BONUS CHAPTER: When Cade Fell for Ana (His POV)

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Cade's POV of Chapter 19 & 20

Today was supposed to be a turning point that's quite certain, but I never imaged we'd end up like this. After weeks of sailing the Caribbean – from Panama to Curacao and finally to Venezuela – and avoiding more perils than I've experienced on any previous journey, today was to be a day of celebration.

What just transpired dashed all of hopes of that from happening.

Delivering Leonor Mercado's daughter this far has been fraught with one obstacle after another, but the greatest challenge to my success was planted even before I met the supposed Luciana. Because on that fateful night Willie's men attacked the admiral's mansion in Portobelo, the girl silently walking next to me down the corridor ruined everything.

I want to know what made her do it, how she could look me in the eye every single day while continuing to lie at each turn, but bite my lip to keep from saying something I'd regret. Truth be told, I'm just as much at fault as she is. Ana wasn't the only one pretending to be someone she wasn't, but at least she was doing it to save her skin. I, on the other hand, played a part not out of necessity, but rather out of want.

I wanted to get out of piracy, I wanted to go back to England, I wanted to do what makes me happy.

She just wanted to live.

The rustle of Ana's skirts as we head deeper into the former temple Father converted into his hideout is the only thing breaking the silence between us, and my heart hurts.

It shouldn't be like this. If the beautiful, clever, headstrong girl beside me was Luciana Mercado, I could finish her mother's plan to secure the admiral's gold and return back home with her on my arm. At least that's where I thought out relationship was heading.

I swallow a lump in my throat remembering how we've gotten to this point. From our first meeting where a tipsy Ana still managed to convince me of her false identity, to her unwavering willingness to put herself in danger for others including facing the gallows beside me, I've grown not only in my affections, but also trust in her.

And it was all built on a lie.

Sure, I had my suspicions. Knowing the real Luciana's mother, how could I not? And the daughter Ana portrayed certainly appeared to fall very far from that tree. But every time I showed doubt, she covered the deception with further lies.

I grit my teeth as the bedroom door comes into view. A few more steps and I can be done with this dreadful day. When I open the door, Ana steps inside, but instead of taking refuge in the room, she turns around.

"I'm sorry," she whispers.

Deep in my brain, those two words turn on a lever that releases what I've been holding in all this time.

"For what?" I step back, feeling a fury bubbling up inside me. "For lying, or for not being able to get away with it? Because I truly doubt your sincerity."

Her mouth falls agape, and her eyes widen. It's as if she's truly surprised by my outburst, but what did the girl expect after she got me into this mess? I didn't even have time to come up with a proper explanation, and of course Father caught me in the lie, as well.

"You're the kidnapper, remember?" She counters, shaking off her prior hesitation. "And you think you can judge my morality?"

This time, I'm caught off guard, and I have no answer. But I don't think she was expecting one, as Ana continues in a raised voice. "I meant I'm sorry for getting you in trouble with your father, but I was wrong. You don't deserve an apology."

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