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The Pearl tastes of salt, which shouldn’t be surprising, but is. He always imagined her tasting like a woman, of musky perfume, sweat and rum. She is mostly coarse, but parts of her is smooth, like the wheel, worn smooth by his own hands. It tastes different and he imagines he can taste himself there, his taste on her. The thought makes him giddy, makes him want to rub up against the wheel, and there is no one around, so he does.

She feels so good, his girl, always slightly warm, and he presses harder, desperately biting down on on the old wood as he spends. He takes a step backwards and lets himself fall onto the deck, and the Pearl rocks him to sleep.