|Summary:||Rowan and Isolde speak of the upcoming engagements and possible avenues.|
|Related Logs:||Gifts and Barbs|
|Stables - Stonebridge|
|The public stables of Stonebridge are quite large and even have a distinct area for visiting nobility to store their steeds while visiting Crane's Crossing. Saddles are stored within an interior building and out of the elements where services are offered for everything from repair to shining. Feed is supplied as well to make sure that the charges are well cared-for.|
|Fri July 22, 2011|
It is a relief to be away from the tension that had remained after the Terricks had arrived. Leaning against the gate to the outside arena, she rests her on her arms and turns the figuring in her hand. She lifts it faintly into view, focusing on it, the white cloak and the like. It makes her smile in fond relationship before she rises up and presses her torso against the gate, hands reaching them over as the foal is given room to run if need. Lifting some grasses, she shakes them to bring the small thing closer to her. "Come on, Leen.." She says, "We gotta get you in to your stall…" It had been cleaned and prepped for the younger horse and now the Lady readies to take the foal to it.
Now that the Terrick contingent has arrived, there are horses aplenty to see to, and while some might be content to leave their steeds' care to the skilled hostlers here, Rowan is not. The lad has spent the time between their contentious welcome and now making sure Symeon and Buttercup (his own mare) are settled in, rubbed down, and groomed until they gleam. So he's a little dirtier than when he was first presented, sleeves rolled up to his elbows, not a single dark hair to make more masculine his slender forearms. Seeing Isolde, he stops and bows low. "My lady."
As Tourmaline hesitates to draw to her, Isolde is patient and she frowns as she can't seem to get a hold of her. She lets the foal go run about the open space, letting out a breath. But it is the addressing of her person that makes her turn. "Lord Nayland…." She says and watches the squire of Ser Jarod's. "The formalities are long lover, please, rise. We are to be family soon." She tells Rowan, a sad smile on her lips. "The foal…is beautiful. You did a wonderful job." Comments the Lady. "She is still really high spirited, it shall take some time to get her to not shy from me." She watches the small creatur, tossing it's head as it finally slows near the side, eyeing the Lady.
The lad looks abashed and blushes a bit, shaking his head of dark curls. "Just Squire Rowan'll do, milady. Not that I mind the Nayland bit, but Lord's too much courtesy for a fellow who rises before dawn to muck stables." He smiles fondly at the leggy animal, not intervening, letting Isolde accustom the creature to her hand. "She gets that from her mother. We like our ladies spirited at the Roost." He studies her a moment, looking vaguely disappointed, and looks away. "Anyhow, she'll be swift and hardy as anything when she's grown, but graceful, too. Like I said before… good bloodlines."
The double meaning is caught and Isolde smiles sadly, her gaze on Tourmaline. "I know you do.." She says and as patiently keeps her hand outsretched for the foal to test her in it's own time. "She will be beautiful." She admits, looking the animal over, lips parting as the skittish youth reaches her hand and lips it, draws back only to return. "And as for Lord…you do more respectable work than many Lords I know. There is no shame in hard work or in what needs to be done as a squire. It's very honourable you chose to do what you did." She casts a look back over her shoulder with a warm smile, turning forward once more as the faol butts it's head into her hand. Accepting that touch, she smiles a bit more, rubbing fingers up into the mane while her other seeks to bring herself closer, hand brushing out over the withers.
"Oh, I'm far from shamed by it, lady. I'm proud of it. Prouder to be called squire than lord — though I do know many lords of merit." The boy tilts his head and goes on watching the beauty tame the timid beast. "This is always what I wanted t'do. And to become a knight in time. When all's said and done, I can say I followed my heart."
If that was meant to be a spike at her, Isolde is not sure but it still stings. Her head bows a moment, coming close to the foal as she shhhhs Tourmaline and lets her eat the sweet grass from her hand. "It's a wonderful thing that, following your heart. I envy you, Rowan." She looks back towards the Nayland, studying him. "You have a great Knight. Ser Jarod has always been a sweet soul. Much like his brother. The Terrick's are good people." She takes a handful of the man while Tourmaline is still munching and begins to turn, leading her inward and closer to Rowan.
Rowan frowns as his words find the tender mark, apparently not having meant them to cut so deep. "Lady, it is… out of balance that you should envy a lastborn squire. If there is any aspect of my life that you covet, something is amiss. Something that perhaps should be corrected." He pauses, choosing his words carefully. "Lady, I would die for Ser Jarod a thousand times. I love what he loves, and despite that which he hates." There's a faint, bitter smile at that, but he goes on, "So I would see those he loves happy."
"I envy your freedom to choose.." She says drawing closer as she places her cheek to the soft neck of the foal, warm and comforting. Isolde smiles gently, "You speak as if you were in love..though I blame you not. Jarod is a good man to follow." She says. "I know this well. I spent my childhood with the Terricks. They are my family." She says. "You do well to stay with with them." But at the thought of something being amiss, the Lady shakes her head, "Nothing is amiss. King's Law stands and all is it should be. We all do not get what we wish for but must adapt to what we are given." She begins to steer the foal towards it's clean stall.
Words are funny things. One never can tell what they'll hit once loosed in the air, or what old wounds they might make fresh. Isolde's observation makes the squire blush deeply and he clears his throat, rubbing the back of his neck. "He is a good man to follow," Rowan agrees, eyes averted. "And I would. Do well to stay with them." He hedges a moment, uncertain whether to dare, then takes the plunge. "So would you, lady."
Amelia had tried to suggest something much the same and it causes Isolde to pause, turning her head to look at her. Her voice grows soft that saddness that is hidden well behind her green gaze blossoms forward. "It would be best you not say such things with your brother and cousin around, leastwise my mother. Heartache is better left to fade instead of drudging it up again." She pauses, looking to the foal, picking up her pace once more to show the foal inside, stoppig at the door, giving a pat along its rump to get it to enter. "Besides…I would if I could, Rowan. And please, Isolde. There is no one about but us and it would please me so to speak with someone who is to be my brother by marriage."
The boy looks remorseful to have caused her pain, plaintive and confused by her insistence on her course. He worries his bottom lip with his teeth, brows knit. "Lady, it would please me to no end should our relationship be one so familiar and congenial. So as brother to sister, I beg you… confide in me?" He pauses, eyes searching her face. "Tell me what claim my kinsmen have on you that you must submit to this marriage, despite the leanings of your heart?"
The foal safely inside and eating the mash, Isolde hesitates at the request and she furrows her brows. Stepping inside the stall, she reaches for the brush off the wall and hooks it about her fingers, brushing down the horse as she falls to silence. But her eyes lift to look at Rowan, judging in that span a few moments whether it's wise to speak of such things. Her gaze flickers outward and seeing no one but stablehands, she sighs, "My mother. That is explanation enough. She holds control of Stonebridge til I wed. So she has sway over me. She has placed me in your kin's hands to seal the connection of Frey to Nayland. She has found allegiance with her father's house instead of with the one her husband chose. What oath my father took is not supported by a son so my mother has chosen to give Stonebridge to your family. And me with it." She brushes along the whithers and down the side of the foal as it eats. "My heart has no leanings in the sight of King's Law. The agreement has been writ and signed, if I break it, I shall be punished and House Terrick will suffer."
Rowan's dark eyes widen and flash. "Signed by whom? Who signed it? You? Or your mother?" He shakes his head. "Isolde, you love Jaremy. And sweet Seven knows he needs you — I'm sure if you didn't know already, you were able to discern from the display on our arrival that he doesn't have a lick of sense when his heart's in it. If the old — " he breathes in through his nose. Counts to three. "If your honored mother controls Stonebridge until you marry, then marry — marry Jaremy. And invite her to the reception."
Such a bold display is down by Rowan that her lips part in surprise. Green eyes study that delicate, almost feminine face. Isolde shivers a moment and the object that has been tucked away to her skirts is felt keenly against her leg. The white cloaked Kingsguard - Jaremy. Dreams, wishes, just like they had always talked about. "Signed by Lord Rickart and my mother, more than a promise made by two knights drunk in my youth." She nearly says bitterly. "You speak things so sweetly, yet you give me hope where there can be none for such actions." She shakes her head though and actually smirks some, though the obvious lack of heart is in her gaze. "By all means, call my mother the old hag…she deserves it. Rowan, King's Law would have me hunted and brought back to marry anyhow and Jaremy…Jaremy would be put to trial. I will not ruin that family. Jaremy will marry another and she will teach him to be patient and calm."
In for a copper, in for a sovereign, as they say. Rowan's gone too far to turn back now. He reaches out to take her hand, impulsively. "Sister," he says softly, "for whichever way you marry, you will be a sister to me… there was more than a promise, long ago, wasn't there? There was a document, signed and sealed, just as this one that now binds you. Of course, that piece of paper is no more." He pauses. "What if this latest contract were to… similarly disappear?"
As her hand is taken, Isolde turns a querying eye upon Rowan who not plots and seeks to twist that dagger of hope once more. Fingers flex and then curl around Rowan's tightly. "Yes, a sister, no matter what side." She promises softly. "But..there never was…" She stops though at the assumption and thought of a lost document. Isolde catches her breath, "If it could be, I would not hesitate one instance. I would marry Jaremy here, at this tourney and let Nayland rot; forgive me.." She is quick to say. "But with my mother and your Lord cousin plotting together, I would not be surprised if this document was copied several times over and sent to the Measter of Mallister and Frey to announce it to them. And if them, Tully would know too. So if this one goes missing…the others survive and those who are our Lords above us would bring the law down harshly." SHe squeezes Rowan's hand.
The boy lowers his eyes, swallowing hard, crestfallen. "Balls," he whispers. "Great, sweaty, hairy balls." He sighs and squeezes her hand. "Sod all, I'm sorry, Isolde. I misjudged you. I… I couldn't imagine the circumstances that could so force your hand against your heart, but… there it is, isn't it?" He meets her eyes, his own sad. "I thought you could just defy them, if you — but I'm a simpleminded fool. They'd run out of cunning and guile by the time the Naylands got around to making me, I'm afraid." There's a helpless pause. "And I've opened old wounds for you, who've been bearing up so beautifully under all this. I'm an ass."
There is a soft laugh from her, despite that realization and slow release of hope again. "Rowan..you are hardly that." She sighs and shakes her head. Leaning, she brushes a kiss to his cheek if he allows her. "You were only trying to help..and trust me…I thought about sneaking away to marry him in secret, I did. But it would put House Terrick at great risk and because of the agreement, Nayland could still get the lands without marrying me." She searches Rowans gaze and decides it best not ask, even if it is a fear. She gives a faint tug. "Come, show me how best to care for Tourmaline, she was your charge."
Still abashed and sorrowful, Rowan promises, "If there's a way to help you in any way, Isolde, I'll find it. We'll find it. Jarod and Jaremy and me." He sighs. "Or maybe my brother's not so bad. He's handsome enough, in a thick-necked, loutish, beaky sort of way." The kiss is allowed, the lad strangely devoid of blushes for a beautiful woman's show of affection, though it does net a smile. "She was only mine for a week or so, but I'll show you what I know. It'll be a while before she can be shoed, so her feet are the most important thing to watch…" He kneels to take up one of the foals spindly legs, gently, beginning a lesson on the anatomy and care of a developing hoof.