|Cider with Becky|
|Summary:||Rebecca brings Justin a gift and a proposal. Or is it a proposition…|
|Related Logs:||Rebecca at the Roost in general; Such Sinister Secrets|
|Lord Justin's Chamber, Four Eagles Tower|
|A relatively plain room by most noble standards with a desk, a wardrobe, a wash table with pitcher and basin, and a large oak timbered bed with a storage trunk at the foot of it. A huge golden brown bearskin rug is thrown upon the floor to one side off the bed, the bed coverings in shades of greens with golds. A pair of aged tapestries adorn the walls. They depict a scene of knights rallying for battle in one, and the other is a hunting scene with hounds and horses after a white stag upon the bluffs overlooking the sea with a great sailing ship in the distance on one side and Four Eagles Tower rising nearer on the other. Both are adorned with golden eagles in the corners against faded and freyed purple borders. A small hearth for winter heat and a narrow window for fresh air and light complete the chamber.|
|9th October, 289|
As he's expecting summons, the door to Justin's chambers is left very slightly ajared and not barred from within. Besides which, Lothar needs to be able to come and go and the lord Sheriff isn't sleeping. The contents of Justin's chambers have been put back more or less as they were except that another bed and trunk have been moved in to accomidate sharing the quarters with his cousin while rooms remain too few for their guests. The lady Aeliana has been away so Justin's rooms were no longer required for her use.
The Sheriff himself quietly paces the room, his hands tucked behind his back. Papers and a leather folio lay open upon his desk with sunlight spilling in through the narrow casement window that stands open to admit the sea air.
So it is that a new intrusion will meet the Sheriff's ears before his eyes, a low, tuneful, melancholy voice he may have begun, perhaps with an inward groan, to recognise as that of Lady Rebecca Nayland.
"My lord…might I come in? Are you at leisure…well, at relative calm, …for a moment? I have not forgotten the courtesy of your last speech to me before you rode…" The voice trails off, as if dismayed by whatever he rode *to*. "And I should like very much to repay it."
"Enter." Is all that the lady Rebecca receives by way of answer. If Justin even remembers what words have been shared between them the last time he saw her, it'll be a wonder what with everything else that has been upon his mind. Jerold Terrick's youngest son turns and as Rebecca opens the door to come in, he walks back to his desk to put out a hand to close the folio and enclose the papers strewn within it. He does not go so far as to relock it up into his desk as yet. Blank parchment, quill and ink are set out for his use as well as a small bottle of some drink that looks to be more potent of distillation than wine, a cup next to it.
Justin stops by his desk to look to her and await whatever it is upon her mind that she's come to speak to him about.
The portal swings further open, revealing the lady in a well-kempt state, her long hair carefully wound and partly concealed by a wimple of green gausy fabric, a darker dress sweeping away to encase the rest of her, its almost black evergreen perhaps Rebecca's idea of some mark of respect. While attended by the stipulated Terrick guard, she is otherwise alone; her Septa is keeping more and more to their chamber these days, with a plausible chill.
Rebecca cradles in her large, silverily beringed hands a middle-sized bottle, which she ushers forward gently. "A little of my mother's House's cyder, Ser Justin. I had thought to offer it earlier by far, but perhaps it will serve its purpose," she appends vaguely, "in such times…I know you to be a practical nobleman, ser, as well as a gallant knight, and so - while I rejoice to see you - I have not come without a small matter of business to entertain you, also. I have received a letter from my cousin, Young Lord Stafford…"
Justin will accept the cider though he'll have no intention of drinking it for he trusts her not. "Thank you. A generous thought, lady Rebecca. Please," the bottle is set upon his desk and his chair turned about to offer it to her, "sit and make yourself comfortable if you like."
Once the chair is presented, Justin takes a few steps across the room with his hands once more tucked behind his back, "So tell me. What does Ser Stafford write to say, lady Rebecca?"
"Ever the gentleman!" Rebecca enthuses as she sinks into the proffered seat without any false hesitation; as her glance bends her eyes settle fleetingly upon his face, and become very dewy. "Oh, my lord. I have not looked upon you properly since…your poor face…"
That his face's new configuration represents a trend she started is something she appears or affects to have forgotten.
"At any rate. Dear Stafford has a gentle soul, my lord, unlike the hard-faced Valebitch who bore him. He had become fond of your sister, and had not thought to examine her so…cynically…as his mother. He was shocked when he was proved wrong and she right, by these dreadful…" Again, the trailing off trick; what would 'rumours' or 'reports' or 'events' or 'facts' add to the crystal of her meaning?
"But I sincerely believe, my lord Justin, that all could be repaired. Stafford believes your sister was…what was the word? I understand these things so little…'defiled'; and he should like to see the perpetrator named and punished. But otherwise, why, the solution to repair all is clear…"
Perched safe on that prudently offered chair, Rebecca nevertheless leans a little closer…
Good cider shouldn't be wasted, should it? It happens to be his favorite drink. So Justin gets another idea entirely. He drifts back around to open the bottle and pour some of it into Lothar's unused cup, which he sets on the end of the desk /closest/ to Rebecca herself. He then pours a little more smoothly into his own cup though he leaves it there and doesn't pick it up to drink.
Grey eyes are lifted to meet Rebecca's as she speaks. Justin's face guarded, devoid of any readable expression though her /reminding/ him of how she had clawed Ser Symeon's face isn't missed.
"It will be repaired, if possible. This House intended him and his no insult. What Lucienne did was unknown to us. Whom the father might be does not concern Ser Stafford and his family. It will be dealt with." Justin thins his mouth before he twists it slightly into a hint of a half smile, "Does he propose a solution, then?"
Though possessed of a certain oddball cunning, Lady Rebecca is by no means an observant woman, and takes the shenanigans about the cider at face value and the proffered cup in her hand with carefree avidity, tossing a refreshing gulp back to encourage her in the crux of her proposal.
"Why, but the answer presents itself so neatly, as if 'twere in the hands of the Gods, my lord! A new marriage joining our houses would solve all, as long as the points of detail on lands ceded remain same - I know my mother's kin; lately they've wed among the false Naylands, and for fields they would wed fallow-deer as well as falcons…" That deep resonant laugh returns to her speech, as she concludes, "…and here, by equally benevolent chance, am I. The bride and groom to swap places in the dance, and all else to remain the same, my lord…I offer my own person."
For a long moment Justin only stares at Rebecca. Shame he doesn't have a drink in hand because he'd quafe a bit of it now if he had. It's better that he does not. "I do believe that makes no sense, lady Rebecca. First of all, it is the lady who brings the dowery to the betrothal, not the groom. Further, that benefits my house not at all and only damages it. Presuming you mean to propose yourself in marriage unto me, you are mistaken, lady Rebecca. I shall need to marry a woman who can produce children for my House." No offense intended to her age but while he may not know it precisely, he isn't stupid either.
His tone is kept cool, neutral. Justin adds as he takes a few steps across the room, "I should like to see this letter Ser Stafford sent to you, lady Rebecca. To read it for myself. Do you have it with you?"
The lady raps down her cup, half drunk, back on the table. The light in her eyes, of gleam and of salt water, practically effaces their deeper colour. She smiles too, broad, jovial, much relaxed, perhaps by the excellent cyder.
"Oh my lord, but I do bring a dowry. Let the original dowry of your sister stand, to salve the Groves pride - for the insult, as you know, was grave - and to serve officially as the gentleman's dower, granted to his widow - should I become such, in these troubling times. As for my own dowry…know you not, that with a slight alteration in a Septon's favour, with regard to a *most* irregular marriage, I stand to inherit the Mire? As for children, well, I am untried, ser. Perhaps," she remarks with astonishingly good humour and ill tact, "I am less wizened than you imagine…and with regard to the choice, well, ser, I would wed you by choice, for your gentle conduct, not your prospects, for my heart befears me of all worldly goods, has done long since…but any of your fine cousins would do."
She trills off, in passing, "I know all their names! Ozric, Brogan, Keenan, Bowen, Lothar…"
His last request is the only one to blunt her irrepressible jollity. "Ser! You would not manhandle a lady's correspondence! Besides, it contained matters of discretion regarding your sister, as you've heard. I have burnt it."
Ah, which means that no such letter likely ever existed in the first place. Justin twists his mouth, "I see. How convenient." He's really in no mood for this after last night's fiasco and all else that has been transpiring. Yet he bears just a little more patience for the sake of tact. "We shall see, lady Rebecca. You will forgive me if this isn't the time to discuss such matters while I yet have far more pressing concerns to deal with at hand. I will go and speak to Young Lord Stafford myself soon enough, but he and his can stand to bide a little."
He is about to add something more when there is a knock upon his door. Justin turns his head, "Enter." and in steps a house retainer, "Ser, you cousin Ozric wishes to speak with you. Details from … last evening's meeting." Ah yes, the summons he was awaiting. Though by the thinning of Justin's mouth, it was not Ozric he was expecting to go and speak with, but his father.
His cup untouched, Justin nods and looks back to Rebecca, "I must escort you from my chambers to see you out, lady Rebecca, and go to speak with my cousin. We'll discuss this further at a later time." He goes to open the door further and await her departure, not trusting to leave her in here to go through his personal papers.
Lady Rebecca exits obediently enough, not even troubling to finish that luscious looking cup of cyder, and abandoning, too, the rest of that bottled gift…only looking rather stricken and disappointed as she tears her tearful eyes from the knight of Terrick.
Justin has no time for women's antics. He simply looks for the Terrick guard the lady Rebecca is supposed to have at hand to escort her about the keep, one that Jerold's son has rotated often so she not supplant his man with her own wiles. "Escort her back to her own chambers or wherever else she cares to go." It's made clear she's not to remain within /his/ chambers. Justin waits for the order to be acknowledged, then steps out himself.