|Dogs That Don't Bark|
|Summary:||Kerrigan and Samphire have a pleasant chat about manners.|
|Related Logs:||A Kinsman's Grace|
|Gardens - Braeburn House|
|A small kitchen garden by the kitchen entrance, with herbs and some vegetables, and sheltered from the rest of the courtyard by a tall hedge. There is a long age-smoothened bench lining the wall. From a low window one can hear everything that goes on in the kitchen. The whole little garden smells strongly of herbs, and woe betide anyone who raids it without the head cook's permission.|
|Tuesday, January 1, 290|
Kerrigan throws a sharp glance over his shoulder as he exits the kitchen; almost as if he's expecting someone to come after him, perhaps fleeing someone with a big wooden spoon. Perhaps the tart in his hand has something to do with it! Either way, he looks like that cat that's gotten the canary, all wide grins and good humor in the wake of his mischief. "Finally, we can be alone," he tells the tart, because after women (an entirely different kind of tart), food is his true love. Of course, he says this, not having noticed Samphire's presence in the little pocket garden.
Her hair bend to a thick braid lying over one of her shoulders, Samphire walks leisurely through the well kept patches of the gardens. As so often, she is wearing her dress of seawashed, maroon linnen, that has gained a few embroideries over the time she has spent at Lady Rebecca's services. Carrying the small whickerbasket, she uses to collect the herbs her lady wishes for in, her eyes wander in idleness over the vigour of vegetation -only to stop at a plat of a very different kind.
Furrowing her brows in curiousity, she eyes the knight attentively. A few small, firm steps and she walks over to catch a closer look at her lady's kinsman.
Kerrigan looks the same as he always does; as if he's been up all night, slept into the afternoon, and has only just now rolled out of bed. Cheerfully, though, he seems to be enjoying his tart. He decides to take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, following along the small path through it. It's really not a big space, so it's only a matter of time before he notices Samphire's presence. The disconcerting thing, however, is that he doesn't so much as glance in her direction as he remarks idly: "I seem to have acquired a shadow. Having frightened my own off years ago, I can only imagine that you are made of sterner stuff."
One of Samphire's brows jumping into the height of her forehead, she answers with a rather drily. "Ah m'lord I can assure you this one certainly is neither as plain, nor as weak at it's nerves as this one, though I fear 'tis not the most persistant one as well. And was it your manners towards your kinswomen, that scared it off? But tell me, are you searching for the old one in this tart or what brings a nobleman like you in the kitchens?"
Of course the respectful curtsy follows her words, as she comes another pace closer.
"It must be the fair Miss Samphire, whose duclet tones doth reach thine ears," Kerrigan cocks his head to the side, listening so intently. He laughs, then turns. "A nobleman like me? What kind of nobleman would that be, might I ask? However blackened you might consider my reputation to be, I assure you I am no wraith; I must eat and breathe the same as any man."
Kerrigan adds, after a moment's thought, as he glances around, "And what better place to do it?"
"I always thought you noblemen prefer to pile your food rather on golden platters on the back of more or less loyal servants, than on the trivial paths at the gardens. Oh, and on the corpses of your foes every fortnight.", Samphire responds with an innocent blink. "But I already learned some of your kind act quite odd these days."
Straightening her skirts she suddenly turns the conversation seemingly to a bit of an other direction. "Pray, m'lord, tell me, I don't know much of politics, but why did you drag me and m'lady off the lovely lands of the Terricks a few weeks ago?"
"I have better things to do than abuse the hired help," answers Kerrigan. "Though I've no such compunctions about my enemies. And should the two be one in the same, well, I'm sure I can be more imaginative in my revenge than /that/." Still, he seems prepared to pick up the new thread over conversation just as easily as the last. "Did your lady not tell you? She asked my brother Stafford for an escort home to Braeburn house. I was dispatched, and when I got there, I was pelted with flour. After a tiring journey to do my cousin a favor, I'm sure you can understand that I was not well-pleased by her warm welcome. Then, when I met with her, she demanded that I stay for a few days. Which I refused. Had she conducted herself more befittingly, I would have been happy to treat her with due consideration." This is appended with a careless shrug of his shoulders.
The knight's comment about his potential imagination makes Samphire bite her lips for a glimpse. "I'm sure m'lord.", she answers a bit more cautious tone now.
"Flour? Well word is, some nobles at the most ostentatious feast powder themself with flour to show their fair skin and impress the ladies… I'm sure it has been rather surprising to have your countenance composed without beeing asked. But shouldn't a glamourous knight be wise upon beeing on edge about a woman's little foolishness? M'lady is a delicate woman and I'm sure she did not mean her departure to happen like this. ", she offers with an apologetic smile.
"Delicate?" Kerrigan's eyebrows raise. "No, she is spoilt. She acts like a child, and expects the world to stop at her temper tantrums. She lives in a dream world and thinks the rules don't apply to her, because life has been /unfair/. If she did anything besides cause trouble, perhaps it would be excusable, but as it is, I have no patience for it. She has a sharp tongue and a cruel nature, which I don't find amusing in the least. Do excuse my frankness, but I'm certain she doesn't speak kindle of me, either. But at least I own my vices."
Samphire's smile sinks down like a limp flower as Ser Kerrigan's unconciliable and not very knightly words spread through the mild breeze of the day. With the corners of her mouth, suddenly, their meaning sinks into her mind and makes her perform a prompt reaction.
Resolutely she bows down and grabs a bit of the soft fertilizer, resting on the patch at her feet. Resolutely, she straightens herself and not less resolutely she throws a handful of the brown bulk at the noble as a response.
The fertilizer hits Kerrigan, and he freezes, standing perfectly still. His silence is perhaps more terrifying than an angry outburst might've been — because, beneath his stony exterior, there's certain to be a calculated fury. He grins at Samphire then, teeth bared, "I can see that you've learned Rebecca's bad habits while in her employ. What a shame. You could've done much better for yourself. Or, perhaps the two of you deserve each other. I hope that you're both very happy in your misery, the same way that worms enjoy dirt." He takes a long stride towards her, then another, until he's at Samphire's side. Grabbing her arm so that she can't back away, he leans down to murmur in her ear: "You will come to regret that, my dear. I promise you." His voice is as soft as a lover's, a sweet caress — but the firm hand on her arm speaks otherwise.
As it seems it is just now that the consequences of Samphire's impulsive action reach the handmaiden's thoughts and immediatly start to race against each other. Several other impulses are surpressed now -mainly the one, that commands her to run the hell off now, followed by a whole legion of attempts to speak. The girl stiffens and presses her lips to a thin line, her face turning as white as the wraith Kerrigan mentioned jestingly only a few, precious heartbeats ago.
"This was not very wise of me.", she mutters finally, weakly, while facing the man with the expression of a hare noticing the pleasant company of a whole pack of wolves. "I… my… melord… I shouldn't have… My apologies…", follows hastily.
Kerrigan releases Samphire's arm, then, though he doesn't draw back very much. "You're not sorry yet," he says, just as pleasantly as before, "but you will be. Blind loyalty will serve neither you nor your mistress well. You may call me a villain if you like — and before you protest that you didn't, your actions spoke clearly enough — but please choose something more deserving than the incident with Rebecca. I'm sure there's a wealth of valid reasons at your disposal. Just know that you can't taunt a dog without getting bitten, and you've no right to act surprised when it happens."
The girl trembles as she steps one step back, her small hands grabbing the sides of her skirts closely, so that her knuckles shimmer as white as the inside of a few broken seashells at the shore. Reflexively she opens her mouth as the nobleman matches himself with a furious dog, but luckily enough her fear laces up her tongue at his moment.
Aghastly she throws one last stare at the nobleman and his icy wrath, at the stain fatal missile has left on his attire, before she finally flees in terror, almoust stumbling over an abandoned rake.
Kerrigan wiggles his fingers in a cheerful wave as Samphire flees. "Good day to you, Miss Samphire!" he calls after her.