I stood at the bow of the Black Pearl, playing with the tip of my braid and watching a couple of dolphins in the water below. It was a perfect day—the sky a bright, hard blue, the sea a beautiful, sparkling turquoise. The sun was shining the color of a ripe banana high in the sky, and there wasn't a cloud as far as I could see—which was to the very horizon that Captain Jack Sparrow wanted.

Once in a while a wonderfully light breeze blew in my direction, though the ebony sails above me billowed in a steady wind that kept the Pearl on course. Normally there would have been a few of the crew members on deck, doing some kind of work, but today there was nobody (except perhaps Anamaria, in the crow's nest). Instead there was only the occasional call of seagulls or the water lapping the sides of the Pearl, and most of the time a beautiful silence that filled my area. I breathed in a deep breath of tangy sea air, and felt a familiar thrill as one of the dolphins leapt, showering me with cool, salty spray.

This had all become part of my life. As I stood watching the ripples of water, the smooth streamlined curve of the dolphins' path, I thought about my life. I was Elizabeth Swann—Elizabeth Turner soon—and I could no longer be "the governor's daughter." I was a pirate now—part of the Black Pearl. Wearing corsets and dresses, acting prim and proper, and being served were all out of my life now. They were replaced by my shirt and pants, robbing and looting, and working on the ship as a crew member. My orderly, disciplined childhood had completely been laid to rest; I now kept a sword and gun ready and never thought much about "parley." All of this made me completely and utterly happy. The Pearl was my home now, and I would never go back to living in Port Royal.

I heard footsteps behind me, and turned to find the captain striding towards me. A certain part of my mind seemed to be expecting something I didn't want.

"Hey, love," he said. I stiffened slightly.

"Jack—" I began.

"All right," sighed Jack. "Elizabeth, you know how I feel…"

"And you know I'm going to be married to Will in a matter of weeks! I told you, Jack. We'll do it in secret in a town somewhere… maybe Port Royal if we can risk it, but I am, in fact, engaged!"

A few seconds passed before I said stiffly, "And do you have a specific reason for coming, captain?"

"I was wondering if you could find something useful since you're on deck already."

"I plan to go to the crow's nest in a few minutes," I said quickly.

"Ah," he said. "Oh, and darling—"

"Jack," I said, not knowing whether to feel sympathetic or exasperated. "Sorry, but I've told you that it never would have worked between us, and it never will." With as much dignity as I could muster, I swept past him towards the mast. I climbed up the mast with experience and agility, my head teeming with thoughts.

I knew for certain that I didn't love Jack Sparrow. I knew that he fancied me, and it did get a little annoying at times. It'll pass, I decided. Once I'm married. Jack is a good man, after all. I loved Will, and Will loved me in return. If there was anything else to it, I wasn't planning to think about it.

I emerged in the crow's nest and found Anamaria there, scanning the horizon with a telescope. I hoped she hadn't been watching Jack and me.

"Hello, Anamaria," I greeted. "I've come to take your place, just like I promised earlier."

"You are a pirate of your word, aren't you?" said Anamaria, handing me the telescope.

"I am," I replied, flashing Ana a smile as she started to climb down. I could see Jack at the bow, standing very still and staring towards the horizon. In a few moments Ana was walking towards him. She probably was watching us, I thought.

"You really do like her, don't you, captain?" Ana's loud voice floated up to me. I covered my ears, not wanting to hear the answer.

I stayed in the crow's nest until after the sun had set. Then I let Gibb's take my place and went to find Will.

"Elizabeth," he said, nearly running into me on deck.

"Will." I smiled. "Any news of where we're going? Or is Jack still keeping it secret?"

"Well…" Will said. "I don't know exactly where we are headed but I have heard that we'll be in a small town somewhere in a couple of weeks."

"Oh, that's wonderful!" I exclaimed. "We can have a private wedding there! There won't be anyone to catch us, will there?"

"I would doubt it," Will said happily. I was ecstatic now—I would be married soon!