CHESS is, was and always will be one of my favorite musicals. Florence is, was and always will be one of my favorite heroines.

When I first signed up here, I was pleasantly surprised to find many quality, thought-out, heartfelt fics by people who obviously love it as much as I do. Some are ideas I could see, while others... Well, let's just say I am a true Florence/Freddie shipper with nothing against Anatoly... except his forced romance with Florence. Their relationship just seemed contrived and shallow.

And no matter WHO'S boat you're on, you HAVE to admit neither camp got closure.

So... After reading many great stories, here is MY version of the trio's endgame, my... SOULMATE.

PS- I purposely kept this first chapter short and vague to keep you guessing and interested.


Ever since Freddie had gone left, Anatoly went right and her father was still no where to be found, leaving her alone in the middle with no direction to go, Florence Vassey had become a hard-hearted woman. She was a woman she did not like or want to know.

Nobody was on nobody's side.

As she looked at the handsome man asleep in her bed, she knew she'd taken her thought, "Take a little love where you can," a bit to far. He was the third guy in as many months. As she let the scalding hot water run all over her body, she decided that he was her last... until the next one came along. She dressed in her work skirt and blouse and left him a note, saying it wasn't him, it was her, blah blah blah... The typical Dear John letter. He was forgotten the moment she hopped on the train to ride into her beloved New York. It was not only wonderful that her little place in Connecticut worked out, but that it was only a 45 minute ride into what was absolutely the best City in the world for getting lost in, for blending in, for... forgetting. Never the same thing. Never the same sights or sounds. No faces she knew. She purposely kept to herself even at the club where she taught chess clubs and oversaw matches as an arbiter. The men she saw knew her name and body, nothing more. Perhaps that's all she was good for, all she was meant to have: sex and no relationship. The one man she COULD have had BOTH with was long gone...

With a deep sigh, she shook it off and hopped off the train at Penn Station. It was a lovely day, so she decided to walk instead of grabbing a cab, taking a left into Central Park.

There was always a group huddled around the outdoor chess tables near Belvedere Castle and today was no exception. She knew there was something big happening as she approached. Slowing her pace, she licked her lips, narrowed her eyes and tossed her long dark curls off her shoulders. A voice and laugh rang out above the din. No matter how long it had been since the last time she heard it or how long she lived, she would never forget it.

Her legs stopped working. She froze in place as the man turned to her. Their eyes locked.

"Florence..." he gasped.

Her name from his lips made her heart skip a beat and then begin to race. She could only smile, not knowing what to do or say. It was then she realized anything she thought she'd say or do if she ever saw him again had been forgotten.

The only thing she could do was run into his open arms.