Chapter 11: Answers
Beatrice took a deep breath of salt air as she stood on the bowspirt, holding onto a rope for balance. She gazed out at the sea as the sun set on hers and Erik’s second day on the ship. It had been a good day. All of Krystal’s crew was very nice to her, but Erik was not too far away in case anything happened. She leaned forward a bit and looked down at the water. She never felt so free. Now she understood why Krystal liked this so much.
“Dear Lord,” she prayed. “If it is at all possible, could you help Erik with his feelings for Christine? He is trying so very hard to be rid of her. He really is an angel, no matter what anyone else thinks of him.”
“The lord can’t get him over a woman, lass,” Krystal said suddenly walking up behind her. Beatrice jumped slightly, but didn’t fall, thankfully and turned to see the captain of the Cruel Mistress. “Only his own heart can get him over that Prima Donna he left.”
“He did not leave her,” Beatrice corrected a bit irritably. “She left him and she had no idea what she was giving up when she did.”
“Sounds as though you know exactly what you have with your ‘husband’ eh?”
“I appreciate him a lot more than she did,” Beatrice snapped.
“Of course. Why else would you be here?”
“Exactly,” Beatrice nodded and turned back to the sea to stare into it as Krystal hung onto her own rope and stepped onto the spirt with Beatrice then let herself swing to the red-head’s side but kept her feet behind her on the spirt.
“You two have a fight?” Krystal wondered, making small talk. Beatrice glanced at her out of the corner of her eye then looked back at the sea.
“No,” Beatrice replied flatly.
“You don’t like my company?”
“How is it you know so much about Erik?”
“Get to the point quickly, don’t you?” Krystal smirked, swinging slightly as she held onto her rope then sighed and looked out to sea as Beatrice only glared at her. “Wish I could tell you, lass. But a girl has to keep some secrets. You know what I mean, eh?”
“Certain secrets should be shared,” Beatrice retorted. “When those secrets are about finding out information about someone, information that no one else should know about, then they should be shared.”
“Clever, but what if those secrets damage the reputation and relationship with the person and those people who got the information?”
“I highly doubt that whatever relationship you have with my husband will be damaged.”
“I wasn’t talking about me, lass,” Krystal replied, swinging behind her and to the other side of Beatrice. She frowned at Krystal who merely smirked in amusement at her confusion. “I believe you know a woman named Antoinette Giry?”
Beatrice’s eyes shot wide at the mention of the woman who had been like a mother to her and Erik and breathed, “What about Madame Giry?”
“What are you willing to give me for this information?”
“Are you attempting to bribe me after you have already earned money for our boarding your ship?” Beatrice wondered, cocking an elegant eyebrow in intrigue.
“Pirate,” Krystal whispered and Beatrice stared at her in disbelief. “I always want more. But you seem like a nice girl, and I like your husband rather well. I’ll tell you, but only you. You tell your man, and I’ll consider myself stabbed in the back with the knife I gave you, savvy?”
Beatrice nodded, unable to refuse the deal if it was to find out how she knew so much about Erik.
“Alright,” Krystal nodded, and swung out a bit, still holding her rope. “First things first. I’ve known Madame Giry since I was a little one. She took me in as her kid sister off the streets of Paris. I was five and she was eighteen, maybe twenty. When I went out to find a job at seventeen, she was very supportive, and when I found my calling, she said not a word. I visit her now and then, and she keeps me up to date with everything going on with her.
“Lately she said she had been having trouble with this Erik character. She told me everything about him, when she rescued him and what he liked, who he liked, all the particulars about the one she called the Little Angel.
“This last time, I visited her not too long after the Opera Populaire burned down and she asked me for a favor. How could I say no, eh? She told me that he would be traveling with a girl that came up in her updates as well. A red-head with golden eyes and the grace and beauty of an angel herself.
“So, as it so happens, now I have a pair of angels on this ship filled with demons…the captain being the Devil.” Krystal smirked at Beatrice as she stared at her in complete disbelief. “Like I said, sweetheart…you don’t be blabbing this to your husband.” The captain looked up at the sky and sniffed the air. “Gonna rain soon,” she said, walking down the bowspirt. “You’d better get in your cabin.”
“Capitaine,” Beatrice called, watching Krystal jump onto the deck of her ship. “Madame Giry never mentioned you.”
“She wouldn’t,” Krystal smirked as she stood at the bottom of the spirt. “She never really wanted any of us to know about each other. I had to practically beg her to tell me about anything that happened with her the first time I came to visit.”
“But why?” Beatrice wondered as she hurried down the bowspirt. “Why wouldn’t she want any of us to know of each other?”
“Why don’t you ask her that?” Krystal asked, getting a bit irritated at this girl’s curiosity. “I don’t know.”
Beatrice walked in front of Krystal when she didn’t move and cautiously looked at the captain.
“How old are you?” Beatrice whispered and Krystal glared at her in examination. What exactly was this girl doing?
“Thirty-five,” Krystal muttered.
“Too many to mention.”
“Why is it that you will not tell me why Madame Giry did not want any of us to meet?”
“Because if she hasn’t told you then it’s none of your business. You should let it go, Mrs. LaRouche.” Krystal walked toward her cabin without looking back at Beatrice. The red-head stared after her but didn’t move. Leave it alone? That was pointless advice. Beatrice would find out, and she would not stop asking Antoinette until she did.
“Beatrice,” Erik whispered in her ear as he placed a hand on her shoulder. She jumped and whirled to face him with wide eyes filled with surprise.
“Erik! You scared me!” she gasped and placed her hands on her rapidly beating heart.
“I am sorry,” he murmured. “I did not mean to scare you. I thought you would like to rest in our cabin for a while.”
“All we do is rest on this ship!” Beatrice whined. “I want to do something!”
“We will be doing a lot of things in Spain,” Erik smirked, taking her hands in his. “You will want to go everywhere, I am sure. You will need energy to do that, mon ami.” He kissed her knuckles making her blush and smile.
“I suppose you are right,” she smiled sweetly.
“I will always be right, mon petite,” Erik smirked, coming close to her face. “Always.”
Krystal growled in frustration. How could she be so stupid?! So soft?! She had sworn she would not tell Beatrice or Erik how she knew what she did about them. Antoinette was going to be furious with her when she found out, and Krystal knew she would find out. That woman had a way of knowing things no one else could know. Never in her life had Krystal wanted to hit herself a thousand times over for anything she did or said until now.
Beatrice LaRouche was no ordinary woman if she could coax the truth from the rock solid captain of the Cruel Mistress. And Erik…well, that was a different matter. Her past and his had been revealed to her a long time ago, and even now she wanted to go tell him how their pasts were connected, but she had sworn not to tell neither of them that either. Krystal was torn between doing what she knew was right and doing something she hated: breaking a promise.
Krystal knew it had been a bad idea in the first place, but as she had told Beatrice, how could she refuse? She couldn’t very well say no to Antoinette when she asked that she help the two after all the woman had done for her. She groaned and let her head fall onto the surface of her desk. These two were more of a headache than anyone else she ever came into contact with, save Daniel.
Daniel. That slimy bilge rat had almost raped that poor girl, and he got what he deserved. Krystal was upset that it had to end the way it did, but the man was a total nuisance. He was a pirate, but at times, he was too much of a pirate. There was a fine line between piracy and insanity and he had been teetering on the edge for as long as she had known him.
Krystal sighed as she pushed thoughts of the man out of her head. There was a more pressing matter to deal with. That being getting the “LaRouches” to Spain without any further problems. Storms, she could handle. Threatening crew members could be taken care of. But when it came to Erik and Beatrice “LaRouche,” Krystal knew that her head would explode with everything she wanted to do and say, especially to Erik.