A Penchant For Pirates


Kevin paced the deck as the sun shone brilliantly in the sky. Dante was given a proper burial, even though he preferred to let the body be used to chum the water. J.C.'s men were released to Howard's custody. Howard now possessed the ship that was moored to his.

Nickolas strolled the deck watching the seagulls dip and dive. Land was near and that land was home. He was relieved this morning when he had snuck in to speak to Ray while Kevin was turning J.C.'s ship over to Howie. J.C. clucked around the cabin with Ray as if she was a lost sister. She was trying to make up for her mistakes to Kevin. It annoyed Nick until Ray finally showed her the door. "Help me dress," she smiled at him.

"I'm not a ladies maid," Nick stood and huffed out his chest. It was her face. It was always her face that got to him, that and her smile. Grabbing the hairbrush that she held in the air he surrendered. "Fine, but this is the last time I'm doing this for you. This is Kevin's job, not mine." Nick pulled the brush through the back of her hair. He hitched up the fussy buttons on the crème colored dress. He laughed when she refused to wear the accompanying corset.

He hooted as he heard her words again in his head, "I'll not be trussed up like a Sunday chicken." Ray tossed the garment out of the porthole to be taken away by the sea.

Nick glared at her, "You need to dress properly. He isn't going to let you parade around in attire that isn't suitable."

"Ha, he'll let me do anything I want," Ray stood proud with her head cocked to the side.

Nick thought about J.C. last night and the threat of Kevin beating her backside. He looked at one of his best friends as stood across from him. She was full of herself and had no doubts. "We'll see about that Ray," he snickered to himself.

"It's time Nick." Kevin stood next to him. Nickolas was lost in his thoughts as Kevin watched him stare out over the sea. He noted some sorrow and wanted to know why. Nick turned to him and stiffened. "Relax, I'm getting married, not you." Kevin reached to re-do the tie that was haphazardly knotted. "What bothers you so Nickolas?" Kevin deftly re-knotted the tie and reminded himself that Nick needed to work on his knots.

"I'm lost once again Kevin. I have no home, no family to go to." Nick wheezed the last words as the tie jerked tighter around his neck. He half smiled at his friend who was pretending to choke him.

"Your home is with Raina and I and always will be. Give me some time with my new bride and I will take you to my family. This time it will be different. I'll not leave her behind but she will sail with us. We'll go see your family, all of us together." Kevin's dimple showed as he gave Nick the reassurance that he needed.

Nick returned the smile. "Make sure she gets a ladies maid. I don't treasure the job." Nick punched Kevin in the arm lightly.

"I heard." Kevin let out an exasperated breath. "A very expensive corset made from the finest baleen whale bone was cast to the waves this morning."

Nick's body shook; raising the pitch in his voice, he mocked Raina. "I'll not be trussed up like a Sunday chicken."

Kevin wiped the tears from his eyes with both hands. "Oh the chit has me and well she knows it."

Nick cast grinned at Kevin, "Aye, she does. She tells me you'll let her do anything."

Kevin dropped an arm around Nick's shoulder as they walked towards J.C. His hand reached to scratch his goatee. "Why don't we let her continue to believe so? At least until after the ceremony." Kevin winked at the man that he referred to as his best friend and son.

Raina walked to him as he took his place in front of J.C. Kevin sighed at the beauty but her curves were displayed proudly. He thought of her words that Nick had relayed to him and grinned, nothing was bound up under that wedding dress. Taking her hand, he kissed the top of it. A hush lulled the crew as J.C. spoke the words that would join Kevin and Raina in matrimony. A gently breeze blew filling the sails, sea gulls called above from the skies, and Kevin closed his eyes as he breathed in the sweet salty air. "I do," he repeated for the benefit of all.

J.C. spoke with a sweet voice again.

"I do," Raina whispered quietly.

Kevin's fingers wrapped around her hand. He pulled her closer and waited for J.C. to say they were legally joined and those magical words that he could kiss his bride. Alex stood next to J.C. proudly, although his hand running up and down her backside was proving to be a distraction for the woman.

"J.C.," Kevin warned with a glint in his eyes.

The words rushed out of J.C.'s mouth so quickly not many had actually heard them.

Raina frowned as Kevin pulled her from her feet into his arms for a kiss that crushed their bodies together. They walked hand and hand down to the table that was set for everyone to eat and drink well. Kevin sat with his bride on his lap and bumped Nick's elbow to get his attention. "Ray, I'm sure by now that you have heard that I threatened J.C. yesterday with thrashing that she sorely deserved."

J.C. turned pale since Kevin spoke loud enough for everyone at the table to hear. Her face turned red as Nickolas, Howie, and Brian laughed, even Shamus joined in. She paled again when she saw the silent communication between Alexander and Kevin. She opened her mouth and was ready to snap at Alex when he raised her eyebrows at her.

Raising his mug of rum to her, Alexander flashed a smile. "The man gave me a bull whip for a wedding present."

J.C. started to laugh until A.J.'s words halted her.

"I still may let him, be very careful how you step my sweet little wife."

J.C. said nothing and lowered her head. Ray snorted at a chastised wife. She never thought she would see the day that A.J. would have complete command over his wife. Her laughter prolonged, at least until Kevin's voice raised above the din of laugher. "Know now wife, you are not above such measures. I will freely paddle you if I feel you need it."

Kevin flashed a smile. Ray stood up quickly, and grabbed her skirts.

Kevin was amused thinking that she would just storm off in a huff such as all women were known to do. When her dirk whizzed by his head, he set his mug down on the table. His eyebrows rose in a gesture that did not bode well for her. Ray laughed at him in front of the entire crew. "You may try my husband, but you will have fought hard to do so."

Laughter from the men reached a new peak as Kevin chased down his beautiful but dangerous new wife. She raced around the deck hampered by the dress and petticoats she wore. Kevin laughed as he caught her to him. "Time for bed, my wife and perhaps a few new lessons as well." He chuckled to the clapping crowd as he picked Ray up and carried her down to his cabin. Ray wasn't shrieking obscenities this time but laughing at him. Her arms wrapped around his neck securely with a smile of love firmly planted on her face.





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