Christophe Maides has taken every risk to secure his hold on the mountains of Cwmdu and risks more to keep the one woman he has ever loved.
…Iago burst through the doorway and speak to Bedwyn. The two men stared at each other for a moment. Though Maides heard little of what was said between them over the din of his war-mad soldiers, he heard the name of the woman they discussed. The soldiers’ agitation distracted him.
Turning his back, he walked away from their bluster. Taking up a flagon of ale, he dropped his hand to the hilt of his dagger, listening to his two captains’ response to news he had given to Ingred as soon as he had left his wife’s embrace – his messengers were as efficient as he had come to expect from her and her associates.
“I was only told this morning,” Maides heard Iago exclaim, “this moment. Branwen swears it is true and that Caryl Gernant has agreed.”
“She has been forced to agree,” Bedwyn growled. “She would never accept such a plan willingly. Morgan Cwmdu has tricked her. She is forced to betray us.”
“Why betray?” Iago asked. “Andras is one of us.”
“When were we told she was to wed? She is our kinswoman.” Bedwyn turned on his commander. “Did you know of this?”
“Yes,” the Sharkeyn replied, weighing one of the small, early harvested apples in his hand before he bit into the flesh.
“Is it true Caryl Gernant is to wed Andras?”
“His name was discussed.”
“You cannot believe this is right,” Bedwyn said. “She is one of us. What has made her turn against her own kinswoman and chose that diawl when there are better men here?”
“Andras is Morgan’s nephew and Caryl Gernant is no longer your concern, Bedwyn,” Maides said. “She is wed and her husband is not a man with whom I would argue matters of merit or family.”
“Andras is a pig!”
“I agree,” Maides laughed.
“How could you let this happen?” Bedwyn complained. “You have dishonored her by letting her go to such a man,” the warrior declared, taking a threatening step toward his commander. “You have betrayed her,” he said, “and all of us. You know what he will do.”
“I have dishonored no one by my actions, Bedwyn,” Maides said, tossing the apple core over his shoulder. “Caryl Gernant is honorably wed. Her welfare is now her husband’s concern.”…