Fuzzy glared at Russell as they sat on the island, as irritated with him as he was attracted to her.
If he called her an overweight gorilla one more time, she was going to sit on him until he admitted how fabulous she really was. Or she’d dress him up like a woman and show him how talented her make up skills were. She'd considered singing for him, but then decided he didn't deserve that honor, not until he came clean with his feelings.
Russell was going to admit he found her beautiful if it killed him.
Of course, Captain Alan had tried soothing her, but Fuzzy simply refused to be soothed. Russell had called her ugly, and she was absolutely not going to rest until he admitted that he'd lied.
Stupid Russell. Why did he have to be on the island anyway?
She didn’t mind Eduardo or Christopher crashing the Rika’s treasure hunt on the island. They, at least, were gorgeous, and, well, everyone knew that Eduardo was in love with her, anyway. She didn't even mind the new Sirius female pirate, either—though it had, admittedly, taken Fuzzy some time to warm up to the idea of another female pirate. Once Fuzzy had accepted that the new girl wasn't a threat, she'd relaxed, and, well, it certainly was nice to have another girl around to talk to.
But Russell's presence, frankly, Fuzzy could have done without.
And if the boy didn't keep her mouth shut, she'd knock him out. She refused to allow him to ruin her precious time with Eduardo.
“Move over, you overweight gorilla,” Russell complained from his perch next to her. “Your big butt’s taking up the whole log!”
“So move!” she snapped, annoyed that he'd sat besides her to begin with. She hadn't wanted to sit with him. “You're ruining my aura of fabulousness!”
She blew a kiss at Eduardo who then took out his gun and began furiously polishing it without a word.
“See? He’s clearly hitting on me by showing me how he likes being touched,” Fuzzy proclaimed, puffing out her chest with pride—and, of course, to show off her more than ample assets.
Eduardo, however, was too shy to meet her eyes or to share. Instead, he began loading more bullets into the chamber of his gun.
“You can’t be serious,” Russell snapped with a disgruntled huff. “He just wants to shoot you, you idiot!”
“You’re just saying that because you’re jealous." Fuzzy beamed at him, pleased to spill his secret since he was so intent on ruining her night.
“What?!” Russell roared, dropping one hand to rest on the hilt of one of his swords. “Who would love an ugly gorilla?”
“You just pick fights with me because you don’t know how else to show your love,” Fuzzy went on loudly, ignoring Russell’s protests. "I mean, really, I know I'm gorgeous, but a shy little boy like you simply isn't my type—"
Russell suddenly stood up and grabbed Fuzzy’s arm, and it only took a second for Fuzzy to guess his intent.
“Hey! Do you think you can get away with manhandling a beautiful woman like me?” she shrieked in outrage, huffing as she tried to tug her arm free.
“Shut up, stupid, and come here,” he growled, dragging her off towards the forest at the end of the beach.
“Hey! I know you’re in love with me, but this is no way to treat a lady!” she wailed, trying to force him to pull her to a halt not even noticing the attention they were getting from both the Sirius and Rika crew. Most of them were amused, though her fellow female pirate seemed shocked, but Fuzzy was too busy trying to get through Russell's big, thick head.
“Just shut up and come with me." He led her into the trees, and Fuzzy had to admit that when Russell made up his mind to do something, he went all out. Too bad for him that Eduardo was still a lot more handsome—but she was willing to admit to herself that Russell was acting cuter than usual.
That didn't stop Fuzzy from making a scene, however. She complained and kicked and wailed the whole way, but Russell didn’t stop, nor did he release his grip on her arm. In fact, he didn't say a word at all until they had made it a fair distance into the forest.
Russell dropped her hand and turned around to face her.
“Geez, gorilla, something’s seriously wrong with your brain!” he shouted, though he was flushing. “Now all of the guys are going to tease me about this forever!" He took a deep breath, and added, "I don't like you, okay?"
Fuzzy felt her control over her temper snap. She had already been miffed that Eduardo hadn't manned up and stopped Russell from taking her away, but now with Russell hollering that he didn't like her when he clearly wanted her . . .
“You say that, but you pulled me out into the trees,” Fuzzy pointed out. She considered his manly actions, and then decided that Russell was more attractive than she'd realized. She puckered her lips for him. “If you want to consummate your love, I’m willing.”
“Agh! No! Stay away!” he hollered, backing up into a tree.
“You just can’t resist my beauty,” Fuzzy replied, “but you don’t have to hide your feelings any longer, Russell! I know that you pick fights with me because you love me!”
“What? Didn’t I already say I don’t like you? At all?!” he shouted. He tried to back away quickly, but slammed into the tree behind him with no small amount of force. “Ow! Look here, gorilla! I’m not interested, so leave me alone already!”
Fuzzy pressed closer and smiled. Russell wasn't really bad looking at all. He was quite adorable, and she liked his feisty attitude.
So he wasn’t Eduardo . . . and he didn’t have Christopher’s charm, either. But she had to admit there was something about him that she kind of liked right now. Enough that she wanted to see how he'd taste, because that would truly tell her if he was worth keeping or not.
So she pressed him back against the tree as he struggled, but this time she was stronger than he was. Russell wasn't able to so much as budge.
“Be happy, Russell. Men would die to taste my lips and body,” she told him, leaning in closer.
“I would die not to touch them!” he shouted, unable to look her in the eye.
She grinned; she liked that Russell never gave in easily. That strength was something she could admire in a man. After all, Fuzzy was already strong for a woman, and she liked that Russell could match her, word for word, strength for strength.
And she knew the only reason he was trapped against the tree was because he let her trap her. He could have pushed away, if he really wanted to, but he was happy to be there, and he didn't want to hurt her.
He deserved a kiss as a reward, she decided.
"Shh," she told him, leaning in closer. Without warning, she smashed her lips against his to mimic what she thought a good kiss was.
But Russell began struggling in earnest, his complaint muffled against her lips. Clearly, she'd done something he didn't like.
She tried to be even more forceful, but he began really fighting in earnest as he slammed his wrists against her body. Fuzzy immediately pulled back, wondering what she did wrong. Her shoulders slumped, and this time she avoided his eyes as she felt herself begin to cry.
“Are you—are you crying?” Russell demanded, freezing.
“I don’t get it!” she wailed, ready to crumble to the ground in a pile of depressed goop. “You like me. I know you do! But you acted like you hated my kisses! And I have lots of skill in that area, you know, but none of them worked on you. You didn’t respond to any of it at all! I don't want you to hate my kisses!"
She looked up at him, ready to cry even harder.
Russell, however, turned bright red, and he looked off to the side. “You were attacking my lips,” he finally muttered. “I didn’t like that.”
Fuzzy stared at him as he became completely red, all the way down to his neck, as she considered his words. “So if I kissed you differently, you would like it?”
“I-I’m not saying that,” he hedged, coughing into his fist.
“Are you rejecting my kisses again?” she shrieked. If he said yes, she would have failed, and the thought of that made everything she'd eaten earlier sit in her stomach all wrong.
“Fuzzy! Stop crying! You’re hurting my ears!” he shouted, covering his own ears as she got louder and louder with her wails.
Fuzzy knew he was on the verge of running, but she just couldn't figure out what she'd done wrong.
She knew she had skills in the bedroom. After all, he should see her belly dance, or listen to her sing. Men had fallen down around her in droves in enjoyment, after a night of her singing or dancing.
But Russell hadn't even liked her kiss.
Russell spent several more moments trying to reason with Fuzzy, but she refused to be reasoned with. She didn't want logic; she wanted Russell's kiss, and the fact that he wouldn't give it to her only made her want it more.
Why couldn’t he just be true to his own feelings and kiss her?
Her eyes widened as his lips quickly pressed against hers for no more than a second, and then pulled away. He hadn't moved his arms to embrace her, nor had he given her a deep kiss, but the light touch of his lips on hers made her entire body flush with heat.
Fuzzy instantly quieted as he moved away. Russell, however, wouldn't meet her eyes, and began his half-hearted attempts to get free again.
“Let go of me, gorilla!” he said but his voice wasn’t as loud or forceful this time.
“Why won’t you just be true to your feelings, Russell?” she wailed again, afraid that he was going to run from her and pretend this whole night had never happened.
“Dammit, don’t start crying again, Fuzzy!” Russell shouted, and Fuzzy nearly jumped at the sound of her name on his lips.
It sounded beautiful.
She didn't get a chance, however, to bask in the sound of her name.
Russell pressed his lips to hers again. This time, she had time to register the soft sensation of his lips on hers. His lips were soft and smooth and warm against hers, and they lingered and clung as he rolled and pressed his lips against hers. He didn’t try to slip in his tongue, to her mild disappointment. Instead, he just gently rolled and massaged her lips with his until she felt her eyes and cheeks dry.
She dropped her arms in surprise as he pulled away, because she'd never have expected such a soft, gentle kiss from him. Maybe from Christopher, but definitely not from this hot-headed pirate.
Russell pulled himself completely free of both Fuzzy and the tree, his face still red as he once again avoided her eyes.
She reached out to touch her own lips, surprised to still feel the echo of his soft kiss lingering on her lips.
“I’m going back to camp,” he muttered, walking off back the way they came, leaving her there without looking back once.
Fuzzy, however, didn't care, not even when she got lost—twice—trying to find her way back to the camp. Instead, she hummed the entire way back in contentment.
Russell was definitely in love with her, she decided. And she was going to make him admit it, no matter what.