“Are you going to try and talk me out of it as well” Maegan asked, briefly glancing behind her as her grandmother entered the room.
“Would there be any point?” the King’s mother smiled.
“No” Maegan decided, staring out of the window, enjoying her last few days of freedom. The wedding had not yet been arranged but judging by Gabriel’s reaction he wasn’t going to let it drag on for long. He seemed quite happy to forgo the pomp and ceremony eager to have it done quickly. Undoubtedly worried she’d change her mind or that Orrick would learn of it and try and stop her.
“It’s a very brave thing” her grandmother decided, “but I’m not sure it’s what Orrick or Christopher would have wanted”
“Neither of them have ever been very good at knowing what’s good for them” Maegan agreed.
“I wouldn’t be so sure” Annabella disagreed, “I’ve known Orrick for a long time, I haven’t often known him for a fool, unless of course a woman was involved”
“He can’t fight Gabriel “she reasoned, “He will fight even after things are lost”
“Indeed he will, but surely that’s what honourable men do for what they belive in?”
“I fail to see the honour in letting your family be ruined in a fight you can’t hope to win”
“Perhaps Orrick can’t see the honour in letting an evil man have his way”
“You think Gabriel evil?”
“He killed my daughter of course I do” the older woman agreed.
“My mother loved him once, she said there was good in him…. She has all these stories from when they were younger. Valdermar changed, perhaps Gabriel can too even Sophie thinks all he needs is a strong wife”
“Valdermar and Gabriel are nothing a like….” Annabel sighed, “however just for the record, I don’t forgive him either. Valdermar is like a frustrated child, he lashes out when he’s angry and upset… his mother was to blame she never let him grow into a man. Gabriel … he’s different, deeply unhinged. He’s broken Maegan and I don’t think he can be fixed. He’s evil and he enjoys it”
“I don’t know” she sighed, “I still remember him showing off Finian last Christmas…. You know before he knew. He and Jaedyn seemed so happy”
“I don’t think he and Jaedyn where ever happy” the old woman disagreed “things where falling apart a long time before that, Finian just bought a short reprieve. Now don’t you start feeling sorry for him Maegan…. Not for a moment”
“I don’t” she replied shaking her head.
“Is there really no point in trying to talk you out of this?”
“There isn’t” she agreed.
“I don’t want to lose Granddaughter” the old woman begged, her eye’s welling up.
“It will be alright nana” she promised, “I’ll give him a son and everything will be fine” She tried to be as convincing as possible, she only wished she believed it as much as she wanted her grandmother to believe it. She was scared, terrified more like. She didn’t want to die… she didn’t even want to live in his world.
“I hope you know what you’re doing?”
“I do” she promised, “The Vaux’s need this. Gabriel won’t stop till he kills them and… this will stop it”
“Have you told your mother?”
“No” she replied feeling embarrassed, “I couldn’t figure on how to tell her”
“Certainly not… he’d … I daren’t even imagine what he’d do”
the old woman nodded, “Neither do I … the silly fool would likely get out of his death bed to try and stop it”
“Haven’t you heard?”
“He’s getting better a messenger came this morning, apparently the doctor was mistaken… he’s stronger than he looks”
“That is good news…As usual no one tells me anything” she chuckled, “still then I guess this really is a top secret mission, at least you need the wedding before someone slips up and tells the Vaux’s”
“I guess so” she nodded.
The Kings mother sighed “I wish this wasn’t happening for all sorts of reason’s the least of all being that I wish we had a King capable of stopping it. Still if your determined I only have one piece of advice. Don’t let him break you”
“What do you mean?”
“Jaedyn was always fragile… even as a child she needed more protection than her siblings, but Gabriel broke her… in the end I don’t think she felt she had much worth at all. Remember you’re still a Princess, a noblewoman who has done nothing wrong. Believe it and make him believe it. Don’t let him treat you like your worthless”
“I won’t” she promised.
“There she is” a voice called from the doorway a cold shiver ran up her spine as she recognised the called.
“Uncle” she managed to smile watching Gabriel walk through the doorway grinning.
“Well don’t you look like the cat who got the cream” Annabel snorted.
“Justifiably I think” Gabriel smirked, “After all I do think I won first prize this time, don’t you agree?”
“Oh I’m sure you’ll get just what you deserve” Annabel snarled, making Maegan chuckle. The Kings mothers distain thick and unashamed. “Anyway I’ll leave you two alone, I’m sure you have much to discuss”
“Indeed we do” Gabriel replied, slipping his hand onto Maegan’s waist as he approached making her visibly cringe.
Her heart raced as she watched her grandmother leave, she wracked her head for a reason to call after her stop her from leaving or better yet find an excuse for why she needed to go with her.
“It’s all arranged for the end of the week” Gabriel purred, “I hope that will be long enough to make your arrangements?”
“Its long enough” she nodded, in truth there where few to make all her belonging where already here and she certainly didn’t intend on inviting anyone.
She tried to take a step backwards, he was far too close it was stifling, uncomfortable and only made more so as he attempted to draw her closer.
“Uncle!” she protested, the words coming out in a half shriek.
“Come now Maegan, I think perhaps it’s time you called me Gabriel” he soothed, “People will find it quite odd if you call your husband ‘uncle’”
“It is quite odd” she snapped, taking a step backward. To suddenly find herself up against the wall.
“Perhaps” he agreed, “But the church have agreed to the marriage”
“Only because you paid them” she retorted, breathing deeply as he got closer and closer his intention to get quite physical clear and unabashed.
“A technicality” he reasoned.
“I … should go” she stuttered, trying to pull away from him. He didn’t let go… not even for the briefest instant, his eye’s locked on hers.
“So… I’m here all night” he smiled, realising her with one hand so he could touch the side of her face. “I thought we could use the opportunity to get to know each other?”
“I can’t” she replied, shuffling to try and find a way of getting herself out of the corner. Her eye’s darting towards the doorway she prayed someone would walk though. Her attention only drawn back to him with a start when the hand that had caressed her cheek moved down and to her breast. “Gabriel!” she shrieked, as momentarily thought he was going to actually try and slip it down the front of her corset.
“Maegan lets not be bashful” he smiled.
“You do not own me yet!” she snapped, pushing him away.
“Indeed I don’t” he sighed seeming suddenly frustrated, but gratefully he seemed to take the hint and backing away.
“You will treat me with the proper respect” she retorted, “I’m not a slave, nor am I whore… im to be your wife and you should treat me as such”
“Understood” he agreed, taking her outburst.
Straightening herself out she tried desperately to settle her nerves. It had been a deeply uncomfortable experience. A hint of that life would be like perhaps?
“Let us be clear” she continued, “We are not naive children, this marriage is not about love … its an arrangement that is all”
“Sex is part of that arrangement” he smirked.
“I know that” she snapped, “And so it will be… but not yet”
“Tell me Maegan, where you this uptight with Christopher?”
“You are not Christopher!”
“No I’m not” he agreed, “but it is a good question and one I would like the answer too… I asked Daniel but he didn’t seem to know”
“You and Christopher, you were married for 18 months by my count and yet there were no children. Why not? Did you refuse him too?”
“I did not refuse him” she retorted angrily.
“Then was there something wrong?” he pressed, “Clearly not with Christopher but how do we know you work correctly”
“Christopher waited for me!” she snapped, “He waited until I was ready, there was simply no time”
“He waited?” her uncle mused, “So when was the first time?”
“Autumn gone” she replied, ashamed hating every second of the someone personal questioning.
“So Peter was your first?” he chuckled, clearly amused by the idea “He took you before your own husband?”
“Peter did no such thing!” she growled, “The only one who bled was him“
Gabriel smiled “that’s a good answer I suppose, but let it be known. I won’t wait…. “
“And I won’t refuse” she agreed, “Not once we are wed”