21. 14 - Extract from the Diary of Captain Thomas Rogue
The giant black hole in Annabeth's room needed to be mended. Bex eventually admitted that she was that 'may have left out the gunpowder' which the twins might have got their hands on and so I insisted on her helping with the necessary repairs to the room. She kicked up something of a fuss, but she got past it, and was laying mortar and bricks in no time. Simon, John and Bex's creepy-as-hell boyfriend Damon helped out. I didn't bother asking Alex and Ted. A pair of fancy-boys like them wouldn't want to get their hands dirty and I honestly didn't want to have to deal with arguments concerning nicer and not-nicer bricks, whose stockings were getting muddy and whose nails had been chipped.
It was dark by the time we'd finished for the day and we had to seal off the room so the whole house didn't become cold. I returned to our bedroom when I'd finished work, and found Midnight sifting through a pile of books and papers on the bed.
“Hallo?” I said, amused.
Engrossed as she was, Midnight didn't even hear me.
“Midnight?” I repeated.
She looked up and furrowed her brows immediately, “Why aren't you wearing a shirt?”
I put my hands on my hips and chuckled, “What?”
“What do you mean, what?”
“You ne'er had a problem wi' it before.”
“Before, you were surrounded by stinking pirates in the middle of the Caribbean.”
“Oh, don't be jealous,” I said sitting down next to her, and patting her hand with mock-sympathy.
“I'm not,” she denied, “I'm concerned about all the farmers around the estate that will come complaining about the Master of the House exhibiting his nipples for all their wives to see. You'll give some poor old woman a stroke.”
“Aw, please. I know who my nipples are meant for.”
Midnight snorted, “That is the weirdest thing you have said in your lifetime - and you say a lot of weird things. Never say that again.”
“Aye, aye, mon capitaine,” I laughed, “So, what're you doin'?”
“Researching something for Annabeth,” she replied, “Did you give her a place to sleep, by the way?”
“Aye. She said she'll be sleepin' in Kenny's room tonight. I don't know when we'll finish cleanin' that mess in Annie's room.”
“Didn't you get Ted and Alex to help?”
I gave her a look.
“Sorry, stupid question,” she scoffed.
“I hate Ted and Simon hates Alex. It's all very self-explanatory.”
“Simon? You know he hates being called that.”
“I'm not callin' the boy a name he chose for himself.”
Midnight shook her head, “Thomas...” she laughed.
“What! I'm not goin' to!”
“Why are you making cracks in the bridge your son is trying to build with you?”
“Because a troll lives underneath.”
“Shut up,” Midnight laughed.
“What? I'm only protectin' them innocent goats from being eaten by a nasty troll.”
“You're the nasty troll, Thomas.”
“Oi. Take your son's side if ye have to, call him Aldrin if ye must - but do not get personal with me.”
“Having a nicer face has inflated your head, Thomas,” she pinched my cheeks, “Remember who you're talking to.”
“The only woman who'll kiss my inflated head?” I chuckled.
“Why does everything have to be weird with you?”
I shrugged, “Ye're the one who married me.”
“Are you asking for a divorce?”
“Good. Because I'm legally required to love you until then.”
I stared at her.
“I'm kidding, you dolt!” she laughed.
“That wasn't funny.”
“Put on a shirt,” she said, kissing me lightly on the cheek and getting up to look through the book shelf, “I can't focus with your visual distractions hindering me.”
I rolled my eyes and did as she asked, “What're ye researchin' then?”
“Something about Annabeth's father and his cult. The Sons of the Sword? I can't seem to find much on them.”
“Aye, they're a creepy, secretive bunch.”
“You know something?”
“I've attacked some o' their vessels before. And each time I regretted it, 'cept once. I think I might still have some o' the documents the Sword-Captain kept in his cabin. Would that help at all wi' this?”
“If you still have them, I'd like to see them.”
“I'll have to head to the El Tívu for ye, then,” she grasped my arm as I turned to leave.
“Don't be gone long,” she said.
I laughed, “My nipples are hidden. I'll be safe from old women,” I assured her.
“Not what I was getting at.”
“Oh, quit worryin' so much!”
“Where's the map?”
“Somewhere safe and sound,” I murmured, taking both her hands, “Outta sight, outta mind. And it's ne'er movin'.”
Midnight gave me a lingering look, “Okay.”