“Dawn darling, are you aright?” Danson asked concerned that if young woman paced up and down the room one more time, she would cut a deep groove in the floor boards.
They had been married several months but he still didn’t really know her, she was a quiet and withdrawn young woman, appealing and eager to please but she she kept a wall around her impenetrable and unyielding which no-one not even her young brother could penetrate.
“Dawn please tell me what is the matter?”
Pausing the young woman turned to face him, “I have some news” she fidgeted awkwardly pulling at her sleeve of her gown. How many dresses had she ruined by tugging at the sleeves he wondered, at least three since she had been married and probably countless before that.
“Some good new?” he asked hopefully.
“Some… well im not sure” she offered her voice barely a whisper.
“Well please do share?” he smiled, patience as often something the young woman needed to get out her words. Very early in the marriage it had become apparent that she wasn’t used to being asked her opinion or feelings on things.
With a little cajoling he could often learn what she wanted but struggled to speak freely even to him. ‘Even to him’ or was ‘especially with him’ closer to the mark he wondered. She was in many ways a wondrous creature, eager to please and terrified that he would find her unappealing, love was a powerful word but he had certainly grown fond of the young woman.
“Ailana…..” She began… pausing after the name crossed her lips. He waited patiently for her to finish. Even though the mere mention of the young girls name stirred up powerful and somewhat confusing emotions. “She got married… “ she finished quickly.
“Married, to whome?” he dared, honestly unsure how to feel. It felt like he’d been punched in the stomach.. worse…. he knew he had no right to feel that way.
“Orrick Vaux, I heard one of the men talking. Why do you suppose there was no invitation?”
“Because I suspect Gabriel was not invited” he reasoned, understanding now why Orrick had visited with him.
“it’s a good thing… she’s safe now”
“Yes she’s safe now” he nodded, realising how feebly he was failing to hide his upset. It wasn’t fair he reminded himself, being this bothered by the news. It was not at all fair on the beautiful young woman standing before him. “I’m sorry Dawn, it is good news … perhaps we should pick them out a gift”
“I knew you cared for her” Dawn offered “Loved her even”
Danson sat stunned, he didn’t realise the young woman knew how he’d felt. A sudden rush of guilt washed over him, Dawn should not need to know such things. “Dawn… I” he began.
“Please don’t” she whispered, “I know what you did and I know why…im aright with it… grateful even…”
“I’m sorry” was all he could muster.
“im going to freshen up for dinner” she smiled back seeming to accept the apology before heading out of the door.
He sat quietly for a moment, unsure what to do or what to stay. Reeling from the fact that Dawn it seemed had always known about his feeling for Ailana. Who else had known, had Orrick known was that why he’d paid him a visit? Did Daniel know? Gabriel even… damn he was a fool… but there was nothing left to be done.