|Meet the Parents, Part I|
|Summary:||Ser Bernard meets his daughter's husband to be.|
|Date:||20 August 2012|
|Related Logs:||Kaffron wedding.|
|A Sitting Room, Four Eagles Tower|
|There are chairs to sit on in here.|
|August 20, 289|
Time waits for no man, woman, or prospective bridegroom. Good-family-to-be are arriving, and so they must be received. Not officially, because Terricks will have to greet the Baneforts and welcome them to Four Eagles Keep officially. Kamron, for his part, waits in a sitting room inside the Keep, sitting in a chair with his left leg crossed over his right. He's trying to look calm and composed, but his raised left foot bounces a bit too much, and he keeps looking toward the door as if expecting trouble to come through at any point.
"You should stop that," Saffron says to her betrothed as she sits in her own chair beside him. She has chosen a gown of her Banefort house, though it highlights the burning frame even if the collar does sport it's own cowl. "You will make me just as nervous if you keep bouncing your foot around." There is a slight crease to her lips as she regards the knight, her copper-colored brows arched a bit over those pale blue eyes. She offers him the smallest of smiles, reaching out across the ravine between their seats to touch his hand gently. "I've never seen such a groom worrying over meeting his goodfather." While she does try to comfort him, there is still some chiding amusement in her tone.
Kamron looks away from the door for the umpteenth time, "Hrm? Stop what, My Lady?" Even in his nervous state, he keeps to the proper proprieties — not that those sharing the sitting room would allow him anything less. His blue-gray eyes shift down toward said foot as she speaks up, and he blinks, resting his free hand on his knee to still the bouncing limb. Laughing a bit wryly, he shrugs, "I didn't even know I was doing it." He turns his hand over so he can give her hand a squeeze, then lets it fall away once more, lingering near but not quite touching. Her chiding draws another laugh to his lips, "And have you seen many bridegrooms about to meet their goodfathers, My Lady?"
"Only a few," Saffron says with a hint of feigned reproachfulness. "There was when Tysin Lannister came to meet Papa before Magnola's wedding." There is a small smirk that threatens to override the warm smile. "But he's a Lannister. I don't suppose they know how to be nervous." She turns her chin toward the door even as she holds his hand with a touch of protectiveness. "He will like you," she reassures him once more. She looks as if she could say more on the subject but there then comes a knock at the door before it opens with a smooth flourish. Saffron is already drawing up onto her feet as Master Punbah steps first into the room with a package under his arm. She offers her betrothed's hand a squeeze before she hastily whispers to him, "Just don't break eye contact." And then she releases his hand as Punbah steps aside to reveal Ser Bernard Banefort.
At a perfect six feet tall, he hardly rivals most knights in height; in sheer presence though, he could stand nose-to-nose with the King's Hound. While most Baneforts are fair of hair and light of eyes, Ser Bernard bears the same darkness of a long forgotten side of the family line. He wears his black beard short and bristled, and his salted black hair has gone long and is held back from his lean face with a leather thong. He is dressed in Banefort colors, and his shoulders are obscured with his own cowl. As a Master of Arms, he has learned to wear a perpetual scowl, but it has softened into a smile at the sight of his daughter. "Little Red," he rumbles, and it spurs Saffron into sudden steps, and she abandons her betrothed to rush forward before leaping into her father's outstretched arms. He sweeps her up off her feet, twirling her about like a young girl. Their laughter fills that small sitting room. This lasts for only a few rotations before he sets her down gently, holding her by her shoulders now. He steps back to look her over, before his eyes shift beyond her to look at Kamron.
Kamron waves off the explanation of Tysin's reaction, "Lannisters don't count." The knock on the door draws him up to his feet as well, although the whisper draws hastily-suppressed laughter to his lips, so that he greets his good-father-to-be with a crooked grin and good humor dancing in his gray-blue gaze. The greeting between father and daughter causes his smile to double and redouble again, an easy sort of amusement on his lips. It is with that expression, probably the knight's best, that he steps forward to greet the Banefort man, bowing his head slightly and then extending his right hand, "Ser Bernard. It is a pleasure. Your daughter has told me so many good things about you, but I only need look to My Lady's strength, intelligence, and good humor to see the compliments she has paid you do not go far enough." He probably had something planned, but everything after the first two sentences seems to come without thought, flashing straight from heart to lips.
Saffron allows her father to scruntinize her. She can feel his hands working on her shoulders and arms, as if testing the muscle and bones beneath. He even reaches down to look over her hands, and he blinks in surprise at not seeing the familiar hardships on her palms. He looks up to her with question in those dark eyes, but Saffron does not have time to answer him as Kamron steps forward. He catches a rather stern look from his daughter, and he meets it with an earnest smile, and he steps past his girl to greet the Mallister man. "Ser Kamron," he says as he reaches to take that hand. There is not threat of breaking the man's hand, though his grip is not a frail one. He holds the man's eyes steady. The compliments of his daughter draws a laughter in his chest, and he nods his head. "You really should be paying such compliments to her mother, but as a good father, I will take a part."
"Come sit, Papa," Saffron encourages, and she nods to Kamron so he knows he can sit too. She slips back into her own seat, gathering her skirts around her gracefully. She looks between Kamron and Bernard, like an observer waiting to see how two dogs will interact now that they have sniffed one another.
Kamron clasps the older man's hand. He's never been one for crushing grips either, so it's just a firm clasp and a release. "I wouldn't dare impugn the honor and parenting skill of Lady Alys, Ser Bernard. I know the temper of Banefort ladies, and I assume that those who marry in must needs have similar fire." As Saffron moves back to her seat again, Kam steps back, moving around the chairs to hold the back of it for her. It's not even necessary in the slightest sense, given that the chairs are tall, wing-backed affairs, but it's still polite. "How was your trip, Ser Bernard? No troubles in Stonebridge, I hope?"
"And how often has my daughter let her temper get away from her?" Bernard asks as he takes a seat, loosening the clasps of his jerkin as he does so he can sit with ease. He looks over to his daughter, who is offering a scoff to both men, and she crosses her arms at her chest as she casts Kamron a challenging look. It incites another laugh from the Banefort lord, and he gives his daughter an amused look. "Not suggesting that you have, Little Red," he says encouragingly before he looks toward Kamron once more. "No troubles through Stonebridge, but I did not expect trouble. The Naylands do not wish to incite the Westerlands by doing harm to a Lord passing through." He leans back into his seat now, looking comfortable. "If hostilities mount too high, we have already arranged for the wedding party to be escorted to Seagard along the coast rather than through Stonebridge." It appears that Banefort takes possible fighting seriously, as most Master of Arms should.
Kamron hesitates a moment at the question, glancing over to Saffron to catch that challenging look. It draws another half-laugh to his lips, "No fire that I did not eventually find value in, Ser Bernard." He nods at the other man's description of the situation, moving around to take his own seat as he does, "I hope that's not necessary, Ser, although I would love the opportunity to see how Banefort sailors handle themselves differently from those of Talon Point or Seagard. I've been trying to get both sides to see that the threatening war serves no one but the ravens, but there is only so much I can say before being told ever-so-politely to mind my own affairs." A rueful smile paints the Mallister man's lips, and he shrugs a little helplessly, pausing to cross his left foot over his right as he looks back over to Saffron, "My Lady has been helping in her own way, Ser Bernard, talking to noble ladies on both sides of the divide — keeping a web of communication between all of the families."
"Papa, please," Saffron begins to implore the moment Bernard opens his mouth to speak on boats and the sea and such things, "I beg you, not to talk about boats."
"They are ships, Saffron," Bernard corrects her with a fond firmness, and he shakes his head as he holds up both hands in surrender. "No talk of boats," he says with a small smile for his daughter. It is soon to sober however, and he glances back toward Kamron. "There is always hope that one will heed your words, Ser Kamron, but you are right… few nobles appreciate the outsider pressing into their matters, regardless of the need." He rubs at his beard, feeling the familiar bristles pass over his fingerpads. "Has she?" He asks as he casts a glance to his daughter, and Saffron turns a pretty pink.
"I have tried, Papa. I found myself being drawn into Annie's politics, but as a Banefort, I am free to investigate things on my own, and that is what I wished to do." She casts a bashful glance to Kamron before her gaze returns to Bernard.
Kamron lifts his head slightly as if to start to correct Saffron, only to have Bernard beat him to the punch. He turns one hand palm-up, one eyebrow completing the quarter-shrug. He chuckles softly at the interplay between father and daughter, reaching his left hand out to touch Saffron's forearm lightly as he looks back to her father, "My Lady has been very careful in her travels, Ser Bernard. And everything she does is just maintaining friendships with other noble ladies." He glances over to the daughter of the Banefort, and then back to the Master-at-Arms, "And she has not been without her practice, Ser."
"Has she?" Bernard asks, surprise obvious in his tones. He looks over at his daughter, and once more down at her hands. "You have been taking care of your hands then, Little Red." He tightens up his jaw a bit, as if trying to maintain a sense of separation — his daughter is no longer a sweet child, but a woman on the brink of her wedding day. Saffron smiles warmly to him, pulling from the belt of her dress those leather gloves. "Kamron got them for me, Papa, as a betrothal gift. To protect my hands." She offers them to the older Banefort, so he can look them over. He admires their craftsmanship, glancing up toward the knight this time. "And has she been following the rules?" He asks in blunt honestly. "She did tell you about them, I hope."
Kamron grins crookedly — just a little — at the comment about her hands, although he blinks in surprise as Saffron pulls the gloves out, "Really? You just knew I was going to bring that up, My Lady?" He nods to the lady's father then, shifting a little in his seat, "I may not be entirely comfortable with helping to teach a lady to fight, Ser Bernard, but I do see the value in my wife-to-be knowing how to defend herself." His gray-blue eyes cut over to Saffron for a moment, "And to ensuring that My Lady is happy. But yes, to your question, she did tell me the rules, although it always takes a little extra to make her repeat the last one, and so far as I know, she has had no need to draw a blade to test how well she follows them."
"It always has," Bernard rumbles at the news she still resists that last rule, and he casts his daughter a dubious look. Saffron merely smiles, and shrugs her shoulders a bit sheepishly. "I remember it eventually," she says reproachfully. That almost girlish response causes her father to laugh, and he shakes his head as he rubs at his forehead. "An unchanged girl you will always be, Little Red." Though he does look between the pair of betrothed nobles with a tilt scratch to his bearded cheek. "That does act as a nice segway… Punbah," he says to the rotund guard, offering him a small smile as he stands to take the long parcel from the guard. "This is not an appropriate wedding gift, so I will give it to you now… here in the confidence of Ser Kamron and Master Punbah."
As he offers the package out to Saffron, she reaches for it while casting her betrothed an uncertain look. "What is it?" She says rhetorically as she begins to unwrap the paper. Within is a elegantly crafted box, long and slender with brass polished into the wood.
Kamron shrugs a little helplessly at Bernard's rumbling response, "My Lady does have a strong sense of what she wants, Ser." And then several memories crowd up behind his words, and it's a very good thing that Punbah is getting all the attention, because he manages to flush just a bit. Clearing his throat and uncrossing his legs to lean forward in his chair, Kam arches his eyebrows up curiously as the parcel is presented, studying the box as his betrothed gathers it up and prepares to open it.
"She gets that from her mother," Bernard points out, oblivious of the younger knight's blush. After all, Saffron is his favorite little girl — he doesn't want to think of her desiring things that would make the older knight blush. He keeps his gaze locked on his daughter as she starts to precariously peek open the box lid. Once her gaze falls upon the treasure within, she gasps. The lid falls back to open it wide, and resting upon a bed of velvet is a sword. It is short, but elegant. It appears that Bernard had found a masterful craftsmen for it, as not only is it blade beautiful, but so is the hilt. It is ladylike with swooping lines engraved in the wood of the hilt, and pattern of vines and tiny flowers engraved along the center of the blade, tapering off at it's tip. "Papa," she murmurs in surprise, looking up to him.
"I thought of it, once… when you were sixteen. But…" The word is left to hang before he offers an uncomfortable smile, then he clears his throat and glances over to Punbah. "Master Punbah will carry it for you." Which might be unfortunately as the blade is, as already mentioned, meant for a lady to carry.
Kamron makes a soft sound of appreciation as the sword is revealed, although there's a hint of a frown that begins to gather around the corners of his lips. He's saved from nay-saying his soon-to-be-goodfather by the statement that Punbah will carry the blade. And only then does the knight change his concern from lady to guardsman, and a soft chuckle rises to his lips, "I might suggest leaving it in Shygirl's saddlebags much of the time, My Lady. So that good Master Punbah is saved from aspersions being cast upon his character and preferences."
"Thank you, Sah," Punbah says with appreciation to the Mallister man, though he does cast Bernard a cautious look.
The Banefort laughs, shaking his head before he waves his hand in agreement to his daughter's betrothed. "You are lucky to have found an advocate, Master Punbah. I would have liked to see what Timmen would have to say." He offers his daughter a glance as Saffron continues to admire the blade with wide eyes. Finally she looks up to him, those blues a bit wet. "Thank you, Papa," she says to him, and they share a little smile that is perhaps equally awkward. It is enough to make the older man clear his throat. "My journey has been long, my bones are tired, and I'm sure my niece would like to greet me properly to her home." Bernard begins to stand, and he stops the pair from rising with him. "Sit, speak."
Kamron shrugs again at Bernard, chuckling as he does, "Once Master Timmen realized what most people probably thought it said about him, I think he would be rather concerned as well, Ser Bernard." He leans over for another look at the sword, his fingertips once more touching Saffron's forearm, "It is rather beautiful work though, Ser." There's a double meaning there, although one quite innocent and pure. As the Banefort man begins to rise, so too does Kamron, although he subsides at the direction, "I think it might be some time before My Lady does anything but gush about your gift, Ser. There may not be so much to speak about." The words are good-natured, however, amused and pleased.
Saffron looks up to cast her betrothed an adoring scowl. "I gush over your gifts still, Ser, do not be jealous." Though there is a small smile as she looks back down at the blade. "Perhaps, Papa, we will have a lesson together again… before you leave…" There is a hopeful note in her voice, and she looks up into his dark eyes with her own pale gaze. Bernard looks up toward Kamron before he smiles down into his daughter's open face. "Before I go back to the Banefort, we will go for a ride, Little Red." And he dips down to press a kiss onto the top of her crown. He exchanges clasps with Kamron once more before he departs the room to find Anais. His gift for her won't be as grand, but he has not seen his niece in some time either.