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    Heart and Sword

    Bette had Tina’s chest of clothes brought over from the other ship and placed in her cabin. Neither spoke about it but both wanted the current arrangement to continue. Once she and Bette had eaten and all the wounds tended to, Tina changed into a pair of long linen pants that allowed her to move easily while on board and fit in with the rest of the crew. Her blouse was white, and she tied a red sash around her waist, adding a flamboyant touch to the outfit that Bette really liked. She had a pair of brown boots made of soft leather that completed her outfit.

    “Well, well…” Bette said when Tina emerged from behind the screen. She was pretty before, but the bath, a restful night’s sleep and tailored clothes made her downright beautiful. “Don’t you look stunning…”

    Tina spun playfully, smiling. She felt like a whole new life was opening up right in front of her and the way Bette was looking at her made her want to sing.

    Bette stood, she had stuck to her all black leather pants and shirt, with boots to match. She looked commanding, slim and athletic. She reached for Tina’s hand with her unbandaged one and squeezed it.

    “Ready for the Council meeting?” she asked and Tina nodded, her eyebrow raising in support.

    Bette nodded and dropped Tina’s hand, immediately noticing the loss of warmth, and went to open her door.
    The Captain’s Council filed in one a time. Her First Mate and The Poisoner came first, Carmen going to hug Tina, which surprised Bette, who was unaware they bonded during her swordfight the day before. Few people got close to Carmen; her reputation often proceeded her.

    The Whisperer was next, her eyes taking in the scene immediately, noting the chest of the Lady’s clothes and the extra seat at the table. The Archer came in behind Alice, hand in hand with Lara, and the group was assembled.

    “Get a drink and sit, please…” Bette motioned to the group, her own cup of wine full. She sat next to Tina, leaning back in her chair, one hand on the back of the blonde’s chair, where the soft hair brushed against her hand.

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    Comments

    1. So good to see a new chapter!

      I hope i have time to read it tomorrow. Working night shifts this weekend. Just started with work a hour ago.

      So if i don’t comment it’s because i am sleeping between my shifts.

    2. ok. have to say, the title grabbed me and pulled me in. This is going to be good. course,anything with bette in it will grab my attention, and to have this be about a past love returning…i’m sold!

    3. A romance on the high seas. Looks like these two are like dynamite and the fuse has been lit. I don’t think there is a very long fuse. They are getting to point of major fireworks. Trust you heart Bette….it won’t lead you wrong.

      I actually love this Tina. She really is selfless and caring nurturing type person. I am concerned about Bette – I think that she has been listening to the wrong people. She is has a hard exterior and a soft vulnerable interior. But she seems to be fair minded. She feels that Jodi has betrayed her but she wants evidence. In her position, she could just issue punishment and be done with it, but her conscience will not allow that. She is demanding evidence.

      Looks like Bette has an agenda to complete – Sell the noble prisoners, get supplies, and head for dear old Dad’s – to get Kit away from Dad and to get a specific item.

      Carmen makes poison right? So Shane is suggesting that she make a bit of poison to administer should the need arise?

      Love the development of this relationship…. Intense…. If Bette were not recovering, I think she would have a little less self control around Tina. Her intentions would be good, but control would dissipate rather quickly.

      • Martha! YES, so true! I love how you connected Bette’s injured state with her self control. I wonder how a fully healed and victorious Bette would have interacted in the same situation. Interesting.
        Carmen does make poison.
        And yes, Bette is hyoer focused on her agenda – and her as yet to be revealed plan. Will it work? Wait and see…..

        Thanks !

    4. Oh my word. The title of this chapter is so appropriate. I need some time to absorb the words and attempt to formulate an adequate comment. For now, let me just say that the attention to detail in your writing is astounding. You are such a talented writer. One can easily imagine that you have been trained in fencing. For now I can share my absolute laugh out loud passage: “Wait, we serve at your pleasure?” Dana asked, confused, making everyone around the table laugh as Lara whispered in her ear, “not that kind of pleasure, you dolt.” Dear sweet Dana. And it just great that with all that is taking place you managed to cleverly sneak James into the story. Captain Bette’s description of him is so the James we have come to love: “he’s too clever to be a seaman and is forever badgering me with his ideas.” He already fits so well!!! Now on to thinking about Captain Bette and her Lady. To be continued.

    5. BK – My favorite part of this chapter is Bette sharing the “allure” of her sword with a transfixed Tina. “I know I can trust this blade, that I can rely on it to move the way I want it to. It makes my path clear.” Bette equates the sword with self preservation as well as Death. Bette believes that drilling the crew and keeping them trained is vital to their collective survival and as foreshadowed this training will prove vital very soon. Bette is always at the ready to do battle and that means constant self protection. She has clearly been hurt very badly in the past and has also been betrayed. Therefore, trust does not come easily. Bette’s bubble has consisted of a small circle of advisors. And she has Shane. No one else. So Bette has relied on the sword as not only a defense against her physical enemies but also as a means of protecting her heart. But now – there is Tina. Her salvation.

      The act of repeatedly pulling her sword and asking Tina to listen to the different sounds is incredibly intimate. Through her manipulation of what is clearly the most trusted extension of her being Bette opens herself up to Tina and exposes her innermost thoughts and fears. Bette shares with Tina the various sounds of the sword and with it the deepest and perhaps most vulnerable part of herself. And Tina listens to the song made by Bette’s sword and hears the different sounds – a hiss or a whisper followed by a louder sound – the wind. What does it say Tina asks. “It says… leave me alone, get out of my way. I can trust this sword, it has never let me down, or betrayed me or turned me away. That is more than I can say about most people…” Who is Bette referencing? Her father? Kit? How many betrayals I wonder. There is a sadness about this declaration and a wish for Bette to be saved.

      Still, when Tina counters that Bette should also learn to listen to her heart my initial response was – is this really possible? Bette is far too cautious, wary, and weary. Intimidation tactics and generating fear as well as superiority with a sword and knives are tools that have kept Bette alive. To what end? Her chambers indicate there is so much more to Bette than marauding and looting and larceny. And along comes Tina and she makes a most compelling and beautiful case for something different. Something better. Something permanent. Describing a different song that can “drown out the loudest thunder” and “resonate” in Bette’s blood. “Can’t you feel it, Bette? Hearts never lie…” Serious danger lurks to be sure but this couple is seizing the moment and attempting to merge heart and sword. Tina is very kind and although not battle tested aims to show Bette that she is safe in her arms and that her heart and more importantly their joined hearts are perhaps just as powerful as any sword. That is not to say that Bette will be able to abandon the sword any time soon. Right now the sword is how she lives – it is more than a weapon – it is her literal lifeline. Also Bette has many responsibilities to her crew who look to her for strength and leadership and there are countless enemies I am sure. She needs to stay focused. Plus there is the dangerous undertaking that is coming soon. Maybe a showdown with her father. But one really has to hope and believe that with Tina by her side, Bette is going to become very eager to try.

      This story has it all. Captain Bette and her Lady and their developing love tops the list. But the attention to detail is a close second. The training scene is particularly spectacular. Still, the biggest highlight for me remains the lyrical writing: “How to measure how long they kissed, how to know when no clocks or timekeepers existed? It could only be measured by the passage of the moon in the sky as it now hung low above the water. Or in the melted wax of the candles that lit the room with a soft light… now small molten lakes at the bottom of the holders, one candle after another flickering out until only the large one by the bed remained alight. Time could definitely be measured by the spark in the hearts of the two women, so into each other than none of this was noticed until much later, the spark now a flame.” What more is there to say? Beautiful chapter.

      • Billy, you beat me with one of the most beautiful quotes from this chapter. “How to messure….”
        Other than that I think it could be dangerous for the Captain to only listen to her heart. She was already distracted from observing her crew’s weapon training because her eyes and thoughts were following Lady Christina. In a real fight she might be vulnarable if she’s trying to keep Tina safe at the same time.

      • Oh Billy. You nailed it with this comprehensive, in depth, thoughtful analysis. What can I say? These are some of the best readers around. I am so thankful for posts like this because it energizes me and motivates me to stick with writing these stories. Let’s see if I can answer any lingering questions from this chapter that you brought up –
        Yes, 100%. The sword symbolizes so much for Bette. Her words don’t work – the culture she grew up in doesn’t listen to what she has to say… but her sword? Her sword demands an audience, her sword delivers swift and final results, results that can not be denied. So she has learned to listen to the song of death and bloodshed.
        Can Bette set this aside and listen to her heart? Tina’s heart? Or will she fall to the lust and move on, seeking deliverance in other ways. It is an upward climb to be sure. But you are right, Tina does make a compelling argument and shuttered away in their cabin Bette can be who she wants, it is the outside world that interferes.
        So glad you liked this chapter. So glad you take time to comment. More to come…

    6. I cannot add to Billy’s comments but I can endorse them 100%.

      Your talented writing and storytelling paints a wonderful picture in my minds eye and I have so enjoyed my ride on the seas with this wonderful Captain, her new mate and crew.

      Thank you for this Chapter which only leaves me wanting more. I am totally in love with this Bette and Tina!
      So, as usual, please post soon, stay safe and well
      SG

    7. Hi BK,

      Wow, what i incredible chapter!!!

      What can i possible add to Billy’s comment, she worded it perfect as usual!

      Ok, one thing concerns me and that is this sentence: ” He beamed. And not long from now, Jonathon would be part of a small group of men to rescue the Captain, the lesson learned today helping to secure her release”. Is something going to happen when Bette’s going to her father?

      And what is it that Jodi will be brought back to the place, market where Bette picked her up? I want her out and walking the plank into the sea! But Bette is right, there is no evidence and before she punish Jodi she need to be 100% .

      The talk about the sword, how Bette trust that because it doesn’t betray or turn it’s back on her, told Tina she can’t trust her heart and how Tina reacted on that by placing Bette’s hand on her heart and the words she spoke. So sweet and loving! My god, i truly love your Bette and Tina!!!

      Thank you for this incredible story! Stay save my friend!

    8. BK, this unusual story really works quite marvellously, doesn’t it? I enjoy it so much.

      It’s amazing how in tune Bette and Tina already are. It’s sweet to see how Bette immediately ends the evening with the other girls when she noticed Tina yawning. And Tina observing the Captain’s drinking habits, already thinking ways to get her off too much alcohol. Though without Tina saying a thing Bette is already changing to lemon water and reducing the wine.

      But the scene in the Captains quarters, starting with “the allure of your weapons” …Wow, BK, this is charged with sexual energy, a highly erotic scene. Lady Christina is very bold when she lays Bette’s hand on her naked skin over her heart. So much trust between those two in such a short time.

      Bette letting herself be very vulnarable by sharing so much with Lady Christina. She doesn’t need to say out loud that she was hurt and betrayed deeply in her past. Her explanation of the importance of her sword, her trust in it to protect the icy walls she built around her heart and her soul as well gives a deep insight to her very being. It’s amazing that she is helpless to fend off Tina who’s is melting the ice around Bette’s heart by simply being there and seeing the woman and not the tough pirate. She is listening and tending to her, caring and loving her.

      Add to that Bette’s thought of feeling alive the next day and we see that she fell for Tina hook, line and sinker. The spark of love that burns like a flame already sets burried sides of Bette free. Her much more positive communication with her crew, teaching and praising them will increase the loyalty of her men and women manifold.
      But there a dangers when Bette opens her heart or follows her heart. Loving Tina makes her vulnarable to her enemies. But on the other hand Lady Christina is becoming more and more self-confident and can take care of herself. You know I’m a big fan of Tina. I really love your version of her in this story. A woman of many talents. Her shopping list? She’s a gem not only for Bette but her crew as well. She’s like a personal coach of that time for the crew with vast knowledge of nutrition. Fruits to probably prevent an unbalanced diet or even scurvy among the crew.

      I’m so looking forward to the next chapter. Though I fear for Captain Bette’s safety. What item does she need from her father’s castle? Why is it dagerous to go there? I have to change my thoughts on her scars. Maybe Melvin wasn’t very happy that his daughter prefers the fair sex and wanted to excorcise it by lashing.

      Thank you for posting, have a good week and stay safe.

      KP

      • Excellent post. Very good observations. Tina really is quite knowledgeable and it is telling that Bette was drinking lemon water. I worry that Melvin is an absolute tyrant. Shane certainly does not like the plan. Keep your eye on the ball Bette. Although I suspect there is a bit of a slip coming up as she will need to be rescued. Great story!

      • KP what would I do without you? thank you for your comments!
        so much to unravel, so many little hints laid like breadcrumbs along a trail….
        yes, Bette is already attune to the dangers of her drinking habits, and yes, she has built tall, insurmountable around her heart. and you are correct to say that Tina is dismantling them one by one, brick by brick. Without seeming to know what she is doing. And YES Tina finds her own place among the crew, showcasing her talents in another way that leads to the same level of loyalty and commitment that Bette won with her sword. Very insight my kiwi friend.
        Have a fantastic week. I think states are about to shut down in the US, closing down for all us to hunker in and think about what is most important. Thank you for commenting.

    9. BK,

      I love this story so much. I look forward to your chapters because you capture the bette & tina…the essence of their love in any kind of story…is their connection, the comfort they bring to each other, the way they soothe each other…which leads to the truth/trust and the passion. they are becoming more drawn to each other and that closeness makes them both brave. tina…just taking the initiative and making the first move. and bette absolutely mesmerized by tina, and her feelings for tina making bette…a better person. because she has someone that believes in her and sees her in such a positive light. bette’s “whatever you want, tee”….im thinking “as you wish.”

      and how you wrote their first kiss (es)….absolutely beautiful, so romantic….and you could feel that it was a new experience for both of them. no matter how experienced or inexperienced…when it’s bette & tina? it’s always brand new. I love how you wrote it.

      so what’s next? what will happen when bette comes face to face with dad? maybe kit? what does bette want to retrieve? I have a feeling that bette will be in danger….maybe it’s not only the memories of tina’s kisses but tina her self that will take charge and save the one she loves.

      sky is the limit (or sea’s the limit) with this story and I love it! more please!

      thank you, BK!

      • Stir Fry
        You understand this couple the same I do. It IS all about their connection. No matter where they are, no matter what they are doing. They can be any realm as this site as shown and still that underlying vulnerability, the draw to each other… remains the same!
        What is next? that is the underlying question. Stay tuned my stir fried friend! The sea is the limit!
        Thanks for commenting

    10. What a chapter and oh the description of the kiss, so erotic !!

      I’m glad you add James in this story, I always liked his character and always thought he could have had a more substantial role.

      Can’ t wait to know more about Kit and Melvin and I’m sure jodie hasn’t said her last word, a rejected and jealous woman often turns out to be cruel and harmful

      • IZZIE
        Thank you! I love James! He had to be a part of the story and he will play a HUGE role coming up. You are exactly right – a rejected and jealous woman is a danger to all around her….

        Stay tuned!

    11. Hey BK,

      Thanks so much for my swashbuckling update!!!! It was great!!!!

      Captain Bette taking the time to train her crew & the patience she has with them is special. You can feel the pride she has in them & by offering them the opportunities to better their lives is awesome.

      Like Bibi said – the Tibette connection is great in this story. They are discovering each other & starting to build a partnership with each other. They already trust each other in all things & Tina is willing to step slowly into a relationship with the captain. They are both besotted with each other & that’s so nice to read about.

      It’s great that Tina has found a friend in Shane – she’ll need that friendship as she maneuvers through the maze of ship/pirate life. Yes. she’ll have the safety of being Bette’s woman, but true friendship goes a long way.

      I am very worried about Jodie & what she’s thinking & plotting. She needs to go the way of the plank & quick.

      Yes, we all seem to be worried also about Bette’s visit to her father’s & what dangers lie there. And Kit???

      But you know I have to say that I find Alice super ANNOYING!!!!!! How dare she question Bette in their meeting!!!!!! Enough said about her. UGH!!!!!!!

      But the tenderness being Tina & Bette is just terrific.

      Thanks so much for enlightening us with this chapter.

      Great job pal!!!!

      Collins

      • Collins! you know how much I appreciate and rely on your insight and help. The only thing we disagree on is Alice. Every good leader needs someone to push back a little – if Bette was surrounded by yes-men then she is ruling with an iron fist. At least her council opens the door for debate but shuts it down when it is over the top. Alice’s skills are in the rumors and gossip and are invaluable in their own way.
        But stay tuned, maybe this story will change your mind about her! Thanks for your comments, as always. Looking forward to your next chapter too!

    12. Hey pal,

      Alice is just someone I love to hate!!!! Totally get how valuable she is to the success & safety of her compatriots
      The captain relies on her knowledge & abilities.

      Good blend.

      Thanks so much for your talent.

      Collins

    13. Dearest BK,

      Not for the 1st time, for at least the past couple of months, seems my LogIn credentials were trapped in “SPAM/trash box hell” and I found myself on the outside looking in when it came to joining the faithful in posting comments.

      Gosh, how many emotionally rivotting stories can one Author write??? Wow. Our girls bopping along on the high seas!!! WhooHoo, aye-aye mate let the adventures continue!!!

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