"Thou'rt afraid to tell thy father!"
"I'm not!" But he wouldn¹t meet my eye.
"We will become an illegal people," I said. "It will not be wise for thee to associate with us."
I had not thought much about all this before, but now it became clear to me: the gulf that was opening between us. I felt the inevitability of it, and tears stood in my eyes, ready to fall.
"Susanna." He put his arms around me, kissed my hair and then my face. I swung between delight and terror that someone would come in. The tears ran down my face and he kissed them away and pulled me close.
"Don't cry," he said. "We won't be parted. I promise. Don't cry."
I felt his lips touch mine, feather-soft at first and then firmer,warmer, with an eagerness that made me respond and kiss him back. I wondered, fleetingly, if I should do this. Was it wrong if we were not promised in marriage? But I could not bring myself to stop. . . . Later, when I was alone, I touched my lips with my fingertips and thought about the kiss.
He had said, "We won't be parted." Surely that must mean he loved me?
But he had not dared to tell his father about me, or about meeting with Friends. And I knew his father planned for him to become apprenticed to a silk merchant who would take him away to London. It was his duty to obey his father, and he had all the power.
NO SHAME, NO FEAR by Ann Turnbull. Copyright (c) 2004 by Ann Turnbull. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Excerpted from No Shame, No Fear by Ann Turnbull. Copyright © 2006 by Ann Turnbull. Excerpted by permission of Candlewick, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.