|An Epilogue to Song|
|Summary:||Amelia confronts Jaremy on her feelings for him, and what futures are possible.|
|Related Logs:||Following the events of Tournament of Song|
The evening of the Competition of Song has come to near its end, and the noble camps have quieted down to a few scattered embers glowing inside of the tents and campfires just outside. Slightly overcast, small pockets of clouds steal away the light reflected off of the grass from the stars. Jaremy sits alone on the side of his bed, reading from a book by candlelight. Though he appears to be tiring, his interest in the book has kept him up, and the mug of wine beside his bed has yet to be finished.
Coming in through the flap, after announcement, is Amelia. She waits until the sworn has closed it before she steps forward a couple steps and speaks up. "I've been about the camp, waiting for quiet. I did not want to make myself known at your tent until I was sure your entourage had gone for the evening." She still has the flute clamped in her hands, clutched to her chest.
"My entourage?" Jaremy replies, eyebrow lifting. Sensing impending conversation, he slides a purple ribbon into place between the pages and closes the heavy book. Rising from his bed, he steps over to his strongbox and opens it, setting the precious book inside. "On the way into the tower I came across the Banefort sisters and directed them in. Aside from making sure they made it back to the tent-grounds, only a few of the sisters stayed behind for the reception. I did not." He steps over to Amelia, grinning broadly. "You…however…did something amazing tonight, congratulations, Amelia. I'm very proud of you."
"Ah." Amelia lofts her brow, and that seems to be all her contribution to the idea of the women who accompanied him in. There is obviously more but she stills her tongue for the moment. Eyes drift to the strongbox and she holds the flute out. "Please? Can you keep this for me? I've been accosted once and had to flee. I can think of no other place to keep this wretched thing." She half-smiles and dips her head to him as he approaches. "I sang. It is nothing different. I am still under the shock that I won, though. How, will forever remain a mystery. The judges knew what I was and what I have been involved in."
"Don't overthink it." Jaremy nods, taking the flute from her gingerly, gazing over it with a broad smile as he turns to set it carefully inside of the strong box, wrapping it in protective cloth. "What you should be thinking about is that this flute is not only likely to provide you with enough coin to do whatever you want, and that it likely came from the personal collection of Lady Valda Tordane herself." He scoffs. "Imagine that. Gold from the woman that wanted you arrested over silver, aye?"
"Hard not to overthink it, Jaremy," she sighs. Her eyes finally lift after he takes the flute and she watches him place it within the strongbox. "Thank you, Young Lord." One of the few times she has used the term, so likely it retains more than just passing thanks. "I, heh, had considered that. But I choose to see it as my actions paying dividends. I'm not sure I want to get rid of it, though. Maybe if.. I need to leave town I would take it with me. just to prove that I am indeed the same woman who won this tournament's competition of song." She clears her throat, the woman still holding her place in the tent and looking back to the ground. "So was your company to your liking tonight, Ser Jaremy?"
The strong box is locked and left in place. From one knee, Jaremy rises and steps over to the table, pouring Amelia a mug of wine. "Was my company to my liking…" He repeats the question, lifting his gaze to her face, searching it for her intent. "…I'm sure it likely caused a little bit of attention, Amelia, but they're a bannerhouse sworn to Lannister, and I was merely providing them with a place to spot from until they could find the Crakehalls. They were polite, though I think the youngest who couldn't be more than sixteen was giving me eyes, and one of the older sisters was giving them to Jarod." He chuckles softly.
Amelia has her hair to hide behind. But from what he can see, she has a clouded look to her. There is concern there, and not all of it is just for him. Its personal. Eyes search the grass beneath her feet before she looks up to the wine. Each time she has been so personable. This time its distinctly different and she seems to be deferring to his judgment on her own emotions shown. Its the careful read of a women, playing her hand to the man's. "It caused a stir." She folds her hands before her, head still dipped. "Is this one of the women that Lord Jerold is seeking to grant for you? Any of them?"
"Gods I couldn't see how, they've only just arrived." Jaremy replies, collecting his wine and lowering himself into one of the chairs. "My father said that would be a concern of his after the tourney, and with the way things have been going and the gossip, I doubt this would be the sort of place he'd even be able to find someone interested in fording the bullshit to talk of marrying some daughter to me." He swirls the wine in his mug, frowning. "Amelia, you just won an event at a tourney and won a dragon bone flute no less. You should be celebrating, not worrying. Damn it, girl, have a drink with me. I'll toast…to you." He raises the glass.
Amelia does not say anything right away. She just steps over to the goblet and lifts it. She tips her glass to his and sips at it. Gingerly. The wine is taken from her lips by her thumb while she cup is held close. "The flute was a gracious prize. I'm happy for it. But it is material posessions. I cannot keep it. I cannot even play it. If I were to keep it in my room, it would just be stolen. It is similar to all that silver.. What good is such a prize if I cannot do anything with it?" She shakes her head. "I learned long ago that while material items are beautiful to look upon and imagine, I could do nothing with them." She clears her throat, still standing. She glances up to him before finally sitting out of sheer nerves. "They may have just arrived, but it makes me wonder. The daughters are of marrying age, Jaremy. They would also provide an adantage to your family. I cannot think this has been overlooked by your father." She finally looks up to him.
Jaremy take a sip from the goblet, his attempts to steer the conversation in the direction of wine and celebration thoroughly defeated. The mug is set down and he raises his arms to comb his hair back behind his head, watching her place in the chair across from him. "I…" He opens his mouth and then closes it, flattening his lips. He opens it again, shoulders rising. "…honestly there's no telling at this point, Amelia. We're not in decline as a house, but we are in danger of being just that. He may consider it, though they may be here in consideration of others. My meeting them was pure happenstance, to be honest." He pauses, tilting his head to watch her from a slightly different angle. "You're angry."
Amelia sits there looking rather official. Her eyes have drawn back to her goblet while he speaks. She turns it in her fingers and watches the way the wine moves inside. After his last observation, the woman takes a few long moments to consider. In the end, there is a very subtle shake to her head. "I am not." She swallows her pride and looks up to him. Its all over her face: She is fighting to say this, but there is nothing but a robustly honest effort behind the words. She means them despite the conflict. "Stop deluding yourself, Jaremy. Stop this! Your house is in decline. To utter anything else is just ignorant lies. The Naylands are on the verge of controlling your treasury! And you act like this is nothing! How dare you!" She stills herself for a moment, composing her thoughts. when the words come again, they are more controlled. "I am angry. With you. We both know ..why." She is fighting back the emotion, doing her best to calm her words. "Does this concern you?" A poignant question.
"We're not in decline, Amelia. We're in a rough spot and if the Naylands encroach any further past the formerly Tordane borders and nothing is done about it, then we're on the decline, but with my two little brothers and both Lucienne and I unwed, we're not on the decline. We've just yet to act." Jaremy reaches to the side of his head, fingertips slipping through his hair to scratch softly. His hand lowers to the table, resting agaisnt the lacquered wood as he watches her in silence. "Of course it concerns me, Amelia. Of course it does. I'm not acting like this is nothing, though. I've got some plans in mind that should shore up some of this hostility."
Amelia listens to all of it, one hand holding to the golet tighter. She sighs in the end and looks back down. The woman rises suddenly from her chair and turns her back to him. "I am not talking of plans, Jaremy. Stop talking to me as a whore. I have.. I am.." Her voice fades and she finds her steel again as she turns to him. A haughty breath later, the woman sips at her cup for courage. "You live in delusion, Jaremy. You stand for causes and are ignoring reality. When the Naylands take Stonebrige, they can tax you into nothing. Then where will you be? You marriages will be for pity and you will be gambling for something like a transfer of power of your home to another land! You cannot sit here and tell me you are biding your time! You tell me you care about your people." She steps towards him and stops right at his feet, looking down to him. "You are to rule us, m'Lord. Are you to default us or fight for us?"
"I'm not talking to you like you're a whore, Amelia." Jaremy's eyes grow grim, staring up at her. She's definitely grabbed his attention. He stands, putting a hand on her shoulder, though the warning look in his eye is simple. She's lit a fire under him. "My father is to rule, though he's given me some room and I'm taking it. I've been directing attention to the Crakehalls and have spent the last few nights at Mallister's side. I would never default my people, any of them."
"You are," Amelia says back to his first. "You speak of your plans and such as if you are trying to rescue me. Stop it. I am a woman, godsdamnit." She wants to put more force behind it, shrugging out of his hand, her eyes looking hurt. "You know better than that. I do not need a rescue." She looks angry, like she might strike him across the face. "I need you and you treat me like I am something else. Do not. You may as well slap me around and force yourself upon me with those words of promise." She glowers at him and steps back. "Given you some room? To do what? Wait more?" She sips at the wine again, this time a larger sip. "Marry, Jaremy. You must. Soon." Her chin lifts, the woman holding her own as best she can despite her words. It shakes, even as she speaks. "What can these girls provide?"
Jaremy keeps his voice low, lest their entire conversation be broadcast across the whole of the camp. "Damn it, Amelia, we've been very good to each other for a long, long time and this isn't about saving. You know I'd no sooner force myself upon you than I would take my hand to you. That's not who you and I are, aye? My father has given me room to get involved, and I aim to." He reaches for his mug, taking a long pull from the wine. "Amelia, don't do this. I'm not going to have this conversation with you about who I should and should not marry. I may be a fool but I'll at least take your feelings into account."
Amelia watches his reply with a terse expression. She takes a step forward to him once more, the woman close to his face. "Why not? Because I am forcing you to think about painful moments? About Isolde and what you left behind?" Even mentioning her name seems to hurt her. The woman's eyes well. The abominable strength there is shoved forward desite the obvious, malicious pain she is cutting into herself. The woman's movements are not hard to discern, either. Its a struggle not to reach out for him. She is obviously fighting herself. The next words are chosen carefully: "And.. my feelings. What are they, Jaremy?" Her eyes are as cold as she can make them despite the emotion she is fighting so hard against.
"Amelia it's been less than a few weeks, and I've had Isolde's husband to be in this very tent speaking to me about how great he'll be to her and how that should put me at ease. It's hard to keep a wound clean while it keeps getting rubbed at. I could care less for having to focus on the painful moments, but at the same time I'm also trying to keep them from being a fog on everything else I've got to pay attention to." Jaremy murmurs, shaking his head from side to side. It's a rough situation, but he's come so far and has to manage more than he's had to in the last month than he has since he was a squire. He locks his eyes onto hers, letting an uncomfortable silence fall over their conversation. "Amelia…" He replies. "…do you have feelings?"
Amelia narrows her eyes while he responds. In the end, her face lifts nearly to his and looks up to his eyes. "And you think Rickart Nayland gives a shit about your wounds or how bad your heart aches? Who is the one who gets fucked here and who is the one who wants to fight?" Her whole face fights tooth and nail for composure, her eyes betraying the hurt while her lips fight the battle against sobs. But through it all her voice remains strong. Her face moves away a touch before she answers the last. Her heart races as her eyes lock onto his. "I do." She's feeling brave. For all Jaremy knows the last time this happened the man was sent away. "And I will no longer deny this. But nor will I stand between you and what must be done, Jaremy." She is doing her best to hold this together, eyes defiant to the emotion wanting to rip her apart beneath that flickers on her face.
"For the last few times you've visited, Amelia, you've told me that I have to marry, and though you don't seem to like the thought of it, you continue to tell me to do so." Jaremy frowns, resting his hand on her upper arm, squeezing softly. "You are so, so dear to me, Amelia. I don't know what's going to happen, but you and I both know what my father is going to arrange. These are things I cannot steer away from." He brushes a hand through her hair, brushing against her cheek. "One thing I do know is that I am going to find a way to put you forward in this world. I am going to find a way to put you on a path where you are free to make more of your own decisions. Ever since that night you were in chains I've realized that this is what I've wanted to do."
Amelia just stands there, doing her best to constrol herself while Jaremy touches her. A rogue tear manages its escape to his hand when he touches her cheek, though. Seeing her this upset about something is probably one of the few times its happened.. the other being at Rygar's appearance. "I don't need to be put forward, Jaremy," she whispers. "When you say that, you call me a whore. Stop. Please." Its an obvious stab to her and it hurts like hell. He's calling attention to her position. "I want what I deserve. Nothing more. Nothing less. And you're damned right I don't like the thought of you marrying." She sniffs, lifting her chin to him. "Not unless its to someone I approve of." Especially her. "Your father is right to give you direction. Just.." She clamps her jaw. "I've been chaste with you for a reason. Trying to be myself, as a woman, with you has been the hardest thing I've ever done. To try and be what I am not.. I want many things terribly. But my place is not for one to make demands. All I will ask of you is to keep us safe, Jaremy."
"And I will. I promise. I swear." Jaremy replies, pulling Amelia into a deep, comfortable hug. His chin rests on her shoulder, allowing him to quiet some as he brushes a hand over her back to calm her. "I waited too long, hoping that I could get another five days or years or months before these obligations came to vest. I can't ignore them anymore, and this tourney has taught me much about that." He squeezes again. "I've been chaste with you for a reason as well. Even despite all that we drank that night." He chuckles weakly, pulling back to hold her at each of her shoulders. He tries to hold her gaze. "What you are, Amelia, is something remarkable, and knowing that you believe in me brings me hope that I will be able to keep you safe."
Amelia collapses into the hug as if it were something like a drink after the longest trek through the driest desert. She takes to him and wraps both arms around him, burying her face into the crook of his neck even while one hand holds to her goblet. Especially as he mentions being chaste with her. She shakes, sobbing once into his shoulder while she thinks on his words. When he pushes her back, the woman's make-up is a mess suddenly. Its like the act of his just irrevocably changed her. "I believe in your in so many ways, m'Lord," she whispers, not willing to meet his eyes. "I- Jaremy.." She wipes at her cheeks and hides behind the goblet as best she can. "You'll take a wife. What of me? I can be what you want from me. I am used to that. Just tell me how I can.. serve you."
"I don't want your service." Jaremy replies, his eyebrows lowering into a saddened expression. "I've never wanted your service. That's not…the way things should be, it's not the way that I think. You know this." He shakes his head from side to side, eyes tilting to the ground as he tries to put his words together. He squeezes her arm softly as his words come. "Come back to the Roost with us. We'll figure out something from there. I won't put you to do something against your will, understand that."
Amelia listens, looking more and more hurt as he speaks. It takes all her strength to set the goblet downand rise back up. Her face is held as high as she can given what she just heard. "I will go back to the Roost, Jaremy." She trembles under his hold. "But I will not stay. I cannot do this to myself any longer. Or to you." The woman looks like she might just shake herself into a sobbing mess at any moment. Its the smallest voice from the most crushed heart. "Give me my flute back, please."
Jaremy stares at her in silence, eyes lowering sadly as she makes her announcement. She will return…but she will not stay. This earns a sigh from the young lord's lips, but it's one that he cannot avoid. He turns, stepping quietly over to the strongbox. The combination is set and it is opened, and the flute is easily retrieved. The flute is offered to her with a quiet reverence. "This has been cruel to you. This is my fault…" He shakes his head. "I don't know what else I can do. Amelia, I need you to understand that I failed Isolde, and in doing so you're right…I've endangered the region. Now I've made you cry." He frowns faintly. "What I am trying to be, at this moment, especially with your heart, is careful."
She watches him turn for the strongbox and by the time he turns back around, the woman is openly crying. Its silent, though. She dare not embarass him outside the tent so. Amelia lifts the hood of her cloak shakily and reaches for the flute. Its symbolic for her and her leaking eyes stay on it. "No Jaremy. You have been cruel." The woman nearly chokes on the words and struggles to meet his eyes. "I-" she gasps, fighting herself for composure. "I have tried to tell you. You will not listen." Its whispered so that the pain doesn't echo through the whole camp. "You failed Isolde for the same reason I am crying. Because you are not bold. You fail us. I don't just weep for me, m'Lord." She bows before him. "I weep for us all. Goodbye, Jaremy." The woman rises, her whole face a trainwreck of crushed emotions before she steps back, ready to turn and go. Hesitating just a moment.
"Amelia." Jaremy says quietly, trying to give her a moment to pause. "What are you suggesting that I do? You and I cannot be wed, there is very little I can do to change that. It's not about being bold, Amelia, it's that I was born into an obligation and that the simple fact of who I marry, and when, affects the lives of all in Terrick's Roost." He steps after her, putting his hand on her arm, trying to stop her. "It's not that I have not listened, because I clearly have. I understand what you want, Amelia. You are not, or never have been a whore to me, but this does not change the fact that I have to become the one day lord of Terrick's Roost."
The whore turns her bowed head back towards him, eyes low. She says nothing while he speaks. "I never asked you to marry me, Jaremy. Given what the perception is, you could never consider it." Her words are quiet. "You constantly remind me that I can be brought from what I am. That means you still think of me as for what I am in my position. You claim to think with your heart and all you can consider that I want is to be a whore no longer." She purses her lips and nods. "I do not deny this. But Jaremy?" She looks up to him, her eyes bloodshot with the tears that streak her cheeks. "You cannot even admit that I might be more to you than a warm body. Maybe a whore that rose to your side. No emotions. No feeling. No heart. I have never asked anything of your family. What you have given me is a kindness. But I have seen how you look upon me these mornings. I do not ask that you profess your love or take my hand. I asked only that you admit that I could be more to you than what I am." She steps back away from him. "Tell me something to prove me wrong." Its almost a dare, the woman's tears still falling unimpeded.
"You constantly remind me that I would never wish it upon anyone to live the life that you do, Amelia. When I talk to you about finding the coin to perhaps run the Rockcliff, it's not because I see you as a whore, it's because I'm trying to offer you a direction other than that which you truly hate." Jaremy replies, frowing softly. His eyebrows knit together as he takes in a slow breath, resetting the clock. "You could be more to me than what I am, Amelia. You aren't a warm body in a bed and you've never been just a conversation. It's true. I hold myself reserved, though, because I've already broken one heart this month, and I fear I don't have the stomach to break another." He reaches for her wrist, trying to stay her a little. "Though you must understand my position. You must understand what I am and what it is that I have to do. There is a time for boldness and there is a time for reserve, and many decisions that I must make."
The woman stands there, doing her best not to flee the tent forever. Her flute is still held to her heart with one hand but the free hand has its wrist taken and she doesn't move any farther. The whole arm is tense and shaking. There is no denying the struggle in her. "If that is what you wish of me than stop bringing it up to me when I am trying to tell you that I care for you, Jaremy. Stop pointing out that I am a whore." Her jaw trembles. It just gets worse as he speaks, though. Her face seems to be collapsing and losing the battle for control in the face of what he tells her. "I understand," she mouthes, unable to find her voice. "Better than you know." She swallows before stepping back to him and crushing in to wrap her arms around him. "Thank you," Amelia whimpers. "That's all I needed." Arms turn and wrap as tight as they can around his shoulders.
Jaremy wraps an arm around her side, pressing his hand to the center of her back as he leans into the hug, squeezing her tightly. "I spend so many hours the lord and so few hours as Jaremy lately, that it seems my every answer sides to my station." He squeezes again, pulling back softly from her to lower his head against her temple. There he rests before pulling away, trying to find her eyes. He opens his mouth, not sure what else to say, though he does manage to finally speak. "…and thank you, Amelia. You've always been kind to me, even when I've deserved it the least."
Amelia lingers in his arms for a few long moments, the cries slowly ceasing. Pulling away from him to lean to his temple, she uses her cloak to dab at her red, damp eyes. but when he looks back to her eyes finally, he'll find her happy. There's once again hope inside. Maybe she really was about to walk away from him and the family forever.. Her free hand lifts and she straightens his shirt while wiping away the wet spots of her tears. "Then let me be your opposite, Jaremy," she says quietly. "When you see me, relax and realize that I am not here for your titles or money. Or any alliance. I am just here for you. If you need to talk about what goes on with nobility, I am here for that, too. But mostly I just want to be with you." She swallows and looks to his eyes as she steps the last few inches to nearly lean herself against him. Her forehead dips forward to lean to his chin, her hazel eyes closing. "It is not your fault. It is not mine. You are a man and have bigger concerns than I. But I am this way to you because.. Because I worry, dear heart. I worry about you and what is to come."
"As do I, Amelia, there's much to come, especially with all of this worry of Greyjoy reprisal. I am keeping my eyes open and my mind on many of these things." Jaremy stands straight and tall before her, folding his arms across his chest. He spares a glances back to the candle beside the bed, taking note of its difference in size and the fact that it's not yet caught anything on fire. He turns back to her, reaching a hand to her cheek to dry it with his thumb. "Now now…no more tears, okay Amelia? For the moment all is well, you're a champion of song, and the road is bright ahead."
Amelia lifts her head from its lean to his and she nods, eyes downcast. "I do not intend to get in the way, Jaremy. I will help how I can or offer counsel if required. But I simply wish to be apart of your life in more than just a friendly greeting and whispered word." A smile ticks onto her face and she looks up to him. Her eyes are still red but she is no longer crying. That hope is still there. "I enjoy waking up beside you. But I know that such things cannot last as you must marry another. I have been 'the other woman' for many years now. I can live with that as long as I can have a little bit of you for myself. I care not for the song or the flute.. But we shall see. We still must talk when this tournament is over, Jaremy. Maybe. I have discussed the matter with someone and have.. narrowd my options down. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. It, ah, may be the case here."
"But what of your own husband one day, Amelia?" Jaremy counters, taking a step back and offering her a discerning look. "Let us be honest. I must marry, and with that marriage I must bear children and those children will need a mother. What you propose will not last forever. In truth, it would be a dishonor to my children's mother should it last beyond their birth. We would, again, be at this impasse. Truly, don't you wish one day to have children of your own, a husband?"
No. Please don't step away. Amelia watches his reaction and her expression falls towards the ground. The brittle hope that was just finding solid ground seems to erode before his eyes. "Being honest? You know my chances of finding a husband that would not brutalize or degrade me. It is a dishonor to marry women such as myself." Even despite her song and the words, she says the next: "I will see myself die alone before I subject myself to that. There will be no children, it seems. I wish for both. It is a hope against hope, though. This choice I made seems to have damned me." She lifts the flute from her heart and deposits it in her cloak pocket as if it were anything else. "So you would see anything ceased with me when heirs are born?"
Jaremy locks eyes with Amelia, letting out a quiet sigh that forces his long hair away from his lips. His hands raise, peeling back the long hair to rest behind his ears. A stern look of concentration threads through his jaw as he leans back against the table, watching her from across the small distance between them. "You sell yourself far short, Amelia. I have mind to put coin behind your purchase of the Rockcliff and end the trade there, instead turning it into something you can entertain with that…" he nods to the flute. "…from. You would also advise my father and I in matters of smallfolk, which would take you out of the profession you hate, keep our friendship warm, and give you opportunity to build a life that would bear both children and a husband that would take honor to your position."
When she lifts her gaze to him, the stare is more blank and emotionless than he is probably used to seeing from her. Perhaps startlingly so. "I cannot use a flute. I do not even want this thing. I can do nothing with it except give it to you to keep or get killed for it. As for advising.." She blinks a few times and looks away from him. "Jaremy, your father blew up when he found out you stood up for a commoner like you did. He would have defaced you if you had explain who I was. You believe I am capable of much more. That is your right, Jaremy. But I know how whores are treated elsewhere. I know the stigma that follows them all too well." Her eyes slide back to him. "Please do not tell me anymore that you are going to have me advise you and your father officially. Damn you for even touching my hopes. It will never happen for the same reason that I will never find a husband to honor me. Saying so only helps you sleep at night but ultimately does nothing." Its not that she is hurt, which she is obviously once more, so much that she is just hitting a break point. She is not the same woman she was three weeks ago. She no longer dresses in public as a whore does. She is taking less customers. She's even showing negative emotions.
A sigh escapes Jaremy's lips as he deflates a little, frowning. "Amelia. If you were proprietor of the Rockcliff inn, you would not be a whore and therefore the stigma would not follow you. At least not when you are appointed as an…" He stops himself, waving in the air between them with one hand. "…Amelia, care for you as I do, I cannot do something that compromises my honor to the wife that I must take. It's for these very reasons that I've not been your customer since we've become friends. I'm not exactly understanding why you see so much darkness in your future when a lord of the land is offering you a way to step free of things that you hate so much. It's an offer that few receive."
"The stigma would follow me, Jaremy. I am not exactly an unknown person in this town. Say, as you do, that I might take the Rockcliff and send the whores elsewhere? I will still have been a whore. Men wonder why there are now no whores at the Rockcliff? Well it is because the owner used to be one. Well that woman with the dirty mouth who runs it just ran off a lot of her business because now there are no women to degrade and defile. The Rockcliff would close and I would have little choice but to whore again. Be real, Jaremy. This is my life. Do not pretend I have not thought about this. When I accepted coin for my body the first time, it was over for me." Amelia holds teh same coldly neutral look to her face. All that hope is just gone. She stands in front of him as a servant would, though her words hold more protest than any of a true servant. "You want to honor your wife. I understand that. You've told me that you have feelings for me but you must be a husband. I.. cannot be upset about that. It is not fair. But I see darkness with your plan because I have had more promises broken to me in nine years than you could ever fathom in your life. If it is too good to be true, it is. And when a Lord tells a whore that he will overstep his father to hire her on as an advisor to the court? You make promises you cannot keep. And you are not doing that to just anyone, Jaremy." Some more of that now-controleld emotion creepys back into her voice with frustration and hurt. "You are bold faced lying to a woman that cares about you more than you will know. I will take such a position should it be approved, but I hold my hopes low. I have very few options."
"Then you have nothing to lose by waiting a while longer while I make the necessary inquiries." Jaremy replies, downing the last of his mug's contents. The conversation has turned tense once again, and the need for the bite of alcohol has crept into his demeanor. "Not everything has gone fair for me either." He simply states, frowning. "Look, Amelia, what more can I offer you at this time than a plan? You've known me for years well enough to have at least entertained the possibility that this is what I would have said. Allow me time to speak with my father and inquire as to the possibilities before you write this entirely off as failure." He stones a little, face growing tight and stern. "I care deeply for you, yes, but this cannot be. Isolde cannot be. Stonebridge cannot be. The joust would not be. There are many things that cannot be. There are, however, things that can be, and I am looking into them for you. That, is something I can give you."
"Things have not gone fairly for you, Jaremy? Really?" He just said that to a whore. She just stares back at him, expecting a cat to spring forth from his mouth next. "I've known you well enough the last four years to know better than to make me promises you cannot keep, Jaremy. If you think you can make this happen, I may take the position. I promised Isolde I would look after you as best I could." Amelia sighs and looks to the grass between them. "I will take my risks on my own then, Ser Jaremy. I apologize for forcing this issue upon you. I hope it does not reflect poorly on my status within your family." She's just closing right up, her tone becoming more official. "As for my concern to needing to speak with you, pay it no mind. It is not longer important." She dips her head to him. "By your leave?" she requests, stepping back.
"We haven't forced anything on each other, Amelia. In truth, we've not even left the tourney and we've yet to see how the Naylands will make the announcement of the wedding. Give these things time, Amelia. Just give these things time. You've earned some coin and you can keep your posessions safe with our guards or in my strongbox. Though I ask you to be patient." He nods slowly to her. "By my leave."
Amelia listens, face still blank. "I will keep my possessions, like my emotions, someplace else. Close to my heart and not in your tent, Ser Jaremy." There is a terrific sadness to the words, though she does not seem to regret them. "Do what you must do, m'Lord." She curtsies to him without eye contact, turns and walks right out of the tent without another sound.
As the last of the tent-flap sways into place, Jaremy slumps down into his chair with a grunt. "Fucking hells…" He sighs under his breath. Tired, exhausted, and thorougly ready to go home to Terrick's Roost, the young noble reaches for his pitcher and pours himself another goblet. Drinking heavily from it, he lifts his feet to rest on the padding of the chair across from him and looks to the grass, lost in his thoughts.