|Summary:||Kamron sits down with Katrin to talk to her about the whole Martyn/Rafferdy triangle.|
|Related Logs:||All of Martyn/Katrin/Rafferdy|
|Private Room, Rockcliff Inn, Terrick's Roost|
|The door and walls are thick enough to keep all but shouted conversations private. Inside, the wooden floors are kept much more clean and the elongated table with its high-backed chairs kept polished. The Terrick House banner hangs centered at the long end of the room behind the chair at the head of the table (although, should one draw it aside, they will find a large Kraken crudely carved into the wall). Racks are provided for both armor and arms alike, the wooden supports standing by the door.|
|23 July, 289|
As is only well and proper, Kamron has sent Percy along to to request a chance to take tea with the Lady Katrin Haigh. The squire will take Katrin's suggestion for a time, and then Kam will arrive early, arranging for tea and a few light snacks to be present in the room behind the common room. And so he awaits the arrival of the Lady Katrin from upstairs, a pot of tea steaming alongside a couple of teacups and a few bits of bread, cheese, and dried fruit set out alongside.
And Katrin arrives right on the dot of the intended time, well dressed and neatly groomed. As she enters the room, her Septa and maid filter in behind her. "Ser Kamron," she greets politely. "I… must admit that I was surprised to receive your message. Is there something I can do for you?" She remains hovering near the door, one brow lifted ever so slightly.
Kamron rises as the trio of ladies enter the room, a polite, restrained smile spreading across his lips, "Good afternoon, Lady Katrin." He even gives septa and maid nods as well, although he comes around the table only to hold out a chair for the lady, "I hope the meeting was not inconvenient. I hoped we might have a chance to sit down and talk for a short while, given the connection that our two families may be approaching." Once she is seated or has refused the seat, he moves back around to pour tea for both of them from the same pot, and offer out either cup. Just good manners, that, "My cousin respects you a great deal, and has a great deal of affection for you, as does my betrothed. I hoped I might learn some more about the woman who has gathered so much acclaim from two people whose opinions I value very much."
She's looking for some sort of trap. Maybe a seat that will spontaneously combust once she's in it? Katrin very hesitantly takes a seat and nods. "But of course, Ser Kamron," she replies slowly. "I would never seek to belittle the good opinion of Ser Martyn or Lady Saffron, however I fear they hold me in too high of an esteem." She eyes the Mallister critically. "But perhaps you have a similar opinion to me."
Kamron smiles a little helplessly at the wariness, turning his hands palm-up to extend the gesture from his features to his whole frame. Once the tea is poured, and the lady has chosen her cup, the knight takes his own cup and takes a sip of the brew within before setting it down again, "I think that Martyn likes you very much, Lady Katrin. You make him happy, and for that I thank you with all my heart. He has been far too melancholy since Harlaw." Cradling his hands around his teacup, but not making any move to drink from it further, Kamron leans back a little in his chair, crossing his left leg over his right, "I have heard a great deal of good and ill alike of you, Lady Katrin. Whatever jokes may be made about me not thinking before I act, I do like to make up my own mind."
"I am very fond of him, Ser Kamron," Katrin admits quietly. "I enjoy the time I spend with him, and I like the way that he makes me feel inside." She slowly shakes her head. "As much as it would pain me to lose those things, I have asked, no, begged him to bestow his affections to a woman more worthy than I." She stares down at the table and the tea sitting before her. "He deserves better than me."
Kamron listens in silence, letting the lady speak her piece. If one didn't know him, they might almost think him the thoughtful sort. "That opinion is shared by others whose opinions I respect, Lady Katrin." His tone is apologetic, as if he is doing no more than his duty in repeating the news. "Fondness, however, is good. It can be a platform to build upon, as I hope it will be for myself and Lady Saffron." Even that little mention is enough to spark a short-lived smile on the knight's face. "But it cannot be built upon if it is undermined by rumor and innuendo." Now the Mallister leans forward, his voice and features once more apologetic, "I hope you do not think me indelicate, Lady Katrin, but I would prefer to be blunt than to beat about the bush and draw things out. Do you return the affections so obviously directed to you by Lord Rafferdy Nayland?"
Without even a moment of hesitation, Katrin replies with, "Yes." But here she pauses and bites at her lower lip. "My affections and heart have long been held by Lord Rafferdy. However, whatever anyone else might think, I have not been dishonest with Ser Martyn. Once I learned of Ser Martyn's affections for me, I told him the truth. He has known for a very long time what I feel." She looks down at her hands. "I hate the thought that he hurts because of me. It is why I have encouraged and insisted that he look elsewhere. I do not know if Lord Rafferdy and I will ever be allowed to wed, but I do not think it is fair to Ser Martyn that he be my second choice. He deserves to be the most important person."
Kamron's lips tighten at the admission, but he nods his head none-the-less. The knight even takes another sip of his tea, setting the cup down once more before he speaks again, "Your honesty does you credit, Lady Katrin. I see why My Lady thinks so highly of you." He sets his hands down on the tabletop, leaning back once more, "I will likewise be completely honest with you. Unless you completely put Lord Rafferdy Nayland out of your life immediately and forever, I will bend whatever influence I have with Lord Mallister to ensure that you never marry my cousin, no matter the pain it would cause him. I understand the attraction that affection can cause, but Martyn deserves nothing less than a woman who will give herself completely and wholy to him, as he will give himself to her. I will not see him matched with anyone less."
"Lord Rafferdy requested the right for my hand directly through the head of my House," Katrin says slowly. "And for now, my Lord Uncle contemplates the possibility. The die has already been cast, Ser Kamron, and now we must all wait for it to stop rolling." Her expression grows more grim. "If you feel it in the best interest of your cousin to do such a thing, then do it. But I will not put aside Lord Rafferdy until Lord Haigh has made his decision. However, we will be keeping a distance from each other in order to try and stop these rumors as it hurts everyone. And many of them are completely unfounded, which makes it even worse."
Kamron nods his head at the further revelations, "I wish you luck in finding a match with the man of your heart, Lady Katrin." If the words are a little cool, then that's to be understood, what with a woman saying she'd rather a scruffy Nayland than a proud Mallister. "Your decision to avoid Lord Rafferdy," despite his feelings, the man retains his courtesy for the absent Nayland, "in the mean-time seems like a most wise one, Lady Katrin." He draws in a breath, "If your Lord Uncle decides not to approve Lord Rafferdy's suit, and you choose to remain completely separated from him, I will, of course, throw what little weight I have with Lord Mallister behind Martyn's request for your hand." He smiles a little sadly, "I doubt my opinion will carry much weight in either case, Lady Katrin, and if anything my personal respect for you has grown as a result of your forthright responses to my far-too-blunt questions."
Katrin offers a far too brief and thin smile. "I am not wholly unaware of what the rumors have done to Ser Martyn," she says quietly. "It is for his sake only that I keep a distance between myself and Lord Rafferdy. For I fear if they continue, Ser Martyn will do something… regrettable and possibly dangerous to himself. I do not want that." Her nose wrinkles with distaste. "I am certain there are some Mallisters who believe my actions to be heartless, and perhaps they are right, but my affections for your cousin are genuine. I…" Here she pauses and the first hint of wistful longing rings in her voice. "I sometimes just wish that I had met your cousin first. He is a man worthy of unconditional love and loyalty. And should he be given the right to marry me, then I will do everything in my power to ensure that is what he receives."
Kamron shakes his head, "Martyn has already done regrettable things because of the anger Lord Rafferdy's actions have driven him to. From what I've heard, he punched a squire, and I can personally attest that he tried to dent my head in when we were sparring." The last is delivered with a hint of a crooked smile, although it fades rather quickly, "But I can assure you that he is not the one Lord Rafferdy will have to worry about if a match is made between yourself and Martyn and he persists in pursuing you. None of Martyn's relations will stand for it, and while he is a thinker, I am a man of action. Martyn is like a brother to me, and I will not see him hurt. Please do not take that as a threat, simply a warning that you are welcome to pass along to Lord Rafferdy — by letter — if you wish."
"If Ser Martyn and I were to be betrothed, I would do nothing that could bring dishonor to your House, Ser Kamron," Katrin assures. "However… at this point, I am starting to have my doubts whether Ser Martyn even seeks that route. And quite honestly, I am starting to get rather frustrated that everyone automatically assumes the worst in me simply because someone has taken a dislike to me." She bristles. "I follow social conventions and do not step so entirely out of line that I cause scandal and yet every little thing that I do that does not fall under the banner of 'perfect' is criticized and blown completely out of proportion. Lord Rafferdy invites me to dance when there is music and good cheer all around and we are chastised yet again. Ser Martyn asks me to dance in a similar environment and everyone is encouraging it. Why has the entire Seven Kingdoms started favoring one over the other?!" She lets out an angry huff, expression set with her clear annoyance and frustrations.
Kamron smiles ever-so-faintly again, "Actually, Lady Katrin, Martyn spoke with me about seeking your hand just yesterday. I believe he still means to follow that route, nor will I — now that I have spoken with you — attempt to dissuade him from it." The words that follow draw his smile up a bit more, and quite a bit more crookedly. "I would take that as a compliment, Lady Katrin. Martyn is the picture of a storybook knight, while Lord Rafferdy is…" He pauses there, pursing his lips, and then elects to go with, "…less socially refined. I bet that those who speak against it simply do not think him worthy of you, especially not in comparison to my cousin." And now his smile gets very crooked indeed, a chuckle even rising to his lips, "You know he is a hero to some amongst the Armies of the Cape for his actions on Harlaw." Of course she does, but he still has to say it, perhaps even teasing a little. It seems that the violence-threatening and the grilling is (at least mostly) over for the afternoon.
Katrin breathes out a heavy sigh. "A part of me believes that you should try and dissuade him from it, Ser Kamron," she replies. "He is far too stubborn to listen to me." She grumbles a little, rubbing at her arm. "I know of his brave acts on Harlow. And I also know of what you did for him there. He has spoken very highly of you to me." The Haigh sighs. "I have spoken of this with your betrothed on a very separate occasions and she admits her bias in wishing I would marry Ser Martyn. I should be happy to marry him. And I think I could. But only after I know for certain what my Lord Uncle's decision will be."
Kamron takes another sip of his tea, the mention of Saffron again drawing a bit of a smile to his lips before he frowns in thought, "Shouldn't Lord Nayland be approaching Lord Haigh about a match between yourself and Lord Rafferdy anyhow, Lady Katrin? I know that I requested Lord Mallister to do me the favor of asking for My Lady's hand from her own uncle." There's a bit of laughter, "Who I am rather looking forward to meeting — and terrified of meeting — based on his reputatation and what I've heard of his brief visit here for Lady Anais' wedding."
Katrin hesitates. "It is a complicated situation, Ser Kamron," she admits. "But Lord Rafferdy sought to appeal the initial rejection of our betrothal. And my Lord Uncle thinks on the matter carefully before he makes his decision. What it will be, I do not know. All I can do is wait until someone has made their decision." She frowns. "And that is the part I dislike the most. For it is out of my hands and there is nothing I can do about it. I do not like feeling helpless and without any power."
Kamron arches his eyebrows, "Initial rejection?" The knight purses his lips, holding back immediate commentary and eventually noting as neutrally as he can, "That is certainly… dedicated… of him." He's trying to be nice, and it shows. The words that follow, however, draw another little chuckle, "I know that feeling quite well, Lady Katrin. I don't think I've known tenser times than after I sent my request to Lord Mallister and the end of the melee at Seagard." There's another laugh, a little easier again, "And that's including eight battles, if King's Landing even counts. But the time will pass, and if you can keep Lord Rafferdy away," he seems intent on blaming the Nayland for everything there, "until you hear, and keep from enticing Martyn into something unseemly with that delightful smile of yours," That's a teasing cue for a smile, "it should pass uneventfully."
Katrin's hands fold together. "He is stubborn and headstrong, like the rest of his House," she assures. "I take no offense to you thinking as such. Or that he may be just short of insane for continuing to try." She shakes her head. "I am waiting as patiently as I can," she grumps. "But patience was never my strong suit. As for Ser Martyn, I have tried to do everything I could to ensure that his reputation has not been harmed by his association with me. Keep things proper. It is especially important, should he choose to seek an alternate bride."
Kamron laughs softly, his smile taking on a softer edge, "And what of your own reputation, Lady Katrin? Who will protect that?" He waves the questions off, however, "Please… drink if you are thirsty, eat if you are hungry, I'm satisfied in my questions." Leaning his left elbow against the edge of the table, the knight leans against it, "I think you are very lucky, Lady Katrin. Your beauty is enough to let you pull off the shorter hair. I bet it would flatter My Lady's features as well, but I must confess I am too fond of the long, fiery fall of her hair to suggest anything of the sort to her."
"If I'm the one to spoil Martyn's reputation, I think his sister will come after me with a dull pair of sheers," Katrin mutters, half to herself. "So perhaps it is in my best interest to ensure he remains clean of the worst of the gossip." The mention of her hair makes the Haigh girl lift a hand to touch it, and then the scar on her cheek. "I have contemplated leaving it short just to spite Ro-*cough* just to see how it might look in the long run, but I do also miss my longer hair." And then she looks aghast. "I should be very cross with you if you would dare suggest such a thing to Lady Saffron. Her hair is beautiful and should never be cut."
Kamron shakes his head slightly as the Haigh girl's fingers move on to her scar, clicking his tongue as one might to a disobedient child, even if it's done in good humor this time. "Your hair," he emphasizes that word, continuing to do his best to keep her attention away from the scar, "is lovely short, as lovely as it was long. But no… I rather like My Lady's hair as long as it is." Laughing easily, he shakes his head again, "Although I think it will have to be cut sometime. She would not be as free to walk through the grass barefoot if her hair got too long. And that, I bet, would drive her crazy."
Katrin chuckles softly. "Perhaps you are right, Ser Kamron," she muses. At least in regards to Saffron's hair. "I truly hope that you and Lady Saffron will be happy together. She has been the best sort of friend someone could hope for. I have valued that friendship a great deal since she was kind enough to extend it to me."
Kamron nods his head, "She is a most amiable woman, someone I respect a great deal, and someone for whom I have the greatest affection." What, no mention of love? "She has had quite the success making a great many friends across the Cape, although I know she counts you as one of her best." Leaning forward, he cuts a wedge of cheese, gathering it onto one of the many baguette rounds and then turning the tray about so that Katrin can reach it more easily. "But yes… I think if we can manage not to explode at one another too often, I think we have quite the good chance for happiness together. It is one of the reasons I requested the match of Lord Mallister, along with the benefits the alliance gains the house."
Katrin simply leans back in her seat, regarding Kamron curiously. "Banefort and Mallister makes sense," she replies. "They are a good House. I admit I do not see the same advantages in a Mallister-Haigh match. We are small, Ser Kamron. Do not underestimate us for a moment, but as I am certain you have noticed, very few Houses hold the same… prestige in the Riverlands as yours."
Kamron smiles faintly at that, "House Mallister may be the proudest name on the Cape of Eagles, but we are not alone on the Cape. Ties to the other houses on the Cape are necessary to maintain the web of alliances that serves as the balance of power. Were we to marry solely to the Terricks, Groves, and outside the Cape, there might be more inclination toward outright competition between ourselves and the Frey-aligned houses." He shrugs a little helplessly, "My father once told me that good marriages make good neighbors. Besides, I bet that House Haigh is not the only house from the eastern Cape that is being eyed for a marriage alliance by Lord Mallister."
Katrin smiles slightly. "I know that my Father about salivated at the idea of a Mallister marriage for me. Realistically speaking, it is one of the most advantageous marriages I could make from anyone in the Riverlands, short of marrying an heir. Politics and love to not go hand in hand. Not in our positions. Which is something I have repeatedly tried to explain to Martyn. Even tried to explain to Rafferdy." She's vexed enough that she's dropped the pretense of titles.
Kamron laughs softly then, despite the lady's annoyance, "It's good to know that we're well-thought-of amongst the bannerhouses of House Frey. I know that some think us over-proud." Shrugging his shoulders slightly, "The only love that I know is that which comes with time. It's not a sudden thing, but something that grows and strengthens a relationship. And that can indeed go hand-in-hand with politics, if you are lucky. I think that with Martyn, you could find that, and I hope that if your father does choose Lord Rafferdy for you, the relationship can survive the fires of passion to find that love."
"Well…" Katrin gives a very innocent grin. "Prior to my association with Ser Martyn, my opinions on the Mallisters differed quite a bit. But he has given me reason to hope that should I marry into your House, that it will not be such a miserable experience." Her smile softens. "I believe very much that I could have that with Martyn. Warm and steady, never wavering love. Just like him."
Kamron gestures dismissively at the first commentary, "Oh, if you were to marry into our house, I'm sure there would be a little bit of friction as you sorted out your place within the house. Just as there will be with My Lady Saffron. But once that was settled, I believe you could very much find a home with us." The softer smile and the words that follow draw his own lips up into a smile, "That, Lady Katrin, is how House Mallister is built. Steady, enduring, never wavering." There's a bit of a laugh, "The warmth is only between ourselves for the most part, as I'm sure many other houses in the Riverlands would attest, but we are a family. More than any other house I have seen in the Cape."
Katrin shakes her head, "After all that has happened… I have trouble believing that much of your House would even accept me, Ser Kamron. I do fear that a great deal. That all they will do is judge me and find me wanting. Especially in comparison to Lady Saffron. I fear that only you and she would be willing to accept me as potential family."
Kamron leans forward, reaching out to try and cover one of Katrin's hands with one of his own, "Lady Katrin, both Lady Muirenn and Lady Nedra love Martyn very much. Should you marry him, and make him happy, they will see that, and they will accept you." That moment of seriousness passes rapidly, however, as he laughs softly, "And I hope you will not take it amiss if I do not allow that any woman compares well to Lady Saffron as a prospective wife. I have to admit that I am rather biased in that regard."
"Lady Muirenn hates me," Katrin murmurs. "She may be civil, but I do not think she will ever like me, or accept me as goodsister. No matter how happy I might make Ser Martyn." She shakes her head. "But I do not expect a very warm greeting from House Nayland either should that proposal be accepted." Her nose wrinkles. "Would you believe I have been giving thought to running away and becoming a Septa somewhere else?"
Kamron shakes his head, "Lady Muirenn hates what these rumors are putting her brother and her house through. You bear the brunt of her displeasure because she can utterly ignore Lord Rafferdy. Were she to interact with him, I bet she would be far more demonstrative of her displeasure than being coolly civil. You should count yourself lucky. I would not want to be the target of my cousin's true ire." A bit of a chuckle rises to his lips, "Like me, she is an actor." The mention of becoming a septa draws his eyes up to the religious woman in the room, and a mischevious little smile dances around his lips, his blue eyes sparkling, "Far be it for me to say anything ill about the honorable vocation of the Septry, but I think that your bright cheer might go amiss amongst their order."
"I have done what I can to avoid Lady Muirenn," Katrin says with a nod. "In the hopes that distance and… being invisible might make her think less ill of me." She gives a half-smile. "If I dedicated my life to the Seven then perhaps I might not find myself in such a situation. Ser Martyn could move on with his life knowing that I was far removed and beyond all hope."
Kamron nods his head, "Avoiding her, or simply being polite and nothing more, might be the best course until this whole situation is resolved. Which is a shame, because you can both be quite charming conversationalists." Leaning back once more and taking a sip of his cooling tea, he adds, "And — with apologies to you once more, Septa — can't you dedicate your life to the Seven without entering the Septry? Perhaps not as directly, but I like to think that all I have done has been to the glory of the Seven, as well as my house and the betterment of its people."
Katrin quirks her lips upward into a teasing smile. "But Septas do not marry. Septas leave behind all claims to House and title. It is not a truly serious thought, but it has crossed my mind more than once." She shakes her head, toying with her short hair. "I would be beyond the reach of anyone and even Lady Muirenn could not be upset with me then! I would be doing exactly as she wanted. Getting faaaaaar away from her brother."
Kamron gestures a little indulgently at the teasing correction, "Yes yes… there are plenty of details. Septons do not carry axes, nor marry themselves." Sobering somewhat, he adds, "Lady Muirenn wants what is best for her brother. If your father ends up choosing someone else for you, or if he chooses Martyn, and you are a good, true, and kind wife to him as I expect you would be, then I bet her anger cools, and you might even find her a friend, in time." Once more crossing his left leg over his right, the knight settles in a bit, "But you have been ever-so-kind in answering my questions. Are there any questions you have for me, Lady Katrin?"
Katrin considers and then shakes her head. "No, I do not think so, Ser Kamron. But I do want you to know how much I genuinely care for your cousin. There have been times with him where I thought that perhaps it could become love so very easily. But I will abide by whatever wishes Lord Haigh makes, and do what I can with it."
Kamron nods his head, "Between your words and his own, I am quite convinced that you do care for him, Lady Katrin. And I am sure that you will do your duty to your house, however it may come. I do not think you are the sort to take flights of fancy and attacks of short-term passion to heart. You are far too sensible and honorable for that." He pushes back his chair and rises, "I won't take any more of your time. I do hope that I haven't disrupted your day too much."
"Of course not, Ser Kamron," Katrin replies. She rises and gives a small curtsey. "Thank you for coming to see me. I feel reassured after this visit. I hope you do as well. And please pass on my best to Lady Saffron. I hope to entice her out to go riding about the Roost at some point soon. I fear she may need a distraction from the wedding preparations soon, else she just go mad."
Kamron bows his head as she curtseys, "I do indeed, and I will indeed. I'm sure she would enjoy the outing. I would even enjoy accompanying you, if you don't mind the company — and would rather one fewer guards following after, but I will leave that up to you ladies. Simply tell me where I need to be and when I need to be there." He bows his head again, and then moves to depart.