L'impératrice ("The Empress")
Midnight's curtain drew quickly over your hometown as you worked through the night.
The bar was quiet tonight, a few regulars here and there were the only figures occupying a few of the seats scattered around the establishment. Business was slow. Then again, business had been slow in general ever since the owner of the place was reprimanded for smuggling alcohol from another island. While he was sitting in the jailhouse in stripes, however, you were left in charge of the business; which was already in shambles as it was.
Why, you say? You were his daughter, of course. And since the man had legally lost his son to your mother a few months back, you were the official heir to the "throne." ...If you could call it that.
The town was silent, and so was the bar. One could probably hear a pin dropping from another island.
Just as you were thinking, a shiver came over your body as a small messenger boy ran into the bar.
"Wh-what are you doing here, Alfonzo? You should be asleep!" You said in shock, lifting him in your arms as he ran under the counter and practically jumped at you.
"What? What is it kiddo? What's wrong?" You said in confusion at the obviously shaken boy. You looked around the bar, then back at the boy, a concerned look on your face as he scrunched his nose up and almost sobbed. "Where's your daddy, hun?" You asked sweetly.
The little boy opened his mouth to say something, but was quickly clammed up as the doors to the bar ripped open. A blonde in extravagant sea garb then strode inside. His hair was blonde, shoulder length and the coat he was wearing was a light blue color. There was a red flower that matched the feather in his hat, and gold accents on the hat's brim and the ends of the coat he wore. All of this over a flowy, white blouse tucked into black tights and topped off with brown, low-heeled boots and a dark blue sash at his upper hip. He made eye contact with you and you gave a professional smile... You put the boy down behind you and patted his head, cooing him into staying in your shadow.
"Hello there, sir." You tried to seem pleasant. "What have you?"
He snorted at your act, forcing you to grind your teeth in frustration; the only way to keep yourself from slashing someone. "Ohon, I wouldn't mind if you gave me quite a few things, ma chère ." He crooned. A disgusting ring in his voice that made your blood curdle.
"Anything in particular? Rum maybe? A beer?"
He twitched his nose at you, bringing himself closer so that he was looking down at you, like a pompous king to his servant. A shockwave passed through you, a feeling that he would do something dangerous was so evident that it almost cut through your flesh. You observed a glint in his eye as his smile changed from something playful and wily to a menacing smirk. "I don't expect there to be fine wine here," he said mockingly. "Aftér all, the owner got himself arrested for smuggling a barrel of dirty whiskey..."
You forced yourself to speak past the obvious insult to your bar. "Unfortunately we don't, no." You said, turning to point to the bottles behind you. "However, we do have an assortment of other spirits. We have a Pinot Noir from the states, as well as entrées, if you'd have them."
"My apologies, ma chère mais I don't eat from the garbage." He smirked, watching your face as you fought to stay sane. He neared your face with his own now, knowing how much you wanted to punch it. "Go ahead, punch me. Then this blemish of a bar can finally be wiped off the map. Not that it would have mattered to anyone anyway. Look at the customers!" You clenched your teeth as he stared straight into your eyes. Suddenly, he grabbed your face, forcing you to look at the people looking on, horrified. You had to put a hand on the bar table to support yourself as the man pulled until your feet lifted off the ground and your hips caught on the edge of the bar. The other hand went to the glove clasping your cheeks as you tried to pry them off. "Look! They don't look happy. Not one bit!"
The Frenchman's posse kept straight faces, none even considering lending you a hand, not even a word. You kept your expression stoned, knowing that showing anything more than a brave face would let him know he won. His smile never faltered as your feet slowly touched the floor again. You glanced behind you to see that Alfonzo was no longer there. Panic slowly rose in your stomach as you straightened your gaze. Then you saw the boy slip under the swinging doors and you let out a sigh of relief. Hopefully he would bring help.
"Back to the wine, however. I don't think a place like this would know the first thing about red wine, let alone entrées. The man who created this bar was an imbecile, aftér all."
That was it. That was all it took for you to break. "HEY!" Your face twisted into the nastiest glare and you snarled as you slammed the table, the drinks resting upon it jumped up slightly as their drinkers turned their attention to you. Luckily, they weren't the only ones, because the pirate then took a seat in front of you and rested his elbow on the bar, holding his chin in his hand. His face said he had been waiting for this. His crew took to the back of the bar.
"My old bastard had ten times the wit you had!!! What makes you any better than my father who obtained beer illegally for his customers when you do nothing but steal for yourself!!!" You leaned in, almost touching foreheads with the pirate as your rage carried on. "YOU THINK THIS IS FUN?? You think you're any better than us just because you have more stuff on your fucking boat that you probably stole?? Huh? You think you're better than us because we can't protect ourselves with big fancy swords??" He chuckled at the wording you had used in your rage, pretty much disregarding everything else you had said. You shook your head, disappointed that you couldn't control yourself better... but you weren't done yet. "The old geezer was a graduate of one of the finest French culinary schools, and here's a Frenchman laughing at his knowledge!! I'm sure you don't even know what an entrée is?? I'm sure I'd know better than you!!"
Golden locks crowded your field of view momentarily as the man bent over to stand up, almost ramming his head into your mouth. You noticed it smelled faintly of burnt vanilla and shampoo. "Oui, oui. This is true." He said, a smirk still lingering on his face. "Assuming then that his knowledge was passed down to you, I think I'll have something aftér all."
"Oh?" You questioned, the interjection dripping in sarcasm.
One of his pirates emerged from the back of the bar with a notebook, overflowing with paper of different colors and sizes, in his hand. He nodded to his captain and the ornamented man let out a rumble from his throat, something that sounded like a large cat's purr. "Merci beaucoup for your hospitality, ma chère " He took your face in his gloved hand once more and gave you two kisses to the cheeks before stopping to press your cheeks together tightly and putting a hand to the small of your back. "I'll have the owner of this bar to go, s'il vous plait." He whispered into your ear as he slid the hand on your back to your waist and forcibly pulled you into his arms from over the table. Your knees hit the bar something horrible, and your back kind of hurt from the sudden twist to accommodate his arms, but the most important part was that he was actually carrying you to who knows where—A pirate ship maybe? You struggled in his grip to which he tsked and made a face of mock sternness.
The man handed you over to one of his cronies before reaching the exit. He fixed his attire then, watching as you fussily squirmed in the new man's arms. "Ah, ah, ah. You wouldn't want me to drop you, mon biche." You didn't speak French, but that definitely sounded like an insult. He sent you a wink in response to your confused expression and someone pressed something white to your face. You struggled, trying to get the object away from your nose, but the more you moved, the harder you breathed; the harder you breathed what ever was in your face, the weaker you felt. Your limbs slowly became heavy, and all you could think of was that curtain of black that seemed to be closing on your view of the pirate staring down at you.
When you came to, you were laying in a luscious bed with a vicious headache. Your eyes wandered the wooden ceiling, briefly hysterical at the unfamiliar setting. You looked to the side, a large pile of gold and other treasures sacked up and shoved in a random corner (poorly, for that matter), not to mention lavish furnishings scattered around the room and the smell of expensive perfumes. It was when you stood up that you realized that you were shackled to the frame of the bed. You chafed your wrist trying to slip your dominant hand out, but to no avail. The cuff was too small. There was a little creak of a noise as you felt the floor beneath you tilt, and you thanked the heavens that you weren't born with extreme motion sickness.
You tried to remember what happened that would have led you to this place.
All you could make out in your mind's eye was... a Frenchman.
He was blonde, he looked like the captain of a ship—a pirate ship! There were pirates! They kidnapped you from the bar and knocked you out with some sort of cloth. You suspected it was chloroform because it was a popular anaesthetic at the time—you shook your head clear of the wandering thought. Focus.
What if you were raped? You didn't remember getting on the ship or being cuffed to the bed! The fact that you were only in a chemise rang alarm bells in your mind. As long as your drawers were still in tact then you'd be fine. You wiggled around to try and feel for the hem, and with difficulty you felt the fabric brush your calf. You let out a sigh of relief. Now hopefully they weren't keeping you to have you tortured.
You started looking around again, your eyes landing on a round window to your right. The sun coming in through the window was a bright orange, and considering you remembered seeing the orange sky at daybreak, you must have been out cold the entire day. The rocking of the ship indicated that you were out at sea, and assuming you had been traveling since a little past midnight to right now, which was presumably afternoon, that meant you were... Significantly far away from home. You sighed heavily at the thought of getting caught for attempting to escape in a raft or stolen life boat. Then the distance you would have to travel and how you could possibly maneuver yourself home; you weren't a navigator.
Then your mind flickered back to the shackles that you were in and you mentally slapped yourself for even thinking you had a way of escaping.
You looked to the door then, the clacking of heeled boots hitting wood getting louder with every step. They stopped when they were still loud enough for you to hear and before you knew it, the doorknob was turning. Looking away from the door and closing your eyes, you pretended to be asleep once more.
The stranger sat down next to you on the large bed. As soon as he started to speak, you knew it was the Captain. "Ah, tsk, mon poor minou..." The mockery in his tone you heard made your blood pressure shoot up. You thought your head was going to explode.
Now, now... Think like a proud chef's offspring. Claw their eyes out only if they touch you in the privates. Or... attempt to claw them out.
"You must be exhausted from having such a dashing man take you away from that awful place." You pursed your lips at the conceit, and how you had to agree; then frowned at the last part. Your bar wasn't awful! It had seen better nights, but everyone who came in left with a smile. The town was small, so the customers were close and you were friendly with most of them. Your bar was comfortable, and that was perfect, in your opinion. Not to mention that the food received compliments every night. More enthusiastically from sailors visiting the harbor.
Your eyes broadened when he complimented you, though. You had to keep that under control. Keep your eyes closed! "Your talents are wasted in that place." What the hell was he getting at?
Leaning in more closely, he snorted when he realized something. He snaked a hand painfully close to your breasts. "You shouldn't trick a pirate, ma chère " He whispered as he pinched and kneaded at the skin just below your chest. Your breathing became uneasy as you sensed him climbing on top of you and leaning in closely to your ear. Pulling the neckline of your chemise out of the way, you shuddered at the feeling of his warm tongue on your naked skin. You felt the man's other hand rest on your mound as he blew on your now moistened nape.
This was too much. Far too much. Your legs drew together, knocking his hand off of you as you crossed your legs, and you shielded your neck from him by turning your head and curling into your shoulder. "Stop!!" You couldn't understand why, but you could feel tears burning behind your eyes. Probably nerves. This was too much, you repeated in your mind. Allowing yourself a second to freak out and another to compose yourself, you opened your eyes to see the man on top of you smirking.
"I suppose that's our new safe word? You are just as bland as Arthur..."
How did he know the Captain of King George III's Revenge? He seemed to have been involved, too. Who was he? Why hadn't you caught his name yet? Should you have already known? Unless...
This ship couldn't be the Empress's Desire. He couldn't be the rumored Captain Francis Bonnefoy. From the whispers you heard of him from women, you thought he would be some agéd, scarred up mess with such a rumored, insatiable sex drive—
"Did I say something of interest?" You snapped back to reality, where the captain lay on top of you.
You suddenly brought your fists forward, detained by the metal chains keeping you to the bed. The shackles made a metallic noise that surprised you for a moment. "No." You replied curtly. Now get off, please. Please get off. You pursed your lips to try and give him the hint. Hopefully, he'd be nice enough to take it.
He wasn't. What actually happened was he squeezed one of your breasts and kissed you on the back of the neck. You squirmed, but doing so made him think you enjoyed it, and he gladly continued.
"Stop!!! Stop, stop—please, I really don't want—!"
"Your body says otherwise, amour."
Unlike most girls, you were often very straightforward. No meant no. Yes was yes. It wasn't that hard. "Don't read my body, read my lips."
He swiftly pressed his lips to yours and smiled at your blush. "I've read your lips, the hesitation feels like virgin." You felt defiled. Dirty. Why did this man keep touching you? Was all he wanted you for sex? You gave him an unimpressed expression, and he chuckled lightly. "Is this the face that is supposed to make me stop?" He finally pulled off of you, "I suppose I'll allow it to work for now." He finally got off the bed, giving the back of your hand a kiss before retrieving a key from his pant pocket.
He freed you from your shackles and threw a dress at you from the pile you had observed earlier. "Diner will be served in a few minutes. Unfortunately, I can't help you with the laces, my dear. I'll leave my lieutenant outside for your use." He winked before turning and opening the door. "Don't be late!" He sang before leaving you alone to change.
You looked at the dress, then at the window, then at the dress again. If only you could fit into one of them without having trouble with your lower half.
Another voice was at the door. "Hej, do you need help with your laces, miss?"
"Ah, me?? Hah... Hold on one minute..." You were at the window, trying to open it, but the thing was bolted shut. You'd take something heavy to it, but it was too high. Now you were scrambling to get the dress over your chemise before you were found out.
"I can help with the corset."
"No, that's ok. I'm-I'm a little... Embarrassed."
You looked down at your thighs where your chemise had bunched up and restricted the corset's movement. It probably wouldn't have fit you either way, though. "This dress doesn't seem to fit me..."
"It doesn't? Cover up, I'm coming in." After a few seconds, a knock was all you needed before the man came in.
He was blonde, messy hair swept to the side and held there by his pirate hat. He was dressed as nicely as the Captain, except more refined and straightforward. A black long coat, crimson on the inside with striped sleeves and collar over a white blouse and dark tights tucked into boots. His color scheme was quite simple as well, dark accented with red—which was emphasized by the red sash he wore on his hips. The sound of the door closing stopped your gawking.
"Ur... I may be wrong, but that may not be the best way to wear a dress..."
You shook your head in embarrassment, "I've never actually worn a dress like this.... It wouldn't have gone up past my hips though, let alone my huge thighs." You paused for a moment as you tried to pull it off. "Oh, shoot...!"
"Hmm... Let me see?" He said, pointing to the dress.
It was safe. You had a chemise on. "Ah, sure!" Nodding, you replied, pulling the dress out in his direction, giving the impression of shoving it at him.
He actually took the bunch and stuck it under his arm. He was extremely close to you now, so close that you could smell his cologne. It was something musky, but you couldn't make out the scent. His arms weren't half bad, either. This man was somewhat more muscular than the lean, French pirate.
Putting warm hands where the dress was backed up, he forced it down, earning a large rip somewhere on the dress's skirt. You bit back a scream; it felt like a glorified rug burn. You looked down to check on the damage, but gasped as soon as you saw it—he had pulled off more than just the dress.
He stared in shock at your legs for a moment and the cabin was silent.
"Well don't just stare at them."
"N-nothing!!" He cleared his throat before handing the dress back to you. "There you go. Now to find a replacement..."He winked at you before turning to the pile of treasure.
"Thank you... I'm (y/n), by the way."
"Mathias. Or Lieutenant Køhler. Any kind of style you like to wear?" There was a chest that he was looking through; he pulled out an assortment of dresses and lay them on the bed for you.
They were gorgeous, one had a floral, blue and white printed fabric, accented with a bright red sash; another was a light yellow with golden accents and chains hanging off the bodice and onto the skirt; one was a deep violet color that gradated to amidnight blue, an opaque magenta material acted as sleeves—
"Just choose one and I'll help you lace up." The lieutenant projected. "I'll sit facing the wall. I won't peek—promise." He flashed you a smile before taking the chair from a desk nearby and straddling it so his back was facing you.
You glanced at him, then stared down at the dresses. Couldn't he just leave? Really... You sighed quite audibly.
"I know what you're thinking. But I can't leave, part of my orders are to make sure you don't try anything funny."
You sighed again.
Now, how to make this as casual as possible without telling him to leave...