|Jubilation of the Heart
Author: Aldesina PM
Commodore Norrington finds a a drugged woman in a box that floated in from a merchant ship that was caught in a storm. Who is she and why is she so desperately trying to get back to New York? Continuation of Feet Firmly on the Ground. JNOCRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Mystery - Chapters: 4 - Words: 15,333 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 04-04-04 - Published: 02-09-04 - id: 1724467
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Jubilation of the Heart
As Opposed to the Mind
Author's Note. This is the Continuation of Feet Firmly on the Ground, if you haven't read that yet, please do go and read it. It's not essential to the story, but it does give you a good idea about the state of mind the Norrington is in right about now. The story takes place about a week after the Commodore releases Elizabeth from her engagement.
On another side note Yes I realize that not all the circumstances of my fic are historically correct, yet please keep in mind this is fanon. Thank you.
Chase Van Allystynn walked along the streets of Broadway and 72nd street her hands digging into the pockets of her overcoat. It was not common for a woman to be walking around the streets of New York City alone, not unless she was an unfortunate, or poor. Chase was neither. She was a young widow who buried her late husband Edward Van Allystynn three years ago. She had married him at the young age of fifteen. He was fifty-six. It was not a marriage of love, and she was looked upon by society as a trophy wife in every sense of the word. But he was a good man. And though she often felt that she could not relate to him in the early years of their marriage, she did grow. And through their twelve years of marriage began to understand the man she lived with and shared a bed with. And he, in a loving fashion had doted upon her and encouraged her every whim and indulged her greatly.
She was educated, much to the dismay of the higher society of New York. Truly it was unheard of for a woman to sit with her husband at his work desk, with him tutoring her no less. But tutor her he did, in the ways of negotiation, speech, trade routes, map reading, cartography, ship procedures, naval procedures, he had been a lieutenant when he was younger, business, book keeping, reading, writing, philosophy, poetry, art, technology, and had even shown her the much renowned world of the stock market. To his pleasure Edward had discovered that Chase had a mind for the world that he lived in and often brought his young wife to saloons, and dinner parties that were reserved for the business men only. Through this she earned, grudgingly as it may have been, the respect of many of Edward's associates and gained friendships as well. Most importantly to Chase was that she felt as if she had found a place in the niche her husband had made for himself. She was part of his habitat, and was content with life. Chase loved her husband not in the way of passionate young lovers, but in the way of respectful adults who have grown up together and matured in each other's eyes.
Chase shivered. It wasn't cold, in fact it was spring time, and everything was beginning to warm up from the winter's frost, yet she felt cold, as if someone was watching her. She hurried up the steps of her home and was greeted by at maid at the door with the daily newspaper and letters from various acquaintances and some business endeavors.
"Hello Annie, did the any wolves make an appearance today." Her maid laughed.
"No madam, none today, unless you consider Mr. Monteclair to be one."
"And he would be most disappointed if you thought that."
Both Chase and Annie turned over to the parlor to see a jolly young man poke his head through the door and smile gaily at them, he was quite handsome with shining blue eyes and a head of ebony black hair. Most women thought he was utterly charming, and handsome in the most disconcerting ways. Disturbing was more like it Chase thought.
"Ma Chere Madame Van Allystynn, I would be most distraught if you thought such unkind things about me. It would break my heart, vous ne savez pas?" Chase smiled gently at her friend shaking her head.
"It would be tragic indeed Monsieur Monteclair" Chase walked to him, arms outspread and he in turn embraced her.
"You don't have to do this you realize don't you, mon cher oiseau de feu?" She stepped away from him and peered up into his handsome face her eyes slightly hidden by a small triangular hat pinned upon her hair, it was a perfectly mimicked man's hat except it was smaller and much more delicate. Chase was not what society would all a stunning woman. Her hair was not the currently fashionable blonde, nor her eyes the currently fashionable blue. Instead she had hair black as French jet, and dark gray eyes that shifted to look greenish to black. He skin, was pale from too many hours work inside the office, and her figure was nothing to brag about. She was curvy, but lacked the small waist that the current fashions demanded. Her stomach was flat without a corset, so she refused to wear one, and she also flat out refused to wear anything that would emphasize cleavage. She was at the office to command the men, not to entertain them. Her face, at best could be described as pretty. Long wide set eyes, a nose that wasn't pert enough, and small cherry lips that always seemed too pinched when she pouted. So she didn't, or at least not intentionally.
"There are five members of the board that support you, and that is all that you need. I know for a fact that Ashley, Landon, Robert, and Jackson are undoubtedly loyal to you."
"Still" Chase pressed, "It is for my own safety and yours as well that you become a partner in this business."
"Only until I can find a worthy husband." Chase said with a wave of her hand. She turned to him eyes wide and beseeching, "You know of what the men think of me."
Cyrus Monteclair snorted. Oh yes, indeed he knew exactly what the men thought of her. She was intelligent, smarter then the lot of them, shrewd, cunning, lethal, her intuitions in business, trade and stocks rivaled even that of her late husbands. Some of the rumors about her even said she channeled her dead husband for aid.
Chase Van Allystynn, formally Chase Vander was an unusual woman with unusual circumstances for one so young. Her family were wealthy traders of spice and herbs from the mid east. Vander Imports was the name of their company. Chase grew up in a relatively prominent family and was raised as a lady of breeding. However unlike most young girls of her society she was betrothed at birth. Now was considered a time for young women to be engaged in courtly love with young men. She was not privy to that. From the time she was able to speak and comprehend she was told of her betrothal to Edward Van Allystynn. The glassmaker, businessman, stockbroker, he owned a glassware company and had done business many times with Chase's father, so much so that he once joked about how much he would have loved to be in the Vander family. Chase's father arranged just that; Edward would marry their youngest daughter. Chase was a month old when the arrangement was made. At first Edward was a bit hesitant. But as Chase grew he became keen on the idea and visited young Chase often and eventually acquired a fondness for the girl that he never though would have been possible. As a girl Chase was always inquisitive and quick witted, sometimes too harsh of tongue, but still, that was good for a business.
"Oiseau de feu you do realize that Lauris would go insane don't you?" Monteclair clucked disapprovingly at Chase "He's been in love with you ever since he set eyes on you."
"He's been in love with my father's and my former husband's fortunes and that automatically means he loves because that's the only way he can have any access to those fortunes now."
"Yes indeed, and then you just had to go and make it more tantalizing for him by combining the two companies didn't you?"
"There was no such merger Monteclair, the two companies merely work together more often then usual now because of the joint venture."
Monteclair hrmphed at that, Joint venture indeed, the way this girl did business it seemed as if the devil himself was driving her.
Perfume was the name of the new business. Between the Vander's business in exotic herbs, spices and oils, and the Van Allystynn's glass making company, Chase had managed to make a whole new franchise. Of course it took forever to set it up. Chase had spent the last six years of her marriage either experimenting with scents and fragrances or with her husband working out the financial details and what to do about imports and exports if the business actually managed to take off. Edward Van Allystynn left most of those details to Chase, but did help when she claimed she desperately wanted his opinion. He wasn't a businessman for no reason, and her husband too for that matter. They together finally were able to come up with their own special blends of perfume as well as managing to set up a store front. The name of the store was suggested by Edward; Firebird Efflux. This was greeted with great enthusiasm by Monteclair since he called Chase a firebird. Chase readily agreed and set about preparing the opening of their store.
The grand opening was an immediate success, two months later they were shipping to places like Philadelphia, England, France, Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean. The store became a company, and the company became a brand. Firebird Efflux was now known for their exotic fragrances that ranged from light and flowery to a strong and spicy. Chase would now accompany her husband on his business ventures and market her perfume, life was now perfect for her, or at least she thought it had been.
A year after Firebird Efflux opened Edward died. It was a warm summer day when it happened, July to be exact, Edward's favorite season was summer and he had suggested that the two of them take the day off from work to just spend time outside. It was uncharacteristic of Edward to take breaks from his office so Chase readily agreed with him. They had spent the morning abed, the afternoon in the park picnicking and the evening at a show ending their day with dinner at Edward's favorite restaurant. When they went home Edward had said he was exhausted, so he kissed his wife thoroughly and retired to bed early. She went up an hour later to find him tucked in bed. Chase had smiled thinking how sweet, and had reached out to brush a stray hair from his forehead. His body was cold, and Chase could not feel a pulse in his wrist. She called a doctor panicking, but Edward was already dead.
He died happily in his sleep the doctor had said. Chase wanted to die with him at that moment. She wanted to be with her husband. She isolated herself and locked herself up in their bedroom for a full week until Edward's solicitor came to pay her a visit. To her surprise he had left her everything. His glass company, his stocks, bonds the entire business, and most importantly his half of the perfume company, the financial backers, or they liked to call themselves; The Board of the company owned the other half. The solicitor also handed another letter to Chase, apparently Edward had known he was going to die soon, and he had written a heartfelt letter to Chase. He wanted her to take over the company and remarry, have the children that he couldn't have given her and be happy. Sadly that wasn't the only thing in the contents of his letter. He also warned Chase of things that he was worried about; the company, some of the investors, and various other business problems that he had not told Chase when he was alive. Unbeknownst to Edward, Monteclair had told Chase about several of these problems and there was little that she didn't know about her husband's business.
Chase came out of hiding and buried her husband vowing to keep his company afloat and away from the investment wolves that were swarming her house and set herself back to work. That had been three years ago. Chase currently was one of the most powerful women in New York City. She maintained a 51% share holding over both Firebird Efflux and Van Allystynn Glassware. She made friends with the government officials, most of them mooched after her for her money, few were genuinely her friend. She made friends with the local law enforcement, befriending military men, sailors, and bond street runners alike. Her business flourished and her connections within it. Unfortunately despite all her planning and shrewd business like ways Chase managed to over look one very important detail. All her friendships were made in New York. Yes she knew people from all over Europe and the colonies but her close friends were always in New York. Not that she had much of a choice. If she had left there might have been a coup on the company and Chase was not willing to risk that. But then again, she was a New York dweller, so what harm could come to here if she stayed in the city?
"Monteclair is there any reason why you came over here today besides to refute the offer of partnership again?" Chase asked, she sighed and sat down, it had been a long day and all she wanted to do was turn in early and go to sleep.
"I'll sign them if you really want me to, but you know that the 15% of each company that you have decided to sign over to me will be mine in name only." Monteclair looked her in the eyes and smiled gently. "They'll be yours to take back at any time you please, mon cher oiseau de feu"
Chase smiled, it was slightly strained, but upon hearing Monteclair's words she instantly became more relaxed.
"Thank you Monteclair."
"Not like you would ever let me agree to anything else anyway now would you?" Monteclair asked resignedly. "Compromise doesn't seem to be in your vocabulary does it?" Chase waved her hand at him as she sat down.
"Nonsense Monteclair, you know perfectly well that I do compromise, just not often, and not on something that I feel strongly on."
"So you say, so you say." Chase looked at him and sighed. "I think I'll turn in early today, I hope you don't mind."
Monteclair looked at her sharply.
"You've been overworking yourself again haven't you?"
"I haven't the faintest clue as to what you're talking about."
"Then let me elaborate. You get up at the hellish hour of six every morning and start pouring over ledgers; the account books, the shipping books, the shipping schedules, the stocks, before they have even opened, and every little minuscule detail involving Firebird Efflux and Van Allystynn Glassware. Then you go to work. And you work your bloody little head off, directing, advertising, goddamn it, you even have to go down to the dock to make friends with the blasted shipping captains. Two of them want to marry you, the other two want their sons to marry you. Oh and lets not forget the bond street runners. Let's not forget their captain; he wants to adopt you for Christ's sake."
"And what does this have to do with work again? I thought you were only castigating me for one thing tonight, how in the world did it evolve to two?"
"You are incorrigible"
"I'm easily encouraged you say?" Chase joked smiling slyly "Why thank you."
"Chase." Monteclair began warningly.
"Now, now, don't Chase me."
"Don't chase you?" Monteclair laughed at her, "You know perfectly well that there is no chance that I would chase you, Chase dear, and for obvious reasons." Monteclair raised an eyebrow and then wiggled it at her.
"Oh stop you!" Chase laughed, looked at her friend lovingly. "Go on home to your sweet amant."
"That I will mon cher oiseau de feu." Monteclair kissed her hand. "Good night and tomorrow we'll go catch ourselves some investment wolves, hmm?"
Chase smiled back at him, damn him and that thing he does with his eyebrow.
"Indeed, we'll just have to postpone hunting season until tomorrow."
Monteclair smiled at her and then went out of the parlor, letting himself out. Chase turned her head toward his departing footsteps and upon hearing Annie bolt the door, left the parlor herself going up the stairs to her room. She undressed, and clothed herself in a comfortable nightgown, slipping under her covers and immediately fell asleep.
Chase sat up startled; it was late, she glanced at the clock and saw that it was two in the morning. Something felt wrong. She lit the candle at her bedside table and slipped on a pair of her deceased husband's breeches underneath her nightgown. Within those breeches she always kept money and a spare dagger. She got out of bed and wrapped herself in her outer robe. Something definitely felt wrong; Chase warily made her way over to her hearth and hid a fire poker in beneath her robes. She walked over to her door and opened it slightly.
"Annie, is that you?" she called out softly.
"No, it's not" Chase turned around just in time to a masked man's arm grab her. Chase's eyes widened, and she screamed. Two other men came out from behind the man who grabbed her.
"Shut her up"
"No!" Chase screamed, and whacked the man in the knee with her poker.
"Argh!" The man who had grabbed her screamed growling savagely "You ugly bitch" Chase tried to run, but was blocked by one of the other men that came at her with a needle.
"Now, now missy if you cooperate it'll be so much easier"
"HELP!" Chase screeched, and was promptly backhanded by the man she hit in the knee.
"Hurry up with that needle!"
"NO!" Chase screamed again and tried to reach for the knife under her nightgown, the other man grabbed both her hands and jabbed a needle into her arm. Chase gasped; her body jerked once and went slack.
"Finally we shut that bitch up" One of the masked men said.
"She's quite pretty, what do you say we treat ourselves with a little lady before.." The second man started.
"No" The third and final masked man walked forward.
"Don't touch her, don't spoil her, don't even look at her funny" He turned to the other two men, "Just get her on to the boat and leave her in that box. Make sure she gets water, and then knock her out again."
"Why the hell don't you just kill her?"
"No" The third man said, "She stays alive" He knelt down and stroked Chase's cheek. "I could never hurt her, if only she wasn't so stubborn she would not have brought this upon herself."
"No woman should be working a man's job." The second man said glancing over at the first man who was rubbing his knee. The second man spat at her, hitting the spot right next to her head.
"She is no ordinary woman" The third man said, gently picking her up and placing her out of range of the other man's saliva. "I want your word that no harm will come to her while she's on the boat"
"Well aren't you coming along too, you can make sure your darling strumpet stays good and whole"
"You know perfectly well can't see me kidnapping her, I might be on the ship, but I won't be entering the cargo hold"
"Oh yes, how could I forget, you have to be the one to rescue her. So that maybe, just maybe she'll actually pay attention to you." The second man sneered, his lips turning up in disgust. "Quite frankly a used woman like that is only good for a bang, I don't know why you're going through this scheme anyway." The third man stood up, looked the second man in the eye, then pulled a knife and slit his throat.
"Shit," The first man swore "What, what, what the."
"Get rid of him"
"You just killed him"
"And we're going to be on a boat for fifteen days so I hope you're packed"
The man just stared numbly.
"Are you packed?" The third man barked out startling the other man out of his stupor.
"Yes, yes packed."
"And the crate's ready?"
"Yeah" The first man said, looking down on the fallen man "Yea, and the drugs too,"
"Good, now clean up this mess and take that body with you, we have a boat to catch at dawn."
The third man looked down at Chase again.
"My dear sweet Chase, had you just handed this partnership to me you would have saved yourself so much trouble and days worth of pain." He looked at the woman in his arms, she was going to be out for the next 15 days give or take. "At least you'll be able to learn from this experience" He stood up and made his way down the stairs, the other man had bundled up the dead body and cleaned up the mess on the floor. "You'll make the right choice, and make me your partner, perhaps, even your husband" He bent and kissed her on one cheek and then the other. "Come now love, we have a trip to make to the Caribbean."
6:00AM New York City Docks
"Ah Good morning Mr. Keese" The captain of the Lara greeted the Dutch businessman courteously. He did not particularly like the man, but then again, there really was nothing that he could do about it. Since he was one of the few people that shipped to the Caribbean at the time he had to do business with a lot of unsavory characters. Mr. Lauris Keese was one of them.
"Captain Renyolds, Good morning" Lauris Keese was a man to be envied. A wealthy stockbroker and shareholder of five of New York's most prominent companies he was one of the most wealthy and powerful men in the world. He was on the board of Van Allystynn's newest company Firebird Efflux after obtaining several shares in a card game and convincing the former President and CEO of the company that he could be of use to the industry. His family came from Holland, and was of old nobility. Not enough to hold much sway in England, but in this new world it opened up endless doors of opportunity. Even though they were a British colony now, and he was of Dutch ancestry there was no denying his wealth, and with that, came power. It also helped that he was extraordinarily good looking. He had golden colored hair naturally highlighted by the sun, his eyes were a dark blue, deep and endless like the bottom of the ocean. He had a strong angular face that was cleanly shaven and had impeccably well kept skin that made most women that he encountered envious. He didn't wear the wig that was so fashionable in England these days; instead, he grew his hair out long and wore it in a low slung pony tail. Much like most of this other business associates. He was also a known rake, which was quite an easy task to accomplish due to his wealth and good looks.
"Just one package today?" Captain Renyolds asked him.
"Yes just this one, it's extremely fragile so I want you to take extra care when moving it."
"Dare I inquire what is in this box?" Mr. Keese looked at the captain; he couldn't stand people who were nosy.
"It's a glass woman, a shipment from Van Allystynn's Glassware to the Caribbean as a gift to one of Chase's friends."
"Then how come Chase couldn't be here to deliver the package herself?"
"She's a bit caught up right now." That made Captain Renyolds raise an eyebrow.
"If you say so." Renyolds cast an eye over the box that was being carted up into the cargo hold of his ship.
"Mr. Keese, Mr. Keese!" Keese turned around to see a man running up to him waving frantically.
"Mr. Keese! You must return to the office immediately, there is a problem with the board." The man said frantically.
"I can't tell you here sir, it has to do with Firebird Efflux." Keese grimaced, don't tell me they found out that she was missing already, damn that Monteclair.
"I can't wait for you to return you know, we're leaving within the next five minutes." Renyolds said.
"I know," Keese turned to the man next to him, "Make sure the cargo stays well, and don't touch it, if you do, you know your fate." The man next to Keese looked at him, nodded stiffly once and proceeded to go onto the ship, following the box into the cargo hold. It's not like he wanted to touch her anyway, it was the other guy, and look where that got him.
He checked the pack that he wore strapped to his shoulder, things would not be well if he lost that pack. He turned around again and watched the departing businessman leave. No, he definitely would not want that kind of trouble at all.
Commodore James Norrington left his home earlier then usual, and arrived at his office promptly at 5:45am. Last night wasn't the least bit restful, even after he came to his conclusion a week before. He was still thirty, and he was still single. He also didn't particularly have the time to scout out potential bridal candidates. What hadn't crossed his mind however was the fact that once his engagement with Elizabeth was over he was a prime target for young ladies and their mothers.
Luckily Lieutenant Gillette had just that thought in mind. He made sure to ward off any potential hunters until James was ready. When the mothers requested an audience with the Commodore he would simply reply that he was in a meeting, he was at home, he was busy, and etc and so on. He also kept a sharp eye out over his commanding officer and long time friend. He saw the how early he went to work, and saw how late he went home at night. Although he wasn't particularly sure if this was brought on because James really loved Elizabeth and was heartbroken, or if there were other things involved. Perhaps he believes he's not worthy of love? Certainly not, if anyone was deserving of a loving a caring relationship it would defiantly be James. Gillette wondered if his commanding officer recognized that fact.
"Gillette, Gillette.." James peered up as his first lieutenant, he had been standing there stoically ever since he came in this morning and hadn't said a word aside the usual morning greetings.
"Gillette, do you actually have a report to give?" His first lieutenant blinked once
"I'm sorry sir, yes I do have a report to give, I was merely distracted momentarily by my thoughts."
"They must have been very important."
"Indeed sir," Gillette hesitated for a second "Permission to speak freely sir?"
"Permission granted Michel"
"Don't think that just because Elizabeth doesn't love you that you're not worthy of love."
"Excuse me?" James turned sharply at his comment and looked at Gillette, the last thing he was expecting was something quite so blunt on that subject matter.
"I don't believe that is any of your business."
"Oh come off it James I've known you for ten years, and in those years all you've ever strove for was approval of some sort. No don't interrupt me I don't mean that you are needy." Gillette raised his hands in a placating manner when he saw that James was about to object "I'm just saying that all you ever do is try to please others, are you ever going to start thinking about yourself and what you want?"
"Michel you know perfectly well that I did not join the navy just to please myself."
"No, you joined it to please your father, and your mother, and to make them proud"
James rubbed his temples; he was the third son of a noble family, what else was there for him to do? The first son inherited the title and most of the wealth, the second would inherit various pieces of land and what remained of the wealth, and the third? They were usually sent off to either to the monastery or the military, and since James would have preferred to make something of himself, the military it was.
"What does my childhood have to do with this?"
"I'm just saying James that if you don't start thinking about yourself soon you're going to have to be lead out off your office in a straightjacket."
"Are you saying that I am a nutcase."
"I'm saying that normal people would take some time off after what you just went through, and not immediately launch themselves back into work"
"A strict work regiment is good for both the mind and the body. It trains men to progress and further better themselves." James cut in
"But what of your heart?" Gillette asked softly
"What of it?" James snapped, he sighed "My apologies Michel, it was a restless night."
"And who could blame you?" James shook his head, he did not need his relationship problems to leech onto his work.
"The report, lieutenant?" And with that, the personal conversation was over.
"Only one thing today sir, The Lara from New York City will be making docking on our shores in fifteen days."
"I see, and I presume that certain items aboard that ship will need an escort."
"Indeed sir." James nodded.
"I'll leave the details to you then, have today's ledgers brought in to me, I'll be working on these until noon. If there isn't anything specifically life threatening I would prefer not to be disturbed."
"Sir!" Gillette saluted smartly and made his way out of the commodore's office. James got up and poured himself a drink of water, it was going to be a very long day.
Author's Note; There's not much interaction between the new characters and the original cast yet I realize, but I had so set up background information somehow. Besides, the commodore had his own one-shot completely dedicated to him for his set up, shouldn't our heroine at lest get a chapter? Winks
Enjoy reading, and please review! Until the next post!