SNIPPET #3: HIS BOUNTY

A delicious 3rd snippet from the upcoming Duet – Pirates of Pleasure

Here is a taste from the beginning of Book 1.

Our hero, the delectable Captain Jax, has just taken possession of our heroine, ‘Blue’, who promptly (in her true gutsy style), jumps overboard.

 

Her head resurfaced, the strange fabric face mask plastered wet over the contours of her face showing a mouth gaping open, the concave shape of the fabric echoing her frantic gasps for breath.

An unwanted spike of pity cut through him, a gut deep need to end it and save her, but he was a pirate not a compassionate man. Jax grabbed her shoulder and hauled her above the waterline and still there were no hands grasping for him. Damn her.

“Choose now, the bottom of the river or me!” His voice was harsh and loud. “Choose!” Then he let her go. Waited for her to grab hold of him like any rational person would.

Instead, she went under again.

“Fuck.” His heart pounded, the tension churned, and every instinct pushed for him to simply grab her and haul her back to safety. The Thames was a killer, it had dangerous and changeable currents and undertows like any body of water, but illness was the stealthy killer. London’s factory runoff, its sewerage, its garbage all ran into the river in addition to it being the graveyard of the criminal and poor. The longer both of them stayed in the water the more water she’d swallow, and the trouble wouldn’t stop once he got her safe, she could come down with something and have no body weight to see it through. That would be a big financial loss to him and his crew, let alone the fallout from Moriata after being trusted with his personal request to bring her back.

And yet he had to push her now, he felt it like a tangible press, her will against his. Her gamble was that he would not let another human drown, especially one with a wealthy bounty on her head; and his bet was that her human instinct to survive and the fear of drowning, would override any plan she was set on and have her concede, have her reach out to save herself.

Seconds passed like minutes. Every part of him focused on where she was in the water, watching shadows, swirls of fabric, making damn sure he could get her, could ensure the current wouldn’t suddenly tug her under and away.

He and his crew, men who lived on the water, could hold their breaths longer than most people. You learned to dive, to dive deep in their line of business. You chased sinking plunder, you chased sinking mates, you dived with the half-naked pearl divers as they swam like sea sirens for aeons under the water. But not this little pocket of life, she would only know how to hold her breath in the bath and yet still she didn’t reach for him. Fuck but he admired that as much as he cursed her for it.