In Eight Nights At Sea, pirate captain Zephyr Jamieson finds Rina and her brother stowing away aboard his ship. They strike a mutually beneficial bargain: Safe passage for Rina and her brother in exchange for Rina warming the captain’s bed. But Rina is not what she seems – and Zeph is determined to learn all of her secrets.
In this scene, he’s just come out the victor in an unexpected battle, but took a good knock to the skull before it ended. He’s still reeling from the revelation that his demure bedmate has a touch of the magical about her . . .
“My head has me in a devil of a mood,” he apologized. “I just wish you’d told me everything from the beginning. Am I going to be surprised by anything else?”
She gave him a slightly mischievous grin. “Well, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you, would it?”
He closed his eyes and smiled. “Hellion.”
She touched his cheek lightly. “I’m sorry about your head.”
“The rum is helping. And so are you. I’ll be fine by morning, I expect.”
“Would you like me to sing to you?” Rina asked, hesitantly. “I’ve been told I have a passable voice, and when I was very young, my mother used to sing for me. It always helped.”
“Mmmm.” Zeph made an approving sound, so Rina took a deep breath and started to sing very, very softly.
Zeph realized immediately that she had a far more than passable voice. It was damned beautiful. He wanted to open his eyes and watch her, but his lids were very, very heavy.
He slid into a dream and he was standing on the deck of his ship. It was evening and somehow the sea was calm even though the sails were full. He could feel the spray on his face and smell the clean salt of the ocean around him, and it was all dark blue under the full moon.
In the distance he saw a rock, solitary and craggy and majestic rising from the sea. His ship turned toward it, but he wasn’t concerned. He felt the pull and he knew that was where they were to go.
As he drew closer, he saw a figure atop the rock, reclining, her hair blowing in the wind and her limbs glowing with the moonlight. It was Rina, and he caught the first brush of her song upon the wind. It filled him, exploding through his senses, and singing of endless measures of time upon boundless oceans of possibilities.
Rina sang, opening her arms to him, promising all of her, body and soul with her song. The ship drew closer, traveling faster but not fast enough, not close enough.
He ran to the bow, ready to dive, the entire world full of Rina and all that she was in the notes carried by the wind.
And he wanted her so much, he thought he’d die of it.