This is from “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” – part two of my Memory Keeper trilogy, where we meet Killian and Emma’s daughter, Meriel. Meriel and her companion time-travel back after an evil villain keeps her parents from ever meeting. We get to know a very different Hook and Emma, and their first meeting runs a bit differently this time around…
The woman crept along the street, keeping to the shadows in the alleys until she could be sure the footman on the carriage was asleep. He’d been waiting outside the inn for nearly half an hour, and he’d started drinking almost immediately. If she moved fast, he’d never know what hit him.
She balanced herself on the rim of the wheel, glancing quickly down the street before bringing the rock down against the man’s temple. He gave only the slightest groan before he slid off to the side, hitting the ground with an entirely too audible thud. She sucked in a breath, but no one had seen, or apparently heard.
She pulled his body back into the shadows along the side of the inn, stripping him of his coat and putting it on. Then she climbed up carefully into the driver’s perch, pulling her hat low over her eyes and tucking her hair up inside it. She urged the horses forward at a reasonable pace – not fast enough to garner attention, but not slowly enough that she couldn’t push them into a gallop if necessary.
She was nearing the outskirts of town when suddenly, the sliding panel between the seating compartment and the driver’s perch slid open, and a man’s voice startled her badly enough that she threw up an arm, knocking her hat off and allowing her long, blonde hair to tumble down.
“Impressive,” the man said. “But you know, love, if you’d wanted my company for the evening, you could have just asked. I’d have driven us myself.”
She glanced back wildly. “I just stole your carriage. Your life could be in danger.”
He gave her lopsided grin that said he highly doubted that.
“What’s your name?”
She gave a short laugh. “I’m not telling you my name.”
“We’re about to pass by the town watchman, who will surely arrest you, with or without a name provided,” he pointed out, much to her chagrin. “The name’s Jones. Killian Jones. But most people call me Hook.” He raised his prosthetic.
“You’ve heard of me?” He stroked his beard. “Not surprising, really. Why don’t you pull over and we can discuss your criminal tendencies over a drink at the next tavern?”
“I’m not having drinks with you,” She looked at him like he was crazy. “You’re a pirate.”
“I might be a pirate, love, but you’re definitely a carriage thief.” He reached through the window, twirling a lock of her hair around his fingers. “We can discuss the best way to buy my silence, if you’d like. I’m an easily persuaded man.”
“Hey, lay off!” She smacked at his hand and a moment later the horses shied and reared as she nearly ran into a horse and cart crossing at an intersection. By the time she got them under control, it was too late. The town watchman had heard the commotion and ridden up next to the carriage.
“Damn.” She cursed under her breath.
Suddenly, the carriage door swung open, and Hook jumped down onto the street. He walked over to the watchmen, offering a slight bow.
“Apologies, mate. The wench thought she had what it takes to control a team of horses. I lost a tavern bet, and gave the lady her wish.”
The town watchman looked unamused. “She could have hurt someone.”
“I know,” Hook said, shaking his head. “But you know how it is, mate.” He glanced over at her. “Women.”
The watchman nodded his head sagely. “Very well. It’s a warning this time.”
Hook levered himself up into the driver’s perch, giving the woman an incredibly patronizing smile.
“I’ll take over from here, darling. We don’t want you causing anymore mayhem than you already have.”
The watchman gave Hook a nod, then galloped off. She rounded on him.
“What was that all about?”
“Come on,” Hook said. “We got lucky.”
“Lucky?” Her brow knit in confusion before it slowly dawned on her. “I stole a stolen carriage?”
Hook gave her a cocky grin and a shrug. “Now how about that drink?”
She looked at him appraisingly. “I have something better in mind.” She reached out, twining her fingers into his hair and smiling up at him as his mouth came down on hers. He dropped the reins, sliding his arms around her and parting her lips so that he could deepen the kiss. A moment later, she pushed him, hard and he landed on his back in the street. With a quick snap of the reins, she was off.
“Wait!” he called out. “I didn’t get your name!”
He reached down, dusting off his breeches. He turned back toward the nearest tavern, not really wanting to walk all the way back to the inn, even though Lady Monique would surely be put out that he wasn’t waiting as requested. It was just as well. Her husband was starting to suspect and the last thing he wanted was that kind of drama. This evening had certainly taken a turn for the dramatic all by itself.
He gave a chuckle. Whoever she was, she had gumption.
He just wish he’d gotten her name.
Alternate Hook and Emma have an incredible story ahead of them in this one, and their eventual relationship was one of my favorite that I’ve ever written. You can check out the entire Memory Keeper trilogy on my fanfic page!