|Summary:||Cherise and Ceinlys face off. In a very ladylike manner, of course.|
|Related Logs:||A Timely Warning|
|A simple side-chamber - Terrick's Roost|
|A simple room for dining, far smaller than the Great Hall. It features little more than a fireplace and a sturdy set of table and chairs.|
|February 19th 289 A.L.|
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte
The Roost is hardly a place, most days, for grand and opulent feasts. Dinner tends to be taken in small groups in smaller chambers than the great hall.. or simply alone in one's chambers, depending upon the mood. Ceinlys, tonight, has elected the former. Having only recently returned from yet another foray out with her little entourage, she and the group of men have found themselves a table, in the warmth and light cast by a modest fireplace set in one wall. Bread and cheese and meats and even some strongwine cover the surface, and the platters of the hungry guards, who chatter and banter comfortably amongst themselves, quite at ease in the young lady's presence. It appears she allows them some lax informality, when not under scrutiny - and that's something they appreciate, after a good few hours riding to make it back here before nightfall.
Though she occasionally half-smiles as snippets of conversation drift to her, Ceinlys keeps her attention, for the most part, on the papers spread before her, blue eyes scanning and rescanning the etchings upon the parchments, fingertips flicking lightly through one of the handful of bound tomes by her elbow. Having politely declined the fare on offer, accepting only a goblet of the wine to sip at, the noblewoman looks to be happy enough merely with the sound of amiable voices, as she works.
In the evening hours when one is not found in their quarters, taking in a meal it was here in the grand halls those of blue birth may be encountered. Unfortunately the sight of a Terrick body would not be found here. Elsewhere perhaps no doubt however the lady lacked the energies to keep dawdling about the keep's stone forged walls on a hunt for a particular female. So it was here she ventured by the chittering rumors from the pretty birds with two of her maidservants instead of the habitual lot. One a slight portly woman with aged features, new but ever studious as the other was a touch younger, fair and perhaps suited for company over desired skills. In movement the hushed tones of Cherise's robe-like-garment, tailored and fashioned for her ever growing belly whispered along the ground. "Lady Erenford." She called out pleasantly enough without raising her voice too much above the inappropriate. The lady paused before the table, a breadth of distance granted as those two retainers kept tight on her shadows. "I had not believed it when they spoke of your arrival. Are your comforts being met here?"
Falling abruptly quiet, the men around the table incline their heads in respectful greeting to the wife of their Lord; the eldest of them, a grizzled and watchful veteran by the name of Fleming, going so far as to rise and offer a stiff bow, before retaking his seat and returning to his meal. They're hungry, after all. "My Lady Charlton.." Recognising the voice, Ceinlys is answering before she even raises her blue eyes thoughtfully from the scattered parchments, one still in-hand as she offers the blonde a courteous smile. "..I am afraid we have been doing rather a lot of back and forth.. likely the reason for our paths not crossing sooner." That, or by design.
Lightly settling the sheaf of parchment down, fingertips smoothing the curling corners, the raven-haired young lady leans back in her high-backed chair and allows her hands to rest idle upon the arms. "In truth, I've little concern over my own comforts, m'lady. My requirements are simple enough. But is there anything further you, yourself, may need? I could see to it before we depart once more.. and I know your husband would desire you to be kept comfortable and content, at this stage." Those cerulean eyes drift, unassumingly, to Cherise' rounded belly, for a moment, before wandering back upward to meet her gaze again, her smile lingering.
True enough, it seems this party have been in and out of the Roost - the keep, as well as the town - for the past few days, never remaining long unless it's for the purpose of a meeting with the Terricks or to hastily acquire some supper, as is the case now. No doubt, come dawn, they'll have vanished again. Telling hints of fatigue are apparent in Ceinlys' demeanour and features. But only if one looks closely.
Of course those that offer their acknowledgements receive a muted gesture from the Lady Charlton by the way of her chin tilting. In speaking she makes a sweeping glance over those gathered and the articles upon the table, sans the meals. "I can only imagine. Though I should offer my congratulations none the less of your recent appointment. Your swift climb should be acknowledged should it not?" Just then with an elegant wave of her fingers she motioned to the young servant on the left who would step forward. "I believe my husband places a great amount of faith in the tasks laid before you. I am more than certain his faith is not misplaced." While Cherise spoke the young girl stepped forward and retrieved a red velvet pouch, large enough to fit in the hand, from her pockets sealed with a draw string. In the girl's palms is was offered solemnly for Ceinlys. "There is in fact a few things that will be necessary however we may speak of them later. Before you are bound elsewhere?" She asked, only following the movement of the pouch with her eyes until it was presented for the Erenford woman. Soon enough her gaze laid a heavy focus on Ceinlys, herself far from weary. Glowing but anxious.
Clasping her hands loosely over her abdomen now, settled in her chair, Ceinlys studies the Lady Charlton with a pleasant, musing air. "I suppose he does." she agrees, in regard to the trust placed in her ability. "And thank you, for your kind words. Despite my appointment having been somewhat forced by his Lordship's impending departure, I do hope that it will last a -long- while." Quirking a crooked smile, she adds, "..there is always much to do, in the running of a House, after all."
As the servant girl steps forward with her offering, seemingly innocuous as it may be, the Castellan flits a mere glance to the closed pouch, before a shift of her eyes implies the girl ought to set it on the table. Ceinlys' hand certainly isn't reaching for it, remaining clasped with the other for now. It would be entirely inappropriate to fall upon the gift with girlish zeal - she'll open it later, no doubt, away from prying eyes. "How kind. Thank you, my Lady. And I have a little time now, if there are matters you need speak of. In truth, you would be rescuing me from the grave threat of a headache." She indicates the papers and books on the table with a subtle nod, though her faint smile implies the jest in her words. The work has to be done. But then, seeing to Cherise' needs is a factor, also.
The girl does, setting the pouch upon the table with afforded care. "As it should." She says easily, barely with any mind for the girl's returned. But Cherise does tsk loudly, "Oh do open it, at least grant me the pleasure of you seeing what it is I have given you. It is part of the pleasure." The two retainers kept their eyes ever moving like a pendulum between the noble pair conversing. "But yes, there is. Let us walk then? I grow ever tired of standing and sitting idle. Besides, these halls give me comfort of what I miss in Hollyholt." A bit less than her home but none the less a small reminder and vastly more suitable than the Inn.
A subtle glance toward Fleming has the man calmly reaching for the pouch, even as Cherise is speaking. Ceinlys doesn't watch him, at first, as he opens the drawstring and upends the little bag, tipping the contents into his large palm, her vivid eyes remaining consideringly upon Cherise for a time. But when he grunts softly and extends his hand a little to display the trinkets, she slowly turns her attention to him, and them. "..gracious. How generous of you, my Lady. I shall see them put to good use, I assure you." Offering the retainer a gentle nod, the Castellan begins to rise smoothly, then, from her chair, sighing softly as her muscles ache in protest of such outlandish presumption as movement.
"Sitting idle, madam, is precisely what you ought to be enjoying." Given her delicate condition, and the fact that all household matters are now being deftly handled by the dark-haired Erenford, Cherise is certainly afforded all the leisure one could possibly want, without fear of judgement. "And I understand your goodcousin is here, also?" Retying the pouch, Fleming likewise rises, leaving the younger guards to their supper but diligently prepared to accompany Ceinlys as she apparently intends to depart, if only for a while, with the Lady Charlton. Gesturing toward the hallway with one hand, silently inviting the pregnant noblewoman to move first, the Lady Erenford continues in a conversational tone. "Indeed.. I found Hollyholt to be very accomodating. A pleasant change, given our chambers, of late."
Cherise followed the exchange until the trinket was revealed. Presents were presents and the lady smiled small. "Worn at all times until something more appropriate is forged. I suppose there should be some sort of ceremony however as times are I can only do what I may." Given the slew of circumstances Cherise is the one to start the walk at least free of the dining hall and invoke some life back into her feet. "It is hardly enjoyable to stare at a wall all day. I am given leave for short journeys on occasion unless my limbs fail from lack of wear hmm?" The lady Charlton's retainers would step in line after Ceinlys take to accompanying her. "Ser Quellyan?" She asked. "He is soon to depart for the Isles with my husband."
A non-commital 'hmm' is the only response given by the Castellan, though she follows Cherise' lead in stepping out into the halls, through an arching doorway, laving the cozy, firelit chamber and merry chatter at her back. Fleming is a formidable presence in the background, but he doesn't linger so close as to impede conversation. And it's unlikely he cares much for the talk of womenfolk, anyway. Tucking the pouch away for the time being, the stubbled, square-jawed guard follows along, largely ignoring the handmaidens who do the same.
"What may I do for you, Lady Charlton." Ceinlys' voice breaks through a fleeting reverie, getting to the point. She's not curt about it, but plainly only so much time is going to be given to social niceties, nowadays. The mention of the Isles doesn't seem a topic she intends to dwell upon. Of course, she has kin venturing there, also. There's no sense in despairing over 'what-ifs' and their like.. not when she has more pressing concerns to attend here.
"Tell me of Hollyholt for starters. Had you encountered the lady Keera?" Cherise smirked. "Quite a presence." Came her murmured words after laying both hands upon her belly. "I perhaps should not take slight that you choose to filter my gifts through a guard right before my eyes. Especially now given my fragile state Lady Erenford." She's careful in timing her words past the ears of other occupants in the hall in her slow venture. Though she does come to a pause, turning to face Ceinlys. "Should I have any reason for any misgivings or concerns with you joined to my house hold?" She asked plainly as her retainers exchanged a look, also pausing in their movements.
"It was a most pleasant trip, albeit unfortunately short. And why yes.." Ceinlys' lips twitch upward into a similar curve as she glances to the blonde, "..I did have opportunity to visit with my aunt." A soft, velvety chuckle follows Cherise' summary of the noblewoman. "That's one way of describing her, I suppose…"
Obligingly slowing, then coming to a halt, as the pregnant Lady's pace dictates, the Castellan tilts her head a touch askance. "A slight? Indeed, you should not think of it as such, my Lady. Just as I do not take offence to your seeking to have me ousted from my place, before I have even proven my ability. If women like us placed any stock to every insult and plot surrounding us.. well, perhaps we would never leave our chambers at all. And, as you say.. staring at a wall is rather dull."
Ignoring the retainers entirely, Ceinlys keeps her blue eyes level upon the young noblewoman, her expression giving little away, following the flash of white teeth in a fleeting grin in the wake of her previous words. No, she seems attentive, solicitous, even. "Misgivings? Quite plainly you already have some, madam, or you would not ask in such a manner." With that, she merely quiets, perhaps waiting for elaboration of some kind.
"One of many ways." Which ways go unsaid but any who has met the Lady of Hollyholt could just imagine what those where. "I did, I do not deny that. Though my actions are reasonable given the circumstances surrounding your past Lady Erenford. It was questionable, nothing more. Assurances could have been made to quell those concerns. Nothing too extraordinary on your part of course." Cherise had tilted her head a touch as while they spoke. "I am forward because I grow tired of whispers and ill suited talk. Any more is likely to cause more harm than good. I will not have this child in a bad state of affairs. So I do ask again, should I have any reason for concerns or misgivings with you joining in our household? If you say there is naught then you shall continue as you are with the afforded security you originally sought after. Otherwise you if there are you will make certain it is no more. That is not so unreasonable now is it?"
"Cherise…" The ebon-haired young lady keeps her voice soft, soothing.. but there's a flicker of something else entirely in those blue eyes, just for a splitsecond. "..it is a little late to ask these questions, now. Had you concern, you ought to have voiced them before I was accepted. As it stands, my position now is elected by the opinion of your husband and, seeing as it requires little contact between you and I, perhaps you ought not to concern yourself with such matters. Given your.." A swift glance downward to where Cherise has clasped her hands over her belly. "..fragile condition."
Taking a half step forward, increasing the fairly questionable privacy of this discussion, Ceinlys levels her gaze upon the blonde again. "I have all the 'security' I desire, my Lady, I assure you. And I shall continue as I am, because it is my duty to do so. If the whisperings trouble you, then I am sorry for it. But I can no sooner stem their flow than I could damn the waters at the Twins. Now.." Drawing a slow-burning smile across her lips, the Castellan arches her brows in polite enquiry. "..is there anything I can do for you, before I return to my work?"
"Your duty is to Charlton Lady Erenford, and there will be more than one that you will serve honorably. Remember that for your security is only so far granted as my husband holds his position and the Seven forbid, should he not return from the Isles…" Cherise shook her head slightly, "Find two suitable riders to deliver letters for the Westerlands. As for the whispers about, what measures have you taken to see they are not given credence? No… you've encouraged them. Never the less," The Lady Charlton rolled her shoulders back, even and seeking some measure of comfort as she may. "It is Lady Charlton. We are not so familiar yet to be too cordial. You'll find those letters in my chambers here, Mistress Darra will have them. Good day Lady Erenford."
"I have no doubt that he shall return, hale and whole, Lady Cherise." replies the young woman, unperturbed by any such imaginings of otherwise. Folding her arms comfortably across her midsection, fingertips resting lightly against the velvet of her jacket sleeves, she listens calmly, waiting for a natural pause in the other's words before speaking, her tone never raising about that lilting cadence of indulgent pacification. "Encouraged them, my Lady? Hardly. People will speculate, as is their wont. The best way to correct their assumptions, if it truly worries you so terribly, would be to reinforce your own role, rather than question mine. If I might offer the counsel."
With that, and a momentary nod, she's back to other matters. "Two riders. Of course. I shall send someone to pick up your missives, Lady Cherise." Stepping unhurriedly around the noblewoman, headed back toward the arching doorway, she calls back across a shoulder without turning. "..and thank you again, for your thoughtful gifts. I shall have to think of something equally pleasant, in kind." With Fleming shadowing her steps, features grim, the Castellan is soon lost to sight.