|Summary:||Avinashi sits and chats a spell with the Lady Evangeline Terrick.|
|Entrance Hall — Terrick's Roost|
|The Entrance Hall is more than two dozen feet high with ornate columns hefting the fresco ceiling above all. Plush seating is arranged around one side for visiting nobility while the other has less comfortable slab stone or wood benches for the peasantry. Alcoves dot the walls for more private discussions and sworn Guards patrol this hall at all times and especially during court. Several hallways and doorways lead off to different areas of the castle with a spiral staircase carved neatly into one corner that winds its way up.|
|30 October 288|
Whoever else may be in the entrance hall, the familiar figure of a slight, petite woman sits in an alcove, her skirts arranged precisely though she squints over a length of purple fabric that spills over her lap and the floor. It is only half embroidered, an intricate pattern of small eagles, wings spread, a dark purple against the light purple dye of the fabric. Currently, Evangeline is working with gold thread, beginning the outline of something that looks vaguely like another bird, except much larger.
The jingling announces her first as Avinashi steps into the Hall from the kitchens. She's wrapped in blue and silver today, bracelets and anklets chiming as she walks, and bare feet carry her across the floor, although she comes to a pause before the Lady or Terrick Roost and her stitching. "My lady," the food taster offers with a deep curtsy, "Good morning."
"Mistress Avinashi," Evangeline greets softly as those dark eyes lift to the woman, nodding though she does not bother to rise to perform a curtsy herself. "Do you have a moment to join me?" Needle speared through cloth to keep it in place, she gestures to the padded seat across from her at the window.
"Thank you, my lady, of course," Avinashi replies. She shifts her weight and lowers herself gracefully into the offered seat, her expression one of patient interest.
With her hands unoccupied, they fold in her lap with a clutch of fingers to secure the cape-lengthed piece of fabric so it does not slide to the floor. Politely, Evangeline questions, "How are you, mistress? Nothing faring you ill, I trust?"
Avinashi's smiles faintly, dipping her head. "I am quite well, thank you kindly, my lady. I do hope that you are in equally good health, this day?"
"As well as can be expect for a woman my age. I do not feel quite as young as the ladies that fill my house, nowadays," Evangeline answers with a slight smile, humor flickering behind her dark gaze that takes in Avinashi. "And tell me, do you know how fares my son?"
"Your loveliness does not know your age, my lady," Avinashi answers gently, resting her own hands lightly in her lap. "These past few days have seen Lord Jacsen much occupied with the celebrations of his wedding, his new bride and renewing his friendship with the men of Seagard, my lady. He has had little time to speak with me, due to those things, but it does seem to my eyes that he is well."
"You are in good company then, Mistress Avinashi, for I have not found an opportune time to have a private conversation with son, either," is said with a touch of a warm wryness to Evangeline's words, appreciation tucking a smile wider into her lips for the other lady's compliment. "You are kind to say so, but you will feel differently when you age and ache. I am an old woman in a household of young, pretty girls."
"In time, that is the fate of us all, my we be so fortunate," Avinashi muses. "At least one of those young, pretty girls is your own daughter. It must soften the sting a little?"
"It does, of course, though I am unsure how long I shall have her. It seems her father has given his permission to visit to Oldstones," Evangeline murmurs, her own thoughtful quiet where her smile disappears into a more neutral, polite expression. "But I have gained another in her stead."
"That is surely so, my lady," the food taster agrees. "If I may inquire, what do you think of Lady Lucienne visiting Oldstones? The Lord Ser Valentin and his two knights won the melee all together, I have heard. An admirably showing, by most accounts. Do you know much of the Lord Valentin as a man?"
"I do not, no. I have a mother's softness, however. I wish for her happiness and love and little else, and if the Lord Ser Valentin is the one to provoke such feelings in her?" There is a pause, however, thin, white fingers plucking her needle from the cloak she sews as Evangeline studies the woman across from her. "If I may ask, what have you heard, mistress Avinashi? Should I trust this Lord Valentin?" she questions.
"He seems to me…" Avinashi pauses to study the way Evangeline's fingers pluck before returning her gaze to the other woman's face, "What I know if him to this moment reveals him to be a man of honor and also one who does not waste his opportunities. He presses advantages as he finds them, on and off the field of battle. I have as yet little sense of his heart, but it does seem that his behavior has been all one might wish of a knight and a nobleman."
"All one might wish of a knight and a nobleman," Evangeline repeats softly, nodding hr thanks to Avinashi in a polite inclination of her chin. "But, is he all I could want in a goodson and a husband for my child? By the Seven, I hope he is."
"That is the more difficult question to answer, my lady," Avinashi says with a small nod. "Perhaps that is a question the Lady Lucienne may herself answer, if she does, indeed, visit Oldstones."
"I am certain she will, if she has her mind set on it, Mistress Avinashi," Evangeline confers with a fond smile catching at her lips, her gaze finally dropping to the fabric in her lap to pull thread through in a neat stitch.
"The women of Terrick Roost, I do gather, are much gifted at seeing the ends they wish come about," Avinashi muses, smiling faintly.
"I would not phrase it quite like that, perhaps," is Evangeline's response, mild where she expresses disagreement. Tendons stand out on her hands as she pushes and pulls her needle. "If I could have mine own, Lucienne would stay here and Jaremy would never have left."
"Forgive me, my lady, if I misspoke," Avinashi demures, her own fingers twitching slightly against the cloth of her skirts. "I only wished to say I had little doubt Lady Lucienne will play a part in determining her own future."
The dark gaze takes in that twitch of fingers, lifting to Avinashi with a silent question held in the depths of brown so dark it could swallow light. Evangeline agrees simply, "Yes, I am sure she will. She is not one to let others decide her fate while she sits quietly aside."
"No, my lady. Nor is it the wish of any others involved, I do not think." Her fingers, and that tiny movement go unexplained, and certainly, they settle back in her lap with delicate calm.
"Of course not," Evangeline agrees, the curiosity lingering in her gaze if not an outright question. After a moment of silence, she offers graciously, "You need not spend your afternoon with an old lady. I am sure you have much more interesting things to do."
"No, I would not say so, my lady," the Dornish girl says, "but there are duties to which I had best attend while the day is still bright. Thank you for your company for a time. I was most pleasant."
"Take care, Mistress Avinashi." The words are polite but also sincere, Evangeline's gaze flicking away from alcove, girl and sewing to fall on the window outside briefly.