The Captain of Her Heart
Moonlight streaming through the window illuminated Baxter and Claire as they lay in his bed, caressing one another and cuddling following an evening of fine dining and listening to music at a nightclub on
He had one arm behind his head and the other wrapped around Claire, whose
breasts were covered by the satin sheets that rested upon their naked bodies,
which were moist with perspiration and exhausted from lovemaking.
“Bax, I think you should know that I’m going to
with Jared and the team from the station.”
New York? Have you ever been there?”
“That’s great. It’s a wonderful city, big and vibrant, so much to see and do. I wish I was the one to share it with you.” He stroked her arm stretched across his torso.
“We’ll go back together.”
“I’d like that. What’s the trip for?”
“Jared and Dillon are nominated for Gegenheimer awards, the most prestigious honor in the broadcasting industry.”
“I’ve heard of them. It’s pretty special to get those.”
“Yeah. Jared is nominated for his series about credit card abuse by officials, and Dillon did wonderful photography of brown pelicans whose habitat is endangered.”
“Why did you wait all evening to tell me?”
“I was afraid of what you would think.”
“About what?” He asked as though he didn’t know.
“That I would be with Jared. You know that we’ve been out a few times together.” Her fingers explored his firm hairless chest.
“You’ll be in separate rooms, right?”
“Of course!” She sat up and faced him, and the sheet slipped to her waist, with the moonlight behind her casting her shadow across his exposed body.
He was smiling and attempted to avoid laughing.
“Stop teasing me like that,” she said as she poked him in the rib cage, causing him to twitch.
“Never be afraid to tell me anything.” He kissed her on the head when she lay back at his side.
“Okay. Maybe I shouldn’t go.”
“He’s falling for me, and I’ve tried to discourage him.”
“How do you feel about Jared?”
“He’s sweet and romantic, but we’re just friends.”
Baxter cleared his throat. “I see.”
“You’re mad, aren’t you?” Claire glanced at him and put her hand to his cheek, feeling the roughness of early morning stubble. “Please don’t be angry.”
“I’m not mad.” He kissed her and moved her hair from her face. “You work with him and see him every day, though. That could become a problem.”
“Have you slept with him?”
“How can you ask that?” She sat up again.
“I’d understand if you had.”
“You would not, stop kidding me.”
“You’re right. I wouldn’t.” He cupped her breast and nuzzled her. “When is the trip?”
“Next week, right before the Sancus coronation ball,” she whispered.
“I want you to go to
New York and enjoy
“Are you sure?”
“Well, don’t enjoy yourself too much.”
Claire glanced at him and squinted. “Stop it, silly.”
They began to kiss while exploring one another’s bodies with their hands. In a moment, he was again ready for her, and she for him, so she flung back the sheets and straddled him, and the pair resumed making love until the moonlight was chased away by the soft purple glow of the dawn sky.
It wasn’t necessarily the amorous clamor of Dillon and Taylor having sex—repeatedly—in the next room that kept Claire awake, although the rumpus made it considerably more difficult, given the frequency of her friend’s high-pitched screeches of delight that she figured had to be piercing her lover’s ears. She was unsure how she could ever face her co-worker again after hearing his beastly grunts and groans that all but drowned out the noise of the bed banging into the wall, its feet scraping along the hardwood floors, and mattress springs screaming in agony. It was as though she was preparing him for a tour of duty in a foreign land, but she simply was not happy about him being away from her, albeit for just four days, and that the trip on which he embarked required air travel.
Claire again turned over in her bed, reading the digital clock’s big bright red numbers, which glared . Jeez, I might as well not go to sleep.
Her flight was at eight in the morning, so she figured she’d have to be up at four-thirty to be at the airport for six. She heard giggling and cooing and, for several minutes, the banging of the furniture ceased.
I guess you’ll sleep on the plane, Dillon.
Claire’s cell phone buzzed when it received a text message from Baxter, who also was unable to sleep as he reflected on the previous days’ events and worried that he had driven her away forever. She got out of bed and went to the dresser where the phone was plugged into the wall to charge the battery. Its light irritated her exhausted eyes, which burned from staring into the darkness for almost four hours.
I want to see you when you return, Claire. I’m sorry. I’ve done it again. Tiffany used to get so frustrated with me and my involvement with Sancus. I was wrong then and I’m wrong now. Please don’t let this end what we have.
Claire scowled, then disconnected the phone from its charger and got back into bed, curling her knees up to her chin and re-reading the message again. She considered not replying at all, or at least waiting until later in the morning. Did she want to reply right away and perhaps run the risk of appearing eager or forgiving? Did she want to rebuff him to push him away forever, or at least create distance from him? She didn’t know what to do, but she realized that she cared how she responded.
She typed. I know that Sancus is very special to you, and that those friends were there for you when your wife died. I get that, but you need to decide what is important in life. This has gone beyond membership in a club. You’re obsessed, and now you may be in legal trouble. I hate to see you like that.
You’re right, he replied. I got carried away. I can change, Claire. I can.
I don’t know if you can, Bax.
I will. I love you, Claire. Please agree to see me when you return.
She stretched out in bed and pulled the sheet up to her chest as she became drowsy. Claire re-read the message and rested the phone on the nightstand, then drifted to sleep before the unrelenting sound of furniture banging against the wall resumed.
When they arrived at his condo, Baxter lit a few candles in the living room and played soft music on the stereo while Claire removed her shoes. Even without them, she stood eye-to-eye with him.
“Would you like something to drink, Claire?”
She shook her head as she approached him and placed her arms around his neck. He placed his hands at her hips and held her close. They kissed while she rubbed the back of his head with her hand and his hands traveled to the small of her back. Swaying to the music in the flickering light and enjoying one another’s scent, they became aroused. Their foreheads met, and she trembled.
“I want to make love to you, Claire,” he whispered.
“Make love to me, Bax.” She moved her hand over his torso, moaning as he nibbled on her ear while her desire built within.
“Maybe we should wait,” he whispered before giving her short kisses. So many thoughts were racing through his mind. She placed her head on his chest, feeling his heart pounding.
“No. We’ve waited long enough.”
He caressed her back and shoulders. She began to unbutton his shirt.
“Are you sure, Claire?”
“Yes. Take me.” She tugged at his shirt, pulling it from within his jeans and peeling it from his body, then exploring his muscular midsection with her long, delicate fingers.
Locked in embrace, they advanced to his bedroom, where they undressed one another in gentle, patient movements before making passionate love.
About the Author
Frank J. Borne, Jr. serves as Chief Deputy Clerk of Court with the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court's Office in
, where he has been employed since
1994. Borne graduated from Gretna, Louisiana
in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in government and a minor in history. He published his first novel, But for the
Grace of God in 2012; Astraea Press published Fame and Misfortune in
October 2013, and Beau Coup Publishing released The Captain and the Queen
in April 2014 and The Captain of Her Heart in October 2014. He has authored numerous non-fiction books
and short essays concerning Jefferson Parish history and politics, including Images
of America: Kenner with Troy
Broussard, and served as editor of The West Bank Beacon, a good-news
community newspaper, for three and a half years. He lives in Southeastern Louisiana University ,
with his wife of 21 years, Schlise Steib Borne. Harvey, Louisiana
● Forever Her Captain, In progress
● The Captain of Her Heart, Beau Coup Publishing, LLC, 2014
● The Captain and the Queen, Beau Coup Publishing, LLC, 2014
● Fame and Misfortune, Astraea Press, 2013
● But for the Grace of God, Self-published, 2012
● Images of America: Kenner, co-authored with Troy Broussard, Arcadia Publishing, 2013;
Parish’s Modern Government on its Golden Anniversary, 1958—2008, Jefferson
Parish Historical Commission, 2010;
Politicians of the Past and Present, 1825 – 2005, Revised and Supplemented, Jefferson Parish Historical Commission, 2005;
Jefferson Parish Politicians of the Past and Present,
1825 – 2001, Self-Published, 2001;
● Pierre A.C.B. Derbigny: Frenchman Rose to Prominence in
Louisiana Jefferson Historical Society of , 2009; Louisiana
● Jefferson Parish Coroners: A Collection of Biographies of Jefferson Parish’s Chief Forensics Investigators, Jefferson Historical Society of Louisiana, 2007;
● Conrad Albrizio’s “Industries of
”: A Master
Artisan’s Louisiana Jefferson Parish Legacy, Jefferson
Historical Society of Louisiana, 2007;
● Avondale—Waggaman: The Legacy of a Family and Its Land,
Jefferson Historical Society of , 2007; Louisiana
● Jefferson Parish Assessors: A Collection of Biographies of Jefferson Parish’s Property Appraisers, Jefferson Historical Society of Louisiana, 2006;
● Remembering Hurricane Betsy on Her 40th Anniversary: Recollections of a Storm That Affected a Generation,
Historical Society of ,
● Jefferson Parish Clerks of Court: A Collection of Biographies of Jefferson Parish’s Keepers of the Public Record, Jefferson Historical Society of Louisiana, 2005;
● Jefferson Parish Sheriffs: A Collection of Biographies of Jefferson Parish’s Chief Law Enforcement Officers, Jefferson Historical Society of Louisiana, 2004.
● A Mighty River Bends for a King: The History of the Krewe of Alla, 1932-2012, by Golden Gryphon Society President Albert J. “Al” Robichaux, Jr., Golden Gryphon Society, 2012.
Questions & Answers-
Forever Her Captain, the final installment in my Mardi Gras trilogy
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write every chance you can. Don’t get discouraged.
Are you an organized author or scattered?
I’m organized in the sense that for my current book and the previous two, I planned 30 chapters with 3 scenes in each with scenes averaging 750 words.
Do you plot out your story or write as it goes?
I pretty much make it up as I go, except that I plan milestones at chapters 10, 20, and 30, and work toward those.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
I’ve discovered that I write better in casino coffee shops and on airplanes. Lately, I’ve been writing exclusively in pencil in my lounge chair. I hate a blank computer screen.
Do you have writers block and how do you work around it?
I have awful writer’s block. Until I began writing Forever My Captain, it had been many months since I wrote anything. It’s hard to overcome, but I try to find new settings in which to write. See previous question.
Do you work on 1 story at a time or multiples?
One story at a time, although I have written a few opening scenes for other ideas while writing a story.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I actually read very little fiction. I like biographies and local historical works.
What are your favorite hobbies?
Writing, researching local history, drawing, baking (anything—cupcakes, cakes, scones, muffins, cookies…)
From the radio introduction of long-running soap opera “The Guiding Light”:
"There is a destiny that makes us brothers,
None goes His way alone.
All that we send into the lives of others,
Comes back into our own."