|Adventures with Boys and Girls|
|Summary:||Jarod Rivers and Isolde Tordane are both too old for kid's games, but they get up to a few of their own making anyhow.|
|Related Logs:||The Price of Honor|
|Secluded Cave — Shore Near Four Eagles Tower|
At least the late autumn night is not too cold by the seaside and the crash of the surf causes Isolde to hesitate, her heart thudding. She turns about, lost somewhat in the dark as she blinks, trying to focus past the soft spray as she stays to the edge of the reach of the water on the sands. The servants door, as Jarod had said was open and now she makes her way further, towards the cove as she hugs her laced dressing gown, the linen dress beneath simple and unadorned.
The press of the air around her makes her shiver a bit, dark hair in a loose braid as she picks up the pace to try to make it towards in the enclosed place, beginning to become a bit uncertain in the open air.
Jarod Rivers grew up crawling through every nook and cranny of the coves nearer to the shore of Four Eagles Tower, and being a man (nominally) of just a little more than eighteen hasn't apparently altered his inclination to sneak off at night and create his own adventures. They just involve girls now. He's in green, for his part, as he tends to be whenever he has a choice in the matter, sash tied around his belt in Terrick colors. He's been sworn to his father's service since returning from the armies of the Rebellion and - though he's presently not wearing the sword - the sash signifying that service is still in place. He may very well sleep in the thing.
He's in waiting just inside one of the little caves. It's a bit of a climb among the rocks, but not too difficult, even in the rapidly fading light of evening. He leans his head out of it, looking around in an unsure sort of way. He grins when he notes Isolde's approach. With just a hint of relief, like he was half-expecting her not to show. And with that, he lets out a long whistle. Close enough to a birdcall that one hearing it from far off might easily mistake it for one. It gives away his location easily enough.
The whistle cuts through the air and is more her guide than her untrusty sight in the changing feel of the cove. She aims that way, though for a moment, the sound echoes and she hesitates. Her hand lifts, the other grasping at her dress as she begins to try to pull herself up the rockface. Slippers really giving her no balance other than what she can do with bending and curling her foot around the face of it. She wobbles here and there and then finally gets a solid grip. "Jarod.." She says soflty and looks up, her dark hair getting her way at times where they pieces fray from her braid.
She is able to nearly go to where he is, finally able to fully make him out. A smile curls upon her lips and she reaches up a hand to him, steadying her foot against a small groove as she waits to be helped up.
Jarod bends out of the cave to extend a hand down for Isolde, for the last stretches of the climb. "Hullo, Iz." He smiles as he assists her into the cave proper. His smiles come more easily now, though they were rarer things in the days just after he came home from war. The cave ceiling is high enough for them both to stand in reasonable comfort - and would be for a man even taller than himself. He's brought a blanket, which he's stretched out on the rock floor, along with a basket that contains a wineskin and what appears to be food wrapped in napkins. Bread and cheese, and a few apples. "You figure anybody saw you?" He does crane his neck a little out of the opening, back toward the castle, stilling holding her hand in his.
Straining a moment to draw herself up with him, once her foot finds purchase, she lets out a breath of relief. Isolde lets her eyes adjust again and then she turns, looking back over her shoulder at the Tower. "No..I came the way you said. A few of the servants saw but they did not stop me. I stopped a few times to wait and watch so I am sure I am alone." As her green eyes fall back upon him, her smile grows again and she looks down to what he brought, smoothing her skirt with her free hand. "Oh….a snack.." She smiles all the more and sneaks a peek up at him before she looks to his hand.
Jarod nods to that, relaxing. "They wouldn't think to. The household should be busy enough tonight not to miss either of us. Luci's in with Lady Terrick for the evening, and my lord father's in counsel with his steward and his Captain of the Guard about…something or other." He shrugs. "I'll hear about it tomorrow if concerns me, I guess. And Jaremy went up to the Rockcliff for the evening." He adds rather quickly, "Not for…I mean, there's a singer there he likes." Who's also a whore, but he sure as Seven isn't going to dwell on that detail. "Aye. Just some summerwine. It's light. Goes well with cheese, though. Or…so the cook says."
"Well then it is a good thing that this is tonight if the household is so disposed." Isolde says and shifts her fingers, brushing them absently to his hand that she still holds. She wets her lips and draws a nervous breath before she half looks like she will lean in an dthe stops herself, clearing her throat and looking down to the food as she lets go of his hand and begins to make a move to kneel down on the blanket. "We should have some. You did bring it for good reason. Best not to waste it."
"Should, in a moment, yes," Jarod says, kneeling with her. "Best not waste any of this…" And with that, he does lean forward to kiss her. After the first few times, he wasn't shy about it anymore. It's not gotten him slapped yet, at least.
Even as he leans in to kiss her, Isolde flushes with color and she hesitates a moment before melting into the kiss, returning it. A smile tickles the corners of her mouth. Swallowing, she draws back just a little as her green eyes open to look at him. "That was nice too.." She says softly and then smooths her skirts, turning her head finally to look down at the food and drink he bought. "Its a little cool out here tonight, but the cave helps. What all did you bring?" She asks, reaching out to take up one of the wrapped items.
It's no chaste peck a boy might give, but deep and firm, and Jarod pulls her close as he does so. When he eases back, he's grinning. And a little flushed. Like he's half-amazed at his own boldness to have…kissed a girl. "Oh. Aye. It is a little. You can have my cloak if you like." He slips it off his shoulders, wrapping the solid green wool hers. That done, he gets to pouring summerwine into a pair of cups he's brought, and stretches out on the blanket in a more properly seated position. "Just a few odds and ends. Bread and cheese, some apples they got in at the market. Red ones. They're sweet." He takes one for himself. "So. How long will you be in the Roost this time, you figure?"
Shifting the cloak about her shoulders, Isolde pulls her hair out and lets it hang loose down her back. Taking up one of the cups, she sips of it. "I am hoping long enough…perhaps a week. If I can I will stay after my mother leaves." Her smile remains and she gazes down at the apple before adding. "The Roost is more home then Stonebridge now." She admits. Another sip is taken and and she shifts to get more comfortable, brushing agianst him a little before she settles.
"That'd be nice, wouldn't it?" Jarod says wryly with a grin that has a smirky edge to it, as to Valda leaving maybe almost as much as Isolde staying. Almost. He sips the wine himself, shifting so he's seated nearer to her, even as she brushes against him. He might blush, just a bit, though it's hard to tell in the dim light. "Umm. How are things in Stonebridge? Since…since everything."
The look she gives him might give him the idea things are not as good as she says after. Isolde forces a smile, "Well enough, more profitable, but a lot less to do with the Roost. I am not allowed to be overly involved.." She admits and then shifts, finishing off the wine quickly from her cup before she sets it aside. "It hasn't changed much in truth, but it seems we have visitors from the Mire more often than we ever did…" Her gaze drifts out then to the crash of the surf as she rests back, her brows furrowing a moment.
"Huh." Jarod frowns at that. Thoughtfully, which he can manage when he thinks a thing important. "Hag's Mire? Nayland land. Does my father know about this, you think? I'd understand more Frey folk. They're Valda's kin. And your own, through her. But what's she getting from the swamp rats on your father's land?" He adds, after a pause. "Your land. She's just castellan. You're Geoffrey Tordane's true daughter. The Lady of Stonebridge."
"And she will hear little of what I have to say when I do say it…I have few friends in the Tower alone and Milicent is the only one who does listen to me. My mother has surrounded herself with those that feed her power. I am not certain what she gains from the Naylands. But she had originally been worried about our borders..though trade has kept that threat at bay." Isolde says and then turns to look back at him. "I have no one to support me but a few handful. I am unmarried and also too young."
"You *should* stay here," Jarod says, firmly. "It's only proper, really. Until Jaremy leaves for King's Landing, that is." And Jaremy is totally going to do that, any day now, to join the Kingsguard. Or so Jarod seems to keep resolutely telling himself, even though it seems to get further and further from happening. "Might get harder then. But I'll protect you. I'm a knight as well now. And my lord father will help you. Stonebridge is his vassalage, and he was Geoffrey Tordane's greatest friend, and he'll be yours as well. He can do something about the Nayland men on your land, if you want don't them there. He'll fix things for you, so your mother can't hurt you anymore. You'll see." Jarod also resolutely believes in his father's ability to right all wrongs in the world. He's lost many of his naive ideas from boyhood since coming home, but that's one that remains.
At his insistence, she blinks and watches him. Isolde's mouth opens and then a slow smile spreads and she watches him with a warm softness. "Jarod, I can not just stay. I can not abandon Stonebridge. Then my mother would be unwatched. Nor can your father move on my mother. At least I don't think so." She shifts and moves the cup aside. "I need to try to face her on my own." But she has always been fearful of her mother and obeyed, she isn't likely to change. "We should not talk about this now…I would rather enjoy tonight." She offers to him lightly.
"Right. Right. You're right." Jarod tops off his wine, offering her some more as well. "Sorry. No point in making each other sad. I'm not sad when I talk with you, Iz. Which is rather the point." He takes a quick drink, and flashes her an easy grin. "Anyhow. You're here now. The moon is full. And we're young and alive and all's grand. Tomorrow doesn't matter so much. Who knows what it'll be, yeah?" *re*
"True. But I don't care to think of tomorrow." Isolde looks to her refreshed glass and then lifts it slowly. "Jarod…have you…ever been with a woman. At the Rockcliffe?" She doesn't like to listen to rumors, but truth is sought. She shifts, moving to rest on her hip and one hand as she idly holds the wine in the other. The faint light casting her pale skin into and even whiter pallor. She swallows, shifting again in discomfort for her own question as she watches him.
"Not at the Rockcliff," Jarod answers with a shrug. It's a slightly hedging answer, but it's honest. Jarod has stuck fairly close to the castle, in truth, since returning home. "I saw a girl who worked there years back - a barmaid, not a…she just tends the tables. Lyla Carrity. One of the stable master's daughter. That was before me and Jace left for Seagard, though. Haven't seen her since I got back. I think she's down in Stonebridge now, actually, with a blacksmith. In Seagard Jace and I went to the docks or nicer market areas sometimes…it was just silly, though. Didn't meet anyone that I…that I bothered to stay in touch with. And since I got back to the Roost…" He looks down now, shrugging. "…I don't know. Didn't feel like it, I guess. Took awhile before things started to feel…normal again. Have to be normal before it feels good, I figure. You know how it is. You know better than most." He does look up at her then, green eyes seeking to meet hers. "Feels good being here with you right now."
Isolde crosses her legs, sitting a little more at ease as he gives her truth. A soft smile touches her lips and she dips her head, accepting it. "I know well on what you mean, Jarod." The wine is lifted and she drinks deeply of it, slowly lowering the cup in silence before she lifts her eyes to meet his. That smile returns, gentle as it is before she shifts, setting the wine aside to move over towards him, settling to her knees to be able to draw herself closer to him. It is a slow movement, hesitant at first and the she sets herself down beside him, turning so that she faces the same way he does. Her eyes look to his chest at first, her cheeks flushing in color but hardly noticeable in the light. "It's nice to be with a friend…with someone I trust. The Roost is my home. Your family is very dear to me. Stonebridge is a shadow without my brother and father."
"Yes, I'm a good..friend," Jarod mutters, downing the rest of his wine in what amounts to a very long gulp. He slides closer to her then, reaching out to slip an arm around her waist. "You're family here. You'll always be, whatever Jaremy ends up doing with the Kingsguard." Because Jaremy's totally joining them. Any day now. Though that does seem to unrelax him a little. Not enough for him to actually remove his arm, however. "Oh. Reminds me. We got letters this week from Seagard. From Jace to all of us. It'd been awhile. Lord Mallister's got him a court now. With all the politicians and such. He always had a good head for that sort of thing. So that's good. I mean…he's doing good. I should write him back soon, while the courier's still here I just…haven't yet." Nor does he sound like he at all knows where to start. He pauses and, softly, asks, "Have you heard anything from Gedeon?"
Settling in against his side, Isolde does not press him away, her knees bending and tilting to the side to rest against his hip and lower torso. "Jacsen always had a good head. I knew he would do well…you will let him know that I am glad for him, won't you?" She asks of Jarod before Iz tilts her head to rest against his shoulder, cheek brushing there as there is a soft sound from her with mention of Gedeon. "No…" It is a sad sound. She had lost them all, but Gedeon was thought to be alive, at least she hoped. "He has to be alive.." She tells him gently. "I can feel it."
"Of course he's alive…" Not that Jarod can know that, really, but he manages to sound confident as he says it. He's good at sounding confident about things he's only a third sure of, at most. "I tried to find him after the Trident, Iz. I promise I did. I figured he'd want to go back with us. With your father and your brother. With his father and brother…" He shrugs, squeezing her gently closer to him. "…sorry. Didn't mean to…anyway. He did make it out all right. Everything was just happening so fast. Jace was wounded so bad and I thought…but thank Seven he lived. And then I got knighted, like every other squire who was past sixteen and had four limbs still attached, or at least that's how it seemed like they decided to do it. Seven knows I didn't make much of an account of myself. And…and by the time I went to look for him they just said he was…gone. He'd gotten squired to a knight man named Valentin and they hadn't stuck around long. I guess Valentin's father was getting honors from King Robert or…something. I couldn't keep track. Like knighthoods, they were handing out titles and boons and favors to anybody who'd been any part in the Rebellion, it seemed like. It was like everybody was drunk on victory, like it hadn't all just been horrible. And Gedeon was gone…so many men were gone…but he at least still with all four limbs and onto some future for himself. Somewhere. Maybe he'll come back soon."
"War…stupid foolish thing that men do…" She is comforted some, but her frustration begins to show. Isolde sits up from him, pushes up even and rises, moving to the caves mouth, stepping over his legs in those small slippers. SHe hugs his cloak around her slight form and she stares outward, furrowing her brows. "Stupid honor, stupid glory..it causes nothing but pain. Power is fleeting and yet look what it does? It can make such a cleaving blow through everything, even so distant from it." She lets out a long breath. "And here I am…without father or brothers. Why would Gedeon do that? I love him just as much as I loved Geonis, maybe more." Though she knows well Valda was not kind to him - she doesn't speak of it.
"It was stupid. It was all stupid and horrible, and all the songs about war are lies. I was so proud when Jace and I got to go. It was…it was finally something that we got to do…that I got to do…that Jaremy didn't. And it was all just…I wish it'd never happened. None of it should've happened. Not saying the Mad King should've stayed on the throne, I don't think that it's just…it was all wrong. It was all so wrong…" Jarod's voice gets rather choked as he goes on about it. He makes him stop himself. Taking a deep breath. He just sits there a moment. It takes him a beat to look over at her, but he does at last, then he stands and goes to stand beside her. "I don't know. I don't know why he did it, Iz. But I figure…it was hard to get my head back on straight after I got home. After everything. I don't know if it's there now, really. I don't know what I would've been like if Jace and my lord father had died on the field. Iz…I don't know what life was like for him, but I know it was…different than it was for me. In Lady Evangeline Terrick's house, rather than Lady Valda's." He reaches out to take her hand. "Maybe he didn't think he could come back."
She is quiet and Isolde finally looks down to the hand he takes. She is still saddened by the exchange and her voice is soft and tight as she says, "I would have protected him. He would have been welcome at the Roost..but to go to some strange knight.." SHe shakes her head, quieting again as she stares out at the dark water, black as night, reflecting the sky. It chills her, the sound now mournful and all-together sad in the making on the sand. There is at first, a squeeze of his hand and then she turns, sliding her arms around him and hugging close to him. Her eyes close and she rests her head on his chest. "I know my mother wasn
She is quiet and Isolde finally looks down to the hand he takes. She is still saddened by the exchange and her voice is soft and tight as she says, "I would have protected him. He would have been welcome at the Roost..but to go to some strange knight.." SHe shakes her head, quieting again as she stares out at the dark water, black as night, reflecting the sky. It chills her, the sound now mournful and all-together sad in the making on the sand. There is at first, a squeeze of his hand and then she turns, sliding her arms around him and hugging close to him. Her eyes close and she rests her head on his chest. "I know my mother wasn't any good to him…perhaps he feared her more than he thought I had the ability to keep him from her wrath."
"He could've finished out his squiring here. My father certainly would've found him a place," Jarod says with a nod, holding her close to him. There's a touch of anger in his voice, though none directed at her. "He shouldn't have left you alone. He could've sworn to Lord Jerold after he was knighted, never had to think about Lady Valda again. He was just…a little mad, I guess. I think all men who left the field were a little mad after the Trident. I'm better now, though. He probably is, too, wherever he is. He'll be back someday, I bet, after he gets his knighthood. Maybe then he will swear to my lord father. And then he and I will fight together. And Jace'll come home. He'll be Lord of the Roost, I guess. When Jaremy leaves to go and earn his white armor, and serve Good King Robert alongside Ser Barristan Selmy." Because that's totally happening. "He'll still visit, though. And Luci will marry some great lord, and you'll rule Stonebridge, not your mother. And we'll all be all right. We'll all be happy. Like we can happy now…" He reaches down to lift her chin, on that note. And kiss her again.
He paints a picture of something she longs for, a smile feathering her lips as she stares out at the crashing waves, cheek to his shoulder. Her eyes glitter with the tears she has done well to let rest when his hand lifts her face. She says his name softly before being cut off. Swallowing, heat rushes to her cheeks and she shifts, so as not to break the kiss he offers her. She returns his kiss, not pulling away this time, her arms tightening themselves in their hold around him. He's warm, strong, kind, and everything she needs at the moment. She breaks the kiss but does not draw away from him. "Shall I rule Stonebridge by myself?" She asks him in a jest. "Seems an improper thing."
Jarod's heart is pounding fast in his chest as he holds her close. He kisses her neck, briefly, when he leaves her lips. And tries to nip her ear. Which is kind of his thing. It makes him chuckle, at least. Though her question makes his stop laughing. He doesn't let her go, but he looks past her, out at the dark waves in the distance. "I don't know. Probably not, I guess. Perhaps you'll marry Jace, when he's Lord of the Roost. It's a long way off, though." Deep breath, and he looks down at her, meeting her eyes again. "Jaremy's an idiot, you know. You're so beautiful, Iz. And so kind. If I were Jarod Terrick I'd have made you mine the moment you were offered. Even if you weren't offered to me. I'd have *made* you mine, not…" He has to laugh again. "…not pined for Ser Barristan Selmy. I saw him, from afar, when he was wounded by Robert's men. He's not very pretty at all."
The nipping causes her to squirm a little and Isolde flushes deeply in color, her own heart racing. "Jace is a kind and gentle soul…Jarod." She says and then as he gives himself his father's name, she smiles gently and she leans in, her cheek brushing his as she places a soft kiss to the front of his ear. "You are more your father's son than a name could ever give. We are here now…and you give me much, Jarod. Especially hope and warmth. It is a hard thing to find anywhere else." There is a tightening of her arms as she presses her palms to is back. "Jaremy wishes for these things because he is scared of what his father will place on his shoulders. Since we were young, he has always been a Kingsguard. He was allowed to dream…no man cornered or harmed is a pretty thing, Jarod." She draws back to meet his gaze, never letting him go. Her eyes slip from his to his lips and then back up again. She leans in slowly, tilting her head as she brushes the curl of a soft smile to his mouth.
"We all of us dream, Iz…" Jarod murmurs, and then he stops talking, kissing her again. "Aye…we're here now…" And his lips find hers again. And again. His hands moving down the curve of her waist, then up again. He loosens the cloak he loaned her from her shoulders, idly allowing it to fall to the floor of the cave. And then…he stops. Pulling his mouth up from her neck but otherwise sort of freezing, arms still around her, but not nearly as handsy. "Jaremy. Fuck. Oh…fuck me so much…" He's swearing to himself rather than her.
She makes a soft sound as he kisses along her neck and heat rushes her cheeks. Isolde closes her eyes, tilting her head and shivering as the cloak falls away. Her heart rushes and just as she places a few kisses to the side of his head, she stills. Eyes open and she remains utterly still for a moment as he swears. Swallowing, her head bows and she lifts a hand to the side of his neck, calmly trying to soothe him as she doesn't press the intimacy anymore. "I am sorry, Jarod. I can go.." She offers faintly, brows furrowing.
"No, Seven, Iz…I'm sorry, I'm really, really sorry…I didn't mean…I mean, sorry I swore, I didn't mean it like…that." Though that might've been very much on his mind earlier. Jarod sighs heavily. "We…umm…Iz, I love my brother. He's not perfect and he *is* an idiot, but I love him. And he's never…Jaremy's never taken anything from me. He never would. And I've never…I've never been able to take anything that was his. Except now. You're still promised to him and I…that wouldn't be right. Would it?"
Her green eyes lift to his as he hesitates and Isolde flushes in embarrassment. "I am promised to him..yes.." She says softly. There is really not much to say in that case and her hand falls from his neck to rest at his chest lightly, brushing at the fabric there before she swallows and says. "And if he goes to the Kingsguard?" She asks of him before adding softly. "We can still hold each other right? Because that is not taking anything from him." She would rather not lose that and she lets her eyes search his face for a time before they drift askance, the fingers at his chest plucking more nervously now.
"If he goes then…you'll be married to some other lord, eventually," Jarod says with a shrug. A point he'd sort of danced around before. "Maybe my other brother. Maybe somebody my father helps choose. Or your mother picks. And your mother would never…she'd never accept you matched with a Rivers, anymore than she loved Gedeon. Even if our children would be Tordanes. Your father wouldn't it, either." He takes her hands in his, quite gently, though he guides them back to her side. "We should…umm…we should be getting back to the castle, I think. It's dark. I can walk you."
"Right.." Isolde says. There is a simpleness to her answer, one that hides a lot of unsaid things. Embarrassed, she is at least that and it shows now in the way she moves. She lifts one of her hands to her cheek, brushing back her hair and hooking it behind her ear in that fidgeting motion she has become accustomed to. There is a faint belated nod from her and then she steps to the side and reaches down for the cloak, rolling it up and over her arm. "We should gather everything up.." She can't look at him, her eyes feel like they are watering and her cheeks growing with their warmth. SHe blinks a few times and focuses on the items that he brought for them, moving then on automatic to begin to set them away.
Jarod is embarrassed as well, and also trying very hard not to show it, though he can never really hide his emotions well at all. He doesn't look at her either as he collects his own cloak, and helps her settle his picnic basket, and all his provisions which he'd clearly worked quite a bit at to prepare for this little date. When they're done he'll leave the caves, offering his arm to her to help her climb down the rocks. It is dark now.
There is something lost in these moments and she feels it keenly. Isolde is quiet, now with everything packed she reaches down to use his arm to lower herself down. Slender fingers grip ahold of him for a moment longer than is truly needed before she lets go. The walk is one again in silence and with the basket in her grasp, she looks down to it, to the path her feet will walk. There is a long exhale at a few points, her head lifting and looking forward. There is the occasional glance from the corner of her eye but only when she feels he won't spot her doing it.
Jarod walks her back to the castle in silence. To the servant's entry by the kitchen, and escape hatch to mischief he's probably used more times than he can count. For his own part, he'll wander around to the front of the castle and enter at the gates when he leaves her. Hardly unusual for a young man of the Roost to be returning from some adventure or other in the night. "Good night," he murmurs before he departs, leaning over to kiss her cheek, if she'll allow. Then he'll let her go.
She allows him thus and as he turns to go, she moves after him, drawing from the coil of her loosely braided hair the ribbon that helps hold it. Slender and worn, it's fraying at the edges, the woven green that it is. "Wait.." Isolde begs of him and then curls the ribbon with one hand about her fingers. She extends it then to him, letting one edge shift and flap in the wind. There is a smile behind the offer as well, faint as it is. And if he takes it, she will lean in to give him a kiss back upon his cheek before turning to go.
"Much prettier than Barristan Selmy…" Jarod mutters as he takes the ribbon, a poor attempt at a joke, twining it around his big fingers. He can't help but smile when she kisses him, though his green eyes are decidedly sad. Deep breath, and he turns on his heel and turns to take the path around the castle.