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Hermione made her way across the top deck and stopped in front of Jack as he stood at the wheel.

 

She let loose a small cough in order to catch his attention as he looked lost in thought. He jumped slightly before their eyes met and she saw a gleam in his eyes that threw her a bit off balance. Was it possible that he was feeling a bit of what she did?

 

“What can I do for ye, luv,” he asked with a slight smirk upon his lips. The gleam in his eyes was gone and replaced with a very familiar glint of mischievious arrogance.

 

Hermione gave him her sweetest smile as she shared her plan with him. He quietly waited for her to finish her tale before he smirked again, shook his head and said a resounding “No.”

 

She openly gaped at him. No discussion, no debate, just…no. “You can’t be serious, Jack. You can’t just…”

 

“I can be and, I assure ye, luv, I am very serious.” He left the wheel and walked over to the railing and leaned back against the wood with an easy grace. He crossed his arms over his chest and smirked at her. She was fighting the urge to hit him and he knew it.

 

Hermione stood in front of him glaring darkly, then, suddenly she deflated and turned to walk away.

 

Jack reached out and grabbed her arm and pulled her to him. She was so close that he could smell the sweet scent that clung to her skin. He felt a tingle race up his spine and he shoved her back a bit roughly, causing her to stumble. She frowned as she righted herself.

 

“Why won’t you at least discuss it with me,” she asked with a sad look in her eyes. What worried Jack most was that he didn’t know if it was because he wouldn’t take her to port or because he had pushed her.  He hoped for the former because the latter made his heart race.

 

“There is nothing to discuss, luv. I am Captain of the Pearl. Therefore, I have say over where she sails and I say she keeps sailing till we reach Tortuga. Savvy?”

 

Hermione brightened. “So, you could just leave me there then.”

 

Jack smirked and took a step closer to her. “Tortuga is not the place to leave a lass as lovely as yerself. Unless…?”

 

Hermione blushed at the compliment he paid her, but brushed her reaction aside. “Unless…?”

 

Jack’s smirk turned into an all out leer, as he looked her up and down. “Unless you plan to pay your way to England with pleasurable pursuits instead of money.”

Hermione’s jaw dropped and she took a step back. Angry tears filled her eyes and she reared back, her fist coming up and out to land squarely on Jack’s nose. His head flew backwards with a snap.

 

Jack cupped his hand over his nose to catch the blood that ran freely. For such a small lass, she sure packed a wallop.

 

Hermione couldn’t stand there another moment. She fumed as she ran back to Jack’s cabin. How dare he say those things to her, to insinuate that she was a whore and would sell her body for passage. Then to leer at her as though he thought that it was a good idea.

 

She entered his cabin and slammed the door so hard the walls shook. She sat on his bed and then jumped back up only a few seconds later. She was so angry she could feel a tingle in her wand hand just before a lantern near her flew towards a wall and shattered. Thank Merlin it wasn’t lit.

 

She paced a moment, trying to get her anger to calm. She was dangerously close to showing everyone her magic.

 

She had just climbed onto the bed and gotten comfortable when the door to the cabin flew open. Jack stood in the doorway, a dark glower on his face and his eyes flashing. This combined with the dried blood on his face, made him look fierce.

 

Hermione stared up at him, getting herself ready for him to unleash his fury, when they heard a loud boom. Jack grabbed the doorjamb to steady himself as the ship rocked violently.

 

Hermione jumped up from the bed to follow Jack out, but he pushed her back into the cabin and slammed the door closed. She grabbed the knob and turned only to find that the door was locked. She banged on the door and screamed for someone to let her out, only there was no one around to hear her.


 


 

Jack rushed to the top deck and frowned as he saw where the canon blasts had issued from. A ship bearing the colors of the British Navy was coming upon them fast.

 

Jack began shouting orders and the crew hopped to, a few rushing below to ready their own canons, the others manning the sails in hopes of out running the military vessel.

 

The British ship was gaining. They had wasted precious time and it was clear that the Pearl was going to be overtaken. Jack barked out orders for the crew to be prepared for the invasion.

 

The crew hastened to follow their Captain’s orders and readied their swords.

 

To the crew, it looked as though Jack were calm, but truthfully, his heart hammered in his chest and his insides shook with fear for what, or should we say who, lay below deck in his cabin.

 

For once in his pathetic life someone else was more important than himself. For once he thought of another and worried about their fate before his own.

 

He never thought it would happen. Had never dreamed that he would fight, not for profit or to save his own skin, but to insure that something precious to him survived.

 

He watched as the British naval vessel came about and stopped along side them, the soldiers aboard, readying themselves to overtake the pirates. Jack pulled out his sword in preparation and said a silent prayer that he and his crew would prevail.

 

 

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