Raeanne was looking out of the window Finian in her arms. He’d been fussing all day, no doubt caused by the change of routine and environment, not to mention the lack of familiar faces. She’d tried feeding him but he didn’t seem interested in food and by the way he seemed awkward taking the spoon she suspected that he was still taking his mothers milk. She considered pulling in a wet nurse but Christopher had rejected the idea in fear of someone reporting the little boys presence.
“There, there, little man” she soothed, jogging the little boy in her arms as she noticed Maegan entering the room.
“Is he still not settling?” she asked.
“Spoiled” Maegan smile, holding her arms out and relieving her of the bundle.
“Maegan you truly are amazing” Raeanne announced, “I’m not sure I’d be coping with my husbands child this well”
Maegan shrugged and looked slightly embarrassed “It was before we where married” she replied “No need to be too upset, besides it’s not his fault” she grinned at the little boy.
“Has Chris spent any time with him?”
“No” Maegan sighed “I can’t help feel it’s a shame. Who will love him if not his father?”
“Chris will find him a good home” she promised, though truthfully she wasn’t as sure as she pretended. Suddenly something outside the window caught her eye “Blast” she cursed “Sir Shieldsmith, Maegan take Finian upstairs, while I find out why he’s here”
Maegan nodded and hurried from the room, while Raeanne headed outside to the garden to head him off before he got inside.
“Sir Sheildsmith” she smiled, falsely there where two possible reason’s he was here, one for her, two for Finian and neither of them good. “Can I help you?”
“Call me Danson” He offered.
“I’d rather not”
“Well how are you?” He asked not seeming too put off “I thought I would just call in and say hello”
“It’s a long way to come to simply say hello” she growled suddenly sensing the first of her options was the more likely. Danson had spent some time with her up at the castle during the celebrations trying to get to know her. Though much to her relive with all that went on, she’d managed to avoid him far more than she might have otherwise. He’d repeatedly tried to convince her he was a good option for a husband and still she remained unconvinced.
“Oh im not here just for that” he nodded, holding up a book “Your daughters I believe. She left it at the castle I thought she maybe missing it.”
Raeanne sighed taking the book from his hand, “Thank you” she nodded a little relieved, though it was a long way just to bring a child’s book.
“Danson!!!” Skye squealed coming tearing around the corner and into view, before leaping into the young Knights arms.
“Skye!!” Raeanne scolded horrified at the sight, as Danson lifted her daughter into his arms as familiar as anything “That’s no way to greet Sir Shieldsmith”
“His names Danson ma, he don’t mind if you call him that”
“Quite” Raeanne glared, “Danson if you wouldn’t mind?”
Getting the hint the knight placed Skye back on the ground. “Danson bought your book back”
“Oh good, I told him he should” Skye grinned.
“You told him he should?” Raeanne glowered not missing the slip.
“Erm I mean.. I told him and if I forgot my book then he should bring it too me” Skye clarified, “Not that I was going to forgot it on purpose because that would be very neglectful”
“Hmm” she frowned, knowing full well when she was being set up but not wishing to give the knight the wrong idea, she simply nodded “Well thank you Danson, I suppose you should be getting back?”
“Ma, we can’t just send him back.. that would be rude” Skye protested, grabbing the knight by the hand and beginning to drag him towards the house “we should at least invite him to lunch”
“Skye.. now really isn’t a good time”
“Nows the perfect time” Skye giggled “Cooks already laying the table”
She smiled nervously, embarrassed that her own daughter sought to play match maker but also worried about what Danson would do if he found Finian in the house. The knight spent a great deal of time travelling to the various estates on patrol, he of all people was bound to recognise the young boy.
“I’m sure Danson is in quite a rush” Raeanne protested, “Can I get the stable hand to bring you a new horse?”
“I’d love to stay for lunch” he smiled, seeming amused.
She’d love to wipe that grin from his face, it wasn’t that she had anything against him. If you ignored that fact that he and her daughter where clearly in cahoots. It was simply that she wasn’t interested in a relationship of any variety. “Very well” she sighed, defeated “Lunch”
“Yay…” Skye squealed, running off “I’ll tell cook” she yelled.
Once the little girl was out of view Raeanne stopped and scowled “Sir Shieldsmith, I do not appreciate having my own daughter used against me” she accused.
“I’m sorry” he apologised “I just thought that if I waited for an invite from yourself, it would be a long time coming”
“Indeed it would” she retorted “And what’s with having her jumping all over you, do your tastes run to little girls or something”
“Milady?!” he replied looking horrified “No of course not, I simply thought you might appreciate that id taken time to get to know her”
“I appreciate, no such thing” she replied “In future leave my daughter out of your scheming and for the second time. I’m am not interested in your advances. I’m honoured truly, but I have no interest in pursuing a relationship”
“That’s a shame” Danson replied “Your father will be disappointed”
“No doubt he will” she replied, sharply “but I suppose he’s used to it by now”
“May I ask why?” he ventured “I know you told me you didn’t think the barracks was the sort of place to bring up children, but surely there is another reason?”
“My Wolf, only died 12 months ago im simply not ready, but the fact does remain I don’t believe the barracks to be a suitable place for a child.. Skye or future ones”
“What if I was willing and able to get us a house” he asked “Close to the barracks but separate?”
“Would Daniel allow it?” she asked intrigued though not really considering the option.
“I don’t know” he admitted “It wouldn’t hurt to ask. There is a cottage no too far away I believe would be suitable, certainly in the early years. So will you consider it?”
“The offer of schooling is still there, however if you would rather keep her home with you then I won’t force you”
“I’m just not sure” she replied “I loved Wolf, I still miss him. It’s just not been that long”
“I understand” he nodded “I’m not asking you to love me.. just to marry me”
Raeanne laughed “Not terribly romantic though is it?”
“Perhaps not, but the last time I saw your brother and his wife they seemed uncomfortable around each other, but this time he’s even despite everything that’s gone on, you can see the bond that’s growing between them”
“They are doing well” she admitted “But what about Ailana? one couldn’t help but notice her presence at the castle trying to get your attention”
“Honestly, I don’t trust the Hamdun’s” he admitted “Ailana seems nice, but I’m not sure if she’s interested because she’s genuinely interested, or if she’s been sent on a mission by her brothers. My job requires me to keep an even keel, I can’t afford to get swept up in the Hamdun’s power play. Between me and you I fear Daniel listens to Sophie far too much and I have no doubt she is taking her orders from Gabriel. I feel a man needs a wife who’s priority is him and her children not one that is trying to manipulate him for the benefit of others”
“Who says I won’t manipulate you for the sake of Christopher or my father?” she reasoned.
Danson chuckled “I don’t believe you care enough about politics, besides while I don’t deny your father has his own political agenda’s I think he cares more than his daughters have a happy marriage than a political one. Besides Ailana like you sister Anya are both still very young. Sometimes a man wants a woman who knows what she wants. I admit I do not envy your brother with Maegan.. teenage girls are.. .. Well lets just say I’d rather have a woman with a little life experience beneath her belt. So will you least consider it, let me court you at least see if you could grow to approve of the relationship??