Part Seven – "Saints Among Sinners"
Groves entered the formidable room and observed one of his men removing the blood from Jack's face with a damp cloth. The pirate was lying on his back on the hard floor; his ankles were shackled along with his wrists. Each individual cuff was attached to a chain of little length; it did not allow much movement of any limb.
The soldier was pressing on the tender wounds rather harshly, making Jack squirm from the pain. When the hand was close enough, Jack turned his head and sunk his teeth into the flesh. The man let out a yelp and pulled it away. He slapped the pirate aggressively and made to hit him again, yet his supervisor halted him.
"That's enough, Thompson," Groves stated. "I'll take care of it."
Thompson stood and gave the cloth to the Lieutenant on his way out.
There was a minute of hesitation that passed before Groves treaded to the prisoner and sat down next to him. Jack tilted his head slightly in order to view his new caretaker. A feeble smile came to his face.
"You come to beat me senseless too?" he questioned. His voice sounded like a strained croak.
"No, I haven't. If you'll allow me, I would like to clean those wounds."
Jack snorted. "'Course you do. I suppose there's got to be saints among sinners, ay?"
Groves stared at him, but said nothing.
The Navy man reached out slowly and placed the cool fabric against a swollen, purple and black cheek. Jack flinched, yet he remained sedated. Groves was incredibly grateful for the cooperation. He dabbed it against the abundant cuts, wiping the dried blood off with a little pressure. Jack sighed and bit his lip, but continued to lay still.
The pirate silently scrutinized his rival, catching the subtle changes of expression. Groves leisurely became comfortable with his task, though the seriousness showed he was well aware of whatever small movement Jack made. It was how the older man caught the abrupt flicker of curiosity in the Lieutenant's eyes.
"What is it?" Jack inquired kindly, surprising Groves immensely.
"What is what?"
"You want to ask me a question. I can tell."
"You really are quite frightening."
Jack grinned. "It's not as if I try to be, mate."
"Well, since you've seem to have given me permission, I'm wondering why didn't it work on me? Or all the other men that….put you into the fight?"
"It can affect people in different ways. They all experienced somethin', but it may not be visible. Some may become withdrawn from those around them; others may start to seek a different spark of love. I can't rightly tell you since I'm not the one on the receivin' end, savvy? It did get to you, though."
"I don't feel any sort of change. I don't feel the need to suddenly run off with any woman."
"Why are you here?"
"In the fleet?"
Jack shook his head. "With me," he whispered.
Groves sought for an answer. He fumbled over words. "Commodore Norrington gave me orders to oversee your stay. I told Thompson to come in here and clean you up because you're under my supervision."
"No other captives have such luxury."
"Their injuries were nowhere near the extent of yours."
"Your hands were shaking when you touched me. I know how it got to ya. I can see it in your eyes that you do too."
Groves swallowed to loosen his constricted throat in order to speak. "I….don't understand."
"Ya don't have to."
The Navy man licked his lips and desperately tried to find another subject. "They say Norrington hasn't been his usual self ever since he returned from that voyage. What happened to him?"
It was Jack's turn to be rendered speechless for a moment. He frowned, and Groves felt a shift in the atmosphere about him. It was a sadness that surrounded them.
"Jame-….The Commodore was the first one I came in contact with from his crew; he was the first one that kissed me. That makes him….He's haunted by it now. More so than his crewmen. If he gets near me when I'm taken by it, he'll be the only one to become completely under its enchantment. He can't think for himself; he'll obey any order it gives him." He paused and smiled dejectedly. "When it finds that one….It'll be the end of him….in time. Then it moves on and finds another to play with."
Groves appeared entirely troubled from the explanation. It was the last bit of information, however, that caused him to be terrified the most.
"It'll….kill him?" he asked in a hushed tone.
"No. He'll kill himself, love."
There was a great amount of questions Groves wished to pose, but he stopped himself and experienced a stab to his heart like never before. A couple of tears leaked from Jack's eye as he gazed upward.
Groves did not know why, but he suddenly felt extremely distressed.
James knew where to find information about the supernatural occurrences at sea. She was obsessed with piracy, he did not understand why, and kept a myriad of books dealing with anything involving the ocean and buccaneers.
And he was right. Elizabeth Swann never failed him.
"I only have this one," she said as she handed a very old and dusty book to James. "It should be in there."
"Thank you, Elizabeth."
"May I inquire as to the reason you're interested in such things now?"
"Well, one of our pirate prisoners, Jack Sparrow-"
"Captain Jack Sparrow?!" She interjected excitedly.
James furrowed his eyebrows. "You've heard of him?"
"Yes. Accounts of his escapes and escapades are in some of my books. It would be quite amazing if I were able to meet him." She smiled sweetly.
James shook his head and chuckled. "I don't think that would be appropriate."
He sighed. "All right. Tomorrow I'll take you to visit him."
She hugged him and thanked him happily. As he left, he held up the book and expressed his gratitude for letting him borrow it.
Three figures, cloaked in shadow, crept into the cell. They did not know why they had started to loathe the pirate. It was not something any of them had felt previously when he was captured. Depravity and a thirst for violence urged them on.
There was no movement when they began unlocking the manacles around his ankles.
"Wake him up, Benjamin," Thompson instructed.
There was no need; Jack's eyes shot open as Thompson unbuttoned his breeches. The startled man glanced from one sinister face to another. He tossed and turned in hopes of fighting them off, but the chains did not allow him the chance.
"Get away from me!" he hissed as two held him still.
The clothing was slid down his slender hips and removed completely. Thompson seized his kicking legs, parted them, and moved between them.
"No. Don't. Please." He despised begging, but he refused to be dehumanized without at least trying. "Don't do this. Please."
The words fell on deaf ears. It was only when the second man defiled him, he was reduced to tears.
He never went to sleep after his violators exited.
He was thankful they dressed him when they had finished.
The door opened in the morning to permit Groves and another soldier to enter. Jack did not even look to acknowledge them; his stare was fixed on the ceiling.
"Unlock them so he can move around for a bit," Groves said.
The body was immobile even after he was liberated from the bonds.
"You can get up, Jack. You have permission," the Lieutenant prodded.
Wordlessly, Jack struggled to a seating position and then slowly raised himself to stand. He grimaced in pain, and Groves did not miss it. As he commenced walking around in the confined space, it was evident he was hurting. He strode about with a limp.
"Would you give me a moment alone with him?" Groves asked the soldier, though it was a command rather than an inquiry.
"Is there something wrong?" he questioned once they were alone.
Jack shrugged. "What do ya mean? Just the injuries from yesterday. Nothin' new."
"Are you sure there's nothing else the matter? Did something happen?"
"Stop worryin'. Nothing happened."
Groves crossed to him and stopped him. Jack's breathing became shallow, and he started to quake. When Groves caressed his cheek, he reacted as if he were being burned by fire.
"What is it?" The younger man was determined to get an answer. "You're trembling."
"It's nothing." The response was almost inaudible.
"I can protect you."
"What for? I'm here to die anyway."
Jack sauntered away, signaling the end of any further conversation.
"Now, please take a cautious note. He may be dangerous."
"Dangerous?" Elizabeth was flabbergasted. "I've never assumed him to be dangerous from the stories."
"The stories don't quite mention everything about him."
"What do you mean?"
They began their descent down the stairs to the second floor. As they continued onward, the young woman started to sing intensely softly.
"What is that, Elizabeth?" James was certain he had heard it before.
"I'm not sure. I can't remember where I learned it."
"It's lovely. Please, carry on."
The sun has left
Can you hear the sailors cry?
To home, they cannot return
So many have been hurt."
It was faint, yet it was enough to make his lungs clench, snatching oxygen from him. It was extraordinarily difficult to breathe. As the music drew nearer, he began to writhe about in agony. The black eyes were open wide. He banged his head against the floor in a frantic attempt to drown out the song.
"Can you know of what they learned?
The sea's her own
She has dominions that serve
Calypso, please guide us home."
A shrill shriek ripped itself from his throat. He screamed and tossed about wildly, trying to free himself from his shackles. Red tears dripped from his petrified, hellish orbs.
James burst into the cell and was rooted to the spot. Elizabeth came behind him and gasped in fright. She covered her ears due to the piercing cries. James discovered his legs returned to functioning properly after a time and rushed to the man's side.
"Jack," he said firmly and grabbed hold of the Siren's face. "Jack! Relax. Be calm. What's hurting you? What is causing this?"
Blood trickled from his eyes as he wept. Choking sobs now sounded from him. He had lost his strength, but kept squirming defiantly within his confines.
"Shhh…..Shhh…..Come back to me. Let it pass," James voiced soothingly as he stroked the thick hair.
The Siren panted for air and ceased all movement. A sense of peace settled over him before he passed out.
Part Eight – "Forgive Me, Forgive Me"
It was early evening when James ventured to the holding room. The soldier standing guard unlocked the door to permit him entrance. Gracefully, he strolled into the area and went to the man chained on the floor.
"Hello, Jack," he greeted gently as he knelt beside him.
Jack inhaled a breath and grinned. "Hello, darlin'."
"How are you feeling?"
"Maybe just a tad better than what I look like."
James smiled kindly. "It's not so bad anymore. How is the other half of you fairing?"
The pirate's features were soon covered with graveness; the change surprised James. "It's gettin' stronger. I can feel it. It's….angrier. More dangerous than I've ever known."
James nodded sadly.
It was as if someone was clenching their hands around his throat. Jack's fingers clawed at the floor as he anxiously tried to breathe.
A pitiful whine sounded from the pirate as his back arched and his eyes shut tightly. He lifted himself up several times as his arms pulled furiously to free him from the chains.
"Jack?" James reached out to touch him, though quickly decided against it. "Contain it."
The frightening episode ended, leaving Jack breathing heavily and weak. James wiped the light perspiration from Jack's forehead and stroked his cheek.
"James." The name was said with extreme panic laced within it.
"Don't hang me."
James frowned. "I have to. You know I do. It's the law."
The fragile man stared at him with deep sorrow. "Don't do it. You must listen to me."
"How can I believe you though, Jack? What if this is just an attempt to be set free? You're a pirate and you're one of the most deadly creatures ever known to man."
"You have to trust me, mate. It will be there. And it doesn't like to be threatened. People will die, James. Innocent people. Do you want their blood on your hands?"
"Don't you speak to me like that. I don't like to be threatened either."
"That's enough. I don't like that it has to be this way, but I cannot deviate from my duty."
The Commodore stood and departed from the room. Jack pounded his fist on the floor in anger.
"Damn it!" he shouted vehemently. "Stupid bugger."
Upsetting thoughts filled his mind, and he dreaded the day that was quickly approaching.
It was late in the night; darkness draped itself over the Caribbean. When the cell door opened, the occupant glanced over to see who it was. Ascertaining the identity in a second, he closed his eyes and lay still. The soldier went to him with the intention of commencing another brutal beating. The handle of a whip was in his grasp. He unlocked the four cuffs and made to kick the prisoner awake; however, the eyes flew open and the man lunged at the soldier.
"Hello, Benjamin," he said heatedly with an alluring grin. The black orbs were tainted with wickedness and hunger.
He straddled Benjamin's waist and pressed the lash of the whip strongly against the young man's throat. Benjamin gazed up at him; the green orbs revealed he was filled with terror.
"What were ya plannin' on tonight?" The voice was smooth, and it weaved its way through Benjamin; it hindered his ability to think properly. "Surely you weren't plannin' anything harmful, aye?"
The Siren lowered his head and kissed his catch ardently. His lips leisurely made their way to an ear where he bit it playfully.
"Tell your mates no more of that, savvy?" he whispered clearly.
Benjamin let out a wail as the talons sliced across his stomach. He curled up and covered the wound with his hands when the demon leapt off of him.
Satisfied, the formerly cuffed male sashayed out into the dimly lit hallway.
"He's escaped!" Benjamin yelled as loud as he could. He crawled to the door and struggled to stand. "The Siren! He's escaped!"
The possessed male looked over his shoulder at Benjamin and smiled slyly before he ascended the stairs.
"Fury is the worst one can see
Glory is what one should have
But nothing's attained
If one cannot be.
Sadness is welcomed
If accompanied by happiness
But I can have nothing
For what I've become.
Forgive me, forgive me
I did not take heed
Be not my foe."
The usually rowdy prisoners contained on the second floor immediately became silent as he passed by slowly. They listened, utterly captivated by the delicate melody and watched intently at the attractive being singing it.
Suddenly, a pistol was placed against the back of his head and cocked. He stopped and closed his eyes delightedly.
"Do not move, you filthy wretch," the person behind him stated. "Don't let another word come out of your mouth. I'll put a bullet right through you."
There was no time to react, nor was there any warning. The Siren whipped around and slit the man's throat. An amused laugh sounded from him, and he resumed his travel down the corridor. Minutes later, several men came up from the lower level with bayonets in hand.
"Stop and stay where you are!" one commanded. He was somewhat shocked when the escapee obeyed.
Groves pushed through the soldiers and stared at the man's back with horrified eyes.
"Give the order and we'll take him down, sir."
Groves swallowed and shook his head. "No. No. Stay here."
With apprehension in every step, Groves started to walk toward the stationary figure. His heart pounded painfully in his chest. At any moment, he believed the Siren would turn around and murder him. He pressed on despite his extreme fear.
When he was mere inches behind the being, he asked in a quivering voice, "Jack?"
There was no movement.
"Please say something."
Again, there was no answer.
Groves silently motioned to his men behind him to leave, and they followed the command after much hesitation.
The Lieutenant licked his dry lips and breathed in deeply. He cautiously began to venture in front of the man. At last, he was before him. The head was bowed.
"My Siren," Groves whispered fretfully.
He soon found himself gazing directly into the hellish eyes. A smirk pried at the edges of the Siren's lips. Something shifted within Groves, and he sensed it instantly.
Groves had no idea what had taken hold as he grabbed the slim body and kissed him fiercely. The Siren elicited an aroused moan. He did not protest as the Navy man shoved him powerfully against the stone wall. Hands groped blindly. A leg wrapped itself about Groves' waist. Their lips worked frantically with one another's, tasting and discovering.
After a time, Groves inched his mouth downward to suck on the exposed neck. Another groan of pleasure sounded from the demon. The throbbing member between his legs was growing unbearable.
"Fuck me," he whispered hotly. "Now."
Groves strongly turned him about to face the wall. His fingers unbuttoned his breeches and the Siren's in a matter of seconds, and he lowered each of the garments.
The Siren cried out magnificently as Groves penetrated him eagerly. He reached his hand back to grab hold of the Lieutenant's hip, instigating a rapid rhythm. Groves thrust violently within in him, creating a myriad of fantastic noises from the man in front of him. His own head was spinning with unimaginable ecstasy.
He climaxed inside the warm body with a groan in minutes. A tremor shot through the Siren's entire anatomy, and he whimpered as he ejaculated onto his hand.
Groves leaned against the sweating figure and waited as the afterglow faded. Each panted for breath as they recovered from orgasm.
Unexpectedly, the demon collapsed to the floor, unconscious.
When Jack awoke, he found himself once again bounded on the familiar cold floor. His entire body ached. But there was something amiss.
A cloth had been stuffed into his mouth and another was lightly clenched between his teeth and tied around his head.
He slammed his leg against the ground as tears of frustration crept from his eyes. It was slightly awkward to breathe, but he knew that was not the fabric's purpose. It was to prevent him from speaking and singing if the demon took him.
The face was covered with utter melancholy; any trace of hope had vanished from the depressed visage.
James sighed and placed his hand gently on the pirate's arm.
"Jack," he said softly.
Jack turned his head to gaze upon him. James' features became filled with sympathy from seeing the cloths that shielded Jack's mouth.
"Oh, Jack….I….I'm sorry. I'm sorry I can't help you." He added hesitantly, "It pains me to see you like this, in this position."
Jack shook his head, but it was not an action that meant he did not believe James. The desolate, amber orbs showed guilt and shame. He had not wished James to be in such a situation to feel pity for him.
"The reason why I'm here, Jack….You will be hanged tomorrow."
Another shake of the head and a sound of protest came from Jack.
"I cannot change it."
Unable to look into the pleading eyes, James left swiftly without a word.
Gloomy clouds covered the sky, enhancing the dismalness of the day. James paced about his office; he was immensely uneasy. Jack's warning repeated itself in his mind a few times, though he continually pushed it aside, thinking it impossible.
James looked to the door to find it was Groves who addressed him.
"Everything's ready, sir."
James straightened and gave a stiff nod. "Let's get it over with."
Part Nine – "The Execution"
Anxiety and trepidation weighed down each of his steps as he marched up the stairs to the noose. He faced forward, hands tied strongly in front of him, and it was not resilience or fear in his eyes from the fact he was about to be hung; it was true terror of the inevitable.
A large crowd had gathered to witness the execution despite the ominous clouds above, signaling an approaching storm. James stood at the back and surveyed the unfolding situation. His heart pounded in his chest, and a sense of trepidation consumed him.
As Jack's crimes were read aloud, thunder sounded in the distance. One sprinkle graced the pirate's visage before it started to rain heavily. Some of the spectators fled to a dry area, while others remained and merely covered their heads with coats and shawls. Jack upturned his face, closed his eyes, and a burst of intense rapture flooded him from the cooling droplets. He began to laugh, and he did not know why.
A powerful shudder went through him, and a whimper came from his open mouth. James' eyes widened in alarm as the pirate began to convulse wildly. Murmurs spread through the crowd; confusion was painted on everyone's faces. The Commodore started to forge his way toward the gallows, but stopped in surprise when the pirate collapsed to the platform.
No one knew how to proceed. Soldiers standing guard in front of the assembly were too frightened to check and see if he was all right. James continued on at a run and in seconds, he was kneeling beside the condemned.
"Jack," he said sternly. He brushed the soaked dreadlocks shrouding the man's countenance back to find his eyes staring unblinkingly ahead. The irises were black, and a tremor racked James' body. "J-Jack," he whispered timidly.
A devious smile spread onto the demon's face and he slowly raised his gaze to look at his company. He shifted to lie on his back, and James was shocked to see the rope that had bound his wrists had come off and was severed in half. There was no warning before the Siren wrapped one of the coarse cords around the Commodore's neck tightly and pulled hard. He rolled out of the way just before James' head collided violently with the platform, rendering him unconscious. In an instant, the prisoner was on his feet; his grin unsettled everyone who looked upon him. His arms were held stiffly at his sides with his palms facing the crowd. The weapons had returned; rain dripped off the talons and they would undoubtedly be dribbling blood soon.
Extreme chaos broke out as people started to flee the area. The fiend jumped from the platform to the ground and ran with unbelievable speed. He grabbed hold of a woman's arm, whirled her around, and stabbed her clean through. She coughed and sputtered for a short time before crumpling to his feet, dead. He sprinted off and sheathed his talons into the back of a man. A sound of pain came from the victim as he fell to the ground.
There was nowhere safe for anyone; the Siren's hunt discriminated against no one. He slashed his way through the panicking citizens, resulting in dozens of people strewn out about the town either seriously wounded or deceased.
James groaned and lifted himself. His blurry vision cleared in minutes, and he rubbed his throbbing head. Screaming and noises of madness reached him. Hurriedly, he made off in the direction it came from. The slain bodies he passed filled him with horror and dread. He knew it was his fault; he had foolishly exposed them to the Siren's unexpected rampage.
Soldiers scampered the area in search of the escapee. Swords were drawn and rifles were loaded and ready. James spotted Groves and darted toward him.
"Do you have any idea of where he could've fled to?" he asked franticly.
The Lieutenant shook his head. "No. We'll search the entire area for him."
James suddenly looked to the grove settled on a hill a couple of miles from the town. An idea struck him. "The trees," he stated quietly. "Make for the trees!"
He rushed off with Groves following quickly behind. The rest of the soldiers joined them as they dashed for the wooded area. When they arrived on the outskirts of it, footprints in the mud led them on. They traveled by them for several yards before they abruptly disappeared.
"Search around," James ordered. "He's here."
Groves inquired doubtfully, "Are you certain?"
"Yes. I can feel his presence."
The Lieutenant went in the opposite direction of James as they joined the hunt. James constantly scanned the branches of the trees as he slowly treaded through the muck. His rapid heartbeat was the only thing he could hear; the anxiety he had intensified with every step.
All at once, he gasped in terror and became immobile. Perched on a high branch with one arm hugging the trunk of the tree, the shadowed Siren stared at him with angry fire in his black eyes. His expression was one of such evil and graveness, that it made James entirely petrified. The demon was motionless, and he scrutinized everything about the man below. Any tiny movements James made – intentional or not – caused him to growl and snarl threateningly like a rabid animal.
"Please," James whispered in a begging manner. "Please have mercy." He was afraid for his life. "I know you're in there, Jack. Come back to me. Please."
The hellish man's eye twitched, yet he said nothing.
"Come down. It's just me. Just you and me right here. They're gone in other directions to find you. I promise they won't harm you."
"But you don't," was the malice-filled response.
James swallowed. "I….You must understand, I have to consider the well-being of everyone in the town. I must protect them. If that means I have to kill you, I will do it."
A mischievous smirk sprouted on the Siren's visage. Swiftly, he climbed down and stood in front of James defiantly. The close proximity made James wholly apprehensive.
"Here I am," the demon stated quietly. "Finish me off."
James stared at the black orbs, wishing desperately for them to turn to their lovable brown shade. It was Jack Sparrow's body, but the thing that resided in it now was nothing like the rogue. He knew that if he snuffed the demon's life, Jack Sparrow would never return in its place. It broke his heart as he gazed directly at the man's face.
"Jack, please," he said pitifully. "Take hold of yourself."
The man's head tilted to the side, and a mocking expression of compassion covered his features. "He won't be back, darlin'."
The words were like knives; James found himself breathless. His mind hurriedly grappled with a decision. When one was reached, he unsheathed his sword and placed the tip under the male's chin.
"That's it, James Norrington," the Siren cooed with a snicker. "Kill me."
"Don't push me," the younger man said warningly.
"You're a coward."
"Then do it!"
James exhaled a shaky breath and clenched his teeth. "I can't, damn it!"
"Come on," the captive encouraged firmly.
"Kill me!" the Siren yelled furiously.
James cried out as he shoved his blade deep into the man's stomach. The demon's eyes widened in agony, and he emitted a series of choking noises. The sword forged itself through the being until most of the length of the bloodied blade could be seen protruding from his back. James' free hand grasped the Siren's arm to support him. It was at that moment, the black orbs glazed over, soon revealing the amber ones James had previously wished for.
The Commodore began to weep as Jack's expression conveyed sheer anguish and shock. A trembling hand latched onto James' coat and clutched it strongly.
"J-Jamie," the pirate stuttered in a quivering voice. It was fraught with pain and sadness. "H-Help me. Ja-mie."
James winced from the unbearable depressing feeling that engulfed him. "Oh god, Jack. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," he whispered as tears slid relentlessly down his cheeks. He removed his sword and threw it aimlessly to the side.
Slowly and with great care, he eased Jack to the saturated grass. He cradled the man in his arms and stroked his drenched hair. Jack gasped for air; tiny whimpers came from him.
"Forgive me, Jack. I didn't believe you. God, I'm so sorry," James sobbed quietly.
Jack caressed the younger man's cheek; it was held in place by James. "D-D…." He could not speak. It felt as if someone was clenching his throat closed. "D-Don't blame….It's not your fault," he forced out exhaustedly.
"Yes, it is. Lord in Heaven, I'm sorry." He paused, attempting to control his unsteady respirations. "Jack, I have to admit something to you."
"I believe I'm quite taken by you. You're constantly in my thoughts. My dreams. I believe I'm in love with you," he ended in a whisper.
Jack tried to smile, but his uneven breaths prevented him. "I feel the same."
A weak chuckle came from the pirate before he went completely still seconds later. James rested the hand he had been holding onto Jack's abdomen. With quavering fingers, he gently closed the man's eyelids and mouth. He inhaled sharply and lifted the pirate to him. Jack's head and torso were pressed against James' chest as the Commodore hugged him tightly.
"I'm sorry," James murmured and placed kisses on the top of Jack's head.
"Commodore!" Groves exclaimed and strode to him at a fast pace.
He fell to his knees beside the higher ranking officer and stared gloomily at the limp body in James' embrace.
"Good Lord in Heaven," he said softly. "May he rest in peace."
"I killed him. I-I had to….He truly did not mean to harm, Theodore."
A long moment of silence passed between them before Groves voiced, "We should return to the town, James. Help with the wounded and the dead."
"You and the rest of the men go."
"James, you can't stay here. You have to leave him. You have to let him go," the Lieutenant spoke consolingly.
After a period, James reluctantly laid Jack on the ground and got to his feet.
All at once, he burst into another bout of tears. Groves comforted him and unhurriedly began to lead him away from the slain pirate.
It was late in the evening when James meandered toward the distant grove. The last he heard of the devastation was that ten were declared dead and twelve were either mildly or seriously injured. The sight of the gashes and stab wounds that were acquired on the persons made him nauseous and mournful.
He walked alone, the moon and star light guiding his path, and ventured around the area. Immense bafflement overcame him when he arrived at the place where he had abandoned Jack. Something was terribly wrong.
The body was gone.
At that instant, a teasing laugh sounded, echoing through the trees. It sent a shiver down James' spine. Frenziedly, he glanced to the branches and started to jog to where the giggling seemed to come from. It abruptly shifted to resonate behind him. A rustle of the treetop leaves made him breathe faster. Perspiration formed on his skin as he looked from one direction to another.
A sudden thump from behind caused him to jump and gasp in fright. He turned around and almost passed out from the sight that met his eyes.
The Siren had a devilish grin plastered on his countenance, and his black eyes blazed with malevolence. James tried to form a sentence, but nothing came.
"You've come back," the demon stated thoughtfully.
James felt as if he were floating; his mind lost any sort of coherent thought. "Yes. But how did you?"
The man hoisted his shirt up to reveal his chest and stomach. The lesion caused by James' sword was grotesquely carved in his flesh. It had not healed, but it was not bleeding either. "You killed him, setting me free," he said softly as he lowered his garment. "No longer will I have to fight him to come through."
He inched forward and brushed his lips against James', tracing them along the younger man's jaw to his ear.
"You're mine now," he whispered hotly.
James emitted a sound of panic from the forceful grip now on his arm. In a matter of seconds, he was on the ground being dragged away by the demon. He twisted about to liberate himself, yet a prompt swipe of the talons across his back made him yelp in pain and cease his actions. The terror paralyzed him for a period, arousing a low chuckle from the Siren. James soon gained control of his mind and thought hurriedly.
With extreme speed, he whipped out the dagger tucked in his trousers and imbedded it in the man's left thigh. A piercing shriek ripped itself from the Siren's throat. His grip loosened, and James immediately took advantage. The Commodore pulled away, stood, and began running hastily. He did not glance back to see if he was being followed.
He raced through the empty streets of the town with no clear heading. All at once he was struck with an idea. Anxiously, he made his way to the Governor's home. When he arrived, he pounded noisily on the door. Hardly any time passed before a butler answered. James shoved his way past and called out Elizabeth's name. She came to him without delay, intense worry covering her features.
"What is it?" she inquired.
"Your book," he panted. "With Sirens. Does it say how to get rid of them?"
"Get rid of them?"
"Murder them. I need to know now; it's very important."
She nodded and took his hand. "Come with me."
She led him to the library and pulled the book he had previously borrowed from the shelf. It was set on the table, and both quickly scanned the page devoted to the violent creatures.
"There's nothing," he said frustrated. "There's nothing here!"
He flipped through a few more pages as Elizabeth sought for another book. In little time she discovered one and took it to James.
"Try this one," she offered and opened it to the relevant section.
After a couple of minutes from searching the text, James excitedly shouted, "This is it! Right here!"
"What does it say?"
"'A Siren cannot be executed in any type of fashion a natural human being can. It will continue to exist despite all attempts to slaughter it unless the following procedure is completed. A knife that has never been used must successfully penetrate the heart. As the weapon is driven into the flesh until the handle meets the skin, a song of the Siren's must be sung. Only when the creature's eyes become entirely white and the struggling efforts of escape have ended can the blade be removed and the singing desist.'" James swallowed and put the book down. "The song. I don't know the words to any of them."
"Think James. Surely there's a verse long enough you remember."
"You. You sang one – in the prison."
"I didn't know what it was. It just came."
"Please, you must try to remember."
She fetched a piece of parchment and a quill, hoping the lyrics would flow onto the paper. They waited in silence for a period before she finally said happily, "I've got it! At least the first line."
She wrote it down as James stared over her shoulder.
"The wind has died."
James smiled broadly. "The sun has left."
Each of them chimed in to sing, "Can you hear the sailors cry?"
It was not long before the song was completed on the parchment.