Chapter 12

Beckett was sitting in his office sifting through various papers on his desk. He frankly was sick of looking at all these papers and just wanted to go home to his wife. Business was taking over his personal life and normally this would not bother him except now he had a beautiful wife that he wanted to be with. He counted himself lucky that he had her; he was so glad that Norrington was out of the picture now. Beckett knew that Elizabeth had feelings for him and that's why he had to get rid of that nuisance commodore.

He stood and walked over to a small cabinet and pulled a bottle of brandy out and poured some in a glass. As he started to bring the glass to his lips there was a knock on the door. He furrowed his eyebrows and glanced at a clock. Eight o'clock it read, who could possibly need to bother him this late in the evening? "Come!" he called irritably.

"My lord, I apologize for bothering you so late," Mercer said and stepped inside the room slowly and bowed.

"Mercer, I haven't seen you in a few days," Beckett said briefly wondering what his assistant had been doing.

"I have news that you may find interesting, my lord," Mercer said. Beckett raised his eyebrows curiously and looked at Mercer. "It regards your wife and a certain stubborn commodore." Beckett tensed and narrowed his eyes at Mercer. He better not say what he thought he was about to say. "It seems, sir, that he survived our attack along with Groves. Groves has told Lady Beckett everything."

Beckett remained silent. He gripped the glass he was holding tightly and suddenly without warning threw the glass across the room. He was breathing hard and gripped the edge of his desk in frustration. How was this possible? How could anyone have survived that onslaught? This had to be a mistake; it just was not possible that this was happening. Elizabeth had to be absolutely furious right now.

"I thought you told me that you checked for survivors?" Beckett said slowly and quietly. He just felt like slapping someone right now and Mercer may be the unfortunate victim.

"I did check my lord. Several times we combed those waters, I don't know how they got away without us knowing," Mercer said and wisely took a few steps back from Beckett. Beckett let out a frustrated groan and balled his fists tightly.

"Well what the hell are you waiting for? Go find them! Kill Groves but bring Norrington to me alive. I will personally deal with him since you are so damn incompetent," Beckett yelled. "I assume you know where they are hiding?" Beckett added glaring a hole right through Mercer. Mercer was visibly tense and swallowed hard.

"I lost Groves, sir. He must have known he was being followed. He got away from me," Mercer said looking down at his feet momentarily. If looks could kill Mercer would be dead right now. Beckett's nostrils flared in agitation.

"Then I suggest you find out where they are! Get the hell out of my sight now!" Beckett yelled at his assistant furiously. Mercer bowed his head and quickly left the room. "Damn!" Beckett slammed his fist on his desk. He quickly went back to his cabinet and filled another glass completely full of brandy. This was going to be a long night.

Elizabeth had been debating all day whether she should leave or not. Her mind was going a thousand miles per minute. She had been sitting in Beckett's study all day since Groves left. She wanted to see James more than anything in this world right now. The very thought that he was still alive made her so unbelievably happy. She worried for him now though. She hoped that he and Groves would not be discovered.

Elizabeth heard the front door to the house open and braced herself. It was more than likely Beckett had just come home. She was so angry with him and really did not want to see him. What she just could not understand though was why Beckett would attack The Dauntless. She heard voices outside the study and then everything got quiet. She watched the door as the handle began to turn. Beckett entered the study and closed the door behind him.

She looked up at him, malice in her brown eyes. She wanted to scream and hit him as hard as she could but she restrained herself. He looked at her and she could tell something was troubling him. His eyes were cold and probing.

"Why are you in here of all places?" he finally asked. Elizabeth turned her nose up at him and refused to respond. She watched him carefully. He seemed deep in thought and he chewed on his lower lip, his hands behind his back. "Is something the matter?" he asked taking notice of her deliberate silence. That's all it took for Elizabeth to unleash her rage on him. She stood and marched bravely toward him and stuck an accusing finger on his chest.

"You bastard! I know what you did!" Elizabeth bellowed.

"What is the matter with you? I have no idea what you are on about," he feigned ignorance. Elizabeth let out a growl of frustration and turned away from her husband.

"I know that you attacked The Dauntless! You were the damn hurricane! Don't bother playing stupid," Elizabeth said exasperated.

"Who told you all this non sense?" Beckett asked slowly approaching her. Elizabeth looked away from him and to the ground. She was not about to tell him that information.

"That does not matter. What is important is that you killed an entire crew on a ship…you killed…you killed James! You are ruthless and cold hearted!" Elizabeth could not contain the tears that now were spilling from her eyes. Beckett watched her, blue eyes scanning her face carefully.

"Elizabeth I have no idea where you are getting your information but I acted in self-defense. It was your precious James that attacked the Endeavor," he said sounded disgusted by even saying James' name. Elizabeth could not believe what she was hearing. He was lying to her once again; she did not trust a word that came from his mouth.

"You're lying!" Elizabeth screamed loudly. "Why can't you be honest with me? You hated James didn't you?" Beckett's eyes turned angry and he grabbed her arm and yanked her toward him.

"I will not tolerate this anymore. This argument is over, you understand me?" his hand dug painfully into her arm and she tried vainly to pull herself free from his grasp.

"Let go of me!" and without thinking Elizabeth's hand connected painfully with Beckett's face. His eyes grew big and were full of malice. He threw her to the ground hard and hovered over her dangerously.

"I do not have to answer to you woman," his voice was strangely calm but full of venom. She peered up at him frightened of what he may do. "You frequently seem to forget your place. Never hit me or you will suffer the consequences." He turned away from her and placed his fingertips on his temples trying to calm down.

Elizabeth sat in the floor and tried to compose herself. She felt tears welling up in her eyes and she was in shock. He was cruel to her, made her feel like she was nothing. This was not the man she thought she was marrying. She never in a thousand years expected this behavior from him and she hated that her husband frightened her. Her control was slipping and the tears started pouring now. Her sobs were becoming hysterical.

Beckett turned around and looked at her, visibly upset now. He hurt the one woman he loved most in this world. He got down on his knees next to her and pulled her into an embrace.

"Elizabeth look at me," he gently guided her chin toward him. "I love you, you know that don't you? I only want what is best for you…for us…do you understand?" he leaned toward her and kissed her lips softly. She could not help but kiss him back, they did have a bond. She loved him but she hated him at the same time now. She would never forgive him for what he has done.

"Just tell me some truth, Cutler," Elizabeth begged. He pulled away from her slightly and gazed into her eyes. After a long silence he finally spoke.

"I hate James Norrington because he was trying to take you away from me Elizabeth," Beckett admitted.

"So you wanted him dead then?" Elizabeth said softly avoiding eye contact.

"Yes, I wanted him dead."