Disclaimer: Baloo, Rebecca Cunningham, Don Karnage, Kit Cloudkicker, Molly Cunningham and WildCat are (c)1990/1991 Walt Disney Company and are being used without premission. The writer has made sure that all material represented here is not used for profit and is used with the upmost respect to Disney and the Tale Spin team. All other characters are the property of the writer.
It had been a couple weeks since the truth came about Karnage's past. He was having a good time learning about the adventures him and Alexandra took as children. Like the time they were playing in an old decaying barn miles from their home when it caught on fire while they were in it. Alexandra said 'go figure' about the barn catching on fire. It only would happen to the two of them. She described her and Karnage as two misfits without a cause. They mostly spend time together alone in now their secret sanctuary away from the other pirates who had having seen their captain have a woman they wanted one too. Karnage order that no women except Alexandra are allowed on Pirate Island, but the crew could go out and do what ever they wanted on their own time.
Alexandra had traveled to Cape Suzette in disguise to retrieve her most precious belongings out of storage. Some were pictures of her and Xavier a.k.a. Don Karnage when they were younger.
"I do not understand you , Alex. You are such a proper lady, but you are so adventurous at the same time."
"My properness comes from my parents and studying ballet almost all my life. My adventurous side comes from my birth father."
"What was your birth father?"
"He was a treasure hunter to say the least. His plane went down before I was born."
"That's so sad, Alex."
"It is, but at least I didn't have a father for long. My step-dad adopted me when I was four and he became my dad. A controlling and over protective dad. But, one anyway. Unlike you. You never had a father. Only your mother was there."
"What was my mother like?"
"She was such a respectable lady. She taught you to treat women with the utt most respect and treat men the same way you would want to be treated. She was a great mother to you. I wish she was still alive."
"When did she die?"
"Not long after you disappeared. She died of a broken heart. You were her life. The only reason she lived was because of you. I guess she couldn't handle the lose."
Alexandra pulled a small photo album from her bag, and turned to a certain picture. Karnage leaned over her shoulder.
In the black and white picture stood a tall, fine looking lady wolf smiling wearing a straight one piece dress with a white apron over it.
"She was a very lively woman I remember."
"She loved having fun with us. And, she loved to cook."
"What was her name?" he asked fascinated with the photo of the woman who resembled him.
"Victoria Carmadelle. That was your last name Xavier Braden Carmadelle. Born October 30, 1905. Two months after I was born. Our mothers met each other living in the same apartment building after your mom relocated from Christiana."
"I have never heard of that place, Christiana."
"Christiana is a small island off the coast of Guyana. She never did say why she came to Cape Suzette. Maybe that's why you were like obsessed with taking over Cape Suzette. You were raised there."
"I always wondered why I wanted to capture Cape Suzette" he said putting down the picture. "What is it that you wanted to do with your life?"
"Well, I never really decided. I went to college, and majored in history. But, a history degree? What can you do with that? I had no use for it. It was my parents who wanted me to do that. What I really wanted to do was perform. Me and you were an act together. We had a dream that we'd travel around the world performing in front of hundreds of people. I would dance as you played the violin. It was a silly dream though."
"Why? Who wouldn't want to see you dance, and me play my violin?"
"I expected you would say that, but it's impossible. It's just a childish desire. We could never do anything like that."
"You performed on your step-father's plane."
"That was different. It was a favor to my parents." She stopped for a second. One idea came in Alexandra's head. "Have you ever been on vacation?"
"Yeah. Leave the pirate scene for a week or so. I don't think chaos would break out, because you're gone for a week."
"You do not know my crew as well as I do. They are idiots, and leaving them for a day will cause chaos."
"Is there anyone you can put in charge that can keep things in line around here that won't try and take your position as captain?"
"Yes, there is one person I have forgotten about. But, if we were to go on a vacation, where would it be to?"
"I know the perfect place. We can go to my grandparent's condo on the beach in Forsynthia. Although, that's the place where we were kidnapped, but that was along time ago. I should get over it now."
"But, won't someone recognize me, Alex? I am the most famous pirate captain, you know."
"Yes, I know, and maybe someone will. But, we don't have to be around anyone. My grandparents' beach house is a half a mile from each of the neighbor house, and I'll go in town to get anything we need. I just want to go away with you alone for a while. That's all I ask."
"What are we waiting for?"
Karnage had the perfect person in mind to keep chaos out of his crew and wouldn't want to take his position as captain. The one problem was: would Kit Cloudkicker take the job. Karnage followed the Sea Duck the next day to New Fedora and try to talk to Kit alone without that big fat bear with him. He waited a while till Baloo had left Kit alone on the cargo dock. He walked up to Kit slowly trying not to alarm him. Usually when he was after Kit, he was going to kidnap him or hurt him. But, Karnage felt that it wasn't necessary to do that right now. He quietly went up to Kit who didn't notice.
"Kit Cloudkicker. It's is I…" Karnage announced, but was cut off.
"What do you want Karnage?" Kit said very daunted that his biggest enemy was behind him.
"Well, if you want me to just get to the point. I, the Don Karnage, needs your help."
"_You_ need my help. For what? I'm not doing anything illegal."
"I just need you to keep chaos out of my crew for a week or so."
"Why? Where are you going?"
"You're going on vacation?" Kit kind a laughed at the thought.
"Yes. Why is it so strange?"
"Because you never went on vacation before. What's going on? Or should I say, who are you going with?"
"I'm with my girlfriend. Now are you happy. We need time alone together."
"Who would be willing to date you?"
"It is a long story. Will you take it or not?"
"What's in it for me?"
The next day, after Karnage negotiated with Kit, him and Alexandra were off in his CT-37 to the small beach paradise of Forsynthia. It didn't take long before they arrived in front of Alexandra's grandparents' condo. They pulled his plane up to the shore and tied it to the dock. The water was crystal blue there, and the sand was white. Alexandra had the biggest grin on her face when Karnage helped her onto the flat sheet of white sand near the dock.
The condo wasn't as big as he had pictured it. Alexandra had told him about the days they spend there with her grandparents having bond fires and moon lit walks on the beach . He couldn't remember none of it though. All the memories she had could only be shared by her to him. But, it didn't matter. She was about to make new memories with the man she loved.
They trekked up the beach, duffels in hand, to the condo farther on the shore. The sand wasn't very hot, but the sun reflected off the water intensely. Alexandra made it to the condo first looking under the welcome mat finding the front door key there. She unlocked the door as Karnage was walking up.
"I can't believe I haven't been here since I was twenty" she recollected walking in with Karnage behind her. He followed her to the first bedroom in the hallway dropping the bags on the uniformed bed.
"Where are your grandparents anyway?"
"They both died a few years ago in a car accident. I didn't go to the funeral."
"You couldn't swallow your pride once to go to your grandparents' funeral?"
"It wasn't that. By the time I found out, they had been died for three weeks. I was devastated for weeks."
"Thanks. So, what do you want to do first?"
"Whatever you want to do? I'm new to the beach scene."
"Are you going to change your clothes? Because it's scorching outside and you might get a little hot."
"Ain't I already hot?"
"Your very hot. I'm just worried you'll get over heated."
"Okay. I will change."
"Good. I'll be right back."
Alexandra took her small duffel bag into the bathroom leaving Karnage to himself. It didn't take long after she left to return. Karnage had changed into something he rarely wore- a regular white shirt and gray shorts. The door to the bathroom opened and Alexandra stepped out in a bikini top and short swim skirt. Karnage's eyes widened when he saw for the first time something revealing on Alexandra. He walked over to her and put his arms around her waist.
"Thanks. You look good yourself."
Karnage bent Alexandra over and sultry touch his lips with her's. She grew weak in the knees and just let him hold her. It felt so right to be in his arms again. He finally brought her back up. It took a moment for her to recover.
"Are you ready to go?" he asked.
"I've been ready for eighteen years."
They walked out to the beach. The waves were crashing against the shore as the two lovers walked hand in hand down the beach. Karnage had never been in such a romantic setting with someone he cared for and it felt so good. They walked for a while Alexandra playfully splashing in the ocean water as the ocean current whipped through her long brown hair. Karnage loved the scene. They turned back to the condo after the neighbors house was in sight.
It had been two hours since they had left. Alexandra and Karnage were walking toward the condo when Alexandra noticed a jeep parked near it.
"What the heck?" she whispered.
"Who's jeep is that?"
"I don't know."
They walked up to the condo when the front door flung open. A short brown dog stepped out mouth agape at what he saw. Alexandra recognized him and twinged at the sight of him.
"Alex" he said.
The mayor looked at her companion.
"Don Karnage! Alice, get my gun!"
"O, no" Alexandra and Karnage said in unison.
"Alexandra, what are you doing with this criminal?" the mayor yelled eyes blazing.
"Daddy, it's a really long story."
Just then, an older looking wolf came to the door. She resembled Alexandra a little with the brown hair and eyes.
"What in the world is going on, Jacob? O my goodness! Alex, get away from that thing."
Alexandra rolled her eyes. She knew this was going to take a while and a lot of explaining.
"Mom, he's not a thing. He has a name. Actually two names."
"Well, I only know him by one. Alice, call the police."
Karnage leaned over by Alexandra's ear and whisper "What do we do now? I can't do anything to your parents."
"But, I can."
Alexandra advanced toward the door, but her father stopped her.
"Daddy, move. You're not doing anything till I tell you my story. Won't you please listen to me?"
Jacob stared straight into his step-daughter's blank face.
"Not when it involves him."
"Then get out my way."
She pushed her step-father aside and ran into the house where her mother was fixing to call the police station. She jerked the phone out of her mother's hand and slammed it back on the receiver.
"Alexandra Jane Bancroft! What is the meaning of this?" Jacob shouted through the screen door.
"Come out here" she said grabbing her mom by the wrist. Karnage didn't know what to do about the situation unfolding in front of him about him, but he didn't have no part in it. Alexandra brought her mom out to the porch.
"You two sit!"
Surprisingly, her parents obeyed her command. She stood for a second frustrated trying to get her thoughts straight. Then she remembered her companion standing behind her. She turned to him and offered her hand. He took it hesitantly knowing her parents were fixing to protest more.
"Now, let me begin from the beginning. When I was a kid, you two didn't like me being friends with Xavier. The ghetto boy as you use to refer to him. Well, don't forget that I was born in the ghetto too. You remember that mom. We use to be poorer than dirt while my birth father was getting himself killed.
"When we got older, me and Xavier had a relationship with each other. A strong bond that couldn't be broken. But, it was when he disappeared. I spent so many years of my life searching for the part of me that I lost. Not once did you two support me. Only told me I was insane.
"But, finally, after all those years, I accident stumble on him. I found Xavier. Now you want to take him away from me again. I love you guys, but I just can't your controlling attitude toward me. I'm thirty-two. You should start controlling your own life."
"Alex, are you saying that this pirate is the scrawny boy I use to pick on?" her step-father asked.
The stunned expression on their faces stuck for a long time as the four just sat [and stood] there in silence. But, it didn't take long till Alexandra spoke again.
"What are you going to do now?" she asked her parents. "Please, give him a chance."
"How can I give Don Karnage a chance when he once destroyed my city, he's tried to take over Cape Suzette numerous times, and now he's stolen my daughter away from me."
"Excusie me, Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft. I am the boy your daughter speaks of, and I admit trying to take over Cape Suzette was an obsession and hobby of mine. But, I am not the fearful pirate captain Don Karnage anymore."
Alexandra suddenly turned to him in astonished not knowing what to think. She knew he was lying, but maybe her parents bought it. She turned back to them.
"You've not a pirate anymore?" Alice asked.
"No, I am not. Your daughter has convinced me to quit, because I care for her very strongly."
Jacob and Alice glanced at each other. It didn't sound like the truth especially coming out of a convicted liars mouth.
"Alexandra has that effect on people" Jacob stood up laying his arms on his step-daughter and Karnage's shoulders. "Then we shall all stay here together so we can be like one big happy family on a trip." Alexandra knew he had something up his sleeve. "Come Alice. I'll help you set the table." Jacob went inside with his wife in tow. When they were out of sight, Alexandra elbowed her companion in the side.
"What do you think your doing? I know you did not give up your position as captain."
"Yes, I lied. But, I did not lie about one thing. I do care for you very much. How could I resist you?"
Alexandra gave him a short kiss then grasped his hand.
"Lets go see what my dad is up to."
They spent the rest of the night in the watchful eye of Alexandra's step-dad. He treated Karnage with respect which was a change Alexandra noticed, but she knew her dad too well to not know he was going to drop a bomb on them. Corner Karnage with certain questions was something he had in mind. Not tonight though. Jacob only wanted peace after the blow up on the porch. His blood pressure couldn't handle it. He only wanted to enjoy the night knowing exactly where his daughter was. It was very rare when her parents knew exactly where she was.
The night ended with a card game. Karnage hadn't played poker in years, but still won three games in a row. Jacob and Alice trekked to their room which use to be his parents' room when they were alive down the hall from Alexandra's.
"Why can't we stay in the same room?"
"I told you, even if my parents weren't here, we're not sleeping in the same room. You know that. I don't allow us to sleep in the same quarters on Pirate Island."
"Yes. Yes. I know you have your morals or whatever."
"Goodnight" Alexandra said giving him a quick kiss goodnight.
"See you tomorrow."
She gave him a faint smile as she stepped into her room.
The next morning, Karnage was awoken by the sound of music playing. He sat up in bedroom remembering where he was. The sun had just risen. It only had to be six o'clock in the morning. He stood up restful to look for the source of the music. He opened his door to hear that it was coming from the last door down the hall. He walked to it noticing it was open a crack. He peeked in as the music grew louder to see Alexandra in a black leotard with a slimmer wrap around her waist. She was practicing to the music which was a classical motif. She realized she was being watched and stopped the record player.
"How long have you been standing there?"
"Long enough to see you dance like an angel."
"Come in" she said pulling him in by the wrist.
Karnage peered around the room that was more like a studio with large mirrors hanging on the wall and a balance bar hanging also.
"What is this place?"
"This…is my dance studio my grandparents built me. It's be so long since I've been in this place has had me dancing in it. I missed it so much."
"Can I watch you practice?"
"Of course, you can. Start the record player."
Karnage started the record player as Alexandra got into position. The music began again with a piano medley of fast and slow sounds.
"You don't mind if I ramble to myself?" she asked beyond the music.
"Do what you wish."
With that, Alexandra began to dance and rambling to herself the steps she had memorized for the dance.
"Up. Down. (stand on both toes parallel). Pecay. (turn on one toe) Pecay. Up flex. Turn. Fifth position (legs spread apart standing on toe)…" she rambled on through out the whole song. At the end, she had Karnage turn her like a music box dancer.
"I still don't know how you do that."
"What ballet?" she said untying the ribbon that held the ballet slipper on. "Like I told you before, I've been doing this for over two decades. I know all there is to know about how to dance."
"And you do an excellent job of knowing."
The day went on with no trouble from Jacob. Alexandra was surprised at that. She thought that she would get the 'legally your my child and we are doing this for your own good' speech then she would give him the 'I'm my own person' speech. She was all too familiar with it. Her step-father was always wanting to make trouble, but for him not to be after what happened the day before, she started to get worried. It was no fret to Karnage though. All he was worried about was being with Alexandra.
Dusk was setting in, and Alexandra's parents went into town to buy groceries. They were alone again. Karnage had retreated in the condo to get something to drink leaving Alexandra outside on the shore. She had pulled off her t-shirt wearing her bikini top underneath to go for a quick dip. The waves were choppy, but she'd swam in worst water, so, it didn't faze her. She ran into the water the waves harshly pounded her. It had only been a few moments when she felt her legs slip from under her and Alexandra was pulled under. Karnage was just coming back outside when he heard a faint cry for help.
"Alex" he said. He heard the cry again finally seeing something struggling in the water. "Alex!" he cried as he realized she was being towed under the water. He run out to the ocean fighting the fierce waves that beat against him. Karnage keep diving under till he finally fished Alexandra out.
He carried her up to the shore falling on his knees from exhaustion. Alexandra was choking as she woke from blacking out. Karnage put her down on the sand.
"Alex, what were you thinking?"
She respond. She just opened her eyes slightly.
"No! Don't let go" she all the sudden cried struggling. She grabbed onto Karnage's neck as he picked her back up in his arms. "Please don't let go. Don't let go" she pleaded.
Karnage confused by her action just kneeled there holding her not knowing what to do. Alexandra curled up to him intensely. He could felt her muscles tense then relax. Her breathing became steady as she fell asleep.
A couple hours later, Karnage was still at Alexandra's side. He had brought her back into the condo where he laid her down on her bed, and sat waiting for her to wake up. Jacob and Alice had come back wondering what was wrong with their daughter, but Karnage said she had became a little over heated and needed rest. Of course, Jacob had to see for himself. Seeing that his daughter was still breathing, he left them alone with a warning.
After a while, Alexandra started to stir. She turned over , and opened her eyes to see Karnage sitting in a chair next to her bed.
"You're finally awake" he said smiling.
Alexandra looked at him dazed. She had no idea what was going on.
"What happen? Why am I in bed?" she said sitting up against the bed post.
"You don't remember? You almost drown. I had to save you."
"I…" Her memory started to come back. She remembered she had went into the water and was dragged under, but that's where it stopped. "O my goodness. It happened again."
"That's not the first time you nearly drown?"
"Then please tell me about it."
"Okay. It was years ago in that same water. Before I came here to visit my grandparents, I had a dream that I had been dragged under water and I couldn't get out. It felt like I was falling. I didn't think anything of the dream though. I went for a swim while I was here and I was dragged under. Just like my dream, I felt like I was falling. I was rescue after being under for a almost a minute."
"Why do you keep going back in? That would scare most people away from the water forever."
"Like I said, I'm not a quitter and I'm as stubborn as a mule" she reminded him smiling intently for a moment. "Thank you for saving me" she said latching onto his neck again.
"It was the least I could do" he remarked letting her go.
"Only you would say that. So, where my parents?"
"They are gone for now. They went to go visit with the neighbors down the beach."
"Good. I hope they stay gone for a while longer. Come here." Alexandra patted the bed next to her. Karnage walked over and crawled beside her.
"Would you please just hold for a while?"
"You know I will."
With the invitation, Karnage put his around her waist as Alexandra laid back down. He pulled her closer to him, and they just laid there silently.
The next day, Alexandra woke up realizing that Karnage stayed in her bed the whole night. She got a little frantic over the fact. He told her nothing impure happened, and that it didn't hurt anything that he accidentally fell asleep in her bed. She calmed down knowing that it was all right, but her parents were going to kill her.
"I thought you said you were your own self and that they could not control you anymore."
"I know. It's just the way I am. I feel guilty."
"But we didn't do anything wrong."
"I know that too. It's just really important to me to…Hey, maybe they're not up yet. You can sneak out and pretend you weren't even in here."
"What if they are up?"
"Then I'm screwed. Now, check to see if you hear anything going on out there."
Karnage cracked opened the door to hear nothing going on outside of the room.
"I don't think no one is up."
"Good. Get out" she said pushing him out the door. "Sorry. Please forgive me for my harsh actions, but I better close the door now."
The door to her parents' room opened as she closed her's. A groggy Jacob walked out rubbing his eyes. He looked up to see Karnage standing at his daughter's door.
"O, it's you. What are you doing by Alex's door?"
"I was seeing if she was awake yet. No, she isn't. I'll go back to my room now."
Karnage turned, but was stopped by Jacob's voice.
"Wasn't that the clothes you were wearing yesterday? Did you already get dressed?"
"Yes and no. I sleep in them last night."
Jacob walked past Karnage shacking his head.
Jacob had decided to cook barbecue that afternoon. Even though, he were rich, him and his wife still wanted to be independent without people waiting on them hand and foot. Jacob was playing with the fire when Karnage came out the condo.
"What are you doing?" he asked watching Jacob pour a tiny drop of gasoline onto the fire he started on the beach. A small puff of fire rose into the air and back down.
"I'm playing with fire. Alice hates when I do this. She says I'm going to one day blow myself up."
"You could be."
"I know. I don't need anymore warnings. I thought you of all people would do this."
"I may play with fire in a different way, but not literally."
"Your playing with fire right now. Being here and all. I could have you arrest in a snap and taken off to prison. You would be there for a very, very long time. I'd make sure of that. But, my daughter says you are the boy who she loved and I believe her. That's why you're still here. If it wasn't for Alex, saying that, you'd be gone. Why don't you come by Cape Suzette sometime and hang around with me and my boys in the blue coats. Hey, you and them would match."
"Is that an indirect threat?"
"Maybe. Alex is the most important thing in my life. If you hurt her, you will die by my hands. Now, that is a threat."
With the threat from Jacob over his head, Karnage went to look for Alexandra who hadn't been seen in a good while. He walked down the hall of the condo past her room.
"Pheess, hey" he heard from behind him. He looked back to see Alexandra hanging out of her room. "Were you looking for me?"
"Who else would I be looking for?"
"Come on" she said grabbing his wrist pulling him into her room, and closing the door behind them.
"Why are you still in here?"
"I've been busy."
"This." She showed him a black and white long slip dress with a low v-neck. "I've been sewing."
"What is this for?"
"For you. Well, for me to wear for you."
"But, why? You look good in just what you're wear. I do prefer the bikini though, and I like the way you wear the scarf over your head. You look like a pirate wearing that."
"I'm glad you like that, but you'll see what else this dress is for later. So, what've you been doing?" she asked sitting next to him on her bed.
"Receiving threats from your father."
"What did he say?"
"He said he wanted me to go hang around his boys in blue coats, and he said he would kill me himself if I hurt you."
"And, he means it too. Take it from me. You don't want to get in his way. I have first hand experience. So, are you ready for the bond fire tonight?"
"Bond fire. I did not hear of that."
"Now, you have. My parents are hosting a bond fire on the beach. The neighbors from the opposite side of the beach is coming, but they probably don't know who you are and won't recognize you. So, you're identity is safe with me. I have to warn you though. My dad gets a little too drunk at these things."
"Did you know he was as drunk as a skunk on the night of his bouquet?"
"Yes, I did. He was the one who was whistling and causing his own personal riot after my dance was over."
"Yes. He was very loud."
"But, when he is, I just ignore him" she said going back to fiddling with her dress.
Karnage's eye had caught the sight of a photo in a frame of a wolf in a jump suit leaning against an old barnstormer sitting on Alexandra's dresser. He stood up, and walked over to the dresser picking the frame up. He examined it for a second.
"Alex, who is this?"
"That man? That's my birth father. That's the only picture my mom had of him."
Karnage keep his eyes focused on the person in the photo. He knew him from somewhere. Then it hit him of where he had knew the man.
"It can't be him" he murmured to himself.
The man in the picture was more then just a face Karnage had seen. The man's name was Henry Stiers a person Cutler had introduced to him years ago. Stiers wasn't a pirate, but worked as a camouflaged spy for the pirates. He would give first hand information of what was going on in the government about stopping pirates and when attacks were being planned to capture pirates. He would in exchange get treasure for the information. Stiers was a very effective source helping Karnage out when he first became pirate captain. But, Stiers retired from the spy business and Karnage knew exactly where he was.
The bonfire wasn't to exciting for him that night with the thought of Henry Stiers being Alexandra's birth father. He didn't know whether to tell her or cause another family crisis for the Bancrofts. He sat in the fold out chair on the beach near the water as the rest of the guest partied. Alex noticed her companion's somber mood wondering why he was so down. She walked over to him kneeling down on the sand.
"My beloved, what's wrong? You're not yourself tonight" she said placing her hand on his. Karnage had acquired a new nickname from Alex. Since he wasn't too comfortable being called Xavier and she wasn't too content calling him Karnage, they settled on something new.
"I'm just not feeling well tonight, Alex."
"I bet I know what's wrong. You miss your crew and your plundering and your own life."
"What? No, no, no. It's nothing like that. You think I miss those imbeciles? I do miss plundering a little."
"What about your own life?"
"What do you mean?"
"Y'know, before you met me."
"No, I don't miss it."
"Is it coming here? Did my parents spoil our vacation? Or was it me? I bet I rushed thing."
He placed one hand on her shoulder, and the other over her mouth.
"Alex, slow down. You did nothing of that. Your parents may have spoiled it a little, but it's interesting to see your father has many qualities that I never would have expected."
"Yep, my dad may seem serious" she glanced over at the fire to see her intoxicated father dancing around like an idiot, and wondered how the heck he was the mayor of Cape Suzette. "But, he's really a character at heart." She looked at back at Karnage. "You wanna go someplace else to get away from all these rowdy people."
"I'd love too."
The two took off down the beach toward the area of the island more secluded with a small cliff that looked over the ocean. They walked for a while till they couldn't hardly see anything. The moon was out lighting up the water making the night liter. Alex and Karnage stopped to look out over the ocean.
After a moment, a noise caught both their ears. Karnage turned peering around. The dark made it impossible to see anything. Just then, another loud sound. It was the crunch of a footstep in the sand.
"Did you hear that?" murmured Alex who stuck closer to her companion who didn't reply back.
They heard the sound again even closer. All the sudden, the sound became a physical shape coming up behind them. Karnage spun around catching a hand raised holding a sword. He wrestled the figure as well as he could in the dark. Alex ran over finding a piece of drift wood then hit the figure in the back. It fell down, but recovered in an instant. Karnage grabbed Alex's hand and took off toward the foliage of the island. Dodging tree branches and hanging vines, they ran as fast as they could.
Unforeseen, their next step was in a hole that over the years was covered in vines and grass. Both fell and hit the ground about eight feet down. Karnage raised his head seeing the hole was a tunnel, and a stream of water was flowing under them.
"Alex, are you…?"
"I'm okay ; just wet" she said cutting him off. He helped her up, but at the same time noticing with the very dim light of the moon something slithering in the water. Alex looked back to see what he was staring at to see a cobra there near them. She was fixing to scream when Karnage throw his arm around her waist , and his hand over her month.
"Don't move" he whispered.
Before the cobra could shrike, the figure that was chasing them dove down into the hole slamming it's sword into the cobra. Karnage took the chance to make a run for it deeper into the tunnel dragging Alex behind him. As they ran, the water became more and more deeper and stronger. They could hear the figure following them still with swift steps. The tunnel appeared that it had an end, and Karnage and Alex were coming up to it soon.
They stopped when the tunnel ended in a water fall that was about seventeen feet down. The figure was coming upon them fast. All they could do was jump or face the thing that was after them with gruesome results.
"We have to jump" he said to Alex.
"Then, let's go" she shouted taking the first leap. Karnage followed a few seconds after. They hit the water with a large splash. Seconds later, they both emerged out of the water, and swam to the side of the river that the water fall was flowing into. They crawled out the water exhausted collapsing on the cold grass.
"You may of escaped me this time, but next time, you'll both die" yelled the figure which Karnage recognized the voice as Captain Cutler's. He had a feeling it was him, but had no time to think about it. "I'm going to attack your crew, Karnage. And, my crew will win. But, first, I need to kill your little slut. Then, I'll decide to kill you. You back-stabbing cretin!" The black figure disappeared leaving the two on the bank of the river.
"He had two of followed us here" Alex said speaking first.
"Of course, he did, Alex. He will not stop this nonsense. He's going to attack my crew."
"And it's all my fault."
"What are you talking about, Alex? Nothing is your fault."
"Yes, it is! If it wouldn't of been for me writing that stupid letter to you, you would of never met me, your crew wouldn't be endanger of an ambush, we wouldn't be endanger, and you would still have your normal life."
"My life is so far from normal, and your letter was not stupid. Yes, my crew and my life is endanger, but if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't of received the greatest gift. Knowing my past and where I came from. And as a bonus, I received you."
"Why do you care so much?!"
"Because I love you, Alex! It is the first time I ever felt love. You are the one who gave it to me."
Alexandra's eyes filled with tears as she throw her arms around his neck. Karnage returned the embrace feeling like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
"That is what I've been needing to hear from you. I love you too. You know I always have. Always will."
Forgetting about Cutler's threat and the situation they were in, they just sat their holding each other. For the first time in Karnage's life, he felt whole. But, they couldn't stay there forever even though they wanted to. Something had to be done about Cutler and his crew.
"What are we going to do about Cutler?" Alex finally asked.
"We have to get rid of Cutler before he gets rid of us."
Karnage and Alexandra traveled back to the condo on alert for Cutler, but he didn't show his ugly form the rest of that night. By the time they arrived back at the condo, it was way past midnight, and the guest of the party had stumbled home. Jacob had passed out in a fold-out beach chair, and Alice had went to bed after Jacob passed out. They walked to Alex's room, and shut the door. Alex collapsed on her bed dramatically.
"So, what's the plan now, captain?"
"I don't know. This has been an exhausting night. I'm too tired to think right now. I don't think Cutler will do anything tonight."
"Well, then, why don't we get some sleep."
"Call me if anything happens."
With that, Karnage left the room. The next morning, everyone woke to find the condo shacking. Karnage was the first to get up; stumbling to Alex's room. She was already awake sitting on her bed frozen.
"What's going on?" she shouted in a panic.
"An earthquake!" he replied. "We have to get out of this place!" He grabbed her wrist and pulled Alex out of the room.
"But my parents!" Alex ran to her parents' room next to her's. Before she could go in, the door flung open. Jacob and Alice Bancroft appeared. Together, the four ran out the condo dodging objects that were falling off shelves. As they ran to the great room, a tall wooden shelf was falling right toward Alex. Immediately, Karnage pulled her out of the way. They made it outside unharmed. It was then that the earthquake stopped. They all stood in silence waiting for another shack, but no more occured.
"I can't believe that just happen" Alex said first. "We could of been killed."
"Thank goodness we're okay" cried Alice embracing her daughter.
"It may not be over" Karnage murmured. "After shocks could occur."
"Well, that's just great. Atleast the condo doesn't look damaged on the outside. Too bad the earth didn't open and swallow you" Jacob remarked to Karnage walking up to the condo inspecting it.
"I'm only telling the truth, mother!" they heard from the other side of the condo.
"Now what do we do?"
"I hope our neighbors are all right."
"I will go see if there is any one who needs help down there" Karnage said walking down the beach.
"Wait! I'll come with you!" Alex ran up beside him.
Alex and Karnage trekked to the neighbors' house down the way. Not many words were spoken between them. Alex was still in shock over what just happen. The neighbors were all right. They just had some damage to their condo. Seeing that everything was fine, the two walked further down the beach. Almost an hour pasted as they walked down the beach not realizing how far they had gone.
Karnage eyed something in the water. He stepped up to it slowly gesturing Alex to stay back. It was something quit big that was being washed up on shore. He stood over it realizing it was the body of Cutler.
"What is it?" Alex asked from a distance.
"It's a body. It looks like the body of Cutler."
"Cutler? Is he still alive?"
Karnage pulled the body up on shore. He turned it over to see that he was right. Cutler wasn't breathing either.
Alex walked up to the body slowly. She stared at it for a minute not knowing to be overjoyed or sorrowful.
"He's really dead?" she asked in a faint tone.
"Yes" Karnage replied standing up beside her.
"O my goodness" At that moment, she broke out in a heap tears, and turned to her companion for comfort. Karnage willing excepted her in his arms, but was slightly confused.
"I though you would be happy Cutler was dead?"
"It's not that. We could of been killed. And, that scares me. Especially now to see that Cutler is dead. I could of lost my parents, I could of lost my life, I could of lost you…again."
"Alex, you're never going to lose me again. I'll make sure of that" He pulled her back wiping her tears off her face.
"I wish I had a guarantee for that."
"I know this will not guarantee me ever being taken away from your life or vise versa, but this will guarantee that we will be together for the rest of our lives; through anything."
"Are you meaning what I think your meaning?"
Karnage nodded. Alex embraced him tightly.
"Thank you, my beloved. I love you."
"I love you."
In respect for the dead, they buried Cutler inland where the ground was more solid. They watched as debris wash up on shore that looked like pieces of a boat. They returned to the condo almost around dark. Jacob and Alice had cleaned up most of the damage inside the condo. Karnage and Alex didn't even hesitate to go inside to see anything. Alex grabbed the keys to the jeep, and they took off to go into town. They drove for a while. Town was about thirty minutes from the condo. The town wasn't damaged they noticed when they made it there. Alex steered the jeep to a small community with plain looking house on the streets. She pulled into the driveway of one of them. They got out the jeep, and stepped up to the front door. A light was on indicating that the resident of the house was still awake. Alex known that for a fact from her experience with the resident.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" she asked.
"I'm positive. I don't want anything else in this world."
"I'm so glad you do."
She knocked on the door. Not after a minutes wait, an old, scruffy badger came to the door.
"Yes" he said adjusting his glasses.
"Mr. Duncan. Do you remember me? Alexandra Bancroft. Freddy's granddaughter."
"Alex. Is that really you? Well, kiss my grits. I haven't seen you since you had turned a rip age of twenty. How old are ya now?"
"I'm now the old age of thirty-two."
"Who is this strapping young man with you?"
"This is a friend of mine. Can we come in and talk?"
"Sure. You're always welcome in my home."
"Does Mrs. Duncan still make those milk biscuits like she use to?"
"Everyday she does. Just pulled some out the oven" he replied closing the door.
Early the next morning, Karnage woke up with heaven in his arms. He stared at his wife with gleaming eyes knowing nothing could tear them apart now. But, something was bothering him in the back of his mind. He peered around the room to see the picture of Alex's birth father. That's when he realized that's what was on his mind. He knew what he had to do to overcome the situation. He slid out of the grasp of Alex, and dressed in his blue suit he hadn't wore in a long time. He gently kissed his wife on the cheek, and left.
Alex woke slowly assuming Karnage would be at her side. She cracked her eyes open to see him gone. She panicked for a moment thinking that everything that had happened to her in the last couple of month was a dream. But, when she saw his clothes sitting on the bed post, her nerves eased. Alex crawled out of bed noticing a note laying on her dresser. She picked it up and started to read it:
My Dearest Alex,
I'm sorry I had to leave on the happiest day of our lives, but I had to go take care of some business. I promise I will be back either this evening or tomorrow morning. I know you'll be missing me. I will do the same. But, in your our words- between now and then till we meet again, I'll be loving you.
p.s.- Don't tell your parents till I get back.
Alex sat on her bed disappointed feeling a little abandon. But, she knew he'd be back. It was always her nature to worry, though. She looked at her dresser again to see the frame that held her birth father's picture was empty.
Karnage flow to a small secluded island a few hours away from Forsynthia. The island had been abandon for along time except for one resident named Henry Stiers that wanted to live alone for the rest of his days, or, maybe it was that he was hiding from something. Karnage hadn't seen him in years, but knew he still had to be there. He landed his plane, and tied it to the dock. A small, quit cabin sat yards from the pier. A tall, muscular gray wolf with a brown jumpsuit came out right away.
"Hey, Don Karnage, is that you kid?" Henry asked walking up to him.
"Yes, it is. But, I'm not much a kid anymore, Henry." They shock hands.
"I can see that. Last time I saw you you were just beginning your reign as captain. How is that going?"
"It is going good. I am now the famous and feared pirate captain, Don Karnage."
"That's great. Always knew you'd make something of yourself. Why don't you come in; get out of this heat."
Inside the cabin, a large fan was going, and a rainbow mascow was shawlking on it's perch.
"So, what brings you here?" Henry asked sitting in a beach chair near the fan.
"I have come to ask you a question I hope you will answer."
"You came all this way to ask a question. Heck, if I had a phone, you coulda called me."
"This is a subject I'd rather deal with in person."
"Sounds serious. What is this you want to ask me?"
"Do you knew this woman?" He pulled out a picture of Alex out of his coat, and showed it to Henry.
"No" he said right away. "Never seen her in my life."
"Do you knew this one?" He pulled out a old picture of Alice he found in the condo. Henry looked at it; his expression was more than stunned.
"What do you know? And, how the heck do you know Alice?"
"So, you know this woman. What is she to you?"
"She use to be my wife."
"She doesn't know I'm alive. I left her. But, how do you know her?"
"See this woman in this photo." He held the picture of Alex again. "This is your daughter."
Henry took the picture staring at it carefully. "This is my daughter. Are you sure? Alice wasn't pregnant when I left."
"She found out after you left."
"I wish I would of known. I wouldn't of left. I still want to know your connection with them."
"Alexandra, your daughter, is my wife. She had this photo of you in her room."
"I don't want to believe this. I have a child. Musta been great not having a father" he said sarcasticly.
"She has a step-father that took her and her mother in."
"So, Alice remarried. She musta not of been mourning me too much."
"It was four years after you disappeared. By the way, why did you disappear?"
"The thrill of my work was more important to me than my wife. I was only in my early twenty and had too much ambition. I left making Alice think I was dead , so, I wouldn't have to come back or go through a devorce. It was just earier to disappear."
"I have found since I met Alex that every man I admired turned out to be a complete fiend."
"Now, come on, Karnage. You a feared pirate captain thinks just because I left my wife over thirty years ago, I'm a bad guy? This supposed daughter of mine musta really got to you."
"Remember Captain Cutler?"
"Of course, I do. He was one of my first jobs."
"He tried to kill me and Alex, because of certain history we all share. It is a long story. But, Alex has gave me something no one else could give me."
"I want to meet this Alex."
"Why not? If she is my daughter, I want to meet her. She's your wife, you say. How'd you meet her?"
"Another long story."
"Why can't I meet her then?"
"You can't, because she does not want to meet you" Karnage lied standing from the chair he was sitting in. "They all agreed to not have any contact with you."
"Can't you at least tell me where they are right now? I can't go anywhere without a ride. A hurricane came through last year, and knocked my plane to pieces. So, I can't go anywhere anyway."
"Right now, Alice and her husband are on the island of Forsynthia staying in a condo on the beach. I have to leave now, Henry. Good talking to you. Now, I know the truth."
"Is that all ya wanted?"
"Well, thanks for visiting me then grilling me. Get outta here. Get back to your piracy and my daughter."
"Good bye, Henry."
Karnage walked out the cabin, hopped in his plane, and flow off back to Forsynthia. He arrived back at the condo that evening. Alex had waited for him most of the day. Wasting time by playing cards with her parent and walking the beach, but mostly thinking about him. She was sitting on the front porch on the swing when Karnage landed. She ran out there to greeting him.
"Hello, my one and only love" he said jumping out his plane onto the dock.
"Where have you been?"
"Didn't you get my letter?"
"Yes. It didn't explain anything. What was this business you had to take care of?"
"It pirate business. You wouldn't been interested."
"Dang it! I thought he was gone forever!" they heard on the beach. Jacob started walking down the dock toward them. "Why couldn't you abandon my daughter so you could be out of our lives."
"Jacob, I'm never leaving your daughter."
"That's what I'm afraid of. So, where has your pirate butt been?"
"That's what I just asked."
"I'll tell you later. Right now, me and Alex have to tell you and Alice something."
Karnage lead the two inside. They explained they're sudden wedding. Jacob didn't take it so well breaking a couple things plus the railing of the porch, and had an urge to get his gun. But, Alice calmed him down before anything violent happen.