Author: J.L. Hastings PM
During the War of 1812, Oliver Brock finds himself not only in enemy lands, but captured by the pirate Jean Lafitte! He must work with ruffian Jack Harper in hopes of escaping and returning to his lover. Will he make it? Will new love bloom? SLASH! R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 5 - Words: 8,299 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 05-20-11 - Published: 03-09-11 - id: 2897744
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: What have we here? Another chapter? Yes! It is! Sorry about the lateness as usual. School kicked my butt. But now, I'm pretty much free except for on the weekends. I work at the Renaissance Festival now. It's a pretty sweet gig, but it takes up my entire weekend! So I must be forgiven for any lateness on my part. Although, hopefully, now that it's summer, I won't have to be too bad about it. But no promises! You know how I am. XD
New Orleans-French Quarter, Early October 1812.
Jack hadn't gotten nearly as far as he had hoped when he left New Orleans. In fact, he was still there. Except, well, he wasn't in the same part of it as he had been. He'd commandeered a boat as intended, but it hadn't done him much good, considering that it had sprung a leak. Apparently, Jack's luck wasn't nearly as reliable as he had hoped. Still, he had to believe that Lady Fortune had something else in mind for him. Something better than a quick getaway. And, he had to admit, he rather liked it here. It was still home. He just wished he could actually go home without being haunted by the memories of what had transpired there.
Presently, he was in a cheap tavern & inn in the middle of the French Quarter, a couple miles from where he'd been chased off by his poker buddies, and he'd been there for a month. He was keeping out of the gambling scene for a little while at least…thankfully, he had enough leftover money to keep him for a short while. Contrary to what some might think, he did learn lessons. Temporarily, that was, but it was better than nothing…right?
Jack ran a hand through his hair, messing up the light brown strands even more than they had already been. He was trying to pen a letter to Joelle, telling her the truth of everything that had happened, where he really was, and explaining why things had happened the way they had and what he hoped to do after it was all done. It wasn't coming along very well. In fact, Jack made a sound of irritation in the back of his throat and crumpled up the piece of paper, tossing it aside and then cradling his head in his hands.
To be honest, he didn't really like this life. It wasn't anything like what he had hoped when he'd left home. The world was a rather difficult place to live in. Joelle had sheltered him a lot more than she probably should have. He was so optimistic, so sure that everything would be all excitement and adventure when he left home. Instead, he got into gambling and found himself brawling for his life at least once a week. It was almost as if he were a part of the war, even though he'd run away to avoid it. He just couldn't catch a break.
Sighing in defeat, he picked up another sheet of paper and began penning another of his false letters, telling her of the wonders of the mysterious island he had found himself on this time, all the while cursing himself for being the coward that he was.
Mentally exhausted, Jack trudged out of his room and down stairs to the tavern. He moved over to the bar and grinned at the plump hostess, holding out the thick envelope he'd penned for Joelle. "Would you be a dear and post this for me?" he asked, batting his eyelashes. He had already pegged this woman for a sucker for cute gentleman, and he intended to use that to his advantage.
The woman blushed and held out her hand. "Of course, my dear. But why does it say that this is being sent from—"
"Never mind that. It's nothing to bother over," Jack said easily.
The woman looked uncertain for a minute, but one more look at his expression and Jack knew he had her. "Very well, my dear. Would you like some ale?"
"Yes, ma'am. A pint, please," Jack said and she bustled about to get him his drink. Jack turned around and leaned his back against the bar, leaning on his arms as he surveyed his surroundings.
In a secluded corner of the tavern, he spied a rather rowdy group of men playing cards. A pang of desire swept through him. He missed gambling. His fingers itched to be holding a hand of winning cards.
He told himself no firmly, but he'd never been one to listen to much reason. One jingle of his now nearly-empty purse (he'd had to send a good portion of his coins to Joelle, after all) and he couldn't resist the temptation. As the hostess brought the pint to him, Jack thanked her kindly and took a long gulp, then set down the mug and half-skipped over to the group.
Instantly, silence fell over the group and they all looked up at him as if he'd just waltzed in on a very private deal. And maybe he had, Jack acknowledged, but his face showed nothing but a beaming countenance as he surveyed these rough-looking fellows.
"Good evening, gentleman. I couldn't help but notice you're playing cards?"
"Yes, and what is it to you, boy?" said one of the men in a thick French accent, spitting on the floor. Jack suppressed a look of disgust, continuing to grin merrily.
"Well, isn't it obvious?" he said, spreading out his hands in supplication. "I want to join."
The man who had spoken guffawed, and the rest of his crew all joined in. Jack watched them all laughing loudly, and then, the first man stopped abruptly. When his men continued to laugh, he slammed a hand down on the table and yelled at them to shut up in French.
"You want to play with fire, boy?" said the leader, "Then come, take a seat."
There wasn't a seat to take, so Jack looked expectantly at the man directly across from the leader. The man looked back at him warily, staring at him. Then, the leader kicked his chair and he scurried out of the seat, stumbling over to some of the other guys who all mocked and jeered him.
Slowly, Jack took the seat, setting his hands on the table patiently. "So, what'll it be?"
"Are you sure you wish to take on the great pirate Jean Lafitte?" the man said.
Jack glanced around. "Sure. Where is he?"
The man stared at him with undisguised malice and disgust and Jack's eyes widened. "OH! You mean…you're the great pirate Jean Lafitte? Nice to meet you. The name's Jack. Jack Harper. No grand title, though. Just Jack." He grinned, but the man didn't return his smile, so Jack coughed and shifted in his seat. "Right. So. Let's go ahead and get started, eh?"
The game went pretty well, all things considered. At least, Jack thought so. Until, suddenly, the pirate got a royal flush and Jack stared at the losing hand in shock. He'd never lost a game. Ever. He'd nearly lost his life winning them, sure, but he'd never lost a game.
Jack swallowed. He had made a bet much more than he could handle. He'd been sure he'd win. "Oh. This…this is uncomfortable. I…uh…I don't really have the money to pay you. I thought for sure…did you cheat?" Jack asked, then blushed when the pirate's face turned a nasty color and he moved to grab his weapon at his side. "I mean, of course you didn't. I didn't mean to imply…I'm sure…Uhhh…" And Jack ran. Just like that, he flew up from the table and ran away. He didn't know where he was going, but he'd been beat by a pirate. And he was sure the repayment wouldn't be pretty.
He had been right.
The entire crew slammed out of the inn at the same time and Lafitte split them up and ordered them to head in both directions. Jack ducked into an alley, his chest heaving. This was bad. Very, very bad. He'd pissed off the wrong person, and he was sure that the guy had cheated, because otherwise, there was just no way, no way at all, that he had lost.
Jack cursed and moved again, trying to find a better hiding place. He wasn't sure how far he was going to get, but he couldn't be captured by these guys. They'd do awful things to him. Once again, he wished he'd have just gotten over himself and gone back home or never left the army. At least then he'd be somewhere else. Somewhere far, far away.
Suddenly, Jack's luck ran out again. He slammed into a group of the pirates, and they threw him into the sand. They showed him no mercy at all. He'd tried to surrender, but they'd all laughed at him and punched him in the jaw, sending him to the ground. Once he was down, Jack knew he wouldn't be getting up any time soon. Not on his own strength anyhow.
They kicked at him and spit at him, and he curled up into a ball to protect himself as best he could. He made extra sure to protect his head from harm, but the rest of him…well, let's just say that they didn't leave a single piece of skin un-bruised. Each blow rained down on him, twice as hard as the last. The hard-booted feet of pirates were a very effective weapon against unprotected flesh.
Jack had never experienced this much pain in one go. He'd gotten into fights, sure, but he usually got out of them before it got to this point. He wasn't sure when it stopped, or when he lost consciousness, but the next thing he knew, he was being dragged between two of the men. He obviously hadn't been out for long—just a couple minutes—but they had already brought him into another alleyway, where Lafitte was waiting. The pirates holding him between them smelled like death. Jack instantly wanted to revert back to unconsciousness. He couldn't believe he'd gotten into this much trouble. Where were his lucky stars now?
Jack groaned when they tossed him down in front of Lafitte. "Look boss, we got 'em," one of the guys said, giving his boss a toothy grin. Jack tried to muster up the energy to glare at him. "Squealed like a pig, he did."
"Good work," Jean Lafitte said, then kneeled down next to Jack. He grabbed a handful of his hair and forced him to look into his face—something that Jack wished he hadn't done, because Lafitte was hideous. "Thought you could escape me, boy?"
"I certainly hoped so…" Jack said through a bloody grin. His lips were busted and his whole face was a big purple bruise, but he maintained his good attitude. Lafitte slammed his head into the dirt on the ground and then pulled it back up.
"Did you say something?"
"No…" Jack groaned. He wanted to cry, but he wouldn't. Not in front of these guys. He may be a coward, but he wasn't a crybaby.
"Good. Because I'd hate to have to kill you. After all, you owe me a sizeable debt."
"That's…comforting, I guess. That you aren't planning on killing me," Jack said, trying to pull his hair out of the pirate's grasp. As expected, that didn't work. He only tightened his grip.
"You're going to be part of my crew for a while, in a very limited capacity. At least, for a time. You will work off your debt to me, and then, you will be released."
"And how long is that going to take?" Jack said, wincing as the movement of his lips sent a small wave of pain through him.
"Ten years, if you're lucky," Lafitte said with a smirk.
Jack barely had time to process the meaning of the words before Lafitte kneed him in the nose, breaking it and sending him spiraling back into unconsciousness.
He had just become a slave to the most fearsome pirate in the Gulf area.
A/N: And that's it! What did you think? Was it good? Tell me in a review, please!