|10-08-2005, 07:47 PM||#1|
Blue Crack Supplier
Join Date: Mar 2005
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On the rising tide chapter 7
** Disclaimer: the following is a work of fiction and in no way meant to be mistaken for reality. Inspired by real people, but purely and completely false and written without the consent of any of those people. No offense is intended to anyone. It’s all meant in good fun.__________________
On the rising tide Chapter 7
“So, how did you manage to come by the money you needed for all our wages and the rooms at the inn?” Paul asked Larry once they were in the relative solitude of his cabin.
“I met with Adam’s contact. He needed someone to ship some fragile goods. Some sort of artwork or something. He paid more than I was asking because he was eager to get it moving and I told him we could leave by tomorrow afternoon.” Larry replied, sitting on the bench and leaning forward with his hands on his knees. “Paul? I’ve known you my whole life. I respect you.”
“Thank you.” Paul said pausingly. He watched Larry warily and waited for the rest of whatever it was he was trying to say. Larry’s pursed lips and shadowy eyes told him it was not another compliment.
“Did you know Carra went ashore alone last night?” He asked and Paul let out a heavy sigh.
“I did.” He confessed. “Which is not to say that I approved. Larry, you know Carra as well as I do. When she gets something in her head, there’s no telling her not to do it. She reminds me so much of her mother sometimes…”
“I’m sorry. I have no memory of your wife at all.”
“No, you wouldn’t. I’m not certain you ever met her, to be truthful. Did you know that she was the inspiration for the aingeal’s name?” he asked with a wistful smile. Larry nodded. He’d been told that once, by his father. He’d never known Paul to talk about her, though. “She was my stubborn angel.” Paul laughed.
“Well Carra’s certainly got the stubborn part down.” Larry grumbled, and Paul chuckled and nodded his head.
“Much like someone else I spend a great deal of time with.” He teased, and Larry smiled crookedly. He couldn’t deny his own mule-headed nature. Paul sat down next to him on the bench, looking the young man in the eye. “Did you know, when she was born, there was talk of a betrothal between you?”
“What?” Larry asked, his back stiffening as he drew back from Paul in shock. Paul laughed at his expression and continued.
“Your father and I considered arranging for the two of you to marry when you came of age. Pass the aingeal on to members of both of our households that way.”
“Why did you change your minds?”
“Because we saw the two of you growing up together. Saw how much alike you were. We were convinced the chances of children coming out of such a marriage before you killed one another was fairly unlikely.” Paul replied, patting Larry on the shoulder and laughing at his own joke. Larry smiled, though the smile did not reach his eyes. “Though I do think of you as my son, all the same.”
“Thank you.” Larry mumbled.
“For considering you a son, or for calling of the betrothal?” Paul laughed, and Larry could not repress a chuckle of his own.
“Ah, well… both.” He replied playfully.
Larry stood watch on the dock as the stevedores were loading the cargo the following morning, taking inventory as it was carried past in crates and barrels. When a man approached him and began asking him something in Spanish, Larry’s focus was split. He directed the stevedores to separate the fragile cargo he was now shipping for Adam’s contact and stow it away from the rest. It was worth three times as much as everything else he was hauling.
He recognized only a few of the words the little man was saying, as Larry did not speak fluent Spanish. Paul did most of the translating, but he was taking care of the food supplies and had not yet returned to the ship. Larry asked the man to repeat himself, but still wasn’t certain what he wanted. He frowned and looked in the direction the man was pointing and saw Carra on the dock, playing with that damned cat.
“You want the cat?” Larry asked, arching an eyebrow at the man, who nodded emphatically.
“Si.” He seemed very excited. Perhaps, Larry thought, he was just relieved that Larry understood him finally.
“Take it.” Larry agreed with a nod and a dismissive wave of his hand. The man took one of Larry’s hands in both of his and shook it enthusiastically before pressing several coins into his palm and turning to collect his purchase. Larry looked at the coins in surprise, wondering why a man would pay so much for a wretched little creature such as a cat. His mind was taken off the question, however, when he heard the sound of a crate being dropped and tumbling back down the gangway.
“Watch it! That crates worth more than you are!” Larry yelled at the careless stevedore.
“Hey! Get your bleedin’ hands off of me, you little …” He heard Carra shouting behind him. He turned to see the little man wrestling with Carra. If the man had much knowledge of the English language, he would not have liked the words Carra was spewing at him as she tried to wrestle her wrists free of his grasp. Larry turned and started that way, breaking into a jog when he saw the man raise his hand to her.
It might’ve been better for the man, if Larry had reached him first. As it was, when he released one of Carra’s wrists to try and slap her into submission she had landed the first blow with a closed fist. As he reeled back in surprise, Carra bent to draw a slender dagger from her boot and pointed it at the man threateningly.
“Carra! What in bloody hell are you thinking?” Larry growled, reaching up to grab her hand and force her to lower the dagger. “It’s just a fucking cat!”
“What?” She snapped, her green eyes burning bright with emotion. The little man was now yelling at him in Spanish, speaking so quickly that he could not understand even one word.
“Woah, woah! What seems to be the problem, here?” Adam asked, hurrying off the ship and down the dock toward them. He, like everyone else on the ship, the neighboring ships, or anywhere near the dock, had seen the fight. Larry, Carra and the little man all began speaking at once, all raising their voices to try and be heard over the others.
Adam held up his hands to silence them, resting a hand on the Spaniards shoulder and asking him in fluent Spanish what had happened. Larry and Carra watched the man, both standing there with their arms crossed over their chests and matching scowls. Adam let out a shout of laughter at something the Spaniard told him, and shook his head. He spoke to the man for a moment, gesturing at Larry and Carra while he did.
The Spaniard was obviously not pleased, but by the end of Adam’s explanation he was considerably less agitated. He said something to Adam, holding out his hand toward Larry.
“He wants his money.” Adam explained, and Larry fished the coins from his pocket and slapped them into the mans hand. No amount of money was worth this. Between Carra’s nearly assaulting the man and the fact that everyone was staring at them, Larry was practically squirming with discomfort. Adam bid the Spaniard farewell and the man hurried away, tossing a disgusted look over his shoulder at them.
“What the fuck was that?” Larry asked, directing the question to Carra more than Adam. He’d never imagined she would put up such a violent fight over a stupid animal.
“What the fuck was…. ? I’ll tell you what the fuck that was! You just fucking SOLD me!” Carra yelled at him, her temper stoked higher than ever.
“What? No, I…” Larry shook his head to try and explain, but he saw Adam standing behind Carra, nodding his head. He was also grinning, not even trying to repress his amusement at the situation. “I…” Larry stammered, his eyes now on Adam, the situation saturating his mind. Suddenly he felt a wave of laughter building in his chest, and he knew it was not only inappropriate, but it would only serve to further anger Carra.
Still, when his eyes met Adam’s and Adam recognized the amusement in Larry’s face, the laughter bubbled up out of him. It was just a snort of laughter, at first, but that made Adam chuckle. Adam’s chuckle led to a full on round of laughter from Larry, and soon the pair of them were clutching their guts they were laughing so hard. Despite Carra’s obvious rage, neither man could seem to stop laughing.
Carra scowled at them both before finally stomping up the gangway with the cat tucked under her arm.
“I’m going to pay for that later.” Larry said through his laughter, and Adam could only nod his head for lack of breath.
They had only been out into deep water for a few hours time when Adam approached Larry to voice a concern.
“That ship on the horizon… is that a military ship?” He asked, gesturing to a speck on the southern horizon. He handed Larry the scope, and Larry peered through it and agreed immediately.
“A British man o’ war.” He said with a nod. “Why?” Adam sucked on his teeth as he tried to formulate his response properly. Larry stared at him suspiciously.
“Well, uh… you see…” Adam started, pausing again to stare out at the slightly bigger speck. “The vases we’re shipping for Senor Neron?”
“What of them?” Larry asked, his shoulders tensing. Adam took a half a step back, as if preparing to dodge an attack or flee altogether.
“If the military were to board and inspect the cargo,” Adam started again, “well, that would best be avoided.”
“Why is that?” Larry demanded, growing more agitated by the moment.
“Well, under the vases, they would find tea and tobacco.” Adam admitted. “Which you not only don’t have the proper paperwork for, but which you also can’t afford to pay the taxes which Neron neglected to pay.”
“What? You…” Larry exploded, stepping toward Adam aggressively. He glanced around and saw that every eye on deck was watching them now, so he lowered his voice. “You’re telling me you’ve got me smuggling tea for you?”
“And Tobacco.” Adam added, noticing how the vein on Larry’s temple was bulging he was so angry. “But not for me. It was just a way for you to earn the money you needed.”
“Bollix! If we get caught trying to smuggle in untaxed goods I could lose the aingeal! Thrown in a fucking cell!” Larry growled, turning away from his new friend and beginning to pace. He ran a hand through his hair nervously.
“Which is why I thought I should warn you.” Adam told him, and Larry flashed him and evil look. “Perhaps we should change course, slightly. Get out of their intended course. They might just pass us by.”
“I cannot believe that you’ve done this.” Larry complained.
“I understand that you try and respect the law, Larry. But everyone knows this is a malicious law. Tea and Tobacco are taxed at more than 100% their worth! No one is hurt by bringing them in without the knowledge of the magistrate. It’s not that much different than allowing Bono to hide aboard the ship so that he can avoid prison.”
“What?” Larry asked, and Adam’s eyes rounded.
“You didn’t realize that.” He said, nodding his head in understanding. He had just revealed another dark secret to the young man who was the captain of a ship full of secrets.
“What is his crime?” Larry demanded, and Adam shook his head.
“None, in my eyes. Nor in the eyes of most. He speaks out against the crown. Wants to see Ireland free from British rule.” Adam explained.
“There are plenty of places he could hide in Ireland, if that were the case. More people than not would shelter him.” Larry reasoned.
“Ah – well, he also speaks out against those who would organize a violent rebellion. He preaches peaceful negotiations, mostly.” Adam explained and Larry closed his eyes. That would make most people less eager to take him in. “As well as religious reform.” Adam added and Larry shook his head. That would, indeed, isolate him from just about every group in Ireland.
“Wonderful.” Larry muttered.
“Or, I suppose, you could take your chances with the British law and turn him in. As well as the illegal crates.” Adam suggested, watching Larry carefully for his reaction.
“I’m not fucking stupid, Adam. I know how corrupt the military is. I don’t like the taxes or most of the other laws imposed by the Brits any better than any other Irishman. I had just hoped that by trying to not violate the laws blatantly I might avoid some of the trouble.” Larry explained.
“I admire the effort, mate, but the truth is… no matter how much you try to play by their rules, you’ll never win. They will find some way to take from you, as they have everyone else.” Adam paused to gaze out at the dot on the horizon. “I do apologize for not letting you know sooner, about the tea.”
“I should’ve known. If I’d been thinking at all I would’ve realized.” Larry told him. “All right, let’s change course and hope they aren’t after us.” He said, nodding to Adam before returning to the helm, bellowing orders to the men in charge of the sails. They were going west, further out to sea than they’d intended. It would slow them down, but being late was better than being caught.
He explained the situation to Paul, who already had suspected much of what Larry had to tell him. Paul assured him that he knew what to do and told him to rest for awhile. It was more than an hour before dinner and there was nothing for Larry to do above deck, and the thought of retreating to his cabin for some solitude was greatly appealing.
Of course, solitude was not what he found waiting for him. Carra sat just outside the door to his cabin, waiting for him. He sighed and prepared himself for a serious scolding for the earlier incident.
“Carra.” He greeted her, opening the door and gesturing for her to enter. She was quiet as she did. Too quiet. It made Larry nervous.
“When we get to London, I’m leaving the aingeal.” She announced as soon as the door was shut.
“What? Don’t be daft! You can’t…” Larry objected, but Carra wasn’t in the mood to listen.
“I can, and I will. I’ll give my father the option to go with me, if he wishes to do so, but I am leaving. With or without him.” She told Larry stubbornly. She looked him straight in the eye, her jaw set defiantly, her shoulders square. She was daring him to argue.
“What do you plan to do, on your own? Where will you go?” Larry tried to reason with her.
“I don’t see why it matters to you.” She told him, moving past him toward the door. Larry stepped in her way and put a firm hand on the door handle so she could not leave. “It’s clear that you don’t want me here.”
“Carra, I’m sorry about earlier. All right? It was just a mistake! You know I wouldn’t have done it on purpose.” He told her, his voice nearly melodic when he spoke softly. His silver blue eyes met hers, hoping to convince her of his sincerity.
“Do I now?” She retorted, shaking her head. Suddenly she reached out with both hands and shoved him, hard, knocking him back from the door. She grabbed the handle, but before she could turn it and make her retreat, Larry had her by the shoulder. He pulled her back away from the door, and she turned and swung at him. He caught her wrist in one hand and grabbed the other wrist with his free hand.
“Let go of me!” She demanded.
“Carra, for God’s sake! I said I’m sorry. You’re being unreasonable.” He complained, and Carra managed to slip one wrist free of his grip, slapping him sharply across the face. The sound of her palm against his cheek echoed in the room, nearly as loud as the sound of her heartbeat in her ears.
“Unreasonable?” she screamed. “You SOLD me!” She tried to pull away from him but he held tight, and soon the pair were enmeshed in a wrestling match; pushing, shoving, pulling. Finally, Larry had had enough. He grabbed a handful of her soft red hair and twisted her arm behind her back, pinning her face first against the wall.
“Listen to me, Carra. I did not mean to do that. Fuck, I don’t want you gone! You’re as much a part of the aingeal as the wood and rope and canvas.” He told her, having to keep the length of his body pressed up against her to get her to keep still. His chest flat against her back, his legs against hers. She tried to push free and he leaned in harder, his hips just above hers, his groin now pressed against the curve of her backside.
The heat the spread out into his body from every place he touched her was overwhelming. His breathing was deep and rapid, his heart was pounding. His physical reaction to her proximity was primal, and now, he was certain, she knew how she effected him. There was no denying it. He heard her gasp, felt her body still.
“Carra, I want you here.” He told her, his voice dropping to a hoarse whisper as he leaned in, and she could his breath against her ear. She was breathing heavy, too, he noticed. He cursed himself for enjoying this far too much. He was forcing her to endure his own arousal, pinning her down against the wall. It wasn’t right, and he would kill any other man who treated Carra this way. Still, he could not bring himself to release her. He whispered to her again,
“You belong here. With me.” He told her, his lips brushing her ear this time, sending a violent shiver through her. Finally, he gained the will to loosen his grip on her and step back, expecting her to flee. Or perhaps to slap him again. He was taken by surprise when she turned and shoved him, hard, back toward the other wall. She stalked forward, driving him back until his back was against the wall, her green eyes locked with his own.
“You lie.” She said, standing far closer than appropriate. Larry snorted with laughter, casting his eyes downward.
“My mouth has lied before, but my body can be nothing but honest.” He told her, the corner of his mouth turning up slightly, his cheeks flushing red at his own words. He felt his cheeks flush even hotter when he realized her own eyes had followed his.
“You refused my kiss.” She said, her eyes back on his own.
“I was afraid you were trying to bite me.” Larry retorted with a smirk. Carra stared at him in disbelief for a moment longer, then propelled herself forward, mashing her body against his and melding her lips to his. Larry moaned and let his eyes drift shut. Her mouth was warm and soft against his own and not the least bit tentative. He opened her lips with his tongue and was met with such enthusiasm he was afraid she might indeed bite him.
Her hands were in his hair, her mouth moving over his in a demanding rhythm, one which he gladly met. He tasted the smooth, sweet skin inside of her mouth and received her soft moan as reward. She slid her hands up along his sides, tugging his shirt loose from his trousers so that her hands could slide beneath it to touch the smooth skin on his sides and chest.
He buried one hand in her hair, the fingers on the other hand fumbling with the laces on the front of her shirt. Their bodies moved against each other with the same instinctive grace they used when they fought.
“Here, here, let me!” She panted, reaching up to loosen the laces herself. Larry was still tugging at it urgently, determined to do it himself. “You’re going to rip it!” She laughed, and he had to taste her laughter, his mouth meeting hers hungrily, both of them smiling and laughing.
A knock sounded at the door.
“Go away!” Larry yelled, bending to kiss her again, his arm wrapping around her waist as he advanced, pushing her back toward the bed.
“Captain Mullen?” A voice called through the door. It was one of the younger men, but he had been with Larry for several seasons already.
“I said go away!” Larry growled, bending to taste Carra’s exposed shoulder, nibbling up along the side of her neck.
“I’m sorry, sir, but Mr. McGuinness sent me to get you. It is urgent!” The man said, his voice shaking with nerves.
“Larry…” Carra sighed, pushing away from him slightly. She reached up and smoothed his hair down, looking into his eyes. “It sounds important.” She whispered, and Larry scowled at her. He knew she was right, no matter how desperately he wanted to ignore the urgency in the sailors tone.
“What is it?” He demanded, turning slightly to look at the door.
“We’ve come up on a pair of ships… I think it may be pirates!” the man said, and Carra hurried toward the door without another thought, and threw it open. The young man looked as if he might pass out when confronted with the sight of her, her hair loose and wild, her lips kiss swollen and her shirt gaping slightly at the top.
“Oh! I…” he stammered, averting his eyes. Carra sighed and tightened the lacing on her shirt.
“Come on, we’d better go and see.” She said, dashing for the stairs without looking back. Larry was right behind her, tucking in his shirt tails as they ran. He saw Adam’s knowing smile when he and the other sailors saw the state the two of them were in, and tried not to smirk at him. It was none of their business.
“What is it?” Larry demanded, overtaking Carra with his long, sure strides.
“There.” Paul told him, pointing. “We saw the smoke first. It looks like two ships, you can see the black flag on the nearest of them.” He added, handing him the scope. Larry took it and inspected the scene for himself.
“Bollix.” He murmured. “It’s pirates all right.”
“What do you want to do?” Paul asked, although he already knew what the young man would say.
“We need to go in fast and hard before they see us coming. That a passenger ship they’re plundering, and we need to try and save as many as we can.” He said. “Get us there as swiftly as the aingeal can take us. Luckily, they are to our east so we will be masked by the setting sun. They may not even know we are approaching until we’re on them.”
“Aye.” Paul agreed, turning to shout orders to the sailors.
“I’ll go to the armory,” Carra volunteered, and Larry caught her wrist.
“Carra, you’ll not be boarding that ship. Do you understand me?”
“Are you going to waste your energy fighting me, or are you going to fight the pirates?” She asked, arching a slender red eyebrow at him. “Go! Gather all the men who can fight and send them my way. We don’t have enough swords and pistols for everyone, so get only those who know what they’re doing.” She told him, twisting free of his grasp and dashing off for the armory.
He watched her for a moment, telling himself to regain focus. He had a whole crew to worry about, not just her. For the first time in his life, he understood how people could ever choose to pass by such a situation, rather than going to the assistance of the ship which was under attack. He wasn’t concerned for his own safety, but he couldn’t stomach the thought of Carra being hurt in the fray.
|10-09-2005, 12:43 AM||#4|
Blue Crack Supplier
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Wishing I was on the beach
Local Time: 09:07 PM
I love it! Thanks for always updating so quickly!!
Insert something interesting here
|10-09-2005, 08:38 AM||#6|
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Inside Bono's Mind
Local Time: 04:07 AM
Can't wait for next chapter...Great that you update that fast!!!
|10-10-2005, 01:21 AM||#9|
Join Date: May 2005
Local Time: 04:07 AM
Man, it's about bloody time those two gave in! Please let us know when and if there is a more... er... detailed chapter in the works (eg, when those two FINALLY do get together )
|10-10-2005, 06:47 AM||#10|
Blue Crack Supplier
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: completely out of touch
Local Time: 12:07 AM
I've a feeling it won't be too long now.
Thanks for the feedback, everyone, it is greatly appreciated!
|10-11-2005, 11:35 PM||#11|
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: walking out to the street
Local Time: 12:07 AM
Well, this chapter certainly shivered my timbers.__________________
Those darn pirates. Go get 'em, Larry! Make them pay for interrupting you!
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