaire?"
She pouted, "I thought I was anonymous."
Pere Antoine started to bang his head on the confessional.
"Very well.  Let me rephrase, my child. How old are you now?"
He inwardly cringed. After listening to Andre's sins, he was afraid a few of theirs would parallel and then converge.
"Would you like to begin?"
Caesaire said, "But of course! Alright.....I have slept with men, I have purveyed questionable goods into the port and sold them at an outrageous profit. I used a few bad words and I lied once. I said my name was Isabelle Valcour but we know it isn't. But I suppose you could think I am lying about that since I am anonymous and maybe my name really IS Isabelle Valcour. Then it wouldn't be a lie. But saying I wasn't Isabelle and I was would be the lie. Do you follow me so far, Pere Antoine?"
The priest reached over and took a small sip of sacramental wine. For medicinal purposes, as it seemed to be the only thing that would give his headache relief.
"My child, no confession in six years and that is ALL?"
She frowned. "Alright, so I almost smacked my cousin Sebastian with a parasol today. Does that count?"
"Did you hit him?"
"Then it doesn't count."
She gathered her parasol and gloves and said, "I think that is about it."
"WHAT? This is the best you can do?"
She sat back down.
"You want NAMES?"
"It would help if you could remember the number of sins, Cae---my child."
She leaned forward and bit her lip.
"Let's see....there was Jean Lafitte--he was my first lover---and a young man named Jacques Doucet, and then there was Pierre Chambourd, and then there was a man from Charleston--I forget his name, maybe I didn't even know it, but I can describe him if it would help---"
"No, that is alright. I am sure the Lord knows."
"You think so?"
"Because if He knows, then I am SO embarrassed."
"Please, can we wrap this up?"
"And then there was Marcel Folse, and Carmen Scartaletti--he was my only Italian--and then there was Drausin D'Estehan and----if the Lord knows, then I don't really have to tell, do I?"

Pere Antoine took another gulp of his wine. "I'm sure it is quite alright. But have you forgotten anyone...?"
"Oh! You mean Andre Beaudouin?"
"Oui. Andre. Word has it that you left on his ship. Is there anything you want to confess about....him?"
She sat there a minute and then said, "No. Not at all."
"But, surely all the time you had and with the attraction..."
"Pere, it is only a sin if you are not in love.  Well, I am in love and so therefore it is not a sin, oui?"
The priest poured the rest of the bottle.
"I think we are pretty well done here, my child. Maybe a nice baptismal font would be more----appropriate?--that a few Hail Marys?"
She brightened, "I happen to know where I can find one in Italian marble!"
She heard a choking noise from the other side.
"Pere Antoine, are you alright?"

*cough cough*

"Oui, my chlid. Just found something hard to swallow."
"You really should watch that, Pere Antoine. And now I shall go.
"Oui. Go, my child and sin no more. Your sins are forgiven."
She turned to go, then leaned forward and said, "I don't have to confess to running that pirate through that tried to kill my Andre, do I, Pere?...Pere?....Are you still there?"

A slight choking sound emanated from behind the curtain.
"Thank you, Pere. I do feel better already. Andre and I will be coming to see you in a few days to arrange for our wedding."
Caesaire left the confessional at the Cathedral light of heart.
Pere Antoine, on the other hand......
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on May 18, 2009, 11:02:36 AM
Andre exited the tailor’s shop with the new silk suit he had purchased for the expressed purpose of asking for Caesaires hand wrapped in a brown paper parcel. Although he had grown up envying the finely dressed gentlemen of New Orleans he felt it would seem strange to wear such confining clothing. Still, for her sake he felt that he must put his best foot forward, as the English were so fond of saying.

“Bonjour, Capitaine Beaudouin.” Before him stood three of Jean’s men. “Capitaine Lafitte would like to speak with you, s'il vous plait.”

Andre secretly slipped the smaller flintlock into his left hand, keeping his concern from his voice and manner. “Well, it is good to see that Jean has finally begun hiring a more mannered class of men, but I am afraid I must decline the generous offer.”

The leader reached into his coat and Andre cocked the pistol under the cover of the package he still held. With luck the unexpected explosion and quick evening of the odds against him would play to his advantage. At the least it should give him enough time to draw his other weapons.

“Je regrette, Capitaine.” the pirate smiled as he removed a letter from inside his garment instead of the pistol Andre had expected. “Perhaps I have not been so clear. Capitaine Lafitte must insist and has asked us to give you this, should you prove reluctant.”

Balancing his package on top of his pistol hand Andre reached out for the envelope. As he transferred the bundle under his arm he left the pistol as well. It was not as secure as it would have been in his hand and pointed at his foes, but at least it would still be within easy reach should things go badly. Opening the envelope his eyes grew wide with his surprise.

“And this meeting is to take place on Barataria?” He asked.

“Oui.” The leader replied. “However, I am to assure you that you have the word of Capitiane Lafitte that no harm will come to you. The letter is assurance of this.”

“Very well, mon amis.” Andre slipped the letter into his pocket, and retrieved his parcel. “Let us go, then. But I must warn you that I will be leaving Barataria well before evening.”

The house slave led Andre to the study doors and quietly opened them. There sat Jean at his desk. In front sat three well upholstered chairs, one containing Jean’s brother Pierre, the other held the only reason he had agreed to the meeting. Benjamin Renard.

Renard rose first and extended his hand. “I’m so glad you decided to join us, Andre, mon ami. While you were gone I was successful in enlisting Jean to our cause. I wanted you both here in the hope that the two of you can forget your differences for the sake of New Orleans and Louisiana.”

For a moment Andre’s hazel eyes locked with disdain on Lafitte, then shifted quickly back to Benjamin. “Perhaps, mon ami.” He said coolly. “We shall see.”
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 01, 2009, 11:31:45 AM
Caesaire sat on a bench on the riverbank, her eyes closed, the sun shining gently on her face. She sighed contentedly, almost as if in a daydream.
“Hello, Caesaire," a voice softly said.
Her eyes flew open.
He sat next to her.  She instinctively moved a bit to the right.
“I’ve missed you.”
“Have you now? I’ve been….busy.”
“Doing what?”
“Oh…things. “
“Where have you been?”
“Here and there.  Everywhere….nowhere.  Drausin, what do you want?”
He touched her cheek gently. “You.  I want you, Caesaire.”
She looked at him cooly. “You want me.  After the scene you made last month? “
“It was just that when a man sees his fiancée with another man—“
“Hold it right there, Drausin. I am NOT your fiancée.”
“But, Caesaire, I spoke to your father and he said—“
“I don’t care WHAT Pere said. He has no control over my life. He hasn’t—even though he thinks otherwise—since he deemed it necessary to send me to St Ursuline’s convent.”
Drausin’s face hardened. “Caesaire, we have been lovers. Does that not count for something?”
“Lovers, Drausin?  I wouldn’t call it that.”
“What would you call it then?”

She shrugged. “A commodity?”
“A COMMODITY?  Something  to be USED?”
“Eh bien, perhaps that sounded a bit too harsh, Drausin. Let me explain this. I have….needs.  So do you. And if those needs can mutually serve a purpose, then it is useful to both parties, is it not? I pleased you, you pleased me.  But sometimes things get worn out or…replaced.”
“You REPLACED me?”
She sighed. “You aren’t going to make this easy, are you, Drausin? But if you want the cold, hard facts—yes.  I replaced you.  Oh, don’t give me a look like that. You used me too.”
“I fell in love with you.”
She shook her head sadly. “No, Drausin. It won’t happen for us.”
“It will! I spoke to your father and he promised me your hand in marriage. And his blessings!”
“No one consulted me or took my feelings into account.  What I wanted. Drausin, please! People are staring at us. I hate to make a scene.”

Caesaire stood up and grabbed her parasol.
Drausin retorted angrily, “It’s Andre Beaudouin, isn’t it?”
“Not that it is any of your business, Drausin, but yes. It is Andre.”
Drausiin stood up and said through clenched teeth, ‘”Bastarde!”
Her eyes blazed. “I will thank you not to speak about my future husband that way, Monsieur D’Estrehan. And if you do again, it shall be ME who will meet you under the dueling oaks.”
She snapped her parasol open and haughtily raised her chin. “Good day, Monsieur D’Estrehan.”

He watched her go, his face burning like a brand and an ache in his heart that was superceded only by his fury.
'It's not over yet, Caesaire Trosclair. Not by a long shot. You WILL return to me. And God help me, I'll take you back.'

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 12, 2009, 12:48:15 PM
Benjamin le Renard held out his hand to Andre as they stood on the dock. “I know you do not yet fully trust Lafitte, Andre, but we shall need his support in the upcoming battle. I do, however, want to thank you for trusting my judgment in this.”

The Creole buccaneer smiled evenly beneath his black waxed moustache, belying his even toned speech. “Were it not for your letter, and the one of apology from Jean,  I would never have designed to set foot here again, Ami. That Jean would stand for New Orleans I have never doubted, but I would be the fool to trust my back to him just yet.”

“I understand, Andre.” Renard feigned sympathy as the two men shook hands. “But do keep in mind my promise. Once Louisiana is free of the Spaniard, Barataria is yours.”

Andre Beaudouin’s smile widened. “I shall, Mon ami. Now, if you will forgive me, I have pressing business in the city and I am late enough as it is. Bon soir, Mon ami.”

Benjamin watched as the small single sailed boat grew smaller and smaller, until it was lost amongst the water traffic of the busy port. Slowly a single wicked grin split his lips. Soon, very soon, all of Louisiana would lay in the palm of his hand. New Orleans and Barataria included.

Count Manuel Elaido stormed onto the deck of the Lady of Spain. “Captain Carlos! I demand to know why have we changed course! I specifically instructed you to make all haste to New Orleans and I shall brook no delays! Neither will I have you circumventing my orders!”

“Por favor, Count Elaido.” Juan Carlos bowed deeply to his irate master. “We are very low on fresh water from passing by several ports instead of taking on supplies. It will only take a few moments to replenish ourselves enough to reach New Orleans.”

Manuel frowned deeply. While he held no illusions that the stolen treasure had most likely been sold by now, he did not want the trail of the perpetrators getting any colder than it already was. Still he could not deny that a lack of fresh drinking water could push his men beyond reason. A good leader always knew just how far he could go before he reached a man’s breaking point.

He eyed the small island. “Very well, but do not delay any longer than necessary, Captain.”

The Lady’s longboat cut through the water, making a straight line for the slim figure waving to them from the shore. At first Juan Carlos took the figure for a marooned sailor. As they came nearer it was plain that the unfortunate soul was indeed a woman, and a striking one at that. Even though she was obviously unkempt from her time on the island her beauty fairly shone through.

Stepping ashore she moved towards them. Juan smiled inwardly as he noted the delicate hand rested on the butt of a cocked pistol carelessly stuffed behind the leather of her belt. A momentary glint of steel showed that she held a well kept cutlass in her other hand, close to her side in an attempt to keep the weapon unnoticed.

“Buenas tardes, Señora.” He pulled the feathered capitano hat from his head. “I am Captain Juan Carlos.”

Warily the young woman sheathed her sword. “Marie. Marie Juliana. I have been marooned on this sand spit for nearly a month, Captain. Though I have little to offer, could you possibly allow me passage? I know a bit about sailing and would be more than willing to earn my way to your next port.”

Despite himself Juan looked the shapely piratess over approvingly. “I believe something could be arraigned, Señora. We are headed for Louisiana, if that is a fair destination for you?”

Marie could hardly believe her luck. Her smile hid the thoughts of revenge that the revelation brought forth in her. “Why yes, Captain Carlos. I believe that would suit me just fine.”

Christophe Trosclair found himself almost speechless as the servant led the polished and newly suited Andre Beaudouin into the study. The Creole pirate had removed any vestige of his profession from himself and Christophe almost had to do a double take to assure himself that the man before him was indeed the same child who had once thought to take Caesaire for his wife.

“Pardon my unexpected arrival, Monsieur Trosclair.” Andre bowed formally as he pulled the hat from his head and handed the silver tipped walking stick to the servant. “I apologize, but I am here on a matter of utmost importance.”

Christophe felt his heart fall within his chest as he guessed the reason for Andre’s visit. Yet, caught as he was in New Orleans civility he knew he had no choice but to hear the young man out.

“And what may that be, Monsieur Beaudouin?” He asked. The words all but sticking in his throat.

Andre smiled in reply. “I have come to formally ask for the hand of your lovely daughter Caesaire Trosclair in marriage, Monsieur.”
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 22, 2009, 09:02:01 PM
Christophe Trosclair set his mouth in a firm line, trying to think of a gracious way out of this awkward situation.
He took a deep breath.
"Shall we adjourn to my parlor and discuss the proposal?"
Andre held back the frown that threatened to crease his face. He could see that Christophe was remembering a boy who had no family connections nor old money and land of his own.
"I would like nothing better, Monsieur Trosclair."
The two men entered the luxurious parlor, the heavy velvet drapes framing the window, muffling the street sounds.
"Please, Monsieur Beaudouin, sit down."
Christophe surveyed Andre cooly. The new clothes that were of the finest quality, the high shine on the boots. It was difficult for Christophe to remember that Andre was the same young boy who used to play with his nephew Sebastian. The two of them had begrudgingly let little Caesaire trot along after them. It had all been innocent.
Innocent until Christophe caught sight of Andre giving his daughter her first kiss in the courtyard.
Andre sat down on the velvet couch and leaned back, an air of confidence that for some would have been seen as arrogance.
"Brandy?" Christophe offered. Creole society dictated hospitality above all else.
"That would be wonderful. Yes, please."
Caesaire's father poured two snifters of cognac and handed one to Andre.
"Merci, Monsieur Trosclair."
Christophe sat down. "Now, as to the subject you just broached...."
"I would be honoured if you would give your blessings to our marriage."
Christophe raised his eyebrow. "Give my blessing? Not more than a minute ago you asked for her hand in marriage. And now you are assuming it is a foregone thing?"
Andre surveyed Caesaire's father, trying to remember all the times he had contact with him while they were growing up. Try as he might, Christophe Trosclair was an abstract. He was never really there. The only constant in his love's life was Tante Isabelle.
Andre cleared his throat. "Pardonnez-moi, Monsieur Trosclair, but I get the distinct impression that you do not approve. At first I thought it was the wedding but now I daresay it is me you do not approve of."
Christophe picked his words carefully. "It is not that I disapprove of you, Monsieur Beaudouin, per is your occupation."
Andre could barely suppress a grin.
"Ah, but it is your daughter's 'occupation' too."
Christophe said stiffly, "Caesaire fell in with the wrong kind of people and---"
"If you mean Jean Lafitte, may I point out he is a respected--although somewhat jaded--pillar of Creole society---"
"---she is coming around to the way she was brought up. Why, just this morning she was off to Mass."
Andre could barely contain the laughter that graced his lips.  
"Yes, Caesaire told me she was off on a spiritual mission."
He thought back to the last night they were together, and it was indeed a very uplifting and heavenly experience for both of them. He quickly cleared his throat.
"We love each other and want to come before God and the congregation and be man and wife.  Caesaire shall never want for anything, materially or in love. Do we have your blessing, Monsieur Trosclair?"
Christophe shook his head. "I am afraid not, Monsieur Beaudouin. As much as I admire the way you rose out of your poverty, I must decline your request."
Andre was taken back.
"Because there has been another offer for her hand. A more suitable one."
"If you are talking about Monsieur D'Estrehan..."

This time it was Christophe's turn to smile. "Mais non, Monsieur Beaudouin. It is a suitor that I wholeheartedly approve of."
Andre could feel himself gritting his teeth.
"And who should that be?"
Christophe paused so the impact of this man's importance settled in.
"Monsieur Benjamin le Renard."

Post by: Welsh Wench on June 27, 2009, 08:08:25 PM
"Over my dead body!"
Christophe and Andre both looked up. There on the circular staircase stood Caesaire.
Her eyes were blazing and her face was flushed with anger.
She took the stairs in a measured gait and stood there staring down her father.
"How DARE you presume to choose for me! I shall wed who I want!"
"Caesaire..." her father started.
"Mais non, Pere! I am a full grown woman with a mind of my own.  Is that what the dinner party last night? I was being put on display like a prize cow?"
"A cow? Non, cher--more like a prize flower in a garden show!"
All three of them whirled around to see Sebastian enter the room. He raised his eyebrow.
"Was I not supposed to come in just yet?"
Andre walked over and stood next to his childhood friend.
"It appears that your uncle has another in mind for your cousin," he said tightly.
Sebastian laughed. "And what does the lovely Caesaire say about it?"
She drew herself up and said, "The lovely Caesaire says that Pere and Benjamin le Renard can go---"
"Oops, Caesaire! Your 'convent breeding' is slipping! Now, as your lawyer, I have a very simple solution to this. Care to hear it?"
All three just stared at Sebastian.
He cleared his throat.
"Yes, well. Caesaire, do you love Renard?"
"Do you love Andre?"
"Since I was a child."
"Andre, do you love Caesaire?"
"With all my heart."
"Have you forsaken all others?"
"None have claimed my heart ever."
Sebastian looked at Christophe and shrugged his shoulders, his hands palm up in supplication.
"I did what I could, Uncle Christophe. But there you have it. Clear as mother's milk. Now...when do we eat?"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on July 06, 2009, 10:56:12 AM
Andre stood in the parlor desperately trying to control his temper. The revelation of Christophe Trosclair that Renard had asked for the hand of his beloved in marriage all but unhinged his mind with murderous rage. The simpering lawyer he could understand, and better still presented no true threat. Benjamin, however was another matter altogether. He had allowed himself to trust the man. Worse he had been cajoled into admiring him as a patriot of New Orleans. Now, he wanted nothing more than to blow the traitorous dog’s head off on the dueling field. Only Caesaire’s rejection of the whole idea held him back from storming out to murder his former partner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oui, Monsieur”

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

Yes. Patience is indeed a virtue and she would be more receptive to him as a concerned friend than a forced lover. He could afford to wait for his chess pieces to clear themselves from the board. Then she would be his willingly.
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 15, 2009, 08:26:57 PM
Sebastian watched the carriage of Benjamin le Reynard disappear around the corner.
Something is not right....
He caught Caesaire's eyes and he could read her concern in them. Christophe was trying hard to control his emotions as he reached for a bottle of brandy on the sideboard.
Only Andre looked calm. Relieved, even. This was not like Andre, Sebastian reasoned.
He cleared his throat. "I was invited for supper, and eat I shall. What is for dinner?"
Christophe downed his brandy in one gulp.
"Poulet et poisson, Sebastian. Shall we all adjourn to the dining room?"
Dinner was a very quiet affair. Sebastian and Andre kept up a conversation regarding the price of merchandise in the port and what certain goods would bring. Christophe poured himself a great deal of brandy and ate little.
Caesaire moved her food around on her plate, not saying anything at all except, "Plus de vin, s'il vous plait" to the maid.
When dessert was brought, Christophe excused himself. "Pardonnez-moi, but I have an appointment in the morning and I must retire for the night."
He pushed his chair in and nodded to each of the young men. To Andre he said, "It was nothing personal, Andre. You are a very prosperous young man. And a Creole. I shall bid you goodnight."
To Caesaire he said in a low voice, "We shall see each other at breakfast, cher." He kissed to top of her head and reached to touch her cheek with the back of his hand. She sat there stonily, swirling her wine in the goblet.
Nothing was said.
After Christophe climbed the stairs, Caesaire exploded, "Fils de chien!"
Andre and Sebastian exchanged shocked looks. Sebastian nodded towards Andre and said, "It is the wine talking."
But Caesaire retorted, "In vino veritas."
Andre took her hand and said in a low voice, "Cher, please. He is your father. And it is over now."
She looked at Christophe incredulously. "You think it is OVER? It has just begun, Andre."
Sebastian looked up at the stairs where his uncle had ascended. "Might I suggest we take our evening libations to the courtyard and partake of the cool river breeze?"
The three settled in the walled courtyard where the crickets were chirping and the sound of a riverboat was heard in the distance.
Andre and Caesaire sat there quietly, Caesaire more so than usual. She reached for the wine bottle and Sebastian put his hand over her glass.
"Non, cher, you have had enough."
She looked from Andre to Sebastian. "Please tell me you don't accept Reynard's bowing out so easily!"
Sebastian shook his head. "I don't for one second believe he gives up that easily."
Andre's voice came from the dark. It had an edge of steel to it. "Nor do I."
Caesaire looked from one to the other. "But--but the way you two were acting...."
Sebastian said, "The key word is 'acting'. Good Lord, cousine! What do you take us for? Fools?"
"Of course not..I mean!  What I mean is you were so wonderful at it, you surprised even me!"
The men grinned. Andre said soberly, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." He stole a glance up to the room where Christophe had lit a candle.
Sebastian drank his brandy. "I'm discreetly checking on Reynard to see if he has any skeletons in the closet."
Caesaire rubbed her forehead. "This is all too much. All I want to do is marry Andre. Properly. With a cathedral wedding. It's what every girl dreams of."
Andre touched her hand and said softly, "You shall have your dreams, cher."
Sebastian rose and tucked the brandy bottle under his arm.
"I'm staying at Mere's house tonight. Too late to go anywhere but next door."
He kissed the top of Caesaire's head and said gently, "Don't fret, ma petite. It will all work out."
Andre and Caesaire watched Sebastian slip through the gate, whistling a merry tune as he ran up the stairs of the house next door.
Andre took Caesaire's hands in his. In a low voice, he said, "Mon cher, I think our plans will have to change."
"What? Andre, you aren't backing out in marrying me, are you? Please say you will marry me!"
Andre took her in his arms and held her close. He whispered in her ear, so only she could hear it.
"I think the Cathedral is out of the question. Caesaire, my love, I think we need to get married."
"Of course we will, Andre. We need to post banns and we can do that by next week after we talk to Pere Antoine."
His voice startled her.
He looked into her eyes.
"We do it now. Tonight!  Caesaire, we see Pere Antoine tonight and by the morning sun, we shall be man and wife."
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 20, 2009, 09:58:35 PM
"Andre! Wait there and I will be right down."
"Non, mon can't have any of the servants see you. Climb down."
"Climb down holding onto the vines. I'll be here to catch you."
Caesaire whispered, "Stand back for a minute."
She threw her valise out the window and watches as it landed softly on the shrubbery below.
Cautiously she hitched her skirt up and threw one leg over the sill, then the other. Tentatively she grabbed hold of the vines. Miraculously they held. As she descended down the fifteen feet, she saw Andre grin. At the last five feet, she closed her eyes and jumped into Andre's waiting arms.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andre gently placed his finger on Caesaire's chin and lifted her face to his.
He placed a long lingering kiss on her lips.
Pere Antoine yawned again and his final words as he blew out the altar candles were, "Now I don't care what you do. You can stay in bed doing God knows what--and I am sure I know too--I just don't want to see you at my confessional tomorrow. It has been sanctified by the Church, by me and by God. So...the marital bed is all yours!"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on August 06, 2009, 11:14:49 AM
“And now, Andre, my husband, any regrets?” Casaire coyly pulled the bed linins above her cleavage as her newlywed husband laid the silk coat across the back of the chair in their room. She smiled beguilingly as Andre fumbled with the cumbersome clothing in his haste.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Si.” Carlos stared at the lower deck.

“I shall have the treasure back and whole, one way or another, Carlos.” The count’s eyes gleamed in the night. “Then we shall make an example of those who stole it.”
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 10, 2009, 10:57:39 AM
Caesaire rested her head against Andre's chest, trying to catch her breath. Andre tenderly stroked her back as they lay there together, finally one in spirit as well as in body.
She teasingly smiled to him, "Any regrets now, Monsieur Beaudouin?"
He kissed the top of her head and whispered, "Only one."
Caesaire looked up at him with questioning eyes.
He replied, "That we should have done this years ago. Our lives may have been so different."
She took his face in her hands and looked deeply into his eyes. "Oui, but we would have been different people then. Now we have learned to hold on to what we have. And appreciate it more."
He pushed her hair back from her face and nodded. "I still regret not having you all those years."
Caesaire looked around the room.
"I do love this room.  It is so...warm and inviting."
Andre laughed, "I think I did the inviting. And the warmth was your contribution."
She looked down. "I must ask, Andre. Did you ever bring any other woman to this room?"
He tilted her chin up and met her gaze. "Mais non, cher. This room was reserved for you a long time ago."
"Oh, Andre...."
He silence the rest of her query with a kiss. And in the moonlight, they showed how much they loved each other. And how desperately they were willing to hold on to what they have.
Marie Doucet hummed a French tune as she poured a cup of cafe au lait and took it out to her courtyard. The summer sun had risen in the sky and gave all indications it would be another steamy day.
As she sat down with a book, a voice from the wrought iron gate said, "Ah, so this is where you live!"
Her head jerked up and her coffee cup rattled in the saucer.
"Garnier de Paul."
"May I come in?"
Marie frowned. "I have nothing to say to you, Garnier."
"I think you would do best to let me in, Marie. What I have to say is not for everyone's ears."
She put her cup down and then opened the gate.
In the twenty-eight years since Marie had first met Garnier, he seemed to be even more handsome and appealing since that day she met him in the French market and he had bought all her flowers.
This had been only the second time she had seen him since that day he sailed off.
And left her with a remembrance of their time together.
A child she named Andre.
Garnier stood there, not quite knowing what to do. Marie Doucet had matured into a beautiful woman. As a girl, she was exquisite. The years had refined that.
She was wearing a simple dress of rose with white lace on the collar. Her hair was loose but held back from her face with silver combs.
She stood there regally with her head held high.
"What makes you think Andre is here?" she asked.
He hesitated and then plunged in. "As his mother, I expected him to be here."
"Garnier, he is a grown man. Surely you should know that. Have you checked the places down on Bourbon Street? You may want to start at Madame Badeau's."
She shrugged, "After all, he is French."
Just then, another voice called through the gate.
"Madame Beaudouin?"
She looked over to see Christophe Trosclair standing at her gate. He was dressed in a silk suit and was carrying a box.
She looked at Garnier and walked over to the gate, opening it.
"Monsieur Trosclair! What a pleasant surprise!"
"Bon jour, Marie. I was passing by the patisserie and I smelled beignets. They are fresh and....oh! pardonnez-moi. I did not realize you had company."
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 10, 2009, 10:58:13 AM
The two men sized each other up like wary dogs over a bone. Christophe was dignified and elegant. Striking in appearance with deep brown eyes and silver hair, the way he carried himself spoke of his Creole breeding. He was dressed in the finest of suits made of silk and Garnier was sure it had come from Paris.
Garnier, on the other hand, was dressed in breeches of wool blend with a silk shirt. He wore leather boots, of excellent quality but they had showed scuffiness that indicated he hadn't exactly been in the finest of homes in the Quarter. He had a sash of scarlet and a leather baldric. His cavalier hat was worn but neatly blocked. The only thing new were his plumes on the brim. While Christophe carried a walking stick, Garnier was sporting a French rapier.
Marie looked from one to the other and said politely, "Monsieur de Paul, may I introduce Monsieur Trosclair?"
Christophe extended his hand and Garnier took it in a gentlemanly handshake.
"Trosclair? It seems to be a name I remember."
"It is a name you will find throughout the Quarter."
Realization dawned on Garnier.
"Do you have a daughter named Caesaire?"
Christophe felt his face getting red as he realized that he was talking to a pirate. Most likely one who had had business dealings with his daughter. May even have possibly been one of her paramours.
Stiffly, he said, "Yes, I do have a daughter. Caesaire."
Garnier's face broke out in a grin. "Well, well! This is a coincidence. I am here to give my....captain a message and I thought he may have been here visiting his Maman. I do believe my captain and your daughter are...acquainted."
Christophe's face hardened into a mask of embarrassment, knowing that this man knew what his daughter and his captain had been engaged in.
Christophe said solemnly, "Caesaire and Andre Beaudouin are childhood friends. Her cousin Sebastian was always with them."
Marie, sensing the tension, asked, "Christophe, would you care for a cup of cafe with chicory? It would go wonderfully with the beignets you brought."
Garnier grinned and said, "Madame Doucet, I dare say I could use a cup of cafe too."
Creole society prohibited rudeness so Marie nodded her head. "I was just about to ask if you would join us but I am sure you have---"
"Why, no, I certainly don't! My business can wait. I am sure Andre and I will cross paths later this morning."
Marie muttered, "I wouldn't be so sure of it, Garnier."
"Excuse me, did you say something, Madame Doucet?"
"I asked if you would like sugar in it, Monsieur de Paul."
'Mais non. Chicory cafe is just fine."
Christophe had no choice but to sit down with Marie and Garnier. She opened the box and exclaimed, "Just the way they should be! Hot and covered with powdered sugar."
She put them on a plate and passed one to Christophe, then to Garnier. For all his roughness around the edges, Garnier was a gentleman with manners.
Marie had remembered he had mentioned that his family, the de Pauls, had escaped Paris one step ahead of the guillotine. To Marie that meant he had nobility blood but he was hiding it.
If that were the case, he superceded Christophe's Creole blueblood.
Marie asked, "And what urgent message do you have to relate to my son, Monsieur de Paul? Perchance I should see him."
Christophe sat sipping his cafe. Where did this man come from? And more importantly, when will he leave? And take his captain with him?
Garnier put his cup down and said, "There is a ship spotted in port that Andre should know about. A Spanish ship that he may or may not want to purchase. For his fleet. I feel it is imperative he know about this ship. Would you tell him to contact me? I shall be aboard Le Faucon de Mer, as he well knows."
Just then, footsteps were heard coming down the winding staircase. Soft whispers and a woman's lilting laughter.
Marie, Garnier and Christophe looked up.
There, arm in arm on the staircase were Andre and Caesaire.
Andre's hair was was tousled and his face was joyful. He was wearing his breeches and his silk shirt was on but unbuttoned. Caesaire's face was aglow and she was in a silk dressing gown.
The two of them stood in shock on the staircase.
Staring up at them were their respective fathers and Andre's mother.
Both fathers turned to Andre's mother.
She shrugged. "They came to me late last night. All the inns were full. My dears, will you show them?"
Andre and Caesaire both raised their left hands, palms towards them.
Two rings reflected in the sunlight through the window.
Marie just sighed.
"After all....they are French!"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on September 05, 2009, 09:24:50 AM
“Français, ou pas!” Christophe Trosclair’s outrage burst forth like a weakened levy at the sight of the plans he had laid for his only daughter withering away, as if they were a flower too long deprived of water. “This is inexcusable, Caesaire! I’ll not stand for it! We shall have this marriage annulled at once!!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What Now?”

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Je t'aime.

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

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

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

“You have a plan, Mon capitan?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marie nodded. An image of Christophe Trosclair's soft brown eyes flashed through her mind but she found herself saying, "Oui, Garnier. I would like that."
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 24, 2010, 10:40:56 AM
Monsieur Basset Looked up from the English pistol he was busily working on at the sound of the bell tinkling merrily as another customer entered his shop. He smiled knowingly. It was tres bien that he had apprenticed himself to a master gunsmith so long ago in his life. “There are only three professions that one can be guaranteed a chance of success in, My Son.” His father had been fond of saying. “Restaurateur, Gunsmith, and Undertaker. For men will always need to eat, kill each other, and be buried.” Unfortunately, Monsieur Basset could not boil water successfully, and the thought of handling dead bodies repulsed him.

“So, I provide the means to keep the undertaker in business. C’est dommage!” He thought to himself as he swung the curtain that separated the workshop from the display room aside. His mouth almost dropped open at the sight of his latest client.

“Monsieur d'Estrehan! This is an unexpected surprise. What could possibly bring you to my humble shop?”

It was well known about New Orleans that Drausin d'Estrehan abored violence in all forms. To the point that more than once his name was whispered in the same breath as the word coward.

“Ah, Monsieur Basset.” The lawyer greeted him kindly. “My business is, of course, the same as any client who may grace your establishment. I have a custom order. One which needs be done in both haste, and utter confidence.” Drausin lightly tossed a rather heavy purse in one hand for emphasis.

“But of course, Monsieur d'Estrehan.” Basset grinned as his eyes ignited with greed. Such orders had come to him in the past, and always carried a large profit with them. “It is just that you are a man of the law, I did not expect for you to be one to seek out my services.”

“Perilous times call for unusual tactics, Monsieur.” d'Estrehan shrugged noncommittally. “I find myself left with little choice, and have no desire to leave such things to chance. Do you accept the assignment?”

“With pleasure, Monsieur.” Basset smiled, lifting the curtain to the workshop and gesturing gracefully. “Please, come into my shop where we can discuss your needs, and my price, in private.” Drausin placed the purse back into the inner pocket of his coat, and bowed to the old gun maker as he entered the sanctum.


“And what of these two pirates you have enlisted?” The man sitting opposite of Benjamin le Reynard asked as he reached for the offered brandy. His stature, and uniform marked him as a general in the newly organized Army of the United States.

“They are nothing to worry about.” Reynard assured his visitor as he resumed his seat. “One time friends who are now more than bitter rivals. A useful tool, but one we can set against itself when the time is ripe. Both LaFitte and Beaudouin believe that the whole plan is to return Louisiana to French rule in the end. It will be easy enough to convince them both that the other is a traitor, and so allow them to eliminate each other. Both are powerful, and well armed. An open fight between them would leave a survivor depleted, and easy prey.”

“I see.” The general smirked. “Very well, then. As long as it does not interfere with my profits, I don’t see any reason why I could not supply you and Arron with the necessary troops.”

“Tres bien, General Wilkinson.” Reynard rose, offering his hand. “Once I have tied up a few loose ends, we shall make arraignments for you to bring in your Continental Army, and we shall have control of the richest shipping port in all of the New World.”

General James Wilkinson shook the offered hand and bowed. “Until our next meeting, Monsieur Reynard.”

As he walked to his awaiting carriage general Wilkinson smiled to himself. All that remained was to pass on this most profitable piece of information to Count Elaido. Considering the amount of gold he was being paid to help Burr with his mad scheme, what the Spanish were paying him as a spy, and his other dealings in New Orleans. This little venture was looking more profitable by the moment.

“Where to, General?” His Driver asked.

“To the Chateau Bourbon, Private.” He barked as he entered the coach. “And see you don’t take until noon to get there.”

“Yes, Sir!” The soldier replied snapping the reigns as soon as he was certain James Wilkinson was settled in.
Post by: Welsh Wench on February 13, 2011, 02:15:57 PM
Andre and Caesaire entered le Chateau de Bourbon dining room. Caesaire rested her hand lightly on Andre's offered arm. It was their first time out as man and wife. Andre insisted they spend their first evening alone. A reception celebrating their nuptials would have to wait. After all, this took planning and was a woman's forte. But Caesaire had other things on her mind as she looked adoringly at her husband.
"Ah, Captain Beaudoin!" the maitre d' enthusiastically proclaimed. "It has been a while, oui? I shall have your table ready in a moment.  And Mademoiselle Trosclair--what a joy to see you. But you two know each other?"
Andre grinned, "You might say that, Gaston." They both held up their hands, showing matching wedding rings.
Gaston clapped his hands. "Mon Dieu! You are married? To each other? Eh bien! The best champagne for you on the house!"
He led them to a quiet table. Andre held the chair out for his new wife.
"Andre, I can't believe I am sitting here with you! As Madame Beaudouin. But do you always get this table?"
"Oui, mon amore."
She said quietly, "I noticed it is in the corner and your chair is against the wall."
He shrugged. "Force of habit."
"No, NOT force of habit. You do that for protection."
"Well, one never knows when one may run into someone with a grudge to bear."
Just then a shadow fell across their table. They both looked up to see Drausin d'Estrehan standing there.
He bowed stiffly. "I am pleased to see the two of you. Please allow me to apologize for my boorish behaviour. It was totally out of line and not the Creole ways."
Andre nodded solemnly. "Apology accepted, Monsieur d'Estrehan."
Caesaire smiled, "It was very magnanimous of you to stop by, Drausin."
"Well, it was the least I could do since soon we will be related, Caesaire. I shall see you at Sebastien and Solange's wedding next week."
"We wouldn't miss it for the world, Drausin. After all, Sebastien is more than a cousin. He is like a brother to me."
Drausin bowed again. "Until we meet then, Caesaire---Monsieur Beaudouin."
As he left, Andre muttered, "I don't trust the man."
Caesaire waved her hand. "Drausin wouldn't do anything. He knows the law. And he has never been in a duel."
Andre grimaced, "All the more reason not to trust him."
Caesaire stood up. "I see Madame Duvall over there and I simply must extend my felicitations on her new baby. I shall be right back."
"Don't be too long. I know how women can be."
She raised her eyebrow. "Oh, do you, now?"
He laughed and waved her off. "I hear no complaints, Madame Beaudouin."
She blew him a kiss and walked towards her friend.
As she neared the new mother, a hand clamped down on her arm. She looked into the pained eyes of Drausin.
"You are still with him, cher? I thought by now you would have him out of your system. I was willing to wait till you came to your senses."
She looked coldly at Drausin. "Unhand me, Drausin. Or lose your hand."
He held even tighter to her, despair in his voice.
"When will you realize you belong with me, Caesaire? We belong together. We have shared too much for you to throw it all away."
She threw his hand off. "It's too late, Drausin."
"It's NOT too late. I forgive you for---"
"No, Drausin, it is too late." She held up her ringed finger. "Andre and I were married last night."
He took her by the shoulders and shook her. "I don't believe it."
She pushed Drausin.
Suddenly a voice said, "Is there trouble here, Mademoiselle?"
She looked up into the eyes of a tall man with piercing brown eyes. His face was patrician and he carried himself with the air of person of authority.
"No problem, whatsoever, Monsieur. And nothing that I can't handle."
She turned to Drausin and said in a barely controlled whisper, "Out of respect for our past, Drausin, I shall refrain from mentioning this to my husband."
She held her finger up.
"Just this once. That is all I shall forgive you. The next time all bets are off."
She turned and walked back towards her husband.
Drausin watched her go and then stiffly walked out of the restaurant.
The man who dared to intervene motioned the maitre d' over.
"Gaston, who is that enchanting creature that was just here?"
Gaston clapped his hands and said, "That, General Wilkinson, is the charming Mademoiselle Caesaire Trosclair."
"Oui, but as of last night, she became the bride of Captain Andre Beaudouin."
General Wilkinson stared after the retreating form of Caesaire.
"You don't say. Well, this is a turn of events I didn't expect...."
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on May 25, 2011, 01:31:59 PM
Andre slipped from the bed he shared with his wife, employing as much stealth as he could muster. In his case it wasn't such a difficult task. The life of a pirate had often made such demands on him from time to time. After slipping into his black doeskin britches, he made his way over to the French doors that opened onto the small balcony of their second story bedroom.

Eschewing the veranda itself, he leaned his back against the open doorjamb and lit the thin black tobaccoed cigar he had brought with him. Exhaling the fragrant smoke into the salt tinged night air of New Orleans, he stared out across the lamp lit city. Save for the occasional sounds of a dog, or cat, and the far off noises of revelry along the distant waterfront, the night was peaceful and silent. He wish he could say the same for his soul.

Although his love had assured him that Drausin d'Estrehan was harmless, and his own brief encounters with the man showed him to be something of a coward, Andre knew full well the fallacy of underestimating an opponent. He had learned from his many adventures on both land and sea that even the most craven of men had a bit of backbone. Given the proper turn of events. And the Creole buccaneer's danger sense stung him with every sight of the man he was forced to tolerate.

Although he wished otherwise, Andre knew deep inside himself that eventually the rift between them would lead to bloodshed. Such affairs of the heart often did when one man could not tolerate losing the woman he loved to another.

He allowed his gaze to travel back into the room where his own heart slept peacefully, unsure if he would not act the same had she chosen another. He liked to think that he would put her happiness before his own and allow her to love as she saw fit. But, Andre couldn't say for certain that such would be the case.

The pirate captain gazed again at the city of his birth. No. It was inevitable that d'Estrehan had some trap in mind. The only question Andre had to face now was what, and where.

The soft rustle of silk alerted him to his darling Caesaire’s presence long before he felt her soft arms enclose his bare chest.

“What is troubling you, Mon Amore?” Her voice melted his insides, just as it had when they were little more than children.

“Your former plaything, Cherie.” He answered. “We seem to encounter him more, and more of late. And somehow I can not see him giving you up with such grace. Whatever else d'Estrehan may be, he does not seem the type to fade silently into the night. Especially where you are concerned.”

Andre looked off into the night for a third time. “I wonder if your father was right about me, and if it would not have been better for you to choose him.”

The flat of her hand branded the side of the stunned corsair’s face.

“How dare you suggest such a thing, Andre Beaudoin!” Caesaire’s French temper was up, and anger, mixed with hurt, wrote itself across her doll-like features. “I made my choice long before I even knew Drausin d'Estrehan drew breath! It was only my belief that you were gone from my life that allowed me to even consider the man!”

Tears flooded her jewel-like eyes and she turned away from him lest he see her sorrow.

“I love you, Andre. I always have, and I always will.” Her voice was timid as a child’s in the darkness. “That is why I never let anything between Drausin and myself go further than the boudoir. I did not love him, and I never will.”

Andre’s hands closed tenderly on her shoulders, regretful that his own doubts had inadvertently stung her heart. With infinite care he turned her to face him, wiping the salt streams from her face with one soft touch.

“Forgive me, Cherie. I did not wish to imply that you did not love me. I know that you do.” He whispered. “My words were poorly chosen, even for a one time street urchin such as myself. But, I do not think that he will give up on you until one of us is quite dead. And I fear for you should that turn out to be me.”

“Do not think of such things.” Caesaire lay her head against his chest. “Drausin will never be foolish enough to challenge you. Come back to our bed, and let me drown your doubts within my arms.”

Andre fell into a deep sleep after their lovemaking, just as Caesaire had planned. Rising to one elbow she traced the firm line of his jaw with her fingertips, careful not to disturb his slumber.

“Know this, my love.” She whispered. “Should Drausin somehow succeed in harming you, I swear he will not live three heartbeats beyond the act!”

Leaning over his still form she pressed her lips lightly to his forehead. “I swear it!”
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 27, 2013, 10:55:18 PM
The general walked into the tavern, his eyes adjusting to its dimness.
"Over here," a voice said in a harsh whisper.
Wilkinson slid into the seat.
"And what have your spies learned?"
The general poured himself a glass of Madeira.
"Not the spies. I myself have found some information that can be useful."
The man gave an 'out with it' gesture. Wilkinson leaned back.
"The two pirates in question--one is Jean LaFitte.
"Yes, yes...I have heard he controls slave trade and other illegal activities in New Orleans. The blacksmith shop is only a front. His real control is based out of Barataria. And who is the other pirate in question?"
"Captain Andre Beaudouin of Le Faucon de Mer."
The Spaniard's fist slammed down on the table, causing the crystal to bounce. Wilkinson inwardly grimaced. No finesse. Tempers will tell in the end and reveals a man controlled by his anger and not his senses.
Darkly, the Spaniard said, "I know the name. Know the man. He stole my cargo and made a public humiliation of me and my captain. Fool that he is---taken in by a pretty face."
Wilkinson leaned back and idly lit his cigar.
"I gleaned an interesting tidbit. Beaudouin was with a woman."
"A blonde woman?"
"Yes.Very beautiful. But also the plot thickens.
"And that would be?"
"She is also the new bride of said Andre Beaudouin but one more piece of the puzzle is woven into this tapestry. She was once the mistress of Jean LaFitte."
Wilkinson leaned back. "But it also gets a bit more convoluted. Her maiden name is Caesaire Trosclair. Her father is old family Creole. Properties upriver he never visits but keeps under control through an agent.
Stern but fair. He keeps a tight rain on his daughter with an exception."
"And what is that?"
"She won't be tamed. Try as he might, she ran wild mostly due to lack of maternal guidance. "
"Spoiled and headstrong, " the count spat.

"A deadly combination, to be sure. Coincidently, her cousin who is a lawyer--Sebastian Trosclair--is marrying an old family from upriver. Solange d'Estrehan."
The Spaniard shrugged. "So? Families intertwine all the time."
The general leaned forward. "It turns out Caesaire Trosclair was involved with Solange's brother. Drausin d'Estrehan. Of whom we have been informed about."

Wilkinson reached into the pocket of his coat and pulled out a piece of paper.
"It just so happens that I have been invited to the nuptials that are taking place next week. So has Mr. LaFitte who is acquainted with the bride's family. Just think, Count Elaido--lovers, ex-lovers and all that sort all at the same social occasion. Anything can happen."
Elaido grinned, "Si, General Wilkinson. Anything."