On board the Sea Maiden
Early Spring 1831
Chris swung from the bed, swayed a bit, and grabbed the shirt he had tossed on a chair last night. With clumsy fingers, he buttoned his shirt and tucked the shirt tails into his breeches. He took the half empty bottle of whiskey from the table, took a large swig, and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He frowned. His fingers smelled like a woman's cunt. He muttered a curse under his breath and walked towards the dresser that was nailed against the cabin wall to prevent it from toppling over from the constant sway of the ship. He poured water from a pitcher onto a wash basin and washed his hands vigorously, as if desperate to rid himself of the smell of woman.
"Darling," a sleepy voice purred from his bed, "why are you up and dressed so early? Come back to bed."
He stiffened. He had forgotten about her in his bed.
He turned, eyeing the enticing wench dispassionately. She had black hair like hers and deep indigo eyes like hers. But it was not her. "You have pleasured me enough. Leave my cabin."
The woman sat up, leaning on her elbows. The blanket that covered her fell below her waist, exposing her small breasts, her pink nipples hard and taut from the cold. "Are you sure, my lord?" she purred, caressing her breast. She put one finger in her mouth, wetting it, and drew lazy, wet circles around her nipple. It glistened from the moisture. "I could pleasure you some more, my lord."
If she was trying to entice him back to bed then the stupid wench was mistaken. Her actions did nothing to stir his interest. He just wanted her out of his room and out of his sight.
He bent down and picked up her discarded clothing, flinging it at her. "Get dressed and get out. Your mistress may have need of you."
She pouted. "I don't want to return to that old hag. She is mean and constantly orders me around. Why not hire me as your maid, my lord, and I'll do more than clean your house."
A muscle at his jaw twitched. He did not like being whined to, his patience now thinning. He did not want to use force. A gentleman never uses force on a woman. "Are you in lack of hearing? I said get out."
"But, my lord--"
In quick strides, he crossed the room and, taking her arm, yanked her off the bed. The wench squeaked with surprise then her lips curved to devilish smile, "Ooh, I always like it when you're aggressive, my lord."
Chris's mouth twisted to a disgusted sneer and tightened his grip on her arm. She winced with pain and he did not care. He dragged her across the room, opened his cabin door, and thrust her out, throwing her garments after her, and then closed the door and bolted it shut. He leaned against the door for a moment, a relieved sigh escaping his lips. He was glad he got rid of her. She had reminded him of the woman he would never have.
He pushed off the door and crossed the spacious room to the large dining table and took the brandy decanter by the neck and tilted the rest of the contents, swallowing thirstily. Once the bottle was empty, he carefully replaced it back onto the table and slumped onto a high-backed chair. He massaged his temples. What was he doing with his life? Why can't he forget about her even if he had forgiven them long ago?
He stared glumly at the empty decanter before him, thinking of his sister's letter to him. It took his sister almost a year to track him down to his apartments in India, and when she had she immediately wrote to him. They had corresponded regularly; mostly about their father's failing health. And two and a half years later, Christopher became the sixth Earl of Mountvale.