|Flowers and Family|
|Summary:||A younger Lady of the Roost takes the boy Jarod Rivers to task.|
|Solar — Terrick's Roost|
The solar of Terrick's Roost is a feminine place, one that leans towards refinement and quiet. The breath of silence is even deeper without the chatter of accompanying ladies, dismissed as the young boy is escorted into the Lady of the Roost's domain. Ten years into the future, her age will define lines around her mouth and eyes, fingers will show veins as skin thins with age. At 28, however, her skin remains firm and smooth, at least where it has not been subjected to the children she has beared, hair dark as the day of her marriage. She is unsmiling, however, stern and reserved as she watches the boy before dismissing the guard with a wave of her fingers. When he leaves, she asks neutrally, "Have you caused some trouble?"
"M'Lady." In ten years, Jarod Rivers will have perfected his mummer's show bow and had all proper courtesies to show in from of the Lady of the Roost drilled into him, but the boy who's just been dragged in and presented before her just scuffs a muddy-booted toe on the solar carpet. He can always seem to find somewhere to dirty himself. Green eyes shift from right, to left, then back at Evangeline. "Umm…is Lord Jerold coming?" He very much hopes so, from his tone.
Jarod holds his hands behind his back, as if he's grasping something, and has since he was brought in.
"My lord husband is currently away from the Roost," Evangeline answers as her fingers pause and tighten against the needle in her fingers, shifting the shirt she sews to rest in her lap. "Though you can be sure he will hear all of what has passed, Jarod." His name is given without pause, a frown beginning in the often tight corners of her lips even as the words hold a—distant assurance, a promise for him as well as a threat.
"Oh. Umm. When's he getting back? Maybe we should wait and just do this all at once, you think?" Jarod suggests. "To make it…easier on you both. I don't want to take up your time." He summons up a smile to flash at her. "I found these in the courtyard outside the kitchens, m'lady," he says, bringing his hands out from behind his back. He's holding some blue flowers that look as if they were very hastily yanked from the ground. He presents them to her. "I picked them for you, if you want them." Maybe he thinks the smile and flowers will get him out of trouble. He's a sweet-natured boy, when he isn't being impossible, and has already learned that such tricks work more often than not on the softer-hearted maids.
Evangeline makes no move to accept the blooms from Jarod's hand, dark eyes unreadable where they slide between the flowers and the young boy. She says, politely, "That is very kind of you." Then she ignores the flowers completely to fix a steady look on Jarod, jabbing the needle through fabric to allow her arms to fall over the wood-carved rests of her chair. "I asked a question of you."
Jarod just keeps his arm and flowers extended, looking vaguely confused. And his smile droops some. Maybe this particular trick won't work on her. He winces when the needle is jabbed through the fabric. "I guess I must be in trouble if you wanted to see me, aye," he answers, in a decidedly less sweet fashion.
"A maid saw you in the cellars, taking a flask of wine without permission. Unless Lord Ser Jerold gave you such leave?" Evangeline finally relents to say, watching Jarod for his reaction as she speaks.
Jarod's arm finally gets tired enough that he lowers it, sucking his cheek in in a rather sullen fashion. "My lord father lets me have a cup at dinner sometimes. What's the difference?" He sort've brats it. Super-nice has failed, and this is apparently Plan B.
If the plan is to provoke, his answer does little to ellicit much of a difference in Evangeline's mild expression, though she shakes her head and those dark curls in a slow gesture. She explains, simply, "You are not old enough to limit your own indulgences, so they must be limited by those adults around you, Jarod." She pauses, again casting her attention towards Jarod as if to make sure he is heeding her words. "And even if there were no difference, you do know that you are not allowed. You are not ignorant of the rules of this house."
"I was just going to share it with the other pages. We're not babies," is Jarod's less-than-promising reply to that. Those pages probably included his brothers, but he certainly doesn't say that. He drops his flowers on the floor. "Anyway, I'll just talk to my lord father when he gets back about it and he can punish me. You're not my mother, so you can't." He's hoping this technicality actually holds.
That hits its target, the line of Evangeline's jaw growing tight as teeth bite down on each other and whatever wave of emotion plays out before she allows her to speak what first comes to her mind. Eventually, she points out carefully, "I am still the Lady of the Roost, child, and you live under my roof and not simply Lord Ser Jerold's. I speak with his voice when he is not present." She pauses long enough to allow the shirt to be folded carefully over the arm of her chair, rising with a swish of skirts. "You will be confined to your quarters for a week, unless you are expressly performing your duties. You will be restricted from any arms' practice during that same week, do you understand?"
Jarod very likely knew it would hit though, when it does, he instantly deflates. Glance at Evangeline, then down at his feet. "I…all right, m'lady. I understand." At his toes he mutters an, "I'm sorry, m'lady" that is probably not meant for his act of wine-nipping.
"Very good," Evangeline says, the softening of her tone subtle. Her fingers fall to the young boy's head, not a lingering gesture but one that offers something of a comfort where she pats him briefly. "Now tell me, did Jaremy or Jacsen put you up to this task?"
"No, m'lady," Jarod says firmly, looking back up at her. Which is likely more or less true. He is bolder than Jaremy and far worse-behaved than Jacsen, so the grand schemes are generally of his initial devising, at least. He also looks stricken at the idea of getting his brothers in trouble. "Was just me, I swear it." He looks half-surprised when she pats his head, though it seems to calm him down a little. And make him look sorrier. "I do apologize for speaking to you like that, m'lady. You're the lady of the house and that wasn't respectful. I won't do it again."
Evangeline nods, satisfied by his assurance as she agrees, "I am sure you will not, Jarod." Her hand tucks back into her skirts, shifting them to make sure they fall just so. "You may be excused, though only to your room. As I have said, a week, child."
"A week, m'lady, aye," Jarod says. Which he'll keep to. When nailed down to promise to do something he generally keeps to it, and he has developed a sense of what rules he can break and which ones he can't get away with bending. He turns to go, stepping carefully so he doesn't tread on his scattered flowers.
Those sad blue flowers, strewn across the solar carpet. Even as Jarod leaves, Evangeline is a stoic figure, too reserved to gather up the abandoned blooms of the child. It is only later that Lord Jerold will rescue them, finding a vase of simple nature to house them in his own study rather than this women's room.