This is just a small 4 page part of the new book I'm working on. I posted it upon request by some of my fans. This scene is when the main character is meeting Theo for the first time on his boat. Both characters play very important scenes throughout the book.
It was early evening when our carriage came to a stop at the port of Brisktown. From here, we would travel by boat to the western isles.
As I exited the carriage, I saw for the first time; the ocean.
The huge body of water wrapped around the port like a giant. Breathing out waves the rocked the docked ships like little toys.The largest, heaviest, and most powerful thing on Earth now laid stretched out before me like a magnificent, translucent god, and I felt suddenly very inferior to its presence. I yearned to be part of it. To be as strong and free as the ocean one day.
“We made good time.” Lady Nephelle breathed happily stretching from her seat. “Nolad, what is the hour?”
Noland, Elken’s advisor, answered with; “It is six oclock.”
“That cannot be right.” I spoke up quickly. Noland gave me a puzzled look and showed me his pocket watch. It was right.
But my internal body clock told me it was five. Where had it gone wrong? Was I losing one of my abilities?
I tried to hide my concern as we left the carriage and walked down towards the pier.
The closer I came to the sea, the more I could feel its strength overwhelm me. The flow of the waves seemed to mimic my bloodstream, moving to the steady rhythm of my heartbeat and lungs. Did everyone feel like this in the presence of the ocean? Nearing the dock, my eyes fell to a long, slim, beautiful boat with billowing white sails and hand carved masts.
A man hopped out of the boat onto the port as we grew closer. One could easily mistake him for a small bear. He was large and broad with big hands and a strong chest. His hair was a dark, brick red, like rust, and the scruff growing around his face seemed to match his happy, toothy grin.
He raised a hand in greeting and Naphelle gave a cry of joy.
“Oh, Theo!” She cheered and rushed down to the pier to embrace him, little Elizabeth right on her trail.
The man known as Theo hugged the Lady Naphelle tightly, and Elizabeth after, laughing and talking with them as Elken, Noland and I approached.
I wondered who this man was. He was dressed like a lowly fisherman but held himself like a noble. He smelled salty like the sea but was well groomed and clean like a prince. I did not know what to make of him.
“Theo, what brings you here? Shouldn’t you be waiting at the manor?” Sir Elken sighed.
“Bah, it was boring there.I wanted to spend the day on the sea. I came to see if little Lizzy would like to ride back to the manor with me.” Theo huffed, winking at Elizabeth.
Naphelle laughed. “Always thinking of Elizabeth you are. Enough to make me jealous.” She said.
Elken wrinkled his nose. “Shouldn’t you be focusing on your studies? You don’t have time to be playing with your boats.”
“I am mostly finished with them.” Theo shrugged. “You cannot blame me for wanting to meet up after you have all been gone for so long.” He nodded to the boat. “Besides, Lady Vivian here needed to be taken out. She must not rust.”
“A wooden boat cannot rust.”
“Sure it can.”
As my eyes scanned the boat so named lady Vivian, I suddenly felt the urge to take it to sea. To be surrounded by the salty ocean and to be free from land.
And, like a child, without me even realizing it, I found myself tugging on Theo’s white cotton shirt.
“I wish to ride in Lady Vivian.” I said.
With the speed of an animal, and before I have even realized what I had just said, Theo had turned to face me. He knelt down on one knee and held out his hand.
“A fellow sailor!” He beamed.
“Not a sailor.” Lady Naphelle laughed. “But our new stable boy.”
Theo gave Lady Naphelle a curious look. “Stable boy?” He asked. “What of Phillipe?”
“He will be Noir’s instructor. Noir wished to train under him as an apprentice.” Naphelle explained.
“Noir, huh?” Theo grinned at me. I could see several crinkles at the corner of his eyes, showing he smiled a lot. “Nice to meet you.” He chuckled. “So you wish to feel the freedom of riding in the Lady Vivian?” He looked over at Elizabeth. “You want to come with me? It will be faster than taking the ferry with the others.”
“I wish I could.” Elizabeth smiled. “But mother and I planned to do a few more things in Brisktown. You should go back to the manor without me.”
Theo gasped in mock-horror. “Abandoned by my own sister!” He cried. I felt my eyes widen. Sister? Then that must have meant-
Theo laughed at my shocked expression. “You too, eh?” He chortled. “Don’t worry, everybody’s surprised to learn the Lady Naphelle is the mother of a handsome, strapping man of twenty such as myself.”
I did my best to hide my surprise while Theo turned back to the others.
“So you had better all head to the ferry then.” He said, then turned to me. “Except you.” He smiled. “You may ride back to the manor on the boat with me if you so choose.”
I nodded. “I wish to go on Lady Vivian.”
“Then it’s settled! Noir will come back with me to the manor!” Theo slapped my shoulder playfully.
“Very well, have a safe voyage.” Said Lady Naphelle. “We will see you later this evening. Have cook prepare something warm won’t you? It’s been rather rainy the past few days.”
“Sure thing, mother.” Theo saluted, then turned to face me again. “Ready to ride the fastest boat of the western isles, Noir?”
I nodded, and, just like that, Tho scooped me up as if I were nothing more than a curtain drape and tossed me into the boat. He jumped in behind me and accepted several bags and luggage from the carriage so they would not take up room on the ferry. Then, after exchanging words with Naphelle and Elizabeth, he untethered the boat and pushed away from the dock and let the wind carry us out to sea.
The boat moved over the waves with amazing speed and grace. The salty water splashed up a heavy mist that speckled my face and clothes. Here, on the ocean, moving across the water with such elegance; I truly felt free.
“Be sure not to fall off, lad.” Theo called, and I realized how far I was leaning off the side of the boat. I pulled back and set me gaze to the horizon, where the sky met the sea in a wide emptiness.
I glanced at Theo as he pressed an amber bead to my palm. “Do you know what this is for?” He asked. I nodded.
“For smooth sailing.” I said, and tossed the bead into the frothy waves. “A gift to the sea.”
“So, Noir.” He said. “Where did my mother pick you up at? You must be pretty good with horses for her to accept your apprentanceship to Phillipe.”
I looked out over the ocean. “I was a stableboy in Folktown.” I fibbed. “The Lady Naphelle invited me to join her at Rhystone.”
“Simple and to the point.” Theo laughed. “I did not expect my mother to return from her journeys with a new face among them, but perhaps it is well off. You seem like an interesting character. Things may not be so boring around here now.”
“I would not imagine the life of horse racers boring.” I stated. Theo chuckled.
“Our family is known for breeding fantastic racehorses.” He said. “But I do not find much interest in that. I would rather live my life on the sea. I wish to own an entire shipyard someday!”
“What an odd dream.” I sniffed. Who would want to dedicate their life to fixing up old boats?
“Yes, that is what sir Elken says.” Theo laughed. “He does not approve of my interest. Neither did the Lord of the Manor. But, of course, he is gone now.”
“Your father.” I said slowly.
“Step father.” Theo corrected. “My mother married him when I was very young. We never did get along, him and I.”
“Bet it was strange.” I said. “Suddenly becoming a noble like that.”
“You bet it was.” Theo huffed. “I never did adjust to it. And so help me, if you ever call me sir Theo I’ll box your ears.”
I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit. This man was strange, but he was also very friendly. Somehow, it was contagious.
Theo smiled at me. “I like you, Noir.” He said. “Listen, I would like it if we could be friends. I’ve got enough enemies as it is. Elken being one of them. But with someone like you around, things may be more lively.”
I was quiet. Friends? I'd never had any before.
“How do you go about deciding who you wish to be friends with?” I asked with a slightly sarcastic tone.
Theo sneered. “Well, most of the time they don’t mock me.” He joked. “But I’ll forgive you this time. So come on tell me about yourself.”
What was it with this family and wanting to know more about me? Didn’t they understand it was personal? What I wished to tell, I would tell. What I did not, well, they wouldn’t get it out of me. Not in a million years.
Theo sensed my hesitation.
“Not a very open book?” He guessed. “Then how about this? You tell me something about yourself, and in return you can ask me anything you want. About me, about the manor, about the people there. I will tell you.”
I bit my lip. That seemed like a fair deal. The more I knew about the manor beforehand, the more it would benefit me.
“I like charms.” I said. “I like to memorize them. Charms, spells, superstitions, all of them.”
Theo nodded. “Explains how a boy all the way from Folktown would know about an amber bead being a gift to the sea.” He said. Then grinned. “Okay, very good. You can ask me anything.”
I thought for a moment.
“What does Lady Naphelle love above anything else?” I asked. If I knew what she truly loved. I would feel safer. I would always have an upper hand if I ever needed it. And that would benifit me.
Theo laughed. “It is no secret that she loves Lizzy and I!” He said.
“What does Sir Elken love?” I asked.
“Hey now, that’s two questions in a row.” Theo smiled. “But that’s alright, I’ll give it to you for free. Sir Elken loves the manor.”
Made sense I supposed. Being the cousin of the late Lord of the Manor; this estate was probably the most important thing to his family name.
Theo held out his arms. “Would you like to know what I love best?” He asked.
“I think I already know.” I said, patting the boat. Theo chuckled.
“No, I would say I love boats second best.” He said. “But come here, you shall see why.”
He directed me over to the helm and gestured for me to take the wheel.
“I will crash your boat.” I said uncertainly.
“Oh, you will not.” Theo insisted. “Come one, give it a try.”
Slowly, I grabbed the wheel tightly in my hands and faced the front of the ship.
All at once, I could feel the power of the sea surging through my entire body. The currents, the waves, the push and pull of the tide. But now I could bend it all to my will. I could manipulate the ship to use the sea’s strength to benefit me and take me where I wanted to go. I had such control, such power, over the strongest body on Earth with only this small boat.
“And on your first try!” Theo exclaimed, watching me direct the ship through the waves. “Surely, you have sailed before!”
“I saw the ocean for the first time just today.” I insisted.
“Incredible.” Theo smiled. “You were certainly built for the sea, Noir.”
I was going to reply, but instead I felt another strange sensation. It was as if the center of the world suddenly wanted to inhale and pull everything inward. Everything turned backwards and began to work the opposite direction, towards the mouth of this invisible monster.
“What’s going on? What is happening?” I cried, letting go of the helm. Theo looked puzzled and sniffed the air.
“The tide has just changed.” He said simply. “But surely you can’t mean that?”
“No, it can’t be that.” I said, but it was. It all made sense now. The flow of time through my bloodstream, my internal body clock, it was set with the tide. The time had seemed off to me because I had moved from the inland towards the ocean. But now, as my body clock corrected itself to match the tide, I felt relieved. I was not losing my powers. Rather, I was beginning to realize just how powerful my abilities really were.