|Mourning Make-over and Stallions|
|Summary:||Cordelya, Tiaryn and Cherise dine. Normal lady's talk.|
|Cherise's Chambers, Crane's Crossing Inn - Stonebridge|
|The rooms at Crane's Crossing are of the finest quality to be found at any guest quarters among the Riverlands, though not as finely done as those in the castles — by far. The rooms are spacious with plenty of room for not just a noble but a small entourage to gather in. The sprawling beds are finished with fine sheets and goosedown-stuffed pillows. Rugs are lain about except nearest the door with a few couches placed to one corner for guests of the room holder. Chambermaidens are on call at all hours to clean and refill the wash basins or provide new washclothes - or to even take sullied clothing for cleaning. The windows are set out a bit from the wall to provide bench seating that overlooks the sprawling green of meadows, distant forests, and bubbling creeks.|
|February 21, 289|
For a secluded dinner, granting the utmost privacy for the three ladies of worth Cherise's rented chambers within the Inn had been rearranged to accommodate the small group for dinner. From a far wall of the room, a red-orange blaze hissed from the hearth, adding a touch of warmth for comfort. Her maidservants remained attentive to the Lady's needs while she waited for her guests arrival while seated at the small table. "Both, tea and wine if they so choose. And do see how well the kitchen in progressing Adara." Cherise requested, the middle-aged woman nodded demurely before hushed skirts brushed along the floors during her exit.
Tia and Cordelya are heralded by a knock at the door, their arrival totally expected, as they come over from their rooms, guards and maids in tow. Tia is of course wearing her mourning garb, as they enter, a gentle curtsey offered to Cherise politely. "Good evening, Lady Cherise," she greets easily enough, a little bit of reserve on her face, as the door is closed behind the new arrivals.
Cordelya hated to leave the pup behind, but she knows that there is no actual excuse for a loving, wiggling, drooling shit-factory walking around a proper lady's dinner. So Orlagh was left with the pup and Corrie came along as a proper lady should with Tiaryn. She's changed clothing, apparently a whole array of dresses were brought for her with her new lady's maid. This one is a pure, storm cloud gray of silk, trimmed with white lace on the edges and below her breasts. It moves around her like some sort of elegant cloud, hinting at curves she does not have and making her look softer over all. She's even a bit steadier looking than earlier, but she's got a small bag of ginger root with her just in case. She smiles as they duck in…"Ready for company?"
A goblet of crimson was slowly nursed in one hand. Upon the arrival of her guests Cherise's lips held a pleasant smile, "Yes yes, come." She eagerly greets, setting the metallic cup upon the table and reaching for Marryn's hand for aid onto her feet. Eyes bounce between Tiaryn and Cordelya, the former still in her mourning drab however that was soon to be remedied. "Oh Corrie, I awed by your garment. Just look at you." On her feet, she wore the robes of comfort without slacking on it's appeal. "Marryn, see that the door is closed hmm? Kacee see to their belongings." After relaying another set of orders Cherise slightly waddles her form closer. "Have you a dress Lady Tiaryan?"
Tia's Adara is not middle aged. The maid found by the Flints when they realized they'd rescued Tia and she'd need one is fairly young, younger than Tia in fact, but she's quite good at her work. She has a bundle in hand, carrying a basket it seems. Tia waits until the door is closed, and she looks at Cherise. "I do," she says after a moment. "In fact, we brought two, so we can choose which one we like better." That's the easy part. Adara checks the door as well, automatically, before she sets the basket down and then holds up the dresses, one at a time. One is in blues and the other in grey and lavender. Tia simply looks to Corrie and Cherise. "I don't know which to pick."
The elegantly gowned, tiny stick of a thing called Corrie Flint walks the rest of the way into the room, letting the maids handle the dresses and any actual hard work. She smiles over to Cherise, cheeks prettily blushing just a bit at the comment of her garment. "Yes, it's… it's quite nice, isn't it? Orlagh brought it down for me from Flint's Finger. She's brought so many good things… but we're here for Tia's dress, not for mine." She then grins back towards her good cousin and looks over the garments. "I like the blues, but then it goes so well with her hair and eyes… I know our house colours are gray… but, damned if that's not so… Gray."
After inspection of both garments, a quick glance over she already had a favorite. "The blue, we want to stray as far away from the black as possible." She tells Tiaryn. It was a calming color, soothing. "There is a changing screen just there, you and your servant may make a use of it when ever you are ready Tiaryn." Turning her eyes to Cordeyla, Cherise reaches for the goblet recently given onto the table. "It is though the admiration is well needed. Vicariously I am enjoying the displays of fine garments as I will be without a great many of them for some time." Not wholly disappointed, Cherise still seemed to be happy about something. "Wine ladies? I managed to reserve a few bottles of my favorite from Hollyhort." Shortly after those words a graceful gesture is made to Kacee, the servant girl who instantly makes her way for the two bottles of wine and cups.
This is somewhat different for Tia, having grown up with only brothers. She takes a breath and then nods to Adara, who carefully puts the grey away. It'll come in handy when Tia moves to half mourning, but for now, she'll put the blue on and pretend all is right with the world. "Thank you," she says. "It feels somewhat strange to me, truthfully." She steps behind the screen, Adara coming along with her, and the two are invisible to the others for a moment. That was the plan right? Start by getting into the dress. Tia has always preferred bright colours, so always wearing black is a little wearing for her.
Corrie slips over to sit across from Cherise, sinking down smoothly, with all the proper grace a lady should have, even if she is still all awkward bones. One of these days she'll put a bit more warmth and curve back on. Just not tonight. The thought of wine makes her frown just a bit. "Ah… perhaps half a glass… I find it goes to my head quite… quite quickly these days. I've not drank in so long. Not really since the ale at the war camps, and that was all watered down, probably." She doesn't wish to be rude, but she also doesn't really trust her body to handle the heavy, sweet wine of nobility. Especially House Charlton which always has nothing but the best. She turns her head and then calls back to the screen, "Tia, if you girls need help, you just ask, yes?"
Kacee is soon preparing the guest's their vintage as Cherise occasionally glances to the privacy screen separating the pair from witnessing Tiaryn's progress. "I imagine it would." Especially considering the former Camden's story of survival. "Do you not fashion the attire in the privacy of your chambers? Just… because it is there?" She wondered, believing it would be something Cherise would revel in when alone. To shed the dreary attire and remember there is life even while in mourning. Too many months of it. Her eyes then glanced to Cordeyla, "It may, there were times when wine was the only thing I could consume." A small jolt of laughter tickled her humor while slowly sinking into her seat, great care was exercised in doing so. "And then there were times when even the smell would turn my stomach. I tell you, Corrie, a child is the most temperamental and unpredictable creature. I trust this would not leave this room but once I had the most oddest urge to lick our horse's salt lick." The lady then feigned a grimace, her pert nose wrinkling along the bridge as she giggled lightly.
Tia and Adara do work quickly, as they've had practice at it, though not with this particular gown. It's actually an empire waist, a deep blue that darkens her eyes and makes them shine. The sheen of the dress brings out the colour of Tia's skin, and once it's on, the bodice frames her curves quite sweetly. Alas for the poor gentlemen when Tia finally gets to wear this dress out in public. Thankfully the scars are lower, so they do not show. She takes a moment or two, not really aware due to no mirror, just how the dress fits. "I think Adara is a wonder with a needle, far better than I could do," she says. And as she steps out, just tugging the last bit at the dress to make sure it is properly in position. "I have not really had the desire to fashion clothing up until now," she admits. Adara follows behind her, quietly, and then she moves to join the other maids, unless called for. Tia goes quiet as she listens to the discussion about pregnancy symptoms, just standing there a little awkwardly.
Cordelya keeps her pale green eyes flickering back towards the screens, quite curious to see what Tia is going to be like. She wrinkles her nose at the thought of salt lick, right now that turning her stomach. "Aye, Cherise… I have heard stories, though also heard that often the things one's body craves are the things it and the baby NEEDS… so perhaps you needed more salt in your food, or other things, for healthfulness. Wine is good to bring blood to the cheeks and vitality to the limbs. So I shall take some…" But she reaches for the smallest glass from Kacee. Then her eyes catch sight of Tia and they just widen. She'd not seen Tia this lovely since her own wedding, and Tia's wedding before that. "Oh… Tia…. Gods. You… you are breath taking… Look at you!" To have curves like that. Corrie is almost jealous.
"And they say I am spoiled." The lady quips, painted lips curved and accenting coveted features just before raising the polished grey metallic cup for another drink. The ability to enjoy wine without consequence was soothing. When Tiaryan was ready to re-emerge, dolled up in a lovely blue garment, once considered her favorite as he complimented her eyes, her own pools of blue glimmered brightly. "Oh Tiaryn…" Her tone filled with jealousy, envy, pride, awe, surprise and just everything when the heart was filled with warmth. With a single thought sparked in her mind, she had quickly looked to one of her servant girls, "Kacee. See what you may do for Lady Tiaryn's hair as well? And the paints. And there is a lovely set of sapphire earrings. The gold ones. Yes, those too." Clearly the lady was not finished yet. With her eyes back on Tiaryn, her chin curled inward towards the shoulder as a coy display. "This… this is how you shall make your debut when the mourning months are over. I dare say you may even gain my husband's interest."
Tia's curves come naturally to her, thank you. She can't help it. Her cheeks flush though with the compliments, and then she laughs outright. "With this hair? I don't know if you will be able to make anything out of it other than knots," she says. Though at the last, she tilts her head somewhat, since catching Aleister's attention is not in her thoughts at all. "My lady, you are most welcome to your husband's interest," she says simply. Nope, she won't be going there at all, no matter what. And Anders is equally safe, Tia doesn't poach. Well, at least not so long as she has some safety, which she has already been offered. However, she does move forward, settling gracefully into a chair so that Kacee can play with her hair. "I heard someone mention wine, did I not?" she says, looking a little bit off kilter.
It is a bit strange, poor Tia, the perfect compromise between fatly pregnant Cherise and rail thin Cordelya. What a woman should look like, when not with child, though Corrie still looks at Cherise as well with that mix of envy and wonder in her eyes, especially at the woman's belly. She's as jealous of Cherise's roundness as she is Tia's femininty. It's not that Corrie wishes to be thin as a sapling branch, it is simply how life has gone. She accepts the smallest glass of wine, passing one of the fuller ones over to her cousin. "There, Tia… drink… and you might have to finish mine.. I've no taste for the stuff, in truth… it's so sweet… " But she's trying. She wants to be warm, soft. Relaxed. Then she gazes back to Cherise…"You are wonderful, Cherise… thank you so much, for helping take care of my good cousin… I barely have any clothes that would fit anyone else."
"I am certain Kacee would be able to succeed at the challenge." Fully confident in her maidservant's skills, the young female, perhaps in her mid-twenties, waited for Tiaryn to become seated before tending to the curly blonde mane with ease. While she brushed, Cherise's attention was split between the two women of worth. "That is kind of you to say Tiaryn." She returns to the Flint woman, laying hope upon those words. She had always caught Cordeyla's envious eyes, the green colors, catching the swell of her belly. "Think nothing of it.." She waves off the gratitude without so much of a gesture. "They would just lay in my trunks untouched. At least in this someone else may also become a beneficiary of high tastes." The lady Charlton had glanced down to her own belly, of course taking another glance of Cordeyla in her seat. "Do you wish to feel him? He is awake and quite active at the present."
Babies! But Tia is staying nicely still to allow Kacee to do her work. She does accept the wine from Corrie, sipping at it cautiously. "Mmm, very nice, Cherise. You have excellent taste." It's somewhat familiar, that red, perhaps Tia has tasted the same vintage before. Her brow furrows briefly as she tries to think where that might have been. "You have exquisite tastes, Cherise. Truly." And Tia is quite happy to be able to wear some of the results of that taste, as she now has the chance. Having her hair brushed by someone who knows what they are doing is also something relaxing, so Tia does relax with the gentle ministrations of Kacee. Adara watches, though she too is quite competent. It's just to see if there are any tricks she's not thought of yet.
Poor Tia, she is beautiful. So, so beautiful, but very little can distract Cordelya from a CHILD! Corrie's eyes widen at the offer, shock and excitement flooding her features as she abandons the wine glass that was in her hand and immediately moves a bit closer to Cherise. "Oh…Cherise… you do not mind? It would not be too strange? Yes, yes… I would very much like so! When… when did you start feeling him? How long has he been like this?" Corrie asks eagerly, both hands reaching out, waiting to be guided to where she can most feel that stirring of life in the woman's belly. Corrie turns a flickering look to Tia, though, smiling and excited, "Oh, Tia, when you are done, you will have to feel… this is so lovely!"
They were exquisite, honed and refined beneath the roof of Charlton her fashions and accents were catered to flash the wealth tastefully. In praise Cherise held onto the smile while her garments and belongings were being settled into their new home. Behind Tiaryn Kacee was fashioning her hair into an upswept look, leaving some whispering lengths of the lady's natural curls to barely brush against the back of her neck and the hinting exposure of the shoulder. Instead of taming the wild mane, she worked with it, coiling and rolling some portions while still allowing it to appear elegantly savage from the old styles when curly hair was deeply coveted. Of course Kacee would add some pearl accented golden pins to keep some parts of her hair in place, but when all was done Tiaryn's crown was blooming with golden rays of curls as if the sun had chosen to settle it's self behind her. "Too perfect Kacee… bring the plate for the lady to see." She ordered before she would easily guide both of Cordeyla's hands to the sides were she felt most movement from the unruly babe. Strong kicks, extremities stretching, if there was pain Cherise displayed no hint of such. "A little over a month now? Before the men had marched to Segard but no, I do not mind. It is an odd feeling really. As someone is pushing out from my skin." In truth they were. "You can push in turn, just not too far. Whenever I wish to ensure he is still there I try to wake him up. And like a male I am given a kick with his foot."
It is amazing what happens when wealth is brought to bear upon natural assets. Tia is staying still but as the plate is brought so Tia can see, she rather stares for a long stunned moment. "Gods, you are a wonder," she tells Kacee, sort of flabbergasted. "I think this might even beat the sap of the Heart Tree, somehow. Though that does come along with memories." She gets to her feet, the dress flowing with her, moving as she does, and she twirls for a moment, letting the swift glee show. "It does feel so nice," she says, as she moves to kneel down by Cherise and Corrie. "May I also feel?" she asks, not daring to take such a step without permission. "Do you think there will be a dance for me to wear this at?" she asks. "Surely there will, once victory is won." She'll carefully sidestep the thought that there might not be victory - there will be. And all the family and friends /will/ come home. And come calling.
Cordelya is entranced. A baby… a human life, growing, responding, warm and soft. Hell, even just Cherise's warmth and softer curves is odd for Corrie these days. She's so used to nothing but bones. Though, the hardness of Cherise's stomach is a bit of a surprise. So much toughness that looks like it should be soft. She gently rests both her hands on one side, letting the baby's limbs press in against her small, cool palms. "Oh…Cherise…" She breathes out softly, speechless for several moments. Wine is forgotten, food is forgotten, her world is just for the child. "This… this is a miracle… aren't you in awe? He is so strong…" She whispers huskily. She then looks up at Tia overtop of Cherise's belly, smiling a bit wider. "Aye, Tia, you must wear that to a dance! We shall get you another man and you might have a child as well! We can all have children and it… it will be just a lovely miracle."
Kacee was pleased, her talents and skills put to use which made the gratitudes offered much more meaningful. While Cordelya had cooed and awed over the babe's movement, Cherise surveyed the final result of Tiaryn's transformation. From woodland noble to a lady suited for the courts. "Beautiful. Simply beautiful, but yes, yes you may." As she was not planing on standing for quite some time, she welcomed Tiaryn's curiosity to the movements within her belly. "Truthfully Cordelya, the novelty has somewhat become diminished when you feel the babe kick at something highly sensitive within you, in the middle of night. Multiple times. Two or three glasses may keep him sated for a long while. At least for decent night of rest." In looking to Tiaryn Cherise inquires, "Is there a certain someone you wish to show off this look for? At a dance?"
Tia reaches her hand out to touch Cherise's belly hesitently, feeling the curves, the baby moving, and then she pulls back. She gives Corrie a wide eyed look though, taking a breath, and then she shakes her head negatively. Her hair tickles at her neck and shoulder, which catches her attention for a moment. "You - Corrie, you promised," she says, a little worriedly. And then Cherise starts, which does bring a slight pink to Tia's cheeks. "My lady, it's not proper while in mourning, but there is someone who has caught my attention."
Cordelya frowns a hint to Tiaryn, but she doesn't pressure it. She just slightly nods and looks back down to Cherise's belly. She probably won't pull her hand away for a good long while, not until Cherise tells her she should or the food comes and they all should eat. So, for now, Corrie enjoys the warm of the stirring baby beneath her fingertips. She then looks back to Cherise, though, her frown sticking in place. "…Oh… I cannot imagine this ever getting old, but then I have not been there… still, as long as the wine works, you can sleep when the baby sleeps… And enjoy it all the time you are awake!"
"It may not be proper but it happens." Cherise leads with a smirk, drinking from her wine cup again. "The tales I have heard. Such scandals when some ladies are morning. Why I do remember one in particular, she was all tears and anguish in public however one of her servants spied the woman being serviced by her own son. Her 'agony' being consoled by the one person who reminded her of her husband." The thought of which just made the Lady Charlton shake her head, giggling with laughter. "And there was also a woman who … well let us just say she passed the days of mourning with her beloved stallion." Raising the cup to her lip, she paused, "And I do not mean one that stands on two legs." Let that simmer and sink in. "Speaking of an interest is harmless, your little secret is safe here." It had to be said, besides, this was an evening reprieve from sadness and dark thoughts. Something the lady desperately needed. "Is he handsome? Wealthy?" Two very important qualities. "I do enjoy it, being reminded that he is still alive within me."
Tia is trying to not give anything away really, given how early stages anything of note is. She does give Corrie a look to see if she's mad at all, but her attention is drawn almost in horror to Cherise's tales of truly frightening women. Stallion? Seriously? Ow. Though the idea that she is safe here is quite nice. "Nothing so strange," she says, amusement in her voice, and blue eyes sparkling. "While I do like to ride my horse that is only in the normal way, and nothing quite so perverse as you are hinting at. As for my interest, I'd prefer not to speak of who it is just yet. It's not - it's tenuous and not real enough to speak of, if that makes sense. But yes, he is handsome. And as for wealthy, that I am not sure. It - would be nice, I expect, but it is not something that is entirely necessary." Okay, there's a bit of hesitation in her words there, as she might well be reconsidering that particular thought.
Adara quietly knocks on the door, announcing her arrival through the barrier then peeking her head inside. "My ladies? The evening meal is ready."
Cordelya goes dead quiet as Cherise goes on about how women comfort themselves during mourning. Corrie has no clue what to say to ANY Of that. Her eyes widen and she slowly pulls away, actually pulling her hands off Cherise's belly a moment or two before dinner is announced. She has no clue what to say. The young, innocent Cordelya just goes quiet and looks down and away from Cherise or Tiaryn. This is not her sort of conversation. She breathes out in relief as dinner is announced and the talk goes to the men instead. That's easier…"Who is he, Tia, you will not tell us? And yes, let us go eat, we can talk of men there…" And not stallions.
Adara entered with a large kettle still steaming with the scent of spiced pork sausages cut into bite-sized morsels within the stew. The servant behind her held the tray of sliced breads, fruits and sliced cheeses. Those helping hands within the chamber made themselves useful as needed. In noticing the features upon both the lady's faces, Cherise laughed gingerly, "Be at ease, the are rumors no? You would be surprised what reaches the ears of Hollyhort." Herself finding both disgust and humor in it, she has become less than sensitive to the talk. At least in private. At the mention of dinner arriving, the lady partially turns in her seat as both hands had been removed from her belly. The aroma from the dishes assaulted her senses, murmuring an unchecked, "mmm" when the kettle was nearby. "This stew should be easy on your stomach Cordeyla, it is prepared with the herbs my the Maester at Hollyhort recommended during my early stages of pregnancy. It will have no effect on yourself Tiaryan, it is actually quite tasteful."
Tia moves to give Corrie a hug as the other woman goes so quiet. She smiles and then shakes her head. "No, I won't breathe a name for fear of it getting to the wrong person's ears," she says. There's amusment there, but she's sticking to her intentions. "You may try to guess if you wish." She then gives Corrie a mischievous glance, before she nods to Cherise. "I have heard some quite strange rumours, but usually they are merely that, with little reality to them. The stew smells wonderful, I am certain it will be quite good." The blue silks of the dress flow as she moves, swirling and teasing the senses. "Have you selected a name for the baby yet?"
A little pout is given by Corrie towards Tia's lacking reveal of the name. Her brows loft in consideration…"Mm…Pariston or Fenrir, I suspect… I've seen you with both of them, though neither are noble born. That might be trouble in and of itself… Of course, no one says you HAVE to marry. You have done that once. You could just enjoy yourself, though… I worry to warn you that Fen's eyes are elsewhere. I hope it's not him." However, the look on Corrie's features clearly says she thinks it is. Then she's gazing back to Cherise and smiling a bit more comfortably, eager to dig into the stew. She really DOES want to gain weight. She hates looking the way she does. "Oh, lovely…I hope this works. If it does, Cherise, I must steal the recipe. I need to find more things that agree with my stomach. Especially now."
Lady Charlton readjusted her form upon the pillowed seats in order to dine comfortably. As the ladies were reclaiming their own chairs, Adara was filling their pewter bowls with the pork flavored stew. The large dish piled with other favourable compliments had been placed in the middle. Adara served Tiaryn next and then Cordelya. "If not a name, perhaps just a House? Or a riddle of the crest colors to make it fun." She smiles while reaching for the wooden spoon. "I have thought of a few. Arleon. Edwyric. Arrwyn. Thanis…nothing really seems good enough. " As Cordeyla played the game of guess who, a certain mention of two Flint men birthed wrinkle in Cherise's nose. "Noble they are not." It was strongly emphasized. "If it does, I will see Adara will list the herbs required."
The dinner continues warmly, comfortable and chatty. Tiaryn manages to head Cordelya's questioning off at the pass with some muttering annoyances about Fenrir, but no real answer otherwise. It only further serves to frustrate Corrie, and she spends a good first half of the meal trying to prod it out of the woman. When that doesn't work, Corrie will let Cherise direct more of the conversation, especially as her tummy protests even thinking about finishing her meal. She's trying, at least. She picks at the rest of it as the other two talk of dresses, hair and propriety. The dinner is a thoroughly lovely evening, on all accounts.