|Summary:||A young Aeliana panders her brother for help involving the identity of a mystery knight.|
|Related Logs:||Any memoirs with Midnight Grace.|
|Aleister's Suite, Hollyholt|
|Late November, 286|
Having recently been elevated to the position of Master at Arms for Hollyholt has certainly kept Aleister busy. With the number of dedicates Knights and the number of sworn swords that the city keeps on hand, almost every day is dedicated to instruction and training. Even with the help of an assistant, he's found himself worked almost to the bone. But, it's a coveted position. One in which he strived for and the reward is great. It comes with a larger room in the keep and a couple of personal servants; ones which are greatly needed when he's so busy.
On this day, his life is no different. As evening began to descend upon the lands, Aleister had dismissed the Knights from their training and was now free to make his way back to his room. Which he'd done so with a quickened pace. Reaching the room and moving within, he nods to the servant girl within, who has taken the time to prepare a bath and delivered a hot meal to a waiting table, "You have finally learned to be on time, I see." The words bare no answering, so the girl simply bows her head as he sets about removing his armor once he's reached the stand that holds it.
In the early spring of 286 after Aeliana had been freed from the confines of acting lady in waiting within the Twins, she'd flittered between Hollyholt and Kellen with all the ease of a girl who had no intention of stayiing still for very long. In part, because it was easier to talking her Uncle into indulging her. In April she'd come back glowing, in May her quiet little I have a secret air continued. It faded some in May, but returned again in July. Then stretched long, oh so long until she'd become almost short tempered with everyone she knew until November. In November Aeliana was glowing again.
And invading. Invading with all due grace of one who'd been walking through her brother's doors since they were old enough to walk and had never quite learned how to knock even…if she had mastered the art of quietly walking back out without a sound for fear of getting caught if she picked a bad time. At least she's thought to bring him wine. "Alllllllee," his name comes in sweetest sing-song, as she rocks back and forth on the balls of her feet. "I brought you a present!" Nothing is for free. It's never been. Unless it'd been the time she'd left clusters of roses blooming on each and every one of his tunics over his heart…without…telling him she'd done it. In brightest red. "There was a lovely belt in the market today and when I saw it I couldn't help but think of you. Oh! And wine." Beam!
Aleister had long since grown accustomed to the intrusions of his sister and as such, he'd long since gotten over the frustration that comes when she just barges into his room. Especially when she comes baring gifts. This time, though, he's got his breastplate half over his head when she comes through the door and there's a momentary curse as something catches, followed by, "Fuck. One second!" A short struggle ensues, with the breastplate threatening to win before the Master at Arms succeeds and tosses the piece to the ground with a quick yelp of trimuph.
It comes apparent then that the man has been training, along with the men he teaches, for the undertunic he wears is drenched in sweat and as he turns towards his sister, a hand lifts to smooth the locks of his hair off his forehead and back behind his ear .. unsuccessfully. A flash of smile comes, followed by a lift of a hand to motion her in, even if she's already done so, "I do so enjoy your gifts, little sister. Why don't you pour us each a cup of wine?" Because he apparently needs more time to get out of his armor. Which he proceeds to do. Without issue this time. Except, when he's placing the pieces upon the armor stand he suddenly freezes and casts a slow look back towards her, brow arched, "Wait .. you're in an awfully good mood today."
"Language!" His sister chides, an amused little grin on her face as she slips more deeply into his rooms, following the sound of his voice. Just in time to watch him struggle. It's an effort to keep her face straight and not laugh at him outright, but it's there betraying itself in her eyes. Still he gets a grin as she watches the way he fights with his hair and she doesn't even, not once, point out that he looks…and smells…like he could use a bath.
Instead the little tray that she carries is set atop the nearest table and two glasses are poured; though hers contains far less than his. Even the little parcel with it, that contains the promised gift is placed there in wait for him. "I resent that," his sister huffs playfully. "I am always in a remarkably brilliant mood. Whatever could you mean?"
He doesn't apologize for the language and as if knowing what runs through his little sister's mind, Aleister is lifting a hand and waggling a finger at her when he's free of his armor and offering a quick, "Not a word." Then, his attention shifts to the servant, offering an incline of his head and a quick, "That'll be all at this time." She's ignored then, for his attention is flowing back to Aeliana, to follow her movement to the table, only to follow a moment later. He doesn't move to claim the wine, though, for he's reaching out a hand to grab that little parcel, to hoist up with a flash of a smile and a quick, "Always? Hardly. Most times. Sure. Except the last view months. You've been short of temper. But I love you all the same." He doesn't move to open that parcel, for there's a step or two towards his sister so that he lean down and press a kiss to her cheek before rising and then setting to the task of opening the parcel, "Now .. tell me what I did to deserve a gift, Ae."
The look that Aeliana rewards him with is one of complete and absolute innocence as if she hasn't the faintest idea what it is that he's talking about. "Why Ale, I wasn't going to say anything. Not at all." The least Charlton promises, with wide dark eyes that just seem to swear innocence. She grins though, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet as she watches him take his present. "And I love you too," comes the return, as she presses up on the balls of her feet to offer a little kiss of return; one that catches just at the very corner of his lips. That the servant left doesn't seem to bother her at all, as if she'd never been there to begin with. "Besides, it's not what you did, Al, it's what you're going to do!"
Oh, there's that smirk of Aleister's; just a light, little thing that comes at that express of innocence, though it passes the moment that she returns that kiss, for a smile is quick to take hold of his lips, "I know you do." A step back is taken and then another, allowing him to claim a seat at the table and just as fingers begin to unravel and open the parcel, he's pausing, "Oh .. I should have known." Now, his eyes lift from the package, even as he continues to open it, to expose the gift within, "Just … what it is that I'm going to be doing for you, little sister?"
"What?" My goodness when he looked at her like that it was as if he were implying that she were up to something and that was just dreadful, wasn't it? "You imply that I'm not capable of being nice, simply to be nice. I saw the belt and it made me think of you. I wanted you to have it." It's a master craftsman's work; from the way the leather is oiled and supple, from the give and the engravings that score it; wolves stretched long, maws open teeth bared. There is one on either side of the buckle, as if they were quarreling, while the buckle itself, is fashioned to resemble a crown. "I need you to find someone for me," simply spoken; casually, as if it weren't all that important.
To the first of what she says, Aleister doesn't immediately reply, for his attention shifts down to the parcel and the belt within, which he's promptly withdrawing so that he can examine. There's a low whistle that escapes his lips, a flutter of fingers over the leather before a tip of one traces along the outline of a wolf, "This is .. lovely, Ae. Thanks you." There's warmth in those words and when he looks back to her, there's a smile and an incline of his head. Then, that smile shifts to a grin and as a chuckle sounds, he's hoisting the belt to waggle it in her direction, "I knew you wanted something." Pause. "Who is this person that I'm supposed to find?"
"Your grin," Aeliana replies, a warm smile on her face, "The wolfish one. And the pelt you brought me last name day. It made me think of you." And that was all sincerety without the bribe. Just a sweetness that was genuine as she trailed him over to the chairs; cradling the wine glass in her hand. But his question, along with that little waggle has her staring particularly hard at the cup and working to compose herself. She's even toeing softly at the rug sprawled out before them. "He's…a knight." This conversation is going to be like pulling teeth, damnit. Why couldn't she have had a sister to tell?
That genuine sweetness that she offers draws a certain warmth from him and it shows in the smile that returns to his lips and the faint light that tinges within his eyes. Of course, it fades the moment she says 'Knight' and the waggle of that belt stops as well. For a moment, Aleister is quiet. Considering. Thinking. Finally, the belt waggles again and he's offering a teasing, "I'm going to lock you in your room until your twenty and five." He wouldn't .. and she knows it, so he simply lowers the belt a touch and lifts a hand, to give a 'tell me more', which he's following with, "So. A Knight. What House?"
Awkward. Much in the way she shifts about in her seat as if trying to search for a more comfortable position. Failing that, she sips at her wine. "I'm going to need a bigger room then, or I would be ever so bored. I daresay I could knit myself a ladder given as much time as you're promising," she teases, answering him jest with jest. But that tell me more gesture of his doesn't bring very much. "I don't know." Which..so said makes her feel as if she's just admitted to a dalliance with a commoner, oh Gods, "A good one, I am assured."
Her jest for his is answered with a soft chuckle and a faint shake of his head and that's about all she gets. For when she states that she doesn't know the House, all expression fades from Aleister's features; a sign she'd know well of the rare rising of a temper. But, it's kept in check, as it normally is. With the exception of a cant of his head just a touch to the right, "You .. don't know …" That's .. almost said in disbelief, "And yet .. you want me to find you this Knight." A cluck of his tongue comes and he's finally answering with, "You'd best tell me what this is about, Ae."
That subtle not missed at all rise of his temper makes the girl wrinkle her nose just a little and she bites her tongue to keep from pointing out that his judgement is entirely unfairly based. "Yes." She answers him instead. "I want you to find him. The Knight of Midnight Grace. He rides tournaments, which, is how I met him. You recall when I went with Uncle to the Tourney of the Tulips in Saltpen this past spring, don't you? Well, I met him there. He rides without name, draws no benefits in the lists by calling upon rights of blood."
As she begins to explain further, Aleister doesn't seem all that much more impressed. In fact, with the belt set aside, one hand reaches to claim a cup of wine and it's lifted to his lips so that he can drain the contents dry. It's only when the cup comes to be lowered and he takes a steadying breath does he offer, "That .. will make things more difficult." He considers this a moment longer and then gives a simple nod of his head, "I will ask around and see what I can do, but only because it is you that asked." A pause and then he's continuing with, "Do not get your hopes up, though. Many Knights come from afar for tournaments and if he rides without colors, it will make it that much more difficult to find him."
"But he rides well," Aeliana explains, "Even Uncle Harold was impressed. He finished as one of the three and then he was gone the next morning before anyone could find out who he was or challenge him. And I've been asking…discretely but," and there her expression falls and she looks somewhat forlorn, "But no one may give me a name and he refuses to give me one himself." Pout. But she does at least, move to rise so that she may refill his glass.
The mention of him riding well, even in their Uncle's estimation, draws a lift of Aleister's brow as he gives another quick nod of his head, "Alright .. that'll give me something to look at." That somewhat forlorn look, followed by the pout, has a hand lifting and giving a quick wave, "Stop pouting, dear sister. I will do this for you and see what I can come up with." As she rises to fill his glass, he's settling back into his seat, "I'm going to be taking another trip the Westerlands, anyways. So it gives me ample time to ask other Knights and the like." And she'd know well why he was going that way again.
"He writes, you know," she offered, when he promised that he'd look. "A very…aware sort of gentlemen. I think he's a lord, at any rate. And besides, you have…her," her nose curled with it. Up in snobbish complaint, while her eyes rolled, even as she poured. "And you're going to leave me for her anyway. I want something for myself." Sniffle.
"Does he, now?" That draws a slight loft of Aleister's brow and it's followed by another quick nod of his head, "Alright .. if he's a Lord, sister, that'll make it a little easier. Leave it with me and I promise I'll try and find something." Her little pout and comment of /her/ draws a soft laugh and a shake of his head, "Dear sister. You know me better then that. I will always be here for you and I will never leave you for any length of time."
"He does." Though she can't quite seem to hide the warmth that touches her face with it, nor the hint of color that sweeps her cheeks. "At least, I believe he is." She admitted, but when he promises, she goes from pouring wine to wrapping her arms around his neck and curling near child-like in his lap despite his entirely unhuggable sweaty self. "Thank you!" While her cling only gets tighter when he says that he'll always be there. "Promise," she demands, small hands rising to frame his cheeks; so that she can catch his eyes with her own and hold them. "Promise that you'll always love me best."
Even if Aleister didn't want to look into this mystery knight, how could he deny his sister such a thing when the thought of him seems to at least make her happy. The touch of that warmth to her cheeks draws a knowing smile and when she suddenly winds up in his lap, arms flung around him, his own move to circle about her, hands placed lightly upon her back, "Suppose it's my right to spoil you." The touch of her hands to his cheeks, so that she can catch his eyes with her own, has a smile coming to his lips, "I promise, Ae. You know that I'll always love you more then anything."