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1-5 STEAMPUNK LOVE LETTERS The Captain Jamison Travis & Elizabeth

1

My dear Elizabeth,

I hope this pigeon has found its way to your window, as it would be quite an embarrassment if it were to somehow light upon the sill of some other fair maiden in jolly ol’ London town. But alas, until they come up with some marvelous invention that allows an airship to better communicate with the poor and unfortunate land-bound, I fear this will have to do.

I am off for parts unknown to do what I do best, pirate, plunder and revel in my achievements at both. I hope you’re not angry with me for slipping away in the early morning fog last week without saying goodbye. I would love to lie and tell you I’m terrible at the sweet sorrows of partings, but I’m actually quite skilled when I have to be. After all, a rogue like me has to have a certain talent when it comes to word crafting. How else would I have ever convinced such a refined aristocratic lady like yourself to allow me into your fine home, much less your bedchamber.

No, the stark and glaring truth is I found your bed far too comfortable and cozy and you far too charming, and a man like myself can’t stay in one place too long, what with being wanted by the Sky Pinkertons, not to mention the price on my head by the Locomotive & Zeppelin Consortium. You’re the kind of woman that dulls a man’s senses and muddles his thinking. And please, don’t take that as an insult, for it is intended as the highest of compliments.

I must confess, even as I travel south toward the ancient lands of Egypt, my mind is still far back in England, warm beside your naked body after one of our many exhausting nights of passion and desire. I would never have guessed such a proper lady as yourself would harbor such secret “talents.” Indeed, your trips to the more exotic realms of the globe did render some wonder and unique findings. The Karma Sutra techniques I found not only challenging but exhilarating as well. I will definitely work on limbering my body up a little better before my next visit. And the sex magick … oh my! Going for hours upon hours without release, building and building, prolonging the pleasure while denying ourselves the ultimate in ecstasy … well, I must say, I don’t know how spiritually uplifting it is, but physically, I found it unprecedented.

I hope I also left you impressed with a few of my skills as well. Like most proper women of our time, you obviously had no idea that the tongue is quite a versatile organ, capable for much more than the polite and tedious conversation of the boring upper-class. I hope you enjoyed your lesson in its many uses. I was certainly left with the impression you had. I’m sure your travels around the world learning the pagan arts of erotica were quite fascinating, but you also seemed to enjoy your trips up the headboard quite well, driven there by the fluttering and lashing of the naughty devil that lies behind my teeth.

Please do not pine away, my wicked beauty of the night. Just as the gears of a watch bring the hands full circle, so shall I return to you. No other woman has captivated me so. When I return, I shall bring you pretty dresses of the finest silk, jewelry taken from the hands and necks of the wealthy and noble, and gold and diamonds from the Crown’s own mines in South Africa. You will be the most beautiful and lavishly dressed lady at every ball and gala you attend.

And when the shadows grow long … there you will find me waiting.

The Captain

2

My dearest Captain,

Your pigeon did splendidly well at finding its way to my sill. Thankfully, it has dutifully waited for me to return the favour. What darling birds pigeons are and yours seems exceptionally well-trained. You should be very proud of your many hidden talents as I can see from your letter that there is far more to my dear captain than you just possessing a wonderful love of sinful pleasures.

I must admit, it would be amiss for me to say that I was not saddened by your sudden departure. I had grown quite fond of the warmth your body provided and the way your breath teased my neck when you held me close to you during our time of slumber. However, I did become aware of your rather hardened past when Father was visited by the dreadful Sky Pinkertons. They did search our home that same day you had vanished from my side. Not to worry, they found not a trace of you. Since Father was unaware of our time together, your secret remains. I do not wish to know what you did, my dearest Captain. Forgive me for saying, I know I’ve been given a life of such luxuries, but since I have had the privilege of spending time with you, it no longer holds the same importance it once did. Or perhaps you have opened my eyes to the reality that it truly never did.

Father had taken us to the circus yesterday. You would have loved its extravagance and the beauty of the show. Oh, the magnificence of the lights, the elegance of creatures with brilliant golden wings, and the beautiful women from around the world. It reminded me of you in ways that I am embarrassed to say. There was a woman all dressed in golden armor holding a grand python, the tongue was constantly in motion. I dare say, it affected me in ways that were quite sinful for a woman of my stature. You devilish man. Even with you so far from my side, you still can do the most wonderful of things to me. I blush profusely as I write this as I remember what your “lashings” were able to do to me. You are so gifted to be able to inflict such pleasures with your tongue from such distances, and yet, with that same tongue, your name has never been spoken, my dearest Captain.

I am most impressed that you have taken so well to the Karma Sutra. I have far more techniques that I am sure you would find most enjoyable. I dare not show my suitors. It would be scandalous for me to attempt such things, as they would never be acceptable for a woman such as myself. Such a pity, my travels and quest to learn the pagan arts of erotica could possibly be only a memory. It’s been a sincere pleasure to show you what my lessons have taught me and what talents I possess. My dearest Captain, there is so much more to come. So much more I wish to share with you. My window waits for the day you shall return.

I will dream of your life of danger and of your extravagant adventures. I will also pray for your safety, my dearest Captain in the sky with the devilish tongue. I pray that you outrun the Sky Pinkertons and the Locomotive & Zeppelin Consortium. I pray that you are able to live the extravagant life as you wish. It must be such a life of freedom to be able to fly and see the world as a bird would. Oh, what the sunsets must look like from where you are. I sit here, wishing someday I might find myself by your side up there, enjoying the rich colours in the sky as the sun touches the horizon.

For now, I will remain quiet. Not a word of our exquisite time together will be spoken through my lips. I carry our time together in my heart and your letter pressed against my chest. It was a beautiful moment and one that I shall never forget. Perhaps one day you will see that the true treasure you should be looking for is right here, with me.

I hold you forever in my heart,

Elizabeth

3

Elizabeth,

So good to hear from you. I was quite surprised that I actually received a reply, but I assure you, it was indeed a most pleasant one. I profusely apologize for those boorish Sky Pinkertons. I hope they did not harass you or your father unduly. I hope now, after seeing them, that you can understand why I must always stay several steps ahead of them. I hope this also helps you understand why I could never tell you my name. To do so would put you in grave danger, as they would stop at nothing to wrench it from your beautiful lips. They are cur dogs who work tirelessly for their robber baron masters. How I enjoy humiliating and embarrassing them at every turn. One day they may catch up to me and I may go down in flames with my airship, but I’ll go down six-guns blazing, cannons roaring and laughing all the way to Hell. They’ll never get the satisfaction of putting me in a cage!

On a more pleasant note, knowing that you obviously are infatuated with me now, I very much desire to see you again when I am back in London. I will do nothing to stain your father’s name or your personal reputation as a lady of higher society, as I have the utmost respect for you, at least when your skirts are on. Once we get behind closed doors though, all bets are off, my fair English maiden, for I desire to pick up where we left off. My thoughts are constantly on you and the amorous nights we shared. I’ve been in the finest brothels from Paris to San Francisco to Hong Kong and have spent my life under the false assumption that a woman could never teach me anything about the art of lovemaking. You have shattered that illusion like a cheap glass under the heel of a hobnail boot. I have the feeling there is a lot more a lady of your travels and experiences can share with the right man. And I’m thinking I’m the man for the job.

Oh, and speaking of maids, while there I noticed you were exceptionally close to that Irish wench, Molly. I couldn’t help but detect a fair bit of curiosity there that went far beyond the platonic friendship two young ladies would innocently share. She is quite a beauty, with that unruly mop of red curls and porcelain Irish skin accentuated by those dazzling emerald eyes. In my travels, I have known quite a few ladies who have visited the Isle of Lesbos from time to time, most with very few regrets, if any. I encourage you, if the feelings are there, act upon it. This life has taught me one thing, you’re never guaranteed tomorrow so leave no regrets behind when you go! Have your father’s driver take you and her out in the horseless steam carriage for a ride in the countryside. Once there, find a nice spot away from prying eyes and act upon any impulses you two share. Never pass up a chance to experience the new and undiscovered. It’s what separates us from the other apes.

I have to confess, your talk of coming with me has intrigued me. I must warn you, my life is not all dash and flash, like the dime store novels make it out to be. I think those Sky Pinkertons gave you a good idea of the kind of men I am pursued by every minute of every day. For me, it is a grand adventure, a game I live to play with the highest of stakes at risk. For a woman such as yourself, I don’t know just how enjoyable it might be, day in and day out. Still, I find myself thinking selfishly, imagining us naked, our bodies entwined on the glass floor of my cabin as we fly over the Alps, making love to you above the clouds and the snow-capped mountains, as if we were floating through the sky as one. Or maybe over the blue waters of the Pacific or floating above the bright light of New York. Would that excite you, darling?

I am off now to make the rounds of the ship. I may be back at the aerodrome sooner than you think. I just can’t get you out of my head. Oh, and by the way, I have an idea about that new steam-operated clothes-washing contraption your father bought while I was there. Especially when it starts … what’s the word? Agitating? Yes, that’s it! I think you should explore the shakings and vibrations more … intimately. Who knows? I might be on to a whole new industry for self-gratification.

Sit tight, love. I’ll be there soon.

The Captain

4

My dearest Captain,

What a delightful surprise it was to have found another letter from my captain of the skies. Your pigeon is darling, and I must admit, my heart was all a-flutter when my eyes gazed upon your dear bird. Of all the worldly items in my possession, your beautiful words are by far the most valuable to me.

Please do not fret, my love. Those boorish Sky Pinkertons were only here for a short spell before leaving disappointed after finding not even a follicle of your hair. Molly, as you speak of, was quite clever. She hid our dampened linens under her skirts while the Sky Pinkertons searched my bedchamber. I spoke not a word of you when confronted, and Father was not aware that you were even here. I must admit, I was most exhilarated that they were in our presence. My life was such a bore until I met your acquaintance. Is that a horrid statement for a woman of my class to say? Oh, I was aware of what dangers you hide from the day I met you. Your firm posture, and the numerous scars I discovered on your muscular abdomen while you slept, told me a tale of a man that was always on guard and needed to be. However, my darling, to be part of it that morning, even for a spell, was a splendid thing no money in the world could ever buy. I felt alive, as I do with you.

You devilish man, I can no longer find enjoyment in another, as I do you. My body only desires you. Oh, what delicious things we have done together and, yes, I do have so much more to show you. Even as I write this, my body begins to wake from the prospect of being able to gaze upon you, your gentle touch, the warmth of your body, your sweet kisses, and the sinful things your tongue can do. You have spoiled me. It’s true what they say of you, my dearest. You are a masterful pirate of the skies, for you have stolen my heart and, dare I say, my body now only desires you.

I must tell you, Molly and I both were quite fascinated by your thoughts on the agitation cycle of the new steam-operated clothes-washer. Molly, being far more adventurous than even I, did take the first run. I watched her as she pulled up her skirts, freeing herself to the mechanical hum and vibrations, then I, too, joined in, and enjoyed the rhythmic stimulation. How you knew such a beast of metal could provide such pleasure is beyond me. It would appear to me that I am not the only one who has many marvelous things to teach. You truly might be onto something, my dear love.

You should know, a woman of my stature would never travel by herself, and father would never allow me to travel alone with a man. You are quite observant by pointing out the closeness Molly and I share. She has been with me for many years, and has been my travel companion during my exotic trips. I would never reveal to any of my suitors just how close we truly are, but you, my vigilant Captain, I feel I can tell. Molly shares in many of my lessons, or has observed them. I wish to learn all I can about pleasuring another. How else best to instruct another than by seeing and doing, my love?

Oh, how I miss you. The thought of you returning to me fills my heart with such joy. You question if I would be happy to share in your life. My dearest Captain, since the moment the night stole you away from my side, the rooms around me no longer seem the grand spaces they once were. The walls no longer hold the same security they once did. The things that I once held dear to my heart somehow no longer seem to hold the same value. I dare say, my dearest Captain, I wish to be there by your side and held safely in your arms. For only at that moment could I ever feel completely secure. I wish for the day we fly in the sky enjoying the riches our bodies together will bring. I wish to see the things you speak of, experience the world as you see it, and be part of all the wonders that you hold dear. I will stand by your side, fight with you, hide with you, and die with you next to me. For without you, I fear I shall never truly live as I was truly meant to.

I wait for your hastened return. Oh, the thought of you by my side once again, to be able to touch you, to hold you, and to provide you with such pleasures you never thought possible, excites me to the core. I look to the darkness with anticipation of your return, my dearest Captain.

Hopelessly yours,

Elizabeth

5

Elizabeth,

When this bird arrives at your window, hopefully I will not be too far behind. It appears the Sky Pinkertons got wind of my route south and had several Royal Navy dirigibles waiting to ambush us over the Straits of Gibraltar. Luckily, the trusty Frank James can fly higher than most other lighter-than-airs and I spotted them below the clouds before they spotted us. However, it is possible there is an informer amongst my crew and the extent to which my flight plan has been compromised cannot be determined. Therefore, I will return to the London Aerodrome and reconsider my options. In the meantime, I am in the process of ferreting out the traitor. If I find this scoundrel, we will resurrect an age-old pirate tradition and he or she will walk the plank.

The sky has become too crowded for the time being. I need to lay low for a while. Once I arrive there, I plan to furlough my crew and purchase a ticket on a steamship bound for warmer climates. London is far too damp and dreary for me to stay any extended period of time. I hear the Caribbean is beautiful. I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans, maybe Old Mexico. I hear in places such as these an outlaw like myself doesn’t have to look over his shoulder near as much.

You know where I am going with this. I want you to come with me. You talk of excitement and adventure, well now is your chance. Leave your stuffy, pretentious life behind and become the woman of a dangerous man once and for all. I offer you the excitement you crave. I can’t promise you high society balls and fancy dinners every night, but I do fairly well. I have acquired a small fortune of my own, enough for us to live comfortably. What I can promise you is this: You’ll never want for excitement and adventure again.

Run away with me, my lady. Pack only what you need to slip out of the house. We’ll purchase the rest later. You’re a grown woman now, not only in body but spirit as well. You have outgrown your father’s lording. The time has come for you to spread your wings. If you wish, bring Molly for female companionship. I assure you, I am not a jealous man and will in no way begrudge you your affections for her. I wouldn’t mind observing from time to time, but such details can be hashed out later. But make your mind up quickly, for I am but a day or two out and once I arrive, I cannot tarry too long. I know not what has been divulged about me. I may be flying right into an ambush. Urgency is of the essence.

Just think of it, Elizabeth! You and I swimming naked in the warm, southern waters, frolicking with dolphins and sea turtles. At night, we could make love on the beach by torchlight, our bellies warm with rum and crab. We could explore jungle trails and bathe each other under hidden waterfalls. We could stroll down Bourbon Street, maybe take a steamboat upriver to Memphis for a few days, sipping bourbon and mint juleps to the rhythm of the paddlewheel thumping. Then maybe on to Mexico where we could get blind drunk on tequila and have unrefined and depraved carnal relations. Things practically animalistic in nature. Or more precisely, things many would consider unnatural. Imagine Karma sutra with no inhibitions left at all, our bodies covered in nothing but a layer of sweat from unrestrained passion and the sub-tropical heat. I would tempt you to do things an upper-crust English lass would never do sober. We might even convince Molly to join in on such hedonistic activities. Irish girls can be quite devilish with a little fire-water in them. I have to admit, I have a recurring image in my head of her curly red hair splayed out across the lovely, unblemished whiteness of your belly. It’s an indulgence I seem to enjoy more and more frequently. If we have time, we might even travel on to the Pacific, maybe as far as San Francisco, where we could brave the wickedness of the Barbary Coast. Whatever lady-like qualities you have left by then, you will quickly lose them there … and enjoy every second of it. Now, there’s an adventure for you.

And so, Elizabeth, you have a decision to make. Have it made when I arrive. When I sneak through your window, I’m going to bend you over your fainting couch, rip away your petticoats and take you like the naughty little wench you secretly wish to be. With my hand clamped over your mouth I’m going to defile your father’s daughter while he has his tea down in his parlor. If young Molly is there I might muffle your moans with something a little softer than my hand … a pink Irish rose, maybe? I know how much you love such lewd and desperate acts. You love to play with danger. Are you ready to live it? The door will be open, but only briefly and then it will close for good. I cannot tarry for you to ponder for days on end. It will be either yay or nay. Life is a grand adventure. Don’t be afraid. Come with me.

Oh, here’s something you might find amusing. I read that a couple of brothers over in the States recently claimed they actually flew a winged aircraft somewhere down in North Carolina. They say it will be the future of air travel. How amusing that people still cling to the silly belief that winged machines weighing hundred and hundreds of pounds will ever fly adequately. I chuckle at the absurdity. Nothing will ever take the place of lighter-than-air transport. I mean, what next? Horseless carriages and locomotives that run on something other than steam? Ridiculous!

Your Captain of the Skies,

Jamison Travis

Credits:

Created with images by Jakob Owens - "Chilling Below" • kellepics - "fantasy steampunk composing" • tunechick83 - "comic-con convention steampunk costume accessories fantasy subculture" • Aaron Barnaby - "Henderson Executive Airport" • kellepics - "fantasy portrait surreal" • Brooke Campbell - "Antique clock dial" • mkmcobra - "steampunk hat topper" • kellepics - "woman cabinet lion" • Alvaro Reyes - "Machine" • Himesh Kumar Behera - "Top view of a compass on a map" • IIIBlackhartIII - "steampunk punk night scifi cyberpunk fancy man" • kellepics - "fantasy portrait surreal" • darksouls1 - "gothic dark steampunk" • mkmcobra - "steampunk hat topper" • kellepics - "woman cabinet lion"

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