|Not So Frivolous|
|Summary:||Jarod and Anais in a hayloft…(no it's not like that).|
|Related Logs:||Roost burninating and such|
|Stables and Kennels — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Tower's Main Stables are nestled into the corner of the courtyard near the portcullis to facilitate quick, easy exits when required. The rear of the structure is backed right against the interior wall of the castle with the heavy wooden roofing gently sloped down towards the slate out front, the floor of the stables kept to dirt. Thick wooden beams are plunged into the ground and serve as a base for the walls between each stall. Hay serves as most of the flooring in the area with a large stack of it off to the side. Each stall has a thick layer on the ground to serve as bedding, with most of the space dedicated to horses though a few have pens of dogs and hounds. An enclosed structure at the end serves as dry storage for riding equipment and saddles.|
|Tue Feb 07, 289|
"It's warm, it's dry, and it's out of the rain," Anais is saying to Kincaid as she makes her way down from the loft, skirts tucked tight around her legs. It doesn't seem to hinder her, at least. "It's last-ditch, but I think we could put some of the children there and rotate the women watching them so everyone has a chance to get a good night's sleep at some point during this…process." That is perhaps not the word she would prefer to use. But it will suffice. She takes a token hand from the guard when she reaches the bottom, hopping down lightly and brushing off her hands on her skirts.
Jarod is whistling as he strides into the stables. The tune vaguely resembles 'The Dornishman's Wife,' for those who know the song. He's angling toward the ladder up to the loft himself, though he pauses when he sees Anais headed down. "M'Lady Terrick." The title is used with an easy, rather wry, grin. "Relocating? The hay's soft, but the horses make something of a noise, so I'm not sure it'd be preferable to your chambers."
"Not for me," Anais answers Jarod with a rueful smile. "But I was thinking we could have some of the children from the village bunk up here until there are more homes rebuilt. It might put their parents' minds at ease, knowing the children are safe, sound, and warm." Absently, she plucks a bit of hay from her hair, flicking it aside. "What about you?" she asks, almost wistful. "Doing anything interesting?"
Jarod looks up toward the loft, then down at Anais, expression thoughtful. "Might. It's a good idea, it's just…well, it won't hold everyone, especially not long-term. But it's a good idea, for a few folk. I was just…enjoying being back home, I guess. This has always been one of my favorite spots in the castle. You know, if you just go up to the loft, when it's quiet, you can watch just about everything going on in the courtyard without being seen at all. Gives you a sort of rhythm of the place, you know?"
"Yeah?" Anais smiles crookedly, looking back up. "I used to use one of the watchtowers near the docks back home for the same thing," she admits, smile easing at the memory. "I'd slip out, wander down to the docks. Visit with the shipwright's apprentice I had a terrible crush on," she laughs softly. "Run his numbers for him. Then pick up some fish and a loaf of bread and bring it up to the guards at the watchtower. And I'd stay up there with them, and they'd tell me what they'd seen that day. Who was seeing who when no one was looking. What the merchants had brought in…"
"When I slipped out I'd go to the seaside," Jarod says with a grin that's part wistful. "There was nobody there, though, usually, where I'd go. Just the sound of the waves, and the gulls. Eagles, even, sometimes. Seemed like my own little world out there. Have you spent much time on the shore, since you've lived at the Roost?"
"Some," Anais nods. "More before the wedding than after. Well. And a little after Lady Evangeline and I were at odds. But…it all seems very frivolous right now," she sighs. There's a brief moment of silence, then she looks up to the loft. "Want to go be frivolous for a bit?" she asks, smile quirking.
"Frivolous?" Jarod shrugs. "I don't think so. Selfish, perhaps, to have such time for yourself, but maybe that's necessary now and then. Sure." He returns the smile, moving down the length of the stalls to where his charger is boarded. "I was actually going to spend a couple days camping on the shore, before the armies sent us off to…wherever we'll be off to again. If that's frivolous, I'll be it gladly. Was going to go a bit farther afield for that, though. Just a couple hours ride out will do for today."
Anais catches her lower lip between her teeth, looking to her guard for his thoughts on the matter. "I probably shouldn't," she says slowly. "There could still be raiders about. And there are other things I /should/ be doing…" Kincaid shrugs, leaving it in his mistress' hands. "Let me just send someone to check with Jacsen," she sighs after a moment.
Jarod shrugs, leaving off going to saddle his horse. He just gives the beast a pat on the nose. "I'll take you out later, Sym, fear not. I doubt there're raiders this close to the castle, Anais. At least, I hope the guards're keeping up regular patrols this nearby. We should have enough men for that left here. But, if it's going to bother you, we can just hang about here. Watch the courtyard go by. Been hoping to get chance to speak with you private, actually."
"It doesn't bother me. I'm just…" Anais grimaces slightly. "More wary of consequences, of late. And I don't want to make things any harder for Jacsen, you know?" She considers another moment, then gathers her skirt again, starting to climb the ladder. "Come on, then," she smiles back over her shoulder. "Let's go hide out in the loft and see what we can see."
"The consequences of taking an afternoon ride while well-guarded?" But Jarod just shrugs again. "All right." He waits until she's climbed (looking the other direction like a gentleman while she deals with her skirt) before going up after her. He flops down next to a little window, which does very nicely overlook the ever-bustling Four Eagles courtyard. "So. Tell me. Do you now account everything as 'frivolous' that doesn't make you miserable?" It's said with a grin.
Anais snaps out a hand to thump his shoulder at the last, smirking. She does have four brothers of her own, after all. "/I/ don't. I'm just tired of listening to other people tell me it is," she clarifies, drawing her knees up toward her chest as she settles by the window. "It's a lot of pressure, you know, being the Young Lady and all. And different sorts from all directions. Be kind for the small folk. Be brave in the face of the Ironborn. Be a comfort to Jacsen, and support him, but don't let him think you're supporting him, and try to make him feel needed, too. Be a sister to Luci, so she doesn't feel she's leaving the Roost in poor hands, or her family without someone to care for them. Try to keep spirits up, but don't be /too/ inappropriately spirited."
"Hey!" Though the thump makes Jarod laugh. "You seemed to be making a fine job of making yourself miserable about it down there. Anyway. Aye. It's a lot, I'm sure. Duty always is. Doesn't mean you have to keep from doing whatever small things you can that make you happy, though. You mind if I ask, in all that, if anyone's being a comfort to you?"
"You are, just now," Anais smiles faintly back at him, resting her temple against the frame of the window. "Jacsen tries to be, but it's complicated. I think sometimes we both try so hard to be what the other one wants us to be that we just get ourselves all turned in circles. Lady Cordelya was kind, too. I'm not /un/happy," she adds. "Just…worried for the future, after the invasion. It's going to be hard in the coming months."
"Well, I'm glad of that," Jarod says. "Though, well, that's not really what I meant. But, aye. It's always complicated. Though I suspect people make it more complicated on themselves than it needs to be a good deal of the time. How is Jace, really? Not well, I can plainly see is the answer, though he does his best to show it as little as possible."
"Not well," Anais agrees quietly, chewing at her lower lip. "His leg's been awful. And Avinashi…" Her brows furrow slightly at that, and she shifts to chewing at her thumbnail. "I don't know how I feel about that whole situation well enough to help him. And he was so close with Lord Jason, and with Lord Jerold gone and…" Catching herself, she lowers her hand, fingers twining in her skirts. "This has all been hard on him."
"And…?" Jarod prompts, reaching out to pat her shoulder. A bit awkwardly. But he means well. "I hope I can convince Lord Jerold to return soon, when I'm at Seagard next. Soon as the armies can spare him, that is. It's not good for this place to be without my lord father. Nor is it good for Lord Jerold. These halls are…what he's about, and these people're about him. Moreso than anyone else in this house."
"And there's not much I can do about any of it except to make sure I'm not /more/ of a concern," Anais finishes her thought, smile curving briefly at that awkward pat. "I imagine Lord Jerold would like to be home as much as anyone else, but if he's the man I think he is, I suspect we won't see him until the Ironborn have paid for what they've done."
"Well…I mean…is that true?" Jarod asks Anais, frowning some. "I mean…Luci helped Jace with his leg when she was at Seagard, and she's no physician of any sort. She could show you how. If she hasn't already. I don't mean to presume. I mean…I don't really know how things are between the pair of you." As for Lord Jerold, he shrugs. "His duties with our armies will keep him busy. I and his other knights can help him with that as much as we can but…he is the Lord of the Roost. And still a fine knight, even at his years. I do hope he'll be able to return soon, though. Be here for the people, and his lady wife and newest child. It'd do him good, I think, to rebuild the Roost with his own hands. Hard as the work'll be."
"Lady Cordelya showed me some things, and Jace did too. But the medicines just aren't available, and…" Anais trails off, looking out at the courtyard. "And every time I think about his leg, I can't help but think about Avinashi, and that makes me ask questions I'm not sure I want to know the answer to. And asking them would only remind him of what's already upsetting him, and he doesn't need that, either." She rubs a hand at her brow, shaking her head slightly.
"They weren't lovers, Anais, if that's what you're dancing around," Jarod says. "I don't quite understand why, all those years in Seagard, with a woman like that, but that's not how it was between them. Were it not, I'd just not say anything about it at all."
Anais looks over at Jarod, one finger resting over her brow. She does not look convinced. "Mmmm," she hums simply in response. "That's not really better, you know." She turns back to the courtyard again, quiet. "I know my father had lovers. But they were just…I don't know. They didn't /mean/ anything except that he scratched an itch here or there. And then he came home, and he and my mother ran the Banefort. He trusted her, and confided in her, and respected her." Her shoulders tighten as she draws her knees back toward her chest. "Sometimes I'm afraid the situation is reversed when it comes to Avinashi. And it's an unworthy thought, because she's been so kind to me."
"Lord Jerold plainly wasn't entirely loyal to his marriage bed either," Jarod says wryly. "Perhaps that's why…" Though he trails off, just shrugging, thoughtful. "…it's not unworthy. It's human. But, I mean, you and Jace've known each other…what? Not even half a year now. If you aren't each others…confidantes right now, that's only natural.
"Sure," Anais agrees quietly. "I'm just afraid that he won't ever need me as one while he has her," she confesses with a soft sigh. After a moment, she shakes her head, clearly trying to snap herself out of it. "But we were going to be frivolous, weren't we?" she asks with a small smile. "Surely there are happier things we could be talking about."
"Aye, well, you two'll figure it out," Jarod says, patting her shoulder awkwardly again. He extricates himself from this particular bit of conversation as quickly as possible. "Umm…" He flails for a new topic. "Frivolous. Right. Have you met Lady Isemay Darant? My father's vassal, down near the border. Well, where the border with Naylands land is now. She's been letting Luci and me stay at her estate. She grows good wine, and her lands were enough inland to be relatively untouched by the raiding. I'll see if I can bring a bottle or two back, next time I'm down that way."
"No, I can't say that I have," Anais shakes her head, just as grateful for the change in subject as he is. "It seems everyone wants to go to Stonebridge," she laughs softly, rueful. "And much as I can appreciate missing out on the strain to our supplies, I can't help but feel a little left out sometimes. Which is silly," she muses. "Because I'd probably go batty cooped up with all the proper young unmarried women there brushing each other's hair and swooning and…whatnot," she waves a hand.
"It's not as if you're trapped here, you know, Lady Evangeline can mind the house just fine for a few days," Jarod says. "Once Jace's leg is feeling better, that is. It's not a long ride, and there are many nobles there. Luci and I were thinking of asking after investments, for the rebuilding. We can't pay much, obviously, but we can bargain in trade concessions, for when our lands are growing again, breaks on tariffs for goods in our market, perhaps alliances in wards or squiring or even marriages among my cousins or…many things. Best to talk on that at this meeting Jace is so excited about, though, I suppose."
Anais' lips quirk at the last. "I don't think it's so much that he's /excited/ about it. It's just something that needs to be done, and the sooner the better." She settles her chin on her knees, pensive. "I hadn't thought of trade concessions," she says slowly. "We'd have to word that sort of thing carefully. But it's an interesting thought. And you know, it's just that…" She laughs, smile slipping crooked. "It sounds silly, when there's so much that's truly important going on, but it rather feels like everyone else got invited to a party that I didn't. That is silly, isn't it?"
"The Roost has rich lands, Anais. Ravaged as they are now. The next years, or two, will be lean, but they'll grow again and well," Jarod says. "And we can perhaps look at completing the dock, when we've any coin to spare again. This is a good place. We just need to be good to it when it needs us, is all." As for the party sentiment, he chuckles. "Well, I invite you then. You should meet Lady Isemay. Come and take wine and dinner at her house sometime, with Luci and Rowan and me, while we're there. I've been thinking some of the refugees in Stonebridge should be resettled on her lands, rather than back at the Roost, so it can even be official if you like."
Anais tilts her head, smile curving. "I think I'd like that," she nods. "So yes, I think I will, thank you." Her smile is crooked as she reaches out to pat his shoulder in turn, not quite as awkward as he is. "Thanks for all of this, Jarod," she adds, softer. "It's…good to just talk to someone without worrying about what they expect."
"I always expect very little, Anais. Fear not," Jarod says with a chuckle. "Or, well. I'm sort've joking. There are a few things I might expect a bit from these days. Anyhow. I should get back to the tower, actually. Sort through some of my things here while I've still the opportunity. And pack. For camping."
"Maybe we could do this again sometime?" Anais suggests, hopeful. "With a bit of riding, even? And Rowan. It seems I never get a chance to chat with him, and I'm rather fond of him."
"He likes you, too. He'd like that!" Jarod rather beams at the idea. "Anyhow, surely. Anytime you like, while we've the time. I'll see you later." And off he bounds.