tagRomanceHostage to Fortune

Hostage to Fortune


This is a long story, 57,000 words. If that doesn't appeal to you stop reading now. There is very little explicit sex in the story and what there is, is a long way in. If that is what you seek. Then look elsewhere.


Chapter 1

Will Wainwright never knew what hit him. He was two days out of St Peter Port Guernsey, on route to Gibraltar, where they would pick up a crew. Normally his wife, the actress Samantha James, would have flown ahead and met him in Gibraltar, but the weather forecast was so good she decided to accompany Will and Ryan on board Bee Jay II.

Bee Jay II was Will's pride and joy. One of the few regrets he would admit to was not spending enough time aboard her. Sixty feet long, with every imaginable luxury. She had extensive computer control, power winches and auto-helm. She was capable of being sailed single-handed, a remarkable thing for a boat of her size. He could have flown down to Gib with Samantha and let the crew look after them, but for him this week was the best part of the holiday. Just him and his boat battling the elements. Ryan, the wayward son of the owner of the boatyard that looked after Bee Jay, was his only full-time crew member. Once they reached Gib, Ryan would take over as skipper.

This morning, with breakfast behind them and making fifteen knots from the moderate tailwind, Will watched as Sam climbed out onto the deck and sat with her back to the mast. He'd tried to persuade her to wear a life jacket but she'd said she couldn't get a suntan with a life jacket on.

'Besides.' she said, 'You wouldn't enjoy looking at me half as much if I was all covered up with a life jacket.'

Will checked the compass and the GPS, referred to his charts, then went back to the wheel. He looked up to see his lovely wife pulling her book from her bag. Sam saw him looking at her. She smiled and waved to him with her fingers. Suddenly her smile turned to a look of horror and her hand came up to her mouth. Will didn't get the chance to look round before something hit him extremely hard on the right side of his head. Everything went dark as he felt himself stagger trying to stay on his feet before he fell to the deck and blacked out.

He started to regain consciousness and could hear Sam's screams. Someone dragged him across the deck then sat him down at the side of the cockpit. The shock came when whoever had dragged him, eased him over the side of the boat. They lifted his legs and he slipped into the water. Consciousness left him again.

The pain in his head blotted out almost everything. He was trying to get his head around the fact that he was floating in the water. He tried to get to grips with what was going on. He looked around and saw something he recognised, Bee Jay II. He couldn't see her hull just the sales appearing to stick up out of the water. She was moving away, still under full sail. He tried to call out but that just resulted in him coughing. He brought his hand up to his head. As he pulled it away, he could see his hand was red. The blood was running down the side of his head and neck, staining the water around him.

I watched the muscles in his back ripple as he reached for the GPS. His buns were tight as he stood, feet apart, look forward over the boat. He, of course, would tell me it was not a boat it was a motor yacht. I smiled to myself, Will would say there's no such thing, a yacht is a boat with sails not motors. Bruce turned and smiled at me.

'You alright there, babe?'

His pecks and abs glistened in the sunshine. What a shame I thought, a man with a body like that really ought to be more rewarding to sleep with. Why, when they put so much effort into making themselves attractive, do they not follow through by learning how to please a woman?

'Yes, I'm fine.' I said, looking up from my laptop. 'I'm just getting a little work done.'

'Working? I thought this was supposed to be a holiday? You can bet your life that your boss isn't working.'

'He's sailing his boat to Gibraltar and so far he's beating you.'

'Yeah well he got half a day start on me, and I was distracted. The more I look at you in that bikini the more distracted I get.'

I put the laptop down and stood up. 'I'm going to get a cold drink. Do you want a beer?'

'Is the pope a Catholic?' he responded and I kissed him gently on the lips.

I came back out of the cabin, handed Bruce his bottle of beer, took my fruit juice back to my chair and sat down. No sooner had I picked up the laptop than an alarm sounded and the screen changed. I studied the screen trying to make sense of what I was seeing. There were two dots on the screen one red and flashing the other blue. The blue dot was moving away from the red one. Each dot had coordinates printed alongside. It took a moment for me to figure out what I was looking at.

'Oh my God.' I got up and took the laptop over to Bruce.

'Bruce, how long would it take you to get to this position?'

He checked the GPS, picked up his chart and marked our position on it. Then he looked at the computer and marked the position of the red dot on the chart. He measured the distance between them, did a quick calculation.

'An hour and a half to two hours. Why?'

'That's too long. He's in the water.'

'Who is in the water? What are you talking about?'

'That red dot, that's Will Wainwright, my boss. The blue dot is Bee Jay II, his boat, and they're sailing away from him. They can't know he's gone overboard. How long can he last in the water?'

'Your boss is Will Wainwright? The great white shark of the city of London? If he's in the water there are a lot of people would tell me to leave him there.'

'Well, they don't know him. Come on Bruce this is a man in trouble it's your duty to help.'

'Well I suppose it is on the way and we've got the fuel to spare. He's not an Aussie is he?'

'No I don't think so why?'

'I wouldn't be able to show my face back in Auckland If they knew I'd rescued an Aussie.' He laughed and he eased the throttles forward. The two big diesel engine rumbled, and the bow rose. I staggered a bit as the boat tipped in no time the speed indicator showed a speed of twenty knots and we were bouncing across the waves. I pulled myself back up to Bruce's side.

'So how long now?'

'About an hour maybe less.'

I reached across and pushed the throttles as far forward as they would go. The boat leapt forward again and I fell across Bruce's lap. Black smoke came from the exhausts.

'What are you doing you silly cow? Those screws come out of the water at full throttle and we won't be going anywhere.'

'Then make sure they don't come out of the water. This is a man's life we're talking about, that's a bit more important than your bloody engines.'

'Whoa, I can see Wainwright's not the only shark in these waters. Look sit down and let me get the best speed I can out of this baby. I can probably get to him in forty minutes but even that might be too late.'

Samantha couldn't believe what she was seeing. Ryan had taken an oar from Bee Jay's tender and was swinging it, with all the force he could muster, towards Will's head. Will was smiling and waving at her, unaware of what was happening. She wanted to call out but instead, she just gasped as the oar struck Will just above his right ear. His head went sideways and he appeared to stagger before he slumped to the deck. She let out a piercing scream, which stopped Ryan in his tracks. She tried to get to her feet but just fell back to the deck in a feint. By the time she was able to look up, Ryan was dragging Will to the side of the boat. She eased herself off the top of the cabin and started to make her way back towards the yacht's cockpit.

Ryan was trying to push Will over the side as she stepped down into the cockpit. She screamed again as Will's body slipped into the water.

'Stop it. You're killing him.' She screamed as she staggered across the cockpit towards Ryan.

She screamed out for Will and started beating her fists on Ryan's back.

'Stop the boat. He'll drown. Stop the boat. Go back and pick him up.'

Ryan turned and grabbed her wrists to stop her beating him further.

'Believe me, Sam, it's better this way. It was an accident. He was hit by the boom and knocked into the water. Neither of us noticed until it was too late.'

'It wasn't an accident. You hit him I saw you. Now turn the boat around and go back for him.' She looked over Ryan's shoulder and saw Will, in his orange life jacket bobbing up and down on the waves. 'Will.' She cried out, 'Don't worry darling we're coming back for you.'

Ryan turned to look. 'Bloody self-inflating life jacket, nothing but the best for Will Wainwright,' he thought to himself. He returned his attention to Samantha.

'Don't you see what this means? You don't need him any more you'll be the rich widow. We were going to run away together, now we don't have to. We can have it all, just stick to the story.'

'I don't want it all, not like this. Please, Ryan, turn the boat around and go back for him.'

'It's too late for that. I'm not spending the rest of my life behind bars and anyway, he was probably already dead before he went in the water.'

Samantha knelt on the bench and looked out across the stern. Through her tears, she could see Will's orange life jacket rise and fall on the waves. As Bee Jay sailed further away the glimpses got shorter and fewer until he stopped appearing at all. She turned back to Ryan and knelt on the deck in front of him.

'Please Ryan, please turn around. Go back for him please.'

'I think you'd better go below and calm down.'

Slowly she pulled herself up off the deck and made her way down to the cabin she'd shared with Will. It was true she had told Ryan those things. It was pillow talk. It's what you say to a man like Ryan. You make him feel good about himself by telling him you love him and you want to be with him. You don't destroy him by telling him the truth, that he is just a distraction while your husband is away on business. Now, Will was out there in the water, dead or dying and it felt like it was all her fault. Now she was on the boat alone with Ryan. A man that, she now realised, she didn't know at all. She locked the cabin door and collapsed on the bed.

Chapter 2

Will was still disorientated he had no idea how long it had been since he last saw Bee Jay's sails. Now all he could see was water. The swell lifted him up but still, all he could see was ocean. He tried to make sense of things but couldn't. He was in the water, they'd left him and they weren't on any shipping lane so the chance of rescue seemed remote.

'Mustn't give up hope,' he told himself. 'He tried to work out how he'd got to be in the water but couldn't remember anything since breakfast. He looked around and still saw nothing but water. Something showed in his peripheral vision. He turned to look and his heart sank. No more than fifty feet away was the unmistakable dorsal fin of a shark. He tried to remember what sharks frequented these waters. He knew that most presented no danger, however, there were all those unconfirmed reports of Great Whites off the coast of Cornwall. If they came up to Cornwall, they could easily be here. The tip of the shark's tail broke the surface. He guessed the distance from fin to tail as about twenty feet, this was a hell of a big shark. Turning away from the shark, he saw her. Standing five foot six inches tall with an hourglass figure and clad only in a bikini she walked across the water towards him. Her dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail, which swung as she walked. He knew she couldn't be real but at the same time, there was something familiar about her. She reached down and took his hand. He heard a man's voice.

'Hang on mate I'll come in and give you a hand'

With his free hand, Will pointed to the shark. There was a splash beside him and he was aware of someone in the water beside him. He looked up at the woman and saw that she wasn't walking on the water, but hanging over the side of a large white boat. There was a metal ladder hanging over the stern and the man in the water was dragging him towards it.

As we bounced across the waves, I looked from Bruce to the laptop and back to Bruce He seemed to be enjoying himself. Constantly adjusting the throttles to give us the maximum speed he thought was safe and monitoring the GPS. From time to time, he would glance back at me.

'Are they still sailing away?' he asked.

I nodded. I knew something was definitely wrong. If this was an accident, they should have noticed by now.

'Maybe it's not him. Maybe it's just his life jacket gone overboard.' Bruce was trying to make me feel better.

I nodded again but we both knew that couldn't be the case. An empty life jacket would be caught by the wind and moving much faster than the red dot on my screen. I looked at the screen as I desperately tried to keep hold of the computer. Then I did something I hadn't done since I was a girl. I prayed.

'Please God let him be OK. He's not really a bad man. He can be better. I can make him better. Please just give me that chance. Let him be alive.'

The throb of the engines quietened and the boat levelled out on the water. I gave Bruce a questioning look.

'Nearly there. ' He said, 'Instruments can only take us so far, from here on we'll have to rely on these things.' He pointed to his eyes. 'Here take the wheel. Just keep us going straight ahead.'

I took the wheel and Bruce dashed down into the cabin and came up with a pair of binoculars, and jumped up on top of the cabin.

'Okay, I'm going for'ard and if I see him I'll guide you in, right? You do know your port from your starboard?'

'I think so, port is left, right'

'He grinned. 'Yeah port is definitely left'

I watched him as he scanned the ocean looking for a sign more than once he lifted the binoculars to his eyes, only to put them down again. I was busy looking myself when Bruce barked out his first order.

'Hard a starboard, Hard a starboard.'

I turned the wheel sharply to the right and the boat started to turn.

'Port. Port. Port. Steady as she goes. —Yes! Yes! I see your man. I see him. Oh, my God.'

He quickly came back and dropped down into the cockpit, taking the wheel and easing the throttles forward a little.

'What's wrong Bruce, what did you see.'

'Just keep calm, right. There are two sharks in the water and only one of them is Wainwright'

'But it could be harmless, couldn't it? I mean not all sharks are dangerous.'

'No they're not. It's just that I only know two sharks that grow to that size. One's harmless but the other...Well you've seen Jaws, haven't you?'

I leaned out over the port side of the boat and I could see Will's orange life jacket bobbing in the water. A bit further off I could just make out the shark. I gasped as it turned towards Will. Bruce gave out a yell, he had the binoculars up to his eyes and a big grin on his face.

'It's a basker. Biggest bugger I've ever seen, but completely harmless.'

Bruce brought us right alongside Will, I reached out and grabbed his hand as Bruce hooked a ladder over the stern. Will was saying something and pointing at the shark as Bruce jumped into the water. He pulled Will round to the stern and the ladder.

'OK Steph, you take both of his hands and lift, I'll get underneath him and push.'

In no time, at all, he was out of the water and lying on the deck of a boat. I knelt one side of him trying to towel him off while Bruce removed his wet clothes and life jacket.

'He's in a bad way Steph. He's cold and that's a hell of a head wound. He needs a hospital and fast.'

Bruce got up and checked his charts. 'It looks like Saint Nazaire. There'll be a hospital there. I'll do my best but I don't know how long he's got. I think we should get him down to the stateroom.'

We sat him up and with one of us under each arm, we raised him to his feet. We walked him to the stateroom and put him to bed. I took both of Bruce's hands in mine.

'Thank you, Bruce, you really are a star.'

'All part of the service ma'am. Now I'd better lay in a course for St Nazaire.' He started to leave then turned back to me.' You don't happen to speak French do you?'

'Yes, I do why?'

'Well English is supposed to be the universal maritime language, but I've found that when dealing with the French, you get a lot further if you speak their language. If I get the coastguard on the radio can you talk to them, tell them about his injuries and make sure there's an ambulance on the quayside'

We went back up on deck and Bruce plotted a course for St Nazaire while I spoke to the coastguard. In five minutes, we were on our way. I went back down to the stateroom to tend to Will. I couldn't believe how cold he was. Lifting the duvet, I climbed in beside him. I wrapped one leg and one arm around him and hugged him tightly. For years, I'd have given my eyeteeth to be in this position and now I just wished the circumstances were different.

For five hours, we bounced across the waves. Will gradually warmed up and he had occasional instances of consciousness I was able to leave him for a while. I whipped up a salad for Bruce and myself and we ate it on deck without stopping or even slowing down. Darkness fell and still we raced on. Bruce kept an eye on the radar, studying the comings and goings at St Nazaire, but still didn't slow down. It was a great relief when I saw the lights of the French coast.

Sure enough, there was an ambulance waiting on the quayside and the paramedics soon had Will on board. I just had time for a quick word with Bruce before I left.

'What happens for you now?'

'Tomorrow I refuel the boat, then set off for Mahon. The owner is not going to like me being late but I'll just have to deal with that.'

'And who is the owner?'

'Sir George McMahon the construction giant, do you know him?

'Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I don't think you need to worry too much about him. If you come to the hospital in the morning I'll make sure your fuel is paid for.'

I kissed him on the cheek and turned to get in the ambulance, as he called out to me.

'Hey Steph, is he the one?'

I turned back to look at him.

'Is he the one you were thinking about when we were together last night? Your body was mine but your mind was somewhere else. Was it with him?'

I felt myself blushing as I nodded my head.

'Good luck. I'll stop by and see you in the morning.'

Chapter 3

Samantha didn't leave the cabin all day. She never felt hungry or even needed the toilet, all she could think about was that Will was dead. Murdered, just when everything was coming right again. Their whirlwind romance had been unbelievable. Will had pursued her relentlessly from the time he'd seen her in a TV advert. Flowers arrived daily and regular gifts of jewellery. He turned up at her door every night.

At first, she resisted his advances but she soon gave in and found that being wooed by Will Wainwright was a most pleasurable experience. There wasn't a restaurant that couldn't find a table for him, nor a theatre that would turn him away. They always had the best of everything. After their marriage, things had calmed down a bit, but for the first year Will neglected his business, in order to be with her but slowly he got back to business as usual. This meant foreign travel. At first, she'd gone with him but she soon got tired of spending her days in hotels or exploring new places on her own. At least if she stayed home, she'd have people she knew around her.

She'd thought about filling her time by returning to acting, but her agent hadn't been that successful at finding work for her. The trips down to Brighton had started as days out for Sam and her girlfriends, and of course, she had to impress them by showing them around Bee Jay II. That was when she first met Ryan. He was permanently employed by Will to look after Bee Jay. It was after one of these girl's days out that she found herself sitting on deck with Ryan sipping champagne in the late afternoon sunshine. Ryan had taken them out on a short excursion and they'd all been lying on deck in their swimsuits, Samantha was still wearing only her bikini. The alcohol had loosened their tongues and Samantha was bemoaning being left on her own for so long. Ryan looked at her.

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byDeYaKen© 47 comments/ 29770 views/ 80 favorites

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