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9: Elias' RevengeElle stumbled forward onto the beach on hands and knees, just as a wave crashed against her. She fell forward onto her stomach, gasping for air as she tried to catch her breath. Her muscles screamed, her shoulders and arms trembling uncontrollably from the excruciating swim. Her legs cramped, needles of pain crawling over her calves when she tried to stretch her legs. But she had made it, she was alive.
She rolled onto her back with a groan, her whole body protesting. Staring up at the starry sky, Elle pushed the damp hair that clung to her cheeks out of her face, bringing herself up onto her elbows. She looked out at the water which shimmered in the moonlight, and in the distance she could make out the silhouette of the Revenge, and she sighed with relief when she realized that it was moving away.
Her relief was quickly replaced by guilt when she thought of Thomas. She had left him behind. She shook her head, unable to believe her own selfishness. She should have fought harder,
5: Elias Finds ElleElle woke with a start. She opened her eyes slowly, unable to make out anything but blackness beyond the flicker of the candle which burned low on the table beside her. She could hear the creaking of floorboards near the window to her left, and she turned onto her side and stared wide eyed into the darkness.
She tried to scream when she saw a form coming towards her out of the shadows, but only managed a small squeak. She shot up in bed and scooted back until she was pressed against the headboard, bringing her knees to her chest.
When the figure became clearer thanks to the candlelight, Elle let out a shaky breath when she saw that it was only Mias.
"You scared the hell out of me," Elle breathed, pressing her hand against her chest.
Mias tilted his head as he watched her, a sly smile spreading across his lips. His eyes dragged over her face and down her neck to where she had the blanket tugged up over her knees, before his gaze met hers once more.
Elle shivered. He was looking at her a
7: Elle at SeaElias strode down the passageway, eager to see the look on Elle's face when she realized just how dire her situation had become. Something about seeing the look of helplessness on her face excited him, and he knew that it would work in his favor. After all, how could she continue to defy him if she had no choice but to obey him?
Elias climbed the companionway and stepped into the bright morning sun. The familiar roar of the ocean filled his ears, and he sucked in a lungful of salty sea air. He smoothed the front of his dark shirt, tugging the sleeves at his wrists before adjusting his collar. He was never one to appear on deck unkempt, evident by the gleam of his boots and the seamless press of his black breeches. And he had to admit, he wanted to look presentable for his bride to be, for if he appeared to her in muddy boots and dusty clothes as he had the night before, what would she think of him?
Elias glanced around the deck, and spotted Elle easily. She was leaning against the rail
8: Mias Finds ElleElle rose slowly from the spot where she had been sitting for the past hour. She wasn't usually one to feel sorry for herself, but Elias' spiteful words, rough hands, and unwanted kisses had taken their toll on her. Yet in spite of his constant cruelty, Elle was amazed at how she had handled things thus far, drawing on an inner strength that she didn't know that she possessed.
Drawing on that strength once more, Elle took in her surroundings in the hope that she would find something that could help her escape. After all, if what Elias had said about Mias was true, then she was in fact on her own. As she looked around the surprisingly large space of the cabin, hoping that she would spot something to aid in her escape plan, Elle held on to the hope that Elias had been lying. That seemed highly likely, given his behavior, but she wasn't going to pin her hopes on a possibility. As far as she was concerned, she was going to have to figure a way out of this situation herself.
Elle inched her
4: Mias, Elle, and...Abernos??"Stupid bloody magic!" Elle growled. She slammed the book on the table closed, dust floating up to her nose from the movement. She sneezed several times before leaning forward to rest her forehead against her palms, her frustration building.
For the past three days she had tried, to no avail, to find a way to break through the protection spell that was keeping her trapped. On the first day she had sprinted towards the open front door, hoping that she could break through with brute force and determination. Mias had been leaning over the banister, looking down at her with amusement. The instant she made contact with the open doorway she felt the empty space contract outwards as it gave under the force of her weight, before she was launched backwards into the manor where she landed without grace on her backside. Mias had roared with laughter, which she responded to with a finger that she hoped was universally known.
The second day was a day for experimenting. Elle decided to see if she co
2: Elle's EscapeMias stared at Elle's sleeping form beside him. She hadn't moved all nighthe knew because he hadn't moved all night either. He was still lying back against the headboard, watching her steady breathing and enjoying the rise and fall of her breasts beneath her lacy white bra. He had stripped her out of the gown she had been wearing, wanting her to be comfortable as she slept, confused as to why he cared about her comfort at all. His grin widened as her chest rose, deciding that caring about whether or not Elle was comfortable had to be the best damn idea he ever had.
Sunlight poured through the open window, a slant of light cutting across the bed and Elle's creamy white legs. Mias adjusted himself on the bed, and Elle shifted slightly before going still once more.
She would be awake soon, and Mias was suddenly aware that he had been lying on the bed in his clothes. He tried to smooth the wrinkles in his slacks and shirt, sighing with frustration when he realized not only was he a w
3: Mias and Elle Share a KissIt took every bit of strength Elle had to keep herself from trembling. Mias still had his strong hands on her shoulders, his eyes furious. She felt so vulnerable, not because of Mias' firm hold on her, but because of the way his eyes looked deeply into hers, unblinking.
The silence seemed to stretch on forever, and Elle wasn't sure how much longer she could stand it.
"Whatever you're planning to do to me, I wish you would get on with it already. This drawn out silence is killing me." She was so proud of herself in that moment, because despite the fear that pooled in her belly her voice didn't show an ounce of what she felt.
Mias' lip twitched as if he was going to smile before his face returned to an unreadable mask.
"Unreadable, but so unbelievably handsome." She couldn't help but think.
"I don't think you fully appreciate the gravity of your situation," he said darkly.
His usually mischievous tone was cold and distant, and she didn't like it at all. It sent an icy chill through her,
6: Elle Held CaptiveMias leaned forward in the saddle, urging his black steed forward with kicks and shouts of encouragement. The crisp night air invigorated his senses, and he pushed his horse faster still. The landscape was a blur around him, farmhouses and cottages coming into view for mere seconds before disappearing once more into the darkness.
Mias pulled up on the reins as he came up over a hill, giving him a perfect view of the rolling fields and cottages which dotted the countryside below. He patted his horse approvingly, glancing up at the moon and sucking in a lungful of air. He closed his eyes, allowing the sounds of the night to envelope him, letting the cricket song and the distant howls of wolves calm him. Yet his thoughts kept drifting back to Elle.
She was like no one he had met before in his life. She stood up to him, constantly challenging him and speaking her mind. It was refreshing, having someone so honest in his presence. People rarely looked him in the eye, their fear of
11:Elle's Wedding Day"Miss! Miss!" Thomas cried.
Elle opened her eyes with a groan to find Thomas leaning over her, his little hands on her shoulder as he tried to shake her awake.
"What time is it?" She croaked.
Stretching, she turned onto her side and glanced at the porthole, frowning when she saw that it was still dark.
"It's just after dawn!" Thomas said, sitting beside her on the narrow bed.
Elle sighed, tugging the thin sheet more tightly around her shoulder. She had made it a habit to sleep as late as she could, not because she was depressed, she assured herself, but because it meant less time spent anywhere near Elias, and more time spent devising a plan.
"Why on Earth are you waking me up so early?" Elle asked, just as a deafening BOOM rocked the ship.
Elle shot up in the bed, grabbing Thomas protectively around the shoulders. "What the hell was that?" She shrieked.
Thomas laughed. "It's alright Miss, just a signal shot to let Tearny know we intend to make port."
Elle stood up and stretched
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