|Not The Right Conversation|
|Summary:||Riordan has his conversation with Lucienne… but it doesn't go as planned.|
|Related Logs:||I'm too sick to link them.|
|Campsite, The Twins|
|Stuff in various stages of dismantle.|
The giant and sprawling camp of tents belonging to the visiting nobles at the Twin's Tourney grounds is mostly pulled down by this time of morning, and the various parties are nearing departure. Despite the evening before, in which the Nayland family made quite a name for itself, Ser Riordan Nayland is out and about without much in the way of visual indications of a night of dancing and carousing. Well, unless you count the split and somewhat swollen lip he bears. Having seen to most everything he needs to, he now waits on the rest of those traveling with him to finish getting ready. Or rather, that is what the Regent was doing. However, after a rather unforunate mishap involving a hung-over guard, a chicken, and a bucket of grease (don't ask), a few of the horses belonging to the Mire party got loose. And, though others could certainly have handled the situation, Riordan is without a doubt the man to accomplish the task easily and quickly. So, after riding out to round them up, Riordan currently rides across the fields bordering the campgrounds with the horses in tow, heading back towards where the Nayland party departing for the Mire has gathered.
Lucienne is just stalking away from the remnants of the Terrick camp, shaking with anger. Her handmaiden trails after her, keeping a short (safe) distance from her lady, and a guard strides easily behind the two of them. "Don't I dare," mutters Lucienne, seething. "Don't I dare." Her eyes widen, flashing ire down at the ground as she clenches her fists in the skirts of her black dress.
Riordan isn't actually in much of a rush, so the horse he rides, as well as those he leads, maintain a slow and casual walk. The knight himself, dressed in comfortable but very fine traveling clothes with a sword worn at his side, is taking in the sights from a distance of the hustle and bustle of a tournament being dismantled. Thusly, he is able to easily spot the trio from Middlemarch, though of course his eyes remain largley on the noble lady of whom he is already acquainted with. "Lady Lucienne, good morrow," he calls out, his usual lopsided, boyish, infectious smile coming to his face. Easy and genuine, that smile is. Or rather, it is until he sees the state of the lady herself, and catches some of her mood. Still, the greeting is already given, so he just slows the horses to a stop, and bows in the saddle to the lady.
Lucienne looks up from the ground abruptly at the sound of her name, heaping her dangerous scowl upon Riordan for a moment before she remembers herself. She dips a graceful curtsy, measures out a long breath and expertly schools her expression to something more neutral. There's no smile, but at least her anger isn't quite so apparent. "My lord," she returns, pitching her voice to carry. "Good day." Since he's stopped, she will too, dragging a look over the lord and his collection of horses.
"Is something the matter, Lady Lucienne?" Riordan asks. The tone he gives with the question, the genuine look of concern, is perhaps at odds with the history of their Houses, or even the very limited nature of their acquaintance. And, as she has stopped, at least for a moment, Riordan dismounts with an enviable easy grace. As for the glare he first got, well, that was a huge indicator as to her mood… but it still prompts him to give the lady a searching and studious look, as if he is trying to figure something out about her.
Lucienne's lashes fall to her cheeks at that concerned question, and she summons up her smile. It's a pretty, believable thing, and when her eyes open again, it could be said that her anger has simply — melted away. "Nothing at all, my lord," she replies mildly, fists unclenching and her hands moving to smooth over her skirts. "Is there something you require of me, Lord Riordan?"
The sudden loss of her anger, if anything, makes Riordan study Lucienne all the more. However, at her question, he starts, and smiles somewhat apologetically. "No, of course not, Lady Lucienne… I had merely thought to converse with you a moment. I had hoped to when I visited your home the other week, but found you to be gone. However, if you wish not to linger, I shall understand, of course." He pauses, then, and seems about to turn back to his horse, but pauses. "My condolences on the losses you have suffered, my lady, especially that of your Lady Mother." And again, though he knew Evangaline Terrick not at all, his sentiment is openly heartfelt and genuine.
It's something of a sore spot just now, her previous absence from the Roost, but Lucienne only dips her chin in apology to Riordan. Her lady's maid steps forward at the awkward pause, and Lucienne clasps both of her hand primly together in front of her stomach. "Thankyou for your sympathy, my lord," returns the Terrick girl quietly, her smile dissipating. "You have mine, as well."
Riordan inclines his head, saying a simple "Thank you, my lady," in return. However, that does not seem to end what he would say to the Terrick lady, for after another moment of quiet consideration of the woman before him, he inquires, "Were you aware, my lady, that when we were all very young, my father once went on a mission like the one that brought me to your father so recently? That he sought to mend this rift between our families?"
Lucienne arches a brow toward Riordan, but keeps her head dipped deferently low. "A lot has transpired between our Houses in the years since, my lord," she returns, guarded but curious.
"Of course," Riordan returns easily, with a nod. In stark contrast with Lucienne's guardedness, Riordan continues to be his usual open and forthright self. "Still, it always struck me as odd, for though I knew that my father once sought peace, I never knew why he turned to hate your father so much. Your father spoke of it too when I saw him, but he said little enough except to impune my own father's honor." There's the slight hint of anger then, but more the echo of it then anything else. Most of his being seems focused on the thoughts that occupy his mind right now, the memories of the past. "When I questioned my father about it, he said that your father insulted him and turned him out after he put forward the terms of the alliance. He sought to marry my sister Roslyn to your brother Jaremy, and to marry you to my brother Ryker."
Lucienne remains still as she listens, her expression frozen in a slightly skeptical way. "Jaremy was betrothed to the Lady Isolde when they were both but children," she responds a little stiffly. "My lord, if you are trying to imply that this rift is only continued due to some… unreasonable refusal given your father by mine, then I must caution you to hold your tongue."
"I imply nothing, Lady Lucienne. I am saying that this is what happened by my own father's admission. And please do not presume to dictate to me the use of my tongue, or any other part of me." Riordan's words are gentle, and said with a small smile to take away any bite - but they are firm and unyielding as well. "I am not saying that other things were not done between that time and now - we both know the truth of that. But do you really find it so hard to believe that this one thing could be the catalyst? Even before my father spoke of it, he had forbidden even the idea of you being betrothed to a Nayland, in a manner wholly unlike him. And when your father spoke of it… the words your father said to me, before the tale was told by mine own father, rang in true unison with the words from the past as they were reported to me." As he has been since he first began speaking to her, as he has always done, there seems no deception or guile in Riordan. He speaks with the true conviction of a man who speaks little but the truth, at least in so far as he knows it. Though certainly, he does it with a much lighter hand then his cousin Ser Rygar. "And this alliance was made when we were all but children. My own sister was only… seven or eight at the time, I believe. And besides which, a betrothal being made, had it already been so, can just as easily be unmade." As Isolde marrying Ryker shows.
Gently they may be delivered, but there is no denying the sting in those words Riordan speaks. Lucienne's cheeks flush brightly, and she keeps quiet as the Nayland continues, teeth biting down harshly upon her tongue behind closed lips. "My lord," she begins shakily a good moment after he finishes, trying hard to keep her tone even. "A betrothal is a binding agreement between two Houses, and you can rest assured that had Jaremy and Isolde's been drawn properly instead of given only in good faith, that things today in Stonebridge would be far different. I care not to stand here and listen to you speak against my father so openly, Lord Riordan. If there is nothing else you wish to discuss with me, I shall beg your leave, for I have a long day's travel ahead."
"Seven damn it all," Riordan says, not bothering to hide the annoyance the comes to the forefront, and a small ammount of anger besides. "Fine, then be away with you, my lady. I apparently mistook you for someone else, a kind and gentle and strong woman who once looked past my own boorish behavior, and helped me to look at her family different. But all I see before me is the same anger, suspicion, and pride that has perpetuated this conflict and wounded both our families so deeply. So fine, hide in your anger and your grief, and seek me out when you are ready to stop playing the child." Without further word, the Regent turns his back on Lucienne, and prepares to remount.
Lucienne blinks, caught in surprise by Riordan's response. She stands and watches as he turns his back to her, clearing her throat gently. "My lord?"
Riordan pauses, and turns back to Lucienne rather sharply. He bites back his first response, visibly taking a hold on whatever annoyance or anger still lingers, and simply asks, "My lady?"
"I find your manner and your words highly insulting," Lucienne responds curtly. "If your family wishes to repair the rift between our Houses, I would respectfully suggest that you refrain from further injuring it with bad tempers and bad words. Good day, Lord Riordan." She curtsies again, straight and stiff-backed, and gestures for her handmaiden to lead the way off.
Though some of the annoyance lingers, her words seem to hit home. "My lady," he says, in an attempt to forstall her departure, at least for a moment. "Forgive me. I… think it has been a trying time for both of us. Truly, this is not the conversation I wished. I once saw you come to my goodsister's home in peace, and I had hoped that you might aid me in ending this feud, in that same spirit. I know you love your family, as I love mine. I merely sought to find common ground with you so that we can help our Houses. That is no excuse for my behavior however and again, I apologize." And even if he still holds some of the previous emotions, he still seems genuinely contrite. But he will simply bow, and now hold her up any longer, though he will remain where he is a moment, watching her go.
Lucienne's handmaiden has already started moving, but the lady herself pauses after a step to hear Riordan out. She offers him nought in response to his long-winded apology but a nod, before following after her maid in no better a mood than prior this encounter.