Holly watched as her two sisters fussed over Ailana, it was a strange thing to watch them preening over the young girl. The whole situation was odd and while everyone thought she was being so reasonable and brave but in truth part of her had wanted to see the girl up close, see if she could see what the Hamdun woman had that had made Thomas choose her.
“Why are you being so nice to me?” Ailana asked suddenly, looking directly towards her.
Silence fell over the room, as Anya and Raeanne suddenly stopped what they where doing.
“I mean, I…..ruined everything for you” Ailana pointed out, stumbling over her words.
“I don’t have enough time left to hate” Holly replied solemnly.
“I never meant you hurt you”
“Then why did you, you knew he was married. You must have known the situation?”
“I did” She agreed, “My brothers … they told me a must, I didn’t have the strength to say no… but I’ve always been regretful of it, I don’t know if it helps. He always loved you”
“Where you ever together after…. after that day? When you lived at the castle?”
“No never … he could scarcely stand to look at me most days. I was only there because…. Well because he thought he must, I was pregnant and he wanted to do the right thing, but he never loved me”
She nodded, she had always wondered, somehow the simple knowledge that he didn’t love Ailana gave her peace, that perhaps when her time came he would indeed be waiting for her. “How did it happen?”
“Holly do you really need to know?” Raeanne asked, “It’s Ailana’s wedding night, im not sure this helps”
“No it’s aright” Ailana interrupted. “I …. my brothers they got him drunk, but I was not the only girl being thrust at him and I dare say he tried to resist it, I… he was very drunk when it happened, im not sure he even remembered it in the morning”
“How was it?” she dared.
“I don’t really remember” Ailana admitted, “I was quite drunk too… I guess I plied him with enough alcohol to make it bearable…. I remember it was quite, rough awkward… he stopped a few times… I guess he verging on too drunk”
“You where both drunk” she mused, she’d always been told Thomas was drunk, she’d never really considered Aliana before. She guessed she’d assumed it had been a carefully planned on the young girls part, but she’d never realised Aliana might not have wanted her.
“I was scared” The young girl admitted, “I’d never tried to seduce a man before, I guess for every drink he had, I had one too”
“But your not drunk tonight” Holly noted.
“No I guess I’m not, but tonight I’m not making a mistake. I’m lying down with my husband and it will be with the approval of God”
“I tried to encourage her to have a drink with dinner” Raeanne smiled, “Ease her nerves”
“I don’t want to be fuzzy headed tonight” Ailana reasoned, “I want to remember it, I don’t think Orrick will hurt me?”
“No of course he won’t” Anya soothed. “He means to take care of you”
“Are you scared?” Holly asked.
“I guess I am” Ailana nodded. “I don’t really know him”
“Then I suppose, us married women should offer some advice” Holly smiled.
“Oh I do declare, Raeanne could probably advise us all” Anya squealed “After all she’s had schooling from her solider man”
“Anya Hush!” Raeanne snapped.
“Raeanne do you have something to tell?” Holly giggled finally relaxing a little.
“No I do not”
“It seems Raeanne has been running out with a soldier on your estate” Ailana smiled.
“Does the whole world need to know?” Raeanne protested.
“Orion!?” Holly chuckle, “You run out with my cousin and yet I am the last to know?”
“I certainly hope you are not the last to know” Raeanne disagreed, “And as for you Anya, remind me to never tell you anything again, I swear you hold a secret worse than Skye”
“You didn’t tell me, Ailana did” Anya giggled pulling her tongue out “So what worldly advice do you have for our bride? Perhaps some advice on position?”
“Oh heavens!” Raeanne chuckled, “I fear there is something terribly wrong, in advising a woman how to sleep with your father”
“Just relax” Holly reasoned, deciding that perhaps out of all of them she was the only one really able to offer anything useful. “I think that’s the best advice I can offer, try to enjoy it… it really isn’t so bad. Let him find his way with you …. one thing I learned from Thomas and then Val is that they like it different ways. Don’t try and second guess him, let him guide you …. he’s done this before, he’ll know what he likes and you won’t go far wrong”
“Bother trying to enjoy it!” Anya giggled, “Enjoy it as much as you dare. Fathers would like their daughters to think it’s a thing for only the man but it can be quite fun”
“Oh listen to her!” Holly declared, “My little sister has only been married six months and already she is the expert”
“My husband is a good teacher” Anya blushed “and I am not ashamed to say”
“So we can see” Raeanne smiled, reaching out to place a hand on Anya’s stomach.
“Oh behave, the way your going you’ll have a bump of your own before too long” Anya giggled.
“The chance would be a fine thing! Perhaps my stubborn man would marry me then”
“I don’t suppose we are really being helpful” Holly grinned, back towards Ailana, just as there was a knock on the door.
“Who is it?” Anya managed to giggle.
“Your father” Orrick replied “Is Ailana ready?”