Page 306: Beyond Tithing
Beyond Tithing
Summary: Hardwicke informs Lucienne of his plans for his ransom money. She offers a counter-proposal.
Date: May 27, 2012
Related Logs: Tourney at the Twins, Investments
Lucienne Hardwicke 
Terrick Tent — The Twins
May 21, 289

It is no secret by now that the Lady Lucienne and her retinue have joined the Terrick contingent at the tourney, and as the day after the joust is a wet one, her journey from one tent to another is made as quickly as possible. She comes, then, with one handmaiden and no guards, to the tent of Ser Hardwicke Blayne. Before opening the tent flap, she at least has the sense to call out the knight's name, and listen for any suss sounds that might be coming from within. And then she ducks out of the rain, so I hope you're decent Hardwicke.

Hardwicke is WITHOUT PANTS OMG. J/k, he is fully-dressed in Terrick livery, if not his armor at the moment. His wife is missing, though, probably off playing in puddles or something. That seems like something Belle would do. As for the Captain, though: he seems to lose a decade off his age as a warm smile suffuses his expression. He does not offer her audible greeting at first, but stands to gather her immediately into his warm, lift her from the ground, and spin her around in a fierce hug.

Lucienne is STILL ANGRY, and as such her expression as she watches the knight move toward her is a little conflicted. But hugging and spinning prompt a sharp laugh and an unwitting smile, and by the time she's set back upon her own two feet the Terrick girl can't help but to place her hands firmly upon Ser Blayne's shoulders. "Hardie," she says, low and warm, and possibly a little chiding.

"You must allow me something," Hardwicke says, that rare smile lingering across his expression, even in the face of her conflict and chiding. "I've missed you, Lulu. I'd hoped that you'd follow sooner when you were gracious enough to send Belle home to me."

"It was… I couldn't. Tear myself away from her home any sooner," admits Lucienne, her eyes welling with the threat of tears. She blinks them back rapidly, and forces another smile, offering a comforting squeeze to the knight's shoulders. "I hear they're not faring so well at the Roost without me, though. I've come home out of necessity, not for any want of mine. How is Belle? I've missed her terribly."

"As well as she can be," Hardwicke answers her with a bit of wryness to his smile. "She's fond of calling my son Bean for whatever reason." That he knows because she's explained it, but he's a bad husband like that. "Apparently I missed the worst of her sickness while I was on the Iron Isles."

"Bean," repeats Luci, highly amused. "We could use all the beans we can get our hands on, just now," she jokes darkly, taking her hands back for herself and wringing them wearily. "There's little enough to be had from Middlemarch, unfortunately. Our people there are loyal, at least."

"My father among them, I'm sure." Hardwicke's smile is a little tight, but he watches her weariness with the close concern of — well, you know what. "I had thought—" He hesitates a moment. "I am not a tourney knight. While I have a family to consider now that I did not before, I still — I wish to give most of the ransom I received from Lord Stevron to your father."

"Things don't seem quite so dire there," is Lucienne's opinion. She drops her eyes to her hands, watching her knuckles slide over each other for that moment of Hardwicke's hesitation. His offer, however, draws her gaze sharply upward, deep brown eyes seeking his. "No," she says, concernedly. "We have no right to your ransom, Hardie."

"I am not giving it because it is your right," Hardwicke says, his voice firming with resolution. "I am giving it because the people of Terrick's Roost need it more than I do. Even a portion of the ransom is a fortune for my family."

"They will fritter it away amongst a hundred smaller vassals of other greater houses, with maybe a seed or ten and a week's worth of potatoes to show for it," Lucienne shoots back frustratedly, her brows knitting and a frown creasing the line of her lips. "Please. You can better use the gold, Hardwicke."

"The house is desperate for money to feed its people," Hardwicke reasons. "They cannot afford to fritter it away."

"Give the gold to me," Lucienne bargains, shuffling her stance in an uncharacteristic display. "I don't trust that they will use your funds wisely, Hardwicke. You shouldn't, either."

That causes Hardwicke to hesitate once more, although it's clear he's not rejecting the idea out of hand. "I serve your father, Lucienne," he finally says, his brow knit with a conflicted expression.

Lucienne's frown only deepens, a flash of ire in her eyes. "You are my father," she hisses, a WHISPERED rush of breath between clenched teeth. "For years now, I have sat as loyal advisor, loving sister, and watched the boys ruin one thing after another. I have worn Jaremy's folly, I have worn Jacsen's inaction, Jarod's lies. I should have been firstborn, and a son, Hardwicke. Give me the gold, and I will make certain it is spent wisely."

Hardwicke's jaw tightens at this pointed, quiet reminder that comes too quiet for the handmaiden who only keeps close enough to keep an eye of propriety on the pair. But there is something in her need and frustration that has his expression softening. "All right," he finally relents.

Lucienne darts a vaguely concerned look toward her handmaiden, who is dithering over near the tentflap and picking her nails, deep in thought. She seems fit to rant some more as her attention returns to Hardwicke, and is wholly surprised by his response. "All right?" She blinks.

"If you feel that you will see it put to better use for the Roost, that is what's important," Hardwicke says, his voice low but intent. He is leveling one of those looks on her, though, one of those 'don't disappoint me' kinds of looks. "I trust your judgment, my lady."

Lucienne's shoulders droop, and her chin lifts in haughty resolve. "I…" But this isn't something that words can express, so the little lady steps forward again instead, to wrap her arms about Hardwicke in a fierce, tight hug. "Thankyou."

Hardwicke wraps her in the firm embrace of his arms and drops a kiss to the top of her head. "You are your mother's daughter, little Lulu," he whispers to her. "You are cleverer than all of the rest of them."

That makes her smile, as Lucienne presses her cheek to Hardwicke's chest. She stays there, comfortable for a moment or two, before pulling back. "I won't disappoint you," she promises. And I suppose she lingers to discuss All The Things for a little while but I have to go so this is a wrap pose.