Chapter 1

"Oh Bixby," she breathlessly sighed, as her hand slid down the solid shaft. She had been after this for over a year and now she had it in her hands. "'Tis absolute perfection," Destiny murmured, catching her bottom lip and slightly chewing on it. "Can you believe the size? If I had known."

"You still would not have been able to resist," Bixby crowed.

"You are right," Destiny giggled and once again ran her hand along its length. "God, my whole body is alive."

"I think you need to calm down and think about what you have done."

"What have I done, Bixby? Something so incredible, it will go down in history?"

Bixby laughed at her. "Destiny, it was not that special. You should worry about what the King is going to think when he finds out."

"That is none of your concern," Destiny said as she pulled away from the English solicitor.

"If he finds out you are cheating on him, he is not going to like it."

"Who is going to tell him? You? You are right here with me. And no one else knows about this, not even my crew."

"Unless you have run your mouth." Destiny said, narrowing her eyes, not sure she believed him.

"Now why would I do that?"

"Oh I do not know. Maybe bragging rights?"

"I take offense to that. I have never, in the entire time of our acquaintance, betrayed you. You are putting a lot of people in danger, including me."

"If you want out, just say the word and I will find someone else."

"I do not want out, but I do wish you would not be so headlong."

"Whatever happens on my ship is my concern."

Bixby grabbed her arm. "You are starting to allow your wild ways affect your crew and trickle onto the island residents." Bixby shoved his finger in the direction of the street in front of his store.

Destiny yanked her arm from Bixby's grasp. "Once again, you are sticking your nose in where it does not belong." Destiny growled through clenched teeth.

"At one point, you and your crew were one of the most respected crews on the island, but now you are quickly getting a nasty reputation.

"We are fucking buccaneers, Bixby! Do you know what happens when you get the reputation of being the nice guys?" She hissed as she grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him to her.

"That was not your fault."

"Like hell it wasn't. I allowed everyone to become complacent with me and my crew and someone died."


"Bixby, you are my bloody solicitor, in case you have forgotten. And just a little clue for you, most solicitors do not get this involved in their clients' lives. Please exchange the gold shaft and I will be on my way. Give me one fourth and the rest into my account. Has Red been in lately?" She asked as she pulled on her black leather gloves.

"This morning," was all Bixby had to say on that subject.

"Since you are never as silent on any subject as you are now, I will take that as a confirmation. He is out of money again isn't he?" Bixby did not meet her gaze. "Why is it you could not keep your mouth closed until we started talking about my father?"

"Because Destiny, he has a weakness for gambling."

"Do not forget whores, rum, and opium," she said, pulling out several gold pieces from the leather bag and handing them to him. "This is it for the month; if he goes through this, I will not give him any more."

"Why don't you give it to him yourself?"

"Because if he knows I have any money on me, he will ransack everything in the house and the ship trying to find it." Destiny went to the door, pulling it open and sending the brass bell clanging, but she stopped before exiting. "Bixby, I know exactly how much is in my account, so do not give him a shilling."

"I am offended."

There was a catch in his voice and Destiny looked at him. "I have seen men do far worse for much less than what I have."

Destiny was preoccupied, not with what Bixby had said, but the look on his face. Something deep in her told her that everything was not right. She was suddenly brought from her thoughts when a flintlock stabbed her in the side of the head and she was slammed into the stucco of a storefront. She was relieved of her purse by a putrid young sea rover. She gave herself a good blessing out for being so careless.

"Your interruption the other day cost us this booty."

"I cannot be blamed for your inability to sail that tub you call a ship. If you would like, I can bring my crew over and we can show you how it's done."

"You are one stuck-up wench."

"I am not a wench. Stuck-up ,yes, because I am the best damn captain on this island." She ground out.

The rover grabbed Destiny by the cheeks and crushed them in his meaty, smelly hands. "If I did not have plans for that tongue of yours, I would cut it out, right here."

"Little information for you; you will need to cut it out of my mouth before you will touch my tongue."

The ruffian laughed with the rest of his crew standing around her. "You have balls."

"No, I do not."

"Do you always have something to say?"

"Always to some low life scum that does not have the guts to face me alone."

"I ain't scared of you."

"Then why did you come with your whole bloody crew and ambush me. I'd say that is a sure sign of being scared." The crew was snickering at him.

"Draw your sword, damn you."

Destiny was about to do just that when a loud crack of a flintlock sounded.

"Stand clear," a deep voice boomed.

Everything on the sandy street halted. The calls of the hawkers selling their goods stopped, the catcalls of the whores on the balconies above the street ceased. The eerie howls of the monkeys in the jungle died away. The grimy squad of men parted and allowed a giant of a man to pass through them. Christian Blackhawk, the most handsome man Destiny had ever laid eyes on. His eyes were the color of molasses. He had a beard and mustache that surround a pair of lips that looked to be much too skillful for any woman to handle. Christian's coffee brown hair was cropped short allowing his chiseled features to stand out. His cambric shirt was stretched to the very limits of its seams by his massive shoulders. Standing a good head over Destiny's five feet nine inches made her feel almost petite next to him.

"Now, return my money or else."

"Blackhawk, why are you taking the side of this.this."

"Dinky," Blackhawk warned as he adjusted the grip on his flintlock.

"Because I am cuter than you; give me my blunt," she hissed, snatching it from the man's hand. The man in return cocked his flintlock; Destiny pulled hers and drew her sword. She aimed the flintlock at Dinky and her sword came up to one of the other crewmen's throat. "If you wish to die, then try to take it back," she hissed. Suddenly there was the conspicuous sound of many guns cocking. "Scotty, is that you?"

"Yes, Captain."

"What took you so bloody long?"

"Busy day on the docks, Captain." Scotty's voice never wavered from its normal, unexcitable tone.

"Now as I see it, you and this rubbish have two choices, leave or die. Despite what any of you have heard, I will not allow you to transfer your commissions to my ship." Destiny was not known for her patience. "Tic- tock, tic-tock, your time is running out, and the foul mood I was all ready in is turning worse." She leveled the flintlock, aiming directly in the face of Dinky.

"You bitch! This is not over, and that booty is ours."

Destiny stuck out her bottom lip. "Oh poor Dinky, you tell Blithe that if any of you tries anything like this again, I will sink his ship without giving it a second thought." The crew dispersed, and Christian Courtenay grabbed her arm.

"Hey, you know you were the chivalrous one there, and you were doing pretty good until now," Destiny said lightly as he started dragging her away from her crew. "Unhand me now!" She barked, fighting against him as her crew came towards them.

Christian cocked his flintlock and aimed it at Scotty. "Tell your men to stand down or your next voyage will be without your First."

Destiny held up her hand but still struggled against him. "What the bloody hell do you want with me?"

"Oh you are a smart girl; you figure it out."

"Like hell," Destiny hissed, pulling her dagger. She tried to get a chunk of him, but he easily wrenched the blade from her hand.

Christian pushed her down the alley between the Pagan and the Pirate tavern and the miller's shop. He then shoved her against the exterior of the tavern and his hands came up on either side of her, effectively blocking her in. "Now little Princess Pirate."

Destiny opened her mouth to tell him she was offended by his nickname for her, but his hand covered her mouth.

"You either listen to me or I drag you kicking and screaming through the main streets to my ship, where every bloody pirate on this island can see." He dropped his hand. He had, according to his best estimation, about two minutes left before she would start in on him again. "The next time you fucking come after my ship, I will tie you to the figurehead and sail your cute ass into London myself." 'Damn it, she smells like heaven.' Christian straightened at that thought and uncontrollable his eyes slid over her.

Destiny crossed her arms over her chest and measured him up the same way he had done her, pausing slightly at his manhood. "You are one arrogant son of a bitch. How dare you pull me away from my crew, and then nearly rape me with your eyes."

"Oh you have got to be kidding me. You are the one who nearly ran my ship aground yesterday."

"Well, you should have bowed out and let me have that Dutch ship three days ago."

Christian stammered a bit, amazed at her audacity. "Bow are jesting. I was wrong you, are not a Princess Pirate, you are a Princess Pain in the Ass."

"Oh you have not seen a pain in the ass, Christian. Consider this war!" She said, snatching her dagger from him as she pushed passed him. "By the by, the next time you take a shower on your deck, you might want to use a sheet or something. You may not want the entire world seeing that heart shaped birthmark on your ass." She laughed as she gave his rear a swift hard smack and took off running.

He was momentarily stunned, but went running after her. To his chagrin, she was faster then he was at dodging through the streets and people of the market. He could not catch her before her feet hit the gangplank of her ship, and he was faced with seventy-five of her crew ready to do him harm. He saw her give the order for them to put on the sheets. She had already been out to sea for three weeks and needed to re-supply her ship, so she would not be going far. She saluted him and smacked the shoulder of one of her crewmen. 'This is not over Princess,' he mumbled as he turned, going to his ship.