|Summary:||After he and Anais fight over Anais and Lady Evangeline's fight, Jacsen summons Avinashi. They do not fight.|
|Related Logs:||Propriety, Wives and Mothers|
|Reading Room — Terrick's Roost|
|A room with books and chairs and probably a bit of dust.|
|3 November 288|
He is pacing. That, in and of itself, is never a good sign, for Jacsen Terrick cannot pace without great inconvenience and at least mild pain. Like as not, he's both in spades. The reading room has been closed to on comers, the seal that he wears making clear that none save Jerold Terrick himself will counter that order. All the same, Avinashi is permitted through when she comes to his summons. There are candles about, illuminating the evening, and a goblet and pitcher of wine have likely seen some attention from her lord.
The jingling announces her as it most often does, and Avinashi, wrapped in rd and gold, swirls calmly into the room with the permission of the man that guards the entrance. She takes in the space, the pacing Terrick and the pitcher and glass of wine, all in silence. And then she dips into a low curtsy. "My lord."
The pace, and its attendant tapping of Jacsen's cane, comes to a halt at those words. He's facing another wall, his side to Avinashi, but he turns a look her way all the same. "Why is it, Ashi, of all the women in the world, it is you whom I can solely, always, rely upon? Out of all of those whom I should be able to rely upon, for all that they are supposed to be to me, it's you, who owes me nothing, that offers me the most."
"My lord, I owe you more than anyone," Avinashi corrects as she straightens from her curtsy and drifts over to the wine. She pours half a cup, and though it has likely already been drunk, she lifts the glass to her lips for a tiny sip before offering the rest to Jacsen. "And I trust you, which is a greater gift than you may imagine and certainly a greater gift than I might ever repay. But I offer what I can in the attempt."
He reaches to take the wine cup from her hand, though it is true to say that his own fingers linger over hers more than is necessary. "I value your trust well, Ashi," Jacsen assures her, before plucking the wine away and imbibing a slow sip. "I wish that I could afford my own wife a measure of that same trust."
"But, you cannot?" the food taster asks. She holds her hand still as their fingers though, letting her arm drop only once the goblet is fully accepted. "What has happened, my lord?" If she has heard the rumors of a spat between Anais and Evangeline, it seems she would prefer not to speculate on the truth of them, just yet.
"She and my mother have had some sort of a row between them," Jacsen observes, taking another small sip before he sets the cup down on a nearby side table and takes a seat on a comfortable sofa, indicating Avinashi should take the other end for her own self. "And Seven help me, I've never seen Anais so hysterical over something. Stubborn, more stubborn than I even thought to expect, and that is saying something…"
"Mmm, so it is," the Dornish girl agrees quietly as she sinks, gracefully, onto the offered seat. "What do they fight over?"
"Sewing, if you can believe that," Jacsen remarks with a shake of his head, his head tipping to rest against the cooler side of the wine goblet. "Apparently Anais has no aptitude for it, on account of having problems seeing up close… and Mother thinks it is some high pursuit that she is deficient for not knowing. Or something to that effect."
"Sewing?" Avinashi inquires, the word uncertain as if she is not sure she has heard correctly. Still, as Jacsen continues, she nods, slow and thoughtful. "I see," the food taster murmurs, "and you caught between the pair of them as your loyalty is owed to both." There is a soft sigh for her lord placed in such a situation. "Give me leave to speak to Lady Anais, my lord. Let me see if I cannot make the women of your life gentler towards one another."
He draws a breath and is careful in releasing it. "Just be careful, Ashi, and do not make it seem as if I have talked to you of this, for surely Anais would be wroth. As for my mother… I think it best if you say little to her. She is on quite a tear right at this moment." He lifts his head and takes another sip of wine. "But whatever you can do to help ease this strife, I would be grateful. Very grateful."
"Then I will focus my attentions… my cautious attentions," Avinashi corrects with a tiny smile, "on your lady wife and see if she cannot be turned to more productive approaches when she does speak with the Lady of the Roost. I am hopeful that we may be able to reach a better understanding."
He smiles wanly at that, only a sliver of humor managing through his mood. "Thank you, Avinashi," Jacsen insists, draining the rest of the cup and setting it aside. "Ah, Seven, but what would I do without you, hmm?"
"Be slightly more unhappy," Avinashi supposes with a tap of her fingers against her knee. "And somewhat more likely to be poisoned."
He rests his forehead in an upturned palm, his smile a lazed sort of smirk. "I suppose it's too late to just run off with you on some grand adventure across the Seven Kingdoms, Ashi?" Jacsen says, a regretful sort of humor in his tone. "Perhaps see the Free Cities?"
She laughs softly for that, offering Jacsen one of those rare smiles that touch the corner of her eyes. "You should have suggested it before we came to the Roost. We could be walking through the streets of Braavosi, even now, if we had but run away, then."
"Wouldn't that be something?" Jacsen says, his shoulders shaking with restrained laughter. "We'd make quite the pair, I think, you dressed in such colorful garb, and I, hobbling along with you. How long until some merchant prince, with his mountain of gold, took a fancy to you and stole you away? All the stories say that's what happens, you know," he teases.
"We are wiser than stories, my lord, and I am more clever than to be wooed away by a mountain of gold. I think I would prefer our adventures to a life of idle riches. Anyhow," her smile turns playful, "I could always dance for coin, if we were in need."
His brows rise. "Ah, but if you were to dance so exquisitely, as you do, what makes you think a golden prince would be so willing to hear your word on the matter?" Jacsen asks of Avinashi, with a note of humor. "I certainly would do no such thing, were I one."
"Oh, well, that's easy enough then," Avinashi says with a dismissive wave of her hand. "Were a merchant prince to be so unjust as to try to carry me off against my will, you would surely rescue me, my lord."
He laughs at that, not quite able to restrain it a second time. "You flatter me, Ashi," Jacsen informs her, resting back against the sofa and turning just slightly his back towards the arm, that he might better face the exotic Dornishwoman. As if there was such a thing as an unexotic one.
"No," the Dornishwoman chides fondly, "I only have a very good memory. Tell me what else we would do, across the Narrow Sea."
"See strange animals, eat unfamiliar foods, drink exotic wines," Jacsen ticks off the different things that they might do, "Start one day in a place we've only known since the night before, and by the time the sun goes down, be someplace new."
Avinashi laughs, soft and delighted, settling her shoulder up against the back of the couch and tilts her cheek to rest it against the cushions. "It sounds wonderful," she agrees around a soft and lazy smile. "Such a life to live."
His breath is a slow one, and he chuckles again. "I could never have left behind my duties to my family," Jacsen admits, "But were I to have not had them, that does sound like it would be a most pleasant alternative."
"Hush, this is a fantasy," Ashi chastises around her soft smile. "We have no obligations, here, only very fine adventures."
His brows both go up at that, and Jacsen nods in mute agreement. "Alright then. What would you see us do, on this grand adventure of ours, Avinashi?"
"I should like to take a little boat and travel down unknown rivers," the Dornish girl supposes, "and Ser Jarod mentioned something about elephants, so I do feel we had best ride at least one of those."
"Ah, rivers, of course, I could have guessed," Jacsen notes with a mild humor. "And an elephant… it would be quite the trouble to climb, but even so…" He sends a glance towards his emptied cup of wine. "Would it be so breaking with this pleasant fiction to ask after a refreshment, Ashi?"
"Elephants can lie very flat and still, when inclined. So I have been told," Avinashi assures. She sits up to collect Jacsen's empty cup and then carries it to the pitcher so that it may be refilled. Ever vigilant, she has another small sip before returning the filled glass to him.
"Are you certain you've tasted it well enough?" Jacsen wonders, his brow rising over a smiling expression as she nears with the cup again.
"I think you are yet safe, my lord," Avinashi says with a fond chuckle, offering the cup to Jacsen before seating herself back on the couch.
"Well. You cannot look poorly on a man for encouraging a beautiful woman to drink up," Jacsen remarks with a wry twist to his lips, watching her over the rim of the cup when he takes a sip.
"My lord," Avinashi scolds, though there is more amusement than anything else behind the chastisement, "it is an unsafe practice, to get your poison taster drunk. Who would taste your food while she was curled up, asleep, with a head of wine?"
His brow climbs in some humor as he asks, "Who is to say I would be eating, instead of curled up with her?" Jacsen wonders, with a certain easy bravado that Avinashi is one of the few people whom can see through, at least somewhat.
"Oho, was that your plan, my lord?" Avinashi asks, brows lifting and eyes twinkling, "Warm her belly, mute her good sense and then sweep her off to your chambers? I fear your wife would not much approve of that."
"Mm, perhaps that is why I have so commandeered the reading room for my own escape," Jacsen points out with a twist of his lips, "That my wife might not know, and be no more angry at me than she already is."
The smile stills a little on Avinashi's lips and her brows lift as golden eyes, moments ago merely amused, begin to carry a quiet question. But, it is not quiet for long. "Have you?" she asks softly.
"If I have, Ashi?" Jacsen begins, after a moment spent quietly considering the woman across from him, "What then? Another of our fictions, like Braavos. Tell me?"
"But that was words," Avinashi says, "idle and harmless. This could… things are so fragile between you and your new bride. It is no wise time to take up with another."
The look in his eyes seems to sputter, as if water were cast across whatever small budding flame was there, and Jacsen looks into his wine. "I think you are likely right, Ashi," he agrees, lifting his cup and taking a sip. "Fortunate it is but a fiction, yes? One owed to too much wine, doubtless."
Her smile, when it returns, is more her own. Small and secret, tipping the corner of her mouth. She sits up more properly and smooths a hand down her silk skirts. "Would that the world were different, or we were different people in it, my lord," comes her quiet reply.
His smile resumes, in some fashion, though Jacsen's gaze has slipped towards the wide window, and its view of the nighttime beyond. "You needn't stay, if you've things you must see to," he remarks, after a time. "I think I shall indulge in some more wine, in any case."
"It would be wisest, if I did not stay," Avinashi supposes. Her fingers twitch, as if she might wish to do something with them, but they only lace through each other as she stands.
He looks over at Avinashi as she rises, but he says nothing.
And she, in turn, stands for a long moment. "Why?" Avinashi asks him quietly. "Why now?"
"Just a fiction, Ashi," Jacsen assures her, "After all, who else if we were to adventure across the sea?" He does very well at making it sound as if he well and truly means that, that it was only a part of the tale, and even one who knows him so well could have a hard time telling the difference. "Do not let it weigh your thoughts a moment longer. I did not mean for it to be so."
She nods, her gaze dropping briefly for their misunderstanding. "Your pardon, then, my lord, for my confusion." Avinashi gives him another faint smile and a deep curtsy. "A calm and pleasant rest of your evening, my lord."
Jacsen's lips curve a touch. "As ever, Ashi, I am better for your company. Enjoy your evening, as much as you might. And thank you."