14 - Liar

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Blood dripped from the edge of James's sword, falling slowly one by one down on the body beneath it. Despite of the roaring sound of canons and fighting from upper deck, the cabin was quiet. Nora stared at James who stared right back, his eyes wide and white, his lips slightly parted and his brows in a deep frown, and most importantly; his sword pointed right at her. It was hard to know if she should say anything, if there was anything she could say to make it better. The fact that James Haddock was a dangerous man had not slipped her mind, but the usual prominent fear had grown weaker as the days had passed, and Nora had forgotten to be afraid. Now however, as the sharp steal was in front of her, too close, gleaming in the faint moonlight that illuminated the room through the small cabin windows, her fear had never been so strong. It crippled her and made her cold to the core. It sent shivers down her spine and grasped her heart in a firm grip of angst and desperation. James was breathing hard, seeming like he tried to control his anger, his nostrils flaring and his knuckles white as he grabbed the sword handle.

"James, please-"

"Be quiet." James's voice was as hard and cold as the edge of his sword. His words dripping with anger. But he was too calm, too still. And Nora feared that she was witnessing the calm before the storm.

"He doesn't know what he's talking about. He was just a soldier, soldiers have no clue", Nora pleaded, her voice soft, low and careful. She wanted to look at him, but her eyes kept getting dragged back to the edge of the sword, her mind quietly wondering if he would cut her down too. If it was her blood that was going to drip down on her dead body, if it was going to spread over the floor, red and wet and warm. If she would lay there for long, or if James would dump her overboard at once.

"I said be quiet, Guinevere. Or who ever you are." James sighed loudly and pinched the bridge of his nose with his free hand, closing his eyes for a few seconds. "You know, I knew there was something off about you. At first I didn't notice it. But then, as I watched you on this ship, the way you talk, the way you move, all the very unladylike skills you have, it didn't add up with how spoiled Guinevere Monroe would act. The daughter of a Governor would never offer to mend clothes or cook food, yet there you were, working hard like you've done it your entire life. I started to suspect something, but I ignored it. I didn't want it to be true. But now I'm not sure what I believe. So tell me, Guinevere, who the hell are you?" The way James said her supposed name made Nora shiver. His voice was so full of poison that it stung worse than the cuts on her arms and legs.

"I'm me, James. You have to believe me." Once more Nora pleaded, now more desperate than ever. James looked her up and down, taking one step towards her, his sword now mere inches away from he throat.

"I don't have to believe shit. If you're Guinevere, then prove it." The cold and blood coated tip of the sword grazed her collarbone, causing her heart to race. Slowly Nora took a step backwards, carefully watching James the whole time.

"My name is Guinevere Monroe, my father is the Governor of Green Hill bay. I'm twentytwo years old. My mother died when I was seven, since then I was raised by my staff, mostly Mrs. Cheshire. What more do you want to know?" As she spoke, Nora had slowly removed herself from the sword, her head high and her voice steady as she did her best Guinevere impression. James watched her every move, his shoulders a little less tense, but he was still pointing his sword at her, his eyes gleaming of suspicion. For a while they just stood there, staring at each other, breathing and waiting. Nora began to think that James had calmed down, that he believed her. His posture relaxed a bit, his breathing evened out and most importantly; he lowered his sword. Nora too started to breathe easier, but she feared that it was due to false hope. Even though she fancied herself of knowing James's expressions pretty good by now, she couldn't read him at all, and that scared her. Suddenly, James put the swords down on the desk and walk over to Nora. With a firm grip around her upper arm, he dragged her towards the windows.

"What are you doing?"

"I need to check on my men, so I'm making sure you don't go anywhere." James's voice was hard and cold, emotionless. With ease he wrapped her wrists in some rope from one of the desk drawers and tied her to one of the beams by the windows. The rope cut into her skin and Nora tried to jerk free, but James had no problem holding her steady as he quickly did his work. Soon she was tied down and unable to free her arms in any way. Without so much as another word, James grabbed his sword and Nora was once more alone in the cabin, surrounded by broken glass and the screams of dying men.

The sun had started to rise as the burning remains of the English ship slowly disappeared in the water. A few screams was heard on deck as the men finished off the survivors. Some had been taken down to the small cages that serves as a sort of prison. Most of the prisoners had been high ranking officers that the crew could trade off. As they had walked by the cabin, Nora had seen their red coats and bruised faces. For a minute she had felt sorry for them, but the dead soldier on the floor reminded her what they had all caused, and therefore she couldn't help but feel like they got what they deserved. The bloody English ship had ruined her chances of survival. James clearly didn't trust her as he had tied her down, making it impossible for Nora to do anything but sit on the cold floor, surrounded by glass, splinters and blood, and just wait for someone to come and tell her the fate of her future. Perhaps James would believe her and let her go. Or he would deem her a liar and kill her right where she sat. The suspense of not knowing what was coming slowly killed her, causing Nora to become restless and paranoid. A hundred scenarios ran through her head, one worse than the other. An image of her own dead body next to the soldiers wouldn't leave her mind. The imprint of the blood that would leave her body, the wound from where the sword had impaled her, her staring, empty eyes. It all sent shivers down her spine and Nora tried to think about anything else. But the image still stayed put, constantly reminding her of what her future would like.

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