“You will take us there?” she asked. “How will you take us there? Sir–”
“It’s Ajax,” he corrected her. It was so important for her to use his name that he had to interrupt her for it.
“–Ajax.” She let herself be corrected. “How can you take us across these waters?” she continued asking. “Those…lurking…” She wasn’t quite sure what to call them.
“Trust me,” he said.
In that moment of silence, Charisse studied the look in his eyes. Those eyes were like two deep wells filled with…she must have shown a baffled look, because the next thing he said was “It’s love, Charisse. I love you.”
“You…?” She didn’t even know him. How could he say that, and with such sincere eyes?
“I do,” he said firmly. “Trust me, I’ll take us across.” Seeing her skeptical expression, he smirked and added, “Do you have a better option?” His voice was still smooth and cordial, but there was a slight hint of teasing in it, such that even wide-eyed Charisse could pick it up.
She frowned and answered, “I… I don’t have one.”
Ajax put a hand over his heart, and made a vow. “I promise, Charisse, in the name of love, we’ll make it safely across that ocean.”
“What if…we don’t?”
“How about this, then?” He smirked again. “If you and I arrive safely, you will stay by my side forever.”
Charisse opened her mouth only to close it again. It was such an expensive bet. She creased her brows, and looked away from the face that had leaned close towards hers, turning her head to the ocean instead. It was then that it occurred to her–what had she to lose? If her life could be saved by this man from the malice of the dark waters, she would owe him her life anyway.
With that thought in mind, she turned back to face Ajax. He seemed to know that she’d come to a decision. “Deal, or no deal?”