Ailana coughed, as the smoke in the tavern stung her eyes and seared her throat. she had never dreamed such a place could exist it was like some horrific and alien dream. How was it that she had ended up here? Surrounded by filthy and dirty people, so covered in the excrement of life she barely believed they lived at all.
Her eyes widened as a man stinking of ale stumbled toward her. His clothes tattered and torn she had never truly seen peasants before, at least none other than those that inhabited the castle as servants. She realised what it was to be poor, those that lived at her brothers castle where the lucky ones. They had clean clothes and food, out in the villages the reality of life was far more harsh.
Instinctively she reached out as the man got closer, catching hold of Orricks hand. The old man chuckled realising her fear. “Its alright Ailana” The old man promised, “he won’t hurt you”
Letting the man passed he focus returned to the rest of the room, never could she have imagined a place of such debauchery, women hovered by the tables gaggling like around the men like seagulls fighting over scraps.
She watched with amazement as Orrick pushed his way though the the crowd like a man perfectly at home. It was clear he’d been in places such as this before, unlike Gabriel who Ailana suspected would have been very out of place. Still clinging to his hand she followed him to the bar, while Raeanne found a table in the corner.
“I need rooms” Orrick smiled at the barkeep.
“I only have two doubles “The man replied sternly “But before you get any ideas this is a respectable establishment, no whorin here”
Orrick nodded seeming to understand glancing briefly down at her hand, where still held tightly onto his. “She’s my wife” he explained.
The mans mouth suddenly widened in a broad grin “Lucky devil, take two and four. There is a bolt on the inside leave valuables at your own risk”
Orrick smiled, “Can I have an ale and two glasses of wine and what food have you got?”
“Mutton pie and I have some of the chicken stew left”
“Sounds good three bowls please, we are sat over there.” he replied pointing to where Raeanne now sat having already drawn a unsavory looking admirer.
The order placed they headed back to the table. “Scarper ” Orrick growled at the man who seemed to be harrasing Raeanne.
“My daughter” nodding the man seemed to take the hint, taking his leave he backed away. “You girls are going to have to share im afraid.” Orrick informed his daughter, to Ailana’s relief.
When the barkeep had suggested there was just two rooms and Orrick had told him Ailana was his wife, the young girl as suddenly feared he intended to bring thier wedding night forward.
Sharing with Orrick was of course at somepoint enevitable and for the first time she concidered the act. Yes there had been discussion on the matter, Orrick had made it clear the usual wifely duties would be expected, infact her dowery depended on it.
He had promised that he would never force her, but as a woman who would undoubtedly outlive her husband it would not be wise to refuse him if she wanted any sort of security once he was gone.
Tomorrow she would be married, returning to this inn as a married woman would he expect them to share tommorrow? Peering around the dingy enviroment, this was not how she imagined it and she didn’t want to start her married life in a place like this.
Oddly though Orrick was not part of that fear, peering down she looked at where he still held her hand. Even though they had sat, he had not let go, strong and comforting he seemed to genuinly want to take care of her.