|An Unwelcome Reminder|
|Summary:||Marvish and Ceinlys cross paths again.. after five years.|
|Army Camp - Seagard|
|The temporary encampment outside Seagard|
|January 31st 289 A.L.|
"The one charm of the past is that it is the past."
~ Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
The spirits in Seagard this evening range from high to low and everything in between, following the defeat of the Ironborn. the losses were far from catastrophic, for the Houses of the Riverlands.. but not to be ignored, either. And the death of Lord Jason remains at the forefront of many a martial - and political - mind. Preparations must be made, grief allowed for sparingly as the threads of the tapestry are unwoven and redone.
For her part, the Lady Ceinlys seems disinterested in that particular matter. For now. Having ridden here in the entourage of her Lady, who was beset by a great desire to sit by the bed of her gravely injured husband - if only to reassure herself that her wealth and station remain intact - the dark-haired Haigh has found herself with a moment of quiet, amidst the organised chaos. Still attired in her riding habit, with her long tresses left loose over her shoulders and back, she strolls through the campsite of the army unhindered, with a single attendant shadowing her steps. Dinstinctly unenthusiastic, Brigid still has a firm grasp of her duty. And if her mistress desires a short walk in the dusk air to find some warmed strongwine, who is she to argue?
Approaching the main pavillion at the heart of the field that lies just beyond the gates of the harbor town, Ceinlys looses a soft sigh, looking relieved to see several pitchers, barely touched, waiting on the grand table. It appears to have been abandoned, for now; all the captains and knights having business elsewhere and little further need for planning today. Thank the Seven. Because she really needs a drink.
Many a foot has churned the earth, packed down the stub grass, and lifted dust to the air. This evening is not so diffrent, perhaps a little more quiet then the norm what with all those that need meet, plot and plan. Oddly of the Heronhurst, Marvish stands idle in the pavillion looking off across the encampments through a row pitched tent and piles of supply. His mind is distant up till the point a figure crosses his vision that is not laden with metal and leather, being that of the Lady Ceinlys. The young lord squints faintly and turns for a moment his attention to the clay vessle sitting idle in his hand for so long still brimming with drink. He waits, judges first her mood from a distance, then what she is about and doing, before making his approach.
To her credit, despite having failed to notice the presence of the Young Lord until the last moment, just as her booted feet encounter the rug spread across the ground, Ceinlys falters only for a splitsecond, vivid blue eyes meeting his darker once with a fractional, fleeting widening to convey her surprise. But then.. this is an army camp. And he is a knight and heir. She ought to have expected it, really.
Over the years, save an occasional glimpse - most recently at the council of captains in Stonebridge - the young lady has carefully avoided crossing paths with.. well, any of the Erenfords, if she can help it. Emylie? Well, she never posed much of a threat. But Marvish is another matter. And the raven-haired lady in waiting hasn't even her sharp-tongued elder brother here to distract the brother of her late husband. Drawing and loosing a slow breath, tilting her jaw up just a touch as if in defiance of any supposed unease, she strides for the table briskly. And, though it plainly pains her to do so.. propriety demands she recognise him.
"..Ser Marvish." Ceinlys' tone is as soft spoken as it ever was, though perhaps with a more dangerous edge, nowadays. She is a girl no longer. Not the teenager he knew, anyway. Dipping a slight curtsey, with one shoulder and hand brought forward while the other is swept gracefully back, she flits her blue eyes downward, before returning to an appraisal of his features as she straightens again. Moment of truth. What will he do?
"Lady, Erenford." He responds giving pregnant pause between the title and house name returning the respectful greeting with a thicker meaning and a faint bow as fits her station. He presses onward with word if not expression, that remains controlled for the time being his cards held close to the chest. "It has been far to quiet, lacking small feet rushing upon the cobbles. Are you well?"
"Your own feet are not particularly large, Ser." She counters, with a glance to his boots. It's not true, of course. But if he wants to play.. "So surely things are not so terribly quiet." With that, she averts her gaze from him, settling it instead upon the nearest pitcher and a carved goblet. Keeping out of the way, her handmaiden shuffles just over the threshold of the tent, hands clasped, and shrewd little eyes moving between the pair. Brigid, well into her middle years, remembers the Young Lord, as he is now. And everything that his words imply. But it's not her place to intervene. Her mistress is quite capable.
Successfully disguising the faint tremble to her hands, the young lady pours herself a healthy amount of strongwine as she continues. "I am perfectly well, thank you, Ser. Delightfully so, in fact." The manner she affects makes it difficult to ascertain whether this is true. She always was a good actress, though. At last with a drink in hand, she takes a long pull of it before she ventures a glance back toward Marvish. "And you? Your kin?" Aron is the one with the habit of blatant insult. Ceinlys? She treads more carefully.
"Delightfully?" He questions in nearly flat tones, making subtle mockery of the light of the word. He exhales heavily, sips at his own drink before he settles that upon the corner of the table and glances back to his own squire lingering in the wings. With a small gesture he sends the narrow man off to do as he pleases, and returns his attention to Ceinlys. "You would know well how I am, and my kin were you to also tread the halls behind those small feet. Do I wound you so quick with my presence, seeking only to remind you that the warmth of the hearth still waits upon you. You need only return to it." Another deliberate pause and his eyes flick to the spirits he left off moments ago, "I have never been on par with speaking my mind clearly, Emmy would be poking fun at me by now I am sure were she present." Is he lowering the wall by making light, and letting her inside, or baiting the traps. That is to be seen.
Gently swirling her wine in its cup, her other arm crossed over her midsection in perhaps an unthinkingly defensive posture, despite the nonchalant impression, the young lady listens to this seemingly friendly invitation in silence. At first. She makes no attempt to quell the slow smirk that tugs at the corner of her lips; transforming generally pretty features into something darker and more predatory. Honestly? She looks like her brother, when she does that. All ebon mane and glacial eyes. "..and therein, Ser, lies the confusion. You mistake my polite enquiry for genuine concern." Ceinlys remains unmoving, both unwilling to retreat from him, much as she might wish to, and.. honestly, not quite daring to push any tenuous advantage she may have, by closing the distance.
"Why would I bring her back there now? When your kin have done naught but ignore us and speculate over the death of my husband? No." Shaking her head gently, she lowers her eyes, taking another sip of her wine before continuing. "..I have no reason to care for any of you. And yes. It unsettles me to see you here, if you must know." Well, at least that's a rare, shining moment of truth. As for the rest of it, that's anybodys guess. He'll have to try harder than that to bait this particular creature. Still.. she doesn't seem in a hurry to take her leave, either. Perhaps the veiled contest in their words is soothing to her, in a way.
"I am not enough then." He offers raising up, back straight, chin held firm as to take the slight as one might accept a blow owed. "It is simple fact that my brother is gone, nothing done can carry him back into our gaze. Kin will always seek to blame someone when a life is cut short and taken from them. It only makes the perception worse that you seem to have fled, when you are welcome. It was not so long you looked to me as a comfort." He shakes his head gently as his posture relaxes once more and his fingers seek out his drink. "Such as it is." He takes a single step closer, watching her face with care as he speaks. "I leave again, to take up arms soon enough. Would it be so bitter to soften your heart to me for an hour in a day. I did not forget my promise to watch over you, I did not break my word for what it is worth. I do not desire to… trouble you, but I will be gone again from sight, if not mind."
This time, for all that she seems, for a long moment, to be spellbound by the words falling so easily from Marvish's lips, Ceinlys remembers herself, and just who it is she speaks with and offers only a bitter laugh in response. "I am most certainly not welcome any longer. If I ever truly were. Five years have passed, Marvish." She foregoes the formality of his title, seeing as they are speaking plainly. And those azure eyes are level upon his own, darkening to match her temper as it smoulders. In this way, she is unlike Aron. She can keep her ire in check. Especially when it seems someone is deliberately trying to provoke it. "Five years." She says again. "..I no longer require any manner of comfort. And your eyes have long since wandered elsewhere." Watching him step closer, indecision briefly flickers across her expression. But she stubbornly holds her ground.
"My heart softens for no man. Least of all an Erenford. Find someone else to make you feel of worth. I hear those types of women follow such camps in droves." A vague gesture of her goblet-holding hand indicates the seedier corner of the temporary residence of the army.. where the whores are known to congregate. "..or perhaps your tastes are different to those of your brother." Ouch. Everyone knows how Diarmud died, after all.
"You aim your arrows low, and miss your mark." His head dips gently, "Five long years, it has been and I seek only a kind word as I have in the past. Perhaps a smile. I suppose your laughter will do, as venomed as it is. I hope you will forgive my being so forward Cein… I had hoped." He starts that thought watching her expression as it dances across a range of emotion, then waves it off. "It does not matter what I had hoped, but to answer. My eyes rarely wander, much to the dismay of my father who has expected desires of me. You know me better then that, or perhaps you knew me better then that." His temper remains calm as the flow of the river, though it may leave him in dark humor and brooding later as is known of his temperment. The barb speaking of his brother and her late husband is responded to gently, "Diarmud loved you deeply, for the short time you had. He spoke of you warmly to me, though that is of little matter now. His flaws, are no diffrent then the flaws of anyone. If you still are angry with him, I would ask. Please. He has passed, let better memories be carried with you. Anger is to carry an ember with the desire to cast it at someone, you are burned."
"I know you no longer." The statement is spoken simply, and with a layer of ice to dust the surface as she reins in her rising temper as smoothly as if it had never existed. "And your eyes ought to wander. Wander far. Stop casting your gaze to the past, just because the here and now does not please you as you had hoped."
Oddly enough, it's the talk of diarmud that really seems to strike a nerve, for all her practiced guile. Ceinlys pauses, setting her jaw before trusting herself to speak again; this time lowering her tone to a conspiratorial murmur. "He did not love me." Who's she trying to convince? Marvish or her conscience? "..and if he did? Well, look where it got him." That slight is intended for him alone, barely even apparent to anyone outside even if they should overhear. Searching his eyes, likely hoping for some reaction, no matterhow small - Ceinlys lives for reaction, after all - the young lady moves only to reaffirm her grasp upon her goblet when she speaks further, fingertips tight upon the smoothly carved form. "Do not speak to me of anger as if you know it. And do not seek to toy with me, Marvish. You do not wish me as your enemy." Still keeping her velvet tone even, she draws a deep lungful of air, as if suddenly remembering such a thing exists, and withdraws a step from him, glancing over a shoulder toward her chaperone briefly. "..leave me be. And maintain your distance from Hafwen. I will not see her returned to the halls of your kind. Not after all that has passed. All the damage that has been done."
His answer is a long time coming, his drink now half gone is once more set aside and his left hand drawn to the small of his back as he stands, attentive to her words for the time being. His reaction, a faint and soft smile, without guile or wrath, "I would not be your enemy, Ceinlys. If it is the burden of your hate I must bear, so be it. I better understand how you feel, even if I find nothing in it but sorrow." He follows suit in taking a step back, again bowing lightly. So casual, polite and passive… till that expression fades and he turns half away to prepare to pour himself another drink. "Humph, perhaps I will simply take back what is mine." Spoken in a soft tone low enough not to be heard by anyone much closer then a few steps, and in that instance his peaceful expression hardens, jaw tightens, but then it is gone again as the cup fills.
Considering herself dismissed - and offering no argument - Ceinlys likewise puts her back toward Marvish. One who knows her well would realise that the mask of calm indifference set upon her delicate features is just that. A deception, to camouflage the fury lingering beneath. But it's an admirably convincing disguise. Still with her wine in hand, the young lady strides toward the entryway once again, pausing only long enough to offer a swift curtsey. How he infuriates her.. and yet she still follows the rules of the courtier. That's all she has, now.
Gods help him if that ever changes.
A last remark drifts back into the pavillion, even as the noblewoman and her chaperone depart. "..it was never yours." And then she's gone, lost to the dark of nightfall and the flickering light of lanterns and campfires.