|Summary:||All about gardens and prying women.|
|Date:||24 September 2012|
|Somewhere in Heronhurst|
|An olive garden.|
|September 24, 289|
The quarters that were set aside for the Mallister party overlook the courtyard with it's enclosed garden and olive trees, it's shallow pool and fresh water well, and the ebb and flow of traffic in the form of knights and servants, Erenford family and tradesmen from the city and more. The small pool is shaded by the olive trees and the walkways around the trees are cooler, even at the height of the day. Nedra, along with her maid Shalla are walking slowly along the shaded pathway, glad to be on her feet and trying not to do the undignified thing - which would be to take mercy on the sore portions of her anatomy that didn't appreciate the long ride.
Saffron Mallister is stepping into the courtyard with the Terrick sworn knight, her own maid trailing behind them silently. The young cinnamon-haired girl is smiling with a kind of impish quality of a content heart. "You do not play fair, Ser Kell," she remarks with a bit of a playful scowl. "I merely want to know about why it seems that everywhere my cousin goes, you go too." She narrows her eyes at him, as if waiting to hear his answer even as she glances out toward where Nedra and her maid stroll, and she darts a mischeveious look toward the Knight. "We did see her turn an awful pink when we mentioned you on the ride today."
With the Mallister party being under the care of the Erenfords, Kell is more or less free of his protection and escort duties as the protectors would be the Erenfords themselves, being on their lands. So for most of the stay here at Heronhurst, the Terrick Knight is able to be without his chainmail armor, wearing the Terrick livery and of course the sword at hsi hip, as proper of one of his station.
Entering the courtyard at Lady Saffron's side, playing the role of escort nonetheless but to a lesser degree, Kell can only respond to her words with a grin as well as a shrug. "Well, M'Lady, the safety of the Mallisters is of utmost importance to House Terrick. With the conflict between the Charltons and Naylands apparently dying down, Ser Justin allowed me to accompany you all. But just because it is at an end, the roads can still be dangerous, especially those outside of our borders." Sidestepping the Lady's remarks rather neatly though the knight does look away at the claim that Jiselle blushed rather fiercely when he was mentioned, not exactly sure what to say, "Mistress Hill is a very kind and proper lady, I am sure she has no reason to be embarrassed."
Nedra smiles at Saffron and Ser Kell, lifting one hand to give a small wave as she and Shalla walk around the edge of the pool, heads tilted together as they speak quietly. Their steps guide then, un-erringly toward Saffron and Kell though they are not immediately within conversational distance.
"I would not judge your poorly if you have found some affections for my cousin," Saffron says encouragingly. "In fact, I would find it wonderful news. She is a very kind woman, and has looked after both Magnola and I wisely. I would like to see you happy, Ser Kell." She offers him a soft smile, those pale blue eyes holding a genuine warmth. As Nedra approaches, Kell is perhaps given a brief reprieve of her prying as she smiles toward her goodsister. "I will give the Erenfords this, they do have a lovely home," she offers as she draws closer.
Kell does offer Saffron a nod at her words, perhaps in agreement that he is currently happy as she had wished, or that her cousin is indeed a very kind woman, though no words are offered to specify which, or both. The reprieve that Nedra's approach gives the knight is perhaps perfect timing, in his mind as a respectful bow of head is presented to the Mallister Lady. "Lady Nedra, good day." Then a glance to Saffron at her words, "Indeed, M'Lady, their lands are most lovely. One would be lucky to live in such beautiful lands."
"I quite agree," Nedra replies, glancing slowly around - again - and a look of speculative contemplation keeps trying to form on her face. "I think Lady Muirenn will absolutely love these gardens when she has a chance to see them after she's had a bit of time to rest," she adds before she gives a curtsy to Kell in return to his greeting, "and good day to you as well, Ser Kell. Saffron," she turns immediately to her goodsister, "what are the odds we could persuade Lady Anais to turn over more of the courtyard at the Roost to more of a garden? Or maybe even some of the green? Wouldn't it be lovely?"
Saffron will not forget this, however, Kell! She casts him a glance before she is drawn into conversation with the Knight and goodsister with ease. "Tell Lady Muirenn that, she will be happy to hear others deem what is to be her new home so highly." She flashes a quick smile before she glances toward Nedra. She looks thoughtful a moment before she purses her lips. "It depends a lot on how the next planting goes. Perhaps more of the land can be spared for a garden that dual-purposes. Fruit trees would be lovely."
Well, if Kell had anything to say about it, the Green would stay as is because the open grassy field is what the men of the Roost are using for training of their martial arts. To turn it into a flowery paradise is… not agreeable to this particular knight. But he is smart enough to keep that opinion to himself, merely offering Nedra a smile and nod, as if to acknowledge her idea. Then the ideas of fruit trees as well has Kell in horror as that would most likely require more of the Green used up, but the wince is of course kept inward. "I am sure it would be quite lovely…" Being rather diplomatic about it.
"Maybe just along the edges of the trees that line the green," Nedra muses with another thoughtful sound in her voice before she glances around slowly, again, still speculative and practically dying to get her hands on a real project that she could sink her teeth into. "I will tell her," she promises. "And they would be, but it would take a long time to bear any yield," she adds in a still thoughtful tone of voice even as she glances back at Kell and tries to read the slightly inscrutable expression upon his face. "Lovely is a good word, and it would be a boon to the people when the trees do bear fruit," she adds with another small smile.
"Perhaps not the Green," Saffron says after a moment, perhaps almost reading Kell's mind. "Though perhaps we could see about the other side of the Tower, that way it can be fashioned just how we like it. I'm sure there could be an auxillary entrance from the courtyard created, or at least a path from the Green. Then it can have it's own space." She smiles softly, hands clasped behind her back.
With the thought of the people in mind, Kell inclines his head at Nedra, "The people would be most pleased with such a bounty, when the trees bear fruit." And when Saffron suggestions another location, there is perhaps a slight look of relief from the knight though he does try to keep it reserved, "A more secluded area may be more preferrable, you are right M'Lady. So that the garden is less disturbed by constant travel."
Nedra makes a thoughtful sound once more, trying to picture the options before she nods again, "A more secluded area would be better, I see the merits now. Plus, the less traffic tromping through would mean that the plants and flowers and everything will be less likely to be trampled."
"Perhaps it is something we can suggest to Anais together," Saffron offers helpfully with a small smile. Then she glances toward Kell with a slight tilt of her head. "I agree, more secluded is better. Plus, a bit of shade from the tower will be good for certain plants." As Saffron has been listening to Muirenn, she has started to learn things about plants. And she had doubts it would ever be useful.
As Kell's gaze drifts away, the thought also enters his mind that with the gardens being in a more quiet and out of the way area, it would be a nice place for a walk, perhaps with another along with the quiet sharing of thoughts. It's obvious to the two Ladies that the knight is temporarily distracted by idle thoughts..
Nedra nods once again, her fingers faintly twitching the the need to put charcoal to paper and sketch out some ideas. "If you two will forgive me, I just have to go sketch out some ideas before they escape," she admits with a smile and a sudden laugh that's a trifle sheepish. "If I don't do it now it'll drive me mad all day," she adds and steps forward to hug Saffron quickly before she waves to Shalla to get her attention and starts back toward their guest rooms.
Saffron accepts the hug with a gentle squeeze, almost lingering a bit longer than usual. She then smiles toward Nedra, bowing her head. "If you see your brother, tell him that I will be in soon." She looks after Nedra as she begins to make her leave, and then she turns on her heel to face Kell with her hands clasped behind her back. "Now, about Jiselle…."
With Lady Nedra announcing her departure, Kell is drawn back to the present and realizes that he will be back at the Mercy of Saffron's inquisition, uh oh. However, the Terrick Knight does dip his head in a respectful bow again to the departing Mallister, "Good day, Lady Nedra." With the Mallister Lady and her handmaiden departing back to her guest room, Kell turns his attention back to Saffron, knowing what is to come and he is of course not disappointed. "Yes, Lady Saffron?"
Her pale eyes narrow on him, her arms coming to cross her chest as she holds his gaze steadily. She purses her lips after a few moments. "You're not going to tell me anything, are you?" She says after a moment of regarding the knight with that thoughtful stare. "You won't tell me if there is something going on between my cousin and yourself." She arches up a coppery brow, patiently waiting for his answer.
Well, the Lady is requesting at least some information about his relationship with her cousin, so it wouldn't be fair to just tell her nothing but it appears that Kell is more in control of what he is willing to share and what won't be shared. "Well, since my time as her escort to your wondeful wedding, M'Lady, I have gotten to know more of your cousin. As you say, she is a most kind and loyal lady, and also very beautiful." Truths spoken rather easily and without embarrassment, Kell admitting to what he thinks of Jiselle. "And I have been enjoying her company, despite these troubled times, as I hope she does mine." Now what exactly 'company' means he does not go into detail, as it could easily just be an enjoyable time having an interesting chat with 'Elle.
Coppery brows arch high above those pretty pale eyes. "Jiselle wouldn't spend time with you if she didn't enjoy it." The nee Banefort offers him a more relaxed smile. "You know, Jiselle doesn't often blush about men. She kind of intimidates them most of the time, but to find one that makes her blush? That's quite a something." She tilts her head now, hands clasped behind her back; her fingers idly twist up around the long red strands. "You will tell me true if you have intentions beyond spending company with one another, won't you? Beyond Lady Anais, Jiselle is my only other family out this way." Besides her goodfamily of course.
Now, Saffron's words has Kell more or less speechless as he is not exactly sure how to respond to that, as the Lady speaks of Jiselle blushing again. However, anything that needed to be said is delayed by the nee Banefort's concerns which the Terrick Sworn inclines his head in answer, "Of course, M'Lady. I would never do anything to hurt you, Jiselle, or Lady Anais. I would protect you all, with my life, if needed." It does seem like this particular knight is rather protective of the Baneforts, but the earlier mention of the Hill girl blushing does seem to have baited Kell, as his mind is now somewhat curious, "What… did you say that caused her to blush, if I may ask?"
Saffron tries to maintain an innocent expression, brows lightly arched and mouth refusing to smile. "I merely asked if she enjoyed her time with you at the wedding. She must have quite a bit as she turned a lovely shade of pink at the question. Now, she has been escorted by knights before. In fact, at Lady Magnola's wedding, there was a nice Lannister bastard to escort her. But she didn't blush when we mentioned his name later." One brow finally arches with a meanful curve.
Kell is certainly not one to blush but that doesn't mean that he is immune from being surprised or caught off-guard, which is what happens right now. The knight's eyes widen slightly before he is able to reign his expressions in, looking away as well to gain himself a second or two to compose himself. "Perhaps… she was not expecting such a question, because her escort was just a common knight like me. She was most pleasant and beautiful that night." There is a pause before Kell quickly adds, "Not as beautiful as you were, of course, M'Lady. And a good dance teacher as well." His answer is of course quite innocent, one could expect nothing less.
The Mallister newlywed continues to gauge the knight as he speaks, though she seems to perhaps be caught up by his genuine words. "Well, perhaps…" Saffron concedes at first, though she then laughs a bit. "Ser Kell, it is alright if you found my cousin lovelier than I that night. There are prettier women out there, and I'm aware that my Hill cousins are a pair of them." She offers him a soft, honest smile. Then she sighs, lifting her shoulders in a shrug. "I'm not meaning to pry, Ser Kell." Not entirely at least. "I am… just curious…" And she folds her lips together, brows arched again.
"It is the truth, M'Lady. You were most radiant, that night." Kell says with a grin and slight shrug of his shoulders, not having spoken a complete fib just to complement Saffron. "Though I was told by 'Elle that she was the one that made the dress for you, so I am sure that is part of the reason." As for the bit about prying, the knight once again shakes his head, "I do not mind the questions, I just don't think… that I would be the best one to answer." Since it wouldn't be proper and he isn't sure if Jiselle would want him to share the details. "I am sure Mistress Hill could provide you with more satisfying answers, M'Lady." The hot potato is now back in Jiselle's hands, not his!
This time, it is this particular Banefort woman who blushes — all pretty and pink like a proper lady. "Thank you, Ser Kell." She drops her gaze demurely, looking at her feet for a long moment. When she looks up again, she has done her best to resume a natural, peachy color in those dimpled cheeks. "Well, I will ask Mistress Hill then." She pauses a moment, flashing him a brighter grin. "I won't, however, tell her that it was you who suggested I should talk to her though."
Kell didn't purposefully try to throw Jiselle under the bus but he was somewhat uncomfortable at the gentle grilling by Saffron, as on one hand he didn't want to lie to the nee Banefort, and on the other he knows that telling all would be very bad. So hopefully Saffron's cousin will be able to deflect the questions better or find the right way to answer them. "Thank you, M'Lady, that would… probably be for the best." There is yet another brief pause before Kell actually decides to ask, "Is there anything that 'Elle likes in particular?" Perhaps extra info that hasn't been shared with him or that he hasn't picked up while at Jiselle's side.
Now that question brightens Saffron's eyes with a kind of impish glint. "Now, that is a rather long list of things, Ser Kell. Would you perhaps I limit it to potential gifts?" She does not exactly give him a chance to back out of the question now, beaming as she starts in on a potential gift-giving list. "It goes without saying she likes all things to do with seamstressing — but, she also loves sweet cakes. The baker at the Banefort always made us apple cakes. The Roost cook was give a recipe." Hint, hint. "She also has a bit of a fondness for small, soft, sweet-natured animals. My father once gave her a baby rabbit for one of her namedays." Then she pauses, adding casually. "A picnic would be nice, too. Perhaps out by the coast. Wine, over ale."
Oh gawd, Kell didn't realize that asking the simple question would result in a barrage of answers, answers he will most likely have to memorize on the spot or be in deep trouble. It's a trap! The knight does nod his head to each answer though, trying to commit them to memory. Seamstressing items are obvious, but he doesn't know the first thing about clothes making. The sweet cakes has potential. When a rabbit was mentioned, Kell does furrow his brows slightly, as rabbits are for eating, not petting, but he keeps quiet about that. As for the picnic, he does light up slightly, nodding his head, "Indeed, after your return to the Roost from Seagard, 'Elle planned a picnic out at the country side. It was a pleasant experience."
"Truth be told, Ser Kell, if my suspicions are true, Elle will like anything you give her because it was given from you," Saffron says as she offers him a warm, genuine smile. Then she bows her head gently to him now. "I promised Ser Kamron I would come find him for dinner." She pauses a moment, offering the knight a quick smile. "Ser Kell, if you find yourself needing more advice or suggestions, I am more than happy to help."