|No Means No|
|Summary:||Alric asks a question of Kamron. Kamron answers.|
|Guest Sitting Room, Seagard Castle|
|A simple but elegant room with a collection of chairs around a small table, between the hallway and one of the guest bedrooms.|
|5 September, 289|
In his own rooms, in the morning, in simple linen shirt and trousers, and without his axe at his hip, Kamron Mallister is perhaps not exactly a terrifying figure. He is already up and awake when word comes that the Young Lord Fenster would like to speak with him, and so he leaves his lady wife in the bedroom, coming out to the small sitting room of his suite and closing the doors behind him. He nods to a servant, who opens the door to the hallway, letting Alric in.
Alric stands outside the door waiting for them to open. His own guard around, but asked to wait outside. Once the door opens he moves inside. The servant getting a nod in passing, perhaps more of a habit than anything. Then letting his eyes go around. His eyes spotting Kamron rather easily. His own clothes being of his usual. No weapons or anything is carried though. Offering a deep bow to Kamron, "Ser Kamron Mallister. Sorry to bother you this early." Offered in a soft voice.
Kamron gestures over to a small collection of chairs around a table, "I'm an early riser, Lord Alric. Please, have a seat." And he avails himself of a seat, crossing his left leg over his right and arching an eyebrow, "I presume you're here to speak with me about my sister and your wish to court her?" He carefully keeps his tone neutral, and if it's a little hushed, it's not exactly a whisper.
Alric smiles and nods to Kamron, moving to take a seat as well. Perhaps looking a bit nervous as he studies Kamron. "Something like that. But also apologize about not having spoken with you earlier. Also. Even though I will not speak of it. There is another reason to why I have not asked. The Charltons might wish to use me for a deal with the Erenfords. I do not wish to be the pawn, as to which I will not mention it to ser Aleister. I want to court your sister. But what if I am forced into a marriage with an Erenford?" He asks, shaking his head, "I want to do what I can for that not to happen and to pursue your sister. But lord Aleister, or perhaps lord Keegan himself, could make sure that my family is destroyed if I oppose them." He rambles quite a bit and nothing that he says will probably help him. It might hurt him rather. He stares down at the table then. "I do care for your sister."
Kamron laces his fingers together over his lap, letting his elbows rest on the arms of his chair. Where the other man looks nervous, the knight looks composed and calm, even if one eyebrow arches up as the short speech becomes a long one. "Perhaps it is because you are not a knight, Lord Alric, that you do not understand that if you want something, you must act to get it before it is taken from your reach." He shakes his head slowly, "You talk in circles and circles again, but none of it involves speaking to the people who have the final decision." Leaning forward ever so slightly, Kam inquires, "Do you know what I did when I decided that I wanted to marry My Lady Saffron — after I determined that it would be a good match for both families? I wrote a letter to Lord Mallister, laying out my reasoning and asking him to arrange the marriage." Letting himself lean back against the chair once more, he chuckles dryly, "As for caring about my sister, how long have you known her? Two months at most?"
Alric listens and nods, "Perhaps that is it, ser. As for how it would be well. It might be obvious for my house, which is also why my father has said that he trust my decision no matter what I choose. The difference is how we could help the Mallisters. Though I can not ask for a betrothal. It is your sister's wish that I do not. Not yet. And you are right, I have not known your sister for a long time. Which is another reason for us just trying to get to know one another without anything official." He offers. Looking at Kamron, tilting his head a bit. "I have not spoken about any final decision because both me and your sister wished to get to know one another better. She also wish not to be betrothed in the near future. I tried to respect that, but it might all be rather weird and I might have done wrong." He says. Starting to look calmer as looks up at Kamron, "I will respect anything you offer though. Your sister is my friend, first and foremost. I am to go meet with lord Aleister this day though. To give him how it will benefit. My father let me do all by myself. As for the Mallisters, you gain perhaps only a little in the way of a house. But myself, I have at least enough skill in other things than actual combat. We have others that are good with a lot of different things. From Maesters, war strategists, map makers, artillery commanders and even some that focuses a bit on the less polite things." He tries explaining. Still rambling quite a bit.
As Alric starts enumerating his reasons, Kam shakes his head slowly, "Peace, Lord Alric." A crooked smile flashes across the knight's lips as he has to council the diplomat to peace, "If it is my sister's wish that you wait to request a betrothal, why do you press to begin a courtship? You might try getting to know Lady Nedra further as something beyond a prize to be gained for your house." Maybe that's a little harsh, but there's no apology in the man's tone, "As for what House Mallister might gain by such a match, so far as I can see, we would only gain a contact with one of the least houses in the Riverlands, and we would give up a dear dowry to do so. Unless you mean to swear House Fenster to House Mallister rather than House Charlton, we gain nothing else." That, of course, is stated with a dry sort of smirk, as if such a thing is the next best thing to nonsense.
Alric sighs, "I didn't wish to try and seek courtship with your sister. Though I wanted to have something to be able to break any proposal with the Erenfords without causing them to side with the Naylands. I understand that is wrong. But if I wouldn't do so I feared that I would have had no choice at all to agree to the marriage." He explains. As for seeing his sister as a prize, he shrugs. "If that is what you believe is there really anything I could do to prove you wrong? I will continue to get to know your sister better, unless you disapprove of that." He says, studying the man a bit. "My lord, the difference perhaps being between me and ser Holden is that I am realistic. If I have no chance I would still want to try, but if it could cause lady Nedra to get hurt in the end, then I would rather that she is with ser Holden. I wouldn't want to hurt Nedra. Though if there is a slim chance for me to at least find something, then I want to take it. Would I have wanted a great deal only then I would persue a Frey." He says and shrugs, "Not because of the size of the house, but because it would still keep relations with Charltons more intact." As for swearing loyalty, he shrugs. "Changing loyalty would have to be asked from my father. But if that would make things fully clear then it is a possibility. Though the postion of Tabin's Rest does that seem rather stupid for the Mallisters. Having a vassal that is miles away on the other side of all the Frey vassals." He shrugs and sighs at that.
Kamron shakes his head slowly, "You cannot begin any true courtship of my sister without the approval of your lord and hers, and if your lord has other plans for you, he will hardly agree to a courtship." He makes a dismissive gesture at the mention of Ser Holden, "Even if we did not already have a match in the making with the Erenfords, my sister will not wed a bastard, Lord Alric." His lips tighten faintly, "You seem to have very little thought to her worth, if you think yourself and Ser Holden her only options." A bit of anger sparks behind his blue-gray eyes, the knight's fingers unlace, and he leans forward, hands on the arms of his chair, "And I will thank you, Lord Alric, to refer to my sister properly. She is 'Lady Nedra' to you, not 'Nedra.' And you do my house grave insult to suggest that a Frey would be a better match than a Mallister. Grave insult indeed. I fear you do not understand House Mallister, my sister, or even the position of your own house."
Alric sighs and nods, "That has been about what I have been explaining to you." He shakes his head about himself and Holden being her only choices. "Ser, I suggested ser Holden because he has made her happy. She knows that nothing is her choice. But if you care for your sister is not her happiness better than earning something off her? I wish her to be happy. With or without me. If she can wed a Lannister, and be happy, that would be great for her. The question not being if she can wed a Lannister but if she would be happy wedding one." He offers and shrugs again. Though there is a nod about his way of addressing Nedra. "Of course, my apologies." At the last, he sighs again, "My lord, I am the vassal of a vassal to the Frey. Does it not make more sense for me to persue a Frey then? Just like a vassal to Terrick might be more wise to seek a Mallister." He shrugs a bit again then. Studying the man. "Though from this meeting it seems that you would rather have me drop dead than be with your sister. I wish not to hurt your sister. And she values the opinion of her family. If I can not gain your trust, anything else matters little." He says, rather frank about it.
Kamron shakes his head slowly, "You are either insulting me, Lord Alric, or you misunderstand the purpose of marriage for nobility. We exist to make political connections and heirs. I have been incredibly lucky to find a woman who I respect very greatly who is also a good match for my house politically. I wish my sister the best of luck in finding a similiar match, and will do everything I can to assist her in that." Rising to his feet, the knight looks down upon the lord, his eyes flat over that spark of anger, "I think, Lord Alric, that you grasp at what is above you as readily as a Nayland or a Charlton, and that you are very young. If you wish to pursue this suit, I cannot stop it, but I can certainly advise my father, Lord Mallister, and my sister against it. As to who my sister chooses to call friend and spend her time — decently chaperoned — in the company of, that is not my decision either. But I think if you wish to gain my trust, you will have a lot of growing up to do, Lord Alric."
Alric shrugs, "I understand the purpose well enough. Which is why I should pull back. But I want to seek your sister's hand in the future. But I am realistic. If there is no way for me to seek your sister, why should I hurt her by trying?" He asks, sadness in his eyes but he wishes not to hurt Nedra more than he has. "I do have to grow up perhaps. But do not think that I only see your sister as a prize. I will stay her friend no matter what. As long as she wants me as a friend. As for more than so, I wish for it. But I don't know what to do." He admits, shaking his head. Standing up as well staring at the man. "Give me your honest advise. Also, do you know the reason for your sister not wishing for a betrothal?" He asks. Keeping his eyes on the man.
Kamron shakes his head at the vacilation, the lines of his jaw standing out sharply for a moment as he clenches his teeth. "My sister has heard — as have I — that you have sought to court several women in a very short period of time. One thing that is key to any match made to the Mallister family is constancy. We will not be toyed with, either by wife or husband. You have upset my cousin by your on-again, off-again attempts to court her. So you are inconstant, and you push too often and too hard. It seems that whenever you're around my sister, there is talk of courtship and betrothals. If you wish to be a friend to her, you must put all such thoughts out of your head, or you must act on them. You cannot talk about them all the time and never act on them."
Alric furrows his brows, "I have only sought your cousin. I never asked formally because I was stuck in a tower and then pulled away on duty. When I finally did return your cousin didn't really seem to like the idea of me courting her. When I finally was going to head for Seagard I heard that she was betrothed to ser Otto. I have not asked to court anyone else. I like your sister, I won't deny that. I am her friend first and foremost. And I am acting now, am I not. I wish to come ask you permission to court her. Although with the respect to her not to force her into a betrothal any time soon, unless she somehow would change her mind. But I do still wish to court her. I am standing in your room in the morning, knowing that you care little for me. Asking you to at least allow me to court your sister." He says. The fact that Kamron seem angry doesn't seem to sink in, other than him noticing it. "You can decide right now, or you can decide when I see you in the Roost. If you wish for me to speak with those here, then I can go do so right now. But I think speaking with you and letting you express your opinion one way or the other should be enough for them to decide." He says. Taking a deep breath.
Kamron shakes his head, "No. You do not have my permission to court my sister, Lord Alric. If you want permission to do so, you can ask for it properly — through your Lord and her own." His scarred face remains impassive, hard. "I may be overstepping my bounds, and it may be that I am an overprotective brother, but you are not her equal, Lord Alric. If my father and Lord Mallister disagree, than so be it. But until your Lord has spoken to Lord Mallister, as is proper, that is your answer."
Alric isn't surprised about the answer, though it does still hurt. "I suppose I should expect no less. Then I will go seek them now, before I leave. I can, unfortunately not stay this day. Not by my choice, but I need to go meet lord Aleister as well. As for my own lord, he has already given me permission to do as I see fit. All I need is to speak with your father and lord Mallister." He offers, looking at Kamron. "I do suspect the same response from your father and lord Mallister. Which is why I sought you first, to see your opinion, since it is what Lady Nedra values highly. Perhaps highest." He says and bows his head. "I should try and reach your family right away." He says, studying Kamron for another moment.
Kamron arches an eyebrow at the latitude given to the other man by his Lord Father, shaking his head slightly, "My sister is her own woman, although she is good enough to listen to the advice of her family." As the man moves to depart, however, the knight bows his head infinitessimally, "Good day, Lord Alric."
The arched eye brow get a grin, about the same reaction he had when he got the word from his father. Then he just nods. Glancing to Kamron, "Good day, ser Kamron." Though he does add, "On a lighter note, would you try to kick me in the arse if I am allowed to court your sister?" At least trying to be a bit familiar with the man perhaps. Not the wisest choice maybe, but he still tries.
Kamron tilts his head slightly at the levity, "If you ever hurt her, whether you're allowed to court her or not, I'll do a great deal more than that." Apparently, despite his usual good humor, the Mallister knight isn't exactly ready to lighten up.