|Changes in the Wind|
|Summary:||Jacsen tells Avinashi of Jaremy's departure.|
|Related Logs:||May the Warrior Guide Me, Lord Gerold's Lament|
|Jacsen's Room - Four Eagles Tower|
|A bedroom befitting a son of Jerold Terrick.|
|26 September 288|
Jaremy Terrick has taken himself off on a solitary hunting trip, without, it seems, retinue or squire. The same day of his depature, the Lady Anais falls promptly ill and sequesters herself in her rooms. An urgent issue that requires the Young Lord's presence has Jarod Rivers, his squire, Jaremy's squire and Liliana Camden, as well as a collection of household guard, off in search of Jaremy, but he has not yet appeared, and the hunt for the wayward hunter seems to have left Jarod looking more haggard and worn than one might expect. And then there is the quiet meeting between Jerold and his two other sons and the overall sensation that something is not quite as it should be. It is a feeling in the air. A weighted silence when there should be easy banter. The subtle press of something yet unspoken.
All of these pieces of the puzzle, Avinashi Ruhi has assembled, but as they do not quite come together in any clear shape, save for the fact that whatever has transpired must somehow involve the man she serves, the brightly-clad Dornish woman has chosen to seek him out. She is in rich violet silks today, trimmed with golden patterns. That they are the colors of this house is likely not simply a coincidence. Her bracelets jingle gently as Avinashi knocks on the door to Jacsen Terrick's room, but the soft chiming is mostly lost to the harder sound of knuckles tapping wood.
A distracted voice comes from within, the only sound quite making its way through the thick door that she raps upon with a more delicate knuckle than the thing is used to. "Come in," Jacsen calls, not rising himself to draw open the door in what Avinashi of all people would know is his usual custom. The struggle to get up and cross the room is rarely worth, in his estimation, the small note of civility such a gesture might provide.
It is different notes of civility that Avinashi savors in her lord's company, and she opens the door to slip inside, nudging the heavy wood shut behind her. She walks over to the young Terrick, the only sound her path makes belonging to the little bells around her ankles as bare feet glide across the floor. Arriving at Jacsen's desk, she seats herself in the chair nearest to where he works, clasps her hands delicately in her lap and waits.
"He's run off, Ashi," Jacsen tells the woman, without lifting his eyes from the parchment his quill scratches its way across, leaving a fresh spill of black ink that tells of tidings, beading at the end of elegant loops in letters, soon dried by the faint application of a pinch of sand. "Jaremy has forsworn his name, his inheritance, and his role, claiming the shame he bears was too much, and that he must go out into the world to restore his honor."
The quill makes only the barest of noises when it snaps in Jacsen's fingers, and his eyes bolt to the hand that held the instrument, as if unaware of how hard he'd been holding it. "I…" He lets out a slow breath then, his shoulders slumping faintly, as he just stares at the broken quill. "Damn him."
Avinashi leans forward to gather up that stilled hand in both of her own, easing the broken quill from between Jacsen's clenched fingers. She returns the small gesture offered to her some few days ago, when the skies were sunny and there was nothing much to talk on. She lifts Jacsen's hand, ducking her head, and brushes her lips across his knuckles. Still, she is silent, offering her company and her wordless compassion. Questions, thoughts, plans are tucked away for the moment.
He has nowhere else to look then, nowhere else he might claim his attention is called. Jacsen's fingers curl around Avinashi's own in a fond, familiar manner, and there is something of that in his eyes when they finally are drawn from some random point upon the wall and turned to his faithful retainer. Ignoring the world was of little good, after all. "Thank you," he murmurs, and just that.
The food taster only smiles softly for those words before offering her own. "Of course, my lord. Now, tell me what I must know and what it is I can do for you at this time."
"He is disinherited, Ashi, run off like a fool into the east, so far as we can ascertain. Perhaps Stonebridge, where word comes of discontent with the absence of its rightful Lord and Lady, or perhaps further. The fool." Jacsen tells the woman, with all the implications of what that means, things he's not yet willing to put to words. "But he is still my brother. And his blood the same as mine. Please, keep your ears open and listen to what the people say, that I might better understand their feelings in all of this. But confess no knowledge to anyone. We aim to keep this a quiet matter so long as is possible, given the circumstances."
Avinashi listens quietly and dips her head in a small nod. "I will listen and tell you what I hear," she promises. "He is your blood and you love him, so I will say nothing ill of Jaremy and his choices. But if you might wish to curse him to the gods for his rashness, you would find no more agreeable company."
His face twists in some pain at that. "Is it truly so?" Jacsen wonders of the gentle food taster, his blue eyes, often so open and expressive, quiet and reserved now. "Do we, his kin and blood, not see what you see, that you would curse him so?"
"Of course not, you love him," Avinashi answers gently. "And if that makes the pain sharper, it softens the anger. I see a man who would forgo his family, his people, his young bride-to-be and his duty in the service of the honor he does not even realize he leaves further behind with each step he takes from this place. And you see the boy you grew up alongside, the man you have witnessed him becoming. You see every kindness ever offered, every fond and precious moment shared. You see the love you bear for him, but not him."
He winces slightly at that, though he acknowledges it with a solemn nod. "It is terrible of me, Ashi, then, that I know exactly of the man you speak, and somehow just choose not to see him as such?" Jacsen lets out a slow breath with that admission.
"Terrible?" Avinashi repeats, blinking slowly as her brows lift. She shakes her head, "No, my lord. Of course not. The ties that bind us keep us true. We do as we do so we are not reflected poorly in their eyes. We are all a little blind to the ones we love. It is why you have me, yes, and the others whose counsel you keep? To see something through different eyes, to have a different perspective before you make decisions?"
He squeezes her hands once more before his fingers slip her grip, and Jacsen looks back to the parchment he broke his quill over, brushing some of the sand from his page. "I am not sure what this will mean," he tells Avinashi then. "If my father does not reverse his decision…"
Avinashi's hands settle back into her lap, and she listens quietly. "…then you will be the Young Lord," she finishes for him, "and I imagine it is you who will wed the Lady Anais Banefort."
Jacsen nods once, his eyes going over the contents of the document to ensure it was not permanently sullied by his momentary lapse. "I imagine you are right on both counts, though it is far too soon for any of Terrick blood to wish to utter such things."
"Yes," Avinashi murmurs, "I can understand that. I will be sure not to say such aloud again until you and your family are ready to think it. I only thought, perhaps you ought to hear it the once."
"It does weigh heavy on my mind," Jacsen concedes, "But there is still a chance, a real chance, that we might undo this mess my brother has recklessly delivered upon us. Though how he might expect Anais to wed him after this… or how father might expect him to be a decent lord…" He sighs through his nose. "I am a poor son, and a worse brother, it feels."
The food taster's lips part as if she might say something, but she hesitates, closing her mouth again before she asks, "My lord, may I say something that may be difficult for you to hear?"
He looks over at her when she hesitates and asks him something like that. "There is ever honesty between us, Ashi. Speak your mind."
"It may be better for your heart, my lord, if Jaremy were somehow reinstated to his former position," Avinashi says after a moment, "but it would not be better for the future of your family."
He sets down the parchment at that, his eyes anywhere but where Avinashi Ruhi's are. And then, a slow nod. "You are like as not right, Ashi, though I take no pleasure in admitting as much to you now."
"I know, my lord," Avinashi agrees softly. "There is no pleasure to be had in such a situation. But when you are ready, you will need to decide if you wish to devote your energies to finding and redeeming your errant brother, or if you wish to direct them towards building the people's confidence in the new lay of the land."
He frowns at that, when his choice is laid so bare. While Jacsen seems to have no argument to levy against those words, neither does he wish to admit them true. "It is not impossible that I might do both," he says after a moment, shaking his head. "Until it becomes clear that one or the other is the… best use of my effort. There is no new lay of the land yet, in any case, until Lord Jerold makes it so."
"If he has disowned Jaremy, then he has made it so," Avanashi argues softly, "but you have time yet to think on what you wish to do. I did not mean to press you, my lord."
"For now," Jacsen corrects. "He has made allowance for the notion that Jaremy might return, and make things right. Even more, he has only said such in hearing of a handful, it could be undone."
The Dornish girl studies Jacsen for a long moment before she simply bows her head in acceptance of his words. "Of course, my lord," she demures.
He lets out a terse breath. "I know you mean well by me, Ashi. There is never any doubt in that," Jacsen tells her. "Even so. There is time yet, and I will not put myself to a mind that does not remember that." He looks to his pages. "I should be back to my writing, for now. Perhaps you will join me for dinner?"
Leaning her weight forward, Avinashi readies herself to stand. "I would like that, my lord, thank you. For now, I shall leave you to your correspondence."