by Anita Louise

copyright 8/98


This takes place after Awakening.

Sea has survived Calico Jack and Asterea's cruel imprisonment but the woman
is haunted by what happened.

Sea and Gina have set course for Alexandria, they want to obtain information
on the statue she purchased for Gina. Strange things have been happening and
these acts have drawn the two women into a journey of intrigue and danger.

Mary Ready enters their world and Sea must now deal with an emotion she has
been trying to forget.

Love/Sex/ Disclaimer This story depicts a love/sexual relationship between
two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type
of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not
read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read
something other than this story.

Sea and the other characters that are penned are the sole property of the

Chapter One

The Bounty had dropped anchor near the village of Argo. Ann had gone in with
some of the crew. They were looking to stock up on supplies. Gina wanted to
go but the woman insisted she stay aboard with Saxton. She stood and watched
until the boat was out of sight and it was then Saxton approached the woman.
"She won't be gone long."

Gina looked up to see the man nearing. Confused she said, "Don't understand
why she wouldn't let me go. I am part of the crew."

He managed to smile as he said, "Ann has not been the same. I thank the Gods
she was given back to us, still, the woman did serious damage."

A concerned look skittered across Gina's face as she said, "I know, I see it
everyday. I don't know what to do."

He stared toward the shore and said, "Be patient. I think that Ann fears you
might end up in the woman's hands. It would kill her you know."

Gina's light brown eyes glimmered at the man as she said, "She can't keep me
on the ship forever. Even when we go to Spoon Island, she watches me or has
someone else do it."

He leaned against the bulwark, his eyes staring up at the sky. "I have known
Anne a long time. She has done what she wanted and be damned with anyone who
had other ideas. I've seen her swing from one ship to the other when
boarding. Never a trace of fear on the woman's face. She has always been
untouchable" His voice dropped as he continued, "Until Tunis. She went
through Hades there. There has been no word on Asterea or Calico. We both
know they will re-surface at sometime." His eyes were gazing into hers as he
added, "That's how they got to her before, took Kiera. The woman will go
after you and Ann knows it. So try to be patient."

Gina heaved a sigh as she said, "I will. I just wish I could erase
everything that happened at Tunis."

He stood and said, "It would be good for her but it would leave her
vulnerable to the woman. Ann will be on her guard from now on. I don't think
she will ever relax until she kills the woman."

Gina tossed her head as her golden hair cascaded back in the wind. "You are
a true friend. I really never understood the bond between the two of you,
though I tried."

He started to walk away as he said, "About that time, I am sorry you know."

She nodded and watched the man amble away.


The man had been sticking to the shadows, his eyes never leaving the woman.

Her red hair was moving effortlessly about the woman's shoulders as she
leaned over to check out a merchant's wares. The white cotton pants she wore
fit the woman loosely and the pale blue calcutta shirt hung from the woman's
waist. The cutlass that dangled from the leather scabbard on her right hip
shone when it caught the suns rays. The belt and scabbard were the color of
darkness and matched the black boots that adorned her feet. His eyes had
searched every inch of the woman as he leaned back against the stone wall.
Though she wore loose fitting clothes, her body was unmistakable as the wind
whipped against her, blowing the clothing against Ann Bounty's magnificent

He had heard stories about the woman and her beauty and as he now gazed at
her, he knew they were all true. As the woman haggled with the merchant at
the stand, her green eyes sparkled and the smile that glided across her face
was enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. She was a rare beauty and it
looked like she was non the worse for her capture at Tunis.

Ann's crew had gone to the tavern to rest and have a drink or two. She
decided to check out a few carts and stands. This day she was looking for
something special. Some of the crew had taken supplies down to the longboats
while others went to drink. She was looking for a gift. As her eyes surveyed
the many items, she seemed dissatisfied.

The elderly woman who was running the stand, looked at her and asked, "Is
this for someone special? It seems nothing so far has caught your eyes."

Smiling at the woman, her right hand holding a small golden statue she
asked, "Where did you get this? It is delicate."

The woman nodded as she answered, "It is, came by way of Cairo. Do you think
she will like it?"

Ann set the statue down and raised her eyes to meet the woman's and asked,
"She? You seem awful sure of yourself."

"My name is Gretten and if it is not for you, then I would guess another
woman. Maybe a family member."

Emerald green's seemed to be enjoying the woman's guessing game as Ann
folded her arms across her chest and listened to the woman, each time
shaking her head.

Gretten finally said, "I have a cousin who is an Oracle and she has taught
me many things. One very good way is to watch a person and pick up on their

By this time, Ann was close to laughter as she said, "Essence huh? What if I
were a pirate and all I really wanted to do was take this?"

Gretten's brown eyes widened as a trace of fear played across them. Smiling,
the woman finally said, "If you are a pirate, you are the prettiest one I
have ever laid these tired old eyes on. I have seem many pirates come
through, and most have teeth missing, clothes unkempt, their hair a mess and
haven't bathed in months. Honey, you do not look like a pirate."

Ann smiled as she asked, "How much for this?"

Gretten's eyes took in the woman once more, her eyes resting on the sword
that hung at the woman's hip. "Only one woman that I know of that looks
anything like you and that is from all I have heard. Ann Bounty, I believe
that is the woman's name but I heard that Calico Jack sent her straight to
Hades," her tone was apprehensive.

Sea's disposition had changed, her face was now cold as she said, "He

Gretten took several steps back as she muttered, "Gods, help me. I have a
family, take the statue, don't kill me, please? My daughter will have no
one." She began to sob as Ann said, "Stop that, want to bring all the
attention in the square over here. I'm not going to harm you and all I
wanted to do was buy the statue." She reached into the waist of her pants
and withdrew a small leather pouch. Took several dinars out and handed them
to the woman as she asked, "That enough? I have more if it is more you

Nodding her head the woman said, "Enough." And as Ann turned to leave she
called out to her, "The woman, Gina, she will love it."

Stopping in her tracks, Ann stared at the statue in her hand as the woman's
words crept into her psyche. Then smiling she began walking toward the
docks. She had been gone for sometime and was anxiously looking forward to
getting back to the ship. With each step she took, she muttered to herself,
"Ship, yeah, tell that to someone who is deaf. It's her, you can't wait to
see." She had picked up her step, her head held high as she strode through
the crowds of milling people. Sea had placed the statue in a leather pack
she was now carrying over her left shoulder.

"Ann Bounty, I have need to speak to you," the words were ominous and
brought the woman to a halt. She carefully laid the leather pack on the
ground and said, "Fraid you have the wrong person. I am just a mere..."

The man's voice was stronger now as he stepped closer. "From all I have
heard, you are her."

Pursing her lips, Ann slowly turned, her right hand already on the hilt of
her sword. The man was almost as tall as her, he had light brown hair and it
had been combed to the right although tufts of hair were now finding their
way down upon the man's forehead. His eyes were dark blue and from the
manner he was dressed, Ann surmised he was a sailor of some sort. Emerald
Green eyes surveyed the man and his carefree stance as she asked, "And if I
were to say I am Ann Bounty, what would you do then?"

His eyes had already scanned her body once and were now making a final
search. "Don't be worrying, it is not fighting with you I want," his voice
was unsteady but his eyes never faltered.

Sea had taken a stance, her legs spread out, feet firmly planted on the
ground as she said, "I don't know you, and if it is Calico's bidden you are
up to, then say good-by to this world."

He stepped back and stammered, "You have me wrong. I have come to talk to
you, if you are indeed, Ann Bounty about Mary Ready."

Sea scoffed as she turned back around and said, "I am the wrong person to
talk to about the woman. Try Albania, she might be lurking there," she had
picked the leather pack up and was walking away.

"Damn it! I tried to do this nicely, you give me no choice!" his words were
strong and it was at this time, Sea felt the impact as the man threw his
body into hers, sending them both plummeting to the ground. Sea lay still,
the man straddling her back. It wasn't long before he got to his feet and
said, "Thought Ann Bounty was tough, you let me take you down with one

Sea slowly crawled to her feet, her hands grasping the leather pack as if it
was a precious jewel. She cursed as her fingers felt inside the bag.
Finally, looking up at the man, she said, "Lucky for you, you didn't break

He threw his head back and laughed, "You mean you let me take you down
because you were afraid something in that bag would break. Must be something
awfully important."

She had set the bag down and turned her attention to the man once more as
she said, "It' not, but, the person it goes to is. Now, I've had about
enough of your bantering. I knew you weren't trying to kill me, don't have
the look but something certainly has you in an uproar. I will tell you, if
it has anything to do with Mary Ready, you can be on your way. "

Before she got the last word out the man charged toward her, his right fist
doubled and aimed straight for her face. Easily ducking the man's blow, she
felt the air skim past. He turned on a dime and struck out at her with his
left, only to be met with her right arm as it deflected the blow. He reached
out and grabbed her right arm and at the same time sent his left fist toward
her cheek.

Sea struggled with the man's hold on her arm as she moved her head and all
he touched was a few strands of hair. She was so busy fending off the blows
from his fists, she didn't see the man's right knee, but she felt it as it
impacted into her stomach knocking the breath from her body.

He smiled when he saw her crumble to her knees and it was then, her right
hand gasped his left and flipped him over as if he was a feather. He lay
sprawled out on his back, attempting to get to his feet. Sea had pulled the
dagger from the inside of her right boot and was now holding it to the man's
throat as she whispered, "You'd better have a good explanation for this."

His eyes wide and a distressed look on the man's face, he said, "I'm Mary's
brother, she is is trouble. Please, I didn't know where else to go."

Sea sat back, her eyes taking his form into them once more. She was holding
the dagger as she flipped it around and around between her fingers. "You say
you are Mary's brother? How do I know you are telling me the truth?"

He was sitting, leaning back on his hands as he answered, "Test me."

Sea glanced around and could see the two of them were garnering curiosity
seekers as she said, "Kiss me."

He looked stunned as she moved close and whispered, "For our audience."

His eyes darted past her to the curious onlookers as he leaned forward, his
mouth seeking hers. They sat like that, their lips caressing one another's
and it was Sea that finally pulled away as she said, "Sweet Zeus, you
certainly have your sister's quest for love."

He sat back and said, "Guess you would know about that."

Standing, Sea reached down and helped him to his feet as she said, "After
that, I could at least know your name."

He stared at her hand on his as he said, "William, friends call me Will.
Want to tell me what that was all about?"

Sea noticed the people had gone back to their own business as she replied,
"Being the center of attention is not exactly what I was looking for. Best
way to diffuse the situation was a lover's quarrel. They seem to be

He brushed the dirt from his pants as he said, "Will you listen to me now?"

She nodded, Let's go down to the longboat. I need to send word back to the
ship that I will be detained a little longer,"

Will stood back and watched the woman talking to several men at the
longboat. She had pointed to him several times and he was becoming
uncomfortable. He heaved a sigh when she handed the leather pack to one of
the men and turned heading toward him. As Ann neared, she said, "Let's go
down the beach, find a quiet spot and you can tell me just what it is Mary
has gone and gotten herself into." Her eyes searched his as she continued,
"And why in Gods you think I should care."

He bit his lip and began walking beside the woman. Her stride was long and
he was glad of his height, even then Ann Bounty seemed to keep several paces
ahead. The further down the beach they went, the quieter it became. Pointing
to a downed tree, Ann said, "Looks like a good place to sit. And if you
don't like that, the sand is always comfortable providing there aren't any
crawly things lurking about."

His eyes widened as he said, "Oh, a little joke. No, tree is fine with me."

Once the two were seated, Sea turned her attention to the man and said,
"Mary never said she had a brother, course she never talked about her
family. Actually the woman never talked much." She noticed the way he had
been looking at her as she said, "I can tell from your face you have heard
something, probably all wrong but there is definitely something in the look
of condemnation you are giving me."

He frowned and said, "Sorry, it's not a look of that, I think I am just
amazed to be sitting this close to the famous pirate."

Standing and taking several paces she turned and stared down at the man.
"Your sister and I were close once. She stabbed me in the back when she cut
a deal with Calico Jack. We have been at odds every since."

He swallowed hard and said, "Sorry, she always was one to think of herself.
I have heard you took her in, helped her and that the two of you were--well,

Smiling as she tossed her head, Sea said, "Certainly have the knack at how
to influence a woman. Yes, I loved her and she used me. I have to tell you,
I carry nothing but hate for the woman."

He stood, his head hanging down and said, "Then I won't trouble you any
longer. I was looking for a friend, someone Mary helped before. It was my

"Wait! You say helped before, want to tell me what you are talking about?"

He stared at her and said, "Your friend Gabrielle, she was a captive of
Calico's and Mary helped her, I heard she also helped you at that time."

Cursing under her breath, Sea muttered, "All right, sit back down, you are
right, the woman did do this and almost too late. I do owe her to at least
hear you out."

He managed a smile and said, "As I look at you, I cannot understand what
happened to my sister's head. You strike me as a person who could and would
hold anything anyone would ever want and then some." He smiled, "I know my
place and I also know that someone like you would not prefer anyone like me.
You have said, 'I have my sisters quest for love.'"

Sea approached him, her eyes taking the man into them. She reached out and
placed her right palm on the side of his face and said, "Then you don't know
me as well as you think. I draw the line where it comes to family. Though
you and I are not related, Mary and I have a strong bond and you, being her
brother, certainly would rule out anything of that matter. Actually, what I
have spoke of is in the past and you are correct in your thoughts at this
moment. I have feelings for one person and one person only."

He stared at her hand on his cheek and said, "Pitty--to never know the love
of such a beautiful woman."

Sitting down beside him, Sea spoke, "Now that we have that out of the way,
tell me about Mary."

He seemed transfixed as the two stared at one another, finally Sea spoke,
"Haven't seen many women have you?"

His face reddened as he replied, "Seen plenty, just never seen any the likes
of you."

Smiling, Sea sat back and said, "I don't know exactly how to take that..."

Before she could finish her statement he cut in mumbling, "You are the most
beautiful woman I have ever seen." He seemed astonished to hear his own
words and looked away.

Sea seemed to be enjoying the uncomfortable reaction of the man as she said,
"Have your sister's knack with words, course with her it was just so she
could get her way." Her eyes pried into his as he faced her once more.

Lowering his glance he said, "You must think I am some sort of village kid?

"No, I can see you are a man." Her eyes were scanning his body as she
finished, "Another time I would be pleased to hear the words you are

It was Will's turn to react as he said, "It has been foolish of me to
mention your beauty. After..."

Standing once more, Sea walked away, the wind blowing across her body
sending chills. Moving her shoulders, she sighed and faced the man as she
said, "Tunis, it put me into a place--I'm having difficulty. Don't think it
is just you I make feel this way." Her eyes seemed far off.

Will was standing as he stepped toward her and said, "Accept my apologies."

Sea's arms were folded across her chest, her red hair flowing back as the
wind grasped it. "You are looking at what once was Ann Bounty, I am but a
shell of the woman now. But, if you think I can help Mary--I will do what I

He managed a smile and said, "Maybe this was too much to ask. I tried to
contact Gabrielle but could not get an answer. Seems you have your own
ghosts to reckon with. I'll be on my way."

Sea stepped in front of the man as she said, "Tell me? You have come this
far, risked my wrath the least you can do is tell me."

Pursing his lips, he looked away and said, "She is to be executed in two

He might as well have struck the woman because she felt like she had been
hit in the stomach and all the air had been knocked from her. Struggling to
catch her breath, Sea managed to say, "Exe...Die? Who, where and why?"

Her look and actions did not go unnoticed by the man as he said, "You don't
look to well."






Anita Louise

copyright 8/98

Chapter Two

Sea's eyes were surveying the hull of the ship as the longboat approached.
Her mind was mulling over what Will had told her and she knew she had to
make a decision. This time though, she would talk it over with Gina. Never
the one to make the same mistake twice, she had vowed never to hide anything
from the woman again. The man secured the boat and she stood. Looking up at
the rope ladder, her eyes caught sight of Gina. The woman was staring down
at her. Her smile reached out and touched spots Sea never even knew existed.
"Hi, happy you are back." The woman's words were light and full of warmth.

Waving toward her, Sea called up, "That all you have to do? Stand around and
wait for this old barnacle?"

Leaning over, the woman's breasts almost popped out from the low necked
blouse she wore as she teased, "You know what they say, half the fun is
taking the barnacle to new heights. I have a bath ready."

Smiling, Sea took the rope in quick steps. And as she neared the top, Gina
reached out and grasped her right hand. Once her feet were firmly planted on
the deck, Ann gazed at Gina and said, "I haven't been gone that long, but
when I see that smile, those eyes and dimples that warm my heart, I feel it
has been an eternity." Her green eyes twinkling as she added, "Missed you."

With a catch in her throat, Gina's right hand held Sea's tightly as she
said, "I--might be experiencing a sickness but I thought I would actually
die. Not to see you, those gentle eyes, that smile that melts me as if I
were snow on a hot day."

Smiling, Sea wrapped her left arm around the woman's waist and said, "Sure
you do not have any Celtic heritage? You certainly have a way with words.
Now, where is this bath?

Light laughter lingered even after the two had departed. Saxton had been
watching, his eyes held warm tones to them. He had been worried about Sea
but when he saw the woman with Gina, his worries disappeared. The two had a
connection and he didn't really care what it was, because it was good for
both of them. He was happy for each day the woman was given peace.

Once the two women had entered Sea's cabin, she walked toward the table.

Gina closed the door and followed. She stood and watched as Sea removed the
leather belt from her waist that held the scabbard. Stepping toward the
wall, she hung it over a wooded peg. When she turned back around, she could
see that Gina was sitting on the bed, her eyes never leaving Sea. Smiling at
the woman, Sea replied, "When I see that smile, I would have to be crazy to
ever leave you."

Leaning back on the bed, her elbows holding her up, Gina said, "You are not
crazy and I know why you did it, just let me have a voice in the matter next

Nodding, Sea walked toward the table and picked up a bottle of port. It took
seconds to remove the cork as she poured some into a goblet and said, "Want

"No, I need to keep my wits about me. One of us needs to be able to

Sea set the bottle down and picked up the goblet, downing the contents in
one long drink. When she had emptied it, she said, "Been a long time. I'm
not up to navigation and don't want to see you running into any barriers."

"Standing, Gina said, "If you are talking about reefs, I know how to
navigate them."

Sea was pouring another goblet, turning to gaze at the woman she said, "You
must hate me. I promised you so much and all you have is..."

Gina reached out and grasped Sea's hand, she took the goblet and set it down
on the desk. Her eyes glimmering at the woman as she said, "I have you, more
than I ever thought I would."

Placing a hand on Gina's, Sea softly said, "It's not enough, I see it in
your eyes, the way your body moves. A lot of my--things have changed, Gods I
wish they hadn't, but they have."

Gina stepped close and wrapped her arms around the woman. Laying her right
cheek on Sea's chest, she said, "Being with you, knowing you care, it is
enough. I have never had anyone." She stepped back, her eyes looking into
Seas as she continued, "You have given me so much, it is enough."

Turning, Sea walked toward the bed. She stared down at it as she said, "You
are telling me, the way I have been, not being able to--you are fine with

Nodding, as she walked toward the woman she said, "Just knowing you and
being near is all my heart can take. If we are ever to get together in that
way, I can wait." She had moved her body close to Sea's back, wrapping her
arms around the woman, she held her tightly. "

Leaning back into the woman's hold, Sea whispered, "How did I ever get so

Her voice was melodic as she whispered, "It was fate, now you are stuck with

Turning in the woman's embrace, Sea said, "I love you, I pray each day to be
able to show you how much."

Stepping back, Gina said, "You do, there is not a day that goes by I don't
know how much you care. Better get out of those clothes, a nice warm soak,
will make you feel better. Before you say it, I will leave the room. But, I
will return and after your bath, I will treat you to a nice relaxing

Sea's eyebrows arched as Gina's lips sought hers, it was a light kiss as
their lips brushed one another's. Stepping back, she said, "I'll be in the
cabin, when you are through with the bath, whistle."

Sea watched the woman stroll from the cabin and when the door shut behind
her, Sea walked toward the wall and began to hammer it with her fists.

She had succeeded in making her fists hurt and decided to stop the ache by
finishing off the bottle of port. The bath had been nice. Gina had made
certain Sea's special fragrance had been applied to the water. The warmth
felt good as she leaned back, closed her eyes and sought peace. The woman
Asterea seemed to be everywhere and it was when she was feeling most
vulnerable to Gina's charms, she seemed to rise like the Phoenix from its
ashes. Sliding under the water she hoped to clear her mind. As she came back
up, she slammed her right fist into the water and cried, "Damn you!"

Gina had been laying down on the bed, her mind turning over thoughts of Sea.
She hated to see such a beautiful, caring woman have to endure the
nightmares and days without sleep, she knew Sea had been experiencing. She
had cursed herself many times for not killing Asterea when she had the
chance, knowing full well that hindsight did no good. If she was to never
know the gentleness of Sea's touch as she stroked her body with rhythms of
love, she could handle it. But, if she were to loose Sea from her life, this
she could not. Her thoughts were brought back to sudden reality when she
heard Sea yell the words, 'Damn you!' She was on her feet in an instant and
grabbing the cutlass that lay near her bed, she dashed toward the cabin.

Sea looked up when Gina came bursting through the door, her cutlass ready to
take down anyone in sight. Raising her hands as the water fell from them,
she said, "I give, don't need the blade."

Realizing what she must look like, Gina walked toward the wall and hung it
between two pegs. Turning she glanced at Sea and said, "I heard you shout,
thought somehow the woman had made her way in here."

Leaning back in the tub, Sea sighed, "No, just me cussing myself."

Gina had been rolling up her sleeves as she stepped toward the tub. Sea
gazed up at her and said, "From the determined look on your face and the way
you have rolled your sleeves, I feel I am in for it." A smile crossed her
lips as her green eyes shone up at the woman.

Gina pursed her lips, then she smiled and said, "Almost had me there. It's
time pirate."

Arching an eyebrow Sea asked, "Time? I have an appointment and with whom?"

Gina was on her knees as she said, "Lean forward, you never can wash your

"It's fine."

Her eyes were gazing at the tan skin that shone up at her as she muttered,
"It is that, fine. Now, lean forward, I promise to be gentle."

Sea felt Gina's hand stroking her back as she moved forward. Placing her
head over Sea's left shoulder, she whispered into the woman's ear, "Where is
the sponge, are you sitting on it again?"

Sea reached down and searched until she found it and as she reached back to
hand it to Gina, she flicked water at the woman.

Taking it, she said, "Real cute, for that you will pay pirate, now lean

Sea could feel Gina's left hand on her shoulder as the right moved the
sponge across her back. She felt herself falling into a pleasurable mode as
the woman's fingers, gently massaged her shoulder. "Tense, you are so tense,
relax, it is only me and we both know I'm a lover not a..." It was at this
time, Sea reached back grabbing Gina's hand, pulling her into the tub.
Landing with a splash, she stared up at Sea's laughing face. Her legs were
spread and her boots were clinging to the left and right side of the tub.
She was sitting in the water, clothes drenched as she said, "What is this
all about?"

Sea hit the water with her right hand sending it splashing onto the woman's
face as she said, "Not a fighter huh?"

She reached down and threw handfuls of water at the woman. Gina had tried to
dodge the water as she finally said, "Why am I doing this, I am already wet.
You asked for it."

She splashed the water toward Sea and the woman reciprocated sending it
back. Both women were completely into the heat of the moment, and were
enjoying this. Sea looked down at what remained in the tub and said, "Think
most of the water is on the floor. This is all your fault you know."

Trying to brush back strands of hair that kept falling onto her face, Gina
sputtered, "My fault, all I was trying to do was wash your back."

A twinkle in her eye, Sea smiled, Uh huh. Sure you were. Then how come I was
getting all these mixed signals?"

Grinning, Gina answered, "Because I wanted to...I wanted to wash your back."

Leaning forward, Sea reached out and drew the woman close, their eyes met
for an instant before her lips found Gina's. They were close in one
another's embrace, their arms wrapped around each other and as their lips
sought solace, there was a knock at the door.

They pulled back as Sea yelled, "Go away, we are busy in here. If you wish
to keep your hide, you will leave now!"

Gina had placed her right hand on Sea and was slowly moving it toward a full
breast that was taunting her. Dropping her eyes for an instant Sea watched
the woman's hand and it was at this time she reached out and began to remove
the leather ties from the woman's blouse. She had just removed the last tie
and tossed it to the floor when Gina's blouse fell open. Sea's face was full
of lust and passion as she lowered her head letting her lips caress each
breast. A low moan passed Gina's lips as she said, "I--I--"

The woman's soft lips stroked each breast, taking great pains with each
nipple. Gina's hands were caressing Sea's breasts and had ventured lower and
it was then the woman pulled back and said, "Have to see who was at the
door, it might be important."

Gina seemed shocked as she watched Sea stand. Sea noticed the hurt look in
the woman's eyes as she held out her right hand and said, "Come on, take my
hand. Let's get out of here before we both get so prunney we won't recognize
one another."

Gina took her hand and stepped from the tub then turned and watched as Sea
casually stepped to the floor. There was water all around and she looked at
Gina and said, "Guess someone will have to mop this up."

Handing Sea a towel, she answered, "Guess that someone would be me, huh?"

Smiling, she reached out and removed Gina's sopping blouse and said, "Turn
around, I'll dry off your back. No, I will go see who it is, then I will
come back and help clean up this mess."

Gina watched as Sea pulled on a pair of light blue cotton pants and a
matching blouse. It didn't take the woman long to get into the boots and as
she approached the door, she turned, a slight smile on her lips as she said,
"I'll be back."

Gina watched her until she was gone, then she walked over to the tub and
said, "If I only knew what I did wrong, Gods, to be so close!" She kicked at
the tub and dropped to her knees as she began to mop up some of the water.
Finding the empty bottle of port, she said to herself, "Something gave you
the courage, if it is from port, Sweet Hestia, what must you be like without
it? She smiled and went back to diligently moping up the water and putting
it into the basin. Closing her eyes, she could still feel the woman's lips
on her. She had no idea who was at the door but they sure knew how to spoil
a moment. Sighing she knew it probably would be one that would not come
again so soon.

The minute Sea stepped topside, she spied Saxton, the man was in deep
conversation with someone. He looked up when he saw the woman approaching.
Captain, sorry about earlier, but this man said he had to speak to you."

As the man turned, she gazed into the face of William. Nodding at them she
said, "You are forgiven." Her eyes met Saxton's as she added, "It was
definitely not the best time to intervene."

He turned his head and said, "I will leave the two of you to talk. Is there
something I can do below?"

She frowned at the man, then said, "Help Gina mop up the water." He seemed
apprehensive and his eyes were full of questions as she bellowed, "Water got
on the floor, don't go asking questions, just go help!" He nodded and walked
away. Sea had noticed the glint in the man's eyes and knew eventually she
would hear something from him.

Leaning against the bulwark, she said, "What brings you out here tonight?"

He answered, "Couldn't wait, I had to see you and find out what you are
planning on doing?"

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "Haven't had time to discuss this with
my friend yet. Blasted, I haven't had much time to do anything. I asked you
to give me till morning."

He seemed shy as he said, "I guess I wanted to see what your ship looks
like. It is called the best on the ocean you know."

She smiled and turned her head toward the stairway as she said, "It is a
good ship but still, there has to be another reason you are here."

Leaning with his back against the bulwark as he stood next to Sea he said,
"Had to see if you were real or not. Ever since I can remember I wanted to
meet you."

She scoffed, "A mistake it would have been. I have not always been so
mellow. Now, I'll have Saxton show you to a quarter and you can leave me to
what is left of the night."

He smiled and watched her as she began to stride away. "Your friend, does
she have a name?"

Stopping as she slowly turned, Sea replied, "She does, it's Gina. This one
is off limits so don't go getting any ideas."

He bowed and said, "I have been put in my place. I will await the morrow."

She shook her head as she walked away, her head was full of visions of Gina
and with each step she took, she felt her heart beat harder. Stopping after
making it below, she leaned against the hull, her head felt light and she
cursed. Surely, blackness would not overtake her now. She was still standing
there when Saxton left the cabin. He saw her and walked toward her, his eyes
checking her out. "Something the matter?"

She stood up and said, "Just got a little dizzy, fool heart is acting up."

His smile was wide and his eyes shone with merriment as he said, "Must be
something going around, just left Gina and she was experiencing the same
symptoms. What in Gods were the two of you up to..." Sea shot the man a
warning glance as he said, "None of my business, besides, just have to look
at the color in your face and the other one, it's pretty easy. I'll go now."

She watched the man walk away and started toward the cabin. As her right
hand grabbed the door to open it, Gina had opened it from the other side and
Sea fell into the woman's arms.

Regaining her balance, she mumbled, "Sorry, mind was on Saxton."

Gina stepped back and said, "He talked to you also. Man can be so

Brushing past the woman, Sea whispered, "Maybe, but he was right on target."

Following her, Gina said, "I know. About before Sea, if I did anything

Shaking her head as she turned to face her, Sea said, "You did nothing, your
touch was tender and full of love. You know I have been having a few
problems. I guess when Saxton knocked at the door, the mood was broken."

Touching Sea on her right arm, Gina said, "Well yours maybe, but mine
wasn't. Sea, this is the first time, you have even showed me you care in
that way. I was beginning to think my body was hideous or something."

A shocked look appeared on Sea's face as she said, "Hideous, Gods, you are
beautiful. I look at you and ask, how anyone with your beauty would even
want to be around me." Her eyebrows raised a little as she asked,
"'Something?' Just what do you mean by that?"

Walking toward the porthole, Gina replied, "I am not Gabrielle."

She took several steps and when she reached Gina, Sea reached out and placed
her hands on the woman's shoulders, slowly turning her around she said, "You
are not Gabrielle and for this I am thankful. I fell in love with you, not
her. I can see it in your face, you think I still carry feelings for her."
Gina nodded and Sea pulled her close as she said, "I do, but not the way you
are thinking. Gabrielle and I will always have a connection. She was, is, no
secret and no threat to our relationship."

Laying her head against the woman, Gina whispered, "I can hear your heart."
She grasped Sea's right hand and placed it over her heart as she said, "Feel
mine, it beats like yours."

The warmth of the woman's skin and the pulse beating against Sea's fingers
was music to the woman as she said, "Got you something."

Gina's eyes widened as Sea shook her head and added, "Not that but I
certainly hope soon. That is, if you can put up with my crazy mood swings."

Stepping back, Gina stared at Sea's hand on her and said, "I see no mood
swings, I see a woman having difficulties with what happened to her. I told
you once, you are stuck with me. Tell me, what kind of surprise?"

Sea walked toward her desk, dropping to her knees she reached under it and
brought out a leather pack. "I told Saxton to put it here. Didn't want you

The woman's light brown eyes were gleaming as she said, "Me, snoop? Never,
now what is it?"

Pointing to the bed, Sea replied, "Let's sit." Gina grasped Sea's left hand
and pulled the woman toward the bed. After the two had sat, she said, "All
right, I'm waiting."

Sea seemed apprehensive as she said, "Maybe this was not a good idea, maybe
you won't like it."

"Well if you take any longer, we will be old and gray."

Laughing, Sea said, "Oh no, I plan on many days and nights of sending your
body to heaven and making the return trip all the more enjoyable. There will
be no old and gray, not for a long long time." Her emerald green eyes were
touching her with whispers of what was to be and Gina found herself blushing
as she said, "When you talk to me like that, I feel my body move in the most
delightful ways. Sometimes I think I may just perish."

Sea placed a hand on Gina's cheek as she said, "I am happy to know I have
this effect on you. Now, to the gift." She reached in and withdrew the
statue she had purchased earlier. Holding it toward the woman, she said, "I
saw this, it was delicate and shone with a golden beauty, just like you."

Taking it, Gina stared at it. Her eyes full of joy as she said, "I love it,
thank you." She reached up and placed a kiss on Sea's lips. The touch was
light, as her mouth opened slightly against Sea's. It was catalytic as Sea's
lips parted and her lips savored Gina's. They moved effortlessly against one
another and a kiss that started out light had become a chain reaction to one
another. Sea started to pull back and it was then Gina's tongue found its
way into the woman's waiting mouth. The kiss was deep and Gina set the
statue on the bed as she pushed Sea back onto the bed. Her lips never
leaving the woman as they taunted and teased. Sometime later, both
exhausted, Gina lay on Sea as she said, "Did I say thank you?"

Reaching up to touch her still throbbing lips, Sea replied, "Oh yes. I
wonder what you would have done if I had brought you anything bigger?"

Raising her head and staring into the woman's eyes Gina said, "The kiss?
Small compared to what I would have given you."

They lay like that for sometime, finally Gina sat up and said, "It is
getting late, you probably need to get some sleep, that is if you can

Sea was sitting by now as she said, "I hope you understand why I can't let
you sleep with me, not yet."

Sighing, Gina answered, "I know you have nightmares, I have seen them. I
also know if you are having one, you might mistake me for her. Don't worry,
I do not relish waking to your hands around my throat or your dagger in my
side. I fully understand. Where do you think she is?"

Shaking her head, Sea answered, "I could only hope Hades but we could not be
so lucky. You really like the statue?"

Picking it up, Gina smiled, "No." Sea's eyes grew wide as Gina continued, "I
love it."

Sea pursed her lips as she said, "There is something I need to tell you."

Gina grew fearful as she said, "Oh no, all this has been for another reason,
now you are going to hit me with the fact you are leaving."

Smiling, Sea shook her head and replied, "No, I promised I would never do
anything again without consulting you and letting you know what is going on.
Well that is what I am doing."

Gina listened as the woman told her about Will and Mary Ready, when she had
finished, she asked, "Well, what do you think?"

Gina stood, her hands cradling the statue close to her body as she said, "I
have heard about you and Mary, it does not make me happy to know you will be
in close quarters with the woman but it makes me happy you are going to help

Sea cut in, "We are going to help her. If you don't want to or think it is a
bad idea, I will not go."

Her eyes searching Sea, she said, "You mean that, I think you should help
the woman. You say her brother is on board?"

Standing as she nodded her head, Sea said, "Yes, has a cabin."

Gina had noticed the look in the woman's eyes as she said, "Won't happen, he
is just a man, you are my life."

Smiling, Sea reached out and hugged the woman as Gina moved the statue,
allowing their bodies to meet. Her words were soft as she said, "Could I
sleep on the floor?"

Sea smiled and answered, "You can, but you would be more comfortable in your

Shaking her head, Gina said, "No, I am more comfortable being close to you."

"All right, then let's get a pallet down on the floor and get you ready for

Gina's eyes lit up as she said, "Get me ready?"

Smiling, Sea glanced at the floor and said, "Looks like you and Saxton did a
good job of mucking the water up."

Gina walked to the desk and set the statue down as she said, "About getting
me ready for bed." In an instant, she had removed the towel she was wearing
and to Sea's startled eyes the woman stepped forward and said, "It's you I
want to see out of these clothes."

Sea reached out and grasped her hands and said, "Anyone ever tell you, you
have an insatiable appetite where sex is concerned?"

Shaking her head as her fingers loosened the buttons on Sea's cotton
breeches she said, "No. I promised you a massage, and it's a massage your
going to get."

Sea's eyes glimmered as she watched the woman, loosen the pants and then
begin to remove the blouse. It wasn't long before she found herself
standing, her clothes on the floor and a very playful Gina surveying her
work. "All right, now you have me unclothed, I certainly hope you will be

Gina smiled, as she said, "Oh I will."

Sea had been taking in Gina's well formed body as she said, "On second
thought, why don't you come up here and lay down with me?"

Gina looked at the bed then she said, "After you lay down on the pallet and
let me relax you."

Sea bit at her lower lip and said, "Every time you touch me my body glows,
each touch, I feel it burning. Relax? Only if you are going to hit me over
the head with something."

Gina was running her hands up and down Sea's arms as she said, "Lay down, I
will be gentle and I really can give a good massage."

Sea smiled and dropped to her knees as she said, "Never let it be said, I
will not be amicable."

Gina had kneeled beside her as she said, "On your stomach, stretch those
long arms over your head and close those lovely green eyes. I will take you
to heights you have never been."

Turning her head, she gazed up at Gina and said, "I was afraid you were
going to say that."

Gina bent over, her breasts tantalizing the woman as she said, "Close your
eyes, it won't hurt."

Sea grinned, "I trust you."

As her hands began to caress and soothe Sea's aching muscles, Gina said,
"Had to go say that, didn't you?"






Anita Louise

copyright 8/98

Chapter Three

Sea had been so tensed up when she started to massage the woman. Gina had
smiled when she could feel the woman's muscles succumb to her gentle
pressures. She sat staring down at the woman's body as she drifted into
Morpheus' world. She hoped Sea had not been able to tell the way her fingers
had trembled from time to time. Gina felt as if she would bust when she knew
Sea had finally given in to the pleasures of rest and sleep.

She had covered her with a soft blanket and found a shift to wear. Now,
sitting on the edge of the bed, she hoped the woman would have a night free
of the evil spirits that seemed to derive such pleasure in taunting the
woman. Laying on her right side, gazing down at her friend, she sought
comfort in watching the woman's breathing.


Gina was roused by soft moans and cries, she opened her eyes and listened.
When she heard them again, she knew it was Sea, Sitting up, she tried to
focus her eyes. It was beginning to get light through the porthole so she
knew it must be approaching morning. Sea was in a fetal position, she was
shaking and the painful cries the woman was uttering, sent chills though
Gina. She knew better than to try and comfort her, not wanting to be on the
other end of the woman's nightmare. She did the next best thing, Gina began
to hum. It was a soft melodic lyric she had written just for Sea and the
woman loved it. She watched as Sea's tremors became less frequent and soon
the woman drifted back into a soft sleep. Gina hummed a while longer, then
she turned over and closed her eyes.


Moving slowly the woman stretched, her senses becoming aware of her
surroundings. Opening her eyes, she stared up at the bed. A smile crossed
her face when she saw Gina laying on her left side. Tossing off the cover,
she stared down at her body, the moistness was still present. Her fingers
had felt it when she removed the cover, knowing she had been in the throes
of the dreams once more, she cursed. Standing, she gazed at Gina, she was so
lovely and from the way the woman was sleeping she surmised she had kept her
awake. Stepping close, she lowered her head and placed a tender kiss on the
woman's neck. Fighting the feeling of wanting to crawl in next to her, she
searched for her clothes and finding them got dressed. She was holding her
scabbard in her left hand as she glanced back at the sleeping woman then
left the cabin.

As her feet landed topside, she took in a deep breath of ocean air and
reveled in it. Saxton was talking with several crew members and she headed
toward the man. She heard the sound just before the hand reached out and
grasped her left shoulder and at the same time, sent her right elbow into
the persons stomach. Spinning around, her left fist shot out impacting
flesh, at the same time she realized it was Will. The man's head popped
back, as blood spurted from his mouth and nose. His body crashed to the deck
like a rag doll. Sea was on her knees in an instant, she reached out saying,
"Gods! Never creep up on me like that!" Turning to look in Saxton's
direction she called, "Saxton! Can you come over here and help me?"

He raised his head and stared at the man laying on the deck and the woman
bent over him. Hurrying to her, he called, "What happened?"

Sea was trying to stop the bleeding and was holding the man's head back as
she put slight pressure on his nostril. As Saxton kneeled, she stared at him
and said, "He ran into me,"

He called several men over and had the man carried to his cabin. When they
were out of sight, he turned his attention to Sea. Her hands were covered in
the man's blood, his eyes darted from them to her face as he said, "Should
warn people, they approach you at their own risk."

She nodded and looked toward the steps. "He came up behind me and grabbed my
shoulder, even Gina knows better."

Nodding, the man said, "Yes, but Gina knows what happened to you there. This
young man knows some of it but not all, he is taken with you, it was evident
the first time I saw him gaze into your face."

"Great! That is something I don't need."

He placed a hand on her left shoulder and said, "Can't help it if people
seem to fall under your spell. Don't give me that look, I know what I am
talking about."

She smiled and said, "Maybe after I treat several to my ire, they will not."

He chuckled, "Maybe, but more likely, they will look at it as love. Probably
be standing in line to feel your wrath, especially if it meant being catered
to by those lovely hands."

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "You are something, don't change. I'll
be in the cabin--with Gina if you need me."

He nodded and watched her stride off.

Before she entered the room she removed the belt, that held the scabbard and
sword, from her waist. Carefully opening the door, she entered the room.
After hanging the belt, she poured some water into the basin and washed her
hands. Smiling as she dried them and removed her boots, then easily slipped
from the clothes. Gina had been stirring, she was laying on her back, the
woman's form could be seen as she sprawled out under the cover. Softly
walking toward the bed, Sea carefully lifted the cover and slid under as she
let it fall upon her waist. Placing her head near Gina's she let her
nostrils enjoy the lovely fragrance that abounded in the woman's golden

Gina moved, her pert nose crinkling as she struck out with her left hand.
Sea moved as the woman's hand fell upon her own shoulder. Slowly bringing
her head down, Sea let her lips glide over Gina's hand. She Looked up to see
if Gina was feeling anything. A slow smile was crossing the woman's face as
she uttered, "If this is a dream, don't want to wake."

Sea's lips were traveling up the woman's arm stopping from time to time as
her tongue drew figures of pleasure. Her mouth was comfortably settled in
the crook of Gina's neck. In between savoring her find, she murmured, "You
are a dream."

Gina smiled, her brown eyes gazed into Emerald Green's with a warmth that
made the woman happy to be alive. Her words were tender, "What are you doing
to my neck, pirate?"

Sea was tracing Gina's neck with a delicate finger as she answered, "Having

Raising the cover, Gina stared at their bodies and said, "This isn't a
dream, is it? You really are here?"

Sea had gone back to kissing the woman's neck and was now on her way to the
two breasts that were standing at attention, each seeming to vie for the
woman's affection.

Glancing up she smiled, "Can you feel it?" Her mouth caressed a breast and
the woman moaned in ecstasy. Trailing her tongue, she quickly found the
other breast and as she savored it she whispered, "And this, can you..."

Gina squirmed, Gods yes, what are you trying to do, kill me?"

Pulling herself up, Sea stared into the light brown eyes that gazed up at
her and said, "No, don't you think it is time?"

Sea's breasts were stroking Gina's and the warmth of her body was sending
sensations of pleasure throughout as she asked, "Time? Every time you,
we--something always happens to..."

"Shh, just lay back and let me take you to those heights." When Gina smiled,
her dimples were touching a part of Sea she pleasured in. Her lips, slowly
came down on Gina's, moving, rhythmically as her body, eased onto the
woman's. Gina felt she would pass over as Sea began to move her body,
sending Gina's into spasms. They were in the throes of lips on lips, tongues
entwined with one another's when someone knocked at the door. Gina pushed
the woman back and said, "Your public calls once more."

As desire and passion lay heavy on her flushed face, Sea shook her head and
said, "No, we have waited too long." Her eyes were gazing into Gina's face,
swallowing, she felt as if she would cry and said, "I love you so much, you
may never realize how much. Kiss me?"

Placing a hand behind Sea's neck, she pulled the woman toward her as she
raised her head, soft warm lips found the woman's and glided onto them. Sea
felt herself falling as she sighed, easing her mouth open to the woman's

"Sea! Better get out here!" It was Saxton and he didn't sound too happy.

She pulled back and said, "Damn, I'll be right back." Her moist lips sought
Gina's once more then she crawled out of bed. "Hold your horses! Be right
there!" She located her clothes, slipping into them and grabbed the boots as
she hurried from the room.

Gina lay back, her left arm behind her head, she could still feel her body
tremor as she placed her right hand near her mouth. Sea was wonderful,
everything she wondered, she didn't anymore. Even if they had not gone all
the way, it was enough for her to know, this was the best thing she had ever
experienced and this woman definitely took her breath away. She felt it
might take all day for her body to settle down. Sighing, she whispered, "The
Gods must have it in for us, seems each time we get close, something
happens." Pulling herself into a fetal position she closed her eyes, Gina
was content, if she never felt the woman like that again, it had been enough
to carry her a lifetime and then some. She heard her own words, "You love

Saxton was standing near the steps leading topside when the woman came
barreling from her quarters. He could tell by the look on her face, he had
interrupted something and Ann was not happy.

Nearing the man, Sea slowed her step. When their eyes connected, he lowered
his head. She could feel the rapid beating of her heart and her heavy
breathing did not make the situation any better. He looked up and said,
"Sorry, guess I did it again."

Placing her hands on her hips, she began to pace back and forth as she said,
"Are you trying to punish me? If so, maybe you can just deal it out now and
let me get back to..."

He looked serious as he said, "I thought you would like to know the man,
Will, left the ship. He said, to tell you he understood, and did not want to
see you take out your wrath on his sister."

Her eyes grew cold as she said, "Fool, has no idea. Get the crew ready, we
will follow him. I will make the attempt to save Mary. I want no one else
hurt, but if I succeed, you will be there to take them to the ship, Will and
his sister."

He nodded and said, "And Gina?"

She managed to smile, "She will go with me. Never again my friend will I
presume to think for someone else. At least not the one I love."

He nodded and turned to go topside. "From the dishelved look, your face,
eyes, this one has you by... She definitely has you." His chuckle stayed
behind after he was out of sight. She mulled the man's words over in her
mind and turned to retrace her steps back to the cabin. He was right, Gina
definitely had her in any way she wanted and Sea was loving every second.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gina
had straightened the bed and rolled the pallet, then set it near the desk.
She was wearing a pair of white cotton pants with a light blue calcutta
shirt. The difference in her shirt and the one Sea was wearing, her's was
very low and glided over the top of her breasts. The blouse Sea wore was a
full piece of clothing and it stopped just short of her neck. Gina wondered
why Sea didn't wear her trademark clothes anymore. The woman was captivating
in them, sighing she thought she was captivating in anything she wore, or
didn't. Thinking she might ask her and changing her mind she decided to take
a closer look at the statue.

In the morning light, what little of it there was in the cabin, the statue
seemed to shine. It was unusual, actually it was beautiful but for some
reason, she felt an ominous feeling as her hands reached out to grasp it.
The shock was small, but it caused her to release her hold. The gasp that
had escaped her throat was low and it took several minutes to realize what
had happened. She gazed at her hands, they looked fine. Walking toward her
cutlass, she picked it up and slowly approached the statue. She was just
getting ready to touch the statue with the blade when the door opened and
Sea walked into the quarter.

"What is going on? Don't tell me, you are going to take out your wrath on a
piece of..."

Turning to look at her, Gina said, "It shocked me."

Stepping toward her, Sea glanced at her and then the statue. Her eyes
traveled back to the sword in the woman's hand as she said, "It's a good
thing it can't talk. Come on, you really don't expect me to believe that do
you? I carried it here, you held it last night."

She pursed her lips and said, "That was then, I am telling you the truth,
touch it."

Chuckling, Sea walked over and picked it up. She turned and said, "Here."
Holding the statue toward Gina.

Gina shook her head and said, "Something strange is going on, look at the

Turning back around, Sea's eyes quickly spotted the burnt arc in the wood.
She turned the statue over and checked it for hidden compartments. Finding
none, she set it down and said, "Something certainly burnt the wood, haven't
been setting any fires have you?"

Light brown eyes sparkled at the woman as Gina smiled, "Not on wood. I'm
serious, there is something going on."

Sea reached out and grasped the woman as she pulled Gina to her, wrapping
her arms around the woman's waist. Her eyes beamed down at her as she said,
"You lit my fire the first day, I was just to bullheaded to realize it. I
think every time I look at you, I will feel a simmering fire waiting to

Grinning, Gina held Sea even tighter and said, "If you are speaking
Volcano's, I don't think I could handle the explosion of ones body."

Placing a tender kiss on Gina's head, Sea whispered, "You will feel
sensations of fire from within, visions of the rainbow and then you will
know just what kind of treasure is at the end."

Gina moaned and went limp, Sea had a good hold and was glad as she picked
her up, cradling the woman in her arms she gazed at her and said, "Gina,
wake up." She didn't stir and she carried her to the bed and gently laid her
down. Taking quick steps to the water and basin she brought it to the bed.
Soaking a cloth in the water, she dabbed it on Gina's face. Then brushed the
cool liquid across her chest. "Gina, come on wake up, I was only teasing, it
won't be like that."

When Gina did open her eyes, she gazed up at Sea. "What happened?"

Sea patted her right hand and replied, "I was telling you how--we were
talking about the statue. You might be right, guess I should have asked more
questions where it is concerned. I guess this means you have to stay."

Gina had sat up, her eyes wide as she said, "Stay, oh no! Where you go so
will I."

Laughing, Sea said, "Could and very well be danger."

"I don't care, I will go. Does this have something to do with Mary Ready's

Sea began to tell her what had happened and when she finished, Gina said,
"Let's go, the sooner we free the woman..."

Standing, Sea said, "Might not be that easy and even then, they will be
brought aboard."

Gina was beside Sea as she reached out and held her right hand she said,
"I'm ready." The two left the cabin together and once out the door, the
statue began to glow, followed by an eerie sound.


The women were watching as Saxton led two horses toward them. Approaching,
he looked at Ann. "Are you sure about this?" his voice was hesitant, as he
asked the question.

She gazed at Gina then back at the man and answered, "In life, are we really
sure of anything. I owe Mary this, she came through for me and Gabrielle."

He handed the reins of a dapple gray to her, then turned to Gina and said,
"This mare has some spirit, sure you can handle her?"

Nodding, her eyes taking in the animal, "Couldn't be any more difficult than
a certain person I know."

He smiled as he glanced at Sea and walked off. Sea was holding the reins in
her left hand and turned to look at Gina. Her eyes were bright and so was
the light smile that played across her lips. "You are not comparing this
person with an animal, now are you?"

Tossing the reins over the mare's head, Gina placed her foot in the stirrup
as she said, "No, but I do hear some animals give a person a hard ride. Not
unlike a certain person."

Before Gina was fully mounted, Sea had swung up and was sitting her horse as
she said, "If you are speaking of the last few months and the way I--this
person has been acting," her smile was warm, "guess I have led you in many
directions, but..." Winking her right eye she continued, "you seem to have
handled it with ease, probably the same way you will handle the horse.
Promise me, you will be careful? You haven't been in that many battles and I

Grinning, the woman turned the animal as she said, "Makes two of us."

Sea pulled her legs in as she placed her left boot near the grays' left
front leg, it spun around and within seconds she was riding beside her
friend. They reined in their horses when they neared the village square.
Gina's eyes caught the look on Sea's face as the woman stared down at the
people. "Her brother said she had been captured and tortured. Do you think
it to be true, the way the man left and all?"

Turning her attention to Gina, Sea nodded, "Yes, these barbarians seem to
know nothing else." her body seemed to tremor for an instant and she
continued, "Will made the mistake of walking up behind me and grabbing my
shoulder. He felt my defenses big time and the man thinks I did it on
purpose. Fool now thinks I want to to the same to his sister."

Gina was smiling as Sea snapped, "It's not funny, you know."

"I know, just seems to be such a mess. You are going in there to try and
save his sister and the man will probably try to stop you. A mess."

Nodding, Sea whispered, "Right, they are bringing her out now, meet me back
at the ship."

Gina nodded as she watched the woman urge her horse down toward a small
thicket of trees. Her eyes darting to the square and the statuesque woman
that was being half carried and dragged into the opening. They tied the
woman's wrists to a large post setting near the edifice. Her head was low as
the woman's dark hair fell forward obliterating her face. Her clothes were
torn, they showed remnants of dried and fresh blood on them as well as her
arms. Gina felt a spasm of nausea as her mind drifted back to the condition
she had seen Sea in that day. She didn't know this Mary Ready, but no one
deserved this kind of treatment. Sea had told her to watch but she never did
listen to the woman and was now urging her horse forward, making sure not to
run into Sea.

Sea knew that Saxton and the men were close as her eyes surveyed the area.
There seemed to be at least twenty five guards she could see and had no idea
how many were inside, if any at all. A grotesque brute of a man had
approached Mary, he was tall, and the man's arms seemed massive as he
reached out and tipped the woman's head back. She smiled when she saw the
woman spit at the man but the smile changed to hate when his fist ricocheted
across Mary's face. The blow knocked her unconscious as her legs buckled
under her. He turned and laughed as his men cheered him on, then walked
toward the building and entered.

"Bastard." Sea exclaimed as she felt the hair on the back of her neck begin
to prickle. Placing the reins between her teeth, she reached down and
removed the coiled leather whip that was tied beside the saddle horn with
her left hand and drew the cutlass with her right. Slowly moving from the
cover of the trees and stopping one last time to assess the situation, then
pulling her legs in tightly around the horse's belly, the two shot from the
opening toward the square.

Sea was upon the men before they knew what was happening. The whip in her
hand lashing out and taking them down and, at the same time, her cutlass
struck at them with force.

Gina watched and was amazed when she saw the beautiful woman sitting the
horse galloping into the square. The whip was taking men down as it grasped
swords from their hands rendering them defenseless and the woman's legs
struck out smashing into faces and stomachs sending the men to the ground in
heaps. Those fools, unfortunate enough to try to strike the woman down with
their swords, were met with a swift parry and clash of metal on metal as
Sea's blade easily found their flesh. When she was done, she somersaulted
from the saddle and walked toward Mary, her sword still in her right hand.
Nearing, she sliced through the ropes that held the woman, catching her limp
body as it fell. "Come on, got to get you out of here."

"Stop right there!" Sea gently laid Mary on the ground, her eyes catching a
quick look at her face. Turning, she looked into the face of Will. "Got your

He charged her and yelled, "You'll not hurt her, not if I can help it!"

Sea sidestepped his lunge as she said, "Fool, stop this insanity, I said I
have your sister!"

He turned as the weapon in his right hand moved swiftly, "And I said, you
will not hurt her!"

Sea raised her sword and stopped his in mid air, her green eyes glaring at
the man as she said, "Are you insane?"

He struck out at her with his free hand as she grabbed it, he was strong but
his strength was nothing to hers as she put pressure on the hand, he
grimaced and fell to the ground. She had easily taken his cutlass and was
standing over him. He was on his knees as he glared up at her and spouted,
"I tried, Gods know I tried. Kill me, not her."

She reached down and grabbed his right hand as she pulled him to his feet.
"I've been trying to tell you, I only want to free Mary, now, lets get her
up and out of here."

"Not so fast!" The words were deep and from the sound, Sea knew who it was,
her eyes shot to Will as she uttered, "Damn, get your sister out of here."
she tossed his cutlass to him then turned to face the goliath of a man she
had seen earlier. He was holding two cutlass', his large hands were moving
them in a side to side motion, the whirring noise they were making was

Her eyes darted around, and she could see the horse not far as she said, "Go
away, I don't have time for the likes of you."

He cocked his head as he stepped closer, the swords still moving in a
threatening manner. His laugh was sadistic as he bellowed, "Ann Bounty,
didn't recognize you at first, out of costume, Only person I know that could
wipe out my troops like this." he had stopped and was pointing to the bodies
that lay abundant on the ground.

She pursed her lips and said, "Maybe, maybe not."

"Oh it is you, after Asterea and Calico Jack, I am surprised to see you
here. I have heard stories from your death to the coward you've become." He
rushed her and she somersaulted over the man's head. He ran a short distance
and turned, his eyes narrow slits, like a cobra before it strikes.

Sea was moving her cutlass in a circular motion as she slowly brought it
down, moving the blade with caution. Her jaw was rigid as she said, "Dead,
huh? I think that is an exaggeration and coward, I think not."

His height and massive size made it hard for the man to move quickly but he
had charged her once more. She surprised him and didn't move, his eyes had
widened as his lips drew up into a crooked snarl, "Stand, I'll have you for
dinner and what I don't eat, I'll give to the crows!"

His confidence stopped as she dove between his legs, her left fist striking
the man in the groin area. As she landed on the ground, she heard the
bellows of pain as the man crumbled, falling to his knees. Sea was quickly
on her feet and had turned, she walked around him and stopped, staring down
at the apparent pain on his face. "Bet you would like someone to take the
pain away?"

His face was turning purple as she twirled the blade, a cold look on her
face as she sent the metal deep into the man's heart. His eyes were wide and
held a shocked look as she withdrew the blade and kicked out sending him
backward. Staring down at the large form on the ground she muttered, "The
bigger they are, the harder they fall." Glancing around, she could see Will
had taken Mary and she ran toward the horse. It seemed restless as she
grabbed the bridle and placing her left foot into the stirrup, she felt the
hand on her leg, glaring down she could see one of the men she had injured
was trying to keep her from mounting. Her right foot shot back making solid
contact with the man's face and as she heard the bones shatter, she pulled
herself into the saddle and ran the horse from the area.





Anita Louise

copyright 8/98

Chapter Four

Gina had watched in awe at what was happening in the square. With each
movement Ann Bounty made, she grew to admire the woman more. She was a
vision as she made her mark on these unfortunate men. Anyone who crossed
paths with the flaming redhead rued the day. Gina had urged her horse
forward when she saw the large man approach Sea. She thought she could
create a diversion. Before she could make it to the square, Will came into
view, he was sitting behind the woman, Mary Ready, his left arm holding her
against his body. He was reining the horse in the wrong direction as she
glanced back at Sea then reined her animal after the man.

Gina quickly cut the man off as she pulled her horse up. He glared at her
and ordered, "Get out of the way!"

She stared at the man's hand clutching the woman as if she was a precious
cargo, the other on the reins as she said, "What are you going to do, your
hands seem busy?"

His eyes darted around as he yelled, "I'll run you down!"

Gina held the reins tightly in her hands, the mare was becoming nervous as
she whispered, "Whoa, easy girl." Turning her attention to the man she said,
"Name's Gina, you are going the wrong way, follow me."

He seemed surprised as he said, "Gina? Ann Bounty's friend?"

She smiled and replied, "Yes and evidently someone you've heard about. Need
to get you and your sister to the longboat, I just might ask, who told you
about me?"

His features had eased a bit as he said, "Your friend." he beamed, "seems to
think you are her property."

Gina's words were light as she said, "Property huh? And just what can I call

"Will, course you know that, Ann has probably told you. I'll follow."
Turning his horse, he trailed the woman, calling out, "Tell me, can you
fight like that? I have never seen anyone who has the moves of your friend."

Gina called back, "I can fight, but wouldn't want to be compared to Sea. She
is exceptional!"

He smiled as he urged his horse faster, the woman was breathtaking and he
didn't want to lose sight of her.

Saxton met them as they neared the beach, he helped take Mary Ready down
from the horse and as Will touched the ground, he reached out and picked his
siser up. Saxton stared at Gina and asked, "Are you all right? Is Sea far

She nodded and said, "I'm fine, about Sea, don't know, last time I saw her
she was battling a goliath of a man."

It was at this time the sound of horse's hooves could be heard and they
looked up to see the dapple gray galloping into view. The woman sat the
horse as if they were one, her body moving gracefully with the mighty
horse's movements. The light blue blouse was pushing against her breasts as
Gina caught herself staring at them. Saxton said, "She is quite a sight,
flaming hair flowing in the wind and a figure that even makes the Gods

Blushing, Gina stammered, "I--you saw--"

He smiled, "It's all right my child, I know. I'll be at the boat, when the
two of you are ready, we can shove off."

She watched the man stride away, then brought her attention to the horse
that was sliding to a stop near her. Sea easily swung from the saddle, her
feet landing firmly on the ground. Her eyes met Gina's as the woman started
to walk toward her. Dropping the reins she took several steps toward the
woman, a crooked smile edged her lips as she said, "You actually listened to
me this time."

Pursing her lips, Gina answered, "Had no choice, felt I needed to go after
Will and his sister." her eyes sought Sea's as she said, "You told him I was
your property?"

Placing her hands on her hips, she glanced past Gina to the longboat. Then
bringing her eyes back to the woman, she answered, "Not in that way, I just
told him you were off limits."

Thinking about it for a second, she said, "Oh." Her look was soft as she
added, "I am so glad you are all right, I saw what happened."

Sea stepped close as she said, "The fates were good to me today, let's go."

Gina wrapped her arm around Sea's back, her left hand on the woman's waist
as she said, "Ready." noticing a cut on the woman's arm, she gasped, "you
are hurt!"

Sea looked at the trace of blood as she said, "It is nothing, Mary is the
one that needs attention."

Biting her lower lip, Gina said, "Did I tell you, I missed you?"

Smiling, Sea placed her lips on the woman's head as they walked she
answered, "Your eyes spoke for you."


Gina was staring at her cabin when Will approached her. "Still in there?"
his words cut through her as she whirled glaring into his eyes. "Yes."

He glanced toward the door then said, "Someone needed to tend to her, Ann
knows Mary."

"This should make me feel better? It doesn't." She leaned against a wooden
barrel and added, "I offered, course I know Sea has had more experience."

He sat on the barrel and said, "She is right, isn't she? You are off

Tongue in cheek, she replied, "I belong to no one, and I will do what I
want, it just--at this moment, I want to be with her."

He had folded his arms across his chest and said, "That right? So if I were
to ask you to go into Athens with me, you might think about it?"

Her eyes never leaving the cabin door she shook her head and mumbled, "No,
Sea might need me."

He laughed, "Yeah, like she might need me. Face it, you need the woman, if
you didn't, a short trip with me would be nothing."

She walked toward the door as she said, "Won't work, you can't play mind
games with me." Turning to stare at him she sighed, "I love her, that is
what you wanted to hear isn't it?"

He smiled, "Can't blame a guy for trying. I see what you do, have to say I
am taken by the woman's beauty too."

She smiled, "Beauty? Yes she has that and then some, but, it is her essence,
it is Sea that I love, if she were hideous, I would still love her because
her beauty comes from within."

He was standing and as he brushed past her he whispered, "Keep telling
yourself that, but if she was hideous, you wouldn't give her a passing
glance. I'll be topside if you get lonely."

Gina watched the man walk away then once more turned her attention to the
closed door.

Sea sat, her eyes gazing at the unconscious figure of Mary Ready. It was
evident, the woman had been beaten and Sea was having a hard time dealing
with it. She had removed the small dagger from her boot and was holding it
in her right hand. Moving it in and out of her fingers, then flipping it and
catching the blade as it made it's way downward.

Feeling perspiration on her forehead, she raised her left arm and brushed
her sleeve across the area. Standing, she took several steps toward the bed.
She could feel a lump growing in her throat as she stared down at the
bruised face of the woman she had known so well. "Mare, can you hear me?"
There was no movement and she slowly and diligently began to cut through the
woman's clothes. The knife was sharp and it didn't take long to sever the
material. Placing the dagger in her left boot, she reached out and grasped
the material, laying it aside. Her once beautiful unblemished skin, now held
deep bruises, welts and cuts.

Her knees felt weak as she turned and walked toward the table. Placing her
hands on it, she leaned down putting all her weight on them. Ann's head hung
low as a low cry escaped her mouth. Taking a deep breath she reached for the
pitcher of water, pouring some into the basin. Taking several cloths she
retraced her steps to the woman's bedside. Her hands were trembling as she
tenderly cleaned the remnants of blood away.

She made many trips to the large tub setting near the desk as she emptied
bloodied water, then poured fresh. Emerald green eyes searched the woman for
some sign of wakening but she didn't stir. The softness of the cloth felt
good in Sea's hand and she hoped it did the same for Mary. She was sitting
beside the woman, her touch gentle as she carefully cleaned each cut. There
were several that were still bleeding and Sea held a cloth to each as she
put pressure on the spots.

This took a long time and Sea was heedful of each injury as she worked on
the wounds. She had applied ointment to the worse and was now cleansing
Mary's face. Her hands moving gently as she wiped away all she could.
Pausing, she gazed at the woman, the scar she remembered was almost
invisible but the ugly bruises were enough to turn her stomach.

Without knowing she was doing it, her left hand reached out and brushed
strands of hair off the woman's forehead. It had been a long time but the
feeling was still there, as she caressed Mary's face, she felt a warmth and
love she thought she had buried long ago. Her words were soft, "Listen to me
you old pirate, you will never live it down if you let the likes of that man
defeat you." Lowering her head, she laid it gently on Mary's left shoulder,
her lips near the woman's ear she continued, "The woman I know, will not let
a man be her demise. Sides, you wouldn't give me the pleasure of seeing you
go to Tartaurus now would you?" She placed a light kiss on the woman's
earlobe as she stood. Pulling a cover up, she placed it above the woman's
voluptuous breasts and walked toward the door.

Sea's hand trembled as she opened the door. Stepping out, she spied Gina,
the woman had fallen asleep in a sitting position against a barrel. She
smiled and walked up to her. Leaning down, she picked her up as Gina lay her
head on Sea's shoulder. Her step was heavy as she made her way to the cabin.
Every muscle in her body ached and now her mind had joined the war she was
having with herself. Kicking the door open she walked into the room and
easily laid Gina on the bed. The woman never woke up and she was glad for
it. Though she was exhausted, she knew Gina was as well, and what the two of
them had been going through for sometime was taking a toll on them both.
Stepping toward her desk, she pulled out a wooden chair and sat. Her boots
were the first thing she removed as she reached for the full bottle of port.
Saxton had been very good at making sure she had a good supply of this. Sea
drank until she felt herself passing into darkness and it was then she slid
down to the floor.


The day was warm, there was a slight breeze that reached out and tossed the
woman's hair about her shoulders. Ann Bounty stood, her eyes watching the
woman. Mary had grasped a line and swung down to the deck, smiling back at
her as she leaped and began to climb the rigging. Her body moved like a
panther checking out its prey. Carefull and very cunning as each grasp drew
the woman closer to the top.

Sea grabbed the line and followed and as her feet touched the deck she
called out, "Are you crazy? There is crew to do this, not you."

Her hands almost to the top, Mary called back, "Needed to make the bod feel
alive. Be down in a few minutes."

Her eyes watching the woman all the time hoping she didn't slip. The sail
had come loose in two spots and Mary decided she could tie it off. The woman
was tall, but her athletic prowess allowed her to set and easily move along
as she made the repairs. Finishing up the last one, she gazed down at the
woman, smiled and said, "Even up here, you are a sight, Helen of Troy has
nothing on you."

Emerald green eyes, twinkled up at her as Sea teased, "And you just might
get everywhere with those kind of remarks."

As the words reached Mary, she slipped, catching herself on the rigging her
fingers gripping as she dangled high above Sea. "Mare!" Ann Bounty's words
were full of apprehension as Mary Ready called down, "Just wanted to see if
you really cared, be right down." Within moments she had made her way back
down and as she planted her feet firmly on the deck, her eyes seemed to
gleam as she smiled, "Sail will be fine."

Sea bit at her lower lip as she muttered, "Fool thing to do, Eliam is
experienced at that, should have let the man do it."

Mary took several steps and as she approached her, she placed her right hand
on the woman's left shoulder and said, "Never let it be said I can't do a
man's work."

Looking up at the sail as it moved in the breeze, Sea replied, "When it
comes to crawling around like a monkey and scaring me out of a few years,
you can do that." Her eyes held a thoughtful look to them.

Moving her shoulders back and forth as she tried to remove the kinks that
had settled there, she looked around then Mary smiled, "Even there."

Taken aback at the woman's frankness, Sea turned away, she walked toward the
bulwark and Mary followed her. They stood side by side each staring out at
the vastness of the ocean. It was Mary who broke the silence when she said,
"I've lived a hard life, the one I had before you saved me from those..."

Turning her head and looking at the woman, Sea cut in, "You probably would
have finished them yourself."

Shaking her head Mary said, "No, they pretty much had me. If I never thanked
you, then thank you."

Feeling uncomfortable Sea looked back at the water and muttered, "No need to
thank me, I would hope someone would do the same for me."

"You're not mad? My climbing up there like that?"

"No, you just had me worried that's all."

Mary turned and started to walk away as she said, "I don't want to worry
you, I want to..." Her long hair had been caught up in the wind and was
moving easily about the woman's head and shoulders. Sea had turned and
stared at her as she asked, "You did, you fixed the blasted thing. Just
promise me you won't do it again?"

Nodding, she answered, "Promise. Tell me Sea, do you desire anyone in your

Pondering over the woman's words, Sea answered, "'In my life,' I have
everything I would want, a fast ship, a motley crew and now I have you."

Mary turned back around, her face was close to Sea's as she said, "You have
me onboard, and you know I will do your bidding but think about it, do you
really have me?"

"What a fool question. Are you trying to be an oracle or something in that
vain?" She reached out and placed her right hand on Mary's as she added,
"You are always throwing these little bits my direction and all they seem to
do is get me more confused than I was before."

Squeezing Ann's hand as she pulled hers away from the woman's she said,
"Then maybe you shouldn't think so hard about things and maybe just enjoy."

Sea's face had become crimson, it almost matched the hair and it was then
Mary said, "I think I will call you Red."

Stammering, Sea asked, "'Red?' Because of my hair color?"

Stepping foreword, Mary brushed a kiss on the woman's forehead and said,
"Because your color turns so red when your mind goes there." Before Ann
could reply, the woman had strode away, her head high, a bounce in her step
and a movement that sent Sea to places she had been trying to stay away


Gina woke to the sounds of waves caressing the ships hull, the sound was
relaxing and she found herself starting to drift off once more.

"You are a vision." Ann Bounty's soft words, found their way into her
psyche. Stretching, a grin forming on her face, she opened her eyes and
found herself staring at the woman. Ann was sitting on the edge of the bed,
her look was warm as she said, "Welcome back."

Gina's eyes surveyed the woman as she said, "You look like you have been in
a fight with Posiden and got the worst of it."

"Brought you some breakfast, thought you might be hungry."

Gina gazed at the desk and the tray of wonderful smelling food as she said,
"I think I like this side of you, smells heavenly." Turning her attention
back to the woman she asked, "How is your friend?"

Standing, Sea walked toward the tray and brought it to the bed. Placing it
on Gina's lap, she replied, "In a deep sleep, the bastards really hurt her!"

Gina noticed the look in the woman's face as she said, "You still love the
woman, don't you?"

Stepping away from the bed, Sea spouted, "I would have the same feelings for
an animal that had been mistreated so, don't go getting any ideas." her eyes
staring into Gina's as she added, "What we had was then, I owe the woman."

Changing the subject, Gina held out her right hand and said, "Come, sit with
me and eat something."

Shaking her head, Sea said, "Not hungry, but you need to eat something, have
to keep that energy up, one of us has to."

Spying the empty bottle of port, the woman said, "When I see you down
spirits like that, I worry. Since Tunis, seems you can't continue without
that to numb your mind." She noticed the look on Sea's face as she added,
"It's your life, but you are my life and all I want is for you to be well."

Grumbling under her breath, Sea approached the bed, sat and said, "You have
an idea about the place..." her body trembled as she took a deep breath and
continued, "I have never told anyone what happened to me there, not fully
but maybe in order for you to understand, I need to tell you."

Gina noticed the woman's color ashen as perspiration easily made it's way to
the surface of her skin. Reaching out, she placed her right hand on Sea's
and said, "It's all right, I don't need to know, I saw you, I know what the
woman and Calico Jack are capable of." her eyes were soft as they locked
with Sea's, "I thanked the Gods you returned to us, but I would give my life
if it would give you back what you had before that awful place."

Squeezing Gina's hand, Sea said, "Never, don't you know if something
happened to you, I would not want to live. If you can stand to be around me
and my moods, I pray this nightmare that plagues even my dreams will soon

Gazing at the woman's long delicate fingers as she held Gina's hand, she
said, "If I can help you, in any way, let me know. I hate myself." Sea's
eyes grew wide as Gina added, "because I did not kill her when I had a

Sea reached out and moved the tray, placing it on the bed. Her arms reached
out and embraced the woman and as she pulled her close she whispered, "With
you by my side, things will work out." Gina hugged the woman, her head
resting in the crook of Sea's neck, her words were almost a whisper, "I wish
I could take the pain and torment you are going through, I would you know."

Enjoying the comfort in one another's embrace, Sea replied, "I know, thank
the Gods it is not possible."






Anita Louise

copyright 8/98

Chapter Five

Though her body was wracked with pain, she felt the presence and heard the
words of the woman she knew she would never hear again. Mary Ready was in a
dark world, one she felt there was no escape from. Visions of Caliopus, the
hideous man who had enjoyed torturing her, kept taunting her. The woman's
body lurched under the man's blows. Then as suddenly as he had appeared, he
was gone and the woman, with flowing red hair, was smiling at her. The wind
swept across Ann Bounty as if it too wanted to remove the clothing she wore.
As Ann's green eyes looked at her with gentle touches, she felt the pain in
her body ease.

They had been sailing for moons and during this time had the good fortune of
boarding several fat merchant ships. The Bounty's hold was stocked with
treasures from silk cloth to precious jewels. It was one of the best hauls
they had made and the crew was looking forward to some relaxation.

Sea had just walked out of the cabin, her step lively, she didn't know if it
was because of the spoils that had been taken or the tall brunette that had
begun to fill her every thought. Mary Ready was a puzzle, she could be so
soft and yet, kill without hesitation. The two women had been toying with
one another almost since the day Mary ended up as a crew member on the ship.
Mary had done her homework and knew all there was about the woman. Mary had
worked her way into Kiera's affection and anyone else that Sea would listen
to. She saw Mary coming from the cargo hold and increased her step as she
called, "Been examining the spoils once more, I see?"

Mary's eyes shone as she said, "Enough there to retire, go to some island
and enjoy the fruits that abound."

Shaking her head, Sea said, "Can't, you already know most of this will go to
mother and the people that need the help."

Making a disgusted noise in her throat, Mary stepped close to her and said,
"Always, your mother isn't it? When are you going to start to think about
you?" Sea's eyes looked questioningly as Mary continued, "Don't you ever
think about settling down?"

Laughing, Sea replied, "If you are talking, marriage, and children, *no* I
have no desire at this time in my life to be saddled down."

Mary's eyes were taking in Ann's form as she said, "Well at least I now know
how you feel about that. Have you ever thought about--a woman?"

Turning to walk away, Sea smiled, "There you go again, riddles, of course I
think of women, I think of a lot of things."

Mary reached out and placed her right hand on the woman's shoulder stopping
her in her tracks as she said, "I mean a woman?"

Turning to gaze into the woman's bright eyes, Sea smiled, "Yes, I think
about a woman."

Mary's face fell as if Sea had slapped her as she uttered, "Oh."

Turning to walk away once more, Sea's voice trailed back, "I think about


Sea had been watching the woman toss and turn in her delirium. The woman
seemed to be in the throes of nightmares and then almost as quickly she
would calm down. Stepping toward the bed she sat beside Mary Ready. The
woman was having a battle royal and she wondered what was going on in her
mind. "Mary, can you hear me? It's Sea, William is topside, he has been here
for you night and day. You never told me you had a brother, but then you
never told me a lot of things. Yes, I am still angry at you." she smiled as
her left hand caressed the woman's face, "but I still worry about you, there
I've said it. Now it is your turn to open those lovely eyes and tell me to
go to Hades!" There was no response as she whispered, "Please, get well, not
for me but for yourself and--damn it woman, I can't hate you like this." Sea
stood and left the room.


Mary felt Sea's words clear down to her toes as she watched the woman walk
away. Sea had always told her she was confused and now as her eyes stayed
focused on Sea, she felt confused. Something she rarely ever was. Mary Ready
always knew what she was doing, and to whom, but at this moment she was left
with feelings of bliss and chaos. Ann Bounty told her she thought of her but
were the thoughts the ones she hoped for or were they something entirely
different? Starting to follow the woman, she muttered, "Why don't you just
come out and tell her." then shrugging her shoulders she smiled, "all she
could do is laugh in your face, run you through with her cutlass, toss you
from the ship--nah, I'll wait."

The days came and went and they both could tell the season was changing. Ann
had left the bounty of spoils with her mother at Spoon Island and they were
now on their way to Athens. Mary wanted to visit a relative and had talked
Sea into accompanying her. Sea was setting at her desk, reading a scroll as
her mind drifted to the woman. Mary Ready had made her mark, not only on the
ocean and its many ships but on her as well. Neither women spoke of that day
near the cargo hold again but each time their eyes met, a certain chemistry
could be felt. Mary began to work even harder, she stood beside the men, her
body taking all the strain of hard labor and going back to finish the jobs.
Ann had tried to talk the woman out of it, by telling her she didn't need to
but Mary was stubborn and ignored her.

Sea tossed her hands into the air and had taken her place beside Mary early
one morning. The woman glanced up at her and said, "I thought--what are you
doing here?"

Smiling, Sea replied, "Well, since you are so bullheaded and I can't talk
you out of this, you have given me no choice but to work along side you."

Standing straight, Mary said, "You are the Captain, this is not your job."

Sea had grabbed a rope as she said, "You are..." her eyes transfixed on
Mary's as she continued, "a woman, this is not woman's work."

A twinkle in her eye Mary Ready winked at Sea and said, "Last time I looked,
so are you, yet, you are here."

Dropping the rope, Sea stepped close as her nose touched Mary's she said,
"You are soo... I am the Captain and I order you to--to..." Mary's eyes
widened as a grin took her lips into a pleasant and enjoyable smile. "You
order me to what?"

Sea stammered as she turned her head and stared at the crew then she said,
"I need to talk to you, in my cabin--now."

"Aye, aye Captain, you lead the way, I will follow."

Stepping back, Sea realized her face was crimson as she walked away, her
stride was long and with each one, she felt a strange feeling in the pit of
her stomach.

Mary's face was full of merriment and she was enjoying the position Ann was
in at that moment. She wondered just what Sea was going to do now. Ordering
Mary to her cabin in front of her crew like that, put Ann in a difficult
situation and Mary Ready was going to milk it for all she could.

Sea stepped into her quarters and stood as the woman entered, she closed the
door then turned her attention to Mary. "I don't want you working beside the
men, not like that. You do your share in many other ways."

Mary stood rigid, her eyes never moving as she said, "You are the Captain, I
just wanted to show you I could do man's work."

Walking toward the desk, Ann said, "I know that and now they do also. I
don't think this has anything to do with just how hard you sweat next to the
men, I think it has to do with something entirely different."

Mary moved her tongue against the inside of her left cheek as she watched
Ann pace back and forth. Finally Ann said, "What is your problem? You are so
much like me it is uncanny sometimes, and just when I think I have you
figured out, you throw me a curve. What is it you really want Mary Ready?"

Biting her tongue, the woman tried to keep back a grin, it was evident she
had struck a nerve and was enjoying the woman's discomfort.

"I want your friendship, your support and I want you to look at me
differently than you look at Milos."

Sea walked away, stepping to the porthole she stared out. "Is it really his
attention you crave? Seems to me you have been trying to make me jealous
where the man is concerned."

Mary's words were soft as she said, "I don't want to hurt you, I, I have
grown fond of you. And if you are thinking I want to do anything like you
are inferring with the man, then you are way off course."

Turning to gaze at the woman, Sea replied, "Then I must believe you do not
want the man and me having any meetings. I have to ask myself why? Milos is
a good man." Mary's face was full of dismay and Sea added, "I think the
first time I saw you in that brawl, it was as if you were striking out at
the world, I admired you. Milos and I are just friends, nothing else."

"Hummph, admire? They were beating the stuffing out of me, what was there to

Her eyes reached out and took the woman into them as Sea replied, "You stood
up for yourself, even against those odds, you would not give up."

Mary relaxed her stance, she was holding her hands behind her, clutching
them as she said, "You and I have been saying things to one another, with a
look, a touch an action for a long time. Still to this day, I don't know
where we stand."

Walking to the desk, then turning toward the woman, Sea stopped and stared
at her. "You are beautiful, probably the most awe inspiring person I have
ever met. You are like the moss that grows along tree trunks, before you
know it is there, it has grown on you."

Mary's voice was low, "Great! Now you are comparing me to some fungus, makes
me feel so much better."

Sea walked to the bed and sat, she stared at the woman, Mary stood, her body
seemed tense, and the woman's body was one Ann had become very aware of.
especially this last moon. "Turn around," her voice was soft and held a
demanding tone to it.

Mary turned, her face showing little emotion as she said, "What is it? Have
I done something to dishonor you, to make you angry? Tell me, I'll rectify
it. By all that I am, I would never do anything to make you dislike me."

Sea laid back on the bed, her eyes staring upward as she said, "You have
done nothing to anger me or dishonor me. You have been leading me on some
sort of maze of crooked paths and dead ends. Your mind has been playing
games with mine and I have come to the point of actually thinking there must
be something wrong with me."

Mary took a step forward, her eyes staring at Sea. The way she was laying
back on the bed, her feet still on the floor, her form was more enticing
than before as she mumbled, "Why don't you just take out your whip and beat
me, maybe you would feel better."

Sitting, Sea answered, "It is not the beating of your body that would make
me feel better."

Mary's eyes darted around the room as she asked, "Then what?"

Standing, Sea replied, "I was wrong to ask you to come in here, I think the
problem is mine. You can go, just promise me no more of that man stuff."

Mary's eyes retained a sparkle to them as she said, "You are the Captain, I
will go," she hesitated then added, "'no more of that man stuff,' I guess
this means you don't want to go to the island this night?"

Looking at Mary, Sea spoke, "'Island this night.' Right, the crews
relaxation. I might, couldn't hurt to get off the ship and feel some solid
land under my feet. Are you going?"

Mary smiled, "If you are, I will be there." She turned and left the room.
Sea stared after her and after the door was closed, she began to pace the
room. Mary Ready had managed to get under her skin and into places she had
never let anyone before. Their meeting in the cabin had not settled
anything, it only made her more confused than before. She walked toward the
desk, pulled out a chair and sat. Finding a bottle of port she took a drink,
her thoughts were on the woman and with each drink she hoped her body would
settle down.


The crew had fought well and were deserving of a night of frolic. Sea and
Mary watched as the boats headed toward the beautiful island. Sea turned to
the woman and asked, "Sure you want to go over there with me?"

Nodding, Mary answered, "More than anything, I really want to know what kind
of a person Ann Bounty is, when she is not commanding a crew."

Smiling as Sea watched the woman climb down the rope ladder she handed her
two leather packs and said, "Thought we might like something to eat and

Mary set the items down as she watched Sea descent to the bottom, reaching
out and helping her. Sea turned to gaze at her and said, "You can row, can't

Nodding, Mary sat and said, "Right beside you on that one."

Sea pushed them off, they took their time in rowing toward the shore and
lights from the campfires her men had already started.

Once they were ashore, Sea glanced around and said, "Want to join the crew
or find some other place?"

Mary brushed off her leather pants as she said, "If I get a vote, I'd rather
have you to myself for once. Seems you are always thinking about the crew
and the ship."

Taking a leather pack and throwing it over her back, Sea said, "All right
then, let's take a walk. Might even find some wild life."

Mary was keeping up with the woman's long strides as she said, "This isn't a
race you know, could slow down."

Stopping, Sea replied, "Sorry, I have always been in a hurry, something
mother always scolds me about, even now." She noticed the look Mary was
giving her as she smiled and said, "So for you, I will take it slow."

Mary looked up at Sea, and in the moonbeams, the woman was radiant. Reaching
up and taking the leather pack from Sea, Mary said, "I'll carry this, I want
you to save all your strength."

Her look was questioning as Sea let the woman take the leather straps. "All
right, what now? What in Celestial heavens have you got up your sleeve now?"

Mary glanced at her arms as she said, "I have many things up my sleeve and I
reserve the right to hold this back, at least for awhile." She began to walk
along the beach and Sea picked up her step and followed. Soon they had left
the sounds of the crew and had found a secluded stretch of beach. Mary
gathered drift wood and Sea started a campfire. Sea had spread out two
blankets on the sand and was sitting as she said, "Hungry? Have some food in
the pack."

Joining her, Mary rummaged through the items and brought out the bottle of
port as she said, "I feel like having a drink. We should be reaching Athens
soon and I can't want to show you off to my..."

Sea grinned, "'Show me off huh'? Just how should I take that?"

Mary handed the bottle to her as she said, "I'm proud to know Ann Bounty and
I just meant, you know, you being my friend and all."

Taking a long drink then handing the bottle back to the woman, Sea smiled,
"I think it might be 'and all' that has me wondering?"

Mary laid back on the blanket, the bottle in her hand as she said, "You are
you know."

Sea laid beside her their eyes gazing up at the many constellations that
glowed down toward them. Sea reached out and placed her right hand on the
woman's arm as she said, "I are what?"

Mary stood, she tossed the bottle at Sea and said, "I'm going for a swim, if
you're not afraid of the dark and the water at night, join me."

Sea caught the bottle as she stared up at the woman, Mary didn't take much
time, as she pulled her blouse over her head and tossed it on the blanket.
Her fingers easily loosened the buttons on the leather pants she wore.
Sitting down, she moved her long legs toward Sea and said, "When you are
finished baby-sitting that bottle, pull my boots off."

Setting the bottle down, Sea reached out and easily removed the leathers.
Mary raised her legs and said, "Finish it, now the pants."

Her hands grasped the leather and gently removed them. Before she could say
anything, Mary had stood, and started to walk toward the water's edge, her
voice trailed back, "Red, good name. When you get over your fluster, join

Sea could feel the warmth creeping up her neck and cursed herself for
allowing the woman to see just how vulnerable she was at that moment.

Hesitating for a few minutes as she watched Mary Ready moving in the water,
the woman silhouetted in the moonlight, she couldn't take it any longer and
removed her boots, easily leaving the rest of her clothes behind as she ran
out to join the woman.


Mary had drifted into a calmer sleep as Sea watched the woman. Her thoughts
had traveled to many occasions concerning the two. The friendship she and
Mary Ready had, started out just that, they became good friends but it was
after the crew's celebration on the island of Nimos, they became more than
just friends. Ann treated the woman's injuries each day and took care of her
other needs. Gina had offered but she felt it was her place. Sea never was a
spiritual person not in the sense of one true God or any number of cults
that had sprang up, instead she chose to believe in herself and people she
cared about. Not one to ever rule out prayer she found herself doing this
from time to time. Though she felt the prayers were more for her benefit
than any God that might be listening. Since she had seen the condition of
Mary, she had said many prayers and to every God she could think of, her
hopes were that one would listen to her pleas. Yes, Ann Bounty had finally
admitted to herself, maybe there was a power that could change fate and she
prayed with all she had to see this woman, who she had grown to despise,
come back. Each day Ann realized that what happened was in the past, the
shell of a woman that lay before now was still the woman that had filled her
life with love.

She was kneeling beside the bed, her arms folded in front of her and her
head resting on her hands. Ann was tired, her body felt it would crumble and
each day she was getting feelings of inadequacy. Gina had been spending time
keeping Will company up on deck and she had found herself spending all the
time she could manage with Mary. Her nightmares had not gone away if
anything they were stronger than before. The woman Asterea seemed to be
growing larger, and it was daylight Ann looked forward to.

As she lay quietly she could hear Mary's even breathing. This was a God
send. Feeling her own body tremor she closed her eyes. Sea felt the hand on
her head before she heard the words, "I always wanted to see you on your
knees in front of me." her words were soft and the woman's touch loving.

Sea raised her head as her eyes gazed into Mary's. The woman tried to smile
but grimaced as she said, "Even in my wildest dreams, to see you again, I
knew impossible."

Sea reached up and grasped Mary's hand as she said, "You're awake?"

Attempting to move then thinking better of it, the woman replied, "If I am
not, then I do not want to wake. You are as lovely as ever. But how?"

Sea was on her feet and was sitting beside the woman, still clutching Mary's
hand tightly as she said, "You had me worried, an old pirate like you..."
her voice failing for a minute as she continued, "I'm thankful you are

Mary's eyes misted as she said, "I don't know how it happened, but if I ever
had a wish or desire it would be to wake up to you."

A slight smile as she took a deep breath, Sea's words were soft, "You took
quite a beating, Will is uptop, I'll go get him."

Mary would not release her hand as she said, "Not just yet, if I have
nothing else, let me have your presence a little longer."

Seeming confused, Sea was trying to find the right words as Mary continued,
"I know it is to much to hope for, us, about that time..."

Sea placed a finger on the woman's lips as she said, "Shh, it is past."

Her eyes looked mournful as she continued, "I was young and foolish. I never
really understood the consequences until after. If I could go back, it would
never happen again."

Pursing her lips, Sea spoke, "One can never go back, we both have gotten on
with our lives and regardless of that time, I feel we will be there for one
another if need be."

Mary smiled, "Then you are no longer mad at me and wish me to go to

Sea's face beamed as she said, "You heard me?"

Mary nodded and replied, "I heard Ann Bounty's words and I felt her lips
once more, had to come back, if anyone is to send me to Tartarus, it should
be you."

Sea raised the woman's hand to her lips, placing a soft kiss as she said, "I
have no desire to send you there, I only want to see the color come back
into your face and see the life restored to your body. The life you had
before the man."

Mary asked, "How did I, last I remembered was his fist."

Standing, Sea replied, "I'll fill you in later, but don't worry about the
man any longer, I did send him to Tartarus. Now, get some rest and I will go
tell your brother you are awake."






Anita Louise

copyright 8/98

Chapter Six

Gina was standing near the bow, her hands gliding back and forth on the
railing. The ocean was spectacular and on this day even more so. Her mind
was on many things but mostly Ann Bounty and Mary Ready.

"Dinar for a thought." Will's pleasant voice echoed behind her.

Turning, she smiled into the man's clean shaven features. "Thought I was
alone out here. I don't think the thoughts would merit a dinar."

He stepped beside her, his handsome features gazing downward as he said,
"It's about those two isn't it?"

She seemed surprised and said, "Why would you even think such a thing?"

Chuckling, he answered, "Because it is all over your face. The woman loves
you, you know. Sure my sister and her share a past, this does not mean they
still share a future."

Gina smiled, "I will hand it to you, it is a good attempt. I have talked
with the crew, those that would talk to me, and I know how close they were."

The man's blue eyes sparkled as he said, "Were, I think that is the word you
need to focus on. Sea saved my sister's life and I will be eternally
grateful. From all I have heard, it is good to see the two of them look at
one another and not with a look of hate."

"I'm happy your sister is on the mend but I have to say, it gives me cause
to worry," her eyes seemed distant as she continued, "maybe Sea will..."

The man cut in, "Never, the woman has already told me you were 'off limits',
I'm sure you know how she feels about you. I don't know Ann Bounty, but I
cannot see her turning her back on one as lovely and caring as you."

Smiling at him, Gina said, "I hope what you say is true, I guess Gabrielle
was right when she told me, 'the old green eye will creep in when least
expected.' Course I thought she was teasing at the time. I wonder how she
and Xena handle the many complexities of their relationship?"

Will gazed at her, his eyes taking each curve into them before he said, "I
feel they handle it just fine. Now, on to you. I asked you to accompany me
to Athens, will you at least think about it?"

Shaking her head, Gina replied, "And I told you I was in love with Sea."

"They went there you know."

Seeming anxious, Gina asked, "Who went there?"

"Sea and Mary, I heard they visited Athens and people are still talking
about their little escapade involving Caesar."

Starting to walk away, Gina said, "'Caesar,' like I said, the two of them
share a past and Sea and I haven't even began to have a future yet."

Will approached her, he placed his right hand on her shoulder and said, "You
have, I see it in your eyes when you look at her and when you are not
noticing it, Ann Bounty's take you into hers, I believe to a place only
lovers go."

Turning to gaze at the man, Gina said, "How can you get all that from one

His eyes were soft as he said, "Once you've been there, it is not hard.
Besides, those emerald green's she has, tell many things. Think about my
offer, a trip to Athens?"

Nodding, she walked away, more bewildered than before.


Saxton stood back, watching the two women. Sea had her arm around Mary
Ready's waist as the woman leaned against her, Mary's left arm was draped
over Sea's shoulder. The woman seemed to be getting better and he knew a lot
of that was the persistency of Ann. Since the woman's recovery and even
before that, Ann spent time tending to Mary Ready. His eyes had drifted to
the lovely blond that stood against the bulwark. Gina was a sight to behold,
beautiful and charming. She and Ann needed to have time together, time to
explore each other and time to enjoy a relationship he felt would be all the
two women would or could ever want. Gina seemed to be watching and, at the
same time, he could tell the woman was hurt.

"Let's go aft, we can sit and enjoy the peacefullness of the ship pulling
through the water."

Mary was limping, her body still ached but she tried to keep up with the
woman although Ann was taking it slow. "I'm with you, I just hope your
helping me hasn't caused any problems with you and Gina."

Sea's eyes glanced toward the woman, she smiled and said, "No, she
understands. Now, let's get some of this fresh ocean air into that body of

Finally reaching their destination, Sea eased Mary down to the deck then she
followed and sat beside the woman. The day was beautiful and she was glad to
sit and enjoy the calmness of sailing. Mary's words brought Sea out of her
thoughts, "Why don't you go to her, I will be fine here."

Shaking her head as she turned and gazed at the woman she replied, "Right
now, you need my company, I need yours, so no more talk ahout sending me

Mary's color had returned and only a faint trace of the marks remained on
her beautiful face. Even after all this time, Sea found herself falling into
the woman's features. A smile crept acorss Mary's lips as she said, "I went
through Hades back there, but to have you gaze at me like that, I would do
it again."

The words took Sea by surprise and she looked away. Mary's voice was low and
carried warm undertones as she said, "Red suits you."

Leaning back on her palms, Sea stared up into the woman's bright eyes.
"Still have that knack. You always knew how to reach me, even when I put up
my defenses. I could never hide my emotions around you."

Shaking her head, the woman said, "Especially when you get flustered, she
looked at the ocean then continued, "I really did--you might not ever
believe it but I really did love you. I had to go through a lot of things,
some good and some bad to realize just how much. I thank the Gods you are
still speaking to me but I will never be able to repay you for what

Sitting up, Sea said, "The best way to repay me is to never speak of it
again. I have forgotten and now you must also."

Biting at her lower lip, Mary whispered, "I lost you, what a fool I was. All
the treasures in the world are not important if you do not have the person
that is in your heart beside you."

Sea held out her right hand as she said, "Friends always."

Grasping it with hers, Mary said, "Forever. Now to get away from me and my
pains, tell me how are you? I know you went through a bad time of it

Pursing her lips, Sea replied, "Asterera and Calico Jack, the man seems to
enjoy ruining my life and the life of those I care about. This new woman,
Asterea, his right hand, is evil. So you see my friend, no matter where I
go, I have Calico breathing down my back."

Mary seemed deep in thought as she said, "This woman, she as bad as I have

A cold look settled over the woman's face as she scowled, "Take everything
you have heard about the woman and add it over and over until you can't add
anymore, that is how evil she is and then some."

"Gods, I know Calico is devious but the two of them..." her eyes mellowed as
she touched Sea's left hand with hers she continued, "I have been so wrapped
up in my wounds, you must still be going through a torment of your own."

Nodding, she answered, "Every day, it is the nights I hate. I seem to be
tormented in my dreams and each night, they get worse."

"Must be hard on a relationship."

Trying to smile but failing, Sea said, "If you are speaking of Gina and me,
we manage."

Mary grimaced as she tried to move and Sea reached out and placed her left
arm around the woman's waist. "Lean on me, take it easy."

Mary hesitated but Sea's emerald green eyes were reaching out to her and she
found herself succumbing to the woman.

"Feel better?"

Nodding, Mary answered, "Thanks, I am such a..."

Sea interrupted, "You have been seriously injured, so just take it slow."

After Mary was comfortable once more she said, "Tell me, about the two of

Sea smiled, "I love her if that is what you want to know."

"I knew that the minute I saw you look at her. I want to know, with all that
happened in Tunis, how are you..."

Sea paused for a second then said, "It has rendered me incapable of many
things. I fill my mind with port hoping to get some reprieve. I force myself
to do somethings because I cannot let this feeling win."

"Does Gina know?"

Shaking her head, Sea answered, "She knows I love her that is all. It will
pass, I will make it up to her."

Sitting up straight, Mary said, "Take me back to my quarters, you need to be
with her. Ann, they took something from you there and I am not talking about
the torture you sustained, I am talking about your..."

Standing, she helped Mary up as she said, "Don't want to go there. Come on
let me get you back to bed."

Smiling, Mary leaned against the woman's embrace as she said, "I can
remember a time, I thought I would die when I heard you whisper those same
words to me."

Smiling as they walked, Sea said, "Uhhumm and I can remember the enjoyment
we both shared on that bed."

"I was such a fool, a woman who can fight, outsmart the smartest of men,
Captain her own ship and who's beauty puts even Aphrodite to shame, I had in
my world and I let you slip away from me. I will hate myself forever for
what I did and if possible I will rectify this by taking care of Calico.

Stopping, Sea turned to gaze at the woman, "I really hated you, you know? I
look at you now, and all I see is the woman that stole my heart. I will
always love you Mary Ready, you are a part of my life and will always be.
There are times I hate myself for that time, I wonder if I did something

Mary was holding Sea's left hand as she put a gentle pressure on it and
said, "You did nothing but love me. I was gifted to have you day and night,
we talked, we fought along side one another, enjoyed wonderful times
together, we did it all. I never realized how very special our love was
until too late. I will go to my death cursing myself for this. You deserve
someone who will give you all their love and treasure each breath and moment
with you. Gina is a lucky person."

Smiling, Sea said, "I am the lucky one, for Gina, and also, for having you
back in my life."

After leaving Mary in her quarters and watching until the woman had fallen
asleep, Sea went topside to find Gina. The woman was sitting, writing
something on a parchment when she neared, "Thought I might find you here."

Gina looked up as the woman approached, she smiled and said, "Needed to do
something and sometimes the quill is mightier than the sword."

Sitting beside the woman, Sea said, "It can be, especially if you are
writing words that might burn my ears."

Holding the quill and parchment, Gina said, "Just what could I scribe that
would burn those ears. Not that I haven't been thinking a few things."

Placing her right hand on Gina's, Sea whispered, "We are friends, that is
all. Mary and I do share a past, a past that is filled with love and hate. I
am happy to be able to put the hate part to rest."

Going back to her scribing, Gina said, "That's what I mean, now you have the

"Yes, the love of a friend," Her hand reached out and stopped Gina from
putting anything else on the parchment as she continued, "you have been so
good about this. How can I make it up to you?"

Shaking her head, Gina answered, "There is nothing to make up, if it were
me, I would be thankful to have someone care enough to save my life and then
take care of me. Mary Ready is a lucky person."

"No, I am the lucky person--to have you, to know you are in my life."

Leaning back, Gina stared up into Sea's face and said, "I know things have
been hard, Gods, Sea, one just has to look at you to see the torment your
body is going through. Tell me, what is it I can do to help you?"

Taking a deep breath, Sea said, "Until I see the woman Asterea laying dead,
I feel I will have no peace. I am thankful each day to be able to see your
smiling face, you let me know there is someone who cares."

"There are a lot of people who care about you Sea, your mother for one,

"I know, but not the same. When I look into your eyes, I see love, when I
hear your voice, the gentle tone, plays soft music that feeds by bothered
soul. You see, at this point in time, you are my calm, without you in my
life, I would surely succumb to Asterea's demented world."

Standing, Gina exclaimed, "Don't want that! I meant it Sea, tell me what I
can do."

Sea was on her feet by now, she stepped toward the woman. "Say you will
never leave me."

Smiling, her brown eyes catching the rays from the sun in them she replied,
"As I have said before, you are stuck with me, pirate. Now, you seem tense,
we could go below."

Sea walked away, her voice falling as she muttered, "Been meaning to talk to
you about that."

Following her, Gina asked, "What now? I have tried to be as careful as I

Turning, her eyes searching Gina's, Sea said, "I mentioned something to
Mary, don't go get that look, it had nothing to do with our personal
relationship. Maybe just a little. She told me I should tell you..."

Totally exasperated by now, Gina scowled, "Yeah, well, maybe you had better
tell me since it seems you have already told your old flame."

Sea's eyes didn't change as she said, "I deserved that, but you need to hear
something before we get into a spot and you think it is something else.
"Asterea," Gina started to speak as Sea continued, "I have been drinking a
lot, a lot more than I ever did." Gina nodded as Sea searched for the right
words, "I do this, not because I love the sweet taste of the grape, it is to
dull my mind."

"Great, you need to drink to be able to touch me. If this is supposed to
help, it isn't."

"No, I need to drink to rid my mind of what happened there. Tunis, look at
me!" Gina's eyes were fixed with Sea's as the woman asked, "Would you say I
am strong, not in might but in will?" Nodding, Gina said, "Yes, in both, why
do you ask?"

"Tunis and what happened with Asterea, took that away from me." Gina could
see the woman was having a hard time with what she was saying. Grasping
Gina's hands in hers, Sea held them tightly and continued, "She took me
down, many have tried and none succeeded until that day. Beating me wasn't
enough, she had to show me just what she could do and I wasn't able to fend
her off. I'm not the same, I have a fear I never knew before. It is hard for
me to admit it and trying to understand it is even harder. The woman haunts
my every dream, when I can sleep that is. I must look like Hades, I know I
feel it."

Gina's eyes grew wide, her face was full of horror as she uttered, "Sea

Shaking her head, Sea said, "No, she could have and would have if the time
had permitted, the woman took my dignity, my strength in that short time.
She..." Sea's voice caught in her throat as she struggled for the words,
"She made it a point to let me know she had me and enjoyed every second of
the agony she was putting me through. He, Calico, kept telling her to do it,
but she derived more pleasure in letting me feel the pain and knowledge she
could and would. She made certain to tell me, 'I could have had you, think
about that till next time.'" Sea felt the words flowing as she told in
detail what had happened and when she finished, Gina threw her arms around
the woman, hugging her close as she said, "I'm so sorry, I have been
thinking about my own feelings and all the time you have been living with
this and trying to please me. Don't, we will be fine and much better once
you are able to face this openly. I love you Sea. If we never touch again,
in a familiar way, I can live with it, I only want to see you well."

Smiling, as she held the woman against her, Sea whispered, "I know, I love
you too. Let's go to the cabin, if nothing else, we can lay in one another's

As they walked away, Gina said, "I'm glad you finally told me. I knew
something was wrong."

Once they were in the cabin, Gina turned to the woman and asked, "That why
your not wearing your leathers anymore?"

Nodding, Sea answered, "If wearing them, gives people the idea I am taunting
and enticing them, then I will stop wearing the clothes."

Walking up to the woman. Gina grabbed Sea's left hand and held it as she
said, "You are so beautiful, even if you were wearing burlap it would show
through. The woman was just jealous, face it Sea, you are a legend. People
talk about you and your exploits, your beauty has been mentioned in the same
sentence with Cleopatra. You are ravishing in whatever you chose to wear.
Don't let someone like Asterea keep you from wearing the clothes you love."

Managing a smile, Sea said, "Ahh, but you are prejudice. I will think about
what you have said, I take it you don't like the clothes I have been

Gina quickly said, "I love them, in case you haven't noticed, I wear similar
ones all the time. I just don't want to see you stop wearing clothes that
you love. that's all."

Sea replied, "I will think about it, but the important focus right now is to
make sure nothing happens to you. Mother is safe now, and the place has been
fortified, this will not happen again. But, you, you would be someone
Asterea will try to capture. She hates you, from before, you escaped from
her ship and because you beat her in front of her people, in Tunis. So,
guess you will have to be satisfied to be within my reach."

Beaming, Gina said, "It is the only place I want to be, near you. Now, let's
talk about how we can rid you of those confounded dreams."

Sea looked toward the desk and said, "How's the statue? Anymore shocks?"

Grinning, Gina replied, "Haven't touched it since that time. Though
sometimes I think it makes a weird sound. Maybe you should have asked the
woman, just what kind of history it carries."

Nodding, Sea said, "Maybe we could go in tomorrow, I will look the woman up,
we will look the woman up and if she can't answer our questions, I will get
something else for you and leave the statue with her."

Pulling Sea toward the bed, Gina said, "Maybe we could just lay for awhile.
I don't seem to have any time with you anymore. I miss hearing your
breathing and definitely your fragrance."

Following the woman, Sea replied, "I miss having your head on my shoulder. I
am tired and need to rest."

"Good, then it is settled."

After they were laying and Gina's head was snuggled against Sea's chest, Sea
said, "I promised to show you the stars, I wanted you to know what heights
love could be taken, instead, I have shown you nothing."

Grinning, Gina whispered, "You have shown me more than you think. I know in
time, you will make love to me, and I seriously think it might be my
downfall." Sea was quiet, her head gently pressed against Gina's as she
continued, "When we were together that once, it was so wonderful, I can't
even imagine there could be a difference."

Placing a light kiss on Gina's head, Sea held her close and said, "When the
time is right, you will. With all that I am, I will get through this not
only for myself but because I still have the end of my rainbow to fulfill.
The two went to sleep like that, close in one another's embrace and





Anita Louise

copyright 8/98

Chapter Seven

Sea and Gina had been walking through the marketplace. Their eyes searching
for the woman that had sold Sea the statue. She was not at the same spot and
no one seemed to know where she went.

The sounds of the hawkers were loud as they reached out and tried to grab
the people and pull them into their space. Gina had been enjoying the goings
on. Sea tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Guess you didn't get to market
much, huh?"

Turning to gaze at the woman's teasing smile, Gina said, "Not this kind. I
come from a small village, remember? The closest thing we had to a market
was a small shop. This is mind boggling, so many people and so much

Sea was standing beside her as she said, "See anything you want, let me know
and it will be yours."

Shrugging her shoulders, Gina said, "I see a lot of things, tell me, would
you get it all for me?"

Chuckling, Sea answered, "If everything is what you desire."

Shaking her head, Gina said, "It isn't, I have everything I would ever
desire right here, I have you Ann Bounty."

"You definitely do," pointing toward a merchandise cart, Sea added, "let's
go see if we have any better luck with this one."

As they approached, the man's eyes gleamed and the smile on his face was one
of selfish pleasure as he said, "Greetings, I have many things here, feast
your eyes and whatever it is you may want, I can get." His eyes were taking
in the two women as he watched them rummage through the articles. Gina
turned her attention to him and asked, "Do you know anything about a statue
a woman was selling here? Her stand was over in that direction I think."

Sea glanced up and at the same time Gina caught it, they could see the man's
features change. It was plain to see the woman had struck a nerve. "No,
nothing about that, but surely something I have will catch your eyes."

Sea walked up to him, her eyes were cold as she said, "We both caught the
look, you know something and I want to know what it is."

He seemed agitated and nervous as he said, "There are many statues for sale,
I have no idea of which you speak."

Gina described the statue to the man as she removed it from the leather pack
she carried and showed it to him.

When she was finished he said, "If you don't leave, I will be forced to call
the..." He didn't get the words out because, Sea had reached out and grasped
the man by his collar. He stammered as she drew him close and said, "No
games, I want to hear about the statue and the woman that sold it to me!"

His eyes darted back and forth as he stammered, "'Sold it to you?' By the
Gods, you purchased the statue?"

Releasing her hold on the man, Sea said, "Why would we have the thing in our
possession if we had not bought it, now that we have that cleared up, tell
us what we want to know!"

He glanced around then said, "The woman only comes here on Saturdays, the
statue comes from Egypt."

Seeming perturbed, Sea said, "I know that much, I want to know more, where
in Egypt, and just what does it hold?"

He looked at Gina for some help but the woman shrugged her shoulders as he
said, " I'm not sure, maybe somewhere in Cairo." Sea reached for her cutlass
as the man blurted out, "I don't know anything else, believe me!" Sea set
the man back onto his feet as she relaxed her hold and said, "Let's go,
we'll come back on Saturday." Gina looked at her in amazement but followed
the woman from the area.

When they were out of the man's earshot, Gina grabbed Sea's left arm and
said, "He knew more than he was telling us, why did you just stop?"

Sea reached out and pulled the woman into a doorway as she said, "Cause I
want to see just where the man goes."

Gina nodded as the two peeked out, their eyes searching for the man. It
didn't take him long to put up his closed sign and hurry off. When he was
well on his way, Sea grabbed Gina's left hand and said, "Let's go, the man
will probably lead us to the woman."

They followed the man through cobblestone streets, up steep inclines and
through several alleyways and finally watching him enter a small building.
Once he had disappeared inside, the two women stepped up to the door. Gina
went to knock and Sea grabbed her hand as she drew her cutlass and
whispered, "Stand back." Her right leg shot out sending the door into the
center of the room as the man and woman looked up their eyes full of horror.

It was an easy leap into the room as Sea and Gina confronted the two. "Well,
well what have we here? Gretten, you shouldn't be so hard to find." Sea's
words were icy and everyone in the room felt them, including Gina.

Gretten stepped forward, her eyes surveying the splintered door as she said,
"Who is going to pay for this? Why do you invade my home?"

Sea reached for the leather pack Gina was carrying and said, "Brought this
back to you, the statue doesn't go well with the decor of the ship."

The woman's eyes watched as Gina handed the pack to Sea. It wasn't long
before Sea was holding the statue in her right hand as she said, "We have
had nothing but problems since I purchased this and I want my money back."

Shaking her head the woman uttered, "Can't, once it is sold, I have no more
control over it."

"Hummph, fool thing to say, I stand here with my cutlass ready to slice you
end to end and you tell me you won't take it back!"

Gretten's voice squeaked as she said, "It has a curse."

Sea looked at Gina and said, "Nothing like giving you something that has a
curse, it's not like we are not cursed enough. All right, no more games,
tell me everything."

She was fidgeting with her fingers as she said, "It plays on your feelings,
if you carry great love for someone or want someone to pay you attention, it
grants this. If you have a fear of something, it will dwell on this and make
it worse. I only know once that it is the buyers hands, it cannot go back
where it was."

"You knew I was looking for something special, yet, you sold this to me. I
can tell you right now something that carries a curse is not special."

The woman looked at Sea as she said, "I could tell it was for someone you
loved, the statue is supposed to perpetuate that."

Sliding the cutlass back into it's scabbard, Sea turned her attention to the
woman as she said, "Loving someone is not a curse, there has to be more to
this, tell me."

Gretten told them all she knew and when she had finished, Sea mumbled, "The
love part is fine, but fear? Gods, everyone has some kind of fear and this
thing feeds on this. I want you to take it back!"

Shaking her head and taking a step back, the woman said, "It will do no
good, you purchased it, it has been in your hands, even if I take it back
the curse will remain with you."

Throwing up her hands in exasperation, Sea scowled, "Then what can we do to
rid ourselves of the blasted thing?"

Seeming perplexed for an instant the woman's eyes darted the room then
settled back on the flaming redhead as she said, "Take it back to Egypt, put
it back in it's resting place."

Pursing her lips, Sea mumbled, "Egypt, resting place? How in Gods am I
supposed to know where this thing came from, much less it's resting place?"

"You will find the answer there."

Sea's hand was on the hilt of her cutlass as she steamed, "By all that is
right, I should run you both through," She grabbed Gina's arm and said,
"let's go, there is nothing more we can learn here."

The woman called after them, "What about the door?"

Sea's words echoed back, "A cheap price to pay for what you have unleashed
on us!"


She had just left Saxton topside and was on her way down to the cargo hold.
The man had told her several men had mentioned strange sounds in the area.
He had checked the room and found nothing but thought he should advise her.
Her step was lively as she reached the gangway, probably was a rodent and a
smart one at that.

Opening the door, she gazed inside, there was nothing amiss. Her eyes
searched the area but came up empty, except for several barrels and a few
crates, there was no rodent. Turning to leave, she heard a sound behind one
of the crates. Drawing her cutlass, she entered the room. The minute her
boots touched the straw on the floor, the door slammed shut behind her.
Quickly turning, Sea grasped the handle and pulled, it would not open.
Slowly turning back around, her hands held the hilt steady and she readied
for anything.

"This the brave Ann Bounty, sword in hand, ready to take on any rodent that
ventures across her path?"

Sea's eyes darted around as she asked, "Who is in here? Show yourself now or
suffer the consequences."

Her body posed for a fight, she stood, her legs spread, knees slightly bent
and every muscle in her body flexing. She never even saw it, but Sea felt
the blow, it was hard and careened across her jaw sending the woman smashing
into the wall. Her grip on the sword had loosened and she felt the strike
that knocked it from her hands. Shaking her head as she tried to regain her
balance, Sea said, "Who are you, appear!"

Reaching down to grasp the cutlass and having it kicked from her hand once
more, she felt the boot strike her abdomen followed by the shooting pain
that sent her to her knees. Blinking her eyes trying to shut out the
excruciating pain that was attacking her body she fought to stand. Finally
making it to her feet, her right hand placed over her abdomen she gasped,
"Who are you, why are you doing this to me? Show yourself, at least let me
see who I am fighting."

There was a frightening laugh as a white glow seemed to envelop the area.
Sea watched in amazement as this glow turned into a person's back. She felt
a chill as the hooded figured slowly turned. A hand reached up and brushed
the hood back as Asterea grinned sadistically at the woman.

Astonishment on her face, Sea was shaken as she said, "How? There is no way
you could have gotten in here."

Tossing aside the robe she wore, Asterea stood glaring at the woman, she
looked no worse for wear, except for the curvature of her nose the woman
looked to be in fine shape. Her words were cold and forboding as she said,
"Seems you and I still have a few things to settle. One of which is that
sweet young thing you seem to want to hang around."

Scowling at the woman, Sea spoke, "Gina is none of your concern, leave the
woman alone."

Asterea smiled as she said, "I have no intention of leaving her alone. But
first, I must teach you a lesson."

Sea tackled the woman, her rage was evident by how hard her body struck the
woman's. It was as she hit, Sea found herself falling through and grabbing
nothing as her body fell on the floor. Quickly standing she gazed at the
woman, "I hit you, went right through you, this is impossible."

Asterea took several steps back as she said, "Now you will never know when I
am around and when I am not. I have discovered an ancient secret."

Sea struck out at the woman once more, her right and left fist almost
simultaneously, all she felt was the air and nothing more. Before she could
regain her balance, Asterea struck, hitting Sea along side her face, once
then twice and as the woman spun from those blows, she whirled sending her
right foot into Sea's stomach. This time Sea saw the floor coming up to meet
her as she crashed face first onto the straw.

Asterea leaned over, her hands roughly rolled Sea onto her back as she said,
"Your new clothes, not as fancy as the others and definitely not hiding
anything I don't already know you have. I will be back, count on it." Sea
felt the woman's boot as her left foot struck out sending Sea into darkness.


Slowly moving, Sea was well aware of the hurt her body was sending to her.
Managing to get to her knees, she paused and let the pain subside before she
made it to her feet. Staggering, she felt herself between light and darkness
as her body fell against the wall. A loud gasp escaped her throat as she
stood, waiting for the room to quit spinning. Still grasping her stomach,
her eyes searched for the sword. Spying it, she took several swipes before
she was able to scoop it up and place it in the scabbard at her side. After
a short rest, Sea tried the door and when it opened, she staggered into the
passageway. Slowly making her way toward the cabin, her fingers crossed,
hoping she would make it with each step. She didn't need to see anyone and
especially Gina. The woman was concerned but to see her like this might just
send the woman over the edge. Her mind playing games with her as she
muttered, "If you can't understand, don't expect anyone else to."

She made it to the cabin without running into anyone and was grateful to
close the door behind her. It didn't take her long to splash water onto her
face. She removed her clothes with great difficulty and put on clean ones.
Noticing the discoloration of her abdomen and stomach, she realized she was
lucky to be moving. What had really hit her, it looked like Asterea but this
thing wasn't human. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Sea asked herself, "How
do I fight something like that?" She waited as if expecting an answer.
Finally laying back on the bed, she succumbed to the lightheadedness she was

Gina found her later when she entered the quarter. Smiling when she first
saw the woman sleeping. She knew Sea was not getting very much rest and to
see the woman sleeping in the day time was remarkable. Walking toward the
bed she spied Sea's clothes laying on the floor. Reaching down to pick them
up, she saw traces of blood. Immediately she turned her attention to the
woman. Gazing down at her, it was evident Sea had been in some kind of
confrontation, the woman had bruises and abrasions on her face. Sitting on
the edge of the bed, she watched the woman sleep. Something had done this,
but what and who?

What was left of day was dwindling as darkness began to lower it's hand on
the waters. Gina had lit several candles in the cabin and sat watching Sea.
A low groan escaped the woman as she began to move. Opening her eyes, she
stared up into Gina's light browns.

"Hi, found you sleeping and didn't want to disturb you. What happened?"

Trying to sit and thinking better of it, Sea replied, "Ran into something."

Reaching out to touch the woman's cheek, Gina said, "Pretty evident, I
certainly hope the other person has a few tale tale signs."

Managing a slight smile, Sea said, "No. Now, before you go getting all
paranoid on me or worse, I am all right."

Gina watched the woman stifle a groan as she went to sit up and said, "All
right, if you mean one piece, I can see that but you don't look too good."

Her green eyes held a look of pain in them as she said, "That's no way to
make points with me. Always tell me, I look fine, even if I don't."

Seeming to believe the woman for an instant then saying, "Pulling my leg
again. I'll go get Saxton and Mary."

Panic set on the woman's face as she blurted, "No! Can't, don't want them

Gina tried to maintain her composure as she said, Tell me, I want to know
what happened? her eyes searching the woman as she added, "I need to know
what happened."


Standing, Gina exclaimed, "She is here?"

Sea told her what had happened and when she had finished, she said, "I have
no idea what it was but it took her appearance. I pray it will not come

Gina stared at the statue and said, "It won't."

Seeming surprised at the woman's composure, Sea said, "How can you be so

"Because all we ever have had in this room is love, no hate."

Thinking the woman's words over in her mind, Sea finally said, "The statue,
you think it had something to do with this?"

Nodding, Gina answered, "It is possible. And we both know how Asterea has
gotten to you, it would be easy for some curse to infiltrate your fears."

Standing, Sea walked toward the table, finding a bottle of port, she asked,
"Want some?"

Shaking her head, Gina said, "No, and neither should you."

"Taking a long drink, Sea said, "I need it, to help dull the pain."

Noticing how the woman was walking Gina said, "Is there anything I can do?"

"Yes, watch your step, this thing has vowed to get you."

Walking toward the woman and taking the bottle from her hand, Gina said,
"Thanks, I needed to hear that, I will have that drink after all."





Anita Louise

copyright 8/98

Chapter Eight

The apparition had not appeared again although everyone had been alerted and
were now on guard.

Gina stood watching Ann, the woman was standing near the helm, the white
cotton pants she wore were offset by the light blue blouse. The woman's red
hair seemed to glimmer in the sun's rays as she moved slowly. Her mind
drifted back to that morning when Ann had put those clothes on. She had
hoped the woman would slip into her leathers but she chose these instead.
The light blue blouse set off the woman's green eyes and she was striking.
Chiding herself she said, "Face it, she would be striking in whatever she
wore." Pondering a few things in her mind as she wondered, just what an
awesome woman like Ann Bounty could see in a common village woman? Now, as
she gazed at the woman, giving out orders, taking command and with such
ease, she found it hard to believe Ann had been swept into the nightmare
that seemed to plague the woman. Asterea, or whatever it was that confronted
Sea, seemed to have vanished but she could tell by the way Sea acted, the
woman was always on guard, thinking it could be anywhere. She stood watching
the woman a little longer and it was then Sea spied her and waved. Waving
back, Gina turned and went below. It didn't take her long to make it to the
cabin, hesitating for a few moments as she lightly knocked.

Mary Ready's voice rang out, "It's open, come in."

Stepping into the quarter, her eyes fell on the statuesque form of the
woman. She was working with a leather pack near the bed, her back was to
Gina. Staring, she could see Mary was wearing a pair of Sea's leather
breeches and leather shirt. The woman filled them out to perfection. Never
turning around and continuing to work with the leather pack, Mary asked,
"Took you long enough to come here. What makes today so special?"

Stunned at the woman's words, Gina stuttered, "Hu--it's Gina."

Turning to smile at the woman, Mary's blue eyes dancing as she said, "I knew
it was you. Come," she held out her right hand as she continued, 'take my
hand, come over and sit on the bed with me."

Hesitating then taking several steps she placed her left hand in the woman's
and said, "You act like you knew I would be coming."

Leading Gina to the bed and as the two sat, Mary said, "Sea's old partner,
aboard ship, I felt the time would come when you would confront me."

"Oh no, I don't want to confront you. Well I do, but not physically."

A grin crept across Mary's lips as she said, "All right, I am ready for it,
fire away."

Gina looked at the woman in amazement as she said, "Has anyone ever told
you, you look like a certain person?"

"I have been told that and there is a good reason but not something I want
to get into right now. You have a concerned look on your face and if it is
because you fear Sea and I getting back together, don't."

Seeming uncomfortable, Gina said, "I thought that might possibly happen in
the beginning but not now. I believe Sea when she tells me you are good
friends. That is why I have come to speak to you. You probably know her
better than anyone."

Mary leaned back, her eyes taking in the woman as she said, "I can see why
Ann is so taken with you," her words caught Gina off guard and as she began
to fidget, Mary continued, "you are lovely, and you would kiss the ground
she walks on."

"I don't know exactly what that means but I do care a great deal for her."

A twinkle in her eyes as Mary said, "I mean, you worship the woman, there is
nothing Ann Bounty can't do in your eyes. Am I getting any of this right?"

Nodding, Gina answered, "I love her and yes, she is inspiring. I thank each
day, each breath I take to be able to be in this place and time with her."

Looking away for a moment, Mary said, "Not so unlike I once was."

Standing and staring down at the woman, Gina said, "I certainly hope you are
not implying, I would turn against her like..."

The words were out before she could stop them as she said, "I, I didn't--I'm

Standing, Mary said, "Don't be, I did a terrible thing and you couldn't hate
me any more than I do myself. Believe me when I say, I have punished myself
over and over for that," heaving a heavy sigh, she continued, "I am just
thankful Ann has forgiven me and let me back into her life."

Changing the subject, Gina said, "You scared her, you were badly injured
when Ann freed you."

Mary reached out and touched Gina's left shoulder as she asked, "Is it true
what they say, Sea took them all down by herself?"

Nodding, Gina replied, "She did, it was a vision, the reins between her
teeth, whip in one hand and her cutlass in the other. She and the horse were
a sight to behold."

Mary's fingers squeezed Gina's shoulder as she said, "That is what I mean,
you speak of the woman with such love. It sounds like something she would
do, I have never known the woman to have fear, that is, until..."

Stepping away from Mary, Gina said, "Now, that is why I have come here, not
to tell you to leave Sea alone, to ask for your help.

The woman's eyes turning serious and her face set as she asked, "Help you,
how? Tell me?"

Gina's eyes looked around the room as she said, "This thing, it has Sea in
it's grip and I see her falling."

Mary walked toward the small wooden table, pulled out a chair and sat, her
legs crossed at the ankles she said, "Why don't you sit down. Tell me, has
Ann told you what happened to her there?

Walking toward the bed, Gina sat as she said, "Yes, she told me what
happened. At least she wasn't..."

Mary's words were strong as she cut in, "Maybe not the way you are thinking,
but Sea was raped that day."

Gina's eyes grew wide as she said, "No, she said no."

Mary watched the woman as she said, "The woman raped her mind, that can be
as bad. She took away her confidence, her self importance, her dignity. Sea
was left with nothing but the knowledge of what happened and could have. She
was but a toy to the woman to play with and for someone of Sea's nature it
took a part of her essence."

Gina seemed disturbed as she said, "I thanked her for telling me, I knew
something was wrong and thought it might be me. At least Sea is facing this.
Tell me, what can I do, we do, to help her?"

"Be there at every turn, let her know she is still the woman you fell in
love with, help her get her confidence back. You nor I will ever be able to
erase what the woman did to her there, but we can make it easier for her to
deal with, that is, until this woman is in Tartarus where she belongs."

Standing, Gina said, "Thank you, for listening to me rant. I only want to
see Ann well. You know, you're a good person. "

Mary was on her feet as she said, "Me too, and so are you, let's go see if
we can help her." The two women left the quarters together a smile on their
lips as Mary placed her right arm around Gina's waist.

Sea was coiling some hemp when she spotted the two women heading in her
direction. She handed the hemp to Saxton and started toward them. Nearing,
she smiled, "I give up, seeing the two of you arm in arm approaching me, I
feel I am in for it."

They smiled at one another as Gina walked up to Sea and said, "We have
joined forces."

Sea's eyes traveled to Mary then back to the woman as she asked, "Humm,
maybe I should offer some sort of treaty, peace, not war."

Mary walked closer and said, "We want to see you overcome this curse that
the woman Asterea has you under."

Sea had wrapped her right arm around Gina's waist as she asked, "Sounds
good, just how are the two of you going to manage this?"

Gina smiled up at her and said, "Taking shifts, one of us will be by you at
all times. If we see you are going into a nightmare we will do something to
bring you out of it."

Mary smiled, "We want your every thought to be on something pleasant."

Sea gazed down at Gina, her eyes warm as she said, "My waking moments are."

Mary smiled, "Anyone can see this, it is your nights, and the sleep you have
we are talking about."

Sea smiled at the woman as she reached out and placed the other arm around
Mary and said, "You two--at this point and time, I am willing to try and do

Mary gazed down at Gina and winked. Gina smiled as she said, "You are not
angry I talked with Mary?"

Shaking her head, Sea answered, "No, I am happy to see the two most
important people in my life speaking. I have set the ship on a course that
will get us to where you left The Scavenger."

Mary spoke quickly and decidedly as she said, "No, Will and I will accompany
the two of you to Egypt. It is the least I can do after all you have done.
Besides, a trip to the land of Cleopatra sounds interesting."

Sea grinned, "Lady is taken from all I have heard."

Stepping away, Mary said, "We both know how easily minds can be changed. I
always liked a good challenge." her look became serious as she added, "I
want to be there to help the two of you."

Sea smiled at the woman and said, "I know and I will welcome you and your
brother. We will be stopping to pick up supplies and then setting course for
Cleopatra's home land. Now, if you will excuse us, I need to talk to Gina."

Mary nodded and watched the two walk away. She couldn't help but feel a
tinge of pain at seeing the happiness between the two. Sighing, she walked
toward the bow, to this day, she still felt something for Ann Bounty and
knew she had to keep it under control. The one thing Mary did not want was
the wrath of this woman ever again.


Once the two women were below deck, Gina turned to Sea and asked, "What is
going on? You could have talked to me up there."

Sea glanced up then brought her eyes back down to Gina as she replied, "I
needed to be alone with you. I left before you awoke this morning and
besides I needed to warn you about Mary."

Gina was amazed at Sea's words as she asked, "'Warn me about Mary?' Why? The
woman has offered to help you."

"I know and I am grateful for this, we will need all the help we can get,
but, there is something you need to know about the woman."

Gina was all ears now as she uttered, "She is your friend, what would you
need to warn me about?"

Walking toward her quarters, Sea called back, "Let's go in here."

Once inside the room, Gina watched as Sea walked toward the desk. She was
quick in removing her cutlass as she turned to face the woman. "You have not
been out in the world very much and you need to ready yourself for

Walking toward her, Gina smiled, "I am always ready for your advances."

Shaking her head, Sea continued, "I mean from others."

Shrugging her shoulders, Gina said, "Oh, I already received this from Will.
He wasn't hard to take down."

Seeming surprised at hearing this, Sea bit at her lower lip then said,
"Didn't know, he does seem to have his sister's knack for romance. I am
talking about Mary."

"All right, talk, the woman has offered to help."

Stumbling on words as she sputtered, "She has a way about her, it is
charming and before you know it, you find yourself falling into her web."

"Gods, Sea! What do you think I am some kid. I have been around you, I
definitely know when someone is weaving a web." she smiled at the woman, her
dimples deepening as she said, "It works both ways. Who is to say I didn't
lay one out for you and you fell right into it."

Starting to say something as Gina placed a finger on the woman's lips and
said, "Shh, I know when I am being led on, I like your friend, even though I
know she still loves you. Ahh, you don't know that do you?"

Sea's look was of utter surprise as she listened to Gina.

Believe me, Mary Ready still cares in that way for you. She will not lead me
into her web if that is what you are thinking, I just pray the Gods, you
don't find yourself being led there."

Sea reached out and grasped Gina's left hand and said, "How did you get so
smart? So, I have been leading you into my web, tell me you want to be
released and I will step back."

Grinning as she wrapped both arms around Sea, she said, "Not that easy to
rid yourself of me. I told you sometime ago, pirate, you are stuck with me."

Embracing the woman, Sea whispered, "Always, I want to feel and know you are
stuck on me."

Gina was swept up in the woman's ambiance as she said, "I would only pray,
you will give Mary a chance, don't condemn her on past transgressions or

Sea's body was moving softly against Gina as she said, "I won't, I promise.
You were sleeping so soundly this morning when I left, care to spend a
little time, being close?"

Gina hugged Sea tighter as she said, "We are."

Stepping back, Sea grasped Gina's right hand and said, "I mean over there."
she was pointing to the bed as she added, "maybe a little time, feeling you
next to me while I am awake."

Gina quickly stepped toward the bed as she said, "Anytime I can get you in
bed with me, be it sleeping or just touching, I praise all that is."

Laughing as Sea stepped near, "I take it the answer is yes."

Turning to gaze up at the woman, Gina whispered, "Yes." Her fingers had
already grasped Sea's blouse and was pulling it up as she said, "raise your

Sea enjoyed watching and feeling the woman's hands on her clothing as she
said, "For a village woman, you are good."

Grinning as her fingers loosened the buttons on Sea's cotton pants, Gina
answered, "Never said I didn't know how to dress or undress a person. I just
never realized all the glories that abounded under the clothes."

Sea sat on the bed as Gina dropped to her knees, her hand tugging at the
woman's boots. It didn't take her long to remove them as her hands reached
up and grasped the pants and slid them down. Sea sat, her body glimmering at
the woman as she said, "You did that in record time, now that I am
unclothed, I must ask what are your intentions woman?"

Standing, as she sat next to Sea, Gina said, "To lay beside you and feel
your body against mine."

Sea placed her hands on Gina's blouse as she said, "One problem, you need to
rid your body of these. She was quick as the blouse soon hit the floor.
Standing, Sea pulled Gina to her feet, her eyes gazing at the woman's
breasts then rising to meet Gina's eyes she said, "You are beautiful."
Lowering her head, her lips found the woman's and easily glided across them.
Gina felt the hint of Sea's tongue as she moaned and felt the heat of the
woman's lips crushing down on hers. Her hands were on Gina's waist but had
traveled up and were now caressing each breast.

Gina had lost all thoughts of just laying beside the woman and had succumbed
to the deepening feelings of passion as their tongues glided in rapture with
each other's.

Sea picked the woman up and laid her down on the bed. Her lips still tasting
the sweetness of Gina's. While their kisses worked magic, Sea's fingers
easily loosened the buttons on her pants. Slowly, she glided them down as
far as she could reach, then she pulled back, her lips leaving a moistness
on Ginas.

Gina gazed at the woman, she was so ravishing as she said, "What happened?"

Smiling down at her, Sea answered, "Just needed to take a break, hold on."
Sea moved toward the bottom of the bed and removed Gina's boots then grasped
the cotton pants and pulled them off, tossing them on the floor. She sat,
staring down at the peaks and curves that traveled the woman's beautiful

Gina reached up and touched her with her left hand and said, "What is wrong?
Sea tell me?"

Sea lay down beside the woman, she could feel her heart beating rapidly as
she said, "Nothing, you are so delectable, I wanted to take the time to
actually see you."

"And now that you have?"

Sea lay on her right side, her breasts touching Gina. Moving her left leg,
she placed it across the woman and at the same time, her left hand was
caressing a leg. Gina felt chills as she said, "Sea, you don't need to do

Sea ignored her remark as her fingers traveled to soft golden curls. Gina
gasped and Sea stopped, her eyes shone as she stared at the woman, "You feel
so good."

Gina's body was in turmoil as she reached out and placed a hand on Sea's
hip. The woman froze. Gina seemed startled as she asked, "What? Sweet
Hestia, don't stop now."

A loud banging at the door, followed by, "Better cut that short, trouble

Sea stared at the distressed look on Gina's face, she leaned over, bringing
her head down, she placed gentle kisses on Gina's abdomen. "I have to go,
don't hate me." As her lips glided across Gina's stomach, she slowly edged
them down to the soft golden curls. Her lips caressed and soothed, Sea's
tongue traced patterns and as she placed one last kiss she sat up. Gina's
eyes were closed, it was apparent the woman was flustered as she opened her
eyes and said, "You kiss me, knowing I am craving you, how can you tease me
like that?"

Sea got up, she reached for her clothes and slipped them on, sitting, she
pulled her boots on. Turning, she stared at Gina and said, "I love you, this
is closer than I have come since we have been together. I am the captain, I
have to go see what is wrong. You are not the only one who is feeling pent
up, I want you so bad I think I will die. I can't ignore my command."

Gina sat, her eyes taking in the woman's form as she said, "You can ignore
me though, I never wanted it before, now, I ache. What am I supposed to do?"

Sea looked around as she said, "If it is nothing important, I will be back,
I want to take you to those heights I have spoken of, never have a doubt
about that." She lowered her head and placed a kiss on the woman's lips then
said, "You are more than I could ever hope for." Standing, she left the

Gina cursed after the door was closed. "No more! Gods why are you doing this
to us!"


Sea could see Saxton waiting as she walked toward the man. Her eyes were
sending sparks and the look on her face was cold as she said, "This had
better be good!"

He didn't flinch as he said, "Thought you might like to know Mary Ready has

Stopped in her tracks, Sea gasped, "What? Mary, where?"

He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Her brother just left me, he was
looking for her and couldn't find her."

Sea pursed her lips and said, "She was with Gina and I not to long ago. Turn
her around, we will look for Mary's body in the water and get the crew to
search the ship, and I mean everywhere."

He nodded and as he turned he said, "Maybe the two of you should take
sometime, go over to an island or the city."

Sea scoffed, "Not likely, sides, there would probably be something there
that would interfere. I think we have to face it, we are not supposed to
happen, not now anyway."

He turned and smiled at her as he said, "Never have known Ann Bounty to just
give up, aren't you the one that always says, 'where there is a will there
is a way?'"

Laughing, Ann said, "Why do you always remember things like that and yet
can't remember, I have said when Gina and I are in our quarters, we do not
want to be disturbed."

He shrugged and walked away as he said, "Next time, I wont bother you, just
don't swing me from the yard arm."

"Saxton!" The man stopped as Sea continued, "I'm sorry, of course I wanted
to hear what happened, and still do." She watched the man as he disappeared,
then turned and walked back to the cabin. Stepping into the room, she could
see that Gina had dressed. She looked up to see Sea return so quickly and
said, "Surprised, didn't expect to see you till maybe bedtime, if even

Sea could tell the woman was upset as she approached her and said, "I'm
sorry, I know you are probably tired of hearing me say this but it is all I
can say. Don't you know, how much I wanted you? It has been hard, me and my
mood swings but you have to admit when we do get together, it is good."

Gina gazed at her as she said, "Yeah, until someone interrupts. What now,
did Saxton get an owie and you had to kiss it and make it better?"

Sea walked toward the porthole and stared out for several minutes. Turning,
her emerald green eyes surveyed the woman as she said, "I can tell you are
angry and I don't blame you. It wasn't Saxton, it was Mary."

Gina's face was red and Sea could see the vessels in the woman's temple
pound as Gina bellowed, "Mary! Damn you Sea!" She turned and started for the
door and it took Sea two long steps to reach her. Gina felt Sea's hands on
her shoulders as the woman whipped her around. Her eyes were flashing and
the woman's face was set in stone as she said, "Mary has disappeared!"

Gina's facial features changed immediately as she asked, "'Disappeared?'
What happened?"

Sea scowled as she said, "I have crew looking for her now and we are turning
The Bounty about, she might have fallen into the water."

Gina stepped back as she said, "No, she is too good to just fall off a ship.
Something happened to her." Her eyes sought Sea's for an instant as she
said, "It is I that needs to apologize and I am sorry for cursing you. I
didn't know."

Brushing past the woman, Sea said, "Guess we really don't know one another
all that well. If you want, you can help with the search." Gina stood and
watched the woman walk away from her and as she followed, she had a sinking
feeling in the pit of her stomach. Their time together had not ended like
either one wanted and now she had said something and though regretted it,
she felt Sea might not forgive her one slip of the tongue.





Anita Louise

copyright 8/98

Chapter Nine

Gina was the first to spot the woman floating in the distance. At first they
thought it might be a piece of driftwood but as the ship neared, Sea was
sure it was a body. She and Saxton took a longboat and as they rowed toward
the form in the water, he turned his head and said, "If it is Mary can't
imagine how this could have happened. Are you and Gina all right?"

Sea put all she had into the strokes as the oar in her hands pulled through
the water. "I don't know, she is not happy with me at the moment."

He smiled and said, "She loves you, it will pass," his eyes were searching
out hers as he added, "we both know life is too short."

As they neared, they could see the woman was laying on her back floating.
Mary's voice was clear as she called out, "If you don't like the way I look
in your clothes, don't have to have me pushed overboard!"

Sea yelled out, "Didn't, what are you trying to do, see if you could get my

Mary swam toward the boat. Sea reached out and grasped her hands pulling the
woman into the boat. Mary was shaking and Sea ordered, "Get out of those

Saxton turned around as Mary's eyes gazed into Seas, she replied, "There are
much easier ways to get me out of my clothes. Just what do you suggest I put

Before Sea could answer, Saxton had taken his shirt off and was holding it
over his shoulder, "Put this on."

Mary smiled as Sea grasped the shirt. Once her clothes were laying on the
floor of the boat, Sea slipped the shirt over the woman's head. She sat down
beside her and wrapped her right arm around the woman's waist, pulling her
close, she said, "Have to keep you warm. Saxton, let's go."

The man began to row the boat toward the large ship as he said, "Best get
you into a warm bed."

Sea could feel the dampness seeping through the shirt the woman wore as she
said, "He's right, first thing, get something warm into your stomach and
into a warm bed."

Mary sighed, "I don't know what happened, I was looking out over the water
and something hit me from behind, next thing I knew, I found myself in it.

Holding the woman tightly, Sea whispered, "We'll talk about this later, for
now let's concentrate on getting you back aboard."

Gina had been watching and when the longboat was tied off, she hurried to
the ladder and watched as Mary started up followed by Sea. Moving back as
the women stepped onto the deck, she asked, "Are you all right?"

Nodding, Mary answered, "Fine, just wet."

Sea walked up behind her and said, "She's alive, I'm going to take her to
her cabin."

Gina managed a smile as she said, "I'm glad you are ok. Sea?

Mary turned to look at the woman and said, "Talk to her, she is worried."

Hesitating, Sea replied, "Need to concentrate on you."

Mary started to walk off as Will hurried up to her, she said, "I have
someone to walk me to the cabin, talk to Gina."

Sea watched them walk off, Will had his arm around his sister and was
holding her close. Turning her attention to Gina she said, "Could have been
one of us, Mary said something struck her from behind and tossed her off the
ship, seems we may still have the thing onboard."

Gina chewed on her lower lip as she reached out and touched Sea's right hand
and said, "If you hate me for my moment of jealousy, I will understand. I'm
sorry, I don't know why I said the things I did, I know you love me."

Trying to be stern but failing, Sea's green eyes caught the light in them as
she said, "I shouldn't have told you like I did, it was just as much my
fault." glancing at the woman's hand on hers, she added, "We need to talk,
just not now, I need to see to Mary, can you understand this?"

Gina's eyes never left the woman's as she said, "I can. I'll be in the

Sea watched her walk away, her eyes surveyed the ship before she followed.

When she knocked on Mary's cabin door, she was greeted by Will. His face was
full of concern as he said, "I'm glad you are here, she won't admit it, but
she is spent."

Walking past him she said, "Why don't you go keep Gina company, this way you
can look out for one another. I will stay with Mary for awhile."

He nodded and left the room. Mary was laying on the bed, a fur cover tucked
around the woman. Sea approached the bed and stood, gazing down at her and
it was then Mary asked, "Is Gina all right?"

Sitting beside the woman, Sea said, "Fine, you are the one that was tossed
into the ocean, how are you?"

"Cold, wet to the bone a little disoriented but other than that, I am fine."

"Humm, turn over onto your side."

Mary's eyes grew wide as she asked, "What on earth for?"

"Want to see if you have any marks, you said something hit you."

Laying on her side, Mary said, "I am turning out to be more bother than a
help to you."

"No, now shush and let me examine you."

Carefully moving the woman's hair and examining the skin, she said, "Here it
is, you have a cut. It's a good thing we found you when we did, even a trace
of blood draws sharks."

Mary shivered as she said, "Gina is right, in the comforting department, you
are lacking."

Sea was cleaning the area and placed a piece of cloth over the spot.
Noticing the woman was still shivering she asked, "Are you still cold?"

Mary's voice fell as she said, "I'm better, it's just your--do you need to
keep holding that there?"

Seeming alarmed, Sea asked, "Am I hurting you?"

"No, but you need to get back to Gina."

Sighing, Sea replied, "She is fine, Will is with her, they will look out for
one another. There, I think the bleeding has stopped. You never heard

"No, it happened so fast. My mind was on something else at the time."

Grinning, Sea asked, "Anyone I know?"

Turning onto her back, Mary Ready's blue eyes glimmered at the woman as she
said, "No. I think you had better get back."

Sea stood and took the basin over to the desk. Turning she started back
toward the woman and said, "You are certainly concerned that I get back to
her, do I upset you?"

Managing to smile, Mary answered, "Not in the way you are thinking. I, I
just think it would be better all the way around."

Sea had returned to the woman's bedside as she said, "Well, you will have to
put up with me anyway. I will not leave you alone and you did promise to
watch me. We can take care of two things at the same time."

Mary started to move, sitting up as the fur cover fell to her waist. The
woman's full breasts, still glistened with traces of water. Sea's eyes
rested on the erect nipples as she said,"Lay back down and quit doing fool
things. You need to keep warm, even your body is trying to tell you that."
Sea reached down and grasped the cover and pulled it to Mary's neck and
said, "Keep under there, and stay warm."

Mary grasped the cover and held it as she watched Sea and said, "Is that
what you think my body is trying to say?"

Sitting beside the woman, Sea answered, "Definitely cold. Get some rest."

Mary shut her eyes as she whispered, "Still think you should leave."

Sea smiled as the woman's breathing became even, she knew Mary had succumbed
to much needed rest. Shivering as she thought what could have happened if
Will had not gone looking for his sister.


Gina heard the knock on the door and thought it was Sea as she walked toward
it. "You don't need to knock, I have waited up for you," She was shocked
when she saw the man standing, grinning down at her. "Wi--Will, what are you
doing here, I thought..." she muttered as he said, "Sorry, not Sea, she did
tell me to come visit, said we could keep one another company."

Gina frowned as she said, "Come in, but just because I am inviting you in,
does not mean anything else."

He walked past her, his words soft, "Sea is busy with Mary and I really
wanted to talk to you."

Closing the door, Gina walked toward the table and said, "Pull out a chair
and sit, tell me what is on your mind?"

After he had sat, he stared up at her and said, "And you, aren't you going
to sit?"

She pulled out the other chair and sat, her eyes gazing into his as she
said, "Why did Sea stay there? Is Mary worse?"

Leaning back in his chair, Will answered, "My sister really had a time of
it, if she had not been found when she was, probably would not have made

Gina's light brown eyes were taking in the man's form as she said, "Thank
goodness you went looking for her."

Smiling, he said, "Thank the Gods, Sea started a search." he noticed a look
cross the woman's face as he added, "must have broke up something, I've only
seen a look like that once."

Getting to her feet, she began to pace the room and said, "How I look is not
important. I am concerned about what seems to be happening."

His gaze fell to the statue as he asked, "This the statue, the one that
seems to hold this curse?"

Turning to stare at the man, stretched out in the chair, his long legs
taking up a good amount of floor space, Gina answered, "That's it. It was a
wonderful time when Sea gave it to me, now, I just wish she had never found
the confounded thing."

He reached out and at the same time Gina screamed, "No, don't touch it!"
Will's right hand was already on the statue and as he lifted it up to gaze
at it's beauty, he said, "What's the matter? You act as if it was going to
bite me."

Walking toward the man, she replied, "It has shocked me, and if you look at
the desk, it has also caused that."

He gazed at the burn in the wood as he set the statue back down. "Weird, it
did nothing to me. Maybe you just have a lot of electricity in those hands."

Gina had noticed the way the man was staring at her as she said, "Sometimes,
my touch might carry a charge of sorts, but nothing like that. You are just
teasing me, I'm telling you the truth." yawning as she said, "I am tired

He seemed comfortable and showed no indication of leaving as he said,
"Captain's cabin huh?" his eyes darted around the room and came to settle on
the bed and added, "heard a lot of things about the Captain's cabin, is it
true the things that go on in one?"

Gina walked past him, stepping over his feet as she approached the porthole.
Her arms were folded across her chest as she said, "If you are asking what I
think, it is none of your concern. Your sister captains a ship, haven't you
ever been in her cabin?"

Smiling, Will answered, "No, never had the desire to be a pirate and sail
the sea, course I never really knew how enticing the sea could be before.
Evidently you have found it captivating."

She was looking at him now as she said, "Does everyone play with words?"

Will answered, "'Play?' I don't know, who 'plays with words?'"

"You, Sea, your sister just to name a few."

Smiling, he asked, "Got a pallet?"

Seeming perplexed at the man's question, Gina replied, "Of course, why do
you ask?" noticing the look in the man's eyes, she quickly added, "oh no, I
will sleep in here all by myself, that is, until Sea returns."

He stood and said, "Then I will sleep outside the door, Sea asked that we
watch out for each other."

Gina walked toward the door and opened it as she said, "Fine by me, probably
get uncomfortable out there." She watched the man as he walked from the
room, his eyes were sparkling down at her as he said, "If you should need

"Won't." She hastily added as she closed the door behind the man.


It was much later when Sea approached the cabin, she stood and stared down
at the man curled up in front of the door. Kneeling, she gently shook his
shoulder and whispered, "Will, I'm here now."

He blinked his eyes and sat up as she stood, he asked. "Is Mary all right?"

Reaching out to gasp his right hand and pull the man to his feet, Sea
answered, "She is sleeping soundly, thanks."

He nodded and walked away. She watched until he was out of sight, then went
in the room. Her eyes gazing at the bed and she felt relief at seeing Gina,
sleeping soundly. Walking toward the desk, she sat in a chair that was still
pulled away from it. Removing her boots, she leaned back and watched Gina's
body moving as she breathed. Feeling a tinge of regret for what happened
earlier, she reached for the bottle of port that sat waiting for her.

Gina's touch was so gentle and loving, yet every time the woman touched her
in that way, she froze. It had become a battle with her mind and body each
day. Sea could think back at times when she relished the person she loved to
soothe and caress her aching body, now, she had to force herself to accept
this. Taking a long drink, she whispered, "I can never let you know." her
eyes were gazing at Gina once more. Setting the bottle on the desk, she
began to remove her clothes, it didn't take her long to locate a shift and
slip into it. Rolling out a pallet, she laid down and closed her eyes,
hoping for some reprieve from the visions that seemed to haunt her.

The lightness was creeping it's way past her eyelids as Sea moved slowly.
Opening her eyes, she realized it was daylight and immediately sat up, her
eyes gazing toward the bed, it was empty.

Quickly getting to her feet, she found her clothes and put them on. Slipping
into the boots, she left the cabin. Approaching Mary's quarters, she knocked
and when there was no answer, she entered the room. The woman was nowhere to
be seen as Sea turned heading toward the stairs. The instant her feet
touched the deck, her eyes searched for the women. She could see Saxton,
talking with several of the crew and started toward the man. He looked up
when he saw her approaching. "Morning, you look like you slept well."

Nodding, her hands on her hips, eyes, darting around, Sea said, "Guess I
did, I'm looking for..."

He smiled and pointed toward the mast and said, "They're up there."

Immediately Sea's eyes scanned the area as she felt a deep gasp in her
throat when she saw the two. They were sitting and moving along as they
worked with ties."

Saxton reached out and grasped her arm as he said, "They seem, to know what
they are doing. I was going to send one of the men up to check the sail."

Turning to gaze at the man she said, "Who told them to do that?"

He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Thought maybe you did."

Fuming, she said, "I didn't and they have no business up there." Walking
toward the mast, Sea stared up at the two, as they moved carefully along.
"You two, what in Hades do you think you are doing up there?!"

They stopped what they were doing and smiled down at her as Gina called
down, "Helping with the sail."

Hands on her hips as she paced back and forth Sea demanded, "Down! I want
you both down right now!"

Mary smiled at Gina and said, "Captain commands, better go down."

Before long, Gina was standing in front of Sea, her light brown eyes were
glimmering at the woman as she said, "What's the matter? I woke and you were
so deep in sleep, I didn't want to wake you."

Looking at her, then up at Mary, Sea said, "Looks like you woke her."

"Oh no, when I came topside, she was already here. Before you go getting
upset at Mary, she told me to stay on deck."

Sea cleared her throat as she said, "Bet she didn't try to enforce that."

Gina waved up at the woman as she said, "Wouldn't have done any good, I
wanted to help," noticing the look on Sea's face she asked, "what is wrong?
We are fine."

Sea looked at her and said, "You stay here." She jumped and grabbed the
rigging and began to climb toward Mary. The woman smiled at her as she
approached and said, "Come up here to help?"

Scooting along, Sea stopped as she neared the woman and said, "No, seems you
pulled a fool stunt like this before and now you have pulled Gina into it
with you. I told you then and I will tell you now, there are men to do

Mary's blue eyes sparkled at the woman as she said, "She was fine, I
wouldn't have let anything happen to her."

Sea gazed down at Gina then she brought her attention back to the
fascinating woman who was smiling at her. "What if that thing had pushed
one, or both of you, off?" Mary's facial features changed as she muttered,
"Didn't think of that, it's hard, having to think about some curse."

The breeze was blowing the hair on both women's heads and tossing it about
as Sea smiled and said, "Peace, come on let's go down. I don't have to ask
how you are feeling, if you could climb up here, you are fine."

Mary's eyes were busily scanning Sea's body as she uttered, "I'll follow

Gina stepped back as Sea's feet hit the deck, they both stared up at the
statuesque woman that was slowly moving downward. Gina gazed at Sea and
asked, "Did you stay long last night?"

Sea's eyes were riveted on Mary as she said, "Awhile, sent Will to his
quarters when I arrived. He was so cute all curled up."

"He said he was going to do it, I honestly thought he would leave."

Mary was on the deck and turned, her blue eyes gazing into Sea's emerald
greens as she said, "We are both down now Captain, what are your orders?"

Feeling a warmth crawl up her neck, Sea said, "No orders, just don't want
the two of you risking your lives."

Mary winked at Gina as she said, "Seems the business we are in, we risk our
lives every day."

Sea looked at Gina and then back at Mary as she said, "Noticed Will standing
near the helm, he looks like he wants to talk to you."

Mary glanced toward her brother and said, "I'll go see what he wants." She
walked away as Sea turned her attention to Gina and said, "Sit down here
with me, we need to talk."

Gina followed the woman and soon was seated beside her on the deck as she
said, "Every time you talk to me like this, my mind spins out of control. I
dread what is coming."

Smiling at her as she placed her right hand on Gina's she said, "It's not
that bad but maybe you might think it." Gina was apprehensive, her eyes were
wide as Sea continued, "There seems to be so much at work here, I wanted to
love you, fate has played a hand in this and stopped me at every turn. I
will not put you through what happened again. I know it hurt you, and it
also took it's toll on me. So, if you are not upset, I would propose we

Gina looked away as she said, "It's all right, remember I have always told
you, just to know you love me and are near is enough. Though now, I have a
stronger sense of your love, I can handle it." turning to gaze into Sea's
face, she continued, "Just don't say you don't love me."

Wrapping her left arm around the woman's waist and pulling her close Sea
whispered, "There is no doubt there, I love you so much sometimes I think I
am floating on air. I promise, once we get that blasted statue back where it
belongs, Mary and Will have gone on their way, we will take some time, just
for us, no interruptions, just you and me."

Gina lay her head on Sea's shoulder and said, "Just to hear you say the
words, takes me to places unimaginable. As long as I know you love me, it is
all I need. Please forgive my outburst the other night."

"Forgotten, I understand, and it was just as much my fault. One would have
to be made of stone not to crumble under your smile and those enchanting
dimples. Would you mind if we just sat here like this for awhile."

Gina was very comfortable as she sighed, "No, this is heaven."





Anita Louise

copyright 8/98

Chapter Ten

Will smiled when he saw his sister approaching, "You look fine for wear,
especially after what happened to you."

Mary grinned, "I might say you do also, heard you slept in front of Gina's
cabin last night."

A sheepish look crossed his face as he said, "Told you about that huh? Well,
Sea did ask we watch one another, seemed she was too busy watching you."

Pursing her lips, Mary's blues eyes seemed to spark as she said, "Yes, Gina
told me. Do I detect a hint of the old green eye here? Sea is the Captain,
she was just making sure I was all right."

His eyes never left his sister's as he replied, "Has nothing to do with the
'green eye,' but it does have something to do with interrupting those two,"
he pointed toward Sea and Gina snuggled closely on the deck, "Seems they
have it all."

Looking toward the women, then back at Will, Mary said, "Don't take
everything at face value, they are together but then so was Sea and I."

He smiled, "That's it isn't it? You are still hung up on the woman."

Mary's face went from light to dark as she said, "I care about her, after
all we were close once. 'Hung up,' no, I could leave this ship today and
have no regrets where that is concerned."

Will stepped away, his voice heavy as he said, "Won't do any good to deny
it, I see it in the way you look at the woman."

Mary contemplated his words as she said, "And I see the way you gaze at
Gina, will do you no good to even think of going there."

"Guess we are in the same boat. I can live with just being her friend, can
you say the same thing?"

Mary smiled at her brother as she replied, "I will be happy just to know,
Sea is back in my life. She has forgiven me and that is a big step. I hope
you are not upset I offered your assistance in this quest to Egypt."

He gazed toward the two women who seemed to be deep in one another's embrace
and said, "No, never been there, it should prove interesting. I definitely
want to see this statue back. That fall into the ocean you took, could have
had disastrous consequences."

Nodding, she muttered, "Yeah, my head still aches where the thing hit me.
Thank goodness I have a brother who worries about me."

"You left home and I thought I would never see you again. It devastated me
when Mother told me you were gone. Never could understand why you just up
and left, no word, nothing."

Mary felt a sadness as she looked into his eyes, "There wasn't time to tell
you, I knew you would get on with your life," her words were soft as she
added, "I missed you."

Will was overcome with emotion and he reached out and hugged the woman, then
stepped back, "Me too, don't go do that again."

Grinning at the man, Mary said, "How about being my first mate? I have need
for one after mine was killed, when I was captured."

"Don't know anything about being a first mate." He uttered, a sad look on
his face.

"Doesn't matter, I will teach you, now, tell me will you join me?"

Nodding, he replied, "There is nothing I would like to do better."

Her right arm around his shoulders, Mary said, "Then it is settled, once we
are back, I will show you the ropes. Now, brother, let's talk about this
infatuation you seem to have for the gorgeous young lady."

He smiled replying, "Fine by me, as long as you fess up to your feelings
about Ann."

"Then let's go find a bottle of port and talk, I know nothing we say will
travel to anyone else. They left the deck and went below and only Saxton
stood watching, the fingers of his right hand rubbing his chin. He had no
idea what the two were talking about but for some reason he felt it had to
do with the two women who were wrapped up in one another at that moment."


Gina stared at Sea, she seemed to be asleep. Slowly, she got up from the
bed, picked up her boots and left the room. The time the two had spent
talking and just being together on the deck was nice and Gina could see the
toll everything was having on the woman. She was happy when Sea finally
drifted off to sleep.

Making her way topside, Gina slipped on the boots and started to walk toward
the bow. One man was standing by the helm and she smiled toward him. It was
a moonless night, there seemed to be a fog billowing up from the waters, and
as she shivered, Gina asked herself why she had decided to leave the
solitude of their quarters.

She could feel the dampness as the white mist passed over her. There were a
few lanterns lit and that is how she made her way toward the bow. The sounds
of the water lapping against the hull caused Gina to halt. The fog seemed to
be getting thicker and she turned to start back when she felt a presence.
"Sea, is that you? I couldn't sleep and didn't want to wake you." She waited
for an answer but there was none. Turning slowly, her eyes trying to see
through the eerie film, she asked, "Mary? Will? Whoever you are quit playing

It started as a chuckle and soon became a sadistic laugh as the apparition
of Asterea stood before her. A white glow seemed to envelop the form as the
woman gazed at Gina. If she thought she was going to scare the woman, it
didn't happen, instead, Gina cursed her and said, "Blast you, go away! You
have done enough damage!" She struck at the woman, her fist hitting nothing.
Asterea was confident, her arms folded across her chest, her eyes poised
like a snake seeking it's prey. Gina stood her ground, she didn't flinch as
the apparition moved to her left. Though Gina could feel her legs shaking
clear down to her boots, she showed no fear and when Asterea struck out at
her, she dodged the blows.

Gina had positioned herself a little to the right of Asterea and after the
woman's last strike, she swallowed hard, the blow was so close she felt the
air against her face. Standing tall, her hands on her hips, she gazed at the
woman and said, "I don't fear you, all I have in my heart at this moment is
love, love for Sea. So, try as hard as you can to reach me, it won't work.
Get out of our lives, go find a whirlpool to play in."

Suddenly Asterea disappeared, the glow was gone and Gina was left with the
darkness, fog and faint light from a lantern. She started to walk away as
the blow hit her on the back on her head. Feeling herself falling, Gina
rolled to the left at the same time, a deadly knife struck the deck where
she had been. Quickly getting to her feet, her head woozy, she posed for
another attack. It was at this time she felt a moistness on the right side
of her face and heard the words, "You are good, I'll give you that, another
time, another place." The woman's laughter dissipated and Gina hastened
toward the helm and the steps leading down below.

Below she made her way to Mary's cabin. Her head ached and with each step
she felt lightheaded and hoped to be able to find the woman before she
passed out. Thankful to leave the fog behind, she leaned against a barrel as
she tried to focus her eyes. Starting forward once more, she stopped and
knocked on the door. Mary's voice was foggy as she called out, "Who in
blazes is knocking at my door at this ungodly hour?"

Managing to find her voice, Gina called out, "It's me, Gina."

Within a matter of seconds, the woman opened the door, she gazed at Gina and
reached out catching the woman as she stumbled forward.

Holding the woman against her body, Mary, asked, "What happened?

Gina tried to stand but found her legs were made out of mush and collapsed.
Mary gently picked her up and carried her to the bed, laying her down, she
stepped back and asked once more, "Gina, tell me, what happened? Is Sea all

Trying to move but failing, she answered, "Sea is asleep."

Sitting beside the woman, her eyes surveyed the damp clothing as well as a
few scratches on her arms and legs. Her right hand caressing Gina's face,
she whispered, "Something happened, your clothes are damp, tell me?"

Gina took a deep breath, her right hand grasping Mary's she said, "Can't
tell Sea, she worries enough."

Pursing her lips, Mary glanced at Gina's hand on her and said, "She loves
you, she has a right to know."

"Maybe later, let her rest." She told Mary what had happened, in between
shivering and nausea, and when she was finished, Mary looked at her in
astonishment. "That was a foolish thing to do," the woman's words caught
Gina off guard, she did not plan on Mary reprimanding her, she had already
chastised herself. "I'm glad you are all right. Let me help you onto your
side, need to see where you were hit."

Mary's fingers diligently and carefully checked Gina and when she found what
she was looking for she said, "Here it is, must have a hard head, no cut,
but you are going to have a nasty bump for awhile. I would say, a sizable
headache also."

Rolling onto her back, Gina's voice quivered, "I showed no fear, it still
went after me. Seems to make it's contact when the thing vanishes. That is
why Sea couldn't stop it."

Mary reached down and grasped Gina's blouse as she pulled it from the waist
of her breeches and said, "Though Sea has a fear of the woman, she tried to
fight her, this is good, it means the woman hasn't won, not yet anyway."

Gina's hand grasped Mary's as she asked, "What are you doing?"

The woman's blue eyes glowed down toward her as she smiled, "What does it
look like? You are wet and need to get out of these."

"I'll be fine, just help me to the cabin."

"I'll hear none of that, you are so disoriented at this moment, standing
would probably take you to Morpheus' world."

Gina tried to sit but fell back down on the bed, her eyes glancing at Mary's
hands as the woman easily removed the blouse.

Mary had tossed it onto a chair and was now concentrating on the buttons
that held the breeches together. She glanced up to see the woman was holding
her arms folded across her breasts and said, "I know what a woman looks
like, no need to hide those from me."

Gina didn't say a word as she watched how easily Mary shed her clothes and
boots. When she had finished, she found a towel and said, "Need to dry you

Gina shook her head as she groaned, "No. Sea will be upset."

Managing a smile as she gazed at the defenses the woman was putting up, she
said, "Doesn't have to know."

Gina tried to move once more and got as far as to set up when she passed out
and Mary caught her. Gently laying her back down, she went about drying the
woman and when finished, pulled the fur cover up over her. Walking toward
the table, she grasped the bottle of port and sat on a wooden chair. Staring
at the woman, she took a long drink and muttered, "This one is a beauty,

When Gina woke the next day, she found Mary Ready, fast asleep, the woman
was laying on top of the cover but her body had sought Gina's. Her right arm
was draped over the woman, her head nestled in Gina's neck. Trying to move
and finding she wasn't getting anywhere, she stared at the cover that was
now laying on her waist. Though Mary wore a shift, it was small and the
woman's form was definitely trying to escape. Gina's eyes ran the curvaceous
body with abandonment and she felt a warm sensation creeping up her neck. No
one ever told her just how luscious this woman was, not only was she
beautiful but Mary Ready was nice.

Now she found herself staring at the relaxed way the woman was spread out on
the bed. Gazing at the arm that lay across her chest, she tried to move only
to have Mary groan. Slowly managing to maneuver away from the woman, Gina
made it to the edge of the bed. Standing, she clutched her head with her
right hand, as a sharp pain shot through, then subsided. Gazing around the
room, looking for her clothes she stepped softly toward them. Once dressed,
she started toward the door. Holding her boots on one hand she slipped from
the room. As she slid into her boots, she was thankful not to have wakened
the woman. What happened that night? The last thing she remembered was Mary
wanting to dry her off. Gods, had they done anything? Sea would kill her and
Mary, and if they had, she would do it herself."

Mary rolled over in bed, her blue eyes gleaming, a contented smile on her
face as she whispered, "I was awake, didn't want to cause you any undue
embarrassment. Oh yes, Sea, this one is a keeper."

It didn't take long for Gina to make it to the cabin and enter. Her eyes
surveyed the room, Sea was gone and it looked like the woman had left in a
hurry. Her boots were still on the floor. Walking toward the porthole and
staring out at the fog that was engulfing the ship, she felt a chill run up
and down her back. Gina knew she had to find Sea and explain what happened
before she jumped to some wild conclusion. Turning she started toward the
door and it was then that Sea walked into the quarters. Her face was flushed
and she held a look of fear in her eyes. Spying the woman her look changed
some as she demanded, "Where have you been? I have the crew searching the
ship looking for you. I just sent Saxton down to fetch Mary."

Feeling as if she was fidgeting, Gina replied, "I've been on the ship."

Walking toward her, the woman's green eyes surveyed Gina as she said, "That
is obvious, I want to know just who's cabin you have been keeping warm."

"Cabin," stuttering as she continued, "I--I had a problem."

Sea reached down and gasped her boots and walked toward the bed, sat and
pulled them on. Standing once more, she asked, "I'll only ask this once
more, where have you been?

Biting her lower lip, she whispered, "Mary's."

The woman's eyes seemed to glow as she seethed, "What in Hades and Tartarus
were you doing there?"

"Sea," her words trying to calm the woman as she continued, "sit down, let
me explain."

Glowering at her she snapped, "I'll just let Mary explain," Turning her full
attention to the woman she ordered, "you, stay right here, I'll be back!"

As the woman sped from the room, Gina called out, "Sea, you don't
understand!" She was already out of sight.

Mary had just walked into the passageway when she saw the tall red head
approaching. She knew from the look on her face, Gina must have told her.
Smiling at the woman, she asked, "You seem to be in an uproar, what is the

Glaring at the woman, Sea spouted, "Seems you are! Tell me, do you always go
behind a person's back?"

Mary tried to smile but failed as she said, "I never went behind your back,
what in blazes are you talking about, make sense woman."

Sea was so angry she was pacing back and forth, and from the woman's stance,
Mary felt she would feel the woman's wrath at any minute. "Nothing,
happened, she slept." Sea had turned and struck out at the woman as Mary
dropped to her knees avoiding the blow. "Stop it Sea, this is ridiculous, if
the woman needs someone to fight for her, she is very capable."

Noticing Mary back on her feet, her left and right fist swept through the
air with uncanny speed and just as fast was Mary Ready. Ann's blows caught
nothing but air, this of course was just making Sea angrier. Gina came
running up to the two and stepped between Sea and Mary as she shouted, "If
you want to hit someone, hit me! All Mary did was help me."

It took all that Sea could muster to stop and stare at the two women, "'Help
you?' All right, let's hear all about this help and just why you didn't come
to me."

Gina told Sea what had happened and when she finished, she said, "That's it,
all of it."

Her eyes darting from Gina to Mary, Sea growled, "No, that's not all of it,
not when I hear you woke up in her bed. I know Mary and she should have come
and got me. If there is any bed you should be in, it is ours."

Mary shrugged her shoulders and said, "Gina is a big girl, she asked me not
to tell you, said she would today. Why don't you stop and think, she could
have been killed last night."

Sea's expression changed as she said, "One of the crew was, found his body
hanging from the mast this morning. Now with this blasted fog, it is making
everything worse." Turning her attention to Mary she offered her right arm
and said, "Sorry."

Gasping it, Mary smiled, "Accepted, I think we all need to put our heads
together and try to figure a way out of this dilemma."

Sea looked at Gina and asked, "How are you?"

Managing a slight smile, she answered, "Headache, but I am fine. How long do
you think this fog bank will last?"

"Don't know, but we have dropped anchor until it clears. Certainly don't
need to collide with another ship or run onto a reef." Placing her right arm
around Gina's shoulder she said, "Let's go to the cabin, I'll have a look at
your head."

"It's fine."

Turning to gaze at Mary she said, "Check on Will, talk to you in a bit and
be careful."

Nodding, Mary watched them walk away, her mind drifting to her brother and
his thoughts of wooing Gina from Sea. "Never happen brother." She found
herself mouthing the words as she went to look for him.

Once the two were in their cabin, Sea turned to Gina and said, "All right,
fire away, dress me down, I deserve it."

Gina gazed at her and said, "No, it is I you should dress down, I had no
right to involve Mary in my problems. I knew she was your friend and you
have asked us all to watch out for one another. I'm sorry Sea, just didn't
want to wake you, you get so little sleep."

Reaching out to touch Gina's right arm, Sea said, "I don't care how much
sleep I get, if you need me, let me know. I would never rest nor forgive
myself if something were to happen to you. Besides, to wake to your face is
comfort enough. I am grateful you escaped the things wrath. Gabrielle taught
you well."

Gina gazed at the woman's hand on her as she said, "And so have you, I must
say though, our little confrontations are nothing like the ones Gabrielle
and I had."

Grinning, Sea said, "I certainly hope not, seems we always end up in one
another's embrace."

Turning and walking toward the porthole as Sea followed she asked, "This
fog, it is creepy, how long do you think it will last?"

Walking up behind her and placing both hands on Gina's shoulders, Sea
answered, "Only the fates know that, could clear soon and then might last

Gina stared at the bottle of port and said, Saxton makes sure you have a
fresh supply doesn't he?

Nodding, Sea said, "Yes, I look forward to the day I will not lean on it so
heavily. Since I woke and you were gone, want to lay with me for awhile?"

Gina turned and was facing Sea as she said, "Seems every time we do this, we
get involved and then interrupted."

Grinning, the woman said, "Well, we have decided to let that wait so if we
are just laying together, they can't interrupt anything can they?"

Shaking her head, she replied, "No, just thoughts."

After removing their boots and laying on the bed, Sea whispered, "The time
will come, when no manner of interruption will be made, not when we are in

Smiling, Gina whispered, "Yeah, and did you hear a person can walk on water

They had been laying in a tight embrace, Sea holding Gina close when both
drifted off to sleep. There was a knock on the cabin door. Waking and
cursing under her breath as she got to her feet Sea called out, "Will do no
good to curse you, what is it now?"

"Captain, you need to come take a look, fog has thinned some and there is a
ship anchored near us."

Gina and Sea both got up and walked toward the door, opening it and staring
into Saxton's concerned face, Sea said, "So, what does a ship anchored near
have to do with us?"

He looked at Gina and said, "Sent some men over, and seems, everyone is

The words hit the two women with a cold blast as Sea wrapped her left arm
around Gina's waist and asked, "'Dead?' What happened?"

He answered, "Don't know, but it looks like they all died a terrifying


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