|Banefort Girl Talk|
|Summary:||Anais and Elinor do some catching up. Gossip Girl Banefort edition.|
|Anais' room, Terrick's Roost|
|December 16, 288|
When one is as restless as Anais, one takes sleep when one can get it. And so, contrary to her usual routine, Anais actually excused herself to take a nap earlier this afternoon. Perhaps the weaving bored her to sleep. Either way, she's now to be found in the rooms she shares with Jacsen, wearing a simple dressing gown and curled up on the couch as she skims through some papers. There's tea and cookies on the table next to her, which she nibbles at every now and then.
A soft rap at the door may awaken her sister's slumber, it was followed by a more urgent one to assure the girl was awake before entering. "Anais?" Elinor asked quietly, having been informed that this is where the girl would be found. Perhaps sleeping though not anymore. Soon enough the elder of the two slipped herself inside after spotting the seated Anais. Biting to her lower lip with a grin a child holds after successfully pulling a prank. "Oh good you are awake. I was told you may be sleeping however that can wait." She presses the door to a close behind her, biding her maidens to depart for a measure of alone time between siblings. "I wish you came to Stonebridge with me. You would have enjoyed it."
"Come in," Anais calls at the knock, tipping her head back so that she's looking at her sister upside down when she comes in. "Hey, Eli," she greets with an easy smile. "Join me. There's some tea and cookies left, I think." She quirks a brow at the talk of Stonebridge, straightening a bit and twisting to face her sister. "I did take a short trip to Stonebridge. Long enough for the masque, at least, which was fun. But then I was needed back here. Supposedly. To be fair, given the rumors that the Naylands wanted me dead, I'd rather not spend /too/ much time there. What did you do that was so interesting?"
A hand gathered a bundled of the skirts before her thighs, lifting only to reveal the whole of her slippers as she moves to join Anais on the sofa. The need to be so formal and proper was toned down in the company of family so instead of quietly lowering herself upon the cushions the Elinor practically flopped down, her shoulders raised when she bounced a little. "So much Anais, so much has happened." She starts, reaching for one of the offered cookies from the tray and biting into it. A horrible sweet tooth and eating habit when excited or bored. "I was not aware they had made a recent threat." The girl chews somewhat quietly.
"Unfortunately with the name Terrick you'll always be target until this feud is over and done with. I have heard the Lady Isolde was a kind woman. Almost a sister to Lady Lucienne. Oh I would hate to be parted from any of you in such a manner. I just would not have it." Elinor even shakes her head while taking another bite, feet tucked close together and beneath her frame she casually allows her gaze to roam about the room, as if inspecting for anything out of place. "Stonebridge was interesting. I did not cross paths with a single Nayland, thankfully. Though I did encounter the lady Danae Westerling to my surprise." Another bite is taken, "I am to send her an invitation to the Roost. Lady Lucienne offered her seal."
Anais's lips quirk at Elinor's flop, a grin stealing across her features. "It was before the wedding," she explains. "When it was to be Jaremy. I think the hope was to prevent the alliance between our houses. Anyhow, they failed, and it's a bit of a moot point now, I think. Lady Isolde seems…well-loved here," she agrees, reaching for her teacup to take a sip, cradling the porcelain between her hands. "One more thing to live up to. I can't say I found her all that impressive when we met, though. What was the Westerling doing at Stonebridge?" she asks, arching a brow.
Elinor reaches for another cookie from the tray, "I've heard as much. Lady Lucienne seems to miss her dearly. I have dared not to speak of her before anyone else." It became easier to hold one's tongue in company not part of her inner circle. "You are doing fine Anais, better than I had imagined personally. Mother would be proud." She relays assuringly as her eyes moved to her sister now, "Attempting to broker trade? I happened upon her gathering fauna from the river bank. She seems to have a mind for brokering arrangements. And this lovely piece of neck jewelry by a talented craftsman." Elinor bites into the cookie, her second one and was soon eying a third. "I suppose she's there just as any other would outside their own lands, establishing trade relationships. They are not that wealthy Anais."
"No, they're not," Anais agrees on the subject of the Westerlings, tilting her head thoughtfully to one side. "Which is why it's interesting, of course. Usually it takes some wealth to build wealth." She sips again, then wrinkles her nose. "Probably fishing around for decent prospects to bring in some money through marriage. They'd do better at home in the Westerlands, I'd think. I'll be glad for a visit, though," she adds with a quick smile. "Though I'm afraid we'll have little enough to offer right now. Until the docks are built or Stonebridge is brought back into the fold, I think we're going to have to tighten our belts here."
The mention of constricting their purses drew a look of displeasure from Elinor, pausing for taking another bite. "She would, however with the feud between two of the great houses within the Riverlands the vultures circle overhead." Elinor's brows raised, glancing sidelong to Anais and took another victory bite from her cookie. "Whatever her reasons she was pleasant enough." The elder of the two remarked idly. "Speaking of the docks, what do you think of Lord Ser Aeric Mallister?"
"I've rather liked him the last few times I've spoken with him," Anais answers easily enough, eyeing her sister speculatively. "But that may be just because he reminds of home a bit." She reaches up to ruffle a hand through her hair, looking wistfully out the window. "Sometimes I suspect Jacsen and I would both have been happier if we were in Seagard. But no sense in wondering that sort of thing. Why do you ask about the captain?"
"He does." Elinor agrees, folding an arm lazily beneath her bosom, supporting the weight of her other as the cookie hovers before her mouth. "I do miss the bustling activity of ships docking and departing, occasionally hearing of new sea gained adventures. I was taken by him in only that regard Anais." She answered, "I've spoken with him often, well, a few times really. He is still in mourning over the loss of his departed wife. In some moments he does not hide it well."
Anais eyes her sister, a faint smile at one corner of her lips. "And how do you feel about that?" she asks, drawing her knees up to her chest and dropping her chin onto them, eyes dancing as she watches the other woman.
"Saddened truthfully. I know I am weak against the wound one takes to the heart. I would end up carrying his sadness as my own. Though I am sure some woman may ease that for him. Whore or perhaps even a woman of worth where he may find happiness again in that aspect of his life." Elinor babbled on until realizing just how interested Anais was in her answer. Immediately she waived a hand to dismiss any assumptions. "No, I do not care in that manner for him. I sympathize because I remember when Shayla lost her husband and how long it took for her to smile again, a good hearty smile." She then turns to her sibling, arm lounged across the back of the sofa. "Besides, there is someone I am more curious of. He's just arrived today."
"Oho?" Anais grins broadly at the last, sticking out a foot to poke her sister with it. "Do tell. Who's arrived today?" She tips her head to one side, looking upward thoughtfully, then shifts to try to shuffle through her papers. "I haven't heard of any arrivals today, actually. I suppose that's what I get for napping."
Tickled by the act, Elinor coils up briefly, a light bit of laughter passes through her lips. "The Camdens silly. Returned once more after a family matter or some other. I suspect with a marriage agreement Lord Dafydd remains tight lipped about." She pokes back at Anais, with her finger to the knee. "I briefly met them while in Stonebridge and again here. Since then I've received two letters from the Lord Sarojyn. We are to meet for dinner."
Anais's brows rise at that. "Well, I don't know about Lord Dafydd. He and Lady Kathryna are apparently /involved/, though the Lady doesn't seem to think it likely to go anywhere. But Lord Sarojyn?" She considers a moment, tapping a finger at her lip. "That would be a nice arrangement. It would certainly help if our two houses were joined, in terms of good relations. Though it might be a bit awkward with his children," she wrinkles her nose. "I think they're almost my age."
Both hands cover her face at the mention of his children's ages. "Oh Seven I know!" She laughs against her hands. "I am but a year older than his heir. His natural born son, how strange would it be?" Elinor allows her hands to fall into their places, "It is really no huge matter to me. I find him… refined." Then her gaze sweeps upwards, "He reminds me of an stag."
"A stag?" Anais grins, and it soon dissolves into giggles as she kicks her heel. "Eli's got a cruuuuuush," she sing-songs, though she quickly leans forward, reaching for her sister's hands. "No, I'm only teasing, Eli. I'm glad for you, and I wish you the /best/ of luck, and you know if there's anything I can do, you've only to ask, of course."
The first animal coming to mind, then to think of it further under Anais' teasing has Elinor flushing a bright red upon the cheeks. "Oh I know." Turning to face her sibling, still embarrassed at linking the two. "It is certainly too early to see if this will yield in favorable progression. Surely father may be appreciative of the prospect. Still there is something I do ask of you. Lord Sarojyn has invited me, us, you and Jascen and Ser Drakmoor to the Tall Oaks." Elinor then squeezes her sister's hands. "I do wish to go. Say whatever you must to your husband to make it so. "
"Of course I'll talk with him," Anais agrees quickly. "It sounds nice, actually. They seem to be a little less…uptight about things. And I'd love to go hunting. I'm not sure if Jacsen will be interested," she admits with a sigh, glancing over her shoulder toward the door. "It's a long ride, and he's not fond of those. But I'll certainly suggest it, and if he can't go, then I don't see why I couldn't."
It is almost a certainty at this point which has Elinor wearing her best of smiles. "Wonderful! Perhaps I should relay this in person…" She voices her thought aloud. "Though I am a poor hunter. You know this Anais, I'm practically an embarrassment when it comes to things of that sort. So you must absolutely be present for this." With their hands return into their own again Elinor takes from the plate another cookie. "So the rumors are true, of that Harlaw and Lord Dafydd." Even saying the surname tasted bitter upon the tongue.
"Mmm. True indeed." Anais gives her sister's hands one more squeeze before she leans back again. "It's funny, actually. She gets downright girly about it. Squishy. I'll be honest, El, I'd feel better if you were in Tall Oaks. At least there'd be another voice to remind Lord Sarojyn that his main trade good is wood, and the Ironborn are rather fond of it for building ships."
"Ships to attack our people." She relays. "I'm surprised she could be 'girly' about anything given the way she flaunts about improperly." Elinor holds the cookie near her lips, feet detangling themselves from beneath her to meet the floor. "I saw her last night while I was walking through the courtyard. I could not hold my tongue any longer." She's staring at that treat in her hand with menace, "I do not know how you are able to hold it in. Or even how Ser Drakmoor composes himself so passively."
"The truth, Eli?" Anais reaches for her teacup once more, cradling it in her hands. "She may be Ironborn, but she drives Lady Evangeline batty. And to measures that she really can't support. So that's a few points in her favor." She takes a sip, shrugging one shoulder. "Also, she isn't very much of a threat here. And reacting only amuses her, so."
"Until the Ironborn gain a footing in the Riverlands. Is she even a diplomat? Does she even understand diplomacy?" Shaking her head, Elinor turns a sympathetic gaze towards Anais, "You and the Lady Evangeline are still at odds?" She asks, chewing to her cookie quietly.
"Obliquely. I may have made nice with the woman, but we're not exactly at peace." Anais wrinkles her nose. "Besides, you're my sister and you already know I'm a terrible person, so I can tell you," she declares lightly.
Elinor smirks then from her pedestal, "You are not a terrible person Annie, you are just not her 'ideal' person. Every mother would feel that for their son, will you not for your own?" She laughs lightly then, reaching forth to console Anais upon the knee. "Think of it as a wheel of justice. When the time comes for your son to take a wife, you may be as righteously wicked to her. Complete with pranks and the like. It is every mother's right by the way." She pauses for a moment, "Perhaps the gathering Lady Lucienne and I are arranging may help. We are to sew… and before you decline I've already promised your attendance."
"Elinor." Anais levels a glare on her sister, putting her cup aside once more. "You really shouldn't make promises for other people." She folds an arm over her knees, setting her chin on it and keeping that glare steady. "And what is the goal of this little gathering?"
"I wouldn't have made the promise if it was not in your best interest Annie." She relents, "It is sewing and tea. The perfect opportunity for we ladies to bond. Besides, it is my wish that she will not be so displeasurable to you. You do not deserve her scorn." Unless Anais had done something Elinor wasn't aware of, she looks to her sister, frowning from her glare, "Oh do not look at me like that. What could be the harm of tea?"
"You're not the one she doesn't like," Anais grumbles, wrinkling her nose and looking away. "I just…don't want to be stuck there listening to her make her little jabs, that's all. While everyone pretends." She pauses, catching her lower lip between her teeth. "Maybe that's what's so frustrating about it. I mean, at home, it's family. We talk to each other. About important things. We're honest. And here, I feel like everyone is pretending /all the time/. Even with family."
"Is that not the way it always is?" Elinor asks of her sibling, turning her frame to fully face the sulking one. "Who is to say she does not approve of me? I do not know. Just by relation of you she may be just as cruel to me. " The elder of the two smirks, "I would defend you, you know. Only we Baneforts can point out your flaws."
"Well I suppose that counts for something." Anais summones up a faint smile, sighing as she reaches for her sister's hand again. "It's easier with people who are /enemies/, you know? I can put up with the Harlaw, play nice with the Naylands. But I don't have to live with them, see them every day. That's the hard part. I want to like her. I want to be close with her."
Listening intensively, Elinor allows her hand to be taken the other takes to patting and consoling the union of the two. "I dare say it would be. At least you know they are out for your demise. With the Lady of the Roost, your new mother, husband's mother, and whom you'll replace, I can … oh Annie." Elinor laughs sweetly, "It will still take time. Take pride in knowing that you are the one making the efforts, that you are not in the wrong. She is. She's bitter and old. I am told women get like that at a certain age." Her head ducks in trying to meet Anais' eyes directly. "It is mere jealousy. You have what she is losing. That is all." Then the hand reaches to cup her sibling's cheek with it's warmth. "Please do not allow it to trouble you."
Anais smiles faintly, tipping her cheek to her sister's touch. "I'm glad you're here, El," she sighs softly, giving her hand a squeeze. "Also, clearly you're smarter than I am. I think it might be easier to deal with stepchildren your own age than a goodmother," she teases, smile deepening at one corner of her lips. "Perhaps you can let me know."
A possibility that momentarily drained the color from her cheeks. "…perhaps." Elinor's eyes looked away briefly then returned. "I would not be anywhere else and may only hope that a kindness is returned, if situations allow it to be so." A smile curls in one corner of her mouth. "Are you familiar with his children? Lord Seryl and Lady Alyse?"
"I met the Lady Alyse once," Anais smiles crookedly, amused. "She makes me look tame. But I think you'll be able to handle that fine. I've not met the heir, though. The nice thing about the Camdens is that they're all very genuine, from what I've seen. Or else they pretend to be nice very well."
"That may not be so bad. You turned out decent enough." Elinor smirked in jest. "So…" Giving Anais' hand a squeeze. "When are you to make me an aunt hmm? Soon I should hope… how does your husband fair lately?"
Anais sighs at the question, rolling her eyes slightly. "I don't know, El," she shakes her head. "I mean, it's not as though we aren't trying. And gods know, Mother certainly never had any trouble. But it hasn't been so very long yet, just a couple months. And Jacsen is…all right." She presses her lips together, brows furrowing slightly. "He's been a bit stressed lately, with everything. And I don't think he trusts me enough yet to share it with me."
"No she did not." Elinor laughs a bit, recounting her plenty of siblings though it could not compare to the Freys. "Perhaps some time away from all this will be healthy for your relationship with Jacsen. I mean while here, he is lord. Elsewhere he can simply be husband." She smiles warmly, "Only the common folk can have everything a marriage should have. We must be patient for it."
"That's it, I suppose," Anais agrees quietly, pensive. "Even the trip to Riverrun was about being his father's representative in something very important. I mean, it isn't as though there's anything /wrong/," she adds quickly, reassuring. "I just sometimes feel like…Like there's the public show of affection and a unified front. And there's being /intimate/. But there's nothing in between."
Then the subject becomes a matter that Elinor has zero experience to rely on. Only word of mouth and words of guidance from her mother. "Hopefully that will be a solution." She says while eyeing another cookie from the tray, her stomach begs for something heftier. "Would the Oaks be suitable?"
"I'm certainly willing to give it a try," Anais smiles crookedly to her sister. "I'll talk to Jacsen about it. Did Lord Camden say anything about the invitation? Any agenda to it, or something he wanted to accomplish? Or was it just a chance to get away for a bit?"
Elinor smiles brightly, "A reprieve and that is straight from the Lord's mouth. It was offered upon my interest when visiting Stonebridge. If he has an agenda it is not one I can see. Perhaps they are truly trying to build relations with the other houses, who better than to start with you and Jascen?"
"Well, I think it sounds lovely," Anais agrees, smile warm. "And I'll tell Jacsen the same. I can't make any promises, but I'll speak with him." She wraps her arms around her legs once more, chin on her knees. "El?" she asks, her voice a little softer.
Elinor claps her hands together once, "Wonderful!" She was beginning to rise onto her feet until Anais' voice came a little softer. "Hmm?" Her efforts to stand had been placed on pause.
"You don't…" Anais pauses a moment, lips pursing. "I hope- I hope you don't resent me for this," she says, gesturing around herself. "I saw something I wanted and I just…went full speed ahead. And if Lord Sarojyn can make you happy, I will do everything in my power to make it so." She manages a faint smile then, reaching out to give Elinor's hand a squeeze. "Take care, El."
Elinor looks down to the hand before responding, "Of course I do not resent you. The gods held a different destiny for me, be it with Lord Sarojyn, some other Lordly knight or perhaps even dawning the cloth as their followers." She then issued a gentle pat upon Anais' hand holding hers. "And thus is the difference between us sweet Annie, I am patient. Learn of it, fully embrace it. Then in time you'll find your happiness." Elinor returned the gentle squeeze before practically prancing out of the room. "You may have your rest now." She laughs lightly before leaving the room.