|A Much Delayed Introduction|
|Summary:||Lady Lucienne takes a visit to Lady Elinor's chambers where a friendship sparks.|
|Guest Suite @ Four Eagles Tower|
|Room desc goes here!|
|Friday November 27th 288|
Natural sunlight spears through the open windows, allowing the cool of winter to circulate through the chamber of this lavish guest suite. Lavish enough for the taste of nobility with colorful drapes accenting the windows and bed along with a desk should one feel so inclined to take quill to parchment. Elinor was embraced by the quiet solitude where beyond the muted hollers of men filled the background. Occupying her hands was a needle some light blue thread currently being stitched into a large square of cloth. Whatever it was she was working on, was nearly complete.
There comes a soft knock on the door to disturb the quiet peace within; not at all insistent, and able to be ignored if need be, Lucienne adds no voice to announce herself outside. Her lady's maid bears a tray of tea and sweet biscuits, following behind the dark-haired Terrick girl obediently.
Elinor's attention turned towards the door and the servant was greeted with a small smile, Lucienne with even a greater one. Faces and names she knew though not personally. She carefully folds the cloth within its self before setting it aside and rising from her seat. "Good day m'lady Terrick." Her chin dipped, bowing her crown in greeting before eying the entry of tea and breaded morsels. "To what do I owe this honor of your visit?"
Lucienne dips a deep and deferent curtsy, her smile curving graciously for Elinor's courtesies. "If it please you, my lady Banefort, I've brought some tea." She and her handmaid await a gesture of acceptance before entering, Celine looking to set the heavy service down on the nearest convenient surface.
"Why yes of course, tea would be lovely." The appointed hour to eat was still too far away and so the in between filler of food and drinks was wholeheartedly welcomed as she gestured to the table nearby that would share the space of her craftwork. "Won't you please sit? It has been months since our families have become united and we have not held the fortune of each other's company as… sisters!" The addition of another 'sister' would seem to delight her while Elinor removed the threads and small collections of needles, soon tucked away into a wooden box served for all her needle work things. That too was placed aside, leaving only the tray of tea and biscuits to occupy the table.
Celine nestles the tray down gently, and begins to strain tea into two dainty cups for the ladies. Lucienne's smile warms, and she indeed takes up a seat at her 'sister's request. "I do hope you don't think me remiss in my hostess duties, my good lady," begs the Terrick girl, folding her hands primly in her lap. "Though I can't honestly say I've a good excuse for the lapse. But please, if we're to be sisters now, you should call me Luci when it's just the two of us. Tell me, are you settling in well?"
Elinor joins the table to sit in waiting for the service beverages and biscuits to accompany their acquaintance with one another. Movement beneath her skirts may note the crossing of ankles as she settles herself properly, "Luci it is. My family calls me 'El' upon occasion. This should be suitable for it." She shares as the scented aroma from the tea hits her nostrils, "I carry no ill-thought to our much over due meeting Luci. My time has been spent well, mostly here in this room and with the entertainment of my sisters on occasion. And hearing of their…" She pauses in thought for an appropriate word, "Experiences. We are most gracious for being allowed to reside here."
Celine serves the sweet lady of Banefort first, asking meekly whether Elinor would prefer sugar or lemon and adding either or neither as requested. Lucienne's brows lift a little for the careful choice of words, and she tilts her head. "Ah, El, but we're only too happy for your continued presence in our home. Having no sisters of my own, I've found it quite refreshing to spy so many ladies about my home for once." She takes her tea plain, and lifts it to inhale the scent deeply. "Do you find the Roost agreeable?"
Lemon would do with a touch of sugar. "And now to have four." Elinor smiles sweetly after reaching for her cup, the warmth embraced by both hands and held close though caution exerted to mind her attire. "In our youth I am afraid one would not find it so refreshing." A small bit of a laughter then before she samples a small taste from the tea. "Everything happened in fours and it was impossible to have anything all to yourself. Sisters did not allow it. Still, as horrible as I may have described our childish years it also blessed me with a great web of support. Which is now extended to you my dear Lucy, I should wish to be both family and friend."
"The closest I had to a sister as a girl, is now she whose name my father won't suffer in his presence," laments Lucienne quietly, talking across her cup to cool the liquid and then partaking in her tea. "Suffice it to say, I find it comforting that you're all here. It is most useful to have another lady's perspective on things sometimes, wouldn't you agree?" Silently, save for the clink of china as she retrieves the plate of cookies from the tray, Celine offers sweets to each, her head kept obediently bowed.
Elinor postpones the offer of cookies but gestures to a space nearby as she keeps to her tea close. "I am so sorry." A sympathetic tone offers yet does not pry into the personal details. Some scandal to be certain. "Yes I would. Especially when it comes to matters of the sensitive nature." Elinor then gently sets her cup upon the table, exchanging it for a cookie. "Have you lived here all your life Luci? Have you known other households?"
Lucienne cradles the saucer to her teacup carefully in one hand, keeping hold of the cup's handle in the other. She offers no further explanation for her other 'sister', but sips again. "After the Rebellion, I spent three years in Seagard with my lord brother Jacsen, at Lord Jason's court. I spent much of my time helping him adjust, in truth. I was sent home… well, it hardly matters why. And you, El? Is this your first time away?"
Elinor listens dutifully, chewing quietly as Luci shares a bit of her history over tea. More details are revealed with holes, possibly to be filled in later. Her head nods at the question, "It is, though while I miss our home deeply that longing has been comforted by our welcome here. Father has his own reasons for keeping us close, what they were remains a mystery. Although," Her brows wrinkle when giving voice to thought, "I partially believe a great deal of time should pass before I am to revisit those halls. I am reminded by raven that two of us have yet to be married." Elinor forced a smile then, "He wants what is best for us."
Luci settles her teacup onto its saucer with nary a clink, then settles the pair down closer to her lap. Still held shy of her skirt, mind. "Perhaps you shall be as lucky as I," she suggests reassuringly, "And be recalled home for a courtship? Forgive me for saying, but I found it slightly puzzling that your younger sister be wed before yourself. Have you your sights set somewhere other than the Roost, El?"
Her poise wavered, straining to keep her demeanor pleasant as the threat of tears brought excess moisture in the eyes. "If only I was so lucky." Elinor's voice cracked and instantly a hand raised to cover her eyes. Deep breaths drew in then out, the cookie she held dropped to the floor to use that hand for fanning her face. "Oh by the mercy of the seven…" The woman's chest swelled, now both hands were used to fan her face. No tears. Not now, she swallowed with her eyes focused on the stone ceiling. "Should I be the last Oh by the gods." Those breaths came heavy now, hands rapidly trying to dry the eyes before a single tear would fall.
"Oh, my lady," exclaims Lucienne, aghast at poor Elinor's reaction to her probing. "Celine," bids the Terrick, and her handmaiden springs to action; a handkerchief is procured from some pocket in her simple dress, which Celine offers to the Banefort girl. "Forgive me, El, that was so insensitive, I'm so sorry," Lucienne apologises sincerely. "You are exquisite, my lady, too lovely by half for a lord such as as your sister's husband."
Unflattering sounds of El fighting her sobbing is muffled into the handkerchief. Face buried in the fabric as she tries, fails, and tries again to speak but incompressible sputtering is released. It would take a short while of time before her words are her own again, "No, no Luci, it is not your fault. I am sure that is what everyone wonders." Her tone turns in mocking, "What is undesirable about that Elinor woman?" She dabs at her eyes, sniffing all the while. "I honestly do not know, though thank you." Reddened eyes flutter upwards, meeting the Terrick's face. "Perhaps the Gods mean for me to take the cloth, forego all manners of love? Is the calling of my choosing or theirs?"
Lucienne looks on a little helplessly as Elinor tries to keep her composure. "Of course not," she assures the other lady, shaking her head at that put-on tone. "Like as, they wonder at your sister for claiming out of turn what should be yours, my lady. Forgive me, please, I meant not to upset you, El." She hands her teacup and saucer off to Celine before continuing. "Would you consider that? You are not yet too old for a match, if you should want. The most recent Lady Nayland was wed late."
Knowing that someone else had accepted the wedding vows later in her years seemed to sooth El's concern, exchanging the features of dismay into hope. "Was she?" Lady Banefort asked, sniffling and still dabbing to her eyes at the sure as rain mess upon her face. "I-I have not considered it. I mean, there must be some reason as to why father arranged for Anais before me. It did not concern me greatly." Again, the cloth is used to cleanse imperfections, "Oh Luci I am so sorry you had to witness this. I should not have these burdens laid before your feet." A smile was slapped on her face to show she is much better now, at least visually. "Please, do continue to enjoy this tea you were so considerate to have prepared." Though her handkerchief would be kept until Elinor was ready to give it up. "You mentioned your courtship. To who? How do you find the lord? Is he dashing?"
Celine offers the plate of biscuits again, as though nothing is remiss. Lucienne takes one, and offers a sympathetic smile to Elinor. "Do not apologize to me, my dear lady. We are sisters now, in name if not blood, are we not? The story of my courtship is… interesting, to say the least. The Lord Ser Anton Valentin seeks my hand. He is… gallant, and brave. Mysterious. I did not find him, though, my lady. He found me, at the most recent tourney in Stonebridge."
Elinor's sniffles are lessened as Luci shares her story. A wistful smile for the details, "How wonderful for you. Truly." Spoken of envy, the Banefort woman reaches for her tea then drinks from it slowly. Afterwards, "He was taken by your beauty no doubt." She offers sincerely over the rim of her cup. "What do you know of his House? His kin?"
"You are too kind, El," says Lucienne, ducking her head as pink fills her cheeks for the compliment. "I am not so naive as to think it was myself that drew attention, rather than the promise of what such a union might bring. Still - it is extremely fortunate that I find him, so far, agreeable. His House is still new, raised after the Rebellion to the seat of Oldstones. But you, El. Tell me, where would you seek a match, in your heart of hearts? A large place, or small? By the sea, or far from the water so familiar to you? What do you enjoy filling your days with, my lady?"
Her cup is set down for a refill, at least the tears have stopped. "Allies and strength in arms for certain. I should hope for the best for you. And that he will make a promising husband." Which is what all unions would bring. Elinor finger idly at the handkerchief in her hands, "I do enjoy the sea greatly. The air is calming and to be so close." The memories urge a smile to form, "Anais would say I am boring as I enjoy my needlework and writing poetry. I suppose I have always hoped for a match close to home. I am sure my father has his eyes elsewhere, for whatever will prove to benefit our name."
"You should join my lady mother and I in the solar for embroidery sometime," Lucienne invites, her tone warm. "I confess I am not so deft at the task, but I enjoy trying in the esteemed company of the Lady of the Roost. You and she should get along famously, I should think. Have you had the chance to see our coastline? I would be pleased to ride out with you, if it please you, El."
"I would love to join you and the Lady of the Roost." Elinor says earnestly after her cup has been refilled. "I should hope we would. I have yet to make her acquaintance. And upon a horse?" Her mind thought of riding upon one of those dreadful beasts. "I've, honestly, Luci. I've never done well on horseback. I do still wish to enjoy the coastline."
Lucienne pauses for a moment, though her expression falters not. "It would be quite a way to walk," she explains gently, "But perhaps we could take a carriage?" She nibbles a delicate little bite of her biscuit, careful to chew quietly and with her mouth closed.
The offer to ride in a carriage to the coast had soothed her worries, "A carriage would be lovely. I do suppose I should learn to steer a horse correctly. My sisters fared better with activities of that nature." Elinor reached for another cookie, taking her sweet time with bite after bite. "Oh it would be a wonderful outing. We could make a day of it and have the servants prepare a meal for it."
"We often do," agrees the Terrick girl with a bright smile and a decisive nod. "I'm certain you will find it to ease your mind some, my lady. As for a horse, that is no matter. Each of us are given our own talents, are we not? As gentle and kind a lady as yourself need not fret over her horsemanship." Lucienne finishes her snack daintily. "It's settled, then. We shall entertain a trip to the beach soon, and you shall join our embroidery circle. I can't tell you just how pleased I am, El, and how ashamed I am for not attending you sooner."
"Marvelous. The open air is greatly needed." Elinor appears quite pleased where only the only hint of her dismay was her reddened nose. Which could also be a result from the cool air. "Indeed we are and your words are too kind Luci." El's hand stretches forward to lay gently upon Luci's, a gesture of her gratitude. "As I am all too pleased to call you sister. Thank you Luci." A servant hand of the house would quietly rap upon the door, announcing that the dinner hour draws near. Elinor then directs her gaze elsewhere, a nod given to the servant. "Of course." Her attention returns to Luci, "Please, feel welcome to visit or call upon me whenever in need."
Without the need for instruction, Celine begins to collect the teaset to take with. "And I, you, my dear sister El. Please consider my door always open for you, also." Lucienne turns her palm up to grasp the Banefort girl's hand for a gentle squeeze, letting it go as she rises gracefully. "How lovely to speak with you - good day, my lady. Be well." And on that note, the two brunettes take their leave.