|Series||Crossfire by Pixichi|
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The morning was warm, a gracious welcome to weeks of the cold spring. The splashing of the waves as they licked hungrily at the sandy shore was coupled by the throngs of seabirds cackling overhead. Connie and Lance were taking one of their many walks down the shore. Armed with a small wicker basket, Connie was looking for seashells and other interesting sparkling objects that would happen to catch her eye. She spied a spiral light blue shell glistening in the morning light, and as she added in to her collection, she felt the cold sea water slide between her toes before rushing away again, taking sand and shells with it. Connie looked up at the puffy white clouds overhead and a small smile appeared upon her peach lips. It was going to be a lovely day. She continued her leisurely stroll and as always, Lance was several yards ahead, exploring. The white wolfdog buried his nose deep within a small burrow in the sand, possibly that of a crab, before pulling it out again. Then he dashed across a shallow tidal pool, disturbing the small fish within. Connie watched his antics with a twinkle of delight in her blue eyes. Even her companion was having fun out in the nice weather. The two had walked almost to the end of Bloodstones shoreline, and were heading to their secret place. A small cave nestled between the cliff face and the surrounding sea. Connie had always gone there for solitude, personal training sessions, or for comfort in a difficult time. But today, she was going there just to relax. It was her own private place. Most of the villagers were convinced that the cavern was haunted by the ghost of the infamous Captain Dread, and although Connie had confronted him and defeated him more than a year ago in battle, most people would still refuse to go near the place. Which meant that she and Lance had it all to themselves. Lance knew exactly where they were going. He kept ahead, then turned towards the cave.
"Lance! Wait for me boy!" Connie called out with a gleeful skip in her stride. Lance turned his head and gave her a mischievous grin before darting into the cavern. Connie chased after him, finally catching up with him inside. Lance was waiting for her, his plumed tail wagging profusely. Connie ran to his side and playfully pushed him over, then began to rub his belly rigorously. Lance groaned contentedly, happy for the attention Connie's hands were paying to that special spot between his ribs and stomach.
"Your such a naughty boy, running off like that. Yes you are." She crooned to her pet. Lance rolled over and stood. He trotted over to Connie and gave her a wet kiss.
"Your naughty but also very sweet." Connie added, patting his head. She looked around at the gloomy damp cave. The stalactites upon the ceiling were dripping water slowly off of their sharp points, and the musty aroma of rotted wood and stale salty air hung all around her. The cave was deep, as she had discovered in her fight with the ghost pirates. Connie made use of the room at the very back of the cave, where the nefarious captains quarters had been. There was still some furniture and a big bed left inside the makeshift room, and Connie often stored things in there for safekeeping. Ironically, she hadn't kept anything inside of the cave since her quest had ended, and so there was nothing that would help her now, not even gold, which she desperately needed.
"Wait a minute!" Connie spoke aloud, realization making her excited. "Reaver said that if I spent some time with him that he would pay me back for my house, I will have gold again." It was something that he should do, because he was the one who destroyed my house in the first place. He really owes me a lot more than that. Connie thought. I wonder why I'm not angry about that anymore? A knot began to tie itself around her stomach. Love. Was she really falling in love with him?! It still confused and surprised her that of all the men in Albion, Reaver was the one who had captured her unsuspecting heart. Initially, she had hated the pirate, and had good reason too. Ever since she had met him, Reaver had taken every opportunity to make her life difficult. She had hated him, or at least she had thought so. But lately, the feelings she was having for him, were anything but hatred. Spending time with the scoundrel had forced her to see things differently, and while she still had serious doubts, Connie was beginning to wonder if Reaver was really as bad as she had always believed.
"I wonder why he's started acting like this? Last week, out on the ship, he seemed like a normal person. I actually enjoyed my time with him. But before, he would annoy me relentlessly. Even two weeks ago he was like that. What's changed?" Connie tried to put reason behind his actions, his attitude, but nothing seemed to make sense.
"He can't seriously be in love with me. He uses women for his own advantages, and he never stays with one for any length of time, and even when he's with someone, he's never faithful. Even if he was a good, honest man, which he's definitely not, it isn't as if I've given him any real reason to fall in love with me. I try to get rid of him every time he comes near me." It was true. While he had been a bane to her existence, Connie herself hadn't exactly been innocent. She had taunted him in her own way as much if not more so than he had her. Not to mention the time she had slapped him upside the head after he had tried to seduce her last year. Come to think about it, she should have been dead many times over by now. Reaver had a hidden, terrible temper. He disguised it so well in fact, that Connie had seen him casually laughing with someone whom had just poked fun at him one minute, and then shooting said person the very next. If he was really such a heartless killer, why had he let her have so much slack. It wasn't as if women were immune to his rage. Connie shuddered as the image of the two maids with the bullet holes in their eye sockets came to mind. He could have killed her so many times, and yet he chose to put up with her abuse and harsh words.
"Why me? Is it just because he wants to sleep with me? He could have any woman in the world, why would he put that much stock on my life?" She continued to speak to herself, knowing there was nobody to hear her and think she was crazy. Lance had since lie down, but he was still looking up at her, as if he were listening. Connie was too distracted by her troubled thoughts to notice the devoted look in his dark blue eyes.
"Oh come on Reaver! Spend a little more time with me honey!" The buxom blonde pleaded through hazel eyes. She wrapped her long arms around the Hero of Skill. "I'll make it worth your while sugar." Reaver was in his dining room, slowly sipping his favorite red wine. He looked up at the beauty, giving her a sinister look.
"Maranda darling, your more than welcome to come with me. Although I hardly think that you would like it, the open ocean is no place," he ran his fingers through her rich golden locks, "for such a lovely young girl." Maranda giggled. While Reaver had many different lovers, he always had one or two set aside at a time as personal favorites. Right now, his favorite was the spontaneous and wild young Maranda, at least for the moment. His tastes tended to change rather quickly.
"Oh, Reaver! Your such a tease. Why must you always go off on that barnacle infested boat of yours anyway? Are you searching for treasure? I'll give you plenty if you just come back to bed with me again, no need to go halfway around the world to find precious jewels after all." The young woman bumped his leg with her curvaceous hips . Reaver chuckled and got up out of his chair. He stepped in and grabbed the luscious lady before him.
"What kind of treasure have you got in store for me, my dear?" Reaver purred, holding Maranda closely. She playfully slipped out of his grasp and faced the pirate.
"Come upstairs with me and I'll show you." She coaxed him with a wink. Reaver hoisted her off the ground and she let out a shriek. He pulled her body closer and nipped at her earlobe. Maranda cried out.
"Now now, my pet. The idea is that you do as I tell you, not the other way around. I shall have to punish you for your defiance." Maranda smiled seductively.
"What do you have in mind?" Reaver's green eyes lit up with fiery lust.
"Oh, your just going to have to wait and see..." He attacked her neck with passionate kisses. Maranda moaned wildly.
"Oh Reaver...your such an animal my dearest..." The lovers were interrupted by a sharp pounding on the front door. Maranda looked deep into the pirates eyes.
"Who could that be? Your not expecting another sweet lady are you?"
"Just you today." He replied with a nip to her tender flesh. Just then, a servant entered the dining room.
"M-Master Reaver? Pardon the interruption, but you told us to tell you if Miss Remswood came by." The male servant spoke meekly. Reaver looked at him annoyed, Maranda still fastened around his waist by her long legs.
"Well, yes. What of it?" Reaver asked. He used his free hand to push away the bottom of his long coat, flashing his deadly pistol to the already nervous servant.
"S-She's here now sir." The servant struggled to continue. Reaver's eyes lit up. He looked at Maranda, who was confused.
"My darling, I have some important matters to attend to it seems." Maranda jumped down from his arms and then crossed her own.
"You said that I was the only woman you had business with today!" She replied upset. Reaver wrapped his arms around her waist.
"Oh hush sweet dear. I am a gentleman of my word, and belive me, after this business is finished, I shall give you a day equal to a year in its pleasure." Maranda looked over her shoulder at him.
"You promise?" Reaver just laughed and took in a deep whiff of her strong perfume.
"I could never lie to such a pretty face." He answered her, and then strode out of the dining room. As the servant had said, Connie was awaiting him outside. Reaver opened the door and was taken aback to see Connie's sweet smiling face. To be honest, Connie was not glamorous, her clothes were worn and cheap, and she was technically homeless. But whenever Reaver looked at her, all he saw was beauty. Pure, honest, simple beauty. To him, Connie was the most lovely woman in the world, although she did not know it, and he would not admit it directly.
"Connie! So good of you to drop by! Please, do come in." He held the door open to her. Connie graciously accepted.
"I made it to chapter five." Connie stated proudly.
"Oh? How are you enjoying it then?" Reaver asked, locking the front door.
"Its still going a bit slow, but I can definitely see a plot developing." Connie replied. Reaver walked over to the sofa and sat. He patted the other side and looked at Connie.
"Would you like to sit down dear?" He asked. She smiled and then sat down next to him. She seemed uncomfortable, and unable to sit still.
"Is something the matter?" The charming rogue asked. Connie squirmed a bit more before looking at him.
"Oh, its nothing. I spent an exciting morning down by the beach and I guess now I just can't sit still."
"Sounds lovely. I had other, less wet and sandy matters to attend to this morning." Reaver stated. Connie laughed.
"For someone who's a seafarer, you sure don't like to get wet and dirty." She commented. Reaver gave her an annoyed glance.
"For someone who's and ex-heroine, youre not at all scarred or rugged or unattractive. Looks can be deceiving my dear. As can actions." He concluded.
"Yes they can." His words held more meaning for her than he realized.
"Do you want to stay a while? I just had Courtney put a kettle on not too long ago." Reaver offered.
"I'm sorry, but I just dropped by to say hello. I really must be going." Reaver seemed to sink into the soft cushions at her reply.
"You know, I find it extremely flattering that even though your place of work is at nearly the opposite end of town, you always just sort of happen to be stopping by my mansion." Reaver said with a wry grin. Connie blushed wildly, her eyes widening with embarrassment.
"It's not like that, I just happened to-" Reaver leaned in and pressed his index finger to her lips. Connie's blush grew bigger, and redder.
"Oh taut taut taut! Not need to be so coy darling, I think we both know what your doing here." As green eyes once again found themselves drawn into blue, the two heros stared deep into each other, each wanting to unleash their passions, and each unsure just how to go about the delicate situation. Reaver was more than ready to spring upon her, and as always, Connie had to be the responsible party. She broke the hypnotic gaze and spoke.
"I've actually got to get to work, I just thought I'd stop by and say hello."
"Alright. Will I see you later then? Tea would still be lovely I think my Connie."
"My shift is at night now. Tea tends to keep me awake."
"Then how about dinner instead?" Reaver offered. Connie smiled and nodded.
"That sounds great."
"Are you available tomorrow night? Or is there some goody-goody nobleman I must end in order to have you all to myself?" Reaver joked.
"You know that I'm not seeing anyone." She replied with a playful nudge. Reaver was delighted to see that she was acting so merry.
"No, but your so lovely. That's bound to be changing soon. Beautiful people like us do not tend to be single very long."
I'll see you tomorrow Reaver." Connie shook her head laughing, still not used to Reaver's straightforward humor.
"It was lovely to see you as always Connie, however short. Thank you for thinking of me." Connie just smiled.
"It was nothing. Goodbye." She bid him farewell in a cheery tone, but as the door slammed behind her, she felt her mood drop instantly. Connie didn't want to leave. She wanted to stay, and tell Reaver how she felt about him, about her worries and hopes for a potential relationship. She wanted to ask him if he felt the same way, and why. But her feelings were still new, and she was unsure of herself. Reaver got up and went back to the dining room, where Maranda was still waiting, her pink chiffon dress slightly crumpled from earlier events that day. She tapped her matching pink pump on the marble floor, making click-clack sounds that echoed around the vast room.
"What took you Reaver? I can't wait around forever." She smirked.
"Your such a little vixen Maranda. I was only gone two minutes love." Reaver remarked. Maranda walked up to him and began to twiddle with the collar of his crimson and gold coat.
"So who was it? Some girl?" Maranda turned and took two steps up the winding staircase that led to Reaver's bedchambers.
"No, it wasn't just some girl. It was someone very important."