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Bloody Beth 02

Bloody Beth, Chapter 02

A furious William Marbry threw a wooden drinking cup across the room.
"It has been three months since that witch got her ransom money for
the good Lady Speer! The Duke informs me that ever since her harrowing
experience with those beasts His Lady has been refusing him conjugal
visits. Have you any idea what that can do to a man?"

The target of his fury, one Captain Alison, swallowed hard. Marbry
regarded him as a useful rarity to this island, a man who liked women.
"Sir, your own physician did attest that she was not poorly used by
those ruffians."

"Ruffians?" Marbry sneered. "Ruffians? Have you any idea of whom you're
talking about? That is the oldest surviving pirate compact in the West
Indies, captain! The Jacob's Ladder has been a thorn in my backside for
nearly ten years! Longer than Morgan! Longer than Morrow!" He calmed
down a bit, even long enough to gesture to the secretary who stood at his
side. The secretary recovered his drinking cup and a crystal decanter of
rum. "Of course they didn't misuse her, captain, almost all pirates are
a company of sodomites down here. That is not the point. The Jacob's
Ladder is a crew of monsters today headed by a witch who can smell
English money at 50 leagues and who calls the storms when she wishes."

Marbry sat down in a padded chair and scooted forward to his desk
while his bald, dark-skinned secretary poured him a drink. He paused
to stare out his window, momentarily ignoring Allison. As the Governor,
his mansion had a magnificent view of Kingston harbor, and on the second
floor the wind blew through with great effect. But for all its beauty,
Marbry knew that this edifice was simply the most comfortable cage in
all of Jamaica and he the island's most pampered animal. He had been
appointed Governor of Jamaica precisely because he was too troublesome
elsewhere in the Empire but he was an effective administrator when the
lives of his subjects were not much at issue. Any island in the West
Indies qualified. Jamaica was simply the largest.

As Governor of Jamaica, Marbry had proved brutally effective. He
administered The King's lands and collected the King's taxes from the
local Temporal Lords with ruthless efficiency, not that there was any
trouble with him doing so. The lords who had merely invested and sent
over administrators got what they wanted out of the islands. Those who
had actually come here to oversee their own fields had learned that their
less courageous peers were being thieved with both hands. The island was
thick with pirates and thieves, only a few of whom had Letters of Marque
but most of whom were useful to His Majesty. Even so, the money from
the West Indies flowed back toward England in ever increasing volumes
to feed the ravenous maw of arms and troops as King George conducted his
ridiculous little war with the Dutch. It was not a history of which one
could be proud.

For a sailor like Alison, the transition from the Royal Navy that
plied the coasts and dropped anchor in harbor now and then to the
Navy's West Indies operation had probably seemed like an adventure.
Marbry understood Alison well enough to know that harsh reality had
finally set in. Alison had long ago expressed exasperation with rum,
found no pleasure in sodomy from one end and no desire to experience
it from the other, and was now the man holding the lash rather than
receiving it, not that he enjoyed that position either. His one vice
remained the whorehouse on Capitol Hill, a vice Marbry shared, as did
so many of the well-heeled men of the city for whom the black serving
girls or their own fading, fragile wives were little source of comfort.

Although as he thought about it, Marbry thought the Lady Speer qualified
as neither fading nor fragile. She was quite clearly in the bloom of her
life, a beautiful woman who had defiantly stood out while even that fool
of a captain, Hill, had cowered behind a rock. She had been grateful
for her recovery, of course, but she had been no delicate flower.

Alison spoke, interrupting his reverie. "Sir, my men and I will catch
this pirate."

"You had better, Captain Alison. My bookkeeper informs me that without my
payroll I will have to do drastic things with the taxes imposed on His
Majesty's subjects and that will make nobody happy. There is not much
money on this island, Allison, and I do not control it. The only way
money gets here is when England sends it here. It only gets sent here
because sugar, rum, timber, and the rest go to country. men here only
work because they get the money which king and country send-- a sizable
fraction of which is now in the hands of pirates!" He was shouting. He
took a deep breath to bring his emotions under control.

"I do not naturally put men to test like this, but I understand that
your three-year commission to the island is ending in six months.
Catch her and I will let you head home earlier."

Alison was surprised. "Thank you, sir!"

"Do not thank me yet, Alison. If you do not catch her, I may not let
you go home at all."

Alison seemed to explode like cannon. "You cannot do that! We have been
here three years, Governor! It is against the law to..."

"To send home men who will merely be pressed into service once again,
and those that so choose will get back into their floating Sodoms and
once again ply my waters? Only a few really want to go home, Alison
and I know by your tastes that you are one of them. If you want to see
England again, find her. Kill her for me."

Alison gritted his teeth and nodded. "Yes, sir."

"I knew you would see it my way. We will be having a party at Lofn's
tonight. You are welcome to join us, of course."

Alison sighed. Marbry gleefully took away with one hand as he held out
gifts with the other. "Thank you, sir," Alison said. "You are too kind."

"Dismissed."

William Marbry watched the disappointed man retreat from his office as if
he were retreating from the central chambers of Hell itself. To William
Marbry that is all Jamaica represented: a hot, diseased Hell overrun with
Negroes and pirates. He wasn't sure which were the greater trouble. The
pirates may have been mostly white, but they were rarely entirely English
crews: many of the older ones were half-breeds and only God knew what
kinds of mongrels were the younger ones. They spoke a patois of English,
French, Dutch, Spanish, and he was sure that some words from the local
savages had worked their way into the pirate vocabulary.

He paused to regard the clock on the table across from him. It was one
of those new, smaller models from Switzerland, the kind with the small
internal weights that had to be adjusted every day. He liked the thing;
it rang with significant power every hour, tracking time precisely,
counting down for him hour by hour the moment when he could finally
get away from this Godforsaken spit of rock. The clock read ten in the
morning. It could read any time of day that he pleased, as nobody else
on the island cared what time of day it was: they rose at dawn to either
work or drink and stopped when the sun went down or they passed out. But
William Marbry was a man of efficiency and discipline, or so it was said
by others, and he meant to keep it that way.

But the business with the Piratess Beth was more than a mere mar on his
record. It was a curse hanging over his head. A curse he hoped to destroy.

He glanced over at his secretary. "Elvio, have my horse saddled and
inform Joseph and Lieutenant Johnson that I am going to the Duke of
Coke's household." He pulled on a riding jacket and a brimmed hat.
"And have a runner sent up to Lofn's. Inform them that there will be
one more on His Majesty's books, a Captain Alison."

"At once, sir," Elvio said in that thick, native accent that Marbry found
irritating. The talk, dark-skinned man was almost a pirate himself,
with his shaved head and his earring. But he had attached himself to
the governor's rising star with mercenary zeal and Marbry had learned
to depend on him to be ruthless when needed. Elvio was also something
of a mystery, for he could read and write, although he would not reveal
where he had acquired those skills. Marby suspected a priest engaged in
illegal business.

Marbry's mood swung toward the cheerful as he descended the steps of
his abode to find another black-skinned servant dressed all in white
and holding a chestnut-colored horse for him. He barely acknowledged
the man as he mounted. From his vantage point he could see most of the
front courtyard and he could hear the hooved feet of a horse, the rider
his chief guard, the man whose principal duty it was to protect his
life. "Good morning, Lieutenant."

"Sir," Lieutenant Johnson responded, professionally holding onto the
reins of his steed with both hands and not saluting. Marbry enjoyed
the display of steel in Johnson's back as the man sat further upright.
To rule, the governor thought, was a good thing. He would miss it some
day, he supposed, but with the money he had squeezed from Jamaica and
some, other, dealings, he would not miss it too badly. They waited until
they were joined by three more of Johnson's men. "Where is Joseph?"

"Here, sir," replied Marbry's personal bookkeeper. He was a tall man with
blond hair cropped short and a beard trimmed close and clean. He rode
with skill and calm, which never ceased to amaze Marbry. His experience
with bookkeepers was that they were generally nervous, timid fellows
prone to worry about making mistakes. Joseph acted as if mistakes were
impossible. That gave Marbry confidence in the man.

The ride to Lord Coke's mansion took less than an hour. When he reached
the gates, he was welcomed by one of the few white servants remaining
on the island. The Duke's courtyard had an unpleasantly Spanish flavor
to it, like much of the island, a design that reminded him of Earl
Harcourt's rotted home. He sighed, at once reminding himself that the
Spanish were the experts on surviving climates like this one and they
had long ago mastered the art of doing so in high style. He waited with
the Lieutenant, tapping his boot softly with a riding crop that he rarely
used on a horse. men and women were another matter.

"His Majesty's Honorable Governor Marbry," a voice rang out across the
open courtyard. Marbry spotted the broad bulk of the man he had come
to visit walking across the courtyard. The Duke of Coke had a strong,
ruddy face and penetrating eyes, and only the unruly quality of his own
hair, uncovered, hinted that he had begun to leave the discipline of
the English Court behind him.

"Your grace," Marbry replied in similar respect.

"Come within, Marbry. Good to see you, Joseph. It is too hot to be
standing outside in the day like this, even with the breeze." The Duke,
smartly dressed in pants and a blouse shirt, gestured toward an open
doorway that awaited them both. Marbry acquiesced. The Duke led them
to another room and the quiet solitude of an upstairs office laid out
not unlike Marbry's own. "It is good of you to come today. I trust you
have heard?"

Marbry nodded. It had been the news of the day, and not welcome at all. "I
just put the threat to Captain Alison. We cannot have that witch plying
the seas if she is who we think she is. We never did find that brat, and
she is exactly the right age to be Elizabeth Harcourt. And the Jacob's
Ladder was the Earl's personal privateer. It cannot be anyone else. We
must make sure that that line of the family is killed off forever."

"From My Lady's description, she is a powerfully strong and able
woman. Even wounded, she would be a terrible adversary. And if she should
get word..."

Marbry nodded. The current turn of events was not shaping up as he would
have liked.

Joseph muttered, "We could always kill him when he arrives in Jamaica."

Coke dismissed the idea. "It would raise suspicions. Why would the
Harcourt family be so cursed as to have all of a father, daughter,
and son die of violence, when no other family on the island has had
such tribulations?" The Duke shook his head. "No. It has to be by some
other means."

"Poison, perhaps. Or disease."

"Do you know how to conjure a spirit of illness, Joseph? I thought not."

Marbry sighed. "I wish I had never heard of this accursed place. I wish
I had never heard of Mexico. The money from the mine is astounding,
but the cost, My Lord, if we should get caught!"

The Duke smiled. "We will not get caught. We have not gotten caught yet,
and it has been ten years. This is a mere... irritation."

He was surrounded by confident men. That made Marbry feel that he had
the situation more under control. "You are correct, My Lord. It is merely
more irritating than usual."

The day passed quietly without any of them saying a word. The afternoons
in Jamaica were times when even speaking was too much effort. It was
best to just sit back, sip an ale, and wait for the coolness of evening
to settle over everything. "You are coming with us tonight?" Marbry
finally asked.

"Of course I am," the Duke responded, his face darkening. "I do not
know what kind of spell that pirate girl has cast on my good wife, but
it has distressed her no end. She eats well, rides for exercise, but
she tells me that the thought of doing her wifely duty distresses her.
Yet she also swears that none of the pirates had their way with her.
Have you ever heard of such a thing, Marbry?"

"I have, My Lord, but not often. I can imagine that such a moment can
change a person. I think this will soon pass."

"I should hope so. I must produce an heir, after all, and my young wife is
due to give me what is rightfully mine. If she will not give it willingly,
well, a man must do his duty, and a woman must do hers." The Duke's smile
looked familiar to Marbry, a feral smile. He enjoyed the Duke's company
for exactly this reason, the feeling of being a wolf among fellow wolves.

Marbry had married but his wife had died before giving him an heir. He
had never married since, preferring the company of women who went away
when he stopped paying them. When he was a truly rich man, he would have
time for a wife.

"We must return to our duties," Marbry sighed. "I trust you will be
there on time?"

The Duke waved a hand dismissively. It annoyed Marbry; he had done
most of the work-- the Duke had merely provided the money to start
the operation-- yet he was treated like a lackey. Still, soon it would
matter not at all. He would have something more important than a title,
or honor, or a name-- he would have money. The kind of money he needed
to establish himself a place in history.

By the time he reached his offices and had dismissed Joseph, the sun
had begun to set. He had little enough time to dress and eat what his
servants thought of as a passable meal before he was again on his horse and crossing the town toward Lofn's.

One of the girls, a pretty creature with too much makeup for his tastes,
met him at the door. "Good evening, Governor. We have been expecting you."

He nodded and walked in. The room was arrayed with a few more women
than had been here at his last visit. A consignment of debtor women from
Ireland had arrived since his last visit and it made sense that some of
them were of the sort that would find themselves here. And there were
more men here as well.

Although he had long ago become used to Lofn's home, he still remained
impressed by the quality he saw here. She had a large home, clearly
intended as a dormitory for her many girls, with a rear courtyard that
provided its own well and its own laundering facilities. It was paneled
in a dark wood that came from the mainland, another sign that Lofn was
riding high as the main provider of women higher than streetwalkers.

"Governor. It is so good to see you." Lofn's lilting Northerner accent
cut through the air with marked precision, making him and every other man in the room look up immediately. She had the palest blond hair he had
ever seen, and the bluest eyes. He had to admit that of all the women
Lofn offered, few were as enticing and exotic as she herself. She had
civilized Negresses and moors, of course, but they didn't count to Marbry.

"And it is good to see you as well, Lofn." He was careful not to use
the honorific 'Lady' around her. Others may have called her that, but to
Marbry she was nothing more than one who provided a service. A useful one,
but not much more than that.

"What interests you tonight, Governor?"

He looked around the room. He had a few he liked best, but it was the
new women that attracted his eye more than old favorites. Two that
attracted his eye had the pale skin and dark hair of Ireland. He liked
the doe-soft qualities in their vision, and he admired the arrogant
posture they held as they leaned, side-by-side, against the banister.
"Who are they?" he asked, pointing.

"Dymphna and Tullia? They're recent acquisitions from the troubles in
Ireland. Would you like to try one of them?"

"Why not both?"

"I know you can afford it, Governor, and so I would not deny you such
a request, but I must ask you if you are really up to such demands."

Marbry smiled. "What demands, Lofn? They will do what I ask of them
and nothing else. If I choose to spend myself but once, well, one will
go disappointed."

"Indeed," Lofn said. Marbry realized suddenly that neither would go
disappointed. Both would get paid with his gold. Lofn gestured for the
two women to join them. "Dymphna, Tullia, this is Governor Marbry. He
has requested that the two of you perform for his interests tonight."

The door opened and Marbry heard Captain Alison speaking with the Duke of
Coke. The distraction was ended with the taller of the two women taking
his elbow and leading him upstairs. He allowed himself to be led away
from the party and up to one of the corner bedrooms. It was pleasantly
cool this evening, and he sat on the bed. "What would you have of us,
governor?" one of the women asked.

This was comfortable territory. He liked being in command of his simple
pleasures. "Undress one another," he said. He had already forgotten which
was which. It did not matter to him, he cared not for those dreadful
Irish names anyway. The shorter turned around and let the other unlace
her dress. "Slowly. Touch," Marbry ordered. He watched as the hands of
one reached around and stroked and caressed the breasts of the other.

His own sex raged hard within his pants, demanding to be freed. He told
himself to wait: he would have his way with these creatures all in his
good time. His patience had always been his strength. He watched them
touch as they undressed, taking their time, knowing that they were
getting paid for every second that they spent with him.

And they seemed to be enjoying his watching. Or were they enjoying each
other? "Finish, and then come remove my clothing."

They did as they were told. At least they were obedient. He found that
quality charming in women, regardless of its origin, in fear or in
money. His heart sped as their hands were on his body, unclasping the
buttons of his shirt and pants. His sex sprang free and the smaller one
instantly had her hands on it, stroking the length of it. "Oh, sir,"
she gasped. "It is a monster!"

He enjoyed the sound of that. A monster of a prick. It befitted a
man admired for the terrors he instilled in the natives of whatever
Godforsaken land he had been appointed to administer. "Take it in your
mouth," he demanded.

She looked up into his eyes apprehensively. men in the islands were
rarely clean. Being asked to mouth an unwashed Caribbean prick was
degrading. Marbry wondered if she would object, but she closed her eyes
and placed the head of his prick against her lips. He watched her inhale,
smelling it, trying to decide if it would be as foul as a pirate's. Of
course, it would not. Marbry had some sense of cleanliness. He preferred
not to itch every moment of every day, even if the clothing of the
islands itself seemed to make that impossible.

She took it into her mouth. He sighed with pleasure as her tongue slipped
along the length of his prick. The other sat to his side; he stroked her
breasts absentmindedly. The physical pleasure of her attentions aroused
in his heart a burning desire to take her, to have his way with her sex.

"Stop." She backed off. "You," he said, pointing to the one to his left,
"attend to me."

"Sir?"

He pushed her back onto the bed and spread her thighs. He reached for the
other one. "Get on top." She did as he asked, straddling her partner,
face to face. "Kneel." They were arranged, face to face, one atop the
other, their pudendas exposed to his eyes. "Kiss."

They did as he ordered. Their mouths pressed together, and he was pleased
to see that they had no particular experience at that. They were not
accustomed to the illicit pleasures of women together. He got behind the
one who knelt and waggled his prick at the gate of her sex. She was not
especially ready for him, but he did not care much. He pressed his sex
between her pink lips and burrowed his way into her body. She moaned
what Marbry hoped was at least something of an objection; it was not
right for a woman to really enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. That was
a thing for men.

He grabbed her hips and began a brutal assault against her sex. He bore
into her, his eyes greedily watching his prick sink into her and return
undaunted. A grunt from the bottom woman, used as their platform, their
mattress, was a joy to his ears. His hands creased the flesh where he
dug his fingers into his choice, and the bed groaned under the force of
three people engaged in such an outrage of nature.

He pulled out and with a forceful shove pushed the one on top aside,
plunging down into the other one. "My Lord!" she gasped as he entered her,
his cock taking her completely. He ravished her with as much energy as
the last one.

"I said I would have my way with both, and I shall make sure of it,"
he said through clenched teeth. His need would not be denied for much
longer, and in one dim grunt of pleasure he climaxed within her.

He turned over in bed. "Leave me," he gasped. "Take your clothes and
leave me."

"Did we displease you?"

"No. I just would like to be alone." He lay down on the bed and waited for
his heart to stop beating quite so powerfully. At his age, such strength
was not to be exercised often, he knew, and he feared that someday it
would give out on him. He did not know or care if tonight or any night
he had sired a bastard with any of the wenches who worked here. All he
cared about was that he live long enough to sire a real family, one of
which he could be proud. And now, after such an intense fucking, he was
so very hot that he could not stand to be touched. He did not want those
women around-- the heat of their bodies and thestench of their class
were more than he could bear at the moment.

The money. That was all that mattered, in the final analysis. The money,
and getting out of Jamaica. He had the one, and the other would be coming
soon. And he had one loose end to tie up. The Harcourt family. The two
halves of which must be kept apart.

Or killed.
_________________________________________________________________

Bloody Beth is Copyright 1989-2000 Elf Mathieu Sternberg. Distribution
limited to electronic media not-for-profit use only. All other rights
are reserved to the author.

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