“Is it true?” Ailiana asked her brother. She was mildly irritated, though she didn’t know why. She didn’t really know why she expected anything to be any different she was always the last to know anything.
“Is what true?” Gabriel replied looking up from his food.
Giving the blond woman a nervous sort of glance, she briefly wondered if asked her brother what had happened with Dawn was appropriate in front of his ‘guest’.
She didn’t begin to understand who the blond woman was or for how long she would stay. She’d given up wondering what her brother was up to a long time ago, rumours were flying but even she daren’t ask if the woman was just a whore he’d picked up as a temporary measure or if she was part of some grand and master plan.
“Is what true?” Gabriel prompted again.
“sorry” she apologised. “Is it true that the weddings been called off?”
Her brothers look suddenly turned sour confirming the rumour. “Yes” he agreed, “It doesn’t matter… I can do better than a woman like that… ”
“What happened?” she asked, suddenly realising that it was perhaps not the wisest of questions.
Suddenly she felt like she’d been punched in the stomach “what do you mean… Danson happened?” she demand a lump forming in her throat. As the realisation hit her that something terrible had happened, something made worse by a decision she had earlier that week.
Suddenly seeming irritated, her brother scowled. “For God’s sake Ailiana! Why do you insist on being so pathetically neive!” he hissed, “The whore opened her legs for him”
“but… but she can’t have… she knew.. she knew how I felt about him” she protested feebly as the feeling in her stomach threatened to make her suddenly vomit.
“Well she did… I guess she wasn’t the friend you thought she was”
“Does … he like her?”
“I guess he must” Gabriel decided, clearly not understanding the gravity of the situation “He married her”
“What… no … he can’t… Joseph… I?” she mumbled in an incoherent garble as panic swept over her. “When?”
“Two days before Christmas” he replied.
As suddenly as it arrived the panic was suddenly and devastatingly overtaken by a second emotion. “WHAT!” she shrieked… “Two days before Christmas…. That’s a week ago … and you didn’t tell me… “
“Why would I?” he asked clearly taken back by her sudden out burst
“Because … because I came to you… boxing day” she retorted, too angry upset and stricken with utter panic to care about the consequences of speaking to her brother in such a manner. “I asked you permission to call off the betrothal to Joseph and you said yes”
“And I did….. I called it off … I told him just yesterday…. “ She growled as tear’s began to roll down her cheeks as her brother looked cluelessly back at her. “Don‘t you understand… I called it off because I love Danson and I knew he wouldn’t so much as look at me while I was betrothed”
“Oh….” Gabriel nodded, suddenly seeming to understand.
“but it’s too late… he’s already married and you knew… you knew and you didn’t tell me and now I’ve called off everything” she sobbed feeling defeated as the last shred of hope she’d had for happiness slipped away.
“You actually thought Danson would look twice at you?” Gabriel chuckled, without so much as a hint of sympathy, “Ailiana you are naive, your damaged goods… No decent man is going to look twice at you.
“You have ruined my life” she hissed, “It’s your fault no decent man will look at me… you .. you did this to me… you and Peter “
“Enough!” Gabriel snapped. “You’re making a scene. If I where you I’d run you pretty little arse back to the Bendett’s and hope Joseph is feeling forgiving”