|Life as We Know It|
|Summary:||Perrin and Ceinlys have a heart to heart.|
|Related Logs:||Planning Ahead|
|Garden Terraces — Broadmoor|
|The terraced gardens of the Keep wrap around its southeastern side, travelling downward in beautifully-tended steppes toward the expanse of the green below. Statues and topiary decorate the lawns and line the neat pathways, with several balconied plateaus from which to enjoy the breathtaking view of the neighbouring lake and moor, from which the holding takes its name.|
|December 2nd, 289 A.L.|
The pleasant warmth of the morning goes undisturbed even by a breeze; only the occasional whirl of birdsong far overhead. Out here on the terraces, even the constant sounds of the Keep are absent. It's a veritable haven of tranquility, particularly on the sloping lawn where the Lady Ceinlys and her attendants are currently seated. A rare respite from work, apparently, has found the woman spending some time out of the way.
Comfortably seated in the well-kept grass, her legs curled up to one side beneath the drape of her long skirts, Ceinlys is in the company of her handmaid and a few other young women, most of whom are engaged in idle chatter over their tasks. Namely mending, judging by the various fabrics and threads scattered about. Their mistress, having no interest in such things, seems content to merely listen idly to their girlish discussions, blue eyes absently wandering her surroundings. Not a parchment in sight! What bliss.
Perrin stands a bit away from the women, watching as he pulls off his leather riding gloves one finger at a time. How do they do that? Just sit around and chatter so? He wonders before giving his head a shake. Already he has fed his hunting falcons and now has just returned from his morning ride, which usually ends up in a race back to the keep. With a chuckle he makes his way down the terrace he had been standing on.
Once close enough he gives a gentle cough "Good morning, ladies," he says cheerfully before smiling at Ceinlys "What's this, no work? Has the Keep finally gotten into shape or have you decided that things are so bad off you have given up?" Of course he knows that neither is true but seeing Ceinlys with out some important document at least nearby is not the norm.
The vapid gossiping of other women has never been much of an interest for Ceinlys, either. Must be a family trait. So it's with something of a start that she looks toward her brother, roused by his greeting to a warm smile in kind. "Good morning, brother." A sidelong glance toward the girls has them promptly rising, bobbing curtsies toward the young Lord with varying degrees of blushing and soft giggling, before they drift a short distance away, settling to continue their work on the benches a little further up the slope.
Left with only sour-faced Brigid to keep an eye on things now, Ceinlys pats the grass beside her, inviting her sibling to sit as she replies. "Oh, no doubt something will come up in an hour or so. Either that or it will burn to the ground while I sun myself. But for now, I've elected to dismiss such concerns." A moment's pause for mock-consideration and she adds, "..you've no idea the temptation to give up, some days."
With a dip of his head to the departing ladies, and his smile of course, Perrin turns back to his sister. Sitting with a plop at the motioned spot, knees up, arms draped over them. He takes in a deep breath of the sweet smelling air "Such a nice morning," he says off handily.
He tilts his head as he looks at Ceinlys "Oh, we could never allow it to burn. So my bet is on the 'something will come up' part." There is a pause as he watches Ceinlys, then laying his gloves carefully on the ground, possibly still stalling for a bit more time he finally asks, a touch of concern on his features "Are you glad you are back home, Ceinlys? I worry about you know. I mean coming from Highfield to be back here." There seems to be something left unsaid though as he waits to read her expressions "And don't try to put that /face/ of yours on. You know, the one that you use to hide your feelings from others. I have seen it enough to know it when I see it."
Damn. She had been doing just that, arranging her features to that sort of thoughtful neutrality she's so accustomed to. But Perrin catches her in time and she hesitates, uncertainly. "Don't be foolish, Perrin. Daughters of House Haigh don't have feelings." she teases, gently. Though there's a wistful tang of bitterness lacing the words, regardless of her intent. Loosing a sigh, his sister looks away, out over the landscape. The mirrorlike lake, the sprawling moor, the elegant gardens and formidable forest. "It is a nice morning." she agrees, absently, as she places her thoughts in manageable order. Old habits die hard, and even now she's thinking too much before voicing what's on her mind.
"Am I glad to be home? Of course. I've missed you all, no matter what you may think. And Hafwen. I feel as though I've spent more time out of her life than in it." Ceinlys glances down, smoothing a subtle wrinkle from her skirts where they lay across her thigh. "Highfield is.. pleasant enough. But it will be many years before it can compete with Broadmoor in any sense at all." Flitting her vivid blue eyes back up to Perrin's concerned features, the young lady relents further. "Honestly, Perrin? ..I truly believed father would see me wed to Lord Aleister. Perhaps at one time, he meant for that very thing. But the Ashwoods have lost much in the way of wealth and standing, with the departure of the Charltons and, consequently, their backing." Well, that's the emotionless, political way of speaking about it. It's a start.
"Oh, right. How silly of me. I totally forgot that the women of House Haigh have feelings beaten out of them." Perrin says rolling his eyes a bit and chuckling. He shakes his head "Cein, you are at home," he reminds "with me and no one to judge what you say or how you say it. So stop with the diplomatic ways, ok? I swear, you an mother are just alike at times. She does the same thing you know. Even more so now days. Weighing each word, thinking out how it will be taken, putting hidden meaning behind them." He sighs as he leans back on his elbows, but his eyes never leave his sister.
"She is growing by the day, I swear it. It won't be to long and you shall have a right proper daughter on your hands." He studies Ceinlys for a moment "She looks like you, you know. When you were little." Then as Perrin hears her talk of Highfield his head falls back laughing "Really? How passionate, how romantic. Lets marry due to wealth and standing." Again he laughs but not as deeply as the first. Fingers idly pick at some blades of grass "So tell me how you feel about Lord Aleister. Not how good it can do the house, but how he makes you feel." And he does just what he told her not to do. Yes there is some hidden meaning behind his words for he knows how he feels about another and knows how it may never be because it may not be good for the House.
Ceinlys smiles, grudgingly, as her older brother pokes fun at her. "I can't just stop it." she replies, reasonably. "You were trained in the use of weapons from a young age. So was I.. just not the bladed sort." Her shift of posture, though, implies she's at least trying to shed the shackles of her station, if only for a little while. As Perrin reclines, his ebon-haired sister huffs and falls to lie flat on her back in the grass, squinting a little as her eyes adjust to the near cloudless sky above.
When it comes to her daughter, there has never been a lack of maternal pride. Ceinlys visibly warms to that topic, at least. "She's clever too, you know. Her tutors are all delighted with her. It's only a pity that the Erenfords won't accept her in anything but name. Maybe one day she will win them over.." The noblewoman glances to Perrin as he laughs aloud, her lips twisting in a wry curve. "Such is the way of things, brother. Nobody of high birth marries for love. What would be the purpose of that? I just.." Her gaze drifts from him again. She's become quite unused to speaking candidly of her own mind on things. "..I thought I was one of the lucky ones. I'd have been happy to marry him, once." She pauses then, capturing her lower lip between her teeth and clasping her hands comfortably on her midsection. Brigid looks quite displeased with this position. Stewards ought not sprawl in the grass. But she's being easily ignored, for the time being.
"I.. did love him. I'm not sure I could say I still do. He is easily distracted, to put it mildly. Slept with his new Castellan while I was gone, and Seven knows who else." Smiling ruefully, she looks toward her sibling. "..I think he and I are too similar, in many ways. Our temperaments. We'd only have destroyed each other. And.. I can't help but wonder if he only kept me close to keep me from becoming his enemy."
"True," Perrin says "but I also do not keep my sword before me at all times. Not around you, not around those that won't hurt me or you or the house. There are times when you can put down your guard and just be your self." Maybe he does it to much.
Nodding about Hafwen "I have heard them speak of her that way. You know," he shifts slightly to be on his side more or less "the other day I went by her room just to check on her," just like he did when Ceinlys was her age "and Alyn was there, watching her sleep. It reminded me so much of days past."
"Yea, all the more to pity. Not marrying for love but for what can possibly be gained. And look how that turns out more often than not. Badly. It's true that some one gains from such arraigned marriages but then doesn't someone always loose too? I wonder, I see the small folk here at Broadmoor marrying for love and yet they still live happily, how they survive." The corners of his mouth turn up into a grin as he sort of jests. "Yep, no purpose at all. Just to be happy and truly care for the one that you are going to live your life with. Not wanting anyone else but your spouse. Sounds dull."
Again his head tilts as he listens to Ceinlys speak of Aleister. He can't help but smile as she lays back in the grace. "Well, good riddance to him then," Perrin says with a touch of anger rising into his tone even though he tries to hide it. Some hurt his sister. That's cause enough for him to be angry. He shakes his head "No, you are not alike, not from what I have seen of the Lord. You, even though you try so hard and maybe even fool most of the people," but not him "to not care you do. Oh," he winks at her "you secret is safe with me. I won't tell a soul." He takes a deep breath "Maybe he did keep you close for that reason, so that an enemy can be averted. I don't know. But he looses with out you." And an enemy for hurting her he has gained in Perrin.
Marrying for love? Living for happiness? These are concepts evidently lost on Ceinlys, who watches her brother with wide, uncomprehending eyes as he makes mention of them. But she doesn't argue with his thinking. He, after all, likely knows more of these things. It's easier to be a man. That brief flare of annoyance in the young man has her shaking her head though, in a pacifying manner. "..I knew the sort of man he was, Perrin. I ought not to have become so.. blinded to it." She can't help but smirk a little as she adds, "..Aron hated him from the very beginning. It was a nightmare, trying to keep them from fighting." Plucking a lone daisy from where it has struggled through the short blades of grass, she twirls it contemplatively between a thumb and forefinger, studying it.
"I suppose in his own way, he desired me. In that jealous, possessive way that a child might guard a toy they haven't even played with in months." The comparison rouses a chuckle, low and throaty. But her next words are soft-spoken, for Perrin alone. "..of course I care, brother. But there's naught to be done about it, now. He should concern himself with seeking trade and favor from Broadmoor. He certainly doesn't want us for enemies.. and I could easily have father see him as such, if I felt like it." Isn't the whim of a woman scorned a dangerous thing?
In his own way, Perrin sorts and stores his thoughts on Aleister and then tucks them safely aside, for now. This is evident as he seems to drift away for a very brief time. Only when Ceinlys speaks again does he look up to her. He does chuckle "Well, there is some redeeming quality to our brother then. If he is not chasing some tourney or some such," he teases at the absent Aron's expense. "Yea, well, do not be to hard on yourself, Ceinlys." Like she won't and he knows it "You are a person you know. We all make mistakes at times."
When she confides in him about caring the anger that was there is gone and he smiles "Ceinlys, you could have father do just about anything you wish. You have had him wrapped about your little finger since you were old enough to speak. "Maybe it wouldn't hurt to flex a bit. Just to let other's know that we are much better friends than enemies? But," he shrugs "what do I know." There is a snap of his fingers "Oh, that reminds me. I need nine men. I have a plan to clear the roads of bandits and highway men. Two teams," of which he will be in one is left unsaid, "that will strike fear when they see our sigil. I plan to work the roads between here and Stonebrige. Any taken alive shall have two options, serve the Wall or forfeit their heads on the spot."
There comes a seriousness to him next as he once again fixes upon Ceinlys' features "Why did you do that? With father and suggesting that I go to Stonebridge? You obviously know how I feel about the Lady Jocelyn and I know how you feel about they Naylands." What goes unsaid is his thank you for it, for now at least.
Whether mere mortals are permitted mistakes or not, Ceinlys says nothing further on the matter. There's no doubt at all she'll be kicking herself over the whole mess for some time to come.. but it's a lesson learned. As she's always telling her cousins - women cannot afford to love. "Believe me when I say.. I have not dismissed the idea." she murmurs, in regard to a 'reminder' for the Ashwoods. "..I'll simply wait until I have a reason beyond ill temper." As for the patrols her brother speaks of, she simply nods, utterly unperturbed. "I'll have word sent to the Captain, he'll pick the men best suited to assist you."
The whole imagery of decapitating bandits doesn't seem to bother her overmuch, either. She doesn't bat an eyelash, and even offers a half-smile toward Perrin, before he speaks again. Ugh. Naylands. She doesn't hide the distaste that curls her upper lip, even as he's pointing out her feelings in that direction. "I don't pretend to know why, but yes, I know how the girl holds your favour." Little point questioning how she knows - Cein keeps an eye on her family. Whether they like it or not. "Who am I to stand in the way of a dalliance, anyway..?" Careful, Perrin. That mask is making itself known again upon her features, her blue eyes just a little too innocent as she regards him, tapping her daisy lightly against her lower lip now.
A sly grin comes to Perrin and there is perhaps a twinkle in his eye as well when Ceinlys speaks of the Ashwoods. He bows his head "If we are to do such a thing then it's better sooner rather than later. When a dog has done wrong you correct it right then, not long after the deed so that he doesn't know why." Yes, men's memories are longer but the example stands.
Having never taken his eyes off her a simple "Thank you," is said. Be it for the guards or the Stonebridge assignment shall be left entirely up to her to decide.
"You are doing it again, Ceinlys, hiding behind that mask of yours," Perrin says matter of factually. Though his voice takes on a deeper timber "And to let you know that it's not a dalliance. I truly care for Jocelyn. And truth be known she cares for me as well." There is a bit of agitation in there as well. "And if you haven't already been told," yes he does know that she would have both he and Jocelyn watched while she was in Broadmoor "we have been nothing but proper and plan to keep it that way." Then after a time he does grin "And really, Ceinlys, getting servants to watch us?" What servants is left unsaid but he chuckles and shakes his head "All you have to do is ask me and you know I will tell you everything."
"I believe you." replies Ceinlys, smiling at her brother's earnest words and reaching to bop his nose with her daisy. "You wouldn't dare get up to any mischief here. Though, you might want to rethink sneaking her into the Tower. That would most certainly get you in trouble." It doesn't seem as though she intends to run to tell their parents about it. This time, it's a genuine warning. "I am glad that you care for her. And you're a likeable thing, Perrin. That's why I think you'll do well with the Naylands. Bring back a respectable trade agreement for father, and I expect he might begin to see a match between you and she as rather sensible."
Sapphire eyes sparkling, she lets that sink in without pressing. She's very gently steering toward their finding a union. A kindness, surely. But just as certain is a purpose behind the obvious one of pleasing her brother. "I don't know her, Perrin. I've no personal opinion. But she was a prisoner of ours during the battle over Stonebridge. She has no reason to be friendly toward us, and that makes me suspicious. If she plays you for a fool, I will see her weighted in stones at the bottom of the lake." In contrast with her chilling words, the smile she offers him is sweetness incarnate. "..just so we're clear on that much, my dear brother."
His mouth opens, closes, opens and closes, hardly noticing the daisy striking his nose except for a blink of his eyes, before Perrin laughs "Damnit Ceinlys," he says in full mirth "And I thought I had all the servants covered. It must have been that cook. Had to have been." Fishing perhaps as he watches his sister for any reaction or perhaps none at all. But either way it tells him something. Then in mock seriousness "Of course I would never dream of doing such, sneaking a woman into the tower! Come now sister, you know me better than that, surely." Warning received, he does as he always has, keeping the innocent appearance present. But a dip of his head is his acknowledgement of said warning. But, wait! His eyes go up with a snap "Really, you could see that, a match with Jocelyn? But, they are stone cold broke. Everyone knows it. There wouldn't be much of a dowry if any at all."
His eyes narrow as she speaks concerns of motives "I have thought the same thing, Ceinlys," he shrugs "I might be easy going but I have also worried about motives. I know all about her being held captive. And maybe some information that you do not know, though I doubt it as you seem to know about things faster than they can happen." His mouth twists up a bit "If I am being played the fool, I shall help you tie said rocks on." And seriousness comes to his features, she would know he means his words.
"And what better way to have the Naylands admit their place on the food chain, than to have them practically bankrupt themselves to secure our good graces? Yes, I am pleased that you like her." She doesn't care much about Jocelyn's happiness, of course. "..but there are benefits to be had on more levels than that, brother. I wouldn't be backing you, otherwise." Ceinlys' own sincerity is as obvious as her brother's. Cheering again, idly balancing her daisy on Perrin's hair and leaving it there, she moves to other matters. Sort of. "Don't ever assume you've covered everything. I'll always find a way."
Twisting to lie on her stomach, propping herself up on folded arms, the young lady permits herself a more relaxed smile, now that the topic has shifted from her and her feelings. Ick. "I think I'm going to see about purchasing a pony for Hafwen. She's beginning to show more interest in riding, and I've heard there's a decent horse trainer at Kingsgrove, who travels quite extensively. I'd hoped Aron might be the one to instruct her but.." She trails off. Their absent brother is still a source of pain for the Steward.
"Well," begins Perrin "I have heard that the Naylands are seeking aid from the Erenfords. Something about some men for protection. What do you think of us offering a number to fill the slots before they are filled by them?" A smile comes to him when the daisy is placed just so. He reaches up and touches the yellow bloom but leaves it there "I think it clashes with my eyes," he notes simply. But again he pauses at the true matter at hand as he thinks "Ceinlys, do you ever tire of all these games? What can be gained, what can be lost, who will benefit the most. Can't you just, you know, live?" The last word said with brows raised. "By the Seven if everything I did I had to judge if it would benefit us in some way…well I would have pissed my pants a number of times as I wondered if it were the right thing to do or not at that particular spot at that particular time."
"Oh, and I never do underestimate you, dear sister. But it's fun trying to thwart some of your," his lips tighten a bit before spreading to the grin "plots now and then. You know, where you try to find out what all I am doing at every moment of the day. Though I admit that at times I wonder who is the cat and who is the mouse in our little game." He chuckles which causes the daisy to fall, right into his hand "Squeak," he says with a wink.
The change in subjects catches him completely by surprise. "A pony? Kignsgrove?" He looks down at the daisy laying in his hand "Aron," and the disappointment is clear in that single word. "Off to some tourney again I am sure. I swear I do not know what he sees so fascinating is doing them. I would rather just watch and let other's guess what I can or can't do than to show them all before their very own eyes." He takes the daisy and gently slips it behind her hair and ear "I know I am not near the rider he is, but if you wish, I would like to teach her."
"Do I tire of it?" Strangely, it seems as though she's never really paused to think about that before. Doing so now, Ceinlys frowns slightly, her blue eyes wandering the horizon. "..what would I do, otherwise? It's what I've been taught to be, since I could walk. And I'm good at it. Perhaps too good." Sighing, she looks back to him, glancing up at the daisy then meeting his gaze. "Oh Perrin, do you think father will ever accept a union for me? Or am I destined to wither away under dust and parchments? Even Katrin and Ilaria have some measure of freedom.. but I've gone and bound myself so tightly in duty and responsibility, I really don't know how to answer you. This is living, for me. This is probably all there ever will be."
Shaking off the introspective air, she sits up, hugging her knees gently within the circle of her arms and chuckling a little at Perrin. "You're the mouse. Sometimes you're a kitten. But I'm always a cat." Offering her brother a rare glimpse of an amused grin, scarcely seen nowadays, she rests a cheek on one knee, studying him more intently. As usual, she refuses to be drawn to speak of Aron. There's long been a tense atmosphere, when his name comes up. Nobody knows why - they all assume she simply misses him. They were close, after all. "I would be delighted for you to teach Hafwen." she eventually answers, "She does so adore you. If you're certain you'll have the time."
Perrin's breath catches with in him. He looks at Ceinlys sorrowfully "Ceinlys, you can live! When was the last time you went for a ride? As fast as you can, with the wind blowing your hair. When was the last time you went to a gathering and danced? I am not talking about dancing with so and so because it would be seen as a good thing for the family, but grabbed some young man out of the blue and just enjoyed your self." Is it just dancing he is talking about? He musters the best smile he can for her "I would gladly give you all the happiness I have ever known if I could." He reaches out and gently touches her shoulder with his hand. His mouth twists as it's want to do when he thinks. "No, there is much much more for you than dust and parchments. You stop thinking like that, ok?" There is a deep concern in both his voice and features. "I will speak to father as soon as I can. You deserve some one that makes you happy, Ceinlys."
"Well," he finally says, seemingly to shake off what he feels for his sister at the moment "At least I have gained some measure of status. A kitten huh," he chuckles "I can accept that. And yes, you shall always be the cat. Just, um, when the cat's away," he gives her a wink. As for Aron he says nothing but notes the look that has come over her at his name. Another note stored away, he will have to find his brother and have a talk with him it seems. A rather stern one at that. "I shall do my utmost to find the time, Cein. But you know, I will try to corrupt her at every turn," he says about Hafwen. He shrugs "It's what uncles are for. I think it's in one of your parchments you have in that office of yours. Look under Rules of Uncleship or maybe under Duties of Big Brother. I can't rightly remember where I saw it."