In Like Flynn (Pirates of King's Landing #2) - Lauren Smith
IN LIKE FLYNN
Pirates of King’s Landing - Book 2
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2022 by Lauren Smith
Cover design by Carpe Librum Book Design
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ISBN: 978-1-952063-80-0 (ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-952063-81-7 (print)
“Dear God,” Captain Thomas Buck gasped as he wiped rain from his eyes and pushed his wet hair back from his face. He peered through the storm-ravaged sea toward the looming mass of a galleon caught upon the rocks near a reef. It was a beautiful prize, with towering decks and gilded woodwork at the stern of the ship. Lightning cut across the sky, flashing over the ship in distress.
“Cap’n?” A young Scotsman named Joseph McBride joined him at the railing of Thomas’s own ship, the Sea Serpent. At twenty-five he was young for a captain, but his short life had given him plenty of experience on taking command. Every man aboard his ship knew he would sacrifice himself to save them if it came to that.
The Serpent was the fastest sloop in the West Indies, and her crew was proud to plunder under her sails. Even though they were pirates, Captain Buck and his men held themselves to the seaman’s code to aid any ship in distress. They were simply more aggressive as to what cargo they took by way of thanks for their efforts in assisting another ship.
“Drop a boat in the water, Joe, and ask for volunteers. A ship like that is bound to have some riches—and any survivors can be taken on as crewmen or released at the nearest port if they do not wish to serve on board.”
“Aye, aye, Cap’n.” Joe called out for a boarding crew, and Thomas checked his belt for his cutlass and pistol before he helped the others lower a boat into the water.
They rowed across the raging sea, and he squinted at the distant tropical island that was half-shrouded in the rain behind the reef. Perhaps whoever was on this doomed vessel had managed to take a boat ashore to safety. If so, they could canvass the island to help any survivors. If not, they could salvage any goods on the ship once the storm died down, assuming it didn’t sink right away from a hull ripped open by a sharp reef. Captain Buck was not like most pirates. He was an Englishman with an Englishman’s honor, and he wouldn’t leave anyone to die on a lonely stretch of forsaken beach.
Thomas gripped an oar and rowed alongside Joe as he and four others fought the waves to reach the other ship. Once they reached it, they could see the hull smashed and hung up on the rocks. The ship was rocking dangerously as the waves battered it. They had only a short time before it sank. Using grappling irons, they lashed their small boat against the galleon.
“Be careful, men! Search for survivors and get back as fast as you can. She’ll be underwater soon.” Thomas grabbed one of the dangling ropes that draped from a broken mast over the side of the ship. He scaled up the side of the listing ship to the deck.
He dropped down onto the quarterdeck and saw loose bits of broken masts rolling back and forth, bumping into a few bodies that lay there. Thomas stopped at the first and rolled the man over. There was a bloody gash across his head, and it looked as though he’d been struck by a beam or washed into something hard enough to kill him. All the masts had snapped off. He could imagine the wave that had swept over the deck and knocked this man into a spar, which