|Good and Early Morn|
|Summary:||An early morning in the garden gathers a cadre of nobles to chat amid the dew.|
|Related Logs:||Grab these after: Tea Party logs|
|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.|
|Fri Apr 27, 289|
The morning is early yet and the sun a warm globe curling over the horizon, leaving the earth to still bear the chill and the damp of the passed night. Dew clings to buds and petals of the roses that thickly sweeten the air of the Tordane gardens and even now, the low hum of bees is resonant. Wrapped in a warm cloak to guard off the chill, Danae sits on one of the benches that line the path through the garden with a ink brush and a personal desk across her lap. Her lady's maid is near at hand with her own occupation of knitting. A long since cold cup of tea sits next to her. Her nose and cheeks are pink from the length of time she has been sitting there.
"No, Adelia, I just need time to think." The timid and mousy woman, although taller and older than her mistress, wrings her hands in relative silence as the pair moves quietly through the garden. For her part, Briallyn doesn't seem to immediately notice the beauty around her, slender, groomed fingers inelegantly rubbing at her eyes as if still drowsy. "You could always keep Septa Adarna company when she wakes," the young woman suggests with a wry smile, voice still roughened with sleep. The lady's maid balks, falling a step behind her Lady with a pained expression.
"Nevermind, come along." It isn't until mid-yawn that the youth catches sight of another figure amongst the benches, stifling the motion dramatically as her shoulders, beneath the dense, fine weave of a dark forest green woolen cloak, hunch. Some of the sleep clears, and Briallyn settles a hand upon her hip as she falls still a few yards from a somewhat familiar face. "Hm, Lady Danae," the young Lady Haigh observes thoughtfully, neutrally.
The brush in her hand pulls long, elegant strokes onto the paper in front of her as Danae works at the image that is so occupying her. At Briallyn's altogether neutral greeting, the fair lady looks up from her work with bemusement, brush paused mid-stroke. "Good morn, Lady Briallyn," she greets softly, inflection perfectly polite.
Despite the hint of dark circles beneath her eyes, the Lady Briallyn appears to be well prepared for the day, albeit with her hair left down and absent of its usual ivory combs. She makes a quick study of the other woman, expression revealing very little about her present mood. "Is it? I don't know that I've been awake long enough to decide one way or another," she jests quietly with a polite smile turning up the corners of her mouth. Briallyn remains where she is, hand upon her hip and the other tucked out of sight beneath her cloak. "But, it is good to hear that it is treating you well enough."
Comfortably seated burdened by her lapdesk, Danae makes no motion to rise to greet the other woman, inclining her head with a slight curve of her lips. The Westerling Lady's blonde hair has been bound upward in the twists of braids done in a Western style, leaving her face clear and setting the rest of her hair neatly down her back. The gown beneath her heavy cloak is a soft rose colour and dots of ink stain her fingertips from her work. "It is," she answers simply, regarding Briallyn in return with clear, sea blue eyes that are keen with awareness. "It looks to be a clear day to come."
Briallyn utters a quiet, but audible sigh as she moves to settle upon a bench set near the one upon which Danae is perched, but without sitting next to the other woman. She makes a small gesture towards Adelia while still half-turned upon the bench to address Danae more directly. "Does it? I'm rather disappointed, now. I do like surprises." Briallyn accepts the medium-sized basket from her maid and sets it upon the stone next to her. Shoving a few long locks of dark mahogany hair behind an ear, she presses the lid of the basket back without glancing at its contents. "How is your brother?"
"Is there no solace for you in certainty, Lady Briallyn?" Danae wonders idly, looking towads her own maid in indication she might retrieve the lap desk and ink. One it is done, precious inks carefully back away in their box, she picks up a dark hued hankerchief and begins to wipe the stains from her fingers. "It makes it rather easier to plan for one's day." The Haigh lady's inquiry after Garett is met with a gracious smile. "When last I saw him, he was very well and hale."
"Very few things in life are certain," Briallyn observes with a strange sense of humor. "I've seen a clear day turn to summer storm before one has the chance to blink. Who can say what today's weather will be? Perhaps it is more consistent here. You would know better than I." She pulls something from the depths of the woven, unpainted basket and settles the contents upon her lap. At first glance, it looks to be an expanse of ruffled fabric, but a closer inspection reveals a hat. "I know he is physically well, Lady Danae," Briallyn says simply as her hand strays back to the basket. "I meant between the two of you. If you would prefer, I can be more blunt with my questions, but you do not seem to appreciate such frankness."
"In contrast, I should argue that your weather here in the Riverlands is far more gentle than that of the coasts. Stonebridge is not so far from the keep of the Haighs as that, is it?" Frowning, Danae looks down at her hands and presses down against a spot on her hand a little more fierecely. She continues to clean them until Briallyn speaks again, looking up at her somewhat archy. "The relationship between my brother and I is satisfactory, Lady Briallyn. You may be blunt as you prefer with little fear for my sensibilities, my brother does prefer it as I understand."
"I cannot speak for weather on the coast, as I've not lived there and have visited it only once." Then, a playful smile, one more genuine than the one preceding it, curls her lips. "Broadmoor is close to Stonebridge, but I didn't state it was a common occurrence. More is the pity." Briallyn's hand withdraws from the basket with a spool of thread clutched between her fingers. "You are not a very forthcoming woman, are you?" Briallyn waves a hand as if the observation matters very little.
"No, I shan't pry. I know you don't think it my business, although anything affecting my Lord's emotional state is very much so." A thoughtful pause, and Briallyn hums quietly beneath her breath as she threads a thin iron needle. "But, if it is as you say, and you've no cause to lie outright, then I am glad to hear it. He does prefer it when people are straight forward, and speak their minds, yes."
"I am certain that you will get the chance soon enough, once your bethrothal becomes a marriagae, lady." There is a slight curve to Danae's mouth that does little to warm her expression. She folds her hands in her lap, settling the rag which she was using between them. "I simply do not confuse intimacy with casual conversation. I suppose to some that would make me as you say." Neither a twitch of brow nor mouth alters her polite expression any. "Then you may ask him to speak to you on it." That which is her investiment in Garett's emotional state. "My brother at some times confuses bluntness for honesty, it is a trait that serves him well enough in his dealings."
"You mistake me, Lady Danae. It isn't our unmarried state that prevents me from asking, nor he from answering," Briallyn says softly, but without sting. A length of dark ribbon, bearing the sheen of silk, is carefully secured in place about the hat's edge with painstaking care and pinned into place at regular intervals. "But, I can agree with you on those points of honesty and bluntness. It is much better to lie if you've a silver tongue." One side of her mouth quirks just a little higher, and her words are punctuated with a wry chuckle. "But, they are not mutually exclusive, either. I do not have a care for casual conversation, as I am sure you have gleaned by now."
"I was referring to seeing the weather on the coast, Lady Briallyn. Not the state of relations between yourself and my brother, for I likely imagine the two of you shall want to settle down once you are wed," Danae corrects gently and without malice. It is no matter to her either way. She shifts slightly, stretching her back as she observes the work that the other lady practices upon her hat. "Indeed. I should hope you have some care for it, I mean to extend an invitiation to you and your unwed cousins to a small fete that I and few other ladies are coordinating. Intimate secrets tend to fall rather sour with sweets in hand."
Her dark brows lift, and she laughs, and by all indication, at herself. "Hah, I see. You think we're going to retire to the Crag? Your brother didn't seem fond of the idea, actually." She pauses, settling down upon the bench even if her dark green eyes still dance with mirth. The ribbon is finely secured and she sets to it diligently with the needle and dark thread. "I don't care for it, but that isn't to say I cannot manage it. Likely, I'll just eat cake to keep my mouth full. That way I needn't embarrass anyone." It seems Briallyn's sober and somber manner is not her nature, and at the tease, she grins and flashes pearly white teeth. "On that count, I've no intention of sharing any intimate secrets. A proper secret tends to be ruinous, or else there would be little cause for it to be secret at all."
"It would be the more common of choices, but I suppose you are hardly that. Regardless, our family shall want to meet you." Danae sits as still as a porcelein doll, continuing to watch the other lady's work with mild interest. Her mouth curves in a slight smile at Briallynn's rather appropriate and apt assessment of secrets. "Certainly the true secrets are those. And so long as you do not attempt to speak with your mouth full of cake, I am certain that will be well. I trust you will extend the invitation to your cousins for me…? I am afraid I do know them only in passes, but should not like them to feel excluded, particularly the Lady Ilaria," she adds thoughtfully.
"I could do that, yes. I am sure they would both be pleased. They are social creatures who succeed quite well at these sorts of gestures," Briallyn remarks amusedly. Despite a restless nature, she seems able to focus upon the work at hand while making very small, very precise stitches with deft, quick motions of her hand. "I am sure that your family does, and will. I do not have an opinion on the matter, so far as where I am to reside with him. I believe Ser Garett is concerned about the state of your native home. I think he feels it embarrassing for one such as myself." Her full lips purse at that, and the young woman makes a soft sound of exasperation.
"Then they are well fit for an event so socialable as this one, are they not?" Danae opines with a slight smile, arching her brows. "It shall be good for all we ladies to make one anothers acquaintance, if we have not already. I know the Lady Rosanna will be planning some diversions of interest for the event, but if either of them are musical…I believe the Lady Tiaryn might bring her harp." Music. Tea. It could be a proper party. "The Crag is in some disrepair, there is no point in stating otherwise. I believe it is better that you know it well and fully than are sheltered from it, but my brother lived away nearly longer than there. He may simply prefer it."
"No, I would say they are more than adequately suited for such affairs and would be pleased, if not delighted, to attend." If Briallyn does not feel that way for herself, she does not say one way or another, and instead focuses on continuing to sew the dark silk against the fine, sturdy wool of the hat. As the other Lady speaks, she listens attentively, even if her moss colored eyes do linger still upon the sewing that keeps idle hands busy. "He told me as much, for I asked him to tell me of his home, but he was not pleased to speak of it. I do not know if he expects his House to be judged for it, or that he doesn't think that a noble Lady such as myself should be forced to endure it." Briallyn wrinkles her nose delicately with distaste at the idea. "I would still like to see it. It needn't remain in that state eternally."
"It is hardly a slattern hole," Danae drawls wryly, arching her brows at the lady's wrinkle of distaste. "Whatever disrepair the Crag itself bears, we do live in the comfort which you are accustomed to by birth, my lady. It is simply that not all reside within the Keep."
"My Lady, that isn't at all what I thought," Briallyn says calmly, glancing up from her work. "Even if it were, which I do not believe to be the case, I would happily live there if he were there. I am not prim, nor am I overly concerned with excessively lavish decor." She arches a dark brow at the other woman, hands stilled for the time being. "I was merely expressing some slight displeasure that Ser Garett would think that I would be overly concerned with it. I think that the relative poverty shames him."
The two ladies are seated across from one another in the garden, morning still clinging to the earth and dew settled heavily upon the plants. There is a chill enough in the air that each wears a cloak. Danae's mouth curves slightly as she watches Briallyn through a shadow of pale lashes. "I cannot comment on my brother's thoughts, I merely look to assure that things may not be quite so dire as presented."
Humming thoughtfully beneath her breath, Briallyn inclines her head to return to her work. It's slow going, but she's deliberate with each tiny stitch. "Perhaps not, then. And if so, I should like to see the Crag very much. He does speak fondly of it, even if he doesn't desire to live there. It seems to be one of the few-" Her hand pauses even as her mouth does, and Briallyn tilts her head slightly as if considering something. "I am sure he will decide what is best for us," she says more tranquilly. "Still, it's good to see there is something beneath that veneer of exquisitely crafted manners, Lady Danae." The young Lady Haigh does not seem a creature of malice or cruelty, and thus the faint smile, gleaming teeth, directed towards the other woman is one better representing her playful good nature.
Inside the walls of Tordane Tower, Rosanna has left behind her guard, so it's only her handmaiden that trails after her when she makes her way into the gardens this morning. Her gown is a dark dyed green, simple but well-made and without much adornment. "Oh, Lady Danae," she greets the one noblewoman present that she already does, though her gaze flickers soon after to the unknown quantity of Briallyn. "Good morning."
Danae smiles prettily, inclining her chin mildly in regard for the young Lady Haigh's assessment and not deigning to reply to it. The arrival of the Lady Rosanan wholly saves her the need to, this morning. "Good morning, Lady Rosanna. I was just informing the Lady Briallyn Haigh of our coming plans for a small fete," she says, greeting the younger lady warmly.
The other young woman manages to temper that ridiculously wicked grin to something more suitable to her station, coughing softly to clear her throat as a sort of distraction. "She was, at that," Briallyn agrees even as she glances up from the hat she is presently working upon to study the newly arrived Lady with an unashamedly inquisitive stare. "Well met, Lady," she observes without an ounce of demure naivete in her sultry voice.
"Oh yes," Rosanna says with a bright smile. "You must be of good spirits to merit an invitation, Lady Haigh." There is a certain blithe, casual vanity in her manner. "Well met," she echoes back with a dip of a curtsy. "Lady Rosanna Groves. A pleasure, Lady Haigh."
"I fear you might chide me for my discernment otherwise, dear Lady Rosanna," Danae teases the younger woman softly, flicking a leaf from her skirts. "The Lady Haigh is my brother's bethrothed." Her blue eyes shift from the Groves lady towards the Haigh, a low curve to her lips. Animatedly she turns back to Rosanna again after a moment, smile wide as she says, "Lady Tiaryn seeks to invite several from Terrick's Roost, so I believe we will have quite the balanced party."
"Yes, and I dare say it would look strange for a Lady with such impeccable etiquette to do otherwise than invite me on that basis alone." There is a certain unconcealed humor there, in her voice, but her gaze drifts away from Rosanna once the young woman is afforded a scouring, albeit curious glance. Whatever she is working upon, she is quite intent on finishing it at a quick pace, it seems. "It's sounding rather… Ah. Large, at this point," Briallyn observes, tone carefully neutral.
"Yes, I do recall hearing as such," Rosanna says with a quick smile to Danae. She turns her gaze back to Briallyn, some banked humor in her dark eyes. "Lady Danae certainly has manners to be commended. She is not so wild as some unfortunates one hears about." She stands near Briallyn and Danae in garden, morning still hanging in the air. The other two ladies sit across from each other.
"Why thank you, Lady Rosanna. Your own manners do you and your house credit. Speaking to your household, did I not hear that your brother was lately returned to Stonebridge? I believe I may have seen him at the party but lacked an introduction," Danae replies sweetly, inclining her chin towards the younger lady. She lifts her cloak from where it covers the bench, gesturing to the seat. "And please, join us." Her earlier tea cup is handed off to her maid. "It shall be of a reasonable size, Lady Briallyn. We do have so few chances to socialized without men present."
A few more stitches against the dark ribbon, and Briallyn's eyes flick upward to glance at Rosanna briefly. "I don't know, Lady Rosanna. Since arriving in Stonebridge, I've found that very, very few of the Ladies are inclined to anything beyond excessive displays of demure politeness. Unless they're breathing fire down the back of your neck, I suppose. There seems little room for anything else." A hint of a grin before it's forced down, fingers ever working away at her activity of choice. "Then, again… Really? I seem plagued by the opposite. Maybe it's just me," Briallyn returns airily, withholding a sigh as she affixes the ribbon firmly to the hat's leading edge.
"I suppose if you really wanted something other than the behavior or nobles, you could always go and spend time among the smallfolk," Rosanna offers innocently. "I hear they care little for anything other than their whims of the moment." She accepts Danae's offer with a sweep of her skirts to settle onto the bench and fold her hands in her lap. "Oh, that seems like a distinct possibility," she says to Briallyn with a warm smile.
Any chance of socializing without men present vanishes as Kittridge appears, approaching from around some shrubbery. "There you are," he says to Rosanna, "Day mentioned you were out here somewhere." He bows politely to Danae and Briallyn, adding a courtly flourish to the graceful gesture, smiling, "Ladies. Rosanna are you going to introduce me to your companions?"
"It may just be as such. It seems the Lady Rosanan must lack your good fortune," Danae agrees calmly, smile low on her lips as Briallyn firmly affixes that ribbon. "Numbers regardless, I should think it will be a fine use of a day." If she was going to say more, it does not manifest as she rises to greet Kittridge with a delicate curtsey before resuming her seat. "My Lord, Good morn."
A genuine laugh is met with the Lady Rosanna's suggestion, even as Briallyn is setting aside the hat with great care and rising gracefully to her feet. " A very real possibility, for I've a great deal of luck. An interesting proposal, Lady Rosanna, but I find there is merit in things beyond socializing, as well. There is much to be said of quiet time spent in contemplation," the young woman offers diplomatically, a tone of voice that does not mesh well with the roguish smile brightening her sculpted expression. Her attention shifts from the pair of Ladies to make a cursory study of the newly arrived Lord, to whom she offers a smooth, quick curtsy before perching upon the edge of her own stone bench.
"Oh, Kittridge," Rosanna says with easy brightness. "This is Lady Danae Westerling and Lady Briallyn Haigh." To the ladies, she introduces, "My brother, Lord Kittridge Groves." She turns a sunny smile of idle vanity up to her brother. "Were you missing me, dear brother?"
Is there a chill in the air? Are the flowers suddenly frosting over? Nah, that's just Garett appearing in the archway, a slight breeze making his sur-coat flutter behind him. Addressing a nearby gardener, he speaks in low tones before before Briallyn is pointed out down the way. And that's the direction he walks in. Although, seeing that she's not alone, with his sister no less, maybe has him looking more stone-faced than he usually is. Still he'll hang back until his wife-to-be picks him out.
"Lady Danae, Lady Briallyn," Kittridge greets each lady with an easy smile and an inclination of his head that sends dark hair tumbling into his eyes. He pushes it away with an off-hand gesture, going on, "It's lovely to meet you both, I'm sure. And never, sister dear, of course not," he says, even as he bends to kiss her on the cheek in greeting. "Am I interrupting?" he inquires of the three ladies generally as he straightens up, "I think I heard something about finding time away from gentlemen as I approached. Not that I was eavesdropping, naturally," he lies with a grin.
"The estimable brother at last, then. It is a pleasure to finally meet you, Lord Kittridge," Danae greets with the appropriate amount of warmth, offering the dark haired lord a slight smile. Her gaze slides over to Briallyn for a moment, observing her merely at rest, before returning her attention to the pair of siblings. "Naturally, you would not. Our time to be without gentlemen is not the present moment. Your sister is helping the Lady Tiaryn and I plan a small gathering for the ladies of the area, we were just speaking on it to Lady Briallyn."
"Oh, we're going to have a picnic outing that you're not invited to," Rosanna tells Kittridge cheerfully, tilting her head to better allow for the kiss to her cheek.
"Lord Groves," Briallyn intones politely, waiting until he is appropriatly distracted by his sister to lift an elegant hand, pinching delicately at the bridge of her nose. Drawing a steadying breath, the young woman drops the hand back to her lap after easing back into the mask of calm complacency, but for tumultuous green eyes that almost spoil the effect. She seems content to keep her mouth shut in that moment, though her eyes brush over Kittridge to seek some escape. Too literal. It's too early to tell if her luck held true, or not, when her eyes alight upon Garett's stony figure. It's too surprising not to stare, full lips parted slightly in disbelief.
"A picnic without me? What a terrible thought," Kittridge laments, "It will obviously be horribly dull, no offense to you ladies, of course," he says to Danae and Briallyn and pointedly not to his sister. One corner of his mouth twitches. "Well, I will just take Raylan and Tommas and the others and we will all go hunting and drinking without you ladies, then. Which I suppose we do anyway, but regardless. When is this picnic to be, then? I hope you're not planning to go too far from town, with all these bandits about."
Were it not for the fluttering of his coat, Garett might be statuesqe, it's what he's good at. But thankfully, he's not, and after being recognized by at least Briallyn, he continues forward. "Now, don't look too shocked." he deadpans, voice sounding as dead as ever. After closing in, he reguards Danae. "Sister." he greets, the looking over at the pair of Grooves. An incline of the head, but little more, as his focus is more or less on the Haigh. "If this is a bad time, we can always speak later. I was told that you might be here is all." There's something held behind his back. But he normally holds both hands behind his waist. Old military habit.
Brows arch mildly a Briallyn's gesture, attention only half taken by the sibling Groves, but she lets it go without comment. Headache, surely. "I am certain we shall have to console ourselves with other things," Danae replies softly, looking up at Kittridge with a soft smile. "We are going to go a slight distance, but we will take the appropriate guard, my Lord." At the sound of that flat, familiar voice, she turns her head towards the figure entering the garden and offers a smile. "Brother. Good day."
"It will be far more interesting than you galavanting in the forest with Raylan and Tommas and Brynner," Rosanna says to Kittridge with a roll of her eyes. "Obviously we won't be completely devoid of men. We'll be quite safe." Her gaze flits over to Garett as he approaches.
"Don't be silly, Rosanna, there's nothing more interesting than me," Kittridge replies flippantly, "And whatever I'm doing at a moment." To Danae he adds, more seriously, though not so much so that he loses his merry smile, "I am pleased to hear you have thought of such precautions already. When you've chosen a day do let me know, I'll make sure a few of our fellows here are tasked to go along with you as well." Garett, as he arrives, gets a polite nod, and a friendly, "Ser… Westerling, I take it?" he deduces.
"I'm not… No, Ga- Ser Garett. It's fine. Your sister was keeping me in good company," Briallyn offers as diplomatically as she can manage. Headache? A likely scenario. The hat is carefully collected from the stone bench and placed back in its basket, along with thread and needle, the lid replaced. "And inviting me to a… tea party." Oh, yes. Briallyn going to a tea party, when there will be a perfectly good hunt occurring elsewhere simultaneously. For her part, the young Lady Haigh keeps that calm composure, and her shoulders do not slump. She even manages to sound /pleased/, somehow. "I'm pleased to see you, however," she says more quietly with no small affection. With this company? He cannot begin to imagine how much.
Rosanna's self assured remark prompts a laugh from the Westerling Lady. "I will do as you ask," Danae promises with a gentle nod of her head. "I am certain each of the houses will want to see that the numbers are appropriate to the party. I do not take such a threat likely, although I do not plan to let it spoil the festivities." That said. "My apologies, Lord Kittridge Groves and Lady Rosanna Groves, my brother, Ser Garett Westerling." Lifting a hand to extend the introduction from one party to another, she settles her gesture on her brother with a soft smile. "I thought your young Lady Haigh might enjoy it."
"A pleasure, Ser Westerling," Rosanna greets him. She is seated, but she inclines her head in a respectful gesture that will have to do for a curtsy. "I'm afraid you won't be invited to our little outing, either." Just in case any boys start getting ideas. Her smile is warm and well-humored, though.
"A tea party." Hard to tell if Garett sounds dubious when he ecohes that. "Ah. Danae had mentioned as much to me a few nights ago. That's very…gracious of her to invite you." Stormy gray eyes flicker over to Danae. "I am glad to see that you two have spoke about it." If he sounds glad, he sure has an odd way of showing it. Again, his gaze moves over to Rosanna and Kittridge. "Lord and Lady Grooves." he greets impassively, then nodding at Rosanna. "Of course not, I am only used to looking after my sister, but I have no doubts that she will be just fine without me." Pause. "I don't wish to intrude, there was something I wanted hand over while I was in the area and the thought had crossed my mind." This causes him to move back to focus on Bri. "I saw this during my free time at the Roost, but I thought you would appreciate it more than I would." Bringing about what was behind his back is a book. "I know you've been looking for something new to read. I don't know if read the works of Maester Ridely Price, but he's a philosopher. Writings on morality and free will versus fate. I thought you would enjoy it."
"Ser Garett, a pleasure," Kittridge says, and then laughs as Rosanna immediately points out that the Westerling knight is not invited. "Forgive my sister, ser, I am not invited either. In fact I think I may be riding out for a hunt that day, if you'd care to join? There seem to be quite a few Westerlings about the town these days and I haven't had as much chance to meet all of you as I'd like. If you're hunting men, come along, we'll make up a party." As the man speaks with his betrothed he falls back and a half step and turns to Danae and Rosanna, politely pretending not to listen. "You have been here rather longer than your kin, Lady Danae, is that right?" he inquires.
Rosanna bites down on her bottom lip, dropping her gaze briefly to her lap with some banked humor she tries to hide. Then she takes a breath and smooths it away to a more appropriate warmth. She turns her attention to Kittridge and Danae rather than the gift exchange occurring.
Looking towards the Groves Lord, also politely averting her face away from the betrothed pary, Danae nods her head graciously and offers a curve of a smile. "Indeed, I have, my Lord. The Crag sent me as an Envoy for trade some months back, prior to the war." A twinkle sparks in her eyes as she adds, "Your sister tells me you have some interest in trade yourself? Although we should not go into our interests, as I know she finds them terribly dull." The proper lady casts an almost cheeky look towards the young lady.
The young Lady Haigh's expression brightens noticeably and the fussing over her basket ends pressing it back into the hands of her quiet, unobtrusive handmaiden. Briallyn turns to face the knight more squarely, fingers running over the dark green and bronze silk of her skirts to smooth away any errant wrinkles from her perch on the bench. The look upon her face falters only slightly, turned away as she is from the trio, at Kittridge's invitation.
"Gods, but I'd prefer hunting," she murmurs very softly. Squaring her shoulders and lifting her chin slightly, Briallyn grins more openly up at the stone faced Garett. "That's very kind of you, my Lord." The title is joined by a wink, and the very slight widening of that grin. "I did finish that piece, but I do not have it with me. It will have to wait until a later date to give to you."
Garett gives Bri a simple nod in understanding. "Again, I had it when me and I knew I would forget. Besides, it'll give you something to read and draw your attention away from your Septa, because I know what a conversationalist she is." Is that a joke? Maybe? Dry humor is always the hardest to discern, especially with a tone like his. "And it's not a worry, and there's not rush. Next time. Perhaps when I'm making Desmond run up a hill some more." That said, he does look back at Kitt. "A hunting party? I admit that hunting is not sharpened skill of mine, replaced more by skills used in war, but…" he glances at his betrothed then at this sister. "Intriguing. I don't see why not. And I am always willing to help a good cause. As for so many Westerlings well, I myself was brought here to look after my dear sister and I brought my squire, the Lord Desmond Westerling with me. I have heard the Lord's brother, Lord Roric Westerling is here as well, but I haven't had the chance to meet him." he details all-too clinically.
Rosanna wrinkles her nose in obliging distaste of the subject when Danae casts that cheeky look her way. "Well, there are certainly more lively subjects to speak on."
"I dabble a bit, Lady Danae," Kittridge replies of trade with another smile. He glances sidelong at his sister and snorts, "Like what, kittens, and dancing?" He makes a bit of a face at her, playfully, and then turns back to say, "I'd be delighted to speak with you about it some other time if you like, Lady Danae. And perhaps to hear more about your home at The Crag? I've yet to be lucky enough to travel to the Westerlands, but it sounds an interesting place. And of course, Ser Garett," he transitions smoothly, turning back to nod at the knight, "No need to be an expert, most of the time's spent just riding about and drinking, anyway, especially on a social sort of hunt. By all means join us, and invite your kinsmen. I may see if any of the Sers Nayland are interested as well, if this whole matter of the duel hasn't ruined their moods entirely."
Danae grins at the back and forth between the Grove siblings, not feeling the need to try to defend Rosanna's honor against her brother's teasing. "I should like that very much, Lord Kittridge. We should exchange stories of our homes, your lady sister has told me a little, but I find myself fascinated by the idea of your orchards." So many trees. "The Crag would show you hospitality should you ever venture out so far," she promises. When Garett looks to her, she returns it with an encouraging nod and looks pleased at the thought of the upcoming events.
"You mean, you don't appreciate a constant slew of prayer, my Lord?" Those dark green eyes widen in mock surprise before she ruefully shakes her head. Accepting the book, Briallyn doesn't quite snatch it from Garett's hand, but affords him a light pat on the back of his hand. "Thank you, my Lord." The appreciation in her voice is genuine, but she snickers at the formality. She quiets notably when he turns his attention towards Kittridge at his offer, which is just as well. It gives the Lady a moment to study the book with intense interest, but her head is tilted in such a way as to suggest she's still attentively listening no matter where her gaze might lay.
Sniffing in a dignified manner, Rosanna turns her gaze to poor Garett. New target. "Ser Westerling, I must advise you to refuse my brother's offer. As you can see, he has little to offer any of his companions but a disagreeable disposition," she slanders her brother without hesitation.
The mention of drinking does have Garett tensing ever so slightly, enough that makes a hand curl up. Though before it did so, there could of been the flicker of a tremor that runs through his fingers, but once he let's go of the book, his hands disappear behind his waist. "I pray in my own time." he states simply and stoicaly to Briallyn. "If that is the case, Lady Grooves," he stares, slowly shifting his eyes to Rosanna, "Then I suspect I shall get on with your brother's companions just fine, known to be a disagreeable sort myself." Damn, is that another joke? Who can tell with him, but sarcasm is such a fine art. "You are too hard on your dear brother my Lady, he seems to be the fine sort."
"That is kind of you to offer, Lady Danae," Kittridge says, smiling still, "Perhaps I shall take you up on that someday. I've heard the coastline is even more spectacular than here on the cape. And naturally you are welcome at Kingsgrove should you ever care to visit." To Garett he begins to reply, but is pre-empted by Rosanna, whose words draw a laugh. "Indeed, indeed," he says, chuckling, "I am the most dour and ill-natured of men, as all can see. But thank you, Ser Garett," he says, with a grin, "You see, sister?" he lifts a brow at Rosanna, clapping Garett on the back in a friendly fashion, "You are alone in your opinion."
"He hides it very well, doesn't he," Rosanna says, looking up at her brother sadly. He clearly has all sorts of hidden depths of disagreeableness. Sighing in a long-suffering manner, she tells Garett, "I suppose you will just have to discover for yourself, ser. I wish you luck of him."
"I have only see a little of the cape, but I am naturally inclined to agree if only for familial pride. The Cape is a much milder coastline from what I have seen of it," Danae opines delicately, smiling fondly at the thought of her home. The lady covers her mouth with a hand at Rosanna's comment, shaking her head. Oh dear. "I shall definitely have to discern you deadly ways for myself it seems, Lord. Your sister's comments are most compelling." Her maid slips in from the background, gesturing towards the sky and listening something in her lady's ear. A sigh slips from her mouth, her smile falling slightly crooked as she rises to her feet and offers a dainty curtsey. "It will have to be another time. Lady and Lord Groves, Lady Haigh, Brother, I must take my leave of you."
"So many people are mistaking me, today," Briallyn mutters somewhat grumpily to herself. The dark circles beneath her eyes and the tone hint at a certain lack of sleep. At the sound of the hand clapping upon Garett's back, Briallyn's eyes lift from the cover of the book where she has since been turning it in her hands. They settle upon the pair of men curiously as if expecting something even as she is tucking the book, grip firm, away beneath the dark forest green cloak that falls over her figure. She stands there, unusually quiet without interjection, until Danae announces her intentions to go. "I am sorry to hear that, Lady Danae. Perhaps some other time, we will speak, again." The inflection of her voice sounds genuinely hopeful of that.
"If general attitudes had any validity, I'm sure that most men would be branded 'ill-natured'. It is simply a curse will have to bear." Yep, that has to be it. Garett just has to has the dryest kind of deadpan humor around. There's a blink when Kittridge slaps him on the back, and while his jaw may set and something that looks like a slightly nervous tick occurs in his shoulder, he seems to play it off like an errant itch. Swalllowing once and taking in a breathe, he nods. "Oh, I have dug my own grave many times in the past already, Lady Grooves. I am sure another time will not hurt me." At Danae's rising he nods to her. "Be safe, dear sister." he replies to her evenly.
"Well, perhaps you will be friends yet, ser," Rosanna says with a glint of humor in her eyes. Her gaze lifts to Danae's rising. "Good day, Lady Danae. I'm sure we'll speak again soon."
"Certainly, Lady Briallyn," Danae says easily. She nods at all other comments said to her, flashing a wide smile to their bearers and then disappears from the garden, her maid trailing behind.
"Another time, Lady Danae. It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance," Kittridge says. His hand on Garett's back does not linger, a friendly, manly thwap is all it is, and then he's nodding, "But anyway, good. I should be off shortly myself, I told Brynner we'd put some work in with polearms today, but I will be in touch, Ser Garett, about the hunt. I hope you enjoy your book, Lady Briallyn," he offers to her with another friendly smile, "It was a pleasure meeting you, as well. Rosanna," he adds to his sister, "I will see you at dinner. Try not to offend anyone who isn't related to you."
"Thank you, Lord Groves, the pleasure was mine," Briallyn murmurs as if pulled from deep thought. She inclines her head towards the Lord and slender fingers clutch her skirts as if the thought occurs to her to curtsy, but her frame doesn't follow through. As the man excuses himself, and Danae dwindles from sight, Briallyn bites her lip to stifle a yawn before it can escape her and instead glances between Rosanna and Garett with a bemused expression as if at a loss for words.
Garett nods at Kittridge. "Let me know, Lord Groves. When not looking after my sister or training my squire, I have little else to do with my time in Stonebridge. A distraction would be welcome. And you as well." Even, the entire way, his voice is, but chilly seems to be the perpetual state of the Knight, though he didn't seem to mind Kittridge friendliness. "Be safe." he ends with before looking back to Briallyn, noting her yawn. "When was the last time you slept?" he asks of his betrothed. "Was your Septa's snoring keeping you awake?"
"Try to be a credit to our House," Rosanna counters her brother with a warm sort of exasperation. She smooths her hands down her skirts. "I think I should be off as well, I'm afraid." She stands with a rustle of fabric and dips in a polite curtsy. "Ser Westerling, Lady Haigh. A pleasure to meet you both."
"Lady Groves," Briallyn says blithely with a hint of a fox-like smile tugging at the corners of her mouth in spite of her state of exhaustion. A brief incline of her head towards the somewhat shorter, and somewhat younger Lady. She at least has the decency to direct her attention towards Rosanna until the youth leaves, at which point she gives a shrug with one shoulder. "No, my Lord, that is not a problem. As I said, I do not allow her to sleep in my quarters for that very reason." Beneath the cloak there is a rustle of fabric, and Briallyn folds her arms comfortably beneath her ample bust.
"Sisters are a terrible drain on one's time, aren't they, Ser Garett?" Kittridge agrees, shaking his head sadly before he laughs and nods, "I will, and I will do my best, Rosanna, as always." He grins, and gives a friendly wave to the party before heading off into the garden.
"Yes…" That may actually get some kind of inflection out of the Knight, which might seem almost sad, "Yes, they are." That said, the look is gone, replaced by stony countenance once again. "Of course, Lady Groves. You as well. Be safe." That seems to be his usual parting line, and probably because he might actually mean it. As Rosanna begins to leave, he turns his gaze down onto Briallyn. "Is something the matter?"
"Something is always the matter," she jests, flashing white teeth in a grin that looks more like a grimace. "But, truthfully, nothing dramatic, Garett." Left to her own devices, the young Lady Haigh dispenses with formality and her voice exudes a warmth that was not previously present. Some of the tension lingering in her frame lessens, and Briallyn toys with the clasp securing her cloak at the shoulder. "I'm just tired, and attempting some measure of productivity. Nothing to alarm. I did have a pleasant enough talk with your sister. It was… ah. Interesting."