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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: November 30th, 2016, 6:51 pm 
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"Please understand, my dear Lord Eagle," Lady Gray said with her baritone voice, "my nephew poses no threat to me or my family. He roamed the streets of Port Royal for years, like some street rat. No one has any knowledge of our connection. But I must say, I am hardly surprised that he has chosen the company of criminals," she scoffed.

Lady Gray waved with her fan for some cool air and listened to the music and chatter coming from the house. Perhaps tonight her daughter would finally have a worthy suitor to dance with.

When Lord Eagle mentioned his son, Lady Gray looked up, clearly intrigued. It was without doubt that a man as powerful as him had enemies and weaknesses. If he had crossed the seas from England all the way to Port Royal to catch this woman, she couldn't be just a petty thief. This could be an opportunity.

"Naturally, I would be more than willing to assist you, Milord. Port Royal should be protected from this witch. And if we can be rid of that mulatto in the process, that would be more than convenient."

Lady Gray closed her fan with a snap and briefly brushed with her hand past Caithair's arm and smiled.
"I feel that this might be a very profitable acquaintance for the both of us."

----------------

"For the love of God, Guinevere." Liam let his fist land on the wooden panelling of the cabin and he started to pace through the cabin. "You claim to choose me, love no one but me." He tapped with his left hand on his chest to stress that last word. Only inches above his hand was the scar of his old bullet wound. It seemed ages ago now. Guin collapsing on the rocks. Cairbre hitting him. Rosalind hauling him into the carriage.

"But at the first test your faith in me crumbles and you turn to someone else. Someone, you say, who doesn't shut you out. But trust comes from two sides Guin. How can you demand it, if you're not giving any of it in return?"

Liam stopped pacing and turned to Guinevere. When he saw her sitting on the bed, he was reminded of the shadow of the woman he was with when they were camped out in the woods, on the run from the Redcoats. She was exhausted and in the verge of loosing grip. Like him, she looked older and carried a heavy burden.

Liam fell to his knees in front of the bed. He placed his hands on Guinevere's knees and looked up to her.
"I was taught that you need love yourself before you can love another," Liam said softly. His dark eyes locked with hers. "You need to love yourself again, Guin. Forgive yourself. Lord knows, I've been trying." Liam took Guinevere's hand in his and placed a light kiss on the inside of her wrist. "I can't turn back time. But I will try to get us back."

----------

Tim turned away from Bathsheba, almost as if to shield himself from her insensitivity. His face was drawn in a grimace as he tried not to notice the excitement and fondness in her voice. Tim turned back to Bathsheba, but looked straight past her when replied: "I'm sure he will" before quickly excusing himself.

He was a fool. Any man would know if he heard Bathsheba speak, if he heard her admiration in her voice, her dreams envisioned with hopeful words, where her heart truly lies. Never had she spoken to him with such longing or would she see him other than as the things he was not.
He was a fool. For hoping, for believing that something extraordinary could be possible. He only had himself to blame for shattering his own heart.

Tok. Tim's cane hit the wooden stairstep at the same as his shin. Without even realising it, Tim had mindlessly wandered over to the quarter deck. He bit back a swear and ascended the stairs to the deck, where he heard the voices of Ciaran and Cairbre. Upon hearing the latter speak Tim felt the urge to run.
Ever since he was little his first instinct was to run whenever he struggled in dark times. Back when one of his brothers died of coughing disease, he had run away from home, halfway through town. His mother had never been so furious as then when he turned up again.

But being stuck on this ship, running now seemed literally impossible. Plus that running hadn't been his strong suit lately.

Soon however, they would reach their destination. That would be his only chance, his chance to run, to get far away from Bathsheba and Cairbre, to start over.

-------------

"When she is your soulmate, then no one ever is," Ciaran said with a sad smile on his lips. "Just make sure that you don't give up on her."
He clapped Cairbre on the shoulder with one hand while he held the wheel in the other. "The rest is up to him," he added while nodding to the dark sky filled with stars.

It was sometimes comforting to him to know that there was a reason or purpose for everything. It lightened the weight on his chest, making it a little easier to breathe; knowing that she died not solely because of him. But then in the darkest hours of the night, when his thoughts kept him from sleep, he felt this petrifying fear that his wife had only been taken away from him to punish him and that she would have to pay for it with her soul.

The sound of Tim stumbling up the deck diverted Ciaran's attention. A genuine smile appeared on his face as he called out to the boy: "And how is our Romeo doing on this night?"
Tim's pointed glare made Ciaran laugh but he did not tease the lad any further.

"What do you think, Eagle, if we keep the wind, when will we arrive at our destination?"

"Will we arrive soon?" Tim asked Cairbre eagerly, relief written over his face.

"Keen to get off this ship, are you?" Ciaran grinned. "Well, your d*mn right. I can't wait to set foot on solid ground again."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: January 1st, 2017, 7:35 pm 
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"Good," said Cathair shortly. He coldly glanced at Lady Gray's hand as it lightly brushed his arm. "Then we understand one another. I want this woman dead. She is even now hunted as a notorious criminal. I am sure that the crown would look very favourably indeed on the person who brings her to justice." He smiled briefly, an empty smile. "I look for no reward. I myself have privately put a price on her head. If you ensure that she is captured and handed over to the authorities, great favour and fortune will be bestowed upon you. So... I look forward to our cooperation, Lady Gray."

~~~

Guinevere flinched as Liam's fist landed violently on the wooden panelling. But after that first shock, she remained silent and still, only watching him as he paced the cabin. Much of what he said was true. She realised that in his eyes, her behaviour had been capricious and frustrating. She could understand that, of course she could. But had his behaviour, at times, not seemed inconsistent? She said none of this, however. She felt that she could move past it, forget all of it, if only they could find a way to move forward together.

She looked down at Liam as he knelt beside the bed. A saddened but relieved smile formed on her lips, and she curved her hand around his.

"I know," she said softly. "And I will try, too. I'm sorry, Liam. For everything. I've been a fool. We've all of us been living in impossible circumstances. It was naive of me to expect it all to go perfectly, for you and I to live at peace whilst... whilst Cairbre is here." She reached out and tightly clasped Liam's other hand. "I know that I was wrong. Once we reach port, we can decide what to do. Things aren't working the way they are now. But I can change that. I promise." She leaned down and kissed the top of Liam's head, closing her eyes.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: February 24th, 2017, 7:16 pm 
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There it was. At last. Rocky cliffs, dense green slopes, cotton trees amidst wide fields. This was the place where he grew up. Where he on rare occasions took a picnic with his mother and Aileen after church near the bay, of where he had a vague memory of crossing the coffee fields in the Blue Mountains with his father when he was as little as five years old. He hid in the forest for an entire night once when his niece - he never was allowed to call her that- blamed him for an accident with a invaluable Chinese vase. He had feared the wrath of Lady Gray more than the wild animals in the forest.

The forests and hills became his home and Liam had often caught himself daydreaming about home after the cold and unfriendliness of England. He hoped that this could be a new beginning, that he and Guin could get away to a place where faith, colour or even the fact they were pirates didn't matter. But was there even such a place in the Carribean? And even if there was, there would still be Cairbre, who could not leave Guinevere's side. For even just his presence would ensure that every chance he and Guinevere had together was crushed.

He could almost see the harbour now, a place forever entwined in his memory with Guinevere's flaming eyes and the sweet taste of the kiss he stole from her there years ago.

Almost all the sails had been let down and over not too long they would send the long boats to help this merchant ship unload its cargo. But they would not find the captain and a complete crew on the ship, longing to go ashore. No, according to the plan Eagle and Archer had cooked up, most of them had died underway. Only the five of them had survived the illness, Cairbre the Captain, Archer as first mate, Tim and Bathsheba as passengers and dear Guinevere as the Captain's wife.

Liam felt a pang of jealousy in his stomach. It would be painful to see Guinevere on the arm of Eagle, pretend that she was his wife, while he was the deck swab of the ship.

Still another part of him was glad that Guinevere would be safely escorted off the ship, even though he could not admit that out loud.
As soon as it would become clear that almost the complete crew had died of an illness, the harbour master would order them to be put in quarantine, probably seperated. Cairbre would protect Guin and make sure that their story would hold. But Liam wondered if Cairbre had thought further than the safety of Guinevere and himself. Did he know how the situation was in Port Royal or how afraid the British were of rebellion? If he lost touch with the others.. It was more commonplace than not to be 'mistaken' for a runaway slave or to be just taken to the cotton fields. Those men and women lost their freedom forever.

No. Liam shook his head as if he literally tried to chase these thoughts away. He had to have faith in the plan and in the others. They would find a way to make it work. He needed to have more faith in himself. He knew each corner of this city and every tree in its surrounding woods. No one had a reason to suspect them.

There was no more time for worrying now. There came the long boats.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: April 19th, 2017, 7:50 pm 
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Guinevere watched the longboats approach with a horrible sense of foreboding. Her gut instinct told her that it was not a good idea to step off this ship, to make port in a thriving hub of British authority. And yet there was no turning back now. She stood beside Cairbre, her role as his wife complete down to the last detail; she even wore the golden engagement ring, the very real symbol of their promise to marry only weeks ago. Cairbre had retrieved it from his jacket pocket and presented it to her with a solemn, uncomfortable smile. He too was aware of the dreadful irony of Guinevere standing at his side, her beringed hand gently resting on his arm.

She was attired as a lady, in a fine grey dress, her hair immaculately curled. Her pale complexion was finished with a dusting of powder, and a tiny black beauty spot had been applied on her right cheek - a mark which denoted marriage in high society. Clearly despite the disastrous illness that had spread across the ship (supposedly), the captain's wife felt that it was only proper to arrive in Port Royal decently arrayed. Guin felt hugely uncomfortable, dressed up like a painted doll. But that was nothing compared to the discomfort of pretending to be her former fiance's loving and attentive wife. She glanced over her shoulder at Liam, who she knew would be feeling even worse than she did.

"Ship, ho!" There came the call from the longboats. Guin quickly turned her head, her heart thudding.

"I pray to God this will work," she said out of the corner of her mouth. She felt Cairbre reassuringly steady her hand against his arm. "Lord preserve us all if we're found out..."

"We won't be found out," Cairbre said firmly. "Not if we stick to the plan, and stick to the story."

"Story," Guin muttered. "It's more than that, it's a farce."

"Not entirely." Cairbe glanced down at the ring on her finger. "That was yours, once."

"Yes, I know... Cairbe, I don't want to talk about that this very minute..."

"Good, neither do I," he said quietly with a small smile. "Let's just all of us concentrate on making this story, or farce, look convincing. Our lives depend on it."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: May 27th, 2017, 8:34 am 
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The Harbour Master stood in the front of the first long boat. Even though the waves made the boat rock, the Harbour Master stood firmly with one hand in his side, the other in his jacket pocket and he did not waver once as the boat slowly approached the British merchant ship that had lowered its anchor near the port of Port Royal. Neat rolls of grey hair were visible under his tricorne and his golden cufflinks shone bright in the sun. The young Redcoats in the sloop observed the man in a reverent silence.

The Harbour Master was known as impeccable man. He lived with the book of law in his left hand and the Holy Bible in the other. And as a God fearing man, his life was characterised by modesty, hard work and obedience of the law. He would not be led astray by indulgences and he would make sure that no one else around him was either. He expected discipline from his wife and demanded it from his servants and underlings. The Royal Navy rewarded him for such diligence, while the men both feared and respected him.

The Harbour Master was the first to board the ship and as he stepped onto the deck, he sensed that something was off. No orders were shouted across the deck, there was a lack of usual bustling of footsteps and an empty quarterdeck. This meant trouble, the Harbour Master knew.
There were only a few people on the top deck, standing in a rather unorderly line. The man nearest to him was the Captain. He was tall and without any question British and even though the Harbour Master concluded that his uniform left something wanting, the man seemed to have the bearing of good breeding. Next to him there was a red-haired lady, presumably his wife judging by her position on the arm of the Captain. But after an infallible inspection of the woman, the Harbour Master thought she looked uneasy, as if she were not comfortable with herself or the man she was standing next to.

Next there was a tall man, clad in black. This man could better not be part of the crew, for the Harbour Master immediately knew by seeing the man's mocking smile and his leisurely posture that he was not a man of discipline and obedience. Two youngsters were standing beside him. Outcasts they looked with ragged and worn clothes. The girl looked at him, inquisitively, almost boldly. The boy had a vacant expression in his eyes, as if he was not right in the head, and he was hiding something behind his back.

Then finally a mulatto as the last of this remarkable company. The Harbour Master did not conceal his disdain for this boy, who did not even have the decency to cast his eyes down as he was supposed to. There were more than enough mulatto's in the city. Trouble that's what they were. Capable of stabbing their fellow man in the back if it was to their profit.
The Harbour Master frowned. In more than thirty years of service in the Royal Navy he had never come across such a strange group of vagabonds. But first things first: work had to be done.

The Harbour Master walked in a straight line to Cairbre and addressed him formally.
"Captain, on behalf of the Governor of Port Royal, I am here to assess whether this ship is permitted to enter the harbour. I am the Harbour Master and nobody on this ship is to move unless I have have cleared this vessel and every soul on it. According to the port regulations I shall need a full transcript of your journey's proceeding, the manifest and papers of all passengers and crew member on this ship. But more importantly, you need to tell me exactly what the devil happened here, Captain."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: September 17th, 2017, 12:04 pm 
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Looking at the hard, unsmiling face of the Harbour Master, Guinevere felt frozen in fear. She felt sure that she had gone grey beneath the dusting of face powder she had applied. Her hand still rested on Cairbre's arm, and she did her utmost to control the tremor that wanted to break out in her fingers. She looked up at the man who was, for all intents and purposes, her husband, and prayed that he would be able to turn the situation around to their good. She wanted to look around to see Liam, to seek his reassurance, but knew that she could not without attracting the Harbour Master's suspicion.

Cairbre inclined his head politely to the Harbour Master in greeting.

"Good day to you, sir. I am sorry to inform you that those of us standing here to meet you have survived a great danger - in the form of a terrible sickness. It claimed the bulk of my crew and we are lucky to be alive." He glanced down at Guinevere, perfectly aware of how intently the Harbour Master had scrutinised her. "You will hopefully forgive my wife, who accompanied me on this unfortunate journey; she is still greatly traumatised by all that has occurred." He looked back at the other man, his expression confident, even fearless. Cairbre was not about to let this all go to pieces if he could help it, even though his heart was thudding with apprehension; the papers the Harbour Master wanted, they clearly did not have.

There was no help for it. They just had to brazen it out; nothing else to be done.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: October 25th, 2017, 6:05 pm 
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The Harbour Master did not speak until Cairbre had finished. His composure remained unchanged and his face stern as he heard the man speak of a deadly illness, but only those who paid close attention noticed a flicker in his eyes. "What illness do you speak of?" he asked sharply. "Yellow fever? The plague?"

A soft murmur went through the file of Redcoats who stood in a neat line behind their superior near the ship's rail. A ship carrying death was a very bad omen indeed. Some soldiers crossed themselves, others whisered soundless to their neighbours. But this all quieted down when the Harbour Master cleared his throat to speak.

"It is then my duty to authorise a full quarantine on this ship and order the isolation of every person on it." He waved his hand and suddenly some Redcoats jumped into movement. Some took neckwear, others handkerchiefs to cover their nose and mouths. One soldier handled a yellow and black flag that would mark the ship as contagious, while others prepared to lower the ship's anchor so the ship couldn't sail into the harbour.

-----------

Tim nudged Bathsheba, who was was standing beside him, with his elbow. "What's going on?" he whispered almost without moving his lips. "What can you see?"
He still tried to keep up pretenses that he was just like the others. He glanced occasionally in different directions, except to the place where his cane leaned forgotten against the mast. If they found a blind guy among the crew, it would make them look even more suspicious.

But it wouldn't be long before they landed in Port Royal. That would be his chance. He only needed to get lost in the crowd and then... He didn't know exactly what then. Perhaps he would barter his passage back to England on a merchant ship. The few tricks Cairbre Eagle had taught him would hopefully convince a quarter master of his worth as crewmember. Or he could stay here in this land where the climate was so favourable. All he knew was that he couldn't stay in a place where he was regarded as a liability, someone who had to be taken care instead of someone who could take care of himself. But more important, he could no longer stay where he was taken for granted and had lost his friend to another.

------------

"I hope you understand, Captain," the Harbour Master said, turning to Cairbre. "That it's my duty to protect the city of Port Royal and therefore I cannot let you into the city. Not until it's ascertained that you yourself do not carry the illness. Your crew is to be taken to the quarantine barracks in the harbour and there we will further examine their conditions." The Harbour Master eyed Liam suspiciously. Everyone knew that those mulatto's were the cause of these illnesses more than anything. "I can offer you and your wife some better lodgings of course, but only under the strictest of conditions that you are not to leave."

He then turned to the rest of the crew with elevated voice. "You have five minutes to pack your belongings. You will then be escorted by my men to quarantine lodgings where you are to stay until further notice. You can take no more than one bag," he added looking at the redhaired wife of the Captain. He held her gaze for a while longer in an attempt to find evidence for the persistent feeling that something was off with her. When he couldn't find it, he moved his attention back to the Captain.

"Captain, you get me those logs I requested. I need the full transcript and schedule of the journey as written by your secretary."

---------------

Liam didn't move after the Harbour Master had ordered them to pack. Even though he hadn't much belongings to bring with him, there were things that could prove useful out there in Port Royal. A weapon for example and some silver could never hurt. But his gaze was fixed on Guinevere, who was still standing next to Eagle. He felt more and more uncomfortable with the plan Eagle had come up with. But there was no way to alter it now.

He took two steps in her direction, but then noticed Eagle's eyes flicker in alarm which stopped him dead in his tracks. Bitter indignation took hold of him like it had done before. Now it came to it, he couldn't leave Guinevere out of his sight and unprotected, not now they were nearly there, only a few miles away from freedom. Liam just stood there, wishing that Guin would look at him, that she would speak to him and that he could kiss her. For a grave sense of foreboding told him that it could be a long time before he could do that again.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 2:26 pm 
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It was an intense relief to be dismissed, if only for a few minutes. Guinevere was careful not to rush off, all too aware that the harbour master had his eye on her. She was very much afraid that he could see through the charade they were putting on, and that it was only a matter of time before he unmasked them. Still, she had to play her part whilst she could. She was desperate not to let everyone down. Under the guise that they shared the same quarters, Cairbre escorted her on his arm, taking her below decks to her rooms - although officially they were his rooms.

He stopped outside her door and loosened his arm to let her know she could let go if she wanted. His guess was that she did. He knew how uncomfortable she was with the pretence that they were husband and wife; and now they would have to share lodgings for who knew how long.

He paused and looked down at her. She was pale beneath her face powder, and her blue eyes were bright with worry. "I'll give you a few moments to collect your things. I'll go to my room, do the same then come back for you," Cairbre said softly, hoping to reassure her that it would all be alright. He did not feel so able to reassure himself, however; what was he going to do? He didn't have the logs that the harbour master wanted. He would simply have to say that his secretary had succumbed to the fatal illness. He doubted the harbour master would believe him, but what else could he say?

Guinevere had not answered, her gaze fixed on the floor as she inwardly panicked. "Guin?" Cairbre said. He was more worried for her than himself. But at least he would be able to protect her for now. The fatal phrase - for now.

Guin looked up and summoned a brave smile to her lips. "Yes. Yes, I'll get my things." She nodded her head, as if trying to persuade herself as well as him that she was fine. "See you in a few minutes." She disappeared into her room and left Cairbre to depart for his own cabin.

~~~

"I don't know what's going on," Bathsheba muttered beneath her breath as she hustled away below decks with Tim. Her nerves were running high, her arm linked tightly through her friend's. "They think we're all sick. They're going to quarantine us. Oh Lord, what shall we do? That man, that harbour master, looks an unpleasant fellow. I don't like him."

She fluttered around her room, picking up bits and pieces, including the pearl bracelet she had stolen weeks ago. She had nothing else of value that could help them at a time of need.

"It'll be fine though, I'm sure," she said rapidly, shoving on her coat. "Cairbre, he'll make sure we're alright."

~~~

Guin sat alone in her room, looking down at the bag of possessions she had packed. She didn't have much, but it was enough. A few changes of linen and clothes, a hair brush, necessary things all in all. The only thing of real material worth was the gold wedding band on her finger, the very real symbol of the pledge she and Cairbre had made not long ago to marry. Now it was representative of a farce. She looked away from her hand, not wanting to see the ring; she pressed her fingertips to her temples, trying to ease the headache that was building up.

She wanted to see Liam; she needed to see Liam. They wouldn't have another chance to see each other before being put into quarantine. And yet she was afraid of the harbour master, afraid of him seeing that something was amiss. She closed her eyes against her hand and bitterly regretted that she had ever made the decision to come to Port Royal. She should have chosen somewhere else; shouldn't have been so stubborn. They had walked directly back into the jaws of danger, and she could not help thinking that it would be all her fault if the jaws snapped shut and trapped them.

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