The Pirate and the PixiebyBoadicea©
Kali Romanov had no idea how it happened.
One minute she'd been in the middle of a screening of the latest pirate movie. The next thing she knew, she was on a boat in the middle of the ocean, hearing screams and the clash of swords.
Kali took in the rough appearance of the men on one side, and their uniforms on the other.
It took only an instant to figure out what was going on.
She was on a ship that was being boarded by pirates. So far the pirates seemed to be loosing. Under the relentless clash of the navy's swords—British, judging by the color of their uniforms—the pirates were loosing. Her sudden appearance, however, provided the distraction the pirates needed, and with roar, their blades sank into flesh, and the soldiers began to fall back.
Kali had all of ten seconds to decide which side she was on.
This may well have been a dream, but it was stupid to take chances. The Pirate reputation for raping and killing made her decision. As a small unwashed man in leather vest and breeches ran towards her she grabbed a sword from the limp hand of a fallen soldier and swept it across his body with a natural motion of her arm. His skin split, and the machete he held fell from his hand. With a gurgle, the man grabbed his throat and fell forward.
Kali grabbed his weapon with her free hand. The Filipino martial art in which she'd briefly trained involved the use of two machetes. She didn't want to kill anybody. A cop by profession, she opted for whacking the enemy on the head with the flat of her blade... and then her blood went cold.
Women's screams filled the air, and turning toward the entrance to the lower decks, she saw a couple pirates dragging a couple of young ladies and their maids on deck. True to the stereotype, the ladies were dressed in gowns with voluminous petticoats, some kicking and scratching, others screaming and begging for mercy. She saw the lecherous look on their captors' faces, and venting the frustration of watching rapists go free, she dropped one sword and reached into her blazer.
The first bullet caught the larger of the two men cleanly between the eyes. Before the second could grab his primitive pistol, she shot it neatly out of his hand. The speed and accuracy with which she made her second shot, far better than that of the weapons available at the time, brought the battle to a standstill.
"Release the women!" she shouted, turning quickly to make sure no one could take her off guard.
From the prow of the ship, a voice roared with laughter.
"You are in no position to give orders, boy," the deep voice said in the Queen's English.
Kali stiffened briefly at being called boy, and realizing that her short hair and baggy shirt and jeans made her look that way, she let it slide.
"Were it not for my sudden appearance on this ship, you would not have gained the distraction you needed to gain an advantage," she said, turning to face what she assumed was the pirate captain.
Kali's eyes narrowed on the dashing figure before her, and she barely stifled a gasp.
Before her was the most handsome man she had ever seen.
He was over six feet tall, in tight leather breeches, boots, and a ruffled linen shirt open at the neck revealing his muscled chest. His skin was sun kissed, and his strong jaw, gorgeous dark eyes and long hair vaguely reminded her of the guy who used to play Highlander on TV. At his hip were a primitive pistol and dagger, and in his gloved hand he carried a pirate sword. He appeared to be in his early thirties, and carried himself with the grace and confidence of someone fully in control.
Oh God, she thought irritably.
I'm in a romance novel.
"I thank you for the advantage your sudden appearance provided," the man said wryly, "but being dishonorable pirates, we don't have to extend a gesture of gratitude."
Kali's heart sank, and the grip on her gun tightened.
"Maybe, but I don't have to let you take them alive," she began, refusing to back down. She heard the ladies scream again, and she didn't care. "If you plan to ransom them, they're worthless dead, and if you wanted to have your way with them, they wouldn't be much good to you either...unless you're into that sort of thing,"
The Captain's eyes narrowed.
"You speak grandly for a boy. Are you so willing to kill innocents to keep them out of our clutches?"
The boy's full lips twisted and he pulled a lever on the strange pistol that had killed his crewmen.
"What your crew would do to them is a fate worse than death, CAPTAIN," the boy said, pronouncing his title in a way meant to insult. "I would be sending them to a better place,"
Rory stared at the boy.
He was tall and lanky, with short dark hair, high cheekbones, and slanted eyes that made him look almost elfish in appearance. He wore a baggy button down shirt, boots, and breeches made from blue cloth that looked heavier than linen but lighter than leather. His skin was golden, like that of a Spaniard or someone from the Far East and though he spoke English his accent was like none Rory had ever heard before.
He wasn't sure if it was the boy's bravery or his willingness to kill that shocked him, but as his crew resumed fighting, Captain Rory Frost raised his hand.
"Hold!" he shouted, forcing his crew to a halt. "You have impressed me, boy. I don't know if it's your stupidity or your bravery that I like, but I am willing to give the women a chance,"
The boy, tall, yet nearly a head shorter than himself, frowned, his piercing dark eyes glittering with suspicion.
"Set your terms," the boy said at last.
"I'll leave the women on the boat, and enough unchained crewmen to get them to the nearest harbor...IF you can beat me in a sword fight,"
The boy's eyes widened, and he slowly, carefully, put the small pistol in his jacket and switched the sword in his hand for Ratface's machete.
"I have no choice do I?"
Rory smiled and lifted his hand.
"Look around you, boy. The battle is over, you said so yourself,"
The boy looked around, and with a look of resolve, he raised his blade.
Rory decided he admired the boy, and so he enjoyed himself for the first few minutes of the fight, watching the boy slash, parry and thrust. The boy fought with his whole body, swinging his fists and kicking as he slashed. His movements were graceful yet brutal, and full of potential. The little rat clearly had some training, but not nearly enough, and he was getting tired.
The boy's fine white teeth were bared and he was breathing heavily as he made his next move. The tip of Rory's blade sliced through his jacket and shirt at his arm, and the boy paused, staring down at the thin line of blood welling between the split fabrics. The shock on his face was evident.
Whether it was arrogance or plain disbelief, Rory couldn't tell.
All he knew was that it gave him the opening he needed. Quicker than the wind, Rory moved, conking the boy neatly on the head, knocking him out while his crew cheered around him.
"What next cap'n?" Ram, his first mate asked, staring down at the fallen boy.
"We take coin and food as planned." Rory said.
"What about the women?"
"Leave them, and just enough crew to run the ship. Take their weapons and kill the rest,"
"Aye, aye," Ram replied in a heavy Hindi accent, and without a word he went to carry out the order.
As his crew scurried around him, Rory bent toward his fallen adversary, free to study the boy as he lay on the deck unconscious.
There was something strange about him.
The boy's face was prettier than it was handsome, and his hands, Rory realized, taking one in his own, were smooth and delicate... like those of a woman. Rory dropped the boy's hand and reached upward, laying a hand against the boy's chest.
Sure enough, beneath the fabric, he felt a pair of breasts, big and soft enough to fill his hand. Though unconscious, the woman groaned, and her nipple tightened beneath his questing palm.
A pixie, he decided, remembering how she had appeared out of nowhere. He was smiling slightly as he took in her perfect cheekbones and bee stung lips.
God had sent him a pixie.
Rory instantly removed his hand and jerked the girl's shirt back in to place.
"The boy comes with us!" he announced.
"He killed two of our crew!" Ram protested.
"That's why he might be useful. We could use a brat like him. He shows tremendous potential, if not as fighter, than perhaps as an entertainer,"
That drew a laugh from Ram, and throwing the pixie handily over his shoulder, he made his way back to his ship.
Kali awoke with a start.
She was in a room smelling of old wood and sea water, and the only light came from a desk covered with candles. She was lying on a bed, her feet weighted down with what she realized was a pair of heavy shackles.
Oh dear God, she thought, that was no dream!
"Calm yourself, Pixie," deep voice said as a strong hand pushed her insistently back on the bed. "I am almost done,"
She felt burning pain and a needle and thread sliding through her flesh. Willing herself not to look at the gaping wound in her upper arm she lay stone still as he finished stitching her up.
The scent of spices, man, and sea filled her senses.
Then she realized something else.
Topless, Kali was topless.
She looked down, and found much to her relief that her captor had left her bra on.
"A curious undergarment," the Captain said lightly, tying off the final stitch. "It holds your breasts and enhances their loveliness all at once,"
Before she could swat him away, he traced a long callused finger over the edge of her bra. The move caused an involuntary shiver and tightened her nipples beneath the fabric. Her muscles tensed and her stomach quivered with awareness. Mortified, Kali raised her head, trying for nonchalance. The captain's lips twitched, reading her response before reaching for the linen bandages he'd put beside her.
She was a captive she realized dimly, the full weight of the situation now bearing down on her. Willing herself to calm down, Kali eyed the door. She thought of fleeing, but there was no doubt in her mind that it was locked.
"You cut me!" she said accusingly, eyeing the ugly cut he was now wrapping.
"You were trying to kill me," the Captain said wryly.
The Captain shrugged his broad shoulders.
"You lost the fight,"
Panic sank low in her belly.
"And the women?"
"They are fine, and on their way to the nearest harbor. Contrary to rumor, dear Pixie, not all pirates rape. My crew and I only take the willing,"
"What of the two men I killed?"
"They were new additions who turned out to be a grave disappointment. They won't be missed I can assure you,"
"That's rather convenient," Kali said with a cynical twist of her lips.
"We're pirates. Each one of us accepts the likelihood of an early death. Do you have a name, sweet Pixie?"
"You mean to tell me there are women out there who offer themselves freely?"
The Captain smiled an arrogant grin.
"You would be surprised how many dream of being swept away by a dashing pirate. I asked you a question, Pixie," he said, his tone hardening.
The Captain nodded.
"The Hindu goddess of death. Are you from the Far East?"
"I'm a mestisa, a half-blood," she replied.
"How did you get on that ship?"
"I have no idea," she said earnestly.
The Captain finished tying her bandage and sat back on the bed.
"I saw you appear out of nowhere, where did you come from?"
"You're not going to believe me," Kali replied, shaking her head as she couldn't quite believe it herself.
"I've been a pirate over fifteen years, Pixie. I'll believe almost anything,"
"What year is it?"
"Seventeen sixty five,"
Kali let out a slew of profanity, cursing whatever force had sent her here. The Captain was laughing at her display and she didn't care.
So what if he was the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen? Who cares if he'd made her wet with a touch? She was almost three hundred years in the past, at a time when it didn't matter who you were, where women were treated like crap everywhere, weapons were messy, and hygiene was sorely lacking!
She stole a second glance at the laughing Captain.
His teeth were shockingly white, and to her surprise, he didn't stink. He smelled, she thought, taking a calming breath, every bit as good as he looked; like spices, man, and sea.
"Where are we?" she asked at last.
"The Caribbean seas,"
Kali allowed herself a few deep breaths and willed herself not to panic.
"I'm from the Canada, what was until recently for you, New France," she said, relieved that her high school history lessons had stuck, "...from the year two thousand and seven,"
She saw shock and disbelief flicker across his features before he took on a thoughtful expression.
"Do you believe in the supernatural?" he asked, rubbing his handsome chin.
"The supernatural is for charlatans and people in asylums," she said cynically.
The Captain nodded.
"I agree, but then here you are,"
"Speaking of which... how did I get to this cabin?"
The Captain smiled at that.
It transformed his face, making him more gorgeous than ever.
"I knocked you out, discovered your womanly wiles, and decided to keep you,"
Kali flinched at the words "keep you".
They stank of slavery.
"Just like that?"
"Just like that."
"Might I know the identity of my captor?" she asked politely.
"Frost, Captain Emory Frost, but you, sweet Pixie, can call me Rory,"
"Well, Captain Frost, if you're going to kill me, you might as well do it now,"
Captain Frost frowned.
"Now why would I stitch you up if I planned on killing you?"
Kali sat up slowly, reminding Rory vaguely of a cornered beast preparing to strike.
"Because if you're going to rape me, you'll have to kill me first," she said quietly.
Rory arched a brow.
"You speak like one who does not fear death,"
His captive smiled bitterly.
"I don't. In my profession, I can't afford to,"
"Women work in your time?" he asked making no pretence of disguising his shock.
"If we so choose," she said tightly.
"And what did you do?"
Her bitter smile became one of irony.
"I was a police officer. The equivalent of the local Watch,"
The name well and truly fit her, Rory thought. She was a keeper of the law; one who punished those who disobeyed it. It made it all the more amusing that she'd been sent here, to a time and place where a woman was a wife, a nun, or a whore, and into his hands, a man who'd made a life of resisting authority. The fact that she fought like a lioness and cursed worse than any pirate made her all the more intriguing.
He looked at her hands. She wore no wedding ring.
"Are you a maid?" he asked suddenly.
Kali stared at him, before comprehension dawned and she stiffened as though she'd been insulted.
"What kind of a question is that?"
Rory stared at her, a hard expression on his face.
"One, that as my prisoner, you are obliged to answer," he said firmly.
"And if I don't?"
Rory smiled slowly and allowed himself a lazy exploration of her bared skin. Her body was like that of no woman he'd ever seen before: all smooth, honeyed skin and lean muscles, a fascinating contrast to her womanly curves. She wasn't overly lush like the women he was used to, but she was far from scrawny.
Kali was, he thought, watching her eyes shoot daggers at him...
Right, just right.
He toyed with the metal button of her breeches, moving his finger before she could slap him away.
"I can always see for myself...,"
Kali's eyes widened.
"You wouldn't dare!"
Rory arched a brow.
"You are my captive, Kali. By the laws of conquest I can do whatever I want," he said softly.
"I'd kill you first,"
"You can try, but even if you succeeded, fair Pixie, you would not get very far once my crew discovered what you had done,"
Her muscles tensed, and for an instant he saw hatred and frustration in her eyes, before it was quickly replaced by resignation.
"I am no maid," she spat, using his words, "happy now?"
Rory nodded, fighting a grin.
She was so adorable in her reluctance to obey him, and yet, he found himself fighting the mixture of irritation and relief that she no longer had her maidenhead. On the one hand, it meant that he didn't need to take extra care in taking her, and yet, he was angry, proprietary even, at the thought that someone had had her first.
It was ludicrous!
He wanted her, of that he was certain. Nonetheless, to feel possessive about a woman who appeared out of nowhere and would likely leave him in the same way was foolhardy.
Rory didn't bother to say as much, he only asked:
"Are you hungry?"
Her stomach growled in response, as though recognizing his words. Kali looked mortified, but Rory only laughed in response and put a plate with meat, bread and fruit in her lap. With his eyes on hers, he lifted some grapes to her lips.
"I can feed myself, thank you," she said politely, but he could hear an edge in her voice. She raised her hands to take them from him, but he simply held the food out of reach.
"I wouldn't want you to strain that arm, Pixie," he said innocently, knocking her hands away and pushing the grapes against her lips.
Her eyes shot daggers at him, but she opened her lips and took the grapes he offered watching him carefully as she chewed and swallowed. Rory's eyes lowered to her lips. They were moistened with juice from the fruit, and unable to resist, he leaned over the plate and licked it off of her.
He gave her every opportunity to turn away, but she didn't. She sat stone still, whether it was from shock or arousal, he couldn't tell. Then her eyes slid shut and a nervous breath tumbled from her lips. He resisted the urge to place a hand between her breasts, knowing that the skin would be warm and soft and her heart would thunder beneath it.
She was sweet, just as he knew she would be.
When he pulled away she shook her head, as though trying to regain her sanity.
"I'm sure you have duties to attend. You don't have to babysit me," she said, her voice squeaking.
"Babysit? I am not in the habit of brutalizing children, Kali,"
A look of exasperation crossed her face. "I meant watch over me, Captain Frost--,"
"Rory, I am in no position to escape," she said, gesturing to the chains about her ankles.
"You're not, but I do not trust you not to try, and it's rather late. I've retired for the evening," he said, holding some salted meat to her lips. She glared at him over the food as she chewed. It wasn't half bad, but it made her thirsty. As though reading her mind, he pressed a metal goblet into her hand.
Kali had dealt with cases of date rape. She wouldn't put it past the Pirate to try and drug her.
Rory stared at her a minute, then he yanked the goblet from her fingers and took a long sip, his handsome throat and Adam's apple working as he swallowed, proving to her that it wasn't poisoned.
"Drink!" he snapped, pressing it back into her hand.
Kali jerked it from his hand and took a slow sip, surprised at how good the wine was. She took a second healthy gulp, steeling herself against whatever Captain Frost had planned for her. She had every confidence in her fighting abilities, but not when her feet were weighted down and fastened less than a foot apart.
She gave the goblet back to him and quietly finished the offered meal, relieved that he didn't insist on feeding her again. It was too intimate. She didn't care for him watching her as she did, but there wasn't much she could do about that.
"I don't suppose you'd consider releasing these?" she asked politely.