Yesterday was Colin O’Donoghue’s birthday and I meant to post this yesterday – somehow I got my days mixed up. I’m juggling three major projects right now and sometimes, that shit just happens. Anyway, in honor of the indomitable Captain Hook and the overwhelmingly talented piece of mancandy that portrays him, here’s an excerpt from my fanfic, “These Dreams.” In this chapter, titled “The Black Swan,” Emma finds herself suddenly aboard a ship, and a pirate captain who encounters none other than our darling Killian Jones, who seems to have no memory of her…
Emma was sitting at a rolltop desk, dunking a quill pen in the ink pot when the alarm sounded. A few moments later, a man’s face appeared in the doorway.
“Begging your pardon, Cap’n,” he said, with a bob of his head. “But you’d best come up top. We’ve got trouble.”
“Trouble?” She looked around the room, trying to get her bearings.
“He’s here, Cap’n. He must’ve heard it was you who beat him to the prize.”
“He did, huh?” Emma laid the pen carefully down on the desk, then picked it up again, making a great show of putting it back in its holder in a play for time. “Go ahead back up,” she said. “I’ll be along in a minute.”
“You heard me,” she said firmly. Okay, whoever he was, he was an underling, and she was his captain. That much she could figure out. How the hell she got here, she had no idea. A few minutes ago, she was on a street in New York with Regina and Robin, and now…here.
And once again, she had no idea where the hell “here” was. The man gave a nervous half-bow and exited the room quickly. Emma glanced around, trying to get a feel for her new surroundings. She stood up, and immediately grabbed for the edge of the desk.
The floor had just shifted beneath her. She was on a ship. Her eyes shifted to the full-length mirror mounted to a nearby wall and she turned to it slowly, her jaw falling open.
Thigh high black boots, tight black leather pants, a black leather corset and a crimson shirt, unbuttoned low enough to make the most of her ‘assets’, which were prominently displayed courtesy of the corset. The swordbelt at her hip held a gleaming cutlass, and a coiled whip hung from the other side. Her hair fell in glorious tumble about her shoulders and the rings on her fingers and dangling earrings only cemented the picture.
“Holy shit,” she mumbled. “I’m a pirate.”
The sound of pounding footsteps on the deck above her and the shouting of men followed by the sound of swords clanging brought her out of her daze. She made her way to the ladder and got one foot on the bottom-most rung when a voice rang out.
“Enough! Now where’s your scurvy dog of a captain! He took what was rightfully mine, and I will have it back or I will have his head.”
Emma’s face instantly went from alarm to elation. She’d know that voice anywhere. She hurried up the ladder, stepping up onto the deck. He was facing away from her, and her shoulders sagged in relief when she saw him.
He spun around, cutlass at the ready, and the double-take he did when he saw her nearly made her laugh out loud.
“Okay, I admit, I look ridiculous,” she said, stepping down from the wheel deck to meet him.
“On the contrary, milady,” he said with a mocking bow. “You look quite fetching. Now be a good girl and find the captain. He and I can finish our business, and then you and I can commence with ours.” He gave her wicked grin, and she slowed to a stop in front of him.
“Killian.” She eyed him warily.
“That’s twice now that you’ve used my given name,” he pointed out. “But I’ve no memory of having made your acquaintance.”
She stared at him, not quite understanding. “You don’t know me?”
He quirked a brow. “Not yet. But I will, love, I promise.” He glanced around the deck at the rest of the crew, raising his voice so that he could be easily heard. “Now, where is your captain?”
Emma stepped a little closer, clearing her throat self-consciously. He turned to look at her again.
“Uh…I’m the captain. I think.” She looked over at the man who’d spoken to her earlier, and he nodded vigorously. “Yeah,” she said. “That’s me.”
Killian’s looked at her in disbelief. “You’re the captain of The Black Swan?”
“Yep.” She gave him an apologetic smile.
His eyes narrowed, and before she could react, he stepped in and brought the edge of his hook to her neck. “I’d hate to have to tear a hole in this lovely throat of yours,” he said, in a voice loaded with menace. “So give me the chest, and we’ll be on our way.” He leaned in, his mouth hovering above hers. “And just to show I’m a gentleman, I’ll let you keep your life and your ship – provided you treat me with a little…cordiality.”
Emma’s eyes widened, but at the same time, it was impossible not to respond to the feel of his body against her. Something in his eyes flared, and his regard shifted just-so-slightly, letting her know that he was more than aware of the chemistry between them.
“Hey,” she said, bring her hand up and pushing his hook away from her neck. “Can’t we…talk about this? Somewhere private?”
His eyes went from considering to smoldering, dropping to her lips and taking a long, slow perusal of her body before moving back up to meet hers. “So you think to buy my favor in a time-honored manner, do you?” He smiled, pulling up a lock of her hair with his hook. “I warn you…if this is a trick and you think to gut me while I’m distracted by your charms, you might want to reconsider. I’ll not kill a woman, but I’m not likely to be a gentleman, either, if you cross me.”
Emma couldn’t help the shiver that skittered down her spine. This was crazy. Seriously crazy. Had she time-traveled? Was she so far back that he didn’t know her yet? And if so, how could it be that all these men seemed to think she was their captain? She needed to figure this out and she needed Killian with her on this. He was clever as hell and incredibly resourceful. Even if he couldn’t remember her, he could help her. She needed to get him alone, and she needed to talk to him. Time to turn on the tavern wench charm.
“You can have the chest,” she said, smiling. “I only took it to get your attention, anyway.”
He looked slightly taken aback, but recovered quickly. “Is that so?”
“Of course. I’d heard about the notorious Captain Hook, and I wanted to make his acquaintance.” Her hand fingers came up, sliding along and around his hook. “Is that so hard to believe?”
His eyes darkened slightly, but he was still on his guard, from the looks of him.
“Why not just approach me, then?” he asked reasonably. “I certainly wouldn’t have turned you down.”
“Maybe I’ve got more to…discuss,” she said mysteriously. “Maybe a few hours in a tavern wouldn’t be enough time for what I’d like to be doing.”
“Then perhaps we should adjourn to the Jolly Roger, to complete our…negotiations,” he purred, and Emma found it hard to remember what it was she needed to talk to him about. Oh yeah. What the hell was going on – that’s what it was. She took in a deep breath and tried to clear her mind.
“Shall we go?” she asked, coquettishly.
He put a proprietary hand to the small of her back, guiding her toward the gangplank. “My ship is docked a short distance away,” he informed her. “I trust you have no objection to my crew keeping yours company until we’ve finished our business?”
“Sure,” she said, with a careless wave of her hand. “Take the crew.”
He raised a brow, looking more than a little confused by that, which was nothing compared to the looks and shouts of her crew at that proclamation.
Killian shot a look at Mr. Smee, who was holding one of her men at swordpoint, and Smee shot a look back that clearly said he though she was unbalanced. She’d better do a better job of convincing them. Killian always said she’d make a good pirate. Time to act the part.
“All right, you mangy dogs!” she called out to the crew. “The Captain and I have business to discuss – business that will be profitable for all of us. So shut your damn mouths and don’t give me any trouble.” She drew her cutlass. “I know how to use this and you don’t want to be at the other end of it.”
Killian eyed her thoughtfully, reaching out to finger the whip at her belt. “And do you know how to use this?” he asked in low voice.
She smiled, holding his eyes boldly. “I like to use it while I’m wearing my boots,” she said. Then she leaned in and whispered, “And nothing else.”
“Mr. Smee!” Killian’s voice rang out.
“We’re going to be awhile. Possibly the entire night. See that her crew is fed.” He spoke to his first mate, but his eyes remained locked with Emma’s.
“Aye, sir,” Smee replied.
Killian put a hand to her elbow, guiding her once again to the gangplank.
“Let’s go. You and I have much to…discuss.”
This is only one of the dream scenarios that Killian and Emma fall into in “These Dreams.” I had tremendous fun writing that fic, and I’m really tempted to do a sequel. I can think of dozens of places I’d love for them to visit.