An English Bride In Scotland by Lynsay Sands Read Online (FREE)
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Annabel sighed sleepily and rolled away from the persistent voice interrupting her exhausted slumber.
“Annabel, wake up,” the voice said more insistently.
“Sister Clara and I were up all night with a foaling mare,” Annabel mumbled wearily, recognizing Sister Maud’s voice. “The abbess said we could sleep in today.”
“Aye. Well, now she wants you up. Your mother is here.”
Annabel rolled abruptly onto her back in the small cot and blinked her eyes open to peer at Maud with amazement. “What?”
“Your mother is here and the abbess sent for you,” Maud repeated patiently. She then moved away to collect the gown Annabel had stripped out of and left on the floor when she’d reached her room.
Annabel sighed when she saw the disapproving expression on Maud’s face as she shook out the wrinkled gown. She had no doubt the woman would tattle to the abbess about the ill treatment of her clothing. The thought made her wish she’d taken the time to fold it neatly and set it on the chest at the foot of her bed, but it had been near dawn when she’d stumbled to her room. She’d been so exhausted she’d simply dropped it and tumbled into bed to fall into a dead sleep. That error would see her doing penance rather than going back to sleep after she saw her mother, she was sure.
Recalled to the fact that her mother was there, Annabel sat up on the side of the small hard bed in her hair shirt and chemise, and wiped the sleep from her eyes as Maud turned back.
“Why is my mother here?” she asked, standing to take the gown the woman held out.
“I would not know. She was taken to the abbess the moment she arrived and they have been sequestered in her office since,” Maud said stiffly, her gaze sliding over the hair shirt visible beneath Annabel’s chemise.
The hair shirt was to remind Annabel not to rush about in an undignified manner. She was always to walk slowly with poise as a bride of God should. Since she was already wearing it for one offense, her punishment for the discarded gown would probably be a whipping, Annabel knew, and had no doubt Maud was enjoying the prospect. The woman had always disliked her for some reason.
Annabel tugged her gown on over her head. She was waking up quickly, now, worry rushing the process along. Her mother’s being here couldn’t be a good thing. After all, the woman hadn’t been to see her since delivering her to the abbey fourteen years before. It had to be something important that brought her now. Had her father died? Her sister? Had Waverly Castle been taken by marauders? The possibilities were endless and none of them were good. Good news would hardly bring her mother with the dawn. She must have ridden through the night to arrive that early.