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Authors: Lilli Feisty

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BOOK: The Whore
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Chapter Six

For the millionth time, Xander wondered if he was doing the right thing.

Leaning against the ship railing, he drank in the salty sea air as he smoked the last of his hemp arre’te.

Was he making the right decision? The severity of it was tearing him apart. He couldn’t live forever on an island without being properly prepared. That would be irresponsible, and at the end of the day, it was Captain Xander that was responsible for his crew.

His family.

And yet his decision was bringing all of them right back to the eye of danger. And Bryn had the most to lose. If she were detected…

A rush of anger coursed through him. He stroked the handle of the dagger strapped to his right hip. He would not let anything happen to what was his. And this was all his—the ship, the people on it. He’d just keep sailing. They would never be found.

“Sighting, Captain.”

Xander went to the huge metal telescope Adiv was peering through and pushed the man out of the way. Xander had been praying they’d make it as far as the outer city waters without coming into contact with another ship. Of course, luck never seemed to be on his side.

Peering through the tiny glass hole, his entire body clenched. “God dammit.” A huge ship was a dot in the distance, but he could tell it was about to become a lot bigger. The bow was pointed right for them.

Hawke was already at his side. “Can you see their angle?”

“Schooner. Headed this way.” Xander stomped across the deck and hoisted himself onto the main topmast. He climbed to the top and extracted a small scope from his tunic pocket. It was a powerful little piece. He’d given a trader named Ezra a gallon of fuel for the little invention. Perched on the peak of the topmast, Xander squinted through it to get a better look at the schooner. His blood ran cold.

“God fucking dammit!” He scrambled down the pole, jumping the last six feet to land with a thud on the main deck. “It looks like Viven’s ship.”

Hawk ran a hand over his head. “How?”

“No idea.” Xander went to a trunk and began extracting weapons. He threw a hand-canon at Adiv, who caught it adeptly.

Adiv began loading the gun. “Did you get a count?”

“No,” Xander said, heading toward the larger cannon. It was ancient—they’d found it within the ruins of an island in the N’eanarret Sea. It had only been fired once, and that was after a bottle of C’uerveh and the target had been a sharp island of volcanic rock.

“What’s going on?” Bryn approached him, her big green eyes full of concern.

As he gazed at her, something inside Xander swelled. It was that protection thing. Annoying, but he couldn’t help it. And with Viven’s ship cruising straight for them, there was a distinct possibility of them finding her.

What they would do with her if they discovered who—and what—she was made everything inside him ice cold.

He nodded toward the hatch. “I want you down in the hull.”

“You want me to hide?”

He wanted her nowhere near this ship, but that wasn’t exactly an option. “Yes. I want you hidden. Go.”

Crossing her arms over her chest, she said, “No. No way.”

Xander grabbed both her shoulders. “This isn’t up for debate. Go.
Now
.”

She shook her head. “I can fight.”

“Yeah. We saw that when we found you in an alley.”

“That was different.”

“You’re damn right that was different, Bryn. They were three punks in an alley. We’re about to be attacked by a schooner full of wild pissed-off pirates. Do you have any idea what would happen if they discovered who you are?” Just the thought hurt.

She lifted her stubborn little chin. “I’m not hiding down there. What if something goes wrong?”

He turned away and stalked toward the cabin. “Oh, you can count on that, sweetheart. Something always goes wrong.”

 

Bryn watched Xander walk away. How could he just expect her to do nothing if they were being attacked? She couldn’t, and he couldn’t make her. Did he really think it would be possible for her to hide like a coward when the people she’d come to love were being assaulted?

Inconceivable.

“Look, Captain. They’re sending out a tender.”

Bryn peered out at the water. Indeed, a small structure with a sail was heading their way. It consisted of two long metal pieces connected via three posts spaced throughout the center. She could see a figure steering the sails, and another figure, which was huddled in a corner.

“What do they want?” Bryn asked.

Xander and Hawke flanked her. “I don’t know.” Xander’s hand was on the hilt of one of his daggers.

Adiv pointed the hand-cannon toward the small boat. “Holy shit.”

“What?” Bryn had already figured out that Adiv’s eyesight was more acute than any predator. “What do you see?”

“I would bet my life they have a woman on that boat.” He glanced to Hawke. “A woman who looks incredibly like your sister.”

“What?” Hawke reached into Xander’s pocket and pulled out the eyeglass he always kept near his heart. Hawke peered through the glass and she saw every muscle in his body go tight. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

“Why would they have your sister?” Bryn asked.

Xander pulled a dagger from his pocket. “Revenge.” She’d never heard his voice so dark. He took a deep breath and put a hand on Hawke’s back. “Is she…alive?”

“I think so…she’s upright. I believe she’s gagged.”

Silently, they watched as the tender sailed closer to the ship. It stopped about twenty yards away.

Bryn gasped. “Oh my God.” She glanced at Hawke. “You’re Ayla’s pirate brother?”

He turned to Bryn. “How did you know that?”

“She was my chamber-mate. At the brothel.” Her heart pounded in her throat. They had Ayla? And she was Hawke’s sister?

Hawke continued to stare at his captive sister. “The High Priestess assigned Ayla to the brothel. I was taken by traders until I met Xander. I never lost track of her though. The Wasteland is dangerous. I knew she was safe inside the fortress of a brothel.”

Bryn ignored Hawke’s pleasant view of life as a Rose. Instead she moved on to realize why she’d immediately felt comfortable around him. His manners were familiar, his touch comforting. It all made sense.

And now they had Ayla. Imprisoned. Bryn’s entire body pounded with anger. She was going to kill someone.

A fat man with a scarf tied around his head climbed to the front of the tender. Gripping the mast, he stood and faced them. “Captain Xander. You thought you would simply sail away without paying your debt?”

Xander clenched his jaw. “What do you want, Kaz?”

“Viven owns you, Captain. And owns what’s yours.” He nodded toward Ayla, who was bound and gagged at the back of the tender. “This girl belongs to us. And guess what? We don’t want her. Women on a ship are nothing but bad luck and a hazard. We just thought we’d bring her out to show you ingrates a lesson.”

It was then Bryn noticed there was a rope attached to Ayla’s neck. Kaz jerked at the rope, yanking Ayla to her feet. Bryn saw her face was bruised. White-hot anger shot through Bryn like an earthquake.

Kaz gave Ayla another yank. “Viven just thought you might need a reminder of what happens when you attempt to disobey.” He pulled on the rope, and Ayla stumbled forward. “We’re going to dispose of this girl. Because he owns her, just as he owns you. And yours.” He snarled. “Although it was fun for a while. Nice, sweet pussy. A shame I’m going to throw her overboard. But I’m sure her brother will find some satisfaction in watching her drown.”

Hawke placed his hands on the hull, and Bryn knew he was about to haul himself overboard. But Xander stopped him.

Still holding Hawke back, Xander yelled, “You wouldn’t dispose of such a commodity, Kaz. What do you really want?”

“You think I wouldn’t?”

Ayla’s eyes were wide, and she looked scared as Kaz pushed her toward the edge of the boat. “Oh, I think I would. After all, nothing else seems to get through your thick skull, Captain. Viven is quite certain you need to be taught a lesson. And put in your place.” He spat into the sea. “Plus, a woman on a ship is bad luck. Isn’t that so, Captain Xander?”

Xander yelled, “Come on, Kaz. You know damn well you can be bought off. What do you want?”

Kaz put a finger to his temple, as if considering his options. “What could you possibly have to offer me?”

“Fuck,” Xander said under his breath. And then, louder. “Fuck.”

“Tell you what,” Kaz yelled. “I’ll give you a few minutes to think about it. And then I throw the girl overboard.”

“You do it,” Hawke said, “and you’ll be dead in minutes.”

Kaz glanced back to the ship he’d sailed from. It was twice as large as The Sugar Skull and Bryn could see a full crew of men onboard. “And if you try anything, my crew will attack and you’ll all be killed. So, yeah. You go and think about how to get out of this. I’ll just be waiting right here with this sweet little Rose.” He gave Ayla a lecherous glance and licked his lips. “I can find ways to amuse myself.”

Bryn’s entire body shook in violent tremors. She couldn’t allow him to hurt Ayla. She
wouldn’t
allow it.

She gently touched Xander’s shoulder. Looking up, she said, “Do you think we’ll have a battle?”

She watched his jaw clench. “Definitely. We have nothing to offer. We have no other choice but to fight.” He took her arms in his hands with a firm grip. “Bryn. Please. I beg you. Wait in the hold.”

She looked deep into his eyes and bit her lip. He wanted to keep her safe, and it was killing him. She saw it in the hard expression on his face.

Finally, she nodded. “Okay. But I don’t like it.”

He gave her a chaste kiss on the forehead. “Thank you, Bryn.” Then he softly shoved her toward the hold. The crew became busy, preparing for battle.

She climbed down toward the hull, but made her way to the Captain’s quarters. Once inside, she unlaced her boots and shrugged off her trousers. She then went to the collection of razor-sharp shells they’d collected on the island. They’d used them for de-boning fish. Bryn smirked. Yeah, something was about to get de-boned in about ten minutes.

Even Xander and Hawke, no matter how well they’d treated her, still thought because she was a woman, she was helpless. Powerless. A liability.

But some twisted fuck had kidnapped Ayla. Bryn
did
have power, and she was about to use it.

 

Daily swimming lessons on the island meant Bryn was proficient in the current of the water. While the men were still preparing for what may lay ahead, she dove silently into the sea. She kept her head low as she made her way to the tender holding Ayla. Her legs kicked steadily through the water, and it took only moments before she was sneaking up on the boat.

Bryn dipped beneath the surface and emerged between the tracks. Kaz was sitting on the opposite end of the boat, smoking an arre’te that was so foul she could smell it over the scent of the sea. His eyes bugged out when his gaze discovered Bryn treading water between the metal decks of the boat.

She put her finger to her lips. “Sssh. Wouldn’t want the boys to know I’m here.”

Using her arms, she lifted herself up a bit. Knowing exactly how the white tunic clung to her naked skin, she watched Kaz’s gaze rake over her wet body. She looked up through her lashes, giving him that look she’d perfected so well during her years as a whore.

“You stupid girl. Who are you and what do you want?” he said.

“I came to make a trade. Myself for her.”

Ayla’s eyes were big. The gag kept her from speaking. Good.

She lifted herself onto the boat, using her arms and legs to support her on either side of the decks. Legs and arms spread, she continued to stare at him. The tunic wetly hugged her thighs, giving him a peek of skin. But just a peek.

“Me for her. Take me.”

“Why don’t I take both of you?” Kaz spat. “In fact, I will. Before I kill you.”

“You don’t want both of us. I’ll be all you need.”

Kaz heaved himself to his feet and flicked the remainder of his arre’te into the sea. “Shut up. I’ll fuck you while your friend watches. And then I’ll shove you both overboard, and make your friends on The Sugar Skull watch.”

Bryn’s stomach turned as a drop of saliva dribbled from the side of his mouth. He came at her. Jerking her out of the water, he threw her to the floor of the boat.

“Please,” Bryn said. “I just want you to release my friend. Take me instead.”

“Fucking worthless whores, the both of you.” He yanked her legs apart. “Stupid too. But who needs a brain in a whore? I just want your cunt.”

“But you’ll release my friend?” she asked, searching his eyes. Pleading.

He knelt between her thighs. “Fuck no.” He laughed, and she felt his spit hit her face. She flinched. “I’m not releasing anyone. I’m going to see if your worthless Captain has anything of value. If so, I’ll take it. Either way, my ship is still gonna blow apart The Sugar Skull and take the remains back to Viven. If there are any remains, that is.”

“But…” Bryn said, squirming under his obtrusive belly. “Just take me and leave all the others alone.”

The smack across her face had her seeing stars. Collecting herself, she tried to focus on him. “I’m begging you…” she said, her voice shaky.

“Not yet, bitch. But you will be.” He went to move her tunic up her thighs.

“Please…” Bryn begged. “Just let Ayla and my friends go. Take me.”

“Yeah. Right. That’s gonna happen. Now shut the fuck up. You Roses talk too much. That’s why I shoved a rag in your friend’s mouth.”

She felt his erection pushing against her. It all came back in a rush. The powerlessness, the vulnerability. The helplessness. It swarmed over her, entered every muscle of her body. Her heart pounded in her throat.

With his big chunk of a hand, he squeezed her breast until she wanted to cry from the pain.

“Take it, you brainless slut.”

“Please…no…” She shook her head from side to side. “Please…”

But his eyes were wide, crazy.

Good.

She slammed her legs together. He screamed. Jerking between her legs, he tried to get away. But the sharp shells she’d strapped to her thighs were buried deep in the sides of his legs. She felt his blood pouring out of his flesh, sticky on her skin.

BOOK: The Whore
3.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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