|Kiss Me I'm Shitaced|
|Summary:||Fenrir takes Orlagh out for a night on the tiles.|
|Date:||5 February 2012|
|Related Logs:||Any and all of the Fenrir/Orlagh/Anders plotting|
|Tavern - Seagard|
|A common drinking establishment on the Waterfront. Music, ale, dark corners, etc.|
|February 5th 289 A.L.|
"Amazing t'ing, trouble. Always I go lookin' for trouble, an' when I find it people say it ain't dere." — Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay
Evening has long since fallen, and the city of Seagard is full of soldiers - some patrolling, but many more just out carousing in these last nights before they board ships bound for the Iron Isles. There is a certain atmosphere in the air of 'eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you shall die' — and there are many grateful Seagard women out with their saviors, all too pleased to show their appreciation for the men who saved them from becoming Ironborn thralls. It's a good time to be a soldier.
Fenrir himself is dressed in his finest linen breeches and a pale blue tunic - likely mended and cleaned by the very woman he is taking out, this evening. He is unarmed, for once, apart from the knife dangling at his hip - but then, he rarely needs more than that knife, it must be said. Leading the way toward one of the cleaner-looking taverns, he is all solicitation - offering his arm, pointing out pitfalls in the cobblestone road, etc. He pauses outside the tavern and turns, a broad grin creasing his features.
"Look there, sweetling." He points out toward the harbor, where - for once - clear skies reign supreme, stars glittering and reflecting off the black water. "Tell me that ain't a sight that calls up home, eh? Now, don't fret about this place, we have patrols coming in fair often to break up any trouble, and it's all serjeants or even knights. Nobody else can afford it." A subtle brag that, after all, this is an influential man Orlagh is out with. He opens the door to the tavern, and music washes out, a swift and lively beat accompanied by the sounds of stomping feet and people laughing. It doesn't seem like too awful of a place.
Rather drab, by comparison - certainly in the appreciative eyes of some of the comely women they pass by, she has noticed, who regard the Master-at-Arms with open interest - Orlagh is attired in her usual palette of plain brown wool and clean white linen, with her long tresses still swept, ever neatly, back in a long braid. Maybe she has nothing better? But more likely, it's a subtle implication that while she has an evening free of duties.. she never forgets her obligations. And to be the handmaiden of a noble Lady, well. That demands proprietry, wherever you are.
The girl has accepted the offered arm; it's only polite. But she keeps her hand only lightly in the crook of Fenrir's elbow, allowing him to guide, yet perhaps not lead. She certainly doesn't lean upon him. Still. May as well make the best of it. Following his gesture out across the bay, Orlagh permits a slow-burning smile, inclining her head in assent before speaking out loud. "It does. Though there's no ice to be seen." Oddly enough, she seems to lament this observation.
Their arrival at the tavern, greeted with warmth, music and merriment, has her fingertips tightening ever so slightly upon the man's sleeve. Things are simpler when you have purpose; tasks to see to. Being left to one's own devices and desires? An entirely different story. But she agreed to this and she'll see it through. Swallowing, she steps through the doorway alongside the taller soldier.. only to be forced to shift out of the path of a few departing patrons. She blushes furiously at finding herself pressed to Fenrir's arm, withdrawing again as soon as she is able.
Those women might as well not exist - tonight, the master-at-arms cannot seem to take his eyes off his companion for long, as though she were wearing the finest court attire imaginable. Fenrir looks down at the young woman with some amusement as she remarks on the water. He nods after a moment, before pointing to a burnt husk of a Mallister galley. "Squint a bit, and it could be ice at dusk," he observes. "Not the right color, of course, but we got to make the best of things, eh?" Surely he, too, misses home fiercely.
But he's soon enough trying to contain laughter as the pressure on his arm increases, and then the poor young woman is pressed against him, and he makes no comment at how quickly she becomes scarce once again. "Alright, then, dove.." He leads the way into the dimly-lit tavern, where most of the floor-space is taken up by dancing. It's not a courtly sort of place, as it turns out - the dancers are spinning and stamping, shouting in time to the music, ale splashing everywhere. What it is, however, is good-natured. One man gets a little too grabby with one of the serving girls, and is very quickly escorted to the back-door by a pair of gentlemen wielding blackthorn clubs.
Making his way deeper inside, Fenrir presses on to the bar, using his free hand to lightly part the crowd - and some of the men he passes pause to greet him, acquaintances from other camps and even a few serjeants from the Flint force. One of the priveleges of rank, that - if you're not training, Fenrir allows his serjeants an evening or two a week out on the town. "What'll you drink, Orlagh? Ale? Or wine?" They reach the bar easily enough, and the lanky master-at-arms is already reaching for his coinpurse.
While Fenrir pauses, here and there, to pass pleasantries with his fellows, Orlagh's blue eyes are watching the dancers. Not, surprisingly, with fear or trepidation. If anything, it seems she might be trying to follow their steps; no doubt taking note. she's hardly of high birth, really - such establishments are not utterly foreign to her. Far from it. But being here on his arm? That's new.
Distracted as she watches the handsy troublemaker being escorted out, smiling faintly to herself as the task is seen to with jovial good-humor all round, it takes the girl a moment to realise she has been addressed. Those blue eyes are vaguely startled as she looks up to the soldier, then to the barkeep. Oh. When did they reach the bar? She must have been drifting all too easily along with her companion's steps.
"Oh.. um.. wine, please." It's a rare occasion when Orlagh gets to drink anything so fancy. So why not?
Fenrir seems to sense the woman's mood lifting a bit by the atmosphere of the place; a metaphorical breath is released. What would he have done if she refused to at least enjoy herself? "Wine it is, sweetling, wine it is. Oi! A goblet of wine for my girl here and a mug of ale for myself." He pauses before offering an explanation to the woman beside him. "Wine goes right to my head, see, and then I'd be falling over if I tried to dance."
He grins as the bartender produces a goblet of decent seeming wine, if not the sort one might serve the nobility. That grin remains in place as he accepts his mug of ale, taking a long draught. His own gaze drifts to the dance-floor, noting the steps with an approving nod. "The music's good, aye?" He practically has to shout over the amiable mayhem going on around them. "I figure we finish our drinks, then maybe you let me try not to break your toes? That suit?" He seems genuinely anxious to please, leaning over to murmur into the woman's ear. "If you ain't having fun in an hour's time, dove, you just tell me and I'll walk you back. No hard feelings."
Hmm. She should have considered the very likely notion that the wine will go straight to her head, too. Oh well. She'll just sip slowly. With a smile of thanks toward the barkeep as he sets the drinks down, Orlagh tucks a stray wisp of her white-blonde hair back behind her ear, shyly forcing herself to look up at the man she is with and nodding in assent rather than shouting back over the clamour. Letting her gaze stray back to the dancers.. yes, the young handmaiden does seem to be relaxing. It's not a bad place. It's clean and dry and warm. And the focus seems to be more on the music and merriment than the few dark corners within the tavern. Though, in fairness, those are seeing some novel use, too. She just chooses to quickly avert her gaze from that.
But.. oh. The warmth of Fenrir's suddenly closer proximity, a breath across her cheek as he leans forward to speak, has Orlagh abruptly rooted to the spot, fingertips pausing in their absent drift down the side of her neck, task done. She can't help the swift inhalation. But she remains still. And when he doesn't press further than murmured words, she regains her composure. she really doesn't trust his intentions at all, does she? But who could blame her. He has quite the reputation, back home. "..no, I.." Too hasty. Clearing her throat, the girl reaches for her goblet of wine and makes use of it as a tenuous barrier, raising it between them as a light toast. "..I'm fine, Master Fenrir. It's a perfectly nice place." No harm in a little courage, though. She takes a deep sip of her wine, thereafter, eyes flitting away again.
"I'm glad to hear that," murmurs Fenrir a bit too fervently. Surely he's not nervous? Given the man's reputation, it's a certainty that he has taken a dozen women to such establishments over the past sixteen years. A dozen or more. He takes a long draught of his ale, exhaling slowly as he swallows and grinning even more broadly. "Damn, that's good. I mean.. 'scuze my language, Orlagh. I do -try- to watch my tongue." He smiles crookedly at that. "I'm just no good at it." %r%rLeaning back up against the bar as he sips, he casts a sidelong glance at Orlagh. "You're lovely tonight." The tune changes to something more intimate, out on the dance floor, and men grab their lovelies up for a dipping and whirling tune common among smallfolk everywhere. "Oi, I know this!" His features light up as he hums along to the music.
Swiping a lingering touch of moisture from her lower lip with the tip of her tongue, the girl lets her gaze drift, somewhat gratefully, toward the distraction of the dancers and their merriment, still firmly clasping her goblet before her chest. "You needn't apologise, Master Fenrir. After a lifetime spent among soldiers of your training, do you truly imagine I still have such delicate sensibilities?" The remark is absent-minded, but no less true. Orlagh doesn't pretend to be what she is not.. and a youngster working in the kitchens, back home, hears many a choice phrase. Even from their fellows.
Eventually, perhaps feeling that she is being improper in the presence of her 'host' for the evening, the handmaiden turns her blue eyes back up and aside to Fenrir's, chancing a tentative smile.. right up until he compliments her. Then the expression becomes one of.. well, guarded amusement, is the best way to describe it. "Hardly." she dismisses the words, not unkindly. Merely matter-of-fact. "I am the same as ever." True enough. Still in her working attire, with her fair hair braided neatly back. As to the matter of music? A safer topic, certainly. "I.. don't think I have heard it." she admits, pausing momentarily to regard the Master-at-Arms' warming expression.
"You're lovely every night, precious." Fenrir grins broadly and lifts his mug to his lips, taking a lengthy gulp - downing half the contents in a go. "Finish your drink!" he encourages the young woman, reaching out to wipe a finger along the rim of her goblet. "And I'll teach it to you. It's a good 'un, they danced this at Robert's coronation. By his command, even." And the young master-at-arms was there, those years ago - fresh from the bloody battlefields, a face in the crowd of triumphant warriors and king-makers.
"I remember the man was so drunk, he near to fell on top of Queen Cersei - and who could blame him, poor fellow? He'd just realized what he'd bought himself. A throne, and all the weight of it." Surprisingly philosophical, but then Fenrir likely has a great deal of sympathy for the warrior-king - it is much easier to fight than to rule, after all. Scraping a hand across his face - and managing to clear most of the ale from his would-be beard, the lean soldier reaches across to lay his hand atop Orlagh's shoulder, just where the neck meets the bone. His voice has a slightly husky timbre to it as he reiterates, "Drink up. And let's dance."
Well-used to such outrageous flattery, or at least the likelihood of it, from the tall man, Orlagh doesn't bother to argue the point further. She just ignores him, this time, despite her sapphire eyes lingering upon him as he downs half his ale. They widen a fraction in concern when he bids her do the same, or similar, then flit downward to what remains of her wine. It's full nearly to the brim, light gleaming dully from the rich crimson surface. She's not one to be outdone, though. Passing Fenrir a last dubious glance upward through her lashes, she lowers her head that her lips might meet the goblet halfway. Not exactly the best method, if she truly intends to gulp it down. But she's taking several lengthy pulls, in the time it takes for her companion to ramble on about the King and his beautiful wife.
In fact, she only stops drinking when that hand settles on her shoulder, spluttering a quiet cough and promptly pressing the back of one hand to her lips to discreetly stifle the sound. "..Seven hells, that's strong.." Her murmured curse might come as something of a surprise to the Master-at-Arms, especially since he's so obviously on his 'best behaviour' tonight. But.. well, it is strong! And sweet. And heady. Blinking a few times, Orlagh then slowly sets the goblet and the last little mouthful of wine aside, back on the bar, with the sort of care one assumes when it's possible they're going to spill something. "Oh.. no… I really don't know it, Master Fenrir. I'd only end up treading on your foot." Still.. the girl is at least smiling now. Maybe she's just playing at the modest thing?
Fenrir lifts his hand from the woman's shoulder, but only to reach out absently and wipe a tiny jewel of crimson wine from Orlagh's lip with his thumb. He lifts it to his lips, sucking briefly, before casting down the rest of his ale with the other hand and setting it aside. The man smiles wolfishly now as he watches Orlagh, hand coming back down to her shoulder, gentle pressure applied to the back of her neck as he gestures expansively toward the dance floor with his other. "It's an easy one, lovely. You just follow me, and if you step on my toe, more's the better. Take a look out there."
And it's true - the dance floor is full of bumbling serjeants and their women, the soldiers clearly more used to the steps of a pikewall than a dance floor, but they're trying their best. The atmosphere is downright merry - a sort of 'eat, drink, for tomorrow we shall die' festivity infecting the crowd. Fenrir's tone, though gentle, has a certain authority to it - it seems that, as host, it is his responsibility to guide the steps of their own 'dance'. "Just one twirl, and then more wine."
The girl looks sidelong toward her discarded goblet, equal parts guilty and uncertain. "I really shouldn't have any more wine.." she protests. But with just the right amount of longing that implies she's loathe to pass up such a rare opportunity. Usually, a small cup of ale or mead is considered a treat. Actual full measures of wine? Unheard of. Which explains why it did, indeed, go -straight- to her head. She barely seems to notice the gentle sweep of the man's thumb across the plush softness of her lower lip, the touch drawing her blue eyes back up toward him only belatedly and with naught but a blithe smile. He's considerably taller than her, requiring that she tilt her face upward when he steps closer in order to maintain the carefully focused attention.
It's the realisation, in this proximity, that his hand has settled at the vulnerable curve of her nape, that is eventually responsible for a partial regathering of her wits. And, alas, for the soft 'oh..' that is borne upon a quiet exhale. "Umm.." Tearing her gaze from Fenrir for a fleeting look toward the raucous dancing, then back just as quickly, the handmaiden makes her decision. "..alright. If you're sure." A sudden grin tugs at her lips, in response to some unspoken yet plainly amusing thought. Ah, alcohol is a wonderful thing. Aside from that, she simply waits to be led, when he is ready.
And lead he does. "I'm always sure," he quips, before reaching out to seize Orlagh's hand in his much-larger one - the man's palm is as soft as leather, a ring of calluses around his thumb and index finger betraying a life spent grasping at weaponry, but his grip on hers is surprisingly gentle. The other hand trails down her shoulder briefly, down the back of her arm, before fixing itself with a shocking surety to her hip. Rather than walking the woman out to the dance floor, Fenrir leads with a whirling pivot, leaving her to either join in the rambunctious dance or be dragged.
And suddenly they're out among the revelers, the sound of laughter and the merry thumping of a hundred feet a cacophany fit to drown out even the musicians. But no one seems to mind - Fenrir whirls around in perfect rhythm with the lively steps, brushing elbows with other men as he guides Orlagh through the first few paces, letting her find her own feet beneath her. It's a simple farmer's style dance without much sense to it beyond the spinning and dipping, and he bends his head down to speak - loudly, but still barely carrying over the music - against the woman's ear. "Now this is how to live, ainnit?!"
A sharp gasp is drawn when she finds herself whirled into the midst of the lively dance and Orlagh unthinkingly tightens her grip, both upon the man's hand, already taken, and his upper arm where the fingers of the opposite have settled, clinging to the fabric of his attire as she's swung around and precariously off-balance. She knows he won't let her fall. Not really. But that doesn't stop her heart skipping a beat, all the same. As Fenrir lets his own palm glide to a rest at her hip, the girl looks slowly up at him through golden-tinged lashes, that familiar hint of rosy hue warming her cheeks. Wine or company? Perhaps both.
Stubbornly determined as ever, though, she sets her mind, a little fuzzily, to trying to keep up with the Master at Arms and not tripping over either his feet or her own. Alright, admittedly it is quite good fun. And growing up she certainly knew how to relax in such surroundings. It just takes a little time, nowadays, for the handmaiden to remember that she can be herself without reproving looks. At least every once in a while. By the time her partner is leaning down to speak against her ear, she has raised her head again, no longer looking at their booted steps and instead loosing a gentle laugh, nodding by way of response. This time, when she looks at him, there's a telling gleam of good humor to her lapiz hues.. and they linger upon Fen's own with less anxiety. No doubt the pair are attracting a little attention from onlookers; all Northern fair hair and whirling skirts, moving with ease through the crowd. It may not be an elegant, courtly affair.. but they're carrying it off with gusto.
For a bare moment, as the young woman's sapphirine gaze meets Fenrir's own glacial-hued eyes, the man's breath catches, something akin to an electric shock running through him - he almost misses a step, but recovers swiftly, spinning around dipping Orlagh - pulling her against his own hips as he does so, the better to keep her balance. Or at least, that's the overt purpose. A few of the nearby couples have stopped to watch the pair, one woman leaning her head fondly against her partner's chest, perhaps reminiscing back to a first dance of her own.
For indeed, with their bright hair and fair features, the two cut a striking figure on the dance floor - particularly given the way Fenrir's typical scruff meshes with Orlagh's understated elegance. He beams as she picks up the steps of the dance, throwing back his head and letting out a rumbling laugh of pure good humor. Beneath the v-neck of his tunic, a few strands of russet chest hair are briefly visible, his scent in close proximity sharply clean and masculine. As his head lowers, he leans once more to murmur into the woman's ear. "Any other man would kill to have you dance with him. See 'em staring?"
With the wine warming and tingling through her, to the very tips of her fingers and back, the girl seems to find her stride; making up for what she may lack in actual talent with a vivacious approach to the dancing as she relaxes. The spin and dip elicits another broad grin, revealing youthful dimples and a flash of white teeth, before Fenrir's drawing her easily upward again and into that almost improper press against his leanly-muscled body. It's Orlagh's turn, then, to snatch a sudden breath.. for all the good it does her. Flooded by the awareness of his warmth and scent, she closes her eyes this time as he leans in again, only because she knows he won't see. And it's that or stumble, really.
"Then I would wish them the best of luck and grant them no favors, Master Fenrir.. your reputation isn't built on dancing alone." Drawing back enough to raise her eyes and study him again, she affords the Master at Arms a sudden jab with her words. "..thankfully." She's teasing, of course. He's doing surprisingly well in leading her through the steps. And she's doing equally well to follow. Truth be told, she hadn't noticed any particular admirers, and she makes no attempt now to pick any from the crowd; perhaps pointedly holding her partner's gaze steadfast.
A surprisingly mischievous laugh purrs from Fenrir's chest as he twirls with Orlagh, the graceful young woman light in his arms - the feel of it is like a soft rumbling, noticeable as he draws the woman against him once more for another spin. "No," he agrees - perhaps deliberately misunderstanding her - "I ain't." The hand on her hip moves to more firmly enwrap her waist, his muscular forearm pressing against the small of her back.
And like Orlagh, Fenrir has no eyes for anyone else in the room just now - his features are rapt on hers, the firelight catching and reflecting the golden stubble of his cheeks and glinting briefly off his canine grin. He inhales briefly, aquiline nostrils flaring as he takes in the scent of her, like a predator fixing to leap, nimbly guiding the woman through a sudden canal of space on the dance floor, the pair pirhouetting with each step.
It's the wine! Has to be. Normally, the girl would be politely extricating herself from such an intimate embrace, dance or no dance. But as fenrir's arm circles her waist, she simply leans a little further against him under the silent behest, still half-smiling up at him, entranced by the simple play of light across the handsome soldier's features. Gradually, though, his reply sinks in and brings with it a rush of awareness. Likely the most roguish man in the household, and not only is she light-headed from wine, she's held dangerously against him, laughing and studying his wide blue eyes and he thinks she's speaking of something else entirely. Not good. Not good at all.
Then again, how often does she get to be bad, now that she's grown? Watching Fenrir as he draws the scent of her in hungrily, she deliberately slows her steps, forcing him to frame his mind to halting as her palm slides to rest upon his chest. Her fingertips just barely brush the sun-bronzed skin above the collar of his tunic, but she lets that pass. "..you promised more wine." Ah, a diplomatic way to free herself.
A diplomatic way to free herself - and a dangerous thing to remind Fenrir of, when his blood is so clearly heated. He draws to a halt slowly, and with definite regret, hand releasing hers to reach up and tap a finger against her nose lightly. "So I did," agrees the cocky master-at-arms. He doesn't relax the arm around her waist, as she might have hoped; indeed, the man turns, using that hand to guide her back toward the bar, his other politely steering away anyone foolish enough to occupy the space he wishes to stride through.
Though the grip on Orlagh is by no means tight, the way he moves causes his side to brush against hers, the taut muscles along his ribs connecting with her shoulder. She could likely escape, if she chose - his hand is open, resting against her hip companionably, warm even through the fabric of her dress. As they near the bar, he raises his voice in something more akin to his usual soldierly bark. "Oi! One goblet of strongwine and a tankard of your best ale, mate!"
Ah well. Can't win 'em all. At least she's not held quite so breathtakingly now. Allowing the man to guide her through the crowd, passing subtle smiles of thanks or apology as needed as Fenrir clears a path, the girl doesn't seem overly perturbed by the idea of more wine.. and that's a dangerous implication, in itself. Offering the Master at Arms a pleased grin aside as he hollers his order, Orlagh folds her arms comfortably on the edge of the bar, waiting for the drinks to arrive. "Well now, you've had your dance, Master Fenrir. What will your next request be?" Considering how long it took him to be granted this one, he better make it good. It might take years. "Oh.. and while I am feeling bold.." Keeping one elbow on the surface, she pivots on a heel to better face him again, looking suddenly perplexed. "..what is that smithy song about..?" Oh Gods, she -still- doesn't know? Awkward…
Fenrir's face loses all color as he stares at the young woman; the tankard of ale is pressed into his hand before he even looks at the bartender, and without removing his gaze from Orlagh, he raises it to his lips and takes a long gulp. Ah, there. Liquid courage is the way to go, for a conversation like this. His features lose their whey-pasty appelation, returning somewhat to normal, and a slightly-uneasy grin creases his features. "You better drink up. Wine's getting warm. As for what I'll be asking for next.." Fenrir's gaze drops to the young woman's lips, then back to her eyes, before he swallows and takes another long gulp. Huskily, he says, "Drink up. Then we'll see." He still hasn't explained that song, has he? "..About the young smith.." The master-at-arms leans in closer, his hand still around the woman's waist, and begins to murmur in her ear - his forehead tilts in a bit, brushing against her temple as he speaks.
Accepting her wine, murmuring polite thanks to the innkeep - who offers the smiling girl a toothy grin for her manners - Orlagh takes a dainty sip, enough to make spilling less likely in the near future. Then she just sets the goblet down, fingertips resting lightly on its base. Does she notice Fenrir's wandering gaze? Sort of. That is to say, she's aware of him looking at her. But she fails to place any meaning upon the subtle glance to her rose-stained lips. For now.
Brushing a wisp of hair back from her cheek, tucking it behind her ear, the handmaiden maintains her blithe, unassuming smile as she watches the soldier drink so heartily.. and it lingers even when he leans in, her head canting just a little to better hear him. The simple gesture brings that mouth he was so thoughtfully studying unfairly close to his stubble-rough cheek while he's murmuring into her ear. Slowly, though, as she listens, her expression sobers somewhat; her angelic eyes widening. "Oh.." is breathed, hushed at first, before she draws back unhurriedly from the Master at Arms, comically horrified. "Ohhhhhh." Ah, the penny has dropped. Finally. Doing her best to ignore a sudden blush that scorches across her cheekbones, the girl averts her gaze, scooping up her wine for a few gulps. Damn the effect it seems to have on numbing wits and dulling senses.. frankly, right this moment, she'd rather be blissfully unaware of.. some things.
Despite himself, Fenrir tosses back his head and roars at the woman's expression, his laughter surprisingly powerful for such a lean figure. Azure gaze sparkling with amusement, the master-at-arms pounds his fist on the bar-top, hard enough to make his mug of ale jump. Oh, that was worth actually having to say it. He didn't stop her from pulling away, but his fingers do trail up to her chin in a gentle attempt to guide her gaze back to his as the laughter fades from his voice. "Come now, darling, don't be hiding. You're pretty enough to stop a man's breath - it's fair cruel to make him go hunting for his own death."
But he seems to realize that, if he's to keep this conversation - and night, for that matter - moving forward at all, he needs to draw back a bit, keep things at least halfway savory. Or he'll lose the poor innocent altogether. In a kinder tone, Fenrir adds "If it helps, lovely, it's shocked and appalled I am that they sang it of me at all. And fair liars they are, as well. I was no more a prize than any boy my age."
Orlagh isn't entirely lacking in humor - she has the good grace to offer a sheepish smile when the man starts laughing at her, setting her goblet down after a last grateful pull of the rich wine it contains. But it does take the gentle insistence of his touch to draw her gaze back toward his own, her head turning a little at the behest of his fingertips. Again, she ignores the flattery.. charming as it may be, it's likely seen plenty of use over the years, if the tales she has heard are anything to go by. "..you didn't ever protest, though." she points out, fairly, in regard to the singing kitchen maids she once worked alongside. What boy ever denies those rumors that make him a man in the eyes of his comrades?
Comfortably held, poised by the mere presence of his quiet touch at her jaw, the handmaiden lapses into silence again for a long moment, seeming to study his features with a new air of understanding. Probably because she's translating the real meaning of the damned rhyme, in her mind. But she manages not to fall into the trap of curiosity, as far as things of those nature go. This is not the company in which to admit a lack of.. experience. Even through a wine-addled haze, she knows that much. "..you're not going to make me dance again, are you..?" Steering the conversation back to firmer footing, the fair-haired girl musters a faint grin.
Fenrir's fingers linger on the woman's chin as she looks to him, his elbow resting comfortably atop the bar; his index finger traces the underside of her jaw as she looks up at him, his sharp eyes studying her with a friendly shrewdness that the ale has done little to dull. "Of course I didn't protest, little darling," he replies honestly enough. "I wanted to be the prize they thought I was. And besides, it's not like any of them sang it in front of me, now is it?"
His thumb reaches up, brushing the corner of Orlagh's mouth as she grins, offering a lazy smile in answer to her question. "Make you dance again? Well, little darling, that all depends now.." His glacial eyes sparkle with mischief as he falls silent, daring the young woman to ask.
"Well, it certainly seemed to work.. they all simply adored you, back home." Yes, she still says 'they'. Not 'we'. It takes no small amount of effort to set oneself apart from the crowd, in a household so large; as Fenrir himself just confirmed. Orlagh never fawned over any of the squires or retainers that passed through the frost-hardened courtyard of Flint's Finger. Never sang bawdy songs, was never seen skulking from guest chambers a hair before dawn, never shown any interest in being courted. In the end, most of the young men bound to Anders have simply learned not to waste their time. But the Master at Arms? He has been dilligently pigheaded about it, of late. Despite not having paid her much mind in past years..
"And what does it depend upon." Oh, Orlagh is tipsy, all right. The words prompt a slow inward lean, in conspiratorial fashion, as if he might need to whisper the answer to the posed riddle, and yet her smile has returned in full force, warming her usually doll-like facade considerably. No sooner than Fenrir has swept his thumb across her lips than she's taking another sip of wine, keeping her blue eyes riveted upon him across the rim. And raising her pinky. Old habits die hard.
"They didn't adore me, little darling. They just thought marrying the son of the master-at-arms would be.. exciting." The cynicism is shot through with humor, Fenrir's gaze sparkling as he plays his finger against the front of Orlagh's throat, feeling her swallow the wine. "But you never noticed," he adds musingly. "Not even when you was old enough to try."
He chuckles, low in his throat, and leans his head forward in answer to Orlagh's question. He rests his lips daringly against the woman's earlobe, surprisingly firm and muscular as he murmurs his condition. "I won't make you dance again if you do one thing for me. Just one.. little.. thing." He exhales slowly against her neck as he draws his head back far enough to stare into Orlagh's eyes.
Slowly lowering her drink, the girl lets her eyes follow the unhurried motion of setting the goblet back down on the bartop, pausing to draw a soft breath before she replies, perhaps barely audible, given the noise surrounding them. But she's certainly not going to voice it any louder, so if he misses it.. too bad. "..I noticed."
But then he's right there again, dizzying her with nothing more than a slow shift closer. Catching her breath sharply in her throat, out of reflex rather than genuine fright, Orlagh holds herself perfectly still, save for a slight tilt askance of her head as his lips press to her skin. That scent is intoxicating, almost as appealing as the wine that's working so well to blur the lines of propriety for the handmaiden, and her sapphire eyes are drifting closed again as she inhales of it; little more than a brief flutter of soft lashes against creamy cheeks.
Hook, line and sinker. Meeting the taller man's eyes as he draws back, admirably keeping herself from a soft sound following the warmth of a caressing breath across her throat by biting down on her lower lip, Orlagh follows the breadcrumb trail without a backward glance. Such an ingenue. The noise and color of their surroundings fade and mingle on the periphery of her senses, no longer deemed of any particular import while those sights are fixed upon her. "..what..?" It's little more than a whisper, but her expression is utterly rapt, shining eyes widening and blinking with doe-like innocence.
Fenrir rarely misses anything, and the smug tightening around his eyes hints that this is no exception - after all, he is devoting the entirety of his formidable focus on the young woman, tracking her emotions as he might a deer through the snow-fallen land of their home. Her reaction to his touch, the flush of heat as her skin warms to his, is noted; when she speaks, Fenrir's fingers tighten very slightly on her chin, fixing it into place without exerting any sort of hurtful force.
He leans forward now, nose brushing nose, head tilting slightly to let his drift past and graze against her cheekbone as he rests his forehead very lightly against hers, the scent of ale tingling against her lips. For long moments, he lingers just so, not moving; very slowly, as though to prevent her from startling, Fenrir rests his mug of ale down on the bar and slides his hand to her side, just above the swell of her hip, thumb pressing against the bottom of her ribcage lightly.
Even as he moves, his lips twisting into a feral smile, Fenrir's eyes are locked onto Orlagh's - gauging and studying, pupils flickering back and forth as he attempts to keep perfect eye contact. Breaking a silence that seems to swell up from the breadth of forever, he says "..Kiss me." It's not a command. Not quite.
If she were going to take flight away from him, she'd have done so by now. Still, when Fenrir leans closer still, the girl cannot help but draw back just a fraction. It's barely noticeable, and she halts herself immediately. Perhaps she simply thought, for a splitsecond, that he might just intend to kiss her without first asking permission. When he doesn't she relaxes, somewhat. Not much, though. Not when he lets his brow rest against hers and his breath tickles across her cheek, stirring the forward strands of her pale blonde tresses.
His wandering hand, as it meanders lightly upon her waist, would discover her own breathing coming swift and shallow; as if she, too, fears shattering such a pristine moment of privacy, in the midst of a lively crowd. Of course, that clamour has faded, inaudible now beyond the thrum of her heartbeat in her ears. Watching the wolfish curve make its play across the Master at Arms' sensual mouth, then looking up to search the depths of his eyes in kind, Orlagh comes to her realisation.. and she goes with her gut. "..no." Very gently shaking her head, she pulls back just a short way, still studying the man in intimate proximity, both hands having come, at some point, to lay flat upon his broad chest. She almost seems surprised at herself. But, at the same time, resolve is becoming apparent in her eyes.
Muted frustration - but not anger, oddly enough - flashes through the master-at-arms' eyes before being replaced with a good-natured wryness. He draws a steadying breath as the moment seems to dissipate, but he doesn't remove his hand from the woman's side, shaking his head - not in disapproval but as though to clear it. "Then we know what I'll be asking for, don't we, lovely?" For a brief instant only, his fingers curl around the fabric of her dress, just enough to let her feel the immense strength in their steel grip - a possessive gesture.
His fingers still toy with her jaw, one sliding down the side of her throat to rest against her pulse, his smile becoming mischievous once more as he studies her. "Well, then, darling. You better finish your win, 'cos I guess I'm gonna have to make you dance again." There is still that alertness to him as he watches her, as though she might at any moment turn and bolt - far more likely now than a few moments before.
For her part, Orlagh keeps her sparkling blue eyes upon the Master at Arms unwaveringly, not seeming to mind the shake of his head.. or that flash of disgruntled frustration. "..Fenrir." Keeping her tone soft, audible to him alone - not that anyone's actually bothering to eavesdrop. Across the floor, the impromptu musicians of the evening are readying themselves for some popular little ditty, judging by the ripple of approval from those seated or loitering nearby. The girl glances that way briefly, before looking back up at the man with her. "..it's not the idea that I'm declining. Just.. the situation." With an encouraging smile, she dares to raise one hand from his chest, laying it softly upon his cheek and jaw to silently demand his full attention. As if she didn't already command it. "I don't want my first kiss to be in a tavern in Seagard. That's all."
Her. Not 'our'. Has she really never..? Well, then the fact that she doesn't shoot Fenrir down in flames completely is.. actually an enormous compliment. "Still.. I will take the forfeit like a man." Withdrawing her light caress, she turns from him only in order to take up her wine.. and knocks back what's left of it in a few mouthfuls. Trying not to giggle, once done, she glances sidelong to the Master-at-Arms, before pressing the back of one hand to her lower lip, ensuring no trace of crimson remains. "..and this song, I actually know." That's apparently explanation enough to precede her pivoting on a heel and delving without preamble into the crowd as the music finds its rhythm.
A lively beat, with fiddles and pipes and drums, the 'dance' seems to consist of two circles - women inside, men forming a ring around them - and a lot of spinning. If he wants to keep up, he'd better get moving. Orlagh's already in the midst of the activity, laughing with a few women of similar years as they gather up their skirts in their hands, the better to accomplish the swift-paced steps. (Siamsa)
There is scarcely time to contemplate the woman's touch - which would find that Fenrir's skin, beneath his stubble, is flushed - nearly feverish, literally, with desire. And her words?.. Her first kiss, she'd said. Realization flashes in Fenrir's eyes around the time Orlagh begins to gulp down her wine - they flicker wider as he sees her literally down the remnants of a goblet of strongwine. This is going to be a fun night after all.
As she pulls away from him and swirls into the dancers, Fenrir cocks an ear out, listening to the music for a moment. And, unfortunately, the complex steps seem to be unfamiliar to him. "Aw, Hells.." Fenrir sweeps into the crowd, elbowing his way into place in the outer circle, kicking up his heels and spinning with a hand to one hip, elbow crooked. The men seem to be circling the women, and so he follows along, pirhouetting every few steps and stomping along with the music. He's a natural dancer, with his lithe grace, and makes up for his ignorance with a genuine enthusiasm.
Whatever bad feeling might have been left over from the rejection is now certainly burned away by activity as he laughs, clapping his hands in time, and the outer circle begins to tighten now around the women in the center. By chance, Fenrir is facing Orlagh once again as the two circles split into pairs.
By chance. Uh huh. Who exactly was going to prevent the tall Northerner from claiming a dance with his companion? Nobody, that's who. Laughing heartily as she turns to find Fenrir already waiting for her with that predatory grin, the girl relinquishes herself into his care without a trace of hesitation this time, slinging an arm about his neck and trusting him to capture and support her weight as she sweeps in a calculated fall against him, the other hand still grasping her skirts to keep them a little aloft. Either side, partners of various ability and sobriety whirl and spin with merry amusement and shrieks from some of the women, who find the balance of their own companions perhaps more precarious than the fortunate Northern handmaiden. No, she seems quite content, even as her mirth fades; languidly studying the glacial hues of his eyes as she leans into his chest and the curve of one strong shoulder, standing on tiptoe in order to find the height she needs.
Downing wine is rarely the wisest choice. But, if that's the worst of the mistakes she makes tonight, then she'll be doing well. Particularly given the feverish heat of the warrior's skin, tangible even now through the light cloth of his attire. Whether her spins her from the floor a last time or not, it seems the minstrels have concluded for the night, ready for an ale or ten themselves after their exertions. Many couples, old and new, already begin to break off, bidding farewells as they take to the streets or giggling between themselves as they head for one of the spartan back rooms the establishment has to offer. Orlagh ignores them all, happily smiling up at her partner in that fuzzy, 'all is well with the world' way women have when they're bordering on drunk.
Fenrir laughs as well, with a sheer unimpeded joy - the man might have been denied the desire of his loins, but it hasn't dampened his spirits in the slightest. This overabundance of glee might be the only indicator that his massive mugs of finest ale have been working on him at all - he hoists and spins Orlagh through the air with shouts of delight, both hands resting on her ribs during the lifts. And Gods, he is strong - it feels as though the man need merely squeeze, and break her in two, but he handles her with the care reserved for a fine china doll.
As the music drags to a halt, and Fenrir settles Orlagh down after one final spin - they both seem to enjoy that as much as they do the rest of the dancing put together - he grins down at the woman, leaning forward suddenly, with the speed of a springing wolf - no, not to kiss her, tempting as that might be - but to wriggle his nose against hers, laughing as he does it. "Come on, little darling. They're going to throw us out of here, we don't hurry. You want a horsey-back ride?"
Giggling quietly as the 'formidable' Master-at-Arms rubs his nose back and forth across her own, Orlagh holds tight with that arm around his neck, probably more than a little dizzy after all the whirling about.. and more wine than she's used to. "No, thank you.." she replies, attempting 'prim' but failing rather woefully seeing as she dissolves into laughter again. Gradually sinking back down to her heels, Orlagh lets her hands glide over the soldier's chest, seeming still to need that contact for balance, if nothing else, and casts her gaze about the tavern in mild surprise. Oh. It's half empty, and she didn't notice.
"Your arm would be greatly appreciated, though.." she admits, as an afterthought. Well, at least she's aware that she's a little unsteady on her feet. Which is more than can be said of some patrons. One man in particular is flat on his back across a decidedly wobbly-looking table, snoring loudly through his frizzy beard, an empty tankard still dangling from his fingers as he slumbers. Righting herself to a more seemly standard and smoothing back her fair hair with her free hand, the handmaiden focuses on the doorway to the street. But she waits for Fenrir to guide her that way. The floor seems very unstable, all of a sudden. How odd.
"I reckon I can spare my arm." His left arm. His right might well be needed, as they enter the rowdy streets of post-siege Seagard, in order to drive some ill-mannered drunk into a wall four or five times. These sorts of thoughts don't consciously occur to the master-at-arms; they're a part of the subtext of his life. Still, he wraps his left arm firmly around Orlagh's waist and gazes at the door for a moment as though plotting how best to get them there. Does it really require that much navigation? In any case, his hand a bit lower than is probably perfectly proper - fingers brushing at the crease of her thighs, all perfectly innocent of course - he sets off toward the door at a deliberate, careful, gait.
And they clear it, miracle of miracles - Fenrir's free hand stabilizes the pair as they pass the doorframe. Behind them, two of the bar's bouncers are picking up the snoring drunk by his armpits and ankles and beginning to hoist him toward the door, likely in a much-less-gentle manner than the northmen have exited. The night is crisp - not cold, but the sort of dryness that causes your body to suddenly recall exactly how much it has had to drink - as the pair set off toward Seagard's gates. There is, almost immediately, a mishap as Fenrir's toe catches on a cobble and he nearly sends both himself and Orlagh into the dusty road.
"Oh Gods.." Orlagh starts chuckling again as the tall man braces his hand at the doorframe, leaning into his side enough for balance but trying desperately not to risk toppling him. "..this is going to take a while, isn't it?" Crossing her arm across her body, she rests her palm softly at Fenrir's ribs, either not noticing or simply not thinking to question where he has chosen to settle his hand, for the time being. Taking a lungful of the cooler night air - still far from cold, by their standards - she sighs it out again, then blinks a few times. "..oh no. Master Fenrir..?" Turning her big blue eyes up toward the Northerner, openly aghast, she confesses, sotto voce; "..I think I may be a little drunk.." A further horrific thought strikes her a splitsecond later, her fingers tightening in a curl within the fabric of his tunic, as if she expects him to share her feelings on the forthcoming matter. "What if Lady Cordelya sees me?!"
Fright and concern return promptly to helpless giggling, though. "..I'm supposed to set a good example.. and I'm drunk!" Resting her head in the hollow of Fenrir's shoulder, she looses a sudden and heartfelt gale of laughter, closing her eyes as they begin to sting in the wake of her humor.
Oh, they're moving. When did that happen? Stumbling as the man trips, that encircling arm threatening to take her to the dirt, Orlagh squeals and somehow manages to right herself and Fenrir alike, pausing with a sway. Oh, look at that. It seems there's something of an issue with attention span, when she has wine. Absently casting her gaze skyward, she halts, transfixed. "The stars are different." she remarks, though plainly with no understanding of why.
"We'll get there. Sometime.. And, yes, lovely, you are drunk. I been feeding you strongwine all night." As though she had forgotten. Fenrir's lips purse together with the effort of keeping a straight face when the horrible realization sinks into Orlagh's befuddled brain. Oh gods, don't start laughing.. Fenrir follows suit as the young woman bursts into gales of laughter, particularly as he nearly falls - that might be the funniest of all, the cat-graceful soldier being rescued by a drunk woman from eating cobblestone. He can't seem to stop for awhile, though he manages to not topple over backward, perhaps only through strength of will.
And then she remarks, as calmly as though she had never been laughing at all, about the sky. Fenrir reluctantly stops his own hysterics, wiping his hand hastily over his eyes, and looks upward as well. "Aye.." he remarks, struggling to gather his thoughts with a visible force of will. "They're different than back home. It's 'cos we've moved, see, and we aren't looking at them go around us from the same place." He nods, satisfied at his logic, and adds "One of Lord Flint's captains explained it. The stars spin around us, see.. But if we're in a different spot, we're seeing them spin from different angles, so we notice." He pauses, and then continues on an entirely different tack, but with the same tone of voice. "We need to hide you from Lady Cordelya. I know a place we can sleep tonight."
Orlagh tires, she really does, to follow this explanation. But, squinting up at the twinkling lights high in the heavens, she can't see them spinning. Not even a littl-.. wait. Yes, they are! No. That's her. Swaying abruptly into Fenrir's side again, she snorts with laughter, canted at enough of an angle that she has to tilt her head quite far back in order to grin up at him. "..you're goneta get in trooooouble.." she taunts, in a malevolent singsong. the favourite handmaid, always proper and efficient.. and one evening spent with the Master-at-Arms has her barely able to walk. At least due to wine rather than anything really untoward. What would Anders say?
Yes, hiding makes perfect drunken logical sense. Nodding vehemently in agreement, the girl casts a surreptitious glance about herself before whispering in reply, as if wary that someone may intend to untangle their grand and devious plan. "..alright. Where?" As if she'd be able to help get him there! She's genuinely lacking the ability to stand up by herself, at the moment. Belatedly realising this, she makes considerable effort to straighten.
"I'm not gonna get in trouble, my little drunkard. You are. But don't worry." Fenrir drunkenly leers down at the woman in an attempt at his usual grin, "I got it all planned out." He points toward an abandoned barn down the road - it might have been a nice place once, but all that is there now is a pile of hay. No horses, not even any manure anymore - all scraped out to light Ironborn fires.
Fenrir beams down at the young woman, his hand absently patting her thigh lightly as she struggles to straighten up - he's helping, he really is, when his other arm reaches across her chest to take her opposite shoulder and steady her. Certainly not an excuse for his bicep to press somewhere it really shouldn't. "Easy, there, darling. Come on, let's get you to sleep." Right. Because, going by the sudden flush in his cheeks as he releases Orlagh's shoulder, Fenrir isn't going to be sleeping a wink for. Quite. Some. Time. Swaying as he straightens, the lean Northman steps forward dramatically toward the barn, his whole body swinging with the movement.
"M'fine.." she assures him, though she doesn't try to prevent his 'assistance'. Fortunately for the soldier, she clearly doesn't even think of how improperly placed that arm might be. She's relying on it to keep her upright, after all. This really is the blonde leading the blonde, right here. Still teetering a little, though at least standing straight upright, Orlagh follows the gesture toward the tumbledown barn, regarding it for only a passing moment before just shrugging. It's better than trying to walk all the way to camp, in this state, right? Right. Following along with the Master-at-Arms, the girl blinks blearily, waiting for her eyes to adjust to the dim light within the buildings interior. It doesn't smell too bad. Dust and hay, that's all.
Finding a second wind, and the astounding ability all of a sudden to actually take a few steps unaided, the handmaiden totters toward the stack, smoothing her skirts absently beneath herself as she begins to ease to sit down with some semblance of grace.. only to give up for the last little distance and drop down without much in the way of ceremony. And promptly she flops back in the hay, heaving a great and weary sigh. You'd think she'd been out training with the men, for how exhausted she looks. Up above, a few missing slates allow a gap in the roof through which moonlight filters and those unnerving stars can be observed. When, that is, she eventually chooses to open her eyes again.
Fenrir approaches the hay somewhat more cautiously; even inebriated, the man has a sense of self-preservation that borders on the uncanny. His glacial eyes search through the barn carefully, and he even bothers to check a few of the stalls, ensuring that he and his young companion are truly the only occupants. Apart from that rat, of course. He won't mention the rat. Finally, the master-at-arms approaches the stack of hay and.. whump. He's down. Face-first. Presumably, by the sound of his laughter as he rolls over, for comedy value.
But there's something to be said for sharing a hay-stack with a gorgeous young woman of the north. Warm blood, after all, and Fenrir is the one with the heavy cloak. He struggles to unclasp it, trapped as he is by the folds of wolfskin, but finally manages. "Come here," says the man - and this time, it might as well be a command, but it's clear enough what he has in mind - he hoists the cloak, clearly intending to drape it over the both of them as a makeshift blanket.
Often, during times of travel in the snows of their homeland, women and girls of the household huddle together for the practicality of warmth. It's nothing new. That, added to the effects of strongwine, perhaps explains why Orlagh doesn't protest. Actually, she barely bats an eyelash. Grinning broadly to herself at the sound of Fenrir's arrival beside her in the hay - which is clean and dry.. and surprisingly plush to lie within - the girl still waits a moment longer to open her eyes, turning her head to study him in the half-dark. She's going to be picking fragments of dried grass from her hair and attire, come morning. But it doesn't seem to trouble her overmuch, right now.
At the behest of the quiet order from the Master-at-Arms, the girl obligingly rolls onto her side, putting her back to him and scooting carefully closer until the reach of the cloak is sufficient to cover her. She curls up a little, folding one arm beneath her head as a makeshift pillow, the other merely draping from where the elbow settles at her waist. "..when'd you kill a wolf..?" she murmurs, though the sleepy tone suggests she may not even remain conscious long enough for the answer. The smile in her words is still warmly apparent, though.. as is the closer presence of body heat, under the thick furs.
Gods. Come daybreak, she's going to be horrified. Sleeping in a haystack. Drunk. And with Fenrir, of all people! But this exact moment? She's warm. She's dry. She's content. And there's a pleasant thrum of.. something.. low in her belly. She ponders over it as she dozes.
Fenrir's body is hard and warm against the young woman's, and his arm slips snugly around her waist, hand pressed against the base of her stomach. He enfolds her in the blanket, and then against himself, his chest pressing against the back of her head as he finally settles a bit into the hay. The answer is slowly forthcoming; he tells it in a sing-song sort of voice, the better to lull Orlagh - and perhaps himself - off to sleep.
"It was during the last winter, when the wolves got so bad that some was calling them direwolves. Father and I went hunting - this was the leader of their pack, the bravest. I hit him with a javelin, but he still came at me. Bit my leg, and it took me three swings of my axe to get him loose." He kisses the top of Orlagh's head lightly, his tone idle as he continues. "Poor bastard was just looking out for his folk, but we was all hungry. Go on to sleep, now, lovely."
There's little need for further encouragement. Wrapped snugly within Fenrir's cloak - and his embrace - the fair-haired girl is already drifting off as he speaks, her golden lashes resting against her cheeks and breaths drawn steady and deep through slightly parted lips. Orlagh doesn't stir as that kiss is pressed to her pale tresses, contentedly held in the curve of the soldier's body and finally succumbing to the rather less entertaining side of alcohol.. deep, unbroken sleep.
As the first grey light of morning streams through the gaps in the barn roof high above, glittering with specks of dust, it comes to fall upon the peacefully sleeping features of a fair-haired girl, curled in the hay. Through habit born of many years work, it's not long before the change in illumination rouses her, albeit groggily and with reluctance, from her sleep. Rubbing at her eyes, then at her nose, perhaps forgetting that she's in fact in a haystack rather than a cot, Orlagh frowns before she even opens her eyes, shifting her weight experimentally.. then wincing at the dull jab of pain in her skull.
Oh. There was wine. Wine, she remembers. Vaguely. Cracking first one eye open, then the other, the handmaiden gazes stupidly at the splintered and decrepit planks of the wall opposite. That's not right.. A slow downward cast of her eyes finds a blanket of thick, warm wolfskin still draped across her toasty form. Does she own a wolfskin? She doesn't recall having bought one. With a soft sound of effort and undeniable ill-feeling, the girl pushes herself up a little onto one elbow, taking better stock of her surroundings and wetting her parched lips. How did-..
Oh. Oh no. Suddenly aware of the weight of an arm slung around her small waist, as she moves, Orlagh freezes.. then slowly looks back over her shoulder. No, no, no…
Fenrir stirs, groaning softly into the hay, a silvery line of drool running down his stubbled chin. He rolls forward into Orlagh's back, and it is the touch of her warm figure that actually awakens him. Cautiously, as though dreading the touch of sunlight on his open eyes, he peeks out through slitted lids. Yep, there's definitely a woman there. The thought-process is almost transparent: Alright, I'm in a haystack. Alright, there's a woman here with me. My breeches are still on.. Oh. It must be Orlagh. And like that, memory comes flooding back.
Fenrir opens his eyes fully, a slightly-louder groan accompanying the movement, and flops onto his back - conspicuously careful to let the arm around Orlagh's waist remain in place, as though he is fearful of offending her by withdrawing too soon. He raises a fist, knuckling at the sleep in his eyes, a lazy smile creasing his features. Apparently, the master-at-arms is feeling none of the panic that must be building in Orlagh's breast right now.
"Morning, little darling," he murmurs, lifting his head a bit warily - yep, it's alright to move, so long as you're slow - "Sleep well, did you?" Absently, he brushes away the tendrils of drool, cuffing them off onto the tanned lining of his cloak-cum-blanket.
If she was feeling fragile already, now the handmaiden's stomach lurches dangerously as realisation hits home. "Oh Gods.." The hand that had rubbed at her eyes now come to lay across them, her upper body remaining propped a little aloft as she concentrates on drawing and loosing a few deep, slow breaths. Yep. She's panicking. "We didn't.." Her fingers drop away again as she regards the Master-at-Arms warily. "..I mean.. did we?" Not very subtly, her palm sweeps across her attire, checking that everything is as it should be, even as she asks him, fingers exploring the neckline of her bodice. "No.." She'd remember that, surely.
Gently drawing away from the circle of Fenrir's arm she tries to turn more onto her back and dig her heels in, in order to push herself up to sitting, clutching the fur of his cloak to her chest in her fists as if she had something to hide beneath. One hand rises, abruptly pushing back a few wayward wisps of blonde from her face. But even that simple gesture elicits a wince, and she rests her fingertips tenderly against one temple, closing her eyes. "..ouch.."
Fenrir's laugh is low and mocking; he settles himself up on an elbow, reaching to gently reclaim his cloak from the woman's grasp - removing her metaphorical shield in the act, if she allows him. "Nah, sweetling, we didn't. We didn't even kiss." Fenrir grins crookedly as he tilts his head, eyes crinkling up a bit. "Believe me, had we done, I reckon I could've done better than a haystack." He laughs again, a bit self-consciously, eyeing Orlagh curiously.
"You ain't gonna.. throw something at me and storm off, are you?" He's reaching here - clearly the man doesn't really know what women do when they find themselves in a bed they hadn't chosen, but he has a vivid imagination. Reaching up to pick hay out of his hair with his free hand, Fenrir adds "It's still dawn. We can get you back before Lady Cordelya wakes."
"I don't have anything to throw, Master Fenrir." comes the soft-spoken reply, the girl still wincing and rubbing at the sore spot where a thumping headache is making its presence felt. She lets him draw back his cloak, though the morning air swirling in against her previously well warmed body just makes her grimace. "..good.." The additional murmur is offered in response to his assurances of what they did not do. It's not that she means to be unkind, of course.. it's just a relief.
"Oh Gods.. I need to make broth.." Orlagh's pallor turns a little grey at just the notion of cooking food, quite yet, and she rakes her fingers back through the upper sections of her hair gently, venturing into opening her eyes again. This time, they wander toward Fenrir with a less scandalised expression. For a moment, there's even the ghost of a smile, as she watches him pluck a piece of hay from his own tousled locks. But it fades, inevitably; overwhelmed by the weight of growing anxiety. "I.. I should go. The others will be missing me." And if she returns with Fenrir? Things will be ten times worse. She's kind enough not to say that out loud.
Pushing unsteadily to a stand, looking down over her skirts as she tries to dust them down with her palms, she adds, very softly, "..thank you. For being a gentleman."
Fenrir groans again, laying back against the hay with a slow sigh. "Just don't tell anybody, right, love? I sort of like the fact that all my lads have heard that smithing song." He grins up at Orlagh, watching her reactions avidly as she slowly comes to herself - and realizes how hungover she is. "You go. I'll be along eventually." Doesn't the tireless man deserve the morning off? Or is it just that he realizes he cannot return with her, without setting off all the suspicions she's trying so hard to avoid?
His eyes drift down to her skirts, a mild smile creasing his features as he watches her smoothe them out. "By the Oak, you're lovelier at dawn than you were at sunset. We had one fine night, didn't we, precious?" By the almost postcoital notes in his voice, he's not too disappointed that things didn't go further than a drunken cuddle.
"Liar." Despite the dismissal, her tone is gently teasing, rather than chiding, a glance cast in fenrir's direction for a moment, rising from her skirts. Hopefully the brisk walk - or run - back to camp will rid the fabric of the littered fragments. No amount ot swiping seems to be working, anyway. Pausing, with a soft inhalation, it seems perhaps that there might be something further Orlagh wishes to say.. but she masters the urge, in the end; simply smiling a little as she straightens and raising both hands to smooth her braid, tucking in a few stray locks here and there. That'll have to do, for now. "I.. well, from what I remember, Master Fenrir, I had a most enjoyable evening. So I thank you for that, too." Drifting toward the doors, she peeks out into the relatively deserted street beyond, wrapping her arms about herself. It can't be helped, though, that she steals another glance back to the reclining Master-at-Arms. Gods, but he's handsome. Even lying half-asleep, sprawled in hay. Maybe, some day, each of them will find respite enough from running their separate branches of the noble House that they can simply spend a day.. but no. Even if they weren't thus tasked, it wouldn't be proper.
She knows she is of little consequence to the dashing soldier. Why amuse herself with rose-tinted imaginings. "..I will see you upon your return, then, no doubt.." she concludes, lamely, before moving to step out into the growing light of dawn, briefly silhouetted against the fiery backdrop of rising sunlight; all silvery hair and long limbs.