Danson sighed as the door clicked behind him. It was been a simple ceremony and poor Lady Dawn who hadn’t expected any of it had been whisked into the small chapel without even enough warning to change her clothes.
“I don’t suppose that was the ceremony you had envisioned” he smiled at her.
She didn’t answer but only turned to face him and managed a weak smile. She was clearly very overwhelmed.
“How old are you Dawn?” he asked.
“Almost thirteen” she replied weakly.
He nodded, so much for not wanting to marry a young girl. Her age had honestly surprised him, he knew she was young he hadn’t quite reckoned on that young. He’d never been good at placing women’s age’s but he would have guessed at several years older.
Still It did make him wonder whether or not he’d just signed up to be a husband or father to the girl.
So here he was, a married man. It had been an odd sort of day he hadn’t really had time to consider the consequences he had a good idea that Daniel would forgive him the action, but he was certainly off the Hamdun’s Christmas list.
He knew enough to know that Gabriel would be angered by the situation, but unlike the Vaux’s he had enough military clout to avert the nobleman’s direct wrath. That didn’t mean that Gabriel wouldn’t resort to less direct means of getting at him, but he hoped this was not personal enough for Gabriel to go to that sort of effort.
“Will we get married again tomorrow?” Dawn asked nervously.
“Yes” Danson agreed, understanding tonight’s ceremony never happened as far as most where concerned. A ceremony designed only for Danson’s own honour “That’s what your grandmother has planned anyway… I anticipate tomorrow will be a difficult day for us both. There will be lots of explaining, are you clear on what you’re to say”
The young girl nodded, “You’ve lost a lot of respect, because of me. People will believe you dishonoured me. Why would you do that?”
Danson paused unsure how to answer. “Because it was the right thing to do” he replied. In truth he knew that the Kings mother would circulate the truth. Those that counted would eventually know why the marriage had occurred. While it was true officially he’d lost some honour the reality would be somewhat different. If anything he was sure the he’d have gained some favour with the Vaux’s.
“Your very loyal to the crown” Dawn noted, “Daniel is lucky to have you”
“You gave up a lot” she decided, “Even Ailana”
“Everyone keeps mentioning Ailana” he replied, “What do people think was going on between us”
“Oh nothing” she agreed, “but people know, you liked each other… so thank you”
“Don’t thank me” he chuckled we still have the rest of the night to get though “but don’t worry about Ailana, the rumour’s where far greater than the reality”
Dawn nodded, she didn’t seem to believe him but then again he didn’t believe it himself. He took a moment to consider her but reminded himself quickly of the uncertainty of her affections.
“Shall I get undressed?” she asked.
“Yes I suppose you should” he agreed, taking in a short breath. It had been a long time since he’d been with a woman, come to think of it the last time.. Dawn had been nothing more than a baby. She was pretty enough and he was glad of the womanly curves which would distract him from her age. “You know why we have to do this?” he asked.
Dawn nodded, as she fumbled with the clasps of her gown. “Gabriel will want proof”
“Yes, I dare say tomorrow will be uncomfortable and embarrassing for you. I will try my best to alleviate as much of it as I can”
“It’s alright” she replied, managing another weak smile “It is better than the alternative”
She was a brave girl he decided, he had been impressed by her composure during the whole affair. How she had accepted her Uncles decision to marry her to Gabriel despite the knowledge of what had happened to his previous wife and more importantly what would likely happen to her.
“Yes” he agreed. “I do hope you still feel that way in a few months. I anticipate Daniel will send us away tomorrow; he will have to make a show of us falling out of his approval. You understand?”
She nodded “Yes… so Gabriel doesn’t think he had anything to do with this”
“Yes but when he does things will be easier… we’ll go to the barracks, I’ll give you your own room and we can take our time getting to know one another” He watched in slight awe as she undressed, somewhere in the back of his head he knew his staring was making her uncomfortable but he couldn’t help it.
She certainly did not have the body of any thirteen year olds he’d ever met. Even Maegan who seemed to have quickly grown into her curves over the last twelve months still looked childlike In comparison.
“Do I need to be naked all the way?” she asked looking at him pleadingly.
Suddenly realising what he was doing he turned away and began to take off his own armour. “Not if you don’t want to be. If you take off your pants and hook up your shift that will be enough”
“I don’t know what to do” he heard her murmur behind him.
“Don’t worry” he replied pulling the chainmail over his head. Suddenly finding himself himself far more nervous than he would have ever guessed. He didn’t ever remember being this nervous before perhaps it was simply that he suddenly realised the responsibility of it all. He would be this girls husband, her protector and guide and he was just about to take something very special from her and he didn’t even have a gift for her in the morning.
An uncomfortable silence fell over the room and as he climbed into the bed beside her the only thing he could think to say was “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you”