|Bad Boys Get All the Ladies|
|Summary:||The ladies are taken back to the bandits' lair. Panic, commiseration, and distraction commence.|
|Date:||June 1, 2012|
|Related Logs:||Following A Wonderful Day For a Picnic|
|Bandit Hole — Wilderness|
|It is less of a cave than a hovel of earth that has collapsed into the ground, large enough for the group of women to cower together and stretch their legs a little. The taller women will have to stoop to move around beneath the packed earthen ceiling. In the back a trickle of water drips from a bed of rock, turning the earth around it into gloppy mud, but providing something to drink. The bandits are ever on patrol at the mouth of the cave, quick to strike if the ladies get too lippy, loud, or simply because they feel like it.|
|June 1, 289|
Ducking into the cave, Muirenn first ensures that the elderly Septa has the driest spot the girl can find. "Sit here Septa."
The elderly lady glares worriedly at Muirenn and scolds softly, her tart voice quavering "And *what* do you think you were doing Muirenn Jillian Rose Mallister! Always, I have told you that a true lady is demure and silent…and now look at your poor face."
Heaving a sigh the teenager closes her eyes, "I know Septa.." she replies patiently. Still stooped over as her height is a great disadvantage she looks around and sits down in a more damp spot, but one that is next to her Septa. "I am sorry Mistress Dania." The girl looks incredibly guilty.
The travel there and now this, she stoops to enter and she ducks her head a little more than is needed to keep her hair from getting dirty. Salt water and road dust is one thing, because they can be washed off this is something else entirely. She draws her hands in towards her chest and tries desperately not to touch anything that is part of the room. She is quiet for a long time the healers resolve is starting to crack. She looks at the brackish water, the mud at the back of the room and then the dirt floor and ceiling. "There is nothing you can do, you did not do this. Just keep in mind what I said before you speak out again." Her hands are shaking so she folds her arms against her chest. Slowly on a dry spot she lowers herself to the ground and stays to the back. She is careful to try and keep her chemise between herself and the dirt.
Anais is quiet as she takes in the cave where they'll be staying for the next unforeseeable amount of time, finding herself a spot at the edge of the muddy spot where the water trickles in. Once there, she draws her knees up to her chest and sets her brow on them. It's time to have a talk with her stomach about how they're not going to be vomiting until they get home.
Cordelya has walked into their little hiding hole with all of the others, fairly well aware where they have gone due to poorly tying her blindfold, but it doesn't help them at all. She settles down against the dirty wall with Tiaryn, clinging close to her good cousin and sinking to the side…
Rosanna is small enough to not have to stoop, at least, and she finds some bit of muddy spot to sit with Day. She is trembling quietly to herself, her face stained with tears. Eventually, she is that person who has to whisper, "What if they touch us?"
"Truly, I did not think they would associate Septa or yourself with me…but you are quite right Mistress Dania." The teenager pulls up her knees and eases her aching head down carefully, her non-injured cheek pressed to the tattered chemise. There is still a fair amount of material left and Muirenn offers "Would you care for some extra to wipe..er..cover your hands with?" She gives a soft sniff, but her nose is clogged and the ache makes her imagine it is threatening to bleed again.
Lucienne still has her blindfold, and is worrying the torn strip of fabric around her hand as a bandage, then unwrapping it, and re-wrapping it repeatedly. "Shhhh," she says to Rosanna, her chosen spot on the floor right next to the Groves lady. "Don't say that."
Whatever response is made to Roslyn at first is stifled behind Anais' knees, though when she raises her head once more, she seems to have herself under control. "If it gets to that point, we will have much bigger things to worry about," she says quietly. "So long as they think they can make a profit, they won't touch us. If one of them tries before it's evident that no one is coming with a ransom, then make noise. Call for the leader's attention. I think he'll try to stop them. At least while there's a profit to be made and it's less trouble than otherwise."
"They could do that to any of the septa's and the hand maidens." Dania points out. Then the optimist part of her raises its head. "I would not worry lady, you are worth much to your family they will not harm your maidenhead. Just focus on the gods and getting out of here." She says in a soft voice. She is sitting very stiffly. "I also would not use the area near the water for anything but drinking hopefully we will all not get sick off it. I am not sure how decent the water is."
"Why not?" Rosanna says miserably to Lucienne. "They might." Her lip quivers, although Anais's answer is perhaps a bit more reassuring. Of course, Dania's sad truth about the value of her septa is — not as much.
Lucienne scowls, not so much at Rosanna as at Rosanna's miserable response. She draws her knees up too, and curls her arms around them whilst she starts to brood. This whole situation is ridiculous, and must surely be someone's fault.
Cherise has both legs tucked in against her abdomen, her chemise coating the limbs with both arms wrapped around them like a young child might. "We should pray our captors are not that dimwitted." She tells the group, sporting her strawberry red bruise swelling on the side of her face.
Cordelya offers in a quiet, cracked voice, though her northern accent is somewhat unmistakable. "…Indeed. Our…our value will be significantly less than it is now, if we are touched. We just need to be quiet and calm. The men will come for us… they'll pay, or save us… they fought off an entire fleet of Iron born… some foolish bandits they can take as well." She mutters flatly, trying to keep up her hopes. She can't curl her knees up against her chest, a bit too much tummy for that now, so she tucks her legs off to the side and hugs her arms over her belly.
"We just have to stay calm," Anais says, though it seems as much to herself as anything else. As she speaks, her words fall into a practiced cadence: something drilled into her early and often. "Cooperate as much as possible. Bide our time. Try to establish a connection. Play to an outcome that suits both parties." She closes her eyes, setting her cheek on her knees. "And if escape becomes possible, then run. But only if you're ready to die if you fail."
"Use this for your nose." Dania hands over the blindfold to Muirenn. "Please Lady. Thank you for the kind offer but you may need them for your nose or if anyone is having their monthly." When and if the blindfold is taken she goes back to holding her arms close against her chest. "That they will, they will come for you. And Lady Anais, is right. If there is nothing in two days. Then we will figure something out to get out of here."
Rosanna takes this in for a long moment, curling her legs up against her chest. "My father would pay the same," she claims quietly.
"Our men will be here well before two days go by," Lucienne predicts in a peevish whisper at Dania's uttering. "I doubt they'll bring gold, but there'll be plenty of steel."
Cordelya sinks to the side, and while she'd like to be up and terrified, she's bodily exhausted. She'll end up passing out against Tiaryn's shoulder, even if she is scared. The body will take what it needs, and she falls into silence and sleep.
Septa Waldsteinia says calmly "No one will be touching the girls first." Turning to Muirenn, she wraps a wrinkled arm around the young woman. "If you begin to feel like coughing little one, let me know." Not, the Mother help her, that she could do much about it for the Mallister's healing satchel is gone.
Nodding slightly, Muirenn mmmhmms to her Septa. Eyes close as she mmhmms to Dania "If they have been hiding out here they probably have been drinking this water." Her eyes open and she takes Dania's blindfold and rips some of the lace up, stuffing the pieces into her nose to stop the bleeding. "You are right." Mumbling around the cotton, she grins at Lucienne "Likely they will show up with both." It feels wrong to complain about her head, and so she just leans against her Septa.
"That's what Lord Tywin would do," Anais sighs softly to Lucienne's words. "But I doubt he'd be overly concerned with getting us back. More with making a message out of bandits."
Lucienne says nothing in return for the mention of the Westerlands lord, snapping her jaw closed and going back to her brooding.
"But what if they hear them coming?" Rosanna whispers to the possibility of their men bringing steel. "Or see them? They'll just kill us."
"They're disgruntled that is for certain. These are not Charlton peasants." Cherise comments, curling into her own hovel as her handmaiden sits beside her.
Her brow furrowed in a pained frown, Muirenn closes her eyes. For now, to her attentive Septa, the young woman's breathing is soft and steady without any of the worrisome sound of of a cold creeping in. Without opening her eyes she says quietly, calmly "Lady Rosanna, it is not appropriate to borrow trouble. It is not productive and only breeds fear when a lady must be at her strongest of heart."
Lucienne is drawn to whisper once more by Rosanna's question. "If the Terrick boys botch this too," she menaces under her breath, pure ice flashing in her dark eyes.
"Then we run," Anais answers Rosanna. "If it's fight or die, then we fight." She ignores Cherise's commentary on the bandits, reaching up to rub the heel of her hand at her eyes before finally looking to Rosanna. "We're going to survive this, Rosanna," she says quietly, trying to put as much confidence as she can in the words. "We survived the reavers. We'll survive this."
"Give the Terrick boys more credit than that Lady." Dania says to Lucienne. Her words are soft. She shivers at some thought. She grows quiet again. She looks up at the ceiling. She mutters something under her breath.
The fight drained out of her with each pound of her head and so Muirenn does not reply to Lucienne's barb with anything other than an even further tightening of her brow. After she gently pushes the cotton a bit more tightly into her nose. The girl focuses on her breathing, and eventually falls into a fitful sleep.
"I don't see how talking it better will make it better," Rosanna says with a stress-edged shift of temper. She swallows it down with another quavering breath, though, trying to focus on Anais's reassurance. Except, you know: "We barely saw them." The reavers, that is.
"I watched them rowing the river at Stonebridge, met by our men," pipes up Lucienne softly, after a pointed glare at Dania. They are her Terrick boys to discredit!
"Maybe you didn't see them," Anais smiles faintly to Rosanna, though there's an edge to the expression. "Personally, I didn't survive Maron Greyjoy to be killed by this lot." The last is kept extra quiet to keep it from bandit ears, and she reaches out a hand. "Besides, you don't want to die without a chance to address this tarnish on your record as a hostess, do you?" she teases gently.
Dania ignores the glare from Lucienne. Instead she remains focused on staying clean as she can. Her arms remain tucked against her and she takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out. For now she is just listening to the ebb and flow of conversation around her.
A choked little breath of something resembling laughter escapes Rosanna, and then it chokes into something else. "Oh gods," she says. "It's my fault."
Luci's mood changes abruptly as Rosanna's does, and she scoots over to lay a hand gently upon the other lady's knee. "No," she says quickly, shaking her head. "Lady Anais just… mmph." That last is a frustrated little sigh. "We're not going to die, we won't have to fight, and we'll be out of here soon. It's not your fault."
"Rosanna, it's not your fault." Anais laughs softly, scooting over to sit shoulder to shoulder with the other woman. "These things…" She pauses. These things happen isn't really appropriate for this. "These things happen for so many reasons. And they clearly had this planned out. Even if we'd had twice as many men, they'd have been hard-pressed to make a difference with bows. If all of the men had been there, almost none of them would have been armed or armored. And almost no one plans picnics around defensible terrain." She reaches out to wrap an arm around the other woman, reassuring. "This will all turn out fine. And then when you're as old as Lady Rebekkah, you'll be telling your grandchildren about that time you had a picnic and were kidnapped by bandits."
"If they did not do it then, then they would have done it later." Dania finally speaks up again. "As Lady Anais said they had this planned. Look around you we are in a cell of sorts. Earthen as it may be. This is more than just a fly by the night idea they had. Deep breath and count to ten. You will be okay Milday, listen to Lady Anais."
Rosanna is sure getting crowded with all of the ladies sitting next to her. She takes in a deep breath, closing her eyes and attempting to calm the quick skip of her heart that hasn't quite settled. But finally, she nods.
Anais flickers a small smile toward Dania, then scoots back to her place at the water's edge. "Jacsen," she muses quietly, "Is going to shit a brick."
The last of the ladies to be shoved into the cave, the quiet and diminutive Ilaria has spent her time huddled near Tiaryn. Now, however, she sits flat upon the ground with her knees pulled up to her chest, apparently unperturbed by the dirt. Or perhaps it is the least of her worries. She blinks rapidly, staring at the huddled ladies and listening to their conversation. Up until now she has been as silent as the grave. Her teeth chatter, but she manages to chime into the conversation all of a sudden: "I regret taking tea instead of wine."
Rosanna looks over at Anais, smiling weakly at her for a moment moment. "My brother just came home," she offers back with quiet tremor. "He's been gone for six years." She laughs again, this time at Ilaria's words, but the sound holds that edge of hysteria.
"You're not alone in that, I think," Anais murmurs to Ilaria with a rueful smile, looking to Rosanna once more at that laugh. "What brother?" she asks, urging the other woman to keep talking. "And where had he gone? I'm still dreadful with the Riverlands houses sometimes."
With her space next to Rosanna suddenly occupied, Lucienne crawls over to the opposite side of the cave to sit. She closes her eyes, tilting her head back against the earthen wall. Maybe she's going to have a little snooze.
"There is a trench for that if you need it." Dania says again. "Are you cold and clammy?" She rises from where she was sitting and is now in a hunched position. She moves over to where Ilaria is. She reaches out to touch the woman's head. This will give her something to focus that is outside of this dirty earthen room.
"Nicodemus," Rosanna says quietly. There's a hint of — not quite shame, but something off. "He" She hesitates. "He left," she says quieter. "After the Rebellion. He wouldn't" Her gaze flickers around at the other ladies, looking for judgment, before she finishes: "He wouldn't bend the knee to the King. He left instead."
Anais' brows rise at that description. "Well. I suppose he gets on well with Lord Rutger and Ser Rygar, then," she says. Because really, when you're stuck in a cave guarded by bandits, who really cares about a war from six years ago when you were still a child? "Is your family glad to have him back, or are they worried about if there might be consequences for him?"
Ilaria bites down on her lower lip, attempting to hide the smile that rises to her lips to hear someone else laugh. But the overtone of instability in Rosanna's reaction stifles the seemingly ebullient bubble of her own hysteria. She chokes it back with a cough-sob and clears her throat. Perhaps she has the steely backbone of a Haigh after all. "Cold, but I'm okay," she admits to Dania as the woman approaches, rubbing her hands together quickly before holding them out. Her face and hands are clammy - most likely from sweating at some point. She isn't perspiring now, though. "Are you alright?"
"No one in my family gets on with Lord Rutger," Rosanna whispers quietly. She swallows, trying to focus on the questions and the distraction provided by answering. "He is going to go to Riverrun to swear to Lord Tully. Or — he was. I don't know — what will happen. My father has welcomed him back, but—"
"That's only a problem if you let them interact with him," Anais informs Rosanna in regards to family getting along with other men. "Quentyn mostly tries not to think about Jacsen, I think. It's more than his meaty little brain can handle." It may be hard to tell, but the more she tries to reassure Rosanna, the steadier Anais becomes. Doing anything is better than stopping to think about what's happening. "It's been a long time since the war," she says quietly. "And there were so many people who scattered to the winds afterwards. Maybe Lord Tully won't even remember."
"Fine milady." Dania says quietly to Ilaria. She touches her hand and nods as she feels how her hands are. She nods and says this with a slight smile. "Just checking milady thank you." She goes to take her seat once again. She carefully sits down on her chemise to keep it between her and the dirt. Her arms wrapped around herself and she is back into a stiff sitting position.
"They have to interact with him," Rosanna says with a tight smile. "He's courting me." She curls her arms about her legs and hugs them against her chest. "Nicodemus will have to remind him, in order to swear fealty. If he lets him." She, too, seems a little steadier for speaking of other matters.
"He's courting /you/," Anais agrees with Rosanna, though with different emphasis. "Your father's really the only one he needs to impress." She pauses, catching the inside of her cheek between her teeth. "Though I suppose it's different when your family is close to where you're courting. I suspect the entire process would have been greatly complicated by the presence of Quentyn and Torsten, let alone Papa. More threats. Although I don't think Jaremy would have gotten far if Torsten had been here." She might be rambling a bit.
Ilaria offers Dania a fleeting smile. She licks her dry lips before glancing down to her hands. Already she has dirt caked beneath her nails, and the sight makes her grimace openly. "A shame," she murmurs quietly before trying to pick them clean, but gives up three nails into the fruitless endeavor. After flicking a bit of grit from her fingertips, she busies herself with smoothing down the rest of her torn shift over her legs. Her attention wanders, flickering in and out of the conversation as she tilts her head back to stare blankly at the ceiling while the words wash over her. "Is it fun to be courted?" she inquires, rolling her head a bit to look over at Rosanna and Anais.
"I met your brother once," Rosanna tells Anais, apropos of nothing in particular. Rambling, indeed. "He was very rude." She turns her gaze to Ilaria with a weak smile. "Yes," she says. "Lord Rutger kisses my hand when we meet and when we part. He had beautiful riding gloves made for me. I was wearing them today, if you — saw." Lovely leather gloves dyed purple and embossed with the Nayland seal, if anyone cared enough. "He has this way of — focusing on me."
"Yes, that's Torsten," Anais sighs to Rosanna's description. "But he's my bully, all the same." And then she goes a little distant for a moment, no doubt imagining the various things her brother would like to do to the bandits. To Ilaria's question, she twists a faint smile. "To be honest, Jaremy wasn't really much for courting. And Jacsen…just sort of inherited me. Though I like to imagine it's nice to be courted."
"Lady Anais, I found your brother endearing, though he is an ass." Dania says honestly. "One could trade some delightful barbed words with him, push him and he will push back." She smiles as she says this. "He is a very interesting man."
"The gloveswere his gift?" Ilaria blinks a bit and rubs at her eyes, straightening up a bit. "They were quite lovely. He has wonderful taste," she offers to Rosanna before falling silent to contemplate the concept of being courted. The ideas that spring to mind make her smile, and she turns this warm expression on Anais almost unwittingly. "My cousin is being courtedor was." Her smile fades. "Gloves would be a wonderful gift."
"Yes," Rosanna agrees, tucking her cheek against her knees. "He does. Of course, they're embossed with the Nayland seal, so I can't very well wear them if our families never come to a betrothal agreement. not very generous."
Anais laughs softly at Dania's description of her brother. "A bully and an ass," she agrees quietly. "But I wouldn't mind if he were here now."
"But he is loyal or at least he came across as being very loyal and he loves you in his own way Lady. I really would enjoy Keely's company about right now and a bar of soap and bath." Dania adds before she grows quiet again.
"A bath!" Ilaria groans longingly and thunks her head back against the stone. If it hurts, she pays no mind to it. Instead, she looks toward the rear of the cave and squints at the drip-drip of the water into the puddle of mud. "And wine. -So much wine.-"
"My brothers aren't rude," Rosanna mumbles very quietly.
"Oh, he does love me," Anais agrees with Dania. "He used to let me follow him to the docks when we were younger. I wanted to see the ships, how they were made, how they were sailed." She pauses, a faint smile curving at the other women. "A certain shipwright's apprentice. And Torsten used to let me tag along, and keep an eye on me to make sure I was safe."
"I have three brother whom ran wild with, until my went to live with my old Maester and his wife. Now these are memories we should be focusing on and not what just happen for the moment until the morrow." Dania says with a smile. "A glass of wine and the bath. Now that would be lovely."
Over against the other wall, Lucienne is still and quiet, her eyes still closed… but her ears pricked. She feigns sleep a little longer, staring at the back of her eyelids as she listens.
Ilaria falls silent for a time, having no wonderfully spunky childhood memories to share. She pulls her knees back up into her chest and rests her chin on them, and before long her eyelids grow heavy. She yawns, covering it with a hand, and promptly falls into an uneasy doze as the voices wash over her.
"There must have been a lot of ships," Rosanna offers, still quiet. "At the Banefort."
"Ships?" Anais asks to Rosanna's words. "There were. All sorts of ships. From all over, it seemed. That was one of the best parts about going to the docks. The stories. Granted, now I know that most of them were whole cloth, but as a child…It was like magic." She shifts a bit, leaning back against the wall and lapsing into quiet.
Luci's eyes drift open slowly, and she lowers her chin, at the same time lowering her knees to stretch her legs out. She heaves a long sigh, and wonders in a belated whisper of Rosanna, "Do you hate him?"
Rosanna looks a bit skittishly startled to be addressed once more by Lucienne, and on a topic she thought passed. And then she's quiet for a long moment, looking at Lucienne. Finally she says, "Yes."
Pick up a random rock, Jocelyn starts to draw lines and symbols in the round beside her. Having stayed quiet this entire time, with little to say and little to do.
Another long moment passes, Lucienne making a more open study of Rosanna's face than she'd ever dare under other circumstances. "At least he had a good reason to go," she finally tosses back, looking ashamedly down into her lap. "When Jaremy ran away, he didn't have a good reason." She and Rosanna are on opposite walls of the little cave, with the other various noble and not-noble captives in various states of sleep or quiet contemplation around them.
Rosanna swallows as she looks across the cave at Lucienne, finding a certain resolve amidst the threat of hysterics. "He didn't have a good reason," she says quietly.
Jocelyn hadn't really been paying attention to anyone elses conversation around her. She was too lost in her own thoughts. Thoughts of the day, thoughts of the past and most of all thoughts of the future. The rock soon gets boring and it drops from her hand. Leaning her head back against the cave wall.
"I would still hate him," is as much as Lucienne is willing to allow Rosanna in this moment. She smooths her hands down over her shift on her thighs, clinging to some measure of propriety, perhaps. Her eyes flicker to Jocelyn, but she isn't quite sure what else to say, so she says nothing.
"Good," Rosanna murmurs in quiet reply to Lucienne. She glances over at Jocelyn as the lady begins to stir, but likewise offers no immediate comment.
Looking around her, Jocelyn finds that most of everyone has either passed out or at least pretending the sleep. She so wishes she could be so lucky. Her eyes flicker to Rosanna and Lucienne, their conversation coming to an almost stop as they seem to notice her awake. "Hate them all until he proves himself worthy." She remarks, having heard the tail end of their conversation. "Its been my opinion that any "he" can not be trusted immediately."
Lucienne slides another look to Jocelyn, considering her opinions carefully for a moment. And then to Rosanna: "Did he tell you he'd always be there, always protect you?" She sounds scornful, but can anyone blame her? Stupid abandoning brothers!
Rosanna stares at Jocelyn for a long moment before turning back to Lucienne without comment to the Nayland. "Of course he did," she says. "He promised to come home, too." BROTHERS ARE THE WORST.
After her comment and after receive no respones, Jocelyn remains silent after that. Lowering her head and picking up the rock again, making symbols in the dirt beside her.
Outraged on Rosanna's behalf, Lucienne huffs haughtily. HOW DARE THEY. "All they care about is themselves. Jaremy left Anais practically at the alter, and me besides, after a whole lifetime. I hope he finally gets to fight his stupid white walkers - the Others take him." Exasperated, she lifts her face to the packed earth ceiling for a moment, before asiding to Jocelyn, "We're talking about our brothers. The dumb ones."
Rosanna shakes her head at stupid dumb brothers before tucking it back atop her knees. She listens quietly as Lucienne explains their conversation.
"Oh." Jocelyn pauses with her rock in the ground. Glancing up at Lucienne. She adds nothing at first to the conversation. "I do not know mine well." she says honestly. "But I respect them." she glances between the two talking females. Moving herself down further onto the ground she curls up into a ball, ready for sleep. "Consider yourself lucky that you know at the very least that you hate them." And with that final remark she closes her eyes.
Lucienne listens again as Jocelyn responds, and once it's clear the other lady is retreating from conversation, ventures toward Rosanna, "Your other brother seems… nice."
"Everyone likes Kittridge," Rosanna mumbles against her knees.
"Well I can see why," replies Lucienne, drawing her own knees back up again. "What of Lord Stafford? I've never… I've not heard much of your eldest brother, nor chanced to meet him." She is probably praying Rosanna doesn't bring up her other brothers in riposte.
Don't worry, she's already met the only brothers that matter. "Stafford is very serious about being heir," Rosanna says. There is a certain quiet automation to her voice, as if she's too exhausted or too terrified for anything wittier. "He cares very much about the house. But sometimes he remembers how to be fun."
There's a hint of jealousy in Lucienne's expression, probably explained by her quickly aborted sentence: "I've not really had any fun with my brothers since…" STUPID JAREMY. She turns her face to her lap again. "Is Kingsgrove nice?"
"Kittridge is the fun one," Rosanna says with a weak smile. "He and Nicodemus — they were fun. When I was little." She takes in a slow, slightly unsteady breath. "It's beautiful."
Lucienne smiles at that, and for a long moment, that is all her response. And then — "Those gloves the lord Rutger gave you were very pretty."
For some reason, this is what sets Rosanna's eyes to watering. "I know," she says, ducking her head again.
Luci's nose wrinkles, and she lifts her chin to click her tongue softly. "I know what that's like, too," she offers by way of a smoother-over. "Nobody's ever good enough. It's… well. It's enough to drive a girl to drink tea." She tilts her head, and summons a tiny smile.
"Nobody is," Rosanna agrees quietly. "But I think there are many men who would be closer."
Lucienne's smile fades, and she shifts her eyes to contemplate the ceiling again through the growing dark. "You know, it's… it's very confusing, growing up with these boys and these men who insist we should have everything we want, and then when we name it… they think better."
"None of them listen." Rosanna glances at her nearby septa who has already drifted off to sleep.
"They don't," agrees Lucienne, lacing her fingers atop her knees. "But they should."
"Yes." Another weak, flickering smile touches Rosanna's lips and then fades again. Her gaze is drawn with a snap to one of the bandits crossing the mouth of the cave, and her will to converse seems to sap up quickly. She looks away again, her head tucking into the circle of her arms, eyes lidding.