This is my entry for the June 2011 Iron Pen Challenge. You're given a secret ingredient—a word, phrase, location, etc.—and 30 minutes to write a story or blurb containing that ingredient. It really is a challenge! This month's ingredient was "pirate", so with visions of Capt. Jack Sparrow in the back of my mind, I came up with the following piece. Unbeta'ed, so please excuse the errors. :-)

~~Dark Revenge~~

Edward Cullen could think of nothing he loved more than being at sea. The wind in his face, the smell of salt thick in the air, the taste of freedom on his tongue; it was truly an unrivaled experience.

He was a pirate, and proud of it. He followed in his father's footsteps, who had taken to the pirating ways after an unsatisfactory stint in the Royal Navy. Sent to the brink by an unscrupulous boatswain, he wasted precious years in captivity. Carlisle Cullen was released a broken and sickly man—but not broken enough to prevent him from hunting down the one who betrayed him, and silencing his betrayer by cutting out his tongue. Satisfied with his revenge, Carlisle took flight, and was never heard from again.

Edward had been around ships all his life. When his father was in prison, he survived by taking on odd jobs at the wharf, eventually earning himself a spot as a deckhand on a merchant ship. His determination and skill impressed his superiors, and he eventually worked his way up from powder monkey to first mate on the Mary Rose. His future was looking bright indeed.

Unfortunately, on the way back to England from the Caribbean, the Mary Rose came under attack from a formidable pirate ship called the Dark Revenge. They put up a valiant fight, but the pirate vessel was larger and its crew cutthroat. Only a few survived, Edward amongst them. He was taken captive and fortunately for him, left alive, for the Dark Revenge had sustained heavy losses and needed all the men they could to build up their crew.

Maybe it was in his blood, but something about this life appealed to Edward. He did not particularly enjoy the taking of lives and tried his very best to cause no grave harm to the men of the ships that were attacked. He became known for his mercy and several months later, when the old captain succumbed to a fever, Edward was declared captain by the remaining crew.

So here he was, on deck of his new ship, preparing to make port in Port Royal. As much as he loved the sea, he was looking forward to setting forth on dry land again. Specifically, he was looking forward to the company of a woman.

The Dark revenge safely ensconced in the harbor, Edward and his men set out to find the Powder Keg, a well-known public house that was frequented by pirates. Edward stepped inside, his presence strong and commanding . His green eyes scanned the room and was pleased to find several eligible ladies staring back at him invitingly.

It was the woman in the very back who caught his attention. She was young, but her eyes spoke of experience. He approached her, holding out his hand. She took it and he pulled her against him, relishing in her female scent.

"What's your name, girl?" he asked.

"Isabella," she replied softly.

"Well, Isabella, how do you feel about pleasing a pirate this evening?" he asked, stroking her cheek.

"I could think of nothing better, sir. Shall we get started?"

With a coy smile, she led Edward to the stairs.