Theodosia

Theodosia

Listen to this song as you read this chapter.

Prologue

From across the field, he saw his foe. Thirty years, he had put up with this man—this threat to his legacy. Thirty years. This man was a danger to the infant nation of America. And above all, this man was a danger to his daughter.

Alexander Hamilton had to die.

Aaron Burr, with his heart heavy in his chest, scanned the field as his fingers grazed the metal gun and began to find their way to the trigger. When he glanced across the lea again, Aaron found Alexander examining the trigger of his rifle.

With cold sweat beading his forehead in the creases of pale skin, Aaron closed his eyes. A deep inhale. His finger pulled the trigger.

For you, Theodosia.

Aaron’s jaw clenched at the loud crack that signaled the release of the metal bullet. Seconds later, a shrill scream filled the fields. His eyes flew open to find the bullet lodged between Alexander’s ribs.

The breath in Aaron’s lungs seemed to become more onerous.

Weehawken.

Aaron stepped forward. It was as if an ethereal force compelled him to make his way to the man he shot. However, a man—Alexander’s second in command—threw himself in front of Aaron. “Don’t.”

With his heart racing against his chest, Aaron glanced over the man’s shoulder, eyes focused on the gasping Alexander Hamilton. The doctor was helping the former secretary of treasury—the right-hand man of America’s first president, George Washington—into a boat.

Alexander Hamilton. Love child. Loudmouth. Oblivious whoreson. An immigrant from a place in the Caribbean consigned to oblivion.

In Alexander’s eyes, Aaron saw pain and betrayal, but at the same time, a hue of forgiveness and acceptance.

Goodbye, Alexander.

Aaron whipped around and ventured to a nearby tavern. On a stool, the victor of the illegal duel drowned out his thoughts with a pint of Sam Adams. He may have won, but soon, he would learn how much he would pay. And his daughter too would also suffer for her father’s actions.

Theodosia, Aaron thought after he finished his pint. I’ve destroyed our lives.

Aaron glanced to the side. The skinny bartender was strutting towards him. All of a sudden, there was wailing in the streets.

The bartender leaned over the table towards Aaron. Between the pounding of his heart, Aaron heard the quiet words of the man serving him. “You should hide.”

His heart grew more rapid. Aaron shot up from the stool. “Did he—”

As the bartender nodded his head, Aaron’s heart sank. “Yes. And by his side, as he perished were Elizabeth and Angelica.” In Aaron’s stomach, there was a knot he could not undo.

With a quiet gasp, Aaron felt as if he were in the fields in Weehawken again. In front of the Hudson, there Alexander was with a bullet between his ribs. Blood oozed out from the spot of impact.

No. With a blink, Aaron was back in the bar. His frantic, quiet gasps dotted the atmosphere. He scanned the tavern; all eyes were on him. They know. Aaron shook his head, hiding his face in the darkness of his palm. Everyone knows.

His breaths grew heavier and heavier until they were audible for the entire tavern to hear. Aaron’s eyes flitted to the door, and within seconds, he barged into the streets. He raced through the night. The moonlight spilled over his tunic.

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