She is mad.
There’s no two ways about it, Midnight Shadownight is mad.
I’d taken her to my cabin aboard The Tyrant, locking the door behind me. I’d gotten some queer looks from the mercenaries that remained on-deck, but Midnight must have signalled her safety to them.
“A traitor?” I asked, throwing her to a side. She regained her composure almost immediately
“I can’t tell you,” she said briefly.
“Aye, ye can and ye will. Ye need to.”
“I don’t need to do anything, Captain Rogue, and very much prefer you look at this in a way that doesn’t confuse us both – you introduced me to Straw. None of this would be happening if you hadn’t tried to beg a story out of me. Then again, none of this would be happening if you hadn’t brought me to Nassau – but you made so many excuses and held me at the tip of your sword, now didn’t you?”
“Tell me about this traitor,” I insisted, bringing myself close to her.
She raised her hands in frustration, “It wouldn’t matter what I say, dear Captain. You know enough about him, and you most probably give him your full friendship and trust, but he has betrayed you and he has betrayed the British. He’s a snivelling coward in the guise of a brave pirate and in the guise of a merciless pirate-hunter.”
I gritted my teeth and pressed her against a wall, my knuckles digging into her collar bones, “Tell us about him, Midnight, ye know ye need to.”
She looked at me calmly, even if her teeth were gritting, “I’m in no need of anything.”
“A name, Midnight. Give me a name.”
She narrowed her eyes and said, “Believe me, Thomas, it’s not the name you want to hear.”
“I can handle’t,” I said curtly.
“You won’t believe me.”
I paused and then said, “Try me.”
She paused, “Fine,” her hands touched mine and loosened them from her collar, “Benedict Marigold is my target and your traitor.”
I took a step back, my knees shaking.
Marigold? Marigold is the traitor?
“That can’t be…” I said, “It just can’t, Midnight.”
“It is,” she said, folding her arms, “and I told you so.”
“Marigold is a founder o’ our Republic! He can’t be a traitor!”
Midnight made a face, “More dedicated men have done worse things.”
I shook my head, “Not him.”
“But he did. I’ve done my research. I’ve killed every lead I was given and taken all the information I could. My contractor hired me to kill this man, but I don’t simply go and kill people, Thomas. I like to make sure, know my target, wonder as to why he needs removing. And I have made sure. Benedict Marigold is going to destroy your republic very soon. He’s recently been called away by the governor of the Bahamas, and when he comes back, he’ll bring a blockade with him.”
“You were right,” I said, “I don’t believe you. This is some sort o’ trick!”
“Who were ye hired by, eh? The governor himself?”
“Then who? Who would hire ye t’cause such ill-content amongst us?”
“I can’t disclose my contractor. It’s policy. I have to stick to it.”
I stomped my way up to her, Midnight’s face level with mine, “Load of shite!”
Midnight growled, “I was hired,” she said, coldly, “by the Chess Pieces!”
I furrowed my brow, “You’re in with that creepy bunch?”
“No, but… they offered me a lot of money.”
I grabbed her collar again, “A lot o’ money? T’toss in your own kind?”
“My own kind?” she scoffed, head-butting me. I howled and jerked back, holding my nose, “You don’t class as my own kind. My own kind are in Normandy. Waiting for me to come back. I’m not tossing in your kind, either, Thomas. I’m trying to help you.”
“Help us?” I said, grabbing her face in one hand and pressing it against the wall. She grunted as I applied pressure to it, “By bein’ hired t’remove one of our leaders?”
Midnight bit down on my hand, “He’s betrayed you!” she said as I pulled my hand from her teeth.
“You are lyin’!” I scowled.
“I am not!” she barked, slapping me on the side of my head. I grabbed her hair and yanked it down. She screamed, and kicked my shin.
“Midnight, there’s punishment for the perjurer on this island!” I barked, throwing her down. Her body bounced as it hit the ground.
She held her back, making a pained face, “You were the one who dragged information out of me! Is it my fault you don’t like it?”
“God damn it, I hate you!”
“Oh, shut up, Thomas!” she pulled my hair, so that I was howling my way to meet the ground.
I snorted blood as my face crunched with the hard wood of the floor, “Ye’ll pay for that, Midnight!”
“I’d like to see you make me, you bloody pansy!” holding me down and sitting on my chest.
I snarled and went to bite her nose, but–
I don’t know how that makes any sense, given that we were arguing and nearly killing each other, but we did. It was harsh at first, just two mouths clamped around each other, one trying to force the other down. But it gained rhythm. It slowed, prolonged itself. It turned from hard and bitter, to soft and sweet. She was caressing my hair, touching my jaw and prodding the tender skin of the scar she had given me. I could feel the gaps in her teeth with my tongue, I could feel he soft curve of her jaw with my hand, the toughened muscle in her shoulders.
She pulled away almost abruptly, “What the hell just happened?” she brushed a strand of her hair behind her ear and pushed herself off of me, steadying herself against a wall.
I took a few gasps, sitting up and looking away, “Aye,” I said, “What the hell just happened?”