For Her Price Is Far Above Rubies
Title is a quote from the bible and also from a Philip Larkin poem I studied as part of my English lit class.
The sun was setting. Of all the places Killian Jones had visited, this must have been the dullest. The docks held a staggering total of three boats. Not ships. Boats. Tiny little things with the sole purpose of fishing, tied up with frail rope that looked like it could snap at any given moment.As his vessel – the glorious Jolly Roger, a full blown ship – made port, he smirked at the shadow it cast over its disappointing neighbours. The boats bobbed a little on the gentle wave that the Roger brought with it, and then stopped. The sails were brought down, loose ropes tied up and the ramp lowered, touching the worn wooden surface of the pier with a soft thud. The crew hurried to land – it had been a little over six months since the Captain had last made port and as the rum supply began to dwindle, it was handed out like rations; one drink per day, per sailor. With the prospect of endless ale, beer - and of course rum – in their minds, the crew were hurrying towards the nearest tavern before the Captain had chance to follow.He removed a small pouch from a drawer in his cabin, full of gold coins, and pocketed it. It wouldn't hurt to be an honest man for just one night, would it?He took a sweeping glance around his ship, double checking everything was in order. He couldn't leave her in a less than spotless state. His first mate, Toby, was still on deck – sweeping away the footprints of the crew that had left almost the second the ship touched land."Captain, the 'prints are almost gone. Then we'll be off away to the tavern!" Toby was a short fellow, with dark hair and piercing eyes. Always looking for the captain's approval."Ah never mind that. I just want a good drink. The lack of rum on this ship for the past few weeks has made life little more than dire suffering." Killian said, stepping lightly down the ramp until his feet touched ground.It was a strange feeling for a pirate, the ground beneath one's feet. It was steady and hard and entirely different from the soft swaying of the deck atop the waves. Killian mumbled something about landlubbers and how they stand it, and followed the sound of his crew's cheers to the nearest tavern.It appeared to be as dull as the town it was set in. The windows were grubby and none of the candle stubs lighting the place were any higher than three centimeters tall. In any case, as Toby found the crew sat at the back of the bar, Killian tossed six gold coins to the barmaid."I hope that covers what myself and my crew will be drinking tonight, m'lady." He said, winking at the young maid and finding a seat at the head of the table his crew had overtaken.Killian noticed, as he sat, a woman in the corner of the room. She was watching him with bright eyes but averted them once she saw he had caught her staring."Cap'n? Did you hear what the lads just said?" Toby said, wiping tears of laughter from his face. Killian assumed that whatever was uttered was so hilarious, that the Captain's lack of laughter told them something was wrong.Pulled back into his reality, Killian smirked. "Yes I did. Very funny boys, I was simply so bemused by the joke that I forgot to laugh."Not surprisingly, the crew bought it. See, they weren't the smartest of sorts, being pirates and all. And so Killian got away with it and none of them noticed the woman in the corner.Eventually the woman got up to leave. Killian rose and followed her to the door."And you plan on leaving without even telling me your name?""Yes I do Captain. I don't associate with pirates." She said the word with such venom that it cut beneath Killian's tough exterior and even stung a little."We're not as bad as you might think. Let me buy you a drink and I can prove it to you."She was surprised by the offer and the captain fully expected her to reject it. But then she lowered her shawl from her shoulders and moved away from the door.All she said was a simple yes, but it was enough. Killian was not the romantic type – quite the opposite. He was a pirate and couldn't offer her the treasures of the world. Well, he could. But they would definitely be stolen.She deserved treasures and love and everything she ever wanted. She deserved much more than he could ever give her. Yet he was infatuated by her - she was the most perfect thing he had ever seen. More beautiful than a diamond and priced far above rubies.After a few more hours, he found she was strong and confident – and got on well with his crew. She was perfect.When the time came for her to leave, he walked her to the door, catching her wrist in his hand as she tried to leave."You never told me your name." He stated and she smiled – a smirk not so much different than his own."Milah. My name is Milah."And then she was gone, into the night and back home to the husband that she was so ashamed of that she accepted company from a band of pirates.
No, Killian Jones thought as he watched her go, this town certainly wasn't the dullest he'd ever visited.