Haunting Memories on the Battlefield
Restlessness and a sudden and brooding mood had roused her fully from an attempt at sleep that had been doomed from the start. For most of the night and much of the early morning, she had lain in bed, eyes locked on the ceiling. The idea of sleep a tempting impossibility.
The weight of Christophe’s parting comment, made last night, had been added onto the burden of knowledge of what that dreadful notice had so arrogantly demanded, and eventually had succeeded in digging old hurts and memories up from where they rested, making sleep the impossibility it was. She now paces the length of her cabin, back and forth, endlessly. The last plaguing dregs of a dream she's surprised she managed to have in her current state, harassing her mind. One that she's encountered since childhood … since that dreadful day. And one she could never seem to fully remember . . .
A finely tailored, gray dress ... skirts twirling outward. Thick, dark and waving hair, falling over slender shoulders and milk and honey skin. Amber eyes, lit by a fire burning from within ... a woman so beautiful she could be mistaken for dream and fantasy ... a wonderful and lively musing of the mind, make believe. The angelic sound of her laughter surrounding her, her joy never ending.
If Margaux closes her eyes, she knows that she will see the woman as clearly as if she had never left her, abandoned and alone in a cold and political palace, that had never been home to her or to the woman ... her mother. She shakes her head angrily, for she knows also and is constantly reminded, that were she to take one of those rare and fleeting glances in the mirror, a younger though perfect replica of her mother would stare straight back at her.
Her own and striking amber eyes, not filled with joy but yet, with the same fire as that of her mother. Margaux had been forced to come to the conclusion some time ago that no matter how strong her efforts, no matter how strong her will ... the late queen of Lune Noire ... would forever haunt her thoughts and dreams.
* * * * *
Margaux sits on a bar stool in the kitchens, arms crossed on the narrow wooden table in front of her, her mood still a bit more dampered than she cares for, and sandwiched in between Lorin and Christophe in the place where they generally met up to eat their breakfasts.
They now wait for Zoé, a worker in the kitchens and the daughter of the head chef on the Dead Rose’s staff. A close friend of Margaux, Christophe and Lorin alike. When she returns with the small portions of food, which in Margaux’s opinion, cannot truly be considered as “breakfast”, there would only be one of them missing. Christophe takes that moment to speak what’s on her mind.
“Anyone have any clue when we’re docking in Soleil to pick retrieve Remy?” He asks, running a hand through his black as midnight hair.
“I heard she was going to meet up with us on the water somehow.” Lorin responds, in the middle of braiding her long, blond ponytail. “Starting to miss her too?”
“Of course,” he responds indignantly, sending her a withering glare. “She’s been off on her own longer than usual.”
“That’s true, but we need whatever she manages to bring back and if it takes time, well …” Lorin trails off, tying off the end of the braid and shrugging her shoulders helplessly.
“Remy’s always done her best work alone. Don’t worry big guy, we can trust her to be safe.” Margaux says, as she rolls a golden coin between her knuckles. Over and over, the sunlight streaming through a window causing its reflection to glimmer and dance on the table.
Christophe looks between them both, a frown on his face, “Don’t act like you guys could care less.”
She casts him a sidelong glance, catching the coin with a flourish of golden light, “Chris, you know how we all feel about Remy. It just doesn’t make much sense to get ourselves worked up over something we can’t do anything to change. Quite frankly, she’s on her own. But she’s a big girl, she can take care of herself just fine. We’ll see her soon enough.”
Zoé takes that moment to enter the room, clad in her chef whites. Her arms laden with a large tray, holding what looked like fruit, drink and …
“Oatmeal,” Margaux and Lorin mutter together and with no lack of distastefulness on either of their parts.
“Always with the oatmeal,” Margaux groans as Chris swings his long legs around and heads over to lessen some of the load Zoé bore. Funny the times he decides to show off the gentleman inside, she thinks, bitterly. Not that it’s underserved or unneeded on Zoé’s part.
She's a slight girl, and as Christophe and Zoé start back toward them, Chris having taken the whole tray (the bastard), Margaux can see that she hardly reaches his shoulder. Not that Margaux can say much in that regard because when considered in a matter of height, she is found lacking as well. Come at her about anything else and she'll give anyone a run for their money. Or just take it ... she did love her money.
Zoé’s usually waist length and flowing auburn colored hair, is tied back in a leather skin hair tie. A brilliant and beautiful smile lighting on her pretty face as she comes to stand in front of their table.
“Good Morning,” she says, her bright smile never wavering. Forever the cheery one in the group.
“Good Morning,” they all respond in turn. Margaux rests her chin on a closed fist, watching the proceedings with a flat stare, having slipped her coin into a pocket.
Taking back over the tray that Chris had set on the table, Zoé passes out spoons, glasses and plates full of the monstrosity known as oatmeal. Margaux, staring dejectedly at the bowl of mush before her, is just lifting a spoonful to her mouth when the kitchen doors slam open, causing her head to whip around.
Henry, a carpenter on the ship and skilled at his job, stands panting in the doorway as he tries to catch his breath.
Margaux stands along with Chris, Lorin and Zoé, pushing back her stool with a boot, “What’s going on?” She asks warily, sensing trouble and knowing she most likely will not take pleasure in his answer.
“A ship,” he croaked, a hand to his chest, still attempting to ease his labored breathing.
“Well, now. Didn’t that clear things up exponentially?” Chris snarks, but Margaux can tell that beneath his sarcasm was a mirror of her own nervousness. Something was off.
“A naval ship," he says, causing her heart to stop. How had they found her ... and so quickly, she wonders, her eyes widening as he continues, "One of the King’s. Close behind us.” Henry lifts his head and looks up at her. “We must prepare ourselves for battle.”