“Yes, Lord Eldin.” Dalaena answered, and Edaran rushed to copy her.
                She had never been so close to hitting her husband as she stared at him, her expression full of false civility.
                “Now Edaran, my steward shall take you to your chambers on the other side of the keep. There you will have full reign of the castle ground until nightfall, you shall stay in your chambers until first light. Uncle Gregry shall explain the rest to you. Now be off with you.”
                Edaran turned around and walked to the door so quickly he was almost running. As he reached the door he gave his sister one last agonising look and opened it whilst Gregry chased him down the hall.
                Eldin put his arm around Dalaena then. He spoke so sweetly it frightened her.
                “You understand this arrangement better now, I trust.” Every word sent a different kind of shiver now down her back than before. “You do as I say, challenge me now and the pair of you will be all the happier for it.” He grabbed her cheeks and pulled them towards his face. “Smile.” He ordered and she obeyed. “Tonight, I will fuck you; you shall take it and if you do not please me, well.” He looked to the door, then back to her. He let go of her cheeks. “Kiss me.” He commanded. It was hard to invoke passion, but she tried her best. “That is better, is it not sweet wife?”
                Dalaena tried to smile again and nodded. She realised he expected a verbal answer. “Every minute with you Lord Husband is a pleasure.” That seemed to satisfy him.
                He moved closer to the door.
                As he did, she noticed Arran stood at a pillar, watching. Eldin looked at him, then at her and frowned slightly.
                “I expect you in the dining hall later. Dress prettily for me.” He said, and left.
                Dalaena stood there for a moment.
                He had always had his moments, but not like this before. Part of her wanted to scream, he had hurt Edaran. Hurting her did not bother Dalaena so much, but she could not bear Edaran coming to harm.
                It felt like a long time had passed as she stood frozen in fear before she felt a hand on her arm.
                “Are you hurt, Del?” Arran asked. She had not noticed his approach.
                Dalaena knew she ought to chastise him for his familiarity right now, if Eldin could see him, he might have him killed, but she could not bring herself to do so. Was it so that all men held power over her?
                No, she thought, I welcome his touch, and at the moment, moreso than my own husband. It sent a wild thrill down her alongside the fear. Something stirred within her, but she pushed it aside immediately. It would not do. Not now.
                “No, thank you.” She touched his hand and left it there for a moment, before moving it away and letting go.
                Dalaena noticed the barely contained rage in his eyes. He also seemed to be fighting for words. Finally he found them. “If I may speak freely, he—“
                “You may not.” She snapped the warning, and walked past her guard. “He is my husband and I love him.” She yelled, walking right to the door. Dalaena hesitated there for an instant, wanting to speak so much, wishing she knew what to say something, but nothing would come, and she left him standing in the audience chambers.

The End

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