Author: rpgirl27 PM
1858- Edward wins a plantation during a poker game and he and his father decide to begin a new life in New Orleans. What happens when Edward is introduced to a peculiar custom and a beautiful girl at a private ball? AH,OOC,mostly canon couples.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Romance - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 23 - Words: 119,310 - Reviews: 1,157 - Favs: 1,278 - Follows: 888 - Updated: 04-29-11 - Published: 01-18-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5676810
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: This shizz ain't mine. If it was, I wouldn't be poor as a church mouse.
Edward, Bella and the whole cast of characters belong to S Meyers. I'm just throwing them back in time and using this fic as a thinly disguised fantasy involving Rob in (and out) of period costume! That being said, don't steal my plot line or my words…this fandom is large and you will undoubtedly be found out. How embarrassing.
This is my first attempt at fan fiction. Actually, this is my first attempt at creative writing in *scratches head* five years? Feel free to comment, or not comment whatev. Nothing you can say can be worse than my MIL's critiquing of my parenting skills!
Warning: this fic is definitely rated M. There will be violence, foul language, drug use and SEX! WOOT! If any of those are unacceptable to you, don't read any further. Oh and this takes place in the antebellum South. That means prior to the Civil War and it also deals with racial issues. If those subjects offend you, look elsewhere. Remember as well, the negative opinions of some of the characters are certainly not shared by the author *points finger to self* I will have to use some words that I would not normally use in everyday conversation as they are nowadays considered offensive. However, I refuse to use that word *whispers* you know….that word….the n word, no matter how historically accurate it may be. I will use slightly less inflammatory words.
Note: Edited and reposted 6/9/10 with the assistance of: Binky and ilovenaley
"Are you even looking?"
"I don't understand the point of this father."
"The point? Does there have to be a point to looking at beautiful women?"
I looked up from the tiled floor, which had formerly held my bored gaze. My father, Edward Sr., stood before me positively vibrating with excitement. He wrung his hands together and his eyes danced about the room, flitting quickly from one couple to the next before looking back down at me. Apparently, he was expecting an answer.
"No sir, there does not. I just don't understand this particular custom. It seems a bit peculiar. Why seek a woman to warm your bed in this way when there are perfectly good whores just a short distance from here? And quite a bit less expensive I might add."
"Because my dear boy, this is not Chicago and this is the way the gentlemen operate here. And I will have your cooperation with this," he demanded.
"So now you wish to be seen as a gentleman? You've never shown such an inclination before. I certainly have never claimed to be such," I replied with a quiet snort.
"Chicago does not boast of its gentlemen but as I said, we are not in Chicago. We are in New Orleans now and we will act accordingly. You know, 'when in Rome' and all that."
He turned his back to me, and resumed ogling the ladies that flew past our little corner of the room on the arms of their partners, as if they had wings sutured to the heels of their tiny slippers. The house band played an up tempo waltz, and the giddy laughter of a hundred lovely ladies filled the air. I returned to my earlier analysis of the tiled floor, but I allowed for an infrequent glance towards the dancing couples, and around the periphery of the room where other unaccompanied gentlemen lounged languidly with their glasses of bourbon in hand.
My thoughts wandered back to my father's speech in an effort to dissect his motivations. I could not understand why he was being so insistent. He had never desired to keep a woman before, and I simply didn't see where this change of heart was coming from.
Once again my father turned to address me, "You know Edward; this doesn't mean you have to give up your whores. I certainly don't intend to."
A light chuckle escaped me, and I shook my head back and forth slowly. "No father, I never thought you would. Nor would I care to give up my favorite past time."
"Mr. Masen." My head jerked up and I noticed a portly, blonde haired man about my father's age, making his way towards our corner. Following closely behind him was another, much younger blonde haired man who walked with an awkward gait and seemed to be favoring his left arm.
"Mr. Masen, let me introduce you to my son, Major Jasper Whitlock. He's recently returned from a stint out West."
My father quickly grasped the outstretched hand of the elder Mr. Whitlock, and then his son. "Edward, come here and meet my dear friend, Mr. Whitlock and his son," he called over his shoulder.
I arose from the chaise I had been relaxing upon, and stretched quickly before sauntering over and proffering my hand to Mr. Whitlock, and then to his son. Major Whitlock appeared not much older than my twenty-three years and was well built and sinewy. Obviously his time spent on our western frontier had included manual labor, as well as the leadership role his rank suggested. His hands were rough and calloused, his face and neck bore the scars of battles past, but the scars themselves did not mar the handsomeness of his features. They did however add a hint of menace to his otherwise boyish face.
"Major Whitlock, Mr. Whitlock, a pleasure to meet you. I am Edward Masen."
"I hear you two may be staying on permanently since you've managed to get yourself a plantation," Mr. Whitlock inquired.
"Yes, we hadn't intended to originally, but with the acquisition of Evergreen, we've decided to make our home here and resume our shipping business," I replied.
"Edward is quite skilled in games of chance, and while I was of the opinion before that one could not win much more than pocket change in such activities, I have been proven wrong. Though I do believe it is not every day that young men are so foolish as to wager their entire estate in a game of cards," my father added. A hearty laugh was had by all of us at the expense of the silly boy I had relieved of his plantation.
"New Orleans is an excellent location for a shipping business. The port is the busiest in the southern states, qualified workers are numerous, and the ambiance," Mr. Whitlock paused and scanned the dance floor with a lecherous smirk and a raise of his brow, "is like no other city in America."
"Are you both in the market for a new lady or are you only assisting in the acquisition of one for your son, Mr. Whitlock?" inquired my father.
"Mainly I am here for Jasper, but who's to say what I might find for myself! And you Mr. Masen, are you seeking a lady for yourself? I've never known you to keep to just one lady."
"Ah, you should know Mr. Whitlock; one woman will never be enough for me. I'm more interested in finding Edward a lovely young lady with which to set up housekeeping. You see, he's entirely opposed to the idea of matrimony and I am determined to have a legitimate grandchild one day soon."
With those words, the point of this whole ridiculous foray finally became clear to me. My father, my dear father wanted me to learn the pleasures of having a wife without actually being married, in hopes that I would acquiesce and allow him to marry me off to some wilting southern belle and produce offspring to carry on the great name of Masen. I flushed red with a mix of embarrassment and rage. Of course this was just another one of his schemes, yet another way to goad me into doing his bidding.
"Sir, you should know better than any man the many reasons why I am particularly opposed to matrimony," I answered tersely.
"Careful there boy, your face is turning the same shade as your hair!" Mr. Whitlock patted me roughly on the shoulder before breaking into what could only be described as a fit of giggles. My thinly disguised sneer was the only reply I was able to give which would be acceptable in polite society. As I attempted to recover my usual stony countenance, Mr. Whitlock turned back to my father.
"Come Mr. Masen; let us find ourselves a soothing beverage and a quiet corner to chat. I'm sure our boys here would enjoy each other's company without the inconvenience of parental supervision."
"Very well sir, lead the way," my father replied jovially. Of course he'd be happy, he thought he was getting his way, as per usual.
"It appears as though your father gets his way as often as mine does," Major Whitlock remarked, as he made his way closer to me.
"You've heard my father's reasons for attending this event. What does your father hope to achieve by saddling you with one of these lovely ladies?"
"As he said earlier, I have recently returned from Texas and have been decommissioned from the Army due to my wounding at Devils River last July. I am suffering from some…lingering issues and my father wishes me to have both constant care and a companion until the time when I am well enough to seek a wife," Major Whitlock explained.
"Why not simply employ a nurse?"
"Well sir, I'm sure you understand that there are certain activities you can not expect a respectable nurse to engage in," he said with a wink and a small smile.
We both stood there silently for some time while surveying the dance floor. The music had changed and the dancers now twirled past at a much slower rate, allowing us to scan the faces of the passersby. All the ladies appeared quite lovely in their flouncing gowns which displayed ample amounts of décolletage and their soft arms embraced their partners while keeping the proper space between their forms.
"Anyone catch your eye out there Masen?"
"No, and I don't intend on choosing any one of these ladies. I will not allow my father to win this round. It will only encourage him to find me a wife and I'll be damned if I'll be having one of those!" I snapped.
"Ah, but I have heard of your father's persuasive powers. He's already quite well known amongst the other planters for always getting what he wants."
"He doesn't always get his way. We wouldn't be in New Orleans if he did." As if sensing my agitation, Major Whitlock did not enquire further on that point but instead changed the subject.
"So you'll be setting up a shipping company here? You'll have some stiff competition. There are already several well-known firms in operation, some for many generations. Not to mention you're also Northerners. That alone will discourage the old Creole families from investing with you."
"Yes, those are valid points, but I have a feeling this whole debacle," I paused and made a circular motion with my hand, indicating the dance floor, "is part of my father's plan to fit in. Before you arrived he was giving me the 'when in Rome' speech. He also enjoys a challenge. He does not like to be told no, ever. We also don't have to rely only on the Creoles, even though they are still a force to be reckoned with here. The influx of the Americans uptown has opened up a new market and they will undoubtedly give us their business. Besides, your father and yourself are not native to this area either and you've done well for yourselves, if appearances are to be believed." I allowed myself a moment to take in his elegant silk waistcoat, his stiffly pressed shirt and the gold rings, which adorned several fingers of each hand.
"As you well know Masen, it helps to have old family money." He cocked his eyebrow and gave my clothing and accoutrements a once over as well.
"Your father and mine must know each other well since you seem to know so much about me sir."
"I believe our fathers have often interacted in business; and they might also enjoy some of the same pleasures," he added with a cheeky grin.
"I see," I said with a laugh. "They've been whoring together haven't they? I'm beginning to believe my father gets as much business done when he is seeking pleasure as he does when he is actually in his office!"
"Why have it any other way?" he laughed as well. "Come, let us get a glass of fine bourbon whiskey and continue this discussion. I'm sure you have many stories of your own to tell in regards to business and pleasure. Then maybe I can regale you with stories of Comanche war parties and my time in the service of Lee and Johnston. Would you mind if I called you Edward? And of course you may call me Jasper. Let us dismiss the formalities and call ourselves friends. Shall we?"
He turned to me and awaited my answer. Who was I to say no to such a generous suggestion? I was in need of a friend and Jasper seemed like he would be an excellent comrade-in-arms.
"Of course sir, I will have to agree on all counts. Now let's find those whiskeys!"