Ayden stood on the captain’s deck looking out over the sea. He watched the land come into view, they’d been out on the water for over two months. After the voyage they’d had, Ayden looked forward to a couple of hours with a mug of ale and a wench under him.
The storm they just sailed through was one of the worst he had seen. Water flooded the ship so bad that he and the crew had to shovel it off the deck and out of the cabins. They had to rescue three of the men from the water and barely saved them before the whirlpool could suck them down. The ship he was proud to call his, stood valiant through the storm as the waves had reared up from the sea to do battle with anything that stood in the way. The ship stayed fierce through storm just as he and his crew did. The ship stood twelve feet above the water at the top of the shortest mast and the crow’s nest, which was the highest point on the ship, stood tall, between fifteen and twenty feet. He was as proud of his ship as he was of his crew, sometimes even a little more.
Ayden was six foot two, with broad shoulders that tapered down into a lean waist. His hair was dark brown and lay upon his shoulders when he didn’t tie it back. He had a face the lasses loved and the men hated. Ayden was feeling restless. He looked forward to going home. They could have gone straight there but his crew needed to blow off some steam and what better way than in a tavern. That put a smile on his face. After the stop, it would be back to the sea to head for home. A loud voice brought Ayden back from his musings.
Looking down to the deck of his ship, Ayden spotted Riker yelling at the crew.
Riker was Ayden’s first mate on the ship and the closest thing to a father he had. He’d raised Ayden from five years old until he reached manhood. Riker was tough on him when he needed to be and soft when the situation called for it.
As Ayden watched Riker, he thought back to the day when Riker stepped into the father role.
He’d hidden below deck when the fight had started. His father had told him to stay in the cabin, out of the way. He stayed hidden until most of the noise had died down, then he walked to the door of the cabin and opened it to see if anyone was in the walkway. After seeing no one, he headed for the steps that would take him above to the deck. He stopped in the opening and just stood there.
Ayden was standing as still as possible in the entranceway to the deck watching as Riker cleaned the wound on his father’s chest. He stood stiff and no matter how much he willed his body to move; it wouldn’t relent. He wanted to cry out but his body’s system refused to allow it. He knew he had to be strong, just as his father told him time and again. He continued to watch as Riker fought to save his father’s life. He didn’t exactly know what he was feeling, but his mind was racing and his stomach was turning as he looked on to what seemed to be a losing battle for Riker. He watched his father take his last breath, not a single tear fell even though he wanted nothing more than to go back to the cabin to cry in his pillow. He wouldn’t though because pirates were to be tough, strong, and ruthless or the sea would swallow you whole.
Riker stood and spoke to him, but Ayden was barely listening, even as he answered Riker, he wasn’t aware of his reply. All he did was stand there, transfixed with his father’s limp and lifeless body.
From that day forward, Riker took Ayden under his wing and was very good to Ayden in all the aspects of his life. He taught him everything he’d needed to know to be the captain of his father’s ship. Riker never let a day pass without teaching Ayden something new. At the age of thirteen, Ayden could hold a sword like any of the other crewmembers and by sixteen, he was able to win against them. He trained long and hard, barely made time for himself, while he learned everything possible to ready him to take over his father’s ship. Ayden was very grateful for everything Riker did for him. Ayden took over the ship when he was seventeen and they named it ‘Dane’ after Ayden’s father. The crew respected Ayden but they never feared him. They were called foolish by other crewmen from different ships. They were his only family and up until he was in his early twenties, they’d spent their days on the ship and their nights in a tavern.
Then he had a house built on some land his father had purchased. The house was of use for when the chilling winters came around and the sea turned mean. He thought about the night he lost his father often, but the memory of his mother he could never force through, he had been young when she’d passed.
The memories still bothered Ayden even though that particular memory was still fuzzy to him after all this time.
He yelled at the crew as he came out of his thoughts and memories.
“Drop thy anchor ye ol’ sea dogs, do it handsomely ye hear!” he yelled and then walked down from the quarterdeck, enjoying the breeze flowing through his hair.
When the shipped anchored, the crew sent up a cheer, all seemed to look forward to the tavern and the company of whatever women they found to lie in their beds.
This book is scheduled for release on the 22nd or the 24th lets hope it all goes well for constant updates like my facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-Anderson/192175464211953 please enjoy 🙂