They were seated at the head of a long banquet table that his men had quickly assembled in the center of the village. They had spread out food and wine for the whole village. Dei accepted the goblet of wine that Erick offered her quickly and downed it immediately. She felt her senses dull some and the noise and music from the crowd soften as well. Dei managed to get the goblet refilled twice more before Erick caught on and took it from her.
“I would prefer you conscious my Lady.” He smiled down at her; even seated he was more than a head taller than her. She felt like a small child seated beside him, though she herself stood almost six feet in height.
“I would prefer not to be!” Dei snapped quickly and reached for another goblet of wine. His hand caught her wrist roughly and pressed her hand against the table.
“I don’t care what you prefer. You are my wife and this is our wedding feast. You will honor your people and mine by staying and celebrating. Things are changing Lady; you must accept and change with them.” He waved his hand down the table and out across the beach. Dei stared in awe, seeing her people and the families that had come with his war party eating and drinking. All the children were playing together; even Maggie was playing with a small red headed girl about her size.
“These will be my lands; it is only a matter of time Deianira. Your father does not have enough men to hold the castle if we were to siege it. No one will come to his aid, as Rollo and others are keeping all your neighbors busy. Do you really think he would risk fighting me when he learns I wed his only daughter?”
“Yes, he will risk it,” she answered solemnly, meeting his glance. He saw a strange sense of despair in her eyes.
“You speak as if he dislikes you.”
“He hates me.”
He looked back from the beach to Deianira, startled by the fresh look of pain in her face and the new tears running down her cheeks.