TITLE: The Seven Voyages of Emmett the Sailor
WHICH FAIRYTALE INSPIRED YOU: Sinbad the Sailor
RATINGS & WARNINGS: T ~ Mild Language and Violence
WORD COUNT: 11,308
PAIRING: Emmett/Rosalie (Ed/B, J/A side pairings)
SUMMARY: Emmett was the most handsome sailor upon the seas, but when he could not gain the love of a beautiful Rose he enters a contest to prove his love; a contest that will leave him sailing on seven deadly voyages, a contest that he might not return from.
DISCLAIMER: Twilight and all recognizable characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. There is no profit being made from this; it was written for entertainment purposes.
Emmett and Rosalie had been married for fifteen years. Time had treated Rosalie well, as she aged she only grew more beautiful. Her beauty was said to surpass that of all women, even those half her age. Emmett was also still easy on the eyes, though time had turned him grey. He found himself lucky to still be loved by Rosalie, but he felt she deserved so much better, still she had chosen him. The people of the town talked about the depth and strength of their impassioned love and most envied them.
However, that particular day, their love did not seem as strong as it had in the past. Tension had been stretching for weeks, and at last had broken into a screaming match that left Emmett walking the streets alone that afternoon. It was a fight that was entirely Emmett's fault, and as he walked, he felt the weight of guilt pressing upon his shoulders.
"I…think…no I know…dammit..." a male voice stuttered in frustration as Emmett neared an alley. "I want to kiss you Bella."
"Well despite what you think you know the feeling is not mutual, Cullen. Now go back to your train of waiting harpies." Emmett could hear the scuffle of rocks as one person hastily walked away.
He paused outside the alley and watched as a young beauty with long, mahogany hair passed him by without a second glance.
"I bet Emmett McCarty didn't have this much trouble snagging Rosalie," a young man's voice said bitterly from the alley.
Stepping around the building's side and into the alley Emmett released a gut wrenching laugh. "That's where you're wrong son."
The boy spun around quickly and gasped at the site of the grizzly sized man – Emmett McCarty. "I didn't mean anything by it Sir."
Emmett released one of his dimpled smiles. "No need for the sir, it's just Emmett." He said in a friendly voice as he approached the young lad. "How old are you, boy?"
Emmett could see the anger rising as he called him boy. With narrowed eyes the boy replied, "I am no boy! I am Edward Cullen, eighteen years of age. I am a man!"
Edward Cullen was strikingly handsome. He was slender yet his figure held all the right toned muscles. His skin was smooth and tanned, and his hair a bronze color that stuck out in disarray. Piercing green eyes adorned his face. Emmett knew any young woman could lose herself for days in eyes that deep.
"And your lady friend," Emmett looked over his shoulder to where the girl had disappeared.
"Miss Isabella Swan," Edward's sense of failure hung in the air and in his tone.
"You call yourself a man," Emmett chuckled. "You let her get away."
"I could get any girl I want," Edward snorted. "But maybe I am not a man if I can't even speak to the one girl that I actually do want."
For a moment Edward's thoughts went to Bella, and how he couldn't even form a sentence around her. Emmett could relate all too well, he too had once been in the same position. He felt that maybe it was time to tell his stories to someone who could learn from them. "Come with me."
He turned, leaving the boy watching him confused. "What?"
"I can help you, if you like," Emmett said not pausing in his steady stride. "Come with me."
Edward hesitated, before glancing in the direction Bella had fled, then followed. It only took a few silent minutes to reach Emmett's home. Edward had seen it many times in passing, but never made it past the cobble stone gate that hid the enormous house. As the servants ushered Edward and Emmett inside, Edward was amazed by the grounds. Roses of all colors neatly trimmed the pathway's edge that lead to the tall, cobble stone home. Elegant trees that Edward had never seen before sprouted from the ground and twisted to the sky were adorned with foreign fruits.
The inside of Emmett's home was even more impressive. Emmett silently led him past a beautiful spiraling staircase and into a lavishly furnished room. The cushioned seats were full of adults socializing, and paused only to greet the two. Young adolescents between thirteen and sixteen also filled the room and appeared to be eating cake.
As her husband entered, Rosalie stood with a strained expression. It had not been the first time Edward had seen her, but all the same he was stricken by her beauty. He could only compare it to his Isabella. Emmett kissed her on the cheek gently, but her lips remained tensed. As she sat back down beside her two children, a young boy and girl of fifteen and thirteen, Emmett stood before all the guests, and Edward took an empty seat.
"Today my eldest son turns fifteen," he said with pride. "You all know of the stories of how my wife and I came to be married. A few of you in the room were even there like Jasper, my first mate."
He gestured to a tall man with curly blond hair. Jasper sat with his hands laced with those of a much shorter woman with sparkling eyes and silky black hair. He nodded and Emmett continued.
"I think it is time that my children hear the story from their father."
His children exchanged excited glances and shifted anxiously.
"It all began seventeen years ago," Emmett began. "I was not the faithful, humble man I am today. No. I was a vain, boastful man who knew only too well how handsome the women found me, and I was not opposed to the attention. I was opposed, however, to sharing myself with just one woman. At that time I only had two great loves, the sea and women. So I became a sailor and purchased my prized possession, Sinbad. I then traveled from port to port and I began my many love affairs."
Edward spotted Rosalie's expression tightening at the sound of her husband's former activities. It seemed a few of the guests, and only a very few including Edward, were surprised by this comment. Emmett however, continued.
"Then I came to this very port of Galeno. I don't remember who was with me when I walked into my father-in-law's pub, or even how many were with me."
"There were about three girls on your arms," Rosalie interrupted sharply.
There were a few muffled chuckles, and Emmett chuckled himself. "Thank you my dear. As I was saying I entered the pub with other women, but when I laid my eyes on the beauty speaking to her father behind the bar all others were forgotten. I can even remember what she was wearing - a sky blue dress with white frills and white shoes to match, adorned her feet. Her blond hair fell down in long waves across her back and was pinned back with a blue flower. She was . . . breathtaking, elegant, strikingly stunning, everything I didn't deserve, yet everything I wanted."
"I approached the bar, but as I did she gave me a haughty look and left. 'Sir, who was that beautiful woman?' I asked the bar tender. 'Don't you worry about that boy. What will you have to drink?' He said. He wouldn't give me any information, but the ladies I had come with, they knew her. They spoke bitterly of her, and it was clear that they were jealous of her beauty. Being captain of my own ship, I extended our stay for an extra fortnight and returned to the pub every day to find this beauty. I became so obsessed with finding her, I forgot all other women."
"At last I found her one day admiring roses in a nearby park. I was accompanied by my first mate Jasper Whitlock. He was kind enough to leave me alone to pursue the young lady while he pursued his own love interest Alice Brandon. I approached her, and used my best techniques, but it was quite evident she was immune. 'I am sorry sir,' she said curtly to me, 'but I am not interested in your kind.' I believe it was the first time a woman rejected me. 'You mean sea dogs?' I asked. Sea dogs were what most people called us. 'I mean I am not interested in dogs.'
"If her beauty had not been enough to fuel my persistence, her rejection was. One month turned into two months, then three. During this time I tried everything to win her heart. I sent her flowers, which were only returned. I tried to serenade her, which only made her laugh at me. I came to her father's pub every day, but I was not the only suitor she had. It seemed most of the male population was also attempting to win her heart, most of them were much richer and better men than I was or so her father informed me. Three months then turned into five, and my crew was growing restless. They longed for the sea as I longed for Rosalie. Then one day my first mate, Jasper, pointed out to me that more ships had gathered in the famous ports of Galeno since our arrival. There were nearing fifty-five ships when he brought the news to me."
He exchanged glances with Jasper who then momentarily took over the narrative. "I had been hoping to gain the affection of my future wife, Alice. Her hand had already been promised to another in the village, but her father was ready to reconsider if I could prove my worth to his wealthy daughter. That was when I found the poster announcing the King's contest. In his younger days as prince, he had quite a love of sailing, but since becoming a King, his country required his presence on land. Therefore, he made a contest to find the best sailors of the world to travel to the seven forbidden islands of the Great Ocean. The one who reached all seven islands and gained their treasures as proof would earn the title of the greatest sailor of the seas, along with any riches he earned on his voyage. The King only asked that those returning come to his castle after each voyage, tell their tale, and show their treasure."
"Once Jasper showed the crew and I the contest," Emmett continued. "I called for an audience with Rosalie and her father- before the town and King. 'Are you entering?' the King asked once it was our turn to speak with him. 'I am,' I announced. 'Your ship's name?' the King asked. 'Sinbad,' I told him. 'And why do you sail?' The King asked me like he had asked all before me. Where others had said 'For treasure,' or 'For glory,' I told him 'I sail for Rosalie Hale.' The King was very interested in my answer and asked me, 'Is she your love?' I told him honestly, 'I wish her to be, but she does not believe that I love her. I hope that these seven dangerous voyages will prove my love to her.' The King was moved by my words, but Rosalie was not. She believed I would keep the treasures and try to impress her with them. The King then gave me my rations for the first voyage and said, 'I wish you safe voyages Sailor Emmett. May God help you in your quest to win her heart."
"And so, Jasper and I set off on our first voyage with our crew. Everything about our journey to the island of Reyka foretold of success. We had calm seas, sunny skies, clear nights, and a pushing wind. We were the first ship to arrive upon the island. Our treasure was the lost crown of the Great Hunter. Legend had it that the Great Hunter was hunting the Great Black Bear of Reyka, but when he found the bear, he was no match for it. The Great Black Bear killed the Hunter and kept the crown deep within his cave on the western side of the island. Once we landed, I took only Jasper and our swordsman Titus. We traveled into the forest of Reyka where spiders were the size of heads and all bird, beast, and monkey were twice the size of our home. We knew we were getting close to the cave when the forest grew silent. No animal or beast, no matter how big dared live too close to the Great Black Bear. At last, we reached the foot of a mountain. We found a gaping hole on its side where a black cave engulfed all light and extinguished it. We thought we were fortunate because there seemed to be no sign of the Great Black Bear, and so, with torches lit, we traveled deep into the cave. Bones of humans and beasts littered the stone floors as we traveled deeper and deeper into the darkness."
"Jasper and Titus worried that the legends were untrue, or perhaps we had the wrong cave. I, however, refused to believe that the crown was lost, and so we continued into the depths of the cavernous den. At last, we found our treasure. Among the tower of gold and jewels was a golden crown topped with pointed crosses. Encrusted into the gold were diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. It sparkled in the fire's light, and we cheered with joy that our first voyage had brought us a great treasure without the danger. I took the crown with me, and dusk had settled as we emerged from the cave, but it seemed that danger had been waiting for us all along. Towering outside the cave's mouth was the Great Black Bear. It stood on two legs like a man, but towered twenty feet above us. Its great feet made the ground shudder as he pounded against it. It threw back its great head and opened its mouth so wide; one bite could easily take off any of our heads. Its roar was just as terrifying as his size."
"This was not our first time encountering danger, and we acted quickly. Jasper and I took to our bows and arrow, but the giant creature simply swatted them aside like flies. One of mine struck near its heart, but his skin was too thick to penetrate deeply enough to harm it. It landed on all fours and charged at us furiously. We managed to get out of the way, and Titus stuck his blade into the side of the creature. With a howl of pain, it swung its great paw at Titus knocking him several feet away from us and into the forest. Jasper and I aimed for the eyes as it came charging once again, the ground shaking below our very feet with his massive size. Jasper's arrow caught the beast in its left eye, only seconds before it reached us. It rose to its feet in pain and pawed at its eye with its claws. I took my chance and drove my sword into the great beast's heart."
"It landed upon its back with an earth-shaking thud. Triumphantly we fished Titus out of the forest and half dragged him back to the ship with not only the crown as treasure, but also the bear's head. We returned to the Port of Galeno with the other half of the contestants. Out of the fifty-seven ships that sailed, only twenty-four returned victoriously. However, we were the first to be invited into the King's home for dinner that very night where we were to tell of our adventure and present our gifts. I was anxious to go so I could leave and find Rosalie and tell her of my adventure. I was surprised to see her sitting at the King's side with her father when we entered the Feasting Hall that night. It seemed the King had invited her as his guest to hear our tales."
'Welcome! Welcome Sailor Emmett and crew of Sinbad,' The King greeted us merrily. 'I'm so glad to see that you all have returned and in good health!' I knelt before the King and answered, 'We were blessed in our journey, and now I have come to tell you the tale.' I told him the same story I have told you about how we destroyed the great bear as Jasper laid out the treasures before the King and his guests. I finished by saying, 'I have brought the head of the Great Black Bear as a gift to the King-' The King interrupted me and said, 'But brave Emmett, the treasures you seek and find on these voyages are your own!' To this I told the King, 'I know your Majesty, but I have no use for such treasures upon the sea. So to you I give the head, but to my Lady Rosalie, I give the crown of the Great Hunter.'"
Emmett had paused in his story and looked over to his beautiful wife, his smile was large and infectious; Rosalie gave him a curt nod and small smile, one that told him he had not been forgiven yet. Emmett could read her like a book and knew that the story of their meeting would crack through her hard shell.
Edward observed the small exchange between the two and could practically feel their love vibrating through the air. He then moved his focus to the children listening; they sat on the floor awe-struck as they stared up at their father. He took this time to look around the room at the many adults and several other children that had gathered all silently watching Emmett with great attention.
"After publicly presenting the crown to Rosalie she couldn't refuse my gift, but she did make a point to tell me she disliked it."
Rosalie cleared her throat and cut in. "I believe I said something more along these lines dear. After approaching you in the King's garden after dinner, I stated. 'I'll have you know that what I'd really like to do with this crown would not be appropriate for a women, however, to avoid public embarrassment I shall accept the crown. Please do not mistake this for me changing my mind about disliking you.'"
Emmett gave a deep chuckle and continued. "Yes that is what you said and in turn I replied, 'My lady, no matter the grounds for which you keep it, that was my only purpose. I shall continue onto the next six voyages and with each I shall gain its treasure and bring it back to you.' I could tell even as I spoke the words that she saw no truth in them. She thought the reason behind me giving her the crown was a show for the King, entertainment perhaps. She was positive that I would keep the rest of what I gained and use them to try and lure her. Then she left me with a, 'Goodbye dog.'"
Laughter rang throughout the room; Edward glanced at Rosalie to see her smiling softly into her wine glass and nodding in agreement with the statement. He began to think that maybe he could gain a chance to win Bella after all.
Eager to hear about the next voyage Emmett and Rosalie's children were telling him to continue on while telling the guests to 'shhh' and 'stop laughing'.
Emmett smiled at them and did as they wished. "Though we were supposed to dock for two weeks before setting off on the next voyage, I was eager to leave so I could prove to Rosalie just how much I was willing to do to earn her love. I went to the King one week after our return and requested that the contest move forward. That those not willing to make the journey would forfeit. I knew it was a long shot; I was upping the stakes and basically challenging the other Captains. My request intrigued the king, as well as my story and Rosalie's denial of my genuine love."
"He granted my requests and the word was sent out that we were to sail at dawn the following morning. Once it was discovered that I made the request, I had several altercations with a few Captain's, that frankly didn't seem sober enough to even gather their rations and necessary items in the allotted time. Once I arrived at Sinbad, the news had already reached my crew and they were scattering about the deck of the ship preparing, though there was one that wasn't as eager to sail off."
Emmett looked over at Jasper and gave a teasing smile, Jasper knowing this look immediately jumped in. "Yes, it was me that wasn't very eager, not that my love for the sea had lessened, but my love for Alice had deepened." The room gazed in awe at the couple as Alice lightly kissed his cheek. "See Ali's father was still not convinced that I was worthy of his wealthy daughter; what he didn't know was that Alice herself was already convinced that we were soul mates. After our crew came back claiming the treasure from the first voyage, her father did postpone the engagement, but hadn't broken it. I had seen a lot of Alice that week, as nothing more than a friend, but I had fallen so deep it was hard to make another voyage so quickly. I was weary of leaving, but Emmett convinced me that in order to prove myself to her father I must make the next voyage with him."
Emmett continued his story as if he had not been interrupted. "If I recall you were glad you did. So the next morning at dawn twenty-four ships set sail on the second voyage to the island of Rumlak. Our treasure was the necklace of the original queen of Galeno. The Legend had it that the queen had been on horseback enjoying an afternoon in the vast deserted valley when out of nowhere loud screeching noises filled the air. Guards that surrounded her were shot down by fireballs falling from the sky. It was said that the noises and the fire came from the same creature, a bird like creature, with a beak that could cut through the bones of any beast, and wings bigger and stronger than any other bird known to man. This creature, Yeanu they called it, was attracted to jewels, diamonds and the like. That day the queen wore a necklace that covered her chest; it was donned with over 50 diamonds along the front in a very unique pattern. The sparkle of the diamonds caught the eye of the Yeanu, and it began its attack. Being a creature of fire, the Yeanu hid its treasures in the heart of the Island, nestled deep within the mountain surrounded by lava, sure that would keep anyone from stealing it. They often made their nests outside the mountain in close range so as to reach it easily."
Emmett's voice had lowered a bit and held a tense tone; a silence had fallen over the crowd as they were all on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what happened once they reach the island.
"Our journey to the island was almost as smooth as the first. We had calm seas, sunny days and mostly clear nights. It was a slow journey as the wind had not been on our side. We were not the first to reach the island. It seemed another ship had been docked for a day already, but they sought a different treasure. We had to make quick decisions on which tactic was best for going into the mountain. Jasper planned out a plan of attack, but first we would need to journey on foot to the mountain, and making a guess, Jasper thought that at most it was a three day hike. Not wanting to slow us down, Jasper and I decided that the two of us plus one crew mate would make the trip."
Looking around the room as if searching, Emmett's eyes finally landed at the back of the room on an average looking man around the same age as Emmett. He had blond hair and was standing next to a woman with brown hair that hung in bouncy curls. She held onto his one hand but the other arm was not there; where his arm should have been, only a nub remained.
"Based on the skills of our crew we chose Mike Newton to join us on this journey. Mike had studied dragons providing him with a vast knowledge of creatures that had the ability to harness fire. With us heading into a mountain full of lava and fire-spitting birds, we thought bringing Mike wouldn't be such a bad idea. The three of us set off into the thick forest that surrounded the mountain walking non-stop and stopping only to sleep for a few hours at a time. We made it to the mountain after a two day hike. What we weren't prepared for was that the entrance into the mountain was through the top. It was a long journey to the top, and once we reached the summit, the heat from the lava was blazing against us. Finally finding the entrance, we began to climb down into the mountain."
Emmett held up a hand with one finger extended telling them to hold on while he gathered his drink and took huge gulps. Tiny giggles could be heard in the silence, and Emmett's dimpled smile appeared as he continued.
"Looking down, I could see a bridge, held together only by rope, that dangerously crossed to a small plateau, and upon that plateau was the shimmering diamond necklace of the original queen herself. There was no doubting this legend as we took in the beauty of the flickering diamonds reflecting off the hot lava. I thought, at this point, it had been too easy and just as the thought had crossed my mind, a loud screeching noise filled the thick air. We were standing upon a small plateau at the top of the opening. In layered separate heights there were several plateaus leading to the ground where access to the bridge was. We needed to get down to the next level, and continue to climb our way down to be able to cross that bridge."
"The screeching increased and added to it was a loud beating noise. We had all covered our ears and Jasper shouted, 'What the hell is that?' I shook my head to say I hadn't any idea when I caught a glimpse over his shoulder. A huge red bird was flying toward us. Its wings were the size of my ship, and its beak was long and pointed. The great beak opened and what came out was a terrifying screeching followed by balls of fire. It beat its wings furiously getting closer each second. 'We need to get to cover; let's move…move…move.' I yelled at the top of my lungs. Though I had no confidence that my meager bow and arrow would be any match for this creature I still had my bow at the ready. Jasper took the lead jumping from each plateau to the next while Mike followed him, and I brought up the rear. The Yeanu was so close now that we could feel the wind from its beating wings and the heat from its fiery breath."
"Once making it to the ground level, Jasper and I began to shoot our arrows and while a few of them stuck, I was positive they had barley pierced its skin. The Yeanu didn't respond to the arrows and with nothing else besides our swords, I had a suggestion and voiced it. 'The bridge doesn't look sturdy enough to hold all of us at once, so Jasper being the fastest, you will cross, and we will cover you as best we can.' Jasper didn't need any further instruction as he took off running toward the bridge. The Yeanu was hovering now, balls of fire being spat in every direction. Mike and I scurried back and forth dodging fire balls and the clusters of earth being broken from the inside of the mountain all while the lava burned just feet from where we stood. Hot splashes of lava were being tossed around from the clusters of rocks falling into it. I could just barely make out Jasper's figure frantically shoving jewels, rubies and gold into the pack from his back. Just as he recrossed the bridge, I saw him pull out a knife and cut the rope of one side of the bridge. Then he ran as quickly as he could as it became off balance after cutting it."
Edward could hear the gasp of the women in the crowd as they imagined Jasper in this dangerous scenario. Though if Edward admitted, he was just as enthralled and eager to learn the rest just as they were.
"Once he reached us again, we were backed into a corner by the Yeanu, I was confused at first when Jasper began cutting the second end of the rope. He pulled the remaining rope to him and knelt down and began tying knots in it. Soon it all became clear as he hoisted it over his head and began twirling the rope as a lasso, aiming his shot and then throwing. He caught the right foot of the Yeanu who was busy fighting our arrows. Mike and I came to his aid and with our strength we managed to pull the creature down and into the burning lava. Its screams were loud and piercing, surely loud enough to make my ears bleed, but we managed to hold the rope as it was slowly pulled under the lava. Unfortunately, we thought we had succeeded and began our retreat and just as we turned to climb up, the beast appeared at the edge holding itself up by the talons on its feet and managed to grab Mike's arm. Its powerful beak removed it completely. It would have been the end of us had the creature not been greatly injured from the lava. With my fist, I pushed the weak creature back into lava, but Jasper had gained us a second treasure with his sword. The powerful foot of the creature.
"We created a tourniquet, and Jasper and I took turns carrying Mike along the path when he became too weak to walk on his own from shock and blood loss. We did not eat, giving all our rations to him to keep him alive. In haste we set sail even before the ship that had arrived at the island before us. Fortunately, our doctor was able to tend the wounds to the best of his ability, and when we arrived at the Port of Galeno, Mike was in good health. We were greeted by the King's soldiers who had been waiting for our return. They gave us time only to clean up before taking us to the King's dinner where once again Rosalie, her father, and the royal family awaited us."
"'Welcome!' The King greeted us excitedly. 'Sailor Emmett and crew of Sinbad, what great story have you for us?' I knelt down before him, but I could not keep my eyes off Rosalie whose beauty had only seemed to grow in my absence. I began to tell the story of our adventure and at the end of the tale, the treasures were laid before me by Jasper. 'For the King, I have brought various treasures the Yeanu has gathered- gold, jewels, and rubies.' The King graciously accepted my gifts this time. 'For Mike, who lost his arm fighting the dangerous Yeanu, I give the claw of the creature.' Those watching, save Rosalie, were amazed by the sheer size of the claw. 'And for my Lady Rosalie, I give the necklace of the original queen of Galeno.'
"'My,' said the King when the necklace was given to Rosalie who sat at his side. 'What a stunning necklace. Wouldn't you agree Rosalie?' Despite her still . . . obvious disgust with me, there was no denying that she found the necklace beautiful. 'Nothing can compare,' she said politely. 'Thank you, Sailor Emmett.' Despite her kind words, she only agreed to see me once in the following week when she proceeded to tell me, 'I will not be bought by your treasures.' It was the last time I saw her before we left for our third voyage.
"We were to travel to island of the Vizcaya, and our mission was to find the sunken ship of the Spanish Duchess Maria. It had been dragged under the rocks by a terrible storm and lost within the rock caves taking with it its most valued treasures including the portrait of Maria herself. We traveled through three days of rain and two nights' winds, but at last we arrived at the rocky shores of Vizcaya. The side of the island was void of life due to its rocky terrain and cliff sides. We were forced to drop anchor and six of us went to the shore."
"Our first two days of searching brought us nothing, and we were forced to move our ship and search further north upon the shore. The sun was setting upon our third day of searching when Jasper heard something strange and called me over. I, with two other members of the crew, came to investigate, and we heard the howling of a wind. After turning over a few large rocks, we found the entrance to a long tunnel. We were too eager to see if our treasures lay at the end of the tunnel to return to the ship. We sent back our men as Jasper and I continued into the tunnel."
"The tunnel seemed to last forever. Water was below our feet when we started, but the further and further we traveled, the higher and higher the water rose. The higher and higher the water rose, the darker and darker the tunnel grew. Soon we were no longer walking through a tunnel, but swimming through darkness. Then we noticed the water seemed to be glowing. We dove below the water and swam towards the light. Brighter and brighter it grew, and when we could no longer hold our breath, we emerged. It was the most amazing thing we had ever seen. The great ship that carried the Duchess's lost treasure lay broken against pointed rocks in the underground cave."
"It seemed luck was on our side, and we began to swim to the shop, but something was wrong. When we entered the ship, there was nothing. No gold, no famous portrait, not even a skeleton. It seemed someone else had already beaten us, and sullen, we emerged from the ship, but another one awaited us. Sitting upon the waters, anchored so close to the ruined ship we could not escape, was a pirate ship! A skull with a sword wedged into its mouth adorned its black sails. Its crew wore blood stained shirts, and its captain was a dangerous, desperate man. I recognized him from reputation alone as James the Ugly.'
"He jumped onto the broken ship where we stood trapped. He wasn't a very tall man, but he was strong. His long blond hair was pulled back, and his teeth were rotten. He laughed and said, 'You must be the captain of the ship named Sinbad.' 'I am,' I told him. His crew, all holding weapons, laughed as James told us, 'We were feeling generous. We were going to let your pretty ship leave in peace, but now that you have found our hiding spot, I am afraid I cannot let you leave.' And so we were taken prisoners below the deck with the rest of our crew that had been captured. They took our ship and were planning to burn it after they made us walk the plank, and with me being the captain, I was to go first.'
"Yes, it seemed that it was going to be the end for us all, but it seemed that the pirate had heard tales about my crew and me. He invited me to his quarters the following evening of our capture. He requested that I tell him of my adventures, and so I did. I told him the same stories I have told you. 'Such a shame,' he said when my story was finished, 'that I have to kill such a talented sailor as yourself.' 'Yes,' I said. 'I am not too fond of leaving this life with so many untold stories.' The pirate loved a good sea story as much as the King and said, 'You mean you have more stories?' 'Yes,' I said, 'but I have never heard the story of a true pirates' life like you.' This flattered James and so he began to tell me stories of himself as rum was brought in for us to drink. I never drank a sip, but James finished the three bottles by himself. During that time, he told me of how he grew up to become a pirate, about Victoria the beautiful, how he had found the Duchess Maria's ship, and the many island and ships he had robbed, and the many people and creatures he had killed.'
"At last, James fell asleep and I stole back to the deck with his keys and unlocked my crew. There were more of us than there were of them, and a great battle pursued. With the swords we had stolen from the bottom decks, we overcame the pirates, raided their ship, and returned home."
"Again we were welcomed like Kings. Awaiting us in the King's home was once again Rosalie. 'Sire,' I knelt before him and told him of our adventures, our capture, and our battle against the pirates. 'For the King I have brought the very man that is terrorizing your seas with his pirate ship, James the ugly.' When they brought my prisoner before the King he praised me. 'It is an honorable man who shows mercy upon those who would have killed him.' Jasper brought out the next gift for me to present, 'For my Lady Rosalie, I bring the legendary portrait of the Duchess Maria. Your own beauty is the only thing that surpasses it.'
Rosalie was so moved by the mercy I showed upon the pirate and the ship, and perhaps even by the danger I continued to face, that she allowed me to see her every day before our next voyage. Still, she would not allow me touch her, but I had the chance to make her smile and that was enough for those days we shared."
Emmett grew quiet as he was lost in his own memories of that precious time together. Even his children were moved by his words. After a moment Emmett continued, "Well night has fallen. It seems I have talked too long. Perhaps tomorrow we could continue the story, same time."
The crowd began to wish their hosts goodbye with promises that they would return tomorrow. Edward was the last to pay his respects before rushing to the home of Bella.
The last guest for the second day had arrived. Emmett opened the door to see the young Edward and the mahogany beauty on his arm. Her eyes grew wide as she looked upon Emmett and he could tell she had been doubtful about coming.
"Sir Emmett," Edward said as they were ushered in. "This is Isabella Swan."
Emmett bowed low and kissed her hand. "Please, follow me."
He led them into a crowded room. There was more people here than the day before, both young and old alike.
"We set sail for the island of Vulkha. This time our treasure was a golden tablet that had been hidden on the island, but where our previous voyages had all challenged us physically, our fourth voyage was to challenge us mentally. Our trip was a short one, with the wind pushing us at full speed in mostly clear weather, we arrived and anchored. Jasper and I went alone, and we came upon the carved stone about a mile off the shore bank. Its inscription read 'To gain the knowledge of where the tablet lies, there are three riddles you must answer, get it wrong and see what flies, get it right and gain your treasure.' Not knowing which direction to begin in we walked around the stone for clues.'
"The first riddle was carved in the back of the stone. 'What always runs but never walks, often murmurs but never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?' I read it out a second time then sat down on a nearby boulder. 'What would have a mouth and NOT eat?' I asked my first mate. I was so focused on the eating part that I wasn't catching the point of the riddle. I didn't want to risk heading in the wrong direction and facing any consequences that might be waiting. Jasper was silent, his head dipped in concentration and thought, and then he jerked his head up and smiled at me. 'I got it Captain, it's a river. A river always runs, and it never sleeps, and it has a mouth that opens up into a larger body of water, so it doesn't eat.' I couldn't argue with that logic so I followed him as he navigated us to the river we had spotted from the boat. 'The riddles serve as a map to the tablet.' Jasper stated as we emerged from the path at the river.
"Stepping out into the opening we looked around and across the river I could see the stone with the carving in it. 'Over there.' I said to Jasper and we had to tread through the river to the other side. 'Reaching stiffly for the sky,I bare my fingers when it's cold, in warmth I wear an emerald glove, and in between I dress in gold.' Jasper read it out several times and this time we were both stumped. It was nearing dark and we decided to set up camp here. I must have been asleep about two hours before Jasper was shaking me awake. 'Cap wake up! I figured it out.' So I grudgingly sat up ribbing my eyes to focus. 'It's a tree; we have to find a tree. That's where the next riddle will be.' Once the morning came we were packed up and back in search of the next riddle."
"The island was full of trees and I briefly wondered how we would find it. I expressed my concerns, only Jasper seemed to be headed in a certain direction, so I silently followed. We walked for hours when we neared the largest tree with the largest trunk. It stood out amongst the other trees and had a stone next to it. I read the riddle. 'At night they come without being fetched, by day they are lost without being stolen.' Jasper and I must have re read the riddle a hundred times, hoping that somehow we would gain insight. I laid on my back, staring at the sky when, at last I realized what it had to be. 'Stars!' I yelled, but as soon as the words were out, doubt set in. 'That doesn't make any damn sense, how can we get to the stars?' I asked in frustration. I didn't want to go home empty handed. 'Maybe we have to find carvings of stars somewhere?' I was thinking out loud when Jasper cut me off. 'Maybe we are thinking too hard, maybe we just have to look to the sky.' He was quiet for a minute then said. 'I bet we have to stand at that spot and look up to the stars.' I watched, unbelieving as Jasper began to climb the giant tree trunk and within minutes I heard his yelp of joy. 'Emmett I see it! I see it!'
"He jumped down from the tree and began to run. I followed as he pulled out his machete and chopped his way through an overgrown path. He stopped so abruptly that I nearly ran into his back. In front of us was a small dark opening with stars carved upon and around it. In order for us to go in we had to be on our knees. We crawled through the small cave and it opened up into a larger cave with a water pool in the center. On the other side a small shelf had been carved and the golden tablet lay there glistening."
"We left, triumphant. We had gained the treasure without use of weapons and without danger. The water was choppy, the skies had darkened and the looming storm clouds could be seen in the distance. The wind picked up heavily in a matter of minutes. I went into immediate action calling out orders, 'All hands on deck! Man the sails.' At first the rain had come in slow and steady, but then there was a sudden shift and the drops became the size of men's fist and beating down so heavily I thought the ship just might sink if it kept up. Along with it came hissing winds that flipped and spun our sails in every direction. No matter how hard the men pulled, they couldn't right the sails; the wind was too strong! Not giving up, we stayed on deck fighting through the storm. After hours of fighting the storm, we heard the splintering of wood and felt an intense jostle of the ship. I realized the ship was no longer moving. The storm had already started to calm and within fifteen minutes, it had passed leaving us stranded on an unknown rocky island. The bowsprit had snapped, and there were several holes in a few of the sails, not to mention the unseen damage done to the hull."
Edward looked over to see Bella with her hand over her mouth as her wide eyes were focused on Emmett.
"We took quick work doing a sweep of the ship and assessing the damage. Once we had a grasp on what needed fixing, I sent half the crew out to scour the island in search for supplies. It was about half hour after I sent the crew out that Jasper came to me. 'Captain, after gaining my bearings, I believe we landed on the Island of Cahdla. This is supposed to be our sixth voyage. I say we lay claim to our treasure now and hunt down the statue of Cain.' I had thought this over for only a moment before agreeing; we were lucky and would take two treasures in one haul. 'Let the crew repair the ship as we search. Bring Titus, Tertious, Tavin and let us begin.' Our treasure would be the statue of the greatest sailor of the seas, the very title in which we now sailed for. Sailor Cain was said to be one of the scariest sailors ever known. He stayed on the seas so long he eventually became a pirate; he held no mercy, left none alive and kept no prisoners."
Emmett's tone had shifted to a serious one as he gazed around at his guests. The air in the room was heavy and everyone sat entranced by his words.
"After hiking on the rocky and sandy terrain of the island for just over a day, I felt sure we weren't on the right island. I thought that maybe Jasper had his bearings wrong. 'Do we know where the Statue is kept?' I asked as we walked further and further. 'No, that is something we don't find out until we sail for our quest.' The hot sun was now beating down on us, and I was becoming dehydrated and hungry. I was about to tell Jasper we needed water when the ground beneath my feet gave way, and I found myself being sucked down. My first thought was quick sand so I called out to Jasper. 'Throw me something! I'm being sucked under.' My hand caught the long rope he now kept at his hip. By the time I had grabbed onto the rope my entire body except my head was underground. Strangely my feet were dangling and free. Once my head made it through, I found myself dangling high above the ground. I was confused and didn't have enough time to process before my sweaty hands lost their grip. I went falling to the ground with a thud. My feet had landed first in my attempt to gain some control on the fall. I felt my ankle roll as I landed, but I could only focus on the statue that lay in front of me. It was much larger than I had originally suspected. It stood just as tall as me. It was made in the exact likeness of Sailor Cain, which made the statue look mighty scary."
Emmett made a motion behind everyone and there in the corner of the room sat the statue of Cain. A huge smile graced Emmett's lips as the many guest gathered round and marveled at life like statue that glowered upon them.
"I had started to feel the pain of my ankle, but I was so excited about the statue that I called out for Jasper. 'I fell through mate! Stick your head through its only a few inches!' I could hear him calling out something I'm assumed to be 'watch out' because a moment later a stick was falling through the hole striking me upon the head. Seconds after the stick came through I looked up to see Jasper's head sticking through the hole upside down. After a look around, he had the crew that was with him help set up a rig that would serve as a pulley system to hoist the statue above ground. Then the same thing would lift me. We made it safely out, and while Tertious and Tavin carried the statue, Jasper and Titus carried me."
Emmett paused for a moment looking lost in thought before continuing on in a calm eerie voice.
"We were about a half mile from the ship when the occupants of the island descended on us. There were only twenty of them, but they were tall, dark-skinned men. They wore masks of demons and carried crude weapons. Some swung blunt axes over their head, while the rest shot arrows down upon us. Lucky for us our crew had the ship fixed and ready to sail. Some of the crew came off the ship to help load the statue and me as other crew members fought off the savages. We were able to make it aboard the ship. I was taken to the doctor on board and was told I had a mildly sprained ankle and several, deep flesh wounds from arrows that had skimmed me."
"Once we were back in Galeno, I became aware that everyone thought us to be dead. After cleaning up we made our way to the King's Castle. Once we were ushered in, the King called for Rosalie and her father. It was clear she was relieved I was alive, yet she didn't run to me as I was hoping she would. 'Sailor Emmett and crew of Sinbad, please tell me of your voyage.' The King asked. So I retold it the same as I have here. There were 'oohh's' and 'ahh's' throughout the story. I could even tell Rosalie had been touched as her hand was clutched to her mouth as she heard my tale. 'To my King I present many riches we have gained throughout our journey.' Knowing this was not up for negotiating the King accepted his gifts graciously. 'To my Lady Rosalie, I give to you the statue of Cain and the Tablet of Gold.' There were gasps and murmurs as the statue and tablet was brought in to her. Her eyes shined with gratitude as she slowly walked over to me placing a small peck on my cheek. After dinner she had offered to be my nurse and help take care of me while I was healing from my injuries. This was an offer I was overjoyed to accept, and for a moment I was glad I got hurt."
Emmett laughed as he looked over at his wife and gave a small eye wiggle in her direction. Rosalie rolled her eyes at her husband, though she secretly liked his antics.
"We rested for a month, gathered our supplies, and had time to better repair our ship. In that month I was able to rest and heal with the help of Rosalie, who had finally dropped her guard around me enough that I was able to get to know more about her. Also, Alice was able to persuade her father that she did not love the business man he had chosen for her, and the engagement was broken. However, before Jasper would be able to ask for her hand, he had to finish his quest, and so did I. We set sail after that month, and Rosalie came with Alice to see us off for the first time. Zyr was to be the most dangerous island, and by now, only six ships sailed besides us. We did not know what to expect because no ship that ever sailed to these lands returned. The island was surrounded by tall, jagged rocks and cliffs. The waters were so violent that if we tried to anchor our ship and cross to shore by means of row boats, we would be smashed onto the rocks before we made it to the shore. The only safe way into the islands was through a long tunnel formed by rocks that would lead us into a calm pool of water."
Emmett paused, and his shoulders dropped. This story carried a great weight, and telling it left a physical mark on the teller. Still he carried on, "The tunnel was tall enough to let us enter without worry. It was so long, that it was clear half way through, we would lose almost all light. The closer we got to the center, where it was the darkest, we began to hear voices. Their whispers echoed through the dark cave, sending chills down our spines. We grew silent in fear as the light faded. 'Men! Prepare yourselves!' I commanded and they readied their swords. The whispers faded as the final rays of light became darkness and I could hardly see my men, so we lit torches.
"There was a great shout of distress as one of my men was pulled from the deck by a hideous tentacle. Then another man was pulled off the deck and into the darkness. One by one, the tentacles began to pick off my men! I ran to the wheel and began to turn, 'Men, we must turn around!' All the men were raising their swords to attack the massive tentacle. One by one they were picked off, but they continued to fight. Jasper protected me as I navigated the ship around, and he managed to cut off one of the tentacles. It fell to my feet and wiggled, but to our horror another one sprouted out from where Jasper had cut it. It wrapped around Jasper, and I thought for a moment I was going to lose my best mate. I picked up his fallen sword and chopped off its tentacle. Jasper fell to the ground and struggled free of the tentacles that burned through his clothes and into his skin. Together we chopped away at the tentacles. Twenty chopped pieces lay at our feet, but more kept coming. Each time one would touch us, they would burn into our clothes and into our skin. 'Come out of hiding you beast! Show yourself,' I shouted.
"Only half of my men remained, as we sailed back into the light. Jasper shouted, 'It must be the monster Scylla!' I recognized the old legend and knew how to draw him out. 'Monster Scylla, show your face you cowardly beast!' The whispers began again and the three heads of Scylla emerged from the darkness to dance around our ship. What few of my men were left were huddled near us with their swords at the ready. Together the three heads whispered, 'How dare you call me coward. Silly human.' The three heads each wore a mask of gold, platinum, and diamonds. We could only see the large mouth of each beast. Each so large they could swallow us whole. 'You hide behind masks!' I taunted the creature. 'And you behind your sword,' the creatures hissed at me. 'Show your true face so that I may kill you,' I called out to the circling heads. 'You cannot kill me human,' the three heads whispered in unison, 'Let's play a game,' I proposed.
"Legend said that the creature often played with its food, and it seemed intrigued by my request. 'Alright,' the heads whispered coming closer to me. 'Three heads smile upon you, but you can only make one frown. Chose the right one and you shall leave free, but chose the wrong and your ship shall drown!' I already knew which to chose, and without hesitation, I cut the head with the biggest mouth and most teeth. If I had chosen wrong, the head I cut off would only grow back, and we would be dead, but I had chosen correctly. The three heads fell dead upon our ship and we took the three mask and heads.
"It was a hard voyage home with so many of our men gone. Before we left, we sung a song of remorse in honor of those who had perished. The King had seen our ship nearing and was waiting with Rosalie when we docked. We were cheered as we left the ship, but the cheers did not last long when only so few of us touched land. 'Captain of Sinbad,' the Kind addressed me, 'Where is your crew?' I then told him the sad tale, as I have told you, of how we lost our men and gained the three heads and masks of the monster that killed them. Many cried, even Rosalie was moved to tears by our wounds. I felt weak from those wounds and loses. I had only enough strength to present the Diamond mask to Jasper for his Alice, the golden one to Rosalie, and the platinum one to the King. Then my men and I fell ill from the poison. For one month we were taken care of by the King's doctor's, and Rosalie personally tended to me. During that time, three more of my men died from their wounds and the poison. I had lost half of my crew. Of the six boats that had sailed with us on our sixth journey, only four returned from their islands and all unsuccessful and wounded. At the end of the month, we were back to health, and Jasper had put together a new crew for Sinbad.
"We went to the King to prepare for our final island, but he declared that we were already the winners. We had been the only ship to return with treasure. 'You have won the title,' he told us. Jasper and I had felt this would happen and we were prepared. 'Sir we signed up for seven voyages and our honor as sailors would be ruined if we did not complete our journeys. Besides, Jasper and I sail for much more than titles.' Jasper could not marry Alice if he did not complete his last voyage, something Alice's father was hoping he would die trying to do; and I could not prove my love for Rosalie to her and the world if I took the easy way out. So with these words, the King gave us our rations. We left and waiting at the docks was Rosalie. She had tears in her eyes as she begged us not to go. Our last voyage had nearly killed Jasper and I, and she was frightened that I might not return. 'When I return,' I told her as my men prepared to leave, 'I will make you my wife,' and for the first time she allowed me to kiss her.
"And so," Emmett said softly. "We set out with half a new crew on our final voyage to the Siren's island, the island Anis Cristal. This was perhaps the most dangerous of all our voyages. Once we could see the island as nothing more than a dot on the horizon, we began to prepare. We tied up all men not necessary for manning the sails below deck. The rest of us stuffed our ears with wax and we continued to the ravine. The ravine was framed by tall walls of jagged rocks, and was home to the Sirens. 'Hold her steady,' I commanded my men as we entered their lair. I could see them floating just below the surface. Their long hair of golds, reds, oranges, made it look as if we were floating along in a multicolored sea. Below the water, they looked like beautiful mermaids, and their naked bodies glittered tempting anyone who dared to look. 'Only look forward men!' I could hear the faint murmurs of their song as more joined to swim alongside our boat and so I began our song 'Fifteen men on a dead man's chest. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!' My men sung with me in their deep clear voices attempting to drown out the Siren's damning song."
"As we sailed deeper into the ravine, the wall's top began to meet forming more of a tunnel. Sun light escaped through the cracks, lighting our way as we continued our song. 'Dead and be damned and the rest gone whist! Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!' I stood at the ship's front, behind the bowsprit watching my men, but I could do nothing when the young boy Thomas pulled the wax from his ear and jumped overboard. I could only watch as the beautiful women emerged, showing them for what they truly where. Their mouths were twice the size of any man's with pointed teeth. They were nothing like the beauties below the water. I watched as they dragged him under to his death. All we could do was continue to sing as the women danced below us.
"The ship glided roughly through the ravine as the opening got smaller and smaller. Once we pushed up on land, I saw that below there was still a good few feet of water I would have to walk through to get to the Queens throne. I could still hear the crew singing loudly to drown out the Sirens' calls. I could also hear the splash of more men jumping in the water. Looking forward I could see the Queen. She was seated upon a throne with a two small pools of water at her sides. The left one lead to the river and held several sirens swimming and singing. Their seductive voices were beckoning me, but I focused harder on the sounds of my crew. The second one was cut off from the other waters and seemed to be her private water. I crawled forward on the bowsprit and once I reached the tip I was just over top of the Queen's throne. Looking down I saw her red hair swaying out around her as if she were still under water. Draped with his head in her lap and staring terrified at the queen, was Thomas. Beneath him were squirming tentacles for legs. She lowered her head to his, and as her lips ghosted over his, she sucked hard. Something like smoke snaked out from between their lips as she sucked the very life out of him. When she finished, she threw his lifeless body into the pool where the sirens finished what was left.
"She stood on squirming legs that made her look as if she were gliding as she moved. In her screeching voice she spoke to me, 'Do you not like our song?' I said nothing as I searched for treasures in her lair. Her golden throne would be perfect for the King, but the particular item I searched for could not be found. In her cawing voice she spoke, 'You are a handsome man. One I would consider to keep alive . . . do you like to play?' I pulled out my bow and arrow, aiming at her, 'We have outsmarted you and your whores! I only want treasures that you have stolen from your victims. Let me have them and I shall let you live!' She stopped moving to watch me standing on the bowsprit. 'What treasures do you seek handsome human?' 'I seek the golden music box you stole from a man you dragged below the waters.' The Queen came to sit beside her pool of sirens where one of them handed her the treasures. She brought it to me and held it within my grasp with her tentacle. 'It is yours, brave human.'
"I knew it would happen. As I reached for the box, a second tentacle wrapped around my hand, and thrust me upon the ground. I lost my arrow, but I found my dagger within my boot. I stabbed at her tentacles that were quickly dragging me across the stone floor to her private pool. With her claw like fingers, she pulled the dagger out and threw it away from my reach. I began to choke on water as she pulled me into her pool. Her tentacles wrapped around my arms and legs so I could not fight as she began drowning me. The water distorted her features, making her look like a gorgeous woman. Her fiery hair colored the water red, and I was helpless as she drowned me. When all seemed lost, blood filled the water as arrows penetrated through her chest and tentacles. Her grip loosened, and I was set free. I swam to the top as her lifeless body sunk and gasped for air. A war had broken out as I had been pulled beneath the water. Jasper stood upon the bowsprit shooting arrows at the emerging Sirens and men lined the deck's side doing the same. Some men had begun to remove the throne and were preparing to throw it on board. The rest were hauling the anchors and preparing the sails. I picked up the music box as my ship began to sail away. With great strength, I jumped off the cliff's edge and caught hold of the bowsprit where Jasper pulled me to safety. 'Man the wheel,' I told him and as he sailed us to safety; I manned the deck's side shooting at the sirens that tried to jump upon the deck."
"We celebrated that night as we sailed home. Our voyages were complete, and Jasper and I were alive. We had gained the title of the Greatest Sailors, but more importantly, we had proved to the world how far we were willing to go for the women we loved. The rest of the story you already know. We came home, and I presented the heart shaped music box as an engagement gift to Rosalie, and she consented to marry me. Jasper married his love. My surviving men still sail with me, but never have our adventures been so great as those seven."
This would not be the last time Emmett told his extraordinary story to those who wished to hear it. In a years time he told it before the wedding guests of Edward and Bella Cullen.