"Tia Alma! Tia Alma!" screamed a young, tormented child.
If Tia Alma had stayed alive, she wouldn't have forgotten this day. She wouldn't have forgotten her niece's moans of agony—it would haunt her every night in her sleep.
Alma grips the child's arm. Her filthy fingernails almost dig the little girl's flesh, but neither of them cared. All they felt were numbness and pain, and those alone.
One of them had to perish, and Tia Alma knew it'd be her. It had always been her. It would be too early for the young lass' passing when her dear father's wishes haven't been fulfilled.
She manages to raise her palms to touch the lass' cheeks, but her vision was blurry due to tears. "Angelina..."
"The...ruby...your..." Alma gabbles, her heavy breathing making it harder for her to speak. "Ruby...keep...it..."
As Angelina pocketed the ruby stone, she heard heavy footsteps on the main deck. The navy had started to scrutinize the ship in a search for a certain Angelina El Salazar.
Gunshots were fired in the distance. The young girl lay still, arms wrapped around her aunt. Knowing the navy was present on the ship, she painfully kept her sobs as silent as possible.
With whispers that are barely heard, she cries, "Tia Alma! Tia Alma!"
"Get on sight, pirates! Before I decide to set this damned ship on flames!" Commodore Stevenson orders from the main deck.
The navy kept on checking the ship, every corner, every cabin. Even the dust is cleaned out because of them.
A navy officer answers to the commodore, "We've found none, Sire."
"None? Have you no shame? I should kick you all out of the Royal Navy!" Stevenson scolds. He marches up to the railing and beckons the others to prepare the cannons.
"Where's the boy?"
Below the deck in a hidden storage room, Angelina cries silently. A cold-bodied Tia Alma lay on Angelina's lap, and now the lass is just waiting for the cannons to burn them. Even though raised by pirates and criminals, she'd never expected to live only a few years; her father would have been heartbroken. Pained that his only child didn't live a life as long and as splendid as he wanted and his wishes unfulfilled by Angelina.
Hidden treasures and gold were meant and waiting only for his beloved daughter, left by him and his wife who once ruled the sea. If his wife still witnessed his daughter's fate, the oceans would rage for eternity.
Though, fortunately, dying young isn't for the girl.
The wooden plank that protects Angelina from the navy's sight suddenly starts to move. Little light passes through it, almost blinding her. A dagger in hand, she crawls to the wood; and it breaks just in time that she had expected. Angelina swiftly raises her weapon to stab whoever broke the wood but stops abruptly when she witnesses a sight as amusing as she.
Unable to speak, her eyes continued to seek in his evil and lies. But it is only deep sincerity she found within the boy that was across her.
His face is the identity of a British man's son; the blonde in his hair that reached to his neck seemed dry from the rays of the sun. He wore a white, long-sleeved shirt and not a navy man's coat. He was her age; she didn't know of him, but he knew the lass in front of her. "Angelina."
"Don't come near me," Angelina hisses. She points her dagger at him, a position so dangerous, and he was aware of it. With the lad's father training him since he was a toddler, he learned well of weapons and how to use them. Every slash, the quickest of blocks and parries; and choosing the enemy.
Angelina, for him, is not an enemy; and he ought to save her.
"I won't hurt you."
"You are one of them," the lass speaks, her accent leaving traces of Spanish blood. "I will kill you."
Before he can even respond, Angelina's blade makes its way onto his thigh. He was able to stop the dagger from wounding his limb, but still, it was dangerously close. The girl had made it clear to him she is not to bluff.
"God forbid! Have you no ears? I said I'm not an enemy!"
"You said you wouldn't hurt me. But your kind will. You're the commodore's son, aren't you?"
The two share a long stare until Angelina speaks, "Get out, or I will kill you."
"You," he emphasized. "Will get out of this ship with me, or both of us will die an unworthy death."
"How'd you know 'tis not worthy," she retorts. "What are you, fifteen?"
"Sixteen," he responded. His voice is hoarse from whispering. "I bet that I'm older than you."
"I bet you're stupid."
"You're full of pride."
"And you're not?"
"Can you just," he ruffles his hair, his blonde locks falling beneath his eyes. For a moment, Angelina realized that he looked pretty handsome. "Apologies for your...loss."
"You and your men did it," she glares, threatening him with her dagger once again.
He lets out a frustrated sigh before back at Angelina with eyes that speak honesty; eyes that reveal only the purest of intentions.
Suddenly, the commodore's voice boomed above the deck. "Son of a bitch! Where are you, boy!"
Before the lass can let go of a snarky remark, the boy opens a tiny square of wood from the ship's wall. The light passes through the dim space, and they quickly witnessed the shore. And it was entirely of reach even for Angelina and the young lad.
"Just a few swims, and we'll be able to escape. What do you say?" he tells her.
With a defeated look, she looks away as she returns her dagger back to her belt. "I say, stay away from me."
"Yes, you're welcome," he mocks. He sees the lass roll her eyes and crosses her arms. For a moment, despite being surrounded by the navy men, he laughs.
He didn't know if she smiled or not, but he was glad he was of help to her. "Come."
The lad came first, and Angelina followed him into the waters as one of the navy officers discovered their tiny space. Finding no one, yet still searching for the young boy, the navy men were kept busy.
The two have swum their way to the shore, running for their lives the moment they stepped foot on land. They reached a secluded village surrounded by greens.
She looks at him with a dim face, "I'm not grateful."
Placing his hands in his side pockets, he chuckles. A slight smile plastered across his face. "Fine."
She crosses her arms. "So?"
"I think this is where we part," he says in a neutral tone. "Stay hidden from these men, Angelina."
The girl nods, waiting for him to walk away. But when he did, she abruptly grabbed his arm. The lad was surprised for a moment. "You scared me."
"You should be," she glared, but her eyes softened when he returned her longing glance. "Don't look at me like that. Are you head-over-heels?"
"No," he replied. "But that's not impossible. You look exquisite."
A blush crept across her face upon saying that. She rolled her eyes to hide it, but Oliver witnessed it the moment it appeared.
He takes her hand and asks, "Should I address you as Angelina?"
"I don't even know who you are," she mumbled. "And who might you be?"
"Are we going to cross paths again?"
"No, we certainly won't."
"Then I won't tell you my name. Farewell, Angelina."
He starts to walk away when she raises her voice, "Fine! Fine."
"I said fine...we can see each other again."
The handsome lad treads toward her, their faces only inches apart. Being this moment as her first time encountering a boy her age, she couldn't stop feeling those butterflies.
Thankfully, she isn't that smitten for her stunning savior; but indeed, he is captivating, even for her.
Angelina raises an eyebrow, "I wonder how many girls' hearts you've been captured...and played."
He lets out a laugh-a real one. One that she was glad of hearing, whether it's the overflowing joy or just the wonders of his voice. "You'll be the first."
"Well-played," she smirks. "I think we forget something. Your name, boy?"
"Can I call you Angel?" he asks. "Even if you're not like it."
"Not like it? Pardon, but I do look like a heaven-sent angel."
"Your physique and looks, no doubt. But..."
"No idea. Aren't you the spawn of the devil?"
"I asked for a name, and this is what I get," she sighs, but her heart starts to pump harder once more when he lets out another genuine laugh. And this time, he was gazing at her, with that look; with those ocean-blue eyes, again...
"Oliver," he smiles, ever so gently.
"My name is Oliver."