This is three sentences, right?
Sebastian just needed some air - despite the freezing temperatures on deck this time of night, it was still preferable to the stifling nature of the third class lounge. He pulled a packet of cigarettes from his breast pocket and lit one up, the icy wind numbing his fingers as he tried to shield the flickering match. The flame eventually caught, and he closed his eyes and took a long, deep drag before holding it for a moment, letting the smoke fill his lungs.
A sound caught his attention. Exhaling through his nose he turned to peer over at the ship’s prow, taking a few steps forward to try and decipher the vague shape in the gloom.
“Hello? Someone there?” He asked uncertainly, raising his voice as the sea roared below.
He dropped his cigarette in surprise, and it was snatched away by the wind. There was a child there, right in front of him - no, a young man Sebastian realised as he got closer. The stranger was up on the other side of the railings, hanging right over the ledge of the prow with nothing but a 40 foot drop standing between him and those roiling waves.
“Hey, come down from there,” Sebastian cried out, closing some of the distance between them.
“Leave me alone, I mean it!”
The raven-haired man stopped short, only now noticing the tear tracks on the stranger’s beautiful face.
He reached out automatically. “Take my hand, I’ll pull you back in.”
“I told you to get away! I’ll jump!”
“No you won’t.”
There was a pause as the stranger looked back at him with outrage.
“What do you mean ‘no I won’t’? Don’t presume to tell me what I will and will not do. You don’t know me.”
Sebastian kept his voice calm and steady. “If you truly intended to, then you would have done it already. Come on, take my hand.”
The slate-coloured hair of the stranger whipped around his face as he furrowed his brow at Sebastian, thinking hard. He raised one arm to try and wipe away some of the tears, but a sudden gust of wind almost made him lose his footing. He teetered precariously, his expression one of horrified shock, before Sebastian shot forward with unnatural speed and grabbed his arm in a vice grip.
“Don’t fall, now,” he said quietly to the young man. “I’ll be obliged to come in after you.”
The stranger gasped as he was hauled back onto the safety of the deck, taking one last look down at the dizzying drop and clinging to Sebastian’s strong shoulders. He didn’t move from there, even when he was back on solid ground, and Sebastian held him tightly.
“What’s your name?” He asked the shaking young-man, finding him to be slight and delicate in his arms, barely reaching his shoulders.
“Ciel,” came the small reply.
“I’m Sebastian. You’re shivering.”
He took off his jacket and slung it around Ciel’s shoulders, where it hung loosely. The boy leaned in again immediately, closing his eyes and leaning his head on Sebastian’s chest.
“Sebastian,” Ciel said, as if testing the way it felt on his tongue. “Do you ever feel like your life is just…. not how it’s supposed to be? Like you were meant to be something else but instead you’re just stuck, playing a part that was never meant for you?”
Sebastian was about to reply when the sound of running footsteps reached him.
“Get away from him! What are you doing?!” Someone shouted, and he found himself more than a little reluctant to release the perfect creature in his arms.
Ciel was the first to step away, his cheeks pink.
“I’m sorry, Aunt. I was taking a walk and I…. slipped and… well, Sebastian saved me.”
There were four newcomers altogether, all crowding around and cooing over Ciel.
“I suppose we owe you thanks,” barked a strict looking woman, eyeing Sebastian from head to toe. “Even if you are… untidy.”
It looked like she was itching to comb his hair back, and he realised that, judging by their finery, these were all first class passengers, including-“
“Ciel!” came the shrill voice of another, younger woman. “Come inside at once! I shall get Paula to make you some tea.”
“Hmmph. Very well, Lizzie, but first let me at least thank Sebastian for his help.”
“Oh, he should join us for dinner tomorrow,” suggested one of the men enthusiastically.
“A wonderful idea! What do you say?”
Sebastian found himself nodding and receiving a few hearty pats on the back.
“Do come inside now, it’s far too cold out here.”
“I’ll join you in a moment,” Ciel insisted.
Sebastian bade them a polite farewell, watching in silence as the newcomers disappeared back indoors.
“You don’t have to come if you don’t want to,” the
boy said quietly when they were alone.
“Do you want me to?”
Their eyes met and it was like an electric current passed between them. He had never seen such incredible blue eyes, one of them looking a slightly different colour to the other. It was captivating.
“Then I shall be there,” Sebastian promised, unconsciously leaning in until the fog of their breath mingled. “Those people…. were they your family?”
Ciel’s eyes flitted down and back up again. “Mmhmm, yes, forgive me. My Aunt Francis, Uncle Alexis, my cousin Edward and…. and my fiancé, Elizabeth.”
The ice that flowed through Sebastian’s veins at that point was colder than the sea. “Fiancé?”
“Ciel!” Someone called from inside.
“I’ve got to go,” he said, turning. “I’ll see you tomorrow night.”
He disappeared inside, leaving Sebastian to stare after him for a long time, a fiery determination gradually replacing the ice.
Tomorrow couldn’t come soon enough.