a sore spot on the inside of Elizabeth's lip, a small cut from one of Jack's
gold teeth. She's not sorry, but she keeps worrying that spot,
brushing her tongue along it, and remembering the look in his eyes when he
realized what she'd done. Not anger, not fear. Pride.
Will's looking at her, over his mug of tea and rum and god-only-knows-what
spices, and his eyes are haunted. He's barely spoken to her since the
Pearl went down. Is he grieving for Jack? Or does he guess that Jack
wasn't the willing sacrifice she'd implied?
Why should it matter? Jack would have betrayed them all a hundred times over
to save his skin, or just to save his damned ship. He had betrayed
Will, so why should Will care if Elizabeth had turned the tables? Why should
she care? Bloody pirate!
But Jack came back, her conscience reminds her. He could have escaped, but
he came back. "It's only a ship," he'd said, but she didn't believe he'd
meant it for a second. What if he'd intended to stay all along? What does
that make her?
Guilt and second-thoughts are banished when Elizabeth sees who Tia Dalma has
found to be their captain. It's only afterwards, when they've exclaimed and
complained and, ultimately, reconciled themselves to Tia Dalma's choice,
when they've bedded down on the floor, that she remembers why they're here.
What she did.
Ghostly lights are shimmering in the darkness outside the windows,
illuminating Will's eyes. He's still watching her warily, and she remembers
the tremor in his voice when he said, "If there was any way. . ." It's then
that she understands, finally, what he thinks. She wants to tell him he's
got it all wrong, but what would she say? Would it be any better if he knew
why she'd kissed Jack?
Will's only a few inches away, and she scoots towards him, slipping beneath
the light sheet. His expression is blank until she kisses him, then there's
a flash of anger mingled with fear. She kisses him again, and he gasps and
returns the kiss fiercely. They've both shucked their breeches against the
damp heat of the swamp and there's naught but the thin linen of their shirts
between them. He's hard against her leg, and she can't stop thinking about
the surprising softness of Jack's mouth and the way he'd yielded to her.
She and Will have done this before, in Port Royal during their long
engagement, but they've always stopped short. The others are sleeping, or at
least, making a convincing show of it, but even if she knew they were
watching, she doesn't think she could stop now, not when she's thinking of
Jack and whatever lies at the end of the world.
Perhaps Will feels the same way, because, after that initial protest, he's
as eager as she. His hands are rough and burning on her skin, teasing moans
and whimpers out of her that she has to stifle against his shoulder. When he
rolls on top of her, the weight is crushing and anchoring all at once.
With a sharp sting they're sliding together and she belatedly remembers that
there will be blood. The sheets will be stained and Tia Dalma will know --
they'll all know -- what Elizabeth has done. A wave of guilt and shame
washes over her, but just then Will pushes into her again and she rolls her
hips instinctively and just like finding her sea legs, they have a rhythm
and the pain is fading. She spreads her thighs and clings to him, and the
floorboards are squeaking, but she can't stop. There's a rustle on the
stairs that might be Tia Dalma's skirts, but Elizabeth's eyes are squeezed
shut and the overwhelming pressure building in her obliterates everything
When they're done, he holds himself still above her and scrutinizes her
face. The look in his eyes is unsettling. "We'll find him."
She believes him. But what then?