Damon couldn't focus. He was supposed to complete some of his usual work involving papers and writing, but all he had done so far was stare at them and think about Elena. He was still feeling…uncomfortable at this situation. He was still feeling guilty.
It wasn't one of his usually traits. He was Captain Damon Salvatore. He was a cutthroat, ruthless, womanising sea scoundrel. It wasn't in his nature to the care the way he did about the girl currently spread out on his bed. The thought of her there made his desire spike as he found himself fantasizing about such an innocent woman in his room. Just thinking about her in his bed stirred something inside of him, but he wasn't sure for what reason.
Yes, she was very beautiful and sweet. She wasn't rough or tainted like women he had become so accustom to in recent years. No, she was special and different, which again surprised him, seeing as she was an upper class lady and a Gilbert at that.
Damon shook the images from his mind, cursing himself for thinking of her in such a way like that.
He was about to stand up and pour himself a drink, when he thought better of it. What was the use of beating himself up about this? After all, he hadn't gone through with what the other men wanted him to do. He shouldn't have to feel guilty because he hadn't hurt her. Yet, flashes of her frightened face appeared in his mind, and he couldn't shake them off. Whenever he found himself in silence, barely even hearing the wind, all he could hear was her voice, begging him not to rape her.
Sighing once again he rose from the chair, packing everything up and deciding to get some rest. There were a few more hours to go before the sun came up and he needed sleep. They still had over two days of travelling until they would arrive at Tortuga and he needed to be prepared and aware for everything and anything.
The threat had made to Grayson Gilbert still rung in his own ears.
He still had just less than two weeks of Elena on his ship and already it had become a difficult situation for him. Then again, Damon always managed to find himself in difficult situations, although nine times out of ten he found a way out of them. Only this time Damon knew there was no easy escape to this, especially when it was completely out of his own control.
He walked to his bed, and there, Elena was fast asleep. Her hair was spread out on her pillow – no, his pillow – tangled and curling around her small face. Her chest was rising and falling with every steady and gentle breath she took, indicating that she was asleep peacefully. He moved forwards, wanting to feel that delicate skin underneath his fingertips, and gingerly stroked her cheek. She turned in her sleep, seeking his touch, and he smiled at that.
What a mystery she was to him…
He carefully got under the covers, in fear that he'd wake her up, and made sure that she was well covered by the thick fur blanket. She had apparently scooted closer to his side in her sleep, and Damon couldn't help himself yet again by her simple and completely unconscious act. He delicately scooped her up in his arms and buried his face in her hair, while kicking himself in the ass for doing so.
The next morning Damon woke up before Elena, and to his surprise, she was still in his arms. She felt so warm and soft, almost like she was made to be held…held by him. He squeezed her a little tighter and took in her cute, messy appearance. Her hair was tangled and her lips pouty.
His smile faded a little however when he realized that she was a little pale and had lost some weight ever since he had brought her on this ship. He narrowed his eyebrows in confusion, and was about to blame himself for not giving her enough food. But then, he remembered that Elena ate with them and ate whatever the other pirates ate, and it was all great food. Then again, he sometimes noticed that Elena seemed afraid at times during mealtimes, as if she was expecting someone to lash out on her soon. Or maybe it was the food? Did she not like it?
He made a mental note about that in that he'd make sure she was eating and eating properly at that. Besides, there was more than enough food for everyone on the ship.
Damon stretched out in the bed, carefully stepping out to change his shirt and slip is boots on. He caught his reflection in the small cracked mirror mounted to the wall, scratching at his chin. His beard was getting out of hand again and his hair growing in curls passed his ears. He definitely needed to take better care of himself. No wonder Elena looked athim like he was crazy.
He groaned, splashing his face with water before sitting on the side of the bed. His mouth twitched up as he watched Elena and touched her hair, brushing it straight, and then ran his hand down her side.
"Elena," Damon murmured, nudging her a little more.
Elena moaned in her sleep, pressing her face into the pillow. She hummed in delight at the scent that covered it and let out a little yawn. Then realisation hit her at what the musky scent was and her eyes shot open, blushing when she saw Damon staring at her. Her whole face suddenly felt warm with embarrassment, embarrassed that she was caughtappreciating Damon's scent. She cleared her throat awkwardly, blushing even more when she realized that she had let out such sleepy sounds in front of a man and moved away from him.
"Good morning," He told her politely.
"Good morning," She replied, looking down, slowly shifting away from him and covering herself with the furs.
Damon looked at her almost as if he were studying her. He noticed her body language, the way she acted, spoke and blushed in front of him. Now, she was looking down, her eyes never meeting his as she held on to the fur blankets for life. He didn't understand why she did that, because she wasn't dressed immodestly. She kept looking down, almost looking submissive as if she was expecting him to spit orders at her, hurt her or force her to do something she didn't want to. It was almost like she was expecting him to break his promise and take her anyway.
Damon raised a brow and took her chin in his hand. "Are you okay?"
He actually heard the breath catch in her throat when he touched her. "Yes," She said, pulling away once again.
He let out an exasperated sigh. "You don't have to be afraid of me," Damon tried to assure her, "I'm not going to hurt you. Let's just have breakfast, okay?"
He offered her his hand and noticed that she still looked unsure, probably after what had happened the night before. This was going to be harder than he'd first thought.
"Hey," He told her reassuringly, "It's a normal, new day, Elena. No man will ask you anything private, if that's what you're asking."
"They won't?" She looked up at him, embarrassed.
"No," He assured her, "I made sure of that."
Elena pressed her lips together, considering what he had said. In all honesty, she had nothing to be ashamed of because she didn't sleep with him anyway, well, at least not in the way all the men out there thought. But still, there was this feeling in the pit of her stomach that made her feel uneasy, yet liberated. Her image was almost in tatters and it made her feel free in so many ways.
Cautiously, Elena nodded her head, the corner of her mouth twitching into a smile.
Damon beamed back at her, offering his hand. "Good."
He gave her a few minutes to refresh and redress into a scarlet and black ribbon dress. It was shorter than she would have liked, showing off her ankles, but at this point there wasn't much worrying would do for her. Elena quickly combed out her tangled locks and ran the damp cloth over her face. In less than three days she was reduced to looking as if she'd not bathed in weeks. It was such a different look she barley recognised the girl staring back at her. Her minimal makeup gone, hair in tatters and red flush gracing her cheeks.
But again, it wasn't something she considered bad at all.
Damon appeared moments later and led her to the kitchen just below deck, where all the men were already seated. There were rows of tables spanning the room on either side, all filled with men chomping down on their meals. At the back of the room was a semi-circle kitchen, counter tops holding a variety of foods and drink whilst two men in the back continued to chop and dice at vegetables, preparing for the evening meal.
Damon held her hand tight as he led her to the back, handing her a small wooden bowl to collect her food. Elena turned beetroot red when she saw the men staring at her and Damon. She didn't want to imagine what they were thinking or saying behind her back. She breathed in a sharp intake of breath.
"Shh, relax," Damon told her, stroking her knuckles as he pulled out a chair for her. "I need you to eat whatever you want, okay? No one's going to stop you."
She nodded, unable to speak a word. God, she was so embarrassed…everyone in the room was thinking that she and Damon had had sex. She wanted to lock herself somewhere else and cry. She could almost hear it now, the men's comments about her being great in bed or being a nice submissive.
Damon's gaze was fixated on her as she filled the plate with some toasted bread and fruit, as well as a few crackers. She ate slowly, keeping her eyes down at all times. It was bad enough that she was the only girl in there, pressure wasn't going to help. Damon laughed in conversation with the other men at the table and poured her out a liquid into a goblet, handing into her. She sniffed it, her nose crinkling at the unfamiliar smell.
"It's rum mixing with water," He explained reassuringly, watching as she nodded slowly without even glancing up once.
He hated how submissive she looked, her eyes downcast and her face red with embarrassment, so he tried to come up with a conversation she'd like to make her feel more welcome. However, he couldn't think of anything because he didn't really know her, at all. She was strange in how she acted, one minute happy and almost free and the next scared and vulnerable. Yes, she was a very confusing young woman.
"Damon?" She asked him softly.
"Yes, Miss Gilbert?" He smirked, moving closer to her.
"Can I please go back to your cabin?"
His brows came together, gesturing to her almost full bowl. "You haven't even touched your food."
"Please, sir," She begged him, "I can't stay here. Please don't make me stay here."
He was about to refuse her, but watching her big, doe-like eyes staring back at him made him suddenly feel guilty about even considering to deny her such a small and simple request.
"Fine," He finally said, "You can go. Just take some food with you."
Elena nodded, smiling a little. "Thank you, Damon."
He watched her as she left, noting that she turned at the last moment at the door, offering him a glance at her pearl whites, her soft lips pulling into a smile. And that one simple gesture made his whole day suddenly a lot brighter.
Elena spent the entire day in the cabin. She hated all of this and she was scared, embarrassed and on edge. She knew that everyone was talking about her like she was some object one could use and then throw away. Although, the more she thought about it, the more she decided she didn't care. If she didn't care, it didn't bother her and then there was nothing to be afraid of. She knew she wasn't going to be staying with these people forever, so her reputation would stay intact when she was return home.
Then it struck her.
What if Damon never intended to give her back? What if he didn't take her home?
She shook her head, ridding the thought from her head. Damon may have been a pirate, but she knew he was a good man. He'd proved that many times now and she strangely believed him in what he said.
Elena groaned, covering her face with her hands and falling back on to the bed. She was so bored and lonely. Even though she wanted to be alone, she secretly hoped Damon would poke his scruffy face through the door, making some sort of teasing remark.
He never did and again, for some unknown reason to her, she wished he had.
It was only when the sun set that she heard the sound of cheery music. She smiled a little and threw her shoes back on, walking out to the outer part of the ship. She remained hidden behind the steps leading up to the helm, watching the pirates laughing, dancing and singing as a classical melody rose from the band of shabby-looking shipmates, each with an instrument.
Small fire lanterns lit the deck as the men sung and drank together. Everyone was so cheerful and upbeat, completely unlike what she had experienced before.
One man, Alaric she recalled, spotted her in the shadows and held his hand out to her, beaming away. She blushed , looking away at the fact she'd been caught spying and also because she was scared he could get mad.
"May I have this dance, my lady?"
Elena turned to face the young pirate, who seemed kind and pleasant enough. Unable to say no, she nodded and he closed his hands around hers, tapping his foot as he pulled her from the shadows. The music stopped for a moment before Alaric nodded his head and a new song began. Elena looked at him confused as he began to tap his foot to the beat, holding her hands lightly in his own as he began to turn them in repaid circles. This was not how men and women danced in her town.
"Not like that, no," Alaric laughed at her failed attempt, tapping his foot with the beat, and Elena copied him.
She started laughing and copied his movements, twisting her hands and body as they began to turn again.
"Yes, that's it," He encouraged, and soon Elena was jumping around, tap dancing with a huge grin on her face.
Soon, the other men started to join in, and some even started to twirl her around. Elena wasn't pleased at first, but then she let herself have fun. With each turn she was pasted to another man, all holding her hands and not her body. They spun her and turned her and Elena gripped her skirt in one hand. For a moment her eyes closed as she enjoyed herself fully for the first time in a long time. The freedom…it was empowering.
However she was snapped from her daydream when she was grabbed around the waist and lifted into the air, and also spun around. Her heart leaped into her chest and her feet were then settled to the ground once again. The fun seemed to immediately stop when Elena realized that in a mere second, everyone had stopped and the other pirates were looking at the person behind her. The music had died down to nothing and everyone was silent.
Elena quickly turned, coming face to face with the captain, who had a neutral look on his face.
Elena stopped immediately, fearing his reaction. He looked towards the crew and then her. Elena's heart started to beat fast against her chest in rapid thumps as she struggled to swallow the forming lump in her throat. Was he jealous? Was he mad that she was dancing with his people? Or leaving the cabin? His eyebrow raised and for a moment Elena thought he was going to hit or hurt her, but instead his neutral expression turned into a smirk. He playfully bowed and the crew burst in to cheer as another song began to play.
Elena was a bit surprised by his sudden initiative, but she couldn't help but to smile back at the wide grin that Damon now greeted her with. Alaric stepped off to the side and then moved to the helm of the ship where he watched the couple with a wise and knowing smile. Stefan stood beside him, nudging his ribs. He knew to and it was all too plain to see on his brother's glowing face.
Elena laughed as she suddenly stepped on the side of Damon's dirtied boot, feeling the start of a burning blush in her cheeks as he guided their waltz. He stopped and smiled at her.
"Now try," he said after momentarily stopping their dance to right their steps.
"Okay," Elena agreed with a nod and then tried not to laugh as they began waltzing again; although, there was no stopping her smile.
"See?" Damon said, smiling down at her as they glided smoothly across the wooden floor.
"Indeed, we make quite the dancing pair," she agreed as they stepped in time with the classical melody.
"That we do, Miss Gilbert."
Elena nodded and smiled, with his bigger hand around her smaller one, guiding them on. He was gentle and smooth as they danced. All her worries seemed so distant now. The melody that the band played drifted through the night air as the cheering crew died down in to small conversation before one by one the retreated for the night.
"You will get it soon enough," Damon added as he grinned playfully down at her, "As with anything, it takes practice to become good at something."
"From what I have seen, you seem to be good at everything."
He chuckled. "That's not exactly true, but I will take it as a compliment."
Elena bit her lip. "Why isn't that true? I mean, you have fought in battles, you have people working for you and you obviously have a lot of treasures."
Damon smiled, a genuine smile that she had never seen before. "It was all through hard work and determination," He said, repeating the words he had once said when he had given her the necklace. "It's not easy to explain."
Elena nodded, accepting his answer even though she wanted to know more. She then looked down, suddenly realizing that she was completely alone with the pirate and that it was almost dark. She felt herself becoming sick as fear took over her. She knew that he wouldn't try anything or hurt her, but she wanted to be safe, at least for now.
"I should go back the cabin," Elena said softly, looking down once again, turning away without giving him the chance to speak.
She didn't want to be alone with him. However, he caught up with her, stepping in front of her just before she could reach the cabin door.
"You know what, you don't have to be so…" He struggled to form a sentence, not wanting to use the term 'submissive'. "So…uncomfortable around me."
She gazed up at him, raising a brow in a questioning manner.
"I mean it," He insisted, taking her chin and tilting it up so that she faced him. "You can talk to me, you know. You don't have to just nod and blush everytime you're around me."
"I'm fine, really, Sir,"
"My name's Damon," He told her, wanting her to realize that even though he loved to be superior, he didn't feel right making her even more vulnerable and small.
It was another thing Elena changed about him. The word 'sir' coming from her lips sounded like a hellhound's bark to his ears. He wanted her to say his name, to look him in the eye as she talked...He wanted her to challenge him. However, he knew that she couldn't do that, not when she was afraid that he'll lash out and hurt her.
She wasn't like that at first, but it seemed like after the night's before events she looked like she was some sort of slave.
"You know, if you're not tired, we can have dessert together. Stargazing maybe? What do you think, hmm?"
"And what would be my punishment if I said no?" Elena asked, her voice stronger and almost challenging him to fight back.
Damon couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"What has gotten into you, Elena?" He asked her, annoyed.
Elena yanked away from him, shaking her head in disbelief. "Don't you get it, Damon? I'm scared!"
"Scared of what?" He screamed right back.
"Of you!" Elena yelled, her eyes filling with tears, but she refused to let them fall over her cheeks. "I'm scared of you and what you could do to me."
He opened and closed his mouth in confusion, watching her breath labour and her eyes grow wide before her body seemed to slump, giving up her part of the fight.
"Now can I please go back to your cabin? Please." She asked again, her voice rough and raw now.
Damon nodded his head a little, unable to form a sentence, as she disappeared once again.
Elena wasn't left alone for much. In fact, about thirty minutes later, Damon stepped into the cabin. She was sat by the window, her finger dancing around the flame from the candle. Trying to ignore him best she could, she kept her attention on the fire at the tips, but Damon came to sit beside her.
He watched her for a long moment, shifting about and deciding on the best way to deal with the situation.
Swallowing thickly, he cleared his throat and let the words fall out. "I'm sorry."
"Sorry about what?" Elena asked, her voice tired.
"For making you wonder what I'm going to do next," He replied. "I scare you. It's not my intention, by far, but I understand why you feel that way."
"Why would you say that?" He added quickly, looking down at his rough hands.
Perhaps honesty was the way to go. Elena sighed, leaning back to face him. "You're strong. You could kill me in a second without breaking a sweat."
Damon chewed on his bottom lip. "Please come and have dessert with me…we can talk. Get to know each other. Only if you want to, I won't force you."
Elena sighed, seeing that he was genuinely concerned. The idea was one that interested her and yet she still found herself battling internally at the struggle of what she wanted and what was right.
"Please?" He asked again, pouting a little.
It was weird, because Damon didn't beg, he took what he wanted.
"Fone," She finally said as Damon led her outside once again where they had danced earlier on.
Damon knew that he had to be incredibly gentle around her, so he delicately took her hand in his, watching her facial expression for any signs of discomfort and then sat her on the chair. There was a candle lit and a plate full of an amazing-looking strawberry's and crackers on top of a barrel of rum. A wine bottle was also set aside with two wooden cups.
They ate in silence for a few moments, watching the sea and the stars.
"Do you like it?"
"Yes," Elena nodded, slowly raising her head to meet his gaze. He smiled.
After they finished their dessert, Damon turned out the candle light and leaned back in the chair the same as her, watching the clear night sky. The moon and the stars were clearly seen, the water calm. It was so quiet that Elena could hear the soft sea waves gently splashing against several rocks.
"All of my life…I dreamt about a life on or under the sea. I used to dream about being a mermaid," Elena said softly.
They had been so lost in admiring the scenery that they forgot that they hadn't even said a word since. Damon watched her intently, the moonlight picking out her eyes so they glowed in the night air.
"This life…nature…it's an escape from reality of some sort. That's what I always wanted. Passion, adventure…to be held by the one that I love as we appreciated the beauty of the universe together."
Elena seemed so lost that Damon couldn't stomach telling her that love and this life she was mentioning was only found in books. He didn't want to tell her that in a storm, the sea turns on you just like everyone else does.
The reflection of the moon was making her chocolate eyes looking even more beautiful. This woman was the definition of beauty, both inside and out.
He gently took her hand in his, watching her expression to make sure that he wasn't making her uncomfortable. "That sounds like a nice life."
She smiled at him.
"Your feet are red," He said as he suddenly looked down and saw red bumps forming.
"Oh. The shoes were a bit uncomfortable, and when I danced I think it made it hurt more," Elena said as she inspected them. "They're fine, really. I guess I'm just not used to this life style unlike back home."
"Why didn't you say so? I would've gotten you bigger shoes." Damon instinctively put her feet on his lap and started to rub them, surprising her.
However, she relaxed in his grip soon enough. Her skirt had ridden up past her ankles, slowly making its way up her calf, but at the moment she barely had a care in the world. His fingers massaged her heels, gently rubbing at the small blisters. With a little tender, love and care, they would be as good as new by tomorrow. He made a mental note to look for some big shoes or sailor boots for her. Maybe they would be more comfortable than the ill filled heels she was so accustomed to wearing in civilised society.
He peered up at her. "Yes?"
She was smiling and her eyes half lidded as she relaxed in to the chair. "Thank you."
"For bringing me here. It's amazing."
"You're welcome, Elena. You're cold though…do you want to go back to bed? Or, should I bring you a blanket?"
"I'm fine," She smiled, letting out a small yawn. "I really am."
Damon continued to rub her feet, a small smile forming on his own lips. Maybe things, for once, will just work out.
Hey! First and for most, I want to apologies to you guys, for many reasons. However, the main one is updating. I know, it has been too long since I have update any of my stories and I truly do feel terrible about it. Many issues have come up in the last few months, one of which has been University. Things have been so full on and crazy that I haven't had a minute to myself in too long. Another issue I had was my laptop going into meltdown, resulting in a lot of my work being lost. I was literally running around like a headless chicken trying to get all my work and shit back together!
Bottom line: I am have been terrible and made you guys wait too long for updates, for which I am again very sorry for. Life just has those moments where it just loves to get in the way! But, just to make it clear, I haven't given up and won't anytime soon! I am currently on my Easter break, so I will have a lot of time to get back on track and writing again. I will never again take a leave of absence that long again, that I can promise you. I have the next part to Give Me Love and Can't Be Tamed in the works and almost ready, so I hope to get that out to you in the next week or so.
Again, I am so sorry!
But, other than that, how'd you like the chapter? :D A massive thanks goes to Amy for this! Her amazing writing for the last few scenes and help as a friend has really been the boost I needed to get back into this, so thanks so much to her! Check out her stories! Let me know what you think I will have the next chapter up ASAP! Thank so much for sticking around! Love you all! x
Next chapter: Ditching the dress for pants, shirts, boots and bandannas, Elena is ready to take on life on the seven seas. But is it all she dreamed of? Stay tuned ;)