D: A, what exactly are you doing?
A: Thinking of words I enjoy . . . like pfeffernusse and penguin.
D: You are a woman of odd affections, A. Penguin?
A: I like how it sounds.
D: . . .
A: I’m editing this week; I need to do something inspiring – something that doesn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.
D: I think that’s cut your heart, A.
A: I’m not quoting movies, D, I’m stating fact. Although Alan Rickman is probably the best part of that movie, I’m not bastardizing his quote.
D: So you need motivation, is that it? Am I not enough for you anymore, A?
A: D, it took me 13 years just to get this far – do you really need to ask that? I think I should give myself a writing challenge – write riffs on words that inspire.
D: That’s a little bit like a tongue twister, A.
A: Even better! It’s weird. I like it. . . Come on, Druid, inspire me!
D: . . .
A: I’ve got it! I could do a riff on one who is perturbed, or disgruntled, given that look. Maybe even supercilious or domineering.
D: . . . I think you should do one on addlepated.
A: Oooh! I like it!
D: I give up.
. . . Grania barked a laugh, “That is quite the plan. Were the man not so hell-bent on destroying our way of life, Bingham might have been someone I’d want to know. As it is, he can rot in Dublin before I’ll allow myself to be drawn into his schemes.”
“I spent nearly two years in a Limerick cell, lad – I’d not be so stupid as to put myself in that position again, nor risk those that follow me. Without guaranteed protections from Her Majesty herself, I will not follow that madman into a trap. It’s unthinkable. I’m a pirate, not a champion. Maureen knew that, and so do you.”
Sean knew this is what she would say, even without knowing Grania had been a prisoner once before. She was right, it would be a reckless and thoughtless gamble to risk the lives of these men in something so foolhardy, and yet. . .
“I do understand that, my lady, and I mean no disrespect,” he began, fighting the numb weightlessness that grabbed at his belly and threatened to snake down his legs. He grabbed the edge of the table and sighed deeply.
“You are a pirate you say, and yet you fight for your native way of life. You are a pirate who commands the respect not only of her followers, but also of her clan and many of her neighbors. You are a pirate who strikes such fear into the hearts of men like Bingham that, in their fear they hatch a plot – worthy of a monster, aye – to snare you.”
Sean shook his head and pushed away from the table. He commanded the room’s attention.
“You are not a pirate, my lady Grania, you are an inspiration; you are that which embodies the spirit of this land, of a people proud, oppressed and rebellious, now and in the centuries to come. Not only that, you are that young woman’s kinswoman, whether by blood or the tenacity and spirit that marks you both – and you know it, I know you do,” Sean gave Grania a piercing look; she did not deny his accusation and he nodded. “I know, because I am her only companion and now it falls to me to be her protector too – she, who always shielded me, needs me.
“It would be unthinkable for me to not ask your help, and furthermore, unthinkable for me not to follow her captors, regardless of your answer. You owe me nothing, and your refusal will not be looked upon as poor hospitality, but I will ask you none-the-less. Help me get Maureen back. . .”