|Summary:||Anais and Lucienne talk.|
|Sitting Room, Riverrun|
|A room. For sitting.|
|6 Nov, 288|
Riverrun is crowded with visitors, and with so many of those visitors at odds, it is wiser for most of them to stay near their own quarters. For once, Anais has bowed to the wisdom of such things, having taken up a station in one of the sitting rooms set aside for the Terrick guests. The windows are thrown open, allowing the sound of the river rushing by the float up to the room along with a few gentle breezes and the rich scents of the riverlands. She holds a small, wooden wheel in her lap, threaded with embroidery thread, and repetitive motions of back and forth along the spokes of the wheel weave what appears to be some sort of ribbon. It's all muscle memory, though, and requires no visual attention, which is why, no doubt, she's staring out the window.
Sewing is undoubtedly a contentious task of late, and so perhaps that is why it is not a pile of mending or any scrap of fabric that Lucienne brings with her to the sitting room; instead she comes with her faithful handmaiden and a book, brought from home, to join Anais not far from the window. "My lady," is her polite interruption, followed by an inquiring tilt of her head.
Anais looks away from the river when Lucienne approaches, summoning up a small smile for her goodsister. "Luci," she greets in turn. Her fingers go through the motions of the weaving without any conscious direction. "I hope the day finds you well?" Her own handmaiden sits not far away, engaged in a hand of cards with the guard who came with Anais from Banefort, the young, red-headed Kincaid.
"Well enough," supposes Lucienne, taking that as a welcome to drop gracefully into a seat nearby. "And you? I'm sorry if things have been… tense, lately." She spends a moment arranging her skirts properly and settling her book just so, hands folded atop it.
"It's no fault of yours, Luci," Anais assures with a shake of her head. "And there's no need for you to apologize. The Lady Evangeline and I had a…misunderstanding. And I was afraid and insecure, and reacted poorly. We've made up," she adds, looking up with a small smile. "So I suspect things will ease up a little bit soon. Though if you meant all of this…" She trails off, looking back to the river. "I think it will be tense just a little longer."
Lucienne draws in a long breath, watching as Anais speaks with an expression that's neutral, save for the hint of an apologetic smile at the corners of her mouth. "I meant," she clarifies, "Between you and I. News of the… misunderstanding did not escape me, Annie, and I could have handled it better. Sisters are meant to be closer than all this, are they not?"
Anais laughs, looking up with a smile that crinkles the corners of her eyes. "Hardly," she assures. "Sisters may be supposed to be close, but more often than not, they're even more vicious than women who don't know each other at all. Eleanor used to be awful for ratting the rest of us out whenever someone misbehaved."
"Well," says Lucienne, reassured a measure by that smile. "I should hope that as you already have a sister so proficient in tattling, I won't need to play that part for you? I would rather be the one who can help you settle into your new home, before I have to leave it."
"I would appreciate that, Luci," Anais smiles faintly. "Though I understand if you've more important things to worry about. Did you at least have a chance to spend some time with Lord Anton on the ride?" she asks. "Or any of the other Oldstones sworn? Miss Anneke seems interesting, at least."
"Not really, no," says Lucienne, with a little, regretful shake of her head. "There'll be plenty of time for that after we're done here, though. My lady mother is hoping to widen my horizons, so to speak, whilst we're here. I'm not sure why, when Lord Jerold has all but signed the contracts with Lord Anton. Not my place to question, though, is it?"
Anais' smile quirks. "Well, you might as well have a bit of fun, no? Enjoy being courted. There /are/ rather a lot of handsome, eligible men here. Not," she adds with a twinkle in her eye, "That I'm looking. For anyone but my sisters, at least." She looks out over the water, wistful. "It's too serious an occasion for there to be dancing, though."
Is that a sigh escaping Lucienne? There's certainly some movement in her shoulders to suggest such, though there's not enough effort behind it for much of a sound. "Maybe," she allows, "Though I don't find it so terribly enjoyable, honestly. But, nevermind. Perhaps we should make more time to practice dancing once we return home?"
"Courting, or dancing?" Anais asks with a surprised arch of her brow. "That you don't enjoy," she corrects quickly, smile crooked. "I suppose it's the courting, if it's the dancing you'd like to practice when we return home. I love to dance. I just- Do you think it would bother Jacsen?"
"The courting," Lucienne confirms. "Or rather, the fuss surrounding it. Perhaps I'd feel differently had it all come about some other way? Lord Anton is a gentleman, and very handsome, I think it being watched and observed that I object to more." Under her skirts, her ankles shift to cross as she considers. "I don't think it would bother Jacsen. I think he would be pleased that you were enjoying yourself - there's no need to walk on eggshells around him and his leg, Annie."
"Isn't there?" Anais sighs softly, resuming the weaving to occupy her hands. "I don't want, but it's obvious sometimes how much it bothers him. And I wish it didn't. I wish there was something I could do to- to make it not hurt him so much. Physically or otherwise. But I don't think there is. So the least I can do is not make it /worse/ for him."
"There are salves," shares Lucienne, what she supposes is helpfully. "And I used to bind it for him, with bandages. There are certain types of tea, for pain, that I can show you how to brew? I don't… I think if you are… awkward, about it, he will feel awkward as well. If you need to know his mind, without asking him, Mistress Avinashi is always a good place to start."
"I try not to show anything to do with it," Anais shakes her head. "But I'd like to learn the salves, and the tea, if you wouldn't mind showing me. I don't want to be awkward about it. I think- I don't know. I feel like /he's/ sensitive, so then I get sensitive, so then I do something stupid, and then he gets upset, and then…I've tried to explain to him that I don't care about it. But I think it's easier to just…not talk about it."
"I don't make the salves," Lucienne says carefully. "That's not really… it's not that I wouldn't like to, but there are other pursuits better suited a lady. The teas, though. We will go down to the market one morning, and I can introduce you to my tea merchant." A breath. "I think… sometimes Jacsen is a little sensitive, as you can imagine he might be. It takes time to learn his measure - we've all had a lifetime, and even still we set our feet wrong from time to time. You're not wrong, though - sometimes it is eaasier to stay quiet."
"I would appreciate that. Thank you." Anais twists the leftover thread from her wheel into a knot, then moves to stand. "I promised Nina we would explore the castle a bit once we were here, though," she says, smile faint. "She wanted to see the godswood here, our of curiosity. Perhaps tomorrow morning we might go to the market?"
"We'll find some time," Lucienne agrees, her hands slipping over the cover of her book. She intends to stay and settle in for some reading. "Enjoy your exploring, Annie."
"Be well, Luci," Anais smiles softly to the other woman. "And thank you," she adds, fingertips brushing Lucienne's shoulder. And with those murmured words, she gathers her little retinue and slips out of the room.