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Die Shize

The Traveler's Tug

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Theme[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lMbVzFtvM8[/spoiler]

 

Acreos had been traveling all night. He was exhausted. Fatigued. Famished. His black beard somehow felt like weight on his face, eyes stinging, body weak. He had lost his caravan to bandits. His men, his coin, his supplies—gone. Ashville, he hoped, would offer valuable enough restock to get back on track, but for now he was a merchant whose fortunes had become fines, and whose pockets of depth had become pockets of debt. He had put everything into that endeavor. Everything…

 

Well, at least tonight he could afford himself some slivers of solace, actually managing to find comfort in the drink and the food and the warmth of the inn he had decided would be his resting place for the night. The Traveler’s Tug was positioned about halfway in between Ashville and the Forgotten Wood, allowing a resting period for anyone traveling in either direction. Though enjoying a consistency of customer activity, the inn was no fancy establishment, preferring simpler architecture and basic layout; the 'everyman's inn'. Located where flat grassland began to take place toward Ashville, its outside color of a slightly dark yellow was selected to allow more obvious detection by persons farther away.

 

Acreos had chosen to sit in the middle of the inn's dining floor, enjoying the swarm of activity that elevated the atmosphere; an all too welcome change from the cold loneliness of an arduous voyage. To make things that much more quaint, alongside a roaring fire, the smell of stewed cabbage and salted meat and the aftertaste of average ale, the incoherent rampage of mixed conversations which ruled the ambiance was overthrown by the majesty of music.

 

Instruments took cue in their performance. Acreos felt himself smile, heart beating faster, at the sight of the beautiful woman who came to open her mouth and let escape an angelic voice if ever the man had heard one. Her singing was…intense. Taking a slow swig of his ale that suddenly tasted much better, he resided to sitting in comfort, imagining for himself a wife like the woman who had stolen his attention. 

Edited by Die Shize

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A young woman with locks of fiery red and eyes the colour of dulled emeralds stood on the stage, allowing her soft melodic voice to escape from between her lips and flow through the air. The girl would tuck a lock of her hair behind her ear every now and then as she examined the crowd while preforming. A small group of five or so was gathered around a table in the inn, where they laughing and grinning broadly, for they had dared her to do it. If it had been some other goons, the redhead would have plainly told them to 'sod off'. She knew each and everyone in the group though, for they were her friends and apart of her ships crew.

 

If you looked passed the redheaded girls dazzling features and siren-like voice, you could see her attire seemed a bit out of the norm. She wore a white, button-up shirt, that was tucked into dark brown trousers loosely and a blue scarf was around her waist, tied somewhere on the right of her body. Chains and jewels hung from her neck and waist, black boots with silver buckles residing as her footwear. This was something that a pirate would wear, and that's what she was. Captain Piper of the SS Sadness.

 

"Whoo, Little Red!"

 

"You go, Captain!"

 

Her crew yelled, causing quite a disruption on the dining floor. The redhead tried not to giggle, but towards the end of her performance, she could no longer contain it and she had to stop all together and go back over to where she sat before, all of them patting her back and praising her.

Edited by cloakedHacker

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Tyree Herbert Hall did not usually associate with the lower class and drifters of Ashville. It wasn't that he minded them or found them to be unworthy. He just simply did not want to be judged by the people, as he was one of the town's councilmen. He now, however, had an excuse to stop by The Traveler's Tug.

 

Tyree might have found his daughter.

 

Lillian had been lost at the mere age of five. How or why, Tyree hadn't the slightest clue. The entire town had been on the search for her since, checking ever inch of Ashville for tiny redhead. After nearly fifteen years, he had given up in ever finding his small child. 

 

Until now.

 

Tyree was riding into the town when he saw her, walking into the tavern with a large group of burly men. She looked so small next to them, yet you could tell that she had a big personality. Those men all followed her around like lost puppies. She was definitely the leader.

 

How Tyree knew that girl was Lillian was quite simple. Any girl could have curly red hair or pale green eyes, but only one girl had that purple, diamond-shaped birthmark on her neck. Right then and there, Tyree knew that he had finally found his little Lilly.

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OOC: Courtesy reminder: The tavern is not located in Ashville, but halfway in between Ashville and the Forgotten Wood—not that we can’t be in Ashville next time round. ( :

 

Theme[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnDJ83Npv3I&list=PLdZyKnaiGzv_OFd_A2tbwBH6yc2UraKO0&index=1[/spoiler]

 

The singing had ended. It was met with the shared giggling of the band that remained on stage, who consequently resorted to the magic of instruments in place of vocals. Acreos sighed, and felt his weariness exhale. It was accompanied with a lingering admiration: the red-headed beauty was evidently one member of a membrane, as her companions, so it seemed, had ultimately wooed her offstage. The man couldn’t afford a laugh that would break his spell of private peace, so instead shook his head with a warm smile toward jocularity. His was not alone.

 

There was no real penalty to raised voices in the establishment. The Traveler’s Tug enjoyed a various assortment of all kinds of patrons, given its location and purpose. Not always ‘enjoyed’: sometimes the odd brawl might break out if two parties didn’t like each other’s faces, but though few and far, a few of the tavern’s staff nonetheless shook heads at the pirates with frowns over smiles; they were beginning to grow wary of such company.

 

For his part, Acreos stroked his beard in the free fingers that did not hold the mug of ale on the tabletop. As forefinger drums against horn, the whole hand lifts the mug, and suddenly the average ale tastes perfect. Rather, Acreos was half-conscious of his eyes doing the tasting.

 

She sings, she laughs, she sits, she more than likely plunders and pillages, but she’s a gorgeous one if ever there was . . .

 

The merchant lets his thoughts drift, becoming fully conscious of the memory his mind was truly driving at: the memory of a lost love. Though, it was not to the extent that would make him think it was her he was looking at in this cozy, trip-to-the-past tavern. No, he was looking at some free-spirited, dangerous, red-haired, fiery woman of the sea instead, it appeared. As he kept his eyes on the woman, Acreos felt the acceleration of a single heartbeat, and as hunger for food was replaced with hunger for beauty, the merchant hoped the pirate would catch his ogling.

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Piper laughed ecstatically, a soft melodic sound that seemed to brighten the rooms mood and outshine the band. Tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear after taking a swig of her drink, one of her crew members leaned towards her a bit more, murmuring something to her. She looked up at him, confusion crossing her face momentarily before her gaze wandered over in the direction her shipmate had said the merchant had been staring from. Piper offered a lovely, bright smile to him, her cheeks flushed due to the alcohol in her system.

 

Though her attention was quickly snapped elsewhere when someone pulled the redhead up to her feet, for the band was now playing a bit more of an upbeat rhythm. The pirates laughed and they danced with each other, drunkenly singing along with the tune that hung in the air. Piper then decided to run off to some of the customers in the hall, and they would happily come up and join the dancing, everyone interlocking arms and laughing.

 

The few pirates were starting to get rowdy, spinning girls that had joined and some even danced with the men so they weren't left out. Piper was still going off in the dining hall, urging people to join. She had passed the merchant a few times before she finally held her hand out to him, beaming with delight, offering him the chance to join the group that danced around the band. Her chains and silver clattering together around her neck and waist as she bounced on the balls of her feet, eager to join the chaos once more. 

 

"C'mon!" She said excitedly, her voice soft yet somehow audible over the noise in the large room.

Edited by cloakedHacker

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Theme[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7aG_77K_QE[/spoiler]

 

It was perhaps the building tempo that had ushered in the sudden outbreak of dancing. What had previously been slow, tranquil and at times even saddening song had gradually transformed into a barrage of excited violins the moment the red-headed singer had left the stage. Acreos had little doubt that the scene which unfolded would not have taken place—where there was lively music, there was lively dancing.

 

Clapping, cheering and whistling chimed in with instruments as people leapt from seats on their own accord or were yanked forth by determined hands. Acreos, however, had completely doubted that he’d be one of the latter; he knew he wouldn’t be of the former. As his vision wandered about the vicinity but spent most of its time lingering on the red-headed wonder, his smile turned into slightly parted lips beneath widened eyes of surprise. There, in front of him, was the woman whose presence was registered as soon as the man’s head turned toward her. There she stood, hovering over his table, with her hand extended for his.

 

Acreos appeared unsure of himself, hesitating for a moment, knowing yet that the longer he waited to make a decision the greater the risk of this gorgeous gal leaving his table to find another partner. Clearing his throat, Acreos sought strength from a deep swig of his ale and set his mug down for a final time. With that, he straightened the collar of his jade cloak and rose from his seat, forcing himself to keep his eyes locked with the woman’s—and not at the graceful movements of her hips.

 

The pirate had spoken, but the merchant would let his steely, blue gaze serve as his response. Man’s hand found woman’s, and Acreos kept that so, licking his lips with the fear of remembering how bad of a dancer he was. Maneuvering himself to be right at the woman’s side, a gentle smile would reveal blatant admiration alongside the desire for her to lead—he would save himself some shame and simply follow.

 

“Lead the way!”

 

He spoke with private delight, as if the woman and himself were the only two people in the room right now.

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And she did so, leading him in the dance. Her hands were surprisingly soft being that she was a pirate, but then again, she was the captain so she didn't do much back-breaking work. Her olive eyes shone brightly and she smiled excitedly at her current dancing partner, but everyone would switch off to new partners as they all spun and jumped and laughed in the gathering crowd. Piper seemed to keep a look out for him through the entirety of the song though, along with some other fellow, for she had seemed to fancy them both tonight. The song then started coming to a stop when the rest of her large crew showed up, standing by the entrance, calling out for their captain.

 

The redhead had to worm her way to the front of the crowd that slowed down, all looking over at the brutes. Some seemed to gasp lightly, slightly worried about the short girl that happily went over to the group of mean-looking pirates. One of them leaned down slightly, to murmur something in her ear privately while the redhead tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear and away from her face. 

 

He pulled away and a grimace revealed to be her expression, only for a brief moment, before she nodded. The group went off to the return to the SS Sadness and she turned back to the party she had left briefly. 

 

"Why'd ya stop?!" She asked loudly, a large and delightful smile returning to her lips. Hesitantly the band started back up, playing another tune that everyone could dance to. The crowd however immediately resumed, jumping and spinning with their partners. In the middle of it all, Piper had ended back up with the merchant as a partner again and she gave him one of her best smiles. 

 

Though something lingered in her warm gaze, perhaps it was due to the news she had just received from her crew? Quite possibly. And that is why Piper stopped at inns every now and then, to find a lad to "relieve her stress", dance and get drunk.

Edited by cloakedHacker

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Theme[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZGPTQwCSGw[/spoiler]

 

Acreos actually felt reluctant to part with his partner, for the idea of having to force yet another person to suffer his far-from-on-par dancing skills was quite a blow to his self-esteem. Of course, there would be little point in trying to make stay; this was not the kind of dance for persons to remain together. Rather, the kind of music being played mustered the march of feet shifting positions in the hall, fingers finding foreign skin, hands clasping hands not previously clasped. Here, everyone had to dance with everyone else, and Acreos was beginning to hate it as much as love it.

 

Truly, the merchant allowed his gaze to drift to the woman’s any chance he got, and would merely smile at her if she caught him looking. That smile had faded in the same fashion that the music came to a possible pause, but certainly a halt. “Captain Piper!” was the message that Acreos had received, vocalized by one of the pirates who had just showed up at the tavern’s entrance. Acreos was more aware of his observing them than he was of his legs slowly coming to a stop alongside his current partner’s; everyone seemed to be interested in what this new commotion was all about.

 

When the short scene died, and while other patrons returned to the music that bellowed itself back into the atmosphere just as quickly, Acreos deliberately denied himself the spell of pleasure, forcing his quasi-dancing movements to return to what grace he could give them while conversely narrowing his brows at the red-head. Something was definitely amiss—these were pirates, after all. He wondered why it should concern him, though maybe, as a merchant, thus as a man who found himself in an occupation of coin himself, he was simply curious. Perhaps that curiosity would have an opportunity to be voiced.

 

In moments, the red-head had returned to Acreos’ hands. While others had the interest of becoming lords and ladies of the dance, the bearded merchant was more interested in learning about the woman. His gaze met hers throughout their movements, and as new song entered the hall, tempo reduced to a more composed sway, Acreos cleared his throat once more, letting his expression appear as only courteous concern.

 

“Everything…okay?”

 

He glanced at the group of men that had entered, and who had effectively stolen their leader from joy, even if only for a spell.

 

“Sorry, none of my business… I’m Acreos, by the way. I take it you’re Captain Piper?”

 

Worry drifted into interest in a second, a brow raised above a smile, though the woman might have only a moment herself to respond before the music returned to its original upbeat and would demand movement over speech.

Edited by Die Shize

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"Aye, the name's Piper, but a stowaway managed to hide on my ship is all." She answered with a bit of a grin, placing one of her hands on his shoulder as the two moved in circles around the other dancers. Loose strands of her fiery hair were starting to stick to her neck and cheeks, for the hall was growing hot due to all the movement and commotion. It was starting to be late in the night, and the sun had set what seemed like minutes ago, but had actually been hours. 

 

"Acreos.." She murmured, enjoying the feel of a new name roll off her tongue. It had been so long since the redhead had learned anothers name. "I like it!" A little laugh escaped passed her pink lips and she started to move and spin a bit faster, the tempo picking up and soon, everything was back to how it had been before her crew had interrupted. She had switched off with someone else, dancing with men and women alike, but after a few more hours, the band started slowing the tempo back down.

 

They were tired and so were a lot of others in the crowd. Some had left the inn and others went to the rooms that were open while chairs and tables were starting to be cleaned off and put up, for it seemed the dining hall was closing for the night. Piper was with one of the other lads she had kept her eye on during the night, her arm interlocked with his. She was noticeably tipsy, possibly even drunk, but she vowed to get what she came for. 

 

Her long, wavy hair was in a messy and loose ponytail, indicating that sometime during the dancing, she had managed to find time to tie her locks up with a long, baby blue ribbon she always had wrapped around her wrist. The ribbon had been tied like a bow on her ship when she first bought it, so ever since, she kept it on her, for good luck you might say.

Edited by cloakedHacker

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Theme[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19ojv0fJP4c[/spoiler]

 

Tired. Acreos hadn’t thought he could even fathom the definition anymore. Interesting, how exhaustion could be so easily dismissed when fun was being had, but on the other hand, such as losing a hand in battle, exhaustion could be an even deadlier enemy than the one who had swung the sword. Acreos, in his efforts, had managed to retain both hands in his years, and as if having waited for the cue he had returned Piper’s gesture with the wrapping of firm fingers around her waist. She had spoken of a “stowaway”, but it had probably not been a signal for Acreos to press the subject, or the time or place. He had left the topic hanging in the air, replacing intrigue with a naked smile of unbridled affection, even as this pirate-woman had left his arms once more to seek dance elsewhere.

 

That had been some overlooked hours ago—‘fun’ also meant that one’s concept of time was as frail as one’s own concept of exhaustion. At this moment, Piper was still beside another man that was not Acreos, but the difference now was that he no longer had the mind to dance anymore. The tavern agreed: the music itself had become quainter, more tranquil, as if it were the staff’s musical request for patrons to end their performance—the fun was over.

 

In the midst of closing time, or what was close to it for an inn, Acreos had paced back over to his table, but he did not sit down. Eyes fell upon a barely touched platter of meat and vegetable that a nearby waitress would no doubt soon collect. The man stood staring at his food absentmindedly as thought drifted upon the woman he had met. Acreos picked up his mug, bringing it to his lips before realizing it was empty. He grinned: he hadn’t rewarded himself a single sip of alcohol since that woman had asked his hand to dance, and so the true amusement wasn’t held by the fact that he had tried to drink from an empty mug but, rather, the true amusement was held by the woman herself.

 

As if suddenly remembering her presence instead of solely her face, Acreos somewhat hastily turned around, scanning the vicinity for her. Had she already left? By the whole of Terrenus, he hoped not. indeed, he had simply missed her, and only now identified her as the woman with a blue-ribbon ponytail which she must have set when he wasn’t paying attention. Well, now he was, and though Acreos was no man for rude manner he couldn’t help but convince himself that the clearly ‘influenced’ Piper was in need of her own attending to, what with the leering gaze and toothy grin that her male companion was offering her.

 

The merchant sighed—it’s not like he could do anything about it. Reducing himself to defeat, he replenished his ale and brought the mug back to his lips to drink, successfully. He smiled: he had a good run of the night, found a beautiful woman to dance with, and a pirate at that, so when all was said and done this was a night worth spending in The Traveler’s Tug.

 

Then again, what was it the Kaiser had told him? “Never let an opportunity go to waste.” With that quote in mind, Acreos took one more sip before setting the mug down and spoke to himself.

 

“…On second thought…”

 

The merchant’s cloak had been too heavy to keep worn in the musical madness, and it hadn’t helped his sweating any. With it draped over his chair, he stood in unassuming traveler’s attire of brown and white, black boots beginning to click across the wooden floor, coming to a rest a few feet in front of Piper and her ‘friend’.

 

“Excuse me.”

 

Acreos spoke, delightfully and politely, smiling first at the other man and then at Piper.

 

“I know the night is old, the sweat has dropped and the heart has stopped pounding, but…”

 

Trailing off, Acreos slowly looked around the tavern hall as if appearing to confirm his words. When speech was rediscovered, he set his gaze on Piper; a penetrating look that the other man clearly interpreted as a dual-purpose look of showing total ignorance of his own presence. He was correct.

 

“…Well, curiously, though the dance is done, there is still music playing…”

 

Grinning, Acreos extended his hand out to Piper, granting himself one brief opportunity to shift his gaze from her lower body back to the green jewels that were her eyes.

 

“What do you say, Captain? One last dance to end the night? Or is your ship about to set sail?”

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"I suppose I could salvage the time for one more dance. We don't take off until morning anyway." She answered, giving him a crooked, sleepy smile while nodding slightly, reaching out and taking his extended hand. The man by her side murmured something into her ear and she agreed to whatever he had said before he went off elsewhere. Piper had taken the merchants hand -- no, Acreos' hand, she had to remind herself, but she was one that liked to lead.

 

The redhead pulled him over near the band, offering him another smile and a bit of a sheepish laugh when she stopped, facing him once more. Her cheeks were tinted red, but no, not because of the drinking, but due to the fact that someone she hardly knew had asked her to dance. She was smaller than him, looking so frail and breakable while up close. 

 

She stepped a bit closer, glancing back up to him, her features seeming to be more noticeable now that they weren't surrounded by others and moving so quickly. Her eyes were crinkled with mirth, the delightful smile unable to leave her lips. She had freckles that were splayed out across her cheeks and nose. A few loose strands of her hair escaped from the ribbon and hung in her face, the colour of her locks like honey and roses and the sun all together.

 

She swallowed hard, seeming to be a little nervous. Piper had never danced one-on-one with someone like this. I mean, her crew she has, but they were like family. This was entirely different. Piper would look down every now and then to make sure she didn't trip over her own feet, embarrassment starting to cause a stinging red to rise on the tips of her ears.

 

Piper had been a wonderful dancer earlier, not missing a step and going right along with the rhythm, and when she danced with her shipmates, slow like this, she was amazing. But now.. not so much. She would stammer out an apology shyly every now and then, keeping her head down towards the middle of the song to hide her rising blush. 

Edited by cloakedHacker

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Recurring Theme[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19ojv0fJP4c[/spoiler]

 

Acreos let nothing show even after the other man’s obvious gesture, keeping eyes trained at the ceiling until that man walked away. Waitresses still busied themselves cleaning up the place, spilled drink being the floor’s commodity as a number of drunken dancers had deemed it a good idea to bring their drinks with them. The clutter of plates being stacked and cups clinking against cups accompanied rapid footfalls. The bartender took a rag to bar when he wasn’t rearranging his stock. Meanwhile, a lone pair of man and woman were slow-dancing by a smiling band.

 

It could appear obvious to Piper, but Acreos was yet not malicious about seizing the opportunity, playing on the very close proximity as he held his partner to him The music was slow, and rightfully so; anything more upbeat this time around might cause the slipping lady to pass out. Instead, Acreos tried to ensure that she was as composed as could be, aware of her embarrassment but merely smiling at it, showing his lack of concern by giving a gentle squeeze to one of her hands that he held up while his other hand pressed against her lower back. These were not the actions or the positions of a lewd mind, but simply of a comforting one.

 

“Morning, you say? I must admit my curiosity toward a pirate’s glamorous life: where is it you and your crew are taking off to? Some distant island to plunder gold?”

The merchant grinned, posing his question in total truth toward such curiosity, attempting some comic relief while words fell out of mouth in a tone that befitted a man of his trade, as though he were making a buy or a sell. Though, trading with the likes of pirates was not something he regularly engaged in, and trading pirates themselves something he never engaged in. Acreos was not  simply interested in this Captain Piper for her body, splendid though it was. In this tavern, on this night, he was simply giving into leisurely company, enhanced by the fact that he was interested in Captain Piper.

Edited by Die Shize

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"Pretty close, actually!" Piper said, another little laugh came from her, and she glanced back up to him. "We're uh.. s-sorry.. We're going to Paradise Island. Legends.. sorry.. say it's like the heavens, but, sorry, even better." She told him, trying desperately to not step on his shoes, apologising each time she messed up. This wasn't so hard, but right now it seemed like rocket science to the redhead. 

 

Looking back up to the man, she looked sheepish, continuing on. Though a spark of excitement seemed to be shining in her eye now as murmured wonderful things about the island, telling him how ever since she had heard about it when she was a little girl, Piper had always wanted to go. Just thinking about it seemed to be making her a bit giddy. 

 

Sighing contently, the redhead lied her cheek against his shoulder. She was growing sleepier and he was taking up precious time that she could be using for getting what she came for. But she didn't mind currently. In fact, the less she thought about it, the better she seemed to be dancing. But before she could redeem herself, the song had come to a stop. 

 

Piper lingered momentarily, find the warmth and comfort of another being quite relaxing, but she found the strength to step back slightly, looking back up to him. She smiled once more, soft and meaningful, full of benevolent that could brighten anyones mood for days.

Edited by cloakedHacker

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Paradise Legends? The merchant hadn’t heard of such a place, and given his job he knew quite a number, but definitely not them all. This was a world that seemed to create new lands on its own whim. Acreos quietly chuckled beside Piper’s head the next time she had stepped on his toes, but his laugh was void of mockery. He only found humor in her partial intoxication, and definitely not insult. She was indeed tired, in a different kind of way than from dancing too much, but even before the music stopped he could tell it was about to end. His speculation lived up to its accuracy.

 

Piper stepped back, and the kind of look she gave Acreos caused him to stand still with hands clasped before waist, countenance suddenly serious, even somewhat solemn. He hadn’t spoken since she mentioned her destination of travel, but now he would, only not to that subject.

 

“Captain Piper, I…”

 

Acreos hesitated, licking his lips, taking a breath as he shifted his gaze from one emerald eye to the other.

 

“…I’ve enjoyed this dance. You’re a fine dancer, even when you stumble—far better than I can hope to be!” He smiled. “Thank you, and I hope you sleep well. Perhaps I’ll see you in the morning.”

 

He didn’t think to wonder if his assumption that she was staying in the inn overnight was warranted. He himself didn’t know what lay in store for him till morning. Regardless, a lump of regret was already building in his throat, an ever unsteady gaze revealing the lack of sureness that embalmed his entire body. Nonetheless, Acreos wasn’t about to take advantage of this woman, whether she’d want him to or not. The other man had already nodded toward such misdeeds, but Acreos had no disposition to judge. Besides, this red-headed beauty was a pirate, after all; if he was a pirate, he’d probably be tavern-hopping for pleasure too.

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"I hope so." She told him, standing on the balls of her feet to peck his cheek with a soft kiss. She pulled away, beaming with delight, sliding her hands away from his as she started to walk away. Giving him one last smile, she turned to leave the dining hall, and find the room her nightly companion would be waiting for her in.

 

But something was wrong here. Perhaps this is why the redhead did not like learning new people's names, because then she grew attached, just as she felt herself doing to the merchant. Swallowing hard, she stood at the door she was supposed to stay in, hesitating to turn the handle. She no longer had the urge to sleep with the man. Perhaps it had been Acreos that had made her happy enough with that last dance and parting words.

 

Stepping back, she then walked to the end of the hall, going into the room a few of her pirates were in. Two of the men were crashed on the floor, another looking out the window with a beer in his hand, looking as if he might fall asleep standing. The other two must have found companions during the night just as Piper had planned on. Pulling her boots and constricting pants off, she went over and lied on the only mattress available in the room, curling up in the provided blankets.

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