Genres: Historical, Religion, Romance
Collections: Clandestine Desires, Out of Habit
Editor(s): Lon Sarver
Cover Designer(s): Siol na Tine
Cover Art Credits: Adapted from photo © Les3photo8 at Dreamstime.com.
Production Editor(s): Erika L. Firanc
Proofreader(s): Derrick N. Davidson
Length: Short Story (5,000 Words)
Publication Date: 8, 2016
Serialization Date: Upcoming
Archive(d) on (To be Determined)
Tags: England, f/m, Short Story
Content Labels (What they are and why we use them)
He threw open the nearest door and closed it behind him, hoping there would be no guests using the chamber and that he could escape out of a window and onto the roof tops. But facing him was a four-poster bed, and in it a young woman who hastily gathered up the bolster to protect her modesty. Her bright blue eyes conveyed her surprise but also her curiosity.
“Sir, how dare you intrude on a maiden’s privacy.”
Before Tobias could reply, there was a bang on the door as one of the soldiers called out, “Open up. We’re searching for the Ranter who goes by the name Tobias Coppe.”
Coppe cast an imploring glance across at the young woman. His fate was entirely in her hands. One word from her and the soldiers would burst into the room, and he’d be arrested.
“No, you may not enter!” she called out. “I am in a most immodest state of undress and it wouldst be wholly inappropriate for you to come in. I would not permit any of the ranting sort in my chamber sir. I can assure you of that.”
“Sorry to disturb you, my lady,” replied one of the men.
Tobias listened as they shuffled along the gallery to next bedchamber. He turned with respect to the young woman, still sat bolt upright and startled in her bed, the cover wrapped tightly around her chest. She was certainly a lovely young woman with a peach-like complexion and long fair hair that fanned over the pillow.
“Thank you, madam. I am in your debt. May I ask the name of the young woman who hath saved me from gaol?”
“It’s Chastity. Chastity Clarkson.”
Tobias smiled, “With that name, I wouldst guess you come from good Puritan stock?”
“Yes indeed sir, that would be true. My father is a wool merchant from Norwich and is in town on business with my brothers,” she explained.
“Ah, I believe I did spy them in the tavern. So, it wouldst be your brother who sneaked out to fetch the soldiers to get me arrested. And I was in the midst of such an inspirational sermon on the nature of God’s love… and so close to its climax!” Tobias laughed.
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