Bird Of The Sea

32 Escaping The House Of Sin

The man undressed, often casting a hungry look in Jemima's direction. She rubbed her arm, standing still, not sure what to do. She was scared. Never before had she been so scared than at this moment. Closing her eyes, she wished that anyone of her friends, Mary, Kenway, Thomas, would burst through the door to rescue her.

Opening her eyes, she glanced to the key on the dresser beside the door. She wouldn't reach it without him knowing. Not until he was asleep. But by then, it'd be too late.

The room was ugly, she noticed. It had the bare necessities, a bed, a dresser, a mirror and... And that was it. The room was there for one purpose, and to be aesthetically pleasing was not it.

The man, now completely undressed, stepped towards her and stroked her chin, lifting it to force her to look at him. Their bodies were close but there was nothing but cold between them. Not like with Thomas, where the heat was stronger than a fire and all she wanted to do was lie in his arms-

"Lie down." He ordered and Jemima obeyed, sitting down on the foot of the bed, crawling back as he crawled forward.

"Please, no..." She begged, her voice timid as he loomed over her.

"Silence, whore." He spat and as he buried his face in her chest, his hand stroked her leg, pulling up her skirt.

She bit her lip, trying not to weep. As he reached her inner thigh, she pushed him away, only to be shoved back down.

"Don't." Jemima threatened, finding her strength beneath her fear.

"Or what?" He grinned, unlacing her corset.

With a snarl, Jemima raised her arm and the blade sliced through her sleeve. Before he could cry out, she had embedded it in his neck, watching as he choked in his own blood, spilling down onto her dress, nearly matching the colour.

"I warned you." She told him and pulled the blade out, pushing his naked, dead corpse to the floor.

Jemima stood and rushed to the door, fumbling with the key as she unlocked the door, closing it and locking it again before anyone could notice the body inside.

"Jemima!"

She spun, relieved when she saw Alice approach. Her eyes flickered to her cut, blood stained sleeve, loose corset and blood splattered skirt.

"It's done?"

"Aye."

"Then let's go."

Alice lead Jemima down the stairs, ducking into the small dressing room where the first met. She opened a chest beside the wardrobe and pulled out a familiar shirt, trousers, corset, boots and hat.

"You kept them!" Jemima rushed to it, pulling off her dress and stepping back into her pirate apparel. Oh, how she'd missed it.

"Of course. A dress isn't very practical for a pirate." She smiled.

"Thank you." Jemima said, placing the hat over her head.

"No, thank you." Alice opened the door.

"Hey, I haven't got us out yet."

The two snuck out from the dressing room and into a long corridor. At the end was the escape and so they picked up the pace, breaking into a jog, nearly bumping into the Madame.

"She's always here!" Alice hissed, ducking behind one of the pillars that decorated the corridors. "Whenever I try to run, she's there!"

Jemima put a finger to her lips and crept up to another pillar. With her back to it, she tilted her head slightly, watching the Madame. She whistled and the wicked woman turned, eyes darting about for the source of the noise. As the Madame stepped towards the pillar to investigate, Jemima smiled.

Alice watched on, nearly crying out as the pirate snatched the Madame, her elbow around her neck, cutting off her air as she held her to the floor. She kicked and struggled, but eventually tired, lying still.

"Is she dead?" Alice asked, her hands over her mouth.

"No, just asleep."

"If I'm honest, I wouldn't mind if she were dead."

"Her time will come, but it won't be by our hands. At least not today." Jemima said and the two ran on for the door.

They burst out into the night and ran. Alice lead the way, racing through the nearly deserted streets of Havana. She grew breathless, but didn't give up. Nearly on the other side of the town, she reached her father's home. She knocked furiously, panting as the pirate girl stood behind her, wrist blade drawn, watching the night in case they were followed.

With a candle in his hand, the aged man opened the door, weary, grumbling about the time. As he set his eyes on Alice, they widened. He dropped the candle, the light extinguishing and he pulled his daughter into an embrace.

"Oh, Alice! My Alice, my daughter!" He cried as the girl began to sob with joy.

Jemima stood back in the shadows, head bowed, longing for her own father.

"Father, this is Jemima. She rescued me." Alice said, stepping away, gesturing to the pirate.

"We rescued each other, really." Jemima insisted.

"For five years I've been without my daughter." He wiped his tear stained eyes. "If there's anything I can do to repay you, name it."

"There is something." Alice told him. "She has friends, one sold into slavery, three more marooned on a desert island. Could we help them?"

"There's not much I can do about you friend in slavery. I don't deal with that sort of thing. But I can help your marooned friends, as long as they haven't already perished."

He waved for the two young women to follow him inside the house and he drew a map from a cupboard, laying it out over the table.

"Where is this island?" He asked, lighting candles around them to illuminate the map.

"I don't know. We were separated here, though." Jemima pointed to a space on the map.

"Them most likely, they have washed up on Isla Providencia." He said, pointing to a small island beside her finger.

"That's our first port of call, then." Alice said, hands on hips.

"Yes." The man nodded. "Let me pack, and we'll leave at first light."

"We're going too?" Alice raised an eyebrow.

"We can't stay here." He pointed out. "They'll come looking for you and I don't know what you had to do to escape, but I can't imagine it was good."

Alice and Jemima exchanged a glance.

"Then it's agreed?" He asked. "We'll all travel together?"

"Aye." Jemima nodded. "Together."

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