"Yes." The captain's voice was gruff from the other side of the door. He was alone and when James came in he instructed to close the door. "James... James, James, James." he spoke deliberately slow. "Oh James... I went down this morning to see the treasure I got from the island and do you know what I found?" he paused, speaking of Serephina as if she were property. "I found a shirt, James. A shirt that I am certain belongs to you."
James tensed just a little. "I tossed a spare down there. A little mercy, knowing she'd never have given me any. I should no better than to even gaze upon the creature without your permission, captain." He kept his tone even, acting as if he had done nothing wrong, and as if he had all the respect for his captain, even though he didn't.
The captain was silent for a long moment as if he were debating on what to do about the situation. Finally he exhaled loudly. "You should have known better. This will be your only warning. I don't want you lurching around what's mine. Now leave." he said sternly, taking a long pull of the alc.hol he had on his desk.
James barely had enough courage for it, but he stood his ground. "With all due respect, captain, if she's not given enough, she could die. And then you would have nothing. The least you could do is take care of her yourself, or have someone else do it." He looked down. "I have no desire to take or use what is yours."
The captain's eyes narrowed at James when the realistic truth was brought to his attention. "Hmmm..." the captain didn't want to let any man around Serephina but since that's all there were and he most certainly didn't want to be going down to the cellar all the time just to take care of her he knew he'd need to choose someone. "I suppose you're right. I'll... give concent for you to take care of her. If someone else needs to be put on your duties then so be it but I want to keep her beautiful. She is my most prized possession." he said nothing about her health or well being. Just that he wanted her beautiful which just showed what kind of man he really was. "Now leave."
James nodded, relieved but not showing it. "Yes sir." He quickly went out and headed straight for the kitchen, getting food for Serephina. He was so glad he had permission to go see her, even if he had to follow certain expectations now. He went down into the cellar, cautious. "Hey...it's me..." He murmured.
The captain had his doubts about James but he was the one the captain could trust the most and had no choice but to put him in charge of the Siren.
When Serephina heard footsteps on the stairs she started to whimper in fear that it was the violent man who'd hurt her. She tried to hide her face that had a bruise on the cheek from "disobedience" as the captain had told her. She had bruises on her wrist and inner thighs as well, all of which she desperately tried to hide from James. "H-Hi..." she breathed out a little relieved when it wasn't the captain.
James sighed deeply, going to her and gently taking her hands in his. He checked her bruises and sighed again. "Please don't hide any of it. I know it's there." He mumbled. "I have permission to come down here now. But under certain conditions."
He grimaced. "I'll have to take care of these bruises..." He mumbled, more to himself. Then he asked her. "Are you hungry?"
Serephina tried not to seem so scared of James but she was. Even though he'd been nice to her she didn't know if he'd try to touch her in a way she didn't want. "You don't need to s-see them." she tried her best to seem strong and like she didn't need his help because she had never relied on anyone before. She'd never let anyone really help her or take care of her.
"A little bit yes." Serephina whispered in a shaky voice. She hated being treated this way and feeling like she had no control over her own life anymore. She tried to curl into herself with the shirt James had given her so he wouldn't see her swollen cheek and puffy eyes or any of the bruises anymore. Even though she looked like he.ll she was still so beautiful.
James felt just a hint of annoyance but kept his voice calm. "Listen, the captain is only going to like you if I keep you looking nice. And if you stop looking nice, he's going to kill you and maybe even me. Please Serephina, I'm trying to protect you in every way I can. I need you to let me help you."
"I don't want to look nice then!" Serephina suddenly snapped at James. More tears gathered in her already red and puffy eyes. "I would rather die then continued to be touched by that monster." she instantly wanted nothing to do with food or even James for that matter. "I don't want to eat anymore. Just leave me be." Serephina sniffled, the idea of becoming ugly and sick looking her best bet to get away from everything here. Though it was honestly impossible for the Siren to become ugly.
James winced. "Very well. I'll see to it he wants you dead. Even if that means my death as well." He mumbled, standing and starting to leave. He was dead serious, willing to give up his life for her freedom if she saw death as freedom.
Serephina couldn't think of James's life right then. She was more concerned about being a se.x slave which was more or less what she was now. When James turned away the Siren started to really sob. It was loud and full of despair but at the same time it sounded so beautiful. That was part of Serephina's nature; everything she did had a degree of beauty to it.
James sighed, stopped, and turned, facing her once more. "What do you want from me, Siren? I'm doing everything I can for you and yet you still weep and refuse to accept my help. What am I supposed to do?! This is all that is within my power!"
The female shook her head as she struggled to get a grip. The tears were still coming when she could finally talk but she wasn't shaking with the sobs anymore. "Your help implies that you'll keep me fed so that horrible man can continue to touch me." she hid her face and body from him in the darkness of the cellar corner and wept even more into the wall. "Just go away. You aren't helping me. You're helping him by keeping me prisoner."
James sighed, going back to her and sitting with his legs crossed a few feet away from her. "If you get uggly he'll likely beat you and torment you to your death. If you stay beautiful and healthy, he'll continue to use you until he loses interest, is killed, or is marrooned in mutiny."
Serephina scofted through her crying. "Did you not just hear that? Use me? USE." she whimpered, pushing herself further into the shadow of the corner. "I don't want to be healthy if it means that horrid man gets to use me." she was stubborn and sounded offended beneath all her sadness.
"Well I can't help it." James said softly. "Either way he's going to use you. Either way it'll be pain and misery. And either way, I'm likely a dead man." He shrugged. "Do what you want. Don't accept my help. You wanted me dead in the first place anyway."
"You are so uncaring!" Serephina shrieked. She started to become angry and her voice became cold with sadness and fury. "Just get out! Just leave me be!" she screamed. If she kept it up there would be people down to investigate what was happening. Serephina didn't care though. She thought that James may have cared for her but now he was just being just as bad as the horrid captain in her mind.
James moved swiftly and covered her mouth, silencing her. "Why would I be down here if I didn't care about you? I'm offering you the best I can. You're the one who refuses it. Nothing I offer you pleases you. That's not my fault. It's yours."