Tis the latest in my series, tho probably out of order. Douglas and I have met with Hector Barbossa and this is the troule that has ensued as a result.
” You too woman. Drink to your man’s pact.” Douglas commanded me.
I stared hard at him, and I knewe tht he could hear my thoughts as if I were in his face and screaming my defiance. How coulde he ask me to drink to a pact that neither of us believed in? If the men aboard the Reaper were to heare of it there would be rage amongst the crew at Douglas, and with good reason! ‘Where is the man that I knowe and love, I asked myself, ‘coulde he not see what was at stake here?’
Douglas answered my stare from the corner of his eye, as if warning me not to speak again or defy him in front of Barbossa. I rose from my seat and took my time putting way the Medicci before sitting down again beside him and taking my tankard back within my hands. I glanced once more at Douglas, letting him read the rage that burned behind my eyes. I then turned my gaze at Hector Barbossa. Within a flash of an instant there was a look in the eye of the wretched Captain, that was one of sheer delight. I reached back in my thoughts and saw a visioin of a man that was once so far removed than the one that sat in front of me. His eyes were green with flecks of brown, I noted. How incredibly strange that I would notice or even care. Indeed the shift in that instant caused me to blink and again I saw the fearsome Barbossa in front of me again. I raised my tankard and narrowed my eyes before taking a drink. One swallow, two, three…it felt like an endless well of rum that burned my throat, leaving my eyes to tear and my body shaking.
Barbossa’s lips curled into a smile and his eyes flashed a promise of his intentions. With a triumphant grunt he slammed his tankard down on the table.. He then let out a laugh as if he was proud of me in some way and that my compliance was something to be admired.
” Have supper with me, Dawg. You and your loverly Fanny Fae…” his eyes never left me even as he was addressing Douglas, ” We’ll celebrate.”
What sort of celebration coulde the man be thinking? That he had triumphed over Douglas and the Reaper and that we had agreed to be a part of his nefarious league? My stomach was turning with the weight of it all. By the Goddess I did not understand the things that men did.
“I’ve plans to sail on the tide. ” Douglas said shaking his head, ” New treaties have been signed here in the Caribe. Those who were once enemies are now allies, joining forces to thwart the efforts of men like ourselves. They’ve combined their fleets to protect their shipments. I’ll have to range farther north to find the kind of prize I need. I’ll be leaving shortly. So I must respectfully decline. ”
“You disappoint me hospitality, Dawg. ” for the moment Hector’s gaze still did not leave me, but his irritation and disappointment was clearly evident in his voice, he turned his gaze on Douglas and added, ” but ye shall ne’er dare to disappoint my purse. I’ll have what’s due me from you. ” Barbossa again shifted his gaze back to me, looking me up and down. T’was clear why he wanted us to stay and he meant to have me one way or the other.
“That you will, Hector, ” Douglas said quietly, noting Barbossa’s meaningful glances at me, ” You have me vow on it. ”
Wtithin moments the men of each crewe separated and moved toward their mates. Douglas urged me with a firm hand and steered us toward the exit, making for the ship as if we were trying to beat the tides. Douglas’ long strides left me panting as I struggled to keep up next to him. With each step my anger got more and more pronounced. Ne’er had I been treated in such a fashion by any man, let alone the man that I loved! When the ship was in sight I threw his hand off of me and kept my pace myself. Ifelt my cheeks go hot and the back of my neck burning.
As soon as we were aboard, Douglas began shouting orders to the crewe .
“Mr Sharky!” Douglas bellowed.
“Go go be a shark.”
“Gibbons, Fredrich, take a few men, see to the stores, take what coin is necessary and finish out from the closest vendors.” Douglas sent men scurrying in all directions, “Mister Bishop!”
“Take the gunners below and break out the powder. Stand by, we may need everything we have.”
With each order given he gave another his anger rising and mine rising along side of it, he look’d through me, around me and treated me as if I were a child or a puppy underfoot. Unable to stand it a moment longer, I stood in front of him, “I canna believe you are actually going to do what that poxxed whoreson demanded of you, Douglas!”
He did not respond and it made the back of my neck prickle even more to be ignored,” You’re actually going to lift anchor and sail off?”“ I accused, “You are actually going to do Barbossa’s bidding? Ye are a fool to pay his blackmail!”
” ot now Fanny…” Douglas took me by the shoulders and set me aside. The one action alone was enough to cause me to shake with such a fury I nearly felt like screaming at him!
“Yes, by the Goddess….Now!” I fumed,my voice reaching increasing volume, “”ou actually intend to throw in with that madman! How could you? Ye gave him your word and your hand on it!” I knew that the eyes of ev’ry man jack was on Douglas and I now. The soft murmurs among the men gave clear indication of their owne disbelief and fear that I actually coulde be speaking the truth. “Does the wytch woman speak the truth? ” one of them murmured to another. I glanced at Bishop who shook his head.
“I said…not here! ” Douglas grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me roughly, his face as tight as it was red.
“You agreed to give him half of everything, Douglas! You agreeed to give Hector Barbossa half of every prize we take!! To do his dirty work…the men of this crewe will ne’er – .”
“I LIED!!!” he roared at me, shaking, ” I lied to buy us time enough to make open sea! ” Douglas drew away from me, trying to roughly push me aside, but I woulde have none of it. His body shook with his barely subdued rage, and he snapped back at me harshly, ” And Barbossa knows it! ” Douglas let go of my shoulders and strode off, calling for the Quartermaster and master gunner to come to his cabin, leaving me to stand looking after him. When I looked around me there were still men looking after the captain and some to stare at me or to murmur and conspire amongst themselves.
In the wake of our heated exchange I was left feeling stunned and threadbare. If he lied then why did he not tell me? Did he want me to be taken in by the man Barbossa? I glanced out over the rail and looked at the men that were scurrying in order to get us under way. T’was the hand of one of the crewe on my arm that brought me to awareness. I look’t up into the face of Crispin Rougue the ships Bosun. Gently he steered me toward the quarterdeck out of the way of the crewe that was hurriedly working around us.
“Miz Fanny,” the jaw of his grizzled face shifted, “I know ye donna understand the why of it, but Capt’n Dawg be doin’ what’s best fer us all.”
“Douglas should know better than to bargain with such men!” I spat.
“T’were lip service he give, Miss Fanny, Or bloodshed on the spot woulda come. Capt’n Dawg bought us time.”
“Time for what?” I asked, “Time to get Barbossa his blood money?”
“Captain Barbossa’s gonna let us sail outta port, ” Rogue said, “then he’s gonna come after us – hard, Miss. Real hard. An’ I seen what he does to a crew he takes. A bloke’d be better off cuttin’ out his own liver.”
I did not respond this time but fixed him with a stare. Surely it could not be so bad as to stand up to the infamous Hector Barbossa. I sighed and shook my head.
“An’ it’s clear that Barbossa is also wantin’ you, Miz Fanny. And in case ye hadn’t guessed, now he has all the more reason to come after us.”
“I know,” I said, “But what am I to him?”
He didnae answer but rather watched me as I absorbed all that I was being told. “Dawg needs ye Miz Fanny, ” he said softly,”and whate’er powers that ye might possess! Now’d be the time ta be usin’ them.”
Crispin Rogue left me there and set about going to get us under way, barking out orders left and right. Noting the pandemonium on deck, I thought it better to get to the galley. I could at least throw my anger into my owne duties, and let it not be said that I was naught but a valuable member of the crew. For all they knewe I woulde be down below sacrificing animals and doing my wytchery in order to stave off Barbossa. ‘Goode!’ I thought,‘let the blokes imagine what they will. And by the Goddess, I would find some way to get us past the creature Barbossa!’ I had seen what I had seen in his eyes in that flash of a moment. Now it was up to me to ponder on best how to use it.
I must have gotten heated in my cooking, or let my emotions get to me for when Crispin Rogue came into the kitchen, as I was cutting up another chicken, I brandished my large kitchen knife still bloody with the guts of the fowl I had just slain.
“Get yer bloomin’ arse out of my galley, Rogue, before I cut yer guts open and fashion m’self a new set of Wytch’s garters!”
Pish posh! ” he scoffed, “Ye’d never give up the red one, Mizz Fanny, so donna go hurling hollow threats at me!”
Hollow was it? I threw it him and the knife went end over end lodging into the door jamb just inches from his one good eye, “I said get OUT of MY galley!”
“Its not yer galley, ’tis the captain’s galley, the crew’s therefore it’d be our galley!”
“I said, Get OUT!” I threw an empty bowl at him that shattered at his feet, and then yelled up at the deck above me,”“se yer powers, use yer powers, Mizz Fanny.” I said in a mock falsetto, “bloody hell all you men want of woman or Wytch is the use of something! By the Goddess, I will call the Sirens on all of their mangy curr hides and then we will see to power!”
Crispin Rogue grudgingly left me alone to snark and sputter below. Only to go above later, I had been told, that he went to speak to Douglas who was standing up on deck commenting on the horrible noise I had been making.
“Mr. Rogue, go back down there and see if you can get her to stop from making so much racket. Even if we do get out ahead of Barbossa any amount of distance, she ‘d lead him straight to us with all that noise!”
“Begging your pardon, Cap’n, but she already threatened to cut out me guts to make garters, not to mention she threw her bloody knife at me and the biscuit bowl at me to boot. No offense sir, but I don’t think she will aught listen to anyone but you.”
““What woman ever listens to any man, Crispin?” he chuckled, “Very well, carry on, Crispin, and we’ll hope the storm below blows itself out.”
In my fury that did not abate for quite a while after we were under way I spilled a pot of potatoes and ended up spashing the hot water on my feet and burning them. I let out a yelp that turned into a roar, for my anger was not abated but kindled and intensified.
““Douglas Francis O’Riely!” I shouted at the top of my lungs, “By the Great Goddess, if we e’er get out of this I swear to you that you will not hear the last of it! ‘Tis your fault! All of it!”
I knewe in my heart, of course, that it was really not his fault. I was partially to blame it and today it was one of those days that I cursed the gifts that had been given to me as Her childe. For it was me that had gotten the attention of Hector Barbossa. We’d have stood a better chance getting out of port with fewer bargains and greater beneficience. Part of me knew that the only way that Douglas wouolde escape is if I were to get close enough to Barbossa to kill him myself. I knewe how to use those same womanly wiles if need be, even as repulsive as Barbossa was now. Perhaps my blessing and curse could be turne dot an advantage. It was not to my benefit or myself that I thought of these things but for Douglas.
I would get close enough to Barbossa, maybe even offer myself up as bait to get him away from the Reaper, from Douglas. I had all means of ways in which I coulde kill the man, by knife, by poison, by wrapping my thighs around his neck and squeezing the life out of him but I had not thought to myself nor contemplated fully how I woulde escape from such a task.
After the men were fed, I took Douglas’ dinner myself to his cabin. He did not even looke at me when I entered. I knew that he felt my presence. I sat down in a chair at the table and waited for him to speak. The silence between us was almost loud enough to be deafening and had it not been for the sounds of the crewe above, I would have thought than an ethereal hush had decended upon our ship. He continued to ignore me and set about the tasks on his chart table. I rose and as I went toward the door.
“For what it is worth, I am sorry, Douglas. I did’na knowe you were buying us time.” I said softly over my shoulder. In a lightning fast moment, Douglas strode toward me and closed the door hard as he pressed me against it.
“No,” Douglas growled hotly, “you did’na knowe. Next time trust your man, and your Captain. If we had stayed or tried to negotiate a lower term, you’d have been sport not only for Barbossa but for his entire crewe. Is that what you wanted?”
“No.” I said, wanting to change the subject,”your dinner is getting cold. I saved you the your favorite parts,”
Douglas took my face in his hands and kissed me, pressing his body into mine, “Dinner can wait, ” he said, I coulde feel his need rising between us, pressing against my thigh, “But this won’t.”