The blood from the invader was still dripping down the borrowed cutlass. Charlotte laughed and said, "Wrong ship, buddy. This one's mine. Are we clear?"
Even with his chin lifted by the point of the sword he scowled and said, "No. Mine. I have been tracking this one for months."
"I don't see that you have much left to bargain with here. Your boys are gone. Two pretty fatally and the other one is scurrying away like a rat. He might make landfall before he bleeds out or not. Not my concern. You on the other hand are in my way." Charlotte was enjoying her star-filled night of fun. It was a great change from earlier. A light breeze from the ocean carried the scents of salt water and the tropics after dark. It was delicious and intoxicating. Also she got to use a sword and here was a volunteer for blood donation that didn't require any finesse.
His bloodshot brown eyes met hers defiantly and he snarled, "You are on my ship."
She laughed. This failed pirate was still thinking he could control the ship while he was mere thrust away from being a shish-kabob. His anger was comical to Charlotte. He was the liveliest creature she had met since she hit Barbados. Too bad he had to die.
Looking him straight in the eyes she asked, "How many in your raiding party?"
He wavered for a full minute and tried to brazen it out.
"Twenty." Sheer bravado.
With her vampiric push she said, "No, really how many are left? Not counting the three that just went over the stern."
He shook as he tried to resist. As his blood was still trickling down the weapon his willpower was weakening. Her eyes lit into his with more force and he blinked.
"Five. But these men are strong as twenty." He tried to work something else out but shuddered as she tipped his face up an inch more with the point of the blade.
"Thanks but, that's all I need from you -- for now." She quickly pulled her borrowed cutlass away from his neck and clobbered his collarbone with the base of the sword. The pain lit his brain on fire and he stumbled to his knees crying out.
The crack of the shaft of the weapon hitting the bone had made an audible snap and he was not going to be running away easily. Just to be safe she stepped hard on his foot and was happy to hear a few smaller bones break. She couldn't do much more now since she had heard some of the sailors running towards her and figured fanging in was out of the question. She stepped a bit out of range of the neck-jugular temptations and waited impatiently for the 'rescue.'
"Damn, what'd he do to you, lady?" Greg was with the kid and they both looked a bit rough from the run. A trace of blood was on Bobby's shirt and Greg's knuckles were raw and bruised. Obviously they had been fighting with the rest of the pirate's crew.
Charlotte widened her eyes and said, "He tried to grab my breasts! I just hit him without thinking. Thank god you got here so fast I don't know what I would have done on my own." Even while groaning on the ground Charlotte heard the man mumble, "No." She stepped again on the same foot and was pleased to hear the crack as she broke another bone.
"Eeek, I'm so clumsy." She scurried away just out of reach. Shaking her hand slightly she reluctantly handed Greg the cutlass. He looked at the line of blood running down the blade and winced.
"Wow, it's really sharp I guess." His eyes were a bit wild and he was excited. He glanced over the weapon. His brow furrowed as he shifted and saw the base. Turning it a bit he could see that there was a slight indentation from her clubbing the man's collarbone. Oops.
"Yes, it was sharp and heavy. I think I may have dented it earlier on the rail when hoisting it up, because it was so big." She ducked her head down staring at her nails and saw she'd chipped another one.
Not yet meeting his eyes she decided she would go with that explanation. She had no clue how sharp the blade was since with her vampiric strength it would naturally compensate for a dull edge. The flesh beneath the chin was decidedly thin and easily punctured she well knew. Charlotte didn't think it would help the situation any to share that knowledge, much less how she came by those little tidbits. A girl had a right to keep secrets after all.
Turning up the doe eyes she batted her lashes and said, "You men showed up right in time."
The tremble of her bottom lip made Greg step closer and loom protectively over her while ineffectively patting her back. She really had to rethink wearing halter top dresses. She was getting sick of all these humans touching and pawing her like a dog. Her body shivered all of its own and it had nothing to do with fear but more like lust. Naturally her lust wasn't for the man but the blood running currently through his body. Sort of the same thing right -- well, wasn't it?
She resisted slapping his hand aside and smiled keeping her teeth firmly in their place. She was rethinking her mutiny idea and just having a 'tragedy' at sea happen. Only thing keeping her from acting out on the impulse was the little fact she hadn't a clue how to deal with a boat of this size. Ship -- whatever they called it. Men were so into naming things. It wasn't a new trait either. Mentally she snickered at some of the names she had heard over the years -- a smile traced across her lips. Unfortunately that didn't help her look vulnerable and innocent in the least. She schooled her face to appear afraid.
Thankfully they bought it. But by then a few more sailors had joined them and there was the excitement of fighting and male bonding happening with high fives and more back slapping. The man at their feet was getting a few well placed kicks from the crew who were nearly giddy.
"Did you see how I punched that one dude? He was not expecting it," one of the tan men said. He was also sporting a nice fresh shiner. The other guy gave as good as he got. But there had only been five pirates to the dozen or so crew on this craft. Had the other men succeeded in coming up behind them it would definitely not ended so well for these guys. That was part of their excitement. They realized they had been very lucky.
More bantering and bragging and then the pirate moaned, coming fully around finally. An earlier kick had landed on his temple knocking him out temporarily. Greg pointed his cutlass at the man with a slightly wavering hand. He wasn't quite ready to slay the intruder but as the acting captain had to make a good show for the troops. Charlotte barely resisted yanking the sword from his hands and showing him how it was really done.
"Get your foot off my neck you idiot." Even outnumbered the pirate put up an excellent front. Charlotte had to admire the smelly man's perseverance. What was with the local captains and want-to-be captains and their inability to find showers? Was it something to do with the Caribbean Sea or what?
"Don't talk. I need to decide what to do with you. We can kill you and nobody will care. Piracy is punishable by death." Greg sounded more confident with each word. Charlotte wasn't exactly sure about the legalities but since she and Bobby had recently put an end to a few boys it wasn't like she was going to quibble.
The decision was put off by Captain Claude stumbling into the backs of his crew. They scattered and let him come forward to see what was happening. Thankfully he had put on some pants and tucked in his shirt haphazardly. It was pretty obvious he had been dressing in a hurry. She wasn't as happy with this turn of events. Rather she was disappointed in how quickly he had finished below decks.
"Greg, what have we here?" Charlotte could see Paulette had forgiven Claude by the imprints of heavy lipstick kisses that marked his bald pate. As if just thinking about her had summoned her Paulette came lurching up behind Claude. She was finally wearing the burgundy silk robe belted tightly in the middle. Her makeup was completely smeared around her face and her straw-like hair was in disarray. She looked satisfied and completely drunk. The weapon from earlier was nowhere to be seen but then Charlotte figured she had polished off the magnum of champagne before coming up to see what was happening.
"A pirate, Sir. We thwarted his plans to steal your ship. His gang has been rebuffed. Now all that remains is to figure out how to deal with this creature." Greg was pleased that he was no longer in charge and handed his sword over to Claude.
Claude's grasp of the cutlass was even more awkward than Greg's but Charlotte wasn't going to volunteer any sort of information. She was trying to figure out how to twist this around for her entertainment. Paulette wrapped herself around Claude.
"Oh, baby, this is a real pirate? Why is he so filthy?" She wrinkled her nose and waved her free hand dismissively at the pirate huddled on the wood. Charlotte began to move slowly backwards edging away from the crowd. Obviously Paulette was under the illusion that pirates should look pretty and be well dressed. Charlotte loved how everyone thought Hollywood was accurate in their portrayals of everything. She was a classic example of how they got things seriously wrong.
Her back hit the cabin and she edged along the ship further away from them. Soon she found the doorway and slipped below. She doubted that Claude had the balls to finish off the pirate. He just didn't seem the type. She could still hear Paulette yipping and yelping about something as she climbed to the lower deck. The one door she knew led to the bedroom so she opened up the door on the opposite side. It was the ship's galley. The smell of food did little for her so she further explored. Charlotte was getting a bit frustrated when she found another good sized stateroom.
Opening up the closets she found lots and lots of clothes. She quickly began flipping through the hangers and looked for something a bit more casual than her sundress. She was going to need to be able to move soon. There was mostly name brand designer wear that wouldn't be any better than what she was already wearing. Finally near the back of the closet she found some Capri pants and next to it a cotton blouse. It wasn't exactly what she had in mind but the owner of the clothes didn't seem to understand the concept of jeans and t-shirts. There were rubber soled boat shoes matched the Capri pants that thankfully fit. She tossed her red halter top dress into the laundry bin in the closet and hoped Claude didn't find it first. Mischievously she tossed a few of the dresses on top of hers. That ought to make for some fun when Claude's wife or his mistress found it.
She began exploring the various drawers in the room's dressers seeing what else there was to amuse her. She found a drawer with lingerie and adult toys next to the bed. Avoiding touching anything tawdry she used one of the owner's socks to root around underneath. Instinctively Charlotte knew this was the correct drawer to search. She turned over something flesh colored with multiple settings and was rewarded by something more her to her liking. The pearl handled revolver was more girly-girl than she would have picked but upon further examination she decided that it would do as it was loaded. A bit deeper she came up with more bullets in a cute velvet pouch. Some other more disturbing items were ignored as Charlotte armed herself. Claude would thank her later for removing the weapon from the drawer once her dress was discovered by the kinky unknown female, if he was still around for the event.
Shrugging Charlotte headed back up top to see if anyone had made a decision. She regretted she had left so much back at the hotel under lock and key. She had much better toys than these folks owned. All the traveling to get to Barbados had resulted in her having to hide things creatively along her journey. She planned on picking up all her stuff soon. Once she got clear of this stupid boat. Not much she could do just now so, back to the fray. Irritatingly she was still hungry.
Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-10-09