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Before the Dawn

8 February 2013

Standing on the bridge watching the clouds roll past as the airship powered its way across Europe, Nash rubbed one wrist absently. Dawn had yet to break and here he was, still warm from his lover’s arms, fussing over his ship.

He had a difficult time choosing between Jack and the Lucky Penny. He loved flying, loved his ship. He loved Jack too and that was the problem. When he thought about his future, he couldn’t see himself without the ship or Jack. Both had become a part of him and he wasn’t entirely sure how that would translate going forward into a new century.

He and Jack shared a love of adventure and danger. They thrived on the rush. In the bedroom, that translated to nights, and sometimes days, of rather unusual sex. Nash glanced down at the slight red marks around his wrists. Being tied up was the least of it.

With a sigh, he checked all the controls on the airship. Everything was as it should be. His only worry was that damned bottle of poisoned wine. The wine indicated that someone on board was a spy. Nash hated to do it but he knew he’d have to speak with Ivar. Pulling his second in command off the running of the ship to have him investigate all new crew members went against the grain, but he didn’t have a choice. The only person he trusted on the crew to get to the bottom of the poisoned wine was Ivar.

Nash made a small adjustment to one of the controls in front of him. He frowned at the instruments, his mind only half on the flying of the ship.

The world had become a very dangerous place. Moreso than usual. Someone was working against the Crown and had some very highly placed co-conspirators if his kidnapping was anything to go by. And Nash was very sure that it was. He still had no solid reason for his kidnapping but he knew it stank of conspiracy. There had to be more to it than just riling Jack.

Giving in to his father’s summons wasn’t Nash’s usual way of dealing with Italy’s Minister of Finance. Normally, Nash ignored his father when he got too high handed and his father knew this. He figured Shelley wasn’t much different either. Neither of them had been very good at heeding their father’s dictates. For bastards, they were remarkably well treated and loved by their father and Nash really did love him in return just as he had some deep feelings for his half brother Shelley as well. He tended to keep his emotions to himself on both fronts though. It wouldn’t do for either his father or his brother to know that he cared very deeply for them. And in the current political climate, it appeared it would to be to all their benefits if the didn’t let the rest of the world know his weaknesses.

Turning from the bridge, Nash went in search of Ivar Delaney. The sooner he had Ivar investigate the crew, the sooner he’d know how that damned wine got in Emmett’s hands. He wished he had Beare along. The old geezer had a way of worming information out of staff like no one Nash had ever known. Except maybe Poll.

Shaking his head, Nash headed for Ivar’s cabin. Things were getting uncomfortable in ways he didn’t care for. He rubbed his wrist again. Damn Jack for reminding him of his captivity and the intrigue surrounding it. Now, he couldn’t just enjoy his flight. Now, his mind was filled with shadows and conspirators at every turn.

Fuck, he thought with resignation. He’d actually have to work from now on instead of just enjoying the sensation of flight. What a waste of a beautiful morning.

Lex Valentine