The most unique story inside this anthology is Winter Blair’s steampunk story. The hero isn’t human, and the story is an ffm menage! Hope you love this little peek! And remember, you can purchase the entire anthology for just $0.99: Pirates.~DD
Excerpt from Winter Blair’s “Bountiful Skies”
The captain of an airship and her lover prepare to be boarded by a pirate who isn’t human, hoping he’ll give them mercy…and pleasure
They waited on the railing, watching patiently as the ship to starboard grew larger and larger. Zwena stripped off her clothes, tossing them in a heap on the deck. “Did I ever tell you about my work at Madame Attleby’s in Hallexos?”
“No.” Brie followed suit, folding her clothes into a neat stack beside Zwena’s haphazard pile. The ocean air was cold against her bare skin. She imagined they looked quite the epic picture, the captain and her first mate, gloriously nude on the deck of their small ship, one pale and one dark, both with hair tousled in the powerful wind. They were frequently nude together on the ship, but never when they were expecting company. It was hard enough to get other airship captains to take them seriously. Brie gave a nervous laugh when she thought about how the other captains would react if they showed up to trade meetings in their birthday suits.
Zwena took her hand. Her skin was warm and soft, her fingers callused in all the places a sailor’s hands should be. “Before I sailed, I did another kind of work. And some of my best clients were Chixealians.”
“What do you mean?”
“I was a harlot, dear one. Promise not to judge me for it?”
Brie’s heart was in her throat. “Never.”
Zwena squeezed her hand. “Thank you.”
The Ulysses came up alongside them. Brie opened her mouth to ask whether Chixealians were like human men, but she was silenced when a beast leaped from the deck of the Ulysses onto the Hippolyta. The deck of the smaller ship rocked with the impact. The Chixealian was huge, a full head taller than any human man she’d ever seen before, with shoulders so broad she wasn’t sure they’d fit through a standard human doorway. He wore leather clothes stitched together with black thread, and his face was covered by a mask in the shape of a skull. Brie fought the impulse to run for the captain’s cabin and clutched hard at Zwena’s hand.
“Don’t run,” Zwena whispered harshly. “Stand your ground.”
Brie straightened her spine, thrusting her pale breasts out in the process. Her nipples hardened in the icy wind.
The pirate approached, massive head swinging from side to side. Piercing yellow eyes examined them from behind the skull mask. He stopped a few feet from Zwena, breathing out a huffing breath. A voice came from behind the mask, deep and resonant, “What is this?”
“I’m Captain Zwena Alleyne,” Zwena shouted over the wind. “Welcome to the Hippolyta.”
“Welcome?” The Chixealian repeated. “Welcome? Don’t you know why I’m here?” He surged forward, balling his huge hands into fists.
“We do,” Zwena said, raising her chin. “We’ve heard the myth of the Ulysses and its powerful captain. We know we cannot defeat you. And so, we offer our cargo and everything else on this ship, so that you might take mercy on us and let us survive.”
The Chixealian leaned forward, inches from Zwena’s body. He inhaled deeply, narrowing his yellow eyes. “Everything?”
Zwena reached forward with her free hand and stroked one feline ear above the pirate’s mask. “Everything.”
He jerked back from her, roaring. “You are too bold! Why do you think you’ll have anything I want once I’ve taken your cargo? Why shouldn’t
I send you over the railing, right now?”
Brie’s throat was so tight she thought she might vomit. “They say Chixealian males are loners,” she said, her voice meek. “But it must have been a long time since you’ve enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh. Let us…uh…” She glanced at Zwena.
“Let us prove that we’re worth keeping alive,” Zwena offered.
The Chixealian blew a few more huffing breaths. He paced the ship, making it rock. Then he whirled and snarled, “Cargo first.”
Zwena nodded. “Of course.”
The women watched helplessly as the pirate emptied Hippolyta’s hold. He was so strong he could carry several bags of rice at once, halving the time it had taken a human crew to place it in the hold in the first place. Brie wondered what the Chixealian would do with several hundred pounds of rice and despaired for the good people of Arxas Colony, who would face a harsh winter without supplies.
When he was done, the pirate turned to the women and growled, “Make yourselves ready. I will join you in your captain’s quarters once I’ve secured the cargo.”
* * *
“Chixealian males are somewhat like human males,” Zwena said as they arranged the furs and blankets across their bed. “But with more variation. And larger in size.”
“Is…every part larger in size?” Brie asked.
Zwena’s lopsided smile reappeared. “Usually.”
The world spun, and Brie sat down on the bed. “Are you sure we have to do this? We don’t have any other options? Couldn’t we just kill him?”
“If you planned to kill me, the time for that is past,” the pirate’s voice rumbled from the doorway.
Zwena gestured for him to enter. “Don’t worry about Brie. She’s never lain with a human man before, much less one of your kind. She’s understandably intimidated.”
The monster lumbered forward. “I can’t promise to be gentle.”
Brie backed away as Zwena surged forward. Her captain reached up and ran her fingers over his ears with one hand. With the other hand, she pulled away the pirate’s mask in one fluid motion.
He cringed away from her touch, like a scolded housecat.
The face beneath the mask was not the monstrous visage Brie expected. The Chixealian had the cat-like features she remembered from her one encounter on Hallexos, but his mouth was not bursting with fangs, nor were his yellow eyes pulled down in a scowl. He was actually, in a bestial sort of way, rather handsome, if one didn’t mind the tawny fur that covered his skin. He stared down at Zwena with an expression Brie could only describe as…mournful.
“You know our names. May we have the privilege of knowing yours?” Zwena asked. Her voice was gentle, the voice she used during love-making.
The pirate’s gaze flicked to Brie and back to Zwena. When he spoke, his voice was barely audible over the creak of Hippolyta’s sails.
“Dru,” Zwena sighed. She continued stroking the Chixealian’s ear, moving her hand down to scratch at his cheek. He nuzzled his face into her palm, his eyes going heavy-lidded. She gripped one of Dru’s giant hands and brought it to her breast. “Come to our bed,” she cooed.
The Chixealian sighed and let her guide him to the bed. She knelt on the furs and blankets and began unfastening his leather armor. It was a complicated task, and he stood patiently while she worked. His gaze once again found its way to Brie.
Brie’s pulse galloped. He no longer seemed so threatening without the mask, though his bulk seemed to swallow the captain’s quarters. The smell of him—a manly musk backed by a twinge of wet fur—filled the room.
Zwena pulled his armor away piece by piece, and then gasped. She rocked back on her heels, staring. Brie’s view was blocked by Zwena’s body, so she moved a little to one side to get a better view.