Page 287: How To Calm A Lady
||Saffron comes to Sterling angry, and leaves less so.
|Stables and Kennels — Four Eagles Tower
|The Tower's Main Stables are nestled into the corner of the courtyard near the portcullis to facilitate quick, easy exits when required. The rear of the structure is backed right against the interior wall of the castle with the heavy wooden roofing gently sloped down towards the slate out front, the floor of the stables kept to dirt. Thick wooden beams are plunged into the ground and serve as a base for the walls between each stall. Hay serves as most of the flooring in the area with a large stack of it off to the side. Each stall has a thick layer on the ground to serve as bedding, with most of the space dedicated to horses though a few have pens of dogs and hounds. An enclosed structure at the end serves as dry storage for riding equipment and saddles.
|2 May 289
Sterling is less than an hour back from Stonebridge, and he's already found tall Timmen and bundled the man down to the stables with appropriate supplies for the voyage back to the Banefort and gotten him up into the saddle. The armsmen is likely still dizzy, but he's quickly being urged out of the stables ahorse, and sent riding out of Four Eagles Keep at a quick, long-distance speed. That settled, Sterling lets out a breath, nodding to himself and then moving to deal with his own tack, which has been set down outside his horse's stall, but not put away.
With a flourish of black mourning skirts, the Banefort daughter descends upon the stables with a kind of dangerous aura. It is almost draconic what with the loose waves of red hair and the dark storming behind her usually pale eyes. Her pale fists are balled and her shoulders are set with a kind of blockade quality; nothing is getting passed this woman until they answer for something. Her eyes fall on Sterling, and she is on a beeline for him immediately. "Where is he?" She says sharply as she nears his horse's stall, becoming framed within the doorway. "Where is Timmen?"
Sterling half-turns his head at the entrance of the silent fury behind him, but he continues settling the tack until he is actually addressed. That lets him get his saddle hung up and the bridle neatly hung, although his saddlebags remain on the ground beside the stall. The words, however, draw him around, and he immediately bows, "Lady Saffron." The black clothing draws a curious tilt of his head, but he responds to the question immediately, "He's on the road to The Banefort, Lady Saffron, with dispatches for Lord and Lady Banefort."
"I see," Saffron says, but her tone is hardly sated, "And it didn't cross your mind to see if I needed him for any purpose? He is my guardsman after all." Her voice is laced with possessiveness, as if Sterling had taken away something important to her; it couldn't possibly be that long-nosed, gangly Timmen actually meant something to her. No, it was his presence that was important. She crosses her arms firmly at her chest, her stance still squared with a preparedness for exchanging blows.
Sterling blinks once, ducking his head in a slightly obsequieous gesture, "Sorry Lady Saffron. I'm sure Punbah can handle things along with Mistress Morla while you're around Four Eagles." There's a pause, "Unless you were planning to leave Four Eagles, Lady Saffron? I'll help Punbah escort you and Mistress Morla wherever you're going." He gestures off to the east, "I figured that Lord and Lady Banefort would want to know about the events in Stonebridge right away." His eyes flicker up toward the hayloft of the stables, and then around the stables themselves, as if suddenly suspicious that someone might be listening in, and he doesn't continue with the 'along with my regular report' that might have followed otherwise.
"I don't want Punbah and Mistress Morla to handle things," she says with a sudden bite of anger, "I want Punbah and Timmen to handle things." Her jaw twitches, tightening before she releases a small exhale. "Fine, I will accept you as a replacement, but not just for travel. Mistress Morla and I are having… difficulties and I have been utilizing Timmen and Punbah more. You get to take Timmen's place until he returns." She takes a step forward into the stables a touch more.
Sterling bows his head once more, "I'm sorry, Lady Saffron. My duties to Lord and Lady Banefort won't let me take Timmen's place the whole time he's gone." He getstures up toward the Keep itself, "I'm sure Lady Terrick would arrange for one of the Terrick guards to help out. But Lord and Lady Banefort were hoping that you'd be able to work with Mistress Morla, or they wouldn't have sent her along, Lady Saffron."
"'Work with'?" She repeats with a sour tone. "Have you ever tried to 'work with' Mistress Morla? There is no 'working with'… there is working for, and working under, and working around, but there is nothing in the Great Seven that permits anyone to 'work with' Mistress Morla." This particular edge of the rant finished, she turns a narrowed look on Sterling. "Very well," she says with something of a tight voice. "You better hope you put Timmen on a swift horse, Ser Sterling." She still seems unhappy and ruffled.
Sterling lets the rant flow over, under, and around him, merely nodding his understanding, "She is a formidible woman, Lady Saffron." Her threat-ish comment causes him to bow his head yet again, "Of course, Lady Saffron. Lord and Lady Banefort'll want the news as soon as possible." That out of the way, he finally gestures toward the mourning clothes the Banefort is wearing, "Has House Banefort lost someone, Lady Saffron? Hope the fallen isn't someone close, that's always the hardest."
There is a momentary glare from the young Banefort as she regards the common knight with the smallest hint of disdain — he is lucky she actually likes him in that annoying way. "Yes, I'm sure," she says plainly in regard to the Baneforts, though his inquiry to her attire draws her brows up sharply. There is a hesitance from her, as if she's trying to recount all that has happened since her arrival to the Roost. Finally, she musters in a slightly tight voice, "Ser Etin died. He was the whole reason we came here, wasn't it? To marry me off to him in my sister's stead?" She frowns then. "This is the proper thing to do." Mourn the faceless…
Sterling raises his eyebrows in understanding, "Ah yes. Ser Etin. I'd forgotten." He looks around, "I suppose it also makes sure that you fit in with the rest of the nobility in the area, Lady Saffron." There's no malice in the words, but perhaps, just perhaps, a tiny bit of wry humor. "But yes, that's definitely the reason that you came to the Cape, Lady Saffron. And how is that faring? Do you need assistance finding another betrothed?"
"No!" Saffron says sharply, albeit a touch loudly. Then she smooths out her tone, shaking her head. "No, no… I'd rather give time to mourn Ser Etin and my sister both. His death has only further marked my sister's, and I need… time." She looks at him almost imploringly. "Just some time." And then she shakes her head, finally feeling all the fire snuffed out and a smoky acceptance coming in. "Its… alright. I thought that the Banefort had been hit hard during the attack, but nothing compared to this. It is… difficult, what with Stonebridge looking so untouched and the Roost looking so… crippled." She says that last word in a small hush.
Sterling pushes a concilliatory smile onto his lips, "Of course, Lady Saffron. I would expect that Lord and Lady Banefort will be quite willing to give you the necessary time." After all, they still have to decide if they want to back the Mallister-sworn houses entirely, or if they want to spread their investments. He shakes his head at the mention of the Banefort being hit hard, "No, Lady Saffron. The Cape and Lannisport were fucked the hardest by the ironborn. They got two Greyjoy sons. The Westerlands just got a couple of brothers. And yes. If the Roost can't get some support from somewhere, they're a bit fucked for a couple of years. If not longer."
If she is relieved by the man's word, she does her best not to let it show. There is just a bit more time to be had now, just a bit more. Then she looks up to him as he addresses other topics. His profanity hardly earns a blink — she has been around the menfolk too long it seems. "And is that what you inquired from my Uncle and Aunt?" Saffron inquires softly as she takes up a slight lean against the stable door. "To see if the Roost will get its needed support?" She narrows her eyes thoughtfully on the common knight, always questioning the motives of the redhead.
Sterling shakes his head, "No, Lady Saffron." He gathers up his saddle-bags, slinging them over one shoulder and patting them down into place, "I just told Lord and Lady Banefort about recent events on the Cape. If they've something they want me to do in particular, I'm sure they'll let me know." He takes the moment to dry-wash his hands, studying his fingernails as he does, "I'm sure Lady Terrick's already asked them for support. If they haven't gotten it because of her, they're not gonna send it."
There is a small frown that peeks its way onto her mouth at his words, though she nods gingerly. "Then I suppose I will have to hope for the best…" She straightens up a bit. "Mistress Morla will be taking her rest in a few hours and I will be taking my walk down the coast. I will see you then, Ser Sterling." And then she begins to make her departure from the stables.
Sterling bows his head once more, "Of course, Lady Saffron. And I will be leaving again within next two days. Likely to The Mire, and then Heronhurst and Broadmoor Keep. Until then, I am at your command."
page revision: 1, last edited: 03 May 2012 17:03