Asha sat patiently outside the young womans room, she felt like she had been solidly punched in the stomach and yet she knew the feeling had nothing to do with the baby which grew there. There was something wrong about sitting outside a bed chamber as a man and woman made love, something intrusive and vulgar.
This time however it was worse… it was clear the young woman was not looking forward to her husband’s attention and while she hadn’t cried, fear had emanated from the room like a thick cloak long before the lord had ever arrived on the scene.
Asha wondered now what drew noble fathers to marry off their daughters so young and to such horrible men. Did nobleman simply not care, did they lack the compassion and love of common men?
Standing suddenly as the door to the chamber opened and Gabriel appeared wrapped in a robe the deed done. “What are you doing here? He sneered clearly surprised to see her. “I didn’t ask for you?”
“Yes… I know” she stammered, suddenly doubting her presence. She had thought he’d simply forgot to ask and yet now standing here it was clearly apparent she hadn’t been wanted. “I just thought….. don’t you want me too… you know?”
“I don’t want you near her” he reasoned sharply. “At least not yet”
“I didn’t think ye’d be wantin to wait”
“Then you thought wrong… if she gets pregnant now everyone will think it was… his” the words dripping off his tongue with obvious disgust, “When she has a baby I want there to be no doubt in peoples mind… besides im not having you experiment on her, you’ve got the other women for that. When Gayle produces her bastard, with five fingers and toes… then and only then will you touch my wife”
“When Gayle….” She stammered the panic welling and she realised he wasn’t going to simply forget about the young girls ‘baby’.
“Stop babbling” Gabriel hissed, “Whats the matter?”
“The… baby it didn’t…. stick” she explained.
“What do you mean”
“I mean …… “ She mumbled frozen in fear.
“She ain’t pregnant” She explained, for a moment she didn’t belive the lords face could get any graver but she watched as it dropped a little more.
“Then you better work on it again” he growled “ because you aren’t touching my wife until some whore has my child and I am satisfied it is healthy.
“But that’s nine months” reasoned with panic “I can’t be stayin here that long”
“No you will stay a darn site longer… I just want to know the babies you produce are …. Normal” he reasoned seeming to pick his words carefully. “You can leave when Maegan produces a son and not a moment before”
“But I am to be married!” she argued in sudden panic though in truth she had no real reason to think a match between herself and Faulke could go ahead. She had not seen him since the night he left her chambers not even to tell him she carried his child.
“You can marry when you’re done”
“I can’t” she protested, as she realised he had no intention of releasing her any time soon. Things between her and Faulke where a mess. She knew she needed to apologise, but she had hoped that once she’d told him about the baby things would be right between them. She wanted to marry him and she knew he would be devastated if his mother found out what they had done before their vows.
“You promised me a baby” the lord replied coolly.
“I know I did, but didn’t realise yer’ed wanted me to stay until it was born?”
“Well now you do” he replied simply, turning and heading down the corridor away from her.