Danson sat at the dinner table with Orrick, Christopher, his wife and Orricks two daughters Raeanne and Anya. There had been some pleasantry’s and idle conversation, much of which centred around the coronation preparations.
There had also been a little talk on the subject of the Grimsteads newest nobles. Sara and Vincent had officially been accepted into the fold a few days before and it was currently a topic of heated debate. Some Nobles for thier inclusion in Grimstead, but many against.
Danson however hadn’t missed the uncomfortable way Christopher’s wife sat when that conversation had occurred. Confirming that rumours about Christophers unfaithfulness where no only true, but Lady Vaux knew about it.
It didn’t much suprise him he’d heard gossip of Christophers youth much like Thomas in that respect he supposed. Once a lady’s man always a lady’s man or so it seemed.
Danson knew he was being set up, he knew the moment Orrick’s two daughters had shown up for dinner the reason for his invitation. He’d hoped it had been to discuss some important matter or at the very least just a social occasion.
He’d already told Orrick once that he was unable to consider Anya a suitable pairing but It seemed the old man wasn’t prepared to give up that easily.
It wasn’t that Danson was elitist, or believed his blood any better than Anya’s. It was merely that many of the Grimstead Noblemen did hold prejudice’s against marrying into the lower class’s. A prejudice that meant to many Nobles Anya was considered an unsuitable matching, fit only for second sons and even then only at a pinch.
Danson was still reasonably new too Grimstead and while he’d been here for several years he was still considered an outsider. In order to become accepted by the more powerful families he ‘had’ to marry well.
He held respect in regards to his title he was a powerful man, but Grimstead’s elitist inner circle was a hard one to crack. If he was to be accepted as a nobleman and have his children accepted in their own right he needed a suitable wife, one that would meet the approvel of the other nobles.
Raeanne however was a new consideration, she was older just a few years younger than himself. Her mother had been a Baeumont and Orrick was a respected and prosperous nobleman even if the other nobles did not approve of his choice of second wife.
The down side was that she was a widow and was getting on in years they would have to move quickly if she was to provide him with a son. Still she’d proven fertility by already having a daughter. So that was perhaps not such a big problem after all.
However if they where to marry he would be expected, to take care of her daughter and he wasn’t sure the barracks was a suitable place for a female child. Still he could always send her to boarding school he decided. It was what he planned to do with his own daughters anyway. It would be an expense but perhaps he could factor that into negotiations with Orrick.
Danson chuckled as he suddenly realised he was in all seriousness considering her, looking up from his meal her glanced across at her. She was homely enough perhaps not one of Grimsteads great beauty’s, but attractive enough and well turned out considering she’d been married to a woodsman for a number of years.
He contemplated for a moment whether or not that should be held against her, deciding not as Kaitlyn was also married to a woodsman and still well respected in the most important circles.
Anya caught his eye, she was perhaps the more attractive of the pair she sat smiling at him no doubt trying to impress him, he’d practically fallen over herself trying to take his coat and offer him a drink when he arrived.
Raeanne however hadn’t more than politely acknowledged his existence. He wondered if she knew he father was trying to pair them up? Either she didn’t know and was attempting to take a back seat to allow Anya the chance, or she was unimpressed by the idea and was praying he was more taken with Anya. Either way it didn’t matter she seemed more interested in pushing Anya forward than making a play for him herself.
If he decided her suitable, Raeanne would be more of a challenge than most young women. Most women where in the charge of their fathers their fate decided by them, however as a widow Raeanne’s fate was her own and if there where to marry she would have to agree and that ment he would need to impress her on his own merit.
He briefly considered the other options, Ailana with no dowry, rejected by Thomas and her family. Tara Bendett, no Tara’s family weren’t powerful enough and her dowry small. Anya … she was sweet, with a good dowry but no…
There it was Raeanne was the most suitable option.. he’d have to discuss the dowry of course he wasn’t sure what if anything she bought back from the woods, but he had a feeling Orrick would seek to make up the difference, his mere presence here meant Orrick felt he needed the matching.