Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Salvage pt2

The first man who'd come to her little crate raft had roused her enough that her eyes were open and her fingers curled tightly around her dagger, she would have driven it into his chest but he swam off to aide another.

When the next came for her with his dingy, her gaze was guarded and cool, the dagger raised in warning when he reached for her, but lowered to allow him to pull her onto the small boat. Her fingers dug into his shoulder as he lifted her and she growled softly. She was not fatally injured but enough to cause her pain, which she did not like at all. Once he had her settled, she stared at him, wounded and at his mercy yet full of fire. She could not remember her own name but knew about the sea, ships, sailors, pirates.. and a host of 'finer' topics.

Josette wrapped her arms tightly around the man who rescued her from sinking, clinging to him in thanks and exhuastion. She gasped for air for a few moments , taking in deep breaths once she could. "Thank you.." Her dress was not as fine as the lady on the crate nor were her jewels as large, but in her hair and around her neck one could see the glint of what she did have, especially up close. Her chest heaved with gasping breaths now that she could take in air again, being sucked down had frightened her considerably and for a moment she'd thought she was a goner. Her lips brushed his cheek softly in thanks, though they were cool from her time in the water. As the other boat approached to get them, Josette clung a little tighter to Corvid? she heard the other man's voice call him. She was glad to be saved yet afraid.. these men were strangers to her and she knew nothing of their intentions or what sort of ship they came from. Between her legs she could barely feel the purse she'd tied and hidden there, hoping that she'd survive and knowing she'd need what she had to continue on... what if they took it from her? What if they did much worse than rob her? She'd known pirates and they weren't always the nicest of men, at this point she was unsure of what sort they were and couldn't assume.

He'd seen the hint of sparkle and had from the distance. He had an unusual eye for that sort of thing which he hoped at some point would make him a valuable and hopefully indispensable member of the crew. The sparkle at this distance caught his eye more as did the show of her gratitude. Likely that would be short lived once the first mate decided which of her sparkles were meant to be shared. "Save your voice and breathe. Nearly there," he told her, turning them toward Nance and her friend he saw being peeled from the water now. "Help her!" He called out himself as they reached the boat.

Her skirts were heavy with water and she was chilled, she somewhat huddled into Venge as he pulled them up along the small boat. She kicked her legs to help them keep afloat but heeded his suggestion about speaking. She had little to say anyhow, Josette wouldn't forget his deed, but was frightened of what the future might bring her aboard this ship.

She'd been married to three pirates already, so she knew of their stock and tales of their exploits at sea. She couldn't see what colors the ship was flying if any, so she couldn't be certain where it hailed from or what kind of sailors she had on board.

Josette let Nance and Venge both help her onto the dingy, holding onto Venge's hand for a bit longer than needed before letting go. She sort of curled to try to stay warm, looking back at the man who'd dove under the water and saved her.

He looked at the cargo they had and pulled himself up with the others. "Nice haul," he muttered, looking over both girls, moreso the one whose skirts had been mostly been left behind.

"Aye, I suppose we should get them on board and come back for the valuables," Nance teased with a cool tone, hearing Vic fall over himself and the boat's side while trying to hold it steady for them all. He was also keenly aware of the defensive pose of the girl in his lap and was more concerned she'd jerk up suddenly and pull them all over, taking them to Davy herself. "Steady Mister Corvid and mind what you've got your hands full of already. Once they're stowed, there'll be plenty of time for getting acquainted and counting out what you're owed." His knee shifted for his foot to clear the boy's flop into the remaining space, shifting the girl in his own lap more than he'd intended in the process. "That'd be, getting you on our ship, there, where you can dry and rest, miss. You can stop looking murderous now or we can put you back in the drink if that's more to your liking."

"You'll do nothing of the sort! She's fine. They're both fine," Vic insisted, setting his oar to the water.

Josette looked between the two men and closed her eyes for half a moment, whispering a soft prayer to herself and then opening her eyes to find the young man who'd pulled her from the water gazing at her. She offered him a slight smile and met his eyes for a moment before averting hers. You'd think being married to a pirate or three would have prepared her for something like this, but no it only helped to worry her more. Her fingers played with the gold band on her finger and her gaze stayed on what was left of the skirt of the black dress she wore, it had been proper attire for a widow when it was whole. She was cold and wet and probably looked awful but was suddenly keenly aware of how much of her skirt had been cut away. Her last husband, for the short time they had been married before his death had been sort of obsessed with her legs. The thought of him brought a frown to her face and she let go of the ring she'd been fiddling with.

She was jolted by the movement of the man who's lap she was in and her fingers tightened on the handle of her dagger, barely holding back from sinking it into his leg. Her head tipped as Nance spoke and she bared her teeth at him slightly, glaring with what strength she had left. "I'll look how I look until I look differently.. throw me in the water if you wish to try.." Her free hand lifted to wipe away the blood that ran from the cut above her eye.

If Corvid took to rowing as quickly as he took to the girls, they'd be back for the rest of the cargo in two shakes, though Nance suspected he might be rowing back alone. The other dinghy was back for more itself and hauling a fair amount back to share. All survivors to be found included these two yet to be brought up. Nance watched the girls carefully and moved smoothly, slowly, directing the oar in his hands around the girl with him to show her that he had no intention of striking her, but the look in her eyes... He kept expecting her to simply spit out a crab at him after her words were spit so sharply. "Aye miss. No one will ask any different, then. Look alive Corvid. Their wet skirts aren't all that's twisted. Let's get them aboard."

That bit of sparkle didn't escape his attention either, watching her twist the ring then seem as though it had shocked her hand into letting go of it suddenly. Pieced together it made some manner of sense. "I'm sorry," he muttered for her to hear, sincere for her mourning as he motioned a cross and silently held a moment for them both. He scarcely heard Nance's jibes but the tone was clear and Vic shot him a glance in return. Twisted? We'll see, he considered, grinning and rowing harder now as the man teased. "Are you both alright to climb, or be carried?"

"It's climb aboard or be dumped back in the drink." She hissed quietly at Corvid, her sharp eyes narrowing on the younger one as she shifted gingerly, settling more fully against Nance's lap and finding herself lightheaded again. "I suppose we will find out which it is when we get to the ship, yes?" Behind the full skirt and hidden from view her hand dug slightly where she held onto Nance's leg for balance and her weight came more heavily against him.

Her head lifted at Corvid's words and she gave him a faint smile and a simple nod of his head. He couldn't be so terrible to show such compassion and notice that she'd been toying with the ring. Her gaze drifted again to each of the three on the dingy with her. "I can help her.. I think I'm mostly fine.." They seemed genuinely sincere in their concern and intent of her and the other woman's well being, but who could be sure of anything yet? She offered another smile to the young man as he watched her again and then one to the older man as well. Her gaze kept darting back to Venge though she tried not to, he was quite handsome and well she'd never had a choice in who she married and there wasn't much attraction to those men on her part.

Nance leaned down briefly as her hand clutched tighter on him. Surely she knew exactly where her hand was. "Careful love... that's not made of wood," he cautioned, but let her get herself comfortable if it would keep her from slipping over the edge. He nodded to the other girl as he straightened and ignored the grip in his flesh to row steadily. "If she'll let go, you can help her with that scratch, too. Not much further." Good thing for that. Having a powderkeg resting against him as she was would feel safer at the moment than he felt, hoping she didn't move too much.

The woman's head turned toward Nance, she smiled, her eyes shuttering in a way that said she was thinking something wicked as Nance whispered to her. "Mm but something certainly feels like it is back there." She murmured in return, she was resting against him, not really holding herself up much at the moment, trying to save her strength for when she'd need it again.

Vic pulled in his oars and reached back for the ropes as they came up against the ship. "We're here. Time to go," he said, holding the rope with one hand and reaching to help the widow with the other.

"Clever..." Nance muttered and found no other words to suit him. There wasn't much that caused him to turn a shade, but a shade if not two darkened Nance's cheek briefly. He'd cough away the embarrassment but with her situated as she was, that was likely the worst choice and would make her point all the more clear... or rather his own. He instead put that force into his oars and straightened the boat up to the Opal's side where waiting hands reached down for the keg and a hand up to those climbing aboard.

"Thank you." Josette said directly to Venge, it was sincere and she almost dared to kiss his cheek again before carefully getting to her feet and allowing herself to be pulled up after the powderkeg. She glanced back at the man before she was helped over the side of the ship and onto the deck. She was then shuffled over to the small group of survivors that had been pulled up.

It was her turn and she knew they would take the dagger from her as she came up and if she fought them it would make things worse. With a sigh she eased off Nance's lap and turned to him, the weariness was showing a little in her gaze. She held her dagger out to him, handle first. "If you'd please keep this safe for me?"

His face knotted and his scar showed deeply though briefly. Nance nodded and took the blade carefully, tucking it into the back of his belt for now. He somewhat understood, but why was she trusting him? "Get on ye and get that cut looked after," he said, helping her to right herself and climb up if she was able. He hesitated only wondering if he shouldn't carry her. He was still a captain in his own way, concerned about all he sailed with though the winds of fortune made him sail a different sort of course now. "If you need help..." He somehow felt saying more would be taken as insult instead of assistance.

Stepping away from the rail where he watched Nance and Corvid with their own 'bounty', it was time to check the status of their other finds and ensure they didn't stay too long in unfriendly water unless the cannons were readied. "Two more coming aboard, Captain. Injuries, but I think they'll live. Your orders?" Will wasn't sure what her intentions would be with the survivors, at least those that survived longer than the few minutes they had them on deck.

One man, mostly gray already when hoisted aboard had breathed his last and was being tossed back out to sea again, less his boots and usable wares and whatever coin he'd left to the living. Little ceremony was given beyond the men's fingers crossing over their chests and shoulders for his remains before the surf took him under.. he was Davy's now to keep.

"Yes sir." She replied with a weak smile as she let him help her up, she looked back at him as he offered more help. Growling lightly, she bared her teeth at him. "I'll be sure to claw the eyes out of the person closest to me in order to get your attention." She smirked and turned away clenching her jaw to keep from crying out as she was jarred in being pulled up.

The next two survivors were brought up, even though one was wounded they looked better off than the rest. The only other woman had expired and they were taking her valuables and tossing her over board. Josette chose to stand near the 'rich' woman even if she was a little scary as they watched the men dispose of the not long lasting survivors.

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