|In the Morning After|
|Summary:||Jacsen and Liliana speak of many things, on the morning after the Millen execution.|
|Related Logs:||Amelia's End: Hanging Around. Anais and Liliana fail to communicate: Sweet Wine and Sour Words. The reprimand: On Jerold's Watch. Probably a few more.|
|Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|10 Aug, 288 AL|
Mid-morning, just as the House has begun to fall into the routine that follows breakfast, but precedes the frenetic activity of midday, and afternoon. House business, wedding business, tournament and the docks. Little to nothing remains of the idyllic days of summer that hung like a lazy summer haze only a month or two previous. And it is not simply the turning of attention to the business of the day. Much of the attention of the House, the noble and the small, still seems to live under the pall of the events of yesterevening, the judgement and execution of, for whatever else she might have been, one of the Roost's own.
And settled into the business of the day, is Liliana, escaped in body, at least, from the tower, the hushed words and apprehensive voices, the close walls and closer scrutiny. The courtyard, for the relative quiet of one of the tables set out there, taking no small amount of comfort from the cool breeze and the dappling of shade that protects her from the heat of the summer sun. Her Eli sits not far from her, working at some little bit of this or that, wiling away her time as it pleases her, while her lady sits at her writing, quill moving sometimes languid, sometimes frantic over the pages of one of her personal journals. Neatly attired, one of her 'at home' gowns, in the soft buttery yellow of Camden, but her hair is unbound, caught now and again by the breeze, requiring the woman to reach up to tuck this lock or that behind one of her ears.
Jacsen Terrick has become known since his return to the Roost for spreading out upon the wide stone steps that lead to the great door of Four Eages Tower, that he might enjoy the breezes that wind their way through the open space, banishing much of the heat that lingers during this long summer. Perhaps this is such a morn for that, for he does emerge with his customary leather folio of parchments waiting his attention, but it seems this morning something else has either caught his attention, or was his purpose all along.
Though she writes furiously at times, she likely cannot escape the sound of his approach, as his cane strikes upon the stones of the courtyard just so. When he slows, having come to the table, it is with a smile, and a bob of his head for the maid that accompanies Liliana, and a more friendly expression for the Camden woman. "Do you often wear your hair like that, my lady?" he asks by way of preamble, his blue eyes lifting to catch the strands as they flutter in a welcome breeze. "Because I do think it is rather pretty when you do." His brow rises as he glances towards her journal. "I hope whatever I am interrupting," because he is, "Isn't too immediately important?"
Whatever the Camden lady is writing slows, at the familiar sound of the son of Terrick, her eyes lifting to watch the man's approach, head tilted at a slight angle, curious, perhaps or appreciative. A final mark on the bound parchment, before the quill is set back into the travel inkwell, hands moving her book and well to make room where she sits. A hint of rose, on her cheeks at the compliment, "As often as I can, my lord. I find it more appealing, to my own mind." And to the question, "No, nothing that cannot wait, only an attempt to order my own thoughts. Do you have need of me?"
The space she makes is taken as an invitation, and Jacsen moves to join her by taking the seat she opens. "Good, you should find more excuses to wear it so," he decides, letting out an appreciative sound as he sits and lets the weight off his knee. "The unguent you provided me has had some success in easing some of the ache," he explains to her, when he turns a touch to face Liliana. "Keeps things moving when I am going to be walking around a fair bit."
A dip of Liliana's head, as Jacsen take the seat, a second greeting, and a sign of respect, "I shall endeavour to find such excuses, if it pleases you, my lord." A smile offered, with a hint of her usual humour. She waits, giving time for him to be seated before she picks back up the thread of conversation, "I am well pleased that I have been able to offer you some comfort. Would that I could do more to ease your pain. You are not afforded, as I can see, much time for more restful pursuits."
"You a right in that," Jacsen concedes, "Though I am not sure I could be very satisfied with a life that afforded me much, truth be told." He smirks, and shakes his head. "Mayhap when I am older, but not just yet." He sets that folio of his upon the table, and then turns attention back to Liliana. "And you, my lady? How does this morning, so shortly removed from such a grave evening find you?"
"Those who have much to gift the world are often discontent with lying idle, my lord. And you strike me as a man who has been given much to give." Liliana shifts, settling comfortably in her seat, turned so that she can more easily engage in conversation, "It has been a difficult time for many of the members of the Household and the Roost who knew Amelia in some fashion, as I did, though not nearly so well as others. It has been a fine line to walk, especially for Jaremy, I think. I counseled him not to fight against the King's justice, to hold his honour and his duty and that of his House before his more sympathetic emotions, and it grieves me that I could not be there to support him as I might have liked. But the deed has been done, and blood has paid for blood. Whatever reason she had for her deeds, she took a life. She took something no human can create. And she went willingly to her end. And so, perhaps I am not as grieved as I might be, knowing that she has found what peace her gods have allowed her. And that perhaps, now, without her influence, for good or ill, it may be that this House and her heir can return to the path from which it has veered. I have often said, it does not due to dwell on the past, and forget to live. A dark day has come and gone, but this House and its people live on, and it is to them that my thoughts and my deeds turn."
He smiles a touch at the compliment, though not so much as he might have without the taste of talk about Amelia's execution in his mouth. "You are kind to say such, my lady, and I surely hope you have the right of it. I am fortunate enough that I needn't concern myself simply with where and how I should find food and shelter, so it seems only right that I make some worth of myself."
He does linger over thoughts of the rest, his handed so weighted with Lord Jerold's signet placed upon the table. "You may be right in that, that this offers a chance to change our course and reverse some of the cloud that has chased us of late."
"I am not so skilled and accomplished as other ladies you are likely to have met, my lord, but I like to think that I can, more often than not, get a good feel for a person, specially one I have had the opportunity to speak with as well and as often as yourself." Comfortably seated, Liliana's hand settle on the table before her, her attention fully on the lord seated across from her, "But I feel as you do. I have the privilege of being nobly born. It is a gift many in the world could never aspire to. And it would not do to repay that gift with indolence or overindulgence in selfish pursuits."
A moment, for her eyes to fall to his hands, and the crest of House Terrick emblazoned there. But she seems not at all unhappy at the sight. And her eyes only linger a moment, before her gaze lifts to encompass the rest of him, what can be seen in his seated position, finally settling on his face. Eyes not demure and downcast, but frank and open, "I do not believe the word 'may', in this instance, but I will accept 'can'. House Terrick will ford the tide of discontent that has dogged our steps." A tip of her head, in his direction, "But you did not answer my question, my lord. Did you have need of me, or have you only sought me out for my company?"
"My purpose is two, perhaps threefold, though I hesitate to direct straight to the business of my visit, should it give the impression that I do not value the company upon it's own virtues first," Jacsen concedes. "But I will not make you ask a third time, and so will be on with it. I should like to hear your thoughts on things of late, where they stand, what you might do with the free reign to do as you would…"
That signet-heavy hand taps once upon the table. "More pressingly, I would like your thoughts on, and potentially assistance with, quietly reaching out myself to your kin at Tall Oaks."
"You do not strike me as a man given to pleasantry for pleasantries sake. Nor a man that would fritter away his time with someone he found truly unworthy of his attention, or unpleasant to his sensibilities. And so I will not worry overmuch that you endure time spent with me as a great trial." There's more than a touch of interest in her eyes, as talk turns to her homes, and ties made between them. But first, to events of the present. "Jaremy has great potential, but he has need of good guidance and counsel. From his family. From those who only want the best for him, and for his House. There has been a great weight on his shoulders to prove himself, and it has made him brash and quick to act. He accepts his recent actions as black marks against his honour as a knight and on this House, and has expressed to me his wish that he should work to remove those blemishes." A moment, before she continues, "Your Lord Father was right to choose you to speak in his name, though it might seem to others that he is diminishing Jaremy in the eyes of others. Jaremy, I think…has always known he was the heir, but I am not certain he has ever learned what it means to be the heir. And he needs time to learn that and grow into the man I believe, and your father believes, that he can be."
"As for relations with Tall Oaks, both my Lord Uncle Sarojyn and my Lord Uncle Dafydd have expressed a desire to strengthen the ties of trade and friendship and cooperation between our two Houses. There is, indeed a standing invitation to visit Tall Oaks and take what comfort you might find there, at want or need. And even now, my Lord Uncles travel to the Mire on this business of the letters, in an attempt to secure them and keep them in safety until this business can be successfully concluded. As a gesture, both of goodwill to this House, and to Ser Gedeon and his Oldstones, and to House Toldane that was." Again, another pause to gather thoughts and breath, "Though Lord Sarojyn is far from the Oaks, my own father Mikal sits in his place as Regent, and advisor to Young Lord Seryl. A raven, or a journey there would be welcomed."
Jacsen nods his implicit agreement with Liliana's assessment, insofar as the broad brush strokes she describes. "I think you see the situation with sincerity and no little accuracy," he enthuses, his finger tapping the table's surface again, very lightly. "Would you find it too forward if I asked after how the both of you get along, generally?"
Talk of Tall Oaks is greeted with attentiveness and an understanding nod, however he reserves any comment on her suggestions of engaging with the Camdens of that holding to the north while he waits to hear her answer his question.
"He is my brother. Excepting only the blood we do not share. I cannot put it more plainly than that. He…I suppose, he is so much like my Wren," whom Jacsen might or might not know, if he has done any research into the current Camden family, is her brother, a year older, "My older brother, my friend, my confidante, my touchstone, who listens and never judges, who comes to me to share his thoughts and his feelings, and who listens, knowing that I will listen in return." Liliana's voice is warm, affectionate, as any sister should be. "He wants so much to do well, to do honour to his House, and I would help him, however I could."
"I think that is a wonderful thing, for the both of you. I'd not thought your relationship to be so close as that, though perhaps I misinterpreted some of our previous conversations." Jacsen's lips curl upward, and warmly so. "I am pleased to know he has so firm a friend and advisor in you."
His head tilts a fraction to he side as he considers Liliana. "Do you miss home much, my lady? It is no secret thatyo have done much to become as if at home here, but surely you miss Tall Oaks and your kin?"
"We were not always so close, to share so much, but it took us time to get to know one another. We did not have the many long years that I had with my own siblings, or he with you and yours." A light lift of her shoulders, "But now he has you, to advise him, and soon he will be married, and he will, perhaps no longer have such a need for his little sister by choice than he had before. But still, I would help and support him in whatever fashion he required, for his good and the good of the House."
Liliana's eyes, as she hears the last question, turn, perhaps a bit more frank, as she considers, "Of course I miss my home. The trees, the glens, the people, my family, the peace of being in a place safe and familiar. Not a moment passes when I do not, as perhaps you might have felt at Seagard. But I have been sent here by my Uncle to learn, and to do good service, and I have found a family here. Lord Jaremy, Luci, Lord Ser Jerold. Even Ser Jarod, after his fashion, though he and I are not so close as that. But he is good and kind, for all his distance." And then, more quietly, "Am I to be returned home then, my lord?"
"You speak more fondly of my kin than I would have expected, I admit. When we spoke before you seemed less… sure of your fondness for them, or perhaps it was more that you wondered at the thoughts returned you…" Jacsen waves a hand to indicate that whatever the cause, be it his misinterpretation or something having changed in the Lady's manner, it is of no real weight to him. "But I am pleased to hear such. And I do hope, given time, we might say the same for one another as you say for the rest of my kin."
Jacsen leans a bit in Liliana's direction, shaking his head. "I am not of a mind to send you home, no, and even if I were it is not my hospitality to withdraw. Signet or no, that is something of Lord Ser Jerold's giving, and only his to remove. I have no indication he would wish for such a thing, and with good reason. No, what I meant was to inquire as to whether you would wish to join any such trip to Tall Oaks, that you might reacquaint yourself with the environs and peoples of your younger years, and be somewhat of a guide for feet and eyes as unfamiliar with the place as my own." His finger taps out that slow beat on the table's surface as they speak. "I've no concrete plans, I must mention, just the vague notion of a trip to make friends of unfamiliar but fondly spoken people. You tell me Tall Oaks wishes to reach out a hand in greater friendship, and I mean to see us stretch out our own in return."
Liliana shakes her head, more a rueful expression than a negative one, "One may have a fondness for another, even if there is some consternation about the return of such fondness. Certainly we have seen much evidence of that of late. And we are still growing to know one another. To know when one can speak plainly, and when one cannot, how much can be shared, how much should be held back, that is a dance all new acquaintances make. You are new to me, and strange, in your way, my lord. Learning how we dance together is a novel thing, but yes, it is my hope that in time, we will share an affection for one another."
A moment, to consider the answer to the question of whether or not she might be being recalled. And then, a nod, as she accepts the words, and having accepted them, sets her mind to the task of considering the reason behind the asking, "Certainly, I would be more than happy to guide you and accompany you, if you wished a journey to Tall Oaks. It is not far, barely a day of good riding, but, I would imagine it would seem much removed to you, moreso than distance alone might warrant. And there are many places as might interest you, that might be hidden to the eyes of those unfamiliar with the location."
"Indeed," Jacsen agrees to the woman's words, nodding as she offers them. "It would be impolite at best to expect my hosts be able to show me all of interest at Tall Oaks… But perhaps one born to the place but less beholden by duties to it could show me at least a few of the locales worth seeing."
He leans back in the chair and smiles, glancing about the open courtyard. "I shall have to see the temperature of my lord father on the matter, but it may be that before long we shall discuss this again."
"Tall Oaks and the deep woods that surround it, would take a lifetime to explore properly, my lord, but perhaps we could make a good beginning after all of that." A dip of her head, accepting Jerold's role in the decision to make a journey at all, but easily so. "It will be as my Lord Ser commands."
The smile is answered with one of her own, Liliana's own having more than a bit of a contemplative air, as she studies the lord at his ease, "Do you miss Seagard, my lord?"
"A beginning is more than most are ever afforded of such a place, so I'll be content in that," Jacsen confirms for the woman with a small smile and a dip of his chin. "But we shall see what Lord Jerold makes of the notion before I get too full of anticipation for such an excursion."
The question of Seaguard seems to catch him a touch by surprise, his brows going up as he considers what is so put to him. "Miss it? I… in ways, I do," he finally confirms, nodding again slightly. "It was home for quite a few years, and… something of a solace when I felt like returning here was not an option for me. Seaguard, and the Mallisters, were kind to me. I owe them much, fondness and more."
"Most would not wish even a beginning in such a place. It is remote, in temperment, from these more southern lands. Isolated, like…the reaches of the North, or the Wall. A place I have often wished to visit, but I think…I would not be welcome there. There have never been women who have taken the black. They have none, even in their households. But they are brave men, those men who give their lives to the service of the faceless masses of the Seven Kingdoms." There's a break, a pause, and a stain of colour on her cheeks, as she catches herself drifting away from the topic of conversation, "Perhaps I might broach the idea to Lord Ser Jerold. He might…take more kindly to the idea, if I couched it in the proper words."
"I wonder if you might not feel adrift here, a bit. As I did, when I first arrived. Coming from a place…so provincial, in more ways than not, to such a place as Terrick's Roost. To me, this seemed so much more. Louder, busier, more rash, just more. And surely Seagard must seem so, compared to the Roost. It must seem, something difficult to become re-acclimated to."
"I see you take such men in high regard," Jacsen observes, with a small note of pleasure. "I hesitate to say that from what I've read, however, they are more often men whom were given little choice in the matter save some punishment for crime, is it not so? My lore of the North is not what it should be," he adds, "So forgive the error if it is so. Mayhap you have somewhat you could teach me of those things."
His fingers drum along the table once as he considers the rest and adds, "It was not so hard to return if only because the Roost was for so long my home… and despite its stature, the place does not lack for matters to occupy one's thoughts."
"Is it true, that the Night's Watch is not what it once was? It is. The Wall is long, and there are fewer men now to man it than in generations past, and bodies must be gotten however they may. It is known that men do not always go to the Wall out of choice, but often as punishment for crimes, or to ease the populations of the dungeons and prisons of the land. But is not selfless service a way in which any man can come to redeem himself? Even if a man has no mind for it, or thinks that he neither wants or deserves it, it may be that he could discover his potential, at first unwillingly, and having found it, embrace it." Liliana turns, just eyes settling on Eli, "Eli, will you have something cool to drink brought from the kitchens?" The perky redhead hops up, bobbing a nod to her lady, and flashing a smile towards the lord, before she wanders as far as the invisible tether tying her to Liliana allows, playing johnny down the lane to pass along the request.
"Indeed, there seems to be a decided lack of quiet about the Roost of late. The comings and goings, the people who seem to be streaming in. The increased industry as the docks are taking shape. These lands will never be the idyllic retreat perhaps that they once were. But perhaps no place can ever be the way it once was, the way it lives on in our memories."
"This is true, certainly of the Roost," Jacsen concurs with a small nod. "There are those both within and without our lands that find it worthwhile to see the Roost grow in both stature and influence, and will put themselves to the task of seeing it so." His eyes follow the girl on her invisible tether a moment, before he looks back to Liliana. "Even were it the same as it was five years ago, though, I suppose you would be right. It is not so much the place that changes, but we who view it that do."
"I wonder, however, if there are not also those within and without our lands who do not wish for the Roost to grow, but, instead, seek its fall to greater powers." Again, that rueful smile, before her hand rises, waving away the comment, "So, then…you wished to know three things. How I felt in regards to current events, my assistance in perhaps assisting you in visiting Tall Oaks…but what was the third? What I would do if I had my head?" The one comment of his that she didn't answer.
Liliana also glances back towards Eli, who's turned to wait for the delivery, but has enough presence of mind to note the glance of lord and lady and offer a cheerful 'thumbs up' sort of smile.
"What you would do if you had your head?" Jacsen repeats, his expression puzzled and amused. "I can't quite recall saying such, my lady, though I think I might have asked for something like your thoughts on everything," he points out. "I should like to see things through the same lenses you do, for lack of a better allusion, recent events."
As to the talk of those that might wish to bring the Roost down? He does not quite acknowledge that.
Liliana shakes her head, " I should like to hear your thoughts on things of late, where they stand, what you might do with the free reign to do as you would…" Softly spoken, the words of the man repeated back to him. Liliana's memory for small things, "But we shall set that aside for the nonce. And I believe I have given you some of my thoughts on the current events, such as they relate to your Lord brother and your recent settling into your position as signet bearer. Amelia, has been covered, and the wedding. On the matter of Oldstones, I cannot much comment, save only to wonder why his knight and ward have allowed his Lordship to fend for himself at his holding. But that still leaves a third purpose for your visit…" A quirk of her lips, "I would not wish to leave you with business unfinished with me, my lord."
"Beyond all of that…" Jacsen glances upward a moment, and shakes his head, "I fear I must have forgotten, if indeed I had a third thing to ask at all. I did say as much, didn't I?" He laughs a bit, lips turning in a faint frown. "Oh well. I'm sure… it will come back to me, if it was worth the asking." He looks off another moment, before settling his attention on Liliana again. "So you want to hear /my/ thoughts on all this? Is that it?" his brow arches some at that.
Liliana shakes her head, "I would not presume to be such a person that you would be willing to share your thoughts with me, my lord. That seems not to be the way of our relationship, such as it exists." There is a keenness in Liliana's gaze, as her attention returns fully to the lord, Eli coming back with a small tray of iced teas from the kitchens, "The flow of information between us seems to flow only in one direction. And that is your prerogative. I have nothing to hide from your ears."
He ponders the woman a moment. "Has anyone ever told you that you have the habit of speaking your mind a bit too plainly? It might seem a noble trait, to be free of subterfuge and always speak to one of where they stand in your estimation," Jacsen points out, his tone level, "But it really is not. People rarely appreciate the completely unvarnished truth, even those whom are sworn to honesty. I'd not advocate a lie, but there are some observations that are less kindly made, and still others that could be shaped better, no matter their truth."
A tilt of her head, though she seems not to take umbrage to the chastisement she receives from the lord, "Indeed, that seems to be the trouble that most seem to have with me. The trouble begins, I think, when I misjudge who wishes me to speak to them plainly, as I clearly have done in this instance, and who would prefer the more comfortable softening of the truth. And those who would prefer the lie altogether. Which one of those shall you be to me, Lord Jacsen Terrick?"
"I fear," Jacsen admits, even as he reaches for one of the iced teas the lady's maid has brought them, "That I shall defy such easy categorization, my lady. There shall be times at which I wish, or require, your very unvarnished and complete truth, and others where I shall wish the kindness of soft words to couch unpleasant facts." He takes a small sip of the iced tea and sighs, gratefully. "And once in a rare while? I should like the lie. Especially the day I fall on my unfortunate leg and sprawl like some bridling thought to fly too soon, hapless. I'd like to hear you lie then, and say I did not look so much the poor fool." His brow climbs, clearly awaiting her answer.
"I see. Then I believe that I will have need to spend more time in your company, to learn the lay of your thoughts and feelings, so that I will be the truthsayer, the arbitrator, and the comfort, as you have need, my lord." And still, that's gently said, as Liliana takes a glass for herself, once Jacsen has accepted his own glass, "It may well be, that that day might come, my lord, when you fall, and I will needs be there to lift you up again, but you would never look the hapless fool to me. I do not see the cane, when I see you, Jacsen." This once, Liliana chooses to forgo the formal title.
His smile is not unkind, nor lacking for a particular kind of fondness at those words. "Ah, but you've plainly never seen a noble lord, meant to be of such stiff spine and formal manner, sprawled out on the floor wracked with pain, grasping lamely for his cane." There is a hint of bitterness to those words, the sort that comes only from intimate experience. "But, truly, you are kind in that, and I anticipate you will know well when to provide the right sort of truth." He lifts the cup of iced tea and slowly drains back its contents, with something of a satisfied sound. "I say, without judgment, that mayhap you and the Lady Anais should come to a similar understanding. I should like for you both to be content in one another's company. It shall needlessly make a mess of things otherwise, somewhere down the line."
There's a light lift of her shoulders, at the man's comment as to the potential for disaster, "It would not matter if I had. What the gods have decreed for your life, in health and vitality does not take away from who and what you are outside of all of those things. The body is not the mind of a man, nor the spirit and soul of him. And it is those that have more meaning and are more of value to me." A quick, appraising glance, "Though there is enough in your physical person to take a woman's interest." A tilt of her head, a soft acknowledgement, to his words, "Perhaps I will…it will take time and the proper circumstances to know for certain." As for Anais, that gets another shrug of her shoulders, "I have done all that I can to make my peace with Lady Anais. She has not found my efforts to her satisfaction, and I can offer nothing more. It is her choice, and not mine, to extend this hostility between us."
The compliment does not go undetected, though the upward curve of Jacsen's mouth is slightly obscured by a glance at some distant nothing. It's the last of her words that draws his attention back, and into sharp focus. "We've always a choice, my lady," Jacsen counters, though it is gently spoken enough. "And I think, if your view of things is the correct one, it would not be so much to say that you could, and mayhap should, be the better of you both in enduring it. Not that I think you undeserving of better respect," he remarks, his manner frank, "But simply, she will be lady of this house, and by dint of her future station alone, some deference is due her. Either now or later, but offering a touch of it now might make the later easier born."
He sets down his cup and smiles a touch. "But you needn't hear all such from me, I know you must already think of such things, and I shall only hope for a better reconciliation betwixt you both, as it suits me and the peace of this household."
Liliana lifts her glass, draining it perhaps a touch more slowly than the Lord sitting across from her, a hand once her own glass is set down, turning to offer to refill his, if he desires, "We do indeed have a choice, in nearly all things, and she has made hers. I will not speak on the details of our conversation, as that seems to me a thing done of mean spirit, to speak in a manner that might paint someone in a more unpleasant light than perhaps they deserve. But suffice to say this. I extended her my apologies, and when I was asked my reasons for my actions, she took umbrage to them, feeling that I was lecturing her and attempting to instruct her when all I was doing was what she bid me, which was to explain myself and my state of mind at the time that the event occurred, and not at the moment when I was offering her the explanation she requested. She offered me an insult and declared that I had made any enemy of her and that was the last I have spoken to her."
"I have already made my peace with her soon to be position within the House. Jaremy tells me he has found her to his tastes, and I have promised him that I will do all that I can to make her comfortable and welcome here. But I cannot make someone see me in a better light, if they insist on seeking always for the worst in everything that I do. So I do what I can to make certain that the House is ready for the wedding, assisting your Lady Mother and Lucienne as they have need of me, and attempting to do as much as I can to relieve the burdens being placed on Lady Anais' shoulders, but I cannot press water from a stone."
"It is not hard to imagine how one might see the ways in which to take offense when being given a recounting of their perceived failings, failings that caused another to seemingly chastise them," Jacsen reminds the Camden woman, with a slight shrug. "It was an ill choice on her part to seek much beyond the apology, such deeper explanations are the stuff of much closer relationships than the two of you share. Still, I think there aught to be done to amend things. Without explanations." He smiles a touch. "Make what you will of that, my lady. But at least give it some thought, and do not feel compelled to comment on it now."
"And perhaps I am not the one who needs to make amends, my lord. I gave the first offense, but the offense was apologized for. Anything after that was not my doing. I will only go so far. If I intend to make peace with someone, I will do it by meeting them halfway. Not by abasing myself at their feet, or degrading my own worth and value, to bolster their own ego. Whatever she might be, the future Lady of the Roost, the future mother of the heir of House Terrick, I will not bow and scrape and treat her as if she were some queen of the manor and I the lowly washer woman. Whatever people may think of her House and mine, I am of no less noble birth than she. And if she deserves to be treated with respect, then so do I. We are both human beings, we both deserve respect and common decency." Liliana finishes refilling the lord's glass, and then her own, before she settles back, "I am forever in the wrong in yours eyes, am I not, my lord?"
His expression is grateful for the filled cup, though he does shake his head at her final words, needing swallow a mouthful of the iced tea before he can properly respond. "No, you are quite right in your assertion, my lady. I fear I simply see things from another direction, as often such things can be seen," Jacsen tells her, "And do not see you as debasing yourself for being the one to make the effort at reconciliation again, as you have already done so previously, but rather I see it as being the better, wiser woman." He lifts one shoulder in a casual shrug. "But it is not my intent to move you, if you will not be moved on this. The matter is between you both, not I."
"And who would truly see me as the better, wiser woman, when compared to Anais Banefort, my lord, truly? Who would instead see me as a dog being brought to heel by the hand of the woman of superior House and breeding? And what will my wisdom and good character avail me once she has been installed as the Young Lady of the Roost, as a turn of phrase? D you honestly think she will allow me to remain in the House and have what peace I have been able to find here? True, that your Lord Father has promised me that my place within your House is secure, but do you honestly believe that once she has the power to, that she will not begin to make what changes she feels will secure her power and her position? If indeed she does see me as an enemy, then she will not long suffer me to have any power or position here. And what will be done then? Shall I be sent home to Camden? Shall some match for me be fond with some lesser House in which I can remain powerless and no threat to anyone's position? Or perhaps a marriage to some nameless knight or traveling merchant?" Liliana's own glass sits untouched, as she settles back in her seat.
"Any and all of those things are possible, on some level," Jacsen agrees with a slight dip of his chin. "But you ask me two questions, and I think one well informs the other. You do not wish to be the one to press further for amends, but you worry for what the woman will do when she's some power over you? What do you propose to do, simply win her over by doing nothing?" He sets down his cup, wiping the condensation from his fingers on his knee. "She might see you as weak, or others might as well, that is well and possible. But it is as likely that you could entreat upon those that know you better than she, including that other Terrick you claim trusts you so well, to avail upon her to see you in a better light." His hand settles on the table, and he taps the wooden surface with his signet-heavy forefinger. "You've choices, my lady, I see… choices save for doing nothing."
"And why must I be the one to make amends? Why is it that everyone looks at this as my saying something I ought not to have said to her, and not a single person, save Jaremy, wants to agree aloud that she overstepped herself. Only how is he to say that to her, lest it damage his reputation with his betrothed? It is no different than my Lord Ser Jerold calling me in to reprimand me for my actions. If I have done wrong, then I must accept that I have done wrong and attempt to rectify my actions. I have no right to rail against him when he is only pointing out my own shortcomings. He has never done so with hatred or malice, but only with the best of intentions for me. Nor did I speak to her out of hatred or malice, but only out of concern for the damage she did to Jaremy and his reputation in the eyes of Oldstones, above and beyond what he did for himself. And there is no one else I can ask. I will not turn Jaremy into a bone to be fought over between us." Still, Liliana does not move, but remains studying the man seated across from her.
"But it is quite different, my lady," Jacsen points out, seizing upon her comment about his father. "No one disagrees that she misstepped, and it is not the substance of what you had to say that some think less of, but rather the way in which you delivered it. You mention an example of my father calling you in to reprimand you, and right there in those words its made clear why what you did was different, and why it was so ill-received. First of all, my Lord Ser Jerold is your guardian. It is his right, his role, to instruct you on proper behavior, to correct you when you misstep. It is his duty to ensure you are made to see your error, and see that you correct it. Your family has entrusted him with that duty when they fostered you here at Terrick's Roost. But Lady Anais? She is your equal of birth, as you well noted. You've no personal relationship nor implied one with her upon which to act so. It is not your place to correct her, and so if you choose to do so you must be all the more delicate in doing it," he explains. "Further, I don't imagine my father corrected you in the moment, in front of others, as you sought to do for the Lady Anais. So, again, the substance of your correction is not wrong, it is only very wrongly delivered. And that is the slight for which you should be making amends, my lady. Even if she is not possessed of enough patience to accept it the first time."
"Actually, I have not heard a single person save Jaremy agree that she did misstep herself, only that I was wrong to say anything to her at all. And it was never meant to be a reprimand to her in the first place. I was speaking to Jaremy, when she took offense to my opinions offered to him, at his request, on the matter of Oldstones and the Castellan's expulsion from the tower and demanded explanations and took offense to those when I gave them. And taking the offense, it went from there. And as I have already apologized for her for the place in which I spoke those words, I cannot see that apologizing again will do any good. Because, as it has become clear to me, it is not the fact that she was offended by my choosing to speak to her in Jaremy's presence, that is her worst quarrel with me, but that she did not like the words to begin with, that is her issue. She did not like being told that the way she attempted to handle the situation was wrong, and diminished him in the eyes of another House. And I will not change my opinion that she did wrong to overstep herself and lessened him in the eyes of others in a very dangerous and public forum."
Liliana shakes her head, at some part of Jacsen's comment, "Actually, my Lord Ser Jerold reprimanded me in front of Jaremy, when he called us both into the reading room. But dismissed me before he continued his discussion with his son, allowing Jaremy to bear witness to my chastisement, but protecting him from any sight save his own and his Lord Father's. And again, I have already apologized to her for the timing of my words, though they were never directed to her until she forced them to be. She will not accept that apology, so there is nothing that I can do to correct the issue. She wants an apology for my words and the timing, one I have already given and it has been ignored, the other she will not have. If I was not wrong in my opinions, I will not lie and say that I was. I will not grovel and beg. I have extended the hand. She has slapped it away."
"Jaremy's presence is to be expected. He is the Young Lord, and must learn from our father's example," Jacsen remarks, offhandedly, and waves a hand. "You do not want to hear me, my lady, and so be it. It is really not in my interest to spend more time than this discussing the matter betwixt you both. If you should like to lamely wait while she, who will be a Terrick soon enough, continues to think ill of you and acts accordingly, who am I to stop you? I should like to tell her to be a bit more thoughtful, and consider the value of one such as yourself, but I expect that will yield me as much result as I have gotten here." He lifts his cup and drains its contents, before setting the spent vessel aside. "Let us dwell on it no longer," he suggests, with but the hint of a smile.
"It has less to do with the fact that I do not want to hear you, my lord, and more to do with the fact that I see no way to do what to do what you wish for me to do. You wish for me to apologize to her and make amends. Yet, how can I when she does not wish to accept the apology? I cannot make someone listen to me. What would you do, if our position were reversed? You tell me something must be done, yet offer no suggestions on how it should be accomplished when I tell you repeatedly that I do not know how." On autopilot, perhaps, Liliana simply refills the glass, her expression neither angry nor belligerent, but only still close and guarded, and the smile is not returned. "As you like, my lord. What else should you like to talk about?"
"I do not know all the turns of Lady Anais' heart, my lady, so I cannot recommend a direct course," Jacsen remarks to her, casting aside the thought of turning to another topic, his faded smile dissipating. "But have you thought of the simplest means, simply asking her what it is you might do to make amends to her? Appeal to her, remind her that strife in this Household does not serve anyone, least of all you both, and see if there might be a middle ground to find between you both. While it might not be easy, it is surely preferable to ignoring the matter and hoping it will sort itself out, is it not?"
Liliana sits, quietly, listening, rather than speaking. for a few long moments, until Jacsen has finished. Still, and quiet, before she finally nods, "As you will, my lord. When I have the opportunity, I will speak with her and see what can be done." Simply said and spoken honestly. Liliana, whatever the appearance of the moment, seems not a woman given to being needlessly contrary. "Thank you, my lord."
He does not seem to take any pleasure in her capitulation to his instructions, but does merely dip his chin with a small nod. "You're welcome, my lady, and I hope it amounts to some small wisdom. If the chance is mine," Jacsen assures her, "Know that it is my intention to remind Lady Anais of what wisdom there is in moving past first impressions."
Likewise, Liliana seems not much in the vein of looking for his approval. It simply seems to be what it will be. And once settled, she seems more than content to move in to other topics, "If you find the opportunity and the desire, then I thank you. If neither presents itself, I will not think less of you." And with the matter, in its way concluded, she sees fit to move to an easier topic, "Do you ride, and enjoy the endeavour, my lord?"
"I do," Jacsen replies with a small nod, "Ride that is, though I am not quite so naturally born to it as Jaremy is. The enjoyment of it is rather a matter of the day, some seem better suited to it than others." A shift of his eyes towards his ruined leg makes the source of that inconclusive answer more obvious. "Why do you ask, my lady? Is it a hobby that you take some pleasure in?"
"We all have skills that are trained and talents that come naturally to us. I would not seek to compare you to your lord brother. Though I know him better than I have come to know you, you two seem very different animals. Akin, but not alike." A momentary pause, to top off her glass, before Liliana turns, settling onto the bench, drawing up her legs and tucking them under herself, skirts draping, her weight settled on the edge of the table, the better to find comfort in her place, "I do. I find it…difficult, to spend endless days in these stone walls, and I fear I am never so peaceful as when I am away in field and woods. Perhaps, when next I go roaming, you might enjoy coming with me, if the day and your temperament is such that an escapade might suit you."
"I should like that, I think," Jacsen remarks, with a small nod at the suggestion, a nod that is followed in turn with a pleased sort of smile. "I shall ask, though, that you bring some tale of your home to share with me? It…" He waves a hand in the air and leans over to collect his cup of iced tea. "It would be nice to hear about, and might fill the space if I found myself… less than talkative." The implication, of course, being that such a ride might well see him pained enough to favor listening over speaking.
"I think, perhaps, I might have a few stories which might be of interest to you. Or…if it might interest you more, I could teach you some of the speech we use to communicate between each other when we are on the borders or ranging." Liliana returns the smile, remaining in place, though she reaches out to draw the glass closer to her, "I imagine, by the end of the excursion, you will be looking for a handkerchief to bind my mouth closed."
He laughs well and true at that, the smile reaching his eyes. "I will make certain to pack ample handkerchiefs then, my lady," Jacsen remarks to her, "And guard myself well against any such oratorical tyranny. Though I might be interested to learn some of how you communicate, certainly," he adds, more soberly.
The sound of laughter, infectious, as such things are, causes some of her own, as Liliana dips her head, acknowledging the lord's assertion, "An extra saddle bag at least. But I shall not hold it against you." There's a spark of genuine humour in her expression, "At the very least, you should learn something of the way to announce yourself, if needs drive that you come to Tall Oaks unannounced." A moment, to settle herself, before Liliana whistles, bright and musical, imitating the sound of the forest birds that pepper the leaves and branches of the trees along the Terrick northern border. "It takes some to learn, but if you have the knack of it, it is not difficult."
Jacsen's brow rises in mild surprise at the sound she manages to so easily produce, impressed. "Well," he observes, not trying to reproduce the sound, "I think we shall end up having ourselves a most interesting ride, my lady. I do look forward to it."
"As do I. It will be interesting to see you out of your element," And again, that bright humour in her eyes, teasing the man so confined to the halls by the business of the family, "But if it pleases you, I shall tuck some of your papers away in the bags we carry with us, lest you feel bereft without a fire to douse with water."
"Very well, I suppose some of the familiar comforts would be worthwhile," Jacsen remarks with a small chuckle. "You're most kind for thinking of me so." He lifts his cup and begins to slowly drain it, admitting, "I should probably see a few of those papers of mine, now that you mention it."
"I would never wish for you to feel too put upon, my lord. It suits me well enough to tend to your comforts." The humour remains, though the laughter has softened, "Of course. I have kept your company quite a while longer, perhaps, than either of us had anticipated. But if it suits you, there is more than enough room to spread out your work here. Eli and I have more than enough chores to tend to, once we take our leave."
"Well then, perhaps I shall remain a while, and tend to my work," Jacsen provides, leaning over to set down the cup and reach for his long-neglected leather packet. "You are most welcome to stay, as long as you like." He smiles once more and turns to the dossier, unbinding its leather thong to begin pursuing the day's work.