~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“You are going to love
Kristin watched with interest
as Nathan held tight to the end of the rope then flung the other end around the
base of the large palm tree he was standing in front of.
He caught the free end and then wrapped both ends around his hands and
flung the looped end up the trunk.
“I’ll be right back,”
Nathan told her with a smile.
“Be careful… please…”
Kristin pleaded in a gentle voice.
Nathan nodded and began to
shimmy up the tall, straight tree; using the rope to help extend his reach and
suspend his body. When he finally
reached the top of the tree, Nathan carefully secured himself to the trunk then
went to work on removing the palm’s fruit.
“Look out below!”
He called down to Kristin and when he was certain she was out of the way,
he dropped several of the large green balls to the ground.
Kristin kept her eyes on
Nathan as he slowly began to descend the tree then moved over to him once his
feet were on the ground. “Very
impressive,” she remarked as he unwound the rope from one hand.
“Thank you,” Nathan
smiled then winced.
“Are you okay?”
Kristin asked, catching the slight grimace pass over his face as he
dropped the rope. She moved her
hands over his body to check for any obvious injuries.
“Did you pull anything? Get
any scr… mmm…”
She was cut off by Nathan’s
mouth covering hers in an ardent kiss as he turned and pressed her up against
the base of the tree. His hands
slid over her waist to rest on the tree, trapping her within the circle of his
“Ooh…” Kristin licked
her lips as Nathan pulled his mouth from hers.
“What was that for?”
“For… caring…” he
answered and growled low in his throat at the sight of her tongue darting out to
wet her lips again. “And… the
feel of your hands on my body… caressing me…”
Kristin inhaled sharply at
the image. “I… I was just…
making sure you were okay… I didn’t…”
Nathan swooped down and took
her mouth again in another fervent kiss. “I
like the feel of your hands on my body,” he murmured against her lips.
“I like it when you touch me…”
“You have soft hands.
I like the way they feel as you move them over me,” Nathan continued as
he moved his lips down along her jaw to her ear.
“Your touch excites me in ways I have never felt before,” he
whispered against her ear as he nibbled on the lobe.
“I have never wanted anyone the way I want you… my body craves yours,
Kristin moaned as Nathan
stepped closer and pressed his body fully against her.
She felt the heat from his body light the fire in her own and arched
against him as she wrapped her arms around his back, her fingers dancing lightly
up and down his spine.
“Nathan… I need… you
promised me you would make this ache… this need… go away,” Kristin moaned
as she felt the blood in her veins begin to heat and race throughout her body,
the feelings and sensations converging between her legs.
“I did make it go away,
several times,” Nathan told her as his hands began to stroke her body through
her chemise. “I just didn’t
promise that it would never return.”
Kristin groaned as his lips
attacked her neck and his hands cupped her breasts.
“True… you didn’t but…oh god…” she bit her lip as he dipped
down and captured her nipple through its cotton covering. “Nathan, please…”
Nathan lightly nipped the
rigid tip and moved over to suckle the other breast as he slowly gathered up her
chemise until it was bunched at her waist.
He pulled his mouth from her nipple, straightened up and brushed a quick
kiss over her lips then dropped to his knees.
“Nathan… what are
you…?” Kristin looked down to
see Nathan staring intently at the auburn curls covering her center. She heard him inhale deeply and emit a low groan.
Suddenly she realized what he was about to do and felt an immediate surge
of moisture flow to her core in anticipation.
His name echoed throughout
the small jungle as Nathan buried his face in the curls between her legs.
Kristin closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the tree when
she felt his tongue dart out to lick up and down her sex.
“Nath… an!” He heard her moan his name again and arch against his
face as he sucked hard on her clit. Nathan
brought one hand up to stroke his fingers through her slick folds, circling the
tip around the opening of her sheath.
“Ooh… oh, Na…”
Kristin moaned when she felt him slide a long finger slowly inside her,
thrusting it gently in and out of her. She
opened her eyes as the sudden need to see him possessed her.
The sight of his head moving against her lower belly caused another rush
of sensation to wash over her.
Nathan growled softly as
another burst of her juices flowed around his thrusting finger and added a
second while he reached down with his other hand to lift her leg and hook it
over his shoulder then press his face harder against her.
“Mmm… ooh… yes…”
Kristin cried out softly as a wave of pleasure spread through her body. “Na… than… please… I…”
Nathan smiled against her and
pulled as much of her clit into his mouth as he could and began to hum as he
drove his fingers faster within her. Kristin
undulated her hips against him, trying to ease the ache he was creating inside
“Oh… Na… please…
please…” Kristin pleaded with him and reached her hand down to clutch at his
Nathan heard the desperation
and need in her voice. “Let go,
Kris,” he murmured against her wet flesh.
“Give into it… come for me…” He grazed her clit with her teeth.
“NA… THAN!!” Kristin screamed his name as she shattered.
Nathan pulled his fingers
from her quivering sheath and brought them up to replace his tongue on her clit
as he moved his mouth down to catch the stream of Kristin’s juices as she
continued to shake above him.
can’t…” Kristin’s knee began to buckle and she tugged on his hair.
Nathan pulled his mouth away
from her and looked up. He eased
her leg off his shoulder then with his hands on her hips; Nathan guided her down
so that she was straddling his legs.
“That was…” Kristin
trembled in his arms as another wave of pleasure washed over her. She cupped his face in her hands, smiling with satisfied eyes
at his glistening face. “Incredible,”
Kristin whispered and leaned in to cover his mouth with hers.
“Thank you,” she murmured against his lips.
Nathan replied. “Thank you for
“I couldn’t have stopped
you if I wanted to…” Kristin smiled affectionately at him then in a sheepish
voice admitted, “and I didn’t
Nathan grinned; pleased
beyond words at how much she’d opened up with him over the last three days.
He slid his hands up into her hair and brought her mouth back to his for
a loving kiss.
“So,” Kristin tilted her
head to the side as Nathan trailed his lips down the side of her neck,
“what is this fruit you want me to try?”
Nathan pulled his head back
and smiled at her. “You’re
going to love it,” he told her. “It’s
called a coconut… but there is something else we need to take care of
She grinned at him, her eyes twinkling mischievously.
“And what would that be?”
Nathan laughed then wrapped
his arms around her and before she knew what was happening, Kristin found
herself on her back on the jungle floor, Nathan’s body hard against hers.
Kristin giggled as she
shifted beneath him then moaned at the feel of his cloth-covered erection
pressing against her still sensitive center.
The impish sparkle in her eyes changed to one of desire and she slid her
hands down to cup his rear.
“The coconut can wait,”
she murmured as she arched beneath him.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“I’d forgotten how sticky
coconut water can be,” Nathan chuckled as he moved his soapy hands over
“Mmhmm… sure you did,”
Kristin murmured as she leaned back against his chest, trying hard not to moan
as he paused to circle his fingers around her nipples.
Kristin opened one eye to
peer up at him and couldn’t help the small smile that touched her face at the
smug grin that was on his lips. She
closed her eye again as she relaxed in Nathan’s arms and enjoyed the feel of
his hands on her body as he continued to wash her.
“Tomorrow,” Nathan spoke
in a low voice as he slid his hands down over her stomach, “if the ship isn’t here, feel up to doing a little more
“Mmm… that sounds like
fun,” Kristin replied in a drowsy voice.
Nathan glanced down at her.
“Hey, are you falling asleep on me?”
“Mmmnooo…” she released
a deep breath as she shifted back against him in the hot water.
“Sure you’re not.”
An affectionate smile graced his lips as he tightened his embrace around
her and simply watched her. He
didn’t blame her for dozing off as they’d had a very busy day.
After loving her in the
jungle against the palm tree then on the jungle floor, Nathan had taken Kristin
exploring in some small caves near their camp.
He’d been delighted by her curiosity about everything they’d
discovered in the caves and shared with her everything he knew; feeding the
insatiable need he recognized in her to learn.
They’d spent the better
part of the day in the caves, emerging to find the sun low in the sky, on its
way to setting and after a meal of baked fish and bananas, Nathan introduced
Kristin to the coconut.
She’d enjoyed the new
delicacy and after she’d eaten her fill, Nathan had eased Kristin back on the
cool grass then proceeded to paint invisible designs on her breasts and abdomen
with the coconut water, using both his fingers and a piece of coconut as
brushes. When he was finished, he
then used his lips and tongue to lick the coconut flavour off her body. A few rounds of vigorous lovemaking quickly followed.
A gentle snore pulled Nathan
from his thoughts and he glanced down to see that Kristin had fallen asleep
floating in his arms. He slowly
began to move them towards the edge of the spring then scooped her into his arms
and carefully maneuvered them out of the bubbling water.
Kristin whimpered and fought
to stay in his embrace when he knelt at the edge and she slid down to the cool
“Easy, my lady,” Nathan
murmured as he reached for the blanket he’d brought over before they went into
the spring. “Just drying you
off,” he told her as he gently toweled her off then set her down on the damp
blanket and used his shirt to dry his own body.
When he was finished he spread his shirt out to dry, moved back to
Kristin, lifted her into his arms and carried her over to the lean-to.
He laid her down on the
pallet then settled down beside her and before he could reach out to pull her
into his arms, Kristin rolled over and cuddled into his side; one leg thrown
over and between his while she laid her head on his chest with one arm curled up
under her chin.
“Sweet dreams, my lady,”
Nathan whispered, moving his lips over her forehead.
Kristin sighed contentedly
and snuggled closer.
Nathan smiled and quickly
fell into a restful sleep.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“We’re going away to
leave you now. Goodbye, fare thee
well, goodbye, fare thee well. We’re
going away to leave you now. Hoorah,
me boys, we’re homeward bound.”
The sound of Nathan’s rich
voice softly singing pulled Kristin through the last layers of sleep and into
consciousness. She opened her eyes
then smiled at the sight of a shirtless Nathan kneeling by the lagoon and
propped herself up on her elbow to watch him.
“Ah, give me the girl with
the bonny brown hair. Goodbye,
fare thee well, goodbye, fare thee well. Your
hair of brown is the talk of the town. Hoorah,
me boys, we’re home…” Nathan turned and smiled at Kristin as he felt her
eyes on him. “…ward bound.”
“Please… don’t stop
singing on my account,” Kristin smiled up at him as he approached.
“I wouldn’t exactly call that singing.”
He dropped to his knees beside her then leaned close.
“Good morning,” he said in a soft voice then kissed her.
“Good morning,” Kristin
murmured against his mouth as she slipped a hand behind his head and brought his
mouth back to hers.
Kristin laughed at the way
Nathan waggled his eyebrows at her. “Yes,
for food. But,” she paused and
ran her hand down his bare chest, “after
we eat… is a whole different story.”
Nathan grinned as he moved
away from her then tossed her chemise at her.
“I’ve created a monster.”
Kristin laughed again as she
pulled on the cotton covering then got to her feet and joined him by the lagoon.
“So,” she reached for a piece of banana.
“Have you gone to see if the ship has made it?”
A worried look crossed
Kristin’s features and she sighed. “Still
Nathan nodded again.
“If it’s not here tomorrow… I will see about preparing a
“And how will you send
“That special messenger I
told you about,” Nathan replied. “I
have a trained dolphin.”
An amused smile touched
Kristin’s lips. “A trained
“Yes,” Nathan nodded.
“You don’t believe me?”
“Of course I believe
you,” Kristin giggled softly.
“Fine… just you wait and
Kristin giggled some more as
she reached for another piece of fruit.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“Show me another one.”
“That one… the stretched
out w… can you see it there?”
“I… yes! I can see it.”
“That one is called
“And Cassiopeia was,
according to Greek mythology, the wife of Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, a vain
woman who boasted of being more beautiful than the Nereids.”
“They are the fifty
beautiful women who dwell in the Mediterranean Sea and who belonged in the
retinue of Poseidon. They were
friendly and helpful to sailors fighting storms.”
“Anyway, Cassiopeia boasted
about being more beautiful than the Nereids and in retaliation, Poseidon sent a
flood then a sea-monster to ravage the country.
In trying to find a way to save his country, Cepheus consulted the oracle
of Ammon for a way to stop the monster. He
was told that the only way to stop the sea-monster was to sacrifice his
“That one… there… that
one is Andromeda. See it?”
“Yes, I see it.”
“Andromeda, who’d been
chained to a rock, was saved from the sea-monster by Perseus. He killed the monster and married Andromeda.”
“And is there a
constellation for Perseus?”
“Yep, right… over…
there. Can you see it?”
“Uhm… yes! Oh, Nathan… this is so fascinating.”
“I wish I could tell you
more, but I’ve always been more interested in the sea… now my friend,
Scott… he can tell you everything you ever wanted to know and a lot of stuff
you never wanted to know about every constellation up there.
In fact, he thinks that someday, man will be able to travel between the
Kristin laughed softly;
shifting and snuggling into his embrace as they lay on the pallet Nathan had
dragged out from under the lean-to for the impromptu stargazing that had
followed their lovemaking.
“Now, I know that as a
sailor, you use the stars at night for navigation, but how did you learn so much
about all the constellations?”
“I read a lot of books on
them,” Nathan answered. “Very
often at sea, days would go by before we’d spot any ships, so I would grab a
book then climb up to the crow’s nest and read.
Needless to say, I’ve read a lot of books.”
Kristin smiled against his
chest as they fell into a comfortable silence, both once again staring up into
the night sky.
Nathan tilted his head toward
her at the soft call of his name. “Yes?”
“What’s going to happen
to us if the ship doesn’t show?” Kristin
asked in a quiet voice.
“I… don’t know,
Kris,” Nathan answered her honestly, stroking his fingers absently along her
arm. “But… I haven’t given up
hope yet and neither should you. Anyway,”
he rolled them over so that he was leaning over her,
“it hasn’t been all bad being here alone with me, has it?”
Kristin smiled up at him and
lifted her hand to cup his cheek. “No…
it hasn’t,” she answered. “It’s
been… quite wonderful…”
“For me too,” Nathan
lowered his lips to hers in a gentle kiss.
“For me too.”
They held each other’s
gazes then after several long moments, without a word being spoken, Nathan
shifted his body over hers and settled into the cradle of her legs; a soft smile
touching his lips as she gently rocked against him.
‘I love her,’ Nathan
thought as he slowly sank into Kristin’s welcoming body, his eyes holding hers
the entire time.
Kristin kept her eyes locked
with Nathan’s and moaned as she felt him press inside her. ‘I love him,’ she thought.
After several minutes of
simply enjoying their joining, they began to move together, loving each other
slowly beneath the watchful eyes of the constellations.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
‘I really am getting too
used to this,’ Kristin thought as she once again awoke to the comforting
feeling of Nathan wrapped around her, his chest firmly against her back, one
hair-roughened thigh situated between her legs and pressed up against her
murmured sleepily into her hair as he tightened his arms around her.
“Good morning,” Kristin
replied then moaned as he moved his leg up, rubbing it against her curls.
“When did we move back under the lean-to?”
“Sometime in the wee hours
of the morning,” Nathan replied, his face still buried in her hair.
“We should…” Nathan
trailed his hand over her hip, “get
up and check to see if the boat is here.”
Kristin nodded but made no
move to leave his arms, instead she wriggled around to face him and brought her
hand up to run her fingers through his beard.
“You need a trim,” she told him in a quiet voice.
“I need a shave.”
“Oh no… I like the
beard,” Kristin said as she continued to stroke the graying hair on his face.
“Although,” she looked thoughtful for a moment,
“I would be curious to see you without one at some point in time.
I suspect you have a very strong chin… maybe even a dimple.”
“One day…” Nathan
smiled at her. “I will shave it
off for you.”
Kristin returned his smile.
“Now,” Nathan slid one
hand up her back into her hair, the other on her and urged her closer.
“How about a proper good morning?”
“Mmm… sounds go…”
Kristin moaned as Nathan brought his lips to hers in a loving kiss. “…good,” she finished several minutes later when the
kiss finally ended.
“That’s better,” Nathan
murmured against her lips.
“Mmhmm,” Kristin slid her
hand behind his head, “much
Their lips came back together
in a deeper kiss as Nathan rolled Kristin onto her back and moved his body over
“We’ll check for the boat
in a little while,” Nathan muttered as he broke off the kiss and dipped his
head down to pull a taut nipple into his mouth.
“You won’t… ooh…
catch me arguing,” Kristin moaned and arched beneath him.
“The boat can wait.”
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“So what happened?”
Nathan asked Crocker as he disassembled the lean-to.
“We were attacked, Cap,”
Crocker answered as he helped Nathan take apart the small shelter.
“Who was it?”
“Did he get anything?”
“We were able to fight them
off before they could board us proper,” Crocker told him.
“It was a short fight. I
don’t think he expected us to fight back… so it didn’t last long.
Although, he did get a good shot in, cracked one of the masts… we lost
a sail, which is why we’re late in getting back here.”
“Did you make it to
Crocker shook his head.
“No. I figured by the time
we went to port, got the ship fixed and made it back here, you’d be worrying
Nathan nodded then regarded
his friend closer. “So what
aren’t you telling me, Gator?”
Crocker glanced around and
when he spotted the countess with Lucas by the lagoon, he answered.
“McLeary got away during the ruckus.”
“What!? How!? The
bastard was in a holding cell!”
“One of Zellar’s men must
have freed him,” Crocker replied. “A
few managed to climb on board and cause some damage before they got away.
When Kreig went down to check on him, he saw that the lock had been shot
“Damn!” Nathan swore and shook his head.
“I’m sorry, Cap.”
“It’s not your fault,
Manny,” Nathan told him and clapped him on the back.
“You couldn’t have foreseen this happening.”
“I know that, but I
still… he’s out there now…”
“Yes, he is…”
Nathan’s voice trailed off and he looked over towards Kristin, a soft smile
coming to his face as she glanced over at him and grinned.
“Do me a favour, Gator… don’t tell the countess that he’s
escaped. Let me tell her…”
“All right, Cap.”
“Thank you,” Nathan
replied then called out to Kristin. “You
about ready over there? It’s time
“Aye, Cap!” Lucas called back.
“Aye, Cap!” Kristin parroted and tossed off a sloppy salute.
Nathan laughed at Kristin’s
antics and shook his head. “Come
on you two.”
“This is a great island,
sir!” Lucas said as he galloped
over. “The countess was telling
me there’re caves and everything here… and the mountain is actually a
“Breathe, Lucas,” Nathan
held his hands up to stop the boy’s rambling.
“I know all about the island…” he glanced over Lucas’ shoulder to
see Kristin walking up behind him. He
smiled then turned back to the teen. “And
I tell you what… once our mission is over, I’ll bring you back here and
we’ll explore it together.”
Lucas beamed at him.
“That would be… oh wow…”
Nathan’s smile grew at
Lucas’ excitement. “Grab
something and let’s go load the boat.”
“Yes, sir!” Lucas responded as he grabbed the sack holding the pallets
and took off through the jungle.
“Oh to still have that much
energy,” Crocker commented as he loaded up his arms then followed the teen.
Kristin moved to stand beside
Nathan. “Part of me is sad to be
leaving here,” she said softly.
Nathan turned to her.
“I know,” he reached up to tuck a loose lock of hair behind her ear.
“Part of me is too.”
“But you have to find your
friend’s son,” she said and Nathan nodded.
Kristin glanced around the small meadow, her eyes resting on the hot
spring and the lagoon for a moment before meeting his eyes again.
“Thank you… I will never forget my… our time here.”
“Neither will I,” Nathan
replied as he reached out and pulled her into his arms.
He covered her mouth in a loving yet passionate kiss.
Several minutes later, he broke the kiss and wrapped his arm about her
waist. “Come on, my lady… our
Crocker watched with interest
as Nathan and Kristin stepped out of the jungle, arm in arm, and slowly made
their way to the rowboat. He
couldn’t help but grin at the obvious change in their relationship.
“We’re all set to go,
“Thanks, Gator,” Nathan
said then turned to Kristin. “May
“This…” he said and
scooped her up into his arms.
Kristin laughed and wrapped
her arms around his neck as he waded into the shallow water. “Thank you, good sir.”
Nathan grinned at her and
brushed a quick kiss to her lips as he helped her into the boat.
Lucas looked over at Crocker.
The two nodded and shared knowing smiles.
“Let’s shove off then,
Gator,” Nathan said.
“Aye, Cap,” Crocker said
and leaned into the boat.
Once the boat was off the
sandbar, both men jumped in, grabbed the oars and rowed them back to the ship.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“How was it?”
“How was what?”
“You know bloody well
“I know nothing…”
“Did you bed the
Katie laughed at the shocked
look on Kristin’s face. “What?
I’ve seen the way you two look at each other, and the air fairly
sparkles whenever you’re around each other.
So… come on, tell me…”
“Katherine Marie Hitchcock!
You have been spending far too much time with these ruffians!”
“That good was he?”
Kristin blushed furiously
then in a small voice, “Yes.”
Katherine laughed happily and
clapped her hands. “I knew it!
I could sense the change between you two the moment you came back aboard.
You’re absolutely glowing, Kristin.”
Kristin smiled and gazed out
onto the ocean as the ship cut through the water.
“Love is grand, isn’t
it?” Katherine commented after a
couple of minutes of silence. “Especially
when it happens unexpectedly.”
“Yes it is,” Kristin
said. “And I hope Mister Kreig is
aware of how lucky he is,” she commented, turning to see a blush rising up on
“He is,” Katherine
replied quietly. “In fact, he’s
asked for my hand.”
answered. “I love him, Kristin.
And Ben has told me that once they complete this mission of theirs, he is
going to leave the boat and settle down in a legitimate business.”
Kristin nodded then hugged
her friend. “I am so happy for
“Thank you,” Katherine
returned the embrace. “And what
about you and the Blue Rogue?”
Kristin let go of her friend
and wrapped her arms around herself as she shook her head.
“I… I don’t know.”
Katherine opened her mouth to
comment but the sight of the captain approaching stopped her. “Good evening, Captain.”
“Miss Hitchcock,” Nathan
nodded his head at the young woman then turned to face Kristin. “My lady.”
“Captain,” Kristin smiled
up at him as he stepped up beside her, his hand brushing lightly against her
hip. “Beautiful evening, is it
“Indeed,” Nathan replied,
his gaze riveted on Kristin.
Katherine watched the
interaction between the two with interest and couldn’t help but smile at the
way they continued to stare at each other, the rest of the world ceasing to
exist for them.
“If you’ll excuse me,”
Katie said, catching their attention. “I
think I’m going to turn in now.”
“Pleasant dreams, Katie,”
Kristin told her young friend.
“Thank you. Same to you,” Katherine replied then nodded at Nathan.
“Good night, Captain.
“There’s something I’d
like to show you,” Nathan told Kristin once Katherine was gone.
“It’s a surprise,” he
said as he grasped her hand. “Come
on. You’re going to love it.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“Oh, Nathan… this is
“Didn’t I tell you?”
“It’s like being in a
whole other world… it’s… oh my…” Kristin gasped as she leaned back in
Nathan’s arms. “The view is
just spectacular. I can see why you
like it here.”
“I knew you would,”
Nathan said as he nuzzled her temple. “And
if it weren’t for my crew being able to see us…” he nipped her earlobe as
he brought his hands up to cup her breasts,
“I would be making love to you right here, right now.”
Kristin swallowed as the
image of them in the crow’s nest, their bodies entwined in the intimate dance
he spoke of, filled her mind and she moaned.
“One day…” Nathan
teased her nipples through the material of the shirt she wore,
“I will make love to you up here.”
“In fact…” he thrust
his more than obvious arousal against her bottom.
“I want to make love to you right now.”
“Let’s go back to your
“Wonderful idea, my lady.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Nathan stirred and raised his
head at the gentle tapping on the cabin door.
He slid carefully from beneath his lover, a sleepy smile touching his
lips as he watched her murmur in protest then cuddle into the warm indention
left by his body.
“I’ll be right back, my
lady, I promise,” he whispered as he shrugged into a long shirt.
Nathan fixed a deep glare on
his face before he swung the door open, glowering intently at the person on the
“Sorry to… interrupt. I
just wanted to let you know that we’ve sighted the harbor and we should be
dockside in less than two hours. Just
in case you have… anything… you’d like to take care of before we land.”
He finished off his words with a wink.
“If you weren’t my
friend, Gator, I’d…” Nathan shook his head, knowing that Crocker had only
his best interests at heart.
“And if I thought that you
were just toying with the lady’s affections, I’d return the favor.
So… go take care of… things… and I’ll send Lucas with your
breakfast in about an hour.”
“At least an hour,”
Nathan warned as he closed the door and slid both bolts home, realizing only
then that his shirt did little to hide his bulging morning arousal.
“What in the hell do you do
to me, woman?” Nathan dropped the
shirt to the floor and climbed back beneath the covers to wake Kristin and show
her exactly how she affected him yet again.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“Do I look presentable?”
Kristin asked as she smoothed the skirt of her gown once again.
“You look stunning. I like
you in a dress. Of course, I like
you in trousers as well… and I like you best in nothing at all.”
Kristin glared at him but a
smile tugged determinedly at the corner of her mouth. “It’s been so long since I’ve worn a dress; it feels
strange… I feel very… constricted.”
“Not as constricted as you
would be if you still had that damned corset.”
“Perhaps that’s it.
I’m not used to wearing just a chemise beneath my gown.”
“Mmm…” Nathan moved
slowly toward her, lust in his eyes. Kristin
“Oh no… you’ll wrinkle
me and I am already wrinkled enough.” She
feinted left but Nathan caught her, pushing her solidly against the wall as he
pressed into her.
Kristin pushed at his
shoulders halfheartedly as he slid his hands down her back to cup her bottom.
“Nathan…” she warned as
he began to gather bunches of fabric into his hands causing the hem of her gown
to inch slowly upward.
He pressed his lips to hers
as one hand made its way beneath the yards of cloth and moved unerringly to her
It’s time to throw the ropes!” Lucas’
voice echoed from beyond the locked door.
Nathan reluctantly broke the
kiss and withdrew his fingers, allowing the skirt to fall back into place as his
forehead rested against Kristin’s.
“I adore that kid but if he
ever interrupts us again I am going to make him walk the plank.”
Kristin lifted her hand to
Nathan’s cheek. “Agreed,” she
replied somewhat breathlessly. “But
you do need to go ashore. Before
you know it we will be back on board and we can bolt the door again.”
Nathan pulled away and with a
smile, lifted his hand to his mouth and slowly tasted her essence on his
fingers. “Of that you can be
sure, my lady. Let’s go
Once they reached the deck
Nathan negotiated Kristin through the working men toward the rail.
She gasped as she stared at the busy port, dozens of ships congregated in
a horseshoe harbor, the island a lush green backdrop.
“I never dreamed that it
would be so large.”
“Port San Luis is one of
the biggest harbors in the Caribbean. They
have a market place beyond compare. Once
my business is done with the port authority I will take you there.”
Kristin smiled hesitantly.
“That is very kind of you but… we don’t have to go shopping.
You can show me the scenery instead.”
Nathan was surprised.
He thought that all women loved to shop.
“But there are things that you need… we can find them at the
“Captain… I don’t have any coin.
The things that I have will be fine.”
Her back was stiffly arched.
“Kris… most of your
things have been ruined because of me. I
want to replace them… please?” Suddenly
he understood the look on her face. “It
isn’t like that… I am not… keeping you.”
His voice dropped low so that he wouldn’t be overheard.
“You are here because of me. Your
dress is beautiful but it is too heavy for this climate.
You need something lighter. You
need slippers and a sturdy pair of boots. Consider
these things a gift.”
noncommittally. “Perhaps… but
just a few things.”
Sensing her reluctance,
Nathan let the conversation drop although he knew that they would revisit it
“Countess, you look
lovely.” Crocker snatched his hat
off as he approached the couple. Nathan
glared at him.
“You sent Lucas down to
summon us,” Nathan bit out.
Crocker hooted loudly.
“You think I was stupid enough to go myself?
You would have me walking the plank.”
Gator didn’t understand the
look that passed between the couple or the resulting giggles but he was happy to
see them smiling at each other.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
The marketplace was beyond
anything that Kristin had ever seen. Most
of the stalls were open to the air but a few brightly colored tents dotted the
commons area, sharing their hues with a vast array of exotic birds and flowers.
Birds with vibrant plumage called out welcoming hellos as Nathan led
Kristin into the maze of vendors.
Her eyes were bright with
excitement, as she tasted previously unknown fruits that Nathan purchased and
sliced, feeding them to her piece by piece as the juice ran down his fingers and
her chin. Kristin laughed as she
tried to brush the stickiness away but Nathan caught her hand and lowered his
lips to her chin, his tongue rubbing over her as he consumed the sweet syrup.
When he lifted his head,
Kristin’s eyes were dark with arousal, her nostrils flaring as she struggled
to control her breathing. “You
shouldn’t… all these people…”
So caught up in each other
were they that neither noticed the narrowed gaze that watched their movements
with undisguised interest.
Nathan nodded, knowing that
Kristin hadn’t gotten used to the sudden rush of feelings now assaulting her,
much less learned how to control them. “I’ll
behave,” he winked and gave her a boyish grin as he took her hand.
“We need to find you a hat. The
sun can get to you out on the water if you aren’t used to it.
I think I see some pretty bonnets over there.”
“A bonnet? On a ship? I
want a sailor’s cap,” she replied tartly.
“Then a sailor’s cap you
shall have, my dear.”
Before long Nathan held a
plethora of small bundles containing several caps, a pair of slippers and boots
that fit Kristin’s tiny feet reasonably well.
They were searching for a stall carrying something that might remotely
resemble a chemise when Kristin stopped in front of a large striped tent, her
eyes drawn to the brightly colored fabrics hanging inside.
“Oh, Nathan! Isn’t this beautiful!?
The colours remind me of the ocean.”
Kristin fingered the green fabric, admiring the way blue hues burst forth
in the sunlight.
“That is one of my best.”
A bent old island woman approached the table.
“You have a very good eye, ma’am.
This would look beautiful on you.”
“Oh… no… I
couldn’t…” Kristin stammered as she realized that the cloth was actually
one of the colorful but very revealing sarongs that the island women wore.
“Perhaps not in public,”
the old lady continued with a knowing glance at Nathan, “but for your man…
You would appreciate… no?”
“I would appreciate…
yes,” Nathan replied with a gleam in his eye.
“I wouldn’t know… I
don’t know how you wear it.”
“Come to the back.
I have a small room. I will
show you how to drape the fabric and tie it.”
“I wouldn’t be
comfortable in it.”
Nathan moved in close to her
side and bent his lips to her ear. “You
wouldn’t be wearing it long enough to be uncomfortable in it.”
Heat suffused Kristin’s
face as she nodded to the old woman. “I’ll
try… if you are sure that the room is private.”
“No one can see you, child.
Come with me.”
Kristin followed the old lady
through a maze of lively colors, Nathan trailing close behind.
He stopped as the two women entered a small canvas room.
The old woman turned and pulled down the flap, a knowing smile at Nathan.
“You stay right there.”
Nathan struggled not to laugh
when he heard husky murmurs of protest followed by raspy coaxing.
He had little doubt who would win the argument.
As stubborn as he knew that Kristin could be, the old grandmother had
already proven her persuasiveness.
Several minutes later the
flap moved and a wrinkled hand beckoned Nathan closer.
Nathan gasped as the
proprietress pulled the curtain back and he viewed Kristin in the island sarong.
The old woman had wrapped the
green and blue material around Kristin’s body and secured the two ends in a
knot on her right shoulder. ‘Over
her chemise,’ Nathan noted with an amused smile.
“You look… there aren’t
words to describe how beautiful you are.”
He reached a hand out toward her then let it fall.
Kristin dropped her head but
Nathan could tell that his words pleased her.
“I… it’s so revealing. I
really need something more…”
“Proper? You go to George Street.
There is a dressmaker there that will fit you. My granddaughter works for her.
You tell her Nell sent you.”
“That would be much more
practical.” Nathan watched as
Kristin’s fingers ran regretfully over the soft fabric.
“I need a lighter gown that I can wear in public.
I’ll go get dressed…”
Nathan caught old Nell’s
eye as she pulled on the canvas flap and nodded.
She smiled, several black gaps showing through her yellow teeth as she
winked in understanding.
Kristin apologized profusely
as she hesitantly handed the wrap back to Nell.
With a knowing look at Nathan, Nell wished Kristin luck in her dress
search and soon the couple were on their way again.
“You looked… do you have
any idea what seeing you in that did to me?”
Nathan whispered in her ear as they pressed close together to work their
way through the crowd. “Imagining
you in it without the chemise… knowing that all I have to do is find the fold
and slip my hand in…” He laid a hand on the firm buttock pressed into his
growing erection and squeezed her bottom, his fingers pressing material between
“Nathan!” Kristin hissed but he felt her press briefly back against
“I know…. I am
They wondered through the
market for another hour before Nathan realized that noon was approaching.
“Why don’t we go to the inn for a bite to eat then find that
dressmaker that Nell mentioned?”
“I am a bit hungry.
Do you think that they might have something besides… stew?” Kristin
wrinkled her noise at the thought of their every day meal.
“I suspect they might.
Wait… Lucas!” Nathan called out to the boy he’d just spotted
wandering a few feet away.
Lucas quickly approached them
with a broad smile on his face.
“Tsk tsk, you desperately
need a hair cut.” Kristin ruffled
“I need you to do a few
errands for me then if you get done in time you can join the lady and I at the
inn for some lunch.” Nathan
started naming off inane tasks, pleased when Kristin lost interest and moved to
gaze at the stores of a nearby stall.
“Forget everything I just
said. There is a fabric stall in the next aisle run by an old lady named Nell.
She is holding a package for me. I
want you to go pay for it and make arrangements to have it delivered to the
ship. You must be quiet about it because the package is a surprise
for Lady Westphalen.” Nathan
spared a glance at Kristin and saw her fingering a silver brush.
The matching comb and mirror lay nearby.
“Once we move away come back here and buy that set she is looking at.
Go to the perfumery and purchase some sweet smelling soap and perfume…
and maybe some candles… something in lavender.”
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
The observer’s eyes
narrowed as the auburn haired woman fingered the cold metal of the mirror
longingly. He’d been stalking the
couple since he’d first seen them, attracted by the attention the man’s oral
caresses had caused. He’d
maneuvered himself carefully into position so that he could have a brief glimpse
of the way the blue and green fabric had hugged the lady’s well-proportioned
curves. He had to fight from
intentionally knocking the man down when the stupid oaf she was with had
surreptitiously groped her bottom.
He grudgingly turned his head
to check the position the woman’s companion then moved casually toward her.
He drew near her just as a group approached and he used their arrival as
an excuse to press his body intimately against hers for just a moment.
Kristin jerked away, a small
scream escaping her lips as she felt an unfamiliar body rub against her… an
unfamiliar hand move up to grasp and twist her breast.
The pressure disappeared and she whirled around just in time to see a
group of five or six men moving away from her.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Nathan heard the low shriek
over the din of the market and immediately began to scan the crowd.
He saw a scruffy man move away from Kristin’s last position and she
came back in to view, searching for her assailant as he blended into the crowd.
Nathan was by her side in seconds.
“Are you all right?”
He wrapped his arms around her, uncaring of who was watching.
“I’m fine,” she replied
automatically, still stunned. “How…
how did you…?”
“I heard you scream.
I saw him move away. Did he
hurt you?” Nathan ran his hands over her shoulders and back.
“No… he…” Kristin
shuddered. “He pressed against
me… he grabbed my…” her gaze fell to her chest.
“I’ll get Lucas to stay
with you while I go find the bastard.”
“No…. don’t leave me,
Nathan. Perhaps it was just an
Kristin shook her head.
“I’ve felt… it’s probably silly but I have felt like I did that
day on the ship… like someone has been watching me for quite a while.”
Lucas hovered nearby, anxious
to make sure that Kristin was unhurt before he left on his errands.
She beckoned him closer and gave him a hug and a smile.
Nathan gave him a reassuring
wink. “Go… I think we will go
to the dressmaker’s first then we’ll be at the inn eating. Meet us there. If you see Crocker or Ford ask them to join us
Lucas nodded in understanding
and took his leave.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“No no… that’s much too
impractical. I just need a simple
day dress that is wearable in this warm climate.
The design is lovely but this dress would be for a formal occasion,”
Kristin told Madame Beaudoin.
“But it is my newest design
and Madame has the perfect figure for it. Do
you not think so, Monsieur?”
“The design is indeed
perfect for my lady.”
Kristin cut her eyes at
Nathan. “Why do they always turn
to you for support?”
“My dashing good looks?
My devilish charm? The gown would be lovely on you, Kristin.
We could have it done up in the blue silk.”
Nathan’s thoughts grew lustful at the memory of Kristin wrapped in the
length of cloth.
Her eyes sparkled for a
moment before she resolutely shook her head.
“I can’t accept… Something more practical, Madame.”
After looking through more
designs Kristin finally settled on a pattern and the dressmaker sent her to the
back room for her assistant to take her measurements.
“We need this finished as
soon as possible. I’ll pay extra.
Our ship leaves port in two days.”
Madame shook her head.
“So soon… I don’t think… we do have this pattern almost finished
for another client. It could be
altered to fit your lady, perhaps in just a few hours.
We have time to make another before the dress is to be picked up and the
color would go well with your lady’s skin.”
Nathan poured a generous
amount of coin into the woman’s palm. “Have
it delivered to our ship.”
“But sir!” The woman protested. “This
is too much. This would pay for
five or six dresses.”
Nathan nodded and glanced
toward the curtain. He beckoned the
woman toward the corner of the room. “I
am going to have a length of blue silk delivered.
I want you to make the formal design Kristin liked.
You’ll have her measurements and I admire your taste so pick some
fabrics and make up a few more dresses as well. She also needs other things… chemises, stockings, and
petticoats. No corset, though.
Make sure the dresses don’t require one.
And don’t say anything to the lady.”
Madame Beaudoin smiled
knowingly. “I understand, sir.
What shall I do with the goods once they are completed?”
“There will be a ship in
port in a few weeks to collect supplies for my property, the Wayfarer.
Do you know it?”
“I am familiar with the
vessel. I should have the clothing
Tell the captain that the packages should be delivered to Bridger’s
island,” Nathan held out a few more coins.
“I appreciate your discretion.”
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“This is delicious!”
Kristin sighed as she took another bite of roasted chicken.
Nathan laughed at her obvious
delight with the meal they were enjoying. Although
the food was simple it was flavourful, well prepared and best of all it wasn’t
“Lucas obviously enjoyed
it. Did you notice how much he
“I did… I also noticed
how quickly he ate it. I also
noticed Ford, Ortiz and O’Neill eating at the table by the door.
You sent Lucas to get them on purpose, didn’t you?
Just in case that man tried to bother me again.”
Nathan shrugged then nodded
sheepishly. “I just thought
having them nearby would be prudent.”
Kristin went back to her
chicken and silence stretched between them as they finished their meal.
After several minutes, Nathan realized that Kristin obviously had
something on her mind so he waited patiently for her to speak.
Kristin took a deep breath
and readied herself for a disagreement. “I
was wondering… Would you be willing to let me write a note to my daughter?
I know that I am still your prisoner but I would let you read it.
All I want to do is let her know I’m alive.
I won’t give her any further information if you don’t wish me too.”
Nathan’s face fell as
silence reigned between them again. Finally
he spoke, his voice low. “Do you
still think of yourself as my prisoner? After
He pushed his chair back from
the table and pulled some coins out of his pocket, scattering them across the
table to pay for the meal.
“Stay here,” Nathan
commanded then stalked away from the table.
Kristin watched him go,
unsure of what to do. She had
expected him to be angry over her request, not over a slip of the tongue. She hadn’t really thought of herself as a prisoner in
several days but in reality that is what she was.
When he didn’t return quickly she began to get to get nervous.
Surely he hadn’t abandoned her.
Finally Nathan reappeared,
his hands holding paper and an inkwell. He
slammed them down in front of her. “Write
your note, Countess.”
Kristin quickly scribbled a
few words of comfort and reassurance to her daughter then folded the paper and
addressed it. Nathan provided a
blob of sealing wax to finish off the process.
“I’ll see that this goes
“Captain!” Lucas burst through the door of the inn and raced towards the
table where Nathan and Kristin were. “Mr.
Crocker needs you… the boat… now.”
Nathan grabbed the gasping
youth’s shoulders. “What’s
“Crocker sent me to get
you. He needs you on the ship now.
There is a message coming in.”
“A message… this could be
it! Tell any man you see to canvas
the area for our crew on shore. They
need to check back in… they have two hours.”
Lucas nodded and left just as
hastily as he had come.
Nathan turned back to
Kristin. “I’ve arranged for a
room for you and I’ll see to passage on the next ship departing for England.
Consider yourself a free woman, milady.”
He dropped a small purse bulging with coin in front of her then turned
and stalked away.
Kristin stared at the money
pouch, stunned by Nathan’s unexpected rejection.
‘He doesn’t want me any more… after everything we… how can I go
on without him? Why doesn’t he
Kristin jumped as her subconscious answered her.
‘You hurt him. By calling
yourself a prisoner you insinuated that you were an unwilling partner to his
loving. He never said he didn’t
Kristin grabbed the purse and
jumped up from the table to hurry after the man she loved.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Nathan reached the top of the
gangplank and yelled for Crocker, a heavy scowl on his face.
The first mate appeared instantly, his eyes searching the deck.
“Where is Lady
“I’ve freed my
prisoner,” Nathan bit out. “Let’s
see to the message.”
voice called Nathan’s attention back as he reached the entrance to the living
quarters. He turned just in time to
see Kristin step onto the deck, her arms hugging her sides as she struggled for
breath. He took a step toward her
then stopped, stamping down the hope that had briefly flourished.
With another scowl he turned
and disappeared through the door.
Crocker inclined his head at
the now empty space. “I’ll give
you a few moments.”
Kristin nodded and moved
after Nathan, working to regulate her breathing before she confronted him.
The door to the cabin
wasn’t locked as she half expected it to be so she pushed it open and walked
in. Nathan stood at the window, his
back to her.
Kristin walked up beside him
and stretched to plant a kiss on his cheek.
“Thank you for the lovely day in town.
You were right. Port San
Luis is an interesting place to be sure and the market was very educational.
Could you get my buttons please?”
Nathan stared dumbfounded as
Kristin turned her back to him.
“What in the hell are you
doing? I freed you! Go back to the inn. Go
back to your damned England.”
“If I am no longer your
captive I have the right to go where I want… do as I choose.
Well I choose to be here… with you.”
Kristin turned slowly to face him. “Unless…
you don’t want me anymore. Is
that it, Nathan? Are you tired of
me? Do you want to be rid of…”
Her words were cut off as he
grabbed her against him and caught her lips in a searing kiss.
His hands ripped at the fasteners running along the back of her dress
until he finally took the two sides and pulled.
Buttons flew across the room as he stripped the gown from her and pushed
her back against the wall.
“Oh god…” he whispered
between passionate kisses. “I
will never tire of you. I’ll die
Nathan’s hand fell to
Kristin’s bare thighs then moved up, pushing the chemise with them. When he reached her bottom he lifted and she brought her legs
up to wrap them around his waist. Nathan
kept her pinned against the wall, raining kisses over her face and her upper
body as he slipped a hand to his trouser placard and quickly freed his iron rod
then rammed it into her.
There was nothing gentle or
loving in their joining; it was pure unbridled lust.
Kristin’s hands pulled at Nathan’s hair and she bit his neck as he
sucked her skin to the point of bruising. She
met him with every frantic thrust, her nails clawing into his scalp as his
fingers dug into her rear. Sounds
and scents of passion filled the room as they fought toward completion.
Release came quickly, a
triumphant cry emerging from Nathan’s lips as he spilled into her, her own
spasming inner muscles and relieved cry telling him that she was joining him.
“I’m sorry,” Kristin
said in a breathless voice as she rested her forehead against his.
“I… it wasn’t my intention to upset you… I… I’m just worried
about my daughter. I don’t feel
or think of myself as your prisoner any longer… my words came out wrong…”
“I’m sorry too,” Nathan
told her. “I know that you’re
worried about Cynthia. When you
said… referred to yourself as my… it hur…” he brushed his lips over
hers. “I have a temper. You know this.”
Kristin laughed softly.
“Am I forgiven?”
“Yes…” Kristin answered
and lowered her lips to his.
A knock on the cabin door
prevented the kiss from spiraling out of control.
“Cap… are you ready?”
“Uh… not quite, Gator,”
Nathan called out. “Give us a
moment or two.”
“Aye, Cap,” Crocker
called back, amusement very evident in his voice.
Nathan brushed another kiss
over Kristin’s mouth then withdrew from her body, holding her securely until
she lowered her legs to the floor. He
glanced down at her attire. “I’ll
get you a shirt and some britches,” Nathan told her. “I want you to come with me to meet Darwin…”
“Darwin?” Kristin asked as Nathan stepped away from her and hurried
over to his trunk to pull out the clothes.
“Is that the dolphin you were telling me about?”
“Yes,” he answered and
handed her the clothes.
Kristin smiled at him as she
quickly pulled the britches and shirt over her chemise.
“Let me help,” Nathan
said and stepped in close.
They held each other’s eyes
as Nathan slipped his arms around her and began to tuck her chemise into the
britches, his hands caressing the firm, bare skin of her bottom as he did so.
“Gator is just outside the
door,” Kristin told him in a husky voice.
“I know,” Nathan replied
as he pulled his hands out of her pants then reached for the length of rope and
quickly looped it around her waist and knotted it.
He lowered his head and brushed his lips against hers.
“But tonight… tonight is ours,” Nathan told her in a voice filled
with desire. “I am going to make
love to you until we both lose consciousness…”
whispered, her eyes dark with need.
“Tonight…” he confirmed
and gave her a brief but promising kiss then stepped away from her and moved
over to the window. “Come on in,
The door opened and Crocker
walked in. If he noticed their
flushed skin, or the small marks on their necks, he made no comment instead he
merely kept a smile on his face and moved to join Nathan at the window.
Nathan climbed out the window
onto the small balcony then reached back in to give Kristin a hand.
“Come on, Kris…”
Kristin nodded then with
Crocker and Nathan’s help; she climbed through the open window and joined
Nathan on the ledge running the width of the back of the ship. “Now what?” Kristin
“We go down closer to the
water,” Nathan answered and gestured at the rope behind him. He smiled at the uncertain look on her face and reached out
to cup her cheek. “Trust me.”
“Good. Now, I’m going to go down this rope to another ledge.
Once I’m there, I want you to pull the rope up and tie it around your
waist then Gator will lower you down to me.”
Nathan turned to Crocker who
nodded then grabbed the rope and climbed down.
Once he was on the ledge, he called up for them to pull the rope up.
Several moments later, he grinned at the sight of Kristin’s bare feet
appearing above him. Nathan reached
up to guide her down, his hands sliding up her body.
“Now I know why you wanted
me to come down this way,” Kristin said as she found her balance on the small
“So you would have an
excuse to run your hands over my body,” Kristin replied.
Nathan’s hand slipped down
from her waist to cup her bottom and he gave her a broad smile.
“I’d prefer to run my hands over your body without the hindrance of
Kristin’s reply was cut off
by the sound of a shrill whistle from the water lapping at their feet.
“Hello, Darwin m’boy!”
Nathan knelt down on the ledge, gesturing for Kristin to do the same.
“Kristin… this is Darwin,” he introduced her to the bobbing mammal
who’s melon he was currently stroking.
“Hello, Darwin,” Kristin
said to the smiling dolphin.
Darwin whistled in response
and sprayed them with a light mist of water.
“He likes you,” Nathan
“How can you tell?”
“He only sprays people he
Kristin smiled and watched
with interest as Nathan reached down and removed a corked glass cylinder
attached to a leather strap hooked in the dolphin’s mouth.
“You weren’t joking, were you? You
really have trained him as a messenger.”
“Yes,” Nathan answered as
he worked the stopper from the cylinder and pulled the rolled paper out.
He quickly scanned the contents then rolled the paper back up, replaced
it in the cylinder and slid it into his pocket.
Crocker’s head appeared
over the side up top. “Yeah,
“Make ready to sail!
We leave in an hour.”
Crocker’s head disappeared
and moments later Nathan and Kristin heard indistinct shouts from above deck.
“So, how did you and Darwin
meet?” Kristin asked as she
continued to stroke Darwin’s head.
“I found him injured near
my island,” Nathan answered. “I
patched him up as best as I could then kept an eye on him while he recovered.
When he was better, he continued to hang around and so… I decided to
see if I could train him.”
“And his name?”
“I had a childhood friend, Ernest Darwin… guy swam like a fish and
was fascinated by marine life. When
he got excited, he’d talk real fast… he sounded like… well, like Darwin
here. So… it seemed kind of
Kristin smiled and watched as
Nathan turned his attention to the dolphin, talking and petting the mammal with
“Feel like a quick swim?”
“Yes,” Nathan nodded then
a slow smile formed on his lips. “Sadly…
it won’t be like on the island… we’ll have to keep our clothes on…”
Kristin blushed then smiled.
“Yes, that is too bad,” she moved closer and trailed her hand down
his chest. “I rather enjoyed
seeing you naked and wet.”
“Is that so?”
Nathan asked, his smile turning into a wolfish grin as Kristin reddened
even more. “The feeling is
mutual, my lady… I very much prefer to gaze at you without the encumbrance of
They shared a look then
Nathan leaned over and caught her mouth in a hungry kiss.
“Or we could forget the
swimming and just sit here and kiss until it is time for us to set sail…”
Nathan murmured against her mouth.
“Mmm…” she flicked her
tongue against his lips. “I like
that idea better.”
Nathan chuckled and sat on
the ledge, dangling his feet in the water as he pulled Kristin across his lap.
“So do I,” he agreed as he lowered his mouth back to hers.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“They seem to do that a
“They sure do,” Crocker
agreed with the teen peering over the ledge with him.
“Does it bother you?”
“Actually no… I think
it’s great,” Lucas admitted. “The
captain has been so much happier since Lady Westphalen came aboard.”
“Yes he has,” Crocker
smiled then motioned for Lucas to step back.
He leaned out over the edge a little further and took a deep breath.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Nathan pulled his lips from
Kristin’s and smiled when she buried her face in his chest. He looked up. “We’ll
be right up, Gator.”
Nathan waited for Crocker to
step back before he looked back down at the woman in his arms. He brushed his fingers through her hair and smiled at her
when she looked up him.
“Time to go,” he told her
softly and cupped her cheek.
“I know,” Kristin nodded.
“You have a godson to save.”
“Oh, Kris… I pray this is
the right ship. Time may be running
out for Will,” Nathan said as she moved off his lap and carefully stood on the
“I pray it is too,”
Kristin replied as Nathan climbed to his feet beside her then wrapped the rope
securely around Kristin’s waist.
Nathan smiled at her, brushed
his lips across hers then tilted his head back.
“Pull her up, Gator.”
“Watch your hands,”
Kristin told him with a smile, laughing softly at the lecherous grin that formed
on his face.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“Lucas, have you seen the
“No, milady,” Lucas
answered. “He was here a few
“Hmm…” Kristin glanced
around the deck of the ship.
“He might’ve gone below.
I know that he likes to check every inch of the ship before we engage
“Thank you, Lucas.”
“You’re welcome,” the
teen responded and watched her walk away.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“Is everything set?”
“Yes, Cap. And everyone knows what they have to do.”
Nathan looked up at his first
mate with an anxious expression on his face.
“I have a very strong feeling that this is the ship, Manny.”
“I do too, Cap,” Crocker
replied. “Even the men are
convinced this is the one.”
Nathan nodded then began to
pace across his office.
“Nathan… you need to
relax. We’re still a day’s sail
from the Interceptor.”
“I know… I know…”
“Why don’t you… spend
some time with the countess? Take
her up the crow’s nest again.”
“I can’t… I…”
Nathan began then stopped, a smile forming on his lips as he remembered his
earlier promise to Kristin. ‘But
tonight… tonight is ours. I am
going to make love to you until we both lose consciousness…’
“That is a very good idea,
Gator,” Nathan said. “In
fact… I did promise her…” he stopped then turned to Crocker.
“I have a favour to ask.”
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Kristin stopped and turned to
see Crocker walking towards her.
“Where’re you goin’ if
I might ask?”
“I was looking for
Nathan,” Kristin answered. “Lucas
said he thinks he may be down in the cargo hold but I don’t really want to go
down there,” shadows of fear briefly flitted across her face.
“Actually, he’s in his
cabin,” Crocker told her.
“Yes, ma’am,” Crocker
nodded. “He sent me to find you
and escort you there. He has a
surprise for you.”
“A surprise?” Kristin’s
eyes lit up. “What kind of
“I’d be keelhauled if I
revealed any more. My instructions
are to bring you to the cabin and that is all.
After you, milady.”
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Kristin called out to Nathan
as she entered but received no answer. She
stepped into the room and closed the door securely behind her and slid the bolt
home then turned.
The last rays of sunlight
were fading from the horizon but a row of lanterns above the window provided
plenty of light. A large bowl of
water sat on the table, steam and the scent of lavender rising from the surface;
a towel waiting beside it.
Her fingers trailed through
the water as Kristin continued looking around the cabin.
The bunk had been freshly changed, the blanket and sheet folded down in
anticipation of the coming night. The
stark whiteness of the sheets was broken by a ripple of blue and green.
Kristin moved closer and stroked the delicate silk; a smile touching her
lips as she realized what Nathan and Lucas’ surreptitious whisperings had been
‘Could I?’ Kristin lifted
her hands to the buttons of her shirt as she stared at the cloth. She thought of the way the silk had felt against her skin
then she thought of the look in Nathan’s eyes when he’d seen her in it.
Her chemise fluttered to the floor on top of her shirt and britches as
she strode across the room. Once she reached the table she dipped her hands into the
water and splashed it on her naked body.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Nathan took a deep breath
from his vantage point in the shadowed hallway when he heard the bolt slide
back. He pushed away from the wall
and moved down the corridor, stopping for just a moment to lay his hand on the
door as he pictured the woman inside. At
the sound of approaching footsteps he moved further away to intercept the
Lucas appeared at the end of
the corridor, a heavy tray in his arms. “I’ve
brought your dinner, sir. Everything
was done just as you requested.”
“Thank you, Lucas.
I’ll take the tray from here.”
“I don’t mind carrying it
into your quarters, Cap.”
Nathan lifted the tray.
“That won’t be necessary. Tell
Mr. Crocker to continue with the preparations as we discussed.
I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Shall I come back for the
tray later?” Lucas asked as
Bridger moved away.
Nathan rolled his eyes then
turned back to face the boy. “Go
to bed. This corridor is off limits
to the crew for the rest of the night.”
A huge grin split Lucas’
face. “Aye, Captain.”
“Guess they’re gonna do
some more kissing,” Nathan heard the boy mutter as he disappeared.
‘I have to have a talk with
that boy.’ A quiet chuckle
escaped as Nathan shook his head ruefully.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Kristin fingered the edge of
the silk nervously, fully conscious that only the two ends of the sarong tied
behind her neck held the cloth on her body.
The thought that Nathan could simply slip a hand inside the front drape
to reach any part of her body that he desired sent a rush of heat to her center
and a blush to her cheeks.
She knew that Nathan was
outside the moment before the handle turned and the door swung open.
She stepped back against the corner window and watched as he placed a
tray on the table then picked up the damp towel she had spread over a chair and
He lifted his eyes toward the
window and she stepped forward into the light, forcing her hand to release its
grasping hold on the open fold and fall to her side.
“Oh, Kris…” Nathan’s
voice was husky with undisguised desire as his eyes raked over her. “I thought I knew… but I never dreamed that you would be
Her eyes fell to the floor as
a pleased smile touched her lips. “I…
I can’t believe that I’m so embarrassed… This covers me even more than my
chemise in many ways… I guess that it is just different…”
“Kris…” she stopped
when Nathan spoke her name and lifted her eyes to look at him.
She moved willingly into his
“Are you hungry?”
He murmured against her hair.
“Ravenous.” Kristin bit his neck lightly.
Nathan pushed away slightly
and moved toward the table, his hand holding hers as she followed him.
“For now… food.
I had a few… special things… loaded while we were in port.
I hope that you like them.” Nathan
pulled the towel covering the food away and lifted dish after dish onto the
table. “Oh… I almost
Kristin watched with interest
as Nathan moved to the window and climbed onto the small balcony, returning a
few minutes later with a chilled bottle of wine in his hand.
He took two goblets out of a padded shelf in the credenza and poured a
glass for each of them.
“This is very good.”
Kristin told him as she sipped her drink. Nathan
dragged the chair from the other side of the table around so that he was sitting
next to her.
“I’m glad you like it.
I bought it just for you. Do
you like oysters? These come from a
small bay in the Gulf of Mexico.” Nathan
picked up the half shell and held it out for Kristin.
She eyed it suspiciously.
“That doesn’t look like
what I see in my stew.” She
“Try one. If you don’t like them I’ll finish the rest.”
“I haven’t really noticed
that you need them but…”
“So you know that oysters are considered an aphrodisiac.”
Kristin placed the shell
against her mouth and tilted it. She
sputtered as the soft mollusk hit the back of her throat but quickly recovered.
“That was… interesting.” She observed as she sipped her wine.
“I believe I’d like to try another.”
Nathan wolfed down one of his
own then held another out. When
Kristin reached for it he pulled his hand away, guiding the shell toward her
mouth himself as he leaned in closer. Kristin
parted her lips, her gaze locked with his, as she accepted his offering.
As soon as she had swallowed Nathan caught her mouth with his.
Kristin broke the kiss and
offered Nathan an oyster, her thumb rubbing sensually along his lower lips to
catch stray juice as he swallowed. They
continued in this manner, oyster then kiss, until the entire dozen were gone.
The empty plate was pushed
away and Nathan replaced it with a platter containing a delicious smelling
roasted loin of pork surrounded by a variety of vegetables.
“You really did plan a
sumptuous meal.” Kristin gasped as he carefully sliced the meat and offered
her a small bite.
“I know how tired of stew
you are. I thought that you might
enjoy something different.” He held out a piece of buttered white bread to
Kristin bit into the bread
and laughed as butter dribbled down her chin.
Nathan caught her hand before she could wipe it off and lapped his tongue
over the yellow stream, tracing it from the tip of her chin back up to her lips.
Kristin opened her mouth to him immediately, her tongue seeking his.
Nathan pulled back,
recognizing the building desire in both of them.
“Dinner first,” he whispered as his lips brushed her forehead.
“We need our strength.”
“Tell me… something.
Anything. I want to know
everything about you.” Nathan told Kristin as they ate their dinner.
She giggled self-consciously.
“What would you like to know?”
“Tell me about your
shipyard. You must admit that a
woman in charge of a shipyard is most unusual.
How did you become so closely involved?”
“One of my father’s estates overlooks the ocean.
I remember sneaking away from my nurse once to go play in the water.
I must have been about five. When
my absence was noted a massive search was called while I played on the water’s
edge, oblivious to the furor my disappearance had caused.”
“I can only imagine.”
“I remember my mother
weeping when they found me and my father proclaiming that I had to be taught to
swim in case I pulled the same trick again.
From that point on I spent all the time I could near the water.
Father had a small boat built for my brother and I and taught us how to
sail when we were teenagers.”
“So you have the sea in
your blood?” Nathan asked, quite
“I must have.
When I’m in London I long for the taste of a fresh salty breeze and the
sound of crashing waves.”
“And you married a ship
“I married a Scottish laird
who just happened to own a shipyard. Although
the majority of Oliver’s holdings were in the north he inherited the yards and
an estate in Cornwall from an English uncle.
I actually met him for the first time when I was about fourteen.
James was coming into his majority and father decided to buy him a larger
boat as a gift. I went with him to the yard and Oliver was there.”
“Fourteen is a bit
Kristin shook her head.
“Nothing happened then. I
thought he was very handsome and I must admit that I did have a few girlish
fantasies about him but he was nearly forty.
I never dreamed that he would notice me.”
“But he did.”
“I debuted when I was
seventeen. Oliver offered for me
six weeks into the season. Father
thought it was an excellent match so we married.
I wasn’t under any great illusion that my new husband was madly in love
with me. That isn’t why society
matches are made.”
“Why was your match made
then?” Nathan asked quietly, his
blue eyes peering at her intently.
“As I said before… Oliver
needed heirs and I was expected to find an appropriate husband and marry.
I was young, presentable and of the correct social class.
He said that he had decided on me the first time he had seen me and been
waiting for me to grow up.”
“He taught you about ship
Kristin laughed as she sipped
her wine, causing it to bubble in the glass.
“Heavens no! Wives don’t
have anything to do with matters of business.
My job was to run the house, manage the children and be a credit to him
in public. Don’t misunderstand
me… Oliver and I had a good marriage. He
was kind and gentle… everything that I had been taught to expect in a good
husband. The only unhappiness in
our marriage was my failure to conceive a son.
We’d been married almost three years when Cynthia was born so we
didn’t worry when I didn’t get pregnant again immediately but as the months
and years slipped by… Oliver desperately wanted a son.”
“I can imagine.
An English Lord would want someone to pass his title to… his
“The Kilhairn title is
actually a bit strange. It was
granted three hundred years before the unification of England and Scotland and
given an amazing exception. The
title is allowed to pass to a daughter if a son isn’t born so Cynthia is
actually the Countess of Kilhairn. The
line will continue through her children if she ever pulls her nose out of a book
long enough to fall in love and marry.”
“How did you end up running
“When Oliver was murdered,
men came out of the woodwork. The
most vile disgusting creatures you could ever imagine… all offering to marry
me and take over the management of my estates.
I knew that they only wanted my daughter’s inheritance so I determined
that I would learn how to manage the properties myself. I went to John Peterson…”
“The old captain of your
“That’s him. I convinced John to teach me.
If he hadn’t I would have had to sell the yard.
I think he finally agreed because he didn’t want the men to lose their
jobs. He was a hard taskmaster.
John told me outright that a woman had no business on a ship but I stuck
with it and I think that over time he came to accept me.
We’ve been lucky with our designs and the business has grown.”
‘The man admires the hell
out of you. Now I understand why
your men are so loyal to you.’ “And
you sail with your own ships?”
“We normally take a newly
completed vessel out for a few days test run.
If I can, I go with them. I
like the feel of the waves beneath my feet.
I like being able to wear plain dresses and wear my hair in a braid.”
“But you still kept the
corset?” Nathan’s eyes sparked with amusement.
Kristin drained the last of
her wine. “Never again, my
captain, I can assure you of that.”
Blue eyes made dark with
desire fell to the abundant curves so beautifully outlined by the green silk.
Nathan’s tongue darted out to lick his lips as he watched the tips of
those breasts peak beneath his gaze.
He stood abruptly and moved
to the window to adjust the shades of the lanterns hanging there so that the
bright light in the room dimmed to a romantic glow.
“Dance with me.” Nathan
extended his hand to Kristin.
She glanced around the room.
“There isn’t any music.”
“Do we need it?”
Kristin’s throat went dry.
“No… we don’t.” She stood and moved slowly across the room, her
hand slipping into Nathan’s. He pulled her closer and laid his free hand on her waist.
“I presume you have
permission to dance the waltz, milady?”
A laugh bubbled delightfully
in Kristin’s throat. “Indeed I
do, Sir Rogue.”
Nathan guided Kristin around
the cabin in a slow dance as he hummed in her ear.
The tempo was half what it would have been in a London ballroom and the
lack of girth in Kristin’s dress allowed Nathan to press his hips fully
“My daughter is never
waltzing with a man again,” Kristin murmured as her free hand slid to
Nathan’s shirt and began to unfasten the buttons.
He lowered his limbs to allow the garment to slide free then tossed it
across the room and wrapped both arms around Kristin’s back.
Her arms slid up and around his neck as she pressed her breasts into his
hard chest. The feel of his chest
hair tickling her aching nipples through the thin silk brought a low moan to her
Nathan’s hands slid down a
few inches to cup Kristin’s bottom and hold it firmly while he pulsed against
her. Kristin whimpered.
“What do you want?”
“I want you,” she moaned
as Nathan tilted his head and ran his tongue caressingly along her ear lobe.
“You want me how?”
He moved to the tender flesh of her neck.
“I want you deep inside me.
Make the ache go away, Nathan.”
Kristin clung to Nathan’s
neck as her feet left the floor. Seconds
later he deposited her in the middle of the bed.
Kristin lay back on her
elbows and watched Nathan as he sat down on the edge of the bunk.
His eyes roamed her body as he worked his feet free of his boots, his
gaze lingering on the proud thrust of her breasts.
He didn’t break his gaze as he stood, his hand falling to his waist.
Kristin rolled and came up on
her knees in front of Nathan, her fingers stilling his. He dropped his hand away and stood motionless as Kristin
shyly worked the buttons of his britches free.
Her hands slid beneath the waistband and around to his sides as she
carefully worked the fabric down, gasping when his rigid manhood sprang out.
Nathan’s trousers broke free, sliding down to pool around his ankles
then Kristin sat back, her fist clenching as she stared at the hard muscle
pointing at her.
Nathan knew what she wanted
and held his hand out to her once again. She
laid her palm in his and he guided it to his arousal, wrapping her fingers
around his length then thrusting gently against her grip as he encouraged her
“You’re so hard… but
your skin is soft as velvet,” she murmured in awe as she carefully ran her
fingers up and down the shaft.
Nathan felt his juices begin to rise up his shaft and hastily stepped back out of Kristin’s reach. “Not yet. I want to be inside you when I come.”
“You mean you… that you
could… just from my touch?” Kristin’s
eyes filled with amazement as she stared at Nathan’s member.
“This part of the body is
just as sensitive on me as it is on you. I
react to your touch just as you react to mine.”
“But the feelings when you
touch me… when you kiss me there… I could do that to you?”
Nathan groaned at the mental
image Kristin’s words caused. “Oh
yes… most definitely.”
Kristin’s eyes fell as her
face flamed at the thought. She
reached for him.
Nathan caught her hand and
pushed her back against the soft feather bed as he climbed in beside her.
“I don’t want this to end too quickly and I assure you that if you
did that I would be done immediately. Just
lie back and enjoy.”
Nathan kissed Kristin gently,
his lips tugging and teasing her lower lip as her tongue sought to mate with
his. His hand found the edge of her
sarong and worked between the layers until he came to the bare skin of her side
and began a leisurely up and down trek from breast to thigh and back.
Kristin arched into him as he
finally gave in to her seeking tongue and allowed the kiss to deepen into a wild
mating. Her hands fisted in his
hair, trying desperately to pull him back as Nathan broke the kiss and moved
lower, his lips nibbling down her throat and across her bare collarbone.
When she realized his intent
Kristin moved her hands to the back of her neck, her fingers seeking the knotted
fabric. Once again Nathan stopped
“But… I want you to kiss
“Where do you want me to
kiss you, darling?”
“My mouth…” She shook
her head. “Everywhere. I want you to kiss my breasts and I want you to kiss me…
Nathan knew how aroused
Kristin must be to give voice to her feelings.
“I will kiss you everywhere, I promise.”
His mouth fell to her breast and he flicked his tongue lightly over one
silk covered peak then pulled back to watch the nipple distend even further.
He brought a hand up to circle the areole, watching as the sliding silk
enflamed her even more.
He lowered his head again,
this time pulling the marbled crest completely into his mouth. Nathan worked both breasts with hand and mouth.
His index finger flicked the hard nipple of her right breast as his
tongue did the same to her left. When
he suckled her right nipple his thumb and forefinger tugged with equal pressure
on the other. His teeth nipped
while his fingers pinched.
Kristin’s body pulsed
beneath his touch, the air filled with her moans of pleasure accompanied by her
pleas for release. “Nath… an!
Nathan gasped when he felt
Kristin’s hand move over his hipbone and grasp him firmly. The skirt of her sarong fell open as she slid a leg up and
around his hips.
“Kris… honey… oh god!
That feels so good!” Nathan’s
back arched as his hips moved instinctively into her grasp.
Kristin’s touch was tentative, untutored, but it enflamed Nathan’s
desire. When she found the drop of
moisture escaping the tip and captured it with her thumb he jerked away from her
before he exploded in her palm.
Kristin groaned her
frustration as Nathan pinned her arms to the mattress and shifted over her.
With one last hard suckle at each pointed nipple he trailed his lips down
the lower swell of her breast and over her belly.
Kristin’s thigh moved to
rub the hard erection traveling along her bare skin as Nathan continued his
downward trek. He shifted and slid
his knees between her calves, pushing her legs wide apart, taking the silk with
them. His large hands curled around
her now bare thighs, gripping her tightly as he lowered his mouth and tasted
her, exploring her with slow deliberate caresses.
He licked her soft flesh,
feeling her open more to him with each stroke.
His tongue pushed deep inside her wetness, delving further and further
with each stroke. Kristin cried
out, her hands grasping at his shoulders.
Using the tip of his tongue, he circled her heated entrance, seeking and
“Please…” Kristin was
desperate for Nathan to enter her, to fill her.
Instead he drew back and blew
gently, his warm breath a gentle caress to her throbbing sex. Her hands threaded through his hair as she tried to turn his
face back into her, demanding his touch. His
tongue skimmed over her bud, back and forth until her flesh quivered.
His lips fell to the tender flesh of her inner thighs to touch and taste,
making her wetter still. He moved
upward, his tongue mapping and exploring every soft fold until Kristin was ready
to burst. He pulled her fleshy
lower lips into his mouth, kissing and suckling them gently until he felt a
trickle of moisture slide from her.
“Again!” She demanded as
Nathan dipped to taste her, lapping her juices into his mouth like a man dying
of thirst. Finally his tongue
settled back on her needy sex, causing Kristin to cry out as a wave of pleasure
engulfed her. Her hips rolled against him, enhancing her pleasure and easing the
pressure building within her.
Nathan skimmed his hands down
the back of Kristin’s buttocks and thighs, pressing her up into his mouth.
He lifted one of her legs, settling the naked thigh on his shoulder, then
returned his hands to her bottom, grasping and parting the firm globes.
One long digit dipped into her moist channel from behind. The roll of Kristin’s hips increased as her pleasure grew
The sound of a ringing bell
barely penetrated Nathan’s senses, so overwhelmed was he by her smell and
taste. His barely voiced curse sent
another wave of electricity shooting through Kristin and her body went rigid as
she strained against his pressing hand.
Knowing that he couldn’t
last much longer himself, Nathan drew the swollen center of Kristin’s desire
into his mouth and suckled. Her
back arched as she thrust her pelvis forward, demanding more.
A second finger joined the first and after a few deep strokes Nathan
pressed both fingers firmly into her inner wall as he pulled unrelentingly on
her clitoris. Kristin shouted his
name as waves of ecstasy flowed from her full center throughout her body.
Kristin trembled as her
orgasm slowly faded. Nathan
continued to love her with his mouth, laving her swollen tissue and stroking her
gently as he slowly eased her back to earth.
She was unaware when Nathan left her, climbing from the bed and dashing
to the window. He was back before
her last shudder was completed.
“Where…?” She managed to gasp as his hands returned to her body,
stroking her from breast to thigh.
“Darwin… He’d keep
ringing the bell until someone showed up and I definitely don’t want anyone
else in here.” Nathan’s lips
joined his hands.
“I knew I heard bells.
I just thought… you have to go below?”
Kristin’s hands locked into his hair as she pressed into him.
“No,” Nathan murmured
against the hollow of her throat. “I’m
not going anywhere except over the edge with you.”
The sarong parted and fell
away under Nathan’s deft fingers, revealing her to his gaze. Kristin held her arms out.
“Then come with me.”
Nathan quickly settled
between her parted thighs, seating himself within her warmth with a loud moan
into her mouth. He loved her
gently; keeping the pace slow and steady until her over sensitized flesh was
able to handle more.
The pull of Kristin’s flesh
told him that she was ready for him to increase the pace, her inner muscles
clinging to his erection while her fingers dug into his bottom.
“Where did you… oh
sweet… Kris!” Nathan moaned as she clenched him rhythmically. She stopped instantly.
“Did I hurt you?
I’m sorry… you seemed to like that,” she apologized.
Nathan cut her off with a
kiss. “Believe me, my darling,
you didn’t hurt me. That feels
so… wonderful… but I can’t hold out if you keep…” A loud groan bubbled
forth as Kristin tightened around him again.
“Let me watch you,
Nathan.” Her fingers stroked his
face softly as she brushed light kisses over his lips.
“I want to see you come.” Nathan
couldn’t resist the feel of her clamped so tightly around him or the pleading
look in her face. He pulled up to
his elbows and pistoned rapidly in and out of her sheath, his body jerking as he
peaked and emptied himself within her.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“There… yes… Nath…
Screams of completion filled
the cabin as the couple collapsed to the mattress; their limbs still locked
tightly around each other.
Perhaps they did lose
consciousness because when Nathan came back to himself he was surprised to find
that he was lying diagonally across his bunk with his head near the foot of the
bed. Kristin lay sprawled out naked
on top of him, the fulfillment of a fantasy he remembered from several weeks
before. The air was heavy with the
scent of their passion.
An attempt to shift his foot
brought resistance and Nathan raised his head slightly to find the sheet wrapped
around his ankle. Further looking
showed that the bed was in complete disarray.
Sheets and blankets were untucked and the pillows were nowhere to be
Kristin murmured her
disapproval as Nathan rolled her to her back and carefully disentangled his legs
from hers. He slipped off the
mattress and did his best to tuck the bottom sheet back in.
A quick search of the floor yielded the pillows then Nathan lifted
Kristin and turned her back to the head of the bed before climbing back in and
dragging a blanket over them. Kristin
immediately snuggled into his embrace.
Nathan stared down at her
face illuminated by moonlight, enthralled by her beauty. “I thought I had lost you today.
Halfway back to the boat I wanted to turn around and find you; throw
myself at your feet and beg you to forgive me… but my pride wouldn’t let me.
Thank God you came back to me.”
He brushed a loving kiss
across the top of her head as he cuddled her closer, enjoying the rhythmic sound
of her breathing until exhaustion overcame him.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
The sheet beside her felt
cool to Kristin’s touch as she reached out.
“Nathan?” She whispered his name softly as she sat up, clutching the
sheet to her naked breast. She
scanned the room and found him, his nude form silhouetted in the moonlight as he
stared out the window at the ocean.
Kristin slipped from the bed,
grabbing the blanket from the foot to wrap around her shoulders as she moved
silently across the floor and up behind Nathan.
She leaned her cheek against
his back as she opened her arms and closed them around his chest, draping them
both with the bedspread.
“Come back to bed,” she
murmured. “You need to rest.”
Nathan lifted one of her
hands to his lips and lovingly caressed the palm.
“Soon. I always have
trouble sleeping the night before a confrontation.”
She brushed a kiss across his
skin, savoring the salty taste that was uniquely his. “I know how important this is to you.”
“This has to be the right
ship, Kristin. Will has been lost
to us for over six months. How much
longer can he last? I won’t let
his parents lose him like I lost my son.”
Kristin caressed his chest
comfortingly. “You will find him.
You haven’t come this far to fail now.
You seem very sure that your friend’s information is correct and this
is the right ship. Tomorrow you will board it and get Will back.”
Nathan grabbed Kristin’s
wrist and tugged, pulling her body around his until she faced him.
He wrapped the blanket around both of them and tucked it in then dropped
his joined hands to the small of her back.
She snuggled into his neck.
“Tomorrow… once we engage
the enemy… you will be left here with Lucas and a guard, just like before.
Will you give me your word that you won’t try to leave this cabin until
I come for you… no matter what you may hear?”
Kristin leaned back slightly
to meet his gaze. “You have my
“Thank you.” He brushed
his lips across her forehead.
“How will you… when my
ship first sighted you we had no indication that you were a pirate ship.
How do you manage to keep your identity hidden so well?”
“Thanks to an observation by Lucas.
One day he remarked in passing how nice it would be if we could just
stretch the blue sails out over the white ones when we needed them then take
them down and put them away. That set me thinking. I
designed a system where we can hand crank the various blue coverings in place in
just a few moments. We wait until
we get close enough to our target then up they go. Once the battle is over we roll them back down.
The holding rod is tucked up under the edge of the regular sail so no one
ever thinks to look for it and we aren’t chased by every navy on the ocean.”
ingenious… to come up with that just from a boy’s comment.”
“Lucas helped me design the
system as well. He’s really got a
brilliant mind. He is fascinated by
the way things are put together and he is very good at visualizing new ideas.
Once this mess is finished I want to get him into a proper school.”
“We could get him a tutor
to help him catch up to his age level then…” Kristin’s voice faded away as
she realized what she’d said.
“I think that’s a
wonderful idea.” Nathan smiled down at her, his lips seeking hers out for
Kristin felt Nathan’s hands
tighten in anticipation as he broke the kiss and turned her toward the glass.
“Watch…” he told her.
At first Kristin saw nothing
but gradually the rippling water behind the ship became more pronounced then a
sleek gray form broke the surface. The
moonlight turned Darwin’s skin to silver as he arched high in the air.
He seemed to stay suspended forever before falling back to the water with
a loud splash.
“What does it mean?”
Kristin asked; her voice filled with awe.
“It means we are keeping
pace with the British naval vessel. They
are forty-two minutes away as the dolphin swims.”
“You timed him?
How can you be sure?”
“I trained him.
I trust Darwin more than I trust most humans.”
Nathan picked up a shaded lantern from the window ledge and opened the
covering. He waved it across the
“Now what?” Kristin was
fascinated with the communication between the man and the dolphin.
“Now, we go back to bed.
I’ll get up just before daylight and signal him again so that we can
have a last minute check. Come… back to bed now… you must be cold.”
Nathan yanked the blanket
free and scooped Kristin into his arms, carrying her swiftly across the room.
He laid her on the bed and climbed in beside her, dragging the sheet and
blanket up to their waist then rolling so that he was settled between her
thighs. He held his upper body on
his elbows as he stared at her, one thumb carefully smoothing riotous auburn
curls away from her face.
“Kristin… if anything
should happen tomorrow…”
She shook her head
vehemently; her hands moving up to cup his cheeks.
“The only thing that is going to happen tomorrow is that you are going
to succeed in your mission and reunite that boy with his parents.”
Nathan nodded as he struggled
to find his words. “Yes… but if
something should… I want you… I want you to know how… happy I’ve been
these last few weeks… with you. You’ve
brought joy back to my life.”
Unable to speak, Kristin
answered him by raising her lips to his.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Nathan indicated his
agreement with a brief wave of his hand. That
gesture spread across the ship as the crew quickly moved into place.
Crocker, Kreig and Ortiz grabbed their respective cranks and began to
Kristin gasped as the heavy
blue cloth, the exact color of Nathan’s shirt, slow rose over the white sails.
She spared a glance at the ship in the distance, knowing that the sudden
appearance of blue would have the sailors scurrying to prepare.
But it was too late. The
Blue Rogue and his ship would be on them within a matter of minutes.
“It’s time for you to go
below,” Nathan told her, motioning toward O’Neill.
Kristin swallowed hard.
“Please… take care of yourself… promise me…”
“I’ll be back with you
soon,” he whispered for her ears only. “Now
With one last glance Kristin
stepped away, only to find her self being hauled back into Nathan’s arms.
He ravaged her lips, as his crew looked on then thrust her away.
Kristin fled toward the door,
turning back only when she reached it to share one last look.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
“Won’t you sit down,
milady?” Lucas asked, unnerved by
Kristin’s constant pacing as the cannons boomed above them.
“No… I can’t sit…
what do you think is happening now?”
Tim O’Neill pulled his
glasses from his face and wiped them for the fourth time.
“The cannon fire should stop soon.
We are too close for it to be effective any more.
The cannon needs to fire at an arc and once your target gets too close
you just shoot over it. If they try to shoot straight the ball falls too quickly or
they risk shooting a hole in their own deck.”
As if on command the roar of
cannon fire died away.
Kristin stared at the ceiling
as though she was willing the wood to disappear so she could verify Nathan’s
“What would you be doing,
Tim? If you weren’t here, I mean.
If you could be doing anything in the world what would it be?” Kristin
asked, desperate to distract herself.
Tim thought for a moment.
“I can’t imagine anything I would rather be doing… any place that I
would rather be. If the captain
hadn’t rescued me I’d still be suffering as an unwilling member of the
“Rescued… of course!
Nathan didn’t steal you… he rescued you just as he rescued those men
on the last ship… as he was trying to do to my crew!
Why didn’t I realize that?”
“That’s why I am a member
of this crew, Countess. I
volunteered. We all did.
Many of the men have sailed with the captain for years… Crocker the
longest and Kreig from the time he started wearing long britches.
But the rest of us… we sail because we were rescued or we have family
who were rescued.”
“Don’t you miss your
“Of course, but I saw them
less than a year ago.”
“You did? I… I guess I assumed that you had not…”
Tim nodded. “… that I hadn’t been home since I was taken.
I was back at home within a month from the time the captain rescued me.
I spent a few weeks with my folks then rejoined the ship. I’ve been home several times since th…”
O’Neill’s words trailed
off as the boat lurched, the sound of wood scraping wood filling the air.
His fingers closed around his firearm.
“We’ve made contact.”
“Now what?” Kristin asked
“Hand to hand combat.
We board their ship and fight.”
“Swords. Pistols are too difficult to constantly reload… although
the captain does carry a six-chamber revolver.
Bayonets are also a possibility.”
Kristin closed her eyes and
shuddered as a series of gruesome mental images swept through her mind.
“Dear Lord, please protect him…” she mouthed, not realizing that
Tim and Lucas were watching her intently.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
Nathan’s attacker deftly
dodged the slice of his sword as Nathan lunged forward but didn’t expect the
man clad in blue to counter with a swift kick behind the knees. The officer fell forward, hitting the deck with a loud thud,
his sword skittering across the planking.
“Captain!” Nathan whirled to see Ortiz standing in the middle of the
ship, his sword held at the throat of a plump older gentleman wearing
captain’s strips. Nathan quickly
fought his way through the sea of sailors to join him.
“Tell your men to stand
down,” Nathan ordered.
The British officer refused
to meet his gaze.
“Order your men to stand
down immediately or I will have my second mate cut your throat.”
There was little doubt that Nathan wasn’t serious about the threat.
The order was quickly issued.
The British captain continued
to glare at Nathan defiantly as his sailors slowly surrendered their weapons and
moved into the formation Crocker commanded.
Jonathan Ford came to stand guard over the captain while Nathan helped to
canvas the crew.
Crocker approached him with a
shake of the head. “No sign,
“Ship wide search.
He’s here, I can feel it.”
Three of the crew had been
pressed into service so they were carefully culled from the larger group.
Nathan loudly ordered his crew to clear the deck of dead bodies and the
three limp men were tossed overboard, only to be picked up by a boat and rowed
to the opposite side of the seaQuest where they were taken on board in secret.
“We found him.” Kreig’s
low whisper in Nathan’s ear caused a shout to bubble up but he quickly
suppressed it. “He’s in a berth down below.
He’s hurt, sir. A saber
wound and it’s serious. But
Nathan quickly motioned for
several men to follow him as he moved toward the lower deck entrance, barking
out an order for the ships stores to be plundered along the way.
Once they were out of range he sent Ortiz to ransack the captain’s
quarters, ensuring that the older man would think that he’d been robbed.
The crew quarters were one
deck lower and Nathan practically leapt down the ladder then sprinted through
the deck until Ben stopped him.
A big smile grew on
Nathan’s face as he knelt beside the rough wooden bunk and clasped the hand
being held out to him.
“Hey, Billy Boy.
You don’t know how glad I am to see you again.”
“Not half as glad as I am
to see you, Uncle Nathan. I knew
that you would come for me.”
“What about that leg?
Can you walk?” Nathan pushed the blanket aside and stared at the bloody rag
wrapped around his godson’s thigh.
“I can make it.”
Nathan helped Will stand but
quickly recognized that despite the boy’s determination he would have a
difficult time making it all the way to the other ship.
“Ben, knock a hole through
the side of that wall. Send one of
the men up to have the small boat brought along side.
We will lower Will down then use the hole to load some of the stores.
Have the men joke about throwing a wounded limey overboard.”
“That could work, sir.
Come on, men. Let’s get started.”
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
A fist pounded the door
sharply and Tim raised his rifle but quickly lowered it as a familiar voice
“It’s me. I’m coming in,” Nathan yelled then Lucas quickly slid the
bolts back then pulled the door open. Nathan’s
foot had barely crossed the threshold before the force of Kristin’s body
slamming into him knocked him back. He
wrapped his arms around her and eased her back into the room as she wept against
A quick jerk of his head had
Lucas and O’Neill quickly disappearing.
Nathan guided Kristin toward
the bed then sat down on the edge, pulling her into his lap. His hands roamed her back, comforting her as she snuffled
against his chest.
“Hey, I know that you enjoy
seeing me wet but I still have my shirt on,” he ventured.
Kristin giggled through her
tears as she lifted her head to stare at him.
“I was so scared for you.” Fear
was still evident in her damp eyes.
Nathan dropped his lips to
hers and kissed her tenderly. “I
am all right.”
Kristin slid from his lap and
pulled him to his feet then started running her hands over his body…
shoulders, chest, waist then urged him to turn and did the same with his back.
Nathan bit back a moan when he felt her hands caress his tight buttocks
before sliding down his thighs and calves.
At her command he turned again to find her kneeling on the floor as she
carefully checked the fronts of his legs. When
she reached his groin she paused, staring at the massive bulge there.
A delicate finger reached out to stroke him as her tongue darted out to
moisten her lips.
Nathan swore and hauled her
back to her feet before tumbling her onto the bed and climbing on top of her.
“That still works too, as
you can see.”
“And feel,” she gasped as
his hips settled between her thighs, the thin fabric of her new dress doing
little to disguise his every contour.
“Unfortunately I can’t
prove it to you right now.”
“The naval ship?
You have to stage another show?”
I decided to deal with the problem more directly this time.
We threw the men overboard then picked them up in the boat.
I had the men lift enough of their supplies to make the raid legitimate
then disabled their cannon and cut them free.
Once we were out of sight we changed course just in case they are foolish
enough to pursue us. We did sustain
some more damage so I’ve got the men working on repairs as well as
strengthening the mast.”
“And…?” Kristin asked.
“And Will is being settled
into Crocker’s quarters even as we speak.”
Kristin threw her arms around
Nathan’s neck and embraced him. “I
knew you would find him!”
“I need to go check on him.
He’s hurt; a saber wound to his thigh.”
“That could be dangerous.
Could I help? I do know some methods of fighting infection that might be
“I would welcome your help. Thank
“CAP!” Nathan jumped off of Kristin as the door to his cabin swung
open so forcefully that it bounced off the wall behind it. Crocker burst into the room.
“We’ve got trouble!”
“What is it?”
“Ship approaching, running
full sail. From the lines of her
I’d guess that it’s Zeller, come back for another go at us.”
“SHIT! We don’t need this right now.
Let’s try to outrun him but get the men ready just in case.”
“I’ve already given the
order to pass out fresh ammunition.”
“Good. Go, Gator. I’m
right behind you.”
Nathan turned to see that
Kristin had moved off the bed to stand beside him.
He took her shoulders firmly in his grasp.
“You have to stay here.
If this is Zeller… he’s a killer.
He’d have no qualms about killing you… but not before he… I won’t
let him harm you!” Nathan swore
“I know that, Nathan.
I’ll lock the doors and stay here.”
Heavy footsteps pounded
across the deck above them. Nathan
glared up at the ceiling for a moment then, with one last hard kiss; he turned
and ran out of the cabin.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~
The battle was going badly
for them… that Nathan knew. He
swore as a second cannon ball screamed through the air, this one scoring a solid
hit on their main mast. Although
the thick timber held it splintered badly.
“Get us in closer!”
Crocker spun the wheel wildly
turning the ship back into their rapidly approaching attackers.
“Ready your swords and
pistols, men! We’re going hand to
hand. Remember what is at stake!”
Although the crew fought
valiantly they were already tired from their previous encounter.
As hard as they tried to prevent it the pirate ship was able to come
along side and tie itself to them. Hordes
of burly cutthroats poured over the railings and soon the air was filled with
sounds of metal on metal. Nathan
had just killed his second attacker when he saw a familiar figure making toward
the entrance to the lower decks.
“McLeary!” He hissed and took off after the man.
Kristin’s attacker sensed
the approach of his former rescuer and turned just before Nathan reached him,
sword drawn. He lunged and Nathan
parried, their swords ringing as they fought their way across the deck.
As they neared the far railing McLeary made a devastating misstep and
Nathan neatly disarmed him, the pirate’s sword clattering against the deck as
Nathan threatened to slit his throat.
Before Nathan could follow
through with his intended action his sword suddenly fell, a horrible feeling
running up and down his spine. ‘KRISTIN!’
Even as his mind screamed her
name he heard her voice answering.
“NATHAN!” He whirled to see a tall balding pirate emerge from the lower
deck, one arm wrapped firmly around a struggling Kristin’s waist.
McLeary’s full weight caught Nathan in the small of his back, forcing
him to the deck. Nathan rolled
before the man could grab his sword and lashed out with his foot, catching
McLeary in the stomach. He went
down with a loud huff. Nathan
jumped up and scanned the deck; finally catching sight of the man he knew
instinctively was the pirate Zeller attempting to force Kristin over the
Kristin fought him every step
of the way. She locked her arms
around the railing and refused to let go, swearing as well as any of Nathan’s
crew as the flowing skirts of her gown hindered her attempts to kick her captor.
“Crocker!” Nathan screamed as he fought his way past his first mate.
Crocker turned, his
dispatched opponent sliding to the deck. His
blood ran cold as he watched two pirates grab Kristin and forcibly yank her
free. He heard Nathan scream as he
launched his body at the pirate captain. He
scored a glancing blow, drawing first blood from a slash at Zeller’s arm but
then Zeller yelled and his crew quickly withdrew, circling in together as they
retreated in toward their captain.
Several of the pirates
grabbed Nathan from behind and quickly rendered him unconscious.
Nathan’s crew followed but
too many of them were hurt to be very effective and soon the marauding crew had
abandoned their target, the bonds connecting them quickly cut as the pirates
sailed away with the captain of the seaQuest and his lady as their captives.
~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~