|Summary:||Jacsen has visitors who are concerned not only for his health but also for the health of the House.|
|Related Logs:||Withdrawl!Jacsen logs are referenced, direct references to Different Game Plans.|
|Lord Jacsen's Chambers - Four Eagles Tower|
|Four walls, probably.|
|Sat Jun 09, 289|
Word has been circulating about the Roost as of the last few hours that the Young Lord has pulled through his latest bout of sickness and is healthy again - well, as healthy as a cripple can be. Of course, just as many rumors are making their rounds that he was bedridden after being cut off from Milk of the Poppy and managed to get his hands on some again. Either way, he's looking much better, color back in his face and beard shaved down to a stubble. Although he's presentable, he's still keeping to his room for the time being, and inviting guests and visitors where the door would only open for family, friends, and urgent business.
Shy of confining her to her room, there is very little that will prevent Muirenn from doing something once she gets her mind set on it. Since her talk with Justin she has been set on going to see how Jacsen is doing for herself before she speaks with the maester. So it is that she has ordered her cousin, Kamron, to inform them that the young lady will be visiting shortly. Though phrased exquisitely and most politely, it is clear that the teen will not be taking no for an answer.
As Kamron negotiates/informs/persuades whatever he does so well to ensure his cousin's permission to enter, Muirenn slowly dresses. Weak as a kitten she permits her Septa and handmaiden to bathe and dress her for her audience with the heir. By the time Kamron returns she is the delightfully rose-perfumed and lovely young woman she was prior to the bandit raid - if one were to overlook the angry bruises that slowly fade, the bandage across her broken nose, and the rattle that persists in her chest. Fetching in an gown of black silk that bares the curve of her shoulders and emphasizes the paleness of her skin, she leans against the other Mallister as they slowly walk down the hall. It is the most exercise she has taken since she took ill and there is a price to pay as she coughs violently. Accepting a hankerchief from her Septa she nods and smiles to Anais before entering Jacsen's chambers, again with the aid of her cousin.
There's not a whole lot of negotiation or persuasion that needs to be done - Jacsen is feeling well enough to receive guests, and he'd hardly turn Muirenn away. The Young Lord is back on his feet, both figuratively and literally, as he is standing by a large window in the far corner of the room when she enters. "Good morning, Lady Muirenn. Ser Kamron," he greets, turning toward the doorway and bowing his head. His eyes linger with concern over the visible signs of abuse during her capture, though he looks away so as not to make her feel uncomfortable. "You are recovering well, I hope?" Leaning heavily on his cane, he gestures to the couches. "Please."
Kamron helps his cousin to one of the sofas and eases her down on it. Though she is dressed and somewhat mobile, it is clear she is still far from well. A hand of thanks is laid daintly upon Kamron's arm before he goes to step back to stand silently against the wall. The girl's Septa also has followed her in and moves to sit discreetly down in a chair beside the Mallister knight, though it is clear SHE doesn't think Muirenn should be out and about.
"I am recovering as well as can be expected." The reply is deceptively mild and simple, her eyes regarding Jacsen intently as she takes in his condition. A solitary finger points and she directs quietly, "Please sit. I must confess Jacsen, you are looking much better than I anticipated." There is a narrowing of her eyes as she sees him up and about, more nimble then one would expect from someone going through the throes of withdrawl.
"I would have been in a far worse state had you chosen to visit me yesterday," Jacsen says wryly, seating himself opposite Muirenn. He leans heavily on his good leg as he does, wincing with the pain. "But the good Maester's foul concoction took effect at last, and I was left in the position of rescinding many a threat which I assured him were composed by fever and delirium alone." He regards her for a silent moment, a sort of curiosity etched on his features. "Well." A smile is offered, not quite back to the full force of its charm and appeal. "I am sure you will recover fully in good time, Lady Muirenn. You are back now, and that is what's important."
A sculpted brow arches and Muirenn replies drily, her words soft "Who do you think you are fooling? I know healing well enough to know that there is no cure for an addiction or withdrawl, perhaps an easing of the symptoms suffered but." Leaning back on the sofa, she continues to regard her old friend and then says, "May I be honest with you Jacsen Terrick?"
A small, tight smile forms on Jacsen's lips. "I'm not looking to fool anyone," he says. But that can't be completely true, can it? So perhaps his true meaning is that he's not looking to fool her. "Always, Lady Muirenn, and in all things," he says, welcoming whatever truthfulness she has to impart upon him. But there's still a tension in him, just as small and tight as that smile. It's the perfect moment for Willem to bring in a small tray of food and drink, setting it on the table between them.
"Please…your father is Uncle Jerold to me, you spent *years* with my House and even feasted at my parents keep when all the family would gather and you feel the need to use honorifics?" The girl gives a slight roll to her eyes and heaves a sigh. A silent glance is cast towards her cousin the meaning unclear but barely a moment passes before she looks back and says quietly, "Jacsen, your family needs you. They need you not just functioning and alert and appearing your part, but they need you Jac sober and in control of yourelf." Her words are unabashedly frank, but spoken with great tenderness even as her grey eyes soften.
"I'm just trying to be… proper," Jacsen says, glancing to Willem, then Kamron, then the door. "Thank you, Willem," he says to the boy, who bows and leaves. He listens to what she came to say, giving weight to her words before speaking, taking that time to pour them both some tea if she should want some. If not, hey, more for him. "My family needs a great deal of things," he says, cup and saucer in hand. "Food, for one. Stability, for another. We have some hard months ahead of us."
"There are none more aware of that then myself, my brother, and my cousin." A slight tilt of her chin indicates Kamron standing by the wall, silent for once. Taking the cup of tea, she gives a nod of thanks. Once Willem is gone and the door closed she continues, "Propriety is all well and good for public, but my Septa and Kamron are family." Lifting the cup, she takes a sip that is hesitant as she determines the temperature. Setting it down, her hand trembling a bit, both cup and saucer are set aside. For fear she may spill or break something. "You will not be able to face what is ahead and improve anything for your House unless you get over this addiction. I will not lie, it is -dear Mother and Maiden- the hardest road that you will trod but it must be done." Leaning forward she asks quietly, "Someone brought you in some more milk of the poppy didn't they?" She knows it to be true, but she wants to hear him say it.
Anais is just returning to her post by Jacsen's door after seeing to a few other minor details. She's clean and composed, though she's looking weary as well, with just a hint of dark circles under her eyes. Unusually for her, though, she wears a bit of powder and cosmetic to cover it. "Thank you, Derek," she murmurs to the guard at the door, a dark-haired, broad-shouldered, serious knight who accompanied her from the Banefort and serves as something of a balance to the younger guard - Kincaid - who's more often her partner in crime than her keeper. "Any visitors?"
Kamron has been silent inside but for greetings, and when Jacsen excuses himself briefly, the Mallister man looks to Muirenn, keeping his voice low, "Easy, cousin. He's still weak, and this may not be the time for recriminations." A faint smile touches his lips, "You know how fragile the male ego is, after all." Those words are just above a whisper, the knight crouching beside Muirenn's seat. He looks up at the sound of voices outside, "But I'll leave you to it and see who that is out there." And then he's slipping out the door, closing it behind him. He offers Anais a smile and a bow of his head, "Lady Anais."
Saffron Banefort is in a mixed mood today. After being snubbed by Maester Pyrs, she has been in the reading room — and she has been staring at the books with a slight grumpiness. All she did was ask for assistance! Next time, she's sending in Justin to ask questions for her. She sweeps toward Jacsen's room, intending to catch up with her cousin as something in her gut tells her Anais is here. She is just in time to lay her eyes on Kamron stepping out of the Young Lord's chambers. She brightens just a touch, but she does her best to keep her expression smooth as she slips up beside Anais.
"Ser Kamron." Something in Anais eases slightly to see the Mallister knight step out of the room, a small smile curving. "Good morning." She glances past him toward the door, arching a brow slightly. "He didn't chase you out, did he?" As Saffron approaches, she steps over to catch her cousin in a brief hug, before turning back to Kamron for his answer.
Kamron glances over to the added Banefort, his own lips curving further upward as he bows his head again, "Lady Saffron." And then he's looking back to her cousin, "Not at all, Lady Anais. Lady Muirenn is speaking with him, but he had to excuse himself briefly." He gestures to the two ladies, "I heard voices, and wanted to make sure that nothing was wrong out here."
Saffron embraces her cousin with a gentle squeeze and she whispers something against her ear. Then she glances back toward Kamron with a little smile before she clasps her hands behind her back. There is a slight tension in her lips as she regards the door and the question posed to the Mallister knight. Though his answer does relax her a bit. "Has there been new news?" She inquires softly to her cousin and the knight the same.
Anais flickers a smile to Saffron's whispered words, giving her another squeeze before stepping back. "Everything's all right out here for now, Ser Kamron," she assures the man with a dip of her chin. "Though I'm afraid things may need to…change a bit, and there may be some ruckus about it eventually. Is he mostly himself this morning?" she asks the knight, looking to the door again.
Kamron arches one eyebrow slightly at Anais' response to Saffron's question, "He's doing well this morning." A touch of laughter touches his lips, and he gestures back to the door behind him, "unless you would like to see for yourself, Lady Anais?" One shoulder rises and falls, "Do warn me if there is going to be a ruckus though. I wouldn't want to miss it." One arm extends to hold the door open for the ladies.
That Kamron murmered for her to go easy only makes Muirenn give a slight shake to her head as Jacsen excuses himself. While alone with her Septa in the room she rests her head back on the sofa and gives a soft sigh. A fist presses to her chest as she begins to cough. Her question remains unanswered, at least for the moment. Dabbing at her lips with the hankerchief, she picks up her cup of tea…not even attempting to balance the saucer. Gently sipping the beverage is a relief to her throat.
There is a touch of a smile to Kamron as he holds the door open for the pair of women. Saffron gestures her cousin to enter first with the intention to follow. The Banefort peeks a bit into the room even as she enters as if taking quick stock of its state. When her gaze alights on Muirenn, she smiles warmly as she hasn't seen the girl since they made it back to the Roost.
"I may need your help with that, actually. I have a feeling it's going to get complicated," Anais murmurs to Kamron as she steps into the room, her smile once more in place. "Morning, Jacsen," she carols softly, then smiles more broadly when she sees Muirenn on the couch. "Muirenn. I'm horrified that you had to travel already, but thrilled that you're back here again. I missed you."
"Morning, Anais," Jacsen returns the greeting brightly with a smile. "Lady Saffron, a pleasure to see you again." Emerging from the side room, he limps over to reclaim his seat, holding his hand out to welcome the ladies to sit. There's a place for Anais beside him, if she should so choose. "Lady Muirenn was just marvelling at my swift recovery," he says. It's directed to everyone, but his eyes are on Anais specifically.
Looking up, Muirenn does look better though she has a bandage across her nose where it was broken and rebroken. Brightening at the sight of Anais and Saffron, she inclines her head and smiles "I shouldn't have traveled but if rumors are any indication, it is good we left when we did. In any case. I am glad to be back home." There is a pause as Jacsen enters and seats himself. An eye is turned towards him as the teenager gives a dainty snort of derision and weighs her words, "Actually, I was not marvelling at your swift recovery for I do not think you truly recovered. Indeed, you still have not answered my question Jacsen." Turning on her sofa she studies the man with narrowed eyes and adds, "I prefer the word cleansing to recovery and a cleansing of the body such as you purportedly are going through is not swift." There are times to dance around the giant, ugly beast in the room and pretend it is not there…this is not one of those times, and so Muiri is quite forthright in her words.
Kamron arches an eyebrow at Anais' murmur, "Intriguing." He follows the ladies into the room, nodding to the guard outside and shutting the door gently. He moves over to pat Muirenn's shoulder gently, and then he's stepping away again as she speaks up. Muirenn's words draw a nod, and then a sigh. He smiles a bit of apology to the Young Lord of the Roost, but he doesn't speak up to contradict what she says.
Anais moves to sit next to Jacsen, reaching out to take his hand as she does. "No miraculous recovery," she agrees with Muirenn, her voice even. "But it seems there were…some circumstances that complicated the matter. Someone thought to use the extremity of Jacsen's recovery for her own benefit." She settles her gaze on Jacsen once more, steady. "It was her, wasn't it?" A simple question, but not the sort that really requires an answer so much as confirmation.
Saffron dimples warmly to Jacsen at his greeting, and even more so at his improvements — no matter how slight. However, Muirenn's words do cause her to look a little wane all the sudden. As she sweeps her hands beneath her rump, smoothening her skirts, she takes a seat and she rests her hands in her lap. There is no hiding how the air in the room seems to tighten at the words of the Mallister and Terrick women. For the time, she remains quiet and observant, though her gaze does slide briefly to Jacsen.
"There are so many rumors floating about," Jacsen responds to Muirenn. His eyes turn toward the ceiling as he tries to remember them all to count off on his fingers. "Still recovering from my illness. Relapse into my delirious fever. Poisoned by my enemies. Poisoned by my family. And," he says, his counting-finger flicking off the other hand to point to Muirenn, "the popular theory, Milk of the Poppy." He squeezes Anais' hand tightly as she explains the mitigating circumstances, which confirm Muirenn's suspicion and put an end to the dancing about the point. "Or so the rumors must remain outside this room," he says, voice no longer hanging on a whimsical note, taking a sudden serious quality. As for his wife's question, it earns a blank look and a blink before he reaches for his tea. "When the time is right," he says quietly.
Kamron remains standing as everyone else sits down, meandering over to lean his right shoulder against one of the walls of the room. Jacsen's response to the questions draw a nod, "Lord Jacsen, you have two members of your liege house, your wife, and her kinswoman in the room. Given the personalities of the latter two, I bet we all want what is best for House Terrick." His voice is light, easy, but not exactly soft. "I would hope that we can dispense with the rumors and stick to truths."
"Jacsen Terrick! Out of everyone in this damn keep.." Giving a soft ahem, Muirenn tries again and gently places her hands on her lap, "Jacsen, out of everyone you know…I want *nothing* from you but for you to succeed, be happy, be healthy, and be the man that Uncle Jason saw you capable of being." The auburn haired girl gives a soft sigh, "I am not an imbecile and know very well what is going on with the addiction. A few words from your brother who is very worried about you by the way, and it was not difficult to figure out. There will no speaking or whispering, or discussing of any of this outside the room. What is best for *you* and what is best for the House are our concerns." A hand reaches to push aside some of the thin braids that have fallen before her face, "The problem with being an addict is that you are never in control, even when you think you are. That is one of the first lessons the Maester taught me when we began learning about more than the basic herbs."
"The time is now, Jacsen," Anais says quietly, though there's some regret in the words as she looks to the others in the room. "Yesterday, I came back to find Jacsen up again. I wanted to believe that it was all over, but I couldn't. When he told me himself that his page had managed to get him just a little more of the Milk of the Poppy, my suspicions were confirmed." She keeps hold of his hand. "Jacsen told me that someone had offered him more Milk of the Poppy in exchange for a favor, and the fact that he was so willing to comply frightened him. He wouldn't tell me who it was." She shifts a bit, turning to face her husband more fully. "I spoke to the guards about who visited. I spoke with Justin. He told me that, while you were unwell, Lucienne had pressed him to support her in a bid to your father to take the seal for herself. Shortly after I left Justin, I found that Lucienne had convinced Dmitry to invite Lord Kittridge and Lady Rosanna Groves here. She and Dmitry were meeting them, without your father's knowledge or approval, so that Dmitry might broach the possibility of a betrothal with Lord Stafford to Lord Kittridge. An arrangement your father expressly forbid." She draws a deep breath, then looks to the others before turning her attention back to Jacsen. "Jacsen, your sister is no longer an ally to this house. She looks only to her own power, advantage, and benefit, and to hell with the Roost that gave her birth and sheltered her. She offered you more of the drug for your support, didn't she?"
Still, the Banefort remains ever so quiet. Her pale eyes rove the faces of those present, though her eyes do flick to Kamron with a more steady look at his words. She nods her head gently, though she does flash him a dangerous little smirk at the analysis of both Anais and her personalities. Then her gaze shifts over to Muirenn, and she offers the fellow noblewoman a slightly tight expression. "Muirenn, your words are true, but please… I know that Jacsen knows that addiction is not a casual thing, not something that is easy to overcome." There is a slight protectiveness there, as if she is worried that Muirenn is being too harsh with the Young Lord. However, that is nothing compared to the words she hears pouring out of Anais. The Banefort blinks, looking sharply over to her cousin. Her pale eyes flash suddenly with hot blue flame — and for once, she finds her words have failed her.
"I know all that," Jacsen says gently to Muirenn. Then he looks up to Kamron with a nod. "And you are right, Ser Kamron; there is no issue of trust in this room. I apologize for my strangeness; sometimes, when you least expect it, the walls have ears." He listens to everything Anais has to say, his brows creasing as his frown grows deeper and deeper throughout. With an angry noise that is half a sigh and half a growl, he looks out the window to the morning sky, contemplative, fidgeting with the seal. "I knew she had been planning to request the seal while I was - incapacitated. I didn't know Justin would support her. As for this matter of the Groves - she met with them behind my father's back? Behind mine?" There's an arrogant anger boiling behind those words, reflected in the slight raise of his chin and thinning of his lips. "And? The meeting, were you there?"
Kamron frowns deeper and harder at Anais' words, the muscles in his jaw standing out and his gray-blue eyes darkening like a night sky. He nods to Saffron briefly, and then looks to the sole couple in the room, "And have we heard a response from the Groves as to their harvest?" His voice is now tight, sharp with anger, although pretty clearly directed outside this room. Despite that anger, he holds his left hand out in a calming gesture toward Jacsen, "Justin's a better man than that, Lord Jacsen." For all Kam's remaining formality with the Young Lord, there's a familiar lack of title given to his younger brother.
Glancing over at Saffron, Murienn says quietly "Addicts sometimes need a..waking up." A finger gestures to the nobleman who is dressed, relatively mobile, and definitely not someone who is in the throes of withdrawl, "Someone gave him more. He cannot have any if he wants to regain control of himself, his life, and take over his responsibilites. While he has this physical craving he is vulnerable to…" Anais speaks giving excellent examples of just how vulnerable the Terrick heir is, and the Mallister maiden's words dies off. As she listens, the words Anais says ring true, a confirmation of suspicions, and Muirenn turns to look at Kamron with a steady look. Looking back to Jacsen she adds, "Jacsen, you blame Justin unfairly. He is recently returned to the house and is struggling against what seem like overwhelming odds. I swear to you that he wants what is best for the House not some grand play for power."
"Justin didn't want to support her, Jacsen," Anais answers her husband. "But he didn't feel himself ready for it, either. And it certainly didn't occur to anyone that I might share your authority," she adds, not quite pressing back the bitterness behind those words. "Your sister has been manipulating everyone while you've been indisposed, while your father's been in his grief. The Groves," she adds to Kamron, "Turned down our offer. They chose to sell all of it to the Naylands. And why not?" She arches a brow. "They can get coin from the Naylands for their surplus, leave us to starve, and get the lands they wanted anyhow as a dowry for Lucienne when she's done twisting the men of the tower around her poisonous little finger. A victory for them on all fronts. I was there for the meeting, Jacsen. That's exactly what she wants."
"From what I know of Justin," Saffron says on regards to the younger of the Terrick boys, "is that he wouldn't outright support Lucienne in her request without first heavily weighing the right and the wrong of if. Your brother has a good head on his shoulders, Jacsen… he cares much for the Roost and its prosperity." She inhales through her nose now, speaking in agreement now for Anais's assessment of Jerold's favored daughter. "I do not feel I can cast Lucienne in the same light." She frowns now, and it is quite an unpleasant expression on what is usually a bright and dimpled face. "If Lucienne wants to be married to the Groveses so desperately she would defy her father and brother alike, then have the Groveses pay for her. Their harvest surplus until the Roost is once more on its feet and capable should do." Saffron's voice has gained a razor edge — a Banefort Lady trait it would seem. She speaks now to Anais. "So, the Roost would lose both lands /and/ harvest?" She inquires to the prospective dowry.
"I should hope so," Jascen says at all the reassurances of Justin, some of the edge taken off his voice. One conniving sibling is enough - especially when she also happens to be his lover. "This is… not the picture I've been given to understand since I came to," he says, looking back at the circle gathered in his room. Maybe because he's been getting a lot of his information from Lucienne. "But piece by piece, it comes together." He gives Anais' hand another squeeze, equal parts reassurance and nerves, as he listens to what Saffron has to say. "Are they still here?" he asks his wife with a frown. "The Groves. How long will they be staying?"
Kamron blinks at Anais' response to his question, straightening up in shock, "Fucking hells…" The words just burst free from his lips, and it's a measure of his shock that he doesn't apologize for the curse. There's a pause, and then he turns toward the wall, slamming the heel of his right hand into the stone. At least he doesn't curse again. Regaining some measure of control over himself, he turns back to the others, his breathing tight and controlled, "If Lord Terrick agrees to the match for the sake of his daughter, then yes, Lady Saffron. If he agrees to the match, he couldn't let her go without a dowry. Pride wouldn't allow it."
"She pressed hard for the marriage to Lord Groves at the family meeting" Muirenn gives a nod, "And my cousin and I spoke about the seal." Tilting her head she asks mildly, "Jacsen. You are not shaking…you can hold your teacup without spilling. Did she visit you before Kamron and I arrived to bring you some?" For the girl, there are pressing matters but the nobleman's health and personal well being seems to be the first and foremost concern in her mind.
"Exactly, Saffron," Anais nods to her cousin. "This year's surplus is sold. There's nothing to get from the Groves until next year, regardless. The Naylands have it now. If you ask me, we'd be best offering them our support for their claim in Stonebridge in exchange for reduced tariffs and a portion of that surplus. The weight of the support of an honorable house - and one with a history of enmity with theirs - should be enough to put an end to this nonsense with Danae and the Charltons. I won't watch this nonsense be replayed with my sons in another generation." She draws a deep breath, putting both hands around Jacsen's now at Muirenn's question. "We're…trying to reduce the doses, Muirenn," she explains. "It's not ideal. It's not how we want this. But Lucienne has too much support here to have Jacsen sick in bed when we address this problem."
Jacsen looks surprised at Kamron's outburst - not that the swearing offends him by any means, but that the man is angry enough to let it loose like that. "I was thinking along the same lines," he says to Anais' plan with a nod. "Once I was able to think again, I mean, which is still measured in hours, not days." Anais has answered Muirenn's question, but he offers her a wry sort of smile anyway. "We talked about it at length, Muirenn, and please don't think I don't understand or appreciate your concerns." He doesn't want her to think he's just dismissing her worries. "Just enough, just until the threat has passed. When the time is right."
Saffron looks to Kamron at his punch, the poor wall unable to defend itself. Her pale gaze meets his as he turns back around, but it does not linger as Anais draws her attention once more. "If that is what must be done, Annie, I'm not going to debate that. But, I would be wary getting in bed with harpies…" Not that she doesn't love certain Naylands on an individual level, of course. As once more the Milk of the Poppy is drawn into conversation, she inhales through her nose and out again with a gentle nod. "I have seen poppy have to be weaned… and this situation certainly calls for it." Her fingers fold together, criss-crossing her knuckles.
Steadily, Muirenn looks over at her friend. Compassion fills her eyes as she says quietly, "You know Anais that it doesn't work like that. He is going to crave and want more and more. The addiction is devisive and there is never a *right* time to go through withdrawal." Glancing to Jacsen, she searches his face "It will be at least a year if not longer before the villages and everyone are back on their feet, and there will always be political maneuvering, houses trying to make grabs for power, and threats to your House." There is a sadness that creeps across her face as she studies the resolution that she sees. Rising she beckons to her Septa and says, "I need to go lay down, I am starting to feel dizzy again. I wish you the best in your recovery." Turning to Kamron she states quietly, "We are the most neutral party when it comes to StoneBridge outside of the Freys for Lord Tully does not seem to wish to take a side. Perhaps it might be wise if you and Martyn saw to negotiations." Wobbling a bit as she walks until she reaches her Septa's side, she leans heavily against the older woman and dips a knee slightly in farewell.
Kamron shrugs at Jacsen a little, "I'll get you a new wall, Lord Jacsen." Not that he hurt it in the slightest. In fact, by the way he's shaking his hand a little, he may get a bruise on the heel of his hand. "We will have to deal with the Naylands then. Unless we want the people of the Roost to starve. Seagard is already helping as best as it can, the Groves have proven themselves faithless and vindictive, and we cannot get food from further inland without going through Stonebridge." He shakes his head a little at Muirenn's words, smiling a little sadly, "I don't think I'm exactly neutral on this, cousin, nor do the Naylands see me as such. But perhaps we might be able to do something as Mallisters."
"I know, Muirenn," Anais says softly. "Believe me, I know." She draws a deep breath, moving to stand. "We're going to need to take this to Lord Jerold. Would you be willing to join us for that, Muirenn?" she asks as the other woman prepares to leave. There seems to be a serious conference of sorts going on in the chambers Jacsen and Anais share, though Muirenn is on her way out. Anais' dark-haired Banefort knight stands guard at the door, though he wouldn't turn away Jacsen's brother.
As if there were not enough visitors crowding into his brother's room already, there is a light rap of knuckles upon the door before it starts to open. Justin leans in to glance into the room and see if he might step in when he realises there are good number of people in Jacsen's chambers already. Lifting a dark brow, Justin then steps in fully to close the door behind himself. He is dressed predominately in black, his doublet plain.
Saffron looks up at the sound of the door opening, and for a moment she has grown a tad stiff. Then as Justin reveals himself, the woman visibly relaxes. There is a small nod of her fire-topped head before she glances back toward Anais and Jacsen, though Kamron is given a small glance. "I unfortunately can offer nothing but my personal support and assistance… I know my Lord uncle has sent what he can to help support the Tower, allowing the food supplies to go to smallfolk and retainers. And even then, food is being heavily rationed." There is something almost frustrating in her tone.
"It's the least of our worries right now, Ser Kamron," Jacsen says with a tight-lipped and humorless smile. He rises to his feet when Muirenn leaves and seats himself again, which is not as quick or easy as it would be for just about everyone else. With a deep sigh, he leans over to rub at his forehead, staying silent to think through his mounting headache. "Justin," he greets, looking up at his brother. "Please. We're discussing… family matters." His hand frees itself from Anais' to gesture to an open chair before returning to the comforting warmth. "If only we could bring in supplies and trade by sea…" he says, shaking his head.
Pausing at the door, Muirenn leans against the wall and nods "Of course Anais. Uncle Jerold needs to know this. He is Lord of the Roost after all and he cannot rule wisely without this information." It seems the girl is about the same as when Justin saw her yesterday, however someone has bathed her and dressed her in one of her prettiest black gowns that bares her shoulders. Glancing towards Kamron she adds, "Since it seems that the House Groves have a significant greater amount of coin than we thought, I think they should compensate not just myself for all that was lost but the other girls too. And I told Lady Rosanna that her House would be judged by how they aided the Terricks. Let me state that I am less than impressed with them." As the door opens, the Septa moves the girl aside to let Justin pass through. "If…you all will excuse me, I must go lay down now. Please everyone come visit. I shouldn't have left my chamber, but.." she glances over at Jacsen, "I was worried." After a moment she turns and wobbles out the door, having been on her feet for too long.
You sense: Muirenn just searches your face in that moment, perhaps tears filling her eyes, or perhaps it is the sun as she glances at the window towards the sky. Then she turns and is gone.
"Pity we sold that ship," Anais drawls to Jacsen's words. "That was Luci's idea too, wasn't it?" She nods to Muirenn as the other girl leaves, pacing a few steps through the room. "Justin," she greets her goodbrother. "We…Were just discussing a problem. It seems it was Luci who put her own ambition above her brother's help. And last night I found her and Dmitry trying to arrange a marriage to the Groves behind your father's back." Short version. "I'm going to need to request an audience with your father on the matter."
Ah, so he can see with Jacsen's comment about bringing in supplies by sea. Justin's baritone speaks up, "It is good to see you up and dealing with matters, Jacsen. Thank you, but I think I will stand." It's hard to relax when you feel like pacing. His pale grey eyes flick to Muirenn first, passing her a low word on her way out before he then nods to the others. Anais draws his attention, "Someone from House Groves is here?" That is apparently news to himself. "I do believe father did not forbid her to look into it. Though.. I find it rather distasteful that she would pursue /that/ now, in the face of House Groves's reply to us on the matter of the Surplus."
Kamron nods once to Muirenn, turning it a little into a bow. "That may be worthwhile, with the Groves. At least it would piss them off a little." There's a wry sort of grin there, accepting that he just called them vindictive. "Take care, cousin, and rest up. You will need your strength." He looks to the open door, then nods to Justin from where he's back to leaning against an open space of wall, "I'm sure Lord Mallister has most of the longships doing their best, but they're certainly not made for trade." He nods to Justin then, "And in the face of Lord Terrick's disapproval, too."
Jacsen returns Muirenn's look with one of perplexion, which melts quickly into a pained expression. And then she's gone. He looks momentarily irritated when Justin decides to remain standing, but it passes quickly. "Ah, so the ship is gone too," he sighs. "Puts an unrealistic dream further into the impossible territory, doesn't it." He returns to the forehead-rubbing, half-listening to the conversation while deep in his own thoughts until he hears his name from Saffron. "I was going to say that my speaking to him might be more… direct," he says, obviously not having decided on it either way.
"I know your sister isn't used to hearing the word no from anyone, Justin, but your father made it clear that he wasn't considering any arrangements until a proper dowry could be offered for her, and it's going to be a few years before that happens," Anais points out, dry. "Besides which, she's gone behind his back, suborned his nephew to her own purposes, and tried to arrange things /herself/. Which is entirely inappropriate." Nevermind how Anais ended up here in the first place. It's totally appropriate when you succeed. "I think Justin, Jacsen, Muirenn, and Kamron should be sufficient to deliver the message," she adds to Saffron.
Justin folds his arms over his chest and faintly frowns but he does manage to keep from pacing the crowded room, "Before /I/ go asking my father for an audience, I must first question the prisoner and ride back to Stonebridge. I don't believe we are finished with our bandit business and I've put off that bait wagon too long." His gaze slides to Kamron but that man's arm is still bad so Justin adds lower, "I have a list of men to ask to ride with me. I think father made it pretty clear he's not interested in seeing my face again until that's settled."
Kamron grimaces slightly at the mention of seeing Jerold, "I've been trying to see Lord Terrick on a slightly less important matter myself." His eyes shift over to Justin almost imperceptibly, and then he's turning his attention back to the real matters at hand, one hand rising up to rub at his temple lightly, "Just because we don't have a ship doesn't mean that we can't encourage trade or the purchase of food from further away. It does mean that it will take longer to arrange. But someone from The Roost could travel to Seagard, and then on to the Westerlands to try to arrange a shipment up to The Roost. But then the cost of the shipping itself would cut into anything we could buy." He looks over to Justin then, shaking his head, "I'll help however I can, Justin." A hint of a smile touches his lips, "Which is to say, let me know when you need something hit."
Saffron attempts to put two and two together as Kamron speaks, and she lifts her brows curiously. "Is that the business you were considering, Ser Kamron? When you said you might have some business south?" There is an ache in her voice, as if she is still trying to put together what would keep the knight from the Mallister tournament in a week's time. She then considers the rest in the room, Anais and Jacsen foremost. "If there is anything I can do to help here, I will do it. I do have one suggestion that I pose to both of you to consider. If we are concerned about further tampering with Jacsen's poppy dosage that someone you both trust to be charged with ensuring nothing unwanted ends up in food nor drink."
"You think there are more?" The freight train that is Anais' vengeance stops short when Justin starts talking about bandits, and she turns to face the lord. "I thought you all got them. What do you mean, a bait wagon? Still-" There's a brief, accusing look between him and Kamron. Perhaps she wasn't as unaffected as she's put about.
Justin faintly smiles, "Are you certain your arm is recovered enough for more fighting in the coming days, Ser Kamron?" However, any hint of amusement there is stripped out by Anais's uneasy questions. "I'm sorry to say that the man I was tracking eluded me, goodsister. There is also the matter of those who took your horses, dresses and other possessions to be sold and presumably that takes enough time that a few more of that group are likely. In our current … difficulties, it would be foolish to assume we have one single nest of bandits when folk are going hungry. There's also other possibly related matters as yet unresolved that need testing." Justin glances to Lady Saffron before he switches back to the former topic, "Lady Roslyn and her brother Rutger will arrive in some days to continue the betrothal negotiations. I would like to return ere they arrive to press them upon the Groves Surplus. We might yet obtain it."
Kamron shrugs one shoulder at Saffron's question, glancing down at his boots for a moment, "I thought something like that might come up, Lady Saffron." Those quiet words are just a little evasive, but he moves on quickly, looking up again as the discussion shifts fully to the matter of bandits. He nods to Justin, "That group is done. If there are any others, we want to find them before they cause any trouble. I don't, however, think that they'll do anything but lie low for a while." Justin's question of him causes him to lift up his left arm, rolling it around a bit. There's a hint of a flinch around his eyes, but not much, "I'm good enough. It's healing."
At the glance her way, Saffron meets Justin's brief stare with a slightly perplexed look. There was something involving her that was unresolved? She looks as if she may inquire further, but is stalled once more by Kamron's words. She narrows her eyes a bit at his posture, his evasion words. It is enough to spur a bit of annoyance in her gaze. She turns her gaze from him and back to the Terricks. "Take care of the bandits as you see fit, but if I am to judge, there is a far greater storm brewing over the Roost."
Anais draws a breath, letting it out slowly. Don't think about bandits, don't think about bandits, don't think about bandits. "That should be taken care of," she finally agrees, back in control of herself. "But this will need to be taken care of, as well. I understand if you have other priorities, Justin, but I don't think this will wait. I'll see how soon Lord Jerold will be available to speak with us."
Or maybe Saffron misread Justin's look because she had made a comment that drew his attention, briefly. He frowns and nods to what she says now, "Aye, all the more reason to get this out of the way. It may require revisiting again, after other more pressing matters later in the year. However, we can't ignore them either. Our food stocks are dwindling and sooner or later, they will grow bold enough to try our stores in the town." And there's also Jerold making it very clear he wants them to see this plan through without further delays. Justin gives Anais a nod, "I'll attend the meeting if I am here. Set it up."
Jacsen isn't much use for hunting bandits, which makes him feel pretty well close to useless. Some of that is reflected in his face as he sits there listening and thinking. He reaches to take Anais' hand again and rubs it comfortingly with his thumb, hearing her long breath. "I'd like if you were there, Justin - if, like you say, you're available," he says, giving his brother a nod. "I'm quickly leaning out of siblings to reach out to."
Jascen gets a nod from Justin, "I'll be there then, if I'm able. I gave my word to father I'd see this other matter through as soon as possible. I can't put it off again."
Kamron nods to Saffron, offering up a smile that might be a little apologetic, and maybe with just a tiny crooked curl to one corner of his mouth. "I wonder if failure to prioritize is what got us into this position? There's so much to do here, and we've been trying to do it all at once." He shakes his head slowly, "Maybe Justin and I should focus on seeing if there are any more bandits out there and dealing with them, and everyone else should focus on the food? That way we aren't worrying about multiple things at once. It might even remind people that Lord Jacsen," he gestures to the man, "is Young Lord, and Lady Anais is his Lady."
Anais seems just a little surprised when Jacsen takes her hand, though she lifts his to press a kiss to his fingers in return. "I think that's an excellent plan, Lord Kamron," she agrees, nodding firmly. "We'll take care of this, and then we can focus on fixing everything else. I was thinking," she adds, looking to the others, "That this tournament at Seagard might give us some useful contacts in the Reach. I doubt they're falling short of food there. We may not be able to get a great deal, but we might be able to make some other arrangements. Perhaps Lord Mallister would be willing to offer a reduction in tariff on goods coming through Seagard to the Roost, and we could pay him back when we're recovered.
There is still a slight vexing in Saffron's expression, though she accepts the smile with a slight one of her own. Then turns her attention back toward Anais and Jacsen. "Divide and conquer as it were," she says in agreement to Kamron's words. "I will be of whatever assistance I can, even if it is just attempting to be charming at the tournament." Her lips tighten a bit as she looks back toward Kamron and then away again.
"I understand," Jacsen says to Justin. "You do what you must," he says, this time including Kamron in the 'you'. "And we will look to our matters." We. Together. Jacsen and Anais, hand in hand, husband and wife. "Failure to prioritize, failure to communicate, failure to coordinate - all these and more." He draws in a long breath and nods to Kamron. "And we will deal with all of that. We can't afford not to, not in our position now." The words are wearied, and the Young Lord does look like his headache is growing worse. "We will get through this - all of this. Of that I am certain." He smiles to Saffron. "After all, I am the Eagle Lord."
Kamron looks over to the clasped hands between Anais and Jacsen, that tiny little smile spreading as he looks up to the Banefort-born Terrick. He gives her a little nod, and then smiles at the Young Lord, "You look like your headache is worse than mine." With good reason, really, "Perhaps we should leave you to rest, Lord Jacsen." That smile is offered to the other man then, "With everyone in this room working together, for what is best of The Roost, we should be able to at least keep the people safe, no matter what others are trying to do." he grimaces a little, "We may have to let some people scheme without directly opposing them, to keep our focus, but as Lord Jacsen said, I'm sure we can at least keep the people safe."
Saffron smiles toward Jacsen at his words, and she offers him a gentle nod of her head. "That you are, Lord Jacsen." And, as if she can see the weariness beginning to set in on the Young Lord's shoulders, she rises from her seat. "Yes, we have crowded your chambers for too long." Though she casts Anais a glance and a small smile. Then she begins to step toward the door, intent on letting the two reunited lovebirds gain some privacy.
If it's any consolation, all of this makes Justin's head hurt too. He loathes politics, lifting a hand to rub at his brow but he gives a nod to what is said in general, "I will go as well. It is good to see you back on your feet and lucid, Jacsen. You have had all of us greatly worried." Justin inclines his head politely to his brother and his goodsister Anais, then turns to remove himself as well.
"Thank you, Lord Kamron," Anais dips her chin to the Mallister Lord, flashing a small, grateful smile toward her cousin. "Saffron, you too. If you wouldn't mind keeping your eyes open for me? There's only so much I can do and see by myself, and you know I trust you more than my own shadow." She keeps hold of Jacsen's hand as others make their farewells, letting her fingers trace over his. Mine!
Saffron smiles to her cousin. "Of course, Annie. I will do whatever I can." There is a small wink there before she sweeps from the room as if she is determined to be the first one out the door.
"You've all been most welcome," Jacsen says with a smile, though it sits strained on his lips. "Muirenn, too, please tell her - " He thinks for a second. " - how good it was to see her again. As I'll tell her myself soon enough." Giving Anais' hand another squeeze, he stands to his feet again, cane-arm shaking as he pushes himself up. "Lady Saffron. Ser Kamron." Each is given a nod in turn, then he's left looking at his brother. "Justin." The nod given his brother is different. Closer. "We'll have to talk before you go." For bandit-hunting, not out of the room.
Justin pauses when he reaches the door. He looks back to his brother he hardly knows anymore and tries to smile a little, "Send for me and I will come." To Kamron he adds low in his baritone, "If there are enough men available, we might ride out tonight, return early tomorrow. I doubt we'll have much luck but the attempt should be made. We /might/ get lucky, Ser." One can hope. And with that, Justin steps on out.
Kamron bows his head in response to Jacsen's nod, "Lord Jacsen." Straightening up again, he adds, "It's good to see you up and interested." And then he's turning away to follow Saffron out the door. Justin's words draw a nod, "I'll be there. I'm sure that Ser Martyn would be interested, and possibly Ser Keelin as well. And wherever I go, Percy goes." His words fade out the door on that amused note.