Bartz found himself down at the docks and at the side of Faris' ship. He had come down as a favor to the High Chancellor's begging that he 'persuade the Princess Sarisa to leave off playing pirates and come fulfill her royal duties'. Of course he would never say those direct words to Faris. Her sister, Lenna, gave him much better ones to say.
"Tell Faris her sister misses her and that when she is free, could she please visit the castle again?" Lenna said with a sad smile. She loved her sister very much and wanted her to do whatever made her happy, but after finally finding her again, she did miss when Faris was not around.
Bartz had to admit that he missed Faris as well. Ever since he had first met the pirate captain, there was something alluring about Faris. Her wit was sharp, she was a strong fighter, faithful to her friends and a beauty no matter what clothes she wore.
As he approached the plank to board Faris' ship, she spotted him and leaned over the railing, waving to him and laughing.
"Bartz! A pleasant surprise to be sure! Is it business or pleasure that brings you to my ship today?"
"A bit of both," Bartz shouted up to her. "Permission to board?"
"Permission granted!" She walked over to greet him as he walked up the plank. She pulled him into a familiar hug and led him into her personal cabin.
As soon as the door was shut, Faris began her questioning. "So, I'm guessing my sweet sister sent you here? But no, if she wanted to visit she would have come on her own. Perhaps the good chancellor is demanding to see more of Princess Sarisa?"
"Lenna does send her love and want for her sister," Bartz explained, "but yes, Sarisa is being requested to make an appearance as soon as possible."
"Bah! Why would I want to dress up in those feathered dresses like a chocobo when I can wear my captain's coat and boots?" She pulled proudly at the front of her long black coat.
"You really prefer being a pirate to a princess?" Bartz asked.
"Of course! If you knew the life of the pirate you'd understand," she retorted.
"But it's nothing special to be a pirate, is it?" Bartz said, choosing his words poorly. Faris glared at him darkly. "I-I mean, a captain is something special, but--"
"Oho, so you think *you* could be a pirate so easily?"
"Yes, I mean, why not?"
"A pirate gives his all to his captain. Follows his every order without hesitation. Could you do that?"
Faris pulled out her crop from her boot and snapped it in the air producing a loud CRACK.
"Stand at attention sailor!" She commanded. Without thinking, Bartz's body instantly snapped into a rigid line standing as straight as he possibly could.
"Well now, I'm impressed," Faris murmured and Bartz admitted to himself that he a bit surprised as well. He knew he could follow orders, but for his body to react so instantly to Faris' command!
"Bend forward, hands on the desk," was Faris' next command. Bartz once again obeyed in quick fashion, even as his mind registered that this was an odd position for a pirate to take. Unless it was one for punishment? A shiver ran through his body at the thought.
Faris studied him for a moment before taking her crop and running it down from the top of his spine to his waist. As she pulled it away she noticed him shaking slightly and she smiled to herself.
"Now on your knees," she said, her voice softer but still commanding. Bartz fell to his knees as though someone had kicked them out from underneath him. Unsure of how to place his upper body, he chose to keep his back straight but his head respectfully bowed. It suddenly felt so much hotter in the small cabin.
Faris placed her hand on top of Bartz's head. "You did a wonderful job, pirate Bartz," she smiled as she pronounced his new title. She then tilted his chin up to look at her. "You can rise."
The young man could feel himself blushing as he stood on unsteady feet. Faris came in close, her hands on his arms to steady him. "We have to work on your sea legs," she said as she stepped in even closer.
Bartz could feel the shift in mood; this was no longer a game, not something between a captain and a pretend pirate, but something between a man and a woman. He smiled back at her and lifted his hand to cover hers.
"Of course, captain," he teased.
"Just Faris," she replied and pulled him over to her bed.