Jackie crawled into bed next to Charles, curling up beside him. "Charles," she whispered. "Charles!"
"What?" he growled.
"I'm going to kill Ned Low and take his prize," she grinned.
Charles's expression softened. "What prize?"
Jackie shrugged. "I don't know, but Meeks told Eleanor that it was something of great value and it's still on their ship."
Charles pressed his lips to hers. "Can you wait? Just a day or two."
She frowned. "Why? I've been waiting for you forever. What will it take for you to grow a spine?" she hissed and rolled away from him onto her shoulder.
He let out an audible sigh, but did not pursue it nor try to comfort her. "I only ask you to trust my decision as captain," he said simply and rolled over onto his own shoulder so that their backs faced each other.
Jackie closed her eyes, but sleep did not come easy. She had no innate desire to kill; only what came with the job of pirate. But he was making it awfully hard to be a pirate. When she finally fell into sleep, she resurfaced again long after the sun had risen. She emerged from the fort to find Charles sparring with his men. She poured herself a draught from Mr. Turner's bottle of rum and perched on a ruin of a wall. She patted Charles's shoulder as she walked by, but refused to offer him more affection until he saw things her way.
"You and the husband fighting?" Turner furrowed his brow.
Jackie chuckled. "No, when we fight, we fight. You'll see it if you stick around long enough."
Charles grumbled at Jackie as she walked by. It was hell waiting for her to start a fight, but until she did and they had it out, he couldn't see them getting past their disagreement. He only hoped she wouldn't act rashly and try to take on Low without him. But just as the thought passed through his mind, the devil appeared, walking into the courtyard alone.
Low approached Charles, not waiting for a proper introduction: "You know, I've made camp at Port Royal, Tortuga, Kingston – no matter where I've been, one thing is true. There's always one," he said. "The one you don't cross. It would seem readily apparent that in this place, that would be you."
"Thank you for noticing," Charles grunted and sat down. "What the fuck are you doing here?"
"The fuck is he?" Turner asked Jackie. He had an idea based on talk he heard on the street, but wanted to be sure.
"Ned Low," she replied and promptly shushed him so that she could listen to their conversation.
"I think it's no secret that since my arrival, I've been repeatedly provoked and harassed by the Guthrie woman and as her aggression seems to be escalating, I thought it wise to speak of this in the open."
"Her aggression toward you?" Charles had to fight not to laugh.
Low pretended not to notice. "Conspiracy with my quartermaster to depose me and a provocation by her man-at-arms. I think you and I have both seen enough of these things to know they never end well."
"What are you telling me for?" Charles asked, growing more annoyed by the second.
"I saw you that day in the tavern," Low explained. "I hear you and she have a connection and if things were to deteriorate even further between us, I'd just like to know whether I'd have you to deal with too.
Turner wandered over, away from Jackie, and inserted himself in the conversation: "I can't imagine what we'd have to gain by taking an interest in the affairs of the Guthrie woman. Would you, Captain?"
"Not that I can see," he replied. "But I'm not the one with a connection to her. It'd be Bloody Jackie you'll have to worry about."
Low leaned to the side to look at the woman who wore a smug smile. He scoffed. "I'm not worried about her. I'm asking about you. I just need to know that no matter how bloody this feud between her and I get, you'll take no part in it."
Charles felt himself agreeing more Jackie as the man spoke. Low was tiresome and it'd be satisfying to just cut him now. "None whatsoever," he answered. "However commerce here relies upon her. Should you move against her, you may find no shortage of new enemies on the street.
"Perhaps," Low shrugged and placed a leather purse on the table.
"What's that?" Charles asked.
"Tribute. And the respect of my crew," Low answered. "10% of our most recent haul. It would have been a little heavier, only she taxed us over the state of the containers."
Jackie only moved when Low left and placed herself next to Charles, one leg on each side of the bench so that she was facing his side. "I wonder why he hates women so much – you think he plays backgammon?"
Charles barked out a laugh and shook his head.
"So I'll just kill him without you knowing and you'll have honored your word that you won't get involved," she continued, daring him to look at her.
"Why would you defend Ms. Guthrie?" Turner asked.
"Don't you know she's my sister?" Jackie replied without turning away from Charles. "And as much as I dislike her. I fucking hate Ned Low.
Finally, Charles turned to her. "We will take him out and it will have nothing to do with your fucking sister. So my word will remain intact," he spoke lowly and quickly, causing Jackie's heart to race. "Patience my dear."
"Patience?" she hissed right back. "Patience! I need blood!" She reeled back and smashed her head into his.
Charles fell backwards and Jackie made to leave, but he recovered and caught her arm. The rest of the men by now had quieted and watched intently. He pulled her around and landed a punch right on her jaw. She yelled and ran at him. She caught him mid-torso, knocking him over. When she straddled his abdomen she landed one hit to his face before he caught her wrists. She screamed and struggled, but his grip was too strong. He knocked out one of her knees and landed on top but only for a minute until she kneed him in the side. He coughed and fell onto his side. He managed to get a hand on the back of her neck and although she fought, managed to bring her face to his and kissed her deeply you. She pulled away and left him on the ground, laughing.