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I feel his strong fingers wrap around my right shoulder, one by one. The smell of the sea comes closer as my head accidentally rests on his shoulder for a moment. I pull away, unable to go so far as to let him become so friendly with me in our last moments, especially after he’s had it out for me ever since I set foot on his stupid ship.
“So, tell me one of your secrets,” he says suddenly, surprising me. I look at him.
“Well seeing as we’re going to die here anyway, someone might as well know what you’ve been hiding,” he says, bringing the bottle of rum to his lips. I look at the bottle he shoved into my hands as the sun was setting earlier and think for a long time before I reply.
“I…I never cared for Lord Bennett,” I finally said.
“I never wanted to marry him. I only pretend I do so my father won’t worry.” I slow down on the last few words, aware that I just shared my thoughts with a complete stranger. And a pirate, no less.
He doesn’t say anything for a moment. Then, finally, he says, “I see.”
“And what is your secret?” I ask, looking at him once more. His gaze travels over the dark waves surrounding this little island. A moment later, he opens his mouth to reply, but then he stops, a look of confusion spreading over his face.
“What was it?” he asks himself. His eyes travel to the bottle of rum in his hands. “It’s right on the tip of my tongue…” he truly looks lost for words. I roll my eyes and look away, knowing he won’t tell. “Let’s see…something the crew would hate me for…oh yes. I love you.”
I jerk my head back around to stare at him, my eyes wide. He’s looking out at the sea again, his chin lifted in authority. I blink.
“What?” I ask in a whisper. He finally turns to look at me, his dark eyes locking with mine.
“You heard me.”
“From the moment you put on that dress.”
I glance down at the black dress he had me put on the night his crew captured me. It’s sleeveless, has a low neckline, and has cuts in the side so that your legs can peek through and allow a bit more movement. At the time I was annoyed with him for making me wear it, but now…
“But why?” I ask him. He’s looking back out at the sea again.
“Why do you…love…me?” It sounds odd to say. “It can’t be because of this dress.”
“No, no, of course not.” He waves his hand as if pushing the though away. “You’re charming, beautiful, quick-witted, intelligent…you’d make an excellent pirate.”
“I don’t want to be a pirate,” I reply automatically, cutting of my last word sharply, as if taking it back. I reach up to finger my dirty blonde hair and think silently. I can’t decide if he’s saying all this about me because it’s sincere or he just wants to toy with me, as he’s been doing this entire voyage.
He turns to look at me again, his eyes illuminated by the fire. Even in the dark I can see that they’re a deep shade of brown, and that they shine like the stars. His olive-colored skin shines with an orange glow, and I can briefly make out his dark hair and the thin moustache above his lip.
And is it my imagination, or is it getting closer?
He’s leaning towards me, never tearing his gaze from me. “You sure about that, love?” he asks quietly as he gets even closer. I can smell the sea again. I stare at his lips. They’re parting slightly. I know what he’s doing. I don’t know why I won’t move, pull away as I did before, anything to get me away from this bloodthirsty pirate who is just playing with my mind.
He closes his eyes, just inches from my face now. I watch his lips come in for the kill for as long as I can before I close my eyes as well and allow the warm taste of sea salt and rum to wash over me as he presses his lips against mine.
He’s toying with me, I think to myself, trying not to fall for it. He’s just toying with me…
It’s my last thought before he suddenly grabs the back of my neck with his hand and pulls me closer to him. My hands instinctively reach up to stop him, but instead go for his arms, gripping his powerful shoulders as he dips me backwards and kisses me.