Chapter 8
Authors Note: I apologize for the delays on all my stories, finals are here and while I have some parts of chapters done, I haven't been able to type them as much as I want too. Only on weekends and when I can get a computer in school, grrr

"Edge?" Ana asked, "Where did he get that nickname?"

"At the blade of a sword." Jack stared into space not seeing or hearing anything but the tolling silence and thunk of boots on the floor. "The rapier he carried was chipped purposefully, mind you, so that when he battled, flesh was torn and ripped on even sudden contact. The blade was one of the most deadly, and often fatal, vestiges of his arsenal. That's what he used on me arm, an' why his name is Edge, savvy?"

Ana nodded, her throat was too dry to speak. Jack's accent, she realized, had become less refined as he spoke. A slight lilt and dropping of vowels that made him out as a pirate.

"'s not th' last time we'll see 'im here." Jack leaned back against the hay- barrel and forced his muscles to relax, "And when we do, I want you out of sight, aye? He has a sadistic streak when it comes to women and I'll not let him lay a hand on you."

"Nor me either." Ana said resolutely, "I wont let him hurt you, not again, and not if I can stop him."

"Ana..." he waited until her gaze met his, "No, I don't want him to see you, hear about you, or know you exist. If he does, he will come after you. Even if I'm dead, he wont stop until you're found."

"You wont be dead, because he's not going to kill you. Savvy?" she threw his word back at him. "I'm not some little pet, or a child to be taken care of. Bleeding hell, Jack, what do you expect me to do? Stand back and watch them arrest you again!"

"No." he replied in a reasonable tone, "I expect you to hide somewhere so they don't see you watching. That is if I loose, not bloody likely."

""Precisely. Its not likely I'll watch them- damn you, Jack. If you die, risk all and go down fighting, what am I to do? I haven't anywhere to go, if you're dead what happens to me?" she had tried everything she could to think of, this was her last resort.

"You find the 'Azure Emerald' and tell them what's happened. You'l lbe secure a place there."

"I'll be even more secure if you were with me." She snapped.

"I haven't died yet, love." He grinned and pulled the brim of his hat down to cover his eyes. Ana seethed wanting to smack some sense into him. The flaming daft, bloody, dog! How dare he fall asleep on her at a time like this! She rest her head on a bale of hay and did her best to find rest herself. Her eyes burned in the darkness, their conversation was far from over.

Jack listened as her breath evened and he was sure she was sleeping. There were very valid reasons of why he didn't want Edge to get even the slightest glimpse of her. He had proven that he had no qualms about going after anyone and anything that meant something to Jack.

There had been a woman in the prison, her name had been Nemorta. She was only sent there because a man she had once known was too cowardly to face the consequences of his actions. He stole a necklace from one of the richer members of nobility, then when the Navy went after him he planted it inside her house.

When the Navy saw the necklace there, they tried her and found her guilty for a past charge of pick-pocketing. They sent her to the jail and she was supposed to only have been there two month. Those months came and passed, like all the other prisoners they had forgotten about her.

One of the lessons Jack had learned was to watch out for himself and let other men do the same. When they gave him a cell next to hers, in the dead of winter he would see her shivering huddled against the side wall. She stood up to the guards with a blind sense of hope that someone would help her.

Jack couldn't let her rot there without trying to help, she was once a very beautiful woman. With hair the color of ebony and eyes a light blue, there was no doubt in her mind that she had turned heads as she walked down the street.

The prison had faded her eyes to a dull steel color, and her hair hung limply around her shoulders. What was left of it, the soldiers had cut some of it to ensure utter humiliation. They would have made her walk unclothed down the middle aisle way, had Jack not intervened she wouldn't have survived the day.

He had always been good at bartering, fifty lashes across the back and they promised to leave her alone. What they didn't mention was that she would have to watch. She cringed, flinched, and tears fell from her eyes as she watched the brutal punishment administered. Jack never made a sound, she seemed to feel every cut of the whip and begged them to stop.

When she came down with a fever, Jack had given her what little rations they gave him. She had never gotten better, after that it was as if a cold, hard, lump of stone was where his heart had once been.

Guards of the jail had thought it funny, a pirate trying to save a common wench. They put them together as much as they could just to see what lengths he'd go to see her kept from harm.

There was only one time he had failed. He hadn't seen the brand they used to make prisoners 'dance.' Nemorta did and threw herself across his back to save him more pain, she had had a horrible burn over her back shoulder- blades till her death.

Jack succumbed to the madness that day, he actually killed one of the guards with the same brand they laughed over. He spent the next few weeks without food, only accepting the slightest part of Nemorta's food when he found that keeping conscious was impossible.

That she should die with bruises upon her face and body when there should have been laughter and joy was just inhumane. She faced it with courage and bravery that he had never seen from anyone. Death was unavoidable, she said, and she would much rather die having met him than not at all.

When it was obvious that she wasn't going to heal, Edge came inside her cell, picked her up by her hair, and stabbed her through the stomach.

Jack closed his eyes against his rage and heart-breaking grief. She didn't deserve what they did. There should have been a proper burial, Edge cleaned off the sword on the rags that she wore and left here laying in the middle of the floor. The wound wasn't fatal, and Edge didn't even have the decency of cutting her throat to make her death peaceful.

It had been Jack who cracked her neck when she begged him to make the pain stop. He couldn't do it at first, but she clawed at his arm and when she coughed blood trickled from the side of her mouth. If he didn't ease her suffering she would die from strangulation on her own lifesblood.

The scar on his arm was created that day, the pain only measured by that in his mind and heart. He knew he had to escape, madness and insanity only waited for him here.

He'd go back to the prison just so long as Ana stayed safe. He couldn't do it again, he wouldn't be able to kill someone he loved no matter how much they pleaded. If he did, he would truly be as mad as the stories made him out to be.

Authors Note 2: And that's it for Jack's past. I think. Unless there are some little references to it in the future chapters... muhahaha.