Chapter 1:

Ceara Damhnaic

Pronounced Kara Davnic

(Irish name and pronunciation)

Red-haired princess of Ireland during the late 1600's, early 1700's. She was born and raised to be wed to the prince of England. When she turns 17 she is sent to England to marry the prince who is twelve years her senior. She has long, curly red hair and startling green eyes.

Elias Bringham

English captain of the ship Prometheus, the most infamous pirate ship that sails the English seas. He is 22 with dark hair and black eyes.

Chapter 1:

My hair was pulled back with so many pins I felt like my head was going to detonate, in a very un-ladylike manner might I add. I was surrounded in petticoats, and in a corset tied so tight I could barely breathe. I stood by the rail of the Blue Countess as it was being loaded chalk full of dresses, all as stiff and restraining as this one. I attempted to wave the delicate fan in my face to stir the stale air, but all the frail object was able to do was blow warm air across my already sticky forehead. It was very unusual for it to be hot in this region. I watched as the boat slowly furthered away from the shore, till the port I had just been sent from at was barely a point. A small breeze stirred as we set sail but still I was sweltering in heat. "Why must today, the day I set sail, be the hottest day of the year?" I frowned and mumbled defiantly. Needless to say I wasn't too keen on the idea of leaving my wonderful home in the castle of Rossiare, Ireland where I had been born and raised. I new the passages like the back of my hand, and had grown up in the stables there, riding in a boys pants that allowed me to actually breathe, and no one gave me a hard time about it. And now I was being shipped away like a lump of cargo by my brother, King Teague. Worse even I was being sent to be married to the insufferable, stuffy Prince Alexander of England, who was nearly twice as old as I. I had met him on several occasions, and allow me to point out that he was neither witty nor attractive. Perhaps I wouldn't be so glum about leaving if I had a daring, noble lad waiting for me on the other side of these wretched waters. But instead I would be trapped in a loveless life, being simply the eye candy for the soon-to-be-king. Don't you love royalty?

"Princess!" A voice called from behind me, I turned and saw one of my governors. He sounded frantic so I responded,

"Yes Monsieur Boyd?" Monsieur Boyd was my French tutor and insisted that I call him nothing other then Monsieur Boyd.

"Oh Princess, you must not be on deck, you will surely ruin your skin, if not get knocked into the sea by a mislaid rope or wire. Come below deck." He gestured to me. He was one of the 10 servants I had accompanying me on my journey, and by far the most strict.

"I can assure you Monsieur, I will be fine, my clothing will deter the sun from my skin and I promise to watch where I step. Please do not make me go below deck. It is so dark and damp, I don't take to it at all!" I begged with him, but with a curt jerk of his white head, I was sent, dejected back to the dank hole I was to call home for the next few days. Some princess I was, I couldn't even hold my own against my ancient governor. I crawled into my room and laid down on my bed, pulling out the latest medical journal my favorite teacher, Nolan, gave me. He was teaching me medicine and was the closest thing to a family I had, now that I was going away. Perhaps the reason I liked him so much was because he taught me all sorts of medicine: salves, herbs, drinks, symptoms, and didn't care that I was only a girl. I couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to be a doctor, but of course when I was young that dream came tumbling down around me when my father said that I was to someday be the Queen of England. I remembered having cringed at that age like I did now whenever anyone brought up the sore name of Alexander. I wasn't fit to be a queen. I had a fiery temper, and a need to be free. Who's to say I wouldn't run away someday just from the stress of it all. I wasn't one to tell people how to live their lives, and I didn't want to be. Nonetheless here I am, on my way to wed the Prince of England. Joy of joys. I closed my eyes, and dreamed of the gorgeous black gelding I had left behind, Brannan. I awoke, but couldn't tell what time of day it was thanks to my windowless room. I then had realized what had awoken me, shouts and many loud distress noises trembled beneath my feet. I stood up from my small bed, and looked down at my wrinkled gown. A loud cannon shot sent my head reeling, I had read stories about such things. Pirates! That was what Monsieur Boyd had been so worried about. I was the princess, carrying a hefty dowry to my soon to be husband. I knew if it was found I was the princess I would never see land again, and I knew I could go nowhere and do nothing in these clothes, I would surely die. I stripped off my dress, tearing the cloth and slicing the corset through with a knife I always kept in my trunk. I pulled out my riding slacks and a white cloth shirt I had stolen from my younger brother before leaving Ireland. I slipped it over my head just as Nolan came stumbling in. He was aged and could barely run, and I could tell he was in much pain from racing to me.

"Princess!" He said barely above a whisper, "Princess they're pirates! The crew can't hold them off and we have to get you out of here!" He looked as though he was about to break down into tears, his face wrinkled in agony. He was frightened, and my loving instinct took over,

"Come now Nolan, I know what we must do." I ran, the old man wheezing at my feet, onto the deck that was a blur of gun powder and smoke. I started screaming, "Raise the White Flag! The Princess is dead! Raise the flag before they kill us all!" I was immediately heard by an officer who rang a large bell, and a white flag raised over the smog that was difficult to breath through. The gunfire halted and a tall, lanky man could be seen through the cloud that had formed over the two ships. He had dark shaggy hair and cool, steely gray eyes. His jaw was set and his face square. All the angles in his face were harsh and cool, except his eyes. His eyes were the most beautiful almond shape, he squinted them together as he surveyed the remainder of our crew. I noticed that barely any members of the ship were left, only around 15 of the original 70 member party. I did not let my eyes wander to the ship's deck for fear of seeing a dead body, strangled in blood. I pulled my red hair back into a low ponytail, pulling all the pins out and set a ragged hat over my sore head. I held my chin high and kept my eyes straight as he surveyed the men that had been hired to keep me safe. Nolan was to my left breathing heavily but I refused to allow myself to look at him for I knew his eyes would be painted with fear. The beautifully terrifying man came to a stop in front of my determined face.

"You boy, what's your name?" He said in a deep, eerie voice that I found seemingly attractive.

"Evin Lynch sir." I said respectfully though he couldn't have been more then a few years older then I.

"And what exactly were you doing on the lovely Countess?" He asked sarcastically eyeing the rubble of ship that stood behind me.

"I was apprenticing to Nolan, the medicine maker." I said dropping my voice so I could easily pass as a young man. The dark man across from me nodded and shifted his eyes to Nolan before allowing them to slide back to me.

"And how old are you boy?" He asked raising a dark eyebrow.

"I'll be 17 this year." I stated, attempting to act smug and grateful at the same time. He once again surveyed Nolan and I before speaking to a man behind him.

"Search the cabins for the princess, if she is truly dead then we will leave." I panicked, I hoped they would find one of my maids and think she was me, they had most likely all been massacred and almost all of them had bright red hair. The man continued, "Take as much of the dowry as we can fit on the ship and sink this lug. We will drop these men off at a nearby port, other then these two here." He gestured to Nolan and I "They will be our new doctors." He turned his eyes back to us. "Our own medicine man died four months ago and we've been in agony since. I think you could be of great benefit to us, especially the boy who we could teach to fight." He smirked. I heard Nolan's audible intake of breath and put my hand on his arm in a reassuring way. I was quaking in the boots I had found on the deck, but I couldn't let him see. He was the only real family I had and I needed to be strong for him.

Nolan and I were led off the Countess and walked a small wooden board onto the Pirate's boat. We watched as our fellow countrymen were tied together and directed over the same plank of wood, but they all hung their heads in shame. I would have to reassure them that I was alright, so they could go home with some dignity. I took my eyes off the mournful parade of the sailors and placed them back on the tall dark-haired man. He stood, watching the moon disappear and reappear from behind clouds. His face was aglow with the moonlight and had a softer look to it. But when he felt my eyes he turned back to us, and directed us into the barracks where the soldiers slept. "My name, is Elias Bringham, if you must address me, call me Captain. You boy," he said gesturing at me, "Will spend half your day with the Doc here, and the other half training with my men. You will learn to fight, and sail like the rest of the men here." He clarified. I nodded. "Vergo! Show these two to their room!" He called and a fair-haired man came over, his face covered in black gun powder and his eyes yellow in the moon light. Before we turned to follow him, Captain Bringham called out "And welcome to the Prometheus!" I shivered and followed the pirate below decks.

Once we arrived in our room, we were each given a few sets of clothing, the door clicked shut and I waited a few minutes before making my way over to Nolan and embracing him. He hugged me back and held back a sob. "Oh princess," he muffled into my shoulder. "I thought you were going to die, right there in front of my eyes." I stood up straight, my eyes falling just at his nose.

"Nolan, we must no longer talk of that. Remember I am Evin, your apprentice, and a boy. It is the only way Nolan, you must see that. I am sorry I have sucked you into my mess, but he would have killed us all, that's Captain Brigham the most feared pirate to sail this region. He attacks all ships that cross his paths, even other pirate ships. They say his ship is sailed by men who have sold their souls to the devil, and that he is more cruel then the sea. I am just glad I wasn't recognized. I will stay with this masquerade, and one day my dear Nolan, I will find a way for us to go back home." He looked at me, tears in his eyes.

"Oh Ceara, I don't care what you might have said before, you would've made an excellent queen, and there is no doubt about that." He snapped into his project mode, "Now lets get you situated shall we?" He asked and pulled a large bandage out of his bag. "You'll need to wrap this around your chest and be exceedingly careful ok? You can talk, dress, and act like a man, but that doesn't mean you can pass as one." I flushed crimson as he turned around. Lucky for me I already had a naturally small chest, and a strong face. I pulled my shirt back on and settled into the hammock that rested slightly higher then the small built in bed. It must only be the early hours of the morning, and I was exhausted from the taxing night.

"Good night Nolan." I sighed before turning to sleep.

"Good night Evin." I heard him taste the word in his mouth, and wrinkled my forehead in my sleep.

I woke the next morning when the hammock-style bed I was sleeping in was tipped over and I feel down hard on the cold wood, floor. Nolan was already gone, his bed made and two scruffy-faced pirates stood over me. "C'mon young'n rise an shine! Captain be wanting you." one grimaced, his horrible yellow teeth baring. I rubbed my eyes and climbed off the ground, rubbing my sore butt. Following them out onto the deck, I noticed several details I hadn't the night before. The ship we were on was magnificent, it had three masts, and a carving of a dragon on the front. A helmsman stood at a giant carved wheel, his eye on the horizon. But the image that drew my thought the most was that of Captain Bringham. He was standing at the bow of the boat, hands drawn behind him.

"Cap'n. We brought th' lad." One of my comrades called out. And he turned around to face me. He nodded at his sailors and they took the cue to leave. His face which had seemed so eerie and terrifying the night before, was lighter this morning. But his appearance still shocked me. I expected a feared pirate captain to be old, and graying, with knocked out teeth and scars all over his body. Instead I was greeted with a gorgeous young man. With dark black hair that fell over his eyes, and strong features. He was tall, standing a head over me, with wide shoulders and lanky muscles. As I was appraising him, he was very obviously doing the same.

"You must be the shortest lad I've ever seen." He remarked to himself in that sexy low voice that had made my spine shake the night before. I glared at him before straitening up, adding an extra inch to my height.

"Do you fight?" He asked, still appraising me.

"No sir…" I replied, once again respectfully.

"What about sailing? Have you ever sailed a ship before."

"Yes sir, but only small dingies back in Ireland." He nodded.

"Ok well, the front of the boat is called the bow. The back, the stern. This is the starboard side" He gestured to the right, "And this side is port." He gestured to the left. You will start by swabbing the deck. Always be aware of your bearings, and be careful as you walk." He warned then he spun around and walked away. A blonde haired older man came up to me and stuck his hand out.

"Hello there, I'm Campbell, Bringham's first mate." I shook his hand and grimaced as his rough hands slid over my soft ones. "My you have mighty soft hands. And white too. Would you look at that!" He exclaimed. I quickly pulled back.

"Uhm, yes, well. I'm Evin. I'm supposed to swab the deck." He nodded.

"Ay. That you are." And handed me a long mop and a bucket filled with water with an rope tied to the end of it. "If you run out of water, drop the bucket off the deck, but mind to hold onto the cord and not to loose your grip." I nodded again, set the bucket down and set off to work.