Chapter 9: Storm
Erik woke up in pain only to find himself on the floor and the ship rocking fiercely. He rubbed his forehead and realized his mask had been removed. Erik looked at the trunk by the bed and saw that Beatrice had placed it there and he hurriedly put it back on then looked for Beatrice but she was no where to be found. He scrambled to his feet and headed for the door. She wouldn’t have left the room if she was told not to. Then again if something was wrong she would do the exact opposite of what she was told. The ship rocked again and he had to struggle to keep his balance, gripping at any beam or something stable he could find.
“Beatrice!” he called. No response. He heard shouting above him on deck and frowned at the ceiling. He suddenly rammed into someone and found himself once again on the floor.
“Mr. LaRouche!” Matthew cried. “What are you doing out of your room?!”
“Beatrice is gone!” Erik replied as they stood. The young man looked at the masked man in horror.
“We’ve hit a storm!” Matthew informed him. “You had better find her.”
“I know!” Erik growled, gripping the collar of Matthew’s shirt. “I know I have to find her, but where do I start?!”
“Try the galley,” Matthew replied calmly. He had more important things to worry about than this man beating him up. “It’s that way.”
Matthew pointed him in the direction of the galley and Erik let him go as he ran toward it. Erik rounded into a room that looked like a kitchen and stumbled when the boat rocked a bit.
“Beatrice!” he called. No answer. He looked under the tables and chairs, in the cupboards, anywhere he thought she would hide. “Beatrice!”
Finally he heard a small whimper and whipped his head toward a barrel sitting in a corner. He ran toward it and looked inside. What he found made him sigh in relief. Beatrice was curled up in a ball at the bottom, her hands over her ears. He reached in and touched her arm making her jump and look at him with wide eyes filled with fear.
“Erik!” she cried and threw herself into his arms.
“Why did you leave the room?” he asked, soothingly.
“I felt the ship rocking and I thought something was wrong so I was going to find Krystal to ask her what was going on,” she began to sob and Erik rolled his eyes.
“It is just a storm, mon ami,” he whispered. “There is no need to---”
The ship rocked fiercely again and they fell to the floor, taking the barrel with them. The barrel started rolling and taking Beatrice with it by her legs.
“Erik!” she cried, not knowing what to do. He couldn’t help but chuckle as he walked toward her and gripped her arms then pulled her up to her feet and out of the barrel. She turned into him and sobbed into his chest as he wrapped his arms around her.
“We should go back to the room,” he suggested. “We will be safer there.”
“Captain!” they heard Matthew cry on deck.
“Man overboard!” another man shouted, and the couple looked at each other in horror.
“Matthew! Tie down that line!” Krystal shouted from the helm and Matthew ran to his duty. The storm was worse than Krystal had predicted, and she mentally kicked herself for endangering her ship, her crew, her cargo and her fare like this. One bolt of lightening in the right place could mean the end of them all. Not to mention one wave hit just right and they could capsize.
“Captain!” Matthew cried.
“I see it!” she shouted back. She saw an upcoming wave and spun the helm to the left with the warning, “Hard to port!”
The ship turned but the wave was quicker. She slipped on the water that now soaked the deck and fell to the floor, still holding onto the helm. She was suddenly surrounded by a dark ominous shadow and looked up to see the wave she had tried to avoid looming over the ship.
The wave hit like a ton of bricks and Krystal found herself being pulled from the helm with such force that she couldn’t counter it. She floated in the sea water around her, off of her ship and drifting away from it faster than she could swim. She saw its belly below the water and scrambled to the surface for air then tried to swim to it.
“Captain!” she heard Matthew cry.
“Man overboard!” another man shouted, and she knew she was done for. She swam as fast as she could against the current, but it seemed that the sea didn’t want her to return to her ship. She stopped swimming and simply floated with her head above the water. She was tired, and there was no way that she was going to get back to her ship.
“Erik!” she heard a familiar voice cry, faintly. She saw someone dive from the ship, but that was it before she let herself sink below the waves.
"Erik!” Beatrice screamed as she watched the masked man jump off the railing of the ship and into the water below. He ignored her. He had to. He was not going to let that captain get away with not telling him how she knew what she did about him before her death.
He let the current take him farther from the ship and looked around for any sign of Krystal. He dove beneath the surface and looked for her. He saw her sinking fast and felt his heart race in panic when he saw she wasn’t moving. He came up for a deep breath and dove again. He swam as fast as he could to get to her then gripped her hand and pulled her toward him, wrapping his arms around her waist to begin his ascent to the surface.
He came up with a gasp and looked around. The salt water stung his eyes, but he managed to make out the ship…coming closer?! He made sure Krystal’s head was above water and tried swimming toward the ship. He made out a rope being thrown off the edge, and soon found it in his hand. The crew pulled them out of the water and onto the deck. Beatrice ran to them and gasped when she saw Krystal wasn’t moving.
“Out of the way!” Erik barked at the crew as he ran to the captain’s cabin with Beatrice following him. He set her on the table and felt for her pulse.
“Erik---” Beatrice tried.
“Shush!” he snapped making her jump back slightly. He sighed in relief when he found a pulse and propped Krystal’s head up. Without hesitation, he slapped her with an open palm across the face.
“Erik!” Beatrice gasped in disbelief. Krystal’s eyes shot open and she began coughing up water as she sat up. Beatrice sighed in relief and ran to the captain. “Are you alright, Capitaine Robyn?”
Her only response was a nod as she coughed.
“Who---?!” she coughed.
“Erik went into the water after you,” Beatrice replied, knowing what Krystal wanted to know.
“Thank me later,” Erik smirked, and she smiled with a cough as Beatrice frowned at them in confusion but said nothing.
“Who are they, Matthew?” one of the crew members asked the young man after the storm had passed and the crew sat in the galley. Matthew shook his head.
“I can’t tell you,” he replied. “You wanna know who they are? Ask the captain.”
The men groaned and Matthew chuckled as he served himself some rum.