Chapter 2: William the Damned by Lynette Ferreira

SUSANNA SITS IN the cabin, almost too scared to breathe. William did not lock the door when he left and now she is not only scared of him but also of the girl and an unknown amount of them on this pirate ship.

She hears footsteps outside the door and conflicting with how she feels, her heart betrays her by speeding up excitedly. The footsteps slow down, stop and then after a moment the feet walk past the door. Quickly she walks from next to the cupboard where she was crouching and she moves the dresser back against the door, straining against the heavy wooden table.

She contemplates going out and looking for a boat, but William’s warning echoes through her mind. She will wait until daylight because although she has never come face to face with a vampire before, she has heard all the rumours. Although vampires were rumoured to simply be mythical and only the poor really believed they existed, she has heard they do not appear in daylight. If she waited for sunrise, they would not be able to kill her and suck her dry from all her blood.

THE NEXT NIGHT as she wakes, she hears footsteps stop in front of her door. She berates herself for not waking during the day, for falling asleep in the first place. A perfect opportunity to escape is lost, yet again.

The key turns in the lock and then William pushes against the door. The table moves away smoothly. He is carrying a bowl of food and with a distant look in his eyes; he puts it down onto the dresser.

He says without looking at her, “This is the last of it, so I suggest you eat it sparingly.”

She moves her legs off the bed and her stomach growls loudly. Walking past him nervously, staying as far away from him as possible, she sits down on the chair in front of the dresser and although she knows she should eat slowly, she is ravished. Before she can stop herself, she has eaten all the potatoes in the silver bowl.

“We are anchoring tomorrow. I might be able to catch you something to eat,” William says from the other side of the cabin, where he is standing watching her thoughtfully.

It flashes through Susanna’s mind, that this could be her opportunity to escape. As soon as they are anchored and near land, she can jump off the ship and swim to shore. They will be sleeping during the day. She would not go to sleep. She would force herself to stay awake.

As if he can read her mind, he smirks. “Of course, you can try to escape, but this is a desolate island and not on any seafarer’s course. You might have to live here forever or until my return.”

He looks at her ominously and Susanna’s heart sinks. He sees the despondent look flash across her face and he steps closer to her. When he is standing in front of her, he asks softly, “Am I really that repulsive to you?”

“No,” she whispers, remembering his lips against hers, the emotions he awakened in her. Emotions she never knew she possessed. She remembers his cold hands tracing along her skin. How she wanted him to touch her and conflicting how scared she was of him.

He steps even closer to her and then touching her arm hesitantly, he whispers, “If I had the power, I would change everything.”

Susanna falls forwards into him, tears running down her cheeks. Surely, it could only be a sudden release of fear and panic. He seems different. Maybe her plan to be submissive worked and now the fondness he felt for her will get her to France.

He folds his arm tenderly around her shoulders and she leans into him. He does not know what to do; he has never had to deal with a woman crying from sadness rather than fear as he feels her flesh warm and yielding against him.

She looks up at him, her eyes bright with tears. She whispers hopeful, “Please tell me you will never hurt me?”

He smiles down at her and slowly he leans his head closer to hers. He kisses the tears on her cheeks away and he kisses her eyelids. She keeps her eyes closed and her lips slightly parted.

Although he told himself he would have more control over his feelings, he touches his lips to hers.

It has been three days since they attacked The Majestic and he can feel a stirring of hunger when he hears her blood rush through her veins. He fights the urge to move his lips from her lips, to let them trail across her jaw and then down her neck to where her blood pulses under her skin.

He does not want to kill her, although he never made her any promises, he knew he would never allow her to be hurt.

Moving away from her hastily, he leaves her standing there in the middle of the room. He walks out and up toward the deck, clenching his fists. His face contorted into an ugly mask as he tries to control his hunger as well as his emotions.

Susanna looks at the door. He left it standing open and she rushes to it. She slams it shut and then she shoves the dresser bit by bit toward the door.

While she heaves against the dressing table, she contemplates whenever she is with him, she strangely wants him to touch her. When he touches her, she has an undescribed yearning for him. She must escape. She must get away from here, as far and as quickly as possible.

Charlotte walks determinedly toward William when she sees him walk onto the deck. She is going to have to talk some sense into him. The fascination he has with this girl is ridiculous. She hisses softly, “It has been days since we last fed. Everybody can smell her and you will not be capable of keeping her a secret for much longer.”

“I know,” he answers her harshly.

She pulls him to her roughly, looking up at him pleadingly. “What is wrong with you, William? Kill her!”

He turns his head away from her and he looks out across the water pensively. He can see the island in the distance. They will reach it by morning, before first light.

Charlotte leans into him and she whispers close to his ear vehemently, “Kill her or I will.” Growling she turns away from him hurriedly and with speed and agility, she climbs up the mast.

He watches her as she climbs higher and higher. He knows her well. She will sit up there all night until her foul mood dissipates. Together they have captained this pirate vessel for more years than he cares to remember, and he knew she was right. He could not let Susanna return to France.

WHEN SUSANNA WAKES up, she immediately notices the late afternoon light streaming through the dull porthole. She jumps from the bed, excited she woke up before the sun set for the day. She stumbles across the room toward the little circle of yellow light.

Looking through the glass, Susanna notices the land mass a short distance away. She sees the small stretch of beach and the forest behind it. The sun is still high enough in the sky for her to escape immediately.

She walks to the door and then moving the dresser away from the door, she opens it slowly.

William had, in his haste to leave the room, forgotten to lock the door behind him and he did not return during the night while she was asleep either.

She opens the heavy wooden door wider and the soft scrape of the hinges blends with the creaking of the boat as it rocks gently on the water. Peering through the gap, she tries to listen for human noises, although she is certain there would be none. She opens the door even wider and then she squeezes through.

She is standing in a dark, narrow hallway and further on she notices a staircase. Cautiously she walks toward the staircase and then with relief she starts to climb the stairs, one by one, to the bright light of the afternoon sky.

When she gets onto the deck, she looks around. Everything is neat and tidy, a well-kept ship. At first glance, you would never realise the horror, which lay beneath the upper decks.

Susanna walks to the railing on the side where the beach is closest. They anchored the boat just beyond the point where the waves start rushing toward the shore.

She can swim a little, enough to keep herself afloat, so now she climbs onto the railings and without thinking twice, she jumps down into the water. The distance is great and she makes sure to keep her body straight so she does not fall awkwardly. She would not want to knock the wind out of her lungs, or worse, break something.

Susanna gasps as the cold water sucks her in and she is instantly grateful for the drawers and shirt she is wearing. It never occurred to her before that should she have jumped in wearing the dress, it would have dragged her down and she would have had to fight the dress to get back up to the surface again.

She pops up onto the surface of the water like a cork and then she rides the waves toward the shore.

When she reaches the shore, tired and out of breath, she turns to look back at the ship. She notices with debilitating panic the sun has dipped under the blue ocean and she recognises William on the deck of the ship staring directly at her. She can feel the malice radiating off him toward her and when she sees him dive from the ship into the water, she starts to run as fast as her legs can carry her into the forest behind her.

Branches hit against her arms and the wet stockings cling to her legs. Her breath is ragged and rasping over her lips, but she knows she cannot stop, she must continue running as fast as she possibly can.

Brutally she stops and jerks backwards when a hand folds over her arm. Her breath jolts in her throat and with despair and fear, her legs buckle under her.

William catches her and when she looks up at him, she sees the menacing sneer across his face. He laughs bitter, softly. “Did you really think you could run away from me?”

Hopelessness rushes through Susanna and William can see the misery on her face. He does not know what it is that has attracted him to this girl. He should just kill her here, kill her now, but something stops him. A feeling he cannot understand and cannot explain. Feeling as if he would defend her with his life.

Hearing Charlotte running through the under-brush toward them, he lets Susanna go. Harshly he says with a growl deep in his throat, “Go. Keep running. Do not stop.”

He lets her go and without looking back, Susanna runs away from him.

William watches her go. He feels hopeless.

As Charlotte breaks through the bushes, he asks her brusquely, “Why are you following me?” He sees hurt flash across her face for just the briefest moment of a second and he starts walking back toward the beach before she can answer his question. He feels her following slightly behind him.

Charlotte has loved him since she met him and she has given herself to him, physically and emotionally, repeatedly over the decades they have been together. All she wants is for him to love her as much as she loves him and sometimes she thought he did. Now she was not so sure anymore, she saw the confusion on his face. She noticed his despair and his sadness over the pathetic, weak girl she could hear running through the brush.

They walk in silence and when they reach the beach, the other crew-members are dragging the chests of loot they had stolen and plundered over the last two months while out at sea from the rowing boats onto the beach. They drag the chests effortlessly into the thick undergrowth of the trees which frame the small area of white pebble scattered beach.

It is almost midnight when they reach the rocky area where they come to hide their treasures. William puts his hand into a secret crevice along the side of the innocent looking mount of rocks. He pulls a lever and the biggest rock in front and slightly on top of the other mass, moves away slowly with a scrape and a groan.

William and Charlotte walk into the mouth of the large cave first, carrying with them a torch each. They do not need the torches to enable them to see in the night, but it always excites them and the crew when they see a million sparkles bouncing off the many, many tiny diamonds. It is electrifying the way the gold and silver glimmer in the glare of the firelight. It boosts their morale and makes it seem, for the shortest moment in time, as if their everlasting existence has a purpose after all.

They spend a few hours here, touching and burying themselves within the mountains of jewels and riches. William can feel Charlotte watching him intently, so he plays his part. He laughs jubilantly and touches the precious jewels reverently, but in his chest, he feels a deep heaviness.

When the first birdsong echoes through the night sky, they all groan almost as one and then they return to the beach hurriedly and then into the rowing boats.

A trace of crimson colours the horizon, when William moves away from the railing of the boat where he is standing. He looks at the beach one last time. His moan carries on the wind a melancholy, which fills the early morning murmur and he goes down to the lower decks.

Although he is as cold as steel, his heart betrays him with its hunger for Susanna, a hunger stronger even than his constant burning desire to feed.

SUSANNA RUNS UNTIL her every breath burns her chest. She struggles to take deep enough breaths to continue running and afraid she slows down and bends over double while gagging. She feels faint and the drawers and shirt she is wearing are hanging in shreds around her body.

Hearing the first birds before daybreak, she starts to run again. Slower this time, but still the branches and thorns slap against her painfully. Earlier in her panicked and frenzied dash, she felt nothing as the trees and bushes tore bits of flesh from her face and her arms, now she feels every sting.

She tries to run in a straight line and when the sky turns pale blue, she stumbles out of the forest and onto a small stretch of beach. She is hungry, thirsty and unbelievably tired.

Falling onto her hands and knees, she hangs her head as tears stream down her face from the immediate horror which fills her. She has run across the island and now the full impact of her situation hits her in the stomach, taking with it the little breath she managed between gasps of exhaustion.

She is really stuck here. What will she eat? What will she drink? Will she be here forever, or as William said until he returns? This time when he comes back, he might not be so kind toward her. He might be hungry and then he would take her into his arms. He would sink his teeth into her neck as he drinks her blood. Oddly, a warm sensation spreads through her body at the thought of him touching her, as he bites her flesh. Shaking her head, she berates herself for thinking thoughts which were plain and simply ridiculous. She is going to marry Lord Francois. She is not destined to be someone else’s meal.

When she has calmed down, her breath coming slower and easier, she looks up again and it is with surprised shock she sees the pirate ship to the side, behind a rugged cliff protruding into the ocean. A row-boat is pulled up onto the shore, half way in the water.

Susanna smiles slowly when she realises she must have run in a circle when she thought she was running across the island. She crawls down the beach on her hands and knees, because she doubts her legs would be able to carry her. She is so elated she does not feel the pebbles dig into her knees painfully. Believing William and his crew must have misjudged the time and they were caught by the rising of the sun, so now they had to hide somewhere on the island until nightfall. If she moved the boat quickly into the ocean, she could get away.

The tide is moving out, so she hurries to get into the boat. The sides are high and she stretches her one leg over. She is thankful once again, for the drawers and shirt she is wearing, and not a cumbersome dress. She pulls herself up and over the side of the row-boat and then she falls into the boat.

Banging her head loudly against the side and for a moment, she lays dazed on the bottom of the boat, staring up at the sky, watching the gulls swoop graciously through the air. The surrounding light dilates and subside and she hears a faint ringing in her ears.

After a while, which could have been hours or only minutes, she gets up, rubbing her head softly and then she takes an oar in each hand.

Although the tide is still on its way out, for every inch the tide pulls her out to the sea, the waves crashing into her, pushes her back toward the beach.

She rows with all her might; her arms are sore and painfully lame and the sun is high in the sky by the time she crashes violently through the last wave. She continues rowing toward the open ocean, unable to feel her arms, but continuing the motions of rowing.

When the seawater washes over her face and her arms, the scratches from the bushes and brambles burn like fire. Her legs and arms feel like lead and her eyelids start to droop.

Susanna drifts along on the tides of the ocean. She is unable to sit up, so she stays lying in the bottom of the boat.

On the odd times when she wakes, it is day and when she again opens her eyes, it is still day, the sun beating relentlessly down upon her.

When it rains and she feels the soft cooling moisture running across her skin, she just opens her mouth and lets the sweet rain moisten her lips and her tongue. Letting it run down her throat wonderfully, quenching the burning fire in her throat.

Continue reading Chapter 3/10

Copyright © Lynette Ferreira. All Rights Reserved. 
All work created and posted on this blog is the intellectual property of Lynette Ferreira.


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