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    Luxury and Longing

    On the Black Beauty, Bette’s cabin was lavish even by royal standards. A large, luxurious bed sat in the middle of the room, covered with soft pillows and plush blankets. There was great airflow, open portholes keeping the cabin from becoming stale.

    A four-legged steel tub sat behind a screen in the corner, an unbelievable extravagance on a ship. The room itself was impeccably clean, with books lining a wall of shelves and a drawing table with nautical charts and a telescope. All the wood was a dark oak color, with red pillows and wall hangings to accentuate, giving it a relaxed, rich look.

    A well stocked bar sat in one corner, bottles of wine, rum and dark brandy contained where they couldn’t fall. The room spoke of culture with its books and maps and scrolls, it spoke of comfort, making Tina want to curl up under the covers and wile the day away reading or napping or whispering with someone special while the boat rocked and sailed beneath them.

    For some reason, the opulence amused Lady Christina. She contained her laugh but grinned nonetheless, the very luxury confirmed something she had begun to suspect about the dashing Captain – Bette Porter was spoiled. She got what she wanted. But she was also just like any other woman underneath all her bravado, she wanted to feel good, escape from the male world outside her door and be feminine… and have a soft pillow to lay her head on at bedtime, blankets to ward away the chill.

    Bette dropped in a chair, kicking her boots off and scowling at her hand, making a fist which caused blood to leak from it’s cuff. She was quiet, letting Lady Christina handle what was needed next. Shane came in, the ships anchoring for the night while the crew took a break after the chase to track Candace. Bette nodded, trusting Shane implicitly.

    Shane went to stand by Lady Christina as she rummaged in her bags to see what she needed. Christina smiled at her, talking as she looked through her supplies.

    “Let’s see… clean bandages boiled in vinegar, dry cloths, and that tub filled with hot water. Very hot water. Also, a splint, if the ship’s doctor has one.”

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    1. This just gets better and better. They are developing a fondness for each other and a personal bonding which will last a lifetime. And now Bette has asked Tina to sail with her rather than to go back to her father. And Tina has said yes. We will now see what will happen between these two. It won’t be long before Lady Christina become the first mate on the ship.

      Of course, Jodi is still on one of the other ships. Probably not very happy and causing mischief.

      They will be import in two days time. That’s time for Bette to heal somewhat and for Tina to get to know this rouge Captain who has rescued her from a rather dismal life. I wonder what ideas Bette has to on leaving this life of danger and carnage. Her strength and skills will only carry her so far. There is always someone who will challenge her and sooner of later Bette will lose in this profession if she continues on.

      Oh, just one technical fact – the zipper was invented in 1893. Flies on pants used buttons prior to that.

      Great story…. love it, love…

      • Thank you Martha! Lots more to come as they get in port and then set sail for their next adventure.

        To reply to your technical fact about zippers – I don’t have a specific year or decade or century in mind for where or when this story takes place. It is really not meant to follow historical facts and you will find me woefully deficient in details. I am sure you will find other inconsistencies as the story progresses.LOL

        I did look up when doctors started using ice to treat pain and that is clearly out of the realm so at least I won’t make that mistake. Other than that, enjoy the story for the good ride it is…. thanks!

    2. I love it, love it, love it!

      It really is a Gem of a Story and I am so looking forward to sailing with you on this one.

      Thank you, so much, for posting
      Stay safe and well and please post soon

    3. What captivated me the most about this chapter is its breathtaking emotional, spiritual, and physical intimacy. By the conclusion, although there had been no hint at sexual arousal, their authentic bonding and sharing was such that one could say that these two are now in fact lovers. The reader has been essentially privy to the birth of soulmates.

      Lady Christina’s fascination with Bette’s scars and Bette’s willingness to completely expose herself to her – both by view and by touch – allowing her to gently trace and explore – reveals a level of trust that neither have experienced before. Bette believes her body to be ugly yet she has no fear or defensiveness when she is near Lady Christina and allows her Lady to undress her – removing her shirt, the glove one finger at a time, the dropping of the pants, and on. Eagerly allowing Lady Christina to wash and cleanse her. Each subsequent touch and discovery of the next scar revealing more of Bette’s story. Not all the scars from heroic battles as Lady Christina recognizes the cruel but certainty of having been lashed. Tina’s reaction to Bette’s body is not one of disgust, far from it, but rather gentle, protective caring and sweet emerging love: “No, I think they are beautiful, your skin is lovely” Tina interrupted her softly, laying down next to Bette and propping her head on her hand. “They tell your story. They speak of your strength and resilience. They are far from ugly, I just don’t like to see you hurt.” It is as if Tina is making a mental map of Bette’s body as she studies and traces and memorizes every last line imperfect but perfect line.

      Lady Christina’s acts are very sensual without being sexual. Bette openly allowing Tina to care for her is a soothing balm not only to her fresh wounds but to her soul. “Bette nodded slowly, her eyes watching as Tina opened the nightshirt a little more, her eyes following the long jagged scar as it traveled from just above Bette’s right breast, down the valley in between to end under the left breast. With the pads of two fingers, the blonde toured the scar, tracing the line, pausing where it puckered under the soft curve.” Each so safe and connected to the other it is as if they have made love.

      The adjective scarred describes something that’s been hurt and shows some physical evidence of it. Bette’s elaborate chamber reveals a woman of many layers, a woman who is so much more than the fierce Captain persona she displays. Bette’s scars are now visible to Lady Christina. “How was Bette so soft and so strong at the same time? The scars only added to her mystique, showing a hurt that made Tina’s gut clench with compassion. She was lovely in a way that made Lady Christina want to protect her, learn everything there was to know about her. To be her shield and her comfort.” The gentle touches, the soft and silent gazes, the needing to be close, such a quiet chapter in so many ways – with everything and everyone else not important in this moment – because their love speaks volumes. And Lady Christina has scars of her own. Rejected by her father and tortured by Eric. These two have now formed a beautiful alliance – each has a part within the other. And so their adventure begins.

      • This is a great comment. I love how you slowly unfurl the chapter like a long ribbon… each interaction adding to the next and so on. This is a very different Bette and Tina than one I have ever written so it is interesting to see how they interact. This Bette is obviously so tough and lives in a world where strength – and being strong- is the difference between leading a fleet and being overrun by one. This Tina, while inexperienced, is bold and gentle in her quest to understand. She studies, touches, feels her way with an instinct that is perfectly matched to Bette’s.
        I love how you depicted the word ‘scarred’… so true. Thank you Billy.

    4. Hi BK,

      You are spoiling us, on each story one chapter this week! Keep them coming my Lady!

      It is nice to see how Bette and Tina grow towards each other, the tough Captain and gentle caring Lady Christina. How Bette continues to struggle with her feelings and her inner struggle not to give in to them. She loves that Tina takes care of her and makes her feel good. But as a tough woman, she finds it difficult to give in to that. Bette takes care of Tina in her own way, offers her protection, treats her with respect and made her laugh with the swear words she uttered when Tina took care of her hand.

      And Tina experiences so many different emotions and is intrigued by the mysterious and strong Captain Bette. Experiences butterflies in the stomach for the first time in her life.
      It won’t be long before maybe a first kiss is shared. Bette longs for it and Tina is already giving kisses on the cheek and head, loves to run her hands over Bette’s body, now innocent and meant to take care of her.

      And Shane, so surprised and moved by Bette’s hug and words or thanks. Apparently that’s something that doesn’t happen very often but they express it in a different way.

      Bette shows that she has her heart in the right place by releasing the people on the ship and returning them safely to their homes. Her people on the ship respect and love her. Anyway, it’s impossible not to love Bette.

      Poor Tina, a father who refused to protect her from Lord Bates and even ordered the men not to intervene. What a terrible man and I fully understand that Tina chooses to stay with Bette and sail the seas and become the new doctor.

      So far a few quite and relaxed days before they dock.

      And Jodie will not be very happen that she had to stay behind, what will she do? She will try everything to get rid of Tina and keep Bette to herself. No chance of that since Bette has had enough of her and knows she was behind Candance stealing the ship. Bette would do well not to lose sight of Tina.

      Thank you a great chapter! Stay save and healthy!

    5. What a delightful chapter! It is so sweet how Tina’s quiet grace and caring is breaking through all of Captain Bette’s barriers. I loved her journey of the Captain’s scars and of course the “drop your pants” moment, the bathing scene, Lady Tina’s enjoyment of the luxury bath and their talk between the sheets – though very innocent.
      Given the time and circumstances and the (assumed) customs of the society they live in they shared some very intimate moments one could already see as more than courtship. I guess Shane would agree. Her observation of how relaxed Bette seemed since Lady Tina appeared on stage says it all. Being Bette’s lifesave she’ll be a little protective of her Captain. That’s why I like Shane’s obvious trust in Tina.

      I hope we learn more about Bette’s background as the story unfolds. Scars of lashing might speak of once being taken prisoner herself or there is more to her strained relationship to her father. Maybe something similar like Tina’s dad. Bette was captured (before she became a buccaneer or even a privateer) to extort Melvin and when he didn’t comply she was tortured.

      Yay, Tina’s got a new home in Bette’s crew. She will win over the rest of the gang quickly with her calm and competence – all but Jodie. Still support the idea of her walking the plank (think it was Bibi’s suggestion) or she could be giving to another captain as a barter for more food, water and wine for the crew. Preferably to a ship that is on its way to new territory, far away from Bette’s turf.

      I was thinking of Lady Tina’s question of alternative occupations for Bette. Maybe Bette is a privateer, not a “simple” pirate. Like Sir Francis Drake. With the protection of some country she might even have property somewhere, a house, even a different identity. Something like Zorro/Diego de la Vega.

      This alternate universe story of yours is sparking my imagination. Thanks for that! Such fun to read. Oh but did I tell you that I dreamt of Rosie and Boo? Happens sometimes when I read something before going to sleep ;-)

      Have a great week, BK. Stay safe!

    6. Zipper asside I am loving it I am immediately at sea with them. I can visualize the captains quarters almost smell the scents. Whatever is going on in my life, has disappeared and I have been transported. Thank you for the momentary escape

    7. Hey BK,

      Wow – what an EVENTFULL weekend. Lots of stories – life almost seemed normal again & now we have great hope for our future in the USA!!!!

      So I received my swashbuckling fix in this chapter!!!

      Like Sharon said – I could see myself in that captain’s chamber, smell the scents & feel the stirrings of a developing love between the Captain & Lady. It was as if I was there – looking over their shoulders & listening in on their intimate conversations. Great story telling.

      Who won’t want to sail the seven seas with Captain Bette??? Tina’s just can’t resist the dashing captain & her allure. Good for them.

      You further gave us proof that Eric – the bastard lord – certainly deserved the type of death he got & none too soon. The terrible, terrible things he did to Tina & the many evil things he still had planned for her.

      Their discovery of each other was expertly told & written with great love & building emotions. Bette is a different person around this Lady Tina & she knows it. Tina is so intrigued with Bette & fascinated by her courage, bravery & the tenderness she is finding deep with in the captain. She is falling for the handsome captain.

      As Billy mentioned, they have discovered their soulmate & their lives are now forever changed – for the better. Glad that Bette has considered another profession & will reveal to Tina in the near future. As Martha said, this line of work is extremely dangerous & will lead to more violence & harm to Bette the longer she stays in it.

      Tina definitely has won Shane over with her care & protectiveness of her captain. They have now bonded in their loyalty to Bette & will protect her at all costs. Shane has seen first hand the effect Lady Christina has on the strong captain & she is pleasantly surprised by it.

      I hope in the next chapter, Bette deals with Jodie & we are done with her as well & as quickly as Eric. Remember – sharks or shot out of a canon, walkin’ that pirate plank or hung from the top sail – all good options for elimination!!!!!

      Thank you for this ray of sunshine in this sad landscape of political strife in USA. It’s refreshing to escape even if for a brief time to the world of yester year & imagine ourselves as the dashing captain & lovely Lady!!!!

      Well done & all the best my friend.


      • Thank you Collins for you comment and for your encouragement by email! Always helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Enough about me – where is your next chapter? Please don’t forget us readers who want to know what will happen next in the post political world for your Bette and Tina!

    8. ahoy BK!

      thank you thank you thank you for a beautiful chapter. the focus on bette and tina…in this world that you bring to life so vividly. I love that the chapter before, it was this big sword fight, so many people around. and now? it’s just this one room that holds everything, where their connection is growing. where we see that with all her bombastic, larger than life captain persona, bette has scars both physical and emotional. she does not reveal herself to just anyone but she finds herself falling for tina….who just wants to take care of her. there is absolute attraction between these two but I love that you write the soulmate quality of their connection. the looks where they kinda catch the tail end of the looks at each other. where bette finds so much comfort in tina’s presence….and where tina feels so cared for already.

      I cannot wait to find out more about bette…her scars…and how tina can heal them all.

      what an adventure! I love this story so much already. thank you!

      • Stir FRY
        So eloquently put – that that big sword fight was on a public stage in front of a crowd and now it is just the two of them, in a cocoon where they can learn and figure out just what is going on between them. Comfort, and strength and healing.
        More to come, much more to come. THanks

    9. Loved it! I’m riding till the sails fall off. I feel like Jodi will be a problem for a bit longer, but hopefully she will catch the wrong end of a knife or arrow soon enough. Then B & T can continue to connect.

    10. Wow BK!

      What a very unique and intriguing story you have unveiled here..

      I concur with everyones comments.. So there isn’t much else I could add

      I do love how Lady Christina is nurturing and caring and Captain Bette was closed off to everyone it seemed except for Shane the only other person she trusts..But she let Lady Christina in..There are connections you just can’t deny.!

      Truly a joy to read and can’t wait for more!


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