Ailana sat frozen with fear in the hall of the barrack’s. She’d been mortified to find that Joseph had returned here after the Christmas break, but wracked with desperation she forced herself to come.
She was no-more certain that she wanted to marry him now than she’d been a couple of days earlier when she’d called it off. She’d been stupid and foolish and naive she’d risked everything in the hope that Danson shared her feelings. She should have known better… Danson had made his feelings clear at the winterball yet her ego and Dawn’s insistence that he shared her feelings had made her take the biggest risk of her life.
“Good morning Ailana” Danson smiled entering the hall way. “What do we owe this pleasure?”
Perfect, just who she hadn’t wanted to see, petrified she couldn’t even answer him she daren’t even look at him.
“Is everything alright?” he asked when she didn’t answer.
“I need to see Joseph” she replied.
“We don’t normally allow young lady’s to visit” Danson replied.
“I know” she nodded glumly, “I know this is out of the ordinary, im sorry”
Danson nodded, “come with me”
Following him though the hallway and up some stairs it wasn’t until she found herself in his office that she realised he hadn’t been taking her to Joseph at all.
“Can I see Joseph?” she pressed.
“Squire Bendett has been quite upset these past days” Danson reasoned, “Do you mind if I ask what happened?”
“I’d rather not” she replied her eye’s falling to her feet. The last thing she wanted was to explain herself to him…..
“Did he try and push you to far again?” Danson asked.
Her head shooting upwards “Oh no sir!” she explained quickly not wanting for Joseph’s reputation to be ruined over her “Nothing like that”
“But you have parted company?”
“Yes” she agreed, “that is what I wanted to speak to him about”
“He’s very upset” Danson agreed.
“I know I made a mistake” she nodded, “I was hoping he would be forgiving”
“Did you make a mistake?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes sir” she nodded.
“Why did you call things off?” he asked.
Oh… why did he have to ask her that? Anything but that.. “I don’t know” she mumbled. “I thought it was the right thing”
“but it wasn’t”
“It seems not” she agreed.
“Aliana can I be honest?” he asked. Nodding she waited for him to speak. “I don’t think Joseph is the boy for you” he decided.
She didn’t know how to reply, part of her wanted to scream at him, tell him what a fool he’d been but none of it mattered anymore so instead she simply nodded.
“There’s no rush you know, it’s alright to wait… see if someone better comes along”
Oh how she wished he’d stop giving her advice…
“Ailana…..i….. “ he began again, but seemed to struggle with his words.
“Please don’t give me advice” she whimpered, she couldn’t bare to hear it.
“Ailana” he began again, after a pause “I didn’t mean to hurt you”
She stood stunned, advice was difficult enough to hear… “Don’t” she begged backing off. It was as though he’d just that minute realised how she felt for him. As thought before despite the hints he’d not quite believed it.
“Dawn needed my help” he tried to explain.
Unable hear anymore she ran, it was all she could bare to do.