The Pirate's Catch Ch. 01bySparkles29©
Chapter One: The Slaver Meets His Catch
This is my first story so feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! ~Sparkles~
Grace gazed longingly at the island she was leaving behind. As much as she hated to admit it she was going to miss England tremendously. After the third time her parents had caught her trying to spend a day as a peasant in the market (something a refined English lady never did) they had, had enough. They decided to send her to school in France. She sighed heavily. Maybe a life away from England wouldn't be all that terrible after all, and in what better place then France? Grace despised the life she had led in England. She was like an untamed mare that you try to lock up in a stall but it would never work because all it really wanted was a life of sprinting in the fields. In other words she was like a prisoner in her own home. The thing Grace wanted more than anything was just to paint. She wanted to be an artist. But it would never happen. She was expected to get married, settle down, have a family & serve her husband, why? Because she was a women & it was her duty. Rubbish!
"Miss" Grace jumped at Mary, her lady-in-waiting's soft voice. "It's late miss, and cold, I think you should retire." Grace waved away Mary's comment with a swish of her hand. "My Lady, please come below, you'll catch your death!" Mary was like a sister to her but she could be so overly worried sometimes.
"I'm coming Mary." She sighed looking out over the water she caught the last glimpse of the place she once called home.
"Things will be much better in France."
"LADY PLEASE IT'S FREEZING!" Grace shook her head & joined Mary below deck for bed. Her mind wandered as Mary & her maids removed her corsets & readied her for bed. What would France be like? Would the girls be different from that of her homeland? After much pondering she came to the conclusion that it would be exactly the same as England was. Every girl there would most likely have the illusion that this was their place, that they were better than everyone else & that there was no world outside tea & needlepoint, it would be no different. She would once again be trapped in a place where she had no say in her future, all because of her social standing! Grace sighed heavily and allowed Katrina one of her maids to escort her back into her main chambers and into her bed. Grace awoke coughing & sputtering to the strong smell of smoke. It was terribly hot inside her room. Was something burning? It was then she realized, Oh my God the ship was on fire!! She ran to fetch Mary out of her bed. Grace threw open the door to the adjoining room where Mary & Her other ladies in waiting slept. Someone or thing was waiting for her behind the door, as she took her first step into the room Grace was yanked backward off her feet. The last thing she remembered was a dark face of a man holding a rag over her mouth then...black.
Upon awakening the first thing Grace noticed was that she couldn't move her arms, legs or anything else for that matter. She tried to wiggle her fingers & toes but to no avail. After trying in vain for several minutes she gave up. Silly women open your eyes; she scolded herself for being so foolish. Grace soon realized that opening her eyes didn't help her much considering the state of her vision when she opened them. Everything was hazy & blurred, good lord she'd been drugged! But after some adjustment she could make out a lump in front of her. It was Mary & she was still obviously still knocked out. She didn't look too bad but she had some nasty scratches & a large bruise on her head. Grace soon became aware of a sharp pain in her right arm. Panicking she started struggling against her bonds. But her struggling was only making matters worse for her poor arm.
"You keep doing that your bound to hurt yourself"
Grace yelped at the large dark skinned man towering over her. Grace's first thought was that there should be laws against being that beautiful. He had jet-black hair that was shiny & thick. It looked to be about shoulder length but she couldn't tell for sure because it was tied back at the base of his neck. His dark tanned skin at the moment was covered in sweat. He had the body of a sailor, this stranger looked to be chiseled out of rock but not overly so. Grace had never been around many men at least not one that looked like this. And just looking at him started to make that unexplored area between her thighs start to dampen. Grace then realized that she was staring & immediately looked away blushing crimson red. He gave a deep throaty laugh & she blushed deeper if it was even possible.
"I have brought you breakfast my lady, I say you should be hungry by now."
He bent down & set a tray in front of her on which sat a slice of stale bread and what looked to be dried fish & a glass of water. It was then she noticed his eyes, they were the most amazing things she had ever seen one was a stormy gray the other sky blue & both it seemed you could fall into if you kept staring.
"Ummm... would you mind telling me where I am?" Grace final snapped out of her trance long enough to ask him a question
"Why your on a ship m'lady" answered this stranger with a laugh.
A SHIP?!?! Grace decided to play his game if it meant he would get some real answers out of him. "And to where is this ship headed good sir?" Grace was trying not to scream when she said the words. Her question earned another laugh from him. " Why to the Mediterranean m'lady & from there to dock in northern Africa."
Grace could no longer contain herself "WHAT!?! I DEMAND YOU TAKE MY BACK AT ONCE!" "But why on earth would I do that my lady, when you will fetch a fine price for a lonely gentlemen? Beauty such as yours should be shared."
Once she realized what he meant by this strange comment Grace was furious at him. How dare he? She was a lady! One of court & honor the only one she was to ever be intimate with was her husband!
"HOW DARE YOU!!!!! I CANT BELIEVE YOU WOULD...would....AH!" The stranger silenced her with a wave of his hand.
"Now this won't do..... we are arguing, well you are arguing, & I don't even know your name! Well, I'm Gabriel and you are?"
"Who I am is none of your concern! But was is of your concern is that you take me home immediately! And oh by the way how did I even get here?!?!"
"M'lady there is no need for shouting. And if you don't calm down I fear that I would be forced to have you put under again & twice in one day wouldn't be good for your health now would it? Now, what is your name lass?"
"PUT UNDER? WHAT DO YOU MEAN 'PUT UNDER'? I demand to know the meaning of this at once!" During the fight Grace had managed to get from lying down to kneeling and it at least made her feel less insignificant. But who did he think he was, talking to her as if capturing her was completely normal!
" I demand to speak to your captain at once!"
"Ok, I'm listening. And what is with all the demanding? Where are your manners miss?"
"Wait you don't mean to tell me that you're the captain of this ship?"
"That I am, Captain Gabriel Allan at your service, but to whom am I speaking?"
"Why in God's name would I tell you who I am? You have, set fire to my ship, drugged my maids, & me, my lady in waiting has taken a severe thrashing, & you are expecting a FORMAL INTRODUCTION? Well, excuse me Captain Allan if I don't particularly want to be civil with you. Because right now I'm about ready to...AHHHHHH!"
Amidst all the yelling Mary had risen from a drug induced slumber just in time to see her lady fall backward & hit her head on the wood floor. She was immediately distressed.
"OH! Miss Grace Miss Grace all you alright?!?!" "Ah, so it's Grace is it? Well your namesake may be Grace but it is certainly a trait you lack. And you are?"
Mary looked up at the devastatingly handsome man that had just spoken to her. "I'm Mary, the miss's lady in waiting."
The man smiled at her & she blushed profusely. "Well Mary I'm Captain Gabriel Allan & welcome aboard the Isabella, my ship. I'm sure that you are wondering what your doing here, but your lady can tell you all about that. Now I'm sure your hungry & I'll untie you if you promise not to run or fight. If you do you will remain tied & you will be force fed the rest of our voyage."
"I won't but could you untie my Mistress as well? I'm sure she's very hungry."
"Yes, I'll be very good as well I promise!" Grace had been listening to the two converse & jumped at the offer to get out of her bindings & at some food. There was no use running now anyway where would she run they were on a ship.
"JOHN!" a large burly man turned and started to walk toward them. "Take these two down to the storage room where we kept their maids last night, cut their binds & bring them another tray of food." Gabriel turned to look at them
"If there are any problems I will hear of them & this trip will not remain pleasant for either of you. I'll be down to check on you later."
The man called John grunted & walked toward them with a knife, cut each of their binds then motioned for them to follow him as Gabriel headed off in the other direction. Once they were well out of earshot Grace started to think aloud to Mary, something she did often.
"Eh, horrible man! I mean the nerve of him! Taking us hostage like this I mean what kind of human being must he be to do a thing like this?! He's just he's just...."
"The most honorable man I've ever met." It took a moment for her to realize that it was John who had spoken. "You are lucky lass, Captain has treated you better than you disserved. Most men including your English gentlemen would have just slapped you out right, including me."
Grace was stunned at this man's incompetence. But she was also not about to talk back to him. "If you think about it if you would have just stopped screamin' for a minute & thought about what you were saying you would have realized that it was damn good of Cap to even speak to you. Well here we are." John opened what appeared to be a small bedroom, with two beds a stool & Chamber pot. "I almost forgot." then left & returned a few moments later with another tray of food identical to the one Mary was carrying & he set it on the stool. "Oh, & one more thing lass." John gave Grace such a stare that she almost took a step back. "I wouldn't talk about Captain like that again it might anger some of the crew & none of us are as cool headed as Captain Allan. Well, sleep tight." With a final icy stare at Grace & a nod to Mary he shut the door.
"He is completely insane! I mean that man honorable?"
"Well you know miss compared to most slavers he is very kind, I mean giving us food, quarters......"
"Wait a minute Mary, slaver? How do you know that he is a slaver? I mean he spoke of selling us I think but you were not awake for that! How did you know?"
Mary couldn't make eye contact with her mistress & Grace knew at once that something was troubling the poor girl. "What is it Mary what is wrong?"
"This has ....uh happened to me before miss when I was about twelve. I wasn't that pretty so I was just sold as a worker to a farmer near your father's manor. But the very beautiful girls were sold.....I don't want to scare you miss but they were sold for their bodies. And well as for what the slavers & crew did to us upon the ship well I'd rather not talk about it Miss. But how I knew he was a slaver is because well when slavers or pirates take hold of your ship they set fire to it as to leave very little trace then they drug & bind you. So when I awoke bound & my vision hazy I knew what had happened to us miss."
Mary eyed her mistress with a worried expression for Grace had gone a very pale shade of gray.
"Miss you don't look well please eat & don't worry about what is to happen to us Miss what will come will come all we can do is wait." Grace nodded & they ate their supper in silence. ***********
Gabriel stood on deck leaning against the rail looking out at the water, this was his favorite place to clear his head. But tonight it just would not clear all he could think of was the green-eyed beauty with hair like fire. He had no idea why but she captivated him. Perhaps it was because no women he had ever met spoke to him as if she was a man. She screamed at him for heavens sake, yet she still intrigued him. As for her appearance well she was stunning. She was curvy enough to still turn many a man's head yet she was not overly curvy, she was simply elegant.
Gabriel had been debating with himself if he should go see her. He almost felt ashamed that he was going to sell her, he wasn't a slaver just a pirate. When her ship was spotted he & his crew went after it. The vessel itself might not have been a merchant but it looked expensive enough to hold a decent catch. Like most pirate captains he stayed with his ship but when his youngest new recruit set fire to the ship before every thing was off it Gabe helped his crew in the rush. When he came upon the young maids' quarters he had them quickly drugged to avoid struggle & taken off the ship. But when Grace burst through the door he was the only one left on board of his men so he took her himself.
Usually they just dropped people near shore in the water or held them for ransom if they were really important. But as soon as he brought her aboard his crew suggested selling her for with her beauty she would catch a fine price and her maid was cute enough to sell as well. Gabriel thought it to be wrong but as always they took it to vote so she and her maid stayed aboard while the other two maids where dumped at the nearest island. After that catch Gabriel set a course for the Mediterranean where they could trade & sell goods as well as find a slave auction.
Gabriel sighed & headed below deck to see her after all the least he could do if he was about to force her into something so despicable for money. Oh, what was he going to do with her?