Part the One Hundred Seventy Fifth: The Captain’s Course
Hope felt the decks beneath her feet rise and fall, rolling off the balls of her feet like water running between her toes.
“Sail!” came the call from Bosfelt. “Broad port.”
Hope raised her spyglass to her eye. “How many masts do you see?” she called to the rigging.
“Three,” he confirmed for her.
“Full rig tight!” Hope called out. “We run with the wind for her!”
Cheers arose from her crew as they attended the rigging and readied their weapons.
“Unfurl the fore topsail! We’ll not let her make for shore before we have her!”
“Powder set and ready!” a voice from below deck called up as the four pounders were moved forward into position.
“Look sharp!” called Osei. “Busses on the ready,” he commanded before inspecting the boarding party’s weapons.
Hope allowed herself a smile as the ship, her ship, smartly flexed its talons to seize another prize.
“You’re doing us all very proud, taking on the Little Plate Fleet,” said Samuel to Hope’s right, standing atop the quarterdeck with her, wearing his striking finery. “And you’re doing so well as captain, a true b’raka you’ve been.”
Hope smiled at the compliment, looking up and down at him to see if she could read more than just professional admiration. “Why, Mister de Cadiz,” she replied, “perhaps we can discuss your… approval in quarters tonight, over dinner.”
“Why Captain, you would have me there alone with you, a striking na’ra such as yourself?”
She just smiled at the idea-
“I would of course be there too, ma Capitanne,” said Charity to Hope’s left.
She looked at her, and was surprised to see Charity wearing the same outfit as Samuel, though cut to better accentuate her features.
“After all,” she said to Samuel, “had it not been for me, she might not be in command right now.”
“And had it not been for me,” Samuel replied, “she would not have had reason to seek command.”
“Because she wants to impress you? I would accept her if she were just the cabin boy.”
“But why would she want your attention?” he asked as he put his arm around Hope’s waist, making her feel a rush as he pulled her closer.
“She shouldn’t really have either of ours,” said Charity as she pulled at Hope’s waist from the other side.
“Now really,” said Hope, “there’s a ship out there-”
“Which you want to get my attention,” said Samuel.
“Even though he’s untouchable, and you know it,” said Charity.
“Uh- The s-s-ship…”
“Secondary,” Samuel and Charity said in unison. “Ends to justify the means, nothing more.”
She never finished as both of them ran their hands over her, touching her in tender ways, followed by their lips finding more sensitive spots…
Hope spun as she drew sharp short breaths, unable to exhale until she couldn’t take it any more…
“Sink me!” cried Abigail. “That cry best be because the biggest rat to stow aboard this ship just ripped your leg off!”
Hope came to her senses as the wild dream ended and she found herself rocking in her hammock in the dark.
“And what’s caused all that cacophony?”
“N-nothing,” Hope said meekly.
Abigail’s response was strong but muffled as she rolled back to sleep.
Hope dared not close her eyes the rest of the night…
All content Copyright © 2009 James Ryan