|The City Side Story: Storyville
Author: Guede Mazaka
"I say we back Los Lobos." Elizabeth's hair looked like a smudged halo in the cracked light, and her languid smile was as white as the flash of neck she threw back. "After all, Barillo's proven himself unreliable as an ally. And you wouldn't have let Miguel take G with him if you didn't already favor him."
Across the room, Jack slowly nodded in acknowledgement of the truth. He was slumped back against the age-stained bar, widespread arms with their myriad scars and dark skin like extensions of the pitted wood. Jacques was a glittering sprawl over the barstools, draped on Jack's lap like a cat and purring like a good automobile.
"Not so easy, fille." Anamaria leaned over the bar counter and began to trace the grain with her nail. She clicked them along, castanets to the wild low melody she hummed. "It ain't our game. More importantly, it ain't our city. They're Los Diablos, all th'way on th'far side of th'land."
Will twitched his fingers in the clenching, quivering flesh of the man beneath Elizabeth and smiled up at her dark expression. "Stop that, Liz. Jack's not spoken yet."
"Jack knows that it's near the anniversary of Barbossa's uprising. La mer's never quiet then, and neither is the city," Jacques pointed out. He craned up to nuzzle Jack's ribs, then fell back with a contented sigh. "We have to watch our own first, mam'selle."
"Yes, I know that." Elizabeth snapped the words off like she was cracking candies between her teeth. She sighed and idly shifted her hips, then glanced down at the muffled string of curses that action produced. Kindly swept the soaked, salted hair from a sweaty brow and bent down to press a kiss over the gag. Stretched out on the table top next to them, Will licked up Elizabeth's spine and did something with his fingers that elicited a full-throated scream, barely muffled by the rag wadding up the man's mouth.
"Comme cette homme," Anamaria drawled. "Y're goin' t'kill him if y'don' stop soon. An' I didn' go through all that trouble catchin' him t'get another body on m'hands."
"We know what we're doing," Will replied, somewhat irked. He caressed the straining arms, which were bound beneath the gagged and blindfolded man. "Though I still wonder what the British government could possibly want with us. And…" his eyes briefly unfocused "…no, still no one after him. He's like fruit falling from a tree."
"The trickiest kind to keep." Elizabeth abruptly sped up her rocking, and right on cue, Will kept pace with the movement of his encased fingers. It wasn't long before a perfect, rigid bow of body and a strangled cry rewarded their efforts.
At that, Jack's gaze switched from the empty rum bottle in his hand to them. He gave his own grin, gold-flecked and hungry, to the night. A pat to get Jacques settled somewhere else than his lap, and then he was over by the table, taking off the blindfold to reveal hazy green eyes. Norrington instinctively turned into Jack's touch, then apparently realized what he was doing and froze. Which made Jack laugh, and run his fingers over the soft cheek again to feel the shifting muscles of the jaw. "S'all right, Liz, Anamaria. Will generally knows what he's doin'…even if I still can' fathom why old steady Bootstrap would take a French Quarter witch to bride an' bed."
"So?" they all said. Even Norrington's eyes looked a question.
"Go wi' th'tide that wins out." Jack plucked out the gag and swallowed the harsh croak that emerged. "Though…Barillo's suppliers are right undependable dogs…never know when they'll lose a shipment or two."