[Continued from The Good Ship Venus (Part 1)]
I jolted awake to the violent crashing of waves against the deck above, and a new sound, a cacophony of angry canvas that was the Evening Star’s way of screaming out, Something’s not right! Her motion had become that of a drunken rhinoceros on a rampage. I slid out of my bunk and into my boots, threw a coat over my pajamas, and hurried up the main companionway, remembering to grab a harness from the chart house on the way. It was one of those nights when anything not tied down became an offering to Neptune, including people.
Nadine was wrangling the wheel, and Eric had just clipped the lanyard of his harness onto the jackline when I emerged.
“The jib’s busted,” he shouted through the gale. I glanced forward at the tattered flaps of sailcloth cracking in the wind, causing the ruckus that had driven me out of bed. “I’ll get the halyard and the sheet,” he continued, “but I’m gonna need you out there to secure it.”
We made our way up the deck, grasping onto whatever we could reach for balance. At the base of the bowsprit, I snatched a few sail-ties from the deck box and clipped onto the shrouds. If the ship was a charging rhinoceros, the bowsprit was its horn, plunging up and down to pierce both sky and sea. I clambered onto the foot ropes that stretched over bottomless depths, and immediately got dunked up to my thighs in freezing water, then lifted up as if to reach the stars. When the captain eased the halyard, the jib grew even more rambunctious. I climbed up to straddle the prow for stability, so I could grip with my soaking wet quads while yanking on the sail with both hands.
I could feel Eric behind me, throwing his weight into the sheet, as I squeezed the massive spar between my legs and wrestled the thrashing canvas with my entire upper body. We’d have to replace the jib soon, but that could wait for better weather. For now, the best I could do was to roll it up into itself and lash it beneath me, painfully tight. When I had the ragged beast as secure as possible, Eric gave the sheet another hefty tug, and the sail rubbed against me from core to crotch as it jerked backward.
“You could have waited till I was back on deck,” I grumbled, scrambling off the shrouds, though I couldn’t help but enjoy the tingling combination of friction and adrenaline.
“Sorry, didn’t catch that!” he called back. His hair was dark and wet from the spray, and his eyes gleamed in the moonlight. “We’ll take in the main staysail next, then we’ll get Dylan up here and put a reef in the main.”
We worked in a strange kind of harmony, both in tune with the turbulent motion of the vessel and keenly aware of each other’s movements, tackling each task like two halves of one brain. By the end we were pulling together, hand over hand on the main halyard to tighten the luff of the reefed sail. I could feel his warmth even through my damp layers, our breath in unison, our bodies heaving up and down with our hands in a synchronized dance. His face was almost close enough to kiss when we finished, and he made the line fast on its cleat.
Nadine was exhausted from grappling with the helm, and Dylan offered to take over for the last half hour of her watch. I knew I should try to get some sleep, but my heart was pounding an electric charge through my body, my mind buzzing from the thrill of it all. I followed Nadine down below and paused by the chart table, where Eric stood writing in the log. The ship’s movement had calmed somewhat with the reduction of sails, and it helped to steady my racing pulse.
“Thanks for your help out there,” he glanced up almost furtively, a hint of a dimpled smile playing at his lips. “Couldn’t do any of this without you.”
“Hey, it’s my job,” I said lamely. I wanted to reach out, graze his hand with mine, lay my head on his shoulder, breathe in the scent of his salty neck… but I stopped myself. “I should probably get to bed. I’m still all pumped on adrenaline.” And other hormones, I thought but didn’t add.
“Yeah, that was something! Don’t know if I can sleep either. I’ll be in my cabin if you need anything.” He closed up the log book and followed me down the ladder. I watched him in the doorway of his cabin as he switched off the light, his eyes two bright stars in the darkness. Taking a step towards the crew quarters, I hesitated, and turned back to pause at the threshold of his room.
“Actually, Captain Eric, maybe I do need something…” I had barely finished speaking when I felt his hands on my face, rough and calloused but gentle, traveling down to grip my waist and pull me in. I nudged the door shut behind us, and we explored each other by touch, tentatively at first, in silent blindness like two creatures of the deep. Only a bit of wood and steel kept us safe from the roiling sea.
“You’re all wet,” he whispered, “And cold… gotta get you out of these clothes.”
“Hmm, you too,” I murmured, and we fumbled at zippers and buttons, tossing the clothing aside to stand shivering and swaying with the boat and still groping for each other’s naked bodies. His mouth met mine and melted me onto the bed, where everything was warmth and salty skin. Kisses traveled down my neck, enveloped each nipple, and continued along my ribs and the line of my writhing, ticklish hips. A hand gripped my butt, holding me steady, and I gasped and grasped at the sheets when his tongue began to dance over my clit. His rhythm, plunging and swirling, matched that of the ship as she plowed through secret depths. It was an animal heat down there, an otter slurping at a juicy urchin cracked open.
My breathing accelerated and my moans joined the chorus of wailing wind and the vessel’s creaking limbs. As we mounted a monster wave, time froze and gravity gave way to lightness. I ceased to breathe, until we descended again and I came with the crash of water, his lips against my clenching pulsation.
“Thank you,” I purred.
“Oh, my pleasure.” Eric now stood by the side of the bed where my legs hung over the edge, still trembling. My contented sigh ended in a squeak as he slid into me, full and strong as the schooner’s prow. Slow at first, then a rocking wave threw him deeper, and my cries urged him on into faster throes. We tumbled into bed and I wound up on top, grinding my clit against him and sliding up and down. Bolts of ecstasy flashed through my womb and straight up to the brain. I leaned in, only to feel his rough hands on my waist, lifting me up and around.
Braced against the rollicking bulkhead, I felt his power behind me as one with the ship’s, hurtling into the flowing abyss. Together we sank into valleys, deeper than I thought possible, and rode the crests of waves to their breaking point. The Evening Star groaned as a powerful gust thrust her forward, and Eric’s groan as he came seemed to sympathize, overwhelmed by the forces of nature. Reverberations of the upwelling echoed inside me.
We collapsed onto damp salty sheets, and I was just starting to wonder about the aftermath of fucking the captain, when I was roused by the voice of Nadine.
“Get up, sleepyhead. Breakfast in ten, your watch in twenty.” The curtain of my bunk fluttered as she walked away.