Perils of the Heart
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Perils of the Heart
looked innocent when Captain Blackwell fixed his eye on them. “Show Wittington to the forecastle, Mr. Seward. And have someone find him some clothes.” “Aye, sir.” Seward scurried away. Wittington followed, after a lingering glance for Evangeline and a distrustful one for Austin. The captain growled. “Why are you still standing there, Miss Clemens? Do you want consumption?” “Of course not—” “Then get below.” He spun on his heel and stalked away, his shoulders squared. He snapped orders as
fantastic patterns, and the wind moaned through them like a storm buffeting the eaves back home. The expanse of ocean unfolded to the stern, and the ship dragged a white V of foamy water behind it. From his position at the wheel, Lornham noticed her, but said nothing. Osborn saw her, shot his brows up, then turned away, his mouth twitching. Evangeline marched to Austin and planted herself behind him. “Captain, I must speak with you.” He whirled. His eyes held a blank, chill anger that made her
rigging. She would leave behind the ship’s captain, a man who loved the freedom of the sea. A man who had kissed her with passion, as if she were a great beauty rather than a plain spinster with spectacles. She felt hollow. “I don’t know.” “Think on it. There is nothing for you in America; only a servant’s life. You can be mistress of a great house, with servants of your own. I want this for you. What better reward could I give my rescuer?” He caught her hand and lifted it to his lips. She
than not. I have presided over many a hasty wedding.” Red burned her cheekbones. “Well, I am six-and-twenty, not an eighteen-year-old girl. It may be that I am past my prime.” “I do not intend to take the risk.” She looked unconvinced. “What is the second reason?” “If I do not marry you, I can’t keep an eye on you. You know too much, and you won’t be safe alone.” “Which is entirely the wrong reason to marry someone.” “The wrong reason? To keep you safe?” “A man—or a woman—should not marry
“I could simply go away. Perhaps if I traveled to one of the far-off colonies, way to the south, maybe, where no one has heard of me, I will be safe there.” Let her go? Ludicrous. He’d lost her once, and he’d hated every minute of her absence. “They are not colonies any more.” She made an expansive gesture. “Whatever you call them now. No one would know me in the Carolinas.” “You do not know that. We are a small country, in terms of people. Everyone seems to know everyone else’s business.