Thursday, 6 March 2014

Thursday, March 06, 2014 -


by Rue Chapman
Published: Jan 16, 2014
Words: 21,451
Category: romance
Orientation: M/F
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Charlotte heard the pounding of feet on the deck overhead, and huddled into the corner of her tiny cabin. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, not even any furniture to move to block the door. A bunk, a hook on the wall to hang her clothes, a tiny porthole - and Lady Charlotte Herrington, her dark hair in a wild tangle around her face, her blue eyes wide with fear.

More shouts from above, then heavy footsteps moving closer. Below decks now, coming towards her cabin. Charlotte's hands were slick with the cold sweat of fear.

Suddenly the door swung open, slamming against the wall. The man who stepped into her cabin seemed huge in that tiny space. His hair was a wild golden mane, his eyes a strange golden brown, he was all predator. He paused for a moment, surveying the sweet vision in front of him, then sketched a bow. His pretence of civility was a studied insult.

"Lady Charlotte, I presume?"

She forced herself to speak, her mouth suddenly dry, "You have the advantage of me."

His grin grew wider. "I do indeed."

"I mean, I don't know your name." She stood as straight as she could, determined not to show her fear to this animal, "What name will the rabble shout as you are hanged for this piracy?"

"Ah, so she has spirit. That makes victory even sweeter. You may call me Captain, since I now command this vessel. Or Sir, to show your respect for me."

"You are no Captain!"

"...or you may call me Blackstone. Kane Blackstone."

Charlotte was paper-white now, barely able to breathe. "You... you're..."

"Yes, my sweet prize, I'm the man with a price of ten thousand gold crowns on his head. The man your fiancé - Captain Harcourt is your fiancé, isn't he? - has been chasing up and down these seas for the past two years. With obviously, no success."

"John will kill you for this! He's coming to meet this ship, when he finds out about this..."

"John already knows. He was coming to meet this ship. He's currently chained in the hold of my vessel, off the port bow there." He gestured at the porthole.

Charlotte was loath to turn her back on him, but she took a quick glimpse out the porthole at the vessel that had come into view. "What have you done to John, you animal!"

"Nothing. Yet. What happens to him is up to you."

"Me? But - you have no right, let us both go at once!" Even as she said it she realised how futile it was. But Charlotte was accustomed to getting what she wanted - which was why she was sailing across an ocean to marry her fiancé as soon as she turned eighteen, instead of waiting for him to finish his tour of duty and return to her.

"What right? I have this right!" A whisper of metal and his sword was at her throat, the point resting lightly on the soft skin there.