Ch. 9

By the time Andrew had gotten back, Gina had made herself at home quite well. He could hear sounds from the grand piano his father had given his mother for this home and from the sounds of it; Gina was playing it rather beautifully. Who knew she could be so musically talented when it came to playing instruments? That's because you don't know her like you would, you ass, he thought.

Setting the assortment of fruits he had gathered on the wooden kitchen table and setting the fish he had caught by the side, he threw his fishing gear at the side and made his way to the music room.

The sounds of the piano were louder as he made it all the way down to the entrance of the room, yet he didn't enter. He stood there for a moment, her back turned to him as she continued to play. She couldn't see him, nor had she heard him coming. He made sure of that by taking soft steps.

Just as pleasantly as she played, she sweetly began humming to the notes that she played. What would she sound like if she sang? Oh, like an angel of course! he thought. He knew these thoughts he was having lately were disturbing him, sometimes interfering with how he'd normally run things, but when it came to the raven haired lady in front of him, he couldn't help it. It's as if she had captivated him for a moment there, putting him in a trance of some sort. Damn her for making him feel this way.

The playing on the piano halted abruptly as soon as she felt his presence. Jerking her head towards the entrance, sure enough the captain was standing there, leaning against the doorframe in a relaxed manner. How long has he been there? she thought.

"What do you think you're doing?" she asked with an authoritative voice. She had surprised herself a bit for her tone of asking, but she thought she had been alone all this time. It was not polite for a stranger to stare intently as she went about without notice. She soon felt uncomfortable under his gaze.

Andrew arched his eyebrows. "Demanding enough?" he said as he disregarded her words and made his way to sit down in one of the grand chairs near to where she was playing. Sitting too close near her was clearly bothering Gina. He could see it no matter how hard she tried to hide it. The faint blush that crept up to her face was soon gone. He scooted his chair closer, amused to see what she would do.

Gina, aware of what he had just done, was not going to let this man get away with making her feel insecure. He was a pirate for heaven's sake! "What do you want?" she asked him rather coldly.

She saw his lips spread. With an amused grin, he propped his chin with his hand and said, "You know, some ladies just act shy as a way to pull a man into conversation."

Who does he think he is? she angrily thought.

Gina scoffed. "What makes you think I wish to speak with you? I was doing just fine carrying on around here given my current situation, Blackheart."

Andrew's hand withdrew from his chin and set it on one of the chair's arms. "Well, given the limited company you have, you still wouldn't talk to me?" he asked her, curious to hear her response. "Even if I am the only other person on this island with you?"

Gina set her hands on her lap and rose from her seat. "Blackheart, you are the one that has put me in this position where I have no one to talk to. Even if you are the only other person on this island, why would you think I would talk to you?" she barked at him.

He understood her anger and frustration that she lashed out through her words about what was being done to her, but her temper was fuming dangerously, that much he knew.

He couldn't help but feel tempted to push her buttons further. "Well, Miss Castle," he began, teasing her a little. "You forget I have no one else to talk to as well." Is there a point to this? Gina asked herself. "So, seeing as to how I'm the only one that has assumed the task of fetching water and food for both of us, I think I deserve respect and gratefulness for my part in all of this."

Gina's eyes widened. "Are you kidding me?" He remained silent, a smile playing at his lips. Ugh! She just wanted to slap that sly smile off of his face! "Why should I give respect to you of all people? You kidnapped me!" she cried out.

His hand had resumed to prop his chin. "With good reason," he answered right after. "I cannot reveal those reasons why, but I can assure you, you will be safe under my care."

Now she was puzzled. "What do you mean, 'with good reason?''" she asked. She had dared take two steps towards him before with the fit she was about to have, her anger getting the best of her, but now she backed away again.

"Aw, come on now, Miss Castle!" Andrew's voice rang out cheerily as he rose from his seat at last, disregarding her fuming temper. "Let me worry about such affairs and you can resume playing the piano once again. You play very lovely!" he complimented her.

He did say something nice to her which did make Gina want to smile, but not enough willpower from her fury. She knew she should have been born a redhead given her temper, but she couldn't help it. Inheriting the temper, at least she controlled it better than her own mother.

As he began to retreat to the kitchen, Gina was still standing there in her exact spot until he was completely out of sight.

Once he was, she immediately shut the doors behind her, relieved to have some comfort in knowing that at least the doors separated him from her as she resumed playing the piano again.

Though he had remained in the kitchen to give her some personal space, Andrew listened at every moment for the soothing notes that she continued to play.

She must know them from memory, he thought. There was no sheet music laid out in front of her the last time he observed. She really is musically talented!

Taking a bite from his apple, Andrew pondered on his thoughts about various matters. The ongoing situation with Gina being kept here occupied most of his thoughts as he wondered what his next step should be.

Extremely clever in all of his decisions as the infamous Captain Blackheart, Andrew knew that the very next step in the process had to be a careful one. If he made a careless decision, it could end up costing him her life and he clearly didn't want that to happen. She's tolerable enough, that much I give her, he thought.

He had to admit, there was more than one reason he had abducted the raven haired Miss Gina Castle. Other than for her safety, he could not help but remember about the bet that he and John had agreed to. In three months' time… only a month had passed since the party John threw in which the bet had begun and Andrew had not done much since.

How was he supposed to woo her as Andrew Black when at the moment he was Captain Blackheart? The mask he wore played a huge factor in all of this and he couldn't have her discovering who he was if he was mere moments from winning the bet… It was all too frustrating.

"This is quite the mess I've gotten myself in," he mumbled, his eyes staring nowhere.

"You are right about that," Gina retorted from the entrance of the kitchen.

Where did she come from all of a sudden?
he thought. She was just playing some seconds ago!

"Save your breath," she warned him, his mouth getting ready to speak. "You looked so lost within your thoughts that you probably wouldn't have heard me stop playing."

Andrew sighed. "You are right about that," he admitted. "Why did you stop?" he asked, trying to make conversation as she took a seat across from him.

"I realized that I am starving." she simply answered. She was eyeing the fruits in the old wicker basket I had put them in.

He followed her gaze, but said nothing.

Gina arched her eyebrows. "Is that all you managed to get?" she asked.

Andrew chuckled at this. "Clearly being spoiled is one of the talents you excel in, is it?" he suggested.

He knew the moment the words left his lips that he was in for another argument with Gina.

"Spoiled?!" she cried out, rising from her seat and looked down at him as he remained seated. He has some nerve, she thought. "You have no right to judge me!"

Andrew was amused. It fascinated him how quick her temper came and went which was something he wanted to learn more about.

"Like you have never judged me?" he shot back at her.

Hoping to leave her stumped, it only made her answer quicker. "How can I? Your reputation precedes you!"

Andrew nodded absent-minded at this. She was witty when it came to arguments… she knew how to answer back.

"So I assume you agree with me on the matter?" she asked, mistaking my nodding for actual agreement.

This snapped Andrew back to reality. "Come, now… why argue constantly? We would both benefit far better if we minimize this constant bickering we seem to engage ourselves in every five minutes," Andrew said as he propped his chin with his hand.

Gina raised a quizzical eyebrow. "This is surprising," she admitted. What is he up now? she thought.

Andrew shrugged his shoulders, never taking his eyes off Gina. At this, Gina involuntarily sighed.

A smile then formed upon Andrew's lips. "Miss Castle!" he said playfully. He couldn't resist at taking another chance to joke around with her. Despite the fact that she would get mad at this, he still wanted to continue. "I had no idea of your desire for me!"

Gina frowned as she felt her heart leap for a second there. Why is he constantly playing games such as these? she asked herself.

Andrew took her silence to continue on joking, as if it was a confirmation that there could be truth to his statement. "Oh, Miss Castle! This is quite a shock, I must admit!"

Her temper was now fuming as a red flush settled on her cheeks as she abruptly rose from the table and attempted to storm out. Quickening her pace as fast as she could, Andrew's figure before her stopped her from going further.

Breathing hard, she was in no mood to continue playing any sorts of games or even having conversations with such a man! Whether he was Captain Blackheart or not, he seemed to get through her layers! One moment she could forget what angered her about him, a second later she would be mad at him all over again! He was impossible!

"Look at me." he told her, his voice now serious. There was no hint of playfulness anymore.

"And if I don't?" she hoarsely said, concentrating her gaze on different parts of the kitchen.

He ignored what she had said and cupped her chin, forcing her to meet his eyes. His stare pinned her on the spot right there, her mind screaming to keep walking, but yet she couldn't.

"Let me pass," she said in a soft voice. She kept gazing into his eyes until he suddenly made a swift movement to where he wasn't blocking her exit.

Though the path was now clear, she still had not taken a step forward, her eyes still in lock with his.

It was then when he withdrew his eyes first and extended his right hand out, revealing an apple that he was offering.

"Take it." he said.

Hesitating on whether to or not, in the end she did anyways and finally forced herself to walk away and head back into the music room and resume playing the piano to distract herself from the events that occurred in the kitchen.

What truly bothered Gina was the undeniable fact that throughout the entire time she had locked eyes with his, her heart fluttered like never before. That thought alone bothered her for a good hour or so as she kept playing on the grand piano.

Author's Note: Thanks for being patient! The next chapter should heat up a bit more! wink