|Summary:||Lucienne recieves Justin's letter. She pays him a visit re: said letter.|
|Related Logs:||Meh, probably some.|
|A relatively plain room by most noble standards with a desk, a wardrobe, a wash table with pitcher and basin, and a large oak timbered bed with a storage trunk at the foot of it. A huge golden brown bearskin rug is thrown upon the floor to one side off the bed, the bed coverings in shades of greens with golds. A pair of aged tapestries adorn the walls. They depict a scene of knights rallying for battle in one, and the other is a hunting scene with hounds and horses after a white stag upon the bluffs overlooking the sea with a great sailing ship in the distance on one side and Four Eagles Tower rising nearer on the other. Both are adorned with golden eagles in the corners against faded and freyed purple borders. A small hearth for winter heat and a narrow window for fresh air and light complete the chamber.|
|Sat Jul 28, 289|
The door to Justin's chambers is opening and closing with house servants going back and forth to haul up heated water for a bath. Only they have just begun, pouring the first buckets into the great cask.
Justin himself stands near to his desk checking messages that accumilated in his brief absence, a sheaf of paper in his calloused hands he's reading. He is yet garbed in black for mourning, wearing a black surcoat over full chain and a steel breastplate - not his usual armour. On the desk is a helm - all of which Lucienne might regonize as Jarod's former set of armour, now refitted to Justin's build. Her brother has lost some weight though he's not yet near gaunt, the planes and angles of Justin's face nonetheless getting sharper. He still wears the beat up old sword off his hip with the replaced pommel as he turns to lay the parchment on his desk and pick through a few other things laid out on his leather folio while he awaits his bath to be readied.
It isn't far to come, up the hall from Lucienne's chambers to Justin's. The too-thin Terrick girl also wears black, the stitching of her old gown starting to wear a little. Obviously, this is not her going-out dress. She comes unaccompanied, and holding a piece of parchment in one hand, Luci raps on the door frame and steps aside to permit a servant through. "My lord?"
"Are those the messages from the Rockcliff?" Justin turns to inquire, then realizes it's his sister Lucienne, not the girl from the inn who collects and holds those messages for the Sheriff for him there. Justin at once drops the notes he was sorting on his desk, "Lucienne? Do come in." He makes a gesture to shoo out the man who just came in to help him out of his armour, "All of you, out. My bath can wait a few minutes." It isn't usual for his sister to come calling so it would appear that Justin wishes to give Lucienne his full attention.
It's clear from the tilt of her chin and her wan little smile that Lady Luci appreciates this sentiment. She remains outside the door, waiting for her brother's attendants to take their leave before she enters. "Justin," she greets, her voice thick and warm, none of the sentiment reaching her cold, cold eyes. "I won't keep you long, I imagine you're keen to wash away the day's travel. I trust your journey was pleasant, uneventful at the least?"
Her brother does not know her well enough to read Lucienne's sublties such as whether her eyes are full of sincerity and warmth, or elsewise. At least, not always yet. Justin gives her a nod, "Yes, other than turning back the moment I heard the Charlton armed host had arrived and little else." He gestures to a tray with a tea pot and cups set upon it, one already filled and finished off on his desk. Justin picks it up and steps over to pour himself a refill, "Would you care for some tea? I trust this isn't a social call to inquire after my health, dear sister."
Oddly enough, off to one side there lays a dress. A rather plain dress a commoner girl might wear, a bit worn and small, as though made for a very tiny woman or a teenage child. There is dried blood upon the lower front at the base of the boddice, top of the skirts. It has been dropped over the chair of his desk, ignored for the moment.
"They sent a messenger ahead — Lord Aleister is quite the diplomat," replies Lucienne in even tones that don't quite match the amused twist to her smile. "Some tea would be lovely, Justin. I only came to wonder, how many copies of this letter you sent out, and to whom?" In a cursory glance about the room she does note the odd dress draped over the chair, but Lucienne has a more pressing agenda just now.
Justin pours Lucienne a cup of tea, and if she knows anything about this brother of hers, she likes knows that he doesn't like tea. But, it is what there is to drink these days. "To family who are here now, Ser Hardwicke, and a few others. Why? Do you /not/ wish for our guests to be treated with utmost respect and welcome, Lucienne?" Justin lifts a brow at her with his inquiry. "Perhaps you would have written it better. Probably I should have sent something separate to Ser Hardwicke." Admittedly, men are not always as good with the subtlties as women and he's got a lot on his mind. "It gets the point across that we must be very careful with these guests, Lucienne."
Lucienne's brows loft, and she hangs a very dry look upon her brother for his words as she accepts her cup of tea. "I treat all of our guests with utmost respect and welcome, Justin," is her cool reply. "And I should hardly think I need reminding to be sweet to one of my dearest friend's cousins. Tell me, when have I given you cause to doubt my diplomacy?"
He sips his tea, watching her. Justin lowers it, "I do not. It is not meant to be any slight nor directed to you or anyone else specifically. I thought that you would appreciate being informed. Surely you aren't going to get your feathers ruffled over some imagined slight you know was not my intention?" He dismisses it, "I rather expect you'll be perfectly charming and indeed, I'm counting on it. The last thing I want is conflict with the Charltons if we can reasonably avoid it."
"I am not," Lucienne agrees calmly, leaving her brother to infer the rest of her sentence. She glances down at her tea, and draws a dainty little sip from the lip of the cup. "We will not stir conflict with the Charltons," she promises, seeming to speak in broader terms than just herself. "But please, if you could do me one favour, brother?"
Women are yet somewhat difficult for him to fathom, though Justin is trying. He watches his sister closely, "Yes?" he prompts her quietly.
"Please don't write any more of these letters," Lucienne begs, her head tilting as she gazes imploringly at Justin over her teacup. "Offense is easier gauged and remedied in person, and warnings so rarely come off harmless on the page. I, for one, would relish the opportunity to speak with you more often."
That is not what he was expecting. Justin remains quiet a moment watching her as he leans lightly against his desk. "If time is of the essense, how do you expect me to go around in person, myself, and find everyone when there are other pressing matters, Lucienne? I must delegate. A trusted courier is taking the message around, there aren't a dozen copies being passed out." He sets his tea down, ever so slightly cocking his head to reguard her, "You know just now our House is very vulnerable. I do not think Lord Aleister will break the King's Peace, but I would not put it past him to snatch /you/ away in the night, if he could. I do not think anything would bring our father down to his knees more surely than using you as leverage against us, Lucienne. You need to be very careful. It is my duty as both a son of this House, and a knight, to see that my family is kept as safe as I possibly can. And if I accidently give offense along the side in doing so, I'll deal with that as I must." Justin smiles a little thinly, "I … rather thought you and Jacsen don't want me around too much. I stay busy in the Roost, Lucienne."
"Surely you can see the folly in offering insult when requesting good behaviour, Justin," Lucienne murmurs back, humour tightening in the corners of her mouth. Not quite a smile, but almost. She sips her tea again. "You may sleep soundly knowing that since our lady goodsister saw fit to threaten me, I am accompanied about the tower and without by no less than four of our father's long-sworn men. As for your company, I don't know what has given you that impression, dear brother, but it is not the case. Did Jacsen not bestow upon you a role of great import? It is nigh unheard of for a town to appoint a newly-knighted sheriff. We have great confidence in you, Justin, but — the letters. Please?"
Justin mimics Lucienne's very tone, "Surely you can see that more than a few people here don't like the Charltons, Luciennne. I thought the reminder prudent." It wasn't very long ago that Justin himself might annoy their guests, especially if they were a Ser Kitrridge, a man he's taking a particular disliking to. Nonetheless he is trying to be more diplomatic, so he raises a hand, "Nonetheless, your point is taken. And appreiciated. I am still trying to … learn to work with people. I know I'm not very good at it." Rather than arguing with her about it, he sighs, "I will try, Lucienne. Or seek your opinion if you be available, all right?"
Lucienne's humour drains, and she allows in a much more serious nod to Justin's efforts: "The people here are notoriously difficult to work with." And that sort of disappointment requires a sip of tea to soothe it. "Know that you may call on me at your leisure, Justin. I don't expect you to treat me as your keeper, but I would be most honored to if we could be as siblings ought? I don't doubt that you have the good of House Terrick as your deepest of motivations, and you shouldn't doubt that of me. I will make myself available at any hour for your counsel; I take great comfort in service to my lordly brothers." This time when her smile curves it is warm and sincere, and under the thickness of her lashes, so is Lucienne's gaze.
He huffs a breath faintly, "I hardly even remember what it is like to have siblings, Lucienne. It seems a lifetime ago, someone else's life. I've spent most of the past decade trailing along after a man who was a loaner. If Ser Haffrey hadn't lost his own son he'd probably never have agreed to take me on as squire." Justin dismisses it and finishes off his second cup of tea, picking up the sheaf of papers, "At least our little rumored murder looks to be nothing. Some girl who got a dead squirrel dropped in her lap. I'm still looking for her though. I think it's odd that she left her dress in the Green. Likely the boys who said they found it there had snatched it out of her washing basket." He glances over his notes, then drops that back onto his desk to look at his sister, "I should get washed up. It won't do for our guests seeing me wandering around the tower in road dust, sweat and armoured like I hurried home or something." Justin grins lopsidedly.
"Well," resolves Lucienne, "You have them, now." Siblings: yay? She finishes her cup as Justin explains regarding the dress, frowning subtly between sips. "Very odd," she is inclined to agree. "I have a gift for you, I'll have Celine bring it up in a little while? It's nothing extravagant or even new, but I wanted to do something in return for all your brotherly efforts. For now, I'll leave you to wash." Her smile dimples in return for that lopsided grin of his, and Luci stands, and offers her teacup (mostly empty) back to her brother.
The tea cup is accepted, his own set aside empty a bit ago. Justin lifts a dark brow at her, "A gift? I've hardly earned or warrant one, Lucienne." But she does have him curious. He sets the cup down and leaves the desk to walk over to the door with her so that when she is ready to step out, he'll open it for her. Justin needs to tell them to bring the rest of the hot water up before the first run is stone cold anyway, "I shant be long with the bath - I have law to study. Likely you won't be the last woman to come looking to fuss at me for my inconsiderate message." Justin gives Luci a good humored wink.
"Nonsense," Lucienne returns, looking up at Justin with bright eyes as she steps through the door. "You're very deserving. Perhaps I'll see you at dinner, if not before. Good day, my lord." She dips a curtsy, and retreats down the hall. It won't be to much longer before her handmaid delivers Justin's gift: a small bottle of some exotic spirit, the kind of extravagance a lady might use to sweeten her tea - or a lord might enjoy when the hour has grown late. A little note accompanies it, in Luci's elegant, neat and flourished script, 'Just a little something I acquired long ago, I hope you enjoy it. - Luci.'
Justin is left standing in the door watching his sister walk down the hall, not at all acting like he expected. He'll certainly find her gift unusual and for now, it will sit on the shelf behind some books. It might be worth saving until they have something to celebrate, or … until he has a particularly abismal day. Either way, he's got a bath waiting, law to study, and other duties ere he might retire for the evening.