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During the day, the ship sailed, cresting waves and weathering storms, the crew working like a well-oiled machine. Tina’s nutrition campaign added to the overall health of the men and women on board. They trained a couple days each week and stayed alert, but it was an uneventful trip, the few ships they saw moving away when they saw the black sails.
No one wanted to tangle with Bette this far from land and she had backup from the other ships that trailed her. They were lucky with the weather so far, this Bette knew, but as the temperatures dropped so did her heart. They were edging closer to her father’s castle, to her last visit home. She knew she would never, could never, return. Committed to forging a new, quieter life now that she saw the possibilities.
Ironically, all Bette wanted was to be accepted there, to be a part of the governing and leading of the family lands. She would have been good at that. Leading her flotilla taught her to be a firm but kind leader, respected and feared in healthy measure. She saw where her father allowed plots of land to go to ruin, for men to shirk their duties, for distrust to breed unhealthy competition.
Why Kit stayed was beyond her, but she suspected it had to do with a certain court singer and her love of drinking. Bette thought about the Lady Christina, never far from her thoughts and the motivation for this particular trip. She changed Bette’s life. Bette now saw different opportunities with Tina, a way to be better, kinder.
During the night the couple soared. Nothing took away the pressures of running the ship and the looming confrontation with her father like being in Tina’s arms. It was a season of learning, of discovery. For Tina as she explored and grew more daring in her touches with Bette… and for Bette too.
Instinctually, Bette knew to take it slow, their lovemaking a beautiful expression of the feelings she was just beginning to understand. She was learning to be intimate, to share her thoughts, to give rather than take, that it was more satisfying to enjoy each other rather than use each other.
She learned that Tina was hopeless with any touch involving her ears.