She was his deffiant captive.
With her flame gold-hair and azure eyes, Skye Kinsdale was a prize beyond compare. Betrothed to a lord she'd never met, she set sail for America sworn to reject him on sight until the infamous pirate Silver Hawk seized her ship and banished all other men from her life. Burning with rage and passion, she was determined to destroy the arrogant buccaneer, to be free at any cost...
He Was Her Keeper...And Her Slave
The black prince of the seas, he was feared by pirate and privateer alike. Silver Hawk vowed he would have the vixen, make her crave his savage embrace. She was his--by law of the sea. The man who commanded a Caribbean kingdom swore he would teach his wild temptress to love, to surrender to the lawless thrill of...A Pirates Pleasure.
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June 04, 1989
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Excerpt from A Pirate's Pleasure by Heather Graham
July 9, 1718
"The Jolly Roger! 'Tis the Jolly Roger, the death's-head, the skull and crossbones, bearing down upon us!"
Skye Kinsdale reached the helm in time to hear the lookout's panicked words. She came, teetering and floundering, just as a streak of lightning lit up the heavens, sizzling through the sky and the sea. It illuminated the ship that had been following the Silver Messenger like a ghostly echo through the night. Already the crew fought to trim the sails against the storms that plagued the Atlantic; now, new terror was offered as the phantom ship displayed her true colors, those of the bleached white bones against the black of eternal night, rouge's colors, a pirate's colors.
"Captain! She waves the Jolly Roger!" the lookout repeated.
"The skull and crossbones!" Skye said in dismay, now standing by Captain Holmby's side. The beleaguered lookout, high atop the crow's nest, stared down upon her. He was Davy O'Day of County Cork, recently hired onto the Silver Messenger, her father's ship.
Davey looked down upon Skye, and his fear for himself lessened as his heart took flight with the sight of her fiery gold hair, her fine, delicate, and intelligent features, and her eyes of fierce and compelling aquamarine. Her cape whipped around her feminine form, and the wind that tore upon it seemed to make tendrils of her beautiful hair dance upon the very air. In danger, in fear, in laughter, she seemed to shimmer and sizzle with vibrance and life, perhaps a very part of the storm and tempest.
He had adored her since she had first stepped foot aboard the ship, smiling and laughing, always a lady, and always with her keen interest about everything and everyone around her. He was in love with her, as much in love as a scrap of an Irish boy could be, and he vowed in those moments that he would die gladly to save her. Pirates! Mother of God!
Captain Holmby was impatiently staring up at him. Davey found his tongue again, wondering if the captain had comprehended his words.
"Sir! The Jolly Roger! The flag she waves is the Jolly Roger. 'Tis a pirate vessel! We're under attack!"
"I know that, boy! Mr. Gleason!" The captain called out to his first mate. "My glass, sir!"
Skye watched with a curious mixture of dread and excitement as the captain's first officer came forward and handed the spyglass to the captain. The weather was more than rough that morn, with the ship pitching and swaying upon the whitecaps that rode the Atlantic. The scent of a storm was strong upon the air, for the heavens were darkened by a curious gray and the day was cool, growing cold, and the wind was fierce and salt-laden.
It was a day to fear storms and the wrath of God, but no man sailed the seas these days without some fear of the bloody pirates laying waste to unwary vessels upon the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Indeed, there were great bounties being offered for the likes of Blackbeard and Anne Bonny, One-Eyed Jack and the Silver Hawk.
It was not the proper weather for a pirate attack. The rogues, Captain Holmby had assured her just last night, did not like to attack when they might receive more harassment from King Neptune than from any guns at sea. Nay, Captain Holmby had said, they would have safe sailing, even though the winds might blow and tempest rage, and their journey across the Atlantic would soon be at an end. She would be delivered to her father in Williamsburg, and soon enough, her lucky beau would be blessed with his glorious bride. The last had been accompanied by a wink, and since the captain had proven to be such a sweet and delightful old man, Skye had smiled sweetly in return.
Whether or not she would be a bride was another matter altogether. Her father had decreed that she would marry a man she had never set eyes upon, and though she knew the arrangement was customary and proper, she was not about to accept it. Perhaps the Camerons had built the finest plantation in all of Tidewater, Virginia, and perhaps Lord Cameron was a great gentleman, but Skye was determined that she would not be an object to be bartered and sold and possessed, no matter what. No, she'd never had any intention of arriving in Virginia to be a bride. She'd had every intention of escaping marriage someway.
This, however, had not been the way!
There would be a way, of course, a legitimate way. She was all that her father had, just as her father was all that she had. Since her mother had been killed when she was a child, she had clung to him, and he to her. She had always known his very mind and had been able to wheedle from him anything she wanted.
Until six months ago when he had come to her school in London to tell her that she was coming home. She had been so thrilled. Then he had told her that she was coming home to marry and she had been stunned. She had been careful at first, soft-spoken and respectful. Then she had wheedled, and then she had grown furious. He was being so stubborn. Some silly betrothal had been agreed upon before she could even walk, and since she was supposed to marry Lord Petroc Cameron, her father had no intention of seeing reason. She had talked and cried and stamped her feet, and none of it had done her a bit of good. Lord Theodore Kinsdale had hugged her fiercely and told her he'd be awaiting her at their home in Williamsburg when her term at Mrs. Poindexter's School for Refined Ladies was done, and that was that. She was eager to leave Mrs. Poindexter's, so she determined that she would continue her fight in the New World. She would get out of it!
Yes, because a pirate ship was coming straight at them.
Suddenly, from out of the bleak gray sky and sea came a startling flash of color, of fire, of gold and sizzling red against the day.
The pirate vessel was firing upon them.