from To Sail Through Time. Bryce is
Bethany's brother and he is concerned that Joshua will hurt his
sister, who is confined to Joshua's cabin, which is aboard the
privateer ship, Black Revenge.
pressed his hand against Bryce’s shoulder.
They would fight, if Bryce became angrier.
If they did, Bryce didn’t have a chance.
Bethany had seen Joshua’s fighting skill.
made you a promise last night,” Joshua said, “that I will
not wrong her.
‘Tis a promise I will keep, but she stays in my
peered at Joshua.
you understand now,” Joshua said, still ignoring her.
“’Tis for her protection as much as anything.”
He spanned his open hand in a half circle through the
“Look around you.
Hear with your ears, and you shall know my words are
Even if I were to possess her as you fear, would it not
be better for one man to master her than many?"
she shouted out.
"No one is going to master me."
Bryce and Joshua said at the same time.
She glanced back at Captain Blackmon. “I guess that means we can look at your ship now?”
“Aye,” the captain said. “We can board now.”
“I’m not going,” Bryce said. “Bethany isn’t either.”
Bryce never dictated to her about what she could or could not do. Why would he be so concerned now? “I am too,” she said.
“The both of you shall go,” Captain Blackmon said.
Bryce looked really teed off. He stood with feet apart and hands on his hips. “Not of my own free will.”
“So be it,” the captain said.
Had the captain really said that? Surely he wouldn’t force Bryce onto the sloop. She moved toward Bryce, but the captain moved beside her. He grabbed her arm and pulled her back against him. He withdrew his cutlass, and placed the blade along her Adam’s apple.
“What the...?” she cried out. If she had felt shock before, it was nothing compared to the sensations running through her now. Fear, ultimate and paralyzing, brought a shiver. He played a dangerous game. He could let that danged blade slip. She breathed in slowly. Captain Blackmon’s two partners had pulled their own cutlasses on Bryce’s
neck, and made it impossible for him to move in any direction.
Captain Blackmon’s warm body smashed against her. The muscles in his strong arm around her flexed.
“Consider that your strange vessel is seized.” His voice bellowed behind her head. “You and your sister are my prisoners until I get the answers I desire.”
Bryce’s face blazed red with anger. “This is absurd! There are much better yachts. What do you hope to gain by hi-jacking this one? Man! We’re just vacationers. We don’t have anything of value onboard.”
The nerve! Bethany’s temper flared. “Prisoner my eye! You’re carrying your game a little too far, Captain. Put your toys away before someone gets hurt...namely us.”
“Hey man!” Bryce yelled out. “She’s right. This is dangerous play.”
“I assure you, sir,” the captain said. “That this is no game.”
Captain Blackmon turned her around slowly in his arms. The cutlass stayed next to her neck. The green in his eyes glinted in the sun. He met her gaze with a pointed stare as his breath brushed across her face.
“It seems that your brother refuses to answer honest questions about your strange vessel.” His voice remained calm, but it didn’t make her feel less afraid. “Consider your boat, and its booty, mine until the words you both speak so strangely, made sense. You called us pirates...yet I prefer the term, privateers, for we were commissioned to
provide the service we do. I have papers from Cartegena to attack and sink any Spanish or English ship, and I fly the Cartegena flag.”
His cold expression frightened her. One careless movement, one twitch, and she could be hurt, maybe killed. What a time for her nose to itch.
“I...I... don’t care what flag you fly,” she said. “We’re not Spanish or English.”
“That remains to be seen,” he said.
Remains? Where else would they be from? “It’s a sick game, and I don’t want to play. Please, get off of this yacht.”
“By the stars, woman!”
Captain Blackmon’s shout startled her. She stiffened in his arms.
“Do you not see that this is no game?” he asked. “You are my prisoner and being taken prisoner by privateers should alarm you enough to cease your foolishness. Stop these riddles now for I am not amused.”
He accused her of doing riddles? He had been one big riddle since he hopped onto their boat. What if he lost his balance with the sea’s sway? He could slice her throat.
“You’re probably just a stressed out software engineer,” she said. “Go find your jollies somewhere else, and get that danged blade off my neck.” Even as she spoke, she felt the sharp edge of the cold metal.
A muscle twitched in his jaw. She had better keep her mouth shut, because he wasn’t impressed by her false bravery.
“Again your words confound me, magician. Nevertheless, my crew and I will look forward to more entertainment from your bag of tricks.”
“Captain Blackmon!” Bryce screamed out. “This is ridiculous!” When he spoke, one of the pirate’s blades brought blood at Bryce’s throat. Bright red, it trickled down his neck.
Horror filled Bethany and she tried to pull away. “Bryce!” They could kill him, and she couldn’t do a darn thing. Why could this idiot possibly want to kill them? Other than the yacht, they didn’t have anything expensive on board. “What are you going to do with us?” Her voice came out sickly subdued.
The captain’s gaze remained hard fixed on her. “Now you finally believe that your life is mine. You shall not die, if you cooperate. I do not allow the murder of unarmed prisoners, but I have been known to teach wenches lessons they never forget. Unless you want to become sport for my crew, as well as myself, I suggest you do as I say.”
Bethany felt the color leave her face when fainting threatened her. She never fainted. This pirate actor had to be a lunatic, but his horrible threat could be true. How many of the ogling crew had heard Captain Blackmon’s threat? Did they hope that he would carry it out?
“I see that you understand my meaning,” Captain Blackmon said. He released his grip around her body. “You have a lot of explaining to do, like the objects above and below, like the yacht itself. And these strange garments that you wear.” He pulled at the T-shirt’s front and rubbed the material between his fingers. “They show your lovely
woman’s figure so well. What manner of cloth can have a painting on it? And yet, not be heavy like tapestries or other woven cloth? What does it mean ‘Save the World in 1998?’” He peered down, as if looking at the large globe and inscription on her T-shirt.
“And yours, sir.” The captain turned toward Bryce. “What are the ‘Miami Dolphins’?’”
Bryce swallowed hard. Blood still trickled down his throat. “You’re not even funny, anymore, Captain. I’m not laughing at your jokes.”
Shouts from the Captain’s ship sounded out. Several of the crew pointed out across the water. The man with the patch lowered his sword from Bryce’s neck. “Cap’n, we best get aboard the Black Revenge, and batten down. There be a storm brewin’.”