A Penchant For Pirates

Chapter 25

Ray said nothing as she passed Shamus and one other man standing outside Alex's door. The shouting could not be missed but they moved quickly into the cabin. Nick looked at the timber and debated as to whether to drop the lumber in its place, denying all entry to the cabin. However, this would only serve to enrage Kevin even more if he were the next person to venture inside the space.

Both of them looked dumbfounded as they listened to Kevin yell and chastise J.C. for her stupidity. Things became quiet after a door slammed shut and Kevin gave a very loud order to Shamus that J.C. was to stay in Alex's cabin and that she was not to receive anyone but him or Sir Alex.

Nick whistled low. "He's really angry. I hope he calms down before he comes back." A knock on the door produced a jump in Nick. He called to the knock, "Who is it?"

"Brian," the call came back in a known voice.

Ray let out a laugh as she walked to the door. Before opening the door, she adjusted her hat knowing that Shamus and the other guard were in the hallway.

The door swung open, Brian rushed in and closed it. He tossed a large object at Nick. "This will feel better than the floor."

"Thank you Brian," Nick scooped the object up and headed to the other side of the room. He hung the hammock above Kevin's bed and smiled at his handiwork. "It's been awhile since we slept three in here."

Brian laughed, "You don't possibly think that he is going to let you sleep directly above him."

Nick shrugged, "Sure he will."

Kevin's voice boomed into the room. "You were twelve Nickolas. Ray can sleep up above me, you will sleep in your old hammock. I know that Ray at least doesn't make noises when he sleeps."

Nick's face pinked and he laughed under Kevin's grin. "I don't know why I have to stay in here tonight."

"Because now I can't trust J.C. or her crew," Kevin's eyes studied the waif on the other side of the room.

Ray wished they would just all go away. The Captain was staring at her again, she was becoming irate with his boldness. Some other feeling was happening to her but she was not sure what it was. Her body felt warm, the more he stared at her.

Kevin was outwardly glaring at Ray, the gaze was intent and very scrutinizing.
Brian brought out a bag from his pocket and shook it in the air. This would be the perfect distraction. Kevin could never to stand lose at any game or sport. Dominos would keep Kevin's mind on the game and not Ray.

"Gentlemen, you have nothing left. I've taken all you have," Kevin grabbed the bag and placed it on the table. Chairs were quickly pulled around the table.

"We still have credit," Nick smiled.

"Son, you have exhausted all of your credit with me years ago." Kevin's laugh was deep and loving.

Ray perched herself on the hammock to watch. At least he wasn't staring at her anymore.

"Come Ray, we'll teach you to play so that you can trounce Nick as well." Brian grinned at her.

Ray shook her head no; she didn't want to be near them. Something was happening to her and she couldn't think clearly. All she wanted to do was stare at Kevin as he laughed and continued the game with Nick.

"Then get us some brandy from the cabinet. I'm sure Nickolas has told you where to steal it from already." Kevin eyed Nick with a glint in his eye and he ducked his head slightly. "Someday boy, you will understand that you have no secrets from me."

Ray jumped hearing the words come from Kevin, she almost tripped when her foot snagged in the hammock. Kevin's hand on her arm righted her. "Easy boy, go slow." Kevin stared a few seconds into the violet coloreds eyes, he yearned to pluck the hat off her head and let the soft black curls frame her unique and beautiful face.

"Yes sir," Ray pulled hard to remove her arm from his grasp. Kevin's grip tightened and the smile he gave her was like a fox that had snared the hare.

After fulfilling Kevin's request for Brandy and glasses, she returned quickly to her hammock. She lay back and listened to the conversation the three were having. They talked about old times, battles that they had won, and ones that they had lost. Family began to be chatted about in a lively discussion. Ray had learned many new things including that Brian was married and he had a wife and child at home. Her heart saddened as she listened to Nick. The only family that he spoke of was in reference to Kevin and the crew. The sea swayed the hammock and the voices comforted her as she thought about the family that she had left behind. She missed Jocelyn with all her heart, she had been her mother when her mother hadn't been. Her mother, she mused. Ray doubted that she would recognize her mother if she would see her now. It hadn't been very long, only four years, but so many things had changed in her life. Quietly she sniffled and then coughed loudly to cover her mistake.

The men were so busy playing dominos that none had noticed as Ray turned in the hammock to face the wall. At least that was the impression she had.

Kevin pretended not to hear the small sniffle when two sets of eyes stared at him to see if he had heard the noise or not. He chose to take no notice of the sound and smiled instead. In his head, he was hoping that Ray was having some regrets, maybe by morning the child would confess her sins, and he could extract his punishment that he sorely needed from her. Under the table, his hand moved to his thigh and carefully made an adjustment that others wouldn't see. It was difficult to stare at the backside of the young one as she lay on her side across from him.

Morning came as light filled the room. Ray looked down to the bed; Kevin was not there. Looking over at the other hammock, Nick was gone as well. Kevin barking on the deck caused her to jump from the hammock and reach the deck to find all the men present.

Her eyes bulged as J.C. stood before Kevin with her hands bound in front of her and a gag over her mouth. Ray's jaw dropped nearly to the deck when Kevin began to speak. "Are there any objections why these to should not be wed, besides from the bride of course?" Kevin laughed as he watched J.C. try and pull the gag from her mouth.

A.J. laughed as well, pulling her hand away, "Oh no-no-no."

Ray covered her mouth as Kevin slapped the bible closed, "So be it! Kiss your bride Alex."

"With pleasure," A.J. pulled the gag out of J.C.'s mouth.

"Why you rotten no good sonofawhoremaster! I will kill you Kevin Richardson! I'll slit your throat in your sleep… I will…"

A.J. grabbed onto J.C.'s arms and pulled her passionately and intimately into his embrace. His manhood boldly rubbing her body, for all to see.

J.C ceased flailing about and leaned into him as he cut the bindings on her hands. Her lips searching for his, just as hungry and greedy as Alex himself.

Kevin turned to Nick, "I'm glad he kissed her before my mother was brought into this."

Nick doubled over laughing as he watched A.J. swing with J.C. hanging over his shoulder to the Lady J. Towlines had been loosened so nobody would interfere with the newlyweds. Whether to come to J.C.'s aid or as Kevin laughed in A.J.'s face, "Your aid my dear friend."

Kevin tossed his hands up in the air, "LET'S CELEBRATE!"

Ray stood frozen to the deck, Kevin had married them, even though he knew that wasn't what J.C. had wanted. A hand clamped down on her shoulder and whirled her about. Leaning down, green eyes stared back at her. "Nickolas has been doing double time for you, now move!"

Ray jumped and ran down to the galley. "I hope your hips move as fast as those little legs when I finally get you, you little wench." Kevin growled, he was sexually aroused and he needed a woman, but not this woman. No, it wasn't time. He still had a few tricks up his sleeve to get her to confess. His eyes focused on Nick, his anger towards Nick was abating as the days wore on. The idea of playing with both of their minds and using trickery had taken up most of his time.

Walking around deck, he made sure that each man was served a good portion of food and ale. He wanted none of them to feel slighted and become angry. Every man was entitled to his share. After many hours of celebrating, a whoop came from the Lady J. Silence passed over the crew and then loud laughter as Kevin yelled through his cupped hands. "Careful Alex, she may well castrate you!"

Ray stayed with Brian and Howard much of the evening since Nick and Kevin seemed unable to separate. She frowned whenever she saw them together. "Are you jealous that Kevin is spending all his time with Nick and not you?" Brian had a twinkle in his eye.

"No!" Ray balked at the remark but inside may be she did feel a little twinge of jealousy. The Captain always made a point of speaking to her except this evening, now he was staying as far away from her as he could. She cast her eyes to floor of the deck. "I hope J.C. sets sail without Alex."

"For your sake you, had better hope she doesn't. The Captain has made himself very clear on this. Her ship is now A.J.'s, as well as everything she owns." Howie stood back and watched Ray's reactions, which was a mere shrug and she parted their company.

"Trouble is brewing between the three of them," Howie voiced his thoughts as he watched Nick lope across the deck to Ray. Kevin turned and frowned as the two met up with each other.

"This can't continue much longer. Maybe we could get Ray home from New Providence. Do you know anyone who could help us?" Brian was as worried as Howie. Kevin couldn't get to Ray and Nick quick enough.

"Yes, J.C. could," Howie winked.

"No, no, no," Brian shook his head. "That will not work. No, that is not a good idea. It is bad enough that he married them. A.J. will let her do what she pleases; you know she will set sail from New Providence with everything in tact and with Alex's permission."

Both of them quickly closed their mouths as their Captain approached. "Enjoy gentlemen, enjoy!" Kevin slapped Howard on the back and then cast him a questionable look. "What was so engrossing in your conversation gentlemen? Do you care to share with your leader?"

"No, um… the ummm…" Brian stuttered.

"The women in New Providence," Howie made an adjustment. "I need a woman," Howie growled at them and sauntered away.

"So do I," Kevin groaned as he watched Ray walk around the deck, with Nick. "So do I."

"What are you going to do with Ray?" Brian leaned back on the rail. They were alone and this was the perfect opportunity to question Kevin.

Kevin's eyes scanned the crowd as he turned his back to the water. Leaning back on the rail, he crossed his arms over his chest. 'Oh, I know what I'm going to do with Ray, but it doesn't involve any of you,' his inner voice spoke loud and clear. "I have done some thinking, but not much. We have to dock in New Providence. I will think more of it on our sail home."

"You're taking him home with us?" Brian's surprised voice reached Kevin's ears.

"I'm not going to abandon the boy. Besides he still owes me," Kevin grinned deviously at Brian.

"I would say that the boy has paid his fare by now." Brian would try reasoning with Kevin. There were times when he would actually listen if he had a mind too.

"I disagree and it's my ship," Kevin's head slowly turned to Brian. "That boy has made a fool out of me more than once. He is disrespectful to everyone."

Brian sighed and felt like flying a white flag calling a truce. "I think he reminds you of Nick at that age and that is why you won't let the boy go."

Kevin scrunched up his face for moment. "Yes he does, and I think I made a few mistakes with Nick. I think I can do better with this one."

"Kevin, that boy is not your son," Brian's temper flared.

"I know," Kevin smiled and pushed his body off the rail. He blended in with the crew on the deck. "Oh definitely not a son," he whispered softly as he watched Ray from a distance.

"Damn," Brian stared into the sea, "There is going to be trouble." Brian just wanted to get home; to get back to his wife, his son, and his home. Turning back, he watched Kevin separate Ray from the others, now he was concerned as he pulled her up to the Quarterdeck where they would be alone. Kevin was glancing around like a hen in a circle of roosters. Brian had a clear view and decided to stay in his spot and just watch for anything unusual. Kevin pulled a small pistol from the front of his pants. Kevin spoke and Ray wrapped her hand around the pistol. Kevin was showing her different things and Brian finally figured out that Kevin was teaching her how to load and fire the small pistol. The lesson went on for more than an hour. Brian moved around the deck but kept careful watch on the two of them. A silly thought passed through his head as he watched Kevin stand behind Ray and grip the pistol with her. They look like they were made for each other. Kevin leaned over Ray's shoulder and gave her instructions. His hands were on hers and they loaded the pistol together.

Brian had a few conversations with J.C.'s men. So far, he had learned nothing of an escape plan from any of them. Kevin moved suddenly and Brian stopped where he was going to watch. Standing behind Ray, Kevin's hand lowered to Ray's boot with a shiny silver object in his hand. His other arm wrapped around her shoulders holding her close. The next thing Brian saw was Nick standing there, eyeing Kevin. He ventured closer to hear the conversation, eventually on the Quarterdeck with Nick as well.

"What are you doing?" Nick's voice was accusatory as well as territorial.

Brian bit his lip; this was comical. Kevin and Nick were like two small children fighting over a ball. Who was going to get to play with the toy named Ray?





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