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The next time the crew of the Rika did their weekly attack of the Sirius, Fuzzy deliberately sought out Russell, all but running over anyone who got in her way.

“I’ve come for you, Russell!” she shouted, pursing her lips together when she finally spied him sparring with Colin at the bow of the Sirius.

“Dammit! Gorilla, I don’t have time for this!” he groused, flushing slightly as he knocked Colin back with one of his swords.

Obviously, he was already aroused just by seeing her—she could just tell by the blush spreading across his face, and Fuzzy loved how he tried to hide it . . . and absolutely failed.

He was just so cute.

She raced forward and rammed Colin out of the way, not paying more than a moment’s notice to how Colin flew off the ship and fell straight into the water. Nor did she pay any real attention to Colin's shouts of Fuzzy hitting the wrong crew.

Instead, she made a beeline straight for the new love of her life.

“I saved you!” she exclaimed, moving even closer as she tried unsuccessfully to press her lips against his. “You owe me a kiss!”

Russell, however, immediately backed away.

“I didn’t need your help!” Russell shouted, glaring at her as he sheathed his swords. “I can take care of myself!” He took one look at his captain, who was laughing in the distance as both Captain Morgan and Captain Alan stopped their fighting to watch, and flushed. "I ain't some damsel to be saved, you idiot!"

She liked how hard he tried to deny his feelings, but what she really wanted more than anything was what she’d been wanting since she last saw him in the forest, back on the island.

She wanted him to kiss her, and she wanted him to hold her.

And she wanted him to tell her that he loved her.

So she decided the blunt method would probably be best with Russell; it had worked last time, after all. “I want to kiss you,” she said, and giggled loudly when his face instantly turned red all the way down to his chest.

“W-what?” he almost choked on the words. He glanced around, and she turned to see him staring at Eduardo nearby, who snickering as he cleaned his gun. “No!”

“Don’t be shy,” she proclaimed, pressing him to the mast of the ship and pinning him there with her body. “Everyone knows you want me.”

He shoved against her, but she refused to allow him to push her away when she knew how much he wanted this.

“Yes, don’t be shy, Russell,” Captain Morgan commented with a smirk, pausing only to take a deep sip of a bottle of alcohol he'd somehow obtained since the fight started. “Go and kiss her like you mean it.”

“Fuzzy! Stop! Everyone’s staring!” Russell shouted with another flush, trying to wiggle out of her grip.

She glanced around, noticing that everyone had basically stopped fighting to watch them.

Maybe Russell was right. As sexy as it would be to take him up against the mast of her rival ship, their first time together should be more private. She could set the mood for him like he did for her last time.

And if she did it right, he would kiss her all on his own.

Mind made up, she picked him up and slung him over her shoulder, ignoring the threats he shouted at her. It was tempting to reach out and pat his bottom, but she figured they had to hurry and get to a more private room and begin their kissing time.

Who knew when Captain Alan would give the order for them to leave?

She shoved open the door leading to the personal chambers below deck. “Where’s your room?” she asked, throwing doors open as she tried to find a room that was distinctly Russell.

“Why does it matter?” he grumbled. “Take me back to the deck, gorilla! No, don't go back! Put me down and stop slinging me around like a sack of potatoes! I’m a grown man!”

“I know!” she said, pleased with just how manly he looked. She finally swung open a door that had a Russell feel to it, and stepped inside to drop Russell on the bed. “You’re very manly,” she purred, winking at him.

She then flopped down on the bed next to him. As soon as she'd wiggled enough that she was comfortable, she closed her eyes and waited.

“I’m ready,” she said aloud after a moment, when he made no move to kiss her.

“For what?” Russell asked, sounding like he was sulking. “I ain’t gonna do nothing to you.”

She opened her eyes to see him rubbing his neck and shoulders as he stared out the small porthole window in his room.

“Why? I did everything right!” she shouted. “I rescued you, I set the mood, I carried you off to have your way with me and . . . and . . . and you still don’t want to kiss me?” She whimpered, feeling the tears well up in her eyes. “It's just like what happened last time! I did everything to show you I wanted you, just like you did on the island! I was supposed to be showing you that I returned your feelings after you confessed so you’d kiss me again! Why isn’t it working?!”

He gaped at her. “What?” His face flushed. “Y-you thought I dragged you off to—”

Fuzzy wailed loudly, interrupting him again. “You aren’t doing what you’re supposed to,” she whimpered softly, and felt the tears gush forth from her eyes.

“Dammit! Not this again!” He shifted to lean over her as he covered her mouth with his hand. “Please stop cryin’, Fuzzy!”

“I-I can’t.” She hiccuped, though the sound was muffled by his hand. “You don’t want to kiss meeee!”

He stared at her as she sobbed loudly, and then he finally sighed. “Don’t cry, Fuzzy.” His tone was softer than she’d ever heard before, and it made her insides melt. “Please stop crying. I’m helpless when you cry.“

She hiccuped again and tried to curl up into a ball, but Russell’s hand moved from her mouth to her shoulder and held her with a strength only someone like Russell could have.

He gently gripped her jaw and slowly guided her head up to meet his eyes. When she finally found herself staring into his brown eyes, he asked, “So if I kiss you, you’ll stop crying?”

She swallowed back a lump of tears. “Y-you don’t really want to?” she nearly wailed, trying to wrap her mind around the idea that he might not really want her after all—or maybe he'd changed his mind after the island, and maybe he just didn't know that he still loved her.

She really hoped it was the latter.

“N-no, I just—I don’t know how to comfort you,” he said, shifting on the bed as he glanced away with a flush on his cheeks. “I don’t know what you want, Fuzzy.”

“Christopher’s nice to me, and Eduardo has always wanted me,” she said, sniffling with a small smile, “but you’re the only one who would take me anywhere to have your way with me. Nobody is as bold as you.” She took a deep breath, hoping he’d understand, but he just stared blankly at the wall behind her. “I really like you.”

She closed her eyes as she puckered her lips again, and hoped he’d kiss her then like he was supposed to.

“You… like me?” he stumbled over the words, and she opened her eyes to see him staring at her in shock.

He looked so stunned that she found herself pulling him down on top of her before she could help herself. He was just so cute, and so sexy when he looked at her like that. “Kiss me,” she told him firmly, boldly tracing his bared chest with one hand. “Kiss me, and show me how much you like me.”

He flushed again. “Fuzzy, I . . . ” he trailed off, hovering just inches away from her mouth. He leaned in even closer until she could feel his breath against her lips—

Bam! The half-opened door was slammed open as Thomas suddenly ran into the room.

“There you are! Nathan said that Fuzzy had kidnapped you . . . ” Thomas trailed off as he stared, and then he suddenly turned bright red. “I’m so sorry!” he squeaked. “I didn’t know!” he added, and ran out of the room covering his eyes.

“Hey! Wait! This ain’t what it looks like!” Russell shouted, jumping off the bed and racing after Thomas down the hall.

He left in such a hurry that he’d dropped his red sash behind, and Fuzzy smiled as she picked it up and tied it around her neck. She spun for a moment, staring down at herself. She looked cute in his sash, and she just bet it would drive him wild when they saw each other again.

Besides, she might want to strangle Thomas next time she saw him, but she knew for sure that Russell had been about to kiss her then.

She’d just have to plan bigger and better for the next time she saw him, to make sure he finally accepted that they were together, because dammit, she wanted that kiss, and she wanted to hear his confession. But she knew he would, eventually, because she saw the look in his eyes right before they were so rudely interrupted.

She hummed to herself all the way back to the Rika.