|Favors And Favorites|
|Summary:||Riordan finds Anais walking through the camps and escorts her home.|
|Related Logs:||Seagard tourney logs|
|Camps — Seagard|
|Where everyone is staying.|
|June 17, 289|
It's night, and there is the final joust tomorrow. And yet, plenty of knights are still out making merry, and plenty of non-knights too. After all, it's a week-long festival. So it likely does not go noticed as a lone figure makes his way between some of the camps, not really moving with any particular purpose. He is cloaked and hooded, which with the evening wind coming off the ocean, is not unusual. The only thing that is perhaps unusual about him is that he moves with a bit of stiffness. A song from one of the nearby camps drifts in off that same wind, a bawdy song, and it brings a smile to the hooded man's lift.
Normally, Anais would not be wandering through the camp in the evening. But she came to the Banefort camp for a meeting with her mother, and now she must make her way back to the Terrick encampment. She doesn't seem to be in any hurry, taking her time to glance at the various tents and the flags that fly above them, exchanging a word with someone here or there. A guard and handmaid trail her steps at a comfortable distance, apparently secure in the knowledge that these are noble camps.
Seeing the oncoming noble entourage, Riordan seems about to hang back and wait for them to pass. However, a brief flicker of campfire light allows him to see the features of the lady moving through the area. And, whether it is a good idea or not, he takes the steps forward needed to be somewhat in her path as she approaches. In one of the darker parts of the camp, of course. Away from the campfires and the people who might recognize them. "A fine evening to you, my lady Terrick," he says, quietly, yet in a familiar way that might be enough to draw her attention.
Anais looks up at the greeting, shaking her head and ducking her chin to hide a smile. "And to your, Ser Knight," she answers, raising a hand to her companions to reassure them as she falls into step with the knight. "It's a rather nice night, isn't it?" she agrees with a soft sigh, steps slow enough to let the conversation linger, even if she's careful to keep a proper distance between her and the 'stranger'. "How has Seagard treated you so far?"
"It is, my lady, yes. And as for Seagard… it has treated me rougher perhaps then I thought it would. It seems Ser Mallister was not just good at unhorsing old men," the cloaked man says with a smile peaking from under the shadows of his hood. "Either that, or I am older then I thought." He falls silent for a moment, glancing aside at Anais, before he asks, "And you, my lady?"
Anais tilts her head to consider the question, drawing a slow breath. "Better than I had anticipated," she finally answers. "Some things are going better than I might have hoped, though it's too soon to be certain yet. On the other hand…" She trails off with a sigh, glancing over her shoulder in the direction from which she came. "I think I've some conversations and such in my future that I'd rather avoid."
Though he clearly catches her gaze, the hooded knight makes no direct comment upon it, simply nodding his head. "I know the feeling," he murmurs quietly. He trails off for a moment, then asks, "How are the frogs?" The smile is there once more, in the shadows of the hood.
Anais' smile quirks at the question, though she ducks her chin to a shadow to try to hide it. "I'm afraid I had to release them," she admits. "I didn't know how to care for them properly, and I didn't want them to suffer for it. They sang sweetly, though." She casts a sidelong glance his way from beneath her lashes, considering. "Which knight were you, then?" she asks, smile flickering across her features once more.
"There were directions!" the cloaked knight protests, though he continues to smile. Even if he's a bit frustrated that she DID AWAY WITH HIS GIFT. "Well, I suppose it's enough that you got to enjoy the song for a little while," he says, mock-begrudgingly. At her question, he grins anew, saying, "The Knight of Thorns. It was Jarod's suggestion. I wanted to go as the Knight of the Dancing Frog, but it might have been a little too obvious."
"R- Ser Knight, I can't get dinner myself every night right now," Anais protests with a laugh. "Who am I going to get to catch crickets and feed them to a chorus of frogs? You're lucky they didn't end up spitted over a fire." She pauses, looking briefly concerned. "I mean. Yet. I hope. I hope they haven't that is." It takes her a moment to come back from that and refocus on his answer, smile slipping crooked. "Knight of Thorns," she echoes, then nods once. "It's good, though. Very impressive look."
At the obviously troubling thought, the cloaked figure moves a bit closer in their ambling, enough so he can discreetly brush his hand against hers, taking her fingers in his for a heartbeat at least. "It's fine, Anais. There will always be more frogs. The song is what mattered. And you heard it." He lets the encouraging gesture and look linger for a moment, before he smiles again, grinning quietly. "I thought it had a certain poetic ring to it," he admits. "Mind you, I find that perhaps I am simply not meant to be a good Mystery Knight. I couldnt even avenge my own father well." He grins a bit more. "I really shouldn't have been surprised to see him out there, after the Twins…" Despite the fact that Rickart lost, his son is still obviously admiring of it. Perhaps because of the loss, even.
"You were surprised to see him there?" Anais asks with a low laugh. "I can't say I was." She lets her fingers brush his, though before it lingers too long, she's drawing her hand back. "I rather like your father," she admits. "Or at least I understand him. I don't get the sense he hides from much. He's the sort of man who deals in facts first." She grimaces faintly, then reaches up to rub a hand at the wrinkles in her brow to discourage it. "I like your family, too. They all seem much easier than the Terricks."
"Well, only a little bit surprised," the Ser Knight admits, with a chuckle, as he returns to a more approriate distance. As she speaks of his family, his smile turns a bit wistful. "I am not sure I know the Terricks, at least the majority of them, to probably judge. But I am glad to be a Nayland. Even with everything going on… there's a certain stability to be found within just the name alone." He falls silent, then, casting a glance to Anais' features, studying her, before he murmurs, apologetically, "I'm sorry, that isn't what you need to hear, is it?"
Anais laughs softly, lifting one shoulder in a half-hearted shrug. "It isn't untrue. Besides, you shouldn't feel bad for loving your family." She takes a few more steps, lowering her hand and looking over with a small smile. "It's just a different sort of family. The Terricks are…close. In more than one sense of the word. They're close to each other, and they also keep to themselves. And unfortunately, I made the mistake of setting myself up against Lucienne. And now I'm going to have to deal with the consequences."
"Anais, when you marry into a family, you become part of that family. If…" But he trails off, and simply shakes his head. "If they can't see what an ally they could have in you, then they are idiots, each and every one of them," he says, simply, and with force. "And as for the Lady Lucienne… I can't believe that you would set yourself against her unless you had to. You, Lady Anais, who befriended me, even after I made a public spectacle of you. Twice." There's no real apology in his words, but more because he doesn't think she needs it then because he is unwilling to give it. "And if she continues to get out of line, you can always use your knuckles," he adds, grinning that lopsided, infectious smile of his.
"If it were only that easy." Anais doesn't seem quite as heartened by that suggestion as she might usually be. "Anyhow. I hope you'll forgive me if I'll admit I'd be perfectly happy to ship her out to your family. I don't think I could inflict her on you or Ser Rutger, but Lord Rafferdy seems spectacularly uncouth. And I can just picture her falling into a sinkhole full of mud," she sighs, wistful. That does bring a little bit more of a smile.
That actually draws a quiet laugh from Anais' walking companion. "I think I would pay good money to see that… both of those, actually." He grins at her, before saying, "If we can get the betrothal worked out, you'll at least have my sister there. She'll help you." He seems certain of this.
"I like your sister," Anais agrees, though she falls silent for a moment after that, catching her lower lip between her teeth. "And Justin seems to, as well. Though I'm concerned that…Your brother's offers were low," she admits. "I don't know if we'll be able to come to an accord if things don't change. Which frustrates me to no end," she adds, snorting softly. "All that work, everything we've tried to do, and-" Shaking her head, she flicks her hand dismissively. "Anyhow. I'm stuck trying to figure out how to make nice with Lucienne."
The cloaks knight frowns at that news, pursing his lips. "Do what you can, Anais. If this falls through, it'll only make things worse, and we both know which family is like to get the worst of it." It's not a threat, not at all, not with where their relationship is. It's simple fact, as he sees it, one he is trying to avoid. "I'll speak to my brother, in the meantime, and do what I can." He grunts, giving his head a shake. "If only the diplomacy could have remained in our hands, you and I. We'd have it all tied up in a pretty little bow by now." It's a useless wish perhaps, but still. "As for the Lady Lucienne… You have two choices… Make her think she's won; Apologize, make nice, and focus on mending the relationships you'll need to see her gone from your life. Or, find out her secret - we've all got at least one - and use that."
"I suspect that's why it's no longer in our hands," Anais points out with a faint, rueful smile. "We'd be content, but the rest of our families would likely be ready to have both our heads. I've told them all that backing out now is only going to make it worse for everyone. We'll see if they listen to me." She takes a few steps in silence, then laughs softly. "I suppose it doesn't matter if she believes I've forgiven her, so long as I act like it."
"Perception, remember?" he reminds her with a grin. He falls silent though, he steps slowing as they begin to get closer to a more populated section of the camp. Here, it's dark and mostly quiet. But up ahead a ways, the chances of being seen increase. Clearly, there walk is coming to an end. "I'm going to have to leave soon after this last joust," he tells her, quietly.
"I thought you might," Anais admits. "You've important business to be seeing to." She slows her steps a little more, delaying the end of the walk. "It was good to see you, though. And I hope you at least enjoyed yourself." Her smile quirks, a bare flash in a flicker of firelight. "I know I've enjoyed watching the mystery knights."
"It… isn't the same," Riordan admits, with a rueful smile. "The tourneys used to be… different I guess? When I had no responsabilities. When what I did didn't really matter. I think I thought coming here as a mystery knight would help get some of that back, but if anything…" He shrugs, trailing off and forcing the smile to hold in place. "I'm glad," he says, simply, responding instead to her comment, rather then continuing with his train of thought. "I like knowing that you are watching me."
Anais flushes, looking away. Those are dangerous words, dangerous thoughts. "I…" She starts, then stops, shaking her head slightly. "I fear no good can come of sharing my thoughts, Ser Knight," she murmurs instead, drawing forward a few more steps. "But I will watch you ride tomorrow. And any other time there is a joust to watch." She pauses in the shadows beyond the Terrick tents, a play of light and shadow revealing a small smile. "Ride well, Ser Knight."
He just smiles, and nods, understanding on his features… and perhaps a fair ammount of pleasure in his eyes, for the unspoken thoughts. "I shall try, fair lady. And even if I fall, I hope you will think kindly of me." He offers a small bow to her, lingering a moment longer to give her a last smile. He seems about to say something more, and then seems to think better of it. So, without further words, he will slip back into the shadows.