Chapter 61 - Revelations
“Shut up Hellenic, you have no right to speak to Aldrich or his chosen like that,” Eduardo spoke with the control learned over hundreds of years, but his anger was something almost tangible.
“Apologize to the Lord Chancellor or face your punishment, if he chooses,” Eduardo demanded, but instead Hellenic came to his feet, his face contorted in rage.
“This traitor, this bitch of a whore, opens her legs to a human prince and the ‘Lord Chancellor,’ now I have to apologize for speaking the truth?′ Spittle flew from Hellenic’s mouth as he spoke.
“You condemned her to death, and he saved her so he could f**k her! Not marry her, no, he would not marry her himself, her being no-one and not exactly a virgin...” Hellenic never got to finish the thought as Eduardo pinned his face to the wooden table with one hand and jerked the man’s arm behind his back with the other.
“I found my Elizabeth’s diary a couple of years ago, always carried it with me, never had the heart to read it. Until a few nights ago...
Turns out there were a few things I never thought to ask and a few things that I never bothered to question,” Eduardo said, and when Hellenic made to interrupt him, Eduardo almost ripped his arm from its socket.
“Turns out the Garrard’s were just her adoptive family. She would have married their son, Torrance but he died, and since they were bonded, she had to stay with them. I never met them personally, so I never knew.
She had a much younger brother, and they only met shortly before her death. They shared a father but not the mother, and with the taint of the Garrard’s, I missed it. Why don’t you tell Hellenic the truth, Aldrich,” Eduardo asked with a calm that was almost disconcerting.
“Catherine is my niece, Elizabeth was my sister,” the words made both Catherine and Hellenic became still. It explained a lot. Her innate trust. The feeling of familiarity and why he kept his blood memories from her.
“I married my blood to her mate, not because he happened to be a prince, but because she loved him and their alliance would keep her safe.
I love Catherine. She is blood of my blood, and I promised Elizabeth I would always be there for her daughter, no matter what. I keep my promises,” Aldrich moved around the table until he could squat so his eyes could be level with those of Hellenic.
“Do we allow this to pass or do we allow the council to meet justice, daughter?” Aldrich asked quietly, and her glance jerked to him.
Catherine was still trying to absorb what she just learned. Seeing Hellenic beaten with a whip would be fun and a kind of justice, but it would look petty and reflect badly upon Aldrich.
“Let it pass, father. Allow Lord Drake to deal with his own subordinates,” Catherine felt proud of herself for sounding all haughty and unconcerned. Aldrich rose.
“Get this man out of my sight before I cut out his venomous tongue. I suggest you teach your dog to speak only when spoken to,” Aldrich commanded, and Eduardo nodded curtly. He shoved Hellenic upright.
“Walk,” Eduardo commanded, and although Hellenic obeyed, he turned his head and glared at them both with hatred. Men used to power did not take humiliation well.
“He won’t let this go, he acts as if he were already Drake’s heir,” Aldrich murmured.
“You lied to me...” Catherine accused with a voice that was too quiet and too controlled.
“Yes,” Aldrich knew nothing he could say would be any defense in her eyes.
“Don’t ever do it again,” Catherine almost commanded and their eyes held as he nodded. It was a day for surprises. He expected of her to demand answers, but she just seemed to accept that he had his reasons.
“He kept her diary...” Catherine murmured, and Aldrich found himself smiling, ” he couldn’t bear to read it.” The reason behind that was a revelation to them both.
“He defended you,” Aldrich stated, observing her.
“No, he defended his pride, reputation, and position,” Catherine denied, and Aldrich sighed inwardly.
“Catherine...” He cautioned, and she sighed, refusing to meet his eyes.
“I need to go,” Catherine was gone before he could find a way past her defenses, but after all that she endured, she had a right to them.