Oh my God, what was that?
Turning over to hit the snooze button of my alarm clock, I let out a low moan. Electric ripples are still seeping through my body. I’m tired, drunkenly sleepy. I roll onto my back and stretch, pushing my head into the pillow beneath me. Another tremor courses through my body, the strength of the dream dissipating, leaving me trying to hold on to the feeling a little while longer. I lay there as the lingering sensations still make me clench, not wanting to leave my dream.
Until the clock screams at me again to get back to reality.
Charleston, South Carolina on Halloween. What a difference a year makes.
Five a.m. and I’m dragging myself out of my bed in the innkeeper’s quarters. Like I have almost every morning since I arrived a month ago. The Pirate House, one of Charleston’s luxury bed & breakfasts’ along the High Battery by the riverfront. Two months ago, I was strolling the hallways of the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, formerly the Helmsly Palace, on Madison Avenue, NYC. Director of Marketing, I was such a bitch.
My, how the mighty have fallen. All because I wouldn’t suck the old pig’s shriveled up dick.
My boss, and my terminator.
Eeww! I’d rather scrub toilets rather than lower myself to be his little whore.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to. The headhunter called me about this position, Assistant Manager at The Pirate House in Charleston, SC, one of this city’s premier Inns.
“It’s not Manhattan, but it is Charleston, the beach, and the money is great,” she’d told me.
She was right. It’s an excellent job, and a beautiful building.
And lonely as hell.
The thing is, I’m about as far from Southern as you can get. Naturally tan skin, dark eyes, coffee hued hair, and an hour glass figure I’d always had a love/hate relationship with.
I thought I never fit in before. HAH, here, I’m truly a fish out of water.
This morning, my legs give out from underneath me, landing me on my ass when I step out of bed. I burst into giggles still dazed with some erotically induced drugged stupor.
THAT was one hell of a dream!
In the shower, the reoccurring dream I’ve been having for the past week still has me under its spell. Maybe it’s because I’m lonely, or that I’m still feeling sorry for myself, I don’t know why, but I’ve come to long for the dreams. At least at night, I was wanted, hungered for, taken in ways I’ve never been. Every night I’ve woken always at the same time, three a.m., my body pulsing with need.
Last night’s dream was different than the others. Not only did I wake moaning from the intensity of my orgasm, I’d actually heard my pirate lover speak to me. Somehow I knew he’d been a pirate, a dark, but incredibly intoxicating rogue. I can’t see his features, I sense them. Tall body, sculpted from laboring, rough hands, chiseled tanned features, long blue/black hair, and eyes that seared your soul. The memory of his voice alone sends tremors of lust rippling through me, caressing me like his hands, and lips, and tongue had. It was old English, dripping with darkness and sensuality.
“Lass,” he’d whispered huskily to me, “I’ve been waiting for ye a very long time.”
When the dreams had first started, he’d seduced me, tantalized me, literally seeped under my skin. I could feel him move through me, up my core, so solid and strong, I was sure if he’d wanted to, he could grip my heart and squeeze it until it exploded in his grasp. My body’d lift from the bed, desire pounding me, until I awoken with my hands buried between my thighs.
But last night, he had been different, more demanding, firmer, impatient. He was rougher, taking what he wanted, and he left me euphorically sated. I’d felt like a was thrown around in oblivion, consumed, and completely devoured.
He wasn’t taking my body, but my soul.
I’d come, without contact, without hands, and it had been the most intense climax I’d ever experienced. My entire body orgasmed, but it was more. Every cell in my being exploded. It wasn’t a release, it was culmination, a consummation that was utterly ethereal, beyond physical, more extreme than spiritual, it was literally cosmically out of this fucking world.
I’m coming for you lass…the dark pirate’s voice whispers in my mind.
“Oh God,” I moan softly, my head bent as the water slips over my body and everything inside me clenches.
Goosebumps rise over my wet flesh as the sensation of fingers slide down my back.
My imagination is being extremely overactive this morning, it must be the dream.
I’m no dream, lass, his voice in my head sounds almost amused.
“Don’t I wish,” I mumble as I jerk the handle to turn off the water, frustrated I can’t crawl into bed for another round of fantastic dream sex.
Yanking the towel from the rack and forcing myself to focus on preparing for the day, I vaguely notice the deep male laughter in the recesses of my mind.
I need to focus. It’s going to be a long day. I have functions to attend to tonight. Updating local happenings for the Inn is part of my job, therefore, as much as I’d like to hole up in my room, I have to go to the important Halloween parties tonight around Charleston.
After I towel off, I enter the bedroom to dress. My steps almost falter when I approach the bed.
“I don’t remember taking those out,” I mumble to myself, shaking my head slowly.
Laying on the bed, spread out, are matching black lace panties and a bra, the ones I save for ‘special occasions’, although I haven’t had one of those in a very long time.
His voice again speaks softly in my mind.
They would look lovely on ye lass, let me see them.
I reply, as if it were quite natural, “Tonight. I’ll wear them tonight when I dress up.”
A feather light brush of air whispers over my bare shoulder as the door to the bathroom slams shut.
I tremble. It’s not fear. He doesn’t scare me, he’s not here to hurt me. He might want to use me, and that’s fine. As he takes, he gives, uses, he seduces, and when he leaves, he lingers in the most sensual way.
I know he’s a ghost. I knew it from his first contact with me. When I entered my room my first day here, the door slowly closed behind me. I’d felt him behind me, his strong presence, the smell of the ocean floating through the room, and a very quiet, “Aye, lass, you are lovely.”
I’ve felt ghosts my entire life, it’s in my blood. It’s a gift, or a curse, depending on your opinion, and the entity. I’ve seen them, heard them, felt them, tried to ignore them, and pretended it wasn’t happening. I’d wanted to be normal, just like the other girls. But I wasn’t. I was just like my mother, and I’d refused to accept that.
People used to come to her when I was just a young kid. They’d ask her to call their dead husbands, do some kind of spell for whatever they’d wanted, then they’d had to come back for some kind of protection thing she could do for them, protection from whatever they’d called forward. That was our normal life, talk of spirits, demons, chants. There were dishes of stones and things around our house I wasn’t allowed to touch. Normal. Everyday fucking life.
Finally, as I’d gotten older, these things weren’t out in the open anymore. But a handful of times, a voodoo doll carved of my mom showed up (the way she’d screamed in pain when she touched it to undo the curse), candles and pictures on altars, a live chicken one day, dead the next.
Normal fucking life.
My family. My blood. I can run, but I can’t hide.
Looking down at the intimate garments, feeling him caressing me with the air, I don’t fight it. This time I don’t deny it.
I submit and embrace it.
This is who I am. This is what I am.
But right now, it’s time to get to my job.
The day goes by in a rush of guests and responsibilities, talks of tours, and history I’d had to memorize, midday tea, and after dinner wine, cheese, and brandy.
When eight o’clock warns me I don’t have much time to get ready for the first party, I roll my eyes.
“Time for my next shift to start.”
After a quick shower, I pull my costume from the closet. A white velvet gown with butterfly sleeves, a fitted bodice, and billowy skirt. Just because I’m a witch doesn’t mean I can’t be a white witch. After doing my makeup and hair, heavy eyeliner, shimmering cheeks and lips, and loose long curls, I sit on the bed and lace up my ballet flaps. The gauzy strips encase my calves and ankles, that alone makes me feel extremely feminine. I finish with a white lace cat-eye mask tied behind my head with a ribbon. The all white is a stark contrast against my dark hair and skin.
After I glance at my reflection, a satisfied smile lifts my lips.
“Darkness and light, that’s what we are,” I whisper to myself.
I feel my pirate before he presses lightly into me.
“Aye, lass,” the whispered thoughts materialize, “and perfection ye be.”
My body ignites with sparks of electricity where I’m sure he’s touching me. First, up the length of my back from the curve of my ass, then the sensation explodes across my abdomen, as if his hand was splayed across it, moving upwards and shooting through my breasts. I almost fall to my knees from the intensity, my heart pounding and breath catching as arousal shoots through me. I’m instantly thrumming with erotic energy pulsing throughout my body.
Rooted to my spot, I’m stunned. This is the first time he’s done this to me while I was awake.
I want to stay here.
“I have to go,” I murmur breathlessly.
As I pick up my things and open the door, this time the voice is not in my head.
“Aye, lass, but you’ll be back.”
The fine hairs rise up all over my body as I quiver and my arousal seeps from me.
What is wrong with me? I’m hot for a damn ghost.
But somewhere deep inside I know this is something very, very different.
Cocktail parties, galleries, restaurants, and finally the hottest club in Charleston, The Pirate’s Lair.
Eleven o’clock and the line to get in is around the corner. I approach the bouncer and give him my name, hoping that I made it on the guest list. The blonde gym rat’s stone expression doesn’t change as he checks with the powers that be, then thankfully lifts the rope to let me pass as he thrusts my guest pass at me. The music is good, really good, as I walk through the black hallway shrouded in black lights with blood carpet.
When the hallway opens up, I’m blasted by a scene right out of the Pirates of the Caribbean, ship, skeletons, full moon, and pirates enveloped in a misty fog. Below the massive vessel is the club, with hundreds of gyrating bodies on the dancefloor, several bars, and cages with women dancing in them practically naked.
“Holy shit,” I mumble, stunned by the decadence and carnality of the place. “And here I thought the South was a goody-two-shoes zone.”
I pull out my digital camera and start shooting, not that middle-aged clientele of the inn would indulge in the sinfulness found here.
“Excuse me,” a young woman dressed as a serving wench touches my arm. “If you’re with the press, you’re to meet on board with the Captain,” she points to the ship.
“You’re kidding, right?” I practically laugh in her face.
“No,” she glances at my guest pass, “Miss Sinclair.”
That’s when I see it out of the corner of my eye, the image on the wall behind me. I turn around and, sure as hell, I almost drop. A massive painting of a pirate covers its expanse, a pirate straight out of a dream.
Dangerous, strikingly handsome, dark sexuality, unforgiving. He has a thin mustache and a short, pointy goatee, with a red shawl around his head and his long blue/black hair spilling past his shoulders, but the most intriguing thing about him are the gypsy scroll tattoos at the bottom corners of his eyes and between his brows.
“You’d better hurry,” she drags my attention to her again.
“Why?” I ask, unable to tear my gaze from the haunting image.
In her sing-sing Southern drawl, “Because the Captain does his thing at midnight,” she states. Like I’m stupid. She actually pushes me forward with both her hands on my back.
Damn girl, relax. It must be one helluva thing!
As I approach the ship, I spy a large man standing at the front of the deck, complete in pirate regalia from head to foot. He’s watching me push my way through the crowd. I’m directed, herded, and practically dragged to a door at the back wall and once inside I climb the stairs that lead to what must be the interior of the boat.
Jesus, what’s the hurry?
“VIP section.” Inside, I’m really pleasantly surprised. There’s a bar, sleek modern black leather seating, waitresses and waiters enticingly clad, dancers poles complete with built-like-centerfold women wearing G-strings and pasties practically getting off against their metal lovers.
Holy shit! Charleston is wild!
“What can I give you,” a bare chested hunk asks me suggestively.
“Shiraz,” I mumble.
He smiles wickedly at me, and I swallow. When he returns with my wine, he tells me, “The Captain is about to announce this Halloween’s Booty.”
My eyes widen. What the fuck?
Somebody really should have clued me in on what the hell this place is all about.
As I take a long drink of the smooth wine, the DJ announces, “Are you READYYYYY?”
The crowd roars, “YEEEEAAAH”
The sound of a man’s laughter fills the cavernous room. It’s erotic and dark, and stirs me deep inside. A moment passes before he says, “Do you want to be taken?”
Another uproar, “YESSSSSS!”
“Plundered?” it’s a caress.
Yesssss, I reply with them, falling under his spell and the thick air of sex around me, along with everyone else.
“Aye, then,” he chuckles darkly. “My booty, the sacrifice for this year…,” he pauses. His voice is smooth, deep, powerful. “Bring me the white witch!” he bellows, the sound shoots straight to my core.
My hand grips the wine glass tightly as my eyes shoot open. Immediately two big hands grip my upper arms as someone snatches the glass from my grasp.
“What are you doing?!” I sputter.
“You belong to the Captain,” the man behind me laughs.
“Are you out of your mind?” I try to argue as they drag me to the deck of the ship.
They don’t bother to answer, ignoring my futile attempts to break free. As we approach the man, the very large man, standing at the front of the ship, my knees give out.
He looks exactly like the pirate!
A tremor slithers up my spine as my heart pounds.
The two goons shove me to the man in the white shirt with the loose sleeves, his really broad chest visible through the laced front and smack-dab in front of my face. I couldn’t help notice his thick thighs in the fitted black leather pants, along with the huge bulge.
The crowd is roaring beneath us, whistling, and chanting, “Captain! Captain!”
“Would you care to tell me what this is all about?” I glare at the gorgeous man with the same scroll work on his face in front of me, hands on my hips. He is the spitting image of the pirate on the wall.
“Ah, Miss…,” he glances at my guest ID, “Sinclair. No wonder I haven’t seen you before.” His eyes get a mischievous gleam to them. “But tonight, you are mine.” He wraps a thick, muscular arm around my waist and pulls me close. “Tonight,” he addresses the crowd, “the lair’s booty is paid!”
The partygoers scream as the strobe lights flash and the music begins to pound so hard again, the room almost shakes. My heart is crashing in rhythm with the bass as my heavy breathing rasps with each intake.
What is he going to do?
I know what I want him to do…
“Come with me, Miss Sinclair, and I’ll fill you in over some brandy.”
Holding me flush against his hard body, he leads me back down to the VIP bar. The bartender sets two snifters of brandy down in front of us. He lifts one and holds it out for me as he angles his body, his feet planted firmly and set apart, and boxes me in.
After I take mine, he lifts his glass in a toast. “To Halloween, and all the legends.”
I quirk an eyebrow at him before I drink to his toast, looking forward to the liquid heat quelling my nerves.
“You’re the new assistant manager at The Pirate’s House.”
It’s a statement. How the hell does he know that? I know my surprise must be written all over my face.
“Yes, how did you know?”
“I own it, along with the club. They’re affiliated, you could say,” he smirks with a hint of a secret in his eyes.
This man breathes sexuality, his body is seduction, he is dangerous in the most carnal sense.
And he’s my fucking boss.
I take a deep steadying breath, prepping myself to kiss his ass.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank you for the position. I look forward to a very rewarding relationship with you.”
What did I just say?!
He dips his head back and laughs, it sounds so good, it makes my stomach flip.
“Don’t, Miss Sinclair, it doesn’t suit you,” his eyes are filled with humor because of my groveling.
“Thank God,” I sip the brandy again, smiling at him over the rim of the glass.
God, this man is lethal.
“How are you enjoying Charleston?” his natural confidence and power is kicking my ass.
Even the simplest question from him is a seduction.
I shrug my shoulder slowly, a little shy, a bit tentative, “I haven’t had time to explore, this is my first time out. But I’ve met some interesting people at the inn.”
He raises an eyebrow and a gradual smirk lifts his sinful lips. “Oh?”
I narrow my eyes at him, “Yes, very interesting. Does your family heritage go back a long way here?” I lift my glass in the direction of the pirate illuminated on the wall.
Does he know about the ghost?
He doesn’t bother to look at it, he knows what I’m talking about.
“Yes, that’s my great, great, great grandfather, Captain Emanuelle Cristobal, Spanish, known as El Capitan. There’s a legend about him.” This man’s grin is potent.
“Ah, yes, you mentioned the Halloween legends. Please do tell,” I smile slyly up at him.
He moves so his hip rests against the bar with one of his arms settled behind me, his fingers curling lightly against my ribcage under my arm. The touch of his body against mine and the slightest movement of his fingers sends heat searing through me.
He begins his story. “It’s said that El Capitan used to come into port here in Charleston to collect his booty once a year on Halloween. It was their payment to him for his protection from other marauders. One year, the constable’s daughter snuck on his ship, the story says she was so entranced by El Capitan, she wanted him to steal her away. Of course the constable was enraged and, although his daughter had gone to him, the constable had him arrested and hanged. The spot was where the inn stands now.” A slow tremble permeates me. “My great, great, great grandmother was a Chicora Indian. When she’d given birth to her son, the babe had stark blue eyes and a sharp nose, unlike those of her clan. She was outcast. Not long after that, the town was raided and burned. The old timers still say that El Capitan’s ghost stood at the riverfront that night laughing in the wind. He’d gotten his revenge. But,” his gaze returns to me, “some say he still comes every Halloween to claim his booty,” the corner of his mouth quirks up. “Some women look forward to it.”
I can feel the heat erupting up my chest and over my face.
Shit, he’ll know.
A full blown smile explodes across his dark features. “I take it you’ve met El Capitan,” his eyes roam down, then back up, my body, making my nipples harden under his glare.
“Have you?” I ask, ignoring his innuendo.
“I have Indian and gypsy blood in my veins, I’ve seen a lot of things, and have some secrets as well,” his words hint at ancient secrets, the kind of secrets my family has.
“I see,” I answer quietly, sipping my brandy.
There’s a lot more to this man than just his incredible body and smoldering sexuality.
“You look a lot like your great, great, great grandfather. Are you sure that’s not you?”
He smiles devilishly. “There was a painting of him on his ship that was handed down a few generations, but somewhere it got damaged. I had reproductions made.” Finally, he turns to look at the image, “No, it’s not me.”
My pirate, in the flesh, I wonder if I’d have the same reaction to him?
Placing a hand against his chest, I straighten. He doesn’t move, his hard body grazing mine.
“Thank you for the brandy, and even more for the story. I’ll speak to the manager to determine how much of the legend I can include in the inn’s marketing. We don’t want to frighten people away. But I have a fairly early morning tomorrow, so I have to say goodnight.”
The massive man looms over me, his powerful presence makes my breath hitch.
“Unfortunate…but I look forward to this year’s payment at another time,” his cocky grin sends a ripple of nervousness through me, along with anticipation. “I’ll see you again, Miss Sinclair, sooner than you think. Get home safe, and take caution. El Capitan will be collecting his booty tonight.” His smile is as good as hands, stripping me and leaving me vulnerable.
The ominous erotic promise makes me tremble. He scares me and excites me beyond belief.
“I have a few secrets of my own, Captain. Goodnight.”
My emotions and thoughts are all a loud and obnoxious mess, slamming and rolling into each other like an old fashioned pinball machine. Except I never hit jackpot.
When I finally crawl into bed, I’m exhausted. After tossing and turning with new sexual frustration, my thoughts filled with the dark Captain, sleep eventually takes me.
My body is on fire, I’m panting and moaning, half asleep but aware, I’m pinned to the bed with a weight over my entire body. But nothing is there. Momentarily confused, I’m consumed with lust, I can’t move my arms because they’re held by a force around my wrists. My camisole is shoved up baring my breasts, and my nipples are rock hard, reacting to stimulus, the feeling of a tongue circling them, teeth nipping them, lips sucking them in. The lower half of my body is naked, my shorts nowhere to be seen. My legs are spread, open and taut, and my sex is dripping with need. Fear, desire, confusion, and hot, heavy hunger, engulfs me. I’m awake, but lost in an erotic take-over, within and without, completely consumed by sensation, wild, primal, electric. Supernatural. White hot sparks explode inside me, thrusting me higher. They’re complete, filling me entirely. He’s consuming me outside, and filling me inside. Like lava, intense, thick, and hot, he penetrates me, and the feeling is beyond physical. My body has never been as alive, as on fire, as it is now. But my soul, my being, my whole existence is enflamed.
Then he begins to move.
Oh, dear Gooooooooooood…
It’s so much…too much…I’m soaring…this is not sex. This is nuclear detonation.
I can’t think, this is more than sensation. This is cosmic, spiritual, as close to the power of God, the enormity of the entire universe, as any human being has ever been witness too. We are not bodies, I am not flesh, he is…power, intensity, energy…he is everything. And he is taking me with him to a place incomprehensible to human understanding.
I am light, I am energy, I am force, I am going to fucking explode.
I swear I’m within the expanse of universe when I blow. I burst into millions of pieces, fragments of energy, burning, scorching, sizzling, just like every other piece of the goddam Milky Way.
Cosmic fucking orgasm.
Slowly, so deliciously slowly I land, float, and come to rest back inside my body. Laying on the bed, my body still pulsing with the force of the cosmic trip my spectral lover just took me on, I hear him. Loud and fucking clear.
“I told you you’d see me sooner than later…”