|Summary:||Jacsen and Anais get to know each other a little better.|
|Reading Room — Four Eagles Tower|
|Books and stuff!|
|August 20, 288|
The reading room at Terrick's Roost seems to have been under some sort of renovation, with books being shifted, unpacked, and reorganized onto various shelves. It is perhaps not where one might expect to find Anais, who seems to suffer from headaches after any amount of time spent reading, yet it seems to have become something of a refuge from intrigue and wedding plans alike. With a handmaid knitting in the corner and a Banefort guard outside the door, she's idly scanning the shelves, picking out books apparently at random.
Given the composition of the Roost's visitors of late, one might expect just about anyone up to and including King Robert Baratheon to step through the reading room's entrance to break that idle peace Anais Banefort has found for herself. As it happens, it is not the King nor any of his counsel, but instead the sound of a rhythmic tapping on the floor, by now common enough to bespeak Jacsen Terrick's arrival. "My lady," he offers, quieter, from the doorway.
Anais looks up from the book in her hand at the sound of the tapping, and so there is a faint smile already in place when Jacsen appears at the door. "Lord Jacsen," she greets, lowering one hand for a sweep of her skirts in place of a curtsey. "Please, come in."
His pause short and perfunctory, Jacsen makes a direct line to a piece of uncovered furniture, to which he slowly lowers himself. "I trust you are well, my lady?" he asks of Anais, a pleasant smile serving to curve an oft-expressive mouth. "It has been somewhat manic of late about the Roost… I would not be so surprised to know you were halfway packed to head back to the Banefort." He chuckles at the last.
"I considered it," Anais teases, shaking her head at the book with a rueful smile. "And then I remembered why I left. It was because I was eighteen, and still unwed, and as much as I enjoy ships, I was hoping for something more out of my life than being a captain's wife. And this is certainly…more." She glances over then, curious. "How are you finding your return home, Lord Jacsen?"
His hand leaves off from his chin and makes some vague motion into the air. "It is good to be near those I love so dear again." Jacsen's admission is in an honest enough tone, though an observer as keen as Anais could see there is more to it than that. "And truth be told, I'm glad to have met you before I'm bowing to you as Lady of the Roost or the like," he adds. "Were that that was all there was to consider about this trip home."
Anais' smile slips crooked, and she shakes her head. "It would be a long time before you had to do that sort of thing, Lord Jacsen. I'm under the impression that your mother and father are both quite well. Which…" She sighs, shrugging one shoulder with a small smile. "Is probably just as well. Jaremy could use the time to grow." The book in hand is abandoned, closed and slipped back into place. "It has been busy here, hasn't it? Strange. I knew the Riverlands would bring more visitors, more trade, than we see in Banefort. I don't think I expected quite so much…intrigue."
"You underestimate my ability to find myself failing to return home, time after time," Jacsen points out, shifting lightly in his seat as he chats amicably with his brother's betrothed. "I fear I've done little travel into the westerlands, save for a trip to Lannisport as representative of Lord Mallister. Would you care," he invites, "to tell me aught of the Banefort?"
"I could," Anais laughs, abandoning her search for a book in favor of taking up a seat not far from Jacsen. "It's a hard land, and lonely. But it's home. The Banefort itself sits on the shore, with the water washing against the walls on the west side of the castle. The east side holds the docks and the village there. The shores are rocky, and often sided with cliffs. Great, high things that defy even the strongest climbers. We've watchtowers every few miles along the shore, and defenses to keep an eye out for the Ironborn. Inland, there are mountains. The lower passes are grassy, suitable for grazing. That's where Cayt grew up," she explains, smile flickering. "And further inland, rocky mountains, high and full of quarries. A few woods, and many small streams."
"It has the sound of a sturdy place," Jacsen decides, "And like as not shaped long ago by proximity to the Iron Islands, much like our holdings here in the Riverlands." He turns a bit to better face her in her seat, a quiet smile reserved for her benefit as they chat. "Do most of your visitors come by way of ship, then? It sounds as if the travel by land would be rather difficult."
"It is usually ships, yes," Anais nods, a small smile curving at one corner of her lips. "Travel by land is possible, but it takes far longer. It's generally easier to sail. I used to think I could happily marry a sea captain, if it meant I could live on the water."
His brows rise at that. "Well," Jacsen notes, with a touch of humor, "I shall have to ensure my brother has been keeping up with his nautical learning… or beginning it at least." His lips twist in amusement. "It would not do to have our Lady of Terrick's Roost to sail off with some handsome captain, that promises her a lordship of coral and wave."
Anais laughs, shaking her head. "Alas, I think I'm rather more fond of this lordship than one of coral and waves. This one has people, and visitors, and is full of interesting things. And charming people, no less."
"I shall take that as a compliment, and a promise that vouchsafes my brother's future from the predations of handsome sailors," Jacsen decides, amused and comfortable in the woman's presence. "So, speaking of people, and visitors. How do your sisters find the Roost? Perhaps not as directly stimulating as you might, but pleasant enough I hope?"
"My sisters," Anais echoes, with a long-suffering sigh. "My sisters would find the Roost more enjoyable were they planning their own weddings, rather than watching me plan mine, I think. Gwyneth is not so bad, really. She's sixteen, and she has plenty of time. And she's happy enough to see any gentleman. Shayla and Elinor, though…Well. They're older, and more worried about what matches they may make. Elinor, I think, feels that she was next in line to be wed, and that I perhaps jumped the line."
Jacsen's lips quirk in a smile, as he clearly finds the lamentations of the women to be somewhat humorous, especially given the concerns the Roost deals with of late. "Well, we've a bevy of visitors of both high and low birth streaming through the Roost of late, so surely there are opportunities for them to pursue such ends. If not, I can ship them to Seaguard, where I promise there are a bevy of third and fourth sons, with more coin than sense, who would leap at the opportunity for advancement such a marriage could bring. However slim. Filled with dreams of working for Lord Lannister himself, I'd wager."
"And what a disappointment that would be for them," Anais laughs. "Lord Lannister takes care of family first, and the Banefort is important enough, but not so rich or important as to bring fame. But I will keep that in mind all the same," she muses. "Father, I think, is about finished with packs of young women roaming the halls. I know Mother is."
"A kind friend is Lord Banefort, to inflict his pack on the Roost," Jacsen remarks with a light bit of laughter. "Whatever the outcome, I'm certain we can abide them for a spell. At least one amongst them seems rather worth the trouble." His lips quirk, all warmth and amusement, as the Lord begins to draw himself to his feet. The process is one that takes a moment, but he manages to betray nothing but confidence when it is done.
"I must say, Lord Terrick," Anais murmurs, waiting until he's standing to stand as well. "I could not have hoped to be more welcomed or better received than I have been here. I count myself very lucky in the home I have found. And I intend to do everything in my power to see it prosper."
"Then I wager we shall get along well, Lady Anais. It is my intention to see the Roost preserved, and prosperous," Jacsen remarks, drawing a breath as he pivots a touch, and bows his head to the woman. "I look forward to when we might speak again."