Adele: Time to Disembark

It took us a few days to cross the channel to England.  The sea was rough and our ship was blown slightly off course, which turned out to be quite fortunate for us, because instead of making port at Southampton and having to make our own way to London, our ship was redirected to sail straight down the Thames and into the capital.

The rough weather did mean that I spent a few days of my journey below decks, feeling like my insides were going to spew out my mouth at any second.  What was even more annoying was the fact that Gerald seemed totally unaffected by the rolling waves and only spent his time below deck to keep my company.

Luckily for me the storm only lasted for a couple of days and as soon as the waves stopped throwing our ship from left to right and back again I felt better.

I resumed my spot on deck, despite the drizzle that consistently fell from the sky on most days, watching out for the good-looking sailor I had crashed into on my first day aboard.  I might be a member of a top secret revolutionary organisation conducting important business, but I'm still a woman.  There was no harm in looking.

But as it turned out there was much more to it than looking.  As we began to sail down the Thames and towards London, Gerald came to find me, telling me to pack up my things.  'We'll arrive in a few hours,' he told me before going off to his own cabin.

I sighed and began to make my way over to the creaky stairs that would take me down into the underbelly of the ship.  It was unusually dark when I reached the bottom of the stairs, in fact I could hardly see a thing apart from the square of light created by the sun shining weakly down from the sky.

My cabin wasn't too far away so I reached out, using my fingertips to find the wall.  When they brushed against the wooden surface I moved slowly along the wall, trying to remember where I was going.

According to my calculations I was just outside my room when my hand came into contact with something that wasn't wood.  It was warm and solid and I could feel the destinct pulse of a heartbeat under my palm.

'Adele?  Is that you?'

'Gerald?'  I prayed the answer was yes.  No-one else on this ship aside from Gerald and Captain Markus knew who I was.

'No.  You don't know who I am.'  My heart started to pound as strong hands grabbed my wrist and my waist, pulling me away from where I wanted to go.

'Let go of me!'  I struggled but couldn't free myself from the vicelike grip of my captor.  I heard a door click open and a stream of light blinded me as I was thrust into a lit storeroom.  The door was shut behind me by the man I had spent most of my journey watching, the handsome young sailor with the muscles.

'I'm sorry about that Adele but there is no other way I could think of doing this,' he said apologetically.

'How about coming up to me politely on deck,' I said irratably, 'in daylight, where everyone can see us and asking me nicely if I was Adele.  That would have been a much better way to do it.'

'But that's the point.'  He took hold of my shoulders, forcing me to look at him.  'No-one can know I have spoken to you here, not even Gerald.'

'You expect me to lie to my friend about some strange man abducting me from below deck and shutting me in a room with him.  No way.  I have no idea what you think I am, but this is definately not it.'  I tried to get away from him and out the door but he held onto my arm.

'Don't pretend you don't know exactly what I'm talking about Adele.  Guillame isn't the only man running this operation.'  My blood ran cold as Guillame was mentioned.

'I don't know a Guillame.'  My tone wouldn't have convinced a child.

'Of course you do.  For Adele Durand not to get involved with the Blanche after her father was such a strong supporter of the movement is simply not an option.'  I studied the man's face, trying to work out if he was lying or not but his expression was one of smug success.

'Who are you?'  My voice came out as a tiny breath, the words only just decypherable.

'My name is William O'Connell and I am the man running the section of the Blanche in London.  I am the man who Guillame sent to help you.'

The End

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