Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm by Lee Rowan Read Free Book Online

Book: Eye of the Storm by Lee Rowan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lee Rowan
Tags: Fiction, Erótica, Romance, Gay
don’t touch him, fate will somehow keep him safe?
    He had no answer. Perhaps there was no answer. With their lives always dependent on the whim of wind and water, it was no wonder that sailors were known as a superstitious lot. Marshall had always thought of himself as a man of logic, an officer above superstition, but he wondered if he had developed a delusion all his own.
    If so, there was nothing he could do about it right now. The chart fixed in his mind’s eye, he drained his cup and put it back in its rack, then buttoned up his coat and went back above. If they found the cove before nightfall, got the Mermaid riding safely at anchor, and the crew set to short rotations to compensate for this bitter weather, perhaps the wind would indeed prove strong enough to hide a little unauthorized activity in the main cabin. He’d make it up to Davy later, if they had the chance.
    “Any change in that light?”
    “No, sir. But she’s no closer now than she has been. If it’s a boat at all—I’d say not. Hard to be sure, with the fog so thick.”
    The lighthouse on the spit of land forming the cove had been visible as a bright, pearly beacon, the only thing visible in the fog. But after they had dropped anchor, one of the men noticed a dim yellow glow in the general direction of the shore. It could have been a light in a house, or a ship’s lantern—though if that were the case, there should have been two, one on either end of the vessel, as there were on the Mermaid, to prevent collisions.
    Their signal was supposed to be a light in a window of a particular house, shown any time between eleven p.m. and two in the morning, and that house might well lie in that general direction. But with this damnable fog, he could not tell whether the light was in a window or somewhere else. And if it was their signal, it should be waved back and forth every half-hour. On a clear night, such movement would be readily apparent. On a night as shrouded as this, who could say?
    Marshall was inclined to believe that the light came from a building of some sort, rather than a vessel. It was near three bells, one-thirty in the morning by shore time, and this was a small, quiet village. Who would be up at this hour? A mother watching over a sick child, an old man restless and unable to sleep? Or a military observer of some sort, with a telescope directed at the unidentified craft lingering a mile or so offshore?
    He finally decided there was nothing he could do about it at this hour, not without sending a boat to investigate. That was exactly what he would have done, in wartime—though his own lights would be out, if he’d been sending a party ashore to spy out the land or wreak mayhem. But it would be foolish and uncivilized for a merchant to send his crew skulking about on foreign soil in the dead of night.
    Marshall grimaced as he realized that his earlier good intentions toward Davy had completely slipped his mind. The wind was indeed brisk, certainly enough to cloak any small murmurings in the captain’s cabin directly below his feet. But the deck-glass that refracted daylight into the cabin showed no glimmer of lantern-light within.
    Davy had been subdued at supper, and had not repeated his earlier invitation. Instead, he had chattered on in his polite, social style, regaling Will with news of the far-flung Archer family, the anticipated entrance of his youngest sister into Society, the next-youngest sister’s difficulty in finding a husband, his eldest brother’s exasperation that, try as they might, he and his wife had not yet managed to produce an heir. It was all trivial stuff to Marshall, though possibly not to Davy, and it had at least protected them against the uncomfortable silence that would result if Will were responsible for making conversation. They expended many words over dinner, but they said nothing.
    He should have said something then, when he’d had the chance, but he’d had no idea where to begin. He

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