yellow gown, with the gossamer veil floating behind her, Elizabeth looked
like an angel. Sunlight poured in through the rose window at the back of the
church, staining her dress with patches of red and blue, and to Will, it
seemed as if she belonged in the window, and not at his side, repeating the
vows in her clear, strong voice.
Slipping the ring onto her finger, Will spied a flash of gold and black in
the gallery -- a devil to complement his angel – and in this crowd of
Elizabeth’s friends and family, it did Will’s heart good to see Jack
standing up for him, even if it had to be done in secret.
If only. . .But that was behind Will now. He’d made his choice and at least
Jack seemed disinclined to hold a grudge. He grinned and winked when Will
kissed Elizabeth, and his lack of jealousy almost stung.
The wedding breakfast was extravagant and the champagne was surprisingly
potent. Somehow morning turned to afternoon and Will was still shaking hands
and saying, “It’s so nice to meet you,” and “Thank you for coming.” His mind
kept wandering back to Jack, wondering how he fared and hoping that he
wouldn’t disappear before they could catch up. He chided himself for
thinking of Jack so much on his wedding day and reminded himself that he
should be focused on Elizabeth. Elizabeth, however, seemed to have vanished.
After a futile search through Government House, Will decided that Elizabeth
too must have seen Jack, and had returned to the church to find him.
At first glance the church seemed to be deserted, but when Will turned the
corner to the Lady chapel, he saw them, illuminated by the late afternoon
light filtering through the narrow transept windows. In his dark coat, Jack
nearly faded into the shadows, but Elizabeth’s gown glowed like burnished
gold. Her veil was disarrayed, caught in Jack’s hand like a net.
He was whispering something to Elizabeth, his face bright and intent; she
listened with wide, shining eyes and parted lips. Jack’s fingers were curved
around her shoulder, and, as Will watched, his thumb dipped into her bodice,
slaying Will’s hope that he’d misunderstood the situation. Was this Jack’s
idea of revenge? Or had they always preferred one another to Will? He cursed
himself for a fool. What woman would want Will Turner, journeyman blacksmith
and sometime pirate, when she could have Captain Jack Sparrow? What man
would want Will when he could have Elizabeth?
Jack licked his lips and Will knew with sickening certainty that he was
about to kiss Elizabeth. He gasped then, breaking the hypnotic spell that
Jack had been weaving. Jack and Elizabeth turned their eyes to Will and
smiled. Elizabeth’s innocent expression was like a knife to Will’s heart.
How could someone so deceitful appear so pure?
“Will! You’re just in time.” Without moving, she held out her arm, and Will
was powerless to resist the invitation.
Jack clapped Will on the back, and refused to let him step away. “It’s not
what you think, mate. Or, at least—“
Elizabeth’s voice was low and eager. “Jack’s been educating me.”
“So I see.” It was impossible to keep the sneer out of his voice.
She shook her head impatiently, and motes of dust flew into the air like
flecks of gold. “No, no, you’ve got it all wrong.” She clasped his hands and
met his eyes candidly, and God help him, Will couldn’t help but trust her,
in spite of what he’d witnessed. “I’m not a fool, Will. I know what goes on
at sea. I know. . .about you and Jack.”
Will flushed and tried to stutter out an excuse, but she placed her fingers
to his lips.
“Listen! I know that you love me. Truly I do. And I love you with all my
heart.” She grinned fiercely. “I’ll not let you go. But neither would I
stand between you and Jack.”
Jack chuckled and she cut her eyes at him. “Metaphorically, I mean.”
Will blinked in confusion. He felt like he was missing something very
important. “But. . .”
“It doesn’t have to be one or the other,” Jack explained, his breath hot
against Will’s ear.
How had he come to be so close? With a start, Will realized that the three
of them were standing in a tight circle, their heads leaned together in the
Elizabeth kissed him, sweetly and slowly, and then Jack’s mouth was on Will
as well, and they were trading kisses indiscriminately. The smell of candles
and incense hung in the air, and Will’s head was spinning.
He pulled away, repeating, “But. . .Why. . .What. . .”
Elizabeth sighed. “Have you stopped wanting Jack, just because you’ve
“No!” It came out more emphatically than he’d intended and Jack smirked.
“No more do I want Jack instead of you. I want you both.” Her expression was
every bit as wicked as Jack’s and Will was already lost, already succumbing
to whatever debauchery they’d planned. “Preferably at the same time.”