A Visit to Lycos

Sinbad stared at the sea, downcast. Doubar watched him with
growing concern. He knew he should have talked his brother out of
taking the job at Lycos. It would only bring back painful
Doubar approached his brother hesitantly. "We'll be at port
within an hour." Sinbad said, not volunteering anything else.
Doubar became visibly frustrated.
"Well, are you going to see her or not?" he asked impatiently.
Sinbad's head snapped up, he was obviously startled. "Who-who do
you mean?" he stuttered.
Doubar rolled his eyes. "You know exactly who I mean. Meagaera.
She may still be in Lycos."
"I don't think so," Sinbad said, not meeting Doubar's eyes. 
"Before I left, she made it very clear that she never wanted to
see me again."
"Sinbad, that was almost three years ago. Meg was angry and hurt.
I doubt she is now."
"No, I won't see her," Sinbad said softly.
"C`mon, she was the first girl you ever fell in love with. Aren't
you curious about what happened to her?"
Doubar sighed. This was getting nowhere. "Well, what if I go and
see her? Would that bother you, captain?"
"Do as you wish. I still won't see her." Sinbad repeated.
"Damn you man, don't you care? Don't you care at all?" Doubar
yelled. "Or are you afraid? Are you a coward? Can't you face the
The brothers now had attracted the entire crew. "I think we
should step in," Maeve stated. But Rongar held her back. Firouz
told her, " It's between them. It doesn't concern us."
"Stop it, just stop it," Sinbad said furiously. "You wouldn't
understand!  You're right, I am a coward. I'm not afraid of what
Meg will say once she sees me; I'm afraid I'll despise myself
when I see her. What if she's a broken woman? I would kill myself
if I found out the reason she's warped and damaged. At least
here, on the Nomad, in the middle of nowhere I can convince
myself that she's all right. That's what I tell myself when I
think about her. And believe me Doubar, I think about her
Doubar was at a loss for words. "Sinbad, I'm sorry"
" Don't bother," Sinbad spat, already walking away. Suddenly, he
turned back to his brother. " By the way, Meg was more than the
first girl I fell in love. She was the only girl I'm sure I ever
really loved." He left Doubar.
Maeve rushed over to Doubar. He was shaking his head. "What did I
do to him? Why did I do that? Why,Maeve ? I had no idea he cared
so much."
Maeve tried to comfort him, but her curiousity got the best of
her. "Who is Meg?"
Doubar gulped. Maybe Sinbad didn't want the crew to know about
this. He smiled weakly. "How about I tell you about Megaera
"Meg," a voice behind Maeve and Doubar said. They turned around
and saw Sinbad. He looked calmer.
"Go ahead, Doubar , tell her about Meg. Or I will. It's not that
big of a secret. Sheşll probably find out when we reach Lycos
Doubar still looked uneasy. "Go ahead," Sinbad urged. He smiled
crookedly. "I promise I won't bite your head off this time."
"Well, Sinbad and Meg grew up in the same village. They were just
childhood friends. Then she and her family moved away when she
was twelve."
"Her father was a salt merchant, so they moved to a larger city,"
Sinbad explained. "She came back to live with her grandmother
five years later. Her entire family had died in a fire."
"How terrible," Maeve commented.
"Yes, it was, but Meg was, well is tough," Sinbad said.
"Tough as they come," Doubar affirmed.
"She had really changed. Really changed when she returned. REALLY
changed," Sinbad tried to explain.
"My brother is trying say that she was gorgeous." Doubar smirked. 
"Love at first sight, right Sinbad?"
"It sure was. Or perhaps `love at second sight'? I wonder if she
still lives in Lycos?" Sinbad contemplated aloud.
Firouz interrupted them. "It is time to dock, Sinbad." The party
broke up.
When Sinbad was out of earshot, Maeve grabbed Doubar's arm. "Do
you think he is still in love with Meg? Or is it just all the old
Doubar knew of Maeve's feelings for Sinbad. He wished he could
reassure the tall redhead. But he couldn't. Only Sinbad could.

Lycos was a bustling sea town. "Let's deliver the cargo to Prince
Sinon now and explore the city later," Sinbad ordered.
Doubar smiled to himself. He knew exactly what Sinbad would be
`exploring' for.
Prince Sinon was dark and handsome; suave with an almost feline
grace. He made Maeve uneasy. She sensed a streak of ruthlessness,
cold-bloodedness in him. She was dismayed when Sinbad accepted an
invitation to a banquet held at the palace later that day.
"I really wish you didn't accept his invitation, Sinbad," Maeve
said after they left the palace.
"Why not?" Sinbad asked. 
" I don't know.  Something about him unnerves me, I guess. I
sense evil."
Sinbad laughed. "You sense evil everywhere, Maeve." He spotted
Doubar at a stand and joined him.
"I'm sorry about this morning," Sinbad said.
"It is I who should apologize," Doubar stated. " Sinbad, I asked
around. Meg could still be living here."
"Oh," Sinbad replied, startled. "Where? In her old house?"
" I don't know. This man used to be a cloth merchant. He sold Meg
some white silk about two years ago."
Sinbad sucked in his breath. "Well, does he know anything else?"
"Actually, he said the silk was for her wedding dress."
" I see." Sinbad answered and turned away.
" Sinbad, stop." Doubar's voice was kind, " This is what you
wanted to know, right? She probably is very happy. She may even
have children."
" You're right," Sinbad confirmed, feeling embarassed. " this is
good news. It's just--I don't know. I feel almost betrayed. 
Strange, isn't it?"
"No, not at all," Doubar reassured. "Come on, I'm sure the
festivities have already started."

At the party----

The Nomad crew made their way through the crowded doorway. Prince
Sinon saw them and motioned them over. " Good evening," he said
"Good evening, sir." Sinbad replied. " This is quite a party."
"Thank you, but I can't take all the credit." Sinon reached over
and tapped a woman's shoulder. Her back was to them, but
something about the way she tilted her head, gestured with hands
seemed oddly familiar to Sinbad. The familiarity made Sinbad feel
unaccountably sad. "My dear," the prince said, "Have you ever
heard of Sinbad the sailor?"
"Indeed I have," she replied, turning slowly around. To Sinbad,
it was like a door opening to the past.
The woman was Meg.
Meg's eyes widened and she felt she might faint. In all this
time, she couldn't believe Sinbad was back. Three years of
memories rushed over her, and she fought to repress them.
"Megaera," Prince Sinon introduced, "This is Sinbad the sailor."
"I know who he is," she said softly, meeting Sinbad's eyes for
the first time. They were the same as she remembered. A deep
blue, a fathomless blue. Wait, were those tears in his eyes? She
knew she felt them in her eyes. She quickly blinked them away.
"Do you two know each other?" Sinon asked curiously.
"Yes, we do, " Meg said, surprised of how steady her voice
sounded. "We're old friends."
"Old friends." Sinbad repeated. He was unsure of what to do. So
was Meg. She wanted to cry on his shoulder. Instead, she leaned
over and hugged him briefly. She kissed him chastely on the
cheek. Sinbad felt intense sadness in this simple gesture.
Meg saw Doubar. She smiled genuinely. "Doubar!" she cried. He got
her in a giant bear hug and swung her around. He finally set her
down on the ground. He introduced her to Firouz, Rongar, and
Firouz and Rongar were friendly, but Maeve was something else.
She studied Meg warily from her great height, making the shorter
woman feel uncomfortable. Meg wondered if Maeve and Sinbad were
lovers. That might explain Maeve's cool attitude towards her.
Prince Sinon interrupted her thoughts. " They have just started
the music. Let's dance." Meg nodded and Sinon twirled her away
from the crew of the Nomad.
"Wow," was Firouz's comment.
"She was just dripping in diamonds," Maeve noted snidely. "I
wonder how hard she worked to get them."
"I can't believe Meg married him," Doubar remarked loudly.
Two passing women stopped and stared at Doubar. "Excuse me," one
said. "Did you just say Megaera was married to the Prince?"
"That's what I said," Doubar replied.
Both women laughed merrily. "You must be mistaken,"the other
women said. "Megaera is only the Prince's playmate. He'll only
keep her until he tires of her." Still laughing, the women walked
Sinbad felt his blood boil. He could understand Meg being
married, but not being the Prince's mistress. He ignored Doubar's
restraining arm and walked to the dance floor.
"May I cut in, sir?" Sinbad asked the Prince. The Prince's face
darkened in anger, but he handed Meg off wordlessly.
Sinbad steered Meg away from Prince Sinon. "So, how long have you
been the Prince's concubine?"
Meg's mouth dropped open. "What are you talking about?" she
"Don't play dumb with me. Where else did you get that necklace
and that dress? It says courtesan all over."
Meg pulled her hand from Sinbad's and sought to cover her
"Believe me, there's no need, my dear," Sinbad murmured,
snatching her hand back. "Everyone's seen your charms."
"I am not his whore."
"Then where did you get that necklace?" Sinbad questioned.
Meg touched the exquisite emerald and diamond necklace around her
neck. "No, Sinon loaned it to me."
"I told you before, I am not his whore. You can believe me or
not, that is your choice. But can we please change the subject?"
"Fine," Sinbad said. "I heard you married."
"You've heard correctly for once."
"Who's the lucky fellow?"
"Do you remember Marcus, his father was a shipbuilder?" Meg
"Sure do. He always liked you." Sinbad's voice broke off. "So
when did you marry him?"
"About six months after you left."
"Damn, you didn't wait long, did you?"
Meg winced. "Stop it, you have no idea about what went on."
"No, I don't. Where is Marcus anyway?"
"He's dead," she said flatly.
"I'm sorry. How long ago?"
"A few months ago," Meg said softly. It still hurt to say it.
"It doesn't take you long to get over things, does it?" Sinbad
asked, amazed.
Meg slapped him. "I'm sick of this. You left me, remember? You
have no idea what has been going on during the past three years."
She turned on her heel. "Don't you dare slander my husband." She
stalked off.
Sinbad was shocked about the way he handled the situation. She
was right. He had no business making assumptions like that. He
had to find her and apologize, at the very least.
Sinbad approached Rongar. "Have you seen Meg?". Rongar pointed
down the hall. He looked questionly at Sinbad.
Sinbad sighed. "Yes, it went badly."
Meg leaned against the wall. She felt worn out. She was glad the
hall was empty. She wanted to be alone.
She knew Sinbad didn't say those things out of malice. He was
just hurt. She could understand that herself. She didn't feel to
great herself. 
Her neighbors had taken her sudden isolation as a widow's
bereavement. Which was true, in a way. She still mourned Marcus.
But there was a higher purpose, one she learned from her late
husband that dominated her actions now. A purpose so great it
consumed her and convinced her to live a life of lies.
"Meg," Sinbad's hand was on her shoulder.
"Yes," she said dully, still thinking about the last six months.
"Meg. Meg, my love, look at me," Sinbad pleaded. He took her limp
hand and held it between his two strong ones. "Please forgive me.
I'm so sorry. You are right. I shouldn't have said those things."
"It's all right," she said, " I forgive you." And it was all
right. Sinbad's words hadnşt wounded her as badly as he thought.
Suddenly her eyes popped open. "Did you just call me `my love'?"
Sinbad blushed and laughed ruefully. "I believe I did."
The tension between them shattered and they both began to laugh.
Meg slapped her forehead lightly. "Oh no," she cried.
"What's wrong?" Sinbad asked.
"I have to leave. My neighbor is pretty close to full term. She
could have the baby at any moment. I need to be there."
"You became a Traiteur like your grandmother?"
"Yes." Meg smiled. "It was what I always wanted to be."
"Well, I guess this is goodbye," Sinbad said awkwardly.
"It could be. Or do you and your friends want to come to a real
party tonight?"
Sinbad's eyes lit up. "We'll be there. Where is it?"
Meg laughed lightly. "I haven't exactly moved, Sinbad. Goodbye."
She kissed him on the cheek and left through the door.
Meg had almost made her way through the crowds of people to the
doorway when Prince Sinon grabbed her arm.
"Where are you going, my dear?" he asked.
"I need to go home. One of my neighbors is expecting a baby."
"Oh.I watched you dancing with Sinbad."
"Why, milord?"
Sinon ignored the question. "You seemed rather upset. Why?"
"Sinbad hasn't heard any news of his friends in the past 3 years,
milord. I had to mention the sad things. Like the death of my
grandmother, the death of my husband--" Meg looked directly into
Sinon's eyes.
"I see."
"When would you like me to return this necklace milord?" Meg
"Who said anything about returning it? It is yours to keep."
"I can't accept this"
"You can and you will. Doesn't it make you happy, Megaera?"
"Good then." Sinon leaned over and kissed her on the lips. "You
look absolutely breathtaking with it on."
"Thank you for the necklace. Good evening, milord," Meg replied
quickly. She wanted to get out of there.