Page 297: A Confrontation
A Confrontation
Summary: Jarod asks Hardwicke to say what he will say.
Date: May 12, 2012
Related Logs: Directly following Riding Out.
Hardwicke Jarod 
Hallway — Four Eagles Castle
A little out of the way.
May 12, 289

To his credit (possibly), Hardwicke does not just stomp all around and refuse to stop and talk. What he does do is park himself in a hallway that is mostly out of the way, not giving Jarod the respect of entering a room, then turns to look at Jarod with arms crossed and a deep-set glower darkening his expression. WHAT.

Jarod follows along quick a step behind Hardwicke. He was perhaps expecting to go into a room. Or perhaps up to some parapet where he could easily be thrown. He doesn't look precisely comfortable in the hallway, but at least it's somewhat out of the way. He takes a deep breath, works himself up to say something, then stops. And works himself up again. "You've plainly a few things you want to say to me, Ser, so I figure it's best you say them. My wife and I won't be under this roof long, don't fear. Once the Nayland entourage departs I'll not linger." And he sounds sad for it, perhaps more than he means to.

"You disgraced your father and your house," Hardwicke says with flat coldness. "If you were my son, I'd never want to see your face again. I've nothing to say to you." His glare is a dark and steady thing, its heat near palpable.

Jarod tenses under Hardwicke's dark gaze. As a boy - and even on into manhood - he was easily cowed by such looks, but this one seems to make him feel as much anger as shame. "So it's all worth nothing now, is that the way of it, Ser? All the years I served here, bleeding together on the Isles as we did, it's all just to nothing? Because I loved the wrong woman?"

"Why should it be worth anything to me when you made it so clear it was worth nothing to you?" Hardwicke spits back, uncowed by Jarod's anger. "You made your choice. You chose yourself and proved yourself a selfish little boy."

"As if you've never gone to bed with a woman your lordship didn't approve of!" Jarod retorts. "Yes, Ser, I was selfish. But so were you, and it didn't cost you all you'd earned in this House."

For a moment, Hardwicke goes very still. There is a narrowness to his gaze before it passes into a more generalized anger. "I don't care who she was," he growls. "I care that you were fucking your squire and lying to the whole world about it before disgracing your station by knighting a woman."

Jarod looks taken aback to have gotten actual anger out of the older knight. The recitation of that makes him flush. "Aye, Ser, I lied. I lied to my lord, and my father, and he treated me accordingly for that. And, yes, I knighted a damn woman! But not because I was fucking her. You saw what she did on the Pyke, and in this house all these years. She'd earned it and I figured…fuck, I don't know. Things might go poorly for me in that last fight with the Greyjoys and I didn't want to…I felt like I had to see it done."

"Better than you deserve," Hardwicke says of Jerold's treatment of Jarod. "She's a woman playing at men's work. She's no knight, and you deserve to have your own stripped for disgracing it." How many times can he say disgrace.

"She plays at it pretty damn well," is Jarod's only comment about his former squire. "As for me, I've been stripped of it as much as a man can be. Whether I regain any part of it or not, I guess that'll be up to me to manage." He does flinch some at the repeated use of the word 'disgrace.' His shoulders deflating, since he can't work himself into a proper ire. "It's not as if I want to swear myself to the Naylands. I've not gone and done it yet." Yet.

"Yet?" For a long, silent moment, Hardwicke says nothing. Then he just snorts out a disgusted sound and turns to walk away.

Jarod doesn't follow Hardwicke this time. He just huffs out a breath and slumps with his back against the wall.