The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Fourteen

If you need a refresher course on the Ratha James series here on Moonstonemaiden, go ahead and click here to catch up on all the piratical adventures of this amazing woman and her steadfast friends!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Fourteen

“You told him what?” Ratha’s voice was low and dangerous as she growled through tightly clenched teeth, the muscles of her jaw tense and rigid as steel. Her fingers dug into the dark-stained wood of her chair like talons as fury flushed the sun-darkened skin beneath her emerald gown.

Joona met her friend’s ire unflinchingly, her mouth pursing into a long, thin line. Her green eyes narrowed, flickering with the heat of her own stubborn anger. “And just what else was I to tell him Amalee James? After he recognized you as a woman clothed as a man. An exquisite woman no less. It’s not as though I could pass you off as an ailing spinster aunt from Kerry! Your ship bears the name of my father’s, so family you must be and a cousin you are.” Joona’s tone grew sharper with every word. She would not be chastised in her own house for something out of her hands and Amalee needed to remember she was not the captain of St. Clare Manor. She held her friend’s fuming eye long enough for the lesson to sink in before allowing herself a small smile. “An eccentric cousin no doubt. Though no less loved for all your wearing of trousers.”

Amalee did not speak, but Joona felt the force of her anger diminish ever so slightly. It was enough for the moment. “He is joining us for dinner this evening, which is why a proper gown was needed. There is much he and Eric must discuss and as his ship has suffered so much damage, a fine dinner and a bevy of pretty faces is the least we can offer him.”

“Oh to be sure,” Ratha spat, accenting her displeasure with a sharp flick of her wrist. “Considering I am a husband-hunter after all.”

“Why else would you be here?” Joona challenged. “Use that mind of yours Captain please. I’ve no plans to sell you off to the highest bidder at the end of the evening, but as far as this man and his crew are concerned, you and Madeline are my cousins, and you are looking for good marriages. And as I highly doubt that this man will be pledging either of you his troth by evening’s end, all I require of you is a few hours of polite conversation and the lure of your own natural charm.”

“We need this man,” she said frankly, her features softening as she turned to look at her husband. “We need his ship. This isn’t what I wanted for your first night home. I have no wish to argue with either of you. I’ve missed you dreadfully. But this is as it must be. Just be the kind, engaging woman you are Amalee, just for tonight. He’s been at sea for months, just give him a pretty face to dream about and a smile or two. Please.”

“Of course Joona,” Madeline nodded, leaning forward to pat her friend’s hand reassuringly, her air contemplative but resolute. She shot Amalee a look of warning, plea, and reproach. “What you ask is easily done.”

Feeling a slight wave of shame lapping at her stomach, Ratha glowered at her two best friends — Eric as well for good measure — but kept any further grumblings to herself. She did not like surprises, not anymore, and for good reason.

But Joona was right, a story was needed and this was the simplest. So, she would stick to it, for the evening at least, and keep herself and her crew safe while these strangers encroached on St. Clare land. But she would watch this other captain, whoever he was, and if it was more than just a pretty face he was after, she would be happy to give him the sharp end of her blade for his troubles.

“Fine. Let’s not keep him waiting then,” Ratha said at last, reaching for her glass and downing the last of the port in one swift gulp. “My natural charm is unnaturally short-lived.”

Advertisements

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Thirteen

If you need a refresher course on the Ratha James series here on Moonstonemaiden, go ahead and click here to catch up on all the piratical adventures of this amazing woman and her steadfast friends!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Thirteen

The sun was setting in a blaze of citrine and ruby light into the churning cobalt sea beyond the massive diamond-paned windows when Ratha finally stepped into the glorious St. Clare library. Maddie, Joona, and an unusually weary-looking Eric sat near the warmth and light of a crackling fireplace on the far side of the room, soft conversation enveloping them with the love of longstanding friendship. Each looked up when the door opened, their words halting as Ratha strode towards them, a scowl tugging her lips downward and darkening her bright eyes. Eric St. Clare rose from his seat and moved to meet her with a warm smile, pulling her to him in a brotherly hug that squeezed what little breath she had left from her lungs. Even after all this time, he worried for her safety and to see her and Madeline alive again and home brought him such fierce joy. When he finally released her it was only to lead her to an overlarge chair beside Maddie and to fetch her a glass of port.

Doing her best not to wheeze, Ratha sank into the chair with relief, breathing in as deeply as she could manage in her borrowed gown. She accepted the port with a small smile and took a deep drink, letting the liquid burn it’s way down her throat to her belly, warming her from the inside out. In brilliant contrast to the jagged fire inside her, the crystal goblet was cool and perfectly smooth in her rough, weathered hands. She bit back a rye smile at the sight of her scarred hands holding something so perfect and fragile before setting the goblet down with a decisive clink. Looking back at those before her, she leveled a pointed glare at the red-haired woman sitting before her, her brows arching questioningly.

“Well Joona St. Clare,” she huffed, gesturing down to the emerald gown in disgust. “Why am I in this monstrosity?”

“I think you look lovely Amalee,” Maddie offered with a grin, running an appreciative hand over her own rose pink gown with unabashed pleasure. The sea had yet to take Madeline’s enjoyment of beautiful things and Ratha doubted it ever could. Madeline was born to see beauty in a cruel, sparkling world.

“That’s not the point,” Ratha said with a wave of her hand and a ghost of a smile at her friend’s deserved happiness. But her eyes never left Joona’s. Some new secret lurked beneath their sharp green surface, churning in the depths where love and intellect normally resided. Ratha’s heart beat a little faster. “What is it Joona, what haven’t you told us?”

“There’s a merchant ship moored in our shipyard,” Joona admitted, her mouth a slight grimace. “You’ll have seen it no doubt as you came into port.”

“Yes,” Amalee nodded, thinking back to the ship bearing the garish orange and silver flags with entwined songbirds that had given her pause before she had arrived. A matching grimace turned her mouth downward as well, settling into port with strange ships and crews so close by was never something she enjoyed, but the bulk of the St. Clare’s fortune was made on the seas and ships came and went through their shipyard far too often for it to frighten her away. The vessels never stayed long, and the crews were kept bust unloading a foreign cargo or loading a new one bound for some exotic destination before settling sail on the next earliest tide. Her women had strict orders to stay well clear of the St. Clare shipyard and the men who worked them and the sailors who passed through them. Their names and faces did not need to become known. But her women knew this well and St. Clare had never before felt the need to draw her aside just to mention a ship. Her stomach tightened into a thick fist. “Is it dangerous?”

“No,” Joona said slowly. “But there was a storm at sea some weeks ago and the vessel was badly damaged, the hull breached and a mast snapped in two. The repairs will take some days and in that time the crew will work and sleep aboard their own ship. They will not be a danger to you and yours so long as your women remain out of their way and in their sight. But unfortunately…”

“But unfortunately what?” Ratha demanded, her heart beating so fiercely that sure it would explode out of the confines of her blasted gown at any moment.

“Unfortunately, you have already been noticed. Or rather your beauty has. It seems the Captain was quite intrigued with a certain person, and asked Eric just who the exquisite brunette was wearing men’s trousers and boots as though she was born in them.”

Ratha’s face paled. How on earth did a sailor recognize her as a woman from such a distance, especially with her long hair — her most telling feature — tied up and out of her face?! “What did you tell them?”

Joona held her friend’s gaze, the very air tense with unspoken possibilities before her lips curved upward. “That you were my cousin of course. Fresh from Ireland with a few companions and on the hunt for an English husband to rival my own.”

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Twelve

If you need a refresher course on the Ratha James series here on Moonstonemaiden, go ahead and click here to catch up on all the piratical adventures of this amazing woman and her steadfast friends!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Twelve

A sudden deafening knock shattered Ratha’s morbid recollections and she found herself standing before a large gilt-framed looking-glass, one hand raised to touch the burnished skin beneath her eyes. For a moment the ghost of a lingering bruise darkened her sun-kissed skin before fading back into haunted memory. She shuddered, her stomach roiling sickeningly as the briefest flicker of remembered terror touched her very soul. Ratha purposefully turned away from the mirror, squelching the fear before it took root. It was this place, the past would give her no peace here. She would never feel safe on English soil, no matter how many years since her escape. Perhaps it was a mistake to come back after all.

“Amalee Ratha James!” Madeline called irately from the other side of the bedroom door. “I know you can hear me in there! St. Clare needs to speak with us before dinner so hurry and finish dressing and meet us in the library. Joona’s laid out something for you to wear on the chair near the fire, which I’d wager you haven’t even noticed,” Maddie huffed the last to herself, but Amalee heard her through the door clear enough. “If you need help with the lacing, there’s maid here in the hall.”

Lacing? Ratha flinched, her horror renewing as she turned to investigate the clothes Maddie had rightfully guessed she had not yet noticed, preoccupied as she was with the unnerving eclipse of past and present she always felt in this house. She strode towards the crackling fireplace with misapprehension heavy in her heart before stumbling to a halt with a insuppressibly hiss of displeasure. A sturdy wooden chair stood at the ready, swathed in a vision of frothy, endless emerald silk — the color so deep and vivid the gown nearly burned with a life all its own. Like drops of glistening dew, emeralds and fiery diamonds rained over the bodice and the delicate, gossamer lace net covering the full, wide skirts. The gems sparkled wildly in the dancing firelight, but the corners of Ratha’s mouth turned down in a hearty scowl.

What in the blazing Hell was St. Clare up to?!

*****

Grumbling more than a baited bear, Ratha precariously descended the wide, marble staircase in her borrowed finery, on route to the magnificent St. Clare library. With its dark paneled elegance and diamond-paned floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ever-surging sea below, the library was by far her favorite room in this opulent home. Yet even now, the thought of all those lovely leader-bound books could not rid her of the irritation of drowning in St. Clare’s accursed gown. She pulled at the confines of the gem-encrusted bodice as gently but forcibly as she could as she fought to straighten her shoulders and get in a decent breath of air. The damn gown was pinching her mercilessly and she nearly tripped over the billowing yards of skirts. Again. She yearned desperately for the simple freedom of her fitted leather trousers and the bliss of airy linen shirts. With a misstep of her borrowed heeled shoes, she toppled sideways, righting herself at the last moment, swearing eloquently like the sailor she truly was. And boots. She desperately missed her boots.

After six years at sea, Ratha had lost all appreciation for and what little understanding she had of, the beautiful gowns worn by her sex. With her father’s wealth in relative tatters her whole childhood, she’d grown up in plain, simple gowns and serviceable boots, and after she left home for England, Derek certainly never liked her so fully clothed as all this… So she had been quite happy to trade dresses for trousers and confinement for freedom and in the years since, the occasions she’s had since to wear such frippery were few and each heartily despised.

But it was more than the mere fact that clothing was uncomfortable, it was dangerous. The gown was heavy and far too long should she need to run, and she could barely breathe in such a tight bodice — though she congratulated herself on her own firm refusal to wear the whale-bone corset Joona provided — and more importantly, there was no place to conceal her weapons in a garment such as this. She felt the loss of her array of array of hidden blades usually latched to wrist, thigh, ankle, and stomach, as well as the elegant promise of her rapier on her hips, and the blunt surety of the pair of pistols strapped to her belt. Were it not Joona’s own gown, Ratha would have cut slits into the skirts and other strategic places to hide her smaller weapons before emerging from her room, but as the dress belonged to her friend, she resisted the temptation. In the end, Ratha was forced to comfort herself with the knowledge that she was not completely defenseless. The smallest of her knives rested securely between her breasts and the pins securing her dark chestnut hair were sharp enough to inflict damage, were she inclined to, as well as the small pistol strapped to her right calf, and the longer sheathed knife on her left.

Perhaps it was foolish to worry so in the home of her trusted friends, but Ratha James was an outlaw in this land, and Amalee Richards an escaped prisoner. Should she be taken as either it would surely mean her death. These gowns were lush, extravagant creations of exquisite, otherworldly beautiful art, but there was no damned, beautiful dress worth her life.

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Eleven

If you need a refresher course on the Ratha James series here on Moonstonemaiden, go ahead and click here to catch up on all the piratical adventures of this amazing woman and her steadfast friends!

Image From Google.

Image From Google. All Right’s Belong To Artist.

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Eleven

Suddenly Amalee was exhausted. The turmoil, fear, and abuse of the past months bore down on her all at once and she sunk leadenly into the plush cobalt armchair, closing her heavy, dark eyes.

“We had heard about Maddie,” Joona admitted hesitantly after a few silent minutes. The shock of the evening left her voice thready and strained and even with the light of a cheery fire haloing her, there were dark circles beneath St. Clare’s eyes that had not there a few hours before. “Months ago. You and I knew, after the horror of that sickness, that her chances of bearing children were slim, and it has long been my fear that it indeed left her barren. But I so hoped…she’s so healthy now, I thought maybe in time, her body would continue to heal. No one deserves a child more than she, and she’s always wanted a babe so desperately…” Joona stopped, unable to say more until the clenching sob in her constricting throat subsided. “I knew she would take the news badly so I wrote to her, inviting her to stay awhile here with us. I thought the sight and smell of the sea might restore her. Maddie so loves the sea.”

“Eric and I even called on their home in London when the letters went unanswered but Robert dismissed us at the door without so much as inviting us in to speak of her. He said Maddie was indisposed, desolate, and wished to be left to herself for a time. He looked so wretched, I felt so poorly for them. I wanted to see her, but how could I know he was keeping her from us? What if, in her grief, she truly did not wish to see me? To intrude at such a time, I feared losing her, especially after you… I thought…”

“You thought I abandoned you,” Amalee breathed, her voice barely a whisper. There was so much pain, and she was so weary, but she mustn’t sleep, not yet. It was not safe.

“I’m so sorry, please forgive me! Joona cried, unable to hold back her tears any longer. After fearing for her friends for months and now seeing her fears confirmed she was close to breaking. “I should have known that you would…that you would never…But I missed you and you never wrote me and I did not know what to think! I worried of course, but also feared you no longer desired my friendship now that we were here on English soil, where you have risen so high. But this,” she said, touching the blackish bruise on Amalee’s cheek with soft, careful fingers. “I could never have imagined this.”

“Of course not you foolish thing, there was no way for you to know,” Amalee reminded her weeping friend affectionately, but sternly. “This is not your fault Joona. Nor is it Eric’s. I saw the blame in his eyes before and I see it in yours now and I forbid it. You found your happiness together as man and wife and I refuse to let anyone cause you to regret it.”

“We were going to find you,” Joona confessed, dropping her face into her slender hands and taking a shuddering breath. “After a few months with no word, we knew something must be done. Eric was gong to leave right away but I…” she laid a land on her swollen stomach as a new wave of silent tears slipped down her cheeks. “I discovered I was with child. For months I was horridly sick and I was so frightened, for the baby, for myself. I wanted Eric with me and he stayed. But now, I wish I had left him go. He would have found you. He would have never given up.”

Amalee took her friend’s hand, feeling the chill of the pale skin, and squeezed it tightly. “You needed him here Joona. Eric’s place is here.”

“But if I had been as brave as you,” Joona whispered, her sharp green eyes taking in every bruise, both faded and fresh, on her friend’s beautiful face. “Perhaps he’d have found you before…”

Amalee shook her heavy head minutely, bringing Joona’s words to a halt. “He hit me the first day we stepped off the ship,” she said quietly, her voice touched with sadness, regret, and anger at the madness of it all, at being delivered into the hands of a monster. “Before the carriage left the dock. You couldn’t have stopped him Joona. No one could have.”

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Ten

*St. Clare Manor* Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artists.

*St. Clare Manor*
Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artists.

The Adventures of Ratha James Part Ten

It was then that Eric St. Clare entered the little sitting room bearing a tray laden with hot tea and little sandwiches. Neither his countenance or movement betrayed any modicum of distress as he made his way into the room and sat the tray on a low table before his womenfolk, but Amalee saw the aching pain in his carefully schooled gaze as he took in her wasted form. He said nothing, but handed her a cup of steaming tea with a hand that shook only slightly. She thanked him with a wordless nod, which he returned solemnly. She did not know how to begin again, how to say what must be said and neither did he, but the love in his eyes was enough for now. But his stoicism shattered completely upon seeing the tears still shimmering in Madeline’s wide corn-flower eyes.

Without a moment’s hesitation Eric strode to where Maddie sat, pulled her to her feet, and wrapped her in his strong arms. He whispered to her softly, cradling her to his chest as he ran a hand through her hair soothingly, and she allowed herself to finally give way to the barrage of tears that had been choking her for so long. She convulsed with the force of her grief as the terror, disgust, and disbelief flooded over her anew. In that moment, she would have surely broken were it not for Eric’s arms around her, lending her his strength.

With his back to his wife, only Amalee was witness to the anguish tearing across his handsome features. He bore the look of a brother broken by grief, but determined to be strong for his sisters. His eyes found hers and she knew he longed to pull her into the embrace as well, to wrest away her sadness and wrap her in the love they all bore one another, but understood somehow that this was not what Amalee wanted or needed just yet. But still, there was an intensity in Eric’s eyes that left Amalee certain that he would blame himself always for the hurt and damage done to his wife’s friends, to the women he considered his sisters. She shook her head almost imperceptibly. No, she thought, willing him to hear her. You protected Joona. She was yours to protect.

He closed his glassy sea-blue eyes and took a deep, steadying breath. His hand still stroked Maddie’s golden hair soothingly, and when he again opened his eyes, he appeared calmer, more in charge of his turbulent emotions. Amalee hoped he somehow understood her. She would not have his soul scarred by this tragic turn of events.

“I just,” Maddie sniffled, feeling truly safe for the first time in so many months. “I could not…”

“Ah Love, I know. I know,” Eric murmured, shifting so that he could see his wife’s face. He motioned towards the floor above them and Joona nodded with a loving smile. “You are exhausted Madeline, you should rest awhile. I’ve a room with a delightful view of the ships,” he said, leading her from the sitting room towards a long, elegant staircase. Amalee watched them depart, Maddie’s soft form supported by Eric’s resilient one, and wished her friend a restful, undreaming sleep.

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Nine

*St. Clare Manor* Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artists.

*St. Clare Manor*
Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artists.

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Nine

The room fell silent for a moment as each woman struggled with her own heartbreak. Seeing Joona’s swollen stomach unleashed a torrent of fresh hatred in Amalee’s heart for the monster she had wed. If not for Derek’s brutal lusts, she too would be carrying her first child by now. He had stolen much from her in the months since their wedding, but sitting in this quiet from with her friends so near, Amalee felt the depth of the injustice anew. But as powerful as her hate was, it was tinged with a strange sort of relief as well. With no child, there was nothing linking her to Derek but a name, unpleasant perhaps but remedied easily enough with a lie. Perhaps it was best the only thing she took from her marriage was herself. Thinking back to the wrenching fear and perils of just the last few days of flight, she blanched whiter than snow. Escaping with a child, even one unborn would have been nearly impossible, she may not have made it — though she would have perished trying, to save the child if not herself.

With a war of emotions blazing across her face, she looked up to find Joona’s sharp green gaze upon her, taking in her tattered, dirt-streaked appearance with a calm that only St. Clare possessed among them. Amalee flushed a heated scarlet to be seen in such a disgraceful manner in her friend’s elegant home, but there was no judgment in Joona’s gaze, only love, and a readiness to do what must be done. It was when her eyes moved to Maddie that Amalee saw them widen with suppressed tears.

Oh Maddie…my poor Maddie.

Cursing herself as a fool for thinking only of her own woes, she turned and felt her heart splinter at the sight of such longing and grief as was etched into Maddie’s lovely face.  If ever a woman deserved a child to love and raise in happiness, it was Madeline…fate had been cruel indeed to take this possibility from her.

As one, Amalee and Joona silently rose and went and knelt by their friend, wrapping her into a tight embrace that spoke of more love than words could ever hope to.  For several long minutes the three women held one another safe, Joona with the fierceness of a fledgling mother, Madeline with the tender hope of an innocent soul, and Amalee with the raw determination of a survivor.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Are you new to the Ratha James story or just feel like you need a refresher to catch back up, just click here and read to your heart’s content my lovelies 😀

Once Upon a Time Moments: Season Two

Hello my lovelies! Yesterday I posted my favorite moments from Season One of Once Upon a Time and today I have for you my favorites from Season Two! So let’s get started shall we 😀

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

Moonstonemaiden’s Favorite OUAT Season Two Moments:

1) When Snow leapt after Emma- It’s episode one again and already I am crying…again. Seriously. From the moment two minutes in when Snow looked at her daughter with so much love and proclaimed “You found us!” to this, when she refuses to lose her child again, I’m pretty much curled up on the couch whimpering. THE LOVE!!!

All Rights Belong To Artist.

All Rights Belong To Artist.

2) When Regina let Daniel Go- She just wanted her true love to live… just maybe not in writhing pain as a Jekyll and Hyde type thing, but still…poor Regina. I know it broke her heart to let him go after all this time and to finally accept that they would never be together.

3) When Downton met Storybrooke- Mrs. Patmore is in Storybrooke! I probably got too excited by this, but my two favorite shows just merged together for one (heartbreaking) episode and I totally loved it ❤ (Maybe this is where Matthew and Sybil went after all… they’re not really dead, just cursed!)

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

4) When we met Snow’s mother- What are the odds that the same episode as the Downton-crossover there’s an equally awesome Bold and the Beautiful-crossover?! I mean how much awesomeness can this one episode contain? It took me about five seconds to figure out that the sweet, smiling Queen Eva was in fact, the scheming, nutty, and all around Queen of Soap Darkness Quinn Fuller! Personally I love Quinn, she’s just that crazy that she’s freaking great and now I know she can be a beacon of light and kindness… you know, if she wanted to 😉

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

5) When Belle was shot and fell over the town line- I pretty much screamed and fell off the couch here. I mean the whole time she and Rumple are hugging that line I was nervous and just as I went to say so out loud, the gunshot rang out and I freaked! THEY JUST FOUND ONE ANOTHER AFTER 28 YEARS (and however long she was locked away in that tower) AND NOW SHE HAS NO MEMORY OF HIM!!! AHHHHH!!!!! What the heck?!!! Yeah, the whole house pretty much erupted into righteous, freaked-out confusion here. It was a real The Shit Hath Hit-ith The Fan moment.  Not to mention we now had to deal with Lacey instead of Belle.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

6) When Belle broke the teacup- I mean I know she just lost her memory, almost got run over by a car, got shot by a pissed-off pirate, and saw a strange but handsome man heal her with magic before throwing a ball of flames at someone, but still… There was no need to throw Chip at a hospital wall and small him into pieces. None. And it nearly broke Rumple’s heart. Just saying.

7) When Bae met Henry- I called Bae’s true identity and the fact that he was Henry’s father way earlier, so I was thrilled to watch as not only Emma and Bae (now known as Neal) found one another after ten years apart, but as Bae discovered he had a son and Henry learned the truth, that his dad was alive! I never blamed Emma for lying to Henry because all she knew was that his father got her sent to prison and abandoned her, but it was such a happy moment to see them thrown together again and know that soon the truth was going to come out. And you just know Bae is going to be one Helluva dad!

Clip From Google. All Rights Belong To Owner.

Clip From Google. All Rights Belong To Owner.

8) When Rumple called Belle on his deathbed- Rumple is dying and Belle still has no memory of him, but that doesn’t stop him from reaching out to her, his one true love, when he knows the end is near. That phone call is beautiful, heartfelt, gloriousness. She was his hero, she loved him, she made him want to be better, even in his last minutes he worried about Belle more than himself and wanted her to know who she really was, so she wouldn’t be afraid anymore. Please excuse me as I go cry in a corner somewhere…

9) When Emma had to go make tacos- I nearly peed on myself when Emma and Henry walked in on Snow and Charming “resting”. The horrified look on Emma’s face was perfect as was her declaration that she had to go make tacos (and try to sear the image out of her head)! As Charming said “It’s impressive that we can still provide her with a few traumatic childhood memories at this stage of the game.”

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

10) When Snow felt Regina’s pain- They have a complicated step-mother/daughter & bestie/enemy relationship but I love it. So when Snow linked herself to Regina so they could find her and then felt the torture Regina was enduring, it was just heartbreaking.  Come one ladies, put your differences aside and admit your best-friendship! Friends don’t let friends get tortured!

11) When Emma told Bae she loved him- I KNEW IT! I hated Bae’s fiancé Tamara (with good reason it turns out) and really like Hook flirting shamelessly with Emma, but I really wanted to see these two admit their true feelings for one another. I love Hook and Emma but I equally love Bae and Emma and really, these two just have something that needed to be acknowledged, whatever happens. All the pain of the past aside, there is real love here, and it took a heck of a lot for Emma to admit it.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

12) Hook!!!- Killian Jones aka Hook arrives on the scene and my mind nearly explodes. He is part dashing rouge and part unexpected hero wrapped up into one sexy, leather-clad pirate captain complete with wit, sarcasm, flirtatiousness, and smoldering looks that make one blush just watching the show. Seriously…I mean really, Emma has all the luck.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

Oh, and I have to add this one in here because it can’t be left off (even though I forgot it momentarily)…

13) When Snow was “waking up”- She reentered her cursed sleep world to find a way for her and Emma to get back home to Charming and Henry and discovered that her husband had come to find her, but that meant falling under a sleeping curse himself! It nearly destroyed her to realize she was waking up and would have to leave him in that burning room of fire, alone and lost to her until she and Emma found a way back to Storybrooke and she broke his curse with true love’s kiss. The complete and utter despair in her voice as she said “I’m waking up,” broke my heart right along with hers and I had to remind myself that they will find one another… that they will always find one another!

Clip From Google. All Rights Belong To Owners.

Clip From Google. All Rights Belong To Owners.

So what do you think my lovelies, do you agree with my list? Did I leave any of your favorite moments out? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out my favorite Season One moments (the link’s at the top) and look out for my Season Three moments! Also check out my latest short story The Water Maiden and let me know what you think! 😀

The Adventures of Ratha James Part Six

*Warning* As I said before, this segment and the previous one are very dark. The imagery is violent and disturbing but I think it is vital to understand how dark and terrifying Ratha and Maddie’s lives were before they became the women they are the for remainder of the story. This darkness shapes them, strengthens them, and ultimately pursues them, so I don’t want to water it down, although I admit, it is pretty much the darkest thing I’ve ever written.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Adventures of Ratha James Part Six

Amalee was kept from Madeline during those last horrible months, though in truth she had rarely been allowed to call upon her friend since their arrival in London. While Maddie drifted further inside herself, desperate for relief, she never thought that her dearest Amalee was doing the same. And indeed Ratha was. From the first moment Derek Richard’s entered her life he seemed hell bent on controlling it. He had not smiled at her when she approached on the dock, nor did he promise her a life of comfort and joy, but ordered her into the grand carriage he had waiting with an air of haughty dissatisfaction and impatience. When she was not fast enough in arranging her voluminous skirts inside the coach, Derek climbed in, purposefully treading on her gown hard enough to rend the material. Amalee had gulped, frightened of being alone with this arrogant man who so easy and callously destroyed something that undoubtedly cost him a fortune. Tiny diamonds that had been painfully hand-sewn into the gilded skirt skittered around the floor beneath his feet. When asked if she was as incompetent as she seemed Amalee tried to reply that her nerves caused her hands to slow, she apologized about the dress and reached downward to gather the torn material, suggesting that she could sew it fine enough that no one would ever see the tear.

With her face downward she did not see the blow until it sent her reeling. Her neck snapped back painfully as her head struck the carriage wall; with an insuppressible whimper, she clutched the side of her face where his hand had marred her beautiful skin. “I did not pay for an Irish seamstress,” he sneered without so much as a care for his intended bride’s pain. And bought her he had, in every way she belonged to him. Amalee knew that her father’s wealth had been greatly depleted over his lifetime and that it was her beauty, not her heritage that had secured this marriage to such a wealthy English gentleman. He had bought and paid for her months before she arrived, even commissioning her wedding trousseau without so much as asking her opinion of color, cut or fabric. Since she had no other choice but to accept his “gifts”, Amalee had told herself that what Lord Richard’s did was only for her betterment, that perhaps he was not much in the company of women and did not know that certain things were usually handled by females. She had not known then that she lied to herself, but within moments of entering the massive black and grey coach, Ratha knew that whatever Lord Richard’s did, he did for his own enjoyment and pleasure, not out of any misguided kindness to her.

Secluded in a house filled with servants too afraid of their master to even think of helping their new mistress, Amalee prepared herself for her wedding day, taking great care to artfully conceal the black welt that covered her cheek. It was a skill she soon mastered. It seemed nothing she did was right nor could ever be good enough to deem some sort of mercy from her new husband; Derek was a demanding man, he expected perfection but changed his definition of it on a whim. To punish her for being the embarrassment of the Richard’s house, Derek took away her friends, took away any and all people who lived outside the great house. He confined her to certain rooms which he visited often to abuse her with his fists, his voice and his lusts; disgracing her by taking her violently outside the marriage bed. When his desire rose, which it did often, Derek did not care where he found Amalee; he forced himself inside her, beating her until his pleasure was spent. Her life reduced itself until she was nothing more than an ever fearful ball of shaking nerves, waiting for the next time to come and for her life to fade with it.

She miscarried twice within seven months, earning her the worst beating she had ever had in her life. A doctor was summoned to inspect her since Derek had heard that one of the other Irish sluts had been found to be unfertile. The physician poked and prodded her in places that made her blush beneath her bruises; she hated him as much as she hated Derek in that moment but yet hoped that he would take pity on her and tell someone of her abuse that they might intervene. Derek watched impatiently as the man worked over his naked wife, Amalee knew what would happen when the doctor took his leave, she could see Derek’s stirring from where she lay. When finally the man proclaimed the examination over, she held her breath, would he help her?

“She’ll never carry a child full term if you don’t ease your fists upon her,” the graying physician muttered unsympathetically. Amalee’s heart rose but fell, shattering and breaking before she could even feel a tinge of relief. “Bed her often, spent yourself that way but you must ease your punishments if you wish an heir. If she is obstinate, dose her with the opiate I have here and she will loosen up quickly enough. Women of her particular beauty inspire men’s darker, more primal urges, it’s understandable but a good long ride every few hours should help you both.”

And so Amalee Ratha Richard’s knew nothing outside the bitter taste of the opiate as it was poured down her throat at regular intervals though she had long ago given up struggling, and the feel of her insatiable husband spearing inside her with an urgency that was never absent for long. She drifted helpless and lost inside a black cloud of pain and sex and poison, too spent to even rise from her bed during the brief intervals that her husband left her alone. Once, after he was finished, Derek left the bottle containing the opium sitting atop the table beside her, it took her nearly half an hour to summon the strength to reach for it, uncork it and down the remainder of the entire glass cylinder. She hoped it would be enough to dispatch her to the land after this but when she awoke, it was not in heaven she found herself but beneath her husband’s bucking form.

There came a day when Derek was summoned to handle some business in the north that could not be put off; he would be gone for a week he told her. One week and he would leave in the morning, so tonight he would use her enough to ensure that this week did not disrupt his effort to forge an heir. She was bloody, bruised and well past screaming when Derek’s carriage pulled out of the gatehouse. She lay, unable to move for hours until she realized that perhaps this was her opportunity to escape the hell she’d been sold into. Scrubbing at her broken body with a scrape of a torn dress and some water she found still clinging to the inside of an overturned pitcher, she scrapped as much blood, sex and Derek off of her as she could before looking for something to cover herself with. Luckily the floor was littered with discarded clothing. Amalee hide her bruises under a tunic, long pants that she had to belt with a stripe of cloth torn from another tunic and boots that were far too big. She hid her hair beneath a soft cap of black velvet, and glanced around the room.

There was nothing of value here that she could take; Derek had never given her any trinkets or coin beyond the blood-ruby wedding band that she now slipped from her thin finger. Without a glance she threw it atop the bed and made for the window. It would be locked but the servants would be expecting her to try the door she was sure. Her room was on the second floor, a long drop but even death would be better than Derek’s return.

Wrapping the heavy pitcher inside one of the bed sheets, Amalee swung at the glass panes and was rewarded with the sound of shattering glass and thick porcelain. She didn’t wait to hear if an alert had been given at her attempted escape but all but threw herself out of the opening. She landed on her back with a sharp painful hiss, writhed upwards but forced herself to get to her feet, which she did. Blind of her destination other that out, Amalee ran, not bothering to wonder why she heard no footsteps behind her. It wasn’t until years later that she wondered if the servants had let her go, had given her a chance at life. When finally she slowed long enough to gather from her meager memory where she was and to think of where she thought Maddie’s house was again, she resolved to find her friend and beg for help.

 

The Adventures of Ratha James Part Five

*Warning* As I said earlier this week, the next few segments of this story get very dark but after that the fun of the story will pick back up and the adventure will really begin.

This one reminds me of Maddie! Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

This one reminds me of Maddie! Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Adventures of Ratha James Part Five

And so they were three Irish brides for three English lords. Each prayed for the joy that only a good marriage could bring: love, respectability, family, and children. But sadly, for two of them it was not to be.

For Maddie the illusion lasted mere months. She was happy enough, though somewhat anxious with her new husband who seemed to speak over her head at every turn, spinning conversations into things she did not intend them to be. Robert was a hard-worker and the Gamsley’s were known to never need fear a shortage of money for the tea industry was booming and it seemed things could only go up. As lady of the house, Maddie threw elegant dinners that people spoke of for weeks after, entertaining his business partners and friends with her natural grace and happy nature. It was said the young Lady Gamsley did her husband a great service and it was obvious that the two were deeply in love, why the Lady was always in new gowns and bearing some of the finest crafted, exquisite jewelry that London had ever seen. Surely such a fine man visited his blushing bride’s bedchamber every night; it would not be long until there was a little Gamsley heir to fawn over. Lady Gamsley was young, in good health and Robert seemed such a vigorous, thorough man; it was only a matter of time before Madeline would do her duty and fulfill her part of the marriage contact.

But no child came.

They had long feared that the illness Madeline had contracted as a child would prevent her from bearing children. The wasting sickness had nearly claimed her life but not unkind, fate let her live, though in place of her life it claimed those of her future children that could have been born. Madeline was distraught to discover that her body would never quicken with the life of a child, she so wanted a baby to hold to her breast, to love and protect. Maddie was beside herself, but her husband too felt the loss of something he was promised and Robert did not like to be duped or played a fool. The wife he had bought and provided for but it was the children he wanted, a son to create in the image of himself.

Cheated of an heir to strengthen his family, Lord Robert quickly found other ways to recoup his losses on a barren wife. More dinners were demanded, but instead of the new friends that Maddie had grown accustomed to, a new crowd – all unfamiliar men – descended upon the Gamsley house. A depressed Maddie soon found her presence required whenever her husband met with these new potential business associates, and instead of her beautiful wardrobe, she was restricted to only two or three dresses that left her scandalously indecent. It was not long before Robert began trading his wife for business favors. Maddie found that she had no defense against her husband when he came for her with gentlemen in the dark of night. Though she fought, she was helpless as they ravished her, sometimes brutally, while Robert slept peacefully in another room or sometimes stayed to help hold her. Since there was no threat of a false child taking his name, Robert took his money’s worth from his wife in the only logical way he could think of: by selling his wife’s body.

The Adventures of Ratha James Part Four

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

The Adventures of Ratha James Part Four

The crew of the Raven’s Wing was completely comprised of women; no man was allowed to set foot aboard her, not even to keep her from sinking. Most of the women were runaways, orphans, poor, but some were ladies of English society who had given up their fine titles and jewels because of abuse or mistreatment at the hands of their fathers, husbands, brothers or others. All those who boarded the Raven’s Wing, boarded as equals; there was no discrimination of rank allowed other than that of Ratha’s officers. Traveling home was a cause of joy but it was also dangerous, should the women fall foul of their old tormentors or the crown. “Be safe, all of you. Should you need me or become separated and cannot return, give the signal and I will come.” The women nodded solemnly at her, they knew she would find them, return any one of them that was stolen from her. It had happened before, they all prayed it never happened again. “The rest of you, let’s move. St. Clare, if you would be so kind to lead the way.”

 

Amalee had only been in this chamber once but still, everything was as she remembered it: the massive, white bed, the cream colored desk and chair, the scarlet drapes, framing the view of the sea, of the ship that was now hers. It had not been hers the last time she was in this chamber, not yet anyway. It had been night then, pitch black outside, with no moon to shine down on the two runaways as they raced to their friend to beg her to join them, to leave this awful place. They had run to her for help, they had run for their lives and now six years later Ratha was back inside the chamber that St. Clare had led her to that night. She wondered if Maddie was feeling the same in her chambers next door, did she feel this confliction of joy and sadness, of hope and hopelessness, of love and fear.

They were eighteen when their fathers sent them to England to be wed. It was a heady journey across the channel, filled with anxious joy and nervous excitement. When finally, they arrived the three dressed in their finest and fixed one another’s hair as best as they could before stepping onto the dock where their future husbands waited. They had known Eric St. Clare their whole lives and had known since early childhood that he was intended for Joona. In their youth they had had even nick-named her St. Clare, a name Eric found amusing and when he met them on the dock, he embraced all three of them like sisters. But though he loved them, he had eyes only for Joona, who sparkled in a fine, pale lavender that accented her fiery red hair and softened her watchful green eyes.

Madeline’s intended was a southern gentleman who made his fortune in tea leaves, which he imported from India and China. Lord Robert Gamsley was a fair-haired grey-eyed man with an unsettling smile and a slick countenance. Maddie had dressed in her nicest blue silk and a halo had shown around her golden head as she stepped forward to greet the man who would give her his name but would take much more from her. He kissed her hand and drew her away with sweet promises of the years to come.

But it was Amalee’s husband who drew every female eye; he was breath-taking in a way that left women shaking. With his dark chestnut hair slicked back framing his strong, marble chiseled face, dark arrogant eyes and a cruel, perfect lip, Lord Derek Richards was a lion amid lambs. And what’s more, he knew it. Derek had shown like a godling in his austere blacks when Amalee approached, a hesitant smile twitching on her nervous lips. Instantly she knew he approved of her golden dress that highlighted the gold flecks in her eyes and hair and curved dangerously low over her high, full breasts. The cut of the dress had not been to Amalee’s taste but her new husband had commissioned the gown and so she tried to wear it proudly.

 

Part One

Part Two

Part Three