Read My Pirate Lover Online

Authors: Lexie Stewart

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My Pirate Lover (3 page)

BOOK: My Pirate Lover
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Now, thought Josephine, was her chance to escape. She tip-toed to the door, reached for the handle and-

-a dagger flew from Lance’s fingers and stuck in the wood near Josephine’s hand!

Josephine froze. Lance hadn’t even looked her way! Josephine swallowed and backed away from the door. When she’d composed herself she asked, “What’s that?”

“Never you mind, lass,” said Lance, tucking the object away. He turned his attention back to Josephine. “Now, where were we?”

“I believe you were explaining the situation to me,” said Josephine.

Lance chuckled. “Actually,” he said, “I believe I was avoiding explaining the situation to you.” Lance shook his head. “You other-world girls are so excitable!”

“What on Earth is an other-world girl?” Josephine demanded.

“A girl from the other-world.”

“Great, thanks. That really clears things up,” said Josephine. “Just tell me one thing. Have I been rescued, or simply swapped one captor for another?”

“You were never the prize, lass,” said Lance. He gestured to the strange object he’d squirreled away. “That was.”

“Then why have you bought me here?”

“Would you have preferred to stay with Captain Bloody?” asked Lance. “I brought you here, lass, because there’s something I want from you.”

“And what’s that?” asked Josephine.

For an answer, Lance untucked his shirt from his pants, belts and sashes and pulled it off over his head.

“How dare you!” cried Josephine, reaching for a book to throw at him.

“Don’t start that again!” said Lance. “I need you to wrap my shoulder is all, see?” he pointed to a gash across the hard muscle of his upper arm.

“And while I do, you’ll answer my questions?” asked Josephine. She was somewhat distracted. He had revealed a body that was hard and tanned. It occurred to Josephine that if this whole piracy thing didn’t work out for him he could get a job with Calvin Klein modelling y-fronts.

“You’re in no position to be make bargains with me, lass,” said Lance, obviously relishing the fact. “You see, I have a winning hand while you don’t hold a single card.”

He was right of course, and Josephine knew it. She was completely at his mercy.

“However,” said Lance, “I’m a fair man so how about I throw you a bone? If you ask nicely, I might oblige you.”

“Ha! You’re a scoundrel!”

“I prefer gentleman of fortune.”

Thinking of Katie, Josephine swallowed her pride and said through gritted teeth, “Oh, kind and masterful Captain Breakheart. Would you do me the honour of letting me dress your wound and enlighten me with your wisdom?”

“Certainly,” said Lance with a sweeping bow. “Was that so hard?”

Josephine sat in a chair with Lance at her feet.

“Bloody uses a device called a Lightning Circle,” said Lance, “made from Lightning Glass to plunder vessels from other times. He uses new technologies from the future to make people think he’s a god.”

“And you think it’s such a good idea you’ve decided to do the same?” said Josephine, not believing a word.

“Close enough.”

There was a knock at the door.

“Enter!” cried Lance.

The door opened and an elderly, butler type stood there. He looked out of place in his boots and open shirt.

“Oh, sorry, Cap’n” he said, “I didn’t know you were with a woman.”

Lance laughed. “Now Curry, does she look like my type of woman?”

Curry looked Josephine up and down. “She certainly doesn’t, Cap’n!”

Josephine gave the man a withering look and he promptly stopped laughing.

“Was there something you wanted, Curry?” prompted Lance.

“Oh, aye, Cap’n!” Curry squared up his shoulders to deliver the news. “The Bloody Throne has caught up! We’re under attack!”

#

“Stay here!” commanded Lance, hurrying about his cabin, arming himself with daggers and pistols.

“Sure,” said Josephine.

“You’re not to open the door to anyone,” said Lance. After a moments thought he added, “Except me.”

“Aye, aye Cap’n!” said Josephine with an innocent smile.

#

When Lance had gone, Josephine counted five Mississippi’s and snuck outside.

The air stank of sweat and blood and was filled with the sounds of clashing swords, cries of pain, shouts of triumph and the most appalling profanity Josephine had ever heard.

Pirates from The Bloody Throne were crawling over the rail and swinging over on ropes. It was an open-air bar fight with fists flying, glass smashing and everybody half tanked.

Josephine ducked and dodged and even crawled on her hands and knees until she reached the rail.

She found a grappling hook and after checking that the rope trailing down to the water was unoccupied by pirates, decided she would shimmy down it and get into one of the boats. Easy.

Josephine swung one leg over the rail, glad that she was a jeans and sneakers sort of girl and not a short skirt and heels sort when two brawling pirates bumped into her and knocked her off.

Josephine fell, screaming all the way. She smacked into the water and went under. The impact was surprisingly painful. The backs of her legs and her bottom stung terribly.

She kicked and kicked and after what felt like a lifetime later she broke the surface, coughing and spluttering.

Squinting through salt water she saw an empty boat and swam towards it.

Josephine had swum at sea before but never in conditions like this. It was raining men- and not in a good way. Screaming pirates fell from the sky and belly flopped into the water, a surprising number of them yelling, ‘help! I can’t swim!’.

The swells that rolled up against the hull of the ship rebounded as waves broke over Josephine’s head and it wasn’t long before she was swallowing water.

When Josephine reached the boat, she dragged herself into it and lay there gasping and shaking. She recovered her strength, grabbed the oars and started rowing.

The strange thing about rowing is that the rower has their back to their destination. Josephine was headed towards Little Bounty but she was facing the two ships and so saw the battle that took place.

Conventionally, ships will draw up alongside each other and blast the hell out of one another until one or both, surrender or sink.

Lance was giving conventionality the finger.

He manoeuvred Ripple Thief in front of The Bloody Throne so that it formed the top line of a capital letter ‘T’, then he fired a single cannon.

The cannonball flew alongside The Bloody Throne and smashed through the oars on the portside before plopping into the water. Destroying the oars must have been what Lance planned to do because a huge cheer went up from his crew.

The Bloody Throne was in disarray. With all the oarsmen on her starboard side still rowing and all the oarsmen on the portside unable to, The Bloody Throne started turning circles on the spot.

Through all of this Josephine never stopped rowing. When she drew near Little Bounty her thoughts turned to how she would board her. She was still hovering in the air!

Josephine gave four strong pulls on the right-hand oar and turned her boat around so that she faced Little Bounty.

She sat there, her pale face awash with the eerie, white light.

The pirates who were looting Little Bounty earlier were gone- along with their ropes and grappling hooks. Josephine searched her boat but found nothing useful.

She was about to turn back when she noticed that there was someone still looting Little Bounty.

Three opportunistic pirates had snuck back to plunder their share of the booty.

Two of them stood in their boat while the third one handed things down from Little Bounty.

Suddenly they cried out in alarm.

The beam of light was shining brighter and brighter. It seemed to tremble under the strain of its own intensity and there was a humming sound, like pressure built up, about to explode.

The pirate on Little Bounty dropped his armful of booty and ran to the rope to climb down, only to find his companions rowing away as fast as they could.

“Wait for me, ya heathen swabs!” he yelled after them.

There was an explosion of white.

Shock waves nearly capsized Josephine’s boat. To her horror, the lightning bolt hovering over Little Bounty struck.

It smashed into Little Bounty, tearing her insides apart.

The pirate was thrown several meters into the air and splashed into the water under a rainfall of debris.

Another body, full of shattered glass and shrapnel from Little Bounty’s cabin, tumbled through the air like a rag doll and landed with a terrible thump on the deck. Josephine recognised the body as that of Martin Slackson.

Josephine was dazed and nearly blinded by the blast but she could see that Little Bounty and her passengers had been released from whatever magic had kept them frozen.

Flames licked across the catamaran and her engine gave small pops and explosions as black smoke poured out of her.

The destruction of the boat was terrible to behold but not as terrible as the cries of her passengers.

“Josie!” screamed the voice of a young girl. Katie.

Josephine’s heart clenched in her chest. With fear-numbed arms, she picked up the oars and rowed towards the stricken catamaran.

The beam winked out and with it went Little Bounty.

There was nothing, just an empty patch of air where the beam and the boat had been.

With the disappearance of the beam, the world plunged into darkness.

Josephine felt that darkness close over her heart. Katie. Her sweet, little niece was gone.

#

“We got her, Cap’n,” announced Curry. He stood behind Josephine with his hands on her shoulders.

Josephine just stood there, dripping on Ripple Thief’s deck. Her face was pale and her eyes were glazed over.

“The men say they found her just floating aimlessly in a little boat,” Curry went on.

“Good job, men,” said Lance. He crossed his arms in front of his chest. “I told you to stay put, lass” he said. “You disobeyed a direct order. It’s just as well you’re my not one of the crew; I’d have to discipline you!”

The men laughed. Josephine didn’t. She wasn’t aware of Lance’s cocky grin or the mess on the deck. She didn’t notice the wood gouged from swords, boarding axes and grappling hooks; the smell of blood; or the wounded men carried below deck by their comrades.

“Well?” asked Lance, tapping his foot impatiently.

“She’s dead,” murmured Josephine.

“What’s that? Speak up, lass!”

Josephine spoke up all right. She let loose a scream that froze every man within earshot and then she launched herself at Lance.

She scratched and punched and yelled every obscenity she knew and then she collapsed and started sobbing against the chest she’d just pummeled.

“I promised her I’d be back!” Josephine gulped. “I promised her!”

“Alright, you swabs,” snapped Lance. “About your business!”

“Aye, Cap’n!” said the men and hurried away.

Josephine felt Lance’s arms close tentatively around her. When she didn’t resist, he picked her up and carried her to his cabin.

When the door closed, Lance undressed her.

Josephine was only vaguely aware of how warm his hands were on her goose-pimpled skin.

After Lance had stripped her down to her underwear, he led her to his bed.

“Get in,” he said.

Josephine didn’t move.

“You’re cold and exhausted. You need to rest.”

When Josephine didn’t respond , Lance picked her up and put her in the bed. He even tucked her in.

“Tomorrow, when you’re feeling better,” he said, kneeling down so that he was at eyelevel with her, “we’re going to have a little chat.”

BOOK: My Pirate Lover
2.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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