First installment. Hope you enjoy. Send comments and pass on to friends if you like ny writing.
The faint whistle of a shooting star captured his attention.
His sinewy muscular arms stretched out wide with hands clasped behind his head, as he stared lazily out of the great multi-paned bay window of his cabin.
Captain Daniel Hargendon lay in his bunk captivated by the sapphire and diamond canvas that was the twilight sky.
The gentle rocking and eerie creeking sounds made by the swelling of twenty-five year old elm and oak stringers lulled his masculine nature.
He let forth a sigh, heavy with relief, as there was something about the soft lapping sounds of the incoming tide against the hull of the Arabella and the icy scent of January seamist within his nostirls that refreshed his heart and quelled the angst within his restless soul.
He had just finished his last meal on dry land at the White Horse Tavern. He was anxious to set sail for home, but knew he'd never get away with not letting his men have one last night in the brothels and taverns. It would be three months before they would set foot upon dry land or see another female. He had to give them their due.
He thought himself a stern Captain, but a fair one. Not very often does he show his malleable nature, especially around the men of his ship. “They must be reigned in tight or they should run amok the mission”, he thought, which is to bring back to the Americas their trade with the Irish and English.
Daniel knows that he too will not set foot on dry land or hold another woman’s soft flesh against his in the night for three long months. But he also realizes that he needs to be in complete control of his men when they returned to the ship hung over from the night’s revelry.
Daniel reminded himself that it was never his practice to engage in temptresses or whiskey the night before setting sail.
“Ah, but it is my fate if I am to be captain of this great vessel.” He chuckled at his thoughts as he wished that he were with his men that very moment knocking back warm brandy and nuzzling some buxom barmaid willing to throw down with him when the last candle would be doused. To feel the thighs of womanly warmth and softness wrapped about his was more than he could bear to think about.
Daniel restlessly squirmed in his bunk, a moment or two, and then surrendered to the fact that sleep would not come without the aide of his favored elixir.
He threw his muscular lower limbs over the side of his bunk and winced as the shock of the fridgid oak planks below his bare feet reminded him that the woodstove in his cabin needed to be restoked. He gave a quick stretch of his powerful upper musculature, tousseled his thick dark mane and finally strode over to his desk and opened the drawer where he kept a small flask of brandy for sleepless nights like this one.
He took a long drag off of the flask, ran a shirtsleeve across his mouth and winced at the burn in his throat.
He returned to his bunk keeping the flask handy should he need another swig of the fervent elixir to keep his mind off of the yearning below his waist. Finally, he began to drift off to sleep with the brisk night air blowing in off of the sea through the open panes. Within moments he was in the throws of a blissful dream.
Daniel sees himself walking along a seaside dock in the early dawn hours, the sun not entirely up. He senses a presence close by. A dark hooded figure is approaching and he is captivated by the billowy furls of black velvet surround this dark angel of his dreams. The gold and fucsia tapestry of the ocean horizon surrounds her like a blazing halo, further convincing him that she is not of this world. The sight of her dream-like approach intensifies his feelings of excitement and anticipation of what is to come.
As he gains closness to the shrouded figure he recalls deep feelings of profound happiness and contentment within his heart that he has never experienced, until this moment.
His senses filled with the warm heady fragrance of New England Mayflowers. He breathes in deeply, natures intoxicating perfume and allows the scent to envelop him and it envokes memories of a lustful nature that he is certain that he has shared with this angel of the night.
The shouded figure surreally passes by to his left, almost touching but not quite. He feels the heat of passion between them and then waves of warmth and feelings of excitement rocked his body with an intensity he had not felt, ever, in his life.
He sees the gentle puffs of her breath as her beautiful sensual mouth begins to take form of barely audible whispered words.
“Ta mo chroi ishtig Ge deo”.
It had been ages since Daniel had heard or spoken the language of his native Ireland. As this was yet another of the many elements systematically stripped away from the people of Ireland during King Henry VIII reign. Since then Ireland’s sons and daughters had been forbidden to use their own language.
Daniel’s father had always made certain that he and his brother could speak Gaelic and that they also knew of their rich heritage.
He recalled the words to mean “My heart is in you forever”
Her breath in his ear sent shivers of a lustful nature directly to his loins.
Her tiny graceful hand reached out from beneath the oversized velvetinous sleeve of her cape. Just as they touched Daniel recalls hearing a loud explosion and sees a slow but violent plume of gold, pink, and teal surround his dark angel. Daniel immediately recognized the acrid scent of gunpowder.
The blinding eruption caused him to guard his eyes with his forearm as he fell to his knees. A hard lump formed within his throat and then the hot rush of tears fell freely from his burning eyes as he looked to find that his goddess divine had vanished.
As Daniel awoke he could feel that same sense of premonition and when he placed his fingers to his eyes they were wet with tears. His throat was sore from shouting out in his sleep. He awoke to find his quartermaster, Kilern, standing over him.
"Are ya alright sir? I heard ya shoutin’ from the deck and thought ya might be ill or gone asunder by some drunkards that may have snuck aboard ship ta steal from ya.”
Daniel’s quarter master raised his voice a second time.
“Captain, I say, is everything alright sir?" Daniel shook his head to acclimate himself to his surroundings.
Then after clearing his throat of the dryness, therein, he finally answered.
"Yes, yes, of course I'm fine man. I just had a bad dream is all. I’m guessin’ the brandy that I've been keepin’ in my desk has finally gone rancid. I’ll purchase a new flask in the mornin' before we set sail. Good night Kilern. Be off with ya now and not a word o’ this ta the other men. I wouldna want them ta think me ill and unable ta charter this ship. Understand?"
Daniel’s words were curt and short.
"As ya wish Captain, I’ll not speak a word." Then with a quick click of his heals and a short salute to Daniel, Kilern left the cabin. When out of site of his Captain, Kilern asserted a half grin on his face and just shook his head. He knew that Daniel would be humiliated at the thought of the other men finding out that he had been crying upon waking. Though not knowing why, Kilern derived a sadistic pleasure in those thoughts.
James Kilern had been Daniel’s first quartermaster for many years and had served with Daniel's father, John Hargendon, when he was alive. Daniel had no idea why, but he never really trusted Kilern. But his father had, so he kept him on board after his father had passed on.
Daniel was wide awake by this time. He paced back and forth in his cabin wondering who this mysterious woman of his dreams might be. He knew that it was not the woman that he was betrothed to for the last eight years. She was a beauty to behold, for sure, but her form was not as slight and delicate as this woman of whom he'd dreamt.
He walked back to his desk and in the top drawer he pulled out a small hand painted portrait of his soon to be wife. Mallory Gilmore.
Mallory's father, Leif Gilmore and Daniels father, John, had struck a bargain when Mallory was just a child of ten and three summers. Daniel was then twenty and in no manner ready to settle down to hearth and home. But John struck the deal with Leif, none the less, to merge the families together and make huge their wealth in the trading industry between Europe and America.
Since Daniel was the eldest of his two sons and had not sought to engage himself to any one maiden, he was the perfect choice. Daniel had never taken the betrothal seriously until the previous spring when Mallory's father announced the couples engagement and wedding date for the following May. Mallory's father became anxious for the pairing ever since John's passing a year ago and feared that Daniel would break the bargain that he and John had struck.
Daniel knew that Mallory had not been faithful to him while he was at sea for months at a time. Neither was he, for that matter when in port. None the less he had discovered the depths of Mallory's sexual knowledge two years earlier when he returned home. He smiled down at the picture of Mallory remembering how desirable she could be, and what thoroughly lusty times he had experienced with her. At nine and ten summers, Mallory was quite learnered in the ways of seduction. But being the gentleman that Daniel is he never made mention of her forwardness in bed. He just smiled and enjoyed himself.
But now it was time to pay the price of his father's bargaining. Daniel had not been overly bothered by his fate. After all most marriages are for convenience and gain and she is a beautiful woman that will do his bidding and warm his bed at his beck and call. He is also quite confident that while far away on another continent he will no doubt keep many paramours, as he does now, and is certain that she will do the same. He will be able to increase his business holdings, increase his family's wealth and status in the community, and Mallory will be kept in the luxury standing that she has always been accustomed to her entire life.
“Sounded like a good transaction at the time”, he reasoned to himself, but now that it is about to happen, He is feeling as though the proverbial noose is being tightened about his neck. As his thoughts of his upcoming nuptials to Mallory wallowed in his mind, he instinctively reached up to rub his neck as though that noose were already in place.
He finally made his way back to his rack and stripped down to his skin.
Then he covered himself with the wool blanket at the bottom of the bunk. Thoughts of tomorrow's itinerary now filled his head and he drifted back off to sleep.