Chapter 10-Her Hero
Chapter 10: Her Hero
“Erik, that was very brave of you,” Beatrice smiled as they changed from their wet clothes in their room. They stood on either side of the room, their backs facing each other.
“I only did what anyone would do,” Erik said taking his shirt off and throwing it to the floor. “I am no hero.”
“You saved her life, did you not?” Beatrice argued, slipping her nightgown off. “Saving a life would make you a hero.”
“Heroes have no flaws,” Erik replied, rummaging through his suitcase. Beatrice glanced behind her as he stood and she caught a glimpse of his well sculpted back. She blushed and turned back to what she was doing.
“What flaws could you possibly have?” she mumbled beneath her breath so that he wouldn’t hear.
“Did you say something?” he asked.
“No,” she lied. She slipped the top of her gown to her waist then picked up a towel to dry off the water on her skin. Erik turned slightly and caught sight of her bare back as she pulled her hair over her shoulder to dry it. His eyes lingered a bit before he turned around again, realizing that he shouldn’t do that.
“That is the last time I do that,” he thought.
“What made you say that our last name was LaRouche?”
“Is that not your last name?”
Beatrice glanced back for a second, but then looked toward her wall in disbelief.
“You remembered my last name?!”
“Of course,” Erik chuckled at her tone of shock. “You did not think I would forget that so easily, did you?”
“You did forget who I was,” she reminded.
“Yes,” he groaned in irritation. “But it is all coming back to me now.”
Beatrice giggled slightly.
“It is just very ironic,” she replied, pulling on another nightgown.
“Do you remember when we promised that we would marry when we were older?”
Erik frowned in confusion at his wall in front of him. Of all the memories he had, one would think that that memory would echo in his mind more than once. Then again, one would also think that meeting Beatrice would stick with him longer than a simple day. It suddenly hit him. They had pledged to marry when they grew up! And he had been the one to ask her! How could he forget that?!
“I remember,” he murmured. Beatrice frowned at his back for a moment at his tone. It was meant to be a happy memory. Why then did he sound so sad? She walked around the bed toward him and placed her hand gently on his shoulder. She felt him stiffen beneath her touch.
“I thought it ironic,” she whispered with a smile. He looked at her over his shoulder and smiled back. He suddenly scooped her into his arms and hugged her close making her stiffen and blush in surprise.
“It is,” he whispered against her ear. She shivered and brought her hands up to his arms. She jumped slightly when she felt how muscular he was and wondered how someone like him would be rejected by the world.
“Erik---” She was interrupted when she felt something lightly running down her neck.
His lips?! Why was he doing this?! Didn’t she tell him not do this?! No! The rules no longer applied! She realized then that disabling the rules she had laid down was a mistake with this man. But she wasn’t stopping him. In fact, she let her head lull a bit to the side so he had more access to her neck as she closed her eyes. She felt like she could do nothing to stop him or herself from letting him do this.
“Erik…” she breathed and he suddenly froze. Her eyes opened and she looked at him in wonder. “Erik?”
“I am sorry,” he said, letting her go. “I should not have done that.”
Beatrice stared in disbelief as he sat on the bed and held his head in his hands and she sighed. She sat next to him but he didn’t move. She raised her hand and tugged at his chin to look at her. She noticed his eyes were watering and immediately felt herself start to well up. She fought back her tears and leaned into him. He didn’t move, not knowing what she was doing. Her arms slid around his neck and her eyes closed as she drew closer. Erik suddenly realized what she was going to do and couldn’t help his arms from wrapping around her. He sucked in a breath when her lips brushed against his and she smiled a bit.
“Why?” he breathed.
“Because I wish to kiss you,” Beatrice whispered back then smirked, “I will not take no for an answer.”
She pressed her lips lightly onto his and he pulled back a bit but she wouldn’t have it. She pulled him by the neck toward her again and their lips met fully and Erik immediately melted into the kiss. He pulled her closer to deepen the kiss and she groaned in approval.
His tongue plunged into her mouth and explored it eagerly. He couldn’t believe he was doing this, but it felt so right. Holding her mouth with his made him feel like he was in heaven. He had to admit that the kiss Christine had given him could not compare with this one. She had kissed him out of pity and in a plea to let her lover go. But Beatrice was kissing him because she wanted to, she had said it, and he had no reason to doubt her.
She ran her fingers through his hair and stroked her tongue against his in an attempt to make him groan as she had. He did and she felt herself being pushed back and let her body fall back onto the bed. He still kissed her as they now lay on the bed and his hands ran down the sides of her body to her hips.
His eyes suddenly shot open and he broke the kiss as he scrambled off the bed. Beatrice sat up with a frown of confusion on her face and Erik lost his balance and fell off the edge of the bed. He landed on the floor with a thud and a grunt and Beatrice gasped and crawled to the edge of the bed.
“Erik?!” she cried, hoping he was alright. He shot to his feet and she made out a slight tinge of red staining his visible cheek.
“Excuse me,” he nodded and hurriedly walked toward the door.
He ignored her as she scrambled off the bed. She couldn’t help but laugh at what had just happened.
“Erik!” she laughed. “Stop!”
He stopped when she laughed harder and turned to her as he stood in front of the door. She was doubled over in laughter and he couldn’t understand why. He cocked an eyebrow at her in irritation.
“What, pray tell, is so funny, Beatrice?” he wondered with an irritated tone.
“You fell!” she gasped, still laughing. “You were so afraid of what you were doing that you fell!”
She had to sit on the floor as she laughed. She could hardly breath, she was laughing so hard. Erik simply stared at her as her face turned red from her laughing.
“I know I fell,” Erik replied, trying not to get too angry. “I fail to see the humor in that.”
“You need to lighten up, then!”
She continued laughing, but she stood and walked toward him. She threw herself against his chest and laughed.
“Erik, you have to admit, it was rather funny.”
“You would not be laughing if you had fallen,” Erik pointed out.
“You would,” Beatrice retorted. “And do not say you would not, because you would. You would be laughing if I had fallen and was pouting like a child.”
“I would not be laughing because you fell, then,” Erik smirked. “I would be laughing because you were acting like a child.”
Beatrice gave an open mouthed gasp and hit him in the arm.
“Erik LaRouche!” she scolded. “How dare you even think of laughing at me?!”
“I cannot help it,” he smirked and pulled her into his arms. “You can be adorable when you are throwing a tantrum.”
“Erik,” she said seriously, and placed her hands on his chest, pushing away slightly. “No more games. It is obvious we cannot handle them so well.”
Erik looked at her in surprise as she walked away and sat on the bed. This girl’s moods changed at the drop of a hat. First she was playing, and then she was serious. It was enough to drive him insane if she kept it up. He didn’t know what to do with her!
“Alright,” he nodded, that being all he could really do. “I am going up on deck for a while.”
“Be careful,” she said and he nodded.
“Lock this door and do not open it for anyone but Matthew, Capitaine Robyn or myself.”
Beatrice frowned in total confusion at him.
“I do not trust these men. Any one of them might take advantage of the fact that I am on deck and you are down here now that they have seen us.”
Beatrice smirked at his protective nature with her, and nodded.
“I will not open it for anyone, then,” she agreed and he closed the door as he walked out.
“Daniel, go put this in front of the guest cabin, eh?” Matthew requested, handing the tray to the older man.
“Sure thing, Matthew,” Daniel replied and walked down the hall to do what he was told. Daniel was a handsome man: Tall with chocolate brown hair that fell a bit close to jaw length and sea-green eyes like Erik’s with a bit of beard on his jaw.
He turned down a hall and noticed the new male passenger walking down the hall as well and watched as he went above deck. He said nothing about bringing food to him and the woman he was with; he had something else planned. He grinned evilly and hurried down the hall to the guest room.
When he had seen that red-haired woman, and the way her dress clung to her figure, it had driven him wild. He hadn’t had affection for near of a year now, and he was desperate for some relief.
He stopped at the guest room door and knocked a bit too impatiently.
“Breakfast!” he called into the door, and heard some shuffling around and the locks unlock on the door before it opened. He felt himself react to the woman that stood framed in the doorway wearing a different gown, but still making his head spin.
“Oh, my goodness!” she breathed and gently placed a hand to her mouth. “I thought you were Matthew. He informed me that he was going to be bringing our meals to us.”
“Matthew’s a bit busy,” Daniel replied, and let himself into the room and set the tray on the table by the door.
“Well, thank you for bringing our breakfast for us, but I’ll have to ask you to leave now.”
Daniel turned to the door as if he was going to leave, but instead closed and locked the door. Beatrice felt her heart race with fear as he turned around with a look she recognized too well on his face.
“What’s the hurry?” he smirked making Beatrice swallow.
“M-My husband may be back any moment,” she stuttered, backing toward the window seat as he closed in on her. “He will be jealous if he found another man with me. He will be so angry there is no telling what he would do.”
“Well,” Daniel grinned in amusement at her fear. “We had better make this quick then, eh?”
He charged at her with arms wide opened and she ducked to the floor then crawled between his legs. She scrambled to her feet and toward the door, but he was too quick and wrapped his arms around her from behind, one hand on her mouth and the other wrestling with her arms to capture them in his hand and keep her still.
Beatrice thrashed her head around until she felt one of his fingers slip into her mouth and she bit hard onto it. He shouted in pain and spun her around but did not let her go. Her mouth being free, she took this opportunity to cry out, but he smothered her again. She shoved him away with as much force as she could muster and when he let her go she slammed into the door.
“Erik!” she screamed without hesitation and Daniel grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her roughly toward him, planting his hand once again to her mouth. She had screamed loud enough, all she had to do now was fight until Erik came and rescued her. Daniel pulled her close to his body and she could feel the purpose of this attack on her leg, making her fight even harder.
“Not again!” she thought. “Please, God! Not again!”
Daniel threw her onto the bed and gripped her wrists in one hand while he tore at his clothing and hers with the other. To keep her quiet he planted his lips harshly onto hers and she fought not to hurl in his mouth, but thought again that maybe that would get him off of her. She did not fight the churning of her stomach when his tongue attacked hers. He smelt of rum and raw eggs and she prayed that Erik hurry to save her.
She kicked her feet and thrashed her head, tears welling in her eyes, but he would not budge. He had hiked her skirts with his free hand up to her waist and she formed a quick plan. She brought one leg beneath him and jammed it hard into his groin, making him groan loudly and his grip loosened a bit on her. She went to shove him off, but he managed to fight through the pain he was experiencing and forcefully started kissing her neck. She cried out again, but his free hand covered her mouth. He brought his lips to her ear and she whimpered as he nibbled at her lobe.
“I’m going to enjoy this,” he growled and she screamed into his hand in a vain attempt to cry for help one last time. She was suddenly startled by a slam and growl of anger and Daniel was pulled off of her and thrown to the floor. In his shock he had let go of her and she stayed put on the bed as she saw Erik looming over Daniel with more anger than she had seen from him.
“Get up and die like a man!” Erik growled, and when Daniel did not get up fast enough he pulled him up by the collar and shoved him against the wall, choking the man with his fists on his throat.
“Erik!” Beatrice cried, sitting up, not wanting him to do something he would regret.
“It’s alright, Mrs. LaRouche,” Krystal said calmly as she strode into the room with Matthew behind her and walked toward the two men as Daniel choked for breath.
“You have been a thorn in my side for too long, Daniel,” Krystal growled at Daniel as he started to turn blue. “This is the last time you interfere with my business.”
“Let me throw him overboard, Capitaine,” Erik growled never taking his angry stare from Daniel and Beatrice stared at Krystal in disbelief when she smirked at him.
“No,” Krystal sighed, thoughtfully. “I have a better plan for this one.”
She turned to Matthew and beckoned him to come closer. He did as he was told, and Krystal spoke so low, Beatrice almost didn’t hear her…almost.
“Prepare for a keel-haul, Mr. Warren,” Krystal murmured low. Matthew’s face went pale, but he managed to nod and walk back out the door. Krystal turned back to Erik and tapped him on the shoulder. “Let him go now.”
Erik hesitated before dropping the man to the floor like a rock and staring him down as he coughed for breath.
“Erik…” Beatrice breathed, and this seemed to snap him from his angry trance. Erik whirled around with wide eyes that met Beatrice’s gaze of complete shock. Without a second thought he ran toward her place on the bed and wrapped his arms around her, snuggling his face into her hair.
“Are you alright?” he whispered hopefully as Beatrice wrapped her arms around him.
“Yes,” was all she could whisper back and he sighed in relief. Beatrice saw Krystal drag Daniel out by the collar and shut the door behind her.
“I heard you scream and I came as quickly as I could,” Erik explained. “I am so sorry.”
“Why are you apologizing?” Beatrice wondered.
“I should not have left you alone.”
“But I opened the door for him. I thought it was Matthew---”
“That does not change the fact that I was not here to protect you.”
“Shhh, Beatrice. Just let me hold you.”
This took her by surprise, but what could she do? She had nearly been raped, and he wanted to hold her. What was wrong with that? Absolutely nothing! But what was wrong with her that she would rather talk than be comforted? She couldn’t even enjoy the fact that she was being held gently when just a moment ago she had been attacked.
“He wishes to hold you, enjoy it for goodness sake!” she thought. She snuggled into his shoulder and he held her even closer. He pulled his hands up to the sides of her face and began kissing her…everywhere but her mouth.
“Erik!” she laughed and he looked at her with wide eyes filled with worry.
“Why are you doing this?” she smiled so as not to worry him.
“I am merely glad that you are alright and not hurt,” Erik replied, still holding her head. “Is this not what husbands do?”
“I am sure they do,” Beatrice giggled again. “I was just surprised.”
“Shall I ask for permission before I do that again?” Beatrice giggled again at Erik’s odd question and nodded. “Very well. Beatrice? May I kiss you all over your face because I am very glad that you are not hurt?”
“Yes, Erik. You may,” Beatrice giggled, and he began kissing her face again. She smiled and closed her eyes, taking in the feeling of his lips on her face. She followed the feeling as his lips kissed her eyelids gently, then each cheek, then her chin, then suddenly the side of her neck and just beneath her ear. She moaned in approval as his arms held her close.
“You are strange, Beatrice,” she thought to herself. “You fight for your life to get one man off of you, but this man you let kiss you everywhere! Why?!”
She thought a while longer as Erik’s mouth now had a mind of its own and began trailing slightly down her shoulder, and smiled when the thought came to her.
“Because Erik is different.”
She wrapped her arms around Erik’s neck and pulled his lips to hers. She kissed him with as much passion as she could muster and he did the same, unconsciously. Erik broke the kiss without opening his eyes and began kissing her neck again.
“Erik…” she breathed with a smile.
“Christine…” he breathed back, and her trance was broken. Beatrice froze and gently pushed him away from her, making him frown as they gazed at each other. “Is something wrong?”
“You called me Christine,” Beatrice replied, feeling herself choke up, but not allowing herself to succumb to her emotions.
“No,” Erik frowned deeper. “I called you by your name.”
“I know what I heard, Erik,” Beatrice replied in an irritated tone, pushing away from him fully and standing on the other side of the bed. “You called me Christine.”
She faced away from him, wrapping her arms around herself as she stared out the window.
“Beatrice,” Erik tried, but she ran toward the door. He stopped her by gripping her arm and she shook her head violently.
“You have pretended to care for me this whole time!” she cried, still struggling to get away. “For a moment I thought you truly did care for me that way! Now I see that you just want me for a substitute for Christine!”
“You do not know what I want!” Erik growled getting angry that she wasn’t cooperating.
“I see it in your eyes!” Beatrice cried back, not letting him frighten her.
“Then look, Beatrice!” he snarled and yanked her hard toward him making her slam into his chest as he wrapped his arms around her. “Look!”
Beatrice met his angry gaze as they both breathed heavily from their struggle. What was it about this man that had her craving his presence? She couldn’t pinpoint it, and she wasn’t sure she cared whether or not she could. She stared into his eyes and saw that behind his anger he was desperate. Desperate for an understanding friend, which she had been up until now.
Her lower lip began to quiver uncontrollably as her guilt flooded her emotions and she let out little sobs that she tried to hold back. Erik’s face immediately went from anger to shock at her sudden change. Their gazes had not wavered from the others and she was jerking almost painfully at her sobs, but she managed to keep her eyes fixed on Erik’s.
“Erik…” she sobbed. “I am s-so s-sorry!” She threw her arms around his chest and he held her again as she sobbed. “I know you are trying to forget Christine and I am not being a good friend! Please, forgive me!”
“I could never be that upset with you that I would not forgive you, mon ami,” Erik whispered, holding her closer and stroking her hair. “You do not even have to ask for forgiveness from me.”
“I do!” Beatrice sobbed. “You have been such a good friend to me and then I---”
“Beatrice,” Erik interrupted gently. “Stop. I am not upset any longer. You are going to make yourself sick if you keep sobbing this way.”
“Erik…” she tried but found her body becoming very heavy but her head felt light. Erik gathered her up in his arms and carried her to the bed as she fell limp. She fainted?! Why had she done that? She had not been sobbing that hard.
“It’s been a long night,” Erik told himself as he laid Beatrice in the bed and pulled the covers over her then stood tall to look at her and sighed.
“You are so beautiful, Beatrice,” he whispered. “I wish I could watch you forever, mon cheri. But I have to keep you safe from anyone else who decides to hurt you.”
He walked to the door and sat in front of it, leaning his head back to sleep.
“You will not be hurt again,” he thought. “I will make sure of that.”