A Penchant For Pirates

Chapter 17

Kevin went leeward side and emptied the contents of his stomach. He fought to try to regain some sense of decency over his body, which had betrayed him with more than lusty emotions and a rock hard erection. His mind spun lurid temptations as he willed his body and feelings to come to turns with his thoughts.

Closing his eyes, he hid from the crew and leaned over the rail. The salt spray kicked quickly up in his face causing him to look towards the sky. A storm was brewing quickly, which was expected this time of year, as they headed south to the islands.

"Captain..." Alexander cleared his throat.

"Yes," Kevin leaned on the rail with his lower arms resting on the wood. His hands clasped together as if in prayer.

"Sir?" A.J. touched his Captain's arm.

"I'm fine Alex. Just tell me nobody saw what I know your eyes never miss?"

"Nay, they didn't Captain, but you need to get yourself together. A storm is brewing and we are only a few days from port. I also feel a conquest just on the horizon..." A.J. paused knowing that his spoken words would catch Kevin's attention albeit not representing what the Captain was thinking.

Kevin's head slowly turned towards his Quartermaster. His eyes were narrowed and flat. "If you even think that I would..."

A.J. chuckled, "Not the boy sir. I mean a ship. I can tell; it's instinct."

Kevin closed his eyes and dropped his head slightly. "You would know, so let's get this ship ready to ride out this storm and then we will see what awaits us on the other side."

"Aye Captain. The boy and Nickolas?" A.J. was pushing but just by a hair.

"Will stay below deck and ready the evening meal. If that child comes within feet of me, I may do something drastic."

With a chuckle, A.J. began to walk off and shout orders. A mate dispatched below informed Ray and Nick about the storm. They needed to prepare the galley and the evening meal. Kevin's hiss went undetected at A.J.'s amusement. A.J. also sent Brian below to see how Ray was fairing over Kevin's actions.

As the winds began to blow hard, most crewmembers were sent below deck. Only those who played a pivotal role would weather the storm on the decks.

Kevin heard his name called on the wind and turned towards the direction that it had come from. His face pelted by a combination of rain and sea salted water. At the far end of the deck stood Nickolas holding the door open that led to the ships lower decks. Nick was waving at him to come in from the storm. Kevin shook his head no and motioned Nick to go below deck by pointing his index finger down a few times.

Ray's tiny head poked out from underneath Nick's arm. Seeing the boy set Kevin off as he called for A.J. to take the wheel and he stormed toward the two figures.

A.J. smiled broadly as the rain slapped against his face. "He told you to stay below deck. Dumb boy! Dumb!" he shouted on a breeze.

Kevin stomped closer and Ray quickly disappeared. Nick's eyes grew large as he saw Kevin coming closer. The closer he came, the easier it was for him to recognize the anger on his mentor's face. Nick started to slam the door shut only to have it ripped from his fingers. "I told you to go below and stay there!" The door slammed shut with a loud bang. The noise was imitated by thunder and lightening that emanated from the sky.

"Great, he's really mad now," Nick took off for the galley with Ray right behind him.

"What did we do?" Ray began to question.

"We didn't do anything, you did." Nick shook his head as he entered the galley to have it full of the officers less Kevin and A.J.

"I didn't do anything. It is not my fault that he is an ogre, demanding, commanding, over-bearing, and obnoxious man. He forced me to climb the ropes. It is his fault not mine that I fell. He's mean!" Ray's tongue over-ruled her sense as she soon noted the presence of Sir Howard and Sir Brian.

Howie laughed as he sipped his brandy and watched Ray's face ashen. "Don't worry boy; that seems to be a pretty good assessment of our Captain. Those are some of his qualities, but not all of them."

Ray bit her tongue, "Sorry Sir. I shouldn't have spoken my thoughts aloud." Ray needed to backtrack on her words before she was in trouble with more than Kevin. To disparage a Captain in the company of his officers could be grounds for punishment.

"You are correct on that assumption Ray," Brian cast a glance towards the figure. He had no choice but to react in a manner that any officer would over a person who was disrespecting their commander. He had to admit though, if Ray had succeeded and she hadn't mis-stepped and almost fell to certain death on the deck, Kevin would have been pissed that a mere boy had bested him on a dare. Brian closed his eyes as it suddenly hit him, that Kevin was almost beaten by a girl. Laughing out loud, he grinned at Ray. "Take care to not anger him anymore today boy."

"I didn't anger him, he angered himself!" Ray shouted and ran out of the galley.

"If I didn't know better I would swear Ray is a female the way he reacts to certain things." Howard leaned back in his chair with a sly grin on his face. His brandy glass hiding most of his smile, now was the time to let Brian and Nick know what he and A.J. had known for some time. After all, they had guarded the child when others were around her. Under most circumstances, one of them were with her all the time or she was with Nickolas.

Nick groaned and sat down on the chair. "He's going to kill me. I know it, I shouldn't have done this."

Howard's eyebrows went up slightly as he pulled himself forward in the chair. Leaning forward, he knocked his knuckles on Nickolas head. "When he finds out, you had better run away, very far away. Kevin is on the very verge of discovering your little secret. You did not see what happened after you were sent below deck today. He has feelings for the boy.... I mean girl. I mean...."

Nick's torment blue eyes rose towards Howard and Brian. "I was only trying to help her, I felt bad. He taught me to help."

Howard laughed, "Oh I wouldn't take that route with him when this finally blows like a powder keg. I suggest that the ones that truly know what is going on here put our heads together and truly figure out a solution for you. The man will want to keel haul you, at the very least."

Nick's face brightened as he saw Brian's head nodding in agreement, they were going to help him, not turn him in to Kevin. "I was hoping for Moses's Law at the most."

Howard broke out in laughter. "You thought you would be off the hook with 39 lashes from a cat-o-nine tails for passing a female off as his cabin boy!"

"Ludicrous Nickolas, pure insanity." Brian shook his head knowing pretty well how Kevin was going to react to all of this. Kevin was slowly going insane over his attraction with the boy. It went against Kevin's nature and how he was raised but nevertheless, he was attracted.

"The cabin boy idea was Kevin's, not mine," Nick gulped.

"Be sure to remind him of that when he finds out," Howie's shoulders shook with merriment. "That child slid down the front of Kevin today and the man was so sexually aroused, I thought he was going to lose it before he his feet landed on the deck. His feelings are growing more and more for the child every day. The only thing is, he is making himself sick over it. He thinks the child is a boy, not a girl. His body is telling him one thing, yet his brain another. Today he hung over the side and tossed the contents of his stomach like a virgin sailor."

"What about Sir Alex?" Nick looked at the two men who sat across from him.

Brian's mouth produced a grimace, "Unfortunately, he already knows."

"Oh noooo," Nick's head dropped down once again to his folded arms on the table. He spoke to the table as his head nestled in his arms, "I'm doomed, he's going to tell him and if he doesn't then he will hold it over my head to get what he wants."

"I don't think so," Brian spoke quietly. "He likes Ray, he spent all that time showing her how to tie knots so his chicken wouldn't fall apart."

The three men laughed as a forth one came into the galley. His clothes soaked with water from the storm. "The Captain wants something to keep him warm." A.J. watched Nick move slowly.

Quick facials expressions exchanged between the elder crewmembers. A.J. let out a laugh, "I don't mean Ray either."

"A.J.!" Nick yelled back and hoped not one person outside the galley could hear the words that A.J. spoke.

The other men chuckled quietly. "Hey, the Captain's male part knows that it's a woman. I can't wait until the heart and head catch up with the body."

Nick fell to his knees in front of A.J. "Please don't tell him. I'll do anything, I promise."

"Hmmm," A.J. rocked back on his heels. "Anything?"

Nick's eyes formed slits, "Anything?"

"Okay, I'll save you. However, I'm doing it for Ray, not you. Get off the floor before someone from the crew sees you."

The door blew in for the third time and Kevin stood dripping wet in the threshold. "I'm freezing. I need something hot to eat and dry clothes. Nickolas where is Ray?"

Nick looked dumbstruck at Kevin, "Umm, your cabin."

"Put some soup on for me and go fetch some dry clothes for me from the boy. If I do it, I'll hurt the chit."

"Yes sir," Nick bolted from the room and prayed all the way to the cabin that Ray was there. Rushing in, he saw her folding a clean pair of breeches, a shirt, and an overcoat of some sort. "I need those," Nick grabbed them from her hand. Running back out the door, he stopped and turned. "Don't leave the cabin, we need to talk. It's going to be fine."

Nick raced back to the galley to see Kevin breaking a piece of dry cracker. Kevin was already eating the soup that Nick had enough practice and knowledge that Kevin would require it if he were cold. "Clothes," Nick set them on the chair next to him.

"Ray?" Kevin's eyes leveled on him.

"Scared," Nick said honestly. He had seen the fear mixed with anger in Ray's face and eyes.

"No need to be and you know it," Kevin shook the spoon at Nick.

Nick's warm friendly demeanor returned rapidly, Kevin's anger was dissipating, "Ray doesn't know you like I do."

"Ray will get to know me," Kevin paused and stared into his soup as if it were a magical object that could tell him the future, "As soon as I know me."

A hush fell in the room as Kevin finished eating. Stripping down to his undergarments, he changed clothes. Pulling the blue wool coat over his body, he smiled. "Where ever did you find this? I had forgotten that I had it."

"Ray found it," Nick now hoped it hadn't come from the trunk.

"The last time I had seen this it was in my trunk. Ray must be tending to his duties." Kevin sniffed the fabric of the collar deeply. The coat still carried the faint scent of Isabella. With the scent came the memories of the woman that he had missed every day and would continue to for the rest of his life. "A.J. you can come up if you would like but I won't force you too. I have Rodney and Colin up there. I want the rest of you to stay below."

Kevin made the short journey to the quarterdeck as the rain and waves punched and rolled the ship. "I need some solitude," he sniffed the sleeve once more to dredge up warm and loving memories of Isabella. Isabella would take his mind off of the boy.

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