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The next Chapter in my little Ari's life. Things are really going to get strange from here, I hope you all enjoy the twist it takes!
Ari placed her legs on Thomas's arms and propelled herself forward to Lucius. Lucius caught her and twirled her around in a circle then held her on his hip and turned and walked down the stairs to the decks dinning room. Samuel carried Dimitri in his arms and Dorian hurriedly carried their bags to their room then ran for the dinning room. The men had a privet room where they ate and Lucius had a privet room where he and his guest ate, but he used that room to store loot and he ate with his crew. By now all the men were sitting at their tables laughing and talking. One crewman noticed Lucius and stopped him.
“Captain, was that your brother I heard on land when you were coming aboard?” Peter asked and with the hope that it filled the all the other men’s eyes, Lucius almost wanted to tell Peter no.
“I am afraid so.” Lucius said and he could sense Samuel’s tension. Another man, Emmet, one of the biggest men on board Lucius's ship, scoffed.
“And is it also true we are taking that lazy, stupid oaf with us to Sparreen?” Emmet asked and Samuel turned sharply. Lucius, scratching Ari's ear as she sat in quietly his arms, nodded twice. Instead of anger, Samuel huffed and laughed slightly.
“We are the best of friend yet we cannot stand the sight of each others brother... Think there is something wrong with us?” Samuel asked laughingly.
Lucius laughed. “That has nothing to do with the fact that there is something wrong with us.”
As they all sat down, Cooker came in and set down a roasts on each of the tables. Ari began sniffing as she lifted her nose in the air. Dimitri almost started laughing but even he had no control on how adorable she looked. Cooker patted her head and cut off a small piece and set it down for Ari.
“Ari fork?” Ari asked instead of wanting to eat with her hands. Lucius laughed and showed her how to eat with a fork and knife.
By night fall everyone was stuffed and Ari was happily playing in front of the helm. She had found a mouse, but instead of eating it she merely played with it and the mouse actually played along. Running back and forth and around Ari, having her chase him. Lucius looked down at her with a smile. Then Ari sat up and yawned wide, baring her canines and rubbing her eyes. Lucius leaned down and picked her up.
“She is a beautiful girl Lucius.” Samuel whispered and Dimitri stood at his fathers side, rubbing his eyes. Lucius rocked the small child back and forth in his arms.
“Ari looks so much like Leena, I hardly know what to think.” Lucius whispered and motioned for Samuel to follow him. Samuel picked Dimitri up and followed Lucius to his cabin were they laid the children down, Ari in her bed and Dimitri in a cot near Samuels’s bed. They stood and looked over their children.
Samuel smirked. “How does it feel to be a father Lucius?” he asked. Lucius looked down at Ari.
“It is wonderful.” Lucius smiled back.
That morning, Dimitri woke up and rubbed his eyes, then looked around the cabin.
Light was barely beginning to show in the large window and the boat rocked softly in the harbor. Just as Dimitri sat up in bed, Ari hung down over him.
Dimitri jumped up in bed and Ari watched as he placed his hand over his heart and breathed heavily.
“You scared me Ari!” Dimitri said and Ari only watched him and hung from her knees and gently swayed back and forth.
Dimitri's heart settled and he smiled a greeting in his native Sparreen. “Garventas, Ari.” and he watches as she swayed upside-down.
Ari tilted her head and her gray green eyes filled with confusion. “What is...? Gra... Grav...?” She asked and Dimitri sat up with boastful pride.
“It is how you say greetings in my language Ari” Dimitri explained and smiled, proud of his knowledge. He closed his eyes and crossed his arms, but when Ari said nothing, Dimitri looked up and saw Ari tilting her head and starring at him like she didn't know what he was talking about.
“What is?” Ari asked as she hung from one knee and one hand, her head still tilted to her shoulder. Dimitri wasn't sure what she meant, all he knew was her strange eyes were mysteriously pretty and that her long black hair was pretty and wavy.
“What do you mean Ari...? I do not understand.” Dimitri said and Ari's eyebrows drew together. She hopped down from the hanging plant she held on to and crouched on the bed he'd slept on.
Dimitri was unnerved by the closeness of the foreign child. He wanted to reach out and touch her tail that flicked back and forth around her, almost taunting him to reach for it. Ari's ears, one wrapped, the other raven black with snow white tip, were twitching, and her pail eyes with unusual irises were peculiar.
Dimitri was so enthralled with her, that he didn't notice that Ari was inching closer and one second he was 2 feet away from her the next he was nose to nose with Ari. Her eyes were frighteningly beautiful, red on the outside, fading to yellow-green, then a pail gray. Ari starred at Dimitri for a moment and brought her eyebrows in to a low scowl.
“What is gree'ing?” Ari asked and pounced gracefully away from Dimitri and rested on pads of her feet and hands near his feet.
Dimitri shook his head to clear it. “It is a way to say hello.” He said with a small smile. Then Lucius and Samuel came in and Ari bounced off of her toes and into Lucius's arms.
“Well hello, love.” Lucius laughed and Ari giggled as he tickled her in his arms.
“Gre'in's Papa.” Ari giggled happily. Lucius raised an eyebrow at her and laughed lightly.
“Do you mean greetings sweet?” Lucius asked and smiled softly. Ari scowled for a moment, and then nodded her head.
“Greetin's... Gree...” Ari tried but could not get the words to form, so she tried her way, “Higrantos ven caroco me'us hytar... An! Nocory wantves muss delocor.” She said and Dimitri's jaw dropped.
“What did she say...?” Dimitri hurriedly asked and sat on his knees, and Samuel laughed at his son.
“Dimitri, what did I say about following in Uncle Lucius's foot steps...? There is no need for you to be so curious of this girl.” Samuel laughed and Dimitri glared at his father.
“I wanna know what she said! I wanna know!” Dimitri whined and Lucius gave Dimitri a stern look.
“Now, boy, listen to me. There will be no whining on my ship. Ari said that greeting was another way of saying hello, nothing more. Now get dressed for breakfast.” Lucius said and walked towards the door and Ari smiled over his shoulder at the dumb founded boy.
Once in the hall, Lucius lifted Ari from his arms to hold her under her's and looked at her warmly “So Dimitri smells nice, eh?” He asked and Ari smiled and nodded. Lucius shook his head and took Ari to the kitchen for her breakfast.
Cooker was busy, bustling around with steaming pots and sizzling pan, but when he saw Ari, he stop stirring something that smelled savory, and hurried over to Lucius and took Ari from his arms.
“Ah, my little darling! Come for breakfast, have you?” Cooker asked in his thick Gerric accent. Ari nodded as Cooker sat her on the counter to go back to the pot. Lucius leaned against the wall and crossed his arms over his chest with a small smile and watched as Cooker dipped the spoon in thick cream sauce and blew across it and gave it to Ari. Looking at the spoon, Ari blew across it as Cooker did and stuffed it into her mouth. At first as made a strange face, probably because the food was still hot, then she smiled and licked her lips.
“Good Cooker! What is…?” She asked and Cooker's tight old cheeks were pulled back it a wide smile.
“Oh! yes! It is cream gravy! It is wonderful on sausage!” Cooker exclaimed and took a slice of sausage and dipped it in the gravy and handed the fork to Ari. She was cautions this time, blowing on the sausage much more and poking it to with her little finger to test it. When it was the right temperature for her, Ari bit the whole slice off the fork and chewed vigorously, then smiled. Then Cooker cut up the sausage and put it into the gravy and stirred it all around.
Cooker made Ari a rather large plate of biscuits and gravy and watched as Ari got the gravy everywhere and started licking herself clean. Lucius laughed and took Ari to his cabin for a good bath.
After 30 minutes of playing, they both emerged in clean, dry clothes and made their way to deck. Samuel was playing a card game with Dorian and Louis and was teaching Dimitri to play. Thomas was up in the crows nest reading as Carson was checking the rigging and other odd jobs about the ship.
Then booming steps sounded on the loading plank and Julius jumped up onto the deck. Samuel growled and Lucius sighed.
Ari looked at Julius and his two large bags and hopped down from Lucius arms, her bare feet making little noise on the smooth wood. Lucius and all the men said nothing as Ari crossed her arms behind her back and walked around Julius, inspecting him and walking as Lucius would. Then she did something that made the whole ship roar with laughter, except Dimitri who only tilted his head and scowl.
Ari jumped up onto Julius's luggage, looked up at him, cocked her little head to one side, and drew her brows together.
“You smell funny.... You need bath.” Ari said and hopped down and walked over to Lucius, her tail switching back and forth. Samuel fell off his crate laughing and Louis's deep laughter boomed to the rhythm of laughter amongst the crew. Ari looked up at Lucius and tilted her head.
“What funny?” Ari asked and Lucius stopped laughing so hard and picked her up. He wiped his eyes and laughed lightly.
“It’s a long story Sweet.” Lucius laughed.
It probably would not have been as funny if the last woman Julius was involved with, that didn't come from a brothel, had stolen all him money and left him covered in fish odds and ends and sleeping with pigs... A very unpleasant smell. Of course Ari meant that he didn't smell right to her, but it was still funny.
Julius scowled and pulled at his coat. “Your daughter is exactly like you.” He spat at Lucius and Ari's ears perked up and she looked at Lucius.
“I like Papa?” Ari asked and Lucius laughed.
“Uncle Julius says so.” Lucius smiled and looked sideways at his putout brother. He had meant to be cruel, saying that about a little girl, but Ari giggled happily and hugged Lucius's neck.
“Ari like be like Papa!” She exclaimed and Lucius went pail... and Julius smiled coldly.
Ari had no idea the kind of man Lucius was and she was an innocent soul, Julius was being immensely rude and Lucius was on the verge of shooting his brother. All the men watched wide eyed as Lucius gave Ari to Dorian and walked very slowly to his brother. Lucius walked over to stand directly in front of Julius, kicked over Julius's bags and stood his 6'3” height, looking down at his 6', and years older brother,.
Lucius's eyes were colder then ice and dark with rage as he clenched his brother’s shirt to his now quiver throat. “If you ever bring up my past around my daughter... I will kill you.” Lucius whispered a growl and threw Julius to he ground and walked over to where Dorian and Ari stood. He quickly took her and turned to glare Julius.
“Get your things aboard quickly, you'll be bunking with Cooker... the only one of us who can stand your disgusting face.” Lucius said and quickly turned to his men. “Well.... Get his cargo aboard and get ready to ship off! Now!” He yelled and the deck was filled with hustle.
Samuel rose from his spot and took Dimitri's hand, following Lucius to the helm. Dorian followed Samuel to see Lucius sitting with Ari on his lap as he sat behind the mast.
“Are you alright?” Samuel asked Lucius softly as Ari traced the grain pattern in the wood. He sat next to Lucius and Dimitri went to the wheel to look it over.
Lucius only laughed lightly and shook his head. “What do you think?”
Samuel shrugged as he turned to watch his son’s small hand run along the large wheel of the ship. “I’m guessing, by what air-for-brains said, no, but hey, I wouldn’t worry about it.”
“Of course you wouldn't... you worry about nothing.” Lucius snorted.
“Look!” Ari suddenly said and pointed toward seagull as it flew by their heads.
Lucius smiled and nodded, “Yes, Ari, that's a seagull. Its a sea bird.”
Ari scowled softly at Lucius as she crawled into his lap and yawned, “Sea bird?” She asked and cuddled into Lucius's chest.
“Yes...” Lucius whispered and Ari yawned, stretched, and was sleeping within the minute. Dimitri walked over and scowled at Ari.
“Why is she sleeping?” Dimitri asked as he leaned into Lucius and looked at Ari more closely. Samuel laughed and he pulled his son back from Ari.
Lucius laughed under his breath. “Cats sleep a lot.” He explained simply and Dimitri only scowled more.
“But...” Dimitri started but Lucius shook his head no.
“No, my boy, she is nothing like a normal girl.”
The rest of that when by relatively slow, and Lucius was happy for it. Julius spent most of the day happily ignoring Lucius and his daughter as he read over maps and papers. Of course, Lucius couldn't make himself remember the last time he had seen Julius actually sit down and read, but at least his brother was staying out of his crews way.
Lucius was sitting next to Dorian and Thomas as they played cards, betting their personal stokes of alcohol at home is Sparreen, when the doors of the lower deck opened.
“Captain! Where is Ari!” Louis yelled after coming up from his lower quarters check. Ari had ridden down on his back, but had jumped off at some point and now he couldn't find her.
Lucius's face turned like stone. “Where is my daughter Louis?”
“Missing something?” Julius asked with a smirk as he took a bite out of a pear he had taken from the kitchen and held his papers in his lap. Lucius glowered toward his brother and forced himself not to cut the bumbling idiot down.
“Ari!” Louis called and just as his voice died Lucius heard a giggle. He hurried up to the helm as Louis stayed on the deck, but she was no where to be seen.
“Ari!” Louis called again, more frantic then Lucius ever remembered seeing the poor man before.
Suddenly, Ari was crawling up the dragon at the hull and was giggling up a storm. She sat on the back of the dragon as if to ride it backwards and tilted her head to one side.
“Wha' wrong Lou?” Ari asked lightly and Lucius ran to her so quickly that he almost tripped when he got to Ari.
“What are you doing over here love?” Lucius asked, his voice quivering with the little fear he still had inside him. Ari hugged Lucius back as she giggled softly.
“Sea bird.” Ari said softly and Lucius pulled back from hugging Ari.
Lucius scowled. “What do you mean?”
Ari pried herself out of Lucius's tight hold, then took his hand in hers and pulled him toward the side to boat. She let go of Lucius's hand and crawled onto the carved dragon along the side, then crawled down the spin of the dragon to it nose.
Lucius nearly lost his nerves as Ari turned to face him and motioned for him to come up with her. Lucius did and just as he was standing behind Ari, she turned away from him and crawled down the dragons face and into him mouth where Lucius remembered a crawl space was. Lucius leaned over the nose to see Ari sitting in the wooden dragons mouth, crouching on its serpents tongue with her eyes closed and arms spread out with her face turned up into the wind.
“Sea bird.” Ari smiled and Lucius laughed lightly as he leaned back up and rested against his arm on the dragon.
Lucius shook his head, then leaned back down to loo at Ari. “Promise to be safe love?”
Ari looked up at him and scowled, “What is?” She asked quietly.
“Don't go falling into the water.” Lucius laughed, then crawled back to the deck.
“Is she alright Captain? What is she doing?” Dorian asked, having come over to investigate Louis's shouts.
“She's just being a Seagull.” Lucius smiled, then walked down to the lower deck to tie a rope to the inside of the ship, then onto Ari's waist.
|Ari 4||The Invasion-1|