|At My Side|
|Summary:||Sarojyn speaks for his people and his heart.|
|Related Logs:||Before the Heart Tree|
|Kells Home - Tall Oaks|
|A modest home if any, dirt floors with some stone work slowly being done appears to have ended at some point. Windows edge each wall and in a corner is tucked a bed for two and opposite it a smaller one. The middle fo the room is a table with four chairs and a hearth near it close enough to warm the beds during the colder seasons. It is a house with simple purpose for those that spend most time outdoors.|
|Wed August 3, 288|
After she had left the Godswood, Sarojyn had stayed behind, remaining in that kneeling position for several long moments. Lips moved, but no words escaped, for none were needed for him to be heard in this matter. Then, with his prayer complete, he rises from his spot and turns to make his way from the woods. It's only then that he notices the rapidly darkening of the clouds and as he begins to follow a few minutes behind her, the smattering of rain begins to be felt through the canopy of the tree's. Footsteps come quicker now, but he doesn't take to a run or jog and when the town square is finally reached, he gives pause. Eyes play to the path that leads to the hall and then to the path that leads to the homes and after but a moment's thinking, he angles down the path to the homes. As he approaches the door to her home, he doesn't seem to mind or notice the fact that his clothing bares witness to the rain, for a hand lifts to knock upon that door before falling away to wait.
Within, Damara is seeing to the shuttering of her windows, white top clinging to her form and hair stuck to her face. She grunts with the pain the shutter gives and tosses a log on the fire quickly to get the flames going, no candles lit yet. "Coming…but a moment.." Turning from the hearth, she strides for the door with bare feet, boots drying near the growing fire. She pulls the door open and looks without. She stops and blinks, stepping back and dipping her head, "My Lord…I am sorry to have kept you." She ushers forth swiftly. "Please, come in from the rain."
When she announces that she'll be there in a moment, Sarojyn remains quiet, hands folded lightly in front of him and when the door finally comes to open, he's offering a slight nod of his head, "I am sorry to intrude, Damara." He does accept her invitation to enter, slipping through the door and into the relative dry atmosphere that the home has to offer. "I know you had intended to take your tea and give way to your thoughts."
"As I usually do and you are not intruding. My Lord, what can I do for you?" She asks. Damara closes the door but remains there a moment, her face worrisome though he may not see. She slips past him to move towards the fire, her hair having been unmade from the braid, falls in waves about her. "Please, dry yourself by the fire..I will see to making you something. I have not wine my lord. I also have some berries that I picked early this morn."
A few steps are taken, enough so that Saro isn't blocking the door and when she closes it and then waves him further in, he does make his way towards the fire, hands lifting to warm the droplets of water off of the skin. "Please, you need not wait on me. There is something that weighs heavily upon my thoughts, Damara, and I have need of your counsel on the matter."
Pausing in her hurry to offer what meager things she has, Damara at the least tends to her tea next to him as he stands at the hearth. As she settles the kettle to the embers with a careful placement. "My Lord, I am ever present to give you what counsel I can. Please.." it is a bid for him to let continue as he will. She steps back, turning to reach upward for the mug, lifting on her toes to do so. Snagging it down as it falls into her hand, she sets it upon the small work table for the food.
It she were to look upon after she had spoken, it would be clearly written upon Saro's features that he's looking for the correct wording. The right way to saying. There's a nod of his head to .. nothing as his eyes come to settle upon the burning embers of the the fire, "I have given much thought to your advice on the topic of my re-marrying, Damara." There's a slight pause, his hands shifting to present the backs of his hands to the warmth, now. "But for all my teachings and all that I am, I find myself at a loss as to how to broach such a topic with the one that I wish."
She is ever patient with him and when he finally speaks, she listens. Damara nods her head, her own gaze resting on the fire as she waits to hear what he has to ask. She expects perhaps he will name off a Frey that he has learned of, or another house that would match well. One she most likely doesn't know. Yet at his last portion, her brows furrow. "You mean how to speak to the woman you have chosen about such a union?" She asks but then draws a breath, continuing faintly, "My Lord, I am not versed in such noble talks..the Maester would be best to speak with you on that but of a Lady's heart..I still know just as little..but she is still a woman. Speak plainly sir, full intentions must never be hidden. Speak gently and when you do speak, think of her in your words so that she be not affronted." She advises.
Like always, Sarojyn listens to what she has to say, his head giving the slightest of nods as a faint smile plays across his lips. "The Maester will be of no help in this particular matter, Damara. I have already thought of speaking with him, but decided against such a matter." He's turning to face her, letting his blue-green eyes fall upon her. The smile that holds his lips is a gentle thing and when he begins to speak, his word have been lowered to a near murmer, though they are still easily heard. "You have always been a loyal servant of Tall Oaks, Damara. But over the past few years, you have become more then that. You have become an advisor, a confidant and my friend." There's a slight pause there, though his eyes never waver from her. "You are someone that I have grown to trust. Someone that I feel comfortable with and most importantly, someone who helps set me at ease. You have every quality that I hold dear to me and I have come to realize over the past little bit that .." A short, quick breath is taken, ".. it is you that I want by my side."
At the mention of not seeking the Maester for such matters, Damara nods and attempts to be of help. Her ear is his and she meets that gaze. A hand slowly lowers to brush at the blouse of her shirt from her trousers. She is not as wet as he, but the feel of the wet wool is making her itch a little. Though as he directs his attention to her in word, she furrows a brow, arching it over her gaze. A slow breath releases and faint tremble runs through her even before is to reach the reveal. The softness of her gaze sharpens and melts away to one of full study upon his person. "My Lord…" It is a shocked voicing, her lips parting as her head dips and searches the floor, hand lifting to curl at the ties of her shirt, pressing them there. "My Lord has need for ties to others…I am a commoner.." She says swiftly. Panic. She shifts, quite cornered where she is as she chances a glance up at him.
There is little doubt that her reactions were to be expected and is no doubt why Saro happened to refuse the offering of tea and berries. And when that reaction comes to be voiced in words, there's a slight shake of his head, "If Tall Oaks has need to be bound to another House, then it shall be through the marriage of my son or daughter, not I." He doesn't shift from his position, not yet. "Yes, a commoner by birth. But noble of heart. A quality to which Tall Oaks was built upon and one that others would be wise to learn, Damara." A hand lifts to smooth through his hair, wiping away the droplets that threatened to fall to his forehead.
"You give me great honor with your words and wishes.." Damara says, feeling herself flush. "I am not learned, nor do I know the laws..I train your falcons. This is not a proper thing for a woman who is to sit at your side. My Lord I would beg of you to find another…I do not honor you." She keeps her gaze lowered, searching the firelit floor where she stands. A long breath escapes her and she blinks, feeling the burn along her eyes. "My Lord..I have accepted my place here…who I am. So should you." She advises him.
"There is no other, Damara, and while you may not be learned or know the laws, that is something that can be fixed." That gaze she casts down to the floor has a soft sigh escaping Saro's lips. His hand lifts, a single finger moving beneath her chin to try and lift her gaze upwards, "There is no other that I would want. The very words you speak only serve to strengthen my desire. Most would rather gain what power they could. Yet, you've been content to be what you are. Never asking for anything more. You would be well for the people of Tall Oaks."
The touch to her chin is something completely unexpected. Damara does not resist as her head lifts and finally her eyes. She keeps still and quiet as she speaks, her green eyes meeting his. A tremble runs through her and she finds herself hard pressed for words. Even after he is done, she remains unmoving, searching his face. A beat more and she says softly, "I have served my Lord for years in the capacity I do now…I do not know how else to. I would be ill fit for it. I have wedded my silence and lonely nights some years ago…I fear, my Lord. I am unfit to love or be loved." She says again, the sancitity of her quiet nights now in peril to the wishes of her Lord. Perhaps not peril, but they will fade.
When her gaze comes to lift, Saro lets his hand fall away, knowing that the touch, as well as the topic, has drawn a somewhat uncomfortable air to things. "I will not lie and say that it would be an easy thing. I care far to much to lead you to believe something that would be false. While there is no law barring such a thing, other Houses might frown upon it." The tone of his words is soft and low still. "I would bid you to try, for I believe you more then fit. You are of the people, Damara, and you would serve them well. And it would be my honor to have such a woman at my side." He does take a half step back, allowing her a little space to breath perhaps.
For her all she would try, Damara can not stop the rush of her heart and she feels herself straining a moment. Breathe. Yes breathe. Her hand rises to rest just at the top of her chest. There is a strained rush of air and she closes her eyes. She sways a moment, head becoming light as she can't quite fill all her lungs. The Lord has brought on a fit with such wishes expressed and she grasps at the counter beside her to stay upright. Blinking a few times, she gives off a gasping sound, hand rising a little higher. Her head turns and her legs start to falter as panic sets in for another reason. She leans back, unintentionally as the room sways.
When her hand comes to the top of her chest, Sarojyn's gaze shifts to one of intent observation and it only takes him a moment to realize that something isn't exactly right. Then there's that gasping sound and when her legs begin to falter and she leans back, he's immediately moving towards her, hands come to grasp lightly upon her arms to ensure that she does not fall. "Damara .. sit. Rest a moment. Please." There's concern within those words, though he doesn't try to force her towards a seat.
She does not fall because of him and Damara's eyes wield about in panic. Her hand grips upon his arm to aid herself. She gasps, choking for air. Her throat only serves to tighten further and she trembles from the fear and exertion even to get a span of air. She can't move, her body rigid from the need for air. She starts to falter though, further as the world tilts and she starts to collapse. A wheeze - there is air. She tries to draw more, but her lungs start to burn.
Sarojyn does not release his grasp of her and when she chokes for that air, he gives a slight shake of his head, feeling a tad bit lost as to what to do. But, he refuses to remain idle and when she doesn't move, he's trying to guide her back to the bed, lifting her if it's so required, so that she can be placed down upon it. "Relax .. breath .." His words trail off, lost to the unknown as he's forced to simply watch.
She needs to do just that, relax. As he lifts her, seting her down, she is reaching for him. Hands grasp of his own and her grip is tenuous, light. The scars there are apparent and she lays back, her head tilting some so that she can heave a breath as hard as she can. It only comes as a broken wheeze. Finally more air begins to fill her lungs, panic subsiding as she slowly eases, relaxing more as she is able to breathe deeply and finally her aching chest rises and falls, pinpricks of stars still rushing over her gaze. She swallows and takes another breath, "My lord…" She whispers.
As he lowers her down and she comes to grip at his, he doesn't shy from the touch. Concern remains within his eyes, growing a little more when she tries to take that breath, but it comes in only a broken wheeze. It's not until air begins to fill her lungs once more that he even begins to breath a soft sigh of relief and when she speaks, there's a slight shake of his head, "Shhh. No words, Damara. Gather your breath. There is nothing as important as that, right now."
Quieting a he bids her, the pain starts to fade from her lungs slowly. Damara offers a gaze to him and she lets moments pass before her eyes close, her voice having more strength, "My Lord…I will be well. Your..words gave me a great start. It stole my breath….it happens when I am…excited." She tries to explain. Her hand still in his, she returns to watching him as lashes open. The Lord beside her, in her home and having spoken as he did nearly has her start again but she focuses on slow calm breaths. "My Lord, you did not mean what you said.."
At the indication and explaination of things, Saro is offering a slight dip of his head towards her, "Then I am sorry that I pressed such a thing upon you, Damara." There is no attempt to extract his hand from hers, nor is there an attempt given to rising from his spot beside her. Eyes remain focused on her and at the last portion of his statement, he gives a short nod, "I did, but do not think of such things right now. I do not wish to see another episode return to you, especially so shortly after the last."
"Well, unless you have another surprise..I should be fine.." Damara says, her gaze not drawing away from his. "I am no Lady…that throne is for someone of better blood than mine." But for the first time he might see actual sorrow in her gaze. She has been well ever since that night she had been tended to. "I have grown cold in my loneliness, my Lord. I never expected to have such affections again, leastwise from you.." It is an explanation. "I know not how to speak to you of such things….and perhaps you may change your mind on the morrow, things are hastily said in the night."
For the first time since her episode, Sarojyn allows the hints of a smile to return to his lips as he gives a shake of his head, "No .. no further surprises this evening." Eyes watch her intently for a moment, perhaps to make sure she is truly well and when she continues, there another shake of his head now. "That throne is for one that I feel is worthy, Damara. For one who will do right by the people of Tall Oaks." Now, there's a shift of his hand, enough to give hers a slight squeeze, "I would see you drawn back to warmth .. and know that they will not change. I did not presume to tell you this so lightly." There's a pause as he cants his head just a touch to the side, "But if it would please you, I will take my leave and speak to you of this tomorrow."
"Sarojyn…." Damara cautions for the first time, finding it hard to say. "Tell me…do you choose me for the asset I am to the people…or to yourself. No warmth comes of duty so much as the wishes of love from another. I do not long for such a heavy stole…but perhaps it would not be so heavy if there were longings from the man who would stand beside me." Her green eyes search his, bidding him not to go by not answering him. The storm outside finally lets out a low rumble and a flash of lighning seers through the shutters.
The use of his actual name has a flash of pleasant surprise crossing his features, one that remains in the form of a warmer smile as Saro gives a slight shake of his head to something that is said. "There is no denying that you would be an asset to both the people and to myself, Damara, but that is not why I would choose you." Now, that hand that is in his is lifted upwards, enough so that his lips can graze the back of it before he's lowering it back down. "I would choose you, because it is you that -I- want. I have, for some time, tried to bring myself to tell you such things."
Damara stares at him as if seeing him anew and beneath a new light. She lets out a slow breath and keeps her words to herself at first. "This is a good thing then…that I not meant only for the people in your request." She looks about, the small home barely lit. There is a tightening of her chest, but she eases slowly through her breathing. Her hand tightens on his, "I am not sure…how such things are to be. As I am myself. No wonder you spoke as you did when I asked of you to wed…" Her eyes open slowly and she meets his gaze. "I think perhaps…you should ask me again on the morrow.." But the brush of his lips still burn their presence against her skin. Part of her clutches to his hand for need of another, but the honorable woman inside says to push him away.
That smile warms a touch before turning to the hints of a grin as Sarojyn murmers, "I am afraid my request was selfish in nature, Damara. It just happens that the people would benefit from my selfish want." There is a nod of his head, an understanding of what she speaks and when the smile returns, it's comes with a faint sigh, "When you spoke of me wedding another, it was .. hard to think of such a thing." Again, her hand is lifted to his lips, the lightest brush of his lips being offered before he's lowering it and releasing it. "Once more, though, I shall heed your advice and will take my leave, though I will seek you out on the morrow."
She is silent for what he says. Damara does not allow him to release her hand, she holds it yet. Slowly she pushes herself up and watches him. Feet settle to the floor before him and finally she releases his hand. She studies him in the dim light, her hand lifting to very hesitantly brush her fingers to his cheek. She draws them up to rest near his forehead and she leans in, kissing him lightly. She draws back only a little to look down at him from where she sits. "My Lord may rest here if the rain is too harsh…" She looks to the smaller bed against the wall close to them. "I suspect the heart wood told you to speak as you have.." She whispers.
When she does not immediately release his hand, Sarojyn remains where he is, eyes settled upon her and offering nothing further in the way of words. When she finally does release his hand, only to then lift it to brush fingers to his cheek, he's tilting just a bit into the touch as a sigh escapes his lips. Then, as she leans in to brush that light kiss to him, his eyes close for the moment that it lasts and as she draws away, they open to once more settle upon her, though they do then follow her gaze to the second bed. There they rest and when he finally looks back to her, he's giving a slow nod of his head, "I would like that .." The smile returns, followed by the faint murmer, "It told me to simply follow my heart."
At his acceptance, there is no turning back and Damara meets his gaze unwavering. "The Gods often speak to us when we most need it…" Her voice trails and she doesn't touch him again, she sits, watching as to see what he will say next. There is a measure of uncertainty, the Mistress lost to what to do. Finally her gaze dips and she looks to her thighs. "Long has it been since I have touched a man or been touched….forgive me reservations. It is only matched more so by the fact that you are my Lord." That seems then to unsettle her once more, brows furrowing.
To her words, Sarojyn is offering a slight nod of his head and a soft, "That is why they are Gods and why we pray to them. To seek out their guideance when it is needed most." Then, as her head dips down and she looks at her thighs, he's listening to what she says and those words have his hands moving to her cheeks as he leans in to brush a soft kiss to her forehead, "I would place no such demands upon you, Damara. Let us simply sit and enjoy the evening. Tomorrow, we can speak further of thing."
The touch again is something forgotten and unexpected. It brings Damara's gaze up quickly and makes her tense. The brush of his lips soothes her some and she lets out a long breath. "As you wish, my Lord." She says quietly, sitting at the edge of her bed. And for the moment, she is at a loss of what to do. Her throat still somewhat constricted, she is trying to continue to relax. Her eyes look to him as he remains so close to her. "We should both rest my Lord…" She makes a half motion to the other bed that was her sons.
There's no further move to touch her after Sarojyn kisses her forehead and when she sits there, unsure of what to do or say, he's simply watching her for a moment, seeing her in somewhat of a new light. When she finally mentions rest and then motions to the second bed, his eyes play in that direction as he begins to rise. "You are right. We should." Now, a couple of steps are taken towards it, though he does cast a look towards her, "Rest well, Damara. Until the morrow."