Alan grimaced. "I had hoped my father would forget this marriage nonsense, but evidently it is not to be."
"You sound as if you agree with my father." Alan frowned. "I expected your loyalty to lie with me."
"As it always does," the old man placated. "I love you as if you were my own son."
"Then why do you speak to me in such a fashion?"
Cademon shrugged. "Is it not obvious? Since Nealon's death, you are your father's heir. You must marry and produce offspring. I would not have chosen such a way as prison to bring you to your senses, but did you not know that eventually your father would require you to marry?"
"I gave it very little thought."
"I have heard good things about the Lady Morgane. Perhaps you will grow to love her."
Cademon tapped Alan's knee. "Your father needs this marriage, Alan. It will cement the alliance between our people and King Maccus. We need this alliance. Since you went away, the Baronis to the north have grown bolder in their attempts to take your father's northernmost provinces."
"And Maccus lives on our northern border," Alan finished.
Alan's face hardened. "Did my father send you to me?"
Cademon flushed and nodded. "I will not lie. He did send me. He wants me to report on your willingness to obey."
"And what will you tell him?"
"That you are a loyal son who understands the necessity of the marriage and will do his part to produce heirs for the kingdom." Cademon smiled at him and rose from his chair. "Your father was wrong to send you to prison as he did, but all of that is now ended. Take your rightful place at his side.”
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