I'm back! This new story is a cross between "Me Before You" and "Safe Haven", and I can tell you right now that it's more feels inducing than anything I have ever written before. I hope you embark on another journey with me, even though it's to a world without magic where Neal is the worst bad guy imaginable and this Emma and Killian go through different things than Emma and Killian on the show; still, their essence is the same and true love will bring them together and help them heal each other… The schedule of posting is going to be the same as in my previous stories; prologue today, first chapter tomorrow and then a new one every three days until I finish the first draft. I hope you enjoy the feels!
Royal Navy Captain Killian Jones disembarks from his ship in Pearl Harbor and shades his eyes with his hand from the glare of O'ahu sun. He slings his bag higher on his shoulder and walks toward the chain link fence separating the base from the rest of the island, grinning when Milah comes out of her car and races across the parking lot to jump into his arms. He catches her and twirls her around, both of them laughing because it's been too long since they'd last seen each other, since their lips and other parts met like this.
"Is he gone?" Killian asks as he sets her down and Milah nods, tilting her head and looking up at him, her arms crossed behind his neck.
"How long do you have?"
"I'm the captain now, lass. How long do you have?"
"Don't you worry your pretty little head about Rum. He and Bae are supposed to be on Maui at least until the end of the week", Milah says and they walk to her car, his arm slung around her shoulders and hers around his waist.
When he's on duty, sailing all around the world as one of the few Captains in the Royal Navy younger than thirty, he keeps telling himself that he's going to ask Milah to leave her husband next time he sees her, but when he does he's always too distracted to say anything. Today is no different, and as soon as she hands him the keys they roar out of the parking lot and he turns onto the highway, heading away from Pearl City.
Three minutes later, a black SUV comes out of nowhere and slams into their rear bumper, the car dancing left and right, life flashing in front of Killian's eyes because he's fairly certain this is it; this is how he dies. Still, he manages to get the car back under control and glances into his rearview mirror, watching the SUV take the first exit and disappear from sight.
"What in the bloody hell was that?" Killian says to no one in particular and returns his eyes to the road, realizing that there's been some kind of accident ahead of them and slamming the breaks just a little too late.
They hit the car blocking he road and fly over it in slow motion, tumbling into a ditch at the side of the road, Milah screaming his name as the car keeps going end over end. Combined with the metal groaning and his bones breaking as he bounces around the cabin, the sound of her scream makes him wish for oblivion. And yet, when they finally stop moving and the only thing he can hear is the rushing of blood in his ears, he'd give anything to go back and hear her voice again.
"Milah?" He whispers, confused because he doesn't feel any pain and scared because his limbs don't seem to respond when he tries to move them.
It takes him forever, but somehow he manages to turn his head enough to find Milah staring at him with wide open, unseeing eyes, and when the darkness comes to claim him he welcomes it with open arms.
Emma Swan comes out of the airport building cradling her two-year old son Henry with one arm and pulling her suitcase behind her with the other. After the air conditioned coolness of the interior, the O'ahu heat hits her like a wave of fire, but as she waits for the cab she realizes that it's the first time in years that she feels like she can breathe again. She thinks that this place can be her fresh start, and that she and Henry are going to be okay here.
In a way, it feels like coming home.
The cab arrives and she settles in with her son, her thoughts inevitably turning to Neal, making her stomach tie itself into knots, but then she reminds herself that she's safe now because Hawaii is the last place Neal would think to look for her and Henry.
Sometimes she wonders if there was any way for her to know that their relationship would fall apart so quickly and so horribly, if maybe there was some sign her naïve eighteen year-old self wouldn't have missed if she were wiser or more experienced. There probably wasn't, because the two years before Henry was born were nothing but bliss, whispered conversations late at night, holding hands in public and generally feeling like home to a girl who never knew one.
Emma glances out of the window at the crystal clear sky over the ocean, murmuring affirmation when Henry points at it with wide eyes and calls it big water.
"It's the ocean, honey", she tells him, remembering how perfect she felt the first time she held him, like she was born for the role of his mother.
And that's when her troubles begun. Neal had promised to marry her as soon as she gets "thin and pretty" again, and since she didn't put on too much weight in the first place, she was back in her pre-pregnancy jeans within months. When she came out of their bedroom to show it to him, turning around in a slow circle and watching him expectantly, he called her pushy and stupid and she just stood there, staring at him, unable to believe her ears. He apologized profusely, told her that he was under a lot of pressure at work, and after a while she'd forgiven him.
Until he hit her a month after when she jokingly asked him if he ever intended to make an honest woman out of her. He accused her of being obsessed with this idea of family and marriage and giving too much of her attention to Henry, trying to blame the shiner on her eye on her. One thing Emma Swan isn't is a weakling because she had learned an important lesson in her orphanage a long time ago; people who hit you once are going to hit you again unless you stand up to them or get as far away from them as you can. When Neal apologized, she pretended to accept his apology because she knew he fell into the latter category and her only option was to get Henry and leave Neal and his abuse behind.
First time she run, he caught her in a week, the second, in a month.
She hopes that third time's the charm because it took her a year and a half to get enough money and form a good escape plan, but she knows that no matter how far she runs, she's always going to be looking over her shoulder and scanning the crowd for Neal's face.
Her thoughts are interrupted they pass by some kind of an accident on the other side of the highway, two ambulances piercing the air as they race to reach the scene. The cab keeps on moving toward Pearl City and Emma leans back in her seat, holding Henry close and trying to unsee the overturned car that looked more like a crumpled tin can than anything else, hoping that whoever was in it is going to be okay.