Author's Note: I cannot even begin to apologize for how long it's taken me to get this chapter out, but I promise this is the LONGEST you will have to wait for another chapter...unless a monster arrives and kill me ;).
Her lips moved with such gentleness, but the words that broke forth from them were quietly deadly. Her eyes danced with amusement, similar to a predator facing its prey, as her grip on his face became tighter.
He could see her reaching for her back pocket. The movement, and the fact that he found himself staring death in the face caused him to swallow audibly, the collar of his jacket feeling tight against his throat. She shoved him away from her, so unexpectedly that he landed on his bum on the floor of the ship. As he tried to scramble to get away, he found himself being pulled back, landing on the floor once again. He looked over his shoulder to find the tail of his coat under the heel of her boot. As he trailed his gaze upwards, he couldn't help but pass his glance over the long legs of the woman who had literally captured him. He could hear Liam's chastisement in his head that perhaps this wasn't the time to be noticing such details.
"Going somewhere?" Her singsong voice was underlined with the implied meaning that he was not going anywhere.
From his place on the floor, he looked up at her- arms tightly crossed, a tight-lipped smile accompanied with a piercing gaze that made him feel like she could see right through him, could hear his innermost thoughts.
"Let me be the first to welcome you aboard...the Jolly Roger." Her sardonic smile further illuminated by the moonlight that slipped in through ship's windows beckoned him to pray that he would find a way off this ship...alive.
No ropes bound him to the chair. His hands were free, so were his legs. He could very well stand up from his place and walk out the door. However the power of her gaze and the way her eyes studied him- that's what kept him in place. She had made no movement towards her sword. As she circled his chair, her eyes solely holding his attention, she looked him up and down, before stopping in front of him.
"My apologies for not offering one of the King's officers a drink." Her voice sarcastically teased. She leaned forward, her face close to his, he could feel her breath tickle his cheeks. She smelled of raspberries, sultry and deep- slowly pulling and enticing him to bury his nose in the crook of her neck- with a hint of spiced rum. Right now, he wanted more than a drink- he had this need to want to breathe her in.
"Rum?" His eyes snapped open, his entrancement interrupted- she was no longer in front of him. She had wandered over to her desk to where the bottle of rum was and looked pointedly at him, waiting for his answer.
"Never touched the stuff." He cleared his throat, his mouth dry.
"Such a shame. You haven't lived." She poured herself a hearty amount of rum, and tossed her head back to take a drink. Her throat exposed as she slowly drained her glass reminded him of the elegance of a swan. She slowly placed the glass back on the table, her tongue slipping out to wet her lips, slowly- his eyes mesmerized by the simple act.
She slowly walked back towards him, each step deliberate in motion. Her eyebrow arched, poised in question, her eyes a deep pool of dark green, only intensified by the liquid coursing through her veins. He felt bound to his seat, his body tense in anticipation for what the goddess in front of him was going to do next.
"Your name, officer?" Her voice, smooth as the finest red wine, captivated him, into almost forgetting what his own name was.
He swallowed deeply, giving himself time to clear his mind from the web she had spun entrapping his mind and compromising his ability to form a coherent thought. "Killian Jones."
His chin jutted forward, his voice slightly wavering under her tense gaze, "Lieutenant Killian Jones."
Her words slipped from her tongue breathily with realization. She began circling him again, her footsteps echoing against the sturdy floorboards of the ship. Each echo causing his heart to skip another beat-another reminder to not fidget in his seat. Unlike his, her voice was steady and cool, as she listed off. "Ah- an admiral of the Royal Navy. Aboard my ship. A pirate ship."
Her tongue ticked off his name, emphasizing each syllable, in such a manner that it sounded like she was trying to remember it-commit it to memory. "You must be a bold man, Killian Jones."
Every muscle in his body screamed for him to run, to move, to flee. But he couldn't bring himself to tear his eyes away from her for one second. Pirate captain be damned, this woman was a vixen.
"Seems only good form for you to return the gesture. And what is your name, Captain?" He kept his voice steady, trying to gain the upperhand and prove to her (and himself if he was being honest) that he was unaffected, that he was the brave Lieutenant who dared step aboard the Jolly Roger.
She stopped in front of him, her head tilted to the side, in a curious manner, arms on her hip. Her smile almost playful, with a touch of danger pulling at the sides. He became impatient and was about to ask her again, when she placed a finger against his lips.
"You think I'm foolish enough to give you my name so that you can go scurrying back to your pitiful King and rat me out?" The soft gentleness of her voice mocked him.
"Uh, uh-I don't think so. Let's just say- I'm the Captain and let's leave it at that."
Not wanting to test her, he simply let it go. He could tell she was holding something back. That there was more to this than not wanting to reveal her name out of protection from the King. She was a mystery to him. This woman was the most feared pirate captain in all the land. No one dare spoke the Captain's name, because as he realized no one actually knew who the Captain was. He glanced around the Captain's quarters, finding her staring at him, pensively, her lip caught in between her teeth. What was she thinking?
His life was in her hands. He had his cutlass by his side, but given her preceding reputation, he was surprised she had given him no reason to use it, yet. She seemed intrigued by him, her eyes holding a sense of knowing- she knew exactly why he was here, what he was looking for, without him breathing a word. And if that were so, what else could she read from him?
Rather than striking impulsively and killing him on the spot, she was waiting- she was calculating his next move and then she would decide hers. Similar to a chess player. And funny enough, right when he thought that- his eyes passed over a chess board on one of the tables where the maps were spread out.
She was beautiful. Any man with eyes could see that. She was too beautiful to be a pirate. Her beauty was one that should have her in the ranks of royalty. Given his and Liam's ranks in the Royal Navy, they were often invited to the royal balls, where he had met many princesses. They all paled in comparison to her.
He met her gaze, once again falling enchanted by the deep pools of green that swirled into her dark black pupils. Her gaze was hard, it had to be, probably because of who she was- the Captain of a pirate ship. There was pain-probably due to the horrors she had seen or inflicted. He knew that this woman was also deadly- hell he wasn't out of the deep end just yet. His thoughts were cut short by the sound of heavy footsteps coming down the stairs.
Her back straightened, her arm ready to draw forth her sword. She took a quick glance to her left, quickly at the Lieutenant, looking for any sign that he knew who was about to make an appearance. His heart was pounding, his hands sweaty. With just the Captain, he oddly felt safe- at least, she hadn't killed him yet. But whoever this new person was, he did not have the same reassurance. The door burst open to reveal a woman? Alright lesson learned- keep his mouth shut and do not ever think of uttering the word wench.
Similar to the Captain, she was tall- the tail of her jacket dragged in behind her, whipping past her long legs. She too moved quickly and stealthily, almost like a wolf. The woman stopped suddenly, her head craned upward, her curled hair piled on top of her head, truly reminding him of a wolf howling. He could see that her face was more angular, more striking, than the Captain's. She sharply turned around to face him, her brow furrowed, her eyes a dark-deep-set green, that narrowed at the sight of him. His breath caught in his throat at the sight of her reaching to unsheathe her sword. Oh god.
"Stand down, Red." Any trace of the voice he had heard come forth from the Captain earlier was completely opposite to what he had just heard now. This voice was was strong and commanding, leaving no breath for questions to that order.
"My apologies, Captain." The woman (whose name he just learned was Red) released her grip on her sword, allowing him to release the breath he had been holding. His heart had raced so many times tonight- it was a miracle, he hadn't just keeled over yet. As much as he wanted to slump forward, bury his face in his hands, he needed to stay alert-he was still aboard the deadliest pirate ship.
The two women spoke very few, hushed words, hard for even him to make out, even though he was less than half the room's width away from them. Mostly they communicated with their eyes. The Captain's firm stare met with Red's narrowed gazes and frantic hand gestures were a give-away that perhaps the two women were not seeing eye to eye on something (most likely him). He could see why the Captain (bloody hell, he needed to find out her name) was the Captain. She listened and appeared to give fair judgment, but she did not waver. Her call was final. Finally, he saw the lass named Red acquiesce and with one last glance at him, she swept out of the room.
"Lieutenant Jones." He turned from his gaze at the door Red just left from back to the woman, in front of him. Her calming voice, a stark opposite to the one he just previously heard. Her eyes searched his, looking for some sort of answer.
"My crew will be returning from the taverns soon. They don't take kindly to trespassers, so if you are looking for the opportune moment to leave this ship, alive, I suggest you take it now."
"No questions, Lieutenant." She snapped back, her voice held a slight air of mirth (perhaps he just imagined that). "Let's just say, I too believe in good form." She turned her back to him, to face the window that had a clear view of tavern her crew would be returning from. Her back turned to him, her jacket pulled tight against her taut shoulder blades, her blonde hair cascading down, ending right above-
He had so many questions he wanted to ask her, but his life was at hand so he needed to act fast. Her silhouette highlighted by the lights of stars barely grazed over the beauty standing before him.
Question him later and he would never be able to find the words to explain himself. But there was something about this woman that stirred a burning desire in him. That propelled him forward to fulfill this overwhelming need that washed over him to be close to her, to touch her. To know that this woman was real.
He quickly stood up, made sure he had his cutlass on him, before he came up behind her. Before he got lost in the smell of raspberries interlaced with spiced rum, he focused on the task at hand. He left very little room between their bodies, barely pressing his back against her front. His lips faintly brushed against her ear before he whispered. "Thank you, milady."
He could hear her little gasp of surprise and he quickly and quietly left the quarters, as much as he longed to stay behind and see what her reaction would be. No sign of Red or the crew, raced down the stairs from the ship leading to the dock, before he disappeared into the shadows of the night, the lights of the Jolly Roger, fainting into the background.
"Want to explain why you just let a trespasser, more specifically, an officer from the Royal Navy, walk right off your ship?"
She could feel Red's glare on her back, could feel the tension and the fear that Red held in her body enter the room. She slowly swirled the glass of rum, giving herself time to think.
Without hearing a response, Red continued. "Captain! Have you lost your wits? I mean, this puts us in severe danger. For so long, our reputation has preceded us, and for some handsome officer who is trying to skirt his way into your knickers, you let your guard-"
"ENOUGH." Her voice bellowed as she slammed the glass down. She turned to face Red, her eyes seething with anger, her fists clenched by her sides, her nostrils flared as she struggled to contain her emotions.
"Question my orders again Red, at your peril." Her voice low- both chilling and deadly-leaving no room for any argument.
"My apologies, Captain." Red's sincerity and shame could be heard in her genuine apology.
"Your confusion was warranted, but your accusations were not. It would do you well to remember that."
"Again, my apologies." Upsetting the Captain was one thing, but when you were the First Mate- talk about a low blow.
"Tell no one of our visitor this evening." Her voice no longer held its former cruel tone, but still commanding and one that demanded respect.
"Aye. If I may be so bold, Captain?"
"If you're going to be bold, Red, drop the Captain." She spoke plainly as she gestured to the seat across from the Captain's desk, for Red to sit down.
"Emma, you let him go. We have no idea what he wants- why he was on the ship." Red paused, "Couldn't we have at least contained him for questioning? There's no telling that he'll come back."
A small, knowing smile tugged on her lips, her eyes dancing with assured confidence. The lieutenant that she found aboard her ship wouldn't be able to resist coming back. She saw right through his cocky demeanor- his arrogance at the supposed ease of stealing from a pirate, but he was so terribly wrong. He would be back to claim the compass he had forgotten in his haste or to square off against her-find a way to get under her skin, just like she did with him tonight. "Don't worry Ruby. He'll be back."
She wasn't sure how or why she knew he would be back, but something in his eyes tonight told her- this wasn't the last time she would be seeing Lieutenant Killian Jones aboard her ship.