|Summary:||Jacsen and Lucienne are reunited - the former after his extended illness, and the latter after her kidnapping ordeal.|
|Related Logs:||Bandit logs, but not too directly relevant.|
|Walls, and a bed, and… other stuff, I think.|
|Tue Jun 05, 289|
It's hard to make out the figure who cleaves to the shadows by the walls at this hour of night, but the steady click-click-click of his cane gives him away. It's been a long and exciting day for Jacsen; if he looked sickly before he left the Roost, he looks even worse now. Perhaps that's why he prefers to remain unseen - his sunken eyes and gaunt face now turned haggard, the cane favored heavily each lurching step. Milk of the Poppy, it's rumored, is what got him out of bed and sustains him now, but it doesn't seem to have put him back to rights just yet. Leaning heavily against Lucienne's doorframe, he lightly taps the door with the handle of his cane, two syncopated raps in rapid succession, before opening it without invitation.
The Terricks are all back in the Roost for now, the sun having set on the ladies' safe return. Dismissing even her handmaids, the Lady Lucienne is draped across her bed, having donned the most luxurious black dress she owns - some sort of penance for spending the last few days in only an off-white shift. There could be no other who would knock and enter at this hour without her say-so, and Jacsen's sister angles her chin up for a better look at the door as he enters. "Gods," she murmurs, some half-hearted effort to chide him. "I could have been indisposed."
"I could return in a few minutes if you were planning to be," Jacsen says in a low voice, his tone half-joking. He stands in the lit doorway longer than he should, his eyes taking in the sight of his sister in that black dress, some fire evident behind his eyes even in his poor state. Finally, after what seems like an eternity in just a few seconds, he steps through and closes the door behind him. "Are you well?" he asks, concern in his voice as he looks her over.
There's a laugh comes from Lucienne, something light and unguarded, like nary another could evoke. She is not indisposed, though perhaps indecent if the pink in her pale, hollow cheeks is anything to go by. "Am I well," she repeats, rolling her eyes at the question - it has been asked too many times today. Instead of answering, she fires back from her comfortable position on the bed, "Are you well?"
"Don't roll your eyes," Jacsen says, almost sharply. "I worried about you, I…" He hobbles his way over to the edge of her bed to get off his feet. "Getting Anais back was a matter of propriety. But had something happened to you…" His voice strains as though it chokes him up just to think of it. "I'll get better," is the dull response - also a question that has been asked too many times today, apparently. "The good Maester assures me my mind and body will recover fully soon enough, and I'm inclined to believe him. The fever has passed, the pain is dulled, and you are safe. If that is enough, then I am well."
Lucienne rolls up at that reprimand, settled at the edge of her bed by the time Jacsen makes his way over. She reaches deft hands to knead at his shoulders, an old distraction technique from the pain of his bad leg. "She spoke of your shortcomings," shares his sister, feigning apology. "I wish she wouldn't. Nevermind, Jacsen - I'm fine, better than many a lady can say, after today. I didn't endear myself to them, so I wasn't struck. Still, I didn't eat for however many days… how many days? It felt like a decade."
Lucienne's hands release built-up tension not only in Jacsen's shoulders but all throughout, the familiar gesture earning a relaxed sigh and slight droop of the head. "She did, did she," he murmurs. Although he sounds like he's only acknowledging in passing, there's an edge to his hoarse voice that indicates pain and displeasure. "My shortcomings." A brooding silence overtakes him as his sister works his shoulders, slowly bringing him out of it. "Too long," he agrees, squaring up and rolling back his shoulders a few times. "I awoke from my fevered dreams the same day you were taken. I had thought - I prayed - that it was some new twisted nightmare settling upon me."
"She just wants a husband to love her," Lucienne whispers, leaning right down next to her brother's ear as she claws at his flesh, as much a release for him as it is for her. She pauses as Jacsen rolls his shoulders, waiting to find her fit again after his release; something of a softer moderation to his muscles. Before he can hear it from anyone else, she reveals: "I'd all but asked for the seal," moderating it with a soft, gentle kiss to the tight tendons if his neck.
Jacsen catches his breath as she whispers and claws, leaning back against her as she does. "How can I love someone I so barely know?" he whispers back, eyes heavy-lidded. "How can I love her as I love you?" As she continues on massaging, he becomes ever more pliable under her fingers - until she mentions the seal. There's a quick tension of the muscles around his neck - but he says nothing, and they slowly relax again after the kiss. "Did you think me so far gone that I would never wield it again?" he asks plainly, tilting his head back to look upward at her. "Even as the fever burned me, I dreamt of you, dear sister. Did you think of me?"
She draws a long breath in as her brother tenses, delivers her kiss, and a Jacsen relaxes… so does Lucienne. "Of course I didn't," she retorts, less indignant than she is tired. "I never meant to take it from you forever, my love. Just whilst it was best for us, best for our House. Of course I thought of you," she says, tilting her own head in response, teasingly close. "I thought of nothing but you. And now you're awake, Jacsen, I've a terribly selfish favour to ask of you."
"You always think of what is best for our House," Jacsen murmurs, the slightest tint of irony creeping into his voice, though his tired face remains sincere. His breathing deepens as she leans in closer, eyes closing and lips parting slightly with anticipation as the scent of her overwhelms his senses. "Will you have the seal from me now that I'm awake?" he asks wryly, eyes opening a crack and scanning her face.
"Of course not," Lucienne allows lazily low, bending to press a sweet kiss next to the corner of Jacsen's mouth. Freshly bathed, she still smells of jasmine in the evening, just like the tea she's so accustomed to brewing. "Now that you're awake, I want you to find me a place in House Groves," she murmurs, wearing an easy smile. "Lord Stafford is yet unwed, and their House is rising on the back of the latest rebellion too quickly to ignore. If you leave it too long, I should bring a dowry barely fit for the last son of our least vassals. I know you mislike Lord Anton, my love, so grant me Lord Stafford instead?" Her hands move deftly from his shoulders to cradly Jacsen's cheeks, her gentle smile counting on its absence these last days to produce the right reaction.
"Mm," Jacsen sighs, the half-kiss clearly tantalizing him and arousing his barely-restrained desires. "Of all my duties, you ask of me the hardest to fulfill. And yet…" He leans into her hands, looking up at her smile through adoring eyes. "As ever, you are correct in everything you say. It must be done, though I am loathe to think of it." His hands come up to cover hers, gently kissing the palm of each hand. "Would I rather you'd requested the seal."
Lucienne revels in her correctness, her smile growing broader, her lashes brushing her cheeks at those tender kisses to her palms. "You wouldn't give it to me," she whispers in reply, amused. "Nor would I take it, were you awake to offer." She waits a moment, allowing her words to take effect before speaking again. "I've never met the Lord Stafford," she admits, "But I could never love another like you, Jacsen. Theirs is a House on the up, and ours in desperate need. This could be our last chance." The collective 'our' seems to imply less she than he, a slight twitch in her brow giving her away.
"Perhaps not," Jacsen allows playfully, a languid smile playing at the edge of his lips. "But it would be an easier answer to give, nonetheless." The admission of love grows his smile to a full one, though the mention of need takes the spark from his eyes. "Has it become so bad?" he asks. "They told me of our current standing when I came to, but I was not fully myself yet." Not that he's really fully himself yet now. "As for desperate need, Luci, as the Gods are my witness, I have but one."
Lucienne's eyes narrow down at her brother, studying the way his grows and fades. She sneaks around, falling into his lap with her arms about his neck, like some fabled maid just rescued from a dragon - well, she is, really, only the dragon was bandits. "It's not good," she claims, unable to give her assessment the weight it deserves as she looks up, dark eyes wide and lips curving gently. "The Groves want for land Lord Jason - Seven rest him - gave us after Robert's rebellion. We could use that, to secure me the head of a household, and you some food for your smallfolk."
Jacsen sits up a bit as she repositions herself and idly brushes his fingers through her hair. "It's not good," he echoes, the words devoid of any real feeling. "They want, we need, I desire. And we could so easily satisfy two of the three, and yet." His other hand comes up to stroke her cheek with the back of his fingers. "And yet." For a moment, the sickly Young Lord is lost in a sea of his own thoughts, his blank eyes resting on his beautiful sister but focused elsewhere in his mind. "I'll do my duty to our House, as I am charged - I'll find you a good place," he says at last, finding her eyes with his own. "Just as I must do my duty to my wife, and husband her, though she may speak behind my back."
"Don't dwell on it," counsels Lucienne, even though it was she who brought it up. She frowns, her linked arms adding a pressure about Jacsen's neck, a weight, despite her slender frame. "She'd have spoken so of Jaremy, or Justin. Nobody listens, my love, nor should they. Just…" At this, she averts her eyes, looking down to her brother's chest. She shakes her chin, dismissing whatever it is and looking up again. "You should go to her, now. She's just as shaken as I, but less sure of you."
"No, I'll put it from my mind," Jacsen responds, though it's clearly festering in the back of his head all the while. Her weight does add up over even just a short period of time - he's not a large man by any means, having ceased his knightly pursuits long ago, and the months he spent bedridden has done him no favors. "Am I an evil man, for coming to you instead of her? For wanting you instead of her?" he asks, a self-reflective query that sounds rhetorical. "You're right, I should go to her." But instead of moving to leave, he only wraps his arms around her, pulling her up to him, his fingers gripping her with surprising strength.
"Oh!" Lucienne's exclamation is a small enough thing, a deep contrast to her wide smile as her brother takes better hold of her. "You are," she whispers roughly, "So terribly evil, Jacsen." It doesn't seem such a bad thing, but she turns her cheek to deny any kisses he might steal. "I'm home now," she says reassuringly instead. "At least for awhile. There's no rush."
Somehow, her admission - truthful or not - that he is evil for this seems to ignite something in Jacsen, and his eyes are almost wild for a moment before she turns away. "No… no rush," he all but growls, his voice matching the texture of his stubble as he traces the curve of her neck with his lips, ending with a soft but lingering kiss by her collarbone. "I should let you recover, shouldn't I, my lovely Luci?" he asks brushing her hair behind her ear. "You've been through quite the ordeal."
Lucienne's eyes drift closed as she offers up her throat for Jacsen's caresses, leaning back into his embrace, forcing him to take up the slack of her weight. "You should," she whispers back fervently, her brow already hot as she counters, "I could be abed for days after this." Her lashes part languidly so that she might admire his face again with a soft gaze. "You'll make the match with Lord Stafford, won't you?"
"I should," Jacsen agrees with her agreement of his statement, though his body disagrees. He trails kisses back up the other side of her neck, his breath hot on her ear, one hand sliding down her side as the other caresses upward. "Poor… lovely… Luci," he breathes, his tongue just barely teasing her earlobe. "So delicate. So frail. And yet." He slowly lowers her down to the bed, taking her weight off of him, and looks down at her quizzically as though seeing her for the first time. "I shall. As soon as I recover enough, I shall." He stays there a moment, looming over her - not physically imposing, but still domineering. But then it passes, the mad passion that gripped him, and he slowly pushes himself up to his feet. "Sweet dreams, dear sister."
"It was terrible," shares Lucienne, her voice thick with need. And yet - as she's lowered onto the bed, she lolls her head back against the sheets, content enough to be left alone. She stares up sidelong at Jacsen, her smile lopsided, and tosses her arms above her head to stretch out. "Sweet dreams, my love," she bids him farewell, adding as he limps toward the door, "Send for me. I can come rub some salve into that old injury, brother." Tonight, she won't even bother snuffing the candles before sleeping dressed as she is; after days spent in a bandit hole, hopefully the extravagance will be forgiven.
Jacsen hobbles toward the door, looking stronger than when he arrived. "I call for you always in my heart," he says, real emotion behind such a cliche sentiment. "Get some rest. You'll need your strength back up - and the sooner the better." He blows out a candle on his way to the door, pausing only for a second before opening it to look back at Lucienne laying there on the bed, and then he's gone into the darkness.