Page 197: Blood and Wine
Blood and Wine
Summary: Aron vs Ceinlys. Aren't siblings fun?
Date: 30 January 2012
Related Logs: Damn the Messenger. You wanted it, you got it. A short log of what really goes on behind closed doors in the Haigh household.
Aron Ceinlys 
Four Eagles Tower - Guest Room
A modest guestroom at Terrick's Roost
January 30th 289 A.L.

It is some time after the pair break the news to Cherise. Hours have been wasted before Aron finally manages to excuse himself from the public scene; taking his sister's arm, he murmurs that he would like a word in private, and -finally- he is shown to her private quarters. Once the door is shut, the man's gracious solicitousness melts away - replaced instead with a taut, cold, tension. His azure eyes are the only thing with any heat, and they burn like blue-black furnaces.

"Get out," he snarls at the middle-aged attendant, Brigid. Pacing a slow oval along the central rug of the floor, Aron clenches and unclenches his fists. "There is -talk-, sweet sister, that Lord Aleister Charlton wishes to fuck you." The words are flat, livid, packed with dense emotion - but his voice is silk-soft, not raising above a low murmur. "He has been said to describe you to his -friends- as vexing and beautiful. And all the world notes how he has taken you into his employ." Grinding to a halt in the center of the room, Aron turns to look his sister dead in the eye. "You had better hope he dies, little sister."

There's no arguing with Aron when he's in this sort of mood. Guided by the elbow away from the tenuous protection of onlooking eyes in what appears, for all the world, to ba naught but familial concern, Ceinlys allows her sibling to lead her in silence through the grand halls and corridors of the Tower until they arrive at her chamber door. Oddly, it's not all that close to the rather grander suite afforded the Lady she attends now; but instead it's along a quieter wing, a little further in the direction of servants quarters and the like. Still, the room itself is of generous proportion and suitably, if not lavishly, appointed.

Ah, poor Brigid. She knows that tone just as well as her mistress does. Dipping a brief, stiff curtsey, the older woman hastens out as the pair stroll in and the young knight demands her departure. She's likely just.. standing outside in the hall. But at least she's spared his direct wrath. For her part, the young Lady who is obliged, by bonds of blood, to endure it, does so with calm aplomb. Crossing the floor, she pours herself a cup of wine from a waiting pitcher and busies herself with the pressing matter of taking a slow sip from it. It's hardly the first she's had today; those cerulean eyes are sparkling a little more than usual.. and there's a dangerous, daring edge to her reply, when it comes. Meeting Aron's furious gaze dead-on, she arches a brow. "Does he, now? Well, well. Given the beauty and station of his wife, that's quite the compliment, do you not agree?" Moving away, she gathers the skirts of her dress in one hand and sweeps them aside in order to gracefully seat herself in a high-backed chair. "Do tell me, though, dear brother.. why ought I to hope for the death of my gracious employer?"

"Do not mock me, little sister - and do not play the fool." Aron's teeth bare back from his lips briefly as he stares at the woman, then strides forward, looming over her chair. Dirt-stained from travel as he is, the man has found some time to apply a sort of cologne to cover the worst stink of sweat and blood - the citric scent is sharp, and appropriate to his current mood. He puts his hands on his hips, drawing in a deep breath.

"Need I remind you that -you- came to -me- and asked my help? That I swore to this man in order to protect you? How often have *you* lectured *me* about thinking long-term, sister?" He pauses, then lashes out to slap at the goblet of wine in her hand and, if successful, to snatch it away from her. His voice remains low, but the timbre changes, growing yet more tense with unsteady rage. "How often have *you* lectured *me* about our family's reputation? You little fool! All the world thinks you seek to dispute his wife's place, and her pregnant with a child. If he does *not* die in Seagard, what think your chances of marrying again, with -this- rumor over your head?"

To her credit, the young woman doesn't flinch as Aron approaches and stoops menacingly over her seated position; holding her expression of polite enquiry determinedly on her features. But the sudden lashing out of his hand has a reflexive jolt rippling through her slender form. A little wine spills over her knuckles, crimson rivulets meandering across otherwise porcelain canvas, and she curls her fingers slowly inward to a fist, warily now regarding the knight's thunderous features. Drawing a slow, steadying breath, she steels herself - again, likely aided in this effort by her consumption of alcohol in the past few hours - and dares to speak up again.

"And how often do you listen, brother? Do you really consider yourself in any position to lecture me on the possibility of besmirching our family's name?! You have no idea what it is to be a woman in this world, or a mother, or a widow.. and nobody knows better than me just how much rests upon my shoulders. Mine. Not yours." Unsteadily, she braces her hands on the arms of the chair and seeks to push to a stand, despite the shortage of distance left between them.

"I haven't -done- anything. But it's not the first time the world has speculated and whispered behind my back, is it? How is it that it comes to be a fault of mine, if a man speaks of wishing to bed me? Which, incidentally, I doubt has -ever- crossed either his mind or his lips." Wobbling a little, she shoves at Aron's chest with the heel of one hand. "Move. And leave me be." Giggling suddenly, verging on hysteria, she adds, "..if I am to be the Lord's mistress, you ought leave me alone with my grief."

"Oh, yes, talk to me of being a widow. The things I have given up to help you, sister, achieve your dreams!" Aron laughs suddenly, sharply, lifting the wine to his lips and upending it - downing the thing in several long gulps before throwing it aside. It hits the wall with a thud, and rolls along the carpeted floor. "Do you see me married? With an heir? Establishing a comfortable cadet house? No! I /serve/ my Family, sweet sister. And I serve you. Your. Loyal. Servant."

The words are bitten off, thrown in the woman's face as violently as slaps. "And you were not so certain it had not crossed his mind a few weeks ago, when you came to me so afraid! Or is it that you just no longer care, sister? Never -mind- that if I oppose him, I'm apt to be the first to fall. Never -mind- the consequences, you just go charging on with your plans for *yourself*." And there it is. His hand snaps up and across in a hard backhand, eyes bulging with a near-insane rage. "And do not -ever- presume to strike me, Ceinlys. Not ever."

"You're not wed because no one would have you!" Ceinlys hurls her retort right back in her brother's face, a splitsecond before his hand lands solidly across her cheek and jaw, with an audible *crack* in the otherwise quiet chamber. The sheer momentum of it staggers her a step or two to the side, her own hand rising to cover an already rising, heated welt upon alabaster flesh, ebon hair falling forward in a swathe to partially obscure her features and expression. But she doesn't cry out. She simply remains very still for a moment, perhaps waiting to see if anything further will come of Aron's fury. When it doesn't, immediately, she begins to slowly straighten, cold blue eyes turning to regard him through the tousled locks still in disarray about her face. Swiping the tip of her tongue across her lower lip and tasting blood, she draws her palm away in order to lightly press a fingertip there, finding a small cut and dazedly gazing down at the crimson on her fingertip for a few beats.

"Do you really think.." Ceinlys' voice is soft, barely audible, with a thrumming velvet quality from low in her throat that very clearly warns of icy rage to rival her brother's own. Her eyes shift unhurriedly back toward him as she reaches her full height. Gone is the trembling lack of care of moments ago. "Do you really think.." she says, again, "..that any of this is according to some grander scheme of my own making? That I labor for selfish purpose? If so.. leave." She punctuates the word with a sweeping gesture, pointing toward the chamber door through which they entered not long ago. "Go on." She encourages, turning to square off against the taller man now and shaking back her unruly locks, revealing the marks he has laid across her cheek. But they may as well not exist, such is the suffocating air of her rising anger. "Get out." A brief pause. "GET OUT!" This time the words are roared, even if she doesn't quite venture to draw any closer to him. "I can look after myself. Go back to your whoring and gambling and drinking yourself into a stupor if the thought of Aleister Charlton terrifies you so greatly. Because -I- am not afraid of the words spouted by peasants and camp-followers."

To be continued…?