|News on the Roof|
|Summary:||Evangeline hears back from Lord Rygar and discusses her options with Hardwicke.|
|Related Logs:||The entire Jaremy fiasco, but particularly Letter from Riverrun|
|Roof Terrace — Four Eagles Tower|
|This is open to the air except for the rookery at the opposite end of the open walkway. Parapets and crenellations are about.|
|Fri Nov 27, 288|
It is on the heights of the tower terrace that the Lady of the Roost can be found, stolen away from solar or study to take in that which she can see from so tall of height. Wind picks at red velvet skirts, dark in the color of fresh-spilt blood, at the hair hanging loose that has gained a few more greys with the news of her firstborn and the events at Riverrun. Her fingers curve over the parapet, leaning forward as she braces herself against the cold stone with the start of a frown to her lips.
Knights do not move particularly quietly, and Ser Hardwicke Blayne is not a particularly stealthy knight, so his approach is audible as he makes his way across the parapet to Evangeline's side, though there remains several respectful feet between them when he stops, his body facing out to the horizon. "My Lady," he greets her formally, his voice quiet and basso-low.
There are very few people with which Evangeline would relax her very strict rules of propriety, the man she's known since before Terrick's Roost being one of those. "We are back at the Roost, Hardwicke, and there is no one about," she points out, half-turning her body to drop a look over the knight, dark and steady. "I have had word back from Lord Rygar."
"Indeed there is not, My Lady," Hardwicke agrees, something ironical in the dry twist of his mouth that is not quite a smirk. He turns his head to look at her, his dark eyes studying her expression as if they might tease out the news from her body language alone. "And what does he say?"
Drawn straight as steel, with hands showing every bit their age as veins jump from skin as fingers tighten on the parapets, Evangeline looks away once again to fix her gaze on that distance to Stonebridge, invisible even from here. "He said—'As my lady wishes'," she repeats slowly, shaking her head at the words. "Just that, Hardwicke. He asked nothing of me, made no demands."
The line of Hardwicke's brow creases and cinches between his eyes. He rumbles a low, musing noise and joins her in her gaze. "He will," he finally says. "Someday."
"Or perhaps he meant that if I wished to hate him for killing Jaremy, I am well within my right. He made no promises, as well as asking no demands," Evangeline worries, her voice dropping lower as she speaks over her fears and fingers curling into a ball against the cold stone. Her breath is dragged in as if she briefly has trouble getting enough air. "I cannot see him dead. I will have to ask leave of Jerold to go to Stonebridge. We will—What can we do, if they decide to see him executed?"
"There is little left," Hardwicke says, his voice even if not unkind, "short of war." He tips his head, considering.
"If it were L—," Evangeline begins, though she cuts herself off quickly with a look of frustration, the words not spoken though she assured him there was no one near moments before. "They will never actually bring themselves to war over Jaremy. Not Jerold, who has already turned away from him to Jacsen," she says instead, jaw clenching hard. "Every measure taken to save him will be what I take, Hardwicke."
Hardwicke's jaw clenches with an immediate quickening of anger, a fissioned flash before it's contained and gone. "No," he agrees, "they won't." He turns his gaze to look at her, his dark eyes studying the line of her tension, taking measure of the signs of her resoluteness. Voice gentling, he tells her, "I serve at my Lady's pleasure. As always."
"I know, I do. You are the only person I can trust to care for my own interests," she also softens to say, turning away finally from the stone and the view to face the knight. Evangeline even smiles, the bare curve of her lips. "I will find some way, if the Naylands decide for death."
"If Lord Rygar has given you reason to think he will assent to Jaremy being sent North," Hardwicke says, his voice slow as his thoughts turn, "you might send an escort for him."
"Or go myself to see him sent off with such an escort," Evangeline replies as the thought strike another, a satisfaction to the idea settling in her expression as she straightens her skirts with a swish. "I will need to speak to Lord Jerold," she adds.
"Of course," Hardwicke says, practiced in his neutrality. His off-hand rests idly at the hilt of his sword, thumb scraping against the leathered wrap.
Evangeline's gaze drops briefly to that movement before those frozen chocolate eyes raise back to the knight with a questioning, "Have you settled back into Terrick's Roost as of yet? We were too long at Riverrun."
"I have no complaints, my Lady. One roof is much like another," Hardwicke assures her quietly. "I go where I am needed." He glances back over and down at her. "I wish you had more time to recover here at home."
"I am not so old that I need so long to recover," Evangeline answers with a shake of her head, brushing a reassuring gesture of fingertips against Hardwicke's arm, light and fleeting. "And you will come with? If my lord husband grants me permission to see to this Jaremy business and whatever else we may need at Stonebridge."
"As my Lady wishes," Hardwicke says, and for a moment his eyes soften as he looks down at her, his arm warm and solid where her fingers brush. Then he looks back out to the horizon.
Satisfied, Evangeline draws her hands back within the fold of her skirts, holding them carefully where she says, "I will send word, then. Let us pray Jaremy does nothing so foolish as to piss of his jailors before we get there." It is said in only the way a mother can, affection buried too deep but not blind to her offsprings flaws. Then she turns to go, gathering skirts and her mantle of Lady of the Roost at once.
"A high request," Hardwicke says, voice briefly dry before she leaves. He glances back to her, watching her disappear entirely before he resumes his gaze on the horizon.