It wasn’t that he didn’t like her more that he didn’t trust her. Ailana had shown herself to have many admiral qualities and there was a great deal to like.
For the most part he tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, she seemed as confused and lost as any fifteen year old girl he’d met.
Likewise however he could not deny that like the other Hamdun’s she had a scheming side and this was why Danson would not and could not trust his heart to such a woman.
Practically there where a dozen or so reasons why Ailana was not a fitting choice. The fact that she was a Hamdun and he had no wish to get involved in the families power plays was the least of them.
If the marriage between her and Joseph was called off and he was to step into that place there would naturally be repercussions and he respected and liked Sir Bendett far too much to risk any upset.
Her moral character had been in question ever since Thomas and while he liked to think the best of her he could not deny she’d done little to correct it in the past few months by continuing to carry on so publicly with Joseph In a manner unbefitting a lady.
While people may have in time been willing to overlook Thomas, they would not overlook such sordid behaviour from a noblewoman for a second time and he could not afford to be associated with such a woman because his position in Grimstead was tentative at best.
Yes he had a politically strong rank but no-one had forgotten how he’d earned it. Thomas was his friend, he’d not earned his post some much as been granted it for knowing the right people. While he liked to think he’s stood up to the challenge and performed his duties as well as any, there were still people to whom he had to prove himself.
More accepted and stable lords could perhaps afford to take a risk on a woman who was questionable, but marrying into the wrong family or to the wrong girl could still potentially ruin him and Ailana was definitely the wrong girl.
Besides with all this said, when it came right down to it the thing that worried him most was exactly how much Hamdun was in her?
She was clearly as capable as any of them to plot and scheme. He only had to look at her with Joseph or listen to Joseph regale his friends with stories of their time together to know she was dangerous and he was clueless to the truth of her affections.
On the one hand perhaps she was telling him the truth, she liked him and feared that marrying Joseph would be a mistake. However on the other he could not ignore the possibilty he was no more wanted than Joseph. Her professed affections a trick, seeing him as she clearly saw Joseph, nothing more than a step up and a way out.
How much exactly could he trust a woman who seemed so capable of sucking a man into her web? Yes it was true Joseph was naïve and somewhat easily led, but that didn’t alter the possibility that her skill’s would not lend themselves to capturing a more mature and powerful man.
Perhaps even a man who thought himself beyond such trickery. He was not opposed to marriages of convenience, he’d sought Raeanne as nothing more than that, but he decided if he was going to marry into one it was going to be on his terms. Therefore he concluded the only safe option, when it came to Ailana was to say well clear.