A VERY TUDOR CHRISTMAS

A VERY TUDOR CHRISTMAS by Amanda Mccabe Read Free Book Online

Book: A VERY TUDOR CHRISTMAS by Amanda Mccabe Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amanda Mccabe
Tags: Romance - Historical
You were a worldly gentleman of the
court, and I was a young girl who knew little but her own home. A fine
amusement. When you hid me from your parents...”
    “Because I knew I had to prove myself to you, to everyone. Only
then could I present myself to you properly and honorably. I told you all of
that. I thought, hoped, you were waiting.”
    Meg’s confusion grew, and she shook her head. Was he speaking
some foreign language she did not know? For she could barely comprehend his
words. It was like a romantic epic poem of the old chivalric days or some such.
“How could I have known such a thing? Did you think me a mind reader?”
    Robert scowled. “It was in the letter I gave your maidservant.
I dared not go to your house to find you.”
    “I never received such a letter! When you left without a word
of farewell, I knew I was only a trifle to you.”
    “Meg, I never...”
    “Meg, we must away to dress for the masque!” Beatrice suddenly
cried, cutting off Robert’s bemused words. Dizzy with confusion now, Meg pulled
her hand away from Robert and spun around to face her cousin. Peter Ellingham
stood just behind her, watching them.
    Beatrice’s bright eyes flashed between Meg and Robert. “You
must be the famous Sir Robert Erroll! No one can speak of anything but your
exotic travels of late. I’m sorry to whisk away my cousin, but I will return her
after the masque.”
    “And I must show you something very important, Robert,” Lord
Ellingham added. He and Beatrice gave each other strange, secret little smiles,
quickly gone.
    Beatrice seized Meg’s arm and drew her away, chattering all the
while about the masque. Meg glanced back, desperately seeking one more glimpse,
one more word, from Robert. What had he meant? What letter?
    But he was gone, vanished into the crowd with Peter Ellingham.
And Bea, surprisingly strong for such a sprite, kept dragging her away.
    They made their way out of the crowded hall through a doorway
hidden behind one of the tapestries. Beatrice led Meg up a narrow staircase and
down a long corridor, chatting all the time. Occasionally she would pause to
peer out a window, her words slowing but never halting.
    As they turned down yet another corridor, Meg had a sudden
suspicion. There were no other people in that part of the house, but she
couldn’t get even a word in between Bea’s laughter.
    At last they reached a closed door at the darkened end of the
corridor. “Here we are!” Bea cried. “We must change quickly.”
    “Beatrice, what are you...”
    Beatrice pushed open the door and shoved Meg inside, cutting
off her words. Before Meg could even spin around and demand to know what was
happening, the door slammed shut. She heard the sound of a bolt clanking into
place and Bea’s light footsteps running away. Only the echo of a giggle was left
behind, and Meg was alone in a dim, windowless chamber seemingly lit only by one
candle.
    Fear and anger tangled up in her mind. “Beatrice!” she cried,
banging her fists on the door. “What is the meaning of this? Come back at
once!”
    “She won’t be able to hear you,” a voice came from the
darkness. “I fear we are alone.”
    Her heart pounding, Meg whirled around to see Robert standing
in the single circle of candlelight, his arms folded across his chest as he
smiled at her.
    She was quite trapped with him. Alone.

Chapter Five
    “What is the meaning of this?” Meg cried. She was
trying to stay calm and coolheaded, to not show him her emotions at being near
him again. Leaving herself open to him had only wounded her last time. But her
voice came out sharper than she’d intended, and she couldn’t seem to stop
shaking.
    She pressed her back to the locked door and stared at him in
the flickering shadows. The candlelight carved his face into stark, elegant
angles and cast his eyes into mystery.
    “I think you will have to ask your cousin that, fairest Meg,”
he answered, far too composed for her liking. There was even a hint of

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