Page 401: Out on Patrol...
Out on Patrol
Summary: Catryn's returning from wandering and happened upon by both Kell and Justin out riding patrols.
Date: 26/08/2012
Related Logs: None.
Kell Catryn Justin 
Outskirts, The Roost
Fields and trees and forestline. Armed patrol on horseback.
Sunday, August 26, 289

It's near early afternoon, when the lone rider could be spotted by the patrol, if they happen to be in the area. A wealth of blond-white hair in the distance, a ginger mare. Though the latter may be unrecognizable to Kell at least. The girl rides without saddle on naught but a blanket, astride as a man might be, while two saddle bags rest against the tops of the horses flanks as she makes her way back towards the Roost.

Kell's patrol happen to be in the area, especially with the recent news that the talks between the Naylands and Charltons under the true flag had gone badly. The knight is now leading the small group of Terrick armsmen all the way to the edge of the Terrick's border, perhaps stretching the fuzzy line on the maps just a little further as if doing so will allow the men to peer into Stonebridge to see what is happening. The patrol contains four riders, the lead armored in chainmail and steel helm. When the lone rider comes into view though, Kell raises a hand to halt the patrol before he nudges his Havok forward a bit, as if double checking his eyes, having sworn that the girl is Catryn at a distance, only to confirm when the distance closes. The other men are focusing their eyes on the surrounding area instead of the lone figure, a habit in case the visible one is bait and attention drawer.

Catryn, who is never bait and always, trots along as if she hasn't a care in the world, licking the last bit of her lunch from her fingers as plums can be a particularly messy affair. She just keeps right on closing distance until the faces become things that are familiar and match up to names she knows; be it from around the town or simply drinking or dining within the Inn. "K..Ser Kell!" She greets instead, that correction made last minute, as a slender arm stretches up to wave. And now that she's a proper destination set far closer, it's towards him that she heads.

Kell's eyes look behind Catryn for a moment, perhaps trying to see if someone is trying to follow discretely or if she had a protective escort with her. When not seeing anyone, the knight turns his eyes back to the girl before nodding his head to her, more neutral than anything else right now. At least he isn't scowling at her. Yet. "Catryn. Returning from Stonebridge?" The answer most likely already known though asked for confirmation perhaps. Kell also looks back to the other men and gives them a nod, before motioning them to begin returning towards the Roost, patrol halfway finished now apparently without any troubles. Again.

"Didna go all tha way in," Cat replies, drawing her mare up short before Havok; while the little filly flicks her tail and gives a hard snort in his direction. "Stopped in tha distance, wit a man who was directin' men. Gettin' ready fer war they are, patrol ten deep; weildin' spears. Got tents spillin' outta tha town itself wit what I'd wager were the levies they called in."

There are other riders upon the road. A pale grey horse leads another three men though they aren't coming up the road. They are coming out of the trees and now starting to cross a fallow field to make their way towards the road. Seeing others ahead, the lead rider slows his grey. A short bow with quiver lay at an angle across his back, a steel helm upon his head. His surcoat at a distance appears to be grey though as he draws closer, it has a purplish tint. Justin takes his time as they approach to study the group, all three men he's leading also armed, all of them discreetly bearing Terrick colors.

Havok appears to be more well behaved right now, perhaps smart enough to know that they are on 'official business' right now so Kell's horse just regards the mare silently. The knight does turn his steed around so they can start trotting back to the Roost though his eyes remain on the girl, "Sounds like that may have been Ser Longbough, the man in charge of the Stonebridge's men." Remembering the pikes. "Makes sense, preparing the men." There is another pause before Kell continues as he looks back down the path that will wind its way back to the Roost, "It isn't safe to be traveling alone right now, even on a horse, Cat." A statement that is said more as a fact than anything accusatorial.
Kell and his men are also wearing the Four Eagles surcoat and when the new party appears, crossing the field, the armsmen slow to a stop before waving a hand to greet the newcomers. The Terrick Knight himself turns his attention from Catryn to the new arrivals as well and when Justin is close enough, Kell recognizes who it is. "Lord Justin, good day." He calls out to the Terrick Noble in greeting while staying on the worn road.

Cat crooned nonsense at Havok too, even as she stroked an affectionate hand down the mare's neck; the creature kept to pace beside the knight's own mount, though not too close in the event one animal or another took issue. "Yes," the girl's head bobbed, "Tha was hes name. Ser Bruce. Nice bloke. Gotta friend squirin' under him now." She explained, "I'd gone te ask about tha roads," because he knew they'd be leaving soon. "Though, will ye be goin' too, Kell? Te Seagard?" A totally leading question that, for all that his warning brought her shoulders to slumping.
With a sigh, Cat bobbed her head. "Aye, aye, I keen, I keen but..had te ask didnt I? And I knew if I'd asked ye if I could…ye'd prolly just say no," she mumbled, slanting a look in his direction before the other riders caught her eye. As always, it's a mix of faces she knows and a couple she doesn't, though she brightens at recognizing Justin, perhaps hoping his presence will deter a lecture. "Sheriff!" The warm too bright greeting is called.

Justin brings his own patrol to the road and joining the others, he reaches up a hand to remove his helm. His dark hair has been trimmed shorter, barely short enough to stay out of his eyes, dark, sweaty and once he scrapes a hand through it, tossled every which way. Lovely. Justin secures his helm to his saddle, his steel breastplate mostly covered by his light weight surcoat, "Ser Kell, I trust all is quiet. Any news from the east?"

His attention shifts to Catryn whom he studies before Justin faintly smiles, "You shouldn't be out here alone. /Do/ tell me Ser Kell is escorting you to see you safely back?" You know, since they are headed west. "Did I hear mention of Seagard?"

"Yeah, I will most likely be riding down to Seagard with the others. Ser Kamron and Lady Saffron's wedding is an important event." Kell answers to Catryn's question about whether he will be heading to the Mallister's home. As for what the knight would've said to the girl's question about going to Stonebridge, he only smirks in response, perhaps to show that she is right. For now, Justin's presence does deter a lecture, luckily for Catryn as Kell's hand goes to his head as well to remove his own helm. A shake of head is directed at Justin's question, "Nothing was found on our patrol, quiet as usual. As for the east, it appears that they are doing as expected, preparing for the attack that will no doubt come.

Catryn flushes guiltily, both beneath Kell's smirk and Justin's not so subtle warning and becomes particularly interested in brushing at the mare's mane with her fingers, while she shifts about for a more comfortable position atop her back; saddleless as she is. "Do ye think perhaps we could all travel down together then?" Inquired of Kell, given his natural state of fretting before she decided that enough time had passed for the question of her escort to ensure that answering it wouldn't sound like a quick and guilty defense.
"Aye, he was," and whether he was or not, now seemed to be the case. And if she was out there alone prior, she didn't point it out either. "Though we was talkin' of Seagard, aye. Gotta restock our supplies so we be goin' down te, fer necesseties an I'd mentioned te Kell tha other day about us seein' bout travelin' down perhaps on the heels of some noble goin'."

The Terrick lord Sheriff moves his horse inline with theirs, his three men at arms from the keep falling in with Kell's men. Justin listens, then nods, "Aye, we can easily travel together. I will be going, assuming there isn't any deinable likely threat to our lands due to the Stonebridge issue. Such things can spill over easily and I'm a little wary of departing even for the wedding and lowering our own defenses by even a single man. Still, it won't do to ignore the wedding either. So we shall see how things stand closer to that time. After all, we must pass through Stonebridge to even reach Seagard." And they may not be able by then.

To Kell, Justin nods, "All was quiet on our patrol as well. Nonetheless we need to be vigilant."

"Two weeks were given from what I hard, by Lord Charlton of Highfield so unless he goes back on his word, the attack wouldn't come till well after the wedding so there should be time to see to our border defenses after we return to the Roost." Kell has a feeling that Lady Saffron would be most upset if her wedding was missed by many, though her anger may be directed at those responsible for the war, not those that did not attend. As for the remaining vigilent, the knight bobs his head again, "Of course, M'Lord. I have continued to stagger when we ride out, so there is no pattern to our timing of riding out from the Roost, including over night patrols. Still nothing ever since the Charlton murders."

Cat was quiet while the men spoken, listening, though she was aware that Kell had refused her answer, for all that Justin had supplied one that caught her by surprise. So when there came a little pause in between talk of riders and patrol, Cat said, "I was no aware that ye were goin' too, Ser Justin, though any company will be due appreciated. Perhaps ye two might lemme know when ye intend te travel back as well, as we'll be comin' back wit more mules than we're leavin' wit an folks fleein' from war.." A sad little shake of her head was given. "Course," and this last was delivered towards Justin in particular, "That letter from ye sayin' ye keen us te be honest merchants an members o'tha Roost would help us no small way, while we wait fer our Charter."

Riding on, Justin nods to what Kell says, "There are more than a few who think Lord Aleister will not wait, nor that he is a man of honor. I do not know and as I said, I will wait and see." To Catryn he gives a fain shrug, "Ser Kamron is a close friend, and the man who knighted me. And he is a member of my liege lord's house, so of course I will go. Likely my brother will not, nor my father, so it will fall upon me to represent Terrick interests. Willingly I will do so, and with pleasure. Though alas I do not think there will be tournament." Justin does listen to her, "I have been thinking upon the letter your father requested of me. I will grant it unto you, but I haven't yet decided precisely how to word it, Catryn. I have not written such a thing before."

Kell listens in on the discussion of the Mallisters and also on the letter and charter, but before he was able to answer Catryn's question or offer anything he wishes to contribute, the knight's eyes snaps to the woods off to one side of the road. Eyes narrowing, the man could've sworn he saw some motion but it may just his eyes playing tricks on him. However, not one to just shrug things off, he turns back to Justin and Catryn, "M'Lord, Mistress, excuse me. Going to check something out, it is most likely nothing though, or perhaps just an animal scared off by our travelings, I will be back." With that, Kell angles his steed away from the path though he does motion to one of the armsmen riding a little farther way, motioning the man to accompany him just in case. Duty calls.

Cat offered no opinions on Charlton lords, what does a peasant know? Which…is perhaps debatable. Regardless, she gave a nod to Kell when he drew away from the company and murmured a heartfelt, "Be safe," before he was out of earshot, which left her…in company with the Sheriff and the other armsmen who rode ahead. At least she still couldn't get a lecture on being alone! "That would be…most kind o'ye, Sheriff," Catryn replies to his statement, "An we'd both be more'n a lil grateful fer it. Every lil bit helps, as it were." Explained, for all that her voice had taken on a more sober edge and her eyes a measure of seriousness.

Two of Justin's patrol group likewise break off, spreading out to either side of the road and watchful. The Terrick's gaze has sharpened to watch the trees in the direction Ser Kell rides off. When the other two have gone and no sounds of clashing blades nor shouts follow, Justin looks back to her. His voice is low so not to carry, "Question is, I don't actually know how 'honest' a trader your father is, Catryn. I haven't known him for long and he has a preditor's look about him. And he admits to having been, and is, a mercenary. It is not an easy thing to put my word down upon parchment to vouche for such a man without having time for him to earn my trust. So what he asks is more perhaps than you know. I will vouchesafe the facts, but more than that will have to wait. If I go to giving my word for his integrity and then he should prove otherwise, it looks ill upon me and my father. And we would be forced to deal most harshly with him. So I must ask you, will he conduct himself honorably and keep apart from things that might embroil trouble?"

For all that men start to break away, Catryn doesn't seem worried and in truth, if she was, she'd have not left out alone to begin with. Instead, she turns her focus towards Justin's words, giving a little nod of understanding for it. "Papa is an honest trader, Justin. How we lived afore, aint how we've lived since touchin' on these shores an two months is more'n plenty fer some lord or common te come forward an say we've been unfair. But we aint. No te none. Ye have my word." For all that she might have had mixed feelings when it came to him speaking of honor. He'd slept with her after all, and that did horrible things to chances of finding a girl a husband. "Ye might say," she ventured, tone gone teasing for all she meant it playful and not to prick, "Tha he's steered further from trouble than say…," trailed off. Pointed look. But then she ruined the seriousness of her expression with a wink.

Justin doesn't actually … get her point. But then, his point of view is that he can arrange a husband for her of her choosing, because lords can often do such things. To him, there is no shame upon her to lay with a nobleman for she is not a noblewoman. So he misses her allusion entirely and cocks his head at her, lifting a brow in a silent 'what?' kind of expression.

The other men are not close by them, speaking low among themselves and spread out a bit incase of trouble. Mostly they watch the woods, and Justin keeps an eye out himself because arrows can come fast from the trees. The road is always a risk, these days. "If you give me your word that he's to be trusted, I will consider that, Catryn. I wish to be fair and give him his chance. I would rather see you both thrive at your honest trade than loose hope of it and fall to darker things out of simple need to survive. Every man and woman deserves that chance. He does seem invested in it and we need the trade." Looking around and everything still pleasantly quiet, Justin asks, "Have you begun work on the house?"

"You." That silent little 'what' expression is answered simply, and it's a gods blessing that she's no notion of his thoughts on the matter or he'd like as not need his guards to defend himself. But at least the topic changes and it's easy enough for her to let it go. "He can be trusted, same as me." Better than her, probably. "But if there aint gonna be no give, te learn te trust us, I'd rather keen it upfront." Rather than be strung along. "Aye. Have. Loaned Mare out te a craftsman who'd lost a couple good horses in tha reaven. He's had her most o'tha week helpin' pull out felled trees from where the fightin' claimed a measure. An he'll have her most next week too, done us some proper shutters fer the trade. An a new door. Got all tha debris done cleaned out, too."

Yes, all is quiet upon the road and they continue on, the afternoon pleasant if warm. Scattered clouds keep it from being dreadfully hot. The grey gelding continues on quietly enough as Justin listens. "Did you? She didn't strike me as a mare to be put to pulling stumps. But it sounds like a good trade you've made, and you are helping out a neighbor. Folk'll speak well of you and hesitate less to help you in kind, treat you and your father less as outsiders if you do such things." As to the 'you' comment, he gives her a funny look. Could be Catryn will get a question about that later, when they are alone. For now, Justin slips his waterskin free and takes a goodly drink of it before he offers it to her.

"Folks aint tha only ones who'll turn a hand at somewhat else iffen they aint got much choice otherwise," Cat replies, "Aint many here much treat us as outsiders anyway, cept fer ye nobs. We go juss as hungry as the rest. Work juss as hard, too." His little funny look brings her to chuckling and rolling her eyes in bemusement. But there's still a smile when she reaches out to accept the waterskin, tipping it up for a long swallow before she offers it back with a quiet murmur of thanks.

Amused, he asks low, "Do I treat you like an outsider then?" Justin turns his head to watch her and when she's finished with the water skin, he'll have one more drink before he stoppers it to hang it back off of his saddle, "Some of /us/ nobs, as you like to call us, work hard too. And go hungry, when our people hunger. We Terricks haven't exactly kept our larders full to ourselves while others have gone without, Catryn." Even Justin himself has lost weight, though with more food coming in he'll get that lost muscle weight back in time. His grey eyes go to scan the road and the trees once more before he adds quietly, "Though, I can understand your opinion. Many a house is far wealthier than our own and choose to use it for themselves, not for their people."

"Juss in tha way ye fret, an it's normal," Cat replies, all to aware of how easily he can frown harder'n anybody she's ever met if she says something too out of turn to suit him. So she continues on, rather carefully for all that he'd sounded amused anyway. "An I aint mean te make ye think that ye aint got much sense er no sense. I've seen whatche doin' fer ye folks, Justin. I've experienced it firsthand." Calm down. The tone implied, and perhaps stop talkin' at her like she's stupid. "Gods but yer as worrisome as a fretting hen sometimes. Everything I say aint personal." Sigh. Run her fingers against the edge of the blanket upon which she's perched and give that mare a nudge so it'll pick up its step.

Justin wasn't the least bit bothered nor flustered by what she'd said so her comments as though he'd taken it personally gain a look back to her, as if to ask where that came from? He only shrugs, about half of his attention on her at most as he's on patrol and more focused on the road and the woods. Instead of trying to argue with her, Justin lets it go and stays relaxed, keeping his gelding at the slower walk as her horse picks up a faster step. He turns his head to look back where Kell had gone into the trees to see if there is any sign of the man returning.

There is movement again at the side of the path in the wooded area though it is a little bit farther ahead of where the main group had progressed to. Instead of action burstin out of the shrubbery, it's just rustling before the Terrick armsmen that went with Kell appears on his horse, clearing the obstruction before the Terrick knight himself follows out to the clearing. Looking farther down the road towards the Roost, then up to spot Justin, Catryn, and the other men, Kell nudges his steed in their direction and trots towards them, obviously in no hurry. He does call out to relieve people of their worries, if there is any, instead of waiting to get closer while letting the suspense build, "Nothing out of the ordinary, was just a small animal, excited by our passing."

Catryn's sense of paranoia with how easy she'd found it to be to upset Justin on occasion was just acting up then. But there was no move made to reclaim the conversation once it'd floundered beneath her poor handling. For all that she half considered riding on ahead of the men simply to be free of the saddle. She'd accomplished what she'd set out before dawn to do, at any rate. But the rustle of noise and the steady pound of hooves draw her attention back and Kell's voice keeps it. And since everything is clearly fine, instead of asking if he's alright she simply inquires, "Well then, where's dinner?" Smirk.

Comfortable, tired, Justin watches Kell and his co-rider come back to the road. He nods to the other man, "Very good. If you care to ride escort back the rest of the way for Catryn here, I've a mind to spit off here and head southwards. There's a wood cutter's camp down that way huntsman Kain and I like to check on now and then." Justin turns in the saddle to see who he's brought with him, "I'll take Delany here with me. He's not a half bad woodsmen and we'll be needing to leave the horses to go afoot to look anyway. My other two can go back with you, Ser Kell. If that is agreeable?" The Terrick Sheriff's mind is upon his work, though his gaze flicks to Catryn's back up ahead once before he starts to veer his grey off of the road.

The girl's question has Kell smirking in response as he shakes his head, "No, no dinner. Didn't unpack my bow and I'm sure as hell not going to ride through the woods to try to stab the damn thing." Eyes then focuses on Justin as the other man shares his plans for his own patrol group. Nodding his head, the Terrick Sworn shows that he understood, "Of course, M'Lord. Be careful, even though we haven't found anything on our patrols thus far. Who knows what kind of bandits may be lurking in the woods again," Especially the kind that were much more lethal than bandits. "I'll make sure Mistress Taken reaches the Roost safely."

Catryn shuffles the mare sideways at a stop, since the group seems to be splitting up and while Kell earns the sound of his laughter, because it is entirely too easy to imagine him running through the woods chasing after a rabbit - much to her amusement - the look she favors Justin with holds a pinch more consideration. Though her smile is kind, when she dips her head, in appreciation for the concern offered her wellbeing. "Be safe on the rest of your patrol, milord," comes proper reply, voice soft and eyes considerate. "And keep a sharp eye out for mistletoe." As in Charltons, not the plant.

Justin pauses his horse to look back to Kell, "I have a pretty good idea of what kind of bandits we have lurking. As well as the kinds implied we have lurking." Ah yes, Catryn's words catch Justin's attention, hitting the nail on the head that he's not mentioning out loud here. He gives her a quiet nod, a slight curl of his mouth on one side, "I shall certainly do so. Seven keep you both." As well as the men with them. Only one of them move to follow Justin's horse, Delany looking the part of woodsman and likely he's one of Master Kain's hunters and a man brought along precisely for his ability to track and move silently. A breath later Justin is moving his horse off on a thin, barely distinguishable deer trail and is soon engulfed in the tree cover.

Watching as Justin disappears into the woods, Kell turns his eyes to the rest of the guardsmen and gives them a nod, "Back to the Roost, feel free to return at a faster speed. Mistress Taken's mare doesn't have a proper saddle so we'll be moving a bit slower." For the girl's sake since faster movement would probably result in more uncomfortable shuffling of her legs. As the other men begin moving off down the path, Kell nudges Havok along too though at a slower trot as he turns his gaze back to Catryn, eyeing her legs and the blanket saddle for now. He doesn't answer the obvious question of why it isn't saddled though, most likely able to guess the answer.

Catryn looked…insulted. "Really? Didje really juss say tha? I'll have ye keen tha she can outrun tha lot on horseback an wit me atop her. Aint weigh as much as yuns, loaded down wit saddle an armor te boot. I was perfectly capable of keeping pace!" That bruised little ego sulks a pout in his direction. And while he might eye her legs; they're clad in leather so nothing's out for show. "Unless…ye were juss tryin' te make 'em get on in which case…," the minx grinned, "I missed ye, too."

Catryn is rewarded with a scowl first by Kell when she snaps at him and defends her mare but he doesn't answer until the men were farther down the road. He begins by shaking his head slightly, "Yes, I was trying to get them to ride on and that blanket… that looks like a very uncomfortable saddle." Not entirely safe either, "Your mare certainly looks like it can keep pace or even gallop faster," Since the horse looks lighter and the rider is certainly lighter as well. "if you want, you can ride Havok for a bit?" Offers Kell as his horse continues to trot next to Catryn's.

Kell certainly surprised her! Cat blinks with his statement, deflated of all hot air and just takes a moment to…stare at him in silent question while her tongue peeks out against her lips. "Ride…Havok with you?" She inquires, searching for the full terms of the offer before agreeing to anything. Though certainly by her expression, if the answer is to be yes then, he'll find her most agreeable. But as to the blanket.. "Every move she makes I feel, every bit o'power in her stride. I aint ever rid with a saddle long enough to mark much different." But she's spent twelve hours in a go on this one, since she's got it, when it couldn't be avoided. The sting isn't so bad as it used to be.

"Well… with me if you want but I can walk beside Havok if you want to try." Kell says as it was something she had asked for a while back, before she received her own mare. This way, she can also tell the difference between riding on an actual warhorse instead of the more sleek mare, not to mention that his horse is properly saddled. Drawing his horse to a stop, Kell lifts himself off his own saddle and slips off the side though his hand is till on the reins.

"If…ye dun mind," Cat ventures, drawing the mare up to a still, eyeing both Havok and his rider with care, "I wouldna mind…ridin' wit ye." With him being…in truth part of why she'd asked in the first place. "But Kell I promise I'm fine on me mare," she explained, because she didn't want him thinking she was trying to use him either. She wasn't. That was important for him to know. Regardless, she slipped down when he did. Somewhat less gracefully for her lack of a saddle. And hit the ground with a little thump, before she tugged on her hems and tried to put herself back to rights. She'd dressed for riding, not comfort.

Flashing the girl a smile, Kell is apparently trying to show that he doesn't mind. "We can ride together after you get a feel for Havok, and I'll be at your side so you don't have to worry. Let me help you up." He offers as well, since Catryn may not be used to climbing onto the saddle so he would give her a hand, or two, most likely hands at her hips to help give her a boost. Havok is also curious to what is happening, head turning back to watch the humans, especially Catryn since he recognizes her.

"Alright," Cat agrees, offering out the mares reins as she steps a little closer and looks up at Havok; reaching out to scritch against the slope of his neck while she cooed nonsense in his direction hoping to encourage him not to decide she'd be better on the ground than her back. Cat doesn't even try to tell Kell that she knows better how to mount a horse without aid. She simply accepts his aid with grace and a quiet murmur of thanks; even if she wiggles a pinch to get comfy. "Alright." She's not fallen off on her head. "Teach me?" Where the smile she gave him then was one of both quiet joy and absolute trust, in equal measures.

After watching Catryn climb onto Havok, Kell offers the courser's reins to the girl before taking hold of her mare's reins, so that the other horse doesn't run off in case spooked. However, the girl's next request has the knight freezing for a second as he didn't exactly think this far ahead. He answers her quiet joy and trust with a smile of his own, there is hesitation in his… instructions. "You…uhh… kinda ride him like you would on your horse?" He certainly is not a good instructor, which is probalby why Kell has denied the request of one of the Squires offering their services to him.

Well, apparently for however much Kell might worry on his teaching, perhaps…he just needs better students? Cat seems to get the point, regardless. Shifting carefully on Havok's back with her feet in proper position at the stirrups; though she's easy on the reins. "But…different..right? I aint supposed te let 'im run?" Inquired, as she oh so gently gives a little nudge with her thighs, as it seems the girl's prone to using her legs and her body to direct rather than veins. "You'll catch me iffen I fall, right?"

Of course, Kell isn't teaching Catryn how to use Havok to his full potential as a warhorse, including the biting, the ramming, the kicking of hooves to cave in heads of hostiles. This is just simple riding so it doesn't take much to get the courser moving at slow trot and it seems to actually enjoy carrying the lighter girl than the usually heavily armored and armed man. "Uh… if you let him run, it would be harder for me to help you but Havok is pretty smart, he wouldn't dump you. You would just get back to the Roost… before me or the other men. And don't worry, I'll catch you." Havok is apparently more use to being guided by legs and body movements than reins as well.

"I feel disconnected, wit tha saddle. S'different. Like I'm further away." Because she couldn't feel the shift in tension as easy, the flex of muscle and the pull of power. It was strange, compared to what she was used to, so the slow trot was how she stayed. Making a lazy little circle there around Kell, while he stood in watch. "Course, I aint wanna get back without ye either so…no running." Even if the mare had turned her head in to chew against his sleeve for lack of attention as she watched her owner cheating on her with someone else. Huff, nip, terrible. Cat certainly looked happy though!

Now Kell is trying to figure out how to share his knowledge and experiences so he can perhaps reveal why the saddle is different. "But it's more comfortable where you're… sitting. It shouldn't hurt as much, especially on longer rides and at a faster speed. Plus, you feel the horse more through your legs." Before he says anything else though, he's bumped into and chewed on, causing the knight to look at the mare, "Hey now, no eating me!" He complains and isn't exactly the type to coo or croon at a horse, though he does try to pat it to calm it down.

The affection, even without crooning or cooing, seems to be enough to help calm the attention whoring beast, because she stops trying to nibble on his tunic and simply huffs that soft velvety nose against his shoulder instead while Cat…attempts to understand Kell's explination. "But the leather has less given than it does riding bareback; though I'll grantche, that aside, I can see how there'd be less…" Pain from the ridges of the mares back rubbing against her middle. There was a reason that blanket was thick. So she crooned to Havok and leaned forward to urge him into a little canter; two circuts at least, before she angled him back in close. "Feels taller up here on 'im, too." She grinned. "Though how ye can manage te fight from up here without endin' up on ye ass, I'll never keen."

"Not just taller, but more powerful when he actually gets up to speed." Kell says before giving the mare another couple of pats just to keep her calm. "And when I fight on Havok, he fights too and knows how to keep me from falling on my ass. He can sense where I want to go and when I'm shifting my balance to cleave down with my sword on someone. It's harder to fight on a horse that isn't bred for war." He waits for Catryn to finish her circuits and is satisfied bfeore saying, "So, you want to ride with me back to the Roost?"

"Do ye train on him, ever?" Catryn inquires, "So ye both keen how ta move an such like? Could I watch one day?" A veritable fount of questions, they come at a happy pleased little pace, for that her cheeks are still flush with joy and her smile comes easy. "Love te ride wit ye though. Is tha a question ye'd have te even ask now?" She teases, before pulling her foot free of the stirrup closest and sliding high up against the pommel of the saddle to give him room; one hand against the pommel proper, the other held out for those reins. Intending to loop them so that the mare still has room to keep pace and go back with them.

The question is responded to with a nod at first though Kell does clarify, "I do, but not against other people, it's too… risky. I don't think Havok is able to tell if it's a friend I am training against or an enemy, so I'm afraid he may hurt a training partner. Straw and cushioned targets are usually set up on the Green for lance work or mounted melee practice." As for riding together, the knight can only grin and hand the mare's reins over to the girl before he grabs onto the side of the saddle, then steps onto the stirrup and hoists himself up, using more power than usual due to being armored. Havok does react a little with the extra weight on his back but is still well behaved as Kell settles into the saddle behind Catryn. Poor girl will have to deal with a chainmail armored knight behind her instead of a shirtless one.

"Like te see it. Done up proper instead of juss the Sheriff prancin' round in that square fer the festival. Aint used te seein' folks fight like ye do." But she'd said that before, no doubt and likely would again. And she seems…prepared at least, for his presence. For all that she still pushes up once she's settled, so that she's more atop both saddle and his thighs than having tender flesh and slender limbs pinned beneath. It's not even about having him shirtless, so much as it is a simple enjoyment of having him near and being in his company. Another bit of mindless crooning offered both mounts this time, as she secures Mare's reins and offers Havok's to Kell, for all that it was done with a little girl as she held them just enough forward and in the middle to force his arm around her, if he still wishes to claim them. "Ye know, when I asked ye yesterday iffen ye wanted te go ridin' an then picnic, this wouldna exactly how I meant fer us te go about it," she laughed.

Kell nods understandingly at what Catryn wishes to see, "If you've been at tournies, you'd see the lance work when knights ride tilts against each other. It's real enough, except instead of sharp and solid iron tipped lance, tourney lances are used. And in the melees, blunted weapons are used so blood isn't as easily shed." After the girl has gotten herself comfortable with hin behind her, one hand slips around her middle from one side of her body while the other reaches forward from the other side to grab onto Havok's reins. Then with a nudge with his legs, the horse begins to trot forward at a good pace and the mare follows suit, having no choice. "Don't worry, this one won't count. I didn't exactly expect to find you on the roads as well, coming from Stonebridge either." He ends there, not moving on to chide and scold the girls about how it was dangerous for her to ride by herself out here.

"Kell," Catryn gently reminds, "I aint never been to no tournies. Aint much watched men with nothin' te do but play at fightin' either. Was work, in Essos." It was work her entire life. Always work. And that decidedly hard edged life is no doubt what makes it possible for her to get anything akin to comfortable settled against an armored knight and a warhorse. But she does, and her one of her arms settles out down her thigh; the other atop his there about her middle; where her fingers stroke a dance atop his knuckles as if waiting on them to part. "Didn't expect te go out either, bout we leave tha horses in their stables an juss take supper down by tha water? Er perch high somewhere out on the cliffs?" She suggests, letting her head rest back against his shoulder. "An I juss wanted to see how me friends were fairin' in Stonebridge before it got all shut up," came the somewhat..lame defense of her early wanderings. Though after a beat, she seemed to remember, "Ye never did say if we could all ride down together for the wedding……" Was that Cat fishing for an invitation to be Kell's plus one? "An it did happen te be on me nameday…" Subtle, isn't she?

At her urging fingers, Kell's ungloved hands to end up parting so she can slip her's through. "That sounds nice, Cat, I certainly wouldn't mind having supper like that together. And I know, Cat, you're certainly not like the other girls. You're smart and quick witted enough to get yourself out of trouble if things go sour." Though some troubles or ambushes cast webs one isn't able to get away from. Onto her question, asked a second time, he manages a chuckle and shrugs his shoulders slightly, very slight since she is able to feel it though she feels the linked chainmail as well. "I am sure we all could, Cat, and it seems like you get to spend your nameday somewhere more fun and more exciting. There would've been tournies at the wedding too, but I'm not sure if it will be held now since there is the war looming close." If it wasn't for the war, Catryn would've been able to see the jousting and melees.

Cat's fingers lace through Kell's own when they part, her smile growing all the more as her head settles comfortable and she simply admires the view. For all that she barked a snort in response to his statement. "Some things talkin' only gets ye deeper into, not out. It aint always as easy as that," because at least she's a realist, though there may have been more to her words than she let on. But to feel his agreement much as hear it, that brings her head to lifting up; a kiss planted firmly on his cheek and despite the chainmail, he can no doubt feel her excitement. "Well," he'd missed her hinting, "I wont say one tavern's much different than tha next. But, there's bound te be some sort o'celebration that the wee folks can be part of without intrudin'. Mostly Pa'll juss be doin' business, anyway."

Catryn's subtlety certainly went over Kell's head as he didn't understand what it entailed, since all the other times there were weddings and celebrations, he rode there and did his thing. The kiss on his cheek though causes the man to grin, apparently enjoying the show of affection being displayed. "I'm sure the people there will be celebrating, weddings are usually joyous events. Certainly business to be had for you and your father. I may even get a chance to speak with Lord Patrek again."

"So…ye're going to the wedding itself then, no as an escort, but…as a guest?" Catryn inquired, lofting a brow up in his direction as those bright eyes peered up in Kell's direction. A little wiggle to the side that meant it wasn't such a pain to crane her neck up to peer at him. It meant her weight was settled mostly against the bulk of his thigh, rather than in the middle.

That is an interesting question since this wedding isn't just a regular one, but with all the hecticness of late, it wasn't exactly made clear. "I'm not sure, Cat, I'll be an escort of course, and Lord Patrek use to be a ward with the Terricks. He was at the Roost when the Ironborn sieged us." He'd still be a ward there right now if his father, Lord Jason Mallister was slain at Seagard during the war. Even though she may be slightly shifted off center, his arm around her ensures that she won't accidentally fall over, "But whether a guest or not, it will still be a festive event."

The girl nods as she listens, her thumb stroking gently against the outside of his own while she tried to follow his explination. Unfortunately, she wasn't sure who Lord Patrek was. Nor really Jason Mallister. But there's a comfort to the presence of his arm, anyway. Though…it still seems the man hasn't caught on and she's not sure if he's obtuse on purpose or simply because he genuinely hasn't picked up her clue. "So…," well, this could just, backfire horribly, couldn't it? "If…ye..should happen te be goin' as a..guest.." Oh man, please clue in and don't make her finish. "D'ye think…maybe…I could…"

When Kell is focused on one thing, it's hard for him to switch his thinking over to another and apparently right now he is focused more on the event than what Catryn is trying to hint about. However, seeing the girl visibly trying to find a way of telling without actually asking bluntly, the knight has the smarts to at least have a sense of what is going on. "If I do end up being invited as a guest to join in the nobles, of course I'd bring you, Cat." He says finally with a chuckle of amusement, perhaps now seeing what the girl has been trying so hard to get out of him.

"Really?! Promise?" Cat sat up so quick to attention that were it not for the coil of his arm about her, she'd have fallen right off the horse and onto the ground. Though for all he seemed amused, she seemed more inclined to be overjoyed. Which earned him a little shower of kisses, both cheeks this time and the very tip of his nose, before she murmured, "Besides, ye owe me a dance anyway."

Ahh, she remembered that, Kell had hoped she had forgotten since it means he wouldn't have to look foolish trying to dance. "Yeah… I guess I do. But don't get your hopes, when I said that I hope to get a chance to speak to Lord Patrek, I don't mean at the wedding itself. I mean when I am at Seagard, for he is the Lord of Seagard now." He doesn't want Catryn to become all hopeful and the only find out that Kell isn't going to be attending the actual wedding event itself.

"S'okay, I can teach ye." The girl promised, "Could teach you another tongue too, if you were of a mind to learn," she followed it up in Tyroshi, the language flowing true and easy across her tongue with all the fluent ease of a native. "But only if ye want te," added again, in common. "Besides, even if ye aint go, tha fact tha ye said ye'd take me with ye." Cat shrugged, voice gone soft, "Tha means more te me than even goin' would. Just…cause ye care." Finished with a small smile and that, that was the truth of it.

Teaching him to dance is going to be effort enough already, but when Kell hears the offer of teaching him a foreign tongue, he wrinkles his nose, "One step at a time, Cat, I'm not even sure I will be able to learn how to dance properly. Trying to learn another tongue will be like trying to break down the Wall." As for her words towards the end, the knight manages a chuckle and nods, "Fair enough, fair enough. I am sure if we aren't able to go to the wedding, there are other festivities to join in on at Seagard. Place is pretty damn big."

"Ye fight, dontche, Handsome? Iffen ye can fight, then ye can dance." She teased, surprised when finally looking beyond him to discover that they were on the outskirts of the Roost already. For Cat made no move to slip free from the comfort of his arms, either and she'd gone the whole ride without trying to kiss him senseless, because little innocent pecks don't count. That had to be some sort of record. See, she has restraint! And the public stables are just across the green from the keep so they were still headed in the same direction. "As fer the other, I think ye could, if ye wanted. But yer right, they be plenty enough te do. An if I'm lucky, I'll have a new dress te do it in." Grin.

Kell glances down and gives her a look of disbelief, as if she's pulling his tail now. "Yeah… I don't think that's how it works, Cat. Maybe across the seas they can dance as well as they fight but here, it's more on strength and armor than anything else." The knight also looks up when it appears that they are nearing town before looking back down at the girl in his arm, "If you have a new dress, I look forward in seeing you in it. I get the feeling I won't be getting any hints at how it looks like since you prefer to surprise people?" He asks with a knowing grin.

"Ye gotche levies an folks on foot who're taught te move about in formation, dontche?" The girl inquired, "Well, s'about tha same dancin', cept wit music. An I tell ye what. Even iffen ye turn out te be juss terrible, I'll no laugh atche. Howzat?" She teased, bright eyes dancing with mischeif. "But yer right. No hints. Juss hafta te hope I can find a decent piece o'fabric an get it done in time." The minx countered, snuggling in against his chest. "Wanna drop me at tha inn an I'll get dinner an then meetcha back on tha Green?"

Shaking his head, Kell apparently disagrees with her assumptions though he'll save that conversation for another time. As to her suggestion, the knight does then nod his head, "I'll go get your mare stabled, and then havok stabled in the keep. Gonna get out of my armor and a quick bath if they can get it ready quick, then I'll meet you at the Green." He doesn't want to smell like horse and perspiration, and would also prefer to have a couple of minutes to relax in a tub of water if possible.

"Oh." Aww! Which was…sort of the sound that 'oh' morphed into, "Ye dun have te do that, but I'd be appreciative," the girl's head bobs and her smile warms. "Though…if we're gonna be soakin, say…an hour an a half sound good?" He might smell more of sweat, but riding with nothing but a blanket between her and her horse…Cat certainly had him beat on that smell. And she didn't ride as often as he did, which meant she felt it more. "Tha be alright?"

With a final nod, Kell guides Havok towards the entrance of the Rockcliff Inn before dismounting first. "That'll be fine, Cat." He then reaches up with a hand for the girl to take to help with the leverage of dismounting, his other hand ready to come around to help her with the dismount.

Cat leans up to help give room when Kell goes to dismount, before slinging a leg over and taking his hand in her own in acceptance of aid as she slides down from the saddle to her feet. Anymore it feels almost like she sees him more than she does Gerry, a thought that leaves her a little uneasy once she thinks about it. But it's dismissed with a little shake of her head and she smiles, giving his hand a final squeeze. "Thank you," the words come careful. "For the ride. And the talkin'…was nice," she finished, smiling up at him. "See you in a bit?"

"There's no need to thank me, Cat. Would've been rather boring riding back in silence, yes?" Kell says with a chuckle before taking the reins of the horses, "Yeah, in a bit. If something comes up, I'll make sure a messenger comes to find you." Instead of leaving her hanging and wandering what happened.