Quinn strode across the deck, trying to keep her mind on the impending storm instead of her hard nipples chafing across the roughspun shirt she wore.
Silk shirts were for pussy pirates, she always thought. Like that Captain Morgan they took down a month or two past. But pussy or not, they did relieve him of some delicious spiced rum. The crew’s morale had definitely improved at that point.
Staring through the amber spyglass she’d stole—er, inherited—from another captain, she barely resisted wincing when she witnessed the fury of the upcoming storm.
She could feel its power tingling across her skin, as she had the night of the fateful storm that stole away her family. Her hands shook as she returned the spyglass to its perfectly positioned pegs on the wall—no pirate-ninja could function without complete order on her ship—and lightfooted away from the bow of the ship.
Her captive had nothing to do with her nerves jangling, nothing at all. It was the storm, or the crocodile, who, for some reason, always tempted her to smile back at him.
But pirates didn’t smile. Ninjas even less so. She scowled over the railing at the scaled ten-foot monster.
A crash from behind had her turning faster than a speeding bullet, or something speeding that existed in her time, as bullets still traveled rather slowly by comparison.
The nicest ass she’d ever seen, attached to a nicer body, caught her eye as it ran around the corner.
Blast and damnation—the pirate escaped!
She drew her katana, thinking he needed a good spanking with the side of it, and followed him down into the bowels of the ship.
At the bottom of the stairs she paused, moving with deliberation only when she heard shouting from the galley. Sword aloft, she crept forward like a creepy crawly…ugh, she shuddered to think of the six- and eight- legged monsters she found on land…and peered around the doorway.
Colin, bare-assed, held two of her men at sword point. She should have been more concerned, but her thoughts had traveled to wondering how well a gold doubloon would bounce off his tight behind. A warm glow, like sunrise, filled her and lifted her heart.
She must be insane to feel such passion for this captive she’d just barely met.A captive who would be wreaking havoc on her ship if she did not intercede.
She prepared to make a dashing, daring, ninja-like entrance when Colin’s voice stopped her colder than a witch’s titty in a brass bra.
“How dare you plan mutiny against your captain!” he growled. “I thought about going to warn her, but decided to take care of you two scalawags myself!”
Mutiny? Aboard her ship? Her heart deflated from its new former glory. She worked so hard to keep her ninjas happy. They even had dental! She peeked around the corner, needing to watch their traitorous expressions!
Jack and Sparrow, her two men, looked at each other. But no devious smiles passed between them.
“Look here, boy,” Jack started, “I ain’t heard nothin’ about no mutiny. Pirates,” he sneered, “might work like that. But if we wanted to off Captain Quinn—”
“Which we most certainly do not!” Sparrow cut in.
“—then we would just kill her in her sleep, all ninja-like.”
Both men looked impossibly smug with their logic. Colin’s shoulders drooped. Quinn watched as he gathered himself and thrust his sword under Jack’s chin. “Then why did I hear you talking about mutiny outside her cabin door? I heard you saying ‘heads would roll if the captain found out about this.’”
Her pirate-in-training looked so triumphant, even in his naked state.
Jack and Sparrow scratched their heads, pulled on their beards, and narrowed their eyes at Colin. Then Sparrow snapped his fingers and pointed at her captive. “I get it now—you’re daft!” His voice changed, as if he were speaking to a child. “That explains the nudity, too, and why our hardened ninja warrior princess has gone so easy on him,” he stage-whispered to Jack.
Jack’s face melted into an innocent grin. “Aw, poor lad, m’cousin was afflicted with the same. Would you like some milk and chocolate biscuits, lad, and we’ll explain the whole thing?”
Colin’s face lit up. “You have biscuits aboard the ship? I’ve seen nothing but rice and seaweed and that raw fish business.”
Jack and Sparrow looked to each other and nodded. “Yes, boy, we do. But you mustn’t tell the Captain.” Jack reached out and pressed one finger to the flat of Colin’s sword to lower it. “She does not like us to keep them aboard.”
Colin nodded eagerly and moved to put his sword up, shoulders slumping when he realized he had no scabbard.
Then his back went rigid and his pale, fair skin, white like milk or a dairy maid, blushed a becoming pink.
Even his sweet little butt flushed, drawing her attention to an odd-shaped birthmark on his left cheek.
She tilted her head and squinted. It almost looked like…a duck. How ridiculous! But that didn’t stop her from wanting to nibble on it.
Her stomach grumbled. Where in the name of O-Wata-Tsumi was that rice-flour hard tack? She would karate chop whomever was responsible, then make him wax on, wax off the whole deck in punishment.
The men looked around furtively, then Jack pulled up the top of his bar—a top that should not have been able to move! He pulled out a biscuit tin and she gasped—those had been confiscated from the ship full of culinary masters they’d captured sailing between France and America! She’d ordered all the pastries given to the children on the island where they often docked for respite.
She drew her sword and charged into the room just as the three men had taken bites of their chocolate-covered glutinous delicacies. Her stomach protested at the mere sight of them. “Traitors!”
Jack gasped and went into a coughing fit, but none moved to help him, as they were frozen like stalks of grass without a breeze. Just like her favorite haiku.
Colin’s averted eyes were wide with terror, but his lovely manroot wasn’t afraid. In fact, it was the only thing in the room eyeing her at the moment.
To take him again right then, she’d consider overlooking this transgression. But where would it end? Biscuits today, then petit fours tomorrow, then they’d be having croissants for breakfast!
“Aiiya!” She charged the men with her O-Wata-Tsumi war cry, slipped past them, and brought her blade across the side of the tin. It dented and fell off the counter, spilling the biscuits.
“I’ll not tolerate this munity!”
The men behind her cried out their objections, but did not interfere as she crushed the offending food under her shoe. Her men didn’t understand the burden of being gluten-free!
Colin dashed to her side and wrapped his arms around hers, pinning them to her sides and lifting her into his arms and away from the flour dust now coating the wood floor. “I knew you had mutiny planned!” he shouted at the other men as he carried Quinn from the room. “Your captain and I will discuss your punishment!”
She would have struggled, but she was too shocked to move. Her fair, sweet Colin, giving orders and manhandling her? It was almost too much to bear.
She would never admit to swooning, but she might possibly let that her knees were a little weakened by his behavior. Moreso when she felt the hardness of his sea snake rise against her hip.
He toted her to the captain’s cabin, raising eyebrows the whole way. The door slammed shut behind them and he dropped her onto the bed.
Quinn pulled at his wrist, wanting him to follow her down onto the mattress, but he resisted.
“What is this gluten-free, Quinn?” His voice was dark and rumbly, like the thunderstorm they’d barely survived weeks past. She might barely survive his questions if he continued looking at her with such passion and fire in his eyes.
“I…I can’t eat food with wheat in it.”
His gorgeous brown eyes widened and his lush lips parted. “That’s a travesty! Whyever not?”
She ducked her head, hating to admit her one weakness. Not ever her crew knew the repercussions of such an event. “I break out in a pox. It is not contagious, but it occurs on…on—”
To be continued...
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The Naughty Nine
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