Title: Million Years Ago
Category: Television Shows» Black Sails
Author: And The Moment's Gone
Language: English, Rating: Rated: T+
Warnings/Spoilers: Written for Tumblr's BSBackstory15. You don't need to know anything.
Official Disclaimer: All Black Sails characters and plots belong to Starz, and Michael Bay, I do not hold stock either the company or the man. Charles Vane, Eleanor Guthrie, and any other character recognized are NOT mine. The title comes from the Adele song Million Years Ago and I don't own that either.
Summary: Richard Guthrie was not always the man Nassau knew. Once Upon a Time, he loved his wife.
"What in God's name are those?"
For the third time in a week, Richard Guthrie entered his home to discover crates had been brought up from the morning's cargo ship and deposited in his foyer. He wished he could say that he was surprised, but he truly knew Rebecca better than that. She'd been here for less than a fortnight, after a harrowing journey from Boston to Savannah where she'd taken ship and brought what seemed like half her father's household to New Providence Island. He distinctly remembered asking her to wait until the child was born before traveling, six months ago when he'd first set off to make a name for himself and help 'expand' the family's business here in the islands. He'd hadn't even had warning of her arrival, one day he was working with his man servant to arrange the newly acquired selection of goods from the Jackdaw to be recrated and put on the next ship, and the next he watched as the island came alive at the image of his young –very pregnant- wife being helped out of a shore boat by Edward Teach himself.
He didn't even think to ask how she'd been on shore for less than ten minutes and she'd already charmed a budding pirate lord.
He supposed it had been the same way she had enchanted her way through the multitude of taciturn Guthrie men, and the Boston delegation, and had somehow managed to be an encouraged friend of both Captain John George's wife and the newest Mather bride.
There had been absolutely no wait between him meeting her on the beach, and him having her whisked away to the house on Governor's Island.
But that wasn't the issue now.
No, now he was dealing with the never-ending crates of whatever it is she was receiving from both England and Boston – if the stamps on the crates could be believed.
"Sir?" By his side, as always, Mister Scott pointed to the back of the house, where Rebecca was currently defying the midwife's wishes, bent over one of the smaller crates situated on the desk in the study.
She looked tired, both physically and mentally, but she dictated to the house slave on the other side of the room with cool precision, before lifting – dear God was that another book?
"Rebecca?" He was across the foyer in seconds, coming up to her side and pressing an exasperated kiss against her temple. "Surely your grandmother has better things to do than keep sending you books?"
There was a quick shake of her head, and she read the last title for the slave to check off his list. "My child will be well read." She argued, not even bothering to appear humbled by his displeasure. She loved her husband and adored his ambitions. But neither could deny the fact that without this marriage, without her family's money and the connections that they afforded him, he would still be back in Boston begging for a seat in his father's businesses. "And unfortunately, a library is something this considerable house you have procured sorely lacks." With a wave of her hand, she gestured to the half-filled shelves with a frown. "If it weren't for Scott's reports, I would have been both unable to make the proper arrangements to have that remedied before I left, and been extremely cross with you when I arrived."
"And we all know that we can't have that." Richard threaded his arms around his wife's shoulders again and buried his nose in her hair. There was almost a full eight-year difference between him and the woman in his arms, and he had to admit, strong-willed and independent as she was, he forgot that fact way too often.
God help him if she was right, and the child in her womb was a girl.
God help Nassau.
He considered his options carefully, thankful that Mister Scott had not taken his leave and was still standing guard at the door. They weren't expecting the next prize to come in for another day or two, so neither were needed at the warehouse this afternoon, and both Noonan and Mistress Bowan were in position should something be needed at the tavern or inn. He'd have to remember to talk to Trott about the taxes on the brothel in the morning.
It was that thought that led him around to the answer to his predicament. Kissing Rebecca on the temple again, he allowed a hand to run down her side and rest on top of hers on her belly. "If you refuse to cease in your organization, at least take a respite," he demanded carefully, nodding to the door. "I have some papers that I need to go over, but I'm sure Mister Scott could take over uncrating your treasures and seeing them put in their proper places while you take some rest." When Rebecca opened her mouth – presumably to argue – Richard shushed her with a glance. "The midwife said you shouldn't overtax yourself, darling," he reminded her with a smile. "And Scott is probably looking for an excuse to check out the books anyway."
It was Rebecca who had insisted on hiring educated servants. Not only for their value and the additional services that such a thing could provide, but because she knew what their business would entail and the time that she would be working closely with all of them. They acquired Scott shortly after they were married, visiting her aunt in Jamestown. He had been her uncle's foreman on the farm, learning his numbers and the written word in order to be more helpful during the ailing man's more advanced years. Her uncle's son – a vile little man that Rebecca had never cared for – deemed Mister Scott a conniver and was terrified a learned slave was a dangerous man. Her aunt had insisted that he was a wedding present, and the only recompense she required was their assistance in her returning to her brother's home in Boston.
She fully understood that she had indulged the slave's pursuit to better himself, acquiring early reading volumes, and spending hours while Richard was with his father and brother's preparing for the journey helping him expand both his felicity for numbers and words.
It might be why she had no problem acquiescing to her husband's not so subtle demand that day. "Only if you promise me lemonade in the gardens before dinner." Her smile was bright, not at all guarded, as she used him to balance on while she pulled herself up from her perch on the desk.
"You drive a very hard bargain, my dear." Richard motioned for the maid who seemed to be hiding in plain sight – waiting patiently until her mistress needed her – to go ahead and make the arrangements for Mrs. Guthrie to take her rest in the gardens, while he escorted her from the room.