Persia whizzed around the house and much to Abel’s amusement the state of the east wing mattered so unbelievably little to her. She’d never quite realised how small Baeumont House actually was it was by far the smallest of the founding manor houses.
It had seemed so much larger when she was a child, but then again she smiled everything did.
All of the founding noble family’s had started in a similar sized house but while the Hamdun’s built their castle and the Vaux’s built a grander home the Baeumonts had always struggled financially and thusly right up until Thomas kicked Valdermar over to Brightden they always remained at Baeumont House.
“We need to rename it” she decided grinning at Abel. She didn’t care that it was small, she didn’t care that half of it still bore the blackened wall’s that made the whole place smell of ash.
This was her first ‘home’ and while living at the castle had been comfortable. This was the first home that was hers she was finally a true noblewoman, the wife of a lord and no-longer needing to work.
“Rename it why?” Abel asked.
“We can’t have our home called ‘Baeumont House’” she smiled “People will get confused”
Nodding he seemed to accept the logic. “Then what shall we call it. Hamdun house?”
“No” she shook her head. “I want people to know its ours… That you aren’t just an extension of Gabriel”
“Think on it then” he suggested, “let me know when you come up with something”
“Oh Abel aren’t you excited even a little?” she grinned, flinging her arm’s around him without a thought. Only freezing when she noted his surprise. “Im sorry” she apologised drawing away.
“Don’t be sorry” he replied, putting one of his hands to her waist and drawing her back to him.
He was a strange man, she decided. There was once a time she’d thought he abhorred all physical contact with her and yet in the weeks since Sebastian was born, it was like he was a different man. He still spent a great deal of time in the chapel and she wondered how he would cope in Graymont without one, but he seemed more at peace.
The man who’d made the chair was beginning to creep out of the woodwork making himself more visible as the days rolled by. Where once he’d done everything and anything to avoid her companionship he’d begun to settle in her presence.
She knew Sebastian was responsible for most of it but she allowed herself the luxury of thinking perhaps now she’d provided him with a son she had proven her worth as a wife.
“Well this is very quaint” Gabriel interrupted heading into the dining room where they both stood still in each others arms.
Disappointed as Abel released her, she watched as her husband visibly tensed. “Hello Gabriel” he nodded.
“You beat me to the punch on this one little brother” Gabriel replied, “I’ve been up at the Castle asking Daniel for Graymont this morning imagine my surprise, when he told me he’d already given it to you”
“What do you need with Graymont?” Abel dared.
“I was going to give it to Hadrien” he reasoned. “Getting him and Brianna out of Darkfire once and for all”
“Peter wouldn’t have wanted that. He worked hard on that land”
“It wasn’t my first choice either” Gabriel admitted, “but Thomas’s bastard is proving to be a pain in the ass. I can’t be bothered dealing with him”
“I don’t see why you have to be involved?”
“Because he’s a Hamdun damn it, do you have no family loyalty?”
“Of course I do” Abel nodded, “So what are you going to do?”
“Well I was going to get him Graymont” Gabriel reasoned, “he certainly has a money to turn this rock pile into something worthy, but Daniel would only give me Northbarrow so I’m here to suggest a swap”
“You take Northbarrow and I’ll take this dump”
Abel looked confused and Persia knew why, trading Graymont for Northbarrow wasn’t exactly a fair swap. Northbarrow had better farming land perhaps but it lacked the opportunity’s provided by the mineral’s in the mountains, but most of all Northbarrow just lacked the potential of Graymont.
“That hardly sounds like a fair deal” Abel reasoned.
“Im doing you a favour” Gabriel insisted, “You don’t have a capital to re-build Graymont and we both know it”
“I’ll find it” Abel reasoned, “Besides Hadrien is a boy he can’t manage Graymont, it’s not exactly an easy project even if he does have the money”
“I’ll be around to help”
“Now it makes sence. You want Graymont for yourself?!” Able accused.
Gabriel didn’t reply, he simply smiled.
“Well you can’t have it” Abel reasoned, “I earned it”
“Earned it doing what?” Gabriel sneered, “Listening to Daniel whine?”
“Watch your tongue” Abel hissed, “Like it or not he’s your king, but while where on the subject … father gave Peter a substantial amount of money to set up his estate and I believe he left me money for mine”
“Your went on your schooling” Gabriel retorted.
“Not all of it… besides you and Peter both had an education, It’s amazing how this money disappeared the minute he died”
Gabriel paused and for a minute, Persia was worried he was going to lose he temper but instead a broad smile crossed his face. “Now who is being ridiculous ?” he chuckled “Of course I have money for you, I was just waiting for you to get off your behind and get yourself an estate. Keep Graymont, Hadrien will have to make do with Northbarrow and I’ll send you some money to help set yourself up”
“Thankyou” Abel nodded seemed extremely relieved.
“It will be good have three Hamdun estates, don’t you think?” Gabriel smiled, patting Abel on the shoulder “Let’s the Vaux’s stop us now eh?”
“I will be good” Abel agreed.
“Well I’ll leave you two… to whatever it was you were doing” Gabriel grinned indicating Abel should, put his arms around her again “It was good to see you doing something, that vaguely resembling being a man” Abel seemed to take the hint, putting his arm’s awkwardly around her again.
Waiting for Gabriel to leave she watched as Abel’s attention seemed completely on his brother.
“You shouldn’t listen to him you know” she dared when Gabriel was gone.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Gabriel he always makes comments about you, Peter used to do it too…. You know you don’t have to listen to it”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” he reasoned, tensing again.
“Yes you do” she dared, “They always say you’re not a man. Well for what it’s worth my father used to say real men are not judged by how many women they bed or women they beat, but by the women who love them”
“Did he?” Abel nodded solemnly.
“Yes” she nodded. “And for what it’s worth … I think you are a better man than any other Hamdun I’ve ever met”
Abel snorted, “That’s not exactly a high achievement”