“You came” Emily squealed, dashing across the courtyard and tumbling without ceremony into the arms of the man she had very much longed to see. The only person who truly understood her.
“Of course I came” he smiled, “I would go anywhere for you”
“Even to the moon?” she begged, scarcely able to contain how much it meant that he had come all the way to the Dacre estate for her.
“Even to the moon” he grinned spinning her around before pulling her into a kiss that made her head pound and her heart swim. “Did you get anything for us?” he asked when they finally separated.
Nodding, she fumbled in the pocket of her gown, pulling out the little heart shaped pendent that had once been her mother’s. Hands unsteady she handed it to him and a flicker of guilt washed over her as she watched it disappear into his pocket.
This is what her mother would have wanted, she told herself. Her mother would want her happy and he made her happy. Besides her mother was dead, she could no longer wear it, nor any of the other items she had given to Faron over the past few months.
She was almost thirteen now, almost grown and while she knew her father would never understand what she was doing, she only knew that if she and Faron where to be together then he had to be a free man and that did not come cheap.
“I think my sister is getting suspicious” she whispered nervously as he whisked her behind the sables.
“It won’t be long now” Faron replied, “Soon I’ll come and I’ll take you away with me”
“Do we almost have enough?” she asked hopefully.
“Almost” he smiled, “I just need a little more, then we can buy passage on one of the big ships to the mainland. We can disappear and no-one will ever find us”
“We’ll have a little house?”
“Yes.. with a big fat cat and two goats out back”
“Goats smell” she giggled.
“Then hold your nose” he chuckled.
“Will we have children?”
“Of course, we will be a family, we shall have lots”
“I only want one” she said suddenly as the realisation struck her “Just one… if you have more, one will get forgotten and no-one will love it. That’s what happens… when you have lots. You forget one and no-one cares for it”
“Then we better make sure it’s a boy” he smiled.
“Do you mind just having one?” she asked suddenly concerned.
“No I don’t mind, as long as your happy” he promised kissing her once again.
“I bet it will take a week before anyone even notices I’m gone” she pouted, when he finally let her up for air. He made her feel so grown up, like a lady not like the child her father insisted on treating her as.
“I notice the moment your hand is not in mine” Faron smiled, “I don’t know how anyone could ignore you… I know I never shall”
“They don’t care about me at all” she replied, trying desperately to prevent herself from crying.
“How are preparation’s for your birthday?”
“There aren’t any” she huffed, “They have all forgotten”
“Surely not, it’s your sixteeth, surely your father remembers that?”
“He doesn’t remember anything bar Matilda and Ailiana” she protested. She had lied to him when they first met, she’d told him she was sixteen, there was a small pang of guilt but she pushed it aside. It didn’t matter, none of it mattered, soon they would have their little house on the mainland with a cat and goats out the back.
“Who is Ailana?”
“His new wife!” she exclaimed finding herself suddenly riled. “he barely knows her, yet he married her without a second thought about my mother… like she never exists”
“Hush” Faron soothed, pulling her into his arm’s “It doesn’t matter soon we will be away from here..”
Nodding she accepted his embrace momentarily, before peeling herself out of it. “I need to go” she urged suddenly.
“But I have only just got here, it took all day” he protested.
“I know… im sorry… I can see you tomorrow” she promised “its Raeanne you see she’s like a grumpy old bulldog. If she notices im gone, she’ll come looking… and if she finds you…. I dread to think”
“I’ll stay in the village” he promised, “Will you be able to come?”
“I will” she grinned, pecking him on the cheek before running back towards the house.
Relieved she found the servants door she’d used to escape still open slipping inside her slippered feel padded though the corridor’s back towards the lounge.
The good thing about the Dacre house was it was so large it was easy to lose a person, if anyone had gone looking for her it was easy to imagine why they could not find her.
Dashing around the final corner, she came to a screeching halt, all was quiet… but the one thing that was clear was the trail of blood that crossed her path and though the opposite door. It didn’t take but a second for the panic to hit he “Raeanne!” she called, “Anya?….. Anyone?” But there was only silence.