Dreams of Stars Part 35

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Back in the Enchanted Forest, Jiminy had been renowned for his moral guidance, not his bravery or heroic deeds. The moment Hook began to threaten him, then, he panicked. As the captain bent over him, he scrunched himself back against the wall of the hold, gasping, "Wai—no, please don—Wait!"

To silence him, Hook slowly but deliberately pressed his ringed hand over Jiminy's chin and mouth. "Shhh..." he soothed, his voice almost a purr, "As your patient, the Dark One must have told you all manner of secrets." His face was very close to Jiminy's. Removing his hand from Jiminy's mouth, he leaned even closer, his voice taking on a colder tone. "Where is his dagger?"

Jiminy looked him in the eye, frowning with confusion. "I don't know anything about a dagger," he replied emphatically.

For a very long moment, Hook searched his eyes. Jiminy began to breathe more quickly, but he didn't break eye contact. "No, you don't, do you?" Hook said at last, dryly. Stepping back, he squatted in the bottom of the hold, stroking his short beard thoughtfully. Jiminy continued to look at him intently. When Hook backed off, Kaelin released her held breath, hoping that maybe—just maybe—they wouldn't be of any use to him. But if that was so, what then? Would he just kill them? No, there would have to be a chance to escape. There was always a chance.

After his moment of thought, Hook inhaled and shortly explained, "It's his weakness." He raised his eyebrows at Jiminy, holding out his hand appealingly. "Now. Tell me, does he have any others?" He still spoke calmly.

Jiminy looked at him silently, then, suddenly, he broke eye contact. He glanced down.

That was all Hook needed to see Jiminy knew something. He smirked. "Very well," he began in a businesslike manner, moving closer to Jiminy again. Raising his gleaming hook, he pressed it to Jiminy's forehead and lowered his voice to a whisper: "I've always wanted to dissect a cricket."

Kaelin opened her mouth to beg him to stop, but Jiminy was way ahead of her. "No!" he screamed, gasping so much he was hardly able to speak, "Wai—Wait—Please..."

"Ahhh...that's more like it," Hook whispered. Jiminy was panting, his eyes tightly shut. He swallowed hard.

Removing his hook from Jiminy's forehead, the captain harshly demanded, "Now, tell me, cricket. What is his weakness?"

For a few moments, Jiminy tried to control his gasping. Then he met Captain Hook's eyes. "Listen..." he began shakily, and Hook leaned forward intently, expecting to hear secrets. "Listen...f-for your own sake..." He took a deep breath, looking to one side, then held the captain's gaze again. There was pity in his eyes. "...I-I don't know what Rumpelstiltskin has done to you, but—but don't seek revenge. It will only leave your soul...empty."

Hook's expectant smirk melted into a snarl. "You think playing the conscience will save you, cricket?" he spat, and spoke in a low, wrathful voice: "You are in no place to judge me. You're right—you have no idea what he did." He lunged at Jiminy, raising his hook once more.

"Stop!" Kaelin cried, straining against her bonds, "Please—don't hurt him!"

Hook paused, looking over his shoulder at her. His smirk returned. "All right, cricket...We'll see if that crocodile—" his voice rose as he turned from Jiminy to Kaelin, then fell back to a whisper, "—means more to you than this...pretty lass."

While he was speaking, he brought his lips very close to Kaelin's as though he meant to kiss her. Though Kaelin closed her eyes and turned her face away, she could still feel his breath on her cheek. Please, no, no, no... her heart wept, Not this. Let him hurt me, but not this—not in front of Jiminy.

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