Journeys are a feature of my Gingerbread Bride novella in the Bluestocking Belles Christmas box set (Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem). But—as you’d expect when our theme is runaway brides—journeys appear in the other novellas, too. Launch is this weekend, so this is my last chance to call it a work in progress!
Before now, I’ve posted excerpts where Rick first sees Mary walking through a field after her coach breaks a wheel, and where Mary and her maid are trapped in a runaway chaise, so here is a bit from a somewhat tamer part of Mary’s travels. Please feel free to post ten lines or so (I went for ‘or so’!) from your own work in progress, and don’t forget to share!
By the time they stopped for a bite to eat in the early afternoon, Rick’s pallor had increased alarmingly, and he’d been clenching the front of the bench for more than an hour, his knuckles white with the force of his grip.
He managed a slow, awkward descent from the carriage and twisted his mouth into a shadow of his usual jaunty grin when he caught Mary’s concerned frown.
“I’m feeling a bit battered, Mary, but no harm done.”
Mary felt a bit battered herself. The carriage was not called a bounder for nothing.
“Let us take our meal in the garden, so we can stroll a little,” she suggested, “unless… should you be sitting down, Rick? Or lying even? We could enquire about a room.”
“A walk would be just the thing,” Rick assured her.
Mary sent Polly off to order sustenance. “We will eat in the garden, Polly. I can see tables under the trees. Order for three. You’ll eat with us.”
Rick opened the gate from the inn-yard to the garden, and Mary went through it on his arm, trying to support him as much as she could without being obvious.
Another guest was before them, sitting at one of the tables and staring disconsolately at the small, dirty pond that adorned one corner.
“What is the matter?” Rick asked. Mary realized she had halted and was clutching his arm in a death grip. She willed herself to relax.