Page 151: Garden Picnic
Garden Picnic
Summary: Isolde ditches, leaving Riordan to ask inappropriate questions of a lady.
Date: December 13, 2011
Related Logs: Do Not Miss Your Mark , Riding Gone Afowl
Riordan Danae 
Gardens — Tordane Tower
The rose garden of House Tordane is about three hundred square feet and hemmed in by walls about eye level to keep out the attention of wildlife. Bees hum about the area and around the stone archway which has seen the flowers grow up over and nearly encase in solid vine. The scent is sweet, mixing with the air coming off the water to produce an atmosphere some might find extremely calming. Stone benches have been chiseled out and placed along the path for visitors to relax on.
Tue Dec 13, 288

It has turned out to be a lovely day, a perfect day for a picnic, in fact. With the spread laid out in the garden, Riordan is already sitting with food aplenty, but waiting upon another guest, it would seem. While he was a tad bit put off by his goodsister not being able to make it, he feels it would be terrible to let all of this good food be put to waste. Besides, he can't just spend all day practicing sword play or with the horses. He has to spend some time with people, right?

The twisted arches of the garden seem to have delayed the other guest, who wanders along the walls with her fingers trailing over the sharp lines of the off season roses. Eventually Danae makes her way to where the picnic has been laid, dressed in a soft pink as warm of the spring roses, but of a simpler cut. Her blonde hair hangs in long waves down the breath of her back, pulled ack from her face by twin braids. Already there is a smudge of dirt along her fingers, too eagerly inspecting the plants within the gardens. She moves with a slight stiffness to her walk, pausing to find Riordan alone. "Goodday, my lord. Your goodsister has not yet come?"

Making quick to stand on Danae's approach, Riordan offers her a little bow. "Good day to you, my lady. Oh, I'm afraid that there is some poor news in regard to my goodsister. She is, unfortunately, not feeling well enough to join us today. As such, it shall be only the two of us. I hope you do not mind? It would be unfortunate to see this food all go to waste, especially on such a wonderful day as today. Don't you agree?"

Dipping in a short curtsey, Danae flashes him a mild smile in return, settling her skirts back into order with an easy press of her hand. "Oh, poor Lady Isolde. Perhaps too much of a chill from our ah…adventures as of yesterday in the floodlands," she replies with a slight frown for the news. It is for the news alone, ar Riordan suggest it shifts back into a shy smile. "It is a lovely day. I do not mind in the least, I only feel sorrowful that the lady might not join us." Gathering her dress, she walks the short distance to join him at the picnic spread and folds herself into a seated pose. "I hope I did not keep you waiting overlong then and berift for company."

"Whether it was from the adventure yesterday or from some other means, I could not say." Riordan smiles softly, adjusting the sword on his belt, so that it won't be so uncomfortable the next time he sits. "How are you faring after yesterday's excursion? You got quite the fright. I do hope that it did not scare you off of horses for good. They are quite the noble creatures, in all honesty." He speaks in a light tone of fondness about the animals. Smiling, he motions to the spread and takes his own seat following Danae. "Oh no, not at all. I've not been here long."

"A bit sore, however unfettered by it. I shall return to ride again." She picks up a ripe cherry from the basket set aside for their picnic, rolling the plump fruit between her fingers. "There is little other choice in these lands. Although, I am afraid I will never be an easy seat, m'lord, noble as the beasts may be," Danae replies more fully, shaking her head slightly. The cherry is slipped between her lips with a pop, chewed and pitted delicately before she speaks again. "I am glad. Bad enough to be late, much worse to keep my savior waiting."

"I am glad. I would hate to think that you would be left to riding in carriages or some sort for the rest of your days. Not that they do not have their merits, carriages. But to ride horseback is quite something indeed." Riordan bows his head. "If you would like, I could take you for lessons in the handling of horses. Teach you what to do in certain situations. Grishmorb is a gentle horse for such tasks, and he would not mind, I am sure. But only at your leisure, of course." He chuckles. "Savior…well, if you insist." He grins. "No, I'm just glad I was there to help."

"I was thinking rather more left to walk, feet sunken into the soil and boots forever doused in mud," Danae supplies gently, even cheerfully, in response to the suggestion of 'carriages.' "Oh." A ghost of pink rises to her cheeks at the kind offer, pale lashes flickering across her clear gaze as she considers, tipping her head to one side. "I would be afraid you might be disappointed in me as a student, m'lord. As fine as your tutoring and stallion are sure to be." Nibbling on the end of her cherry stem, there is a returned grin for his own. "I do. It was very dashing."

"Ah, well. Yes. If one were to walk, it would take ages to get just about anywhere, I suppose." Riordan picks up a bit of apple and nibbles on it lightly. "Just as well, I suppose. I'm sure you'd find me rather a poor substitute for an actually teacher, I'm afraid. Wouldn't be very good. But that's just between you and I." He shakes his head in mock dismay. "Dashing…well, I did what needed to be done. I couldn't just watch you on that horse while it was running wild through the forest. It was my pleasure to help."

"One's legs would be quite tired, I would imagine." Danae covers her mouth with a hand, half-hiding a smile at Riordan's assurances of his quality as a tutor. "I cannot laugh at that. I have had /actual/ teachers, perhaps then I might be suited for a poor one at more of a level with my abilities," she replies, a somber mouth contrasting twinkling eyes. The flush of earlier still faintly colours her fair complexion. "You could have, now daren't say you wouldn't, but the possibility was there. It was a far more welcome end to the last time I was caught on a wild horse. I dare say it was more my pleasure to be rescued so. Less bruises this time."

"Very tired indeed! I can only imagine how tired one's legs or one's general disposition might end up." Riordan nods, taking another bite of the apple. His eyes twinkle slightly as well. "I wouldn't judge you for laughing. In fact, I encourage it! Makes a person's life better, a little laughter." Looking about, he admires some of the nature around them. "As does such wonderful scenery, really." He says in a soft tone. "I am sure it was a much better way to end up than having fallen on the ground. I would not have allowed that to happen. Or…I would have fallen myself, attempting to stop that from happening."

"Quite." One side of Danae's mouth inches up as if it might shift into a full smile, but she drops her gaze and select a small sandwich from the spread instead. Her fingers dance along its edges, looking over the splendor of the garden, even out of bloom as it is. "Yes. And so many varieties here…even some I have enver seen before," she notes with delight, girlish excitement creeping into her tone. Plants. She speaks of them as he might speak of horses or another might speak of dancing. "It would not be the first time. But that is, far too kind of you. I wouldn't want to see you hurt for my own sake." Her blue eyed gaze flickers towards him, then looks back towards the plants in the garden.

There's a pause as Riordan continues to look around the garden. "Yes, there definitely is quite the variety of plants, I do agree. Some beautiful flowers here…" He says as he turns his attention back to Danae, smiling. "There is no shame in falling off of a horse. But still, I would rather be the one to fall than have it be someone such as yourself. After all, as much as I like my own pretty face," he says partially in jest and with his eyes twinkling in humor, "I couldn't allow such a pretty face as yours to get all mucky and in disarray!"

"There are, that's—" She goes so far as to name a few of the varieties, pointing a finger from one to the other. Her sandwich remains but a prop amidst her distraction. "I think, m'lord that there might come a little with falling off several of them," Danae returns wryly. "I think my face might have survived the bath of mud, it t'would have been my hair that would have been the sight. Now a gentleman, such as yourself covered in mud would have ill excuses to feign incidence. I could never wish it upon you, even in my place." The returning tease is slight, sweetened with good humor.

Listening with proper interest as anyone would do, hopefully, Riordan smiles as he listens to all the various names. "Hmmm. How interesting. I never knew that was it's name!" He mutters and murmurs to the names of some of the plants. He chuckles and shakes his head. "Wouldn't want to dirty that pretty hair of yours, now would we? It would certainly be a shame. It would take a fair little bit of time to make sure it was all out!" He grins. "Ah, but I do believe I could deal with all the feigning that would be required. It is you that I would be worried about, even so. I'd not mind the mud, if I had to."

"Perhaps I might keep it? It should settle in a little further and I might be as wooden hued as you Riverlanders," Danae suggests, sweeping her golden locks back and over her shoulder. One she keeps to hold up in examination, looking to him with a playful glint. Hrm. Brown. "I believe that is merely your training come to fro, Ser. You are too gentle. If you are not careful, a lady could find herself looking for your aide more often."

"You know, you're really starting to think now! That's not a bad idea!" Riordan laughs. "Not that you need to change your appearance one bit. Some may say that it is we who need look more like you." He grins and shakes his head softly. "Don't be too caught up in my gentle nature. I've got a dark side too. Oh yes. It's a dangerous side, it is!" He gives Danae a little wink. "But I'm not opposed to coming to the aid of those who need it."

"If they may say it, you can direct them towards me. I am certain their are many gentlemen and ladies who might be willing to wed a Riverlander so at least their children might have golden tresses," Danae teases gently, picking at the crust of her sandwich. She takes a nibble of it as he proclaims his dark nature. "Oh, I am certain my lord. I cannot imagine a man nor a woman who did no. What would you do on the dark side of things?" The sound of her tone is more intrigued than disapproving. "That is very noble of you."

"Would you ever consider marrying a Riverlander?" Riordan sounds as if he's teasing, but you could never know, truely, when it comes to Riordan Nayland. He gives a little smirk as he is asked what he would do on the dark side. "Oh, I can't say, really. I made an oath long ago that I would never speak of what deeds I would do with my dark side, should it manifest." He chuckles.

Danae's answer is succinct, "Yes." A trilling bout of laughter follows it it, in recognition of just how sharp and curt and slightly ridiculous it sounded. "There is little reason not to at least consider it," she amends, almost teasing as she drags out 'consider' into a playful question. "And yourself? Would you ever consider marrying from elsewhere? Or might that be one of your darker deeds?" Oh dear.

"I'd most certainly consider marrying someone from elsewhere. But where they come from is what decides whether that is a dark deed or not." Riordan raises a questioning eyebrow. "Or perhaps it's a mixture of where they're from, and who they actually are. Marrying a Terrick might be considered, by some in my family, to be a very dark deed indeed. But marrying a Westerling, for example, would not be much of a dark deed at all." This is what happens when goodsisters leave you alone, claiming, whether truthfully or not, to be feeling ill. Talks about marriage begin to crop up.

"Does it truely? A location does not make a person, m'Lord. It only colours their opinons and in many cases their attitudes. It could be an advantageous match for all but that. I have seen many used to start again, sweeten soured bonds," Danae wonders, tapping her fingers against her palm. "Even in those where it might be considered a very dark deed." A smile gentles her words, the tip of her chin acknowledging. She did not start the discussion, but it s happy to continue it.

"Ah, but if someone came from north of the wall, would most of us here consider marrying them? Most likely not." Riordan smiles. "But I do not argue that there are people who are worthy to keep lines of talk open, even to the point of marriage. Especially if there is a connection between the two people." He picks up another apple and starts to eat. "Might I be so bold as to…" He clears his throat and shakes his head. "Nevermind. It would be improper of me to ask."

"Likely not, nor one of blood of Iron and ice. It is as you say, though," Danae agrees with a twist of her smile. "It is never all." Briefly she runs her fingers over her skirts, adjusting a fold with a brush of her hand, skin freckles against the pale rose hue. "Mhm?" Tipping her head, she looks over at him with quiet interest. "Please, no. Ask?"

Riordan shakes his head. "No, it would be silly of me to ask, really. And, as I said, improper. Not the sort of question a lord should ask a lady. You never know, there could be little ears listening about. And said little ears do so love to gossip." He smiles. "Besides, there's nothing like a little mystery in life to keep it interesting, hmm?"

Danae's brows rise in silent inquiry. "You, m'Lord are a tease," she chides gently with a click of her tongue. The little ears will gossip, that she doesn't deny. A glance is cast over the garden for any little ears that might lurk. "It seems that there are always mysteries to be found, are there not?"

"I never said I wasn't." Riordan replies quietly, gazing at his apple. "A tease never hurt anybody, except for their curious minds." He offers her a tiny smile. "Life, I hear, is full of mysterious if you but only look for them. They hide everywhere. Do you dare find where they lurk to uncover their hidden truths?"

"This is true. There is little venom in a tease, just curiosity," Danae agrees softly, she nibbles a little more on her sandwich to finish it. The crumbs are carefully dusted from her skirts. "Life and nature are both full of mysteries. I will seek nature's, hers are more easily unravelled than the greater ones of life. And yourself? Do you seek for truths among the mysteries?"

"I merely seek to offer the mysteries. I find I dislike trying to decipher the truths amongst other mysteries unless they are of the utmost importance. Like…where is this going from here? Or what is for supper this evening?" Riordan grins slyly to that. "Sometimes I seek the mere mystery that comes in the eyes of another." He states softly, turning to gaze directly into Danae's eyes. "But then again, maybe some mysteries are best learnt the old fashion way."

"So you only give, but never take from them? You, Lord Riordan, are either a very generous man or one who is too distanced to the intrigue around him." The tease is airy and light, joined with the flicker of Danae's grin. "Many of those are bland secrets indeed." The dinner one at least. Her blue eyes are deep beneath pale lashes, gaze shifting shyly before rising back up to meet Riordan's. "And what mysteries do you find? The old fashioned way."

"I only take when I wish to take." Riordan tilts his head. "After all, I am not too distanced from the intrigue of the mysteries behind wild horses. Of course, my end result is to tame one of them. But there is mystery in that as well." He smiles and quietly looks down at the ground for a moment before looking back up at Danae. "Lady Danae, do you know what I find? I find myself with questions. Questions that can not always be asked." He grins. "Or is it questions that can always be asked, but should not always be asked? Now there is a good riddle."

"It is riddle where propriety battles against curiosity, I think," Danae returns, tipping her head with a tiny smile. "Question might be asked. Habit is a harder answer in the scheme of all things. Perhaps you ought to ask it? Aren't riddles better once compounded?"

Looking around, Riordan takes a deep breath in. "You know, the average horse is quite intelligent?" He clears his throat and chuckles a little. "Also…not, not only might it be improper in general for me to ask, it is a slightly personal question. It is not like I have the right not ask it, really."

"No, I did not. I knew that they had quite distinct personalities…but, that is all," she admits. Danae turns her head, running her fingers along the edges of the blanket thoughtfully as she considers his words. A blade of grass is lifted from its edges. "It sounds like quite a question. All that I can say, little as I know of it, is that if I find it too personal I shall not answer."

"Oh yes, quite intelligent creatures…despite how frightened they might get at a bird surprising them out of the brush." Riordan chuckles at that softly. "Well, here is the question…" He states, though he takes quite a few moments before actually asking the question. "So, are you currently involved with anyone else? Engaged or proposed to be engaged?"

"It is remarkable that something so large can be so scared of something so small. The horses might easily trample the bird, but still they shy away," Danae muses, perhaps with a half-hearted wish that she might have such power over them. She turns to Riordan with interest, awaiting the query to follow his pause. "Oh." That wasn't what she had expected. "No. No, I am not, M'Lord." There might a touch of pink to her cheeks once again.

A messenger appears close by and indicates he wishes to speak with Riordan. Riordan sighs and holds up a 'wait a moment' finger to Danae as he stands and heads over to the messenger. He listens intently. Upon returning to Danae, he sighs. "M'lady, I hope we can meet again over a supper? We can make arrangements for it soon? I'd…" He pauses, almost embarrassed. "I'd like to get to know you better. I really…well, I really like you." He smiles awkwardly. "But for the time being, I am being summoned away. Stay here for as long as you'd like, and enjoy the gardens. Someone will clear it up once you are done."

The appearance of a messenger is enough to pause the conversation, willingly on Danae's part as she tips her head in a nod to Riordan's gesture. She remains seated as they converse, playing with the blade of grass between her fingers in an attempt to not be rude. "Oh." The word comes with a warm smile, freckles dancing across her features as she nods again. "Please, I would like that ah…very much, Lord Riordan," she agrees softly, attempting to not appear too eager. She rises to drop into a slight curtsey, "Thank you for your company, m'Lord. May your duties go well."