|A Woman Of Certain Skills|
|Summary:||Cherise approaches Senna about fixing a problem.|
|Guest Room - Tordane Tower|
|A modest room but with a large high bed that is set with four posts in rich mahogany. A blue rectangular rug is angled in the center of the room. A chest for storing the visitor's goods is at the foot of the bed and a grey blue cover settles over the bed. A hearth to the right of the windows which rests between it and the bed is done over with a iron screen meant to be removed when in use. A pair of chairs rest near the window and about a small circular table set with a candle. On the same wall as the door rests a low chest of drawers, a basin for water and a few wooden mugs rest there for use.|
|April 17, 289|
Some of these poses have information intentionally removed
Normally she would seek out the Nayland retainer on her own without too much suspicion following her however in light of recent events, coupled with the interaction with her husband, Cherise was strongly advised to remain in bed for a few full days rest. An annoying thing truly, so one of her handmaidens, Mistress Darra was used to fetch the young servant of the tower. One she had previously held the pleasure of becoming somewhat acquainted with not so many months ago. At the moment Cherise was sitting on the bed, blankets and furs pulled up over her thighs as Septa Enya and the remainder of her handmaidens sat nearby, offering what idle chatter they may until the house retainer arrived.
Since her return to the keep, Senna has found herself in something of an awkward position. As an army camp healer, she enjoyed a certain amount of freedom and even power. Back in civilization, she's at loose ends, not entirely integrated into the household staff. And so, when she's summoned, she arrives with her pack of supplies over her shoulder, and seems surprised to find Cherise in good health. "My lady," she greets as she enters, dipping into a curtsey and holding it.
Darra shuffled into the chamber, closing the doors once Senna had arrived and moving to the join the others. "Mistress Delacourt." Cherise greets, seemingly pleased to have another face in company rather than the same old entertainment, wearing a bit thin. "Please come forth…" Large blue eyes settled easily upon the woman, adding, "How did you find the isles? I heard you joined the men and offered your skills as a healer to many of the wounded."
Senna rises when Cherise releases her, moving toward the bed with a small smile. "I'm afraid they were a rather unpleasant place, my lady," she answers. "Cold, damp, and full of bleeding men. But it was worthwhile to see the men return alive." She shifts the satchel on her shoulder, looking over the others in the room to get a bearing on the mood. "How may I serve you, my lady?" she asks, looking back to Cherise.
With interest Cherise's gaze followed the young woman's approach without a thought given to the satchel upon her shoulder. "I can only imagine. It must have been quite taxing on you." She offers, canting her head a touch while the remainder of her small retinue remain quiet with the occasional glances given to their lady and then Senna when it may be concealed. "You may be excused for the time being Septa Enya and Mistresses, upon the Mistress Delacourt's departure you will be once again summoned to return." Without much of hesitation the three handmaidens and Septa rise from the seats and quietly take their leave. Once the door had shut again her pale blue eyes laid with focus unto Senna. "I imagine you may once again use your keen wit and keep an ear to the happenings of Stonebridge, specifically those involving my husband and unfortunately the Lady Ceinlys Erenford. I assume there will be a time that they will seek an audience with your lords." Her gaze lowered, her hands make a delicate fold upon the blankets concealing her lap. "Make note Mistress Delacourt I ask that you not betray your Nayland Lords. I have been received well and would not seek to have their retainer cast in a negative light from my requests." When she lifts her gaze the lady continues, "How knowledgeable are you with the Erenfords or Haighs? Better yet, any noble house that has crossed paths here in Stonebridge?"
Senna arches a brow to Ceinlys' question, setting the satchel down next to the bed. There's a gentle clanking from inside, and the smell of herbs wafts up. "I've heard rumors, my lady," she allows slowly. "Though those involving Lord Aleister and Lady Ceinlys were from earlier in the conflict, before the men left for the isles. And I was under the impression they parted on…unpleasant terms. In fact, I would have said that things were…quiet, at least, until recent rumors appeared. Might I sit?" she asks, gesturing to an abandoned stool.
At the moment Senna made a request to sit, Cherise immediately nods her head, "Oh but of course. Please." A graceful gesture is made to the stool indicated. Waiting for the woman to sit, the lady probed, "Unpleasant terms? Before the isles?"
"Mmmm." Senna moves to settle gracefully onto the stool, back straight and hands clasped in her lap. "Some altercation involving Ser Aron. But it was my understanding that Lord Aleister was, until recently, with the forces on the Isles, while Lady Ceinlys was in your employ here. Perhaps I misheard?" she asks, feeling her way through things.
"He was. Here in Stonebridge for a short time before leaving the men but yes you are somewhat correct. The Lady Erenford is under my husband's employ." Not a statement she added any warmth to. "I suppose may have also heard of some distasteful untruths concerning my marriage and myself?"
"Nothing I took seriously, my lady," Senna replies, arching a brow slightly. "In my experience, lords don't generally set aside their wives without some dire event, and I'm reasonably certain that I would have heard about that sort of thing." She's quiet for a moment, then, waiting for Cherise to fill in the blanks without asking any inappropriate questions.
"Anyone with half an amount of sense would, but still such talk is dangerous and wholly untrue." The woman's hands unconsciously slid atop of her expanded belly, protruding over the blanket. "I know, at the present, I am in a most coveted seat there is no denying of that. I intend to keep my place as his wife and as such my actions thus far have only fed his misconceptions of me." Brows knit the further the lady explains. "There's a game afoot I have become an unwilling participant, one that seeks to poison my husband against me and she is ever clever Mistress Delacourt, more than I could have imagine."
"Lady Erenford?" Senna is still a woman of few words, taking in what information she can before she makes any judgements. "Of course, I would imagine your condition is certainly an alibi," she says slowly. "Perhaps my lady might enlighten me as to what it is that is actually going on."
She nods once more. "Very well…" A moment is taken to gather her thoughts. "The Lady Erenford approached my husband, seeking safety against the house of her recently deceased husband while her daughter remains in the care of her mother in Heronhurst." Her pause is brief. "She was appointed as my lady in waiting, by my husband. Upon hearing her name I recalled the latest rumors floating around Hollyholt, surrounding the Haigh woman and House Erenford, such things the Lady Keera did not entertain. I, grudgingly accepted, as my husband desired for me to and yet still took care not to embrace the woman entirely. Perhaps a mistake on my part for the lady holds up an extremely high guard." Cherise absently gazes to the bed's surface during her recall of events.
"When I was in the Roost to offer my condolences upon the passing of the Lady Evangeline I had received word that my husband was gravely injured in Seagard. A head injury, one where he was succumbed to moments of madness. I witnessed it there Mistress, that he was not the man as before. He was too on edge, too quick to accept rumor as fact even when evidence was presented before him." The lady sighs heavily, "It was also there those rumors had emerged, involving my husband and the Lady Erenford who had received the displeasure of her brother for some unknown reason. I left to Stonebridge soon after and my husband had taken upon himself to appoint the Lady Ceinlys as his Castellan, to tend to his affairs in his duties abroad."
"That much I know, my lady," Senna dips her chin. "I assisted in Lord Aleister's care after his wound, though I've not had the chance to see how his state of mind has progressed. After that, however, I believe there was a…confrontation between Lord Aron and Lord Aleister, and shortly thereafter, Lady Erenford returned here, as did you, my lady, did you not? I'd heard nothing regarding any changes in circumstance until I heard a pair of whores talking about Lord Aleister setting you aside just a few days ago, but since, to my knowledge, none of you have even seen each other in the intervening weeks, I dismissed it as nonsense. Do you have reason to believe it to be true?"
"In my return here from Seagard my husband and the lady Erenford departed for Hollyholt under the intentions of gaining Highfield. She returned a Castellan and from then forth I have had but a few interactions with the woman. I know before the men left for the isles my husband was distant. I mistepped. I only wished to dispose of her horse and Mistress Darra misheard, believing I would cause direct harm to the Lady Erenford and in turn relayed it to my husband." Cherise shakes her head, brows raised.
"I know he told the Lady Erenford I wished her harm, she was blatantly cautious in my company. I had given her a pin, it was checked by her guard and not touched by her hand. I believe my husband holds favor of her he speaks not a single truth concerning the Lady, only to deflect my inquiries. So at the moment it is not true, I am still his wife and has, in my knowledge, not pressed for the annulment since our encounter yesterday. He will not tell me on which grounds other than we does not find me compatible with him." The lady could not help but roll her eyes.
"I am given this time to make him see reason, to change his heart in this matter. I do not believe the Lady's Erenford's intentions with my house and husband are entirely pure."
Senna tilts her head slowly, mulling the words over for a few moments before she shakes her head. "I confess, my lady, I thought the Lady Erenford content in her freedom, rather than interested in seeking out another marriage," she muses. "And I thought Lord Aleister more…practical than to take offense even if you did try to remove Lady Erenford from his company." Her features are carefully composed, as though she were discussing which tea to have with which cakes. "If the problem lies in the blow he took to his head, though, he will be difficult to predict or influence."
"Reason is lost upon him, he believes I seek only gain for myself than for us. He is poisoned Mistress Delacourt and I have not the skill to heal these wounds." She glances to the bed again, "I know my husband well and he claims to not know me any more. He is an ambitious man Lady Delacourt…"
"Doubtful, my lady," Senna shakes her head to Cherise's suggestion. "Unless by cure you meant the end of any interference from his lordship whatsoever, but in that case you might wish to wait until you're delivered of an heir."
She nods, of course her latest suggestion was not meant to be serious. "You're right, no, I do not wish him harmed, just to get through to him. To reach him as my word is not enough." Cherise idly strokes her stomach.
"Rather than support, it might be more prudent to render Lady Erenford unsuitable for your lord's requirements," Senna muses, glancing toward the door. "Or even just to ascertain whether she's interested in him at all." She pauses, one finger tapping on her skirt. "Someone must make arrangements for the lady. She has some freedom as a widow, but she still belongs to a family."
Cherise nods, "I will be able to find that out. There is a man, formally an aid to the Maester in Hollyholt who I have appointed to aid the Lady Erenford with my husband's tasks. He was to keep an eye out for all her movements. Surely he will be of assistance?" Cherise asks. "If there is someone he will discover it."
"That would be the person to win over," Senna points out. "Without permission to wed Lady Erenford, if she is his goal, Lord Aleister will have no benefit in leaving you, my lady." Her finger taps once more, and she lets out a slow breath. "And I'll see if I can speak with your lord, and see if this is about you, him, her, or his injury."
She nods once more, "I need not to warn that you tread carefully Mistress Delacourt, I know not how far her poison has spread." Prepared for her arrival, Cherise does reach forward, a small purse in hand with a jingling reward within. She knew how this was done. "One hint that I am even making a single effort will undoubtedly press her to push my husband further. I thank you for your ear."
"Madness is a delicate thing, my lady," Senna agrees, taking the purse. It disappears into her skirts, somehow muffled there, before she looks up once more. "But I'll see what I can. In the meantime," she continues with a small smile, "We shall simply say that I am seeing to you while you are in your current condition. What woman wouldn't prefer another woman over a maester?"
The lady's smile is of course genuine, "After all, you aided in my husband's recovery. You are skills are not to be questioned Mistress Delacourt." A small thing to part with in the effort to retain her name. "The Gods watch over you."
"And you, my lady," Senna says with a small smile, slipping from the stool and taking up her satchel once more. "Be well." And with that and a curtsey, she moves to slip from the room, sending in the handmaids after herself.