|Beggars Cannot Be Choosers|
|Summary:||Saffron and Mistress Morla greet and welcome Emeline Hill to the Roost.|
|Date:||6 July 2012|
|Related Logs:||Kaffron Betrothal, and dashes of other stuff.|
|Courtyard, Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|July 6, 289|
It is warm and bright, the sun high enough to shine straight down into the courtyard of the Four Eagles. A lull of warmth and drowsiness has taken over much of the Tower, even the most diligent retainer finding themselves sluggish in their duties. Saffron Banefort has settled herself into a folding wooden chair with the old crone Mistress Morla Fielding at her side; the latter is tirelessly needleworking a bit of muslin, but Saffron has a daydreamy stare as she looks out over the courtyard. In her lap is a sleeping pup, Bear on his back with his head flopped across her knee. He snores puppy snores, paw idly swatting at the air as he dreams puppy dreams. Morla is droning on about wedding preparations, about how far into the Westerlands to extend invites, how they should consider if Alyss's old wedding dress should be shipped along to Seagard or if they should make her a new one. Saffron obediently provides noncommittal responses, and Morla casts her a terse glare.
The arrival of the carriage and its retinue causes something of a stir, the clatter of horses, wheels, and voices drifting over the warmed air. It isn't pure excitement, as few nobility travel with the entourage, and it's much too hot to get excited over the arrival of a few lessers arriving from the Banefort. Trunks, sacks, and packs are carried about with efficiency with footmen scrambling aboutm grooms coming to handle the horses; several of them are loosed from the carriage with riders dismounting.
A few young women step out of a lacquered wooden carriage, simply carved and unadorned mostly, well dressed and each with an upright stature. Some of them dismiss themselves to see to other facets of the Roost, servants ushering them along. One of them splits away from the train of events, hands held primly at her waist. A stately woman, tall for her gender and well groomed, she glides smoothly over the ground with trained grace. Gray-blue eyes fix upon the reclining noblewoman and her retainer, a small bubble of quiet amidst the dying fuss of the fray as things are adequately seen to. Mistress Emeline Hill lingers a moment, her calmed expression concealing any hint of personal feeling beneath.
Dipping into a deep curtsy, one of those lovely hands lavishly spreading the light wool skirt draped from her hips, the Mistress simply remains in that position, bent and yet unbent by her very nature. A small, private smile curls the corners of her full mouth upward, but her vivid eyes drop from the Banefort lady to rest upon the cobbles of the courtyard where the younger lady reclines.
The sound and sight of the carriage lulls Saffron out of her daydreams, dismissing the storybook swirls of color and imagery. "Did you hear me, Saffron?" A stern voice inquires, and bright blue eyes glance toward Morla; the crone has turned her glare into a scowl, and she has ceased her needlework in mid-stitch. Saffron looks a little bemused, both brow and lip frowning. "I'm sure whatever you decide will be lovely, Mistress," she says as her brain desperately grasps about for what was actually inquired — she was certain flowers were involved, but beyond that the details were lost. There is a grunt and a grumble, and it appears Morla is on the brink of threatening the young noblewoman, but is promptly dried up in her mouth at the sight of Emeline. As the old woman goes visibly stiff and alert, Saffron breaks into a wide and bright smile that illuminates her dimpling face.
"Emeline!" She squeaks like a young girl, handing off the sleeping pup to Morla as she bounces up to her feet. Whatever polite and proper greeting was suppose to occur is promptly lost as Saffron sweeps several steps, reaching out for the mistress's hands with a bright familiarity.
The familiarity eases the reunion, and the woman rises smoothly to her feet, letting her skirt drop from her hand so that Saffron's grasp is unimpeded. "Lady Saffron," Emeline muses aloud, her light, yet husky voice tinged with warmth and more than a hint of amusement. "It has been much, much too long." Years, in fact, but the alert, yet mischievous glint in her dark storm colored eyes plays tell that no doubt the Mistress isn't much changed. "Jiselle and I have come to see that you are properly wedded, bedded, and cared for in the mean time. I hear that your knight is quite handsome." Her chuckle is subdued, glance flitting between the drowsing pup and the stiff figure of Saffron's Morla. "Congratulations, dear cousin."
There is a grunt and soft mutter from the old Mistress — though she had just yesterday been griping there was no one here to actually help. Beggars can't be choosers, Mistress Morla. Saffron however is more than thrilled by the news, almost squeaking again with a childlike delight. "Jiselle is here too?" She says brightly. "I am the luckiest girl in the cape then, to have two masters at hand." There is a small glimmer of amusement and perhaps a touch of mischief in her own pale eyes. "I am terribly biased, but I do find him to be quite a catch." Then something causes her grin to widen wryly. "Though, I'm afraid the Roost won't be as exciting as Lannisport… did Magnola decide she had no more need for you, or had you your fill of Magnola?"
"The Lady Magnola has found herself Lannister help and has no more need of mine, nor Jiselle's. I am sure it is for the best; someone has to make sure they do not ruin the most important day, or night, of your life." She speaks with an easy familiarity that gets her a few sideways glances from servants scuttling by, but they are paid no heed. "Do not fear, Saffron, I am sure that Jiselle and I shall find plenty of entertainment to be had." Gently disentangling her hands, Emma scours Saffron's figure with sharp, calculating eyes. "Mmm, I can see you've not been properly seen to, already. We shall remedy such gross oversight." Reaching out, the older woman affectionately, but carefully, tucks an out-of-place lock behind Saffron's ear. "Now then, what have you been up to?" Even as she inquires, Emma's eyes have fastened upon Morla and pay no mind to the slimmer Lady before her.
"She has been up to trouble — kidnapped by bandits, allowed that Groves knight to see her naked, slapped a Frey, nearly drowed in the cape waters in just her shift," Morla grunts, setting aside the puppy who has woken up just enough to roll onto his other side and zonk back out again. "Though I suppose I am pleased to see her finally with a match that won't fall down the stairs and die, nor does he resemble a cowardly-colored weasel." High marks for Kamron, it seems.
Saffron does offer her crony minder a scowl, shaking her head a bit. The faintest pink blush has taken over her cheeks. "Only one of that list was actually of my own volition! It is not as if I had gone about planning a kidnapping, a drowning, or any degrees of undress." She casts Emeline an imploring glance. "Honestly, I put none of that in motion." She places a hand over her heart in her vow.
A finely groomed flame colored brow lifts, and continues to lift, as that list of exploits grows. "I see," is all she says initially, the very picture of dignity and a distinct lack of judgement. And then, Emma gives a sharp sniff. "My, my, Saffron. You are to be married, you needn't be as outrageous as you possibly can before your wedding." The chiding is easy-going, a gentle tease more than any true sense of admonishment. "You have my word, Mistress," Emeline murmurs smoothly, even convincingly. "She'll get caught doing no more trouble now that I am here." How very carefully worded, that.
There is a right flabbergausted moment from the young Banefort, as if she is shocked to hear Emeline side with Morla on these things — and then the teasing tone filters in, and Saffron settles into a smirk. "If I was trying to be outrageous, I would have ensured that my betrothed saw me running around without my knickers on as well, instead of just Ser Kittridge Groves." She casts a glance to Morla who has mollified herself into her needlework once more, shaking her head with a short muttering of discontentment. The old and prude meet the young and fabulous. Saffron glances back toward Emeline with a small smile quirking at her lips, and she mouths, 'I am so happy you are here' in silent exaggeration.
"Not a poor idea. It is always a waste to purchase the cow before trying any of the milk." /That/ is pitched low, lower than Morla, seated a distance away, will hear. Emeline, in spite of her words, remains at ease, but straight-backed; the very picture of female docility and dignity. That polite smile upon her lips warms considerably at the mouthing of Saffron's affection, and the bastard woman inclines her head in agreement without a word. "I suppose you are not likely to be of any help in deciding upon things that must be seen to." How well does she know Saffron? Well enough, it would seem, in spite of a years long absence. "Has there at least been a date picked? That would be an exquisite start."
Emeline's low-pitched words are met with a widening of her smile and the slight tilt of her chin. "That's what I've been trying to say," she offers in the same whispering tone. Then she settles into a docile, sheepish smile at the first question. "I obviously did not pay any attention when my sister was wed… I honestly thought it all just sort of happened." She then nods her head a bit with a smile. "In two months and ten days time," she says with earnest and perhaps a touch of excitement. "At Seagard," she adds in her best off-handed voice. "Not here." Because as much as Saffron loves her dear Anais, the Roost is in a sad state for a wedding.
Soaking in the information readily, the older woman clucks her tongue softly. "These sort of things do not 'just happen'. They take a great deal of planning, and effort," she corrects, but without really aiming it at even Saffron. After all, what would a Lady know of the preparations for her special day? "Never mind that, I shall get to the bottom of it and see that things are handled properly. I do hope they haven't found a seamstress for your dress, yet. Elle will be most aggrieved if she learns that lesser hands have touched your wedding gown." Her dark gray-blue eyes are not vacant, but they're distant as if focusing upon the far-off horizon. "Exciting times, dove. Much to do, little time in which to do it. Where is this knight of yours, then? And I do hope this castle is not excessively filled with old women."
Saffron casts an almost sly glance to Morla at the mention of the wedding gown, and once more the far older woman looks a touch put out. The Banefort however looks mightily pleased, and she beams brightly to Emeline. "Oh, no… there has been absolutely no decisions made on the gown, though I have been told that a family cloak will be sent along soon for the ceremony. I would much rather have Elle do the work on the gown — I tend to make all the cape's seamstresses tear up and break down." The redhead smirks. "I tell them that it isn't their fault, I'm just an odd fit." Then she laughs in a warm, relaxed note. "I imagine he is around here some place, hopefully avoiding stairs." The curse, afterall. Hardly a moment is spent worrying on whether or not the roof finally caved in over Kamron's head as she continues, "Actually, there are quite a few younger women… Anais, Lady Lucienne Terrick, Lady Muirenn Mallister, Lady Katrin Haigh…" Though she pauses a moment. "Why does that matter though?"
"Elle hasn't found a breathing being yet she could not make a peacock out of." There is a smug pride in the woman's voice, echoed in the upward quirk of one corner of her mouth. But, the Mistress falls quiet so that Saffron is given room to air her thoughts aloud, chuckling politely here and there where such is necessary. "I suppose I shall have to find him, corner him, and make certain that he sees to you properly, in that case. It should not be hard. A more stubborn man than yourself, I imagine, and a—Mallister, is it?" A polite inquiry only; Emeline's memory is sharper than most swords. But, Emma waves a smooth hand to brush off… something. "Never mind, dear, never mind. Just something to think about it, such as it is. I am sure there is good company to be found here, Lannisport or no."
"Oh, do be nice to him, Emma… he is a very honorable man." Though the corner of her lip twitches up mischieveously. "Almost too honorable." Then she shakes her head a bit just as that pink blush starts to build up on her cheeks. "And yes, he is a Mallister… somewhat removed from the main line of heirs, but his father sits at Talon Point along the cape." There is a touch of pride in her tone there, taking some joy in her husband-to-be's status. Just as talk begins turn toward the quality of the company here at the Roost, there is a terse noise from Morla as she begins to stand. She picks up the sleeping pup under his paws, holding him with the slightest hint of disdain. "Saffron, there is much to be had for the day, you should let your… cousin… see to her things and her rooms." The old hag offers Emma a brittle smile. Saffron turns to Emma, placing a kiss on her cheek. "Welcome to the Roost, cousin… we will talk more later." And she taps the side of her nose as she steps to gather up Bear from the mistress's grip.
There is no venom in Emeline, and in the face of Morla's disapproval of the woman, the Mistress demures. After the kiss, she dips into another curtsy, but this time for the express pleasure of the retainer. "Thank you, Mistress Morla," the woman murmurs in a low key voice, eyes downcast. She glances upward at the pair through dark, fanning lashes. It isn't until Morla turns away that the bastard rises back to her feet; that grace is oft-practiced, it seems. "Thank you, my Lady. I should hope that I may be an asset to you and yours in the coming days ahead. I shall seek, then, my sister's company and see to my rooms."
The Banefort lady is all smiles as she is gathered up by the disapproving Morla — but when is Morla even approving? She nods her head gently to Emma. "I have no doubt on your abilities, Mistress Emeline," she says politely, though she does offer a small wink as Morla herds her along and back into the entrance hall.