Captain Hook: Redemption
Wendy was aware of someone calling to her but she ignored it, clinging to her dreams like a starving man would grasp at a roast turkey. But then she felt hands shaking her gently and the smell of a thunderstorm and her hopes of staying asleep were shattered.
"Miss? Miss . . . Miss please wake up!"
The young woman slowly opened her tired light blue eyes and studied the man who had awoken her.
The man smiled at her. "Sorry to wake you Miss, but we've arrived."
Wendy nodded to him, her mind blankly noting that he was the carriage-driver, as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "Thank you."
The coachman retreated from the warm carriage and offered her a hand to help her out. Gratefully, she took it and exited into the rain. Wendy gasped as the cold water drenched her, and the coachman smiled at her wistfully. "I'm sorry Miss, but I don't have an umbrella to offer ya."
"It's alright," Wendy said shouldering her shawl. "I know it's not your fault."
The coachman went to retrieve the girl's bags while Wendy got her first look at her new home.
Willow Wood Lodge was more extravagant than its name implied; with three stories, balconies, columns, and countless windows the house was fit for a Lord. And Wendy marveled at the many trees that covered the grounds. Hundreds of droopy trees covered the expanse, making it seem almost mystical in appearance.
Wendy wondered if there had been a mistake and she called out to the coachman. "Are you sure that this is Willow Wood Lodge, sir? I was told that I would be living in modest dwellings, and this is anything but."
The man who had finally gotten her trunk to the ground chuckled as he once more picked it up. "This is the lodge Missus! So whoever told you that must have been pullin' yer leg."
Wendy frowned. Why would her parents lie to her about where she would be staying? Did they think it would go to her head? Or worse, that she would be overwhelmed by the size of the estate?
The girl suddenly felt uneasy as the questions built up within in and her mind raced to find the answers.
"Shall we head to the door, Miss? I'm freezing!"
Wendy blushed and quickly picked up her smaller bag, "Of course. I'm ready now."
The two made walked towards the house, but stopped when they reached a patch of trees that were covering the entrance with their long, leaning branches.
"Who in bloody blue blazes would plant trees in front of their doorway!?" The man huffed, as he set the large trunk down on the muddy ground.
Wendy looked shrugged. "I haven't the foggiest idea, but I intend to find out. . . You wait here while I try to find the door."
Without waiting for the man's consent, Wendy ducked under the thick branches and was immediately engulfed by the patch of willow trees.
Someone could get lost in here, Wendy thought in wonder. But why would anyone wish to hide the entry to this lovely house?
After several minutes of vivid searching the young woman finally spotted the door, or rather tripped on a root and crashed into it head first.
Wendy rubbed her forehead and winced as the blinding pain got the better of her. In fact, she was so incapacitated by the throbbing in her skull that she didn't hear the large door open, nor did she realize that someone was watching her until they cleared their throat.
"Ahem. . ."
Wendy looked up to see a young woman in serving maids dress looking at her curiously.
"Who are you then?" She asked. "And why are you bashing against the door?"
"I'm Wendy Darling," Wendy replied instantly trying to regain her composure though her head was still hurting. "I was told I would be expected by the Mistress of the House, who is to be my tutor."
The maid's eyebrow lifted. "You say my Mistress is to be your teacher?"
Wendy nodded, "Yes, or at least that was what I had come to expect. Afterall a Lady cannot be tutored by a man without a proper chaperone and I was sent without one."
The maid cracked a smile. "My Mistress isn't a Lady by any count, but if you are expected than I suppose I must welcome you." Stepping back from the door she bade Wendy to enter.
"I must get the remainder of my luggage," Wendy said looking back behind her with worry, "But I'm afraid I'll lose my way back. . ."
The maid fully laughed now and smiled, "Don't worry your head about it. Everybody gets lost the first couple of times they try to find the door." Then she joined Wendy out on the steps. "Here I'll show you the way."
Together the two women made their way back through the curtain of tree branches in companionable silence, to where Wendy had left her trunk and the coachman. But as they push past the last tree branches, Wendy gasped, for the coachman and her trunk were nowhere to be seen, and the carriage was long gone.
Wendy felt tears brim in her eyes as she realized that the coachman had stolen her trunk.
"My books," she mumbled desolately. "My beautiful books, my clothes, my-my stories, they're gone."
The maid looked at the girl and slowly put an arm around her, "Come on, there's nothing you can do about it now."
Wendy knew she was right, but it didn't make her feel any better. All of her story parchments had been within the trunk. All the stories she had ever written down were now lost. The feeling of sorrow was overwhelming, almost as if she had lost a loved one.
The maid slowly lead Wendy back to the door and into the main hall, and the girl let her, as she tried to fight back the tears that threatened to come.
She had to be strong. She'd just have to rewrite the stories. Yes that was it! She'd rewrite them and make them even better than before!
With this happy thought ingrained in her mind, the young woman followed the maid further into Willow Wood Lodge and began to take in her surroundings. In fact she was so busy looking at the wooden floors and tasteful crimson drapes that she didn't notice a man dash up the flight of stairs. For if she had, her happy thoughts surely would have failed her.
It was nearing dusk and James Gray was growing antsy. Why hadn't his bride to be arrived yet? And why was he so nervous?
The tall man stood from his chair where he had been staring out the window of his chambers and sought for the only thing that could give him comfort in great times of need. He poured a full glass of the bright crimson brandy he kept in his study, and emptied it in one long gulp.
He nearly sighed aloud as he felt the alcohol buzz begin to course through his veins. The man would have surely taken another glass of the wonderful liquid courage, but he needed to be at the top of his game when she arrived. So, he refrained from the second glass of brandy and sat back down to wait.
As the minutes slipped by, James felt his body tense. What was keeping her? Perhaps her carriage was stuck out in the horrible weather? Or worse, something had happened to her.
James scowled at the thought and quickly exited his rooms. He would find his Wendy, even if he had to ruin his dress shirt by gutting someone in the process.
The man took the stairs three at a time and had made it to the parlor when a shrill voice called out to him.
"Jamie? Where are you going?"
James didn't need to turn around to know who the voice came from, for there was only one person in the entire world that would dare to call him 'Jamie'.
"Don't worry your pretty head, Alexandra. There is merely some business I need to attend to."
"There is no business that is worth acquiring a cold, brother." The woman scolded, coming to stand in front of him defiantly with her hands on her hips.
James growled at his sister, "That is not for you to decide. Now move aside before I lose my temper."
Alexandra shook her head, making her long black curls bounce in her eyes, which were a very dark brown. "No Jamie. I won't let you go! And we both know you would never do anything to hurt me."
James sighed impatiently as he messaged his temple with his good hand.
After being gone from the Main-Land for so many years, the Captain had thought his sister would have matured and grown into a woman, but it seemed that some things never changed.
Alexandra had been a spoiled child, and now she was an even more spoiled woman with far too much time on her hands.
"I have to make sure that my ward arrives safely, Alexandra." James explained forcing a smile to his lips as he fought the urge to strangle her.
The woman instantly pouted her bright red lips in horror. "Do-Do . . . Do you love her more than me, Jamie?"
"No, sister," he replied in a tired voice. "But I must take care of Miss. Darling, or lose our families good name."
It was a low blow even for him, but at the moment James didn't care. Whenever he needed to get his sister to leave him alone, he merely mentioned losing the Gray's good name in society, and the world was his. This time was no exception.
"Oh alright! Go get the brat, but be sure you come back in time for dinner. I had cook make something very special for tonight!"
James nodded his head absently and pushed past her, walking straight for the door.
He couldn't stand his sister, but she was the only family he had left, so he was forced to deal with her.
As the man made his way towards the entry hall, he heard two voices talking at the front door. The man felt his pulse quicken in excitement for one of the voices was familiar, though he hadn't heard it in six years.
The man stopped in his tracks and listened intently, his blue forget-me-not eyes staring at the floor in awe.
"I'll let you settle in the parlor while I find my Mistress. I'm sure she'll want to talk to you before dinner."
"Thank you, that sounds wonderful."
"Are you sure my Mistress is going to be your tutor? She's not exactly the brightest tool in the shed, if you get my drift."
James could hear her laugh and he smiled. It wasn't exactly how he remembered it, but it was still the same girl . . . the same Wendy Darling he had known in his other life.
"I honestly don't know. . . My father made all the arrangements, so I suppose I could be mistaken."
The Captain smirked. Oh yes. She was very mistaken. The girl wasn't here to be taught by a tutor. She was here to become his wife.
James would have stood listening to their whole conversation, but he couldn't let Wendy see him yet. It would ruin the whole surprise! So he dashed up the stairs, just as the maid and Wendy entered the parlor.
James ran to his chambers and looked around for his manservant. When he didn't appear James bellowed, "MR. SMEE!"
After a moment a small man ran into the room, panting and out of breath as he saluted his Captain.
"Sorry Cap'n, I was making the bed and didn't hear ya enter."
James rolled his blue eyes heavenward, "I don't want excuses, Smee. Now fetch me one of my dress coats at once."
The small man ran to his wardrobe and opened it. "Which one would you like tonight, Cap'n?"
James smiled wickedly and Smee studied him for a moment before nodding. "Alright Cap'n, if you say so."
Once Smee had helped his Captain into the dress coat, he then asked the most important question.
"Shall I get the Hook, Cap'n?"
James straightened his coat with his one good hand and smirked.
"It's been far too long since James Hook made an appearance. And besides I wouldn't want to disappoint Miss. Darling. She after all knows my special appendage better than anyone."
Smee joyfully ran to James' beside table and pulled open a small chest that laid there, his eyes shining with happy tears.
As James clicked the metal Hook into place, Smee openly cried. "It's good to have you back, Cap'n!"
Captain Hook smiled, "It's good to be back, Mr. Smee."