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Huddled in her long black coat, Bette stood at the rail at the top of her ship, on the Captain’s deck. Alone, for now. The wind blew and tugged at her clothes, tangling her curls and pulling on her sleeves… not yet able to penetrate the thick wool of her coat. It was a cool wind… a howling, grouchy wind… perfect for a silent siege or killing knife in the dark.
Perfect for betrayal.
It was a wind that matched how she felt inside. Howling, she felt like screaming… like she was at a pivotal point in her life. Decision time. Her hair blew furiously, obscuring her eyes from time to time but still she stood, motionless, overlooking the sea, her thoughts a jumble.
It was a black night, an ominous night, a night that offered only a sliver of the moon to see by. Black as midnight, black as a shadow in the night, a thief, an intruder. Sleep eluded her, this the second night in a row. Not even the warmth of her wife’s body could lull her to sleep, not this night, nor the night before. Earlier, they set anchor to stop all progress, Bette not wanting to be blown off course. They would reach the port of Edge City on the morrow, the last stop before they set sail for her mother. For Gigi. For battle. Come what may.
Whirls and swirls of thoughts occupied her brain as she turned the battle plan over in her head again and again, looking for gaps, for something she might have missed. Over and over ad nauseam. Inside out and upside down. Alice would be in port to meet them and there Bette would punish the Rascal for betraying her, something she should have done long before now. But something stayed her hand. It scared her… this lack of … drive… this lack of interest, why did she wait? Punishment for betrayal normally meant The Rascal would be a gruesome spectacle. So why does he sit in her barge singing endless songs of fair maidens and gold? Fucking why indeed.
It scared her because she felt so… tired. Weary even. Exhaustion hunted her like a predator in the night. Was she tired of the fighting? Or was it the pain from her recent injuries, the frantic running from one escapade to another? Maybe it was the injury to her ribs, maybe it was having a family now… and maybe it was a combination of all that weighed on her.