Ahoy there, maties! Since Pirates: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology came out I have been blown away by the hard work my fellow authors and Delilah have put into this book. To see my own story of hard-won love on the high seas next to so many other great ones has been my honor.
My story, “Rough Seas”, is about British commander Isaac Rateliff and his tempestuous, ill-advised desire for the pirate captain Tristan De Leon. I wrote this story because I wanted to highlight the hard places our heart takes us to when we try to deny what we want. There are many reasons for Isaac to resist Tristan, and his head knows every one of them, but still something won’t let him turn away.
Since Isaac was so conflicted it felt right for Tristan to be completely sure. He isn’t a man given to denying himself and he sees no reason to start now. Tristan’s steadfast belief in their love is the catalyst Isaac needs to start questioning his own motives and answer some hard questions about himself in the process.
As a queer writer I want to highlight queer characters and relationships in my work, and I especially love writing stories about the gray areas in life where I feel we often find out the truth about ourselves. I enjoyed these two so much and may have to revisit Tristan and Isaac sometime in the future to see where their adventure leads them. I hope you will have as much fun sailing the seas of love with these two dashing gentlemen as I did.
I am doing a little giveaway to celebrate the book release. Follow me on twitter @AAringdale and retweet the link to this blog post to be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card as well as an adorable enamel pin of a pirate cat. Good luck and safe sailing!
Excerpt from “Rough Seas”
A British commander finds himself at the mercy of a roguish pirate who asks him for the one thing he shouldn’t give—his heart
The last thing Commander Isaac Rateliff remembered was the ocean closing over his head. Which made waking in a strange cabin wearing someone else’s trousers, his pale blonde hair still wet with seawater, disorienting. The light rock of the flooring beneath him, accompanied by a rhythmic thump, told him the boat was at port. He blinked and tried to sit up, but his arms and legs were tied to the bedposts with rope.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
The voice was low and rough, but Isaac recognized it instantly. He sucked in a breath as his nipples tightened. Isaac craned his head, making out the impression of a big body in the shadows near the door of the sumptuously decorated cabin. He had to be in the belly of the beast. The midnight blue and royal purple silks on the bed and the dark lacquered wood were too fine to belong to anyone but the captain.
“Release me, DeLeón!” Isaac barked. “You’re unlawfully detaining an officer of the British Royal Navy.”
The pirate laughed, and Isaac’s stomach clenched.
The pirate stepped out of the shadows into the dull globe of light given off by the lantern hanging from the ceiling. “Isaac, you’re in no position to make demands.” He stalked over and climbed on top of Isaac.
Isaac stared up into the face of Captain Tristan DeLeón. The Spaniard was handsomer than he had any right to be, with swarthy skin and silken black hair falling in waves to his shoulders. But the worst was his eyes, green like two chips of sea glass. They cut Isaac to his core as they swept over his body, a hot rush following Tristan’s gaze.
“Let me go, DeLeón. You have no right to hold me.”
“Oh, but I do, because you have nowhere to go. When your halfwit Captain attacked the Romulus, he made his final mistake. Now, your crewmates are dead, and your precious Phaedra lies at the bottom of the sea. You wouldn’t be alive if I hadn’t fished you out of the water like a drowned rat, so I think a little gratitude is in order.” Tristan sealed their mouths together.
Isaac was too stunned to resist. He let Tristan plunder his mouth, while reeling at the fate of the Phaedra and her crew. He hadn’t been close with any of them, but it still pained him to know his comrades had been left in a watery grave. Dammit, he’d told Captain Markson they were outgunned. The Romulus was the most dangerous pirate ship in all the Caribbean. Now, the Pheadra and her crew had paid the price for Markson’s thirst for glory.
As if sensing his preoccupation, Tristan slid one hand down and cupped Isaac through his trousers. The pressure against his groin made his heart beat alarmingly fast, and Isaac struggled, though he couldn’t do much tied up like he was, and Tristan knew it. The pirate captain pressed closer, continuing to torture Isaac with his hands and mouth. Isaac hardened in response, his objections drowned out by pleasure.
Tristan pulled back and whispered, “Don’t run away this time, Isaac. Stay here, lead the Romulus with me. I want you by my side.”