Excerpt from Silent Fathoms


That night in Samantha’s cabin, he waited for her to start to doze off before he ate the stolen finger. As soon as he finished with it, he leapt up on the bed to snuggle up with her, as he’d been doing since he’d discovered her identity.

“There you are, kitty,” she mumbled sleepily. She stroked his fur and adjusted to accommodate him. He began to lick her hand, then her chin, his sandpaper tongue making her giggle a little.

Then he morphed, and instead of Lazarus the cat, Jim Rigger lay naked next to Samantha Brumble. She was just sleepy enough that it didn’t register immediately. Before she could wake up enough to scream, he began to kiss her.

As an added precaution, earlier in the day he had bitten his paw and put the blood in the captain’s stew when the man wasn’t looking. He hoped the magic would work for him the same way it did for Viktor. He didn’t want to be interrupted this night. He didn’t think another opportunity would present itself anytime soon. He knew he had to leave and find his master before long.


Sam began to wake up during the kiss. At first she thought she was still dreaming. She’d been having a recurring dream about a roguishly handsome man visiting her in the night for several nights. The dreams had grown increasingly erotic.

Something was different this time. She’d only had her imagination to go on before. This felt real. He was warm, and his weight had her pinned. The kiss felt much more sensual than she’d ever dreamed and fired reactions in her body that made her skin hyper-sensitive to every touch.

Her mind fought against it, screaming warnings at her. Something must have gotten through to her. She came fully awake just as he pulled back from the kiss. It wasn’t a dream; there really was a man in bed with her, and he was completely naked.

She drew in breath to scream, but he clasped a hand over her mouth to stifle the sound.

“If you cry out, Sam, the others will hear. Then your secret will be out.” He smiled as he warned her. “Bainbridge might not be willing to send you home, but can you take the gamble that his mates will go along with him? I know the crew won’t. I’ve been listening, and they are teetering between loyalty and mutiny.”

Sam glared at him, furious that he was right. She struggled and tried to throw him off. He had far more experience with wrestling however, and he had the advantage of leverage and more weight. He managed to pin her wrists and get full length on her in the process.

“Now, now, Miss Brumble, that’s no way to be,” he chided. His eyes shone with both mischief and lust.

She stilled as fear began to override her anger. She was acutely aware of his erection pressed against her hip. “How did you learn who I am?”

Jim smiled at her. “You don’t smell like a man, and anyone who knows your brothers could see you are related with one look at you, love. At least half the crew thinks you are Zach’s bastard or a bastard brother.”

Just like that, her anger returned. “Who are you? How dare you speak so familiarly of your betters?”

“I am someone who knows where they are and how they are faring. As for them being my betters… that is open for debate.” He lifted up enough to look her over and admire the way the thin night shirt outlined her form. “And now we have a dilemma, Sam, or should I say you have a dilemma. Do you reject me and suffer exposure as a female on a ship full of men, or do you accept my advances and keep your secret?”

“Bastard,” she hissed at him.

He nodded but took no insult. “Yes, I am. Of course, if you grant me what I want, I can promise that you will be reunited with your brothers in time.” He did not add that the reunion would be dangerous and bittersweet at best.

Sam bit her lip. Damn, he would dangle that in front of me, she thought. Aloud, she said, “What do you want?”

“For now, you.” His expression conveyed exactly how he meant that. She rewarded him with a blush but remained undecided. He cocked his head and smiled as if he knew what was holding her back.

“I know you are still a virgin, Samantha. It will hurt just a little at first, but the pain is short and fades quickly. There are things I can do that will make the pain barely noticeable.”

She looked at him nervously. Her upbringing made her frightened of doing this, but her body had started to relax and respond to the weight of his on top of her. He was an attractive man and remarkably clean, for a sailor. His eyes were a mesmerizing hazel, not quite green and not quite brown, but a multi-rayed mixture. “I guess it wouldn’t be so bad,” she replied, her voice a husky whisper.

“Oh no, love.” He leaned down to kiss her again. “I can guarantee that it will not be bad; it will be marvelous.”