|As The Lady Wishes|
|Summary:||Ser Rygar and Lady Evangeline meet within Tordane Tower some hours before the Masked Ball to discuss stipulations.|
|The entrance to the tower opens into a larger common room for receiving guests. Effort has been made to bring warmth and light to the interior, as well. Rugs have been hung from the stone walls as well as placed on the floor to bring at a welcoming ambiance. There is a large table with several chairs off to the left of the door, a cooking hearth against the back wall, and a wooden staircase that leads up. An antechamber behind the stairs is where the servants live and bed down.|
|Saturday, the 3rd day of December|
A Terrick in Tordane Tower is misplaced enough, though one already half-dressed even more so. The Lady of the Roost is already in swirling green and blue skirts, light enough to mimic seafoam in her movements, neck dripping with pearls. The dark mass of curls, shot through with silver, has been caught back by her seashell mask, pushed away to reveal her features to any who care to see. A guard watches her carefully even after she has already stated her purpose to see Ser Rygar, and she does not move under his watch, posture straight as steel and not prone to idle movements.
The event of the masked ball is still several hours in the future, the afternoon sun is bright and high overhead outside, and Ser Rygar Nayland steps in, out of said sunshine. Following the stern knight is a young man wearing a padded jack embroidered with the Nayland harpy on one breast, most likely his squire. There is nothing of costume about the Nayland as Rygar's keen blue eye fixes upon the source of his summons, and purposeful strides carry him toward, "Lady Terrick," to whom he offers the appropriate sharp bow in greeting.
Lady Evangeline's drop into a soft curtsy is smooth, practiced, the exact measured precision for return to Rygar's. "Ser Rygar Nayland," she greets, her tone clear and simple as she rises with fingers still buried in the sea of her skirts. "It is a pleasure to see you again. Perhaps we may have a word in private?"
Rygar rises from his bow, expression still severe. A short nod acknowledges the request, and the knight turns aside to instruct his squire, "Begin preparations, I shall be along in due course." The squire nods, murmers a "Yes, Ser," and is well schooled enough to give Lady Evangeline a short bow before withdrawing upstairs. With that, Rygar's cold eye returns to the Terrick lady. "If the common hall is not to your standards, I would suggest the Gardens. The Lady's reputation should be undamaged by such."
Given the squire's position, Evangeline does not even bother to return more than a polite nod towards the retreating boy before her attention focuses sharply on the conversation. "I am quite certain that any such meeting will do somewhat to my reputation, but you can be assured that such as it is, it is above repute," she says steadily, the slightest curve to her brow. "The Gardens have been much lauded of Tordane Tower, however." There is a slip of her dark gaze towards the man's arm, as if judging his type whether he would be one to offer or take offense at her taking it.
Rygar is of the type that he elects to allow for a less personal distance, even while observing etiquette. His upturned palm is offered to the lady, in lieu of his arm. "If the Lady is determined to commit so grave an offense as to pass words with a gentleman of Nayland blood, the gardens it shall be," he comments with a sharp sniff that doesn;t soften his countenance.
The pass of humor through Evangeline's gaze is a quick thing at Rygar's offering or perhaps his words, brightening the darkness briefly as she slips her small hand on to his. Her skin has already started to thin, more paper than soft supple silk of youth, fingers bare bones but steel rather than brittle. "We have been remitted to offer something in the way of diplomacy. Perhaps my petition to my husband will be that much more sound if he knows that I can meet with your family and not come away scathed, as my son seems to think," she muses quietly.
Rygar inclines his head briefly at the Lady's quip, while the two nobles step out of the tower and toward the verdant of garden outside. Rygar does not prompt Evangeline to speak further, he simply looks to the Lady beside him, and waits.
Such a reserved lady does not spill her secrets so easily, and it is only until Evangeline is sure that they are far enough away from prying ears that she states slowly, "Your words leave much to be wondered for intent, my lord. Will you be sending him to the Wall?"
If his prior words left much to be desired, Rygar's present answer is all brevity: "Yes, Lady." He draws a short breath through the nose, and adds, "That was Your Ladyship's object in writing unto me, was it not? It shall be as you have requested, thus: as the Lady wishes."
"I said much in the writing, but yes, my lord," Evangeline answers in a quiet note, unable to quite help the rush of a relieved breath that escapes from her. After a moment, her fingers slide to brush a subtly soft caress against Rygar's wrist as she questions, "And what is the cost of such a grant of compassion?"
"The cost will be made known in due time, Lady." Rygar does not squeeze her hand in comfort as Evangeline is so visibly relieved, nor does the knight's expression flicker at the light touch to his wrist. "At present, your Ladyship must content herself knowing that he shall go to the Wall. There will be no announcement made until after he is gone, so as to thwart those who might interfere."
Evangeline has had much practice observing that which works or does not, and she does not try to push the physical affection any further without an ellicited reaction from the knight. Instead, she sketches a polite nod, replying carefully, "There are some limits I should warn, to what I will do for one child. I will not endager the life of my others for Jaremy."
"Whatever the Terricks may think of me and mine, Lady, I am neither a fool, nor a fiend," Rygar returns with a short sniff, as his cold blue eye holds Evangeline's. "When your debt comes due, it shall be well within the price a mother would be willing to pay for the life of a son."
Bruce enters the Tordane Tower's gardens with another familiar face in Stonebridge, that of Guardsman Stefan, Bruce's second in command. The two appear to be talking about tower defences or something similar, judging by the amount they are gesturing to the structure around them.
"I want proof, that you have sent Jaremy to the Wall. You say you are no fiend, but you are a smart enough man to dispatch a source of trouble and still take payment," Evangeline says, the dark gaze a steady thing where it meets Rygar's without flinching. That is, until the sound of other men coming upon them reaches her, and her fingers twitch as if she is about to jerk away.
Rygar's stiff fingers tighten briefly to dissuade Evangeline's jerk away. After all, nothing untoward appears at work between the two. "Then the Lady shall have her proof," he voices, words pointed, despite their low volume. "And thereafter perhaps learn that I am a man who has never once broken my word." the Nayland's chilly blue regard passes from Evangeline slowly to the sound of approaching men, naming, "Ser Bruce Longbough and his second," for evangelines benefit, before they have come into easy earshot.
"Well, much as I agree with you, Stef, the chances of that are slim. We've not enough coin in the larder for that. Were it up to me, you'd all have mail shirts and such as well, but as I said… Stonebridge is not Riverrun." Bruce answers an unheard comment from Stefan with a bit of a frown and a shrug, before he notices those two present. The pair of them stop in their tracks and offer bows to Evangeline. "M'lady. Ser Rygar. If we're interrupting, we can be off."
Evangeline's curtsy is a soft sway of seaform green skirts, light as the pattern swishes to mimic the ocean. Her hair is caught back with a mask of seashells, the dark mass free for the party later. "No, ser. Ser Rygar has been kind enough to invite me to see the Gardens while we are in Stonebridge," she answers simply.
"Ser Longbough," Rygar greets Bruce evenly, giving the Captain of the Guard a short dip of his head in acknowledgment. "Once your own preparations are in order, I would speak with you. Shall we say one hour?"
Bruce dips his head in lieu of his whole body as a response. "Aye, that will do, Ser Rygar. Until then. M'lady." Another dip and he turns about to go back where he came from, Stefan at his side.
"Ser Longbough," Evangeline echoes politely, tipping her chin only this time in an almost regal gesture her steady gaze slides after Bruce to watch him retreat.
Rygar inclines his head once to Bruce and a second time to Stefan as the Captain and his guardsman withdraw. Drawing another breath, he looks again to the Lady beside him. "The Lady will pardon the interruption, I am sure." With that, he returns to their prior discussion. "Will that be sufficient to satisfy your Ladyship's conscience?"
"Yes, thank you, ser. I will not keep you from your business any longer than necessary," Evangeline answers, carefully quiet and almost a murmur as she finally slides her hand from Rygar's with intent rather than the jerky reaction of before. "The only thing further I would ask is if I may see my son before I leave? I will have little opportunity after you send him."
"Instruction has been left with the jailor to admit Your Ladyship," Rygar answers with a curt nod, turning to face Evangeline fully as she withdraws her hand. "You will understand, I am sure, that the door cannot be opened, but you may see and speak with him, otherwise." A deep, sharp bow from the waist is given, before the kngiht takes his leave. throughout the gesture, his keen blue regard does not slip from evangeline's. "Good day, Lady Terrick."
Gratitude softens Evangeline's own darkness, politeness warming to affection as she sinks into a slow curtsy herself, these gestures wont to show an ample amount of cleavage as she bids lightly, "Good day, Ser Rygar."