Maegan sat quietly in the parlour of the Queen. It was unsettling to know that Gabriel had his eye on her, however her uncle had promised he would not force her and he’d even let slip his own disapproval at the lords proposal.
The Queen however was an odd one, she likewise seemed to disapprove of the idea and had even admitted that Maegan would know pain if she chose to take him as her husband. However she’d also revealed that she thought some good could come of it if she chose to agree.
Maegan however was not swayed, she had spoken to Orrick and he had promised that he could handle whatever Gabriel could hurl at him and that was good enough for her.
Mourning Christopher was difficult here there was expectation to be right and proper at all times, tears where only seemly behind closed doors and Christopher and the life she had shared with him seemed so very far away. It had only been a couple of months since his death and yet here it seemed like years.
She didn’t even ride anymore, Amynta was left unloved in the stables …. No-one had told her should couldn’t ride but somehow she suspected that like morning the sight of a lady riding a horse in the manner of a man would likewise be considered unseemly. Not that it mattered, she didn’t feel like riding, she could barely stand to look upon her horse anymore … too many memory’s.
Suddenly the door to the parlour flew open and her uncle stormed in, “Maegan come, quickly” he instructed.
“What’s the matter?” she asked, realising enough to know something was very wrong.
“It’s Orrick he’s been hurt” he replied, not waiting to see if she followed he turned and left the room as quickly as he’d entered it.
Dropping her sewing unceremoniously to the floor she hurried out to follow him. “What do you mean he’s hurt?” she begged, catching up with him.
“The old fool, tried to kill Gabriel” he explained, “Damnit why can’t he understand he’s not twenty anymore”
“Orrick says age is just a number” she explained.
“A number or not, it might well have just got him killed”
Daniel paused, “Yes Maegan, it’s serious … the note said they are unsure if he will live”
“I need to go to him” she wailed.
“I have a coach prepared” he agreed. “Come along”
She remained quiet until they were in the coach. “Why did he do it?” she sobbed, “Why?”
“Because Orricks a proud man… I suspected he would not allow Christophers death to go unpunished, but I had hoped he had enough sense to send younger men to get revenge”
“So you knew he would do this?”
“I knew he would do something” he agreed.
Maegan nodded, she couldn’t say she was surprised in Orrick’s actions. Orrick would see sending younger men to do his bidding as deeply dishonourable. A man should look his enemy in the eye he used to say whenever Gabriel had sent men into his lands. “If you knew why didn’t you try and stop it?” she asked.
“Because I half hoped he’d succeed” the king sighed.
“If you don’t like Gabriel why don’t you do something about it yourself” she reasoned.
“It’s not that simple”
“Yes it is” she sobbed, “You’re the king”
“You’re a woman you wouldn’t understand”
“Try me” she retorted.
Daniel suddenly looked troubled and for the first time she realised he was scared “He has more men than I do” he explained he’s voice a little unsteady “I know he has spy’s in the castle… and frankly … I … I think he killed Thomas, but I can’t prove it”
“You make it sound like he’s more powerful than you are”
“He is” Daniel replied sadly, “but worse than that, he has no honour and no fear… he has no limit’s as to how far he will go and that is why I can’t oppose him, do you not understand if I stand up to him today, tomorrow I’ll be dead”
She considered his words for a moment. “I understand you are a coward” she decided “Duncan would not be afraid”