Edaran hadn’t realised he had his arms crossed. He looked down at his sheets, felling bad for shouting. She didn’t deserve it, this was his father’s and Dalaena’s fault, after all. Then something caught his attention.
            “What happened?” He couldn’t help but ask once he had thought of it.
            “Pardon?” She looked at him then, confusedly now.
            “You said you used to play with Delly. What happened?” Edaran pushed aside his sheets and sat with his legs crossed. Clara took that as an invitation, and sat opposite him.
            “Well.” Clara looked this way and that again, as if it were a big secret.
            “What is it?” He urged.
            “Father did not like it.” She looked down, her lips falling into a slant. “He kept saying Del—Dalaena was just a guest, not family. That she may not be staying for long—“
            “That aint right.” Edaran cut in.
            “What is not right?”
            “Well, Delly is married to your brother right?” He asked, and she nodded. “Aint marriage supposed to be for life?” He questioned her. Marten had always told them so. He had said girls were usually gifted to Lords so that the two could join Houses together. When he was even younger, he remembered hearing tell of stories about Knight saving Ladies and falling in love, if that was the word, with them. Marten had told him sometimes things like that happened, then he looked out all dreamy as he often did, but, he had continued, often it did not end well, despite what the tales said.
            “That is true/” She didn’t seemed to understand what he was trying to say.
            “So, how could she not be staying long, if they are married?” Marten always said he had something called a keen mind, he said it went well with how nosey he was, too well.
            She seemed to connect the words. “I... don’t know.” She managed. “Father just said it to me, so I wouldn’t get too attached, I suppose. When it didn’t work, he forbade me from going to her room, and her mine.” She said.
            “And you did not ask why?” Edaran stared nonplussed.  If father had said that to him, he would have argued and if he did not relent, Edaran would have gone to see her anyway. “I wouldn’t let anyone stop me from seeing Delly.”
            Clara shrugged her shoulders. “Nobody questions father, he dislikes it.” She looked almost frightened when she said that. “Especially since my brother...” Clara left the rest unsaid, but Edaran understood. “Besides I never stopped seeing her.” Edaran’s eyes widened. She wasn’t like any girl he had seen before. “Don’t look at me like that; you think if I did everything my father wanted, I’d be fighting with swords?” She stuck her tongue out at him and he laughed. Maybe she wasn’t so bad after all.
            “I thought nobody questioned him?” Edaran said.
            “To his face, no.” She leaned back on his bed now. “I always did things he knew nothing about. I would watch my brothers sword fight, and then get Damyen to practice with me. So I would visit Dalaena all I wanted to. I told her what he’d said and she just winked and told me she wanted to still see me.” That sounded just like her. When he was much younger, she wanted a fresh baked cake that smelled delicious. It still smelled good from memory. Mother had told her she couldn’t take a piece, so she had Edaran take one instead. They had gotten caught when mother saw the piece missing, but she told them you said nothing about Edaran. Dalaena did what she liked, and she always did the right thing. That was why it felt so bad when she didn’t come to visit.

The End

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