Chapter 25: Sealing the Deal
Sealing the Deal
Tsunami’s free hand flew to her mouth in surprise. She had known that this was going to happen all along, the getting married part, but she had never thought about the proposal. She had always assumed her fathers would have arranged a marriage with a fat rich captain that had his own fleet. She had never hoped for a handsome man, well, she had hoped, but had never really expected it to come to pass. She knew that when she got married, it would be to raise her station from ship’s doctor to captain. And yet here was this gorgeous man who had given her this ship, supplicating her for her hand. He was gentle and kind, and would always share his rum with her. It was more than she ever could have asked for.
"I'm afraid it won't be official without rings or witnesses," Tsunami informd him, "but since you asked so nicely, I can see no reason to be waitin'. We'll have another ceremony with the crew before we set out, once the ship has been properly christened." On the heels of that, she added: "As for the christening, we must be champagne, but we can toast our new union with the rum,” she winked.
Mac smirked, "We're pirates, since when does it matter that things are not strictly official?"
She rose from the bed, helping him up. Mac stood while fidgeting with his ear. He turned his head aside as he reached reached his full height. "As to the christening, if it's got to be champagne so be it." Mac shrugged, reached out and took hold of the back of her neck. He pulled her in close for a kiss, and his fingers brushed across her ear as he ran them back through her hair. She kissed him back fervently, happy that she would get to call him hers for the rest of her life. He pulled back from the kiss, and fidgeted with his ear again. He turned his head so the ear he was mucking about with faced her. Hanging from his ear was a very familiar earring. It was familiar because it was hers. Reaching up to her own ear, she found an earring remained, but it was a bit larger loop and it was made of a thinner gauge of metal. Mac smiled, "There, the rings are taken care of. You're going to have to get used to having a man with dexterous fingers, although you weren't complaining yesterday, or the night before.” He gave her a roguish look that made her blush, and look forward to the honeymoon all at the same time.
"I'll be needin' yer sword, Mac.” She said, changing the subject. “By the by, since ye use yer last name so rarely that I be almost disinclined to believe that ye actually have one, I do be hopin' that you'll be amenable to be takin' mine. Besides, Mac Monsoon has a nice ring to it."
Mac laughed, "You know perfectly well that my last name is Cutter. Incidentally, Captain Tsunami Cutter of the Sapphire Rover also has a nice ring to it," he said smugly. Oh, but she was not going to give up that easily. Now it was a competition.
Tsunami fingered the new ring in her ear. She had truly come to appreciate having such talented fingers at her disposal. She unsheathed Mac's rapier and laid it on the ground beside them. Then she turned to him and took his hands.
"Mac Cutter, I swear to love and protect you for the rest of me days as yer partner. Do ye swear the same?"
"I do be swearing it." Mac responded.
"Will ye comfort me, and honor me as I will ye? Will ye protect me, no matter who might board our ship and attempt to wrest me from you, as long as we both do live?"
"You do be my partner, and I do so swear to love you, comfort, and honour you. Shakundul protect the poor bugger that does try and take ye from my side." His eyes grew hard, and his hands drifted to hidden hilts before he shook his head looking abashed. "I, uh, I mean I swear it."
Tsunami looked deep into his bottomless blue eyes and recited her vows:
"I, Tsunami Monsoon, ship’s doctor aboard the Sea's Song, and Captain of the Sapphire Rover, take ye, Mac Cutter, as me heart and me soul. I take ye as me plain dealer and me protector. I do swear to share with ye me rum, especially when I have already drunk half of yours. Ye shall be the beaming sun on me horizon each morn, and the silky satin sheets on me bed each night. I promise to try to make ye laugh when ye be feelin’ out of sorts, and I vow to pretend to listen when ye babble on and on and on about nothin’ in particular. Neither the elements nor krakens shall touch ye without goin’ through me first, should we ever encounter ‘em, and in the likely event that they do, I swear to bandage ye up and put ye to rights should I find ye injured by either and cryin’ like a little girl. Me love for thee shall be never endin’ like the adventures we shall seek o’er the briny sees we shall traverse. I shall stand by thee through rain or fire, wealth or poverty, scurvy or halitosis, although we shall have curt words about the last, should any of them plague ye. When I develop treasure fever, as I am wont to do, every sailor aboard shall understand that that which I am really mad about about is you. And hopefully they’ll leave us alone in my quarters for at least ten minutes! And in the sad event that ye should be sent to Davey Jones’ locker afore me, I swear to ye that I’ll be completely inconsolable at the very least until we next take on treasure. All o’ this I vow to undertake until there be no more horizons left to chase, and the rum be permanently gone.” She finished and squeezed his hand encouragingly to let him know it was his turn to speak.
“I, Mac Cutter, crew member of the Sea's Mystery, the Salty Scoundrel, and the Seafarer's Fortune, soon to be quartermaster of the Sapphire Rover, do take ye, Tsunami Monsoon, as my heart, my soul, my fiery vixen of the seas; to curl your toes when you have rough waters and to weather it out when a mood takes ye. Krakens and elements both be damned, I shall toss any plotting a mutiny overboard. I shall forever love you, until all of Merric’s seas turn to sand, I swear it."
She fingered the ring in her ear again. "I do wear this ring as a symbol of our love. It will remind me of our promises to each other."
Mac takes hold of the smaller, thicker ring in his ear, "I wear this ring as a symbol of our love. It will remind me of our promises to each other. Not that I'll need reminding." He winks.
"Now that we've exchanged the rings, there be only one thing left to do." She told him. Squeezing his hand again, she said "Jumpin’ the sword do symbolize us cuttin’ past ties and movin’ into the future as a pair." They stepped over the sword together, feet descending at the same time onto the floorboards.
"I now do pronounce us husband and wife. Drink up, me heart, yo ho!" then as an afterthought, she adds "Oh and now ye may kiss the likes of me."
Mac stepped closer to her, wrapped his arms around her, and dipping her deeply to the side, leaned her backward . One arm lay along her spine and neck to support her weight, while the other held the spot behind her knee, lifting her foot from the floor. He looked deeply into her eyes, "I was starting to think you had forgotten that part." He winked again, and kissed her with all the gusto of a man newly wed.
As he kissed her, all of the heat from the past couple of days was renewed. She savoured the taste of him, the gentle push of his tongue, the smell of him that enveloped her and stoked her inner fire. She couldn’t wait until that night when all of the work on the ship would be out of the way and they would be free to spend their first night together in their new home. She was pretty sure that the ship was going to see things that night that it had never been shown before.
Tsunami giggled as the kiss ended, and Mac drew her back up to stand on her own feet. Just you wait, Mr. Monsoon, tonight is going to be fun, she thought in excited anticipation.
The two of them set to work then, preparing the ship to take the new name they had chosen for her. They toiled together to scour the ship, making sure to remove anything that still bore the old name of the boat they had just acquired. Tsunami also used the opportunity to make a list of the things that needed to be collected to be brought onboard. They found that the previous owner had done a thorough job of removing anything bearing the old name, so their next task would be the shopping for provisions for the renaming ceremony. Only after the ship had been christened with her new name, could they begin to bring on the things they would need for their first voyage.
She sent Mac to go to the nearest tavern that sold such things, to get two fine bottles of champagne. For her part, she went to a scribe, and had him write the old name of the ship on a piece of metal, in ink that would run when wetted. She flitted through the market with a heart that felt light. For the first time since she had been thrown off the Sea’s Song, she felt that things were right and well. After making the few stops on her list, she returned to meet her new husband at the Sapphire Rover. This time, she walked up the gangplank of her own accord, stepping foot on board for the first time as Captain. Mac had already returned, and she saw him waiting at the bow of the ship. He was looking out at the sea, his stance relaxed, his hands resting on the ship’s rail. She quietly put her load from the market down. Rising, she tried to walk softly on her toes so the low heels of her boots would avoid making noise on the deck. She intended to sneak up on him and wrap both arms around him from behind. She thought she had succeeded as she made it to only a single silent step away, and as she reached out with her hands to hug him, he spun quickly and grabbed her, sweeping her into another dipped kiss.
She shrieked and laughed as he surprised her and sent a line of pecks from her lips down her neck to her shoulder. Regaining her feet once she was thoroughly snogged, she went to the other side of the deck to retrieve her bundle. Returning to Mac, she set up their blackjacks, champagne, and metal tag bearing the ship’s old name.
She let him know she was ready and intoned: “Oh Merric, ye who be the mighty Lord of the Waves and Ruler of the Seas, we who will be venturin’ across yer vast domain do be seekin’ to pay ye homage. We do implore ye to erase for all time and from yer recollection the name Seafarer's Fortune, which has now ceased to be an entity in yer domain. As proof, we give unto ye this ingot that do bear her old name. Yer humble servants do beg ye to destroy it through yer power and let it forever be purged from yer seas.”
Tsunami dropped the metal tag bearing the ship’s old name overboard, and they peered over the side to watch the ink lift and dissolve among the waves as the ingot sank to the blue depths below.
“In gratefulness and thanks for this, we do be offerin’ these libations to ye in all yer briny power and glory.”
Tsunami instructs Mac, to pour half of of of the bottles of champagne, and no less, over the side into the sea. The expensive liquid hit the surface of the ocean with a splash and a miriad of bubbles. Once they had settled and had been lost on the miniscule waves that slapped at the side of the large ship, she asked Mac to open the second bottle for the renaming.
When they both had a full mug, she began again: “Oh Merric, ye who be the mighty Lord of the Waves and Ruler of the Seas, we who will be venturin’ across yer vast domain do be seekin’ to pay ye homage. We do implore ye to be takin’ unto yer recollection this worthy vessel, hereafter and for all time known as the Sapphire Rover. We beg that ye guard her with yer mighty arm and grant her safe and speedy passage on all the journeys she may undertake throughout the realm of yer vast domain. In gratefulness and thanks for this, we do be offerin’ these libations to ye in all yer briny power and glory.”
Tsunami took up the new bottle and poured the remaining champagne, almost the whole bottle, into the sea from the west to the easterly side.
Then Mac continued: “Oh Guthrie, you who be the Lord of Travel and Ruler of the Wind, through whose power our vessel will traverse the wild and faceless deep, we beg you to grant this worthy ship, the Sapphire Rover, the benefits of your bounteous strength. Steer us true, and give us a clear path whene’er we leave port. Do ensure us of your gentle or more powerful aid according to any needs we might be having. Great Guthrie, you who are the exalted ruler of the north, south, east and west winds, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our many endeavors, ever sparring us the overwhelming scourge of your breath, be it frigid, scalding, mighty or wild.” We implore you for your assistance in staying on a course that’s true, and to keep us from any shoals, cliffs, or rocks that might scuttle us.”
Mac flung his cup of champagne to the north, and Tsunami sent hers to the west, watching the droplets catch on the wind briefly before falling to the sea below. They both refilled their blackjacks, and flung the contents out over the water again, this time to the east, and then the south. At last, they emptied the last of the expensive champagne into their mugs, and both drunk deeply, toasting the name of the Sapphire Rover.