A/N: The reader response on the previous chapter was incredible, thank you so much guys! So, on with the show...
After hours of dancing and swilling rum with the crew, Elizabeth found herself retreating into Jack's cabin. He offered her the use of his berth, planning to bunk in a hammock with the rest of the crew. Her head still spun from dancing with Jack; he threw her about the deck of the Pearl; they'd spun and spun like whirling dervishes, laughing the entire way.
Never a dull moment with you, Lizzy, he'd said as they collapsed to sit upon a crate together. He'd slipped his arm around her shoulders, and she'd unabashedly nestled into the warmth of his body, at least for the moment pleased to not give a damn. Jack smelled intoxicatingly of the sea, of sweat and spices, and she couldn't remember the last time she'd been so perfectly happy.
Perhaps the last time was aboard the Pearl as well, after rescuing Jack from World's End. He'd warily avoided her for a few days, until under the cover of darkness he pulled her aside, stealing a ravishing kiss and whispering in her ear I forgive you, before sneaking back to his duties at the helmFor the next few days after that she'd floated along in the clouds, and Will glared at Jack suspiciously.
Jack arranged the covers of his berth, checking that there were no stray creatures or weapons lying about. "Well, sweet dreams, love," he said, making to retreat down below. His fingers trailed down her arm as he walked away, sending gooseflesh marching across her skin.
"Jack, wait," she said, clasping his fingers in hers. She knew this moment would come eventually, and had racked her brains all evening to think of a way to ask for his help. He paused, quirking one eyebrow inquiringly.
"I…" She looked into his dark penetrating eyes, and felt a warm blush creep over her cheeks and ears. "Well, it took two people to get me into this dress this morning, and I….need help getting out of it."
Jack chuckled, a low sound that tugged at something deep within Elizabeth. "There's no shame in admitting you just want ol' Jack to strip you down, love. You needn't make excuses..."
When Elizabeth paid him a haughty glare, he made a circling motion with one finger, urging her to turn around. He understood her plight; corsets were one of the most imprisoning inventions pressed upon women. "You know, you were also deprived of your wedding night," mused Jack as he undid the top lacings on the back of her gown.
His fingers traveled up to brush lightly over her shoulders, causing Elizabeth to shudder. "If you're also feeling cheated in that area, I would be happy to compensate," he whispered against the skin of her neck, hands moving back down to the laces. As he freed the next few Elizabeth's hands flew up to her neckline, catching the falling dress. She froze, her senses assaulted by the warmth of the pirate behind her, and the acute ache in her heart to not send him away.
She turned around to face him, one hand clutching her neckline. "Jack¾"
He pulled her to him, one hand on her waist, the other lifted to caress the side of her face.
"I can't seem to escape you, love," Jack confessed. "If you're not in my thoughts, you seem to be on my ship. Which is why I think you should stay here."
Elizabeth released a shuddering breath. "Don't say such things to me unless you mean them, Jack Sparrow."
"Captain Jack Sparrow."
"Well, Captain Sparrow," she whispered above his mouth tauntingly. "If you're offering me freedom, I'd be a fool to leave it behind again."
"That you would, love," said Jack, leaning closer. "And we both know Elizabeth Swann is no fool." With two fingers at her jaw line, Jack pulled her forward by sheer force of magnetism into a heated kiss. His tongue was a slick wetness between her lips, eager to taste her every flavor. Elizabeth leaned into the pirate, both hands delving into his hair, as though there were a possibility he might pull away. Only the pressure of their bodies together held up the dress now. A fleeting thought of Will entered Elizabeth's mind, but was quickly slain by Jack's lips on her neck, igniting a line of fire down her spine to lower areas.
Along with a the growing heat of passion, Jack felt a certain sense of triumph deep inside. However, he knew it was only a fleeting sensation. Though Elizabeth seemed as though she were giving herself to him at long last, he knew she was a woman no man could ever truly own. But if there was anything Jack loved, it was taking that which did not belong to him. She would be a challenge forever; a woman with a soul like the ocean. And like the ocean, she entranced all those around her. No one escaped unchanged; life would never be the same again. As they sank down onto his berth, Jack explored her skin with sea-worn hands, hungrily anticipating the adventures ahead.
Need I say it anymore? Reviews are great, and constructive criticism is golden! Thanks!