Asha stood nervously, before Lord Hamdun. For the briefest of moments she’d actually left sorry for him. The elation on his face when she told him that Helena was already with child, crushed in an instant as he realised it was possible it wasn’t his.
The room was now filled with nervous energy like something about ready to explode and Asha wasn’t sure which was more likely. Was her lord about to explode in a torrent of fury or was he simply about to crack under the pressure.
“Are you sure?” he asked again his voice wavering, “Think now girl… are you completely sure”
“yes” she nodded nervously.
“How far along?” he asked.
“I….. don’t know” she replied, she had no clue at all… “Not far… it was tiny” she offered it was her only clue.
“Do you think it’s possible it’s mine?” he asked.
“I…. “ she paused, the look he gave her was as though his whole kingdom settled on the answer to this question.
“well” he pushed.
“I couldn’t say” she decided, “it was small… but I couldn’t say if you … or her husband before”
“Did you ask her if she’d been with her husband before he died?” he pressed.
“I did” she agreed “And she admitted she had”
The lord nodded, solemnly “then there is nothing for it…. I need you to end it”
“End it, I need you to kill it do you understand?”
“But nothing… there is no way of knowing if it’s mine or his” he reasoned, the strain on his face evident, he seemed to shake under the weight of the decision.
“Milord… I can’t… I wouldn’t know how”
“Damn it girl .. I’ve seen you hold fire in your hand, your resourceful I’m sure you can work it out”
“You know milord, the Pa that raises a baby is far more important than the pa that puts it in a woman’s belly”
“I don’t need your advice” he scowled, “just do what I ask and get rid of it”
“I…. can’t” she mumbled, “I won’t… “
“Listen to me girl…. I won’t raise another bastard” he urged, shaking. “I’d cast the damn thing out, its mother too if I thought it would solve the problem, but the fact is … it would always be out there and I would never know if it had my blood in its veins. The next child I have, I will know without a doubt is mine. Do you understand that at least?”
“Yes” she nodded numbly she could see the distress. For the first time he seemed almost human at least he seemed human for the briefest of moments before the next words escaped from his lips.
“Kill it or I swear to god the only option you’ll leave me is to kill them both. Do you understand?”
“Yes” she agreed.