The argument was already well under way when Ailana was woken by the noise of it. Raised voices echoing though the wall’s the heavy stone of the castle seeming to do little to smother the sound.
Gabriel and Maegan had been married for well over a month and until now her brother had paid his bride little attention save to lock her in a company less room for the duration of her marriage, preferring instead it seemed to spend his evenings with his mistress instead.
Tonight however was different. it was late, though it was hard to tell just how late. Outside there was only darkness and that did little to reveal the hour. Tonight it seemed Gabriel had decided to visit his wife and by the sounds emanating though the wall. She did not seem pleased to see him.
Aliana’s stomach sank, she could not blame her brothers young wife, he was a pig and tonight he was a drunk pig having spent the night drinking with Abel. Gabriel was vile and cruel sober and alcohol did nothing to change that. Aliana flinched as a slapping sound filtered through the wall and Maegan could be heard to wail.
Huddling her knee’s under her chin Ailana began to cry, she hated it here. She hated her brother and she hated the fact that she knew she was unlikely to ever leave. About the only thing she didn’t hate was Maegan.
While it could not be said the two girls where yet friends, Ailana was the only one allowed to visit his brother’s wife freely. The door kept securely locked at all times Ailana had felt a need to provide the woman with some sort of companionship during her imprisonment.
The two girls where very different and perhaps under normal circumstances a friendship would not had come easily. Still these where not normal circumstances and friendship had been bore out of the girls mutual hate for Ailana’s brother.
Things went suddenly quiet, tossing the blankets off she moved herself tentatively to the edge of the bed. Panic welling she didn’t know what to do or where to go she contemplated creeping across the hall in an effort of getting Abel. Perhaps he would stop whatever madness was going on next door.
Suddenly the silence was broken, something hitting the floor with a smash… Angry words erupted but this time only a man’s voice could be heard whatever had happened it seemed to have silence Maegan.
It wasn’t long… when her door was flung open, Drunk and teetering slightly Gabriel stood in the doorway. Seeming even more menacing by flickering back lighting provided by the hallways .
“You need to go-an talk ter her” He slurred. “Tell her she’s my god damn wife”
“Your drunk” Ailana dared, somewhat relieved that for all he had done, he hadn’t forced himself on the girl.
“So….” Growled defiantly “The whore needs to learn to do what she’s told”
“You should go to bed” Ailana reasoned “Sleep it off”
“I’ll sleep when i-im done with er….. “ he decided staggering into the room. Now she could see blood on his shirt a single spray up the front undoubtedly from Maegan.
A sudden wave of guilt washed over her. She’d been part of it, she’d helped trap Maegan here. Sent as Sophie’s lady in waiting, to serve but one purpose to convince the young girl to marry the pig. “You hurt her”
“I’ll hurt you… if you don’t get yourself in there and make her see sense” he growled reaching where she stood and grabbing her. Twisting her wrist painfully she yelped in pain. “Don’t think I don’t know you two are plotting, scheming little whores”
“Aa-aah your hurting me” she protested. “We aren’t plotting anything”
He didn’t reply he just snorted, pushing her towards the door.
“Please Gabriel” she begged.
“Go-go and deal with her” he hissed “Remind her she’s my wife… Tell her she has no right to refuse me”
“You scared her” she tried to reason, guessing what had happened. “Barging into her room in the dead of night. drunk and grabbing” She knew Maegan had no intention of purposefully refusing her husband, they’d spoken about it a little. While it was clear that Maegan had been relieve by his lack of interest in her she knew the young woman had at least intended to lie still and let him do what he needed when he chose to visit her
“Damn it” he hissed, pushing her so sharply she staggered backwards. “Who else would it have been?”
“I… I don’t know” Aliana sobbed, trying to head for the door but with every step she took he took two and she could not get away. “I’ll…. I’ll go see her… I’ll calm her down”
He nodded and stopped a hair’s breadth from her, the stench of his breath making her nauseous. Seeming momentarily calmer “Make sure you calm her and if you think…if you think she still going to be difficult, tie the bitch down!”
“What?!” she borked.
“You heard me” he growled decisively, “She’ll damn well learn who’s in charge”
“You expect me to tie her down?!.. really?! She asked as the colour drained from her face and she felt momentarily sick and faint.
“Yes damn’it, I won’t be refused be my own damn wife”
“No Gabriel its wrong…” she wailed but before the words had barely left her mouth she found herself hurtling towards the wall, reeling and in pain as her head hit it sharply.
“Whats going on?” Another voice suddenly demanded, looking up though the blood that trickled from her head, she managed to make out Abel’s presence in the darkness.
“The bitch is refusing me” Gabriel informed him angrily.
“Who? Aliana?” she heard the younger brother ask, clearly confused and judging by his slight slurr also intoxicated one.
“And you think beating the hell out of Ailana will help?” Abel demanded, the anger clear in his voice as he put himself defensively infront of her. She took a moment to steady herself on the wall, wiping the trickle of blood from her eye’s she knew Abel would look after her she might have even been relieved if it wasn’t for the fact that tonight was just one night and Gabriel would have plenty of others without his brothers interference.
“I want … her to go and talk to her” Gabriel reasoned, his words breaking up slightly as he spoke. Gabriel often seemed reasonable around Abel, Ailana suspected the knight intimidated her brother or at the very least he was sensible enough to know that if a fight broke out he would lose.
“You don’t need to beat her for that” Abel growled seeming to suddenly sober. “She’s family Gabriel, we don’t beat our sister.. you of all people keep reminding me of the importance of that”
“She’s plotting against me”
“Don’t be absurd”
“She’s always in there… in there with her, talking”
“Of course she is!” Abel scoffed “She’s her lady in waiting, if she wasn’t she wouldn’t be doing a good job. She’s supposed to be her companion, have you lost all reason?”
“Then why is she refusing me”
“Because you’re drunk and angry!” Abel declared, “Just go to bed before you damn well hurt yourself”
“No!” her eldest brother roared his anger flaring again, “She’s my wife and she will do as she’s supposed to”
“No Gabriel you’ll go to bed and sleep it off” Abel countered.
“It’s alright” another voice whisphered. Ailana had barely even heard it, but both men seemed to take notice. Following their gaze she found Maegan in the doorway, her lip swollen and with a nasty lump on the side of her head. “Come Gabriel” she insisted “I was .. startled that’s all”
Gabriel straightened “That’s better” he sneered. Shaking himself free of his brother, who seemed to have catch hold of him during the heat of their discussion.
“Better wait till morning…….” Abel still tried to reason, with no avail as they both watched Maegan take his hand and lead him off. “Are you alright?” he asked finally turning his attention back to Ailana.
“His going to hurt her again” she whimpered knowing the truth of it.
“Most likely” his brother agreed, “I’ll tell Daniel tomorrow, perhaps he’ll intercede”
“He won’t” she decided.
Abel didn’t reply he simply nodded in acceptance, putting his hand to her head he prodded at her graze.
“Why does he do it?” she asked, flinching slightly as he examined the painful wound.
“Because he’s an angry man” Abel decided, “Jaedyn hurt him more than he can admit”
“It isn’t Maegan’s fault”
“She knew what she was getting into” he warned, “Your head doesn’t look too bad, you should wash it and then take yourself off to bed”
“I will” she agreed.
There was a long pause, they both stood their staring at each other for a moment or two Gabriels angry voice still filtering though the stone.
She knew what was happening didn’t settle will with her brother but she also knew there wasn’t much he would do about it directly. He would undoubtedly speak with Daniel and the King would undoubtedly do nothing. “Ailana….. “ he finally whispered.
“Do you think Orrick would still marry you?” he asked fearfully the words clearly hard to say.
“I-I don’t know” she mumbled not expecting the question.
“Find out, I’ll provide some money if I have too”
“But I thought…” her voice trailing off as his finger came to her lips to quieten her. The sound of Maegan’s muffled cry’s emanating though the walls.
“Just do it” he instructed.