|Next In Line|
|Summary:||Anais and Ozric take each others' measure in the wake of Bolland and Jerold's announcement.|
|Related Logs:||Yes. Not linking.|
|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.|
|October 8, 289|
Anais moves blindly through the halls, reaching the stairs in short order and climbing them swiftly. It isn't until she reaches the open air of the roof that she seems to be able to draw a full breath, seeking out one of the watch points and pressing her hands hard against the rough stone in an effort to ground herself. She leans over a bit, lowering her head and forcing herself to focus on breathing.
Though clearly not running after the lady, it does not take the man any time to reach the top, where he comes to stand. Just as with the first night he came here, he finds her mostly alone up here, save for the lone sentry who does his duty to patrol along the parapets and such as needed. There is a brief glance towards the Lady's back, before the sound of boots scuffling on stone and wood can be marked. Ozric slides up behind Anais, but does keep some little space between them. Even as she tries to breathe he remains silent. Perhaps uncomfortably so, until he finally does speak.
"A new chapter my lady, does not mean one is necessarily excited about such a thing." The one eyed man tries his best, but words do fail him. "My father will keep his word- and you will be taken care of." as if those were the words she wanted or needed to hear.
"I don't want to be taken care of," Anais snaps, closing her eyes tightly. "I want-" She stops herself, straightening once more and looking back at him, though there's a different light in her eyes now, assessing. Something else flickers across her features, a complicated expression, before she looks away again, leaning against the parapet. "I want to at least make the choice myself," she admits, though it's clear she recognizes how childish it might sound. "When we were taken by the bandits, they didn't…touch me. But as the days wore on, they talked to us. And one of them said…" Pausing, she tilts her head as she remembers the words. "If we can't ransom you, maybe we'll just sell you to a whorehouse. Seems you're used to old men telling you whose cock to sit on."
"And given the choice, should you have one-would you choose to remain here, or run back home?" a pause there for a moment as Ozric looks back to her. "I will certainly not tell you whose cock to sit on, nor would I tell you simply to sit there and knit or sew." a shake of his head, as he turns, moving to brush by her and glance out over the lands for a moment. "I am not your husband or your betrothed- so I cannot tell you such things. Nor am I rightfully your lord." yet. Still the knight remains there. "However, though-your choice..please note you do not have that many choices. If you wish to remain here, then know I will become Lord of this castle once my father passes on." a beat "And with you or without you, I will see this land come back to it's own-though it's your choice." and he stares towards Anais "Whether you wish to be a part of it, or not. And right now, if I were in your boots, I do not know what choice I would make."
"I refuse to run away home," Anais says quietly, her jaw setting with a stubborn cast as she looks out over the water. "I won't go home and be like Shayla, with no future, nothing to call my own. But I won't stay here and do the same, either. I can think of nothing worse than watching some other woman step into the place I've made for myself." She looks back to him then, a bold perusal of face and form with careful speculation behind it. "You know, of course, what the caveat will be."
"It is no longer your place, if you run." Ozric states as his hands clasp behind his back. There is a brief pause as he watches the Lady for a moment. "I am sure, I can think as to what it will turn out to be, yes." the knight answers with no grin. Rather he seems rather neutral in the prospect. "I do not know what your time frame will be in-though I imagine you will need to quicken in your belly should you wish to remain here." a tilt of his head. "I could be wrong though."
"And therein lies the gamble," Anais nods, still watching him. "A widow has some chance in the future. A difficult one at this point," she allows. "Given the state of the house, the fact that my dowry has already been sold. Whispers that I might be barren. But a woman twice wed, once widowed, and set aside? There is no future for her." She swallows, hands clenching in a small sign of nerves. "And it isn't as though you can wait to wed me until I quicken. It's a wedding with the risk of being set aside."
The knight doesn't need to know the specifics, as it is wonderfully, all splayed out in the reasoning. "And you might be, for you've yet to quicken with Jacsen-though I believe that was due more or less to his focus on whores and his sister and not his wife." A shake of his head before he is turning a way to spit over the edge. "If that is the case- and you are wishing to remain in this place you have built for yourself-then I would have it be my seed in your belly-no others." And there he raises a hand. "We may try more earnestly when we know the fate of your husband now. For you heard my father-should Jacsen live, you are his wife."
Anais' features darken. "I am not my husband," she says in a cool tone, stepping back from the edge. "You'd have no need to worry about that." She reaches up to brush her bangs away from her eyes, shaking her head slightly. "Should Jacsen live," she agrees quietly. "But I've a feeling he's less equipped to survive bandits than I was. Excuse me, Ser Ozric," she sighs. "I think I'd like some time to myself."
Ozric looks back towards Anais "I am well aware of that. But, I want your mind clear on what needs to be done." he replies before he is nodding. "Of course." he states before he is moving for the stairs. And there is a look back "I am not good at this-whatever we are talking about doing, Lady. But I can assure you- I am not your husband as well. Should you wish to know my mind-simply ask when you are ready."
Anais is almost to the stairs, though she pauses at his last, turning back to consider him for a long moment. "Does the thought of wedding me please you, Ser Ozric?" she asks, chin rising as she seeks to hold his gaze.
Ozric is silent for a moment before he looks back to her. "Honestly?" he starts before a curt nod is given. "It does." and he does not add more to it, he simply looks back to the darkness. She may have her chin raised defiantly, however his focus is on the land. He will not stop her from leaving.
Anais is quiet a moment longer, watching him. "Then perhaps…things could be worse," she murmurs, more to herself than to him, before disappearing down the stairs.