Ailana turned as she heard someone approch her gaze meeting Orricks as he entered the nursery where she stood playing with Matilda. “Did you want me?… or … “ she asked nervously. Orrick had already told her it was fine to play with the baby, but still she felt a sudden guilt as yet again the feeling of being an intruder washed over her.
So much was going on, the house was buzzing, people where scared and everywhere she looked there where terrified faces. The nursery was the one place she didn’t feel in the way and the only place where the fear did not seem to occupy.
Truthfully, she was as scared as everyone else. There was a madman in the house trying to kill Orrick, but instead of doing It quietly he taunted the old man, killing others while he played his sadistic game. This had to be organised by Gabriel and if it wasn’t then Orrick had more enemy’s that she’s have ever thought possible, but if it was that meant Gabriel had a man in the house… a man who surely had orders to kill her as soon as he was done with her new husband.
“I want you to pack your things together, you’ll be leaving in the morning” Orrick instructed her.
‘Oh my goodness it had happened!’ far quicker than she had imagined. She had secretly worried that Orrick would realise his mistake and wanted her gone. “I can do better…I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to get in your way. I’ll leave the baby alone.. ..” she stammered quickly.
“What are you talking about?”
“Please I don’t want to leave” she begged.
Orrick paused, as her upset and frantic rambling seemed to register. “I don’t mean for good” he replied, “I’m sending you girls to the Dacre Estate with Anya… So you’ll be safe while I get to the bottom of this mess”
“Oh…. “ she replied feeling suddenly foolish. “But my place is here with you”
“Your place is with the other women” he disagreed, “The girls will need you, besides I couldn’t separate Matila from her new best friend so soon… she would never forgive me”
Looking down at the baby she smiled, it was late and the sleepy baby had settled her head onto Ailana’s shoulder. Her stomach tightened and she felt slightly jealous of the baby who seemed so carefree “But…. “
“Please I need for you to go” He pressed, cutting her off before she could finish. “Raeanne is already causing a fuss and I would like for at least one woman around here to do as she is told”
Nodding she accepted it, she unlike Raeanne was not really used to being in a position where she had the freedom to argue. “Will you come with us?”
“No i’ll be staying here”
“Please, let your men deal with this… the soldier… You come with us”
“I can’t” he sighed, “Whoever is doing this will follow me. If im with you then your still at risk then moving you achieves nothing.
“Then I shouldn’t leave either” she argued, “If Gabriel has done this then he’s after me just as much as he’s after you, What if you send me away and the killer follows me rather than stays here?”
Orrick seemed to ponder the situation for a moment, as Ailana realised how brave that sounded. She wasn’t brave she didn’t feel it. She just didn’t want Gabriel’s anger to hurt anyone more than it had too. Nodding the old man sighed, “Fine you stay as well” he agreed, “We will send the girls on and they can come back when this whole blasted mess is over …. what I want to know is how your damn brother got a man in here”
“Have you hired anyone new?”
“No not since this mess began, I haven’t even let the kings men into the house proper, not since The Hallow’s was burned to the ground. All the men here have served me for years … well all except that soldier of Raeanne’s”
‘That soldier of Raeanne’s’ the words echo’ed despite of the gravity of the situation. Orrick had that look on his face, reassignment he didn’t like the fact that the man was a solider but even though she didn’t know him well she had a feeling he had already accepted the seeming inevitability of their relationship.
“Raeanne has faith in him” she offered hiding a little smile.
“Lord Vaux” a voice interrupted, spinning around her heart leapt into her mouth. She was always taken a back by the man’s size, thought he wasn’t especially taller he was easily broader than two regular men, his arms wider than Orricks thigh she easily imagine the man wrestling bears in his spare time.
“Orion… “ Orrick replied, also turning to meet him, the look on her husbands face was uncomfortable. She didn’t know him well enough to ascertain the true nature of his discomfort was it possible the large man intimated him also? “How are things fairing?”
“I have some leads” the blond man nodded, “Nothing certain, I’ve secured the house as best as I can. If your intruder not in here now, he’ll struggle to gain entry”
“And the servants?”
“I have sent all none essentials home”
Orrick nodded, “There has been a change of plan, my wife will be staying here with me.. is that a problem?”
“Not as long as you don’t mind sharing chambers, it’s easier to watch one room rather than two… especially when your wife’s room is so far away from yours”
“That’s not a problem” Orrick agreed, but she did not miss the strangely conflicted look on the old mans face. “We….. we will use her room tonight”
“Very well” Orion agreed, “Get your stuff, once you tuck in, it would be best that you didn’t wander”
“Understood” Orrick agreed, Ailana’s stomach flipped. She and Orrick hadn’t spend barely more than a hour together since this all began and they had not shared chambers since their wedding night. Conversations where difficult and often strained, she found herself fumbling her words and sounding like an uneducated dolt. As for intimacy well with all that was going on it was hardly surprising that they hadn’t been… but tonight… locked in a room together all evening… who knew?