|Dearest Row IV|
|Summary:||A letter by raven to Eustace Rivers, care of the Three Keys Inn, King's Landing|
|Related Logs:||Many and varied|
|27th day of Seventhmonth, 288 AL|
Oh, Sweet Seven, I've gone and done it now.
And of course I blame you entirely. You and Jarod and your stupid, stupid advice. And wine. I blame wine. And Tym Rivers.
I most certainly, deeply, emphatically blame Tym Rivers.
How to even begin the description of this debacle?
It all began with the tournament upcoming. All the romance and pageantry and such. Ladies giving knights favors. And I thought, of all the knights who would be competing, who among them more deserved the favor of a lady than mine?
You think you see where this is going, I know, but you don't. You really, really don't. It's a disaster beyond your wildest, most thoroughly entertained dreams.
I mean, I am a lady deep down, am I not? Certainly a lady better suited to him than the tavern whores he favors and the full-blooded daughters of fine houses that would ruin him. Disowned and disgraced as Rowenna Nayland is, she's a lady yet.
Yet I no longer own the name Nayland, do I? Not as Rowenna. I am someone entirely new. So I thought how Rivers suited me, as it does you — a name for noble blood that cannot claim its house. And how I always found my middle name lovely, and regretted it saw so little occasion for use. In that moment, catastrophe was born.
Rose Rivers. Lady Anonymous.
I wrote him a letter expressing my admiration and enclosed a favor — a lock of my hair, braided with gold ribbon so it nearly matched his colors. I might have waxed a bit poetic and adoring, even in that brief missive… But that was to have been it! An innocent, anonymous outlet for my feelings — for Rose's feelings — and done! I thought he might be cheered and flattered and encouraged. Truly, such was the whole of what I dared hope.
Then came the day of the opening joust, and Jarod and I… had such a peculiar falling out. It was all a misunderstanding, but he was so… sharp and flat and cold. It wounded me more deeply than I can express. The whole day I stung from his rebuke, miserable… then, in the evening, an absolutely mad idea took me.
I wanted to be, for just a little while, looked upon admiringly. Sought after. Appreciated. In every way that Squire Rowan was not. So I put up my hair, donned a gown, and joined the post-joust revelry as Rose Rivers.
The scheme was, for a time, an astounding success. I barely had time to catch my breath between dances, I flirted and laughted and had endless cups of wine. Men competed for my attention — how had I never realized what a delight it is to be a girl? And then, when I finally had a moment to sit — there was Tym.
And he was charming, and funny, and indisputably well-favored… and he wanted me. It was heady — and I was well in my cups. It's something of a long story and one of which I'm less than proud. Suffice it to say that, like scores of other pointless, silly girls before me, I ended up in his bed.
Huzzah! My persistent virginity is no more. Everyone can celebrate now.
Row, darling… it was miserable.
I don't mean physically. Make no mistake, there was some calculation — or at least justification — involved on my part. If I was going to fuck someone, it might as well be someone good at it — and Seven know Tym Rivers has had practice enough for himself and ten other men. So it was good. Extraordinary, in fact. I certainly now understand what all the fuss is about.
The miserable part was afterward, when I was lying cold and naked beside a man who was so… compeltely disinterested in anything other than my cunt that he had no desire to touch me once he was finished. He didn't care about me — who I am, what I think, how I feel. He chose me not for preference but for my availability. And, stupid me, I didn't even ask for coin. I gave it away for nothing.
I know… I know how absurd and womanly an idea it is, that there should be more to fucking than… fucking. But I — being stupid and a girl — felt so tenderly disposed toward him after. And so humiliated, so wounded that there was no tenderness returned. I left as quickly as I could manage.
The next morning I came to breakfast to find Jarod wearing my favor. Wearing my favor! Even before the melee — days before the melee — he had it about his wrist. And more? My Knight of the Roving Eye didn't flirt with or eye a single wench the whole time we were at the meal. Sweet Seven, to go from such a state of hung-over misery to rapturous joy. I quite feel like I'm losing my mind.
Jarod, being Jarod, managed to make me cross with him again before much more time had passed, but I couldn't remain so for long. I was compelled, possessed — I had to share my delight, and more, to know his mind if I possibly could. So I poured my heart into another letter — then, cloaked and cowled, paid the butcher's son to deliver it, promising more should he return with a reply.
Oh, but the Seven have a wicked sense of humor! Not only was I present when the letter was delivered, later, but I had to sit in mute horror as Jarod offered my messenger eight silver stags in total for the identity of the anonymous lady. I was even asked to see if I could track her down, myself! And then, and then to hear him read my words, and gods be good the way he smiled…
What madness have I wrought?
I hardly know who I am any more, or what I'm doing. I only know I live on air and the hope of his reply.
I look forward to when you recover from the nose bleed you've given yourself laughing at my expense, that you may write back.
Until then, I remain,
Your absurd and hopeless sister,