The Case of the Diamond Murderer
Summary: Officer William Turner lost his memory due to a strong bout of pneumonia, thereafter losing his job at the London Police Department. One year later, now that he is a private investigator, living from paycheck to paycheck, he finds himself involved in a theft and murder case simultaneously. With the help of nurse Elizabeth Swann and victim of the theft, Captain Jack Sparrow, can he prevail in the case of the Diamond Murderer?
Disclaimer: William Turner and Elizabeth Swann do not belong to me. Nor do any other characters used that are recognizable in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. I do own all characters that are not in the movie. I borrowed some character situations, as well as some of the time period ideas from Anne Perry, the amazing authoress of the William Monk mystery series.
The air was cold. It was bitter. It wasn't even winter yet, and Private Investigator William Turner had three layers on his body, along with a hat and scarf. He was tired of trampling through the slush of the cold night, but he had to.
The killer still hadn't been found yet, and God willing, he wasn't out prowling tonight. There was word of a large party at the Gruffington home on Clement Street. Women would be coming out, defenseless women, some who would walk home, some who would take the hansom back home. Of course, some would have their husbands with them for protection.
Turner grunted, his dark brown eyes slanted in annoyance. It was as if Sparrow bloody expected him to find the stolen diamonds and bring them back for his next shipment. It was a known opinion in underground London that Private Investigator William Turner was the best bet for any criminal case, many times including murder.
He thanked God the police were taking care of the murder investigation that was going on now. He didn't want to be involved in that sort of case at the moment. He was still trying to get his own life straight.
It was only a year before, when Turner was twenty five years old and just beginning his career as an officer of the London police force, when he came down with a debilitating case of pneumonia. It rendered him with an amnesia which stripped him of his life. There was not much he could remember passed the flitting images of a man who would bounce him on his knee and a beautiful woman's voice singing softly to him.
His captain had tried to refresh his memory, but all he could remember was the short, even foggy images. He had been told after his bout with the pneumonia that his parents had been killed when he was a boy. He knew he worked in the police department and he knew his name. That was all.
And so, he had started over in his life. A new man, but one with no past.
He finally arrived at the docks, numb with the cold. The Thames River left nothing for him. People talked of its beauty and grandeur, but he had never seen it. He had a memory of the ocean, the rocking of a ship and the tying of the knots to the rigging. Maybe that was his anger towards the river. He didn't know.
He leaned against the wall, half covered by some crates with what he expected to be ale, judging by the smell coming from them. A small boy with a newspaper stack in his hands walked by.
"Boy," his gruff voice came from behind the scarf. The boy turned, having not seen the tall, lithe man standing in the shadows.
"How much for that paper of yours?"
He told the man and was relieved of one of his papers. Tipping his small cap, he moved on.
Turner flipped through the paper. There was more news on the war going on in America. He was disgusted most of the time by the fact that a country would go to war with itself over something so ridiculous. So the south wanted to pull away. Then let them. Let them make their own country.
The whole impossibility of it ever being resolved lingered in the gossip and parlor talk of most Londoners, especially the wealthy who had nothing better to care about. They were frightened their shipments to the Americas would be forestalled and they would lose money.
Turner didn't care. He had no stocks, no partnership in trade. All he had was his skill. And, if this case he was working on now was any judge, not much skill at that. He hadn't gotten any leads to Captain Jack Sparrow's case. And he was tired.
He was tired of living his life day by day, no plan for his future.
There it was. On the back page of the newspaper, there was a small picture of his latest employer, Jack Sparrow. His eyes were dark and his beard long. He would be considered attractive if he didn't always have a stupid grin on his face, Turner had long since decided. And even then, women flocked to the captain in hoards.
Turner shook his head. He needed damn lessons.
The picture in the paper, though, was something entirely unexpected. Sparrow's face was serious and daunting, almost dangerous. His smile brought an entirely different look to him. It was…odd.
The article explained in minute detail the stolen shipment of diamonds from Captain Jack Sparrow's trade ship, The Black Pearl. Turner hoped no one would really see that clipping, especially no one from the police department. They scorned him, hated him, and were annoyed with his constant badgering in their investigations.
Many times Josset, the captain of the police department, would arrive on scene to a crime and find the coattails of a very familiar tattered coat disappear behind the wall. When he and his men hurry to catch a glimpse of William Turner, he has already gone.
And there was nothing Josset could do about it. William knew it made him annoyed passed all recognition. And he prided himself in it.
William watched the men work, watched them carry heavy crates up the planks of wood and onto the trade boats. This was a dangerous area in which you had to keep moving, keep your eyes ahead of you, and never ask questions. He knew this from one of his prior cases in which he was almost thrown into the churning water of the Thames for asking about one of his clients.
They sometimes never found you when you were thrown into the Thames. Or if they did, it was weeks or even months later. Sometimes even years later, a person would stumble upon a bone. You would never even be identified by that point.
Despite the strength that resided in Turner's countenance, he still shivered at that thought.
Realizing there was nothing he could gain here, he turned and began to walk back. The night was quiet in the streets once he got away from the loud yelling of the docks. It seemed men never slept there.
The quiet was soon frightening though, for he felt the chills of someone following him shoot up his spine. He narrowed his eyes, not missing a step, not alerting whoever it was that he knew they were there.
He knew the stories of the murders. Men and women alike were being killed, and they said by one man. He would strangle or drown them and leave them there with no evidence except for a boot print in their blood, if there was any. And yet, the police never could match the boot.
He almost chuckled, despite his fear, as he thought of how terribly idiotic Josset and his men were.
Suddenly the sound had ceased, causing the young man to stop walking as well. He raised an eyebrow, his ears and eyes alert. He spun quickly, ready to defend himself, but found no one there.
Chuckling at his stupid nerves, he continued along. He passed by an alleyway and was completely thrown off guard when a body hurtled itself at him. He saw the flash of the blade as the light from the street lamp caught it.
He yelled and threw his hand up to catch the wrist of the man who towered over him. The face was masked in the shadow of the hat on his head, but the gruff grunting of his struggle allowed Turner the knowledge that it was indeed a man, a very strong man at that.
They fell to the ground in the struggle, and the attacker's hand latched onto Turner's throat and pushed him up from him, while Turner's hands grappled at his face and tried to push the hat off to see what the shadow masked.
The blade swung up and sliced across his front, then across his arm. He yelled and fell back against the stone wall, clutching at his arm and trying to stop the bleeding as he saw the dark material of his jacket begin to turn crimson.
He looked up and saw the man was gone. Struggling to his feet, he began to stumble down the street, breathing heavily, and wanting only to escape the man he had not had a chance to look at. His fear was inevitable, but it still shamed him as he tried only to stay awake long enough to get to someone who could help him.
He began getting dizzy. His breathing was shallower.
"Sir! Sir, are you alright?!" Was the last thing he heard before he collapsed in a heap against the cold ground. A man hurried to his side and turned him over, seeing the crimson.
With a great effort, the short and stubby man pulled the limp body of William Turner to his hansom and barely was able to get it on the seat. He hurried to his own seat, jumped up and let the horses take him to his destination.
Elizabeth Swann wiped her brow where her light brown hair fell from her bun in wisps. The poor child cried bitterly as she set his arm, but heard only light sobbing when the pain began to ebb.
"You'll be fine, lad. I promise," she breathed as he lost consciousness. She called the other nurse over. "Give him some laudanum when he wakes up." The other nurse nodded her head and Elizabeth left, walking into one of the other rooms and dropping to the bed. She sighed, throwing her arm over her eyes. She was terribly tired and overworked, but it was good work, and it lifted your heart at the end of the day.
The door to the room opened and Ishmael poked his head in. "Miss Elizabeth, I—oh, I'm terribly sorry!" He began to back out.
Elizabeth smiled warmly and sat up again, wiping her eyes as if the tiredness would disappear. "No, Ishmael, it's fine. Do you need something?"
"I found an injured man. I think you should look at him."
"Found?" She asked, standing and fixing the pins in her hair a bit, before following the short, tubby man. "What do you mean, you found him?"
"I found him, Miss. He was hobbling along and lost consciousness when I reached him. He's been stabbed right bad, Miss. Right bad."
"Stabbed?" Her steps were now more hurried as she followed him into the examination room. She pushed herself inside and saw an unconscious man lying there, his face pale. "Ishmael, get me fresh water, stitches, and a cleaning cloth. Bring some laudanum from Bertha as well."
He hurried out as she peeled the coat from the man's body. He was young and had a lot of strength in him, she could tell. Even in unconsciousness, his jaw was clenched tightly. She could tell he wasn't too easy to get along with, as well.
Probably a dock worker, she decided when she saw his tattered clothing. He smelled of the river as well as his own blood. She quickly unbuttoned his shirt as well, not even sparing a blush as she noticed the muscles there. Dock workers usually had strong, sturdy body structures…
She shook her head, annoyed that she had spared thoughts like those when this man's life hung on a thin line.
Ishmael returned in record time with the things she ordered. "We need more laudanum, Miss. It seems we only have one more bottle."
"I'll have Tenningbaum pick some up tonight, then. Thank you, Ishmael." She met his eyes with sincerity. He didn't even work at the hospital, yet he spared his free time to volunteer and help when he was needed, no pay.
"It's no problem, Miss. M'just glad I found 'im, poor lad."
"Yes," she agreed. She felt his head and realized he had a high fever. He had lost a lot of blood already, for it soaked his front and his left arm. She quickly cleaned the wounds and stitched them, working against the clock. Her arms were so tired, they felt like lead, and her knees barely supported her. She would later make a note to wear simpler dresses to nurse in, for the heavy skirts weren't helping her fatigue.
It was awhile later when two men came to take the young man into the hospital rest room, where beds were lined up in long rows for the ill and injured. He was laid gently on the bed, his wounds stitched and bandaged, the color coming back to his face.
Elizabeth understandably decided it better to let Ishmael and the other men to change his pants, for the blood had dripped down to stain them as well.
Before she went back to her bed, she stepped into the quiet room and checked on a few of the patients that needed constant care. As she walked passed the young man she had saved earlier in the night, she heard a quiet moan.
Turning, she went to his side and felt his head. His eyelids fluttered a bit. She put her surprisingly smooth hand to his dark brown curls on his head and watched his face. It was a rather good-looking face, she decided. It was dark and mysterious.
But the moment he opened his eyes, she was nearly taken aback. They were the most powerful eyes she could remember ever seeing in her entire life. There was so much depth in them, so much strength. They were beguiling and mysterious and they made him that much more handsome.
"Hello," he grunted. "Who are you?"
She smiled. "Your nurse. Would you like some water?"
"Aye, water would be nice."
She walked away, knowing his eyes were on her the whole way to the door. She hurried into the next room, her face feeling hot as his eyes flashed through her mind again. She carried a glass of water back to him after pouring it and helped him drink.
"Thank you," he breathed as she laid him back down against the pillow. "Where am I?"
"A hospital. Ishmael found you injured in the street and brought you back here."
"What's your name?"
She almost giggled at his questions. "Elizabeth. I'm your nurse. You're lucky we found you. You lost a lot of blood."
He merely grunted in reply, shutting his eyes softly.
Elizabeth fought to keep her curiosity back, but as was her usual habit, she could not. "Can you remember what happened?"
"Of course I can," he answered back, slightly put off by the remembrance of the time when he could not. He saw her flinch, but found himself not caring. "I was attacked in the street on my way home from the docks." He kept the rest of the information guarded, just in case. He did not know this woman. And she did not know him.
"What may I call you?"
"You needn't call me anything," he answered back, looking up at her again.
"Excuse me, sir, but I really do need to call you something. We do not number our patients at this clinic." Elizabeth's tone of voice was sarcastic as she folded her arms at her chest.
A small smile snuck onto her features. He could see her stubbornness and strength just by looking into her face. He thought it a pretty face. It was very feminine, but not in a weak way. It was feminine in the way that represented a real woman who knew how to take care of herself. He admired that, he decided.
"I realize that, Miss. Thank you." His tone was just as sarcastic. "Then you can call me Turner. William Turner."
"I will. Thank you Mr. Turner." She turned on her heel and began to walk away, but suddenly spun back, her features hard as she looked on him. "Is there anything more I can get you before I leave?"
"No, thank you."
He watched her leave in a flurry of skirts and wondered why there weren't anymore women out there like her. Although he had to admit, if the way she had just treated him were taken into example, one was quite enough for him.
Turner blinked tiredly as he woke the next morning. His entire body was sore and his head ached terribly. When he tried to lift his arm to feel the knot at the back of his head, he winced as pain shot through it.
He felt a hand go to his arm and push it back down. "Careful, Mr. Turner. Yeh don' wan' ter be out o' commission fer longer'n necessary, eh?"
Turner looked up to see Captain Jack Sparrow sitting at his bed side, the comical grin plastered on his bearded face. "No, definitely not. What are you doing here, Mr. Sparrow?"
"Tha's Captain Sparrow, lad. An' I'm only keepin' an eye on me money."
"Money?" Will asked, narrowing his eyes in confusion.
"You, lad, are me money."
He opened his mouth to answer but found another person step into his vision. It was the nurse from the night before. "Mr. Turner, you must rest here for a few days until the wounds are healed better."
"A few days, Missy? Tha's not gunna work fer me," Sparrow answered, standing up. He was only an inch or two taller than the woman in front of him. Her gaze didn't change at all as he tried to look threatening.
"Well, you aren't the one in that bed with knife wounds, with all due respect, sir." She turned to William and put a hand on his forehead. "You seem back to normal with your temperature. That's good. Did you sleep well last night?"
"Very, thank you. I'm actually feeling alright, really. I have a job to do." He sat up quickly and tried to bring his legs over to the side, but he became terribly dizzy and flopped back down to the bed.
Elizabeth gasped and pushed him back to his prior position. "Mr. Turner! You are not well enough to be out of bed. I am a practiced nurse and I don't want to hear you or your friend here dispute that!" She ordered, her voice leveled.
"Yes, ma'am," Sparrow answered, sizing her up with admiration.
"I'm not talking to you sir…with all due respect," she said again, leaning down to Turner and pulling the sheet down to his waist. She was frustrated that she found heat rising from beneath the collar of her dress at the sight of his bare torso. She checked the bandage of his wounds, and made sure none of the stitches had torn.
When she was assured everything was well, she inclined her head to Turner and left to check on other patients.
"Have yeh found anythin' yet, lad?" Sparrow asked, lowering his voice with a serious look.
He was ashamed to tell his employer he had found nothing. He had been searching for nigh a week and found nothing. He found no clues to the whereabouts of the diamonds or who took them. And he had no idea how to get them back without that information. "I am still working on a few leads, Captain Sparrow."
"Tha' means no. I paid yeh good money, Turner. And I wan' me cargo back. So if yeh can' find it, I'll take me money somewhere else, but judgin' by the look o' yer clothes, I think yeh need me business, no?"
"I do," the younger man answered, diverting his eyes. "As soon as I am allowed out of this place, I will continue with my investigation. I will find the cargo, Captain."
"Good. Tha's all I wanted ter be sure 'bout."
"You can be sure. Do not worry."
"Righ' I won't. Take care o' yerself…I want you back out there soon."
That night, as Will heard the snores of the rest of the patients, he moved his legs from beneath his covers and pushed himself up to his feet. He felt better than he had in the morning, but was still sore. His left arm was useless until healed, but he did not care. He had to make his money.
He found his newly cleaned and mended clothing folded on the chair beside his bed. He held his shirt up and watched it unfold, seeing that the tear from the attack was completely stitched, the blood washed from it. It was the same with his other clothing.
He redressed himself painfully, then pulled his boots on, before limping painfully to the door and opening it. He cursed himself then, feeling incredibly ungrateful and rude. These people had saved his life and he was running away without even paying them. This was probably a very professional clinic and he was almost ready to just walk out without leaving some sort of recompense.
Hurrying quietly, he went back to his bed and set what he expected was due on the bed, along with a messy note written on clean bandage with a quill he found in the desk. He thanked them in it and particularly noted a young Miss Swann, the nurse who cared for him.
Finally, he began down the street. He realized he had enough money from Sparrow's advance pay to hail a hansom to take him home. All he wanted was some of his strong ale before he had to venture out to the docks again to make enquiries about the Black Pearl.
It was morning again when he set out from his home, ale in his belly and strong color in his cheeks. He reached the docks at half passed eight and walked through the crowds of gruff men, determined to look as if he was a dockhand himself.
A lone man stood on the wooden planks of the docks and tied various knots in a rope, before looking up from his work to look at the young man standing before him. "Wot is it, lad? I ain't got no more room fer ye's on me boat, now git."
"I'm not looking for a job," Turner answered, his eyes hard and strong. The older man stood, standing only an inch shorter than Turner. He scratched his beard.
"Aye? Then what're ye's lookin' fer?"
"Answers. Have you ever heard of the Black Pearl?"
"I've 'eard of 'er. Wot about 'er?" He was incredibly suspicious now.
"I don't know where to find her and I want to see the captain. I have a message for him." He lied through his teeth, but in his work, he had learned to lie and lie well.
"From who?" He tilted his head, grunting.
"It's none of your concern. All I want to know is where can I find this Pearl?"
"I don't know nuffin' 'bout no Black Pearl. All I knows is th'captain's got somefin' stolen from 'im. I don't know nuffin' else, an' if'n I did, I sure as hell wouldn't tell yeh!" He spat on the ground beneath where Turner stood.
Angry and frustrated that he had gotten virtually nothing from this man, Will turned and walked away. He knew he had to get away fast, because one never knew what sort of trouble followed a man with questions here.
He stopped suddenly as he heard two sailors talking to each other. He heard one mention diamonds, so he stopped and grabbed a rope on the ground quickly, pretending to work on it.
"Aye, an' then they's took the diamonds from th'Pearl an' I hear as Sparrow's got 'imself some private man lookin' fer'em."
"Yeh? A private feller, eh? Wot's tha' gunner 'elp 'im nuffin? Nobody'll find those diamonds. They's probly 'arf ways ter th'Asia's by now." Both chuckled. "Poor Sparrow's wastin' 'is money."
"Excuse me," Turner called out, coming closer.
Both men looked at him quickly, suspicious that he had heard their conversation. "Wot?"
"My captain is a stupid blighter and is having me ask around for directions. If I give you a pound each, can I get some information?"
Both laughed. The skinnier one answered, "A pound isn' good fer nothin', lad! I 'ave work ter der. Tell yer cap'n ter shove it up th'arse!" Both men laughed again.
"Listen, five pounds each…and if the information you give me is good enough, I'll up you two each."
"An' if we don' wanner tell yeh?"
"You'll get something up your arse that…"
"Ey, lad! Yeh bes' not be threatenin' us! Yer 'alf our size, eh? Think 'bout yer words, boy."
"Ten pounds each if you don't spread this around. I need this information. Ten pounds. Think of what that can get you…all the women, the rum, the food…" He trailed off, allowing them to use their own imaginations. He just wanted to give them a little push to start off.
"Ten?" They looked at each other. "A'righ', we'll see wot yer wanter know an' make our decision affer."
"Deal." The three men moved closer.
"We've got some stolen goods from the Americas packed away in the ship's hold." Both sailors' eyes bugged out at this lie. "I'm not telling you my ship and I'm not telling you what the goods are, but know they're pricey. My captain needs to know where to take these goods for the best profit."
"Wot makes yer think we know where th'best prices are?" The shorter, thicker man asked, slanting his eyes. He obviously didn't trust the younger man.
"Don't you all?"
"No, lad. I don' think we know anythin'…"
"Ten pounds says you do," Turner answered, opening the small pouch and revealing the pounds in it. One man licked his lips while the other cleared his throat.
"Righ' most fellas with pricey goods, say…ivory er th'medicines sail through Gibraltar ter th'Indias. Sometimes I found meself on ships bound fer China. Th'Asians dun' care where yeh gets yer goods, long's yeh 'ave 'em."
"Greedy bastards," the other man laughed.
"Aye," Turner answered, joining in the joke, though his mind was far from mirth. His arm hurt him terribly and he felt a wave of nausea overtake him. "What sort of a ship would be able to make that trip?" Turner was completely unfamiliar with sailing and ships. He preferred to take land cases in his native London, but in the past year, he had accepted only one other case besides Sparrow's dealing with the waters.
"Th'bigger types o' ships, but not ter big. It'll let th'river pirates know ye's got somethin' pricey-like an' they's attack fer sure. They's a smart bunch o'blokes fer 'ow stupid they's is."
The thin man grinned. "An' try ter move in fog. Less'll be out an' about in tha', which means less'll see yeh."
Turner blanched. There hadn't been terrible fog since a few months back, long before Sparrow's diamonds had been stolen from his ship. Could it be that the thief or thieves of the shipment were still stashing the stolen goods somewhere in London or further down the river waiting for a foggy night to mask their departure?
He felt a fool for not thinking of it before. He had automatically assumed the thieves escaped immediately after stealing the diamonds from Sparrow's ship.
"Right, thank you. I'll tell my captain all you've given me. What are your names in case I need to find you again?"
"Find us again?"
"Yes. I might need more information."
"Yeh gots more o' them coins?"
The fatter one growled. "Now we need ter know ye's name…fer our own knowledge."
"Cannon. William Cannon."
"Aye, Cannon. We'll be seein' yeh."
Turner nodded and gave them each their ten pounds, before disappearing into the crowd of men again. He grinned triumphantly at his success. So…the thieves were still in London.
Then by God, he would find them.
Elizabeth went into the hospital rest room and stopped at an elderly man's bedside. He was weak and near death, so Elizabeth and the other nurses had been doing all they could to sooth him and comfort him until his death, which would be all too soon.
They listened to his war stories and laughed with him when he spoke of his odd captain.
Elizabeth knew she would feel his loss when he was gone, but it was a part of her job. She had seen so much death now that it barely fazed her anymore. She still felt the pang in her heart when one of her patients passed on and felt the guilt of perhaps not working hard enough to help them.
But she knew many cases were bound to die, no matter what sorts of efforts the staff of the clinic went through to save them. The deceased were given to the families, or if they had no families, were given small ceremonies at the hospital, out of respect for their lives.
She stopped suddenly as she walked passed an empty bed that had been filled prior to the sun's rising that very morning. Turning, she saw the bed messily made with some money and bandage sprawled on the wrinkled sheets.
Her eyes narrowed dangerously as her heart beat rapidly against her chest. Please, God. The stubborn man hasn't…
He had. She read the letter aloud a few minutes later to her superior, Dr. Banks.
"Dear staff of this clinic,
You saved my life and for that I am very thankful. I would have died in that street if it weren't for your man Ishmael's quick action and valiant effort to save me from my own death. I received excellent care and a glass of water the moment I awoke yesterday morning. Although I met with a nurse who was quite stubborn in her gait, she cared for me well and I am grateful to her. Please assure Miss Elizabeth, my nurse, that despite her stubborn nature, I wish for her well being. And I thank her especially.
Despite the anger bubbling inside her at that man's incredibly rude letter and attitude towards her in it, she could barely disguise the urge to laugh at his incredible wit. She had known he had an awful amount of gall and boldness in him in just those few days she cared for him.
"Stubborn, indeed," Banks said, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "He left far too much money for us, though."
"Yes, he did," she answered, ignoring Banks' agreement with the mysterious patient's letter. "He just left! He is probably walking about outside in the freezing cold, almost dead, or already dead! His wound wasn't even healed properly, yet!"
"He left and there is nothing we can do but let it be," Dr. Banks answered.
"We must do something! He was in our charge!" Elizabeth argued.
"We cannot do anything!"
She set her shoulders, huffed, and exited the room, leaving the doctor to chuckle down at the letter in his hands once more before setting it on his desk and going about his job.
Elizabeth pulled her jacket on and buttoned it securely, before leaving the hospital with a kind goodbye to the nurses in the entryway. As she walked down the street, she thought rampantly about the young man, William Turner. What sort of reason would he have for leaving the hospital in such a hurry?
His older friend had said something about a job, but she couldn't be sure as to what sort of job would drag a man from his sick bed when he had been near death only a day before.
She wasn't watching where she was going as she pondered, and eventually found herself alone on an unknown street. She looked up at the buildings and found them in ill repair, nothing like the building she lived in or those surrounding her clinic. How long had she been walking in thought that she had ended up here?
With a quiver, she began backtracking. Perhaps if she found where she had started, she could just go back the right way, without letting her mind stray to the mysterious patient of yesterday.
After taking a few turns into other streets, she found herself face to face with a large, burly man. Behind him lay the Thames River. She was thankful she had found the river, for she could definitely find her way to her nice, warm and cozy room she rented from a kind elderly couple.
Just two years before, after the death of her father, the twenty-two year old young woman moved to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gentry, a couple in their late fifties who had lost their daughter to consumption just a year before meeting Elizabeth Swann. They looked at her as their daughter many times, and loved her just the same, but never quite told her so.
They never had to.
Elizabeth stopped and smiled weakly at the large, dirty man. "Excuse me, sir." She moved to the side politely and tried to walk passed him, but found he stepped in front of her again. "Yes?" She inquired innocently.
"Have yer lost yer way, lassie?" He asked, grinning rakishly.
"Oh no, thank you. I'm perfectly alright. I must go. Thank you for your consideration."
"Ain't no consideration. Lemme walk yer ter yer little home, eh pretty?" He reached out and nudged her chin with his blackened fingers.
"No, thank you. I'm fine."
"Yeh ain't got no choice in th'matter, lassie. Now come wif me an' nobody gets 'urt…" His next words were cut off as something solid and heavy came down on his head. As he dropped to the floor, a tall, lean body appeared behind him with a slow smile on its face.
"Good morning, Miss Swann. He will be waking up in a few moments, I'm sure, so I suggest we start for your home," William Turner said, dropping the large plank of wood to the ground and guiding the young woman back to the largely populated street, where men, women and children walked.
She just stared at him, before shaking her head of the cobwebs and growling. "Excuse me, Mr. Turner, but since when did you think I needed your help?" She stopped and put her hands on her hips.
"Since you were almost taken, not by your own will, by a large, dangerous drunkard, Miss Elizabeth. I helped you. Be thankful I was there." He took her arm gently and gestured in front of them. "Which way to your home? I'll walk you there."
"A few streets down on—Wait just a moment! You—Why did you leave this morning, you ungrateful…ooh!" She folded her arms at her chest and frowned up at him. "You have a lot of explaining to do! I specifically told you that you were unwell and you deliberately left!"
"I didn't do it particularly to spite you. My, you think very well of yourself, don't you?"
She huffed, indignant. "How dare you insinuate I am self-absorbed! If anyone is self-absorbed, it is you! You think of no one but yourself, you narcissist!"
He raised an eyebrow. "Narcissist?"
"You're selfish and conceded! Think only of your own gain!"
People were beginning to notice the small argument, so Turner took the rabid young woman's arm and began to lead her to her home again. "How am I selfish?"
"You left when I told you not to!"
"How was staying there going to help anyone else?" He asked, trying to raise his arms in an exaggerated shrug, but finding a sharp pain shooting through the injured of the two. He winced and lowered it.
She noticed and took the arm tenderly into her hands. "See? You're still very much hurt. And did you ever even think once that I would be worried to see you not in your—that we would worry for your safety? We care about what happens to our patients!"
"You were worried?" Turner asked, looking her straight in the eye. She looked away quickly.
"About you? No, of course not. I was worried about…the reputation of my clinic. We cannot allow patients to just wander out like nothing. It will give us a terrible reputation." Her blush was as evident to her as it was to him.
She hurried forward and the rest of the way, they walked in absolute silence. She finally reached the quaint, two-story home and stepped inside. "Thank you, Mr. Turner, for walking me home. It was truly kind of you."
"It was my pleasure, Miss Elizabeth…" He paused, hoping she would distinguish her last name to him.
"It was my pleasure Miss Swann." He bowed to her with an elegance that comically contrasted with his dirty, tattered clothing. She figured when he was dressed nicely and shaved correctly, he would be rather presentable.
"Mr. Turner, would you care to have some tea? It is cold outside and I should like to check your wounds once more before I perhaps never see you again."
He paused at the steps, biting his lip. The woman was positively confusing. "I would love to, but…"
"Please do. I would feel terribly all day to know you were freezing out there with a possibly infected flesh wound." Her eyes were sincere, and so he accepted.
He followed her inside, but stopped in the entry way, taking his hat off. The home made him feel particularly inadequate, so he just stood, watching her walk away from him. As if noticing his absence, she turned and tilted her head in confusion.
"I—where do I leave my coat and hat? I do not wish to defile the grandeur of your home." His eyes met hers in sincerity and she smiled.
"Do not worry, Mr. Turner. This is not my home. I occupy one of the rooms upstairs." At his confused look, she walked to him and took his hat from his fingers, hanging it beside the door, allowing him to take the coat from his shoulders. As he winced, she helped him ease the sleeve from the injured arm, before hanging the coat below his hat. "The Gentrys are very kind in allowing me to stay there."
"Are they here?" He had the sudden urge to leave.
"No, they are not. They took the train to Liverpool to visit Mr. Gentry's sister. They will not return for a few months, I'm afraid, leaving me here in this large home alone." He finally worked up enough nerve to follow her into the sitting room.
She made him his tea and sat across from him on the loveseat, pouring them both cups of hot tea. "Sugar?"
"No. Thank you, I mean." She saw that his mind was elsewhere, his dark eyes swirling in thought. Elizabeth merely sat and watched him, allowing him his thoughts as she drank her tea patiently.
"May I ask your opinion on something, Miss Swann?" Turner asked, his eyes still on the English tea in his cold hands. He dreaded having to ask her a question pertaining to his case, but he was running out of allies and needed some help. She seemed incredibly intelligent. Any woman who could stitch and heal a wound like his should have an incredible amount of common sense. Maybe she could help.
"I am not sure how much you know of the criminal mind, but you must know something of a woman's mind…"
"Yes, most likely," she replied, her face completely unchanged, her tone everything but sarcastic.
He chose to ignore her.
"I thought you might be able to tell me what draws a woman to diamonds? Are you drawn to diamonds?"
"Not particularly," she said, absolutely curious, but not letting any of her questions be known. "But I find certain diamonds attractive. I believe it is a woman's intuition to find things which sparkle and shine desirable."
"Yes, my thoughts precisely." He mulled this over in his head. Could the diamonds have been stolen by a woman? He had not actually thought of this possibility before, for it seemed the loading and unloading of such cargo was almost physically impossible for a woman to master.
Of course, the diamonds could be for a woman. The shipment Sparrow was missing was not a ridiculously large amount, only a small crate full, even though it would cost the captain a large sum of money.
"Although…" Elizabeth paused, biting her lip in thought. Turner watched her expectantly, awaiting the rest of her thought. "Diamonds are a symbol for women of the unattainable. And for certain women, certain…bored women…the unattainable is always something desirable."
He blinked at her for a moment, then a slow grin spread on his handsome, lean face. "Diamonds are unattainable for these women you speak of?"
"Most of the time, I suppose." She had held her questioning in for long enough, she decided. "Why must you know this?"
He wondered, should he tell her of his case? Would she prove to be a worthy accomplice? She was intelligent enough and her mind seemed to work in ways many men in the London police department could not comprehend.
Now was the time to make his decision.
"No particular reason." He smiled. "I find my mind wandering to strange and beguiling questions like these often." He stood. "I thank you for the tea."
She stood and followed him as he walked to the door. "I have not checked your wound."
"I'm sure it will be fine, Miss Swann. Thank you kindly." He took his coat and pulled it on, before setting his hat on his head.
"But…the question about the diamonds…" she started, completely ready to ask again, for she knew he lied.
"An old friend of mine is trying to find some diamonds…for a special woman friend. I suppose I had to ask you for his own information. I thank you. And I hope I shall see you again soon." He bowed politely to her, then walked out of the door.
She stood in the doorway and squinted as the rain began. He started walking faster down the street, pulling his collar tighter to him. He disappeared in the hazy mist of the rain, his dark brown, tattered jacket swinging with the movement of his well built body.
Elizabeth Swann stepped back into her entry way and shut the door, locking it securely. And as she went to the kitchen to wash the tea cups and kettle, her mind was churning with thoughts of the diamond.
(A/N:) And so, another saga of williz begins. I've actually been working on this for a long time, trying to fit it into my schedule. And I have a few more chapters written, but I want to test this first chapter out first. See how it's received.
So tell me how it is, everyone!!!
Read and review!