|On Jerold's Watch|
|Summary:||Jerold calls two of Terrick's Roost to his study for a light scolding. Jaremy remains behind for an even bigger one.|
|Terrick's Roost — Jerold's Study|
Lord Jerold has sent pages to fetch both his ward, and his heir. Each are told to attend Jerold in his reading room. No the throne room, or anyplace very public. Within that room, sitting amidst several shelves of books, one of which he is in the process of reading by the light of sunlight through clear glass, the Lord of the Roost sits in a well appointed chair.
Having returned early enough in the day from her shopping excursion, with the leather given her to make into something suitable by her Uncle, it was not so difficult for the retainers to find Liliana, hard at work with the planning of the use of the leather. A few minutes, to make certain that she's presentable, an indoor dress exchanged for the riding skirts of earlier, and light step towards the reading room, coming up short right before the door, hands settling on her stomach, a strangely nervous gesture, eyes studying the stone beneath her feet, before she lifts her eyes and nods, and the page moves to the door to announce her arrival.
Jaremy is an easy man to find, and the servant first checks the overwatch near the rookery where he typically goes to think. Having spent the better part of the day at the Tower, Jaremy is dressed in his silks and comfortable breeches with his swordbelt tightened around his hips. Turning the corner, he sees Liliana already knocking on the door and slows. His eyebrows flatten in the obvious question, does she too have an appointment with his father? "Lady Liliana…" Jaremy murmurs, nodding a hello to her. "…am I interrupting an audience? Elyn just told me he wished to speak with me, but if you've business with my father please…I can wait."
The page knocks once upon the door, before opening it at Jerold's word from within. The Lord of the Roost looks up without rising. "Liliana, do come in," he voices, without rising. "And Jaremy, as well. Good. Step inside, the both of you, and be seated. If you are to wait, my boy, I would sooner you do it within earshot." A ribbon is drawn across the open face of his book before it is closed and set aside.
Liliana's voice is soft and slow, precise, so carefully modulated only someone who knows her so well as Jaremy and his family…or hers, would see it for what it is. A woman trying very hard not to show uncertainty or apprehension, "Lord Jaremy…I have been…summoned." Not something that, of late, much happens to the young woman of Camden. But the Lord of Terrick's voice comes soon enough, leaving no more time for speculation, and she does the only thing she can do, which is to step inside, entering into the reading room, falling immediately into a respectful curtsey, "My Lord Terrick."
Shit, Jaremy thinks to himself, glancing between Liliana and his father. Not quite sure what's to come yet, he knows the meeting would not have been called if there wasn't something important. However, there is the strange possibility of the rare good news, something he's not had often in his father's presence the last few months. "Please, after you." Jaremy motions for Liliana to enter first, removing his sword in its scabbard from his belt. Setting it to lean against a chair, he turns and sits after seeing the door shut behind them. He does his best to judge his father's mood, something even he can scarcely do through the grim, stone-like wall the man's expression usually has painted upon it.
Lord Jerold's face gives few clues, but it is not merry. Liliana's curtsey is acknowledged with a dip of his head and motion for her to seat herself in one of the chairs provided. "It is said by wise men that if a student fails to learn, the fault lies with the teacher. In that, I must offer the both of you my apologies. I have asked you both attend me here to begin correcting this oversight." The book is set back in it's place on the shelf, before Jerold's eye returns to his son and ward. "I have always placed great emphasis on keeping one's reputation pristine. For nobles, the honor of a good name goes before you in all things, while a blackened name will haunt one past their dying day." Not off to the warmest of beginnings.
Liliana's expression is as impassive as she can make it, but there's no mistaking the careful way she moves, as she rises from the curtsey, the equally, almost brittle way she makes her way to the chair she's been indicated to sit in. And sit she does, sparing only the briefest of glances in Jaremy's direction. But words, they don't come. There are times to speak your mind, and at others, when you do not speak until you are spoken to. This seems more the latter time, to her mind, than the former. Hands folded into her lap, she waits, eyes focused somewhere in the area of Jerold's chest. Looking in his direction, without meeting his eyes.
Leaning back against the comfortable chair, Jaremy's eyes sharpen and his head tilts at a cocked angle to show his father that although he is listening, that he's not quite sure yet what he's done. At least now that he's certain that he's done something. His lips part, taking in a slow breath as he rests his elbows on the arms of the chair. He glances to Liliana, and then back to his father. "Reputation, father?" He asks, concern growing on his brow.
"Reputation," Jerold confirms, evenly. "Liliana," the Lord begins with the Camden. "I know you to be a good-hearted lady of excellent quality and pure intention. Do not take this as a lack of faith in you, know only that I am concerned for your good name, and desirous to prevent any scandal befalling you." A fresh breath drawn slowly. "A noblewoman, not yet wed, cannot permit herself to be alone in the company of a man. It is destructive to her reputation and virtue. The tongues of men will wag, and it is no gentleman who would allow his presence to damage the good name of a noble lady." With that said, he gives a short look aside to Jaremy.
There are likely a handful of explanations or excuses Liliana could bring to bear, reasons she could use to argue her case, if this intervention is indeed prompted by certain recent events, but none of those come either. It has never been Liliana's way to argue when she has been called out on a wrong, but rather to accept when she is corrected. And so, there is only acceptance of the comment on the Lord Terrick's opinion of her character and his admonition, "Thank you for your faith in me, Lord Terrick. And I offer my apology for my improper behavior."
The short, sidelong look speaks volumes to the young lord. Having already spent the last few months at odds with his father, he makes a decision to be proper in his presence on this issue. Though he does allow a small look to his father to show he's not exactly sure when he was alone with Liliana, he straightens in his chair and gives an affirming nod of his head. "I agree, Father. I also offer my apologies. I…never intended for a scandal of any sort to exist."
"I have every confidence you will continue to deserve my good faith," Jerold begins to the Camden woman. "If your handmaidens do not agree with you in any way, I invite you to select new attendants, whose company you will better enjoy. With that, you may be about your own business once again, Liliana. I have need of further word with my son."
"Yes, My Lord Terrick," Liliana rises from her seat, again dropping down into the polite curtsey, first offered to Jerold, and then, in turn, to Jaremy, "Young Lord Terrick," as if she were placing the son in the same tier as his Lord Father. High, and remote and unreachable. There's no hint of happiness or relief in her expression, nor friendship for the younger man. Only that hard, set look, as she turns, making her way as quickly and as quietly as skirts and soft-soled feet can carry her. A hand to the door to open it, to slip outside and allow it to close behind her.
"My Lady." Jaremy replies to Liliana, nodding his head slowly to her as she passes. He turns his head to watch her leave, and only after the door finally closes and the iron latches settle against the wood does he turn around to face his father. "What…exactly happened, Father?" He starts, leaning one side against the chair to relax a bit more in his presence. "Is this about her and I being alone, or about her and I being alone on separate occasions?"
"This is not about her, at all," Jerold begins, stern of voice. "Tell me, Jaremy. What shall I say to Lord Banefort if word reaches him as it has reached me that his daughter and my son have been seeking to elude their chaperones? Because I know what my words would be if a gentleman betrothed to your sister sought to do the same, and my words would be harsh indeed."
Jaremy cringes, but the slight grin at the corner of his lip is hard to conceal. Despite all of his vows and honors, he's still a young man, and now he's an embarrassed young man. "Seven…okay, you're right. You're right. We shared a kiss and it will be the last before the wedding, and I give you my word of honor, Father, that I won't stress you with this again. There was something that I had to speak to her about, and although her sworn sword keeps his distance I didn't want to risk him getting wind of it."
"This is not to be smiled at," Jerold snaps at his heir's rueful grin. "Jaremy, do you not understand, even now? After this Tordane matter, should Anais Banefort become the victim of Nayland slanders, what manner of match do you think you shall find?" he demands shortly. "Tell me true, my son: how many times have you violated the reputation of a noblewoman?"
The look on Jaremy's face sags suddenly as his father's point is rolled up into a rock and smashed against his face. Immediately regretful, he lowers his brows and nods his head, showing his father every ounce of said regret. For just a moment, he's a lad of ten again, being scolded in the very same chair he has been for decades. To the question, he breathes in deeply, lowering his gaze to the floor. "More than would be befitting of a Lord of my status, nor a knight of the realm, Father. Twice, maybe three…" He catches himself, jaw tightening, choosing to not lie in an instant, though he doesn't provide specifics. "…more than you would be proud of. For that, I deeply apologize."
Lord Jerold hears out that answer with a slow exhale. "Jaremy, you are a young man. And were you another man's son, you could simply be a young man without shame. But you are my firstborn and heir; you cannot afford such follies. Though it would please me to learn that Lady Anais agrees with you, to hear of this so soon on the heels of the Stonebridge debacle.." He draws in another slow breath and shakes his head. "I am sorely disappointed, Jaremy. You will make very. Certain. That this does not happen again."
"My word, father. My word. Your brother gave me enough bruises in the yard for years and I waited to earn my spurs. I can wait a few weeks more for time alone with her. Then, and only then, I can have all of the time we want without causing scandal. I understand." He waves his arm to the side, shaking his head from left to right. "It will not happen again." He sighs, resting his back once again against the cushioning of the chair.
Jerold Terrick nods once after a moment to the answer he is given. "Unless there is anything further, you may now be about your business, Jaremy," the greying Lord voices, with a weariness audible beneath his decorum.
"You should expect a rider from King's Landing within the month." Jaremy suddenly murmurs towards his father, elbows pressing into the arms of the chair to push him to a more proper sitting posture. "Another rider sent to take a look at Oldstones and a raven from King's Landing as well within the short span of time that would take. You asked me to bring you proof, father. You just may receive it."
"A raven from King's Landing?" Jerold echoes, with eyes narrowing in a puzzled frown. "Oldstones- Jaremy what have you done?" Talk of proof and the ominous source of this promised raven draws him up in his chair. "If you wanted proof of Oldstones, you ought to have gone to Hoster Tully, why in the Stranger's name would you send to King's Landing?" he demands, voice beginning to rise.
"Because only the King can ennoble a man, and I've received a tip that Ser Cyric was never ennobled." Jaremy replies, eyes meeting his father's in a look not of defiance, but of growing into a strong minded lord of his own. "If this is true, there will be records of it at King's Landing, as it would have been performed written into record by Robert's hand himself. With a rider sent to Oldstones and verification of this from the Grand Maester's seal, we will have what we need to settle this matter."
"A tip?" Jerold echoes tersely. "Jaremy, for the sake of this house, you had best have more than some idle suspicion to support such a thing. Ravens should never be sent lightly, and my ravens should never be sent without my knowledge." A short exhale. "Leave me. Prepare everything you have, we will discuss this later with your brothers and the maester."
Jaremy rises, reaching for his sword slowly. Taking the scabbard back to his belt, he stands in place with his eyes on his swordbelt, adjusting it before he leaves. "…and what if I'm right, father? What if Lord Geoffrey sired Ser Gedeon in the company of Ironmen? It's at least worth looking into before Ser Anton approaches you seeking Lu's hand, because all this is going to be fucked into dirt if any of these dead bodies and poisonings end up with us as the blame."
"Gedeon Rivers' mother has naught to do with the Valentins, Jaremy," Jerold states quietly. "You may believe me upon that." As for the rest, Jaremy's father regards his son a long, hard moment. "Bring me everything you have, and pray to the Seven you have not done more damage than good."
"If Lord Geoffrey so badly wanted to see his son ennobled and raised after his death, father, he needed only send him to you. Instead those letters went to Braavos." Jaremy replies, nodding slowly in response to his father's orders. "I will continue to work on this and be subtle. Subtle -and- within the gaze of Anais' chaperone when I am with her." He turns, reaching for the door. Closing his eyes as he pushes down on the latch. "Good night, Father."