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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: January 6th, 2016, 7:15 pm 
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"Guinevere," Liam interrupted her, a warning in his tone. "I don't need your help with this."
The crease between his brows deepened when Guin seemingly ignored his words and continued her debate. Once she got started, there was no stopping her.

He was perfectly capable of defending himself, Liam thought furiously. He could make Eagle see what fool he was and how little he knew him. He did not know, he would never understand the relationship he had with Guinevere or how it came to be.

He had been with many women, but she was the first Lady who addressed him like an equal. He had treated her... well the only way he knew how to treat a Lady of standing and with a white heritage.
Even though they were not connected by blood, Liam had always considered his mother and Aileen to be his family. In turn his mother had always cuddled and loved him as if she was his real mother and he had teased Aileen as only a brother could do. But even when he was a boy he knew by the simple difference of skin colour that he was not one of them.

When he grew older this difference became more pronounced. The Jamaican population was a community of their own, degraded and exploited by the white folk who came to Jamaica. Spanish or British, the indignant people of these islands were no more than slaves to them. But Liam was a mulatto, part Jamaican and part British. He was never fully accepted by the native community, however hard his mother tried and he was despised by the British.

He was treated with the highest contempt by these Lords or gentlemen, who were probably infuriated that someone so inferior shared their heritage and their wives regarded someone like him with hatred as he was the living proof of one of their husband's infidelity. He was an outcast and Cairbre never made him feel otherwise.


Liam suddenly felt sickened by simply looking at Cairbre. The man was still persuading Guinevere of his flawed moral character. He was done with this.

Liam straightened up and was about to walk away. But when he had set one step, it seemed like Cairbre was to block his path. It was the last straw. Liam didn't think in those few split seconds. He only felt a sort of primal urge to hurt the man, who seemed to have his mind set on ruining his life. This man, who was just like all those others; hateful and degrading.

His body was on autopilot; his right hand clenched into a fist, which then connected with Cairbre's jaw. Adrenaline surged through Liam's body so he hardly felt his stinging knuckles. Instead he felt a savage triumph at seeing Cairbre's face drawn with pain and prepared to deal a second blow.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: January 8th, 2016, 1:37 am 
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Cursing with pain, Cairbre clutched his jaw, which Liam's fist had marked bright red. He had not been ready for the unexpected hit, but he would be ready for the next one. His anger had gone beyond trying to settle this through talk. He reached up and with one hand swiftly blocked Liam's second aim, sending his other fist crashing into the other's man's cheekbone. He was reminded of the fateful night Liam had turned up at the house in Devonshire; he had not planned on this second confrontation turning into a physical fight, but Liam had left him with no choice but to respond. And in Cairbre's infuriated state, no reason would restrain him. He scarcely heard Guinevere's cries of anguish in the background as he and Liam fought against each other.

"Stop it!" she was almost screaming in her desperation. "Please, stop it, both of you!" It felt as if there was nothing she might say that would stop either of them, but she hovered helplessly, growing more agitated and upset by the second. She could not help feeling that all of this was her fault, that she had caused this outbreak of conflict. In her dismay, tears began to well up in her eyes, and her yells were laced with painful sobs.

"Cairbre, this is all your fault!" she screamed. "Couldn't you just have stayed away?"

It was these words which froze Cairbre for a moment. He stared at Guin, bruised, dishevelled and shocked. He looked down at his grazed knuckles, realizing that both he and his opponent were bleeding. His heart thudded as he tried to take in what was happening. He shook his head slightly, appearing dazed. The pause in the fight left room for anything to happen. Guin stood entirely still, not wanting to anger Liam further by intervening. Her breathing was rapid, and she clasped her hands over her mouth as her shoulders shuddered with fear.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: February 3rd, 2016, 5:58 pm 
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There was no time time to think. In those moments Liam could only glance at his opponent, assess his speed and his force and react. He was deaf to Guinevere's screams, but only heard the pounding of his heart in his ears and own panting. All he felt was the exhilirating rush of adrenaline that surged through his body.

Stars danced before his eyes when Eagle's fist collided with his jaw or stomach, but even if his opponent was stronger, Liam had the advantage of agility. He didn't need much time to recuperate and was quick to strike at Cairbre's spots of weakness. Time was lost on Liam; this confrontation seemed like a cruel dance, their moves not gracious or elegant but staccato and rhythmic. There was only one in the lead, one who had the upperhand.

It was when Cairbre unexpectedly retreated that Liam's senses returned to him. He tasted the bitterness of blood in his mouth, his cheek and temple throbbed with a sharp pain and he almost doubled over, wincing with pain when he contracted the muscles on his right side. No doubt his ribs were bruised. Still, his other senses seemed dull, as if they had been lulled in a deep sleep. He hardly saw Guinevere in her shocked state nor did he even glance at Cairbre.

Only now Liam was consciously aware of the hunger he had felt just now. The hunger for blood and the eagerness to hurt, it belonged to a creature he had tried to keep buried after his stay at the Hell's Horde. But his anger had rekindled this cruel candle within him and its flame seemed to grow stronger.

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

Ciaran came thundering down the stairs, taking two steps at the time. "What in God's name is going on down here?" he yelled. Surprise washed over him as he saw Eagle and Gray, eyeing each other like two angry dogs, ready to tear each other's throats. Already blood had been drawn and both men seemed hurt.

Ciaran stepped in the space between them with a frown on his face. He had expected a wretch like Liam to engage in a common brawl; such men only knew one way to solve disputes: with their fists. But Eagle.. the crease between Ciaran's brow deepened. Somehow he had thought that this man of standing would have been able to control himself. But then they were all pirates..

"Your little row can be heard until well into town," Ciaran continued, his voice lowered to a hiss. "Do you all want us to attract any more unwanted attention? It wouldn't surprise me if blondie and our shortsighted friend are forced to deal with the Nightwatch as we speak."

Liam suddenly stirred and maneuvered himself past Ciaran to walk away. As Ciaran scanned the man's face as he rushed off, he wondered if he had heard anything he'd said. He looked as if he'd just woken up from a dream.

His gaze shifted to Guinevere who was as pale as a sheet. For the first time the redhead seemed at a loss of words. There were no clever remarks or snappy orders. "And you, " he scowled at her. "You're the Captain aren't you? It's time to act like one."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: March 1st, 2016, 8:09 am 
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The fight, and the memory of it, had made a huge impact on Guinevere. She felt neither anger or hope; all she felt was a hopeless sense of despair, and the belief that now, she was truly alone. She transformed back into the captain, despising herself and the authority that was, for some reason, hers aboard the ship. She was organized and efficient, everything that was required of her. But at night she lay awake cold and wretched with worry, and when she did sleep, her dreams were troubled, her mind plagued with visions of terrible things to come. And she could not help but believe them, when she woke up in a sweat, still feeling a rope around her neck and shackles around her wrists.

She dreaded their arrival at their destination. She really didn't think they should be going there - for they were heading straight into the jaws of danger - but where else was there for them to go? She thought of the blood shed in Liam and Cairbre's fight, and wondered if it was some sort of dreadful premonition. The progress they made on their journey felt not like a victory, but a step in the wrong direction. In Guinevere's heart, it felt like a slow march towards death.

She didn't dare try to talk to Liam about everything, however much she wanted to. Towards both him and Cairbre, she was pleasant, polite and professional. She took great care not to appear to favour one of them above the other, fearful of another outbreak of violence. Although order and organization aboard the ship had never been better, Guin felt that everything was gradually slipping out of her control.

~~~

Seeing Guinevere retreat behind her captain's facade, Cairbre knew deep inside that something was very wrong. He never saw her wear a genuine smile, or break into laughter. He felt an overwhelming guilt for what he had taken part in. Had he known what would happen to Guinevere, he would never have reacted to Liam's punch as he did. He would have walked away. God knew things had been difficult, but they were infinitely worse now. There was only so much Guin could cope with, and she had been forced over the edge; she had withdrawn into herself, and there was no knowing if she would ever step out again.

Cairbre hated himself for this. Desperate to make amends, he worked tirelessly aboard the ship, never stepping once out of line. He tried his best to be polite to Liam, thought heaven knew he hated him, too, now more than ever. But he knew that they all had to work together, otherwise they were lost. With this in mind, Cairbre was keen to bring up an important subject with the whole crew: how were they to safely reach their destination? This was no easy task that was before them. Cairbre would have hoped Guinevere would say something about it, but there was no chance of that now. Therefore, Cairbre took it upon himself to think upon the matter and then bring it into discussion. After all, Guin may have been slowly giving up hope, but that did not mean he had to as well.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2016, 5:58 pm 
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Raw hands, an aching back and sweat on his brow. It was commonplace for Liam for the past few weeks. Working on such a big ship with such a small crew was near to impossible, but they made it work. Even the two novices had found their way into the routine of things and genuinely surprised Liam.

After the fight, it was soon business as usual. Guinevere had reinstalled her authority of captain by setting up shifts to leave Lisbon as soon as possible and set sail for Port Royal. No one seemed to mention what had taken place in the night before their departure, but things had changed. He had wanted to speak to Guinevere about what had happened but what was there to say? She probably blamed him for starting the fight. But no matter how bad he wanted this all to go away, he just couldn't apologise for hitting Cairbre. If he could do it all again, he would probably do the same thing.

Working alongside Eagle was therefore not easy. Liam treated the man with all the civility he could muster, for Guin's sake. He tried to see him as an ally, as Guinevere's friend, as a brother who'd lost a sister, like him. But that view was tainted by the man's duplicity, his conceitedness and his accusations about his moral character. Being near Guin was almost as hard. She had retreated herself in her own world, not disclosing her thoughts or emotions. And even though her pain and worry were not visible to the world, Liam noticed it. But he couldn't make it go away, for it meant that the impossible had to happen. Sometimes he wanted to lay his hand on hers, tell her that she needn't worry. But in those moments he was overwhelmed by the desire to touch, to feel her skin on his, run his hand through her hair. Therefore he remained at a distance, so he could contain his feelings, which would only make everything more difficult.
He could only hope that once they reached Port Royal things would change. But reason told him that only more trouble lay ahead.

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

Tim lay awake in his bunk, eyes fixed at the bottom side of the top bunk bed, from where Ciaran's deep and regular breathing was clearly audible. Tim knew he ought to try to get some sleep as well, since his shift would start in three hours.

Still, he couldn't catch sleep, his mind occupied with troubled thoughts. Whereas his crewmates seemed to be under this strange sort of pressure, the past weeks had revived him. The hard work on the ship and the regular meals had transformed him from an emaciated creature into a healthy man. Nearly everyone on the ship seemed to have accepted their presence and under the guiding eye of Cairbre Eagle, Tim slowly learnt the ropes around the ship. He was patient and despite his limited capabilities often found new ways for Tim to be useful. He was often teamed up with one of the experienced sailors, as he couldn't take lead in the rigging of the sails or was only allowed to climb the lowest yard of the mast. But despite these restrictions he had learnt a lot and almost forgotten his worries about their pursuiters or their destination.

At times he feared that he had been lulled asleep by a warm bed, food in his belly every day and the false sense of security. He was getting accustomed to these comforts which would not be there once they arrived at their destination. Could he still fend for himself if he once again had no place to go?

Tim got up and searched for his shirt and put it on. Quietly he left the cabin. He made his way upstairs, knowing that he would find the actual cause of his restlessness on deck: Bathsheba on watch together with Cairbre. He heard her voice from a distance and realised how long it had been since they had been together just by themselves. He looked at her during dinner or crossed paths when changing shifts but they hardly had time to talk. He missed her voice, her jokes and her company. It bothered him that Eagle did get to see more of her and deep down Tim feared that Bathsheba didn't mind that at all.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: March 29th, 2016, 2:33 pm 
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They were only a few days away from Port Royal. A new warmth was in the air as they now sailed in the tropics. It was early evening, and the setting sun gave the appearance of melting into the sea. Standing by the ship's wheel, Guin knew that she had been here before. She had known such evenings, on another ship, in another time - not actually so very long ago, but those memories seemed to belong in another lifetime. Hope had run riot back then, dreams so full and bright that every day had pulsed with excitement. But fear haunted Guin's footsteps now, in a way it never had in those days.

Still, the warm breeze on her skin was a pleasant, familiar sensation. She had swept her hair back from her face in the growing heat, and swapped her dress for one of a lighter fabric. Back in nostalgic surroundings, she wanted to feel hopeful. She wanted to feel something other than this terrible fearfulness. She looked over towards Cairbre and Bathsheba, who were standing together near the ship's railings. Cairbre was silent, looking out at the sea, but Bathsheba was chattering away eagerly, her face turned up towards his in an uncomfortably yearning manner. The girl was clearly oblivious to Cairbre's obliviousness.

Part of Guin wanted to stride forward and slap that longing look off of Bathsheba's face. It was hard to break the habit of seeing Cairbre as hers. Well - there was no getting round it. He still was. He looked over his shoulder now and smiled up at Guin, unaware of the blonde at his side watching everything that he did. Guin smiled back faintly, unable to summon any genuine cheer, before looking away.

This was a ridiculously complicated situation. She still loved Cairbre - but she loved Liam too, and it was Liam she desired to build a new future with. Cairbre was tied to England, Devonshire, loss and death. She had wept too many tears for his death.

The future... how could she start planning it, when it was so filled with danger? Port Royal was no safe haven. Guin feared that no place would ever be safe for them again. How could she begin to rebuild when no foundation was sure and certain?

If only Liam and Cairbre had not fought that night! She had still harboured fears before then, but they had not seemed so very dreadful. She'd had Liam by her side. She missed him; Lord, she missed him. She hated how they had to skirt around each other, never exchanging more than polite words. Turning swiftly away from the wheel, Guin turned her back on the sunset. Where was Liam, anyway? Now more than ever, she needed to see him. Just a look, just a smile, even. But she wanted more than that. She wanted their future together. She wanted their present.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2016, 4:43 pm 
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Ciaran was used to walking on egg shells. Wherever he came people hated and distrusted him for who he was and what he had done. He knew better than to pause at an inn for refreshments, as he was often refused there. His name was somehow murmured in fear and revulsion before he arrived as if the clever northern wind had whispered about him, making him notorious. Gruesome stories had been passed along about his number of victims, how they met their end and that often they were not even criminals at all. Occasionally children attempted to chase him, throwing rocks, sometimes a group of bold villagers had boosted their courage to drive him out. But they were never a match for him. In some ways, it made the job easier. Feeling no compassion made it clean and simple. His conscious however always weighed heavily on his shoulders, no matter how hard he tried to forget or hide it behind a shield of sarcasm. And now he was free. But even now he had to tread carefully. The only difference was that now for once he wasn't the mark. He seemed to have gained some level of trust of Cairbre Eagle and formed a certain bond of friendship with Tim.

That made him walk tall. He enjoyed the wind in his hair and the sun on his face. He walked with a steady pace to the helm of his ship. There was a sweet scent in the hot evening air that told him the coast was nearby. He nodded at Captain, who stood at the wheel, as a greeting. Her red hair flamed in the light of the setting sun, but as he looked closer Ciaran noticed her skin was waxy white and there were dark rings underneath her eyes. She looked like she was on the verge of exhaustion.

"Why don't you let me take over for a while so you can sit down?" he asked, as he leaned into the railing in front of the wheel. He took his flask from his belt and took long gulp, before offering the flask to Guinevere. "At least take something to drink; you look like you're about to fall over."


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


"You could go and talk to her, you know."

Tim almost made a jump when he heard Liam's voice nearby. He mentally scolded at himself. It was an old street habit never to allow himself to be off guard. Just now, he had been staring into the distance, completely focused on Bathsheba's voice and laughter on the other side of the deck, that he did not notice the Liam's footsteps. The next time it could have been the sound of the pistol that was drawn from its holster that he missed. One moment of daydreaming could be fatal.

It had been quite some since Liam had smiled genuinely. But he couldn't help himself when he saw the look on the boys' face. The far off stare, his warm smile and the longing that was displayed on his features. Liam recognized himself in that look, from when he had pursued Guinevere.
"Don't worry, I won't tell," Liam reassured Tim, interpreting his sudden change of expression the wrong way.

Tim shrugged, his sightless eyes focused in the exact direction where Cairbre was standing.
"She would not even notice me," Tim said thoughtfully. "When her mind is set on something, it's difficult to distract her," he added with fondness.

Liam watched the duo from afar while he listened to Tim's disheartening words. The girl was chattering away but presumably oblivious to Eagle's indifference. However hard it was for him to admit it, it was painfully clear that Eagle did not encourage her affections. But Tim couldn't see that.

"You can make her notice you," Liam said, thinking back of that moment on the docks when he stole a kiss from Guinevere. His gaze went instantly to the helm of the ship, where he knew Guin stood at the wheel. Somehow he always wanted to make sure where she was and if she was all right. It was something he got accustomed to when they had been on the run from the soldiers and when Guinevere was so weak and near to death. She had almost begged him to let her die, so she could be with Cairbre. And he had stayed up night and day to make sure she slept and ate. But he would not allow her to slip away to the Hereafter, mostly for selfish reasons. He could not let her go, he was not ready to go on without her.

Now he wondered at times how things would have turned out if Guinevere did die back then. He could never have forgiven himself. Eagle would probably have killed him with his bare hands..
Liam was startled when he noticed that Guinevere was looking directly at him. He held her blue gaze and smiled at her.

He then averted his gaze and clapped Tim on the shoulder. "Women like it when they are pursued." God knew Guinevere loved it. But now more than ever Liam realised they were at a crossroads. Guinevere needed to make a choice that would determine his future as well as that of Cairbre's. He couldn't keep up this weird love and hate triangle if Guinevere's love for him wasn't unconditional. Liam now knew that if that was the case, that he had to let go of Guinevere, however unbearable that would be - for his own sake.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: May 4th, 2016, 12:43 pm 
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Guin accepted the flask from Ciaran and raised it to her lips. She took a long draught then handed it back to him with a small, grateful smile. "Cheers," she thanked him. Instinctively, she looked over her shoulder, and there was Liam standing beside Tim. Liam then noticed her looking at him, and smiled at her. A sudden rush of colour flooded into Guin's pale complexion, and she quickly looked away. A mere exchange of looks set her in a storm of confusion. They had not spoken properly for so long. She wondered if he thought it was because she had changed her mind. Nothing could be further from the truth.

She rested her hand on the wheel for a moment, then dropped it back to her side. She glanced at Ciaran. "You're a strange man, Mr Archer," she said abruptly. "Not so long ago you were threatening to pierce my heart with your dagger." She gave a short, wry laugh, then shook her head. "How things change." There was no bitterness in her tone; she sounded as if she was simply making a strange observation. She certainly did not forget that this was a man who had taken both her and Liam prisoner, put them in chains and delivered them to near certain death. And yet, he had put them free again. Compared to Cathair Eagle, Ciaran was by far the lesser of two evils. "Take over for a while, then," she said. "I shall take a break."

She turned and walked away, her step steady and resolved. She knew in which direction she was going. However, it seemed that someone was about to mistake her intention. Cairbre, standing nearby and still under fire from Bathsheba's endless eager remarks, looked over and smiled at Guin - clearly hopeful that she was coming to see him.

"Good evening, Cairbre," Guin said, before he could greet her, "Miss Summers." She could not be so cold as to ignore him outright, but she made it crystal clear that she was not stopping to talk. Bathsheba carried on talking, absorbed, completely missing the disappointment in Cairbre's gaze, which was focused so completely on the captain.

With increasing nervousness, Guin approached Liam. A warm smile hovered on her lips, but not quite settling, as if she was unsure as to whether her presence was welcome. "Liam," she greeted him, meeting his gaze properly for the first time in weeks. There was an anxious knot in her stomach, which made her pretence of calm quite difficult to maintain. However, looking at him steadily and not breaking their gaze was gradually building her confidence. Her colouring was rosy, she was blooming in his presence. "It's a lovely evening, isn't it?" She tried to keep her tone ordinary, as if she was addressing both him and Tim. And it was, truly, a beautiful evening. But a special significance made it's way into her voice, making it obvious that she actually wanted to talk about something else.

~~~

Bathsheba looked up at Cairbre eagerly, her eyes bright and painfully elated. "I'm so looking forward to seeing Jamaica," she gabbled on. "I've heard that the weather is so very warm - what a change from England! I only hope that it will not be terribly intolerably hot. How did you get used to it when you first went there? Was it very difficult? Still, you must be used to it by now. Do you think that my skin will tan very quickly in the warmer sun? I hope I will not go pink... I hear that sunburn is very painful..." she trailed off, finally running out of words. She blinked, utterly at a loss as to how to capture Cairbre's attention properly. "Mr Eagle? What do you think?" There, a direct question! He had to give his opinion, now!

"I'm sure I don't know, Miss Summers," Cairbre said after a lengthy pause. "Forgive me. I'm very tired."

"Tired?" Bathsheba repeated. "Surely not, you had a rest not so long ago." She blushed, realizing that sounded as if she was keeping track of his every move. Which she was not. Well, not quite.

"Miss Summers, I see Tim over there." Cairbre sounded incredibly weary. Bathsheba gave a baffled smile and looked over at the direction in which Cairbre gestured.

"Oh, yes," she remarked, wondering what Cairbre was getting at. "He is."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: June 11th, 2016, 8:00 am 
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Ciaran's lips curled up in a grin when Guinevere mentioned his change of allegiance.
And as I recall, you were engaged to be married to mister Eagle, before eloping with someone else, Ciaran couldn't help but think.

But he was careful enough not to express these thoughts. He needed allies, not enemies. And his habit to speak his mind without reservation was probably not the best way to acquire those.

"Yes, things change indeed," Ciaran responded when Guinevere returned his flask. "Better a change of mind than a change of heart. For mind you, a heart that is not loyal or true only leads to disaster."

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

Tim mulled over Liam's words for a while and considered his possibilities. Sure, he could go over to her now and claim her attention. But she would not look at him any differently than she usually did. She would never look at him like she did at Cairbre. Even though Tim couldn't see it, he heard her adoration in her voice and smile whenever she was around Cairbre. It made him crinch.

Because he knew that Cairbre Eagle, or any man, would form a better and more suitable match for Bathsheba than he did. Eagle was a gentleman, who despite being a pirate had earned respect and was able to earn a fortune. Not to mention that he was easy on the eyes too and not a dependant invalid.

Tim took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Every time he did this, he was surprised by how fresh and salty air smelled. In the harbour the stench of fish, tar and waste dominated everything else, so that Tim had forgotten how the ocean smelled like. The fresh air cleared all thoughts from his head and made him feel tranquil, almost giddy even.

He greeted the Captain and heard her speak to Liam. But he needn't see the look in her eyes to know that he was playing the gooseberry there. He inclined his head towards them and said: "I will leave you two to it. " Then using Bathsheba's voice as reference point, he crossed the deck as gracefully as possible. It had taken him a long time to manage to walk the deck without tripping or swaying.

"Mister Eagle," Tim said to Cairbre, feeling more than guilty for harbouring such jealousy towards the man who had tried to help and teach him. "Bathsheba," he said with a smile that lightened up his face. He wanted to search for her arm, but halfway Tim changed his mind.

"I am sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you." He paused for a moment so that either Cairbre or Bathsheba could break in but they didn't he decided to take a chance. He turned to Bathsheba, a shy smile played on his lips. "Would you like to take a walk with me?"

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

"Well, that's...different," Liam grinned as he watched Tim depart. The boy had broken the rules of social behaviour by addressing the Captain -someone of higher rank than himself- without being addressed himself first before leaving the conversation. But then Liam remembered that Tim had been homeless and probably not a member of any community at all when they met him. There probably were no social standards when you had to fight for the best place to sleep or scrapes. For a brief moment he worried about what would become of these kids in the Caribbean, a strange land and a new home. But soon he was distracted by the woman standing next to him.

"It's a very lovely evening indeed," Liam agreed with Guinevere. The warm wind over brushed his skin like a caress, salt and sweet scents mingled in the evening air and induced increasing desire for adventure. It brought back memories of long evenings in Guinevere's company, laughing and talking and of hot nights filled with passions. "It all feels so familiar, but still it's not," Liam continued.

He took a few steps closer to Guin so that she could hear his voice, as he spoke quietly. "What we had back then.." he murmured. "It seems like it was only yesterday." His voice trailed away and Liam stretched out his hand and brushed a loose strand of red hair behind Guinevere's ear. His dark eyes locked with hers and his hand trailed slowly down her neck until it rested on her collar bone.

"But nothing is further away." Liam's hand fell limply to his side. The exotic sweet scent of the Caribbean in the night's air, a beauty of a ship, the three of them here, it all was like it used to be. And even back then, when he and Cairbre had coexisted on friendly terms, Liam had known he was not privy to Guin's affections.

His senses were deceiving him now, whispering to him that nothing had changed. But his mind knew better. Still aching from the loss of his sister, he had destroyed what had to be the most beautiful day of Guinevere and Cairbre's life. The aftermath caused grief and anguish to Guin and resulted in the death of Cairbre's sibling. So much had been said and done. And there was only so much that could be forgiven.

"We will probably reach land tomorrow or the day next. Are you sure you want to set sail to Port Royal? It could be dangerous to dock there."

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

Lady Gray looked around the room while a satisfied smile played around the corner of her lips. The larger drawing room, which at such occasions served as a ball room was packed with guests. The house parties of the Gray's were even more renowned than those of the Governor. Their dinner was attended by high placed officials and those with power from all over the Empire. The food was the most exquisite of the island and now there was music until after dawn.

Lady Gray's dark eyes inspected the room again and she was content with the sight that greeted her. Her daughter was dancing with one of the wealthiest noblemen in town, while she was adored by many others throughout the evening. Her husband was speaking with the Governor, a gullible and rather unintelligent man, who -judging from the look in his eyes - was lapping up every word her husband said. These were little victories Lady Gray attributed to her own sharp mind and her scheming.

She closed her fan with a snap and impatiently waved a servant away who came to offer refreshments. With a wide circle she circumvented the center of the room where couples were dancing to pass through large glass doors onto the terrace. The terrace looked out over large sugar plantations, which were part of the Gray estate. The fields were now abandoned but from dawn until after dusk it was crowded with slaves. The spark of rebellion lit by the recent uprising near Port Royal had not spread to the Gray estate. Here the slaves were subjected to a harsh regime of control and discipline. Yes, everything was as it should be.

Heavy footsteps made Lady Gray look away from the plantages and look over her shoulder.
She gracefully turned around when she saw that the man, who had been the talk of the upper circles in Port Royal had approached her: Lord Eagle.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: June 24th, 2016, 10:56 am 
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As Tim asked Bathsheba to walk with him, Cairbre took the opportunity to disappear. Bathsheba had been bothering him with her endless chatter for what felt like hours. He knew very well that he had done nothing whatsoever to encourage her interest in him. So why was it that she seemed entirely oblivious to his lack of interest in her? This question, however, and all thoughts connected with it, disappeared from his mind when he caught sight of Liam and Guinevere locked together in conversation. He forced himself to turn away, and approached the ship's wheel where Ciaran already stood.

Cairbre said not a word to the other man, a painful sensation in his chest. Ciaran probably thought him a complete and utter fool, still hanging on to hope, but he didn't care. He could never give up on Guin, no matter how much she tried to ignore him, no matter how much she tried to pretend that everything they shared was at an end.

He reached into his jacket pocket and found the golden ring he had put on Guin's finger, the ring that she had discarded all those weeks ago. He did not bring it out of his pocket, not wanting anyone to see, but just knowing that it was there, a solid reminder of everything they had been and still were to each other, gave him courage. He would not give up, not as long as he drew breath. It was very far from being over.

~~~

Bathsheba slipped her arm through Tim's and leaned towards him to speak excitedly. She did not mind so very much that Cairbre had gone; she was sure that there would be time enough to speak with him again. "I'm glad I've got the chance to speak to you," she told Tim as they began to walk together along the deck. "It's been such an interesting journey, hasn't it? I need your opinion, Tim." She glanced over her shoulder to make sure that no one could overhear them, but they were really quite safe. She leaned closer to her friend and whispered hurriedly.

"You don't think I'm not good enough for him, do you? Because I know his birth is very high. But there are other qualities that can match high birth, you know." She spoke quickly, as if she was afraid that any pause in her stream of excitement would bring her back down to earth. "I'm clever, and resourceful. And it's clear that nothing is going to happen with him and the captain. So - a man needs a wife, doesn't he? Why not me?"

She sounded almost dizzy with enthusiasm, and a wide smile was spread across her face. She truly believed that she could see the way to her future. What better way to secure her fortune, not to mention her happiness, than by marriage? "I can see a way forward now," she whispered. "Everything I planned and hoped for!"

~~~

The smile faded away from Guinevere's lips when Liam dropped his hand back to his side and once again pushed away all of her hopes. She felt no blame towards him; after all, so much had happened. He had known such pain and turmoil. She hardly expected him to recover overnight. But that did not mean that he had to keep doing this; time and time again she offered him her heart and time and time again he found a way to refuse it. Guin could think of nothing she could say or do to make things right between them again. Well... perhaps there was one thing that could be done: to put as much distance between themselves and Cairbre as possible. But it was with a heavy heart that Guin considered this. Parting ways from the man she would have married might help Liam, but what about her? Could she really condemn the past she and Cairbre shared to such an early grave? Could she really swear never to even see him again?

She met Liam's question with a fair amount of relief, glad to turn her thoughts to something else if only for a little while. All the same, it was a difficult question, and one that she already knew the answer to. "Where else is there for us to go?" she said after a lengthy pause. "No port is safe for us. There will be danger wherever we go."

It was awful to have to admit this, but it was true. There was no safe place for them. Whether England or Jamaica, it made no difference. It was only a choice between Execution Dock in Wapping or Gallow's Point in Port Royal. And there was no other Jamaican port which was likely to be any safer for them than Port Royal was. Guin looked at Liam, meeting his dark eyes. "I have no choice," she said very quietly, hoping that he understood.

Before they walked into the lion's jaws, she wanted to find some way for them to make peace and move on from the past. It could very well be their last chance, if the worst happened. She wanted him to know that she loved him, that she wanted to be with him. But she did not know what more she could say to him that had not already been said. Instead, she slowly reached out and took his hand in hers. She did not break her gaze, hoping that he might see all that was left unsaid in her eyes.

After a long moment, she loosened her hold on his hand in case he wanted to let go. "It still could be like it was," she finally whispered. "If only you would let it be. If only you would stop pushing me away."

~~~

Cathair approached Lady Gray, moving with a slight limp, the only visible sign of the knife wound which Liam had inflicted on him back in England. He wore no smile, but there was a grim kind of satisfaction visible on his features. He stood by his hostess and idly looked out at the plantation, a casual quality to his interest which so much resembled disinterest, and which hinted at his vast disregard for the people who worked on those fields every day under the hot sun.

He glanced back at Lady Gray and distorted his features into an imitation of a smile. "You are to be congratulated on your party, Lady Gray," he told her. "However, I thought that I would take this opportunity to have a small talk with you. We've not yet had the chance to become better acquainted."

His plan was more than ready to fall into place. He had no doubt that Lady Gray, along with her husband, would be eager to assist him in this matter. After all, they would both profit from this.

"That said, I do happen to be aware of a matter pertaining to your family circumstances," he said, a dark gleam in his eyes. "The unfortunate fact of your nephew: Liam Gray. The heir to... all of this." He indicated the house and the plantation with a sweeping gesture of his hand. "I do sympathise, Lady Gray. I really do."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: July 5th, 2016, 5:53 pm 
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Cairan watched Cairbre from the corner of his eyes. He wanted to make a mocking remark about how the blond girl had been flirting with him senselessly, but the man looked quite miserable so Cairan said nothing.

"So if I have understood the signs correctly, we will soon reach land." Ciaran's eyes were focused on the horizon, but now and then shifted to the compass, that Guinevere had given him. "Won't the harbour master find it slightly odd that a merchandise ship like this has a crew of only six sailors, a woman as captain, and no legit papers at all? It's not like we can magically make this beauty disappear and enter town unnoticed."

Ciaran chuckled and looked at Cairbre, his tone serious when he continued once more: "What I mean to say is: do we have a plan once we get there?"


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


Tim had often tried to remember the exact moment when he had lost his sight. That one moment before which he had still been able to see colours, shapes, see what his hands touched. He used to juggle with anything he could find; it amused his youngest brother. But that moment when everything turned to darkness, when everything he knew was ripped away from him, was a blank space. All he remembered was waking up weeks later in terrible pain and completely in shock that his world had become pitch black.

Never after that he ever came close to experiencing such pain. Until now... it felt like a dagger had been pushed into his heart and all his hopes had been crumbled.

Tim let himself be guided by Bathsheba, stuck in a daze, pulled along by her while a waterfall of words poured over him. He wasn't even sure what hurt him more: the confirmation that he was nothing more to her than someone to keep her company, whom she could talk to and taught her to become streetwise or the fact that she would leave him at her earliest convenience when she found herself a husband and fortune, all she had hoped for.

The prospect that soon he would be entirely on his own in a strange land knocked the breath out of him. He wished that he could make her see that he needed her to stay, that to him she was a light in the darkness and when she was with him life wasn't so hard. But she didn't see him. And why would she stay if she could better herself with a man of standing and live comfortably? Why would she stay if she thought of him no more than a person she liked and could help? How could he ever have considered himself worthy of her while she was from a well-off family, highly ranked in society?

Tim fought back tears that were burning in his eyes, but knew how to keep his face composed. Abruptly he stopped walking, so that Bathsheba came a halt as well.

"Why don't you take a breath and slow down?" Tim said calmly.

He looked at her for a moment and wondered if she could see how unhappy he was. Perhaps the saying was indeed true. Love made people blind.

"I believe that you have always thought too low of yourself. You know who you are and where you come from. You know what education you received and how smart you are. And I think.." Tim's swallowed. Inwardly he cringed. He had wrapped his fingers around the hilt of the dagger and thrust it even deeper into his heart. "I know that you two will be a perfect match."


----------


"We could go anywhere," Liam responded instistently. "We can to the Americas. No one knows us there. We could start over."

Often had he dreamed of that idea. To go some place new, a place with green meadows as far as the eye could see and dark woods. A land where the air wasn't hot and the winters harsh and cold. A place where their pasts could be forgotten and they could start with a clean slate. Perhaps he could find a patch of land and he could work it. Even though Liam had worked in the harbour and after that on ships for as long as he could remember, it had never been the work he really loved to do. Unlike Guinevere who liked the salty smell of the ocean, he preferred the smell of freshly cut grass and hay.

But he knew how she loved sea and the Caribbean, more than England it was her home.
"I understand that you need to return," Liam finally said. "But I just can't shake this feeling that trouble will catch up with us there."

He sighed and watched out over the water. When Guinevere cautiously took his hand he looked up at her. He could sense what she was thinking. Unlike some other women, she never concealed her emotions, nor did he for that matter.

"I am not pushing you away, Guin," Liam said somewhat irritated. It felt like they were repeating this argument over and over again. Yet he did not let go of her hand. "You know, you have always known that my heart belongs to you and I love you. Please don't insult me by pretending you don't know this and making me say it over and over again," he added while a crease formed between his eyebrows.

Liam paused for a moment and just looked at Guinevere. Her eyes seemed to shine bright in the fading daylight, the exhaustion had disappeared. Liam's fingers entwined with hers, keeping her hand in his tight grasp.

"But too much has happened and I am just not ready to commit to this and quite frankly I think you're not ready either. That is not a matter of distance, Guin," Liam said fiercely.

How he wanted kiss her there and then, roam his hand through her hair, get his hands on her.

"That is a matter of being sensible and patient."

No, not now. Stop thinking.

"I can't rush into things anymore."


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


Lady Gray replied to Lord Cathair's remark by thanking him with a faint smile on her lips. She was not at all impressed by his menacing presence, on the contrary Lady Gray did not often feel threatened by powerful men. In her blood red, silk gown with fine embroidery and her hair pinned up she looked strong and confident. The lines in her face and the grey streaks in her dark hair were marks of her wisdom, while her posture showed authority.
And so, when Lord Cathair mentioned her accursed nephew, Lady Gray remained calm and chuckled softly.

"My dear Lord Eagle," she said with her deep voice. "I do not know who your sources are, but I assure you, they are very much mistaken."

She smirked, but her dark eyes looked coldly at the man who was blatantly dared to pressure her with such secrets.

"Not that it's any of your concern, but when that house slave became pregnant, my brother was so merciful to let the child live.
But that mulatto is nothing more than a b-astard, nor would my late brother ever consider to engage in holy matrimony with a slave."

Lady Gray paused and felt how the breeze cooled her skin. She shivered in anticipation and her dark eyes gleamed.

"But please, Milord, indulge me," she continued, her voice almost like a purr. "There must have been a reason why you attempted to shock me with your information."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: July 31st, 2016, 12:42 pm 
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"Forgive me, Lady Gray, for intruding on your personal affairs," Cathair said, although the tone of his voice, arrogant and at ease, indicated that he was in no need of her forgiveness. The woman amused him. She was somewhat of a novelty, a woman who spoke her own mind and did not hide behind her husband. She would be a useful partner whilst he still needed her assistance. But as with much else, Cathair's appreciation for novelty would wear out. Women should know their place. That was the trouble with that redheaded witch who had led his son astray; she wielded power as if she were a man, and dared to call herself Captain. No matter - she would learn the error of her ways soon enough.

"I was merely speaking in jest," he continued, wearing a slight smirk. "I am well aware that your nephew could never lawfully inherit. However, you cannot deny that whilst he lives and breathes he is a source of embarrassment to you and your family. And you know how people talk." He paused to let the words sink in. "What a nuisance blood is. I can empathise with you, Lady Gray. What if I told you that I could put an end to the whispers surrounding your family once and for all?" He glanced at her, his gaze hard and cold. "I have some information concerning your nephew, if you would like to hear it."

~~~

"Thank you, Tim!" Bathsheba squealed in excitement, completely oblivious to his pain. It was not that she was cruel; she simply could not see the impact she had made on Tim. Lost in her own world, blinded by her dreams, she had no idea of his feelings. "I just needed someone to agree with me, to hear someone say it. Imagine it, Tim, me, a wife! Cairbre can leave behind piracy, there's no doubt he can find respectable work. And when that happens..." She took a breath of air, still giddy.

"When that happens we'll be far better placed to help you," she said. "I wouldn't ever forget you when I'm married, Tim. Cairbre can find you work, a place to live - nearby us - and we can see each other often. Like a family. And when we have children, you can be their uncle, their godfather. Doesn't that all sound like a happy life for all of us?" She smiled eagerly, perfectly genuine in her offer. Tim was her friend, and just because she thought she'd found her own future didn't mean that she wanted to turn her back on him.

~~~

"I've been thinking about this," Cairbre said to Ciaran. "And I have a story for us. God knows if it'll stand up under further inspection, but it's better than nothing. I am the captain of this vessel. You are the first mate. This is an English merchant ship which was also carrying civilians who had paid for their passage to Jamaica. Unfortunately, during the voyage we were boarded by pirates who managed to get away with our papers before we fought them off and put paid to their attempt to steal our merchandise." He offered Ciaran a brief smile. "But there is further misfortune to come in this story. Illness began to circulate throughout the crew. Only myself, you and Liam were spared to man the ship alone. Tim and Bathsheba are the only passengers who survived." He paused, searching for a role to allocate to Guinevere. He did not feel comfortable leaving her as a lone female passenger, without friends or protection. "Guinevere is my wife," he finally said, the irony of this not lost on him at all. But his voice was firm. As a captain's wife, she would be protected. She would be safe.

"We can only hope that our story holds and the harbour master takes our word for it," he said. "Otherwise, I hate to think of what might become of us all."

~~~

Guinevere slowly pulled her hand free from his tight grasp, not wanting him to think that she was pulling away from him in anger. She wasn't angry. She was disappointed, it was true, but she wasn't infuriated. "It's alright," she said, her voice sounding somewhat blank. "I understand. You have to do what you think is right." But the knowledge that he didn't want to commit to her, didn't want to prepare to spend his life with her, sat sourly in the air. How much time had to pass for them to start again? "I suppose I hoped, after all these weeks of us not talking to each other," she said, glancing at the ground, "I suppose I hoped that you'd missed me." It sounded foolish, she knew. But she had a habit of speaking the truth, and so did Liam. Cairbre had always been the one who was good at keeping his feelings hidden.

Cairbre. The thought of him sparked an unbidden thought: if Cairbre was offered a chance to reunite with Guin, he would take that chance without a second thought. She knew him. She knew that.

The thought alarmed her, and she gave a very slight, almost imperceptible shake of her head as if to get rid of that thought. Cairbre and Liam were two very different people. It didn't mean that Liam loved her any less. But she couldn't help hoping that he'd just take a chance, the way he used to. Things had changed though. He had changed - and a lot of that was down to her, and how she'd hurt him.

"Forgive me," she said suddenly, quietly. "I'm a fool."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2016, 4:43 am 
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Lady Gray raised her eyebrows upon hearing Lord Eagle's proposal. The whereabouts of her nephew were usually unknown to her and in fact she couldn't care less what that boy was up to. Her mind was set on more important matters, one of which was the marriage of her daughter.

"Pray tell if you wish," Lady Gray answered smoothly. "But I know for a fact that hardly any information is given for free. Why would anything as trivial as the existence of that mulatto be a matter of concern to you?"

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

Tim nodded a few times and mumbled some words in confirmation as Bathsheba rambled on. She hardly needed any encouragement. The prospect of all her dreams coming true made her heart flow over with excitement and share with him her perfect picture of the future.

Whether Cairbre Eagle mind was set on marriage when he had just escaped an ill fate and lost his sister, Tim didn't know. Nor was he aware that the man had the means at his disposal to live a comfortable life, but in Bathsheba's mind it was all set. It was probably no use confront her with these uncertainties. Dreams were hardly ever the subject of thorough scrutiny or common sense but rather the product of unfulfilled wishes and desires. Only after actually being confronted with the hard truth that beautiful bubble could burst and when it did, it hurt.

Tim grabbed his cane tightly with one hand and with the other he rubbed the rough fabric that covered his chest, in the hope to somehow relieve the pain. He felt empty, drained of all hope. Ever since he had lived on the streets, dreams about a better, happier life were a luxury he couldn't afford. Why deceive yourself with false hopes when things would not get better than having a full belly and a safe place to sleep? But this changed when he met Bathsheba, who had been raised with the idea that it was your duty to think and dream big.
Slowly he had realised how deep his attachment for her was and secretly the hope grew that her feelings were the same and they could find their way to a better life together. But that was all gone now.

Tim breathed in deeply. The skin of his arm of where she held him tingled under her touch. His senses seemed heightened when she was around. He felt everything more acutely. The press of her skirts against his side, the brush of strands of her hair in the wind against his cheek. The sound of her excited breathing.

He imagined the picture Bathsheba had just painted. What if all she hoped for came true? He would perhaps be given a chance to a comfortable life and protection. There would be no dread of ice cold winter nights or despair when heavy footsteps encircled him. The old him wouldn't have hesitated to accept any such generous offer. After all, it didn't kill him, seeing her with someone else, being near her but knowing that she loved another. He wouldn't actually die. But all he knew was that the midnight's freezing air and the gnawing hunger were more merciful. He couldn't live like that.

Tim unhooked his arm from Bathsheba's after what seemed a long silence. "We should make ourselves useful," he said, long forgotten that he had asked her to walk with him. "Ciaran said we might reach land within days."
He took a step away from Bathsheba, his heart thudding. Was it possible for a broken heart to beat so loudly? He had to distance himself from her. The sooner the better. It was for the best for both of them.

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

Liam watched how Guinevere pulled away from him, her downcast look and the slight shake of her head, like she had given up on him.

The bond that was keeping them together was fragile, like the many thin threads of a spiderweb. If one of them would pull away too far the threads would break, leaving the web destroyed. But if they stayed together more threads could grow and they could become strong.

"Don't say that, Guin," Liam immediately intervened upon hearing Guinevere apologise. "Don't talk like this. Not when it's me, who has been selfish."

Selfish.. The word echoed in his mind after the word had crossed his lips. Rosalind had called him that. She had shouted it at him. Now she was dead.

Liam sighed and glanced at the deep blue water. For a moment he looked as if so much more weighed on his shoulders. But then he straightened up resolutely, the look on his face serious and responsible as he caught her blue gaze.

"I came to England and broke into your life and home without thinking how it could affect you or anyone else. And then, so much happened. I got shot.." Liam's hand travelled to his shoulder, where the bullet wound healed a long time ago. However, sometimes, usually at night, the pain seemed to return in full. White hot pain would pierce his shoulders and left him unable to sleep.

"I slowed us down so that they could catch up. And we didn't even look for the others when.."
Liam's voice trailed away.

"Nothing can make these things undone. Cairbre is wrong about many things." He remembered the fight of days ago. Cairbre's accusations, his fist colliding with jaw. "But he isn't wrong about this. I've cost him, everything."

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

The anticipation on Cairan's face gave way to skepticism as Cairbre unveiled his plan. By the time he had finished a combination of disbelief and amusement was written on the bounty hunter's features. Without intending to laugh, a chuckle escaped his lips. "I'm sorry," Ciaran conceded when he looked at Cairbre's earnest face. "I don't mean to offend you. I will give you credit for the story. It's a fine drama actually, but I think it's too far-fetched to be accepted as truth."

"Why not keep it to one disaster?" Ciaran proposed. "Say that there was an infection in our water which quickly spread and killed the crew as well as the Captain. We probably have the papers to prove this part of the story. For the other part we must rely on our dramatic skills."

The irony of it all was not lost on him. They had accepted his company when he was no more than an outsider and an enemy to them and now he had to play the role of first or second mate, one of the most important positions on the ship after the captain. And this while the redhead had to comform to standards of an actual woman, instead of the man woman she was now.

Ciaran glanced at Guinevere and then back at Cairbre. "I don't think she will approve of the division of roles though," he smirked as he nodded at Guinevere.
"I have the feeling she is the type who doesn't ever like to play the part of anybody's wife or take orders at all."

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: August 27th, 2016, 3:17 am 
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"Your nephew has entangled himself in my family business," Cathair said shortly, wasting no time on niceties. "That makes him my concern. I will go to whatever lengths necessary, Lady Gray, to protect my family name." There was an ominous ring to his words. "If I am correct, your nephew will soon be showing his face here in Port Royal - dragging with him all the shame and dishonour you and your husband could fear. He travels in a company of despicable pirates, seeking to escape justice. I regret to say that my own son is among them. I disinherited him many years ago." He shot a cold glance at Lady Gray. "This group of criminals is captained by a woman with a death sentence hanging over her head. I wish to see that sentence enforced. She bewitched my son and led him into the life of a lowly criminal. And she has led your nephew across the seas right to your doorstep, emboldening him to publicly shame you and your family. Perhaps you can see the benefit of her death, for both of us."

~~~

Bathsheba blinked, slightly confused, as Tim pulled away from her. She had expected him to be almost as happy as she was. Couldn't he imagine the comfortable life they could now look forward to? No more sleeping on cold roadsides, no more going days and days without a crumb of food. But she supposed that he was right, they did have to keep themselves busy and make themselves useful. After all, Bathsheba was keen to prove to Cairbre that she was hardworking. She had to show that she was capable of building and maintaining a home for them both. So she trailed after Tim, still oblivious to his feelings and still painfully eager.

"This won't be for much longer, working aboard the ship," she said hopefully. "Soon we'll be able to settle down properly."

~~~

Cairbre smiled wryly as Ciaran laughed at his plan and offered a better one. "You're right," he admitted. "I overthought the matter. Your idea is preferable." His over dramatic story had been the result of having too much time on his hands to think things through without talking it over with anyone else. If anything, he was relieved that Ciaran had come up with a better solution. Although he had recovered from the illness that had befallen him weeks ago, Cairbre was still fatigued. It did not always show, but it showed now in his furrowed brow and the strained look in his blue eyes.

He frowned as Ciaran indicated Guinevere and commented on the role she would have to play. "I'm not asking her to take orders," he said. "Even when she really was to be my wife, I never expected or wanted that. We lived together as equals." He wasn't sure why he was telling Ciaran this, but the man was pretty much the only person on board this ship who engaged in actual conversation with him. "Just... don't speak badly of her, Ciaran. I'm sure you've made your guesses about this situation, but you don't know the whole story." He couldn't stand the thought of anyone judging Guin or seeing her as someone that she was not. He would always defend her.

~~~

Guinevere listened very quietly as Liam spoke. She wanted to contradict him, to tell him that he had never been selfish in any of this, but she was frozen by the memories he brought up. The evening he had turned up at the house in Devonshire, without so much as sending a letter ahead to tell them of his arrival. The shock she had felt upon seeing him after what felt like an age. The day he was shot when he saved them. And the day Cairbre and Rosalind jumped from the bridge, followed by a hail of bullets. Guin was seized by a sudden memory of her frantic attempt to find them, plunging herself into the cold water, immersing herself beneath the surface as she searched for any sign of them. The water had been as cold as death.

All of the colour had drained away from her face. Pale as ice, shook from the memory, she stared straight ahead, past Liam, as if she could see nothing. Gripped by panic, her slender body began to shake, and her breathing became uneven. She had tried her hardest to block so much of it out - everything that had happened. To have it come rushing back so vividly, as if it were only yesterday... she reeled backwards and grasped the ship's rail, breathing in and out to try and steady herself. "I'm sorry," she gasped, not wanting Liam to think that it was his fault. He had only spoken the truth. "I... I am not well," she managed to get the words out, before shutting her eyes tightly.

Meanwhile, the scene had not gone unnoticed by the other crew mates. Guin vaguely heard Bathsheba - that idiotic girl - cry out, "what's wrong with the captain?" After that, footsteps.

Cairbre strode across the deck to where Guinevere stood hunched over the rails, trembling and struggling to breathe properly. He had seen her like this before, when she woke up from bad dreams during the night. He moved past Liam, and approached Guin quietly, letting her know that he was there, before gently touching her shoulder. She continued to tremble, her eyes squeezed closed, tears seeping out from beneath her eyelids. But she didn't make any move to push Cairbre away. "It's alright," he soothed her, as if it were just the two of them. "It's alright, Guin. I promise."

Hearing the familiar words, Guin loosened her grip on the rails before letting go and turning towards Cairbre. He opened his arms to her, and, still in a state of anxiety and upset, Guinevere went to him without question. He held her as she shook and stroked her hair. "Everything will be alright," he murmured. Gradually, she began to calm down as a feeling of safety washed over her. Only as her tears ceased and her shaking lessened did she realise that Liam had seen it all, seen her letting herself be comforted by a man he truly hated, and then she was gripped by dread at the thought of it all beginning again. His doubt. His distrust. His lack of faith in her. Slowly, she stepped back from Cairbre.

"Thank you," she said quietly.

"What happened, Guin?" he asked her earnestly. She shook her head.

"I need to go and rest," she said faintly.

"I'll help you," Cairbre offered, "you still look shaky." He had not seen her like this for a long time, and was willing to carry her if need be. But once again Guinevere shook her head.

She looked over her shoulder and held out her hand to Liam. "Will you help me?" she asked him. She shook her head before Cairbre could protest. "I need Liam," she said flatly. Unable to speak, certainly unable to argue, Cairbre nodded. He looked towards Liam, then helped Guin walk to him. Guin slipped her hand into Liam's, holding onto him tightly.

"She needs you," Cairbre informed Liam abruptly, before turning away and walking back to the ship's wheel. If Liam dared hurt Guin again... it was too painful to think about. If he would push Guin away even after this, then any shred of respect Cairbre had left for him would be gone.

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: October 18th, 2016, 6:03 pm 
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"Equality?" Ciaran almost spit out the word, like it was poisonous. "There is no such thing as equality in this world."

His gaze shifted from Cairbre to the dark waters and the equally dark heaven. The first stars had appeared in the sky, bright and leading them to their destination.

"Those black men sold back there in the harbour of Lisbon, there's no equality for them because of the colour of their skin and their heritage." Ciaran's voice was hard as stone, but so was the truth. "Is there equality for recussants, who are prosecuted for their choice of worship?"

Ciaran's voice trailed away, as memories poured into his mind and with it the familiar ache. "My wife and I were equal in our love. But life is not that simple."

Ciaran shook his head, glanced at the compass and then focused his gaze at the horizon. He didn't expect Cairbre to say anything. What was there to say?
But there was hardly time for Cairbre to respond, as Bathsheba cried out and his attention was directed to the Captain.

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

Liam watched all the colour draining from Guinevere's face and only realised she was taken by a sudden fainting spell when it was too late. They were so alike in spirit and strength that Liam sometimes forgot how a heavy burden took its toll on her body. Whereas for him his pain and guilt lurked in the shadows like a monster, always present, gnawing at his conscious and seeded doubt in his mind, hers manifested itself physically and unexpected.

"Guin.." Liam took a few steps in her direction to support her, but somehow Eagle got there first. The knot in his stomach tightened as he watched how Cairbre opened his arms and Guinevere turned to him to be comforted in his embrace. He couldn't say anything, Liam just stood there frozen, looking at the couple. He knew how the others were watching- watching him as well probably. He felt a spectator of something intimate, as he heard Cairbre's soothing words, saw how his hands stroked her hair, the small of her back. Guinevere's eyes were closed, her posture was no longer rigid and her anxiety had disappeared.

It all seemed to happen in slow motion until Guinevere held out her hand and beckoned him. He felt a surge of indignance and venom when she called for him. Only now she remembered him.
He ignored the strong desire to punch Eagle in the face when he approached and did not even acknowledge his presence. He slipped his hand from Guinevere's tight grasp and instead wrapped his arm around her back to support her.

In silence, he helped Guinevere below deck and into the Captain's cabin. He quickly turned down the sheets for her and then for the first time he looked directly at Guin. "Here, you should lay down for a while.."

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

Tim quietly stood next to Bathsheba, as an embarrassed spectator of something he was not meant to behold. He heard the words which were said and with which unease they were said. But all he could think of was the woman standing next to him and how her hand was only inches from his. He could touch it, brush against her skin, but she would not notice. She would only have eyes for was that tall, quiet man who was so attentive to the Captain.

Could he remain here? To always live in the shadow of another who was better than he was. For his heart to be trampled on, while be had to be grateful and glad with that life? That would not be living.

She was watching how the Captain was brought below deck and Tim sensed how her gaze shifted to Cairbre. If only they could get away together. Perhaps there was a slight chance if he appealed to her sense of freedom, her desire for adventure.

Tim touched Bathsheba's shoulder lightly and whispered quietly in her ear: "Do you remember when you spoke of a new world, we could discover together? We could do that once we arrived," he said hopeful. "Where would you like to go? "

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 Post subject: Re: One Good Reason (Private RP)
PostPosted: November 8th, 2016, 2:09 pm 
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Bathsheba watched as Cairbre walked away, her expression marred by confusion and fear. What had she just seen? In her mind's eye, she could envision the destruction of her hopes and dreams before they had even begun to take shape. She could not let that happen! Her jaw tightened in resolution, and there was suddenly a hard look in her eyes. She would not let that happen. The captain seemed adept at leading men on a dance and then changing her mind at the last minute. It was sheer folly in Bathsheba's opinion. Had that woman no idea what type of man she was turning away? Well, her loss was Bathsheba's gain, or so she believed.

She turned her head, distracted, as Tim whispered in her ear. "Yes," she said, her brow creasing slightly as she thought the idea over. "We could go to the Americas. Far away from the captain. Cairbre would forget all about her then." She had quite misunderstood Tim's meaning, misconstruing who he meant by 'we'. She was quite blind to the idea of any sort of future in which Cairbre, a man she scarcely knew, was not part of. Her vivid imagination had painted him as her salvation from poverty and all hardship. Not even solid proof of his affections lying elsewhere would dissuade her from her vision.

~~~

Guinevere slowly sat down on the edge of the bed, meeting Liam's gaze for a few moments before lowering her eyes. She felt awkward in his presence; he had only now uttered one sentence to her. She had angered him, that much was obvious. But she found that she was too tired to attempt to placate him. She could find no words to soothe his wounded pride. So, reaching down with stumbling movements, she began to unlace her boots. Her feet were terribly sore. How many weeks had she spent on top deck, constantly moving around? Keeping a ship running with such a sparse crew was near impossible, but they had managed somehow. However, they had managed at a cost. Guinevere's energy was near to drained.

With great effort, she pushed off the boots and gingerly examined her feet. The soles of her stockings were all worn through, revealing a pair of feet that looked, for want of a better word, battered. They were reddened and sore, and the skin was dry and hardened. She glanced up at Liam again before tucking her feet out of view beneath her skirt. "Thank you for your help, Liam," she said faintly, breaking the silence. "I'm sure a rest is all I need. Then I shall be all ship shape again." She was not so sure. Even when she recovered from her weariness of body, she would still be emotionally exhausted; she had spent such a length of time living in fear and doubt of the future.

"How disappointed with me you must be," she continued. "I know I am disappointed in myself to be appear so weak, so fatigued in body and spirit. But there is a saying... 'no man is an island'. I am no island, Liam. I turned to Cairbre because I was afraid and unwell and in need of comfort. And he did not turn me away." Instead she had turned Cairbre away. She was aware of a terrible sensation of guilt, like diving into ice cold water. The memory of the day on the bridge was still very near. She could not be rid of it. "I am not drawing comparisons, I am not placing blame," she said quietly. "I am only speaking the truth. You told me that when we reached our destination, you would ask me for my answer then. We shall reach Port Royal by the morrow. I have already given my answer many times. So it is up to you what to make of that."

She drew her feet onto the bed and pulled the blankets over her body, worn out by her speech. If she had only made things a hundred times worse, then so be it. She had told Liam everything there was to be said. If he chose to hate her, then that was his choice. Not hers.

~~~

"He is not good enough for her, Archer," Cairbre said to his companion as they stood together. There was a strained but determined look visible in his features, and his blue eyes glinted with renewed resolve. "I do not speak of the colour of his skin or of his background. For years I have sailed the oceans with men and women of innumerable origins. I am not a biased man, unlike my father." He spoke nothing but the truth. Whatever Liam might believe, there was no prejudice of that kind in his heart. "No. I find fault with his inability to be constant to Guinevere. He causes her nothing but unhappiness. All the while leading her on with false hope."

He reached into his pocket and anxiously clasped the golden wedding ring he had given Guinevere. He had to put an end to this. Guinevere would see clearly before long. If he was not entirely mistaken, she was already beginning to see.

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