"'Tis all right Madame. Go back to sleep, I am on watch."

"What are you doing in my bedroom?" Carolyn pulled the covers above her breasts.

"Making sure you are not terribly bothered by the squall," the Captain replied reasonably. "As you may not have noticed, the electricity is off, albeit a minor consideration at this late hour."

She glanced at her alarm clock. Its face was dark. The spirit was right. Outside, thunder rumbled majestically as rain tore at the master cabin's windows. What did she expect, living on the edge of the Atlantic in an old house tethered to modernity by just a single power line?

Or was the weather a convenient excuse for him to check out the lacier half of the French-made peignoir she'd purposely selected earlier? Captain Gregg is a ghost. Captain Gregg is a ghost, she reminded herself. An officer and a gentleman.

"I can't hear you when you mutter like that, woman!"

"Still there, Captain?" Silence.

She sat up, and sank her feet sadly into the slippers waiting beside the bed. Blast! He was probably off fiddling with his ridiculous sea charts, leaving her alone and frustrated, trying to quell pointless fantasies.

Obviously he didn't care to find out how much lightning might reveal of a lithe body as it reached for the delicate robe draped inelegantly across the foot of the bed.

"May I?" Her eyes widened. Captain Gregg was right behind her. She could see his reflection in the dresser mirror.

"Stop acting like a bride on a honeymoon," she silently chastised herself. "You're hardly a virgin."

The robe slid smoothly upwards, over her extended arms. Carolyn could barely breathe. Were those hands on her shoulders?

"Hello, is anyone there?"