A pirate knew when to be subtle and when to be fierce, knew when to seize what he wanted and when to work his way into position so delicately that the enemy didn't know what was happening until it was too late.
Abby was hardly the enemy, but he would sneak up on her defenses as if she was. Her heart was well guarded against him, like a treasure ship, but he'd taken those before. Now that her body was open, vulnerable, the rest would beànot easy, but easier.
Block Island , Rhode Island 1712: Matthew, poor and illegitimate, left home to become a sailor but instead turned to piracy. Now rich, rakish, and with an undeniably sexy swagger, he's returned to his New England home in winter to court his childhood sweetheart. But will Abby, now a respectable young widow, recoil from his criminal ways, or will a fierce winter storm and her own fierce needs drive them together?
"You know what happens to a pirate's captive wench, right?"
"She gets taken brutally?" she said, her voice bright and hopeful, though unsteady with need.
"She gets tied up and taken brutally," he corrected.
Block Island Rhode Island 2008: Holed up in a rented cottage to immerse herself in the fictional romantic exploits of her characters Matthew and Abby, Elizabeth is ill-prepared for a blizzard that knocks out power and isolates the island from the mainland. Her gorgeous neighbor Lucius comes to the rescue, even though their earlier sexy close encounter on the winter beach was spoiled by a ridiculous argument about fictional versus real pirates. Trapped in Lucius' house by the storm, though, they discover shared passion for a few subjects other than local history...
Elements: Historical settings and mild bondage
Elizabeth McGill scrolled back up to “why in hell had he come here in winter?” and typed “[Good question]” next to it, flagging it for further consideration.
The rest had been good enough to sell the book on the strength of a few chapters, but she kept coming back to that question: Why would her pirate-hero Matthew return to Block Island in winter?
Leaving aside the minor problem that her heroine was swathed in fifty-seven layers of wool, making quickies logistically challenging, her research suggested that pirates were no dummies. Like rich retirees, they wintered in the Caribbean and only visited New England, whether for “business” or social reasons, when the weather was better. But the characters kept telling her the story took place in winter, and the dramatic, changeable winter weather provided a great backdrop for the love story. At least it had seemed that way in Atlanta, and she’d been sure the reason for the wintry setting would make itself clear once she was actually on the island. Now that she was here, though, it was harder to come up with a justification. No sane pirate would visit a tiny, windswept island off the Rhode Island coast in winter when he could be somewhere warm.
Which didn’t say much for her sanity, seeing that it was February and she was on Block Island herself instead of in the relative warmth of Atlanta, but no one ever said writers were sane.
And besides, it was different in the twenty-first century, wasn’t it? Running water, central heating, regular ferry runs, even if they were less frequent in winter, and all the comforts of home in the grocery store. The island, twelve miles offshore and half nature preserve, felt isolated from the mainland, especially in bad weather, but civilization was a quick email away. Or phone call, assuming the sometimes spotty cell service was working.
But still, it was cold and isolated and eerily quiet except for the sounds of surf and wind.
Elizabeth shivered, rubbing her hands together over the meager heat thrown off by her laptop. The rental agent had assured her that the beachfront cottage was winterized. Maybe it was, by hardy New England standards, but damn it, she had wimpy Atlanta standards of cold; it had been years since she spent any time up north in winter.
Then again, she supposed most of the people who rented the place weren’t sitting still all day, moving little but their fingers. Tourists, including the rare winter visitors, came to this little island to tromp through the salt marshes bird-watching, or ride their bikes on the gentle hills, or do something else active.
Not her. She’d been writing like crazy since she’d arrived on the island four days earlier, inspired by the isolation and the wild weather. More than she’d written in the past month in Atlanta. The book had been accepted on proposal, but she’d had an awful time getting beyond those precious “three chapters and a synopsis.” It had been a good instinct to rent a place on Block Island, where her characters “lived” more than two centuries ago, and to do so in winter when the tourists deserted the place, leaving only the year-round population of fewer than a thousand. Here, it was easy to imagine Abby, a fisherman’s young widow, and Matthew, her childhood sweetheart who turned pirate after being scorned by the community for being illegitimate, easy to depict their separate lives colliding in the beautiful, but claustrophobic atmosphere of the island.
But damn, it was cold today.
And claustrophobic was definitely the word. Or maybe stir-crazy. Sure, her point in coming here was to hunker down and write, but she sometimes needed to see another human face, hear another voice. The cottage didn’t have a television, which had been a selling point at the time she rented it, but she’d take fifteen minutes of a randomly chosen sit-com or movie at the moment for the illusion of human contact.
Allowing her brain a break, she stared out the front picture window. Drafty and impractical at this time of year, but you couldn’t beat the view of the surf and the deserted beach, at least when it was light enough to see much. Right now, she could barely make out the dark mass of the waves, although a full moon should be rising any time to illuminate the scene.
Reflected movement in the big window caused her to turn to the smaller one on her left.
There went her next-door neighbor Lucius, the other part of her cottage’s good view, tromping toward the village.
Considerate of him to leave his porch light on so she could see him!
She couldn’t help staring after him with a little voyeuristic thrill that moved from her eyes down to her suddenly perky nipples and from there to her clit, which tingled as if to remind her it needed occasional attention.
Lucius was bundled up against the cold in a bulky navy peacoat and an extraordinarily ugly brown hat with earflaps that made his head look mutated, but he still managed to look good.
Okay, he looked lumpy and bulky, but she knew how good he looked when he wasn’t quite so encumbered, and she had a vivid imagination. His shaggy dark-blonde hair that he wore pulled into an untidy ponytail, his high cheekbones, his smoky gray eyes, his lean, but powerful build, the weathered complexion of someone intimate with the ocean, had made her revise her descriptions of her hero. Thanks to Lucius, her dashing pirate Matthew was both more disreputable-looking and sexier than her original vision, although she’d have to go back and make sure the character’s eyes were uniformly gray, not brown as they’d started out.
And that inspiration sprung from exchanging a few words with Lucius the day she took possession of the cottage—a blessedly warmer day than this one, when he’d been out and about in nicely snug, faded jeans and a heavy charcoal sweater, cable knit like an Irish fisherman’s and definitely well-loved. She knew little about him other than he was knee-weakeningly good-looking. That, and that he was a handyman at one of the island’s surviving grand Victorian hotels. He’d mentioned it and then offered his services if anything broke down in her house, either to fix it or find someone who could.
Oh yeah, she’d take his services any time…
He was hot and worked with his hands. She’d moved from those bits of information into a fantasy that involved her calling him because she thought her bed seemed rickety and squeaky. He’d decide the best way to test its strength was to tie her to it spread-eagled, then torment and tease her wide-open self with those clever hands and an equally clever tongue. Caressing and teasing her nipples roughly enough to almost hurt, making them swell and harden and ache. Licking and caressing her swollen clit until she was soaked and trembling, on the verge of orgasm, then drawing back—over and over again so she grew got wilder and wilder with desire. He’d wait until she was a sweat-drenched, writhing mass of lust before fucking her senseless. And of course, it was a perfect cock, long and thick and with a jaunty curve to it that hit her G-spot with every stroke. (Hey, it was her damn fantasy. Why shouldn’t he be endowed like her heroes?)
Sometimes, in the fantasy, they broke the bed, which in fact had been fine until they started going at it like particularly rut-crazed weasels. And then he spanked her because it was “all her fault” and got them both so excited they fucked again on the broken bed, or up against the kitchen counter, or…well, just about anywhere, really.
Despite the chill in the room, her body felt fevered, aching with need.
Dressing for warmth rather than style had certain advantages. It was easy to slip her hand inside her yoga pants, easy to find her slick, aching clit and circle it with her fingers, imagining Lucius’s hand there instead.
Good God, she was drenched, close already, simply from thinking about him, so turned on that her cold fingers added to the sensation instead of making her flinch.
Cranking up the sexual tension between her poor, frustrated characters had gotten her juices flowing—damn, she loved her work sometimes—and her quick replay of the hot-and-kinky handyman fantasy had brought her so close that a few touches…
She bucked up, imagining she was crashing into Lucius’s hard body, screwed her eyes tight to shut out everything but the fantasy. She saw red as she came.
Heart and cunt both fluttering, Elizabeth came back to reality with a crash.
What was she doing sitting alone and playing with herself instead of checking the guy out for real? He lived next door. Why not go over and ask to borrow a cup of sugar or a screwdriver or something equally lame, anything to start a conversation?
Because talking to him might spoil the dream—might reveal, for instance, that he was dumb as a box of seashells or shallow as a tide pool. Gorgeous was enough to spark long-distance lusting, but he might not have any other qualities that would make her want to turn the fantasy into something real.
Then again, who said everything had to be “real”?