|Summary:||Lucienne is shopping for tea. Jarod is shopping for a gift that is not stationery.|
|Related Logs:||Old Habits|
|Residents of the town and surrounding area bring their wares to sell here among small tables built upon the slate grey stone flooring of the outdoor expanse. The area is surrounded by thatched roof buildings and shops on all sides with roads and paths winding their way in and out of this thriving part of town. Most of the commercial capacity of Terrick's Roost can be found here with the storefronts attracting the attention of those among all classes.|
|12 September, 288|
Jarod has ventured into town today, to troll the market stalls. He's just finished tying his horse to a hitching post and is beginning a stroll through the marketplace, eyeing the various merchants and their wares on display. He whistles to himself as he eyes said wares, posture straight, easy grin affixed to his features. He's inordinately pleased with himself today. Moreso even than usual.
Lucienne is at a tea stall not far from Jarod, her usual retainers nearby. The merchant is currently weighing out some herb or other for her, whilst she sniffs daintily at a little bowl full of something else, her brows lofting with interest. Perhaps it's the whistling, or the straight posture, or maybe she's just got a knack for spotting people, but whatever it is - spying her brother out the corner of one eye, she unwraps a hand from the little bowlful and sketches out a wave.
Jarod spots the wave, answering it with a high-pitched whistle of greeting in Lucienne's direction. "Luci!" And he turns and bounds in her direction. "I was hoping I'd run into you here, actually. I was told they had a few new stalls in since I last ventured here. Haven't spotted anything terribly interesting yet, however. Trade's not quite the same since we stopped getting such easy traffic up from Stonebridge."
"Some of this one, too, please," she intructs the merchant, holding out the bowl that - if one is looking closely - holds some variety of dried berries. "Jarod! You were?" The tea merchant hides a peevish look about the trade comment by ducking his head to watch the scales more carefully, whilst Lucienne smiles just short of a grin. "You look to be in a fine mood despite that, dear brother?"
"I am in a fine mood despite that, my dearest sister," Jarod says, returning her smile with a proper grin. The tea merchant's selection is scanned, though without any real interest. "It is a beautiful day, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, we're alive and young and in good health and all that. The world is our oyster. I'm not entirely sure what that means, nor have I ever been, but I presume if the world was an oyster I'd want it. Now. Are you on any particularly pressing errand, or do you have time to help me shop? I need you desperately."
Lucienne's amusement grows, and whilst the merchant packs her selections up all nicely into a little parcel she regards Jarod with an increasingly curious turn of her expression. "I can shop with you," she grants, before taking a guess: "Miss Lyla, again?" A wave of her hand bids her handmaiden to take care of the rest of the transaction for her.
Jarod shakes his head with a chuckle. "Nah, not at the moment. She's on with that journeyman blacksmith again. Man's got no ambition but he gives her…well, something she likes. Maybe they'll stick this time. Finally marry and have a dozen dim but pretty babies, and I wish them all the best. No this is something…different. Anyway. Say you were a woman." He pauses briefly and amends. "I mean like, a woman I was shopping for. What would you think would be a nice little gift? Nothing too extravagant, mind you, I don't want to give off the wrong impression just yet, and this one's big on wrong impressions. Just, y'know, a little something."
Not Miss Lyla. That earns a little downturn of interest at the corners of Lucienne's smile. "Say I was a woman," she repeats, a little chuckle escaping her after. "Alright… it's not quite that simple, though, is it? Does she like tea? Trinkets? Stationery? Different girls like different things, Jarod." She gestures toward another stall, and starts to step that way. "Candy is generally a safe sort of gift, I suppose?"
"Stationery?" Jarod blinks as if slightly alarmed by the idea. "Umm. No. Not that. Something else. Candy sounds advisable, at this juncture. You really can't misinterpret that into something weird." He follows her to the stall, eyes narrowing at the selection. "I'm not really sure what she likes, actually, As for as…girl stuff is concerned. I'm still kind of feeling that out." He offers Lucienne his arm, and leans, all conspiratorial, toward her. "Can I tell you a great secret, Lu? If you will swear on your life, and my life, not to breathe a word of it to anyone?" His mood is merry and light but it's not, precisely, a joke.
"And it's tasty," adds Lucienne, peering over a few of the different varieties. Jarod begs her attention again as he offers his arm, and she takes him up on that. All the better to lean in and offer him a look of puzzled curiosity: "I swear on my life, and your life, and Buttons the stuffed wolf's life, I'll take it to my grave. What is it?"
Jarod chuckles at that. "Buttons to? Now that's a solemn vow. All right." He eyes a tray of peppermints with a speculative "Hmm." Though it seems as much to wind himself up to speak as anything else. "You remember that anonymous girl who was writing me during the tourney in Stonebridge? Lady Nommy or whatever she wanted to be called?" A pause and he says, with a sheepish sort of grin. "I'm sort of…dabbling with her again."
"Solemn indeed," says Lucienne with a mock-grave nod that her smile betrays. "Oh!" The exclamation is one of delight, and head starts to bob faster. "I do, I remember. Is she writing again? Stationery would be perfect, Jarod. Those apple candies are nice, too."
"Uh…maybe we'll work up to stationary for when she's…gone," Jarod says. "She's here in town now, actually. In the Roost. Not for long just…for a bit. So tangible, non-writing gifts are best. Apple, eh?" He squints at those. They seem to meet with his preliminary approval. "And aye." Her delight makes his smile widen with boyish glee. "We…err…wrote a bit more, and decided to meet properly, so I figured while she was nearby I'd…dabble some. Like I said."
"That kind of dabbling, I see," says Lucienne, a bit of a blush rising. "That's good though," she adds all in a rush, keen to move on. "Weren't you… disappointed with her, or something, last time we spoke of it? I'm glad it's all working out. Is she as lovely as she sounds in her letters, then? What's her name?" She points to another type of candy, some red berry confection with a white powder coating. "Those are nice, but a little sour on the inside."
"I don't mean like that," Jarod says, blushing a little himself. "Well…that's not just what a I mean, rather. I'm trying to get to know her. As a person not a…weird literary figment. And…aye. I went through a few stages of disappointment." He grimaces. "Made something of an ass out of myself, really. But, we're past that now. I think. She's presently cross at me for no real reason, but I'm figuring the candies will fix that. It's nothing too grand. Though best stay away from anything sour. Just sweetness will do." As for the name, he hedges. "I…can't tell you. I'm sort of sworn to secrecy."
Lucienne wrinkles her nose up, trying to focus on the candy. "The apple ones, then," she insists. "It all sounds very… mature of you, really. Making an effort like this. She must be a right gem, Buttons! But she's… not from here, then? From somewhere else? Why are you sworn to secrecy - is she embarrassed?"
"She's very lovely," Jarod says, grin turning a little goofy as he notes it. "And she likes me." He sounds almost surprised, and bemused, by that. "She really does seem to like *me*, Lu. Can I get a bag of these, please?" The last directed at the merchant, who starts wrapping him up a baggie of the apple candies. He takes a moment to consider Lucienne's question. Like he's not quite sure what the proper reply is. "Embarrassed isn't the right word. The lady in question is in a…complicated situation. Has to do with her family. She's not a noblewoman - at least, not a proper one, we're a little alike so far as status is concerned - but she's still afraid that, if her kin knew the kind of life she was leading, they'd try to assert some control over her. And marry her off by force to some horrible, old, blotchy lord somewhere dank and awful. So she's guarded about her identity."
Lucienne squeezes a little tighter on Jarod's arm, her own smile full of affection. "That's so very sweet. Of course she likes you, what's not to like?" The explanation sees understanding dawn across her features, her eyes widening a touch and her mouth falling open. "Ohhh, alright. I see. That doesn't sound very nice for her, does it. Be awhile before I get to meet her, then?"
"No, it's not nice for her at all, I don't suppose," Jarod says, pocketing the candy bag, and then clasping Lucienne's hand in his larger one. "Aye. Suppose it will be awhile before you get to meet her properly. Though you'd like her, I think. I mean, you're very different sorts, but she's very sweet. And she wants to be good to me. It's very complicated, though." He tilts his head at her. "Do you think I'm doing right in this? Pursuing…whatever this is. I don't really know."
"I think," begins Lucienne, her smile surfacing again as she tilts a look up at her big brother, "That you should go stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself that, Jarod. That big, goofy boy-grin you're sporting is better than any answer I could give you."
Jarod snorts at that. "Who's goofy? I'm not!" Not that he's quite able to wipe the dumb expression off his face. He laughs. "Well, it's fun for now, and I'll try not to do too badly by her. Can't really afford to think about it anymore than that." A pause and he asks. "What of my little Luci these days? Has our lord father heard anything further from Lord Ser Anton in the Timberhall?"
"It sounds like you shouldn't think about it anymore than that," Luci agrees, on a giggle of her own. "Lest that smile fade any." The mention of the Timberhall earns a slight groan, and she very nearly rolls her eyes. "Jacsen told me that we're planning a visit there, father and I. I'm not sure they've heard anything back - if they have, I haven't been told. I don't think there'll be a wedding anytime soon, though, from what I can gather." There's something of mild disappointment or the like in her tone.
"Have to get Jaremy married first. The long-awaited event in all of Four Eagles," Jarod says, not without a touch of sarcasm. "At least if you and father go to the Valentin hall, maybe you can settle things better than…well, better than they were left here. They can't be *worse*." He gives her another of those sideways looks and asks, "Do you want to marry him, Lu?"
There's only a hint of sound to her next chuckle, most of it just a rush of air past her lips. Lucienne shrugs up against Jarod, and shifts a look to another stall - one selling little carved wooden toys, nothing likely to interest her. "I think that's the aim - a diplomatic visit. I don't know, Jarod. I'm beginning to think that maybe I don't very well care whether I do or I don't, I'd just like to know one way or the other. I think that stems more from wanting this whole mess resolved, though."
"Well, that's fair enough. It was an ugly mess, but we've heard no more from Lord Ser Anton about wanting to put Jaremy's head on a spike or something, so I figure he's cooled down some," Jarod says. "Maybe the dust just needed to settle. On all of this. I need to speak with our fair lord brother soon. I'm hoping he doesn't love me less, after that ugly affair with the Millen woman. And I'm hoping to mend things between him and Jace a bit. As I can. It's been…weird between the pair of them since Jace came home and Jaremy's been involved in one disaster after another. I don't like to see them feel harshly toward each other." It wounds him some. They're the top-ranking members of the Jarod Rivers Fraternity, after all.
"I hope so," sighs Lucienne. "You know - maybe I do want to marry him. Anais is here now, and she'll be wanting to take on much of what I do. I feel I'm ready to be Lady of a household somewhere, even if it is the Timberhall." Her eyes flick back to Jarod, all thoughtful and deliberate. "That was an awful thing, with Miss Amelia. It was right, Seven rest her soul, but poor Jaremy's taking it hard. I don't… I don't rightly know how to mend things between the boys. I had thought maybe the passing of the seal to Jace might help?"
"I think it *is* a help to the household overall, though Jaremy doesn't see if that way, from the way Anais describes it," Jarod says. "He takes it as a slight. Another thing he needs to prove himself about. Well. I'll try and sort it out between them. I've got a plan. Just need to find an opportunity to take them both drinking." That may well be the full extent of his plan. "For now…well, I should be headed home. I've got present, and my Lady Nameless will like it, I think. Thanks, Lu."
Lucienne does roll her eyes at that. "What a great fix, Buttons. Go on, get you back to the Tower. I'll see you later on." Next to the wooden toy stand is a little stall with more teas, and she latches off Jarod's arm to head that way.