PIRATE QUEEN

Author's Note: I don't own any of the characters in this story except for this version of the eldest Hawke.

Pirate Queen

A penny for your thoughts.

I must admit that I'd always thought of pirates as men, ugly, stinking, incorrigible wretches that would just as soon slit your throat than look at you.

Isabella…however…is many things, and none of them past being uncouth and vulgar fit with her being a pirate, let alone their captain.

I knew that she was trouble from the moment that she swayed those hips into our lives.

Those damn hips of hers…

Mostly…I've realized that they're the only things keeping me from staring at another pair of hers…a pair a little higher up.

She used every single one of her assets to convince my sister to help her find that relic of hers…she probably stole it in the first place.

There have been times in which I question whether the relic truly exits at all or whether the whole search was a setup.

A setup to get near my sister.

I never doubted that Isabella's offer of "company" was genuine.

Ever since the fight in the Hanged Man I'd noticed her sizing my sister up.

I try not to wonder if the pirate queen upsets me so because I wish that she had been sizing me up instead.

Every time that we try to have a civilized conversation about anything she somehow steers it into being about something sexual in nature.

I can tell that my sister just eats it up, leaving Aveline to grumble under her breath and roll her eyes fro the hundredth time.

Isabella misses no opportunity to entice Merrill with one innuendo laden opportunity after another.

Thankfully the young elf is far too naive to understand any of the offers.

When Isabella turns those haunting eyes my way and those full luscious lips part I very nearly scream out in frustration wondering whether she means what she says or whether it's just her toying with me.

I believe that everything is a game to her, a game that she only plays when she can be declared the winner.

I don't know if she takes anything seriously, outside of her life.

With her one problem is never enough, and of course my dear older sister is all to eager to be there to get her out of it.

I'm scared to admit it but I'm beginning to question whether or not my big sister would be there for me if the templars caught wind of my presence and decided to do something about it.

I fear that given my luck it'd happen at exactly the same time that one of Isabella's old acquaintances were to suddenly reenter her life.

Mother could tell that I was upset, though she came to the same wrong conclusion that all but our closest friends would, that I was either simply worried about my dear sister and Isabella simply being a bad influence on her or that I needed her help with something and she was to busy with her new friend.

Only Varric and Norah would know the real reason for my melancholy.

Though I am loathe to admit it in my frustration I took back up with Norah, greatly I now realize, because I found myself wallowing in despair at the Hanged Man at a low point in the day…

It scared me entirely too much then and now at how good it felt to have her lying against me, her skin is so smooth.

I try to ignore Norah's gaze when we visit the Hanged Man and shut my ears to any and all of the conversations, if that's what you could call them, between Isabella and my sister.

Perhaps someday I could forgive that woman if cleaning up her mistakes lead us to the nicer and cleaner parts of Kirkwall and the surrounding countryside.

But we seem to have hit every back alley, sewer, waste dump, and seedy establishment around.

If I didn't know any better I'd say that she enjoys it all.

Mother I believe tolerates Isabella for my sisters sake, helped greatly by the fact that we have nowhere else to go as of yet.

For her part Isabella toes the line for the most part so as to keep her charade intact.

But when mother turns her back for more than a moment or two the pirate queen reveals her true colors.

Uncle Gamlen prefers to ignore anything and anyone that does not come with the possibility of earning him coin.

He and Isabella are like two peas in a pod, he couldn't be happier about all of the time that she and my dear sister spend together.

Every time that they speak I feel like more of a stranger in my own guest quarters.

Any day now I worry that I may wake up one morning to find myself without a home, asked to vacate my bed so that their new favorite daughter Isabella can take my place.

Had I more than a couple of galleons to my name I would have moved out weeks ago, perhaps with Norah.

Instead I'm left to wonder what every new dawn will bring.

Maker help me, help me endure that bitch, that pirate queen, that beautiful…sexy…damned pirate queen.

Bethany Hawke