• Katina Wiles slipped through the crowd, checking the pockets of those around her. She smiled slightly as she remembered walking down these streets long ago, doing the same thing. She'd been new to the art of pick pocketing, and it was the first time she;d been on her own. At that time she was fourteen, and as she'd reached in the pocket of a portly old man, he noticed her standing there.
    "What are you..." he'd started to ask, but when he realized what she was trying to do, anger set in his face. Eyes wide, Katina had ran away, the coin purse clutched in her hands.
    "Pickpocket! Stop her! She has my money! Thief!" the man's voice followed her as she darted through the town. Thankfully she'd always been a fast runner, and she could fit in small places that others couldn't. She ran faster than she'd ever ran, faster and faster, until she reached the docks. Hearing the voices again, she'd darted on the first ship she saw and hid there.
    That was ten years ago. Katina now walked through the crowds, not showing a sign of her inner anxiety. She'd learned long ago that if she acted like she was lower than them all, they wouldn't bother her. Snobs. Katina rolled her eyes. She spotted a tall man, his short cropped brown hair a contrast to the surrounding powdered wigs. His face suggested that his company, a black haired beauty, lacked much conversational skill. Watching the girl pat her fancy updo, Katina put a hand up to her own long wavy brown hair, pulled out of her face rather unfashionably. As she neared the couple, she spotted the velvet corner of the girl's purse hanging out of her pocket. Such an easy target. Retrieving a beaded necklace and bracelet from a pocket, Katina walked over to them.
    "Would the lady want buy some jewelry?"
    The woman sneered disdainfully. "Why would I want to buy your grubby wares? You probably just stole them from someone" (She didn't know how right she was.) As she turned away, Katina deftly grabbed the purse and slid it in her pocket, along with the jewelry. The woman continued talking about the newest trends in dresses and the man sighed heavily, green eyes drooping. Suddenly he turned and bowed to the woman.
    "I must apologize, I have to leave now, or I will miss my ship."
    "Oh. Well, if you must leave, you must. You will keep in touch, won't you?" she clung to his arms dramatically.
    "Of course, darling." Somehow he extricated himself from her arms. "Goodbye!" He turned around and passed Katina, then turned into an alleyway.
    "Well, if the lady is sure..." Katina shrugged as she faded off.
    "Yes, I'm sure!" she snapped.
    "Very well, very well." Katina turned around and walked away. As she passed the alleyway, an arm reached out and pulled her in as a mouth pressed upon hers. She wound her arms around the man's neck as he pulled her closer to him. As the kiss ended, the man sighed, his green eyes disappointed.
    "Yes, I know, Sam," Katina smiled crookedly, slightly out of breath. "But I do believe you'll want this. Plus it wouldn't do us much good to get caught now." she waved the purse in front of her partner's face.
    He grinned as he grabbed the purse and tucked it into their already bulging bag. "Do you think we can go now?"
    "Yeah, I don't think we can get much more money without being recognized." Katina laughed.
    After looking around to make sure they weren't being watched, they emerged from the alleyway. They had only to walk a short distance until they reached a ship, powerful and glittering with water droplets. Someone on deck lowered the gangway, and the two walked on board. Men scrambled around as Katina and Sam stood on the deck. Soon they were sailing away from the port. With a nod and a salute, Sam ran across deck, then jumped on the rigging and climbed up to the crow's nest, where he pulled out a telescope.
    "Ship ho!" Sam yelled down.
    "Raise the colors!" Katina shouted in response. Grinning widely, she watched as the crew lifted the Jolly Roger in the air where it would stay, striking fear into the hearts of her victims. Katina withdrew a pistol from her boot, smirking now. And they said women were helpless.