“I’m sorry about the accommodations aboard the ship. But there are no extra hammocks. Finn suggested you bunk with him for… obvious reasons.”
I stopped and rested a hand on my hip. I had worried a little for my safety as a woman aboard a ship full of men but never knew for sure if it should be a real concern. “You mean to protect me from getting raped? Is that seriously something I have to worry about?”
The captain stood, his massive stature towering over me, and I tipped my head to meet his gaze. “Not if I can help it,” he answered. “I’ve told the men to keep their hands off you.”
I chortled. “I can’t believe this.” But I had to remember the era I was stuck in. “And how well do they listen to you?”
His black eyes narrowed. “They will listen.” But there was a hint of uncertainty in his voice.
“Great,” I spat, and scooped up the empty tray, “I guess I’ll just go back to work and try not to get attacked by your oh so loyal men.”
Henry’s massive hand grabbed me by the waist where the rope had dug in, and swung me back toward him. The nearness of the man made my head spin with conflicting thoughts of danger and desire. “If anyone is to touch you in a manner you deem unfit, then they shall be met with my blade and a watery grave. Do I make myself clear?”
I ripped his hand away, but he quickly pinched my chin between his thumb and finger.
“I’m well aware that you know my secret, Dianna. Do not mistake my hospitality for mercy. If you breathe a word –”
I shook my head. “No, I won’t, I swear.”
His grip on my jaw tightened with aggression and he leaned in close, our noses touching. “Good. Because, if you do, there won’t be a rope tied around your waist next time I throw you overboard.”
My eyes scanned the jagged line of his jaw and admired the beastly broadness of his shoulders. Devil Eyes was the epitome of a Harlequin Romance hero. Only…he was no hero.
He was a monster.
“Look, I saved your life. If you can’t be grateful for that, then just kill me now,” I told the captain.
I’d like to think that his terrifying presence made him repulsive, but it only added to the allure of him. Devil Eyes was a dark enigma, a black hole that threatened to hypnotize me and draw me further into his secret.
And part of me wanted to let him.