"Buenas noches, mi chula." Your eyes snapped open, not even bleary after your sleep.
No. Oh, no.
He was back.
You sat up in bed, immediately covering up; you were only in your nightshift. He stood in your room, hand pressed to his arm and favoring his left leg. He grinned, though it looked more like a grimace, he was gritting his teeth so tightly.
"My crew and I require your assistance once more." When you were slow to get up, he drew his sword and held it up to your chest.
"Lo siento, I'm not feeling the most patient at this moment. If you would hurry." He pressed the blade to you, the cold metal barely nicking your skin. You quickly stepped back, glaring at him. You used an angry facade to hide your frigid fear whenever he came to you.
"Claro, Antonio," you spat. He replaced his sword into his scabbard. Not even given a chance to gather anything or dress, you crept trough the foyer with him, slipping out the house. Antonio kept ahead of you, though he was limping badly. You rolled your eyes and shook your head at his back. Even now, when he was bleeding and with what could be a broken leg he refused to lag behind. His pride would be the end of him someday.
Not that you cared, you assured yourself.
By the time you reached the sea, Antonio's face was ashen and his breathing kept hitching. Blood dripped between his fingers as you entered the rowboat on the shore, and you started rowing out to the ship a few hundred meters out, knowing Antonio couldn't. The ship was deathly quiet; even this far away from town they had to stay silent or be discovered. After whatever trouble Antonio had gotten himself and his crew into, you doubted they would be up to the naval ships attacking.
The rowboat was hoisted on board and you glanced around the ship. Crates, barrels, and bottles were strewn everywhere, some used as places for the wounded to lie. A raid with some consequences, you guessed.
You barked out orders, moving the up and walking crew around, giving them instructions on how to treat the minor injuries while you dealt with the more serious ones. You tried to ignore the hungry stares as you ripped your shift's skirt up for compresses or bandages. Antonio had said there was no spare cloth on board, but you knew that was a lie. However, you didn't particulary want to call a murderous pirate a liar, so you had to keep taking your nightshift apart. The night's draft tugged what was left of your skirt up and you held it down, glaring at the ones who whistled or cheered.
"If any of you touch her, I'll throw you into the sea," Antonio slurred. You had given him rum to dull the pain as you stitched the gash in his arm shut. You crouched back down next to him, hoping the needle was somewhat sterile after being held over a candle flame, and tied off the thread, inspecting the stitches briefly before deeming them adequate and telling an underling to splint his leg. "Oye, how about a kiss to make it better?" Antonio pointed at the wound, a drunken grin on his face. The crew barked with laughter. He admired your exposed calves and ran his hand up one, reaching your thigh before you slapped his eager palm away.
"Touch me once more and the navy will be at your throats by morning," you threatened coldly. Antonio's second mate lunged at you and lifted you by your collar until you were off the ground. You clawed and tore at his fingers, but his grip didn't waver.
"Say that again," he snarled. "Say it again and you'll take a plunge." He dangled you over the water. Antonio whined and waved his good arm around, trying to get him to stop, but he couldn't stand and would remember none of this the next morning, so the second mate continued.
"I'll swim t-to shore," you made out, cursing yourself as your voice wavered. He grinned, showing yellowed and missing teeth.
"Who says you'll be able to swim?" He held his hand out behind him, and was handed something. He pushed it up against your head and the cold metal made your skin prickle. He was holding a pistol to your head.
You forced yourself to calm down. You had been held at gunpoint before. He wouldn't shoot you, Antonio would kill him if he did. You tried to cease your shaking and looked into his eyes. "Fine. No navy. I won't say anything to my father."
Yes. Your father. That was the headache they had all had in the back of their mind. The girl they decided to kidnap erratically to patch up a gang of pirates was a naval officer's daughter. They hadn't known that the first time they and almost lost their heads when you screamed your father's identity as you were dragged to the ship. Antonio had only heard you had medical knowledge and had pursued you from there. Threats had to be given often to make sure you knew your place: You were to be their medic of sorts, though they couldn't take you with them. Your father would know something was wrong and set off to exterminate Antonio and his whole crew. It was a common fantasy of yours, having them hauled to the gallows and out of your life.
Antonio had gotten a rough grasp of what was happening and dragged himself over. With the angriest look he could muster he glared at his second mate.
"Let her go, Romano."
The second mate, though somewhat reluctantly, dropped you back down onto the deck. Your knees, weak with fear, gave way and you fell onto the wood, placing your palms there to steady yourself. Taking deep breaths, you hastily wiped your eyes, though the crew saw your plight and jeered, even those who had been mended by your hands.
Antonio propped himself on his hand and forced himself into a sitting position, snarling messily. He barked for them to go down to their bunks, NOW. Though it took an effort to understand him at all, his ferocious expression was enough for most to go slinking away below deck.
He turned back to you, and all the anger drained from his face. He reached out a hand to you, hurt making his brows and lips tug down when you flinched. Antionio wiped the tears off your cheeks, his clumsy fingers making their way to your hair. Threading his hands in it, he drew you forward and trapped you in his arms.
Perhaps he was too intoxicated to notice your rigid posture, or your hands pushing on his chest, trying to get him away from you. He held you closer, murmuring in your ear. You only made out some of his words.
"Lo siento...siento, chula...siento..." His voice had a shuddering to it, and you realized he had started crying. He was saying he was sorry, so sorry, for his pretty one.
Though you couldn't deny a part of you ached to see him like this, you knew.
He wasn't really sorry.
If he was, he wouldn't do this to you. Take you in the middle of the night, use you, and dump you back off before sunrise, threatening you with death if you told a soul what was happening.
But you let him hold you nonetheless, letting his muddled mind justify his actions by claiming desperation, if only for the night.