Fucking customs officers. Sons o’ cows are so— “damn slow!” Simeon yelled. The officer closest to him didn’t look best pleased. They stood, three officers and himself, in the storage room of his ship. It was a large space, filled with boxes of fruit and some spices and even jewellery. Two of the men were at the far end of the room, reopening boxes, re-ruffling through a mound of furs.  
                “Mind your tongue dog, unless you want to find yourself in chains.” The nearest officer, with slicked back blonde hair, answered. All the officers wore the same crimson and gold brocade doublets uniform with knives at their hips and special rings on their fingers. They weren’t so tough. Simeon could take them, he guessed. But if he started anything now, he could miss a grand opportunity.
                He tried to calm down, normally the ship rocking underfoot, with that familiar sway, worked like a lullaby. But it was not enough to soothe his foul mood today. The officers had taken one look at his ship from afar and had stopped him leaving the docks ‘till they had scoured every inch. Simeon hadn’t been to Popping-by-the-Sea for many years, not since the Barbaran Uprising when the vassal Lord took his host north and left the town ripe for plunder. Surely Ol’ Lord Weston aint still sore about that?
                Regardless, they couldn’t do anything to Simeon unless they found some proof, and they wouldn’t find squat here. He hoped that was riling them up. But they’ve been bloody searching for “three hours! Is this really necessary?” the same officer narrowed his eyes at Simeon, but said nothing. “I do have a lot o' have customers to sell to, y’know, a living to earn and the like—“
                “—silence scum. We know just what you are and we’ll keep you in irons all night if that’s how long it takes. Seems to me as you might as well confess.” The beginnings of a smile crept onto the man’s face.
                “Bugger it, you wait!” Simeon felt his own face redden deeply. They were intentionally taking the piss. “I’ll petition to your Lord about this.” he felt his fist clench and unclench, trying to release some rage before he decked the man.
                The guard let out a long, slow laugh designed to bait him. If he punched the officer, he’d go straight to jail, pirate or no. “Our word against yours, scum.” Then the officer scratched his chin. “Let me see your papers again.”
                “You already read them three times!” but he grabbed them from on top of a nearby box and smacked them into the waiting, open palm. The officer licked his thumb, his eyes lazily drifting across the page. As he did so, Simeon decided it was time for a different tactic.
                He leant against the same box. “You know, I’m sure you guys are too busy to be spending a whole day searching one ship. What’s say we grab you an ale and be on our way.” The officer raised an eyebrow, but kept his attention seemingly on the papers. “Maybe I’ll even reward you for your good work.”
                The officer finally looked up. “Oh, so tempting. Or we could take your whole ship and keep the coin for ourselves. You being in prison would just make that day all the brighter. The world needs less of people like you.” Simeon could have laughed at that, and said the exact same back.
                “Not without that proof though, eh?” Simeon stood right in front of the officer, whose hand moved straight for his knife. “And if it comes to that...” he looked down briefly and laughed. “Well I’d do anything for this ol’ gal. I’d kill for her.” His voice was little more than a whisper.
                The officer’s own voice broke slightly as he tried to speak, he coughed and began again. “Is that a threat, sir?” 
                A threat could land him a fine, if not a pair of manacles. Being intimidating within the law was a real pain. “I don’t do threats, I’d like it if you boys left, and soon.” He stepped closer, as if that were possible, and the man retreated a step. He was almost shaking.
                “Make us,” he spoke, his voice quite the squeak. Simeon hadn’t noticed he was now surrounded. And he had no weapons either. Cowards, I could still take them all though.
                And the other two began to advance.

The End

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