|Summary:||Roslyn and Riordan return to the Tower for a night cap, and a little bit more conversation.|
|Related Logs:||Shortly after A Broken Knight.|
|The Tower residence of the Regent of Stonebridge. Slightly less trashed.|
|Sun Apr 29, 289|
Roslyn's cloak has been thrown carefully over the back of one of Riordan's chairs, the wobbly thing abused but still standing. Rain has tangled chocolate curls, but she pays them little heed as she moves instead for the jug of wine. This time, she pours it carefully in a measured splash into glasses, pressing one onto Riordan as she replies regretfully, "That was not the ride we needed. I had hoped to take your mind from her, at least."
The servants seemed to have made at least some attempt to clean up the place, though it will still likely need some work before it is back to it's previous well-furnished state. Riordan does give the room a briefly wry glance at the state his temper brought to the place, but otherwise turns his attention back to Roslyn. Taking the glass with a thankful nod, he takes a draught from the liquid before responding. "Even had we not run into her brother - further proof of the Gods' humor - I doubt my mind would have wandered far. It was bad enough even before all of today's events. And now… everything reminds me of her." He frowns into his glass. "And then I think of her with him. It turns my stomach, Rosie. Her body hardly even cool from mine own touch, and…" He shakes his head sharply, as if to shake loose the image. "I'm sorry. I know how you like to escape the Sevens, and here you are, away from home, and I can do little but wallow." He pauses, before asking, "When are you to head back?"
"Father cannot expect me back tonight, with the weather. Tomorrow, then, I will return to the Mire," Roslyn murmurs quietly, her fingers tightening around her glass but not yet lifting it to her lips as she instead studies Riordan. "I cannot imagine why she did it. Did you ever… speak of marriage to her? Before you took her to your bed?" The words are not so much hesitant, not afraid of anything she may say to her brother, but they are carefully worded as she attempts to talk on it where he brings the subject up.
"Not in regards to us, not really, no. We… both knew that it wasn't like to happen, when Ryker died," Riordan says, rubbing at his temple as if struck by a headache. "Truthfully, I even had a suspicion she might try for his suit, but… later. That was the whole point of the other day… for us to be together. To just… be. Because then the duel would come, and we knew it would likely mean the end for us. One house would rise, one would fall, and she and I would both be required to marry to weather the storm." Letting out a sigh, Riordan drains his glass before going on. "But then, when it was done, I dozed, and she was gone. Just like that. Her horse gone, and it was in the stable by the time I returned to the Tower. I… I truly do not understand it, sister. I did not force her. I loved her. Seven hells, I even swore my heart to her. And this is what she does with it." Not even thinking, in a brief echo of his rage from earlier, he flings the glass where it breaks with a crash against the wall. "…Sorry."
Roslyn only flinches slightly at the sudden anger, but she seems unbothered by it. Perhaps she would throw things herself, if she could bring herself to it, so she does not begrudge it of her brother. "If the usurper had won, more would have pressed a suit to claim him. The Terricks may have even broken their own daughter's engagement to offer her to him. She took a chance, perhaps," she replies, half an attempt to comfort though it also holds mere musing of the way politics work. She pauses, drawing her glass to her lips and murmuring, "You will find another, Riordan. Father will make a match for you that will benefit the family."
Waving his hand in the air, Riordan says, "I know he will. I've had a suspicion for awhile now that if he doesn't marry her to Rutger, he'll likely tie Isolde to me." He pauses, saying, "I've no complaints with that, mind you. She's a pleasant woman, and I'm sure I'll grow to care for her, as I would any wife father decided for me. That isn't the point…" He trails off, then shakes his head. "I'm not sure what the point is." He lets out a sigh before turning to look at his sister once more. "Let's see if we can postpone your departure. I will try and speak to Danae, like you suggested, though what good will come of it… But once that is done, I'll travel with you back to the Mire, so I can inform Father."
"If she will recant, swear she mispoke in grief—. If you can change her mind, Riordan, we can convince our lord father that it would be in our best interest to marry her to you," Roslyn suggests slowly, finally taking a bracing swallow of that wine before turning the glass thoughtfully in her hands. "I know we can convince him that it will dispell what rumors she started with her words, that having her marry a Nayland would disperse any chance she has of trying to take Stonebridge from Isolde. There is still Rutger, for the Lady of Stonebridge."
"Whatever else she is, Danae is intelligent. Perhaps part of it was because I did something that made her angry, I no not. But whetever the reason, she set herself against our house. She knew what she was doing," Riordan says, slowly, clenching and unclenching his fists. "She will have commited herself. I'm not sure what I will be able to say that will change her mind. If love was enough for her, this would not have happened in the first place." He grunts to himself. "I will try, sister, as I said I would. But I doubt she will listen to me."
With quiet thoughtfulness that does not yet betray her intentions, or perhaps would not if it were anyone but Riordan, Roslyn muses slowly, "Mayhap she will listen to someone else. If she is as intelligent as you say, she must see reason, and must also suspect what our house must do if she does not recant." She drags her thumb slowly down the side of her glass, lips pressing together for a moment before clear, hazel eyes lift back to her brother. "Whatever we will do, we will do it together, Rorie. I will write to father and protest that I must stay longer, until you can accompany me back to the Mire."
Riordan grunts softly at Roslyn's suggestion, but he does not deny her words. Instead, he nods, and says, "Very well. I… thank you, Rosie," he tells her, looking into his sister's eyes with warmth. "I truly am glad you came. I love our family, but… I could not have brought this to anyone but you."
"Truthfully, I had as much need of you. Only my troubles seem so small compared to yours, that I cannot even give them voice," Roslyn replies with wry humor, affection and sympathy rooted deep within her own words as she braces herself to drain the wine from her glass before turning back to refill her own and gather one anew for Riordan.
"I appreciate the thought, sister," Riordan says, approaching closer to his sister so as to take the glass when she fills it. "But your troubles are my troubles." That is how it has ever been between them. "What is it that you would have of me?"
Her smile is slight, Roslyn's words having their own bitter tinge as she answers, "Only that I have spent so many years being dutiful, only to find that our sister has been living as a man and has married a bastard. A bastard Terrick, at that." Anger flits briefly through her usually still gaze, a quiet, incredulous laugh slipping past her lips. "Do you know what father has done? Accepted them, her."
"For what it is worth, I punched her new husband in the face," Riordan says, tipping his glass in salute before taking a drink. He studies Roslyn for a moment, the look on his face the one he gets when he thinks his next words might displease her. "And then I embraced him as a brother, for he is that. It is… a difficult situation, Rosie. Because you are right. They both brought great dishonor on our house, they defied the laws of lord and land… and this fool notion that because she was knighted under our brother's name, she still has the right to spurs…" Riordan's eyes flash angrily himself. Clearly, the entire subject is still a sore one. But. "However, I owe her husband my life. And whatever else, they are family. Just as Rafferdy is welcomed back, every time he makes a mockery of us, so was Rowenna come home." It doesn't sound like he disagrees with his father's actions.
"What has been the purpose of my life, then? Why have I tried so hard to be a dutiful daughter, a proper lady, when I could have run off and married the first bastard I saw? It is unfair, Rorie." It is not the strongest argument to be made, in the favor of fairness, but the heat of Roslyn's words hold passion and feeling, a hint of betrayal felt in the flicker of her expression at Riordan's answer. Her fingers tighen on her glass, knuckles turning white as she grips it as if she could grind it under flesh.
Taking a long draught from his glass as his sister speaks, Riordan reaches out when she is done talking, cupping her cheek with his free hand. "Sister, I understand. Do you know how tempted I was, so many times - and more so after Rowenna - to take Danae, a few horses, and just ride off?" Riordan quirks a small smile, lopsided and bittersweet. "We are not dutiful for reward. We love our family, you and I. Our family is it's own reward. We have given much, dear sweet sister. You and I, we have always done as asked. I can not imagine how hard it has been on you. But know that I love you so much, Rosie, for how strong you are. You are my strength. And I will be yours. Deal?" He quirks an eyebrow, widening his lopsided smile more in an infectious manner. And though his eyes are still haunted by recent events, for his sister, he forces a semblance of normalcy to his expression.
"I love you too, Rorie. It is unfair, all of it, to both of us—but you are right," Roslyn murmurs quietly, reaching up to capture his hand against her cheek and squeezing softly before she draws away slowly, reluctantly. "I only wish it weren't always just us that bears the burden of obedience. That others would hold to the same standards, even if they are family."
"I do too," Riordan admits. "I would not begrudge them their small freedoms… but Father can only take so much disappointment and betrayel. He forgives, but each one cuts him deep." Riordan sighs into his wine glass, before he drains it. "At least Rutger and Rygar are trying, these days. Even Rygar's brother Roland has been trying to do his part." He offers his sister a shrug. "It is something at least."
A small smile etched onto her lips, Roslyn agrees simply, "No, of course not. But, perhaps it is time for me to take a small grasp for my own freedom, before I end up an old maid living in the Mire for the rest of my days."
"Well," Riordan says, slowly and thoughtfully, as he weighs his sister's words. "Perhaps we can convince father to let you reside in Stonebridge for a time? It is certainly more visited then the Mire, so there are more notables to meet. And as it appears I'll be retaining my position here…" He shrugs. It's an idea, anyhow.
"I would like that, Rorie, if only to be closer to you. If you will make the suggestion to our lord father, I will turn my thoughts to a plan of—something," Roslyn answers quickly, already the tension in the line of her shoulders lightening at the idea as she settles her glass on the table. "Do you remember the time that you convinced the stablemaster to allow you to teach me my riding lessons when I said I would quit them?" The smile lingers on her lips at the remembered lessons, a bit of amusement flickering in her gaze. "It will be just like that, surely."
"Then it is settled," Riordan says. "Now, it is late, and we should both find out beds. We'll speak more on the morrow. And once… once what needs to be done is, we'll head home together." Though he is still dreading the conversation with their father, the journey is looking to be more pleasant, at least.
"I shall see you on the morrow, which will hopefully dawn brighter than today," Roslyn replies. "She may yet surprise you, I can only hope." But then she is gathering her coat over her arm and slipping from the room with a care to find her own.