The capture of the Chelsea pleased Drake immensely. It netted them exactly what they were after without any loss of life. The crew of the Chelsea gave up after a half-hearted attempt at fighting. He hated when the enemy put up a fight, not because he didn't like a good tussle now and again, but the senseless death that came with hand to hand combat weighed on him. Fate had put him on this path and he would see it through to the bitter end. One day he would return home to England with his honor and title intact, and the person who set him up would finally pay the price.
A knock issued on his closed door. "Enter." He pulled off his soiled shirt, tossing it into the pile of laundry on his way to his sea chest. Michael shouldered his way into the room, carrying an unconscious woman. Drake froze when Michael deposited his burden on the captain's berth.
"Do you want to tell me what in hell is going on and while you're at it, explain just who she is?" Drake pulled on a clean shirt and stepped away from the woman on his bed.
"Devon and Royce brought back a little more than we anticipated."
"I can see that but it doesn't answer my questions." He wanted answers and Michael knew it.
Moving to his desk he began to make notations in his logbook. "What I don't understand is why you brought her here."
"Well, I couldn't very well leave her in the crew galley and I already have her companion in my berth."
He dropped his quill and all pretense of trying to work. "There is another one?" Silently he counted to ten and when that didn't work to calm him he continued on to thirty. "Women are trouble while on board ship."
"I know that, Drake, but what was I supposed to do? Send them back so they could bob along with the other crew in the lifeboats?"
He knew that was not a good idea. Yet he didn't want them on his ship.
"If it helps any, I have given you the healthy one."
Drake's head popped up as he looked at his best friend. "The healthy one? Do I even want to know?"
"Aye, the healthy one. As far as I can tell, she only has a bump on the head caused by the ship rocking when Royce surprised them which knocked her out. Her friend, on the other hand, is not a sailor by any stretch of the imagination."
"Sea sick huh?" He rolled his charts and bound them before putting his things away. "Do we have any idea who are new guests are?"
Michael smiled for the first time since entering his cabin. "As a matter of fact we do. There on your bed is the step daughter of Simon Blakely."
He was silent for a heartbeat before a chuckle broke loose. It was not long before it led to outright laughter. This was perfect. His enemy was truly at his mercy. Goals that seemed so far only hours ago, now seemed to be at hand. Fate could not have been kinder, placing Blakely's step-daughter in his oh, so capable hands. "Change of plans. Tell Bradley to chart a course for Isle of Angelique."
They were sailing to safety.
"I imagine there is someone waiting for our new guest in Port Royal and I'm not ready to hand her over just yet."
Michael frowned. "Drake, she's innocent in all this. Promise me you will be kind to her."
He stared at his friend. "Have you ever known me to be less then a gentleman around females?"
"No, but then again you never had your archenemy's daughter in your hands either."