Dusk, and the Morning Zephyr had finally anchored just outside the port. Captain Armand Wolfe let out a long sigh as he stepped out of his quarters on to the deck. It had been a fair run, he thought, looking out over the clear blue water. No mishaps, intended or accidental, and just this one last stop before he could make the deliveries, collect the pay, and go home to spend a quiet month alone with his wife and daughter. The things he did for love. But they were only two of many: the sea, his crew. The good Lord knew they needed a break as well, and they would have it soon enough. He had been away too long and yet he knew that as soon as he set foot upon the land his heart would pine again for the sea, the rolling waves, frothing against the sides of the Morning Zephyr. His ship. Wolfe smiled to himself. How funny life truly was sometimes.
He looked up and saw the moon glowing brightly in the darkening sky. This was it, the last job to be done. He glanced at his notebook. Where was the boy? He quickly looked over at the deckhands finishing up for the night. A game of cards, drink, music, and dance, but the boy was nowhere to be seen, and the longboat still waiting for him. It was frustrating, yet he couldn’t help but smile inwardly. Although the boy, as he called him was nearly a man, he would always think of him as “the boy.” He wasn’t even quite sure why. Turning back the way he came, Wolfe headed below deck.
“Now where have you gone, my pretty ones? Come out, come out, right here, come on.”
Wolfe listened to the one-sided prattle with amusement, espying the boy leaning over a wine cask, the toes of his boots barely touching the ground. “Johnathan, I found your stash last week.”
The boy straightened himself up quickly to attention. If a touch on the short side, the boy was slender and well-proportioned with regular, slightly angular features. “Jack, sir.” He corrected with a large grin and a slight gesture of deference.
“Shouldn’t you be somewhere right now?” Wolfe inquired with careful intonation.
Jack ran a hand through his coarse dark hair. “Well, yes. At dusk. To row out to the port all by me onesies and to pick up one of the last two shipments for his most excellent Captain Armand James Wolfe and the Royale Merchants Trading Company. Unmarked merchandise, all of it, pier three, Port of Jamaica. And all of this while Mister Arnold and Mister Moorecraft transport the licensed goods. I do believe I got it all, although I had to get Stark very, very drunk before he would tell me the whole of it. What kind of steward do you keep that he gabs when he’s liquored? In any case,” Jack continued after an uncomfortable pause beneath the scrutiny of Wolfe’s flinty eyes, “whatever you’re up to, it’s no business of mine.”
“Very good,” Wolfe replied, smirking. “And have you been outside recently?”
“Was just going to do that, as soon as I find – well, you said you’ve found them, so not much point in me looking anymore, now is there?” He looked at the captain with large brown eyes, “You don’t have to answer that.”
Wolfe sighed audibly. “Arnold and Moorecraft took one of the boats out over half an hour ago to get their shipment. You should have been gone well before now. You realize, Mister Johnathan Sparrow, that I have taken you on here as a favor to your father, but it’s not a free ride, and the fact that I have known you for most of your life does not change the fact that I am running a ship here and expect all my men to comply. I am the Captain, and if you don’t learn that well enough soon, I’m going to leave you at the next port we find. Now I want you to go out there now and do what I told you to do. That’s an order.”
“Yes, sir.” Jack replied with a nod, slipping a flask into a pocket. Clearly Wolfe had not sniffed out all of his stash. He would have to find the rest of his rum before setting out
Depends on how you spell "johnathan" I chose the "h" way only because the "h" seems superfluous and that seems somehow appropriate. Doesn't matter really though. Edited the "prattle" and uhm another place where I messed up. ^_^