So, it's been a while, but I've been working on a number of out-takes to this story. This is the first. I can't be sure how many there'll be, but I know there's definitely another two/three, one of which is written; those of you who received the Fandom for Texas Wildfires compilation may have seen it :). That will be posted as the new year starts.
I hope you enjoy this. I'm doing this partly because I simply can't leave these characters alone (okay, mostly that) but also because you've all been amazing, and I'm just...so grateful to everyone who has read/favourited/reviewed/rec'd this story.
OH! You might also be interested to know that Keelhauled has been nominated in The Shimmer Awards (shimmerawards dot blogspot dot com) in both the Tale (best AU) and the Kiss (best Romance) categories :). Please vote, after checking out the competition of course
Keelhauled ~ out-takes
Isabella felt small. She sat with her knees pulled to her chin, thin white arms wrapped about them, as she stared out into the moonlit bay. It was getting colder in Jamaica, though Isabella wasn't sure cold was exactly the right word; slightly-less-hot would be more appropriate. The sting of tears was familiar and she growled beneath her breath as the first hot drop fell to her cheek; she was so sick of crying.
A year was not long enough to become accustomed to the Jamaican heat, it was not enough to wake up each morning and not think that perhaps this was the day she would return to England. It was certainly not long enough for her to stop missing her father, and despairing that she had to stay with her uncle; Isabella wasn't sure eternity would be long enough for that.
In the dark, with only the sound of the waves rushing against the shore, her mind was cast back to that night, as it so often was. It tried to show her the stormy clouds, attempted to make her imagine how the cold rain had sunk so easily into her clothes, it almost brought back the sickness as the ship had rolled beneath her. Shaking her head she closed her eyes, forcing those dastardly images from her minds eye. Focusing on something else always helped to ease the pain, which was most usually waking up in an unfamiliar place with curious green eyes looking upon her.
Isabella had never forgotten Edward, or the way they had taunted one another. His skinny ankles, bare feet, and pale skin haunted both her waking and sleeping dreams. She saw him angry, agitated, and practically vibrating with hatred. Then she saw him contrite, apologetic, and smiling slightly as he passed her a book for her to pass the time alone in the room. He was contradictions and peace of mind.
Isabella, while not a usual girl by any means, at least had the brains to understand what was happening to her. She was becoming infatuated with him, which in her mind was entirely too ridiculous to even think about. She barely knew the boy, had met him once and had spent most of the time in his company making him miserable. She was also sure she would never see him again.
As she sighed deep, thankful that the tears had ceased their descent, she heard a noise from behind her. It was the sound of thick soled leather boots on fine gravel sand; she would know the sound anywhere. She turned her head only slightly to see Michael, the blond haired, blue eyed stable hand. Two years her senior he had been attempting to court her in secret for almost a month, but Isabella was not to be fooled by his sweet smiles and careful touches. She knew he wanted little in the way of conversation from her; it was her body alone he desired. She slanted a look his way, waiting for him to make his move.
Michael was sure he had never seen anyone so beautiful, as he looked to Isabella sat upon the damp sand. The moonlight glinted off of her curling tresses, it made her skin glow in the ethereal light; she was a sea nymph, his undoing, and everything he wanted. The curves of her body were hidden in the deep blue dress she wore; only the slight round of her breast was exposed to the air. Michael could not stop the spike of lust piercing through him, and hoped the flash he saw in her eyes was the same.
Slowly, Isabella stood ignoring the sand clinging to her skirts and the way the loose top had fallen from her shoulder, exposing her collar bone and creamy skin of her shoulder. Michael wanted to lathe his tongue and lips over every inch of exposed skin. She was so different from how she had arrived on these shores one year ago. Back then she had been thin, coltish in her movements, and looking like she'd been through a war. Now she was growing into her feminine curves, her lips were pink and pouting, and she had a way of looking at men that sent their hearts racing.
Isabella's mind spun as she meandered across the sand to stand before Michael, she was so intensely sick of being good. Doing as her Uncle always told her, and pretending to enjoy the company of his insipid French wife was endlessly tiring. She wanted rebellion, and while she was almost certain Philip would never learn of what occurred that night, it made her feel good knowing she was about to go against his direct orders.
Philip had always told her not to mingle too much with the staff, except that the staff were the most interesting people Isabella had ever met. They were honest and fluid; they laughed and joked, and seemed so much freer than Isabella could ever hope to be. They were people she enjoyed to be with, as apposed to her Uncle and his acquaintances with their fake smiles and business propositions. Everything was about money, it was something Isabella despised.
She stood before Michael, toes touching in the sand and breath catching in the air between them. She could feel the heat from him, could see the vessel in his neck twitching from his accelerating heart beat, she imagined hers must look the same. He was such a handsome man, with his blond hair and blue eyes, his skin was tanned and his hands rough as they grabbed on to her waist. She tripped into his chest, catching herself with her hands on his bulging arms; she had never felt such desire rip through her.
When they kissed, it was frantic. There was no romance, no love however, Isabella knew their union was not about a mutual sense of affection. It was desperation: Michael, so desperate to have the Governor's niece, to claim her maidenhead for his own, to boast to his boys in the tavern; and Isabella, desperate to defy her uncle in the worst way she could imagine.
As they tumbled to the sand, their clothes shod in the moonlight, Isabella shed but a single tear. This was to be something to give to her husband; it was a treasure and something to be treated as such. She became a fallen woman as soon as Michael sheathed himself with an inexperienced groan within her; there would be no salvation.
This is the just the first, and yeah, it's not the most happy to begin on. They aren't going to posted in a linear order. The next to be posted is a future-take.
Let me know what you think :)