Anthousai stood on the deck of the large ship, looking over the edge at all the people walking along the port. Her eyes searched the crowd, searching for that familiar face that always calmed her. When she spotted him she took off at a sprint to the gangplank and waited for him at the top. She saw that he had someone new with him and her heart slammed against her chest. She wasn’t good with meeting new people, least of all men. She found herself gripping onto the railing, feeling scared as they made their way up. Alkon looked away from the boy and smiled up at her, making it so she could breathe again.
“Anthousai, it’s nice to see you up top.” He said, his voice taking on that warm quality that it always did when he spoke to her. “I thought you’d be in our room.”
“I got restless so I came up.” She said softly, finding herself staring at her feet. She noticed she wasn’t wearing her boots or the bracelets he had bought her so her scars were in full view to the young man. She quickly pulled her hands behind her back. “I think I’ll go below now though.”
“Well then let me introduce you too Aaron, he’s going to be our new cabin boy.”
Anthousai glanced up at Aaron and then back down. “Oh, okay. Nice to meet you.”
“Oh he’s below, I guess he’s having some stuff moved around so Ceraon doesn’t get into it. You know how he is.”
“Still playing with the cannon balls?”
“He thinks they’re chew toys.”
Alkon chuckled, the sound hitting her right in the heart and sending tingles all the way down to her toes. He reached out a hand and patted her on the head. “Why don’t you go below and see if you can help Hybris and the others. Maybe you can distract Ceraon while they hide the cannon balls.”
“Who’s Ceraon?” Aaron asked when Anthousai had walked away.
“He’s Anthousai’s pet, a really big beast she found on an island. It followed her around like a little lost pup so we let her bring him aboard.” Alkon squeezed his shoulder. “You’ll meet him soon, just don’t try and take his food. That’s something only Anthousai can get away with. Now I only have a few rules on this ship: no rapes, no murders, no executions. There is bound to be fighting and death with this sort of job, but we try to keep bloodshed to a minimum. I don’t care what you steal from the pirates, but you do not steal from this crew ever. That’s a good way to get yourself thrown off the ship. We’re a family here, so you be good to us and we’ll trust you, but if you dare stab us in the back, you won’t be welcome here. As for Anthousai, do not touch her unless she okays it, do not crowd her, do not corner her and alert her to the fact that you are approaching her.”
“Did something happen to her sir?”
“That is not my business to tell. If she wants you to know, she will, but don’t try to pry it out of her. If you do anything to hurt her, I will come after you myself. Do you understand?”
“Good, now head below and find your room. It’s the only blue door.”
“Yes sir, thank you sir.”
“Oh and if you see a blonde man with blue eyes, tell him we’ll be leaving in ten minutes. We have a ship to catch.”
Aaron nodded and Alkon watched him until he disappeared below deck then went and sat down by the wheel. He sighed, wishing he had not warned the boy about messing with Anthousai so harshly. He had not wished to make his feelings for her obvious, especially to someone who might tell her how he felt. He enjoyed having her in his bed, curled up next to him and would hate for it to stop because she caught wind of his true feelings for her.
Anthousai laughed happily as she played with Ceraon. He was more like a sweet, curious puppy rather than a monster. In this moment she was playing with him for distraction so the men could hurry and finish but she often played with him and talked to him just because she adored Ceraon and was glad he had become so attached to her. “alright, we’re done” Hybris said and Anthousai answered “okay, I’m going to stay with Ceraon a little longer”
“Alright, I’ll just go tell the captain we’re ready”
“where’d that young boy go?”
“He gave me a message then went to his room to settle in. he seems harmless, I hope it wont unsettle you to have a new man aboard”
“If Alkon would bring him on board I know he’s alright…i only feel nervous about my scars” her voice became a whisper because she didn’t even want Aaron to hear about them. “If he is rude to you all you have to do is tell me or Alkon, you know that. Nobody on this ship will be messing with you Anthousai.”
“I know, thank you.” He smiled and tussled her hair as he left to go up top. Ceraon nudged her hand with his head and she stroked his leathery skin. “You’re such a sweet boy, but you need to quit playing with the cannon balls, they’re not toys.” She sat down on the floor, crossing her legs and letting Ceraon rest his head on her lap. She stayed there until he was sleeping then slid slowly out from under him. She could feel the ship start to move and headed above to be with Alkon at the wheel.
Alkon smiled when he felt that familiar tug on his coat and moved so Anthousai could stand in front of him. Her hands slipped over his and he asked, “Do you want to steer once we’re out in the open?”
“Yes please.” Her eyes lit up as she flashed that beautiful, breathtaking smile and his heart gave a little stutter. She had no idea how beautiful she really was.
“So, is out resident pet sleeping?”
“Yeah, we really need to get a toy made for him at the next port we land at.”
“What kind of toy?”
“Maybe one that I can put his food in to help keep him entertained. It might keep him from chewing on the cannon balls.”
“You’ll have to remind me then.”
He let her have the wheel once they were in the open sea and just stood behind her to make sure she stayed on course. “Where are we going this time?”
“We have to track down a pirate called the Black Fox, her real name is Mabel Goff.”
“This will be my first female pirate. What’s she like?”
“Tough, ruthless, supposedly she runs a brothel on an island in the South sea.”
She hunched her shoulders. “Does she take slaves?”
He slowly hugged her. “No, she might be a pirate, but all the women who work for her do so willingly. At least that’s what the reports say.”
“How long until we find her?”
“We’re going to stop on the island I was talking about and see if she’s there. If she’s not we’ll find someone who knows where she went.”
“I won’t let anything happen to you and neither will anyone else on this ship. The twins would rip someone to shreds if they hurt you, Hybris would kick the shit out of someone without giving it a second thought, and I would die before letting someone have you. You’re the safest person on this ship Anthousai.”
She smiled again, enjoying how safe she felt in his embrace. He was the only man who could give her a long hug without her feeling any fear of him. Alkon reluctantly let go, knowing he had already lingered too long despite wanting her pressed into him longer. “did you talk to the new guy atall” Alkon asked “Not really, why?”
“He’s fine if you’re worried I’ll be scared of him”
“He’s a good hearted kid from what i can tell. I’d never bring anybody aboard I’d think would hurt you”
“You two are pretty close in age.”
She laughed. “Are you calling me a child?”
“Aren’t you nice.” He rested his hands on her shoulders, letting his thumbs brush lightly over her shoulder blades. She sighed and leaned a little closer to him. “I didn’t realize I was so tense, thank you.”
“You never realize it. Are you hungry?”
“Aaron.” He yelled the boys name when he saw him crossing the deck. “Come here please.”
Aaron ran over, almost slipping on the deck. “Yes sir?”
“I was wondering if you would go down and ask Bem if she would mind making Anthousai something to eat.”
“Of course, would you like anything in particular?” He did his best not to stare at her.
“Bem’s a really good cook, she always knows what to make for me.”
“Okay then, nice talking to you.”
She hadn’t realized it, but she had stepped back into Alkon so she was pressed against him. It was a reflex. “It’s okay Anthousai.” Alkon said softly and she took a deep breath.
“I feel bad.”
“Hush now, there’s no reason for that.” He kissed the top of her head and she relaxed.
“Someday you’re going to get tired of me clinging to you and sleeping in your bed.”
“Never in a million years, you are and will always be my top priority.”
Anthousai hoped that was true. She never wanted to leave him, she would go anywhere in the world as long as she got to be with Alkon. Anthousai went back to steering until Aaron told them food was ready. Alkon found someone else to mind the wheel then went to sit with her while she ate. “I feel weird when I eat and you’re not eating”
“want to give me a bite?” he asked with a grin. She cut a little away then stabbed it with her fork so she could lift the small portion to his mouth. He slid it off with his teeth and she went back to eating. Upon swallowing he said ‘there, now I’ve eaten a little”
She blushed and looked at her plate. “That’s hardly enough. You’re the captain, you should have a full meal and if not a full one then at least half a meal.”
“I’m fine Anthousai.”
“Please let me share more with you, it will make me feel better.”
He smiled. “Alright, another bite then.”
She went back and forth feeding him and feeding herself until her plate was clean. She got to her feet and he went to take her plate, but she pulled it away. “You should be at the wheel until dinner time.”
“I don’t mind taking it for you.”
“It’s fine, go on back to work.”
“Alright, if you insist.”
She headed below deck and he watched her until her head disappeared. He sighed, feeling like he was taking advantage of her. His shameless flirting was the last thing she needed. He went to the wheel, excusing the man he had asked to man the wheel. “Well, it seems to be getting worse.” Hybris said as he sauntered up, grinning.
Alkon shot him a warning look. “I have no idea what you mean?”
“You know, you may be able to hide it from everyone else, but not from me. I can see it in the way you look at her and the way you hold her and talk to her. You’re absolutely in love with her and it’s getting harder to contain. Why don’t you just tell her?”
“Things are fine the way they are.”
Hybris shrugged. “If you say so Captain, but remember you said that when she’s sleeping next you and you’ve put your body between hers and the door so no one can take her.”
“Did you come over here to mess with me or did you need something?”
“Just to tease you, have fun steering. I’m going to go have lunch then sleep. Have the cabin boy wake me come dinner time, I want to eat before I take my turn at the wheel.”
“alright” Hybris started to walk away then slightly turned “you should tell her Alkon”
“Go to sleep” Hybris shrugged then continued to walk away. Alkon stared over the sea thinking of Anthousai. It would be amazing to tell her, to hold her and kiss her as affectionately as he wanted but after all she had gone through he didn’t know if she’d want anything like that and it still felt incredibly selfish to want her so badly, to flirt as he somtimes did. She had suffered so much and now she deserved his protection and for him to not succumb to his own feelings.
Anthousai walked slowly back upstairs, Ceraon following close behind. He had been woke by the smell of food cooking and she had had to stop and feed him. He walked on all fours behind her, since he was too tall to stand up in the hall and walk up the steps on his hind legs. She walked to the bow of the ship and rested her chin in her hands while the beast curled up behind her, keeping watch. She loved the way the wind felt as it pushed its way through her hair, enjoyed the salty spray of the sea. She had never thought a ship would be her home, but Alkon had made it just that. Everyone had been so kind and welcoming and had given her space. None of them had questioned why she held on so tightly to Alkon and Hybris had encouraged it. She sighed as she thought about the ship captain and how wonderful he had been to her. At first he had been nothing but a protective barrier between her and the rest of the world, but now he was so much more.
She turned and sat down and Ceraon put his head in her lap. “What do you think I should do?” He made a chirping, purring sound. “I don’t want to burden him or make things weird between us. He already lets me get away with so much.” Ceraon rubbed his face against her stomach as if to comfort her and she smiled. “Thank you for listening.” She stayed at the bow of the ship until dinner time then went down to get food for her and Alkon. Hybris had just finished eating so he accompanied her back up and took the wheel while Alkon sat down to eat with Anthousai. “You look tired.” She said softly.
“Just a little, but I’m used to it.” He looked up. “The twins are still in the crows nest, they need to eat.”
“I’ll have Ceraon take some food up.” She sat her plate down then called for Ceraon. He came running and she rubbed his head before having him follow her below deck. A few minutes later she came back up, Ceraon was wearing the harness she had had made for him and strapped to his back were two covered bowls a corked bottle with juice in it. She made sure the lids on the bowls were secure then ordered Ceraon to go up to the crows nest. She sat back down and they both watched him climb as they ate. A moment later he was making his way back down and the twins were looking down at them and yelling their thank yous.
“You really are magnificent.” Alkon said without thinking and she blushed.
“Oh, well thank you.” Ceraon came over to her and she gave him a piece of meat as a reward.
Ceraon purred again which caused Anthousai to smile. Alkon smiled too “it’s ridiculous how much a creature like him reminds me of a dog. He’s so loyal to you and loves you so much”
“He’s a sweetheart” she agreed and continued eating. Once finished Alkon said “what would you like to do?”
“Lets rest, I know you’re more tired than you’re letting on. You went on land today”
“If you insist I would like to turn in early” He answered and she stood “well lets take these dishes to the kitchen and head that way” he stood with her and walked by her side until they reached the kitchen. They both set their plates by the sink then went below for some rest.
Anthousai quickly changed into her nightgown then crawled under the covers and waited for patiently for Alkon. He pulled off his clothes then tugged a pair of night pants on and got in next to her. She snuggled closer and he put his arms around her. She felt so fragile to him, like a delicate little flower. Her hand rested on his chest and he placed his over it, wanting to feel how soft she was. He traced her knuckles, let his fingers slide down the back of her hand to her wrist where he lightly brushed her scars. “Alkon?”
“Thank you for being so gentle with me.”
“I need no thanks.”
She lifted her head and pressed a kiss against his cheek, taking him by surprise. He found himself staring in her eyes, getting lost in their soft brown depths. He reached up and tucked some hair behind her ear, allowing his fingers to brush lightly over her skin. She swallowed, grabbing his hand and pressing it against her cheek. “Thank you.” She said softly then rested her head on his chest. He knew she must hear the thundering of his heart and for the first time in his life he felt nervous. “What a wonderful sound.” Her words filled him with warmth and he held her a little tighter.
“Good night, Anthousai.”
“Good night.” He rubbed his hand up and down her arm until her body had relaxed completely against and her breath had softened. He kissed the top of her head and allowed himself to settle completely into his bed, allowing his eyes to drift closed and sleep to take him. The next morning a knock on their door woke them. Alkon yawned and got up, pulling the door open and smiling at Aaron.
“Sorry to wake you sir, but Hybris says it is your turn at the wheel.” He looked past Alkon and gave an awkward wave to Anthousai. “Good morning Anthousai.”
“Morning Aaron.” She said softly back. She could tell by the look on his face that he was wondering what she was doing in the Captain’s bed.
“Aaron, please go up and tell Hybris I’ll be there momentarily.”
“Oh yes sir, sorry.”
Alkon shut the door “he thinks we’re sleeping together for other reasons” she said with a blush. “I will set him straight, don’t worry” He hugged her and she didn’t know what to say while he just worried about her being upset about that small awkward moment. Alkon dressed then left so Anthousai would change. When Alkon reached the wheel he said ‘you see Aaron tell him to come to me so i can talk to him”
“He saw you with Anthy?”
“Yes and it made her feel awkward. I’m just going to explain why she was in there”
“don’t be hard on the boy”
“mm, we’ll see” Hybris walked away to grab some food from a long night of sailing.
Anthousai sat next to one of the cannons tossing pieces of food at Ceraon and watching him catch it. She sighed, hoping she had not been wrong to kiss Alkon. She had wanted to go for his lips, but had been too nervous and feared it would ruin things. She didn’t want to be separated from him. “Hey, can I sit with you?” She looked up at the voice and gave Aaron a small, nervous smile.
“He’s not going to eat me is he?” Aaron nodded towards Ceraon.
“Not unless you do something he doesn’t like.”
“Okay good.” Aaron sat down across from her, a plate in his hand. They ate in silence for a couple of minutes, him giving her a glance every now and then. “So, I just wanted to say that what you and the Captain do is none of my business, I wasn’t judging or anything.”
She just stared at him. “Oh, it’s not…”
“There you are boy, Alkon is calling for you.” Hybris said as he walked into the room. “You should hurry on up before he becomes impatient, just take your food with you.”
“Yes sir.” Aaron replied, jumping up and hurrying off.
“You alright Anthy?”
“Yes of course…” she frowned and he sat down in front of her.
“What’s wrong sister dear?”
She sighed. “Aaron thinks me and Alkon are sleeping together and I both hate and love the thought.”
Hybris just nodded, suppressing his grin. “And why is that?”
“Well I hate it because it’s not true and I don’t want anyone spreading rumors, but I love it because…because…”
He placed a hand on her shoulder. “Because you’re in love and you want it to be true.”
“Is that weird? I feel weird even having this conversation with you, but I can’t have it with Alkon and Ceraon can’t talk so you’re next in line to hear my worries.”
He chuckled. “It does my heart good to know that I come in place after a slobbering dog monster.” She cracked a smiled and he patted her shoulder. “It’s not weird sweetheart, not at all, in fact it makes sense. If I was you I would tell him how you feel, just get it all out before you explode.”
“But we still have to catch that pirate.”
“So, your love would only make him stronger.”
She laughed. “You are so cheesy.”
“Sometimes it’s good to be cheesy, it makes things a lot easier.”
She giggled again “He might be fussing at Aaron so I’ll go ahead and interrupt.”
“good, he’s mighty protective of you Anthousai. Give me your plate unless you’re still hungry”
“No, thank you for taking it” she handed it over then walked away. She immediately caught the attention of Alkon who told Aaron ‘you can go now” Aaron walked off, seeming upset. Alkon smiled at her “you want to help me steer?” he asked hopefully. “Um no, I um…I wanted to talk to you”
“about what? Aaron?’
“Us?” he asked fearfully, maybe last night he had gone a bit too far and upset her. There was silence for a few seconds as she gathered her courage. There was so much she wanted to say but all that came out was “I love you” She ventured to look him in the eyes just after letting those words leave her lips.
He wished he could let go of the wheel and hug her, but it would jerk them around so he just grabbed her hand and pulled her into him. “Say that again.”
“I…I don’t know if I can.”
“Please, say it again.”
She looked around the ship at all of the others then buried her face in his shirt. “I can’t.”
Alkon looked around and spotted Aaron. “Hey Aaron, come here.” The young man came running, still looking a bit down. “I need you to take the wheel.”
“You want me to drive?”
“There’s a compass attached here.” He pointed to the piece of wood with the compass built into it just behind the wheel. “Just follow the arrow and you’ll be fine.”
Aaron took the wheel and Alkon lifted Anthousai off her feet and carried her below. He passed Hybris on the way and said, “Aaron is steering, make sure he stays on course, but don’t drive for him.”
“Yes sir.” He just smiled at them, but said nothing about him carrying Anthousai.
When Alkon go to their room he sat her on the bed then closed and lock their door. She looked really nervous as he sat down next to her. “Please say it again.”
“I love you, like romantically.” He was unable to help himself and wound up kissing her. She gave a little gasp of surprise, but didn’t pull away much to his delight. He had never felt lips as soft as hers, had never tasted any as sweet.
He was surprised at his actions and pulled back. “I’m sorry.”
She was breathless, but managed to say, “Please don’t be, I want you to kiss me and…and touch me. I…I may be a little nervous, but I can do anything as long as it’s with you. I know you’ve been trying your best not to upset me, but nothing you do could ever upset me.” Her fingers gripped his shirt. “So do you love me too?”
“I wouldn’t have kissed you otherwise, I love you very much.”
“ki..kiss me again” He smiled and took her face in his hands “with great pleasure beautiful” His lips moved over hers and he could swear they were glacé. How could one womans lips be so sweet and make him crave them so deeply. Her fingers gripped his shirt tighter so he pulled back to ask “you okay?’
“Yeah, I’m nervous but I want this”
“This is just kissing, we aren’t making love yet gorgeous. You’ve only just told me you love me, I want to soak in that for a while.” Anthousai blushed and now she was the one to pull his face into hers. He pulled her into his lap, ecstatic when she was okay with it. Their lips moved against one anothers and soon he allowed his tongue to slid into her mouth and explore. She started doing the same as her face grew warmer.
He rested his hand on her knee and let his fingers slide slowly up her dress. “Ah, I…” She said as she parted their lips.
“May I feel you?”
She felt her heart flutter at him asking her. She had never had anyone care so much about her feelings. She nodded her head, her heart giving a nervous leap when he reclaimed her lips and let his hand move up her thigh to her hip. She found herself quivering and wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing her body closer. He lifted her slightly and pulled her dress from beneath her so he could slide his hand further up, his fingers drifting slowly over her ribs. A knock sounded at their door and she would have jumped out of his lap, but he held onto her. “But there’s someone here.”
“Who is it?” He yelled.
“Sorry to break up whatever it is you’re doing, but the island is in sight.” Hybris said from the other side.
“Give me a moment.”
Anthousai covered her face with her hands. “How embarrassing.”
“It’s okay baby, we’ll continue later when there are no distractions.”
“That’s going to be hard on a ship.”
“So after we catch Mabel and take her back to be jailed, we’ll stay on land for awhile. You know I have a house in the city, I just hardly ever use it.”
“I didn’t know that”
“You still have plenty to learn about me but I’m sure it’s mutual my love. You stay aboard this ship for me while I deal with the woman. Men will stay behind and you’ve got Ceraon. She and her crew are dangerous and I wont have you hurt”
“Ceraon needs to stretch his legs but we’ll stay close by. It would be mean to not let him roam a little bit, hes a wild creature after all” With a bit of a conflicted look Alkon nodded “Please just don’t leave him. I cant bear anything happening to you”
“I wont, do i ever leave this ship without Hybris, you or Ceraon?” He kissed her head “I know, I just love you so much”
“I love you too.” She replied, her cheeks turning red as she looked down at her hands. He grabbed her chin and tipped her head back.
“You really are the most beautiful creature in the world.” He gave her a quick kiss then sat her on her feet. He was actually a little relieved they had been interrupted. He had begun to get excited and had not wanted to do something stupid. She pulled on her boots and put on a pair of silver bracelets Alkon had bought for her. She then grabbed the head halter she had had made for Ceraon and she and Alkon left their room She let out a high pitched whistle telling Ceraon to follow her. The big beast came from below onto the second floor then followed them above deck where she put the harness on. She stood next to Alkon as he steered the ship toward that island.
Once the ship was docked they waited patiently on deck as the gang plank was lowered and they were able to walk down. Alkon stopped her and kissed her forehead. “Remember, stay with Ceraon and if you have to get away, climb onto his back and let him carry you too me.
“I will.” She was embarrassed being shown so much affection in front of so many people.
They made their way down the pier together and then parted ways. He was headed for the Fox’s brothel and she was going to the market district. He had given her some money and she wanted to get him something for being so amazing. She walked past all the stores, only stopping to look in windows. People gave her space, intimidated be the monster walking obediently by her side. She stopped at a clothing store and tied Ceraon up to the stair railing before going in. She looked through everything and decided to get him a new jacket for cold nights on the sea. His was getting a bit worn down. She grabbed it then and crimson colored shirt. She thought the color would look nice on him. She went up to the counter and purchased them, giving the shop owner a nervous smile.
He smiled back, much more confident and self assured than she was. “Why does that beast out there follow you? You a tamer?”
“No, he’s my friend. I only tie him up because he’s kind of like a small child. He’ll wander off innocently then get upset if he cant find me. If he wasn’t so huge I’d bring him in stores with me” Her eyes rarely met his as she spoke. “Its a little out there to have a thing like that as a companion”
“He’s sweet, reminds most people of a dog once you’ve gotten to know him” While he was making her talk anyway she decided to ask “I’m trying to find some sort of toy for him. Do you have any idea where I could find somthing like that?”
“I can’t even begin to think of anything it could play with”
“His name is Ceraon”
“You name him?”
“I like it” She nodded and took her purchases so she wouldn’t have to talk to him anylonger. Ceraon lit up when she came back out and she gave him a whole hearted smile “I bought some things for Alkon and now I’m going to see if I can find you anything”
Alkon sat in the brothel, his eyes scanning the large lower floor for Mabel. He took a sip of the beer he had ordered, ignoring the scantily dressed women who made pass after pass at him. His clothes were already permeated with the smell of the incense they were burning. It was meant to meant to make your head hazy and willing to spend as much money as the women could seduce out of you. “Hey baby.” Another woman came up to him and he waved her off. “Now, now don’t be like that.” She slid onto his lap and he glared up at her.
The tip of a knife was suddenly pressed against his throat and she smiled. “My employer would like to speak with you upstairs Mr. Birral. Be a good boy and come along or I’ll slit your throat in front of all of these nice people.”
His hands flew up, his reflexes like lightening. He grabbed her wrist with one and her throat with the other, surprising her. A hand grabbed his shoulder and he looked up into the face of Mabel. “That’s quite enough Captain Birral, I think she gets the point. Please join me upstairs. Sasha, get us something to drink and bring it to my office.”
The woman huffed as she got off his lap and Alkon got to his feet. “Did you really think sending one of your whores to threaten me was a good idea.”
Mabel shrugged. “Men of honor tend not to strike women.”
“Unless we need too.”
“Come upstairs.” She moved past him and he followed her. They went up a set of stairs and into a room that had a window overlooking the entire lower floor. The air was much cleaner in here since the incense had barely managed to work its way in. “Please make yourself at home.” He stayed standing as she sat down at her desk. “So they have finally sent the terror of the sea after me. You know some people call you a god? They say you bend the ocean and the wind to your will and that is why you always catch your quarry.”
“Ridiculous rumors spread by terrified pirates. I didn’t come here for small talk and drinks, I came here to take you back to Hemera to be put on trial for your crimes.”
She laughed. “You know they’ll jail me for life.”
“You, the Black Fox, I think not. I have done my research Miss Goff, you are quite good at escaping. Many have come for you and the few who captured you lost you before they even made it half way across the sea. Your crew was always there to pick you up and aid in your escape so I know that you will easily escape Hemera’s prison.”
She smiled. “Are you saying you don’t care?”
“What you do after I hand you over is none of my concern. I just want my reward so I can feed my crew and I’m also very impatient to get back to the love of my life. So come with me, let me make a show of shackling you. I’ll even let you slip a message to your crew so they can pick you up after you break out. All I ask is that you don’t kill anyone.”
“And I thought men like you followed the rules.”
“I’m a privateer Mabel, we all started as pirates.”
She smiled “fine, should be fun. I love a good escape. I hadn’t heard you have a lover though, who is she?”
“she is none of your concern Mabel, you might see her in my ship but you will not upset her, understand?” She giggled ‘walk me down and shackle me”
“do you understand?”
“How protective. I wont bother her” She got up and walked to him so he could grab her and walk her down the stairs. They put on their show for Mables girls then he started walking her back.He was glad this went well and hoped the incense clinging to his clothes wouldn’t bother Anthousai if she was already back on the ship. Anthousai sighed in frustration “I so badly wanted some sort of toy for you but I cant find anything” Ceraon nuzzled her with his head and she smiled ‘I know, I just worry about you being bored”
She finally gave up on regular toys and made her way to a black smith. The man was hard at work, but Ceraon caught his attention and he went for one of his swords in his surprise. “Whoa, it’s okay.” Anthousai said as she put her self between the beast and the man. “He’s my companion.”
“His name’s Ceraon, he’s really not a threat I promise.”
The man slowly put the sword down. “What can I do for you?”
“Well I’m looking for a toy for him, but he can’t play with regular toys because he breaks them so easily. I was wondering if maybe you could make something for him.”
“What did you have in mind?”
“Maybe a ball I can put snacks in for him to try and get out.”
The black smith pondered this. “I have some old cannon balls. I could drill a hole just big enough for his tongue to fit in and then slightly hollow it out so you can fit food inside.”
“That would be great.”
“It’ll take a couple of hours, you can wait or you can come back.”
“Do you have a place I could wait with Ceraon so he’s out of sight, I would hate to scare your customers away.”
“Go around back, I have pen where I keep my donkey. Her name is Cupcake, my daughter named her.”
Anthousai smiled “thank you” She walked around back with Ceraon who seemed excited. “you excited to be out so much or because you’re getting a toy?” she asked. He chirped at her, causing Anthy to laugh. The donkey seemed uncomfortable when it saw Ceraon so Anthousai said to her “it’s okay, he’s nice. I swear.” she walked up to the donkey while Ceraon sat there, smart enough to know the donkey was afraid. Anthousai ran a hand down its neck and body “Your owner takes good care of you Cupcake. I like you fur. I pet Ceraon like this too, he loves when I pet him”
She left Ceraon there for a moment and asked the blacksmith if she could feed Cupcake snacks. He told her there was a back of carrots in the pen and the donkey could have as many as she wanted. She went back, happy to see Ceraon still sitting obediently away from Cupcake. She found the bag of carrots and fed some to the donkey. Ceraon made a little whining sound and she smiled as she tossed him one. Alkon was a little disappointed when he found out Anthousai had not returned yet. He gave Mabel one of the cabins and informed Hybris that she was a guest on the ship until they arrived at Hemera then left to look for Anthousai. Even though she had Ceraon, he couldn’t help but worry about her. She was sweet and even though she had been through hell, completely innocent. He asked throughout the market district if anyone had seen her and Ceraon. People pointed further down and one gave him the name of a clothing store. The store owner directed him even further down the street. He was told by another passerby that she had been seen entering the blacksmith’s store.
He was a little confused at first, but then he remembered their conversation about getting Ceraon a toy he could play with. “Excuse me.” He said when he entered the blacksmith’s store.
The man stopped drilling. “Can I help you?”
“I’m looking for my mate, she’s here with our pet Ceraon.”
“She’s in back with Cupcake, tell her about thirty more minutes and I’ll be done with this thing.”
“Will do, thank you.” Alkon went around back and smiled when he saw Anthousai talking to a donkey. She looked so cute standing there feeding it carrots. Ceraon noticed him and he held a finger up to his lips to tell the beast to be quiet. He sneaked up on her and wrapped his arm around her waist, making her yelp. “It’s just me my love.” He whispered in her ear.
“Alkon, what are you doing here?”
“Catching Mabel was really easy.”
“Did she hurt you?”
“No, not even a scratch.” She turned in his arms and rested her head against his chest.
“You smell like perfume.”
“It was the incense at the brothel, sorry.”
“It’s okay, um I missed you.”
He smiled happily “I missed you too. Ceraon’s toy is going to be done soon. Will you be ready to leave by then?”
“yeah, I bought you some things that I hope you’ll like” He kissed her head “the money I give you is for you”
“I know but you don’t buy yourself anything and I wanted to” He smiled a little brighter “can i give you a kiss for thanks?” He saw her face turn cherry as she answered “yeah” she soon had her hands grasping his shirt while he held one arm around her and cupped hr cheek with his free hand. He deepend the kiss for a short time before breaking it. “I love you”
“I love you too Alkon”
“May I see my presents?”
“mhm” she grabbed her bag and handed it to him. He pulled the jacket out first “very nice, I actually did need one. I’ve been getting cold” He pulled out the shirt “I’ll be sure to wear both of these soon for you”
“Is the color okay?”
“It’s perfect.” He put his new clothes back in the bag then sat it down and pulled her into his arms. “Thank you my love.”
She nervously played with his shirt. “You’re welcome.” He picked her up and sat down on a stool in the corner of the pen, keeping her cradled on his lap. Half an hour later they heard footsteps and the blacksmith came into view at the edge of the pen.
“All done, come take a look.” Alkon lowered her to her feet and she quickly grabbed the bag and Ceraon’s leash. Alkon took her free hand and they walked together to the front of the blacksmith’s. Anthousai was happy with the finished product and Alkon paid the man then took the cannon ball. Ceraon looked excited and Anthousai told him to be patient. Alkon held tightly to her hand as they moved through the large crowd and before they knew it, they were back at the ship.
“You go on up and get Ceraon settled with his new toy. I need to pay the harbormaster.”
“Okay, love you.”
He smiled adoringly. “I love you too.”
She felt her face heat up and turned away, quickly going up the gangplank. She took Ceraon below deck where she removed his lead then got some hard food and stuck it in the ball. She took it further down to where the cannons were and let it roll across the floor. Ceraon jumped on it and started chewing on it and trying to get the snacks out. She smiled as she turned around and slammed into Aaron. “I’m sorry.” She said hastily.
“No, it’s okay.” He realized he was holding her shoulders and quickly let go. “I hope you’re not hurt.”
She looked at her feet. “Not at all, I…I’ve had worse so don’t worry about it.”
“Alkon told me a little bit about what happened. He didn’t want too, but he thought I should know why you started sleeping in his room.”
She knotted her fingers together. “Well, we’re together now so uh yeah.”
“Oh, well good. Anyway, I was supposed to be getting the mop, someone dropped a cup.”
“Okay, well I guess I’ll see you later then.” She walked around him and started back upstairs. Alkon was coming down to the second floor as she was stepping out of the darkness of the lower deck. He saw she looked a little distressed and went straight to her, surprising her when he picked her up and took her to their room.
“Did something happen?” He looked her over for any marks.
“I just ran into Aaron, literally ran into him. He didn’t do anything wrong, just surprised me.”
He gave a sigh of relief. “Good, we’re going to be leaving soon. Do you want to steer with me?”
“I’d love that”
“Hungry or anything before we start?”
“Okay, then lets go if you’re ready” He wanted Mabel off his ship and away from Anthousai as quickly as possible. Before heading up he changed into his new jacket “Its perfect” he said to Anthy who smiled happily “You um” she played with her clothes “you look handsome in it” He pulled her into his arms and kissed her cheek. He held her like that for a brief time before going up with her.
Alkon was glad that Mabel stayed in her room for the whole of the voyage back, save for coming out to eat or drink somthing. he handed her off, not feeling the slightest bit guilty taking his reward despite the fact these men wouldn’t have her long. He could go home with Anthy and enjoy finally having her.
“So will Ceraon be okay on the ship without me?” Anthousai asked nervously as she sat in the back of the carriage with Alkon.
“Hybris and the twins will make sure he is fed and played with.”
“How long are we going to stay on land?”
He shrugged. “A couple of days, maybe longer.”
“Okay.” She played with her bracelet, her eyes on her knees. She was finally going to be alone with him with no distractions. He grabbed her hand and brought it to his lips, making goosebumps crawl up her arm. When they finally made it to his house, he gave the driver some gold then helped her out. Her eyes widened at how beautiful his house was. “Wow.”
He smiled as he guided her through the front gate and up to the front porch. “I pay someone to keep everything maintained. I would hate to bring you home to a messy house.”
“It’s amazing.” He took her inside and gave her a tour, wanting her to know where everything. She turned bright red when he pulled her into his room, her heart rate spiking at thought of being touched by him.
“Anthousai, tell me what you’re thinking.” Alkon pulled her slowly over to the bed and they sat down.
“Just, you know…because we’re in here.”
He grabbed her chin and tipped her head back. “Let’s just start with what we did before then go from there.”
“I’m sorry, I do trust you.”
He stroked her cheek then pressed his lips against hers in a gentle kiss. “You’re the one in control Anthy, I’ll do whatever you want, just tell me.”
ki kiss me in your lap” He smiled “can i have you straddling me?” She blushed “yeah”
“mhm” He moved back on the bed and lifted Anthousai, position here than waited on her to start kissing him. After a few nervous seconds she let her lips move against his. He wanted his tongue to delve into her sweet mouth but he didn’t want to upset her so would wait until she started it. Tingles flew through his when she finally slid her tongue in his mouth. He almost smiled when he felt the heat from her blush.
“May I feel you again?” he interrupted their kiss to ask. “yeah” that beautiful, nervous voice responded. He let his hands travel her as they had on his boat. he found himself enjoying touching her even more than he had the first time. Even if this was as far as they got today he would rest a blissful man.
“I’m going to take this off.” He slowly began to pull her dress up, giving her time to protest. He gasped in wonder when her skin was bared to his view and she reflexively covered her breasts. “Are you okay?”
“Don’t be, we can stop.”
“No.” She said it louder than she meant too and became even more embarrassed. He smiled his adoring smile as he grabbed her hands and gently pulled them aside.
“You’re so beautiful my love.” His hands cupped her breasts as he rained kisses down her neck. His teeth nibbled at her collar bone, making her shiver. She moaned when his mouth found her right breast and he sucked and gently bit. “You okay?” He whispered, his hot breath against her skin causing her wiggle against him.
“Can I touch you?” She asked breathlessly. He nodded and she nervously pulled at his shirt. She swallowed. “Your pants.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure.” He lifted her off of him and pulled his boots off before standing and tugging off his pants. She looked away from him, feeling excited and scared at the same time. His hand slid over her cheek and he turned her head so she was looking up into his eyes. The way he looked at her, so loving and understanding helped calm her and she was able to let her eyes move over him.
He was incredibly handsome fully clothed but now it was almost overwhelming. “Um.. you didn’t take off your boxers” she said in a small voice. “you didn’t ask me to sweetheart. You are in control. I’m not going to do anything without asking or you telling me. You want me to take them off?”
“mhm” He gave her a slow kiss before removing them, exposing his half hard length. It would be throbbing with need for her if he wasn’t so concerned with scaring Anthy. “Can I go back to your breasts. They feel and taste so good” He asked “I’d like that” She was embarrassed to admit.
He climbed back on the bed and pulled her into his lap, only the thin fabric of her panties separating them. His lips traveled the valley between her breasts, his tongue traced the soft mounds and his teeth gave soft bites that had her tangling her fingers in his hair and letting out gasping moans. His hands moved lovingly over her, memorizing ever curved and dip of her body. They moved down her sides to her hips and he thrust against her, making her let out a little whimper.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered and kissed her lips.
“Don’t be, I…I want this…want you.”
“Do you really or are you worried I need this to be happy?”
“I want to, please.”
He stood her up on the bed and hooked his fingers in her panties. He went slow, his eyes locked with hers as he watched for signs of fear. He had to admit he loved looking at her aroused face, he loved how flushed she was and the sound of her labored breathing. He tossed her panties to the floor then gripped her hips and pulled her closer so he could lick between her thighs. She cried out and he moaned at how sweet she tasted. It was more amazing that he could have ever imagined.
“Alkon, I can’t, it’s too much.” Her legs were shaking uncontrollably, her knees threatening to give out. He pulled her down and gave her a gentle kiss.
“Don’t be afraid to bite me or scratch me or tell me to stop. I won’t keep going, even if I’m inside you. Promise me.”
He stroked her heated folds a few more times with his tongue before positioning himself so he could fill her “you ready my love?” he asked huskily “yeah” she answered, honestly wanting to feel him inside of her. Alkon kissed her forehead then thrust deep within her. Their moans mingled in the air as he slid in and out of her. He kept going and telling her how amazing she was and how much he loved her until the point of near release. Just before ejaculation he pulled out and flowed into his boxers.
He dropped them to the floor and moved Anthousai away from the wet portion of the bed before holding her “was that good Anthy?” he asked. “It was amazing” she asnwered softly. He smiled happily, holding her a little tighter “You have no idea what a happy man you’ve made me”
“You make me really happy too. I’m so glad you were the one who saved me Alkon”
“Me too Anthy, I’m going to do my best to make sure you’re always happy and never have to think about back then. We’ll be doing too much together for you to think about then” she smiled and kissed his chest. “can we walk around tomorrow?”
“anything you want Anthousai”
“We’re on your ship so much I think it would be nice to really make good use of our legs while we’re here”
“anytime you want a break from the sea you only need to let me know and we’ll rest here”
“just rest with me and let me cuddle you” They laid in silence, enjoying eachothers warmth and the sensations left over from making love. They fell asleep in pure bliss, looking forward to heir future together.
~ The End ~