Page 337: Courting 101
Courting 101
Summary: The celebrated betrothed have a quieter moment to get to know each other.
Date: June 22, 2012
Related Logs: Patrek/Syrah betrothal news things?
Patrek Syrah 
Gardens — Seagard Castle
Pretty flowers.
June 22, 289

Amid the revelry of the tourney, the jousts and the melees and archery competitions, there are yet brief lulls and quiet moments, if one in careful to look for them. And one such moment has been carefully stolen by Lord Patrek Mallister and Syrah Redwyne, so that they might watch through the gardens of Seagard and escape the crowd and Patrek's cluster of advisors that seems to hover around him most other times.

Syrah Redwyne is as shy and quiet a presence as ever, but she has taken the arm of her betrothed for this tour through the gardens. Her septa is only close enough to keep an eye on the couple, but she allows them a good deal of space in which to get to know each other. "Your knights have been fighting very gallantly, my lord," Syrah finally finds the words to say.

Smiling softly, Patrek nods, letting his own hand rest lightly overtop of Syrah's as they walk. "They have, my lady," he agrees. "They've done well even against those so skilled as your kin, though I would say the men of the Reach were stronger overall in the second joust."

"My family takes great pride in its showings in tourneys," Syrah says with a quiet, fond sort of affection that is perhaps the slightest amount bittersweet.

"Then they should be very proud," Patrek replies, offering Syrah a soft smile. "I hope… you are enjoying yourself, my lady. I hope you could imagine Seagard as 'home', one day."

Syrah hesitates at that particular hope, her gaze sliding away and dropping modestly. "I — hope that as well, my lord," she says a touch hesitantly. But then she quickly assures him, "I am enjoying the tourney. Of course. It has been just wonderful."

"Good," Patrek approves with another smile and a nod to follow. Ready. It's good. They walk a little further, moving past the roses and toward a collection of assorted wildflowers before he asks, "I should like to give you something, my lady. A token of esteem, if you would accept such."

"Oh." Syrah blushes very slightly in a manner that is likely becoming familiar by now. "That is very — gracious of you, my lord." She glances up and over at him beneath her lowered lashes.

Which Patrek takes as a yes. He shifts his arm, gently dislodging Syrah's hand so that he can reach for the pouch on his belt and draw out a smaller pouch which he offers to her. Inside is an ornate, silver haircomb, the top part holding an etching of a silver eagle perched on a bunch of purple grapes, each one a tiny, winking gem.

Syrah slips her hand from Patrek's arm to fold her hands demurely in her skirts as she waits for him. Her eyes light on the silver comb he presents her, and then her expression lights in a quiet sort of pleasure. "My lord," she murmurs. She looks up at him, smiling shyly. "It's — very lovely, Lord Patrek. Thank you." She reaches for it with delicate fingers.

He passes it over, of course, his smile soft and pleased for his betrothed's delight. "I'm glad it pleases you, my lady. It will be made more beautiful for being worn by you."

Syrah draws her fingers lightly over the silver comb, her smile tucked into the corners of her mouth. "Thank you," she says again. She glances across the distance to her septa, who has busied herself with some embroidery while she keeps a peripheral eye on them, and then looks back to her betrothed. "Would you — place it for me?" she asks, shy and a bit unsure in this more intimate request.

"I, yes my lady. I should be honored." Patrek holds his hand out for the comb and then tucks it, gently and carefully, in the side of her hair. Gently and carefully so as to not accidentally stab her with the thing.

Syrah holds still as Patrek tucks the comb into her hair, color lingering in her cheeks at his proximity. She lifts her fingers to smooth over it once it's secure, and offers another smile. "Does it look well?" she asks him.

"You look very well," Patrek murmurs softly and then clears his throat as his cheeks go pink. "It, I mean. The comb. Looks well."

Syrah goes pinker, perhaps predictably, and draws her eyes modestly (embarrassedly) away from him. "That is very gallant of you to say," she says. She hesitates a long moment in awkward silence, unsure. And then finally she says, "I hope I please you, my lord."

"Oh, yes," Patrek insists quickly, "You do, my lady. Our families will both be stronger for our union, but even were that not so I, um. I should be glad. To be marrying you." He shifts his weight and moves to scuff his toe before he recalls that's not really the sort of this a man does when courting. "I wish you make you happy."

"You are very kind, my lord," Syrah says, quiet but sincere as she lifts her gaze to look at him beneath the thick shade of dark lashes. "And — honorable. And — I think I should be glad to be marrying you as well. Even without — what you said of our families."

This calls up a wide smile from Patrek as well as a bit more pink to his cheeks. "Then we're in agreement," he says before dimming down his grin a little. "I… may I address you by your first name, my lady?"

Syrah secrets another glance at her septa, but it seems that the betrothal and impending marriage is earning the couple at least a little room for intimacy. "You may, my lord," she says with more confidence.

"Lady Syrah," Patrek says, soft and careful, as if her name might break like fine glass if it's not handled delicately enough. "And I should like, very much, if you might call me Patrek."

"Patrek," she tries on with equal delicacy. "It's a very strong name," Syrah compliments him.

"Thank you," he-so-named murmurs. "Syrah is very…" he pauses, searching for a suitable adjective, "…lyrical." He glances over at the Lady Redwyne, a bit hopeful. How's that?

There's something of laughter in the brightness of her eyes, even if it does not pass her lips. "Thank you," Syrah says. "I was never — very sure I liked it, when I was young."

"I like it," Patrek offers, cheeks still a rather unmasculine pink. "It's lovely."

Syrah looks down at her hands, which are still folded in a demure fashion atop her skirts. Then she lifts one to reach slowly to touch his arm, then drop down to touch fingertips to the back of his hand.

Patrek holds carefully still as Syrah's fingers brush down his arm and then his hand. Slowly, his fingers turn so that they might lace gently through hers.

Smile very slight and quiet, Syrah allows the lace of their fingers. She simply stands like that with him, her gaze sliding away to one of the nearby varieties of flowers, her hand warm and soft against his. Her Septa perhaps eyes them a little more closely, but allows it from her distance. "Will you compete in the squire's melee, do you think?" she asks as if they are totally not holding hands at all everything is totally normal.

"I, Um," Patrek murmurs, "I have been getting lessons in swordsmanship and other knightly virtues, but as I do not actually serve a knight, currently, I'm not really a proper squire. So, it wouldn't quite be right for me to compete."

"Oh," Syrah says. "Of course. I had not — but I'm sure it would be very difficult for you to serve as a squire while leading your house. You have — not been afforded the time you should have."

"I should like to find I way to earn a knighthood in time," Patrek admits as he glances over at Syrah. "I know my father would have wished that for me. But, it is a bit difficult, as things currently stand."

"Yes," Syrah agrees quietly. Again she hesitates, and then says, "Even in the Reach, your father was said to be a courageous, honorable man. I am sorry you had to lose him."

"As am I, Syrah," Patrek answers. "He was a great man, he lived and died with honor and courage. I only hope I can be worthy of his expectations."

"I have every confidence that you will be," Syrah says firmly. Or else her husband will kind of suck. "Do you — Would you like to speak of him? You need not if it is too painful, but — if you wish to."

"Um," is Patrek's ever-so-helpful answer. "What should you like to know about him, my lady?"

"Only what you wish to tell," Syrah responds gently. "If — it might please you to speak on your fonder memories of him. I don't mean to pry."

"Well," Patrek considers before he draws in a soft breath, "I recall this one afternoon, he and I were fishing, a few months before I was to go to Terrick's Roost to squire. And something big caught on my line and I spent… I don't know how long, fighting to bring it up and see what it was. I was letting the line loose and then pulling it taut, as you're supposed to do, but I was growing tired and I thought I could win if I just held the line tight and pulled. So I tried… and the line snapped. And my father laughed and put his arm around me and said, 'You see, Patrek. You must always be willing to give a little. The day you refuse is the day you will lose what it is you were fighting for.' He would always say things like that."

The warmth of her smile creeps slowly across her expression as Syrah turns her gaze to study his face as he speaks. "He must have been very wise," she says, "and cared for you very much."

"Yes, he was," Patrek answers softly, "and I know he did. I never doubted that he loved me, I was very fortunate in that. I only… I suppose I sometimes wish… if I had known that our parting at Seagard, before I left for the Roost, was going to be the last time we would speak, I would have said more. I was so eager to be off, to prove myself…" he smiles wryly and shakes his head. "It wasn't so long ago, but I think on myself then and I seemed so young."

"I'm sure he knew," Syrah says gently. "All the things you would have said, and all of your love and esteem for him." She squeezes his hand softly.

"Perhaps. Perhaps so, my lady. Still. I should have liked to have said them, all the same," Patrek murmurs, gently returning her squeeze.

"Of course," Syrah murmurs. She falls thoughtfully silent for a long moment as she stands with him.

Patrek is quiet, too, for a little while, and the two of them just stand in silence, holding hands. "I suppose I might try to join the squire's melee in disguise. There have been no shortage of mystery knights in the competitions, why not one among the squires, as well?"

"Really?" Syrah looks, if anything, a bit shyly excited by the possibility. "I'm sure you'd make a very honorable showing for yourself. Would you like to compete?"

"I had always hoped to, when I was a proper squire," Patrek confesses. "It was one of the things I was most eager for, to test my mettle against other future knights. I never had much training and I only fought a few true battles…" he smiles a little shyly at Syrah. "If I did compete, would you cheer for me, lady Syrah?"

"Of course," Syrah assures him. "Although not too loudly, so as not to give you away." A rare flash of more mischievous humor lights in her eyes before shyness overtakes it. "I am sorry that my favor is already spoken for, though."

"Your cousin," Patrek agrees with a faint smile. "But your well-wishes please me better. If I know I have those, I need no token of proof beyond your word."

Syrah blushes again, though not without a pleased smile. "I am glad they can have such a strengthening effect, my lo — Patrek."

There is a quick, delighted smile as Syrah uses his name again, and Patrek offers her hand another squeeze. "What color shall I wear to disguise myself?" he asks. "What might please you most?"

"Well, I suppose you should not wear Mallister colors, or it would not be a very good disguise," Syrah says, pursing her lips consideringly. "Nor should I ask you to wear Redwyne colors. Perhaps something crimson? It is a very bold color."

"No, I don't think purple would do," Patrek agrees with a smile. "nor the colors of your house. Crimson would be… if it please you my lady, crimson it shall be."

"Or maybe /too/ bold," Syrah says, her mind continuing to wander in consideration. "Perhaps—" And then her expression lightens. "White," she decides. "Pure and clean."

"White," Patrek agrees with an easier smile. "I like that, too. A white mystery squire."

"White, then," Syrah says with a certain finality. She gives Patrek's hand a final squeeze, then glances over as one of his inevitable advisors begins to peek through the doorway. "I think you are about to be called to return."

"Oh," Patrek murmurs, before breathing out a small sigh as their interlude comes to an end. "I will see you at dinner, then… Syrah?"

"Of course." Syrah slips her hand from his to dip in a low, graceful curtsy. "I look forward to it…Patrek." Aw, look at that awkward blushing.

"Well. Until then, my lady," Patrek murmurs, offering her a small bow. Then, he heads towards where his advisor waits, to discuss whatever matter became so pressing.