The pirate sloop came into the small bay slowly, cautiously, while onboard, a man stood with his eyeglass surveying the Pepperwind and it’s near deserted decks. Swinging the spyglass towards the shore, the large, dark man watched the men of the Pepperwind cutting down trees and dragging boulders aside as they cleared the land. Laughing softly, deeply in his throat, he slowly lowered the eyeglass before turning to face the three men behind him.
“It seems that most of the men have left the ship. I see no sign of the woman or that giant that stays so close to her when her man is gone. I can see her man on the shore, but she is nowhere to be seen so she must still be on board. Allah is with us this day, for it will be easy to remove her from her nest!” He laughed evilly, his black eyes shining in anticipation of the battle to come. Licking his lower lip slowly, he continued as the others looked from the Pepperwind to the shore where they could see the distant figures of men moving about. “I would have wished a full battle with them all, but they will have left enough men on board to satisfy my taste, and the giant will be a challenge indeed!”
“You will have to be content with little bloodshed, my friend, for this woman is not to be harmed at all costs!” The small, mole-looking man growled his demands as he looked fiercely up at the captain, “Allah is indeed with us, for the smaller the battle we have, the less chance there is of her accidentally being maimed! She is not to be harmed! You are to make certain that your men know this and are careful when near her, for a beauty such as she will bring us more than a shipload of slaves could and will be well worth all of our efforts in seeing to her well-being!”
“Hah! I will handle my men,” the captain snarled down at the small man. “You just make certain sure that you and your friends keep your thin little hides here and out of my way!”
The mole-like man cast a look of sheer contempt at the bearded face of the captain and then turned on his heel in disgust before beckoning to his friends to come below deck where they would be safe and not have to witness the attack that was calculated to meet their ends.
“Leave him to his violence, Kashim,” the taller man of the three said as he followed the retreating back of the smaller man. “What matters the type of man he is so long as he serves us as well and brings to us the woman.”
“You are right, Abdul,” the small man answered without looking back. “Just the same, I do not wish to witness the bloodbath that comes. The end result is all that I am interested in.”
“Will she really bring as much as you say, Kashim?” the other trader, a rotund little man asked as he waddled behind the pair, greed showing in his brown, watery eyes.
“She is worth all that I’ve said and more, Abedin!” Kashim stopped and turned to smile wickedly at his friend. “If I can get the sultan’s chief eunuch to come see her, a fortune will be ours!”
Abedin giggled and rubbed his pudgy hands together at the thought, then had to run to catch up with Kashim and Abdul as they disappeared below deck. The sound of the captain’s rough voice shouting orders of preparations to his men sent shivers up Abedin’s back as he retreated, and he muttered a prayer to Allah that Kashim would not slip his hold on Turk. Abedin never wanted to see the man turn his evil eyes upon them. He glanced back over his shoulder and saw the captain bellow with laughter as he raised his sword high. Shaking, Abedin almost tripped as he descended after the others, anxious to get out of sight and sound of the bearded hulk as quickly as he could. The captain swished his blade through the air, stroking and cutting at imagined enemies, his eyes blazing with bloodlust. His ship was closing fast with the motionless Pepperwind as all hands made ready their weapons to board her.