Author's Note: Thanks to everyone who reviewed! They were awesome. I really like this story and I think I'll have fun writing it this summer. There is an original character who is introduced in this chapter. Have fun reading this!
Chapter 2: It's only life
"Why, is something the matter Kit?" Mistress Eaton questioned the curly-haired girl standing silently by her side. The girl's soft pale face was full of nervousness. She bit down on her lower lip and glanced back at her mother-in-law.
"Mistress Eaton…" She began, but was immediately interrupted.
"Call me Mother, dear." The older woman smiled warmly and took the girl's thin hands in her own. Worry flooded through Mary Eaton. They got married so quickly, she silently fretted. Of course Kit was going to feel a bit out of place. Poor child, her whole life was turned topsy-turvy with her move from the Barbados and now, she once again left the only family she has.
"Mother." Kit smiled shyly. "I feel as if me being here is too much of a burden."
Mary Eaton looked at her daughter-in-law sternly. "The day that that the Eatons believe that one of their family members is a burden will be the day that I will be ashamed to be a part of this family. However, there is one thing I would like to ask of you."
Kit blinked, "What is it?"
"How about helping me with dinner?" The two women smiled at each other as they walked into the kitchen side by side.
The tomatoes from the Eaton garden were just right, Kit sighed in pleasure as she carefully cut an especially plump one.
Suddenly, she heard the clatter of feet on top of the stairs as well as a few girlish shrieks. Kit looked up in surprise and saw Mistress Eaton stand sternly with her hands on her hips, glaring at the exit of the stairwell.
As Kit watched in surprise, Nat bounded down holding a small girl with blonde hair plaited down her back.
"Mother, look at the young scoundrel I have found going through your jellies in the attic!" Nat called, tightening his grip on his captive which was squirming in his grasp.
"He's lying!" The girl shouted, planting a perfect kick right on Nat's shin.
In this sudden whirlwind, Kit was completely surprised. Do the Eatons normally get such visits from young thieves in Saybrook?
"Constance!" Mistress Eaton went forth and loosened the girl from her son's grasp. She smoothed a few of the girl's wayward curls on the side of her head. "When are you going to act befitting for a young lady?" She sighed.
"Kit!" Nat came over to her. "This is my younger sister, Constance. She's a right little devil and worth more trouble than she should."
Constance stuck her tongue out at him and surveyed Kit coldly. "Welcome, Kit. Although with my brother, you're better off without." Her words shocked Kit. The girl looked no older than 11, but she spoke with the conviction that Kit did not usually find in children. As Kit took in the girl's pretty features, she saw that Constance's eyes narrowed with suspicion at her scrutiny. Their gaze was broken by Mistress Eaton who fussed over the tears in her daughter's dress. "Third dress this year, Constance!" She scolded. "And will you stop that infernal shrieking?"
"Mother! That was Nat!"
"Nat?" Mary Eaton looked back at her firstborn who was grinning shame-facedly back at her.
Kit stared up at her husband. "That was you?" She asked incredulously. She replayed that high shriek in her head. She could not help but put her hand to her mouth and suppress the giggle that threatened to break out.
Nat nodded sheepishly, "But in my defense, the little scoundrel jumped on me as I was going up to the attic. She knocked me into father's cargo from England."
"Goodness be!" Their mother exclaimed. "Put it back before your father finds out that you two have been roughhousing in that cargo."
"Yeah," Constance grinned mischievously. "He'd probably tan your hide, wouldn't he Nat?"
"Oh yeah?" Nat answered, looking more flustered. Another glance at his bride told him that Kit could no longer keep back her amusement at seeing a side of her husband that she didn't know. "Well, yours is the only one in danger, dear sister, for I am a grown man and a married one at that." Nat sniffed superiorly.
"Didn't stop him last year." Constance answered slyly, as that mischievous look came back again.
"Children, stop this and go fix the mess." Their mother commanded, her hands found their way to her hips once again.
"Yes, mother dear." The siblings chorused together before running back the stairs.
"I'm sorry Kit." Mary Eaton smiled apologetically at her daughter-in-law. "Did Nat not mention his sister to you before?"
Kit shook her head. Obviously, there was a lot more to her husband that she still needed to learn!
The food that Kit and Mary Eaton prepared was just right. The family sat around the table. Hannah, by Kit's side, kept patting Kit's hand and staring at her with her own sparkling blue eyes.
"Brother," Constance demanded, her grey eyes focused on Nat with an intensity that Kit found slightly disconcerting.
"Constance," Captain Eaton cut in sharply. "I know that in our absence your manners have grown lax. Children should be seen and not heard."
Her eyes flashed defiantly for just a second before Constance bowed her head respectfully, "Of course, father." She murmured.
Kit supposed that she was a lot more used to the puritanical traditions that now spelled her daily life. Growing up in Barbados, her grandfather had allowed her a great deal of freedom, allowing her to speak her opinions and he had always valued them. However, when she glanced back at Constance, she realized that the strict manner that she was brought up did nothing to bridle her spirit.
As soon as Constance finished clearing the dishes with her mother and Kit, she skipped away. Mary Eaton sighed as she turned to Kit. "Constance has always been a wild child. The captain disapproves of the way she was brought up. That's why he doesn't allow her on The Dolphin. He is afraid that a life there would lead her wild spirit even further. She is extraordinarily close with Nat even though they haven't spent much time together."
Kit nodded. She lifted her eyes to the doorway and saw Constance hanging off of Nat's hand.
"Brother, you promised that the next time you come back, you'll take me to ocean and see The Dolphin."
"Constance, I told Kit that I would take her around Saybrook. I can take you both to the ocean in the upcoming days." Nat told her as she grasped tighter to his arm.
She glared at him. "How could you break your promise to me?" With that, she turned and ran up the stairs.
Nat entered the kitchen. "Mother, could I possibly borrow my wife for the evening?" He smiled charmingly and his mother laughed. "Of course," To Kit's protesting hands, she shooed them away, "Go off, enjoy the evening."
"Here is the schoolhouse." Nat pointed at a weathered dame school. Mercy, memories of her sweet cousin filled Kit's mind. As she took in the school, she could not help but be a little homesick.
Nat noticed Kit's forlorn look, "But, pretty schoolteachers are hard to get. I'd say I got pretty lucky, wouldn't you agree?" He grinned at her. Kit smiled back as they walked, just happy to be in each other's company.
"Your bride, Nat?" A friendly voice cut through into both Kit and Nat's thoughts. Kit felt her husband stiffen besides her. "What do you need, James? He asked before turning around. Kit followed suit and found herself staring face to face with a stocky young man with a shock of bright red hair smirking down on them.
"Just a friendly question, mate." He responded. Touching the brim of his hat with a large hand, the man stared at Kit intently. Kit studied him as well. With his hair and condescending expression, she realized that his previous friendly tone had just been a shield.
"I told you not to come around me anymore." Nat told him in a cold tone. "How dare you come at this moment?
"Best mates don't need explanations for what they do." James responded, cocking up an eyebrow. Kit felt a wave of fear at his expression. "Nat, can't you two talk this out civilly?" She asked.
"Listen to your wrench, Nat boy. She speaks sense. Maybe one of these days, you can tell her about Virginia." He sneered as Nat took a step towards him.
"Who is Virginia?" Kit asked. She took his eyes in hers. The intense gaze he bestowed upon her was returned very well.
James laughed condescendingly. "Who is Virginia? Ask your man, although I greatly doubt he is even one."
"Leave." Nat commanded. "I don't want no trouble with you."
James sneered and lazily strutted towards them. With one hand against Nat's shoulder, he whispered, "I may have forgiven you, but Virginia never will."
Nat flinched. He started walking off, Kit hastily followed him. As they walked away, Kit could still feel James' crude gaze on them. "Who is Virginia?" Kit asked again. As she looked at her husband, she folded her hands. "Tell me, Nat."
"No one. James just likes to cause trouble." Nat hastily responded.
"Liar." Kit glared at him. "I thought we said that there wouldn't be any secrets between us, Nat. I thought we agreed to at least that."
"Let's just walk back to the house in peace. I will tell you someday Kit. But that day is not today."
"How can you do this to me?" Kit asked. "Why did I marry you if you can't even tell me about your past?"
Author's Note: Drama! Is that trouble in paradise I spot? For shame, only the third week…Please leave a review. It really does help me write faster!