Spawn of the Night
Author's note: My own relationship that ended tragically when he passed away in a car crash inspired me as he... Show full author's note »
Wrong Place, Wrong TimeSummer of 1762, Lucinda Ashe
The sunset was more than gorgeous as it painted the skies with a splash of colors; red, orange, yellow, blue, a touch of gold and silver and a highlight of pink. I stared and sighed. The clouds rolled away from the scene and the waves crashed against the side of the massive ship. Another sigh. I could see gulls, as small as bugs in the distance. A simple, elegant ship bowed on the horizon. I was mesmerized by the maiden on its bow. She was gorgeous, her body
I awoke to the splitting pain at the corners of my mouth and the biting of the rope around my wrists and ankles. I shuddered against the cold. Whoever this villain was, he had stripped me down to my chemise and left me there tied to the huge chair. At least he had the decency to tie my legs to the same leg of the chair and to place a clean rag in my mouth. I felt a sudden desperation to pull free. And I tried; shaking and writhing to no avail. A throaty chuckle sounded behind me. I froze, inhaling the strong scent of cheroot and musk. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. “Relax, darling,” the deep timbre of his voice sounded beside my ear as his fingers sifted through my hair. I blinked back tears of fear. “If I untie this stupid handkerchief my men thought necessary, would you promise me to be an obedient girl?” he asked gently. I nodded and I felt the rag drop onto my lap. I inhaled deeply. He started, “Sorry about this. We didn’t expect a lady to be on board. I trust you understand that I must blindfold you now.” He sounded almost wistful. “What if I promised to be good? Not to look, not to try to escape? Will you untie me? You can lock me in here but don’t leave me to die like this,” I bargained and begged. “I’ll consider your request,” he whispered as he tied the blindfold over my eyes. His fingers were gentle as they lifted my hair so it wouldn’t get knotted. He was gentle for such a rogue. I shivered as the wind blew. “Are you cold?” he asked kindly. “I might freeze to death should you leave me tied to a chair without so much as a shawl,” I said, gathering my pride. He swore savagely then his voice turned kind again, “My men had a silly thought you were hiding a weapon beneath your gown. I’m awfully sorry. I’ll let you go but promise me one thing?” “Yes, Captain?” I asked, not daring a breath, should he change his mind. “Don’t take off that blindfold until you hear me lock the door. If you do, the plank would seem a blessing compared to what I’ll do to you,” the threat in his velvety voice was real. I shivered, “Yes, sir. I’m a woman of my word, I swear.” “You make me almost wish I was a man of my word,” his lips brushed my cheek before I felt cold metal press against the skin of my wrist. I gasped in relief when the knife slit the rope and not my wrist. He continued to free me. ‘Thank you, Captain,” I said but all I heard in response was the click as the lock slid into place.
I could face the cold, I could face the boredom, I could face the loneliness, I could definitely face the delicious meals I was provided. What I couldn’t face was the constant knowledge that the captain of this vessel slipped in and out of the cabin whenever he pleased and sometimes, when he thought I was asleep, he would touch his lips to my brow or cheek and apologize in his soft, velvety voice. It drove me crazy to know that the man was painted with such dark character when indeed he was a gentleman. Well, he was a gentleman to me, at least.
That night I decided to see if I could get him to stay and talk. When I heard the door click at midnight, I sat upright. The door opened and a lone figure slipped in. He knew I was awake and stayed completely still even as he closed the door and locked it. “Good evening, Captain. To what do I owe this pleasure?” I asked, trying not to shudder against the cold. “I was just making sure you were alright. Now that you’re awake, I’m able to ask; Are you well, my lady?” he asked, softness in his voice. “I am well. For a kidnapper, you know how to treat your hostage with luxury. An oak bed fit for a king, a cabin filled with books and charts for one to study and relax, and food that anyone would pay a king’s ransom for. Do you treat all your victims as such?” I asked. He stepped forward, still in the shadows but a hint of a smirk was visible now. “My dear, I may have a heart as black as the pits of hell but I do appreciate the spoils of what I fought for,” his words sliced through the night. “I’ve heard stories about you,” my voice shook as I blurted it out. “All good, I hope,” he drawled. “They say that you murder good men in their sleep, that you steal the souls of women and children and take their hearts still beating from their chest. They say that you spare no woman for your own dark, horrible pleasures. They say that you ravish them against their will then kill them when you’re done. They say that you’re actually the incarnation of the devil and a pixie queen and that your bloodline is what causes you the ability to slip from one’s fingers and disappear into the night,” I was breathing heavily even as I said it, “They say you are over three hundred years old and that you are immortal.” “A reputation I can only hope to live up to,” his voice had lost its cheerfulness and he sounded dry. I reacted quickly when he turned for the door. “Wait! Please stay! I’m... Lonely,” I sounded miserably but it was true. Without turning to me, his hand on the unlocked door, “As am I, my lady. As am I.” On that note, he swung the door open and stormed out. I flinched as the door slammed and someone rammed the wooden block into place, sealing me in.
I didn’t realize how much I missed being able to breathe in fresh air till I looked out the porthole and saw nothing but clear skies and clam ocean unlike the stormy skies and rough seas I’d ben seeing. I felt a tear slip down my cheek as I realized I really was trapped. No matter how luxurious the cabin was, it was still a cage, a cell for me. More tears followed till I was crumpled on the floor, sobbing.
It was less than an hour later when the door opened. “I heard you crying,” his gentle voice was behind me. “And what do you care? You’re the one who locked me in here!” I accused, refusing to face him. I heard his footsteps and felt the cool caress of his fingers as they stroked my hair away from the nape of my neck. “I’m sorry. I know it’s not fair to you but my men aren’t the best on Earth. I’m afraid that I had to this for your own safety, ma’am,” he said. I turned slightly to look him but he stopped me in time. “Don’t. It’s better for you this way,” he said, his voice soft under my ear. “Why not?” I asked, “is it some kind of horrible scar or damage you don’t want me to see? I promise you I won’t judge.” “If only, Lucy, if only. I only hope you understand,” he whispered. I froze. I had never told him my name. “How?” I asked, trailing off but he caught on, “I know more about you than you think I could.” I started to cry, thinking this man had not only trapped me away and stolen my freedom but he also violated my privacy and pried into my life. “Lucy, don’t cry. I’ll do anything for you to stop crying,” he sounded concerned. “Are you always so worried about your hostages?” I spat. “We could do this the easy way, or the hard way,” his voice was threatening now. “I won’t cooperate if you’re looking for information. I will not give you anything, Captain!” I sneered. “This is my ship and I will not tolerate this,” he said coolly, anger rippling in his voice. I spun in his arms; but before I could see his face, his mouth was crushed on mine. I whimpered under his lips. I didn’t realize he was tying a blindfold over my eyes as he kissed me. His mouth was savage on mine, sweet yet spicy. I was falling into a pit I had dug myself. His mouth disappeared too soon. I opened my eyes only to be blinded by the black scrap of cloth over them. “Where are you?” I asked. “Here,” he sounded too far away. “Why did you do that?” I demanded. “I don’t know,” I could hear the whisper of his shirt as he shrugged. “You insufferable bastard!” I snarled when he cut me off, “Do you want to see the ocean? The sky? It’s beautiful today.” I was taken back. “What are you saying?” I asked, needing to understand. “I’m saying I’ll take you on deck as long as you cooperate,” he said. “Then I have to decline,” I said, holding my pride. “I was hoping you weren’t going to say that,” he sighed. “I refuse to do anything with you, you demon,” I sneered. I heard his sharp intake of breath before his promise, “You will never be free till I’m satisfied, Miss Ashe. I told you you made me wish I was a man of my word. Too bad I am when it comes to my ship and my captives.” I heard the slam of the door and the savage swearing outside it. I untied the cloth and watched the sky turn dark with rain clouds. I had lost my only bit of freedom onboard this ship.
He didn’t come back to see me; not even during the night. I was more lonely than ever. I still found my meals delivered on time by a young boy that seemed to be deaf and dumb. I missed him. I had to admit it, he was the only one who spent time with me but he didn’t anymore. It was my fault. That was until he decided it was time I start cooperating with him.
He strode into my room at night and he yanked the thin duvet of me while his other hand covered my eyes. I gasped against the cold and fought to bring my knees up and huddle close. His voice was dangerous as it sliced through the stale night, “You tell me now why I shouldn’t kill you. We both know I could do it and still sleep through the night and dream of happy things after I kill you and toss your body into the ocean.” “If that’s how you wake women up, I’m not surprised you have to rape them to get satisfaction,” I said haughtily, angrily. The flash of a knife scared me and his snarl was worse than the pain I felt when the blade nicked my throat. “Don’t play this game with me, Lucinda. Tell me why I should let you live when you’re nothing but a nuisance to me and my crew.” “Then kill me. I have nothing to give you and even if I did, you wouldn’t get it,” I was blinking furiously under his palm to keep the tears at bay. “You b****. I hope you die in your sleep,” he was furious. “I hope you die when you choke on that vulgar tongue of yours and when they hang you,” I retorted. The blade dug a little deeper and I choked, raising my chin. I could feel blood trickling warm down my throat. “You will give me what I want,” he insisted. “And what do you want?” I demanded. “This, damn it, this,” he growled as his mouth smashed down on mine. He removed his hand from my eyes to circle my waist and lower my body down against the bed and smooth my legs out under him as he crouched above me. “Stop, please,” I squeezed my eyes shut. “Fine. wouldn't’t bed a whore anyways,” he separated himself from me and left me in the silent room again. All I felt instead of relief was grief and ice. He was warm and tantalizing. I wanted him. He was a phantom.
The next morning, someone knocked on my door. When I opened, a man studied my appearance before handing me my gown with a gruff and slamming the door shut and ramming the bolt home. I looked down at the delicate silk I normally wore and the red blindfold in my hands. He was giving me back a piece of myself even if he didn’t know. But I had already guessed why he was giving it back. I pulled on the gown and sat at the edge of the bed, tying the blindfold on myself. I sat there as still as possible till I was too tired and fell asleep.
Cool fingers brushed my hair back from my face. The tenderness that made the man brush his warm lips against my frozen ones made me shiver. I was awake and alert now. I knew who it was and I could sense him kneeling in front of me. “Captain,” I said cooly, sitting up. “Miss Ashe,” he replied smoothly. “What are you here for this time?” I asked. “Simple. I came to inform you that you’re my official prisoner,” he drawled. “Why keep me?” I asked. “We have unfinished business,” he said simply. “Captain, all I request is that you kill me. Now. Do it. Save me the trouble and trauma of going though all this,” I requested. “I’d hate to have to add you to the list of people I’ve murdered,” he muttered. “Do it, or I’ll do it for you,” I said, slipping out the letter opener that was always kept under the may layers of my gown. “Your men were right, I do have weapons under my dress,” I said as I held the blade to my wrist. I expected him to urge me to do it, not for his gentle hands to pry the blade from me and replace it, “You were holding it the wrong way that would have caused a more painful death.” My mouth went slack. “Stop gaping or something might steal into your mouth,” he chided. “Like what?” I asked, worried. “Like this,” he said, slipping his own tongue in and meshing his lips with mine. I gasped and my arms coiled around his neck. “Don’t let me go,” he said as the blade clattered noisily on the ground when it slipped from my hands. I shook my head helplessly. “Captain, seventy-four gunner, lead ship Avenger approaching,” a low voice said. Whoever this captain was, he tore away from me and stood, “The bloody Navy know exactly when to disturb me.” I heard the two men disappear through the now locked doors. I tore the blindfold from my eyes and ran to the porthole, only to see the ship that came to save me was gunned down by Nightshade. My heart sank as I heard triumphant cheers from the deck.
The door swung open. He didn’t bother with hiding his face. He strode straight to me and picked me off the floor. “Captain?” I asked softly, seeing his face for the first time. His eyes were a sparking blue with a dash of green, his hair was the color of white sand on a tropical island, his lips were full and almost a red that would make any woman’s mouth water with envy or lust. He was fair yet tanned; his body was lean and toned but not muscled till his shirt burst from its seams. He seemed young, barely in his twenties and he was handsome and smart. “Lucy?” he raised an eyebrow. “Why are you here?” I asked, “why am I pressed against you like this?” “We were in the middle of something?” he hinted. “No, we weren’t. Let me go, leave me alone,” I commanded. He stiffened and anger coursed through him, “I told you wouldn't’t tolerate this. This is my ship and naturally the task of disciplining falls to me.” “If you’re here for my kiss, tell me your name,” I bargained. “A fair deal. Daryn Nightshade,” he smiled. I was mesmerized by that smile. He lowered his lips down to mine, “You owe me a kiss.” I nodded dumbly and welcomed the probing of his tongue and the nibbling of his teeth. All I could do to not scream his name was to bite down on his lip. I knew I drew blood but I couldn’t help it. I pulled away, “Does you crew know? Do they know I’m here? Do they know you’re involved with me?” “They know that if they mess with my woman, I’ll kill them. They know that if they so much as glance at you, I’ll whip them dry,” he grinned cheerfully. “Your woman?” I asked. “This may not mean anything to you, but I’m in love with you,” he rubbed his lips on mine. I pulled away, “What?”
“I love you.”