|Summary:||Jarod tells Lucienne (most of) the sorry tale of the conclusion of the Lady Nommy affair.|
|Related Logs:||The various Lady Anonymous logs; I'm Just a Girl wherein it really was as bad as he thinks it was|
|Jarod's Chamber — Four Eagles Tower|
|A messy room.|
|Tue Aug 16, 288|
Jarod is finishing up his duties in the castle for the day, and is strolling back toward his chambers in the company of his lady sister. Who he's managed to corner. "At least Lord Ryker Nayland's gone, that's made things a bit easier in terms of the assignments of the guard. Though I still feel like we're acting as a half-way house to every lordling and otherwise in the Riverlands." He claims to have something he needs to discuss with her, though he's being weirdly difficult to pin down about precisely what it is.
"You say 'at least', Jarod, but the haste of his departure was… troubling. Still, it is better his easily offended self returns to Stonebridge, I suspect." Lucienne manages a smile, when she'd prefer to roll her eyes. "We do seem to have a great many guests, lately. It's to be expected though, with the attendance of Ser Gedeon here."
"Struck me as less than chivalrous, honestly, to take off like that with Lady Igara still abed," Jarod says, opening the door to his chamber and trumping in. "If we manage to settle this business with poor dead Master Howard enough, I'm going to ask Father's leave to be part of her escort back to Stonebridge. I figure I might need words with a few down there anyhow. So, two birds, one stone. And I suppose. Though when he was invited I'd hoped he might be able to lay a little lower, until this business with the letters was sorted out. We aren't rich in quiet at the moment, however."
Ser Rivers' rooms are perpetually somewhat untidy. He does not like to put things in drawers, or pick them up off the floor. But the castle servants manage to keep it from devolving into filth, and they make the bed and pick up after him a now and again. The walls are covered in hunting trophies along with a small banner in the bastard heraldry he's designed for his own use since he can't wear Terrick colors on his shield - field of black with a golden eagles' wing. No books are evident but there is a writing table and parchment where he can go over letters and House matters which demand literacy. His wardrobe is larger than one might expect if they only knew him in passing. He'd probably deny an over-abundance of attention to fashion, but he seems to spend a lot of his pocket money on clothing that he thinks makes him look good. His chambers are empty as he enters, save a sleek tomcat who's curled up on his bed, sleeping. The cat is a recent - and random - addition to his life. He's generally more of a dog person.
The animal is the first thing Lucienne notices upon entering, and lifts a brow at it and her brother in turn. "You have a cat?" This is news to her, apparently. Also of note is: "This looks cleaner than last time I visited you, brother dear. Not your doing, no doubt."
Jarod ignores the comment about his room's middling tidy state, kicking off his boots and plopping down to sit on the bed. "Aye, it seems I've a cat," he replies, scratching the beast between the ears. It purrs softly but doesn't really rouse from napping. "I'm fostering him. He belongs to Amelia of Seagard." The whore. "Or used to. She's left the Roost and - hate to say it - if she's wisdom in her I don't think she's coming back. I told her I'd look after him. His name's Mittens. I'm likely going to change it, though. Haven't quite decided what suits him yet."
"Oh." Lucienne shifts her attention back to the cat. "That woman gets about, doesn't she? Is that what you wanted to talk about?" Her brows knit down, and Lucienne frowns, looking rather like she'd prefer to avoid that topic of conversation.
Jarod can't help a little smirk at the comment about Amelia getting around. If Lucienne were one of his brothers, that would no doubt prompt a dirty joke. But he refrains. "She and Jaremy seemed close," he observes instead. "Closer than I'd strictly expect, man like him, woman like her. Though if she is gone I don't suppose it matters much now. And, no. Nothing like that. I'll remember her fondly enough, don't get me wrong, but the cat, sweet sister, is just a cat to me. Though I am kind of getting to like him."
Jarod can take the small smile that replaces Lucienne's frown as thanks for his self-control. "She seemed fond of him," is her observation about the Roost's favourite whore, though how she comes to it is anyone's guess. "You're right, it doesn't matter. I doubt we'll see her again anytime soon - a good thing. There is nothing more troubling than a woman who doesn't know her place." The lady nods sharply. "Well, then… what /is/ it? If not Miss Amelia, or her cat? Ser Anton? I've already had a conversation about him with our dear Jace…"
"A good thing, aye," Jarod agrees with that. "Troubling for her, the way I see it, how mixed up she got with our family's affairs." The pun may or may not have been intended. "She came by little good from it, first with that disaster at the inn with Jaremy and Ser Rygar Nayland over her, then with her ending up in our dungeons. I honestly can't say I understand the reasons behind both. Maybe I should ask Jaremy. I kept telling myself it's none of my business but…" He shrugs. "…Seven willing, whatever business is between them is over and done now. And no. Neither of those. Though I did want to speak with you about Lord Ser Anton, come to it, so we may as well do that as well." He flops comfortably on his bed, head tilted at her. "What did Jace have to say about that?"
Lucienne releases a long-winded sigh. All this talk of Amelia, it troubles her pretty little head; she touches fingers lightly to the intricate circular braid of her hair, palm cradling her cheek. "From what I have been able to source, dear Jarod, we are better not knowing. Ay, me." She allows her hand to drop from her face to her heart, and summons another smile. "What do you expect Jace had to say about that? Nobody trusts the Lord Ser Valentin, but nobody knows why. Personally, I have found him to be cordial and pleasant and gentlemanly. Astounding, given his reputation - but perhaps a good reason to keep him on our side."
"Lord Ser Anton's an unknown," Jarod says with a shrug. "I remember him, a little, from his service in the rebellion. His father a little better. Ser Cyric Valentin fought under the Mallisters' banner. Fought well, with enough service for Lord Tully to recommend him for a lordship I suppose, though after the fighting ended King Robert was handing out honors as eager as anything for the men who'd fought for him. Of Anton himself, I know little. Other than that he fights very well and, aye, seems cordial enough. And seems to have designs on my sweet sister." He offers her a boyish grin. "I've got no head or care for highlord politics, Lu. All I know, is that if he treats in a fashion that does you any hurt, I'll run him through myself." It's said merrily enough, but he is probably serious.
Wary of the cat, Lucienne draws closer to extend a hand to brush at her brother's arm. "That's my Buttons," she murmurs affectionately, smile wry for the nickname. "I could make worse matches, Jarod. Probably better ones, too, strictly speaking. In the end, it will be our Lord Father's choice, anyway." She seems confident enough in her tone that Jerold's choice won't be a disaster, at least.
The cat rouses himself to nudge his head into Lucienne's arm. Insistent on petting. For Jarod's part, the nickname makes him smile and chuckle, very ruefully, and he reaches out to give her hand a quick squeeze. "I can't believe Father would just marry you off to a lout you were completely horrified by. I know there's been some friction between he and Jaremy lately, Lu, but Lord Jerold's not an ogre. We're luckier than most, where lord fathers are concerned. If you've got some opinion on the matter of Lord Ser Anton and you, you'd do well to make it known to him. Maybe after we all get to know him better, albeit. As I said, man's an unknown quality, in lordship as well as personal conduct."
Lucienne wrinkles her nose at the cat's insistence, but obliges with a quick ruffle of it's fur. "Persistent little thing, isn't it? You said 'him'?" She gives Mittens another look, but not another pat. "You know, that's probably the best advice I've heard on the matter since I received that bunch of roses from him. Speak to Father." She sounds resolved to do just that. "Come now, Jarod. We've spoken of Miss Amelia, and of Jaremy, of our guests both wanted and un… out with it, hmm? What else is troubling you? If I'd one guess… the transfer of your squire to another knight? I know you and Rowan are close."
"That's what I was told," Jarod says with a shrug, as to the cat's gender. "Looks like a 'him' to me. And, aye. Persistent. He seems a sweet enough creature, though, if you give him some affection. And…no." He hesitates a moment. "I couldn't keep Rowan in my service anymore." A pause before he explains, "The way I fight was all right when he first started training, but it wasn't really compatible with the way he was built. The Braavosi practice a style called waterdancing. Uses rapiers - lighter swords. Better if you're quick and slim, but not something I'm versed in. Ser Gedeon is. And besides, the way things were going with the Naylands…" He shrugs. "…didn't seem fair to keep him in a position where he might have to raise arms against his own kin. No, Lu, it's…" Another pause. "You remember that matter I talked to you about during the tourney? That Anonymous girl, who was sending me those letters?"
"All the reasons in the Riverlands doesn't make the loss any less smarting," says Lucienne, eyes narrowing a touch. The mention of Lady Anonymous, though, this widens them again. Her brows lift. "Of course I remember - I had suspected your dear Rowan might have a hand in it somehow." A smile surfaces, twisting along the edges. "Did she reveal herself, then, this lady?"
"I will miss Rowan Nayland," Jarod admits. "Got to be like another brother to me over the years. Or nearly so. Anyway. Much like Fair Amelia, it's over and done now." As to the Lady Anonymous. He shrugs. "Yes. She did. And it…" He sighs, flopping his head down on his bed and slapping a palm against his forehead. "It was something of a disaster, Lu. Short version, I'm an idiot. Not that that's going to come as a revelation to anyone."
Lucienne frowns again, out of sympathy. "A disaster, oh dear. It can't have been as bad as you think. These things never are." Turns out cats are great for petting whilst pondering, and Lu stretches a hand to give Mittens another rub. "What's the long version, brother dear?"
"It was exactly as bad as I think," Jarod mutters. "Just picture a disaster of epic proportions, and then assume it was five times worse than that, and you'll be somewhere in the realm of the general idea of how bad it was." He rolls back into a sitting position, then stands, striding to his writing table. "I'll show you the whole chain of letters in full first. So you can see what an ass I made of myself and maybe follow my reasoning for thinking this might not initially turn out as awful as it actually turned out." And he fishes out letters. Several of them. Most of them have plainly been crumpled up at some point, perhaps to be thrown away, only to be smoothed out again and saved. The vast majority of them are from the anonymous lady herself, though there is one - perhaps a copy of what he eventually sent, it's decidedly less crumpled - that he wrote to /her/. He tosses them on the bed for Lucienne to read as she likes.
Lucienne gathers up the letters, and drops to a seat on the bed to read them. The first, she discards after a quick skim; "This one I've seen before." The second warrants a read-through, thought still in a speedy sort of fashion. It's the third, the letter from Jarod to the Lady, that holds the most interest for Lucienne - and then the subsequent reply. She pauses long on the last line in Rose's letter, before her signature. After an excruciatingly drawn out moment spent reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading it, she looks up to meet eyes with her brother… "You /met/ her?"
"Eventually," Jarod says, leaning back against his writing table as Lucienne goes over the letters. Palms braced back against the desk. Slight flush in his cheeks as he shows them to someone, even her. "I didn't that night. After the melee…well, I wasn't in grand shape after meeting Lord Ser Anton on the field, but that wasn't what kept me from it. Ser Gedeon came to see me that night and he…told me about his letters, asked my advice, told me what his father claimed Lady Isolde Tordane was and I…" He lets out a long exhale. "…it was sort of a lot to absorb and it took me a bit to wrap my head around it. And some wine. It took me a lot of wine to wrap my head around it. And I sort of…didn't make it out that night." He shrugs. "I did meet her later on, though."
"You danced well with my Lord Ser suitor," muses Lu quietly, nose wrinkling. The barest suggestion of disdain in her tone, coupled with pride for her brother. And possibly her suitor? She blinks a few times. "You knew about /those/ letters on that night?" Surprise, now. "I don't think anyone would begrudge you the wine, dear brother. So you failed her that evening, but met her later on. That doesn't sound the like terrible disaster you're telling me this is?" A hand strays from the letters to urge him go on with a rolling gesture.
"He stepped on my toes, and broke them," Jarod quips with a smirk. "Not that I hold that against him. Was a damn fun little fight, that." Though the smirk fades as his words turn back to the subject of Lady Nommy. "It might not've been except…" He takes a deep breath, returning to sit next to her on his bed. "…she wasn't who she claimed to be, Lu. When she said her name was Rose Rivers I figured…well, that's perfect, isn't it? We're just the same, her and me, and we can be with each other without anything being complicated. Except it was all lies. Her name's not Rose Rivers at all, and she's just a liar, and it was awful." There's actual hurt in his tone. And disappointment. "Look, I can't tell you the whole of it. The lady has secrets, which I swore to her I'd keep, and I can tell you truly I never laid a hand on her. But the broad strokes are bad enough. I can tell you she *is* a lady - of noble birth - which is reason enough that there can never be anything between the pair of us. Not to mention the fact that she's a false lying liar who *lies*." He sort of carps that harshly in the direction of his bits of parchment, as if he were carping at the lady herself.
Lucienne listens most carefully, nodding and mmming as is appropriate of a loyal, supportive sister. As Jarod sits, there's a quick shuffle of her slight frame to reacquaint herself with comfort, and that hand formerly gesturing in the air moves to settle gently on his knee. The hurt; it's shared. "Jarod," she begins, voice quaking a little. Her eyes shift again to scan the last letter from Rose Rivers, and dear sister wonders: "She says in her letters that she's noble-born. She hasn't lied? I'm not really following."
"She said she was a Rivers, like me, with no claim to her family name, which turned out not to be quite true," Jarod says. "She was…not what she put herself forward to be, Lu. Which is all I can say. It *would* be a disaster if her identity came out, and I did promise her. I owe her that much, though nothing more. I just…I can't figure out why she bothered with this. The games. The lies. The whole romantic mummer's farce. What was the point?"
It's with a soft squeeze his knee that Lu informs Jarod, "As our good lord brother Jaremy might inform you… people oft do silly things for love?" Without the benefit of experience, it comes out more as a question than the expert opinion he might be seeking. For that, Lucienne sighs, her shoulders heaving. "Have I got the right of it, brother, when I wonder if you knew her all along?"
"Aye, I did. Except I didn't know I did," Jarod says softly, staring down at his hands rather than meeting her eyes. "And now I wish I'd never known who she was at all. I mean…you read what I wrote her. I made a complete ass out of myself for nothing."
"I hope… I hope it wasn't for keeping her identity from you that you shifted Rowan, Jarod." Lucienne seems concerned as she guesses. "He was a good squire, you shouldn't think to lose him for protecting a noble girl." A beat, and she adds ever so gentle quietly, "I thought your letter was lovely. Not asinine at all, dear brother."
Jarod's face turns a shade redder. He shrugs. "I don't know about that. But…thanks." He sighs. As for Rowan. "What happened between Rowan and me was just between Rowan and me, nobody else. That's the truth. And he is better off where he's at now. We're both better off, and it's done, that's what matters." He picks up his letters again, folding them with some care. Back in the drawer those'll likely go. "I'm just not sure what to do about her now. I mean…I think she might still…like me. Even though I've ended it. How do you…stop that? Make a girl stop feeling stuff like this for you, that is. I've never had a particular problem putting women *off* when they got over serious. I mean, she's a lying liar, don't get me wrong, and I'm not keen on imminent disaster, which is what continuing to play at this would be but…I don't want to hurt her, y'know?"
Convinced for now about Rowan's termination, Lucienne focuses on the problem at hand. "Oh," she says. "Ah," she adds. "Well," she dithers. "I… I'm not really certain." She offers the letters back, shaking them a little as she wants to be rid of them - so that she might lump the cat, protesting or no, into her lap and begin stroking its fur. "I mean… if you no longer want her affections, you… should express that to her. And then leave it, I suppose? To do anything further would just add insult to injury. I… if I recall it correctly, my childhood crushes faded given time and space. Perhaps this is a similar sort of thing? Time and space?"
The cat protests not, and in fact begins purring quite loudly when Lucienne gives him proper attention. For his part, Jarod returns his letters to a lockable drawer in his writing table. And locks them away. He nods. "Aye. I have expressed that. Believe me. It has been expressed on my part. And aye. I know what you mean. She's just a girl, really, and I had far stupider fancies when I was her age. That's not real love, and you get over it. You're right, I think. Best to just let it alone, and let it fade away." He might, just might, sound a little sad about that.
Sad. Sad is different to relieved, or happy. Lucienne picks up on that wistful tone. "Or," she guesses hesitantly, watching her brother as he tucks the letters away for safekeeping, "If you… don't /want/ to see it… /done/… you might write her again?" And all in a rush she adds, "Your writing is beautiful brother, no matter what you think. It's honest and real and any lady, noble or no, would be honored to hear from you."
"It needs to be done," Jarod says firmly. Which is different from 'I want it to be done,' but it he seems quite convinced of it never the less. "Trust me, Lu. Disaster. Epic proportions of disaster. Which I've no taste for. Believe it or not, I try to keep my disasters small-scale." He crooks a boyish grin, though it doesn't quite touch is eyes. "Anyway, that's the whole of it. I just…needed somebody to see the whole of it before I put it away, I guess. It ended awful, but it was…nice, for a little while."
"Well, I've seen it now, Buttons," comes the reponse, with a girlish grin to match his. "And I'll say that no-one would begrudge you your letters. Be they finished, or numbering in the thousands from here on in. I do hope my feeble counsel has helped you though, Jarod?" Unfortunately for Mittens, Lu hops up and pops him back on the bed, readying to take her leave.
"Aye, it did. Always does. Thanks," Jarod says, shoving himself away from his writing table and heading over to open the door for her. "Oh. As for the cat. What do you think of the name Bartholemew? You know? As in…Mew?" He shrugs, kind of sheepishly. "It's a pun. I kind of like it."
"I like it," chuckles Lucienne in time with the shrug. "Mew. It's not so far from Mittens that he won't get used to it, either." Obligingly, she offers 'Mew' a wave and then ups onto her tiptoes to press a quick kiss to Jarod's cheek - providing he doesn't deck her. "I'll see you at dinner, dear brother."
Jarod has never decked his sister in his life - a thing he can say about few other of his siblings - and he certainly doesn't now. He grins. "Aye. I like it as well. I'll see you at dinner."