Most of the pirates were unable to sleep that night. Some of them had heard this old tale before, when they were young boys, but only bits and pieces and never while sailing high at sea on a full moon night. How did the baby survive when she showed no signs of being alive and was left in the cold waters of the endless sea? Would she still be alive? Surely not, if they had heard the story from their nans. What a beautiful maiden she should have been, having been graced by the gods.

None of the men admitted to being wide awake. They all laid on their beds, pretending to sleep and snore, while their minds wondered as if they were small boys again.

Captain Azov was wake as well, but he was never one to slumber much. He would spend his nights by candlelight, with his books and his quills and his poetry. Yet, he was thinking of a very different lady. Queen Isola was the inspiration he needed, not some old wives’ tale. Others would call her cold and callous but Azov knew in his heart she was only playing the part she had to play. Being the Queen of a powerful nation was not an easy job. You could not show signs of weakness and he knew that only too well, as the captain of a ship filled with outlaws. The Queen might be cold, but Isola was a passionate woman and, in the late hours of the night, alone in his chambers where he could be simply Azov, his heart longed for nothing more than to be the worthy recipient of that passion.

The Captain’s wondering mind was forced to a halt, though, when the sound of turmoil in the ship reached his cabin.

Bitterly, he put on his long coat and went out to the deck to see what all the fuss was about.


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