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Oooh, I Wanna Be Like You [Closed]

Isabela

Prominent member
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
93
#21
“Not getting caught is a speciality of mine,” Celeste grinned, seizing Naishe’s hand. The contact made Naishe’s breath catch almost as much as their daring kiss in the parlour had. Touch was not unusual between friends in Antiva, but the casual cheek kisses and brief touches from the wives of Luis’ usual associates were too brief and perfunctory to mean anything to Naishe. This was bold, and open, held long enough for Naishe to feel the calluses on Celeste’s warm palm, and she almost tripped the first time Celeste led her down an unexpected pathway. She was quick to pull herself together, however; Luis had yet to wash out the instincts of a lifetime, and as they moved easily through the crowds Naishe was delighted to find herself falling back into the same habits she’d employed in younger, happier years. Her gaze moved from eye level to hip, seeking out the distracted, the unguarded coinpurses, the unattended stalls; Celeste was apparently thinking along similar lines.

“I stole so much here that I found out later my father set up accounts with the merchants to cover it. That took the fun out of it.” Celeste crinkled her nose, then immediately pinched a bracelet from one of the stalls as they swept past it. It was done so swiftly that if Naishe hadn’t been watching her directly, she would have missed it. She grinned.

“Admittedly I haven’t needed to in some time - but I have missed it. There’s not much on Luis’ estate to get the heart pumping.”

Within seconds, a ruby ring adorned her finger, swiped from the same stall. It took no effort, little thought, but she came away beaming. Despite her fears, it seemed that not all her skills had abandoned her. Of course she’d never be able to keep it, as Luis would want to know where it had come from and she didn’t trust that Madame Alfonso wouldn’t turn it up in the course of her daily rummagings. But she’d probably leave it behind on Celeste’s ship. As a thank you gift.

Usually when passing through these streets, Naishe’s face was veiled against the sun or to prevent anybody from spotting her. Blinkered by the material, and pushed to be swift with making her purchases so she wasn’t out of the house too long, she never really got to enjoy the city very much, but right now it was as if the sun was celebrating her taste of freedom by picking out the vivid colours in every flower, every stripe of silken material, every mural. A jester in striped clothes was juggling knives, and further up was a conman playing the old three-card game trick. Naishe eyed him with the old professional interest when Celeste spoke again.

“I always loved Antiva City. The Marches are soooo stuffy. And grey. And warm. Have you ever seen snow?” Naishe shook her head. It still sounded a little made up to her. Ice falling from the sky? “It’s fun for about five minutes, and then your tits are frozen. Give me sun and the sea any day.”

“I’m inclined to agree with you on that.” Antiva truly was beautiful, but once again she felt the tug of chains on her. “I remember watching the ships come and go from the docks in Rivain, but never got to go on one until Luis took me away. Even his presence couldn’t spoil that experience.”

Speaking of docks, they were approaching the shipyards now; the muddle of languages became more intense, almost everybody seemed to be shouting, and the warm musk of a city in the sun became tanged with sea-salt. Naishe felt something uncoiling in her back, coming looser with every step towards the water. By the time Celeste pointed out her ship, Naishe almost regretted coming - because how was she meant to walk away from this feeling?

The thought quickly died on sighting Celeste’s ship, given over entirely to admiration. While what she knew about ships remained limited to her one voyage and what she’d read in books since, she could see plain that it was a fine vessel, and her eyes gleamed. “She’s beautiful.” Impulsively, she seized Celeste’s hand between both of hers, squeezing it as she drank in the sight, taking in sails and rope, gleaming woodwork and shining brass. “What class is she? How many crew?”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
338
#22
Celeste’s pilferage earned her an approving smile from her companion, whose golden eyes were coming alive in a way that delighted the sailor.

“Admittedly I haven’t needed to in some time - but I have missed it,” Naishe admitted, lifting a ring from the same merchant with a deft ease that was most satisfying to behold. “There’s not much on Luis’ estate to get the heart pumping.”

“Now that is a real crime,” Celeste smirked, sweeping the Rivaini beauty with a head-to-toe glance. Luis was a damned idiot. “We can definitely remedy it, though.” The process looked to have already begun, judging by the spring in Naishe’s step as she slipped the ruby ring onto a finger and cast an appraising glance at the moves of a three-card monte player that they passed on the street. Tempting to have a go at scamming the scammer; she was willing to bet that Naishe could give him a run for his money. But their time was limited, and the chance that word might get back to Luis that his wife had been consorting with a card shark was a bit too high.

Naishe abandoned the show willingly enough, seeming eager to get to the docks. “I remember watching the ships come and go from the docks in Rivain, but never got to go on one until Luis took me away,” she remarked wistfully. “Even his presence couldn’t spoil that experience.”

“It never gets old,” Celeste told her with an understanding smile. “If Luis comes along on whatever he’s talking to Daniel about, maybe we can convince him to let you come.” But even as she spoke, Celeste knew that if Luis ever saw her like this: vibrant and daring, he would lock her up in that big house and throw away the key. Or worse.

Naishe’s face lit up at the sight of the Wicked Grace, the unabashed admiration in her expression cementing Celeste’s affinity for her new friend. “She’s beautiful,” she exclaimed, catching hold of Celeste’s hand in her enthusiasm as the questions tumbled out. “What class is she? How many crew?”

“She’s a schooner,” Celeste answered, keeping hold of Naishe’s hand and tugging her in the direction of the gangplank. “A hundred and twenty feet. She crews twelve, but we can sail her with half that in a pinch.” Eyes turned to follow them; they made an odd-looking pair, Celeste in her trews and vest, and Naishe in her fancy dress. Catcalls and lewd proposals marked their progress, but Celeste ignored them with the ease of long practice. Reaching the foot of the wooden ramp, she cupped her hands to her mouth. “Permission to come aboard?”

After a moment, Gideon’s bass rumble rose up from the bow: “Permission granted!”

“After you, m’lady,” Celeste invited Naishe to precede her with a grin and a flourishing bow, but it was more than gallantry. If Celeste had come up first, whoever was behind her would find themselves the target of as many bows and crossbows as could be brought to bear.

None were in sight at the moment; Gideon set aside the book he’d been reading and laid his spectacles atop it before leaping easily from his position atop the fo’c’sle and moving to meet them.

“Gideon, this is Naishe, Signore Lombardo’s wife,” Celeste introduced them.”Naishe, this is Gideon, Daniel’s brother and first mate.”

“Gideon Augustus Nicodemus Santiago Darius Monroe,” he proclaimed in his usual flourishing style, catching one of the visitor’s hands and raising it to his lips for a courtly kiss as he bowed to her. There was, however, a bit less velvet-smooth charm in his purr than usual when meeting a pretty girl, and when he straightened, the crimson eyes held the faintest question in them as they turned to Celeste.

“Daniel and Signore Lombardo are talking business,” Celeste supplied, knowing what he was asking. “Naishe wanted to see the ship, and they had no objection.” No, she hadn’t sneaked out with the man’s wife without a word; Gideon had forgiven Celeste the thoughtlessness that had nearly cost him his life, but he hadn’t forgotten it, and she couldn’t fault him for that.

“Welcome aboard, Signora,” he told Naishe warmly, with an expansive sweep of his arm. “Celeste knows the ship from bow to stern.”
 

Isabela

Prominent member
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
93
#23
Celeste suggested a beautiful vision; one in which Naishe was able to join her and Daniel on their adventure, albeit with Luis also present. They both knew it couldn’t happen. Luis would sooner admit he was lackluster in bed then let Naishe experience a moment of freedom that wasn’t on his terms. Even now, he was effectively holding Daniel hostage until she came back.

Fortunately she didn’t have to think about him long. The Wicked Grace commanded her full attention and all the questions she’d been ordered not to pester the captain with on her initial voyage to Antiva now bubbled up at Celeste, who seemed only too happy to answer.

“She’s a schooner. A hundred and twenty feet. She crews twelve, but we can sail her with half that in a pinch.” They were almost at the ship now, and Naishe utterly ignored the raucous yells and propositions that followed them along the dock. She’d been shut away from it for a while but even as a girl she knew it wasn’t worth paying attention to that kind of man. Certainly not when there was something so much more interesting to look at. Celeste bellowed as they reached the end of the gangplank. “Permission to come aboard?”

An incredibly deep voice granted them entrance, and Celeste invited Naishe to go up first. She almost sprang up the board, hiking her dress up high enough to avoid hindering her step, then almost fell over anyway as she reached the top and saw the owner of the voice.

A qunari. A fucking qunari.

This had all been some sick joke on Luis’ part. Had he deliberately brought Celeste in to entice her away from the house? Was this a reminder of how she’d ended up with him in the first place, or was she being given away to the same pieces of shit that had claimed her mother? Well, sod that - she might be out of practice but she could still remember how to scrap, and she squared up.

But then Celeste introduced him, with a decidedly non-qunari name, and announced that he was her husband’s brother, which was confusing as all get out. Naishe faltered, suddenly feeling as unsettled as she had when she was first bought into Luis’ life, but at least this time she wasn’t being yanked into a corset. The qunari proceeded to confuse her further by bowing. “Gideon Augustus Nicodemus Santiago Darius Monroe.” He then kissed her hand, flashing a warm smile up at her from a craggily handsome face.

Naishe’s confusion went up another notch. She might have admired their build before but she’d never known a qunari to be friendly enough that she would consider them even slightly good looking. Fortunately, Celeste covered her discomfort by explaining her presence. “Daniel and Signore Lombardo are talking business. Naishe wanted to see the ship, and they had no objection.”

The qunari - Gideon - greeted her warmly. “Welcome aboard, Signora. Celeste knows the ship from bow to stern.”

Naishe pulled herself together. “Naishe, please. Signora’s what stuffy friends of my husband call me while trying to stare down my cleavage.” She eyed him up. “Sorry I was a bit twitchy at first. I knew a few qunari in Rivain, but they all acted like they had a third horn rammed up their-” She cut herself off in case Signora Alfonso appeared out of nowhere to swat her for her language, then realised that wasn’t going to happen, and grinned. “Asses.”

She turned towards Celeste, and a sweep of brisk sea air swept through her hair. Following it came the tang of salt and the sudden ache to be away from the docks, heading for the horizon, all ‘wifely responsibilities’ abandoned. She could feel herself lighting up, and she wouldn’t let thoughts of her husband ruin it. “So. Show me around?”
 
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