Chapter 1: A Caged Swann
"I think we should call off our engagement."
Elizabeth Swann stared at Will as if he had gone mad. Call off their engagement?
"Elizabeth I'm sorry but I just can't stay here, it's difficult to explain but I have to go," said Will gently. He loved her, he really did, but now Will realized that it was with more of a brotherly affection. It'd just never work between them...
The sea called to Will like it had called to his father and there were some things out there that he needed closure for. What had happened to old Bootstrap? Did he escape Davy Jones' locker or was he crushed by the pressure of the deep blue sea? Will's need to know was stronger than anything keeping him in Port Royal, so he left.
Elizabeth stood staring out the window to the sea. It had been six months since Will left and there had been no sign of him since. By now her father was done waiting for her. Elizabeth was old enough to be married and married she would be. The Governor wanted to see some grandchildren and if Elizabeth wanted some semblance of a choice then she would marry one of the suitors that had come to win her hand, if she didn't choose the choice would be made for her.
Closing the window and the curtains Elizabeth moved back into her room numbly.
That single word sent a shiver down her spine. All of her courters were pompous men looking for a trophy wife, someone to be a timid and obedient wife that would give them son after son, child after child.
Why hadn't Will taken her with him? How could he do this to her? Elizabeth shook her head. It was unfair to blame Will, he couldn't have known that her father would do this to her.
Not even James was around anymore. He was a good man and would have been preferable to any one of the snobbish noblemen that occupied her downstairs hall awaiting her arrival. But he was sent out to sea before any of this occurred. Perhaps her father had sent him a message, perhaps he would show up? The probability wasn't likely. She had chosen Will. The Commodore wouldn't be rushing back anytime soon.
"Why miss you're not even dressed!" gasped Elizabeth's maid walking into the room, "They're all waiting for you."
"Should I be happy Estelle?"
"They're all fine looking gents, one of them could make you a handsome match." When Elizabeth was silent Estelle tried to lift her spirits, "It could be worse you know. Your father could have just picked the first one to have come along. They can't be all bad, some have travelled quite far to be here. From England to the American colonies, I'm sure there will be one that will catch your eye."
Estelle continued to talk as she helped the reluctant Swann into her corset and lace. She felt trapped. Locked in a cage more tightly than before almost unable to move. Elizabeth found herself looking back on things past as she felt herself longing for those days at sea, where Will was now. It was hard to believe that a year had passed since that old adventure.
And Jack. A small smile came to Elizabeth's lips. Jack Sparrow, who could forget the inebriated pirate with his extravagant hand gestures? When trapped on the island with him, although slightly drunk; Elizabeth could still hear his talk of freedom, about how the Black Pearl was just that. That time with the cursed gold and Barbossa's crew, as dangerous as it was, was the first time Elizabeth had felt liberated. Whether it be high society, polite lady-like decorum, or those bloody corsets. She had felt free. But come the days ahead she would be nothing more than a pretty face on a rich man's arm. She would be forced to choose her own prison.
A/N: My first story in the PotC fandom, and my 3rd non-Dark Angel or Harry Potter fic.
This little ditty has been floating in my head for some time now and I just finally got around to writing it down. I had a bit more planned for this chapter but I thought that last line ended it rather nicely.
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