“Leigha!” Turk exclaimed in his great, booming voice, getting quickly to his feet as he saw her. “How are you, little tigress? Jesep here has been telling me of what has happened. How can you bear so much, girl?”
“Girl? A moment ago you were calling me a tigress, that name alone suggests strength, does it not?” She laughed up at him as he ushered her to a chair at the table and then sat down beside her. “Seriously, Turk, I am tired and weary of all this. I just wish that things would settle down and let me return home to live a normal life. The question now is, with whom?”
“I thought that you would be with Simon. What is this you speak of now?” Turk questioned, voicing the confusion that showed on the faces of Jesep and Gordon as well. “Surely the nightmare of last night could not have changed your heart towards Simon?”
“Aye, lassy, yer heart is truer than tha’!” Jesep spoke up, having grown quite fond of Simon and not understanding the words Leigha spoke now.
“I still love Simon more than anything!” she spoke defensively. “Nothing could ever change that, but he will live and Robert may not! I love Robert as my dearest friend, but more than that, I am his wife and my responsibility lies with him! I must remain with him for as long as he so desperately needs me! You said yourself Gordon that if Robert knew that I was here with him, it might make all the difference between whether he lives or dies! How will it affect him if he knows that I am here but that I would soon abandon him to be with Simon?”
“Leigha, I did not mean that you should be with him as a wife, only as a friend!” Gordon exclaimed, unnerved that his words alone may affect three lives so.
“And tell me,” Leigha asked, her voice rising in anger as she spoke, “just how is a wife supposed to act as only a friend to her husband?”
“Leigha, yer overtired und distraught by all o’ this,” Jesep said, getting up from his chair to go to her side, offering to help her from her seat as he suggested, “Ye mist cum und ge’ more rest. Thar is nay a decision tha’ has ta be made noo.”
“No, I must stay here and eat something.” She shook her head at his words. “Father has ordered me to have a meal and then to relax for the afternoon. He is right for my sake and the sake of the child that I carry. I’m sorry that I snapped at all of you the way that I did, but my decision stands. I must remain with Robert for as long as he needs me to.”
“I have never seen any man love a woman as greatly as both Robert and Simon do you though I understand why they do,” Gordon said slowly, his face serious as he held her eyes with his. “If that is to be your final decision, then I suppose that Simon can take the blow of loosing you better in his condition than Robert could.”
“Oh, but Simon has already lost everything that has ever meant anything to him in his life! How can I bear this?” Leigha cried then despite her words of a moment before, she got up from her chair and ran from the room to escape to the cold emptiness of her cabin, there to bury her face in her pillows and weep with the bitter gall of a broken heart.
“I do not understand,” Turk said, greatly confused by Leigha’s words. “She loves Simon the most, doesn’t she?”
“Aye, tha’ she does as we kin all see,” Jesep answered him. “But I think tha’ I understand wha’ ‘tis tha’ she be sayin’. It dinna look as if Robert weal be able ta live fer vera long, und she fears tha’ if she leaves him noo, he will surely die sooner und she weal bear tha’ guilt a’ways. Then thar’s her duty as his wife, which if Robert were weal, would not be as important as her duty ta her heart. Since Robert weal die as we all knoo as he kinna survive too long wi’ his wounds, she is right and so she mist stay at his side.”
“And leave the man that she loves so greatly, all for the sake of duty? I’m afraid that I cannot understand your ways. They make no sense to me!” Turk exclaimed and then turned from the two men to leave. “I’m going to go have a talk with her. Please excuse me.”
“Of course, mayhap you will be able to help Leigha to feel better,” Gordon said, nodding at Turk. “God knows that she needs some comforting. I’m afraid that I would not know what to say to her. It was my fault that she has chosen Robert, and I hope that someday, I will learn to keep my big mouth shut!”
“Tha’ll be the day!” Jesep laughed as Turk left the room. “But then yer mouth ha’ ta be big enough fer ye ta put yer foot inta it!”
“Aw, enough of that!” Gordon laughed, returning to his normal good spirits as he and Jesep joked around while they ate their meal, hoping that Turk would be able to help Leigha from the despair that she had fallen into.
Virginia Lee ~ Dagon’s Blood (p. 486-488) Kindle Edition