Orrick’s smile quickly faded as he walked into the Baeumont lounge where Holly was sitting waiting. He’d wondered why exactly he’d been called but at the sight of Holly he understood.
She wasn’t huge yet but the bloat across her stomach was unmistakable to a man well used to seeing women pregnant.
“Oh Holly no!” he sighed coming to settle down beside her.
“Please Orrick don’t lecture” she urged.
“Your mother would not have wanted this” he sighed.
“Perhaps not” she agreed, “But this is the way it is”
“Did Valdermar force you?” he asked feeling the anger rising. He’d never once tried to act like Holly’s father under the circumstances he never felt he had that right, but with her mother dead he realised now that beside he brother he was the closest thing to family she had.
“No… oh god no” she insisted “And that’s why I need you to understand, I don’t want people to blame him”
“Im pretty sure he had some involvement, in this” he reasoned.
“He didn’t understand what it would mean” she explained.
“Your mother was so worried about you coming to live here” he sighed feeling old. “She was terrified he’d hurt you .. we’d heard so many bad things about him but you seemed so happy and we didn’t know how to stop you”
“He does make me happy” she reasoned so genuinely, he found it difficult to remain angry at Valdermar for this. “Do you think mother would have chosen not to have Matilda had she known what would happen?”
“Perhaps not” he agreed. “But what about Eadric? Did you think of him when you decided to end your life and tear another mother from his?”
“Oh Orrick that’s why I need you here, I need you to help me make this easier on him and Val”
“Do you love him?” he dared, he suspected he knew the answer and when she gently shook her head he wasn’t surprised. “Is this because of Thomas? Is he why you’re doing this?”
“Oh Orrick I don’t want to talk about Thomas” she whispered. “I care for Val, there is a darkness in him but there is also goodness and kindness. He’s like an angry child he doesn’t always know appropriate ways of displaying his frustration but with the right guidance I know he can be a great man”
“So what do you need me to do?” he asked resigning himself to helping her. He could not begin to fathom why she’d done it but it was clear it too late to stop it. “But just so you know, I’m too old to be inheriting a second son”