|Summary:||The Terrick-allied contingent takes stock of the situation and what might be gained, and lost, by it.|
|Related Logs:||Unfortunate Realities; lots of other Riverrun logs|
|A swanky room — Riverrun|
|Nobility bunks here.|
|Sat Nov 12, 288|
The Tullys have been kind enough to provide the young lord and lady Terrick with comfortable, airy quarters in the Wheel Tower, including a large sitting room with wide windows that overlook the river below. Anais has thrown the windows open, welcoming in the breeze, and there are flowers in a few vases spread through the room. They don't seem likely to welcome unknown visitors, though. Anais' hair is loose, still damp from a bath or a swim, and the tray of bread, cheese, and cold meats on the table has already been well-nibbled at.
Ser Jarod has been bunking in a communal and less airy room with the men of the Terrick guard contingent. Where he doesn't spend much time, particularly during the last couple days, as he's been getting acquainted with the floors of Riverrun's less-fine drinking establishments. So it takes a little while - though perhaps not as long as might've been feared - to track him down and summon him. He comes, shaved and dressed in Terrick livery and apparently sober. So he's got that going for him. He knocks before entering, a loud and rhythmic 'tap-taptap-tap-tap' that's fairly distinctive of him.
Josse has not been a terribly frequent face in these noble halls, most of his time spent out on the streets of Riverrun among those closer to his social ledge. He passes through the halls on the way to Jacsen and Anais' chambers with an awkwardly stiff gait that avoids the hell out of touching anything in this unfamiliar place, his eyes flickering with a hint of relief once he spots Jarod at the door. "Hey."
Jacsen is seated amongst the sitting room's comfortable furniture, his cane not far away, though it seems his gaze ventures out further than the scope of the window he gazes at. A word from his wife draws his attention back to the room about him, a wan smile given the blonde woman. "Forgive me if I do not rise, please, join me," he asks of both his half-brother and his well known Septon, a hand vaguely indicating the seating. He looks up at his wife, reaching for her hand. "Sit with me, Anais?" he invites her, setting down his mostly forgotten cup of wine that he might be more accommodating should she take his offer.
Anais steps to the door at the tapping from Jarod, a faint smile curving to welcome him in. "Jarod, Septon," she murmurs, stepping back to invite them inside. Once they're in the room, she closes the door gently behind them and moves back to Jacsen's side to take his hand. "Of course," she says quietly, lifting his hand to brush a kiss to his fingers before pausing. "Can I offer you gentlemen a drink?" she asks, taking half a step away from her husband.
"Jos," Jarod says to the septon in greeting. The other man is offered a friendly nod, though his overall air is decidedly downcast today. "Let's to it, then." And in they go. "Jace. Anais." The greetings are given swiftly, and he goes to pour himself something to drink. Water, not wine, for himself. He drinks it all in one long gulp, and pours himself another. It's only then he moves to sit.
"Aye," Josse answers Jarod under his breath. As he steps in after the Rivers his hands stay curled around the strap of his satchel, which crosses his chest from right shoulder to left hip. A formal nod to Jacsen and a more stilted one for the less familiar Anais. "My Lord, my Lady. Nothing for me, right now. How are you?" The question is, of course, deceptively simple. He leaves it right where it is.
"I've come from Lord Tully's private audience," Jacsen informs, by way of answering Josse's question. His gaze skips from the Septon to his brother, whom has been noticeably absent of late, and whom now favors a cup of water… "I need counsel before I press forward in the consideration of this great matter. I would have my Lady mother and Lucienne here as well, but as they are not available…" He waves a hand. And does not mention Gedeon or the rest of the Oldstones contingent, either.
Anais eyes Jarod at the water, but doesn't question the choice. Instead, she pours a pair of glasses for herself and Jacsen, delivering one to him first before taking a sip of her own. Remaining silent, she settles gracefully next to her husband, reaching over to twine her fingers with his as he speaks.
Jarod looks, on somewhat close inspection, to be on the slightly-gentler end of a long hang-over, among other things. Which perhaps explains the water-guzzling. "How'd that go, then? What's the Lord Paramount make of Lord Geoffrey Tordane's magically-appearing will?"
"Mm." It's a sound Josse often makes, that could mean almost anything at all. The slight loft of a dark brow Jacsen's way accompanies it, as Jarod so graciously asks the question.
"I think it little secret that Lord Tully loves us, and our liege Lord Mallister," Jacsen prefaces, which in its own way might speak to the quality of what he might say next. "But the law does and must constrain his actions, even where it might not quite do the same for those that stand opposite us…" He glances at his wife, his fingers tightening in hers a moment before he looks to the others. "Incredibly, he says that the finest of his scribes find both the letter naming Isolde a bastard and the testament Ser Rygar produced to be of Ser Geoffrey's hand. It is only the testament, however, that bears a proper seal."
"Which is ridiculous," Anais snorts softly, rolling her eyes. "They have the seal. The testament could have been lacking it as well, tucked away somewhere because Lady Valda didn't want Isolde to marry Jaremy. But now that she /wants/ to make use of it, she takes out the seal and imprints some wax and it gives her what she wants now."
"But…they say opposite things," Jarod says slowly. Like he's trying to wrap his head around this contraction and can't manage it. "They can't both be true."
"They were not written at the same time," Josse points out, with the slowness of someone just reasoning out the obvious to himself. One hand untangles itself from his satchel strap and his thumb scratches the side of his cheek. "Legal documents can and do replace one another. Ser Geoffrey himself may have uncovered information that changed circumstances for him. Unfortunately without that seal on Gedeon's papers…" He exhales through his nose.
"That is truth," Jacsen concedes, though he seems in agreement as well with his brother and his wife. "The document is convenient, aye, though the excuse is that it was hidden so as not to make an embarrassment for Lady Valda or her daughter when the marriage was given to Lord Ryker," he explains. "As to that. Jarod, did Jaremy ever… speak of that? Of what he thought to be with him and Isolde? More to the point…" He pinches the bridge of his nose. "Did he ever decline an offer for Isolde's hand from the Lady? Did Father?"
Anais is silent now, her thumb brushing lightly over the back of Jacsen's hand. She listens and watches, gaze moving between the men.
Jarod shakes his head at mention of Lord Jerold. "Our lord father never did, to my knowledge. He'd not have had any reason to. As for Jaremy…" He frowns. "I'll have to think on that. Jaremy spent a good deal of time after I came home from the Trident, after Lord Geoffrey's death, spinning fables in his head about the Kingsguard and going to the Rockcliff to listen to Amelia Millen sing." He snorts. "I'll have to think on it. He was of-age then and he was putting it off, but I can't recall if he ever did so formally…" He frowns, dredging the far reaches of his Ser Rivers brain. It's sometimes hard to unearth things in there.
Josse's eyes shift to Jarod and then back to Jacsen and Anais. "I was away from our lands during the period this all would have been most important," he says, ruefully, "Though I too have asked several people if they have ever seen or heard of written confirmation of what Jaremy's thoughts were on this. Multiple times I've been told no, nothing exists, for the same reasons Jarod speaks of now. Hopefully I am wrong."
"If he has not… then there is merit for a challenge of the marriage between Isolde Tordane and Ryker Nayland, if we choose to pursue it," Jacsen remarks, though he does not look terribly enthused at recollection of how his brother spent the years after the Trident in his careless ways. "Wine, please, Anais?" he asks, lifting his wife's hand to his lips for a faint brush as he makes the request. "If all that exists is Lady Valda's word to say he declined it, I think her withholding of the testament is grounds enough to call her word into question. Should our Lord Father be able to say he did not decline it, and had every understanding the marriage was still to go through…" Even at that, though, he frowns. "Were we to win it though, with whom would we replace Lord Ryker, now?"
"If we're to accept the validity of both documents, why not Gedeon?" Anais suggests as she stands, taking Jacsen's glass in order to refill it. "Who could complain? Geoffrey Tordane's heir of his body and that of his heart."
Jarod blinks at Jacsen, twice. "Challenge the marriage? You mean overturn Lady Isolde's union to the Nayland man. Is that done?" As to possible replacements, he just shrugs. He's no bloody clue, plainly, and won't even speculate. "The lady seems fond of her Nayland man." A pause and he adds. "We spoke a bit this morning when I was walking back from the Red Fork." Another pause. "I slept there. Long story. Went for a swim, ran into Lady Isolde after." He stops explaining, seemingly aware it's only making the event sound stranger. He clears his throat. "Anyhow, I don't think she'd leave Lord Ryker gladly, even if she's not precisely fond of the rest of the Hags." He then just blinks at Anais. "Replace…Lord Ryker with Ser Gedeon? What? Like…make Lady Isolde wed someone she was raised to think was her brother?" His face goes all of 'Ewww.'
"If a 'replacement' had to be proposed I would have suggested Lord Anton, myself," Josse remarks mildly, on the tail of Jarod's making a face like that. Perhaps something in him is sympathetic to the 'Eww' factor. "If I weren't quite so sure Lady Lucienne wouldn't arrange for my falling down a very long flight of stone stairs." He's joking. Really. Maybe. "But establishing that the testament is real is still a far reach from being able to force a divorce between Isolde and Lord Ryker, is it not? Political law certainly isn't my forte, but would you even be able to do that?"
"I suppose the suggestion is not impossible," Jacsen supposes, watching his wife as she moves about to pour him wine, "Though I suspect it would be a rather hard thing to make most swallow. Even if the pair were agreeable, Lord Jerold I doubt would be…" His brow furrows a bit at some of what Jarod has to say, but he doesn't comment on it instead saying, "There is precedent, Lord Hoster said as much, though he cautioned that I be quite careful about what is said on such things…" He looks about. "I consider this as safe company as I might find outside of talking to myself, so." He looks back to his wife, holding out a hand for the sake of his wine cup. "Lord Anton? Hmm. Mayhap."
"If she's anything like Jaremy, I suspect she's certain she's in love with the man," Anais cautions, passing the glass to Jacsen and settling back into her seat. "Which means if you separate her from him, you may not actually gain Stonebridge back as an ally. She might choose to stay with the Naylands anyhow out of spite."
"I don't think we can say for certain what Lord Ser Anton would do with Stonebridge if he got it," Jarod says. "Whatever he might promise us, and Ser Gedeon. He's not sworn to the Terricks yet, though that may change if he grows closer to marrying our lady sister, who he's shown more fondness for." He frowns at Jacsen, all thoughtful. "Should be someone we know's loyal to our lord father, if you want to try at this at all. One of our cousins, perhaps? Or even a Mallister born farther down the line. Ideally someone the lady might not object to too much, at least that it might make coming back to Terrick banners in that fashion a bit more palatable than staying with her bog-lord. She has little trust for the Oldstones, but still some fondness for us." His brow furrows all thoughtful as he fails to come up with possibilities for this readily yet again, and he drinks some more water.
"Allies and love aside," Josse's soft-spoken voice takes its turn. "Dissolving a marriage without the consent of at least one party is not…the best thing one can do in the eyes of the gods. Could she be given the choice of remaining with Lord Ryker under condition she be removed from any power in Stonebridge, versus the choice to remarry into the Terricks or Mallisters of her own will and remain?" He makes a vague gesture. "Again, this may be a case of naivete on my part, but just to give it air."
He shakes his head a fraction, "No, Josse. Such things matter, in their way, and are better considered than not. Still, it is a matter of law, a marriage that, in the eyes of the Seven should never have taken place if the marriage to Jaremy was never declined on his or Lord Jerold's part. After all, Lady Valda cannot claim the testament makes her daughter heir, but ignore that it insists upon her marriage to my eldest brother. That, there, is the root of the challenge…" He takes a slow sip of his wine, and flicks a glance at his brother. "I'd want a Terrick, if possible, or a Mallister if that cannot be done. Though I'd like even more the idea of her renouncing claim altogether…" He mentions, looking to Anais at his side, "Whatever spite she might have for us, we would need place with her a loyal husband, and rely upon him to see our alliance assured."
"It's an ugly way to build an alliance, Jacsen," Anais shakes her head slightly, shifting on the couch. "Saddling your true ally with a wife who resents him. Who feels shoved out of her place because her mother forced her into another marriage she didn't want. Shoving the innocent, if not entirely blameless, woman into it as well. Better if she can be convinced to renounce her claim to Stonebridge. She can settle happily in with her current husband, still be Lady of a Keep, and Stonebridge can be returned to us where it belongs."
"Renouncing her claim might be trickier. Blood is blood," Jarod says. "It's what makes her the Lady of Stonebridge in the first place. And what gives Ser Gedeon any claim to it if she's not Lord Geoffrey's daughter, bastard though he is. Do you think Lord Tully would even allow someone not of the Tordanes to be put in power there? Blood and oaths of fealty to honor it is what holds this land together, and it's a dangerous precedent to set."
"We must not forget that Lord Revyn and his wife are, after Isolde and barring Gedeon, Geoffrey Tordane's heirs," Jacsen points out to those about him, though he is otherwise attentive to the words being thrown about him. "As to Isolde's disposition, or that of her husband… All I know of Isolde tells me she is mutable, Anais. She is what she needs to be to endure whatever her circumstance. As for her husband, be he someone of our choosing… the man is made a Lord proper, he can keep his complaints otherwise to himself."
"I am sure that will not end poorly for anyone," Anais replies quietly, taking a sip of her own wine. "Women quite enjoy being openly passed about to the benefit of the men around them." A faint line furrows between her brows, lower lip pushing out as she brushes a thumb pensively over it. "But they don't," she murmurs, mostly to herself now. "And if they believe it is going to happen, they are often inclined to make agreements they might not otherwise make."
"Shipped back beyond the Wall with the other soul-eating ice demons, hopefully," Jarod quips to Josse, as to what becomes of Lady Valda. That's not a serious suggestion. Probably. "Anyhow, I figure you should speak to our lord father before you move too much with this, Jace. He'd know if Jaremy deferred the marriage better than I. Now that I think on it, Jaremy did talk of putting it off until after he'd got his knighthood. Can't recall if he was properly of age then or not, though, or if he made any mention of it after. That was just after I'd come home from the war. I wasn't quite seventeen at the time myself, and Jaremy's not much my senior." He nods, about Revyn and his wife. "Though they have no children, and haven't after long years of marriage. Honorable thing to do if they got it would be for them to make Gedeon their heir formally, which might make his legitimacy easier to press for." To that last from Jacsen, Jarod shrugs and mutters into his water in something resembling unhappy agreement, "She's a bender…" That was mostly to himself, to whom it probably made sense. He looks up at Anais. "She might consider returning to the Terricks of benefit to Stonebridge enough to consider it. Maybe. She told me she still wishes for the days when we were all family, fondness for Lord Ryker or not."
On this, it seems, Jacsen has heard enough. He tips his wine back and imbibes a long sip, seeming to collect his thoughts before he presses on. "Another notion to consider. Lord Hoster has bid me speak to Lord Rutger Nayland, whom stands as Lord Rickart's representative. It is our lord's hope that the Nayland and I might come to some amenable terms over this whole matter, so that he is spared a decision, and the potential for breaking the King's Peace is avoided altogether."
"I doubt that will happen," Anais murmurs, blinking once before looking up to the men. "What terms would both you and the Naylands be willing to accept? A share of the taxes? Free passage? Those are the things that make Stonebridge worthwhile. Neither side is going to be inclined to sacrifice them."
"And what're amenable terms for us?" Jarod asks, slouching so that he has to look up a little at his half-brother. A long pause and he sort've mutters, "And for Ser Gedeon, for that matter." He frowns, a lot, as he says it, sort of forcing himself to go on. "Seems the…honorable thing to speak with him on what that might be, if the Naylands are wiling to deal. Even if Lord Hoster doesn't believe his letters he's…he's Geoffrey Tordane's son." He finishes his water, gets up, and gets himself some wine.
Jacsen runs a hand through his hair, leaning back into his seat, "Oh, I think it more likely to happen than you realize. Lord Rutger is not exactly a stranger to me, having shared words a handful of times in Seagard," he explains, resting his wine cup in an upturned palm. "He cares for this feud about as much as the rest of us, and if some amenable arrangement can be found, where neither side need risk losing it all, he might well take it." It's a more sympathetic look that Jarod is favored with, though, and Jacsen lets out a breath. "If we made a deal with Lord Rutger, I do not know what place Gedeon would have in that. It would mean the end of his quest to be his father's heir, certainly."
"Is it really baout being his father's heir?" Anais asks, arching a brow slightly. "You know him much better than I do, of course. But he's seemed to me…I don't know. As though he's doing this because the ends aren't what his father would have wanted, rather than any real, personal desire for Stonebridge for himself."
"There might be some concessions he'd want us to push for, something he could take away from it, as it may end here for him whatever we do," Jarod says. "It just…it doesn't seem to me that we'd be acting in much good faith if we ended his quest for him in some backroom deal with the Naylands. We're hear to support his letters, after all, if not his legitimacy. We pledged to do that." Drink. "We've only any standing left in Lord Tully's court because the Lord Paramount knows he can trust in the Terricks more than those faithless, lying bunch of swamp curs." Drink. "It just…it wouldn't be right, us doing it without his knowing it was being done."
"I'm not saying I plan on doing anything without Gedeon, for what it's worth. But I did not invite him here for a reason, and that is that I would hear truthfully what you all might have to say, and know that it would never leave this room," Jacsen affirms, his gaze moving about those three here with him. His insistence to Anais that the servants leave the room upon his arrival might make more sense now. He lets out a slow breath, and shakes his head. "This is all a damned mess, as it ever was." He looks over at his wife, and suddenly seems quite tired. His words go on without reflecting that expression Anais can see. "Still. I'd hear of what you all think of terms. Put Gedeon aside for the moment, and know that I will speak with him when the time is right. I'm not of a mind to do anything yet, but I need hear thoughts other than my own."
Anais twines her hand with Jacsen's at that tired look, giving it a reassuring squeeze. "If you can? An agreement for the next generation," she suggests. "That Stonebridge should fall to a child who is not the heir to Hag's Mire, and that it should then once more be subject to Terrick's Roost. It's for the future, and perhaps they'll be less attached to something more distant." She takes a sip of her wine, thoughtful. "At least a share of the taxes, if possible. If not, then free passage for ourselves and our men."
"I serve at the pleasure of my lord father and wise lord brother," Jarod says, turning to Jacsen. He can't quite manage to summon up a smile, though his tone is warm. "And gladly. I'll say nothing to those beyond here. I'm just saying. Truthfully, what I feel is, it wouldn't be right to do it without him." He takes another drink, thinking on that. "It's coin we're in need of now. The monies we'd have gained out of Lady Isolde's dowry, perhaps? Might do us better than the lady herself, and that document Lady Valda claims to've kept under her skirt all these years might help us in pressing for it. I doubt we'll get them to release Stonebridge to anyone but Naylands. That's the reason they wanted Lady Isolde in the first place. But…" He pauses. "…all Gedeon might want is the name. To be Gedeon Tordane. Supporting legitimizing him, perhaps, without conceding Lady Isolde's a bastard. It'd not gain him anything they care about without that, really. He'd be last in the line of anyone. But…he'd be Gedeon Tordane. That's something."
"I would be hesitant to ask for promises so far into the future, my Lady," Josse replies softly to Anais. "It opens the door for too much distrust and potential argument down the road, and it would be problems left for your children to deal with in climates unknown…and who knows what turns of fate between now and then." He folds his hands behind his back, listening to the rest of what she says and then to Jarod. "Legitimizing Gedeon is a fair idea. It would only be right that he come from this with a sense of closure. But the question is…" He looks back at Jacsen. "Would Terrick be satisfied walking away with an arrangement that does not explicitly include Stonebridge coming back into Terrick hands?" His tone is neither pointed nor leading; he sounds like he could as easily be talking to a parishioner with a simple problem. "For if the answer is no then half this is moot."
"I do not know, if truth be told," Jacsen admits after a long moment, considering the different answers and questions that follow them. "But it must be considered, if for no reason more than it is Lord Tully's request. We will honor that. Gedeon's legitimacy might well be brought up… though there needs be justification and we cannot expect that they will agree to press it for the sake of Lord Geoffrey's wishes, those wishes were writ on the same page as Isolde's condemnation. Taxes they might well agree to, as well as passage. The dowry seems most appropriate. I am also of a mind to secure a betrothal contract between our houses, if it comes to this."
"Between whom?" Anais arches a brow at Jacsen, her free hand resting over her abdomen. "It's a bit early to make certain types of plans, don't you think?" Ironically enough, she echoes Josse's words to her. It's too early to make plans for /her/ children. Isolde's are fair game, though.
"That's more a question for my wise lord brother and his wife than I," Jarod says. "But…Stonebridge may not be a place they're willing to move on. The rights to it. The future of it. We push for that in full we're like as to end up with nothing. The dowry and passage - and perhaps tax concessions, though those'll be more difficult - are what we need to build things up back in the Roost from our losses of it." As for the question of legitimacy, he looks into his wine cup rather than at any of them. "If it were me, I'd put it like this. And I'd put it to Lady Isolde herself before speaking to the Nayland, if possible. The Tordane name died when she wed. If Gedeon is legitimized, it wouldn't. It'd be his, and pass on to his children, even if they'd inherit nothing by it. That might be…I think that'd be something she might support, and get the Naylands to support, as they lose nothing by it."
Josse is looking at Jarod, even if the other is looking into that cup. And keeps looking at him once done, his expression one of those impenetreble ones they must teach in septon school. He says nothing to this round of talk, attention returning to Jacsen and Anais for their reactions.
Jacsen's index finger, heavy with the Terrick seal, taps noiselessly at the rim of his wine cup. "Coin is what we need now, that is the truth, but what we require beyond now is peace. When bitter men like Rickart Nayland, and twisted ones like Rygar are dead and in the ground, I wish to know that this animosity has gone with them," he says, firm. "Long may Lord Jerold rule over the Roost in good health, but the time will come when he does no more. And what I would seek for myself, for my wife," he insists, looking to Anais, "And for my heirs… is peace. We've known war." His blue eyes favor Josse, and then Jarod. "I never wish it upon the Roost, nor those I love."
"The dowry is a clever request," Anais agrees with Jarod. "And it seems the Naylands have been doing well enough that they could have little reasonable objection to it." She considers Jacsen for a long moment, quiet. "I wouldn't wish war on our children, Jacsen, but I wouldn't wish for them to be made small avoiding it, either. Which is not to say that I think this will make them so," she adds quickly, lifting his hand once more for a kiss. "Only…I ask that you remember that there are things that are worth fighting for."
"Best make sure you get any betrothal promises in writing," Jarod jokes gently, looking back up at his half-brother with an actual smile now, even if his green eyes are still rather sad. "But…aye. That'd be a hell of a thing, wouldn't it? One of the Roost's children to one of Stonebridge's. There's a…rightness to that. Marriages are made over far smaller things than peace, Lady Anais. Blood is blood, and perhaps in a generation we'll love each other." He sounds like he actually believes that.
"My foot with writing, just be certain it's got a seal," Josse mutters drily. He folds his arms comfortably, his fingers picking twice at a flap of loose cloth by his collar. His opinion on marrying Terricks unborn was said before, and he's got the sense not to repeat himself.
"Blood is blood, and there are ways to fight beyond steel," Jacsen says, meeting Anais' eyes with his own. "Well then. Has anyone else aught they would say on this tonight?"
"/Blood/ is blood," Anais agrees, meeting Jacsen's gaze. "And words are wind, and seals can be broken. Jaremy didn't marry Isolde." She pauses, rolling her eyes with a low laugh. "He didn't marry me, either, and if one of our children tries something like that, I expect someone to ride them down and thrash them soundly, but that's beside the point." She sets her glass aside, then reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, tne golden tendril frizzing as it dries. "You know my mind, and you know the Roost. I know you'll make the best decision."
Jarod shakes his head, getting a chuckle of out Josse's comment. No questions from him, though he does shift a sympathetic look between Anais and back to Jacsen. Good luck with that. He finishes his wine, considers pouring another glass, but ultimately doesn't. Instead, he checks his coinpurse. Squinting. And frowning. "Not me. But I would like to talk to you just a moment more, my best and most-loved brother." This leads predictably into, "Think I'm going to need to borrow some money."
"If it's for tonight, Jarod, allow me." Josse makes this comment with a mild sort of embarassment. "In taking care of a small incident this morning I was paid in voucher for some inn, and I'll feel ridiculous if I eat alone on someone else's coin." He waves a hand at Jacsen. "Though further than that, of course, I'm afraid I can't go." He straightens his satchel strap on his shoulder and takes a step backwards towards the door. "Lady Anais, good evening. And Lord Jacsen, you know where to find me if you need."
"Umm…I'm not really looking to eat or drink with it, Jos," Jarod says, as delicately as he possibly can say things. Which is, of course, not very delicately. "But thanks all the same."
Jacsen reaches a hand to touch his temple. "Josse, thank you for everything," he tells the Septon, offering a weary but grateful sort of smile. "Anais, my dear, could you give Jarod and I a moment so he can ask what I feel certain he is about to ask me?" For her, the smile is a touch more bemused, but weary all the same. "It'll take but a moment, I'm sure."
What, exactly, Jarod wants doesn't seem to faze Josse. Even if the stiff shrug might be just a little too casual after that rejected invite. "Very well. Good night, then." He nods again to the nobles and turns to head out.
Anais quirks a brow at Jarod, though she looks more amused than upset. "Of course," she agrees, standing and leaning down to press a kiss to Jacsen's temple. "I'm going to go change for bed." Which is one way to make sure it stays a brief meeting. "Take care, Jarod," she smiles faintly before disappearing into the bedroom.
"I'll see you later, my good septon," Jarod says to Josse. After his business is concluded, of course. "M'lady." Anais even gets a short bow on her way about. And then he gets down to properly begging whore money off his little brother. "A couple of silver stags should do it, I think. Heard about this place called the Merry Trout that I'd rather like to give a go. I'll be back bright and early tomorrow, fear not."
Jacsen's brow quirks as his brother actually asks for coin to go find a whore, and the general mirth he'd displayed before turns somewhat confused. "And how much will you need for repairing the damage your lady will do when she finds you've been fishing, no matter how Merry the Trout might be, Jar?"
"That's been damaged beyond repairing already, I think," Jarod says. Shoulders deflating. "Look, I don't want to talk about it right now. But the short of it is, she no longer wants to be with me. I just make her unhappy so she's gone off to…be happy. Somewhere I'm not. And I…I really want to feel anything other than what I'm feeling right now so…if you could just give me the damn money and we'll talk later, all right?"
His concern is not easily hidden for Jarod, but he also hears his brother's words and does not quite ignore them. "Alright," Jacsen says easily enough. "We'll have words on it later, I suppose." He waves a hand at the small desk in the sitting room. "In the second drawer on the right, I've a small purse there. Take what you need, Jarod." It's clear he wants to ask more, and that he worries for his brother, but Jacsen says no more.
"Beats drinking myself to death, I figure," Jarod says, wryly but without any sign that he's joking, going to rummage in Jacsen's desk. He takes just the requested couple stags, pocketing them. And off he goes. Though he does pause to clasp Jacsen's shoulder before he disappears into the night. "Thanks."
Jacsen waves his brother off. "Have fun," he suggests, with a small grin.
"I'll have something," is Jarod's less-than-merry reply, no grin accompanying. He'll be back in the morning, all that coin spent.
With his brother and the Septon gone, Jacsen quietly finishes what's left in his wine cup, sets the thing aside, and reaches for his cane. Dragging himself up to his feet, he heads off towards the bedchamber, where his wife promised to be getting ready for bed.