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White Light on a Black Sea

Chapter Text

 

Prologue

It sounded like thunder for the briefest moment, until the first blast hit the Ivory Swan. Bolting out of bed, the Princess Emma looked out her window, seeing only the dreary grey sky of the early morning, a slight drizzle peppering the sea as it stretched out in front of her. Running to the door, foregoing in her haste anything more than the clothes she wore to bed, she opened the door to her luxurious cabin only to be met by her panicked maidservant Angela. She could hear shouting on deck, and more cannon-fire as the Swan answered her attackers' aggression with its own.

"Your highness! You need to stay inside and bar the door!" Terror colored the older woman's voice as she pushed her charge backwards. "We've been set upon by pirates!"

The Princess hastily nodded and shut the door, sliding the lock in place and pushing a small chest in front of it before retreating back to the window. Fear gripped her as the deafening noise intensified and the ship pitched violently as the approaching vessel came round to port and she got her first view of her attackers. The pirates' ship was modest in size, but faster than any ship she'd seen, slipping around the larger Swan as if it were standing still. The crimson flag flapping proudly from the main mast confirmed Angela's claims, and the gravity of the situation gripped the princess with a start.

She would not be making it to her wedding to Prince Neal without incident. She would be lucky to make it anywhere at all.

Emma went to grab her sword, determined to defend herself, but she was unaccustomed to fighting at sea and when the ship listed suddenly as their attackers tossed grappling lines and began to board, she stumbled back towards the bed, her head hitting the wooden wall hard. As she felt herself slipping into unconsciousness, all she could pray was: don't let them find me. Don't let them hurt me.

The world went dark.

Her door burst open.

 

Chapter Text

I.

The Ivory Swan wasn't a large vessel, but its' fine craftsmanship and the ferocity with which the now-dead captain had resisted led Captain Hook to believe the ship was loaded with precious cargo and well worth the calculated risk of boarding and taking her. He drove his hook into the throat of a sailor as he swung on board, the thrill of battle making his heart race as the man collapsed onto the deck choking on his own blood. The dying man faded into the background as he tore open another man's belly with his hook and kicked him overboard. As he slashed his sword across another crewman's chest, he headed for the ship's cabins, picking his way through the carnage. The screams of the enemy sailors died out as his crew made quick work of the less-experienced men. They should have surrendered when they had the chance, he thought. Damn fools. He could have warned them that loyalty to a crown would only get them killed.

The bosun, Mr Smee, met him as he approached the main cabins of the ship, reporting a staggering amount of gold, jewels, and other riches stored in the hold, along with numerous items bearing the 5-petaled flower insignia of Sylvania, royals from a distant kingdom. It was an impressive haul, sure to raise the crew's spirits.

Continuing with his exploration of the ship, he heard the unmistakable voices of several of his crewmen as he plunged through the dark halls ahead.

"I'm the one who found her, Mullins. I should get to have her first."

"Billy, a woman like that's worth bargaining for. I'll trade you 2 silver pieces to have first go with her."

The captain sauntered in, finding the lanky form of Billy Jukes kneeling on a sumptuous bed between the thighs of a beautiful blonde girl who appeared roughly 20 years of age. Her eyes were closed and she wasn't moving, but the top of her sleeping gown had been ripped open to reveal a set of perfect breasts that rose and fell with her steady breathing. The gown was hitched up around the tops of her thighs, exposing white crocheted stockings and soft creamy skin.

"Looks like you found us another treasure, Jukes," he joked with a grin as he strode across the room to get a better look at the pretty little thing spread out on the bed. He turned her face towards him, taking in the gentle curve of her cheeks, her rosy lips, dark lashes. He let his gaze follow the elegant lines of her neck down to her soft pink nipples that were pebbled in the cool air. He felt his leather trousers tighten at the sight of her laid out like a banquet for a starving man. She was breathtakingly beautiful. "She's certainly quite the prize. Was she like this when you broke in?"

Billy rose from the bed, clearly irritated that his actions had been interrupted before he could get his trousers open and realizing the captain would now be having first go with the blonde. "Aye. She's alive, but seems like she hit her head. She's a beauty, though. Don't need to be awake for what I want, right Cap'n?" He chuckled slightly, watching as the captain laid his hand on her knee and furrowed his brow.

Something wasn't sitting right with him. Why would the ship be carrying one gorgeous lass and a hold full of treasure? He played with the lacy top of her stocking, the fine, silky quality of the threads obvious to his discerning eye. His gaze fell upon a gold signet ring, and he drew her hand up with his hook, the pieces of the puzzle snapping into place. He'd kept up on local gossip for a reason, and it was about to pay off.

"Did you touch her?"

"Begging your pardon, sir?" Billy asked, wariness in his tone.

"Did you take her yet? Has anyone fucked this girl yet?" He glared at Mullins, who shook his head.

"No, Captain. Didn't have time, to be honest."

Relief washed over Hook. "Then we're in luck boys. We just found ourselves a princess to ransom to her betrothed, and she's worth a good deal more with her honor intact. Between the ransom and I assume is her dowry sitting in the hold, we've stumbled across enough to live as gentleman of leisure for the rest of our lives!" Billy Jukes and Mullins clapped each other on the back, exiting the room to announce their news to the rest of the crew and leaving the captain alone with their unconscious captive. He picked the princess up and slung her over his shoulder, carrying her back to his cabin in the Jolly Roger as his men emptied the Swan of of her treasures. Either Prince Neal would pay handsomely for her return, or he'd have a very pretty bedmate for a while.

Laying her down in his bed, he honestly wasn't sure which he wanted more. It had been weeks since they'd made port, and while he'd been with some lovely girls in his time, none of them held a candle to the beauty currently lying atop his sheets. An honest to gods princess. Even without the finery and jewelry, her good breeding was obvious. He'd heard of this girl- Emma, as he recalled- hoping the tales were true. She was rumored to be a spitfire, smart and beautiful with the grace of her mother and the stubbornness of her father.

He pulled up her gown, taking in the soft flaxen curls between her shapely legs, and slid his hand over her, closing his eyes as he felt her wet heat on his fingers but finding nothing that suggested Jukes and Mullins had lied to him. A groan slipped past his lips as she sighed in her sleep at his touch, and he had half a mind to crawl between her legs and take her himself, ransoms be damned, but if ever there was a time to act the gentleman, it was with a lady like this. He stripped her gown, eyes raking over her smooth alabaster skin but finding her unharmed save the bump on her head. Figuring she was less likely to leave the relative safety of the cabin and tempt the crew if she was nude, he tossed the gown aside and bound her wrists, letting his eyes linger on her perfect figure. She was temptation incarnate, and he stretched his hand out towards her, running his thumb over her nipple in tiny circles, making the tissue stand at attention against her will and drawing another sigh from her parted lips. "So damn beautiful..." he murmured.

After covering her with a thick blanket, he sat at his desk and composed a letter to her betrothed, demanding they either send a small fortune or he would deflower the prince's lovely bride and pass her around the ship to provide the men with much-needed companionship- though he doubted he'd actually share her if he could avoid it. Certain the threat of such a fate was enough to spur any decent man into action, he tied the letter to the leg of a dove and sent it on its way. In a few days, when they stopped in Port Jefferson, he'd have his answer.

Settling into a chair with his flask, Hook waited for the princess to wake as he listened to his crew stow their newfound wealth below deck. The day had certainly taken an unexpected turn, and he couldn't help but laugh as he looked over the goddess sleeping in his bed, hair fanning over his pillow like a halo. When the week was out, he'd either be obscenely wealthy, or have his very own princess. He toasted his good fortune, letting his mind wander as it played out the possibilities.

Chapter Text

II.


Her eyelashes fluttered as she stirred, pain surging through her head as Emma tried to sit up and found her arms restrained. She felt the gentle rocking of a ship, and opening her green eyes found herself on a bed in a dark cabin. "What...Where am I?"

"Ah, she awakens. Hello, love." Her eyes flicked to her left, then went wide when she saw the man sitting at the bedside.

"Who are you?"

"Killian Jones, but most people have taken to calling me by my more colorful moniker... Hook."

"As in Captain Hook?"

"Ah, so you've heard of me." A smile crossed his face as he held up his left arm to display his namesake, but it wasn't exactly friendly. She took in the man in front of her, admitting that, under different circumstances, he could have been considered attractive. Unfairly so, to be honest, with his dark hair and piercing blue, kohl-rimmed eyes, but the look in those eyes was lustful and cold, and she knew instantly that she was in trouble. Not one to back down, she met his gaze with her own.

"What's going on? Where am I?"

"Miles out to sea, your highness, on board my ship, the Jolly Roger." He bowed mockingly.

"But, Captain Adams, the crew, Angela..." Her voice broke with emotion as she thought of everyone she'd known on the Swan.

"Mourn them if you must, but they knew they'd be given no quarter when they chose not to surrender," he shrugged. "You, on the other hand, are more valuable alive."

She sat up, intending to confront him, but startled when the blanket fell to her lap and left her exposed from the waist up. She quickly snatched the cover back up with her bound hands, holding it over her breasts as she stared at him, wide eyed, only to be met with his amused smirk. Peeking down at her body, she yelled, "Where the hell are my clothes? What did you do to me?"

"Nothing. I checked to make certain you were unharmed." He looked almost offended. "I assure you, love, when I jab you with my sword, you'll feel it." His smirk held a thousand dirty promises, and she was ashamed that it did things to her she'd never admit out loud. Damn his handsome face.

She took stock of her body, realizing he had to be telling the truth. Aside from her aching head, she felt fine. He hadn't violated her.

"That being said, I would stay put if I were you. I can restrain myself when it behooves me, but I can't say the same for my men. In the meantime, I await your beloved fiancé's response to the note I sent him. If he loves you as you believe he does, he'll gladly pay your ransom and you'll be free to go." He stood and moved closer, crowding into her personal space and dropping his voice seductively.

"And if he won't pay?" She asked, flustered by his presence.

"Then, my darling Emma," he lifted her hair, gently arranging it over her shoulder as his breath danced over her skin, "there are other ways I can take what is owed to me."

She pushed him away, eyes narrowed. "You wouldn't dare."

"Wouldn't I? Tell me, love, if the prince doesn't want to trade for you, what exactly do you expect us to do? There needed to be some kind of ... incentive for him to cooperate."

"So you threatened to, what, exactly? Force yourself on me?"

"Actually, yes. I told him I'd fuck you til I'd had my fill and then give you to my crew, though if you'd prefer to be wedded and bedded, I could probably be convinced to abandon my promiscuous ways and settle down, for a princess." He leaned in again, voice low and breath hot against her ear.

"I'd rather die," she growled, her bound hands coming up fast against his cheek. He grabbed her wrists, keeping her close as a flush bloomed where she'd struck him.

"That can be arranged, too, darling. But I'm sure you needn't worry. Your fiancé will come through for you, assuming the rumors I've heard of him being a selfish coward are false."

She'd heard those rumors as well, but couldn't believe them. Besides, her parents would do anything for her no matter what. When she mentioned that to him, he just laughed and released her.

"As you well know, your parents kingdom is a month's journey by sea. I may have to be persuaded to sail to your home, if it comes to that."

He winked and turned towards the ladder, his long coat swirling with the motion, then climbed above deck. She heard him lock the door behind him, unsure if he was keeping her in or his crewmates out. Probably both, she thought with annoyance.

Wrapping the blanket around her body, she rose from the bed to explore the cabin. She helped herself to a glass of water, some cheese, and an apple she found on the table, not caring if they were left for her or not, then settled back into the bed as she tried to find a way out of her situation. After a few hours, and no real plan to speak of, she tried to relieve her isolation with a book of adventure stories from the rather large collection on the shelves, promising herself that she would get through this, whatever it took.

Chapter Text

He was a Pirate and used to getting what he wanted. And, Gods, he wanted her. Beautiful, infuriating woman. He hadn't been expecting her to hit him, and all it did was make him want her more. She might be a virgin, but a little time and experience would turn a hellcat like her into a hell of a lover.

Shaking off thoughts of the princess in his bed, he strode above deck, anxious to get back to the helm. The wind was in their favor, the ship cutting swiftly through the blue-green water. Taking over for his first mate, Starkey, he decided on a slight change of plans and turned the wheel, plotting a course for a small port town about a day's journey away. It was too small for proper trading, and therefore rarely worth the detour, but it would offer the men a chance to get a cold drink, a hot meal and a willing woman. After their success with the Ivory Swan, they had earned a little recreation.

Never let it be said that Captain Hook didn't know how to treat his crew.

Between their fortuitous haul and the unexpected boon of a night ashore, a good mood had spread through the men, who sang a bawdy sea shanty as they worked. The ship was a marvel, and practically sailed herself, but most of the crew had been around since Hook had been a straight-laced naval officer, and he'd relied on their experience and loyalty more than once. Despite his authoritative rule, the men had come to love and respect him.

The hours passed easily, and as dusk settled over the ocean, he relinquished control of the wheel then went below deck to check on the cargo before retiring. He paused, unbelieving, when he finally saw their entire haul where it was stowed safely onboard. The wealth crammed into the hold was incredible, amounting to far more than he'd initially expected. Trunks of fine clothes, jewelry, ornate furniture, fine wine, and more gold than he'd ever seen littered every possible storage space. He wouldn't know the true value of it until they traded it in port, but it was by far the best haul they'd ever had.

He sat down on a beautiful upholstered chair and took a few pulls from his flask, letting the rum's burn relax him as his mind went back to the day's other acquisition. The princess had really gotten under his skin, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to kiss her or kill her. If she were any other woman, he'd know how to deal with her... but he had to keep his urges, whatever they may be, under control. All he had to do was keep her under lock and key for a week or so, and he'd know exactly where he stood. He thought of her quietly asleep in his bed, his mood souring slightly. He'd had women into his bed, but hadn't actually slept next to a woman in years, not since... He couldn't think about that, about her, right now. She was gone, and the girl he'd be sleeping next to was someone else. That being said, he always did enjoy looking at a beautiful woman, and there was no reason he couldn't have a little fun and work the situation to his advantage.

Moving through the ship, he snuck into a supply closet outside his quarters, using one of the ship's many secret peepholes to look into his cabin. She was asleep, having tossed the blanket aside in her restlessness, and her body was just as gorgeous as he'd remembered it. Pulling his cock free of his breeches, he stroked himself as he watched her sleep, honestly a bit worried that he'd be tempted to fuck her if he didn't satisfy himself first. He wanted her, but not like that if he could avoid it. He stared at her perfect tits, imagining how good they'd feel in his hand, in his mouth, and just how debauched she'd look with them covered in his cum. His hands made quick work of things, and he spilled himself into a handkerchief with a few quiet grunts.

Leaving the closet, he turned and walked back to his cabin, unlocking it and entering without sparing a glance for the woman in his bed. Tossing his big black coat over a peg on the wall, he unclasped his leather vest and pulled his shirt over his head, feeling the day finally taking its toll on his aching muscles. As he unlaced his pants, he heard a tiny voice from behind him.

"What the hell are you doing?"

He turned, fully facing her as he stepped out of his boots and dropped his pants to the floor, unashamedly naked. She had tried not to stare, but she'd never seen a naked man before, and for his many faults, the captain was definitely a perfect specimen. His lean, well-muscled shoulders and back were crisscrossed with scars and decorated with a large tattoo across his back of thorned plants surrounding a ship, and the phrase "at least among thieves there is honour." Her eyes drifted to his ass and legs, strong from a life of maneuvering across the slippery deck. Another tattoo of a dagger and a heart graced his right forearm, and even the hook at the end of the left didn't detract from his sculpted perfection. When he turned, she saw his broad chest, dark hair proclaiming his raw masculinity as it trailed down his taut abdomen to his cock. She had nothing to compare it to, but even she could tell it was huge.

"Going the hell to bed. What does it look like?" His gaze finally landed on her, and he smirked as he felt himself becoming slightly engorged even as he strolled back towards the bed. Her gaze fell again to his growing length, even though she was trying to hide it. "By all means, lass, feel free to enjoy the view. If I were to make a wager, I'd say you've never even seen a cock before, the way you're staring. Tell me, have you ever been...intimate with a man before, darling?"

"You know the answer to that," she whispered.

"So you really are a virgin. Gods, love, I don't know how that prince of yours can resist you. He must be blind." He licked his lips, letting his mind wander for just a moment as he twisted off his hook, laying it on the table.

She blushed so prettily at his comment, averting her eyes instantly and confirming his suspicions, though her embarrassment turned to horror as he began to climb into the small bed with her. "Whoa, there is no way we're sleeping together."

"Emma, love, I'm being a gentleman and letting you share my bed instead of locking you in the brig. If I really wanted to fuck you tonight, I'd have already done it." He pulled her closer, pressing her soft body against his firmer one, his hips mirroring hers from behind. "Relax and go to sleep." Within minutes, his breathing evened out, and overwhelmed by the day she fell into sleep soon after.


It was her wedding day.

Neal carried her through the halls of his castle, her happy laughter echoing against the stone as he kissed her cheeks. The day was finally behind them, and she was excited to be joined to him in more carnal ways as well. "I love you, Emma." He whispered against her hair as he laid her back on the bed, leaning against her ear to add, "I've been waiting for today. You're so perfect, and you're finally mine."

She wrapped her arms around him, opening her legs to let him settle on the bed between them as he furiously peppered kisses across her jaw and down her neck, his stubble scratching her sensitive skin. His hand started at her knee and slowly drew up her right thigh, pulling up her lacy wedding gown as he exposed her. His hand moved to the apex of her thighs, and he groaned when he felt how wet and ready she was. She moaned and pulled back to meet his eyes, seeing vibrant blue instead of brown staring back at her. "Gods, can you feel how much I want you?" He growled, pressing his heavy arousal against her, large and hard for her. "Then what are you waiting for?" she purred, arching into him as she she rubbed her now naked leg against his calf. She didn't remember them taking their clothes off, but she wanted him inside her. "Take me, Captain."

He grabbed the back of her head, kissing her with so much passion it stole her breath. She moaned under him as he ran his hand over her breast, down her side to settle at her hip, the desperation for her making his grip nearly bruising. He dipped his head, taking a nipple into his mouth, his tongue fluttering over it as she cried out. "Are you ready, love?" She threaded her hands through his black hair, pulling him back to her for another hungry kiss. He sat back, and she smiled up at his handsome face, fingers tracing the scar on his right cheek as he thrust gently, rubbing himself over her wetness as he teased her. She arched into him, going mad with want for him. Her fingers dug into his shoulders as desire coursed through her body. "Please," she begged. "Fuck me, Hook. I need you."

She wrapped her legs around his hips, and he met her lips again in a bruising kiss. She felt him begin to move, hips sliding forward, forward, as he slowly gave her what they both needed. She felt the pressure of him against her maidenhead... He was so close... She spread her legs further, bracing for the moment...


She woke with a start, breathing hard. Her heart was racing, her body was on fire, a tingle between her legs telling her she was soaking wet with her arousal. It wasn't a new feeling; she'd had the occasional dream about a stable boy or Neal before, even though they hadn't done more than share a few kisses. But this time had been different. It was wild, exhilarating, passionate.

She had been dreaming of him.

It could be explained. She'd seen him naked- of course she'd noticed how attractive he was, physically at least. She's even slept in the bed with him, his masculine smell of leather and salt, his body heat as he curled around her probably playing with her mind. She didn't have to like him to find him desirable. He rolled closer, pressing himself against her, his own morning arousal hard against her ass. "You were moaning, love," he said, amused, his voice rough from sleep and conjuring images of her incredibly erotic dream.

A quiet minute passed before she grumbled, "You're poking me," wiggling away from him.

"Ignore it," he replied sleepily, rubbing himself against her again. He might not be able to have his way with her, but he could still enjoy having her pressed against him in his bed.

Another quiet minute.

"I can't ignore it." She felt him chuckle behind her and tried to keep her tone even and annoyed, hoping that he wouldn't detect the hints of curiosity and excitement she felt being so close to a naked man her current state. If he knew she was wet... gods only knew what he'd think. She couldn't explain why, but she'd always been able to spot a lie and she believed him when he said she was safe, at least for now, but that could change in an instant. "Can't you, I don't know, stop?"

He sighed. "Just let it go, lass. It's nothing to get worked up about, and perfectly natural when a man is this close to a beautiful naked woman. We're making port today so don't fret- I'll be finding myself a whore and getting get laid soon."

An uncomfortable feeling twisted in her gut, part relief, part disgust. "It's not nothing, you asshole! Your stupid dick is almost as annoying as you are. I'm exhausted, and stuck here with you, and the least you can do is stop poking me in the ass!"

"Such language, princess!" He scolded. "Is this really that annoying?" He thrust himself forward as few times, gently, just wanting to get a little friction and to tease her. On the second time, he felt his cock begin to slide easily between her slightly parted thighs and froze. She was wet- dripping with it, practically. He could feel it coating the head of his cock, his mind reeling from the realization. "Fuck," he swore under his breath, feeling her body tense up.

"I did tell you to stop." she grumbled with a sigh, her voice laced with anger, of all things.

Between his arousal and her defiant attitude, ... things were about to go very, very bad. He leaned closer, whispering, "I could take you right now, darling, and nobody on this ship would even think twice about it. You'd be wise to avoid taunting me." Feeling a shudder ripple through her, he got out of bed quickly, grabbing his hook and throwing on his clothes without looking at her. She had been moaning in her sleep, probably dreaming of that prince of hers. Goddamn it he should have known. He had to get out of there.

"I'll be off the ship for most of the day. Someone will bring you food. Don't you dare try to leave. I'll be back tonight." His posture stiff, he turned and left without another word.

Chapter Text

Like most dockside bars, the small tavern catered to the sailors' most basic needs: food, booze, and plenty of whores. It smelled of roasted meat and stale beer, dark wood-paneled walls littered with names and crude drawings carved into them from decades worth of rowdy patrons. It could have been a tavern in almost any port town, and though Hook hadn't been to this particular place in years, it felt comfortable all the same.

He'd left Starkey back on the ship to watch over Emma, knowing she'd be safe with him. The sailor had followed his captain into piracy, but was still the high-born navy man at heart, loyal to a fault and cursed with stricter morals and better manors than anyone else on the ship. The rest of the men had eagerly swarmed into the town, some accompanying Hook to the tavern, others going to a brothel first.

After a hearty meal of venison and a few tankards of ale with his crew, he was feeling a sense of relief as he laughed and gambled with them, letting the hours tick by with a girl happily perched on his lap. Hook had settled on a young blonde to attend to his baser needs. Sleeping next to Emma, feeling her curvaceous body pressed against his in the dark, had awakened a lust in him that his own hand had been unable to satisfy. He'd almost lost his composure with her that morning. He felt himself getting hard again thinking about how wet she'd been, the head of his cock positively glistening with her arousal when he'd pulled back. He could normally control himself, when he cared to, but he had been moments from rolling on top of her and making her his.

The blonde must have felt him, and took his hand, rising from his lap. He followed the girl upstairs, taking off his coat and vest and draping them over a chair as soon as they entered the bedroom. Gods, he needed a good fuck, his cock already straining against its confines as she slipped out of her clothes. She lacked the silken refinement of the princess who was even now lying in his cabin, but was pretty enough. Her dark blonde hair cascaded over her tan shoulders, blue eyes peering up at him as she dropped to her knees, unlacing his pants and pulling him free. Her mouth slipped over him, surrounding his cock in warm wetness as he groaned. He grabbed her head, pushing her deeper as he thrust forward, closing his eyes to focus on the pleasure, the beautiful face of another blonde teasing him behind his closed lids. Green eyes instead of blue peering up at him from under her thick lashes. Lips that were softer, pinker wrapped around his cock. Skin paler, the color of fresh cream, taking on an attractive blush with the intimacy of her actions.

He pulled out of the whore's mouth, needing to fuck her before his fantasies ran away with him completely. He bent her over the bed, rubbing his cock over her soaked entrance before driving into her from behind, closing his eyes again as he pictured the princess bent over the table in his room, crying out in ecstasy as he filled and stretched her. He thrust gently at first, reveling in the sensation of being deep inside a woman, then began to move, his hips snapping against her ass with each thrust. He could just imagine the princess's lithe little body under him, knowing just how wet she'd be and sure she'd be so hot and unbelievably tight around his cock. The whore cried out in pleasure as he fucked her, rutting back against him. He thought of his fair Emma meeting him thrust for thrust, her voice breaking as she cried out for more. Gods, he wanted her, every thought of her willingly giving herself to him, opening like a flower for him under his ministrations sending a jolt of lust through his veins. With a hoarse shout he pulled out and came across the whore's ass, jerking himself as he watched his release run down her skin.

He told himself that now he'd be sated, and able to control his desire for the princess. He knew he was lying when just thinking of her spread out in his bed got him hard a second time within moments.

He took the girl again, this time laying her on her back. As she cried out, overwhelmed by his size and powerful cock driving her into the mattress, he imagined a different chin trembling, rounder breasts jumping with each thrust and soft golden curls between her legs. After coming a second time, Hook had to admit to himself that he wanted the princess more than he'd realized, and that controlling himself around her was going to be more difficult than he'd expected. Maybe it was because she was a royal, something forbidden and rare, that made him want her maidenhead more than any jewel in all the realms. Maybe it was because she'd surprised the hell out of him when she'd struck him and argued with him. Maybe it was because something about her rebellious spirit reminded him of her. He had the whore suck his cock one more time, visions of Emma swallowing his seed sending him over the edge yet again. Tossing some money on the bed, he tucked himself back into his pants and returned to the ship, the setting sun nearly disappearing over the horizon.

He smelled of sex and alcohol as he entered the cabin, judging by the way Emma wrinkled her nose. "Gods, what the hell have you been doing?" she snapped. She'd been frustrated after he left that morning, locked in his cabin with her hands tied, aroused and embarrassed and incredibly angry with him, herself, the damn situation. She needed to get away from him, to get married to Neal and leave this whole thing behind. A week had never seemed so long.

"Drinking. Fucking. What do you think?"

"Ugh. If you're going to make me sleep next to you again, can you at least clean up first? You stink like booze and sweat and..." She stared incredulously as he raised his brows, silently telling her exactly what she smelled, then stripped off his clothes and left the room, returning a moment later with a bucket of water. He proceeded to wash himself with a sponge in the middle of the room, unconcerned with her presence as rivulets of water trailed down his skin, drawing her gaze. Running a wet hand through his thick hair, he finished and padded over to the narrow bed, sliding in behind her and pressing his growing cock against her again.

"Oh, princess, don't pout. Are you jealous, my dear? Do you wish it was you that I'd been buried inside for the last hour? Do you want me to make you scream my name? Cause I think I could be persuaded to go another time if you're asking." He leered at her openly, letting his eyes roam her delicate body, realizing he was a fool to think a common whore would satisfy him when he had her tempting him day after day. He brushed his nose against her neck, his hand roamed down her belly, just brushing the tops of the curls between her legs before gliding up over her hip and settling at her trim waist as his thumb drew soft patterns into her skin. He saw goosebumps break out where his hand had been.

"You're disgusting," she mumbled, less venom in her voice than he'd expected.

"Pirate, darling. And you're beautiful and passionate and lying in my arms. Can't blame a man for trying." He sighed, then relaxed behind her, drawing the blanket over their bodies. "Sleep well, sweet Emma."

They both lay in silence, thoughts racing.

Her emotions were a confusing mix of anger, fear, repulsion and something else that she didn't really want to think about. It certainly wasn't jealousy. She wanted to be with Neal, someone who actually loved her and thought of her as more than a possession with strategic value. She had no interest in being a filthy pirate's whore.

But, still, she couldn't understand. A man looking like he did could easily find himself a woman. He could be playful and charming when he wanted to be. He could have a girlfriend in every port, some naive, innocent young thing (probably not unlike herself a few days ago, she thought bitterly) who waited for him, believing that she was his one and only.

She told herself she didn't care why he did it, that asking was only going to make her situation worse.

She was going to ignore him.

"So... the great Captain Hook has to pay for sex," she spoke, breaking the quiet.

Chapter Text

V.

He snapped into awareness at her sarcastic question, bristling at her insinuation but letting his lips curl into a smirk against her neck. "He doesn't have to," he purred in her ear, his body wrapping around hers in the small bed. "But, aye, the woman I was with charged for her services."

"Why? Why not seduce some barmaid or farmgirl?"

"Or princess?"

She huffed, rolling her eyes even though he couldn't see it.

He shrugged, but seemed to be contemplating his answer.

"Why the sudden interest, lass? I think maybe you were waiting for me to come back, drunk and demanding, and ravish you, weren't you? Here you are, lying in my bed, no one to protect you, nothing to stop me." His hand continued to play over her skin.

"You wish," she grumbled, hoping he didn't detect the nervousness in her voice.

"I would very much prefer you willing, yes."

She snorted. "Then you'll never have me," she said.

He leaned over and sent her a tight smile. "I said prefer, not require. Besides, in case you haven't noticed, I'm devilishly handsome. Nearly impossible to resist, really. If you're still on my ship a week from now, I doubt I'll need the services of a whore anymore."

She glanced down at his forearm, "Why don't you bring Milah, on the tattoo, with you instead of you fucking whores and ravishing princesses?"

She felt him go rigid, his voice oddly distant when he spoke again. "I did. A long time ago."

"Where is she?"

"Gone," he growled. "Now leave it at that."

"Just, gone?" She actually sounded confused for a moment. "Oh. Gone. You loved her, didn't you?"

He sighed, sounding less angry when he continued. "Aye, I did. There are very few things I still enjoy in this world, princess, and having a woman happens to be one of them. I don't want to waste my time with extraneous details. A woman who's paid for her time understands the arrangement. It's that simple."

"I'm so sorry." she said, gently placing her hand over his. "But, it's not the same, is it?"

"No, though I can't say I leave unsatisfied. Still, there's a reason lovers fuck, darling." He reached to turn her face towards his, letting her see his eyes. "If a man knows what he's doing, it can feel just as good for the woman. Better maybe."

She shivered, her breath catching when she saw how he looked at her with undisguised need. "Better?"

He chuckled. "So I'm told. Now, unless youre looking to test that theory, princess," he raised a brow in challenge, "you'd best go to bed." He waited until she was asleep, then rolled away, letting himself remember curls the color of dark chocolate and mischievous blue eyes for the first time in months.


She woke to find Hook sitting at the table that doubled as a desk, an assortment of fresh fruit, bread, and some bacon lying on platters next to a pot of tea. The smell was enough to make her stomach growl. "Come, eat something," he said, pulling his attention from the map he was reading to look at her. Seeing the reluctance on her face, he sighed in annoyance, "You sleep next to me, pressed so tightly together that the only way we could be closer would be for me to be inside you, but eating a meal at the same table is too intimate?" He chewed a piece of bacon, a slight smirk playing on his lips.

She huffed and drew the sheet around herself in an attempt at decency, expecting him to comment on it or even take it away, but he said nothing, merely observing her with an amused expression. She folded her legs under herself, settling onto the bench opposite him. She picked up a pear, taking a delicate bite and closing her eyes as the sweet juice ran down her chin, only to look up to see his pupils dilated as he watched her, motionless except for a raised eyebrow when she wiped away the stray drop. Avoiding eye contact, she focused on peeling an orange, sipping her tea quietly.

"You know, most men would take your silence as offputting, but I love a challenge."

"You're going to love me then," she laughed drily. "Besides, I'm concentrating," she grumbled, not meeting his eyes.

"No, you're afraid to talk, to reveal yourself. Trust me, things will be a lot smoother if you do."

"You should be used to people not trusting you."

"Ah, the pirate thing," he laughed.

"You did kidnap me and threaten to violate me," she shot back, with an eyebrow raise that nearly rivaled one of his own.

"Fair enough, though it won't be my fault when you beg me for it." He raised a devilish brow of his own at her, giving her a flirtatious smile, "But I consider myself an honorable man, a man with a code. I've promised to give your beloved a chance to prove his dedication, so your virtue is safe for the time being. It's not me you're afraid of, darling, its him"

"Really?"

He regarded her cooly. "You're something of an open book, love. You know exactly what I want from you, but you have no idea where you stand with him. Your future husband is a man you barely even know."

She paused, uncomfortable with the fact that he was right. Now that her future was in Neal's hands, she found herself terrified. "Why should I tell you anything?"

"Well, seeing as how you're going to be staying with me for the next several days, we might as well get to know each other."

"I'm not staying with you. I'm your captive."

He leaned over the table, slicing the ropes around her wrists with his hook in a quick motion. "There. Better?"

She rubbed the raw skin gently, relieved to be free of her bonds. "I could use some clothes."

"I rather like you in nothing at all," he made a show of raking his eyes over her, "but I can get you something to wear during the day. You'll still be bare against me at night though, and any other time I desire to look at you."

"Fine." She could negotiate better terms later, but simply having something to wear was better than nothing. Sitting back with her fruit, she studied him for a moment.

"So, lass, that hold of treasure on your ship... Was that your dowry?" She nodded. "Any idea how much it's worth?"

"No, I wasn't involved in that part, sorry."  His eyes narrowed slightly, but as he stared at her, he pondered aloud, "No, you weren't, were you? Well, I should tell you, you apparently come with quite a fortune. I'm surprised quite frankly. Anyone can see you're gorgeous." He sat back, waiting for her to say something. He figured he might be able to get some useful information out of her, and if nothing else could find out more about this intriguing girl.

"Ok, I'll play. Why'd you become a pirate?" His brow furrowed at her question. "You're the one who wanted to talk," she reasoned.

"Believe it or not, my reasons were quite justified. I was escaping the service of a corrupt monarch." He saw her flinch at that, and used the moment of vulnerability to his advantage. "Why your Prince? I'm sure you had many suitors to choose from, and I can tell it's not because you've known him for ages."

She paused, obviously weighing how much to say, "I actually met him one night when I snuck away from a ball. Had a drink with him in the tavern, then went to steal his horse to get home only to recognize it as one of our own. I'd stolen a stolen horse." She laughed lightly. "Went right back in to find out who he was, since I knew he wasn't from our household, and for the first time I'd met a suitor I had something in common with. A few months of letters and that was that. It's a good match for the kingdom too. Prince Neal's kingdom has a fine military, good if my homeland even needs defense." She shrugged. "Being a princess has its drawbacks, you know. It's not just about finding someone who makes me swoon."

She almost thought she saw pity on his face for a brief second, before curiosity replaced it. "You weren't happy, were you? That's why you'd sneak out, why you're sailing halfway across the world."

She stared at him, her face a mask. "I didn't ask to be born in a castle, but nobody wants to hear me complain about it, so there's no point. Besides, you don't fool me. You're not happy either."

He sighed. "Well, aren't we the pair?" He paused for just a moment, shaking his head, rising to go above deck, then tossing her one of his shirts. "I'll get you something to wear, but you can have that for now. See you tonight, princess."

The shirt smelled like leather, salt, rum, and something else. Loneliness, she thought.

She probably smelled like it too. 


 

It became a routine for them; she spent her days in a simple cotton chemise, reading his many books while locked safely in his cabin, but mornings and nights laying bare in his bed, asking and listening to each others' stories while he lay beside her. She told him about sneaking out of the castle and learning how to track from her mother or fight from her father. He described the time his men got so drunk in port that several of them had lost their hats, so they'd stopped a passing ship only to confiscate replacement hats and let them go with their lives and their cargo, explaining that they didn't have anything of great value anyway and the sun could be quite harsh at sea. She laughed in spite of herself.

As he often did, he'd been splaying his hand over her belly, while they talked, pulling her backwards towards him as he tangled his legs with hers. As she started to drift off to sleep, she found herself nearly falling off the edge of the bed. Trying to scoot backwards and getting nowhere, she poked the man sprawled in the middle of the bed. "Hook!" She whispered. "Hook! Move over! I'm going to fall!" He grumbled something and pressed against her, but didn't move otherwise.

Afraid of toppling off the rather small bed, Emma tried to roll further from the edge and switch sides with him so she was against the wall, only to be stopped when she was halfway over the captain, ending up in a sitting position straddling his hips. His hand and hook settled at her waist as he murmured, very much awake, "It's about bloody time," grinning victoriously. Feeling him pressing right there, between her legs, she pulled away, pointing to the edge of the bed. "I was about to fall off and needed to move over- I was trying to get on the other side of you, not on you, so you could be the one to fall on your ass."

He eyed her suspiciously, but let her settle on his other side, remarking that it was a plausible excuse but that she needn't stand on ceremony if she wanted to be on top and that he rather liked the view from that position. He was rewarded with a huff as she settled in, letting him wrap around her from behind again. She felt him sigh in frustration against her as she settled in and closed her eyes.

She pretended not to notice the slapping sound of skin on skin when he rolled over and worked his hand over his length or his quiet groan of pleasure when he climaxed.


 

Two days later, they ate a surprisingly pleasant dinner together, though he made her take off the chemise he'd given her to wear, simply because he could. The dish was a seafood based pasta of sorts, with a delightful wine sauce that paired nicely with the white wine he'd brought for them to drink. "I have to admit, this is delicious," she complimented as he refilled her glass. "Though I'd enjoy it a lot more if you'd let me wear some clothing while eating it."

"And I'm enjoying it immensely just as things are," he replied in an exasperated tone. "You're the most delicious thing at the table, love."

She shot him an annoyed look as she sipped the last of her wine, moving towards the bed and climbing under the sheets for some coverage. "Uh huh?"

"Oh, I have no doubt that you taste absolutely sweet and sinful."

She looked at him, not missing how he licked his lips in a way that made her blush. "Don't you ever stop?"

He slipped into the bed next to her, his lips dusting her ear as he spoke, "Where's the fun in that? You're so lovely when you're frustrated."

He slowly moved his hand to her chest, kneading it with experienced motions while playing with her rosy nipple with his thumb, the flesh going hard and standing up under his expert touch. He felt shiver go through her as he continued to massage her breast, her body betraying her as her breathing sped up. Gods, her body was so responsive. He debated staying quiet, but she hadn't moved his hand so he decided to press his luck. Killian Jones had always been a bit of a gambler, after all.

"Are you soaking wet for me again, princess?" He growled against her ear. "You must know that I noticed the other morning." He felt her fidget beside him, attempting to wiggle away from him, but he pulled her back against his chest. "Oh, don't be ashamed, love. I tend to have that affect on women."

"I wish you'd stop. You promised I had until we made port." Her voice wavered, her arousal barely hidden by her nervousness. She'd never been touched so effectively before. It was a temptation she shouldn't feel.

He kissed her jaw again, sighing against her skin. "I promised not to push anything on you, but if you ask nicely, I'll give you anything you want. I really could make you feel so good, Emma."

She scoffed, "Please. I'm not stupid. As you're so fond of noting, I'm still a virgin. It's actually kind of hilarious that you think you're tempting me with something that's going to be pure hell for me."

"Where exactly did you hear that?" He asked, curiosity and loathing in his voice.

"Well, I was supposed to be consummating a marriage within a fortnight." She replied, as if the answer was obvious. She'd told Neal that she was a virgin (well, actually, he'd asked before proposing, wanting to be sure she was a proper bride.) She'd been told by him that it would most likely hurt, that she would probably bleed, that every girl's first time was painful but that eventually it would get better. He'd acted like it was common knowledge, and some of the serving girls in the castle had admitted that their first time with a man had been fairly unpleasant.

"Hmmm. Well, did you know, princess, there are all sorts of ways to pleasure you? Also, a woman's first time needn't be all that painful." He whispered against her skin as he began to kiss across her jaw and down her neck. She made a small sound in her throat, the slight buzz of the wine smoothing out her nerves. "That's actually a falsehood. By the time I'd be ready to fuck you, you'd have come so many times and be so wet and ready for me that you'd be begging me for it. It would be like nothing you've ever felt before, everything you'd want it to be. For your very first time, I'd give you so much pleasure, would want to brand myself on your body and heart, so when you're in the arms of some prince years from now, all you'll be able to think about is our time together and how good this dirty pirate made you feel. I want to absolutely ruin you for all other men." He was growling into her skin, dark promises of forbidden pleasure. She felt herself start to melt into his embrace, her back arching ever so slightly to push her breast into his hand.. "But I'm sure your prince can do the same." He added in a flippant tone, "So, as requested, I'll stop... for tonight."

He pulled his hand back to her waist, dropping off to sleep almost immediately as she lay awake, desperately trying to banish all thoughts of him from her head.

Just two more days. She could endure him for two more days.

Right?

Chapter Text

VI.

A knock on the door woke Hook the morning of their arrival, and he dressed quickly, handing Emma her chemise before leaving the cabin and preparing to bring the Jolly Roger into port. He felt torn, part of him relieved to be rid of the constant temptation of Emma and the other part disappointed that their time together might be over before he'd had his fill of her. As they approached, he saw the bustling harbor of Port Jefferson teeming with activity, but all thoughts of the princess fled his mind when his eyes focused on a single set of black sails and the ship they belonged to: the Queen Anne's Revenge. It had been a year or so since they'd made port in the same place, and a year wasn't nearly enough time. He turned to Starkey, whose face clearly showed the same concern.

"Go put Smee, Turley, and Foggerty at the hold. That bastard isn't getting anything from this ship. I'll go talk to the harbor master and register our cargo, but I'll be back in 10 minutes. When he shows up, let me deal with him. Don't get yourselves killed."

Hook jumped off the ship as it docked, determined to get the business completed as quickly as possible. Retrieving the prince's response to his ransom note would have to wait. He had bigger problems. 


"Where are you, boy? You get out here when I'm talking to you!" She heard the voice bellow before a large man kicked in the door. He was tall, middle aged but still handsome, thick black hair and beard just barely streaked with grey. His sharp blue eyes landed on her, lighting up with cruel glee. "Ha! So he's got himself another one, has he? Damn fool. Still, you're quite a pretty thing. Shame for him to keep you all to himself."

She backed away from the man, who certainly looked like a pirate but didn't seem to be one of Hook's men. He reached out, taking a lock of her hair and threading it through his fingers as she cowered against the wall, looking for a sword or dagger but seeing nothing but what was carried by the man crowding her. Something about this man terrified her. "Unhand me," she snapped, slapping his hand away from her.

His face contorted into a horrifying grin as he grabbed her throat, his large hand easily holding it in place against the wooden wall. "I like a woman with fire. I had a feeling he'd want to keep you. Always was weak, that one, when it came to women."

"What the fuck are you doing here?" Hook growled, pushing into the room. She'd never felt so relieved to see him.

"You watch your tongue, boy!" The older man snapped over his shoulder. "I'm just getting acquainted with your lovely bedmate here. For some reason, this one seems to think I can't touch her. Don't tell me that she's right. Didn't you learn your lesson the last time?"

"She's just naive girl. Feisty, the way I like 'em." He said dismissively. "Now what did you come here for this time? What could we possibly have to discuss?"

"I just wanted to check up on you, see how you were doing. I'd heard you had quite the haul this time, that you attacked a royal flagship. Impressive, I must say." He dropped her, letting her crumple to the floor, and sauntered over to the table where he picked up the bottle of rum, helping himself to a glass as he leaned against the opposite wall. She noticed how Hook moved between the other pirate and her, even as two more strange men came in to stand next to the intruder. "I'm glad to see you're doing so well for yourself and not repeating the mistakes of your past. Gods know its about time you got over that married tramp you loved so much and sired a few sons and I will say, she looks like a good fuck. Prettier than that last one, too, but then again I always liked blondes."

Hook's anger was palpable, the muscles in his jaw popping out as he tensed and clenched his teeth. "I swear, old man, one more word about Milah and whatever relationship we once had will mean nothing." He stepped closer, hand on the hilt of his sword. "Now get on with it or get out before you do something stupid."

"Like steal your little princess?" he laughed, seeing her mouth drop open in horror and Hook's eyes narrow at the comment. "Come on, now, boy. It's obvious- all you need do is look at her to know who she is! Don't tell me you're besotted with her."

"She is an investment, you old fool," Killian spat out, "and you had best stay away from her."

"An investment you say? Well, that changes things, lad. Now I have all the more reason for me to take her back to my ship and find out why she's so valuable myself- you're not really going to stop me, are you now?"

"I could."

"You tried to be clever and reported all your other holdings, no doubt, but you can't exactly report a stolen princess. She's the only thing I can take, thanks to you. We'll enjoy her, ransom her, and call it even."

"Her bridegroom won't want her after what you'll do to her."

"Don't you know anything about running a ship, boy? If she's worth so much, someone'll pay regardless of the conditions," the rival captain pushed past Hook, moving above deck while one of the other crewmen grabbed her arm. He violently pulled her back to her feet and began dragging her up on deck, where Hook's crew members awaited him.

"Hook!" She cried out, reaching for him as he followed, calling for Billy Jukes to block the gangplank.

"Bloody hell," she heard Hook grumble. "Enough of this. Come on, let her go."

The men made no indication they planned on leaving without her.

"Blackbeard," he warned, the name sounding like a curse. "You've had your fun at my expense. Don't make me stop you. I'm younger and faster and you know it."

"I don't think Cooper there wants to give her up," he sneered, pointing to the man with his hand locked around Emma's bicep. "Do ya, Coop?" An instant later, she saw a flash of light as a blade came towards her, severing the arm of the man holding her at the elbow. He howled in pain, the warm spray of blood covering her chemise as she scrambled away from the carnage. She looked over to see Hook standing tall, advancing, bloody sword at the ready. "I think you'll find he's changed his mind."

Blackbeard pulled his own sword. "You gonna take my arm too, lad? Make us into a family of cripples? You do realize that oh-so-honorable Liam isn't here to see you save the damsel anymore?"

Hook spun like a dervish towards Blackbeard, slashing at his chest and drawing blood, then catching the other man's sword with his hook before kicking him backwards. The crew kept their distance, knowing better than to get involved in this particular argument, the smell of blood and hate heavy in the air.

"Don't you dare mention him! You're not fit to say his name!"

They locked blades, and Blackbeard slammed his fist into Hook's jaw before pushing back to a safe distance to call out, "You'd better watch out, Princess! People have a habit of dying around your dear captain." The wound on his chest had saturated his shirt and blood dripped onto the deck.

"Last warning: I will kill you. Get your men, and get off my ship." Hook's eyes were like ice as he waited for an answer.

Blackbeard tried to maintain the facade, but even Emma could see he was weakening. "Of course, of course. I've seen all I needed to. See ya around, boy," he growled, smiling, as he stomped down to the docks, followed by his other man dragging Cooper. A palpable sense of relief settled over the ship, but Emma could still feel the rage rolling off Hook as he looked down at her and turned to Starkey.

"Take care of her. Clean her up, get her something to eat." He turned on his heel, heavy steps carrying him up on deck, down the gangplank and onto the docks.

"Come on, sweetheart," Starkey said, draping his coat over her and taking her back to the captain's cabin. She shivered uncontrollably, never having seen such violence, such brutality. After settling her back on the captain's bed, he brought a sponge and some clean water, and laid out a large, clean, black shirt. "I'm sorry we don't have anything more suitable, miss. I'll be back in a half hour with some stew."

She stripped off the bloodstained gown, tossing it into the corner of the room, and set about washing every trace of blood from her skin. She fought back tears as she realized how close she'd come to being taken aboard Blackbeard's ship, and how much worse it would have been had Hook not stepped in. She'd heard stories of him, remembering with a shudder the young noblewoman he'd taken for a bride- his 14th wife, she recalled, and then turned into a whore for his visitors and favored crewmen. Whether it was for profit or out of kindness, Hook had saved her from a crueler fate.


When Starkey returned, she was back on the bed, wearing the shirt. He motioned for her to join him at the table, and she slipped onto the bench, trying to preserve what little modesty she had left in spite of the shirt's low neckline and mid-thigh length. Hook had seen every part of her, but she felt embarrassed at her nakedness in front of another man. The older pirate just chuckled. "I've seen women in far less, miss. You needn't be concerned. The captain's been more than clear we're not to touch you. And I, for one, have always preferred a woman of my very own." He smiled kindly, taking a bite of his stew.

She began to eat as well, her mind swirling with questions. "Where is he? The captain, I mean."

"Probably in some tavern, drinking himself into oblivion. Can't blame the man. He'll be back when he's had time."

"Time? To do what?"

"To stop thinking about everything. He's still a young man, but our captain's had more heartbreak in his one lifetime than any man deserves." Starkey looked at her critically, before continuing. "I shouldn't be telling you this, but he'll probably be ranting about it when he returns so you best know ahead of time."

She nodded, giving the man her full attention.

"That man today, Blackbeard he calls himself. That's his father. His mum died when he was just a boy, leaving just him and his older brother, Liam his name was. Good man, he joined the Royal Navy, leaving young Killian with his pa, who promptly abandoned him. Don't know much about that time, but when Liam found him he was in a bad state. Took him to be the cabin boy on the ship, stayed with him until his brother was killed in the line of duty and we became privateers."

She scoffed. "You're not privateers," she countered.

"Not anymore. See, there was a woman."

"Milah?"

"Aye. Milah. Married to a small-time crook, but that woman had adventure in her blood. Took up with Killian, became one of us in no time. Few years later, we ran into her husband again, only this time he'd turned pirate hunter. Falsely claimed we were attacking the kingdom's own ships, arrested Killian. Milah and a few of the boys broke him out, but her husband had been waiting. Killian lost a hand, and Milah was captured instead. She plead her belly- to this day we don't know if it was true- but was found dead in her cell the next morning, with her heart carved out. We all knew it was the husband. He disappeared, but not before ruining our arrangement with our royal employers. Tracked him down eventually, and the captain skinned him like a bloody crocodile..."

"Oh my gods."

Starkey nodded, continuing. "Blackbeard showed up right after we'd lost her, saying it served him right for getting involved with a woman. Still likes to bring it up. He should just kill the old bastard, if you ask me. Anyways, after he got his revenge, he thought he'd be able to move on, but the captain always says it was an end, not a beginning. Was a time he talked about the things he'd do after we'd avenged her... but it's been five years. Five years of whores and rum and endless searching for riches.

Try not to hate him too much. It's every sailor's dream to earn enough to have a piece of land to call home. I hate to say it, but your dowry just made that a reality for us, myself included. I am sorry this happened to you though, lass. You're a sweet girl."

He stood, perhaps realizing he'd said too much. "Don't think what I've told you will change anything. He's not the man he used to be." With a surprisingly elegant bow, he left the room. Hours passed, and still the captain hadn't returned. Not wanting to incite his wrath if he'd been drinking, she stripped off the shirt and climbed into bed to wait for him.

Chapter Text

VII.

She woke to something ticking the inside of her thighs, realizing gradually that it was Hook, kissing his way upwards, his touch feather-light and tender. The darkness of the cabin surrounded them, the moonless night wrapping them both in shadow, but she could see and feel him lying between her splayed legs. "Wha-what are you doing?" She whispered, unable to deny that his gentle touches felt amazing but afraid of where this was leading. He'd been so angry earlier, after their run-in with Blackbeard, and she could smell the rum on him.

"Showing you how much I love you, my darling. Now lie back and relax." His voice still had a drunken slur to it and was heavy with lust as he planted kisses just around her most intimate place, his fingers dancing over her hip.

"Please, don't hurt me," she whimpered, her breath catching as his mouth connected with her clit, soft and hot and wet as his tongue just barely brushed over her and oh gods...

"Milah, my love, was I too rough tonight? Did I hurt you earlier? You always seem to want it fast and hard." Genuine concern colored his voice. "Let me make it better, please. I can be gentle. I need to taste you, my love." His tongue dipped lower, swiping over her sensitive inner folds. "I dreamt you were gone." He whispered, a shiver rippling through his body and triggering the same reaction in her. "Gods, love, let me make you come."

He pressed another kiss to her hip, then dipped his head again, eyes locked on hers in the dim light as he began to kiss her, the caress of his lips so foreign but strangely pleasurable. She opened her legs slightly, and he groaned, responding immediately and returning to her clit again as he began to tease the sensitive bud with his lips and tongue. Her whole body jumped, the sensations unfamiliar and intense. Guilt surged through her as she realized he'd called her another woman's name. The woman he'd loved. She should stop him- his affection wasn't truly meant for her, and she needed to rebuff his advances. But ... oh, it felt so good. She'd expected everything around sex to be uncomfortable, no more than a duty to be endured, but what he was doing with his mouth was anything but.

A moan slipped past her lips as she spread her legs further, wordlessly begging him to continue. In response, he grabbed her hip and pulled her closer, slanting his mouth over her as he kissed and licked and sucked. She moaned quietly, giving herself over to the insane pleasure, and he growled, "That's it. Gods, I love you. Let go, come for me. Let me taste what I do to you." The passion in his voice was undeniable as he began to tease a finger at her entrance.

She could feel how wet she'd gotten, her arousal running down onto the bed as the incredible feeling built, and thought to stop him before he went further, but the sensations were all so pleasurable, and gods help her, she wanted more. His finger pushed into her, stretching her open enough that he could slide it in and out, drawing a slight whimper that quickly became another moan from her as he curved it to rub against somewhere inside. The momentary discomfort passed as she raised her hips instinctually, driving his finger slightly deeper as he continued to work his mouth over her clit. She felt pulled tight, the tension on her body almost painful for a moment before she crashed over the edge, vision going white as she came for the very first time. Wave after wave of indescribable pleasure coursed through her body as she pulsed around his long finger, still moving slowly as he drew out the sensations.

"Oh my gods," she panted, making the mistake of looking down at him as he smirked up at her from between her thighs, hair deliciously tousled from where she must have run her hands through it. Something flashed through his eyes-she thought for a split second that he realized who she really was, but to her relief he crawled up her body instead, smothering her mouth with a deep, burning kiss that overflowed with desire and love. She kissed him back, wanting to feel what it was like to be so adored by someone. He pulled her against his chest, fingers stroking her arm idly as he held her and kissed her head, her shoulder. His cock was right there against her thigh, big, hard, and just begging to be touched as she fought the urge to reach out and stroke it.

"Milah," he whispered as he pressed kisses to her neck. "Let me have you." His hand palmed her breast, fingers stroking her nipple, gently tugging as she arched into his touch. Another moan slipped past her lips. "Don't you know what your pretty cunt does to me?" He thrust against her, and she let him rub his cock over her clit and wet pussy, staying on the outside but making her tip her head back as she reveled in the sensations. Growling in frustration, he reached his hand down again, rubbing his thumb over her clit as he fucked her with his finger. Feeling how wet she was, he worked a second finger into her, a slight burn as he stretched her giving way to a feeling of fullness. "Bloody hell, Milah, you're so tight tonight. Gods, woman, let me fuck you."

"I can't," she moaned, feeling another orgasm approach. She'd never felt such pleasure. Touching herself had elicited small sensations before, but she hadn't really known what she was doing. Hook knew just how to touch her, and she wanted to come again, to see if it would be as explosive a second time. "Oh gods, oh oh gods yes!" She shattered, coming just as hard around his fingers. He kissed her again, sweeping his tongue into her mouth.

"You've never denied me before, love. Is something wrong?"

"No, of course not. I... I don't feel up to it."

Something clicked in his head, the drunken haze lifting slightly as awareness descended on him. This wasn't right. Normally, she'd be begging him to bury himself inside her by now. Milah loved his cock; at the risk of seeming crude, her need for him was one of his favorite things about her when they'd first met.

"You don't want me?" He asked, confused, running his thumb over her lower lip, then pushing it into her mouth, expecting her to playfully nip it like she always did.

She froze instead, and he realized it had to be something serious. He shifted, reaching up to adjust the dim light from the oil lamp above the bed, determined to talk to her properly.

Wide green eyes stared at him, terrified and guilty, from under a mane of blonde hair. Emma. The princess.

And it hit him like a punch to the gut: Milah was dead.

But...he didn't think he'd been dreaming. He licked his lips, the tanginess there confirming his suspicion. Popping his fingers into his mouth, he was met by the same delicious taste. Narrowing his eyes, he stared her down.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"I...I'm sorry." she whispered, her voice shaking. She took him in, hair wild from her fingers clawing at it, lips and chin smeared with her arousal, eyes dark and hungry. He was perched between her splayed legs, his naked body reminding her of the lean muscular form of some predator. His erect cock jutted out between his legs and looked almost angry: big, firm, as intimidating as he was.

"Not yet you aren't, you lying little bitch, but you will be." His incredible blue eyes had lost all of their warmth, anger simmering in their icy depths.

"Please, I just... it felt so good, and I wanted to know what it's like. To be loved the way you loved her. You seemed to want to do it."

"Emma, I've wanted to touch you and taste your sweet little cunt since I first saw you. Of course I wanted it." He looked down at her, with her legs still spread wide for him, wanton and wet and so tempting as she looked up at him, her skin flushed. He'd made her come twice, and hadn't even been able to appreciate her beauty. His arousal coursed through him, frustration giving way to rage. He needed to satisfy both emotions, and knew just how to do so. "But you let me believe she was alive. That, my dear, I cannot forgive."

He felt the fury roll through him like waves during a storm. She had tricked him, thoughtlessly pretending to be his dear, departed Milah while he made her come, no intention of reciprocating or revealing the truth. Just another dream as far as he'd have ever known. Fucking deceitful royalty. Grabbing a fistful of her hair, he pulled her off the bed and shoved her to her knees at the bedside as he sat on the edge of the bed. "You want to pretend you're my woman? Suck my cock."

She stared up at him, lip trembling. "W-What?"

Placing his hook under her chin, he stroked himself, inches from her face, watching as she shied away. "Normally I'd just fuck you, but I'd prefer you on your knees, using that pretty mouth to make me come instead of deceive me. And after all, it's only fair." He made a show of licking his lips, tasting her on them again and raising an eyebrow.

He pushed the smooth head against her lips, smearing precum across them. "Now. Open. Your. Mouth."

She shook her head, grimacing.

"Perhaps you should have considered what I'd do to you before you betrayed my trust," he growled. His jaw was clenched, and he ran his hook up her slender neck, just skimming the ivory skin there. He noticed that she was shaking, trying to master her emotions as she stared at him but failing in the face of his wrath. "Emma," his voice was just slightly gentler even as he moved his hook away, "I don't want to hurt you, lass. Now, are you going to be a good girl or do I have to take what I want?"

She bit her lip in her nervousness, realizing too late that she'd just let herself taste him. It was salty, a little sweet... not unpleasant at all. She licked her lips again, getting more of him on her tongue as he watched her with pupils blown wide in lust. Her pink tongue darted out, licking a gentle stripe over the slit, and she swallowed hard. Making her decision, she locked her glassy eyes with his and opened her mouth wide.

He slipped just the head of his cock past her soft, pink lips, moaning as he hit the heat and moisture beyond them. "Oh, fuck," he groaned, slowly pumping in and out shallowly, careful not to overwhelm her. She placed a hand at the base of him, steadying herself, and began to move her head, tongue tracing the ridges and veins. She swirled her tongue around the tip, feeling him twitch in her mouth. "Gods, so good. Suck me, darling."

He was so big and thick, and it seemed only half of him would fit. She began to suck, and was rewarded with a strangled moan from him. "Aye, just like that. Just like that," he encouraged as she began to bob her head up and down, using her tongue, lips and cheeks. He slowly moved his hips in time, going deeper as he stared down at her.

He could barely believe his eyes: he had a princess on her knees for him, his cock surrounded by her perfect mouth. She looked bloody gorgeous. He tried to memorize every image, every sensation, not wanting to waste a second of the experience. Gods, what a tale this would make for his days as an old salt, though nobody would ever believe him when he told them of the day he'd been serviced by royalty. "Mmmm, gods, you look so beautiful with your lips stretched around my cock. Emma, Emma, oh fuck, love." He tangled his hand in her golden hair, tugging roughly, and was rewarded when her evergreen eyes looked up at him, meeting his entranced gaze. The way she was looking at him, so innocent and yet so wild and wanton, made him even harder. "I'm gonna fuck your face, sweetheart. Just keep sucking and let me into your throat." When, still looking up at him, she nodded slightly, he gripped her hair tighter and began to thrust into her mouth.

Her eyes widened as he began to lose control and take her hard, groaning as he hit the back of her throat. She could see the ecstasy on his almost-pained features, taste him on her tongue, hear his groans of pleasure, feel his hand tighten in her hair as he neared his release. He kept talking to her, telling her how good she felt, how hard he got watching her, how he'd fantasized about her doing exactly this. He was so heavy and thick. She skimmed her tongue over the tip again, loving how smooth and swollen the silky skin felt. She felt utterly debauched, and she found she loved it.

He was using her for his pleasure, just as she'd used him, and hearing his deep, primal groans and praises made her even wetter. She moaned around his cock, causing him to curse and grip her hair even tighter as he got harder and bigger in her mouth. "Fuck, fuck, your mouth feels so good." She remembered something she'd learned in her singing lessons, and opened her throat for him, feeling strangely triumphant when she felt him slide all the way to the base, his surprised gasp followed by an emphatic curse. "Bloody hell, Emma!"

He came with a nearly pained shout, emptying himself in her mouth and down her throat, watching with fascination as she swallowed his seed, laving her tongue over him as he went semi-soft, his attraction to her only enhanced when she swallowed every last drop. She licked her lips clean and looked up sheepishly, "I...I didn't know what to do with ...um, it. Was it... Did you... Was it good?"

It was if she had drawn his anger from him with the euphoria of his orgasm; all he could think of was that she'd wanted him. He pulled her to her feet, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her hard and deep, turning to lay her back on the bed. "Gods, that thing with your throat. Fuck, Emma. You're bloody brilliant. Amazing." He covered her with his body as he tasted himself in her mouth, settling his hips between her legs as his hand travelled down her belly again to her wet blonde curls where she was desperate for him. "Oh, fuck," he growled when he realized how much wetter she'd gotten from sucking him. "You liked that, didn't you? Dirty, dirty princess likes to be on her knees for the captain, does she?" He slinked back down her body, watching her every reaction. "You were such a good girl. But, see, in your deception, I still didn't have a chance to watch you come undone, so I'm going to feast on your cunny one more time until I've tasted you to my satisfaction. This time, I want to know it's you."

Her eyes rolled back as his mouth connected with her again, all semblance of shyness gone as she cried out. He watched her as he worked, noting her parted lips, her heaving chest. He pushed his fingers into her, marveling at the mixture of pain and pleasure on her face as he stretched her. He now realized why she'd felt so damn tight around his fingers. He could feel her little pink pussy wrapped around him, clenching as she got closer.

Selfishly, he hoped the prince would reject her. Now that he'd had her mouth and actually felt how snug and wet she was, he needed to be inside her. He worked her with his fingers, watching as she stopped resisting and pumped her hips in time with his hand, desperate to come. "Please, please, I'm so close..." She whimpered.

"Say my name. Beg me."

"Please, Hook!" There were tears at the corners of her eyes, her hands fisted in the sheets.

"My real name." he barked, shoving his fingers especially roughly inside her, his thumb circling around her clit but avoiding it.

"Killian, please!" She cried, a stars exploding in her vision as she crashed over the edge when he pressed his thumb against the swollen pink button and quickly rubbed it. He watched her mouth open, eyes screwed shut, her whole body bowing off the bed as she fucked herself on his fingers. "Ooooh, oh gods, oh gods." She cried, her voice breaking. He felt her squeeze her muscles around his fingers, so tight it was almost painful. He eased her back down, thinking he'd never seen a more beautiful woman in all his days. If she was a beauty under normal circumstances, she was a goddess when naked and glowing with orgasmic delight.

"Gods, Emma, you are a vision when you come undone."

He crawled next to her as she tried to calm her breathing, heartbeat slowly returning to normal. She'd never experienced pleasure like that. His arm pulled her boneless body against his side, nestled under his arm with her head on his shoulder. "Easy, lass. Just relax." He dipped his head to kiss her hair, feeling her start to pull away. "Shhh, shhh, relax. You're just pretending your my woman, right?" He felt the fight leave her body almost immediately. "That's a good girl. Just sleep, Emma." Her delicate hand came up to splay over his chest, tracing invisible patterns in the dark hair.

"I'm sorry," she whispered.

So am I, he thought. He closed his eyes, fighting back the urge to take more from her than he already had. Now he knew exactly how her amazing mouth felt, how she tasted, how incredibly tight she'd be, how her cheeks flushed and her voice cracked when she called out his name -his real name- as she begged him to make her come undone. For the first time in days, he found himself hoping that her ransom came, because if it didn't, gods help her.

He was far from done with her.

Chapter Text

VIII.

He couldn't remember the last time he'd slept so well, but as the harsh light of morning filtered into the room, the previous night's activities flooding back in a rush of memory, he'd never felt more hungover. Had she really gone to her knees for him? Had he really tasted her? Gods, she'd felt so right in his bed, in his arms. A part of him was ecstatic- at least he'd gotten to have her somewhat before he had to worry about giving her back, but he only wanted her more now, wanted to drown in the pleasures of her and never surface. She was a forbidden fruit, and a simple taste wasn't nearly enough.

He had to wonder how she'd feel this morning. Would she regret what she'd done? He imagined that she'd probably hate him for what he'd pushed her into doing, though she certainly seemed enthusiastic enough at the time. What concerned him even more was that he cared about how she felt, something that hadn't happened in years and had to be ignored. The men would laugh at him and say he'd gone soft if they knew, but gods, they hadn't seen or felt her last night.

He lay there with his eyes closed, trying to focus on anything but fucking the body curled beside him into the mattress, eventually settling for making plans for the rest of their stay in Port Jefferson, where they'd be for another few days to trade in their goods. They'd have to get some more pitch, and replenish their food stores, but a lot of the supplies they'd salvaged from the Swan would keep the ship in good order. They'd even acquired a few 12-pound guns, which would come in handy during their next attack. Whether the ransom went through as expected or not, they'd be setting off indecently rich men.

He expected to lose a few crew members in port; one or two of them had called the large city home before becoming sailors and would probably want to stay there with their newfound wealth, but he figured most of them would want to stay on with him. They would sail until they found the perfect place to become someone else, to leave their lives of constant turmoil behind. Personally, he didn't expect to stay anywhere long- he had no real desire to make a home anymore. The sea had been his only real companion for five years, and no luxurious villa could replace the freedom it offered.

He slipped out from beside her and dressed quietly, stealing a last look at her lying bare and beautiful on his bed, hair still tangled from where his hand had clutched at it while she sucked him. He couldn't help but groan at the memory, stealing out of the room before she woke.

He climbed above deck, the calls of sea birds loud in the still morning air. The brisk sea breeze soothed his head, cooling the burn behind his eyes as he stretched his back and cracked his neck. "Captain on deck," Turley yelled from the bow, and a cheer went up from the crew. He turned a questioning eye to his quartermaster Ed, who smiled slyly. "Well, Cap'n, you weren't exactly subtle last night. We all wanted to know if she was worth having to scrub the bloody deck, but the satisfied look on your face this morning tells me it was."

He smirked in response, and let out a very dramatic, satisfied sigh, the easy banter of sailors familiar. "It's this pretty face of mine. No woman can resist me. It's a curse, really."

"Oh, I'm sure. Tell us, Cap, how does that royal cunny feel?"

He waggled his eyebrows, "Haven't found out yet, but I enjoyed giving her a belly full with her pretty little mouth on my cock."

"God damn," Mullins groaned. "Next time she screams for you, you'd better be fucking her good, ya bastard. I was this close to having her myself."

"Actually, I think Billy was closer," he fired back, prompting a grumbled "I hate you both" from Bill Jukes.

He looked to where the Revenge had been docked, relieved to see the ship had left port, and dismissed most of the crew, wanting them to enjoy the bounty that Port Jefferson had to offer. The town was large, and though it had earned its nasty reputation, it was exactly the kind of place where his men fit in. Pirates, smugglers, and thieves got along surprisingly well here, well aware that they all benefitted from places like this. Public drunkeness was the norm, and fucking and fighting in the streets went ignored.


He left the ship, finally ready to find out the princess' fate but sure he'd have her ransom in hand by day's end. After what he'd experienced the night before, he couldn't imagine any man turning her away. He strolled towards Sebastian "Mad Jeff" Jefferson's office, feeling a bit uneasy but looking forward to seeing the eccentric businessman. Jeff had been in charge of the port's trade ever since his father had died, carrying out all sort of shady deals just as generations before him had done. It was said that he could work his magic to get almost anything for you, or find a buyer for even the most random goods. The Jeffersons had founded the seedy port town centuries ago, and "Mad Jeff" was a perfect fit for the environment. Hook knocked on the door, laughing to himself at the austentatious top hat perched on the merchant's messy brown mop of hair.

"Killian! Get in here! It's been ages. I have an official letter for you somewhere..." he began rummaging through the many piles of papers that littered his desk. "Arrived two days ago, so I thought you might show up. You look great, man. What, or should I say who have you been doing?"

"Come now, Jeff, you know a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell," he replied, taking a sip from his flask before offering it to the other man, who shook his head pointing to a cup of tea.

"It's a bit early for me, thanks. And if you're a gentleman, I'm a haberdasher. Ah! Here we go!" He held out the letter, the golden wax seal proclaiming its origins. A quick flick of his wrist removed the seal, allowing him to read the prince's reply. A slow smile spread across his face.

"Good news, I take it?"

"For me, it is, mate," he smirked, folding the letter and placing it in his coat pocket.

He settled a few things and let Jeff get back to business, heading for a tavern by the bay that served his favorite mead. Pulling the letter out again, he read it a second time. He was certain he must have missed something on his first read, thinking no man could be so craven with a woman like Emma at stake, but there it was. He couldn't imagine her life with this cowardly prince would have been satisfying. The prince had essentially given his bride's maidenhead to a pirate.

He was not about to refuse such a kingly gift.

She would be distraught, of course, when she found out. Last night had been a strange turn of events, and she'd still refused to let him inside her despite her obvious arousal. Still, even if he had to take her, he could use what he'd learned to make her come for him. He had to fight back his desire as he imagined how incredible she'd be riding out her orgasm with her cunt squeezing his cock instead of his fingers. He'd have to arrange for a proper display of taking her virginity at some point, but tonight she would be his alone. He planned on keeping her in his bed until he tired of her, which could take quite a while. There was something about Emma that drew him to her, and he needed to understand it.

He took some roast boar with him, hoping she'd be willing to eat, and a jug of the sweet honeywine, anticipating the girl in his cabin would need a drink before the day was out. Stopping by the market, he purchased a deep green dress, knowing Emma's ability to make the most mundane garment look regal would enhance its simple beauty. As much as he hated to cover her up, he couldn't keep her locked in his cabin forever, and parading her around the men would be trouble enough with her clothed appropriately.

He imagined her standing on the deck of his ship, her flaxen hair lifted by the breeze as she stood behind him at the helm, then shook away the far-too-domestic thought, replacing it with the more comfortable image of her bent over, the green dress up around her hips as he plunged into her. He sighed, acknowledging that the siren certainly had ensnared him. If he were a smart man, he'd get things over with and leave her at port to make her own way home, but Captain Killian Jones was not going to be bested by a little blonde princess.


Emma lounged in the captain's bed, feeling oddly alone after the previous night's activities and without the usual morning routine of casual conversation that she and Hook had established. She knew she should probably be ashamed; she'd been intimate with a man, one who wasn't her fiancé at that, but she couldn't find it in herself to really regret it. After a lifetime of doing what was expected and maintaining appearances, she'd finally done something truly reckless.

She ached ever so slightly, her body unaccustomed to the intrusion of his fingers, but the three times he'd brought her to ecstasy had been absolutely worth the lingering soreness. Warmth rose in her cheeks as she remembered it. She had never dreamed it would be that pleasurable, far beyond any hopes she'd harbored for her wedding night. She wondered if Neal would take the time to do the same for her before consummating their marriage. She hoped so; she had no doubt that her arousal the previous night would have made actual intercourse infinitely more enjoyable. Not that she'd ever think about doing that with Hook.

Of course, she'd never thought she'd use her mouth on a man, let alone enjoy doing so. She was a princess, not some tawdry tavern girl, and fell to her knees for no one. Well, she thought with a smile, almost no one. Then again, the absolutely wrecked look on the captain's face while she pleasured him made her feel more in-control than ever. For all her inexperience, she felt powerful, capable, even beautiful with his cock in her mouth and his grunts and praises ringing in her ears. She'd been taught that good, highborn girls like her didn't give away their favors so easily, certainly not to men they weren't married to, but that notion conflicted with what she secretly desired, and gods had his hand and mouth felt good. She, a princess of the realm, had literally begged him to give her release.

Would Neal make her feel like that? Would he hold her close and kiss her hair and tell her she was amazing? He'd been quite the charmer that night in the pub, and she could imagine his playful antics would put her at ease in the bedroom. Then again, it was Neal who'd told her that it would hurt... something that Hook maintained wasn't necessarily true. Now that she'd actually seen a naked man, she wondered how it could be anything but excruciatingly painful, unless she was very aroused, like she'd been last night.

She felt herself getting a bit excited just thinking about Hook's mouth on her again. Maybe if she were a less important woman, if her virginity wasn't such a commodity and the risk of conceiving a child out of wedlock less disastrous, she'd consider letting Hook be her first, just so it wouldn't be torturous. She wasn't sure if it was because of what she'd felt him do the previous night, but she believed him for some reason and had a feeling that Hook would be a skilled lover. He was obviously well-endowed, and seemed to know his way around a woman's body.

Resisting the urge to sneak her hand between her legs and indulge in her little fantasy, she sat up and donned the shirt Starkey had given her, purposely focusing instead on Neal and the reasons she wanted to marry him. He'd been the first prince who she'd let in enough to know her hopes and fears. He was cute, sweet, and charming. Access to his kingdom's military would be a huge asset for her parents, who had but a tiny army at their disposal. She could imagine Neal being quite a loving father; his own parents had died when he was a boy, essentially abandoning him to be raised by the court, and he'd said that he wanted a better life for his own children. So, maybe she wasn't as sure that it would be a passionate love...but he was a good match for her. It was exactly the life she'd been groomed for since her little brother Leo had been born and her status had gone from heir to marriage material.

Sure, a part of her hadn't been joking when she suggested she and Neal change their names and run away together, away from the responsibility of running a kingdom and the expectations placed on them. It seemed ridiculous that she'd complain about her life of luxury, even if that life would make her feel imprisoned in a way, but the night they'd spent in the pub, when they had left their titles behind and could just be Neal and Emma, had been one of her happiest.

She was torn from her musings as she heard the captain's booted steps approach the door, then the metallic scrape of a key in the lock, and realized he'd have received word from Neal. Maybe they could just avoid talking about what had transpired the night before, she thought, and go their separate ways. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she raked her hand through her hair nervously as he entered, carrying a small basket of food, a jug of some sort of alcohol, and what looked like a woman's dress. "Morning, lass," he greeted her, uncharacteristically chipper, "Sleep well?" He waggled his eyebrows salaciously, and she couldn't fight the blush she felt creep up at his question.

"Well enough." She kept her tone clipped, trying to hide her slightly conflicted thoughts regarding the previous night. "Have you received word from Prince Neal regarding my ransom? I have a wedding I'd very much like to get to at some point."

He placed the goods in his arms on the table, pointing. "Some food, and a jug of mead, in case you wanted some. And a dress, for when you leave the cabin. I can't very well let you leave wearing nothing but my shirt, even if I do rather enjoy the way it looks on you." He made a point of trailing his eyes over the low V of the neckline down between her breasts.

She cocked her head, regarding him suspiciously. "Um, thanks? But you didn't answer my question. You did remember to go to pick up his response, right?"

"Aye, I did. I have the letter right here." He pulled it from his pocket, holding it up.

"Oh thank the gods," she sighed, reaching out as he handed her the parchment. "So, when do I get to leave?"

"You don't." He licked his lips, which curved in a smirk.

"What!?" She yelled, still holding the folded paper in her hand. "You said you'd leave me alone if Neal paid my ransom, you lying piece of shit!"

He snorted indignantly, pointing to her hand. "You might want to actually read that before yelling at me, princess. Your fate lies in the palm of my," he gestured to his hook, "well, you know. Perhaps it might be wise to be a touch more polite, because it looks like you're going to be with me for quite a while, darling." He gave her a snarky smile, then turned to leave in order to keep himself from laughing cruelly at her open-mouthed expression. "I'll... give you a moment." He stepped through the door, locking it behind him and hearing the choked sound of her first sobs echo through the hall behind him as he walked to grab a bottle of rum from the galley, ignoring the slight twinge of guilt that briefly shot through him.

Chapter Text

IX.

He'd said he loved her.

She'd decided to marry Prince Neal after they'd both successfully snuck out of a ball and stolen into town to drink at the local tavern instead. Over several mugs of cheap ale, they'd laughed and talked, and despite her reservations she'd fallen hard for the prince with the brown puppy-dog eyes and easy smile. They'd written to each other every week for 3 months, sharing their hopes and fears. When he asked her to become his wife, she'd accepted, much to her parents' surprise. They'd wanted her to wait a bit longer at first, but Emma had always been hard to dissuade when her mind was made up, and a betrothal was arranged and plans made for Emma to leave home and journey to Neal's distant kingdom to be wed. The King and Queen had mourned the distance between the kingdoms, but were strong believers in true love and decided the sacrifice was worth it if it ensured Emma's happiness.

Oh, the irony. Now here she was, stuck halfway across the world and imprisoned by pirates, betrayed by the man who supposedly loved her. How could he just leave her to her fate?

She wiped at her eyes and forced herself to read the note again:

Captain,

With regret, we must inform you that we will make no exchange for the Princess Emma. It is not our kingdom's policy to negotiate with pirates, no matter the circumstances, and while we have deep affection for the princess, she is neither our only available bride nor worth the financial or militaristic cost to our kingdom. We urge you to treat her with respect and kindness, and to consider requesting her ransom from her royal parents, who will surely have the will and means to pay it. Please express our disappointment to the princess, who will understand that our own kingdom's prosperity must be our priority.

His Royal Highness, Neal II, Crown Prince of the Western Kingdoms .

That was it. No question of how much gold they wanted or attempted negotiations. No impressive show of naval might. No offers of pardon or deals. When she'd needed his help most, he'd looked out for only himself. She tried to imagine her father abandoning her mother in a similar fashion and began to sob again, realizing that a man who truly loved her would never be able to forget her as easily as Neal obviously had. She had to wonder if he'd ever loved her at all, a thought that brought on another round of angry tears.

"He's a bloody fool." She started at the lilting voice, knowing the captain had returned to the cabin and was watching her. Clutching the letter in her hand, she turned away, determined not to let him see her cry. "No man with a scrap of honor would abandon you to be used by a ship full of pirates, which, you may recall, is exactly what I claimed would happen if he refused to pay your ransom. In a way, I've done you a favor. He's beneath you, love. A man unwilling to fight for what he wants deserves what he gets."

"And what about what I get? What have I done to deserve any of this?" She suddenly wished she'd taken the time to slip into the dress he'd brought, feeling exposed and vulnerable sitting on the bed in just his shirt. He approached her slowly, after setting a bottle of rum on the table, eyes hungry with desire.

"Nothing at all, my dear." Hook ran his hand over her shoulder, brushing her hair aside. "But I'll be having you all the same." She shivered under his touch, unsure if it was from fear or something else.

"So, you're going to pass me around, let your whole crew have a go with the princess?" She tried to sound angry and disgusted instead of terrified, aware that he could probably hear the fear in her voice dispite her efforts to hide it. She turned away, knowing he'd read the emotions in her eyes like words on a page.

He snorted. "Of course not. It's my ship, and I'll be keeping you all to myself."

She bit her lip but nodded. Better to be used by one man than twenty. "You could still let me go."

"I could, but I don't particularly want to, and have a reputation to uphold, love. I can't very well send you back a maid after time aboard my ship, especially after making my intentions clear to your prince."

"Don't call him that. He's not my prince. Not anymore. Maybe never was." She added the last part quietly, more to herself than to him.

"Aye, so it would seem."

She swallowed hard, passing the back of her hand under her eyes before turning to him, straightening as she tried to regain some of her dignity in the face of her situation. "So, what now? Should I just bend over so I can get it over with?"

He regarded Emma with a confused expression, like he was studying her. "Why would you think that?"

"You are forcing me to ... to sleep with you."

"Sleep with me? You've been doing that for days, love, and sleeping is the last thing on my mind. Maybe yours too, considering you didn't seem to mind my attentions last night," he smirked and licked his lips in an absolutely obscene way that sent unwanted heat between her legs.

"Last night was a one-time thing."

"No. It wasn't."

The certainty of his statement was jarring, pulling her away from whatever pleasant thoughts she'd been harboring. It felt so different from how the last night had ended, and there was a distance between them that seemed to come out of nowhere, like he was keeping her at arm's length. She realized that she didn't really know this dangerous man, who could seem so kind to her one minute and so cold the next. Wrapping her arms around herself, she suddenly felt exposed in contrast, wanting to protect herself, to shut him out as much as he'd done the same to her. She tried to look at the floor, but felt his hand pull her chin up, eyes meeting hers in an icy stare.

"Here's how it works: You'll be mine, Princess. You will show me respect, and you'll give yourself to me when I wish it. In return, I'll endeavor to please you, you'll be safe from the crew, you'll be free to do as you please during the day, and I'll have you accompany me into town when we make port. Do we have an agreement?"

"For how long?"

He smirked, raking his eyes over her. "Until I've had my fill of you, so it may be quite some time."

She closed her eyes, fighting back the overwhelming sense of drowning, of hopelessness, anger and despair rising as she shook off his hand. She took a deep shuddering breath, letting it out shakily. "Why ask when you know I have no choice? My life is ruined. Do you have any idea what that feels like?"

"Aye. Actually, I do. Though I suspect you would have been quite unhappy, married to your heartless prince, living in a gilded cage far from those you love."

She breathed out a small laugh. "That may be, but even if it's only a dream I've lost, at least it was a pleasant one." She could swear she saw the hardness in his eyes break, letting her glimpse a conflict that lay beneath.

"It's part of growing up, darling. We all have to leave the dreams of our youth behind at some point."

There was a sadness in his voice she hadn't expected, and she recalled her conversation with Starkey and how he'd lost his brother and the woman he loved at a young age.

He cocked his head to the side, studying her. "There's supper, if you're not opposed to boar. It's quite good. You should eat something, and get cleaned up before, well, you know."

He left the cabin, returning with a metal tub, then brought down some towels, soap, and a few buckets of hot water. "It's been a while since you've had a proper bath. Thought it might help you to relax." He wiped at her tears with his thumb. "I'll give you an hour or two to get ready for me, then send the men away so you needn't worry about them. Tonight, you're mine and mine alone, love." He kissed her hand, giving her a mocking bow before leaving her alone.


The setting sun turned the sky into a gorgeous watercolor painting of pink and orange as she combed out her hair, but all Emma could think of was the evening ahead of her. It wasn't so much that she hadn't thought about the handsome captain, especially after last night, but the reality that it was all really happening, and that there was no going back once it did.

She thought about her options. If she could somehow knock Hook out, she could sneak off the ship and try to find help in town... though whether she'd be any better off was somewhat doubtful. She'd heard of Port Jefferson. Unless she was lucky, she'd probably regret trying to navigate the rough town on her own.

Starkey seemed kind enough, but his loyalty to the captain clearly made him a poor choice. She hadn't really met any of the other men for more than a few moments. She didn't have any money, so hiring someone to get her away wouldn't work. Where would she even go? Neal was the last person she wanted to see, and getting home to her parents would take weeks by sea and even longer by land.

The more she thought about her situation, the less she knew.

She turned to the table, pouring herself a generous cup of mead and reading the note he'd left next to it. "To settle your nerves."

She readily gulped the cool liquor, the sweetness dancing on her tongue as she savored it. It was of excellent quality, and absolutely delicious. Realizing it couldn't have been inexpensive gave her hope that maybe the captain felt some tenderness towards her, and that perhaps she could use it to her advantage. She settled on her best course of action as he opened the door, eyes dark as they fell on her.

Hook stepped into the cabin, locking the door securely behind him. After days of imagining how she'd feel, he was finally going to have his way with the beautiful princess. Seeing her standing by the bed, the light from the setting sun filtering through the shirt she'd borrowed and outlining the silhouette of her lithe frame, he felt himself already getting hard. Gods, he had to control himself. His baser urges were screaming at him to bend her over and take her hard and fast, but he wanted it to be good for her- at least, as good as it could be given the situation.

He could see her returning strength in her eyes, and felt somewhat relieved. He admired her fiery personality, her willingness to defy him despite knowing it was a foolish thing to do. She was young and inexperienced, but she was so much more than a frightened damsel. He didn't know why he found these qualities endearing; he shouldn't want her for more than a good fuck, so her personality was irrelevant for the most part. Still, a part of him recognized that she would have absolutely infatuated him when he was a younger man, looking for so much more, for a kindred spirit. His musings were interrupted by her soft voice.

"Your deal: I want to alter the terms."

"I'm not much for bartering," he stated, watching as she poured herself another glass and one for him as well, holding it out for him to take. "What did you have in mind?"

"If I agree, you need to treat me like I'm your partner, not just some random girl you're fucking."

He raised a brow. "Go on."

"No more whores."

"Fair enough, as long as you're willing to meet my needs."

She swallowed nervously, sitting on the bed. "Well, I might be a little sore at first. You'll need to be understanding."

"I'm not unreasonable, princess."

"And you'll stop calling me that. It's Emma."

"I happen to enjoy that you're a princess. However, I will try to call you by your name."

"Especially in public. It's embarrassing enough that I'm a pirate's concubine." She wrinkled her nose as she said it, the words feeling dirty now that she was, essentially, agreeing to be intimate with him. "I don't need the whole world knowing how far I've fallen."

He pondered the request, staring at her thoughtfully. "I'll take it under advisement, but having a princess in my bed is worth boasting about, and the men know your station so the rumors will spread either way."

"We'll get me some real clothes."

"Of course. But no undergarments," he added with a lascivious smile.

She rolled her eyes. "There are times I'm going to need those, you know."

The reality of her statement seemed to register with him, an odd look crossing his face.

"Just when are you due to bleed, love?"

"Excuse me?"

"Your womanly time... When is it?

"Full moon, or thereabouts," She answered, hopeful that he'd at least leave her alone while she bled.

He thought a moment. "Three days then, give or take. Perfect. You let me know the moment it starts."

He drained his cup and stepped closer, parting her legs so he could stand between them, and trailed his hand up the inside of her thigh. "Anything else?"

She took a deep breath. "A million things, but I'll trust you'll uphold your end of the bargain and try to keep me happy."

"So, do we have an agreement, then?" He looked her over, licking his lips as he pulled the shirt over her head, hand and hook settling at her waist.

"I think so." She winced internally at the tremble in her voice.

"And you'll give yourself to me? Now, tonight. I need to feel you around me, Emma. If you were anyone else I'd already be deep inside you, making you come around my cock. It's been nearly impossible to be so close to you and not get to have you."

She turned to look up at him, momentary curiosity overtaking her nervousness. "Can I ask you something?"

"About this topic? Of course."

"I have to know: is it really that good?"

"Fucking?"

She flinched a little at the baseness of the word, but nodded.

"Honestly, it varies, but yes. I can't give you silk sheets and castle walls, sweetheart, but I can make it incredible for you." He dropped to his knees, kissing up the inside of her thigh before repeating the motion on the other side, his stubble tickling and teasing the sensitive skin, a deep groan coming from him when he licked a stripe through her cunny and realized she was already soaking wet.

She tried to ignore the fear that began to creep over her as he laid her back on the bed and crawled above her. She was excited, wet and needy and he was so handsome... but what happened afterwards? She'd have given herself to a pirate, who was only going to toss her aside eventually, and there was no going back from it. He'd always be her first, and he didn't even care for her; she'd be just another girl to him.

He hovered over her and kissed her, softly, his hand moving between her legs as he began to get her ready, to finally claim her, when he heard a choked sob in the back of her throat. Reining in his excitement, he pushed back on his arms to look down at her, only to find her eyes screwed shut and tears leaking down the sides of her cheeks, a grimace on her beautiful face as she tried not to cry. "Emma, look at me," he urged, only to be met with a shake of her head. "Lass, stop weeping." He could understand being nervous, but he was certain his hand would ease things for her.

"I'm trying," she sniffed, still avoiding eye contact, her body shaking more as her efforts failed and she started sobbing in earnest.

"You agreed to this, Emma," he huffed. He was mere moments from sheathing himself in her. By all rights, he'd held up his end of their bargain. Still, he hesitated.

"I know. I'm sorry," she whimpered. "I just... This isn't how I wanted it to be. It was supposed to be special. I always imagined my first time would be with my husband."

"The day you want to be married to a pirate, you just let me know." he chuckled humorlessly, nuzzling at her neck as his hand gently stretched her.

She spread her legs wider, still refusing to look at him as she clasped her hands over her chest to hide her breasts. He could have taken her already, she realized. He was obviously annoyed, and nearly mad with desire, hard and hot against her inner thigh. She wished she could just explain things, make him understand that the day had been too much, that she had lost everything, that she didn't know what to think or feel or want anymore, but she couldn't find the words.

"Look at me," he growled, wanting the wanton, euphoric princess he'd tasted the previous night, not this sad, scared martyr resigned to her fate. He wanted her crying out in ecstasy, not sorrow. He wanted her riding him, taking him deep with words of pleasure on her lips, not averting her eyes and cowering under him with a grimace.

Gods, he wanted her. He'd readily take her when she was full of passion: infuriatingly angry, or challenging and sarcastic, or aching and desperate for him, but not like this.

It took less time to make his decision than he expected. He closed his eyes and sighed, climbing out from between her legs and settling back in the bed next to her before his better nature lost the battle with his libido. He was so damn close to finally fucking her, but he wouldn't, couldn't have her sobbing through the whole damn experience. Maybe if he only wanted to have her once, but he wanted her to share his bed for the foreseeable future, and forcing himself on her while she wept was not the way to start such an arrangement. Knowing her personality, she was liable to kill him in his sleep if he took her like that. He ran his hand through his hair, trying to calm himself.

"What are you doing?" She asked, her voice shaking slightly. "You're...you're stopping?"

"I find you considerably less alluring with tears in your eyes," he grumbled, his jaw clenched in frustration. Gods, she was still lying spread beside him on his bed, and he was almost painfully hard.

"You're not going to... I mean, we're not... really?" She sputtered, a sense of awe in her voice.

"Oh, we are. Just not tonight. Though I am tempted to fuck your pretty cunt with my tongue." He looked over at her, seeing her emerald eyes staring up at him, finally able to get a read on her. There was fear, and sorrow, but also a hint of desire at the mention of his mouth. She was thinking about how he'd made her feel. A slow smirk blossomed on his lips as he changed tactics. "I can give you a day to come to terms with things, my dear."

"Thank you." She swallowed audibly, rolling towards him and tucking herself into his side as she sniffed back a few lingering tears.

"Don't thank me yet. You get one day, so do what you have to tomorrow, whether it's drinking, or touching yourself, but make no mistake. I will have you, Emma."

She stiffened slightly, but said nothing.

"I am going to attend to this, though," he nodded towards his cock, still proudly jutting out from his body. Taking a good look at her, he grasped himself firmly, running his long fingers over his cock as he started to stroke it. His hand pumped faster as he let himself give into his need, feeling her eyes on him. He was surprised she hadn't turned away immediately in disgust, given how afraid she'd been. "You're watching." He couldn't help the fascinated tone that crept into his voice.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, closing her eyes and curling in on herself.

"Don't be, love. I rather like it." His heated stare caused her to flush with embarrassment. "Perhaps I'll have you help me after all. Roll over," he growled, pushing her onto her opposite side as he reached his hand between her legs, spreading the lingering wetness there. She began to panic, closing her legs and trying to push him away. "Relax, darling, I'm not going to put it in you. Just don't move." He pressed himself behind her, kissing her neck as he worked his cock between her thighs, shifting forward so he slipped over her entrance and clit with each thrust. With her legs closed, he could still enjoy the feeling of her wet heat, and from the way her back arched as he stimulated her, she was enjoying it too. His hand came up to cup her breast, toying with the nipple as a soft sigh escaped her lips.

"What are you doing?" She breathed out, hips twitching as he rubbed against her. She didn't want him inside her, not yet, but this was torture. The head of his cock was gliding over her clit with every thrust and his lips were doing absolutely sinful things to her neck. She tried to tilt her hips to increase the friction, desperate for more, when she heard him whisper a warning.

"Emma. Unless you've changed your mind, I suggest you don't move like that. If you shift the angle, I'll end up burying my cock inside you." He couldn't help but smile when she reached over her shoulder to tangle her hand in his hair and whimpered a little. "Don't worry. I'll try to hurry it up." He pumped his hips harder, and a little faster, ordering her to press her legs together to increase his pleasure. He wasn't holding back in the least, trying to come as quickly as possible. He moved his hand from her breast to her hip, fingers tightening as he felt himself getting close. With a shout, he pulled back and pushed her onto her belly, hot release spurting across her ass. "Beautiful," he murmured as he enjoyed the sight before him.

Her heart was racing, her whole body alight with energy as he rolled onto his back and let out a contented moan. She was so close, a few more moments and she would have come. "Please! You can't leave me like this!" she whimpered, a handful of the sheets clenched tightly in each fist.

He pointed to the towels from her bath, mumbling, "You can grab one of those to clean up."

"That's not what I meant!" She snapped.

"I don't recall you being particularly concerned with my comfort when you were crying," he said with an almost audible smirk. "I'll be happy to put my mouth on your cunny and eat you for hours...once we've fucked. Now, we have quite a day ahead of us, so I suggest you get some rest." Knowing he'd made his point and won this round, Hook folded his arms behind his head and closed his eyes, feigning sleep.

She grabbed a towel and cleaned off, contemplating touching herself and trying to satisfy the ache between her legs but uncomfortable with the idea of doing so with an audience. It took her hours to finally drift off to sleep, knowing her dreams would be wildly erotic and she'd only be worse off in the morning.

She couldn't deny one thing. Hook wasn't just a pretty face. He was one clever bastard and even though she could kill him for getting her riled up and leaving her that way, her body had never wanted him more.

Chapter Text

X.

She woke early, just as the sun was rising, with Hook's firm body pressed to her back. His steady breaths puffed lightly against her hair, and his arm was draped loosely over her waist.

Well, he had clearly slept well.

Emma...not so much. There was still an ache between her legs that was unsatisfied, even though she'd dreamt of Hook, of his hand, his mouth, of other things filling her. She dreamt of him taking her, loving her, making her come undone over and over again. She marvelled at the realization that she'd never dreamt of Neal this way, though to be fair she'd never shared more than a chaste kiss with him; in retrospect, even a kiss seemed more than he deserved.

Still, she had to properly analyze her relationship with the seductive captain. He hadn't forced himself on her, a reality that was impossible to ignore. Surely, he could have. Technically, she hadn't even really said no, and she could see the lust burning in his eyes when he'd been on top of her. There would come a breaking point, of course, but he'd responded to her tears with some small amount of compassion. She wanted to hate him anyway, but grudgingly admitted to herself that it could have been much worse, as far as pirates go. He had a shred of decency left.

She had to make the most of her situation. She'd never expected to be deflowered by Captain Hook, but there was no denying the effect he had on her body. At least he seemed to know what he was doing in bed, and appeared to be just as concerned with her pleasure as his own. From what her married friends had told her, that wasn't always the case. If he really planned on keeping her for a while, perhaps she could convince him to sail to all sorts of exotic places, to let her see the world a bit before she returned. Given the circumstances, it didn't seem like too much to ask of him.

Maybe she could just try to think of this situation as an adventure of sorts. When she was younger, she'd always loved stories of her mother's bandit days, finding them far more thrilling than her boring, sheltered life. She'd never really considered how dangerous that life must have been, but finding herself out in the world, alone and unsure, she couldn't help but smile when she realized how similar she and her mother really were. Years from now she'd probably be married off to some other random nobleman, stuck living in a stately manner, but she too could regale her children with stories of her adventures. She'd have to leave some of the details out, she thought with a blush, but the tale of a princess sailing with notorious pirates for a time would certainly be an entertaining one.

She thought of her mother again, her gentle words coming to mind as she considered the captain. "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar." He'd proved his willingness to accommodate her yesterday. Perhaps all she needed to do was be civil.

"Captain?"

"Mmmhmm?" He hummed against her back, stretching slightly before pulling her closer.

"I was thinking...there isn't much I care about, but there were a few personal things that I'd brought along on my journey. I was hoping I might be able to keep one or two. It would mean the world to me."

He stretched slightly, curling his body around hers as he yawned. "We'll take a look at the hold in a bit, love, but you won't need any fancy gowns or baubles. Go back to sleep."

A few hours later, when he finally woke, she followed him to the hold, and was shocked at just how much had been in her dowry. Had Neal really wanted so much for her? Most of it was random wealth that she cared little for. The gowns, furniture, and gold certainly had no emotional significance. She went instead to the things they'd recovered from her cabin, sorting through it.

In the end, he let her keep everything she wanted: some toiletries; her riding clothes, deeming the breeches "practical" aboard the ship; the small toy naval officer and knight figures she'd had since infancy; all of her books; her grandmother's pendant; and even her mother's tiara, though there had been a comment about her wearing it in bed.


She still needed some clothes, since everything she owned was far too ornate for the ship, so she slipped into the green dress Hook had bought her and accompanied him into town. The low neckline and simple, fitted silhouette did little to hide her figure, and she took Hook's arm despite her prior protests when some alarmingly drunk men outside a bar cat-called her with rather graphic descriptions of their thoughts. He laughed softly, but wrapped his arm around her possessively, effectively silencing her harassers with a glare.

He led her to a small shop in the business section of town. Stepping inside, she saw they were in a ladies' clothing store, though the clothes available were far more provocative than she was used to. The shopkeeper helped Emma into various dresses, each one accentuating her legs, her bosom, or the curve of her hips. Hook sat in a corner sipping from his flask while he waited, the shopkeeper's assistant fawning over him the whole time. Emma tried scowling at the giggling little red-haired teen, but neither she nor Hook appeared to be paying much attention to her. She was still nervous about being intimate with him, but she was damn sure she didn't like the idea of him being with anyone else.

After paying for her new clothes, they visited a grocer to order supplies, then continued on to a waterfront alehouse. As she stepped inside, she found that the tavern was unlike any Emma had seen before. Rowdy, reveling men of all ages were packed into the tables, and barely dressed women were draped over some of them as they ate and drank. The place smelled of stale beer and burning wood, a large fireplace crackling on one side of the room. Several of the men stared at her openly with lecherous grins as she clung to Hook nervously. She found herself thanking the gods that she hadn't tried to navigate the town on her own after all, having actually seen the attention she drew from the thieves and pirates around her. She began to think that compared to these men, Hook was practically a gentleman... Until she felt his hand move to her breast.

"Really?!" she growled between gritted teeth.

He chuckled darkly. The more obvious his claim to her, the less likely she was to be molested, though she didn't seem to realize it. He settled onto a bench in a corner table, patting his lap expectantly and sighing in irritation when she sat next to him instead. Stubborn lass, she was going to get herself in trouble if she wasn't careful. He narrowed his eyes in a silent warning, then waved over a blonde bar wench, ordering them ale and shepherd's pie. When she returned with their food and drinks, the serving girl rubbed his shoulders, leaning down to whisper in his ear.

"I'm free tonight if you've room for one more in your bed, Captain," she giggled, causing Emma to stare open mouthed in shock. Sure, he was handsome, but she didn't expect the women of this town to be as openly crude as he was. She was even more appalled when he reached back to pat her rear as he said, "Not tonight, sweetheart. But I'll keep it in mind," flashing her his dirtiest smirk. Emma raised a brow. It was one thing to parade her around like a prize, but quite another to flirt with other women while he did so.

"Problem, princess?" He asked when they were alone again, all sarcastic charm and smugness.

"Don't call me that, and maybe you could try to be a little more respectful." She growled through a fake smile of her own.

"Just keeping my options open, love," he responded as he took a long pull from his mug. She responded in kind, draining hers surprisingly fast and refilling it from the pitcher on the table. She was feeling strangely off kilter, so obviously out of her element, and hoped a little alcohol would take the edge off. He was looking at her in silent judgement, but said nothing. Taking it as a victory, she polished off her second mug and started in on a third as a small group of men plopped down at the table.

"Hook!" one of them exclaimed as he sat across from Emma, "how's business been? Where'd you get this lovely little one? I heard Josephine had a few really choice new girls, but if I'd known she was there I'd have bought her myself! A face like that is worth every penny." The man turned to her, a genuine smile on his face. He was mid-30's with red-blonde hair, greyish blue eyes, and a solid build, but appeared friendly even if Emma bristled at his implication. "I have to say, I'd give you a night to remember, darlin. After two months at sea, I'd be able to keep you busy for hours."

Hook wrapped his arm around her, laughing at the other man even as he pulled her closer. "Sorry, Eric, Emma here's mine. You'll have to find yourself another piece."

"Well, if you want to earn some more when he's done with you, come by the Lady Luck, and I'll give it to ya good." He winked at her, staring intently at her breasts, then her lips. "Gods, I'd love to have that mouth on my cock."

Hook shifted a bit, uncomfortable with the way Eric was staring. He'd almost taken for granted how fresh and beautiful Emma was, forgetting that her beauty far surpassed that of the working girls in town. No wonder the men were all ogling her. Hook distracted the other men with a conversation about trade routes and weather patterns, deciding that he'd have to talk to Emma about being a little more affectionate in public.

She glared at him, ignoring the conversation completely as she seethed. They thought she was a whore, and he hadn't corrected them. She felt her blood boiling as he joked with their new companions. She polished off her third ale feeling the beginnings of a buzz in her veins as the alcohol took hold, and she found herself staring at Hook while he talked to the other captain. She could admit that he was handsome. His eyes were so, so blue, and practically sparkled with mischief or blazed with desire depending on his mood. His hair was incredible: thick, dark, and permanently disheveled in a disturbingly appealing way. His hard body always felt so solid and strong pressed against her, and she found herself reaching to touch his arm, fingers caressing the muscles under his thick black jacket. The ache had returned, and she began to think that she could use him for her pleasure just as much as he'd use her. He must have noticed an odd look on her face because he raised a brow at her, smirking, but otherwise continued to ignore her.

"Captain!" A pretty brunette serving girl called, a look of delight on her face as she abruptly wedged herself between Hook and Emma, practically shoving her bosom into his face. "Nobody told us you were in town." She pouted for dramatic effect, looking up at him from beneath her lashes.

"Excuse me," Emma snarled. "Who the hell do you think you are?"

The brunette appraised her, clearly intimidated but refusing to back down. "Oh, I may not be as gorgeous as that one, but I'll give you whatever she's offering for free." She ran her hand down his chest, tangling her fingers in the dark hair there.

Hook tried to disentangle himself from her grasp, but Emma was faster and having none of it. "Oh, that is IT! First of all, I am NOT a whore! Second of all," she pushed the other woman away, sliding closer to Hook. "Get your hands off him!"

She grabbed him by his coat lapels and pulled him into a passionate kiss. It seemed to take him half a moment to realize what she was doing, but he recovered quickly, hand moving to tangle in her hair as they angled their heads, pulling back for a breath before diving into each others' mouths again. She pressed closer, breaking the kiss to kick a leg over him and straddle his lap before bringing her hands to the nape of his neck and leaning in again, thrilling when he wrapped his hooked arm around her back and pulled gently on her hair, tipping her head back as he kissed down her throat before returning to her lips with a growl when she ground her hips into him.

The bar erupted in hoots of encouragement as they made a spectacle of themselves, but he couldn't bring himself to care, not when she was sucking on his earlobe and pressed intimately against him. "Gods, Emma, finally" he groaned against her lips, bucking up into her and letting her feel just what she was doing to him. The alcohol had brought out her feisty side, to be sure, and part of him felt bad about baiting her by flirting, but she was a bloody princess, and he didn't know she'd react like this!

"We had an agreement. I'm yours, damn you, and I expect to be treated as such!" She moaned as he pressed his hips into hers, kissing across her breasts before capturing her lips again. Ok, he thought with a chuckle, this was getting out of hand. He'd be liable to unlace his pants and take her right here if this didn't stop soon.

"Are you?" He purred in her ear. "Are you mine, Princess?"

"You couldn't handle it," she smirked up at him.

He nipped at her lips playfully, pressing her down into his lap. "Perhaps you're the one who couldn't handle it."

She pulled back enough to look him in the eyes, smiling as she said, "Take me to your ship, Captain," adding in a whisper, "and then take me."

Chapter Text

XI.

Hook had thrown a handful of coins on the table and hauled the princess into his arms, tossing her over his shoulder and laughing at her squeal of surprise as he left the tavern to a chorus of encouraging cheers. He wasn't about to waste one moment in an alehouse when he could be inside her. The short walk to the docks took mere minutes, during which his hand crept up her dress, kneading her inner thigh in teasing strokes. As his heavy booted steps rang out on the gangplank, he pulled her down into his arms again, kissing up her neck and across her jaw before meeting her lips once more, relieved to taste her desperation as clearly as she could undoubtedly taste his.

"Bloody hell, Emma," he whispered against her lips, kicking the door to his cabin open and stumbling down into it. He pressed her against the ladder, hook pulling at the lacing on the back of her dress as he used his hand to angle her head and control their kiss. "I have half a mind to take you right here."

"Like hell you will," she retorted, clawing at his back. "What kind of lady do you take me for?"

"One who wanted to fuck me, though if you've changed your mind I can always go back to that tavern and find myself someone else."

She slapped him, spinning out of his grip, but in a flash he had closed the distance between them, crowding her against the wall, grabbing her hands and pinning them above her with a slam of his hook into the wood. His hips pressed against hers, letting her feel the hardness there, while his hand yanked down her bodice, fingers toying with a rosy nipple when it popped free.

"I think we're both tired of these little games, princess," he said, dropping his voice. "Tonight, you're going to take me inside you, and I'm going to make you come over and over."

"What makes you so sure?" she challenged, proud that she didn't sound nearly as desperate as she felt.

"How else should a man interpret your jealous display?" He ran his nose along the shell of her ear, pulling the lobe between his teeth.

"I am not jealous," she growled. "I'm just not interested in sharing."

"Mmmm princesses and pirates do have something in common, then, because nor am I," he practically purred, moving his hand from her breast to pull up her skirt and reach between her legs, groaning loudly as his hand slid over her. "Gods, Emma, you're so wet." He pushed two fingers into her, cursing under his breath as they slipped in easily, and nipped and kissed her neck, rutting against her as he fucked her with his fingers. "So bloody wet for me. "

Emma angled her hips into his hand, chasing the pleasurable sensations. She still had a buzz from the ale smoothing out her nerves, and all she could feel was want, need, desire. The desperate feeling between her legs was back, and she gave in, craving the release that she knew he would give her. She struggled against his hook, turning her head until she could kiss him again, savoring the feel and spicy taste of his mouth. Her knees buckled as his thumb rubbed over her clit, and he yanked his hook from the wall, tearing the laces and pulling her dress down her body, leaving her bare under his gaze. He wasted no time, lifting her into his arms with her legs around his waist, stumbling towards the bed and dropping her onto the edge. Licking his lips, he dropped to his knees, and Emma squirmed in eager anticipation of what was coming.

"Lay back, love. I need to taste you again."

She reclined on her elbows as he began to tease her with his mouth, tongue dipping deep before curling up through her sensitive flesh to flick over her clit. She glanced down, and he winked at her before burying his head between her legs, kissing, licking, sucking, teasing her as she clutched at his hair and spread wider for him, eyes rolling back.

"Is it as good as you remember?" He asked between little kisses and flicks of his tongue.

"Gods yes," she gasped as he returned to his efforts in earnest. He added two fingers, stretching her as he pumped them in and out. She tried desperately to ignore the nagging remnants of anxiety racing through her head. It did feel amazing. If his fingers felt good, surely that huge cock of his would feel even better. "More," she moaned, encouraging him to add a third finger. She winced slightly at the additional stretch, but he was surprisingly gentle, letting her adjust before his hand resumed its thrusts.

"Emma, love." His voice was rough with arousal. "Stop thinking so much and just feel." He resumed his efforts, tongue dancing over her hungrily. It had been a while since he'd regularly tasted a woman, not wasting the time when he bedded common whores, and she was sweet and tangy and absolutely delicious. Her little pussy was intoxicating, as were the noises falling from her lips as he devoured her. "Look at me, Emma. I want you to watch me make you come. That's a good girl. Come for me."

His growled command was enough to do her in, and she shattered around his fingers, calling out his name, his real name, over and over. She felt like she was floating, needing a moment to recover as she heard him pull off his vest and shirt, then drop his leather trousers and step out if his boots.

"Shift over, lass." he urged, guiding her to the center of the bed as he kissed up her leg and across her belly. He paused at her chest, laving his tongue over her nipples, nipping and sucking until she tangled her hands in his hair, nails raking over his scalp. "Gods, you don't know how much I want you," he whispered in her ear as he positioned himself between her legs. She was panting and arching under him, hips undulating as she rubbed herself on his cock. "Princess," he warned. "You need to stop that, or I won't be able to control myself, and I don't want to hurt you."

She knew this was the point of no return and she should tell him to stop; she shouldn't want this. He was a pirate. She'd be ruined, disgraced, if she let him have his wicked way with her, but what was she saving herself for? Her betrothed had abandoned her to this, knew what would happen if he failed her and had done so anyway. Here was a man who quite obviously wanted her. He could make her lose herself in pure pleasure, let her forget everything that had happened. She teased him again, sliding her entrance over his hard shaft, humming quietly when he rubbed over her already sensitive clit, his low groan encouraging her.

His cock was slick with her desire; he could hardly believe she was so wet for him. Whatever her reservations the previous night, her body was definitely ready for him now. He felt his resistance cracking, a primal urge to simply climb on top and fuck her until he found release building but needing her to acknowledge how much she wanted him back.

"You want me," he purred.

"You're awfully sure of yourself," she replied, her voice breathy.

"Emma, you're so wet. You're practically writhing with need." His hand slipped between them, thumb circling her clit as he worked three fingers into her, curling them to make her cry out. She began to fuck herself on his hand, his fingers roughly stretching her, a whimper escaping her lips as the pain subsided and pleasure took over, her legs spreading further to give him more access. "Gods, look at you, so wanton and ready. Just say it. Say you want me." He commanded.

"I... I can't," she bit out between gasps, wanting him, but unable to find a way to say the words.

He clenched his teeth, holding back his frustration. "Don't do that. You told me to take you, and I will, but I don't want to force you, sweetheart. Just tell me you want it." His fingers stroked her closer and closer, her hips bucking gently as she began to clench around them. "Gods, love, you're so close- I can feel it. You don't have to tell me to fuck you. Just tell me you want this, and it's all the permission I'll need."

Her resolve cracked a bit at the desperate look on his face. Why couldn't she just give herself to him? He had waited for her, hadn't forced her last night, and she certainly wanted him. She averted her eyes, ashamed of her desire, but ready to be honest. "You said... You said you'd make me feel good."

"I will, love," he said, hook turning her face to meet his. "Tell me."

"I do want you. Gods help me, I feel like I need you," she whispered, voice barely audible over the gentle creaking of the ship.

He smiled wickedly as he kissed the corners of her mouth. "Ahh, now was it so hard to admit that you want to be utterly ravished by Captain Hook, princess? Are you ready for me to stop asking and take you? "

Her watery eyes met his as she nodded, pulling him down for a kiss.

He growled, pulling her close, kissing her hard. "Trust me, I'll take care of you. Just hold on to me and relax." He continued to tease her clit as he pulled his fingers out, lining his cock up with her shaking under him as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She began to whine, her orgasm almost there, and just as she began to crash over the edge, he worked the head of his cock inside her, timing it with firm swipes of his thumb over her clit. He watched her come for him, thinking he'd never seen a more beautiful sight as the waves of euphoria pulsed through her, and for a moment he feared he'd come undone right then, before he even had a chance to fully enter her. She was so hot and tight. He'd never felt anything like it, and he was barely inside her. As she squeezed him, he kissed her, feeling her melt into his embrace. "Look down, love," he whispered tenderly, peppering her skin with gentle kisses. He saw her eyes go wide as she took in how big he was. "The tip of my cock's finally inside you. I'm going to put the rest of it into you, and I want you to watch me disappear inside your sweet little cunny."

He pushed forward ever so slowly, letting her stretch around him as he savored the feeling of claiming her, then began to push deeper and deeper, pumping in and out in slow, controlled movements. "Oh gods, Emma " he groaned. "You're so tight. So bloody tight. Fuck, you feel so good." He wiped away a tear as it leaked from the corner of her eyes, searching her face for signs he was hurting her.

"Its ok," she shuddered around him, biting her lip as her eyes remained locked on where their bodies were joined. "It doesn't really hurt. It's just... You're so big."

He flashed her a devilish smile, questioning, "Are you worried? That I'm too big for you? Too hard?" as he slid in further, punctuating each question with a thrust that stole a cry from her kiss-bruised lips. He paused, forcing himself to calm down before he lost all control and slammed the rest of his cock into her all at once. He pinned her arms above her head, kissing her neck as he began sheathing more of himself inside her with each thrust. "Gods, you feel bloody amazing wrapped around me already. So perfect."

She started to push back against him, her arms straining against the hook that held her wrists above her head. "Oh, gods, I think it's too much." He felt huge, the intrusion bordering on pain as he finally bottomed out, a low moan of pleasure rumbling through his chest. "Please, Hook, Killian, I don't know if I can take it!"

"Oh, you can take all of it, I'm certain," he growled, rotating his hips once before stilling. "Look down, darling. I'm so deep inside you right now." This was paradise, he was sure of it. He'd been with countless women, but none who looked or felt like her. "Gods, Emma," he groaned, "your cunt is so hot and wet and stretched around my cock, and I'm going to make you come around every last inch."

She arched up, wrapping her legs around his hips, desperate for him to take away the burn of him filling her. "Please, make me come again."

Hook was all too happy to grant her request. He began thrusting in earnest, at different angles, trying to find the one that hit her just right each time and smirking when he heard her cry out in pleasure and throw her head back. He released her hands and pulled her legs onto his shoulders, feeling her tilt her hips to meet his thrusts and take him even deeper as he brought her closer and closer. Nails raking his back, she began to cry out his name over and over, begging him for more. She was wrapped around him so tight, and taking him all the way to the hilt, and he really wanted to make her come before he lost it himself. "Tell me, Emma. Tell me how my cock feels inside you."

"Yes, yes, oh gods, so good, just like that!" She begged, nearly overwhelmed by the sensations. He was hitting a spot somewhere deep inside her that was making her practically see stars. All thoughts of right or wrong, all remnants of pain, all hesitation disappeared as she gave herself fully to the ecstasy, her release hitting her hard, tearing a scream from her as pleasure unlike anything she'd ever known coursed through her in waves.

Her walls clamped down on him, and any restraint he had snapped as he surged forward twice, emptying himself inside her with a long moan. Her body milked him dry, her spasming walls drawing out his pleasure as she arched and moaned beneath him. He looked down, drinking in the glorious sight of his princess coming undone around him. His princess, he thought with a smile as he freed her legs from his shoulders.

She lazily ran her foot over his calf, humming appreciatively when he kissed up her neck and across her jawline, mouth closing over hers in a slow, sensual kiss. She had never dreamed that being with a man could feel this incredible. He swallowed the small moan that crept through her lips, hips still pressed against her most imtinate place, and she was about to try to slip out from under him when she felt a stirring she hadn't expected; his cock was still deep inside her, and he was already getting hard again. She sucked in a surprised breath, feeling him chuckle against her lips. "Oh, princess, did you really think I'd have you but once tonight? You're finally mine, and now that I know the heaven that lies between your legs, I plan on enjoying you as often as possible." He punctuated the statement with a thrust of his hips, his now-firm length sliding deep and stealing her breath. "But, since I don't want to hurt you..." He trailed off, wrapping his arms around her and shifting their position so she was sitting astride him, "Let's put you on top."

She looked uncertain for a moment, until he playfully smacked her ass, his mischievous grin earning a look of shock from her that quickly morphed into something bordering on feral. "Go on, darling. This way you can control the pace and I can watch you ride me."

She arched her back, intentionally giving him an incomparable view, and slipped just the tip of his cock into her, waiting for the burn to subside as he stroked her thigh. Taking a deep breath, she sank all the way down on him as he settled his hand and hook on her hips. She rose up again, then slid back down and he pulled her hips back and forth a bit. "Find that spot, lass. The one that felt so good."

After a few tentative movements, she eventually found a way to move that had them both moaning. He kept talking, telling her how gorgeous she looked on top of him, how good she felt around him, how much he'd wanted her all week. He reached his hand between their bodies, rubbing circles into her clit as she trembled around him, her climax hitting her hard when she finally fell apart and dragging him over the edge with her. They dozed for an hour or so, basking in the post-coital glow with his arm wrapped around her tenderly, before he rolled her onto her back again, taking her slowly and more gently once more before sleep finally claimed her.

He lay awake afterwards, enjoying the feel of her curled into his side, legs tangled with his as her soft cheek rubbed against his chest. He was tempted to wake her and fuck her again, but he didn't want to wear the poor girl out. She'd felt better than he could have hoped, even though she was inexperienced, and he could only imagine how good they'd be together once they were able to fuck properly, after he no longer had to worry about their couplings causing her pain and could take her without constantly having to restrain himself. Her body had been surprisingly responsive, and he suspected that she enjoyed it more than she would probably admit.

Gazing down at her, he wondered why he was so entranced by the woman in his arms. Yes, she was gorgeous, but there were plenty of beautiful women out there who'd happily spend a night in his bed. The reality that she was also a princess, pure and normally untouchable except for those of equally noble birth, made her a rare conquest, but even he could admit that it was more than her looks or her title. He'd never known a princesses who was so much more: bold, brilliant, passionate, stubborn... even a little violent on occasion. Given everything she'd already endured, she was a tough lass, to be sure. Take away the royal title and give her a few months at sea, and she'd make a hell of a pirate.

The idea of keeping her aboard was strangely appealing. She would certainly be a pleasant distraction, and he couldn't imagine he'd tire of her quickly. Then again, he hadn't even considered keeping a woman aboard since Milah, and he wasn't sure he wanted to think too hard about that. After all, the princess was just someone to pass the time with, a pretty face and welcoming cunt to enjoy. His black heart was too corrupted for it to ever be anything more.

At least, that was what he was going to tell himself... even if he worried it wasn't completely true.

Chapter Text

XII.

Emma woke before dawn, slowly easing into awareness as the hazy morning light filtered in through the window. Her body jumped as she suddenly jolted awake, mind snapping into awareness as she remembered the previous night's activities. The pirate was still curled behind her, wrapping her in his embrace as he held her naked body to his own. Not wanting to wake him just yet, she tried to lay still, forcing herself to take deep steady breaths as she evaluated her situation.

She'd given her maidenhead to Captain Hook, and she'd actually enjoyed it.

She could feel the blush creeping across her cheeks at the memory. It hadn't even been only once; he'd taken her three times, and brought her to ecstasy with each coupling. It had been far better, physically, than she could have hoped. Although he certainly didn't love her, he'd been surprisingly gentle and affectionate with her, and she hoped it was an indication of how he planned to treat her while she was his captive.

He said she'd be staying for some time, and she wondered what he meant by that. If she was held for only a few weeks, rumors of her deflowering at his hands could probably be suppressed, and she could go back to her life with little more than a dramatic tale to tell the ladies over tea.

Still, a part of her didn't want to go back so quickly. She'd wanted adventure. When playing in the gardens as a child, she'd always imagined herself as the one fighting the dragon, rather than the typical damsel in distress. This life of constant excitement could be one she'd embrace, if only she were a commoner, and he were her partner rather than her captor... She shook away the thoughts; they were irrelevant. She was a princess, he was a pirate, and their little tryst meant nothing to him. She was his mistress, and one day she'd be free to return home. He may be able to treat her kindly at times, but she was nothing more than a warm body, and now that she'd given herself to him, he'd only expect more.

It would be easier to try to delude herself into pretending he was simply her lover, but the circumstances of their arrangement were impossible for her to ignore, especially given the fact that she was used to being in a position of authority. Though she enjoyed his attention and the absolutely sinful things he could do between her legs, she loathed the idea of being powerless. If he thought she'd be meek and accommodating, he'd picked the wrong princess.

It thrilled her a little to think that he might actually like that about her.

She carefully turned, lying so she was facing him. His face looked softer, younger and more peaceful in his sleep. She traced her fingers over his perfectly stubbled jaw and ran them through his hair, noticing how he instinctively leaned into her touch. She wondered what kind of man he'd once been, before he'd lost Liam and then, later, Milah.

She spun around again and slowly reached her hand down between her still-naked thighs, touching herself to see how much he'd injured her, and was surprised to find that she was indeed a bit uncomfortable, but far less so than expected.

"You alright?"

She felt herself jump in surprise as his voice breached the silence; she hadn't realized he was awake, and wondered how aware he'd been the last few minutes.

"Yes, fine," she quickly responded, pulling her hand back.

"I didn't intend to damage you, love. Did I?" He whispered in her ear, voice gravelly and tired.

"No, not really. I'm just a bit sore. I'm sorry if I woke you. "

He nuzzled into her neck, arm pulling her closer to his chest as he tangled his legs with hers. "It's early, and I kept you up late. Go back to sleep." He planted a kiss on her shoulder, hand trailing down her body. "Unless you're interested in other, more enjoyable activities."

She shook her head, pulling away from him ever so slightly. Though she wasn't in pain, she might be if he repeated the prior night's actions so soon, and she didn't want a bad experience to ruin sex for her, especially considering how amazing it has felt last night. He chuckled slightly in response, brushing her hair away from her neck so he could kiss it gently, his hand settling back around her waist. "I was joking, darling. Relax."

He fell back asleep almost immediately, but thanks to his wandering hand, Emma's dreams were little more than a recreation of the night before, images of his face between her thighs, or his toned body spread out under her as she looked down him flashing though her head, arousing unwanted desires and unexpected feelings. She was awakened a few vivid hours later by the sound of Hook bustling around the room, beginning to dress for the day. She took a moment to admire him before speaking, no longer afraid to openly stare. Gods, he was just as handsome in the bright morning light. Something in her protested his absence; she didn't like the idea of him leaving just yet. The bed felt empty without him in it, and although her mind was still processing all that had happened over the last few days, she still felt safer and more content with his body next to hers. "Where are you going?"

"They'll start unloading the ship soon. I should be on deck when they do it, but you can stay here. It's a long, boring process." He watched her try to suppress a yawn, smiling when she failed miserably. "And I obviously exhausted you last night."

She reached for him, catching his hook and drawing him closer as she looked at him with earnest eyes. "Come back to bed. Just for a minute?"

He smirked slightly at her request, amusement clear in his expression as he gloated, but slipped intro the bed beside her, whispering, "If the lady insists." Letting Emma pillow her head on his shoulder and tuck herself into his side, he ran his fingers over her back until she drifted off. He knew he should deny her these familiar moments, but he grudgingly admitted to himself that he wanted them too. It had been far too long since someone had truly enjoyed simply being in his arms, or since he'd allowed himself to hold a woman.


 An hour later, Hook emerged to find that his absence was less of a problem than he'd expected. The ship remained mostly empty; only a few crew members were on board this morning, and nearly all of them had duties they were attending. Smee was directing some dock workers as they unloaded the cargo; Starkey and Ed were engaging in a discussion about replacing those who'd decided to stay in Port Jefferson.

The majority of the crew would be back the next morning, and with them a whole new set of challenges. Some of them had sailed under him when Milah had been around, but the newer men might not be able to accept a woman sailing with them that was his and his alone. He considered hiring a whore to stay onboard and satisfy the rest of the crew's urges, but seeing as how he didn't know when they'd be returning, it might be a tough sell. Still, buying the men a companion while they were in port might help them accept Emma's presence, and a talkative girl could help carry word of how the princess had been thoroughly fucked by Captain Hook to the right ears.

He wasn't sure how Emma was going to handle any of this, but she'd have to adapt. He'd need to make it clear that she was his in front of the men, both for her safety and to make sure his reputation remained intact. Even Milah, vivacious and lovely as she was, hadn't been such a temptation; a virginal royal with Emma's rare beauty might be enough to drive any man to risk his captain's wrath. After a month at sea, the sight of the princess in a low-cut dress might incite a mutiny if he wasn't careful, and that situation would be disastrous for her as well as him. He'd discuss the situation with Starkey and Ed, the quartermaster, but in the end he was the captain and most of the men knew better than to question him.

"Cap'n!" Smee yelled, "Where's that little blonde of yours?"

"In my bed, of course," he yelled back with a wink as he walked towards the first mate and quartermaster.

"I've decided I'm keeping her for a while."

Starkey shook his head. "You can't just decide to keep her. She's not a stray dog, sir."

Ed laughed, "Most certainly not."

Hook shrugged, "Though it boggles the mind, apparently her prince doesn't want her, and she seems more than happy to share my bed. What else am I to do with her?"

Ed sighed dramatically. "You're bringing a woman like that along with us? Gods, you must hate me. Your crew is hard enough to deal with at times as it is, without that kind of temptation frolicking about."

He rolled his eyes, glaring at the two. "Aye, Ed, I live to torment you. In truth, though, how much of a problem will it be?"

Starkey quickly answered, "With the older men, none at all."

"Agreed," Ed nodded. "We've sailed with a woman before. No worries, Cap'n. We'll get by." He walked off to talk to Smee, leaving Hook alone with his first mate.

"You haven't taken a woman with you once in the past 8 years."

"Aye, and?" He challenged. Starkey was a man he trusted thoroughly, but sometimes the old sailor could be a pain in his arse.

"Emma's a beautiful girl, and I hope you realize that the men won't think of her the way they thought of Milah."

"And why exactly is that?" Hook asked, though he knew where this was going.

"You loved her. Emma's just a ..."

"Dalliance?"

"I was going to say conquest, but either way, the crew will expect you to tire of her soon and drop her somewhere. And if that's the case, some of them'll want a piece before she goes." He looked at Hook thoughtfully, his brown eyes serious. "Don't let that happen to her, sir."

He raised his brows, "You think I'll soon tire of her? Not bloody likely! You've met the girl. I needn't love her to recognize her many charms and enjoy her, and I have no intention of letting any other have her."

"Well, you certainly seemed to enjoy her last night." Starkey paused when the captain's eyes narrowed. "I've not said a word to anyone else, but it's common knowledge that I generally sleep on board, even in port." Hook nodded, admitting that was true. "She gave herself to you quite willingly, it seems?"

"Practically fucked me right in a tavern, gave her virginity to me, and let me take her twice more after. I'd call that more than willing." He couldn't help but boast a little, still thrilled at how much she'd wanted him.

"Make sure they know she's yours, by choice, and they're less likely to think of her as merely your whore."

"She's agreed to be my mistress, and I plan to make a show her choosing to be mine, so tell no one of last night. I'm still the captain. Any man who can't sail with me while I keep a woman on board can find himself another ship." He turned and strode to Smee, turning his gaze to his cargo and his thoughts quietly to the princess. There was no question that her presence would make life aboard the ship infinitely more complicated, but he couldn't bring himself to care. The crew would fall in line, as they always did, or face his wrath. She was the first woman who'd fascinated him in nearly a decade, and he wasn't letting her go.

Chapter Text

XIII.

The cargo was nearly unloaded, the process going smoothly as usual, when Hook's attention was suddenly drawn to Mr. Smee, who had dropped a crate of ballgowns on the deck and was staring open-mouthed over Hook's shoulder. Looking around, he realized the whole ship had stopped their work, the silence broken only by Ed's grumpy, "Oh for fuck's sake!" Turning around, he saw Emma peeking out the door to the cabins, wearing only his shirt, her long bare legs and cleavage fully on display.

He shook his head, laughing slightly to himself as he walked past Ed and murmured, "I'll talk to her, mate." Escorting her to the cabin, he rubbed his temples as he realized that Ed might have a point: she was probably going to be trouble. Closing the door, he spun her against it, caging her in with his arms."You're a bloody temptress! As much as I love the way you look in nothing but my shirt, you can't walk around the ship like that."

"I would have worn my dress, but someone ripped the laces," she responded cooly, a smirk on her lips.

"And what of the dozen other garments I purchased for you yesterday?"

"How am I supposed to know where they are? It was your shirt or nothing. I figured the shirt was better." She smiled teasingly, and he couldn't help but smile right back.

"Oh, I don't know about that," he mused, "But I do agree that waltzing around my ship naked is probably a bad idea."

She snickered a bit, rolling her eyes at him as she ducked under his arm and handed him a sheet of paper. "So, seriously, I wanted to ask you something. Could you send this letter to my parents? You know, let them know their daughter isn't dead. I'm sure they're worried."

He glared at her. "If you're hoping to get out our agreement..."

"No, no, nothing like that, I swear, but gods only know what they've been told. They're probably panicked..."

"They're royalty," he sneered, tossing the paper on his desk.

"So am I, and they really are good people. They weren't always monarchs, you know. My mother spent years as a bandit on the run, and my father was a simple shepherd long before he was a prince."

His slightly surprised expression made it obvious that he'd heard of "Snow White and her charming Prince David" but knew few of the details. It did explain a lot about Emma, and her less-than-royal demeanor at times.

"Fine. I need to start discussing your ransom anyway, now that I've taken you." He advanced on her suddenly, ignoring the odd flash of -disappointment maybe?- in her eyes as he backed her towards the bed. "And speaking of our arrangement, how are you feeling at the moment?"

"Wait, seriously? Already?"

"That was our deal. You certainly seemed enthusiastic last night."

A blush rose to her cheeks as she remembered how good he'd felt inside her, but something about his predatory attitude made her nervous. He reached under the shirt, hand sliding between her thighs, and she sharply drew in a breath, dropping her eyes. "Not interested? You certainly feel interested. Always so wet for me." He lifted his hook to her chin, pulling her to look up at him. "Don't try to deny it. You loved the way my cock felt last night, didn't you?" Her blush deepened, answering the question before she spoke a word, and he smiled triumphantly as he turned to grab his coat. "Perhaps later I'll remind you just how good it feels."

"Wh- where are you off to?" she asked, arousal still coloring her voice.

"You needn't come with me, love. I'm merely attending to a few minor errands."

"Of course I'm coming. Why would I want to just stay here?" He was more than happy to show her off again, and retrieved her new garments from the hold, watching her don a fitted black dress and lacing it for her when she struggled. "I never realized that I'm not used to dressing myself," she sheepishly admitted as she fixed her hair and he sat down at his desk to read the letter she'd written while he waited.

Mom and Dad,

I'm sorry I couldn't write sooner. I can't imagine what you've heard or how worried you must be. As you may know, Prince Neal betrayed my trust when my ship ran into trouble. Despite that, I assure you that I am doing fine and being treated well. I will write again when I can. Try not to worry too much (you know we always find each other eventually) and give Leo a kiss for me.

Love, always,

Emma

Staring at the beauty plaiting her golden tresses in front of him, he took out a second piece of parchment and began to compose his note regarding payment, but stopped. Why give her back when he was perfectly happy with her remaining just where she was: with him? She was certainly full of pleasant surprises. Considering his options, he decided he'd send her letter, and wait until he was done with her to request some sort of exchange. Pleased with his solution, he smiled to himself as he sealed her letter with a bit of wax and added one more errand to the list.


"Still here, I see? When do you ship out?" An enthusiastic Jefferson greeted them as they entered.

"The day after tomorrow most likely. Need to pick up a new surgeon, master carpenter, and a few more crewmen before we leave."

"And..." He nodded at Emma, "is she going with you too?"

"Ah, yes. Jeff, this is my lovely... companion, Emma."

"Pleased to meet you, your highness," he greeted her with a flourish of a bow. She froze, unsure what to do as the two men laughed.

"I was wondering if you'd heard," Hook chuckled with a shake of his head.

"It is my job to know what's going on in my town. Especially when it involves a princess." He turned to Emma, smiling. "Of course, I also know how important it is to keep this sort of information quiet, so don't think I'll be telling anyone I saw you. These streets would be empty in a week if I couldn't be trusted with clandestine information. Still, she's quite the catch. No wonder you're in such a good mood, Killian."

Shrugging, Hook handed over the letter. "Yeah, well, considering I'm sending this to her family, I need to enjoy her while I can, right?" He saw no need to let her know about his decision regarding ransoming her.

"Indeed. I'll get this to her kingdom. Safe travels, and don't be such a stranger, ok?"


After brief stop at a cart selling pasties, then the grocer's, he began leading Emma towards the red light district of town, stopping at an opulent building labelled "The Amorous Heiress." He gave her a sideways glance, then guided her through the door and into the bustling sitting room of the town's finest brothel. She stiffened beside him, mouth agape as she watched men being serviced right out in the open. "Just stay with me and you'll be fine," he whispered to her, pulling her against him as she attracted several impressed glances.

They found a few of the men, including Mr. Smee, drinking in a corner, gambling at some game involving dice. Pulling Emma to sit in his lap, he motioned for the bosun to approach and slipped Smee a small purse of coins, whispering instructions that clearly made the stout man happy. She watched him return to their game, a pretty brunette plopping into his lap as they continued their game.

"Don't you want to sit with your crew?" She asked, confused, as Hook ordered them two cups of wine.

"Not until I've properly introduced you. Some of them would recognize you from when we took your ship," he explained, deciding to leave out exactly what her state had been when he found her, "but most would not, and they need to understand that you are off-limits from the get-go." He paused for a sip of wine, debating whether to continue. "I gather you've experienced little in the ways of men outside court, so let me explain. A man sees a woman like you, and he thinks of but one thing. I need my crew to know from the moment they clap eyes on you that they will never have you. That you belong to me."

She eyed him suspiciously. "Ok, so what exactly does that mean?"

"Tell me something: how would you have proved your marriage was consummated?"

She eyed him warily. "Um, well, traditionally, a few people stay and," she rolled her eyes, "listen or, occasionally, watch. And, of course, the servants check for bloody sheets and other evidence in the morning." Huffing when he raised his brows in disbelief, she continued. "Royal weddings are matters of immense importance. There's too much at stake to assume all went as planned. If there isn't proof, the marriage can be annulled, treaties and alliances can be broken."

"I'm sure I'll take you on the deck eventually, but I won't tempt them like that just yet." He ignored her slightly horrified expression. "Normally bloody sheets should do it, but perhaps I'll have them listen as well. You do make the most delightful noises in bed," he said with a wink.

"Absolutely not!"

"Firstly, you do realize that on a ship and they'll clearly hear you every time you scream my name, right? And what do you think will happen if I don't keep order on my ship when we're miles out to sea? Do you really want a ship full of desperate, lustful men having you in every possible way, without the smallest concern for you or your pleasure? Tied to a bed or bent over a crate, three of them inside you at once?" He watched her put together the logistics of that, terror flashing in her eyes.

"Oh gods."

"I've shared many a woman with my crew, Emma, but I refuse to let that happen to you. They need to understand that you are my mistress, not just my whore."

The moment was interrupted when an elegant older woman with thick black hair and amused grey eyes drifted over. "Captain! Your men have been making good use of our hospitality. Would you and your enchanting friend like a girl for the night?"

He couldn't help the smirk that settled on his lips as he briefly imagined watching a girl explore Emma's body, the two supple forms tangled intimately as he sank into her. "Very tempting offer- you know me all too well. But I'm perfectly content with this lovely lass."

"Thank you," Emma whispered as the matron left with a knowing smile on her lips. "I wasn't sure what you'd say, after this afternoon." She'd thought she knew what to expect from Captain Hook, but he continuously surprised her, showing her glimpses of the man behind the moniker. She had to remind herself that whatever this odd arrangement between them was, it was purely physical, but sometimes, the way he looked at her, it felt like it could become so much more.

"I'm a man of my word, princess. You're holding up your end of the bargain, so likewise I shall hold up mine. Unless you're disappointed, in which case I'm sure I could call Ms. Josephine back."

She rolled her eyes as she polished off her wine and followed him out of the brothel. "Just when I think you're not a complete asshole."

"Come now, darling. I prefer dashing rapscallion." He paused, reconsidering his choice of words. "Scoundrel?" She shook her head, but he caught the slightest smile on her lips.


He stripped off his clothes once they were in the privacy of his cabin and helped to unlace her dress before pulling it off and stepping close to her, pressing her against his body so she could feel just what he wanted now that he had her alone again. She could feel the heat coming off of him, his body close enough for her to smell the spicy scent that always seemed to cling to his skin. Pushing away the reminder of her ransom, and ignoring the twisting in her gut that accompanied the thought of going back to her tedious old life, she let her desire for him race through her veins, igniting a fire for him in her belly. "Well, I am a little sore still, but maybe you could make me feel better? I seem to recall a promise involving hours was made." She had to work hard to contain her excitement, feeling truly seductive for perhaps the second time in her life. Laying back on the bed, she spread her legs and raised a brow while his jaw dropped.

He never knew what to expect with Emma, but he obviously hadn't been expecting that. When she'd asked to write to her parents earlier in the day, he assumed she wanted away from him, but her strange disappointment at the mention of her ransom and her bold request seemed to indicate just the opposite, and he honestly wasn't sure what to do with that information.

He did know what to do with her, however. Moving swiftly, he buried his face between her creamy thighs, her girlish giggle making his heart skip a beat with how playful and delighted she sounded. Not liking the emotions such a noise inspired (his heart stuttering again as he remembered her snuggling into his arms) he quickly turned those giggles into screams as he worked his mouth over her, reveling in the sound of her crying out as he began furiously devouring her. He lapped insistently, curling his tongue as he flicked it over her clit, her legs jumping and twitching on his shoulders. "Mmmmm that's a good girl. You like my mouth on you, don't you?" He fucked her with his tongue, rubbing her clit with his thumb, then moved to suck the sensitive bundle between his lips, causing her to crash over the edge in mere minutes. He didn't let up, teasing, licking, sucking as wave after wave of pleasure made her back bow off the bed and pleas fall from her lips, though he couldn't tell if she was begging for him to stop or to never stop.

Two more orgasms later, he realized he was thrusting against the bed, and decided to relieve some of the pressure, stroking himself while he knelt above her. He watched her glazed eyes fix on his cock, her tongue darting out to lick her lips as she whimpered, "Oh gods. Why are you stopping?"

"You weren't really expecting me to go without, were you?" He began to shuffle closer, ready to sink into her dripping cunt. She began to spread her legs, but stopped suddenly, pulling back when he glared at her.

"No, wait. Can I...can I use my mouth instead?"

His brows shot up again, and she felt a surge of pride knowing she could catch him off guard. He lay down, urging her to face away from him and crawl down his body to wrap her mouth around his cock while he laid on his back and continued to tease her with his own lips and tongue. Her moans of pleasure seemed to spur him on, and she found herself craving the salty taste of his release, despite any previous claims to the contrary. Gods, his cock was so hard, and his hips were moving in time with her mouth, challenging her to take him deeper. She wished in that moment that she were less sore, her body craving his length deep inside her with a ferocity she'd never expected. She must have gotten even wetter, because she heard him groan a gruff, "Fuck, love, you don't know what it does to me knowing how much you like sucking my cock," against her thigh. "Perhaps I'll just keep going until you pass out?"

She moaned around him in response, pushing her hips closer to his face. His chuckles sent a shiver up her spine. Gods, he was good at this. "Oh, not just yet. Take it deep again, princess, and let me fill your belly first." She opened her throat, letting him slide in until her chin rested against his skin. With a deep groan, he began to move his pelvis faster, adding his fingers and slipping them into her in time with his thrusts. Her frantic humming around his cock as she rutted back onto his fingers made him come, and she swallowed around him as he focused back on her, doubling his efforts as she came for him again.

Two hours later, with a slightly sore jaw and a very satisfied princess dozing happily in his bed, he considered climbing on top of her and fucking her -gods knew she was so wet that it wouldn't hurt her- but he decided to forego another nightly romp just this once when she settled with her cheek against his chest, letting the tickle of his hand running up and down her spine lull her into a deeper sleep. It wasn't as if she was going anywhere anytime soon.

Chapter Text

XIV.

She woke early to the slightest feeling of cramping in her belly, and reached down to discover her monthly time had arrived.

"Hook," she whispered quietly. "Captain, wake up."

"What is it, love? Still having pain?" He mumbled, burying his head in the pillow.

"No, that's fine, but I'm bleeding. Only a little, but it's started."

He hummed in acknowledgement. "Good. I'll let Starkey and Ed know to round the crew up after we wake. Now come back to bed. You'll be needing your strength."

She slipped in beside him, letting him pull her close as he nuzzled into her neck.

"You're going to fuck me while ...really ?"

"Emma, a pirate who's deterred by a little blood is no pirate at all. Doesn't bother me in the least. Besides, what better way to make them think I'm fucking you for the first time than to stain the sheets with your blood?"

He had a point, she conceded. "Oh. Hmmm. I guess that does make sense. You're cleverer than you look."

"You'll pay for that," he grumbled in response, drifting back to sleep as she stared at the ceiling.


"Here," he handed her the tiara she'd kept from her belongings. "Wear this. It'll help me make my point. Remember, I need the crew to know that you're someone special, mine and mine alone."

He expected her to argue, but instead she bit her lip and, after a pause, began clean herself up and dress while he busied himself with spreading a stark white sheet on the bed. When he turned to look at her, his mouth dropped open. She wore a cream silk underdress he'd bought at the dressmaker's shop, deep neckline tied with a thin ribbon that just begged to be pulled open with his hook. The fabric was just opaque enough to hide the details of her shapely figure, but offered tempting hints of her treasures beneath. Her tiara was perched atop her golden hair, which fell in waves over her shoulders. She looked every bit the princess of his most filthy fantasies.

"Gods, Emna," he whispered, shaking himself back into reality. "you look positively breathtaking." He toyed with one of her curls, then ran his hand over her breast, watching her nipple pebble in response to his touch through the thin fabric. "I feel it's only fair to give you a warning: You may feel the need to scream. This time, I shan't be gentle. I need them to think I've made you bleed." He felt a touch of guilt when he noticed she was hesitating.

"Once I do this, there's no going back to my old life like nothing happened. Everyone will know."

"Aye. Of course, not every man cares if he's your first."

She scoffed. "Most noblemen don't want a pirate's former whore."

He looked at her thoughtfully, before responding, "Then you'd just have to stop worrying about suitors after your title and marry for love. There are far worse things, you know."

She smiled softly at him, still visibly nervous but far less distressed, much to his surprising relief. "At least I'm less likely to end up with another ponce of a prince," she joked, letting him take her hand.

The midday sun was bright as he led her on deck, which was, much to her horror, absolutely crowded with men. His arm was looped possessively around her waist as he guided her to the center of the group. "Ok, boys, I'm sure most of you remember our beautiful Swan Princess, Emma." A few whistles sounded their agreement, and she could feel their lecherous gazes drinking in the sight of her in just a silky chemis. "I had thought to trade her in for a reward, but it seems she has other ideas. No doubt won over my my devilishly handsome face and charm, Emma has agreed to warm my bed. Given how badly we've been fucked over by royalty, I think it's past time I fucked a princess. What do you think?"

A raucous cheer went up as the crowd's hungry eyes devoured her. She shot Hook a pleading look, but thought better of fighting when his blue eyes silently warned her to play her part. He had to claim her in order for her to remain safe, and there was no better way to do it.

"Alright men, settle down. It's been a while since I've taken a woman on the ship, but I'm sure you all remember the rules. Emma here is mine. You can look at her, talk to her, you can even stroke yourself thinking about her for all I care. But you lay a hand on her, I take the hand. You touch her with anything else..." He trailed off meaningfully.

"But this is a night for celebration, and just because you're not getting a turn with my princess doesn't mean you'll go without. Come on out, darling." The whore Smee had selected stepped out of the cabins. She was slender and blonde, fairly young and quite beautiful, obviously a woman who would cost more than most. "Excellent job, Mr. Smee. This lovely creature has been paid for, and is yours to enjoy for the night. She's assured me that she can handle the lot of you, so don't feel obligated to hold back. Officers will follow me and stay by the door until I'm inside the princess, and then you can join in the festivities on deck."

He guided her towards his cabin, followed by Starkey, Smee, Ed, and the ship's newly acquired surgeon, a slight man with a cheeky grin named Victor. They peered in from the doorway, surrounded by much of the crew who apparently wanted to witness her bedding. She was practically shaking with nervousness, but Hook's hand on her lower back steadied her as she climbed onto the mattress.

"Go on. Bend over, hands and knees, lass." He urged. She gave him a nervous glance before complying, closing her eyes. She could hear the pirates' murmured comments all around her. A few low words of appreciation sounded, but otherwise the group was eerily silent, drinking in the sight of her bent over and vulnerable. She swallowed hard as he nuzzled her neck, whispering in her ear, "trust me, love, I won't let them hurt you." Palming her breast through the silk, he dragged his hand over her waist as he bunched up her nightdress so he could reach down to ready her without exposing her, rubbing at her clit until she moaned quietly before spreading her arousal to ease his entry.

"Fuck. So wet, princess. You really do want this, don't you?" He announced as she shivered, moaning quietly. "Alright, you bilge rats, it's time to close the door!" Laughing, they pulled the door shit but remained nearby. "Try to relax," she heard Hook's voice as he positioned himself behind her, the men starting to yell their encouragement through the thick wood.

"Go on! Take her Cap'n!"

"Show this little princess how a real man, -no, a pirate- fucks!"

The comments continued as he leaned over to kiss her shoulder softly and lined himself up, just barely easing the tip in to prevent himself from really damaging her, then grabbed her hips and slammed home, hard and deep. A loud cheer went up from the men as she screamed, head thrown back and tears leaping to her eyes at the burn of him filling her. "Fuck, so bloody tight," he growled between his teeth. He had planned on making a show of things, but found he didn't need to; the position let him go deeper than ever, and he'd been wanting so badly to give it to her just like this. He pulled back and thrust deep again as she cried out, trying to adjust to his massive cock stretching her all at once. She began to try to pull away, but he held her against him, playfully scolding, "Oh, no, you don't." When he drew back again, he saw some blood on his cock and smiled to himself. There was no way they'd know it was from her monthly time. The charade would work. "I'm sorry to tell you, princess, but it's too late. I'm already inside you." He pumped into her again, groaning in satisfaction, "and you feel bloody amazing."

Her eyes were screwed shut, "Please, just give me a moment." She hissed. "Just, hold it still, please." He pushed deep and paused, feeling her body relax around him as her breathing calmed a bit. "Ok, ok, I can take it." She nodded her head, looking back at him with lust in her eyes. "Go ahead. Make me yours."

He wanted to make her come, though he knew there was a good chance that the odd situation would be too unsettling for her to do so. Still, he angled his thrusts to hit her just right, and knew she was deriving as much pleasure as he was when she moved to stick her ass further in the air, dropping her shoulders to the bed and arching her back so he could go even deeper. " Oh, gods, yes. Please. Right there. More. More!" She whimpered, hands clawing the blanket at he pounded into her. Her keening got louder, her screams more desperate as he fucked her hard, holding nothing back.

The cheering outside the room continued, mingling with the sound of skin on skin, Hook's grunts and Emma's continuous cries of pleasure. He flipped her over, hitching her legs over his shoulders and rubbing her clit as he continued to thrust, losing himself in the pleasure of her body; he wanted to tell her how much it meant to him that she was actually fucking him back, but settled for kissing her deeply, groaning when her walls began to flutter around him and her nails scratched over his scalp. "Gods, Emma, you feel incredible. So hot and wet. I fucking love your cunt."

Reaching down, she grabbed his firm ass with one hand, pulling him deeper. "Don't stop, please. I'm so close."

Wanting to push her over the edge, he nipped at her neck, pulling the skin between his teeth as her whole body went rigid and she literally screamed his name. He pumped into her a few more times, coming hard at the feeling of her pulsing around his cock. Pushing as deep as he could go, he filled her with his release, letting her wet heat pull every drop from him. He pulled out, smiling at the blood on his cock and staining the sheet under her.

"Lift up, darling," he urged with a kiss, pulling the bloody sheet out from under her and covering her with a blanket. Still naked, bloody, and semi-hard, he swung open the door to a chorus of cheers, waving the stained sheet like a trophy. "Hang it from the mast so everyone can see, lads! I'm going back to my virgin princess. Well, formerly virgin princess."

As the men left to hang the sheet and satisfy their own needs, Hook closed and locked the door, sighing in relief as he leaned against it. It had gone remarkably well. They knew he'd fucked her, she'd made it clear that she enjoyed every moment, and the men could satisfy themselves with a whore instead of going to bed sexually frustrated. "Gods, Emma. That was quite the performance."

"Shut it. Do you think it worked?"

"Oh, I'm sure of it. Looks like it's a pirate's life for you after all, princess."

"So, now what?"

He chuckled quietly as he crossed the room. "Now the fun begins. Tell me, love: where should we sail next?"

"I'm not sure. What do you usually do?"

He settled back between her legs, nipping at her ear before whispering. "Anything I want."

 

Chapter Text

Hook locked the cabin door behind him as he left his quarters and quietly ascended to the deck. He knew Emma would be livid if she awakened and realized that she'd been confined, but he wanted to assess the state of the crew before allowing her to roam freely. The men were generally milling about, a relaxed atmosphere having settled over the ship now that they had enjoyed a good fuck. He assumed the whore had already left, and some of those who weren't clearly hungover from the previous night's debauchery were still lazily dozing, but all snapped to attention when he appeared. "Rise and shine, ya bilge rats! I want to be setting off by midday, so get a move on!"

They started to attend to the necessary chores, ears perking up when they heard Billy yell, "Can do, Cap, but you gotta tell us how she was!"

"Let's just say that I had a lot of expectations and she exceeded every one."

"Oh, come on, you gotta give us more than that!" Mullins encouraged.

He raised a brow, smirking as enigmatically as possible. He knew the smart thing would be to hold his tongue, but he couldn't resist a little bragging.

"What's to say? You've seen her- she has the body of a goddess, gorgeous on the outside and so tight and perfect on the inside. Her cunt is fucking incredible, so hot and absolutely dripping wet for me."

"Son of a bitch. You know I love ya, Cap, but right now I really hate ya," Billy laughed, shaking his head. "So fucking close..."

Hook nudged Billy's shoulder, then clapped him on the back. "Next port, I'll buy you and Mullins a girl as a 'thank you' for finding her, alright?"

"I'll hold you to that."

"So, where to?" Ed asked as he walked over, unrolling a map.

"Hadn't really thought too hard on it. Any particular requests from the crew?"

"You know them- they'll go anywhere with good food, beautiful women, fine weather and trading ships to plunder. I've heard them talking about the Amari Islands, The Pentelic Coast, Avalon, Florin..."

Hook ran his hand over his jaw, weighing the options. "All good suggestions. Where do trade routes run most this time of year?"

Starkey moved to join them, pointing to some lines drawn on the map.  "I'd say mainly from the south towards this general direction or more west. Of course, none of this takes us anywhere near the Sylvan region, where the princess is from. For that, I'd suggest we head out to these islands immediately and then make our way back east."

He could tell they were watching him as he stared at the parchment, wondering what his plans for the princess really were. "Hmm, at this point we would have to avoid going ashore, which means a month or more at sea. Might be nice to take our time. I'd prefer to ravish my princess for a while, and we should have plenty of plunder and excitement. I see no reason to sail east."

"I'll begin to plot our course immediately, captain," Ed responded. Hook kept meaning to get a navigator, but with Ed's skills, the position seemed redundant. He returned to the cabin, watching in amusement as Emma gingerly moved around the room with a slightly pained gait- a sign of the well-used ache that only came after a night of passionate, rough sex. "You alright there, Princess?"

She glared at his cocky smirk, rolling her eyes. "There is no way in hell I'm letting you anywhere near my... You know tonight."

"It gets better darling, I assure you. And you know I'm quite content with your pretty mouth."

"You're not serious. Again?"

He laughed. "Emma my dear, I took you three times last night alone. Why would you doubt that I'd expect you to satisfy me at least once each day and more than once, after you're accustomed to it. I have no intention of using my hand while you're sharing my bed." Guilt briefly passed through him when he saw her wince slightly as she sat down to slip on her stockings. He'd tried to limit himself, but the nearly bestial sound of his crew having their way with the whore had been his undoing, and he wanted them to hear his pretty princess scream for him again and again. It was competitive and childish, but he was the captain and never wanted to be outdone, whether in the bedroom or on the battlefield.

"I thought you were going to be understanding about all this."

"I have no intention of hurting you, but I do expect you to hold up your end of the bargain."

"Yeah, well, even if I weren't incredibly sore, you try bleeding for 5 days out of every month and we'll see how amorous you feel," she grumbled.

"Actually, I probably do end up bleeding from somewhere at least 5 times per month," he mused. Unexpectedly, she grimaced, and he remembered Milah during her monthly time, how she was always so miserable and in pain, his mood softening slightly.

"Finish getting dressed and come on deck, lass. We're setting off and I want the townsfolk to see you by my side. Then, if you prefer, you can come back to bed. I have some undergarments for you, and some herbs that, I believe, should ease your discomfort." When she looked at him quizzically, he shrugged. "Well, truth be told, they're somewhat old, but they may still be effective."

Wearing a simple blue dress, and thankful for proper underclothes, she met the captain on deck a few minutes later, as requested. He introduced her more formally to his crew, who bowed respectfully despite knowing exactly how she'd spent the previous evening. Smee, Ed, Victor, Mullins, Billy, Auggie, Walsh, Murphy, Turley... She knew she'd need some time to get it all straight, and vowed to acquaint herself with each man.

Producing some sweet buns for her breakfast (still warm, and deliciously gooey,) Hook led her to his post and barked out orders as his crew cast off and the Jolly Roger took to the sea. She'd never spent much time with the sailors on the Swan, but she found the salty air and cool spray invigorating. The ache in her belly had calmed slightly, the herbal tea Hook had given her working a small miracle. She sat on a stool by the helm as he steered and explained the basics of sailing, but by dusk she excused herself, needing a light meal and a nap. He sent Starkey with some bread, hard cheese, and fruit, hoping the food would be appropriate.

When he relinquished the helm a few hours later, they were well out to sea. He had every intention of making her service him in spite of the late hour, but when he came to bed and found her brow furrowed and muscles tense in her sleeping state, he silently climbed in next to her and ran his hands over her back until her forehead smoothed out and her body relaxed. In response, she breathed a quiet sigh against his neck, tucking herself into his chest with her arm coming up to drape across his waist. It was at that moment he decided that, perhaps just this once, he could go to bed unsatisfied.


When she woke in the morning, wrapped in his arms, she was surprised to realize he'd let her sleep. Though the next few days would still be somewhat uncomfortable, her second day was always the worst, and a good night's rest had improved her mood and lessened her discomfort. Not one to repay kindness with anything less than sincere gratitude, Emma quietly disentangled herself and moved between his legs. After gently massaging his balls with delicate fingertips, she wrapped her lips around his cock, teasing and sucking until he was hard and thrusting into her mouth. She smiled up at him when he began to stroke her hair, murmuring her name with such wonder when she opened her throat and took him deep that a strange sort of pride overcame her. She let a little of his seed escape the corner of her lips when he finally erupted in her mouth, then cleaned him off with gentle swipes of her tongue before crawling back beside him and letting sleep overcome her again. When he woke a few hours later, she laughed when he asked if she was sure she'd been a virgin, then kissed her until she was breathless.

She spent the morning by his side again, watching a pod of dolphins play in its wake, as he taught her things like port and starboard, the names of the different sails. Though he maintained his authority, his affection for his crew was obvious by how he joked with them. He looked completely in his element, an easy grin settling on his face as he lovingly stroked the wheel. She felt his eyes dipping more and more to her exposed décolleté, until he finally led her to his cabin around dinner time and he proved how very unafraid of blood he was by rolling her on her back and fucking her almost lazily while kissing and suckling her breasts. The slow pace and deep circular motions of his hips gradually chased away the cramping pain and replaced it with enough pleasure to have her clawing at his back and begging him to pick up the pace. When he grinned devilishly, promising "all good things to those who wait," she considered killing him until he quickly changed his movements and easily made her come undone.

When she tried to silence her cries by clamping her hand over her mouth, he pulled her hands over her head, growling "I bloody love it when you scream my name. Let's try that again, shall we?" Moving with surprising efficiency, he made her come again before he filled her with his sticky release and pulled her into his arms, lips brushing her forehead gently.

If it had felt a bit more like making love than fucking... Neither one was ready to admit it.


Following two fairly calm days at sea, a merchant ship was finally spotted on day three. After insisting Emma go below deck (and practically having to drag her to his cabin when she protested), the crew of the Jolly Roger replaced their flag with one of bright red and unfurled the sails to pick up speed. Emma grabbed a knife from their dinner cutlery, not wanting to be defenseless as she expected a fierce battle, but to her surprise the merchant ship stopped and allowed the pirates aboard.

Hook escorted her above deck and onto the other vessel with a flourish, making their way to the other captain's quarters. They passed the rival crew on their way, all of whom were quietly sitting on the deck. "I don't understand. Why are they just sitting there?"

"The ship surrendered. We'll take whatever items we deem particularly noteworthy, and let them leave."

"But, you killed everyone on the Ivory Swan!"

He leveled her with an impatient gaze. "They didn't surrender. I'd much rather take a ship without a fight. Less risk. But once I'm forced to take the ship by boarding her... Well, there has to be a price for ignoring the flag. If I threaten to give no quarter, best believe I mean it lass."

"But you spared me."

"Aye. You're more valuable alive. For so very many reasons." He winked, striding towards the captain's desk, where he picked up a book, leafing through a few pages before shoving it under his arm.

The ship was carrying mostly fine fabrics, so they loaded up a few bolts to trade and a cask of rum, then sent the ship on its way. It was surprisingly civilized, aside from the stealing part. As it turned out, most vessels surrendered once they realized it was the dreaded Captain Hook and his Jolly Roger chasing them. His bloodthirsty reputation was enough for most savvy captains to decide it was better to lose their cargo than their lives.

Until the sixth day, that was. A large ship carrying spices surrendered quickly, and business continued as usual. In addition to the crew, there were a few passengers who'd paid for transportation from the southern islands, mostly poorer folk who had little of value and were therefore ignored.

As the crew searched the cargo, shrill scream suddenly pierced the air, and Hook's hand immediately clamped down on Emma's bicep, pulling her close as a young woman, perhaps a year or two younger than Emma, was hauled up from the hold by Murphy. Dressed in a simple skirt and bodice, with straight dark hair and wide brown eyes, she wrapped her arms around herself as she cowered. "Looks like I found something else that's worthwhile on board after all," he announced gleefully.

"Please, please, don't kill me," she begged.

"Kill you?" Murphy laughed. "I think we've got a far better use for you, sweetheart!" He smacked her ass, then began to unlace her bodice. "You know how to please a man?"

"Do something!" Emma whimpered, unable to look away from the clearly terrified girl, who was nodding in answer to his question.

"What exactly do you want me to do, princess?" Hook hissed.

"You're the captain! You could stop this!"

Murphy had lifted the brunette into his arms, carrying her into the cabins, and Emma could only imagine what was about to happen, her heart breaking for the other woman. "Please, they can't."

Hook spun her towards him, eyes narrowed. "Yes, they can and they undoubtedly will. This is not up for debate and, quite frankly, better her than you. I don't think I could stomach watching the men dragging you into that cabin as well and having their way with you which is where I fear this story ends if I attempt to intervene to protect your delicate sensibilities." He paused. "I won't risk it." He turned to Ed, who was standing nearby, handing him a small pouch of coins. "Make sure she's well compensated."

Hook dragged Emma back to his cabin, thankful that she'd kept relatively quiet. As soon as the door closed, she snapped at him

"What is wrong with you? How could you let them do that?!"

"They're pirates, Emma! What did you expect? They don't hesitate to take what they want and, yes, that includes women- especially pretty girls found on the ships we take."

"You're saying... They would have..." She couldn't finish, fear creeping into her as she thought of the men practically lining up behind Murphy.

"If I hadn't gotten there in time? Yes."

"Except you stopped them." He nodded. "Why?"

Looking at her hopeful eyes, he wanted to tell her something noble, but the sordid truth was that he'd been minutes from fucking her beautiful, unconscious form himself.

He remembered the first time he'd laid eyes on her, glowing in the sunlight, her soft breasts and creamy thighs tempting him from across the room. If not for her royal standing, he would have eagerly taken her right then and there. At the time it was greed, not chivalry, that had kept her safe.

"I don't know. Certainly, once I figured out who you are, there was no question. "He paused searching for the right words. "You're so much more than a pretty face, Emma, but I didn't know that then. All I knew was that I didn't want that for you."

Because I wanted you for myself he thought, remembering how hard he'd fought to restrain himself. She seemed to suspect that there was more to the story, but appeared satisfied enough with his answer to change the subject.

"Well, if you're so worried, do something about it. Give me a damn sword and I won't be so vulnerable."

"And wake up to that sword in my belly? I think not."

She rolled her eyes. "If either of us really wanted the other one dead, we could have accomplished the task a dozen times by now."

He chuckled, nodding in agreement. "Fair enough. Do you even know how to handle a sword, princess?" She arched a brow, but her eyes followed his hand as it rested on his belt buckle and looked down to his crotch briefly before returning to his face, only to see him smirking. "I meant the other kind, though if you want to practice your form with that, I wouldn't be opposed."

She huffed, "I'm being serious."

"Fair enough. Perhaps tomorrow I'll let you demonstrate. It would be a comfort to know you can defend yourself, if need be."

He wrapped his arms around her gently stroking her hair as she rested her head against his chest. "I am sorry you had to see that, love, but with you on board, things are complicated. Truth is, I bear her no ill will, but I won't share you with the crew and therefore don't particularly care what happens to that girl if it helps to keep you safe. I'm not a good man, Emma."

"No, you're not," she whispered, "but you could be. People can change."

"No, I'm not a fool. Some men can change, but I can't. Sorry to have to disappoint you, but it's far too late for me. I'm a pirate, and I always will be."

 

Chapter Text

XVI.

An hour or so later, the heavy boots of the crew began to sound overhead, indicating that they were returning to the ship. Emma was still furious, both at the men for having such limitless depravity and at Hook for allowing it. Sure, he'd spared her, but how many girls had they used like that along the way? She sat silently in a chair, jaw clenched as she ignored the captain, who was going through some account books.

"I paid her quite well for her trouble, love. She'll disembark a much wealthier woman."

"A woman's honor has no price."

"Everything has a price." He reached over to tip her chin up to him with his hook. "You, me, your kingdom, my ship. We would trade away any of it, if the price was right. You should understand that better than most."

Her mouth dropped open at his insinuation. "Excuse me, captain?"

"I didn't even have to pay you first. You let me have your maidenhead in exchange for surprisingly little, you know. Makes me wonder how opposed you were to the idea- perhaps you were just being coy." He smirked at her, only fueling her anger more.

"You're an ass."

He shut the book, taking it with him as he stood to rejoin the crew. "That may be, but I'm still the one who gets to fuck you."

"Yes well, the price, as you so eloquently put it, just went up."

He laughed, "Of that I have no doubt. And whatever it is, it would still be worth every penny."

He climbed the ladder to join the men, gathering some of them together. "We need to talk," he said quietly."You know I've always allowed the boys a bit of fun on the side when we find it."

"And indulged on occasion yourself, don't forget," Mullins added with a chuckle.

"Yes, well, I don't generally have to force myself on a pretty lass. That being said, it seems my lovely companion is offended by what she saw. We need to come up with an agreeable solution."

"You want a solution, captain? I can shut her up for ya. How 'bout I fill that pretty mouth o' hers with my cock so she can't utter a word of complaint?" Murphy laughed.

Hook's right cross took him by surprise.

"You forget your place, Mr. Murphy! The Princess Emma belongs to me alone. I thought I made that abundantly clear, but if not I'd be happy to remind you."

Murphy clutched his face with a bloody hand, grumbling, "Apologies, captain. I didn't mean anything by it."

Hook's jaw clenched. Milah had always been opposed to the men's behavior as well, he recalled, but tolerated it. Still, the crew had never been so bold with her and they certainly never would have joked about touching her. He'd need to make sure that they knew he was not to be trifled with, and remind them of Emma's favored status. Perhaps it was also about time to let them see that she'd be armed. If she had even half the skills she claimed, a demonstration in front of the men would be a fine deterrent.

"That's what I thought. I had planed on merely asking you to be more discrete, but perhaps that's not enough. We'll see what we can do about getting all of you someone to attend to your needs at our next stop. It's only fair, given that I've brought a woman on board for my own pleasure. But next time we find a girl on board a ship, I want a negotiation and some money to change hands before you enjoy yourselves."

"Yes, cap'n," came their unanimous agreement as they broke away to disentangle the two ships and set off. He relinquished the helm to Starkey and stepped below deck again, finding his princess idly flipping through a book of maritime mythology.

He paused for a moment, watching her shoulders tense slightly before relaxing as he stepped behind her, his hand slipping into her hair. "I'm fairly certain that I broke Murphy's nose. Will that get me back into your good graces?"

She snorted a bit, the laugh incredibly unladylike but somehow endearing. "You didn't."

"I did. He was rather resistant when I suggested he stop behaving like an animal."

"He wasn't the only one, I'm sure. I mean, gods, Hook, you threatened me, even if you didn't actually force anything on me."

"All men are beasts at heart, love, and I never was good at resisting temptation" he confessed, his voice low and dangerous next to her ear, "but if I make an example of him, the rest will be more likely to change, or at least respect my orders. They're not particularly happy about it, and seeing how I'm currently enjoying your very pleasant company several times a day, I can't say I blame them."

"I see," she replied, though her tone sounded anything but understanding.

"Yes, well, I'll curb their behavior with women who seem less-than-receptive to their advances. That being said, should a woman willingly trade her services, I trust you'll not object."

She nodded, but he could still feel her hostility crackling in the room. "Excellent. You are welcome to stay below deck, or join me above. Either way, I'll expect you to be here come nightfall." She refused to meet his eyes, and he sighed. "Emma..." he entreated, reaching for her hand as she snatched it away. "Fine." He growled, turning on his heel and ascending the ladder.

She felt a slight twinge of guilt for a moment, before locking it away. He may have been loath to jeopardize her safety, but obviously their behavior wasn't out of the ordinary. How could she trust him to keep her safe? What would happen when he tired of her? Starkey had confided that there hadn't been a woman aboard since Milah, making her the first in 8 years. Sure, she was attractive- the courtiers had told her so innumerable times, and she was royalty, but he didn't love her. She was merely a pet to him, a possession. Yes, he was protecting her, but he was still dangerous. They all were.

When he returned that night, she was lying in the bed, facing the wall, with her chemise on. "Princess," he growled. "You can be as angry as you'd like, but you'll not deny me the view of your perfect body. Take it off, love." When she made no move to do so, he amended his statement. "Would you prefer me to rip it off and toss it into the sea?" She was seething, he could tell, but she complied, pulling the garment over her head and throwing it in his direction. He chuckled quietly as he stripped off his leathers. "Emma, love, I know you're still upset by what you saw today, but don't be like this," he purred as he gathered her in his arms. "I want you."

"You know I can't stop you," she whispered.

"Don't let my crew's boorish manners ruin what we have." He caressed her hip gently. "I'm not them. I'll not force you, love."

"No?"

"No. Not if you refuse me."

"Hmmm," she mused, deciding to test him. "Alright then. I refuse."

He sighed heavily behind her, head dropping against her shoulder. He was frustrated, and though he understood why she was upset, he didn't know what more he could do to appease her. Better to give her a night to compose herself, he decided, because pressing the issue now would only make the situation worse.

"As you wish."


They were everywhere. Hands, pawing at her naked flesh, grabbing and stroking. Their dark eyes roamed her body, settling on her breasts and between her legs. They were pushing her down, forcing her mouth open, her legs open, laughing all the while as she begged them to stop. "Killian!" She screamed. "Killian, please, help me! Where are you?" She couldn't see him, but he had to be there. He'd promised to protect her. "Killian!"


"Killian!" Her muffled cry came to him in his sleep, jolting him awake as he realized Emma was crying his name. Shaking her gently to pull her from her nightmare, he was stunned to find her wide green eyes full of terror as she was ripped free of the horrors in her dream. "Killian?" She asked, voice small and shaky.

"Aye, lass. I'm here." She clutched at him, burying her head in his chest as sobs wracked her body. "It was a dream, Emma. Just a dream. What happened?" She shook her head, instead pulling him closer and he stroked her golden hair as her breathing evened out, hoping that whatever had been after her in the dream hadn't been him.


She seemed better the next day, if a little insecure, and he thought that maybe a weapon in her hand could help chase away whatever demons were plaguing her dreams. He brought a few pieces of bread and jam for her breakfast, then pulled out a chest filled with swords, daggers, and various other weapons.

"So, since you're no longer letting me fuck you, how about you show me how well you handle yourself with penetrating objects of a different kind, shall we?" He met her mischievous smirk with one of his own. "Choose, and come meet me when you're ready."

Emma donned a pair of breeches and a light tunic before joining him above. Given that Hook was considerably larger and stronger, she'd selected a simple bastard sword, preferring to have the two-handed option if needed. She'd usually relied on speed, but she had a feeling that he would be quick with his cutlass after seeing him duel Blackbeard, and didn't trust that she'd be able to evade him that way.

She found Hook leaning against a barrel talking to Mr. Smee in his gauzy black shirt and leather pants, coat and vest tossed to the side. His face split into a challenging grin when he saw her.

"Do I need to teach you how to hold that?"

"I learned how to hold a sword when I was five," she shot back.

"Ok, lass. Let's see what your daddy taught you."

Emma had been instructed by some of the finest swordsmen in the realm. Her father had taught her himself with the assistance of Sir Lancelot, and both men had proven their abilities in battle many times over. Years of sparring with the knights had honed her skills and toned her arms, and though she was smaller than the burly men she trained with, she was proud of how good she'd become.

That being said, she was actually a bit nervous. She'd never actually dueled properly, nor fought in a true battle.

They squared off on the deck, circling each other with careful footsteps before she took her first swing, the steel clanging as he met her sword with his own. There was a disconcerting smirk playing on his lips as they continued, and she grudgingly had to admit that he was even more skilled than she'd expected, easily as good as the knights she'd sparred with back home. The cutlass seemed an extension of his arm, his movements fluid, precise, and distractingly flamboyant. They spun and lunged, coming together in a flash of shining, singing steel over and over again as her arm began to ache. She was still holding her own, but just barely.

Kicking her leg up, he caught her ankle with his hook, "Good form, but not good enough," he teased as he knocked her backwards onto the deck. The men were watching them, and he could tell from their faces that they were just as impressed with her as he was.

"That's cheating!" She complained.

"Pirate," he reminded her with a nod in his own direction and a wink as he trapped her blade between his hook and sword, sliding it down towards the cross guard in a surprisingly sexual motion before forcing it out of her hand. "Normally, I prefer to do other more enjoyable activities with a woman on her back... " She moaned when she felt him against her center and wrapped her legs around his hips, pulling their bodies flush against each other, arching as her hands ran down his back to his ass, where she'd crossed her legs behind his back. She felt a chuckle rumble through his chest, as he advised, "You might want to quit, admit that I've beaten you."

"Why would I do that when I'm winning?" She asked coyly, then smiled as she felt him abruptly freeze when he felt the point of a blade on his back. "Dagger, in my boot." His brows raised, an impressed smile playing on his lips.

"Not bad princess." He conceded. "I always knew you had a little pirate in you," He pressed his now-hard cock into her, causing her to inhale sharply. "And, gods, but I've never wanted you more."

"Seriously?"

"You've bested me. I can count the amount of people who've done that on one hand."

The crew had mostly moved on, probably amused to see him rutting against her even as she still held a dagger to his neck, but they could stare all they wanted; he was incredibly turned on. She was beautiful, clever, brave, what more could a man like him ask for?

"Is that supposed to be funny?"

"Does it feel like I'm joking?" He asked with a roll of his hips that made her bite back a moan, the distraction sufficient to allow him to grab her arm and wrench the dagger free, before caging her in with his arms. "Gods, woman, you have no idea how much I need you. I want you naked in my bed in two minutes." He rolled off of her, letting her scramble to her feet and watching her race below deck.

"I am not to be disturbed, understand?" He barked at no one in particular, striding after her only to find her sitting fully clothed on the bed.

"Figured it was better to say no here than in front of everyone."

"Wonderful!" He barked out sarcastically. "You're going to deny me again? After that?"

She shrugged as he slipped between her clothed thighs.

"Let me have you?"

She kept her face turned from him as he kissed down her neck. "No? You won't let me fuck you?"

"I'd prefer if you wouldn't," she answered, her words polite even if her tone wasn't.

"Would you let me watch you fuck yourself?" He asked, licking and nibbling at her ear. "I know you're wet, love. Let me watch your fingers play with that pretty cunny, so I know better how to please you. Show me what you like." He felt her stiffen beside him, her breath hitching at his words. He'd vowed not to use his own hand, but the prospect of watching his princess fuck herself on his bed was too much to pass up.

"You just want to watch?" She asked in a whisper. She'd never imagined that he'd want something like that, nor that he'd be nearly so interested in her pleasure. The thought of him watching her was oddly arousing.

And there was another thought...that his gentle pleas reminded her of when he'd drunkenly mistaken her for his departed love. His tone was the same. His words were so similar. It was thrilling and terrifying.

"I want a great many things, but I would be content to watch you for today. Unless, of course, you decide you want more." He stepped back, easing her tunic over her head before dragging a chair beside the bed, plopping down and unlacing his pants.

"What are you doing?" She asked warily, slipping her trousers over her legs to reveal damp curls wet with her arousal.

"Enjoying the show, of course." He licked his lips, eyes trained on where he wanted to be as she eased onto her back.

Despite her nerves, she was incredibly turned on by this. It felt safe. It felt strangely intimate. She drew her fingers through her wetness, then began lightly teasing the swollen bundle of nerves with soft circles. She watch him staring at her, his hand drawing his cock free and beginning to caress his hard length as he watched. "That's my girl. Show me what feels good."

She added a second finger, rubbing harder as the sensations built and he began pumping his fist over his length in earnest. She bit her lower lip, switching her fingers for her thumb as she began to tease one finger at her entrance. "I never really did this before," she confessed, slipping her middle finger inside with a soft moan. She began to move the finger in and out, adding a second and working her hips in time with her movements, watching his hand on his cock all the while. There was a shiny bead of precum leaking down the tip, which he gathered up with his thumb and swirled over the smooth, rounded flesh with a groan. "Does that feel good, Emma?"

"Uh-huh," she panted, rocking her hips faster.

"Are you sure you don't want my long fingers, or perhaps my mouth, darling, licking up every sweet drop? Or my thick cock, sliding deep inside you, stretching you around me?"

"Oh gods."

"You're so beautiful like this. Does it arouse you to know that I've stroked myself thinking of you? I'd imagine countless men have pleasured themselves to the sweet fantasy of you in their beds, but I get to actually watch you come undone for me."

"Gods, Killian, I'm so close."

"Can I taste you, Emma?" There was a madness in his eyes as he worked himself closer, his cock red and hard in his hand.

"Please," she gasped. "It's so much better."

He pushed her thighs apart, pressing himself to the bed as he slanted his mouth over her dripping heat, tongue lapping as three fingers slid in to fill her. He moaned in ecstasy as she keened and whimpered, unraveling almost instantly under his skillful ministrations. He brought her down from her euphoric high slowly, then hauled her to his chest, kissing her passionately as his hard cock pressed against her thigh. "Gods, Emma, you don't know what you do to me."

She pressed him back onto the mattress as she straddled him, rubbing herself over his shaft and watching as he fought to keep his hips from surging up and burying his cock inside her. "No one likes a bloody tease, Princess," he bit out between clenched teeth, his tone dissolving into a whimper as she sank down in him. Throwing her head back, she moved his thumb to her clit, circling her hips in rhythm with its movements. "Fuck," he moaned. "Fuck, you're so tight. Gods, you feel incredible."

"Worth the wait?" she whined as she felt herself getting close again, her movements less controlled as she chased her release.

He fisted his hand in her hair, pulling her down to him before capturing her lips and thumbing at her clit again. "Always."

She tumbled over the edge a second time, her walls clamping down in him and bringing him with her. His hips pumped into her as he spilled himself inside her as deep as he could go, then tucked her to his chest, kissing her hair as their breathing slowed. "I'm still angry," she confessed, "but I don't hate you."

They were quiet for long minutes, bodies still entangled intimately, before he spoke.

"Sometimes I forget, but it's been a very long time since I've sailed with a woman," he said quietly.

She didn't have a response for that, so she kissed his jaw, sitting up and slipping on a dress before taking his hand.

"Come on, Captain. Time to get back to your crew."

 

Chapter Text

XVII.

Growing up, Emma hadn't taken to all of her royal duties with enthusiasm and grace, but she'd never been a slouch when it came to diplomacy. She had her mother's grace, ingenuity, and beauty; her father's strength, boldness and keen instincts. She could influence almost anyone when the occasion called for it, and though she was more of a realist than her ever-optimistic parents, she had regularly adapted seemingly impossible situations to her advantage.

Leaders came in many varieties. Some were feared. Some were loved. Emma had long ago decided that the best kind were loved by their own people and feared by their enemies. She therefore endeavored to learn how to instill the kind of loyalty that her parents seemed to inspire with ease. Courtiers had proved far easier to handle than pirates, but even still, it was rare for anyone to resist her when she really turned on the charm. It was with that thought that she decided to acquaint herself with Hook's crew, hoping that garnering some good will among the men might help make her time on board less difficult.

There was no question in her mind that her parents would pay her ransom, but the journey to her kingdom would take some time and she was stuck on the ship until Hook got his letter confirming a deal and sailed for her home. She had begun to forget her situation, distracted by the captain and his talents. It was all too easy to imagine herself staying with him, leaving behind her life of pomp and politics, but she needed to be practical. Now that she'd shown them her skill with a blade, it was time to play the role of polite princess.


A few days had passed since the incident with the spice traders when she plopped down next to Starkey as he fished off the side of the ship. It was a calm day, the sails hanging loosely as the late afternoon sun glittered on the water. The older man's blonde hair was sprinkled with silver, his brown eyes surrounded by faint smile lines as he cast again, watching the line for the telltale jumping that indicated the bite of a fish.

"What are you fishing for?" She asked, staring at the point where the line dipped below the water.

"Anything we can eat, though I would think sea bass is the most likely thing in these waters."

"How did you learn?"

"My father taught me. We had a place by the sea, and though we could certainly afford food without it, he always enjoyed bringing home a fresh-caught fish or a pheasant he'd shot." He smiled wistfully, meeting her interested gaze. "I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home of some distinction. I was a younger son, so I enlisted in the Navy to make my name, but I was raised quite well."

He showed her how to bait a hook, and was soon teaching her how to fish as they spoke. She learned that he'd spent about half of his 40ish years at sea, but had bought a home on a warm tropical island where he'd met and married a remarkable younger woman named Lily. He'd actually written to her every day, sending the letters every time he was in port. The last letter he'd been able to send had told her to plan on starting a family, because Emma's dowry had enabled him to retire once he returned home.

Despite her circumstances, she found herself happy for the man who'd thrown away his chances at a respectable life to follow his captain into piracy and would finally have the simple life he'd always dreamt of. They caught enough sea bass to pressure the cook into making a savory chowder, and the crew seemed appreciative of the change in fare. Because she'd been involved, Hook had taken her to the galley to eat beside him amongst the crew, and seemed curious but didn't question her actions. He guided her onto his lap as they drank a few pints of ale with the crew, then carried her into his cabin where he threw her legs over his shoulders and made her beg before giving her the release she always craved.

She lay awake after he'd spent himself across her belly, listening to his steady breathing as she pondered her next mark, eventually slipping into a peaceful sleep beside him.


Ed, the quartermaster, was a tougher nut to crack. Continuously exasperated, he was probably the person most affected by her presence on the ship, seeing as how his job was to manage the crew and keep them under control. She'd asked him if there were any duties that she might assist him with, eventually convincing him to allow her to stitch up the ragged old blankets she found in a scrap heap into far more useful quilts that could be handed out on particularly cold nights. While sewing hadn't been a strength of hers, her skills were sufficient to make patchwork quilts from the existing scraps. She stayed below deck, working on the table in the captain's quarters until she'd successfully turned 15 badly damaged blanket remnants into 6 cozy quilts. The grey and blue colors were a far cry from what she'd used in her quilts back in the castle, but Ed seemed mesmerized nonetheless, cradling the material like something precious as she promised to find more scraps at the next port and make one for every crewmember.

Her efforts didn't go unnoticed by the men, who seemed to appreciate her small gestures, nor by Hook. who watched her with a bemused expression on his face while he steered the ship. Their nightly activities now firmly established, he'd begun to relinquish the helm and indulge himself in an afternoon coupling with her more days than not, though she couldn't bring herself to complain.

One evening, he pulled her away from a pleasant conversation with Smee, caging her in with his arms once they'd reached the cabin and kissing down her neck before moving to pull up her skirts and slide his fingers between her legs.

"Are you some kind of siren?"

"Not that I'm aware of," she panted as he found that perfect spot inside her and began to work his long fingers in and out.

"Mermaid?"

She chuffed. "Nope."

"An enchantress, then. You seem to enjoy bewitching my crew."

"Jealous?"

"Not a bit"

"I just figured it wouldn't hurt to make an effort, at least until my parents reply to your ransom note."

"You're not planning on inciting a mutiny and declaring yourself a pirate queen, are you? Because, although I'd make one hell of a consort, I have no intention of relinquishing my ship to you, your highness."

His fingers brought her over the edge, and he began to maneuver her towards the bed, but looked out the window at the moonless night and seemed to change his mind, settling in a chair and gently encouraging her to drop to her knees and use her mouth. He tipped his head forward to watch, fingers tangling in her hair as she sucked his cock. His groans of pleasure increased as he got closer, urging her on, and he came down her throat with a deep moan, azure eyes boring into her as she cleaned him off.


The men began to show their thanks and acceptance of her in their own small ways. Billy and Mullins taught her poker, then immediately regretted it when her ability to spot a bluff a mile away allowed her to win half of their weekly earnings. She promised to put her skills to good use at their next port, pledging two-thirds of her first winnings to them in thanks. They stopped playing for coins, but continued to play as she honed her skills.

"She's a natural, cap'n!" Billy boasted when Hook sauntered over to watch the game. "I've never seen nothin' like it!" Through the course of the game, Emma learned that Billy had been pressed into service when he was just a lad, and Mullins had taken him under his wing, looking out for the boy much like an older brother would. Their relationship made it easy to follow their new captain into piracy, understanding all too well the depths of his love for Liam and his need for revenge.

One of the newer recruits, a slight man with sandy brown hair and eyes, approached her one morning with a small gift, a carved swan made from a piece of driftwood.

"Oh, wow! Thank you...um,"she trailed off with a bashful grimace, unable to recall his name from the one time they'd met.

"Walsh, your highness. I'm a carpenter, here to help Auggie with the ship, though I'm pulling double duty as the powder monkey for the time being."

"Walsh. It's beautiful."

He smiled sheepishly. "I've heard you referred to as 'Hook's Swan Princess,' and, well, the title seemed fitting." He pressed the figure into her palm, rough hands lingering over hers for a heartbeat before bowing awkwardly and going back to work.

She placed the wooden swan on one of Hook's bookcases, hoping it wouldn't offend him. Whether he noticed or not, he didn't say a word about it when he kissed his way down her body before lifting her to the table and taking her as he stood beside it. "Gods, woman, you are a feast for the eyes," he growled as he watched her breasts bounce with each thrust. His eyes darkened further when she came under him, back arching in her euphoria, and he immediately pulled out, spurting his seed across her breasts. She noticed that he'd been doing that more often, and while he professed to love the way she looked with his pearly release decorating her skin, she began to wonder if she'd done something wrong. He'd wanted her on her knees more of late as well, and she wondered if perhaps there was a humiliation aspect to it all that he enjoyed. Afraid to ask, she let him gather her up and move her relaxed form to the bed, nuzzling her hair as she drifted off to sleep.

When they made landfall at a little port called Smuggler's Cove the next morning, Emma had quite the list of errands she wanted to run. Taking Auggie the easily-distracted but friendly carpenter with her, she promised to meet Hook after he attended to his official business and headed in the direction of the commercial district.

Within a short time, she'd purchased three bottles of fine rum (for Billy and Mullins, courtesy her poker winnings, and a third for Hook). A small fabric shop provided enough woolen remnants for sixteen more quilts in blue, grey and green, as well as red and black pieces to make a larger quilt to match the captain's quarters. Remembering the sweet bars her mother had always taken with them on country rides (a holdover from her bandit days, made from fruits and nuts,) Emma found a grocer who provided her with dates, coconut, almonds and cherries.

Pleased with her provisions, she returned to the ship, having lost Auggie somewhere along the way to drink or women (or, more likely, both. The man really couldn't say no.) Hook was waiting impatiently in the cabin.

"Where the hell were you? And where's August?" He questioned, eyes narrowed.

"August?" she asked, suddenly realizing who he meant. "Oh, Auggie! Gods only know. I ended up leaving him behind."

"Emma," he huffed, running his hand through his hair. "These streets aren't safe for a beautiful woman traveling unaccompanied!"

She sighed, rolling her eyes. "Of course, you'll keep me safe, right?"

"I'm a pirate captain with a fierce reputation and a hook for a hand. I may be devilishly handsome, but clearly i'm not to be trifled with."

They met up with the rest of the crew in a tavern, where she perched on Hook's lap and merrily won a fairly large sum from some unsuspecting local sailors (though given how much they were staring at her breasts, she wondered if she should charge them for their view as well.) Hook and his crew joked and gambled, always in good spirits while docked in port, and she began to realize that the freedom that came with a life on the sea had its drawbacks as well. There was a loneliness to them, a desperation to enjoy a fresh meal, a comfortable bed, and the company of a woman while they could.

Hook found himself unable to stare at any of the other women, so captivated by Emma's beauty and vivacious spirit that all others faded into the background. Her every movement fascinated him: the occasional giggle when she had a particularly good hand of cards, the rebellious blonde hair she continuously tamed by tucking it behind her ears, and most especially the way she idly played with his hook as she drank, stroking it sensually with her hand as she shared his rum. She wiggled a bit, earning a groan from him in the process, and shot him a flirtatious smile before returning to her cards. In response, he pressed himself against her, chuckling when she sputtered into her cup. "Don't forget who you're dealing with, love," he spoke against her ear, thrusting subtly under her. "Come back with me to the ship." She nibbled at her lower lip, smiling wickedly as she arched against him. "I thought you'd never ask."

Stumbling back together, he spun her into a narrow alley, letting her push him against the hard brick facade and kiss the living hell out of him while he worked at the ties of her bodice and her hands struggled to open his pants. He eventually hauled her into his arms, carrying her bridal style onto the ship, dismissing her protests with a playful, "I've carried rum barrels heavier than you!" He set her down and followed her below deck more eagerly than he'd ever admit.


Hook woke at daybreak yet again the next morning, annoyed with himself at the fact that even a decade after leaving the service of the Royal Navy, his eyes still snapped open as the sun rose more mornings than not. He imagined Liam would be proud in a way, that some habits were nearly impossible to give up, but the thought descended on him like a black cloud, his private amusement turning to bitterness as he thought of the man he'd once called his captain- and his brother. Liam wouldn't think anything of his rising, he mused, because Liam was gone.

No, not gone. Dead.

Even if he were alive, pride would be the last thing he'd feel looking at what his little brother had become. Even if he could understand the decision to turn pirate- doubtful, to be sure, Killian's actions would be unforgivable. The years of murder, theft, whoring, cheating and lying would make his brother's stomach churn, though he'd happily go to the gallows if it meant Liam were alive and able to apprehend him. The beautiful woman in his arms sighed and nestled closer to his chest in her sleep, and he could just about hear Liam's booming voice chastising him for what he'd done to her. No matter how much she'd enjoyed herself (and their second go last night had been completely her initiating, thank you very much) Liam would point out the obvious: kidnapped, threatened, ravished by a pirate... He was ruining the poor girl's life and thoroughly enjoying every minute. She'd eventually return home, because she would want more from life and love for a woman was a luxury Hook had long since realized he would never feel again. When she did finally leave, it would be with her honor in tatters, physically and emotionally used and discarded with little more fanfare than a prostitute in the eyes of many. In many ways, Liam would be right, too.

But Liam was dead, and that bright eyed lieutenant who'd followed him was dead too, died twice over already when those he'd loved had perished before their times. He'd long since accepted this. Good, honest Liam was dead while their waste of a father lived on, and Hook had eventually recognized that looking out for himself above all else was the only way to make sure he survived. Perhaps his selfishness prevented him from a happier end to his life, but his last chance at lasting happiness had died 8 years ago. He'd done his mourning, and now would chase whatever fleeting pleasures he could until his day came and his body was committed to the sea just as hers had been.

Emma stirred again beside him, and he roughly palmed her arse, letting the familiar and comforting ache of lust sizzle through his loins and chase away his brother, his Milah, his past. He couldn't bring them back, but he could bury the pain in the princess's tight little cunt. He rolled her onto her back, hand reaching between her thighs to ready her, his actions rousing her from her peaceful slumber.

"Ow, Hook, be gentle," she groaned tiredly. "I'm still a little sore from last night."

The use of his moniker rather than his name irked him; she usually called him Killian when crying out in pleasure, and right now he didn't need the reminder that she was here because she was his captive. "Hook? What happened to 'ooh gods, Killian, don't stop?'" he whispered in her ear.

She scrubbed her hand over her face, jade eyes opening to stare up at him in confusion. "What's gotten into you?"

"I don't recall having to justify my needs being part of our deal," he growled. "Now are you going to fuck me, or am I keeping you around for nothing?"

Her eyes stared into his, seeming to recognize the anguish hiding in their blue depths. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him down to her, then licked her hand and reached between them, coating his cock with enough lubrication to slip into her. "Go ahead. You can fuck me."

He began to take her hard, pushing deep into her in quick, stunted thrusts that were clearly meant to bring him orgasm as quickly as possible as he grunted into her shoulder. Realizing her own pleasure was nowhere near his goal, she curled her legs around his hips, pulling him deeper and arching her back as she panted under him. She didn't know what had brought on this behavior, but it was more than obvious that he was using her to chase away whatever thoughts or nightmares were disturbing him, and though she should probably fight him and refuse to be used in such a way, she found herself wanting to offer him whatever small comfort she could, even if it was a few moments of blissful escape while he buried his cock in her. After all, he'd done the same for her just a few nights before. "Tell me what you need."

He growled, grabbing her thigh and lifting her leg to his shoulder so he could go even deeper. Gods, she wished he'd given her the chance to catch up to him, because he felt so good like this, even if her body wasn't ready to come yet. She kissed his shoulder, nipping gently at the skin as he lowered her leg and flipped her over before laying on top of her and continuing to furiously fuck her.

He wasn't talking to her, but his grunts, groans, and stuttered breaths made it more than obvious that he was enjoying himself. Pushing her hips back, she met each forceful thrust, throwing herself into the effort. She felt his head dip, his forehead resting against the back of her shoulder as he slowed, breathing heavy against her neck as he shook silently. "Gods, Emma, I'm, I'm so sorry..."

"Shhh. Don't stop," she whispered, reaching over her shoulder to card her fingers through his thick hair. "It's ok. Use me." She heard his shocked inhale close beside her ear, his lips ghosting over her neck as he began to slide in and out again, slower this time, circling his hips in a way that made her moan.

"You magnificent woman," he murmured affectionately, his left arm shifting to take the brunt of his weight as his right hand began wandering her body, playing at her breasts, wrapping around her hips to give him access to her clit. Her back arched as he rubbed at the sensitive nub.

"You don't have to," she started.

"I want to feel you come," he growled. "Do you like fucking me?"

"You know I do," she whispered, her voice trembling as he brought her closer. "Gods, Killian. I'm going to..."

He was so close, the heat of her scorching as she pulsed around him, and he began to pull out when her hand gripped his hair. "No, please, I want you to do it inside me."

Even of he had wanted to avoid coming inside her, it was too late; her words pushed him over the edge, his climax shooting through him as he let her walls milk him dry while she moaned under him. It felt so fucking good, and his hips instinctively drove his cock as deep as possible as he emptied himself.

Moments after he'd finished, reality had sunk back in, and he groaned against her shoulder in regret. "Fuck. Fuck, Emma, I shouldn't have done that."

"Hmmmm?" She answered, sleepy satisfaction in her voice. "You didn't hurt me."

"Not that lass. I shouldn't have finished like that. I won't be the one to put a bastard in your belly."

She looked at him, finally understanding his recent actions.

"I guess they don't exactly teach highborn ladies how to avoid getting pregnant while still doing their duty in the marriage bed. The more heirs, the better, I assume." He shook his head, drawing her into his side. "There's no guarantee, but given your cycle, so long as I don't finish inside you during the new moon, you're unlikely to end up with child."

"Oh. Oh, gods, I thought you were angry."

"Of course not. I just want to avoid certain situations. Gods know what would happen to a pirate's bastard at the hands of a royal family."

"You think I'd let someone harm my child?"

"I don't think you'd have much choice. They wouldn't let you birth it much less keep it."

"Of course I'd keep it if I wanted to. What kind of people do you think my parents are?"

"My experiences with royalty have not been as pleasant as yours. I think they're a king and queen who would put the well-being of their dynasty over the happiness of their wayward daughter and a child born out of wedlock."

"Wayward? You did this to me!"

He sighed. "Aye. I did."

They lay in silence, lost in their own thoughts until she spoke, "You're probably right though. Once you sell my back to my parents, I'll return to my kingdom and never see you again. I'd hate to have to make up some story to tell my son about how his father isn't around because he died a great hero, knowing it would be a lie."

"Your son?"

She shrugged.

He tried not to picture her with a dark-haired lad on her hip, he really did, but once the image had taken hold, he couldn't help himself. She would be a fine mother one day, and the kind of wife a man could never tire of. It was a life he'd never have, but whatever prince she ended up with, he would be a lucky man.

He placed a kiss to her hair, unaware that the same image of a boy with blue eyes and black hair was playing in her mind. "Go back to sleep, love. It's far too early to be awake."

"Says the man who woke me up to fuck me."

"Fair enough," he chuckled softly as she yawned beside him.

"Tell me a story."

"What kind of story?"

"A nice one," she responded, snuggling further into his side,"to help me get back to sleep."

"There aren't a lot of nice pirate stories."

"Then make one up."

He thought briefly, smiling when he realized the perfect tale, though a part of him hesitated to tell her. "Alright, I actually do know one." He kissed her hair again, "But it's the only happy one I know, even if it is true. Buttercup was raised on a small farm in the country of Florin. Her favorite pastimes were riding her horse and tormenting the poor farm boy who worked there. His name was Westley, but she never called him that..."

 

Chapter Text

XVIII.

With fresh supplies and a much happier crew, the Jolly Roger set off for its next destination later that day. Emma had thought they might sail towards Port Jefferson again, but it seemed they were going further away from it.

"Where are we headed ?" She asked from her perch beside the helm.

Hook shrugged, "Wherever strikes our fancy, though I am generally headed towards a particular tropical island at the moment, with a few detours along the way."

Something in his voice gave him away, and she instantly knew his plan. "Ahhh. Not quite ready to part with your first mate, are you?"

He chuckled, "Aye, losing Starkey will be quite the difficult change, but the old sea dog's earned his retirement. I can't begrudge him too much."

"Where will you retire?"

"Me? I've no intention of retiring."

She kicked her legs idly, raising her brows as she responded. "I'm not a fool, Hook. My dowry, even without the ransom, is more than enough to allow every man on your crew to buy a place and settle down."

"Quite right, princess, but I have no intension of settling. The sea is my home. Any man who decides his time aboard the ship is over can simply be replaced. Retirement is for men who want a life different from the one they already have." He stroked the wheel of the ship lovingly. "This life, this ship...they're where I belong, just as ballrooms and gardens are where you belong."

She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, well, don't tell that to my mother. She'd love you for it."

"Something tells me 'love' is a bit of a stretch. I did kidnap and ravish her daughter."

Emma stretched, arching her back. "That you did. But, just so you know, the ravishing part hasn't been too bad." She hopped off her stool and scampered down the stairs to talk with the aforementioned first mate, leaving Hook to stare at her in dumbfounded shock.


They stopped just a few days later in a small colonial port town on the edge of a thickly wooded coast. The men seemed to spill out of the ship, steps light as they headed into town en masse. This particular town was apparently something of a home away from home for them, a peaceful area that they'd stopped in many times over the years and were welcomed rather than feared. Emma agreed to meet them for dinner, wanting to finish up her sewing before joining the group, and Hook seemed to understand her need for some peace and quiet, letting her know where they'd be but not pushing her to follow immediately.

She'd just set the quilts on each bed and turned to leave when she ran smack into Murphy, the collision knocking her off balance. She braced herself, expecting to crash to the floor, but was instead caught by a pair of exceptionally strong arms. Her heart raced as she realized she was alone on the ship with him, his arms wrapped around her as he hauled her up. Of all the men, Murphy was still one if the few she'd yet to really befriend, her lingering discomfort with his actions aboard the spice ship making her prefer to simply avoid him. She stared up at him in terror, thinking of the poor girl he'd taken unwillingly and preparing to reach for the dagger in her boot when he set her down, eyes scanning her small frame franticly.

"Gods, milady, my apologies! Are you alright?"

Finding her voice, she nodded slowly, attempting to push past him. "Fine, fine. I was just on my way out."

"Pardon my clumsiness, Princess. The cap'n would skin me alive if he thought I'd injured you. What in blazes were you doing in the crew's quarters?"

As she crept by, she pointed to a quilt laid over the nearest bed. "I, I just wanted to finish up the last quilts and hand them out before going ashore."

He stared at her, something dark passing through his eyes as they scanned her body before returning to her face. He closed his eyes, his hand gently brushing the surface of the nearest quilt. "It's beautiful. Just like my mum used to make." He turned to her, an unreadable expression on his as she blushed slightly, still uncomfortable at the close quarters. "Thank you, milady." With an awkward bow, he turned and continued into the cabin, leaving her free to scurry back to Hook's room and lock the door.

Feeling far more relaxed in the safety of the captain's cabin as she dressed to go into town, she realized that she'd probably underestimated Hook's influence on his crew. Murphy obviously viewed her as "off-limits," acting remarkably gentlemanly during their brief conversation, even if she suspected his thoughts were far less pure. When she thought about it, all of the men had seemed fairly respectful of her when she was with them, but she hadn't failed to notice the fact that some of them seemed to spend an unusual amount of time watching her. She wondered if perhaps her efforts to endear herself to the crew had helped or if it was their respect for the captain that kept them in line.


Hook entered the cheery little inn with his crew in tow, his bright smile mirroring that of an elderly woman behind the bar when she saw who'd arrived.

"Killian Jones, is that you? Let me get a look!" She hurried over to him, pulling his chin into her gentle hand.

"Oh, Granny, I'm just as dashing as ever, I assure you, though I wouldn't say no to some of your delicious cooking." He winked as a black and red blur slammed into him, pulling him into a hug. "Goodness, Red," Granny scolded halfheartedly. "Try acting like a lady rather than a wild animal!"

"Sorry, Granny," the brunette giggled as her grandmother returned to the kitchen to start a meal for the boys. "Damn. You look good, Killian. Really. What have you been up to?"

"The captain here's had Lady Luck on his side. He's been seeing a lot of action lately." Ed jeered as he moved past them to settle in. "Go on, cap. Tell her all about your good fortune."

He smirked, tipping his head as he settled at a table. "I might have taken a royal flagship on its way to a wedding... Complete with betrothed princess."

Red's jaw dropped. "You did what? Are you mad?" He grinned as she continued. "How much did you get for ransoming her?"

He averted his eyes, pulling a piece of bread from the basket on the table. "Precisely speaking, I haven't done so, yet. But the dowry she had stowed below deck was more than enough to set us up quite well."

Red suddenly looked serious. "Oh, Killian, what did you do to her?"

"Nothing she didn't want." He said in defense. "She's been warming my bed, but seems quite content to do so. Why would I give her back?"

"Oh my gods. Do you like her?" Red whispered.

"I like her cunt." He responded dismissively.

"Oh cut it out Jones. I may be a barmaid but I'm not an idiot. You don't keep a woman on your ship unless you really want to. It causes too many problems."

He shrugged. "It's a really amazing cunt, and she is bloody gorgeous. Not to mention, there's something about ravishing royalty that's rather satisfying. Especially for me. What better treasure to steal than a princess's virginity?"

She paled slightly. "Wait a minute. She's not from... ?"

"No. Different kingdom, Sylvania I believe. If she'd been from..." He trailed off, gritting his teeth. "I haven't forgotten, Red. One day, I'll make them pay."

She breathed a sigh of relief, reaching for his hand. " I know you will." She paused, then punched him lightly in the shoulder. "Alright, then. Tell me all about your princess with the 'amazing' cunt."


Hook had asked her to meet him at the local inn and tavern, a homey little place called "The Wolf and the Widow." She scanned the crowd for his shock of dark hair, finding him in deep conversation with a gorgeous brunette. The girl's wide smile was genuine, rather than the flirty, false smile of most prostitutes, and the intimacy of their interaction made Emma's gut twist uncomfortably. Reminding herself that she had no reason to feel threatened, she sauntered over to the table, grabbing Hook's mug from his hand and taking a long swig before wrapping her arms around his neck. The brunette looked surprised at first, but her sparkling blue eyes crinkled as she smirked at Hook, looking back to Emma as if she had quite the secret hidden away. "Ah! So, you must be Emma!" She exclaimed brightly, hopping up from her seat next to the captain so Emma could sit. "Nice to meet you! Granny's going to have my hide if she catches me sitting here any longer!" She whispered conspiratorially, "but I'll grab you a mug of your own so you don't steal all of Killy's precious rum..." She rolled her eyes and ran off in a swirl of red skirts, ruffling Hook's hair as she passed. He glared dramatically after her, running his own hand through his hair in an attempt to tame it.

"Oh, let me, Killy," Emma chided him, tugging her fingers through the ebony strands. He grumbled at the nickname, his grumbles turning to pleased groans. Unable to stifle a laugh, she told him that he reminded her of the hunting hounds her father always kept and the happy noises they made when she rubbed their velvety ears, erasing his unamused eye roll by raking her nails over his scalp again.

"So," she began, attempting to keep her tone casual as she massaged his scalp, "who's your friend?"

"That's Red." He moaned, tipping his head back slightly as she continued rubbing. "Known her a long time. Her grandmother owns the inn."

"I hope I wasn't interrupting," Emma grumbled, pulling slightly on his hair.

He chuckled, "I assure you, I'm not her type."

"So, you two never...?"

He sighed, turning away. "Just once."

She felt her heart drop; he didn't appear to be lying, but he had to be. He didn't seem the type to merely stay friends with a woman, especially one like the lively barmaid, but he'd promised her not to sleep with anyone else.

He reached up to remove her hands from his head, leaning in so he could be sure she heard him as he reluctantly met her eyes. "It was after my brother, Liam... She'd always quite fancied him, and he her I suspect. She had childhood dreams of becoming his wife, and he was probably one of the few who could have handled being married to her." He sighed a bit, shaking his head. "This was our first port after he...after I'd been made captain. Gods, she sobbed when I told her of his fate; we were both so young and lost without him. We took comfort in each other for the night. Truth be told, I was so drunk I barely remember it, and I know in my heart she was imagining me to be my brother, though I couldn't bear to ask if it was true. I was already conflicted about captaining his ship; I couldn't think about the fact that I was fucking his girl, or that she'd slipped and called me by his name more than once.

"The next morning, she kissed my cheek and thanked me for the distraction, and things went back to normal. We never crossed that line again, and we've remained friendly. She was so sweet and gentle back then, though the woman she's become would have chewed dear Liam up and spit him out." He chuckled quietly. "Red loves freely and easily, accepting that the world is cruel and that love affairs would come and go, but each has its particular pleasures. I do hope that one day she meets her match, though I somewhat pity the poor bastard."

Emma was speechless. She'd expected a flippant tale of a meaningless dalliance, not one of sorrow and shared mourning. "Why are you telling me this?"

"Everyone else knows our history. It's only fair you do too." He shrugged as if he hadn't just bared his soul to her, but she could see how much those memories had cost him in the set of his shoulders. He'd avoided speaking about his brother in the past, and she could see how much it pained him to do so.

"I'm sorry."

"Make no mistake, they'll answer for his death one day."

They had a hearty home cooked meal, and Emma marveled at how well-behaved the pirates were, as if they knew Granny wouldn't stand for any shenanigans. She watched Red work, understanding why she was so loved by the crew. Aside from her physical beauty, which was certainly not lacking, she was kind and clever, with a large, easy smile. The older crew members treated her more like a little sister, but the newer men were clearly smitten. Emma watched as August regaled her with tales of the exotic places he'd been while Victor stared at her so intently she would have sworn he was trying to will her clothing away with the sheer force of his mind.


Hook had insisted they gamble a bit for fun, downing several pints of ale with the crew before retiring to a more private corner to share a bottle of rum with Emma while. They played a game of making up nautical euphemisms for different sex acts, joking about hoisting his sail, going below deck, and pulling into port as she giggled . He shuffled closer on the bench, hips stuttering towards her as he smiled mischievously. "You're not planning on leaving me high and dry tonight, are you, love?" He tapped her nose playfully.

"Of course not, Captain," she purred, playing suggestively with his hook.

"I'll get us a room," he said, sliding his hand up her thigh under her skirts before he hopped up to speak with Granny. While he was gone, Red finally settled back at their table with a glass of ale all her own. She watched Emma carefully, studying her as if she was looking for answers, then looked to where Hook was charming a room out of the elderly innkeeper.

"It's been a while since I've seen him like this."

"Like what?" Emma asked, nervous. "Incredibly drunk?"

"Happy," she said with a laugh. "You're the first girl he's brought here in almost a decade."

"Wait, you met Milah?"

"A few times. Don't get me wrong he was in love with her but if we're being honest, I was surprised. She was nothing like the girls he'd been interested in before."

"Oh?" Emma's curiosity was piqued. "And what were they like?"

Red laughed again. "You. Let me tell you, young Killian Jones would have had a serious thing for you. That's probably why he likes you so much. You remind him of who he used to be." She paused. "Maybe that's why I can't help but like you too. He's not that young man anymore, but he's not acting like the same pirate either. He's different with you."

As if on cue, he stumbled back to the table, wrapping his hooked arm around Emma's waist as he lifted her to her feet and grabbing the rum bottle with the other hand. "What do you say we set sail?" Emma giggled again, blushing as she heard Red laugh behind her.

"Go get laid, you two, before Granny scolds you for making a scene. I'll talk to you in the morning, Jones." She smacked his ass as she walked away, earning her a bark of laughter as they made their way towards the guest room he'd rented.

"We're not going back to the Jolly Roger?" Emma questioned. They always, always returned to the ship.

"Not tonight darling,"he mumbled once he'd shut the door, too busy pulling off her clothes to really carry on a conversation. There was something about this inn that reminded him of better times, and he wanted to embrace the feeling and drown in the pleasure of his lovely princess for the night. "Tell me you want me, Emma."

She pulled his hand between her legs, smirking when he felt her wet and ready for him. "I think you can feel how much I want you." She grabbed his collar, pulling his leather clad body against her naked one as she kissed him forcefully, unlacing his pants and shoving then down around his hips. "But how about I show you?"

She jumped up and wrapped her legs around his hips as he instinctually pinned her against the wall, sinking down on him in one smooth motion. "Bloody hell, princess!" he gasped, clearly somewhat surprised by her eagerness.

"I got tired of waiting," she moaned into his ear, pulling his earring between her teeth as he began thrusting into her. Her back was pressed against the unforgiving plaster hard enough that she expected a few bruises, but as he looped his hooked arm under her ass to lift her higher, she found that she honestly didn't care. "Come on," she whispered, "give me every hard inch of you. Gods, Killian, you feel so good inside me."

"Emma," he nearly whimpered, pulling her closer. "Come with me, Emma." Arms wrapped tightly around one another, they fell apart and sank to the floor in sated exhaustion.

Long after he'd taken her against the wall, and then again in the spacious bed, she drifted off to sleep as her mind kept replaying Red's words. How had the situation with the handsome pirate gotten so wildly out of control?


"Sooo, have a good time last night?" Red teased, plopping a plate of eggs and bacon in front of him.

He wiggled his eyebrows, eyes flicking to where Emma talked with Ed before returning to Red. "I believe the word I used was amazing, and I'd have to say it remains accurate."

"You do realize that your crew's practically in love with her." She said, rolling her eyes.

"It's not love, Red."

"All the more reason to be concerned. You need to watch them, Killian. The older guys, they're fine, but some of the younger ones... Just, seriously, watch them. I heard some things after you left, and saw them staring at her an awful lot when you weren't looking."

"What things?" He snapped, suddenly feeling uneasy.

"Just general resentment. They weren't speaking loud enough for me to be sure who said it, but I distinctly heard them making some fairly colorful comments and wondering when they'll be getting a turn with her."

He felt his blood go hot, but he couldn't discipline half the ship. "I'll talk to Ed, and take extra precautions. I've no intention of sharing her."

"You do realize that there's no way this ends in anything other than heartbreak, right?" Red sighed.

"It's not my fault I'm devilishly handsome."

"It's not just her heart I'm concerned about."

Hook chuckled humorlessly. "Oh, lass, you should know me better than that. I don't have a heart to break anymore."

"I DO know you better, Killian. Be careful." She clasped his hand gently. "If you're caught with a princess, they'll string you up without a moment's hesitation, and I don't think I could handle my life without a Jones brother in it."

"You know me, Red. I'd only risk myself for two things, love and revenge. Seeing as how my love's long dead, and I can't yet find a way to avenge Liam, you needn't worry. Women come and go, but a pirate's life-it's forever."

He patted her head and began to return towards the docks, ignoring her muttered "Gods, you have no idea how bad you've got it, do you?"

 

Chapter Text

XIX.

Over the next few days, Hook had made it a point to watch his crew more carefully, Red's warning concerning him more than he'd let on. Outwardly, there were no signs of discontent, but most of the men had seen him discipline mutinous sailors before, and probably weren't foolish enough to be obvious.

"Ed," he called to the quartermaster as he steered, beckoning the man closer. "I need to speak with you."

"Sure, captain. What's on your mind."

"How are the men adapting to our situation with the princess on board? Truthfully."

"There are a few who've admitted that she's distracting, which I can't rightly disagree with. It's not always easy to ignore the, um, activity in your cabin. Of course, it's nice to have something pretty to look at, and she certainly qualifies. I'm sure some of 'em want her more than they admit, but their urges are in check for now. I think, in time, they'll accept her. If she's staying, that is." He amended quickly. "Little thing didn't seem to know what you planned to do with her, to be frank, captain."

"Oh, I haven't exactly discussed my plans with her, but I don't expect to tire of her anytime soon so assume she'll be aboard for the foreseeable future. That being said, she's still worth a fair amount, but I can't very well send her to her parents after I've let the whole crew have a go with her, so do what you can to squash any hopes of that. She'll return without her honor intact, but having only known one man."

"Aye, captain. They know she's yours."

Returning to his cabin, he heard boisterous voices within, discovering Emma to be playing cards with several members of the crew when he entered. "What the hell is this?" He exclaimed.

The men froze, all staring at Emma as she shot Hook a confused look. "Um, cards?"

He looked at Billy and Mullins. "You two know better. Get out of here, and take them with you!" He nodded to August and Walsh, who quickly nodded a polite goodbye to the princess and hurried back to their quarters.

"Gods, Hook, what the hell?"

"Emma," he glowered at her, "you are not to be alone in this cabin with anyone but me, Ed, or Starkey, understood?"

"We weren't doing anything wrong!"

"These are my private quarters, darling, not a place to fraternize with my crew. They know that. I don't want them forgetting their place."

She snorted as she cleaned up the cards. "And what's my place?"

He grinned darkly, slowly crossing the room. "Oh, it varies, but tonight it's on your back."


She watched him ready himself for the day, letting her eyes roam over his body with barely concealed interest. Even after being intimate with him dozens of times, she couldn't resist staring at his lean, muscular frame, tracing the dark hair of his chest downwards with her eyes. "See something you like, darling?"

"I don't know", she stretched languorously, letting the sheet fall to the side, "Do you?"

He made a show of tracing every inch of her with his gaze. "Oh very much so. I'll never tire of the sight of you laid out bare on my bed, though I should enjoy it now, because you'll want to stay under that lovely quilt you made come winter. It gets a bit drafty."

She looked at him quizzically. "Winter is six months away."

He hummed in agreement, gathering up his pants and pulling them over his legs, and while part of her was disappointed in the change of view, the knot in her stomach was definitely not related to it. She stood and began to dress as well, trying not to let her panic show.

"Are we still going to the islands?"

"Unless you have another port of call you'd like to see."

"Oh, well, I was just wondering," she began, "when are we returning to Port Jefferson?"

"I've no clue. A few months maybe. Is there something you wanted from there? I'm sure I can procure it elsewhere."

"A few months?! You must be joking. Where else are we going? Where specifically? And when?"

"I fail to seethe reason for this inquisition, lass." He sighed, slipping on a thin, black cotton shirt. "Part of the allure of being a pirate is the freedom. NOT having a specific schedule comes with the territory."

"Well," she began, gathering her courage, "I've just been thinking. How will we know if my parents agreed to pay my ransom?"

He didn't answer, ignoring her as he slipped on a red vest and buckled on his belt.

"Hook..."

"Emma." He turned to glare at her. "Leave it alone. You'll find out when I do."

"Oh my gods," she said, his silence confirming her suspicions as she saw how he was avoiding the question she'd asked. "You didn't send my letter."

He looked affronted at her accusation. "I did, actually, and we both know I didn't have to. Your parents know you are alive."

There was a lie there somewhere, she just knew it. "What else do they know? What did you send in your own letter?"

"Nothing."

"What?" She asked, her voice wavering slightly.

"You heard me. I didn't send a ransom note. Is that what you wanted to hear me say, Princess?" He scoffed. "Don't act so surprised. You'd have figured that out weeks ago if you hadn't been so very distracted." He licked his lips and grabbed his cock through his pants, only adding to her anger.

"You bastard! You should have told me! I'm not just some plaything you can use for as long as you want!"

"Strictly speaking, that's exactly what you are, love." He dismissed her protests with wave of his hand, carefully facing away from her to avoid meeting her eyes.

"I'm a princess! You don't own me, Hook!"

He shrugged. "I needn't ask your permission. After all, this is my ship."

"Oh my gods. When were you going to tell me? You can't keep me here forever."

"All the more reason to thoroughly enjoy you, for as long as possible. Once you're gone, I somehow doubt I'll be given the opportunity to touch you ever again." A hint of sadness had crept into his voice as he gently laid his calloused hand on her cheek, but she was too angry to care.

"What makes you think I'll ever let you touch me now?" She snapped, pulling his hand away.

"Oh please. Don't even try to deny that you feel this..." He paused, searching for the right words, "connection, too. You want me. Just the idea of my mouth on you, or my cock inside you, is probably enough to get you soaking wet." He crept closer, whispering in her ear as a shudder of arousal tore through her body. "You may be a princess, but it turns out you're quite wanton, my dear. Why would I trade you away when your pretty little cunny is a golden treasure unlike any I could buy?" His hand gripped her hip as he pressed against her from behind. "You've been enjoying yourself just as much as I have."

She flushed deeper, anger and embarrassment coloring her cheeks.

"I'll ransom you if that's really what you want, but I'll do it when I'm good and ready, so I suggest you make yourself comfortable." He strapped on his sword and turned to leave.

"You can't leave! I'm not finished talking to you."

"Well, I am. This is not up for discussion."

"Get back here!" She followed him up the ladder and onto the deck, grabbing at his sleeve.

"Go back inside, Emma! This is my ship and I give the orders. I won't tell you again, lass." He shook her off, stalking towards the helm as she followed.

"Or what?" She snarled, rage overriding her good sense as she made a scene. This was exactly the kind of situation he'd wanted to avoid, but he feared there was no way to reason with her when she was this angry.

"Keep pushing me and you'll find out."

"I can't trust you now! How can I? You lied to me!" She screamed, her nearly hysterical cries drawing the further attention of the crew.

"Yes, I did. Pirate, remember? I do as I please. Your royal title means precisely nothing on this ship. Now go back to my cabin, or I'll be forced to show you just how much of a pirate I am." He leered at her, approaching her as he prayed she'd relent. At this rate, he'd be forced to prove his authority, and it was something he'd desperately hoped to avoid. If they thought he couldn't handle a woman, he'd lose the respect of his crew, damning the both of them. A mutiny was an ugly thing, and he didn't dare risk her safety, or his. How could she not see how precarious a position this was?

"Fuck you, Hook," she slapped him hard, the action causing a stunned silence to settle over the ship as every set of eyes turned in their direction.

He immediately grabbed her, spinning her around and pushing her over the railing as he crowded her from behind. "Fuck you? Sounds like a fine plan to me."

He hitched up her skirts, kicking her legs apart as his fingers delved between her thighs, thanking all of the gods above and below that she bore the lingering evidence of their last tryst and he wouldn't hurt her. In spite of the situation, she felt a rush of heat to where his talented fingers teased her apart. "Wait-here? You can't!"

"Oh, but I can."

"They'll see!"

"And? This ship is mine. Mine. As are you. I'll sail wherever I wish, and fuck you whenever I please. If I want to enjoy you right here and now, I will, and when I'm done you'll thank me for the bloody privilege."

She swung to look behind her, abruptly noticing the hungry and lecherous stares of some of the crew. Their rapt attention made it obvious that despite their polite behavior, these men still wanted her. She was considered Hook's woman and they dared not cross him, but if they thought he'd grown weak, if another man fancied the title of captain for himself, she certainly wouldn't be safe for long. She sniffed back a tear, steadying her breathing as she swallowed hard. What had she been thinking, striking him in full view of his men?

Her attention returned to more immediate concerns as she felt him working the lacings of his leather pants, pulling his cock free and teasing the tip against her entrance as he stroked himself. "You must know, I'd stop if I could. I'm sorry, Emma, but you've truly left me no choice. This is as much for you as it is for me," he whispered, before raising his voice so all could hear. "Normally, the penalty for insubordination is a flogging, but I suspect this should serve as an effective reminder..." Surging forward, he slammed into her, hips snapping against her ass as he buried himself deep.

She cried out at the intrusion, more in surprise than pain and he stilled, giving her a moment to relax before setting his hand and hook on her waist. His thumb traced gentle circles over her hipbone as he took her from behind, the force of his thrusts a glaring contrast to his soft touch. He kept her skirts around her hips, effectively blocking her bare body from their sight while still giving him access. Pressing down on her shoulders with his hook to change the angle, he reached his fingers around to rub at her clit while continuing to take her hard. "Come for me Emma," he whispered. "Let me show them that you're still mine. They need to see that you want me, love."

There was no finesse to his movements; his roughness stealing her breath as he pushed her closer and closer. Curling her fingers around the railing, she pushed back to meet him, whimpers of pleasure picking up as he praised her loud enough for the men to hear.

"There's a good girl. Fuck, princess, you're so wet. Always so wet for me..."

"Oh gods," she moaned, trusting his judgement as she arched her back even more so he could go deeper. "Don't stop, please. I'm so close. Harder. Harder!"

He could feel that she was telling the truth, her body taut as a bowstring as she pressed back against him. "Killian," she whimpered quietly, the sound of his real name passing her lips always sending an extra surge of desire through him. "Oh gods..." She cried out, relief flooding over her as she came, bliss momentarily erasing any embarrassment as her walls pulsed around Hook's cock. He slipped out quickly, twirling her around again and pushing on her shoulders.

"Kneel, darling. Let's see you use those lips for something more productive than defying me, shall we?" She sank to her knees shakily, still recovering from her orgasm as he grasped her hair and pressed his cock between her lips.

"Ah, now that's so much better! So compliant. Doesn't she look gorgeous with her mouth around my cock? Gods, but you're a bloody vision on your knees, Princess."

He fucked her face, her soft lips and teasing tongue bringing him quickly over the edge, and came in her mouth, watching her swallow his release with a quiet moan like it was an ambrosial delicacy. She gently cleaned him off, green eyes locked on his in challenge. Looking down at her, he asked, "Now, your highness, have you learned your lesson?"

"I don't know." She purred coyly. "If that's my punishment, you're not giving me much incentive to behave, Captain." She cocked a brow at him, a slight smirk ghosting over her lips.

He heard one of the men behind him drop something in shock, muttering, "Bloody buggering fuck," while another grumbled, "She did not just say that."

He picked her up, pulling her to his body as he kissed her passionately, heedless of the lingering taste of his seed on her lips. This was his fierce and beautiful princess, a woman who could give herself over to him one minute and stun him with her boldness the next. He had to marvel at her, even as he kissed her breathless. She'd managed to publicly accept his authority without seeming the least bit subdued, and allowed herself to be fucked in full view of the crew without truly yielding in the end.

He realized, with a start, that Ruby had been right. If ever there was a woman he could love, it would be her.

He chuckled against her lips. "Not one to be vanquished, are you?"

"I'm far more interested in negotiating a treaty than accepting defeat." She nibbled at his bottom lip.

"Emma," he groaned as he began to work his way down her neck, ushering her back to his cabin as the crew cheered. "You may not like being lied to, but did you really want to leave so soon? Because, if you were trying to convince me to send you home, you failed miserably."

"I didn't say send me home," she growled, kicking the cabin door shut behind them, "but I did say that I'm no mere plaything. If I'm going to be sailing with you indefinitely, I need to be more than just the woman you're screwing. I'm not used to this Killian. I was raised to lead, and I can't do that if you treat me as little more than just another whore. If you don't respect me, neither will they."

He sighed. She had a valid point.

"Fair enough. But on deck, I am still the authority. That cannot change. Ever."

"Understood." She nodded.

"And you'll stay here, on my ship, for as long as I wish?"

"Let me send a messenger bird to my family again, just so they know I'm safe. Besides them, what do I really have to go home to? Gossip, and a whole new set of suitors hoping my newly devalued status gives than a chance. No thank you. I'll have to go back eventually." She saw him open his mouth to speak and cut him off, "but not yet."


Mom and Dad,

You raised me on grand stories of adventure. Now, I've found one of my own. Please believe that I am safe and well. I love you so much.

Emma

 

Chapter Text

XX.

Emma stood at the bow of the ship, looking over the water as the sun sank below the horizon. She still found it hard to believe that she'd agreed to stay on the Jolly Roger indefinitely, but when she looked out at the vast world in front of her, she couldn't help but want to see as much of it as possible, and this was her opportunity to do so. Hook had promised to take her wherever she wanted after they dropped off Starkey, and her mind was positively racing as she thought of all the places she could go.

Thinking of Hook, her musings returned to their argument earlier that day. Taking her on the ship's deck was something he'd mentioned once before, but she was still surprised that he'd actually gone through with it; he had a tendency to send overly jealous glares towards her admirers when they were out at bars and men merely glanced at her. She was a little ashamed to admit to herself that she'd somewhat enjoyed it as well, because she probably shouldn't have found such a public display arousing, but it was. There was a freedom that came with admitting to the world that she was no longer a girl, but a woman with desires; that she was being used by the captain, but also using him for her pleasure as well. It was oddly thrilling.

"Pardon me, your highness, but are you alright?" She turned to see Walsh, smiling softly as he hesitantly approached her. "You know, after everything earlier..." He trailed off, apparently not wanting to mention the morning's more sordid event.

"I'm fine, thank you, Walsh."

"He didn't hurt you? I mean, it certainly looked... Well, he was rather rough with you , and you didn't seem to be in pain, but not every woman likes to be taken so forcefully."

The crewman stepped closer, placing his hand over hers in what was obviously an attempt to comfort. She couldn't remember seeing him on deck, so he must have been behind her somewhere; realizing that he'd obviously seen her bent over the railing caused a slight blush to rise in her cheeks at having to explain her situation. "No, no harm done. It wasn't the first time he's been rough with me, and he's always careful not to hurt me. Not really, anyways." She smiled sheepishly. "He knows what he's doing."

"I shouldn't say anything," he whispered, "but you don't have to put up with him."

She leaned in, appreciating the gesture but not wanting him to get in trouble for his unnecessary concern. "Walsh, really. It's fine. You needn't worry."

His eyes darted around them, ensuring their privacy before he continued. "Alright, milady, but I could help you escape, if you wanted to. Help you get home. You don't have to let him...use you in such a way."

She smiled softly. How could she explain that she didn't really want to go home yet? Did she dare admit to enjoying their carnal activities? "I've given my word, and he's been far more gentlemanly than I'd expected, but I'll keep it in mind, in case the situation changes." He bowed awkwardly, taking her hand and placing a lingering kiss to her knuckles before going below deck, leaving her to her thoughts.


Several days later, as they neared their island destination, they spotted a large frigate. The trade ship tried to flee, then fired a few times towards the pirates, but was outgunned and far slower, surrendering when it was clearly unable to outrun the faster Jolly Roger. A trove of exotic delicacies and other luxury items was found on board, belongings that were undoubtedly owned by someone far wealthier than the humble and mostly apathetic crew. A single sailor made a foolish attempt at heroism when he blocked one of the cabins, only to be easily subdued by Mullins with a punch to the jaw. The seaman's reason for bravery was quickly discovered when a copper-haired lass (clearly the boy's sister, from the similarity of their hair) was found cowering in the room.

"Let me handle this," Emma said quietly, Hook's responding nod giving her all the permission she needed as she strode purposefully across the deck. She pushed past the men, grabbing the redhead and dragging her back into the cabin, much to the crew's dismay.

"Sorry, boys. She's mine first," she said with a wink.

"Oh, come on, Princess! Let us have a turn with her!" Mullins yelled, playfully.

"Or, if you're keeping her all to yourself, at least let us watch!" Billy added. Hook scowled at them, but the obviously playful tone made him more amused than angry. They were merely joking with her.

"Oh, you're just hilarious. Wait here, and I'll see whether she's interested in you sorry lot, ok?" She shut the door, sitting on a narrow bed and patting it to encourage the girl to sit beside her. "Ok, I know how terrifying this can be, so I'm going to be honest with you. That group of pirates wants to fuck you, but the captain's ensured that they won't touch you without my say-so. That means it's your call."

The young woman regarded Emma thoughtfully. "You're serious?" She nodded, and the redhead continued. "Why do you even care?"

"Because someone once told me that we all have a price, and I want to be sure yours is met. They'll pay you for whatever you give, or they'll leave unsatisfied."

The young woman paused, a sheepish smile on her face. "How much?"

She opened the door, yelling "Billy! How much?"

"One gold per man" he yelled back. Emma pondered a minute, before yelling back "Two." A mere moment passed before he responded "Deal!" as she slammed the door.

The redhead's eyes widened as Emma continued. "I know. It's enough to give you and your brother out there a nice start. You're not a virgin, are you?"

The girl shook her head, blushing a bit. "I'm fucking the captain and I'm certainly not his wife," she said with a soft smile. "I'm not about to judge."

The redhead smiled back then, biting her lip as she contemplated. "Ok. But I don't think I can handle no more than, maybe, ten of 'em. And one at a time. And ... Don't tell my brother. He'd have a fit."

Emma opened her hands in a placating gesture and shrugged. "Hey, whatever you want. But it's your body, not his. If he's sleeping with wenches in port, I can't see why you can't make a few coins doing the same thing," before she opened the door. "Alright. Two per man, and when she's done, she's done."

Billy nodded, pulling out his money as he raced past her to the cabin. Emma couldn't help but chuckle at his eagerness, deciding she had no objections if all parties involved were agreeable. She looked to see the still-unconscious form of the brother amongst the ship's crew, breathing slowly as he slept through his sister's activities, and rolled her eyes.

"Nice work there, love." She heard Hook murmur against her skin as he wrapped his arms around her.

She shrugged. "This way, everyone's reasonably happy."

"Indeed. Although, you do realize two per man is rather generous."

She smirked. "Supply and demand captain. Basic economics."

He hummed in her ear. "And what if I have a few demands of my own?"

"I'm sure we can work something out." She rubbed her ass against him, humming in satisfaction when he groaned.

They left the crew to the business of gathering up the valuable goods and returned to the cabin. Hook had expected Emma to be resistant to his charms after the incident on the deck, but he'd actually found the opposite; she'd been more apt to initiate their intimate relations, more likely to demand they change positions or to tell him what brought her pleasure. It was as if she felt freer now that she'd shown him that she couldn't truly be dominated, and while a part of him wanted to do exactly that and prove to her that he was the only captain on his ship, another part was incredibly aroused by her newfound boldness.

Bold was certainly the word for her now, as she whipped off his belt and pushed him back on the bed. "So, how much do you think I could charge you, captain? 5 gold? More?" She unlaced her black silk corset and tossed it aside, followed by her golden dress and chemise until she was bare and crouching on top of him. "Would you want my mouth or my cunny?"

"Maybe I'd want both." He chuckled, fingers sliding down her waist to cup her buttocks as his hook grazed her thigh. "Maybe I'd want all of you, though you're probably right- I probably couldn't afford you." He urged her forward until her thighs were on either side of his head. "Though perhaps you'd be willing to let me work off my debt." His tongue slid across her, dragging through her slickness as he pressed her center to his face. She moaned in pleasure, hands flying out to grip the bookshelf above the bed as she began to grind her hips gently against him, and he smiled to himself as he tasted her, proud of his ability to turn her from a proper princess into this erotic goddess above him. The gasps and cries of euphoria that filled his ears spurred him on, and he reveled in her taste, in the gentle motion of her hips as she sought more from him. "Gods, don't stop," she begged as he flicked his tongue over her clit. "Just like that, Killian."

Thankfully, her responsive body took but a few more minutes of stimulation to peak, her orgasm hitting her in a rush as she fucked herself onto his face. He flicked his tongue over her clit, making her jump several times from overstimulation until she finally moved back down his body and shoved his pants down, straddling his hips as soon as his proud cock sprang free. He could barely think when she sank down on him, her wet heat enveloping him in its tight, velvety soft embrace in one fluid rush of sensation. "Ooooh fuck, Killian," she moaned, hips starting to pivot as she took every inch, riding him hard in her desire for another chance to cross that threshold. He bucked up, grasping her hips with his hand and the curve of his hook as he mercilessly drove into her, fueled by her cries of utter ecstasy. Wanting to toy with her a bit, he spanked her ass, a gasp and a look of utter of indignation crossing her face before he smirked and resumed his thrusts, her eyes rolling back as any offense was forgotten. Nearing his own release, he reached down to thumb at her clit, pushing her over the edge and allowing her spasming walls to pull him along with her as he emptied himself deep inside her. She collapsed onto his chest, heart hammering against her ribcage hard enough for him to feel it as he shifted her to his side. Once she had calmed a bit, his wandering hands found themselves back between her legs as he began idly tracing circles with his fingers through her wetness, teasing at her entrance and dancing over her clit until she came a third time, passing out almost instantly afterwards with her chin tucked into his chest.

He didn't understand why he enjoyed giving her pleasure almost as much as he enjoyed taking his own; perhaps it was the knowledge that he'd made a bloody princess come undone, or the idea of a mere swipe of his tongue being enough to have her in his thrall. Whatever the reason, he had to reluctantly admit to himself that he enjoyed making her come more than he'd ever done so with a woman in the past.

Then again, there were so many things he enjoyed with her that he hadn't felt a need for in nearly a decade, the sensation of holding her in his arms after utterly ravishing her beautiful body one of the most obvious. With whores and barmaids, he'd either simply left afterwards or collapsed on his side of the bed, essentially ignoring the woman he'd been with now that he was through with her. But with Emma... The urge to leave never came, something that would terrify him if he had any concern that their arrangement was more than a temporary and mutually beneficial solution. She got to see the world. He got a beautiful bedmate and, eventually, a generous ransom. If he wanted to enjoy her company as well as her body, there was no reason not to do so.


After another night and day of sailing, the man in the crow's best finally spotted land, and the crew began to buzz with excitement.

"There it is," Starkey sighed from his position next to Emma by the helm. "Neverland"

"Neverland?" Emma questioned.

"Lily named it. When I turned pirate, we thought our dreams of having a plot of land to call home were over, but after saving up, we finally could afford this villa. I remembered that all great homes- like all great ships- need memorable titles, and it's the paradise we never thought we'd have- hence the name."

"That's cute. And clever".

Starkey smirked. "That's my Lily in a nutshell."

The Jolly Roger pulled up to the dock beside a small sailboat, the type that could easily be managed by a single man, and was still being moored when a beautiful caramel-skinned woman raced down the wooden planks at a full sprint. Her long, black hair trailed behind her as she ran, cornflower blue skirts swirling around her shapely calves. Starkey leapt off the ship and was promptly tackled by the petite brunette, knocked to the wooden floor as their bodies collided. His arms automatically wrapped around her, pulling her against his body as she placed her hands on his face and kissed him hungrily.

"That's a hell of a welcome, Lily," the first mate murmured happily. "It's almost a shame I'm not planning to leave again anytime soon."

"Don't you dare!" She laughed. "I'm not letting you out of that house until you put a baby in me! And then not for another month afterwards just because I can."

Emma almost felt like she was intruding watching the reunion. She'd never seen the lines around Starkey's eyes crinkle so deeply, or his smile so wide. He turned to regard the captain and crew, pulling himself to his feet and lifting his wife into his arms. With a sweep of his hand, he indicated the rolling hill and the pretty villa that sat atop it. "Well, men, welcome to my home."

Hook stepped across the gangplank, catching Emma's hand and bringing her with him. "My love," Starkey began, "I'm sure you remember Captain Jones." Hook bent to kiss Lily's hand politely, greeting her with a formal "my lady." "And this is her royal highness, Princess Emma of Sylvania." Emma did her best court curtsey, smiling when Lily returned it with ease.

"I, too, had a life of luxury once, and gave it up for a charming pirate." Lily said with a shake of her head. "It will be so nice to have a woman visiting for a change!"

Emma and hook followed them towards the villa. The warm climate meant that the trees and bushes were constantly in bloom, a sweet aroma drifting through the air. The home was fairly open, a large center room surrounded by living spaces and balconies that allowed the gentle breeze to circulate. It was a far cry from the imposing stone of Emma's castle home, but charming and welcoming in a way she found too remarkable to ignore.

"Gods, Starkey, this is amazing."

He kissed his wife. "Lily designed it. She's a genius."

The couple insisted Hook and Emma stay in their home, so they were shown to a brightly lit guest room overlooking the glittering ocean. Emma immediately went to the small balcony, her hands resting on the sun-warmed stone railing as she sighed. "It's quite a view, isn't it?" She asked.

"Oh, I very much agree," Hook purred from behind her, brows raising suggestively when she glared at him.

"That was far too predictable. I think I'm actually a bit embarrassed for you. You're going to need new lines soon."

"Seem to be working just fine on you. I'm reluctant to alter anything when I've been having such remarkable success." She smacked him lightly on the shoulder as she crossed the room to leave, shrieking when he caught her elbow and pulled her back.

"Alright, pirate. Let's attempt to be civilized for now and I'll make it worth your while later."


They had an amazing dinner, full of the unique local flavors the region was famous for, and opened a cask of fine wine that had been "liberated" from their most recent conquest's stores. Starkey had never seemed so relaxed and content, but Emma could tell that Hook was feeling the loss of his first mate and friend dearly already. The hours passed easily, laughter swirling around them as Hook's mood darkened subtly. Emma couldn't help but feet the tension radiating from him. He kept stealing glances at where Starkey and Lily cuddled on a pile of cushions, oblivious to the rest of the world.

Their happiness was almost palpable, and try as he might, the captain couldn't help but feel a pang of regret, knowing he'd never have this life. He could tell everyone it wasn’t what he wanted, but he remembered whispered talks with Milah of raising a family. A part of him wondered if she truly meant any of it; he couldn't imagine her happy living the mundane life of a homemaker and mother. Still, it was a dream that had been lost, like his dream of sailing the world beside his brother, and seeing the obvious joy on his first mate's face only made the loss more bitter.

"Come on, lass," he grabbed Emma's hand, hauling her to her feet. "Let's bid our hosts a good night and see about you making good on your promise to take care of me, shall we?" The princess looked surprised, but followed his lead, thanking Starkey and Lily for a wonderful evening before returning to their guest room.

"Are you alright?" she asked, placing a hand on his arm.

"Of course," he dismissed her concern as he pulled at the strings of her corset. He took her hard and fast, smothering her screams of pleasure with a pillow.

She woke a few hours later to find him standing nude on the balcony, sipping at his flask while he looked over the moonlit sea. Gods, he was a beautiful sight to behold, and her first instinct was to enjoy the view, then go back to sleep and leave him in peace, but there was a haunted look in his eyes that drew her out of bed and towards him in spite of her misgivings. Dropping to her knees, she took him into her mouth, letting him watch her bring him to full arousal before asking, "Do you want to go back to bed?"

"No." His eyes turned from her to the sea, his hand on her head steadily pushing her mouth back onto his cock, less-than-subtly encouraging her to continue right there. The stone was hard and cold under her knees as she sucked him, but the breeze was warm and fragrant when it caressed her skin. She looked up to find his eyes closed, his focus now completely on his pleasure. "That's a girl," he murmured, hips thrusting in time with her mouth. It didn't take long for him to reward her efforts with a mouthful of his salty-sweet seed, his orgasm washing over him as he groaned out curses and praise. She licked him clean as his cock softened in her mouth, then looked back at him, his deep sighs of satisfaction at odds with the troubled expression that remained on his brow. He stared into her eyes, his thumb gently caressing her cheek before turning from her again. "Go back to bed, princess. I'll join you shortly."

It was a dismissal if ever she'd heard one, and she was surprised at how much it hurt to be cast aside when all she'd wanted was to comfort him. The haunted look was still there, almost more so than before, and she wanted to ask what he was thinking about but could tell that he was in no mood to talk. Schooling her features, she stood and returned to the now-cool sheets, turning from the balcony as she tried to return to sleep with the lingering taste of him on her lips.

He watched her settle into the ivory bedding, her glorious hair spread out behind her as she faced the opposite wall. He had to wonder what his life would have been like if he'd met her before Milah and almost felt guilty comparing the two, knowing that for all he loved her, Milah's debaucherous ways had only fueled his descent into villainy while Emma's naive innocence and fiery passion may have pulled him to a better path. He chuckled darkly at the thought, realizing that he was imagining the princess actually loving him, a scenario too ridiculous to believe. She wasn't really with him by choice.

Gods, Red had most likely been right when she'd spoken of imminent heartbreak, because for all his talk of taking what he wanted, there was one thing that had always eluded him: a happy home life. He'd never had it as a boy, and his time with Liam and Milah had been too brief and too fraught with turmoil. The beauty in his bed made him want things he'd never have. Seeing Starkey so happy, finally getting what he'd once so longed for, only made his lonely existence seem emptier and the space she might occupy in it seem more precious. Keeping her had certainly been a mistake, and it was one he was sure he'd come to regret. He crawled back into bed, making sure to stay on his own side despite his every instinct to wrap his arms around her.

When he woke, their bodies had somehow gravitated towards each other like two magnets, her arm wrapped around his waist, and he swallowed his frustration and pulled her closer as he went back to sleep.


They stayed on the island for another day, gathering fresh fruit and water stores for their next trip. Lily hummed to herself and bustled about the home (when she wasn't locking her husband in their bedroom,) enlisting Emma's help with the occasional task. Emma found it a relief to have another woman to talk to, even if the conversation eventually turned to the men in their lives, and she couldn't help but laugh as her hostess recounted the challenges of being with a pirate. Lily had been Starkey's wife since before his fall from grace, and had been waiting years for him to return to her permanently.

Supplies restored, the Jolly Roger and her crew was ready to go sooner than expected. They all boarded the ship, Hook and Starkey embracing in a surprisingly affectionate hug before clapping each other on the back and parting ways with promises to see each other soon. As they cast off, Emma waved enthusiastically to the couple on the docks, realizing sadly she'd probably never see the kindly first mate or his beautiful wife again. Had someone told her a few weeks ago that she'd actually miss one of the pirates that captured her, she'd have laughed, but watching the villa get smaller as they sailed away, she couldn't deny that the former navy man had grown on her, and she sincerely hoped that he and his wife would have their family, images of well-mannered little pirate children running around the island dancing in her head. She couldn't help but think such a life was strangely appealing, with no courtly gossip and no politics, just a home, a husband, loyal friends and a family of her own.

Hook sidled up to her, good hand gripping her hip as he stared out at the sea before them. "As promised, our destination is yours to decide. So, love, where to?"

Chapter Text

XXI.

They sailed towards the Amari Islands, the first on a list of many places Emma had always wanted to see. She felt free, like her royal responsibilities had been left behind and, for once, she could be anyone and do anything. She'd frequently caught Hook staring at her with a thoughtful expression ever since they'd left Starkey, but he seemed disinclined to share his thoughts, and she didn't want to push him, afraid of what she may learn.

The islands were a warm, bright paradise perfumed with the sweet scent of lemons that grew on trees across the region. Hook had called it one of the most beautiful places he'd seen, and she had to admit that it's earthy sun-drenched beauty was so different from the beauty of the forests back home. The white stuccoed buildings were arrayed up the mountainside in a sort of shining labyrinth, but the town proper spread out before them welcomingly and the people's content smiles and cheerful greetings brought out the best in the Jolly Roger's crew.

Hook escorted her around town, and after dining on a terrace and getting deliciously drunk on the sweet lemon liquor native to the area, they stole a blanket off a washline and ran down to the beach, urged on by her insistence that they sleep under the stars. She stripped off her clothes as she raced towards the surf, splashing into the remarkably warm water with glee and reveling in the idyllic setting.

Watching her frolic under the full moon, he was tempted to join her but wanted to commit the image before him to memory first. She seemed so carefree in her inebriated state, and hauntingly beautiful in the pale light, a goddess made of seafoam and starlight.

He was falling in love with her. While he could never admit it out loud, the truth was plain as day and quite frankly it terrified him. He should push her away, but how? If what they'd already done hadn't scared her off, what would he have to do to distance himself from her? Their time together was stolen, and whether she stayed another month, a year, or longer, she'd eventually have to return to her kingdom, even if for now she was his and his alone.

Peeling off his leather, he swaggered towards the ocean, pulling the blonde siren into his arms forcefully and pressing himself against her. She molded pliantly against him, scratching her nails over his scalp as he buried his face in her neck, breathing in the brisk salty smell of the sea. Walking her towards the beach, he took her from behind as the waves lapped at their legs, the slow, lazy motion of the water mirrored by his languid thrusts. He was savoring each moment, the feeling of being deep inside her only enhanced by the pristine surroundings.

Spent and sated, he carried her to the blanket and wrapped her in his arms, waking to have her again as rosy dawn broke over the horizon. When Emma found herself bleeding later that morning, she was filled with both relief and the smallest bit of sorrow. Hook had made it clear that he had no intentions of getting her pregnant and she knew that having a child with the dreaded pirate captain would be reckless, but a confusing part of her still longed for things she could never have.


The clouds rolled in as they left the island, and while Hook was perfectly at ease at the helm, Emma decided to go below deck to wait out the storm. The rain was light, more of a gentle mist than a true downpour, but even so was more than she could comfortably endure. Perusing the small library of books, she barely noticed when the door opened behind her until she heard boots on the floor.

"Walsh?" He stepped into the cabin, shutting the door behind him. "What are you doing here?"

"I've been thinking, princess, and I think I may have a plan."

"A plan?" She squinted at him, confused. "For what exactly?"

"A way for you to escape. We could leave, run away and back to your kingdom," he suggested. "I know the area around our next port well. With me by your side, nobody could hurt you. You could be home by midsummer."

She shook her head. She didn't want to admit that she had no interest in leaving just yet."It would never work. Hook would come after me."

"If we travelled mostly by land and had a decent head start, he'd never catch up." He moved closer, fingers brushing up her arm. "We could take on other identities, claim to be man and wife." His hand caressed her shoulder, his eyes going to her breasts. "Convince the merchants and innkeepers that we're two young lovers on our honeymoon. I'd get a reward for returning you, and you'd get to go home." His hand boldly moved to her breast, briefly fondling it through her dress before she slapped it away.

"Don't." She leveled him with a glare as his usually-kind face began to morph into a sneer, his hand grabbing her wrists.

"Gods, are you really so stupid? You actually think he cares about you?" He barked out a harsh laugh. "You're nothing but a good fuck to him. The men say that you should have seen how his face lit up with desire when he found you lying unconscious in your bed. Do you know how it happened? I wasn't even there and I still know a couple of the men were arguing over who got first go with you until Hook came in and claimed you. He would have fucked your little cunt raw and turned you over to the rest of us if you hadn't been a princess."

"What the hell is wrong with you?" She sputtered. Could this really be the same man?

He raised a mocking brow, backing her towards the table as his eyes descended on her breasts again. "Oh, what? You only like it when the captain does it, is that it? Believe me, if you want it rough, I can give it to you. After all, thanks to your meddling, I've been getting laid a lot less often, and I'd be more than happy to take out my frustration on you." His smile turned dangerous in the glint of an eye. "It's a shame. I was starting to like you."

"Walsh," she warned. "Get out, now."

With a snarl, he grabbed her hair and tried to force her backwards, pushing her over the table as he lifted her skirts, hand circling her neck as he unlaced his trousers. "Nice and rough, just how he fucked you on deck, like a common whore for all to see, right? Are you wet and ready for me too, princess?" She shoved him backwards, putting some space between them. "Probably not, huh? Too bad, it would have hurt you less." She screamed angrily, kicking him in the shin, then slamming her heel into his knee, causing him to yell in pain. She reached for the ostentatious candlestick in the center of the table, grabbing it triumphantly to slam across his temple, causing him to fall away and topple onto the floor. Finally able to reach for a proper weapon, Emma grabbed a dagger from Hook's shelf. She heard a commotion from the hall, and instantly pressed the dagger to the throat of the person crashing through the door, hesitating when Hook looked down at her with an utterly shocked expression.

"Are you alright?" His eyes franticly scanned her, searching for injury as she dropped her hand, but continued to aim the dagger in the direction of Walsh's unconscious form on the floor. Hook's arms wrapped around her tightly, pulling her even closer. "Yes, I knocked him out before he could..." She trailed off, shaking her head slightly.

"I'll deal with him," was Hook's reply, malice dripping from every word. She nodded in response, unable to spare an ounce of pity for the man, and Hook instructed a few crewmen to take Walsh above and leave them alone for a moment. After locking the door as they left, he gathered her in his arms, stroking her hair as she clung to him. "Are you truly alright?"

"Yes. I am. What are you going to do to him?"

A shadow seemed to flicker across his face as he stiffened and turned to leave. "Make an example of him, that's what. You stay here."

"Absolutely not," she stated. "He attacked me. I need to be there."

He sighed. "Emma, you don't want to see this. I assure you." There was no way she was prepared for the brutality he was about to unleash, and he feared that she would perceive him differently.

She stood prouder, straightening her skirts. "Yes, I do."


Leaving her by the helm, he walked Walsh to the plank, pushing him ahead. "So you thought you could have my princess, did you? Perhaps I should thank you, Walsh. Not only did you prove to the crew that Emma can handle herself rather well, but you're giving me the opportunity to demonstrate just how serious I am about protecting what is mine." He heard a small, lilting humming sound. "Ah, there they are, the shrieking eels. I hope you're hungry my lovelies." He sliced the man's arm with his hook, shaking the blood droplets into the water, which began to churn.

"Any last words, you pathetic maggot?"

"You can't keep her forever," he sneered, "and you'll end up losing her to a crew, or getting her killed, and at this point I hope it's both."

Anger coursed through Hook as he ripped the mutinous man's belly open with his hook and kicked him, screaming, into the water, where the eels made quick work of things. Still, the lingering sense of dread at the crewman's words stayed with him long after Walsh's screams died out and they'd left the bloody water in their wake. He turned to find Emma retreating back below deck, and barked orders for the crew to continue as usual before following her.

"Lass?" He approached her carefully, not wanting to frighten her. He could only imagine what she was thinking.

"I'm fine." She nestled into his outstretched arms. "Just needed a moment. I still can't believe it."

"Gods, Emma, I'm so sorry. I had no idea...he seemed so harmless. I never suspected he would try to...," he choked a bit on the words, unable to get them out. "Thank the gods you know how to handle yourself."

"It's my father you should thank," she said absently. "He taught me."

"And taught you well, certainly, but he's not the one who incapacitated your assailant." The word incapacitated sparked a memory, and she froze in his arms, remembering how Walsh had taunted her. She pushed Hook away, looking at him suspiciously.

"Wait. He told me... Before you knew who I was," she swallowed. "What were you and the crew going to do with me?" She wasn't sure what to ask, or if she really wanted the answer.

Hooks eyes narrowed. "What did he say?"

"He said that you found me unconscious and were about to fuck me first, only stopping once you realized who I am. Is that true?"

He sighed sadly. "There is some truth to what he said. You had hit your head during the boarding, and, yes, the men were interested. I knew immediately that something was different about you and you're bloody gorgeous, so of course I wanted to fuck you. You can't be surprised to hear that."

"Gods, I can't believe you! And to think you claim to a gentleman." She huffed, angry that she'd let herself come to care about this man.

"I am, Emma," he continued, frustration coloring his tone. "But I'm also a pirate, and you were just another woman when I first saw you. A gorgeous one, yes, but nothing more."

"And that means you can just have your way with me?"

"Normally, yes! Don't act naive, princess. I've never hidden my desire for you. The moment I clapped eyes on you, I knew I had to have you."

"You wouldn't have forced me". She couldn't explain why she was so sure. Perhaps it was because he'd had every opportunity to take her against her will, and still refused to do so or because she was somehow certain that she would have given herself willingly to him even under different circumstances.

"Wouldn't I?" He scoffed, voice pained and angry, as if it hurt him to consider what he might have done. "If you hadn't relented, if you'd tried to make me wait longer or outright denied me, do you really think I would have been patient? You've seen what I'm capable of. I've had many a woman without giving them a second thought. At the time, I had no reason to think I'd view you any differently, love."

"And now?" Her voice was quiet, as if merely asking might change his feelings.

He smiled softly in response, as if he was thinking of a private joke. "Actually, I quite fancy you from time to time, when you're not yelling at me."

That wasn't the response she'd been expecting and, in spite of all that had happened, she couldn't help but smile back.


They stopped next in Avalon, a dreamy, foggy island she'd heard about as a child from her mother's favorite man at arms. The lush green hillsides were much as Lancelot had described them, with a wildness that seemed to be a part of the land itself, and she understood why he's spoken so fondly of his former home.

Emma was a little disappointed to discover that they'd missed the springtime celebration of Beltane by a few weeks, but still spent two days wandering the stony shores and buying various herbal remedies before continuing onto their next destination.

"Captain!" The man in the crow's nest cried out. "You'll never believe it! It's one of John's ships, dead ahead!"

He snapped his head up, eyes meeting Ed's for confirmation before ordering Emma to go below deck

"Why?"

"Because you don't want to be a part of this," he warned, voice low and dangerous. "If this ship doesn't surrender once we've raised the crimson flag, we have no choice but to kill all aboard."

"You can't just let them go?"

He looked at her, a slightly maniacal fire in his eyes that she hadn't seen before. "That's not a merchant ship, or a few nobles out for a pleasure cruise. That ship belongs to a navy, and there is no way in hell I'm letting it go."

She considered arguing, but there was something in the way he glared at the other ship that made her think better of it. She'd seen hatred like that on his face only once before, when he'd been fighting his father. "Alright, but stay safe, captain."

He grunted acknowledgement as she left his side, not wanting her to know his concerns. If he were a smart man, he'd sail on and leave the ship behind him, but the flag was that of his homeland, of the kingdom that had killed his brother, and he'd long ago vowed to destroy the navy ship by ship. It put her at risk. Hell, it put them all at risk, but he would hate himself if he went back on his word, even if that earnest man of honor he'd once been no longer existed.

The canons fired, shaking the various items on the nearby desk as Emma crouched in the cabin and braced herself for the impact of the enemy's cannonballs that never came, though she heard them whizzing past. The sounds of the crew boarding the enemy ship echoed through the ceiling as swords clashed, but as the violence died down she could just barely make out the sound of Hook yelling something, presumably at the other men. Creeping to the window, she pressed her ear against the glass to listen.

"...is a corrupt monarch who cares nothing for any of you, and would gladly sacrifice his people if it gained him an advantage. I once thought as you did, and proudly served only to be betrayed. I will leave the rest of you with your lives and with a message for your pig of a king: tell him that I will find him, and I will have my revenge, and until that day any ship that sails under his banner will be sunk to the depths!"

A cheer went up, presumably from hook's crew, and she heard men being ushered onboard as the pirates sacked and burned the ship. He returned to the cabin drenched in red, and her first instinct was to be terrified for him until she realized the blood wasn't his own. Instead of bathing, he quickly stripped off his saturated clothes and grabbed her, smearing red on her dress as he pulled her in for a kiss. The warm, sharp smell of blood hung in the air as he expertly shredded her garments with his hook and maneuvered them towards the wall. She was about to remind him that it was still her womanly time when he lifted her up and wrapped her legs around his waist, simultaneously attacking her throat with forceful nips and kisses.

Everything about him seemed darker again, more the pirate captain she'd awakened to that first day and less the surprisingly affectionate man she'd come to know, but as her body stretched around his hard cock all such thoughts were replaced by overwhelming pleasure. He was relentless, driving up into her over and over again, kissing her hard and deep. "Fuck," he grunted, his hand moving to where they were joined. She scratched her nails down his back, earning a shudder from him that had him growing impossibly harder, then fisted her hands in his thick hair, eyes locked with his. There was anger, yes, but also a desperation she hadn't expected.

"What do you need?" She moaned, feeling herself get closer.

"To feel alive," he whispered, pulling her closer and speeding up his thrusts.

She was so close, and his quiet plea was, somehow, enough to make her break. She kissed him as she fell apart, biting hard enough on his lip to draw blood and hoping the jolt of pain coupled with the intense pleasure would push him over the edge.

It did, the combined sensations overwhelming in the best of ways as he came and filled her with his release. He collapsed against her, pressing her into the worn panels of whitewashed wood with a groan. How she had known exactly what he needed in that moment was beyond him, but it was the first time ever that he'd felt strangely calm after sinking a ship in the king's navy, and it was clearly due to her.

She smiled sheepishly at him, his blood on her lip and hers coating where they were joined, but he was gazing at her like she was radiantly beautiful. Still slightly dazed, he slipped out of her and lowered her gently to the ground before sinking into a chair. After filling the wash basin and gathering towels, she set about cleaning herself and then gently washing him as well when his voice broke the silence.

"That ship was from a land I'm not particularly fond of."

"I gathered." He didn't seem to want to elaborate and she tried to recall the flag, but aside from it being red and yellow she couldn't remember much, and there were so many kingdoms that could be. Her heart ached at the realization that he was thinking of Liam. He'd avenged the woman he loved, but his brother's murder still haunted him. Kissing his head, she gently led him to the bed, running her fingers through his hair until he fell asleep beside her.

When she'd first been brought aboard his ship, he'd been little more than a monster, but seeing his face untroubled in sleep she wondered how he'd managed to steal not only her dowry and virginity, but her heart as well.


They docked two days later, and while some of the naval men chose to go ashore and never look back, a few of the sailors decided to join up with the pirates once they'd heard the tale of their fallen captain and the king's treachery. The town itself was lively, filled with people from nearly every kingdom. They all settled into the common room of a cozy inn to celebrate their new mates, enjoying their food and drink when Hook's revelry was interrupted by a familiar face.

"Roberts!" He called, raising his glass to the man in black sitting in the corner.

"Hook!" a heavily accented voice called across the room, beckoning him closer. "You're looking quite well."

"As are you, my friend."

"I do what I can." He arched a dark eyebrow. "So, who is the lady?"

Hook looked back at Emma, who was currently learning how to throw darts with Smee and apparently terrible at it, based on the laughter. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"Nonsense! I've been at this piracy business long enough to know who you have there. What is it with pirates and princesses?"

"What can I say? She was impossible to resist. Maybe you should find one of your own."

He barked out a laugh, running his hand through his dark hair. "I've seen all too clearly how that ends, and I've no intention of retiring just yet. Tell me, though, how did she take the news of her brother? She seems oddly untroubled."

"News? What news?" Hook felt that sense of dread again.

"Fezzik was here last night drinking some sailors from up north under the table and heard talk of trouble in Sylvania. Apparently, with the princess, well, missing and the crown prince ill, there's been a lot of outside interest. Rumor has it that they've been trying to contact her but haven't had success."

"How ill is the boy?"

"There's talk of him dying. I am deeply sorry my friend. It is terrible news. We both know, the loss of family cannot easily be forgotten."

Hook sat frozen, unable to believe the information he'd just been given. Roberts had no reason to lie, and there was only one course of action; he had to say something.

He didn't have to, actually, his more selfish side reminded him. He could simply keep the information to himself for the time being. She seemed happy with him, and with her by his side he was more content than he'd felt in years.

It was so tempting, but he'd give almost anything for just one more day with Liam. Milah's death had solidified his fall from grace, but Liam's death had been the true cause if it. He couldn't deny her the chance to see her brother one last time.

He could hardly believe that his sense of honor was returning just in time to turn him against himself, but the more he thought of his own brother, the clearer his choice was. The fates had a strange sense of humor. For all he'd tried to deny it, he'd opened his heart and fallen in love with his princess, only to inevitably lose her far too soon.

Perhaps it was simply his lot in life to be alone.

 

Chapter Text

XXII.

Her brother could be dying. He had to tell her. He couldn't deny her the opportunity to see the boy one last time, and if he passed, she would be the crown princess and heir to her parents' kingdom. She'd be queen one day.

She was being ripped from him, just as everyone he'd ever loved had been, only this time, she'd live and love and go on happily without him. Knowing that should have made it hurt less, and yet, in a way , it hurt more.

"Mr. Smee," he beckoned the crewman who'd become his new first mate. "A word."

The stout man scurried to the captain's side, hurriedly straightening the red cap perched atop his head. "Yes, cap'n?"

"I have just heard some rather distressing gossip, and need you to ask around, quietly, and ascertain whether it is indeed true. Go find out if our Swan Princess's brother has fallen ill, and report back within the hour." He saw no reason to hurt her unnecessarily if the rumors seemed false.

Unfortunately, Smee's face when he returned was enough answer even before the man gave his official report. The severity of the illness varied, but the stories were consistent in one regard: the boy was sick.

Throwing back the remains of his mug, he approached his jovial crew, feeling his melancholy permeate the group as he cleared his throat. "Princess," he began. "A word, if you please." She nodded, concern on her face as she followed him outside and back to the ship.

"Are you going to tell me what this is about, or am I expected to guess?" She grumbled at his silence.

He thumbed at his brow, struggling with himself before speaking. "Emma," he began, swallowing thickly. "I heard news of a most distressing nature that concerns you. Your brother has fallen ill. I'm unsure as to the severity of his illness, but there was talk of it being rather serious. I'm so sorry, love."

"What do you mean serious? How serious? Is he dying?"

He sighed quietly. "If the rumors are to be believed, it's possible."

"No," her face fell as his words set in. "It can't be. Leo's just a boy." She buried her face in his chest, an ache settling under her breastbone at the thought of her sweet little brother languishing in his bed. They had been so close, him always following at her heels as she went about her day. Despite her efforts to hold back her sobs, the horrible idea of losing her beloved sibling was just too much. "Are you sure?"

"I sent Smee to determine whether it was an isolated report before coming to you."

She nodded silently, knowing that he would only have burdened her with the information if he believed it true. "You should go to him." Hook's voice was quiet, barely above a whisper.

"What?"

"You should go home and see your brother."

She could barely process what he was saying. Leo was such a charming little man, just like their father, with his easy grin and big blue eyes and had always been so healthy, so full of life. How could he be sick? It was too much. "Hook, I can't just drop by. If I return, they'll never let me leave again." She sighed heavily, wondering if he was just trying to placate her. Did he realize how much her heart was breaking?

"I realize that."

"Then why would you suggest it, when you know that I can't go?"

"Because, if you wish it, I will take you home to your family." She heard him swallow hard. "I know our deal was for you to stay longer, but circumstances have obviously changed."

Her eyes snapped up. "You wouldn't make me wait?"

"Time and tide wait for no man," he said, shaking his head. "Some things cannot be delayed for convenience."

"If I go home, I'll never see you again." She turned away, struggling to come to terms with what all of this new information meant. She wasn't sure what was happening between the handsome pirate and herself, but she wasn't ready for it to be over just yet. Still, she needed to see Leo, needed to know if he was alright.

"No, I don't suppose you will. Still, Emma, it's the right thing. You're a princess, and I'm nothing but a pirate. There's no future for us, darling. You know that." Reaching out to spin her back to him, he cupped her face and met her glassy eyes.

"But, Westley and Buttercup... It could work."

He could hear the desperation in her voice, as she struggled to cling to some semblance of hope. "That was just a story, love, and she was really a farmgirl." He looked down at her tenderly. "You're a princess, a true princess, Emma. I fight and I fuck, but I can never give you the life you deserve. This wandering existence must seem exciting, but it gets tiresome, not having a place to lay your head every day."

She placed her head on his chest, listening to the comforting rhythm of his heartbeat. "I could lay my head here. That's all I'd need."

He wondered if she could hear his heart break, because he swore her words had cracked it clean in half. He hadn't realized how much he missed being loved, content to be merely the villainous Captain Hook. But now, with her nestled into his arms, her breathing warm against his skin, he wanted nothing more than to steal her away forever and hoard her like the treasure she most surely was. He wanted to wake up to the sun in her hair, fall asleep to the starlight on her skin. He wanted the warmth of her kiss to thaw out the icy recesses of his black heart and bring beauty back into his life.

He wanted it all, which was the problem. Because nothing he'd ever wanted had worked out well for those he'd loved: not for Liam, not for Milah. Destruction, despair, emptiness and pain he did well, but love, joy? They had never been more than sand slipping through his fingers.

It would destroy her if she stayed, and destroying her would destroy him as well. He couldn't bear it.

"I want to be with you." She swallowed, and added so quietly he barely heard, though the words echoed in his head like a shout. "Don't you care about me at all?"

And that was it. The truth they'd been dancing around for weeks. Even if neither of them was ready to admit it, she loved him, and he her.

"Emma... It doesn't matter. You have to go home."

"Of course it does! It's all that matters! How can I go home after this?"

"You have a life there, Emma! A family!" His voice broke slightly, "A brother who you need to see while you can. You were destined to be a queen. You would be remarkable, a monarch worthy of her title. Go home and rule like you were born to do."

"That's not what I want. Not anymore."

"And what of marriage? Children? Do you want them?"

She stammered. "What...?"

"Because I will not be a father, Emma. I have no interest in breeding, not even with you. Why do you think I've taken precautions to avoid getting you pregnant? A pirate ship is no place for a baby. Can you truly say you could give that up as well?"

"You don't want... Not ever?"

He prepared himself, visions of the dark-haired boy in his dreams leaping to mind as his soul begged him to stop, to tell her the truth, but he soldiered on. It was for the best. "Never. It wouldn't be fair to the child, having a father like me. You stay, and you'll grow to hate me. You'd be forced to watch from afar as your dreams remain unfulfilled, your family crumbles and your people are conquered. Can you truly say that this life would be worth it?"

She knew he was right, of course. If she stayed she'd be abandoning her people, perhaps missing her last chance to see those she loved. If she left, she went where he couldn't follow. Neither option would avoid heartbreak, she realized. "You could come with me?" She asked, knowing it was a ludicrous request but wishing he'd say yes even so.

"Darling, I'm a bloody corsair. The things I've done...even if I wanted to change, it's too late. I'm a wanted man in 5 kingdoms, including your own- or did you forget how this little adventure started? I killed your ship's entire crew! I took your dowry, kidnapped you. Gods, I forced you into my bed, stole your virginity."

"I went willingly. You can't steal something that's been given to you."

He looked almost pained at that, shaking his head. "Doesn't matter. I likely would have taken it if you hadn't. You're like a beacon, drawing me to you like a distant light in an ocean of darkness. But I will snuff out that light if you stay here too long. We both know it. I was a fool to think otherwise. "

She was quiet then, eyes closed and head down turned as she contemplated the predicament before her. "Send word to my family that I'm coming home," she responded, voice resigned and flat. There were a thousand other things she wanted to say, but she knew all too well that there was no point. She'd made her decision, the only one she could make with her brother's health in question, and whether or not her heart was fully in agreement, she would have to live with it.


When the Jolly Roger set off the next morning, heading towards Sylvania, he could sense a change in her demeanor. She seemed to want to squeeze every pleasurable moment from her day, whether she was telling bawdy jokes with Ed, gambling with Smee, drinking with Billy, or practically molesting him at the helm.

He knew that it was grief that had made her so bold. She had started as a prisoner, then become his plaything, but somehow she'd come to enjoy her time on board despite it all. She was no longer the brave but naive virgin, but a woman with desires of her own. Desires she was very much making known, dragging him down to his cabin and losing herself in the pleasure he was only too happy to give her, while he still could.

Their couplings over the next days were rough and frenzied, an uninhibited meeting of sweat-slick bodies that had him hard hours later just thinking about the way she rode him with abandon. She couldn't help but notice the glazed look in his eyes as he was obviously replaying their last romp between the sheets, satisfied that he was just as desperate for her as she was for him.


Stopped overnight in another small port en route to her home, they spent the evening at a tavern, just as they'd always done. He noticed that she was drinking a bit more than usual, but knew all too well the allure of drowning one's sorrows in a mug of rum, and couldn't really judge her, given that he was doing the same. The evening passed quickly in a whirlwind of revelry, the two of them stumbling into the streets near midnight, frantically kissing and pawing at each other in an empty alley.

He loved her like this, tipsy and just as hungry for him as he was for her, letting her lust consume her as she dropped to her knees, mouth engulfing his freed cock as he sagged against the wall.

"Fuck, Emma," he groaned, "if you don't stop I'm apt to take you right here like a dockside slattern."

She pulled off to respond, and he nearly wept at the loss of her sweet mouth around him. "Maybe that's what I want."

"Bloody hell, Princess, I'm trying to be a gentleman," he croaked out as she began to suck again, opening her throat in that unique way to let him slip even deeper. Hips thrusting of their own accord, his willpower wilted in the midsummer heat as her warm mouth drove him to distraction, his need for her winning out as he lifted her into his arms, skirts bunching around her hips as he pressed her against the unforgiving wall. Her arousal was coating her thighs, and he slid home without hesitation.

"Oh gods, you feel so good," she whispered. She wanted to feel every hard inch of him, wanted to enjoy the feeling of it while she could. She didn't know how much longer it would be until they arrived in her kingdom, but two weeks had passed since they'd changed their course, and it was only a matter of time until she was back in the palace. She wanted to make her time with him count. "Harder. Fuck me harder. Pretend I'm nobody." She didn't say what she wanted to say, that if she were nobody, she could stay.

He continued to drive into her, kissing her passionately as he pushed her against the rough brick. "You'll never have anyone like me. Never have anyone fill you so well, or make you come so hard. Every time another takes you, you'll be thinking of me, aching for me."

"And you for me, when you go back to fucking your whores?"

"Every time."

A sad, playful smile graced her lips. "I could tell you I won't marry."

"And I could say I won't bring another woman to my bed." He thrust harder, "but we'd both be lying."

"Then, just as no man will replace you, I'll have to make sure no woman can compare to the memory of me." She wrapped her legs tighter around his waist arching her back to pull him deeper. He was taking her hard, punishing surges of his hips driving his cock deeper with each thrust, and she was riding him just as wildly. "More, Killian. Gods, don't stop."

There was no question that she was getting close, so he changed the angle to grind his pubic bone against her as they fucked, earning a cry of delight as he rubbed against her clit and pushed her over the edge. He pulled out and began to jerk himself off, all too aware of the dark sky and it's implications, only to feel her mouth on him again, sucking vigorously as he helplessly fucked her face in his search for release.

As she sucked, her eyes focused on his face, twisted into a look of pure pleasure that was so painfully handsome in the dim light from the street lamps. Those luminous blue eyes were trained on her every move, his hand fisted in her hair as he finally came in thick bursts down her throat. She had come to love that taste, and the helpless whimper he made as he watched her drink him down. Standing, she grabbed his lapels and crashed her lips to his, pulling him close.

"I'm not done with you yet, Captain," she whispered with a smirk as he gawked at her in lust and surprise.

Leading him back to the privacy of his quarters, she stripped off her dress and climbed onto the bed, bending over to give him a perfect view of her glistening cunny as lust crackled through his veins again. He ran his hook over her curves as he dropped his leather to the floor, leaving a faint pink line on her ivory skin in its wake, then bent down and licked a stripe across her sweet, soaked flesh, making her shiver.

His mouth. Gods, his mouth felt so good. He was practically devouring her, causing the pleasure to build once again as he licked and sucked at her sensitive flesh. She felt his tongue slide backwards to her ass, teasing in much the same way, and she was surprised by how good it felt. He moaned as he worked, tongue swirling and lapping at the place she considered dirtiest, and she wondered what else he had in store for her tonight. "Killian," she moaned, " I need you inside me!" She felt him reposition himself before sliding deep, filling her desperate cunt in one fluid motion that was perfect and not enough all at once. Pushing her hips back against him to take him all the way, she met each surge of his hips, needing to feel him, needing him to make her forget that she would have to leave him soon.

Gods, she was so wet, her lingering arousal from their previous romp in the alley mixing with the new proof of her desire, coating them both. She bent over further, weight settling on her forearms as she stuck her hips further in the air, giving him a whole new set of increasingly dirty thoughts as he stared at the flushed, wet temptation of her ass. Gods, she had a beautiful body, and now that he'd tasted it, all he wanted to do was fuck her tight little ass so badly he could think of nothing else. He wasn't a fool; he knew he was well-endowed and that taking his cock could be a challenge for even the most seasoned whores, but he couldn't help but to want to claim every part of her. Drawing his thumb through the considerable wetness, spread his palm over the rounded flesh and slipped the thick digit inside the tight ring, feeling her freeze and clench up immediately.

"Oh Gods," she cried out. "What are you doing?"

His hips resumed moving in slow, controlled thrusts, his thumb mirroring the motion as he watched her body stretch around him. "I want to fuck your ass, Emma," he said lowly, unbridled desire coloring his tone. "You've given me everything else. Are you going to let me have you here, too?" He briefly pulled his cock out, plunging two fingers into her to coat them before resuming his efforts, then removing his thumb and easing the first finger inside.

She was curious. Perhaps she shouldn't be. What he was proposing was beyond the normal activities of a royal marriage bed. It was the kind of thing no decent woman would do, let alone enjoy, and that knowledge alone made her want to try it, because so much of what he'd done to her had been beyond her expectations. There was something erotic about being dirty, doing things like using her mouth or tasting herself on him when they kissed. It was arousing in a most unexpected way. Just the thought of doing something no other woman at court would admit to even knowing of made her giddy. "You'll go slow?"

She heard him suck a breath between his teeth. "And stop if you ask me to."

"Alright. Just, please, be gentle."

He returned to fucking her, cock sliding deep as he pushed a second finger past the muscular ring in time with his thrusts, urging her to relax her muscles and focus on how full she felt. Bloody hell, he could barely focus, desire and anticipation clouding his mind. His princess had offered to give him everything, and he was going to take it. No fantasy could have prepared him for this.

"I think this is the first time I've ever wished you were kind of small," she laughed awkwardly as she felt him stretch her further, a third finger joining the other two. He seemed to know what he was doing, and she briefly wondered how many women he'd had this way before all other thoughts disappeared as she felt him pull more of her wetness backwards and line himself up. She bit her lip as he pushed inside, the stretch and burn of his cock sliding into her ass almost more than she could take.

Thank gods he'd gotten off once already, because the sweet torture of being buried in her ass would have done him in almost instantly under other circumstances. Part of him couldn't help but be aroused by her trembling, her body obviously struggling to adjust to the intrusion. He spit on his hand, pulling out to coat his cock before sliding back in. "Fuck" he grunted between clenched teeth, forcing himself to hold back. It felt so good, and so delightfully depraved to be having her this way. "Touch yourself." He instructed, keeping his movements slow and gentle as she began to rub at her clit. Once a moan slipped past her lips, he began to move in earnest, sliding deep and pulling out more rapidly. "Fuck, princess. Gods, I can't believe you're letting me do this. Feels so good. So tight."

Her whimpers and moans continued, the pleasurable sensations taking the edge off the pain but not completely erasing it. Despite her discomfort, he was obviously enjoying himself, groaning and whispering dirty things as he plundered her with every thick inch of his cock. How had she allowed this? She should push him off, make him stop, but suddenly his hand was moving her own aside, three fingers sliding into her as he circled her clit with his thumb. "Gods, love, you must feel so full, your pretty cunt stuffed full of my fingers, my cock in your ass. You look so beautiful like this. My proper princess, moaning for me while I fuck her every hole." He rubbed faster over her clit, his calloused thumb teasing pleasure from every stroke. "Gods. You can't imagine how good you look or how this feels. I want you to come for me, princess. I need to feel you come while I'm fucking your ass."

He sounded completely wrecked, making her only want to heed his request more. She did feel full, so full of him that any other man would undoubtedly leave her feeling empty; that thought was enough to send pleasure rippling through her veins, the tension building as she, unbelievably, found herself hurtling towards orgasm.

"Gods, yes," he moaned. "I can feel you. Come for me, Emma. Come for me, my love."

She whined, bucking back against him with each stroke to take every hard inch, wanting all of him inside her. He stilled as she fell apart with a whimper, his deep, anguished moan echoing in the cabin as her muscles clamped down on him and he came hard, filling her with his release. "Oh gods," he panted, catching his breath as he softened and slipped out of her, easing her gently onto the bed as she winced at the slight pain that remained. "Give it a moment, sweetheart. It'll pass." He stroked her hair, sliding behind her to pull her against his chest as she let sleep take her, the last words she heard a whispered, "You are a bloody marvel, Emma. I've never known a woman like you, and don't expect I ever will again."


She rose late, sleeping off her slight hangover and sex-induced exhaustion, and joined him as he steered the ship with a very self-satisfied smirk on his face. Walking gingerly across the deck, she could see from the sudden concern on his face that he assumed he'd damaged her and regretted what they'd done the previous night. Though she was a bit sore, she couldn't say she shared the sentiment. He'd claimed all of her body, heart, and soul now, and the lingering discomfort was merely a reminder of the erotic night they'd shared. He drew his arms around her immediately as she settled beside him at the helm.

"I'm sorry, princess. I didn't mean to hurt you."

Biting her lip, she smiled shyly, not wanting to confess that she'd enjoyed it more than she'd expected. It wasn't as pleasurable as their normal activities, but as an occasional change, it would be a welcome option.

Well, if she were staying, that was. As it stood, it would likely be the one and only time he'd have her that way. "I'm alright. If a thorough fuck sometimes leads to a little soreness, I think I can handle it."

He blinked stupidly at her as she placed a kiss to his cheek and grabbed an apple from his breakfast plate before disappearing back below deck, smiling sadly as she felt his eyes follow her. They were surprisingly well-matched, the pirate and the princess, compatible in and out of bed in so many ways. In another lifetime, she could have been happy sailing the seas beside him, all too aware that any staunch objections he had to staying with any one woman were merely for show at this point. She would have been the exception.


Less than a week later, they neared a port just a day's ride from the castle where she could certainly hire a carriage to take her home. Emma said her goodbyes to the crew, who had somehow become quite fond of her and she of them. Not even Ed was immune, pulling her in for a fierce hug before leaving her and Hook alone for one final time. Night quickly approached, and an eerie calm settled over the cabin as they prepared for bed, stepping around the baskets of her belongings that littered the floor. Soft, affectionate kisses under the black and red patchwork quilt soon became desperate as they barely spoke, letting their bodies say the things that their tongues couldn't bear to articulate. He held her against him like she was his whole world. She wept quietly as he kissed away her tears. They came together slowly, hips moving to the rhythm of the waves against the wooden hull as he finally buried his cock in her welcoming body.

Hours passed, their positions changing until they were nestled on their sides, her leg thrown over his hip as he rocked into her. "Emma," he whispered, once, but apparently thought better of whatever he was going to say, settling instead for a passionate kiss as he laced their fingers. When they finally came undone, together, he stayed inside her, knowing that without her warmth around him, he'd feel cold. She pressed even closer, knowing that without him inside her, she'd feel empty.

Morning came too soon, harsh and unwelcome as they both lay pretending to sleep for a few more blissful moments. Her mind was racing, thoughts of leaving her pirate and seeing her family all in the span of a few hours causing conflicting emotions that threatened to overwhelm her. Gathering her courage, Emma disentangled herself from Hook's grasp and slipped out of bed, sparing a moment to take in his sleep-tousled hair and lazy morning smile before pressing a kiss to his forehead. Rising with a quiet sigh, he dressed silently alongside her and gathered up her few belongings.

He escorted her down the gangplank as she disembarked, handing the baskets to the coachman and paying him the necessary fee before turning back to his princess, their eyes meeting one last time as he brushed a wisp of hair off her forehead, tucking it behind her ear. "Stay with me."

"Come with me."

He closed his eyes, bowing his forehead to rest against hers. "There's not a day will go by that I won't think of you."

"Good," she responded with a fragile smile, tears shining in her eyes. She leaned up, placing one last lingering kiss to his lips. "Goodbye, Killian."

He watched the carriage pull away, focusing on the shiny black lacquer of the roof until he could no longer see it, then turned and climbed back aboard his ship. Upon entering his cabin, he stared at the tiara sitting atop the folded quilt, knowing she'd left it on purpose, and a horrible realization hit him. Though she frequently used his name in fits of passion, she hadn't said goodbye to Hook, but to Killian. For the first time outside of bed, she'd used his name.

And now she was gone. What a fool he was.

Chapter Text

XXIII.

Emma closed her eyes tightly as the carriage pulled away, refusing to shed tears and unable to watch Hook and his beloved Jolly Roger fade into the distance without crying. She felt guilty, like she should be rejoicing; she was free again, and about to be reunited with the family she had dearly missed during her time at sea. Even so, she already felt like she'd left more than her tiara on that ship, and wondered if Hook knew just how much she'd grown to care for him. It didn't matter in the end, she supposed, because even if he sold the bauble and was back to his debaucherous ways within the week, she would always know that she'd given him the freedom to have whatever life he wished. It was something she knew she'd probably never have.

Her thoughts instantly went to Leo, and the fear lodged in the pit of her stomach roared to life again. She'd tried so hard not to fixate on why she was returning home, knowing that worrying wouldn't change the outcome or make the ship sail faster, but now that she would be learning her brother's fate in just a few hours, she could barely take it. Leaving Hook to return home had been the only decision she could make. She needed to see her little brother, and if the worst should happen- she shook her head, brushing aside the possibility. Her mother would tell her that she had to hold out hope.

The carriage bounced over the gravelly road, a sensation that felt so odd after months of the soothing motion of the waves. She had once taken all of it for granted, but now every sweetly chirping bird or errant woodland creature seemed like a revelation. The fresh fragrance of pine needles and moss filled the dense forest air, the smell making her feel even more at home than she'd expected. She had forgotten just how beautiful Sylvania was during the warm summer months.

Her thoughts were interrupted when her carriage finally pulled up to the castle, and she raced into the main entrance, looking about frantically. Suddenly, she saw him, skinny legs carrying his tiny frame down the hall as he sprinted towards her, smiling like a fool. She caught her little brother in her arms, allowing the momentum of his body to carry them both to the floor and burying her cheek against his dark hair.

"Emma!" He exclaimed. "I can't believe that you're really home!"

Tears coursed down her face as she held him close. Gods, he looked just as healthy as ever, though she swore he'd had a another growth spurt. "Of course I am, Leo" she whispered against his hair. "I'd heard you were sick and came as soon as I could."

His sparkling green eyes met hers. "I thought you were a hostage on a pirate ship. At least, that's what I overheard them saying..."

"Hostage is probably a bit of an overstatement. Guest might be more accurate. I was Captain Hook's guest. But enough about me. I need to know, are you alright?" Her eyes searched his frame for any hidden sign of illness.

"Yeah, Em, I'm fine. Really, healthy as ever," he shrugged at her concerned face, obviously wanting to return the conversation to its earlier topic. "So, anyway, what was he like?"

She shook her head, laughing. He was still such a boy. "Captain Hook?" His enthusiastic nod was answer enough. "He was different from what I'd expected. Good to me, believe it or not. He can be a true gentleman when he wants to be. He's smart and clever, brave to the point of foolishness at times." She lowered her voice. "And don't tell dad, but he's almost as charming as he is!"

Leo curled his legs under his gangly body, settling on the carpet beside her. "What did you do all that time? Did you go to any pirate bars? How many ships did he sink?"

His enthusiastic expression made her smile. "Only one, kid. Sorry to disappoint. He actually doesn't need to use violence most of the time. His name is usually more than enough." She waggled her eyebrows, doing her best impression of his cocky attitude.

Leo seemed to ponder that, obviously expecting more excitement. "Did he steal anything valuable?"

Only my body and heart she thought, knowing that wasn't an answer she could give. "Lots. My whole dowry, for one."

That seemed to appease him, and just as she anticipated a new barrage of questions, she heard a booming voice behind her. "And we're less than pleased about that, though truthfully, we're just glad you're home."

She turned abruptly, meeting the watery eyes of her parents. Her mother was holding onto her father's arm so tightly that her knuckles had gone white, her chin trembling. "Emma," she breathed out, reaching for her and enfolding her in a tight embrace. She felt her father's arms wrap around them, his strong hand on the back of her head.

"Mom. Dad. I missed you." She felt Leo join the hug, and for a brief moment, let herself forget all about her adventures and just enjoy being surrounded by those who loved her.


Upon moving to the sitting room for a proper conversation, she told her parents the story of her time aboard the pirate ship and why she'd returned, making sure to leave certain details out. It was obvious from her father's pinched brow and her mother's frown that they had read between the lines, but thankfully they were waiting to broach the subject until Leo was out of earshot. She learned that her brother had, in fact, gotten a rather nasty case of the flu, but his illness had been brief, and he was fully recovered. Although she was overjoyed to find him alive and well and her family was over the moon at her return, the rumors of her brother's impending death had clearly been an exaggeration.

Of course, to Leo, her time with the fearsome pirate captain seemed like a story out of one of his adventure novels, and while her parents were nothing but concerned that she'd been irreparably scarred by the situation, her brother seemed downright jealous. His grumbles of complaint when their parents made him leave the room were indication enough that he'd undoubtedly be pursuing her with more questions.

"So," her mother said gently, "pirates?"

"Leo seems to think it sounded exciting."

Her father scoffed. "Captain Hook's prone to violence, impulsive, and has a hook for a hand. What about him would a 10 year old boy not like?"

Snow glared at David's sarcastic comment, turning her attention back to her daughter. "Emma, sweetheart, I need to ask you: did he hurt you? You seem fairly unharmed but I need to know, please."

"No, mom. He really didn't. I promise."

"Thank the gods." Snow breathed, though Emma could feel that her questions weren't finished. "That being said, am I correct to assume that you're no longer a maid?"

Emma felt her cheeks go hot, knowing that her blush gave the answer away.

"Oh Emma." Tears swam in the dark-haired woman's eyes as she clutched her daughter's hand.

"It wasn't like that mom, I swear. He didn't force me." Snow's disbelieving stare made it obvious that her mom wasn't convinced, and David's face had turned a rather alarming shade of red. "Really. I'm sorry, I know you're probably angry, and think I'm no better than a common whore, but I wanted to be with him. I- I think I fell in love with him, mom." Her strong facade broke as she collapsed into her mother's arms, sobbing.

"Shhhhh. Shhh. It's alright sweetheart. I'm not upset, and you could never be common in any way. I'm just so happy you're home."

"But the wedding, and the alliance with Neal..."

"Is a matter for another day," her father reassured. "I'm just glad that we found out what kind of man he really is before you were married to him. It'll be alright, sweetheart. You're home now."


A month passed uneventfully, and she tried desperately to return to the life she'd once lived. Still, as she sat beside her parents in the throne room and presided over matters of state, she knew that the princess they'd received back was not the same woman who'd left. The once-familiar routine felt empty and restrictive now that she'd had a taste of freedom, and everything from the uncomfortable, cumbersome gowns to the elaborate hairstyles to the seven course banquets felt foreign. She played the part well, smiling at visiting dignitaries and dancing with noblemen, but she found no joy in it.

She was more than aware of the rumors, too, that swirled around her. Though it had never been confirmed, it was widely assumed that the dastardly Captain Hook had taken her against her will and made her his whore while he held her captive. She was no longer betrothed to Neal, but the fawning young nobles who had once wanted to marry her for political advancement seemed less interested now that they'd be having a pirate's leavings, though she couldn't find herself to care.

While her days were tedious, it was the night that truly left her feeling alone and empty. She dreamt of Hook nearly every night, waking with a start in her cold, cavernous room. She missed him. Her heart ached for him, and her body no less so. She'd held out hope that maybe he'd return to her for a month or so before realizing that, clearly, he didn't feel as she did.

She thought maybe taking another lover would scour his constant presence from her thoughts. Her mother had introduced her to a new knight upon her return, a young man who was in many ways the opposite of Hook physically, with his blonde hair, brown eyes, and a bulkier build, but certainly handsome. She came to learn that this Sir Tristan was an acquaintance of Lancelot's, another knight who'd apparently fallen in love with the wrong woman.

When she approached him, asking him to escort her around the gardens, she was struck by his sincerity and gentleness. She led him into a private grotto before pulling him into her for a passionate kiss, which he returned readily. Breaking for air, Emma sheepishly explained that she was in need of a lover, and was surprised when she saw her own heartbreak mirrored on his dark eyes.

She learned almost immediately that he was both willing and discreet. Flirty conversations and stolen kisses in dark corners became more heated, but though she tried to feel something more for the sweet, handsome warrior, her heart refused to cooperate.

Still, she continued with her course of action, hoping for a few moments of pleasure among the tediousness. Thinking of the mindless ecstasy she'd experienced with Hook, she yanked Tristan into her room by his collar and pushed him towards the bed, pressing her body against him closely enough to feel his hardness through her flimsy nightdress.

She pulled his shirt over his head, fingertips tracing the strong lines of his chest as he fondled her breasts, his hands roving over her silk-covered body with ravenous desire. Slipping their garments off to press their naked skin together, he urged, "Let me pleasure you, my lady."

She lay back and bucked into his mouth when he crawled between her legs, trying to encourage him to touch her the way she liked and ignoring how his touch felt all wrong. He didn't devour her like Hook did, his kisses too tentative and gentle. He didn't grip her hip and pull her closer possessively. When his fingers fumbled as he earnestly struggled to stimulate her properly, she realized that her body was not responding to his touch the way she'd hoped, and she felt herself missing Hook more, not less, with every stroke of his hand. Using her legs to pull him over her, she positioned him at her entrance.

"Are you certain?" He asked as his hips rocked instinctively, sliding his cock through her wetness.

Closing her eyes, she blinked back tears as she thought again of Hook, of how much she wished it could be him between her thighs. Gods, her love for him was still just as strong as ever, but now all it could do was cause her pain. She had actually believed he cared for her, foolish girl that she was, and she would never see him again. He had clearly moved on, and it was time she did the same. Taking a deep breath, she nodded, arching under him and reassuring him, "I'm certain. Please, take me."

He kissed her softly, slowly sliding inside her as he shuddered in pleasure. "My lady," he whispered. "You feel-gods, you feel like paradise."

She bit her lip, rolling her hips to encourage him to move. Tristan didn't cause the same burn and ache as she adjusted to him, but she had known that Hook's cock was unusually large. As the young knight started thrusting, she wrapped her legs around his back, taking him deeper and urging him to pick up the pace.

"Oh gods," he gasped out, moaning as he gave up all pretense and took her hard. It felt- not amazing exactly- but certainly not bad either. She hitched her legs higher, trying to find the right angle as she chased her release, needing to be swept away by it. Reaching down to rub at her clit, she began to feel the first tendrils of that delicious sensation when she heard him moan "Gods, my lady, I'm nearly spent."

"Not in me," she whimpered, clawing at him as all thoughts of her orgasm fled her mind. "Please, don't finish in me."

With a long moan, he abruptly pulled out, spilling himself onto her belly as he jerked himself off. He collapsed onto the bed beside her, attempting to catch his breath. "My apologies," he panted, hand reaching towards the apex of her thighs. "I was overcome. Let me help you?" The look in his dark eyes was surprisingly sad. He may have fucked her, but she could see that, like her, his heart still belonged to another. He wanted her to enjoy it, but only because he was a good man.

"No, I think I'd just like to be alone for a while."

His sympathetic smile was comforting as he cleaned her off and dressed quickly. Pressing a kiss to her hand, he slipped quietly into the hall again, leaving her to ponder the experience alone and annoyingly aroused.

Unsurprisingly, her thoughts were once again plagued by her handsome pirate captain and his talented cock, the unsatisfied ache for more causing her to toss and turn in the empty and expansive bed. Closing her eyes, she could still envision every detail of his impeccable body. She remembered his strong, tattooed back, and the way it tapered to his slim hips and delicious ass. She thought of how the hair on his chest would tickle her nipples when he was on top of her, and how his Hook running over her heated skin would give her goosebumps. She remembered the first time she'd seen his gorgeous cock, how even flaccid it had been a marvel and sent chills down her spine. Oh, and gods, how anticipation had made her nearly mad with desire when she had felt him hard against her thigh.

Her hand crept between her legs, gently teasing a as she imagined how his skillful, calloused fingers would tease her if he were there. She remembered the burn of his beard on her thighs, the hot, wet feeling of his amazing tongue sliding over her, eagerly lapping up her arousal as she writhed under his touch. Her fingers circled and stroked as she pictured how he looked between her legs, messy dark hair and piercing blue eyes watching her fall apart for him. She spread her legs wider, amazed at how much wetter she was just thinking of her pirate, and plunged two fingers inside, rocking her hips to meet her hand's thrusts as she continued to work over the swollen, sensitive bud.

She came with a whimper, fucking herself wildly as she tried to prolong her climax and make it last, but she couldn't do to herself what he had done to her. She could make herself come, and undoubtedly would be doing so to thoughts of him on a nightly basis, but it wasn't enough. It wasn't satisfying.

Gods, how she wanted to hate him. Hook had made good on his promise to ruin her for all other men, and she knew no suitor or lover could ever replace him. She was still his, body and soul.

She wished she'd told him how she felt when she'd still had the chance. They'd never see each other again, and she worried that she would eventually forget the exact shade of his eyes, or the velvety timbre of his voice. For all the complications it would have caused, she found herself wishing he'd gotten her with child, so maybe she'd have a piece of him to cherish in his absence.

Of course, she'd bled with the full moon since returning, so that was nothing more than the silly fantasy of a lovestruck girl. This was her life now, and she needed to accept it.


The day to day monotony continued, every day reminding her of how out-of-place she felt, until she awoke a month or so later to a flurry of activity. From what she gathered, a small fleet of warships had entered the harbor overnight, essentially surrounding the castle. She arrived into the throne room just in time for the ambassador from the nearby Kingdom of Leinster to enter and greet the royal family. He was a thin man, with shrewd dark eyes, greying hair, and a ridiculous moustache that curled at its ends. Giving a low, formal bow, he began his introduction.

"Your majesties, I am Albert, ambassador from the great Kingdom of Leinster and messanger of our beloved King John. Long have the relations between our neighboring nations been strained, but I come with a chance for peace. As you may well be aware, the queen consort died a few years ago, leaving our king both widowed and without an heir. Your daughter has been ill-used of late, but there is no denying that she is still young, beautiful, and possessing the poise and grace befitting a queen." He smirked at her, turning to address her directly as she felt the panic begin to set in. "My lady, His royal highness, King John, seeks to join your houses in marriage and solidify the trust between our kingdoms in the best possible way: with children that will carry on both lines."

Her mouth dropped open, before she remembered her manners and quickly schooled her features into a more appropriate mask of graceful contemplation. John had been a rival of her mother's when they were younger, nearly overtaking Sylvania while Snow was on the run from her stepmother Regina, who had argued her place in the line of succession until the nobility deposed her and Snow could retake the throne. Regina had long ago married a handsome, affable nobleman and moved to a quiet cottage in the county of Sherwood, but the memory of John's ruthlessness was still fresh in the minds of the people. If he'd sent a dozen ships, this proposal was more an offer to avoid war than a romantic proposition.

Her father spoke. "The princess has been through a trying last several months. I will not force her to endure an arranged marriage. Perhaps John would be willing to wait until she has recovered before expecting her to make such an important decision."

He ambassador's eyes twinkled as he shot the king a sly smile. "Oh, you must know, normally he would my lord, but he is most anxious to marry as soon as possible."

King David's cool blue eyes glared icily at the insincere little man, his jaw clenching in barely restrained irritation. "Well, then, you can tell your King that he will simply have to find himself another bride. The Princess Emma is not ..."

"Please, father," she stopped him. "Wait just a moment. After all, this decision is mine, is it not?"

His slack jawed expression was enough to give her momentary silence to ponder her options. She could stay home, with the family who loved her, and risk all out war, or she could marry John, and ensure peace for another generation. Her chance at love had undoubtedly sailed away and was probably somewhere in a tavern, drinking and gambling and fucking the barmaids. She'd tried and failed to feel something for Tristan, so what possible chance did she have of finding happiness? Why would she make her people suffer a war when a marriage to King John would be no more loveless than any other she might eventually agree to?

"I will be your queen, my lord."

"Emma!" Snow exclaimed, unable to keep silent.

The ambassador ignored the outburst, continuing as if her parents had no objections. "Wonderful! Shall we have you married by proxy now, and then have you travel to wed officially around the new moon, in three weeks or so?"

"That would be agreeable."

Saying something about making plans, sending messages, and treaties, the ambassador bowed again and, presumably, moved to return to his ship as Emma rose from her seat and headed towards the nearby corridor. She left the great hall in a daze, walking towards her private rooms as quickly as she could, only slowing when she heard the dainty footsteps of her mother racing after her.

Emma," her mother cried. "What are you doing?"

"Getting married, apparently," she responded as they entered her bedroom, shutting the door abruptly.

"We never wanted this for you!" Snow pleaded, settling beside her daughter on the bed. "Please, reconsider. I don't think you understand. He's a beast, Emma."

All men are beasts she heard in her head, the sudden memory of him unbearably painful and plenty sufficient to solidify her choice. "Mom, I have fallen for two men already, and that was enough," her mother went to respond, but Emma soldiered on. "I know you doubt that I had feelings for Hook, but what I felt was real, and still I left to fulfill my duty to our people. Though the situation is different, what better way to do so than to marry King John and secure peace between Sylvania and Leinster once and for all? I may never love again- at least my marriage can do some good, and once we have children, I'll have their love to brighten my days."

Her mother stroked her hair gently, a sad expression on her usually serene face. "My beautiful little girl. We just got you back and we're going to lose you again."

"You'll never lose me, mom." She smiled reluctantly. "But you know it's the right thing to do. Our people deserve peace. What wouldn't you do to secure it?"

"I wouldn't force you into this marriage. Emma, we will go to war before I allow you to be forced into anything. You know that, right?"

She buried her face in her mother's shoulder, the smell of lilacs that always clung to her dark hair invading her senses and comforting her. "I know. This is my choice."

Snow moved a stray lock of blonde hair from her daughter's face. "You have become a beautiful, smart, amazing woman who I love very much and of whom I could not be more proud. I fear he won't love you the way you deserve."

"No, he won't," she responded quietly. "But I suppose they never do."


She met the ambassador later that day, and said her vows, making her betrothal the King John official. Though she would not be leaving for her new home until the week was out, she had married a man she had never met. A man with a fearsome reputation and a history of "accidents" happening in his presence. She hoped she was strong enough to endure it.

She stared out the window at the sea as she sailed towards John's palace, hoping for sails and a crimson flag to save her from her fate, but the Jolly Roger was nowhere to be seen. It was probably for the best, she thought. Now that she was married, her disappearance would inspire John to invade Sylvania, undoubtedly blaming her family for her disappearance, and she was afraid that her willpower would evaporate the moment she saw those piercing blue eyes again. Of course, the point was moot, as there was no fearsome ship on the horizon. He had forgotten her, it seemed.

She should have known that she was nothing more than another conquest to him.

 

Chapter Text

XXIV.

They remained in port for two weeks, a situation that Hook outwardly maintained was for provisions and repairs to the ship. By the first night, he had heard the truth about her young brother, and with it had felt a spark of hope. Their reason for returning had in fact been nothing more than a rumor. She needn't stay to rule in Leo's place. She could visit with her family and, if she wished, return to him.

And so he had quietly stayed, hoping, only to realize with startling clarity that she wasn't coming. He wondered if perhaps she'd never loved him at all. Anger swept over him suddenly, as if trying to keep his sorrow at bay. Damn her. He was Captain Bloody Hook, not some naive boy, and she had been a great fuck, but mooning over her would do no good. She had clearly made her choice. It was time for him to act like the man he was.

He grabbed a small purse of coins and for the first time in months headed to the nearest brothel. He was done waiting for her.


One month. It had been over a month, and he still felt as raw as he'd been when he'd lost Milah, only this time, there was nobody to blame for the situation but himself. He couldn't hate Emma for leaving, and he hadn't followed her. He'd gone right back to his life like she'd been just another woman, only she hadn't been. She'd been his second chance, and he'd missed it.

He tipped his head back, taking another swig from his rum bottle as he sat in the corner of the tavern. His men were carousing around him as he tried to put on a mask and act untroubled by the princess's absence. After several hours of forcing a smile as he gambled and flirted, he eventually stumbled back to the Jolly Roger and stripped off his leathers, burying his nose in a chemise she'd left behind and inhaling her scent as he wallowed in his misery.

He'd been with plenty of women since she'd left, hoping to fuck away the raw pain of losing her, but the wound on his heart refused to heal. Keeping up appearances had become exhausting, and though he drowned his sorrows in rum or ale and buried his cock in countless whores and barmaids, he knew his most comforting hours were found in his cabin, where her memory was strongest and where he felt closest to her. He had taken none of his conquests to his bed, unwilling to profane it with the presence of any woman but her.

Pulling her tiara from a drawer in his desk and taking the chemise with him, he collapsed on the bed, closing his eyes and remembering every detail of his beautiful princess. He remembered the bright cascade of her sunlit hair and her laughing green eyes. When his thoughts turned to the rosy blush that colored her skin when she came undone under him, her image sparked the too-familiar desire for her that had gone frustratingly unsated these last months.

He began to stroke his cock as he pictured her riding him, letting his memories take over as he remembered how good she'd felt that first time, how wet she'd been for him, how she'd cried out his name as he made her come. Thinking back, he could almost feel her remarkable mouth, her perfect cunt, her hot, tight ass wrapped around him. She'd truly been everything he could have wanted.

Perhaps she missed him as well. He had been her first, and he knew most girls had a special place in their heart for their first lover. Would she touch herself thinking of him? Did she ever dream of running back to him, sailing away and never looking back? Might she have stayed forever, if things had been different?

He hated himself for feeling so pathetic; she was lost to him, and though he tried to accept it, he couldn't let her go. Not yet.

Gods, but he still loved her.

His Emma.

He came with her name whispered on his lips and an ache deep in his chest.


"Come around again!" His voice barked over the chaos as the canons of the Jolly Roger assaulted a ship bearing the seal of Prince Neal's kingdom. As the grappling lines were thrown and his men began to board the ship, he grabbed a rope from the rigging and swung onto the deck with a flourish, his sword finding it's first target easily as he waded into the crush of bodies.

He knew what the men had been whispering amongst themselves. The captain had become reckless. Mad. Obsessed. He couldn't disagree with their assessment. The thrill of battle had become another distraction, albeit a profitable one. They had spent the last weeks hunting down any ships that bore the royal arms of his homeland, Prince Neal's kingdom, or his former employers. Though he had quietly avoided harassing ships bearing the five-petaled flower of Emma's family, secretly not wanting to make her life any more difficult, his bloody rampage had been the stuff of legend.

Willing to risk it all, he had been especially merciless, boarding all who refused to yield quickly with a brutal glee that shocked even the more seasoned crew members. Let them say he was a monster, he thought. Let them hunt him. With so little to live for, he no longer feared death.


It was less than a week later when he overheard the men speaking in hushed whispers, quietly discussing something around the table where they sat drinking. The current port of call was a seedy little place, just the sort to attract people looking to hide. Their success had certainly been lucrative but had also attracted a fair bit of attention, and they needed to lay low.

Tipping an ear in his men's direction he overheard Mullins tell Billy "Yeah, but you've seen the way the captain's been. I don't think we should tell him."

"Tell me what?" He interjected, clapping a hand on Billy's shoulder.

"Umm, just some gossip, sir."

"And what exactly is this gossip?" He asked, glowering at Mullins, who had the good sense to look remorseful.

"Well, captain, rumor has it that the Sylvan Princess was married a week ago."

Married. Emma was married, already, mere months after returning home. How could that be? He knew she'd be wed eventually, but never expected it so soon. "Ah. Well, good for her. If someone wants her now that I'm through with her, who am I to judge?"

He knew his smile was probably closer to a grimace, but he didn't want to make his agony obvious. After all, what kind of respect could he command if his men saw the full effect of the devastation the news had wrought? "Now, enough about her. We're here to celebrate our most recent success." He abruptly changed the subject and raised a glass, forcing another smile on his face. "The the most dastardly group of pirates ever to set sail on the open sea!" A raucous cheer rose from the tavern's patrons, and he let the burn of his rum soothe his ragged soul.


Hours later, he was drunk and miserable, and nearly missed the beckoning of his new first mate. "Captain," the little man began, "the boys and I chipped in and got you something."

At another gesture, a blonde and a brunette approached and took hold of him, dragging him towards the rooms where they conducted their trade.

"Oh Mr. Smee, how did you know?"

He let the girls lead him upstairs, steeling himself for what was to come. He was being ridiculous. The princess was married; she was never coming back, and it was past time he got back to properly satisfying himself with whores and tavern wenches. She was probably fucking her royal husband right now, moaning under him as he enjoyed her tight cunny.

Would she enjoy it too? Would she wish it was him instead?

Pushed down on the bed, Hook forcefully shook away his musings and watched as the women slowly undressed each other, revealing more and more smooth skin as each garment hit the floor. The blonde eagerly latched onto one of the brunette's dark nipples, sucking and teasing as the other moaned. Enjoying the erotic show, he began to strip off his own clothes.

This was something he hadn't done in a while, knowing that Emma would never allow another woman in their bed, and as the girls' hands began to roam his body, he closed his eyes and tried to focus on the physical sensations that came with having two women at once. There were lips on his neck, and another set kissing up his thigh. Hands swept across his chest and abdomen. He reached out, his hand finding the hip of the nearest girl and gripping it tight as the other's mouth finally wrapped around his cock. The wet warmth sent a shiver through him, and his hips pumped as she sucked and worked her hand over his length. He pushed her head down, trying to get her to take more of him when she gagged and pushed back. "Gods," she gasped. "Stop. I can't take that much."

And in that moment, against all his efforts to forget her, he thought of Emma. Of her mouth, of that incredible thing she did with her throat when she took him deep that made him nearly lose his mind with pleasure, of her sparkling eyes looking up at him as she sucked him dry. He didn't want the brunette between his legs, didn't want her friend who was currently rubbing her breasts over his chest. He wanted his princess.

And she belonged to another.

Growling in frustration, he pushed the blonde down to join her dark-haired counterpart, letting them lavish his cock with attention as he forced away the unwelcome thoughts. Emma was gone, but he had two very willing women right in front of him, and he was going to fuck the both of them until he forgot his own name, let alone hers.

The sight of so much naked skin was a feast for the eyes, and they were clearly used to putting on quite the arousing show. Whether or not his heart was in it (and it most certainly was not) his body responded without hesitation, his cock aching for their touch.

Over the next hours, he indulged his every wicked desire without restraint. He bent them over, brutally fucking their greedy cunts in turn, watching them lap up the other's arousal while he recovered before burying himself to the hilt in their asses.

Finally spent and thoroughly exhausted, he bid the whores leave with little courtesy, wanting to be alone. Physically satisfied beyond any further arousal, he felt the annoying scratch of loneliness claw up his back. With his lust slaked, his need for Emma beyond the mere physical became all the more clear. He had just enjoyed a night that would make most men green with envy, and all he could think was that it wasn't enough. It would never be enough, unless he was with her.


The pain searing through his hand was a welcome sensation, though the resulting punch to his gut less so. Gritting his teeth, Hook grabbed his young opponent by the shirt and pulled him close as the bar erupted in shouts of encouragement.

"Say it again, Peter, you little demon," he growled. "I dare you." He glared at the other man, who looked to be a mere lad of 18, though Hook knew he was quite a bit older.

"You're a one handed pirate with a drinking problem." Peter sneered as he nodded at the fresh swan tattoo, half exposed by the open collar of Hook's shirt. "And whoever she was, she must have been a filthy whore, to lay with a piece of trash like you."

He heard the hiss of shock ripple through his men as he smiled menacingly. They were both drunk, an argument over a card game escalating into rude, pointed barbs and, now, physical blows as well, but while he could allow an insult to his own honor to go unchallenged, disparaging remarks about Emma could be met in only one way.

It didn't matter that it had been over two months since they'd parted. Bruised knuckles were a small price to pay for defending her good name, and the little prick was asking for it.

The next punch knocked Peter out cold.


He wasn't sure exactly what had drawn him back to the familiar little inn, but he was glad they'd come. There was something comfortable about mourning the loss of Emma in the same place he'd mourned Liam. Maybe Red would take pity on him again, he thought with a sardonic twist of his lips. Bedding his brother's sweetheart wouldn't make him feel any better, but he wasn't sure he could feel a whole lot worse either.

"I'm about to finish my shift, captain. Another ale before I go?"

Killian turned to see the face of a pretty young barmaid, curly hair the color of chocolate falling over her shoulders. She'll do for tonight, he thought, drawing her down into his lap. "Oh, I think you have something much sweeter than ale to offer, lass."

He couldn't remember her name, but it didn't seem to matter much. Arching into his hand as he palmed her breast, she toyed with the pendants around his neck, clearly charmed by his handsome features. His gruff, detached attitude certainly wasn't about to win her over, he thought bitterly.

He didn't want her, not truly, and it was getting harder to ignore the fact that he didn't enjoy his conquests like he had in the past. All the same, he would take her upstairs and bend her over and be done with it, fucking her hard enough to release some tension before he started taking out his anger on the crew. Rising to lead the brunette upstairs, he heard an annoyed voice behind him.

"Where the hell are you going?"

"To satisfy my needs, so unless you're offering to take care of me," he leered obnoxiously at Red, causing her to wrinkle her nose in irritated disgust, "I suggest you stay out of my way."

She snorted, obviously able to see though the charade. "You're an idiot, Killian Jones. I could imagine a million ways you'd deal with the news about Emma, but running away and fucking yourself into oblivion isn't one if them."

"Leave me alone. If she wants to marry some royal git, what's it to me?"

Something on Red's face gave him pause, a subtle combination of fear and realization. "Oh gods, you didn't hear, did you? Killian, you need to sit down now."

Her tone was enough to get his full attention, if only for a few minutes. He turned to the barmaid and nodded towards his room, patting her ass in dismissal. "Go on ahead, and get yourself comfortable, lass. I won't be far behind, and I expect you to be wet and ready for me." He followed Red back to a table and sat down heavily as the tavern girl scampered upstairs. "This had better be good. What's so important?"

"It's about Emma. Obviously, you know she's married."

He felt his heart skip a beat and knew he'd blanched slightly, but nodded stoicly. "Aye, I know. She deserves to be happy."

Red looked at him fiercely, "And that's it, then? Nothing more to say? Didn't you even think to find out who it was? Gods, Killian!"

He glared angrily. He didn't want to know who she'd chosen. It hadn't been him, and that was all the knowledge he needed. "It doesn't matter."

"Doesn't it?" She snapped. "Would it matter if I told you that she's married to King John?"

He froze as his mind reeled. "W-What?" It couldn't be. Why? Was she doing it to spite him? No, that was impossible, he realized. He'd never told her which king had betrayed his trust and killed Liam. It wasn't out of anger, then, but even without that motivation, he could barely believe it. She was light and joy and beauty, while John was as corrupt as they came. Why would she give herself to such a man?

"You have to go to her, Killian. It's obviously a political marriage- Gods only know what he threatened her with to secure such a union. John's wife died years ago, and he's without an heir. Her family has been in a tenuous truce with Leinster for some time now, but they have no navy to speak of and... well, you know all too well what John's navy is like. The gossip is that he essentially blockaded the port and she agreed to wed him in exchange for peace."

Suddenly it all made sense. The rumor of her young brother's illness would have spread to Leinster, as would talk of Emma's absence and activities once she returned. With her kingdom under threat, Emma would be precisely the type to offer herself in exchange for her people's lives and John certainly would have heard the rumors regarding Emma's time as sea. In addition to a lovely royal bride, he could quietly antagonize his foe, and what better way to enrage and humiliate his former officer, the great "Captain Hook," than to take his woman?

That disgusting, vicious bastard had to pay.

"He took my brother from me, and now he thinks to take her too?"

The girl in his bed was forgotten. Everything was forgotten except for his revenge and his love, and he would finally have a chance to get them both.

"Ed!" he yelled to the quartermaster lounging in a corner, "Gather up the boys and prepare to leave immediately! It seems I have a princess to rescue after all!"

"Well it's about damn time," Ed admonished, clapping him on the shoulder as he sprung into action. "I was wondering when you'd come to your senses, mate. You've been even more of an insufferable ass of late than you ever were, and that's saying something." With a wry grin, Ed disappeared into the night to round up the crew and within an hour the Jolly Roger had set sail. They made haste for Leinster, gliding over the water towards the green shores of his homeland. He would have his revenge, kill John and burn the country to the ground if need be, but she would be his again.

Chapter Text

XXV.

The late afternoon sun glittered on the water as her ship rounded a final turn, bringing her destination into view. She had thought of it as a prison, so when King John's startlingly beautiful castle finally appeared, she could scarcely believe that the elegant palace perched on a cliff was the home she'd been dreading. Far from the dark twisted fortress of her nightmares, its walls sparkled like a pearl above the clear azure sea.

Once docked, she was escorted to a royal carriage for travel to the castle. The harbor was filled with dozens of tall ships, from gigantic Man o Wars to maneuverable clippers, all of which she knew to be but a fraction of the king's navy. As the horses drew her into the city proper, it became startlingly clear that two decades of war had taken their toll on the coastal nation. Constantly looking to expand his influence, John had apparently bled the common people dry to outfit his military, and it showed with just a glance at her surroundings.

The fountain in the main square was dry, and the children who played in it went quiet as the carriage pulled near. The outdoor market sold staples such as bread and fish, but lacked any more extravagant goods that indicated people had spending money for the finer things. Much like the fountain, the rough brick buildings and cobbled streets suffered from obvious neglect. She could only begin to imagine the living conditions, and Emma knew that her first acts as queen would be to reduce the suffering of the common people. Just one of her jeweled necklaces could feed the better part of a neighborhood for a year, and her parents had always made sure their people were cared for before indulging in frivolous things. John may not have the same set of values, but that didn't mean she couldn't find ways to help. The people of both Sylvania and Leinster were counting on her, and she would not let them down.

The neighborhoods seemed wealthier the higher up the hill they went, eventually turning into opulent manor houses that dotted the open countryside as they approached the castle's fortified walls. The carriage finally stopped at a grand entryway, where she was met by a veritable army of attendants who made no secret of their fascination with her. A tall, elegant man stepped forward in a low bow as she scanned the group for the king. "Welcome, my lady! I am Matthew, head of his majesty's household."

Curtseying, she smiled graciously. "A pleasure to meet you, Matthew. I am Emma, princess of Sylvania and queen to your King John. May I ask, where is my husband? I confess, I had hoped to meet him when I arrived."

He seemed slightly confused by her question. "Ah, well, his majesty has been delayed while at sea, but fear not. I shall be happy to give you a tour of the castle in his stead."

They explored the gardens, bright with carefully groomed blooms of every shape and color, before going inside to the grand halls. The palace had a strange sort of pristine, perfect beauty, but it felt cold in a way as well. She realized that her earlier thoughts of its charm were misplaced. The opulent hall of mirrors, the ornate portraits and intricately carved furniture made John's palace striking and elegant, but it was little more than a gilded cage after all.

Although she rationally knew she was in her new home, Emma felt as though she were in a dream. She tried to imagine her life in this place, being treated as just one more beautiful thing that John had collected from his many conquered lands. Her only hope was that they would find a way to coexist, and that she could find ways to quietly improve the kingdom and make her parents proud.

Further exploration of the castle finally brought her to her private quarters, where Matthew again bowed before leaving her. "The king will attend you shortly," he promised smoothly, "but in the meantime please make yourself at home."

She settled into the bridal suite, a series of opulently furnished rooms that would apparently double as her permanent chambers. Walking through the cream and gold sitting room, she advanced into the bedroom, where dark wood and luxurious burgundy fabric gave it a seductive quality. The huge, canopied oak bed dominated the room and was outfitted with rich white drapes and bedclothes that contrasted with the room but were fitting for a wedding night. Realizing that she would be consummating her marriage in that very bed, she swallowed thickly, suddenly hoping that John would be, if not a loving husband, not a particularly cruel one either.

Shortly, as it turned out, was apparently a relative term. She was helped into, and then out of her bridal trousseau by an attendant several hours later, when Matthew notified her that the King was still away on important naval business and would see her as soon as he was able. As days passed without so much as a word as to where he was or when he'd be returning, the staff and courtiers were outwardly cordial, but there seemed to be an unsettling sense of amusement at her presence, and Emma was often alone and lonely in this new place. After her one public duty, which generally consisted of politely greeting the visiting nobles who came to see their king's new bride with a sort of morbid fascination, she was relegated to her throne to dine in the gathering hall alone beside her husband's empty seat before returning nightly to an empty room.


Hook knew these waters all too well. He had pulled the Jolly into this port countless times in his youth, when she had born the name The Jewel of the Realm and sailed under the banner of King John. Every rocky cove, tiny island and sandbar was etched into his memory, and it took mere moments for him to decide where best to moor the ship before changing course and pulling her into a small lagoon.

"Two days, Smee. Put her out to sea, follow the plan, and collect me in two days." He swung over the rail and dropped into the small boat, allowing the crew to lower him before rowing ashore.

A lesser captain might seem foolish, leaving his ship in the hands of a pirate crew, but Hook had no such fears. If they hadn't abandoned him during his months of depressed debauchery, they wouldn't risk a mutiny now. After all, Billy, Mullins and even cranky old Ed seemed almost as eager to have Emma back as he was.

Stowing the dinghy, he carefully picked his way through the wooded area outside the castle, using the cover of darkness to slip ever closer as he pondered the best way inside.

The main entrance would be well-guarded and difficult to sneak into, and without knowing the correct room, scaling the walls and creeping into her window would be nearly impossible. Though he was confident in his swordsmanship, fighting his way in was clearly not an option.

A dry cough nearby alerted him to the presence of someone, and he quietly circled around to find a half-drunk knight pissing by the roadside. Though the last ten years had clearly taken their toll, the knight's coat of arms made it easy for Killian to realize that the rather unimpressive man with his helmet off was Sir Geoffrey, a wealthy buffoon who he remembered with disdain from many years ago. At least this death would be no great tragedy, he thought, a plan forming in his mind.

He quickly dispatched the knight with a well-placed slice of his hook to the throat, carefully tipping the body forward to avoid excessive bleeding on the man's garments. Donning the full suit of armor and mounting the knight's horse, he was pleased to discover that he now had the perfect way to conceal his identity. He chuckled to himself as he was automatically granted entrance through the castle gates in his disguise, free to enter the halls and search for his princess. He obviously didn't need a ship to be a pirate.

He blended into the everyday bustle, anonymity allowing him to wander freely. He ducked into the library, the various sitting rooms and the grand salon before ascending the steps towards the bedchambers. After a few long minutes of searching, he stumbled upon a pretty young chambermaid, and felt his luck changing.

"Hello, my beauty," he purred, crowding the girl slightly as he stripped off his helmet, ready to use all of his seductive charm. "I have a confession to make."

The girls chocolate lashes batted flirtatiously at his attention. "And what might that be, sir knight?"

"I've always wanted to get an intimate look at a royal bedchamber. You wouldn't happen to be able to help me with that, would you?"

She giggled, cheeks flushing and head shaking nervously, but Hook knew women all too well and he could that tell her protests were merely for show. It took little effort to charm both the princess' current location and sleeping quarters out of the girl by promising a romp in the royal bed. He planned on fucking someone on that bed, he mused, but it wouldn't be the nervous lass blushing at his attentions. With a devilish wink, he plopped his helm back on and strode towards the grand hall.


The hall spread out in front of Emma like a stage, and she watched the various players from her raised seat as she dined. The young ladies of the court congregated on one side of the room, chattering excitedly and glancing at the knights and squires seated at the opposite tables. Occasionally, a man would approach one of the women or a few of the knights would stand off to the side to converse before things returned to normal.

The ballet was somewhat entertaining, if repetitive, and sitting alone on her throne, Emma watched the courtiers with a mixture of amusement and pity. Most of them were quite well-born, with all of the privileges and expectations that came with such a birthright. The flirting was mostly for show, she knew, for while some of them may be able to find a match that satisfied both love and duty, most of their dalliances would end in little more than a few stolen kisses. Her parents had been the exception, marrying for love alone, and had nearly payed a steep price for their decision. It was a price young nobles, herself included, knew all too well, and most eventually acquiesced to a suitable betrothal with little fanfare.

Then again, she had known love, which is more than she could say for a lot of women in arranged marriages. He had been a pirate instead of a prince, but he had been hers, if only for a few weeks, and the memory of their time together would soothe her soul in the years to come. Her hand may belong to King John of Leinster, but her heart would always beat for Killian Jones.

Of course, she knew little about her husband,save what she had heard from her parents and the Leinster court. The nobles showed no outward sign of displeasure with their sovereign, though their flattery spoke more of their fear than their approval. Even so, she had begun to make inquiries into public works programs that she hoped could benefit the people and perhaps improve the mood at court as well.

She wished she could ask her mother what else might be the wisest course of action, but she thought it best to wait until after the wedding to write. Once their kingdoms were allied, she could more easily obtain whatever advice or assistance she needed. She only hoped that John would take kindly to her efforts.


After three months, he thought he was ready to see her again, but nothing could have prepared him for the vision he saw before him when he entered the banquet hall. Dressed in a flowing, white silk gown that showed off a surprising amount of her glorious bosom and dripping in diamonds from the crown on her head to the bejeweled slippers on her feet, Emma looked every bit the beautiful princess bride. His heart nearly stopped as he stared at her, wanting nothing more than to climb the dais and have her right on her royal husband's gilded throne; a husband, he noticed, who was conspicuously missing from the festivities.

"Quite the beauty, isn't she?" He heard a young, round-faced squire remark. "Whether the rumors are true or not, she'll certainly make for an attractive sight beside the king"

"Rumors?" He inquired carefully, lowering his voice to ensure he'd avoid detection. "What do they say about her?"

The squire looked around, cautiously checking to make sure he could repeat the obviously tantalizing gossip without fear of chastisement. "I assumed you had already heard, Sir Geoffrey. The Sylvan princess was kidnapped by that pirate swine, Hook, while at sea. They say he had her in all manner of ways and worse yet, they say she enjoyed it!"

Damn right she enjoyed it, he thought proudly, briefly recalling how she cried out as she came undone for him before turning his attention back to the conversation at hand. "Then, dare I ask, why did our royal highness marry the girl? She's gorgeous, certainly, but surely he could have any woman he desired in his bed."

"Oh, I'm sure her beauty had something to do with it, but would venture that it had less to do with her and more to do with securing relations with her kingdom... And perhaps settling an old score."

"An old score?"

"You don't know? Hook's a bloody traitor, took his ship from John's own fleet when he went pirate! So John's going to take his woman, if you know what I mean."

Not if I have anything to say about it, he mused. Emma belonged to him, and it was time that he made that perfectly clear. Nodding to the squire, he moved into the shadows to watch his princess, knowing that she'd be in his arms again within a few short hours.


Emma finally slipped out of the bustling hall, padding lightly towards the bridal suite. Another night of waiting for her royal husband, only to learn that he'd been again delayed by some sort of nautical trouble. A large, very un-princess-like part of her hoped his ship would sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Approaching her rooms, she nodded cordially to the guards posted there, their polished steel armor glinting eerily in the firelight as it obscured their faces. She hated being watched like a prisoner, and the presence of armored sentries around every corner was suffocating. She slipped inside the heavy door, locking it behind her before trudging to the washroom. There was a half-full bottle of rum hidden in the linen closet, and tonight it was practically calling her name.

After all, here she was: a newlywed, and still alone in this foreign place. She didn't want to know if she should cry or rejoice.


Hook casually moved through the castle, letting the dome of polished metal hide his face and grant him the freedom to approach Emma's chambers. As he prepared to turn the corner, he heard the muffled voices of a guard stationed by her door. He risked a quick glance at the men, who seemed engrossed in their conversation.

"Ha! Maybe they should just use the grand hall! Put the bed right in the middle and charge admission. I know I'm hoping to be on duty that night."

Their suppressed laughter echoed quietly down the otherwise empty corridor. Ducking into the alcove behind an ornate tapestry, Hook froze, listening to the two men stationed outside the bridal suite.

"With your luck, all you'd see is the king's royal arse. Now me, I'm hoping to get a look at those pretty tits o' hers, or that little pink cunny. I wonder if the hair down there matches the hair on her head."

"Probably. You know how obsessed pirates are with gold." The taller one, with the deeper voice, laughed again. "Gods, it's hard to believe that she let scum like that fuck her. Have you even heard the stories?"

"Some of 'em. I heard he used to have her suck his cock while he was steering his ship, right there in the open, and that it got her so wet that she'd get off every time he filled her belly."

The other guard groaned. "Fuck. I could go for a princess's lips around my cock right now. You think she'd oblige me if I asked nicely?"

Hook's cock twitched at the thought of Emma's mouth on him, sucking while he manned the helm. Fuck, he was hard, and so close to finally making his dirty thoughts of her a reality again.

"Your cock? Please. Like she'd want that tiny thing. Still, you can fuck her mouth if you want. It's that royal cunt that I'm interested in."

"Yeah, she may be a princess, but I'd bet you anything that she loves getting fucked, and moans like a little whore."

Hook had had enough, anger and lust coursing through his veins like fire. He had killed men for less, and these two had dug their own graves the moment they dared insult his princess. He stepped back into the torchlight, drawing his sword.

"Gentlemen, and I use that term loosely," he announced. "I am here to relieve you of your post. Any last words?"

They raised their swords, the larger one charging him immediately, not expecting his opponent to be nearly as fast or strong. Hook dodged as his cutlass caught the knight in the exposed area under his arm, slicing through the mail and quilted gambeson to the soft flesh underneath. A muffled shriek sounded as the man crashed into the wall, clutching at the wound.

"Who are you?" The shorter guard asked, fear and confusion in his voice. "What are you doing here?"

"I'm the man who'll be taking my princess, and unfortunately for you, I can't have any witnesses." He brought his blade down on the injured knight, piercing the area between neck and shoulder and plunging the hall into silence again.

"So, you're the pirate," the remaining guard chuckled, raising his own sword. "Is her cunt really that sweet? Maybe after I'm done with you, I'll go in and find out for myself."

Gods, he wanted to kill the bastard, but Hook knew when he was being baited, instead feinting a lunge and striking when the guard miscalculated, slicing at the backs of his knees before thrusting his sword into the visor of the helm. A sickening gurgle sounded from the steel's depths, and then all was quiet again. He dragged the bodies to the alcove and, stealing a set of keys, returned to the now-unguarded door.


Returning to her bedchamber, Emma froze when she noticed the broad figure standing in its center. The helm hid his face from view, but even without seeing his eyes, she could feel his hungry stare practically peeling the silk gown from her body. Fear shot through her as she took in the unmistakable crimson of fresh blood spattering the plate armor he wore.

"What is the meaning of this?" She snapped. "Get out this instant and I may not decide to tell my husband, your king, that you were gawking at his wife."

A deep chuckle sounded from the shadowed depths of the mirrored steel. "Oh, that bastard is no king of mine, and I plan on doing far more than looking, darling." He reached up and removed the helmet, revealing disheveled dark hair and familiar blue eyes that sparkled with intensity.

"Hook," she whispered, prompting a cocky smirk from his lips as he responded.

"Did you miss me?"

 

Chapter Text

XXVI.

"Did you miss me?"

It took her a few seconds to realize that his sudden, unexpected presence in her bedroom was real, the pounding of her own heart loud in her ears as she stared at him. Just when Emma had begun to try to live again, her pirate was here, acting like nothing had changed in the months they'd been apart.

She desperately wanted to run into his arms, and needed to hate him all the more for it, because he had come to her too late. It felt like years since she'd seen him, and gods, he looked even better than she'd remembered. For a second, she allowed herself to take in the sight of him, the polished plate armor making him look like the heroes she'd dreamt of as a child. If only he had been that hero, their tale could have ended differently, she thought bitterly, her anger rising. Gods, maybe it would have been better if he hadn't come at all, because this was torture. She was trapped now, stuck between what her heart wanted and what her people needed, with no way to reconcile the two.

"Did I miss you?" She asked incredulously. "All these months, waiting, wondering, and that's what you say to me? Where have you been? What the hell do you think you're doing here?"

"I wanted to see you," he stated simply. "When I heard what had happened, I had to come." Bloody hell, she was still wearing that tantalizing dress, the luminous ivory silk dipping low between her breasts and gliding over her curves like liquid. An intricate, diamond-encrusted necklace cascaded over her glowing skin, resting in the deep neckline and only further highlighting her assets. The golden hair he'd seen every night in his dreams was topped by a similarly jeweled crown. His memories paled in comparison to the vision before him, beautiful as a goddess come to earth. The arousal that had been smoldering in his belly all evening had raged hotter during his altercation with the guards, but now burst into an inferno as he approached his princess, the need to take and possess overcoming him.

"Oh, Gods, why couldn't you just stay away?" She hissed, angry tears leaping to her eyes. "I can't do this...you need to leave, now. If the men outside hear you, we're both as good as dead."

"Nobody can hear a thing, darling. That door is six inches thick, and even if sound could carry through the wood, I highly doubt the dead guards beyond it will be coming to your aid. Besides," he crowded closer, "I'm not going anywhere until you explain what the hell you're doing married to the bastard who rules this kingdom. How could you do this to me?"

"How could I do this to you? Fuck you! You left me behind!"

"You must be joking." He chuckled mirthlessly, walking around the room to casually inspect the various ornate decorations in an effort to remain calm. "Aside from the fact that, technically, you left me, there's the little detail of you being married to the man that murdered my brother. Tell me, love, was that just to spite me?"

"What?" She asked, stunned nearly breathless. "No, that can't be..."

He sighed heavily. "So, you didn't know. I suppose that is some small consolation. John knows though, knows who I am, and who you are to me. This is no mere coincidence. He means to make me pay, and what better way than …" He shook away his thoughts. "No matter. He hasn't had you yet, has he, love? Put his greasy, bloodstained hands on that beautiful body of yours? Have you let him fuck you, like I fucked you?" His eyes once again roamed her body, drinking in the sight of her open neckline, the way the gown caressed and flattered her curves.

Emma recoiled, backing away from him, her own voice rising. "What the hell? That's no business of yours, pirate. You have absolutely no claim to me. I'm married now. Whatever your plan or the foolish fantasies you may have had, none of that matters. You were gone, doing gods only know what! Even if I did want to leave with you, we both know I can't. Maybe if you'd had the courage to come to me a month ago, but now? I'm John's wife!"

Advancing, he considered her, a wicked smirk curving his lips. "Hmmmm, I think not. You are mine, and I'll not have another man know you. All the women I had- and there were many, darling- not a one felt as good as your sweet little cunt." She turned away in distress, not wanting to hear about his exploits. "Oh, does that bother the little princess, to know that I've fucked my way through the kingdoms while you were off gallivanting with my enemy? I can still read you, love, can see from your expression that you haven't taken John to your bed and I'm sure your body is just dying for me to fill you up again, after months of being alone. What do you say, darling? How about a quick fuck for old time's sake?"

She hadn't wanted to hurt him, but his disgusting attitude broke her resolve. "Hook, I haven't been with John, but you must not know me as well as you believe if you think you've been my only lover." She heard him inhale a shocked breath, and raised a challenging eyebrow in response. "It's not like you waited around for me, so don't even think of judging me."

A darkness settled in his eyes. "I did wait, actually, for two weeks, hoping you'd find your way back to me, since going to the castle and inviting you to dinner didn't seem a viable option. How long did you wait princess? A week? A day?" He stalked towards her, backing her slowly to the bed. "How many men did you let fuck that pretty cunny of yours?"

His anger only served to increase her own. What right did he have to be angry? He undoubtedly fucked his way through a dozen ports, only coming to her when his feud with John prompted him to eventually think on her again, making her more of a possession to argue over than anything else. He probably cared no more for her than the strumpets he bedded. "What does it even matter to you? Go find yourself a whore, Hook, since that's apparently the type of woman you prefer, and get out of my room."

"You essentially sold yourself, darling. So, in a way, maybe I do prefer whores."

"That's not fair, Hook, and you know it!" She argued. "I never thought I'd see you again."

"Well, I'm bloody well here now." He growled, arms held wide.

She grabbed the steel gorget of his armor, abruptly hauling him to her and kissing him voraciously. She nipped at his lips and yanked on his hair, and he responded by kissing her back with just as much fire, their passion raging as wildly as if someone had lit a match in a room of gunpowder.

Shoving her in the direction of the bed, he began to unbuckle his armor as he moved, shedding each piece of the heavy steel with an ominous metallic thud against the plushly carpeted floor. Finally pulling his shirt over his head, he smirked as he caught his princess lustfully biting her lip as her dark eyes roamed over his bare torso. She was clearly angry, as angry as he was himself, but he knew now that the raw attraction they shared hadn't diminished for either of them.

Despite her anger, she couldn't deny the effect he had on her. As she realized what was about to happen, Emma distinctly recalled all the lonely nights she'd imagined what their reunion might be like. Sometimes, he stole her away, and they came together in a flurry of passion against a wall, unable to wait until they were safe aboard the Jolly Roger. Other times, they made love bathed in the warm glow of the cabin's lanterns, declarations of love whispered against each other's lips.

She'd never imagined it like this, ravished in her royal bridal bed by Captain Hook, as the man approaching her was certainly not the affectionate Killian that she'd left those few months ago. Only now did she truly understand how much she'd hurt him, and how much he'd lost himself when he lost her. With sudden clarity, she realized that her love for him had never been unrequited and although she was afraid, a part of her welcomed this, wanted to be made his again, to be fucked until all she knew was the slide and stretch of his cock inside her. "Please," she whispered, wanting him to know she desired him, praying he would find a way to forgive her for what she had to do.

He could see her soften a bit, but wasn't yet ready to feel those emotions, instead focusing on his rage. Pulling her to him, he abruptly shoved his hook into the top of her bodice and ripped her gown down the center to her waist, using his hand to yank it down her body. At his rough treatment, she tried halfheartedly to cover herself in embarrassment, but her arms were tangled in the sleeves, and all she could do was struggle as he stared. "Fuck, I missed these," he growled, hand coming to caress her creamy breasts in just the right way, thumb brushing her nipple as he kneaded the soft flesh. She bit back a moan, his expert touch making it impossible for her to suppress her desire for him.

He pulled her gown the rest of the way off, then made quick work of the remaining underbust corset and silk chemise, leaving her beautifully bare. Pulling her against his firm body with his hooked arm, he reached between her legs, finding the golden curls there already slick with arousal, a fact which sent a new burst of lust sizzling towards his already hard cock. "Oh, and I most definitely missed this." She wriggled in his grasp, grinding against his long fingers. "You're so wet, darling. You can try to deny it all you want, but your body knows you're mine."

She ripped an arm free and grabbed him by the necklace around his neck. "Nobody owns me. And I hate you."

Something crept into his expression at that, and he scoffed humorlessly. "You've never hated me, even when you had every reason to, so something tells me you'll forgive me for this too."

He spun her around and pushed her onto the bed, climbing up behind her as she scrambled to turn onto her back. "Oh no, you don't," he admonished, hooking her around the ankle as he worked open his laces and opened his trousers, his cock springing free. "I want you just like this." He pushed down on her shoulders, forcing her to the bed with his hook as his fingers passed through her wetness and over her clit, drawing impatient circles onto the sensitive nub, his hard length hot against her thigh.

She shivered as he lined himself up, but her words died in her throat as she felt him nudge at her entrance. Gods help her, she wanted this: wanted it hard and raw, wanted to fuck away the heartache of the last months and forget, if only for a little while. She pushed her hips back towards him ever so slightly, working the tip inside her, and apparently that was all the encouragement he needed. His hand immediately grasped her hip and he surged forward, sheathing himself to the hilt in one smooth motion as she keened with a mixture of pleasure and pain. She had clearly forgotten just how big he was, desperately needing a moment to adjust to the intrusion and getting no such reprieve as he slammed into her yet again. "Fuck, you're still so tight, Emma," he groaned as he rotated his hips, reveling in the feel of her around him. "Still so fucking good."

She could feel his balls slap against her clit with each thrust as he began to fuck her hard, the sensation teasing her torturously. Her heavy necklace swung wildly, hitting her chest in time with his movements. Desperate for more, she arched her back, trying to angle him just right, but he pushed her down again, grunting that she should hold still. He was being rough, taking her with a desperation borne from months of longing and pain and desire finally coming to a boiling point, and she wanted to scream and fight, demanding he treat her like the royalty she was, but she couldn't deny that finally fucking him again, even like this, felt better than anything else had these last months. He slid so deep with each thrust, filling her and stretching her. Grunting when she clenched around him, he pushed down on her shoulders with his hook, allowing his cock to go even deeper.

"Bloody fucking hell. You feel so perfect." He choked back what could have been a sob, pulling on her golden tresses as he pounded into her, his voice instead taking on a harsh, angry tone. "I just... How could you? How could you let anyone else inside this perfect little cunt?"

She didn't answer, her heart racing as her body responded to the overwhelming sensations, and he changed the angle again, moving to he hit just the right spot over and over. His earlier efforts to control himself and keep from coming too quickly had paid off, but at this rate, he wouldn't last much longer. "Did anyone fill you like I do? Did anyone fuck you like I do?"

"No!" she cried, rutting back against him. "Don't stop. Please! It's so good!"

His thrusts were sloppy and harsh as he finally chased his release, knowing she was right on the edge as well. "Gods, how I tried to chase your memory away, but you were always there, when I closed my eyes, haunting my bloody dreams."

"Oh, Killian," she whimpered, tears brimming in her eyes. "I've only ever wanted you."

Hearing those words snapped his last bit of control. "I'm so close. Fuck, I want to come inside you, Emma. I want to fill you with my seed, dark sky be damned." He thrust hard and deep, making her cry out when he bottomed out again. Her cunt felt so good wrapped around him and there was no denying how much he missed her. She looked back, her body tightening around him as she started to come.

"Gods help me, but I love you," she sobbed, the tone making it clear she was close. "Come with me."

In that moment, all he knew was that despite him being a lowly pirate, this magnificent woman loved him back. He leaned over her, all resolve to fuck her unceremoniously leaving him as he neared his climax, wanting just to hold her when be came. He turned her head to kiss her, his heart swelling when she attacked his lips with the same desperation as she wrapped her arm around his neck. With a low moan, he filled her with his release, each deep thrust causing a shudder to ripple through her lithe body under him.

She felt the hot rush of him finishing inside her, the sensation only making her orgasm more intense. Breaking the kiss to gulp in much-needed air, she collapsed, boneless, on the bed. The harsh sound of their heavy breathing slowly quieted in the empty room, the mattress dipping as he flopped beside her and began to trail his fingers over the sweat-slick skin of her back. Lying in the hazy afterglow, they nervously avoided looking at each other until he pressed a kiss to her shoulder, sighing deeply.

"I've spent much of my life running from this place. Only you could bring me back."

"Why did you return?" she asked, turning on her side to face him.

"You must know." A wry smile lifted the corner of his kiss-reddened lips. "I never thought I'd be capable of letting go of my first love — of my Milah. To believe that I could find someone else. That is, until I met you." She threaded her fingers through his, biting her lip nervously as he continued. "I had to know, had to see you with my own eyes and understand why I'd lost the woman who showed me how to love again to my greatest enemy. And if you weren't here by choice, well, then I had to save my princess." He gently eased the already-askew crown from her head, dangling it playfully from his hook.

"I think I'm a queen now." she corrected him sadly, poking at the jeweled circlet with a manicured forefinger. He tossed the crown to the side, rolling to face her fully as he gently stroked her cheek with a calloused thumb.

"You'll always be my Swan Princess, Emma. Always."

Leaning down, he gently pressed his lips to hers in a gesture that, strangely, felt far more intimate to Emma than their previous activities. This kiss was something unlike any other they had shared. It was soft and slow, their tongues stroking and tasting as they wrapped their arms around each other, heads angling to allow the kiss to evolve into more. He settled between her slender thighs, encouraging her legs to wrap around his hips and pull him closer.

She wanted him again, and could tell he shared the same desire when she felt his rigid length press against her. Rolling him onto his back, his lips barely missed a beat when she rocked against him, moving to caress her jaw and below her ear before returning eagerly to her mouth. His hand kneaded the base of her skull, but his hooked arm remained locked firmly around her waist, and she wondered briefly if he, too, feared this was but a dream and would lose her the moment he woke again.

She rose slightly, easily slipping him back inside her and he freed her from his embrace to lay back, mesmerized as she moved above him like a golden goddess of his very own. The pleasure on her face as she rode him was so intensely erotic that he was immeasurably thankful he had already satisfied himself once. Knowing that she loved him in return and that this passion was borne not just of lust but of love, made the base act of fucking, which he'd gleefully done thousands of times without a second thought, suddenly seem sacred.

She leaned back a bit, intentionally giving him quite the show and working him deeper with each roll of her hips until she had every hard inch sheathed inside her. Gods, it felt so good this way, even better than in her dreams and memories. The new tattoo on his chest, a delicate swan inked right over his heart, drew her attention; she didn't know how she'd missed it before, but tears welled in her eyes when the emptiness that had been festering inside of her these last, lonely weeks melted away as they came together and his cock filled her perfectly. His calloused thumb rubbed at her clit as he began to thrust up into her, the combined pleasure inducing her climax. She collapsed against his chest, nuzzling into his neck as she came down and letting him roll them again.

"Gods, I love you," he whispered in her ear as he took her with long deep thrusts. "I am yours, Emma, just as you are mine. No king, or oath, or time, or distance can change that."

"Show me," she purred, kissing him deeply before pulling back to look into his intense gaze. "Show me how you love me, Killian."

His hips pressed against her as his lips attacked hers, greedily nipping and kissing as he loved her with every ounce of his body and soul. They moved together, rising and falling until he spent himself deep inside her again, their intimate touches continuing as they came back to earth.


The hours passed as they lay sprawled on the tangled sheets, her body tucked into his side as he held her close. She could hear his heart beating, strong and steady and real under her ear as her ornately ringed fingers played with the dark hair on his chest.

"Come away with me," he whispered in the dark, the sliver of moon in the sky providing little light to the stately bedchamber now that the candles had all burned out.

Her sigh was as broken as her heart as she responded. "You know I can't. John will declare war on Sylvania. I'd be sentencing my people to death. And isn't this your homeland? Have you seen how the people live? I can't just turn my back on that."

He pulled her closer, protectively. "I can. Fuck the kingdoms. Fuck the world, Emma." She just sighed again, and he knew she couldn't agree with him and simply run off, no matter how much she obviously longed to. He decided to give voice to the obvious solution, knowing that she'd argue all the same. "If I killed him, you could be free."

"No." She shook her head emphatically. "Killian, if they catch you, they'll hang you at the very least, and god knows what else John might do to you. I'd rather endure a thousand years of an unhappy marriage than see that happen."

"And I'd rather die than lose you again, Emma, though I'd prefer if it didn't come to that. Besides, John has been a dead man since the day he sent Liam and I on our ill-fated journey. He just doesn't know it."

She thought on that, realizing that marrying her was just the last in a long list of John's ruthless and devious actions. Even before her betrothal, Killian had every reason to want the man dead. Still, so much was at stake. "If you kill him in cold blood, you might as well run your sword through me, my mother, father, brother and half of the kingdom as well. I'm not saying he deserves to live," she said, sensing her pirate's irritation and wanting him to know where her loyalties lay.

Guilt briefly tugged at her heart, but she knew that given how hellbent he was on John's death, dissuading him from exacting his revenge would be nearly impossible. While she couldn't deny that things would be far easier if John's ship were simply lost at sea, she wasn't sure if the sea goddess would be so cooperative. Then again, perhaps they didn't need a deity’s help at all, she realized. "Killian, where is the Jolly Roger?"

"In a nearby port, waiting to retrieve us in two days' time. What of her?"

"Do you think she can take down a royal flagship?"

"We took the Ivory Swan, and as you've seen with your own eyes, love, I'm a hell of a captain."

She hummed quietly in thought for a moment before continuing. "I was just thinking- if John were to die at sea, while I'm here within the castle walls, there would be no way to blame me for his disappearance. The marriage hasn't been consummated, so I'd have no claim to the throne, and with the infighting that would undoubtedly ensue within the nobility, they would want to send me home as quickly as possible."

Staring at the ceiling, he considered the options. He had always imagined something a bit more gruesome for the king, but dead was dead. Dispatching the ship would allow him both his revenge and his love, and really, what more could he want? He'd have to wait until the Jolly Roger returned for him, but she was the fastest ship he knew, more than capable of running down whatever hulking monstrosity on which the king sailed. "Bloody hell, lass. That could work."

"I could meet you at the docks in Sylvaina a month after I arrive home. My parents won't be thrilled, but I doubt they'll be surprised, and nobody would want to marry me anyway, after this."

He smirked, knowing he was about to hint at something that would have seemed impossible just a year ago. "Oh, I don't know how true that is. I'm sure I can think of someone who would."

He heard the hitch in her breathing, saw the shy smile that curved her lips, and knew he'd made the right choice. She was all he'd ever need.


They dozed together until the first light of dawn began to color the sky, knowing their plan would only work if he escaped her room undiscovered. He lowered the heavy armor to the ground using a rope that had once lashed her luggage together before climbing out the window himself.

"Be careful," she implored him as she planted frantic kisses on his lips. "And, please, Killian, come back to me."

"Always, love," he vowed, staring at her intently in an effort to memorize every detail of her beautiful face. Using the thick vines that scaled the tower that housed her suite, he swiftly climbed down under the last cover of darkness and, slinging the heavy steel over his shoulder, set off for the cove where he would soon meet his crew, exact his revenge, and free Emma.

Chapter Text

XXVII.

Killian sat on a fallen log, huddled against the early morning's chill in his thick leather coat. He now knew how he would free emma and, in doing so, free himself from the ghost of his brother. Liam's murder had too long tormented him, and he would be glad to finally have his revenge and be rid of the burden at last. The long wait ashore would be tedious; the Jolly was not set to return until two nights hence, and without a way to contact Smee, there was nothing to do but sit and ponder all that had happened to bring him to this point. He had changed so much in the last 15 years, from an earnest young lieutenant in the Leinster navy, to a lost young captain, to a lover, and then to the loneliest man in all of the kingdoms- until he had met his savior. Gods, this journey had started when he kidnapped her, but it was she who had stolen his heart in the end. Emma had done what no other could, and reminded him of the man he once was.

He wanted more than anything to steal back into the castle to hold her and have his wicked way with her again, but he knew the risks were too great. They had been fortunate to have one undiscovered night together. He dared not chance it a second time, no matter how he longed to do so. Sinking John's ship would come to pass soon enough, and with no survivors- and therefore no witnesses- there would be no way for either him or Emma to be implicated. He only needed to be patient.

The day passed maddeningly slowly, despite his efforts to stay alert. Keeping to the secluded inlet where he was to meet his crew, he eventually welcomed dusk, eating a small meal of bread and dried meat as he allowed himself to indulge in a few visions of what his future could be. When sleep finally claimed him, his dreams were of sailing the seas with his princess by his side.


Emma awakened late the morning after Killian's visit to a familiar ache between her legs that made her smile. She had missed being with him even more than she'd realized and wished more than ever that she had the freedom to run away impulsively. Were she able to, she'd abandon her responsibilities and simply leave with her love, but the hope she now knew was more than enough to give her the courage to play her part and keep up appearances. Having witnessed his ferocity at sea firsthand, there was no doubt in her mind that Killian would succeed, and they would be together soon.

Fighting to keep her giddiness contained, she dressed and went about her day as if nothing was amiss, smiling graciously and finding her duties considerably less trying now that she knew they were but temporary inconveniences. She dismissed talk of some sort of security breach outside her room, suggesting that it had been most likely related to the guards' personal lives. As far as anyone knew, nothing had been stolen and she had been quietly sleeping all night, innocently unaware of any altercation.

When the day was finally done and she was alone in her bedroom, Emma stared out her window as night fell, hoping Killian was looking up at the same sliver of moon in the sky and counting the hours until they could be together again.

A whirlwind of activity woke her the next morning, her attendants practically hauling her bodily out of the bed to clean and dress her. It took mere moments to understand the reason why: King John had returned to Leinster and was on his way to the castle, ready to meet his bride and make their marriage official. She allowed them to treat her like little more than a child's doll as they prepared her for her presentation, her mind reeling as it tried to cope with the horrific turn of events. Killian awaited the Jolly Roger's return, expecting to end her marriage with a few well-aimed cannonballs, and yet her royal husband was instead here in the kingdom. Any attempt on Killian's part to steal her away now would be suicide, and any indication of rejection or unfaithfulness on her part would be considered treason.

Asking for a minute alone to compose herself before meeting the king, Emma stared at her reflection in the mirror. They had dressed her in a flowing gown of white and gold, braiding her flaxen hair into a crown atop her head and adorning her neck and wrists in gold and diamonds until she looked every inch the royal bride she was born to be. Though it was not a marriage borne of love, she wished for a moment that her parents could be there with her nonetheless, lending her their suport and chasing away her fears with their belief in her ability to triumph over any situation, even one so seemingly hopeless.

Finally composed enough to face her fate, she lifted her head high, pulled open the suite's doors, and strode determinedly to meet her husband, refusing to show fear or weakness. As she entered the throne room, she saw John for the first time, his head snapping up as his eyes met hers. For a man with such a fearsome reputation and a history of unforgivable deeds, his appearance was startlingly unimposing. He was in his mid forties, chocolate brown hair sprinkled with a dusting of grey at the temples. His olive skinned face was clean-shaven but handsome, with dark eyes that crinkled at the corners and would seem deceptively kind, were it not for the emptiness behind them. Rising from his throne, he climbed down from the dais to meet her, dropping to his knees and kissing her hand in greeting.

"Emma, princess of Sylvania, rumors sing your many praises but they fall far short! It is a joy to meet you at last. I apologize for my absence, but rough weather delayed my return to you. I trust that your time in your new home has been pleasant." He rose and held out his arm for her to take, escorting her out of the throne room as he continued to speak. "I know that this ararngement has been one of political, rather than romantic, origins, but I must admit, I find your beauty remarkably enchanting, and am quite pleased that I shall be able to call a woman of such commanding presence my queen."

Emma gave him a weak smile, bowing her head gently. "It is I who am pleased, my King, to have such a handsome and attentive husband. I hope our union can secure peace between our two kingdoms, and that our marriage can become one of more than simple alignment."

He turned his head in her direction, eyes darting to her breasts before meeting her own. "I have no doubt that it will, my lady. Now, I have arranged for us to take our vows in the chapel, followed by a grand celebration in the main hall, and the consummation after. By tonight's end, you will be the Queen of Leinster." Bowing formally, he escorted her into the chapel, where a serious, elderly minister awaited them. Emma noticed several of the higher ranking knights and nobles standing in attendance, obviously there as witnesses to the royal marraige ceremony. She briefly wondered, with some concern, if all of these people would also be witnessing the bedding, but was pulled from these thoughts as the minister began his oration. It took mere minutes for the vows to be spoken, and with the slide of a golden ring on her finger, she was officially married.

King John continued to be the very model of a polite monarch, though the longer she watched him the more she knew that it was mostly for show. He seemed pleased with her, for certain, but when she felt his eyes on her, it was with a look of hunger and possession, rather than affection. She was essentially a spoil of war, the equivalent of a prize mare or a beautiful statue, albeit one that he would undoubtedly be taking his pleasure in that night and for many to come. It could be worse, she supposed, though a part of her would have found it easier if he'd been repellent and abusive. His curernt behavior made it almost too easy to forget the atrocities he was capable of and what kind of man she'd bound herself to.

The formal celebratory dinner was an affair of grandeur that easily eclipsed that of even the most lavish parties she had experienced in Sylvania. King John drank heartily, consuming cup after cup as his wealthiest subjects toasted him enthusiastically. Too nervous to eat more than a few fruits and a bit of cake, she watched as the guests feasted, noting with some concern the lascivious glances thrown her way by a few of the men. Clearly, they had been invited to witness the consummation, and while it was certainly a standard matter of protocol when royalty wed, she had never really allowed herself to think too hard on what would occurr that night.

She was no stranger to public displays of desire, of course. Emma felt her cheeks flush and her heart rate increase as she recalled Hook taking her on the deck of his ship, brazenly claiming her for all his crew to see. Though it had been a bit overwhelming at the time, she could only remember the pleasure of it now, the feeling of being wholly his, the envious stares of the other men making her feel wild and shameless as she enjoyed every slide of him deep inside her. If only it were Killian she were marrying, she wouldn't care a bit who saw them together, so long as he was the one taking her. She would gladly let the whole world see their passion for each other, if it could somehow make their forbidden affair official.

She felt John brush his fingers teasingly up her arm, a hint of a chuckle escaping his lips as he leaned from his throne towards hers. "Thinking of tonight, are we?" he whispered, making her head snap towards him. "That pretty blush makes your excitement more than obvious, my queen. Don't you worry, I'll be taking you upstairs soon enough." He squeezed her thigh firmly, before returning to his cup.


Killian didn't know what it was that alerted him to the change; perhaps he and Emma were so linked that he could sense her mood even over miles of wilderness. Whatever the reason, he decided to venture towards the castle on his last day ashore, perhaps hoping to catch a glimpse of her beauty before sailing away, only to discover the castle was a flurry of activity. Richly dressed nobles arrived in a parade of carriages, and servents ran to and fro, scurrying to accomplish their tasks in half the usual time. He quickly returned to his campsite, donning his stolen armor to better blend into the throng as he made his way back to the castle.

Arriving just as a lavish feast was commencing, he slipped into the halls as the guests began to drink the rich wine and gorge themselves on the extensive offerings. He sneered under his helm, disgusted that they would indulge in such excess when the common people were on the verge of starvation, but unsurprised at the extravagance. A few questions to a servant confirmed his worst fear: the king had returned and had married his lovely bride. As he circled the hall towards a rear vestibule, he saw Emma awaiting her grand entrance, and was struck dumb by her beauty. If she had been a goddess the other night, she was truly the queen of the gods today, wrapped in the finest fabrics, her long neck bared and draped in diamonds. For a moment, he nearly missed the presence of the king beside her, but Hook's vision went red as he saw the man responsible for his fall from grace with his arm possessivly wrapped around Emma's waist. The urge to charge forward and slit John's throat rose quickly, and he nearly gave into the impulse before remembering that to do so would be to damn Emma. She could be blamed for the King's death, or suspected of being otherwise involved, and he dared not risk her safety.

Taking one final look at her, he turned and sought out the King's quarters, killing the few guards left there with a quick flick of his dagger and stashing the bodies inside as he ducked behind the grand doors and surveyed the suite. Pondering his best course of action, he decided that John would most likely come back to his rooms to change and freshen himself before going to consummate his marriage, and so decided it best to wait in the luxurious bathroom, where the King would almost certainly be alone and where he could properly take his time.


Heart hammering in her chest, Emma allowed herself to be led back to her rooms, knowing what was to come. A small part of her hoped Killian would come save her at the last moment, swooping in and whisking her off to the Jolly, but she had seen no indication of his presence. Perhaps it was for the best, she admitted to herself. He would surely be killed if he were to attempt to rescue her now, and she couldn't bear the thought of him being executed. Given their history, she imagined that John would find a particularly torturous way of ridding himself of his longtime enemy, and shuddered to imagine what that might be.

No, she thought, it was better this way. He would know what had happened, of course, but he wouldn't ever blame her for what she had to do while she found a way to get back to him and after all she had already been through in her young life, Emma knew she would find a way to endure it. Playing the queen until he returned to kill John was something she could do; perhaps she would kill John herself, if the opportunity arose.

Her attendants removed her heavily embroidered gown and corset, leaving her in only her jewels and a thin silk chemise. She turned a nervous eye towards the gallery set up on the sides of the room, where chairs supported the select few deemed important enough to witness the consummation of the wedding. Behind the chairs, favored knights and squires stood, seeming far more interested in watching a beautiful woman being ravished than any greater importance of joining the kingdoms. John emerged from the suite's bathroom, having been undressed and readied in privacy, and gazed approvingly at her barely-clothed form. "This is one royal duty I am most happy to participate in," he stated loudly, earning him a laugh from the gathered audience. He reached out, caressing her hip through the sheer fabric before escorting her towards the bed. "I know you're no virgin, so I won't feel the need to go gentle with you,' he whispered with a quiet chuckle. "I plan to enjoy you thoroughly, and expect your eager compliance, so be sure to put on a good show for your new subjects."


Something was wrong. It was far too late for John to still be at the feast, and a brief glance out into the halls confirmed that the castle's guards were oddly absent in this area. A sudden jolt of terror coursed through him as Killian realized that the king must have returned to the bridal suite instead of his own, and all rational thought left him as he plopped on his helm and hurried to Emma's chambers, ignoring the chuckles of servants as he passed them by. He was waved into the room by the guards outside, who whispered he was "just in time for the good part" and passed through the doors, his mouth dropping open behind the polished steel that concealed his face as he saw the spectacle before him.

The grand bed was surrounded by an audience, the sheer curtains of the canopy doing little to truly hide what was about to happen. John was still wearing his shirt, but Killian watched as Emma's chemise was pulled over her head and carelessly tossed out the side of the bed, the action moving aside a portion of the curtain and exposing her fully to a section of the gallery. She seemed to move in an attempt to cover herself before John gripped her hands, pushing them aside. Torn between wanting to run from the room and vaulting over the audience to strangle the royal bastard right then and there, he remained frozen in horror, gathering the courage to move quietly around the room to where he could best see her face, unable to avert his eyes from what he knew was coming.


Emma stared up at the king, the sweet smell of wine on his breath as he braced himself over her, eyes roaming her form. "Gods, you're so perfect," he murmured to himself. "If only you hadn't been made a whore but that traitorous pirate..." he trailed off, hands following the path his eyes had taken as he palmed her breasts greedily. "It's no matter though. You're mine now, my queen, and I am going to enjoy taking what he once thought was his."

She averted her eyes from him, staring out the curtain into the room as he touched her, heart leaping into her throat when her eyes landed on a figure in the crowded gallery. She knew that armor. Oh gods, she knew it. A subtle nod nearly broke her, tears leaping to her eyes as she felt sorrow and shame wash over her. I'm sorry, she mouthed silently, subtly shaking her head in alarm when his hand instantly went to his sword. She begged him with her eyes, relaxing slightly when his tightly clenched fist slowly moved from the weapon. The steel-clad figure instead raised his hand and brought it to the area of the helm covering his mouth before placing it firmly over his heart, and she closed her eyes, knowing the situation they had both dreaded was impossible to avoid now and despairing anew at the tragedy of it all.

Distracted by Killian's presence, she startled when she felt John's hand pass between her legs, coating her in something slippery as he lined himself up. Knowing what was coming next, she opened her eyes to look towards the armored figure again, but thankfully he was already walking stiffly out the door, leaving the humiliating spectacle behind him before he had to see any more. Emma honestly didn't know if she could have endured him watching any longer, tears already threatening to fall at any moment; the idea that he would witness her being taken, however reluctantly, by another man was just too much.

Her relief lasted mere seconds, as John suddenly thrust into her, his groan of pleasure loud in her ears. "Gods," he grunted quietly, "oh, gods, you're tight." He began to fuck her in earnest, clearly enjoying every moment as he sped up his pace, and she could do nothing but bite her lip and close her eyes, hoping to hurry his orgasm along and make the ordeal as brief as possible. After several more humiliating minutes, she dimly felt the king still atop her, filling her with his seed, and she knew it was done. Killian was gone, and she was now John's queen.

Chapter Text

XXVIII.

As the next morning dawned clear and bright, Emma woke to an empty bed and an even emptier feeling in her heart. The king was already gone, but the memory of him between her legs lingered in her mind and was more than enough reminder of what had happened the previous night. According to the many princesses she'd known who had already married, the consummation was always a difficult ordeal, but nothing could have prepared her for the heartbreaking disaster she had experienced. She felt tears well in her eyes as she thought of Killian, who'd arrived just a bit too late to steal her away. Absconding with John's bride would have been nothing short of insanity and likely would have caused all out war, but she didn't doubt for a second that her pirate would have tried it anyway, and that she might have been reckless enough herself to go with him. Gods knew her heart wanted her to flee and find him even now.

Though she had known the life that awaited her when she agreed to wed John, seeing Killian again had changed everything. A month ago, she could have resigned herself to this existence and carried on, but now, the dream of a better life made that impossible. Her pirate loved her, and knew that she loved him; they may be parted for some time, but neither one of them would allow it to be forever. That thought was both depressing and invigorating, in a way, because while she was trapped in this loveless marriage, she still had hope.

Taking a calming breath, she gathered her courage and rose to face the day. She was Leinster's queen now, and wallowing in self-pity and regret wouldn't change that fact. It was up to her to find a way to triumph over her circumstances, and perhaps, with time, even find a way out. With the help of her attendants, Emma dressed for her day and met her husband for breakfast in a small private dining room, where she found him gleefully regaling some of his attendants with jokes that he'd "spent the night in Sylvania." His boorish behavior ceased immediately at her arrival, and he apologized for leaving her bed so early, explaining that he had many matters that required his attention. Having spent a lifetime hearing about the daily drudgery of running a kingdom from her parents, Emma knew all too well how difficult it could be to handle such important responsibilities, and offered to assist him in any way possible, expecting John to ignore her. To her surprise, he sat back and placed his chin in his hand, regarding her for a moment before inviting her to his daily council meeting. "After all," he explained, "I'd be a fool to dismiss your years of experience and training. I've been called many things, my dear, but foolish isn't one of them."

The first days passed in much the same way as Emma determined the kingdom's status, quickly realizing that much had been left to fall by the wayside as John and his advisors focused on their military. Jumping on an unexpected opportunity, she suggested that he allow her to oversee some of the dull domestic affairs, hoping it would give her a chance to remedy the neglect she'd witnessed on her journey to the castle. To her pleasant surprise, he was more than happy to give her those responsibilities, and she suddenly found herself in a position to do more for the people than she had ever dreamed.

Their distinct roles allowed her time away from him and they continued to maintain separate living quarters, but John still came to her bed every night to indulge himself in the pleasure of her body. A part of her wanted to refuse him, but the stark truth was that he had married her in hopes of producing an heir, and the alliance between Sylvania and Leinster relied heavily on her doing her wifely duties. Thankfully, he made no empty attempts to woo her, and though his behavior left no question as to whether he enjoyed their coupling immensely, he seemed to understand that their arrangement was still one of political motivation, and that he had her body but not her heart. Whether or not that bothered him was impossible to know, but his aloofness led her to believe that he wasn't overly upset by this fact, eagerly spending himself in her but never lingering longer than necessary.

Every night after he'd finished, placed a chaste kiss to her hand, and left via the cleverly concealed door that led to his own royal apartment, Emma would wrap herself in a blanket and go to her window. Trying to ignore the feeling of John's seed leaking from her, she would gaze out over the sea, allowing herself to forget the world for just a moment and instead think of her beloved pirate, wondering where he was and desperately hoping it was somewhere safe. It seemed unfair that she had been so close to escaping this life and finally getting to be with him, but fate had seen fit to part them once more. Regret would wash over her as she wondered how different things might have been had she just been brave enough to admit that she loved him all those months ago, but she shook off the thoughts; there was nothing she could do to change that now, and she was strong and brave, not some helpless girl reduced to weeping about the past. She'd played her part in all that had transpired, and while she was trapped in a loveless marriage, the people of Leinster were her people now, and she would do what she could to make sure that they had the happiness she was denied.

As the weeks passed, Emma threw herself into her role as queen, needing the distraction to hide her lingering sorrow and frustration. Though her husband continued to establish colonies and look towards further expanding his power, he seemed relieved to hand over control of many domestic affairs, admitting that he was too preoccupied with his more pressing responsibilities to manage everything. Within a fortnight, she'd begun identifying key areas of concern, and while she was prevented from ending certain unpopular practices, such as the impressment of sailors for use by the navy, she had surprised both herself and John's council with how quickly she was able to devise solutions to some of the most daunting problems. Her years of royal training had finally paid off, and her new subjects grew more enamored of her with every small improvement to their everyday lives.

The full moon came and went twice, and Emma would have simply carried on as usual had the court physician not asked her when she had last bled. Her initial confusion turned to momentary fear before giving way to joy when she realized that, given the timing, any child she carried would almost certainly be Killian's.

He had said that they would be together always, and it seemed he had found a way to make good on his promise and leave a part of himself behind after all.

It had been two months of near constant pursuit by John's navy, and Hook was no closer to returning to Leinster than he had been that horrible night when he had met the Jolly Roger after leaving Emma behind and fled, a group of man o wars on his tail. They'd outrun the original ships rather quickly, but now that the Jolly had been spotted, the kingdom's waters were more heavily patrolled than ever. With her hull painted in bright reds, blues, and yellows, his ship could be recognized easily; this had helped him most of the time, the sight of his well-known ship putting fear into his prey long before he came within range. In this case, it made him an immediate target, and though they were unmatched in speed and maneuverability, the Pirates knew they stood no chance in a shoot out against the huge navy ships and their superior guns.

As they tacked west again, Ed surveyed a map, trying to plan their course. "What if we went all the way around to Lyona before doubling back? It would take a few weeks to navigate around the islands, but we could stop to resupply in New Hope and it might be enough time that they'd think we turned tail."

Hook glanced over from his spot at the helm, following the route with his eyes. "That'll take the better part of 3 months, this time of year. Is there anything else we could try again?"

Ed huffed, tracing the map with a grubby finger. "We already tried approaching from the west and the south, and know they have naval outposts here, here, and here," he explained, stabbing at the worn parchment in frustration. "We want her back too, captain, but I don't know what else to do."

With a sigh, Killian raked his hand through his hair. Ed was right, but it meant Emma would spend another 3 months in John's kingdom, and another 3 months with him in her bed. The second thought came unbidden and was almost too much for him to handle, his jealousy and rage rising to the surface as he remembered the last time he'd seen his love.

"Alright," he agreed with a curt nod, relinquishing the helm before his dark thoughts consumed him in full view of the crew. "We'll sail around Lyona and head for New Hope. I'll be in my cabin, and I'll thank you not to disturb me unless absolutely necessary."

He turned with a swish of leather and stomped down the stairs, descending into his quarters and locking the door behind him before grabbing the nearest rum bottle and taking a long pull of the fiery amber liquid in an attempt to drown a his thoughts. Another three months without Emma was nearly more than he could stomach, but they had tried every other way back to her and failed. Stealth and speed were his ship's specialties, but charging into a conflict with fully manned warships was suicide. They had to be clever, and a strategic retreat seemed the only way to ensure they'd survive long enough to actually rescue Emma, who would be forced to endure a lifetime at John's side should Killian and his crew be lost at sea. It had seemed like the wisest course of action, but it didn't make it any easier to accept.

He unlocked his safe and pulled out her chemise and her tiara, holding them close to his chest and breathing in the delicate scent of perfumed soap that still clung to the gauzy fabric. She loved him. Despite all he was and all he'd done, his beautiful Swan princess loved him, just as he loved her. She had married his greatest enemy, but had given herself to him body and soul long before John had set a finger on her. He had waited years for her to come into his life and change his world, and he could wait a little while longer to have her back, if that was what the gods demanded. He was the finest captain in all the realm, and with but a little time and planning, he would have Emma safe in his arms, permanently.

The kingdom was overflowing with excitement, John's recent announcement of a royal heir on the way all the court could discuss. Emma couldn't remember much about her mother's pregnancy with Leo, but as she felt her stomach clench at the mere sight of the elegantly prepared breakfast set before her, she was certain it hadn't been this difficult. Of course Killian's child would be a troublemaker, she thought with a smile. Although her body had barely changed, the nausea and exhaustion had come upon her hard and suddenly; there were days she could barely keep a few sips of water down, let alone anything solid. Sometimes, she almost felt fortunate that she was on dry land and not on a constantly rocking pirate ship.

For his part, John had been remarkably attentive, clearly interested in making sure her pregnancy was without any major complications. He showered her with gifts, had sent for several of the finest midwives in the kingdom, and brought in chefs trained in preparing cuisine from her native Sylvania, hoping she could better tolerate something familiar. She knew that his concern was borne more from his desperation for an heir than any real love for her, but she appreciated his efforts nonetheless. She only hoped that he would love the child growing in her, so long as he remained ignorant of its paternity. At the mere thought of what he might do if he knew the truth, her stomach began turning again.

Forcing down a few bites of toast, she sipped at her tea slowly, knowing that she would need some nourishment for the coming day. There was to be a public execution of several pirates that John's navy had apprehended the previous week, and although her inquiries into the condemned men's identities led her to believe that none of them were from the Jolly Roger, something in her husband's tone when he invited her to accompany him to the proceedings made her nervous. Although she didn't know what she would do if her worst fears were realized and Killian was one of the criminals sentenced to hang, she forced herself to go to the execution, unable to ignore the terror in her gut and afraid that the feeling was more than mere morning sickness.

Arriving at the town square, she joined the king on a dais and surveyed the condemned men frantically, offering one last prayer to the gods, but recognized only one pirate- Cooper, Blackbeard's crewman who had lost his arm attempting to force her off the ship. She breathed out a sigh of relief, relaxing into her seat as the event started. Hook and his crew were still safe somewhere, at least for now, and while she missed him just as keenly as she had when they'd parted, her joy at his apparent evasion of capture made it relatively easy to take her place beside John for the remainder of the gruesome affair, and accept small tokens and congratulations from those she encountered on the happy news that Leinster's heir was on the way.

"Captain!" Mullins yelled, attempting to pull Killian off some unsuspecting sailor. Tightening his hold on the man's shirt, he ignored his crewman and glared at the quaking lad in his grip.

"Just a moment, mate. I was merely asking the boy a question," Hook growled. "Where did you hear that?"

"Last port we stopped in," the young man stammered out. "Everyone was talking about how much worse Leinster's navy has been of late, and a merchant from that way said that it was because the King's wife is pregnant. I swear, that's all I know! I've never even been to Leinster or seen her meself, sir, though I hear she's quite lovely."

Hook dropped the lad, and the tavern returned to its normal activity as he slumped in his seat before taking a long pull of his rum and slamming his dagger into the table. A full five months had passed since he'd fled the castle, and Killlian had thought he was prepared for nearly any news that might reach him regarding the kingdom, but hearing a few sailors mention that Leinster's queen was with child had wounded him more than he could have expected. It seemed that John had, at last, fathered a babe and secured his legacy after many fruitless years of trying. That news alone would have been infuriating, but knowing it was Emma who would be carrying the royal heir made it all the more devastating. He felt like he had failed her, this time more than ever, and his ineptitude had allowed that heartless bastard to plant his seed in her.

Concerned by his captain's obvious distress, Smee sidled over and encouraged Hook to drown his sorrows for the time being in wine and women, as he had always done in the past. It felt strange in a way, but the idea of being with any woman but Emma was downright distasteful now, and he had no interest in simply distracting himself with a whore, or worse yet, moving on and abandoning Emma to her fate. She carried another man's child, but her heart still belonged to Killian Jones alone, and that was enough for him.

There had been a time when he wouldn't have balked at the thought of killing not only John but the royal heir as well, but knowing Emma was the child's mother changed things. John would pay for all he'd done, but Emma's unborn son or daughter was an innocent. He'd never had the chance to meet the child Milah claimed to be carrying, and doubted more than a little than her professed pregnancy had been anything more than a cunning legal defense; nonetheless, he had felt the loss of the babe all the same, and was still haunted by thoughts of his offspring being murdered in the womb along with its lovely mother. He would never know the truth now, but he did know that separating Emma from her child would be a cruelty he could never inflict on her. Instead, he would save his princess and her little one, and take them somewhere where John could never harm either of them. After all, no child was able to choose its parents, and if anyone knew the misfortune of having a dishonorable monster for a father, it was Killian Jones.

His thoughts ran back to a happier time, when he'd imagined Emma carrying a babe of his very own, and he indulged in the painful fantasy for just a moment before draining his cup and dropping a few coins on the table. He would find no peace in a rowdy inn tonight.

He thought of Emma as he made his way back to the Jolly, hoping she had found a way to endure yet another indignity and praying that she hadn't given up on him. When he finally fell into a restless sleep, he was startled awake by Milah's death and Emma's wedding, but by the time the sun rose, those nightmares had given way to sweet dreams of a cottage by the sea, Emma by his side, and watching their children frolic on the beach. Being ripped from that fantasy was a pain all its own, but enough to give him renewed determination. He had vowed that nothing could keep them apart, and he would find a way to make good on that promise.

Gently rubbing her swollen belly, Emma stared out her window as the sun set over the open sea. Though she found great satisfaction in her work for the people, her favorite time of day was when she could finally sit by her window and watch the ships come and go from the harbor below the castle. Her bedchamber was blissfully empty now that John spent his nights with his many mistresses, having been warned away from her bed by Emma's army of midwives lest he do something that could jeopardize the pregnancy. In her delicate state, every effort was being made to preserve her health, especially given the importance of the child she now felt stirring inside her. Rather than isolating, the solitude was a reprieve that she desperately needed, giving her a nightly opportunity to be alone with her memories of Killian. Her thoughts and hands were a poor substitution for him, but she still believed that their separation was temporary, and would rather be alone with her fantasies than with anyone but dashing Killian Jones.

Sometimes, in spite of all they'd shared and promised, Emma worried that he would no longer want her at all, knowing she'd lain with his greatest enemy. Though she knew her love for him could endure any trial, this betrayal, however reluctant she'd been, might be too much for him. She had to believe that he would understand; she was merely doing her duty until she could find her way out of the marriage, and she could never desire any man but the one who owned her heart.

A forceful kick to her ribs jarred her out of her dark thoughts, and she laughed lightly, patting her belly affectionately. "Alright, little one, you're right. Your daddy loves us. I'll try to stop worrying so very much."

They had tried to approach the kingdom from the southeast by circling around the Sterling Sea, hoping to avoid the Hurricanes that plagued the area during the winter months, but Hook had begun to wonder if some sea god or goddess had a personal vendetta against him, because a morning that had dawned red and ominous quickly developed into days of unrelenting rain and gale force winds that forced the Jolly Roger's crew to take emergency action. They first tried striking as many of the sails as they could and running before the wind, even though it would put them far off course, but the weather soon turned so violent that they were forced to heave to and hope for the best as they bobbed like a cork in the raging sea.

Kilian and his crew had weathered many a storm, but this was one of the worst in memory, and after an exhausting hour at the helm, he decided to let the next man take a shift, retreating out of the bitter rain and heading below to warm up a bit. He didn't like leaving the deck for too long, but seasoned as he was, even he couldn't spend too long exposed to the harshness of the elements in a storm like this. A bit of hot tea and biscuits did his stomach some good, but the ship's wild rocking was clearly getting to some of the newer men, who struggled to keep anything down and had spent much of the tempest curled into tiny balls on the floor.

"You alright there, Victor?" he asked the surgeon, who was stumbling into the galley looking rather pale as he clutched the wall for support.

"I will be as long as your ship holds together," he groaned with a nervous shake to his voice.

Killian clapped him on the back as he passed him, striding towards the captain's quarters for a quick nap. "Not to worry, she'll hold together," he assured the crewman, mumbling quietly under his breath once he was out of earshot. "You hear me, love? Hold together."

The rain finally began to let up around 11pm the next night, but they had to wait until daylight to assess the damages, and one look at August's face was enough for Hook to know that the news was far from good.

"So," he began, walking up to where the scruffy crewman was tying a damp red bandana around his neck, "dare I ask?"

"Well, the mainsail took some damage and the foremast will make it for a bit, but really needs to be replaced. If we're doing that, we might as well haul her on shore to careen her while we have the chance, and there's a few boards that need replacing, some rigging that we could stand to redo as well..." the carpenter droned on with his list of needed improvements, but Killian was only half listening, realizing that the repairs would require them to stop somewhere safe and take far longer than he wanted. Still, there was a wisdom in getting her patched up immediately, and the Jolly Roger was going to need to be at her absolute best if they were to succeed in their rescue effort.

"Alright, mate. You think we can make it to Neverland in this shape? There are beaches that should suffice for work on the hull and we could restock and see if Starkey has any ideas."

"Actually that sounds about perfect," he responded, pleasantly surprised. "That's only about two weeks' sail from here, even with the damage. Another few weeks to fix the old girl and then we can start heading back towards Leinster."

"Aye, it'll do. I'll talk to Ed and Smee and have us on our way. Make sure she's ready to sail!" Emma would have to hold out a little longer, it seemed, but he had a feeling that a stop in Neverland might be worth the detour in more ways than one. After over a year's worth of trying and failing, perhaps he needed an outside perspective, and Starkey was the perfect man to provide it.

All of the pain, longing, and fear she'd felt for nearly 10 long months evaporated the instant Emma heard her son's first angry cry. He was a robust little man, with a wispy dusting of dark hair and vibrant blue eyes that looked all too familiar and warmed her to the bone. Wrapped lovingly in a thick white blanket, he dozed in her arms until John entered to see the child, and Emma took one look into her husbands dark eyes and silently prayed that her infidelity wouldn't be suspected nor her son's life placed at risk. Fortunately, the king seemed so pleased to finally have an heir that he simply asked what the young prince's name was, placing a cautious hand on the baby's tiny head.

"I was thinking something traditional, like William, perhaps, if you liked it," she responded, ducking her head to hide her nervousness. Suggesting it was a bit of a gamble, but she knew there was no other name for the boy.

"A fine name. Strong, good for the future King of Leinster." John nodded to himself, stepping away. "You have done very well, my wife. I will go have the birth announced to the people."

Emma attempted to sleep that night, constantly waking and turning her gaze to the tiny figure sleeping in his bassinet beside the bed. Swaddled tightly in a muslin blanket embroidered with John's royal crest, he seemed so small and vulnerable, and she had demanded that he stay with her rather than be given to a wet nurse, wanting to feed him herself much as her own mother had done. Letting him out of her sight for even a few moments had been terrifying; she had been wholly unprepared for how much she would love her and Killian's beautiful boy. A new outburst of tiny cries prompted another round of feeding, greedy gulps loud in the quiet night as she stroked the slightly pointed ears that betrayed his true paternity even more than his blue eyes.

"That's my hungry little man," she laughed quietly. "You may be Prince William to the rest of the world, but to your mommy, you'll always be my sweet little Liam."

The Jolly Roger limped into the docks in Neverland, where Starkey met Killian with a grumble. "I couldn't believe it was you when I saw my poor girl on the horizon! Gods above, what did you do to her, Jones?!" He exclaimed, stroking the ship's railing affectionately. "It's ok, darling. I'll have you back in order before you know it."

Hook shook his head in exasperation, smiling fondly at the old sailor in spite of his admonishments. "Hit a hell of a tempest rounding the Sapphire Sea. Frankly, I think we're fortunate she came through it this well."

"What in blazes were you doing in those waters? That's far too close the outer Leinsterian colonies!" He narrowed his eyes at the captain before throwing his arms in the air. "Oh, bloody buggering hell! You two finally figured it out, didn't you? I knew this would happen. You're off to save the princess from John, aren't you?"

Clenching his jaw nearly hard enough to crack teeth, Hook snapped back a terse, "Aye, and mocking me isn't exactly helping, mate."

Starkey softened a bit then, running a hand through his greying hair and sighing deeply. "No, lad, I'm not mocking you, just wish that you'd realized it sooner. It could have saved the both of you so much heartbreak. Tell you the truth, I had a moment when I thought I might try to stop the marriage and spirit her off to you myself, but, well," he inclined his head at Lily, who was making her way towards the docks with an infant girl in her arms, "those days are done for me, it seems."

Killian's jaw dropped, an ache in his chest growing as he stared at the perfect little family before him. Swallowing hard, he met his former first mate's gaze. "Then you know why I need her back. I can't-" He took a deep breath, blowing out his emotions before continuing. "I just need to save her, mate. There's nothing for it."

"I have a feeling she just might save herself, but either way, let's get ready for it, shall we?"

Over the next few weeks, William grew quickly, and enchanted everyone at court with his striking looks, amusingly feisty disposition, and sweet smile. Though there was little of John's look in him, the King was clearly pleased with the boy, and while he agreed to wait until Liam could be weaned, he eagerly anticipated trying for another child as soon as possible. Emma tried not to shudder at the thought, instead thanking him for his concern and encouraging him to avail himself of his mistresses while she was, sadly, unable to perform her wifely duties. "A fertile woman like you is just what I've needed all along," he said, patting her hip affectionately, though the motion reminded emma of the way one might pet a favorite horse. "Within a few years, Leinster will have so many heirs that we'll need to conquer another kingdom just to find new dukedoms for them all!"

She raised a brow at the king, and he rolled his eyes with a laugh, smiling down fondly at the tiny Prince. The boy's arrival had tempered John's warlike nature a bit, in spite of his jokes, and had lead to several weeks of peace that had combined with Emma's efforts to give Leinster a new vitality it had long been missing. Emma had begun to realize that while her marriage was a loveless sham, her affection for the people of her adopted kingdom was real. Her son was now the heir to this bright and beautiful land, and she would do all in her power to ensure that he ruled it as a true king should, letting his good will, compassion, strength and fairness be a source of pride and inspiration to all who swore him fealty. If John had his way, they would try for many more children, and she questioned whether any future attempts would be successful, given John's history and Liam's true origins. Either way, there was nothing to be done for it and her biggest fear was that failure to produce another child could lead him to doubt Liam's legitimacy.

At 2 months, Prince William Henry of Leinster was named John's heir and presented as such at court, with Emma designated to serve in his stead as queen regent until he came of age. It was a moment that might have been among her proudest, but while she was undoubtedly happy that Liam would have every opportunity as a prince and surely grow into a fine man, she still dreamt of Killian every night, missing him as fiercely as ever. She imagined him finally seeing his son and holding her close, and refused to give up hope that, one day, they would be together again.

After over a year of constant naval pursuit and failed attempts at rescue that bordered on insanity at times, the Jolly Roger sat ready to set off from Neverland. Lily and Starkey wasted no time in assisting the crew with the rescue effort, simply saying that love was the rarest of gifts and must always be fought for.

Though it was somewhat remote, Neverland's location meant that the port town on the other side of the small island was a crossroads for all kinds, and allowed them to obtain information on Leinster's navy that was unique. Using some his less reputable connections, Starkey identified a brig in the area that was similar in size and overall appearance to the Jolly Roger. A new coat of paint had the ship resembling her former self, and Killian was instantly hit with a wave of nostalgia when the Jewel of the Realm appeared resurrected before his very eyes. It had taken over a month, but favorable winds had returned and the journey to Leinster was finally about to start.

"Liam would be proud of you," he heard the old sailor say quietly as the crew began making way to set sail.

"I'm not sure proud is the right word," Killian corrected, "considering I'm still very much a pirate."

"You lost your way a bit, lad, but you found you'll figure it out, and saving a princess and defeating a corrupt king is exactly the kind of thing your brother would have done."

"A hero's journey," he drawled, tone laced with sarcasm. "But late for that, I'm afraid."

"Then call it a quest for the ultimate treasure, if you prefer." He nudged Killian's shoulder, shoving him towards the gangplank. "Now go get that lovely girl and make that bastard John pay for all he did to us!"

They spotted John's Lady Victoria a few miles off the coast, just as promised, and used their now-friendly appearance to get within easy range and ambush the unsuspecting ship. Completely unprepared to defend itself, the other vessel fell easily, and Hook confiscated the crew's all-too-familiar uniforms, sparing the men's lives by allowing them to row for shore before setting the ship ablaze. Now, convincingly masquerading as just another ship in the Leinster navy, they turned towards enemy waters and let the wind carry them towards their long-sought and twice-deserved vengeance.

Chapter Text

XXIX.

Hook crept through the various rows of cargo that littered the shadowy docks as silently as he could, listening to the sounds of Ed's wrath fade with the waves as he neared the anonymity of the city's streets. With a new coat of paint and a uniformed crew, the Jolly had passed for a Leinster naval ship without much difficulty, but it was his quartermaster's performance that really solidified the illusion. Ed was cantankerous even on his best days; the role of exasperated navy captain with little patience for the bumblings of an inexperienced young harbor guard was one the old sailor was born to play. Hook had to stifle a chuckle when he thought of the poor lad's blanched face and stuttered apologies as Ed ranted about protocol and falling standards. Sneaking off the ship had been downright simple thanks to Ed. He'd have to remember to buy the man a drink. Or five.

Thanks to information gathered during their assault on the Lady Victoria, they'd been able to plan their arrival and departure for maximum success. His crew had timed their approach to Leinster's port nearly perfectly, arriving just before midnight and, as such, right before the exhausted guards were scheduled to end their shift. There was little chance their subterfuge would be discovered before the harbor master arrived the next morning, and Killian had every intention of leaving these shores with his beloved princess long before that could happen.

The dockside taverns and back alley gambling dens were much as he remembered them; they were establishments he'd generally avoided in his straight-laced youth, but he'd searched for fellow sailors in them enough times to recall the geography of the area. It was all too easy to creep through the dark streets towards the imposing stone of the palace, which loomed far above the town on the cliffs facing the sea.

He had approached the castle from the forest during his previous rescue attempt, and thus had been spared the sight of his ruined homeland. Though KillIan had picked up stories of the once-great kingdom's decline over the years, he hadn't been fully prepared for how true the tales had been. What he saw before him was nothing like the glamorous capital city that had captivated his imagination when he was newly enlisted. Evidence of Leinster's slow decay during John's reign was everywhere, obvious in the crumbling facades of the once-beautiful buildings, dilapidated roads, and innumerable beggars sleeping on the streets. Even so, there were scattered signs of new vitality as well, as if Emma had brought her healing touch to the kingdom and spring was finally beginning to overtake the long winter of neglect. Scaffolding had been erected outside some of the more historic buildings, and the grand fountain in the main square had been freshly scrubbed and gurgled merrily in the quiet night, several large stone planters around it boasting fresh soil and bright flowers.

Circumventing the main entryway, Killian took to the woods once again. He arrived below John's private quarters and tossed a boarding hook onto the lowest balcony, using his years of experience to scale the side of the castle as easily as he would a galleon. His arms burned with fatigue, but within a quarter of an hour he'd successfully ascended via a series of windows and balconies, leveraging himself through a grand window and onto the carpeted floor of John's private bedchamber. Hook leapt to his feet, expecting discovery, but found the room silent and John's personal guardsmen as absent as the king himself. Slumping against the wall, he allowed himself to rest for a few moments before finally rising to take in his surroundings.

John's private rooms were completely empty, lit by only a handful of oil lamps and candles. Thinking better of his desire to roam the halls in search of his quarry, Hook decided to lay in wait, taking the time to explore his enemy's space in detail. Little in the opulent room had changed over the past year. Swords and other fine weapons of varying styles were displayed on the deep blue walls. Maps and documents were stacked haphazardly on a large mahogany table, which also boasted many bottles of expensive and exotic liquor. Several of the papers sported blotches of wine and other unidentifiable smears that led Hook to snort in derision; clearly the king was too often in his cups. Still, the quality of the assorted libations was evident, and Killian was briefly tempted to sample them while he waited before ultimately deciding that having all of his wits about him was far wiser.

It seemed odd that there was no real evidence of Emma or any other woman's presence in the space, save a large portrait by the fireplace. Strolling around the empty room, Killian investigated the new artwork above the mantle, and felt his throat go dry as he realized it was a painting of the day the young Prince was presented at court. John was centered on the canvas, sitting proudly on his throne with Emma beside him, their infant son held tenderly in her arms. It had been a year since he'd last gazed upon the face of his beloved princess, and though the portrait was a mere shadow of her true beauty, Killian felt the ache in his chest intensify just by looking into the painted visage. He didn't want to focus too much on the child, bitterness twisting in his gut at the illusion of happiness depicted in the colorful oils, but couldn't help thinking that the beautiful baby clearly took after his mother, all fine features and fair coloring aside from faint wisps of dark hair on his head that were captured in stripes of paint black as kohl. He instantly thought back to the daydreams he had when Emma had been with him, and felt so much angry disappointment that the child couldn't be his. In his refusal to acknowledge all he felt for her, he'd pushed her away, and now she'd been made to bear another man's son. Gods, what a mess he'd made.

A cacophony of grumbled curses and heavy footfalls announced the king's arrival as he emerged from a concealed doorway. His trousers were only half-laced and his shirt hung loosely on his shoulders, but the cloying, inexpensive perfume that mixed with the unmistakable smell of brandy made it fairly obvious that his bedmate had been someone of a lower standing than the queen. John froze as his eyes landed on Killian, amusement instantly shining in his eyes. "You!" he exclaimed, chuckling slightly as he leaned against the wall. "So you have finally come! I was beginning to think you'd moved on from all this. After all, your brother is still dead and your pretty little princess belongs to me now. I'd actually begun to think you were smart enough to know when you'd lost to a better man. Word on the street is Captain Hook's gone soft"

Refusing to be baited into making a mistake, Killian remained stoic, only the ticking of the muscle in his jaw belaying his utter rage as John pulled a fine rapier from its place on the wall, giving it a few careful turns in his hand. Each movement was graceful and precise, the obvious result of long hours of instruction. Never one to shy from an opportunity to prove his superiority, John had been somewhat infamous for a tendency to engage in duels early in his reign, but his success was as much from trickery as skill. Rumor had it that his blades were poisoned, and indeed, many excellent swordsmen had fallen late in their battles as their stamina suddenly flagged in spite of only receiving superficial injuries. The tactic was dishonorable and cowardly, but effective when combined with the king's years of training.

Hook had been a military man once. He knew all about proper form and protocol, had learned all the traditional moves and methods. More than that, he knew that fighting an opponent often came down to experience, and carefully orchestrated duels were nothing compared to decades at sea. In a fair fight, Killian had little doubt he would win.

This almost certainly would not be a fair fight.

"The only thing that's soft will be your guts spilling on this floor," Killian sneered.

John leveled an unimpressed stare Hook's way. "So, this is what became of the little navy boy who turned pirate." He shook his head, feigning disappointment as he gestured widely. "You are out of your depth, lad. You honestly thought you could take whatever you wished from me, and not face the consequences? How did that work out for you?" He paused as the two men slowly circled each other in the room. "Nothing you do now can change the past. I was sorry to lose your brother, as he was an excellent captain, but sacrifices must be made in times of war. As for Queen Emma, well, when you think about it, it was really you who destroyed her perfect little life."

Hook scoffed, pulling his own blade from its scabbard. "I'm not the one who manipulated her into an empty marriage for the sake of being your brood mare, you swine."

With a cocky smile, John closed and struck, retreating back a step as he did so. It was just a testing clash of steel, more to assess Killian's reach than to wound, but it was fast. "Ah, but you're the one who forced a broken engagement, took her innocence and then abandoned her to the merciless gossip of the court. You're the one who stole her and hid her away for your own pleasure. Frankly, without your interference, I would have had no reason to take much interest in Sylvania at all, but instead managed to get a fine bride and an alliance as well out of the mess. I doubt you can appreciate what a rare creature she is, possessing charm, beauty, and wit. I have been willing to overlook that she was seduced by a scheming rogue, and she has in turn proved to be more of an asset than even I had anticipated." Another quick strike, and he danced away again. "My people are sheep, but they absolutely adore her, you see, and having her by my side has made me far more popular than I ever would have been alone. She has enchanted them, and her efforts domestically have allowed me to focus almost singly on conquest and colonization. I find it rather amusing that you think she would have any interest in you now."

"And what of your sins?"Hook countered, uncomfortably aware that there was a grain of truth to John's obnoxious taunts. He tried a feint to the left before striking right, but John was quicker than he had expected and Killian narrowly missed getting caught by the rapier when the king followed his block with a quick thrust of his own, his hook catching the blade and directing it away at the last minute.

"You seem to think I'm a dishonorable villain. I would have suggested you take a look in the mirror, little lieutenant. Would your dear departed brother really want you chasing your revenge after all these years? All you will accomplish with this foolish endeavor is your death."

"A man unwilling to fight for what he wants deserves what he gets." He initiated another brief but unsuccessful attack around a table, though both men parted unscathed, forcing Hook to reassess his tactics. Were they on the Jolly Roger, he could have easily used the rigging and deck to his advantage, but here he was forced to account for the room's chairs, rugs, and other unfamiliar furnishings. The king's rapier had the advantage of speed over a saber, and while Killian wasn't afraid of being bloodied in a battle, a single strike from this blade would likely be enough to end him. In order to win, he would need to outthink the king.

"Man?" John laughed, "Some man you are! You fucked that gorgeous girl for-months, was it? Meanwhile, I had her on our wedding night and managed to get a child on her the very first time."

Hook scoffed, pinpointing in that moment John's greatest weakness- his arrogance. "That's not even possible."

"Well, the proof is down the hall, pirate. No man in my employ would be mad enough to commit treason with my queen, and the last time you saw her-"

"Was two nights before you married her. I filled her with my own seed twice right in your marriage bed, days before you'd even clapped eyes on her." He paused, watching John's brow furrow as he revealed yet another truth. "Her cycle coincides with the full and new moons, mate. She wasn't fertile on your wedding night."

The king narrowed his dark eyes at KillIan, as if really seeing him for the first time, then turned to the painting on the wall, anger, despair and disgust now vying for prominence where his expression had been smug mere minutes ago. Hook followed the king's gaze, noting for the first time that the babe's irises had been painted vibrant blue rather than the green he'd originally assumed.

"No. You lie," the king whispered. "It cannot be."

Hope, dangerous and powerful, blossomed in Killian's chest as he pushed the king further into self-doubt. "How many women have you bedded, and not a single heir from any of them?"

"Enough!" John growled, grabbing a bottle from his desk and smashing it against the wall. He lunged at Killian, who allowed himself to be forced backwards as he defended.

Killian's expression showed a hint of fear even as his grin grew wider, more feral. He didn't dare believe that his taunts were true, but he could see John's poise falter with every doubt he planted. "All these years, and you thought it was that easy?"

John slashed furiously, forcing Killian to yield yet another step. "By the gods, I will kill her for this betrayal. Her, you, and that bastard she tried to pass off as my own!"

This time when their blades met, Hook intentionally slowed his movements as if fatigue had begun to take its toll. Batting John's weapon away as he ducked behind a chair, he avoided being nicked by the poisoned blade only to be caught by a punch to the face, the movement throwing him off balance as his cutlass clattered to the floor and he pretended to be exhausted. John's smile widened as he savored his seemingly imminent victory, playing directly into Killian's plan. He surreptitiously loosened his hook, praying he wasn't misjudging the bastard, and grabbed a dagger from his boot as he gasped.

"Looks like you brought a hook and a knife to a sword fight," John taunted. "Neglected to do your research, did you? All I'll need is one little cut with this blade, and you're a dead man. The poison starts to take effect within a minute or two, and after that you won't be much of a threat. And then what am I to do with you?"He kicked Hook's sword away, angling his head towards the far wall, across from where he had entered only minutes before. "I'm sure you'd like to see your dear Emma one last time. My private corridor to her chamber takes but a few moments, but do I fuck her in front of you or strangle her so you can watch the light go out of her eyes?"

Killian slowly raised his weapons, making sure to let his hands shake a bit, as pure rage coursed through him. "I think you'll find I'm a survivor."

John's eyes just narrowed as he made his move, and Killian played into expectation, catching it with his hook before falling to his knees. With his opponent at a disadvantage and only a hook between him and victory, the king's smile turned predatory. Seeing that all he needed to do was free his sword and strike, John forcefully wrenched his rapier away, throwing his full weight into the motion with the anticipation of meeting resistance. Instead, the hook slipped easily from its place, causing his whole body to stumble backwards at the sudden shift in balance and leaving his entire torso wide open to attack. Killian instantly pounced, delivering a vicious upward stab with his dagger that cut through belly and lung in a long fatal thrust. John stared in shock for a moment, blood foaming at his lips as Hook twisted the blade and removed it, causing a waterfall of crimson to flow down the king's front as he choked wordlessly. A swift kick to the chest and John finally fell to the ground, silent.

Moving to lean against the nearby wall, Killian watched the king's dark blood stain the carpet in an ever-widening circle as he willed his heart to slow and paused to take a moment to ensure he hadn't been injured. It was done. The tyrant was dead. The corpse's lifeless eyes stared up at him, he didn't know what he should feel in the moment- relief, joy, satisfaction, perhaps- but while John's lifetime of horrible deeds certainly earned him a gruesome death, Hook felt strangely numb.

He retrieved his hook and sword, cleaning them thoroughly in the king's washbasin. He had no idea what would happen when he went through the passage to Emma's chambers, but he had to see her, and the young prince. He had to know if what he suspected about the boy's paternity was the truth. With equal measures hope and fear, Hook unlocked a hidden door in the wood paneling and went to find out if fate had at last been kind.

XxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXx

Emma was awakened by the creak of the king's private door in her room, immediately worrying that John had gotten drunk and decided he'd had enough of his mistresses after all. Terror caused that thought to fly from her mind when a black figure crept into the room, and she nearly called for the guards until she recognized the glint of a hook where the silhouette's left had would normally be. He walked to the bassinet and stood over it, swallowing audibly as he stared down at the child quietly sleeping. Slipping out of the bed, she paused halfway across the room when she heard his voice, hoarse and sounding loud in the still night despite the fact that he was barely whispering.

"Is it true?"

"Is what true?" She asked, slowly making her way towards him.

"Is he mine?" His voice broke on the question, and she wanted to cry knowing all he'd already missed.

"Yes, Killian. Liam is your son." She saw him tremble, and wrapped her arms around him from behind, nestling her cheek into the warm leather of his thick coat and trying to pick out his warm, spicy scent amongst the reek of blood and sweat as she held him close. He clasped her hand to his chest, squeezing briefly, then released her and slowly extended a ringed finger towards the sleeping baby, gently caressing his chubby cheek as Liam stirred slightly.

"You named him Liam."

She smiled gently. "Well, according to the official papers, it's His Royal Highness Prince William Henry of Leinster, but he's always just Liam when he's here with me."

He took another deep breath, seeming unable to tear his eyes from the child. "How do you- how do you know?""

The unspoken end of the question lingered in the air between them- How do you know he's mine?

As if on cue, Liam opened two tiny eyes to stare dreamily into his father's face before they blinked several times and slipped closed again, the all too familiar blue answering the question far more effectively than anything Emma could have said. "Well, he does have your eyes." She traced the shell of her pirate's ear with a dainty fingertip. "And your cute pointed ears- and your temper, just so you know. He's got the potential to be quite a little hellion, I'm afraid."

His shoulders relaxed slightly as he catalogued the tiny prince's features, seeing more of himself there than he had ever dared hope. "John is dead," he whispered, still refusing to look at her and afraid that the little miracle peacefully sleeping amongst the blankets might disappear if he looked anywhere else. He had been so sure that she loved him when he'd left over a year ago, but he worried that had changed in the time they'd been apart.

"I assumed," she responded quietly, knowing that the king had been living on borrowed time and long comforted by the knowledge that she would be a widow soon. "You came from his rooms, after all. I didn't imagine he would survive being alone with you for very long, and I can't say that I'll mourn his passing. We both know that he earned his death many times over."

Hook turned in her arms then, hand coming up to cup her cheek. "I thought I'd feel something when I gutted the bastard, expected some joy or satisfaction, but all I could think of was you and the boy- of seeing you and learning the truth, or, had things gone badly, taking him with me if I didn't survive, so he could never lay a hand on you again. I should have hacked him to pieces for what he's done to me and, gods, to you, but then it was over so quickly and I felt... nothing. In the end, my revenge meant nothing at all, compared to how much I feel for you, my love."

She mirrored his pose, hands coming to his cheeks to steady him. "Killian Jones, the only things that should truly matter to you are right in this room." Whatever else she might have said was swallowed by his desperate kiss, and she was more than happy to leave further discussion for a later time, wrapping her arms around his neck to press her body against his, the sheer silk of her nightgown doing little to diminish the heat of his skin against her. He shrugged out of his heavy leather coat, dropping it to the floor before gathering her in his arms again. Stumbling backwards, they fell to the bed as his hand roamed every curve of her body, his touch lighting a fire in her that she had feared would be impossible to rekindle after their time apart. Unbuckling the clasps on his vest, she shoved it off his shoulders, her hands moving to untie the laces of his trousers as he pulled his shirt over his head. It took a few more moments for him to shed all of the heavy leather, but mere seconds for him to draw the gown over her head. His eyes practically bulged as he took in her swollen breasts, his hand caressing them ever so gently as it ran down her exposed flesh, raising goosebumps across her skin.

"Gods," he murmured under his breath. "How is it that you're even more beautiful than I remembered?" His fingers gently traced her waist and continued down, dancing over her few stretch marks with a reverent smile on his handsome face.

She wanted to cry in joy, her unwarranted fears that he would find her repulsive now that she'd borne his child evaporating in an instant. Shifting her legs, Emma moved so he could settle between her thighs as he kissed her, the nudge of his hardness against her entrance making her feel mad with desire. He kissed down her neck, rutting lightly against her as he whispered praises.

He could scarcely believe that it had finally happened; he had killed John, and reunited with his princess, who it turned out had given him a son. His heart felt like it might burst from it all, the ache of his intense joy making it hard to process that his deepest fantasies could come true after all. "Gods, my love, dreams of you have been all that kept me going these long months. I want you so much, Emma. Now more than ever, I want you."

Emma was the first to admit that Liam could be an occasional terror when awake, but she'd never been more thankful that he was a remarkably heavy sleeper than at that moment, her body begging her to welcome her pirate back into its embrace. His hand went between her legs to ready her, but she stopped him, suddenly nervous.

"Wait," she started, gently carding her fingers through his thick hair when he looked at her in sudden panic. "I want this. Just, please, be gentle. I haven't been with- not since well before Liam was born." She felt her blush creep down her neck, and his answering joy pressed into her breastbone in a lingering kiss before he moved down her body to duck his head between her legs. She protested a bit, not wanting him to feel obligated when it had been so long. "No, I didn't mean- you don't have to, Killian. I'm ready for you."

He chuckled, eyes sparkling mischievously as he shrugged slightly. "It's been quite a while for me too, love. Indulge me." He couldn't voice the truth that he hadn't been with a woman since that fateful night over a year ago when they'd come together for the last time right in this same bed. He felt overwhelmed and raw enough as it was, now realizing that they'd made Liam that very night.

His son.

It was far easier to focus on worshipping her body, and his mouth positively watered when the scent of her arousal hit his nose. He dove in immediately, licking a wide stripe through her slick cunny and moaning at the way she cried out quietly and arched her back. "Fuck, even though I dreamt of you every night, I'd almost forgotten how good you taste," he groaned, memories of the first time he'd tasted her and how far they'd come since spurring him to tease, lick and suck with even more desperation.

Emma hadn't felt pleasure like this since their last night together, and couldn't resist burying her hands in his thick hair and keeping him right where she wanted him. His hand tightened against her thigh and he groaned, pulling her even closer as his talented mouth quickly sent her over the edge. It took everything in her to hold in her cry of pleasure, and she couldn't keep her legs from shaking as he placed gentle kisses to her.

Nipping softly at the porcelain skin on her inner thighs, he let her come down, delighting in her ragged breathing and proud to know that her body still responded to him so dramatically. He began to kiss back towards her center, thinking he'd make her come again, when her hands yanked on his hair, urging him to climb over her writhing body. He could feel her wet warmth against his cock as she wrapped her legs around his hips, and met her eyes for confirmation before shifting slightly and pushing just the tip into her, holding back as she bit her lip and moaned quietly.

"Are you alright, love?" He asked, brow furrowed in concern.

She laughed breathlessly, rocking her pelvis to take him a bit deeper. "Oh gods, yes. For the first time in a very long time," She framed his face with her hands again, tears swimming in her eyes as she stared up in adoration. "Make love to me, Killian."

His fierce kiss stole her breath again as he began to take her in slow, long strokes, thrusting slightly deeper each time. Finally sinking all the way into her hot cunny, he held still, shaking with white-hot pleasure. He couldn't remember the last time he'd gone so long as a month without fucking a woman, let alone over a year, and the intensity of being deep inside her was so overwhelming that he felt like a green lad with his first girl. "Oh fuck, Emma," he groaned, tipping his forehead to hers. "You feel bloody amazing." A quiet gasp of pleasure escaped her parted lips on his next thrust, and he couldn't hold back any longer, making love to her with every bit of his body and soul.

She could tell he was close already, the tension in strong muscles of his back obvious under her hands as he moved over her. Snaking a hand between their bodies, she rubbed frantically at her still-sensitive clit, his moan when she tightened around him only spurring her efforts. "I- I'm sorry love," he said, voice tight. "I don't know how much longer I'm going to last."

He sat upright, pulling her hips into his lap as she remained splayed out before him, touching herself as his thick cock disappeared into her perfect little body. She had a slight roundness to her figure now, and he found that he was just as attracted to her as ever; her larger breasts bounced with every thrust and her soft hips fit perfectly in his hand. Her eyes suddenly screwed shut as she came, and he was powerless to fight his own climax as the pulsing walls of her cunt squeezed his cock. He drove himself deep one last time and fell over the edge.

Fighting through the haze of her orgasm, Emma opened her eyes, wanting to watch her beloved pirate come. His brow furrowed and his mouth dropped open as he groaned, everything in his expression showing the pure pleasure he felt as he finished inside her. She moved her thumb over the stubbled line of his handsome jaw, then traced his hairline and ran her fingers through his hair, soothing him as he relaxed into her touch.

Killian reluctantly slipped out of her warmth and crawled beside her on the bed, pulling Emma close and burying his nose in her hair. If their intimate reunion was anything to go by, she was just as relieved as he was that their long year of separation was finally over. He suppressed a smile, realizing that he'd now bedded her as both a princess and a queen, but could no longer think of her as a conquest despite his many years as a greedy, lustful pirate. She could have a thousand titles or none, and his love for her would only grow, so long as Emma's heart was his. After fighting for so long, the pain of the last 15 years was finally melting away.

He took a preparatory breath and began to shift slightly, wanting to spend forever in her bed but realizing that John's corpse would be discovered before long. Tapping her hip gently, he urged her to rise. "Come on, love. Time to pack your things. We'd best be off before anyone finds your dear departed husband's body and much as I'd love to spend the night in this bed with you, we have already been reckless with our time."

She only held him tighter, tucking herself into his side, and he paused, watching her troubled face and tilting her chin until she met his eyes. "Emma, love, what is it?"

She sighed quietly, shaking herself awake as she looked away. "I've thought about this, Killian. Every night I imagined what I would do when you came for me. At first I just wanted to run away from this place and never look back, but seeing what this land could become and having Liam has, well, changed things. Now that John's dead, the administration of the kingdom would fall to me until Liam comes of age. If I leave with you tonight, I'll be suspected of playing a role in the king's death, and we'd be hunted until the end of our days." Her eyes turned to him, sad but sure. "It's not just about us anymore. We have the people of your homeland to think about, and the baby."

His gaze turned icy. "You know I'd never let anything else happen to you or Liam once you're with me. As for Leinster, it hasn't been my home in a long time."

She sat up, running a hand through her golden hair. "But it's been mine for a year, Killian, and they deserve so much better than what they've had. You're not the only one whose life has been destroyed by John's villainy. Your son could rule well, and change the lives of all these people. He could make this kingdom a place of joy and prosperity. You want to love a princess? A queen? I was raised to believe that this is what being royalty should mean. This is my duty!"

"I don't know how you expect me to walk out that door, knowing you and my son are here." He rose up as well and folded her into his arms, holding her tightly. "I can't lose you again, Emma. I can't. Come with me, love."

"And be what?" She snapped. "Just another in a string of people who have failed this kingdom?"

"You could be my wife." He didn't hesitate when she snorted at his casual suggestion. "What? Officially, you're no longer married. Why not?"

"You and I both know that I can't just follow my heart, even if I stay. A queen can't marry a pirate." Hurt flashed in his eyes, and she soothed it with a kiss, stopping him from interrupting with a shy smile. "But I have looked into this, quietly, over the last year. A little careful reading here and there, always hoping you'd return to me. With John gone, I'm sure Leinster will have need of men who are brave and loyal to defend it's lands and it's young heir from forces that, unwisely, see me as weak."

He chuckled slightly in spite of their words, brushing a bit of hair from her face. "Fools, then- the lot of them."

She huffed out a breathy giggle, then continued. "Were a pirate to pledge his loyalty to me, and become privateer, there'd be no questions when I eventually knighted him for his valiant service, and while I can't marry a pirate, I can most certainly marry a knight of the realm." She faced him fully, ivory hands coming up to frame his stubbled face. "I love you, and want to be with you for the rest of my days. I shall marry none until I can marry you, Killian Jones. There will never be another man for me, nor, I hope, another woman for you. I would have gladly given the title, the luxury, all of it up to be with you a year ago! Can you not make the same kind of sacrifice and leave a life of piracy behind to be with me and your son?"

Tears lined his eyes, and he closed them, loosing a long shaky breath. "What you are asking of me, gods, Emma, is nearly unbearable. Still, it was I who set you on this fateful path, I who attacked your ship and took you into my bed. For all the wrong I have done you, you have given me hope where I had none, and for that I cannot ever thank you enough. You have shown me that a heart full of love is the most precious treasure of all, and it is one I don't intend to lose." Hook sighed again, wishing he could stay but realizing with a heavy heart that he now had one more task to accomplish. "It also means that I need to go back and hide the evidence of John's murder, to spare you from any chance of suspicion. No one will ever know how or why he died, save you, and I suppose that will have to be enough."

"Killian, I- I'm sorry." She apologized, leaning her forehead against his.

"No, it's alright,"he assured her. "Truly. He is dead. In the end, that is all that matters. The world may never know that I had my revenge, but I've gained far more than I've lost, and far more than I'd ever dared dream I could have." He turned again towards Liam, a tender smile playing at his lips. For his son, for his love, he knew what his decision would be. A solution he'd used countless times to hide the evidence of his seafaring crimes came to him almost immediately, and he moved into action.

"There's no denying how he died unless the body is destroyed but fire should be able to cover up his murder. I'll lock the passage door behind me. Keep Liam with you." She ran to scoop the boy into her arms, holding him close. "And the moment you smell smoke, run into the hall and call for help. " He briefly scanned their elegant surroundings. "I hope you're not overly fond of anything in this room, because I have no idea what the extent of the damage will be. "

She hurriedly crossed to her vanity and retrieved an ornate gold locket, then returned to his side, opening it to reveal a small portrait of their infant son. Pressing it into Killians palm, she smiled softly at the painted likeness and caressed the calloused skin of his fingers. "Only this, my love. I commissioned it when our portraits were painted, just in case I might ever have a way of giving it to you. Now, go before they discover anything amiss and we have a whole new set of problems. Fate seems to be with us at the moment, but," she shook her head, "I think we both know better than to believe that will remain unchanged."

Careful of Liam, Killian wrapped her in his arms, kissing her thoroughly. She poured every ounce of love she could into the kiss, hoping it would be enough, hoping this parting would be the last they needed to do with the fear of discovery looming. He cradled Liam's tiny head, pressing a gentle kiss to the wisps of dark hair, and turned to leave the same way he'd come when she whispered.

"Make your way to Port Jefferson in a month's time. You'll have a letter waiting."

He nodded, swallowing hard, and said. "I love you, Emma. Both of you."

"And I love you, Killian."

Their eyes met for another moment, and he was gone, slipping through the door and audibly turning the lock behind him with a click. Feeling momentarily lost, Emma crossed the quiet room and lay on the bed, setting Liam beside her as she waited.

John's chambers remained mercifully undisturbed, and Killian quickly got to work, carefully retrieving his enemy's rapier and returning it to its proper place on the wall. He spat upon he king's lifeless body, then retrieved a large bottle of strong liquor from the desk, dousing the corpse in the liquid and dropping the empty glass bottle beside it. Killian made a last scan of the room before pushing an oil lamp from a nearby table onto the saturated carpet. Almost immediately, the flames engulfed the alcohol-soaked rug, quickly spreading to where john lay sprawled on the ground. The sickly sweet smell of burning flesh filled the air as the flames consumed the king, and Killian wasted no more time, swinging out the window and descending much the same way he'd climbed.

Shouts of alarm broke out above him just as he'd reached the woods, and he lingered long enough to see Emma race from the gates with their crying son in her arms, a look of absolute terror frozen on her beautiful face as the servants soothed and cared for her. She waved off the approaching guards, assuring them she and the prince were fine, albeit shaken, tears in her eyes as she asked what was happening. Though he knew her concern for John was an act, the distress in her expression was all too real, and he ran from the palace if only to keep himself from racing to her side.

It was still well before dawn when he returned to the Jolly Roger, quietly giving Ed the command to set sail before ducking into his cabin. Hook could tell by the crew's stunned faces that they fully expected him to be accompanied by the princess, but knowing better than to ask questions, they shoved off as asked. Once they were underway, Killian emerged, watching the shadow of the castle fade into the distance. After spending the better part of an hour pacing the deck until they'd safely left Leinster's waters, he called the crew together, explaining John's defeat, the truth of Liam's paternity, and Emma's request. Silence followed the story, until Smee sheepishly asked, "So, we'd no longer be outlaws?"

"No," Hook responded, before reassuring his crew, "though any who want to find themselves a new ship are welcome to do so. Emma and the prince have my allegiance, but I won't push you men into this."

"Are you daft, man?" Ed exclaimed, startling Killian with his lightheartedness in the face of such a serious decision. "We were willing to dress up in these ridiculous clothes and risk our necks for your girl. You're saying we have the chance to fight for her, with a full pardon and the possibility at a home and roots again? I can only speak for myself, Captain," he laughed, "but I'm getting too old for this pirate shit, running from every navy and living month to month. Privateer has a mighty nice ring to it."

Killian gaped, shaking his head slightly. "There would be rules, you realize. Codes of conduct. Prizes we'd have to overlook because they belonged to ally ships. We wouldn't have the freedom we do now."

"As if you don't run a tight ship already?" Billy shot back with grin, sharing a conspiratorial look with his crew mates. "We figured we'd be lucky to get out of this without the entire Leinster navy on our tails, but this? You did good for us , cap'n." He smiled fully then. "And you did damn good for yourself."

Mullins simply clapped Hook on the back before dragging Billy back to his duties. As they walked off, he heard the younger man muse "I wonder if she has any pretty ladies in waiting who might have a thing for rogues as well..." and couldn't fight the laugh that bubbled out of him.

When they docked in Port Jefferson four weeks later, Hook immediately set off for Mad Jefferson's office, with the shouted encouragement of his nearly unchanged crew ringing out behind him. A new hat was perched on Jeff's head, this one made of purple velvet and even more ridiculous than the last, but Killian barely even noticed as eagerly accepted his bundle of letters and pulled out two in particular to read. The first bore the Royal seal of Leinster and was addressed to Captain Killian Jones.

C aptain Jones,

We are aware of your past offenses against the crown, but hold you in great esteem nonetheless and believe you to be, at heart, a man of honor. You are therefore invited to present yourself and your crew at court for a royal pardon in exchange for your services as privateers.

Come defend our waters and keep us safe.

HRH Queen Emma, regent of Leinster

The second was stamped with a simple swan motif and bore only his initials, a message for his eyes alone scrawled in Emma's elegant cursive.

Dearest K,

Your family misses you. It is time to come home, my love.

Yours always,

E