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The Spiked Wine Of Good Bye; att. Adoracion
Topic Started: May 29 2014, 03:31 AM (1,717 Views)
Nicole Cavalier
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[align=center]Date: 16-th of December, in the evening
Place: Port de Paix, Saint Domingue, Hispaniola
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It was just another afternoon which seemed to be dragging for an eternity as Nicole was waiting for the time to close shop and meet Adoracion again.

A few more days had passed, and he had come for her every evening. He had won Madame Lucia’s acceptance, he had been Nicole’s guest at Saint Lucia’s celebration dinner, which included crepes with jam …apparently because any holiday needed something sweet, but in truth because he had told Nicole that he had never eaten any.

As for Nicole’s heart, it was already won before. With each moment spent together, in all circumstances, she was discovering more endearing things about him.

It was no need to make him any direct declaration of love; he had received all the subtle or less subtle ones, told with all sincerity and not even meant as declarations of love. He might have guessed already that he was her first love… and if he didn’t, hr would, perhaps another time, if it mattered for anything. If not, maybe it didn’t matter. The present, the time spent together, was what mattered, with all its mix of heightened emotions. She wasn’t measuring whose feelings were stronger or deeper; it was enough that they existed. That Adoracion and Nicole had found each other… and got closer.

Yes, communication was sometimes good between them, and sometimes frustrating or misleading. It was bound to happen between people who weren’t native speakers of each other’s languages. But this challenge was welcome in their otherwise quiet lives.

She was just noting which of the ingredients for the salves, potions and teas she was selling were running low, to know what to buy before the approach of Christmas was slowing down the business in general. It was a wise thing to do, and something to make time pass quicker until she would see again her lover.
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Adoracion deChucho
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Sailor aboard the "Twilight Shark"
Privateer
His heart had hammered with anxiety all the way here. It wasn't that he was nervous - he was sure that he was not nervous. But the attempt to come up with the right things to say had him a little preoccupied. He could not think of the appropriate words or a peacable way to put them together. And of course, her door was drawing ever nearer. Ever step he took brought the inevitable conversation closer.

The relationship had been fun while it lasted. But now came tha part that always made him wish he hadn't bothered to begin with. Especially under such a short circumstance.

He knocked, as usual, and then let himself in, as it was very close to closing hour and the door was still open. At first he noted Madame, to whom he gave a small smile and then bowed low, offering her the highest courtesy and greeting her in their own fair language. But son, with a mischievous look, she flitted off, leaving the two "lovebirds" alone.

He looked to Nicole with a worried gaze. Although he tried to see normal, it showed some that he was concerned with something, his mind running again and again over what he had to ask for and what he had to say.

Generally he was no coward, but the thought of not telling her at all had crossed his mind once or a few times. He could muster himself to fight a man hand to hand or worse. But face a woman's tears? Ha! He'd rather see Hell.

"Hola, Nicole. Como estás, hm?"

Ah, but his voice lacked the music he always held and his eyes, their dance. He saw her as she was now, but he was watching how she would be when this conversation was over. He could see a paan being thrown at him now.

Ugh, like a bloodied bandage, they said. Got to simply rip it off.
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Nicole Cavalier
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Nicole’s face brightened upon the door and seeing him. Only the fact that Madame Lucia happened to be there too made her blush and not come forward to meet him. Yes, she was decent enough to know that she couldn’t have thrown herself into his arms, as she would have wished in an ideal world where nothing was shameful.

The sound of the Spanish language made her happy. And when he greeted her in the same language, she answered happily:

Muy bien, gracias. Esperandote! Y tu? (Very well, thank you! Waiting for you. And you?)

Not much progress, still it was something.

She noticed something different in his eyes, but it was not the moment for questions. He’d say what weighed on his mind, if he wanted to.

”After I close the shop, you are invited to dinner,” she said, knowing well that he appreciated Ghislaine’s cooking.
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Adoracion deChucho
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Thank you," he accepted her dinner invitation with a nod. At this point the invite was just a courtesy. He had become accustomed to the slave's fare and felt that he was getting fat off it - a fact he did not mind much. This was the feast to his upcoming famine. Aye, two weeks into a voyage began famine enough for anyone.

He took up modest and mild conversation with her, discussing mundane things like anecdotes about misbehaving crew members and slowly, slowly, began to regal her with the fiasco that was the fight against the port over fair judgement on their prize and her contents. He explained to her in the manner he was best capable of how the system worked - the rules of legal capturing, the commandments regarding selling, how little power the privateers had over how their prize was judged or how much they got for it...

And then it was dinner time, and Adoracion paused the conversation as he sat at the table with Nicole, Ghislaine and Madame, too, and they prepared to eat.

There was a moment - the beginning of the meal, where Madame asked after the nature of their conversation and, in comfortable Spanish, Adoracion caught her up. Of course, as the lover to a maritime man, Madame knew at least most of what Adoracion spoke, even though things were a little different for privateers than navymen.

Adoracion let the conversation drift away from him then, leaving it as the gripe of a frustrated, helpless sailor who could do nothing for his concerns. After all, especially with Madame being attached to the navy, he could not sound too enraged so as to shed light on their enflamed motive, nor could he outright say what they intended to do about it.

Eventually, someone in the conversation mentioned something that would be occurring next week. Some small festival put on by the church.
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Nicole Cavalier
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It was always pleasant to have him around. Nicole paid attention to what he was telling her, not only because the way he was speaking needed a bit more attention, but his world was radically different than her quiet one. Besides, everything he was telling helped her imagining him better aboard that ship (even if probably her imagination had only vague ressemblances with the reality he was facing.)

Until now, she hadn’t understood that he had been promoted to master gunner.

”Congratulations! That’s worth celebrating! I am so glad for you!” she told him enthusiastically.

Then, he started telling the story of the injustice which they had been subjected to. She understood better why he had been worried the days before.

”This might be a good subject of discussion over dinner,” she said wisely.

Nicole might have understood only partially what it was about, but she wanted Madame Lucia to hear it too, so it would arrive to the ears of the Rear-Admiral when he was back. At least, she mused, this way Adoracion and his crewmates would be avenged.

Nobody in town knew for yet that Madame Lucia was his mistress (or so the dwellers of the Fleur du Cafe thought, because some rumours might have appeared already, given his visits here). And, true, everybody in the neighbourhood remembered the new shop owner’s marriage, back in June, to a middle-aged sailor.

And yes, he told it upon dinner, in details. He even explained it better in Spanish, as an answer to Madame Lucia's questions.

Then, the discussion switched to the Christmas carols and festivities the church was organising... just to result in Adoracion and Madame Lucia continuing the discussion in Spanish, reminiscing about the Spanish Christmas traditions and about the Posadas from the colonies. Not that it was bad for Nicole to listen to more Spanish, if she was determined to learn it, even if she understood only about half of the flying words.

But she had been happier when the meal ended. Somewhere in her slightly possessive mind, she didn't want to share him. Not because she feared he'd fall in love with her mistress; no, not this way! But simply because her time with him was always limited...
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Adoracion deChucho
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The discussion somehow turned to Christmas and the upcoming festivities and small celebrations the church would be presenting. Madame Lucia spoke to him in Spanish of the way they did things here and, he tried to remember when she spoke of it, how things had been done in Spain. As a child, even in an orphanage, Christmas had been a special time of the year. Gifts were not abundant, if present at all - but a holiday did not need gifts to be special. Holidays lived in the hearts of people, after all, and not in the decorations they placed out.

But then the meal ended and Madame and Ghislaine rose to leave. On their way out, Madame turned and spoke to the couple, both.

She said that perhaps Nicole would have a escort this year to the festival - she would not have to go alone this year (or not at all) if Adoracion was not too afraid of dancing, himself.

And the Spaniard lowered his head and cleared his throat and gave a small smile, the dismayed look flitting back into his features. He looked to Nicole, hoping she would say that she was not interested, rather than that he would have to say he could not do it...
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Nicole Cavalier
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Nicole didn’t expect Madame Lucia to intervene directly. Yes, she understood it, especially that, after realising she had spoken Spanish, she turned back to French.

”He isn’t afraid of dancing, I had been afraid before meeting him!” Nicole answered promptly and sincerely ”Of course I would love to go with him, the holiday would be brighter!” she continued with enthusiasm.

But right then she looked at him, catching a glimpse of the dismayed look and suspecting two reasons for it. Of course, there could be a third one – that he was already bored of her. But given that he was here now... this was out of the question. There were two left.

”If they don’t get their due shares until then, he might be too angry to be able to enjoy a holiday, though,” she answered thoughtfully. ”And what if they get their shares before, and the captain decides there is no more reason to remain in port?”

She was a sailor’s girl. She had repeated it to herself enough days, until she understood that it wasn’t going to be any better than in Madame Lucia’s love story. Nicole didn’t want to be mean. She knew she could hurt deeply if asking how many such parties her mistress had attended escorted. She didn’t know any. In truth, there had been only Saint John;s Festival, and the conditions were known. She had been with her husband-to-be, not with the man she loved.

Then, she looked at him with hopeful eyes:

”Would you like it? And no, it is not an invitation, I know men should make the invitations!” she laughed.
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Adoracion deChucho
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I would like it, I think. he said slowly, his voice betraying the truth. But...I fear I can not promise to be here then. Or... through December... at least. He met her eyes and then looked briefly to Madame Lucia. He wanted to reach out for Nicole's hand, but would not in her guardian's presence.

But why did he seem so mournful? It was silly. Every sailor came and went from port. He did not want to break the worst of it openly.

I learned just today that we go to sea tomorrow."
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Nicole Cavalier
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Yes, he would like it. She knew it. But his tone was saying that it wasn’t going to happen before she heard the continuation. He ultimately let out the words she feared. Then he ended it with the most unexpected one: tomorrow.

Somehow, it made sense, if she thought better, with a sigh. They had been wronged, and they had to leave for better... not greener, but bluer pastures with prize ships to be appreciated elsewhere. It was normal to be like this in their situation... And it was equally normal for Nicole not to like it. But she was now a sailor’s girl... she had to get accustomed to it, even if tomorrow was so sudden.

She didn;t care about Madame Lucia anymore, neither about what would be appropriate or not. She threw herself into his arms with despair:

”At least we still have tonight,” she said, trying not to sound as sad as she was.

He still had time to come and say good bye... and this was something too. Besides, they had to celebrate his promotion! And to forget, tonight, for a little while, that a tomorrow existed...
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Adoracion deChucho
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Bowing her head, Madame Lucia tok her leave when Nicole ran into his arms. She knew personally the disappointment of unexpected departures - and even the expected ones never ceased to make your heart break.

It was Adoracion's natural reaction to open his arms and hold Nicole tightly in them when she threw herself into them. For a moment he allowed the embrace to lengthen and tighten, bending to bury his face in her hair. And then he straightened up and shifted his hands to her shoulders. From here, he held her at arm's length and looked at her hard.

"Nicole... the Shark might not return to Port du Paix for a long time. The insult we got here was very grave." He looked to see if she was understanding, knitting his brows as he spoke in a mixture of Spanish and French, trying to shape something sensible.

And even if the shark did come back, Adoracion could not guarantee that he would be on it, for one reason or another.

"Do you... understand?"
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Nicole Cavalier
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Feeling his protective embrace made things a bit better. She could recompose herself a bit, while the mind was half accepting the truth, half fighting it. Then he pointed out something she hadn’t actually considered at the moment when hearing they would leave tomorrow. It was true, it was a grave insult.

She met his eyes serenely and trustingly, even if with a mist of sadness on her gaze.

”I understand. But you’ll return some day, wouldn’t you? When things will be better.”

She hadn’t said anything about the ship. Maybe in her mind there hadn’t been the difference it was in his mind – that the ship could return without him, or he without the ship. Out of the whole ship, she cared only about him returning to her some day – whenever it would be meant to be.

”Even kings insult each other and make war, then they make up and it’s peace again,” she added in support of her previous statement.

She would be waiting for him as long as it was necessary, if he wanted to return to her. Even if no insult had happened, a ship leaving port could return after a long while. And there were sailors’ girls who waited, and others who didn’t. She was decided to be of the first kind.

Nicole loved Adoracion. Not only that she had found in his words and gestures what nobody else had ever thought of offering her, but their lives had certain similarities too. Besides, if he had the world of the seas open at his feet, with a ship’s full crew, interesting places to visit, battles and other things needing to focus on, which didn’t make exactly for a day to be exactly like the previous or the upcoming one, for her things were different. She was confined to the small world of the tiny shop, with brief outings in the surroundings, usually for errands.

For her, it didn’t feel that they had just gone out together for about a week and this was it. Her heart measured the time differently. She would have said that she knew Adoracion for about a month (which wasn’t inaccurate either), and the time the ship was out was counted too, because all that time she had prayed for him, thought about him – his presence had been vivid in her mind. And from the week of happiness together, building so great memories, since tomorrow on it would be again back to prayers, memories and wishes, treasured inside her or sometimes let overflow a little on paper. Her daily routine was illuminated only by this. He, always surrounded by people aboard his ship, by friends and enemies alike (if she thought about that nasty crewmate), was obviously in a different situation.

”I’ll be waiting for you and praying for you just like before. And until you return, I promise to be able to speak your language more,” she said, still looking at him.

It was a solemn promise.

”And no, without you I won’t be going to the celebration. The previous years was different, then I liked the crowds in feast only because most of them were too absorbed by the music and things they saw in order to mind their purses,” she whispered the confession. ”Now it would have been beautiful only if you were here. So I am not going.”

This would reassure him that he meant too much for her, and she could be a faithful sweetheart for her privateer hero. He needn’t worry, when far away, that she’d forget him.
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Adoracion deChucho
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...you'll return some day, won't you?

I’ll be waiting for you and praying for you...

Now it would have been beautiful only if you were here...

Aye...yai yai... She was... set on this. She liked him a lot - perhaps too much. Was he her first? No, not the first man she had had. But the first man she had cared about? Perhaps he had not chosen wisely. Maybe this time apart would help her come down of the lovebird high he'd apparently brought to her along with his gentle hands and considerate manner.

"It is true."

His hands squeezed her shoulders gently, firmly, tender and strong like a sail embracing the wind. He held her a moment, saying nothing, but looking at her long and slow.

"Well, if we return, it will be good to hear my language in your mouth." He smirked, bowed his head, and pulled her in towards him again. The sound of that was more sensual than he had anticipated, and hearing it made him want her. Briefly. Suddenly. His arms held her about the waist, his hips against hers and his eyes down upon her.

"You should go to the dance. It will be fun. You know how to dance! You can teach the other girls."
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Nicole Cavalier
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His confirmation made her smile again, with a bit of confidence. Of course it was true – the previous war, in comparison with this one, showed it clearly that even with the kings it was possible. Spain was once France’s ally, now its enemy. And Britain, the opposite – then enemy, now friend. But Adoracion could never be her enemy, no matter what the kings would decide.

”I know it is true. And I will wait for you, exactly how you said you would like me to,” she said serenely.

His grasp warmed her shoulders, leaving the warmth spread all over her body. Yes, this was what his touch always did to her, and this emboldened her to keep staring into his eyes, without getting lost in them, and to continue:

”You said you were looking for a home to miss, for a woman to return to. Maybe I am that one; or maybe you’ll find another in another port, who really owns the home she receives you in, and you’ll forget me. But it doesn’t mean that I will forget you or that I’ll cease waiting for you and praying for you. You are welcome back whenever you can… or you want to.”

Her tone now was matter-of-factly, with a sad tingle. Another woman might have cried. She was saving her tears for after he left… or for when they would overwhelm her. A sailor leaving for the sea, was something as unavoidable as the sunrise or the tide. It was bound to happen, and no tears or supplications could make it different, so why trying to fight the stream? Nicole knew to accept what couldn’t be changed. The pain of the separation was simply a part of being a sailor’s lover. And there was always the risk to lose him for another woman – more beautiful, richer or simply closer to what he might have been looking for, and available when she was far away from him. These were things she might not like, but she had to accept. And it didn’t mean that she should be the one to do the same.

There was another risk too – the one she preferred not to think about, with the exception of the prayer time.

His answer at her promise to learn better Spanish until he returned was encouraging, especially that it ended in a closer hug, to which Nicole answered how she knew better – namely, sticking to him like ivy to a tree. This was the last time they were together for who knew how long. Well, she’d know; she’d count the days in prayer beads, no matter for how many times the rosary over – but for now, it was time to cherish what they had, and to be brave.

At his suggestion, made somehow in dance position, that she should go to the dance and teach the girls, jade eyes met again his dark agates, while the words came out on the same measured, half-sad half objective tone:

”Yes, I know how to dance, thanks to you. And any party would remind me of you. Maybe I will teach Ghislaine, if she wants to go. The other girls… are not my friends. Our close neighbours here have young children. But I know a festival I will attend – the Three Kings’ Day. And I’ll be there not to dance, but to sell, at one of the stalls, some of our potions and tea mixes. It’s a good fair for vendors too.”

She had thought already about the Kings’ holiday and she had spoken with Madame Lucia in this respect. And the fact that any holiday with people dancing would remind of him, was also something natural and accepted.
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Adoracion deChucho
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Don't get him wrong - he appreciated the ease with which she let him go. But he was surprised by it. She wasn't a whore. She was a... sort of decent lady. And she...liked him. A bit, anyway. Perhaps not as much as he'd feared. That was good. But still surprising. Go, she said. Fall into the arms of another woman. I hope you come back, she said, but if you don't I won't hold it against you. What was this? This was not a normal woman's response, was it? Not from what he'd heard about good women. Hell, even some whores - those who he'd heard falling in love with their clients, were more...

Nah, he wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, then.

Of course, she was twisting the knife of guilt into his gut - whether she meant it or not.

He had nothing to say as for her dancing, selling and festival-ing. Or lack thereof. He was feeling the emotion of suddenly abandoning a person he'd come to know very well - a lover, indeed - but he had not forgotten his purpose. Yes, he only had one target achieved thus far.

"Thank you for not being upset with me." he said softly, cocking his head after a bit, his eyes still upon hers as close as he held her. "We had good times, didn't we? Even as short as they were." he spoke softly and leaned in, lowering his eyes to watch her as he continued to move through her space, his nose brushing hers softly, gently, just touching at it passed on to her cheek, their lips nearly touching. "I'm glad that English bastard stabbed me."
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Nicole Cavalier
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Indeed, Nicole loved him, with all the fervour and naivety of the first love.

But she knew well that nothing would keep him stuck to her petticoats. He was a sailor, meant to go... and to return. She couldn’t claim him in a certain way, she couldn’t keep him. She didn’t expect declarations of eternal fidelity, because she was aware men were different... and she had been told so many times that especially sailors, who allegedly have a girl in each port. First and foremost, she wished that girl in Port de Paix to be her.

She hadn’t sent him in some other woman’s arms; she just knew he would go anyway. She was told numerous times, not only now, that she was courted by a sailor, but also in the past, when she didn’t care about the subject, that it was a given for all seafarers. So she had to accept what she couldn’t change. But she desperately wanted him to return to her. And she feared that if he found elsewhere a girl being everything Nicole wasn’t – prettier, wealthier, owning the home she’d invite him into, maybe better from other points of view too – the humble herborist girl from Port de Paix would be forgotten forever. This was her greatest fear; again, she knew she couldn’t do anything against such a destiny, if it was meant to be.

”I am not upset with you. You do what you have to do. You can’t do anything about it,” she said softly, looking in his eyes.

His nose touch made her laugh and disturbed a bit her trail of thoughts, but she tried to continue:

”Yes, we have wonderful memories. And I am glad that God brought us together... because you could have got stabbed and still not arrived to Fleur du Cafe. Or Madame could have been behind the counter... and she wouldn’t have...”

A coy smile completed the idea that Madame Lucia wouldn't have fallen for him. She wouldn't have given up her dashing (and rich) Rear-Admiral for a sailor... even one of her country. But Nicole had seen something in Adoracion from the beginning... He had dazzled her inexplicably. Now she knew. Probably it was love at first sight, like in the legends... just she didn't know and couldn't recognize it until her story looked exactly like others she had heard or read about.

The caress of her cheek and the tantalizing closeness of his ripe mouth were driving her wild with passion. As he was holding her, the slight trembling would give him to understand that he was rising the desire inside her.

Still, she tried to finish her idea:

Mi Adoracion... I know I can never dream to be your only one. I just hope to be the special one in your life – the one you return to. And be sure that you are my only one. Mon heros, mon amour...

Maddened by the closeness of his mouth, she stood on tiptoes, pressing her lips against his, tasting his lower lip, hands gripping to his shoulders. Nicole was simply feeling she was melting into him... and if she could never say ”Don’t leave!”, the passion and despair of this kiss attempted to say it in her place.
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