Many eligible bachelors, both young and old, vied for her hand. Some her father dismissed, some he encourage Addison to get to know better.
Addison was reluctant. She didn’t like any of them, really. The older wanted her for her nubile young body, and well, so did the younger suitors. But all in all it came down to her father’s wealth. Greed was everywhere.
Addison was often warned not to go into New Orleans shipping and slave districts alone, but that was where the merchandise she sought was kept; the secret little shops that were hidden within shops. Miss Neeta had accompanied her with a big strong slave male as protection in the past.
But in 1705, just after her 20th birthday, Addison had slipped from the plantation into the city. There were some herbs and roots coming in from Haiti and Africa on the slave trade ships that she wished to purchase.
She wore a fine dress, but not overly showy, as to not make herself a target of a pickpocket or swindler. The journey had taken longer than she had anticipated, as the street lamps were being lit by an elderly man, lighting the oil wicks of the overhead street lanterns with a stick.
She came to the shop she was seeking, only to find them closed. Her crimson lips gave a pout, and she gave a little stomp of her foot. She wasn’t spoiled, but when she wanted something, she was usually determined to get it. This was most disappointing to her. And to risk slipping away a second night in a row would bring suspicion from her parents and nanny alike.
With a sigh, she headed back toward the street she had left her horse and carriage tied up at. She passed taverns and pubs, not paying much mind to those lingering about.
Not until someone roughly grabbed her by the arm, pulling her into an alley between two brick buildings. He clamped his hand over her mouth roughly. Addison’s eyes watered, not just from fear, but from the smell of the man. He smelled foul. He was tall, lean and black with mouth split open into a grin, yellowed teeth shown in the dim light. His voice sent a shiver of pure fear down Addison’s spine.