Since no one else has done it yet, I thought I'd do a Taylor Swift songfic. I'm sure everyone in the world has heard "Love Story" on the radio, etc this summer. So I've immortalized Horatio & Calleigh in a pre-Civil War era love story. Let me know if you think it fits them. I do! Especially with Calleigh's father's overprotective personality.
1,2,3: I don't own CSI:Miami or anything to do with them, etc.
"An 1860s Love Story"
The Duquesne plantation was a social carnival of musicians playing, couples dancing, visitors and family talking, children running and laughing freely over the misty green New Orleans landscape that pretty young Calleigh Amelia Marie Duquesne called home.
For the majority of her sixteen years, Calleigh had led a privileged yet predictable life of private tutors, balls and beaux handpicked by her father for potential business success and learning how to run a plantation, be a perfect lady as well as a perfect mother by her mother.
Behind her white lace fan , Calleigh stifled a yawn at the thought. All of the above training she found perfectly insipid. Calleigh lifted her frosty mint julep to her deep pink lips and took a small sip, careful not to spill a drop on her peach colored hoop skirted silk dress. That would never do. Mama would faint at the sight.
"Are you as bored as you look or this an attempt at feigned indolence?" a deep bourbon-smooth voice behind her queried.
With a gasp, Calleigh whirled around from her lofty and concealed position in her observatory to face this unexpected visitor.
"We were both young when I first saw you..."
Calleigh''s eyes widened at the sight of this debonair red-haired vision of male perfection standing in her favorite room, far from the crowd below.
"See the lights, see the party, the ball gowns..."
Calleigh took in the expensive cut of his tailored summerweight charcoal gray suit and wondered how he could stay unaffected by the summer heat. Or was it just her? She felt a rosy flush creep up from her sleeveless milk white shoulders to her forehead. Why couldn't I have worn a more modest dress? Calleigh groaned inwardly, cursing her father's insistence on advertising her blossoming beauty at every social occasion.
Calleigh felt the gentleman caller's discreet blue eyes on hers. He seemed to notice everything in a moment.
"I beg your pardon, sir. I wasn't aware that I had company." Calleigh tactfully replied in a pleasant tone her mother schooled her to converse in."Did you lose your way?"
This caused the gentleman to smile with a chuckle. "On the contrary, Miss Duquesne. I believe I may have found the exact place I should be in. Horatio Alexander Caine of the New York Caines."
Puzzled, Calleigh took the stranger's proffered hand gently and curtsied as instructed in her etiquette classes. She searched the stranger's eyes for a hint to his statement.
He looked different than the local young men. More aware of himself and the world at large. Calleigh guessed he must be in his early to mid-twenties. That would explain it."How do you do, Mr. Caine. It's an unanticipated pleasure to make your acquaintance."
"May I say the same, Miss Duquesne. To answer your question, I wasn't lost." Horatio waved his top hat in the direction of the party below. "Frankly, I was getting tired of the social activity and I wished to find a placid atmosphere to retreat to."
Calleigh nodded in understanding. "I see you make your way through the crowd and say hello..."
From her perch above everyone, Calleigh had watched him perform the social meet & greet rituals as one well-accustomed to high society and its bored or uninterested just wasn't done. That was a golden rule.
"I see. Well, you can't get find a more placid atmosphere than here. My father built this observatory so I can view the stars perfectly." Calleigh said with pride.
Her love of science was not encouraged as a feminine interest, but her parents knew the blonde beauty possessed a brain as brilliant as her smile. The trick was to hide it from the young men she met so she wouldn't overpower them with her lightening-quick intellect.
Horatio raised his eyebrows with interest. "I had no idea that young women of the South were scientifically inclined. Impressive."
Calleigh allowed a rare relaxed smile to appear. "Not one of our most sought-after qualities, but there are fully-functional brains beneath our bonnets." Calleigh said cheekily.
Horatio bowed and chuckled. "Touche, Miss Duquesne. I deserved that. May I?" Horatio nodded to a golden colored velvet settee.
"Of course, Mr. Caine." Calleigh obliged. "Please make yourself at home. I have no doubt that your journey here was quite long."
"It was. But I sense it was worth it." Horatio sat down and looked into the telescope at the clear sky above. "Incredible."
Calleigh set her drink down on the honey-colored wooden table and sat shyly by Horatio's side. "I understand the Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere is a sight to be treasured forever."
Horatio leaned back from the telescope and took in the vision at his side. Beautiful, intelligent, elegant, but much too young. Horatio heaved a regretful sigh. Sometimes life just wasn't fair. "The Aurora Australis is equally amazing. Not unlike present company."
Calleigh fluttered her fan in her face to disguise her rosy cheeks, folded it with a flip of her wrist. "You flatter me, Mr. Caine."
"I speak truthfully, Miss Duquesne. And it's Horatio." Horatio said softly.
"Calleigh." she whispered, luminous green eyes full of light visible in her profile. Calleigh turned to look out the window for some self-analysis and feigned an interest in the weather.
Could it be that love at first sight does exist? If so, what does it feel like? She didn't know what to call it, but she was feeling something. Calleigh's pulse was racing, her temperature was climbing and she was sure her heart was beating faster than the raindrops falling from the magnolia trees below.
Horatio also noticed the party moving inward. "It appears that we're due for company."
Calleigh recovered herself and turned to face Horatio. "Not up here. No one except the help or myself enters this area." Calleigh said with certainty. "I prefer keeping this area out of bounds. Everything is exactly how I want it."
Horatio took in the view of astronomy, meteorology and science textbooks neatly piled on one end of the table. A notebook with Calleigh's name flourished the cover. A peacock feather pen and inkwell were precisely lined up next to the notebook. "I can see that. You are meticulous."
"Some would say fussy." Calleigh admitted, looking down.
Horatio tipped Calleigh's chin up with a neatly manicured finger. "Never apologize for having high standards, Calleigh. If others can't meet them, it's their loss."
Never had anyone spoken so openly to Calleigh or shown respect for her thoughts as Horatio had. "You're so different." Calleigh wondered aloud.
"And you're more than what people see." Horatio surmised.
"What do you see?" Calleigh ventured, taking Horatio's finger from her chin into her small right hand on the settee.
That bold yet subtle gesture surprised Horatio. Clearing his throat, Horatio answered. "A brilliant, beautiful young person who embodies all the hallmarks of a pristine, polite society but is bored senseless by its predictibility."
Calleigh stared in disbelief at Horatio's accurate hypothesis. "How can you know me so well and yet we've never met?"
"Two of a kind, my dear young lady. I fear that I have endured the same superficial routines as you have only in a colder climate."
"So how is it that your parents haven't pushed you to marry yet?" Calleigh asked, running a petal-soft finger over Horatio's bare left hand.
"Ah, you noticed. Let's just say you're not the only one with uncompromising standards."
"That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles..."
"And what are your standards in a wife?" Calleigh dared.
"If you were old enough to understand, I'd answer that bold question, miss."
Calleigh dropped Horatio's hand, sat up firmly to display her whole 5'3 form. "I'm sixteen, sir. Certainly old enough to appreciate a respectable, rational answer."
Horatio was taken aback and amused. His smile restrained a laugh threatening to escape. What a pistol! "Agreed. Forgive me, but you appeared much younger. I was under the impression you may be around twelve."
"I assure you, I'm definitely a woman." Calleigh said confidently and leaned over, capturing Horatio in a surprise kiss.
Both were spinning in a world of emotions and physical reactions more potent than the champagne being popped open below in the ballroom. Time had lost all meaning for them until...
"I trust a fine lawyer such as yourself has a solid explanation for this behavior, Mr. Caine." Calleigh's father, Jefferson "Duke" Duquesne boomed from the open door leading to the hallway. His black suit was as dark as his mood.
Calleigh's head snapped into reality, her wide eyes on her father. "Daddy!"
Horatio blinked to clear his head, knowing how this probably looked to his stockbroker father's friend and trading partner. Horatio stood straight up and faced Mr. Duquesne. "Sir, I assure you your daughter was not compromised in any manner." Horatio offered a hand to Calleigh. Calleigh clung to it like a lifeline and rose.
Horatio walked Calleigh to the door, still holding her hand, to where Duke stood glaring.
Duke snorted ungraciously and unimpressed. "I should say not, but we'll talk about that on the way out." Duke held the door open wider and guided Calleigh past Horatio by the elbow.
"Daddy, it was me, not Horatio." Calleigh pleaded and looked deep into Duke's reddish green eyes. It was evident that the drinks were flowing through his system like the nearby Mississippi. Calleigh warily stepped out of Duke's range and into the hallway.
"And the moon really is made of cheese." Duke chided. "While it's admirable that you'd have the honor to defend our guest, Lambchop, it's not necessary. We men will talk this over outside on his way to his hotel." Duke finished, giving Horatio a glacial glass-green stare.
Horatio gulped and accepted that it was futile to reason with someone in this state. He sensed Calleigh was aware of this fact. Horatio led the walk down the long winding stairs to the vast, brightly candlelit foyer.
At the door,Horatio did the only thing he could to do save his character and Calleigh's reputation: bow out gracefully. Horatio slowly turned his top hat brim in his hands and looked both Duquesnes in the eyes.
Calleigh was still on the stairs, five steps up from floor level. The shock of her father's inebriated behavior and the love in her eyes for Horatio were having a war in Calleigh's psyche.
"It appears that I have taken excess advantage of your hospitality and I have worn out my welcome. Miss Duquesne, I truly apologize for any harm that I may have caused you. Mr. Duquesne, I intended no ill-repute towards you or your family. This is but a misunderstanding which I'm sure will come to light in the morning. Thank you for everything." Horatio put his top hat on and with a quick apologetic glance to Calleigh, strode out the door.
"Daddy! That was completely unfair!" Calleigh spat out and ran past Duke. Duke opened his mouth to form a reply but Calleigh was already gone down the lane. "Horatio, please don't go!" Calleigh cried, her skirts rustling as she ran.
The rain and the fog concealed most of the horsedrawn carriage clip-clopping down the plantation lane.
Calleigh, now soaked, stopped running. Her tears of anger and disappointment mixed with the rain on her face.
Days passed and Calleigh was still furious with Duke. If Duke was home, Calleigh refused to eat dinner with the family. Calleigh silently passed Duke in the library where he read his morning newspaper.
To Calleigh, he was as worthy of acknowledgment as the red mud by the riverbank.
Calleigh's mother bribed her with gifts of new dresses, hats, jeweled hairpins, and candy. Nothing broke Calleigh's lethal mood. Even stern reprehend of Calleigh's improper deportment did nothing to bring Calleigh to her pre-Horatio self. This wasn't the girl that had gaily danced at that fateful barbecue a mere week ago.
"Romeo save me, they try to tell me how to feel. This love is difficult but it's real...
In need of an outlet, Calleigh had talked one of the servants into letting her learn how to shoot pistols. Then rifles. That seemed to take the edge off of her frustration. But it wasn't enough.
Weeks later, Calleigh finally took her mother's advice and went into the city to go shopping. With her nursemaid and her little brothers at her side, Calleigh looked at shoes and boots longingly. But it wasn't the same. Pretty didn't make a heart ache less. That much she'd learned.
Would she ever think of Horatio and not think of smooth leather? That's how she remembered the texture of his lips on her. Calleigh bit her lip and tried not to cry at the memory. That first and only kiss had left an impression on her soul as well as her tender heart.
"I got tired of waiting, wondering if you were ever coming around. My faith in you is fading..
Calleigh sighed and kept walking. "Mammy, I think we need some refreshment. May we get some sweet tea?"
"Sure, Miss Calleigh. But first, someone would like a word with you." Calleigh's nursemaid smiled and shooed her young male charges into a bakery up ahead.
Calleigh stopped, furrowed her eyebrows in annoyance at the interruption. Then she saw who the someone was in the store window reflection to her right. Calleigh swirled around, pale blue skirts spinning, her face a reflection of sunlight and surprise "Horatio!"
"Romeo save me, I've been feeling so alone. I keep waiting for you but you never come..."
Horatio smiled at Calleigh's ecstatic reaction to seeing him again and took off his top hat that matched his navy blue suit. "Hello sweetheart. It's been too long."
From the bakery window, Calleigh's nursemaid gave Horatio an encouraging smile. Horatio glanced over, returned the smile and proceeded with the duty at hand.
Horatio proceeded to bend down on one knee and produced a deep blue Tiffany jewelry box with a large heart-shaped diamond for Calleigh's inspection.
Calleigh's eyes were as bright as the summer sun overhead. "I declare!" Calleigh stated.
"Marry me Calleigh and I declare we'll be seeing stars together." Horatio offered. Hope shone in his bright blue eyes.
"Oh, Horatio!"Calleigh squealed with glee. "Ye-what about Daddy?" Calleigh stopped herself soberly and remembered their last uncomfortable ending at the front door. Calleigh's supernova smile vanished.
"Not a concern anymore." Horatio said. "He's all for it."
"I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress. It's a love story, baby just say yes."
Calleigh, too speechless and emotional to speak, nodded a yes to Horatio's proposal.