An Undeniable Passion Ch. 09byopels©
Standing at the railing looking out at the ocean, Virginia breathed deeply. The crisp, fresh air blowing her hair back certainly did feel good after so many weeks of being cooped up. Her earlier night time visits on deck hadn't given her much of a chance to enjoy it. The first mate had given her an extensive tour of the ship and she had met most of the crew. By now the story of why she was on board was well known and they behaved in a much more civil manner to her this time and she was grateful for that.
Drake stood by the wheel of the ship staring at Virginia. With her face tilted up to the wind and her flame red hair blowing out behind her she was indeed a vision. In a couple of months they would reach America. He usually hoped for quick crossings, eager to reach port, and even though the atmosphere between the two of them was often tense, this time he found himself wishing the voyage would take longer than usual.
Virginia was watching the sun set and was awed by the splendor of the sky as it turned red and gold.
"It's a beautiful sight isn't it?"
Virginia was startled by Drake's voice behind her. She hadn't heard him approaching.
She turned to answer him and found him standing very close to her. Her heart began to pound and she suddenly forgot what he had just asked her. Her mind immediately flew back to the wildly passionate embrace they had shared earlier and she was dreading that in a couple of hours they would be sharing a bed again.
"I'm sorry, what did you say?" she asked him.
Staring intently into her emerald eyes he said softly, "I was commenting on what a beautiful sight it is."
Virginia's breath caught in her throat. Staring deeply into his eyes, she agreed, that yes, it is beautiful.
At that moment, the first mate approached, and with a polite cough he broke the spell and Drake turned to him. They spoke briefly and he turned back to her. "It's starting to get cold. I'll escort you back to our cabin."
As Drake locked the door behind him, Virginia smiled at the way he had referred to the cabin as "ours".
Over the next few nights they managed to stay away from each other. However, the tension that permeated their cabin whenever they were together was exhausting. It was late at night, the light had been extinguished hours ago but Virginia was still wide awake, listening to Drake's steady breathing as he lay nearby. So nearby. All she had to do was reach out and touch him. And how her fingers ached to touch him, to stroke his skin, so soft over hard muscle, to caress his silky hair. And her body yearned for his touch as well. Her breath quickened as she recalled how magical it felt when his hands moved over her, caressed her cheek, her shoulders, her breast. A shiver raced down her spine as she relived the moment he had sucked her nipple into his mouth. She tried to let her imagination take it further, but she had no idea what would come next. Something that he would not do, would not let himself do.
She bit back a groan of frustration, desperately wanting to sleep but unable to, not with him so close. And even when she could sleep, she was tormented by dreams of him, dreams that she always awoke from aroused and breathless. It seemed that not a moment went by that she didn't yearn for him.
Drake lay with his back to her, listening to her tossing and turning, her frequent deep sighs. He sensed her frustration, felt it himself, in every fiber of his being. He had never had to exert so much self control in his life as he was exercising with this woman. Flames of desire scorched his body, igniting his need to draw her into his arms, hold her, kiss her, touch her. He let the memories wash over him, almost feeling her beneath his palms, her smooth skin, her soft lips and hair. His ears tingled with the recollection of her sweet sighs, her soft moans as he aroused her senses and her breathless pleas to not stop, to not leave her. Biting back his own groan, he desperately tried to think of something else, something that would calm the chaos in his mind and body. But no matter what thoughts he endeavored to conjure up she always managed to find her way in and he was once again fantasizing about her.
Jerking awake, he was first aware that he had managed to fall asleep, second, that there was a frantic knocking at the door as the first mate called out, "Captain, Captain, wake up!"
Drake jumped out of bed and opened the door. "What is it Simpson?"
"There's a storm up ahead, sir. It's still a ways off and we may be able to avoid it."
Virginia sleepily raised her head and asked what was happening.
Without removing his nightshirt he began to dress hurriedly. "We may be heading into a storm. Make sure those portholes are locked tight and don't light any lamps, the oil might spill and catch fire. Lock the door and stay in bed, it's the safest place for you." Seeing her frightened expression he said, "Don't worry V, I've safely sailed this ship through many a storm." Kneeling on the bed and pulling her to him with one arm, he stole a quick kiss and whispered, "for luck," just before he grabbed his jacket and ran out the door.
She locked the door and checked the windows before crawling back into bed. She gently touched her lips where he had kissed her and realized that he had called her "V". She wondered what that meant as she drifted into sleep.
She was woken by the ship violently pitching from side to side, threatening to throw her from the bed. She could hear the men above shouting and running. Thunder boomed and lightning flashed through the rain lashed portholes as she huddled beneath the blankets, frightened by the noises. Wood cracked loudly overhead causing her to cry out as she pulled the blankets tightly around her. She was terrified and kept checking the floor for water as she tried to remember Drake's words, that he had sailed safely through many a storm. She prayed feverently that this would be another one of those times.
It was still dark out when the storm finally subsided. Virginia could hear someone stumbling and tripping down the stairs. There was a banging on the door and Drake's voice, thick with exhaustion, called out asking her to open it. She rushed to the door and unlocked it, letting him in. He staggered into the room, soaking wet, the lines etched deep into his face. He groggily thanked her and fell face first onto the bed.
Virginia tried to wake him but he was sound asleep. She couldn't very well leave him lying there soaking wet, so she lit a lamp and set about undressing him. Starting with his jacket, she pulled it off and hung it dripping from a hook on the wall. Moving to his boots and stockings, they came off with relative ease. She struggled to roll him over and almost fell on top of him in the process. She pushed his wet hair out of his face and lifted his head, placing a towel under it, trying to dry his hair.
He was still wearing his night shirt and her fingers trembled slightly as she pulled the length of it out of his breeches. She struggled to lift him and managed to tug it up to his shoulders and the pull it off over his head. She sucked in her breath at the sight of his bare chest. She cleared her head with a shake and wondered how she was going to remove the remainder of his clothes. Her fingers trembled a great deal as she unbuttoned his breeches. She covered his midsection with the blanket and grabbing his breeches at the knees she managed to pull them off without disturbing the blanket. She was grateful to see that his underclothes had not come off with them.
She was sitting on the bed arranging the blanket over him properly when her hand brushed against his chest. She hadn't wanted to admit it but she had often wondered how he would look without his shirt and how his bare skin would feel. Before she knew what she was doing she reached out and touched him gently with just her fingertips. She could feel jolts of heat shooting up her fingers as she trailed them across his muscular chest. She was once again amazed at how soft his skin was and was reveling in the startling sensations when his hand suddenly shot out and grabbed hers. Startled, she looked up to realize that he was awake and staring at her. "What are you doing?" he asked huskily.
Virginia tried to pull her hand away and frantically searched for an explanation as to why she was touching him. "I...I...I was checking to see if...if...you were dry and...whether I should fetch more towels," she stammered.
"Well, am I?" he asked softly, not releasing her hand but instead pulling her towards him. His lips were only inches away from hers and she once again found herself lost in his eyes.
"Yes, yes you are. Towels are not needed," she whispered, sure that he was about to kiss her.
Keeping his eyes locked on hers, he placed her palm on his chest. She could feel his heart hammering. "Are you sure? Do you want to make sure I'm not wet anywhere else?" he teased, pulling her hand down lower over his chest and onto his stomach.
Virginia snatched her hand back just before it disappeared beneath the edge of the blanket. She quickly stood and moved away from the bed. She found that her heart was pounding and she was having trouble catching her breath. She noticed that he was also breathing heavily. She turned and grabbed a night shirt from the cupboard and handed it to him.
He accepted the nightshirt as he lifted the edge of the blanket and looked down. "Who undressed me?" he asked with a sly smile and a twinkle in his eye.
Virginia straightened herself. "I did," she stated and even though she tried she couldn't help but blush.
He looked at her quizzically and raised an eyebrow.
"I kept my eyes averted and covered you with a blanket while removing your breeches," she stated unable to meet his gaze.
His eyes roamed over her as he suddenly noticed that all she was wearing was the lacy nightgown and since she was standing between him and the lamp he could see the outline of her body quite easily. He noted her full breasts and slim waist that swelled out slightly to her pleasing hips. He had guessed that she had a very alluring figure but until now, when he saw her without all the usual trappings, he hadn't been sure.
When he didn't respond, Virginia glanced over at him. She could see the fire burning in his eyes and when she saw what he was looking at she immediately blushed and moved into the shadows. "Could you please get up for a moment and let me get back into bed?" she asked.
Still holding the nightshirt in his hand, he began to pull back the blanket.
"What are you doing?" she gasped.
"You asked me to get up to let you in," he responded innocently.
"Kindly put your nightshirt on first."
"I don't think I quite feel like putting it on yet. Why don't you just climb over me?" he suggested, with a sly smile.
Virginia refused to be intimidated by his little game and she tentatively approached the bed. When she saw that he was again staring at her body she quickly climbed over him and pulled the blankets around herself.
"Oh, the lamp is still lit. Since you seem to object to me getting out of bed, could you please turn it off?"
Virginia glared at him, but gamely climbed over him again and ignoring his eyes on her, extinguished the lamp. Through the porthole she noticed the first pink rays of sunrise. With the faint light filtering into the cabin she could see his eyes still on her. Something in his gaze made her hesitant about climbing over him again. "Perhaps you could just move over instead of me having to climb over you again," she said quietly.
"But the bed is wet beneath me and I think you would find that rather uncomfortable. Besides, I rather like having you climb over me," he said with a smirk.
She nervously walked to the foot of the bed and kneeling on it carefully she began to climb over him. She could feel his eyes on her and even though she tried not to she could not help but meet his gaze. He dropped the nightshirt to the floor, sat up and reaching out his hand, stroked her cheek. She was frozen to the spot. She didn't know if she should continue into the bed or back away. Leaning forward, he wrapped his arm around her waist and wound his other hand in her hair and gently pulled her to him. She looked deep into his eyes where she was once again mesmerized by the intensity of his gaze. He pulled her close until she was in his lap. He took her face in his hands and drawing her lips close to his, he whispered, "Kiss me, V. Kiss me."
She stared into his eyes and saw the passion burning there. He was almost naked beneath the thin blanket and to kiss him would only escalate things far beyond where she was willing to go. "No," she whispered, turning her head.
Taking her chin in his hand he turned her to face him again. Ignoring the fear he saw in her eyes he began to move his lips towards hers. She again turned her head and his kiss landed on her cheek instead.
"Please...," she begged.
"Please what?" he teased, his lips pressed against her cheek.
"Please, don't...," she choked out.
"Please, don't what? Please don't stop?" he continued to tease.
Trying to melt her resolve Drake firmly turned her head and began to kiss her. Gently at first and then with greater intensity. She pushed against his chest and tried to pull her mouth away but he held her fast. His lips moved over hers, trying to claim her. One hand held the back of her head while the other wrapped around her waist. She struggled to free herself but it only seemed to excite him further. His tongue plunged into her mouth and she tried to resist but she was losing the battle. Her tongue traitorously twirled with his and she pressed herself against him. She felt dizzy and almost feverish. She never wanted the kiss to end.
His hand moved from the back of her head and trailed down her arm. She felt his hot palm press against her rib cage and alarm bells went off in her head. His hand began to inch upwards toward her breasts. With the last of her strength she managed to wrench herself free of his kiss. Furious with how she had almost lost control yet again and with the way that he was treating her she raised her hand to slap him. He easily grabbed her wrist in his hand. Still trying to extricate herself from his embrace, she pushed at his arms with her free hand but they were like steel wrapped around her. "Let me go, you beast!" she hissed at him, letting her anger rise, knowing it was her only defense against him.
Amusement lit his eyes. "A beast, am I?" he asked, his voice soft and low.
"A beast and a brute!" she spat back. "Release me!" she demanded. She clawed at his arm, dragging her nails across his skin.
He snatched up her other hand and pulled them both behind her back. With her arms held back, the thin fabric of her nightgown was pulled tight across her breasts, her nipples straining at the delicate fabric. He stared at her heaving bosom and she saw the hunger burning in his eyes. Keeping his hold on her wrists with one hand, he stroked her throat with the other. His mouth followed his hand and she felt him nuzzle the hollow at the base of her throat. A small cry burst through her lips as his hand covered her breast, his fingers tweaking an already taut nipple.
Her head tipped back and her body betrayed her again as a moan escaped her lips. She went limp, the fight leaving her body as she pressed against him. His lips once again captured hers, claiming her as his own. Somewhere in her mind, she knew this was wrong, that she shouldn't be doing this but stronger feelings overrode the common sense. Tendrils of passion and desire coiled through her body as she struggled to free her wrists. She wanted to touch him, to feel his hard body beneath her palms, to run her fingers through his sinfully soft hair.
He released her and her arms immediately wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer to her. She felt his arm circle her waist, holding her tightly as the other hand continued to gently caress her breast through the thin nightgown. Her head again tipped back and she brazenly pulled away from him, giving him greater access to her body.
Once again, that small voice in the back of her mind was warning her, telling her she must stop, but she ignored it, the pleasure she was feeling was too great. Her mind was spinning out of control, causing her to throw caution to the wind, to disregard all the rules of ladylike behavior and brazenly give herself over to this man.
She heard him chuckle at her apparent surrender and anger exploded in her. His smugness snapped her out of her trance where her own morals and sense of decency had not. He was not going to win her over that easily, she vowed. She yanked her arms away from his neck and managed to roll away from him, pressing herself against the far wall.
"Stay away from me," she cried, her voice sounding much steadier than she felt.
"And what will you do if I refuse?" he asked, placing his palms on the bed and rising on all fours, moving towards her, causing the blanket to dip dangerously low over his midsection. Once again she could see the passion smoldering in his eyes as her own emotions traitorously rose to greet it. Curling his hands around her arms he pulled her to him, wrapping her in a tight embrace. His lips descended to hers, kissing her hungrily, making his desire for her blatantly clear.
She clawed at him, trying to escape his arms as his kiss continued to punish her mouth. Both fear and desire swirled in her mind. She did want him, and she began to relent. Gripping his strong arms and responding to his kiss, her tongue eagerly meeting his. But the memories of her repeated vows to be strong flooded her mind and she again called upon her anger to aid in her effort to resist him. He suddenly released her from the kiss and shoved her roughly against the bed.
"You bastard," she hissed at him, scrambling backwards, trying to get away from him.
"I think I like being called a beast better," he said wickedly. Grabbing one slim ankle, he dragged her back across the bed, causing her night gown to pull up. "Don't resist me V." She was frantically trying to keep her gown down around her legs, when he continued with a sneer, "You have to earn your passage somehow."
Horrified, her eyes flew to his. He could not be serious!
He knew he shouldn't be so cruel, but he just couldn't help himself. He chuckled at her shocked reaction. "You thought you could just sail across for free?" he said, as he pulled her to him.
"You expect me to pay for my passage in your bed?" she exclaimed, looking up at him. She was so stunned that she forgot that she was laying in that very bed.
"Unless you know how to rig a sail, or climb the ropes to act as look out, I really can't think of another way," he said matter of factly, leaning over her and placing his hands on either side of her. He was so near, his loose hair tickled her face.
Made aware of her position by his nearness, she attempted to rise. He pushed her back down. "I expect payment...Miss Templeton."
"I'll pay you when we get to Virginia. However much you want," she said desperately. His mouth was nearing hers. Her lips still stung from his last kiss and she wasn't sure she could endure another.
Staring into her eyes, his voice low, he trailed a finger between her heaving breast. "No, Miss Templeton, you will pay me when I get to...Virginia." His eyes glittered darkly. "However much I want." His meaning was quite clear as his lips crushed against hers again.
She struggled beneath him but his large body had her pinned in place. Too terrified by what he had just demanded of her, her body was numbed with shock and unable to react to his demanding kiss. Raising his head, he stared down into her stunned eyes. "I guess not tonight," he breathed, sensing he may have gone too far.
Suddenly jolting into action, she managed to push him off of her and roll away again to the far side of the bed. Wrapping a blanket tightly around herself she could only stare at him in disbelief, her eyes welling with tears. Squeezing her eyes shut, she willed herself not to cry, not in front of him, not now.