The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry Twenty- Seven :.

My name is Elliot Parker.

I am the stowaway girl, and the Captain has demanded I take my clothes off, in a cave, with the crew staring at the Captain and I.

“I won’t ask you again, I am right here, nothing will happen.” He is trying to command me and reassure me at once. That doesn’t change the resistance. I shake my head no again. He doesn’t take it as an answer this time. He reaches up and lifts my shirt over my head exposing my torso; wet, cold and shivering. He pulls the string at my breaches and lets them loose. They fall to the floor. I am standing exposed to the room. He commands me to step out of the trousers in a pile on the floor. This time I don’t question him. He pulls a blanket over my shoulders. The cold isn’t at the fore front of my thoughts, instead I am resisting the urge to slap him, hard, in the face.

“That wasn’t so hard now was it?” He is masking again, the crew sees frustration, but to me, he is trying to reassure.

I glare. He tries to get the water from my clothes, still a dripping mess even when he’s finished wringing them out, he puts them to dry with his own. I haven’t moved, still standing in the blanket. A rumbling mix of furious and thankful for the dry blanket on my cold goose bump covered skin. I can still feel the eyes of the crew on me. I am still shivering.

“Come here girl.” The Captain has called me to him. Reluctantly I feel my feet move. He has found his choice position in the cave. It’s cold, my toes curl with every step not wanting to make contact with the cold hard floor. I stand in front of him, he is sat, covered and curled into his blanket. “Sit with me.”

“No.”

“It wasn’t a request. It was a command.” I glare at him. “I said sit down. Now.” His voice is quiet, commanding. I know the crew is still watching, there is the quiet that comes with sullen sailors stuck on land. I sit beside the Captain reluctantly. I pull the blanket around me and sit in a curled ball trying to protect my body. The rain is still pounding outside.

“You’ve gotten too much attention from the crew today.”

“Thanks to you.” I retort between my own sullen shivers.

His reaction catches me off guard. His hand is wrapped behind my neck, his blanket has slipped from his arm and shoulder. “No, because of you.” His lips brush my ear now as he whispers. “You could have made it painless, no one would have noticed if I hadn’t have had to do it myself.”

I pull myself back and shift a little further away from him. His arm has retreated into the blanket. It seems I am not in a forgiving mood.

I can’t stop shivering, even in my sleep I know I am shivering on the floor curled in my ball under my blanket.

I don’t want to open my eyes, it’s too cold, I’m too cold. I don’t move when someone rubs my shoulder trying to coax me awake. I hear a voice nearby but my body refuses to obey.

“She won’t wake Captain; she’s not stopped since we got in this forsaken cave. The rain hasn’t relented. The men are restless, what do you propose?”

“We stay; the girl just needs warmth in her bones.”

“How do you propose we do that; she won’t wake?”

“She will. Are our clothes dry?”

“Almost. We can’t remain here long.”

“I know.” The conversation ends, or at least to me it does as I fall back into the darkness.

This time as I begin to come round I realise my shivering isn’t so bad. I am no longer curled into a tight ball; my body is pressed tight to another, a blanket draped and wrapped around me. This time I open my eyes and look around me, the Captain’s face is close to my own. His smile is the last thing I see before I fall back into the darkness.

Now, this time as I wake, I am still curled up to the Captain’s body, he is warm. The best thing, I am not shivering. This time as I wake I feel just how badly my body is aching from the shivering. I feel weak for the first time.

When I look up at the Captain, he is asleep, soundly, his chest rising and falling gently. There is one thing I have noticed, there is not a scrap of cloth separating our bodies. I feel my cheeks flushing with embarrassment. I feel warm again, he has shared his body heat with me and all I did was sulk and shiver.

I try to move but between his body and the warmth of the blanket I can’t bare the chill in the air in the cave. I can hear the faint chatter and snoring of the crew.

I resist the urge to fall asleep again and just watch the Captains chest rise and fall, slowly and gently. It’s calming to just lay still. The Captain stirred after a while, this time when our eyes meet we share a genuinely warm smile. “You know, if you wanted me out of my clothes that badly, you didn’t have to catch the chill.” His voice is deeper just coming from sleep, like each word is a tiny bit harder to form.

“Are you flirting with me?”

“When aren’t I?” I can’t help but smile. His fingers reach for my hand still resting on his chest. The tips of his fingers run over my own, tracing small shapes on my skin, slowly moving around my wrist. Where his touch skims the coolness flows, like a small current. He teases himself down to the bend in my elbow and up to my shoulder. He is toying with me, setting my nerves on edge. My tired aching nerves. My tired aching body.

Then that familiar lurch sets in to my stomach as I am ripped from this world.

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