|Summary:||Jarod and Lucienne discuss literature, being happy, and other matters.|
|Related Logs:||Various but none directly. See Better Use for Jarod's first attempt to read his book.|
|Reading Room — Four Eagles Tower|
|The room has a large glass window and seat that looks out partially over the cove, in daylight hours the sun provides illumination to the room. Other stools and chairs linger in small groups as shelves along the walls are littered with scrolls, books, letters and documents. The contents are a modest collection of local records, histories, and literature offered to both the family and guests of Four Eagles Tower.|
|Sun Feb 12, 289|
Ser Jarod Rivers is reading. Boots off, feet propped on the armrest of one of the sofas in the room, a cup of something steaming on the table next to him. It's some mixture of black tea and a dash of wine, which he favors when he drinks tea-like things. The title of his chosen book, if one is terribly curious to look at it, is "The Days and Rule of Baelor the Blessed." It's raining outside so there's a fire going on the hearth, and in all he looks the picture of somewhat un-Jarodish domestic relaxation. There are papers on the table of the more mundane kind as well, though at present he's ignoring them in favor of the book as he reads, sips his spiked tea, and waits for whatever it is he's waiting for as he kills time on the rainy afternoon.
Lady Lucienne Terrick arrives with her own little cup, held gently over a saucer rather than balanced on a tea tray. She pauses in he doorway for a long moment, and smiles softly at the unfamiliar sight of Jarod relaxed and reading. There's a quiet, content sort of a sigh from her, before she interrupts the silence with a mild, "Enjoying the book?"
Jarod's eyes tick up from his book, and he offers his half-sister a half-smile. "I keep stopping and starting it. Father tried to make me read it back when we were studying with our maester when we were younger. Never could sit still enough to concentrate on that sort of thing, though. A few months ago we were talking and it came up again. Figured I'd give it another go. Still haven't managed to get to the end of it, though. I keep getting…distracted. But it's interesting."
"It's a good book," says Lucienne, in the knowledgeable tone that suggests she's read the thing herself as she steps within the room. Crossing over to Jarod, it is apparent that she's a little tired, circles dark under her eyes. She lifts her cup from the saucer, and wonders over the top of it, "Any word when you'll march again?"
"He was rather an odd sort wasn't he, King Baelor?" Jarod asks, as he rolls himself into a sitting position. Marking his place carefully with an old green ribbon before setting the book aside. "Married one of his sisters, then locked her and the other two up in a tower." He shrugs. "Anyhow. No official word yet. I figure Lord Tully's waiting on the other Lord Paramount to organize some. And the death of Lord Mallister must be slowing the planning of the invasion. Lord Jason was a great knight, and great general, and his swordarm would've come in well right now."
"Odd's one word for it," replies Lucienne wryly after a sip of her own tea. She finds a seat cloeby to lower herself into, and shifts a quick look out the window at all that rain. "Lord Jason was a man above many," she remarks somberly, and somewhat wistful. "Poor Patrek."
"And what word would you pick, Little Luci?" Jarod asks with a chuckle. Though whatever mirth he got out of the joke fades as soon as it came. "Aye. Just fourteen. And he saw his father struck down with his own eyes. I can't even imagine. I worry for our lord father. Lord Patrek is leaning on him heavily and, as I told your lady mother…Lord Jerold looked, older, somehow, when I left Seagard than I'd ever seen him look before. Older and more tired. I wish he'd come home, if only briefly, before we're sent off to the Islands."
Lucienne has a quiet think about her opinion of Baelor, but there are more pressing topics to discuss. "Would that I could split myself between two places, and be in Seagard to help," she says, turning her eyes from the window to Jarod. "It must be so difficult. Patrek's so… he's so young, for all that he's not."
Jarod makes a soft "Huh" sound when Lucienne continues to be mum about her opinion of Baelor. But it's not something he presses her about. "I worry that he'll ask our lord father to stay on in Seagard, as regent. I…I know Lord Jerold will do his duty, whatever it costs him, but I think it would cost him more than he could really afford right now. He needs the Roost. And it needs him. I know Jace and Anais are trying but…this place is what Lord Jerold has built. His people need to be able to look to him as they rebuild."
Lucienne draws a long sip from her cup, and settles it in her lap with a brief, resigned look before her eyes dart back up to her brother. "I'm afraid I agree," she murmurs, with a little shake of her head. "Our people need Lord Jerold. My lady mother needs Lord Jerold. I don't think… we're not ready here, to be without him. But how do we convince Patrek of that?"
"I think convincing Lord Jerold that he's needed is what we foremost should do. Lord Patrek can find other regents. There's only one Lord of the Roost," Jarod says. "Lady Evangeline said she'll write to him. If you could as well, I think that'd do well. And I'll speak with him when I'm next in Seagard. I truly don't think he's ready to be without this place, either. It's…it's what he's about, Luci. It's what he's poured himself into, even if I sometimes think so much else in his life has left him sad. He has this, and he should be able to make it whole again."
Lucienne nods slowly, her eyes searching around as she contemplates what missive she might send. "I can write," she confirms, nodding a little more certainly. "I'll pen something promptly. Even this study feels bare, knowing our Lord hasn't set foot within in weeks. I miss him, Jarod. I miss the way things used to be." She droops, shoulders withering down to match her frown.
"I miss him, too," Jarod says. Though he has no comment on the way things used to be. "Anyhow, I don't want to be entirely depressing. There's some good news. Ser Gedeon has come to our house. I think he'll give us his pledge about Stonebridge in writing, as I asked him to. And Lady Isemay has stopped here briefly as well. She liked the idea of resettling the refugees in Stonebridge - as many as she can take - on her land. She sees it as an opportunity to grow her holding, I think, rather than charity. Which is all to the good for us."
Luci spends another moment being glum, before allowing Jarod's news to brighten her expression just barely. Her shoulders lift in sync with her eyebrows, and the corners of her mouth crinkle with the tiniest hint of a smile. "That is good news," she agrees. "Lady Isemay is lovely, don't you think? I shall have to make time to speak with Ser Gedeon whilst he's here, as well."
"She seems a fine lady, aye," Jarod says, as to Lady Isemay. "And very gracious. She's asked me to give her son, Lord Meical, some duties as my page when I was down at her estate again. Which look forward to being soon. After this business with Ser Gedeon is settled, ideally. Though on the matter of the refugees, if you could take the lead in assisting Lady Isemay with their relocation, Luci, I'd be appreciative. I'll likely be called back to war soon and…who knows what my duties'll be even when that's over."
"He seems an obedient little lord," is Lucienne's observation, given with the freer curve of a smile. "Of course, Jarod, I'd be happy to. I rather like beig kept busy while you're all away, anyway." She shrugs a shoulder lightly, trying to brush off the idea of war as she returns her teacup to her lips. "Your little tourney jaunt has been delayed some, I suppose?"
"I'm not sure how serious I ever was about my tourney jaunt, Luci," Jarod says with a shrug. "Though it's still a thing I think I'd enjoy, and that I'd be good at. It was just…a way I thought I might seek a bit of happiness for myself. Whether that would've granted me it, I don't know. Not sure what will, honestly. I just know I've been…very beholden to this place all my life. And I suppose I'm still looking for something which is…mine. Not just that I'm grateful for."
Lucienne sips her tea, her eyes resting for a short moment on her little bracelet around her saucer-holding-hand's wrist as Jarod speaks. "It's something you could spend a whole lifetime looking for, and never quite find it," she says softly, looking back up. "I think, anyway. Or maybe it's something that comes and goes. A tricky thing, happiness, isn't it?"
"Comes and goes. Perhaps. And what're you left with when it's gone, if that's the choice you've made above whatever else you had?" But Jarod chuckles as he says it. "Sorry. Being home's put me in mind of some things I've put off thinking on, I suppose. I'm not feeling unhappy. As strange as it might sound, I think I've been happier these last months than I have before. I don't mean the war but…being down in Stonebridge, with a little separation from this house, yet still serving it. And…well, other things. It's felt good, somehow, though I'm not sure how long it'll last."
There's a quiet, thoughtful 'hum' come from Lucienne as she finishes her tea off, and when cup rejoins saucer one last time she wears a smile. "I think you've done a marvellous job these last months, Jarod. I should've mentioned it before now, but… you make a wonderful ambassador for our house. I can't think of anyone I'd rather assist in that capacity."
"I think I've done better than I've done at most things in my life before," Jarod says. Though, again, he sounds more thoughtful than anything else about it. "I've felt more…worthy, in myself, somehow. I hope I've done our lord father some good from it. Whatever happens after…well, after the war is done and everything." He picks up his book again. "You've done well too, you know. You could probably do just as well on your own. None of us like to say it, but you're brighter than the rest of us." He crooks a grin at her.
"I wouldn't go that far," says Lucienne wryly as she pushes up and out of her seat. "You're all just as savvy, given the right opportunities. And your swordarms are better." She chuckles lightly, and glides over to offer a quick ruffle of Jarod's hair. "I'll leave you Baelor, dear brother. The last chapters are the most interesting, if you ask me."
"What word was it you were thinking of?" Jarod asks, grinning broader as his hair's ruffled. He flops back into his sprawled position on the sofa. "For King Baelor, that is."
"Interesting," provides Lucienne, though whether it's the actual word she was thinking of is debatable given the twist to her smile. "I'll see you later." And off she starts, turning in a swish of silk to head for the door.