#DailyLines #BookTen #IfYouHaven’tReadBEESYet #YouDon’tWantToReadThis
[Excerpt from Untitled Book Ten, Copyright 2022 Diana Gabaldon]
William had just set foot on the threshold when Fanny spoke behind him.
“Will-yum?” she said, her voice clear but uncertain.
He turned to look back, surprised, but then smiled and stepped back onto the porch, reaching to take her hands.
“Frances,” he said softly, looking down at her. “There you are.”
“Here I am,” she said, smiling up. She’d blushed when he turned to her, but her eyes sparkled. “Shall I take care of your horse for you?”
“Oh.” He glanced down the steps; the horse, a big, muscular dark bay, was munching grass beside the path, his reins carelessly looped over the hitching rail. William glanced at me, and I made a tiny nod in Fanny’s direction.
“That’s most kind of you, Frances,” he said, and squeezed her hands briefly before letting go. “His name is Trajan and I’m sure he will be as grateful for your welcome as I am.”
She turned at once and skipped down the steps, glowing. William looked after her, the smile still on his face.
“I nearly said, ‘How you’ve grown, Frances!’,” he remarked, sotto voce, to me. “But that wouldn’t have done, would it? I always hated it when Papa’s friends would say that to me.”
“It would have gone over like a lead balloon,” I assured him. “She has, though. And her speech is nearly perfect now. “ I glanced over my shoulder; Jamie had gone into the study. “And—er—how is Lord John these days?”
“I wish I knew,” he said, face and voice both suddenly bleak.