The rest of Chapter 2 (as it was too big to be uploaded all at once).
|In fact she slept so lightly that when Thomas opened the door to check on her she sat up almost expectantly and looked into the dark where she knew someone was standing, but in the blackness the night had cast and with almost no light coming in from the lamps outside her room, she could not see who it was.
“Did I disturb you miss?” It was a voice she recognised, Thomas’, and of course she instantly relaxed.
“No, it’s fine Thomas, did you want something?”
“You did the kitchen.”
“You didn’t want your supper?”
“No, I’m not hungry.”
“Is everything alright, miss?” There was genuine concern in his voice and it made her smile, though of course he could not see it.
The situation required a little thought, after all; being honest between here and Spain would get her killed.
“As alright as it could be, I suppose.”
“What do ye mean miss?” He sounded curious now and took a step forward into her room.
“I have been taken from the ship where my father, mother and fiancé are. I’m on a pirate ship, surrounded by men with not even my servant for company. Is any part of that supposed to be alright?” She was tense, if it were in fact Isabella enduring this journey then it would have been easier on her, Cat seemed to have it worse and she was sure that if she could tell Thomas about her real problems he would agree with her.
“So why did ye clean the kitchens?” Thomas asked taking another small step closer so that the shadow of him seemed a little bigger and more threatening to her.
“You have been good to me Thomas, kind, helped me. The least I could do is save you some cleaning.” Again she smiled to the darkness that could not see her, but there was no answer to this, only a long pause.
“Ye aint what I s’pected ye’d be.” He said at last before leaving the room and closing the door quietly behind him.
Cat sat on the bed, looking through the darkness at where Thomas had stood. Slowly she sighed and turned to lie down again, “I’m not what any of you expected,” she muttered as she rolled to face her back to the door and closed her eyes to sleep again.
Her dreams were disturbed and distorted, flowing into one another. She tossed and turned as various imaginary tormentors attacked her in her sleep. Their words bit into her mind and their blows brought back the pain of every strike she had ever felt. Morning had dawned and still she lay there, shifting this way and that until the bed sheets wrapped tightly around her and held her legs and arms in a restricted binding, only making her panic further.
“Ye alright there lass?” Thomas had entered the room again and was standing beside her bed. Tear filled eyes looked up at him blearily and attempted to take in the friendly face, but currently it looked taught with anxiety.
At once action was taken; she pulled up her sleeve and wiped her eyes briskly, sniffling back the tears, which threatened to become apparent, as she did so. “I’m fine. What is it Thomas?” She asked softly, though her gaze had dropped and she now refused to look him in the eye.
“The captain would be wanting to be seeing you lass,” he said in his usually strange way, “he been tellin’ me ‘bout his wantin’ to talk to you.”
She nodded and attempted a vague smile as she shifted herself and stood. Quickly she corrected herself and smoothed out her hair with her hand, brushing down her dress and making herself suitable for her audience with their captain.
“Do you happen to know what he wishes to speak to me about?” she asked conversationally as the two of them left her cabin and started the route to the Captain’s cabin.
“No miss,” he said, and though Cat felt certain there was something that Thomas was not saying she did not press the matter.
The air that morning had warmed quickly and the storm had fully passed over to leave a bright, blue skied day. Rather than leading her to the captain’s cabin as she had thought he would Thomas instead lead on to the deck of the ship, the captain stood against the railing on the port side and they approached him in silence.
“Cap’n Wolf sir, I brought Lady Isabella as you requested,” announced Thomas sounding rather pleased with himself as he smiled at the Captain.
“I can see that, thank you Thumper. I trust you and your pet are getting along well?” There was something sly in the way he spoke and Cat did not like it, but for now she stayed quiet and glanced at Thomas to see the ashamed look in his eyes as he looked to the ground.
“You must forgive the bashful Master Thumper, My Lady,” the captain announced in as grand a manner as he dared to combine with his mocking tone, “he thinks it is wrong to treat a lady, even a prisoner, in such a manner.”
“Then clearly Master Thomas knows something about women that you don’t, I’m sure that if you begged enough he might teach you a trick or two until perhaps a lady of night would lay with you?” She found herself pleasantly pleased with the reaction to her words, for Thomas looked at her in shock, perhaps at her manner of praising him, perhaps her manner of insulting Captain Wolf, but it was most likely to be both.
“Strong words for a woman, given your reputation should I set my target a little closer? A woman more inclined to the day perhaps?” There was a smirk in his words but she remained determined to be indifferent to his mockery.
“I am engaged to be married and held here to ensure you receive your toll for crossing open sea, you are neither entitled to keep me nor court me, but as I have no say in the first I shall certainly refuse the second.” It was important to remain consistent on this journey, she had realised that, she had also realised that it would be much harder to be as soft willed as Isabella than to simply make the tales about her look false and keep to her usual method of defiance. Thus far it seemed to be working.
Of course it had its problems, her words caused insult, or anger, she was unsure which. Captain Wolf moved to strike her and though she winced she forgot her supposed place and remained still, as she had been told to on many occasions. Willing to take the strike as her punishment and understanding that it would be worse if avoided, a lesson her master had managed to teach her. Captain wolf froze and lowered his hand slowly, she watched nervously. “Are you trying to be brave?” he questioned hesitantly.
“What is it you summoned me for?” she asked quickly, changing the subject and clearly catching his interest with it for he quickly looked distracted from the previous subject and recalled something he had considered earlier.
“Have you at all re-thought my proposal?” he spoke softly.
“I would sooner die than share a bed with a mutt like you!” she exclaimed in a tone of revulsion. The captain only shrugged.
“Pity, things would have been easier for you.” He muttered though it seemed he was speaking almost to himself before he addressed her properly.
“From now on you will come here every morning and meet me; you will wave to your father and fiancé to show to them that you remain alive and well. You will then join the crew for breakfast and work with Thumper. Which reminds me!” he exclaimed suddenly allowing his eyes to fix on hers fully.
“I heard about last night, were you trying to be noble?” he was mocking her again.
“I was trying to do something nice for Thomas. I did tell you that he could teach you a thing or two about women.” She returned sharply, there was cold venom in her voice when she spoke to him and she found herself shifting slightly closer to Thomas for comfort, it felt like he was her only friend in the world.
“Why didn’t you eat?” he continued, he sounded almost anxious when he said it.
“All that time with you must have put off my appetite,” she said, shrugging a little as she spoke.
“Cap’n, the lass jus’ wasn’t so interested in food las’ nigh’.” Thomas had come to the rescue and seemed to dispel that particular conversation.
The Captain glared at him then looked at a pocket watch for a moment, “time to wave.” He grumbled with obvious agitation, for which she felt rather pleased with herself. Her eyes scanned the horizon and there was the shape of The Duke Remorah, her hand lifted and she waved elegantly, as she had seen her mistress do many times. She almost missed those days. Across a small expanse of water she was seen and three silhouettes waved back, too far away for her to identify them.