The door exploded. Shards of splintered wood flew through the cabin. She tightened her shawl around her head, crouching beneath the berth, try to be as small and still as possible. The Pirate king burst into the room, wielding a wavy bladed dagger. Tattoos covered his brawny chest and muscular arms. When he caught sight of her he smiled, revealing his stained teeth that had been filed to sharp points. Shark teeth. His men crowded behind him, the lust in their eyes mirroring their King’s.
She slowly stood and the Pirate’s gaze raked over her, judging her the way one might select fresh produce, searching for blemishes, bruises, bee stings.
Fresh produce? This is a dream! Penny’s mind revolted, struggling to wake.
She flinched away as the Pirate king caressed her cheek with one coarse hand. The dagger clattered to the floor as he grabbed her wrist and pulled her into his arms.
“Penny!” He held her and she felt the now familiar thump of his heart and inhaled his scent. Somehow, he always smelled of paper and ink. Did paper even have a smell, she wasn’t sure, but if it did, it would smell like Drake. He whispered her name in her ear and his breath fanned her cheek. “Hush.”
Penny’s heart still raced, but her panic eased. “What are you doing in here?”
“I think I’m saving you from pirates.” He chuckled as she slumped against him.