Chapter One: Bartering and running
The Vargas family was a simple sort; Serafina and Romulus were still newlyweds when the seeds to tear their family apart were sown. While his wife was five months pregnant, Romulus was sent out to war, leaving her to fend for herself. So far along in her pregnancy Serafina was unable to do any sort of job. Watching other children would require too much running around, sewing was tiresome in her state and she would not get enough done to make true money from it.
Desperate for money and food, Serafina turned to something she would wish she hadn't for the rest of her life; she turned to a pirate. It was not a sought out meeting by either, simply a curse of fate. While Serafina was sitting in her home, wondering how to gather food or pay for other things when her baby came, her door swung open to reveal a man with dark hair and brown eyes. She immediately screamed at the sight of the man and his pirate clothing.
"Please do not kill me! I am pregnant and awaiting my husband's return!" Serafina exclaimed and the man looked at her amused.
"I have no interest in your life, miss." The man said before Serafina noticed a small child behind him, hugging his leg. "My son is hungry and tired and your home is the only one nearby."
Serafina looked at the boy; he was no more than seven with curly brown hair and his bright green eyes. She smiled at the boy, who smiled back. "As a mother to be I cannot let a child starve…however, I do not have much food with me."
The man had sighed, looking around the small house. "Yes, this home looks depressing."
"My husband is gone to war and I have no income…" Serafina admitted, a sad look on her face as her hand touched her stomach. "My baby will suffer when it is born…it suffers even now I fear, as I have not eaten much myself." She looked up at the pirate in front of her. "It has been five months and the child has not kicked…I fear I am carrying a stillborn at this rate…"
The pirate's son frowns, walking over to the crying Serafina. He took her hands and smiled at her. "Do not cry, we have all sorts of money and treasure that could help you!" His small hands left hers to touch her belly. "This will be alright as well." The boy promised before resting his head on her stomach. "Your baby will live."
"Antonio, your compassion is too much." The pirate sighed before Antonio perked up at Serafina's stomach.
"Ah!" Serafina gasped and Antonio grinned widely.
"It's moving! The baby is moving for me papa!" Antonio exclaimed as he felt a weak kick and other movements from Serafina's womb.
"How wonderful for you…" The man groaned, looking to Serafina. "My name is Fernandez, I am a great captain to one of the most prestigious pirate ships out there. I shall help you as my son wishes it, but it will be for a price." Fernandez looked to his son, still fascinated by the baby's continuing movements. "Antonio, we will give her help and in return she will give you something you want."
Serafina stared at him in awe. "Something a child wants will be enough?" She asked, overjoyed at the thought of help for something simple like a toy or meal.
"Are you willing to make that deal?" Fernandez asked and Serafina nodded.
"Yes! Yes of course!"
"The baby." Antonio mumbled, looking to his father. "I want her baby." He smiled and nuzzled a now mortified Serafina's stomach. "I love this baby and it loves me. I can feel it."
Fernandez laughed. "As you wish, my son." He looked at the trembling Serafina. "Will you still make the deal?"
"Must I give you child upon its birth?" Serafina asked weakly.
"A baby would get in the way, Antonio is the only child I will allow on my ship. In eighteen years we will be returning to this place from our travels, that will be when we take the child." Fernandez said, a smirk on his face. "If you still want to make the deal, of course."
Serafina let out a shaky breath, looking at the child whispering sweet words to her stomach. "I...I do not know when my husband is returning…and I cannot allow this sweet child to die…" Her gaze met Fernandez with sorrow. "I shall make the deal…"
Fernandez nodded. "Excellent. If your child is a girl, she shall become my son's bride. If it is a boy, he shall be whatever my boy wants him to be."
Antonio smiled, looking to his father. "I wish to marry it no matter what its gender!"
Serafina's eyes widened in horror. "What is he saying?"
"He is a child; he will have a more realistic ideal when he is older. Now as we are going to take the child, I will give you enough to ensure it has only the best." Fernandez said, holding out small bags filled with valuable treasures. "Sell these and you will be set for ten years at least."
"Since the baby is mine, can I name it?" Antonio asked, looking to his father with excitement.
"Name it as you wish." Fernandez said, watching Serafina hold in all protests.
"If it is a boy…it will be called Lovino." Antonio decided. "If it is a girl…it will be Chiara."
"Excellent names, wouldn't you say?" Fernandez asks Serafina, who hesitantly nodded.
"Y-yes…such beautiful names…Antonio…" She mumbled, patting the boy on the head.
"I hope it is a boy, Lovino is so close to rovino, the Italian word for 'I ruin', it is far too perfect, wouldn't you agree?" Fernandez asked and Serafina nodded again. "Well, as you have no food and my son has rested, we will leave for now. Say goodbye to the child, Antonio."
Antonio smiled and kissed Serafina's stomach, whispering to it. "I will come for you soon, mi bebe." He finally let go of her stomach, the baby's movement stopping almost immediately. "Until next time, Serafina!" His words were innocent, his smile and energetic wave could be proof of that, but to Serafina it was the most frightening promise she had ever heard.
As promised, the treasure lasted her many years, although it did not need to as Romulus returned only two years later. The child was born a boy and given the name Lovino as promised. Serafina never spoke a word of the arrangement she had made with the pirate and his child. Within the next six years the family has two more boys; the first named Feliciano, and the last being a boy named Marcello. The family lived happily for many years, except for Lovino.
Afraid of the pirates coming for him, Serafina kept the boy inside at all times. She would teach him, allow him to play in the yard only for thirty minutes a day with both his brothers and father, and indulged in his every interest so long as it was indoors. Lovino lead a sheltered life for reasons he did not know, never meeting new people and always watching his brothers run off in ordinary lives.
His ignorance was eventually shattered however, when pirates came to town around his fifteenth year. They were a different group, but his mother did not know that. She panicked and told her husband the truth, saying they must leave immediately. Fighting his rage towards her, he took his family to a church to seek refuge. For the last two years they have been living there.
Lovino sighs, walking around the church with a broom. The last two years of his life have been spent studying, cleaning, and worshipping. Not that the ones before that were all that great either. And of course there are the clothes he must now wear. Firs the tunic-like chasuble, with the red mozzetta, a short shoulder-cape, topped off with the damned stole he must wear, a red scarf with gold trim. It's cumbersome and he has technically not done all the things to warrant the right to even wear these, yet they do it in an attempt to keep his identity unknown to others. He complains, he's only human, after all. Of course now he knows that the reason for his dull life is to hide him from pirates, so he can't complain. Given the choice between boredom and pirates, he would definitely choose boredom.
"Fratello!" Feliciano calls, running up to his brother. "It is time for bed, fratello." The boy says and Lovino looks to him with a bitter stare. His brothers, both younger than him, more outgoing than him, less sheltered than him. In this church they can run about in their normal clothes, with their real names. They can even leave. It makes Lovino relieved his brothers don't suffer as he does, yet painfully bitter at the same time. "Fratello…papa won't be happy if you don't-!"
"Yes, yes, I'm going to bed." Lovino grumbles, bringing the broom back to the closet before returning to his small room. The church is his cage, and his bedroom is his corner. Even this small room, his view of the outside is only a window close to his ceiling. If he wants to look outside he has to climb atop two chairs and even then he can barely peek out of the bottom part.
He hates this life. He hates it as much as he knows he needs it. Sighing to himself, Lovino plops down on his bed, listening to the others in the church scurry off to their rooms for bed. Surrounded by people, yet feeling so alone. One would think he might wish to be taken by the pirates, but he does not. Serafina has told him terrifying tales of Fernandez and his adventures around the world, killing those he grows tired of. No doubt his son is like that as well, and since he's a boy he can't even use sex to keep the man satisfied. …Not that he would if he was a girl, either, but it would be nice to have that option in the back pocket.
"Ahah! So you're a boy!" A man with a thick Spanish accent exclaims, sitting on his window sill with his legs dangling right above Lovino's head. "That means you're name is Lovino. I was hoping it would be Lovino, it's such a beautiful name."
Lovino's entire body tenses up and he cranes his neck to see the window. Sitting there, with a mischievous grin, is a man in a dark red coat and pirate hat. His long curly hair is tied loosely in a ponytail that rests on his shoulder. "Who…are you?" The Italian asks, subconsciously wrapping his finger in his stole.
"Ahh, you don't know?" The Spaniard asks, his green eyes lighting up with amusement. "Even though you're a boy, you're beautiful. I figured you would be from what your mother looked like." He says, jumping down from the ten foot high window.
"Antonio?" Lovino gasps, backing away from him. "Th-this room is on the third floor! No windows below it! How did you get up there?"
Antonio smiles lazily at the boy, following him until Lovino's back is against the wall. "You would be surprised at what a man can do for something they've wanted eighteen years." He answers, placing a hand against the wall at either side of Lovino's head. "I've come to collect what's mine."
Lovino's mouth drops open. For a few more minutes he opens and closes it, trying to say something but only huffing a few times.
"Hm, I see you're a wordsmith." Antonio teases, placing his hands on the boy's shoulders. "Now, let me tell you some things before we go; I am ripping this robe off of you as soon as we get on the ship-" Lovino lets out what sounds like a squeak at that before mentally beating the shit out of himself. "Not in that way, little Lovi, if I decide I want to have sex you I will make you want it worse than me before I take you." He explains, earning a few sputters of indignation from Lovino. "Now, I will let you take what can fit into this." He says, holding out a small sack. "Go crazy."
Lovino finally finds his words and snatches the sack out of Antonio's hand before smacking him across the head with it. "I am not going with you! I will not remove this clothing for any reason! And no matter what I will never, EVER, want to sleep with a filthy pirate!" He yells, hoping someone hears and comes to help. "I AM NOT-!" His words are cut short by a hand clasping over his mouth.
"Shut. Your. Fucking. Mouth." Antonio hisses out, glaring down at Lovino. "If someone hears you and comes in I will have to kill them. I'd rather not upset you by killing someone you care about." He says, gently pulling the stole off of Lovino's shoulders with his other hand before tying it around his mouth and wrists. "Well, this comes in handy, doesn't it?"
Lovino glares at him, looking around the room as Antonio holds open the sack and places it in his hands.
"Gesture to what you want and I will place it in there." Antonio says, looking around the room. "Although I don't see anything of real importance…"
Lovino huffs loudly, walking past Antonio and using his foot to point to a small stuffed animal that his brothers made together for him. Once it's in the bag he points to the nightstands drawer where sketches by him and his brothers are of their family. He then points to under his bed where a few books are on cooking and art books of various places.
"Is this all, Lovino?" Antonio asks, tying the sack and tossing it over his shoulder. The boy gives him a curt nod before Antonio smirks, bending over and picking Lovino up over his shoulder. "Alright, let's go then." He says, jumping back up to the window sill.
Lovino lets out a whimper, clutching at the man's coat with his hands. He's never been so high up and while death would be better than living with a pirate, he still doesn't want it.
"Ahh, afraid of heights Lovi?" Antonio laughs, standing the boy up next to him and unwrapping his mouth and hands. "Be quiet and I'll keep you safe." He reassures the confused boy.
"How is unbinding me going to keep me safe?" Lovino asks, surprised at himself for whispering.
"Now you can hold on tight." Antonio answers, tying the sack to his sash before placing the stole back on Lovino. "Are you ready?" He asks and Lovino shakes his head no. "Haha! Well, too bad." His arm wraps around Lovino tightly as the teen instinctively wraps his arms around the man's neck.
Looking to the side, Lovino notices a rope dangling from the top. "That's how you got up here? You scaled the wall?" He asks and Antonio nods.
"Sort of romantic in a way, isn't it?" The pirate teases before grabbing the rope and bringing it up against Lovino's back. "Alright, I'm letting go of you. Feel free to wrap your legs around my waist if it will make you-!" Antonio stops himself as Lovino's legs quickly wrap around him. "Haha! You're a pretty big coward, aren't you?" He teases before grabbing onto the rope with both hands and scaling the wall, making sure to turn their bodies when his legs slip so that he's the one who slams into the stone building.
Once the two are on ground, Lovino looks up to his bedroom window and frowns. "So I can't see my family again, can I?" He asks quietly and Antonio nods.
"If they had behaved and not tried to keep you from me you could give them an appropriate goodbye, but since your mother is trying to abandon our deal I must steal you in the night." Antonio explains, taking the boy's hand. "If at some point you have proven your loyalty, we can come back and see them. Until that time, however, we are getting you straight on the boat so you cannot run off." He says before slipping a handkerchief over Lovino's mouth and nose, making him pass out.
A/N: Making a new story the night before classes start up again? Yep, that's smart.