Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Story Notes: Story will contain explicit language. There will be graphic lemons. Intended only for mature audience. This story is AH and characters are OOC.
Chapter Notes: Here it is, the continuation of Under the Blood Moon. If you've followed me over from part 1, I'm happy to have you. If you stumbled onto this story, please read UtBM first or none of this will make any damn sense.
Salt air has an incomparable cleansing effect on body and spirit. Those of us who worship under the balmy rays of the sun and soak in the rolling ocean tides are not truly whole when we can't smell those singularly distinct scents that carry on sea winds.
Salt air is a phenomenon of the physical world that exists in three states of matter. Humidity drenches the body, lathering the skin in slick moisture. Tiny flecks of dusty salt cake and layer on exposed flesh as the heat evaporates the ocean spray. My hair clumped and tangled in thick bands, whipping around in the cross winds.
In every direction my view was undisturbed beauty straight to the horizon. Far out to infinity where leviathans lurked to devour unsuspecting ancient sailors at the end of the world, the glassy shelf of turquoise and sapphire undulated to its own rhythm. The faint screech of gulls and pelicans warned of nearby land, but we were delaying our return to civilization, making a leisurely nine knots.
The sun was rising on its steady cosmic path, not yet at full height, but casting a cautious wash of light from the east. The early hours of the morning had been spent catching baitfish with lures and whatever bits of food we could spare to the ocean. Now, as sailed toward home, I set the outriggers to troll for tuna, dolphin (mahi mahi), and grouper with our sacrifice of ballyhoo.
The roughly seventy-mile sail to Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park was mostly a pleasant one. We were making an easy ten knots for most of the journey with favorable winds. A quick squall delayed our travel while Edward clung to the wheel, eyes set to the depth finder as he sought to keep us on course and off the threatening crops of reefs, but we managed well enough.
The storm had tossed us closer to East Key than was comfortable. In the pass between the Marquesas Keys and Tortugas, jagged reefs emerge suddenly. Depths change erratically. When the tides work against you and prevailing winds at 15 to 20 knots capture the sails to list the boat against mischievous waves, it is easy to drift into treacherous territory where running aground is a sobering possibility.
Under no circumstances does one wish to run aground in protected waters. First, there is the obvious danger of putting your life at the mercy of relentless tides that batter the hull toward a total loss. Second, you may live to prefer sinking if the Coast Guard reaches you. Not only must you suffer the ride home under stern glares—perhaps in handcuffs—but also your vessel will be seized for the trouble. Add to that the steep fines…well, just don't do it.
Edward handled himself well through the roughest stretch, only occasionally clipping his orders as he commanded me about the deck. Once anchored on the leeward side of the island grouping, our experience improved long enough to enjoy a few excursions. We explored the Fort Jefferson ruins, enjoyed light meals on the deck of Elizabeth, and reveled under the sunset.
"Back off." I smacked Edward's hand away as I set a ballyhoo on the line to prepare our outriggers from the stern.
Above us, the sails were tight and tugging us along toward our home port. Edward, dressed only in a pair of cargo shorts that hung low on his hips, glowered at me as I angled my body to deter his interruption. It wasn't impatience for food that had him repeatedly snatching at my hooks.
"Just let me do it," he ordered roughly. His arm reached over my shoulder to grab the bait from my fingers but I sidestepped his attempt.
"Not a chance."
"Don't make me pull the captain card."
"Please. If you want anything but lunch meat and crackers, you'll let me set the lines." The slippery fish dangled freely on the hook as I took a step back to extend my arm and cast the line out.
"Bella…" He groaned but otherwise edited himself as I completed the task.
"I guess we found something you can't do." I smiled teasingly as I bent over the starboard edge of the boat to wet my hands in the spray of our wake before wiping the fish remnants on a rag.
"I can fish just fine." Edward glared at me defiantly, displaying the symptoms of his wounded male ego. Where matters of sustenance were involved, I had no sympathy for him.
"Yes, you physically can," I agreed. "But you suck at it." He narrowed his threateningly severe eyes in challenge, to which I popped one shoulder and stepped around him. "Sorry, skipper. It's true. I've got the touch. You just…don't."
He contemplated me for a moment, following behind as I briefly went below to retrieve a thermos of water. We'd been conserving, but with land coming into view soon, it was safe to take a larger than normal dose. The Dry Tortugas, named twice, were partially called as such for the lack of fresh water anywhere in the seven-island group. All water for washing, bathing, drinking, and sanitation had to be stored on board for the five-day trip.
"If you're insistent, love," Edward caged me against the one side of the stairs as I tried to make my way topside, "perhaps I should just kick back and let my woman bring me my meal."
"Funny," I answered in a disapproving tone. Edward smirked crookedly, licking his lips. My eyes followed his tongue as my body responded to his predatory capture. He pressed himself against me, pushing me against the interior wall of the cabin.
"Someone should be at the wheel," he whispered against my ear. Gently, teasingly, Edward trailed his soft lips down my neck to nibble at my shoulder.
"It's your watch," I breathed. I wove my hands around his back to grip the taut muscles that flexed as the boat bounced and swayed on the tide.
"I want to fuck you at the wheel, Bella."
"I think my navigating abilities would be greatly hindered," I hedged. If he pressed the issue there wouldn't be much resolve in me to refuse. My body was continuously desperate to be under him, around him, filled with him. Our attraction was fierce and insatiable, rarely relenting long enough for either of us to function as independent people.
It some sense, our relationship wasn't strictly healthy by conventional standards. In the short time we'd been a couple, codependency had become apparent between us. We were both ravaged, damaged individuals with vast assortments of baggage that included abandonment issues among more violent traumas. Neither of us was quick to trust. Finding comfort and familiarity in each other, we'd quickly grown to rely on that connection. Short periods out of physical contact left both of us edgy and agitated, moods that relieved themselves frequently in hurried, rough, greedy acts of intimacy. It was our rhythm: glances at calm and bouts of hungry consumption.
The last five days were blissfully therapeutic, or perhaps more aptly a five-day binge on our narcotic-like habit. We exhibited all of the signs of addition, including a refusal to get clean.
Edward pressed his hips against mine as he kissed across my shoulder. His fingers slipped behind me to tightly squeeze my ass in command. I gave up my short-lived standoff and allowed him to pick me up, wrapping my legs around his waist. It was a tight fit to slip up the narrow stairs to the deck, but Edward had steady sea legs and easily managed the short journey to the wheel. I was set on my feet and quickly spun to face the bow.
Without hesitation, I checked our heading and made the necessary course corrections to put Elizabeth back on target to skirt the Mule Keys toward Key West. In turn, Edward busied himself with lavishing any area of exposed flesh with his luscious lips and devious tongue. Still clothed, I was already having a difficult time keeping my eyes open and set on the horizon. My hand-eye coordination was minimal at best.
"You know this really isn't going to happen, right?" I peered over my shoulder and was punished with a sharp bite on my neck.
"Don't tease me," Edward growled. He clasped my hips in his powerful grip and thrust his erection against my backside.
"Not teasing." I glanced back at our outriggers and back to Edward. "Someone's got to keep an eye on the lines."
"Leave them. We'll be back at the docks in a few hours, we'll eat after we've worked up an appetite."
"We'll also be in shot of other boats," I reminded him. "Do you want fishing charters full of dirty old men training their binoculars on your naked girlfriend?"
"I'll be quick." Edward's fingers moved to my shorts and tugged to free the button and zipper.
"Lucky Emmett wasn't around to hear that," I chuckled. Admittedly, I was trying to kill his lusty mood. Not that I didn't enjoy the naughty notion of sex at the wheel of his sailboat, but it just wasn't practical at the moment. The closer we got to land, the more alert we needed to be. Even with a depth finder, it was easy to come upon reefs too quickly to make a correction.
Edward slid his hand beneath my shorts, cupping my sex as he continued to seduce me with his devilish mouth. Reflexively my thighs clenched around his hand and my back arched toward his familiar touch. His bare chest pressed against my back and the scent of Edward mixed with the fresh ocean breeze was the purest aphrodisiac. My skin, damp with sweat and flushed in want, tingled for Edward.
"Baby…" The word was supposed to be a warning, but the sound emerged as a needy breath while his fingers slid between my slick folds to tease and ready me.
"You want me," Edward purred at my ear. He spread my moisture; rubbing circles against my clit and making my ordinarily sure sea legs tremble. "You're wet for me, love."
Behind me, I felt Edward unfasten his shorts. With one foot he spread my stance. His hand urged my backside toward him and pushed my shorts down "Six degrees east, love."
"Okay," I whispered, not comprehending the statement, but answering in the affirmative automatically.
Edward slid his hard length between my parted legs to coat himself in my moisture. With one hand banded around my stomach, he gently pushed into me, both of us moaning at the pleasurable sense of connection.
"Your heading," he whispered. "Six degrees east."
I was lost to the wind brushing against my face, the gentle movement of the boat across the swells, and the feel of Edward fully sheathed inside me. Keeping myself upright meant a death grip on the wheel and rhythmically clenching around Edward's cock for balance.
He reached out with one hand and turned the wheel toward the east to make the course correction. I finally understood he was trying to navigate us back to our intended goal, but my conscious mind was far too displaced to such concerns.
With deliberate and steady strokes, Edward moved inside me at a gentle pace. I hugged the wheel, reminding myself to monitor the compass and watch for changes in the color of the waters ahead that would warn of shallow depths approaching.
As he moved, Edward kissed across my neck and shoulders, keeping me secure in him arms while whispering his affection. This was our last grasp of wild freedom that the open ocean provided. I felt rejuvenated, revitalized; coming home with a reinvigorated spirit more like the girl I'd been before nightmares stripped my enjoyment of even my favorite activities.
But we weren't thinking about that anymore.
I was determined to put it far into the back of my mind and lock it up tight behind a lead door, in a vault, never to bother me again. Forget the combination, toss the key, and delete the information with every passing day.
"Come back to me, angel." Edward's soft voice, smooth like slowly dripping caramel, slipped past my internal ramblings.
"I'm here," I panted in response. He knew me too well not to notice when I'd drifted beyond our intimacy to languish somewhere in my own mind. He understood emotional distraction that separated two people, even in the same room, as well as I did. Instead of growing frustrated with my intermittent behavior, he simply held out his hand to pull me back in the now.
The now is where I wanted to live, with him.
As I spotted the first tiny white dot on the horizon, Edward swiveled his hips and slid his fingers down to coax me toward climax. I surrendered to him, forcing all other thoughts away and feeling only his hard body caging me against the wheel, the heat of the sun warming our entwined bodies, and the delightful friction and deep penetration of Edward making love to me.
My head fell back against his shoulder as I cried out his name in satisfaction. My legs quivered as my orgasm shook through my body. I clenched convulsively around Edward's throbbing cock. He clutched my hips firmly, thrusting inside me in several deep, hard strokes until he groaned out some unintelligible utterance that might have been my name. Edward spilled into me, holding me tightly against his body while we both panted heavy breaths and slowly descended from our shared high.
"Best five days of my life, angel."
I reached my hand up and cradled Edward's head against my shoulder, gently scratching my nails across his scalp as he hummed in response. "Ditto."
Reality loomed in the distance, and I briefly entertained the thought of bringing her about and heading back out to simpler latitudes and far less inhabited spots of land.
If only our sails could carry us back in time.
End notes: Anyone got a guess about the title? I'd love to hear your predictions for this story.