The news of Astrid’s arrival spreads like wildfire around the ship. Most of the crew is thrilled to have a baby on board, but some are filled with trepidation at the trouble it could bring.
Scarlet uses supplies located on the ship to make a bottle for Astrid. She pours milk into the bottle and feeds it to Astrid, who drinks away happily. Scarlet sits down in at a table in the kitchen quarters, rocking slowly back and forth with Astrid snuggly in her arms. As she gets to the bottom of the bottle, her eyes drift shut, and she falls asleep soundly.
Scarlet gets up slowly, as to not wake the little girl. She tosses the bottle to Atticus for him to wash. Atticus is the cook, a tall, muscular black man with long dreadlocks and ear piercings. She walks slowly to the top deck, to the bow where Fisher is working on the crib. She sits down and watches him work, swaying back and forth to keep Astrid asleep. She leans back against the side of the ship and closes her eyes, falling asleep shortly after, baby snug in her arms.
As the ship comes to a halt at a dock, Banor goes to get Nuri, the gypsy of the ship. She’s average height with a curvy, full figure. She has long, curly black hair, violet eyes, and olive skin. She hasn’t aged a bit since she stepped foot on the ship and she wears eccentric clothing and jewelry every day.
He goes to her because she’s one of the best thieves on the ship, behind Scarlet and himself. He asks her to help gather supplies needed for Astrid.
“Steal what you can, buy what you can’t,” Banor says to her, dropping a small pouch filled with coins into her hand. She smirks and makes her way down the ramp and onto the dock. He sees the fishermen on the dock turn their heads, their jaws dropping at the sight of Nuri. He rolls his eyes and makes his way down the ramp.
Scarlet awakes when she feels something tapping her foot. She opens her eyes and sees Fisher sitting before her, gently pushing the crib into her foot. He used some scrap wood they’d had on the ship, and had crafted an adorable little bassinet. The headboard is the tallest part, the footboard just a little shorter and the sides are neatly carved with little stars and anchors. She peered inside and sees the blankets Astrid had come wrapped in; one used as padding, the top rolled up to make a little pillow, and the other placed on top.
“Wow Fisher, it’s perfect. And it’s big enough for her to sleep in as a toddler, too. Thank you so much!” She maneuvers onto her knees and grabs the collar of his shirt and drags him close to place a kiss on his cheek. She glances down to see that Astrid is still sleeping. Scarlet pulls the crib close and slowly places her inside, covering her with the blanket. “Isn’t she adorable? So well behaved, too.” She glances up to see Fisher nodding and smiling. “Well, thanks again. I’m going to put her in the cabin and let her sleep awhile longer.” Scarlet stands and bends to pick up the bassinet, but Fisher picks it up first, carrying it in the direction of the cabin Scarlet and Banor share. She smiles and sets out to find her boots.
Banor walks through the market set up in the streets, snagging a handmade doll on the way. Nuri is a few yards ahead of him, flirting with the market stall owner as she knocks a few rolls of colorful fabric onto the ground with her elbow. She giggles and bends down to pick up three of the four rolls she dropped. She places them back on the stand and kicks the other under the stall table, sending a pointed look in Banor’s direction. He nods and she moves on.
Banor goes to the stall Nuri was just at and bends down to grab the fabric, quickly walking away before the stall owner ever knew he was there. Nuri ducks into a pub and Banor follows. They each sit down at a table, getting a drink while they’re there. Just after the bar maiden places their drinks on the table, a dagger whizzes past both their heads, into the wall just behind Nuri.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Captain Banor McCallie. Long time, no see.” Banor rolls his eyes as he recognizes the voice of his long time enemy, Adrian Sterling. Banor turns around and sees Adrian’s blade an inch from his throat.
Banor sighs. “Hello, Adrian. Pleasant to see you, as always.” He can’t help the laugh that escapes his throat when the same dagger whizzes past his head again, into Adrian’s shoulder. He hears Nuri chuckle as Adrian grunts in pain as his sword falls to the floor and he clutches his shoulder, easing the blade from his shoulder.
Banor gets out of his chair and yanks the dagger from Adrian’s shoulder. The other man shouts and Banor bends to grab his sword from the floor. He places Adrian’s sword and dagger back into their sheaths and drags Adrian, who is groaning in pain, to the door. Banor pushes him out and he falls into the street.
“Bye, Adrian. Warn me next time before you drop by, and I’ll prepare some tea.” Banor smiles sweetly as he closes the door and returns to his seat.
“That was delightful.” Nuri laughs.
“What do you say we finish our drinks and finish retrieving the supplies? I want to get a few more rolls of fabric, thicker stuff too, to work as diapers.” He replies, a smile on his face as he sips his drink.
“Sounds perfect to me, Captain.”
Read the next part!: The Blood of the Ships: Part Four