19 Letters And Leaving
Nassau, Bahamas, January 1717
Thomas leaned back in his seat, taking in the squalid scenery. As he took a sip of rum, he turned to Kenway who sat opposite to him, bent over a piece of paper, scratching down a letter.
"Who you writing to?" He asked.
"My wife, Caroline." He said, barely looking up.
"Why don't you write to your lass?" Kenway suggested, passing him a piece of paper and a spare quill.
Thomas picked up the quill, slowly dipping it in the ink pot. As it hovered above the page, he thought.
What would he write? Would she even receive the letter? Would she even read it?
"So this is the new Libertalia, eh?" A gruff man observed and at the sound, Thomas jolted, a splat on ink staining the page. "Stinks the same as every other squat I've robbed this past year."
"Oy!" Said another, beside him, noting Kenway's expression as he poured over the letter. "Why the long face? You falling in love?"
"With your blouse." Kenway smiled, looking up. "You're welcome to Nassau, gents. Everyone is that does their fair share."
"Fair share?" Growled the gruff man as Kenway stood. "What is this, a fucking monastery?"
"We was lead to believe Nassau was a place where men did as they pleased." The second man told Kenway.
"Save keeping other from doing the same, aye." Thatch said, stepping towards them.
"Captain Thatch, as I live and breath." The gruff man turned. "And what is this magnificent muzzle you've cultivated?" He remarked, seeing Thatch's beard.
"Why fly a black flag when a black beard will do?" Thatch answered. "What brings you two gents this far north?"
"The word is the Cuban government himself is fixing to receive a mess of gold from a nearby fort." The gruff man clapped his hands together. "Until then, it's just sitting there, itching to be took."
"Governor Torres himself, eh?" Thomas nodded. "Sounds promising."
"Welcome to Nassau, Captain Vane, Mister Rackham." Thatch passed a bottle to the new arrivals.
"Now, where..." Rackham drawled, a pipe in his hands as he spoke. "Where can a man find a bit of ruff. D'ya know what I mean?"
Thomas turned back to the letter as Ruckam sauntered over to a pretty red headed girl. His brain was blank. Were there any words under the sun that could describe how he felt?
"Hey, Thomas." Jemima sat down opposite him. "Watcha got there?"
"So far, a blob of ink."
"Well unless whoever you're writing to are admirers of the artist talent of Thomas Young, I'd suggest a new piece of paper." She said, her eyebrow raised.
"Ah, what's the point?" Thomas scrunched up the paper and tossed it over her shoulder. "She won't read it anyway."
"Oh, Thomas." Jemima sighed. "Why do you always have to be so negative? For all you know, she could be sitting there, watching and waiting at the door for a letter from you!"
"Unlikely." He scoffed.
She rolled her eyes and shoved a piece of paper in front of him.
"Write what I say."
Reluctantly, Thomas raised the pen over the paper. His eyes glanced over to her, signalling her to speak.
"My dear Elizabeth,
I have thought of you often during my time at sea. I understand that you may not read this letter, but if you do, know that you are still held dearly in my heart.
I have made new friends and my life is filled with adventure and wonder, I have seen sights you would not believe. But despite this, I would exchange all in a heartbeat to be by your side.
Unfortunately, I cannot return until my mission to find the Sage is complete. The Templars are tracking him as we speak and I must beat them to their goal.
I will write again.
The assassin rested the pen and looked up at the pirate.
"That was perfect. It was as if you spoke as me." He breathed. "How did you do that?"
"My father always said I had a skill for emphasising with people. I put myself in your position and I spoke from the heart." She smiled.
"You have a way with words that would make any young lady jump into your bed!" Thomas laughed, checking the how well the ink had dried.
Jemima faked a laugh and as Thomas pocketed the letter, Kenway approached them.
"Right, Thomas. We're off." He said, patting Thomas's shoulder.
He stood, smiling as he felt the letter, half his heart, in his pocket. Jemima watched him, pained slightly. As a man, she was expected to do the wooing, to find a woman but that's not what she wanted. She wanted to be a woman, to be found by someone, letters like that written to her.
"Thomas?" She called after him, standing.
"Aye?" He turned back.
"I want to go with you."
Thatch, hearing these words, stepped forward.
"And where would you be going, young sir?" He growled, hands behind his back.
"After Torres." She said. "He has gold."
Thatch looked from his daughter, to Thomas and back to Jemima.
"Father, please. Just this once, can I go without you?" She pleaded.
He slowly turned to Thomas, as if analysing him.
"Fine." He said and Jemima grinned. "But if you get hurt," he pointed to Thomas, "that's your responsibility."
"Aw, father, I can take care of myself-"
"No." He shook his head. "I've been taking care of you for these past years."
She rolled her eyes.
"Alright. Thank you. I'll see you later."
Thatch folded his arms and glowered at his daughter as she jogged away with Thomas, catching up with Kenway and the rest of the crew.
As soon as she was out of sight, he smiled. He knew perfectly well she could take care of herself. He just wanted to see how desperate she was to prove it, not just to him, but to herself.