Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Stephenie Meyer is the author and owner of the Twilight Saga. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Chapter 1 – Pirates
We'd been adrift on this fucking boat for seven days now, ever since we were invaded by pirates while sailing the pacific islands. We'd left Hawaii fourteen days ago on what should have been a ten day cruise. My entire family, their significant others, and a plus one were on this luxury schooner that I'd bought just six months ago and I would do fucking everything in my power to make sure we made it to land – any fucking land – before the love of my life took us all to a watery grave.
Oh, didn't I mention the fucking huge hole in the hull that was taking on water quicker than the bilge pumps could suck it out?
We'd hit a reef three days ago thanks to the tropical storm system that'd tossed the Victory – that's the name of my boat – around like she was a kiddies toy in a paddle pool being pounded on by a giant toddler with squeals of glee.
The Victory was listing badly and the main mast was broken and useless. The engine was fried having been shot up by the pirates who'd robbed us blind. They came up beside us during the night while my family was sleeping. I was sailing the Victory alone, completely lost in my thoughts, and fantasizing about the plus one chick asleep downstairs who was Alice's - my brother Jasper's wife - new best friend and the hottest babe I'd ever seen.
I'd been trying to tap that beauty without success for months now – ever since I'd met her at my Mom's annual Labor Day luau at the family home on the Hawaiian island of Oahu – but she wouldn't have anything to do with me because she'd had a boyfriend at the time. She'd came on the cruise because the boyfriend – Mike I think his name was – cheated on her and Alice decided Bella needed time away to regroup and decide what she was going to do about their shared residence and possessions.
Her name was Isabella – Bella for short.
I preferred Isabella.
Before I realized what was happening, pirates had boarded the Victory from the rear, over the stern, and sneaked forward into the pilot house. I was palming myself through my shorts with my eyes closed when one of the bastards cocked a handgun and pointed it at my head.
Little Eddie took a nosedive and didn't recover.
"Just do as you're told, Mate and nobody needs to die," said the fucker with an Australian accent. He pushed the barrel of the gun against my head.
"Get up. Slowly," he ordered as he backed away slightly.
His arm holding the gun remained fully extended. I looked at the firearm from my peripheral vision. It was a Glock17 – a military piece. Fuck! I thought about reaching for my own Glock, which was tucked beneath my captains seat and my fingers twitched involuntarily in that direction.
"Don't even think about it, Mate. Now, stand the fuck up!" ordered the pirate.
My hand fell away from my lap as I stood up slowly and turned to face the motherfucker who was planning to steal my boat at best, or kill us all at worst, and then throw our bodies overboard to be eaten by sharks.
"How many other people are on board?"
I ground my teeth and refused to answer but the pirate nudged my temple with his gun.
"Seven others," I answered reluctantly.
"Where are they?"
"Asleep, below deck." I wondered whether I could somehow signal my brothers and my father that something bad was going down, but I couldn't think of how to do it without getting somebody killed.
The pirate stepped back and motioned to the pilot house door with his other hand. "Get going," he snarled.
I edged passed him and walked slowly across the deck to the stairs that led below.
"How many cabins are there?"
"And how many of them are currently occupied, Red?"
A nerve ticked in my cheek and I clenched my fists. I hated being called Red! It was the one nickname that was guaranteed to piss me off big time.
"HOW. FUCKING. MANY?" the pirate hissed again when I didn't respond.
"Five, including mine!" I snarled as I turned my head to gaze at him with hatred in my eyes.
I saw the arm holding the Glock rise up too late for me evade the pistol whipping and I felt the butt of the gun slam into the back of my head. I staggered and I'm positive I saw stars but I managed not to collapse at the bastards feet. I felt nausea roil through my gut and into my throat, but I forced it down.
"Next time, Red, I won't just hit you; I'll fucking shoot you. Just answer my questions and save the bullshit. Do we understand each other, Red?"
"Yes," I moaned.
"Get going and walk slowly downstairs."
I did as he instructed.
The pirate looked into the open doorways to the lounge, the dining room and the kitchen as we passed.
"Wake everyone up real carefully, Red. I don't want there to be any heroes or I'm gunna start shooting. Do ya understand me?"
I nodded and knocked reluctantly on the door to my parents cabin. It was answered by my father, dressed in a pair of sleep pants and a t-shirt, who had been lying in bed reading a medical journal, which was still in his hand.
He stared wide-eyed at the fucker holding a gun to my temple and he gasped, all of the blood draining from his face.
"Wake up the little woman, Pops, and walk nice and slowly into the lounge or I'm gunna blow this dickhead's brains out," he threatened, nudging the gun at my temple. Blood was running down the side of my neck from the pistol whipping wound to the back of my head, and Dad took note of it.
"I'm okay," I whispered hoarsely, "Just do as he says, Dad."
"That's right, Dad, just do as I say and nobody gets hurt," said the pirate.
My Dad nodded and turned away slowly to wake Mom. She cried out when she saw me being held hostage by the pirate, but Dad shushed her and led her into the lounge. Thank God she was dressed in a pair of summer silk pajamas and wasn't naked. My Mom and Dad enjoyed a frequent and active sex life (I should be so fucking lucky!) and as much as their three adult sons didn't want to know about it, we unfortunately couldn't escape from it whenever we were at the family home or on the Victory together.
My parents weren't shy. Not at all.
"Oi! Larry, come 'ere and guard the prisoners in the lounge while Red and I wake up the rest of them," said the pirate holding me hostage.
I hadn't noticed the tall, tanned man with long brown dreadlocks standing at the top of the stairs. He came down with an automatic weapon clutched in his hands.
"Yeah, Jimmy. Which room's the lounge?" he asked with a thick Aussie accent.
"The one with the fucking prisoners in it!" he hissed at the hapless Larry. "Get on the door and shoot anybody who even looks at you wrong. We'll be along with the rest of the prisoners in a minute. Where's Vivi?"
"She's in the pilot house removing the electronics."
"Good. The sooner we're done here, the sooner we can be on our way and leave these Yanks to their cruise."
I breathed a sigh of relief that they didn't plan on killing us. I watched my dad comfort my weeping mom as they sat on one of the sofas in the lounge. She was pretty good in bad situations, but she couldn't cope when her family was threatened.
"Get going," ordered the pirate called Jimmy who had dirty blond hair tied back low on his head in a ponytail. "Wake the rest of them up like you did your parents and make sure they know that I will shoot and I don't much care who I hit," he sneered.
I systematically knocked on the next two doors, waking the occupants, and led my brothers, Emmett and Jasper and their wives, Rosalie and Alice back to the lounge. Emmett wanted to lunge at the pirate and he may have just been able to disable him because my brother was the size of a grizzly bear, but I shook my head at him and held my index finger to my lips, telling them all to remain silent.
"One more person to find, Red. Where are they?" said the pirate with an evil smirk.
"It's the last door on the right," I said.
It was Bella's cabin. I gulped silently and led the way down the passage to her door, knocking quietly. There was no response.
"Open it, Red."
I turned the door knob, but it was locked.
"It's locked," I said.
"Easily taken care of," he said with a smirk as he pointed the Glock at the door and fired. The door knob along with half of the door was blown away and I heard the women screaming hysterically from the lounge. My brothers and Dad were yelling my name frantically and hammering on the walls.
"I'm okay!" I yelled.
Jimmy yelled down the passageway, "You Yanks shut the fuck up in there or I'm gunna tell Larry to start shootin'!"
My family ceased their screaming, yelling and pounding and I wiped the sweat, born of fear and nerves from my brow in relief.
"Get in there and get the occupant. And no mucking around, do ya understand me?"
I pushed open the shattered door. Bella wasn't in the bed, but a lamp on the bedside table was lit so I knew she was probably awake when the prick fired at the door. I couldn't see any blood so I prayed she hadn't been hurt.
I heard a whimper.
"Bella, where are you?"
"I'm in here," she squeaked from the bathroom.
I walked through the open door and found Bella crouching in the tiny shower stall. She was shaking and tears were streaming down her face which was covered in some kind of dried, greenish colored mud. Her hair was secured under a towel, presumably to keep the mud from dirtying her hair. I'd never been so relieved that women sometimes picked the strangest times to perform beauty treatments because it meant she hadn't been in the line of fire. She was dressed in a pair of navy cotton sleep pants and a baggy gray t-shirt. She looked a bit like a tiny, dirty rag-a-muffin rather than the brunette, brown-eyed beauty that she was.
"Come out of there, Bella, we need to get you to the lounge."
"Uh, uh," she mumbled, shaking her head.
"What the fuck's taking so long, Red. Get out here, NOW!"
"Come on, Bella," I hissed at her.
She shook her head again. I swore under my breath and reached into the shower stall and picked her up, carrying her in my arms bridal style. She wasn't heavy by any means, but my head was thumping, so I staggered under her weight. I took a few moments to steady myself before I walked into the cabin bedroom.
"Well, hello there. Who's the sheila?" asked the pirate with a lascivious smirk.
Bella buried her face against my chest and I held her more tightly. I didn't say anything. The pirate reached out with his free hand and stroked his thick fingers down Bella's mud covered cheek which unfortunately did nothing to hide the high cheekbones and heart shaped jawline below.
"Don't be like that, Sweetheart. I'm just tryin' to be friendly," Jimmy cajoled.
Bella looked at him warily.
"What's your name?"
"B...Bella," she stuttered out in a whisper.
"Well, B...Bella, my name's Jimmy. How'd you like to come with me onto my boat and we can have a little fun?"
"Ahhhh," Bella squeaked out in fear as she shook her head, no.
"How old are you, Sweetheart?" asked the pirate as he gazed upon Bella with lust in his eyes.
"She's fourteen," I lied, hopping that the pirate was decent enough not to play around with minors.
I was right. The pirate scowled. I heaved a silent sigh of relief.
"Get her into the lounge with the others," sneered Jimmy.
I carried Bella into the lounge and put her on the sofa between my mother and Alice, squeezing her hand reassuringly as I stepped back.
"Alright. You Yanks stay here and keep quiet while we help ourselves to your belongings, and nobody gets hurt. Does anybody not understand?" asked Jimmy sarcastically.
"Good!" he said when he was met with silence.
"Lock the door Larry and guard it. If you hear any sound from within that might indicate these good people are trying to escape through a window or break down the door, then shoot."
"Sure, Jimmy," agreed Larry with an eager cackle.
The pirates (Jimmy and Vivi) ransacked the boat for nearly two hours, taking anything of value they could remove easily. We heard repeated gunshots at one point followed by a loud cracking sound and a small explosion, but I wasn't worried about fire when I heard the automatic fire extinguisher activate. A large motorboat sped away from the Victory at around 1 o'clock in the morning. We waited about an hour before we were sure we were alone, and then Emmett busted through the door with his massive body.
The pirates had taken all of the satellite equipment, including the dish. The CB radio as well as the GPS, radar and sonar equipment I had on board was also gone, along with all of the scuba gear and most of the spear fishing equipment and the rods.
I realized when I got up on deck that the loud crack we'd heard was the sound of the main mast breaking as they shot at it. It lay at a drunken, dangerous angle over the boat like a broken tree that had been hit by lightning. The boats motor was fried, riddled with bullet holes and steaming under it's thick blanket of fire retardant foam.
They'd ransacked our cabins and taken all of our money and all items of value such as jewelery, but thankfully the girls hadn't brought much with them on this cruise, and the pirates seem to have forgotten that Mom, Alice and Rosalie were wearing their engagement and wedding rings, which collectively were worth a small fortune.
The Victory was deaf and blind and virtually paralyzed in the middle of the largest ocean in the world with no way to move other than what the ocean currents and my maneuvering of the rudder would allow.
We were fortunate that the pirates hadn't taken our food or our water, and the desalinator and a generator were still safely tucked away in the mechanical room where I'd been working on them earlier that day. All of my tools were still there as well. I don't know why they missed searching that room, but I could only be grateful they'd left us with some way of surviving until we drifted near land or were found by a ship.
Three days later a fucking hurricane formed right over the top of us dumping thousands of gallons of rain and sea water over the Victory. The mast snapped completely in the howling winds smashing a jagged hole in the deck, which allowed the rain and sea water to pour into the accommodation area. When the battering waves dumped us onto a reef, the screeching, tearing sound of the hull ripping could be heard over the howling of the wind.
We began to take on sea water quickly. Emmett and I ran to get the bilge pump working – we'd hooked it up to the generator as soon as daylight came after we were pirated – and it hadn't been turned off since.
The only good thing to come out of hitting the reef was the certain knowledge that we were in shallower water, and shallower water in combination with a reef meant that we were close to land. We all kept a close watch for two days since the storm passed as I tried to steer the Victory in the direction I thought the land laid, but there was no sight of it yet. The girls were getting disheartened and the listing of the boat was making us all sea-sick.
We needed to find land soon or I was afraid we wouldn't survive.
Another night descended dashing any hope of being rescued for another day.
Fuck it all. Fuck!