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“I should kill you.” The words come out of my mouth in a hoarse whisper, hatred dripping from every syllable. I glare at the man standing before me, trying not to stare at his olive-skinned chest peeking through his thin white shirt. He grins wickedly at me, taking slow, threatening steps towards me.
“Well that’s not very nice,” he replies in a low, quiet voice as he continues to walk to me. With every step he takes forward, I take one back. “Why would you want to do that?”
I feel my back press into the mast and I stumble for a moment before I regain balance and say, “You killed my father.”
“Did I now?” He’s taking advantage of my predicament and he rests his right arm against the mast just above my left shoulder. His face is so close to mine that I can smell the rum he was no doubt drinking earlier. I lean away from him as far as I can, staring at him as he leans closer to me.
Finally, I slap his face and attempt to run away, but he grabs my wrist just a second later and yanks me back around, forcing me close to him once more.
“That’s not very nice at all,” he says as he looks into my eyes. I lower mine to look at his strong fingers wrapped around my wrist, and I struggle to pull away from him.
“Let go of me,” I demand as I yank and pull with no avail. He grins at me, obviously amused, and flashes his yellow teeth.
“You know you want me.”
I stop struggling and stare at him in disbelief. “Why on earth would I ever want you?” I ask in utter horror. Does he honestly think that just because he’s a little bit handsome (yes, I admit it, his black hair and dark eyes are somewhat attractive) he thinks he has me wrapped around his finger? The nerve.
“Ah, yes,” he says, letting go of my wrist and taking my hand in both of his, playing with my fingers. “You have your Lord Bennett, isn’t that right?” I watch him as he weaves his fingers through mine for just a moment before his hand trails down and rests on my waist. I frown, take his wrist, and push it back to him.
“You will maintain your distance, sir,” I told him firmly.
“You seem to forget, love.” He takes another step towards me. This time I am determined to stand my ground, and so I don’t move. I look up into his eyes as he says, “I’m a pirate. Distance is no object.”
For just a moment, I find myself thinking about how beautiful his eyes truly are – a deep, dark brown. But I catch myself and shake my head, then push past him and walk away. I hear his boots thumping the deck as he follows behind me.
“You will come to my side, love. You know you will.”
I walk to the side of the ship and lean on its railing, staring out at the blue waves rising and falling beneath us. “You are too certain, sir.”
“My dear,” he says. I feel his presence right behind me. I turn and look over my shoulder to see that he is indeed just a foot away, his hand resting on the railing beside me, blocking the way I just came. I turn around, lean on back on the railing, and look into his eyes again as he continues. “I have a ship. Having a ship means having freedom. You long for freedom. I can see it in your eyes.”
I immediately shifted my gaze away from him. I could almost feel him smirking at me.
“You see?” I can hear the amusement in his voice. “One day, my dear Anna, you won’t be able to resist me.”
“And you, my dear captain, are mistaken,” I replied. “I shall not yield so easily.”
“Is that so?” he asks.
“I am betrothed to a good man. I know he will care for me.” I look back up at him. “Perhaps there is goodness inside of you as well.”
“Quite the contrary.” The captain’s gaze turns to the sea, and for a moment I see a hint of longing in his eyes.
“Do not deny it, captain,” I say. After a pause, I smile slightly and tell him, “I can see it in your eyes.”
He looks back at me, his smirk gone, a serious look replacing it.
“You want to be admired. You want to gain the rewards that come with helping others.” I cock my head a little and stare at him. “Don’t you, Captain Cutless?”
“Maybe I do, maybe I don’t,” he replies carelessly. Then his eyes lock with mine and he smirks once more. “But then no one’s watching, are they?”
“You never know who might be watching,” I tell him as I stand up straight again. He is still just a foot away from me.
And then he’s leaning closer to me again, his eyes never leaving mine. He lowers his head a little and asks quietly, “Are you watching?”
I don’t respond. The captain reaches a hand up and brushes my hair out of my face, all the while leaning closer and closer to me. I stare into his eyes and watch as his gaze shifts to my lips and he turns his head to the side. I can feel his breath on my face.
Finally, we both close our eyes and I tilt my head upwards ever so slightly for my lips to meet with his…
“Land ho!” The call causes both of us to stop, just an inch from each other. I open my eyes and see the captain drawing away slowly, an evil smirk creeping across his face.
Then he walks away briskly, leaving me standing on the deck watching him go, longing for the kiss that almost was.