Even at the night upon the water the Caribbean was warm during the summer time.
All ships were anchored on the island of Amora, a small piece of land most wouldn't consider anything important about it. There were two towns on the island and with a population of less than one thousand live there.
However, the island with a lovely name harbors a dangerous secret. It was home to brigands, their families, as well as criminals, including the most dangerous of all: pirates.
Amora was one of the most secret locations in the island chain, and only a few captains outside of pirates know of its location, which is a closely guarded secret that only a few outsiders knew about.
One such ship was called the Willow. A frigate of Spanish creation, it was a forty cannon ship that was manned by a very experienced crew of riffraff.
Those riffraff were currently in full celebration mode, having done what they did best in the last two weeks: capturing ships and loot. That loot had been used to buy rum and food as well as shot and cannon ammunition. The amount of rum bought somehow outnumbered the amount of food and weapons needed to keep the Willow safe and nourished.
But that was to be expected, thought a young man who sat on the main deck of the Willow near the helm. 'The men have risked their lives for that loot, might as well let them go all out. Just for one night, that is.' He had a single candle to illuminate his surroundings, which other than the moon was his only source of light. The light shined off his youthful face, showing a man who was only in his mid-twenties with a dark thin haired moustache on his upper lip. His hair was dark and short, and though he was dressed like he was going to a gala, the gentleman known as Lois DeChant was as properly dressed as a pirate captain would be. Dressed in a grand dark blue coat, his favorite color, tailored as best he could by the lowly women of Amora town itself Louis seemed to be dressed for a party but his ship was anchored at dock and the sails were up. It wasn't going anywhere.
So what did he have in mind?
He walked to the port side of his ship, facing the open ocean, and peered over the side to see a small row boat sitting on the water below. Making sure he was set in terms of dress the man grabbed onto the rope and began to descend to the boat. Well, after making one last look around to make sure no one saw him that is.
Once he was convinced that no one was around he went down the rope and made it to the boat. I rocked gently under the weight of his body but it went and sat down at one end and placed his large captain's hat upon his head.
That is when he lit the lamp next to him and set it on the other end. The air was humid, there was a light veil of fog which prevented him from being seen from the beach in the distance. Then the captain sat down and waited.
For a long while he waited, with only the creaking of his ship making a sound.
Yet the smile on his face didn't go away.
Then the sound of a small splash in the distance forced Louis to look away. He saw nothing and yet kept his guard up. What he was doing was considered dangerous if not suicidal yet the young man didn't care.
He sighed lightly, "Maybe tonight wasn't the best choice-"
He then saw something that made his heart skip a beat. A woman was on the side of the boat holding onto its edge with slimy wet hands with longer fingernails than what would be expected of a woman. She was beautiful, long flowing blonde hair that was slick and wet, combed back and her emerald green eyes seemed to be piercing through the captain. Her youthful expression and features betrayed her true nature.
"Ah, I was wondering if she stood me up this night," said the captain rather casually.
The woman, whose nature as a mermaid was deceiving to anyone that would lay eyes on her but not Louis reacted accordingly. "Are you Louis DeChant? Captain of this vessel known as the Willow?" He nodded once, taking his hat off, "Louis DeChant, Captain of the Willow, and I am seeking an audience with Aera."
The mermaid narrowed her eyes at the captain. No doubt she could smell the alcohol on his breath. One of the few things mermaids hated was the putrid stench of rum. It ruined their sense of appetite, which was all well for the captain who was helpless as it was without a weapon nearby.
"I am her messenger, I shall inform her of your request."
She dove under the water, the splash flew high enough to get the toes of Louis' boots.
"Hm, was it something I did?" asked the Captain before shrugging it off.
Moments after the blonde mermaid left the captain felt a chill in the air. It was unusual but no less chilling. Still he kept himself calm. Mermaids were animals to a degree and fear was something they thrived on when attacking potential prey.
But Louis had solace in a fact that made him immune to such a tactic. "Aera likes me, so I shouldn't worry."
The key word was shouldn't, yet he felt uneasy.
Any second he half expected a pod of fish women to drag his sorry carcass under the water's surface and devour him. Such would be fitting for a pirate to die on the sea and by women no doubt, even if they were devil fish.
He blinked and looked around and after hearing the telltale splash of a coming fish. Louis didn't know what it was that made him do it, but when he looked over the side of the row boat he saw another mermaid looking up at him with pearl white eyes and dark auburn hair slowly emerged from the water and as he was close enough she raised her hands and grabbed the collar of his coat and ended up pulling the surprised captain towards her and planted a loving kiss on his lips.
Taken by surprise Louis didn't struggle. Instead he kissed the mermaid with passion.
Only when the pirate needed to breathe did the mermaid lower herself back to the water, the waterline was below her chest and she hung onto the side of Louis' rowboat. He knew that her lower half was made of a fish like tail with pink and green scales like those of any aquatic fish. She had enjoyed her way of salutation towards the captain and the taste upon her lips was sweeter than anything in the seven seas. "Hola, Louis."
Louis sat back in his seat, recovering from the greatest greeting he had experienced in a very long time. "Hola Aera, I see you're lively as ever."
"Yo have to when the diet is restricted to the schools off the coast of this island," said the mermaid as she rested her chin on the wood. "My pod is restless, and would be uncontrollable were it not for your continuous raiding ventures on merchant and pirate ships."
"Just tell your girlfriends that dead meat is just as good as warm meat when it comes on a regular basis," answered the captain. He knew that Aera's pod, which consisted of at least two dozen mermaids who followed her out of loyalty, would do anything she asked of them long as they were fed. Mermaids were like a pack of wolves in the water, and like any carnivore species they preferred meat. Yet due to his personal morals Louis never fed them live men; not out of the kindness of his heart would be ever send a man to be fed to the merfolk. Instead, those who were killed in the fighting were sent to the watery grave, and to the mermaid's bellies as a result. That included any and all of Louis' own men.
He had sent five of them to the water when they had died in the fighting in the last week.
Now he had to make sure Aera was doing fine with this arrangement. But while he was so into this mermaid he had to take serious caution. "Anyway, as much as I would love to talk for hours into the night, I have to make this brief. The men are drunk from rum and thus they don't tend to think straight. Were they to spot me with you...their trust in me would be in serious peril."
"Such as it has bene since we were children," said the mermaid, her thoughts thinking back to when she was but a young minnow attached to her mother's side. Saving Louis after he had nearly drowned during a storm, their two lives had forever entwined ever since. Falling in love was almost inevitable, but both welcomed it despite their differences.
Mermaids were considered a terrible omen, and were more often than not killed on sight. Not an easy feat to accomplish but it wasn't impossible. The last thing Louis wanted to do was endanger Aera unnecessarily. She was already taking a huge risk meeting with him like this.
Sadly, as much as she wanted him to stay, she knew their arrangement had to remain secret.
"I understand Louis, but if I may ask what do you plan to do next?"
"I have matters in Amora to attend to, before I go out and seek adventure once more."
She smiled, knowing what he meant to do was nothing short of Louis being himself. "Then I bid you good night, and until next time, mi amor."
This time it was Louis who leaned in to kiss Aera. His was twice as long as hers had been, but no less sweet, before he forced himself to let her go.
She pushed herself off the boat and after giving him one last tender glance she dove under the water and out of sight.
Sighing at the best part of his life going away, Louis eagerly grabbed at the rope and began to climb back aboard the Willow. Adventure began in the morning, and he needed plenty of rest before the dawn.