“Your Grace, please…”
Wellington rolled his eyes and growled at the rifleman.
“For God’s sake, Sharpe, sit still!”
Richard Sharpe continued to fidget, feeling completely out of place sat here in his best uniform. He ran a finger under the high collar again, feeling as if it was choking him, the strategically placed candle just catching his eyes every time he looked to the side, and his irritation at the little man watching him intently as he did his utmost to catch his likeness in the sketchbook growing by the second.
“How much longer?” he whinged.
“A lot longer than it should take, sir,” the artist pleaded. “If you would only make an effort to sit still for more than five minutes…?”
“You try sitting still when you’re being strangled by a bloody stiff collar and cravat!” Sharpe snapped. “I feel like a stuffed dummy!”
“And you sit like one too,” Wellington said acerbically. “Richard, the gentleman’s time is valuable, and certainly not indefinite. Please, try your best to keep the pose.”
“Why should I?” Sharpe glared at him angrily. “You’re the one who wants this bloody picture, not me!”
The Duke smiled, walking the few paces between him and Sharpe, and bent to whisper something in the Colonel’s ear. Sharpe’s eyes widened, and he looked up at Wellington, his mouth slightly open.
Wellington’s smile merely broadened, and Sharpe immediately resumed the position requested of him, licking his lips nervously and obviously doing his utmost to remain still, trying to ignore the candle which was not quite out of his line of vision. The Duke turned back to the artist and smiled.
“Take you time, Mr. Lawrence…”