Orrick sat uncomfortably in his chair, you did not need to be a exceptionally intelligent man to know what had caught his eldest daughters gaze. Raeanne had barely drawn her eyes from the window in the last hour and it was no meer coincidence that the large blond soldier was skirting the perimeter of the grounds.
Damn he was a fool, he decided. Most men would have challenged her on her behaviour already. Yet despite not being an ordinarily reserved man he found himself struggling to face her. Perhaps it was mearly that part of him wanted her happy but perhaps it was more that he didnt know what to say or how to feel.
One the one hand, it was clear that this had not been a fleeting fascination for either party. The man had spoken fondly of his daughter and had not even attempted denial of the situation between them. The young man seemed to accept that the relationship unacceptable, yet something in his tone had hinted that it despite his best efforts he had found himself as taken with her as she was taken with him.
Orrick didnt truly understand, but somehow his fatherly anger had been stripped bare by the youngmans clear and unabashed honesty. Most indentured men would have attempted to have denied involvement with a noblemans daughter fearing the cost of their pityful life.
Orion had not, his admittance had been plain and simple, no excuses or reasoning, no begging of forgiveness nor had he angrily pushed the blame of matters to the woman in the situation as many men would have done.
It wasnt as if in all honesty Orrick could protest at the mans standing in world, Daria Raeanne’s own twin had married a soldier and while it was true that Cole had been an officer and an educated man.
While this Carpenter man was trusted by the king it seemed, in charge of his own unit that did goodness knows what…but it seemed by all accounts that the king trusted that man to settle his own affairs and manage his own mens time in an way he saw fit.
So with this said, could Orrick really hold the matter of indenturement against him? A state he had no doubt been born into as his dear departed wife who had once born the same surname.
Yes the truth of his feelings of confusion where more due the the flash of recognition at that name. It hadnt taken much effort to piece together the boys heritage.
All those years ago Orrick had been all to grateful when Henry had requested each noble house grant his daughter and her new husband a family to solidify Griffinmoor.
The choice had not been a hard one for the then much younger lord and Orrick had eagerly handed over a family who had born him so much pain, the carpenter who had torn his world apart by bedding the then young lords wife.
Lynette…. Her name still stung him, he had been a nieve young man when he had married her. Neive and perhaps a little arrogant, back in a time when life was simpler when he had believe that if he loved her enough she would return it. He realised now that it truly hadnt been her fault, forced to a man she despised perhaps she had only done what any young woman could be expected to do.
Still he’d known Sigan had a son when he sent him away. That son had moved with the man to Griffinmoor, and then undoubtedly then been consequently taken to Graymont when Lord Baemont had killed poor Lucy before eventually arriving in Brightden.
It had not taken much to follow the trail back to the youngman who had stood before him that very morning and admitted to having feelings for his very own daughter.
Damn it and while he made his best effort to think on the matter rationally and logically he could not help but acknowledge the rising anger that once a gain a Carpenter man had dared to darken his doorstep but seeking what by all accounts should had been an unobtainable prize.
Still though the anger he could not ignore the nagging doubt, He could not ignore what in many ways seemed like the hypocrisy of the whole affair. There had been many occasions before the christmas festivities where he had noted the lightening of his daughters mood, the spring in her step he could not deny.
He had of course suspected a gentleman caller and he had the good sense to acknowledge that in a kingdom so small the chances of such a man being of noble birth where slim, but damn it… was really the world so small that she could only find a ‘Carpenter’ not just any.. no the son and heir of the man who had ruined his life?
Or had he?
Without Sigan there would have been no Nicole…. and that was no small loss, the woman who had granted him so much happiness.
He missed her truly… but most of all at times like this when he needed her sensibilities and her compassion, Nicole would have known just what he should do. Bah even without her he knew what the blasted woman would have said, she would had encouraged him the see past the young mans failings. She would he told him to put Raeannes feelings ahead of his own anger and resentment, but this was not a simple matter of love.
The situation with he and Nicole, even that between Holly and Thomas where a world in difference from the soldier and his daughter.
Setting aside his own irrational anger, his compassion and even his understanding that sometimes you could not control who you loved, the simple fact remained. The soldier could not provide for Raeanne. You only needed to look at the man to know it.
He was from a different world and while like Daria, Raeanne was made of stern stuff, he was not a soldier like Cole, he did not live in a fine house with a solid education. He was not even a freeman as Wolf had been, a hunter and trapper living comfortably in the woods. He was a indentured man, ill educated and gruff, most likely unable to even read… with a toe poking out of a hole in his boot because he could not even afford to have them mended.
Pushing the niggling voice of his dead wife out of his head he steeled himself against her protests…. Nicole was dead and in this she could no longer help him…
Just then as if he needed another reminder the door pushed open and Ailana wandered in. His stomach sank and he found a bitter taste as he looked upon the young woman. Young and pretty most men of his age would have considered themselves lucky to have a wife such as she, but for Orrick each time he looked upon her she served only to remind him of what he had lost…. she was nothing in comparison to Nicole, not even a fragment of his dead wifes worth. Perhaps Emily was right… it was an insult her being here.