Persia had been home several hours when her husband finally dared show his face in her chambers. She found herself conflicted all afternoon, part of her wanted to scream at him tell him how much she hated him, but part of her fear what would happen if she did.
She had always viewed women like Brianna with contempt, spineless woman without the self-respect to stand up for themselves. However now she suddenly felt fear, she understood for the first time to feel utterly cowed to his power.
“You can’t even look at me” he noted as he sat down on the bed beside, she hadn’t even realised she’d done it but as he’d sat she had indeed shied away from him.
“I’m sorry” she apologised quickly turning up to face him.
Surprised to find him looking at her in a way she didn’t expect, his eye’s where full of regret and he stared at her like he had never laid eye’s on her before.
“I look frightful” she apologised again, trying to sit “I should clean up”
He moved towards her, Flinching she couldn’t help it but for the briefest of moments she thought he was going to hit her again. “Lie down” he instructed firmly, putting his hand out to stop her. “For what its worth, I’m sorry” he apologised.
“It’s alright” she nodded, was it alright? Did he even mean it? She scoured his face for the answer.
“I have no excuse” he reasoned, “I… never… wanted to be … this” It was then she realised how close to tear’s he was. “I just got so angry when you questioned where I’d been”
“I won’t ask again” she promised quickly.
“No… im not making excuses” he continued. “There are no excuses. I vowed… I vowed I wouldn’t turn into my father, yet here I am… visiting the bedside of my wife have having beaten her into it”
“Your not your father” she reasoned, she didn’t understand why things where the way there where between them, she didn’t understand why he spent his life seeming so frustrated, but what she did understand that he was genuinely sorry for what he’d done.
“I am not so different” he decided, “It least I’ll have company in hell”
“Oh Abel, don’t talk that way” she soothed. “You have not done anything for which you cant be forgiven”
“Do you think, you can you forgive me?” he asked pleadingly.
“I already have” she smiled as much as her swollen lip would allow.
She had thought that if anyone she was the one who would have needed comforting, but suddenly she found her husband’s head on her lap, crying freely. She had never seen him cry before, even when Thomas had died and he’d seemed distressed beyond reason he had never once cried. He’s simply locked himself away in chapel with no-one but God for company.
“I have done, so many things” he wept, “I’m going to hell”
It was oddly unsettling, she didn’t come from a family where a man crying was considered acceptable and honestly she didn’t know what to else to do.
So she simply let him cry.