A Penchant For Pirates

Chapter 18

The storm raged on for the rest of the day. Ray succumbed to sleep as the lantern's flame died. She never heard Kevin enter the cabin, strip off his clothes, and dry his body off. As he sat on his bed, shivering from the coldness that his body had just endured, his eyes searched for the hammock in the darkened room. Ray lay barely covered up with his boots still on. Wrapping a towel around his body, Kevin made his way to the boy. Effortlessly, he slipped the battered boots from the sleeping form. The boots landed with a thunk on the floor. Kevin left the hose that the boy wore on. Covering the boy with the blanket that had been kicked to floor, he smiled, "Sleep pleasantly Ray, all is well." Feeling drained, he eased his exhausted body into bed. The storm had been rough but they had sailed out of the torrential rains and wind intact with barely a scratch. Kevin fell into a well-earned deep sleep.

Awaking to the sound of silence was un-natural and not a good sign for a privateer or a pirate. He lay naked in his bed and turned on his back to see the sunshine stream through the window that he insisted be put in the place by his bed. He wanted to see the magnificent sunrises and sunsets as one of them might be his last. Rolling his head towards the hammock, he was satisfied he was left alone. Ray had rose and left already this morning. Closing his eyes, he started to sort out the unsettled feelings he had for the boy. He couldn't or wouldn't understand the desire he had for his new cabin boy. When his body reacted the way it had the day before it made him sick. Kevin prided himself on being attracted to the female sex and they were always attracted to him. He had a reputation as a skillful lover who gave when he took. Many a woman had pursued him in his youth, even while he was married to Isabella. "Faithfulness was one of his more endearing qualities," Isabella would tell him after he would re-tell of an encounter of a married woman of society who was interested in him regardless of the fact that he or maybe both of them were married. Only two women had made him comfortable out of bed and that was just as important to him, Isabella and Jocelyn. Jocelyn would never change, she would always be a whore; she would never have his heart, only Isabella had that ability. Sighing deeply, since he hadn't sorted out his problem still, he closed his eyes to drift back to sleep as the sunshine streamed through the window and warmed his body.

The door creaking open roused Kevin from his half slumber. He tugged the sheet over his maleness since it had been cast aside. Rolling to his side, but pretending to be asleep, he saw Ray with a tray. Admittedly, he was surprise that the boy would take initiative. Under hooded eyes, he watched the boy stare at his body. At first, he could see curiosity and then a different emotion showed on the boy's face. Ray's violet eyes shimmered as they fell on his naked form. Though his eyes were closed, he watched the young one scrutinize his body. The sheet fell slightly and Ray's mouth opened widely.

She closed her eyes and her grip on the tray tightened even more. Turning her back to him, the items on the tray began to rattle as the tray was carried to his desk. She had just seen a male closely, for the first time. The dark patch of hair surrounding Kevin's shaft was prevalent on the man's body.

Kevin was very confused over the chit's reaction. It wasn't like Ray hadn't seen the male body before he was one. Grabbing for the sheet, Kevin tossed his legs over the side of the bed and watched the back of the figure fidget with the tray. "Ray this isn't tea with the Queen, leave it."

"OH!" Ray jumped just as the tray was dropped to the desk.

Kevin sat up on the bed running his fingers through his hair. He wasn't going to apologize for scaring the lad, he shouldn't be sneaking around in the first place. "You're very different Ray, a little odd, but I can deal with that."

"Your lunch," Ray cast her eyes to the floor in fear of what else her eyes might see. 'Odd, you're odd,' she thought to herself, 'Your naked.'

"Lunch? What happened to breakfast?" Kevin tossed the sheet aside and stood up. Ambling over to where Ray stood next to the tray, he looked at the pocket watch that was once his father's that rested on the ledge of the desk. It was well past breakfast.

Ray caught a glimpse of his bare body and clenched her teeth tightly closed. He should not be so indecent in front of her, how dare he. "Would you care to dress Sir?" Ray was angry with her own body and not understanding what was going on inside her but she knew that Kevin's nakedness was causing her body to react in the very same way it had yesterday. She felt tingly and hot, her body flushed. If she had a mirror, she would swear that she was turning red.

Kevin grumbled as he stood naked in front of her, biting into a piece of fruit. Chewing the contents of his mouth, he swallowed. "Fetch me my breeches," he grinned as he watched her stumble over to the dresser to get him a pair of trousers. Still curious as to why he reacted to Ray like he did, he took his time with this. This was a little experiment more for him than the boy. When he felt the stirring in his loins begin and the fact that his eyes rested on the boy's backside his anger flashed at himself and at the boy for causing the reaction "Get out!" Kevin yelled loudly.

Ray didn't think twice at the order as she bolted from the room. As she threw the pants at him she knocked the steaming pot of coffee off the desk. She didn't even stop to see if she had injured the Captain or not. His yelp and cursing confirmed that he had been hit by the steaming liquid. She stood on the other side of the door that she had closed with strength that she didn't know she had.

Nick met her half way, "What did you do now?" Nick looked at the closed door behind Ray and heard Kevin cussing up a storm on the other side.

Ray ground her teeth together before she spoke. "I didn't do anything, the man is a… is a… " Ray stopped as A.J. stood just above them on the landing. Looking up, Ray could see his white teeth gleaming in the dark as the sun cast his shadow over them.

"Now Ray, what did you do to the Captain now?" A.J. chuckled as he saw the expression on Ray's face. The woman would be pure hell-cat if she were not to be bound to being a male. This voyage was turning into so much fun. He couldn't miss Kevin's volatile temper on the other side of the door either.

"Nothing Sir Alex. It seems that the Captain should dine with pants on when he is drinking hot coffee." Ray flounced to the galley as Nick looked up to A.J. who was laughing so hard, he was doubled over.

Both of them were silenced as Kevin opened the door. Nick looked down because of what Ray had said. As his eyes traveled up from the bare feet he saw the leather pants that Kevin wore. Kevin had pants on now.

Kevin fumed as he ran by both of the men and towards the galley. Nick didn't have a chance to utter his expression as he ran after Kevin. Entering the galley, he saw Kevin grab Ray by the arm and spin her around. "You burned me on purpose."

"I did not! You frightened me," Ray's eyes flashed as her fury brewed. "You shouldn't yell like that!"

Kevin shouted in her face, "I always yell like that!"

"Well you shouldn't. It's rude and shows a lack of manners," Ray's features sharpened as she battled to wrestle her arm from Kevin's grip. Ray was terrified of the man that was standing before with his large hand on her arm.

"You're going to pay for this mistake Ray." Kevin grabbed the bucking and resisting youth and dragged him towards his cabin. Nick was yelling at him the entire way to stop. Entering his cabin, he shoved Ray inside. Kevin stepped aside as Nick came running after him. Barreling into the room, Nick spun on his heels to see that Kevin was behind him instead of in front of him.

"You are not to interfere with this Nickolas," Kevin barked. A hand tapped him on the shoulder and he stopped to lash into the person who was stupid enough to intervened with his discipline.

"We have a problem," A.J. stood behind Kevin.

"No, Ray does," Kevin's lips pursed together at the sight of the smart little chit.

A loud boom sounded and Kevin's eyes became as large as saucers. The noise would never be mistaken for anything other than what it was, cannon fire.

Ray and Nick continued to argue over what had taken place. Neither of them had heard the door close. Both of them stopped arguing with each other long enough to hear the timber slid over the posts on the other side of the door. They stared at each other in disbelief. The creak of the ship was all that could be heard and then a thunderous boom.

Nick knocked Ray to the floor of Kevin's cabin. Covering her mouth as she began to scream, "Sssh, ssh, don't scream like a girl. I do not need that right now." Looking down at her, he could see the fear of the unknown. Her eyes mirrored the terror that was rippling through her body as it quivered beneath him. "It's cannonballs. That is why the door is barred from the outside. We have to lock the door from the inside now." Nick spoke.

Ray felt Nick's entire body length on her but she seemed confused at her own feelings. She didn't have the same reaction to Nick as she had with the Captain. When Kevin's body was pressed against hers yesterday she felt her knees go weak and a tingly feeling deep inside her. Nick didn't give her these feelings, it wasn't the same. "Nick, what's happening?" she questioned as she watched Nick pull his body from hers and go to the door. He dropped the oak beam into the cradles and then ran to the portal.

"We're under fire. Either the Captain or A.J. dropped the beam on the door." Nick looked out the portal to see what was going on.

"Why would they do that? We can't get out…"

"Holy Hell!" Nick yelled.

Ray pushed her petite body up next to Nick's, using him for a ladder, more or less, as she dug her toes into his leg.

"I don't believe this, It's the Lady J!" Nick teetered on the frame of Kevin's bed.

"What's a Lady J?" Raina began to edge closer to Nick wanting to see what was going on.

Ray could tell Nick was upset, angry, and at the very least, confused. Obviously, he knew the ship that sat in the waters not far from them.

Nick stood shaking his head in disbelief as the cannon fire landed closer and closer to their ship, "Why is she firing on us?"

Ray edged closer to Nick, her head popped up between his open arms as a hand rested on each side of the portal. The top of her head brushed his chin. "I don't understand…" Knocked from her perch in front of Nick to the floor by another volley of fire, Ray stared at him. Nick went with her as well not being able to avoid the fall.

"Damn, what did A.J. do?" Nick rubbed his arm since he and Ray had tumbled to the floorboards as the ship pitched sharply. They rolled to the left as the ship turned harshly again in the opposite direction. Whoever was steering was trying to avoid the shots that were being fired at them.

The cannonballs were landing closer and closer. Ray's fear grew within her and out of control as they were knocked, bumped, and rolled around on the flooring of the cabin. "Why are you blaming Sir Alex for this?"

"Because it's his woman firing at us," Nick tried to peek out the portal, but didn't get that far as he was knocked down again.

"A woman pirate?" Ray had heard stories about Mary Read and Anne Bonny but she thought they were just that, stories. Mary Read had spent her childhood as a boy, or so the story went. "A real woman Pirate," Ray was in enchanted with the idea, mindless that they were still being fired on.

"This is still wrong," Nick whispered as the ship slowed down, just out of reach.

"What is going on now?" Ray didn't want to go to the portal only to be tossed to the hard floor again, it beginning to make her body sore.

"Most likely, A.J. and the Captain are debating whether to engage or flee." Nick spoke as he peered out the small space.

Both of them could hear the shouting from above. Then the noises became louder and louder until it was just outside the door. Ray became alarmed, Nick wasn't; as they heard the bar being lifted on the outside. Nick raced to the door to remove the bar on the inside. The voices he had recognized or he wouldn't have moved the bar from its resting place.

Ray watched Kevin exploded into the cabin with Sir Alex directly behind him. He went directly for the armoire that was bolted to the floor. The cabinet was always locked and Raina had never seen what had been stored inside it.

"Alex what did you do to J.C. to make her kill us?" boomed from Nick.

A.J. was gasping for air as his hands moved to catch the weapons that Kevin was tossing at him. Still there was the need to defend himself. "I left J.C. purring in her bed. We don't think it's her, we think her ship has been seized."

Ray's eyes focused on Kevin who seemed determined and focused on the task at hand. He pulled muskets, cutlasses, and flintlock pistols from the deep closet that had been built into the cabinet. A line had been formed to pass the weapons up to the others. A.J. couldn't catch the weaponry fast enough. Ray watched Sir Alex's eyes, she saw genuine horror in them, he was afraid.

Nick would do anything for J.C. and the Lady J, all of them would. Nick went to grab a musket; Kevin pulled it from his grasp. "You stay with him," Kevin commanded as he jammed the ball down the musket with the rod and looked at Ray. The relay line had been broken up and his men were now above him awaiting his command. His eyes now rested on Ray. Kevin had a pistol in his waistband and he tossed it to Nick. "Someone has to guard Ray. Nothing is to happen to him or you."

"That's not fair," Nick whined. He wanted to partake in the action too.

Kevin pointed his musket at Nick. The tip of the gun rested on Nick's chest, "You want fair?"

"No sir," Nick gulped as he saw the look in Kevin's eyes. This wasn't the time to argue with the man, he was serious, in a deadly sort of way.

"Good," Kevin grabbed more munitions and slammed the heavy oak door shut. The timber slid into place just as it had before.

Nick heaved the timber on his side into place once gain.

"Would he shoot you?" Ray stood aghast at what she had just witnessed.

"I don't want find out. We have talked and I told him a long time ago that if we were ever to be taken to shoot me if he thought it was best. I won't live as a servant to anyone; I had enough of that as a child." Nick loaded the pistol then he rapidly searched the room for a dirk or dagger, which he found in Kevin's desk drawer. Nick smiled, "Figures he would use it to open things."

Ray stood stock-still then she heard another round of fire that scared her and she leaped for Nick. "It's okay Ray," he stroked her hair as she trembled in his arms. Closing his eyes, he wished he could close his ears to the noises as well. Old sounds began to haunt him, the screams of men, the souls of the dying, it wasn't pretty. The young woman that shook in his arms at least made the noises tolerable this time.

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