You hide in port behind the taverns in the shadowy, grim and grimy allies. It’s the only place you’ve got to yourselves because on board the ship there are too many unfriendly eyes in too small a space. It’s almost more dangerous here, Sebastian tells you, for on board they know there are no wenches a man could entertain himself with but here there are women by the dozen. But here you are less likely to get caught.
Here it is dark and you can barely see his face, but you don’t need to. You can see it clearly in the back of your mind where it has impressed itself the way hot iron impresses brands on skin, as you look upon him from day to day. Your hands trace his body and you know without a doubt: there is no wench you could ever prefer to him. Perhaps this is why they hate you, because you seek more than carnal pleasure, because you love. Tenderly, if hopelessly. Settling of needs they will allow, but never tenderness. To them it is weakness.
He whispers in your ear as you slide your hands under his shirt and wince at the rough webs of scars and heeling wounds upon his chest and back. They go for him more than you because they know it will hurt you more to see him hurt than anything they could do to you.
His hands are in your hair and you breathe in his musky, familiar scent along with the salty air from the nearby sea. “I love you,” he whispers and sinks against you. You shiver and breathe in sharply. When he says, “Make love to me,” you come undone.
“I promise you,” you swear as he leans against you, seeking the safety and comfort of your arms. “One day, I will find a means for us to go away and we will be truly free.” He nods against you shoulder and you repeat the vow, “Sebastian, I swear…”