|A Makeshift Messenger|
|Summary:||The new Lord of Seagard asks a boon of Captain Blayne.|
|Date:||February 1, 2012|
|Related Logs:||The recovery of Seagard, particularly The Iron Eagle: II and Quiet Aid.|
|Stables — Seagard Castle|
|There are horses hereabouts.|
|February 1, 2012|
Since the reclaiming of Seagard, Hardwicke has been a quiet but consistent presence among the castle and the Terrick camp. It's outside the former that he is in presently, seeing to his courser inside one of the castle's stables. He's dressed out of his armor for once to tend to the chestnut mare, though still in his Terrick colors. He has one of her front legs lifted in the curve of one hand, the other navigating a hoof pick to gently clean her hoof.
Patrek mostly wear one color these days, save for a sash or belt to mark the colors of his house, and he hasn't strayed from this uniform today. He's in black trousers and a black shirt, and though he wears a brown leather jerkin, besides the silver and purple belt around his hips, it's the only other color offered. In his hands, the boy holds a missive, folded and sealed, and he pauses by each stall to peer within, until he comes to the one with a chestnut mare and her rider. "Captain Blayne," Patrek greets with a nod, "Don't stand, please. I don't mean to intrude upon you very long. Have you a moment?"
Hardwicke glances over at the address and, despite Patrek's words, sets Delylah's hoof gently to the ground before straightening. Well, it's not like he wasn't already standing, anyways. "Lord Mallister," he greets the young man with a stiff dip of a bow. "Of course, my lord. She'll keep for a while." His gaze skitters to the missive, though he does not ask on it.
Another nod is offered for the formal greeting. There have been many more of those, as of late. "I hear you will shortly be returning to Terrick's Roost until we are prepared to sail for the Iron Islands. I, um." Patrek glances down at the missive in his hands and then back up and over at Hardwicke. "I wonder if you might do me the service of delivering this letter to an occupant there. Seeing as, that is," he clears his throat, "it's for your wife."
Hardwicke arches a brow, either at the request or perhaps that small throat clearing. Or both. "If you were a bit older, my lord, I might not take so kindly to you writing my wife." But there's something of gentleness beneath his habitual gruffness. "However, considering your age and station, I suppose I'm honor-bound to deliver it." He dusts his hands briskly on his breeches.
"How fortunate my youth should convey some benefits along with all it causes me to lack," Patrek replies somberly, though there's a corner of his mouth that wants very much to lift into a weak little smile. The letter is offered out to Hardwicke, still warm from being clutched by the young Lord's hands.
Hardwicke takes the letter gently, holding it briefly between his fingers before tucking in carefully away into an inner pocket. "I shall convey it directly to her hands," he promises Patrek. "Is there anything else you — would like me to tell her?"
"I think the letter says all I should wish to, thank you, ser. Only tell her," Patrek considers and then lets his shoulders lift and fall, "tell her you found me well when you left. Even if it isn't true."
He watches Patrek a moment in silence, then nods his head just slightly. "Aye, my lord," Hardwicke says quietly. He hesitates a moment, and then says, "She is — very fond of you, my lord. But — a bit prone to worry all the more for it."
"I know it. As I am very fond of the both of you, ser. But I should not like to think her compassion should cause her concern," Patrek replies, hands clasping lightly behind his back as he settles into a straight and proper stance that must have been drilled into him at some point when he was small(er). "Not when there are so many other places she must divert her energies."
"I fear there is little I could say that would dissuade her," Hardwicke says, the slightest hint of something like a smile tucked faintly into the corners of his mouth. Barely a twitch, but it's there. "But I shall do my best, my lord."
"Then I am in your debt, ser," Patrek replies with equal pseudo-sobriety, even going so far as to sketch a small bow. Then, more sincerely, "Safe travels, warrior protect you on your way home."
"I thank you, my lord." Hardwicke glances at Delylah next to him, a hand settling on her shoulder. "I shall return soon enough, it would seem."
"Aye, and may that be the end of it and the Ironmen shown their proper place," Patrek replies, the last hints of his mirth gone. "I hope we may all soon return home for good."
"We all do," Hardwicke murmurs. Settling his gaze more firmly on Patrek once more, he says, "If there is ever anything you require, my lord — even after this business has ended — I am at your service."
Patrek draws in a slow, deep breath and lets it out again as he nods. "You have my thanks. Knights with true honor are not so many, these days. I am pleased to count one such as a friend and loyal man."
"You honor me, my lord," Hardwicke says, voice quiet and low.
"Feels mutual," Patrek replies, his voice dipped just as soft. "Well," the lad studies his boots a beat before he straightens again, "I well let you return to your horse. She has been very paient."
"She is prone to patience, my lord." Hardwicke sketches another stiff bow in farewell. "Keep well, Lord Mallister."
"And you, Captain Blayne." Patrek offers another small nod before retreating from the stables as quietly as he came.