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There was a storm brewing. She could see it building on the horizon, feel it in the wind on the hill.
They were running away tonight. Away from her tyrannical father, away from his impoverish life. The sea offered a new beginning for them both.
At 7 bells as agreed, she hurried up the steep incline to the castle, her cloak flapping in the cooling night. He would be waiting for her there.
A figure emerged from the shadows. It was not he, but one of her father’s guards.
‘Come with me Miss Elenor.’
Shoulders slumped, she knew there was no point in arguing.
Her father sat calmly in his chambers, eyeing his daughter with amusement.
‘Did you really think I didn’t know what you were planning? His family were so desperate, they sold him out for a few gold coins. He’s gone, child, GONE, and you will never see him again.’
With a wave of his hand, she was dismissed.
At midnight, she stole away into the darkness, alone, but not afraid.
Her long flaxen hair lay secreted in her pillow, hopefully not to be discovered and give away her disguise until she was well away from the life and father she despised with every ounce of her being.
She found her beloved’s body as expected hanging from a tree in her father’s private woods.
Tenderly stroking his feet, she kissed them through her tears.
‘We will not be defeated My Dearest,’ she whispered. ‘Our child will know a better life, and your sacrifice will not go unheeded. I just wish there had been a way for us to be together now, in this life, but perhaps in the next, we will meet again and fulfil the destiny denied us.’
She turned and joined the man waiting for her at the edge of the copse.
‘We sail within the hour,’ he said and gathered her to him.
She turned to him and smiled sadly as she stroked her belly.
‘Thank you. He said you would not fail us.’