Living a Romance Novel Ch. 01byalan55©
The voyage to the new world
Author's note --
This is a work of pure fiction. There is no connection to any real people or places. Any resemblance to real life people, events, or someone else's writings is coincidental. It is for entertainment only and is not to be reproduced without written consent.
This, and the chapters that follow, were inspired by a reader.
Ileeana Johnson was somewhat of a romantic. Ever since childhood, she had been an avid reader. The kind of books she most loved were the mushy romance novels where the heroin was passionately swept off her feet by some handsome hunk. Some of her favorites were stories with settings in the 1500's thru the 1800's. It was a simpler time, before most of the Industrial Age had gotten into full swing; a time of knights & chivalry, romantic sea adventures, and pre-Civil War southern hospitality.
At age 26 she had met a man she thought fulfilled all her romantic dreams, only to find out he was already married. After the devastating realization of what a cad he was, she retreated back into a fantasy world of her books. Now at age 30, the pretty but shy Ileeana found her self half in a fantasy world daze at her job at the power plant, where she had worked since 1985. Most of her co-workers were married men in their 50's, giving her little opportunity to strike-up a relationship with someone her own age. Her job was an important one, monitoring the control room gauges once every hour, but left her with a lot of time on her hands between the hourly gauges check. To pass the time, she brought some of her romance novels to read.
Sometimes her mind would wander, envisioning herself as one of the characters in the book, stunningly dressed, and attracting all the males within eyesight. While she had a very beautiful body, the baggy jumpsuit uniform she had to wear at work did little to accentuate the beauty that lay underneath. When she finished her work shift each day, she would usually go straight home and bury herself in the latest romance novel until it was time to go to sleep.
So it went, night after night, curled up in a chair or propped up in her bed, her eyes would trace the words on the pages, her mind lost in the fantasy.
Her latest acquisition was a novel about a woman of similar age as Ileeana. The time and place for the beginning of the novel is 1859 in England. In preparation for her evening read, Ileeana had dressed in a shear nightgown and was sitting in bed with the pillows propped up. To get into character even more, she wore a cameo necklace she had found in an antique store. Ileeana didn't normally wear much for jewelry but she seemed drawn to the cameo and bought it without much thought for the price. Besides, it was a perfect fit for the mid-1800's heroin in the romance novel she'd just started reading. As Ileeana lay back against the pillows, the words of the second chapter began to float from the pages.
Two and a half years ago, a few of Leeann's friends had invited her to a party hosted by some business associates. She had reluctantly agreed to go, knowing that it probably would be boring as hell, with all the men off together discussing business and all the women talking about the latest gossip. She felt so out-of-place just wandering around, and ended up at the table where punch was being served. Not only was she a bit thirsty but maybe with a glass of punch in her hand, she wouldn't feel so awkward with her hands at her side. She had the glass in hand, took a sip and turned around, with the glass still to her lips. Inches away from her, was a handsome man that just couldn't seem to take his eyes off her. By the same token, she couldn't seem to take her eyes off his. It seemed like forever before either one of them spoke. The first to speak was the handsome gentleman, who offered to take her for a breath of fresh air in the garden in the back of the house.
In the middle of a fragrant garden, neither seemed to notice the growing things around them. This young gentleman was so easy to talk to. He was well educated, with his feet firmly planted on the ground, so to speak. At the end of the party, she allowed him to escort her home. With a kiss on her hand at the doorstep, he wished her pleasant dreams, and watched her reluctantly enter and close the door behind her. That evening, she slept so well, finally waking to find she had her arms wrapped around her pillow as if it were a lover with her in her bed. Hearing a knock at her door, she slipped on a robe and opened the door a crack. There at the door stood a delivery boy with a long box, encircled with a ribbon. Barely giving the delivery boy much attention, she took the box from him and closed the door.
When she opened the box, her senses were filled with the sight and smell of a dozen roses. A small card explained that her gentleman friend from the previous night was sending her a reminder of the wonderful time they had spent in the rose garden the night before. This gesture of appreciation seemed so 'forward', but she knew from their talks the previous night, her gentleman friend was one who knew what he wanted in life and didn't waste time beating around the bush.
Over the next 2 months, the flower deliveries became frequent and it wasn't long before she relented and said YES to his proposal. In another 4 months, they were married. This was the happiest she had ever been in her life . . . and then it happened.
Leeann Ravenwood's world had come crashing down upon her. The happiness of 2 years of marriage to her husband had been wonderful. Her husband's small shipping business to the Americas was beginning to gain financial ground, despite the growing tensions across the sea in the States. Her husband had caught an infection and died within 3 days. Her life-long companion was with her no more and she was devastated.
While her education level was such that she could comprehend some of her husband's business, she was ill equipped to handle it herself. She would have to let her husband's brother, and business partner, take over.
Leeann's husband and brother had come up with a very shrewd business arrangement. One brother would take care of operations in London and the other in Savanna, Georgia. Now the surviving brother, Henry, would have to coordinate things on both sides of the Atlantic.
Henry, knowing that times would be hard for a young widow in late 1850's England, suggested Leeann come to the Americas to help him run the shipping business and start a new life. Knowing that her late husband's brother's words of advice were sound, she agreed to travel to Savanna on the next passage. With the convincing all done, a passage was booked on a 2-masted sloop, captained by John Rutherford. His ship would be leaving with the morning tide.
Ileeana's eyes were starting to get heavy. It was approaching midnight and sleep was creeping up on her, but the book was too good to put down. As the hallway clock struck midnight, Ileeana's cameo started to shimmer and mildly warm. "Just a few more pages", she thought, as her eyes became heavier.
Ileeana awoke to the feel of her bed gently swaying. At first, she thought it an earthquake but realized it was too gentle for that. Her surroundings were not that of her small bedroom. The flat plastered walls were now of wooden beams and panels; almost Spartan. A full-length robe hung from a hook on a small wooden door. Using it to cover her thin nightgown, she gingerly opened the door. Upon opening the door, she found herself in a narrow passageway that led to a set of sparse wooden steps going up to somewhere. As one foot, then another cautiously tested each step, her other senses started to kick in. There was the smell of damp wood, but also the scent of clean fresh air with a hint of salt in it.
Cautiously, she opened the doors at the top of the stairs and was almost blinded by the sunlight that streamed in. Before her, lay a vision of the deck of a ship, its two masts sticking straight up from the deck. There were curiously dressed men, going about their duties of adjusting ropes and sails.
When she heard a voice call out "Good morning Mrs. Ravenwood, I trust you are well today", it was not due to recognition of the name that caused her to turn to see from whence the voice came. It was the name; "Where had she heard that name before?"
Her thought train was interrupted again, as the tall, stout figure of a man, called to her again. "Why don't you join me on the quarter deck? The view is much better from here."
Still in a daze, her feet seemed to carry her to the ship's wheel all by themselves, until she was standing next to what she presumed to be the captain of the ship. Sensing her confusion, Captain Rutherford asked her if she felt all right this morning, to which Ileeana meekly nodded.
From the first moment Mrs. Ravenwood had stepped on board, the Captain had envisioned how any English seaman would have given his right arm to have a bare breasted likeness of this long haired, well endowed woman on the prow of his ship, with sparkling blue eyes gazing out at the horizon.
"Good then", Captain Rutherford replied, "You'll be happy to know that we've been making good time and you should be seeing your husband's brother in Savanna within 6 days."
"Seeing as how you will be at the helm of the shipping company in the Americas, why don't you see how it feels to take the helm of one of the ships you will have at your command, so to speak?"
With measured steps she approached the ship's wheel. With her fingers win reach of the wheel, Captain Rutherford gently took her hand and lead Leeann closer to the large carved, wooden wheel of the helm, placing her hands on two of the eight wooden pegs that protruded from its circumference. As soon as her hands touched the spokes, the feel of the ship took hold of her. Moving in behind her, Leeann felt the masculine presence of his 5'10" frame at her back, as he hands reached around to cover each of hers, taking some of the wheel's pressure from her delicate hands.
At first Leeann felt apprehensive, then exhilarated, at the thought of being in control of the ship's course. With coaching from the Captain, her hands firmly gripped the 7-inch wooden pegs of the ship's wheel as if she were making love to them. In fact, the shape and hardness of the wheel's pegs reminded her of the intimate times with her husband, when she would handle his manhood in foreplay before his hard shaft would enter her and give her exquisite pleasure.
It was the most exhilarating feeling she'd had for a long time; the power of the wind driving the ship forward as her waist length glossy black tresses were caught in the wind, like the thin branches of a willow in a moderate breeze. Leeann was so caught up in her own thoughts, she failed to conscientiously notice the warmth of the Captain's body pressed into her back. It was the hardness of his loins pressing into her, that further brought back memories and un- conscientiously triggered her thoughts of intimacy.
After a time, it was with great reluctance that she gave the wheel over to the helmsman, Captain Rutherford suggesting she go below to change and come back up on deck for breakfast.
For the next 5 days, the weather held fair and Captain Rutherford allowed her a turn at the wheel for as long as she liked, as his strong hands guided hers in holding its course, his body steadied hers with the rise and fall of deck. Each time her hands took hold of the handles of the wheel, her thoughts were filled with erotic images of the intimate times with her husband, playing the handles as if she were making love to them, preparing them for his and her ultimate pleasure.
The Captain had a loyal crew, and they were pleased to see him so happy. It had been a year since he had lost his bride-to-be in a freak accident just 2 days before the wedding. For as much as the Captain loved the sea, he had loved her even more. To see the Captain's eyes light up at the sight of such a beautiful woman, if only for a few days, bode well for a happy voyage. With each passing day, the crew sensed the Captain was forming a special bond with his female passenger. The loneliness and heartache that have been obvious for the past year, seemed to have all been forgotten.
At one day out from Savanna, the ship was on its last leg of the journey. With the ship was so close to Savanna, the lookouts had seen more than one set of sails on the horizon. It was with initial unconcern that another set of sails was on an intercept course with them. At a mile way, the shape of the ship and the set of its sails began to raise concern in the Captain and first mate. At 3,00 yards, Captain Rutherford began barking out orders in quick succession.
"Hard a starboard, haul in on those lines, set the jib. Set as much canvas as the ship will carry. Secure all loose items on the deck."
Having given the orders for the hands to scramble to their duties, the Captain was finally able to turn his attention to his passenger. "Mrs. Ravenwood, you better go below, I dare say that ship coming toward us is not paying us a social call. From what I can make out, it's a pirate ship and there will be much to do to stay out of her reach."
He could tell the pirate ship was gaining on him and Captain Rutherford's best hope was to outwit the pirates. His strategy was to skirt a nearby squall in the hopes that he would cut it so close as to test the courage, or foolhardiness, of the pirate captain. His intent was to sail in front of the squall close enough to pick up additional wind, while at the same time let the pirates get caught in the fiercest of the winds, shouldthey be fool enough to follow, thereby causing them to have to drastically reduce sail. The squall's heavy rains could also be used to mask the ship's course change as he swung around the backside of the squall, and resume its original course to Savanna, while the pirate ship would have its hands full dealing with the tempest.
At 800 yards distance, a puff of smoke gave advanced warning of a cannonball headed their way. The first shot from the 9-pounder fell wide a starboard as the Captain held steady. The second shot missed the port side by a mere 15 feet. Calculating the time to reload, the Captain spun the wheel to point the ship 4 points to starboard, more onto a reach, gaining extra speed and a different angle to which he had calculated would catch the gunner on the pirate ship off guard. The third shot went sailing through the rigging, only causing minor damage. The Captain ordered another course change to windward, to confound the gunner again. The fourth shot fell wide a starboard. The Captain knew then that his pursuer had caught an initial strong gust of wind from the squall and had made an unintended course change downwind.
In process of his rounding the front of the squall, the Captain had caught enough of the squall to batter his own ship, straining the hull and rigging. At the start of the encounter, Leeann was going to follow the captain's advice of going below deck but the thought of being in such a confined space, in the face of a possible sinking, terrified her even more than weathering the storm on deck. So it was that Leeann ran to the Captain's side to hang on to his muscled body with all her strength, getting pummeled by the wind and cold rain. Within a matter of minutes, her clothes were totally soaked and she was shivering terribly, yet she hung on to him with only one thought in her mind; should they perish in the storm, it was him she wanted to spend her last seconds of life with.
Having been a sailor almost all his life, Captain Rutherford was used to being soaked from head to toe and stood his ground at the wheel, steering his ship just close enough to the edge of the storm to cause the pirates to foolishly chase after. When he looked back, he could tell his pursuer would catch the worst of the squall and give him the advantage of escape.
Having rounded the backside of the squall, Captain Rutherford could let his helmsman pilot the course for the safety of Savanna harbor. With the helm in capable hands, he could now tend to Leeann. Picking up her drenched, battered, and shivering body in his arms, he carried the exhausted Mrs. Ravenwood to the comfort of his own cabin. As he gazed at Leeann, she was shivering uncontrollably, he knew there was only one thing to do; he had to get her out of those wet clothes and warm her body fast. It was a question of either her modesty or her life; the Captain chose her life.
Stripping her completely bare, he placed her on his bed and covered her with his thin blanket. See the removal of her wet clothes was not enough to stop her from shivering, he would have to resort to even more drastic measures to keep her from dying. Even though her wet clothes were no longer contributing to her hypothermia, he had to do more in order to prevent her from getting pneumonia. His only option was to use his own body warmth to stave off her shivering. Hoping that she would understand his reasoning in the final outcome, he stripped off ALL of his own wet clothes and climbed into the bed next to her, snuggling up close to her back to add the warmth of his own body to hers.
It took a good 15 minutes before Leeann's shivering to stop and her body to begin to warm. By then the Captain's male instincts had started to come alive. The Captain's once flaccid member was quickly hardening, pressing into Leeann's backside. His hands wrapped around her chest, were keeping her chest warm and at the same time, causing her nipples to harden with excitement.
After 4 days of feeling the Captain's body pressed into hers, Leeann's body was also starting to respond with desperate need. It was inevitable that she turned to face him, pressing her body tightly into his. With Leeann lifting one leg, his hot member soon pushed between her legs, warming the outer parts of her sex.
The helmsman's course change, after rounding the squall, healed the ship to the other side, causing the Captain to roll on top of Leeann. Her long black tresses were spread across the bunk and her legs splayed in open acceptance for the Captain. As if he were using his sword on an opponent, it only took two good thrusts to bury his hard shaft into its intended target.
As the ship plunged headlong into the oncoming waves, riding up, then plunging back into the sea, so did the Captain, pulling back then plunging deep. His strokes were measured, pounding hard in time with the bow into each wave. With each stroke, Leeann and the Captain came closer to the inevitable conclusion; the cabin's bed straining from the force without and within.
With one final huge wave to plow through, the ship groaned and drove through the crest, sending a spray into a geyser that crashed across the body of the ship, just as another spray soaked the insides of one of the passengers. After such a tumultuous ending, the sea became calm and the final leagues to Savanna harbor brought peace and contentment to the crew and its passenger. Leeann fell into a blissful rest for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
- - - - - - - - -
Rousing to the sound of a ship's 6 bells, she lifted her naked body over the side of the bed. As her toes made their tentative probing of the surface just below them, her feet made contact with her soaked garments. The floor was solid, the gentle wave like rocking had ceased, and her still groggy hand silenced the tolling of the bells on the table beside her. As her eyes started to focus, she saw that the small box on the table beside the bed was counting numbers upwards in a continuous display of hours, minutes, and seconds.
Her sweat soaked nightgown on the floor, and sheets on the bed, would need to be washed, but that was for later. What she needed now was a shower before heading off to work, to again get through another day of the monotony of taking readings from gauges every hour. As she headed for the shower, her bleary eyes failed to take note of the monogrammed officer's handkerchief lying on the floor, the initials J R prominently embroidered in gold thread.