Brayden spent the rest of the day in a semi daze as he watched Quinlan argue with his council over the wedding that was due to take place in less than three hours. His stomach churned as he realised that he was going to have sex in front of people. They were going to be the witnesses that made sure that the marriage was consummated. How the hell was he supposed to perform with a bunch of strangers in the room watching his every move? This wasn’t how he wanted his reunion with Quinlan to be.
He groaned as he saw the heated looks that Quinlan kept throwing his was; they definitely were helping with his nerves.
“He really is quite the catch isn’t he?”
Brayden turned and stared at the young woman beside him. “What?”
“King Quinlan, he is quite the catch. You should feel honoured to be chosen.” She turned and bestowed a breathtakingly beautiful smile on him. “But then, you were always the one he was going to choose. Not one of those women who came today ever stood a chance.”
“What do you mean?”
The woman chuckled softly, “You have owned him body and soul since he was eleven years old.” She turned and stared at Quinlan, “Maybe now he will finally get what his heart has always desired.” She turned back to Brayden and her eyes turned Ice cold. “If you ever hurt him, even unintentionally, then you better run because I will hunt you down and cut off what is most important to you.”
Brayden gulped; though with that one warning he realised who this woman was. “Ingrid, I see that you are still as protective as ever of Quinlan.”
“I will always protect him... in case you are wondering I am his official bodyguard now. His well being is mine to take care of... you on the other hand not so much.”
“What happened to the young girl who was our best friend?”
“You left and she grew up.”
Brayden sighed, “I never forgot either of you. You were in my thoughts every single day.”
Ingrid looked at him sceptically. “Yet not once in the last ten years have you come back. I was the one that had to pick up the pieces. I was the one that had to put him back together. You weren’t there to see the hell his father put him through.”
“No I wasn’t... I was living in my own hell on my Uncles estate.” Brayden snapped without meaning to.
“What do you mean?” Ingrid turned and placed her hand on his arm. “What did that arsehole do to you?”
Brayden wasn’t sure that he was ready to share his shame; but knew that Ingrid would eventually find out. Taking a deep breath he said. “Until this morning I have been confined in the same rooms of my uncle’s estate as he put me in when we first left the city.” Tears burned at his eyes but he blinked them away before they could fall.
“I made the mistake of telling him on the ride there that I was going to run away and come back to Quinlan. He made sure that I could never run.”
“Oh for the love of...” her words trailed off as Quinlan walked towards them.
“Please don’t tell him, I am not ready for him to know.”
Ingrid pushed up onto her tip toes and laid a gentle kiss against his lips. “You secret is safe and I have decided that you are worthy of my protection too.”
Brayden smiled and gave her a quick hug in return.
“You are not trying to steal my intended husband are you?” Quinlan said with a mock pout.
“Oh please... as if I would do that. I think my body has the wrong parts for me to be able to do that.”
“Thank the gods for that,” Quinlan chuckled.
Quinlan turned serious, “are the boys ok there is nothing wrong I hope.”
“They were fine when I left. Alexis says that they are eager to meet your queen.” Ingrid snickered.
Brayden was confused, “I thought Arella was the mother of your children.”
“She is,” Ingrid said, “but Arella has since left and married Lord Ellison. She has nothing to do with the children.” Ingrid smiled. “My sister is now the boy’s carer. Well when they are not with their father that is. He is still the biggest child of them all.”
“Now don’t be scaring Bray before I have the marriage performed. If you tell him too many of my secrets he will run.”
Quinlan was shocked as Brayden and Ingrid looked at each other for a long moment before doubling over and bursting out laughing.
“What... what did I say?”
Brayden and Ingrid both wiped their eyes, “It was nothing... just something Bray told me before... you had to be there.”
Quinlan shook his head at them. “Well okay, but you do know that you are both acting weird right?”
“So what is happening now?” Ingrid asked.
“Now it is time to go and get ready. I have decided to bring forward the wedding. I am not giving anyone the chance to interfere. I have waited too long for this day.”
“What? Wait a minute we are getting married right now?” A Note of panic was in Brayden’s voice.
Quinlan grabbed Brayden’s hand and began dragging him from the room. With a cheeky grin he turned to Ingrid.
“Gather the witness’s we are getting hitched.”