|Coming to Terms|
|Summary:||Jaremy and Anais sneak away from their chaperon to whisper of secrets and what lies in their future as husband and wife.|
|Related Logs:||Immediately following the events of Flesh and Bone|
|Marketplace — Terrick's Roost|
|Residents of the town and surrounding area bring their wares to sell here among small tables built upon the slate grey stone flooring of the outdoor expanse. The area is surrounded by thatched roof buildings and shops on all sides with roads and paths winding their way in and out of this thriving part of town. Most of the commercial capacity of Terrick's Roost can be found here with the storefronts attracting the attention of those among all classes.|
Hand in hand, Jaremy leads Anais quickly away from the commotion to the back of the marketplace, away from most of the commotion to a place where they may be able to find a few minutes of quiet. Weaving around the stalls, he finds a corner between two buildings pressed together. Not knowing how much time they have before her guard catches up, he steps close to her, lowering his cheek near hers. There's a quick moment of awkward hesitation before he whispers, breath brushing across her jaw. "I've sent ravens and riders out to Kings Landing and one rider to Oldstones. I've received word…Lord Anton or Lord Cyric may never have been ennobled. They could be commoners." He leans back to give her an intense look to gauge her reaction, leaning back in again. "Worse yet Ser Gedeon may have been conceived by Lord Geoffrey at the tourney where he was so close with Lord Harlaw's Ironborn. Ser Gedeon…could be Ironborn."
Anais follows where Jaremy leads, keeping an eye around herself. Thankfully, it seems most of the people are distracted with gossip of what just happened, though as he steps close, her breath catches. "Jaremy, what are you-" There's a hand to his chest, her cheek turned away before her mind registers that he's /speaking/, and she quiets to listen. She goes still at what she hears, brows furrowing ever so slightly, her hand forgotten at his chest. "But Lord Tully's men were at the tournament, and saw Lord- Ser Anton there. Surely someone would have said something? And Ser Gedeon was raised at Stonebridge, wasn't he?" This close, he can tell all too easily the way her pulse is pounding, racing with her thoughts.
Jaremy's teeth clench, suddenly realizing that for a moment Anais may have worried he was about to press himself to her, and as the thought comes to mind his ears and cheeks darken in color. The need of the moment, however, forces him through it. His pulse races, doing his best to not become intoxicated with their closeness. "After Lord Geoffrey died he joined with Ser Anton and went to Braavos instead of returning home, or to Terrick's Roost, but yes…he was raised at Stonebridge. Seven, Anais, I don't know about Lord Tully, or even if anyone asked or maybe this means these rumors of Tully involvement are right, but only the king can ennoble someone and that has to have been done by Robert Baratheon and will be documented by his Grand Maester. One way or another I will be receiving a sealed document that tells the truth of that one thing." He squeezes her hand at their side, eyes closing at the feel of her hand on his chest. "If Oldstones is a ruin still…this could be it. It may still be a month, but we should have a raven from King's Landing within a fortnight."
"And what then, Jaremy?" Anais looks up, her own cheeks pink. Still, she doesn't move away. "What if Lord Tully says that it was signed off on at the time, but someone must have lost the paperwork? If he's behind this, then it would be easy enough. But why?" Her fingers curl against his chest as she looks down, gaze fixed on her fingernails. "If Lord Tully wanted to grant Oldstones to Ser Anton, it isn't as though it would be hard. I don't think the king takes such great care in those things that he would deny it. Why go through all of this for it? And why bring in Ser Gedeon?"
"I don't know. Maybe Gedeon is blind to this. He was poisoned, sure but…maybe there is still something we're not seeing?" He shakes his head from side to side, sparing a sudden glance back to the stalls to make sure that they are still alone. He leans in again, speaking towards her shoulder. "Weeks is all this will take. If Lord Tully did not grant or promote Ser Cyric Valentin to King Baratheon for nobility, we will know. In knowing we have the initiative. Lords can only have land, not knights, unless they are ennobled. Even Lord Tully could not do this. Though if Lord Tully has simply not noticed, or if Lord Hoster has been lied to as well about Oldstones…we could be protecting Lord Tully with this information as well. Whatever it is, Anais, this could be it."
"Protecting a ruin?" Anais' brows furrow once more, and she sighs, leaning back against the alley way. "I don't understand why it matters. I understand on the basic level, of course. In the sense that the lords should maintain a hold over these things. I just…I don't see how whether or not he is Lord of Oldstones affects us. Are you sure…" She looks up at him once more, even if the color in her cheeks deepens when she does. "Are you sure this isn't something the Naylands are feeding you to distract you from Stonebridge while they cement their hold?"
"Oh I'm sure, Anais, this was given to me by Amelia, but what harm is there in verification. I'm not going to make any claim without proof, and this is going to yield proof, at least to my father." His eyes latch onto hers, keeping hold of her hand even as she leans away. It provides him a moment to look to the side and breath in cool air that isn't heated by their closeness. "I met with Ser Ryker, please, tell no one. He's told me that these claims are a lie, and so as my honor as a knight I've vowed to see justice done with this, even if it does damn the Tordanes. Though I could have killed him for patting my arm the way he did in front of Ser Anton, I will not tell him of this. No…I am not listening to the Naylands, Anais." He smiles softly, reaching to her arm to brush it softly, to soothe her fears. "Amelia fed this to me. Damn the Naylands and damn Ser Ryker's claims. I've sent riders for answers to end this once and for all."
There's a flicker of something across Anais' face when he says the information comes from Amelia and not the Naylands, just a hint of a sad smile. "Answers, then," she agrees quietly, nodding once. "Though I fear even the answers you may find from the King will leave other things uncertain. Why they chose this path. If Ser Gedeon did indeed choose it, or if Ser Anton played upon it these past years. What they hoped to gain from it. Who stood to gain the most from the entire scheme." She swallows, eyes closing for a moment as the surprise of his first movement slowly fades away, leaving a different - if equally unsettling - feeling in the pit of her stomach. "I feel as though I'm not even sure what game we're playing."
"What?" Jaremy asks quietly, catching that sad smile at the corner of her lips. He grows concerned, letting go of her arm to brush his hands through his hair. Long, straight strands of brown hair settle over the top of his scalp until they slowly begin to fall back into place as he moves. "Anais, I know at times I may seem…aloof. I try hard to be lordly so that my brothers can not be in a fashion, to find their own interests. I don't know…" He shakes his head. "…you worried that perhaps I had allowed the Naylands to influence me, aye? I've been watching, thinking, and waiting for the right way to strike on this, and in the meanwhile I've desperately wanted just five minutes to feel as if I could show you who I truly am." He reaches for her arm again. "I swear, Anais, no matter what comes of this you will be safe, even if it means I have to send you back to Banefort."
Anais arches a brow sharply at the last, moving her hand from her chest to reach up and catch his chin, tipping it down toward her. "Jaremy Terrick," she murmurs, eyes narrowing as she catches his gaze. "You are not sending me away, do you understand me? Don't you know how hard it is to find a handsome, single, honorable, noble heir who hasn't already been promised to some girl from the cradle, and is willing to entertain the possibility of making connections with a different family from the ones they've /always/ made alliances with? And doesn't have a pox? And is interested in women? And has a sense of humor, and doesn't mind silly stories?" Releasing his chin, she sniffs, looking down to poke a finger at his chest. "You are /stuck/ with me, Jaremy Terrick."
Having the good sense to hold up one hand in protest as his chest is viciously jabbed at, he has even better sense to keep their other hands connected as they have been since leaving the scene of the honey-merchant's accident. "Then that means you're stuck with me too…" Jaremy mock-argues, unable to hide the slight grin at the edge of his lips. "…this is it. You and I. This is going to happen and I want it to happen. I cannot lie to you, though, there are times when I want to run off and wrestle lizard lions and ride in tourneys and chase down bandits. There are things that I do that will simply drive you mad and come less than two months from now, whatever that means, you are just as stuck as I am." He grins broadly, tilting his head a little. "But I will be a good husband to you. Truly."
Anais laughs softly at his threat of running off, shaking her head. "And there are times when I just want to gallop off to the horizon, and jump naked into the sea and swim as far as I can," she confesses, rueful. "I…am not Igara Frey," she smiles crookedly, almost apologetic. "I need to run, and to ride, and to feel the wind in my face. And I will be…I will be as gracious, and gentle, and charming a lady as you need me to be for Terrick's Roost, Jaremy. I will be the very image of womanly virtue. But I need to know. Will you still think well of me when I return home with mud in my hem, and leaves in my hair? Or," And she pauses, laughing with a rueful smile, "Having lost my slippers in the surf?"
"M'lady, you can come back to the Tower muddy, bringing pets from the forest, leaves in your hair…whatever so as long as you do come back. Yes, Anais, I will still think well of you. I want you to be who you are, and at times that may just be the person who needs to point out to me when I am wrong, or when I need to forget myself." He sudden slows his words, glancing over his shoulder in the direction of the stalls. Still, he sees no one. When he looks back to her, the look in his eyes seals it. Mischief. Throwing caution to the wind, he reaches for her cheek and leans forward to kiss her for the first time.
Anais's sigh is one of absolute relief at his response, her eyes closing as she drops her head back against the wall. "Thank the gods," she murmurs, starting to shake her head. "I don't even know which-" And then his lips are against hers, and she stills for a breath of uncertainty. It lasts no longer than a heartbeat, though, and when she recovers, there is a soft sound of pleased surprise as her lips part beneath his. No doubt the rush of color to her cheeks can be felt so close to his skin, her fingers curving against his chest.
His lips are not hungry, instead they brush against hers in a show of affection and the adrenaline fueled need to throw propriety to the wind. He lets the embrace linger, and before he pulls away he presses his lips to hers once more, as if not wanting to truly push away. Leaning back, he lowers his gaze to her shoulder, remaining close still as he exhales. The rush has passed, and what remains is the tingling feeling of sneaking through the keep at night to play cat and mouse. "…I…" He sneaks another glance over his shoulder, turning back to her face, doing his best to hide the fact that he's a little glowy. "…I interrupted." He laughs softly.
Anais' lips curve beneath his, a silent acknowledgement of a stolen moment. "I forgive you," she laughs to his words, a throaty sound. A sidelong glance from beneath her lashes marks her guard at the entryway to the alley, his back turned a little more pointedly than true ignorance. "It wasn't important." Quickly, she pushes up on her toes to steal one more kiss, slipping past him and into the cooler air away from the wall. Her fingers stay twined with his, though, drawing him after her. "We should go," she murmurs, smile crooked. "Before poor Hank strains something not watching us."
Holding hands isn't illegal right? Jaremy grins and manages to return the short, stolen kiss for barely a second before he's yanked away from their private conversation space. "Ah…the Lady Anais is merciful as she is beautiful…" Jaremy teases, following. As she leads hims around the stalls that are starting to become occupied again, he starts up what might come across to their chaperon as idle talk that would give him means to think that they weren't hiding in a corner kissing and making conspiracy. "…and this one here usually has a good number of silks that Lucienne favors, you'll have to come down here with her. She has those silks added to her dresses all of the time…"