|If Wishes Were Golden Dragons|
|Summary:||Saffron and Kamron seek to make amends, but nothing is quite the same.|
|Date:||13 June 2012|
|Related Logs:||Learning to Fly and Why Did You Jump?|
|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.|
|June 13, 289|
It had been a rough night for Lady Saffron Banefort. Sleep came only after she exhausted her mind and body through her own rage, and she slept a heavy and dreamless sleep. It must have not been terribly rejuvenating, as once she settled into a large and comfortable chair with a book on Riverlands geography she began to drift into a half-sleep. Two hours had passed since she resigned to that chair and now the book rests open against her stomach, her elbow propped on the armrest and her cheek resting on her fist. Her eyes are closed, breathing steady. She does not quite sleep as she merely finds comfort in the darkness behind her eyelids. Standing a ways off before one of the tables, her guard Master Punbah and the maid with whom he had spoken with at the cliffs last night look through a book together with colored pictures.
Voices sound outside the door, muffled by the thick wood. One fades, and the door opens, framing Kamron Mallister there for a moment. His eyes sweep the room, a nod beginning as he spots the maid, and then freezing as the blue-gray gaze catches on Punbah. Darting aside, they settle on the resting Banefort, staying there for a long, frozen moment. His lips purse, emotion warring for primacy on his face before it's locked away behind a polite smile. Finally, he looks back to Punbah, nodding his greeting to the other man. Stepping into the room, the Mallister begins to hum quietly, a soft song, recognizeable as the ballad 'Sea of No Cares.' Soft steps take him in the general direction of Saffron, the smile on his face easing a bit as his hum rises to a murmur of the lyrics, "But there's no brighter light than the look in her eyes… When you're walking her home through the night."
As the maid turns the page of the book, Punbah looks up to greet whoever is coming in through the door. Where Kamron freezes, Punbah does his best to smile with comfort for the abused Knight. He points casually to the chair where the young Banefort half-naps, and then goes back to the book. The maid looks suspiciously at the Knight, as if she's already heard all the talk about the fight — probably from Punbah himself. In the chair, the redhead doesn't stir. If she is indeed awake, she must be preparing her own will as Kamron approaches. Once he says those gentle words, she lifts her head from her fist and raises her eyes to meet his own. She is tired, which could attribute to the awkward silence she finds herself trapped in.
Kamron smiles faintly as those bright blue eyes open, one corner of his lips curling up as he continues to sing under his breath, "Hey somewhere, you threw your fear in the sea of no cares…" A little laughter closes out this singing session, and he bows his head, "Good morning, Lady Saffron." Apparently, he's taking tired silence as a good sign, and just as apparently, he's gotten his own anger and frustration out. Probably by sparring with Percival, the poor boy. Whatever the case, he's back in his mourning attire now, and gestures to the seat opposite the Banefort, "May I sit?"
"Good morning, Ser Kamron," Saffron says in painful politeness. Something in her gaze looks reproachful, uncertain. She nods her head at his request, and she pulls herself straight against the chair. Her gaze shuffles over toward Punbah and his maid friend before they return to the Mallister knight. Delicately, she closes the book so it rests on her lap with her fingers criss-crossing together over it. She looks him over with another length of possibly awkward silence before she fills it with a hopeful, "I've not heard that song before. Is it a Riverlanders tune?"
Kamron settles down into the chair, immediately crossing his left leg over his right. "A song of the Cape, actually. It might have spread a little further inland, but I doubt it's gotten far." That quirk at one corner of his lips is back, although there's something hesitant about it, "I've only sung it a few times. Most of the songs that I know tend to be more suitable for a campfire or common room." A bit of a helpless shrug accompanies the words, "Consequence of where I learned them, I bet." There's a pause, and then he assays the smile again, "I do hope that your dress from yesterday wasn't ruined." Yes, he just brought up the incident that sparked the explosion. Brave and stupid are often so close together. "It was a very flattering color on you, My Lady."
"I will have to have you sing it for me in full at some point, Ser Kamron," Saffron says again in that polite tone. She nervously begins to smooth her hands across the leather cover of the book, as if trying to rid it of its gold emboss. As he brings up last night, she releases a harsh exhale of breath and shakes her head a bit. "It will be fine," she says in a far tighter voice. "It has seen the sea before and it will see it again." His compliment seems to only frinkle her brow and she looks away a bit, hoping that the near by table will provide her a focus. "Master Punbah mentioned you stayed back to swim a bit. Was it to your liking?" And speaking of Master Punbah, the guard has yet to stop observing the two and he actually looks like he is in quite a bit of pain — a spectator to a horrid scene.
Kamron probably shouldn't, but he reaches across the intervening space to still her hands on the book cover with his left hand. "It was cold." A ghost of a smile touches his lips, wan and dry, "Which was probably for the best, all things considered." The words are quiet, but go from joking to earnest as he continues, "Lady Saffron, I would dearly like to apologize for whatever I have done that offended you. Your good will means a great deal to me."
Saffron looks up to his eyes the moment he touches her hands, though she doesn't shrink away from the touch. The mere touch incites a bit electricity through her skin and nerves, and she swears it kickstarts the heavy thudding in her chest. She hopes he cannot hear it. "You don't offend me," she says in a hush as she continues to hold his gaze. "It’s quite the opposite. You are familiar… maybe too familiar." She drops her gaze then. "I did not mean to yell at you." She releases a sigh as she turns one hand over to gently slide her fingers around his. "For that, I'm sorry."
Kamron shouldn't get goosebumps from a touch of hands, from a few words. That doesn't make them any less real, however. The half-chastisement causes his fingers to curl back up, just rising from hers, and he starts to retreat, his mouth opening to apologize. And then her hand turns up, and his fingers relax again, even if he doesn't quite. "It had been a long, eventful day, My Lady." He bows his head a little, "But you're right. I should not have — " But there are other ears in the room, and even other ears than Punbah's, so he finishes with, "acted as I did. For that, I'm sorry." His fingers tighten into a momentary squeeze about hers, and then he straightens up, attempting to let his own hand slip away from hers and back to the arm of his chair. "I will try to be more proper, Lady Saffron." Is that sorrow in his voice? Disappointment?
Punbah immediately looks away the moment their hands linger with one another. He attempts to engage the maid in conversation to distract. "Kissed me," Saffron says in a small whisper, and she looks up to him as if to judge his expression. "I still wish I knew why." As he starts to retreat, she clings to him — desperate. Her eyes almost beg him not to go, not to leave her, there all alone in that chair. But, his words release him from her grasp and she leans back into her own cushions. She is quiet for a long moment, and again her palm brushes across the leather cover. "I wish you wouldn't," she finally replies in a hush.
Kamron arches his eyebrows minutely at the 'accusation,' but he nods, "…back." There's a hint of a smile, but it wastes away as she continues. He doesn't force the issue of his hand's retreat, ceasing it as her fingers cling to his. His eyes drop there to where their hands wrap around one another, "I can see that." The words are hardly more than a whisper. "And the fact that I wish I wouldn't either is what makes it so dangerous. I want everything to be…" He's obviously struggling for a word, and settles, with some discontent, on "…right."
Saffron colors lightly at his returned 'accusation', but she breathes in deeply through her nose to settle that racing heart. It is too bad that he once more makes it skip. She drops her gaze from his, looking far enough aside that her chin can almost rest on her shoulder. Her gaze settles on Punbah, who keeps nervously looking over at the pair to make sure they aren't being entire improper while simultaneously giving them just enough space to reconcile. When she looks back toward him, she tries her best to smile with every bit of comfort she can provide. There are dimples, but still her eyes are filled with tearless sorrow. "It is," she reassures him. "Everything is how it should be, isn't it?" She scoots out to the edge of her cushion, and she squeezes his hands once more.
Somehow, the sorrow in her eyes is better than the pain and the discomfort that was there before. Kamron shakes his head slightly, that tiny hint of a grin returning in answer to her words — and undoubtedly that dimple — "No. Not quite. But it's close." His free hand comes over to pat her hands where they wrap about his, "And I have every confidence that it will end up aright." With that last squeeze, he once more attempts to disengage his hands from hers, although it is a gentler, more accepting retreat this time.
And this time it is allowed. Saffron sinks back into her chair once more, providing more distance between them. Her hands return to the book, hugging it to her stomach almost protectively. Again, silence is allowed a moment of reign as she considers her hands; her skin still tingles. "You are my closest friend here," she says to him then, breaking the silence with a sincere look. "I hope that we will always have that, Ser Kamron."
Kamron blinks a little at the words even as he collects both hands in his lap rather than resting them separately on the arms of his chair. The surprise — she has a cousin here, after all — fades away quickly, however, replaced by an easy smile, "I don't know that anything could change that, Lady Saffron." A light touch of laughter escapes his lips, "I would say something about even the gods not changing it, but I don't want to tempt them. Especially not with the sept so very close to being completed."
His surprise actually causes her to smile a bit. Certain, there is Anais — but being the Young Lord's wife has become quite taxing. Saffron folds her fingers together, twisting her knuckles nervously. There is something more for her to say apparently, perhaps things she had meant to say last night before the fires started to burn. She glances toward Punbah then, and back to Kamron once more. "Will you be leaving with us for the tournament?"
Kamron looks down to the twisting, twining fingers. He blinks, and clears his throat, the faintest hint of a blush touching his cheeks and drawing up a near-silent laugh. Someone's mind was wandering somewhere it shouldn't. Raising his eyebrows and looking up again as the Banefort speaks up once more, he nods his head, "I will indeed. I'm hoping that a trip south from Seagard won't be necessary after all." And then his usual crooked grin spreads upward from one corner of his mouth, "And yes… I do still remember a promise I made you on the beach. I owe you a request in public."
Saffron appears to be reaching for something in the hidden pocket of her dress, but his reminder of the public request stills her hand. Right… she smooths her dress in hopes of disguising the gesture. "Only if you still wish it," she says then in her best attempt at a casual voice. "I'm glad to hear that you will hopefully be joining us. I would like to have a proper guide on the way to Seagard." She finds herself at a loss now, lapsing into another bit of a silence — hopefully without the awkwardness this time around.
Kamron laughs softly at that attempt at casualness, "Lady Saffron… didn't we just discuss wishes?" He leans back in his seat, resting his right elbow on the arm of his chair while his left hand remains in his lap, thumb running over his fingers lightly. "Besides, we can't have such a treasure of a young lady unrepresented at yet another tournament. It would be a pure shame." That's back to the usual Kamron, even if his voice doesn't have quite so much bravado in it, settling down into something a bit more comfortable instead. "And while I would be happy to show you around Seagard, My Lady, my own knowledge of it is not so complete as that of Martyn or Muirenn. They have both spent more time in the city than I."
Saffron colors once more, this time a far more impressive shade. She looks aside and her fingers twist up again, as if this strange nugget of tension has turned into a renewed shyness. "I thank you for that. My sister was quite blunt when she noticed my lack of favor at the Twins. I couldn't tell her that one had been given in secret, even though it was not truly mine." Then she closes her eyes and clears her throat a bit before she returns her gaze to him. "I'm sure I'll accept whatever tour I can be offered, Ser Kamron. If not with you, then perhaps with Muirenn."
Kamron shakes his head slowly, "Can you imagine what the Boring Weasel would have said if you had given a favor to another?" He chuckles softly, "You should think that your sister would have been thankful for your restrain." That grin takes on a distinctly mischievious cast, "Or at least your apparent restraint, since you had given out a favor already, albeit not in your name." One shoulder rises and falls in a half-shrug, "It may be less of a tour and more of a mutual discovery, in all honesty, My Lady." The double-entendre seems lost on him, "I haven't seen much of Seagard since rebuilding," Oh. There he's found it, and it's brought another blush to his cheeks, just as faint as ever, "began. Most of my memories are still of it before the reavers."
From afar, Master Punbah looks a touch more relaxed as it seems that he won't be dousing any flames — passionate or otherwise. He allows his comfort to show as he engages the maid a bit more willingly in conversation. Saffron has started to laugh, though she muffles it a bit with the heel of her hand. "My sister is never thankful unless those around her do exactly as expected. I was expected to give my favor to a champion, and thus been the cause for great celebration and success while also demuringly accepting the Lord Boring Weasel." She shakes her head a bit, and there is a discomfort in her belly all the sudden. It is that which distracts her from his double-entendre, to which she answers, "To mutual discovery then." It is only with a few more moments of thought does she also find it, and she blushes in earnest.
Kamron waves a hand airily at the first, "Well, this time a knight will carry your favor into the melee — if you deign to give it to him — and he'll demonstrate the worth of the Mallisters." And when her blush arrives to match and surpass his own, the knight looks down at his hands, clearing his throat. "Uh…" Smooth, Kam. "My apologies, Lady Saffron. I assure you that was absolutely unintentional." Scraping his fingers back through his hair, he laughs a little uncomfortably, "After all, I think we've determined that I'm nothing if not proper in the company of ladies, and that would definitely not have been a proper suggestion."
"I have never needed the Mallisters to demonstrate their worth," Saffron points out quietly, and she feels her blush start to fade. And then he causes it to spur back up with intensity. "I never assumed you were, Ser Kamron. You are… at times annoyingly… proper." She clears her throat, fiddling with a bit of her skirt awkwardly.
Kamron scratches at the back of his neck, giving a grin that combines helplessness with a healthy dose of amusement and cheekiness, "Aren't I just?" He shrugs again, scratching instead at his cheek — which serves to hide his mouth just a little, "A true knight could not be anything but proper with a woman who was not his wife or his betrothed, of course." There's a pause, and then he looks down at his crossed legs, frowning just a little, "I wonder if Lord Mallister will maintain mourning through the betrothal. If he holds it much longer, I suppose I will need another few sets of black attire."
"And since you seek to have neither, I suppose you will be perpetually proper," Saffron quips — but is that a faint hint of discontent in her voice? Whatever it is, she certain tries to cover-up the slip with a small smile and an aside cast of her gaze. This time, she is looking to the window where the noonday sun blazes fondly. At the mention of mourning garb, her attention drifts back toward him, and up go her coppery brows. "It can be hard… for a son to lose his father," Saffron says gently. "But… I'm sure that soon you will be back in whatever colors suit you, Ser."
Kamron nods his head, once more rubbing at his jaw to hide the hint of a smirk that touches his lips, "I have absolutely no intention of asking Lord Mallister to find me a wife in the near future." That's confirmation, right? The words from the redhead draw the smile away from his face, and he grimaces a little, nodding his agreement, "I know how affected the knights and squires of Seagard were. I can only imagine Lord Mallister's grief. Still, I'm sure that he will want to look his best for his new betrothed." A crooked grin twists his lips, "The Reachlords — and ladies, I would imagine — do like their blazes of color. Their camp beneath the walls of Storm's End was a positive assault on the eyes."
Saffron does not allow her shoulders to deflate under the confirmation from the Mallister. After all, it shouldn't be a terrible surprise. She twists her knuckles up together again, and she nods in simple passing. "I'm sure that he will," she confirms gently. Then she lifts up her brows in curiosity, her head half-tilted. "You were at Storm's End?" She inquires, not even attempting to mask her own intrigue. At least he has provided a new outlet for conversation, and Saffron has begun to relax into it.
Kamron shrugs a little helplessly at the reassurance, but the question draws a chuckle from the man, "The Battle of the Bells, The Trident, King's Landing, Storm's End, and Dragonstone." There's a pause, and then he adds, "And now I suppose I have to add Seagard, The Grey Gardens, and Pyke to that list." There's a moment of thought there, and then he shakes his head, "I hadn't thought it was so many. Seven major battles in six years. Although I suppose that King's Landing doesn't count as a major battle."
"My father would agree with you," Saffron says in a slightly softer voice. Her brows are roughly wrinkled together over her eyes, her mouth tight as if something has resurfaced to bother her. She shakes her head a bit, sinking back into the chair once more. "You got around quite a bit for a Mallister," she comments with some ease. "I've heard great stories about Dragonstone… did it live up to them? Do the dragons look as real as flesh and bone?" As if Kamron would have any idea what a dragon really looks like…
Kamron arches his eyebrows, "Your father was at King's Landing?" He nods a bit to himself, "I suppose I should have assumed that. Lord Lannister commands the instant obedience of all of his bannermen." His lips quirk just a moment, "Something about the rain… falling mainly on the plain… or Castamere." The commentary about his travelling habits draws a shrug, "Well, any time they started gathering men up to head to the next battle, I managed to get myself volunteered." Which means he begged his father and Lord Jason for the opportunity. The questions about Dragonstone draw a chuckle from the man, and he leans back, thinking for a long moment, "I have to admit I wasn't there long, and when I was there, I was a bit distracted. But the Great Hall, that's one that stays in my memory. Like a great scaly lizard lying on the ground inside the keep. You walk in through it's mouth and down into its belly."
"My Lord father was more than ready to pick up his sword and shield. I have never before seen him so urgent to march into battle. Once I was born, he had resigned himself to training up and sending off those to fight and protect." There is a faint and yet proud smile on her lips as she speaks of her father. "I remember standing at the very top of the highest of the Banefort's towers to watch him sail off to join Lord Lannister's force. I would have chased after him if I thought he wouldn't tan my hide." She looks at her hands as if somewhat embarrassed — perhaps because of how close she is with her father, or because of how she wanted so desperately to go with him. Then when she looks up, she meets his eyes with a bit of the same boldness she had before last night's exchange. Her gaze widens a bit at his description of the Dragonstone. And, perhaps without much surprise, she says, "Reminds me of a story…"
Kamron nods his head, "I understand that," her father's impulse, not necessarily her own, "a knight trains for war, whether it's righting wrongs or protecting the innocent. Not being able to fulfil your purpose in life…" The Mallister shakes his head, "Some people claim that they're born out of their time. I think I was born exactly in mine." There's a bit of a smile at the mention of her wanting to sail off as well, although there's some sadness to it at well, "I doubt you would have enjoyed King's Landing, Lady Saffron. I'm actually glad that you didn't have to see it." And then she mentions a story, and his grin broadens to something more natural and open, "Which story?" And then he holds up one finger, "No, wait… you still owe me a story."
"No, you are quite right. King's Landing was no place for someone who is not a true soldier," Saffron says without much disappointment. There is a small smile that starts to pull at her lips, but she inclines her head a bit as if to hide its progression. Then she looks up at him with the slightest squint of her pale-eyed gaze. "You're right… I do owe you one. Which one was I going to tell you now?" She asks as if she doesn't remember.
Kamron snorts softly at the first statement, although the disdain is directed at the memory, not the woman across from him, "King's Landing was no place for a knight, either, Lady Saffron." Shaking the memory off, he leans back in his chair, resting his chin on his thumb and balled fist, "Sister Sun and Sister Moon." His grin flashes broadly for a moment before fading into something easier and lighter, "I wouldn't forget a story I'm promised from the finest storyteller in the Cape." Parenthetically, he adds, "That's what your little coterie of child-cronies say, at least."
Again, his compliment draws a blush, though she looks away as if shy. "I'm sure there are far greater storytellers on the cape, and my 'child-cronies' as they were are easy to entertain." There is a moment of quiet from the young Banefort as she regards the Mallister out of the corner of her eye. Then she nods her head gently as she sweeps up to her feet; something that has gone so nicely unseen until now slips from her lap and clatters to the ground at her slippers. She is quick to pluck up the spiral shell, hoping to discreetly slide it into her hidden pocket. "Come," she says quietly, and she offers her hand out to him.
Kamron shrugs his shoulders helplessly at the Banefort lady's protestations, his smile curling up at one corner. As she rises to her feet and the shell clatters to the floor, his smile grows broader indeed, "So you did find what the tide washed up at your door…" He leans forward to start to pick it up, but she's too quick for him, and he's left half-risen from his seat, looking at the offered hand. Chuckling softly, he stands the rest of the way, "I believe, My Lady, that as a knight, I'm supposed to offer you assistance in rising." Instead of holding her hand, he offers out his arm, his other hand coming across to take her hand and place it under his elbow and atop his forearm. More proper, but it still leaves that contact between them, even if it's not quite skin-to-skin.