“Sleep little one,” she whispered. “Sleep.” She gently held the baby in the darkness. The air was close and hot in the attic space. The baby’s face was damp and his curls stuck to his forehead. His cheeks were flushed and his thumb was tucked firmly in his tiny mouth. The maid, just a girl, rocked the baby and hoped he would remain quiet until they were safe. She would do everything she could to protect him.
She heard a loud crash in the rooms below and her heart leapt with fear. She waited, almost forgetting to breathe, for the inevitable sound of heavy boots on the stairs. Another crash and then the sounds of wood and glass breaking. Men’s voices, laughter, fading as the ruffians moved to another part of the house.
Relieved, she pulled the baby back into the darkest corner of the attic. The baby moved in his sleep and sighed. “Shh, little one.” She whispered. “Sleep now, my lord.”
She glanced out the attic window into the night, looking for the lights that would signal rescue. She closed her eyes and prayed.