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Men of Honor by M. kei - Pirates of the Narrow Seas 2

Pirates of the Narrow Seas 2

By M. Kei

From PoNS 2 Chapter 22 : The Old Flame

Thorton opened the door and stepped in. He stopped dead in his tracks. Tangle was naked, or nearly so. He wore only a small white garment about his privy parts. Thorton stared at it in astonishment. It was little more than a pouch for the genitals. Abruptly his face colored as he realized where he was staring. He dragged his eyes up to Tangle’s amused face. The rover was lying on the bunk, propped on his elbow, reading a book. His sleek musculature was revealed in every detail: the powerful shoulders and strong flanks, the chiseled abdominal muscles. Short black hair swirled across his chest and gathered into a ‘treasure trail’ that lead to the white triangle. His arms and legs were hairy, too. A large scar ran from his clavicle to his right armpit. Small scars marked his body in other places.

“Come in, Peter. I’m glad to see you,” he said in Arabic.
Thorton shut the door as if in a dream. His tongue ran around suddenly dry lips. He remembered the times he had pressed against that dark body. Back then Tangle had been much thinner due to the privations of the galley. Now he had recovered his health and flesh. He was a magnificent animal. Although a white streak ran through his short black beard, he had the body of a man in his prime. Even lounging on the bunk he exhibited a feline grace that was natural to him. His smile was growing as he saw how his body entranced the blond lieutenant.

“You’re looking well, Isam.” Thorton attempted polite small talk, but his tongue was thick in his mouth.

“Thank you, Peter. Home cooking has restored me.”
Tangle had snatched Thorton out of this very ship a few months ago. It seemed a lifetime had passed. Now the wayward lieutenant was on his way to be court-martialed for desertion even though he had been carried off through no fault of his own. This man had been his kidnapper, his lover, his mentor, his superior officer, and even his friend. He admired him, was exasperated by him, drawn to him, worried by him. He stepped up to the bunk and hardly knew what he did. It was unbearably hot in the little room even with the window open. Tangle saw the expression in his face and his own pulse quickened. Thorton pulled at his stock.

“I told you a stock would suffocate you in this heat,” the Turk said with a touch of humor. The crow’s feet at the corners of his eyes crinkled.

Thorton bent and kissed his mouth. Tangle turned his face up and let him. Thorton kissed him harder as the heat in his body built so that he thought he would faint or explode. He was frightened and this man had come to save him. Tangle’s arm went around him and Thorton climbed on the bed and straddled him. They wrapped in each other’s arms and kissed wildly. Thorton pressed his aching groin against the other man’s and felt the answering passion. He moaned and rocked as the lust surged through him. Lust and terror.

“I don’t want to hang!” he gasped. He stared into Tangle’s eyes.
“You won’t,” Tangle growled. “If I have to break my word to Horner, I will. I’m going to rescue you, Peter.”

Thorton kissed him desperately. Their bodies ground together. A week to get to Port Mahon—he couldn’t stand the tension. “If they’re going to hang me for a sodomite, I might as well be one,” he whispered. He tore at his cravat and unbuckled the stock.

Tangle gripped his upper arms tightly. "Peter . . .” His voice broke. “Peter, no. I have no qualms about lying to the court martial to save your life, but I know you. You are an honest man. You must be able to tell them the truth when you say that we have never committed buggery.”

“I don’t care anymore! Everyone thinks it anyhow!”
“I want you, Peter. By Allah, you are the stubbornest man I ever attempted to seduce! But now is not the time.”

Thorton’s face crumpled and that made his injures hurt. He put his hand to the bandages. “Why did you carry me off? What sort of mad djinn are you? You have ruined me!”

Tangle stroked his blonde hair. “Because I fell in love with you. I would have loved anyone who set me free, but I might have hated him, too. But you, you came aboard the Spanish galley and I saw you arguing with the captain. I knew you were risking your own life to save ours. How could I not love a man who was brave and decent to his fellow men? Then you turned out to be exceptionally handsome,” he twined fingers in Thorton’s long blond hair, “And the most stiff-necked, gallant, and brave fellow I’d met in a long time. I saw the way you looked at me and knew you were a man like me, so I kissed you.”

“You were delirious.”
Tangle laughed. “Of course I was. So would you in my place.”
They were speaking in soft Spanish. Thorton trembled. He felt the carnal pleasure of another man’s naked body between his legs and squeezed them tight. He was still fully dressed and suffocating in his clothes. He longed to be naked and free, skin to skin with another man who knew him and wanted him as he was.

He groaned. “I admire you as a captain. I have learned a great deal from you. You promoted me, even though you shouldn’t have.”

“You captured two frigates with a galiot which proves I was right!”
“You confuse me. I want a lover . . .” He slid his hand over that fine male flesh and groaned. “But this is only lust. I know it, but I want you all the same.”

His conscience pricked him. He had never crawled on top of Shakil and groped him with mad desire. Shakil was a gentlemen and deserved to be treated with respect. Tangle was not a gentleman; he was a barbarian chief who lived by raiding the civilized world. He made Thorton’s blood run hot.

“I want you, too!” Tangle kissed him again. The kiss was hot and hard and Thorton melted into it. His lips parted and Tangle groaned as his tongue explored. Both of them felt the further stiffening of their pricks in response to that kiss.

“You make it very hard to think when you kiss me like that,” the Turk breathed. His dark face was flushed.

“You kissed me first.”
“You crawled on top of me.”
“You looked at me.”
Tangle laughed at that. “You were ravishing me with your eyes!”
“You were naked and handsome.” Thorton blushed.
“Do you think so? Once before you told me that I was old, dark, skinny, and married.” The corsair’s baritone was amused.

“I was trying to persuade myself not to look at you.”
“I knew it!”
“Stop. Shakil is my lover. I shouldn’t be here.”
Tangle’s beard bristled as he set his jaw. “I’m a better match for you, Peter. You and I are cut from the same cloth. I love Shakil like a brother, but he is not passionate like you and I. He’s sweet and makes a good friend, but you will never be content with him.”

Thorton pushed up. “I will!”
Tangle shook his head. “You’ll see."
Thorton climbed off the Turk. “You ask too much of me.”
“I offer you much.”
Thorton wilted. “All I really want is a safe place to sleep.”
That took Tangle aback. “What do you mean?”
Thorton didn’t look at him. He was miserable. It was damned awkward to have an erection and feel melancholy at the same the time. “They call me ‘turncoat.’ They don’t bother to lower their voices when they do it. I just wanted to ask . . . if I could sleep in here. On the floor. I don’t want you to think that I, uh, wanted to sleep ‘with’ you.” He was turning red.

Tangle listened with his lips pressed together. He was not a stoic man—Thorton saw the sparks of displeasure in his brown eyes. “They don’t appreciate you. I do. Of course you can stay here. You can have the bunk and I will sleep on the floor because the bunk is too damned short for me. I can’t sleep folded up like that.”

Thorton was grateful to have a place to stay, but worried. “You must keep your hands off me. Please?” Only a minute before he had been the forward one. He could not trust himself to behave, but strangely, he trusted the Turk. The man had an iron will.

Tangle considered the request. “Until the court martial, yes. I agree. I will not do anything that will endanger you.”

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