Captive Hearts

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[Authors Note: The term cunny is prevalent in the anonymous erotic fiction of Edwardian England. It is roughly analogous to the word pussy and is used in this manner. None of my research revealed a similar term that is congruent with the time period of this story, which is late 17th century. If any of my readers know of a less anachronistic term I would greatly appreciate them writing.

– C.T. ]

* * * * *

The Lady Abigail Rodgers stood at the rail of the sloop of war HMS Indomitable. She was a small woman with flaxen hair and pale blue eyes. The dark dress she wore made her appear even smaller with its wide skirts and voluminous petticoats. She was the very picture of an English Lady out to get some air on a long voyage, but this was no pleasure trip. Each passing moment the fast little ship was carrying her towards an uncertain fate. The deep azure blue of the Atlantic had already given way to the bluegreens of the shallower Caribbean.

Soon St. Eustacius will be in sight and not long after that the end of my world, she thought bitterly. Even the sea seems to pity me. Why must my father do this to me?

Her father was the Governor of the tiny island and had arranged a marriage for her. Abigail and her father had never been close. He was a cold man, stubbornly prideful and very ambitious. When her mother had died in an outbreak of the plague he had left his only daughter in the care of her grandparents and gone over seas. Abby had been seven at the time and was now a beautiful young woman of nineteen. She did not know him, save for the infrequent letters she had received over the years.

She had grown up under the care of her grandparents at a small estate in Yorkshire called The Brambles. Her grandfather had been a vigorous man in his early fifties and had made the family fortune privateering in the Caribbean during one of the many protracted wars between the colonial powers. He had returned to the islands after her grandmother died and Abigail finished her schooling with an aunt in France. She could still remember crying as she left the old manor house, grief over her grandmother’s death, her grandfather’s departure and the selling of the old estate to strangers all mixed to form one of the saddest days of her life. Now her wedding day would take the place of that day she feared.

She was betrothed to a most horrid little man, the scion of a wealthy family on St. Eustacius. Sir Gerald Abercrombie had come over to personally escort his pretty bride back home. He was a vain, shallow, arrogant man in his mid thirties. Thin and short with milky white skin and a black scraggly beard that grew in patches on his heavy jaw he looked less like a man than one of the mangy hounds her grandfathers neighbor used to keep. He was an odious toad in Abigail’s opinion and the lecherous stares he gave her left little doubt that he was anxious to truly claim his bride. Abigail felt her stomach turn just thinking of physical contact with the man.

Her father had no concern for her as a person, for her likes or dislikes. She felt that to him she was nothing more than a pawn to be used to gain advantage for himself as he tried to be elevated to the peerage. She would not be allowed to marry for love and after nearly three months in Gerald’s company Abigail had come to believe she would never love any man. The members of the crew were all animals, scum taken from Liverpool’s docks and jails. They had seemed nice a first but she had quickly realized they wanted her for the same reason Gerald did. The captain was a fat man, pompous and prideful. He seemed to have more interest in polishing the many brass buttons on his Royal Navy waistcoat than he did in any of the day-to-day things on his ship. Her entire trip had been one of fear and aching loneliness.

Her dismal reverie was disturbed as her betrothed exited the small cabin he occupied and approached her. He wore his sailor’s outfit today, the white shirt open to reveal a shrunken chest covered in a patchwork of hair. Lace decorated the cuffs and collar, and the breeches were of velvet. Abigail cringed as she imagined his body close to hers and she looked around quickly, hoping for someone nearby to talk to, anything to avoid him.

“Sail Ho!” the sailor in the crow’s nest called out.

The crossing had taken nearly three months and all heads turned towards the distant spec curiously. Gerald went to speak to the captain, mercifully sparing Abigail his presence. She stayed at the rail, watching the spec slowly grow, first to a sail, then to a toy sized ship and finally to a majestic Barque built on the Spanish model. It was beautiful to behold as it danced across the calm sea leaving a frothy white wake behind. The lines were clean and sleek and for a moment she was reminded of the hunting hounds Lord Tort kept on his estate in France. The ship was definitely a runner, built for speed. It was carrying full sail now, the white cloths filled with the gentle breeze that Indomitable had been fighting all morning. She flew the Dutch flag, which Abigail found curious, since the Dutch usually used fat, squat trading vessels.

All hands were watching illegal bahis when the Dutch flag came down and another was raised, a red flag with a black bird of prey on it. Abigail was trying to make out what kind of bird it was when a horrified shriek behind her announced “It’s Black Lissa!”

She recognized Gerald’s panic stricken voice as the sailors exploded into action around her. Black Lissa? She thought. The notorious pirate? The one they called the Queen of the damned? Even in her sheltered life in England, and later France, Abigail had heard of Black Lissa. She was Spanish or French, no one knew for sure. Brought over to be a “companion” to a Spanish Governor she had been taken by pirates when the ship she was on had been seized. She had proved to be more than the pirate captain had bargained for and killed him when he came to claim her. She was a classically trained swordswoman, and had killed several crewmen before the others backed down. By some obscure rule of pirate etiquette she had become captain.

For the last three years she had been the scourge of the Eastern Caribbean, raiding as far as Trinidad in the South and Bermuda in the north. Horror stories of the way her crew brutally dispatched prisoners vied with stories of how she took captured women to her bed as a man would in the lurid press of the times. Abigail discounted much of what she had heard; no one person could have done so much mischief in so short a time, in her opinion. Still, men spoke the name Black Lissa with a dread that only Lucifer could rival and she had certainly killed many people. Abigail felt the cold fingers of fear clutch at her heart.

She made her way amid the chaos to where the Captain, Mate and Gerald were holding a heated conversation.

“We will stand and fight,” the Captain said.

“Fight? You idiot! That’s Black Lissa!” Gerald nearly screamed. His face was ashen, the small bit of color drained from it, and he was obviously terrified. Abigail thought she had already seen the worst in him, but he was more afraid than she was and it sickened her.

“Quite right, and that is why we will fight. This is a ship of the line and she is a wanted pirate,”

“She has the deadliest, blackest crew at sea! This ship stands no chance against her. You are supposed to see me safely to St. Eustacius, or have you forgotten?” Gerald whined. The fat captain got mad then and struck Gerald with a backhanded blow.

“This is a ship of her majesty’s fleet, not your private yacht! Man the cannons!” he roared.

Gerald ran screaming to his room as the first shots were exchanged, totally forgetting Abigail in his panic. She watched the battle from the rear of the ship, not sure whom she wanted to win. If the ship were lost she would be in the clutches of pirates, but what could they do that would be more loathsome than marriage to Gerald Abercrombie? She thought.

The battle was short and brutal; the Indomitable exchanged a broadside with the pirate ship as the two passed. The guns roared and a thick grayish smoke obscured everything, but Abigail was sure that neither ship had sustained much damage. She felt her pulse quicken and the thrill of it all nearly overwhelmed her. The pirate ship, called the Raven, tacked quickly to bring her guns to bear from the rear.

Captain Wilkinson may have been a pompous windbag, but he was no fool, he ordered his own ship to mirror the pirate’s turn. This kept the sloop ahead of the Raven and thus out of her main gun’s deadly arc. It did not, however; protect his ship from the lethal fire of the cannonade mounted on the pirate’s forecastle. These small cannon blasted the sloop with a withering volley of shot that left several crewmen down. Their bodies were shredded and had great holes torn in them. The screaming was frightful and when the blood began to run through the scuppers Abigail turned her head and vomited.

The sloop was smaller and faster, but the wind was with them and the barque was able to keep up with them using her extra sail. A second volley of cannonade killed more of his men and Captain Wilkinson ordered the sloop to heave to. Apparently he planned to tack back across his track and brave a broadside from the barque. Once clear the little sloop would have advantage as the barque would have to fight upwind, something she could never hope to match the sloop in.

As Indomitable tried to tack grapnels shot out from the Raven, men jumped to cut the lines with axes, but the pirates kept up a deadly fire on the rails with muskets. Unable to break the lines, the sloop lost steerage and was dragged inexorably closer to the pirate ship. Abigail moved to the far rail, hoping she would not be shot by accident.

“Prepare to repel boarders!” the fat Captain roared over the noise of battle. His men all armed themselves and waited. When the two ships crashed together a flood of humanity washed over the rails. Abigail watched in horror as the pirates swarmed on board. They were a motley collection of men, dressed in outlandish clothing. There were tall men with blonde hair from Scandinavia, short swarthy men from the Mediterranean, even a pair of giant Negroes. illegal bahis siteleri Every race and country seemed to be represented in their company and they were all brandishing swords, pistols, billhooks or even more fantastic weapons.

The crew of the Indomitable was outnumbered, but suffered from an even greater handicap. Black Lissa’s crewmen were known as some of the most depraved, sadistic, evil men on the high seas. Their fearsome reputation unmanned many of the sailors and these threw down their weapons at the sight of the pirates. The pirates looked as fearsome as their reputation and the battle was short and relatively bloody where those men who chose to fight made their stand around the forecastle. Around Abigail the Englishmen dropped their weapons and begged for quarter, individually and in small groups. In fifteen minutes the survivors were all rounded up and the battle was over.

Several wild-eyed men speaking a host of languages confronted Abigail. They leered at her and made obscene gestures that were universal and needed no translation. She was terribly frightened, but remained quiet. That changed when a short swarthy man boldly stepped forward and roughly grabbed a handful of her hair. Abigail screamed as he viciously pulled her to the deck. She felt hands all over her then, pulling at her bodice, ripping away pieces of her petticoats and forcing her legs apart. She screamed again as she was rolled over onto her back and found the swarthy pirate on top of her. His leering face was ugly and filled with lust.

Suddenly a second bloody smile appeared on his throat, as if by magic. His startled eyes filled her vision for a fraction of a second and then he was dragged bodily off of her, splashing her bodice in blood. A tall, lithe figure hefted the smaller pirate above its head and threw him overboard. The figure turned a baleful eye on the men gathered around her.

“Get back ye dogs,” the woman commanded. It was a woman, and what a woman, Abigail thought. She was at least six feet tall and her flaming red hair was tied back under a black kerchief. She wore a black silk shirt that was stuffed into black breeches and tall sea boots. The outfit seemed to cling to her curves, and her legs seemed impossibly long and shapely. Instead of a sash she wore a belt of black leather with a Rapier and dueling dagger hanging from them and a brace of pistols tucked under the belt. Abigail had never seen anyone so handsome, so elementally powerful and so commanding in her short life.

“Aww Cap’n , we wasn’t gonna hurt her, we just wanted a little sport,” one man volunteered

“Fools, do I have to do all the thinking here as well as the fighting? That’s Governor Rodger’s daughter. Unspoiled she will bring us a handsome reward, but if she is damaged goods he probably won’t even want her back,”

“It’s not like she is going to admit the whole crew had a go at her, Cap’n”

“Nay, but that skinflint Rodger’s will probably demand she be examined. Are you willing to risk casks of doubloons for a roll with the wench?”

The assembled pirates muttered under their collective breath, but none made any move to voice his objections if he had any.

“Pete, take her to my cabin and watch the door,” The Pirate Queen said as she drew her sword, “Or perhaps one of you would care to argue with me about it?”

The men seemed very unhappy, but none seemed willing to take her up on that offer. A grizzled old man grabbed Abigail by the arm and practically dragged the dazed Englishwoman aboard the Raven. He led her into the Captain’s cabin in the aftercastle of the ship and closed the door.

“Are you hurt?” he asked in a thick Irish brogue.

“No,” she replied in a whisper.

“It was an ill wind that brought you here lass. I will do what I can for you, but my advice to you is to do whatever Lissa wants and stay out of trouble until your father can pay for you,”

“Why would you help me?”

“My name is Peter Lewllen and I came here on the Shark nearly thirty years ago,”

“The Shark? My Grandfather’s ship?”

“Aye lass, had the Captain not told us who you are I would have never known. Since I do know I will try to help you, I knew your grandfather well. God rest his soul,”

“He isn’t dead. He lives on Manservant now. My grandmother is the one who passed away, God rest her soul,”

“Indeed? Then I shall have to go and see the old liar. He was always good to me, and I am getting to old for this line of work,” the old man said with a grin, “Now you be a good lass and mind Lissa. She isn’t as bad as you have heard, but she has the devil’s own temper,” he said as he left through the only door to the room.

Abigail wandered around the large room. A big four-poster bed sat on one wall with a night table and a washbasin beside it. A writing desk and chair were on another wall with a sideboard that held a crystal decanter and goblets on a silver tray. Two small cannon were set up facing outward and Abigail realized that during battle they would be manned like any others. There was a heavy sea chest at the foot of the bed and a wooden table with four chairs. The canlı bahis siteleri room was richly appointed, but Abigail was surprised at how messy and mismatched it was. She would have expected it of a man’s quarters but not a woman’s; it definitely needed what her grandmother had always referred to as “a feminine touch”.

She strayed to one of the stained glass windows and discovered that it would open and she pushed against it and found herself looking out at the deck of Indomitable. The survivors were in a small group surrounded by pirates. She recognized Gerald, the Captain, Ansil, the cabin boy and a few others. The mate was not among them nor the old cook. Lissa was pointing at Gerald with her sword and speaking.

“What on earth is that?”

“Damned if I know. Its dressed like a woman but I don’t see no teats,” one of the pirates jeered.

“Can’t be a man so it has ta be a woman, but damned is she ugly,” another called.

“Only one way to find out, strip it,” Lissa ordered casually.

Gerald yelled and fought weakly as several pirates ripped his expensive clothes from him. When they stepped back he was naked. His skin was even whiter under his clothes and reminded Abigail of a fish’s belly. She had never seen a man naked, and her curiosity over came her reluctance as she glanced between his stick-like thighs. His member was tiny and a bluish-purple color, it reminded her of the worms that she had seen floating in puddles of water after a rainstorm and she was sorry she had looked.

The pirates all laughed and jeered, throwing insults at the nobleman, who stood there with his hands over his privates. Abigail was a sensitive soul and even though she hated the man, she felt sorry for him. No one should have to face such humiliation. After a while the tall woman spoke again.

“Enough, we have to get the booty aboard and get out of here,”

“Should we kill them all?” a burly pirate asked.

“Nay, I am in an expansive mood. Put them on the longboats and give them food and water for five days,”

“Aye, Cap’n”

“Now get the loot aboard and fire the ship, we are bound for the Tortugas”

A raucous cheer went up and the pirates began to haul aboard everything on the small sloop they could use. Abigail watched as the men worked like ants, swarming from ship to ship with arms laden. In a little under three hours they had stripped the sloop completely. A thin pirate descended into the hold with a lit torch and came running out to leap aboard the pirate ship as his mates hacked the lines and the Raven began to pull away from her victim. Abigail watched the sloop from the window as flames began to lick up from below decks. Soon the beautiful little ship was engulfed in a raging inferno as pitch, tar, sailcloth and wood succumbed to the hungry flames.

She heard the pirates calling out curses and insults as Raven overhauled and passed the two long boats. The Captain and his sailors refused to be baited and did not look up from the oars as the swift pirate barque overhauled them and then left them behind. Abigail said a prayer for the men in those boats.

She had just finished when the door opened and the captain sauntered in. She ignored Abigail and went to the sideboard where she poured herself some of the amber liquid in the decanter. She then leaned against the sideboard and stared at Abigail. The eyes were green and deep and the frank admiration in them made Abigail blush.

“You are far too pretty a prize for the likes of them,” the pirate remarked at last. Her voice was softer now, still raspy, but not harsh. The words were spoken in English with just a trace of a French accent.

“What are you going to do to me?”

“I think I will take you to my bed, at least until I tire of you. It shouldn’t take long for your father to pay the ransom for you. He needs you to marry off to some fat, limpdicked heir no doubt,”

“You wouldn’t dare!” Abigail said indignantly.

“Aye, why not? You’re a pretty enough lass. Or perhaps you would prefer it if I turned you over to the crew?” the Captain replied, with just a trace of the harshness returning to her voice.

So the rumors are true, she thought. Abigail had never imagined doing anything with another woman. The scriptures forbid such relationships as unnatural and blasphemous. She felt trapped. Old Pete’s advice had been to do what the captain wanted, but did he know this was what would be demanded of her? For that matter how far could she trust him? Her grandfather had never mentioned a Peter in his sea stories.

The pirate put her drink down and with a startling suddenness crossed the few feet between them and pressed Abigail against the wall. The Englishwoman found her hands imprisoned in one of the pirate’s and she felt the Captain’s hard lips pressed against her own. She felt the redhead’s tongue pressing against her lips, demanding entry, but Abby held hers tightly together. The Captain’s free hand roughly seized one of her breasts and began to knead it. Abbey wanted to fight, but it felt wonderful and she was powerless in the larger woman’s grasp. When Lissa’s fingers found her nipple and squeezed Abbey gasped. Her lips parted for a fraction of a second and the other woman’s long tongue darted between them. Abbey was shocked, but as the warm tongue began to explore her mouth she felt herself beginning to respond.

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