He couldn’t sleep. Wellington’s news had robbed the remaining energy from his legs and had him slumping into the nearest chair regardless of military protocol. Not that he was a member of any official army. He’d returned to Spain with one goal in mind. To hunt down his brother, and seek retribution for the murder of his wife and daughter.
The silent passage of the moon beyond his window failed to bring the usual sense of peace. Since his brother’s attack on his family he’d spent many a night staring up at the moon and pretending Maria and Francesca were riding across the sky while they looked down on him.
And now… he wondered again.
While he’d rushed back to Spain, his brother, Diago, had made his way to London, and according to his friend Lord Vidal, was even now making advances to Consuela.
The only available room left in the inn was tiny, with a window locked down tight against the night air, so the room smelled of stale ale and other unmentionable odours. He smote one fist in the other and strode from the edge of the bed where he’d sat to the window and peered out.
“You been and gone and missed it by five minutes.” The innkeeper told him when he’d rushed in to enquire when the next coach left for London. “Won’t be another ‘afore tomorrow afternoon.”
His enquiries into hiring a coach hadn’t fared any better. It seemed there was a prize cock fight in the village just five miles down the road and every available vehicle for hire was already spoken for. Assuming there’d be no spare horses for hire either he’d not even asked, but now as he watched the shadows shift across the ground below his window he wondered whether the plan forming in his mind would land him in prison if he was caught.
‘Another day won’t make a difference.’ A silent voice in his head urged, but instinct told Juan the voice lied. If he didn’t know better he could almost swear he heard Consuela calling out to him, for him to help her.