Excerpt from Turbulent Beginnings: The moment Cole is asked to do a favor for his father.
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“You want me to sail to America?” Cole was completely aghast. His father knew how much Cole hated sailing from the short trips they made to the continent when he was younger. Cole couldn’t tolerate the sea. He had a hard enough time keeping in his stomach contents crossing the Thames to Vauxhall Gardens, which was why he chose to take the Westminster Bridge. There was no fathomable way he could handle a long ocean voyage.
“I trust you to handle the situation. You are my only son. Unless you think I should go?”
There it is. The guilt. The forever-responsible son who can’t refuse or his aging father will have to go in his stead. And what kind of son would I be to allow such. Cole would never forgive himself if something happened to his father. He had to try a different approach. “Father, the London Season has only begun. Can this not wait for a more applicable time?”
“And when would that be, Cole? When winter begins? Or perhaps when the culprits start stealing my ships as well? What is so important about this Season compared to the last dozen you’ve partaken? Do you plan to take a bride this Season?” His father obviously read his look of angst when he mentioned marriage. “I thought not. Why not use this time as an opportunity to reflect on your bachelor existence.”
Cole knew he had lost the battle and groaned. “But I become seasick.” He didn’t care if it sounded like he was whining, for in truth, he was. Desperation called for such measures.
“Then look at this as an opportunity to overcome such silliness.”
Silliness? Did his father indicate that his retching in a bucket for hours on end was preventable?
“All right, now with that settled allow me to share some pertinent details. Captain James Blake will be manning the vessel on which you’re to travel. You shall be housed in the nicest chamber on the Fidelity.”
Wonderful, Cole thought to himself, he’d have the best ten by ten chamber in which to lose his stomach contents.
“There are to be no women on the ship.” The duke stared shrewdly at Cole. “Is this understood?”
“Yes.” Cole replied when he realized his father wasn’t to continue until he responded.
His father leveled his gaze upon him. “Women are considered bad luck on these vessels and the crew will toss any female overboard.”
“I said, all right, no women.”