|Summary:||When the cat is away, the mice come out to play.|
|Curved Stairs - Four Eagles Tower|
|Mon Oct 31, 288|
The whirlwind of activity after the wedding is slowly starting to settle down, not that it makes much difference to Gwyn Banefort. While many of the Baneforts are preparing to return to their homes, this does not apply to the youngest daughter of the clan. As she's decided to stay in the Roost for a longer period of time to help her sister settle in and to expand her horizons for marriage prospects, she's been going about what she has considered her normal day. This evening, it happens to involve pilfering some food from the kitchens and a skin of wine, which she's planning on taking back to her quarters. Practically skipping up the stairs, she whistles a jaunty tune as she goes.
Up till yesterday, pilfering used to be Alise's motto. But she's taken a new job with the Lady of the Roost as her own maid, and Alise reminds herself to behave. She's now wearing some of Lucienne's older gowns, which at least sets her apart from the other lowly servants. With a tray in her hands, carrying an empty dish and cup, fork and knife, Alise descends the stairs. It would be a collision course with Gwyn, but fortunately the whistling alerts Alise that someone is coming up the stairs. "Milady." She stops halfway on the stairs, taking a quick moment to ponder how to make way.
Up and up and up Gwyn goes, barely paying attention. Luckily for others, her whistling allows them to know she's approaching. When she almost runs right into Alise, the Banefort screeches to a halt and almost drops her wine. "Oh!" Startled, but then smiling, she steps one way and then the other, attempting to unblock Alise's path but only managing to continue to be in her way. "Oh, I'm sorry. A—-" she pauses, trying to come up with Alise's name. She knows she knows it, but she can't remember at the moment, which is good because she immediately becomes distracted. "Is that a new dress? It's lovely!"
Naturally, Alise's attempts to sidestep Gwyn only end up matching the lady's, ending in a jam on the stairs. It's amusing enough that the blonde maid grins lopsidedly. "Alise, milady." She offers. "Handmaiden to Lady Evangeline as of yesterday. She was generous enough to give me some of Lady Lucienne's old gowns…" But wait, she catches sight of what Gwyn is holding. "That looks rather delicious."
With a grin, Gwyn takes a quick side step to the far left and presses against the wall in order to allow Alise to pass. "Yes! Of course." And, as is only polite, even to servants, Gwyn introduces herself as well. "Gwyn Banefort." Though she does not exactly know Alise, she decides that a congratulations is in order, which she bestows enthusiastically. "Congratulations! Lady Evangeline is a lovely woman." And as for what she's carrying, she blushes just a bit. "This? Oh, yes. I'm just, uh, you know. Carrying. Seeing how it feels."
"Thank you." Alise dips her head politely to the congratulations given. The grin is suppressed somewhat at Gwyn's explanation of the wine. "It looks well in your hand, Lady Banefort. Matches beautifully with your gown." The maid bobs her head and deadpans.
She just lets that sit for a moment of silence, before breaking into a girlish giggle.
With a laugh, Gwyn shoots a look up and down the stairs. Conspiratorially, she holds out the skin. "Care for a sip? It's a celebratory wine!" Uncorking it, she takes a sip herself so that they'll be in on it together.
Alise leans forward slightly just to catch a whiff of the bottle. "I really shouldn't." The blonde maid notes, but she's already glancing over one shoulder back up the stairs. "I should get this back to the kitchen before…" She pauses and considers. "…Maybe just a sip." So easily tempted!
Beaming, Gwyn holds the skin out and even holds the other hand out to help balance the tray so that nothing falls. "Feel free to blame any tardiness on me. For some reason people seem to think I'm prone to flights of fancy that and will force anyone I can into my games." This, actually, is true. "And, it's a wonderful vintage. Trust me."
Oh ye of low moral fibre, Alise. She steals one more glance around to make sure the Lady of the Roost is going to catch them on the stairs, before taking the offered skin and takes a nice, long gulp of the wine. No, that's not a sip! "This is most excellent vintage!" The maid exclaims once she's finished. "I have not had any wine this good!"
Of course not. She's a bloody commoner.
Grinning, Gwyn allows Alise as much of the vintage as she cares to have. It's no fun to drink alone, after all. "Isn't it lovely? I think it may be my favorite. They've had loads of different wines imported for the wedding. I don't believe they even drank them all, if you can believe it! I'm just doing the rest of my part." With a laugh, she glances up and down the corridor again to make sure they're safe. So far, so good. "Have another, if you'd like."
Alise hands back the skin so she can retake the tray properly. "If it pleases the lady, perhaps we can find another spot that is less…. conspicuous?" Another nervous glance up and down the stairway.
"That may be a good idea." While Gwyn will not get in a large amount of trouble for sneaking some wine, Alise may. Taking the skin, back, she glances up and then down. Finally, she grins. "To my rooms, then. For a quick drink to celebrate!" With that settled, she starts to lead the way.
It's Alise turn to press back against the wall, allowing Gwyn to pass and lead the way. Yes, she can get into trouble for this, but the likelihood is greatly decreased when there is a lady to divert the blame. "Milady, you are Lady Anais' sister, are you not?" She asks conversationally as she follows.
And luckily Gwyn is quite willing to do that for now. After all, there are things to celebrate and she has some wine, her sister is married and things seem to be fine. "I am, yes. Her youngest sister. We were here to secure a marriage and then to see it through. I have plans to stay here past my other sisters leaving, however."
Alise can smell a scandal-in-progress. "I am certain a lady of your quality and beauty, some lord or knight will ask for your hand very soon." She offers encouragingly as she follows; the wine's leading her like a carrot to a donkey.
It seems that Gwyn is already just a scandal in progress. However, there is nothing improper attached to her name as of yet. With a blush and wave of her hand, she smiles at the compliment. "No need for flatter, Alise. Thank you, though. We shall see. Father is quite particular in matches." As they near her rooms, she opens the door for Alise and slips in. "And you? Do you have marriage prospects?"
Guest Suite Four Eagles Tower
"Oh no!" Alise shakes her head vigorously. "Lady Evangeline made it abundantly clear that, as her handmaiden, I am fully expected to be chaste." Seven know how difficult that will be for her, but she's determined to try. As lady and maid arrive at Gwyn's guest suite, Alise hurries past her and, despite having her hands full with the tray, attempts to open the door with an elbow.
"Oh! Forever?" For some reason Gwyn isn't quite so up to date on the Terrick lady servants thing. Now she feels bad about talking about her own attempt at getting married. Chaste is something that she can understand for a set period of time, but not exactly forever. "Thank you," she automatically says to her attempt to open the doors.
It's a little awkward, but Alise is agile enough the manage it. With her hips, she pushes the door open to allow Gwyn enter. "After you, milady." She offers like a proper maid. "Forever, long as I am Lady Evangeline's handmaiden." She explains, though all the proper behavior evaporates when Alise purses her lips thoughtfully. "A woman's maidenhood is extremely precious, after all."
As for the preciousness of maidenhood, Gwyn nods her head automatically. "Well, yes. That's true." As soon as they're inside, though, she gestures for her to put down the tray. It's easier to drink with two hands. "What's it like to be Lady Evangeline's maid?"
The tray is happily laid down, the door subsequently closed. "I have only been in this new position for one day, but I can see she is a graceful, stern lady." She replies easily as she turns back, eyes already on the wineskins in Gwyn's hand. "I really must be on my best behavior… May I have more of that?"
Gwyn laughs, takes a quick swig for herself and then passes the wine skin on. "Of course. I am the one who invited you here, after all. It's only proper." Choosing a chair, she slips into it and nods her head at Alise's answers. "Stern is right. She seems a fair woman, but I've met more than a few people who are afraid to get on her bad side."
Alise eagerly takes the wineskin and takes a larger gulp thirstily. Gwyn may have invited her, but Alise isn't going to assume she can just freely sit down, so she remains standing. "It would be wise to avoid that, if you can." Without thinking, she reaches up to wipe at her lips with the back of her hand, but catches herself quickly. "Pardon my manners, I am still learning how to behave properly around nobility. So what is Banefort like?"
Gwyn nods and gestures for Alise to take a seat. "That, I have definitely gotten that impression." Especially from what everyone says and from what few times she has actually been in Evangeline's presence. "And honestly, do not worry about manners in front of me. There are very few things I take offense of. I was, in fact, attempting to learn a bawdy tune just the other day, but no one seems willing to teach it to me." With a laugh, she shrugs her shoulders. "And if you'd be kind enough to sit, I would be more than glad to tell you all about being a Banefort and what that means. I wish I could say the tale begins with a dragon, but, alas, it does not. Instead, it has Krakens…"
Alise smooths out her skirt and makes to take a seat. Gwyn's comments about learning a bawdy tune brings that grin back to the maid's lips. "If you are indeed so inclined, Lady Banefort, I may be of some assistance if you truly wish to learn a tune. But we must do so away from the Keep, lest Lady Evangeline discovers…"
At that point there is a call from outside the door, down the corridor. "Alise! Are you about?"
That's enough to get the blonde girl jumping up and scrambling back to her feet. "Many pardons. I must be going. Perhaps you can tell me more later." Without even waiting to be dismissed, Alise practically runs out of the room. The tray? Forgotten!