Liam O'Shea was first aware of the bright light suddenly shining in his face. That triggered a throbbing headache, which in turn reminded him of all the rum he'd consumed while wenching with a few members of his crew the night before. His instinct was to grab the tattered excuse for a coverlet and try to roll away from the sunlight. But when he did, he discovered a cold sharp blade against his exposed neck. He froze just as he was, his eyes still shut. A silky brush of hair tickled his face and the sweet scent of a woman tickled his nose.
A warm and sultry voice whispered in his ear. "Liam, your entire crew, to a man, is passed out drunk. I could kidnap you and take that sweet little boat of yours and no one would so much as raise a hand to stop me. What a pity."
The hair brushed across his face again. All of the sudden everything went all black and sideways. Captain O'Shea's head felt as though it would split open.
The second time he woke up, Liam was aware of his throbbing head more than the light streaming onto his face. His mouth was sticky dry, and the rest of his body ached almost as much as his head.
"Well, I see my guest is finally waking up," cooed the same sultry voice from somewhere in the room.
Slowly Liam opened his eyes and realized that he wasn't in the room he'd let for the night but in the captain's cabin of a ship, a ship that was not his. He bolted upright and regretted the move as soon as he'd made it. Part of the regret was caused by his swimming head, but a better part of the regret was due to the flashing cutlass blade that was suddenly at his throat.
"Don't be getting any bright ideas, Captain O'Shea. If you don't behave yourself as a proper guest aboard my ship, I'll be obliged to tie you up and treat you as my prisoner."
Liam's head quickly cleared, along with his vision. What came into focus was truly amazing to the shanghaied sailor. At the other end of a very sharp and deadly cutlass was a dangerously beautiful pirate queen. Shiny raven locks cascaded around her face and shoulders. Mysterious hazel eyes gazed penetratingly into his. A deliciously pouty mouth hovered just close enough to kiss, were it not for the blade between them.
"I would be a fool indeed to threaten harm to a captain aboard her own ship," he smiled.
"You have been known to be a bigger fool at times," she snapped as she withdrew her cutlass.
He took advantage of the moment she turned her eyes off of him and grabbed her up in his arms. He kissed her hard as he forced her body against the bulkhead. Holding her there with his hips, he trapped her wrists above her head. He burned his kisses upon her mouth, and his eyes went dark with passion. As he continued to kiss the bonny sea captain, he began to grind her into the wall with his hips. She did the only thing she could to get him off of her. She bit his lip, hard enough to draw a trickle of blood. Again, his instinct for self preservation gave her the advantage she needed. He let go of her wrists with one of his hands. She slipped from his loosened grip to grab the knife on her belt. Once again, Liam found himself on the wrong end of her blade.
"It would do you good to remember who's ship you are aboard."
"You seem to be quite adept at threatening me with sharp objects, but what do you really intend to do with that," he asked as he licked the blood from his lip.
"Really, now, and just what assertions would those be, lass," he grinned knowing he'd unravelled her a bit.
"Men of the watch!!"
No sooner had she raised her voice than three huge men came busting into the cabin.
"My guest has yet to learn his place. Put him in the brig until he cools off. And don't fail to use the robust irons," she confidently ordered them.
"Oh, really, now. You doona have the balls to face me one on one? Or are these to be our audience," his Irish brogue growing thicker.
"My ship, my rules," she breathed in his face.
"I doona think you will have to hold me down to kiss me back, lass. And I doona think the likes of these could hold me long anyway," he taunted her back as she walked away from him. "Why, Jameson here, still owes me a pint o' rum. And not that swill he's taken to drinking, either, a pint of the good stuff."
The man holding down Liam's right hand averted his eyes from his captain sheepishly. Liam took advantage of the man's embarrassment and, with a flick of his wrist, took the man's knife from his belt and threatened the guard on his left with it.