|Summary:||Roslyn and Kittridge talk within the stables about matches and freedom.|
|Related Logs:||A Nameday Celebration|
|Stables and Kennels|
|The Tower's Main Stables are nestled into the corner of the courtyard near the portcullis to facilitate quick, easy exits when required. The rear of the structure is backed right against the interior wall of the castle with the heavy wooden roofing gently sloped down towards the slate out front, the floor of the stables kept to dirt. Thick wooden beams are plunged into the ground and serve as a base for the walls between each stall. Hay serves as most of the flooring in the area with a large stack of it off to the side. Each stall has a thick layer on the ground to serve as bedding, with most of the space dedicated to horses though a few have pens of dogs and hounds. An enclosed structure at the end serves as dry storage for riding equipment and saddles.|
|Mon May 14, 289|
The stables are quiet so early in the morning, only the sounds of the smallfolk going about their own chores as the day warms from the summer sun. A bay mare still stands outside of the stalls, the reins captured within Roslyn's fingers as she waits on one of the stableboys to notice her and take them. Windswept curls that have worked their way loose are further proof of a morning ride, her cheeks still flushed from the exhertion. A maid finally shadows her, for all that she seems to ignore the girl and the Nayland guard who currently sees to his own horse only a few feet away.
Kittridge is just preparing for a ride, it seems, checking over the stable boy's work on a chestnut courser. He looks up as Roslyn enters, and takes a half-step away from his horse to bow. "Good morning, Lady Roslyn."
A small smile pulling at the corners of her lips as she recognizes that voice, Roslyn's gaze slides to Kittridge before she turns to hand her reigns to the lady's maid and step towards the lord. Drawing closer, she dips into a curtsy and greets warmly, "My lord Groves. I had heard talk that you had arrived in Terrick's Roost."
"We arrived yesterday," Kittridge confirms, "I have business to discuss here and thought Rosanna and I might stop home for a day afterwards before returning to Stonebridge," he explains. "And besides," he adds, smile crooking up at one corner, "Everyone pleasant seemed to have journeyed here ahead of us."
"So you are following us, Ser Kittridge. I had suspected as much," Roslyn replies with a flash of amusement, hazel eyes lingering overly long on him before they drop to her fingers as she makes a move to pull off her riding gloves. "I had wondered at why your lady sister accompanied you. You seemed reluctant before to remove her from Stonebridge."
"You have found me out, Lady Roslyn," Kittridge grins, "It was far too dull there without you, though I thought it rude to say so. And I admit," he goes on, "To some curiosity as to your family's visit here. Why sit in Stonebridge and wait for rumor when I could hear it much more quickly and maybe even accurately here?" He glances down at her hands as she pulls off the gloves and remarks, "I am sorry I did not come out sooner, we might have ridden together, but it seems I've missed the opportunity. And I was reluctant to have my sister ride at night two nights in a row on a whirlwind business trip to the Mire," he replies, "This is rather different. And like I said, I hope to stop at home for a day, it seemed more efficient for her to come along."
"Of course, my lord. You are Mallister vassals as well, after all, and it is not nearly the same as visiting the home of a man intent on courting your lady sister, is it?" The musing comes with a smile, seemingly permanently etched into the corners of her lips even as Roslyn removes her gloves with care before lifting her gaze back to Kittridge. "I did only just return from a ride myself, but I would welcome the opportunity to have you accompany me another time, perhaps. Your presence shall likely bring a greater liveliness to the Roost than mine," she says warmly, studying him briefly with a smile flashed brighter. "But, if you would like to know my family's purpose, you need but ask, ser."
"Indeed," Kittridge says, with an inclination of his head, "As much as I enjoyed the opportunity to see your family's home, a more formal visit - which it would be were my sister to come as well - is still somewhat…fraught. And I suspected your brother wished to discuss the possibility of courtship and I preferred her not to be present when we did. It would have seemed to muddy the waters, I think." He shrugs, and then smiles as she agrees to go riding and laughs and shakes his head at the last, "I think you overrate me and underrate yourself, lady," he says, before arching a brow, "Indeed? Your brother was somewhat vague on the subject when I did, though…" he pauses, and then looks faintly sheepish, "I must confess to overhearing your conversation with Lord Justin at my sister's party. So I think I have some idea of his intent."
"Oh? I admit then, that I am curious as to what you overheard and what thoughts of his intent you have," Roslyn says with a quiet laugh clinging to the words, glancing towards her lady's maid before drawing somewhat closer to allow more privacy to their conversation. "I have met your lady sister, my lord, and I can quite see where you would rather not have her present for such discussions. Though, I am somewhat biased towards the idea of the Groves visiting our home, I will say."
"I happened to hear you mention that your brother hopes to secure a betrothal between you and Lord Justin and has come to meet with Lord Jerold to that end," Kittridge says, though he does not add any immediate commentary on the subject. As she draws closer and mentions Rosanna, he smirks faintly, and nods, "Indeed." The smirk shifts into a tilted smile as she goes on and he says, "I would hope, Lady, that your family might see clear to wish for such things more generally, and not solely as a means to link Ser Rutger and my sister more closely."
"I do, my lord. I wish for an opportunity for Ser Belte to find an alligator, and for Lady Rosanna to see more of Westeros, even if it is only Hag's Mire and the Fortress of the Sevens. And even you, Ser Kittridge, would be impressed with our levies when they drill," Roslyn replies carefully, for all that she still smiles at Kittridge. There is a subtle impression of a shrug to her posture, the slightest lift of her shoulders as she refolds the gloves within her hands. "That is what he wishes, yes."
Kittridge chuckles, and nods, "I also hope Tommas can find an alligator," he agrees, "I have promised him we will try at some point, so you may rest assured on that score. As for myself… well, I have seen your house's levies on the field and I think myself sufficiently impressed with their quality. I would much prefer to become better acquainted with the countryside and perhaps your library, which I can only imagine is well-stocked, between you and your grandmother."
Curiosity lights hazel eyes at his preferences, Roslyn's smile warming at that where she offers an easy, "I did not realize you read much, Ser Kittridge. I think you shall find our library rather welcoming, in that case, and I look forward to showing it to you." The last is added with a slight coloring, for all that she draws straighter and pushes away a curl from her face. She adds, belatedly, "It is unlikely that I will become betrothed to Lord Justin Terrick." In case he was worried.
"Do I not seem like I would read much?" Kittridge inquires, head tilting, "I suppose I must not, everyone always says that." He smiles anyway and nods, "I'll look forward to seeing it." At the last, a brow ticks upwards, "What makes you think so? Your brothers seem not to agree."
"I still doubt it," Roslyn confirms, words teasing as she smiles lightly at the man, "But I will not quiz you on what you read in my disbelief." Her own brows draw upwards at his, her hand still wrapped around her gloves where she gestures at herself. "We would be more matched if we attempted to press a betrothal between myself and the Lord Jerold Terrick, if they truly wish to marry between our families. Lord Justin is young still, a good match for any family so long as the Lady Anais is not with child. Why would his father wish to wed him off to the Naylands?"
"A liar AND an illiterate?" Kittridge laughs, "You do think little of me, lady, I see." He listens to her response, and shrugs, replying, "I suppose it depends how much Lord Jerold wishes to see the feud finished, but I confess I think it unlikely as well. I am not sure what makes your brother think it will go over well, except that his admiration for you makes him forget that those who do not know you will see the offer differently."
"No, my lord, I think too much of you," Roslyn replies quietly, though her own laughter eases the words where it escapes in a breath. But, then she moves on quickly, smile polite. "As he always will, no matter what words I say to convince him otherwise. I do not know if he will press the suit with the Lord Jerold, but I do hope the Lord of the Roost wishes to see this feud at an end."
"I would say I doubt that, lady, except it implies I think it impossible to think too much of me, which is not the case at all," Kittridge replies, head canting thoughtfully, "But should I thank you for thinking I don't deserve however well you think of me? That doesn't seem quite right either. So I suppose I'm not sure what the appropriate response is to such a thing." He muses on it for another second, and then shrugs it off, and shrugs once more as he says, "I expect were it as easy as that it would have ended before now, but perhaps he will be in a mood for reconciliation."
Roslyn only tips her chin in a simple agreement, her gaze dropping away as she rearranges the gloves within the palm of her hand with a care. Thoughtfully, she answers, "I do not expect anything shall be easy of this, but now is a better time than any, so soon after the war with the Ironborn that already brought us to fight side by side."
"It is worth a try," Kittridge agrees mildly, watching her stare at her gloves, "But I should not get your hopes up," he says. He pauses a moment and then adds, "Not that it seems that you have."
"I do try to temper all of my expectations with the reality of the world around me, Ser Kittridge. My brother is the dreamer, and the optimist," Roslyn answers with a softened smile for the absent Riordan, finally lifting her gaze back to the man. "I am sure you know what it is like, the need to balance yourself against your siblings."
Kittridge smiles faintly and nods, "I'm familiar with the notion. It can be difficult. I suspect I am not half so good at is as you are, Lady Roslyn. I was never meant to be the sensible one, I'm afraid. It's not a part I play very well."
The drag of her gaze seems to catch some misstep reflected in Kittridge's smile, for Roslyn quickly says with easy humor, "Perhaps then it will be good for you, when I send you to the Wall for adventure. I have decided as well that I would rather like to see the Eyrie. Any high place, really, where you can look down at the world."
Kittridge laughs as she mentions the Wall, and lifts both brows, "The Eyrie, indeed? Now there I have been," he tells her, "It is…very high. I did a great deal of looking down at things, whether they were the Vale below or my own feet to make sure they weren't about to send me tumbling into the Vale below."
Interest reflects within Roslyn's expression immediately, a small smile playing at her lips in lingering humor for Kittridge's joke as she says, "What took you to the Vale, my lord? Was it as breathtaking as it is written of?"
"I squired at Gulltown," Kittridge explains, "With a knight of House Grafton, my mother's kin. Lord Grafton went to the Eyrie on business once, and we got to accompany him. It was definitely breathtaking," he confirms with a nod and a bit of a smile, "And I swear the air is thinner up there. It takes your breath and gives only half of it back. It is amazing to imagine it being built. Dominick - an engineer in my house's employ - he has always been jealous not to have gotten to see it. He's made me draw it for him a hundred times so he can try to sort out how they managed it."
"The danger in having you paint does not extend to sketches, then? I shall have to remember this," Roslyn replies, teasing almost where her own smile flashes brightly in turn. "I admit I am jealous of the opportunities you must have had, squiring away from home. And in Gulltown. I can only imagine the interesting sorts you must have met, coming in with the tides."
Kittridge laughs, and shakes his head, "No, not quite. I can draw better than I can paint, though I still have no skill with people, and it takes more time to get it right than it would a real artist." He rubs at his jaw briefly at the last and nods, "It is an interesting place, Gulltown. Much bigger even than Riverrun. It is a shame there is no equivalent way for ladies to travel at all. Even a septa wouldn't likely get to move about so much, usually."
Flicking her gaze at her lingering maid and guard, Roslyn admits wryly, quietly, "Sometimes, I see the appeal of the path that my sister took, even if I never had any taste for violence." She shakes her head at that, finally, dismissive before continuing. "You shall have to draw me something, my lord, so that I may judge for myself. Gulltown, perhaps, if it would please you?"
"I saw the appeal more of the path it was said your sister took," Kittridge replies, "Running off with a band of players to travel the countryside, I could understand. But as it is I think she has not seen any more of the world than you have, lady." He shrugs, and then moves on to her request, and smiles, nodding, "If you like. I can't promise any great quality, I'm sure your books have better illustrations than any I might make. But if you like, I will see what I can put of Gulltown to paper for you."
"No," Roslyn agrees, "But if she had wished, she had the freedom to see it. It is a shame she spent it here, squired to—knights not far from home." Stirring straighter, she draws back a step with a smile, her chin inclining again in a small nod. "I would like that, Ser Kittridge, but I suppose you would rather take your ride at the moment and I should not take any more of your time."
"A shame indeed," Kittridge agrees, "That she didn't have better priorities." He shrugs, and then straightens again as she steps back, glancing over his shoulder as if he had forgotten the horse was there. "Yes, I suppose I ought to, now I've gone to the trouble of getting ready for it. I am sure I will see you later, Lady Roslyn."
"Of course. It was a pleasure, as always." Her smile polite, Roslyn curtsies again in a careful gesture. Her gaze lifts back to Kittridge in one last, brief study before she offers, "Enjoy your ride. I will see you again." She turns to leave, not even bothering to look towards maid nor guard as they trail her away.
"The pleasure was mine," Kittridge replies, his own smile friendly. He bows as elegantly as ever, and heads back towards his horse, mounting with a quick step into the stirrup and waiting for Roslyn and her entourage to pass before riding out.