|The Happenings I|
|Series||The Happenings by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||And So It Ends|
|Next||And So It Begins|
|← And So It Ends||Chapter Chronology||And So It Begins →|
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: SPARROW'S HAPPILY EVER AFTEREdit
One year had passed since Lucien's downfall and I was now living happily in Oakfield, on my farm by the sea, but don't be too hastily to think that I was now living a peaceful life, for you would be wrong. True, my life wasn't as exciting as it had been a year ago while I hunted down Lucien, the three Heroes and avoiding assassins, but I still was out facing danger and going on different quests when I wasn't working in a tavern, forge or on my farm.
I was also now the most well-known Hero to exist. I was even more well-known than my ancestors; the Hero of Oakvale - whom I discovered was Theresa's little brother, making Theresa one of my ancestors - and the Hero of Southcliff - whom I discovered was my grandfather. Everyone knew of the choice I had made in the Spire and, in return, they had built a huge statue of me which could now be found in Bowerstone Old Town. They had built it in my honour so they would all remember what I had sacrificed for them for all time, but enough of that. Even though defeating Lucien had been the challenge that had taken most of my life, I never thought that my greatest and most exciting adventure would be yet to come...
The day this adventure began, was like every other day. The day it began, I was outside chopping firewood. It was a beautiful, bright, sunny day with not a cloud in sight. Children's laughter filled the air mixed with the sound of trader's trying to sell their wares. To me, nothing could ruin this lovely day, except the fact that it was Valentine's Day. Even though I had gotten many Valentine's Day cards from many admires, they were just that...admires. I was lonely. I wished I had a partner. Someone I could talk to, someone who would understand me, someone I could trust, someone who could protect me if I ever need it, someone I could grow old with, and someone I could start a family with. I knew that one day it would happen, but that didn't mean I was extremely patient about it. I wanted to know who my spouse was. During my travels, I had never come across someone taller than me or someone that took my fancy, except for Reaver...and speaking of the old pirate...
'Reaver?' I said in disbelief as I looked up and saw him walking towards me. 'What are you doing here?'
'What? No hello?' Reaver asked with his usually smirk as he stopped in front of me.
'Oh, my bad. Hello Reaver, how are you?' I asked sarcastically, then I continued without an answer, 'Now what are you doing here?'
'Besides coming to see you?' asked Reaver. He sound annoyed about how our conversation started. 'Well, my dear, I have a little problem.'
'And what would that "little problem" be?' I asked suspiciously. I was yet to forget his little errand to the Shadow Court.
'You still have my Dark Seal.' he answered abnormally bluntly.
'Oh,' I had forgotten all about it. 'Wait here. I'll go and get it for you.' I said, putting down my axe and ripping off my gloves, before running off to get it.
Of course he would only be here for something of his own gain! I thought bitterly as I rummaged around for his bloody Dark Seal. It's not like he would be here to honestly see me or anything!
Ten minutes later, I found the Dark Seal under Thag's head in my trophy chest - how it got there I will never know - and headed back outside, expecting to come across an impatient Reaver, how wrong I was. Nothing prepared me for the sight I came across. He was standing there, shirtless, with my axe in hand cutting my firewood. I nearly dropped the Dark Seal.
'Wh-what are you doing?' I stammered, walking over to him. Man he looked hot.
'Chopping firewood,' came his obvious reply.
'I can see that, but why?'
'I thought that I'd give you a hand,' he shrugged uncaringly. 'Did you find it?'
'Yes. It was under Thag's head.' I replied as he continued to chop the firewood. I would never understand the way his mind worked.
'Under who's head, excuse me?' asked Reaver. He paused and looked up at me.
'The bandit Thag,' I answered. 'I still don't know why I still have it. It's starting to smell real bad.'
'Sell it then,' suggested Reaver, continuing with his chopping. 'People would probably pay big money for it seeing as it belongs to you. People love things that belong to famous Heroes.'
'Maybe,' I muttered thoughtfully, sitting down in the shade. Reaver did have a point.
After a few minutes of comfortable silence, with the only sounds coming from the nearby village, nature and the axe chopping the wood, Reaver spoke again.
'I forgot how peaceful and calming wood chopping was.' he said conversationally.
'Do you miss it? Do you miss your life in Oakvale?' I asked curiously. I wondered if he would answer.
'Not particularly,' replied Reaver. He continued to chop the wood. 'True, I miss some aspects such as my parents, sister and living on the farm, but the rest...all I can say is good riddens. Good riddens to struggling to survive, good riddens to the people and good riddens to the other aspects that made my life hell there.'
'Don't answer this if you don't want to, but if you had remained in Oakvale and hadn't made that deal with the Shadow Court, do you think you would have had a family?' I asked. I was still trying to rule Reaver out of the vision Theresa had shown me. Even though I wouldn't mind having him as my husband, seeing as he didn't act like an arrogant jerk around me in private, well most of the time that is.
'Probably not,' he answered, frowning slightly. 'It's not like I was one of the most eligible bachelors in Oakvale. I was right at the bottom, lower than the rats most of the time. After all, who would want to marry a giant and someone with no money? But, if I had met the right girl back then, I guess I would have.'
'Do you still wish to have a family?'
'No,' he said bluntly. 'I'm going to live forever, unless I'm murdered, but they won't. I don't want to get close to anyone that I'll have to watch grow old and die eventually. Plus I have to also keep up my social image.' he added with his famous smirk.
'So you'll never be free of the contract?' I asked. I was horrified at the idea.
'Not unless I break it.'
'What happens if you break it?' I was holding my breath.
'I'll age like everyone else.' he shrugged.
'Really? But when I was at the Shadow Court they told me that if the sacrifices stopped, they would come for you!' I exclaimed. When they told me, I thought that they would do something horrible to Reaver.
'They only meant my youth,' replied Reaver, giving me a curious look. 'They would gradually take away my youth like everyone else's.'
'Then why don't you break it?'
Reaver stopped chopping and looked over at me.
'Because Annabelle's sacrifice would have been for nothing!' Reaver answered as though it was the most obvious thing in the whole of Albion.
'No, it wouldn't,' I said gently. 'She told me that she believes that your actions happened for a reason. A greater reason than just defeating Lucien. Plus, she told me that she wants you to be happy and to settle down with a family.' I paused. I had just realising what I had said. The part about Reaver's role being greater than just defeating Lucien didn't help me rule him out as being the father of my future children. In fact, it made it seem more likely than not.
I snapped out of my thoughts and looked over at Reaver. He was looking at me strangely.
'When did she tell you that?' he demanded. 'I never saw you talking to her alone, seeing as she was with me the entire time.' he was referring to our trip through Wraithmarsh.
'True, but I have been to Wraithmarsh a few times since then and she came and spoke to me each time.' I replied gently.
'Why on earth would you go back there?' exclaimed Reaver. 'Maybe Hammer's right, you are insane!'
'Is that really a bad thing?' I asked, slightly hurt for some reason.
'Of course not, and don't change the subject. Why were you there?'
'The first time I was looking for gargoyles,' I began, but Reaver interrupted me.
'Why were you looking for gargoyles?' Reaver asked curiously as he went back to chopping the wood.
He must really enjoy chopping wood, I thought before answering his question.
'I had to destroy fifty gargoyles so I could find their hidden treasure.'
'And did you find it?'
'Yeah, it was the Rammer.' I said, motioning for him to follow me inside.
Once inside, I lead him into one of my spare rooms where I kept a lot of items from my adventures - I really needed to have a huge sort out - and pulled the Rammer out of a chest where I kept all my legendary weapons.
'Hmm, I hate crossbows.' Reaver muttered as he examined it. This surprised me, though I didn't know why. Reaver clearly favoured guns. However, I think I was most surprised seeing as I hate crossbows too.
'I take it that everything here is from your travels.' Reaver said, handing me back the Rammer and looking around at all the boxes, chests and mess.
'How did you guess?' I laughed, sitting down on one of the chests.
Reaver grinned at me, a sight that I had never seen grace his features like so, before he asked me for the other reasons I willingly went back to Wraithmarsh.
'I went looking for artefacts for an archaeologist, retrieved Lady Grey's torso from Twinblade's tomb for the old Bowerstone Cemetery gravekeeper and...'
'Sorry, but did you just say something about retrieving Lady Grey's torso?' Asked Reaver, looking a little disgusted. 'Why would he want her torso for?'
'Actually, I had to find all of her body parts,' I admitted.
'I know that he's a gravekeeper, but that is just weird.' said Reaver, sitting on a chest opposite me.
'He brought her back to life.' I told him.
'He did what? But that's impossible!'
'No, it's not. I saw it happen, and they are now happily married the last I heard.'
'I leave Albion for a year and it seems that it’s gone...anyway, you were about to say another reason why you went there.' Reaver said, shaking his head. How things could change in a year.
‘Yeah, I had to find these two brothers, Sam and Max, on behalf of their mother.’ I answered.
‘You have been busy,’ muttered Reaver.
‘True.’ I said, leading the way to the kitchen before making us both some lunch.
‘Have you been to Bloodstone lately?’ Reaver asked casually as he sat down at the dinner table.
‘I’ve been there a few times in the past year.’ I answered. While he might have sounded casual, I knew deep down he was eager to hear some sort of news. I knew that he secretly cared for Bloodstone...and the people that didn’t annoy him.
‘Anything exciting happen?’
‘Do you count a nasty white banshee attacking exciting?’ I asked back as I pour us drinks.
‘A banshee attacked Bloodstone?’ repeated a surprised Reaver. ‘I take it you took care of it before it could destroy my coastal paradise?’
‘Of course. I’m always cleaning up after Sam and Max.’ I answered, putting a sandwich and drink in front of him. I didn’t even know if he ate salad sandwiches or if he would appreciate drinking water instead of wine. He didn’t complain. It seemed that I was speaking more to River than I was to Reaver.
‘What have they got to do with anything?’ frowned Reaver, taking a sip of his drink.
‘They were the ones that released the banshee in the first place.’ I answered, sitting down also at the table with my own lunch. ‘They are also the ones that accidently set hollow men on myself and another adventurer in the Tomb of Heroes.’ I added, thinking back to how much fun that day add been. Went looking for a little boy and ended up being attacked by hundreds of hollow men.
‘Their poor mother.’ Reaver said seriously. ‘Anything else I should know about Bloodstone?’
‘Nothing much as happened apart from that. The economy is doing well, and I should know seeing as I now own every house and shop in Bloodstone, but don’t worry,’ I added as I saw him about to interrupt, no doubt about his mansion, ‘I haven’t bought your mansion.’ Reaver relaxed. ‘Though you should know that bandits and Hobbes are currently living in your escape tunnel.’
‘I’m gone for a year and everything falls apart, it seems. How do you know that anyway?’ he added, eyes narrowing slightly.
‘I had to go there to find an artefact for the archaeologist.’ I shrugged, taking a bite on my sandwich.
‘That’s the second time you’ve mentioned your archaeologist friend. What is he looking for?’
‘She was looking for the Archon’s Dream.’ I corrected him.
‘You found the Archon’s Dream?’ repeated a disbelieving Reaver. ‘And here I was thinking that it was a myth.’
‘She wrote a lengthy academic piece on the whole thing.’ I told him. ‘It’s somewhere in one of my bookshelves.’
‘Have you ever thought about having a sale,’ Reaver said, looking around at all the junk that I had.
‘I’ve never had time. I’ve been working on the farm, questing and doing other jobs such as bounty hunting, bartending, wood chopping and working in the forge to re-stock my cash.’
‘Yeah, I lost a lot of money gambling and drinking.’ I lied.
‘Drinking and gambling?’ Reaver said, raising his eyebrows and looking amused. ‘You should have added sleeping around in that lie too, my dear.’
‘I’m not lying!’
‘Uh huh? So since when do you drink and gamble? Seeing as you didn’t seem, and still don't look, like the type of girl that would do something like that, unless I missed judged, but seeing as I never miss...’
‘Okay, I get your point.’ I interrupted.
‘So, are you going to tell me?’
‘No. I’ll let you try and figure it out for yourself.’ I said cheekily.
‘A challenge, hmm? All right, I accept.’ Reaver said. He was looking thoughtful.
‘So when do you have to give your annual sacrifice?’ I asked.
‘Some time this year.’ Reaver shrugged. ‘As long as I give it at some point during the first on January and the thirty-first of December, they really don’t care.’
‘So, will you be staying around for a while?’ I asked curiously. I really wanted him to stay, though I would never admit it out loud.
‘I don’t see why not.’ he shrugged again.
We sat in silence of the rest of lunch, before heading back outside to deal with the wood.
‘How was Samarkand?’ I asked as Reaver took his shirt off again and got ready to start chopping again.
‘It was a total – Argh!’ Reaver yelled as something furry jumped up at him, which resulted in knocking him to the ground. The creature laid on him and started licking his face. ‘Sparrow, get this fur-ball off me!’
I was currently on the ground laughing and I struggled to tell my dog to hop off Reaver.
‘Thanks. I really appreciated having dog slobber –‘ Reaver stopped and looked closer at the dog.
‘Something wrong?’ I asked innocently.
‘No, it’s just that your dog looks like your old one.’ Reaver answered awkwardly. He was unsure about how I would react.
‘That’s because this is my old one.’ I snorted.
‘Sparrow, Storm was shot by Lucien, we all saw it. That can’t be him.’ Reaver said surprisingly gently.
‘True, Lucien did shoot him, but he got him in the stomach.’ I explained. ‘Storm was barely alive when I got to Hero Hill, but I was able to stabilise him and nursing him back to health.’
Reaver just stared and I started laughing again.
'What a good pair the two of you make.' Reaver said eventually, shaking his head as he got back to work. 'Cheating death the way you do.'
'I do not cheat death,' I told him.
'No, you just survive things that most people could never survive.' Reaver agreed sarcastically.
'You're one to speak. How long have you avoided death for now?' I asked.
'Touché.' was all he said.
'Anyway, you were going to tell me about Samarkand.' I reminded him. 'Or are you starting to forget things in your old age.'
'I might be older than most men, but that doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with my memory, my dear.' said an indignant Reaver.
'Sure sure.' I smirked at him as I started chopping a different pile of wood. 'Now, Samarkand. Spill.'
'Very well.' sighed Reaver. 'Well, that senile old hag that you call friend was true to her word so Garth and I ended up in Samarkand. You know, for a Scholar he didn't have much to teach me about his homeland, in fact it was as though he knew nothing of it. Anyway, it turned out to be a boring year there. You know how I went there looking for hot nights, exotic substances and uninhibited people? Yes? Well, I definitely found an excess of hot nights, a miserable amount of exotic substances and a shortage of uninhibited people. I'm actually surprised that I lasted there that long.'
'I'm surprised you lasted so long too, if you're not exaggerating with your description.' I said, wiping sweat from my brow. It was becoming quite warm. 'So how did you survive there? How did you survive without your famous wild parties?' I asked mockingly.
'Oh, you have no idea how much I struggled,' replied Reaver just as mockingly, grinning over at me. 'In fact, the moment I return to Bloodstone, I'm planning on hold one of my - what did you call them? - "famous wild parties".'
'And when do you plan to go back to Bloodstone?' I asked in what I hoped was a casual tone.
'Whenever I feel like leaving or you get annoyed with me.' shrugged Reaver. 'Until then, I'm sure I can convince you into throwing so sort of party, no matter how small.'
'Ha, not likely.' I laughed. 'Though the people of Oakfield are holding a Valentine's Day party tonight. I'm sure you can find someone there to go with you.'
'What about you?'
'What about me?'
'Why don't you come with me?'
'I - can't.' I said, turning red.
'You have a boyfriend?' Reaver asked sharply.
'Of course not.' I snorted.
'Then why can't you go with me?'
'Cause - cause I've, um, got work to do?'
'Nice try. You're coming whether you like it or not, my dear.' said a smug Reaver.
'But...I've never been to a party or celebration.' I said in a slight panic. 'How do I act? What do I do? What do I wear? What do I -'
'Is that all you are worried about?' Reaver said in disbelief. 'My dear, you just act like yourself and have fun. As for what you wear...not what you're wearing at the moment.' he said bluntly, looking me up and down. 'Wear something nice.'
'I - fine. I'll go with you.' I said in defeat.
Reaver's smile grew even wider.
The party was surprisingly enjoyable, despite Reaver's flirting with a number of young girls, but I was able to ignore it. Thankfully, he didn't invite any of them over for the night. I wouldn't have been able to ignore that. In fact, if he had done that, he would find himself sleeping outside with the chickens.
During the celebrations, many men came over asking me to dance, but I never accepted. Can you imagine how weird it would be for me to dance with a man that was over a head shorter than me? Some woman might not have a problem with it, but I did.
Anyway, Reaver stayed with me for over a month, before he decided that it was time that he should go back to Bloodstone and prepare for his annual sacrifice to the Shadows. However, what surprised me the most was when he asked me to join him and to come to his "welcome home" party, as he called it. But what surprised me even more was the fact that I agreed and before I knew it, I was on a ship heading to Bloodstone with Reaver and Storm.
During the voyage, I realised that Reaver seemed to change again. He seemed to relax in front of everyone.
'You are unusually relaxed, especially in front of other people.' I commented as I joined him at the bow of the ship.
'I spent most of my life at sea, my dear. I feel as much at home on a ship as I do on a farm.' Came his peaceful reply as the fresh ocean breeze rustled through his neat hair.
'So did you become a sailor or pirate after you left Oakvale?' I asked, leaning on the railing.
'Yes,' replied Reaver. 'After the Shadows had destroyed Oakvale, I took whatever money I had saved and headed to Bloodstone, looking for work of some kind. At first, I couldn't get anyone to give me the time of day, but two days later, the barman's daughter approached me. I accepted the job at once and we soon became friends. I know that's hard to believe but once upon a time I wasn't that bad of guy.' he added, when I snorted in disbelief.
'I'm sorry.' I said, trying not to smile. 'That was a lovely story, but it doesn't explain how you became a pirate.'
'I was getting there. It wouldn't be much of a story if I got straight to the point, would it now?'
'Okay, you win.'
'As always,' muttered Reaver, before continuing his recount before I could interrupt again. 'Anyway, I had been working there for a month, when he came. Captain Dread walked in with his crew. He was the most feared pirate and at the time, he had been known to come ashore and take young women back to sea with him. Those women are never seen again. Any who, it was on this day that Becky, the barman's daughter, was caught in the pirate's sights. He ordered his men to take her, but before they could reach her, I was by her side trying to shield her from view.
'Dread told me to move aside and when I refused, he ordered his men to kill me, but if they hurt Becky, they would be joining my fate. Upon hearing this, they all drew their guns hurriedly, but to me...it was as though I was seeing it all in slow motion. I took out my, er, gun - not that it was much of a gun - and shot them all in their gun hands before they could take aim. Dread saw immediately that I was no mere barman's assistant and he immediately saw me as a threat. He ordered his men to go back to the Maryanne and I thought that I had seen the last of him...I was wrong. That night, when I headed back to the small house that I was renting, they followed me and during the night, they attack while I was asleep and took me as a prisoner on the Maryanne and left Bloodstone.
'At first they just ignored me, but when we were in the middle of nowhere, Dread came down and spoke to me. He was not happy that I had made a fool of him at the inn and that I ruined his plans of getting another young lady, but he was also impressed. He told me that if I behaved myself, he would allow me some freedom and that he would spare my life. So, I reluctantly agreed to be a cabin boy. Many years I sailed with them and during this time, I tried to learn as much as I could about sailing and ships. Then, one day, we were attacked by, I can't remember exactly who attacked us, probably another pirate ship or something, and we were losing badly. In the end, just as Dread was about to be taken out by the other Captain, I managed to grab my capturer's cutlass, killed the capturer before taking his gun and shooting the enemy Captain and anyone else that was not part of Dread's crew.
'After that day, I stayed by Dread's side and eventually became his second in command.' Reaver concluded. 'Then many years after that, I killed him and took control of the crew.'
'I always wondered how Dread died, but...did you take his ship?' I asked. How did Dread and some of his crew end up in the Smuggler's Cave?
'No. I put Dread's body, the members of crew that apposed me and the ship in the cave that Dread lived. Smuggler's Cave, I believe it is called today.' he answered.
'Did you ever see Becky again?'
'Yeah, but by then she was an old lady.'
'Did she recognise you?'
'How could she not?' Reaver replied with a light arrogant chuckle.
'I bet she was horrified to see how young you were still.'
'No, she thought that I was River's son, and I just encouraged it.' Reaver said. 'In fact, I still encourage it if people ask why I don't seem to age. People are so gullible.' he added with a slight chuckle.
'Well you better start spreading that rumour again.' I told him as I watched the sun begin to set. 'Some of the people of Bloodstone were beginning to speak of how you never seem to age.'
'Hmm. How bothersome.' Reaver mutter, looking a little annoyed.
I could help but laugh.
We ended up reaching Bloodstone that night, and headed straight to Reaver's mansion. The moment Reaver stepped off the ship; his indifferent mask was back on and began acting like his old arrogant self as we began to walk up the street. I knew that it was only to intimidate and to keep the respect and fear he had earned over the years.
The whole way up to the mansion, people stopped and stared at us, throwing Reaver loving looks - though many men threw me the same looks too - and dirty looks at me seeing as I was with Reaver and vice versa, before whispering to each other.
'Why do I get the feeling that there will be a rumour about us dating by tomorrow morning?' I muttered to Reaver.
He smirked down at me.
'I'd say by tonight. News travels quickly here.' he paused before adding thoughtfully. 'I think I can live with that rumour, might even encourage -'
'Don't you even think about it!' I warned, eyes narrowing.
He chuckled, making me glare even more.
'Welcome back, Reaver!' Norman said happily the moment we stepped foot in the mansion. 'Oh, and it's good to see you again, brave Lionheart.'
'You too.' I said smiling back at him.
'Is there anything you need, Reaver?' Norman asked, turning his attention back to Reaver.
'Yes. Sent a bunch of men down the back passage and get them to take care of the bandits and Hobbes that have taken up residence in there.'
'Yes sir.' Norman answered promptly, before leaving.
'Out of all my men, Norman would have to be my most efficient.' sighed Reaver. 'Come on, I'll show you to your room.' he added, leading the way up the stairs and through the corridors before coming to a halt outside my room.
'Here we are. My best guest room - even though most of the rooms are the same - but this one is next to my room and it has a great view.' Reaver said as he opened the door for me.
He was right, of course. It had a magnificent view of Bloodstone and the ocean.
'I can see why you call this your coastal paradise.' I told him as he went and stood next to me on the balcony. 'So, when is this party going to be?'
'Tomorrow night,' replied Reaver, not taking his eyes away from the ocean. 'And speaking of the party, you do have something suitable to wear, don't you?'
'Of course. I'll just wear the same outfit that I wore to the Oakfield celebrations.' I said frowning slightly. How could he forget? He had even complimented me on my outfit.
'You can wear something like that to one of my parties.' he explained. 'Not only would you embarrass yourself, but me as well.'
'Then what do you want me to wear? My bra and undies?' I asked sarcastically.
'I wouldn't mind that, and I'm sure a few of my guests would enjoy the lovely sight too.' Reaver said seriously, making me blush. 'But I think you should wear some sort of clothing. Something casual, yet sexy at the same time.'
'I'm sure I can find something.' I muttered, still a little red. He did know that I had been joking about going in my underwear, didn't he?
'I'm sure you will.' he agreed. 'Listen Sparrow,' he said seriously, tearing his eyes away from the view in front of him, to look at me. 'You have been asking me many questions about my past, yet I know nothing of yours. So, I think it's only fair that I ask you some questions now.'
'Okay, what do you want to know?' I asked slowly.
'Your childhood, family, why you started to fight Lucien in the first place and what Lucien meant when he said something about killing you as a child.'
'Okay, then you better make yourself comfortable,' I said reluctantly, but if Reaver could tell me about his past then I could do the same.
I began to tell him about my parent's house on the farm near Bowerstone, before describing what I remembered of my life there and how Thag destroyed that life by murdering my parents in one of his raids when I was five years old. I then went on to describe Rose and my lives when we lived in the streets of Bowerstone Old Town, then how Theresa convinced us to buy the music box when I was eight years old. I spoke of all the tasks we had to do, how we met Storm and when we finally bought it and made our wish, it just disappeared. I don't know how I managed to describe Rose's death to Reaver, but I somehow did manage it, with Storm offering what comfort he could as well as Reaver placing a gentle hand on my shoulder. I told him of how Theresa rescued me and my ten years of learning and training to bring Lucien down. I then went on to describe the beginning of my journey, my achievements, the dramas involved with getting Hammer and Garth, life in the Spire, until I eventually got to the part when I came to recruit Reaver himself.
'...and the rest you know.' I concluded.
'I guess we are more alike than I thought,' mutter Reaver after a while. 'I'll leave you to get settled. If you need anything, give a yell to myself or one of my maids.'
'Thanks Reaver.' I smiled gratefully.
Reaver nodded and left the room.
Sighing, I began to unpack the belonging I had brought with me.
The next morning I joined Reaver for breakfast, before going off to buy some "appropriate" clothes for Reaver's party, while Reaver organised everything.
Reaver and I were right when we said that everyone would think that we were dating. Many people came up to me to ask if there was any truth to it all, and each time I said that we weren't dating, though I really wanted to say that we were a couple. Over the past month, Reaver seemed to have become a big part of my life, and the thought of him not being there seemed to pierce a hole through my heart. Anyway, I still don't know how they came to the conclusion of us dating. I mean, we weren't even holding hands or anything! Okay, maybe we were walking a little close to each other than necessary, but that was it.
That night, I was in my bedroom getting ready as the guests began to arrive. Don't ask me why I was running so late, because I didn't know myself. Though I think subconsciously, I was running late to try and get Reaver's attention with a grand entrance.
Eventually I was dressed and stood in front of the mirror examining myself critically, before turning to Storm.
'What do you think? Do I look ready?'
Storm barked happily.
'I'll take that as a yes.' I said happily, before taking a deep breath and walked downstairs to the party.
Many people stopped and looked at me with their mouths open when I walked passed, but I ignored them. My mind was only on one person, and I soon found him standing near the fireplace, entertaining a group of young men and women. Smirking, I made my way slowly over to him. At first he didn't notice my approach, but when he did, he had to do a double take, and his eyes widened as he began to take in my outfit.
My short hair had a slight messy look to it, but it complimented my dark make-up and black, crop-topped, short-sleeved top, and black flowy, mini skirt with the ripped edges -I took one of my skirts and ripped most of the bottom off it. I had matching black thigh high boots on too. Around my neck was a choker and I had earrings in my ears as well as a golden bracelet on one of my wrists.
'Does this meet your dress standards?' I asked Reaver mockingly, stopping next to him.
'You look beautiful, my dear.' Reaver said, snapping out of his trance.
I slight pink tinge appeared on my cheeks.
'Would you join me for a dance?' he asked me politely as some of his guests started dancing.
'I don't dance.' I said quickly.
'Nonsense. I've seen you dancing and singing around the house numerous times.' Reaver said pointedly.
'Yeah, but not that kind of dancing. I've never danced with a partner before.' I mumbled.
'There's a first time for everything,' shrugged Reaver, leading me to the dance floor, before teaching me how to waltz.
It took me a few tries to master it, before I was dancing smoothly with Reaver, though I don't know how he could still dance after the amount of times I accidently stood on his foot. I spent most of the night dancing with Reaver. I had never had so much fun in my life and by the end of the party I was exhausted. I sat there in an armchair, slowly falling asleep as Reaver said goodbye to his guests. He took no one up on their offers for a "good time", of course most people though that it meant that Reaver and I would be sleeping together, and after seeing us together tonight, I don't blame them to coming to that conclusion.
'Finally, they are all gone.' sighed Reaver, sitting on the arm of the chair I was in. 'I thought that they would never leav - are you asleep?'
'No,' I yawned, trying to open my eyes. I didn't succeed.
I could hear Reaver chuckling above me, before I felt his strong arms lift me gently up, before he carried me upstairs to my room. I was asleep before we even got half way to my room.
The following morning, I awoke in my bed, still in my clothes from last night. Sighing, I quietly got out of bed, so I wouldn't disturb Storm, and began to get ready for the day. When I was ready, I went down stairs to the dining room and found Reaver already sitting at the table eating his breakfast and reading some sort of book. He looked up from what he was reading when I entered.
'Ah, good morning, Sleeping Beauty.' he said, smiling over at me. 'I thought that you would still be asleep at midday.'
'Why did you think that?' I asked, putting some fruit on my plate.
'I thought last night might have worn you out.'
'Reaver, I've gone months with hardly any sleep. I think one little party wouldn't hurt me.' I said pointedly.
'True, and speaking of parties. I learnt some very interesting news last night, before you turned up.' Reaver said conversationally, before sticking some egg and bacon in his mouth.
'And what would that be?' I asked.
'The fact that some unknown stranger bought Fairfax Castle, not that it can be called that anymore. How come you never told me?'
'I guess it slipped my mind.' I lied.
'Really? Well, I don't know about you, but I'm very interested about this stranger.' Reaver continued conversationally. 'She has made a number of donations to those that need money, she has even donated toys to orphanages, but what is most interesting is that she is always cloaked and hooded, so nobody knows what she looks like, but she is said to be as tall as you, if not taller.'
'Good to know that someone cares about the poor,' I muttered.
'Apparently, she is becoming as loved and adored as you and that everyone wants her to become the new queen. They believe that someone as charitable as she would do wonders for Albion.' Reaver said, looking over at me out the corner of his eyes.
'What?' I choked. He had to tell me that when I was drinking.
'And I have to agree with them. You probably would be a good queen.' Reaver said seriously.
'I don't know what -'
'Sparrow, don't insult my intelligence. I know you are that hooded woman. No one is as tall as you or selfless and you told me that it had been your sister's and your dream to live there, plus it would explain why you are short on cash.' Reaver said bluntly.
'I hate it how you can see through my lies.' I grumbled.
'It's not that hard, to be honest.' admitted Reaver. 'So, are you going to become queen?'
'No...at least, not yet.' I replied thinking of the vision Theresa showed me.
'I think you should think about it.' said a serious Reaver. 'And while you are thinking about it, please excuse me while I go and deal with the person who's going to keep me young.' he added, getting to his feet.
I nodded absently. I didn't want to have anything to do with him and the Shadow Court contract.
* * *
I spent another two years at Bloodstone Mansion, and with each passing day, Reaver and I grew closer and in the end, the regions rumours about us being a couple were true, not that anyone knew for sure, except for Norman, Reaver's crew and the maids - the only people Reaver could trust in Bloodstone, besides Storm and I. We kept our relationship secret, but the day eventually came when Albion was singing out for the hooded woman of Fairfax castle to become queen, and I reluctantly accepted.
'Will you come with me, River?' I asked as we laid in bed on my second last night, before I moved into the castle.
'I want to, but I don't know, Amy.' Reaver said as he absently played with my hair. When our relationship became serious, he asked me what my name really was - he didn't believe that any parent in their right mind would call their child Sparrow - and I had answered him. It was a name that I hadn't gone by in years.
Even as our relationship became strong, Reaver personally went to the Shadow Court and told them that he would no longer be sacrificing anyone to them and that he would age like everyone else. This shocked me that much that I ended up collapsing in a chair and just stared at my lover's worried face.
'You could remain hooded and I would only call you River, so nobody would link you to the Pirate King.' I said desperately. I was giving him my best puppy eyes. He hated when I did that seeing as he was never able to say "no" when I did it.
'Don't look at me like that!' he whined. I stayed strong, and in the end he sighed with defeat. 'Fine. You win, my beloved.'
I sat up and started kissing him passionately. Who said happily ever after didn't exist?
A/N: During the years Reaver was at sea with Dread, the Shadow Court made personal visits to the ship and stole different crew members’ youth. Just in case you were wondering.
Written: 18 September 2011