Orrick sighed, he’d invited his two eldest daughters to dinner. This was not a conversation he’d ever imagined having to have. He’d purposefully made sure Maegan was out of the house, this was not a conversation she needed to hear.
He’d considered asking Anya, she was old enough by now to help make these sorts of decisions but she was still upset over Christopher’s death and something had told him she was not yet ready to move past it.
Both woman sat patiently, they seemed to understand the gravity of the situation and while in the past he would have turned to his peer’s for help he found himself isolated. None wanted to take sides between him and the Hamdun’s.
“You know why you’re here?” he asked his voice breaking as he spoke. Damn you old fool, now is not the time to fall apart.
“I can guess” Raeanne nodded.
“What do you think I should do?” he asked, “Speak honestly”
“I don’t know” the young woman admitted, “there are family though right?”
“Oh yes… there are family” he agreed, knowing full well only of his brothers children would happily jump at the chance to take his estates.
“Well at least they will stay in the family” she smiled, he could tell she was trying her best to stay positive but even she wasn’t convincing enough to make him feel better about his lifes work being left to a man he had never met.
“Would you think me a fool for considering re-marriage?” he asked warily.
“Re-marriage!” she bourked, reigning herself in quickly.
“I know, I know… ridiculous “ he admitted, “Chances are I wouldn’t live to see a boy grown”
“No… “ Daria interrupted soothing “It’s a natural thought… and not so foolish, you’re not ‘that’ old” she smiled “Did you have a woman in mind?”
He chuckled nervously “Perhaps” he nodded.
“Well who is it?” she asked “It it someone you have a relationship with? Have you found someone who makes you happy?”
“No .. No nothing like that, it would be a convenient arrangement?”
“Not Maegan?!” Raeanne gasped.
“NO!” he replied shocked, “Of course not…. That…. Would be… no! she’s like a daughter it wouldn’t’ be right”
He sighed, struggling to compose himself. Maegan, what an absurd thought. “Ailana Hamdun” he ventured.
“Ailana…. “ Raeanne bourked again clearly shocked by the suggestion, “A Hamdun no… father tell me you’re not seriously thinking about this?”
“I’m sorry Raeanne but I am”
“She can’t be trusted… besides Gabriel would never allow it would he?”
“I doubt it, I understand it’s a shocking thought but I’ve spoken to the Marquess and he seems to think Ailana is as much a victim of Gabriel than Dawn was… We would have to ‘alope’ ” he explained.
“I don’t believe it” Reaenne snapped.
“Anne hush” Daria interrupted, “Perhaps it’s not such a stupid idea. Think about it once she was married into the family, father would be able to control her”
“I will not hush, you have no idea what’s been going on your barely around anymore”
“I have children” Daria retorted “I’m where I belong with them”
“Girl’s don’t fight” Orrick insisted, “Let’s discuss this reasonably, Anne you don’t like the idea may I ask why not?”
“Because she’s not the sort of woman fitting of this family, besides we can’t trust her… she’s a Hamdun and regardless of what the Marquess says she’s trouble… look at how she carry’s on Thomas, then Joseph she’d have this family in the gutter before you know it”
“Then what do you suggest?”
“Well…” she paused “I don’t know… there is one option I thought of, but I’m not sure you would like it?”
“No” she shook her head, looking troubled “Infact I’m almost certain it’s an option Maegan would hate even more than marrying an old fart like you”
“Well let’s hear it?”
“Well Christopher…. He got around a little didn’t he? I mean … he’s not actually without a son”
“Oh…..” Orrick sighed, as a rather unsettled feeling came over him. “There was a girl …. She lives on the estate… I believe she had twin boy’s…. he thought I didn’t know but….“
“No I wasn’t thinking of them” Raeanne interrupted.
“Finnian” Daria grinned, catching on to what her sister was suggesting “Now that would piss on Gabriel’s parade somewhat.
“He did acknowledge him” Reanne agreed, “He might not have had anything to do with, but running off with him like that EVERYONE knows he was Chris’s”
Orrick let out a long drawn out sigh, the idea had merit he didn’t deny that but even the knowledge of how upset Gabriel would be, couldn’t distract from how mortified he knew Maegan would be she was upset enough she hadn’t been able to provide her husband with a son. This would be the end of her.