|Introductions, Insinuations, and Innuendo|
|Summary:||The Rockcliff is a happening place of an evening.|
|Related Logs:||None particularly I don't think.|
|Rockcliff Inn - Terrick's Roost|
|The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.|
|15 July 289|
"Laugh /with/ you," Anais says with an easy smile, though there's laughter in her eyes already. "But yes, that sounds like fun to me. How is everything else going?" she asks, settling back a bit in her chair and taking a sip of her tea. "I know you've been working hard to fill the post of Sheriff." She and Justin are seated at a table, speaking quietly with each other. Justin looks like he had a swim before he came out.
Justin's dark hair is tossled and his trouers are now pretty much dry, if a little gritty from the beach. He is otherwise dressed in clean shirt, surcoat, boots etc as per his usual. He has his boots propped up on one of the recently vacated chairs, quite relaxed and drinking some ale. Food left over from a light meal is being packed up by a serving girl for them to take with them, compliments of the departed Ser Harold.
"It should be amusing, at any rate. Wear boots, goodsister." Justin grins, then he quiets and shrugs, "I'm doing all right. I thought the crowd at the gallows might get ugly, but thankfully they did not." He takes a drink of his ale and when he's lowered it, Justin adds, "You know, I had intended to hang them. Father wanted them offered the Black."
Dmitry drifts in from outside, looking chipper and fresh; well, actually, his expression is fairly composed and sober, but his newly clean-shaven chin lends him more of a boyish aspect than has become his familiar one. The flick of his dark gaze as he enters the confines of the inn pauses, arrested on his family members, and he starts to wander in their direction instead.
"Boots," Anais sniffs with mock indignity. "I'm quite capable of avoiding your feet with my toes, thank you very much. Besides, I'm sure you'll be just fine." Her smile fades a bit at the talk of the execution that wasn't, reaching up to trace a finger along one brow. "I suspected it was your father's idea," she murmurs, sighing softly. "Though I wish that if the offer was being made, it had been made somewhere other than in front of everyone. That's not quite the message I would have liked to have sent to everyone."
She gets a shrug from her goodbrother, "It is traditional, Anais. In retrospect I think it was wise of him, but we shall see what the future holds. Either way, such acts will not be tolerated. I will hunt down and kill, or capture, every bandit I can who goes to far as to harm others." Justin makes a dismissive gesture, "But some poaching or even light theft under the circumstances must be ignored, for now." Ah, and there is Dmitry. When Justin sees his cousin, he waves the other over, "There's ale left, bread, cheese and a bit of fruit. How was your visit to the Groves's?"
Nevan descends from the inn's main staircase, giving a brief glance around the common room before his eyes find the bar and his feet follow right after, his expression momentarily neutral.
"How about that," Dmitry says. "Look here if it is not the most gorgeous and engaging of my relations." He leans across the table to claim a piece of cheese, and then flops himself down readily in one of the chairs, taking this invitation as he nibbles on its edge. "Oh, and hello to you too, Anais." His sense of humor is dumb. It shines bright in the gleam of his eyes as he shares his smile with her. "Reasonably productive, cous; I've certainly no cause to complain of their hospitality, at any rate. I haven't gotten a chance to congratulate you on your new post."
"Traditional to offer it publicly?" Anais arches a brow at Justin. "At the Banefort, it's traditional to hang pirates from the walls." But then, they aren't at the Banefort. She takes a sip of her tea once more, smile quirking as Dmitry drops in. "Welcome back, Dmitry," she greets with a friendly dip of her chin. "I see you didn't use up all of your charm on the Groveses."
"I hope you ate well." Because, you know, slim pickings here. Justin gives Dmitry a faint smile, "Thank you. We'll see how it suits me." He takes his boots off of the chair and sits up a bit at the table. He looks back to Anais, "Sometimes. I only got word right before the hanging so what was I supposed to do? If either of them had refused, we'd have had a hanging anyway." He fingers his ale mug, glancing aside to Nevan over there before he refocuses on Dmitry. "So, sorting things out Luci's hoped for betrothal? Anything accomplished?"
"Well, I did spend quite a bit of charm," Dmitry confides in Anais, turning his free hand in a wide, sweeping gesture, "but thankfully Ser Inigo was there to add some of his, too, so there was no need for me to exhaust myself utterly." He shifts in his seat, settling back in it. "Jacsen has taken point on anything going on with the betrothal itself; he and Kittridge have gone back and forth about dower lands and so on. I was looking for a loan. As it happens, the Groveses are unsurprisingly more interested in a sale. I brought back some compromise terms for dear Uncle to look at, though if he doesn't like 'em, I'm sure we've other options." This summary delivered carelessly, he breaks off a larger chunk of cheese from the stolen wedge and pops it into his mouth, hitching his knee against the table's edge as he leans back, boot dangling. Sorry, Anais, did you want proper gentlemanly posture?
Anais doesn't seem particularly concerned about proper gentlemanly posture, for what it's worth. "Sale," she grimaces, shaking her head. "Well, the Erenfords seem to be quite interested both in helping and in building relationships. Ser Brennart is planning on speaking with his lord father upon his return. I'm planning to send both a letter and possibly Ser Kell with him to plead our cause. Add that to the coin from Ser Kell, Ser Kamron, and Justin, and we should be able to at least make a start on things." She's sitting at a table with Justin and Dmitry.
Nevan secures a bit of wine from the bar and, after taking a sip, takes note of Justin and his compatriots. Putting on the best winning smile he can muster, the Erenford strolls over to the Terricks' table. "Greetings, Ser Justin! A fine evening to you, and to your companions," he calls in his friendly tone of voice, bowing his head to the other two he doesn't recognize. "Ser Nevan Erenford, 4th son of Lord Miraz Erenford, Lord of Heronhurst. A fine evening to you both as well, I hope I'm not intruding."
Justin frowns, "Sale of lands, I assume. It looks like House Haigh, the Flints, and the Erenfords are willing to discuss possible loans, among other things, and I dare say at more reasonable rates than the Groves would likely give us. If Jacsen will talk to them. I gather he's put Ser Brennart and Ser Anders off who've come to speak with him or father, but they have been left waiting." Not at all pleased by this, Justin frowns. "I have no authority to speak with them other than to ask them to keep trying but they won't keep their offers open long if we ignore them." Anais's news lifts his brow, "Ser Kell is a good choice. He's sensible."
And there is Nevan coming over to greet them. Justin moves to stand, returning the Erenford's courtesy with a half bow of his own, "Good evening, Ser. Please, inacse you haven't met… this is my goodsister, the Lady Anais Terrick, married to my brother Jacsen and from the Banefort. This is my cousin, Ser Dmitry Terrick."
"Ser Harlyn has indicated that, have we the gold, the Haighs will sell us their surplus grain at a reasonable rate," Dmitry says. He swings his foot. "Actually, he indicated he'd sell it to us on credit, but I don't know that I'd necessarily care to hang our hats entire—" He breaks off, eyebrows up as Nevan comes over. "An honor to make your acquaintance, Ser Nevan," he says, turning a flick of his gaze over the newcomer, eyes bright-dark with a vivid shade of curious. "Thank you for the introduction, Cous."
Something evil this way comes. Well, perhaps not evil, exactly, but certainly annoying. And, apparently annoyed by the dark look Devra wears as she enters the Inn. "I don't understand why that horsemaster can't keep a proper shoe on Septa," she's shooting back to Nilna, her ever-oppressed handmaiden. A septa follows, too, Devra's usual dour and ancient minder. And a guard for good measure. "I'm certain she's not the first older horse the man's had to handle." They stop just inside the doorway so the ladies can relax their travel shawls.
"Then it sounds as though the Groves are not the only game in town," Anais smiles with some satisfaction at Dmitry's news, though the expression turns more friendly as Nevan approaches. She's a lady, so she doesn't have to stand! Instead, she nods graciously to Nevan. "A pleasure, Ser Nevan," she greets in turn. "We were just discussing your family, actually. Your brother Lord Brennart and Ser Otto have been quite a bit of help here of late. It's nice to find new friends."
Nevan looks a little surprised by Anais's words, raising a brow skeptically. "Those two actually…succeeded in being useful?" he words, face erupting in a pleased grin. "Well well, what a pleasant surprise! Here I thought they'd just be a pain in your sides, maybe break a few things. Well then, any service my kin are helping you with, you have my spear as well. Brother is setting off to Heronhurst to speak with Father about helping the situation here, while Otto is…likely drinking somewhere, maybe sleeping under a bridge," Nevan surmises as he idly strokes his beard, shrugging and nodding to the two all the same. "A pleasure to meet you both, Ser Dmitry, Lady Anais. Would you mind if I sat, or am I intruding on important family matters?" ventures Nevan, peering briefly over to the commotion regarding the woman who's just entered. "…I don't suppose anyone knows who she is?"
"Well, nobody is the only game in town; I think we'd be bloody fools to entirely rely on any one House. What we need is a network of alliance and trade. Which—" Dmitry sucks on his teeth, and swallows whatever he was going to say next so that he can tip an urbane smile toward the Erenford knight. "Excuse me, Ser Nevan, I did not mean to exclude you from our conversation with the dull particulars of my own business," he says, blithe ease masking his completely subtle redirect. He resumes his seat with an easy turn of his hand, indicating another chair; probably the one that Justin's boots aren't on anymore. "Are you new arrived at the Roost? I hope you find the hospitality here of sufficient warmth and welcome."
Justin retakes his own seat once the introductions are completed. He sips his ale, notes Devra's arrival and gives her a polite nod, but most of his attention is for the conversation at their table. Justin chuckles, "Ser Otto has been drinking. He just departed with his aching head a few minutes ago, Ser." Alas, this probably means Dmitry won't share the tasty bits with Nevan here.
"No, please join us," Anais invites Nevan with a laugh. "You're certainly welcome here." At the knight's question, she turns toward the door, though there's a flicker of a grimace when she recognizes the woman. "Lady Devra Paege," she answers Nevan, her smile a bit more forced. "Her mother is Lord Jerold's sister, and so she is cousin to the Terricks of the Roost."
A long-suffering sigh ends whatever the rest of Devra's tirade quietly entailed to the two ladies in her attendance. The guard's gone off to a corner somewhere. The safe confines of an inn with plenty of family in it means he, at least, can escape his charge. He immediately orders a cheap drink. "Oh look, I see a few of my ilk sitting just over there," points Devra to the table housing the Terrick contingent as she turns to survey the room's arrangements. "I had better sit with them lest they think I don't approve of their company," is said in a lower, though not by much, tone to the other two ladies. And so, she makes her way over there.
Anais's expression causes Nevan to have an awkward chuckle, taking his seat at the table. "Ohhh, this is going to be quite uncomfortable, won't it?" he jests, waving a hand dismissively to Dmitry. "Please, do not mind me and continue your discussion if you wish. I understand if you'd like to keep it private, however, and although you have no reason to believe me - I care little for politics, to be quite frank. I've no intent to spread rumors or use things for my own ends, but take that advice for what it is."
Justin's words cause Nevan to give a little snicker, nodding in assurance. "Yes, I expected as much. He'll be up and about soon enough, just with a poor attitude."
"What, no interest in spreading rumors?" Dmitry looks immediately, humorously skeptical. "What kind of noble knight are you, Ser? Surely gossip is our primary calling, second only to killing squids and succeeding in the joust."
"Uncomfortable?" Anais echoes, twisting a faint smile toward Nevan. "Nonsense. A lady is never uncomfortable." Not that she looks particularly /pleased/ at the idea of spending more time with Devra, but she does manage a fairly friendly smile. "If it amuses you, though, I suppose it would only be my duty as a hostess to offer some sort of entertainment," she adds, a glimmer of humor in her eyes.
Justin huffs a breath softly into his ale, not being much of the gossipy kind himself. Uh oh, does Anais's entertainment mean a dancing lesson for him /right/ now? Probably not.
"Cousins," says Devra with the appearance of good cheer as she descends upon their table. Her mouth twitches upwards in what may be considered a smile. "And Lady Anais, too. What a pleasure to find I won't be waiting with only my handmaiden and septa to keep me company." At a twist of Devra's wrist, that handmaiden scoots to push a seat over for the lady to sit in; family needs no invitation to join a conversation, right? Nevan has yet to earn himself a greeting, though the young woman does pass an eye over him briefly before she takes her seat.
"Waiting?" Anais echoes Devra with a polite smile. "I do hope you won't let us keep you from your business. Lady Devra, this is Ser Nevan Erenford, visiting us from Heronhurst. Ser Nevan, Lady Devra Paege," she introduces everyone.
Supposing he can't put it off any longer, Nevan rises from his chair briefly to bow to the arriving Devra. "Greetings, My Lady. Ser Nevan Erenford, 4th son of Lord Miraz, Lord of Heronhurst," introduces the young Erenford with a small smile, retaking his seat as he does. He grins over to Dmitry, answering, "One who greatly prefers the other two, so finds himself not doing very much at all. So I keep busy! Helping my brother's schemes to help random passersby, should they work, just about any other sort of distraction."
To Anais, he winks. "Of course not, Lady Anais! Perish the thought, you'd never be uncomfortable. My apologies."
"Hallo, cous," Dmitry greets Devra with a lazy salute of his fingertips. This is not his most charming and urbane greeting, either; he glances at her with a glint of humor from beneath his eyelashes, dark eyes bright, before he looks up and over at the others. "What delightful company you have found, too. What sort of schemes, I wonder?"
If nothing else, Justin looks amused to be watching the others. He eats a bit of the food that the serving girl picked up and made ready to go but is still within easy reach to any of them. Bread, cheese, fruit, nothing facy. There's a bit of ale left in the pitcher and tea in the pot. "Good of you to join us, lady Devra." It's polite enough, whatever his real thoughts might be. Justin looks a bit roguish, his dark hair tossled with sea salt dried in it, but otherwise his clothes are neat and crisp - except for his trousers, which look like he romped on the beach in, a bit of sand and dried salt water. So of course he smells of the sea, at the moment.
"Oh, I would never let you keep me from my requirements, goodcousin," responds Devra with an overlight tone that carries over into her next comment: "Thank you, Ser Nevan. Most interesting, to meet another Erenford." Dmitry recieves an easier smile, though a brow arches when he commends the delightful nature of those in company. "Indeed." Before the handmaiden can break free, the lady shoos her off to fetch another cup for tea. Then, she takes in Justin's appearance; her seat was placed next to his. Devra's nose twitches, but whether that's for the smell or the man himself is a guess best left unanswered. "Mmm-hmm," is managed before she's taking stock of the table's small offerings.
Anais taps the tip of her nose at Nevan's words, lips curving in a wry smile. "We were just discussing Lord Brennart's trip, actually," she adds to the Erenford. "I wish I was free to go myself, but events here demand more and more of my attention. Still, I'm grateful for all of the help we've found recently. With so many knights here, perhaps we should hold a hunt sometime soon."
"What trip?" Dmitry asks, brightly ingenuous with the arch of his eyebrows as he looks across at Anais. "Do I need to get myself invited to something interesting?" (This is totally how polite company works, right?)
"To Heronhurst, to talk to my Father about helping the Roost," explains Nevan to Dmitry, smiling a bit at Devra. "Yes, my kin have been quite apparent here, have they not?" He leans back, folding his arms. "A hunt would be quite amusing. Any other tasks I can assist with, of course, you need only ask me and I'd volunteer. My brother's 'schemes' I refer to are usually helping anyone who asks him for help, or anyone he suddenly decides he /thinks/ he can help. Whether that's what turns into the last result, however, can vary."
Well, the chair he had been using to prop up his boots wasn't taken by Nevan, who wisely chose another free of sand. So Justin props his boots back up onto it, his spurs chiming softly. The serving girl comes back by to refresh their pitcher of ale and see if any of them want for anything else. Justin smiles at her faintly and tastes his own drink while listening to the others. "A hunt would be nice but … we are somewhat lacking in game. Perhaps we can gain permission to hunt up in the Tall Oaks area? Surely it's not so depleated and whatever meat we can bring back is sorely needed here."
"Oh, I see," Dmitry says with a flicker of his fingers and an easy smile. "It is so pleasant to have men riding out of the woodwork to offer us aid. I feel very well-loved, personally."
Devra secures tea by way of that handmaiden. In a rare show of consideration for the wellbeing of others, she excuses the girl to sit with the septa at a table not very far away from this one. She even gives them leave to order a bit of bread and cheese for themselves, complete with tea. Devra, however, samples from the fare laid out here. "Quite, cousin," she pipes up at the tail-end of Dmitry's observation. "It's inspiring, the way all of these good men have arranged assistance for the Roost. However, men are not the only ones who can secure such things. I sent word to my father, and I am at this very moment awaiting my eldest brother's arrival with what I suspect will be a spot of good news for our family here at the Roost."
"Maybe out toward the old Camden lands," Anais muses, thoughtful. "I can't imagine Liliana would object, given that there isn't much in the way of population needing to hunt the lands there right now. And a little extra meat to share around the town would do a good deal for spirits. And we could check for any more bandits or smugglers in the process." She's distracted by those thoughts, working them through in her head.
Dmitry laughs aloud. "Sweet Maiden, forgive me," he says, "I think Cousin Devra believes I underestimate the value of a lady's aid." He lays a hand over his heart, turning wide dark eyes across to the other lady present. He does an excellent wounded look. "Anais, I beg you defend the provenance of my chivalry and respect!"
Justin gives a nod to Anais, "Exactly, though we /do/ need to ask lady Liliana to be certain she dosen't mind." He lifts a dark brow at Devra, "If your father or your brother can bring us aid in any form, it is appreciated." Justin grins at Dmitry, "I do believe you don't know our cousin well, Devra. If anything Dmitry here is all about the value of the ladies and generally prefers to ask them for assistance before any other."
Harlyn comes descending the staircase, as he does, with his inexplicable, checkmark and doodle-laced 'betting paraphrenalia' and his eyes a-scan over the common area as he descends. Hmn.
"Bandits and smugglers? All I needed to hear," chimes Nevan with a wide grin. "As for Heronhurst, we'll see what Father thinks. It will vary greatly, of course, given the whole business with the Naylands. Bandits and hunts, however, I need no permission from Father for."
"Don't be hurt, Dmitry," Anais leans over to pat at the man's arm, smile flickering. "Lady Devra disapproves and doubts on general principle. I'm sure it's nothing personal. Who could doubt your chivalry, respect, and charm?" There's another smile for Nevan, and she laughs. "It's funny, sometimes I think all it takes to get most of you knights interested in anything is the opportunity to fight someone."
"It is what we train for, lady Anais. Most of our lives." Justin says quietly.
"Well, as long as I've got to talk to somebody, I might as well be talking to somebody attractive," Dmitry points out with careless ease, turning out his hand in an easy gesture with fingers curling up. "There, you see? Justin leaps to my aid, but I prefer to petition Anais; she is much lovelier." His smile winks bright and quick across his features as he flirts a look at Anais beneath his eyelashes. (Terrible, Dmitry.) "And more rewarding, for you see, she remembers my charm." Less serious business than Justin (big surprise, right), he cocks an eyebrow at him and says, "Though some of us are also inspired by other things as well."
With a roll of her eyes, Devra sets her cup down hard enough that it clinks against the saucer. "Oh, I hadn't meant it like that," she says with a fair amount of frustration. It translates into a sharp look Anais's way. With a sigh that shows the work she's putting into calming her tone and expression, the lady shares her gaze between Dmitry and Justin. "I only thought I might point out that you need not depend entirely on strangers for assistance, and that I have managed to secure some contribution to the household so willing to house me for a time." Excuse her for trying, says the flashing glint in her brown eyes.
Harlyn finishes his descent and ramble-wanders his way over to the current cluster of conversation, if not without checking the fall of his hair over the maimed ear. It's a bit nervous, almost ticcish. He's retaining a certain weary sort of look.
Devra's claim quirks another of Justin's dark brows, "You've secured precisely what, lady Devra? You stated you sent word but await the recieving of answer, did you not?" A bird in the bush isn't to be bragged of until it's actually in hand. He's had a bit of ale and is very relaxed, not about to get ruffled up at one thing or the other. Justin's gaze slips from those speaking at the table to follow the serving girl as she passes, possibly more wistful of someone to warm his bed than discussing politics, tonight. Ah well, he sips his ale and continues listening.
"Ah, good evening, Ser Harlyn," Anais smiles politely to the approaching man, dipping her chin as well before she looks back to Devra. Quietly, she reaches over to gently straighten the woman's cup. "That's wonderful, Lady Devra," she replies with a warm smile. "And what is it we should be expecting from Paege lands?" Even as she turns her attention to the other woman, she manages a faint smile for Dmitry's lash-flutter (because it's pretty and should be appreciated), and a nod for Justin.
"I am sure that the family is grateful for the efforts of all its blood relations, Lady Devra," Dmitry says easily, "or it had better be, because otherwise I can't imagine why I am putting any efforts in at all." Grin crooked, he sits back in his chair, and lifts his hand in an easy wave. "Ser Harry," he says expansively. "What ho."
"That unfortunately works perfectly with me, Lady Anais. I am no different from that pack in that aspect, unfortunately. Any opportunity to get into a scrap, I'll take," replies Nevan, his grin remaining on his lips while he looks at Devra. "Of course Lady Devra is doing her best. Perhaps with that our help will not be necessary, but I'm certain it won't hurt."
He laughs at Dmitry's attempts, giving a clap of his hands. "Quite the amiable sort, are you not Ser Dmitry? You'd get along well with Otto I imagine, and me as well. Something tells me you prefer female friends, however." He pauses to glance over to Harlyn, giving a nod in the man's direction. "Evening! Ser Nevan Erenford, 4th son of Lord Miraz Erenford, Lord of Heronhurst."
"My lady," Harlyn says with a small dip-bow to Anais. He straightens to light a small wave over Dmitry's way. "What ho indeed, Ser - I will think of something." And to Nevan, more expansive. "I am Ser Harlyn Haigh, also a fourth son, come to think. Lord Leslyn is my father."
There's a prim sniff that precedes a lingering silence from Devra, who picks up her tea again so that her hands have something to do. "Well, of course I don't know precisely, but my father wouldn't have sent Blane all the way out here to simply offer nothing," she finally says with a snap to her words, her parade thoroughly pissed upon. Dmitry's good nature does little to ease her, but it at least shuts her up for now.
Devra meets Nevan's gaze briefly, too, and there at least it lacks a touch of malice for his attempts to compliment her alleged efforts.
"I am friendly to everyone," Dmitry announces promptly. "Harry, this fellow thinks I don't make friends with gentlemen. Tell him how great friends we are." (After talking to each other like three times ever. What a great plan.) He finishes off his piece of cheese.
"I said nothing of the sort! A preference is a /preference/, twice today I've had words take on radically different meanings than I've ever heard them having before," protests Nevan of Dmitry, mock-sniffing in snooty offense before his expression snaps back to his old grin once he takes note of Harlyn. "A Haigh! Hah! How about that - should we engage in the typical Erenford-Haigh rivalry then, Ser Harlyn?"
"Will said rivalry involve wrestling?" Anais asks, perking up with a mischievous smile as she looks between Dmitry, Harlyn, and Nevan. "I'm certain we could make a space, if that was the goal." Humor sparks in her eyes, a sip of tea failing utterly at hiding her smile.
Very mellow just now, Justin draws his attention back to the others, "Ser," he offers to Harlyn joining them. He's nursing along another cup of ale, perhaps still on Ser Harold's tab for all he knows. His dark hair is tossled from swimming in the sea, a bit of sand gritting his trousers. Otherwise his attire is neat and clean. If anything, he looks a bit tired after an active day off from his more regular duties. Swimming, cliff diving and sword play followed by a good meal and plenty to drink will do that to a man.
Harlyn braces a smile over toward Dmitry and Nevan in turn. "You are the friendliest, friend Dmitry, certainly. Although this Ser Nevan may match you in eagerness and charm, hah?" More directly to Nevan now. "In fact, I am so impressed by Ser Nevan that I wish our rivalry to only be a playful one. I have conflict enough surrounding my dear cousin. Wrestling is not /off/ the table, so long as it is not in earnest, and you allow me to win once in a while."
Devra stews in her juices with that tea in hand, which fails equally at the task of hiding expressions—though hers is not so pleasantly engaged as Anais's. From over its rim she watches the men jest with each other.
"Well, I hope if there's to be wrestling, it doesn't actually happen on the table," Dmitry says, light and easy and somewhat obnoxious. "The inn might not appreciate that."
"I thank you for the compliment, Ser Harlyn, and I'd be pleased to keep it from being too serious," concurs Nevan, throw he looks a little troubled at Harlyn's last words. "Let you win? That doesn't sound like me," he admits.
"Nonsense, the table would be absolutely absurd. The floor has far more room and won't tip over or break," retorts the young Erenford with his own snicker, leaning back in his chair while he looks amusedly around the table at the others. "So! Lady Devra, other han tirelessly working for your family's benefit, what else do you enjoy doing around here?"
Quietly, Justin finishes off his ale and sets the empty mug on the table. He then drops his boots from the chair he'd propped them up on and moves to stand, "If you will all pardon me, I've had a long and interesting day. I'm in need of a bath and a few hours yet to study law, this evening. Please enjoy yourselves."
Devra considers her tea a moment before answering Nevan, possibly trying to scry from the contents whether the man's poking fun at her or not. Erring on the side of politeness, for once, and for now, she answers in a flat tone: "I have yet to find much else with which to enjoy my time. At home, I spent much of my spare time reading—which is a pleasure I have not managed to employ here, yet." As Justin stands, she flicks her gaze to him and nods.
"Haven't you?" Anais arches a brow to Devra with a small smile. "I'm told Lord Jerold's reading room is one of the better ones in the area. Although with everything going on, I've had little chance to explore it myself. Lady Roslyn seemed to appreciate it, though." She sips at her tea again, smile curving at one corner of her lips as she looks between the men. "Perhaps we should stick with hunting," she chuckles softly, though she raises a hand to Justin as well. "Take care, Justin. If you see Jacsen, let him know I'll be home soon?"
"It never sounds like anyone," Harlyn sighs over toward Nevan. "Well. For the floor it is, then, if any of us get the yen to do it. I suppose I'm already at enough risk for property damage otherwise."
"Certainly, lady Anais." Justin smiles a little thinly, she perhaps aware that he and Jacsen haven't been getting along as well as they might. "Lady Devra, the law books I am studying are kept in the reading room. I'm on my way there now, if you would care for me to show you where it is?" Justin /might/ look vaguely sour at mention of lady Roslyn but he says nothing concerning her. "Perhaps you'll speak with me further at a later time, Dmitry."
"The reading room is lovely," Dmitry agrees. "I've spent many an hour there, when I was not pursuing other knightly duties." He tips his hand outward, and then lets it drop to his lap. "Did Lady Roslyn enjoy the reading room? Not too sedate for her tastes?" How he has managed to place a leering implication on such a pastime as reading in the reading room is a mystery. "Definitely, Justin; I believe I know a few new things that may be of interest to you."
Devra looks on the verge of saying something unwise in the direction of Anais, but it comes to nothing as Justin, and then Dmitry override the moment. That's all to the better, to be sure. A frowning twist to her mouth relaxes at Justin's invitation and she stands up. "Yes, well… yes, that would be very nice of you, cousin. Blane could take hours yet to arrive, and I shouldn't be wasting the day away inside of a stuffy inn." And who knows how much longer certain people will linger here. Her attendants rise, too, though Devra instructs the handmaiden to let the guard wait here for her brother, instead. She'll be riding with the Sheriff, after all, which renders the other man's presence redundant. "Good day, everyone."
"Good evening, Ser Justin," Nevan offers in farewell to the Terrick knight as he begins to rise and depart. He then turns his attention on Devra, offering her a slightly surprised raising of his brows and a sympathetic look. "That's quite a shame, Lady Devra, to be bored. I can most certainly relate, though instead of reading I tend to prefer knocking other men over, or getting knocked over. Or…fishing. Probably like the first two more. But! It seems to have a reprieve, if this library is what it's being described. How fortunate," informs Nevan of Devra, grinning at her a little and offering his farewells before looking over to Harlyn. "Property damage, hm? I haven't heard of your reputation yet, only gossip of only one Haigh around here, so it's to your credit you've managed to avoid the attention."
"Ser Justin," Harlyn also lifts in farewell, commenting nothing on the reading and libraries and etc, but maintaining a light look of interest. To Nevan, idly, "Lord Rafferdy and I had a little bit of a spat over that gossip. So there is now my reputation. Obviously, I cannot control my cousin." He pauses a beat. "Perhaps I should find some scandal of my own, hmm? Perhaps in a library. To keep in conversational theme."
Justin lifts a brow at Dmitry at such a remark, odd to himself. He looks like he's about to make some further comment about the lady Roslyn but decides against it. Instead, he simply nods to his cousin, "Then I'll look forward to listening. Until then, I bid you all a good night."
Turning to hear Devra's answer, Justin then waits for her to settle matters with her guard. When she looks ready to go, he walks over to open the door for her and while holding it, Justin grins a little at Nevan, "Then you should try cliff diving, Ser. We can show you where the best places are to leap from. I did so myself, today." To which Mistress Danis has all but promised to fuss at him for. With a glint of mischief in his own pale eyes, Justin steps on out into the night.
Anais waits until Justin and Devra are gone to arch a brow at Dmitry. "What was all that about reading rooms being too sedate, hmm?" she asks, dry. "Looking to start a wrestling match with Justin?"
"If he challenges me to a wrestling match to defend her honor, I'll laugh in his face," Dmitry says easily, swinging his boot. He scrubs his palm down the line of his thigh. "The Naylands have scrapped that betrothal on us altogether … and I'll give you odds why they were so quick to promise the spinster to Kittridge Groves, instead of taking Rosanna for her dowry. Harry knows this story already," he adds with an airy wave to Harlyn, as though his having heard Dmitry say this before will somehow improve its provenance.
"Do wrestling matches need reasons, now? A pity," Nevan laments, putting on his sympathetic face again for Harlyn as he manages a small chuckle. "Yes, I know a bit about kin getting you into trouble - it sounds like your cousin gives you a fair amount more trouble than my brother or even Otto. I met her, actually. She seemed polite enough, though was quite upset at Lady Muirenn's treatment of her. Curious as I may be, I'm not sure I even want to begin contemplating the reason - as I'm sure it will be rather convoluted and not at all solvable in the civilized manner of a wrestling match."
"I am a veritable repository for stories," Harlyn sayeth as he finally takes a proper seat, putting his paraphrenalia on the table. "And Lady Katrin is polite. Reasonably smart. Sensitive as befits her age and sex. She just has this massive blind spot in the form of a pair of shapely, unclothed arms, I'm afraid. Perhaps I should start resorting to wrestling one way or the other."
"Kittridge?" Anais echoes, pausing a moment to assemble all the pieces of Dmitry's implications. When she does, she sets her cup down, carefully straightening it on the saucer with a faint frown lining her brow. "I see," she says quietly. "I…would ask that you not bring such things up at all, but I know better than to expect that," she finally murmurs, looking back to Dmitry. "But it would be best if you didn't speak of it in front of Justin, at least. I think he was trying very hard to put his heart in the potential match, and if it's backfired, he's not likely to feel very good about it." At Nevan's observation, she wrinkles her nose. "Lady Devra has a tendency to look down her nose at things. It can be offensive, and Lady Muirenn took it upon herself to…reprimand her for it. So I imagine that is the issue."
"I will not swear not to speak of it to him, Lady Anais, but I will give you my word of honor to be as gentle with his bruised heart as the lady would not," Dmitry says, inclining his head to her. "I think he is better off, personally, and we have given talk to a sweeter, younger option." He tips an indicative look in Harlyn's direction, although he blinks in a quizzical turn as his ears catch up to his mouth. "Are you saying that Lady Katrin would be likely to veer off the road to her ruin with Lord Rafferdy if we were all to trim the sleeves from our coats?" he asks in tones of ringing and sympathetic sincerity. "Because if you asked it of me, dear Ser Harry—" He really seems entertained by this nickname. Maybe he is just trying to see how many times he can do it before Harlyn gets annoyed. "I would consider it, for the benefit of the lady's virtue."
"Wrong one, Lady Anais. I was referring to Lady Katrin. That was the first I've heard or seen of Lady Devra, and while I cannot say for certain at this moment that my life is for the better with the experience, I'd say she seems too…self-focused to infuriate someone to that degree," Nevan guesses, probably very, very wrongly, but guess he does. As Dmitry indicates Harlyn, Nevan manages a very amused chortle. "Sweeter and younger? Perhaps that line about preferring the company of women was completely wrong, Ser Dmitry, but you are so kind to compliment Ser Harlyn in such a way."
Nevan, Harlyn, Dmitry and Anais are at a table…somewhere, talking amongst themselves.
Hugh walks into…he doesn't know what, but a couple of names prick his Nayland ears, and he turns with interest to see who the speaker is. He looks like he had been heading to the inn's rooms at first, but now he hesitates at the bar and orders ale. Naturally, the ale goes on Riordan's tab.
"A sweeter, younger what?" Harlyn asks, tipping his chin against his hand. "My cousin's virtue may well require mass tunic ripping as distraction, but I am at the moment distracted. I have never been seen as an /option/ before. How flattering."
"Honestly, I can't keep track of who's upset with whom," Anais rolls her eyes slightly to Nevan, softening the gesture with a crooked smile and a shake of her head. "It's just as well I'm wed and finished with all the games. I don't think I really have the patience for it." She pauses, taking another sip of tea. "Or perhaps I just don't have the patience to deal with it for other people. It's a pity not everyone can be as charming as Dmitry or yourself, Ser Nevan."
The stairs creak as Ilaria is escorted down from her chambers, fully dressed and leaning on the arm of her handmaiden, Heolla. Behind her, Septa Shiella is silent and watchful, dark grey eyes scanning the motley collection of people below to be sure her ward has no reason to faint tonight. "I spy my favorite cousin," Ilaria murmurs to her escort, gesturing vaguely in Harlyn's direction; and so the women turn to head in that direction until Ilaria is standing behind her cousin. She reaches out to rest a hand on his shoulder briefly. "If I were my sister, my nose would tickle so much I would be sneezing constantly - what with all the gossip. Good evening, cousin - Ser Dmitry, Lady Anais." Nevan she attempts to place, but cannot recall a name; he is granted a polite smile.
"Alas, despite all his allure, I don't think Ser Harlyn would bring a dowry with him," Dmitry says, mournful in his dismissal of Harlyn as an actual option. "And I think he'd be a bit much for Justin in any acse." His dark eyes gleam as he glances at the incoming Ilaria. "But Lady Ilaria, does your nose not tickle? I'm sure I mentioned your youth, beauty and grace not half a minute ago."
Hugh turns around and leans back against the bar and listens while he sips his ale. As Ilaria walks down the stairs, he smiles, but she doesn't seem to see him here yet.
"Thank you, Lady Anais. You are so very kind. I, however, will be married the moment Father tells me of it. That time hasn't come, and I suppose thankfully so. I am far too busy following in my brother's wake and admiring the mess he's made," the young Erenford admits, offering a smile in return to Ilaria as well. "Another new face. Good evening, I am Ser Nevan Erenford, 4th son of Lord Miraz Erenford, Lord of Heronhurst. I apologize in advance - we were not gossiping, My Lady, we were merely talking about how much we disliked to gossip. Which may sound terribly like gossip, but I assure you - it is not."
Harlyn half turns in his seat, draping his hand over Ilaria's. "Cousin." Sotto. "Watch out for Ser Dmitry. I begin to think he is as much a menace as Lord Rafferdy."
"Lady Ilaria," Anais smiles easily to the other woman, though she laughs at Harlyn's words. "I should hope Lord Dmitry is somewhat better behaved. Or at least more generally charming."
"What!" Dmitry gives Harlyn a stricken look. "You wound me, Ser. Cut me to the quick." He looks absolutely appalled, taking deep and bridling offense, and assures the table at large, "I promise you, if I were to have an affair with an unmarried lady, I would do so with far more discretion, by all the gods, than to inveigle her unchaperoned in my rooms in a public inn some five feet from her nearest relations."
"I have been warned about him already, Harlyn. I am not to believe any word he says, but enjoy all of them nonetheless. You flatter me, Ser Dmitry. Do not stop on my bitter cousin's account. Is there room for another?" Ilaria's eyebrows rise upward, but she offers Dmitry a wink on the sly before sending her escort to the bar. In doing so, she spies Hugh, and her eyes widen at the sight of him. When she turns back to the table, she focuses on Nevan during his introduction and dips her head to him with a smile. "Fourth son of Lord Miraz Erenford which would make you—Ser Brennart's younger brother? I have had the pleasure of making his acquaintance and find him charming; I expect a lot of you now, ser. And Lady Anais, it is true that Ser Dmitry is far better behaved from what I have observed. I wager he is nothing but talk."
Hugh flashes a smile at Ilaria. A puzzled one, but a smile nonetheless, as he finishes the ale. The talk here is fascinating, but confusing for him to have walked in on the middle of it. He decides to give a little bow to Ilaria, and he pushes himself from the bar. "Don't let me interrupt, but are you well, My Lady?N
Nevan nods in response to Ilaria's assumption. "That is correct, Lady Ilaria, him and Marvish though whatever I may say of Brennart I'd rather be forced to speak with him over Marvish quite any day of the week. I'm sure my brother would be delighted to hear your opinion of him," cheerily answers Nevan, looking downright impressed with Dmitry afterward. "Oh my! /Inveigle/, this conversation has gone entirely past my limited intelligences, I salute you, Ser," he forwards, his attention drawn to the familiar figure of Hugh as he takes on a look of surprise.
"You again, squire! I'll have you know Ser Harold nearly had me thrown into the wharf earlier today because of you not keeping hold of Lady Serica's maid. Fortunately the matter was resolved diplomatically, with little more humiliation on my part."
"I should hope so. Because a man who fancies himself /clever/ about affairs is much more dangerous than one who does not. I suppose you have my permission to sit. Just watch his hands," Harlyn appends.
"Of course," Dmitry says, his smile slow and sly. His lashes fall low over the bright gleam of his dark eyes. "All talk." It's not clear just who he is flirting with at this point. Ilaria? Anais? Harlyn? The bread and cheese? I bet it's the bread and cheese. "How could I be anything else? An honorable man would never sully a lady's honor. Such ridiculous ungentlemanly behavior I never heard of." He holds up both his hands, showing them to Harlyn; he wiggles his fingers.
"Dmitry," Anais says with some amusement, "Is not the sort of man who gropes. He's the sort of man who encourages young women to slip out of their rooms at night and come to /him/. It's all in the lash flutter, really." She smirks back at the Terrick cousin, setting her tea aside and smoothing a hand absently over her skirt as she looks around the common room.
Hugh blinks and looks at Nevan, mouth dropping open a little, "I don't understand, Ser! I'm not charged with minding anyone's maid. I mind Riordan's horse, but that's it as far as minding goes." Hugh runs a hand though hair and then looks over at Dmitry's fingers. And at Anais' comment, he looks at Dmitry assessingly, however. That's pretty good, if true.
Ilaria chuckles quietly at Harlyn's words, nodding as solemnly as possible as she circles around and takes her seat. "Yes, of course, the lash flutter - you have a point there, Lady Anais. Look at how they kiss his cheeks when his eyelids flutter! If I were not forewarned, I would be swooning again. I must admit, however, I think it is his general bearing, too. Look how straight his back is as he sits. It puts him half a head higher than the men around him." Hazel eyes twinkle with barely suppressed mirth, and the girl reaches up to cover her wide smile with her fingertips.
"Not so! As I was thoroughly informed by Ser Harold, you took charge of seeing to the Lady's decency while she was seperated from Lady Jocelyn. Part of a knight's responsibility is protecting a Lady's reputation, you know! As Ser Dmitry is clearly demonstrating," Nevan explains matter-of-factly, gesturing to Dmitry to illustrate his point in the best possible manner.
"See? The worst sort of menace. Keep your chaperones close, dear Ilaria." With that, Harlyn moves to stand, recovering his stuff as he does.
With a look to the table first, he takes a few steps back, and then he turns to go to his room. "I don't know what you are talking about, Ser. I did what I was supposed to do. What my Ser told me to do. Ser Harold said nothing to me! Good night."
Dmitry leans forward to hook his elbow on the table and prop his chin on his fist, turning his expression into one of innocence. It probably hurts the posture that Ilaria has just been so complimentary about. "I have no idea what I have done to earn such a reputation, ladies," he says ingenuously. When he widens his eyes like that, his unfairly long eyelashes are not as immediate a weapon in his arsenal, but he might weaponize the liquid brown hue of his gaze all the same. "But Ser Nevan is quite correct that it would be my duty, should a lady risk herself by slipping out of her room to find me in the night, to safeguard her reputation with all faith." Note that he does not actually say that this would be accomplished by sending her back.
"By helping her cover her tracks, no doubt," Anais chuckles, shaking her head and sighing softly. "I should probably start thinking about heading back to the keep," she admits, though she doesn't seem in any hurry to start that way just yet.
Ilaria's good cheer falters. Perhaps Nevan's accusation about Hugh has disturbed her peace of mind. She turns to catch a glimpse of the Erenford before her attention jumps to Hugh; she watches intently as the squire backs up a pace or two and makes as if to leave. "Good night to you too, Lord Asterholm!" she calls out quickly before turning once more to the more amusing conversation occurring between Anais and Dmitry. "Oh no doubt that is precisely what he would do, my lady, but only for the girl's sake, you understand. He is so gallant as to do anything to save the lady's reputation. Oh, must you go? And Ser Harlyn, you are leaving too?"
"I must go, yes, but my lady cousin." Harlyn's face goes very seriously composed. "If you should get the overwhelming impulse to enter Dmitry's chambers, for the promise of fluttering lashes, of course, do consult me first?"
"Oh-ho, a tactical withdrawal, eh? Very well," Nevan calls to Hugh as he begins to leave, though despite Ilaria's look Nevan looks rather pleased with himself at the result of that conversation. As Harlyn rises to leave, so does he. "I'm afraid I must agree with Ser Harlyn. There's really not much room left at this table, what with Ser Dmitry's ego taking up all the room. A pleasure meeting you all, and good evening." With a final incline of his head, Nevan makes way for the stairs.
Jocelyn has arrived.
"Well, I couldn't have her getting caught, could I?" Dmitry points out with perfect reasonableness. "I can't imagine how my ego could do aught else, what with these gorgeous ladies plying it with such fine compliments." He waves a hand, dismissing the prospect of his own overweening narcissism, possibly. "Good evening, Ser Nevan; Ser Harry. We'll speak again, I'm sure."
"No must," Anais smiles crookedly to Ilaria, looking out the window. "Just…Well. I'm afraid I've spent most of the day riding, and chatting here, and not having done much in the way of business through the day makes me feel guilty," she admits. "I suppose I could stay a bit longer if you'd like."
Hugh is retreating upstairs with a dark look on his face, and he pauses to turn and look back at Nevan. "I know you are just fu…messing with me. And I dont have to stay for that."
"Goodness, did I step into something?" Ilaria inquires rather quietly, clasping her hands together and raising her eyebrows at Anais. Still, she looks up to Harlyn as he collects his belongings and takes his leave, offering him a sweet smile. "I swear upon all things holy, dear cousin, that I am not given to the overwhelming impulse to enter anybody's chambers except for my own. I am, after all, the goods sister. A good night to you, Ser Harlyn, and good night to you as well, Ser Nevan." Her gaze cuts across the table to Dmitry, and her lips twist into a wry smile. "Yes, Lady Anais, it would be good of you to stay, else I may drown in Ser Dmitry's charm."
"I know." Harlyn puts his hand brief on Ilaria's shoulder. "And I trust you to remain so. Good night." With that, he departs.
Ilaria, Dmitry, and Anais are seated at a table. Ser Harlyn and Ser Nevan both look to be leaving the table in short order, and Lord Hugh is backing up the stairs preparing to flee altogether.
Harlyn has left.
"Stanley!" The call comes from up the stairs. A moment later, the form of Riordan Nayland, his eyes searching the premises for his missing servant. "Ah, Hugh. Have you seen Stanley? I need him to…" He trails off as he sees the various gathered nobles, though his eyes linger perhaps just a touch more then the others, before turning back to his squire. "Nevermind, I'll find him later. Did you see to the tack like I asked?"
Nevan laughs deeply at Hugh's response, reaching over to pat the boy on the back if he'd allow it. "Just a little good natured ribbing, young squire! Thought you'd be used to it having lasted as a page, you'll deal with far worse from me as a knight. You should lighten up!" he encourages, shaking his head as he passes by Hugh to ascend up the stairs first. "Do not let my presence cause you to leave, see, your master calls. But you still owe me a favor! Who knows when I may come to collect? Tomorrow? Next week? Five years? Part of the fun. Good evening to you, squire," speaks Nevan with a wide grin in his last farewell to Hugh, bowing his head to Riordan in passing as he makes his way up the stairs.
It seems that Lord Rafferdy Nayland and Ser Martyn Mallister were trying to make peace with one another earlier this evening in Terrick's Roost's Town Square, but after the poor Nayland had departed for the evening and the Lady Katrin Haigh and Ser Martyn took a walk, the Mallister knight ended the night by stealing a kiss from the Lady. Right in front of the Lady's Septa and maid, no less, who were chaperoning to ensure nothing inappropriate happened. So much for that plan!
Hugh meets Riordan at the bottom of the stairs, "Yes, Ser, I did, and I don't know where Stanley is. He's probably dipping his wick somewhere." That was not supposed to carry. He looks over to Nevan, then and nods, "I can take plenty of ribbing. I just dont feel like being fucked with at the moment. Not in front of…" He pauses. And that was not supposed to carry either.
"Well, I certainly couldn't leave you to Ser Dmitry's tender mercy," Anais laughs softly to Ilaria, shifting in her seat to smooth her skirts. "What sort of friend and hostess would I be?" As Hugh unloads, she presses her lips together, turning away to try to hide her faint smilee.
Returning back to the Inn, Jocelyn steps just inside the entry way. Wide grey eyes blink of the loudness that seems to be coming from the interior. Shouting and other moving around. Removing her shawl from about her, drapping it over her forearm, she watches as Riordan comes down shouting after her servant and laughs softly. Handing off her basket that she had with her to her maid, "Take this up to my chambers, please." she murmurs, dropping the shawl over the contains of the basket.
Dmitry rolls a look across the room at some of the new bustle, his mouth obscured by his fist as his dark eyes light on Riordan. His eyebrows twitch, though if one is not fluent in eyebrow, it may be difficult to determine his thought. He glances back at the ladies at the table. "You know, I believe it is technically possible for me to contain myself," he offers humbly.
"Then he must have a pretty long wick, seeing how his wife is back in the Mire," Riordan says wryly, his smile at odds with the raised eyebrow he gives Hugh. He glances after Nevan as the Erenford heads up the stairs, but rather then ask, he simply nods to Hugh. "If you see him, let him know I am looking for him." He'll then continue on his way into the room, and directs a warm smile at his cousin when he spots her. "Good evening, Jocelyn."
If Ilaria catches the sound of any of Hugh's epithets, she makes no note or mention of them. Instead, she watches Riordan as he ventures down the stairs, and then her attention returns to the guests at the table. Clasping her hands together beneath her chin and resting her elbows on the table, the youngest Haigh offers Dmitry the same amused smile as before. "Must as it is possible for a bird to cease singing, a dog to cease barking. Possible, and yet it may be a violation of nature itself." Now Ilaria giggles, gaze darting to Anais. "I should not hold it against you, Lady Anais. I was only teasing. I have my chaperones with me, of course, and my own room to which I may retreat. Do not delay yourself on my account, please."
Nevan has left.
Hugh looks down at the stairs as he climbs up them. "I will," he answers Riordan. And he too disappears.
Anais doesn't seem to have noticed Riordan yet, turning a wry smile on Dmitry with a shake of her head. "I jest, of course. For all his charm, I have never seen Ser Dmitry act inappropriately. I could wish that more men had his easy gift of charm and an understanding of just how to use it as well."
Hugh has left.
Departing from the side of her maid, Jocelyn steps in the direction of her cousin. Eye glance upward as Hugh takes his leave, lifting her eye brows in question however not voicing it. "Good Evening, My Lord cousin. All is well I hope? Besides the missing of your Stanley." the corners of her lips twitch upward. Now that she is beside Riordan she allows her gaze to drift around the room, noting the other Nobles gathered at a table.
"Ah, now your kindness warms my heart, Anais." Dmitry's smile hooks across his mouth, just an eensy bit sardonic. He leans forward to steal a single grape from the table; he tosses it into the air and catches it in his teeth, then flattening it to the roof of his mouth with his tongue. "Be I singing bird or barking dog, though, that is the true question." His dark eye lingers on the Naylands, thoughtful as he considers Jocelyn. He lifts his fingers to her in a little wave.
"All is well," Riordan confirms to Jocelyn, laughter in his voice. He follows her gaze, and catches the wave from the Terrick lordling. "You know him?" The Nayland murmurs in query to his cousin, glancing aside to her and gauging her reaction. "He is one of the Terricks, is he not?" Before she can answer fully, he will offer his arm to Jocelyn and say, "Well, let's go say hello, shall we?"
"Neither, Ser Dmitry. You are a man, and a good one at that," Ilaria offers to her companion with a smile. She rises up abruptly from the table, however, and dips a curtsey for both Anais and Dmitry. "I am afraid, however, that I must cut this visit short. I was supposed to be about an errand, but thought I would stop to greet you. I bid you both good evening." With that, she signals her companions and they head toward the door, pausing to offer nods to Riordan and Jocelyn as they pass.
Anais' brows rise as Katrin stands, turning to look after the lady. "Take care, Lady Ilaria," she calls to the other woman, though she looks a bit perplexed, turning back to Dmitry afterward. "Was I something I said?" she murmurs, brows furrowing as she checks her dress and reaches up to check her hair.
"Good evening, Lady Ilaria," Dmitry says easily after her departure, rising in the way of courtesy. Standing, he rests his fingertips lightly against the table's edge, and slants a look of humor at Anais. "Your manners seemed reproachless to me," he tells her. It may be noted that his ridiculousness appears to have notched down a little as he speaks to his goodcousin with idle near-seriousness. "Harlyn and I discussed her as a match for Justin. Do you think they'd suit? Women know these things better than I, I'm sure."
"I'm glad to hear it. If there is something you need assistance and can not seem to find th help, I'll be happy to assist if I am able." Jocelyn's eyes had lingered on Dmitry longer than the rest of the Nobles at that table. The little wave recieves a smile in return from the young Nayland woman. Drawing her eyes away and into the direction of her cousin, nodding slowly, "A little. Ser Dmirty Terrick, yes." she informs her cousin. "He did me a kindness at the Seaguard Ball, he danced with me." Placing her hand on Riordans arm she says, "Yes, lets do that." On the way to the table, passing Lady Ilaria, Jocelyn inclines her head in farewell.
Riordan inclines his head to Illaria in passing, his smile polite. He looks curiously after the lady, sure he recognizes her, but hey, then they are at the table. With one Terrick he knows, and another not-so-much. "Lady Anais, good evening. And Ser Dmitry Terrick? My Lady Cousin here says you did her a kindness. You've my thanks for that." The smile he gives to both Terricks contains genuine warmth, and his tone is utterly easygoing.
"I think she's sensible, kind, attractive, and unattached," Anais answers Dmitry honestly, looking after the lady in question. "And I certainly wouldn't mind having her at the Roost. I don't know how well Justin is going to be suited to anyone for a bit, though," she adds, grimacing faintly. "I know he may not have a choice in the matter, but I'd prefer to to see a strained-" But then Riordan and Jocelyn are at the table, and she looks up with a surprised smile. "Lady Jocelyn, Lord Riordan. How good to see you both."
After a slight nod in Anais's direction, perhaps to postpone that discussion to a later time, Dmitry sketches a little bow, on his feet due to his courtesies. "Ser Riordan," he says easily, "you need offer me no thanks; your cousin graced me with the honor of a dance, but to dance with a lovely and courteous lady such as Lady Jocelyn is no hardship on my part for which I need be offered any gratitude." Straightening, he smiles one of his more charming smiles, because he keeps a ready stash of them on hand. "I am pleased to see you again, Lady Jocelyn; I admit, it comes to me a surprise unlooked for here."
Bowing her head slightly and lowering into a curtsy, the greetings are met at the table with Dmity and Anias. Jocelyn glances towards her cousin when he speaks, staring at him a moment, tapping him on the arm lightly before turning towards the two Terricks again. "My Cousin is full of gratitude when it comes to me. Thinks of me as a little sister I would dare say." a touch of color grazes her cheekbones. Her gaze finds her ways back to Dmitry, "A happy surprise to us both then. I had not known if I'd see you during my time here. I trust you are fairing well?"
"Ah," Riordan says, his own eyebrows lifting in a dialect similiar to Dmitry's earlier as he studies the charming knight. "I see." His eyes dance with amusement, and those two little words hold a great weight of meaning. Lips quirked in a small smile, he glances aside to Jocelyn, giving her his most innocent look. Really. Innocent. He glances at the other two. Back him up here!
"Ah," Riordan says, his own eyebrows lifting in a dialect similiar to Dmitry's earlier as he studies the charming knight. "I see." His eyes dance with amusement, and those two little words hold a great weight of meaning. Lips quirked in a small smile, he glances aside to Jocelyn, giving her his most innocent look. Really. Innocent. He glances at the other two. Back him up here! "It is good to see you as well, Lady Anais. I hope you have been well, since we spoke at the tournament?"
"As well as can be expected, my lord," Anais smiles politely to Riordan. "I actually just received a belated nameday gift from my brother Quentyn. A new horse. He's the great dun beast you might have seen outside. Hooves the size of dinner plates," she chuckles before turning her attention back to Dmitry and Jocelyn. "Speaking of dancing, Dmitry, Justin was just asking if I might help teach him a few things. I thought if you had the time to help, it might be helpful for him to have a demonstrator for some of the male parts."
"Well, I do live here," Dmitry says blithely. Blithe is a good adjective for him. His smile flashes again, bright and just a little crooked. "But I am certainly glad to have provided you with a pleasant surprise." He cocks an eyebrow sidelong at Anais. "Does he really not know how to dance?" he asks, plaintively incredulous. And then returns the slant of a look in Riordan's direction. "You aren't here to put a leash and collar on your Lord Rafferdy, are you, Ser?" he asks in an easy, friendly tone. Such a diplomat. Or a brat. Whichever. They rhyme. "It might prove less than timely, but I wouldn't say you nay."
A soft laugh escapes Jocelyn, "Only that our paths might not have crossed, Ser Dmitry. Besides, there is usually something that always requires some attention." Releasing her arm from atop Riordan, her hands come together and fall in front of her. Attention shifting to Lady Anais. "I'm trying to teach Hugh, myself. If I do not have a least a broken toe by the end of this, I will be a might surprised. I'm sure you'll have a much easier time than teaching a young boy."
Anais words clearly catch Riordan's attention, interest plain on his face at her words. "Really?" He glances towards the window, then back to Anais. "Would you mind if I had a look at him?" Cause really, are you surprised? NEW HORSE. While waiting for the answer, he glances over to Dmitry. The Terrick's words about dancing draws a chuckle, and Jocelyn's addition turns it into a laugh — likely given that Riordan himself is rather infamous for his own inability to dance. But when he speaks to the Terrick knight, it is in regards to his other words. "The last time I tried to 'leash' my brother, Ser Dmitry, he was taken captive by the Haighs and Charltons. I try to avoid repeating my mistakes," Riordan offers to Dmitry dryly, though still with a friendly smile on his face. "It frees up my time to invent new ones." He offers a wink to the man, before giving his head a shake. "No, we all came for the exectution, or so we thought." There's a lingering twist of distaste on his lips at the thought of the supposed punishment of the bandits, and he makes no effort to hide it. Still, he doesn't focus on it, and after glancing curiously at Jocelyn for a minute, turns his attention back to Anais. Cause, horse!
"He knows the basics," Anais explains to Dmitry and Jocelyn. "But I think he'd like to learn some more advanced steps. So I do suspect I'll have an easier time of it," she smiles ruefully to the other lady. At Riordan's excitement, she can't help but laugh. "You can if you like, Ser Riordan," she says with some amusement. "Though I'm afraid he's not exactly up to your infamous wild standard. I suspect he was Quentyn's attempt at slipping a plow beast past my father, honestly."
"If you say so; it seems that he might be greatly enamored of your example with the ladies, if his pursuit of Lady Katrin is to grant any clue to his thoughts. Which assumes he has some, other than of her bright green eyes." Dmitry cocks an eyebrow at Riordan, but he leaves any opinion he has on the executions or lack thereof to be elusive, hidden only in the language of his brow. "I'd best keep your horse away from my horse, Anais, for she might decide to follow my terrible example and flirt with him outrageously; there are few enough dun beasts in the stable that it might excite her unduly."
When it came to Rafferdy, Jocelyn had her own opinions. If anyone would to look in her direction while the subject is being spoken of, it obvious that she does. However, she listens silently for what is said around her, a smile tugs more on one side of her mouth than the other. A passing waitress recieves a touch from Jocelyns out stretched hand, a murmur of a cup of wine is ordered. "Luckily, the horse can be distracted with an apple or carrot. But then you may become the object of its flirtation." and then to Anais she asks, "Have you decided on a name for it yet?"
"My example? Saying all the wrong things and dancing horribly? And that actually works for him?" Riordan asks of Dmitry, his eyebrows raising again though this time in amusement. He shakes his head and chuckles softly. "Maybe it's the lack of sleeves that pulls off the ensemble far better then mine own. Or perhaps he just smells less of horse then I do." He looks to Anais then, beaming at her permission. "Nonesense. Your brother probably wanted a horse that would try to bite any bandit that tried to steal it." A beat. "I guess we'll see if he thinks I'm a bandit when I go introduce myself. Though if I come back without a hand, I'll expect your brother to buy me a drink."
"He's a gelding, so I'm afraid she'll be disappointed if that's her goal," Anais chuckles to Dmitry with a wry smile. "And no, I haven't decided on a name for him," she adds to Jocelyn. "I'm trying to give him a chance to show me more about himself before I decide what he ought to be called. And as for biting off hands, I don't think he's very inclined. Unless they have apples. According to Quentyn, he's trained to saddle and plow both and is an easy keeper. I took him out for a ride this morning, and he's actually comfortably gaited, if rather wide across the back. I wouldn't race him, but I wouldn't stand in his way, either."
"Seven forfend," Dmitry says on a light laugh, laying a hand over his heart as he bows his head. "I would prefer not to draw the amorous attentions of a horse anytime soon; perhaps I had best keep my apples and carrots to myself." He tips his head, next, and allows with an easy musing. "It might be the sleeves, as well as it might be anything; I confess it a mystery to me."
"It sounds as if you might doubt your flirtatious abilities. You do not think you could take on the attentions of a horse?" Jocelyn shakes her head once and tsks in a teasing like manner to Dmitry. "Try not to make your hands look neither like apples or carrots, cousin and you may just keep your digits all together." A smile flashes up toward Riordan. The wine cup soon arrives and is offered to the Lady, "Thank you." she says to the wait staff and brings the cup to her lips for a small drink.
"I'll do my best," Riordan tells Jocelyn dryly, yet rather warmly, grinning brightly at her. "Well, I'm going to go introduce myself to Lady Anais' fine mount, and then I need to run some errands of my own." He pauses, before adding with a wink to Jocelyn, "Mayhaps I'll even locate my wayward servant." Turning then to the Terrick knight, he gives a small inclination of his head. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Ser Dmitry." Then to Anais, he says, "And good night to you as well, my lady."
"What a horrifying thought," Dmitry says to Jocelyn with an easy, engaging smile. "I need my hands for so many things. Each digit has its use, even the lowliest." He inclines his head. "Actually, I think it is about time I was leaving, myself; things to do back at the Tower, and I have a sneaking suspicion that my squire may have misplaced himself, in any event."
"And I suppose I'll need to defend my poor horse's honor," Anais says with a small smile, starting to stand. "And then head back to Four Eagles. I've shunned my duties enough for one day. Lady Jocelyn, a pleasure to see you again. Please feel free to come and stop by the tower before you leave us again. Maybe you and Dmitry can help me with teaching Justin," she suggests, smile wry.
The entire group seems to be taking thaie leave, that is accept for Jocelyn. She glances from Riordan as he accounces his intentions first, "If I happen to see Stanley, I'll make mention that you wished to have a word with him and send him your way." Then to Dmitry, "You'll have to do your best to ensure that does happen. This is a serious matter, indeed." a laugh, "Always things to see to. Have a good evening, Ser Dmitry." Lastly, the lovely Anais, "As always, Lady Anais I have enjoyed your company. I'll make sure to come by, thank you, My Lady." With all the manner of good evenings being said, Jocelyn is left with a small smile.