Chapter 14

Nigh three quarters of an hour later there was another knock on the door, more of a pounding really. "Who is it?" Emma called absentmindedly as she flipped the page of the novel, totally immersed in the story.

"It's me," Jack's voice rang impatiently through the door. "Are you quite ready?"

"Yes. Are you?" Emma giggled silently and placed her book down on the bedside table as she heard him reply very impatiently that they'd best be going immediately.

"Jack, why is it necessary that I come ashore with you here at...where are we again?"

"Port Royal," he said shortly, still upset that she had been sitting in her room simply reading for quite a while. It merely perturbed him because she had known exactly what she was doing, that he really wasn't ready until just a minute before he'd gone to her door himself. This lass was entirely too smart. He couldn't really think of anything to say as they rowed from the Pearl to shore. He tried not to look at her as the morning light streamed across her face.

The silence was really getting to Emma and she became sleepy. The Pearl had let them overboard quite a way out from shore because Jack and his ship were wanted and being tracked down by the British Royal Navy, or at least His Majesty's Navy was trying to track them down. Emma tried to resituate herself to a more comfortable sleeping position, and before she could realize what was happening, the boat started to tip, she quickly sat up and tried to counter the weight, but she was fighting a losing battle as the boat tipped the other way with her.

Jack stopped her from leaning back the other way again and held on to her shoulders firmly as the boat steadied itself with a laughing grin on his face. "Sorry," she said, smiling back at him sheepishly.

"Don't fret about it love."

They remained silent for a few more moments.

"Jack, I'm bored."

He laughed. "You amuse me Emma."

Again, silence. Jack was trying to think of anything but Emma. From the moment three days ago when he'd met this beautiful creature, he hadn't been able to get her out of his mind. He'd hardly slept for she also haunted his dreams. And then when she spoke, her voice rang through his entire being. She was brilliant and interesting and funny. Then there was the fact that his crew also marveled at her beauty and her kindness. He felt for some reason like he had known her before, somewhere...or that he felt he knew himself better when he was in her presence, but it was a version of himself that he didn't know existed and he didn't comprehend it.

What in blazes was he doing? Captain Jack Sparrow, reuniting families and going on a voyage to defeat the enemy of the Turner family...this was not what pirates did. But he did owe it to Will for saving him from the gallows, and he had to take his own vengeance on James McAndrews for killing Bootstrap. But what was his profit? What did he get out of it? This confusion that now plagued him. Curse her!

"Jack, there's something you're not telling me," Emma interrupted his thoughts, he looked up surprised, hoping that she couldn't read his thoughts right now.

"Aye love, there's much I'm not tellin' ye."

"How did you become the captain of the Black Pearl the first time around, before they marooned you? You were only, how old did you say, sixteen?"

"Fifteen. I was fifteen when I became the captain, but I was close to sixteen when they marooned me. Pirate crews pick a new captain from among themselves when their old captain dies or is marooned, and those scurvy dogs, excluding for your father, thought I'd be the best captain. I wasn't an excellent swordsman, but I seemed to be, and in addition to having the knowledge of where the Isle de Muerta's abundant gold was, they figured me to be a pushover. I was for a part; I was entirely too naïve and gave Barbossa the bearings when he told me that everything should be shared equally. After they got the information out of me, they marooned me. They knew that they were wrong in figuring that I was a pushover, thought that I was becoming too clever, and they could see that they wouldn't be able to control or manipulate me much longer."

"And that was about ten years ago?"

"Ten and a half almost to the day." They moored up on the shore and walked a through a bit of the tropical foliage of Port Royal and came out near a bridge. Emma could see the Navy's battlements from where they were.

"Do you think you could have risked getting any closer to your hunters?" she asked.

"The closer I am to them, the less the chance of them knowing where I am, love," he took her hand and led her through the bustling streets. The town was engrossed in its business and didn't even notice the two strangers mingle through them and then maneuver their way into a small alleyway that led to another, less crowded street. They went down about three steps to the next level of the town, passing a statue of a blacksmith. Jack smiled, remembering how he'd hid behind it, and moments later he'd met Will. Emma gasped and stopped. Jack turned around to look at her, still holding her hand, and saw her standing motionless, staring at the same statue on the side of their pathway. She brought her other hand up to her mouth, which was hanging open slightly. He stepped closer to her and saw that her eyes, which she couldn't tear away from the statue, were pricked with tears.

She gave an involuntary shudder and Jack put his hand on her shoulder. She closed her eyes, then reopened them to look at Jack who had a look of perplexion and worry on his face.

"Jack, the statue, this's...I've dreamed it all before, and I've never been here before this. From the dream."

He squeezed her hand, "Have I ever given you reason not to trust me, love?" Emma took a deep breath and shook her head. He led her forward a few more paces and then opened a door to their left.