@EWillsea Let me post this one as well! Credit for this story goes to her! This story is in the guys' point of view.
For The Love of The Ship I didn't hear much as I sensed her presence on the Main Deck of the Four Moons. I was tying down one of the many ratlines that had sprung free in this monsoon. As I was fumbling with the knot I turned my head in her direction. Our eyes locked instantly. You didn't wake me up! Her eyes seemed to scream. She was right. I didn't wake her. As my first mate I should have but I didn't for reasons I didn't want to dwell on and think about. My glare responded back with: Evella, get below deck. Now. It wasn't that I necessarily cared for her safety, I just didn't want her getting in my way. She is a girl, small and wiry. While she has great strength, she is not as strong as the rest of us, and this storm could easily blow her out into the sea as if she was a cotton sheet. Squaring her shoulders, she turned, and using the rail as a guide she made her way up to the helm, quickly telling Johnson, the helmsman, off to help with the lines that still flew madly in the air. The second he released the wheel the ship plunged sharply to her larboard side. Everyone near the rails gripped tightly or risked sliding into the maddening sea. Without wasting another minute Evella lunged to the wheel and held it tightly in place righting the boat to a more natural and commandable position. With the deck now straight, I was able to continue my work by focusing on the knot before me. I ran about helping everyone around me, the weight of my coat getting heavier with the continual pounding of the rain. Lightning flashed and thunder struck off in the distance echoing over the waves shaking the boat all the way to the topsail. I was about to climb the ratlines to help tie down other lines when a scream pierced the air over the raging storm. Spinning on my heels I saw Evella pinned to the wheel with a thick rope wrapped around her body twisting around her right ankle anchoring her in place. My face blanched. All warmth drained from my body. So much for this coat. How could I have forgotten? Not her, the rope-obviously. I'm concerned about the rope flinging one of my men into the sea. Because I don't care about her. Running across the rain slicked decks I leapt up the steps to the forecastle right on the heels of Johnson. As quickly as we could we removed the rope from around her small frame. I passed it off to Johnson commanding him to go tie it down. Once Johnson was out of the way, I focused my attention on Evella. She still hugged the wheel knowing if she were to lean back, she'd fall, and the ship would throw us all into the sea. Moving myself behind her, I placed my hands over hers adding my strength to the little she had left. Bracing her feet against the base of the helm she pushed back into me, focusing all of her energy on keeping the helm straight and in place. The rain came down in torrents, and her strength was waning fast. I bent my towering form over her small body trying to distribute as much warmth to her as I could. If only she had a coat like mine. But not because I care about her safety, but because I like my ship, and I would like to keep it off of the bottom of the ocean. We stayed in this position for a while, my head falling next to hers. Then it started to hail. She tensed up, clenching her jaw. I was running through a million ways I could help her, but I couldn't think of anything. Then a scream escaped through between her clenched teeth. My conscience: Of course she would scream you idiot! It's hailing and she doesn't have a coat like yours! Without a second thought, I let go of her hands backing up a step. She flung her body to the wheel, throwing her back muscles into the job of keeping it straight. I swept my jacket off of me, and wrapped it around her shoulders, and quickly got back into my former position of wrapping myself around her, adding my strength to hers. But not because I love her. She relaxed slightly as she pressed back into me once again. Soon, she was hardly contributing anything to keeping the helm straight. My jaw was clenched tight, all of my muscles were burning from the exertion. I was in complete control. If I let go the crew would die. She would die. The ship wouldn't stand a chance in this storm. We would all be pitched over the railing in seconds. Realizing this same truth, she slowly slipped her hands out from mine. In one swift movement she flipped my coat off of her bringing it back around my shoulders. Still clinging to the coat, she buried her face into it, pushing her small frame into my chest using both me and the coat as a way to protect herself from the hail. Grunting, I brought myself close to the helm, pressing her back into it, wrapping myself around her even more, pushing every ounce of strength into my arms. Every ounce of our body heat mingled together, the heavy coat keeping it locked inside-locked between us. And it's in this moment-with the heavy coat on my back, with her face pressed against my chest, with my head just above hers-I realize I love her. There it is. I love her. "Evella, you should have gone below deck," I growl into her ear. She slams a fist into my arm. A weak hit. Enough to let me know that she loves me too.
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