In this excerpt from Eight Nights At Sea, our pirate, Zephyr Jamieson finds that he needs to make amends to his beautiful stowaway, Rina, after a bit of bad behavior. You see, Rina carries a secret, and Zeph knows she’s hiding something. He’s determined to find out what, but his usual methods of persuasion aren’t working out like he’d planned…
Rina was definitely surprising, but not that kind of dangerous. No, her danger to him was that she was making him feel like a schoolboy who’d been sent to the headmaster’s office.
Zeph didn’t care for the feeling at all, and now it was getting late and she still hadn’t returned to the cabin. Perhaps she was sleeping in the hold with Aven. The Captain in him was ready to assert some authority and order her back to his bed, but he really didn’t relish the idea of having her at his throat again. She looked pretty deadly with that dagger earlier.
He finally exited the cabin, deciding that he should at least try to speak with her again – Aven permitting – when he saw her. She was all the way up near the bow, with her back against the railing. Her knees were drawn up and her arms were wrapped around them. She was also quite alone.
Zeph approached her slowly, and then eased himself down onto the deck next to her, hoping she wouldn’t jump to her feet. She didn’t, and he took that as a good sign.
“I was just about to make my way to the cabin, Captain. You didn’t need to come fetch me.” She didn’t sound angry. No, she sounded…resigned.
Zeph pulled his knees up alongside hers and leaned back against the railing.
“I like it up here. It’s far enough away from the wheel deck that nobody bothers me. I can sit and be alone with whatever it is I’m thinking. Or I can choose to not think at all.”
“I know.” Rina said softly. “I saw you – the night before you pushed off, I left Aven sleeping and came down to the dock and just watched you.”
Zeph turned his head to look at her. The wind was catching her hair, and he reached over to move a strand that was caught against her lips.
“Should I be flattered? Or were you watching me for more nefarious purposes?”
Rina gave a soft laugh. “It pains me to add to your arrogance, but yes. I was watching you just to watch. I thought you were the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.”
Zeph arched a brow. “If you’d have approached me instead of stowing away,” he replied, “You probably could have struck a much more advantageous bargain.”
She paused a moment before answering. “I didn’t trust you. Your reputation precedes you, Captain.”
He stared at the deck and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Rina.”
“You don’t have to say that.”
“Yes, I do.”
“No, you don’t. I’m coming to bed. You don’t have to try to woo me. We made a deal.”
Rina got to her feet and Zeph hastily did the same.
She walked away and he had the strong urge to punch the deck railing behind him.
Rina ends up being a lot more difficult to figure out, and Zeph ends up being more intriguing than Rina ever anticipated. Cast off for one steamy adventure with them in Eight Nights At Sea!