This morning? Did that mean it was afternoon? He wished he could get his eyes to open.
She laughed, the first time she’d made such a sound in days. What a strange way to be wicked.A few minutes later she was out on the street, making her way to a small food shop she passed every day. She’d never gone inside, but the smels that poured forth every time the door opened . . . oh, they were heavenly. Cornish pasties and meat pies, hot rols, and heaven knew what else.
She felt almost happy, she realized, once she had her hands around her toasty meal. The shopkeeper had wrapped her pasty in paper, and Anne was taking it back to her room. Some habits died hard; she was still too much of a proper lady to ever eat on the street, despite what the rest of humanity seemed to be doing around her. She could stop and get cider across the street from her boardinghouse, and when she got back to her room—Anne kept walking. The streets in this neighborhood were so loud, filed with so many voices, that it never occurred to her that a stray You! might actualy be directed at her. But then she heard it again, closer.She didn’t even turn around to look. She knew that voice, and more to the point, that voice knew her real name. She ran.
Her precious supper slipped from her fingers and she ran faster than she would have ever thought herself capable. She darted around corners, shoved her way through crowds without so much as a begging of pardon. She ran until her lungs burned and her nightgown stuck to her skin, but in the end, she was no match for George’s simple yell of—Catch her! Please! My wife!
Someone did, probably because he sounded like he’d be ever so grateful, and then, when he arrived at her side, he said to the man whose burly arms were holding her like a vise, She’s not wel.
I’m not your wife! Anne yeled, struggling against her captor’s grasp. She twisted and turned, smacking his leg with her hip, but he would not be swayed. I’m not his wife, she said to him, trying to sound reasonable and sane. He’s mad. He’s been chasing after me for years. I’m not his wife, I swear.Tonight, Annelise thought with growing excitement. Tonight would be the night.
It would be a bit of a scandal, her becoming engaged before either of her older sisters, but it would not be entirely unexpected. Charlotte had never shown great interest in their local society, and Marabeth always looked so pinched and angry—it was hard to imagine anyone wanting to marry her.Marabeth would have a fit, though, and their parents would surely console her, but for once they would not force their youngest daughter to give up a prize for the sake of the eldest. When Annelise married George Chervil, the Shawcrosses would become forever connected with the most important family in their corner of Northumberland. Even Marabeth would eventualy realize that Annelise’s coup was in her best interest.
A rising tide did indeed lift all boats, even prickly ones named Marabeth.You look rather like a cat in cream, Charlotte said, watching Annelise as she examined herself in her mirror, testing one set of earbobs against the other. They were paste, of course; the only proper jewels in the Shawcross family belonged to their mother, and all she had besides her wedding ring was a small broach, with three tiny diamonds and one large topaz. It wasn’t even very pretty.