Author: Nileaks Books PM
Just remember, never go to court. Those simple words, spoken by the old fortune teller, have the ability to impact Tairy's life forever...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 15 - Words: 18,558 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 03-08-07 - Published: 03-10-06 - id: 2837918
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Chapter 15 – Truths
Tairy's jaw drops as her breathing comes out rasping. She clears her throat a few times before speaking.
"Excuse me, would you mind explaining here?"
"Of course." Duke Orin looks up at her and keeps eye contact. "When your father arrived here, I had no expectation to talk to him more than what would obviously happen in the meetings we would attend together. But not long after arriving, he sought me out and asked me what I thought about you. Nothing more, 'what do you think about my daughter Tairy?' I had no answer. So he said 'You're still without a wife Orin, and my daughter is at a point in her life when she should be getting married. Tairy seems to be avoiding making public appearances so she hasn't been coming into contact with any eligible bachelors. And none I personally know are suitable for her. I've been at a loss. Until you. There seemed to be something between you the one time I saw you two together. So I figure this is the best I'm going to get. And Tairy is one of the best you can get. Think about it, I'll send for her in about a month, and since the conference will be near ending, you'll have time to become more acquainted. And when you finally decide you want her, I'll gladly give you my blessing for marriage.' And then he walked away." He looks away from Tairy.
"Hmm…" is all she squeaks. On her face is disbelief. Part of her knows her father to be a blunt man and would use rather irrational ways to achieve what he wants. But why those choice words? The day suddenly darkens. Duke Orin and Tairy simultaneously look up to see gray clouds rolling across the sky.
"One of my least favorite things about this area is how often it rains." He glares up at the sky then turns his gaze to Tairy's face. "I'm sorry Miss Dantes for springing this on you. This wasn't supposed to happen; I promise you I didn't bring you here to tell you this. Your father respects you enough to not force you into a marriage that you'd be strongly opposed to."
There's a loud rumble of thunder and a flash of lightening streaks against the sky. Tairy jumps a little at the sound. Her nerves quite on end from Duke Orin's startling revelations.
"I should probably head back now. My father will be rising soon and wondering where I am." She begins walking towards the horses, which seem rather skittish at the weather. The Duke comes after her, catching up quickly with his long legs. They reach the horses as the heavens begin to open.
Almost instantly, Tairy is soaked through. The air is moderately cool, causing her to begin shivering. Duke Orin notices this as he starts helping her on to Lady Beth's back. He stops in his effort and takes off his cloak and, without a by-you-leave, wraps it around her shoulders.
"You could catch a cold; especially since you were ill not long ago." And he once again helps her up.
His body heat still heavy in the cloak warms Tairy instantly. A pleasing scent wafts up. "Will you not be cold yourself Duke?" She asks after comprehending the entire situation.
"I will be fine." He mounts. "My clothing is much more durable than your flimsy stuff." And he grins at her, his eyes shinning like the sky on a summer's day.
He mounts his own horse and they leave off at a trot, not wanting to take any chances of the horses slipping in the quickly developing mud. Though the ride is not long, the rain is pouring down so hard that when they reach the stables both are thoroughly saturated.
"I know a back way that'll take you to your room without being seen dripping wet by all the guests." He takes her hand, pulling it though, and resting it on his arm. "Shall we run? It's on the near side of the castle, not far from here"
Tairy glances out at the pouring rain, then down at her drenched form. "I'm wet enough that it doesn't matter. We can walk." So they do.
They reach Tairy's chamber without coming into contact with a single person. Though behind them they've left a wet and slightly muddy trail, there were no worries of being followed.
"Thank you." Tairy says and takes off the cloak. She gives a small curtsy.
"You are very welcome Miss Dantes." He bows and turns to leave.
"Your Grace," she quickly calls out. He turns back; a smiling question on his lips. "What was your decision going to be had I not become engaged?"
He walks back up to her and reached for her hand. "I was undecided, for I knew not what your feelings towards me were. After all the last time I saw you, I could see a sincere desire in your eyes to throttle me. But I can tell you that the thought wasn't looked upon unfavorably." He leans over and kisses her fingers. Standing upright, he briskly walks away. Tairy stares after him, shock immobilizing her. When she sees someone turning the corner at the end of the hall towards her, she moves inside and closes the door.
She walks over to the fire and begins the rough task of taking of the sodden clothing. A knock on the door startles her.
"Who is it?" She calls out.
"It's Ruth miss."
"Oh, please come in."
In walks the maid that attended Tairy last night.
"Oh goodness, it's you that caused that trail out there. Here let me help you remove that." She walks over and takes over where Tairy's fingers were fumbling with the laces. "My my my, what were ya doin'?"
"I went for a ride to the lake. The rain just came up so suddenly. I had no chance." She shivers as the dress slips off her shoulders.
Ruth grabs a nearby coarse blanket and raps it around Tairy.
"Now you stay here by the fire and I'll get a bath ready for you." She turns, walking to the door.
"Oh, there's no need of that. If I just stay by the fire for a time I'll dry off fine. And stay plenty warm enough. We don't have enough time to complete all that's entailed for a bath. Stay here and help me get ready quickly before my father comes to find me. I'm sure he has plans for us this day."
Ruth, looking skeptical, comes back towards Tairy. "Alright Miss Dantes." She walks over to the small washstand and picks up a smaller hand towel there, bringing it back and starts ringing out Tairy's hair.
I love you all so much for those who have stuck with me, and am grateful for all who have read and reviewed. Thank you, thank you. And please, pretty pretty please, keep the reviews coming. Anything makes me happy and my day. kisses