“Are you settled in?” Abel asked as his sister wandered over.
Aliana nodded, she didn’t look happy and Abel could scarcely blame her. Gabriel’s impending marriage had meant Ailana had been moved back to her brothers home to act as Dawn’s Lady in waiting, and to Abel’s surprise even Sophie hadn’t objected.
Aliana however did not want to be here and while many may have assumed this was due to the fact that she was being taken away from Joseph during his last couple of weeks on the mainland. Abel knew it had more to do with being taken away from another Knight Ailana had her eye on.
“I hear Gabriel has managed to convince Daniel to bring the wedding forward?”
“End of January” Ailana nodded.
“Have you spoken much with Dawn? Do you get along?”
“Yes, She’s nice enough” Ailana agreed, “I fear for her though, Gabriel…. He seems…. Different”
Abel nodded he knew better than most just how different Gabriel was, he’d been on duty the morning Jaedyn had been found. He’d been in charge of cleaning up his brothers mess and while Gabriel admitted to having beaten his wife for her adultery, Abel knew from the amount of blood that Jaedyn had not made it up onto the roof alone. If she were even alive at that point he knew with all certainty she was in no fit state to walk.
Perhaps he should have told Daniel what he found? Perhaps a better man would have. Daniel already seemed the suspect the truth and if the king was unwilling to act on it, what else was he supposed to do? So as like the dutiful little brother he was he’d cleaned up the mess and kept his mouth shut.
Truthfully he couldn’t even say he fully blamed him, the thought of finding out Samuel wasn’t his… That his wife had deceived him sent a shiver down his spine. Indeed in Gabriel’s place he couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t have reacted in a similar manner.
Now however that truth was nagging at him. He had gotten to know Dawn a little over the past few weeks she was a simple girl, quiet and well mannered with a quiet charm. His brother was instable and unpredictable and right now capable of almost anything.
“I’ll have a word with him” Abel decided, “Don’t worry” Leaving his sister to enjoy the party he wove his way though the crowds avoiding Lorcan’s attempts to intercept him and made his way to his brother picking up a wine jug from a table as he went.
Stopping he filled his brothers mug before filling his own, Gabriel sat alone and Abel couldn’t help but pity him. There was a time when his brother was well liked, but those days where gone and most of the people here where here for appearances sake.
Perhaps it was just that Abel could sympathise with the turmoil his brother had gone though over the years. Both had circumstance that threatened their chances of being a father there had once been a time where Abel had wondered if he’d ever overcome his. While he was now grateful for Samuel, Gabriel’s issues seemed even more severe than his own and this did not do well in a family that did not accept failure.
“I here congratulation’s are in order” Abel smiled taking a seat next to him.
“Why is that?”
“You convinced Daniel to let you marry sooner?”
“Oh.. that yes… I suppose. Will you be here? I’m keeping it small… family only”
“If I’m invited?”
“You’re invited” Gabriel agreed.
“She’s a pretty enough thing” Abel noted, indicating to where Dawn stood with Daniel.
“She is very different to Jaedyn” Gabriel agreed draining his mug, like a man with a lot on his mind.
“Different in many ways don’t you think, not just the looks?” he prompted refilling the empty mug.
“I hope so” he nodded, his gaze barely leaving the young woman for a moment.
“Can I speak honestly?”
“This is a fresh start for you, it is my hope that you use it wisely”
“What do you mean by that?” Gabriel growled quickly angering.
“I just mean she is the Kings niece, good breeding and by all accounts well liked. She’s a good girl I hope you will treat her well?”
“Why??” his brother retorted.
“I just mean I hope you won’t let one bad marriage ruin a second. You have a second chance… perhaps this wife could make you happy?”
“We’ll see about that, if she gives me a child”
“But until then” Abel urged. “Will you try and treat her well?”
“Why the hell do you care?” Gabriel growled, “Have you laid a finger on her? Is that what this is about? Are you …. ‘sweet’ on her” the disgust in his voice evident.
“Don’t be absurd”
“Then why do you care how I treat the little bitch?”
“Because I care for your welfare. If she is not happy people will know it and they will blame you. You can’t afford more enemy’s… look at Valdermar.. he may have married below his station but people like Holly and the moment he married her people seemed to forget all the things he’d done… because she’s happy and she’s seen to be happy”
“Why do I care if people ‘like’ me” Gabriel hissed.
“Because you should” Abel retorted, “Because even you aren’t powerful enough to watch your every border besides.. if this girl gives you a child do you really want the mother of your child to fear you? Do you want your child to know its mother fears you… that it was produced by force?” Gabriel snorted and Abel didn’t know if his message was getting though. “Do what you need, Big brother…. “ he continued, “But remember people will forgive what you did to Jaedyn because of how Gravely she betrayed you. They will not forgive such treatment of an innocent girl so readily”