"Have the messengers left?"
Willamena Ffenwyck flattened herself against the stone cold wall. Her father, Lord William Ffenwyck, was, as usual, pacing in front of the fireplace, and by the sound of his voice he was moving directly toward her hiding spot. After years of squeezing into the narrow recess between the solar and the main hall, she knew he could not see her, but she still held her breath and gripped the little bells sewn to the ends of her girdle tighter.
"They were dispatched early this morn."
"And the preparations for tonight’s feast?"
"If you listen closely, you can hear Cook yelling at the poor boy turning the spit."
Willamena rolled her eyes. Both the wedding and the homecoming feast were old news. What she really wanted to learn was the reason her brother and betrothed were so late in arriving from France. They should have returned a sennight ago.
"Have you seen Willamena today? Is she dressed appropriately?"
"I saw her this morn and reminded her company would arrive today."
"Company? He is to be her husband. Need I remind you, wife, that she has yet to meet the man?"
"’Tis not Willamena’s fault she fell ill last summer."
"The way she looks at me with those big eyes, I know she wants me to reconsider this arrangement. But this one will not be renounced. Perhaps if her mother had lived and prepared her for this time in her life."