jackdaws_master: (Edward seated upon the Beach)
[personal profile] jackdaws_master
Light was streaming into the room and stippling across the ceiling through the chinks in the walls near as much as the windows. Morning or evening, he couldn't be certain-

"Is it dangerous? Edward?"


He rolled his head sideways. Caroline, next to him as always, was propping her head up on one hand and watching him with a look of concern. "Privateering," she said, eyeing him through a few falling strands of her red hair. "Is it dangerous? "

He would have liked to laugh, were she not so focused, so worried. Instead he nodded, sober, and said, " Wouldn't pay so nice if it weren't."

Distress flashed in Caroline's hazel eyes. "Why not sail with the King's Navy?" she suggested. "Earn a proper wage. Sail under gentlemen."

Oh, he did laugh at that, or nearly. "Sod the Navy's gentlemen," he told her. "For every shilling I'd earn, the Captain'd get six hundred. That's no way to earn a fortune."

Caroline shook her head. "We don't need a fortune," she murmured.

It was his turn to shake his head then. "It's not about Need, Caroline. I want food that don't make me sick. I want walls that hold back the wind. I want a decent life," he said. And to himself, he thought,
I want a life better for you than this. I want a life I know won't make you regret what you gave up when you married me.

She bit her lip, but watched him still. After a time she said, "H-how long would you be gone with these privateers?"

"A year, I reckon," he said. "Two at the most."

"All right. No more than two... promise me..."

There was salt on his breath and sand under his face. He pushed himself up, coughing. First that tavern with the mad Dutchman, and then his words with his wife, in the time it took to make it from wreck to shore; it seemed he'd something of a talent for dreaming. The island seemed real enough. Certainly it stank of the sort of things a real island should. He turned to pinch himself, and caught sight of a man sprawled on the sand not far off. "Was it good for you as well?" he inquired.

For someone just washed ashore, the man was dressed respectably enough, in blue cloth of a finer grade than any Edward was used to. The stranger wheezed, his head lolling near to the sand, and said, "Havana… I must get to Havana."

Oh, that was a laugh. There wasn't so much as two planks together anywhere in sight. "Well," said Edward. "I'll just build us another ship, shall I?"

"I can pay you," the stranger rasped. He coughed, and his voice came clearer. "Isn't that the sound you pirates like best? One hundred escudos."

A hundred escudos was- why, that was sixteen hundred reales, and a Hell of a price by any means. "Keep talking," said Edward.

The stranger glared at him foully. "Will you or won't you?" he said, and brought himself to his feet.

Edward cast his glance over the man's clothes. Fine garb, yes, and a good blade and at least one pistol; but no money-pouch he could see. It was only by sheer miracle he still had his own, and he doubted both of them could have had miracles today. "You don't have that gold on you now, do you," he said.

"Bloody fucking pirates," said the man; his shoulders tensed.

"Oh, I am on to you, Sneaksby-"

He might've reached for his weapon, or he mightn't've. Either way the man turned and bolted into the trees. Edward swore under his breath and set off at a run after him, but the man was far swifter than Edward would've given credit for. "Come on, mate!" Edward called out. "We're off to a bad start! It's a hundred leagues or more to Havana! Will you walk that distance?"

The man hurled back a word Edward could scarce make out and dove between the branches of some overgrown bush; when Edward reached its position, he'd vanished from sight. Edward shook his head and considered his options. Alas, they were few indeed just at the moment; well, he'd always been the sort to make his own luck. There was a tree not too far off that looked tall enough to get a good view from, and no harder to climb than a main-mast; it was the work of moments to scramble up into the high branches.

"Posh git," he muttered as he climbed. "Where's he running to?" Then he stopped. There was a strong branch just ahead, the last that seemed strong enough to hold his weight, but some great hawk or small eagle or some other such taloned bird was perched on the end. He'd no great love of having his face pecked or his arms torn-

Ah, it'd seen him coming, and took off. Well, good.

Edward inched his way out along the branch as far as he dared. The tree, it happened, grew not far from the edge of a small cliff, and overhung a deep, waterfall-fed pool far below. A motion caught his eye- the other man's form, emerging from the water, white hood dripping behind him.


Well, the water looked deep enough from here; Edward knew how to pull up sharp just as you entered the water, any road. And the man might not have had gold on him, but dressed like one who knew where to get it. Might as well pursue him proper. He drew a deep breath, braced his feet, and dived.

There was a single shining moment in which it all seemed very nearly flying, as if the world had stopped around him and everything flooded with light.

Then the world rushed in again, and the water struck him, and it was all as it had been before. Edward wrenched himself upward in time to hear the man yell, "Follow and I'll kill you!" as he broke the surface.

Edward, treading water, laughed. "We could work together on this!" he called out.

"Keep your distance!" shouted the man. Wait, was that a pistol in his hand?

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jackdaws_master: Blond scruffy guy in early 1700s clothes on a dock, looking up at something offscreen (Default)
Captain Edward Kenway

March 2014

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