CHARLOTTE CHANGED IN record time because for once she feared the Captain would follow through with his threats. She did not like the way he treated her, but she knew her only chance of survival was for her to stay on that ship. At least until she could find someone who could help her. It may have grated her nerves. It may even try her patience, but she knew it was a necessary evil to overcome. She was a guest. And there was only so much a guest could do on a mercenary ship for The State.
Walking out of the Captain’s room was a blessed feeling, especially since she had forgotten how to move her legs. That jerk of a Captain had left her with only two options: go with the flow or get eaten by the sharks. Neither were in her best interest. It was then that she stared at the clothes she miraculously put on. She had never worn clothes such as those. Mostly she wore dresses and corsets, liners and ball gowns. If her Uncle saw her now–she could see his displeased expression forming in her mind.
“Stupid, idiotic, jerk…” She muttered before turning the corner in the hall. She was heading up the staircase toward the deck when she collided into the man with the moon and stars tattoo and beanie.
“Ouch!” They both said at the same time.
Xavier rubbed at his head before looking down at the girl. Surprised he steadied her before she could stumble into the rail. “Hey new girl, I wasn’t expecting you to be up so soon. The brat said to drag you out kicking and screaming if you were still dawdling. Well, ya definitely made my job easier. This way,” He smiled at her before pointing up at the staircase.
Charlotte on the other hand didn’t move from her spot. “I don’t want to be here. I want to be home with my family.” She sniffled before she rubbed her bruised shoulder. The sting of pain accompanied her with each move she made.
Xavier sighed at her statement before looking up at the ceiling of the hall. “We all have wants in the world that we can’t get, no matter how much we wish for them kiddo. I know how much you’ve been through this past week, but I know Aden is trying to raise your spirits by doing something productive with your time. Trust him.”
“…” She remained quiet. How someone that dastardly could be trying to raise her spirits?
“Oi, I can’t read minds! Besides, ellipses are for mimes. Say something!”
Charlotte kindly smiled at him for his comically clever statement. “I wouldn’t necessarily say I would trust him, but I am willing to do something else. There’s only as much sleep as one can take before its too much to bear.”
“Ah, the beauties of being able to go to sleep, no matter, we all can get sleep when we’re dead. Right now we’re caught in a bad storm, are you up for your first task?” Xavier walked around her to put his arm around her shoulder. Lightly pushing her forward toward the stairs, he looked up through the swinging door way where the grey sky was evident.
“I don’t have much of a choice here, its sink or swim now.” She murmured out remembering emerald-eyes threat.
“Well we all are either sinking or swimming so might as well try to stay afloat however we can. Now, take this rope and help the guys’ upstairs tie down the crates to the open side channels. The sooner we get that done, the sooner we can go to the Caboose and dry off.”
Charlotte bobbed her head, his statement already confirmed her sneaking suspicion of there being no way out to survive this. It was when they had reached the squeaky staircase heading up that Xavier turned back to her. “And quit being formal here–we all are family. D’you understand lassie?”
The auburn scrunched her face at the strange request. “Is my manner of speech that horrid?”
He must have stared at her with his azure eyes unblinkingly before a long sigh escaped his lips. “We’ll work on it a bit more when the storm is over.” He gently used his hands to grab her shoulders. Xavier ushered out into the cold rain dropping down and the wind blowing faster than she would have liked. The frigid air made it hard to even breathe, but the older male shooed her into her task.
“Hurry it up! Give those two the ropes. Jakob is the one with the sparrows on his arm, Leo is with the oh-so-original beanie!”
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