Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Chapter 7


Without meaning to Emi dozed.  The blood she’d lost from being shot in the arm hadn’t been great but combined with the lack of food and water she’d been experiencing plus the physical stress she had been under for years, her body had given her no choice but to rest or pass out.   

She came to as she was being lifted over someone’s shoulder and her instincts kicked in.  “Easy there Emi.  Kiko is already aboard as are the other girls.  It would be a fine repayment to drop you on your head now wouldn’t it?” 

“I can climb.” 

“Not with that arm.” 

“I’ve climbed in worse shape.” 

“Not on my boat, now be still or I’ll hoist you with the cargo.” 

Emi almost said, “Well that’s what I am isn’t it?”  But she managed to stop herself before it came out.  She was getting too comfortable with Kiko and this man.  She’d made a similar mistake before and had vowed never to make it again. 

It took less time than she expected but instead of putting her down he kept carrying her like a sack of salvage down a darkened passageway and into a cabin where he sat her carefully in a chair.  Getting her first glimpse of where she was at had her rushing the door but he got in front of her and in the process of stopping her grabbed her injured arm.  Emi’s knees buckled and the Captain cursed.  “Holy hell girl you make me act like an idiot.  Stop fighting and let me look and see what I’ve done.” 

“Don’t touch me.” 

“It’s me or Ernie and frankly after what I saw both of us will be happier if it’s me.  I’ve had him on my crew for two seasons and this is the first hint that he’s a sadist.” 

In spite of her continued distrust she took a chance and asked, “Have you ever had women aboard before?  Are you normally at sea this long?” 

“At sea yes.  Women on board no.  You saying he can normally keep it in check long enough to go ashore and … whatever the hell he does to keep it tamped down?” 

“Don’t ask me, he’s your crewman.” 

“That he is which is why you are here and those other gals are securely locked up with Kiko and Miguel taking turns as a guard.” 

“Oh Kiko’s gonna love that.  He can barely stand to be around them as it is, now you’ve got him locked in with them.  Is this boat ride to hell going to take very long?” 

The Captain smiled grimly, “Long enough.  But the other spaces are being used for something else.  Now, sit down and stay sat.  I’ve got to get topside and I want to make sure you understand the rules.” 

Without him saying another word Emi sing-songed, “Don’t come out of the cabin.  Don’t mess with nothing in the cabin.  Don’t let anyone into the cabin.  Yada, yada, yada.” 

The Captain looked her over.  “You have been at sea with men before.” 

“Fishing fleet.  Mostly I was kept below deck to deal with the catch as it was brought in.  When I wasn’t working I was locked in … for my own protection of course.” 

He snorted.  “Of course.”  Then he sighed.  “There’s water in that barrel over there.  Drink what you want then climb in the bunk and try and rest.  And Emi … same rules apply as Kiko had … and I’ll handle you the same.  Understand?” 

“I feel all kinds of special.” 

The Captain shook his head at her bravado and then left, locking Emi in.  It was only after she was sure that he was gone and she was alone that she slid to the floor.  If it hadn’t meant evidence of how weak she was feeling she would have puked but she controlled the nausea with slow, deep breaths.  Once she knew she wouldn’t vomit she crawled over to the cask and used the attached cup to get some water, the first she’d had in almost twenty-four hours.  She slid back into unconsciousness after her second cupful. 

Sometime later Emi vaguely registered voices.  “Tol’ you she was a stubborn one.  Crazy Chiquita.  Falling asleep on the floor when there is a perfectly good bed.  You sure about this Nate?  Dora ain’t gonna to be happy.” 

“And she had nothing to say about you bringing home some strange woman for Tony?” 

“Eh, she made noise.  But not the kinda noise she gonna make when she finds out her little brother done took that strange woman from Tony.” 

“I’m not taking her from him.  He went off on his own and got one before you could bring this one back.  Not my problem if he’s gonna learn a hard lesson from it.  Tony’s loss is my gain.”  Softly he said, “I want her.” 

Kiko snorted.  “You might want her but something tells me that it ain’t gonna be that easy.  You for sure about this?” 

“What’s the problem?  You were going to give her to Tony.” 

“She would have made a man of him.  And if she couldn’t she would have at least taken good care of any bebes they had.” 

“I’m still not seeing the problem.  If you think it’s ok for your brother what makes you think it isn’t ok for me?” 

“She reminds me of Gina … before that el cabron broke her.” 

“No.  She’s not like Gina.” 

“You saying Gina wasn’t this stubborn?” 

“Of course she was … and worse … and for no good reason at the time.  Emi … she’s stubborn … but she knows when to step back and see how the wind blows.  Gina was … she turned greedy and brittle.  Emi … from what I’ve seen, she’s flexible … and willing to … well, she don’t trust but she’s willing to … to …” 

Sounding a little confused Kiko said, “Yeah.  Don’t know what to call it myself.  You just be careful.  I’m thinking now that she could have killed me at any point but for her own reasons held back and didn’t.  She didn’t leave me when I told her to either.  Strange, crazy chica.”  Then he laughed.  “But for now I’d be more concerned with coming up with a good story for your Hermana.    She is definitely going to expect some reason for your crazy.  I’m going back to give Miguel a break.  Them girls are all batty … except for that one hen.  She at least knows when to shut up.  And she ain’t bad at sewing people up so I’m gonna have her change this bandage … that Ernie tied it too damn tight.” 

After Kiko left she felt a sheet being pulled off her.  Emi’s mouth was dry and she could barely swallow.  If she’d had more wet in her mouth she would have spit in his face. 

“How long you been listening?” 

In a hoarse voice Emi snarled, “Long enough.  I’ll fight.  I’m not some two bit whore to …” 

“Whoa Emi.  Before you go off half-cocked let’s see if we can swing a deal here.” 

Misunderstanding she edged away from the large man in front of her and snarled, “I told you I’m no whore.    Sure not a dock whore to be paid to …” 

Nate sighed.  “When you are finished jumping to conclusions and are willing to listen, we’ll talk.”  He walked over to a desk buried under several account books and ledgers and sat down.  “And get that look off your face.    You may imagine you hate me right now but you’ve got more sense than to stab me in the back.  You’ll never get off this boat in one piece if you do.” 

Emi was well aware of the precariousness of her position but she also knew she had the patience to wait the man out.  Or she thought she did.  The rocking of the boat put her to sleep, a true one this time.

5 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see if Nat is going to be strong enough...

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  2. Meant to also say : Thanks Kathy!

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  3. Lots of ways to say I'm lovin' this story and am in no hurry for it to end (Details ! Adventures ! Romance ?) but for now I'll just say: Thanks !

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  4. Great story Kathy, thanks for sharing your gift and story with us.
    Wayne

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  5. Great story Kathy, thanks for sharing your gift and story with us.
    Wayne

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