‘Ah, there ye go, lad. Come and meet Rebecca and her daughter Rosie. They’ve not long moved to this part of England,’ Miri said. ‘Rebecca’s husband, Dougal, is a cooper and is looking to make a living in this part of the world.’
He had sat down on a stool. ‘This is Flea,’ Miri added.
‘Flea,’ Rosie had said, bowing her head slightly, her voice low and husky. Fleance noticed her long dark hair was tied into a thick braid that hung nearly to the middle of her back. Stray curls were escaping around her face and her green eyes seemed to hold a secret mischief. Then she smiled and he could not drag his eyes away from her mouth – it was perfect: full, red lips; small, straight teeth. And her skin was as clear and flawless as a young babe’s. It was all he could do to refrain from reaching out his hand to touch her face to see if she were real.
‘Cat got yer tongue?’ Miri had laughed. ‘Where are yer manners?’
Fleance shook himself. ‘Sorry, Miri. Greetings… Rosie. And to you, Rebecca.’
Rebecca twittered. ‘How did you get yer lad to speak so well, then Miri?’
‘Ah, truth is, he’s not my lad,’ Miri sighed. ‘Spoke like that when we found him. A right proper boy. Magness says he’s got royal blood in im.’
‘Weel,’ said Rebecca, ‘Whatever it is, tis a nice wee bit of something. But yer name, lad. Seems a strange one to christian a babe.’
Fleance felt his face redden but Miri came to his rescue. 'It suits him well: he's quick and strong and can disappear into the woods like a flea on a dog's back.'
He looked at the girl for her reaction and was relieved to see her smiling warmly at him.
The women chattered on and Fleance tuned out. The publican brought over his drink but, the whole time he had sat there, he barely touched it. Instead, he kept stealing glances at the beautiful creature who sat across from him.
Chapter One, Banquo's Son
I've sent the first 16 chapters back to the publisher because they are to be bound and set out by the marketing department or something. The crazy thing is, even as I write this blog I spot YET ANOTHER lapse - I've amended it on this post but the pages winging their way to Auckland won't have then - I'll have to send a follow up email.
Anyway, I best get ready for school. It's taking me ages to read the proofs because I'm loaded up with NCEA marking. Looking forward to the day when I can make a living with my writing and play at teaching, not the other way around as it is at the moment.