A Penchant For Pirates

Chapter 19

"They're not following the rules of engagement," Brian shouted to Kevin.

Kevin shook his head not believing what had just come out of his cousin's mouth, "For the love of God get your ass below deck Brian before someone takes your head off!"

"They can't reach me," Brian jibbed.

Kevin saw his crew passing surly looks at Brian's stupid comment. "I can!" Kevin shouted to him as his crew mounted the rigging above him.

A.J. joined Kevin's side as Brian disappeared below deck. Turning to A.J., he half frowned. "I swear Aje, if this is J.C. and she is evening the score over some words you had or an event that passed between you. I'll have you in chains."

"I told you, I left her purring in her bed." A.J. wasn't going to argue, he just wanted to see J.C. alive and well. In an instant, he knew that J.C. should be with him always and forever. He was determined to see that happen this time and he wasn't going to take no for an answer again.

"Purring or snarling A.J.?" Kevin questioned still not comfortable with Alex's answers as he stood at the wheel and watched the Lady J bounce on the waves, waiting for her next move.

A.J.'s face tightened, "Purring dammit! Why don't you people believe me?" A.J. became annoyed at the incessant questioning.

Kevin cast A.J. a dubious look, "Your past might have something to do with that!" A.J. had a woman in every port but J.C. was special to him. A.J. had a habit of ending relationships on a very sour note. The Lady J turned towards them. Kevin hesitated as he held on to the wheel. "Your decision?"

"Like you have to ask," A.J. loaded the musket as he answered Kevin. He checked the knife sheathed in his boot and the cutlass at his side.

"We're takin' her on boys," Kevin shouted and then smiled as his men cheered. "The only thing better than a good lay between a willing woman's thighs," he uttered to his Quartermaster.

"Tsk, tsk," A.J. grinned, "But you are correct captain, a good fight is as good as lying with a woman."

With great skill, Kevin steered his vessel towards the Lady J. It was a risk but he also was under the suspicion, as was A.J. that the Lady J should be flying a Union Jack instead of the Jolly Roger. The ship was riding very low in the water, indicating a large cargo, among other things. "They have to be Royal Alex." Kevin made one pass much to the dismay of his own crew as he tried to get a better look. The British Royal Navy was indeed on board the Lady J. Turning starboard, he rode his ship swiftly to the side of the Lady J., not giving the Lady J a chance to turn on them. No call or warning went out to the Lady J to be boarded as A.J. led the first party over by swinging from the rigging. "Why warn them," A.J. grinned as grabbed for a robe and swung over with the crew. Cries and shouts came as the battle had begun.

Kevin came down for the quarterdeck. There was no sense in him being an open target for the people that he felt were less valuable than life itself. Most pirates carried more honor than the British Royal Navy. Many of the Navy's men were not enlisted or inductees, they were men enslaved from other ships.

"Captain!" Kevin heard the call for him from the Lady J. Swinging from a rope, he landed on the deck of the Lady J. Landing with a thump on his feet and ready to fight with his cutlass in his hand, slowly it returned to his side. Before him were his men who had easily taken every soldier on the deck with few shots being fired. Little blood had been drawn in this battle. Smiling with pride when he heard A.J. cackle, he ambled to towards his friend. "I love the element of surprise," Kevin snickered as he walked by the royal officers.

Blue coats seemed to cover the deck as Kevin's eyes searched the crowd for familiar faces that have been pressed into service. A few were remotely recognizable. Kevin heard Howie's voice behind and knew that the man was more than capable of sorting it all out. Kevin had to laugh; the blue pirates definitely did not fight like real pirates. "Pity," Kevin sneered as he walked by the man that was A.J.'s counterpart in the Navy. The man was as white as a ghost and looked as if he were going to swoon like a female. Kevin watched as another wave of his crew boarded the Lady J. They finished taking control and anchored the vessel to his own ship. His men were going to hunt for the gold and treasures that they knew would be hidden away somewhere on the ship. They hadn't had much luck this voyage and the valuables were needed. Unfortunately, if the Lady J had a full cargo, regardless of Alex or J.C. the ship would be divested of her wealth. Kevin's crew didn't not sail and fight for him for free and any decent pirate or privateer would not. He hoped for A.J.'s sake that nothing had happened to J.C. That was the uppermost thought in his mind.

Walking around the quarterdeck, Kevin swallowed as he walked into A.J. and a short pudgy man who was trying to escape in a rowboat. The man was sweating and his eyes bulging as he looked down at the cutlass that was precariously paused against the tender skin of his throat. Kevin's eyes slid up the cutlass to find A.J.'s hand holding the weapon. A.J. would go wild if the Captain, who been trying to escape but now stood before him on the deck, had done anything to J.C. Containing A.J. would be difficult. Kevin shook his head back and forth. Kevin's biggest fear was that J.C. had been handed over to the soldiers as a diversion. The maneuver was standard for the British so that the captain and his officers could take more than their share of the bounty that occupied the Lady J's holds. That was an ending that even he found detestable.

Kevin swallowed back the bile that rose in his throat when he heard A.J. whisper that he couldn't find J.C. Kevin turned to look behind him to make sure his crew was covering his back. He saw a smile form on each of his men as he balled up his fist and turned on the Blue coat punching him squarely in the nose. The man fell as if he had been hit by a cannonball. Kevin's hands went to his hips as he looked at the man who could barely make eye contact with him lying on the deck boards of the ship. Blood was gushing from the man's face. "Where is the mistress of this ship?" Kevin's voice was laced with anger and raw with emotion. He watched the man on the ground actually wet his pants. Kevin's crew laughed. "I'll ask you again. Where is the…

"Get your vile hands off me! Remove your hands from me less you lose one."

A.J. smiled and began to laugh as the voice became shriller and shriller. Kevin closed his eyes; he didn't miss that grating voice one bit. They heard her yelling. "I'll have you keelhauled for this, whipped at the very least."

The ball of fury landed in font of them with a thud as since she was shoved towards them. "I found her for you sir," One of Kevin's crew smiled proudly knowing he had made the Quartermaster happy. Hopefully, A.J. would remember his good deed if he ever got in trouble with the Captain and his punishment would not be so harsh.

J.C. smiled and then began to coo, "Captain… Alex my love."

The lovers flung themselves in each other's arms. Kevin turned to look at his crew to make sure there were no oh-s and aww-s from them. Alex and J.C. had a history, a very long one. They would be together and then fight, split apart and then make-up. This wasn't the time for a lover's reunion or a time to show weakness. Kevin stood starring at the mass of quivering flesh at his feet. Pulling his cutlass slowly from it's scabbard he slowly lowered the weapon to the man.

Kevin's crew watched, as well as J.C.'s, they had been told many stories about how Captain Richardson's anger could rule him, but his own crew knew him as one of the fairest men alive. The tip of the cutlass rested just bellow the bottom button of the man's uniform jacket. "Relay to me J.C how uou came to be in this predicament?"

J.C now stood next to Kevin ready to spit on the filth that lay on the deck. "He watched me take a Spanish galleon down then he jumped us in pure daylight flying the Jolly. He has pressed half of my men…" J.C paused as A.J. stood behind her. A gently hand on her shoulder squeezed her flesh as fingers caressed her collarbone.

"I don't think that is what he wants to know," Alex whispered from behind her. He knew wasn't what he wanted to know.

It wasn't what Kevin wanted to know as he sliced a button from the Royal Navy Jacket and then another. All of them knew what he wanted to know. Had a defenseless woman been terrified and taken without her consent. Kevin could not stand anyone who took advantage of the innocent.

J.C. paused too long and Kevin was getting upset as he sliced another button off the clothing. The coat was beginning to loosen on the man and fall open, exposing the man's belly to all. "I'm waiting for one of you to answer me… The man is running out of buttons, his insides will be next."

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