Part One: Stranger from the Sea


The sun was high in the sky, glittering on the waves like diamonds cut from a Spaniard’s purse and scattered on the surf. There was a gentle breeze, and the ocean was blue and calm beneath the hot Caribbean sun.

Luke Jenkins walked around the deck of the Christabel, feeling her easy roll and sway beneath his boots. He knew every creak and groan this old girl made, and instinctively understood her every list and turn. Luke was proud to be her captain. She was a hard mistress, the Christabel, but if he saw her right, she’d do the same for him. Today, she was happy, her sails unfurled and running smooth in the light wind.

Luke was a man in his prime. He’d just passed his thirty-second birthday, his pale Welsh skin was burnished gold by the sun, and his thick dark hair hung in oil-slicked curls around his neck. He wore a pair of tight black britches, knee-high black boots, a white loose shirt, and a scarlet waistcoat. His right ear bore one thick gold ring, and a cutlass was slung through his black leather belt.

His men were scuttling around, busy at their duty, as he expected. He ran a tight ship, but fair. If his men worked hard and were loyal, they were richly rewarded with the spoils pillaged from successful raids on Spanish galleons. If they were lazy or dishonest, they could expect to feel the weight of his whip on their backs. If they double-crossed him, he’d send them down the gangplank at the point of his cutlass without a second thought.

A sudden shout went up from little Nicky Kneebone, on watch in the crow’s nest. Luke looked up to see him pointing at something in the water, starboard side. Frowning, Luke made his way to the prow. He wasn’t expecting to encounter anything out here. He was deliberately staying away from the usual shipping lanes, laying low following their successful raid on the Santa Ana the week before. A fine galleon, the Santa Ana, with good pickings – and Luke had made sure she was picked clean. He’d left her captain tied up and fuming in his cabin while he ransacked her, stealing all her treasure. His men had drunk rum enough to drown in for days after.

“What is it?” Luke demanded, pushing through the little throng of rogues, runaways, and reprobates he was proud to call his crew. They were pointing at a white speck in the sea, which was drifting closer, and closer…

“It’s a man!” Nicky cried. “Moving too! Still alive!”

“Not possible,” Luke said flatly. They were hundreds of miles from land and any other ships. The stranger in the water was an impossibility. Yet, as they drew near, the man seemed to wave at them. He was wearing a white shirt that billowed out around him like a cloud as his arms moved feebly in the air.

“Reel him in,” Luke said grimly. What manner of witchcraft was this? A man couldn’t survive for long in the open water – he’d drown, burn up, or be devoured by sharks. This man shouldn’t be alive.

One of his bosuns, Jake, who could swim like a fish, dived into the water with a rope tied around his waist, knotted to form a lasso. He threw it around the man and shouted back at the ship to pull him in.

“Why are we bothering with him, captain?” demanded Marc, his quartermaster. “He’ll be dead for sure when we bring him in. We’ll just have to throw him back again.”

“Did you have someplace better to be?” Luke grinned. “He might have coin in his pockets, or gold in his teeth. If he’s alive, and of good birth, he might reward us – or at the very least we can ransom him back to his family. It’s worth taking a look at him.”

Marc gave a grudging grunt of agreement, and together they watched as the man in the water was reeled in and hauled up the side of the Christabel.

Their catch landed with a thump on the deck. He lay there, on his front, stretched out in the sun, and the crew gathered around to see what new treasure the sea had gifted them. The sodden man wasn’t moving, but the wind gently ruffled his shirt and hair, lifting them, making him seem alive. Nobody spoke. Jake climbed back onboard and scrambled over to stare at the man like the rest of them.

“He must be dead.” Marc scowled. “Tis not possible to survive in the sea for long. And where did he come from? There be no ships nearby.”

Luke thought he was probably right, but he pressed the tip of his boot to the man’s body to be sure. The man’s hand moved, surprising Luke’s men who all took a hasty step back. Was he a ghost? A merman? A witch? Luke stepped forward, his heartbeat quickening. He took firm hold of the stranger’s shoulder, flipping him onto his back. This knocked some air into his lungs for he barked out a cough, brought up a mouthful of sea water, then lay back weakly and opened his eyes. Luke’s crew gasped again, and so did Luke… but for a different reason.

The man lying like a stranded fish on the Christabel’s deck had the face of an angel. He appeared to be barely more than a lad, perhaps only twenty. His skin was as pale as porcelain, his hair dark and wavy, slicked back from his face in wet curls, and his lips were so fine they could have been chiselled from marble. Then there were his eyes… Luke could barely pull his gaze away from those eyes, for they were as blue as the ocean and almost as beautiful. Maybe it was a trick of the sun, but they seemed to glow with an inner light, gleaming like moonlight on the surf. A man could drown in such eyes. The lad’s face was so comely that for a moment Luke wondered if he was indeed an angel, delivered up by the sea for some divine purpose. He dismissed that thought as superstitious folly, more worthy of his men than himself.

The lad was wearing only rough woollen britches and a white shirt – his feet were bare, and he wore no gold rings or other signs of wealth. A black leather bag was wrapped around his body, tied so tightly that it must surely be important. Marc wrenched the bag off the boy eagerly and turned it upside down. Luke wasn’t sure what his men was expecting – maybe a great tumbling of gold coins – but if so, they were disappointed. All that fell onto the deck were several little wooden jars with tightly screwed-on lids. Marc picked one up and opened it, holding it away from his body for fear of catching some ill humour. Inside, was a foul-smelling unguent. Marc threw it away in disgust. None of the other jars held anything more promising – all smelled of herbs, some sweet, some sour, but none held gold. It was a huge disappointment. Luke gathered up the jars and threw them back into the leather bag, then turned his attention to the stranger.

He was still lying there, breathing hard, taking great, gasping gulps of air, like a new-born. Luke leaned over him curiously. The lad turned his head to look straight at Luke, then raised a wavering hand to touch his face… and Luke felt a shock run through his veins like the kiss of lightning in a storm.

“Thank you,” the lad whispered… and then he passed out.

“His clothes are plain, and he wears no gold. He’s clearly no use for ransom. I say we throw him back into the brine,” One-eyed Jim said.

“How d’you think I’d find enough men to crew this ship if I threw away every passing chance of labour?” Luke growled. “He can stay here and work his passage, if he survives the night.”

“Where shall we put him, captain?” Jake asked.

“I’ll take him to my cabin. I need a new cabin boy.” Luke grinned at his men. They all knew he had an eye for a pretty lad, and he’d been short of a cabin boy since young Jamie Bellwether had jumped ship a few weeks back to serve liquor at The Spaniard’s Beard in Port Royal – and all because the innkeeper’s daughter had made his cock so stiff he couldn’t bear to be apart from her.

Luke bent over, gathered the lad up in his arms, and lifted him in the air. The boy was no light weight, but Luke was a tall, strong man, his muscles made firm by hard work. He carried the lad across the deck and down the wooden steps, worn smooth by constant use, then along the walkway to his cabin. He kicked open the door, crossed the room, and placed his salvaged treasure on the bed. Then he threw a blanket over him and wrapped him up tight to warm him.

The lad opened his eyes and whispered something.

“You’re safe here and will warm up soon enough,” Luke said, pouring a tot of rum into a glass. He held it to the lad’s lips and watched him sip it down. Colour slowly started to return to his cheeks, and he lay back on the bed, smiling weakly. “Here.” Luke crossed the room to his table and brought back a chunk of cheese and some hard tack. “Eat,” he ordered. It stirred some sleeping dragon in his belly that the lad obeyed him immediately, without a word. When he was done, the boy glanced around the room.

“Looking for this?” Luke held up the black leather bag. “I’ll keep it safe for now.” The contents of the bag might look worthless to him, but they might not be worthless to the young man. “Now rest; I’ll be back later,” Luke said.

He ran a rough hand through the lad’s wet hair, smiling down on him. It was impossible not to be charmed by such a beautiful face. Maybe the boy was a witch sent to ensnare Luke, like the sirens of old. Luke knew no woman could make him lose his mind and steer him adrift, but a lad like this…? The beautiful creature Luke had plucked from the sea gave a faint smile, then, once again, obeyed him. He closed his eyes and sank back on the bed, fast asleep.

Luke left the cabin, closing the door softly so as not to wake the lad. He shook his head at himself, tiptoeing around his own ship – many a pirate captain would have taken what they wanted from such a beautiful jewel, then and there, no matter if the lad was half-dead and regardless of his wishes. Luke was not such a man.

His crew were uneasy when he returned to the deck.

“Where did he come from, captain?” Nicky Kneebone asked. He was just a wee lad, barely ten years old, but still older than Luke had been when he’d first run away to sea. “There are no ships close by, and we’re nowhere near land.”

“Maybe some other ship’s captain, less smitten by that pretty face, made him walk the plank – and that’s how he came to be floating in the water,” One-eyed Jim muttered dourly. “In which case, I say we throw him back in!”

Luke’s cutlass was in his hand and thrust up against Jim’s throat within seconds. “He’s under my protection. Anyone who touches him will answer to me. I’ll find out what he’s doing out here, and why, don’t you worry.”

Jim gave a grunt of acceptance, but his eye glinted angrily all the same. Luke was always on the watch for signs of dissent on his ship – pirates were notoriously ill-disciplined and prone to disloyalty. Luke, having served many years with the Royal Navy, had managed to lick some shape into his men, but Jim was always one to watch.

Night had fallen by the time Luke returned to his cabin. He was as mystified by how the lad came to be in the sea as anyone else, but he wanted the boy well-rested when he questioned him. He’d see through any lies, he was sure of that. The lad would answer him true, or Luke would take his cat o’ nine tails and beat the truth from him.

The boy was lying on the bed when Luke entered, but he sat up immediately. His hair was stiff with salt, hanging in tousled waves around his face, but his beautiful blue eyes were bright and clear. At some point during the afternoon he must have risen from the bed, for his damp clothes were drying over the back of a nearby chair, and the blanket was tucked tightly around his naked form.

Luke set his lantern down on the shelf beside the bed. Without speaking, he gave the lad a plate of dried meat and hardtack, and watched as he wolfed it down greedily. When he was done, Luke poured some ale into a tankard and handed that to him, too.

“I’m the captain of this ship,” he said, when the boy was done with his meal. “My name is Luke Jenkins, but you will call me captain, or sir.”

The lad cleared his throat. “Thank you, captain,” he said softly. “I am in your debt.” He had a deep, soft voice that sounded stronger and older than it had any right to be.  “My name is Sebastian,” he added. “Sebastian Smith.” He gave a crooked smile as he said his full name, and Luke wondered if the second part was a lie. The first, though, rang out as clear and true as a bell. Sebastian. The name called to Luke, lilting, beckoning, and singing, as if it knew him down to the core of his soul. He felt an odd sense of yearning gnaw at his insides.

Luke took a moment to collect himself, then sat down on the bed beside the lad. He gave Sebastian a sharp look.

“Sebastian. Hmm. How old are you, boy?” he demanded.

“Two and twenty, sir,” Sebastian replied. That was older than Luke had thought, old enough to be called a man, not a boy, but Luke decided the ten years’ seniority he had on Sebastian gave him the right to call him ‘boy’ all the same.

“Well, Sebastian, as I saved your life, it belongs to me now,” Luke said. Many men would have railed at hearing such a thing, but Sebastian merely looked intrigued. “First, though, you’ll tell me what manner of prize you are – are you flotsam, Sebastian, or are you jetsam?”

It made a difference. Luke was well-versed in the laws of salvage – if a ship went down and her cargo floated to the surface it was flotsam. But if the cargo was thrown overboard for some reason… that was jetsam, and a different thing entirely. Was this boy an innocent who’d survived a shipwreck, or had he been cast into the water by another ship’s captain for good reason?

“How did you survive the sea?” Luke demanded. “Your skin isn’t burned, so you can’t have been in the water for long. What ship were you on, and why did you leave her?”

Sebastian’s face was even more beautiful bathed in the light from the lantern. He looked like some burnished Greek god, his cheekbones sharp, and his eyes glowing brightly.

“I was on a ship to England – the Marie-Louise,” he explained, in that sweet, strong voice. “We were thrown off course by a storm a few nights ago. The ship went down, and all hands with her. I was lucky – I was trapped beneath a piece of her hull, with enough air to breathe and a flask of ale at my belt. That piece of hull eventually broke up in the water, leaving me at the mercy of the sea. I had all but lost hope when you found me.”

It was possible. Not likely, but possible. Yet, Luke did not believe it to be true.

“Would you be lying to me, Sebastian?” he asked, in a dangerous tone. He drew his cutlass and pressed the tip of it lightly against Sebastian’s throat. It would be a shame to cut into this beautiful, pale skin, but he would if he had to.

“For what purpose, sir?” Sebastian asked softly. He seemed unafraid of the cutlass, barely giving it a glance. “You have seen I have no gold, no coin. I’m not a wealthy man – I was travelling to England to start work with my uncle. He has no sons of his own, so I’m to take over his business one day. My uncle isn’t rich, either – he sent me just enough to pay for my passage.”

Again, it sounded plausible, but was the explanation offered up too glibly? Luke was not about to throw a man overboard on such thin evidence of deception, though. He removed the tip of his cutlass from Sebastian’s throat.

“I do not believe you,” he said bluntly. “But every man should be allowed his secrets. I do not believe, either, that you pose any danger to this ship, or those who sail in her. So, my pretty piece of flotsam, here are my terms: I’ll give you safe passage to Port Royal, if that’s what you want.”

“It is, sir,” Sebastian said eagerly.

“Very well, though I should warn you we’ll be at sea for many months yet, as I have no plans to return to Port Royal anytime soon. Now, there are no free berths of my ship – you’ll work your passage if you are to stay onboard.”

“‘I’m happy to work, sir. In fact, I insist upon it,” Sebastian said eagerly.

“Well then, I’ll give you a choice.” Luke stood up and thrust his cutlass back into his belt. “You can work with my men around the ship – there are always plenty of tasks to be done. You’ll sleep below deck with them, and share their food and ale.”

“Of course, sir. I’ve worked on a ship before. I know the tasks,” Sebastian said eagerly.

“I said you had a choice.” Luke held up his hand. “You may, if you prefer, work as my cabin boy – keep my boots polished, my room tidy, and run errands for me. You’ll bring me my food from the galley, and see to it there’s always rum by my bed.”

“You do not have a cabin boy already, sir?” Sebastian asked.

“I did,” Luke sighed. “He left to be with some girl in Port Royal. I told him she’d run him a merry dance, but he wouldn’t listen.” Sebastian smiled, and it was such a warm, sweet sight that Luke’s heart skipped a beat. “So, Sebastian – what’s it to be? Cabin boy or deckhand?” Luke asked, his breath catching slightly in his throat, for he knew which he’d prefer.

Sebastian didn’t give it any consideration at all. “It would be a great honour to be allowed to serve you as your cabin boy, sir,” he said, shooting Luke a shy smile.

Luke rocked back on his heels, grinning broadly. “Be warned – I like my cabin tidy, and my boy to hand whenever I call.”

“I can do that, sir,” Sebastian said eagerly.

“Well and good then.” Luke poured himself a glass of rum and downed it in one gulp. “Now, if you so wish, you may also keep my bed warm,” he added, drawing the back of his hand over his mouth to wipe away the rum.

Sebastian’s eyes opened wide in surprise, flickering in golden hues from the lantern light. Luke grinned and ran a gentle finger over Sebastian’s fine lips.

“You’re a handsome lad, as you well know. If you’re willing, you may sleep in my bed, beside me. But understand me clear – if that’s your choice, I’ll strip you bare and make fine sport with you. If you’ve lain with a man before, you’ll find it nothing like being with me.” Luke spoke with some pride. He leaned forward and whispered directly into Sebastian’s ear. “I’ll ravish you long and hard – you can expect no mercy,” he said. Sebastian made a soft sound in the back of his throat, and his Adam’s apple jerked wildly.

Luke drew back, smiling sharply. “But I have one rule – I will never take an unwilling lad to my bed. You can be my cabin boy without sharing my bed, and you’ll suffer no ill treatment from me if that’s your choice. So, what’s it to be? Do you want to warm my bed, Sebastian? Are you a willing lad?”

Sebastian was very still. Luke could see a little vein fluttering in his temple. He looked at Luke with big eyes. Finally, he spoke.

“With a man such as you…” he said softly, his eyes flickering over Luke’s face and down his firmly muscled chest to his taut, slim waist. “Why would any lad not be willing?”

Luke stared at him for a beat, and then he let out a loud guffaw. He threw back his head and laughed, long and loud. Sebastian sat there, grinning, then he joined in, laughing too. It was a light, easy sound, and it made Luke’s heart sing with joy. They stopped laughing at the exact same time, and stared at each other. Sebastian’s gaze was fixed first on Luke’s eyes, then on his lips.

“So,” Sebastian said, his mouth quirking teasingly at the corners, “This merciless ravishment you promised – when does it start?”

Luke moved forward, lightning fast, took Sebastian’s face between his hands, and kissed him hard on the lips.

That electric jolt he’d felt back on the deck when Sebastian had touched his face was as nothing compared to how he felt when he first claimed Sebastian’s mouth. It was like being sucked into a whirlpool. All breath left his lungs, every hair on his body stood upright, and shivers ran up and down his spine. He tingled, from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet.

“Dear God… what manner of witchcraft is this?” he murmured, when he finally found the strength to draw away.

Sebastian stared back at him, looking just as startled. “I don’t know… I’ve never felt… I mean, I’ve kissed many men,” Sebastian said, and even though he’d just met the lad, Luke felt a knot of jealousy deep in his belly. “But I’ve never had a kiss that felt like that.”

Luke leaned forward, tentatively. “Let’s try again,” he whispered, wrapping his hands in the lad’s hair and drawing him close. This time when he kissed him, he saw lights exploding, popping behind his eyelids like shooting stars fizzing across the sky. It was beautiful, exciting, arousing… and his cock stirred hungrily.

Sebastian was still wrapped in his blanket. Luke ripped it away, wanting to see his new boy properly. He took the lantern and raised it high, trailing it down the length of Sebastian’s body. Sebastian arched his back, displaying himself like a cat on heat; it was a joy to see how willing he was.

Luke devoured the sight of him – the long, slender limbs, dappled in golden shadows; the smooth chest, almost hairless; and the soft pink temptation of the boy’s tender nipples. Luke’s gaze followed the dark line of hair that led to Sebastian’s beautiful, perfect cock – pale skin stretched over hard flesh, not modest in size, and both elegant and smooth, curving upwards from its nest of dark curls. His balls hung full and round beneath, like firm plums, ready to be plucked.

Luke licked his lips, drunk on the sight of so much beauty. “On your front,” he ordered, the words coming out in a low, guttural growl.

Sebastian turned over, and Luke feasted on the new sight that lay before him. Sebastian’s bottom was as round and pale as a full moon hanging low in the sky. It was as perfect an arse as Luke had ever seen. His cock rose hard in his britches, longing to be inside this beautiful boy, riding him like the Christabel rode the surf on a windy day. Yet some instinct told him to take his time. Surely a meal as exquisite as this should be eaten slowly, and savoured, not devoured all at once, in a hurry?

He trailed his fingers down Sebastian’s back, lingering on the soft hollow above his bottom, then moved his palms to gently cup those two, perfect globes of flesh. This was an altar he could worship at forever. He sat astride Sebastian’s legs, lowered his head, and pulled open his buttocks. The salty, musky smell of Sebastian overwhelmed him, exciting him, as he dipped his head and licked inside that dark, private place. Sebastian let out a startled moan and wriggled in surprise, so Luke quietened him with a little slap. That made Sebastian squeal, and his pale arse cheek flush a deep, rosy pink. Luke loved the way that looked, the mark of his hand imprinted on this boy’s flesh. He took big handfuls of those soft, juicy arse cheeks, pulled them apart, and dipped his head again. This time, Sebastian gave a sigh of pure pleasure and relaxed into the bed. Luke licked deep inside the boy, as if learning him by taste. Sebastian needed no coaxing as some boys did – he opened up, allowing Luke in deeper still, moaning in delight with every thrust of Luke’s tongue.

Finally, Luke drew back. “Turn over,” he ordered. It pleased him that Sebastian did as he was told, immediately. Luke leaned over him and kissed him again, savouring the warm, delicious taste of his mouth, so different from the other place he’d been exploring.

Sebastian sighed and pressed his body up against him. “Please, fuck me,” he whispered, when Luke finally stopped plundering his mouth. It was such a beautiful invitation… normally, Luke would have done as requested, without hesitation, but some instinct stopped him.

“I will decide when you get fucked,” he replied, sternly.

Sebastian’s eyes glowed in the lantern light. “Yes, sir. Of course. It’s your decision,” he said obediently. Luke grinned in delight, feeling a sense of great power course through his veins. “May I beg some favours, captain?” the lad asked. “May I see you bare, too? And may I touch your skin?”

Luke considered these to be reasonable requests. He straddled Sebastian, and slowly removed his cutlass from his belt and threw it onto the chair beside the bed. Then he unbuttoned his shirt and threw that the same way. Sebastian reached up and gently brushed his fingers over Luke’s taut, hard stomach.

“You are a handsome man, captain,” he whispered, his desire glowing in his eyes.

Luke grinned down on him, pleased that the boy wanted him as much as he wanted the boy. He unbuckled his belt, never taking his eyes off Sebastian. He noticed how Sebastian’s eyes followed his every move, how they flashed as he slowly drew the belt away from his britches, and how the lad’s gaze followed the belt as Luke threw that, too, onto the chair beside the bed. He wondered what fascination the belt held for the boy, but that thought soon passed out of his head as Sebastian reached up and slowly unbuttoned his britches. Luke allowed him the pleasure of the task – for pleasure it seemed to Sebastian. His tongue darted out and wetted his lips as he worked the buttons loose, and his mouth gleamed wetly in the flickering light.

Luke knew then what he wanted to do – what he had to do, immediately, before anything else. He knocked Sebastian’s hands aside and finished the work, releasing his stiff cock. Luke had seen plenty of other men’s cocks and believed his own to be large and powerful by comparison – Sebastian certainly seemed to think so, because he smiled up at him. Luke wasted no time – he took hold of Sebastian’s face and pushed his cock towards his lips. Sebastian needed no urging – he spread his perfect, wet lips to take Luke’s cock, sliding them down over it, taking Luke right up to the root. Luke let out a shout of amazed pleasure – most boys did little more than suck the tip, but Sebastian enthusiastically took it whole. The warm pressure of his mouth as it slid over Luke’s cock was intoxicating. Luke began to thrust into him, each thrust hitting the back of Sebastian’s throat – so deep, so warm, and so pleasurable…  so much so that Luke soon spilled out. Sebastian didn’t draw back or spit – he held on tight to Luke’s hips and swallowed every last drop, as if it was nectar. Luke stroked Sebastian’s hair gently, breathing heavily. He was cross with himself for spilling so soon, but he could not have resisted the pleasure Sebastian’s mouth offered.

He smiled down on the boy, to show him he’d done well. Sebastian smiled back up at him, tugging on his hips to bring him down onto the bed beside him. Luke rested there happily, taking Sebastian in his arms and kissing him again. He had not yet touched the boy’s hard, yearning cock, but Sebastian seemed not to mind, and surrendered his mouth to Luke’s plundering kisses. Luke was surprised to find his own cock hard again within minutes – he’d never been stiff again so soon, but then he’d never had a boy as bold and beautiful as this in his bed before. He drew back, tossed Sebastian expertly onto his front, and reached for the oil he used to slick his hair. He oiled his fingers, and then leaned down and spoke into Sebastian’s ear.

“I’ll ride you like a fine stallion, until your flanks heave and you scream for mercy. If you have no stomach for such a ride, say so now, for I’ll not be able to stop once I’m inside you.”

Sebastian made another of those beautiful sounds in the back of his throat. “Ride me,” he urged. “Ride me hard! Please.”

Luke was delighted. He loved to take a boy forcefully, but often had to go slow and tender, as they could not take the full power of his passion. Sebastian seemed to have no such qualms.

Luke spread the boy’s delicious soft arse cheeks and slicked oil into the dark hole within. Sebastian moaned and opened his legs wider. His hole was soon ready, and Luke wasted no time in plunging in, with one hard thrust of his hips. Sebastian cried out and gripped the bed sheets. Luke leaned forward and covered the lad’s hands with his own, imprisoning his body beneath him, then began to ride him as hard and fast as he’d promised. Every delicious thrust went deep into Sebastian’s warm, oiled hole. Luke’s earlier spilling meant he was sated and could ride Sebastian for a long time. At first, he held back, as was his custom, for he’d never yet tumbled with a boy who could take his full force. Sebastian was not such a boy. He glanced over his shoulder, his eyes glazed.

“Harder, sir!” he begged. “Please… harder… faster…”

This was music to Luke’s ears. He thrust into the boy at full force, glorying in the furious rhythm of their joining. For a long while he was lost in the sensations, riding the surf of his desire to the very limit. It was a place he’d never been before, and he threw back his head and screamed with joy as he pounded into the boy with all his strength. He felt powerful, invincible, like a god… dear sweet lord, he’d never before had a boy who made him feel this way.

Sebastian’s back was slick with sweat, his body trembling with the force of Luke’s immense thrusts, his head slung back and his hair hanging in lose waves around his neck. It was like riding a horse through the waves, feeling the pleasure build and ripple between them. Luke cried out and redoubled his efforts, wondering if it was possible to feel any more ecstasy than this, then realising it was… again and again… until he spilled with a great howl, roaring out his victory until he was hoarse. He collapsed on top of the boy, still lodged deep inside him.

“Are you damaged, boy?” he asked, feeling suddenly anxious as the boy was so quiet. He’d felt nothing but waves of pleasure rolling off Sebastian, but had he been so far gone he’d misread the situation?

“No, sir. I’m just in awe of you,” Sebastian whispered. “No man has ever taken me with such forceful passion. It was sublime.”

Luke grinned and kissed the lad’s neck. He rolled sideways, taking Sebastian with him, keeping his cock buried inside the boy. Then, for the first time, he grasped the lad’s cock.

“Did you not spill too?” he asked, finding it rock hard.

“No, sir. You didn’t give me permission,” Sebastian replied.

Luke felt a wave of some new sensation burn in his belly, exciting him beyond belief.

“No boy has ever asked for my permission before,” he murmured.

“Then they should!” Sebastian retorted. “You should demand it, sir. A man as magnificent as you, who can ride a boy with such power – it is your right to command their pleasure as you see fit.”

“Well then… I’d see you spill and know I brought you to that joyful pass,” Luke said, wrapping his hand firmly around Sebastian’s cock and milking him with long, fine strokes. Sebastian gasped and hollered, bucking into his hand. Luke bit down gently on his neck.

“Keep still,” he ordered. “Take what I give, and be grateful.” Sebastian melted back against him immediately, surrendering to his embrace, and did not move again as Luke stroked his cock. The lad panted, moaned, and sighed – but he stayed as still as if Luke had tied him in place.

Luke’s cock stirred again, where it was still buried inside the boy. What manner of witchcraft could this be, that he was stiff as a post again so soon? He didn’t care. He held Sebastian in place and rocked into him with slow, lazy thrusts, keeping time to the firm, sweeping movements of his hand on the boy’s beautiful cock. Sebastian was gasping, crying out, whimpering his pleasure.

“I’ll spill again, inside you, and when I’m done you can spill too,” Luke murmured in Sebastian’s ear. “But not before. Can you hold that long?”

“I must, for you have ordered it so, captain,” Sebastian replied.

Luke felt another surge of ecstasy. It was as if Sebastian knew him to his core, and every word he said stoked the fires of Luke’s arousal even more. Luke kept the boy on edge, fucking his arse hard while milking his cock expertly at the same time. Sebastian was screaming now, begging for release and yet holding himself teetering on the brink. Luke had never felt such power… it consumed him. He slowed down to keep his own pleasure at bay simply for the joy of prolonging the boy’s delicious agony. Sebastian knew it, too, for he begged, and pleaded, and hollered, and then howled… and all the time Luke slowly fucked him and milked him without mercy. He didn’t know why the boy kept so strong – he’d imposed no penalty on him for spilling first – and yet he sensed it was a point of pride in the lad, and he would always put his captain’s pleasure before his own.

Finally, Luke took pity on him. He sped up, fucking furiously, wondering how the boy’s hole could take it, then screamed out his release as he spilled deep into Sebastian.

“You may spill now,” he said, and that sense of power exploded within him all over again as Sebastian did, immediately, as if Luke’s word had been all he’d been waiting for.

Luke held him firm, as Sebastian spilled out over his hand, gasping and shuddering the whole while. Then the boy gave a long, sated groan and relaxed limply into Luke’s arms. Luke kissed his neck repeatedly.

“Dear God, boy – I’ve never had a partner so willing or so obedient to my will,” he whispered.

“And I’ve never had one so powerful,” Sebastian replied weakly.

They fell into a dazed, exhausted sleep. Every time Luke woke, he found his cock stiff again, and he rode Sebastian to completion each time. Sometimes, he let the boy spill, and sometimes he did not, and Sebastian accepted both outcomes the same.

Time passed in a haze. Luke was dimly aware of daylight outside, and at one point Marc knocked loudly on the door to ask if the boy had cut his throat in his sleep. Luke roared at him to leave and threw his boot at the door. Neither he nor Sebastian stopped to eat – they gloried in each other’s bodies repeatedly, existing only to fuck, and rest, and fuck again. Luke had no idea how his cock could rise so endlessly to the occasion, or how Sebastian’s hole could take the relentless pounding, yet neither of them seemed to know how to stop.

Finally, the following morning, Luke knew they must finish. He was captain of this ship, and had responsibilities.

“You are a siren,” he whispered in Sebastian’s ear. “You have unmanned me.”

“I’d say you’re very well manned, sir,” Sebastian replied, with a cheeky grin.

Luke laughed and cuffed him around the head. Sebastian giggled in a way that made Luke’s heart sigh. He longed to pull him back into his arms, but enough was enough.

“We must live as well as fuck – and I’m hungry!” he proclaimed. “It’s time you started your duties as my cabin boy.”

“My other duties, you mean.” Sebastian winked, sliding out of the bed. “I trust you’re satisfied with my performance in your bed?”

“You have quite the naughty mouth, but I know a way to silence it.” Luke rolled out of bed and chased him across the room. He pulled the lad into his arms and kissed him soundly. Sebastian nestled into him and kissed him back, just as soundly. Luke drew away with a groan. “No – enough!” He put a finger over Sebastian’s lips. “It’s time to get to work!”

He dressed, enjoying the way his new cabin boy watched as he pulled on his clothes and arranged them just so. He gifted Sebastian some clothes from his own closet – they were of much the same height, although Sebastian was slighter in build and thinner of leg. Then Luke led Sebastian up onto the deck. A cheer and not a few whistles went up from his men, who were all in no doubt as to why they had not seen their captain of late. Luke let them have their moment, then briskly returned to captain mode and found fault with the rigging and the cleanliness of the deck, on purpose, to chide them back to their tasks.

“What manner of ship is this, sir?” Sebastian asked, glancing at the empty flagpole. “Are you a cargo vessel? If so, what cargo do you carry?”

Marc, who was standing nearby, laughed heartily at that.

Luke grinned. “No cargo, boy. We take from any Spanish galleon that crosses our path.”

“You take?” Sebastian turned to him with big eyes.

“Oh yes. The captain has a mortal dislike for Spaniards,” Marc murmured.

“With good reason,” Luke growled. “Yes, we take, boy,” he said, growing impatient with Sebastian’s wide-eyed stare. “We plunder, pillage, and steal.”

“You mean… you’re pirates? This is a pirate ship? And you…” Sebastian rounded on him. “Are a pirate captain?”

Luke shrugged. “What of it?” he demanded, with false bravado. He wondered if Sebastian now regretted giving himself to him so freely. If so, the boy might refuse him another time. Luke would never take an unwilling lad, so he’d be mighty sad about that.

“A pirate…” Sebastian whirled around, gawking at the ship, then back to its captain. Then, much to Luke’s surprise, his face creased into a broad, ecstatic smile. “This is new! I’ve never been on a pirate ship before… or been had by a pirate captain,” he added, in a quieter tone, that only Luke could hear. “It’s exciting!”

Luke gave a loud guffaw and wrapped an arm around the lad’s shoulder. “You’re not afraid?” he asked.

“Oh yes, ” Sebastian replied, grinning happily. “Very afraid. That’s part of the thrill! Pirates! You don’t fly the Jolly Roger, though?” He glanced at the empty flagpole.

“And let everyone know my business? Of course not,” Luke chided.

“And are you good at your trade, my handsome pirate captain?” Sebastian purred, looking as if he’d love to fall to his knees and open Luke’s britches, there and then.

“Was I good at what I did to you in my cabin?” Luke demanded.

Sebastian blushed. “Very,” he whispered.

“Well, I am just as good a pirate captain,” Luke told him proudly. Sebastian laughed, and Luke thought he could never get enough of that sound.

He wondered how Sebastian would fit in with his crew. His cabin boy was a strange creature, with his mix of soft yielding and cheeky teasing, combined with that sense of mystery. Luke anticipated trouble, but Sebastian surprised him by blending in from the start. He cleaned Luke’s cabin and was always on hand to do his captain’s bidding, but he was also more than happy to help with everyone else’s chores, too. Luke would often find him assisting his men as they worked, mending a rope, or swabbing the decks. He cast as much of a spell over his men as he had over Luke, and before long he was a fully accepted member of the crew.

Life settled into a fine routine. Many pirate captains were lazy, preferring to berth at Port Royal and only venture out when they knew a prize might be heading their way. Luke preferred to play a more cunning game, hiding out in the little bays and islands of the Caribbean, and surprising galleons not expecting to be raided so far out on the high seas. Luke loved being on the Christabel, so it was no hardship to provision to be at sea for months at a time. They could always stop in little backwater villages on remote islands if they wanted to go ashore, dropping anchor in the bays and sending little boats in to land.

It was a fine life, and one Luke loved best. Yet now he lived even more for the nights, when he had his boy to himself and could ride him senseless. Sebastian never once refused him, or spoke of being too tired or not in the mood for their bedtime sport. He looked forward to the nights as much as Luke, his eyes gleaming with pleasure the minute they were alone and his captain reached for him.

One morning, as they lay sleepily in bed preparing to face the new day, Sebastian drew a finger over the scars on Luke’s back.

“Where are these from, captain?” he asked, tracing their jagged edges.

Luke brushed his hand away. “I’m an old seadog, boy. I have the scars to show for it,” he said brusquely.

Sebastian pressed his lips gently against one of the scars. “But they pain you still,” he murmured. “I see it sometimes on deck, when you must stand straight and proud for your men so they don’t doubt your strength – the skin weighs on the muscles and pulls them down; it makes you tired.”

Luke glanced over his shoulder, startled by his boy’s insight. “They ache, but we all have our aches,” he said.

“Hmmm.” Sebastian smiled gently and kissed another scar. “I could help,” he offered quietly.

“How?” Luke sat up, uneasy with this conversation.

“The pots in the bag you found me with… they are medicines, made of a mix of herbs. They’ve helped many people. They could help you, too, if you’d allow me to soothe an unguent into your skin?”

Luke slid from the bed, frowning. “You want your bag returned to you?”

“Not for my own sake, but yours.” Sebastian sat up. “My uncle, the one in England I am to be apprentice to – he’s an apothecary. These are medicines he taught me, sending me letters telling me how to make them. I’ve found them of use.”

Luke wondered what harm it could do. He had no use for the bag of potions – he’d originally intended to hold it hostage against Sebastian’s good behaviour, but there had been no need for that. It seemed churlish to withhold it now. He went to his closet, found the bag, and threw it at his boy.

“There. Let’s see if they work then,” he said.

Sebastian bade him lie still on his front, then opened one of the pots and carefully smeared a greasy substance into his skin. It smelled of herbs, but was not unpleasant. Luke tensed all the same. He didn’t like his scars being touched or remarked upon. Most seadogs had scars, either from the cat or from working on a boat, so nobody usually paid them any attention, which suited him well. He had no wish to recall the circumstances by which he’d gained them.

“Ssh… it’s okay,” Sebastian whispered, soothing his skin gently. Luke relaxed and began to zone out. It was so easy to lie here and allow Sebastian to minister to his skin. He felt a warm sensation flow through him, as though he were floating on a golden cloud.

“There… all done,” Sebastian said, from what seemed like a great distance. Slowly, Luke came back to himself. His body felt heavy, but his back… his back didn’t hurt, for the first time in nearly twenty years.

He glanced in the mirror – the thick, knotted lines of the scars still snaked across his back… and, maybe it was a trick of the light, but they seemed less jagged than before.

Sebastian put the pot back in the black leather bag and returned it to the closet. “The unguent should give you relief for awhile, but the pain will return. Let me know when it does, and I’ll apply it again,” he said.

Luke grunted and pulled on his shirt. “Thank you,” he said gruffly. It was one thing to fuck the boy, another to have old wounds tended to so sweetly by him. Luke wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

Sebastian loved being on the deck with him, sitting near his side, or just watching as he strode about the ship, giving orders. Sometimes, Sebastian drew pictures of the birds they saw, or the strange sea creatures they glimpsed in the depths of the water. He had a good eye, and the pictures were pleasing. Other times, he read from Luke’s motley collection of books, collected from various ships over the years – Luke had always loved to read. Then there were the times the lad simply stared into space, smiling dreamily. Luke found him hardest to resist at those times, and often tousled the boy’s dark hair or pressed a little kiss to his cheek when his crew weren’t looking.

Sebastian also loved helping out on the rigging; Luke noticed he’d grown more confident, climbing to the very tip of the yardarm and back down again, often in competition with one of the other young lads aboard the Christabel.

They were becalmed for several days, and the crew became bored and restless. Sebastian became the opposite, growing giddy and reckless. He scooted around the ship, getting underfoot. When Luke bade him sit to one side and stay there, Sebastian obeyed him, but with a sulky look on his fair face.

Luke was busy with his maps, talking to Marc about where they should go when they finally had a fair wind in their sails, when he was startled by a shout from his men. He looked up to see Sebastian climbing the rigging as fast as he could go, like a monkey, in a race with little Nicky Kneebone. Sebastian easily beat Nicky to the top, then, euphoric from his win, he stepped out onto the yardarm and began to walk across it, his arms outstretched for balance, dancing a little jig as he went. Luke’s heart skipped a beat. The lad was a fool! If he fell, he’d surely break a limb or two – if he even survived the great drop.

“Boy! Get down here now!” he yelled.

Sebastian scrambled down the rigging, a big grin creasing in his face. Luke could feel a frenetic, jangly humour emanating from him. It was misplaced, and Luke itched to quell it. Sebastian jumped down onto the deck, and Luke strode over to him, a thunderous frown creasing his brow.

“Are you simple?” Luke roared. “This is not a place to play games! A fall from there could kill you.”

“I’m fine,” Sebastian riposted. “I wasn’t going to fall. Don’t fuss so!”

Luke felt a surge of such fury he could not contain it. He picked the boy up bodily, threw him over his shoulder, and strode back to his cabin with him.

When they were alone inside, Luke slung Sebastian down on the bed. Sebastian sat up, an expectant look on his face, clearly hoping for ravishment. Luke intended to give him no such reward. He sat down next to Sebastian, grabbed the boy’s arm, and pulled him over his knee. Then he ripped the lad’s britches down and spanked him hard with his hand.

“A child’s punishment, for a childish act,” he fumed as he spanked. Sebastian wriggled and mewled, but Luke held him firm and did not let him up until his bottom was good and warm.

When he was done, he flipped Sebastian onto his feet, took hold of his shoulder, and parked him in the corner of the cabin.

“You can stay there, with your arse on display, until I say you can move,” he growled.

Sebastian’s odd, discordant humour seemed to dissipate. He made a sound halfway between a sob and a sigh. Then his body relaxed, his shoulders hanging loose and free, and he wept softly to himself, his face buried in his arms. Luke gave a sigh of relief that the tension had lifted.

Luke returned to the deck to fetch his maps and then retired back to the cabin to plot his course. He sat at the table, ignoring his gently sobbing boy, although he did look up every so often to enjoy the sight of that glowing arse.

There was a knock at the door an hour or so later, and Marc poked his head around it.

“Have you set our course yet, captain?” he asked. Luke waved him into the room, chuckling when he saw Marc’s expression as he caught sight of Sebastian.

“The boy required correction,” Luke explained.

Marc nodded. “Aye, I reckon so. He was a fool. You’d do well to keep beating some sense into him if he’s to stay alive. You struck him well on the arse by the looks of it.”

Sebastian rested his head against the wall with a little choke. The humiliation of Marc witnessing his state of undress clearly smarted, but not, Luke suspected, as much as his sore arse. Luke and Marc discussed the course for the next couple of hours as they pored over the maps. Luke spared Sebastian no quarter, making him stand there the entire time as his warm arse cooled.

Only when Marc had gone did Luke stand up and cross over to the boy.

“Very well then,” he said, not unkindly. “You can pull up your britches now and come to bed.”

Sebastian turned. His eyes were downcast, and there were tear tracks on his cheeks, but he had lost the wild, giddy look he’d had earlier.

“I’m sorry, captain,” he whispered. Luke had expected him to be surly about his punishment, but instead he wrapped his arms around Luke’s waist, rested his head on Luke’s shoulder, and swayed there, happy and content. Luke puts his arms around the boy and held him tight.

“Tis only because I’m so fond of you that I tanned you so hard,” he murmured into Sebastian’s hair. “It would have broken my heart to see you crash down onto the deck.”

Sebastian drew back, a golden gleam in his eyes. “I’m mighty fond of you too, captain,” he murmured, leaning in for a kiss.

Luke kissed him back, feeling that warm glow in his belly again. This boy would be the death of him! He took Sebastian to bed and fucked him gently, sweetly, kissing him deeply as he moved inside him. It was a new thing to be so tender in bed, but it only made that glow in his belly warmer still.

Later that night, he woke to find Sebastian sitting by the porthole, gazing out, wrapped only in a blanket.

“Are you well, lad?” he asked, sitting up.

“I am, sir,” Sebastian said dreamily. “I was just imagining a world where a man as fine as you took a lad like me to his bed and made love to him tenderly, as if he had special meaning to him. Then I realised I had no need to dream, as it is real.” He turned to give Luke a wide, happy smile. “You were right to warm my backside, captain. I was taken up with strange imaginings. I get that way sometimes. The world feels too much at times, and I grow wild and rash. You took me in hand, and now I am right with the world again.”

“Why, you are the strangest creature.” Luke smiled. He slid out of bed, went over to Sebastian, picked him up in his arms, and carried him back to the bed. The boy’s blanket fell away, revealing his beautiful long limbs, and plump, pretty bottom. Luke stroked it to find it was no longer warm, not even a little, nor even tender to the touch for the boy didn’t cry out; maybe Luke had not spanked him as hard as he thought.

Luke snuggled in beside him, feeling his cock grow stiff again. Sebastian opened his arms in welcome, and kissed him. They lay there lazily, kissing and stroking. There was no urgent need, just a sense of hazy happiness. Sebastian caressed Luke’s naked arse, his fingers so deftly petting his flesh that Luke’s cock was soon hard. Sebastian grinned in delight, and rose up so that he was straddling him. He slid his hand up and down Luke’s hard cock, his lips wet and his eyes gleaming. Then he pushed Luke’s legs apart and reached for the oil on the shelf. Luke grabbed his wrist firmly, stopping him.

“What is it you intend to do?” he demanded.

“Only what you do to me. I’m good at it, too,” Sebastian said proudly. “I’ll make you quiver and scream, my captain, as you do me. I promise.”

“No,” Luke growled.

Sebastian paused in confusion. “But it feels so good. I’d love to make you feel the same way I do. It’s beautiful, captain, you’ll see.”

“No,” Luke said again. He pushed Sebastian away, his cock wilting, and swung his legs over the bed. He sat up, his back to the boy, fighting the rush of feelings that threatened to rise up from deep within and choke him.

“Hush now.” Sebastian gently kissed his neck. “I’m sorry, sir. I thought only to please, for it’s always you giving me pleasure in that way. I did not want you to find me selfish.”

“I do not. You are not. By the gods, boy, you offer yourself to me in a way no lad has ever done before. I could not wish for a better boy in my bed!” Luke exclaimed. “But do not ever seek to fuck me in the arse like a two-bit whore on the docks. Not ever. Do you understand me?” Luke shot a dark glare over his shoulder, to find Sebastian staring back, with a startled look.

“I do, sir, and I will not try again. Is that how you see me though, captain? As a whore for enjoying it when you take me in that way?”

“It’s not the same!” Luke roared. “You’re a boy. I’m a man.” He struggled to find the words to explain what seemed clear enough to him, yet was obviously mystifying to Sebastian. “I do not see you as a whore, but as a very fine boy indeed,” he said finally. “Let’s leave it there and speak no more of it.”

“Very well. Now please, come here. You are shaking, my dear.” Sebastian wrapped his arms around him, and Luke felt as if he couldn’t breathe. He cried out and pushed Sebastian away, then jumped off the bed and strode over to the table, fighting memories that rose up, unbidden. He’d been just a little lad, held down, unwilling. The pain was seared into his soul, the sensation of being ripped apart, and later, crawling into his hammock, his body raw and tender, his heart sunk in shame. He would not feel that way again. Whatever pleasure Sebastian took from being used so was not something Luke could feel. He was sure of that.

Luke breathed in great gasps of air, trying to calm himself. He could feel rivers of sweat running down his back, and was aware of Sebastian’s curious gaze upon him. He hated himself for his weakness. He should go over there and throw the boy down, fuck him hard and make him forget what he’d seen here tonight… but he found he could not.

Sebastian tiptoed carefully towards him and gently wrapped a blanket around his shoulders. He did not touch Luke save to drop a gentle kiss on his hair. “None shall ever hear of this from me,” he said softly, as if knowing what Luke most feared. Then he held out his hand. “Come back to bed. You are too dear to me to see you suffer in this way. Come back. I can warm you.”

Luke took Sebastian’s hand gingerly, still afraid that he might lose control again. Yet the touch of Sebastian’s skin against his own gave him that strange, warm sensation in his belly, soothing him. He allowed Sebastian to lead him back to the bed and gently draw him in beside him, so they were lying there, face to face. Sebastian placed a careful hand on Luke’s thigh and rested it there, lightly. His eyes were as beautiful as the ocean, glowing gold in the light from the lantern.

Luke was suddenly aware that Sebastian was as tall as he, with hard, strong muscles. He wasn’t a boy at all, but a grown man. If he wished, Sebastian could resist all that Luke did to him – he could have refused to be spanked and displayed like a child in the cabin earlier. He could fight Luke away when he came at him with a stiff cock and a need to bury it in his boy. He had done none of those things – indeed, he’d done the opposite, matching Luke fire for fire, desire for desire, taking all Luke wished to do to him and wanting more. Luke traced a finger over Sebastian’s firmly muscled arm.

“You can refuse me if you wish,” he whispered.

“I do not wish,” Sebastian replied.

“You let me do such things to you, take such liberties with you…”

“You do not take from me. I give to you,” Sebastian said. “For the pleasure of us both – yes?”

“Yes,” Luke whispered, surprised by his own thoughts. It made it even more thrilling, knowing Sebastian could stop him but did not, knowing he offered himself up to Luke as a prize, an offering, a gift, bestowing on him something beautiful, for him and him alone. “What are you?” Luke asked, his voice croaking in wonder.

Sebastian laughed. “You know what I am,” he said. “I am your boy.”

There was a simple truth to that, and it brought Luke a great sense of peace. He held Sebastian fast against his breast and fell into a deep, blissful sleep.




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