Celeste couldn't believe what she'd just heard. Could it be true? Was it possible that Jack's compass could know a heart's desire? And if that were the case, why did it point to Jack when she held it?
And for that matter, why did it point to her when he held it?
Her heart was beating wildly in her chest for it knew the answer.
It was her head that was not convinced.
She had just met Jack two days ago. How could she possibly be having such strong feelings for him so soon?
Then she looked at him…and he smiled again…and she felt as if she lost all sense of control. She wanted him to kiss her because one thing she knew for certain was that Jack Sparrow knew just how to kiss so that you felt it all the way to your toes and every where in between.
Not to mention his arms; So strong and safe. When he'd held her the previous night, she wished they could stay there forever without letting the outside world in at all. She wanted to cocoon and just live in a bubble….with him.
Were she being honest with herself or anyone else, she would have to admit it had been a long time since she'd felt so secure.
But with a pirate?! HOW was that possible?
Although she had to admit she'd always felt very safe with her father who had been one of the most notorious pirate captains to ever sail.
Suddenly, her mind wandered back to Jack as she tried to remember exactly how much she'd had to drink.
The way he looked at her…..
The way he held her…
The way he kissed her…..
Yes, Jack's kisses were dangerous, but she was not so naïve as to believe those kisses would not inevitably lead to other things as well. God help her, but she realized she wanted that. To be wild and reckless with one of the most notorious pirates to ever sail.
Suddenly, she felt hot…and flushed….and dear God, she needed to breathe.
She shook her head slightly needing to get her mind off of Jack and what he was doing to her.
"Jack, I don't know if I can believe this. I mean how can a compass possibly….."
"It knows what it knows, love," he interrupted as he put a finger to her mouth to silence her. "Some mysteries are best left unanswered, Celeste. Like I told ye, it has never steered me wrong, darlin'."
Celeste finished off her wine. She was not accustomed to drinking as she had that night. Consequently, it seemed to be catching up to her. She took a woozy step forward before starting to fall forward. Jack caught her just as she fell into his chest and looked up at him with glazed eyes.
"I'm tired, Jack. Can you please take me to bed now?"
Jack's eyes widened in surprise. "Say again?"
"I said I'm tired, Jack."
"No….. the other part."
"Take me to bed," she said as she stifled a yawn and leaned in against his shoulder.
Jack knew it had been a long day for her, but he was not the least bit tired. In fact, he had found that spending time with Celeste was quickly becoming more important than most anything else and he wanted every second he could get with her. However, he was certain she was about to fall asleep on her feet, so when he felt her slumping against him, he scooped her up into his arms and tried not to think about how perfect she felt as he carried her to his quarters.
Her head on his shoulder, and her nose pressed softly against his neck, she fit him perfectly. He caught a whiff of the soft floral scent that was quickly reminding him of Celeste and suddenly realized how much he wanted her; No just physically, though there was no denying that either. It had been a long time since Jack had ever wanted a woman in his bed so badly. The last had been Angelica. In fact, she was the only woman who had ever been aboard his beloved Pearl and shared his bed. Jack had always preferred the beautiful women in ports who would allow him to release his tension with no strings involved.
However, even that had become increasingly unsatisfying as of late. Jack could woo nearly any woman he wanted…..Elizabeth Swan being the exception because she was so bloody in love with young William that neither of them had ever been able to see straight.
Disregarding Elizabeth…which Jack liked to do….it had always come so easily for him because he had the charm and charisma to get his way…..not to mention the mystique of being a pirate lord that many women found attractive.
But lately, he had preferred solitude whenever they were on land; Hence the reason he'd made his way to the tide pools two days ago and had the good fortune to find the angel now sleeping in his arms.
Just as Jack was laying Celeste down on his bed, she gave a soft pouting groan before stirring and sitting up.
"I'm sorry, Jack," she yawned again. "It's been a really long day….and I probably had too much to drink."
When Jack didn't say anything, she stood and turned slightly before looking over her shoulder. "Can you help me with my dress?"
"My dress," she said again. "Rosie helped me with it earlier but I can't possibly sleep in it…..I wouldn't be able to breathe."
"We can't have that now, can we, love?"
"No…..so I need help… getting it off."
"Well, it just so happens I am an expert at removing dresses from fair maidens," he said saucily.
Celeste looked over her shoulder again and saw the boyish grin on his face….just as Jack saw the sparkle in her eyes though she pretended to be offended.
"I'll bet you are" she quipped. "But nevertheless, if you can just help in undoing the back, I will put on my night dress."
"Yes….of course," Jack said although it was the last thing he wanted at the moment.
Night dress? No.
Naked or nearly naked? Yes. That was much more preferrable.
He was trying so very hard to be a gentleman for reasons he still could not comprehend. What pirate would ever dare try to be a "gentleman"? The mere suggestion could ruin his reputation before he could say his name was Captain Jack Sparrow.
As his mind continued to debate over the possible causes of his predicament, he moved closer so he could undo the back of her dress. When the buttons and zipper were down, he slowly pushed one sleeve down before lowering his mouth to kiss where her shoulder and neck met. He felt her shudder under his touch as goosebumps appeared on her skin. He couldn't hold back his grin as he ran his palm down the arm that was now exposed before doing it again. She tilted her head to the side to give him better access.
This delectable neck….Definitely a sweet spot, Jack thought wickedly as he tucked that bit of knowledge away for later.
Celeste sighed. Putting his palm on the back of her head, Jack turned her around as his experienced fingers pulled at the pins that were holding up her hair. He pulled on them gently causing her hair to cascade and fall down her back.
It was the way he preferred it; Celeste had such beautiful hair.
She put her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. Standing up on tiptoes to kiss him, they both got lost in the moment as Celeste made the most irrational decision to throw caution to the wind and see what happened. She was always the good girl….The one who obeyed the rules and never rocked the boat. But being with Jack was awakening things in her she'd never felt before and she was not about to let the moment go.
Never letting her lips leave his, she pushed off his vest before beginning to work on the buttons of his shirt. That was a bit trickier since Jack's shirt was always tucked inside his trousers with a sash wrapped tightly around his waist.
Oh buggers, she thought. Why does the man have to be wearing so many layers?
Jack was unapologetically thrilled at the change of mood. He couldn't deny that part of her sudden shift could be due to the wine she'd consumed that night….but he also had a strong instinct that the wine had merely helped to break down her protective walls to let him in; Even just a little bit.
And he'd be damned if he wasted the opportunity either.
Jack broke away and put his hand over hers to still her for a moment. "Patience, darlin'. We'll get there….I promise."
Celeste looked up at him and the look in her eyes nearly brought him to his knees. What this woman did to him….It was new and surprising and it stirred his heart in ways only one other woman ever had before.
Jack removed his sash himself and then reached to push her dress further down her waist until it pooled at her feet. She looked up at him shyly before stepping out of it and closing the space between them once again. She finished unbuttoning his shirt and moved her palms up his exposed chest reveling in the way he felt under her hands. She heard the hiss from his mouth and smiled up at him coyly.
…..THEN, her breath hitched and a lump formed in her throat. The scars. She saw them and could not ignore them.
Softly….almost reverently….she began to stroke them with her fingers and her heart broke. "Jack…" she choked out.
Jack's voice deepened and softened as well as he took one of her hand into his own before bringing it to his lips for a kiss. "It's not as bad as it looks, love."
But as Celeste's eyes met his, she saw he was lying. Tears pooled in her eyes.
Jack reached up to stroke her cheek. "No tears for me, Celeste," he said. "I'm a pirate. Have been a pirate most of me life."
Feeling an undeniable tenderness towards Jack, Celeste suddenly knew what she needed to do. Taking his hand, she led him over to the bed where she gently pushed him down so he was sitting before going to one of her bag and pulling out a small bottle.
"What is that?" Jack asked as he continued to watch her move.
She smiled at him softly. "Lie down on your stomach, Jack."
"But…." He started to protest and she stopped him again.
This time she was the one to put a finger to his lips…."Shhh…..lie down…..and trust me, Jack." She saw the doubt in his eyes and realized it was no doubt a rare thing for him to let down his guard to such an extent. "Please?"
Jack realized he had not the power to deny her. God help him, but he could not deny her. So he did as she asked and lied face down on the bed. Mere moments later, he felt her climb onto the bed before straddling his back. He was just about to ask her what she was doing when he felt her soft hands on his shoulders. She was gentle at first; Soft caressing touches that left goosebumps on his skin. The oil she'd put onto her hands began to seep into his skin and ease tension he hadn't realized was there.
"What's in the bottle?" he asked her sleepily.
"Oil….with lavender and peppermint. It is good for stress….tension…..It will help you relax. How does it feel?"
"Like heaven. And you're an angel."
She smiled and then began increasing the pressure as she worked on the tight muscles of his shoulders. Taking her time, she worked her way down his back trying not to focus on the scars she saw that were clearly from a whip. A lump formed in her throat thinking of someone doing such a horribly cruel thing to Jack. Rather than letting her mind wander there, Celeste focused on giving Jack a bit of tenderness he had no doubt experienced precious little of in his lifetime.
Leaning down, she softly kissed each scar as if she could kiss away the painful memory of what had put them there. It wasn't long before she heard a soft snore telling her Jack had fallen asleep. Leaving him as he was, she quickly changed into her night dress and climbed into bed beside him. This time, she was the one to put her arms around him and hold him close. It wasn't long before thoughts of what was happening between her and Jack and the adventure that lied before them soon led her into a peaceful sleep.