Monday, October 06, 2008

Eden's Pass Contest ~ Excerpt #3

The setting - the Spaniards have just defeated the crew of the Smiling Jack...

Enjoy! =)

Finn squelched the urge to look at Captain Beauregard again. She did not wish to see what these marauders had done to him, did not wish to see any more spilled blood. She'd seen more than enough to last her a lifetime already. Besides, it mattered not how he died—all that mattered was that he had. It was something she'd almost prayed for, but this was not the ending for which she'd hoped. She was to be free, not the possession of yet another.

She pulled her eyes from her weapon now in the Spaniard's hands. "What have you planned for us, then?"

The man ignored her. His men apparently awaited his orders and he was quick to issue them in rapid-fire Spanish. Only moments later, the few men who'd surrendered had already taken the oath to join the Spanish crew. They marched from the Smiling Jack across the makeshift bridge to the ship now quietly bumping up against them.

Thoroughly defeated now, she turned back to the Spaniard, repeating, "And what of us?"

He flashed a maddeningly smug smile. "You will come with me, boy. I could use able-bodied swordsmen, seeing as how you dispatched one of my best men. This one seems equally skilled. You will be given the opportunity to earn your keep. After you pledge fealty to me, of course."

Mayhap it wasn't merely good fortune after all, if the Spaniard considered her an able-bodied swordsman. It was almost amusing, wondering what he'd think if he knew the truth. Her amusement was short-lived though. Nay. He also must never know the truth. "You wish me to join you?"

"Aye, lad. I am Captain Iñigo Sebastiano and you are my new cabin boy. And you, lad—" he clapped Ennis on the shoulder, "—will make for a fine deckhand."

Ennis nodded. "Aye, Captain. That is how I served Beauregard. I will, of course, take your oath."
Captain Sebastiano smiled down at both of them. "You will not be unhappy, my new friends. I run a fair ship. There are few who complain."

Finn gritted her teeth at his jovial tone. Few who complain, eh? Well, she supposed she could find some way to swallow any complaints she might have. It did not sit well, having her promised freedom stolen with such swift ease, but she would eventually find her way to it. She had no intention of vowing loyalty to him. Not now and not ever.

Her resolve was short-lived, though. How terrible could it be? After all, it was exactly what she had done onboard Beauregard's ship, wasn't it? Of course, it would mean remaining in disguise, but at least she might find some way to obtain the elusive specter of freedom. Exhaling heavily, she nodded. "Very well. I, too, will pledge loyalty."

Iñigo smiled again. "Shall we?" He gestured toward the makeshift bridge and she swallowed hard again. He didn't seem to be the least bit concerned with the cargo the Smiling Jack carried. It was almost as if his battle with them was personal. But why would this Spaniard have a vendetta against Captain Beauregard?

She kept quiet as Iñigo took her by the arm, shouted something across the deck, and they were joined by a second Spaniard who was every bit as frightening as the first. "Aye, Captain?"

"Diego—" The name was all she understood as he broke into Spanish, walking her and Ennis toward the rickety-looking bridge spanning the distance between the two ships. Diego was almost as tall as the captain, with a thick fall of shaggy black hair and an equally shaggy black beard. His heavy-lidded, dark-eyed gaze flicked in her direction, but snapped back as Iñigo spoke in rapid Spanish. Apparently, his orders had been to separate her and Ennis, for when they set foot onboard the Spaniard's ship, Diego steered Ennis in the opposite direction.

The pit of her stomach dropped with a sickening splash as Iñigo faced her again. She debated grabbing the dagger tucked in her tunic, but her hand remained still. There were too many Spaniards still swarming about. It was better to bide her time and await the right moment to show itself.


I'll post the questions tomorrow! Happy reading!

No comments: