A/N: This multi-shot was inspired by my mother who randomly told me one evening that I should write about pirates. That idea threw me into this story that was originally a one-shot but is now five chapters long. I hope you enjoy.
I can't express how grateful I am to two of my best fic-friends. Chantel and Kathryn- Thankyou so much for your amazing beta skills and for holding my hand throughout this story. It means the world.
Reviews are always nice, makes me feel like I haven't been completely wasting my time.
Disclaimer: I do not own any recognizable characters or settings in this story.
The inside of my mouth was thick with the taste of blood and dirt. My mouth had been rubbed raw from the rope that served as a gag to smother my unheard screams for help. There was nobody to save me here. The only thing surrounding my prison was water.
I had yet to meet the Captain of the ship; I had seen only my captors. Most were dark and grimy, without a tooth to show.
They came through my village at night, but left no bloodshed as far as I had known. For that, I was very thankful. But they left some of the village folk poor and confused. Amongst their loot from my dwelling, was me.
I had no sense of time, but I knew I couldn't have been there for a full sun's rotation yet. Although my stomach had just begun showing signs of hunger, my throat had been desperate for water since I'd arrived. I couldn't decide if I should pray for someone to come down or for them to leave me there to rot. I wasn't sure which would have a worse outcome.
I had just turned eighteen the week before my capture and I was still living with my father, Charles Swan. He was a much respected man in our small middle class village. He owned most of the town as well as many dwellings on the skirts of the town. He was old money but was never selfish. He spent a great amount of time and money on the village, building new businesses and helping with the orphaned children's ward that was run by Susan Clearwater.
That's where I spent most of my afternoons. I liked to read to the children. My father would smile, slightly condescendingly, and tell me daily that I needed to start paying mind to the men who begged to court me. I didn't care for any of them, or their expensive gifts. I would return them all politely, with an excuse for my disinterest.
I didn't want to marry for convenience or security. I refused to believe what the old wives of my township told me; that true love is hard to find and almost unheard of. Yet, still I waited.
As much as my pride hurt me to say so, I was taken care of by my father. I kept as busy I could, to help ease his concern. I knew that if I did accept one of my admirers then my father wouldn't need to worry anymore. Not that he would ever say so. I couldn't help but think that he was happy in the smallest amount that I hadn't become taken with one of the men of the town yet. As much as he wanted to see his only child grow into a mother and more; I was still his baby girl.
The night I was abducted, I had taken a long bath while one of our many servants sat in the room to keep me company. Her name was Alice and I loved her dearly. She came from a poor family and had been working in our home for about a year. I often teased my dad that he had only bought me a best friend, since I never asked Alice to do anything for me but talk. She had an ongoing crush on Jasper, our new stable worker. She would often go down to ask him questions about our horses and feign stupidity to grab his attention. I don't think she needed to fake it though; Jasper Whitlock had a certain sparkle in his eye for Alice. All, but her, could see it.
Alice helped me brush my hair and dress into more comfortable attire. Out of habit, I kept my corset on until just before I went to bed, due to the many male servants we had in our home. I didn't want to be disrespectful. My father brought me up with manners after all.
I had coerced her into going to the kitchen for some milk, as long as I let her serve it. We were giggling through the halls when hell broke loose around us. I can only assume that my captors had used some crafty deception to get through the gates. But then again, our guards had never had to stop intruders before.
Alice and I had wordlessly panicked, trying not to draw any attention to ourselves. We heard the commotion of glass breaking and mumbles of strangers below, neither of us screamed as we fled for the back stairwell.
We used our hands to guide us along the darkened hallway. The noise below us seemed to grow louder by the second. We needed to find a way out and fast. My father had always told me to use the back stairwell and escape through the back passages that would lead us into the stables. I never wondered why he had always anticipated an attack. The only thing I could think about now is how he knew. We rushed through the darkness, blindly; my memory of our surroundings being our only guide.
A silhouette appeared before us, I struggled to bite back my scream. The figure held up a dimly lit lantern to his face. Alice and I sighed in relief to see Jaspers panic stricken face. Alice clung to him and held tightly onto my hand. Jasper motioned for us to follow him and held a finger to his lips to remind us to be silent.
When we were halted by one of the assailants before we got to the stairs, Jasper forcefully pushed us behind him to take the attacker on. The attacker looked down at a yellowed piece of paper in his hand, then back into my eyes; smiling a toothless grin before attacking Jasper from the front. A few punches were thrown before Jasper was overpowered and held against a wall. Alice did nothing to hold in her blood curdling scream this time while another figure pulled her away from behind. Not long after did I feel two sets of hands carry me away.
I screamed for my friends – for my dad; I screamed for anyone who could hear me. The more I screamed, the more hands grabbed a hold of me, while carrying me out of our grounds and towards the docks. They did not block my sight, though, I wish they had. Then maybe I would have some shred of hope left for my rescue. I looked up into the eyes of the wooden mermaid on the front of the large ship. She looked like she was crying for me, and for any other prisoner unlucky enough to meet their demise upon the hull she sadly guarded.
The figures around me spoke with slight accents I did not recognize. But it was perfect English. Their hands groped places no man had ever touched, as they mumbled the horrid things they wished they could do to me. One man spoke up that I had not seen before. He had soft eyes and a young unscarred face. His hair was a dark, matted mess of curls and he was huge, yet somehow, I did not feel fear when his eyes met mine.
"Yeah, yeah boys. Just get her to the hold and try not to hurt a hair on that pretty little head, or the Cap'n will have yours."
I showed him a look of gratitude as their hands moved to more platonic places.
The small room I was kept in was dark and smelled strongly of mold. My arms were pulled behind me and tied to the pillar at my back; it gave me sharp splinters every time I moved. The rope in my mouth was starting to burn the corners of my lips. Despite my pain and fatigue, I felt surprisingly calm about my situation. It became obvious that I was needed for something, being that I was still alive was proof of that. I cringed at the thought that perhaps I was being kept as a wench for the Captain. Though, that was more favorable than a wench for the ship if I had to choose. I tried to convince myself that I handle one man stealing my virtue over an entire crew. For as long as it took my father to find me, I vowed to keep my thoughts as positive as I could manage.
I can handle this.
I drifted into sleep with the image of my father searching for me.
I couldn't be sure how much more time had passed when I felt the ropes being loosened on my wrists. I let out a soft murmur of delight when I was finally able to rub the burns the rope had left. When my eyes adjusted to the darkness around me, I looked up into the familiar gentle face of one of my captors. He tried not to look into my eyes but I craned my neck, trying to find his.
"Do not think much of it. Cap'n doesn't want you to be in pain," he said gruffly, pulling the rope from my mouth.
"Scream and I will put it back in."
I nodded in response.
"Why am I here?" I decided to try and get some information from the only seemingly kind soul on this ship.
He shook his head and started to retie my ropes, only looser than they had been.
"Not for me to tell Darling. Just keep your head up and your mouth shut and you will be fine. There is a room for you, my Rose will be down shortly to fetch you and take you there. Captain would like for you to break your fast with him."
He turned to make his way up the stairs behind us before stopping to add in one piece of advice.
"Isabella, not everyone on this ship will show you the same kindness as I have. I am advising you not to run, because the only thing waiting for you off of this ship is water."
With that, his footsteps receded up the stairwell. I oddly felt comfort in his warning. I knew I had a friend in this gentle giant. Not something I would admit to anybody else, in fear of losing my only ally.
More unknown time passed when I heard another set of footsteps headed towards me. These were soft, yet anything but timid.
A stunning blonde woman appeared before me. Her locks fell in heavy curls down to her full hips. She wore different attire than I had ever seen on a woman before. Full dark colored skirts but no corset. Her top fell off of her shoulders seemingly held up by her full breasts. She was stunning. Any other time I would be intimidated by this beauty standing before me, but truthfully, I was grateful to see another woman.
Her face was strong but kind. She must be the giant's Rose.
"Isabella, I am not here to hurt you. I am going to untie you now, but I will defend myself if you try and fight me. Do you understand?"
She spoke while raising her skirt slightly, to show me a small dagger. A Rose with thorns.
I would not fight her either way. As someone so kindly reminded me earlier, I had nowhere to run.
I nodded up at her as she got to work on the ropes binding my hands.
"Emmett said you were easy to handle," she murmured, while taking my arm to guide me up the stairs.
Emmett. The giant had a name. I smiled to myself and thanked the stars above to have somehow found two kind people in the situation I was in. I wasn't ready to let my guard down completely. I knew these two could still easily be my enemies, but I wouldn't argue with their kind demands.
I was led through dark and silent wooden hallways. Rose didn't speak, so neither did I. She came to a set of double doors at the end of the hallway with locks on the outside. I didn't expect differently. She unlocked them and ushered me into something I hadn't been expecting.
I grew up with money. I didn't like to brag about that, but I knew that everything I had ever owned had great value. But this room was something else entirely. Its beauty nearly took my breath away. Every piece of furniture was a deep, rich cherry wood with exquisite gingerbread carvings. The bed had an iron canopy with rose petals etched into the spiral design. The linens were rich reds and golds that made my body ache to lay in them. I had a sinking feeling that everything in the room had been stolen from villages like my own, but my exhaustion took over in the inviting chamber.
"There are dresses in the armoire that should fit you. The head is attached over there. There is already warmed water for you in the tub. Don't get too used to that."
Rose pointed out various things while walking around the room, before reaching the door again to leave me to my bath.
"I will be back shortly. Captain Cullen will be waiting for you in his cabin soon. It is best not to keep him waiting."
With that, she spun on her heels and left the room. I could hear the clicks of the locks on the opposite side.
I wasted no time undressing on my way to the bathroom. Or head as they called it. Walking into this room again proved to me that this was a wealthy ship. In spite of the crew being filled with pillaging pirates, the Captain had good taste.
I was still curious as to what type of pirates these were. They had left no blood spilled in my village from what I could see. From the stories I had been told, this was not a normal occurrence. I could only assume that my questions would be answered when I met with the Captain.
Sinking into the oversized tub, my muscles sighed in gratitude. I soaped my body with the small vials left for me and rinsed off. They could be poison for all I knew but I couldn't help it, they smelled like lilac and honey. I finished washing my hair then rung it out, before stepping over the side and grabbing a silk robe which hung from a hook on the wall. I stepped over to the mirror and cringed when I saw my face. I looked as tired as I felt. The dark circles under my eyes did nothing for me; neither did the rope burns on the corners of my mouth.
I had a small frame with defined curves. My hair was a thick chestnut brown that reached my waist. I had it pinned up every day so no one really knew its length. I had gained a measured amount of confidence over the years; my admirers were responsible for that. Walking out into my cabin and opening the armoire, I found dresses similar to the one Rose had been wearing. I picked out the most conservative one; it was laced with gold and brown. The neckline was lower than I would have liked but at least it did not fall off of my shoulders. I found a few pins on the bathroom vanity and pulled my still wet hair up and pinned it into a loose knot. Giving myself another glance in the mirror, I nodded my head at my reflection. It was a signal to oneself; whatever was to happen next, I would be strong.
I waited for Rose to come and fetch me again.
When I was taken to the Captain's quarters, I was blindfolded. I was not surprised really, if for some reason I tried to escape, I assumed they wanted to ensure I would not try and kill the captain or similar. I snorted at the thought, earning an eyebrow raise from Rose as she took off my blindfold.
His room housed a small dining table covered in crisp, white linen. A beautiful array of fruits and baked goods lay atop it. It also housed a bed that was larger than mine and much more elegant.
"Please, have a seat." A honey voice spoke from behind me. I turned to look into the eyes of captor, the man that ordered I be taken out of my safe and warm home. I held my tongue, holding in every vile thought I wanted express. I didn't want to test the temper of the man who held my fate in his capable, cold palm
I raised my gaze to meet his, and the air left my lungs. I didn't think it was possible to feel two such contrasting feelings at the same time. Lust for this beautiful man in front of me and disgust with myself for feeling that way.
His eyes were the color of emeralds. Deep, flawless gems. His hair was cropped to the bottoms of his ears and a peppery copper in color. His gaze was intense when his eyes met mine. They were hooded and focused, earning a creeping blush upon my cheeks.
It was easy to see the softness in his face covered in a mask of abrasiveness. My immediate thought was to caress the lines out of his face and urge him to smile. Surely he could manage a smile. His shirt was a clean pure white, with a deep v in the front framed with a ruffled collar. His cummerbund down to his boots was a midnight black, the contrasting colors almost hypnotizing.
Nausea erupted in the pit of my stomach and I turned my face away from the hypnosis he unknowingly had over me. I grabbed a hold of my whirlwind emotions and faced him again.
"Are you going to tell me what I am doing here?" To hell with biting my tongue. I was ready for answers.
He frowned slightly then shook his head.
"In due time Isabella. I can assure you that nobody will harm you aboard my ship. I only wish for you to trust me."
"Trust you? After you stolen me from my home? Excuse me kind sir, while I find it extremely difficult to trust anyone you associate with," I spat back at him, throwing all caution to the wind at this point.
He closed his eyes and ran a hand through his mop of hair. I had the impossible urge to replace his hand with my own, I barely managed to control that urge.
"Isabella you will only make this worse for yourself if you do not trust me. I know that my crew scared you and the lubbers in your village, but I can assure you that no one was harmed. It…needed to look a certain way to the naked eye. My regrets, but I am not at my leisure to provide a further explanation. Now ..." He finished his sentence with a hand motion towards the food.
"I'm not hungry." I cringed at how juvenile I'd sounded.
"So be it." He bit into a muffin and simultaneously made my mouth water. I convinced myself it was because of the food in front of me. Not because of the way his lips looked after he ran his tongue across them to catch the crumbs.
"Rose, take Isabella back to her quarters. We are done here."
To say I was angry would be a grave understatement. I was infuriated. I could feel the heat from my cheeks radiating in front of me the entire way back to my room. Rose left me there without a sound apart from the clicking of the locks to my prison.
I screamed out in frustration and slammed my palm against the closed door.
"Leave me here to rot! Trust me, I'd rather die from hunger than to dine with that man again!" I yelled out to no one that could hear me, or anyone who particularly cared.
How dare he ask me to trust him? I never have taken kindly to anyone acting like they knew better than I did about my own well-being. Better yet, a stranger that had stolen me. I'm sure he told that to every girl brought aboard this ship. I was also sure that many of them fell for it and danced right into the Captains bed.
I freed myself from the confining dress and found a white laced nightgown. I would have rather slept naked than wear any other gifts from Captain Cullen, but I was tired and who knew who would walk into the room unannounced throughout the day. Despite the sun only just beginning its rise in the east, I pulled the curtain and fell into the inviting warmth of the bed. I cried into the silk linens, until slumber took me.
His hand caressed the taught skin across my collarbone followed closely by his lips. I whimpered out to him, desperate for more. He moved south, peppering kisses and caresses down my naked torso. I couldn't think over the euphoria he was causing.
"Please…" the one word left me breathless, but it served its purpose. His sweet warm mouth found its way to my center. To the one spot I craved him most. He dipped his head in to give me what I wanted, what I needed.
I sat straight up, waking up with a quick intake of air. A slight sheen of dampness covered my body. The window had an orange hue behind it, signaling to me that I had slept the entire day away. I covered my reddened face with my hands, trying to shake the lust filled dream I had woken from. Now I knew the only thing that would be on my mind every time I set eyes on the Captain.
Walking over to the window, I pulled the curtains and leaned against the pane looking at the dimly lit blues of the ocean. The orange hues of the horizon signaled that I had slept the entire day away. In any other circumstance the view would be breathtaking. But now, while my confidence and good spirits slowly died inside of me, it was one of the most dismal views I could imagine. No sight of land or any other savior.
Lost in my thoughts of jumping into the ocean to a more pleasant future than on this ship, I didn't hear my door open and the footsteps approach from behind.
"Isabella, I am deeply sorry if I offended you this morning." His voice was soft but only slightly apologetic.
"Bella," I whispered back.
"Excuse me?" he asked while putting his hand on the small of my back sending shivers throughout my limbs.
"I prefer Bella." I answered shortly, making no effort to turn towards him or remove his hand. If this is what my fate is, then so be it. I'd heard the stories of the women who refused their fates in situations like these. Their virtue would be taken anyway, in a more violent manner than this. Before meeting a watery grave. The harlot inside of me craved him anyway.
"Suit yourself. Bella." His thumb made lazy circles on my back, as the bile rose in my throat for enjoying his touch so much.
"I wish I could earn your trust," he said, softer than before. This made me finally turn towards him, my eyes still spilling salty tears. His thumb grazed my cheek, wiping off the moisture.
I hated every fiber of myself for being drawn to this man. I turned my head back towards the window and sighed.
"Why do you have me?" I spoke truthfully, unafraid of the repercussions. I felt my hope dying; it was obvious with my tone.
"I cannot tell you. I want to tell you, believe me, I do. What is it about you Isabella? How have you managed to weaken me with your mere presence?"
He squeezed my hip and brought his lips closer to my open neck.
"All I want is to go home. Do what you will with me Captain, but all I will ever wish for is home."
I kept my voice soft as his lips ran up my neck and towards my ear.
"You're safer here than anywhere Isabella. I did not bring you here for any other reason but to protect you. Seeing you has changed things..."
The last four words were spoken with lust. I sucked in a breath and turned around to face him.
"And then what? What changed? I am still your prisoner, am I not? I've been a prisoner on your ship for two entire days now! What possibly could have changed since then?"
I asked the question, wanting to know the answer for myself as well. I wanted to hate this man in front of me. He had taken me for reasons he wouldn't say. He took me from my father, from my best friend, from my home. Yet, my heart yearned to trust him. To let him take me and satiate the arousal that poured from my body.
"You, Is—Bella. You changed everything. It took everything for me not to take you into my bed the moment I saw you. I won't do that, not without your permission." His hand found its way to my cheek again smoothing away the remnants of my tears. I could see an emotion I didn't recognize in his eyes. Regret, maybe?
"Why then? You obviously have the power to do what you wish with me," I inquired, hoping I didn't ignite any sort of fury from him.
"I will not lie to you Isabella. I have had my way with many. Some more… open to the idea than others at first. I've grown a lot in my short life and I have learned that not everything is mine to take. I want nothing more than to take you, Isabella. But will only do so if you feel the same."
He still struggled with calling me Bella. I didn't really mind though, my name never sounded so lyrical.
His speech should have scared me. I should be trembling at the thought of him forcing his way into me. I was ashamed to think that it excited me.
My head was inclined towards his, our lips centimeters apart. I could taste his breath on my tongue as I fought back my primal feelings towards him. Our lips touched lightly. Not kissing, just touching. I felt an ember of lust igniting in my stomach, spreading lower as moisture pooled, yearning for his touch.
A soft knock on the door had me pull away from the embrace, wiping away the clouds of lust fogging my mind.
Rose entered with a tray of food setting it down on my bed and nodding at Edward.
"The crew is upstairs waiting for you. Emmett said that we'll be … staying on course, for the time being. But I think they'd like to hear that from their Captain," she said, lifting an eyebrow towards me.
"I will be right there. Thank you Rosalie." Captain Cullen lifted my hand to his lips then left me in my room with Rose.
"Hungry?" She asked, gesturing to the platter.
"Like you would not believe." I timidly spoke out, and sat on the bed and picked up the bread.
Rosalie stayed and sat at the edge of my bed while I ate.
"The Captain is really a good man. I know you cannot see that in the circumstances you are in. But he is. Most of the crew is."
She played with a loose thread in the bed linens and smiled to herself.
"I was in a position very much like yours at one time. Only I did not take things so … calmly. Emmett was a piece of work, but he felt the need to protect me. And protect me he did. I have been with the ship ever since. "
She sighed happily, obviously thinking back to a happy time.
"Do you not miss your family?"
"I had no family Isabella. I had nothing. I worked as a bar wench near some docks off of the coast of Jamaica. I have always been more of a sea gal than a land lubber, but I went where I could find work. The town I worked in had been pillaged more times than I could count. People were left dead in their newly robbed homes. But not this ship. They came in for a drink and a break. They paid for their stay on land and surprised us all. They are not your typical corsair. "
I listened, intently trying to look for clues in her story to tell me of my part here.
She continued, grabbing a hunk of cheese from my tray and toying with it in her hands.
"They do admirable work. Hell, the only things they stole from the town were things that were not safe! Including you! This asinine deal is going to give them the wrong name. I will never know what he was thinking by accepting. It is not like he needed the money. They have made quite a living for themselves acting as protectors and having a wealthy trading business."
She dropped the food and it rolled onto the floor.
"I said too much." She retreated quickly towards the door.
"Please, do not say a word Isabella. Please."
Rosalie exited quickly and closed the door with a bang. Only this time, I did not hear the clicks of the locks.