|Summary:||Some of the ladies of the Roost head to the shore to escape. Caytiv accompanies.|
|Coastline — Terrick's Roost|
|The Cape of Eagles looms out over Ironman's Bay, a vast, blue ocean inlet, that spreads its watery depths out beyond the horizon. The path that leads down to this coast winds down behind the towers for several hundred meters before arriving at the rocky water's edge. Rather than sand, the coast is covered with innumerable smooth and rounded stones about palm-sized. They stretch up and down the coast in all directions with the battered remnants of driftwood scattered about. Above the beach, one every mile or two, are towers with a large bell and mallet atop them which are to be beaten to warn of an incoming invasion.|
|August 23, 288|
Things at the Roost have been on high alert, and delicate, highborn ladies can only take so much of that sort of pressure. Even the ever-hardy Lady Anais took to bed with a headache just a couple of days ago. So there was little protest from the guards when a trip to the beach was suggested, if only to remove the ladies from the castle itself and give them a chance to think of something other than wedding preparations. There are blankets and a picnic set up where the sand meets the grass, holding most of the Banefort girls and their handmaidens, and while the guards stand watch, Anais has left her shoes by the blankets and hitched her skirts up just enough to walk in the surf.
At Anais' side is Lucienne, her own skirts held deftly out of the reach of the lapping waves. Her handmaiden is over with the other Banefort girls, chattin about someone or other - probably Caytiv Hill or his ilk, if the giggling is anything to go by. "I'm most glad of this trip, Anais," says the dark-haired Terrick girl, eyes fluttering closed as a foamy woosh tickles her ankles. She smiles. "I fear one of those headaches has been threatening to take me abed, too."
A day at the beach watching a flock of sporty handmaids frolic? It doesn't strike Cayt wrong, at all. In the light grey linen undershirt of his Banefort livery and a tan pair of hide trousers that button just below his knee, he's bare to the foot, the sun glistening on the blond down along his calves. He keeps an easy watch, hopping from rock to rock like a mountain billy surveying the does from on high.
"I was half tempted to claim Lady Igara's illness," Anais admits to Lucienne with a brief, rueful smile, humor glinting in her eyes. "Then I could have had days, and the men of the household would steer well clear of the room." She glances over her shoulder toward her sisters then, laughing. "And then I realized what company I would be closing myself with, and decided a day's headache was sufficient. Care to swap places for a day, Cayt?" she calls to her half-brother. "You can play with the girls, and I'll hit people with swords?"
"Now there's a plan, if ever there was one," Luci returns with a devilish twist to her lips. She hoists her skirts up a bit higher, only to let them drop again as Anais calls to Caytiv. The mere mention of his name inspires frightful awareness of her modesty! And a brief look his way - but only brief, lest her virtue be sullied by the very sight of him, as the rumors so say. Another gently rolling wave provides something to keep Lucienne's eyes busy.
"With these lassies? I fear I'd fare much better against a tourney's worth of proven knights," Cayt laughs out a reply in re: his younger sisters, though when he eyes the youngest couple of them playing over yonder it's with a gentle, fraternal affection. He jumps down, all spirit, from the rock, and heads for the water, drawn, perhaps, by the very show of modesty. As a shark draws near when there's blood in the water, so the faint show of a blush is enough to bring Cayt about, strolling into the water, keeping his sister between him and Luci. "Ay, the Lady takes care to hide her ankles from the guppies," he teases gently after the skirts being let down in the water.
Anais leans over to gently bump a shoulder against Cayt at his teaasing, smile crooked. "Not everyone's an incurable menace like me, you know," she chuckles, making no effort to hide her ankles. She's walking in the surf, and she's going to enjoy it! "Luci here is thoroughly respectable, aren't you?" she asks with a teasing smile of her own for the lady.
Walking in the surf can be just as enjoyable with a blush tinting cheeks as you watch skirts swirling around in the current… or so Lucienne hopes, for it is how she intends to enjoy her afternoon from here on in. "Thoroughly," she agrees with Anais, not daring to look up. There's amusement in her tone, though, and she adds for Caytiv's benefit, "Those small fish rush in to nip at first show of skin. My ankles do well underneath the protection of my," ah, there are those big brown eyes of hers, lifted for another quick peek at Master Hill, "Skirts."
"Ay?" Cayt questions, catching the glance with his own warm, honey-brown eyes, smile growing crooked as he senses the lass to play and to riddle at him, as lassies are wont to do. "Well, 'en, lay no blame upon the guppies, for th' ankle's as fair as all that," he slides into a somewhat deeper, more rich, rolling growl of a mountain accent, then, tipping his head to the side, he eyes his sister's bared ankles, "Ay, Annie, fear ye not the guppies a' the rocks? Don't you go make me to lift you up out of there an' save you, so."
"The guppies have better sense than to eat my ankles," Anais declares archly, giving her skirts a light sway and kicking a small splash toward her brother. "I've a complicated defense system in place, after all. They bite my ankles, and suddenly they fly out of the water and crisp up like they've been fried. The fires of the Banefort in my veins," she winks to Lucienne. "That, and these ankles are spoken for."
Lucienne's brows loft, a bewildered look taking her for a moment. She lifts her chin to properly question Caytiv. "The guppies would bear none of the blame? A Lady shouldn't be walking in the water, I do suppose. Perhaps you are right, Master Hill." That concluded, she ducks another look to her sodden skirt hems, thus missing Anais' wink, but not the sentiment. "No Banefort fireblood in my veins - but you saw how long it took Lord Ser Valentin to cut down the men of the Roost in that melee. Made of stone, we are. It'll take a fish much bigger than a guppy to defy these skirts of mine," she says with wry smile.
Caytiv gets lost somewhere along the line of the metaphor. Talking to women is sometimes a matter for Maesters alone, it seems to the mountain lad. So he jumps off of the metaphor and engages in some talk a little more earnest. "It would be a sore thing to lose a-strolling in the short waves," he gives his opinion, "If just for fear of guppies, at least. Harmless little things," he trails off in lighter tones as he tracks a school of them shifting among the rocks, and then dips swiftly to try to nab one in a handful of water. Just try to stop a lad of sixteen from picking things up out of the water and throwing them at their sisters.
"Stone, is it? I suppose that's not a loss, then," Anais chuckles to herself, watching Cayt go guppy diving. "I'm looking forward to the tournament," she sighs, wistful. "And the wedding, of course. But I suspect the tournament will be more /fun/. And hopefully less complicated." She walks slowly, one foot crossing in front of the other to better enjoy every inch of the water.
"Harmless," repeats Lu under her breath, clearly not convinced. She shakes her head, toes wriggling under her skirts to bury into the sand. "Is your new Lord husband planning to ride?" Brown eyes shift up to watch Anais and her progress through the water.
Caytiv comes up with two fistfuls of water, guppies scattering all under the rocks. He tosses the water back down and stills himself, waiting for another opportunity to strike, listening to the lasses chat, but with his eyes fixed on the water.
"I believe so, yes," Anais answers, looking up from the water with a shy sort of smile. "Am I silly if I'm /really/ looking forward to seeing him ride? I know it doesn't really mean anything, and it's all in play, and it's as much chance as anything, I do. But I want to see it. I want to be impressed. I feel like…" She glances to Caytiv briefly, then lowers her voice. "I feel like I'm working so hard at all of this politics. I'd like to see him working hard in the arena."
Lucienne lifts her shoulders in a light shrug, her smile almost as carefree. "I don't watch," she admits. "My eyes find themselves shut at every blow, I just can't. But…" She follows the glance over to Caytiv with one of her own, hoping the preposition hasn't drawn his attention. Her next is pitched equally low, and she moves a step closer to help it carry. "There is something oddly satisfying in watching the lads triumph on the field. I can certainly understand it, in your case dear Anais."
Caytiv crouches slowly in the water, giving no hint that he's listening, or even paying attention to anything other than the creeping clan of guppies shifting about in the water. Then there's a splash and he stands victorious with a couple little buggers swimming around in his clasped hands. "Ha!" he shouts. "If you want to see him victorious so bad, Annie, come watch him wallop me with a blunt of a morning's practice," he grunts with a grin.
Anais' lips quirk as she looks over at Caytiv, smile threatening to break free. "Cayt, what are you planning to /do/ with those minnows?" she asks, laughing. It's probably not the smartest question she could ask. Maybe her brain is just tired.
Lucienne blushes fiercely as Caytiv speaks, the horror of being overheard! Though her hems are already wet, she lifts them clear of the water for a peek at her toes whilst the shame burns her cheeks. A deep breath seeks to relieve the heat, and it's Anais' question that draws her gaze back up - first to the Banefort lady, then expectantly to her half-brother.
"I'm going to put them in your hair, Annie," Cayt tells his sister matter-of-factly. Maybe a little bit too matter-of-factly to be taken seriously. But is Annie willing to take that risk? The water's about drained from between his fingers, and the little things inside are flopping around in what's left. "Come, see," he tells her, offering her his hands so she can peek at the things.
Anais squints at her brother, eying him suspiciously. "You wouldn't dare," she says, though she doesn't sound as certain as she might like to be. Either she truly doesn't believe he'd do it, or she's willing to risk it, though, because she creeps a little bit closer to try to get a look at the fish. "Really, though, what do you do with minnows? You didn't bring fishing gear, did you?" she asks, a hopeful note in her voice.
As Lucienne watches the scene unfold before her, her blush fades. Her eyes dart between Caytiv and Anais, something wistful in her stare. With her hands caught up in her skirts and her ankles on show, she turns to better face the two, and presses a thin smile.
"What, fishing gear?" Cayt peels a playful smile for Annie, "You don't reckon the chefs will have enough for a good fish-fry off of these two? Don't riddle with me, Annie, I've seen the wee mouthfuls you lassies like to pretend at being meals," he accuses her with a grin, opening his hands just a little, such that Annie can look at the fish without them jumping out at her. "Care for a look, lassie?" he asks of Lucienne, managing to keep his voice clear of innuendo for that one. Why, he's not even sneaking a peek at her exposed ankles.
"That's nerves, Cayt," Anais wrinkles her nose at her brother, though there's a faint, girlish grin when she catches sight of the minnow in his hands. "You try it. We'll arrange a nice marriage for you, too, and you can work on planning a wedding, and a tournament, and everything else. I'll make sure she's pretty, though. Since you didn't throw them in my hair," she grins, splashing quickly away before he can change his mind. "Go ahead, Luci," she urges. "He's nice to girls who aren't his sister."
"So you can put them in /my/ hair?" Lucienne retorts, a wealth of a amusement in her expression. "I have brothers, you know." Nevertheless, she wades a few steps closer at Anais' urging and edges up onto her tippy tip toes, dropping her skirts to splay her hands out for balance's sake - not at all to foil the peeking that was not going on at her ankles - as she peers at the little fishies.
"Ay, well I reckon I'll let them grow a wee bit 'til you've got your appetite back, Annie," Cayt murmurs, holding his hands carefully for Luci to peek, as well, without the fish jumping out of the little tight cup of his hands. "You should remember to eat something, ay? You'll waste away," he warns her, squatting down again once Lili's had a good look, preparing to set the guppies free again. "For my part, I'll leave the marryin' to ye, Annie. Seems a grand pain and a puzzle, to me."
"We did bring some fried fish for the picnic," Anais notes, lifting up on her toes to look toward the blankets. "If Elinor hasn't eaten all of it already. Are you sure, Cayt?" she laughs then, casting a teasing look toward her brother. "I'll pick someone pretty." She pauses then, tipping her head to one side. "And nice, I suppose. Since you're nice. For a brother." Once more, she kicks a spray of water, though away from the others, watching the droplets catch the light. "Everyone should have brothers, don't you think, Luci? They may put minnows in your hair, but you can always count on them."
"You did well to catch those babies with your hands," says Lucienne admiringly as she sights the fish. She watches Cayt as he readies to free them, eyes narrowing for that very moment the little minnows swim away. "Hmm? Brothers - oh, yes. Brothers prepare you for the wider world, I think. They teach you things no Maester could. They remind you to eat," she looks to Anais at that last, eyes twinkling.
Caytiv lets the fish loose with the gentle goading touch of an herdsman, making sure they swim on after the others as the others go by. "I do my best," he preens a little bit at the oblique praise, getting his trousers wet, but not seeming to mind, elbows on his knees as he crouches in the water. "'Tis a fine thing to see our Annie healthy-cheeked and happy. Even if she does have odd notions of seeing me wed when I have not yet taken of my first beard. And still have seed to sow elsewhere, Annie," he reminds her.
Anais laughs first at Lucienne, then again, bright and pealing, at Caytiv's last words. "Oh, aye," she grins over at him. "At this rate, we'll have Terrick stone-men with Banefort fire in their veins all through the riverlands. Seven help anyone who thinks to start a fight with them." She presses a hand to her stomach then, as it grumbles helpfully. "I should probably go get some of that fish, shouldn't I?"
Lucienne's eyes widen a little at the mention of sowing seed, and is that… why, yes it is, a lovely rosy tinge rising in her cheeks again. "Mmm," is all she can muster for a moment, eyes firmly locked on the safer target - Anais. "I might… join you. For some lunch. Master Hill." The tone of the name spoken is more a by-your-leave, but Lucienne doesn't wait for a response from either - she's already starting up the beach toward the other Banefort girls and their handmaidens. Once out of the water, she has need of lifting her skirts again, providing the shark with a last neat view of her heels and slender ankles.