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Siren

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"Captain Norrington!"

He turned to find a young lady advancing upon him, holding out her hands, her eyes sparkling.

"Captain, you're just in time!" She tucked her arm in his, and stood on tiptoe to say in his ear, "You must save me, James. That young Mr. Churchill keeps trying to catch my eye, and I think he means to come and speak to me. He's so dreadfully dull, and he aspires to such wit. See, here he is--quickly, ask me to dance."

Faced with such a startling request, what could he do but comply? Norrington bowed over her small white glove, the polite gesture concealing a frantic search of his memory. "I don't believe I've had the pleasure of your acquaintance, Miss--"

Her lovely face fell somewhat as he led her to the floor. "Do you not remember me?"

"I'm truly sorry."

"It's Elizabeth," she said. "Elizabeth Swann. Now, say you have not forgotten me... James."

It was all he could do not to stop short, mid-turn, to stare at her. As it was, he stumbled slightly. She tilted her chestnut head as if assessing his reaction, proving herself a skillful partner by smoothly covering for his misstep.

Was this truly the Governor's daughter? The befreckled, cat-curious imp who’d made that long Atlantic crossing seem twice as long as it had any right to be, six years ago? This elegant, fine-featured, milky-skinned girl was surely no relation to the impudent monkey he had constantly found himself plucking out of the rigging and returning, against her shrill protests, to her hapless gentleman father.

Elizabeth Swann waltzed?

But those eyes, dancing with mischief... yes, those were the same. In the time he'd been at sea, guiding his Dauntless through her maiden tour, Miss Swann had grown up. And now, his hand at her slim waist and those enchanting eyes holding his, laughing at his consternation, he knew she had gotten the best of him once again, just as she used to do so easily as a little girl.

She had bewitched him, and he was well and truly lost.