Pirate's Heart Ch. 01byopels©
Middle of the Atlantic Ocean, 1686
Jimmy Webster looked up from the deck of the ship and couldn't believe his eyes. The pirate swinging over from the attacking ship was of the likes he had never seen. But there was no denying it. The curve of full breasts, a slim waist gently swelling out to hips and then tapering down to long legs. She was dressed in a plain white shirt with tan buckskin trousers, tucked into tall black leather boots. She had a bright red sash tied about her waist, the ends trailing out behind her. She landed soundlessly onto the deck amidst the turmoil of the attack. She swung about, her long auburn hair flying and saw Jimmy staring at her. 'I've never seen purple eyes before,' was the last thought that went through his mind as her sword plunged into him and he crumpled to the deck.
Catherine Veleslav stood aboard the deck of the Themis and quickly surveyed the chaos around her. The crew from her ship, the Perun, were swiftly overtaking the crew of the larger merchant ship. She joined the attack but the bloodshed was over quickly as the captain came forth and surrendered. He was quickly grabbed by two of her crew and held.
"I would rather lose my ship, even to the likes of you, than have any more of my men slaughtered," he said to her, his disgust showing plainly, not bothering to struggle against the men holding him.
Catherine boldly approached him. "What is your name?" she asked him.
"Captain Nathan Kincaid," he answered curtly.
"Very noble of you, Mr. Kincaid," she replied. She had to tip her head back to look up at him, not something she was used to doing, being rather tall herself. She took in his handsome features, his jet black hair coming loose from its ribbon, his high cheekbones and strong, square jaw. Her eyes traveled over his broad shoulders and chest, down his lean torso and over his strong legs. Her gaze returned to his face where she stared into his angry gray eyes. His full, well shaped lips were clamped together in a grimace as he insolently returned her stare.
"Put the crew in the brig and take this ship to the island," she ordered. As the men hastily went about obeying her command she took a step closer to Nathan. Her eyes quickly ran over him again, this time a bit more appreciatively. Quietly she said to the men restraining him, "Take him to my ship and lock him in a cabin." She then turned on her heel and left them, striding easily over one of the planks linking the two ships.
Several hours later she was in her cabin, reviewing the cargo list of the Themis. She had been carrying gold and tobacco back to England. She was very happy with the outcome of this raid. Plus the Themis was a fine ship. Since the captain had surrendered so easily, the damage the vessel had sustained was minimal. Nathan Kincaid's face flashed through her mind and she suddenly remembered she had had him brought to her ship. With a smile she shrugged on a velvet frock coat and ran up on deck. She located one of the men who had brought Nathan on board and found out where he was being held.
"Would you like me to come with you, Captain?" he asked her.
Patting the dagger she kept at her waist, she said with a smile, "Thank you, but I think I'll be fine."
She made her way through the dark passageways below deck until she was at his door. She nodded to the man standing sentry and without bothering to knock she turned the key in the lock and walked in.
He immediately stood when she entered. She paused for a moment and then closed the door behind her. He was shirtless and her eyes swept over his muscular chest and arms. She felt a tingling sensation begin in her belly. On the bicep of his left arm was a large bandage.
"Were you badly injured?" she asked casually.
He didn't answer, just stared at her, the hatred blazing in his eyes.
"I suppose you're wondering what your fate is to be," she said to him. She sat in the room's only chair leaving him standing. "I'm not really sure myself."
"I would prefer to be with my crew," he replied in a tight voice.
"Oh now, why would you want that? They're in the dank, awful brig of your ship while you're here in this nice cabin...with me," she said with a smile.
"I'd rather be at the bottom of the ocean," he said, his voice low.
"Well, that can be arranged," she said, her full lips turning down into a frown. She rose and approached him. She trailed her fingers over his bare chest. "But that would be such a waste," she murmured.
"Don't touch me," he hissed at her.
She looked up at him and stared into his gray eyes. Eyes that were shining like silver. She continued to caress his bare chest and saw a spark in the depths of his dislike for her. She knew she was attractive, had often been told beautiful, and that men could rarely resist her. "Mr. Kincaid, you seem to forget, this is my ship and I do as I please and if it pleases me to touch you, then I will do so." Adding her other hand, she flattened her palms against his warm skin and slid them up to his shoulders and then slowly back down again.
She heard him suck in a shaky breath and she smiled to herself. She could feel his heart pounding beneath her hands and her own pulse quickened. She stepped closer to him and looked up into his eyes. She reached a hand to the back of his neck and pulled his head down to hers. She pressed her lips against his but he quickly wrenched his head away and pushed her from him.
"How dare you?" she hissed at him, her eyes suddenly blazing with anger.
"I will not be seduced by you," he spat back at her.
She glared at him for a moment before storming out of the room, slamming the door behind her. "Put him in irons!" she shouted to the sentry.
Catherine stormed back to her cabin and slammed the door. Once inside, she angrily paced back and forth. How dare he reject her advances, she fumed. He obviously did not realize how difficult she could make things for him. They were sailing back to her island and even though her ship was quick it was going to take about three weeks to arrive. She was determined to break down his defenses before then.
Nathan lay uncomfortably on the bed. His wrists were shackled as were his ankles. A chain ran around his waist and attached to another chain that connected his bonds. His arm was throbbing from the slash wound he had sustained during the fight earlier and his stomach growled from hunger, but his thoughts were fixed on his crew being held in the brig of his ship. He knew those uncomfortable quarters were not nearly big enough for all of them and they were going to be quite cramped. He said a prayer for them before trying to sleep.
He awoke the next morning and before he could remember where he was he tried to stretch. The metal of his cuffs cut sharply into his skin and he let out a sharp cry of pain. He heard a chuckle and looked about. Catherine sat in a chair laughing at his distress.
"Good morning," she said with a smile. "Did you sleep well?"
He ignored her and just stared at the ceiling.
"If you had been a bit nicer to me, those irons could have been avoided," she said.
"I would rather have these on me than your hands," he said bitterly.
She laughed again and rising, she crossed to the door. "Simms, come in here, please." The sentry entered the room. "Attach Mr. Kincaid's wrist shackles to the head of his bed, please."
"Yes, ma'am," he replied.
He produced a key and undid the chain that attached his cuffs to his waist and wrapped the chain around the thick beam of wood on the headboard.
"And attach his leg irons to the foot board, please," she continued.
Simms turned his attentions to the foot of the bed as Nathan glared at her, his eyes blazing with fury. He completed his task and stood. "Thank you Simms, that will be all," she said, dismissing him.
He left and she turned to Nathan and again her eyes swept over him. A smile hovered on her lips and she approached the bed. Her fingertips lazily trailed over his chest. "See what happens when you're not nice? Now you will have to have to contend with both the irons and my hands on you." she said playfully.
"I requested before that you not touch me," he said in a cold voice.
"And I told you before that I do as I please around here," she replied, matching his tone. "And since you are quite helpless, I can do just that," she purred, stroking his cheek. He flinched and turned his head.
She sat on the edge of the bed and trailed her fingers down his throat. He closed his eyes and willed his body not to react. He felt her press her palms against his skin and slide down his chest. His pulse quickened and he felt a slight stirring in his body. Her weight on the mattress shifted and he opened his eyes to see her straddling the lower part of his legs. She slowly unbuttoned her shirt and opened it, sliding it off her shoulders to rest at her elbows. She wore no covering underneath and he gazed at her full, bare breasts. Her hands slid down his thighs to his knees and then slowly worked their way back up, massaging his strong muscles as she did so. He closed his eyes in surrender as his breath burst through his lips in a ragged gasp and the stirring in his body became stronger. He knew the evidence of his arousal was soon going to be apparent and he gave up struggling for control.
"Are you not at all curious as to where we're going?" she asked almost conversationally.
His eyes flew open at her unexpected question. "What?" he gasped, uncomprehending.
"Where we're going. Where this ship is headed?" she repeated. Her hands were halfway up his thighs, kneading his flesh, and he was having trouble thinking of anything else. "We're going to my island. I'll stash your cargo there and then send a message to a neutral ally to ferry your crew to a British ship where they'll be returned to England."
Her hands were almost to the tops of his thighs and he managed to ask, "And what is my fate to be?"
Her hands stilled just short of their target. "I'm not sure yet," she said. "I'll have to wait and see what you're good for." With that her hands began to move again and she chuckled with delight as the bulge in his trousers became quite apparent. He groaned with despair that his body had betrayed him so. He sucked in a sharp breath when he felt her hand on the source of his distress. She gently squeezed him and another groan escaped his lips.
She rose up on all fours and crawled forward. She pressed her lips against his and he responded, giving up the fight and completely surrendering to her, kissing her back. As he raised his head up from his pillow, she smiled to herself, she had won. She pulled away from his mouth and trailed her tongue down his throat, her breasts brushing his chest She hovered over his face. "Open your eyes," she whispered.
He did and she could see the passion there. She chuckled. "See how much more pleasant I can be when you're nice?" she asked. She then got up off the bed and shrugging her shirt back on, walked out the door, leaving him.
Nathan stared at the closed door to his cabin that she had just passed through. His body was tortured with desire and she had just left him. Since he was bound hand and foot, he wasn't even able to relieve himself of the aggravation. He groaned with frustration and struggled briefly. His erection was trapped inside his trousers and was most uncomfortable. His only choice was to endure and hope that he would be able to think of something else, but the image of her beautiful face and naked breasts tormented him and he knew it would be a long time before he felt relief.
She quickly walked through the ship, buttoning her shirt. She had wanted to do so much more to him, but she knew that first he needed to be taught a lesson. A lesson on who was in charge on this ship. She had to admit, though, it had taken a great deal of willpower to leave him just now. The arousal she had felt was unlike any other she had felt before. Even though she was only twenty-four years old, she had had her fair share of lovers, but she had a premonition that this man was going to be different and she was going to have to be careful.
She went up on deck and let the wind sweep her mind clear. She loved being out on the ocean, her ship slicing through the waves. She had always loved the sea, ever since she was a little girl. She had been born in Moscow in 1662, but during the peasant rebellion the next year, her mother was killed, and her father fled with her to England, seeking a better life. He bought a small merchant ship and sailed along the coast of England, between the ports, doing small runs, letting little Catherine help him steer. His ship was attacked and he was murdered by pirates when she was only 17. The news of his death tore her to pieces and she fell into a black depression. When she finally emerged from it, her heart had hardened and she vowed that she would never let anyone get close to her again. Crewing on a merchant ship was the only thing she knew how to do, so disguised as a boy she found work doing that. However, when a ship she was on was also attacked by pirates her secret was revealed. She was sent to the captain who immediately fell in love with the willful young beauty and claimed her as his own. The only way she would survive was to join him. She soon found that pirating was a far more profitable business than being a lowly sailor and she also discovered that she loved the adventure of it.
When her lover was killed during a raid a year later, she claimed his ship as her own and giving a nod to her Russian heritage and a disregard for conventionality, she re-christened it Perun, the chief of the Russian pagan gods and the god of thunder, lightning and war. She was only nineteen years old, but commanded her ship and crew with an authority that was beyond question.
The morning wind swept away her desire and she returned to her cabin. She did some work there for a couple of hours before she decided to return to her prisoner. She stopped by the kitchen on her way and had a tray prepared for him.
The door to the cabin opened and Nathan was surprised to see Catherine enter the room. She had a tray with her and he could smell the oatmeal. He hadn't eaten in two days and was ravenous. She pulled a chair up to the edge of the bed and set the tray in her lap.
"Are you hungry?" she asked innocently.
Swallowing his pride, he said through gritted teeth, "Yes."
"I thought you might be," she said stirring the oatmeal. She lifted a spoonful to her lips and tasted it. "Mmmm... it's good. Would you like some?"
Again gritting his teeth, he replied, "Yes."
She put down the spoon and sighed. "How could you possibly have forgotten already? If you want me to be nice, you have to be nice first." She picked up another spoonful of the warm cereal and repeated, "Would you like some?"
He took a deep breath and surrendering to his hunger, he grudgingly replied, "May I please have some oatmeal?"
She smiled at him. "Very good," she said. He was expecting her to release him, but instead she guided the spoon to his mouth. "Open up," she ordered happily.
He stared at her for a moment, astounded that she would insist on feeding him. Glaring at her he parted his lips and she slid the spoon into his mouth. She fed him the entire bowl and commended him on his good behavior. "Now do you see how nice that was? You just have to learn how to behave and we'll get along fine."
She then rose and left the room. She paused by the sentry and told him to release him from his irons. She then ordered him a bath and a hearty lunch.
...to be continued...