Night came and the heavy door swung open of its own accord. Gwenhyfer spun around at the intrusion, her hand slipping to the knife she kept hidden in her dress. There leaning heavily on the doorframe stood a lone man wearing chain mail, rich man's armor. His surcoat embroidered with Norman heraldry, a wellborn man then, no common soldier. A damned Norman Count stood at her door. His hair dripped water on the floor as his head hung down, too heavy for him to hold up any longer. Just what she needed. He would lead them right to her. Damn Saxons and Normans could not keep their fight among themselves and leave her alone. Wulfgren stood too unprotected.
"Good wife, I promise I will not hurt you."
Gwenhyfer relaxed her stance with a smile. No, he was no threat, not in his state. "I promise you shall not either. You look tired enough to fall over. Maybe after two or three weeks rest I might have to worry."
"Might I get some lodging for the night? I can pay you well."
Pay, he offered to pay her, hell he must be in trouble to pay to guarantee her keeping her tongue. "Sire it would not be good if you were found I take it?" His head flew despite his fatigue, but his eyes were studying her unsure if he could trust her. She kept from smiling, if only he knew.
"No, it would not be good. I would most likely be killed."
She could guarantee they followed him the question was, how closely. "Come inside. There's food on the table. I did not expect anyone so I hope it is enough for your appetite. Eat while I put your horse away and lock up for the night." Only one option, keep the man happy until she could get rid of him.
He slowly made his way to the table where he sat down heavily. He took the wooden charger and spooned what remained for himself.
Gwenhyfer went about her business when she felt his eyes on her, but this time not at her figure. After so many, she knew the difference. "Yes, Sire, it is venison. Shall you punish me now or later for eating your King's deer?"
He stared for a long time. They all looked at her like that. "What shall I tell your husband when he returns?" He finally asked ignoring her breach of the King's laws.
"I am not married." She pulled on her cloak to venture into the wet night air.
"Your father then?"
"Dead these last three years." She left him without another glance.
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