Mornin' y'all! The Cap and I've been digging around, trying to find you some goodies, and lo and behold, find them we did! So grab a towel, sit back, and enjoy!
Another Tuesday finds this pirate Captain docked in TU port, ready to give my slashtastic (I love making up words for you guys) rec for this week. The lovely bookbag gives us Spice of Life the tale of a tavern owner who's life revolves around waiting for the arrival of a very special ship. This ship carries the spices that are the key to his tavern's success and the precious cargo that holds the key to his heart.
This one shot brings us back in time, to when America was 'The New World' and trade relied upon ships powered by the mighty winds or the strength of men. Jasper is a man after my own heart, a sailing man if you will. He travels the seas bringing his wares from exotic lands to add flavor to the bland, boring lives of the inhabitants of Portsmouth, and further. He pads his pockets with the money he makes, however it is the very special item he carries for the tavern owner, that makes him richest.
Edward Masen owns and runs The Crown and Anchor. It's not the cleanest, most respectable tavern, in fact it is one of the seediest. Patrons still frequent the establishment to taste the mysterious flavors that make the dishes so delicious. The spices are what makes Edward's business thrive, but after six months the spices are running low, and Edward is getting more anxious for the arrival of the ship. Is it because he is worried his stocks with run out, or is it something more? What has him counting the days until he sees the ship on the horizon? What has him so irritable, pacing the floors? Here's a little peek for my lovelies:
I could be living in a brownstone building on the wealthy side of town if I wanted. But the wharves owned my soul, and no one could ever know why.
When I was sure I was alone, I crossed the room and squatted in front of the empty fireplace. Removing the grate, I felt up inside the chimney until I found what I was searching for. I retrieved the small metal box and unlocked it with the key that I wore on a long chain around my neck.
I pushed aside the small but invaluable tokens – gold and silver rings, exotic balms, intricately patterned silk cravats – and removed a small book, flipping it open. The contents were nothing but a list of dates, meaningless to anyone else, but my whole life was contained in the insignificant numbers.
Three more days.
I prayed a squall hadn't delayed the ship. I remembered the fortnight delay of a few years ago, when there had been reports of severe weather in the Cape of Good Hope and it had been agony. I had grown pale and waxen, my body gradually began to fade. The meals prepared below in the steaming kitchen grew blander as they eked out the precious powders and reused the cardamom pods. I stopped eating. The regulars stopped buying meals and only drank, until the air reeked of desperation and discontent; mine and theirs. There was no flavour to my life without the arrival of spices.
What has Edward's life so insipid? C'mon folks you know where I'm going with this, but I don't want to give too much away so you will have to just read it to find your answers. This little yarn was quite delightful, and I enjoyed uncovering the details of Edward and Jasper's story as I read. Sail on over and give it a looksee, and don't forget to leave her some love if you do.
It took me a while to get around to reading this little ditty, but boy oh boy was it worth the wait! annanabanana's first attempt at slash, Bulletproof, is so very good. She brings you into a world not many of us know (thank God), painting a very vivid picture of what life as a civilian in a war zone is like as we get to follow Jasper and Edward on their assignment as photographers in Iraq. They are thrown together by fate, both ending up at the same base, doing the same job, but for different magazines.
You get to see through the eyes of both boys, as she gives both POVs, something I for one am very grateful for, because it allows us to really get to know Edward and Jasper, and how they see each other, both as professionals and as men.
The Crew Chief in charge of my flight was gruff and perfunctory, letting me know the plane would be waiting for a few people more important than myself. I wasn't surprised. I had enough experience with the military to understand the concept of 'hurry up and wait'. He directed me to a quiet corner where I could keep my bags out of the way, and I stretched out on the floor, folding my arms across my chest, leaning against my pack and crossing my ankles.
Somnolence crept up on me and dragged my eyelids down heavily. I dozed, happy for the calming affect of exhaustion, hoping the Crew Chief wouldn't forget about me.
A long, capitulating sigh drew me out of my almost-sleep, and I peered through groggy eyes at the figure sliding down the wall to sit near me. He was looking at me and exuded easy, inoffensive arrogance. His sharp, dark emerald eyes stole my intentions, trapping my glance, transforming it into a gaze. With effort, I regained control of my thoughts and let my eyes search the rest of this confident stranger in front of me.
Full, red lips smirked under his strong nose and just above the sharpest, most enticing stubbled jaw line I'd ever seen. His hair was naturally tousled, reds and browns and golds and perfect for my fingers to weave into. I should have been embarrassed at my instant reaction to this stranger, but I couldn't. He was so pretty, the prettiest man I'd ever seen, and from the looks of him, he knew it.
Pulling my knees up in front of me, I shifted into a lazy seated position. I tipped my head at him in a casual greeting, muttering "hey" quietly.
His hand pushed confidently toward me. "Edward Cullen, Associated Press," he said by way of greeting, a seductively sure leer gracing his face.
"Jasper Whitlock, Vanity Fair, at the moment." I grinned back at him but retracted my easy smile when his eyebrow quirked curiously, and his features became shrewd.
"Writer?" he asked, but I was sure he knew he was wrong before I answered, his eyes moving absorbingly over my camera case.
"Photographer. You?" I asked, but I knew. I had seen his name attached to some photographs in the paper and magazines; he was a conflict chaser. He was like me.
"Same," was all he offered before leaning against his bags and closing his eyes dismissively.
Well, so nice to meet you, Edward Cullen. Apparently, the pleasure is all mine.
Will they learn to get along? You'll have to wait and see. I will tell you this though. Things get pretty heated...and I'm not just talking lemons here. Read it, and see what I mean. You won't regret it. Be sure to leave her some love when you're done :-)
So there you have it, folks. Another week, and more lovely slash to sink your teeth into. We hope you enjoyed them, and that you'll leave these wonderful authors some well deserved love after reading.
See you all next week!