Young Mary laced my bodice tight and helped me into my skirts. Dinner with the Captain required me to look my best. We’d been at sea for several months, and even the most chaste of ladies would be getting restless.
I wasn’t so chaste and Captain Reynolds would sate my hunger just fine.
The lantern swung lazily back and forth from its hanging perch as the ship heaved along the stormy Atlantic. It listed to the line of precarious at times. I silently thanked my preternatural balance for not letting the wine’s deleterious effects interfere with my plans.
Late into the evening, my host and I sat in his cabin left to our own devices, the crew busy with nautical chores before retiring themselves.
“So, Milady,” he said. “It would seem that the time has come to collect payment for my offer of your carriage.”
I feigned a demure composure as I loosened my shawl. “Tis expected, Sir Captain.” The heat of the wine caused me to sweat despite the chill. “See anything you like?”
Captain Reynold’s intoxicating blood soothed my throat, as his lifeforce flushed my face and tickled my fingertips.
The crew of the Nancy began its voyage with fifty-four souls— plenty to sustain me to the Americas.
Photo by National Library NZ on The Commons