Orrick entered Sir Shieldsmith’s chambers to find the young Knight sitting comfortably with his even younger wife nestled in his arms.
For a moment they seemed so comfortable he wondered if there had been a torrid romance after all. Damn and blast it, he hoped not. He rather preferred the rumour where the Kings Mother plotted against Gabriel.
However upon seeing him Lady Shieldsmith instantly stiffened, offering a pleading glance to her husband that told Orrick all he needed to know. The rumours where true.
“Married life is suiting you I see” he smiled.
“It’s suit’s me well enough” the knight agreed, turning to his wife. “Dawn why don’t you go too your room” he suggested, “Let me and Lord Vaux talk?”
Dawn nodded and stood, offering a small curtsy before hurrying from the room. “I’m glad you asked her to leave” Orrick admitted, once she was well gone, “I’m afraid the matter I need to discuss with you is somewhat delicate”
“Delicate, Delicate how?”
“I need to know about Lady Ailana and I have been informed that outside the Hamdun family you might know her best”
“I don’t know about that” Danson admitted “But I will try to help if I can”
“Exactly how Hamdun is she?” He asked bluntly.
Danson chuckled, “What do you mean by that?”
“I mean, how well does she get along with her brothers? How like them is she?”
“She and Abel are close, I don’t think she cares for Gabriel much”
“Abel… hmmm I never knew what to make of him” Orrick admitted, “Do you like him?”
“I do, he’s … a complicated soul but he’s a good man and a loyal knight”
“Loyal to the king?”
“Loyal enough” Danson nodded.
“So what do you know of the happenings between her and Thomas?”
“I couldn’t possibly say” Danson smiled, in a way that told Orrick Danson indeed knew the details of what had happened.
Understanding that the knight wasn’t going to betray Thomas’s confidence, dead or not he nodded. “Then can you at least tell me if she purposefully tricked him?”
“There was a time when I thought she did” he admitted, “However im wiser now… I know the families a little better. I don’t think she did anything she had any control in. She’s under Gabriel’s control if that helps you understand?”
“It does” he nodded, “And what of Joseph? What can you tell me about her dealings with him… was that Gabriel’s doing as well?
“I suspect it was a way to get Dawn” Danson reasoned.
“But she carried it on even after the betrothal was called off?”
“Yes…. “ Danson nodded looking somewhat uncomfortable.
“Tell me? You clearly know something?”
“Forgive me” Danson apologised, “It’s difficult there are times… when I wonder if Dawn was not the only young woman who needed saving from Gabriel’s grasp”
“So you believe she did it to get away?”
“I suspect it was initally Gabriel’s idea… but once his work was done, she continued the relationship in an effort to get away from him”
“Then why would call things off?”
“I guess she had her reasons” Danson replied “I’m sorry, I can’t help you anymore”
“I understand” Orrick agreed, “So … how is married life suiting you?”
“Im enjoying it” Danson smiled, “though I’m not sure Dawn feels the same way”
“Why do you say that?”
“I fear she’s bored, I keep coming in to find her picking at the upholstery. Its terribly silly really I don’t even thing she realises she does it half the time and when she does she’s managed to unravel an entire scene from a cushion and then has to spend the next day repairing it”
“Well I dare say there is much for her to do here?” Orrick replied, looking around the dreary barracks.
“I agree, she rarely leaves her chamber. I think the hustle of the barracks overwhelms her, she’s a jumpy little thing really”
“Well there’s only one cure for that you know?” Orrick smiled, “You’ll have to give her something to distract, a baby usually does the trick”
Danson chuckled “I’m working on it” he smiled “I was also considering seeing Daniel about a house, somewhere quieter where there wouldn’t be so much boorish behaviour”
“Sounds like a good idea” Orrick smiled, “Barracks never where much place for a woman”