Disclaimer: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean.

AN: So I haven't written on here in about 6 months. First off, thanks for reading it even though you probably thought I was dead or something, second, well I'm back. Not entirely, I can't give you that. But enough that it's a presence.


Chapter 3: Temptation

~Ashe~

I knew I was in danger. Mercer was an evil man, and as I sat in my cell I knew there was no way out of this. I was going to die. He'd kill me in the most horrible way, no! He'd torture me first, that's for sure. The cold concrete of the cell was almost comforting at that thought. I hated this. I had already given far too much information to Beckett, lost Flik, and third, lost Elizabeth, my only hope of finding Flik! My life was over. Tears started to trickle down my cheeks. I had never felt quite this way before. Maybe it was because I was somewhere where I knew what was going to happen, but couldn't do anything about it. Or maybe it was because I was away. Away from home, from my family...

Clang!

"Holland!" A loud voice boomed from the top of the jail near the entrance. Two redcoat officers stood side by side. Wait a minute, I recognized them...It was Gillette, and Groves! And from behind them another figure...Mercer. Oh fuck.

"What now..." I muttered.

"Lord Beckett wishes to speak with you."

"You mean 'wishes to plan my funeral' don't you?" I asked.

"Shut up," He muttered as he opened my cell. Gillette and Groves each grabbed one of my arms as they escorted me to the carriage I was then thrown in the back between both of them. Each redcoat had his beard freshly shaven, wig cut to perfection, and an air of elegance. The ride to Beckett's office was silent as usual, but I felt more comfortable in a way. Maybe it was because of Groves and Gillette, and how I knew that they were just a couple of softies inside.

As we got out, I was grabbed by the arms again. "No funny business. He wishes to speak with you alone this time."

"Well you must feel sad. Not standing by the door over watch of Cutler while I'm in there with him. Oh no!" I joked. He glared back and scowled.

I walked through to where I had been before. The guards walked with me right until the door where Gillette gestured to open. I turned the golden ornate knob carefully before walking in to meet the Lord. Every second I had was precious. I might be killed, or worse tortured. Branded a pirate...

"Lord Beckett?" I asked as the man turned around in his chair to face me.

"Ah, dear Miss Holland. Ever so lovely in this periwinkle dress than those...revealing underclothes," He said nicely as I blushed. What? Why did I just blush?! He called me 'lovely'...something no man but my ex-boyfriend has ever called me. A word I almost couldn't stand.

I snapped out of my thoughts and turned to the current situation. "What do you want? I'm forced into a tiny cell, no less with disgusting perverted pirates, I'm cold, hungry, dirty, lonely, and now I'm here," I took a few steps forward so we were only a foot apart. I sighed and took a deep breath as I asked, "Why don't you just kill me..."

Beckett stopped his cold, icy stare and caressed my cheek with his hand. They felt cold too...not frozen, but empty. "Because you're too valuable."

I stepped back, "What do you see in me? I...I feel like everything I had is gone."

"I see that you have knowledge. Which is power. My dear, Miss Holland...You hold magnificent power, power which I thought could not exist."

"I only know a few things...but if I told you, you'd think I was dangerous and crazy. And I'd be even more terrified."

"I've seen a few things in my lifetime Miss."

"I need to trust you first. And frankly, I don't. What if I tell you, and you kill me in return?" I asked.

"Holland...what would that benefit? That is why I have asked you to come here and talk to me today. If you are unhappy with staying in the jail I request that you stay with me as a guest in my manor."

"What!?", I exclaimed. "But- I...I thought that-"

"You request trust, then yes, I'll grant you that." Beckett replied as I relaxed. I looked in his eyes. They were a clear blue, almost a greyish white. Cold, yet right there in that second I thought I saw a smidge of compassion. I never really studied his face. But now I could see, after looking at him for a while...he was somewhat attractive. He was elegant, sophisticated, and graceful. In the twenty-first century we call it: classy. Cutler Beckett was a man of class and wealth, and now he was even proving to be a gentleman. I couldn't believe it. Was the Cutler in the movies different than what I was seeing? Is there some sort of character development happening?

I snapped out of my thoughts, "I- I...don't know what to say. Thank you Cutler- I mean, Lord Beckett."


My room was, well... extravagant would be an understatement. There was so much gold you could probably get away with taking a few things and not have anyone else noticing. There was a grand fireplace was enough tinder and coal to last a year, a beautiful periwinkle canopy bed that matched my dress, and on the bed! Three dresses similar to one I was wearing. A deep red, a coral pink, and another blue one. Attached was a note.

Dear Miss Holland,
Here are three dresses I hope you find suitable for your stay here at Beckett Manor. If you need anything our maid, Mary, shall assist you. I expect to see you at dinner at seven o'clock sharp. You shall stay in your room at all times until I meet with you.

-CB

Oh. They're for me. And I'm also trapped here until seven. Great.

At least I'm not dead.

Time passed slowly until dinner rolled around. In my spare time I read the various books and journals in the room. Surprisingly, I found them to be quite fascinating. One was about a young boy sailor who travelled the world in exploration at the age of twelve with the Royal Navy, a stowaway and future deckhand...and another, about a young maid who fell in love with a prince...

"Miss Holland?" A maid whispered as my door flung open.

"Ah! Sorry...you surprised me. People usually knock before entering..." I muttered.

She bowed her head, "I'm sorry, Miss. Milord wants you down for dinner now. He requests that you wear the red one, now if you'd let me come in I'll adjust your corset-"

"Corset!? What in the world are you thinking? My waist isn't that big!" I exclaimed.

"No, no, Miss. My apologies. But a lady in this day and age must wear a corset in the presence of a man."

"But-"

"It's dinner, Miss. Let me put it on. You'll need help with tightening it."

Oh so now Beckett was telling me what to wear!? This is absurd. I'll wear my bathing suit if I feel comfortable. But before I could protest again, the older maid was already bringing the black lacy corset to me. I took off my periwinkle blue dress as she slid it on. Surprisingly it wasn't that bad. Until she pulled on the strings.

"Now take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out-"

"Holy mother of fucks! Fucking shit what the hell!" I swore. I felt like I couldn't breathe. The corset pushed my bosom up so my breasts went from a B-cup to a C-cup. It also crushed my ribs and made it uncomfortable to exhale. But when I looked in the mirror all I could see was myself...as a size 0.

Despite that, the maid was astounded to hear me speak such vulgarity. Although when I think of it, she probably doesn't know what half of it means.

"Now, I'll escort you off to the dining room to dinner if you'll let me Miss Holland."


I entered the dining room as the old maid closed the doors behind me with a loud bang. My dress matched the room. It had blood red wallpaper, ornate paintings, and swords mounted on the walls. The decor in here was, in fact, the most beautiful I had ever seen in my life. But the main focus in the room had to have been Lord Cutler Beckett himself.

"Late...You are very late Miss Holland..." Cutler glared at me with his icy blue eyes before it turning into a smirk.

"Well if you hadn't have made me put on that damn corset I wouldn't have been so late!"

"A lady as yourself needs to make herself presentable in front of a man. You may take a seat, Holland." He said as I looked around. The table could fit about twenty people but Lord Beckett had set it up that night to make it fit only two, just me and him. I sat down in the chair. It was comfy actually. And red, alike the rest of the room.

"But Cutler, surely you have seen me in my bathing suit before, how you first met me." I remarked.

"But of course Holland. Those revealing garments with the most questionable texture I have ever felt in my life. Please, tell me, where did you acquire such clothing?" He asked curiously.

"You kept my bathing suit!? What if I want to go swimming?"

"First, answer me."

"Fine. I got them at Walmart. Now will you give them back?"

"And what is that?"

"A store." I replied grumpily. I can't believe he kept my bathing suit...

"Where can I find this store?"

"Look, it's no big deal okay? If you want to know more important things than where I got my clothes from or how I know how your geographical map is totally wrong, then fine. But you haven't made me like you very much, or trust you to say the least. And I'm not very happy with you making me wear this horrid thing you call a corset either."

He scowled. "You are a very stubborn girl Miss Holland. Yet you are different than anyone I have ever met."

"In a bad way or a good way?" I asked.

"Both I shall say."

I smiled. Maybe he wasn't so bad after all. "Well, would you like to know my opinion of you?" He nodded. "Before I met you, before this week...I had my thoughts about you. I thought you were a power-hungry tyrant who enjoyed the pain of others...But if you were, I think you would have killed me by now, much less Flik. I see now that we might be able to get along, despite our differences."

He gave me a look of much confusion. "How do you know who I am before you even met me Miss Holland?"

"It's hard to explain."

"I can be an intent listener."

"Perhaps it would be a story for another day." I exhaled. I had already gone over the limit. I didn't want to bombard him right away.

"You intrigue me, Miss Holland."

"So do you, Lord Beckett." I said as our meals were brought out literally by silver platters. The waiter lifted the lids as to reveal a pork roast with drizzling gravy and mashed potatoes. It looked delicious, and was most tempting as ever as I tried to control myself. Eating only bread and stale water while in the prison made me feel hungry as ever. "Bon appetit" I smiled as I carefully and most gracefully dug into my meal.

"Ah, you speak french as well?"

"Most definitely."

"Can you write, and read?"

"Why of course, how else could you learn a language? Bits and pieces of Spanish too, although I am a bit rusty there..."

"That is a rare gift...Have you had any special education of sorts?"

"Well no, I mean...I went to school, I learned the basic subjects, Math, Science, History, Geography, French...etcetera."

"Rare indeed...I suspect you will be a key asset in retrieving the compass."

"Oh that? Please. It's the heart you're after, right? Don't bother with the compass Cutler, it will only make your journey more tiresome. Just wait, and set off on what you have to do."

His eyes widened in shock. "How do you know?" He almost snapped at me.

"Lord Beckett...I will tell you when I am ready..."

"No! Tell me now. I demand it!"

"I...I know things Beckett. I know your past with Jack, the present, and the future. Only up until a certain point, but I know...I know who dies, who lives, and what you need to control the seven seas. It's unavoidable."

"Psychic..."

"No, I am not magic, psychic, a medium, practice voodoo or anything of the sort. I just know a few things."

He got up from his seat after a few silent seconds of thinking. He walked over to where I was sitting and grabbed my hand as he helped me stand up. I knew he was going to kill me then, or drag me back to the cell, or something terrible. But as I braced myself for it, nothing happened. He moved his face closer to mine. I could now feel his hot breath and the cologne of a Lord. He then whispered into my ear, "What happens to you?"

"I don't know.

My hands turned rigid cold as Cutler grabbed my right one again. I felt oddly attracted to his persona...but not in a way. Yes and no. Odd and strange fused together.

"I think I should go back to my seat..." I said as tried to free my hand. But he wouldn't let go.

"No. Stay. I realize..."

"Realize what?"

"Why I am so different with you. Why I don't try and order you around. I am intrigued. Curious about you."

"I don't know. Am I really that interesting?"

"You come from another place, you're different. I don't admire many people, but myself. Here's to an exception. I happen to realize...I admire a lot about you Miss Holland, more than I have with any other person. "

"I find that very flattering Lord Beckett." I admitted as I took a step back.

"No. I want you."

"What?" I asked, alarmed, and very surprised. What did he mean?

"I'm asking of you one thing."

"What is that?"

"To assist me with finding the heart of Davy Jones... And first, I will give you the opportunity to find Flik. Miss Holland, if you agree to find the compass, to the heart, I will let you go to find Flik along the way. I know she is not worried any more about finding Will with Elizabeth, for Elizabeth Swann came to me the other night and demanded the Letters of Marque from me...if I did not give them to her she would have shot me Holland."

"But Flik still thinks you're using me as leverage."

"Which I do know of. It matters not right now. If you truly value...our acquaintanceship, then you will honor our agreement."

"Of course Lord Beckett." I replied.

"Yes...now I will grant you a voyage, a passage to Tortuga. You will be travelling with Ex-Commodore Norrington-"

"JAMES!?" I exclaimed, surprised.

"Hm, yes. Ex-Commodore James Norrington. I assume you know about him as well?"

I nodded. "Yes, a bit. Enough to know how he will find the heart, and stay alive. He will deem himself successful if he does what I think he will anyways."

"Good. I need you to go with him and assure that he follows the procedures necessary to finding the heart. You will leave tomorrow." He demanded.

"What?!" I exclaimed. "Tomorrow?"

"Yes. I heard he will be at Dock Two down at the Port. Please don't be late this time Holland. You can't spare this trip."

"But I thought we were fine here, I mean, I thought that I was fine here with you. That we were okay with getting to know eachother. Maybe a little trust now."

"Miss Holland, I thought you were happy with voyage to see your dear friend Felicity?"

"I am but...I am more worried about you than her." I bowed my head.

"What do you mean, Ashe?" He asked.

"I mean that I want to see you again. I know I will. But I can't see my future. I can't tell whether I will live or die. I have no training with swords. I can't fight very well. I'm a skinny, frail girl that is hopeless here. I'm no good to you."

"You are wrong! How could you question my judgement like that!? If I knew you would be a failure I would have never asked you in the first place."

"Really? I- I..."

"It has only been a little more than two days of knowing you Miss Holland...yet I feel like I am drawn to you like I have never been to a woman before. You are the most interesting being I have ever met..."

"Lord Beckett I really don't know what to say..."

"I suppose it's late. I must retire shortly..." Beckett muttered as he slowly walked over to the door.

"I mean, thank you. I can't really describe you in words either. It's been a few days but seems like I've known you forever."

"You as well Miss Holland...Good evening." He said as he shut the door behind him.

I was worried. My feelings for Beckett continued to grow with each passing second. What will happen? And now I'm bound for Tortuga with Norrington? I can't believe this...