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Free Creative Writing Examples 7 Read Book “For Honor”

pardon service
by lisby1

Article by Kat Jaske

… “But I can’t just turn them away. They have nowhere else to go, and you know what would happen if I were the only one on hand as the proprietor of this estate.” The young aristocrat turned pleading blue eyes on the butler, all the while trying to ignore the feel of the wet tunic and doublet squeezing tighter to his frame. “Even I don’t want to dare flout conventions to that extent, and it could be dangerous for them to know I am the only one here…. I beg of you.”

The butler sighed in reluctant agreement. “I’ll pretend to be your father for the duration of their stay, but in return you must endeavor to take up your proper role when this is over. You will do that. It is what your father would want.” The youth regarded him silently and then nodded even as he hurried the butler to get prepared for the charade before rushing off to change into dry clothes. Perhaps that loose-fitting leather jerkin he used to wear when he had hunted with his father.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

A temporary butler answered the rap at the door and ushered the musketeer into the hall. “What can I do for you?” he inquired in a tone that implied the man had best have a good reason for being here or he’d regret his stopping here for days to come.

In an automatic gesture, the musketeer removed his formerly high crowned hat and asked pardon for his disgraceful appearance. “My party and myself have been caught in the storm and are desperately in need of any shelter you might be able to offer us,” the blond-haired man said. “Is your master at home that I could appeal to him?”

The butler eyed him suspiciously and was about to speak when a young, aristocratic lad appeared, a lad that apparently did not care overly much for convention. He sported a cavalier hat indoors, a hat that looked as if it would be more at home on an older man. “Claude,” he said, “I’ll handle this. Have Stephanie prepare for guests.”

The lad turned his attention to the wet and disheveled musketeer. Thank God for small favors, and God’s small unexpected favors were welcome, this time. The man’s waterladened mantle proclaimed him a musketeer, and he possessed the demeanor of a true gentleman. Moreover, there was something about him that inspired more trust and more confidence than Christophe usually accorded anyone. “You need shelter for the night?” the lad inquired and Athos nodded. “And you are?”

“Athos,” the musketeer replied and sketched a bow. “In the service of his majesté, les mousquetaires de Louis XIII.”

The boy’s intelligent eyes surveyed the bedraggled man. If what little he had heard of this man’s reputation was true, he was indeed a man who was unfalteringly loyal to the king and country to which he had pledged his service and honor. Very rare. “S’il vous plait, please, monsieur,, follow me. I can’t have you standing there and catching a chill,” the boy said as he guided Athos to a fire. The musketeer took his first opportunity to survey the lad as they stood by the fire. Tall and thin and unmistakably genteel. Though, with that hat and the lad’s stance, Athos couldn’t really get a good look at him.

“I cannot presume to stay here without your father’s permission.”

“My father should not begrudge that to you. He should be along shortly. I’m sure Claude went to fetch him. I do not honestly think he would turn travelers out in a storm; nor would he turn musketeers away without very good reason.”

At that moment Gerard entered the room, decked in finery he was scarcely accustomed to: a fine waistcoat set off by lace, long-legged breeches tied off with ribbon, and soft leather boots. The lad turned his attention to his would-be father. “Papa.”

“Christophe,” the older man acknowledged brusquely, turning his attention to the musketeer.”Papa, may I present to you Monsieur Athos of the king’s Musketeers. He and his party are seeking shelter from the storm.”

Gerard extended his hand “Thomas, Marquis de Langeac.” Athos shook the marquis’ hand firmly and introduced himself again. “You may consider my home at your disposal for the next day or so. Christophe will assist you while my servants help your men get settled.” Athos murmured his profound thanks, and with Christophe’s assistance went to get himself settled for what could prove to be a long, cold summer night.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“I must protest,” said Gerard to his noble master. “It is one thing for me to masquerade as your father, but for you to continue this masquerade is unpermissable, Maîtresse Laurel!”

“Gerard, I’ve been over this before. It’s not a wise idea for these gentlemen to be aware that I’m the mistress of this house. The fewer people who know Lady Laurel Christophe d’Anlass is here and that her father is not, the better. I don’t wish to attract attention to the fact that I’ve returned. It could well bring the men who have been searching for my father here, and I’d rather not bring that danger to my doorstep any sooner than necessary.” Not to mention, if the wrong people knew her father had been gone so long, the estate could wind up in her unsavory cousin’s hands all too quickly.

“But to pretend to be a young boy, Laurel. That’s not wise.” And wouldn’t be possible for much longer. Already her body was becoming too feminine for the masquerade. If only she hadn’t been such a late developer. If only her father had raised her in a more mundane manner.

“What other choice do I have?” asked the young woman who was still dressed as a lad. Similar conversations had transpired numerous times over the last fourteen months, but this time she had more ammunition. “Monsieur Athos and his companions already believe that the only child of Thomas is a lad by the name of Christophe. I cannot suddenly reveal that there is no Christophe, but rather a lady of some nine and ten years. It quite simply cannot be done, Gerard,” Laurel concluded, and the butler departed with a scowl of disapproval etched upon the planes of his face.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Laurel pulled off the large-brimmed hat and set it on the dressing table. Unwound her hair from the tight bun, and the long blond braid fell just short of her mid-back. Her scalp ached. At least no one questioned why she, as a lad, had such short tightly pulled back hair. Rather they assumed she had her hair tied in a tight queue at the base of her neck. Plus, with the hat, her hair didn’t look too unusual to pass for a boy’s. The young woman pulled off the jerkin, so that she was wearing only her linen tunic.

She frowned as the mirror showed her that the linen shirt was definitely not enough protection to cover the fact that she had bound her small breasts tightly. No, the bindings could be seen through it. But at least her hips and waist were still narrow, boyishly so, although she wondered how much longer such luck as she’d had would hold out. Seeing as her breasts were becoming more full, she knew it was only a matter of time before the rest of her body became more feminine. Apparently even she couldn’t elude fate indefinitely, no matter how she might try….

About the Author

Kat Jaske is an English and French teacher in Las Vegas, where her high school selected her award-winning, swashbuckling novel, “For Honor”, as the featured book for the 2006 Reading Incentive Program. This is an excellent example of creative fiction writing. You can order the book from web site http://www.forhonor.com.

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