Ava and The New World Ch. 02byPiratess©
Ava stomped her way through the sodden grass, wet from snow and ice. The clouds protected the countryside from the bright moon. Ava made her way to a towering oak tree, leaning up against the cold, damp bark.
Unconsciously she began to shiver from the crisp air, still fuming. Why did she have to marry this man? Why did she have to marry full stop!? She was right about him being stuffy, old fashioned and un-passionate. To add to the list he was over bearing, arrogant and just a beast! How dare he!
Ava's thoughts flew wildly around her mind, her fists clenched with anger. She must get back to Barbados! Her life was perfect; she hated France with a passion. Why couldn't she stay there, in her paradise?
A hot thought started to creep in to the tangle of voices.
"His eyes were..." she murmured thoughtfully, as she recalled Mendoza's appearance.
His eyes were windows to another world, and she felt a betraying attraction to him. He was so strong, harsh and hard. Ava began to wonder if he had been to Barbados, what he would look like on a tall ship in full sail, his strong arms brown from the sun, hair whipping in the wind.
The grass and leaves crackled as footsteps approached. Ava's eyes widened, while her chest grew tight with anxiety. She leant back into the tree, holding her breath.
A deep, chilling yet commanding voice spoke, "Ava...?"
She breathed out with little relief, it was Mendoza.
He walked around to the side of the tree where she was shivering uncontrollably.
Mendoza gazed at her detachedly, in the dim light,
"Here," he said powerfully, taking his coat off and arrogantly offering, "put this around yourself."
"No thankyou," she stubbornly replied and began to stomp away from him.
Ava yelped as Mendoza grabbed her wrist tightly and swung her back against the tree, trapping her against it with his arms. He moved in front of her his hands pinning her shoulders, sandwiching her against the giant trunk. Ava gasped and struggled against him.
"For goodness sake! I don't want this marriage anymore than you do," he angrily hushed at her, "the least you could do is show some respect, and act like a lady."
His voice was dark, but his eyes were dancing, alight with something else.
He continued, loosening his grip on her shoulders.
"I can guess what your feeling Ava, and how I may seem to you -- old, unattractive and boring, and you want some heartfelt passion with a blacksmith or other commoner, but I don't have a choice in this marriage either."
Mendoza could feel the blood beat in his ears, he was so close to her and it was testing his strength. Surprised at himself for having such a strong attraction to a woman he had only just met, he let her go suddenly stepping back as if he were stung. Ava nearly fell forward onto him.
Straightening up, Ava was incredulous, still angry she missed the lust in his eyes,
"Well, you sir could show some respect to me! You talk about me as if I'm something to buy and trade, and in front of me no less! I was right there at the table,"
She continued while getting closer to his face,
"And making me out to be a chore, something you must do, and produce an heir? Ha! I'm a baby making machine then am I?"
Mendoza watched her closely, in admiration of the whole spectacle. It was usually him; he was the one to run away, get angry and make excuses. She was enticing, fiery and passionate. He watched her lips, they were trembling with anger.
Mendoza eyed her,
"Mistress Moreau, I don't have time for this. I have been through what you are going through, I have also seen the world in its splendour and in its darkest moments, but the King of Spain is trying very hard to make ties with France. You and I just happen to be those ties Madam, and as a woman there is nothing you can do about it. This is your duty."
Ava saw red, she hated that her sex held her back, and she was out to prove that she was as good as any man, and worth the same.
"Oh if I were a man I would run you through right now! You know nothing of me," Ava exclaimed,
Mendoza met her enraged eyes,
"If you were a man I would have you for your outrageous behaviour!" he bellowed over her and interrupting.
Ava shrieked louder,
"and yet you will go through with this? Stand up for yourself, for I will not marry you! I will not marry any man on this earth for as long as I live unless it is for love!" Ava huffed and shoved her way past him.
Her last words softened him.
"Love?" He jested after her. "Good god woman, people don't marry for love!"
Mendoza strode after the hot headed wench, grabbing her waist and spinning her around in his arms. A small gasp left Ava's lips and she stared into his wide, glimmering velvet dark eyes. Mendoza held her tight, not willing to let her go.
To Ava, his touch was commanding and dangerous, yet almost enticing. She was scared she might succumb to it.
Mendoza lent into her,
"I have no desire to marry, but my life depends on it. It's survival. I will be going away very soon, for some 18 months or more on a new voyage to the new world. You can dismiss me as dead, and then be free to marry for love later on, but for now this is what is happening." He stated forcefully.
Ava hissed at him,
"Sir, I have no desire to marry any man alive or dead. What I want is to go back to my home, to be free, to explore and have adventures of my own. What's more, I can match any man in this world. I can join the hunt for food again, to fish with my friends and to enjoy life. Not to be defined but my sex and status, not to live here submissively to either my father or your king! I will not do it."
Mendoza studied her with both horror and admiration, for woman did not behave in such manner, nor have such thoughts.
"Fish and hunt?" his eyebrows lifted disbelievingly.
Ava wriggled free from his embrace, stubbornly and proudly thrusting her hands on her hips,
"Yes of course! I fished and hunted, I would be quite self sufficient if I had the opportunity here. I told you, I am as capable as any man. The same goes for swordsmanship, if you care for a duel I'd be happy to oblige." She snarled.
"Id very much like to see that..." Mendoza murmured, his eyes danced with amusement.
Out of the blue, Mendoza was momentarily distracted by her overwhelming spirit and stunning beauty. Never before in his years of travel, had he ever seen a creature so incredible as Ava. Before he could think further, he had pulled her again in his arms, crushing his lips against hers, meaning to tame and punish, but instead it sparked a fire greater than he could have imagined.
Ava had never been kissed. The sensations were incredible but startling, and excitement mixed with fear overtook her senses. Mendoza kissed her slow, deep and deliberately. Ava melted under his burning touch, falling into a dreamy haze. Just as quickly as he had grabbed her, he let her go, stepping back in shock as if he had been slapped.
Breathing heavily Mendoza gazed at the enchantress.
Ava was still in a heavenly haze from her first kiss, as if in a dream. She blinked at him with wide green eyes.
Angrily raking fingers through his hair he cursed himself, not wanting to make it more complicated than it already was. Yet looking at her form, marriage to this girl wouldn't be entirely dreadful, it would at least be entertaining.
Utilising the moment that Ava was lulled into silence, Mendoza's mind started ticking over.
He looked away, thoughtfully and slowly paced around her in the sodden grass. The moonlight broke through the clouds, sending streams of soft light around them.
"Perhaps we could come up with some sort of agreement, Ava."
She shuddered when he spoke her name, snapping her out of her haze. He had just kissed her, making her feel vulnerable, wonderful and at the same time indestructible, and now he was pretending like nothing happened. Her pride began to rear its wilful head.
"Swords or guns?" she retorted spitefully, then shuddering again, realising she was still trembling from the cold.
He glanced at her with brutal eyes, "If you want this to work, you might want to be a little more civil. And put this damn coat on." He finished, while artfully flinging the coat around her.
Noticing the change in his eyes, Ava realised there was a lot more to this man than she first assumed. His kiss spoke of possession and passion, but his attitude, and his eyes cruel and dangerous.
"Thankyou," she mumbled quietly.
Mendoza continued to slowly walk around her, "We just may be able to come up with a solution, if you are willing to grin and bear things for a short while."
What was he talking about? Ava thought angrily. Her patience was getting thin,
"Oh I will grin Sir, as soon as I am on a ship headed for the West Indies."
He turned to face her, gazing at her sea green eyes blazing in the moonlight.
He loomed powerfully above her, fire started to flicker in the pit of her belly. She was uneasy with this new feeling. She couldn't work out if it was fear or attraction, perhaps both. His strong, sharp angular features were highlighted in the moonlight, Ava was mesmerised.
"How about a ship headed for the New World." he announced arrogantly.
Ava stared at him in disbelief, as anger, fear and excitement started exploding throughout her body.