13 -Secrets

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The heavy drumming of running was deafening from Nora's place in the cabin, crawled up in a ball on the floor by the bed. Muffled yelling mixed in with sounds of canon fire echoed from all directions. Soon the shadow from the enemy ship darkened the windows to the cabin and Nora flinched every time another cannonball hit wood. There was no way of knowing which ship that took the most hits, which side that had the upper hand. Nora desperately hoped that it was James. She'd seen him fight. He was ruthless and daring, a man so skilled at causing death he might as well be the grim reaper. But James wasn't a god, he was human and even the best fighter meets their match. Nora only wished that James's match wasn't on the other ship. Even though it was an English ship, the men onboard wouldn't be her saviors. If they knew who Guinevere actually was, they would kill her for being an imposter, and if they didn't they wouldn't believe her if she lied. Guinevere Monroe would never be caught dead in the dresses Nora had been wearing. And the news of what happened in her hometown would've reached the real Guinevere by now, which meant that people knew that she was out of harms way. No, Nora had nothing to gain from an English victory. Her only chance of survival was to follow her original plan, to escape when the ship stopped to fill up on supplies. But for that to happen, James's crew needed to win this fight. And most importantly; James needed to survive. Without his protection and authority over the rest of the crew, Nora's days were counted. Not even Belmore could protect her from the rest of the crew if James died. Besides, the thought of losing James send sharp chills of pain through her body. Nora didn't know why and refuse to recognize it, but deep down a voice told her that not wanting to lose James wasn't only because of the protection he could give her. Thinking about that almost kiss, how close he'd been to kiss her, how his proximity had made her dizzy, Nora knew that she was out on deep waters. To get closer to James was a narrow and dangerous path to walk. If anything went wrong, it could cause her to lose the little freedom she had on the ship, sentencing her to a life in the cabin again. But on the other hand, if things went right, he might trust her enough to let her out of his sight long enough for her to escape. It was hard to tell though. James was a pirate with very minimal honor. He might've kept his promise regarding not doing anything inappropriate to her without her consent, but for all she knew, it might just as well have been a show to gain her trust. Since she almost kissed him, Nora guessed that little game had worked. But despite the fact that it could all just be for show, she knew that she couldn't stay away form him. She knew he was poison, the worst thing that could happen to her, that she ought to despise his very presence. James Haddock was nothing more than a obstacle, something to avoid and move on from. That was all very clear to Nora. What was also very clear was that no matter how hard she tried, she wouldn't stay away from him. Her body subconsciously moved towards him every time he got close, her eyes constantly searching for him, her chest getting lighter as soon as she caught a glimpse of him somewhere. At night when she would try to fall asleep, her imagination would go wild, pictures of the two of them together vivid on her eyelids. It was silly of course, since they hadn't known each other that long at all, along with the minor detail that he was the reason for her kidnapping. To even think about James in any other way than the way a captive thinks about their captor, was wrong and dangerous. No, Nora wouldn't allow herself to feel anything. Their almost kiss was exactly that, an almost. It didn't happen and it never would. A man would never be her downfall, especially not a pirate. Not even when that pirate was James.

A flash of light and a deafening crash drew Nora's attention away from her internal dilemma. A cannonball had crashed through the other end of the cabin, leaving a hole in both walls, continuing in below deck. Splinters, smoke and dust spread through the room, causing Nora to cough and press herself against the foot of the bed. The crash had broken a few windows, causing glass to lay scattered all around. A few of them had landed on Nora's bared skin, tiny crimson cuts standing in contrast to milky white. If it wasn't for the chock, she would've probably screamed, but instead she sat on the floor, staring at the hole in the wall, the sound of waves, canon fire and yelling more prominent now. She didn't know if she should move or stay put. Her feet were bare and it was hard to see exactly where the glass was on the floor, therefore to save herself from anymore cuts and bruises, she stayed where she was, hoping that no one would come to do damage control on the ship.

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