“Damn!” Cathern sucked on her finger. “Mistress? Are you all right?” Cathern looked at Jazelle with a bit of irritation. “Yes, just me and my clumsiness with a needle. At this rate I’ll never be done. Maybe I should use red fabric and white thread instead of white fabric and red thread. It would hide the blood from my poor fingers.” Jazelle looked over the one foot square of finely spun, white cotton cloth. Sure enough there were blood spots on it. “I could do this for you Mistress. He would nev..” Cathern cut Jazelle off before she finished her statement. “No, no, no! I need to do this myself.” Cathern sighed a bit, looking at her work. It was now stained and she would have to start again. Sewing definitely was not her forte. “Jazelle, leave me please. The day is young. Take a few coins and hire a carriage to take you to my lands. I hear that Scot you fancy has arrived. You may return tomorrow.” The slave curtsied and departed the room with a large smile on her face. Cathern again looked at her disaster of a project then shook her head and started anew.
“I’ll get it right this time.” Cathern thought to herself as she measured and cut another square of fabric then started pushing the needle and thread through. She was determined to make sure Hew had her gift to take with him on his mysterious mission. The rumors about the two of them were already in full force of course. She didn’t mind it too much though she was always unsure of herself when in public around him. Even when alone with him she was nervous though not to the degree she was before. He certainly wasn’t shy about expressing how he felt to an almost improper degree she was sure. Not that she was an expert on what was proper or not in a courtship.
It was a courtship. If there was any doubt before there wasn’t now. He had removed all speculation about his intentions while the two stood on a moonlit beach. He presented her with a ring, one with a pink diamond. It was very beautiful and it came with a proposal of marriage. He had spoken of it before, a legal convenience to avoid her arranged marriage in France. This wasn’t the same of course. This was a real proposal of love and devotion. She didn’t say yes, couldn’t say yes though. It was still too soon for her. She felt guilty about it but she wouldn’t allow herself to be pressured into something she was still unsure of. She didn’t say no either though. There was a great appeal in the proposal. A part of her desperately wanted to say yes. A part of her, a deep primal part of her wanted to surrender to him in the way a wife does for her husband. There was trepidation of course but it was beginning to be outweighed now by something else.
The stitching had gone better this time. She hadn’t poked herself at all but the heart design was uneven. It would just have to do; there wasn’t time to start again. She hoped he liked it. She would give it to him in the eve before he left.