He lay comfortably while she slept. Her warm body was curled at his side, her breathing soft and gentle. He wondered what her life had been like in England. He’d wager it hadn’t been easy. Her hands were used to work, he could see the callouses and her knuckles were still showing signs of having been chapped, despite having been at sea for a few weeks.
Her father had been a nasty piece of work he mused. When The Captain had arranged for him to be brought on board to be punished, the things he’d said, well, it was a good job Smithy had been below deck at the time he thought. Smithy had a daughter and, he’d have castrated him – and then killed him. Slowly.
He wondered if Martha knew what had happened to her sister. ‘I should ‘av killed ’em both – but I’d not broken the young ‘un in yet,’ he’d said. He’d promised his wife he wouldn’t touch Martha in exchange for her covering up the sister’s death. Now his wife was dead The Captain had no doubt Martha would have become her fathers next victim. Her father had actually suggested that she was a good prize because she was untouched. Perhaps he should have killed him. Such a vile creature wouldn’t be missed much. He allowed his mind to imagine all the ways he could have killed that miserable excuse of humanity and a smile grew on his face as he did.
Inevitably his mind wandered back to Martha. She was remarkable he thought. She’d been taken to a strange ship. Kept prisoner and allowed no privacy. She’d been humiliated and punished. Yet she had not actually complained. Yes, she was remarkable.
When he’d boarded ‘The Fany’ the crew and passengers had been brought to the top deck while they decided what to take. Martha had stood with three smaller children. The children’s mother stood with her holding a small baby in her arms, their father was a member of the crew. Martha had been attempting to comfort these his eye. But more than that. She seemed to be screaming save me. She had looked at his ship as if she wanted nothing more than to climb on board and sail away. Like a caged animal she wanted to escape. He’d simply decided to assist.
He allowed his mind to wander. In time she would be his, he was sure. He could picture her knelt naked at the side of the bed waiting for him. He imagined walking towards her and touching her head, telling her she was a good girl.
He knew it would take time but he would win her. He wanted her to want to be with him, to want to please him. When they got to the island he would entrust her to Aggie’s care. Smithy’s wife was both wise, and loving. She would learn everything there was to know about Martha, then she would build her into the woman he knew she could be, once she surrendered herself to him completely.