Tears of Gold - Chapter 2
Bella and Alice barely had time to hide underneath some blankets when they heard the fighting begin. They clung to each other tightly as they heard yelling and the sound of footsteps above them. The girls heard someone running down the stairs and froze when they heard the door open. They pulled more blankets over their bodies and waited for whoever was coming through the door.
The Captain looked around the room with a wild look in his eyes. When he found Bella and Alice he yelled, “Stay where you are and don’t leave this room until one of my men come and get you. Do not go above no matter what you hear!” With that he turned around and slammed the door behind him. The girls turned to each other and Bella noticed that Alice was about to lose the thin grasp on her sanity.
For what seemed like days, Bella and Alice heard the clanging of metal hitting metal and screams. Oh God! Please stop the screaming! I’m sorry for everything bad I’ve ever done in my life and I promise to be good if You will please stop the screaming! Bella prayed like she had never prayed before. At that moment all the noise stopped. When Alice started whimpering, Bella began smoothing her hair and tried to comfort her as Alice had done for Bella when she got the news of her impending marriage. Shit! Was that only a week ago?
Bella started to push the blankets off of them. “No!” Alice yelled at her as she grabbed her arm, “We’ve got to stay hidden until one of the crew comes and gets us!” Bella started to reply to her but stopped when she heard someone at the door. “Don’t worry Alice. Someone’s coming now.” When the door opened, what she was going to say next froze in her throat. That “someone” was not part of the captain’s crew.
Bella and Alice watched as several pirates came down the steps. They started searching the room, opening crates and pulling the contents out. All of a sudden, one of the pirates yelled out, “Captain! We found it!” The girls stared as the pirate lifted a handful of gold coins up in the air and let them drop back in the large chest. Soon they heard someone coming down the steps and into the room. The captain walked over to the chest and threw his head back, laughing.
“So our spies were right! There’s enough here to take care of our needs and them some. Start taking all of this above and load it on our ship. You know what to do with any survivors.” The captain barked out his orders to his men and they all began hauling their loot out of the room.
Bella studied the captain and from her advantage point, could only see a very well-built man with blonde curls. Hidden, she was able to take her time looking him up and down. Long legs led to a very muscular, but lithe, body. She even had to admit to herself that he had one fine ass. When he turned around, Bella couldn’t stop the gasp that escaped from her lips. He was the most handsome man she had ever seen in her life. Unfortunately for the girls, the gasp wasn’t missed by the captain. With squinted eyes, he looked all around the room and noticed a lock of long brown hair poking out of a pile of blankets. He walked over and pulled the hair.
“OW!” Bella yelled as she threw the blankets off of her and Alice. “Let go of my hair right now!” She started hitting the captain trying to get her hair loose. Alice snapped out of her shock and stomped on his foot. He immediately let go of Bella’s hair and grabbed Alice’s arm.
“Run Bella!” Alice screamed but Bella knew there was nowhere to run to. She faced the captain and started yelling at him to let go of Alice’s arm. Instead of letting go of Alice, he reached out and grabbed Bella. The bolt of electricity that ran up his arm made him take a closer look at Bella. He took in the deep, brown eyes, pale pink lips and long dark mahogany hair. He then looked down at her full breasts, straining against the too small shirt she was wearing. His eyes followed down her body to notice she was wearing men’s clothing. They did nothing to hide her curves.
“Well…well…well. Looks like gold isn’t the only treasure down here,” he said with a smirk on his face. “Take them up top, but don’t hurt them,” he ordered one of his men.
Bella stole a glance at Alice and it seemed like her best friend was getting ready to have a panic attack. “Alice, don’t worry. My father will come and find us. He won’t let any harm come to us.”
The captain let out a snort. “I don’t think he’s going to know where to start looking for you.” He released the girls and watched one of his men escort them up the steps.
As she headed out the door, Bella turned around and sneered at the captain. “My father may not know where to look, but my fiancé, Lord Breighton will find us.”
It was the captain’s turn to sneer. “Lord James Breighton? You were going to marry him? Oh this is my lucky day!”
Bella looked at Alice and muttered to herself, “damn!” before they walked through the door. Bella and Alice climbed the stairs & went through the door. What was on the other side totally shocked the girls. Blood and bodies lay all over the deck. The smell drifted to Bella and she started to feel light-headed. All of a sudden she came to a halt and yanked her arm back. Their escort turned to look at her and growled.
“Please! I need to sit down,” she whispered to him. “I feel like I’m going to faint.”
As the pirate took in her pale face, he nodded. “Both of you sit down right here on this crate. I’m going to tie you up together while we finish loading our ship.”
The girls sat back to back on the nearest crate and the pirate tied them together. Alice had started crying and moaned, “Bella, what’s going to happen to us? You heard the captain…no one is going to find us!”
Bella turned her head and whispered to Alice, “Don’t worry about it. This is my father’s best ship and he isn’t going to take this attack lying down. We can’t forget about Lord Breighton either. He’s expecting to make me his bride so I’m sure he’ll stop at nothing to find us. Now we’ve got to relax and pay attention to what is going on around us as much as possible. I’m sure these pirates will hold us for ransom, which my father will pay, and we will be free before you know it!”
Bella knew that she sounded a lot more sure of their survival than she really was. She had heard plenty of stories about what happened to females that were captured by pirates. If a female survived the capture, she was usually raped repeatedly or sold into slavery. Bella couldn’t let Alice be aware of her fears though.
As she sat there lost in thought, she let her eyes travel across her father’s ship. All of a sudden she sucked in her breath. Demitri and Felix, her guard dogs back at home, were helping the pirates load all the captured booty onto the pirate ship. She couldn’t help the snarl that escaped through her lips. They were the spies the captain had mentioned. They had betrayed the Swan family!
Bella screamed at the men, “You bastards! How could you betray the trust my father had in you? He trusted you to take care of Alice and me, not to mention my dowry!”
Before Bella could blink an eye, Demitri was in her face in a split second. “Don’t you scream at me, little girl. You have no idea what your father’s true plan was! You think he is above all the backroom games? You have no idea!”
Bella tried leaning back as far as she could. She could feel Alice straighten up and freeze. She couldn’t believe Demitri would talk about her father like this. “How dare you!” she snarled back. Her eyes had darkened to almost black and she struggled to get loose so she could slap the sneer off of Demitri’s face.
“Demitri, that’s enough! Get out of the girl’s face and back to loading the ship. We are almost done and I want to put as much distance between us and this area as we can,” the captain’s velvety voice carried over the deck of the ship. “Jacob, take the girls to the ship and put the mouthy one in my cabin. You can put the other one in Edward’s cabin. I’m sure he’ll enjoy a little female company!” He crossed over to the pirate ship and disappeared.
Bella and Alice watched Jacob walk over to them with wide eyes. Jacob was huge! He had dark skin and long black hair pulled back into a ponytail. What put the fear of God in their eyes was his size. Jacob stood at 6’7”, with a very broad chest and muscles to match. Bella figured his arms were as big around as her waist. He picked them both up and carried them across the plank that joined both ships. Bella looked behind them and saw a pirate carry the last chest across and follow the other men out of sight. Another man drew the plank into the pirate ship and stow it along the side of the ship.
As the pirate ship moved away from her father’s ship, Bella couldn’t believe her eyes when someone fired upon the disabled ship. When it caught fire, she choked back a sob at the loss of such a fine ship and the loss of life. Those men had served her father for years. Well, most of them she thought to herself. She made a promise right then and there that she would avenge their deaths. But first I’ve got to save me and Alice she reminded herself. As they moved further and further away, she couldn’t help the despair that threatened to take over her body and soul.
Once Bella decided that there wasn’t much damage they could cause Jacob, she started paying attention to everything around her. She was very surprised to see that the ship didn’t look anything like she had imagined a pirate ship would look like. It seemed to be about as long as one of her father’s ships and had three very large sails. Everywhere she looked, she saw crew members hustling, trying to get as much distance from the burning ship as they could.
One thing that shocked Bella was the fact that the crew looked like ordinary men she might run across at home. Just like the ship, they didn’t look like the pirates everyone was afraid of. Not one of them looked at her and Alice like they wanted to eat the girls. They had a job to do and they did it.
At one end of the ship, Bella could see steps leading up to a set of doors. It was these doors that Jacob was headed for. He carried the girls up the steps like they weighed next to nothing and went through the door on the left and stopped. He set the girls on the floor and untied them.
As he motioned Alice to the bed, he warned her to stay there until Edward showed up. He then explained that Edward was the first mate and the most loyal to the captain. Alice just stared at him with wide eyes and nodded.
Jacob then took Bella by the arm and walked her out and through the other door. She watched him lock Alice in the cabin. He explained to her that Captain Whitlock would be in to check on her in a little bit. She ignored him as she took in her surroundings. There was a desk with lots of papers on it in one corner and a bed in another corner. Bella walked over to the bookshelves that lined one wall. Jacob watched her as she looked at all the books.
“Do you know how to read?” he asked her.
“Of course!” she answered him haughtily.
He just grinned at her and shook his head as he walked out the door. “I hope lady luck is smiling down on us…we sure are going to need it!” he chuckled as he closed the door.
As Bella heard him lock the door from the outside, everything that had happened to her and Alice came crashing down on her. She threw herself down on the bed and started sobbing. She tried so hard to be brave, but really…what chance did she and Alice have of surviving? She finally stopped crying and decided right then and there that they would survive! She would see to it. With that thought in mind, she let her mind and body give in to the sleep that soon overtook her.
After making sure all the gold was locked up, Jasper made his way to his cabin. He wasn’t for sure what would be waiting for him inside, but he knew he was too tired to put up with much. Edward wasn’t too happy to have one of the girls in his cabin, but Jasper had explained that it was for the girl’s safety. He knew that once he appealed to Edward’s chivalrous side, the argument would be over. Jasper wasn’t too worried about his men since he had known them for years and he did trust them with his life, but they still had months to go before they would get home and without female companionship. He didn’t want to have to punish any of his men for anything concerning the girls.
Jasper took out his key and unlocked his door. He quietly pushed the door open and looked around. He saw the brown-eyed beauty lying across his bed, fast asleep. He walked over and looked down on her. He noticed that her eyes were red and her face was splotchy. He knew she had cried herself to sleep. He also knew, from Demitri and Felix, that her name was Lady Isabella Swan, but friends and family called her Bella.
He remembered how Bella had threatened him with her “fiancé” Lord Breighton. Jasper growled to himself as he thought about that sorry excuse of a man. How Lord Swan could ever entertain the thought of letting that animal near his daughter, much less marry her, Jasper would never know. Swan must be getting something very valuable in return, he thought to himself. One thing he did know was that all the gold they confiscated would be going towards a good cause.
Jasper let his eyes roam freely down Bella’s body. He noticed the dark, luxurious hair fanning out around her beautiful face. The top few buttons had popped off her shirt in the struggle with Jacob, which allowed him to see her creamy neck leading to her cleavage. Her full breasts threatened to spill out over the top of the shirt. The leggings she had on did nothing to hide the fact that she was all woman. A small waist curved out into full hips, which led to legs that seemed to go on forever.
What a spit-fire this sleeping beauty can be! Jasper thought to himself as he remembered how defiant she was on her father’s ship. He knew the rest of the trip was going to be anything but boring! He was surprised to find he was looking forward to the challenge. That electric shock he received when he grabbed her arm crossed his mind. He knew that that kind of thing had never happened to him before. All of a sudden, he promised himself that he would do everything he could to make her look at him like a man, not just a pirate. He was truly a southern gentleman and he would show her that side of him.
With that in mind, he went back out the door to find Jacob. He wanted a tub of hot water for Bella to bathe in when she woke up. He went down below to find her some clothes to change into when she was done. He silently thanked God that his sister insisted he buy some of the latest fashions for her and other members of the family while he was in France.
Demitri told him that the other girl’s name was Alice Brandon. Although she didn’t have a title, she was Bella’s best friend and the closest thing she had to a sister. He decided to let Edward take care of her needs. She was his responsibility.
Once he knew Jacob was getting water heating up, Jasper went back to his cabin and laid the blue gown on his chair. He knew it would fit her and would look beautiful on her. After stealing another glance at Bella, he walked out the door and locked it. He hated to have to do it, but he knew it was necessary until she got used to the idea that she wasn’t going anywhere and that there wasn’t anything she could do. He sighed as he went to take his turn at the wheel.
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