Moving quickly through the room, her hands were shaking as she fingered the locket. She had taken it upon herself to try to elicit the whereabouts of Blackheart from the villagers and although no one had been entirely forthcoming, there were snippets of information that Ana was currently turning over in her head. She had dropped into the inn to see Madame Fleur and the innkeeper had shared her knowledge of the trouble spots on the coast road with regards to recent smuggling activities. Ana had asked under the guise of keeping herself safe on her rides. Now crossing to the to the large map table, Ana studied the map Christian had in the library of the local area. Having considered Madame Fleur’s advice she had determined the two most likely places to find Captain Blackheart.
Ana traced the line of the coast road with her finger, committing it to memory. Her back ached from leaning over the map table and she straightened up looking about the room as she did so. The memory of the bookshelf came back to her as she glanced to the corner. Had she imagined that it had opened? She knew that there were often secret passageways in old houses, the remnants of Tudor times when priest holes and escape routes were a necessary part of the architecture. Could that really be what she had seen?
Christian sat at his desk studying the papers before him. The candle flickered, breaking his concentration and not for the first time tonight, his thoughts went to his wife. Her cool demeanor was a mask. He knew this for certain because he had perfected his own over the years. She was protecting herself, against what, he was not sure. All he knew was that the feisty and passionate woman who had confronted him on his ship and challenged his alter ego on the dance floor, had suddenly retreated into this empty husk, who had barely walked through the past few days leading up to their wedding.Her reserve had warned him to be patient but her latent tears had ripped at his heart. Within those pathetic murmurs he heard all of the passion she had been denying and he had very nearly gone to her. Instead, he had stilled his hand upon the handle, rested his forehead against the door and simply listened to all of her pain, wishing for the first time since he had approached her father, that he had done things differently. All of the decisions he had made were for their collective good. At the time he had been certain of his motives, but in being so convinced of what he thought was right, he had removed her choice in the matter. So he had stopped himself from going to her tonight, choosing not to force himself on her, as many husbands did to their wives. Instead, he hoped that, as unworthy as he was to be a husband, he could love her enough for the both of them, and in time, she might learn to love him in return.The clock chimed two and Taylor entered the room.”We're ready, Sir.”Christian nodded, locked the papers in his drawer, donned hat and cloak and followed his man through to the library.
Read Blackheart: Chapter 7 here
Episode 1 of a video blog of Pride and Prejudice. Wonderful unpacking of the original in updated form. Love this.