Story: Lauren (chapter 4)

Authors: Skavo

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Chapter 4

Illiana threw the money at him and lead the girl out the door, "Are yeh alright love?"

"yes miss" the girl replied keeping her eyes down, a few strands of shaggy blonde hair fell out from under her bandanna. like the rest of her, her cloths were unwashed and splattered with blood and spilled drinks.

lliana tilted the girl to make her look her in the eyes, "Yer a pretty one, I'll fix yeh up riht"

the girl didn’t fight Illiana's hand she knew her place and the fact that the pirate captain now owned her

"Bu' firs," She held out 10 gold coins to the girl, "Your freedom. Yeh can come wif me, er yeh can go yer way, 'sup trh yer. I ain't gonna force yeh"

"I cant accept this miss" she pushed the coins away "you saved me and I want to go with you" she managed a small smile wincing as her split lip started to bleed again. She was finally going to be able to get away from the tavern and see the world that existed beyond the boundaries of her home town.

"I won't be taken no slaves, yeh come on as me crew or not ah all" Illiana said and handed the girl the coins and taking her by the hand. The girl nodded keeping her eyes low, being the 12th daughter in a family she didn’t have much fight in her what little she had was beaten out of her by the tavern owner. She was cold to the touch another sign of the poor condition she was in.

Illiana took the girl on board and after giving her time for a good scrubbing, gave her some clothes that fit. "Her, this is me favorite dress, yeh can waer it ifn yeh likes" She held out the green dress Grace had given her.

"I cant accept such finery from you miss you have already showed me much kindness" the girl bowed making her dripping white hair fall forward and stick to her face

"There be no need fer the likes o tha' I's no royal. Now come. Sit love" Illiana said, drawing a chair in front of her mirror. She laid the girls hair over her shoulders and began to comb it smooth, "What is your name little one?"

"Lauren miss" her hair was cut down to her chin but it was shaggy and uneven showing it had been done in a hurry

Illiana took a knife from her leg and siad, "First I's not miss. Call me Illiana or capt'n, whic'er yeh prefers" She began to even out the edges of Lauren's hair, "and second, yeh a part of me crew now. Tha means yer family and kind looks after kind. Ya hear?"

"yes captain" Lauren said sitting still so she wouldn’t get cut

"Well, sun see yeh change a bit. Yer family, no need ter be so formal" Illiana finished and bid her stand. Lauren stood up awkwardly, she was tall for her age but seemed to hunch in on herself like a beaten dog the oversized cloths helped add to the illusion of smallness "Come over here love" Illiana said and had her stand next to the wardrobe. "First I needs yeh ter stand up straight" she laughed to herself. Lauren stood to her full height with her hands in the pockets of her trousers. "Tha's be'er" Illiana said, "Now I knows what size yer'r" she bid the girl take off the old raged clothes.

Lauren grudgingly took her cloths off and stood naked before her captain feeling ashamed of her beaten and bruised body. Illiana seeing her discomfort gave her a jacket that came to her knees, "Lemme look 'ere and see wha I can find" she dug through the wardrobe. Lauren put the jacket on feeling a bit more comfortable, she had a pretty muscular build considering she was of noble birth. her back had tell tale whip marks that were still dripping blood in some places. Her face was set it a grim line, standing up fully pulled on the scabs but it was worth it in order to please the one who saved her. Illliana took a pair of plain black breeches and a shirt out of the wardrobe "'Ere love, put the's on." She tossed Lauren the breeches and walked to her drawers and pulled out a corset.

Lauren put the pants on and tied them up, they fit well much to her joy, she wasn’t used to wearing cloths that fit her even when she lived at home. Being the youngest daughter she got all her cloths handed down to her from her older sisters who were much more petite than she was.

Illiana was at her side and showed her the shirt. It was tight fitted in the stomach, but flowed loose with laced up sleeves and bodice. It was laced with red ribbons, "Does yeh like et?"

Lauren shrugged "its better than what I was wearing" still she was skeptical about wearing it, unlike her older sisters she was never into frilly cloths and she figured such things would be impractical for a pirate to wear while at sea.

"Please be careful weth et, twas me mothers" Illiana said tightening the girls corset so the shirt would fit, her hands were gentle seeing that her newest crew member was very jumpy when it came to being touched in an intimate manner.

Lauren shook her head "I cant take it from you if it was your mothers, I'll just wear this until I earn enough to get something better" she started putting on her old shirt she could see from the look on her captain’s face that the shirt had real sentimental value. It was not her place to take such a treasure away from the one who saved her, she wasn’t a thief in any sense of the word.

I's lendin it to yeh, til we can gets yeh some proper ones, please Lauren" Illiana said she could see than this girl had lived a hard life that, was so similar to her own before her dear friend saved her, she hoped that by letting her wear nice cloths again it she would help get her sense of self worth back.

"I'd just ruin it captain" Lauren lowered her head and handed the shirt back to Illiana she was never any good at keeping her cloths nice and she was afraid to risk her captain’s prized shirt. Her father used to beat her when ever she ripped a dress or got even the smallest stain on any of her cloths. He used to always tell her how worthless and ungrateful she was and how she didn’t deserve to ever have nice things, those words rung in her head when she looked at Illiana’s shirt.

"Well, as you captain I order you to wear it" Illiana laughed, she liked this girl, she just needed to open up a little. She could understand why Lauren was wound so tight but she hoped that gentle coaxing would bring the real girl out to replace this subservient one.

Lauren sighed and nodded obediently "yes captain" she mumbled and slipped the shirt on not catching the humor in Illiana's voice. She looked uncomfortable in the shirt and it was too tight in the shoulders and sides even when the lacing was left loose. The tightness around her shoulders made her afraid to lift her arms because the shirt felt like it was about to rip right at the seam.

Illiana laughed and shook her head seeing the look of discomfort on Lauren‘s face. This was going to be a bit more difficult than she originally thought. "Twas a joke luv an it looks to be too small anyhow. Here, lets get it off" she lifted some of the fabric from around the poor girl’s shoulders so she would have room to get her arms out.

Lauren did her best to take the shirt off without ripping it but it was a bit stretched, seeing the stretched fabric her eyes went wide with fear and she tensed as if waiting to be hit. “miss I’m so sorry” her voice sounded choked like someone who was on the verge of tears, the look on her face showed that she was about to cry. Her father’s words kept ringing in her head making her tremble.

'Sall right love, twill be easy nuff to fix" She laid a hand on the girls shoulder after she had put her shirt back on. The girl was so sensitive to any sort of failure it was like she was made of glass and ready to break at any second. "Come, let me show yeh how much differance fitin clothes can make," Illiana slowly lead Lauren to the mirror. "A right beauty ya're" she complemented hoping to put Lauren at ease.

Lauren looked up at the mirror once then looked down shaking her head "my sisters are prettier than me even my father said so". Her sisters all had golden blonde curls and deep sea blue eyes just like her parents, she was always mocked for her white hair her sisters said it made her look like an old crone.

“Yer fathers a fool o a man than, cause yer by far the most beau'iful woman I's e'er seen" Illiana said from behind her, she could see old pain in the girl’s eyes and wondered at its source surely her time at the tavern hadn’t been the only cause. Those dark mint colored eyes pleaded for someone to save them and protect them, Illiana planned to do just that and she cursed the ones who caused the girl such internal torment.

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