Authors: Adrianna Wingate
To my dearest friend, Andrea Murray.
You always had the faith in me that no one else ever did.
...See you on the other side, my friend.
Phaidrag Publishing, Inc.
P.O. Box 31
Center Ossipee Village
© 2011 by Adrianna Wingate
Front cover art by Rebekkah J Nelson
Front cover graphics by Joshua Defeo
“Captain, is everything alright! I heard ya shoutin’ from the deck and thought ya had gone asunder by drunkards sneakin’ aboard ship ta steal from ya!” The quartermaster raised his voice a second time. “Sir, I say, are ya alright!”
Captain Daniel Hargendon awoke wild-eyed
and breathless, drenched in sweat. He shook his head to adjust to his surroundings. The back of his throat was sore and dry from shouting out in his sleep. He cleared his throat and was at last able to speak.
of course, man, I'm fine. I just had a bad dream, is all. I’m guessin’ the brandy I've kept in my desk has at last gone rancid. I’ll purchase a new flask in the mornin' before we set sail. Good night Kilern, and not a word o’ this ta the other men. I wouldna want them ta think me ill and unable ta charter this ship. Understand?" Daniel’s words were curt and short.
"As ya wish Captain, I’ll not speak a word." With a quic
k snap of his boot heals and a sharp salute, Kilern left the cabin. When out of site of his Captain, Kilern asserted a snide half grin and to himself derived sadistic pleasure in his thoughts knowing Daniel would be humiliated should the crew find him to be in a weakened state. James Kilern has served as second in command to Daniel’s father, John Hargendon, and harbored an unspoken hatred for his young commander.
Upon Kilern’s departure Daniel experienced an eerie sense of
premonition. He restlessly moved about his bunk. Surrendering to the fact sleep would not come without the aide of his favored elixir. He threw his muscular legs over the side of his bunk. He winced as the shock of the frigid oak planks below his bare feet reminded him the woodstove needed restoking.
He gave an exagerated stretch of his arms, tousseled his
thick dark mane and strode to his desk. He kept a small flask of brandy in the drawer for sleepless nights like this one. Daniel took a long drag off of the flask, ran a shirtsleeve across his mouth and grimaced at the burn in his throat. Returning to his bunk he kept the flask handy should he need another swig of the fervent cure-all. As he lay back onto the flattened goose down mattress a faint whistle was heard, from a shooting star, capturing his attention.
stretched out wide his lean muscular arms, clasping his hands behind his head. He stared lazily out of the great multi-paned bay window captivated by the sapphire and diamond studded twilight sky. The gentle rocking and eerie creaking sounds made from the swelling of elm and oak stringers lulled his masculine spirit. He let forth a heavy sigh of relief, as there was something about the soft lapping sounds of the incoming tide against the hull of the Arabella and the icy scent of January sea mist quelled the angst within his restless soul. He had just finished his last meal on dry land, at the White Horse Inn, and is anxious to set sail for home. He knows he'd never get away with not letting his men have one last night in the brothels and taverns. It would be three months before they will set foot upon dry land or see another female. He felt he must give them their due.
He thought himself a stern Captain, but a fair one. Not very often does he show his malleable nature, especially around the men of his ship. “They must be reigned in or they should run amok the mission”, he thought, which is to bring back to the Americas their trade with the Irish and English.
He too knows he will not set foot on dry land or hold another woman’s soft flesh against his in the night for three long months.
Regardless, I must remain in complete control of the crew when they return hung over from the revels of the night.” Daniel also reminded himself it was never his practice to engage in temptresses or whiskey the night before setting sail.
“Ah, but it is my fate if I am to captain this great vessel.” He chuckled at his thoughts as he wished he were with his men that very moment knocking back warm brandy and nuzzling some buxom barmaid willing to throw down with him when the last candle would be doused. To feel the thighs of womanly warmth and softness wrapped about his was more than he could bear to think about.
With thoughts of tomorrow's itinerary filling his head and a gut full of warm brandy, his eyes once again became heavy and at last went adrift into deep slumber. The brisk night air is blowing in off the sea and his impenetrable dream sequence begins anew.
sees himself walking along a seaside dock in the early dawn hours, the sun not entirely up. He senses a presence close by. A dark hooded figure slowly approaches. He is captivated by billowy furls of black velvet surrounding this dark angel of his dreams. The gold and fuchsia tapestry of the ocean horizon envelopes her form like a blazing halo, further convincing him she is not of this world.
The sight of her dream-like approach intensifies his feelings of excitement. As he gains closeness to the shrouded
figure, he recalls deep feelings of profound happiness.
His senses fill with the warm heady fragrance of New England mayflowers. He breathes in deep, natures intoxicating perfume and allows the scent to envelop him and it invokes memories of a lustful nature. The mysterious veiled figure undulates to his left, almost touching but not quite. He shudders as waves of warmth lick up his muscular margin. Feelings of excitement swe
pt his rock hard form with an intensity not ever recalled.
He sees the gentle puffs of her breath as her pleasing mouth begins to take form of barely audible whispered words. “Ta mo chroi ishtig Ge deo”.
It had been ages since Daniel had heard or spoken the language of his native Ireland. He recalled the words to
mean, “My heart is in you forever.” Her breath in his ear sent shivers of a lustful nature through his entire body.
Their language, yet another of the many elements, systematically stripped away from the people of Ireland during King Henry VIII reign. Since then Ireland’s sons and daughters had been forbidden to speak to one another in any other form except English.
Daniel’s attention is returned to his twilight seraph. Her diminutive graceful hand reache
d out from beneath the oversized velvetinous sleeve of her cape.
Just as they touch, Daniel recall
ed a loud explosion and sees a slow violent plume of crimson and gold surround his dark angel. Daniel, at once, recognized the acrid scent of gunpowder. The blinding eruption caused him to guard his eyes, as he fell to his knees and a hard lump formed in his throat. The hot rush of tears fell without restraint from his burning eyes as he looks to find his ethereal goddess had vanished…
wide-awake, he paces within his cabin wondering who this mysterious woman of his dreams might be. He knew it was not the woman he is betrothed to for the last eight years. She is a beauty to behold, for certain, but her form is not as slight and delicate as this woman of whom he'd dreamt.
He returned to his desk and in the top
drawer, he pulled out a small hand painted portrait of his soon to be wife. Mallory Gilmore. A bargain had been struck between the family patriarchs when Mallory was just a child of ten and three summers.
Daniel was then twenty and in no manner ready to settle down to hearth and home. But the deal was struck, nonetheless, to merge the families together and make huge their wealth within the trading industry between Europe and America. Since Daniel was the eldest son and had not sought to engage himself to any one maiden, he was the perfect choice.
Daniel had never taken the betrothal seriously until the previous spring when Mallory's father announced the couples engagement and wedding date for the following May when
Mallory's father, Leif, became anxious for the pairing ever since John Hargendon’s passing a year ago and feared that Daniel would not keep to his father’s promising.
Daniel knew Mallory had not been faithful while he was away at sea… and neither was he, for that matter.
Nonetheless, he had discovered the depths of Mallory's sexual erudition two years prior. He smiled down at the picture of Mallory remembering how desirable she could be, and what thoroughly lusty times he had experienced with her. At nine and ten summers, Mallory was quite learnered in the ways of seduction. But being the gentleman Daniel is he never made mention of her forwardness in bed. He just smiled and enjoyed himself. Now, however, it is time to pay the price of his father's bargaining.
“On balance marriages are for convenience and gain and she is a beautiful woman that will do my bidding and warm my bed as desired.” he reasoned.
He is also quite confident that while far away on another continent he will no doubt keep many paramours, as he does now, and is certain
she will do the same. He will be able to increase his business holdings, increase his family's wealth and status in the community, and Mallory will be kept in the luxury standing she has always been accustomed to her entire life.
“Sounded like a good transaction at the time”, he reasoned, but now that it is about to happen, he senses the proverbial noose to tighten about his neck. He instinctively reaches up as though that noose were already in place. Convinced he is doing what is best for all involved, he makes his way back to his bunk and buries himself within the coarse wool cover and prays for swift daylight.
The spray of bloody mucous speckled the dingy ragged shirtsleeve of Richard McCoveny, with each round of hearty laughter. The whites of his eyes bloodshot and the rims of each lid, dried and excoriated.
Richard and his friend Albert Godsey
sat in the back of the White Horse tavern sharing old seafaring stories of their younger days. They had been together for greater than two hours laughing at what young roguish idiots they had been and how quickly it had all passed by them.
Richard suddenly became somber and t
he other silently watched and wondered what had transpired to change his friend’s mood.
"What's wrong my friend?" said Albert Godsey. "Ya seem ta be far and away some where."