Just Around the Bend
The crew is already congregated on the beach by the ship, when Margaux and Lorin reach them. Bonfires blaze toward the star speckled sky. Laughter, and cheers fill the space with a sense of merriness. When her fellow pirates spot her, the cheers start up again, louder now, but she holds up a hand, halting them when they’re midway out of mouths. She scans the crowd for MaÎtress, spotting the pirate off to the side, and starts toward him. Watchingas his smile of joy, turns into a look of confusion at what must be her expression.
“He knows something’s amiss,” Lorin says, still at her side. “I wonder how he’s going to take this.”
“Not well,” Margaux mutters, lengthening her stride as pirates of the crew reach out to her, men and women alike, MaÎtress was not one to discriminate. She brushes them all off, not having time for celebration. But one pirate refuses to be brushed off. Instead, he jumps directly into her path, a huge and devilishly handsome grin on his face, but blocking MaÎtress from view all the same. She scowls, he lives and breathes to piss me off …
“This is not the time for games, Chris.” She growls.
“Whoever said I was playing, sweetheart,” he inquires, his ice blue eyes flashing in his ever flirtatious way. Not caring to take part in his games, she attempts to dash around him. Christophe is not swayed or caught off guard in the least. Instead, he effortlessly dances back into her path again, and pulls her into a hug chuckling, and smelling of cinnamon and cologne.
“Happy -,” She pushes a hand forward, slamming him back. She then, unable to control the urge to knock the buffoon down, replicates the move she pulled on the dead man back in the alley. In less than a second, Christophe is on his back, laughing along with the rest of the Roses, who were now throwing out lewd comments and catcalls. Margaux, too angry and confused to feed into their jeers, shoves the notice in her hand at Christophe, who takes it, still on his back. His laughter comes to a sudden halt.
His vivid sapphire eyes meet hers, seeming to glow in the firelight. He gets up, all joking obviously having been set aside. Christophe’s face is inches from hers suddenly, dark eyebrows furrowed, when he spits out, “What. Is. This?” The words are hissed angrily, a possessiveness in his eyes that she doesn’t care for or want.
“What does it look like?” She hisses back, as angry as him. Snatching the notice from his hand, that had been crushing it; she pushes around him, and makes the rest of the way to join MaÎtress and Lorin - who had already made her way over - without interruption, the Roses around her having taken the hint, quieting down, and allowing her to pass. The Captain’s face is solely dark clouds and shadows as she comes to stand before him, Lorin must have cued him in already.
“Let me have a look, see what it says exactly.” She nods numbly, and hands him the notice, a written decree from King Labelle himself. She watches as he skims over the public sign. When he looks up his eyes connect with hers for a second, that same possessiveness there, though his was warranted because it is parental, before he raises his gaze to all the pirates standing before him.
“Fellow Pirates!” He bellows, stepping forward and stealing the attention of all. “It seems, that we may have gathered tonight for celebration, to instead be faced with a problem that we all believed to be behind us.” He looks behind him to her at that, an anger she knows is not directed at herself, sparking in eyes that were fathomless pools of sea green in that moment. “The king has issued a decree! A decree that states … that the Lost Princess must be found and returned!” The crowd goes silent, and all stares, slowly come to rest on Margaux, who leans against Lorin for support, her knees having given out. This can’t be happening …
“The king wishes for the princess to be delivered back unto his court! He has placed a bounty on her head, an ungodly sum of money! He has dispatched his best ships and sailors to scour land and sea in quest to find her. All for my daughter,” he points a strong finger at Margaux absently, too caught up in his rant to face her. “Your sister, your friend. The child that years ago, was taken from him, yes. But who now stands as her own person, a strong and formidable woman! This man asks for her to be placed back into his hands. I ask you my Roses, will we let this happen?”
“NO!” They all roar, a united and unanimous battle cry, capable of making an army of infinite number, scurry home to the warmth of their beds.
“I ask you again my Roses, WILL WE STAND FOR THIS?” MaÎtress roars himself.
“NO!” They yell, Margaux begins to stand taller, prouder. Unafraid of what may be around the next bend, knowing that the strength of her crew is at her back.
Her father, the only one she recognizes, turns to her, smiling with a fierce determination that she had seen many times before. “Happy Birthday, my daughter and don’t you worry,” He winked. “You’re not going anywhere.”
Those last four words were the best birthday present she could ever receive, for she was Margaux Labelle, and her life of piracy wasn’t even close to over yet.