Extract from Sibylla and the Privateer
Review of Sibylla and the Privateer
'Surprisingly, though all things appropriately 'pirate' appear, the plot is fresh and unpredictable, characters enjoyable, and all the action keeps you turning the pages. Do read.' – Snapdragon, Long and Short of it
- As the gentle spring shower gave way to the pale sun, the couple who had taken shelter under the thick hedge of thorn looked up despondently.
- "I must go, Randolph," the girl said regretfully. "I have dallied overlong, and my mother will scold if I am late."
- "Surely you are not afeared for that, my brave Sibylla?" her companion laughed at her. He caught her hand and raised it to his lips, looking across at her as she laughed back at him.
- "Nay, I do not fear her. Why, she has always been most indulgent to us, how could I fear her? But I have been late so often this last month, since I have been meeting you, and I do not wish to draw their attention to it! They might keep closer watch on me, and then it would be more difficult for us to steal these hours together."
- "My beloved, you will not allow them to prevent our meeting?" he asked quickly, and she shook her head vehemently.
- "Nought shall prevent that! Oh, my dear, it is so strange, I have known you for ten years, and only this last month have I felt this for you. Why? When we are so clearly meant for each other, have I but now realized it?"
- Swiftly he bent over her and kissed her cheek. "You are only sixteen, my love, and I have been away a great deal. We have not known each other except as children until now."
- "But I still should have realized it! I cannot understand that I did not."
- "You used to think I was arrogant and unbearable," he reminded her, laughing again.
- "But that was when you came to visit Gerard, and would not allow me to join in your pursuits! I thought the same of Gerard. Yes there were times when I detested you! How incredible! I must have been blind!"
- "You can see clearly now? And I have no faults in your eyes?"
- She looked up at him, adoration in her eyes, but then she slowly shook her head. "There is one thing that disturbs me. Why do you insist that our meetings be secret? I would be so proud to tell my parents, and you know I do not mind we would have to wait for years, until you have made your fortune."
- He released her hand, and sat staring in front of him, while she looked anxiously at the lean face, admiring the handsome profile with the aquiline nose and firm chin at the same time as she wondered whether she had offended him? His dark hair fell forward over his shoulders, and Sibylla longed to smooth it back, and rub away the lines that creased his forehead. But she was still a little shy of such demonstrations of affection, and sat quietly, her hand resting in her lap. Then he turned and smiled at her, his brown eyes looking into her blue ones intently.
- "I am sorry, my dear, I had not realized it made you unhappy."
- "No, no," she protested, anxious now to take away the hurt she had dealt him by her criticism. "I but wondered, but I am content to let it be as you wish."
- "When the time is right, my lovely Sibylla, I will come to your parents. Will you be content with that?"
- "Of course, anything so long as I can continue to meet you."
- He pulled her to him, and kissed her passionately. Sibylla was breathless when he finally released her. She looked again at the sun, which was now shining brightly.
- "I really must go," she said regretfully. "Will you be here tomorrow?"
- "I shall be if you will be."