|Brothers and Sisters, or Something|
|Summary:||Jarod tells Lucienne what they're finding concerning the rumors about her bastard status.|
|Related Logs:||Comfort Wolves; Where Rumors End; other 'Who's the Daddy of Luci?' logs|
|Guest Chamber — Tordane Tower|
|The bar is open but service is slow.|
|Fri Dec 09, 288|
Terricks have always enjoyed the hospitality of Tordane Tower, though this trip seems a touch less comfortable than previous visits. Nevertheless, it is in a chamber with her faithful handmaid that we find Lucienne this evening, her hair still damp and her skin still pink from scrubbing. She's decent, at least, sitting on her bed as Celine brushes out her curls. It's a cosy picture, a warm atmosphere within the room, and Luci's favourite tea is brewing in a pitcher near the hearth.
There's a knock on Lucienne's door. Three thumping, vaguely drum-like rhythmic taps. Ser Jarod is back from his adventures.
She knows that knock. Lucienne bids Celine to show Jarod in, and fetch some wine. Or spirits. Anything stronger than tea.
Jarod comes inside. He smells of tavern, though he doesn't look drunk. He may've had one or two to get his courage up, but he's not sloppy. "I need a word alone with my lady sister, Miss Celine."
"She's going to fetch us some wine," Lucienne tells her brother, as Celine bobs a wordless curtsy to Jarod. The tall, slim girl disappears, snicking the door closed quietly behind her, and Lucienne reaches for the brush to rake it through her hair herself. "You had some luck?"
"Aye," Jarod says, coming to sit next to his sister on the bed. Deep breath. "Ser Hardwicke and I spoke to the girl at the tavern, and she directed us to another local woman. Her name's Rysann. I guess she used to be a chambermaid for your mother, at Four Eagles Tower, when we were boys and before you…around the time you were born."
Lucienne frowns, latching onto a long curl and twisting it around in her fingers. She inspects the very ends quite studiously, before flicking her brown eyes back up to Jarod. "Is she… do you know if she was telling the truth? Anyone could simply say that, and expect you to believe it."
"I think she believed it was the truth," Jarod says, green eyes meeting his sister's. "Though as for the bit about Lord Geoffrey, I think that was just idle talk. Likely put in her head by someone else. She told us she'd been telling this tale for years but nobody bothered to listen, until a man came to that tavern of hers just before the Masked Ball. I'd like to find out more of him, myself. As I do figure he might be connected with the Naylands. But the story itself…I think she believes you aren't…that your lady mother…I think she believes you may not be Lord Jerold's trueborn daughter."
Long lashes blink slowly, rhythmically as Jarod tells his tale. Lucienne is still, her brush finding a place in her lep with her hands curled atop it, until she draws a deep breath that gives rise to her shoulders. "Clearly this goes deeper," is what she says, calm and even. "Someone's been feeding her the lies. Who was the man? Did she give you a name? And why has she been telling this story for years?" She levels an expectant, cold sort of a look upon Jarod: he should have these answers. She needs these answers.
Jarod reaches out to place his hand on Lucienne's shoulder. The calmness seems to worry him more than a more emotional reaction would. "She didn't give it. Claimed not to know it. I got a description and will take it back to the tavern where she works, where other tongues may talk freer. This man needs to be found, and dealt with, as he plainly means our family ill." As to the last. "Like I said, Luci…more than that, I don't know. If you want to go back and ask her yourself, I'll take you."
Lucienne's tongue peeks out to moisten her lower lip, and she sniffs judgily. "You should have arrested her. She admitted to spreading slanderous lies about the Lady Evangeline for years." She drops a look to that hand on her shoulder, and something within her yields; she seems to deflate a little. "I'm sorry," she says quietly. "I don't want to see her. She's probably long gone by now, anyway."
"I doubt very much she'd leave, at least this quick. Stonebridge is her home," Jarod says. "And not our land anymore."
"If I saw her, I'd just want to take her head off," mumbles Lucienne to the brush in her lap, biting down hard on her lip after.
Jarod puts his arm properly around Lucienne's shoulders, scooting to sit closer to her. "Aye," he murmurs. "If you want answers on this, I expect the only place you'll get them is your lady mother, anyhow. If she'll give you the truth of it. For the rest…Luci, nothing has to change out of this. Lord Jerold'll never hear a word on it from me, swear to Seven. It's Lady Evangeline's and your business, not mine."
Luci snuggles comfortably into Jarod, arching against him and sneaking an arm around his back. Her next sniff is more a sniffle, and she shakes her head in a teeny tiny gesture. "I would never," she says firmly. "I couldn't ask her. I couldn't give her insult like that - she would tell me. If there were any truth to it, she would tell me. But, Jarod…" When her eyes lift to his, they're a little too glossy-wet. "Thankyou."
Jarod makes a non-committal sound, as to whether or not Lady Evangeline would give the truth of this to her daughter. He's certainly not going to argue she wouldn't, whatever he privately thinks. "I do think we should tell Jace, at least what I've found so far. If you're all right with that. He's the young lord, he'll need to be in on…whatever's done with the man behind this. Beyond that, I'll say naught to anyone, and I doubt he will either."
Lucienne shakes her head again. "No," she says firmly. "He'll tell Anais. I don't want this all to become a great long whisper chain, Jarod. Whatever is 'done' to the man behind this, you will take your instructions from myself or the Lady Evangeline. Quietly." She pauses for thought, then asks, "Ser Hardwicke was with you?"
"I will take my instructions from you," Jarod corrects her slight. "Lady Evangeline has made it very clear to me, many times over, that I am not family to her, and that suits me all right. I will not hear her slandered. But you're my family, Luci, and it's for your protection that I will do what's required out of this." As for Hardwicke, he nods. "He was. Not sure where he is now. We parted company after speaking with that Rysann woman."
Luci squeezes her arm around Jarod, an apologetic twitch at the corners of her mouth. "From me," she allows, dipping her chin to nod. "We'll get to the bottom of this. May be that we need not do anything at all, once we find this man. Ser Hardwicke didn't mention plans to tell anyone what you found?"
"He did not, though I figure he'll go straight to your lady mother. He has ever been her man," Jarod replies. "He asked me not to speak with you, but I figured…" He shrugs. "…everyone's got a right to know what they are in this world, Luci. How they carry it's on them."
"Let us be thankful," says Lucienne, "That each of our men serve us so true." Her smile finally surfaces, accompanied at first by a little crook in her brow. Hardwicke asked Jarod not speak with her. Interesting. "Thankyou, truly. I could ask for no better a brother, Jarod. You and me and Buttons, we're the best."
"You're the best, sweet sister." Jarod agrees with that part, at least. He seems to have nothing else to say on the subject of Lady Evangeline or the rumors that prompted all this. "Can I stay for some tea? Or…whatever you're up to drinking."
"You can," agrees Luci, switching a look over to the door. "Celine should be back soon with some wine. I think I should like to tickle my cheeks pink with some wine tonight," she says, sliding a mischievous grin back to Jarod. Knock, knock! That gentle rap could only be the bearer of said beverage.
"I could do with wine," Jarod says with a grin. He'll stay and drink with her and talk of happier things than her paternity.
Lucienne: Because he is the best. Even if he won't admit it.