The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell - Romance>Sci-Fi
I'm a time pirate--born in 1810, now a 21st-century woman. I travel through time trying to right wrongs without disrupting the fragile balance between what is and what can never be.
That's why it's vital that I go to 1836 and find the man who conned my brother out of his Time Travel Mechanism as quickly as possible. If the technology falls into the wrong hands, it could change the world as we know it. The notorious Duke of Leister definitely qualifies as the wrong hands. An amateur scientist of the slightly mad variety, he's bound to figure out how to use the TTM sooner rather than later.
I knew this wouldn't be easy. But I wasn't counting on him being as sexy as hell. Or winding up chained to his bed...
Lordship, Connecticut, October 18, 1836
A blast of sunlight punched through the persistent blackness, backlighting my eyelids in a hazy wash of red. I took a deep, steadying breath as the vague sense of weightlessness abated. Following protocol, I didn't open my eyes until there was ground beneath my feet.
Sand. A cool gust of wind sucked the air out of me as I took in my surroundings with a practiced eye.
The beach was deserted, and it seemed as if we'd ended up exactly where we intended. Fabulous. But the real mark of success was whether we'd made it to when we intended. I looked down at the time-travel mechanism in my palm and waited as the wildly spinning hands slowed to a halt.
"Well, shit," I muttered under my breath, prying my hand from Bacon's too-tight grasp.
"When is it?" he shouted. The whipping wind plucked the words from his mouth and sent them sailing down the stretch of beach, but I'd gotten the gist through lip-reading.
"Saturday the eighteenth," I yelled in reply.
Yep, bollocks about covered it. The whole trip had the makings of a major cluster-fuck. One that Bacon was directly responsible for. Already cranky at having to make the journey in the first place, being rushed on an important mission made me want to really lay into him.
To be fair, our arrival date wasn't his fault. It's a tricky proposition, time travel. Once in a while you nail it, balls on, and get where you want, when you want. Most times, it's a little more hit and miss than that, and we were lucky we'd done as well as we had. The reason for the trip itself, however, was all his fault.
See, a few months prior, Bacon had lost his time-travel mechanism to the Loony Duke of Leister in a drunken game of whist. Needless to say, it had been priority number one to get it back from him as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, by the time we'd located his residence and come up with a viable plan, the bastard had left the country. We had finally tracked him down in the United States. And, after weeks of planning, we had come to get it back.
We'd intended to arrive three days before the harvest fair began. Early enough to set my plan into motion and take care of some details, but not so early that we'd have stay in the nineteenth century for very long. Ostensibly, because the longer one stays away, the trickier it becomes to find one's way back. But, if I'm being honest, I have an unholy obsession with hot showers and Starbucks coffee that keeps me motivated to limit the duration of my trips.
My career has taught me to be a roll-with-the-punches kind of girl, so despite the setback and my mood, I got down to work. I methodically disassembled my handheld time-travel mechanism and stored the various pieces into different compartments of my ever-present carpetbag.
Time travel rule number one: always immediately disassemble one's TTM. This holds true even for an experienced time pirate such as myself. One might think that, given the nature of my occupation, being prepared for a quick getaway would take precedence over all other concerns. I've found, however, that it's much better to be stuck somewhere reassembling for a few extra minutes than to be caught unawares when the village idiot steals your intact TTM and winds up in 1929 Siberia. Been there, done that, and spent almost a week chasing him through time to get it back. Talk about a time suck.