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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11


Written by Ephiginia
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

If there was anything more beautiful than the reflection of moonlight filtering down through the masses of trees and shrubbery to alight upon the darkness of the bayou's gentle waters, Elise didn't know of it. It reminded her of home, of her youth when she had lived in and around those waters, and as she sat upon the ferryboat which churned its way by her old home, she sighed and leaned her head against her husband's shoulder.

"It is like old times," she whispered in French. "Do you remember when we met here?

"I remember." He smiled down at her, and then put his arm around her shoulders. "It was not so very long ago."

She smiled. What had it been, two years since they had first met in the confusion of what was 17th century New Orleans? She had been living not far from the city at a relative's plantation, sent there by an over-protective aunt who had heard rumors of malaria in the urban streets, and met her husband at one of the many parties the elite society of Louisiana held to forget the bad times raging on poorer streets.

She had never met a man like him before, a doctor and scientist from England, who had journeyed to America to work with another scholar on some mysterious experiment he was adamantly secretive about. He was tall and dark, though not exactly handsome nor charming. He preferred his studies over social gatherings, and had to be forced into attending even private dinner parties. He was oddly cool and impassive. He didn't bother following the latest fashions, and seemed to have no interest in status or money, so long as he had a place to sleep, food to eat, and equipment for his research.

But he had dramatically changed, somehow, when he met his dear Elise St. Just. When his partner, the dignified Dr. Broulette, demanded the Englishman go to a picnic held at the St. Just plantation, he had set his eyes upon her for the first time. After that, his attitude changed. He voluntarily attended every event and gathering where he knew Elise would be. He went into town and hired the finest taylors to make him fine suits, and each afternoon without fail he showed up on the St. Just doorstep, seeking an audience with his beloved. Her friends had laughed, and the bolder among them went so far as to tease the young doctor. But Elise fell instantly in love with him, and they were married.

And now, not more than two years later, they expected their firstborn child. The pregnancy was not easy- she was often sick, and always tired. Her husband did everything in his power to keep her well. He had even gone so far as to hire better doctors than himself, swallowing his pride.

"Dearest," he asked, his voice heavily accented, and suddenly filled with concern. "Are you all right?"

His voice startled her, and she realized she had fallen asleep again. It was hot and humid, which was far more comfortable to her than the coldness of England, where she had lived in her husband's estate for the past two years. But somehow the heat was beginning to get to her, making her feel faint, and her vision blurry. "Nathan?" she murmured, touching one hand to her forehead. " I feel... I feel..."

She could hear him calling her name, but the sound seemed as though it was coming from far away. Caught up in the sense of falling, she reached out to steady herself, though she was already sitting. "Nathan?" she asked again, panicked, but unable to speak even at a conversational volume.

"I'm here, Elise, you must try to stay..."

His voice faded away into a dull echo in nothingness, and her world was suddenly black.


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