Watching her brother leave had made her feel thirteen again. It had been a frightful moment back then, when she felt alone, but it was terrifying now. Dalaena had lived with Lord Damyen for a year now and he was a prickly old man to say the least. But oft he would leave her out of his consultations with Eldin and restrict him from informing her of anything.
                He had done little to allow her to feel welcome and she often wondered why he had even allowed the match to take place in the first place. All she could assume was that the loss of Captain Damyen had somehow unhinged his mind.
                So what sort of danger would this put her brother in?
                She had eaten nothing this morning  though she had sipped on watered down wine and watched the hall as servants cleaned and some of her father’s guardsmen and workers supper on bread and dried meats.
                She had taken a seat at the high table when her father had come in. He yelled at a serving girl and came to sit next to Dalaena.
                “Good morning, Del.” He said with a surprising awkwardness. “How did you sleep?”
                “Well, thank you.” She averted her gaze and instead took a particularly long draught of her wine.
                “I hope you found Dawnrose agreeable.” He grumbled. She could feel his resentment. “I suppose it is quite disappointing after the delights of Ascocen, hm?” Dalaena focused on the goblet, noticing the sheen of the silver. Somebody had put a lot of time into cleaning this. In a moment of oddity, she wondered how old it was, who had held this, who had made it.
                “On the contrary, father.” She finally spoke up. “Dawnrose is my home. I have long wished to return.” She argued. Oh I am a fool, there is a makers mark upon the metal, with a start, she realised it was their very own smith.
                “That is good.” He coughed, then yelled again for his food.
                The goblet held no more interest, she moved onto the plate that sat uselessly before her.
                He must have been watching her. “You should eat something; keep your strength up for the day’s journey.” She said nothing, but in her mind, remarked upon the weaving, intricate indentation that ran along the edge of the plate. “Del, would you please look at me?” She didn’t want to, how could she? She was holding in so much, if she did not keep her mind focused, she would unravel in front of the entirety of the hall. “What’s wrong?”
                She let out a breath. It was shakier than she had expected it to be.
                But she did it, she turned to him and opened her mouth. But nothing would come out.
                “Is it Devlin?” he pried, his expression filled with concern for her. “I know how close the two of you are, but you need not worry for him so much.”
                She felt the tears forming behind her eyes, though she daren’t cry. Her father noted this, but did nothing.

The End

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