The Morning After

“Orrick what’s going on?” Kaitlyn asked finding Orrick looking manic running though one of the hallway’s. The entire estate had been alive since dawn, more that the usual hustle and bustle of maid’s and kitchen staff getting on with their daily chores.

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“Nothing my dear” Orrick smiled but Kaitlyn saw though his paper thin facade, the stress of something big was clearly written on his face. “Have you had breakfast yet?” he continued his words spilling from his mouth much too quickly.

“No not yet” Kaitlyn replied curiously “I thought we were going to check on Maegan and Christopher?”

“No!” Orrick replied sharply “I’ve changed my mind, it’s a bit of an archaic custom really. I thought we’d just leave the love birds to wake in their own time”

“Orrick what’s going on?” Kaitlyn asked firmly “and don’t tell me nothing, I’m not a fool”

“Kaitlyn really it’s nothing to concern yourself with, having a few hickup’s around the estate, i have everything under control”

Kaitlyn nodded unconvinced; “very well” she replied “I trust it’s nothing to do with Maegan then?”

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“No No, Maegan is safe and well I swear it”

“Well if you could tell someone to inform Maegan, that myself and Raeanne are having breakfast in the dayroom if she wants to join us”  

Orrick nodded “Of course” he smiled before racing off. Kaitlyn wasn’t convinced the look on Orrick’s face and the way people where running around the house told her something was very wrong, but she trusted that Orrick would have told her if Maegan had come to any harm so she reluctantly retired to the dayroom where Raeanne sat waiting.

Orrick meanwhile had been informed by the day guards the Christopher had been seen leaving the estate during the night and as yet had not returned. As a rule Christopher leaving the estate wouldn’t be a cause for concern which is why no-one had thought to wake Orrick however with him not returning by daybreak, it was the first new’s Orrick had received upon waking.

Orrick knew immediately something was wrong, even Christopher wasn’t fool enough to walk out on his wife on their wedding night unless he wasn’t intending on returning, having sent runner’s to all of Christopher’s known lady friends he was running out of options as to how to find his son.

Heading up to Christopher’s chamber’s Orrick banged more heavily than he’d intended on the door. “Maegan are you awake” he called upon hearing a confirming reply Orrick hurriedly motioned for the two maids he’s positioned near her chambers to hurry on inside and get her dressed. Pacing like a caged animal he waited for them to re-appear confirming she was ready to receive a visitor.

They had barely opened the door when Orrick torn into the chamber finding Maegan waiting for him, storming over face like thunder he grabbed her roughly by the arm causing her to squeal out in surprise. “Did he tell you where he was going?” he asked bluntly.

Maegan shook her head, her eyes red having spent a great deal of the night crying.

“Did he consummate the marriage?” he growled.

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Again Maegan didn’t say a word just shook her head by way of a response.

“Damn him”

“He said he’d be back” Maegan sobbed.

“When?? What else did he say?” Orrick urged.

“That I was too young, that I was to be the lady of the house till he returned, he was worried you’d keep pressuring you into consummating” Maegan replied softly.

“Your damn right I would have made him consummate” Orrick growled “Do you realise what he’s done?”

Maegan shook her head.

“Risked EVERYTHING!” Orrick growled “do you know what will happen if Thomas find’s out about this?”

Maegan shrugged, too confused to respond.

“Your marriage isn’t binding till he consummates!” he explained “He’ll use this to get out of it”

“Who Thomas?”

“No Christopher”

No…” Maegan replied frantic “He said he was going to honour our marriage, just that I was too young”

“Then what the hell is he playing at? Doesn’t he realise how bad this looks?? What will people think when they find out he’s abandoned you and that i can’t even control my own son!?”

“He said he’d return to control the estate” Maegan wailed. “I just think he wants to do it his way”

“His WAY!” Orrick fumed “that boy will destroy the estate, doing it his way”

“I’m sorry” Maegan sobbed sure that somehow this was all her fault.

“Right!” Orrick replied defensively “here’s what we are going to do? If anyone asks you, your vow’s have been consummated do you understand?”

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Maegan nodded terrified.

“Where not going to tell people Christopher’s gone. Where going to hide it till I can locate him and drag him back here do you understand?

Maegan nodded again.

“Do you?” Orrick growled shaking her to make his point.

“Yes” she wailed.

“Your just going to have to run the house which Christopher’s gone, I’ll make sure none of the Staff talk… You’re just going to have to deal with the matter’s of the estate, it’s only small a few farms you can handle that can’t you Maegan?”

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Maegan didn’t know what to think, her schooling really hadn’t covered things like that, and while she could read and do arithmetic mostly her teachings had centred around the matter’s of the home, being a good wife and running a household, not running an estate.

“Maegan you can handle that can’t you?” Orrick asked insistently.

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“Handle what?” a voice suddenly asked from behind, Orrick span to see Kaitlyn standing in the doorway and instantly cursed himself for not making sure the door was closed.

“Nothing” Orrick smiled his persona changing in an instant “Christopher’s had to go away for a few days that’s all, I was just asking Maegan to keep an eye on things while he was gone?”

Kaitlyn glared hard, unimpressed and un-fooled. “Orrick don’t test me” she growled “if there is something going on that concern’s my daughter I demand to be informed”

“Kaitlyn with all due respect” Orrick replied harshly “Your daughter has been married into the Vaux house now, she is no-longer your concern”

“She will cease being my concern when and only when one of us stops breathing” Kaitlyn replied not backing down for an instant.

“Kaitlyn as you can see she is fine and well” Orrick replied “Now why don’t you go and finish off breakfast and then I’ll get a coach to take you back to Vaux manor where you can pick up your other daughters?”

 “I know my daughter well enough to know she’s been crying all night and I’m not leaving till I find out why” she argued

“That is none of your concern” Orrick snapped.

“Fine then I WILL be seeing Thomas” Kaitlyn threatened staring Orrick dead in the eye “Something isn’t right and I fully intend to find out what”

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“Kaitlyn you are a very stubborn woman do you know that?” Orrick growled.

Folding her arms defiantly “So I’ve been told?” she snapped “So what is going on?”

Orrick sighed resigned, realising Kaitlyn wasn’t going to back down, he explained to her the situation.

Kaitlyn listened intently, suddenly understanding Orrick’s predicament. The politic’s of noblemen where delicate and something like this could be the undoing of all Orrick had fought to restore after his first marriage breakdown. “The solution is simple” Kaitlyn finally replied “Let me stay here with Maegan I’ll run this part of the estate for you, I’ll teach her what she needs to know”

“Impossible”

“Why?” Kaitlyn retorted “Im university educated and I dare say that I’m better equipped to handle things than Maegan, I can teach her what she need’s to know”

“You have a husband” Orrick replied “Don’t you need to return to him?

“The situation with my husband is … difficult” Kaitlyn replied “We are no longer residing in the same house”

“Does the king know?”

“Thomas is fully aware of the situation; I dare say it won’t come to any great surprise to anyone. That after my marriage breakdown I come and stay with my daughter and her husband” Kaitlyn replied with a smiled “Very generous of the Vaux’s to offer me and my daughters shelter don’t you think?”

“I suppose” Orrick replied slowly catching on.

“I’m more than capable of balancing book’s, collecting tax’s and managing farms” she assured him.

“Very well” Orrick nodded “Your welcome to stay”

“Thank you Orrick, I swear none will know of Christopher’s disappearance from us” Kaitlyn smiled quietly relived that she’d found a way out of Siren’s house that wouldn’t seem forced or rushed. After all she had no doubt that the vampire already knew of Christopher’s disappearance if not where the young lord had gone.

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