As he stared at the wide, blue ocean from his post behind the helm, he heard a loud shout and looked down quickly.
"Captain!" a man roared. "You need to get down here!"
He turned to his second mate and told him to watch the helm while he went to figure out what was wrong.
"Captain!" the man yelled again.
"Oui oui," he said, bored. "What is the matter?"
The man pointed to the crow's nest, clearly angry.
"He's stuck. Again."
The captain sighed and looked up to see a little boy staring back at him, petrified.
"Mon petit," he called softly. "Come down, s'il vous plaît." He shook his head quickly and clutched the pole tightly. "If you do not come down, I will have to come get you."
The man growled.
"We already said that but he still won't come down! We've tried everything!"
The captain smiled at him. "Well you did not let moi try." He pulled his sword and scabbard off and handed it to the man before grabbing the rope ladder and starting to climb.
Reaching the top, he jumped over the edge and knelt down in front of the scared boy.
"What is wrong mon petit? This is the third time you have gotten stuck up here."
The little boy looked at his feet, shuffling nervously.
He took his hand.
"You can tell moi."
The little boy looked up and quickly blurted out, "It's the only way for you to notice me!"
Shocked and embarrassed, he quickly looked down again.
The captain smiled and pulled the boy close. "Désolé mon cher. I know I am very busy but you are still my first concern." He stood up, wrapping the boy's arms and legs around him. "Now hold on tight so we can get you down."
The boy nodded and clutched the captain's neck tightly as he started back down to the deck.
When he stepped lightly to the ground, he put the little boy down and took his hand gently.
"Come on mon petit. Let us get you some food. You must be hungry."
Again the boy nodded and followed the man into his cabin.
Once the door was closed and he was seated in his large chair behind his desk, the captain held his arms out.
"Come to moi." The little didn't need to be told twice, quickly running over to the man where he was picked up and set on his lap. "I am sorry mon petit. I have to make sure this ship runs smoothly and without hassle but I should pay more attention to you than I do." He hugged him gently. "Now would you like something to eat?"
The captain smiled at his adopted son before patting his head. "D'accord mon petit." He sat the boy on the desk before walking over to the door and calling a man to get them some food.
When he came back, he stroked the boy's long, blond hair. It was quite beautiful and very similar to his own so most people believed that they were related when the boy was only adopted.
He had been found during the captain's trip to Nouvelle France. The poor boy had been all alone in the middle of a field.
The captain knelt down in front of the crying boy and wiped some ash and grime off his face.
"Come now little one," he whispered in English. "No one is going to hurt you anymore."
The boy's tearstained face rose to look at him and his tears slowed. He looked so much like a baby angel that the man had instantly decided he couldn't leave this fragile, little boy all alone. Quickly picking him up, he rubbed his back as his shoulder grew damp with fresh tears. He softly stroked the soft hair to calm him.
When the whimpers and cries stopped, he looked down and saw that the boy had fallen asleep.
He turned and started for the ship.
"C-Captain?" one of his men called. "Aren't we going to explore?"
"Non. There is nothing for us that way. Can you not smell the smoke?" He kept walking. "I'm going to take him back and clean him up. He's a mess and I think he'll feel better when he's not quite so dirty. Maybe he can tell us what happened and possibly even show us around."
He carried the boy as gently and carefully as the most precious cargo in the world all the way back to the ship and washed him before laying him down on the big bed in his cabin that no other person had ever seen. He honestly had no idea why this little boy was so special and pondered his reasons for taking him with him while the boy slept.
When the little eyes slowly blinked open and those brilliant blue eyes shone as he looked around, he knew that no matter the reason he would always protect this mysterious child.
"Are you alright little one?" he asked, leaning forward.
The boy nodded.
His eyes widened a little in surprise.
"Tu parle français?"
"Do you have a name?"
"They called me 'Matthew'," he said quietly.
He sighed happily.
"Mathieu is a magnifique name."
He gently stroked the boy's hair again.
"Just rest little one. You are probably very tired and a little sick. I will still be here when you wake up. If you need anything, just tell moi." He smiled kindly. "I will not hurt you. Je promets. Do not worry."
Matthew laid down again and closed his eyes.
"What are you thinking about Papa?"
Matthew's quiet voice snapped him back to the present.
"Nothing mon petit," he said as he pat the boy's head. "Are you done?"
He nodded and pushed his bowl away, yawning.
The man smiled and picked him up.
"I think it is time for bed."
He lay the boy down gently before laying next to him and pulling him close.
As he closed his eyes, he smiled. This little boy was always going to be the most important thing to him.
AN: I might make another chapter but I can't tell if I should.
But aww! Baby Mattie is so adorable! And he's the son of a pirate! Can you guess which one? XD
And 'Pirate Boy' is only a temporary title. If anyone can think of a better one, let me know.