|Red Hair and Black Eyes|
|Summary:||Talking together, an Erenford, a Mallister and a Courier listen to Roisin explaining her escapades to their great enjoyment.|
|Outside Seagard Castle|
|Just outside the keep with green grass and sunny skies, slight chill in the air.|
|Saturday, October 20, 289|
Nathaniel is standing under a tree on the grassy lawn outside the castle with his horse. Her tack is sitting nearby in a pile, and the courier is in the middle of post-ride grooming, circling a broad cloth over the mare's glossy dark chocolate hair. "You did well, Molly," he murmurs while he works. "THe beach must agree with you. Sand's a bit different from what we had at the Roost. Hm?"
Walking out of the castle side by side, with a very proper distance between them is Ser Martyn Mallister and Lady Aemy Erenford. A quite unlikely duo, accompanied by Kyra, the handmaid of Aemy and Redmond, her guard. Voices are kept low as the Erenford turns pleading eyes to the Mallister knight, "I know your are in pain, honestly I do," perhaps continuing on with a conversation from previous, "though why not try and climb over that wall, just for the day?" Her expression turns hopeful and as she looks up at the sky she beams a smile at Martyn. "See? We are granted a beautiful day." There is indeed a slight chill and Aemy has forgotten her cloak. No bother, she would simply do without for now. "Where would you care to walk, Ser Martyn?"
Another figure soon comes into sight, as well as another horse. This figure, however, is female, with long bright red hair. It is Roisin Erenford and she is not riding, but leading a large, shiny black stallion across the grassy lawn, followed by a handmaiden. She is dressed all in black, from her plain, though very well made mourning dress, to her midnight velvet cloak. As she walks along, leading her horse by the reigns, the bright autumn sunlight overhead shines upon her hair, making it all the more brighter. This day, she has not fashioned it into braids, as is her custom. Instead, the locks fall free, over the back of her cloak, all the way to her waist. One braid, however, has been made and then wound into a coil atop her head, like a circlet. She soon spies Nathaniel over by the tree and her smokey eyes light up in pleasure. "Good day, Courier Corbitt!" she calls out. She grins and makes her way over to him, regarding him in friendly greeting. Her handmaiden, a mousy brunette of a girl, curtsies with lowered eyes to him, but generally stays behind her mistress and quiet.
Before Nathaniel can reply, though, Roisin hears the sound of approaching voices and turns her head back towards the castle. She shields her eyes with her free hand from the glare of the sun and makes out her cousin Aemy walking towards them, along with a man she doesn't know. She smiles to them both and beckons them over.
"Because I've never been that good a climber?" Martyn offers, although it's with a little bit of lightness as he speaks. The Mallister knight looks like he's been up for quite some time already, as he shakes his head a little bit as he hears that last question from Aemy. "Anywhere you would want to walk, really." Pausing a bit as he sees the smile and beckon from the girl with the horse. "Someone you know?" he asks, after a few moments.
Nathaniel turns from his horse and his eyes quickly search around him for the owner of the first voice. He already has guessed the owner's name due to the youthful, lilting quality of that voice. When his eyes find her, he bows deeply, and when he straightens, offers her a warm and friendly smile. "Good day, Lady Erenford," he greets Rosin. He inclines his head to the girl's handmaiden. "Good day, mistress," he adds. However, he sees that she already is looking toward the castle's doors, and he follows her gaze. He studies the blonde woman for a moment, and then looks to the man walking at a discrete distance from her. He bows to them and greets, 'Good day to you as well, Lord Mallister and lady."
Amusement dances in her eyes as Aemy regards Martyn and his sound reasoning. "Is the wall too tall to vault over? I am sure we could find a catapult then to sort of… launch you over." Taking advantage of his lighter mood. "Why not to.." Catching sight of the wave herself, a welcoming smile spreads across her expressive features. "Oh yes, my cousin! Lady Roisin! Come please, meet her. Would you?" The distance is very near, so she walks that way followed by Kyra and Redmond and hopefully Martyn. "Lady Roisin, it is so wonderful to finally meet up with you again." Smiling at the courier whom she has only seen from a distance, but recognizes all the same from all her time spent in the Roost. "Master." Turning back to Martyn, she indicates, "This is Lady Roisin, Ser Otto's sister, one with the name day coming soon. Lady Roisin, this is Ser Martyn Mallister. Lady Muirenn's brother."
As she waits for her cousin and her companion to reach them, Roisin turns back to Nathaniel, her eyes sparkling. Her lips part to speak, but as the pair do reach them and she hears Nathaniel refer to the man beside Aemy as 'Lord Mallister', her eyes widen. Her face flushes bright pink as a moment of panic invades. She quickly turns around and sinks into a respectful curtsy, one that clearly shows the years of practice she has had in performing such. "My Lord." she murmurs to Martyn. "Forgive me. I knew not who you were until Courier Corbitt here said your name." She straightens up slowly, looking away from them all in embarrassment at yet another social faux pas. When Aemy greets her, though, she quickly looks back, and still blushing, smiles weakly at her. "Oh come now." she jokes softly. "It's Cousin Roisin to you. Or even Bunny!" She then clears her throat and looks to Martyn. "A pleasure and an honor to meet you, My Lord." she says to him. "Your sister was very kind to invite my family here to Seagard. I hope very much that during this time we all may become closer, seeing as how our families will be soon joined." She then steps back, suddenly turning shy and twisting her horse's rains in her hand.
Martyn shakes his head a little bit at Aemy's words. "Not the catapults. My sister and my cousin would bring me back to life and then kill me again if something goes wrong." He offers a bit of a smile, before he follows after Aemy over towards the other lady now. Nathaniel gets a nod and a half-smile from the Mallister, before he turns to Roisin now, offering her a bit of a smile. "Don't worry about it, Lady Roisin. There are times I'm still not sure who I am." Spoken a bit lightly, before he offers a bit of a smile. "Ah, one of those Ser Otto left the gardens to check that they weren't in trouble," he comments, still with a bit of a smile. "It's a pleasure to meet you, my lady. And yes, my sister is like that, very kind." He goes silent again now, looking between the others.
Nathaniel remains quiet and attentive while Aemy introduces Roisin to Martyn. When the girl apologizes so sweetly, he lowers his head slightly but a faint smile touches his lips. When she leaps from that moment of discomfort to inviting the older lady to refer to her by such a name as Bunny, the smile grows, although he carefully keeps his head turned to avoid drawing attention to whatever emotion her admission has brought to him. Although he has bowed once to the older lady, he offers a second bow and acknowledges simply, "lady."
"Then I will climb with you," Aemy reassures him, still smiling at his explanation. "If you were harmed, I am almost certain your sister and cousin would kill me along with you." With her cousin being informal, Aemy does the same. Cousin Roisin," smiling at the mention of the nickname. "I wondered if you would mind still being called Bunny." Laughter bubbles out, unhindered, "It was always my favored name for you." Her gaze rests on Nathaniel when he bows again and she offers a curtsy as does her handmaid, to all the nobles and the master. "Aemy Erenford, Master." Offering her name along with a friendly smile. "A pleasure to finally meet you formally." Noticing the different smiles and emotions crossing the courier's face elicits a curious look, but no questions.
Roisin seems grateful that Martyn doesn't hold her mistake against her and her blush fades slightly as she relaxes a tad. "My thanks, My Lord." she says to him, though when he mentions that her brother seemed worried about she and her sister getting into trouble, a frown graces her lips and she sighs. "We truly don't get into that much trouble." she mutters, that frown turning to a pout. "And I far less than Raina." There is another sigh but she forces a smile to replace her pout. "Oh, of course you may still call me, Bunny!" she then assures Aemy, nodding, before blushing a little again and looking at both men. "You see…" she begins, trying to explain. "I usually always wear my hair in two floppy brads, and am out of doors. Ever since I was a child. I acquired the nicknames of 'Bunny' and 'Rabbit' for it, among…others." She doesn't dare mention what those other nicknames may be, and instead chuckles softly before turning her attention fully on Nathaniel. Being the alert sort of person she is, she does catch the slight smiles he seems to try and hide, but seems oblivious as to the reasons behind them, so just smiles at him. "I didn't realize you were not familiar with my Lady Cousin." she says to him. "Else I'd have introduced you to each other. Luckily, she has introduced herself and so all is well." she says, her eyes once more sparkling. Her handmaiden, the mousy brunette named Willo, had offered an extremely respectful curtsy to Lord Martyn when he arrived and another one at Nathaniel when he greeted her, but still stays rather removed from the group with her eyes lowered. She seems the quiet, unobtrusive type.
"I don't know, they always seem to suggest everything going wrong is my fault, of course," Martyn comments to Aemy, before he nods again at Roisin's words. "Well, you know how we older brothers can be, right?" he offers a bit lightly, before he nods a bit at the explanation of the nickname. "I see. Others?" he asks after a few moments, studying her a bit carefully for a few moments, before he goes back to looking around the area, after offering a bit of a nod to the handmaiden as well.
"I am honored, Lady Aemy," Nathaniel replies in a quiet and respectful tone. "The Terricks have had the pleaseure of entertaining many of your family at the tower," he notes. "I regret that we are so late in meeting, but glad that we are met at last. I am Nathaniel Corbitt, here at the request of Lady Nedra Mallister, Lord Martyn's cousin." He inclines his head to indicate Martyn. When Roisin speaks to him, and then explains the nickname, he listens attentively, and bows. "You are quite kind, but you have no need to apologize to me, lady," he assures quietly. "I am not of so much consequence as that. I only serve.""
"Bunny it is, then." Offering a warm smile to her cousin as she describes how she got her nicknames, remembering very well the lass who would bounce around Heronhurst. And perhaps Aemy is privy to some of the other nicknames, though if she is, she is not forthcoming with them, her loyalty to her family complete. Only a year older, perhaps a few months as well, she feels aged beyond her years sometimes. Today is not one of those days.
When Martyn mentions his family and fault and older brothers once more, she nods rather knowingly. "My brothers feel the same, though I see them far less often than I would like. I cannot wait to get a chance to speak with Lady Muirenn, and thank her for the invitation and hospitality. Did you finally get to meet with her and Lady Nedra? I knew you were speaking of doing so last evening." As Martyn looks around, Aemy looks back towards the courier. "The pleasure is all mine, I assure you, Master Corbitt. I have heard many good things about you and I would beg to differ on you being not of much consequence. Without you, there would be many important things left undone. Your steadfastness is much appreciated by all."
At Martyn's inquiry about the other nicknames she may have, Roisin shoots Aemy a warning look before smiling again at the nobleman and just offering him a vague shrug and a look that clearly says, 'I have no idea what you could be referring to.' It is then, however, that Nathaniel's words capture her attention and she turns to him fully, her eyes going soft, her expression gentle. "Everyone is of consequence, Courier Corbitt." she says to him. "Be they high born or low, And when a person makes a mistake, it is only right that they offer apology, is it not?" She tilts her head to the side in gentle inquiry, her soft smile lingering. "Besides, I am a lady, and a Lady always apologizes if she makes a mistake, to those who are her equals or no." She then blushes again and her eyes dart away. Clearly, she's an idealist, and though she's of the nobility, seems not to be a snob.
She quickly looks to her cousin, grateful for her being there and for not tattling about those other, embarrassing and infuriating nicknames. She inches closer to her. "Otto worries too much." she murmurs quietly. "He should know we'd not do anything to displease or shame him. Me especially." She then falls silent and once more, her fingers twist her horse's reins around. She really is quite hopeless yet in social situations.
Martyn pauses for a few moments as he sees that look from Roisin, offering her a bit of a grin in return. Glancing back at the castle for a few moments, then over to the Erenfords again now. "I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it, Lady Roisin," he offers. "I think he was just trying to get out of the rather… dark conversation at that moment." He grimaces a little bit at the mention of that conversation, looking away from the others for a few moments, as if trying to hide his expression for the moment.
If this were a contest to see will blush most, Nathaniel comes quickly into the running. First Aemy's praise darkens his cheeks, and then Roisin's gentle corrections deepen his color so that someone arriving might guess that he suffered from some acute sunburn. He ducks his head and shakes it. "Thank you, ladies," he answers in a barely audible voice. "Both of you are too kind." He glances sideways to Roisin and her horse, and he then offers, "If you wish, I will be glad to take your horse to the stable, lady."
Roisin 's gaze looks curiously concerned as it darts between Martyn, at his mention of the conversation with her brother being dark, and Aemy. Clearly, she'd like to be privy what it was about, but her curiosity is luckily tempered, for she she again simply smiles and refrains from comment or question upon it. Once more, she looks to Nathaniel, noting the way he, too, blushes, and in understanding of her fellow red-head and blusher, she offers him a wry grin. At his question, though, she shakes her head. "No, I shall see to him myself, but I thank you very much for your thoughtfulness." she says to him, before looking up affectionately at her horse. "My brother gifted him to me right before we departed Heronhurst." she tells them, lifting her chin proudly. "His name is Phantom." At that, she reaches beneath her velvet cloak and squirms slightly before producing a juicy carrot, presumably from a pocket hidden somewhere inside her garments. "Here you go, love." she murmurs gently to the stallion, offering it to him before standing upon her tiptoes to nuzzle the side of his face. He's a rather large horse, and she's such a tiny girl, but she doesn't look the least bit apprehensive of his size at all. As for the horse, he remains gentle and patient alongside his little mistress, as tame as can be, even though there is a rather spirited gleam in his dark eyes. "Perhaps I should lead him back now." Roisin muses. "I only wanted to walk him a little bit. I am not dressed properly for riding him."
Just preferring to listen to them banter back and forth, the thanks her cousin gives her for not revealing the nicknames elicits a chuckle. "You have the most adorable names though, Bunny. As does your sister. You have both always been loads of fun to be with, I do regret the time I have spent away, lingering in the Roost, but only to some extent. I hear you are to have a large name day celebration. I do hope I am invited." Aemy teases, watching her with her horse, "An impressive gift he is too." Seeing Nathaniel and her cousin blushing back and forth makes her smile as she listens to their conversations.
Though the mention of Martyn and Otto and darker conversation gets her attention now as she looks over at Martyn. "I imagine Lady Muirenn was contented to see you arrive safely back home. Do you have plans to linger long or will you be returning to the Roost?"
Noticing that curious concerned look, Martyn shrugs a little bit. "It was about… broken things. My sister has a tendency to try to fix broken things, you see. This time I suppose she's found herself… a difficult project to fix, I guess." A brief pause, as he looks around for a few moments, then over to the horse. "It looks like a very good horse, Lady Roisin," he offers, with a bit of a smile, before he pauses a little at Aemy's question. "To be honest, I have no idea. I'm only sure I will be staying away from Stonebridge," he says, a bit quietly.
Nathaniel boss to Roisin, and then looks back to his own mare. "He is a noble gift for such an auspicious occasions," he adds while his eyes survey the stallion. "I should attend to my horse as well," he decides. "However, I should wait until you have returned from settling him, lady. If I can be of service, you have only to ask." He shifts his attention to Martyn, and he asks, "Lord? Did you come by the road that I described to you to skirt Stonebridge? Lady Nedra found it to be quite beneficial."
Roisin nods, incomprehensibly, to Martyn, the smile she gives him confused, but again, she doesn't pry. "Well…" she offers. "Many broken things can, in fact, be mended." she says. "One need only have patience." She then looks once more at Aemy and laughs. "I suppose they could be worse, right?" she asks her. "Do you know what horrible, infuriating names some people can devise for a person with red hair?" she asks, her eyes going wide. "A stable lad called me—" Her mouth clamps shut and her face goes red. "Well, he called me something most inappropriate." she finally says, her voice having gone prim. "As to a party, i am not sure now, Cousin." she says. "I had received permission from your brother, but then Otto said we could come here, and so we said that was much better fun than a gathering, only we aren't allowed to go to The Roost until after our name day, so it leads me to believe something will happen." She talks about this a mile a minute, her eyes wide and then she looks up at Phantom again. "I think riding him all the way to Terrick's Roost would be a wonderful adventure!" she exclaims. "But we may have to bring a wagon for Raina. No doubt her thighs shan't be able to take such a long journey on horseback. She would probably be in tears before we reach Stonebridge." She then blinks. "Should we not travel there?" she asks. "I had asked, you see, if we may be allowed to now and then with our guards and Septa. We were told we could, but to go further, we needed a proper escort." To Nathaniel, she smiles. "Please do not feel you must wait on my account." she says to him. "If you must stable your horse, please feel free to do so without the burden of waiting for me." she says. "I would not wish to inconvenience you, Courier Corbitt."
"Broken things," Aemy echoes in a soft voice with tinges of concern intermingled with understanding. "Some broken things can be repaired or patched, though once broken they are never quite the same. Not worse, mind you, only different. Sometimes the result is even better that it was in the beginning." Somewhat cryptic, sure, but she tries to make her point with Martyn.
Giving her cousin a nod of approval, she immediately agrees. "Bunny is correct, sometimes it only takes patience and strength." Shrugging a moment, not wanting to linger too long on unhappiness. Not with her adorable cousin going from shy to funny to prim. Amusement barely contained, she attempts to be serious. "I have no idea what he called you, though I imagine it is something unbecoming going by your reaction. Did you confront him with the error of his ways?" Unable to stop it now, her lips quirk into a crooked smile, "I adore your hair color and am quite envious of it, so let no one say anything bad about you. You are beautiful both inside and out, my cousin. And I am proud to be related."
"Yes, Master Corbitt," Martyn offers with a bit of a smile to the courier now. "It really helped keeping me from having to go through the wilderness to get here. Thank you," he replies, before he looks back to the ladies. "Many things can be mended, that's true. But perhaps some things need a whole lot of time in order to be repaired. And some things might never work the way they're supposed to again." Shaking his head a little bit, before he smiles a little bit at the mention of the names people can devise for people with red hair. "Well, I have quite an idea, at least." At the mention of Stonebridge, he shakes his head a little bit. "No, there's nothing wrong with traveling there, as long as I don't have to, Lady Roisin," he offers, with a bit of a shrug. "I've just had a number of bad dealings with the Naylands, so I want to stay away from them," he explains a bit quietly.
Nathaniel listens in silence until Roisin addresses him directly. At that point, he bows deeply. "Once more you honor me beyond my merit, lady," he replies. "I thank you earnestly. As to the name that he used to besmirch you, lady, whatever it was, I am sorry that he did not see you well enough to fit you with a more suitable, and honorable name, as I would have. I cannot imagine being so cruel to you." Then he looks toward Aemy and Martyn, and bows to both of them. "If you will excuse me, lord and ladies, I will see to my horse."
Roisin nods vigorously to Aemy. "Of course I did!" she exclaims, as if there should be little doubt. "He was just mad that I was a better shot with the bow than he was is all." she says, shrugging it off. "he soon discovered, though, that I also packed a better punch, as evidenced by the black eye he had to sport around for a week afterward." She giggles. "Plus he had endure the other lads' jeers at being bested and beaten up by a girl!" Her giggles suddenly cease, however, and she flushes deep red. She sinks into a curtsy for Martyn. "I don't think I was supposed to mention something like that to you, My Lord." she murmurs. "I beg of you, please be so kind as to not let my brother know I told you of such an escapade. He'd wring my neck if I embarrassed him!" She also sends a pleading look to Aemy, silently asking her not to tell on her, either. Her embarrassment is saved only by the departure of Nathaniel, and as she straightens up, she turns her flushed face to him, offering him a still-worried, but nevertheless endearing smile. "Be well, Master Corbitt." she says to him softly. "I hope we will run into each other again while we Erenfords are here in Seagard."
"I promise not to try and mend you, only to be a friend and confidant. You may speak with me on anything troubling you and the subject matter will never leave me, I give you my word." Having made her promise now, Aemy gently nudges him in a playful manner. "So, why not accept you have friends willing to share with you?" Finally turning back to look at her cousin and the departing Nathaniel. "Your secrets are safe with me, Cousin. As always," winking in return to her cousin's dismay at speaking out about her escapades. "Of course you should defend yourself, and I am glad you bested him. Erenford Ladies are a tough breed." When Nathaniel bows, Aemy offers a nod accompanied by a smile. "Of course, Master Corbitt. Do hurry back."
"Of course," Martyn offers to Nathaniel, before he pauses a little as he listens to Roisin. Unable to hold back some laughter as he hears her history, he shakes his head a bit at the flushing and the curtsy. "Don't worry about it, Lady Roisin. Your secret is safe with me."
While the nobles continue their conversation, which has taken a turn toward the humorous with Roisin's anecdote about besting the boy with her bow, Nathaniel gathers his tack and lays it on the horse's back, without strapping it into place, however. With one hand on the leathers, and her bridle in the other, he walks with her toward the stable where a boy comes out to meet him. After handing off the reins to the boy, he turns and strides back toward the spot in the courtyard where he left the others. With hands behind his back, he waits silently, listening to the flow of conversation.
Roisin breathes a sigh of relief as she gets Amey and Martyn's assurances that they won't tell her brother on her. "Thank you." she says, relaxing once more. "Otto is very nervous, it seems, for he cares for Lady Muirenn very much. He doesn't want to somehow give the Mallisters any sort of bad impression." There is a bit of a smile there, though, as if deep down, beneath her complaints and exasperation, she finds her brother's worry somewhat endearing. She clears her throat, though and smiles at both Aemy and Martyn. "Believe me, My Lord." she says to him. "You would have no better friend than my lady Cousin here." she says to him. "She is warm, compassionate and does judge a person." Her smile warms as she glances at Aemy, but then falls silent once more, afraid she may have unwittingly let things get too serious with her words. When Nathaniel quickly returns, she offers him a sweet smile before announcing how she would now go lead Phantom back. "I may be rather longer, however." she informs them. "Otto has decreed it that we should care for our horses ourselves, which breeds trust between person and animal." she explains. "He's right, of course, and I have always looked after my horse myself, so it's something I am familiar with." She curtsies to them. "I shall try to hurry, though, for I'm enjoying everyone's company immensely." With that, she gently tugs on Phantom's reigns and leads him back up to the castle and to the stables.
It does Aemy good to hear Martyn laugh and she gives her cousin a nod of encouragement. "I can imagine it was quite a sight to see, fiery Roisin blacking the eye of a stable boy. I think you underestimate Ser Otto though, I think he would play at blustering but I think he secretly would be proud of you for standing up for yourself." When her cousin makes her excuses, she offers her a smile, "See you in a bit, Bunny. And thank you." Blushing at the compliments given her by her sweet cousin, watching her lead her horse away a moment, proud of the person she has grown into. Almost immediately, she looks to Martyn then Nathaniel and smiles, the pink still tinging her cheeks, not quite so used to the compliments tossed her way and quite uncertain what to say to them.
"Don't worry about that, Lady Roisin. It usually takes more than that to give us bad impressions," Martyn offers, before he nods a bit at the lady's words about her cousin. "In the time I've known Lady Aemy, I've found that to be quite true," he offers with a bit of a smile. "And taking care of the animal breeds trust, that's true. Take all the time you need, of course." Looking from Aemy to Nathaniel and then back to Aemy again now, offering them both a bit of a smile.
Nathaniel bows when he finds that the others have noticed his quiet return. "Your brother is wise, Lady Roisin," he agrees with the others. "Horse and rider are a team. Fortunately, as you know, I was here before you arrived, grooming my mare. She needs only food and water now." Then he watches while the girl leads her stallion toward the large barn before he returns his attention to Martyn and Aemy. Having heard something of Aemy's invitation for Martyn to seek her confidence, he offers, "I do not need to tarry here if you wish privacy. I promised to share a meal with Mistress Kalira."