Sorry for the delayed post....hehehehehe....I've been working on this chapter every single day since the last update, but have rewritten it just about five times before I finally decided to post. Personally, I don't think it any better than the other chapters, but it does create a bit more of a relationship development between characters. Hopefuly you'll like it!!!!
'How is this possible?!' my mind screamed as the three of us walked through the streets. They had actually gotten on well together? This was most certainly strange…I had never known my old green-eyed friend to take so easily to strangers. On the contrary, if the person did not approach him, it was next to impossible for him to do it himself.
I smiled, remembering those days. But, they were far-gone.
James had introduced himself almost coolly, his hand outstretched in a bold manner. Hamilton, a bit surprised with this sudden introduction, had cast a slightly worried look at me before hesitantly taking it. What followed was simple introductions and small talk, all of which made no impression in my memory. Their voices merely intermingled, growing louder and softer with their enthusiasm.
Me? I was lost within my own thoughts. There was nothing of interest to be said on my side. After all, those two seemed to be having the best of the conversation to themselves. There was no need for me to interrupt, after all. Perhaps it was better to say on the outside of this small little talk….
"Parliament would never allow that!" I heard James say loudly, firmly…almost angrily. That comment had most certainly thrown me out of my thoughts. "The members of the house do not seem like the type that would allow that. Where in the world did you think that ridiculous idea up?"
Hamilton's small laugh. Then, his reply. "Believe me, I am not so far off in saying that, just wait and see. The members of Parliament are nothing but a group of old men and old ideas. But, what we need are some young members, to protect our interests, and our ideas."
"You know that would never happen. It is the old aristocrats, which run the Britain. They always have and always will. None of them would be apt for change." James had replied, his eyes smiling in a slightly menacingly way. Hamilton responded by merely shifting the books he carried to his other arm.
"Which is why we need qualified people to run the country. How can a group of old men, with old ideas no less, run a country which has the majority of young people, who hold ideas which are different than they're own?" Hamilton asked in reply. "I believe that in order to meet our interests, we need people in Parliament which are close to our own age, who would hold the same ideas, and same beliefs, to a higher value than would the older members." James said nothing for several minutes, thinking of a suitable reply. And his answer did come, but only eventually, after he had thought of an airtight argument.
Hamilton replied almost immediately to his comment, bringing up several questions of his own and eliciting a small laugh from James, who had brought a handkerchief up to his brow. They both were most certainly enjoying themselves. From the way that this conversation was turning, I would not be surprised to see a new friendship. After all, I had not even spoken a word since the introductions!
Hamilton began to speak, his voice strong and firm with resolve that James should understand what he was trying to say. With every word he said, I sensed determination. It was the determination of a young man who would have his voice heard. It was amazing that they had begun speaking of politics and had not discovered each other's leanings. After all, James I had found to be a staunch royalist, while Hamilton I suspected to be an encourager of rebellion. James snapped me out of my thoughts, posing a question in mid-speech to Hamilton.
"Where did you say you came from?" James asked, his eyes furrowing slightly in confusion as he waited for Hamilton respond. Hamilton huffed in mock annoyance, his own azure eyes shining with challenge within them. I could see the question within them as well. His eyes seemed to say, 'What in the world do you mean by asking that!' And he indeed voiced that thought, almost immediately after.
"What has that to do with anything? I surely had nothing to do with the English politics." Was Hamilton's slightly icy reply. He turned his eyes upon me suddenly, winking and smiling conspiratorially in my direction. "Anyhow, I'm sure Miss Rembardt here would agree with me, now wouldn't you?" I snapped to attention, hearing and seeing Hamilton speak to me. I had not heard most of what they had said.
I brought my hand up to cover my eyes from the bright afternoon sun. "I cannot say who I agree with." I answered, in a vain attempt to hide the fact that I had not been listening to a word that they had been saying. "To pick and choose sides would be to offend another, and I would rather not do that." Hamilton's lips turned up in a smile. His eyes in answer moved to James, who in turn regarded him with a slightly cold smile, before returning to look at me once again. Then, he spoke.
"You are a student of history, and even though you will not say it, I know that you agree with my view. I can tell." The earnestness and persuasiveness tone of his voice almost ordered me to answer in favor of his opinion. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the angry glare James had cast in our direction. Fighting to ignore it, I ventured to speak. I opened my mouth to answer, but said nothing when I heard James' sarcastic laugh come from beside us.
"I hardly think so!" he said in reply. "She will not say it, but I know her mind better than you, I'm afraid. You've only known her several months, true?" Hamilton nodded in answer.
"Well, I've known her longer, and I should like to say that she would share much more in common with me, than she would with you, is it not true?" he asked, looking to me. The defensive tone he had taken when Hamilton had mentioned me was almost frightening as he spoke. I noted the hint of surprise in Hamilton's face as he looked at James, wondering why he had answered in such a sharp manner. Then, he looked to me.
I said nothing in answer to the question. James stopped walking, his eyes narrowing slightly in suspicion as he looked between us. "Is it not true?" he asked again, annoyance apparent in his voice. Again, I said nothing, stopping as well.
Well, his mood had changed rather quickly….
It was almost as if he had deemed my answer to be the pronouncement of a judge. My word would be the make all and break all of the argument he had established with Hamilton. And though Hamilton seemed rather sure of his end of the conversation, it seemed to me as though James needed my agreement for a final say. Looking towards Hamilton, I smiled weakly, though I was more than a bit annoyed at James' sudden shift in moods.
"I have no opinion on the matter." I answered, a bit icily. The way he spoke to me was most certainly not the way in which I wished to be addressed. James eyes furrowed in a mix of confusion and frustration. Why in the world had he suddenly done this?
Hamilton had stopped as well. I could see his slightly worried gaze as he looked between us. It was then that it became apparent to him that his conversation had taken on a more serious tone. The demanding look in James' eyes was obvious as he looked back at me, and I could not help but look away guilty that I could not answer in the timely fashion that he wished.
"You mean to say that you do not agree with me, is that it?" he asked. I shot my eyes back to him, growing slightly agitated and angry with him.
"No." I answered. "I do not mean to say that I do not agree with you. But, I also do not mean to say that I do not agree with Mr. Hamilton. I only say that I have no opinion on this matter. It does not interest me." I said in answer to him. His eyes narrowed slightly in confusion. "I have said that before." James, after several seconds of thought, opened his mouth to answer, but Hamilton immediately interrupted.
"Saint Croix." I heard Hamilton say firmly, suddenly. James turned from me to Hamilton, who stood only several paces away. He had given James an answer in the hope of turning his attention away from me. "I was born in Saint Croix. I was a clerk there until I came to New York. With some help from a benefactor, and I dare say, a friend, I was able to come here."
"Saint Croix?" James said, a mixture of confusion and questioning in his eyes. Almost immediately he forgot me, turning to look at Hamilton. "Where in the world is that godforsaken place? I have never heard of it before. Have you, Anneliese?"
"No." I said in answer, still feeling rather angry with James. I did not venture to look at him, brushing by and walking forward. Why had he acted in that manner? I looked towards Hamilton as he smiled and approached me. Placing a comforting hand upon my back, he looked down at me and gestured for us to continue the walk. Looking to James, he did the same.
"It is a place in the Caribbean. I did not think you would have heard of it. After all, nothing of interest comes from there." Hamilton answered. James laughed and began to walk, all the while noticing as Hamilton kept his hand gently at my back.
"You cannot say that, Mr. Hamilton." I answered, playfully looking up into his azure eyes as we walked once again. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see James, who regarded the both of us with cold looks and stares. Good. Let him be angry as well. It was only right. He had done the same for me.
"Why can't I?" Hamilton answered. "I think I should know the island better than you, Miss Rembardt." I laughed. James said nothing.
"Well, I should dare to say that I know of one thing that would be of interest from there." I answered, casting a cold eye in James' direction. Hamilton did not notice a single thing, waiting to hear what I would say. James merely looked ahead, clenching his fists in frustration. His momentarily bit of happiness was most certainly over. Good. "You, Mr. Hamilton!" I said. Hamilton laughed.
"Me?" he asked, slightly confused. "What in the world would interest you about me?" he said, his eyes smiling with amusement.
"You seem to know everything." I answered. He laughed.
"Well, that is only because I have studied." He replied. I felt his hand drop from my back, then. Looking towards James, I noticed him lost within his own thoughts, a look of pure indifference on his face.
Feeling something brush against my hand, I noticed as Hamilton reached out to take my hand. It was an obscure gesture, something that James had not noticed. I felt my face flush then. James…
He pulled a watch from his pocket, looking down and widening his eyes slightly in surprise as he read the hour. Slowly, he returned his green eyes to me. Almost immediately, Hamilton released my hand, as if he had touched fire. "Anneliese," James said, a hint of concern written in his expression. "I think we had better go…I'm sure our families are wondering where we have gone."
"Go on ahead." I said, a bit coldly. " I should like to stay a bit longer. If they ask where I have gone, then tell them I have gone to the library." He narrowed his eyes slightly in confusion. "I should like to ask Mr. Hamilton some questions regarding a reading he has given me. I'll be along soon."
"Are you sure?" James answered. I nodded. Looking towards Hamilton, he bowed his head. "It was really a pleasure, Mr. Hamilton. I hope you enjoy your afternoon." Casting a somewhat curious glance in Hamilton's direction, he said a silent goodbye, disappearing into the crowds. In moments, he had gone. He had gone, knowing that he had angered me.
"A bit demanding, isn't he?" Hamilton asked quietly, after James had left. I could do nothing but nod in answer.
"Yes…" I said hesitantly. "But, I do not ever remember him acting in that manner before he left for Europe…" He merely nodded, hoping to continue our walk. And with a gentle press on my back, we did. All the while, one thought burnt within my mind.
When had this change come about in James? Was this strange occurence another change in character that he had forced himself to learn while in Europe? Was this the first of many things I would notice different about him?
I purposely stayed away for hours on end. Rather than go home and face my family, and his own, I had chosen instead to accompany Mr. Hamilton to the library, where he continued his quiet studies, his eyes scanning the books he had borrowed from the shelves. We had taken his customary seat at the back of the library, and I remained silent sitting opposite him since he had continued his studies, keeping my eyes locked on a beautifully arched window.
The day had grown bright and warm, the sun's rays shining in through that very window, brightening our very table and providing Mr. Hamilton with a bit of reading light in this dim place. The trees, I noticed seemed to be dancing against the wind as I looked out, the breeze seemingly fresh and clean. Only the tiniest puffs of clouds could be seen in the sky, moving slowly across it in such a lazy way it almost amazed me.
"You are still here?" I heard Hamilton say, a hint of surprise hidden within his voice. So entranced I had become with watching the passing scenery, that I did not notice his head rise slowly from the book, resting his attention on me. "I had thought you were already gone, so quiet you were."
"No, I would prefer not to go home at this point, Mr. Hamilton." I said in answer, bringing my hand up to have something to rest my head against. "I am rather angry at James, and would rather not have to see him anytime soon."
"I can only see…" Hamilton murmured. "Has he always been as defensive as that? The way he reacted when I asked you whether you seconded my opinion was nothing short of pure jealousy." I huffed in anger, recalling what Hamilton had mentioned.
"No, that is something both you and I were first to see. Never have I ever seen him act in that manner…such pure and simple anger!" My hands I brought down hard upon the table, as they clenched to fists. "Who does he think he is? Acting in that manner towards me! I am not a simpering European woman…if that is what he thinks I am." Hamilton said not a word, regarding me with a curious grin on his face.
"And so you are not." He answered, slowly. "I have never known any other girl quite like you. An interest in history and mathematics is a rare thing, indeed, to find in someone like you." I huffed, turning my lips up in a small smile.
"I do not think James is very much interested in that. He is in search of a simpering wife, and I am most certainly not that!" I said quietly, firmly. "Mr. Hamilton, I am most certainly not that!"
"I see, I see." Hamilton said quietly. "Now, I understand. Well, he must learn that you cannot change what is inherent in your nature to be." I nodded quietly. I noticed as he hesitated for several seconds, opening his mouth to speak and closing it almost as quickly. He shut the book he had been reading, instead deciding to turn his studious gaze upon me. I could not help but smile.
"What is it?" I asked him, a slightly confused expression written upon my face.
"Call me Alex." He said, smiling. "All my friends call me that. Mr. Hamilton sounds so formal, so distant. I hate to hear it said by someone like you. I should dare to hope, even think, that you are my friend?" I nodded eagerly.
"Of course I think you a friend." I answered. "You have done nothing but show kindness to me. I would never think you anything less….Alex." I said. He widened his grin, as he heard me speak his name. For several seconds, I remained silent. Then, I began to speak once again. This time, my voice was hesitant, slow. I was choosing my words carefully, as if I were speaking to a foreign dignitary. "I should like to thank you for what you did earlier today. You prevented a huge fallings out between James and I, which would have had disasterous results for our families.
"There is no need to thank me, Miss Anneliese." He responded.
"Anneliese." I corrected him. "A friend may call me, Anneliese." He smiled as he heard his words echoed in my own. Quietly, he nodded.
"Well then, Anneliese," he said, smirking as he heard my name being uttered by himself. "What would you say to a bit of tutoring?"
"Tutoring?" I asked him, slightly confused. "You need to study."
"Tutoring me." He answered. "I should like to hear you read these paragraphs out loud," Hamilton said opening his book once again and sliding it towards me. I noticed as he leaned forward in his chair, hovering over the table to point out what he would want me to read. His head was so close to my own, the curls of his auburn hair I could feel touching my own head. "Right here. I should like to hear these words said out loud, so that I may understand what is being said better. I should be grateful if you would do that for me." I smiled in answer as his gaze lifted from the book to look at me.
"Anything for you." I answered in a mocking way. He smirked at me, winking quickly before he leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms as he watched me take the book up in my hands. I read the first few sentences to myself, before looking up to meet his eyes.
"John Locke once again…" I said quietly to him. "What in the world do you have me reading this for?" he smiled wistfully, conspiratorially.
"No particular reason except I thought it would interest you. You do seem….if may be so bold as to say….to be a revolutionary at heart."
"Much to the chagrin of James, it appears." I answered somewhat quietly.
"So he is a staunch Loyalist…" Hamilton answered, shifting slightly in his seat. "I'm sure that with a bit of persuasion, he will change his tune." I looked up to meet his eyes, noticing as a twinkle shined within them.
"What in the world are you planning?" I asked him, placing the book back down on the table.
"Nothing, Anneliese. Not a thing." He answered, crossing his arms. "Just a bit of writing is all." I didn't say another word.