Page 334: My Lady's Temper
My Lady's Temper
Summary: Roslyn and Kittridge go on a picnic.
Date: 30/June/2012
Related Logs: My Lady's Pleasure
Roslyn Kittridge 
The orchards and pond, etc.
June 30, 289

It's not a terribly long ride to Kingsgrove from Seagard, but it was late evening when the group arrived, and Roslyn and her attendants were installed at The Green Man, the nicest of the inns in town. It's something more like mid-morning when Kittridge arrives, waiting in the common room downstairs as a note is sent up inviting Roslyn out for a tour of the area.

Roslyn does not keep him waiting for too long, immediately dressing for the day in the blood red velvet riding habit that seems to be the only one she owns. It is well worth it, however, as the clothing clings to curves and the fabric shifts with her every movement. Her hair is pinned up carefully, tightly, one hand checking them even as she draws into the waiting area. She smiles at catching sight of Kittridge, hand dropping away as she steps towards him with a warm, "Lord Groves."

Kittridge rises as she descends the stairs, and bows as she approaches, "Lady Roslyn. Good morning," he says, straightening with a smile, "I hope you found the place comfortable? You may have already gone out today, so we can always do something else, but I thought you might like to see more of Kingsgrove?"

"I must admit to sleeping in, my lord, after travel yesterday, but I would love to see more of your land today," Roslyn answers, her lips curving in a return of his smile as she twists her riding gloves between her hands. "Though, I have yet to take the Witch out this morning, if you do not mind a ride?"

"You'll get no judgment from me there, I haven't been up long myself, either," Kittridge replies, smiling easily. At her question he nods, "Of course, we can see more that way. I've left Artos in the stables here," he says, beginning to head towards the door nearest them, "We can ride through town to the orchards and then perhaps you'd join us for dinner at Braeburn?"

Amusement playing along her words for a brief moment as Roslyn falls along beside him in their walk to the stables, she answers, "That sounds lovely, Lord Kittridge. The sooner I see this beautiful house of yours, the better." She pauses. "And I look forward to meeting your lord father and lady mother."

Kittridge laughs. "It is a beautiful house," he says, "But it's more just the area in general I usually brag about. The orchards aren't in bloom at the moment, but they're still pretty. I think." As for his parents, he nods, "Yes, I'm sure they'll be pleased to meet you. And my brother Stafford is here as well." Into the stables they go, both mounts quickly prepared by the inn's stablehands. He offers Roslyn a hand up before mounting a dark courser, a lighter, quicker-looking beast than that he rode in the tournament. "This way," he says, leading with a quick smile over his shoulder. They walk through town, a quietly bustling sort of place, not quite as big as the Roost, but in better shape currently, and somewhat more picturesque. He points out a few notable spots here and there - the other inn, a seamstress's shop, haberdashery, farrier, anything she might need or that he has an anecdote about. Even so, it's not long at all before the houses fade into farmland and countryside, and he directs them down a path towards a mass of bright green trees ahead.

Roslyn's own mare is a dusted grey thing, a simple steed for all that she's well-trained to her touch though likely not by the lady herself. She pays close attention to the tour, questions made when something in particular strikes her interest but seemingly pleased to listen to Kittridge's voice as she studies the village. Once they are free of it, she says finally, "Have you spoken to them yet of the thought to switch betrothals? Or is it too soon to say?"

"I mentioned it to them," Kittridge nods as the horses follow the path, packed earth leading straight for what must be the orchard. "My mother— they both seemed amenable to the idea," he says, "My father needs to hear more about the dowry offer, of course, before he can make any real decision, but they're definitely not opposed to considering it." Into the trees they go, and the path turns windy. It's not an orderly orchard, the trees grown up naturally rather than in rows, so there's a fair bit of zig-zagging and ducking under low-hanging branches, but it's peaceful and sun-dappled and fragrant, which is nice.

"Of course," Roslyn murmurs agreeably, her fingers on her reigns guiding the animal through the rows of trees while remaining near to converse with Kittridge. "I am sure that our families can come to a suitable agreement on the dowry." There is a hint of hope to those words, a quiet, growing thing as her gaze slides towards the Groves lord for a moment before the picturesque orchard captures her attention.

"I'm sure your brother must have something in mind, since he suggested it," Kittridge agrees, "He seemed pretty pleased with the idea, all of a sudden. Does Riordan know about it?" he wonders, glancing over at her curiously before adding, "Watch out," and pushing a branch up out of the way. "Walking through here's probably better," he says, "But riding is fun if you know to look out. This whole bit is all apple trees, and there are some pears over that way," he gestures, "And then over that way," another gesture, "It turns into regular woods."

"Which ones are the pears?" Leaning slightly forward in her seat to look through the weave of branches that make up the orchard, Roslyn studies each tree in turn with a care to mark their differences. She answers without looking back, "I hope that whatever he has in mind is well-thought of and that the discussions go smoothly. Riordan has been informed as well, since we may need his apparent ease with the Terricks to guide them towards a different marriage."

"Over that way," Kittridge gestures again, "We can ride that way if you want?" The trees around them are all apples, it seems, the fruit already picked in many cases, but some still here and there, mostly up high. "You prefer pears?" he guesses, and then nods, "Hopefully? I suppose we'll see. Your brothers both seem…unpredictable."

"Perhaps one may describe them such, if they are unaccustomed, but my brothers both rather care for my happiness," Roslyn replies carefully for all that a smile remains on her lips as she shakes her head to the offer. "No, thank you. I was only curious. Though, I do prefer pears and their juices. You, Kit?"

"I don't think being unpredictable and caring for your happiness are mutually exclusive," Kittridge says, shrugging. Lips curve a second later and he says, "I feel like there's a dirty joke to be made about that, but luckily I can't quite find it. I like both, myself. I guess I'd take apples over pears, if I had to pick."

Roslyn laughs, a quiet sound as she draws her gaze along the shrugged shoulder to Kittridge's expression. She answers lightly, "No, I suppose they are not, though I must say that I do not find them so unpredictable." She pauses, a brow lifting upwards. "I do not know the joke, either, or have one. Tell me, where is your favorite place within Kingsgrove?"

"Well, they're your brothers," Kittridge replies, "You ought to know them better than the rest of us." He drums his fingers absently on the saddle and considers, "My favorite place. It's hard to just choose one. We have a pond," he says, "That I like a lot. I always swim when I'm home, in the summer. It's the first thing I do when I get back from being off somewhere else."

"Shall we ride by the pond?" Roslyn questions lightly, her lips twitching into a mischievous smile for a moment before it smoothes into something politer. "Have you already swum then?"

"If you like," Kittridge replies, smile easy. He nods, "Last night, after we got in. I would have invited, you, but…" he glances over his shoulder at her minders, following at a polite distance.

"But, it would not be appropriate," agrees Roslyn wryly, humor easy in her words as she glances back towards her maid and guard as well before returning her smile to Kittridge.

"Probably not," Kit replies, "Unfortunately. Maybe you can go with Day or something, while you're here," he offers, "If you want." He smiles back, directing them down a branch of the path. "We used to run around in here a lot, too," he tells her of the orchard, "As children. The woods are pretty, too, but a bit further from the house. If things ever calm down enough, I'll have some folks out to go hunting, I think. I was going to for my nameday, but that came and went and didn't get a chance."

"I would enjoy that, or Lady Rosanna herself if she is not too—wroth with me when she hears word." Roslyn winces slightly, a quiet tension to her expression as she thinks on that for a moment as she guides her horse where directed. "I am sure the men of the Riverlands would appreciate such a chance, and it would give you a chance to show off your home," she allows.

"I'm not sure how long my sister will be staying," Kittridge replies, "Maybe just a day or two, I'm told." He shrugs, "We'll see. I certainly am not going to tell her. Somebody else can do that. Maybe it'll be part of the dowry," he jokes. Half-jokes. Not-really-jokes-at-all. "I do like showing off my home," he admits with a crooked smile, "As you may have noticed. And there's good hunting." He shrugs, "I like hunting parties. Not as formal as… party parties."

"Perhaps I can broach the subject, then, in an informal way if I may catch her before she departs," murmurs Roslyn lightly, some concern to her words for the absent Rosanna as she glances towards Kittridge. "I am sure my lord brothers would be glad for an invitation, if you do such. Though, I am sure you had already planned to."

"That… would be interesting," Kittridge says, chuckling a little, "I was thinking your brother should have to do it, but if you'd like to take it on yourself, feel free. I'm far too much of a coward to volunteer, myself." He swipes a hand through his hair and leans around a reaching branch, saying, "I think I may have invited them already? We'll see if I ever get around to holding it at all. It's almost a month late as it is."

Roslyn's attention slide to Kittridge as his fingers drag through his hair, watching the gesture before she remembers herself to answer, "I would not wish something upon my brothers than I could take on myself. I do not think I am particularly brave either, however." But, her lips lift in a self-deprecating smile at that. "You should, Kit. If we are betrothed, perhaps as a—celebration."

"Mmm, maybe you haven't thought it through enough, if you don't think it's brave," Kittridge jokes. Kind of. He smiles, and then a little wider, and nods, "Sure, that's a good idea. Do you like hunting?" he asks curiously, "I know some ladies who hawk."

"I have never cared for hawking, though I do enjoy accompanying the hunt," Roslyn answers with a hint of a wrinkle to her nose where she admits to her lack of hawking. "Though, yes, I am sure there are ladies of the Riverlands who would wish to hawk."

"I definitely prefer regular hunting to hawking," Kittridge agrees, "But yes, I know some do." He shrugs, and says, "Well, one way or another I'll have to have one, then, and you can come along." He flashes her a smile, and asks, "What else do you like, that I don't know about?"

"That you do not know of, Kit?" Roslyn repeats in a question, a smile to her expression as she considers it. Her gaze drops to the reigns, studying them for a moment before she admits quietly, "I do like to bake. And you?"

"To bake? I'm going to demand you prove that and bake me something," Kittridge replies, before considering. "Hmm. Iiiii… play the lute? A bit. Not very well," he says.

"Then you shall have to play for me in turn, if you enjoy it, at least," Roslyn counters with a quick grin and glance to Kittridge.

"If you promise to have very low expectations," Kittridge says, "Maybe. I'm not quite as bad at that as at painting, but close. I can breathe fire," he says, grinning, "Like at carnivals? I'm not great at that either, but I can mostly do it."

"You can breathe fire?" There is evident surprise in Roslyn's tone as she glances quickly to Kittridge, the weight of her gaze studying him as if she expects this to be a prank or a test of her gullibility.

Kittridge laughs at this response, but nods, "Yeah, I can. Most of the time, if I'm careful. I saw someone do it at a carnival one summer and wanted to learn how and Dominick helped me figure it out."

Roslyn seems dubious, for all that humor warms her gaze and she considers Kittridge closely. She questions, "What do you need to do to accomplish breathing fire?"

Kittridge grins. "I can't tell you. That would ruin it! It's magic," he says, "Wait and see. At some point. I don't know when."

"This visit, at least. You cannot tell me you do something such as that and not show me as soon as possible," Roslyn bargains lightly in turn.

Kittridge laughs. "Maybe," he says, "We'll see. I can't just do magic on command, you know, it takes some preparation. We'll see." He grins, and leads them around another bend, whereupon the orchard thins out and ends, and a broad, flat pond appears. There are trees in clumps around its edge, and a small swath of beach, sandy soil and slippery rocks lapped by the water. At the far end of the pond is a mill with a wheel. "Here we are," Kit says, "The pond."

A wry smile catching at the corner of her lips, Roslyn tips her chin to accept this answer before setting her attention to the appearance of the pond. "Perhaps we can dismount and take a moment to sit," she suggests quietly to Kittridge, a glance back to her maid and guard again with a quiet sigh under her breath. Just sitting, then.

Kittridge smiles crookedly at that sigh, letting it flare wider into a brief grin before he nods. "If you like," he says, "There's a log over there," he points, "That's good for sitting." He leads a bit nearer, and then stops and dismounts, passing the reins off to the servants since they're here anyway.

Carefully dismounting from her mare, Roslyn hands over her reigns as well as she smoothes her skirts from the ride, smiling towards Kittridge in return for his grin. "I woudl like to spend the time with you," she answers softly, gloves pulled from her fingers as she moves towards the log.

A wry smile catching at the corner of her lips, Roslyn tips her chin to accept this answer before setting her attention to the appearance of the pond. "Perhaps we can dismount and take a moment to sit," she suggests quietly to Kittridge, a glance back to her maid and guard again with a quiet sigh under her breath. Just sitting, then.

Kittridge smiles crookedly at that sigh, letting it flare wider into a brief grin before he nods. "If you like," he says, "There's a log over there," he points, "That's good for sitting." He leads a bit nearer, and then stops and dismounts, passing the reins off to the servants since they're here anyway.

Carefully dismounting from her mare, Roslyn hands over her reigns as well as she smoothes her skirts from the ride, smiling towards Kittridge in return for his grin. "I woudl like to spend the time with you," she answers softly, gloves pulled from her fingers as she moves towards the log.

"Good, since I'm not sure you've much hope of avoiding it now you've followed me home," Kittridge jokes. It's a short walk across the grass, and he waits for Roslyn to seat herself and corral skirts before joining her. "I believe your maid had the inn out together a basket," he remembers suddenly, "If you'd like to eat."

"It would be quite the feat, I am sure, though much easier for you if you suddenly found yourself busy," Roslyn counters to his joke, a lightness to her words to mimic his joke for all that she studies him for a moment. Her gaze drags away at the mention of food, glancing for the accompanied minders. "I would. That was well-done of her." There is a moment's brush of affection to that sentence.

"It was a good idea," Kittridge agrees. He rises again, heading back towards the servants, who unpack blanket and basket, which he carries back. The former is spread out just in front of the log, and then he takes a seat and leans back against it, letting Roslyn have first dibs on the basket's contents. Or just being lazy and choosing not to serve himself.

Roslyn shifts to lean across Kittridge with a careless brush against him, for all that it is chaste comparatively to other ways in which they have touched. She only sorts through the basket for a moment before plucking a pear out with a quick grin. "I hope that she comes with me, where ever I marry," she admits in a casual thought.

"She seems very loyal to you," Kittridge replies, flashes her a quick smile for the brush, and the pear. "Your lucky day," he says of the fruit, reaching in and drawing out another for himself. He cuts slices off with a knife to eat as he adds, "She must be, to've kept your secret so far. I hope none of Rosanna's maids are so easily persuaded," he jokes. No, not joking at all. He makes a mental note to check.

"I like to think us—friends. Rosanna's servants are not also such, are they?" Roslyn guesses with a light smile, her fingers twisting the pear between them as her gaze drops to it for a thoughtful moment. She does not bite into it, yet.

"Hmmm," Kittridge replies back, "No, not precisely. Day is…a member of the family, really. But not the sort of friend who would let her do anything foolish. Poor Laurel wouldn't be able to manage it, she'd just die of nerves before Rosanna'd finished asking." He takes another bite of pear, and grins a bit, and then looks down at hers, and asks, "Do you want me to slice it for you?"

The pear is offered out to Kittridge within the cradle of her fingertips, Roslyn nodding as she answers, "Please. I am afraid I did not bring my own, unless there is one packed." She pauses, her gaze slidding to the view of the pond. "How long has Day been part of your family? I cannot say I have ever really spoken to the septa, though I have seen her with Rosanna, of course."

Kittridge takes the fruit, deftly slicing it so the skin on one side holds it together but pieces can be torn off easily. "I guess it's been… ten years?" Kittridge says, "She was there when I got home from squiring, and has been ever since. She's more governess than septa, really," he explains, "And these days I suppose more companion than governess, now that there's not much call for lessons anymore."

"No, I suppose not so many lessons left for your lady sister before it is time to make a match for her," Roslyn murmurs thoughtfully, accepting the fruit back with a grateful smile and plucking the first piece to plop into her mouth carefully. "I had a septa myself, once. A long time ago."

"No," says Kittridge, "I suppose not." It's not a thought he seems to enjoy, and he eats his pear in silence, looking out across the pond. There's a delay between her mention of her septa and his response, another bite taken and chewed and then he blinks to clear his gaze and says, "Oh?"

Roslyn only shakes her head dismissively, answering lightly, "I ran out of lessons as well." Her lips twist into a smile again, studying Kittridge for a moment as she takes another slice of her pear.

"I found a few for you," Kittridge retorts with a smirk, unable to quite resist the comment. He lifts his knife to eat another slice, and then settles back against the log again. "Not ones I'd want my sister learning," he adds in a lower tone. More pear, and then he shakes his head a bit, and says, "So you've seen the famous orchards, and the town, at least. What do you make of Kingsgrove so far?"

"That you have," Roslyn murmurs quietly, her eyes crinkling at the corners with a silent laugh at the retort. "Though I would hope that your sister would learn them once she is married, of course." But she slides past that subject quickly to add, "It is as pretty as you claim, Kit. I could see myself here."

"Maybe," Kittridge allows, and that only grudgingly. Rosanna will be his baby sister forever shut uuuuup. He nicks a last bite, and then lobs the core into some bushes, wiping his fingers on the blanket and leaning back again. "It's not The Wall," he says, "But it's warmer."

"It is not the Wall, no, but I am glad to see it," counters Roslyn quietly, her own pear picked at more slowly as she considers the view surroundiing them. "Could you see me here, Kit?"

Kittridge shrugs. "Probably?" he replies, "It's hard to tell. What we've been doing…sneaking around, people watching like now. It's not really how it'd be, is it? And I've got my doubts about your family making it happen," he admits, "I don't know why they're aiming so hard to get friendly with the Terricks all of a sudden, but I think they'd still give you to them before us if the Terricks pushed."

"Perhaps," sounds more like a yes than the neutral answer than it is meant to be, Roslyn's lips suddenly losing that easy smile as she studies the slices of pears remaining. "At least if that happens, I shall find a friend in Lord Jacsen. There could be the possibility of a—." But her thoughts are only cut off with a shake of her head, before she says, "I have made it clear to Jacsen that I will marry him or no Terrick at all, if he chooses to push for my dowry."

"I don't understand," Kittridge says, brows knitting together as he puzzles over that sentence again. He uncovers the basket further, looking at the rest of its contents. Oh look, wine. He draws out the bottle and one of the small mugs included, and pours some, offering to Roslyn before drinking his own. He starts to speak again, opening his mouth with what is bound to be a question, but then stops and just waits for her to go on and clarify, which he expects will happen, from the looks of it.

It seems as the silence spins out between them, Roslyn may not explain. Instead, she accepts her glass and sips from it carefully, her thumb brushing along the rim of it after her lips. Finally, she says, "I will not marry Justin Terrick, which I am sure pleases you?" There is a wry sound to the words, but the question is rhetorical as she continues, "I have talked to Jacsen of setting aside his wife if he wishes to have a Nayland-Terrick marriage that is not between cousins. It is unlikely to happen, so I am unlikely to marry a Terrick."

Kittridge waits. "You seemed set on the idea not so long ago," he says, "Of marrying Justin Terrick, I mean. And so were your brothers, it seemed. Going after Jacsen is… a very different approach. If it's so unlikely, what's the point?"

"I had hoped it would make them more agreeable to cousins, for all that Jacsen seems rather favorable of the idea of me as a Terrick bride. Though, there is a doubt in me of—Justin's suitability. His letters, the way he was wroth with me for not seeing to him after the jousts. I do not know what kind of husband a man such as that would make," Roslyn explains, her lips tightening awkwardly before she lifts her wine for a deeper sip. "If I cannot marry you, at least I may have a husband who may be a steadier friend to me."

"He's shit at letters," Kittridge agrees of Justin, "What did he write to you?" He sips his wine, and nods, "Jacsen does seem attached to the idea. I'm not entirely sure why." He pauses, amends, "I mean. I can see why any man would like the idea of you for his bride, but in a more specific sense…I don't know, a cousin seems a better choice, for both your houses. I'm privy to too little of what's going on with these negotiations to have any understanding of them." He shrugs, and pours himself more wine, and says, "If he did set aside his wife - if your brother ruined her, as it seemed he might for a bit there - would you prefer that? To get to be Lady of the Roost one day?"

Her shifting, hazel eyes draw to Kittridge at that question, Roslyn asking softly, "Prefer that to Justin Terrick? Or to you, Kit?" Her glass twisted between her fingers, still half full, she adds in an answer, "He wrote that I should speak to Riordan or my lord father and see the negotiations back in his hands instead of Rutger's. That if our houses were not to ally, that they would not—forgive nor forget."

"That sounds like a threat," Kittridge says, sounding surprised, brows up, "That's… huh. An interesting approach." He drinks, and asks, "Why do you bother? If that's how they respond? What is in it for your house?"

"I do not know. I have little influence or choice in this, and what little I have, I am spending as I can," answers Roslyn in simple truth, her lips pressing together again as she glances towards Kittridge. "I allowed Jacsen to kiss me." Provoked, allowed. Same thing.

Kittridge pauses, cup at his lip, and remains still for a moment too long before he drinks. "When was that?" he asks.

"After the tourney," Roslyn answers quietly, watching Kittridge carefully.

Kittridge sips his wine. Brow faintly furrowed, he looks out at the pond, and then swallows and lowers the cup again. "Does he think you have feelings for him?" he asks, tone curious, conversational.

"I would, if I were to marry him. He is thoughtful and smart, amusing." Stopping at that, however, Roslyn's gaze drops to her wine glass instead as Kittridge looks to the pond, taking a deeper sip. She repeats, "I have little influence in these matters, but he would make a better husband than his brother, I believe."

"You keep saying that," Kittridge replies dryly, dropping his gaze from the water to the wine, lifting the bottle to pour another cupful, "But it sounds to me like you have an awful lot of influence in these matters. Your brothers push to get you whoever it is you say you want, with little concern for politics that I can see. Justin makes threats at the idea of not getting you. Jacsen talks about setting aside his wife for you. I talk about scuttling my sister's match for you. It sounds to me like you have us all dancing, and just need to pick which tune you like best."

"I need to pick?" Roslyn repeats, the quiet tone of her words different than before as tension slides along their syllables. Hazel eyes flash briefly with a flicker of pain, her chin tipping upwards however. "I never suggested the match with the Terricks. That was all my brother's doing. I never suggested this match either, if you recall." She shakes her head, once. "If I could choose, we'd be married. What would you choose?"

"You never suggest anything," Kittridge agrees, "You get others to suggest it for you." He drinks, and turns to look at her, "Why should I believe you? You said yourself you're trying to pull together whatever influence you can. And it sounds as if you've got Jacsen believing the same thing. How do I know you're not playing me like you're playing him?"

Fingers tighten around the wine glass, knuckles whitening as Kittridge's words wash over her. Then Roslyn is on her feet in a sharp push, that temper finally flaring where she says, "Because I love you, even if you cannot say the same. Have I ever tried to suggest you do something for me, Kit? Is my virginity not proof enough for you?" Her cheeks flush with anger as she shakes her head again. "If you choose to see me as some evil, demon temptress, so be it. At least I know now, but if I were a smarter one, I would never have said anything to you of Jacsen."

Kittridge doesn't seem to have been expecting the temper, and now that he's got it, doesn't seem to have any idea what to make of it. "You just told me you're angling for any bit of influence you can get to try to make a match happen, and that you're fooling Jacsen into thinking you have feelings for him," he replies, frowning, "What am I supposed to think of that? I'm not supposed to even wonder at all if I'm not just another back-up plan if you can't get him to set his wife aside? These are the games people play, Roslyn. These are the games you're playing." He has been looking up at her, and seems to get exasperated at this, standing so he can look down, instead. "I didn't say you were an evil, demon temptress," he says, "I… I don't think that. But I can't help wondering. It'd be foolish not to wonder at all."

"Think whatever you want, Kittridge, as it is obvious that you do. That you cannot trust me, nor love me, nor can you even commit to wanting this marriage when it is only the two of us," Roslyn answers tightly, turning aside and turning away from him to dump out her wine sharply before stepping to shove the glass back into the basket. She does not throw it, at least.

"Roslyn," Kittridge reaches out to catch her elbow as she straightens up from not-throwing the cup, "I am trying. I don't think I'm being unreasonable, here. I brought you here to see my home, and meet my family… I'm trying. I can't help that we're not starting from the same place. Or that your family's approach to things - everyone's approach to things, lately - is so twisted up I can't tell what anyone is really aiming for. Everything's so uncertain, here. I'm sorry."

Temper riled, it does not seem to be so easily soothed by the apology, though Roslyn stops herself from jerking away from the touch. "You accuse me as if I am some engineer to these issues, as if it weren't just about Riordan's goals to be close to Anais or whatever Rutger aims for," she begins tightly. "I may allow Jacsen to believe I have feelings for him, but I am fucking you. And if you cannot believe that I am telling you the truth when I speak to you, then perhaps you are not being unreasonable, but I do not know what to do with that."

"You're difficult to read!" Kittridge replies with a laugh, "Half the time you start to say something and then never finish it, or you sit there with these looks like you're thinking all sorts of things you never say. You talk for weeks about wanting the match with Justin to work, and then all of a sudden it's off, and you say you want to marry me, but that you're getting Jacsen to kiss you. I mean… these are kind of mixed signals, Lyn." He throws up a hand and lets it drop, then lifts it again to rake through his hair. "I— I should maybe give you the benefit of the doubt more," he concedes, "But I don't think you realize how…cryptic you are, sometimes."

Roslyn stares at Kittridge for a long moment, her response delayed as she studies him with hazel eyes darkened by temper. And then her answer comes, though it is only in the form of drawing forward, sudden and decisive and demanding as she pushes to her toes to claim a kiss from him before guard and maid carelessly. When it ends, she answers, "I do want to marry you, Kit, but for weeks it was never a possibility. We were just a—thing, a stupid, silly thing that I did that was never meant to be more. My future was to be the Terricks, and still you insist it may yet be while avoiding saying anything of your thoughts on a marriage, but you blame me for planning for that?"

Kittridge seems as surprised by the kiss as the initial burst of anger, maybe even moreso. It takes him a moment to respond, hand tightening around her arm to steady her on her toes as he reciprocates. When she draws away, he listens, and then shakes his head. "No, I don't— I don't blame you for planning for that. I just don't see how the thing with Jacsen makes this- us- more likely. Instead of less likely. And I honestly have no idea what your family is up to with the Terricks, to have any idea whether they're just using the possibility of this as leverage or are really trying to make it happen. And I won't know til they make an offer. I'm just trying not to end up looking stupid, Lyn."

"A betrothal to Justin would be easier made than a betrothal to the Young Lord. Jacsen could not even push for one until his wife were set aside, and by then, we could have an agreement between our families," Roslyn answers quietly, her gaze intent and attentive on Kittridge. "I never truly know Rutger's goals, but I shall write to him, Kit. Have him come and set before your father a firm offer of dowry."

"Ah," says Kittridge as she explains, and he nods, "Alright. I see it." He turns it over in his head and then nods a little more before turning his gaze back to Roslyn's. He nods once more as she promises to write to her brother, and says, with just the slightest halting hesitation, "I would like that."

Roslyn drags in a soft breath, nodding as she promises with a depth of emotion playing at the words, "Then I will see it done." That promised, she seems unsure what to do next, with herself or the moment before she ends up only adding, "I am sorry, Kit."

Kittridge nods, and then smiles crookedly at the moment of awkward, and the apology. "Me, too," he replies, and then to forestall another uncertain pause, suggests, "Should we try this again? The sitting and eating part?"

"Do you think that is wise?" Roslyn questions, humor dragged slowly back to her response but attempting to push past the tension lingering as she draws back to the blanket to seat herself.

Kittridge smirks faintly in reply, saying, "I think we can manage just this once." Once she's seated he joins her, and goes back to the aborted unpacking of the basket so they can eat.