|It Is What It Is|
|Summary:||Roslyn and Kittridge steal a moment alone after news of Charltons on the march clears out the dance.|
|Related Logs:||A Dance At Seagard andWell That's Awkward|
|It is dark, and gardeny. There is a tree.|
|Jun 25, 289|
The night grows late as the dance whirls on, Kittridge as much a fixture on the dance floor as ever. He sits out rarely, partners with anyone and everyone, and seems always to be having a good time, laughing and chatting and drinking, always drinking. He dances with Roslyn twice, in and amongst his other partners, and is just finding her again when the Erenford page's message begins making the rounds. In the commotion that follows, he steps to her elbow and whispers in her ear, and then the pair of them slip off with the rest of the exiting crowd, veering away into the gardens at a convenient moment. Suddenly alone, Kittridge offers his arm, and says, "Well, that's not the end to the evening I was expecting."
"No," Roslyn breathes out, her words but a whisper in the cool air of the night as she takes his arm with a quick glance around them before moving too close to his side to be entirely proper. "Charltons on the move, Erenfords captured. It is likely that they will move on Stonebridge, or, gods forbid, the Mire." A touch of fear threads through her thoughts, her teeth catching at her bottom lip as her fingers tighten against Kittridge's arm.
Kittridge covers her hand with his own, not doing anything to loosen her grip on his forearm, but just resting on top of it. "Probably," he confirms with a nod, "Though I still think actual battle will be a last resort. They probably just want to try to trade hostages, or something. Scare your house into submitting." He's quiet a moment, letting the sounds of their feet on the soft wet grass be it for a moment before he says, "But it would probably be safer not to return to Stonebridge for a while."
Roslyn's lips part on a sigh before she nods simply to Kittridge's assurances, answering a quiet, "Even they would not be so brave to open with actual war in the Riverlands. They shall want to draw us into making the wrong move, to put them in the right." She shakes her head as if to chase the thoughts away, bitting back down on her lower lip before she adds softly, "Gods, no. Perhaps the Terricks will be kind enough to extend another invitation."
"Unless they think themselves already in the right," Kittridge replies slowly, "Which they may. I spoke with Lord Ramsey Charlton, one of those held in the Tower, and he said they weren't even asked to leave, or offered the chance to depart Stonebridge peacefully before they were all imprisoned. It seems like a pretty flimsy case your family has against them. But I'm no legal scholar," He says, and shrugs. He lifts a brow and looks at her at the last, and says, "You are always welcome at Kingsgrove. Or I'm sure you could stay here in Seagard if you would prefer that."
"Thank you, Kit. I would—If I were to stay in your home, I am not sure that I could keep myself from you each night," admits Roslyn quietly, a soft smile finally making an appearance at that subject as she glances quickly around them to judge how far they have wandered into the gardens. "It would only be a matter of time before more than only your brother found us together." Her head tips slightly at Kittridge's point, answering, "It is still a large step to take over what actions we may have done. And we do have a case, whether it may be flimsy or not."
They have wandered a ways, speaking more slowly than they walk, far enough that he seems comfortable with lifting her hand from his arm to kiss her knuckles. "You can stay at the inn, then," he says, smiling crookedly, "It's very nice, I promise. And I won't sneak out and visit more than every other day." He's half-teasing, and returns her hand to his arm, saying, "But maybe Seagard would be the wiser choice. I would like you to see Kingsgrove, though. If— if it may become your home. And because everyone should see it," he goes on, more lightly, "It's not as big as the Roost or as busy as Stonebridge, but it's the prettiest by far." Their case, and the Charltons', he leaves aside for the moment.
"To visit my maid," Roslyn corrects with a hint of humor playing at her words as she repeats the rumor being bandied about. Hand returned to his arm, her thumb drags along the fine material of his sleeve in a gesture in turn. "I would like to see your home as well, and see this prettiness that you and your sister both speak of." She pauses, a quiet laugh touching at her words when she adds, "Do you remember that you spoke to me of it at the Mire? No castle, either, you said."
Kittridge smiles, ducking his head a little as he replies, "We are all extremely proud of the prettiness of our home, and never miss a chance to brag about it, I'm afraid. I will hope when you see it, you'll forgive us, and not think we've ruined it by building it up too highly. And yes, I remember," he nods, smile crooked, "No castle, anymore, and no towers, unless you count the gatehouse, which I don't think you should."
Her lips remain in that lingered smile as Roslyn answers softly, "I will forgive you anything, Kit. But, I trust that it is as pretty as you say and will be, when I see it." They are far enough now that she finally turns to him, stopping to capture a quick, stolen kiss in the lush darkness of the gardens.
"Anything?" Kittridge inquires, before she turns to steal that kiss. He lowers his head to make the second easier, fingers curling round her waist and upper arm to draw her closer for the third.
Melding against him where she is drawn close, Roslyn's fingers lift as if drawn as always to thread into the soft length of his hair as they share those kisses between them. She murmurs after the third, "Anything, but I rather you not attempt to test that statement."
Rather than do so right away, Kittridge simply kisses her again (four), and then for a while longer after that (five through ten). "I am sorry," he eventually says, deciding to hazard a test of her forgiveness already, "About yesterday."
"What are you sorry for, Kit?" Roslyn questions, a bit breathless as her fingers play in his hair. It seems a genuine question rather than to press him to say it, her gaze lingering on his lips instead.
"I'm sorry," he replies softly, "That I can't— tell you that I feel the same. As you do. I wish that I did," he says, fingers lifting to touch her jaw, thumb swiped across her cheekbone, "And in time I think I may. But just at the moment…I don't want to lie to you," Kittridge says, "You deserve better than that. But I do think we could probably be happy together, if together is how we end up."
"Oh." Roslyn seems not to have much more of a response than that as the silence spins out between them, swallowing hard at something even as she leans forward to press her lips to the corner of his mouth briefly. She murmurs, finally, "I will not lie and say that I did not wish you loved me as well, but it does not change how I feel of you. Even if we do not marry."
"It'd be strange if you didn't. Wish that," Kittridge says, nodding. He leans his forehead against hers for a moment, and asks quietly, "Would it have been better if I hadn't brought it up? I thought it seemed… rude. To just never reply at all."
"No, Kit. It—It is what it is," Roslyn answers, her breath caught briefly for all that her lips twist into a wry, inward smile. "It is good that we are clear. Better, even, that you brought it up."
"I am sorry," Kittridge offers again, pressing his lips to the corner of her wry little smile, "And…I mean, for what it's worth, I do think that I might. Could. And that either way we could be happy. Or I could be, I guess I shouldn't speak for you." His nose brushes hers, and he says, "Anyway. I just… I didn't want you to think that I hated the idea. Just because I avoided it yesterday."
Roslyn turns her head into that press of lips, her own capturing his in a warm, passionate kiss. It may not be the most appropriate response to an apology, but she answers, "Thank you. And, I would. Be happy with you."
Appropriate response or not, Kittridge doesn't seem to mind it. This he can reciprocate unreservedly, and does, fingers curling more tightly around her side and the top of her hip, leaning even that shade closer. After she answers, he kisses her once more, and then suggests, "Do you want to find somewhere to sit? Or head back?"
"To sit?" Roslyn teases softly, the hint of suggestion to the whispered words as her fingers slide against his neck. The smile catches back at her lips, heat warming her cheeks and gaze as it traces over his features.
Kittridge grins back, and corrects, "To sit… on my lap?" He turns his head to kiss the inside of her wrist, stubble tickling as he says, "Or we can sneak back to camp. Or into town to an inn or something. Whatever you like," he says, adding with a smirk, "I suppose if I'm saying whatever you like I should offer to escort you back to your own tent, too, if you'd rather."
Her tongue wets her lips as his lips brush against her wrist, Roslyn's watching that bit of contact carefully even before she murmurs without thinking, "I want you now, Kit, not later. I want—." She looks around the gardens again, the darkness obscuring their surroundings as much as it obscurs them so far into them. "Let's find somewhere to sit."
Kittridge grins at that response, and nods. "Let's," he agrees, more than happy to entertain this particular request. He takes her hand off his neck, fingers closing around hers as he looks around, and then picks a direction. It might be at random. Around a hedge he leads, and almost smack into a tall shrub of some sort, of a low-hanging tree, before he catches sight of a branch at the last second and stops short, holding up a hand in front of his face. "I can't see anything," he admits, laughing a little, "And I have no idea where I'm going. So how about here?"
"Here," Roslyn agrees eagerly, her fingers threading through his. Despite the laughter in her breath, and the hint of desire only moments before, she does not take that first move towards initiating the contact between them. She asks, instead, with wry humor, "How does one do this discreetly here?"
Kittridge tugs on her fingers, drawing her closer, other hand lifted to sweep her hair back over her shoulder so he can press lips to ear. "We don't want to ruin your dress," he replies, words a soft breath against her skin, "So… either you should be on top, or we should find something around here to lean against. I was hoping for a bench, but we may have to make do."
Head tilting naturally to allow him access, a shiver slides along Roslyn's spine at his words even as her free hand settles lightly on his hip. Her gaze, bright and heated already with want, skims over his shoulder to find that tree the branch belongs to. Her lips pull into a smile, and she answers lowly, "Take me against the tree. Before we have to return to Charltons and Naylands, Stonebridge and marriages."
"That will do," Kit agrees, lips flaring into a brief grin before they're pressed to hers again. He leads the way the few paces to the tree trunk, feeling ahead of him with a hand, holding the occasional branch out of the way as she follows. What follows is hurried sex against a tree, noises smothered between them so as not to attract undue attention in the abandoned gardens.
Roslyn head falls back against the trunk as she basks briefly in the moment following it. "That was silly of us," she informs Kittridge, for all that her lips cannot help but pull into a smile as well. SOMEONE COULD JUST WALK IN.
"Probably," Kittridge agrees. He doesn't seem overly concerned. He presses her to the tree trunk once more with a lingering kiss, and then eases back, offering steadying hands until she's got her feet under her again. Then it is time to fix pants, and help with smoothing skirts, and stretch a little before offering his arm once more. "Where can I escort you this evening, Lady Roslyn?" he asks, teasingly formal.
It takes a moment, her legs still somewhat shaky even as Roslyn draws straighter despite it. Once she has tucked curls into the proper places, she accepts the arm with a laugh, answering, "I should return to the Nayland encampment, my Lord Groves."
"That's a shame," Kittridge replies, "But I suppose they'll miss you if you don't." He reaches up to smooth one last stray curl and then says, "Should I take you there, or will there be a maid lurking about here somewhere waiting for you?"
"If you would not mind escorting me, I would rather your company than not," Roslyn says quietly, a warmth to her words that attempts at friendly humor for all the depth of feeling that may linger below that surface.
"Of course," Kittridge agrees easily, "Though we should probably find somebody who looks like a chaperone before we get where anyone notices," he says, "We've done so well not getting caught so far, I'd hate to ruin it now the tourney's over."
Roslyn nods, a quick gesture as her fingers curve possessively over his forearm and she replies, "Senna will be around somewhere nearby. I would not want to press our luck."
Kittridge nods, smiling briefly at her hold on his arm. "Me neither," he says, "Senna's been an awfully good cover. Hopefully I can keep seeing her at the Roost or here at Seagard for a while yet."
"Likely, she shall stay with me," Roslyn muses quietly, "And I do not see why you could not, if you wanted to."
"Good," says Kittridge, flashing a quick smile at her, "We'll see what we can make work."
A laugh meeting that smile softly, Roslyn only agrees, "Good." And thus shall they find Senna, her hand still possessively on his arm though likely she shifts it before they draw near others in their walk back to the Nayland encampment.