The next morning, Hannah woke to the sun poking through a hole in her curtains, and she yawned, finding herself tangled in Garin's arms. She smiled and kissed his nose, beginning to gently pull herself from his loving embrace he had her locked in. Her movements caused him to grunt lightly in waking and open one terribly groggy eye.
Hannah?" he grumbled.
"Hush, there," she said. "I've got to go to work, you stay and rest. Regain your strength."
Garin smiled tiredly and buried his face into the pillow. Hannah laughed to herself and pulled herself from his arms, before getting dressed quickly. She grabbed herself a piece of toast, then headed out the door, eating it as she walked to the tavern where she worked. It was already open, yet empty, for most of its usual customers were still sleeping off the ale they drunk the night before, obviously. Hannah walked into the tavern and started what work she needed to do right away. There were still a few dirty mugs left lying on the counter, but other than that, all was quiet.
The door to the tavern opened and Hannah winced, somehow knowing that whoever walked through that door was going to bring her trouble. And she was right. It was Giselle, that horrid little brat from last night. Hannah felt her face scrunch in disdain as the prissy miss walked in, followed by her bodyguard Stephano, who carried something with him. Hannah tried her best to ignore the girl as she walked up to the counter and looked around.
"Is Garin here?" she asked. Hannah hid a glower.
"No," she replied. Giselle sighed sadly.
Well, I had your dress cleaned," she said, and Stephano laid it on the counter. Hannah looked at Giselle.
"And the only reason you brought it back was because you were hoping to see Garin," she said. "And hope he'd be impressed by your generosity and what not
Giselle smiled. "Oh so you do know how men work." The bratty girl hid a giggle behind her hand, and Hannah scowled openly at the mockery, but then her face became a smirk with purpose.
"No, but I know my man works," she said. "The only thing about you he'd be impressed over is how valuable the jewels you're wearing must be."
"Hmph!" Giselle snorted. "The nerve!" She turned away from Hannah for a moment, but then turned back. "Well, let him then! Its not like you'd be able to afford them yourself!"
"Where's the fun in buying trinkets?" Hannah asked, walking around the counter to stand in front of Giselle. "Garin prefers to steal them, especially from rich folk
"He wouldn't rob me!" Giselle hissed.
"Because you're the daughter of a good friend, no, I suppose not." Hannah crossed her arms. "Its also one of the reasons he won't touch you, or look at you as you'd probably like him to."
"Why you-you insolent girl!" Giselle stomped her foot. "I'll have you know that"
At that moment the door opened, and Hannah glanced with her eyes to see who it was entering the tavern
but within seconds wished she hadn't, for she recognized the scarlet clad figure. She recognized him as none other than Captain Scarblade, sworn enemy to Garin and most feared pirate on the five seas. Hannah gulped down the lump that started to swell into her throat and Giselle turned around, also freezing in terror when she saw the massive green Lupe enter past the doorway. All that could be heard were the heavy clump of his boots against the wooden stairs that lead to the main floor of the pub. Hannah clenched her fists as Giselle backed up against the counter while the Lupe approached, but the white Usul kept her eyes on Stephano, who quickly slipped into shadows of the room behind Scarblade.
Scarblade slightly kicked a chair that was in his way aside. "Establishment is a bit empty of late, ain't it?"
"What do you want, Scarblade?" Hannah asked, crossing her arms. Scarblade chuckled in a way that would make one think it was the devil's laugh and stepped ever closer.
"You know perfectly well what I'm after, lass," he said. "Your inamorato, or rather, his head on a silver platter."
"Garin's not here." Hannah said sternly, though she could feel herself beginning to tremble. Scarblade's lip curled into a snarl and he looked at her, then his eyes fell on Giselle. He grinned.
"I know you," he said. "You're Havenworth's girl." Giselle shuddered, her eyes darting momentarily to Stephano, who started to draw one of his scimitars, then back to Scarblade.
"You look a lot like your mother," Scarblade said with a wicked grin, and Hannah heard Giselle fume in anger. She looked back at her, then up as Stephano sprang from the shadows and charged at Scarblade. The Lupe turned, drawing his cutlass and blocking the powerful strike, but Stephano was larger than a normal Lutari, so he was thrown back into a table. Hannah and Giselle moved back out of the way as Stephano moved to attack again, when all of a sudden he was tackled aside by a large mass of muscle, a member of Scarblade's crew, named Champ.
Stephano may have been large, but Champ was twice his size, and began to beat him ruthlessly. Giselle gasped and tried to rush forward, but Hannah held her back as Scarblade stood up and brushed himself off. He looked at Stephano and sneered as he was being beaten.
"Don't kill him, Champ." Scarblade growled. "Don't want to make him look like a hero, now do we?"
"You're a monster!" Giselle cried. Scarblade looked at her, laughed, and then gave a bow.
"In the flesh, m'dear!" he replied proudly as the rest of his crew came into the tavern. Hannah bit her lip as bloodthirsty pirates blocked the only way out, and they slowly surrounded her and Giselle. Scarblade snickered at them both as Hannah gulped, knowing this wasn't going to end well. He turned and walked through the mass of pirates.
"Take 'em both back to the ship," he said. "I'll be joining you shortly."
Scarblade walked up to the counter as the girls were dragged away, to where Hannah's clean dress lay on the counter. He picked it up and sneered, then tightened his grip and pulled both ways, ripping it in half down to the middle, before letting it drop to the ground and walking out after his crew.
Hannah winced as her hands were pulled above her head and tied tightly. She was in a seated position near where Giselle was, whose hands were being tied behind her and to a large hook in the wall. Giselle whined in protest as the bonds were made too tight for her to even move, and Hannah tested her bonds as their captors left.
"What're you doing?!" Giselle whispered.
"What does it look like?!" Hannah snapped back quietly. "I'm trying to escape!"
"Escape?" Giselle asked. "What good will that do if we're on a ship filled with the most sinister pirates in the five seas?!"
"We'll worry about that once we're out of these bonds!" Hannah growled. "Speaking of which
Ha!" Hannah sighed in relief as one of her hands came free, then pulled the other free. She rushed over to Giselle and knelt to untie her.
"Try to hold still!" Hannah whispered
then froze as a cold feeling came over her throat.
"Aye, please do. I'd hate for me hand to slip." Scarblade chuckled, then glared. "Up, girl."
Hannah sighed in defeat as she was forced to comply, and Scarblade pushed her back to where she had been bound before, and rebound her hands, but much tighter and with a much more difficult knot than the first. He snarled and knelt in front her, knife still to her throat. He snarled as Hannah glared in defiance at him.
"Now you stay put, ye hear?" Scarblade growled. "I've got special plans and I have no intention of letting you ruin them, missy."
"What plans?" Hannah asked. "What makes you think Garin will fall for your latest scheme?"
Scarblade chuckled. "You do, my dear. He'd do anything for you
even get himself killed." He sheathed his dagger and stood up, smirking at her as her glare hardened. Then he turned and walked out of the room, calling to his crew above.
"Weigh anchor!" he hollered. "Set course for the Ship Graveyard!"
With that, the door closed, locking both girls in near total darkness. Hannah looked down and squeezed her eyes shut to drive away the tears that formed there. Giselle sniffled, clearly distraught. Hannah half expected her to start yelling at her that it was her fault she got into this mess, but Giselle simply cried silently, clearly just afraid. Hannah swallowed a lump that was developing in her own throat.
" Hannah said. "It's going to be okay. Everything is going to be alright."
"H-How do you know that?" Giselle sniffed.
But it's what Garin would say."
"He did what?!"
"You heard me! Of all the fool things to do, he did it!"
"Damn, Garin you're crazier than I've heard!" Havenworth laughed, having heard yet another story of Garin's spontaneous plans. Garin laughed in return and shrugged as Jacques continued the story.
"And so then after all that he comes out of the water, he looks at us and says, 'Sea food anyone?' Ha, ha!" Jacques put a hand to his face as Havenworth burst into even stronger laughter than before.
Garin had woken up shortly after Hannah left and met up with Jacques and Havenworth to catch up on old times. The three of them now walked through the village, so wrapped in conversation they hardly noticed the lack of crowds on the streets
"Its still hard to believe that you lads have come so far since I last saw ye!" Havenworth said. "It seems like only yesterday when the pair o' ya charged through that crowd and near plowed me over!"
"Oi, speaking of crowds
" Garin said, stopping in the street. "Where is everybody?"
Jacques looked around as well. "That is strange. The market is usually crowded this time of day."
"Aye," said Garin, who then paused. "Lets stop by the Golden Dubloon, I wanna make sure Hannah is alright."
"Good idea." Havenworth said, putting a hand on the hilt of his sword. "I also want to make sure Giselle is alright, she was going to return Hannah's dress."
"Then what are we waiting for?"
The trio walked through the streets and to the tavern, only to find the door wide open. Garin immediately felt that something was very wrong, so he drew his dagger just to be sure, and as he walked inside, his eyes widened at the sight of tables tossed over, chairs lying hither and yon, and a motionless figure lying in the wooden floor. Garin ran over cautiously and turned the figure over.
"Stephano!" he said with a gasp. The Lutari was beaten badly, but he managed to peel his swollen eyes open as he looked up at Garin. Since he could not speak, he could only rasp as Havenworth and Jacques came to Garin's side.
"Stephano, what happened?!" Havenworth asked, worried. "Where's Giselle?!"
"And Hannah?" Garin added.
Stephano could only point towards the bar, and their heads turned to look. Jacques stood from where he knelt and walked over, bending over to pick up what lay on the floor, torn almost in half. He bit his lip and looked at Garin.
"Its Hannah's dress," he said, holding it up. Garin's eyes widened and he stood up, setting Stephano down carefully. He gulped nervously and looked around the room, hoping to find Hannah hiding amidst the wreck, but to no avail. He turned back to Stephano.
"Who did this? What happened?!" he demanded, despite knowing Stephano was a mute. To his surprise, Stephano answered by opening his palm, producing the slightest shred of red cloth. Garin picked it up, and recognized the material and who owned it immediately.
"Scarblade! That devil!" Garin growled. Havenworth grit his teeth.
"He's got my daughter," he said.
"And Hannah." Garin said, discarding the cloth, then looked at Stephano. "Did they say where they were headed?" The Lutari nodded. "Can you show us the way?" He nodded again. "Good man! Havenworth, Jacques, help him up! We're headed for the Black Pawkeet!"
"Right!" Jacques hurried over and helped Havenworth get Stephano to his feet. The Lutari may have been beaten pretty badly, but he was no quitter. Garin picked up the shreds from Hannah's dress, then looked out the door to the horizon before following the others.
They arrived at the docks and aboard the Black Pawkeet, where Garin called the crew to get underway as quickly as possible, while Havenworth and Jacques helped Stephano into the cabin. The Lutari used a map on Garin's desk to point to where he had heard Scarblade was going to go, and plotted a course. Jacques peered over the map.
"Looks like Scarblade is headed for this cove here," he said, pointing to the spot. Havenworth peered over his shoulder at the map, his eyes suddenly widening.
"That's the Ship Graveyard!" he exclaimed. Jacques looked at him.
"The Ship Graveyard?" he asked. "That's where they're going?" Stephano nodded, then Jacques looked at Havenworth. "Are the stories about it true?"
"I wouldn't know, I've never dared to go near the place
" Havenworth replied.
"True or not," the two turned to find Garin in the doorway to the cabin. "We're going!"
"Aye, if that's where Scarblade has taken my little girl, then be gad no ghost or demon is going to stop me!" Havenworth hissed. Garin nodded.
"Good," he said. Jacques raised an eyebrow and looked at Garin.
"Garin you know this is a trap," he said.
"Of course I know it's a trap," Garin replied. "That's what makes it fun!"
Jacques put his hand over his face and shook his head. "Oi