Danger and adventure await in this tale from the Golden Age of Piracy. As deadly as she is beautiful, Captain Grace O’Malley is not the only threat in the Caribbean. She must strike an alliance with an old flame in order to continue to ply her trade upon the tropical sea. But the burning passions of Liam O’Shea threaten to unravel all her plots and plans.
Liam O’Shea was first aware of the bright light suddenly shining in his face. That triggered a throbbing headache, which in turn reminded him of all the rum he’d consumed while wenching with a few members of his crew the night before. His instinct was to grab the tattered excuse for a coverlet and try to roll away from the sunlight. But when he did, he discovered a cold sharp blade against his exposed neck. He froze just as he was, his eyes still shut. A silky brush of hair tickled his face and the sweet scent of a woman tickled his nose.
A warm and sultry voice whispered in his ear. “Liam, your entire crew, to a man, is passed out drunk. I could kidnap you and take that sweet little boat of yours and no one would so much as raise a hand to stop me. What a pity.”
The hair brushed across his face again. All of the sudden everything went all black and sideways. Captain O’Shea’s head felt as though it would split open.
The second time he woke up, Liam was aware of his throbbing head more than the light streaming onto his face. His mouth was sticky dry, and the rest of his body ached almost as much as his head.
“Well, I see my guest is finally waking up,” cooed the same sultry voice from somewhere in the room.
Slowly Liam opened his eyes and realized that he wasn’t in the room he’d let for the night but in the captain’s cabin of a ship, a ship that was not his. He bolted upright and regretted the move as soon as he’d made it. Part of the regret was caused by his swimming head, but a better part of the regret was due to the flashing cutlass blade that was suddenly at his throat.
“Don’t be getting any bright ideas, Captain O’Shea. If you don’t behave yourself as a proper guest aboard my ship, I’ll be obliged to tie you up and treat you as my prisoner.”
Liam’s head quickly cleared, along with his vision. What came into focus was truly amazing to the shanghaied sailor. At the other end of a very sharp and deadly cutlass was a dangerously beautiful pirate queen. Shiny raven locks cascaded around her face and shoulders. Mysterious hazel eyes gazed penetratingly into his. A deliciously pouty mouth hovered just close enough to kiss, were it not for the blade between them.
“I would be a fool indeed to threaten harm to a captain aboard her own ship,” he smiled.
“You have been known to be a bigger fool at times,” she snapped as she withdrew her cutlass.
He took advantage of the moment she turned her eyes off of him and grabbed her up in his arms. He kissed her hard as he forced her body against the bulkhead. Holding her there with his hips, he trapped her wrists above her head. He burned his kisses upon her mouth, and his eyes went dark with passion. As he continued to kiss the bonny sea captain, he began to grind her into the wall with his hips. She did the only thing she could to get him off of her. She bit his lip, hard enough to draw a trickle of blood. Again, his instinct for self preservation gave her the advantage she needed. He let go of her wrists with one of his hands. She slipped from his loosened grip to grab the knife on her belt. Once again, Liam found himself on the wrong end of her blade.
“It would do you good to remember who’s ship you are aboard.”
“You seem to be quite adept at threatening me with sharp objects, but what do you really intend to do with that,” he asked as he licked the blood from his lip.
“Really, now, and just what assertions would those be, lass,” he grinned knowing he’d unravelled her a bit.
“Men of the watch!!”
No sooner had she raised her voice than three huge men came busting into the cabin.
“My guest has yet to learn his place. Put him in the brig until he cools off. And don’t fail to use the robust irons,” she confidently ordered them.
“Oh, really, now. Do ye not have the nerve to face me one on one? Or are these to be our audience,” his Irish brogue grew thicker.
“My ship, my rules,” she breathed in his face.
“I do not think you will have to hold me down to kiss me back, lass. And I doubt the likes of these could hold me long anyway,” he taunted her back as she walked away from him. “Why, Jameson here, still owes me a pint o’ rum. And not that swill he’s taken to drinking, either, a pint of the good stuff.”
The man holding down Liam’s right hand averted his eyes from his captain sheepishly. Liam took advantage of the man’s embarrassment and, with a flick of his wrist, took the man’s knife from his belt and threatened the guard on his left with it.
“But, as you have already pointed out, this is not my ship and I’ll go, lass, but it will be because I have peacefully agreed to,” he said as he lowered the knife and handed it back to Jameson.
“Wise choice,” she growled.
“You intrigue me, ’tis true,” he flashed another smile her way.
“Watch and learn,” she said as she turned on her heels and exited the cabin.
The men dragged Liam out on to the deck right behind her. She was already barking orders to the rest of her crew, so his captors just stood on deck with Liam in hand until she gave them further orders.
“Helmsman, turn us to the south. I have a score to settle. And someone see to it this fool learns some manners.”
“South, eh,” Liam chuckled to himself.
“Hoist the mainsail! I want the wind in my face boys!”
“A main heading south in the warm coastal water off the Florida shore,” Liam began to ask a question.
“What is he still doing on my deck? Below with the bastard!”
After several hours alone in the bowls of the dark smelly hold, the lovely captain of the Siren Song finally visited her prisoner.
“Did you really think I’d tell you what was going on while you could still jump ship? That American bitch is making trouble for us all. And there’s no way any of my crew would believe you’d come along willingly. Since you are the damned worst liar of a pirate I’ve ever met, you left me no choice but to kidnap you and explain later.”
“Stealing and sailing requires little lying, I’m afraid. And my eloquent, dulcet tones are lost on most,” Liam grinned.
“Trying them with me won’t work either,” she scowled. “I assume your crew WILL eventually come looking for you?”
“Unless they suddenly don’t want their part of the treasure I’ve buried and horded, you can assume so.”
“That horde won’t be worth a damn if we don’t stop her.”
“I’m mostly all ears for you… Mostly.”
“And you she will hang from the yardarm and then burn you as look at you,” she continued without pause. “What you ever saw in her I’ll never know. But now that she’s added my ships to her merry little game,” she fumed.
“Look, what do you want me to say, Grace? That I made a mistake? I didn’t, not about her, anyway. I made a lot of others since then, more than we have time to count. We both have. But what can be done about it, now? What do we have left that we can leverage to take vengeance?”
“She’s been playing both sides. She thinks she’s been so very clever.”
Liam nodded his head and asked, “So, what’s the plan?”
“I’m not so sure I should tell you yet. I need to assess your loyalty.”
“Is this an attempt to get me to swear an oath? Or are you just going to let me voyage in irons till your suspicions of me wear thin?”
“Up to you, but I’m leaning towards the irons option.”
A smile spread across his face as his thoughts tumbled through what bawdy options the irons could provide. “Just how do you intend to assess my loyalties?”
“Now would be a good time to prove your devotion.”
He stood up. “And how would you have me do that?” he asked as he took as many steps forward as his chains would allow and stood so close a stiff wind would have made her touch him. “Do you want me to drop to my knees, look up at you, and give you lip service?” he asked with a sly suggestive smile.
“Dinner,” she choked. “We will talk.”
He walked back over to his tiny stool and sat down. “Dinner it is.”