Gold, gems, or magical amulets–where there’s treasure to be had, from the high seas to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, pirates will always seek to claim it. But sometimes, the rarest and most precious treasures can’t possibly fit in a treasure chest. In these seven erotic stories, the true prizes are companionship and belonging–and treasure of a more intimate nature. With swashbuckling, adrenaline-fueled passion and the slow burn of long-contained desires, Like a Treasure Found provides an enticing assortment of pirate tales guaranteed to shiver your timbers.
Table of Contents:
On Arid Seas by Bernie Mojzes
Of Great Renown by Diane Kepler
The Pirate from the Sky by Sacchi Green
The Ancient Shrine of the Double Cross by Paul Batteiger
A Shelter From All Storms by Kaysee Renee Robichaud
Daniel by Emily Moreton
The Final Voyage of the Devil’s Prow by Cèsar Sanchez Zapata
Excerpt from “On Arid Seas”
by Bernie Mojzes
Dust swirled around Jamie’s feet. A strip torn from his shirt and wrapped two layers deep across his face kept the worst of it out of his nose and mouth, but sudden gusts of wind kicked it into his eyes. Wiping away the tears, he knew from long experience, would just rub the grit in.
Damn it, out here he needed all the liquid he could retain.
The wind was gusting more often now, and more fiercely, and the rust-colored haze on the western horizon warned of impending Weather.
Had the dust not covered them, the caravan’s tracks would have led north and east, toward Wichita. A day’s journey by truck. With the West Wind blowing, more than a lifetime by foot.
“Fuckers!” he screamed.
Didn’t matter. They were long gone, that bastard Chris with them, and the words slipped away, lost in the wind that skipped across the desolate plain. In the darkening sky, the first funnel twisted up out of the ground. Even in the distance he could hear the howl of the wind, the thunder of rock breaking to gravel, the grinding rumble of gravel being chewed to dust.
It was a mild storm, as such things went. Not one of the massive dust storms that left swaths of destruction for hundreds of miles, just a few dozen isolated dust devils. Two of them reached real twister proportions, but most comprised just two or three demons out on a tear.
Even so, Jamie’s Swiss Army knife was hardly enough to fight off anything more dangerous than a bottle of Merlot. He’d been stripped of his machete and his gun, as well as his water bottle and his wallet, before his so-called trial. His best bet was to huddle low and pray none of them blew his way.
The wind gusted harder, whipping his hair across his face. Prayer, he thought, worked about as well on demons as it did on anything else. A vortex of dust rippled out of the wasteland, coming toward him. The shrieks were louder now as they closed in. He could see teeth and claws in the swirling dust.
Jamie closed his eyes and waited.
They were all around him, a screaming, grinding rumble coming up from behind him, against the prevailing wind, and a twister in front of him. The ground under him heaved, tossing him in the air. He landed hard on the torn earth. The screeching intensified with bloodlust, so he knew he was bleeding. He had only seconds before they descended on him, tearing him apart and greedily sucking him dry.
And then–shouts. A thump as something landed next to him. The sound of a blade cutting air, and the feeling of something unbearably dry landing on top of him. It broke into pieces, but even dead, Jamie felt the demon wicking moisture out of his skin. He scrambled away, brushing the pieces from him in panic.
“Ho, boy,” a voice said, as the wind drove the dust devil east and away. A human voice. “Relax. You’re safe now.”
* * * *
Jamie wasn’t sure what he expected when he opened his eyes, but this wasn’t it. The man who stood over him, silhouetted in the dying sun, held a cutlass in one hand and the rope he’d swung down on in the other. His white shirt was puffy and ruffled and his pants were tucked into soft leather boots with elaborate laces. He wore a long red coat with tails that reached his boots, studded with big, brass buttons. His tri-cornered hat sat at a rakish angle on his head, one brightly colored ostrich feather fluttering in the wind, and his sinister mustache was long enough to require hazard lights.
Behind him, rising out of the dust, was a pirate ship. Three masts stood tall, the sails trimmed. A large-breasted mermaid presided over the prow. A couple dozen persons of disreputable appearance looked down over the rail at him.
Most disturbingly, demons glared out at him from the hull, the flesh of their bodies twisted into and mingled with the wood. They grasped at the mounded rubble kicked up in the ship’s wake, shoving what earth they could reach into their ravenous mouths and spitting out dust.
Jamie sat up. “So I’m dead, then. Where was the life-flashing-before-the-eyes? Wasn’t there supposed to be a life-flashing-before-the-eyes?”
The pirate laughed. “I think you’ll need to practice that dying thing a bit more. You’re clearly not doing it right.” He sheathed the cutlass and reached a leather-gloved hand to help Jamie to his feet. “Captain Deadbeef,” he said, “humble skipper of the Grey Perl. Pleasure to make your acquaintance and all that. Now, let’s get you aboard and set sail, before Ms. Canbrach has my ass.”
* * * *
Ms. Canbrach stood just over five feet tall in boots, and was small enough that Jamie figured he could lift her one handed. He was also sure that if he tried, he wouldn’t live long enough to put her down.
“What the fuck were you thinking?” She jabbed the captain in the sternum with a black-gloved finger.
“You didn’t like my Errol Flynn schtick?” Deadbeef twirled his mustache. “I thought I was dashing.”
“You thought…? Jesus. I should just kill you myself and get it over with.”
“Tell me, Ms. Canbrach, what do you propose I should have done?”
Ms. Canbrach’s lip twitched. “Something that doesn’t involve leaping into the middle of a dust devil. This isn’t Star Trek, and you aren’t William Shatner.”
“Thank God for small favors,” Deadbeef said. He turned to Jamie. “This is Ms. Canbrach. She’s my first mate, which I guess puts her in charge.” His grin flashed innocence at Ms. Canbrach. “This is… what’s your name, boy?”
“Uh. Jamie. Jamie Carmichael.”
“Mr. Carmichael, Ms. Canbrach is going to take you to the doc so you can get that cut cleaned up.” As he spoke, he signed to Ms. Canbrach: find out everything you can.
The captain had used his body to shield it from view, but Jamie caught the motion in Ms. Canbrach’s mirrored sunglasses. He didn’t need to be fluent to catch the drift. He was a stranger here, and potentially dangerous. He’d have done the same.
Ms. Canbrach nodded acknowledgement and shoved Jamie almost hard enough to make him stumble. “Mr. Carmichael, if you’ll kindly accompany me?”
As Ms. Canbrach prodded Jamie toward the stairs leading below deck, he heard Captain Deadbeef bellowing commands, and the crew scrambled to obey. The sails stretched taut as they caught the wind and, buoyed by the voracious hunger of the demons in the hull, the ship began to move.
* * * *
Doc Fitzwater looked up from her book. Her eyes scanned Jamie, and she scowled. “Broke the new boy already?”
Ms. Canbrach snorted. “Nope. Came this way from the dealer. Says his name is Jamie Carmichael. But we have no proof of that.”
“What will be, will be. Jamie, I’m Doc Fitzwater.” Doc Fitzwater handed Jamie a plastic bag, then tied her hair back in a ponytail and pulled on rubber gloves. “Put your clothes in there, and let’s take a look at you.” Jamie hesitated. “You’ve got blood on your clothes. That makes them a biohazard until proven otherwise. Same goes for you.”
“Yeah. Of course. I’m just….” He shrugged, then peeled his shirt off.
Where clothing had protected against dust and sun, his flesh was pale, but toned. No six-pack abs, but he clearly took pains to keep fit. The nipple rings were pure bonus. So was the dragon tat that sprawled across his shoulder and chest.
“Pants, too,” Doc said.
Canbrach remained disinterested, oblivious to Jamie’s muscled thighs. Instead, she just looked impatient. Jamie heard Doc suppress a chuckle.
After Jamie kicked off his shoes and stripped off his ripped pants and boxers, Doc motioned for him to turn around. There wasn’t much to be done with the abrasion on Jamie’s calf but clean and bandage it. The cut in his left side was more troubling. It was about four inches long, and it looked deep. It was packed with a cement of clotted blood and dust. She had him lie down on the examination table and set about cleaning the wound.
Doc washed away the dust of the world and dabbed at the crusted blood until it broke free, so she could clean inside the wound. Jamie hissed through his teeth.
“Well, the good news is it’s relatively superficial, hardly any muscle involvement at all. But you’re gonna need stitches,” she said, reaching for her suture kit. “The bad news is, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to score any painkillers. Best I can do is try to distract you. So, talk to me. What was a nice boy like you doing out in the middle of the desert?” She pushed the needle through his skin.
“Ow! It wasn’t my idea. There’s a caravan out of Amarillo that hits Oklahoma City and then heads up to Wichita, trading with all the settlements in between. I wanted to get out of Amarillo, so I joined up to work the circuit. I figured if I could make it to Kansas, I’d be able to work my way east from there.”
“Gasoline?” Canbrach asked.
“Yeah, and kerosene and heating oil. We trade for food, fabric, that sort of stuff.”
“Something bad happen to the caravan?”
“They abandoned you.”
Jamie didn’t say anything.
“Answer the goddamned question,” Ms. Canbrach growled.
“I didn’t do anything wrong!”
Doc Fitzwater jabbed him with the needle, with just a bit more force than necessary.
“I broke a rule,” he said. “It’s a stupid, immoral rule, and I didn’t hurt anyone. I won’t do that here. Just drop me off at the next settlement and you’ll never hear from me again.”
“What rule?” Doc asked. Jamie bit his lip, but didn’t answer.
Ms. Canbrach snorted her disgust and walked out.
Doc put a gloved hand on Jamie’s shoulder. “This isn’t Amarillo. Now, let me get this tied off and dressed, and then let’s give you a proper physical.”
* * * *
Jamie felt too on-edge to sit or lie down. Instead, he paced the length of Doc Fitzwater’s cramped quarters. At least, he thought, pausing to look in the mirror again, he looked good as a pirate. The doc’s soft cotton shirt actually fit him reasonably well, even if it was a bit baggy in the front. The pants were loose in the hips and too short, but he’d get his own back soon enough. In the meantime, it seemed Doc approved of the look, even if she took pains to hide it. She stared at her book, re-reading the same page over and over and sneaking glances at her patient.
It hurt more now than it had before Doc fixed him up. Just turning his head to the right pulled painfully on the stitches in his side. It was amazing how interconnected the body was.
“When I got the tattoo on my leg,” he said, “I felt the needle in my ribs.”
“Mm, referred pain.” Doc pretended to be engrossed in her book, putting her finger down to mark her place before looking up. “The nervous system is a funny thing. Why, are you experiencing nerve pain? Tingling in the fingers or toes? I don’t have a radiology lab, but….”
A knock at the door interrupted before he could explain. The door creaked open and the captain entered. He nodded to Jamie and focused on Doc.
“Can you give us a few minutes, Doc? Ms. Canbrach tells me the boy’s run afoul of the law, so it looks like it’s interrogation time.”
“You want him tied up?”
“I don’t think that’ll be necessary. You know I let Ms. Canbrach handle things when they get that… grisly.”
“Sure. Just don’t undo my work too much.”
Deadbeef’s acknowledgement was noncommittal. “That’s up to him, now, isn’t it?”
Doc stifled a grin as she slipped out.
“Hear you come from Amarillo.”
“And you wanted to get out. Why?”
Jamie studied the captain, looking for clues. But none of the normal rules seemed to hold on a pirate ship sailing a desert of dust. Not even normal by the standards of a dying world’s panicked frenzy.
“The town went GHF,” he said. “In the last election.” He waited. A test. If the captain understood the lingo, understood the code for the people who, no matter what righteous bullshit name the bastards wrapped themselves in, were certain that the demons were the punishment of a wrathful God, he was probably safe. If not….
Deadbeef twirled his mustache around a finger, pulled at it hard enough that it had to hurt. “Damn. Not another one.”
“Yeah. It got pretty hot there, especially when the city council started arming the vigilantes and giving them names and addresses. They think if they kill us all, the demons will disappear.”
“And to think I lost two good people defending that town against Dunham’s raiders. Ungrateful bastards. Still, that doesn’t explain how you ended up on foot with the Westerlies blowin’.”
Jamie sighed. How much of his personal life was he going to have to dredge up? The betrayal was far too fresh.
“The caravan comes from Amarillo, so it operates under Amarillo law. GHF law. I got caught. Turned in, actually, by someone I trusted.” By someone who panicked the minute someone else got suspicious.
“Well, you’re safe enough from that bullshit now. We can drop you off in Wichita. Things are still sane there. I mean, given the circumstances.”
“I….” Jamie hesitated and then stepped a little closer to the captain. Still testing. “I never got to thank you. For saving my life.” A little closer. Deadbeef looked uncomfortable; had he misjudged?
“Not that it’s… unappreciated,” Deadbeef said, “but ship policy is that we neither expect nor, uh, accept this sort of, uh, payment for….”
Was that panic in his voice? Yes, and desire. Jamie knew this dance.
Jamie inched closer. “Is the handsome, dashing pirate afraid of….”
Deadbeef retreated. “No! Of course not! It just sets a bad example for the crew, is all.”
Jamie grinned. He slipped fingers into Deadbeef’s belt and pulled him closer, close enough to feel the heat from the captain’s neck against his. The ridiculous mustache poked him in the ear.
“If you had expected payment I’d have refused.” Half whisper, half growl. The captain was hard, pressed against Jamie’s belly. “This isn’t payment. The last kiss I tasted was from lips that betrayed me. Help me fix that.”
Deadbeef’s cock strained against the thin cotton of his pants. Jamie stroked it between his thumb and index finger while struggling with the big, brass belt buckle with the other hand. Deadbeef’s breath was loud in his ear.
Jamie gave up on the belt buckle and twined his fingers into the captain’s hair, brought the captain’s lips to his. Deadbeef pressed a fisted hand against Jamie’s chest, as if to push him away, and then relented. Their tongues touched, and then the captain let him in.
“Your belt buckle,” Jamie said, “is being uncooperative.”
“It’s just there for show. It’s all held together with Velcro.”
Jamie pulled away. “Really?” Deadbeef nodded.
It was true. The belt came open with a triumphant rip, and Jamie tugged the captain’s cock free. It was long and slender, rock-hard and purpling. Liquid glistened at the tip.
“Nothing dead about it,” Jamie said as he slid his thumb over the slick hole.
Deadbeef groaned. “It’s a computer joke,” he said, “just like the name of the ship.” His breath came faster now, and Jamie refrained from asking for an explanation.
Instead, he grasped the base of the captain’s cock with the other hand, squeezing and stroking as he continued to rub his thumb across the sensitive slit. His index finger caught the head of Deadbeef’s cock with each stroke, and far sooner than Jamie would have expected, Deadbeef’s body tensed and hot liquid gushed onto Jamie’s wrist and filled his hand.
Jamie kissed him again. “Just what the doctor ordered.”
* * * *
“You did what? What were you thinking?” Doc Fitzwater slammed her book down on her desk. The bookmark fluttered to the ground. “You don’t know anything about him!”
“I thought you examined him!”
“And you kicked me out of my room before I could process the blood tests. What the hell? You don’t do this sort of thing.”
“I know, I know. But it’s been years, and he’s just so….”
“Not to be cliché or anything,” Jamie said, “but he’s standing right here. And he’s already been subjected to every STD test the GHF folks could think of, and then some.” He rubbed his fingers together, still sticky. “Besides, it was just a hand job…”
To read the rest, download the ebook today!
Gold, gems, or magical amulets–where there’s treasure to be had, from the high seas to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, pirates will always seek to claim it. But sometimes, the rarest and most precious treasures can’t possibly fit in a treasure chest. In these seven erotic stories, the true prizes are companionship and belonging–and treasure of a more intimate nature.