Chapter 4

                  Katherine approached the port, observing the comings and goings of soldiers and sailors.  One particular ship distracted her attention.  She moved towards it, surveying the passengers before cursing in her mind.  With an exasperated sigh, she took off at a brisk walk for the mansion.

~*~

                  Will was bent over the map Jack had left him when Katherine came in.  She slammed the door, causing him to jump.

                  " Gods, Miss Sparrow."

She only glared at him.

                  " The Commodore just arrived at port.  We need to start constructing a plan.  I give them until tomorrow to ask around enough to learn where you are."

                  Will had paled.  He ran a hand over his neck.

                  " I should have gone with Jack."

Katherine nodded.

                  " Yes, you should have.  The doctor obviously is wrong.  I see nothing wrong with-"

She dashed around the table, catching the far too thin man. 

                  " I take that back." 

Katherine helped him to a chair and quickly poured him a glass of water.  A genuine look of concern was on her face as she watched him drink the water.  She reached over to refill the glass but Will shook his head.

                  " I am fine now.  Thank you."

She nodded, sitting down herself.

                  " Any ideas?"

Will leaned back in his chair.  Katherine's foot pushed on the rung, making him fly back to earth.

                  " Do not lean back.  I don't want you falling backwards and splitting your head open."

Will glared at her, before leaning back again.  Katherine huffed irritably.

                  A loud knock made them freeze.  Will's chair scraped the ground as he set it back on all four legs.  Frank, the butler's footsteps rang loud and clear as he walked to and opened the door.  Soft, inaudible murmurs were exchanged and then Frank's footsteps began for the room they were in.  Frank entered, closing the door behind him.

                  " The Commodore and Mrs. Norrington are asking to see you, Miss Sparrow."

Katherine bit her lip, glancing down at her hardly presentable dress.

                  " Please tell the Commodore I shall be there momentarily.  Take them to the library and do not let them leave it, understood?  If they try to, I give you permission to shoot."

~*~

                  Will followed Katherine into her room.  She flung open her armoire, pulling out a fine dark blue silk dress.  Will busied himself with staring at his hands as she ducked behind a screen to change.

                  " What have you planned?" 

Katherine went on tiptoes to look over at him.  She motioned him over.

                  " Help me with this torture device and I will answer you."

Will slowly stood, a wary look on his face.  Katherine turned her back to him, lifting up her long copper ringlets.  He practically fainted in relief.  Twas only her corset she was speaking of.  He pulled the strings as tight as possible without hurting her.  Katherine let out a shaky breath, shooing him out from behind the screen.

                  " I am making this up as I go, Turner, so do not expect any genius ideas."

                  Will watched her exit from behind the screen.  His eyebrows rose.  The fashionable dress accentuated curves he had never noticed before.  Katherine's index finger lifted up his jaw as she walked by, combing her red hair to rid it of any tangles.

                  " Stare at me again like that, Turner and I will make you a woman."  She glanced back at him.  " Stay in here please and don't touch anything."

Will sat on her bed and shook his head.

                  " What is wrong with me?  That shrew is not attractive."

A smile curved his lips.

*Who am I kidding?  She is beautiful.

He glanced at the door.

*And why can't I go downstairs?

~*~

                  Elizabeth watched the woman come in with a cold expression.  That was the one that had been supposed to take her from Will.  The Commodore's expression remained detached also.  Only the stunning red head smiled.

                  " Forgive my tardiness.  I had matters to attend to that I could not put off."  She motioned to the tea and cookies some servants had brought in.  "Please, have some tea and cookies.  You have traveled quite a distance.  I am Katherine Sparrow, the caretaker of this."

                  The couple just stared at her.

                  " Sparrow is your name, you say?"  The Commodore asked.

Katherine nodded.

                  " Aye, tis the name my guardian gave me."

*I am not about to lie.  I have immunity from hanging.

                  " What is your guardian's full name?"

A shadow flittered across her face.  She shook her head.

                  " I never really knew him.  I was raised by the former owner of this house."  She turned to a portrait of a devastatingly handsome older man.  "William Turner."

                  " He was a dirty pirate."  Elizabeth could not contain herself.

                  Katherine laughed, putting all of her acting skills to good use.

                  " I am afraid you are terribly mistaken, Mrs. Norrington.  William Turner would never hurt a fly."

The Commodore sent his wife a silencing glance.  Elizabeth stared down at her teacup.  The Commodore stood, commencing to pace.

                  " Miss Sparrow," he began.

                  " Katherine, please," she interjected.

                  " Katherine, then, we have reason to believe you are harboring a dangerous criminal here."

*Dangerous criminal?  Will can't even stand up by himself for a long time.  They call that dangerous?

                  " What?"  Katherine put a hand on the chair beside her as if she was about to swoon.

By some strange fate, her face had paled also.  The Commodore moved towards her, as if expecting to catch her.

                  " Is Mr. William Turner, son of your caretaker here?"

                  Katherine shakily sat, covering her face.  She breathed in a couple times, trying not to laugh.  She finally looked up with an incredulous expression.

                  " You must be mistaken.  Not Will."  She let her words grow softer.  "Not my Will."

The Commodore knelt before her with a pitying expression.

                  " So he is here?"

Katherine nodded.

                  " But he is not a criminal; and I will not approve of you taking him."

                  Elizabeth stood also, placing a hand on Katherine's shoulder.  Katherine shrugged it away.  She did not like Elizabeth.

                  " Surely you cannot love a man like him.  He is a pirate."  Elizabeth said.  " A dirty, mean, gold hoarding pirate."

Katherine's anger won out over her acting skills.

                  " How dare you-"

                  Elizabeth was saved from a tongue lashing and slap by another member joining their party.  Will entered, grasping Katherine's arm and moving her away from Elizabeth.

                  " God help you, I will kill you."  Katherine hissed.

Will took her hands.

                  " I would not have your hand defiled by touching her."

Katherine put her hands on his unbuttoned vest, drawing him close with a pained expression.

                  " I was only-"

                  " Miss Sparrow, please step aside."

                  The Commodore had drawn his gun.  Katherine's face mirrored the horror she actually felt.  Commodore Norrington cocked the gun, aiming it at Will.  She faced the man.

                  " I will not move.  You will have to shoot me first."

Will glanced down at her.

                  " Katie."

She turned, running a hand along his cheek.

                  " I promised to look after you.  You still are not well.  I will stand beside you to the gallows."

For some strange reason, Will had a feeling she was not acting.

                  " Katie, I cannot let you do that."  He lifted up her hands, gently kissing one.  " Please step aside."

                  Will glanced up at the Commodore.  Both he and Elizabeth were watching the two.  Katherine fell to her knees, faking tears as she covered her face.  She looked up at him and Will's heart was tugged to sympathy, even though he knew it was acting.

                  " Shh, my love."

He helped her to her feet.  He glanced at the Commodore.

                  " Give us some time before you take me."

Katherine glanced at them tearfully.  The words did not register until they had left her mouth.

                  " Tomorrow we would have been wed."