Black Jack has a somewhat unusual setting as the story actually spans two different time periods–switching between a pirate ship in Regency England and a modern day sex club. Don’t ask me how, but amazingly enough, they seemed to fit together. LOL.
“Let go of me!”
“Take it easy, lass. Come peacefully and no one will be hurt.”
“No one will be hurt because I’m not going anywhere with you.”
Black Jack Carlysle tightened his grip on the young woman’s arm. He wasn’t accustomed to backtalk from any of his subordinates and he sure as hell wasn’t going to listen to it from a mere female.
“I don’t think you fully understand your position here. My men and I have taken over your ship. Now we’re seizing our reward.”
“Stealing is more like it. You haven’t earned anything on our ship. You’re a thief and a heathen and— Ouch! You’re hurting my arm!”
“I may be all you say and more, my dear, but the fact remains, I am the captain of this ship and you are part of the spoils of war.”
The haughty woman slapped him. Hard. “We’ll see about that.”
Jack was shocked momentarily. He heard a sharp gasp behind him and knew his men had witnessed her assault. He’d intended to take her below deck and lock her in the room next to his. He knew who she was. As daughter of the territorial governor, she’d fetch a fair price in ransom.
Her blow and fiery rage ignited his temper and his final destination changed as he pushed her toward the ladder that would take them to his cabin.
“You will pay for that, my lady. In my bedroom.”
His threat pulled her up short and her struggling ceasing. “You can’t be serious. Do you know who I am?”
He chuckled mirthlessly. “I think the question that should be asked is, do you know who I am?”
Her gaze narrowed, drawing his attention to light blue eyes surrounded by thick, long black lashes. Her cheeks were flushed a lovely pink due to anger and exertion. Her breathing had accelerated, each hastily inhaled breath thrusting her full breasts forward. She’d fill his hands nicely.
No, Jack thought. It wouldn’t be a hardship bringing this hellion to heel.
“I know exactly who you are, Black Jack. And if you think I’ll quiver at the mere mention of your dreaded name like the rest of the fools on my father’s ship, then I fear you’re destined for disappointment.”
He grinned, pushing her harder than necessary toward the ladder. She stumbled slightly before catching herself. She was provoking him, daring the devil inside to come out to play. She’d struck him in front of his men. At that point, she’d lost the right to be treated with courtesy. Now he needed to make an example of her. Regardless of how much that idea rubbed against the grain.
He liked to consider himself a gentleman—usually beyond kind with the terrified women they’d kidnapped in the past. More than a few times, he’d had to gently convince the captive ladies to return home once their ransoms had been paid.
Clearly that wouldn’t be a problem this time.
She turned to face him once more, but before she could speak, he raised his finger. “Silence, woman!”
He didn’t intend to wage this battle in front of his men. It was high time she realized who she was dealing with.
“How dare you speak to me—”
Jack growled. Bending forward, he put his shoulder to the lady’s middle and lifted until her upper body hung upside down along his back.
“I’ve warned you more than once, my lady. Now you’re going to pay the piper.”
“Awesome,” Emma Potter said, wiggling loose from Jack’s hold. “That was perfect.”
Jack pulled the bandana off his head and stuffed it in the pocket of his jeans. “I feel like an ass.”
Emma laughed. “I owe you a big one for this, Smacker.”
Jack ignored her use of the annoying nickname. After years of friendship, she still persisted in calling him by the silly name. She’d given it to him after they’d gotten more than a bit tipsy at a bar the night Emma turned twenty-one. She’d tripped and spilled her strawberry daiquiri down the front of his shirt. He’d spent the evening smelling like a little girl’s tube of Bonne Bell lip gloss. Emma had teased him the entire night, calling him Lip Smacker. Sadly, fourteen years later, the shortened version of the name still stuck.
“I don’t think there’s a favor big enough in the world to repay me for this.” Jack leaned against the railing of the fake ship, looking out at the empty tables and chairs of the nightclub as he considered the fact they’d soon be filled with clubgoers, all watching his weak attempt at piracy.
“True that,” Emma conceded. “You’re a lifesaver, Jack. Really. I was at my wit’s end this morning. I bet I made at least fifty phone calls.”
“Glad to know I’m so high on your list,” he said sardonically, chuckling.
“Believe me, that call list isn’t one you want to be on top of.”
He looked around and shook his head. “Still find it hard to believe that you plan fetish fantasy shows for a nightclub. I’ve got to admit, when you were making your valedictory speech in high school, this wasn’t exactly where I pictured you ending up.”
“Maybe not, but I bet you knew I’d be organizing awesome parties attended by all the biggest names, right?”
Emma had been the queen of the social scene in high school. Jack thought it had probably surprised more than a few of their peers to discover she had such good grades, given her love of partying. Begrudgingly, he had to admit she was one of the most naturally intelligent people he’d ever met. She had a razor-sharp mind with a quick wit to match. Her photographic memory didn’t hurt either. Quite frankly, it had taken very little work for Emma to maintain her position at the top of their class. Not that it had been a very large class.
They’d both enrolled in USC and moved to Los Angeles from Bumfuck, North Dakota, determined to escape their small town. The third in their small gang of friends, Travis, had come along for the ride as well, mainly because he thought living in L.A. would be a lark. Little did Jack and Emma know their unmotivated, antisocial best friend would find his niche in the City of Angels.
“Yeah, I knew you’d plan awesome parties.” Jack reached up to rub his cheek. “Hey, did you have to slap me so hard?”
She rolled her eyes. “You big baby. It wasn’t that hard. Besides, the sound has to carry through the room to make it authentic.”
Jack crossed his arms. “I hope your actress doesn’t have your right hook or I’m likely to suffer a concussion.”
“Not my fault. If you’ll recall, it was you and Travis who taught me how to fight.”
“You were supposed to use those moves on the frat-boy assholes at college. Not me.”
Emma shrugged. “Looks like I got a bonus from my lessons.”
“Yeah, well, you try to lay another one of those bonuses on my face and I’m gonna return the smack. Only I won’t be aiming at the cheek on your face.”
Wanna read about some more unusual settings? Check out these authors!