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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: July 31st, 2013, 6:18 pm 
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[ Just posting for Tim right now. I've been ill, so I only came up with a post for him. I'll post the rest asap, but feel free to reply to this, if you like. ;) ]

Tim’s lips curled up in a smile, when he heard Bathsheba’s voice. It was soft, but also determined, yet it had spoken to him in kindness, when she first talked to him. “I do not have to see your face to know that you are extremely satisfied with your current profession, Miss Summers,” Tim said playfully. “Your complacency is most certainly tangible.” He held out his hand for her to give him the purse with coins so that he could take his share of the profit. What could he say? Trust was not his strong suit and he liked to have money on him just in case.

Tim leaned against the brick wall of the warehouse and was silent for a moment. His partnership with Bathsheba Summers had not lasted that long but it seemed the most profitable and successful one until now. Before, the few accomplices he had teamed up with had cheated or even worse betrayed him. Bathsheba however seemed innocent and Tim liked to have her around as company. She could be his eyes in the city when needed and she seemed to be dependable.

He chuckled when she spoke of cooked fish and daydreamed about the food they could buy. “Isn't cooked fish a bit too ordinary for you?” he asked, his tone slightly mocking. “I took you more for the fruits de mer type. Or haute cuisine like pilau rice or turtle soup..” He stared with his empty gaze at Bathsheba, but his grin betrayed that he was only joking. They knew each other long enough for Tim to have discovered that she was from a wealthy family: she spoke eloquently, her manners were gracious and her hands were soft and had never seen work before. Bathsheba had not shared her story with him and he had not asked for it. Just like he hadn’t told his. He just liked to tease her know and then. “If I could choose, I would buy freshly baked bread. The smell is just.. it reminds me of Christmas.. of warmth and joy.” A peaceful expression was on Tim’s face but the smell of fish and dirt soon called him back to reality, so was the hollow feeling in his stomach.

“I can’t even remember the last thing I ate. Probably some stale bread…” He paused and propped his cane under his elbow and straightened his dark coat. “I guess I have been luckier in that regard. Sometimes, enough vegetables and eggs were thrown to my head to open a shop. Rotten food that is..” He shook his head and his tone was slightly bitter, even though there was still a smile on his face. “In some parts of town, aim-and-hit-the-blind-guy is still a very popular game.”

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2013, 11:01 pm 
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(Brilliant post, dearie! And I hope that you feel better soon *big hugs* :hug: Here's a post for Bathsheba!)

Bathsheba rolled her eyes good naturedly when Tim outstretched his hand towards her for his share of the profit. Hitching herself up onto the wall, she took the purse of coins from her coat pocket and emptied the contents into her lap so that she could divide it equally between the two of them. Quickly enough she pressed Tim’s fare share into his hands, folding his fingers over the coins for safekeeping. “There you go,” she said, tipping her share back into her pocket. “And of course I’m complacent! I’m earning money, aren’t I? It’s a good deal better for one’s self worth than begging.” She shuddered delicately. “I never liked that.” It was true; begging on street corners had always felt so degrading, the ultimate humiliation, especially for someone like Bathsheba, who had been used to having everything for nothing.

Bathsheba kept her hand in her pocket, running her fingertips over the coins. She liked the feel of money. She was listening to Tim, wondering if either of them would ever be able to buy their favorite things again. If they kept going at this rate, and made sure to save a little… well, who knew? Bathsheba meant to keep going until she could get everything that she wanted. She had no intention of roaming the streets forever. But of course she would never forget Tim in all of her plans; he was her friend. His blindness put him at a disadvantage in life, and it made her feel good to be able to help him out. It wasn’t his fault that he couldn’t see.

“Just you wait,” she said stoutly, “one day we’ll be out of this place. And no one will ever dare throw rotten vegetables at you again. Honestly, the rudeness of some people! No, you’ll see, things will turn around. I intend to make it so.” Reaching into the depths of her other pocket, her hand suddenly met with something cold. A wide smile spread across her features as she remembered the prize she’d managed to filch yesterday evening. “Aha! Here we are!” She removed the pearl bracelet and set Tim’s hand over it so that he could know what it was. “I took this into my keeping yesterday. They’re real, and I should know. They’ll fetch a good price.” She grinned, pleased with herself. “Well? What do you have to say to that?”

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: August 11th, 2013, 7:30 pm 
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[ Lovely post as usual dear! :) ]


“Technically, you’re not earning money,” Tim said with a faint smile. “You’re taking it.” But he silently agreed with Bathsheba’s words. It felt so much better to be able to get money yourself instead of being dependent of other giving it to you. By holding up your hand, people somehow appropriated the right to humiliate or make fun of you. Destitution was considered to be a joke, or even a crime.

Tim carefully put the coins away in the deep pockets inside his coat. He was now able to relax again, now the daily attack of hunger and poverty had been warded off once more. “I’ll keep that in mind that we will be dining in a grand house with Lords and Ladies with Christmas,” Tim grinned. His gaze was directed at Bathsheba and he chuckled. He was not mocking her, on the contrary, Tim admired her firm belief that she could better her situation. But life had made him more sceptical or perhaps it was just because they came from two completely different worlds. He had never been brought up with the certainty that everything was within his grasp or believing his dreams could come true. They usually never did.

With a frown, Tim opened his hand when Bathsheba had put something cold in the palm of his hand. It was round and smooth. “Pearls,” he mumbled surprised. “Salt water pearls by the feel of it. These are worth a fortune.” For a moment he weighed them in his hand, estimating their worth but also the value of Bathsheba sharing her spoils with him. She could have kept them to herself; getting the hell out of this place with the money she could get for it. But instead she had shared it with him..

Tim placed his cane against the wall and searched for Bathsheba’s hand. When he found it, he softly pulled her from the wall. “Come here,” he said quietly. He gently brushed her hair over her right shoulder. The string with pearls had a silver fastening at the end, which Tim managed to lock with effort after he had draped the necklace around Bathsheba’s slender neck. “Why don’t you hold on to this,” he said. “I can only imagine that it looks beautiful on you… You deserve it.” He turned to pick up his cane again and tilted his head slightly when shouts of fishermen drifted to him on the wind. His blank gaze drifted through the street. “Why don’t we celebrate our successful partnership by spending our profit?” He extended his arm to Bathsheba so that she could guide him through the streets. “I almost like spending money as much as stealing it.”

--------

"Excuse me. I believe that we two need to have a little talk.”

Ciaran looked up when Guinevere tapped him on the shoulder. “I thought you’d never ask, beautiful,” Ciaran laughed. He took a few gulps from his water bottle. “Won’t your boyfriend mind our little heart-to-heart?” He threw Liam a hateful grin when he walked with Guinevere to a fallen tree near the stream, where she sat down. He chuckled, amused at Guin’s mannerism and her attitude. She was feisty and stubborn. He liked that.

He listened to Guinevere’s speech, curious to what strategy she would take, while indifferently peeling an apple with his knife. All those he had brought back to hand over to the authorities tried to bargain themselves out if it, one way or the other. Sometimes the inventiveness of his victims was admirable, but otherwise it was just plain pathetic. “So what makes you think that Caithair Eagle would blame me in any way?” He calmly chewed on a piece of apple. “It was your boyfriend who injured him. Perhaps it was my assignment given by Eagle to bring you in, no matter what.” Ciaran’s black-rimmed eyes rested on Guin for a while before continuing. “From the way you spoke I assume that you know Caithair Eagle. So you know the man’s wealth. He is not interested in my bounty. All he wants is to see you hang.” Ciaran sliced the rest of the apple in two. “Apple?” he asked cheerfully.

Guinevere’s disgust for him was plainly visible on her features, but Ciaran couldn't care less. She was a pirate and lying and cheating had been her profession, just like stealing things to which she had no claim. The only reason for her disgust towards him, a rule-breaker just like her, was because she had been stupid enough to get caught.

“So why don’t we just skip the part where you pretend that I desperately need your help and things could get more interesting,” he said. “The game has moved to the next stage. Tell me more specifically what could you possibly offer me, keeping in mind that Ciaran Archer never loses track of those he caught.” His lips curled up in a smile. “And please share with me your master plan of how you would get me my price here on English soil.”

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: August 14th, 2013, 11:41 pm 
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“Pearls. Saltwater pearls by the feel of it. These are worth a fortune.” Bathsheba grinned as she watched Tim weigh them in his hand, thrilled that he was impressed. She’d done very well indeed, and she knew it. Thievery required a certain finesse, which she’d put into action when acquiring her spoils. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt quite so proud of herself. She was certain that this was a good omen and the beginning of many more successes to come. One way or another, she was going to get rich again, and so would Tim.

She blinked in surprise as Tim drew her down from the wall and, with some effort, fixed the necklace around her neck. She hadn’t been expecting that at all. They were going to sell the piece of jewelry as soon as possible, weren’t they? That had been her plan. But she supposed that they were safest where she could see them. Any person who tried to tear them off of her neck would regret the day they were born. “Well, alright,” she conceded after a moment. “I’ll wear them for now.” She ran her finger along the smooth pearls, which felt cold against her skin. The feeling reminded her of a different time, back when she’d had almost as much jewelry in her possession as a princess. But that was in the past, and Bathsheba was a great believer in looking ahead instead of back. She linked her arm securely through Tim’s so that she could help him along through the streets and make sure that he didn’t trip – and that anyone didn’t purposefully kick his cane and make him stumble.

“I’m absolutely starving,” Bathsheba said as they walked through the streets together. She had already decided where they were going: the bake house. He had said to her that he would like some freshly baked bread, so that was what they’d have, at least to start with. Bathsheba was adamant that they both needed either fish or meat, to stave off the hunger for longer. It wouldn’t do at all for one of them to start getting faint spells or worse, fall ill. The smell of baking bread drifted towards them as they approached their destination. “I could eat an entire army.” Firmly, she knocked on the bake house door.

~~~

Guinevere did not so much as raise an eyebrow at the way Ciaran sneered at her. She didn’t like it, but there was no way in hell that she was going to let him see that. He clearly thought a lot of himself, full of arrogance and spite. Guin despised the way he thought that he had a right to be doing what he was doing, delivering two people to their deaths simply for the clink of coins. He had forced his way into her and Liam’s lives, acting as if he had them both figured out, when he hadn’t the slightest idea about their stories and who they really were. Pirates and liars, that was all he saw them as. The truth was far less clear cut.

Guin maintained her dignified exterior, smiling at Ciaran and tilting her head as if she had not a care in the world. In fact she was incredibly aware of just how dangerous this situation was; it was like walking on a tight rope. They were not so far from the town now, and this conversation could decide their fates. She knew, too, that Ciaran might well just be stringing her along, with no intention to take any bribe; he could be talking just for the sheer sake of amusement. But then there was also a chance that he was not. Guin saw in this man a turncoat born, to be swayed by the highest bidder. And so she did not lose her nerve. She could not afford to.

“Ah, so you wish to hear the specifics,” she said softly. “I thought you might. I can offer you gold – gold such as you have never seen. Great bars of it in every hue you could imagine. The spoils of many years worth of redistribution of wealth, if we wish to talk grandly… or put simply, one hell of a lot of loot.” She lifted her shoulders gently. “All safe in a bank overseas. And that is where you come in.” Her shackles jangling, she tapped Ciaran’s shoulder with one finger. “You free us, and point me in the direction of any ship, and I can snatch that ship as easily as you might pick up a coin off the street.” There was no bravado in her tone; she was simply telling the truth. Ask any buccaneer whether he’d heard of Captain Elliot, otherwise known as the Red Captain due to the distinctive flame of her hair, and guaranteed a shiver would go down his spine. She was notorious for the grandest of thefts, schemes that seemed impossible when first put to discussion. “You help us make way from the harbor, and I will get you that gold I spoke of. With a fair wind it wouldn’t take too long. And after that… we part ways with you for good and you never, ever mention our names to a living soul as long as you live.” Her eyes rested on him unwaveringly, steely as a knife blade. “So? What say you to that?” She rose up from the tree trunk to her feet. “There’s your offer.”

She wanted to go and sit with Liam and get some time together to talk alone whilst they could, but she knew that for the time being she needed to stay and hear Ciaran’s reaction. Despise the man she might, cursed creature that he was, but he had their lives within his grasp. As soon as he could be got rid of, the better.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2013, 7:00 pm 
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Walking the streets with Bathsheba was in every way a relief. When accompanied by her, his senses did not have to be completely focused on finding his way and avoiding obstacles and he was not such an easy target as when alone. He listened to Bathsheba’s chattering, while his nose picked up the scent of tar and he knew they passed the ropery. They turned left at the next corner, heading towards the city centre, away from the harbour. “I’m lucky to have you as my tour guide,” Tim smiled. “This is unknown territory for me, so I would get lost in no time.” His cane swiped swiftly back and forth over the street to explore his new road. Before the accident he hardly ever came in the city centre, which made it even less attractive to venture there after loosing his sight. He had learnt to deal with disgracing situations, but even he had his boundaries. A blind man asking for directions was not that funny at all.

The heat of the ovens was almost tangible when they passed the bake house. The shop of the bakery, which they entered, was a true paradise full of forbidden fruit for people like Bathsheba and Tim. This was not just an ordinary bakery that sold either white or brown bread. This was almost a patisserie, which catered for rich and well-off people. Freshly backed bread was a rare exception for the poor, let alone the delicious treats that were stalled at the counter. Even though Tim could not see it, the distinct smell of honey flavoured bread, crumble cookies, sugar coated meringues, cake dipped in chocolate and strawberry-vanilla pie made Tim’s mouth water. “You will need to choose something,” he said turning to Bathsheba. “Even when you described everything to me that is on display, I wouldn't know what to pick.”

Tim remained at the back of the shop and stood there with eyes closed, taking in the sweet, delicious scent, that was so different from the usual stench of salt harbour mud, fish and tar. Only the sound of distinctive whispering and discontentment woke him from this pleasant daydream. Tim opened his eyes, but did not needed to see the disapproving glares of the maids that usually came to shop there. He quickly left the shop and waited for Bathsheba outside.
“And, tell me,” he said when the door opened and with rustling skirts Bathsheba returned outside. “What did you choose?”

------

Ciaran turned his back to Guinevere and stared into the distance over the green fields and wild hedges. Only for a short moment he contemplated about what Guinevere offered him: a passage, free passage to wherever he wanted, wherever he needed to be. This could pose an opportunity, his only opportunity. He’d tried to obtain travel documentation before, but it had been denied to him, as with so many other things. He was on the outside of society. Ciaran never tempted himself to ponder about how life could be if things were different. He had learnt the hard way that doing the right thing, or what he believed to be right did not work, at least not for people like him. He could only make things work if he lived by the rules he set for himself years ago. That meant no deals. But then he would never cross the seas as he had sworn he would.

Then he turned to look at the pirate again. “Well, I must say that this is a very unusual offer,” he said cheerfully. A smug smile appeared on his face, as he took a few steps towards Guinevere. “Especially that bit about you and me sailing into the sunset together,” Ciaran said. He stood now so close that their noses almost touched and Ciaran looked into Guin’s eyes. “That interested me very much..” Before Guinevere could decide to strangle or hit him, he jumped on the fallen tree trunk, where Guinevere sat only a few minutes earlier.

“Bút.. I'm not convinced. I don't know where you're from, love, but stealing a ship from a harbour, guarded by His Majesty’s men.. well..” Ciaran shook his head, unconvinced. “So let us return to our horses and I will think about your proposition. You will have my answer before the day is over.”

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: September 24th, 2013, 5:51 pm 
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(Awesome post, Will! :-D I hope you don't mind me skipping time forward a bit in mine! :pirate: )

The sky had changed by the time they reached the town; the light was not yet gone, but it was summer, and it must have been well into the evening by Guinevere’s reckoning. It felt like lifetimes ago since her conversation with Ciaran; he had said that he would give her his answer before the day was at an end, but she couldn’t help but disbelieve him. It seemed to her that he had already made his mind up to reject her proposed deal. Here he was, leading them through the town gates like animals, ready to receive his bounty reward. Guinevere tried her best to ignore the curious and condemning gazes of the townsfolk who were still milling around, even though her stomach was sinking. She was reminded all too well of another journey into the waiting hands of the authorities.

Guin had told herself and told herself that she would not give up hope, that she would continue fighting, but how? If this was really happening, then tomorrow they would be heading for the gallows. She knew that for a certainty; they wouldn’t get a trial. Guin managed to keep her face still, a perfect mask, hiding what she was feeling inside. Inside she was a raging storm of anger, bitterness and grief. The stares and the pointing were getting worse; people were starting to make comments as they passed by, the horse hooves clattering conspicuously against the cobbled streets. Guin felt like some kind of trophy of war; an outcast, a criminal. She didn’t belong here. Neither did Liam. They belonged in the warmth of the Caribbean, where the tree frogs sang all night and the sun burnt bright.

Guin closed her eyes, imagining it all for a few moments. But her daydreaming was cut short when Ciaran tugged the horses to a halt, and the creatures whinnied in objection. Guin’s mare turned it’s head towards Liam’s horse, nuzzling against it’s friend for the feeling of safety. They had stopped outside the town prison, a grim, ugly building, where a line of guards were standing to attention below the steep row of steps. It was clear that some kind of a struggle was expected from Guin and Liam. If she had been alone, the only prisoner in this situation, then Guin would have probably attempted to make a break for it, but she was not. She stayed by Liam’s side, not allowing herself to be pushed along away from him.

Turning her eyes towards him, she whispered intensely, “Liam, I’m sorry. I tried. I tried to convince him to let us go.” She wanted Liam to know that she had done her very best, that if she could exert her will, they would both be free by now. Her heart thudded unpleasantly, a sickening feeling lurking in her stomach as one of the guards looked her up and down, sneering.

“You’re a cold one, ain’t you?” He threw the remark over his shoulder to Ciaran. “Handing in a pretty piece like this. Probably for the best though. Damned unnatural, pirate women. Kind like that deserves the noose.” He spat onto the ground, before turning his ugly stare towards Liam. He declined to make a comment, simply snickering before gesturing to his men to take the prisoners inside the building.

They were led up the steps, pushed and shoved along like cattle, all the while being talked at mockingly. It was deadly cold inside; the building was old, a sort of tower like structure. Every footstep echoed menacingly. “Right,” said the head guard, “take ‘em to block ten, and put ‘em in the cell next to the other two.” The guards shared a laugh amongst themselves, as if at some private joke.

~~~

Bathsheba was cold, even on a summer’s night and huddled into her oversized man’s coat. The honey bread she and Tim had devoured earlier in the day seemed like an incredibly distant memory; she had not tasted anything so sweet, so nourishing, for so long. If only she hadn’t eaten so quickly, she could have saved some for a time like this. She and Tim were crouched together into a street corner, sitting very close for greater warmth. Sometimes Bathsheba almost found herself envying her companion’s blindness; he couldn’t see the unkind looks and the cold way people walked past them. She knew that she was only thinking morbidly, but the chill of the evening did that to her sometimes. It was a very good thing that she wasn’t blind, otherwise she would have missed the very interesting occurrence she had just witnessed.

“You’ll never guess what, Tim,” she said, nudging her friend, hoping that he hadn’t fallen asleep. Either way, the prod of her pointy elbow made sure that he had to pay attention. “I just saw two people being led along the road – the reins of their horses were tied to a man’s reins.” She wasn’t too good at describing things, but she figured that Tim would get the message. “You know, like prisoners.” Her eyes were bright with interest. It wasn’t often that she was given an opportunity to pay close attention to something outside of her own situation. “I wonder what it was they did.”

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Last edited by ~Goldleaf~ on January 18th, 2015, 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: September 27th, 2013, 7:15 pm 
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[No, that fine Goldy! :happy: Lovely post, dearie! All our plot lines finally meet now! :) ]


It was a cloudless night and the sky was probably filled with a countless number of stars. But the warmth of the day had quickly vanished by a cool breeze from the sea. It was cold, very cold. Tim was chilled to the bone and now and then his cane almost slipped from his numb hands. He then quickly grasped it and held on to it like a life line. The nights, that he had not been able to find shelter and had to spend the night on the streets, were many and like usual, he could not sleep. He was thinking carefully about what could be a good place to spend their nights in the future. In the past, when he had been on his own, he usually could find an abandoned portal of a house or a stable. Not getting caught was the tricky part. But now they were with two and winter would soon be coming, so they needed to find a safe shelter.

He looked up when Bathsheba poked with her elbow between his ribs. “Yes.. yes, I’m awake. Don’t you worry,” he muttered. He blew warm air into his hands to relieve the frozen sensation. He listened to the faint sounds of hooves on the brick stones and imagined how two figures were bound to their horses, like Bathsheba had described. “Judging from their means of transportation and destination, I would guess they are criminals. What does not mean that they did anything of such nature.” There was a short silence. Then Tim lay his hand on Bathsheba’s arm. “How long has it been dark already?” he asked. Although the harbour was a place that was never silent or abandoned, there was a time that most of the decent folk had gone home and the streets were crowded with foreign sailors, drunks or villains. “It is not wise to stay so plain in sight at such a late hour,” Tim said thoughtfully. “We better move.”

Somehow with Bathsheba at his side, Tim felt more vulnerable, or protective, than before. Sometimes he wanted to bring up her past and what happened to her that made her choose this life. At times, he had thought of ways to convince her to return home, where she would be able to live her life to the fullest, safe and well taken care of. But then he remembered how it was to be alone and he would leave it. It was selfish, but everything was just so much better with her around than being alone.

He got to his feet and tucked his coat closer around him. He stood still for a moment, realizing that the sound of hooves had now died away. “You said there were three horses?” He turned to Bathsheba and although his eyes remained empty as ever, a boyish grin appeared on his face. “They would be far too busy with dealing with their prisoners, than worrying about horses that magically disappeared right?”

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

Liam stumbled through the dark corridor of the courthouse. He was exhausted, but also strangely calm. He did not know which part of the day had been worse: the part when the feeling, that his long desired return to the Caribbean was within his grasp, was taken away again, the long and shameful ride through town, almost falling off his horse and breaking his neck, Ciaran’s sneering remarks and triumphant smiles or Guinevere’s despair. He wanted to comfort her and tell her that this nightmare was not happening again, that he loved her. But his arms were still bound and four guards were escorting them down the stairs to their cell; this was not the moment for heart-to-hearts.

“Sssh..” Liam said quietly, looking over his shoulder to Guinevere who was walking a few steps behind him. “Don’t worry.. It will be fine, I'm sure.” He wanted to say more, because he didn't know whether they were put in the same cell or if he ever was to see her again, but the guards roughly made him face forwards, while making some cruel remarks.

Liam was not sure where this sudden calmness and the ability to control himself came from. They had seen great perils before, even though this seemed the deepest trouble they had been in yet. He just knew that this couldn't be the end. Secretly, he took the crucifix, which Guinevere had taken from the pocket of his coat earlier when they took a break near the stream. It had been carefully tucked in his sleeve and Liam now let it fall in the palm of his hands before quickly dropping it sideways on the floor. He had seen the look on the bounty hunter’s face earlier that day and realized the he was their last hope.

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

As Guinevere and Liam were herded into the building, that served as courthouse and also contained a considerable amount of cell blocks in the dungeon, Ciaran trailed behind to tie up the horses. When he followed the rest, as last of the party, into the courthouse, Guinevere and Liam were already brought to their cells. Ciaran hardly looked at them, but turned to a door to the right of him and entered a small room. A small fire was burning in the fire place and there was a wooden table with some chairs, which were occupied by a group of guards who were not on duty. They all looked at disgruntled at him, the stranger, and some exchanged dark looks or frowned at this attire.

“You probably don’t know me,” Ciaran started smoothly. “But you have all heard of the man I work with: Lord Caithair Eagle..” He let the words sink in for a moment and some expressions of dissatisfaction changed to glances of recognition or impression. “He takes great interest in these prisoners, but as he has been detained, you must wait for his arrival before proceeding their process. I must therefore speak with the Sheriff as soon as possible.”

One of the guards closest to Ciaran’s right hand side got to his feet and looked at him with a calculating look. “The Sheriff ain’t here until noon tomorrow. So you’ll have to stay here if you want to interfere with his matter..”

“Perfect, perfect,” Ciaran smiled. He searched the inside of his pocket and took out a purse, which he threw casually on the table so that the silver coins rolled out of it. “Lord Eagle thanks you for your understanding and wants you to drink to his.. health tonight.” The men cheered loudly and with his lips curled up in a cunning smile, Ciaran left the room.

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O children, lift up your voice, lift up your voice,
Children, rejoice, rejoice..

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: September 28th, 2013, 5:50 pm 
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(Amazing post, dearie! :D I'm sorry my next reply is so long! O_o I felt that I had to reintroduce the others properly XD Rest assured that my next post won't be so long! :hug: )

Bathsheba got to her feet as Tim did, eager that there should not be any accidents if his cane should slip. She, in her way, was very protective over him. It was not an exaggeration to say that they both were all the other had in the world. Bathsheba had no great desire to ever return to the arms of her family, who she saw as having unforgivably betrayed her by losing all their fortune. No, she was better off where she was; she would build up her own life herself, even if it meant robbing half the country. Bathsheba was fundamentally greedy, greedy for money and for life too – the kind of life she wanted.

“It hasn’t been dark for long,” she informed Tim, glancing up at the sky. She shrugged her shoulders, running her gaze over the street they occupied. It was true that it wasn’t safe for them here, but where else did they have to go? They weren’t exactly overwhelmed with choices. She sighed heavily, linking her arm comfortably through Tim’s. She was accustomed to walking that way with him, guiding him around difficult corners and pulling him out of the way of people who didn’t care to make room for him on the street. “I suppose we should find somewhere else. What a nuisance!” She wasn’t annoyed at Tim, just with the general situation. She found it helpful to vent her anger every so often. “Here we are, with a priceless pearl necklace in our possession, yet we can’t even find a decent place to sleep.”

She huffed with irritation for a few moments, before hearing Tim’s suggestion. Her eyes immediately lit up with interest, but she nibbled at her lip slightly, thinking over the dangers of doing what he said. That kind of theft was a hanging offence, surely. Even if the guards’ attention would be on the new prisoners, it was still brazen, to steal livestock from right outside a courthouse. But… with horses they could get out. Go somewhere else – to an even larger town perhaps, with more opportunities. Perhaps they could even find jobs to supplement their income… and then they could sell the horses, once in a place where the animals wouldn’t be recognised… Bathsheba’s imagination was getting carried away, but the chance seemed too good to miss. Grinning, she squeezed Tim’s arm.

“Yes!” she exclaimed decisively. “It’s only fair, after all. Finders keepers. Come on, let’s get going. I don’t want anyone else getting there before us with the same idea.”

~~~

The long, cold corridor seemed to stretch on and on into oblivion. It was more of a tunnel than anything else, ugly and uninviting; it was not supposed to be a welcoming place. This was where the authorities sent criminals to wait to die. It was inconceivable that this was supposed to be the last place they would ever see, before being marched out onto the gallows. Guinevere couldn’t make herself believe it. She knew deep inside her heart that this wasn’t over; this wasn’t the end for them. And yet how could they hope to escape? Could they really pin their hopes on someone as untrustworthy as Ciaran? Guin could only pray that the man’s desire for gold would be stronger than his prejudices against them.

One of the guards abruptly roughly shoved her shoulder, clearly having failed to get her attention previously. “Here, you,” he barked. “We’ve reached your destination. Ain’t very cozy, of course.” He sneered. “But you’ll both make do.” Guin remained silent as both her wrist shackles and Liam’s were removed, not needed now they were to be put securely behind bars. She took the opportunity to rub her aching wrists, which had been left with sore red marks. She was aware of the jangling of a large bunch of keys, and a cell door creaking open. She kept her gaze focused on her feet, not wanting to see what was around her. So many pirates before would have taken this path; the thought of all those men, women and sometimes children suffering this fate was too awful.

Guin was shoved onto a hard floor scattered with straw, soon joined by Liam. She stopped hearing the taunting of the guards, only focusing on him as she managed a smile, wanting to raise his spirits as well as her own. It took only a few minutes for the guards to grow bored and slope off, planning to have a few drinks in their own far more comfortable quarters. The iron door of the cell block was locked shut and they were quite alone – apart from, of course, the other prisoners. But Guin had clearly not noticed any other presences yet. She was exhausted from the long ride, not to mention both hungry and thirsty.

“It will be alright,” she said, reaching out and taking Liam’s hand. The red marks on her wrists were painfully obvious on her snowy pale skin. “The bounty hunter is greedy. He surely couldn’t shun the money I offered. We just have to wait.” She wanted to sound positive, but her voice shook a little.

~~~

Cairbre had not paid any attention to the arrival of the new prisoners. He lay flat on his back in the cell he shared with Rosalind, his arms above his head and his eyes closed as he tried to catch some rest. For nights on end he hadn’t been able to sleep, either through his own restlessness or having to stay up to comfort his sister. Rosa wasn’t coping at all; she had turned into a shadow of her former self. Everything they had been through had all but destroyed her. All his life, Cairbre had had to remain strong through everything; now was no different. Outwardly, he appeared calm and tranquil, completely resigned to his fate. The guards never heard a word from him, whereas Rosalind wept and yelled and raged.

Inside Cairbre’s mind, a different story was going on. He was full of regrets and broken hopes. It was his belief that sooner than later, he would be put to death. His life lay in pieces, everything gone. He would never see Guinevere again, the woman he loved; she haunted his every thought, her image always bright and vivid in his mind. Somehow he knew that she was not dead. She could not possibly be. Wherever she was, at least she had not joined Cairbre in his fate. He would die but he could go to his fate knowing that she would live. He didn’t hurt any less though. He would have given anything to have been able to say goodbye to her properly, if only he’d known that they would never see each other again.

His brow crumpled with grief, and he tried to block out the harsh sound of the cell block door slamming shut. He always hated that sound.

But suddenly… suddenly…

Had he finally dropped off into sleep? Was he dreaming? Or had he simply gone mad, as he feared Rosalind had? He could hear Guinevere’s voice, clear as day. As if she was right here. A shiver ran down his spine as he clung to the notion of being near her. But it was no use to dwell in dreams that couldn’t be fulfilled. Quickly, he shoved himself up into a sitting position, his shoulders slumping. Briefly, he looked at Rosa, who sat huddled in a corner, her head on her knees. It was best not to disturb her; it sounded selfish, but he longed for her to remain calm and still as best she could manage.

He turned his head away, and then blinked. He blinked several times, his heart thudding violently. Gasping, he hauled himself to his feet, approaching the bars which divided his cell from Guinevere and Liam’s. “Oh my God,” he uttered, shaking his head. Had he lost his mind? No. The two people he gazed upon were quite real, as real as he was. “G… Guin,” he murmured. His expression was transformed with both astonishment and love. “Guinevere!”

~~~

Alerted to her feet by the call of her own name, Guin found that her head was beginning to spin. The voice was as familiar to her as daylight, but Guin thought that perhaps she was beginning to hear things, growing faint from lack of food and water. “Did you hear that?” she asked Liam uncertainly, seeking reassurance. She couldn’t possibly have lost her wits after only a few minutes behind bars. Following her instincts, she picked her way across the lumps of straw… only to come face to face with a ghost. Or at least, what she perceived as a ghost.

She stared at Cairbre, paralyzed with shock. All of the color drained from her already pale skin, and she gasped as if all the air had been sucked out of her lungs. The man before her was the very image of her late fiancé, just a little paler and more disheveled – his hair had grown somewhat and he was unshaved. She reached out slowly towards him, finding his hand resting on the bars; she knew the touch of that hand and that skin.

Cairbre tried to gently take her hand in his, put she pulled away, flinching. He looked aghast. “Guinevere, don’t you know me?” He paused, waiting for a response. “It’s me, my love. It’s – it’s me. My lord… I knew you were alive… I would have felt it if you were not…”

Guinevere trembled and backed away, her heart thudding so much that it hurt. She remembered her first instinct that dreadful day, that she could not have lost him, that he could not possibly have died. But logic had faded that. She had seen them both fall. Seen the redcoats fire. The chances of him surviving had been almost nonexistent. She looked up at Cairbre again, meeting his eyes. Those blue eyes were his, alright. This was no ghost.

“How did you get here?” Cairbre asked desperately. “Guin, why are you… why…” He was going to ask why she was here, but that was obvious. She had been captured – along with Liam. He let himself look at the man, and felt a dreadful sinking feeling in his stomach. Perhaps Cairbre knew already. But he didn’t want to believe it. “Why will you not speak to me?” he asked instead.

Guinevere stared at him, speechless. She was shaking from head to toe. “Why?” she finally said. “WHY?” she shouted, her cheeks flooding with bright red fury. “I thought you were dead,” she screamed. “You let me believe you were dead! Christ, I mourned you! Don’t you understand? I mourned you! It nearly killed me!” She stopped, taking some deep breaths, before walking away across the small cell, her back turned to Cairbre. She stopped where Liam was and sat down beside him, burrowing herself into his arms and closing her eyes tightly whilst she struggled to stop herself from hyperventilating. Her fingers dug into his shirt. "Don't let go, Liam, please don't let go," she whispered to him fiercely. "Dear God..."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2013, 10:50 am 
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[ No problem Goldy. ;) I just love long posts and I couldn't stop writing myself. ]


The words, that Liam wanted say to Guinevere, about the bounty hunter being interested in more than just gold, were stuck in his throat. He felt confused, dazzled, like Cairbre had smashed his head against the wall, like he had done when he discovered that Liam had broken into their house months ago. But the man, who was supposed to be dead, was standing in front of him, very much alive. Before Liam could realize the full implication of Cairbre’s sudden resurrection, he was again overwhelmed by Guinevere’s hysterical reaction. He caught her when she let herself fall on the straw next to him. Liam gently cradled her in his arms and whispered soft words in her ear.

“Here, lie down Guin,” Liam said when Guinevere had calmed down. Just like before, when Guinevere had almost gone into a catatonic state, he took the lead again. If Guinevere was to lose her mind in a whirlwind of emotions, he had to stay sharp for the both of them. He helped her to lie comfortable on the bed of straw. “Just rest for a moment.” He then got up and turned to Cairbre. Liam wanted to say something in order to explain Guinevere’s unexpected behaviour, but was it really up to him to explain everything that had happened to her to her supposedly dead fiancée? He looked the man straight in the eyes and walked to the bars to shake hands, when there came noise from further down the corridor. Liam quickly lay his finger on his lips and looked warningly at Cairbre. “We might have a way to escape,” he whispered. “If we’re lucky.”

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

Ciaran waited in the shadows of the torch-lit corridor until the returning guards had joined their friends and another one came back with a few bottles of liquor. The laughing and cheering in the adjoining room became louder. Then, he resolutely turned around and headed to the stairway that leaded to the cell blocks. He stretched his hands and listened to his own footsteps that echoed in the hallway and which seemed to resemble the steady beating of his heart. There was no tremble or shiver; Ciaran Archer was completely calm and composed as he always was in these kind of situations.

A glittering on the floor made Ciaran pause for a moment. On the floor, tossed to the side, lay the silver crucifix. It had been cast down as a reminder, that was obvious. With something that looked like a scornful smile, Ciaran picked up the necklace but he put it almost gently in his pocket, before continuing his way.

“What are you doing here?” The voice of the man, who was standing guard at the top of the stairway, was alert and full suspicion. “You might have brought in the prisoners, but you have no business being here.”
Ciaran bowed his head slightly, out of politeness. “Indeed, I am only to wait here until the morning for then I will receive my bounty,” he said innocently. “But your friends managed to lay hands on some excellent drinks, so they asked me to invite you for one round.”
The guard seemed to swell up with indignation. “As his Majesty’s guard, it is my duty never to leave my post,” the man said, as if it was his task to guard the King himself. “And surely, not for something as trivial as-..”
But he was not to finish his sentence, because Ciaran lay in one smooth movement his hand on the man’s mouth and with the other he drew his dagger and silenced him. The lifeless body of the guard rolled down the stairs to the cells. “Damned fool..” Ciaran muttered irritated, while he took the keys of the body.

He strode to the cell in which Liam and Guinevere were held and quickly put the key into the lock. “Alright, let me make myself perfectly clear,” he said with a soft but clear voice. “Now I have done the part like I promised, you’ll find me that ship that you promised. And if you fail, the last thing you’ll feel this dagger piercing your heart.”

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

Tim held on to Bathsheba’s arm as she guided him in the direction of the courthouse. It was an old building and only used occasionally, as the more prominent trials were held in the town centre.
“We need to go about this carefully,” Tim said thoughtfully. “I guess you’ll be the one who is doing the untying.” Tim wanted to say more but his cane had missed the end of the curb so that he almost tripped. However, with the skill of someone who had to do it a lot more, Tim quickly put his weight on the cane that he had placed on the lower part of the street to avoid a fall. “You have quicker hands than I have,” he added dryly as if nothing had happened.

He unlocked his arm from hers and he touched the shoulder and collar of Bathsheba’s oversized coat. “Hmm, maybe you should not wear this,” Tim suggested. “A respectable woman in possession of two horses is less suspicious than a street urchin.” He squeezed Bathsheba’s arm, but his smile faded away slightly, when he felt her hesitating pace and heard the snorting of the horses. The court house couldn't be far away. Tim knew the risk they were taking, but wasn't that what he was doing every day? Stealing from rich or influential men or the East India Company itself was enough to get into a lot of trouble.. But selling these horses might be enough to get them shelter for the winter.

Tim propped his cane under his arm and took both Bathsheba’s hands in his. “So, I presume that you know how to ride and that you are able to charm every guard you meet, if necessary?” Tim chuckled. “At least, it worked with me.” He was silent for a moment, but the coast seemed clear. There was only the sound of trampling hooves, a shutter creaking in the wind and shouting of some drunk sailors far away. “I’ll stand watch. Let’s meet again outside the western gate.”

Tim then turned around and walked to the courthouse, using the sound of the horses'snorting as direction. From behind him, he heard that Bathsheba had followed him and made her way to the horses. He halted at the corner of the courthouse and leaned against the wall. His heart was thudding loudly in his chest and for perhaps a minute or so, that was the only sound Tim heard. But then, his sensitive ears picked up something else. Footsteps. Heavy boots, a regular pace. It was very likely that in a few moments a guard was coming around the corner and that he would then discover Bathsheba, freeing the horses.

“Quick..” Tim hissed almost soundlessly, hoping his distraction would give Bathsheba with enough time to take the horses or get away. At the moment that the man was to turn around the corner, Tim put his cane forward, exactly between the legs of the guard, who tripped and fell over on the floor. “Good Lord, I'm terribly sorry, good sir,” Tim exclaimed. But before he could continue with his pretence, the guard jumped up with surprising agility and slammed Tim against the wall, while cursing loudly. “So, tell me what excuse do you have for this purposeful attack on one of the King’s men?”

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2013, 12:23 pm 
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Guinevere slowly raised herself up from the bed of straw as she became aware of the sound of striding footsteps. Momentarily, she glanced over to where Liam stood by the bars separating them from Cairbre. It was so strange to see the two men standing together. She admired Liam’s calm approach, and soon realized that for her own sake and his she had to pull herself together. She could not go into a frenzy of anger and lose all control; look what had happened last time, when her grief over Cairbre’s “death” had nearly taken her over the edge. Squaring her shoulders, she looked away from Cairbre, not wanting to have to deal with the expression on his face.

Ciaran was quick to appear, swiftly unlocking the cell which held her and Liam, and spouting some nonsense about putting a dagger to her heart. A cold smile appeared on Guin’s lips as she looked at the bounty hunter, unimpressed. Without as much as a falter she raised herself to her feet, as if her display of emotion only a few minutes earlier had never even happened. She gently swung the cell door open so that it did not creak and held it open for Liam to follow. “Well, well,” she said quietly, looking Ciaran in the eye. “The cat has followed it’s nose and come to the cream.” Shortly, she nodded her head in a somewhat brusque manner, indicating Cairbre and Rosalind. “These two are to be freed also. If you don’t like it, you can just find someone else to help you out of the country.”

She took the keys from Ciaran herself and unlocked the door to the two siblings’ cell. Cairbre helped Rosalind up to her feet, which took a great deal of effort. Rosa stumbled and blinked, still not quite aware of what was going on. But when she finally noticed Guinevere, all that seemed to change. Her eyes lit up inside her thin, pale face, and she cried out, “Guin!” She made a rush towards her and hugged her tightly as if she never wanted to let her go. Guin lightly patted her back, not wanting to get caught up in this at such a time.

“Yes, Rosalind,” she said calmly, pulling back. “We’re going to be free. But I need you get your act together, understand? We can’t afford any mistakes.” She paused and fixed the group with a stern, bright blue gaze. “Wait here.”

As obedient as a child, Rosalind nodded and looked up at Cairbre. He was watching Guin as she set off along the cell block corridor, seeming to know where she was going. She stepped over the dead body of the guard without a flinch. She was no green girl; she’d seen blood enough times before throughout her life. The atmosphere was strained and awkward in her absence; Cairbre looked like death, still in shock, pale and with shadows under his eyes. But he was willing to put everything to one side for now, for the sake of their escape attempt. He’d let himself deal with the other things later. It was a relief, in a way, to delay the inevitable.

“Where’s she gone?” Rosa asked. Cairbre did not look at her but smiled a smile that did not quite reach his eyes.

“The armory,” he replied stiffly. Guin had gone into full captain mode and no one, not even this man Ciaran with his posturing threats, could prevent her from taking control. Cairbre had already guessed, and quite correctly, that the bounty hunter was just collateral, to be disposed of when he had fulfilled his use. “For weapons.” He was right; within five minutes Guin had returned fully armed; a thick leather belt was strapped around her slim waist, carrying a pair of twin pistols, a vicious looking cutlass and a dagger. She was carrying weaponry for the others too; she handed Liam a broadsword, twin daggers and a pistol. To Cairbre went a pair of cutlasses and a curved hunting knife, and to Rosa one pistol. She didn’t quite trust her with anything else.

“I found all that I could,” she said, securing her belt. “Time to go, I would say. One last thing though, before I forget.” She approached Ciaran with a smile and stood very close to him so that she could speak in his ear. He may have set them loose, but he’d been forgetting his manners and had made a very big mistake by claiming that Guin was to find him a ship.

“If you threaten me again,” she whispered pleasantly, “I will ruin you. You’re forgetting what business I’m in.” She took his arm gently and continued. “I am in no way finding you a ship. This vessel will be mine and you will be lucky to accompany us. Misbehave and there will be no gold. Forget that, and there will be severe consequences that you wouldn’t enjoy.” She let go of him and smiled. “Ask around at Nassau Port for Creaky Jim and you’ll understand what I’m getting at.”

Despite it all, Cairbre found himself struggling to conceal an amused smile. Guinevere wasn’t making empty threats, and Ciaran would be wise to take her seriously. Before his well deserved fate, “Creaky” Jim Hope had been a sailor, a hired mercenary rather than a trusted crewmate, on the Anne Boleyn, and had made the mistake of trying to lead a mutiny and kill the captain. He was called Creaky now because of the painful noise he made whenever he tried to speak.

“Alright then,” Guin said. She smiled at Liam and squeezed his hand. “We’d better be off. I have my eye on a galleon in the harbor. They’re much more preferable than schooners.”

~~~

With nervous hands, Bathsheba struggled to untie the ropes holding the horses. Perhaps this hadn’t been such a good idea after all. How would she keep the beasts under control until Tim came back? If he did come back, that was. “Ssshhh,” she whispered desperately as the horses neighed, nervous around her as she was a stranger. She swore under her breath, which didn’t help matters. Her heart raced uncontrollably as she heard Tim being confronted by an angry guard; oh no. He hadn’t tripped him up with his cane, had he? That trick only worked so many times! There; one horse was free so far. She stroked it’s muzzle, frozen to the spot. She had no idea what to do. She couldn’t leave Tim in danger, but she couldn’t leave the blasted horses! Unable to hover any longer, she led the grey mare away from it’s friends, tugging it along in the general direction of Tim. “Come on, you stupid thing,” she fumed, before stopping dead in her tracks.

A group of five people were running down the stairs of the courthouse, all armed in a very alarming manner. She recognized three of them: the prisoners and their captor! Squealing loudly as the guard slammed Tim against a wall, she called out, “don’t you dare touch him! I mean it! Let him go or I’ll tear out your liver!”

She didn’t have to do anything, though. The female prisoner with striking red hair approached the guard from behind and hit him swiftly round the head with one of her pistols so that he collapsed to the ground, left unconscious. Guin looked at Tim and Bathsheba questioningly, eyes narrowing as she spotted her own horse. “I believe that animal is mine,” she said cheerfully.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: October 8th, 2013, 11:08 am 
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Tim’s mind was working at top speed while the man pinned him against the wall. He had dropped his cane, but the guard had not yet pulled his weapon. He only had to be quick and..

Don’t you dare touch him! I mean it! Let him go or I’ll tear out your liver! It was Bathsheba who had called out. What was she still doing here? The whole distraction plan was meant to give her time to secretly pinch the horses. Did Bathsheba think that he was incapable of taking care of himself or to fend for himself?

These thoughts raced through his head in only a split second, but there was no time to think now. Tim tried to pull himself away, but there was a dull blow and the guard’s grasp suddenly loosened and Tim quickly had to jump away before the man fell with his full weight on his feet.

A group of people had run into them and come to his aid by knocking out the guard. There were at least three, as he could hear their unsteady breathing and shuffling. Tim searched the ground with hands until he had groped his hand. When he got up again and found Bathsheba’s arm, a woman spoke, claiming her horse. It had to be one of the prisoners then of whom Bathsheba had spoken earlier.

“Technically, none of these horses are yours,” Tim said, breaking the silence as he looked blankly at those in front of him. He rubbed he back of his head, which felt quite bruised. “Riding a horse doesn't make it your property.” He felt suddenly an elbow of Bathsheba between his ribs and he realised what she tried to say. These people were prisoners, obviously escaped prisoners and perhaps even armed escaped prisoners. “But, if you insist on taking them,” he smiled politely. “Then we could leave you to it.”

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

Ciaran did not make an effort to deny Guinevere the keys. “The more the merrier,” he only commented sarcastically on the release of two other pirates. He sheathed his dagger and picked up the pistol of the dead guard, when Guinevere took him aside. His eyes narrowed dangerously, but he remained silent as she made her little speech. Ciaran was not impressed. That haughty redhead was not to dictate terms after he had just saved her skin. With a quick pace, Ciaran marched after Guinevere and reached the door, that would lead to their freedom, before Guin.

“Such ingratitude after I saved your life,” Ciaran said, blocking the door. “I am not afraid of you, love. I will behave as you will start behaving as well.” He was aware that every moment they stayed longer in the courthouse, would significantly reduce their success to escape, but Ciaran wanted to say this before the red would be distracted with the impossible task of finding a ship. “I suggest you start with keeping your end of the bargain. Let me tell you, I will not be double-crossed, so you play nice as well.” He then stepped aside and let Guinevere and the rest of the party leave.

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

Liam couldn’t suppress a smile when he strapped the sword and pistol to his belt. The feeling of being armed and standing on the outside of these cells made Liam feel invincible. He ignored Ciaran –they would have to deal with his company later on- and returned a squeeze in Guin’s hand. “Lead the way then,” Liam grinned. He did not know what had caused her sudden change of attitude, but he was glad for it. “The sooner we leave this bloody island the better.”

He turned to face Cairbre and Rosalind. “Are you hurt?” he asked Rosa, who looked a bit lost. “Come, we are going to get out of here.” Liam wrapped his arm around her, so that Rosa could lean on him and followed the rest of the group outside.

However, they did not immediately head towards the docks. “What is the hold-up?” Liam mumbled as he looked at the backs of Cairbre, Ciaran and Guinevere, but did not understand what was going on. There was a young woman and a man standing at the bottom of the stairs leading to the courthouse and a guard lay unconsciously at their feet. But then he noticed the reigns of the horses in the woman’s hand and Guinevere’s remark suddenly made sense. A wide grin appeared on his face and he tapped Guinevere on the shoulder. “Guin, dear, they can have the horses. We will have no need of horses anyway.”

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: October 19th, 2013, 8:53 pm 
Maia
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Bathsheba stared with uninhibited fascination at the group of criminals gathered outside the courthouse, hardly paying any attention to Tim, so caught up in her own thoughts and imagination. They were a mixed bunch; the redhead was quite clearly the leader. Guinevere had an undeniable air of authority about her as she stood there running her blue gaze over Bathsheba, who still held the reins of the one horse she’d managed to capture in her hand. Bathsheba felt a nervous thrill go down her spine. Being confronted with this real life lady criminal excited her immensely. Guinevere, however, showed no such mutual interest, and hearing Liam’s comment, she looked over her shoulder towards him with a smile.

“Where is my head?” she replied cheerfully. “Of course we won’t. Come, we must make haste.” She indicated to the rest of the group. It would be foolish to linger here too long. Soon the guards would visit their cells, see that they were empty and would come after them. Momentarily, she glanced back at Bathsheba and Tim. She doubted that they’d run off and report what they’d seen; after all, they were technically criminals too, albeit on a much smaller scale. They had those horses to occupy themselves with. “You didn’t see a thing,” she said to them, her tone of voice perfectly friendly and reasonable. “Take the animals.”

At the head of the group, Guin led the way towards the docks; she had memorized the route on the way here. She was painfully aware of Rosalind edging away from Liam and his offered assistance in order to be with her brother. Rosa’s face was still pale and pinched, and it appeared that the only person she felt truly safe around was Cairbre. Things had changed since that awful day on the bridge and she knew it; she sensed the relationship between Guin and Liam. Rosa looked up at Cairbre several times, looking from him, to Guin, then back to Cairbre again in a repeated pattern. It was as if she was trying to piece together a puzzle that she couldn’t comprehend.

Guin had to ignore all of that. She had a job to do; all of their lives depended on it. She walked along with determined strides, moving lightly on her feet. It helped that she was still wearing a pair of silk slippers, one of the many articles of clothing Lord Autumn had bought for her in his baffling generosity; not so much as a hint of a footfall sounded out on her progress across the cobbled streets. She was looking forward to getting back into clothes more to her own taste, and more practical too.

“Guin.” Cairbre was walking behind her, purposefully keeping his eyes directed away from her as he spoke. Guin did the same whilst the listened, her expression kept in a smooth mask with no indication as to how she felt being addressed by him. “You should take the ship on the far right of the harbor. The Queen’s Return. She’s merchant, not navy.”

Guin nodded, showing that she had heard. She would not say, but that was the very same ship she’d had her eye on, the galleon. The ship was well armed, as most merchant vessels were these days, and was bound to be full of supplies that could last a long journey. It looked markedly foreign, too, probably only docked here for a day or so whilst it’s captain did his trade. The crew would most likely all be in the tavern, making the most of the local ale.

The docks were not far away. All was going according to plan so far – that was, it had been, up until Guin realized that their group was being followed. She caught on to this before the others, drawing her pistol and turning it on none other than Bathsheba, the thief girl.

“You, again?” Guin raised her eyebrow.

Bathsheba appeared incredibly flustered. She’d dragged Tim along with her, paying no heed to any argument against her idea. These people were pirates setting out to find a ship and leave England; and more than anything, Bathsheba wanted to leave this place. She didn’t care where or how. Besides, the danger was attractive to her. So was the possible money these people might have stashed away somewhere… Bathsheba’s brain had become fogged by money lust and a lack of common sense tonight. Something else was looking rather attractive too: the tall, elegant looking man with the strained expression. She peered at Cairbre approvingly, making it quite obvious that she admired him, before darting her gaze quickly back to Guin, who still held her at gun point.

“Take us with you,” Bathsheba blurted out quickly. “Let us come with you. We want to go with you.”

“What?” For a minute Guin didn’t think that she’d heard correctly. She furrowed her brow and gave a soft, cynical laugh. “Do you really. That’s nice but we have business to attend to.”

“Exactly,” Bathsheba continued. “I know what business. You’re pirates. Let us go with you.” She held onto Tim’s arm, more restraining him than supporting him. “If you don’t we’ll tell what you’re doing.” It sounded like a child’s threat. Even Bathsheba knew it.

“Oh, the horse thieves tell tales on the pirates and then join them on the gallows,” Guin said lightly. “Besides, does this say anything to you?” She nodded at her gun and other various weapons. “Run along and play.” It was clear that she was about to leave, but Bathsheba couldn’t let that happen. The blonde darted forward and gripped Guin’s free arm.

“No, wait,” she pleaded, “we’ve got to leave England, me and my friend. We’re useless here. We’re near starving. Take us with you and I promise you won’t regret it. We’re hard workers, the both of us.” She hoped that Guin wouldn’t notice straight away that Tim was blind; a pretty slim hope, given how quick Guin was, and the fact that Tim had his cane with him. “If you leave us here we’ll dwindle away into skeletons. Go on. I’m sure you could use more people to help you.” She glanced at Cairbre again, making her eyes go wide, hoping that she could appeal to him if not Guin.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: October 27th, 2013, 7:35 pm 
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Tim was so busy pulling away from Bathsheba’s iron grasp, that he did not notice in which direction she was dragging him. He wanted to tell her that they had to take the horses and get out of there when they still could. But something had come over Bathsheba which made her deaf to his arguments. The voices of the prisoner were clearly audible and only then Tim realised where they were going. “Bathsheba, why are you-” But his question was cut short by another, not so friendly question by of one of the prisoners: “You, again?”

Was Batsheba asking what Tim thought that she was asking? Did she want to join these criminals, these pirates to be arrested and hanged if they were caught? Did she want to leave England behind and never be able to return there? He had not been prepared for the conversation that just took place. Tim could hardly wrap his mind around it. It was madness. And yet.. it was exactly was Batsheba dreamed of.

Tim didn’t have to see the faces of these pirates to perceive their hostility; it was almost tangible. Before things could get any further, Tim groped for Bathesba’s arm and found her hand. “I’m quite sure that there is a gun aimed at me right now,” Tim said calmly, glancing around. After all those times running into angry sailors and suspicious redcoats, he could easily distinguish the sound of a weapon that was drawn. “Better not shoot me, it will scare the horses.” He gently pulled her away from the group, so he could talk to her more in private.

“Bathsheba,” he started. There was a frown on his face, as he was still trying to figure out what had suddenly driven his normally so rational partner in crime into jumping into unknown and dangerous adventures. “Do you really want to join these pirates? They could be actually dangerous for all you know. And you want to be like them?”

Tim only wished he could see her face right now, so that he could tell that this was only some kind of impulsive decision, whether she was hurt by what he said. “I am not such a person. Besides, I only survived because I stayed here, in this place where I know everything, where there are some people I can trust.” He gave a squeeze in Bathsheba’s hands, as if he was hoping that she would become her old self again. “Nobody in his right mind wants someone like me on a ship. I’m not a sailor. I can’t swim or handle any weapons.” He looked away from Bathsheba; his empty gaze was directed at the ocean as he added quietly: “I cannot even enjoy the view.”

He knew what he had to say, but why was it so painful to actually say these words? Had he grown so attached to her that he could not let her go? Even if she did not want to stay?
His tone was calm when the words were spoken, but there was a sad smile on Tim’s face. “You should go. If you’re sure that it’s really what you want. But it might be the chance you have been waiting for.”

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

For a short moment there was a flash of pain in Liam’s eyes when Rosa rejected his help. Obviously, Rosalind’s hatred towards him was so deeply rooted that it could not even be overcome by everything they had been through. But knowing that this was neither the time or the place to go into her issues, Liam just shook his head and caught up with Guinevere. “That’s her?” he inquired, nodding to the merchant ship down the harbor. His knowledge about vessels was probably not as extensive as Guinevere or Cairbre’s, but he knew Guin and he knew her style.

“I’d wager there will be a few sailors down below, protecting the merchandise. We’d better go in with only two or three to keep things quiet.”
There was an icy sound of a dagger being drawn and Liam immediately turned around and glared at the bounty hunter who’d pulled his dagger from its sheath. “Quietly, you say?” the man said with glinstering eyes.
“Why don’t you put your toys away before you hurt yourself?” Liam snapped sarcastically. But then he suddenly stopped talking. Liam listened to the sound of footsteps in the relatively quiet harbor; they were being followed. It were the young thieves again.

Ciaran listened to the conversation, feeling half annoyed and half amused. The whole scene was just very entertaining. The young lass pleading with the redhead to take her with them. Her glances of adoration towards the stern-looking chap, who had joined them earlier and who, in turn, looked at times as a love sick puppy at the redhead.

He was about to make a snappy comment when the lass was pulled away by her friend.

“Lets not get distracted,” Ciaran said when Guinevere turned to the others when Tim had pulled Bathsheba aside. “I’d thought you were smart, love. If you even consider letting a blind guy and some pretty young thing join your crew because her little heart craves for adventure, you must have a death wish.” He glanced at the couple standing nearby. They were only kids, probably knowing nothing of working on a ship. Let alone that one of them was blind. “Don’t do it,” Ciaran said, his dark eyes fixed on Guin’s. “This charity will cost you.”

Liam also looked at the two thieves. They were poor and eager to get away from their wretched lives. It probably hit a soft spot with Guinevere, but Liam realised that they could not afford to save any misfortunates, if they had not saved themselves first.
“I can’t believe I am actually saying this,” Liam said with a face as if he highly regretted what he was to say. “But I agree with the bounty hunter.”
“It’s Ciaran Archer to you, Captain Kid,” Ciaran retorted. “But I appreciate that you’re trying to get along.”
Liam raised his eyebrows but continued as if Ciaran had not interrupted. “The lad will be a liability. Taking on a crew at this moment, people we don’t know or trust can be dangerous and cause a lot trouble.” He threw a meaningful glance at Ciaran, before turning to Guinevere and Cairbre. “But whatever we do, it must be done fast. Our escape will not remain unnoticed. Soon, all hell will break loose.”

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: October 28th, 2013, 6:44 pm 
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Guinevere looked at Ciaran and Liam, who had both put the same opinion to her. Her expression was sharp and determined. “Do all of you believe that I have a heart made of cloth?” she said, hints of both irritation and weariness evident in her tone of voice. “I would sooner employ a herd of goats to man my ship, than consider employing two children such as those two as crewmates.” She smiled wryly. Quickly, she squeezed Liam’s hand to show him that her annoyance was not directed at him. “Now, are we doing this or not?” She turned her back on the two thieves, who were huddled up together in conversation, making it clear what her answer to Bathsheba’s plea was. There was no more time to waste and she was sick of delay.

Guin led the group away; Bathsheba and Tim seemed wise enough not to follow. Guin’s jaw was clenched with concentration as she went softly but swiftly along the cobbled streets. By an unfortunate accident, Cairbre ended up walking on her left side. It was obvious to anyone with eyes that this discomforted the two of them enormously. To anyone who had seen them a few months ago, as both Liam and Rosa had, it made a stark and striking difference. And yet they had to talk and cooperate, in order for this mission to be successful. A crew that didn’t communicate would not do at all.

“When that cloud yonder obscures the moonlight, we should make our play,” Cairbre said. The group stopped at a thick stone wall, which they could keep themselves pressed against to hide their presence from the sailors for the time being. Below were a set of steep stone steps leading down to the harbor. Guin nodded in accordance with Cairbre’s words.

“Agreed,” she said. “As Liam said, we go in with only three of us to start with.” She was swift to pick out for the task the two people who she could trust at her side without question. “Cairbre and Liam, you come with me.” She turned her glance towards Ciaran. “Mr. Archer,” she added, “you stay behind with Rosa and keep watch, the both of you, very carefully. We cannot afford a single mistake.” She reached out one slender, pale hand and shook hands with each and every one of them, even Ciaran, as she had always been apt to do with her crewmates before a risky mission. The life of a pirate was an incredibly dangerous one, and seafaring folk relied not only upon the loyalty of their comrades but the good will of a higher power. “God save us. Let’s go.” She gestured to Cairbre and Liam.

~~~

Dejectedly, Bathsheba sat down upon the cold stone pavement, dwelling upon the pirates who had just left her and Tim behind. Realistically, she could not have expected anything else. She was not the stuff they were made of. She wasn’t particularly brave or anything really very special. All her life, she had got by on her ambition, her greed and her vanity. She could see now that it just wasn’t enough. Looking up at Tim, she felt sure that he believed they were doing the right thing by not following the departed group. Soon the events of this evening would be long forgotten, and they would continue to pass their days by stealing what they could and sleeping on the streets. Bathsheba would struggle along, as she had always done, but something about the monotony of her life struck something deep inside her heart. Could she really live like this for another year? Or two or three? Or would she be dead before then, cut down by disease or hunger?

“Well then,” she said distantly, “let’s find somewhere to sleep. Blast the horses. Blast everything. We still have the pearl necklace at least. I’ll find somewhere to sell that in the morning.”

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: November 22nd, 2013, 12:22 pm 
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Ciaran turned to follow the others, but hesitated. He looked back at the couple. “The guards at the gate will change shifts at midnight. If you quickly grab those horses, you might be able to slip away before the storm.”

Ciaran wasn't sure why he’d said that; why he’d wanted to help these kids. Perhaps it was because he had caught a glimpse of them when heading for the Court House earlier that day or perhaps it was their desperation that stirred his sympathy for them.
Quickly, he walked off, catching up with the pirates and shook hands with all of them. He knew for sure that they didn't trust him and he likewise was not certain if they would play any tricks on him yet. But this handshake dismissed these doubts for now. A momentary truce had been established.

The moon shone on the merchant ship, which the trio now boarded, and on the abandoned street. Only the sound of cheering and singing from the pub across the docks and the sound of a hammer hitting the anvil from the smithy showed that not everyone in the city was asleep.
He looked at the woman next to him, who had dark hair and dark eyes, but the look in her eyes was quite strange, almost disoriented. Her face however seemed familiar somehow. With his hand on the hilt of his sword, Ciaran peered through the street, but there was no Redcoat in sight. “What’s your name, lass?” he asked Rosalind. “I would like to know the name of the lovely lady with whom I am guarding this vessel.”

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

“Bathsheba?” Tim asked uncertainly. “Are you still there?” There was something in his voice that was usually masked by his cheerfulness and jokes;he couldn't hide his vulnerability and the fear to loose his only friend. By her lack of reply to his arguments and her silence in general, Tim knew she was more than disappointed.

The pirates had left her and her opportunity for adventure, or more importantly a way out of here, had disappeared with hem. His hand searched for hers but this time he couldn't find it. Hearing her voice at last confirmed what he already suspected before. This was not the life she had been looking for. Wherever she came from, Bathsheba had been looking for something, chasing dreams which could never come true by living this life on the streets. Perhaps this was the reason why he liked her so much. She had dreams and ambitions and a kind of certainty that she could make them come true, while he had never dared to dream any more after the accident. But now something in her voice had changed: she sounded defeated.

“No,” Tim said firmly. “If this is what you want and I want to help you fight for it.” He looked at Bathsheba, or at least the direction where her voice came from. “You are one of the most stubborn and cleverest persons I know. You are capable of making these pirates see who you really are.” He turned around, ready to head in the directions in which the pirates left. “Are you coming?” he called. “You need to find a hiding place on that ship, while I distract them.”

-------

Liam followed Guin’s example and shook hands with the other crew members and Cairbre’s last. He looked at the man, whom he had thought to be dead. He wondered if something had changed between them after all this time or if they were right back at the beginning. Back to that clear morning when he had stolen a kiss from Guinevere; when Cairbre had called him a common scoundrel and he had offended Cairbre for his arrogance and disdain for others. But then, things had changed. Cairbre was still Guinevere’s fiancée, even if Guin refused to acknowledge that and in Cairbre’s eyes, he still was the man who ruined what would have been the best day of his life.

Liam watched how Guinevere climbed aboard of the ship and started to check the deck for the presence of any sailors. Liam took advantage of the moment that Guin was outside hearing range and waited for Ciarbre to climb aboard. For a moment he just looked at the man, whom he for so long had considered to be his adversary. “I am glad you are alive, Eagle.” He said almost soundlessly. “And so is she.” He directed a tender look to Guin, who gave an all clear sign. “Loosing you almost killed her. She’s coping now.”

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: November 22nd, 2013, 3:03 pm 
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With a distant look in her eyes, Rosalind had been watching the space where Cairbre, Guin and Liam had been standing only some minutes ago. Her mind seemed to be far away in a world of her own; or perhaps simply in the past, remembering how things had been not so very long ago. For years, Rosa had lived through Guin and Cairbre, endlessly wishing for them to be together, preferring to think of them rather than her own life. But now, something had happened. She wasn’t sure what yet, but she didn’t know how to deal with it. And so it was a pale, dazed face that she turned towards Ciaran, a faint frown forming on her brow.

“Rosalind Eagle,” she replied to his question shortly, sounding exhausted, as indeed she was. Being in prison had drained her energy, both emotionally and physically; she had spent so long crying and screaming that for the past few days she had simply curled herself up in a corner, nursing an intense headache. It was so strange to find herself out in the open air again; she was finding it difficult to get used to walking, considering the unsteadiness of her legs, not to mention the fact that one of her feet lacked a toe. The guards had been considerate enough to seal the little stump with tar, even though there hadn’t been much point, seeing as they’d been planning to hang her anyway.

“Who are you?” Rosa scrutinized Ciaran for a moment, which appeared to be a great effort for her. “You’re not one of us, are you?” By that, she meant that he wasn’t a pirate. It wasn’t a snobbish comment, just a statement of fact. “Well, beggars can’t be choosers. But I’m telling you this,” she added, “just keep your eyes off our captain.” Even in her current state, she had noticed Ciaran’s manner towards Guin, and she didn’t like it. “She belongs to my brother. Don’t you forget it.”

She said that because it was what she believed, but she couldn’t be sure anymore about the state of affairs. All she knew was that she was possessive, jealous and furious. Doesn’t Guin see? Rosa thought to herself. She isn’t allowed to be with that Liam. I won’t allow her.

She turned her gaze back towards the silhouette of the merchant ship, waiting for a signal from the others that it was time to join them. She knew that she had to cooperate for now but before long, she would make her views known.

~~~

Having climbed aboard, Cairbre glanced quickly around the deck; it was eerily empty. It felt like so long since he had last set foot on a ship, but it was familiar territory, not just for him but for Guin. He could see that she was in her element. His eyes remained on her for a moment before he heard Liam speaking to him quietly. The other man’s words caught him off guard. A sad smile formed on Cairbre’s lips.

“I’m glad I’m alive, too,” he said quietly. “I believe that I was bound for the rope tomorrow morning. I do not know how soon afterwards Rosalind would’ve followed.” He followed Liam’s eyes towards Guin, his heart pierced by the thought of all that she must have gone through after his supposed death. He desperately wanted to go to her, to hold her and tell her that he was here now, that everything would be alright. But he couldn’t. Guin was being so cold, so blank; she was shutting herself off from him. Cairbre knew the reason; he knew her. She was in pain, tremendous pain, and this was her way of dealing with it: all but ignoring the source entirely.

“She does not seem glad, does she?” Cairbre continued after a little while. “I doubt very much that there will be any wedding for us now. You need not worry.” Those words were wry, lightly joking, but they sounded deeply painful for him. The next thing he said was quite serious. “But thank you. For looking after her.” He looked back at Liam. “I mean it. God knows what would have happened to her otherwise.”

~~~

Guin ran one hand reverently over the ship’s wheel, remembering the days when she had been at the helm of a ship just like this beauty. The memories were vivid; the salty spray of the sea, the wind tangling her hair. She had been known as a captain who would brave almost any storm, to the point where some crew mates had whispered in awe amongst themselves that she must have either been mad or could divine the weather itself. Either way, they had been proud to be under her command.

Swiftly, Guin left the wheel and approached Liam and Cairbre, who were standing together in conversation. She could not help wondering what they were talking about; she could guess, but she told herself that she didn’t want to know.

She approached the two men tentatively and cleared her throat. “I’ll check below decks,” she told them. She could not bring herself to look at Cairbre for very long; his expression was so tense, his eyes too full of sadness. Guin avoided too much proximity to him as if he would scald her if she accidentally touched him. She had managed to shake his hand, but doing so had made her want to weep.

Indicating to Liam with a slight tilt of her head, Guin took him aside for a moment, not managing to be that tactful towards Cairbre, who turned away and gave himself something to do by acting as lookout.

“I won’t be gone long,” Guin said to Liam softly, touching his arm. She held on as she spoke, the expression in her eyes grave and tender as she looked up at him. “Just you see, everything will come right. Soon we’ll be home again. Back where we belong.” She sighed quietly; in her mind’s eye, she could imagine the shores of Jamaica so clearly that she could almost feel the Caribbean sun on her skin. “I was wrong to ever come back to England.” She glanced towards the harbor for a moment, before leaning up on tip toe and fervently pressing a kiss on Liam’s cheek. “I love you,” she assured him, her eyes bright and utterly sincere, before she darted off towards the steps leading below deck.

~~~

“Tim!” Bathsheba called after her friend, leaping to her feet. Her heart was pounding with excitement, her face flushed with heat, but she was also overwhelmed by an uneasy feeling at the sacrifice Tim was willing to make for her. He was basically saying that he would stay behind here, whilst she ran off to pursue some grand adventure. He couldn’t possibly be serious. What would he do without her, his guide, his eyes? And… what would she do without him? He was her friend; her best friend, if she was to be honest. She wanted a better life for both of them, not just for herself.

“Don’t be silly,” she said, taking hold of Tim’s free hand tightly. “You really think that I’d leave you behind here? I can’t go anywhere without you! I need you, Tim!” her voice quavered slightly, and she swallowed the lump in her throat, not wanting him to hear just how upset she was. “You’re… you’re the only person in this world who likes me, who cares if I live or die. I’d rather stay behind with you than go ahead alone.” She was telling the truth. If only she could persuade him to hide on the ship with her, to smuggle themselves away to a different world than the one they had thus far known. Even though he couldn’t see, Bathsheba knew that it would do Tim could to be in an entirely different place, somewhere exciting; she would be able to see it for him.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like to go?” she asked him, her tone of voice becoming almost pleading. “I know I’ve always been the dreamer of the two of us, but wouldn’t you like to start dreaming too?”

~~~

The captain’s quarters were very grand, just as fine as the ones Guin had occupied in her previous ship. She could see that she would like it here. But one thing that she did not like was the clear presence of the ship’s present captain at his desk, pouring over a map with a compass intently. Silently, she raised her twin pistols and spoke up. “Put the compass down, son.”

The man looked up, alarmed. He was heavily tanned with curly dark hair, and the cloth of his clothes looked rather worn and battered. “Who are you?” he demanded, leaping up out of his chair and shoving it back from his desk. He was unarmed, so was really in no position to start an argument. Guin indicated with her pistol for him to approach her.

“The new captain of this vessel,” she informed him. “You’d be wise not to cause any fuss."

~~~

Guin brought the man up to the top deck, her pistol pressed to his back. She was quite sick of him by now; all the way back here he had hurled abuse at her, insisting that he was the captain and he would see her neck in a noose. “Of course you would,” she replied, unperturbed. She gestured to Liam and Cairbre. “Look what we’ve got here. What are we going to do with him?”

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