WAVES SPLASHED AGAINST the hull of the ship with fierce velocity. The clouds were closing in on the ship as if to cover it with a blanket of water. Men were filing out of the cabins and decks as they prepared for the worst.
Charlotte barely emerged from under the galley and she was already struggling to walk straight. Huge waves continually rocked the hull to the side and her balance had already been skewed from being under board for quite some time. She lost her footing just as she stepped away from the opening, but the older Drummond grounded her steady.
“Keep your equilibrium at center at all times or else you’ll get taken by the next wave.” He whistled between two fingers. He called over the two boys that she was supposed to head toward earlier. One had a Band-Aid on his left cheek while the other had a plain but continuous smile on his face.
“You three work together to tie whatever else needs to be tied down, and do not get crushed by anything. I don’t want to be obligated in cleaning up the blood and gore you’d inevitably make. Now move out!”
The two boys were staring at Charlotte as if she’d grown two heads but before they could say anything else Charlotte grabbed the excess rope on the floorboard. When they still haven’t stopped staring at her, she finally snapped at them. “What?”
The one with the band aid just smirked before pointing at her attire while the one with the continuous smile said: “Your breeches are on backwards.”
“What?!” She looked down, and indeed they were. Bemused the two began singing out loud about a young girl in her backwards breeches causing Charlotte to chase after them with the rope.
Aden and Damien were watching from above the deck, and Xavier joined the two with a smirk on his face.
“See, I’m glad you took my suggestion to allow the girl some freedoms.” The older one said with a smile.
Damien frowned unsure of what to think. “Will she really be okay? She obviously doesn’t know how to clothe herself, how is she supposed to work on deck with the other men?”
The one with unkempt raven hair just grunted before securing a firm grasp on the wheel. Thanks to the riptides underneath the waves, The Division was beginning to drift further and further away from the port they were heading to.
“I don’t care how she works with the other men, what I want to know is who she is and what she plans to do now. I’m starting to regret saving her after Zaine threw her off the cliff.” Xavier barked a laugh before turning his attention to the deck.
Damien meekly smiled before looking at the waves crashing into their hull. “She’s like a Damsel. Anyway, I’m more worried about this storm.”
Aden clicked his tongue. “Tch. Xav, get those blockheads back on track before I have you finish the tasks in the crow’s nest.”
Xavier who had been full-heatedly laughed began to nervously chuckle. Abruptly he turned his attention to the three knuckleheads that were messing around. They were supposed to tie everything down after all. “You guys better hurry up your duties or I’ll have you finish tidying the crow’s nest and cleaning the deck with your tongue!”
“Damien, help Markus pull the sails up. We don’t want them torn. Xav, when you’re done rallying the forces, have those scallywags get downstairs once everything is secured.” Both responded quickly with Damien running down the stairs grabbing Markus to pull up the sails.
They began their task of pulling the ropes but they were having trouble once it snagged in the lever. Xavier saw the rope snapping the lever the instant they pulled the rope down. “Stop, you’ll break the lever and we’ll lose the sail. You two hold the rope while Jakob climbs up to pull the lever free.” Leo had pulled Charlotte over to the last canon and tugged the rope from her hands.
“You’ll be helping me with this then. Quick lesson on tying ropes, sailor knots are your best friend!” He showed her how to tie a sailor knot and after two attempts she was able to make one decent enough.
“Great, now take this rope and wrap it through the open slot in the rail, yeah just like that!” Charlotte was beginning to get it around the slot before she looked up. She was looking for encouragement from Leo but was immediately stunned to see a twenty five foot surprise heading over to their ship.
Moments before Jakob climbed the mast to the lever and had easily released the pressure that was snagging the rope. He then slid down the mast to help Markus and Damien by moving onto the next sail.
“Put your backs into it men!” Shouted Xavier as his leadership skills came through. Pulling the ropes, they finally managed to get the mainsail up and secured before moving to the one Jakob had started. Except the thing that caught Charlotte’s attention had gotten Damien’s attention as well.
“Watch out!” Leo snapped his head up to see the huge wave just as it was about to crash over the rail. Grunting Leo grabbed the rope Charlotte had disregarded into one of the fastest sailor knots he could before the wave washed over them. Damien, as quick as he was, had run over to the rail but slipped on the slick floor. Sliding on his side to the side rail, the blonde male pulled Charlotte down just as the wave crashed into and over their ship. It was ten dreadful long seconds before the deck was completely clear of water. The rope that Leo had used to secure them had snapped under the pressure of three bodies, causing them to ride the wave to the starboard side of the ship.
All of this happened while Aden felt the wind whip tendrils of black hair into his face and shouting out Xavier and Damien as loud as he could. He stared with awe and shock as the water receded and most of his crew was shown coughing, struggling to maintain their grips on stationary objects, and recovering from the harsh wave. For the most part everyone was okay, just in completely different spots than they were originally before the wave hit.
Leo and Charlotte were on the opposite end of the ship holding what seemed to be a rope over the rail yelling for Damien to hang on to the rope. As Aden registered it was his brother over the rail, he wanted nothing more than to run over to the side and help them. Unfortunately all he could do now was control where the ship was going and hope another wave that scale didn’t crashed into them.
“Hang on!” The two shouted at the same time as they helped pull the blonde haired man up from the side. Damien spewed water from his mouth.
“Thanks.” He murmured to the girl before grasping her wrist. She winced in pain but he continued staring at her. “Why did you follow me the way you did? You could have fallen off just like me.”
Leo just laughed before slapping Damien on the back. “Hey man, we were going to go with you one way or the other. Just be glad I was quick enough to grab that excess rope by the canon.”
Charlotte, on the other hand, just smiled brightly at the blonde and sandy haired males in front of her. Shouting over the ferocious winds Charlotte said: “I’ve seen one too many deaths in this past week, I couldn’t bear to lose another. Especially someone who just risked their life to save my own, you know?”
Leo reached over to scruff the girls wet locks of hair out of her drenched face. Damien, even though he had his doubts at the beginning, finally cracked a laugh at how ridiculous it seemed. He was a year and a half veteran on the sea, and a girl who had probably not sailed over a week in her life had saved his life.
“What?” She asked confused at how both the guys were laughing at her. Somehow while the two were laughing, the other guys appeared around them to point out the obvious about Damien. Xavier bent over to hug his younger brother to check for any other injuries. He was the eldest after all, and wanted to be sure he was alright.
“Thank goodness you’re safe! Almost thought I lost my favorite little brother! Good thing we have the little Lottie here. Good job kiddo!” Markus and Jakob both whacked Charlotte in the back showing their support for her recent action.
Aden who was still on wheel duty merely glared at his family and crew. They would be celebrating and completely forget the terrible storm they were still in the middle of. He looked over to the side to see another huge wave rock into their vessel, but luckily it wasn’t a twenty foot water wall crashing into them.
“Hey Idiots!” He shouted over the storm, his own unkempt raven hair was plastered to his face as the wind slapped strands into his eyes. Angrily he wiped the mist and hair off his face to point to his port side where more storm clouds were coming. “Would you all do me the honor of finishing your duties so we don’t all capsize? I would like to live through this, thanks.”
Everyone looked in the direction their Captain was pointing before gaping in shock. Aden, who noticed their frozen reaction, immediately looked at what he was apparently pointing at and also felt his left eye twitch.
“What the…” He muttered just as a sixty-five foot rogue wave started to come over them.
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