Beyond the Horizon: Chapter 40
Fic Update: Beyond the Horizon
Summary: When Princess Emma’s ship is captured by the Jolly Roger and Captain Killian Jones, she offers herself as a hostage for ransom if he will let the ship and the other passengers go. With Emma, Killian remembers the honour he once held dear, and Emma catches glimpses of the gentleman Killian had been. Against all odds, the pirate and the princess begin to fall for each other.
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Killian took a deep breath when he came up on deck, inhaling the sweet scent that perfumed the air in the small cove where the Jolly was anchored. Lieutenant Courtice’s accusations had burrowed under his skin more than he wanted to admit, each expertly-aimed barb reminding him of the man he used to be. Or the man he still was, a few recent good deeds could hardly be enough to wash away the considerable sins of his past. The lieutenant clearly didn’t think so, and neither did Emma’s father, Killian could tell. There was no sign of the the two of them or of Emma’s mother, and he wondered if Courtice had gone to tell the king and queen about his many crimes, letting them know exactly why the name Killian Jones was feared and reviled across the sea. Perhaps he was even pressing his own suit, putting forth his name as a possible match for their daughter once they returned to the Enchanted Forest and regained their kingdom at last. He wasn’t a prince or a lord, but Killian was sure the lieutenant came from much more honourable stock than he did. The glory that would have redeemed the Jones family at long last had died along with Liam, when he’d been cast adrift in the world to forge his own destiny alone.
It was warm in the cove but not humid, not like the thick jungle on Neverland where sweat had beaded on his brow and plastered the linen of his shirt to his back as he’d followed Liam unknowingly into danger. Everything about that island had been wrong, it had felt wrong, it had looked wrong, it had even smelled wrong, though lush and green there had been an unmistakable whiff of decay hanging in the air like the rotting of overripe fruit left too long on the vine. But the Fairy Queen’s domain was as beautiful as a perfectly cut jewel and when he took another deep breath the smell was like a mix of all the good things he could think of. Freshly baked bread and highest quality rum, and the sky after a heavy rainstorm, when the clouds parted and everything had been washed clean and fresh from the downpour. But most of all it smelled like roses, a scent he was rather more intimately familiar with now than he ever had been before thanks to the soap he bought Emma every time they made port. The floral aroma was particularly stubborn, it clung to the collars of all his shirts, lingered in his bed linen and permeated the handkerchiefs she unabashedly stole from him while he pretended not to notice. Would the scent of roses remain even after she was gone, another ghost to taunt him in the dead of night when he was left alone in a cold bed and sleep wouldn’t come no matter how much rum he drank?