Kapitein Rand Van Locken has no idea what awaits him as he boards the Spanish galleon on behalf of the Dutch West India Company, or that the beautiful woman imprisoned within will change his life in ways he never imagined or even desired. Until now…
Lissa Capoen didn’t plan for the Spaniards to capture her while attempting to rescue her sister. She didn’t foresee the handsome sea captain coming swiftly to her aid and offering his assistance. Nor did she expect him to steal her heart and claim it as his own.
Yet, as destiny brings them ever closer together, Armando Manera is determined to recapture the witch and present her to the Spanish King. No matter what it takes…
Rand traversed the length of the ship, heading for the stern. Along the way he explored every cubby hole and compartment he happened to spy. Then, just as the exuberant shouts alerted him to a measure of the prize crew’s success, his gaze fell upon a door with strange symbols carved into the wood. Those carvings appeared freshly made. An assortment of dried roots, and thin scraggly branches with wilting tree or plant foliage, covered the frame. On top of that, someone had nailed the door shut. He approached for a better look. An empty bowl, save a few crumbs mixed with rat droppings, lay just outside and to the right of the door. With all that he found it obvious the Spaniards had imprisoned someone inside the room—but whom? And why the need for the nails, bits of rotting plant matter, and bizarre symbols? He stepped back and called out for Laurens.
The man rushed down the steps and hastened to his side. “Aye, Kapitein?”
“I want this door removed, and I want it removed right now.”
Laurens took a second to assess the task. “I’ll be right back.”
Scant moments later he returned with pilfered tools in hand, removed the nails first, and then made quick work of the hinges. The door teetered with the sway of the ship and clattered backward. Rand tracked its descent. When it hit the decking, he brushed past Laurens. He entered the dimly lit room with sword drawn and pistol ready in anticipation of whatever danger awaited him. Rather than danger, his gaze found and then fastened upon the most exquisite pair of willow-green eyes he’d ever had the pleasure of encountering. Golden waist-length hair framed the woman’s lovely face.
A thousand different thoughts stormed his mind while he tucked away his weapons. Sorting through them proved a bit thorny. Her tattered blue-and-white peasant garb didn’t note her as anyone of great importance. Therefore, ransom seemed an unlikely reason for her imprisonment. Still, he didn’t find it any wonder the captain had locked her away. Such a woman could tempt any man away from his duty, and his honor, if he allowed it. Yet if the captain simply wanted to keep his men at arm’s length, he would’ve given her his cabin and every luxury he could provide.
He would not have locked her inside this dank, filthy hole. Another reason had to exist for her incarceration.
Nonetheless, the insolent captain’s troubling motivation as well as the girl’s fate shouldn’t concern him. That concern belonged to others, did it not? The moment the prize crew handed the galleon over to Heyn, and alerted him as to her presence aboard this ship, the Admiral would see to her needs in whatever manner he deemed best. In the meantime, Rand need only escort her to the captain’s cabin where she could quit this hovel and rest in far greater comfort for the duration of the voyage. Such would make an acceptable end of his duty to this girl.
The decision made he extended his hand. Despite his anger, he called up a gentle tone. “My name is Rand Van Locken, captain of the Rood Draeck, and we have just taken possession of this ship. You needn’t fear me or any member of my crew. We’re not here to hurt you. Come with me now. I’ll take you to the captain’s cabin where you can use it as your own for what’s left of the night. The former captain of this ship no longer requires it.”
She took a minute to consider his words, and all the while, her lovely eyes never once left his. “And come the dawn?” she all but whispered.
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About the Author
Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages. However, in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel “Spirit of the Rebellion” to The Wild Rose Press. She now has five published novels to her credit.
When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her beloved family. She also pursues her interests in teaching classes on and searching out her family history—and somewhere in there, makes time to study mythology, as well as all things ancient and historic.
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