_______ sat upright in bed, cold sweat dripping down the side of her face. Lightning flashed purple and the booming thunder followed. She sighed and threw off the silk covers, ‘Just another damn nightmare’, she thought and walked over to her balcony window. ______ loved storms, she loved rain, she loved pretty much anything wild and free. Being the princess and heir to the throne of England, she was expected to be everything but free. It was going to be her 19th birthday in a couple of days also meaning that her stepmother was going to marry her off to some suck up noble’s son and bare children. She shuddered furiously, trying to shake that thought out of her mind.
_______ threw open the curtains to be greeted by the brightest flash of lightning and furious rain pounding on the glass, beckoning her to come outside. She looked down at herself. Wearing nothing but a sleeveless, short, cream, satin sleeping gown. Her (h/c) hair fell lazily to the small of her back and her big (e/c) eyes were almost hidden by her long lashes. ______ was pretty skinny and pale because she was rarely allowed outside the castle walls and she was starved since the king died, leaving her in the hands of her asshole stepmother/queen. At least she didn’t have to wear a corset.
‘No one will be awake at this time of night, I’ll just step out on the balcony for a few minutes.’ She thought, and let the double doors fly open. The curtains blew back furiously and the wind howled. _______ ran out and let the rain soak her clothes, her hair, grip to her lashes. She laughed with joy, was this what it was like to be free? Exhilarating? Shocking? God, how she wished her whole life felt like this.
Just then, _______ heard a bit of yelling at the castle gates. Three men with guns and lamps, stood outside cursing and calling a name that she couldn’t hear. They didn’t seem to notice her in the dark and in the next moment, they left. ‘That’s strange, maybe they were here to kill the queen. Ugh, you’re luck isn’t that good, _______ get over it.’ She sighed and walked back in her room, closing the doors behind her.
“Are they gone?” A soothing voice behind her said. It scared _______ half to death, and she almost let out a scream, but a hand gently covered her mouth. She found herself staring into the most brilliant emerald eyes, covered slightly by wet blonde hair. The man, not much older than her, was extremely handsome, wearing black pants, and a loose white shirt, both soaked to the bone. _______ saw that the front of his shirt that covered his chest was all red and bloody. His breath was shaky and he was obviously hurting.
“I mean you no harm, I swear it.” He whispered and after _______ didn’t respond, he slowly removed his hand. She stared at him wide-eyed, but stayed silent.
“They’re gone. Are you hurt?” _______ gestured to his bloody shirt and he looked down as if he didn’t notice at first. A look of pain shot through his eyes and he collapsed to the floor with a groan.
“Oh my god! Here put your arm over my shoulder.” She helped him to her bed, and took off his shirt. There was a huge gash going across his perfect muscles, blood still pouring out like an endless fountain. _______ covered her mouth in shock, and ran to get a bucket of water, washcloths, and her sewing kit. Cold sweat and rain water dripped from his blonde hair onto her pillow. His eyes were shut tight, enduring the pain. _______ ran back with the supplies and put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him.
“I’m going to sew the wound closed, alright? That’s the only way the bleeding will stop.” The man’s eyes opened, and looked at her, and then closed again. ‘I’ll take that as a go ‘head.’ She thought to herself and got to work. He winced occasionally, but that was it. _______ had to hand it to herself, her stitching wasn’t half bad. She dunked the washcloth in the bucket of water and wiped away the blood. The wound was tender, but at least the bleeding stopped.
_______ put away the supplies and looked back at the strange man in her bed. His breathing was still heavy and he was sweating. She placed her hand gently on his forehead, he was abnormally hot (in more ways than one ). The wound must have been infected before she tended to it. _______ sighed and brushed the man’s wet hair from his face.
“You’re burning up. I think you’ve got a fever.” She whispered and wiped a cool cloth on his forehead. He nodded, still not opening his eyes. “What’s your name?” _______ asked.
“Arthur. Kirkland.” His voice was barely a whisper, and the words came out in gasps. _______ stared wide-eyed.
“Arthur Kirkland? The infamous pirate, Arthur Kirkland?” She gaped. He opened his emerald eyes, taking in her expression, and smiled weakly.
“Glad you’ve heard of me, love.” He joked, still breathing heavily. _______ sighed. She couldn’t make him leave, not in this state and if she turned him into the queen, he would be hanged before she could say Bitch.
“You’ll stay here until the fever goes down. Then I suggest you leave before the queen finds out I’m helping pirate. She hates me enough already.” She murmured the last part, and Arthur chuckled, though it hurt him.
“I’m guessing you’re Princess _______ then. Your beauty exceeds your reputation, love.” He said, still smiling. I have a reputation? I didn’t know that people even knew I existed. _______ thought.
“You flatter me, Captain.” She said bluntly and dabbed his forehead again. Arthur closed his eyes.
“Arthur. Only call me Captain in front of my crew.” He corrected, and winced in pain. _______ shushed him.
“Okay, Arthur. You should get some sleep, it’ll reduce the pain.” She said and quietly sang a lullaby for him.
May you sail fair to the far fields of fortune
With diamond and pearls at your head unto your feet
And may you need never to banish misfortune
May you find kindness in all that you meet
May there always be angels to watch over you
To guide you each step of the way
To guide you and keep safe from the harm
Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm
By the time she had finished that much of the song, Arthur was fast asleep. His breathing became calm and his heart rate slowed down to normal rate. _______ continued to keep him cool and hum the song softly. Arthur looked so peaceful to her that she almost forgot he was a pirate. She had to admit that he was one of the most handsome men she’d ever seen, though she hadn’t seen many. ‘Preserving your youthism for your husband’s use’, her stepmother said. ‘Whatever that means’ _______ thought bitterly, still observing the pirate. His fever started to go down and she decided to sleep for whatever hours she had left. _______ yawned and collapsed down right next to Arthur, still dabbing his forehead with the cool cloth.
“What’s it like to be free?” She whispered, knowing full well that he couldn’t hear her. “What’s it like to not take orders from anyone? Just be yourself all the time, not pretending to be something you’re not. What’s it feel like?” _______ yawned one last time before she fell asleep with the rain patterns lulling her.
The next morning she woke up with a knock on her door.
“My lady, it’s time to wake up.” The maid said, and walked away. _______ reluctantly opened her eyes, barely remembering what happened a few hours ago. Until she found herself resting her head on the chest of a pirate. She sat bolt upright and let out a small quiet shriek.
“Morning, love.” Arthur’s sleepy voice said cheerfully. He stretched out his arms, and let out a yawn.
“Shh, they’ll hear you. How’s your wound?” _______ asked, getting up, as she checked his temperature. His fever was gone.
"Stop worrying about me love, I'm fine." He waved her off, as he got up and picked up his shirt. _______ had washed the blood off last night so it was only a bit pink.
"It's not you I'm worried about. If anything I hope you shoot the queen if you ever happen to stand before her." _______ muttered. She picked out a white and yellow gown and quickly went behind the Chinese screen to change.
"You shy, love?" Arthur's voice was playful and _______ just rolled her eyes. She changed rapidly and ran to the dressing table to fix her hair.
"The maid will be here to clean in fifteen minutes precisely so I suggest you leave before then." Her voice was stern and Arthur just stared. _______ turned around and curtsied. "A pleasure to meet you, Arthur." He bowed in response.
"A pleasure to sleep with you, princess." He smirked and _______ glared before she ran out to the dining room. Her royal pain in the ass stepmother was already there. _______ never denied that the queen wasn't pretty. In fact she was gorgeous. Her platinum blonde hair, her sparkling green/brown eyes, her perfect body figure. A goddess if there was one, but she was cruel and could murder someone with just the snap off her painted fingers.
"You're late my swine." She hissed at _______. The queen plucked a cherry off it’s stem and popped it in her mouth, making sure her lipstick wouldn't smear. _______ faked a smile and curtsied.
"My apologies your highness. It won't happen again." Her voice was sweet and innocent, but of course (bitch name) wasn't buying it.
"It better not, or you'll be sleeping in the streets. Do you have any excuses that you would like blab out to me, as to why you're tardy this evening?" ‘It's morning, slut.’ _______ wanted to hiss, but she just bowed her head.
“Excuses are only a burden to her majesty’s ears. I would never dare to place such a heavy load on our beloved queen.” She’d lived with this woman for fifteen years, and _______ had learned how to get on (bitch name)’s good side. Or as good as it gets, side. (bitch name) narrowed her eyes and her nose scrunched like she’d smelled something awful.
“You’re getting fat. Something will have to be done about this matter. No food or water today and (friend name)!” She snapped her fingers and a girl, about _______’s age came running to the front of the table and curtsied.
“Yes, your highness?” Her voice was high and gentle. (bitch name) spit out a cherry pit and observed her nails.
“Take _______ back to her quarters and fit her into a corset. You’re meeting your fiance today at the festival and I want him to be pleased with you, as I am not.” ‘My fiance?! What the hell were you planning to tell me any of this?’ _______ wondered. She was getting married off to some guy like she expected, but this was earlier than proposed. (friend name) curtsied in response and _______ followed her up the stairs back to her room, without bowing to her stepmother.
To _______’s relief, Arthur was gone, leaving nothing behind that would remind her that he was really in her room. (friend name) was _______’s best friend since she had never known anyone else other than the maids, cooks, and butlers. They grew up together, (friend name) being her personal servant and shared the same hatred for (bitch name) as _______ did. The minute the door shut behind them, (friend name) threw her arms around her friend.
“Oh, _______, I’m sorry. I didn’t know she would push your marriage so early. We all expected it to be in three years at least. I hope your husband will realize what an amazing person you are and treat you well.” A lump formed in both their throats, but _______ refused to cry. Instead she laughed sadly.
“It’s alright. If I was going to get married off one day, it might as well be now, right? Besides, I’ve got nothing left to lose.” That was as far as her optimism went and (friend name) nodded in understanding. She helped _______ with the corset and fit on a cream dress on top. It was low on the neck and tight on the waist, the sleeves drooped from her arm loosely, and the most of it was lace, showing off a lot of skin through the cloth. _______ hated the thing, but worst of all she was dehydrated and could barely breathe.
"Maybe we should take the corset off. I mean you're as skinny as a twig, she wouldn't notice if-" (friend name) began.
"No she would notice. (bitch name) notices everything." _______ sighed and forced a smile. "It's alright, it's only for a few hours, right? I can manage." (friend name) looked doubtful and worried, but decided not to argue. She was about to leave when she say a little slip of paper on _______'s dressing table.
"What's this?" _______ looked over to what (friend name) was pointing at. They read the elegant script together.
Thank you for tending my wounds and fever. I am in debt to you. And I rather enjoyed sleeping with you.
- Arthur Kirkland
(friend name) looked at the note wide-eyed and _______ face palmed herself. She had some explaining to do.
"Arthur Kirkland?! The Arthur Kirkland?!" (friend name) ranted, and _______ covered her mouth.
"Shhh, I'll explain what happened. But (bitch name) can't know of this. Hell, no one can know about this." _______ whispered. She explained everything, the wounds the fever, the men outside their gate, everything. (friend name) asked hundreds of questions.
"Last one, was he really as handsome as all the girls say he is?" Her eyes widened with curiosity and _______ laughed.
"Oh my god, handsome is an understatement, he was absolutely beautiful!" _______ exclaimed and they both laughed at how stupid they sounded. 'After all that in one night, I'm getting married. It's just not fair.' ________ thought to herself, sadly.
They both hurried down to the main entrance and _______ jumped in the carriage across from (bitch name). (friend name) waved her off and they drove down to the village. The village was a lively place all the time, filled with laughing children, working parents, and young men and women falling in love. The town’s people were all happy for a while, with the king ruling them. Then he died, they all grieved for their loss, and then were forced to pay more taxes. They could afford it at first, but their kingdom was poor ever since they went to war with Spain. So they paid and paid until the taxes was enough to cover their salary for a week.
_______ swore that she would stop this the minute they sat her on the throne and the commoners knew it. They loved her though they barely saw her. They heard of _______ through the castle staff and were at her side in an instant. Everyone wanted the queen dethroned as soon as possible.
“Sit up straight, _______, you’re fiance is just over there.” (bitch name) hissed, and _______ obeyed. They drove through the main road and turned into the loading docks. Waiting for them was another carriage, and out came a plumpy looking old man, with an uneven beard and a short young man with ginger hair, gray eyes, and the most perfect teeth. He looked like a kind, civilized gentleman and _______ let out a sigh of relief. If that was her husband, it might not be so bad. The carriage stopped and the man kindly opened the door and helped (bitch name) out and then _______. He smiled at her brilliantly, but not quite as brilliant as Arthur.
“(bitch name), beautiful as ever, I see.” The old man kissed her hand, and the queen giggled and batted her eyelashes.
“Your words are music to my ears, Lord Paine.” She turned to _______, “May I introduce my step-daughter, Princess _______ of England.” The young man stepped forward and planted a kiss on the _______’s hand.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, your highness. My name’s William Paine” His voice was abnormally high for a man, and _______ had to surpress her laughter. She curtsied politely with a sweet smile.
“Please, good sir, for the pleasures all mine.” ‘Did that even make sense?’ She thought.
“I hope you know why we are here today, young lady.” The old man interrupted. How badly did _______ want to just pull on this man’s slanted beard.
“I believe I do, Lord Pain.” She said. Her attention was somewhat drawn to the seagulls that passed over them and she wished that they would just lend her their wings so she could get the hell out of here. The old man smiled contently.
“Good, then we can get down to business.” He gestured for his son to step forward. William took out a little velvet box from his coat pocket and got down on his knees.
“Princess _______ of England.” ‘Someone get me out of here. I’m not ready.’ _______ freaked out in the inside. Her heart slowly cracking and chipping with every moment to pass.
“Will you....” ‘No, no please no.’
“Do me the honors....” ‘Please someone help.’
“Of being my wife?” ‘Please, someone help me!’ She internally wept, hoping for an angel to save her.
“Sorry to interrupt, but she’s spoken for.” A familiar voice said from behind her and a warm hand rested on her shoulder. _______ stiffened, and looked into Arthur’s mesmerizing green eyes.
“What is the meaning of this?!” (bitch name), William, and the old man said in unison. Their voices angry, but also frightened. Arthur noticed and smirked.
“So I guess even the royals know the most feared pirate when they see him.” He pointed a gun at William’s head who looked more livid than the rest. (bitch name) just looked swooned, obviously liking Arthur’s looks. And the plumpy lord was sweating and shivering insanely.
“You back away from her.” William threatened icely. “You may shoot one of us, but you can’t take down everyone before we get to her.” Arthur, unimpressed, shrugged.
“You’re right, I’m pointing the gun at the wrong person.” He instantly aimed for _______’s head and she flinched. At least it’s better than getting married She thought, though she was scared that Arthur would actually pull the trigger if he had to. _______ meant nothing to him and wasn’t getting why he was attempting to kidnap her.
“NO!” (bitch name) screamed. “You can’t take her. She needs to join to the two kingdoms! We need the money!”
“Haha! You need the money and if you’re so desperate, then why don’t you marry off yourself? I mean you don’t look too bad for a fifty year old woman.” Arthur smiled, now holding _______ close to him by the waist. (bitch name)’s eyes grew wide with fury, the maddest that _______ had ever seen her.
“I’m forty, not fifty, forty. GUARDS!!” She called, though there was no one close by to hear.
“Oh, time to go.” Arthur said cheerfully, throwing _______ over his shoulder and running off as if she weighed nothing.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” _______ yelled to him, she was getting light headed. The tight corset, her stomach being pressed on his shoulder, and just the thrill of it all, but she forced herself to stay in focus and awake.
“Doing what I do best, love. Stealing treasure.” He laughed and ran past multiple ships until he reached a large black one with no flag on it’s past. Arthur ran up the plank to the deck and ordered the men to set sail immediately. He dropped _______ on the wooden floor with a thump.
“Hoist anchor, load cannons, and set sail for Bermuda!” Arthur yelled to his crew, drawing out his sword. They mimicked him with a cheer and ran to work. _______ sat at the feet of the pirate captain completely weak and helpless. He didn’t look at her as he gave the orders to set sail though. Arthur’s smile became wicked, but happy as if this was where he belonged. _______, though her head was spinning finally took in his outfit. He had added a red and gold overcoat to his original style along with a belt carrying the gun and sword, and of course the hat. Black, gold rimmed, with a large tan feather and little red clusters of flowers. His hair fell over his thick brows and only slightly over his demon fire eyes.
“Oh and Alfred!” He called, and a teenage boy only a couple years younger than _______ with dirty blonde hair and sky blue eyes came running up to Arthur, with only a glance at the captured princess.
“Ay, Captain.” He saluted with a smirk on his face. The captain put a hand on his mate’s shoulder.
“Do us a favor and hoist the flag, savvy?” He said, and Alfred’s smile grew wide, before he ran below deck.
Everything was spinning as _______ gasped for breath. She couldn’t take off her corset in front of all these men, let alone pirates. She dragged herself to leaned on a gunpowder barrel and sat there, breathing heavy, Arthur still not noticing a thing. At least I didn’t have to say yes to the marriage Was all _______ thought and she was happier than ever about it. On the other hand she was furious for being taken away from her home. The people needed her to rule and fix the tax problem, bring England back to it’s former glory. _______ watched as the black flag with the crossbone skull raised into the air. More cheering came from the crew and more yelling came from the soldier on the dock. She felt the ship jut forward and then start floating away fast and smooth. Then her world became a blur, her breath became short, and the last thing she saw was a pair of her two favorite emerald eyes looking down at her.