Jeanne: A Question of Honour

Druce paused, his body trembling almost imperceptibly with the feelings knotted in his belly. He did not flinch from her straight gaze, but for a long moment he clenched his tongue between his teeth as he struggled against the natural pride and resentment he felt. When he had calmed them, he spoke. "I respect your loyalty, then; my Lord Ambrosius deserves it, if ever a man did.

"I see the look of a native in your eyes," he went on. "At least that is better than a Roman's look. But still, you are a woman - and a newcomer, at that. Do not presume to know my Lord Ambrosius' needs better than I do, for I have been with him far longer than you have." He paused, his Welsh blood rebelling at the thought of displaying his feelings, but at last he grudgingly said, "I owe him my life as well. Perhaps not in the same way you do - I know nothing of you - but he took me in as an orphan scamp and for that I owe him my life."

Then he added with a little less harshness, "Perhaps there will come a day when I can take your bossing with a smile, as I take the Guttersnipe's."

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