3 - First encounter

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Pain struck her heart as the familiar land that she had called home disappeared from view. Pressing her face against the small cabin windows, Nora could only see the faint pillars of smoke rising towards the sky, and the contours of the mountains. The houses were no longer visible, and neither was the harbour. All she'd ever known was slowly disappearing into nothing, as the big ship sailed away. Nora was still locked inside the cabin and hadn't been bothered yet, which was much to her liking. Perhaps the pirates would leave her alone the entire journey, narrowing the possibility of the finding out her true identity. And the cabin wasn't too bad if she was being honest. It was large and spacious, the walls dark wood, same as the floor. Here and there hung paintings of different ships, some large like the one she was currently on, and others smaller. In one corner was a bed, standing high off floor, filled with a few pillows and a duvet as well as a knitted blanket in pretty colours. There was also a desk. On it lay maps, books, compasses and binoculars. A few oil lamps and candles were placed through out the room as well. If they'd been lit, Nora guessed it would've actually been quite cozy. Opposite the bed was a washbasin as well as a mirror and what looked like shaving supplies. Sometimes the Governor had requested that Nora trim his beard, which meant that she was quite familiar with the brush and the knife.

The knife.

Nora froze for a few seconds before running over to the mirror. Quickly looking through the shaving supplies, she found what she was looking for. The sharp blade had been wrapped in a thick cloth, keeping out any moisture that might cause it to oxidise. Carefully taking the blade in her hand, Nora weighed it. It was not too heavy, and the sharp blade could definitely do some damage. She wouldn't be able to take on the whole crew, but it would serve as good protection if one of the vermin pirates tried to get too close. At least with this, she would have a chance to protect herself, instead of standing defenceless. The question now was where she should hide it. Being in only her nightgown, she had no dress-pockets or a corset to put it in. Perhaps Nora could hide in the cabin and fetch it later, hoping that the pirates would at least have the decency to give her more covering clothes.

Figuring out a place to hide it got more difficult however, as heavy footsteps was heard coming down from deck. Not wanting anyone to know about her found treasure, Nora quickly hid the knife under the mattress of the bed, before leaning against it, staring at the cabin door, waiting for it to open. The footsteps got louder as the stranger approached the door. A key was inserted in the lock and soon the door swung open. Nora didn't dare to move a single muscle. Expecting the pirates who had taken her in the first place, she was quite surprised when it was another man who entered her prison. The man was tall and muscular, with blonde, ruffled hair and a matching stubble on his cheeks. His eyes were blue, icy and cold. In any other situation, Nora would've gotten caught up in his handsome features; the straight nose, the thick brow, the sharp jaw and  full lips. But all she could concentrate on now was the big sword hanging from his hip, as well as a revolver, both gleaming in the sunlight.

"Ain't that a lovely sight", the man said, studying Nora as she stood by the bed. Nora quickly blushed, realising that she was in a very comprising position, standing in only her nightgown by a strangers bed. Normally, Nora would've answered with a witty comment, as she did when the kitchen boys said things like that. But now she didn't dare to speak a word. Her hand was close to the hidden knife, and she wished desperately that the man wouldn't come any closer than he already was. 

"Not a talker, eh?", the man continued, walking slowly towards the desk, leaning towards it as he looked Nora up and down.

"I don't fancy talking to strangers", Nora said quietly, watching the mans every move. The man laughed slightly as he scratched his chin. When smiling a dimple appeared on his left cheek, making him look very dashing. The whole kidnapper scenario ruined it however.

"Well then, I suppose I should introduce myself. I am Captain James Haddock, the... maker of your fate, if I might be so blunt." Nora stared at the man, now known as James.

"No man is the master of my fate", Nora said stubbornly, lifting her chin up in defiance. Her answer only caused James to laugh again, louder this time.

"Well, we'll see about that."

There was silence for awhile, as the two stared at each other. James in amusement, and Nora in fear. Her heart was pounding hard in her chest, the sheer force of it felt like it could break her ribs.

"You know", James said as he stood up, slowly walking towards Nora. "I would've expected a little more of a fight from you, m'lady." There was a mocking tone in his voice, sending chills down Nora's spine. "From what I've heard, the precious Guinevere Monroe is quite the feisty woman. But you, you don't seem to bite as hard as you bark. You barely even bark at all." He was close to her now, close enough that Nora could smell him. Salt and tar. Not an unpleasant smell, but one that reminded Nora of who he was. She had almost forgotten that the pirates thought she was someone else, and now she feared that she wasn't playing a believable enough role.

"A lady knows when not to waste words. No use barking after vermin, all they do is run away." It took all her courage to muster up that sentence, but she needed to be fiesty, as James had said. She needed to be Guinevere. Through the years, she had spent enough time in the mansion to get a pretty good view of who Guinevere actually was. While she had a quick tongue, the Governors daughter was both spoiled and ungrateful. Sometimes she could show a more gentle side, but more often than not, she was hard to please and unwilling to do much else than look pretty. Growing up in a servant family, Nora knew the value of hard work and the ability to be humble. Even though she knew how to stand up for herself, as any woman should, she didn't see herself as acting snobbish when she did. But to survive on a ship full of filthy pirates, Nora would more and willingly play the ungrateful brat, making their existence very sufferable.

Having not answered her snotty comment, James took one step closer to Nora, grabbing her chin in a firm grip with his hand. His piercing blue eyes studied her intensely. The proximity making Nora tremble in fear. The man in front of her was a killer, no doubt about it. She could see it in the way he moved, the way he held himself. He was like a hunter; quick and dangerous. Feeling his calloused fingers against her chin made her wonder how many people he'd slayed with them. And if she was going to be next.

"Keep it up, sweetheart. I love a woman who puts up a fight." James smiled a gruesome smile, causing Nora to stop breathing. She stared up at him, summoning all her courage to meet his gaze. A small voice in her head told her that this man was going to be her undoing. Only, she didn't know how yet.

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