He had hit her again, this time for second-guessing him in front of the First Mate, even thought she really hadn't. She had only asked if going around the Cape of Good Hope was a good idea, considering the time of year. But he had taken offense, as he most often would.
She stared down through the ratlines, past the angelic bowsprit, and longed for the ocean to take her somewhere far away from Andre' and far away from this miserable merchant life. She'd be willing to stay at home in Royan and raise children like a good wife, if they had any children. She halfway thought that Andre' brought her along on his trips to shame her, and halfway thought it was to keep her from running off.
Anna certainly would run off, but to where? And with whom? It was no use. The sea life was to be her curse; the sun would bronze her skin in spite of her constant use of parasols on land and generally remaining indoors while at sea. She'd grow old and leathery and then maybe Andre' would decide he'd had enough of her and do away with her for good. It was so loud on the decks of the ship that none of the men would hear her if she cried. They never seemed to hear her when she screamed for help.
A single tear slipped from her chin and splashed onto her hand. She didn't feel it herself with the wind and the spray whipping at her, but the tear rolled off her hand and into the sea. Just below the churning waves, in the ripple of foam that was being plowed up by the schooner, the tear drifted ever lower, never merging with the seawater, to be caught up at last by a moss-covered hand.
Cutlu smiled, her black lips parting to reveal dagger-like teeth. She lifted the human tear and blew it away. If her deal with the man came through, the woman would either throw herself into the sea or be thrown. The man seemed eager to be rid of her so he could have a new woman. Selfish human.
No matter, Cutlu didn't care how the air-breathers treated one another. Soon. Soon the woman would come falling through the waves and the sisters would have a new member of their clan.