I went back to my quarters. Anna was waiting for me. She scanned my face anxiously.
‘What did your sister say about me?’ she asked.
‘I decided not to tell her about you yet.’
Silence filled the room, a silence which I did not want to be the first to break.
Anna shook her head. ‘I don’t understand.’
‘The time was not right,’ I answered. ‘Malcolm wanted to hear about the troubles in England and I wanted to work out what he thought about it all.’
She frowned before nodding cautiously. ‘I understand. I think.’
I held her face in my hands and looked into her eyes. ‘Don’t worry. There’s nothing to worry about.’
She sighed and tried to turn her face away. ‘It’s not because you’re ashamed of me?’ she said. Her voice was distant and small. ‘Not because of what I was when you first saw me?’
‘I will never be ashamed of you. Don’t ever think that. Not ever.’
Anna bit her lip. Tears sprang to her eyes.
‘And the others won’t speak of it?’ she asked. ‘I couldn’t bear if it they were to. Godwin and Athelstan? Merleswein?’
‘Never. I promise.’
My heart ached to see her like this. I rarely recalled the first day I had seen her. I knew she could never forget it herself, of course. Stupidly I did not realise how much she feared that people might find out about her past.
I kissed her on the lips.
‘I’m not the Earthworm,’ she whispered.
‘No,’ I said. ‘You are my love. You are my life.’
‘Blood of Ironside’ is the third novel in The Lost King series. All the books in the series are available on Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo, Nook, Sony Reader Apple, and other devices. Please check out the individual retailer web-sites.
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- The Harrying of the North #SampleSunday #HistNov Blood of Ironside Part 7 (martinlakewriting.wordpress.com)