Cradling the fainted princess, Captain Levi was overjoyed with relief when she gasped awake, her eyes wild and bewildered. She had only been out for three short minutes, but they had been some of the most harrowing minutes in his life. He’d watched her face intently as spheres of perspiration lined her temples and quiet whimpers poured out of her beautiful mouth between her pants for air. He had been unable to do anything for her but hold her cushion her in his arms and utter calming words into her ear, not knowing if she could hear him or not. Now that she was awake, an alleviating wave crashed over him.
“Are you alright?” he asked, still anxious over her well being.
She blinked, focusing her glazed eyes on his face, and nodded. Jerking from his hold, she stood shakily to her feet and absentmindedly glanced around the deck. Distracted, the princess asserted, “I’m going to return to my room now,” and walked away, deserting the fretful pirate.
As soon as she closed the door behind her, her fingers ripped the golden band off and set it on the small, wooden desk beside her bed. Lying her head on her pillow, she gazed at the piece of jewelry. Her mind was blank; she couldn’t process a single thought, yet somehow she knew that the sapphire ring was the cause of loss of consciousness.