|May the Warrior Guide Me|
|Summary:||Jaremy Terrick takes his leave of the Roost. Various levels of freaking out ensue.|
|Related Logs:||Many to come, I'm sure|
|Courtyard, later Throne Room — Four Eagles Tower|
|The outdoors and eventually throne room of the castle.|
|Sat Sep 24, 288|
The hour is early, the sun not yet high enough to need squint in its brightness, nor for many to have even entertained the taking of their breakfast. Out in the courtyard sits the lady Lucienne, at the table under the trees, with a sheet of parchment in her shaking hand. She's staring at it rather blankly, her features twisted into a shocked sort of scowl - her handmaiden closeby yawns and stretches.
(Said parchment reads, in Jaremy's Terrick's hand…)
To my family and dear friends:
I cannot endure the shame I have brought upon the Terrick name. Until I have won back the respect of our people, I renounce my place in the great House Terrick, my claims, and my contracts. I maintain only my arms, armor, and my steeds, the better with which to win back my good name. The service of my squire I commend to Jarod.
Please, do not come after me, this is something I must do. May the Warrior guide me on my road to redemption.
Ser Jaremy Rivers
Ser Jarod Rivers has been taking his practice sessions in the small hours of the morning since the summer heat became more intense, so he's just returning from the yard now, drenched in sweat, dirt and with traces of blood on his tunic sleeve that may or may not be his own. He's whistling as he goes along and looks in good spirits, so presumably if it is his blood it's not from anywhere vital.
Lucienne continues to stare at the letter in her hand, blinking a few times as she finishes reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading it. Jarod's whistling cuts into her consciousness then, and she draws the parchment protectively to her chest as she looks up to identify him. "J- j- j-… Jarod?" She stammers, her voice soft and stricken as her face, but carrying well enough through the morning's quiet.
Jarod half-raised an arm to offer Lucienne a merry wave. Though, at her stammering greeting, he cuts himself off mid-whistle. "Lu?" He quickens his pace to put himself at her side in short order, reaching out to place a hand upon her shoulder. "What's wrong? You look awful."
"I…" She blinks a few times, slowly drawing the letter back from her and reaching to place her other hand atop her brother's on her shoulder. "Can you - can you sit with me, just a minute, please?" Lucienne's breathing is heavy, and she shifts her dire gaze back to the parchment she holds.
"Of course," Jarod says, sitting down at the table next to her. Watching her with real concern now. "Are you all right? Is it something to do with Lord Ser Anton? Luci, what's the matter?" He eyes the parchment but doesn't try and read over her shoulder. He just eyes it, apprehensively.
He doesn't have to try, for Lucienne extends the letter to Jarod, her hand quaking. She shakes her head no, for that's the answer to two of those questions at least, but she says nothing.
Jarod takes the parchment, straightening it hastily and launching into reading it. "Huh…?" That's his first reaction, and he clearly has to read it a second time. And a third. Green eyes getting wide as he goes over it. "Huh…" That seems to be the only immediate reaction he's capable of. A fourth read-through ensues. As if the text might change if he goes over it one more time.
As is oft his routine in the morning, Jacsen makes his way down the steps from their father's impressive tower with a small sheaf of papers under his arm, and a servant trotting not far behind with a tray that steams with tea and a very small meal to break his fast. He sees his siblings, and of course he begins his way towards them, leaning heavily on his cane. The warm expression he wears, though, perceptibly sobers as he gets closer and sees the looks they both wear. "Jar? Enne?" He frowns with concern.
Lucienne watches on as he goes through the same motions she's just finished. The text doesn't change, no. Only as Jacsen addresses them does she dart a look away from Jarod, sucking in her lower lip as she sights her other brother. "Jace," she says, gesturing him over with a rolling of her hand. "Uh, ah… um. Jaremy's…"
Jarod is stilly heavy in re-reading, on what's probably his sixth or seventh time through the short missive at this point. "Fuck me to seven hells…" is the commentary he finally manages under his breath. He shakes his head, taking a deep breath and letting it out slow. He will need…several minutes. He looks up at Jacsen's approach, green eyes still flummoxed, and hands the parchment toward him. "That's not how it works, you know…" he mutters, randomly, and seemingly more to himself than either of his younger siblings.
Jacsen reaches forward to take the parchment from his brother, a dozen thoughts already racing through his mind. "What's going on, is it word from…" But he doesn't bother to wait to finish his question, and instead takes the note into hand. He's as fast a reader as anyone, and his eyes do make a second loop across the text to be sure he is not mistaken. "Where…" He looks first between Jarod and Lucienne, and then about them as if to see if this were some cruel jape, but seeing the siblings are alone he thrusts the letter back towards Jarod. "Where did you find this? When? Surely he cannot be gone far yet. Damn his words, turn out everyone to find him." The shock in his manner, the uncertainty in his voice makes it hard to tell whether he is offering a thought, or issuing an instruction.
Lucienne gulps down a breath as Jarod swears, and again as he hands over the letter. She continue just to chew on her lip, her hands now with nothing to occupy them wringing together. "I found it," she announces softly, "Tacked to his door this morning on my way past." Her eyes, wide still with shock, shift back and forth repeatedly between her brothers, as though waiting for them to decide between themselves what to do.
Jarod stands, nodding in firm agreement with Jacsen on that note. "Aye. I'll ride out now and see if I can catch him. One of the stable hands like as knows what direction he went, at least. Can't take a steed like his out without someone noticing. Seven hells. I'll…I'll see if we can settle things with him. This is just…Jaremy." He sounds a mixture of very fond and very exasperated. He turns. "Don't show that to Father, or Lady Anais, yet. It's just…we'll fix it before it gets too far. It'll be all right. We'll fix it. He's family."
"I don't care if you have to ride him down and drag him back," Jacsen affirms, his jaw setting with tension. "If Lady Anais were to hear of this… not to mention what this will do to father. Take him someplace more private if you might, and then we can talk some sense into him. But go now, and swiftly, before he is too far." He is calm, in the midst of the tumult visible in his eyes, trying his utmost to think things through. "I'll hold onto the letter," he decides, despite having just handed it back to Jarod. "And Enne, have you told anyone else yet? Even a hint?"
Lucienne remains seated in her place as the boys decide their course of action. She settles her eyes upon Jacsen as he speaks to her, shaking her head in reply. "Oh," comes the exception, as it occurs to her, and she tilts her head toward her handmaiden - the same errant one she often keeps close. "Hattie. Hattie knows. But nobody else was about so early to see, that I know?"
Jarod nods to Jacsen. The letter is left on the table for whoever wants it. He sure as seven hells doesn't. "I'll bring him back to the Rockcliff, when I get him back to town. I'll send word when I have." 'When', not 'if.' Ser Rivers is always very good at sounding confident, whether he strictly is at a given moment or not. "Don't worry, Lu. I'll make it all right. We will. I promise. This'll all be set right again before the sun's down." And with that, he is indeed off, at a full run, toward the stables.
Jacsen reaches to snatch the letter off the table, and stuffs it into his tunic, as if the thing being exposed to air could somehow expose the secret for prying eyes. "Well, make sure she knows to keep her mouth sealed…" though it's an errant suggestion he gives his sister, as if he has little worry that it won't be so. He reaches out to keep Jarod just a moment longer saying, "Make some ruse for the men you recruit. It's all a game, or something. An exercise to capture a fugitive. We can't risk word getting out about this." When he's said his piece, he'll let his brother's arm go.
Lucienne exhales a long sigh, expelling every last bit from her lungs and hunching over the table terribly as her chest deflates. When next she draws a breath, it's a sharp thing, satisfying a need for air that she might call after Jarod, "Good luck." Hattie ducks her head, murmuring a vow of silence and something about redeeming herself, and Lucienne just wonders helplessly, "Why does he keep doing this…"
Jarod turns, so he's half-running backwards for a moment, to nod a quick, firm assent to Jacsen's instruction. And then, he really and truly is off and into the stables. The last they'll see of him for the rest of the day is his brown courser, Symeon, emerging at a quick trot a shortly thereafter. He's got the horse at a dead gallop once he's past the gates. The charger is an unremarkable piece of horseflesh compared to Jaremy's larger and flashier destrier, but the Rivers knight can get quite a bit of speed and distance out of him when he's pressed to it. Which he is very much so at the moment.
As the sun rises in the east, so does Jacsen need to sit down before long, wincing slightly as he lowers himself down in Jarod's place beside Lucienne. "Because while the rest of us were sent off to do some sensible work that broke us of the stories we were fed as children," he mutters, matter-of-fact and at wits end with his eldest sibling, "He remained here and kept reading them long after he was meant to."
There's a great sense of regret in Lucienne's voice as she crafts her reply, stilling her hands on the tabletop and leaning her face gently upon Jacsen's shoulder as he sits beside her. "I feel as though I've lost him," she says, low and sad. "We were so close, or so I thought, until these last few months. Something changed when he lost Issie. I just wish…"
Jacsen turns his head that he might put a kiss on the top of Lucienne's head, and lets out a slow breath. "Have some hope, it's not all lost yet," he suggests gently, and puts an arm about his sister's shoulders. "He is yet out brother and we love him, and he loves us. He can be made to see sense, it's just… you're right, since things happened as they did with Isolde, it's been so hard for him to find his footing again. But he can't help but listen to us now, Enne. We'll help him see."
Tear start to well, and Lucienne swallows the lump rising in her throat. She shifts a little to snuggle in closer to Jacsen, sniffing in a breath as her eyes hold on her hands. "I hope so, Jace," she murmurs. "I feel so terrible that he felt he had to leave. That he couldn't come talk to us first. That he couldn't come talk to me first. I swear, I died when I read that letter. We need him here."
Her brother is accommodating of his little sister's desire to snuggle closer, and he does reach down to put his hand upon hers, offering a gentle squeeze. "You must know, it's nothing /you/ did to make this happen, Enne. And nothing you did not do, either. This is all… just Jaremy trying to work some things out in his own head, and it doesn't mean he loves you or the rest of us any less. He's just confused, is all."
"He loves her, you know," says Lucienne, hardly managing a tiny tug of a smile for that squeeze to her hand. "He still loves her just as much as he did before. It must be killing him." She pauses to reflect on that, adding, barely above a whisper, "I'm sorry."
Jacsen pauses a moment, his smile a fair reflection of her own, small. He lifts up those two hands of hers that he might press a kiss to them. "As am I," he says, in a murmur, and then leans into his sister some as the pair of them settle into a long day spent waiting on word from their brother Jarod.
It's a long wait. Jarod's hunt for his flown brother has him out of the castle for the morning, afternoon and on into the evening. It's not until the sun has gone down and darkness is settling in on Four Eagles that his charger clops back through the gates. Both horse and knight very tired, dusty and windblown from a day of hard riding. He's alone, and stoop-shouldered as he dismounts and hands off his steed to a retainer by the stables. So it's not very promising at first glance.
Spending an entire day under the trees in the courtyard is rather conspicuous, but aside from a few necessary errands, Lucienne has managed to make something of an art of hovering about the steps, or the stables, or the table, or just the general vicinity. As Jarod rides back in, she's descending the stairs once more, and she (conspicuously) starts at a run of her own toward him. That he's alone doesn't quite register, and she finds herself calling out, "Jarod! Did you?"
One doesn't expect Jacsen to do a lot of moving around, so it was no great shock to anyone that when he chose to take his light, early supper outdoors, of which he's done little more than pick at, he remained at a table in the courtyard. He notes Lucienne's run towards Jarod first, and begins to awkwardly rush up to his feet, with cane in hand that he might follow.
Jarod approaches Lucienne and Jacsen and, wordlessly, shakes his head. That's all he says for the moment. But his expression is a mixture of frustration and sadness. "We should go inside," he says in a low tone. "I…I could use a drink. It's been a long day. And not a successful one." A pause he adds. "Sorry, Lu. I broke my promise, I guess."
"Oh," says Lucienne, stopping dead in her tracks for a moment before tangling her slender arms about her dusty, exhausted brother in a hug. "Don't say that," she says firmly as lets him free again. "Let's… just come inside, you'll need something to eat, too."
Already seeing that there is no brother in tow, there was a thread of concern on Jacsen's face. But then again, hadn't they thought they might keep him elsewhere, anyways? Jarod makes it clear a moment later, and he turns his frown towards the tower. "Aye, inside, you'll…" His words dissolve away as Lucienne gives voice to more or less what he thought to say, and he begins shuffling in the direction of the wide steps.
Jarod returns Lucienne's hug tightly, muttering "Sorry" again into her hair. He lets her go and silently makes his way toward the castle, pace slow and plodding. For once he doesn't have to struggle not to walk faster than Jacsen. He's got no particular urge to flit about at full-tilt right now.
Lucienne seems to be more full of nervous energy as they walk, making their way across the yard and inside, toward the throne room. She draws Hattie close and bids the girl to fetch food and drink, both alcoholic and non, watching as the handmaiden scurries off to fill the order as her lady continues with her brothers. When they reach their destination, she steps through the doors first, and makes her way to a table already set, pulling out a chair. "So then," she speaks, breaking the silence of the large room.
"We begin further afield in the morning," Jacsen remarks, at his sister's words, quickly enough that one cannot help the impression that he's thought over this the whole way to the Throne Room. "Like as not we must tell Father. And we… we can all come up with some tale that will manage the situation. He couldn't have gotten so far." Before Hattie can get out the door, she receives further instruction, this time from Lord Jerold's seal bearer. "Have someone sent to bring us a map of the area. My brother and lady sister wish to plan an outing, and need something fairly recent." He follows Lucienne, and pulls out another of the chairs before he promptly sits.
Jarod falls more than sits at the table, collapsing into a chair and just sitting for a moment. He lets out a long breath. Just very much enjoying the feeling of sitting somewhere not the saddle. He sets his elbows on the table and takes up a slouching position, green eyes going from Lucienne to Jacsen. Then following in the direction the servant went. He's very much waiting for those alcoholic drinks. "The stable hands say he left in the night. Alone. Didn't tell them much, but they didn't much question it. He's the young lord after all. So he had a pretty solid head start." The last added with a regretful look to Jacsen, and a small shake of his head. "I did find some folk in town who saw his horse. Headed east, so far as most could tell. I don't think he took the main roads, though."
Hattie bobs an obedient curtsy to her lady's brother, and sets off on the task. Lucienne emits a sigh as she drops into her seat. "What about Annie," she asks, shifting a questioning look between her brothers. "Surely she should know, someone should tell her, the poor girl." One of her hands scrubs most uncharacteristicaly at her face, and she can't help but to sigh again. "East. You don't think… he mentioned to me that he was worried for Issie, that he hadn't heard from her for some time. That's not… do you think that's part of this?"
Jacsen wears a look that seems equal parts hoping and willing that to not be the case. "I should not think it time to tell anything to Anais," he remarks, though he seems at least interested in the thoughts of his siblings on the matter. Better than dwelling on how Jarod shook his head when Jacsen talked of continuing tomorrow. "Lest she get into a tizzy and send word home to her father, or the like. Better we control how this all comes out."
Jarod just nods, wordlessly, to Lucienne. He plainly thinks precisely that. "I rode out to meet with the border riders we've got near Stonebridge. None of them saw him, either last eve or this morning, though that means little. Having those patrols out is costing our lord father very dear, and we can't afford to keep watch on but near the major crossings. Which I doubt Jaremy took, if he was keeping off the main roads. Those woods are treacherous to ride in at night if you don't know what you're doing. But Jaremy's a strong rider, and he knows that country like the back of his hand. I think it likely he's well into Stonebridge by now, if he was going there. And from there…" He shrugs. "…from there you can catch a river boat to take you where you please. Seagard, the Twins or…" He has to pause a beat before saying. "…or the Mire." As for Anais, he offers no opinion. He just frowns, and looks impatiently around for that wine to arrive.
"You want to keep it from Anais?" Lucienne's hand pauses on her cheek, and she doesn't sound particularly confident in that decision. "How? It won't take long for her to notice her betrothed is missing," she points out. Hattie, much to poor Jarod's probable disgust, still hasn't returned. "If we didn't catch him today, he'll be long gone - that horse of his is faster than Ticker. I've been in correspondence with the lady Igara for weeks now, Issie's just fine in the Mire, enjoying herself, even. If he shows up there, it could be…" Disastrous, not that she's inclined to say it.
"I want not to tell her that the man she's pinned her hopes and future on has just run and left us all here to look like the fools he is swiftly convincing me he is," Jacsen remarks with no small amount of ire, though one might suspect it is for Jaremy and not either of his siblings here, the Young Lord of the Roost has not been kind enough to present himself for a dressing down just yet. "I want to talk to father, be sure we're not overlooking something we can do here, and then decide on how he would like to put the tale forward. If we are going on the assumption he's beyond our reach," he looks between Jarod and Lucienne to see if either is still holding out hope of a better outcome, "Then we'd do better than to start telling about how he ran off to redeem himself, I think."
"I'm thinking I should take a ride down Stonebridge way, once we've spoken with father," Jarod says. "Perhaps into Hag's Mire as well. See if he's going that direction. I can travel relatively inconspicuous. And there're some questions I've been meaning to ask in Stonebridge anyhow. Not just about Jaremy. As for Iz…" He looks across the table to Lucienne. "Is she really?" And there is true concern in his tone. "There're lots of funny rumors floating around about what's going on with Tordane Tower, and where the Lady of Stonebridge and her Lord Husband are presently. But…aye. Agreed that if Jaremy appeared on her doorstep it'd be…uh. Probably not real good." Disaster, yes. To Jacsen, he gives another shake of his head. He's not optimistic about catching Jaremy at this point.
"Rumours," responds Jarod's sister to him with a hint of ice to her tone, "Are what got Jaremy into this whole mess to begin with. I have no reason to doubt Igara's word, Jarod. Issie's in the Mire, she goes out riding everyday and has even taken tea with the dowager lady Rebekkah." Lucienne's tone breaks, then, and she adds apologetically, "I should have thought to mention such to Jaremy." She sighs again, and drops her hand from her face to rest easier on the table. "We should talk to father tonight, then, right this very minute, if you intend on keeping it from her. It won't do anyone any good for her to realise we kept it from her too long."
Finally, Hattie arrives with the requested refreshments, and a map, all balanced on one impossibly large tray that she dodges round the table with as she decides the best way to place it down. "M'lords, m'lady."
Jacsen shakes his head in Lucienne's direction. "Do not go taking any blame for this, Enne. I can't imagine how any of us could have anticipated this…" he waves a hand. "And yes, I agree. Let's talk to father soon, once we've had a chance to sort ourselves out. I'm just… concerned with this becoming more fodder against the Roost. Don't mistake me, I am as concerned for our brother as anyone at this table, I just think we need to think about all angles here." Hattie is given a grateful sort of look, as Jacsen is just as ready for some alcohol as his brother seems to be.
The first thing Jarod does is get in on that wine that Hattie brought. A muttered "Thanks" to the servant. And then he drinks. He downs a whole cup before he bothers to add anything further to the conversation. And pours himself a second. "For my part Jace…I don't think there's any hope of keeping this close. Whether Jaremy's calling himself Rivers or Terrick or Baratheon or…whatever in Seven hells he's decided on, his face is well-known in the region. And he left the castle with no warning. People will talk. It'll be fodder sooner or later. I think if we lie to the Baneforts, it'll just make things worse in the end. Father and Lord Banefort've got to figure out how they want to…settle things."
Lucienne might look at the wine, and watch as Jarod partakes rather enthusiastically, but she doesn't pour a glass for herself. "People likely already are talking," she agrees with Jarod as she leans back into her chair wearily. "What a mess. What an utter mess. As if our dear lord father didn't have enough on his plate already. — What if he come back? When he decides himself redeemed? What then?"
"Easy for you to say, brother," Jacsen remarks, shaking his head some as he lifts up his wine and downs a rather healthy gulp. He sets a hand on his forehead and begins rubbing, slowly. "If he comes back? If he comes back right soon, I think Father might forgive him. If he waits too long, though…" He's less certain of how merciful their father would be, then.
"That's up to our lord father at this point, I figure." That's all Jarod says about Lucienne's 'what ifs'. It's not as if he's got any stake in who inherits the Roost, though he does cast a look at Jacsen as that's brought up. "Jaremy's removed himself from having much say in it. It can't be a thing father hasn't prepared for, with all those years Jaremy talked of joining the Kingsguard. Anyhow. He's a sworn knight. That's a way to make your own stake in the world, if you've the strength to do it." Whether Jaremy does or not, he offers no opinion. He picks at the food. But, after the first few bites, starts wolfing with more enthusiasm. He likely hasn't eaten all day, and likely didn't realize the lack of it until just now.
Lucienne spends a long moment looking at her fingers, stretching them out long and curling them back to her palm, as she contemplates those replies. Contemplates the bigger picture. She frowns, first dipping her chin and ten lifting it with some resolve. Again, she sighs. "I don't…" It's difficult for her to voice her conclusion, and she stops to take a quick, steeling breath. "I don't think he'll be back in short order. Jaremy lost his trust in himself, and in us, when we executed Miss Millen." She reaches for the map. "Our best bet is still to find him. We can get to Stonebridge this evening still, and ask after him."
It's some time after dusk on a day that has seen relative quiet about Terrick's Roost, for all that Jarod is bent over some food and wolfing it down like a starved man, all sorts of road dust clinging to him. He's not alone, Lucienne is there pouring over a map, and Jacsen at the same table with idly rubbing at his forehead with one hand while holding a cup of wine in the other.
Something passes Jacsen's face, threatening to bubble up to the surface but swallowed down with a moment's effort. "And when we start asking after him, what then? Everyone will know the truth of things, it'll confirm whatever rumor might spread, when we could at least control the tale of what is happening here. I think it better to let father say something about how he decided this was best, or… something… better than 'Jaremy ran away to redeem his honor'." He swallows another mouthful of wine. "Am I wrong in this, Jarod?"
"I wish I understood more of what was between him and the Millen woman. It wasn't something I ever felt comfortable asking him about." Jarod starts in on his third cup of wine right about then. At least he's not doing it on an empty stomach, as Hattie brought him some semblance of dinner. Still, between the drinking the having plainly exhausted himself during his outing today, he's getting more slouched and subdued in his chair. Ser Jarod, for his part, has been out of the castle since the early morning hours, and has only recently ridden back through the gates. He's still travel-stained from the road, not having bothered to change before heading into conversation with his siblings. To Jacsen, he shrugs. "I think we should all stop making excuses for Jaremy. He made a choice. His own choice. To try and do something on his own in the world. Maybe it'll be a disaster but…I don't think we should say anything different than the truth. People can make of it whatever in seven hells they want. Anyway. That's what I think."
"So," Lucienne says to her map, placing a finger upon one trail that runs slightly north and to the east. "You've sent out the token effort to reclaim him, and now we abandon the notion because it's better for us?" It's no wonder she keeps her eyes down, frowning at all the little lines marking the page. "He could have taken this one. It joins up with another that runs down parallel to the river for a time, we've ridden it before. I can take Ticker out that way with a party of scouts."
Anais is light of foot when she walks through the keep. It's a grace thing. Generally it serves her well. Whether or not it has served her well this time may be up for debate. Standing just in the entrance to the throne room, at an angle at the crack in the door, she's pale as she overhears the current topic of conversation. "He's done what?" Her voice is soft, carefully devoid of emotion. Either that, or numb with shock.
"Your heart is in the right place, Enne, but what will you do once you've found-" Jacsen's words are cut off by that oh-so-unfortunate voice at the door, to the sound of which he decides to down the rest of his wine. "Anais…" He gestures that she should come in, because there is no chance of hiding much of anything from her now. His expression shifts some, exchanging some of the graver notes for ones of mute apology.
"I agree we should send more men out to search for him, Lu," Jarod says. "In the morning. They'll break their necks riding about in the woods in the dark, and Jaremy's not a child. He'll be all right for a day or so. Our border riders know to look for him and I asked them to keep eyes out, but as I said they've seen no sign. He's got a head start on us, he's a swift rider, and he's traveling alone and faster than any of us could hope to at this point. We can't ride him down. We can hope to find out where he's gone, and that he might come back. I think what we need to do is tell father and…" Oh, there's a Banefort. He turns his head in that direction. He looks very, very tired and sad. "Good eve, m'Lady. You should…uh…sit down. Have some wine. There's a lot of wine."
"He's been riding for a night and a day, Jarod," says Lucienne, shaking her head as she looks up. "He'll be sleeping tonight. Surely now is the best time to make up the time he's gotten on us?" She does a good impression of a tactician, at least. Her attention shifts, as does the others', when Anais' voice interrupts their meeting. She doesn't say anything, but glances rather pointedly at Jacsen.
Anais's hands shake a moment, and then she turns to slowly, quietly, close the door behind herself. She stays there afterwards, hands pressed against the wood, as she tries to gather herself and marshall her response. Taking a deep breath, she presses her brow to the wood, then finally turns around to walk slowly toward the table where the siblings sit. "I don't suppose he left…a note, or anything explaining himself?" she asks in a quiet voice, sinking into a chair with her eyes fixed on the wood of the table.
The letter is out of Jacsen's doublet and upon the table before Anais can fully sink into the chair, the deliverer of such giving his sister something of a look before he says to Anais, "This is all the word we have. I had thought to find a more… gentle way to convey all of this, and in less chaos than this moment, but since you're here…" He lets the rest go unsaid, and motions to Hattie to refill his cup of wine. He's going to need it.
Jarod reaches across the table, trying to clasp his sister's hand. It's a comforting gesture, or at least is meant to be one. "We're not sending men out running through the woods at night. That'll just get us some men lost, and do little good for Jaremy. I want him back, too, Luci. Don't think I don't. I love him, too." As for the note, he shifts a look between Jacsen and Lucienne, then to Anais as she's handed the thing. "I…I went out riding today to see if I could catch up with him, m'Lady. I looked. I swear I did. But I couldn't find any trace of him once I got outside of town. The people in town said he was headed east. That's all I could figure for certain."
Lucienne frowns some more as Jarod takes up her hand, less comforted than he might have intended. She seems to have not much to say by way of response, not to anyone, and she lowers her eyes again to the map and all those winding little lines upon it. Probably home to panthers, too.
Anais reaches out for the letter as Jacsen produces it, pressing her lips together when she reads the words. There's another moment of silence, and then she very carefully refolds the letter before sliding it back across the table to Jacsen. "That stupid, selfish, idiotic, self-centered…" She may be repeating the gist of the words at some point, but given the shine in her eyes, the anger is all that's keeping her from crying. "Did he think about anyone except himself and his precious honor? Did he think-" She stops, pressing a hand over her mouth and looking away.
Jacsen's frown deepens at the sight of Anais, though he does lean over to retrieve the letter and replace it in his doublet. "He used to," is the only defense he seems willing to mount for the sake of his brother. "Hattie, would you be so good as to pour the Lady Anais something to drink?" he asks, without bothering to find out if Anais wants something. Surely she needs it, regardless. "We've reason to think he might have gone to Stonebridge, it seems, but as Jarod says… the trail is cold. Jaremy knew what he was doing, in this."
Jarod looks half about to argue with Jacsen and Anais both, at their words about Jaremy. But he doesn't, really. He just drains some more wine from his cup. "He's a grown man, and a knight, as I said before.. He'll be just fine for a day or so. Likely we can find him in that time, all well and good, and we can still mend this with him and our lord father. Lord Jerold'll be angry but…Jaremy's family. That matters here."
Giving up on the map, Lucienne lift her eyes to look at Jarod again. It's with some concern that she offers her advice, ever so softly and meekly: "Perhaps you should have some water, too." That's a lot of wine being consumed, right there. She blinks a few times, and turns a helpless sort of a look to Anais. It looks as though she might offer some apology, or words of comfort, but none are forthcoming; she's still in shock herself, coming to terms with what's transpired. Instead, she asks, "Are you alright, Annie?" Hattie continues to redeem herself by keeping the cups full, and seeing a sharp decline in the amount left in carafe of wine, excuses herself very briefly to scurry to the kitchen for more.
"Stonebridge," Anais echoes, voice dull. "Wonderful. I'm sure that will end well." She slumps in her chair, rubbing a hand up and down the arm in an effort to keep it from trembling. It's Jarod's words that draw her attention next, pulling her gaze from the table to the knight. "Lord Jerold…will?" she echoes. "Does he not know yet?" Taking a cup from Hattie, she shakes her head slightly to Lucienne. No, she's not really all right at the moment.
"No. Our Lord Father is indisposed, and we thought that given such, we might discuss the matter and do what we could to repair it before taking this to him," Jacsen remarks, rather frankly, for Anais' sake, gesturing with his free hand while the other, gratefully heavy with wine again, is brought to his mouth for a long sip. "We'd hoped to have him back by now." He frowns a touch, and adds, "We've known since the morning, no longer than that."
"I'm fine," Jarod mutters at Lucienne. Though he does pour himself some water and drink it, at her suggestion/command. Probably best. He's starting to look a bit blurrier as that all settles in his head. "We figured we might be able to find him today…just bring him back…" He shrugs to Anais. "…just settle it between ourselves, quiet. Not…embarrass anybody. Guess not, though."
Lucienne sketches out the barest of nods in return to Anais, for she's well-acquainted by now with that feeling of not being all right. She closes her eyes, a hand rising so that she might press the backs of her fingers to her closed lips, and swallows hard. Her forehead wrinkles. "We just… we need to tell father. Soon. Now, right now. That… he's the one will have to decide what happens next."
"He doesn't-" Anais goes even paler than she was before, if that's possible, taking a small sip of her wine before carefully setting the glass down. "I think I'm going to be sick." Slowly, she sinks even lower into her chair, drawing her feet up into the chair and her knees toward her chest to press her brow to her thighs, arms wrapped around her legs. After a moment of quiet, she carefully uncurls, reaching for the wine once more. "I /am/ going to be sick," she decides, this time looking to each of the Terricks. "Lady Anais has taken ill, and is not to be disturbed. It's…It's probably easier that way right now."
"Father was finishing up with some visitors from Riverrun, I believe," Jacsen remarks to his sister, "But I plan on taking this to him as soon as he is finished. It should not be so long now, I imagine…" He lets out a breath and sinks deeper into his chair. "Jarod, we'll need more concrete plans, I'm sure our lord father will want some notion of how we're going to find his errant heir, so don't get too deep into those cups just yet, I beg of you."
Jarod nods to Lucienne and he gulps his water. Now, right now, seems about right to him. Jacsen earns a rather hard look. "We'll see what our lord father wants," he mutters. Though he does stick to draining his water, for the moment.
Sick. Lucienne opens her eyes, fixing them upon Anais for just a moment as the other girl announces her planned illness, then turning her face away. Her lips start to move, depicting the words of a silent prayer that gains the breath of a whisper as she concludes it, "… Seven guide us." She draws in a deep breath, her shoulders rising and falling with it.
Anais cradles her glass to her chest as she moves to stand, still looking a little bit lost. "I might actually be sick," she allows with a look to Lucienne. "I just…This is enough to worry about without having to worry about my father on top of everything else. At least if I'm not- If I'm not apparently involved, then Lord Jerold can deal with things as he sees fit." She takes a sip of the wine, shaking her head slightly. "I can't believe he just…left."
Jacsen's lips twist in some ire at the look he earns from his brother, but he swallows whatever lingers on his lips with a mouthful of wine. "I… I'd not heard there was reason to worry about your father, Anais," he admits, the concern there all muddled up with this business of Jaremy and some relief at something else to focus on for a moment. "Has something happened to Lord Banefort?"
Jarod slouches in his chair, looking more thoughtful than anything else. A sad, blurry sort of thoughtful. And extremely tired, with the day of hard riding plus the evening of fast wine consumption in a short period of time. With a grunt he forces himself to sit up straighter, which at least helps him look slightly less sleepy. "It'll be all right." He sounds reasonably confident in it, like he's just decided definitively it in his own head in that moment. How he came to that conclusion given everything is unclear, however.
Lucienne moves a look to Jarod's wine cup, somewhat enviously, even though she's chosen to forgo one for herself. She stays quiet, in a kind of shut-down way, as though declining to respond to what's going on around her might make it easier to digest.
"Oh no," Anais replies to Jacsen, dry. "No, nothing happens to my father. I'm a little more concerned about yours when my father hears about the latest escapade, though." She reaches up to scrub a hand over her face, eyes closing tightly. "I'm just- I'm just going to hope that he's too busy finishing the ship and preparing to come here to hear anything about this. Maybe Jaremy will come back before he can sail in." Another sip of her wine, and she sets the glass down on the table. "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. Otherwise…I'll be in my room."
Jacsen's brow knits some and he nods. "Alright. That's… a relief. And perhaps you'll neglect to say anything to him, just yet? Long enough for Lord Jerold to sort something out, at least?" He considers the woman a moment. "I mean, I understand the desire to do so, just… think on the suggestion?" He looks down at his wine, and knocks back another long sip.
Jarod leaves his wine cup alone, between the subtle hint from Lucienne and the un-subtle one from Jacsen. His water, however, is swallowed in gulps. He seems to have encountered into a philosophical contemplation of the whole event, given that rather faraway quality to his thoughtfulness. Or he's just buzzed. It's unclear. He does not seem precisely worried, whatever the case.
"Evening Anais," is Lucienne's farewell, given on autopilot if her tone is anything to go by. She's still staring at Jarod's cup, her cheeks gone a little pink, and she starts to chew down on her lower lip again as she listens to Jacsen's request of the Banefort girl.
"Of course I won't," Anais smiles faintly to Jacsen, shaking her head. "That's why I'm going to be indisposed the next couple of days. If I'm indisposed, then no one would tell me about this sort of thing, and there's no reason for me to contact my father. I…" She sighs, looking to the others. "I like it here. I like all of you. I don't want to slink back to the Banefort a failure. Whatever you need…Just let me know."
Jacsen nods once, his smile strained but grateful all the same. "I'll come and pay you a visit soon, and let you know what is being made of everything," he assures her. "Rest well. And try not to worry overmuch. We'll figure something out." To his siblings he glances next, and notes, "I think it's about time I went and saw if our lord father is quite wrapped up with his guests yet. Unless either of you wanted to come along…?" He pushes back on his chair and reaches for his cane, standing slowly.
"Father'll sort it out. And Jaremy'll be fine. It'll be all right." Jarod says it with almost calm certainty. Maybe he's far drunker than he appears, though he doesn't actually sound it. He clears his throat, nodding to Jacsen. "I'll wait here with Luci. Probably best not to let on to father's guests know how serious it is."
"I'll…" Lucienne seems to snap her attention back into the room, darting her head from brother to brother. "Uh. Stay here with Jarod, then." She huffs a quick breath, and summons a small smile for her possibly inebriated but difficult to tell how far half brother. "Good… luck, Jace."