WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL
Captains of the Scarlet Night #5
by Lisa A. Olech
Genre: Historical Romance
Pub Date: 8/1/2017
Stormy seas, a captive heart, and a coupling that breaks all the rules . . .
After years of committed service, Captain William “Bump” Quinn has finally
taken the helm of the pirate ship Scarlet Night. But when rough
waters send the Night off course, William winds up shipwrecked and
alone on enemy shores—and prisoner to China’s most powerful
pirate queen.
Captain Jian Jun is as alluring as she is formidable, and she’s careful not
to let anyone too close. But the silence of the handsome Jamaican
pirate in her custody intrigues her. Tempted by his topaz eyes and
the strength of his character, she allows the captive into her inner
sanctum. Though their bond defies all convention, Jun finds she is
powerless against the emotions Will stirs in her. She prays their
first union will not be her last. But with danger lurking in
unexpected places, her beloved pirate may soon get the chance to
prove he is every inch the hero he seems in her arms . . .

Chapter 1

Madagascar, 1717

William Quinn hated the dark. His companion had taken the lantern when she left. He could still smell the spiced honey of her skin and the musk of their sex in the rumpled sheets. She’d been a tiger in bed. His flesh still burned where her nails had raked his back. He’d lost himself for an hour or two between her smooth dark thighs. He only wished he’d learned her name.

Will lay in the bed and closed his eyes to the darkness. It was easier to visualize the layout of the room from memory this way. The door was to starboard. A three-drawer chest sat a foot to port. His pants were another matter. Where had she tossed them? She’d been in a terrible hurry to put her mouth on him. When she’d stripped him and seen his engorged cock, a smile spread across her shining face as if she’d discovered some long lost treasure. After that, she was driven by a single-minded desire. She’d been a most eager partner.

He rose and found his pants along with the wide blood-red sash he wore about his waist. And one boot. All the while, his limited sense was still on high alert. In this darkness, it would be easy to hide and ambush him. It wasn’t as if he’d hear anyone approaching, but having lost his hearing at such a young age, over his lifetime, he’d honed his other senses to razor sharp. Will lifted his nose and gave another sniff. No, he was alone.

The heat along this stretch of the world limited his choice of clothing. Bare chested, he slipped into a tooled leather vest. He patted the breast pocket. His lusty partner wasn’t interested in his winnings from tonight’s poker tables. As the daughter of one of the local pepper merchants, money was not what she longed for. Madagascar pepper was considered black gold along this great treasure route. Her father was one of the wealthiest men in the city.

Will found his other boot, and sat on the edge of the bed to slip them on his feet. He sat there for a long moment. The hollow beating of his heart echoed in his chest. Even after hours of pleasure, the only thing sated was his body.

This girl, whoever she was, hadn’t been interested in his newfound wealth or even knowing who he was. She’d only been interested in lying with him. It was the same wherever he went these days. He’d become a novelty.

Sex with the silent man.

It wasn’t as if he could brag about his conquests. Tell tales of your night in his bed. He wouldn’t bore you with long stories, or shout demands. He was deaf and never learned the basic fundamentals of speech. For some reason that made women eager to spread their legs for him.

At least for one meaningless night.

Making his way to the door, Will wasn’t surprised to find the public rooms below still doing a brisk business. Time held no meaning to these establishments. Glancing toward the back corner, the poker game still wore on. He was tempted to add to his already bulging purse. Tonight’s profits had come too easy, but then it had always been a talent of his to read faces. Call it a lucrative byproduct of being deaf. Whether bluffing at cards or dealing with his crew, he could spot a liar at fifty yards.

Will’s long legs carried him quickly through the dangerous dark streets. At more than six and a half feet tall, he made an imposing figure. The three-pistol baldric and side cutlass helped. As did his permanent scowl. He pulled a short knife from a leather sheath and carried it at his side. For two reasons. A handy weapon was never a bad idea, and the high polish on the blade gave him the perfect view of anyone trying to approach him from behind.

Will reached the docks without incident and was finally able to breathe easy when he dropped down upon the polished decks of the Scarlet Night. The gentle tip of the boards shifting beneath his feet, the smell of tarred rigging, and the sight of her three thick masts brought a smile to his face. He was home.

‘Captain.’ His first mate, Griffin, tapped his shoulder to sign the word before giving Will a sharp salute. Will returned the salute and replied with a few quick hand signals of his own.

‘Are we ready to leave at first light?’

Griffin nodded. Will scanned the deck in a slow sweep. All looked as it should. The crew was busy loading supplies of food and ale. Barrels of powder and crates of spices were all being stowed properly.

Will slapped Griffin’s shoulder in praise. He was a good man. Smart. Responsible. And a damn fine pirate. He could filet a ship with a single cannon shot down the length of their hull and fight like a man possessed. Short yet sturdy, his strength coiled in him like a taught spring waiting to unleash its controlled power. Will was happy he was on their side.

‘Problems?’

His first mate shook his head. Thankfully, Griffin was quick to pick up the basic hand signals Will had adapted over the years to help him communicate. Between the use of bells and signs and gestures, Will had been able to build a crew that could follow his strict orders and knew exactly what was asked of them and when. No small feat, but after almost two years at the helm, he’d amassed a fine group of men…and one woman. He recalled the day he’d become Captain of the Scarlet Night. He and the former captain, Tupper Quinn, had literally stolen their ship back from under the nose of the British Navy. They’d been captured and faced hanging for crimes against the crown, but what the wool-backed Brits hadn’t counted on was the fact that not only did Tupper have friends in high places with deep pockets, but Will had a hide thicker than a bull elephant. He still had the scars to prove it.

Three months after their escape, as they made their way down the west coast of Africa, skirting the British at every turn, hiding in every nook and cranny along the rugged coastline, Tupper broke the news that she no longer wished to be called Captain.

‘It’s yer turn now. Ye’ve earned it. The Scarlet Night is in yer blood. She’s yer soul. Hell, ye cut yer teeth on the riggin.’ It’s only right to pass her on to you now.’

At first, he’d laughed at her. She was talking crazy. Who ever heard of a deaf captain? But as time went on Tupper cleverly stepped back little by little. With each new crewmember they acquired, she planted the seeds of possibility. By giving him more responsibility, more of her power, she opened the path for him to finally take command.

It was only then he learned the real reason why Tupper Quinn was stepping aside.

The muscle in his jaw tensed at the thought. He turned back to Griffin. ‘How is she?’

Griffin jerked his chin toward the ladder way. ‘In her cabin.’

Will made his way below deck to the rear of the ship. He’d swiped two bottles of her favorite rum from the galley as he passed. He knocked on the thick wood of her door, but didn’t wait to feel her stomp on the floorboards to indicate he could enter.

Lisa A. Olech is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the
lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book,
finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of
her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her
queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in
a tuxedo, and happy endings. For more please visit lisaolech.com.
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