More Than Enough
Daren stood on the docks, watching them. There was a strange expression upon his face, a mixture of relief and nostalgia. Lerra couldn't help but wonder what was the cause of it. Well, she wouldn't wonder for too long. No, more of a concern was her First Mate and she cast a glance at him as the ship began to ease out into the river which would lead out into the sea.
He tried to keep his eyes toward the water, toward the future. But he kept glancing back at the docks, hoping he'd see her there. She hadn't come. Hope slipped away as the ship moved out. She wasn't going to come. Jerroll shifted, leaning against the rail. That was her answer, that was her choice. If she'd rather have a safe life she didn't remember than take a chance, then it was better to know that now instead of finding out later.
"You look like a drowned wherry." Lerra quipped, her gaze shifting to the docks, then following Jerroll's to the river as it widened, embracing them. The sea called to them and while the trip had, indeed, been profitable, she would be glad to get back to her preferred waters.
He sighed. "It has to catch me once in a while. I guess it was just time for another round."
"Hmph." The captain leaned against the railing and stared into the water. "Go get a drink." She ordered nodded in the direction of the stairs that led below. "I left a little something in your cabin."
"I'm on duty," he muttered.
"No, you're off duty." Lerra snapped, "I'll not have my First Mate moping about on deck. Go get yourself a drink and put yourself together before you come back up here." She had known that he wouldn't be up to duty come morning. So why had she let him drink? And why was she letting him go? It wasn't like her, but she was doing it. Getting soft in her old age, the Captain suspected as she glared at her second in command.
He sighed again, louder. "Yes, Captain." Another drink would dull the headache at least, and if he stayed and argued with Lerra, she would only get louder. She knew full well he was hung over, and she would use it to torture him. He turned from the rail and walked toward the back of the ship. He could feel the eyes of the crew on him as he went. They were concerned eyes, but he still felt an urge to snap at them. He stuffed it down. Tomorrow, he'd feel a little better, and a little better the day after that. He'd still miss Edele, but with time, the sting would wear off.
He went down the stairs into dimness and stepped into the sanctuary of his cabin.
Lerra watched him go, arms crossed over her chest. Once he disappeared below deck, she turned her gaze back to the shore that was quickly moving further and further away. It hadn't been a good idea to get caught up with that woman in the first place. It wasn't like Jerroll to fall so hard for someone. Love them and leave them, that was the sort of man she had known. Like her.
Men had interested her for two reasons - pure, physical pleasure being one of them. The other reason that they interested her was for the most part, they were quite gullible and easily tricked. Most of them anyway. Jerroll was better than most.
Yet, despite similar philosophies when it came to bedmates, Jerroll had finally fallen for one that wasn't so easily left behind. It didn't make sense to her. And yet, it did.
The captain leaned against the edge of the ship, staring at the land that grew smaller and smaller. Her bones began to ache, her many turns coming back to haunt her. And what did she have to show for it? Jerroll was a good friend and fine First Mate, but that was all he was. Beyond that, there was nothing. There was no one to come to bed with her every night. No familiar voice to awaken to each morning. No loving arms to hold her in the darkness.
No, there was something. Jerroll wasn't her lover, but he _was_ her friend and friends were better than lovers. She had a beautiful ship and a fine crew. She had her freedom to sail the seas. There was no one to tell her where to go or what to do. There was no one to boss her around for she was her own boss. There was no one to answer to but herself. She could come and go as she pleased, take the jobs she wanted, refused those she didn't. She made marks, enough to keep a lifestyle that was pleasing and satisfying to her. The sea was her family, friend, and true lover. It was the sea's voice that she heard every morning and its song that lulled her to sleep every night. When she finally passed on, its arms would enfold her in its embrace, together, forever.
She was free.
It was more than enough.
Last updated on the November 27th 2008