'No doubt about it. Philip is blushing.'
Alexander watches. Philip's freckled cheeks are reddened from madly rushing to hold open the door. In walks a young woman Alexander's never seen before. Her skin is ebony. Her hazel eyes are delicate and smiling. There is an heir about her that is somewhat beguiling. She curtsies in her violet petticoat. Philip struggles with a lump caught in his throat.
"Mother, Father," Philip gulps, "C-can I have a guest for dinner?"
Alexander quirks an eyebrow and squints. He can't quite pin it, but there's something about her that's familiar.
All the while, Eliza is beaming. She ushers the young woman to the kitchen.
"Why, of course you can!"
Alex elbows Philip and whispers, "Nice choice, young man."
"Pops!" the teen hisses, "Please, keep your voice down."
Alex smirks, "Oh, you know that's not happening while I'm around."
Once dinner begins, the girl is perfectly charming: complements the food, good with conversation and disarming. And funny! When little John C's peas take a spill…
"Looks like they're with 'Pod' now!" she jests.
She is as quick with a quip as Alex is with his quill.
The children are practically squealing with glee! Little Eliza Hamilton hops on her knee.
"Lizzie, your manners!" her mother scolds.
"It's quite alright," the maiden laughs as she holds the tot on her knee, "She can sit with me."
The child smiles with a "Weeee!"
"Oh my," Eliza gasps, "Time's gotten away from me. Children - come, let's get ready for bed."
William tugs Alexander's coattail, "Do we gotta, Dad?"
Alex kisses his head, "You heard what your mother said."
William sighes with dread. As do his siblings - James, Alexander and John.
"Come Angelica," Eliza calls to her eldest daughter, "This won't take long."
They usher the children off in single file. As William passes the young lady, he shoots her a wide smile.
"G'night, pretty lady!"
His mother snips, "William, please."
The young woman giggles.
Philip groans, "Oh, jeez…"
As the other children (politely) say goodnight, Alexander sets his sights back on the young lady. He can't help but think.
'Maybe if I study her, just once more, I'll remember where I'd seen her before.'
Still pondering, he is slightly alarmed as the charming young woman calmly taps Philip's arm.
"You have quite the sweet family," she says.
Philip rubs the back of his neck.
"Yeah, I guess."
"-And they're all quite taken with you," Alexander intrudes, "I can understand why Philip is, too."
" Pops… "
He grits his teeth. Still, his father speaks.
"Really, you're quite knowledgeable!"
The young lady nods, "It's nice to have such conversation."
"Now, tell me, dear. Where did you get your education?"
"Father ," Philip expectorates, "Perhaps another time?"
"Time's precious, my boy. Best try not to waste mine."
The woman laughs, while Philip's eye twitches in agitation.
'What are you up to, Old Man?' he desperately wants to shout.
"Well," she starts, "From Arithmetic, Latin, Music and French - my father wanted to ensure I was versed-"
Alex purses his lips and thinks, 'Her father ? Wait, that doesn't make sense…'
"Forgive me for intruding-"
"Oh, here he goes," Philip moans.
"It's just that it's usually customary for one's mother to tend to the children."
The young woman frowns, "She did… Until she died when I turned eleven."
There is a silence. Though it lasts a minute, the tone of the night is shallow and thin. Then, Eliza returns.
"All tucked in," she grins.
This fades quickly as she reads the room.
"'Something I missed?"
Philip rises from his chair. The woman's face is clearly in despair.
"Let me take you home," he says, holding his left arm out to her right.
"But," Eliza ponders, "We haven't had dessert yet."
"...'Lost my appetite."
The young woman takes his arm. They're stopped before they reach the door. A hand claps Philip's shoulder.
"One more thing…"
In his violet eyes, a spark thrives. He's done it. He's connected the dots.
"Young lady, I beg your pardon. In all the excitement, we neglected your name."
"It's perfectly fine, sir."
She extends her hand to Alexander.
"My name is Theodosia… Theodosia Burr."
'Ah, there it is.'
No longer a toddler is Theodosia Burr. Alexander hadn't seen her since he and Burr were on speaking terms. Yes, much taller and grown since then (since, well… God knows when).
He doesn't even have to ask. He knows. He grins.
"And your father's first name?"
She bows her head.
"...His name is Aaron."
"Goooodnight, Ms. Burr!"
"Philip, it's alright," she turns to Alex and Eliza, "Thank you for supper. Goodnight."
Eliza shoots up from the table.
"Ms. Theodosia, stay!"
"No, I should go… It's getting dark anyway."
"And I'm sure your father's wondering where you've been!"
"Alexander-" Eliza seethes.
"-And shut that door when you leave."
Theodosia bows, releases her grip on Philip's arm and rushes out. In her stride, she shoots Philip a look through tear-drenched eyes.
"I told you so." she says.
"Theo, No!" he cries, "Please don't go."
His fists are clenched, storming back inside the house again.
"Pops, why did you do that?!"
"Philip. Sit down"
"Tell me, now!"
"Phillip James Hamilton. Si'down , now."
His father's tone is severe. He hesitates to revere his father's orders. Philip's words fall flat.
"Pops, why did you do that?"
"Did what ?" he scowls, "Ask a traitor to leave our house?!"
"She's not a traitor."
"No, just her father. Who stripped your grandfather's honor, no less!"
He approaches his eldest, "But I digress. The point is, Philip, you lied to me and your mother. How could you?!"
"I-I thought, maaaaybe if you got to know her-"
"Oh! And then we'd fall head over heels? Plan the wedding over tea? What about your ideals?! What about your mother and-"
Alexander's face is growing hotter and hotter as he hollers.
"How long has... 'this' been going on?"
"And you'd damn well better be honest with me."
"Alright! I'd say… Two months?"
"Are you shitting me?!"
"Alexander," Eliza insists, her voice tough, "That's enough."
Her eyes pierce as Alexander gawks. It's like she's sending a telepathic message.
'We need to talk.'
"Go to your room," Alexander orders Philip.
"Wait a minute," Philip retorts, "I'm not a child . You can't punish me. I-I'm grown!"
" You wanna bet ?"
"Philip," Eliza intrudes, "We need to speak alone . Please."
Visibly defeated, Philip trudges upstairs. His pouncing pounds the boards.
"Hey! " Alex cries, "You'll wake the children!"
" What?! "
"Alexander, please calm down."
"Eliza, he'll wake them up. Don't-"
"And your yelling won't?"
For the first time all night, Alexander shuts up.
Delicately, Eliza takes her husband by the arm and guides him to the couch. Soft words are on her mouth.
"I know this is surprising."
"Isn't that the understatement of the year."
She hesitates, "I really don't see what the problem is here."
"Whadda you mean?!"
"That girl makes Philip happy. And she was perfectly kind."
"Eliza," he takes her hand, "Are you out of your mind ? That's no ordinary girl, that's Aaron Burr's daughter."
"And Philip likes her," she shrugs, "Does that make them pigs for slaughter?"
He sneers, "You think this is a game. You find this funny ."
"Well," again, her shoulders rise and fall, "Kind of, honey!"
He wants to yell, but honestly… he's too perplexed. Not to mention, from all the yelling, his throat feels somewhat vexed. Patiently, he watches his wife and he waits.
"Alex… Do you remember being their age?"
Alexander scratches his chin. His reminiscing begins.
'How old is Philip? Seventeen?' Alex ponders to himself. He thinks back to his life before wealth - before health, before a lot of things he hadn't done yet. He turns to his wife.
"I try to forget," he replies, furrowing his brow, "But I do remember not having time to horse around."
" Exactly ," Eliza states, clutching his arm, "They're just kids, Alexander… Really, what's the harm?"
"But what of your father and this forbidden affair? What of his legacy?"
"I think it's procured," she whispers, "And, between you and me, there are more important things than a legacy."
She stands up.
"And a 'forbidden affair'? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
Alexander is flushed. He takes her hand.
"Alexander," Eliza chides, "Try to see your son's side in this."
The man rises slowly, and caresses his wife's cheek for a kiss.
"Talk to him, Alexander," she insists and turns her head, "As for me? I'm going to bed."
She glides from his embrace with sorrow on her face. Alexander huffs out a nearby candle.
'How am I gonna handle this?'
He creeks up the steps. Philip's room greets him at the top. A calloused knuckle taps at the door.
"Can… I come in?"
The knob on the door turns. Philip's expression is firm.
"Look, I'm… sorry I-"
"No," Alexander holds his hand an inch from the boy's face, "Before you go, there's… something I have to say…"
The young man crosses his arms, "'Kay, go on?"
"Philip," his father struggles to say, "I was wrong."
It's not very often Alexander Hamilton gets to say this. Needless to say, Philip is listless.
"Son, I'm not gonna say it again."
"But you know," Alex adds, "You're wrong too, in a way."
"Yeah," Philip blushes, "That's what I was gonna say."
Alexander smiles, hugging his son tightly. His mighty embrace has Philip in a tight squeeze.
"Pop, I can't breathe!"
He quickly lets go with a laugh.
"Jeez, Pop! You're sappy!"
Alexander looks his son in the eye.
"Does... she make you happy?"
Philip looks down, "Who, Theo? W-well, uh-"
"You can be honest, son," Alex states, "I won't get mad."
He can barely help himself. A smirk creeps on his lips.
"Pops, I swear no other girl like her exists! She's smart, and funny, and pretty, and nice, and smart- Wait, I already said that."
Alexander couldn't help but laugh watching his son stutter.
"You know, I felt the same way about your mother."
"Pop… What else can I say? As soon as I met her, she blew me away."
He quickly frowns.
"But… No, her father-"
"Is a scoundrel and a cheat," Alex adds, "But… I suppose there are far worse rats on the street."
"Look, let's see how it goes. Does he know about you?"
"...No," Philip sighs, "We were gonna tell you both. Theo wanted to, but I talked her out of it."
"Because you thought we'd get mad?"
"Well, you did."
"Hm, you've got a point about that," Alex shrugs, "Alright. Go to bed. You'd better get some sleep."
Back downstairs he creeps. Philip quirks an eyebrow.
"Pops, where ya goin'?"
"I've got a letter to write to some jerk."
Alexander takes to his desk, freshens his quill with some ink. He wastes no time.
'Just write. Don't think.'
He hardly knows where to start. His brain's in a whirl.
"Greetings to you, Senator Burr, sir…"