|A Very Mire Family Morning|
|Summary:||In which the Nayland family is not creepy, though somewhat kooky. Anais is welcomed with talk of frog hunting.|
|Related Logs:||The Last Dance and probably others|
|Foyer — Fortress of the Sevens|
|The foyer to the fortress is a functional room to the castle with its own heavy portcullis and massive oak doors at the entrance. The interior is done in the same heavy wood construction that reinforces the stone walls at several points as well as serving as the flooring away from the stone entrance. There is a reception area with comfortable couch seating for up to a dozen people, as well. The room extends farther back with stairs up to the Great Hall in addition to a heavy iron door that is bolted securely into the stone.|
|Sun May 27, 289|
For the first time in a long time, Anais slept soundly the night before, lulled to sleep by the soft sounds of water against the walls of the Fortress of the Sevens. In fact, she even slept /late/, and is only just now venturing out of her rooms. Prudently, she's very much accompanied by both Nina and - rather than Kincaid - Derek, her older, darker, more formal guard. And where Nina and Kincaid are often involved in their own conversations, here in the Mire both handmaid and guard are attentive to their mistress, everyone on their best behavior.
Jarod was up early, himself, and waiting at Anais' door when she woke. Whatever guards she has, he seems to feel himself a necessary addition to her retinue. He's more at ease than he was at the tourney - or at least seems so. He's usually able to slip on a glib, personable air when he puts his mind to it, and he's done so this morning. All jolly attempts at chit-chat with her other guards and occasional sly comments to Nina. He watches his goodsister with occasional skepticism, however.
He came back earlier than the combined party of Terricks and Naylands, and in truth he didn't care to see any of them. All the more he's been trying to remain out of sight and mind. However in the Sevens there are only a few places one can hide. And as luck would have it, it does not take long for Rutger to come across members of that party. Eyes slide towards the guard, and one in particular.
Jarod. A brief pause before he is coming further into the room. "If you are looking to break your fast, Lady Terrick." Rutger's voice calls out. "I am sure someone can scrounge something. You were missed, earlier."
"Jarod, would you please stop looking at me like that," Anais finally says as they step into the foyer, keeping her voice low. "I danced with just about every man at the Twins, and /one/ of those Freys tried to do a good deal more than kiss my hand. I'm not going to disappear into the bogs for whatever impropriety you think I'm interested in, but the more you keep looking at me like I'm about to tear off my clothes and go streaking through the castle, the more tempting the idea is." It's all delivered with the sweetest of smiles, which does absolutely nothing to hide the steel in her eyes. She pauses, reaching forward to play at straightening his doublet. "Understood?" Her smile is already in place, then, when Rutger appears, and she turns to face him. "Lord Rutger," she greets with a dip of her chin and a sketch of a curtsey. It is his home, after all. "That is kind of you, but I fear I've slept so late I should best wait for lunch. I hadn't realized how much I missed the sound of the water on the walls until it sang me to sleep last night."
"Looking at you like what, fair goodsister?" Jarod asks innocently, grinning at her. "Like this?" He exaggeratedly widens his eyes and leans his neck down so he's peering at her in an cartoonishly owlish fashion. He's probably hoping to get an laugh from his makeshift audience. He does not address the rest of what she says, perhaps because of the audience. Which now includes Rutger. He straightens up, taking a moment to regard the man. One of the few Nayland siblings he's not met, and with a reputation besides. He bows politely but waits to be acknowledged.
"He is looking at you as any dutiful brother would, Lady Terrick." Rutger seems quick to back up Jarod there before he is looking back towards Jarod, before he is offering a faint nod. "I don't know what to call you honestly, Ser. We've not had time to talk since we were on the Pyke together." Rutger notes to Jarod Nayland nee Rivers/whatever. "This will have to be remedied before my brother decides to send you on errand for something, like a cup." the words come out dryly, before he glances back to Anais, a bow of his head.
"I am glad you find our home accommodating. In truth, I like the sounds of the frogs and birds, more than the water."
Into the keep come two more Naylands, Riordan arm in arm with his dear sister, Roslyn. He has his head close to hers, murmuring something that has his eyes alight with laughter, and follows with a deep and warm chuckle. He straightens a bit when he sees the others, and offers a warm grin to each. "Brother, Lady Anais, Ser Jarod. It's a fine day, what has you all cooped up inside? I was just trying to convince Roslyn here to go frog catching with me. Anyone interested?"
Anais wrinkles her nose at Jarod, making a bit of a face before smoothing a hand over her skirts. "Lord Riordan mentioned a fondness for the frogs as well, my lord," she observes to Rutger, smile slipping crooked with some private amusement. "I did make certain there were none of them lying in wait beneath my covers before I went to sleep, but I suspect buckets of them could have joined me in the night without me waking. One might think all this travel exhausting." And then Riordan arrives, stepping right into the trap, and she laughs. "You see?" she grins to Rutger.
"I have never been a fan of hunting them, myself. Not since one hopped in my dress when I was—ten?" The question is delivered to her brothers, as if either will remember the incident, before Roslyn is shaking her head dismissively. "If you are to stay in the Mire, however, I do recommend the activity at least for you, Ser Jarod." She draws away from Riordan to step and capture Rutger's hand instead, placing a kiss of greeting on his cheek. "How long will you stay?" is murmured lowly for his ears only.
"I am Ser Jarod the Half-Eagle, my lord. Whatever else I shall be, I'm still that I'd like to think." As for the rest, Jarod nods Rutger. "Aye, it shall. The matter of what precisely my marriage to Rowenna means is one of the matters we need to discuss with Lord Rickart before we return to Stonebridge." Riordan and Roslyn's entry makes him turn his head and incline it politely to the pair of them. "Frogs?" He actually sounds eager. "I used to do that with Jaremy and Jace - and Lady Isolde, come to it - when we were younger. I might still remember how."
"I am sure, Ser Riordan has a fondness for many different things, Lady." Rutger muses with a faint grin. "But I doubt he would place a frog in something, as perilous as a bed. We like to keep our guests well protected and unmolested." a grin there before he is glancing towards Roslyn and Riordan as they come in hand in hand. His jaw tightens for a moment, before a grin smooths out at last. "Frog catching during the day, brother? That hardly seems sporting when they are sleeping. I find the best time is to hunt at night." he adds before glancing to Anais and Jarod. "You see, you coat yourself in mud so the flies don't bite- and arm yourself with a gigging spear, an torch. It is truly a Nayland sport." he notes before eyes focus solely on the Half Eagle.
"A fun title to be sure, but you are my brother's or sister's wife." a faint chuckle there. "And I am sure she would have you know us better as well. Find a time when you are off duty- we will drink and talk then. I would hate to ruin your day by getting you in trouble with your Lord, or your wife, Ser."
And as Roslyn swoops in he smiles and leans in to return the kiss to her cheek. "Long enough." cryptic for an answer, but perhaps other pieces are waiting to drop, before his voice is rising up. "Sister. If I recall you were nine coming on ten. And the frog did not jump into your dress, it was dropped." A chuckle follows.
Rowan comes strolling out of the grand hall, munching an apple, her hair still wet from a recent bath and her surcoat clean (if not pressed). She stops abruptly and eyes the crowd. "Seven shit a brick, did someone die?" She glances about. "We all look kind of cheerful, so maybe it was someone we don't like." That's comforting.
Riordan lets out an easy chuckle, even as his eyes linger on Rutger before moving to the rest of the group. "That was probably the only time Roslyn ever fell for such a thing. As I believe I mentioned to you, Lady Anais, Roslyn always had a sense for when pranks were to be played on her." And it is an utter coincidence that the one time the prank worked was when Riordan wasn't informed about it before hand. Odd, that. "Well, that is true, but if we are to take those who haven't gone before, perhaps some practice?" As for the comments by Anais, he just laughs some more, shooting her a warm look, before being distracted by Rowenna's entry. "No, but we were talking about frog hunting. You interested?"
"I couldn't very well escape that time, given that Rutger held my arm as Rupert dropped it, if I recall correctly," Roslyn points out with a narrowed look on the brother present who was involved. She falls silent as Rowenna enters, her fingers smoothing over her skirt as she watches her sister carefully for a moment. She adds, lowly, to Rutger, "When it is convenient, I would like to meet with father as a family. Us all."
"My string of sleepless nights died a peaceful death in your guest chambers last night, Row," Anais offers at Rowan's words, smile wry. "I'm afraid I've only just managed to emerge." There's definite interest in her eyes at the talk of frog hunting, a wistfulness not quite hidden as she ducks her chin and reaches up to tuck a curl behind her ear. "I would dearly love to join you all on a frog hunt. But I came to speak with Lord Rickart or his representative regarding the idea of a peace between us, and I wouldn't want to keep your lord father waiting. Or show up covered in mud, for that matter. I suspect he might not take it as a compliment."
"Perhaps some other time, as I am rather attached to Lady Anais during her visit," Jarod replies. Maybe a little disappointed at the prospect of missing frog hunting, but the frogs aren't going anywhere. "I would not forgive myself if she…stubbed her toe or something and I wasn't there to prevent it. Neither would my brother, Lord Jacsen. Her husband." He might think he's being subtle, in the way he stresses 'husband.' And it might be subtle for him, but Ser Jarod has all the lightness of a brick about many things. "Perhaps my lovely wife can take me sometime!" That said, he bounds over to greet Rowenna. Trying to take her hand twirls her. Hopefully after she's swallowed her apple.
Rutger has his reasons for being tense and for his own insinuations and all, but there is no real time to dwell on unpleasantness or yell or whatever one does when they are Rutger Nayland. As for holding down Roslyn's arm, he merely grins wide back towards his sister. "It was done for the greater good. And I am sure Rowenna would have had her share of frogs, perhaps in time." A glance over to Row and there's a brief smile added for his sister. "Ah." speaking of the devil. "As i told your husband, I do not know what to call you." and the knight's grin holds for a moment. "So I will say, welcome, Sis." and that seems peaceable enough. "Perhaps you and your husband could join me for drinks sometime when it is convenient for both?" He'll let them sort that question amongst themselves.
A glance over to Anais, and Rutger chuckles. "Oh I don't know if our father would see that as an insult, or perhaps a new means of persuasive arguing." cause women in mud, rite? Though with Jarod's proclamation, Rutger does laugh. Out loud.
"I'm all for that," says Rowenna — of frog hunting, apparently. She eyes Roslyn back, then flashes a sheepish smile. "I'm not going to hit anyone," she promises. Jarod's subtlety makes her cough, and the twirling gets a shriek of delighted laughter. "Hi!" she tells him, arms around his neck and beaming. "I think I love you."
Roslyn's steady gaze is judging you, Jarod and Rowenna, as she watches the display passively. Once it seems she can get a word in, she replies simply to her sister, "Of course not, Rowenna. Though, I have asked Rafferdy to stay until we can speak, as a family. I hope that will apply for the duration of your visit."
Riordan laughs aloud as well, at Jarod's words. "I'm going to start charging you every time you say brother and wife in my presence, as relates to the Lady Anais. The first seven were free." He then falls silent, listening to the other interplay going around, especially watching Roslyn's expressions as she looks to Jarod and Rowenna.
"Really, Jarod? You're my- What was the relationship again?" Anais asks at Jarod's incredible display of subtlety. "You're my…How did he put it?" She turns to the Naylands arching a brow. "Let's see, Lord Jacsen is his brother, and my husband, so that would make him my…Oh, yes. My goodbrother. How could I have forgotten?" She clears her throat, covering a sound suspiciously like a laugh, before she focuses on Riordan, Rutger, and Roslyn. "Do any of you know when your lord father might be available, though? If he's otherwise occupied for a time, I suppose it would be just as rude not to partake of your hospitality."
"Hey! I had a whole conversation with Raff yesterday that involved absolutely no violence!" Rowenna declares. See the gods-damned halo? "There might have been the implied threat of violence, but I'm pretty confident he's going to behave now. Or… you know. For however long it takes until he forgets and does it again. I've had puppies that were easier to housebreak. And cuter. And wore sleeves."
"Being that I am here a majority of the time. I can say his time is quite full here, though if you were to press, perhaps tomorrow or trewsday would be your best bet for catching him. Lord Rickart likes to make sure everything is in order for his people." Rutger tacts on before he is looking to Roslyn, as a faint brow is raised. "Speaking of violence or unseemliness at gatherings…" And there Rutger's voice dips a bit. "Please, I would ask you all to refrain next time we're at a party. We're not Westerlings, damnit." Obviously Rutger has more he would like to share on that, but he doesn't. Tongue. Bit.
"I certainly hope so, or I've been quite misguided of late. Well, more so than usual," Jarod chuckles to Rowenna. Kissing her. Quickly, nothing too inappropriate for public consumption. He catches Roslyn's look, and her comment about Rafferdy, which makes him straighten his posture some. He exchanges a look with Riordan, before nodding to Rutger. "I display before the Freys was unseemly and damaging to all our reputations, my lord. If there is anything I can do to mend it, as I told Lord Riordan last night, I shall."
"We will speak on it later," Roslyn says to Rutger's brief lecture, her gaze flicking steadily towards that brother instead for a moment. When she does look back to Rowenna, she even offers a subdued smile. "We will all speak later. I am sure you understand, Lady Anais, as you have your own husband and family whom you speak with."
"So, see, you can come with us to frog hunt today, Lady Anais. And you're… whatever the hell he is, some kind of relation, over there," Riordan says with a wide grin, thumbing over to Jarod, "Can come with us. We can all make a day of it, and be back in time for tea." As the talk turns to the talks of violence and the like, Riordan turns to Rutger. "Brother, I wonder if you might be willing to talk in private with me, briefly." Even those his tone is serious, he still gives his brother a warm smile.
Rowenna cuts a look at Rutger, smirking — but with an underlying lack of remorse that's mostly stubbornness. "C'mon, Roots. If Raff was running around telling people you'd fucked Gedeon Tordane, you'd've done the same thing."
"Later," Roslyn repeats, almost a snap to the word.
Anais has to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing at Rutger's description of how the Naylands behaved at the dance, shooting a brief look of sympathy to the man. "No, I completely understand, Lady Roslyn," she assures with a shake of her head. "Though I might hit /him/ if he called me a Westerling, brother or not," she adds with a glimmer of humor for Rowenna. "Row, do you maybe have something appropriate for frog-hunting I might borrow to wear, if we're to do this?" she asks, stepping into the discussion in her own way.
And there that tightness shows back in Rutger's jaw before he is shaking his head to Jarod. "Do not worry yourself over it Ser. I made sure to speak with Ser Hosteen and the offended Freys before I departed. It is water under the bridge…But, in case we are invited to one of Walder Frey's many offspring's nameday celebrations. A thing to remember." A tone of lightness there and even a chuckle to boot before he is looking back towards Roslyn. "Of course.." Later..Though there is a grin back towards Rowenna, and it seems Rutger's amused look is back on fire.
"No, I can't say I wouldn't. After all I tend to think I would land a prettier match, than Gedeon Riverdane. Perhaps, I would land Lord Blackwood..Or maybe instead of fucking the apt rumor would be strangling."
Yes he went there, and infront Anais, who is given a brief look of apology. "I am sorry. I should be minding myself-though I've not the beer for it yet." And as for Riordan speaks, there's a smirk in the man's direction and a nod.
Jarod flushes, as to the Gedeon Tordane fucking. Clearing his throat rather pointedly at Rowenna. "It wasn't the time or place, I think is your brother's point, my love. That evening might have been a fine place to show you'd been accepted back into your family, and had a sense of knightly decorum." That is said perhaps a little pointedly. "And where I could've had some fun showing off the lovely I girl I see you as, and not…well. It's done." Whatever twirling and kissing he engaged in before, the evening is plainly a sore subject for him. Though his pouting is interrupted by Rutger's comment about buggering the Blackwood. Which…well, he can't help but laugh.
Roslyn closes her eyes at the talk, her fingers lifting to rub lightly at the corner of her eyebrow as lashes make a dark mark against pale skin for a pointed moment. Then she opens them again, looking towards Rutger for a moment. "We shall find you something appropriate, Lady Anais. I will see if the kitchens will pack something for anyone who wishes to go," she says, politely.
Riordan chuckles at Rowenna's pointed comment, perhaps a bit wryly then mirthfully, even as he shakes his head. Rutger's words bring out laughter, however, and he grins broadly. After a moment, he shares a look with Roslyn, before turning to Rutger, raising an eyebrow, and indicating a corner away from the others.
Rowenna wilts a bit, far more affected by her husband's disappointment than anything else. "I know," she says softly to Jarod, with sincere remorse. "I'm sorry." Taking a breath and flashing a more subdued smile at Anais, she answers, "Probably not. But plenty that's inappropriate. Frog hunting's best done in breeches."
"No, it's-" Anais' smile flickers at Rutger's apology, and she takes a step back. "It's nice. It's family, isn't it?" The implication that there's no such warmth in the Terrick household is unsaid, though there's a shadow loneliness in her eyes before she shores up her smile once more. "Thank you, Lady Roslyn. And I suspect breeches are more appropriate than skirts when it comes to frog-hunting," she adds to Rowenna. "They probably show a good deal less than wet skirts. Which I'm sure my husband would appreciate." All right, that last might be a little bit acidic and pointed in Jarod's direction.
"I'm sure your husband would appreciate it, aye," Jarod agrees with Anais, nodding to her in approval. He pretends to miss the acid, at least. He gives Rowenna's hand a squeeze, saying no more on the Frey punch-up.
"And a shirt you don't mind getting muddy." Rutger adds towards Anais before he is glancing back towards Riordan, and there's a faint chuckle, before he is walking over to join him in the corner.
Riordan flicks a glance to Anais, a brief flash of a frown slowly transforming into an encouraging smile for the woman. Then, he is moving off to the corner to speak to Rutger. His words are said quietly, pitched for his brother's ears alone. "We haven't spoken long or much in some time, Brother, so I figure now is best in case we part again soon. I wanted to congratulate you on your victory. And also to apologize for not handling the business with Rowenna and Rafferdy better. I can only imagine what it took to have to deal with Ser Hosteen, and I'm sorry you had to deal with that." He pauses, again, then adds, "Also, I've patched things up with Lady Rosanna, as well. Roslyn convinced me that I let my anger at Kittridge's handling of you cloud my judgement in that. And I apologize if that caused you grief, too."
"I do have a dress that I have worn often into the swamps, if you'd rather keep to polite protocol, my lady. Though, yes, there are times that skirts do hamper movement and show more, given the circumstances," Roslyn agrees as well, smoothing her own fingers over her skirts with a polite smile. She looks towards Jarod for a moment, and then her sister, before curtsing briefly. "I will see a lunch packed for you. If you will excuse me."
There is a brief pause there from Rutger as he soaks in what his brother says. "Indeed, you do not." And given the rumors them at the twins hold to Rutger, it is likely, Riordan or another Nayland might not ever know, but still he offers his hand to his brother's shoulder. "Excuse me.." He says after a moment, and a reassuring squeeze. And now he moves to see himself from the hall. Briefly.
Riordan simply nods to Rutger, reaching out to return the gesture with an easy smile, before returning to the rest of the group. "So, who else is coming with us on the frog hunt?" he asks, with a smile. Mainly looking at Rowenna, since he clearly assumes that Anais and Jarod are both going, and Roslyn and Rutger have both left, at least for the moment.
Rowenna nods at Rio, clearly approving as he gets back to what's really important. "I'm absolutely coming. Does Annie have to see the Old Man first?"
"My lady," Jarod offers to Roslyn, along with a bow, as she prepares to take her leave. "My thanks, for lunch especially. From what I recall frogs are hungry work." His arm returns companionably to around Rowenna's waist, after the bowing's done. "I was just saying to your brother how I used to go with Jace and Jaremy when I was younger. In Stonebridge, mostly, by the river near the bridge itself. Few frogs at the Roost. With my brothers at the Roost, it was usually climbing the cliffs for eggs. The gulls are a fun game to swipe from. The eagles get a little too peckish, unless you've feeling adventuresome." He speaks of it more than a little wistfully, unlike Anais seeming to have plenty of warmer memories of House Terrick. As for Rowenna coming frog-hunting with them, he grins and leans over to try and kiss the top of her head roughly. Fun!
"I'm told he's likely to be busy for the rest of the day," Anais smiles faintly to Rowenna. "So I should get changed. Would you like to come, Jarod, or do you think Rowenna might be sufficient supervision for the changing process?" Oh dear.
"Oh, I'm sure Jarod would never do anything so improper with the wife of his brother, your husband," says Rowenna, gleefully. She leans up to kiss Jarod in temporary parting, like people stupidly in love do, and bounds over to grab Anais. "Right, then. Let's get you froggy."
Riordan bursts out laughing again at Anais' comment, and though his grins have been warm with everyone pleasant, it is especially so now as he obviously approves of her last comment to Jarod. "Don't worry, he can keep an eye on me instead, to make sure I dont sneak in to help. Because his brother is your husband, as you may not know, Lady Anais, and that simply would not do, would it?" He grins at his sworn sword, saying, "Come, good brother, I think you can fit in some of my clothes for the occassion."
After a few quiet words outside of earshot, Rutger returns, before he is looking back to the remaining Naylands. "I am sorry, I know there was talk of frog hunting, but I have been informed that I am needed by my father for a few things. Lady Anais, I'll be sure to make sure he knows that you re here to see him. And will let you know when there is an opening in his day." A brief nod to Riordan. "I will find you again, to talk more on…things." meaning the Freys and all, and likely, where Anais cannot hear. A flourish of a bow. "Have fun, please." he adds, before he is hurrying back off in the direction in which he was summoned.
Jarod snorts at Anais, though Rowenna's repetition of the exact same joke gets a laugh and doofy grin. Which might be unfair, but she's his wife. Not the wife of his brother. "I trust my wife to look after my brother's wife," he replies impishly, squeezing her hand before she breaks from him. As if she won't be right back. To Riordan, he winks. "I'll do just that, my lord. Good idea."
Anais might actually be walking faster than Rowenna as they depart the hall in search of more appropriate clothes. In the interest of removing everyone else from the blast radius.
Riordan returns Jarod's wink, laughing quietly, and will lead his goodbrother to his quarters, so they too can get changed for the hunt.