Short Story of Sparrabeth - answer to Ficlet Challenge I selected #33. Because She's HIS Pirate. NO RATING - T & UP BECAUSE SHE'S HIS PIRATE
Captain Jack Sparrow discovered himself sitting at his desk. His eyes slowly opened up to a slight peer as he felt the subtle shift of his ship, the solid ground beneath his feet and the sensation of wavering to and fro. It enhanced the similar and like motion of sloshing within his saturated head.Where th’ bloody hell am I, then?
Confused and not quite sure of what was transpiring or why he was in such a state of puzzlement. Lifting up his torso from the top of his desk; a muddle of myriad thoughts were screaming within his skull. Jack scrubbed his face a few times with the palms of his hands and shook his head for a moment―as if that would remedy the buzz and break free from the mental cobwebs tangling his cranium and cease the wayward patterns of refractory lights. His eyes like black, crystal diamonds sought the length of the desk to spot a lone candle, a kaleidoscope of colors flashing behind his eyes as Sparrow sighed and struggled to gather his wits and pull himself together. Opening his eyelids a bit more, the first thing that honed into sharp focus was a bottle. It sat just a foot away from him….empty.Oh, right…..
Now Sparrow remembered. He had put on a pretty solid drunk stemming from the events leading up to this; previous hours past this very night. It was one of those evenings one would like to forget; push back to the annals of time where it could quite possibly never be recollected again. But that did not happen so easily. Sparrow was plagued with the weight of memory. It ate at him like a stringent acid dripping upon his thoughts in an incessant stream.Her.
The sight of William Turner kissing her at the side of the rail after they had parted was enough to send Captain Sparrow into a rare tizzy. Squeezing his eyes shut from that very same gnawing image which had haunted him. The slight argument he had later on with one of his crew was only a side step. Captain Sparrow used that technique well; to dole out his anger upon another in lieu of unloading on Elizabeth. The row was incidental to him, but certainly the crewman was regarding it as a relatively nasty encounter.She’s bloody well denyin’ us altogether, then…..nary a thought to’what she’s doin’.
Sparrow was certain he was correct in his assumptions. Elizabeth was in denial and the way she cavorted behind Turner’s back with him
was all too real….and
all too enticing for him to forget. Sparrow could envision it all now what had transpired, as the misty clouds of his precautionary mind parted, he delved back into moments of sharpened clarity. Jack could see it all in a panoramic scene before him….the dark midnight blue sky above poxed with a brilliant array of stars, the lone figure standing by the rail with long hair waving and coiling in a dance with the breeze. He dared to approach it and requested the fates to deliver unto him what he wanted―and he got
“Good evenin’, Miss Swann. I see yer takin’ in the sights of the stars, eh?”
Of course when Elizabeth heard the approaching footsteps behind her, she knew who it was. The sound of the slow gait and familiar, steady thump of boots which had a flair of confidence about them. However, there was a subtle twist of hesitancy this time. That was not William’s walk in the least.
She knew Captain Sparrow had been eyeing her all day. It was always his way to stand apart, afar, and at a distance to observe her every move. Sparrow was pretty good at disguising how he orchestrated these intense scrutinizing gazes in her direction. He always did it. But Elizabeth snickered to herself because she always caught Jack in the act. Whenever ‘found out’ Jack would dart his gaze away in a flash; like an abrupt blaze of lightning that is caught within one’s peripheral vision. But it was always that one second of acknowledgement which passed between them, that one, fleeting second of being caught and recognized that entreated his gaze when thwarted. But this now was a direct approach and Elizabeth was prepared for anything, as was layered within her tenor of repine.
“Good evening, Captain Sparrow.”
Jack joined Elizabeth at the side rail and leaned with one arm buttressed against the slick, black wood of his beloved ship. At first he too was star gazing and glanced up to capture the area of her intense focus, to guess which part of the night sky held distinct interest. In his mind’s eye though he was watching her; the delicate sway of Elizabeth’s long honey hair darkened with the indigo night, intrigued Sparrow as it languidly glided across her throat, like a lover’s touch. Jack wanted it to be his fingers to glide across that alabaster column.
“Which cluster of stars are y’ gazin’ at then? Perhaps, I can assist in sharin’ a bit of me knowledge of the heavens with you?”
Elizabeth turned to look directly at Sparrow now, affixed in place with a wry grin spread across his rugged visage. She knew darned well it was not the magnetic pull of the canopy above which lured him. It was not the splay of twinkling lights above them which drew Captain Sparrow to her side. But it was flattering to have him concoct and contrive such a diabolical means to land himself here adjacent to her all the same.
The only hitch was that he befuddled her all the more. Elizabeth was groping in her own quandary of what she wanted out of life. Torn between the love of two men; indecisive and not knowing how to make the final decision. Was there even a viable decision to be made at this late stage when she had already received her answer?
William Turner was a young man, full of ideals and promise. He was fresh-faced and honorable. He had designed affluent dreams that would fill any young woman’s purse with gems of optimism and provide a high-quality life.
Jack Sparrow was wise and sage, life as a pirate had trained him many lessons, given a worldliness that William Turner could not even guess at fathoming. He was cunning, intelligent, knowledgeable, and intensely charming in a way which was daunting. There was a charismatic quality about the danger embedded within those black obsidian eyes. They drew Elizabeth in like a fluttering moth to a blazing flame.
Elizabeth’s heart chose one man while her head another. That was the dilemma. The man she loved had an uncertain future and the one her head selected promised ballast. Which was the wiser choice and which one would ultimately make her happy? Elizabeth was torn with unyielding indecision and she was contemplative; on the precipice of that very issue when Sparrow approached. Was this the disguised answer beamed down to her from the love gods? Were they finally about to reveal their rendering of how to answer this call?
Elizabeth glanced at the rugged and angular features of the man standing at her side. So strapping, confidant, alluring, and in command of all in his realm. He was labeled as a Captain, a man of utter control and wisdom in his world, experienced and wielded untold power. But Elizabeth had unlocked that mystery of this enigma and veered past all that masquerading in disguise. Jack had let her in and opened up what he was…Elizabeth understood the depth and quality of this man. She peeled back the layers formed by years of cloistered emotional barriers and eventually got to the root. She exposed his true vulnerability and discovered the ‘good man’ what lie within and behind the visage of control Sparrow portrayed to the world. That is what drew her to him in the first place.
Jack was like William in shared characteristics, but in a totally different hue. Elizabeth saw through to the finite point where Sparrow was like most men, most good men; he was kind, goodhearted, loyal, and sweet. If Elizabeth would dare utter such words likened to the man who stood like a pillar of assurance and poised over the helm of this ship―they’d call her mad. Sparrow struck respect and dominion from all who crewed his ship, so there was a tough persona about him to maintain that illusion of authority. But the tenderness and sweet side was always prevalent…Elizabeth saw it….felt it…loved
“Yes, I was looking at that cluster right there….” She said with a slight nod to the sky.
“Ah Ha!” Sparrow announced with zest and enthusiasm as he glanced up with a visual capture of the astrological cluster of Pleiades, “…that t’would loan out a very interestin’ story indeed, that. What yer lookin’ at 'tis Orion fallin’ in love with the Seven Sisters.”
“I beg your pardon?”
Sparrow grinned, a slow and simmering smirk of slyness that Elizabeth was not certain if he was giving her a pull or actually doling out a sailors rendition of the night sky used to woo women. Jack had cleared his throat and began to shift his posture while offering to explain. A flourished arm extended to the sky to outline the stars in that particular sector of the firmament.
“Y’ see…..there’s a story 'bout the great hunter Orion…that cluster there……fallin’ in love with the Seven Sisters, over there. He was after ‘em fer 12 years. So, in his wisdom Zeus turned him an’ the sisters into stars. This way, Orion can chase Pleiades ferever, but the problem 'tis…he can never catch
“So then…it was a curse?” Elizabeth said evenly with caution to her tenor.
Sparrow shrugged one shoulder slightly.
“Mmmmm……mebbe. Either that or Zeus planned on always keepin’ Orion 'round t’ watch over them….make certain they’d not get themselves into trouble, eh?”
It did not escape Elizabeth as to the precise underlying tendency this conversation was taking. Jack was always one to manipulate any scenario to suit his purpose. This was exactly one of those opportune moments he was not about to neglect. Elizabeth also noticed that Sparrow had managed to creep a bit closer to her side until their shoulders were nearly touching. His arm was projecting a sweep of the area focused upon, and then added with a sensual tone to his voice,
“Sailors find Orion is also high in the sky at sunset this time of year, a lit'le east of the sisters. He’ll follow them ‘cross the celestial dome t’ go beyond the horizon…..but we don’t really know what happens then…b'cause we can’t see 'em, I suppose. So we’re not really
certain it if 'tis a curse or not…perhaps Orion does manage t’ snare one of those sisters after all, eh?”
Elizabeth could discern the sheen of his gold and silver teeth gleaming past those sly lips. They were highlighted within the glow of moonlight, enhancing that already roguish visage beside her.
“Yes, well given the odds of seven to one, I am certain that he would
manage to at least snare one.”
“AH, but only a man of true valor n’ heart 'twould only seek ONE
―the sister who captured his heart y’ see….only a real man could handle one lady at a time…given 'er the proper attention she deserves.”
Elizabeth was feeling her pulse race. This was insanity prescribed for two. Elizabeth was at the apex of her nerves when she glanced back to Jack and saw his hand reach for her. The back of his fingers gently swept the long trail of her golden hair that was curled snug against her neck and tangled. Using his index finger Sparrow sensually glided it off to the side where the wind took over the task and sailed it hither. But Sparrow’s digits did not follow suit. Leaning down while staring at her mouth, Jack then crooned in a deeper timber,
“I’d like t’ imagine Orion captured the one 'e wanted…the one which b'longed
to him―b'cause she was his
Elizabeth felt numb to the scene unfolding before her and incapable to react. What was she to do or say? Was Jack mistaken in confessing that he loved her? There were moments when Elizabeth regretted ever hearing those words whispered to her in the hold. The memory of that shared and forbidden kiss, those whispered nothings he crooned were racing through the regions of her brain which told Elizabeth to stop―stop it now
, before she tangled up her life even more within the fabric of this brigand’s life.
She was in rapture with pirates―with him
. There was no whit or reason to even attempt at comparing William with Jack. Perhaps she was not giving Turner a fair chance? How could he measure up to the Titan of sensual play and composition now standing next to her? Sparrow was causing her stomach to clench with desire and incapable of halting it. Elizabeth’s head was pounding to take hold of herself, to deny these intense rushes of feeling. The right thing to do would be to re-categorize them as whimsy, foolhardiness, and a silly schoolgirl crush made real only within the fancy of her own fantasies.
But she could not. This was too real; the rollicking sensations which traveled from her heart and into the pit of her belly had rushed past and beyond temporal guidance. No longer was there rationalization of her head demanding to acknowledge that this romance could not be. It was also futile to just stand there and stare at him. Sparrow was already looming in close to kiss her. Elizabeth was helpless to fight against noticing that she too was leaning up into the negative space between them to reach for his mouth.
Jack enveloped her, his arms snugly fitted like coils of bondage that would never release her. Was she truly his? Deep down this felt so right as Elizabeth closed her eyes drowning in that aura of Sparrow surround her. Jack was everywhere
―in her mind, in her mouth, in his spirit as she felt captivated. Once bitten Elizabeth knew she could never be free of the heady tonic; her head swimming with a sweeping dizziness that was unlike any sensation in the world. Not even the Pearl
on a choppy sea could match the shifting of her to and fro with a delicious intoxication. It was effortless as the floating sensations carted Elizabeth off while kissing Jack. And when they pulled apart for air, she landed on two feet, captive and caged by those strong arms holding her in place as if Sparrow refused to release her. Sparrow would never let Elizabeth go or be where he could not see or watch over her…..like Orion.
Jack stood there and did a survey of her countenance, her eyes half hooded and drunk in the aftermath of their kiss. He grinned a bit, that infernal, knowing smirk that he had done his job well. Masterfully executed, Sparrow knew how to chase away any hint of William Turner from that woman’s brain in an instant.She’s not thinkin’ bout the whelp now, I’d wager.
“Jack, this is not helping matters….of course you already know this and have crossed the line once more. I had plainly asked you not to kiss me anymore.”
His lower lip protruded with wonderment, head tilted back to peer down at Elizabeth, and a slight scowl formed to alter his handsome features.
“Eh? I recollect no such discourse.”
“Yes…in the hold.” Elizabeth replied as she turned to glance about the ship to ensure nobody could spot this very intimate and compromising hug they were sharing, “I expressly told you this could not happen again.”
…?” Sparrow adopted a feigned expression of innocence about him as he continued to snare Elizabeth within his arms, “Mmmm…….this
…….'tis a pretty broad n’ non-descriptive use of a solitary word, luv.”
“Well it was meant to encompass all
such debaucheries you had imagined to incorporate!”
Sparrow continued grinning at her, that devilish grin which Elizabeth adored and detested all in the same moment. It meant he knew damned well what he was doing. But Jack was so adorable in the manner of the delivery, it was difficult to slap that cocky grimace right off his handsome kisser! But Elizabeth had to draw back and wriggle out of his arms for safekeeping. She could not risk William seeing them or he would absolutely die. That would be the last nail in the proverbial coffin of their already strained relationship.
“Unhand me, sir…you are like a bloody octopus with those arms of yours!” Elizabeth hissed with her voice under strain and struggle to seek liberty.
Sparrow made it that much more difficult for her to unwind from his love snare upon her. Chuckling as he finally allowed Elizabeth the illusion that she was 'free’ of him, he released her. Jack leaned with his rump against the rail and facing into his ship. A flustered Elizabeth clasped onto the rail looking outwards to the sea. He watched with that same grin, entertained by the way she fussed and tried to gather herself up. The tedious working of fixing the hair, adjusting the clothes, even the painstaking way she adjusted the demeanor of her facial expression.
It was no use. Jack Sparrow was in her blood as Elizabeth was in his. It was kismet, like two stars in the sky…like Orion and Pleiades….destined to be in each other’s sight for eternity.
Captain Jack Sparrow knew as surely as the sun would rise in the east and set in the west―Elizabeth Swann was HIS PIRATE.