Chapter 82 - Dreams
“Good evening, Captain Byron,” Rowan greeted as she passed him to check the ropes. She couldn't believe this was the same man they found on that first day.
“Evening Byron,” Alena echoed the greeting on her way to adjust the mainsail.
“Ladies,” Byron angled a slight bow at them and with the most insignificant moment of hesitation, Alena jumped from the deck to the mainsail mast.
Rowan watched in amusement as Byron blinked at the impossible height she reached with an easy, graceful, and effortless movement. He shook his head, but with a slight bit of worry, Rowan also noted the admiration in his eyes.
Alena displayed her vampire self on purpose to test him, and see if he remained as comfortable around them when they didn’t act human on his behalf. It took mere moments for her to adjust the sail, which would take the human crew a good while to achieve.
“Anything else needs doing captain?” Rowan asked, and he considered her a good long while.
“Go to the crow’s-nest; I spotted some debris in the water earlier,” Marcus commanded from behind him, and she went straight up the mast like a shadow. Byron’s eyes followed her with a mixture of fear and awe. Knowing and seeing were two different things.
Marcus didn’t approve of the way they tested the waters, but he saw where this would lead.
“Something sunk,” her voice floated down just as Alena dropped to the deck. She landed as smoothly as if she jumped from the handrail, not halfway up the main mast. Seeing them move and act like vampires made Byron thoughtful and silent.
Marcus expected it, but it was still startling when Rowan landed just five steps away. She’d been at the top of the main mast, and at least twelve meters above the deck. She landed lightly, her body absorbing the shock. Now Byron knew what all those odd bumps and thuds were, but could he accept it now that he saw it for himself?
This was how three people handled a boat that needed at least seven to run. Marcus took the wheel, and they half expected Byron to leave, but instead, he asked where they were headed. Marcus considered Byron for a moment before he explained.
Byron looked thoughtful when Marcus finished. He had absorbed the shock of their display and moved on. They had shown him a little of what they could do, and he realized that what they were capable of doing, bore no consideration.
“Regret not taking the boat and sailing off into the sunset?” Alena asked, and Byron pretended offense as he pulled himself up to his full height.
“And miss all the fun and intrigue?” He inquired with a raised brow, and Alena smirked.
“As long as you understand,” Alena started, but Marcus glanced at her and away.
“That you three are the exception and not the rule?” Byron asked with his usual intuitive understanding, and Alena nodded.
“I understand what you mean, lady Alena, and I had no choice but to trust you with my life. I had a choice to trust you with the lives of my crew,” Byron revealed.
“My daughter Sarah, young Roger and Philippe, they guessed what you are. Saving us bound them to you as I am. You saved us from death and for that we owe you our lives, no matter what you do to us. They will transport the supplies you need, and I will captain this boat to get those supplies,” Byron informed them as if they were discussing the weather.
“They keep your secrets as I keep them. When I witnessed what they did to my little girl on this ship? I realized we would die, and our lives were forfeit. It was just a matter of time, and then lady Rowan released us,” Byron conceded, and his eyes on Rowan bore a gratitude which made her uncomfortable.
“No one on the other ship would have released us. Cargo is cargo, and the pirates had enough gold not to worry about a few bronze pieces,” Byron kept his emotions well in check, and Alena realized he wasn’t as old as the touches of silver in his hair and beard suggested. He appeared rather handsome for a middle-aged human.
“Anyway, I’d pity the pirate who tries to take this ship,” Byron ended gruffly, and Marcus chuckled.
“Not exactly my point,” Alena sighed, and Byron turned to her with a sad half smile.
“I respect you enough to understand you are dangerous, my lady. Those who cross you do not live long, but we three and those others, were destined to be on this ship,” Byron rocked back on his heels and seemed to come to a decision.
“I dreamt of this ship when I was a boy, and I wrote its name in the sand at Croscombe. I saw in a dream a woman wearing a red silk dress with dark hair. She looked much like lady Rowan, except that she was old, young looking but ancient where she stood in the moonlight on a bluff of land,” Byron revealed and Marcus remembered his dream, except the woman in his dream, wore a white dress.
“It was her dream I saw; a dream of daylight and there was a purpose in the seeing of this ship,” Byron closed his eyes as if to ward something away.
“She called me nearer, although she didn’t speak and when I approached, she whispered something in my ear, but I could never recall the words,” Byron murmured, and he frowned.
“Not until I saw the lady Rowan in the bowls of this ship. Your face and the blaze of your eyes made the words came back, but I thought it had been some flight of fancy,” Byron turned to Rowan, while Marcus watched and listened intently.
“But I dreamt the dream again last night,” Byron felt foolish admitting that, and it showed.
“Tell my Angel the shadow is named Bellvare,” Byron concentrated so intensely that a cold wind seemed to chill his bones. Byron looked uncomfortable and blushed. He made to leave, but Rowan spoke.
“The woman you saw? Her name was Helena, and she was our aunt. Is she is all you saw?” Rowan asked without an ounce of disbelief, and Byron stood very still as he absorbed the past tense. Was our aunt, did that mean Helena was a ghost?
“My mother was born with the helm. She saw things, and after that night on the beach, my grandmother believed I was touched in the head; fey,” Byron grinned as he shared his past with both love and pain in his expression. When Byron mentioned the beach, Marcus became sure they dreamt of the same woman.
“I had to walk the straight and narrow after that. I lost my willingness to believe in fate and all of that, but then I met you,” Byron admitted.
“Vampires and moonshine?” Marcus teased, and Byron smiled.
“My grandmother believed that fairy tales corrupted the mind. Servants were born to be servants and dreams belonged to the rich and the fey,” Byron suddenly grinned broadly, and it was his first real smile in their company.
“The day I put my feet on a ship, I realized that servants would be servants, but dreams had only the limitations of your own will,” Byron told them with the fire of his belief in reflected in is eyes.
“I wanted to be a captain, and I became one. I never dreamed of more. In the belly of that ship, I wondered if it was my punishment for taking my dreams,” Byron’s mood turned sober, and they knew his thoughts lingered on Sarah.
“It’s past my bedtime, master, ladies,” Byron nodded stiffly, and then made his way below deck.
“He still blames himself for what happened to Sarah,” Arlene deduced.
“And he always will,” Rowan agreed, but Marcus’ thoughts lingered on the dream and its meaning. If it wasn’t a dream, then it was a message. He didn’t mention his thoughts to the others. Something told him they should not know.