Bird Of The Sea

8 A Drink

Nassau, Bahamas, September 1715

"Ah, come on, mate!" Jemima laughed, ducking a blow from a cutlass at the last second. "You can do better than that!"

Sam rolled his eyes, trying to hide his heavy breathing.

"Jack, you know you're the best damned fighter on this ship!" He cried breathlessly. "We all know it!"

"Are you just too afraid to hurt me in case my daddy gets angry?" She pouted.

Sam shook his head and dropped his swords in defeat.

"You win." He sighed.

She shrugged and turned away, sheathing her own swords. In truth, her father, the captain, would become furious if anyone hurt her, not because she was his child, but in case they found her true identity. To protect her, mainly from superstitious and perverted sailors, Edward Thatch had dressed his daughter in boy's clothes and gave her the name 'Jack'. Only he knew of her secret and that's how it was going to stay.

"Land ho!" A voice cried and Jemima watched the island come into view.

"Nassau." She breathed.

After the death of her mother, her father, a pirate who's life was on the sea, returned to mourn, only to find a girl of seventeen left behind. And so, for the following two years, took her into his care as her mother was the last living member of her family. To the girl's delight, her life took a sudden turn, from living a poor farm girl, to living as a pirate. She had never been to Nassau before but knew it was a pirate haven. Perfect for her.

The ship docked and as the crew scurried about, Thatch and Jemima stepped down the plank, greeted by the rough but dashing form of Benjamin Hornigold.

"Ah, if it isn't Edward Thatch, the most terrifying pirate of all the seven seas!" He laughed, embracing him.

"It's good to see you, mate."

"And who's this lad, here?" Hornigold asked, nodding to Jemima.

"This is my son, Jack."

"Ah, nice to meet ye." Hornigold extended his hand.

"Likewise." Jemima said, shaking it, her voice gruff.

As they walked onto the shore, a soldier, dressed in the Spaniard uniform, rushed towards them, shouting for them to stop.

"You, pirates!" He called, speaking English but his Spanish accent prominent.

"Aye?" Jemima asked, her pistol tapping her cheek dangerously. "Here to arrest us poor defenceless pirates, are ye?"

"Go on, Captain Queernabs!" Thatch mocked. "Tell me I'm under arrest! Tell me!"

The soldier, terrified by the pirate's fearsome roar, fled.

"Fly away, Boyo!" Hornigold called after him. "Back to your master!"

The three laughed, amused by the soldiers terrified face.

"So, where to now?" Jemima asked, eager to see the sights of Nassau.

"I think a drink is in order." Hornigold suggested and Thatch nodded in agreement.

"A drink it is then." She smiled as they walked among the cluster of rundown buildings, heading for a bar.

For days, Thomas searched for the man, to no avail. He inquired for any signs or traces left behind, but the Sage was either extremely good at hiding his tracks or he had never even arrived in Nassau.

The latter was starting to seem more likely.

In the afternoon sun, the young assassin sat on the docks, his feet cooling in the water, his face bathed in sunlight.

As he heard the rumble of a ship approach, he reluctantly stood, heading back for the beach. His wet feet gathered sand, but Thomas didn't care. Now, he was pretty much past caring for everything. It hurt to admit it, but he was lonely. All his life, he'd had family, the Brotherhood, friends and even his girl beside him, but now, he had no one. He couldn't even find the Sage and if the Templars got hold of him again, it would be Thomas's fault. And that was a pain he couldn't face.

He kicked the sand, ignoring the heavy footsteps that approached him.

"Thomas?"

The young man turned to see the grinning form of Edward Kenway standing before him.

"Kenway?"

"Look, lad." He started. "I know we parted on rough terms, but I've come to make amends."

"You'll fight with the assassins?"

"Not quite, but I'm more than happy to take down those Templars."

"Truly?"

"Hey, they beat me and planned to sell me on a slave ship. I think that's as good a reason as any to have revenge."

"Aye, and how about the lives of the assassins you took? Is revenge on you justified?" Thomas asked, his arms folded.

"Thomas, lad," Kenway pleaded. "I did wrong, I know it, but one mess at a time. Now, are you coming with me or not?"

Thomas rolled his eyes.

"Fine. Where to?"

"Well first," Kenway grinned, pleased to have his friend back. "I'm after a drink."

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