You parted your heavy lids, even the dim candle light felt too bright for you, making you squint slightly to ease the sting from the burning glow. You dragged your eyes to your side, feeling glad to see the naked man at your side was passed out in sleep, his pale chest rising and a falling slowly as contented snores passed his lips. The smell of sex and alcohol still lingered in the air as you inhaled a deep breath, running your fingers through your slightly tangled hair, wincing as they broke a little knot. You sat up steadily, pressing your bare feet onto the coolness of the wooden floor, which was littered colourfully with clothes. You still felt a little dizzy from the amount of drink he had given you this evening, but honestly, the liquor helped, it helped you to forget what you were doing. You grabbed your small coin purse, then began to gather your own clothes, adjusting your corset and undergarments, before pulling on the richly coloured red dress that was accented by black lace, it showed too much chest and left your shoulders bare, the slit in the thigh was another suggestive quality, then you pulled on a small and well worn brown cape that helped shield you from the night air and the eyes of others.
You walked quietly across the floor, your shoes lightly tapping the dark wood. You reached the door, glancing back to ensure that the man in bed was still sleeping soundly, then opening it you headed out. You had no more than left the room before you came face to face with another. A well dressed gentleman, not only were his clothes expensive, but something in his air demanded immediate respect, his face was handsome and his hair secured neatly in a short ponytail. But it was his grey eyes that caught you most off guard, the way they softened at you, his manner only surprising you further, he swiftly stepped aside and gave a short bow to let you pass. “Tha...thank you.” You stumbled, passing the man.
Glancing over your shoulder to see his smile, you quickly pulled your eyes away and hurried on. Trying not to think too much upon the matter. You left the green dragon, stepping into the chilled night air; the thick snow that lined the streets acted as a visual reminder of just how cold it was, you shivered suddenly, your skin jumping up into goosebumps when the frigged air met it. The bitter streets of Boston were not the warmth of a bed, but you could hardly stay the night with him, you hated leaving Lacy as it was, and an entire night was far too long for such a small girl.
You hurried back towards the small dwellings you called home, doing your best to avoid the rough drunkards and other undesirables as you made your way to the small run down building, fumbling to make you cold hands work to put the key in the frozen up lock, then open the door. You were met with a set of (e/c) eyes that matched your own perfectly, the small girl stood there, beaming as she looked to you, wasting no time before she hurried to hug you tightly, you bent down to greet her. “Hello, Lacy.” You whispered. “How was your day little lass?” You questioned, pulling away slightly so you could face her.
She shrugged. “Quiet, but I missed you mommy.” She said, her little voice breaking slightly.
“I missed you too darling.” You said softly, getting back to your feet as to check you had locked the door. “I missed you very much.” You added in a mutter that she didn't hear. You hated leaving her for so long, but what choice did you have? You wished you could stay at home with her, like a normal mother, care for her and take her to visit friends, buy her pretty dresses, nice food and some decent blankets for nights as cold as this one, but life wouldn't be kind enough to you, your only hope was that, somehow, she could make a better life for herself than you ever had for yourself.
“Are you hungry?” You asked.
“Have you not eaten yet?” you asked worried.
“Not since lunch.” She admitted.
You frowned slightly. “Lacy, you must eat, I left food here did I not?”
“I know, but I wanted to wait for you momma.” She said, her eyes meeting with yours.
“I understand.” You said gently. “Well, I will fetch us some supper, come and sit by the fire” You walked behind your daughter, from the shabby little hall, to the kitchen which was slightly brighter from the glow of a humble fire that sat ablaze in the hearth, the logs spitting and popping slightly as the flames twinkled across their blackened bark.
You began to uncover a loaf of apple bread, setting aside the frayed cloth; you started to slice the dense loaf, before scrapping the slices with pale yellow butter.
“Here.” You said finally, setting a small terracotta plate beside the girl, her eyes were occupied with watching the dancing auburn flames across the few charred logs, but soon swung to see the butter bread.
“Thank you mother.” She said, beaming with approval as she took her first bite.
Haytham yawned slightly before he adjusted his hat, he failed to understand why he had slept so badly, something about that women’s face had remained in his mind, her blazing (e/c) eyes, her voluminous hair that had framed her face with a wild beauty, her pure skin that glowed in the soft candle light, but more than that, the unpleasant side of their brief meeting, the shame on her face, how uncomfortable she had looked in that exposing dress. Why it should all play out continuously in his mind was a mystery, but what ever the reason that lay behind his infatuation, he intended to find her. And he knew exactly where to start.
“Thomas.” Haytham said as he strode towards the table.
Hickey looked up, the hangover plain as day on his tired face and in his bloodshot eyes. “Yeah?” He responded in a slur, forcing the tankard of ale to his lips to take a lengthily swallow of the strong liquid.
“A women left your room last night, a prostitute I imagine, is that correct?” Haytham questioned sharply.
Charles looked up from his eggs on toast, silently hoping that Thomas was about to get a bollocking for his behaviour.
“Yeah, and she was good too.” Hickey replied with a grin.
“Wonderful.” Haytham muttered dryly. “Now other than that information, perhaps you could tell me a little more about her?” Haytham followed.
“Well, her tits take some of the credit that much is true, and the arse on her is worth a fuckin’, but the screams you can get out of ‘er were the best-"
“Thomas.” Haytham cut him off sharply. “That is not what I was asking.” He snapped.
“What were you bloody asking then.” The man spat back.
“Show some respect, boy.” Charles intervened.
“Thank you, Charles, but this does not concern you.” Haytham informed.
“Of course, sir.” Charles said quietly, sinking back into the corner behind his breakfast.
“Her name, for a start.” Haytham said his tone softening.
“Oh Gawd almighty, how am I suppose to remember details like that, if you really want to give the little whore a go, I’d suggest you try looking down by that place, by the docks, oh what’s it called?” He scratched his unshaven chin. “Ah Charlie, you know it?”
“The bucks gentleman’s club perchance, though, hardly a place for gentleman.” Charles replied with a snort of obvious disgust.
“That’s the one! A whole lot of whores spend their time there, that’s where I found that little gem last night.” He informed, seeming proud to share such 'brotherly' information with Haytham
Haytham gave an eye roll of disgust. “Thank you, gentlemen.” He said briefly, before turning and walking away in his chosen direction, the door.
The past days had not seen much coin in your pocket, and so you decided to go back to a familiar stretch of street that rolled lazily out by the docks, it was outside of the bucks gentleman’s club that your chosen spot was, your eyes trailed up to the looming building that grinned down at you, the windows glowed with a lusty pale light that fell onto your body, undressing you further as it exposed the flesh that the blackness of night had made a vain effort to conceal.
At the present time, the street appeared quiet, you wondered to the waters edge, your eyes trailed absent-mindedly to the still green tinted grey water, you bent down and wrapped your cold fingers around a small pebble, holding the smooth little rock in your palms for a moment, before throwing it into the glassy water, you watched as the pebble shattered the surface and left violent ripples pooling in the place of its destructive splash.
The sound of chuckles and footsteps made you snap your head away from the disturbed water, four men were stumbling drunkenly down the street, singing an old English drinking song as they approached. “There’s many men get store of treasure, yet they live like very slaves. In this world they have no pleasure, the more they have, the more they crave. Hang such greedy-minded misers, that will ne’r contented be.” The amount of drink they had filled their bellies with made their words slurred and difficult to make out as they all sang at the top of their voices.
You turned to face them, the stench of alcohol and sweat hit your nose as soon as they moved closer, like cats circling a little mouse, they prowled around you. “Good evening, sirs” You said politely.
“Evening lassy, what do think of our singing then, jolly ain’t it?” The eldest of them spoke, his bald-head shimmering with sweat in the faint light.
“Worthy of Shakespeare, I’m sure.” You replied with a tight smile.
“By your wit I would guess you are still sober.” Another of them said with a throaty laugh.
“Indeed, no drinking for a working women.” You replied, with a little sarcastic stress on ‘working’.
“Aye, well I ain’t no coin to me name, just spent it on drink, but, I’m sure you’d accompany us anyway, eh girl?” The eldest said, lunging to squeeze your left breast.
You flinched slightly; from both his touch and his irritating habit of spitting out his t's. As he leaned closer in hope of more groping, you were forced to take in the full reek of his body odours. “My apologies merry sirs, but no coin, no company.” You replied, trying to add a touch of light-heartedness to cover the nerves in your tone, you were very alone here, and you knew damn well these men had every scrap of power to do as they wished with you.
“You’ll enjoy it lass. Trust me on that.” The youngest spoke now, his sweaty cheeks becoming more visible as he attempted to give a ‘dashing’ smile, showing his bent teeth. “You’ll wish you’d come should ya refuse.” He sprawled his words out in a drunkard hurry.
“Aye, ya will.” The third with straggly brown hair agreed. “As would we.” He added, smacking his lips as his eyes trailed over you as if he was assessing the ripeness of fruit.
“I am quite sure the young lady’s only wish is to be left in peace gentlemen.” A richly dark voice came from behind the scruffy pack. Your eyes darted up, only to recognise the man that you had almost bumped into leaving the room in the green dragon, those same grey eyes gazed at your for a steady moment, enough reassurance in that look to put you at ease, before he turned to readdress the four men. “Now I highly suggest you leave.” His tone was threatening, almost unquestionable.
The younger three looked about ready to run, but the eldest was not so easily deterred. “Isn’t really your fucking business, now is it” He growled at the man.
“Oh it is very much my business.” Warned the gentleman in a low and foreboding tone.
“Wha’, she ya disgrace of a wife or the like, out ‘ere getting the money that ye spend on fancy coats, or maybe, ya can afford the whore, and we can’t, well, that…that..” His blood shot eyes glanced around for the words he had forgotten. “….that ain’t so, we found this little fishy first, hooked it in and we’ll devour it, then ya can have it’s raw bloody ass when my cocks through with it.” He spat.
The gentleman simply raised an eyebrow, a look of disgust and calm anger in his eyes. “Do excuse me good lady.” He said looking to you, before he took three decisive steps to the man, and in a swift motion freed his gleaming sword from it’s scabbard, the silver was regally illuminated in the ivory lighting of the moon, and in a controlled movement he forced his blade through the man's chest, it burst his flesh and sent blood spurting out to taint the weapon a slaughterous crimson, as the rough man's gurgles of pain were swallowed by his sudden death. The other three ruffians ran in as fast of a sprint as their drunken legs could manage, you resisted the urge to scream at the sight of such a brutal scene, the man's body slid from the sword and thudded like a dusty curtain to the ground, before a crisp silence fell like a creeping frost.
You felt your breathing quickened in time with your heartbeats, your chest rising and falling faster and faster to the point that your lungs burnt from panic, you could hear your blood pumping as your head began to pound.
“Forgive me, but I could hardly stand and allow him to do such offence to you.” The man said, his tone genuine as he spoke.
You looked away from the dead man's body, it was not remorse that you felt, simply the natural revolution upon witnessing death, even if it wasn’t the first time, but to see such violence so closely was not something you were that accustom to. “No, thank you, for defending me.” You replied, looking to the man.
“Are all men that cannot pay this troublesome?” He attempted to be sarcastic, although despite the moment was not entirely appropriate, it did caused you to smile.
“No, not always.” You responded.
He nodded, looking thoughtful for a moment. “As it is…” His tone was more seductive now, he possessed an alluring accent that sent shivers dancing along your shoulders as he spoke, every word perfectly left his mouth, almost floating, as it was richly explored with his every pronunciation. “….I am more than able to endow you with sufficient money.” He finished.
You looked at the handsome stranger; he certainly made your head spin with emotions. “It would be my pleasure, sir.” You said in a sultry tone that was well practised by now, before you took his hand.
The man nodded, leading you away from the docks. You walked for sometime in silence, until he reached the centre of town. “Here.” He said stopping, passing you a bag of gold. “I want nothing from you, but I ask that you go home, you should be safe from here.”
You felt shocked by his kindness, never before had somebody showed you such an act of charity. “I don't know how to thank you, truly I have never known any like yourself, sir.” You said in a slightly broken voice, feeling a little choked-up by his actions.
He smiled. “Be safe.” He whispered. Taking his well tailored cape from his shoulder, and draping it over your own, it was of finely made material, and the back had been embroidered with a gold pattern. “Go now, and get some rest.” He placed a chaste kiss upon your hand, before turning away.
“Thank you!” You called. “Thank you so much.” You added quietly, as your numb fingers clutched his cape.