Gallia stood completely still, as cold as the ice gripping her heart. She was vaguely aware Jhond kissed her and then left her alone. But everything else seemed to slip away. After a little time, she slid to the ground and lay there quietly sobbing to herself.
Hesitantly, Gallia gathered herself together. She wasn’t sure how long it had been now since Jhond had left. But lying here wasn’t achieving anything. But then, what good was it to leave? How could she go home now? Home. His home. Could it ever be hers now?
She had lain there, not allowing herself to think beyond her pain, but now the thought came, unbidden. Was that the reason she had been sent to the Reeve family all those years again ago? Had her…“Father” known the truth all along? No, surely that couldn’t be. He would never have agreed to her marriage if he’d known the truth. She couldn’t believe otherwise. Whatever had caused him to send her away, the duke couldn’t have known the truth. It must all be one gigantic, terrible, cruel twist of fate.
A twist she must now learn to live with. Live with that? Live without Jhond? Oh, Lords, how could she do that?
Moreover, how could she ever explain it? The duke would expect them to marry. What could she possibly say?
She got to her feet and paced up and down. She had to talk to someone. Her first choice would normally have been Jhond, but she couldn’t talk to him yet. The wound was far too fresh. Who else? The only other person she was sure knew about the situation was his father. Dear Lords! Her father. Could she really broach the subject with him? Why not? Lords of Light, surely he would expect nothing less. She had no reason to fear; he was the one with the secret. With the guilt. He must help. Yet she knew she couldn’t face seeing him just yet. He had hurt her too much.