The Black Orchid was back on his ship by the time the sun burst over the purple horizon. The crew were still asleep, some passed out on the deck where they had fallen. They did not come into port very often and they had clearly been enjoying the rare pleasures to be had in the taverns and brothels of Bridgetown. He irritably kicked one of them as he walked past, but the man just turned over and muttered something and immediately started snoring again, hand still gripping a bottle of rum.
Once in his cabin, he stripped off his clothes and stared at himself in the gilt mirror. He touched the intricate tattoo on his neck and tried to see himself through the Lady's eyes. He looked like a dark-skinned savage, scarred and shorn with hungry eyes. Even if wigs were no longer absolutely required, it was the accepted fashion to wear hair long and tied back with a ribbon. But he shaved his head so the bones stood out and his eerie blue eyes dominated his angular face. He wanted to look different, to look menacing and beyond polite society. So why had she looked at him with such need?
He had never forced himself on a woman. Contrary to the myths, some Pirates had a code and amongst his crew, he made it clear that it was forbidden to molest a virtuous lady. He had been raised as a gentleman and he could fight and steal and occasionally kill if necessary but he did not abuse a woman or child. He had had every intention of leaving the Earl's widow unmolested. He had merely wanted to intimidate her a little, but she had not been easily subdued and when he had seen the fire in her eyes he had been lost. He should not have stripped her naked, but she had looked at him with such need, he had almost lost his legendary control. Almost.
He was hard again just remembering how he had exposed her to his gaze, how she had clung to the bedstead, her position showing fear, her eyes revealing something else entirely. Her round, pert breasts had thrust out at him, tipped with hardened, aroused nipples. How he had wanted to close his lips around them and make her moan! How he had wanted to sink his face into the soft curls between her legs and lap at her until she cried out! He could have taken the discarded nightgown and used it to tether her to the bed then thrust his aching tool into her and pound her all night. Oh God! His cock reared up as he imagined how her pale round arse would look under his dark calloused hands and his fist wrapped itself around his thick shaft and started to stroke. But he opened his eyes and in the mirror saw a man about to lose control and once again reined himself in. He whipped his hand away from his twitching member and reached for his drawers.
He would not think of her again. Losing himself in the soft curves of such a woman would only spell disaster.
There was a knock on the door. It was Hanson, his First Mate. Apparently the Navy had been spotted and they had to get out, quick. He sent him to wake the slumbering crew, and dressed quickly with relief. Out at sea there were many life threatening hazards, but there were no hungry eyed women to make him their captive.
Letitia surveyed the dining table in front of her ladened with the usual lunch fare. The china was meticulously set out. The silverware gleamed. The mahogany table was polished to a perfect shine. A maid hovered behind her ready to leap to her assistance. Henry Lucas sat opposite her, straight backed in a pink silk coat and matching waistcoat, a dark wig on his head. This was a man she had spent months admiring hopelessly but now all she could think was he must be very hot.
In this climate, men should go without wigs and wear loose linen shirts, she thought to herself as she raised the fine china teacup to her lips. In fact, men should go shirtless, and she had a sudden memory of the Black Orchid's bare chest, his bronzed skin gleaming. She put down her cup, her hand shaking so much it rattled in the saucer.
"Are you alright, Letitia?" asked Henry, looking at her with concern.
She could feel the flush in her cheeks. "I am fine Henry. I didn't sleep well last night."
He continued to meticulously slice up an already small piece of ham, his hands elegantly holding the knife and fork. Why was he annoying her so? Up until today she had thought he was the most handsome man of her acquaintance. When her poor husband had been alive she had struggled to pay him attention when Henry had been in the room. She had found his every mannerism a delight, but now he was just annoying her. He suddenly seemed effeminate and overly dressed.
She knew why of course. Her head was full of visions of naked male flesh, rippling with muscles and covered in exotic tattoos. That morning, she had finally fallen asleep some time around dawn and had been tortured by dreams of strong hands exploring her, of hot lips against her skin. When she woke she could have sworn she could still smell him in the air, a heady scent of aroused male. How could she ever return to a time before? How could she continue to desire the buttoned up, bewigged man in front of her?