When William had returned to his carriage, he had not been in the best of moods, between Nan’s words still lingering in his ears and the smile he had seen her give Hoss so openly, so happily, it was a wonder, he had not marched up to the man and beat him within an inch of his life and then dragged Nan back to his house and locked her in her room.
He could not shake the anger he felt with Hoss. He had given her so much and received barely a kind word for any of it. And the few times she had smiled at him were tainted with an edge of sadness. She was with Hoss barely an hour and she smiled at him with such warmth and happiness. What had the man done to make her smile in such a manner? What did he say to her? William could not shake these thoughts from his head.
Then, when the carriage door jerked open, admitting Nan’s wet form all thought of Hoss’ actions drained from William’s mind, though his absence, sadly did not go unnoticed. This time a different anger fueled William’s being. He had told Hoss in no uncertain terms not to let her from his sight. If William could see her so plainly and not see Hoss; he had clearly failed in the task William had given him, an action which did not bode well for his man’s future health and even less for his employ.
And more over, she was soaked, again! Her hair hung loose, some plastered about her face and neck, while the rest lay in long wavy tendrils about her shoulders, her cheeks and nose were rosy from the cold, her dress so dark a blue it resembled more the color of her eyes than the clear blue sky, but what drew his attention the most was the large doe like quality her eyes had taken on upon seeing him. Her expression a mixture of surprise and terror and he liked the look of that less than her currently drenched state.
“Sir William.” Nan breathed in surprise, wiping at her dripping face, before Sir William grabbed her arm and pulled her into the carriage completely, practically tossing her into the seat across from his, leaving her to stare back at him even more surprised from her new position sprawled across the seat of the carriage.
“Nan Harris, you wicked little chit, when I get my…” Hoss’ shouted as he wrapped his hands about the opening to carriage, the rest of his words dying the instant he saw his Master’s furious gaze directed at him. “Sir William,” Hoss said, though his tone and expression were far less shocked than Nan’s had been. Withdrawing from the carriage, Hoss stepped back several feet as his Master rose and followed him, shutting the door behind him, and then taking hold of Hoss’ arm walking them several paces further from the carriage before stopping.
Even as the rain poured down, William ignored it. He was too caught up in trying control the maelstrom of rage whirling within him to give much heed to the early fall rain that was now drenching him. Not even the cold reached him as he stood staring down the street; his gaze fixed on where he had glimpsed Nan smile so freely at Hoss, and so long as he did not think on the cause of her smile his anger dulled enough for him to manage words rather than fists.
“Tell me Hoss, were my instructions unclear?” William asked, his gaze unmoving, his voice calm, crisp, and far too controlled for Hoss’ liking. Informing him that he was walking the razor’s edge of his Master’s ill temper, should he make the slightest mistake, his Master could easily lay him out with a single blow and if he was lucky a beating would be the extent of his punishment. Although, Hoss doubted the sentence his Master was wont to deliver him would be so easy.
“No, Sir.” Hoss replied with a small shake of his head, his eyes never wavering from his Master’s scarred and unflinching face.
“Where you set upon by bandits, thugs or some other, intent on doing her harm?” William asked, his tone unchanged.
“Did God, shine down from the heavens and tell you to forget my orders?” He quipped, though there was no humor in Sir William’s tone when he spoke.
“Then why in God’s name did she return without you!?” William snapped finally looking to his man, although Hoss found himself wishing he wasn’t. Unlike most that smartly and rightly feared his Master’s anger, Hoss did not. He had never feared his Master even knowing, witnessing what he was capable of. He owed the man far too great a debt, and knew him far better than any other to let fear keep him from performing the duty, he had sworn to him.
|Kevin McKidd||as William Horton|
|Emily Blunt||as Nan Harris|
|Jeremy Renner||as Nathan Hoss|
|Bob Hoskins||as John Baringer|
|Kate Winslet||as Sophia Horton|
|Nicole Kidman||as Carrie Mckenna|
|Sophia Myles||as Clara De'Mont|
|Ed Sanders||as Jamie|