Aboard the Anchor's Bane

Love & Trust

Kelley Essex discusses Chaeffer with Lidda

“He’s like a fuckin’ hungry mutt…”

The Captain of the Anchor’s Bane sighed resting his chin in his newly refurbished Mechanikal palm. It still shined with a sleek polish, a sign he allowed himself to become more comfortable with something he never should have. Lidda looked at his dour face and promptly sat on her captain’s lap combing a hand through his well kept hair humming to him for a moment to calm his nerves. Kelley’s dour look warmed but only a little bit as he gazed up to her.

“I should have confined him, we both know it. He hasn’t been the same since.”Lidda sighed before kissing Kelley’s forehead and flirtatiously turning in his lap to face him directly her back against his desk. “Well captain, I could always take his punishment.” Kelley rose an eyebrow kissing her neck before he sat up just slightly and pinned her against the desk gazing into her eyes before sighing.

“Much as we’d both love to punish you, ‘fraid that’s gonna have to wait love. Just because I am stalling doesn’t mean I enjoy being found with my pants down as much as you do.” Essex chuckles at her before teasing her earlobe and pulling back with a sharp breath. “Besides, we’ll have plenty of time for carnal distractions once we’re moving.” Essex looks conflicted as he sighs and looks to her opinion as he asks. “Lidda you barely know him, be honest with me what do you think of him?”

Lidda sighs snatching a bottle of Essex’s Brandy and sliding off his desk with a sigh. “Not really use to coming second to another man Kel, even if it is First Mate Chaeffer.” While she may have giggled she could tell Kel was serious about his question as he rarely ever asked her opinion about his crew. She traced a finger tip along the rim of the bottle applying it to her lips as she licked off the sweet taste and quickly swigged the bottle sighing with warm cheeks. “Honestly? Kel you keep all your other officers on a short enough leash, he’s the only one you seem to give slack to… why exactly?”

Kelley leaned against a corner of his room looking out a porthole as his metal fingertips wrapped on the rim. He let out a slow sigh and looked back to Lidda before answering. “Not the easiest answer to give I think. Mr. Chaeffer- Erdrick oh hell that’s right Jehremi…wasn’t the man he made himself out to be on more than one occasion. I knew when we first met he was the sort who was obliged to have even a deck over his head. Far as I assumed he was just running away from a lord or his responsibilities; I wasn’t wrong per say- it was justice. To be fair, we have a few people who are just as blood soaked on this ship.”

Lidda blinked in surprise at that remark setting the bottle down and arching her back to show interest. “We do?” Essex looked back out the porthole to the approaching dark clouds in the horizon and just nodded making it clear he wasn’t going to talk about them. “Then it started, the rumors the talk the attempts at mutiny. It couldn’t have even been a week and I found Mr. Chaeffer causing upsets on the ship the crew expressing how unfair it was that Jehremi was promoted so quickly up the chain of command. During those days he and I would fight back to back against the same foes for the same reasons.”

Essex turned to look at Lidda. “If things had stayed that way maybe we wouldn’t be here now… but they aren’t. Too many good folk have died on this ship and in our lives; I think it’s been too much for him. Ulvari, The Red Revenge, Taking Command, Bolten, Veronica’s betrayel and death…” Essex’s wrapping fingers stopped as he glared to the clouds fast approaching knowing he should already be out at sea with the boat. “…And little Ms. Ginori; Wurm’s blood just fuckin’ all of it. Their was a time when that cantankerous Thamarite understood you couldn’t save everyone and then the idget mistook that for being focused on only saving those he chose rather than those he could.”

He slams his metal fist against the side of the wall as it makes the walls tremble with the force he punched it leaving a perfect indent of his outline. “Ord is full of bogs and swampland. We have a saying whenever a foreigner travels our aquatically enriched countryside. ’It’s a mistake to fall into a bog trap, but its just plain stupid to expect anyone to dive in for you.’ So what the hell does that make him?!”

Lidda frowned at that and sat up from Essex’s desk coming over to him before resting her head on his left shoulder “Kel, we both know you’re just as wild and unruly as h-” The Captain turned to face her with angry tears in his face. “He’s going to get her killed Lidda… He’s slipping and he refuses to admit it to any of us. Whats worse is I can’t help but wonder if Mr. Ulvari and fuck even the Squatter have been right about him. The boy’s commitment was never in doubt but … his morals; the level he’ll stoop- no, has stooped just to be victorious! The fact is astoundingly clear to the crew and officers of both ships that this fuckin’ joke of a war he dubbed the ‘War of Masks’ was the toll one pyschopath pull to others over his bloody sins…”

Lidda doesn’t shy away from him as he emotes to her. Instead she traces fingers under his eyes flicking away the tears and softly embracing him. before petting the back of his neck. “I know Kel, we all hear what the crew have been saying. But he’s your friend isn’t he?” Kelley sighs hugging her back before he looks her in the eyes still raw with emotion.

“That’s what worries me.” Lidda immediately realized he was talking about Lanin, Lucan and the rest of his friends as she gulped down the sorrow that fluttered up thinking about her brother. “I don’t need this gift to know a pattern when i see one…” Kelley’s tone is full of shame as he sighs fully hugging Lidda tight knowing she is being tolerant of him at that moment as he looks back out to the ocean.

“We should have left already, Friend or not; Lo or Not; Alive or Not; Chaeffer will have to answer for this and all the other risks the crew have been put in for his goals, and visions of justice.” The captain smiles back to Lidda who was resting her head on his chest.

“Lidda, I’m sorry i know being with me wasn’t everything you thought it would be.” To which the Chief assistant engineer only snorted a laugh and retorted. “That’s an understatement you acrid, flirtatious, booze cruising pussy pursuer. But at least you’re mine.” *Kelley only let out a deep belly laugh before kissing Lidda passionately spinning her to the wall and pinning her there for a moment letting her feel lost in the feeling before be pulled away still chuckling.

“Aye I’m yours Ms. McClay, I’ve had my fill of sex, booze, drugs and freedom. What I really needed was someone like you; who knew me before and learned who I am hereafter. You’ve faced me at my lowest and my highest all while finding something in me worth cherishing. What I really needed was this woman.” Lidda’s eyes widened in surprise to experience Essex showering her in praise as she wasn’t prepared for that. She blinks for a moment and gently pulled away from him with an inquiring look on her face. “I learned the hard way that those who were close to me would always between me. Not only are you the exception, you’d literally follow me to the ends of the earth just because you believe in me that much. If only I could have a hundred sailors like you.”

Lidda slaps her captain across his cheek before coyly smiling back at him before he could yell. “Loving you has been a lot like that sir, oh and I don’t share. And you better have meant what you said about those distractions later.” Bewilderment turned to obvious pride on his lips as Kelley watched her pull from his grasp intentionally swaying her hips as she left his room before winking back at him.

“I love you Lidda McClay. Don’t ever let me forget that.” Rubbing his cheek with a chuckle the following sound of thunder in the distance sours his face as he pulls out a pocket watch anxiously staring at it before sitting back down routing out courses on his nautical charts just waiting for the inevitable bad news from his First Mate.

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