I deliberated a great deal over how to tell this part of my story. I have decided to err on the side of caution and leave a discreet gap here in my history. This is not to protect myself, but to prevent causing undue pain to others, as I will presently explain.
In short, they sold me into slavery. The very next morning after Andrew and I were discovered, I was aboard the same slave ship I'd seen from the observation tower the night before. Now -- things went on aboard that ship that I have chosen not to relate, so I will leave a gap where the account of my captivity should be. Suffice it to say that I do not understand men who force themselves upon women. I was spared that because of my noble blood. I realized quickly that my stepfather had done me the mercy of letting them think that I was a virgin, and therefore of inestimable value. The other slave girls resented me because I did not share their pain, and it is on their account that I choose not to give and dwell on my time aboard the slaver.
Instead I turn to our rescue, which came from an unlikely source -- a pirate ship named Freedom's Dawn. Almost every man on the crew was a former slave and they'd made it their mission in life to take any slave ships that crossed their path, kill the crew and free the prisoners. Usually they turned a tidy profit by selling the ship itself, which they would man with a skeleton crew until they could get tucked away in a safe little port -- like Bootleg.
Delray was part of the crew assigned to sailing the slaver back to Bootleg. He was to become one of three lovers who were also good friends. I always fondly thought of him as the romantic one of the group, an unlearned pirate with the soul of a poet. Handsome, with brown hair, blue eyes, and a sturdy sailor's build, he had a compassionate nature and a genius for understanding other people.
He found me lurking down in a corner of the cargo hold, out of sight of the pirates and the other slave girls who made me feel guilty with their haunted, resentful stares. He took me under his wing, saw that I was warm and well fed. Every evening he'd come down and keep me company, and it wasn't long before he'd coaxed my entire story out of me.
“And your mother just let him sell you?" he asked in horror.
"She didn't have much choice. She was a woman, you see." I said bitterly. Quite naturally, the whole thing still rankled.
He repeated the name of my stepfather over to himself as if committing it to memory. "If I ever meet him Georgette, you can bet I'll make him sorry."
Delray was the son of a former slave, and very much against the slave trade. He'd grown up in Bootleg as the eldest of twelve children. Like most of the town, he was completely uneducated, but unlike many, he had a desire to learn. More for something to do than anything, I began tutoring him in reading and writing. He was elated at the idea, but we kept it quiet because his shipmates would never have let him hear the end of it.
Teaching Delray helped keep my mind off the question of how I was to make a living. I'd never worked in my life and was completely unfit for supporting myself.
"Well, you could try whoring," was Delray's frank suggestion. "There's nothing wrong with it..." he hastily added, correctly interpreting the disgusted look on my face. "In Bootleg there ain't no one around to say it's wrong. It's just a business like fishing or weaving, or whatever. Shoot, even my father goes and visits the brothels now and then. My mother knows but she don't care. You have to have fun now and then -- ain't good to work all the time."
"If I'm going to bed anyone it will be because I want to do it, not because I'm being paid to do it." I said, But even as I spoke I wondered if I'd be able to stick to that resolution. How desperate might I become as I began to get hungry? What was ever going to become of me?
"We'll figure something out." said Delray mildly. "I'll keep an eye on you, help you settle and all."
I watched his hand holding the charcoal crayon he was practicing with. It was a working man's hand with a ragged nail and a rough palm. The mention of sex made me aware of his masculinity. Sitting thigh to thigh I could feel his body heat and his warm breath on my cheek as we bent over his work. A little alarmed by the force of the sudden desire I felt for him, I suggested we go above deck for fresh air.
He quickly assented. He was always trying to get me to go up there, but I stayed below and out of sight as much as possible. Out on deck we settled into a quiet little nook under the eaves of the ship's cabin. A pair of sailors walked by staring at us curiously and I was glad that they didn't pause.
Delray was very quiet, his blue eyes gazing out over the open sea in deep thought. "What is it?" I asked.
"Nah. Ain't right to say. 'Specially not....well never mind."
"What is it?" I repeated, casting about for any topic to get my mind off of the illicit thoughts running through it.
"I was wondering....when you told your story.....it sounded to me like you didn't get much fun out of it. If you get what I mean."
"Oh." I said, my face flushing. "Well...it was fun I suppose. I didn't dislike it."
"I hope that I've never left a girl thinking that at least she didn't dislike it." said Delray derisively. "You don't even really realize what you missed, do you?"
"Well...I suppose it should have felt better than it did somehow. He seemed to enjoy it more than I did." I remembered the fire in Andrew's eyes, the tension in his body just before he'd come. Again I felt that feeling that I'd been cheated somehow.
"It ought to have felt so good that you couldn't stop screaming his name. He must be quite a guy." said Delray, his voice oddly flat. He repeated Andrew's name, apparently committing it to memory too.
For a while we were quiet again. Twice Delray opened his mouth to speak, seemed to think better of it, and closed it again. "What is it?" I asked.
He turned to face me, one shoulder leaning against the wall as he looked down into my upturned face. "Want to find out what you missed? You know I can drive a girl crazy with just my tongue and a finger or two."
I hadn't the slightest idea then how a girl could be satisfied with a tongue and a pair of fingers, but I was certainly curious. Again came that overwhelming sense of his maleness and an annoying surge of moisture between my legs. I tried to think of a reason to say no, and couldn't come up with one.
He was waiting for an answer, looking down at me with his hair ruffling in the breeze. I knew by the look in his eyes that he was dying to touch me, but he waited until I nodded my assent before he reached out to caress one of my breasts. His thumb rubbed my nipple through the fabric of my blouse and I felt it harden. Suddenly his eyes went from my face, to focus on something over my head. He swiftly withdrew his hand and waited for a sailor to pass by before saying "Let's go back below."
A group of ex slave girls were gathered around the hatch as we descended. I averted my eyes as we went by, but their accusing glances were not enough to make me feel guilty for what I was about to do. My life was falling apart too, but that didn't mean I wasn't going to enjoy what little pleasures were left.
"You've been teaching me for the last two weeks." said Delray as we made our way to my corner of the cargo hold. "Now I'm going to teach you some things....taking time is worth it."
It seemed to take him forever to undress me, a stark contrast to that first, rushed time with Andrew. He moved slowly, with something like reverence, as if he were unwrapping a special gift. But that's something I've learned about Delray over the years --- he loves and respects women -- he does regard each one that yields to him as a unique gift to be treasured. He was, and is, a hopeless romantic.
Once I was bare, he laid me out on the blankets he'd snared for me when he'd first discovered my habitation of the cargo hold. By then I was soaking wet, my swollen clitoris actually throbbing for attention. Delray removed only his shirt, revealing a sun bronzed, sturdy chest with a fine mat of dark curly hair.
He was so different from my idea of what a pirate was. His hand was rough as it cupped one of my breasts, but the touch was warm and gentle. He kissed the nipple, sucking on it until it flushed a deep rose red. Instinctively, I rubbed my hips against his thigh in mounting desperation for release. The passion he was rousing in me was becoming almost too much to take. When had Andrew ever made me feel like this?
He shifted his attention to the other breast. Arching my back in encouragement with a little gasp of pleasure, I tangled my fingers in his hair and held him close. Down below I could feel a significant bulge in his pants. The knowledge that I aroused him only served to make me throb from head to toe in answering desire.
When my nipples were so sensitized that they almost hurt, he kissed a straight line between my breasts and down my stomach. He paused, and I felt his tongue tease my navel briefly before he continued his descent. As he coaxed my legs open, I propped my head up on my pillow so I could see what he was doing down there.
I saw blue eyes flash up at me before he slid his tongue up the entire length of my dripping slit. "You have a very pretty pussy, Georgette. Did he tell you that?'
Panting slightly, I shook my head.
"No? I guess probably he was in too much of a hurry to notice. He missed out on a lot, I tell you."
I watched him as he continued his intimate exploration of my body with his tongue. Skilled fingers parted the soft folds of my labia like the petals of a flower. His apparent enjoyment of it heightened my arousal as he French kissed me there like he couldn't get enough. Finally his mouth moved to my clitoris, his lips locked around it and he began to apply gentle suction.
This was a wholly new experience for me. I'd never felt anything like it before. I realized vaguely that this was the equivalent of what I'd been doing for Andrew over the last few months. Naively, it had never occurred to me that such an act was possible, and I felt a surge of annoyance with Andrew for not sharing it with me. How selfish.
I moaned as Delray slid two fingers inside me, curled them slightly, and found a spot that made me spasm with pleasure. "What are you doing to my body?" I gasped, amazed at the strength of what he was making me feel. I hadn't known my body was capable of feeling so much pleasure.
Working my clit with one hand, and using the fingers of the other to caress that spot he'd found, he brought me to my first orgasm. I thrashed and writhed and gasped out words that ladies are not supposed to use. But upon hindsight, ladies do not let pirates touch them in certain places, so I suppose it didn't really matter at that point anyway.
"I wouldn't have missed that for anything." said Delray in a satisfied tone, while I caught my breath.
"I want you." I said, reaching for the fastening on his pants.
"You don't have to feel like you owe me or anything."
At that point I wouldn't have cared anyway. All I knew was that he had roused a voracious passion in me -- a hunger that only became stronger the more it was fed. I didn't answer as I pushed him onto his back. He seemed happy to lay back and let me take my time exploring his body, another novelty for me. My curious fingers wandered uninhibited over every inch of Delray's taut, warm flesh. By watching his face and listening to his breath. I swiftly learned just how and where he liked to be touched, and enjoyed exploiting the knowledge.
We he couldn't take it any more, he rolled me onto my back and found me more than ready. He moved slowly, savoring the moment as he gradually filled me. Moving more quickly, he brought us both to climax, and I wrapped my legs around his hips, trying to pull him deeper.
Afterwards, he held me, our bodies still intimately joined. He didn't run off like Andrew always did, having had his way and finished with me. It was the beginning of what would be a long friendship that still exists today. As I laid there with my head on his shoulder, I knew things would never be the same in my life. But I stopped worrying about what was going to become of me, and began to speculate with interest on what I might become now that I was in control of my own life.