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The Evening Star

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Claire is in training to take over her cousins trades business. She is out to prove herself and nothing or no one is getting in her way. Her first voyage out to sea to complete her first assignment the unthinkable happens. her ship is attacked by pirates. Staring at the ship attacking them and then the tall dark captain; Something feels familiar. The Captain feels familiar. The Captain of the pirates is in debt and over his head in a bad situation. Not only does he owe a notorious pirate who is now calling himself the king of all pirates. He just became and enemy of the crown. Could this golden hair feisty annoying woman be his under cover angel? Will Claire help him right his wrongs and in return him help her prove that she is worthy of running her cousins business. Book two in The Morning Star saga

Chapter 1

*warning: book contains violence, adult content, sexual content, and foul language. Some content may trigger some and is not appropriate for all ages. Thank you for reading _ S.E Dymek*

Voyage:

Claire stood staring into the mirror, her reflection staring back at her. She studied her face, her big sky blue eyes filled with seriousness. She had been up for hours going over everything. What route she was going to take, how long it should take her and how to hold herself in the company of the crew. She had paused for a second just to watch the sunrise, the light dancing across the waves was magic. After that she had returned to looking at herself in the mirror. She had pulled her long golden hair back into the tightest ponytail she could muster. Swallowing hard she continued the staring contest with herself. As if the Claire in the mirror had answers for her or would tell her she got this.

“Claire bear, how long are you going to keep staring down at yourself?” Morgan's voice filled her room.

“I-I just. I don’t know.” Claire whispered, tearing her eyes away from the mirror.

“Well I do. You got this. You know you do, stop second guessing yourself.” Morgan said firmly to her.

Claire went to her wrapping her arms around her in a tight hug. Morgan squeezed her back. She had gone on a dozen trips since childhood with Gavin and Morgan. Their ship had touched almost every ocean so far. She glanced about her room and things she collected from each trip stood out to her. She knew how to sail and had seen Gavin and Morgan negotiate with people a million times. Morgan was truly a great negotiator while she hit people hard and fast with knowledge and facts. Gavin could sell ice to an eskimo with his charm. She knew how to do that. She was afraid. There was this voice nagging her in the back of her mind that she couldnt do it. That she would nefer be able to.

“I know. I just don't want to let you and Gavin down.” Claire whispered her fear, her voice shook a little as it came out.

“Claire, you are not capable of doing that.” Morgan said, kissing the top of her head.

“We wouldn't let you go if we didn't believe in you. Now do you have your papers?” Morgan asked, stepping back from her.

“Aye.” Claire said, taking them out of her back pocket and waving them at her.

Morgan reached for them. Claire handed them to her as Morgan began to look them over. Making sure everything was in order. She double checked the content of the letter and ensured the seal was on there. Morgan nodded and handed them back to her. Something slammed into Morgan’s leg.

“Ariadne.” Morgan muttered as the curly red headed little girl giggled holding on to her mother’s leg.

“Auntie going?’ Ariadne asked Claire.

“Aye but i’ll be back soon enough to torture you so more. Claire said to her, kneeling and snatching her up.

The little girl screamed as Claire began to tickle her. The sounds of her laughter echoed through their home. Ariadne kicked and flapped her arms around like a wild seagull as Claire attacked her. Morgan smiled watching the two. Claire scooped her up into her arms and began to carry her out of her room. The little girl laughed as Claire tossed her over her shoulder and carried her down the stairs.

“You two need to quit making so much noise or you’ll wake your brother.” Morgan said, scolding them.

Claire and Ariadne giggled quietly as Claire scooped her up and carried her down the stairs with her. Claire set her down on the kitchen floor. Gavin was standing by the kitchen window with a small smile on his face as he overhead the scene.

“You ready?” Gavin asked Claire.

“Aye. I won't let you down.” She said with a nod.

“I know you won't. You are more than ready.” Gavin said with a nod to her.

Claire's eyes got teary. The faith that Gavin and Morgan had in her meant the world to her. They did everything for her growing up and now she wanted to thank them.

“So about ships. The angry seagull is a fine ship.” Gavin began a wicked smile on his lip.

“That's not the name of my ship.” Claire said, gritting her teeth.

“Aye but it is lass. You named it yourself. You told me when you were finally able to go off on your own. Your ship would be named the angry seagull.” Gavin said, trying to keep the laughter hidden in his voice.

Claire sighed, rolling her eyes. She had said that but she was ten at the time and loved seagulls. Her ship was not called that at all. She loved her ship. Gavin had got it for her when she was sixteen. It was the first ship she had taken out into the water. She had called it twilight to follow suit with the morning star. It was definitely a smaller vessel but she knew it like the back of her hand.

“Anyways, Morgan and I were talking. Your ship is a great ship and all but you should take The Crown.” Gavin said, glancing over to her waiting for her reaction.

Claire's face lit up. “ Really are you sure? You don't need her?”

“No and I would feel better if you took her.” Gavin said, shifting from looking out the window to looking at Claire. A smile on his lips.

Claire rushed over to him and wrapped her arms around him. Gavin laughed and squeezed her back. The Crown was Gavin’s second pride and joy. If she sailed that into dock at the trade post no one would question her.

“Now when you get to your destination; don't you dare let anyone or any man try to over talk you. Or talk to anyone else. You are the captain of the ship. You are in charge. You make the trade deal and if you dont think it's good enough then don't take it. If they think you're less than any man and are disrespectful or rude. It won't hurt my feelings if you set them straight and if they don't want to trade because of that. Well then the queen will deal with them.” He said, placing his hands on her shoulder.

Claire nodded to him listening to his words. A smile on her face as she did. Gavin was a man meant for a different time. He never once let the fact that Morgan or herself be treated less than equal. He would kill a man if they ever disrespected either of them.

“And if the crew don't listen….throw someone overboard. That always works.” He smirked and winked at her.

“Gavin.” Morgan's voice came from behind them as she shook her head.

“Love.” He smiled wickedly at her before turning back to Claire.

“Now the crews have already switched ships and your supplies are over there. They are just waiting on their captain.” He said, squeezing Claire’s shoulders.

Claire hugged him fiercely back. Gavin had become the father she never had. He believed in her and taught her everything she needed to know. He squeezed her back. After a few seconds she let go and stepped back. He turned her towards the door and nodded for her to go. On her way to the door Ariadne grabbed her leg and Morgan stole another hug.

“Look after your little brother and listen to your mother.” Claire told Ariadne who nodded fiercely.

Morgan let go of Claire and stepped back. She gave her a nod letting her know once more she got this before handing her the bag for her trip. Morgan's stomach knotted as she watched Claire head out the door. This was by far one of the hardest things Morgan had to do. Gavin noticed Morgan's mood shift and he walked over to her and embraced her.

“Love she will be fine. She is smart, brave and tougher than the both of us.” He said, squeezing her.

Morgan inhaled and nodded knowing he was right.

“Come Ariadne let go light the candle.” Morgan said, scooping her daughter up.

Claire made her way down the path toward Adriane’s Crown. The ship was a beautiful cherry-colored wood and just like The Morning Star had eteches of gold detail throughout it. Gavin took pride in the small detail of his ships. The sails were enormous and brilliantly white. The top mass held the flag, a simple crown surrounded by stars. The Queen’s flag flew in the back corner of the ship letting others know that the ship was protected by the Queen. Gavin and Morgan had done well for themself and for the past few years had a contract with the queen being her official trades associate. Claire walked up the walkway to the ship. The men on board all came to attention the minute her feet hit the deck.

“Captain on board.” A call shouted out.

Claire nodded to them as she walked past them making her way to the helm. Jacob was waiting for her there. He was giving out orders as he waited for her arrival.

“Captain.” He smiled seeing her.

“Jacob.” She nodded.

She took her spot next to him overlooking the crew. Most of the men had been sailing with her for a few years now. Many respected her and saw her as an equal. She worked hard for that. She never backed down from any task. Always proving she could do more or do something better than any of them. She would never ask them to do something she wouldn't do herself. They knew that and respected her for it. She nodded to the crew.

“Jacob set our course. We set sail immediately.” She said loud enough for the crew to hear her.

The men waited for Jacob to shout the official route and they quickly got to their stations. Sails were dropped and anchors began to rail in.

“You’ve got this Captain.” Jacob whispered to her knowing how important this journey was to her,

She smiled at him.

“Jacob takes us to sea.” She smiled giving him an order.

“Aye, Aye Captain.” He grinned back.

Claire’s stomach flipped with excitement as Jacob pulled The Crown out into the water. He began steering to the open ocean. She could feel the excitement racing through her. She glanced back at her home nestled in the cliffside. I can do this, I will make them proud, she thought, taking one last look and then turning her attention to the horizon.

He stood at the helm of his ship looking out over his crew. His fingers drummed on the railing. He sighed loudly, his first mate glancing at him his eyebrow up as if asking what was wrong. He was becoming impatient. The crew was becoming impatient. They need something. He didn't have much time ethier. The Pirate King would want his quarterly payment and he was already behind. He was in debt to him. The Pirate King was not someone who liked being owed money and never ended well when you did. He clenched his jaw frustrated. How did it come to this? He thought. He was doing so well for himself and then this scum came about with an army of pirates demanding that he was to be paid for the use of the sea. He blew him off at first but he started calling himself a king and he quickly obtained the man's power to make it so.

“F*ck.” He whispered under his breath.

They hadn't seen another ship in some time. He was already wanted in several of the surrounding areas so docking right now was not the best plan. They needed a score and a good one. His men grew tired of being poor and bored.

“Captain?” Jonah asked him softly, sensing his frustration.

“What?” He growled.

“What's the plan?” Jonah all but whispered to him.

He growled loudly slamming his fist down on the rail. The crew below jumped at the sound of their captain’s anger.

“The plan...The plan… The f*ck*ng plan is we find a ship and we loot, rob and steal from them.” He yelled storming off.

Reaching the cabin door he nearly missed opening the door. He almost just barreled through it. Slamming it behind him he tried to slow his breathing. He leaned back against the door taking slow breaths. He needed a way out. He couldn't keep living to sever some fake king. He loved the sea for the freedom of it now so nutcase thinks he owns it. He needed to find a way to free himself and the sea. First he needed to settle some of his debt to him before he ended up dead. Then he wouldn't be able to set anything free.

His eyes fell on the desk in the center of the room. An old map rested on it. He walked over to it. Seeing the map he smiled faintly. They never did go after the treasure. If he knew the way he could settle everything.

“Jason, you would know what to do if you were here.: He whispered to the empty room.

He sunk into the chair at the desk. Studying the map. He remembers Siren’s Gulley all too well. He just didn't remember how to get there. He certainly was not attempting to go through it if he did know where it was. He put his face in his hand. He had two days before he needed to meet the king. He needs something to give to him. Some type of payment.

A soft knock at his door. The sound echoed in his cabin. He grumbled softly debating whether to acknowledge the knock or not. He waited a few seconds.

“Aye?” He said in a voice letting the person knocking know he was not pleased.

Jonah walked in with a small smile on his lips as he approached him, He looked at him confused why the heck is he smiling? He thought about waiting for Jonah to say something.

“Captain, there's a ship coming our way.” Jonah smirked.

Thank god! He thought as he stood looking at Jonah to make sure he heard him right. Jonah nodded again.

“Get the boys ready,” He smiled brightly.

He had positioned his ship near some cliffs. It was hidden that way if any passing ships were to come he could ambush them before they had a chance to respond. Jonah nodded quickly and walked out to the upper deck to give out the captain's orders. This will at least keep the pirate king at bay for a little bit. He thought about the ship coming their way. Time enough for him to come up with a plan.

He walked out on to the upper deck to see what type of ship might be coming their way. He frowned seeing the queen's colors flying off the back of the ship. This ship was protected by the queen. He groaned. Normally; he liked to keep a low profile and not draw anymore attention to himself; like attacking ships associated with the royal navy but it was too late. He didn't have much time now and he needed to get this over with, He glanced at Jonah who also spotted the queen's colors. He nodded to Jonah saying he understood but he couldn't let this one go.

“We have to.” He muttered to Jonah his tone was very much of a father lecturing him for the millionth time.

Jonah dropped the topic immediately and turned his eyes to the incoming ship. He glanced at the captain. A devilish grin appeared on his. Jonah said a small prayer to himself hoping everything went well. Now they wait.

Chapter 2

Attack:

Jonah watched the captain as his stomach dropped. The queen colors would now make them an enemy to the crown. Pirates were already frown upon but now the queen will personally be attacked and she will not sit by. He knew why the captain was doing it. They were under a time crunch. Right now they were between a rock and a harder place. If they did not deliver to the “pirate king” he would most likely kill them and if they attack the queen’s ship. They will have a bounty placed on their heads. The Captain took over stirring. His grip tightening on the wheel as if he couldn't wait much longer.

The unsuspecting ship slowly made its way towards them. Jonah glanced at the crew below. They were ready, they looked almost hungry like they've been bored for too long.

“Get Ready Boys!” The captain yelled to the lower deck.

The men grumbled excitedly. Cannon’s were out and grappling hooks waiting for the signal.

Claire steers the ship, her eyes o

Heroes

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