|Summary:||Locke and Laurel go about servanty things, and there is a lot of blushing.|
|Kingsgrove, a village of about 1000 people, and nearby the forest and orchards from which it takes its name. Braeburn House, the seat of House Groves, is nearby.|
|Wed Jun 06, 289|
Hidden away from sight near the servants' entrance is a line strung for laundry to be hung on, the bright summer sun beating down on the clothes already carefully pinned to it. They are recognizably a lady's things, delicate and feminine and just the right fit for one Lady Rosanna Groves. They are not currently all up yet, however, as there is still a servant there standing at the line with a basket of laundry hitched on one well-rounded hip. Laurel Rhodes is not delicate by any means, ruddy skin and meat on her bones with a strength to her muscle by years of looking after others. Her clothing is worn but still servicable, a plain dress fitted with an apron as she goes about her midday chores with a soft humming to herself.
It seems that today is chore day with the Groves, and though Ser Nicodemus has been schooling him in the ways of fighting and chivalry, it seems the powers of the House also have it dictated, that Locke is to serve as Nicodeums' Yeoman and footman.. and well you get the picture. As it stands, the Youth is coming out, slightly damp from scrubbing at items of war, and now he's sloshing his way with a basket of clothes towards the line. A sniff, as he does come close to where the lady's maid is hard at work. His basket goes down, with a thunk-and he turns his head to look over at Laurel, eyes to hips first, before he is scanning up to look at the delicate things drying in the air.
"Them yours?" the lad asks, before he's reaching down for a black shirt. Going to pin it up. "Fine things.."
"No, why would they be mine?" Laurel questions, or at least starts to question as she shifts her basket to turn to the squire. She flushes at seeing him, a splotchy red that is slower to fade than it was to appear. "No, uhm, they're the—Lady Rosanna's. I am her maid." She offers a hesitant smile, unsure.
"Cause you're a fine lady, and lady's who are fine should have fine things." OOOh yeaah. Locke is smooth or so he believes himself. Still, he offers a grin as she flushes and he looks down to his basket once the shirt is up, going to pull up another black shirt, and wringing it out. "You got a name, Lady Rosanna's maid?" Locke asks with a raise of his brows. He is so trying to seem cool as his knight, but he might be failing, a little.
Perhaps Laurel won't notice, as she is too busy turning bright red at the squire's words, stammering out a correction of, "No, I'm—I'm not a lady—. I mean, uhm, I'm—I'm just a maid." She even looks down at herself, as if she may have forgotten and put on Rosanna's dress this morning instead of her own. She does not look back up at the squire as she answers, "La—Laurel. Rhodes, uhm."
Perhaps, or so Locke will pray that he does seem as awesome as he is trying to be right now. Still there's a glance over to Laurel as he keeps his boyish grin up and fresh. "Well then, Laurel, I'm Locke." he adds "Locke Septswood. I'm Ser Nicodemus' squire." because the poor boy does think everyone knows Nicodemus here. There could be some, that do not. "An this be his laundry." he adds, as a pair of black pants are hung. A frown, Locke, as if he is sensing a pattern. "Came with 'em from all over."
"The laundry?" Laurel questions, managing to get the words out without stammering either of them even as she steals a quick glance at the teenager and his charming smile. "I met him. Nico—Ser Nicodemus. He seems—nice."
"The ones I be hanging up." Locke states as yet another black article of clothing is slung up and pinned in place with a grunt. "He is." Locke adds, before he is looking back towards Laurel. "Saved my life he did." There, bragging on his knight-something the young man does well. And he glances back to Laurel. "How long have you been with Lady Rosanna?"
"Two years. My father—he—and then we had to settle here," explains (??) Laurel with a hitch of breath, almost like a sigh as she thinks on something that distracts her for a moment. But then she's pulling back to herself with a jerk, re-hitching her basket higher on her hip as she glances again to Locke only to catch his look and sharply tear her gaze away with a blush. "How long have you, uhm, been with Locke?" She may or may not have heard about pirates from a railing Rosanna, but if she has, she gives no indication.
"Well, I've been with myself, my whole life." He states with a grin to the nervous girl's question. And he is moving to hang up another set of black clothing, followed by a muted - bugger me - before he is glancing back at the young lady. APPRECIATIVELY. "I've been with Ser Nic, since he found me uh.. Well a while back." he adds. "He came over after the big war here, an then he got me from a fighting pit…An I've been with him since an went to the Iron Isles with him." Locke adds before looking back. "That sounds bout right."
Laurel is all sorts of tongue-tied today, only noticing her mistake where the squire responds to it and flushing all the more for it. "Oh, yes, I meant—I meant him, sorry. I, uh, a fighting pit?" she questions instead, trying to turn the conversation.
"Yeah." Locke states "You know where blokes fight 'n' kill one another." noted as if it is the most common thing in the world. Still there's a glance over to Laurel, and it seems Nicodemus' laundry is forgotten as he comes over to help. reaching to hold the basket for the maid. "Lemme." he says briefly. "I was taken by slavers in th' Bay out by the Sisters, an sold down to the stepstones, where folks made me fight. That's where I met Nic." Like all squires meet their knights.
Laurel relinquishes the basket reluctantly, not because she wishes to hold it but because it seems to lessen the space between them as she fetches a piece of clothing from it quickly and nervously before turning back to the line. "Did you—fight anyone?" The words at least hold quite a bit of interest to them.
Locke seems not to know the protocols of standing too close to a girl. Because, despite of Laurel's ill ease-Locke is content to remain close. As to her question he nods quickly. "I did. Boys my age an men older." though there is no boast there as he did with talking on Nicodemus.
"Did you kill anyone?" Laurel questions as she moves to retrieve more, though she pauses while facing Locke to actually look at him for a moment. Those crystal clear blue eyes show a mixture of awe and fear, interest and repulsion at the idea.
Locke is quiet as he stares back at Laurel for a moment. "I have." he answers after amoment. Again no boyish pride at the thought of death, or bringing it to someone. Rather He seems a little cold for it, before he is coughing. "But yeah, he saved me from all that." he adds, trying to change the topic of questioning.
Laurel's skin turns bright red yet again, twisting quickly away from Locke to hurry and hang the clothing on the line. "That was—good of him. He should have. It was, uhm, what was right," she assures him quickly.
"It was." he says with a brief smile, as she twists and turns to hang things on the line, being persistent, Locke moves so he can look at her again. "So." he says, before coughing and clearing his throat. "Despite how excitin' that all was. How came your family to servin' the Groves? They always been here? Or, Your Da, serve Lord Campbell in th' war?" Yes, nosey Locke trying to learn more about blushing girl.
"No, but he was—My dad is a knight," Laurel answers as she shakes her head, clipping the laundry onto the line with more attentiveness than necessary. "He fought for Robe—King Robert, though. As a hedge knight. And then when—Well, my mom got a job here, working for the Groveses and asked for a position for me."
"Yeah?" Locke asks, an air of excitement there in the question as he looks back towards Laurel. basket shifted as he comes to stand in closer. Totally not creepy by the way. "What was his shield like? Did he like being a knight?" A tilt of his head there before he nods, falling quiet for a moment. "Well, that's good. Y' know. An now he serves as a Groves Knight? Or jus?" Curious. Yes. "Tell me Laurel Rhodes." and now totally on another corner of conversation.. "Wht'd you want to be had you, your druthers?"
There is a flinch of emotional pain across Laurel's expression at the question, explaining quietly, "No, he—Lost his arm. The maester, he had to remove it." She lifts her hand to her own arm to mark the spot, almost to shoulder. "He was a tourney knight, uhm, his shield was quartered white and brown with a branch of ivy." She catches her lower lip in between her teeth at the question, mumbling an answer lowly before she questions, "You? You always want to be, uhm, a knight?"
There's a pause before he is looking to her arm, and there he sets down the basket, as he does indeed come in close so as to trail a finger at her shoulder. "Oh." Locke says with a frown. "I'm sorry, Laurel." he says softly. "I didn't mean t' pry on yer old man." he adds before there is a slight pause, before he shrugs. "Not really, I wanted to be a sailor."
Laurel's brows knit together at that, blushing all the harder at that touch and stammering more as she tries to question, "Why—why would, you—I mean, a sailor?"
Locke remains and keeps his hand there, because he totally knows what he is doing. REALLY he's flustering some poor girl. As for a sailor? He shakes his head there for a moment. "I just wanted to be what I was. I learned a trade..But now I want to be a knight." he adds beaming. "So I can do what's right in the world." a beat before it comes. "Just like Ser Nic."
Really, Laurel cannot turn any redder, but she finally jerks away from the touch in a totally smooth, not awkward way at all. "I'm—sure you'll—You'll make a, uhm, fine knight," she answers, all stumbly as she puts space between them by moving further down the line to hang a shift.
"And I am sure, you'll make a fine lady in waiting, as you go." Locke comments with a big nod there. Before he is moving to go and reach for his own clothes, lest they just sit in the damp and mildew. Another pair of black pants, those these seem to be more underthings than not, are hung with pride. "You flush prettily, Laurel Rhodes." Locke comments, before whistling. "An yer ten times prettier any girl on the stepstones." A fine compliment to Locke's mind, which in reality means very little.
"Oh, uhm, uh," Laurel starts, speechless at such compliments before she bites down hard on her lower lip. "Thank you," is almost a whisper. But then she is hurrying to throw up the last of the clothes in the basket, just a spare dress of hers and a spare shift, before she is hitching it back on her hip. She stutters out a, "Bye."
"Bye liddle bird!" Locke calls out cheerily enough as he goes back to hanging Nicodemus' very dark wardrobe.