Of all the ways for a woman to go, a tightly laced corset has got to be the most stupid.
I mean, honestly.
I'm sure the lovely Miss Swann would agree.
Oh, you don't think she would?
She did tell you about the time when I had to save her from drowning, didn't she? Well if you recall, it wasn't exactly the usual sort of drowning. It wasn't like she'd stranded herself in a sinking ship. She toppled off a ledge and into the sea because she fainted.
It's a funny story, really.
Well, maybe not to you.
As I was saying -- she fainted. Because of her damned corset. It's the most ridiculous invention known to man, if you ask me.
So I jumped in after her and helped pull her out. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Only thing was, she still couldn't breathe after her face was out of the water. There were ten or so men standing about her at the time, and not one of them could figure out was wrong. It was sad, really. Of course, I figured it out right away. I knew about these things.
I wasn't surprised that they didn't, though. Not really. It was obvious none of them had ever been to Tortuga.
What's that got to do with anything, you ask?
Well, I used to work in Tortuga. And by that I mean I used to *work* in Tortuga, savvy? I was seventeen at the time, and a bit small for my age. I was a skinny little thing, but pretty.
No, I'm not lying! Are you trying to imply that I'm not pretty?
Damn right, you're sorry.
Anyway, as I was saying, I used to work in Tortuga. Now there's a saying they had on the street where I did business. They'd tell it to anyone who went out walking after midnight. How did it go again? Oh yes -- "Run into a woman, and she's probably a whore. But run into a whore...
...and she's probably not a woman."
Yes, this story has a point. I swear. Hold onto your britches.
So one night I found myself a bloke by the name of Barbossa.
Yes, that Barbossa. I suppose you thought I didn't meet him until after I became a pirate. Learn something new every day, aye? Stop interrupting.
Back then he was a likely fellow, much less of a hat loving arse than he was when he died. He thought himself lucky to have found a dark-eyed gypsy such as myself. Oh, but I was done up good that night. My hair was longer then, bleached and dyed and curled into red ringlets. It was easy to find customers in those days -- I'd put a bit of kohl about my eyes and a bit of rouge about my lips and a maid's kerchief about my head the strapping young boys would fall all over themselves for me. I hadn't much in the way of a bosom -- for obvious reasons -- but I had a pair of legs on me that had the blokes dying to slip their hands up my skirts and around my thighs and...
Well, that was about as far as I ever let them get. Wouldn't want them to discover any surprises under there, now would I.
But I digress.
Now Barbossa was a bit drunk that night. And by a bit drunk I mean it was a wonder he was still standing. He walked up to me and grinned his most charming grin and said "Hullo lovey. Give us a blow, would you?"
I took him to a room in the back of a nearby bar. I then went on to give him exactly what he wanted and then some. He was quite enthusiastic -- especially when one considered he was nearly incapacitated with drink. I suppose I was a bit eager as well, but then, he begged so very nicely. And oh my, was he a pretty piece of flesh...
Afterwards he offered to reciprocate.
Now this was unexpected. In fact, it was quite possibly the first offer of it's kind I'd ever received. My customers were usually far less, shall we say, obliging. I certainly wasn't about to tell him no, the surprises under my skirts be damned. I could only hope he really was as drunk as he looked. I didnít bother to say anything to him. I just grabbed his hands and --
Ooooh, Christ, he had nice hands.
-- and wrapped them around my calves and let them creep their way up beneath the hem of my skirts. I slid my arms about his neck and pulled him close, lifted my lips to his ear and said, "Just promise me you're not going to remember any of this in the morning."
That bastard didn't promise a thing. He only slid those hands of his up and up and -- Lord bless him -- wrapped his fingers around my bits without so much as a blink and I...and I...
...I started to hyperventilate.
I bleeding *hate* corsets.
Stop laughing Will.
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