December 13th, 2006


Governor Swann sat in Commodore Norrington’s office, staring at nothing. Tired… so very tired. Was it really just twelve hours ago that the world had changed?

Then: a peaceful evening stroll with (please God) his future son-in-law.

Now: the waterfront in ruins, townsfolk dead or injured, the Navy hard hit.

Then – it seemed another lifetime – his worst fear was that his headstrong daughter might refuse Norrington.

Now his darling child was gone – abducted for he dared not think what purpose. And that impetuous boy planning who knew what foolhardiness…

Swann groaned softly. Norrington would find her. They would find her.


“Miss Elizabeth,” Estrella exclaimed, “give over, do! We’ll never be ready in time for the ceremony if you don’t stop fidgeting.”

The bride held herself still for a few moments before she forgot her maid’s injunction and was jigging up and down, and craning her neck to see her gown in the mirror.

Estrella huffed an exasperated breath and muttered, “If we hadn’t already done your hair up so nicely, I’d box your ears, see if I don’t.”

Elizabeth laughed and, whirling round, caught the other in a tight hug. “You wouldn’t!”

The maid laughed, too. “No, Miss. Not today.”