The epithet followed the gutted man as he tumbled, still wailing, to the wind-lashed deck.
The dark-eyed woman laughed, giving a flourish to the gore-drenched blade that had filleted the poor whimpering bastard.
But what could he have expected? To match blades with "Spicy" Jeanne-Marie Magdalena De la Croix, Queen of the Hungry Jack, was to court the reaper, and no error. The tall woman turned from her cutlass' latest victim... and in the next moment, found herself sprawling face-first on the deck!
"What in--?" She threw her head up as she bounded to her feet... and dodged a second kick from a tiny, slippered foot-- the first kick, of course, was what had sent her flying.
Lady Cynthia Bond stood, glaring at the pirate queen, her clear blue eyes ice and stone. Doubtless she'd have visited more blows upon the scrambling Jeanne had not her hands been secured tightly behind her back with coils of stout cord that snaked their way around her torso, pinning her arms to her sides.. The glare in her eyes made clear that she'd have willingly given vent to all manner of abuse to the pirate, had not her mouth been filled with an enormous knot of the fine silk fabrics from her chest, and bound in place with another of the same tied tightly about her head.
"You miserable wench!" With a panther's speed, Jeanne was upon the bound girl. She seized a fistful of the golden ringlets that cascaded over her shoulders, and flung her face-down to the deck.
Lady Cynthia Bond. What a prize... though if Jeanne had had any idea of what a handful the young woman would be, she might well have left her to go down with the merchantman.
No.... No, she wouldn't have done that. Not when she recalled the softness of the pampered body as she'd bound and gagged the little hellion, the pirate's battle-hardened muscles easily overcoming the girl's delicious struggles. Not when Jeanne could so clearly imagine the pleasure that might be had with this one before collecting the rich ransom that surely waited. So, instead of slashing at the little misery with her sword, she merely gave her the flat of the blade across her buttocks, and watched the lithe form tumble comically, to land sitting on the deck, looking up at her captor.
Lady Cynthia was still clad in the finery that she had worn when Jeanne had abducted her earlier that day, though it was now mortally disarranged and tattered
which, if anything, left her looking even more like a morsel for a pirate's nocturnal consumption.
The laughing pirate spared her bound treasure one more glance, and turned back to the fight. Now to finish clearing the Jack's decks of the rabble that had dared board her
Suddenly, for an instant, Jeanne's vision went black. She ducked instinctively-- a blow? No.... a tall, black-clad form had dropped, as from nowhere, into her line of sight.
Reflexes that would have done credit to a cat caused her to drop back, without thinking, into a fighting stance. She whipped her blade up in a glittering arc...
"Ahhhh!" the shock went down her arm, numbing her fingers. How? Who could move that fast--?
No time for questions, as she whirled to bring the blade of her sword down low, to gut the bastard... when there was another metallic ringing of sword on sword... Impossible! He couldn't have...
Jeanne gave an astonished yelp as a blinding flash of steel whisked her sword from her hand, and sent it clattering to the deck. She scrabbled desperately for it, and for her pains received a clout to the back of her head, which sent her to her knees. Her head spinning, she reached again for the sword...only to see a black boot of soft Spanish leather slam down upon the blade. She hesitated... and suddenly, the point of the sword that had so easily disarmed her was lazily tickling the underside of her chin. With the tiniest of movements, it prodded her to look up.
Who in Hades else would it have been? What other blade would have turned hers aside like paper?
Her gaze traveled up the boot, the strong leg in the heavy silk breeches... the soft black silk shirt and scarlet weskit with matching neckercher... and looked up into the tanned, smiling face of Barbary Jeb. The legendary corsair was all she'd heard, and more... a tall, broad-shouldered villain, with a glint in his pitiless blue eyes that marked him as a man of truly ingenious depravity.
"Playing dress-up, missy? Won't big brother be wanting his pig-sticker back?" The eyes danced with amusement; that his audience didn't share the amusement seemed to make it all the more enjoyable for him.
"You son of a--" Jeanne stopped herself as the razor-sharp tip pressed lightly into her skin.
"You're the spirited one, aren't you?"
The sword point dropped away; Jeanne had a fraction of a second to recover her breath before powerful fingers locked in her profusion of dark hair, and yanked her painfully to her feet. She felt herself slammed up against the side of the rail, bent forward, as her hair was released; the scoundrel held her in place now with his body weight, and as he leaned into her, his manhood seemed to taunt her, pressing into her buttocks.
"Agghh!" In the next instant, her arms were pulled painfully behind her, and she felt him force her hands to cross over one another, as he used coarse rope to encircle and entrap her wrists. It was scratchy, but not thick, and it fitted itself to her wrists well enough that they were both locked together. She tugged experimentally, before abandoning the attempt-- she might as well be shackled for all the room to escape he had given her.
Her captor spun her around, her back now against the rail, his eyes traveling in an insolent sweep up and down her person. Looking behind him, over his shoulder, she groaned as she watched his men imprisoning those of her crew not already dead, sweeping the corpses off into the sea, and taking inventory of the booty that Jeanne's crew had accumulated--including the human cargo Jeanne had taken.
"Fishing in another man's waters
back home they'd have the bailiffs on you."
"I took this prize fair and square-" she snarled.
"Doubtless," chuckled the tall man. "You had simply not counted upon becoming prize yourself."
He nodded, and two of his leering sea-dogs came forward. With a casual flip of his arm, he threw her with terrible force into their arms. Jeanne twisted in the men's filthy grasp, but was held firm; if their hands lacked the terrible steel she had felt in their captain's grip
well, they were still strong enough to hold her, bound as she was.
"You mangy wharf-rat! They won't get to hang you, because I'll see you flayed and keel-hauled first!"
"Oh, my." The pirate reached to the red silk scarf about his throat. "I don't see how we can conduct our business with this sort of nonsense in the air." As Jeanne yanked furiously at her pinioned arms, his hand reached toward her
a hand rough with the sea, but with a strange elegance
an elegance that suggested it might be quite skilled with
"Oh!" The involuntary gasp cut off her musings
the elegant hand had grasped her dark locks, forced back her head, and filled her gaping mouth with what felt like an acre of the finest, softest silk. Around her head was it drawn, binding her mouth tightly, choking off the air, causing her to subside enough to be able to breathe carefully through her nose. She felt the bastard give an extra, sharp tug to the knot that he wedged behind her ear as the muffling gag was secured.
"And now that this little hellcat is taking her ease for the moment," the crew laughed at the flush this brought to the gagged pirate's cheeks, "let us see what other prize fate has delivered into our hands." Two of the ship's whores, who had come aboard with Jeb's men, wrestled the bound and gagged Lady Cynthia forward. They stood, side by side with the two scoundrels restraining Jeanne, as Barbary Jeb inspected his booty.
the promise of wealth." He reached a hand to trace the crease in Lady Cynthia's cheek, where Jeanne had tightly bound the gag. The defant blaze in the blue eyes did nothing to disturb his insouciance. "Doubtless the family will pay good coin for the return of this golden lady." He nodded over to where Jeanne glared at him over her own gag. "And the price on that obstinate head would likely keep all you lads in grog for a fortnight!" Another cheer went up at that.
Barbary Jeb paused
then, as though human hand were not involved, the glittering blade lifted, and again caught the sun
this time, it hovered lightly over the remains of Lacy Cynthia's bodice. The point made a circular motion, as though it might be a snake mesmerizing its prey
then struck! And a gasp was followed by a roar as the flimsy fabric parted, and two alabaster globes fell unfettered into the light. Lady Cynthia shrieked behind her gag, and made to kick out at the tall pirate, who lightly sidestepped as the two whores twisted painfully at the girl's bound arms.
Jeanne watched with horrid fascination as the shining metal, almost lewd in its movements, grazed the front of her blouse. It seemed as though it were separating one single thread at a time.., until, with a flick of the big man's wrist, the blade sheared through cloth like tissue, and Jeanne's garments, rent down the middle, fell to both sides
exposing to the goggling seamen a pair of breasts of such perfection that none would dare boast of ever having seen the like, for fear of being called the most scurrilous of liars.
Her cheeks aflame, Jeanne pulled uselessly at her bonds again, tried to kick-anything to wipe the smug smile off the bastard's face! Her reward was to have that elegant hand lift one of her breasts, as though weighing meat at the butcher's.
"Poonts a man might sink his teeth into, lads!" Jeanne couldn't believe that the disgusting laughter could have grown louder, or that her face could have flushed more deeply
and she gnawed impotently on the wad of silk in her mouth.
Jeb regarded his prizes again, his manner casual, his eyes glittering. He nodded at Lady Cynthia.
"Take her to the spare quarters. See to it that she is secured and waiting for me." He lifted the terrified girl's chin. "I'd not do anything to diminish her value
" his smile was wolfish
"but there are many ways one may train a high-born wench that leave her none the worse for the wear." The two whores cackled, and dragged the struggling noblewoman away to prepare her for their captain's amusement.
" Now, he and Jeanne might have been alone on the deck of the ship. His eyes bored into hers
she could no longer feel the grimy hands on her arms
she knew that this man would need no more assistance from them. "Now, my little hellcat
let me show you why the high seas remain the province of the man who can take what he will."
Even now, his speed still astonished her as he pulled her from the sailors' grasp, bent low, and threw her, a quivering bundle, over his shoulder. Her face disappeared in a cascade of glossy tresses as her world turned upside down
her kicking feet, now shoeless, had no effect
her bound hands as useless as if she'd been born without them
And "Spicy Jeanne," the tigress of the Caribbean, was carried like a sack of meal to begin her servitude to the blackest rogue of them all-Barbary Jeb.