asked: [nickname] Mabel blinked. "Papa? Does Papa sound alright to you?"
This new title being addressed to him sounded odd to his ears at first, but a large smile quickly illuminated his face at the designation. ”Yes, Papa is perfectly all right with me.”
Strong arms carefully encircled her, holding her tightly to him, almost protectively. He wished he could protect her from all the malignancies of the world and wipe clean the grime which stained her past. The amount of suffering the child has already gone through in so few years was something he could not even begin to fathom, but he knew that accomplishing both those tasks was futile. Instead, he hoped to at least make her future a little sunnier.
"Oh, my dear Mayflower, that’s all right. There is absolutely nothing to apologize for." Mortimer spoke softly, gently rubbing her back to comfort her. He gingerly placed a kiss on her temple and then put his hands on her shoulders, looking her in the eyes. "It is perfectly all right to cry. Letting tears out in the open is the only way they are going to dry." He had learned that little piece of advice from Angeline. He had scoffed at it for the longest time until he finally saw the truth in it.
She could hold his eyes for a moment before they began to well a second time. Her bottom lip quivered, and her hands, that she’d eventually grow into, bunched up the front of her dress.
"Papa?" she cooed, and then sniffed. "I trust you. An’ Angel."
Richard Sharpe side-stepped a puddle, fiddling with his belt and settling his sword back on his hip. The small town was crowded with the addition of the army to the native inhabitants. He ducked around a wagon, stumbling right into another puddle, and nearly running head-long into someone else.
"Sorry-" he began. "Di’n’t see ye there, ma’am."
"The fault is mine, sir I was—"
"—…is that a sword?"
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Jacky managed to perform a curtsey without embarrassing herself too much, rising from the deep gesture gracefully. She kept her head bowed as Mistress Pimm left the room, leaving Jacky alone with this tall, skinny woman, her visitor.
Despite repeated reminders from Mistress and Amy and nearly everyone else at the finishing school, Jacky’s rough, unschooled way of speaking just wouldn’t budge.
”I don’t mean to be rude or nothin’, but what are you doin’ here, visiting me, mum?”
"And good morning to you, miss."
Without explanation, none at all, Mabel asked, “Would you fancy a walk? It’s much too…stuffy”—for more than one reason—“here.”
"-Good morrow, fair lady, a wonderful day is it not?"
“‘Tis, sir. Subeams are just echoing all around.
[smiles at him]
Are you a knight?”