A Christmas story featuring the characters from my lesbian pirate romance novella, The Queen's Gift (Amazon ISBN: B07K7PXB6J ).

Romance and (explicit) sexy times for Pirate Captain Mary Flint and her captivating lover Lady Anne Coleridge.

Author's note: Happy Christmas to everyone.

Caribbean Christmas

Somewhere on the Caribbean Ocean...

"Keep your elbow in when you strike," Mary said. To reinforce the why of her advice, Mary Flint, in boots, chausses, and a sleeveless vest, took the end of her foot-long stick and tapped Anne's exposed wrist.

The result, as she knew, was instant. The brief interruption of the nerve to the hand forced Anne's fingers to open and the foot-long knife with the corked tipped clattered to the deck.

Mary scooped the dagger into her hand as the deck shifted beneath their feet sliding the object to her.

Anne's blue eyes followed the knife as Mary sheathed it on her belt, but the young woman distractedly continued to rub her wrist.

"Did I pain you?" Mary asked gently, while silently cursing her honed strength, which still could have injured the lass. The very last thing she ever wanted to do.

"Nay, I am considering 'tis all."

Cupping Anne's hands in her own, Mary tilted her chin to meet the young woman's eyes. "Are you fatigued?"

In truth Anne looked achingly beautiful in the simple clothes of a deckhand, sleeveless shirt and boy's breeches. Her skin, so pale and porcelain when they first met, had been kissed by the sun. Mary had shared a cocoa butter lotion she had acquired to keep the skin soft as it bronzed in the Caribbean sunshine.

"Nay, you were taking it easy on me," Anne finally responded, and Mary detected the bit of scowl in the silk voice.

"I never wish to harm you," Mary replied.

"I know, but you have this life, and I have chosen to spend it with you."

"I will protect you with my last breath."

"I wish to do the same. You must teach me. Same as any of your men."

You are not one of my men. You are my heart, whom I love, Mary thought desperately though she did not speak so bluntly. She considered what to say but was interrupted.

"Captain?"

She turned to the short plump man crossing the deck toward her. His gait rolled easily with the ship and she smiled, despite her irritation. "Yes, Nelson?"

"According to our readings we will make the sound by even'tide."

Her smile widened. "That is excellent news. Any sightings of our shadow?"

"Nay. Looks like we successfully shook it during our traverse of the Spanish straits." Nelson frowned. "Likely not for long though."

"I only ask Providence for 'long enough', Mr. Nelson," Mary reminded. "What was the word from Kotay?"

"He will meet us there."

Mary nodded. Reaching for Anne's shoulder, she said, "Good. Well, I'm going to clean up for shore leave. You have the wheel, Mr. Nelson."

"Aye, ma'am." He smiled broadly at Anne with a twinkle in his eye as the couple walked to the lower deck.

Mary escorted Anne to the captain's cabin. "Shall I fetch the water for our bath?" Anne asked.

"Just one pail, we have little time."

"Oh. Where are we going ashore?" Anne was anxious. Ashore meant towns, people, danger. Mary was a wanted criminal, a pirate. Her bounty had been doubled with her possession of Anne. That she willingly stayed with the one nicknamed 'Bloody Mary' mattered not to Anne's father, who had tried to ambush Mary Flint only four months ago.

"Hush, or you'll never see it," Mary replied. More gently she added, "Fetch the water. I will wash you myself."

The sweet shiver of expectant desire coursed through Anne's body as she stepped from the room.

While Anne was gone to fetch the water from the rain barrels and heat the small amount on the wood stove in the galley, Mary quickly bent to the floor boards of her cabin, slipping her knife under the edge of one without nails.

From beneath the slatted floor boards, she retrieved a box. Setting it on the bed, she lifted its capwood with the edge of her knife again. Inside, carefully packed on straw lay a woman's gown. Not the muslin and cotton of American homespun, but a confection of French silk and ivory lace. The sea foam blue glowed under the lantern light as she turned it in her hands.

The small English merchant ship had been allowed to continue into port with most of her crew, but Mary had relieved their hold of this magnificent piece and a few other boxes of cargo.

She continued her quest for easily convertible wealth to finance their cause. It was the year of Our Lord seventeen-hundred and seventy-five, and Kotay's meeting would tell her how much longer before the rebels had what they needed, enough money, equipment and training to become an army capable of driving out the English.

No doubt, word of 'Bloody Mary' softening might spread. But oh what a thing to go soft over, she thought, envisioning Anne in the gown.

The heavy door to the cabin opened. She turned with the gown drawn to her chest.

"Oh. Is that what you will wear ashore?" Anne asked, immediately coming forward, barely remembering to put the pail down before she splashed all its contents.

"Nay, 'tis not for me."

"Oh, you should. It is... so breathtaking." Anne came forward and caressed the fine silk, lingering on the lace trim at the wrists and throat.

"So are you," Mary said, transferring the gown to Anne's arms and smiling at her startled expression. "It is yours."

"Mine? No, I... it can't be."

"It is my gift to you," Mary explained.

Eyes bluer than heaven, which Mary was sure she would never see when she left this earth, lifted questioning to her own. She continued to smile. "Tis truly mine?" Anne's voice quivered.

"A lady must be properly attired."

"What will you wear? Are we really going ashore? It is safe here?"

"This is the most safe place I know. And it is time to show it to you." She went to her trunks and sorted through the clothing until she reached the bottom, coming up with tan trousers, a royal blue naval officer's coat with red trim and gold braid, formal cut shirt and tan vest, all of fine linen.

Anne studied the array of clothing. "You will not dress as a woman? Here in this place you call safe? What can be safe about a place if you cannot go as who you are?"

"I am the lord here, Anne. I dress the part. You know, I am more comfortable in breeches than gown, but that is only part of it. Today, I bring home my lady." Mary turned her in her hands. "Now, let's wash."

Anne blushed as Mary stripped her clothes from her body. The warm hands were strong and sure on her body, sensual even when they were utilitarian, cleansing the skin with the softer soap Anne had devised, and the warm water sluiced over her skin, rinsing her clean. A rough piece of linen absorbed the remaining water from her skin. Mary's touch aroused Anne, as it had from their first connection.

Knowingly Mary caught the moan on her own lips, and then tugged the skirts and bodice to cover her figure. "I wish we didn't have to hurry," she murmured.

"I know," Anne replied.

"I will take care of this later," Mary promised.

While Anne, now dressed, settled before a small mirror and dealt with her hair, Mary quickly attired herself. The commanding presence that had always stunned Anne returned to Mary's posture with the clothing.

At last the couple was ready. Holding hands, they made their way topside in time to hear the call to the boats.

An island cove lay before them. Anne scanned the coastline and the sea's horizon behind them. There was no sign of other ships anywhere.

Mary was lord here? Of what?

The men were excited and chattering in native tongues with which Anne was unfamiliar. It eased her somewhat, their own cheerfulness. They sensed no danger.

So why did she?

Anne continued her quiet observations as the boat neared shore. Several of the men leaped out and dragged the canoe the rest of the way onto the beach. Mary helped her step out onto the sand. She was still marveling at the way her lover had seemingly made her femininity vanish beneath the male clothing.

Anne lamented a little the loss of the woman she had come to love, as there was a short period of curt commands, orders to stow the canoes and sail the ship to the lee of the cove.

In her distraction, she was startled by a palm cupping her cheek. Dazedly she lifted her chin to realize her melancholy had been noted. A warm soft thumb caressed her bottom lip. "What burdens your mind?" Mary asked.

"We walk so boldly. I... am afraid for you."

"Not here. Never here. Come, I will relieve your mind." Mary took her hand; the steadiness of it markedly calmed Anne's hammering heart.

Lifting her skirt from impeding her steps, Anne stepped after Mary who forged a quickening path up the dunes and into the thick foliage surrounding the beach. It looked completely untouched.

They stepped through the cool shade of the trees for a dozen yards. At last, Mary reached forward and tugged aside the rigid limbs of a bush to reveal what was beyond.

Teeming life filled a large plain. Dark and light-skinned persons poured from clapboard houses. The wood was painted in lively colors that gave shock to the eyes: red, orange, blue, green, seeming to each call for attention. The linens on the people were also brightly colored contrasts to their midnight black or caramel skin.

Stepping out, she and Mary were noticed immediately and surrounded. While their faces split in smiles wide to show the bright white of their teeth, they chattered to Mary in their tongue, who answered back in kind.

Anne had not yet learned the sailors' other tongues. They spoke the King's English when they did speak to her. She waded through the crush with Mary, awaiting enlightenment.

Abruptly and distinctly, she heard Mary say her name. She turned around to cheers and more foreign words, sounding welcoming at least. At a loss, she looked to Mary for an explanation.

"I told them you are the Lady Anne. They asked which family. I answered, 'Mine'." Mary looked slightly abashed by her own admission.

"I love you too," Anne said. "But still it tells me little of this place. Who are these people to you? Did they live here first? Did you find them? Bring them? How do you know they will not turn you over to my father, or other British hunters should they come?"

Mary's voice was assured, and a bit hard. "No one comes here but the Rogue bids him come. I am the law here, and their lord. We came - I brought everyone. To escape their lives that were threatened in the colonies. Here is where we live, until we can live safely in our true home."

Anne swallowed. Mary took her hand and led her along the street. It was a rough civilization here. A few carts, a few horses, but mostly people on foot. The buildings were colorful, but simply constructed, single floor. Many of the sailors, Anne could see now, ducked into the various homes and came out with women on their arms wearing homespun.

These women hugged Mary and spoke in halting English to invite Anne into their homes.

"The feast awaits," Mary announced when they reached the top of a set of gabled steps at the front of the largest structure.

A cheer accompanied Mary pushing the double doors before them wide. Anne halted just inside the arched doorway, stunned by the sight.

A steady stream of people moved around her, and Mary who remained at her side. The children, she noticed, crowded around the base of a tree - growing inside? Surely not. When the children moved aside she realized the evergreen had been staked upright and its boughs were heavy with decorations.

"What is this?" She had never seen the like in her life. The children were tearing into boxes wrapped in colorful paper, pulling out wood carved figures.

Mary had two glasses in her hand when Anne turned, sensing her presence at her shoulder. Real glass, not pewter mugs, or wooden cups. Anne studied the delicate stemware when one was given to her.

"It's wine," Mary explained.

Anne's father had only pulled out the glass ware twice a year. "What is the occasion?"

"I know we haven't been to Church, but surely you know 'tis Epiphany?"

Epiphany? Anne had never celebrated like this. Her family dressed at dawn and walked to the churchyard. The Holy Father spoke eloquently of the Wise Men, the harbingers, the Christ child in the manger. Then they sang a psalm, King of Kings, and walked home.

That sobriety was so far from this. Mary and Anne stood in the midst of joy-filled chaos. Somewhere a fiddler began to play, joined soon by horns and flutes. The men and women began to dance, cavorting with lively steps about the room.

"It's Epiphany," Anne echoed.

"The day God-made-man was revealed to the world. Yes, darling." Mary held out her hand. "Dance with me?"

"In this manner? I know not how."

"Then we shall set and sup and wait for a calmer tune."

"This goes on for some time then?"

"All night."

"And you drink spirits and sing and dance?"

"Tis what one does at a celebration." Mary eased Anne down onto a chair along the wall. "You really are unfamiliar with this?"

"It has not been my experience."

"I have brought you to yet another first," Mary said proudly, then kissed her. Anne let herself sink into the safe feelings of Mary's touch. "Sip," Mary encouraged as their lips parted. "And we will dance later."

The wine Anne learned, as she and Mary continued to talk while watching the others dance, was native to the island, from a small vineyard. Leaving the shoreline untouched and wild made this place look completely uninhabited on purpose. Mary and the Rouge Rogue crew had carved and chopped out the interior for their little town. And it was little. The houses Anne had seen coming in were all there was.

The women and children were indeed all family of the Rogue sailors. She had been introduced to Nelson's widowed sister, Nannie, and her two children, both quite dark-skinned, a heritage which had made remaining in the colonies complicated. Demonde, at 14, was nearly a man, and had told Anne he planned to join Mary's crew the day he came of age. Desdemona, a reed thin child of 12, lived safe here from becoming some man's possession.

Anne smiled when Nelson bent gallantly at the waist toward his niece as the reel ended.

The new song struck by those with instruments put Anne in mind of a waltz, slow and romantic, but there were lively bursts of flute scattered among the long sweeping notes drawn with long bowing of fiddle and low rolling blows from horns. Anne smiled when Mary caught her hand. The pirate captain bent at the waist, red-brown hair brushing against her cheeks. "May I have this dance?"

"Have you anyone here?" Anne asked.

Pulling her close as they swung into step, Mary whispered in her ear, "Only you. My Lady Anne."

# # #

Always alert to sounds, even here, Mary heard the rustling on the other side of the door. Before whoever it was could knock, she slid out of bed, leaving Anne breathing softly in sleep, and opened the door a crack. On the other side, in the dawning light, she spied Nelson in nightwear, his sleeping cap askew on his head. "What is it, Nelson?" she whispered.

"Captain," he replied in an equally low voice, "Will you and Anne require breakfast this morning?"

"No," she said, shaking her head. "It's holiday for everyone. We'll eat when we emerge, but no service is required. Cold cuts and cheese from the sideboard, just like anyone else."

"All right. Happy day, Captain."

"Happy day, Nelson."

Mary eased the door closed once more and turned back to look at her bed companion. Heavy shutters closed over the windows kept the room dark, but Anne's blonde hair was so light it was easily distinguishable from the shadows. Her face was slack in sleep, reminding Mary of the woman's innocence and extreme youth. Anne was only 19, Mary was reminded, while in a few months, at the vernal equinox, Mary would be officially two score – more than twice as old as her lover. Mary had been married and widowed; Anne's one betrothal broken.

"You are thinking far too loudly," came a soft voice from beneath the blankets. "Come back to bed."

With a wry twist of her lips, Mary returned to the bed and crawled back underneath the sheets. Arms and legs quickly tangled betwixt and between, Anne pressed kisses under Mary's jaw.

"It's dawn," Mary said.

"We do not have to get up," Anne replied.

Mary concentrated on breathing steadily, an ingrained 'don't show your emotions' defense she had learned to survive her life. However, her arousal for Anne, always close to the surface, began pooling in her groin. She teased, "Were I a man, already you would have me up."

Anne giggled. Mary knew delight in being able to cause her lover to make such a beautiful sound. But she could not rest upon laurels. Anne's hands pushed greedily under Mary's nightgown.

"I find no hardness, my captain, only soft treasure to plunder," Anne said, offering up her own double entendre while fondling Mary's folds. A stroking dance began, then Anne caught her nerve bundle between fingertips making Mary quake.

She gasped in surprise. "Oh my… Anne."

Laughter signaled that her lover's sweet assault had only just begun.

While Mary had initiated Anne into sex, over their many months together the young woman had quickly learned how to turn the tables and drive Mary over the edge. Where Mary was stout, Anne was tall and slender. In all her parts.

A pointed thrust and Mary sighed at the penetration. "Darling," she breathed.

Full lips covered her own. "I love you," Anne breathed across their connection.

A second finger joined the first. Pressing and deep rotations opened Mary's channel. Though her mind was loosed from its moorings, Anne's voice held her close and secure. Mary closed her eyes and simply rode the swells.

A third finger stretched her in ways that had not been the norm in many, many years. Mary lifted her hips, seeking it, craving fullness to her deepest part. "Oh," she gasped. "Oh, oh, mmm." Anne curled her fingers and Mary felt her body carried on crashing waves of pleasure.

Anne anchored her as she closed her eyes. "I love how your body welcomes my digits. How you draw me in deeper. How your heart beats against my touch as you move. There is not a more sublime place than being inside you when you find heaven." The thrusts of Anne's fingers became deeper, erratic, and Anne's own sounds could be heard with Mary's.

Mary opened her eyes to the vision of her lover coming undone above her, inside her, and around her. Her golden head threw back then down again, her skin alight with the glow of sweat. She braced herself over Mary with one arm bent at the elbow while her hips moved forcefully between Mary's legs. She rocked against the back of her hand, driving her own digits harder and deeper into Mary.

"Oh, darling!" The wantonness thrilled Mary.

Even though she continued to throb around Anne's fingers, Mary wrapped her arms around Anne's thrusting hips. Fingertips scouting her path, she sought Anne's center between her thighs. Over flexing globes of ass, she paused briefly in twin dimples in the woman's back before she moved lower. Anne gasped when Mary's fingertips found a tight puckered hole. But she did not stop there because the humid center of her lover still beckoned. She could feel her lover's heat, like a furnace, lay just… There. At last she found the swollen flesh.

The amount of wetness surprised her. Mary had not put her mouth upon her, yet Anne was thoroughly aroused. She licked her lips in memory of the young woman's taste.

It was clear that Anne was very nearly at another peak. Though her hunger for the young woman had increased tenfold during her survey, Mary would not pause their engagement to suck upon her. Instead she guided her lover along the currents to help her reach the ultimate crashing wave.

She curled two fingers up inside Anne's flooded channel. Reacting sharply, Anne very nearly thrashed off the bed. She cried out and shook, hips jerking to seek more. The wooden frame of their bed creaked in protest at the sudden shaking weight.

Mary continued stroking Anne's swelling flesh throbbing around her fingers.

Anne's thrusting fingers inside Mary matched the rhythm. "God, oh God." Her forehead fell forward to Mary's collarbone and her rapid breathing warmed Mary's throat. They sat pressed fully together, legs spread around each other's thighs, fingers pushing.

Dipping and stroking, Mary navigated deeper into her lover's channel as skillfully as an oarsman directing a canoe.

Anne could not be silent when she fell from high on cresting waves. Mary held her safely and reverently.

"This is my heaven, darling," she said. "Riding the waves of your love to our entwined rest." She turned her head and pressed her lips repeatedly to Anne's brow, temple, cheek, and lips.

Holding Anne tightly to her as their bodies softly melded together, Mary sucked upon her fingers and enjoyed Anne's essence. Anne lifted an eyebrow. "The finest wine."

Her head cocked in a gesture that suggested Anne was deeply in thought. Abruptly Anne slid down Mary's body. At the same time, she pushed up on Mary's nightgown. "Off," she said sharply. Sitting up, Anne pulled off her own nightgown.

"What are you doing?" Mary asked.

"I prefer to drink from the source," Anne said.

With the help of Anne's eager hands, Mary was soon naked as well. They situated, head to hip, and lay in the middle of the bed. Mary had only just grasped Anne's thighs to push them apart, when Anne kissed Mary's belly, pressed a finger inside her channel, and pulled Mary's nerve bundle between her lips. Mary's groin convulsed with the sharp, sudden pleasure. When her womanly nectar passed into Anne's mouth, her lover hummed and dove deeper with tongue and fingers.

"Oh! My sweet…" She pushed open Anne's thighs and gazed upon her swelling folds, reddened with heat. She moved quickly to lick up the pearlescent liquid. She sighed as it slipped over her tongue. "So sweet."

They had orally satisfied one another many times, but it seemed Anne's thirst was great. Mary quaked several times under her young lover's tongue and fingers, each time sure she would be sucked dry. Anne would alter for a while to teething Mary's nipples or licking at her throat, a spot just under Mary's ear, and whispering, "I need more."

Anne rubbed her folds – still damp – against Mary's belly and Mary would groan at the feel of herself again getting wet. When her fingers discovered this, Anne sweetly kissed Mary's throat. She whispered, "Thank you," and dove again between Mary's thighs.

Mary licked and lapped, and enjoyed her lover's taste as well, but it was Anne who made a new discovery. Anne licked and licked and parted Mary's folds with both hands. Three fingers went in deeply searching for more, came out glistening. Anne licked her fingers clean and then pressed together four.

"Oh, oh!" Mary arched as some place within her convulsed differently. Anne was closing her hand to withdraw it, when the convulsing muscles instead pulled Anne's hand in. "Ohhhhh," Mary's exclamation ended on a delighted sigh. "Oh! Darling, what is that?"

She felt so perfectly full, as though every crevice was now filled with the pounding heart of her lover.

"Tis my—my hand," Anne said, and her voice was soft, reverent, a tone Mary had only heard once before, when the young woman had been awed by the sight of the full expanse of a starry night from the crow's nest of the Rouge Rogue. "It…I am fully inside you."

Mary shifted, a frown creasing her brow, and the fullness inside her turned, igniting her sharpest peak yet. Mary rested on her elbows, head back, breathing deeply. She whispered, "Anne?"

"It is heaven," she whispered. "Look down, my love."

Dropping her gaze from Anne's, Mary saw was her lover's arm angled and pointing toward her. Where another time her lover's arm would end in a gentle hand on her belly, now the hand was hidden from view by the red-brown hairs covering Mary's sex. Anne's forearm muscles rippled and the woman's hand, which she now accepted was entirely within her, turned. The stirring of her channel cascaded throughout Mary's entire lower body. She looked up in surprise to see Anne smiling.

"Your body is hugging me, holding me," Anne said, awe still wondrously shaping her words. "It feels wonderful, doesn't it?"

Anne's slightest fidget as she adjusted her position on her belly was immediately communicated through Mary's sex. The sensation made Mary grasp the woman's forearm. It wasn't unpleasant. It was somewhat overwhelming. "Still," she said. She adjusted her hips. The sensations welled up again, centered on Anne's hand shifting within her. "I…oh, Anne, it's…I've never…" She guided Anne's hand in a small motion, closing her eyes to luxuriate in the waterfall of sensations.

"Do you…like it?" Anne asked, sounding cautious now.

"Yes." The word like seemed inadequate. "I love you." The sensations were almost transcendent. Mary exhaled. She closed her eyes, picturing Anne's hand, four fingers, a thumb and reconciling that with the sensations inside her. "You curled your fingers," she realized. "A fist."

"But it feels all right?" Anne asked again.

"It is a delight," Mary said quietly. "I have never…" She lifted her hand from Anne's wrist. She felt a wave of emotion beginning to crest. "Ah," she said. "I am holding your hand, dear heart."

Anne moved her wrist, then Mary thought she felt the knuckle of her thumb upward, pushing against her belly from below. "Oh, darling," she breathed. "Yes." The sensation came again, and Mary arched, then as if every muscle wanted to tense at the same time, she curled and bore down.

"Oh," Anne said. Mary saw she was looking at her wrist. She leaned forward and Mary heard her hum. "Your fluid flowed onto my wrist," she said.

"You have uncorked my tap," Mary said. Her laughter set off a gentle wave in her center flexing around Anne's hand. The blonde's delighted giggle sounded.

"Now I shall drink my fill of you."

Mary felt Anne's lips and tongue moving around the junction where her wrist disappeared and quivered at the delicate touches. "You certainly filled me."

Anne's giggle manifested in sound and breath. The motions within her belly made Mary gasp in delight and groan in pleasure. As she tried to settle again dull aches in her shoulders and lower back spoke. A reminder she was not as young and spry as her lover.

Mary murmured, "I must be done, darling."

Anne kissed the inside of a thigh. Mary rested back on her elbows and watched and quivered while Anne took great care in withdrawing. Stimulation seemed constant and Mary's toes tingled along with telltale signs her thighs were going to be jelly if she tried to walk. When Anne's hand emerged, fingers last and unrolling outward, she took it in her own and rested it upon her chest.

Anne's heartbeat rumbled in her wrist. Stroking the damp fingers, Mary sought out crystal blue eyes, which she was surprised to find glossy with tears. She reached up and brushed a cheek with her thumb. "Why are you crying?"

"My heart feels it may burst at any moment."

"My holding your hand is that exciting, hmm?" Anne laughed. "Good thing we have the whole day to ourselves to rest." She helped Anne lay down beside her then wrapped her arms around her and kissed her temple and then her lips, lingering there until the contact was so light they simply were sharing breaths.

Anne studied their hands in the air as she laced their fingers together. The look was still quite filled with awe when she met Mary's gray-blue gaze. "I love you, Mary."

Mary kissed Anne's knuckles, thinking of the delightful fullness in her heart and her body caused by the love of this woman. "I love you, too, darling."

THE END