true?" There was a studied carelessness to Turner's voice that was belied by
the intensity with which he thrust his sword.
"What's that?" James mimicked Turner's tone, going along with the pretense
that this was just another one of their regular sparring sessions.
Turner advanced ruthlessly. "What Elizabeth told me about you and Jack
James' pulse sped up, but he schooled his face to cool disinterest, parrying
Will's blow. "What nonsensical notions has your wife taken into her head
now?" He took a step forward, forcing Turner back. "Of the two of us, you're
more likely to associate with a notorious pirate."
"Ah, but I'm not the one who's been seen drinking with Jack in the back room
of the Mermaid's Dream!"
James riposted, unable to stifle the bitter laugh. "No, I hear you head
straight for the rooms upstairs!"
Turner cocked his eyebrow in a thoroughly Sparrow-esque fashion. "Has Jack
been telling tales?"
"No, but thank you for confirming my suspicions." James feinted left and
then brought the tip of his sword within a hair's breadth of Turner's neck.
"A nice thing, to leave your wife at home while you bed a pirate. I hope you
had the time of your life - not that your life will be worth much should
Mrs. Turner discover your deception."
Turner spun away from James' blade. "How do you know she doesn't know?"
James' breath caught in his throat and his blow faltered. "Surely she
doesn't condone such dalliances?"
"We. . .understand one another, and are loyal to one another, in our own
way." Turner grinned, as his blade slipped past James' defenses and pricked
his shoulder. "Why? Are you jealous, Commodore?"
James ignored the sting, and the blood trickling down to stain his shirt.
"Of course not. Are you?"
"I might be. Or. . .call it envy, if you wish." Turner's dark eyes raked
over James' tight breeches in a lascivious manner. James started, stunned by
the unbridled lust in Turner's eyes, and felt his breeches become a good
With a flick of his wrist, Turner disarmed James easily, then grazed James'
cheek with the tip of his sword. "Have you ever wondered how a blacksmith
compares to a pirate?"
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