Laffite found her note while rearranging his pillows looking for the cause of the jasmine scent working havoc with his desire. He drank too much wine and stayed talking to his men too late. The dinner itself was strained as his men were trying to ignore the recent goose chase on which they had been led.
They were weeks in the Atlantic before they realized there was no English merchant ship carrying gold bullion into the Carolinas. Lafitte excused it as bad timing… they had missed the ship or possibly it had passed un-notice in the fog one night. Lafitte knew though… he knew he had been duped and by whom. The man who told him of the ship was a good man and not up for mischief, otherwise Lafitte would never have sailed into the unfortunate lie. Sadly, Lafitte discovered after the fact, the man was told by a very worthy source in Port-au-Prince. A merchant Captain with an outstanding reputation had not realized he was talking to one of Laffite’s men when he stupidly let the news drop about the gold. He was the Captain of Le Celestine. The Captain was very distraught and swore the man to secrecy when he realized his ‘mistake’ in talking out of school.
That son of a bitch, muttered Laffite to himself. Dubois may get the rooster out of his henhouse, but he couldn’t get the rooster out of her head that easily. Then insult to injury, he found she was in his very bed and his men had not seen or heard her come or go. She left her scent on his pillow, and it spoke volumes, that would have to be enough for now. He opened the note:
My husband is home and I find I will be too busy pleasuring him every day, and every evening to visit with you.
Our time was nice and you were kind to keep me from boredom, but I have my man now.
Mme. Captain Maurice Dubois.
She was bloody magnificent. He would have trouble sleeping for days.
Between the two of them, he should give up, but it is not over until someone’s dead and he had plenty of time. He would not tweak the captain again, he had met his match and it could cost him his lively hood and the respect of his crew. Captain Dubois’ wife, however… well… he would wait… her coming into his world alone and pressing her face to his pillow was not something a woman did out of anger, no matter how much she tried to convince herself. She could tell herself whatever she wanted, but he knew her better than she knew herself. He had loved, angered and placated his fair share of women, and she was one of the best.
He was home a week when he ran into Captain Dubois in a saloon on rue Royalle-Bourbon. They were standing at either end of the long bar and neither knew the other was there until the patrons standing between left.
“Captain Laffite.” Maurice acknowledged the man. Several customers witnessed the exchange and rushed from the bar. The whole town knew the rumors of the handsome pirate and Dubois’s beautiful wife.
“Captain Dubois.” Laffite did not like awkward moments in his life, he lived an organized existence and planned his every move. It was one of the reasons he could run his illegal businesses and not be caught and jailed… except for once, and he felt that was political.
“How do you find our weather, sir?” Maurice would play with him a while, the news would get back to his wife before he returned home, so he wanted to give the messengers time.
“It’s a bit too warm for me, Captain. May I buy you a cool drink?” He would be careful here. He never confronted a powerful husband, most of his bedroom adversaries were milksops who could not or would not keep tabs on their wives, or powerful husbands it amused the pirate to make a cuckold. He had no intentions of getting into hand to hand combat with this man as he was powerful, but had no intentions of being a cuckold.
“No, thank you, I’m wanted home to… dinner… with my wife. Maybe another time, sir?”
“Of course.” Laffite picked up his hat.
“Yes.” He stopped to turn back to the pirate. It was all he could do not to ram his fist into the man’s face.
“Are we even, then?”
“I’ve no idea what you mean, sir.” His smiling blue eyes said he did indeed know what he meant. Maurice certainly was not going to admit to the Terror of the Gulf that he had put the man’s ship in harm’s way to keep him out of his wife’s bed. That was so revealing on so many levels, it was ridiculous.
Laffite had never envied a man as much as he envied this pompous ass, and he did not like the feeling. It was not over until a death. Laffite could wait. He was much younger than Dubois.
Maurice loved taking Celestine and little Philippe for walks around the city. They would visit all the shops and buy things they needed, with Maurice introducing his son with the pride of all new papas. He never told his wife, but these outings were his statement to Jean Laffite that the Dubois family would never buy the contraband products of a pirate. His money would only go to the New Orleans’ businessmen’s purses.
These were some of the dearest days for Celestine. It became their custom when he was in port, to do their afternoon shopping and visit with people on the street. Maurice carried Philippe until he got so big, he insisted on walking. Exchanging news and gossip with neighbors and friends was a delight for her husband after spending long months at sea. He was known as a loving husband and the perfect family man with a beautiful wife and an adorable little boy.
My dear readers, I hope you have enjoyed the first 16 chapters of Celestine. Please continue reading this novel by going to www.Amazon.com and order either the paperback or a kindle, ebook version.
There are many are seventeen more chapters full of Celestine, Maurice, Jean Lafitte and her growing family of misfits in the big house on rue du Maine
Thank you for following my blog. Once you've had time to finish Celestine, I will post many chapters of "The Hornet Slayer". The second book in the series.