December 9th, 2006


Elizabeth sighed when her father tapped upon her door. "Come in," she said, after a moment.

"Still in bed?" he asked, taking her hand and placing a kiss upon her hair. "Are you ill, child?"

She shook her head, giving him a wan smile. "No, Father, I am well." In truth she felt no discomfort; nor ease, for that matter. Pleasure and displeasure were strangers to her since Norrington's proposal. "A little out of sorts, perhaps."

"I am going to Somerset," Swann said. "A change of scene might do you good. Will you come?"

"If you wish it, Father, yes."


When Cook limped into the kitchen at Government House (she'd brained one raider with a kettle, wrenching her knee) it was to see two of the scullery maids weeping, wringing their hands distractedly, while the pastry chef sat amongst the wreckage, holding his head. The other servants had gone.

She looked around her once-orderly domain and felt tears prick her eyelids. Her face hardened. "Fetch brooms and mops," she snapped at the maids.

"Oh no, ma'am, I daren't," one wailed. "Pirates!"

"The pirates are gone. Now move before I take a stick to ye." There was work to be done.