|Summary:||Caytiv stops in to visit with Anais and see how she's dealing with things.|
|Related Logs:||The other logs of Jaremy's disappearance.|
|Guest Suite - Four Eagles Tower|
|A guest suite often full of Banefort girls and their handmaids!|
|September 25, 288|
It's not yet dawn. Annie knows well her brother's odd habit of waking somewhat closer to midnight than dawn. And so it's already after he's tended to and run Ryande out on the green, worked up a good sweat and has had his breakfast that he hears the news and comes to Annie's chamber door, leaning against it fist, elbow and forehead, closing his eyes for a moment before he pulls back his fist and lets it pound against the door once. Twice. Three times.
Anais has never been much of one for a good night's sleep, either, and so it's unusual for her to be taken abed for any amount of time beyond a few hours. So it can't be too much of a surprise when, after Nina opens the door to see who's there, Cayt is shown into the bedroom where Anais sits with the curtains wide open, only a light blanket over her legs with a small pile of books next to herself. "Cayt," she greets with a small smile, moving over to make space and tossing a pillow to the other side of the bed. "I think breakfast should be up shortly, if you're interested."
Caytiv walks in, hair sticking up with prickly thorns formed in dried sweat, extression serious, eyes dull but for an underlying glimmer of compassion. Yeah, this is a lad whos' heard the news. "I already had mine," he answers her after a long, quiet moment. That doesn't mean he won't have some of hers, if plied with it, of course. But he goes over to settle down in the spot made for him, big lad as he is, all smelling of stables and sweat. "C'mere, Annie," he whispers, opening out his arm for her to hug her to him.
Anais sighs softly when Cayt joins her on the bed, shifting to wrap her arms around his middle and press her cheek to his chest. "Stupid Jaremy," she grumbles. "Stupid, selfish Jaremy. Honestly, did he even stop to think about /anyone/ else? Anything except his stupid honor?" It's a half-hearted sort of anger, the kind that's more a shield against really thinking about things than one that comes from deep inside.
Caytiv folds his arm around Annie and holds her to him, closing his eyes and setting his jaw against a rising tide of anger at seeing his sister so upset. "We'll find 'im, ay, Annie," he murmurs. "An' when we do I'll give him such a knockin'-about he'll know better than to leave ye again." The words pronounced with a slow, calm caution despite their bloodthirsty intent.
"Well. That's if Father doesn't get to him first," Anais murmurs ruefully, looking up at her brother with the faintest curve of a smile. "That's the same look he gets." Dropping her head back against his chest, she sighs once more. "I don't even know if I'm angry. I'm just…scared, Cayt. It's like watching everything fall apart. And I don't know if it's something I did, or if it's something I didn't do, or…I just don't know. And I'm afraid of what it might mean for the future."
"Don't put this on ye, Annie," Cayt encourages her, voice pitched toward the soothing, moving his palm slowly up and down her far arm. "'Tis nay on ye he's a fair twat-headed mongrel with no more sense'n a bean in a pile a beans. You just hold tight whilst we find 'im for ye, Annie. We're on to turn this countryside upside-down in the search."
"And what then, Cayt?" Anais grimaces, shoulders tightening briefly. "Then we keep him under house arrest? Treat him like a child who shouldn't have left without his nanny? What is that going to do to a marriage? To how the people here see him?" She closes her eyes for a moment, tightening her arms around him. "I knew he was too good to be true. I just didn't think he'd just be too /good/."
"Nay, not as a child. As a man. As we would treat men on the pass who'd desert their guard-posts in the night for a nap or a lay with a lass," Cayt corrects her. "We'll give him a sound beating, t'will learn him to act so."
Anais laughs despite herself, shoulders shaking a few moments longer than the sound lasts. "Ah, Cayt," she finally chuckles, tipping her head back to look up at him. "I suppose Father really did know what he was doing, sending you instead of one of the others. I'm glad you're here. I'm not sure if I've told you that, but I'm glad you're here. I can't…even imagine doing this without you."
Caytiv wasn't joking— not in the least. And so Annie's laughing makes his brows flatten uncertainly. A flogging's certainly nothing to laugh at— is it? Nonetheless he brings his other hand around, two knuckles crooked to tweak her cheek in a fond fashion, looking down into her eyes. "I'm here by you, Annie. Jaremy's released me from his service, an' Jarod's not taken me into his, as yet. I'm sworn to none but your service," he tells her seriously.
"Oh, Cayt." Anais' laughter dissolves when he explains his situation, her own brows lowering in an echo of his expression. "If Jaremy doesn't come back, then of course Jarod will take you into his service," she says firmly. "And maybe even if Jaremy /does/ come back, because from what I've seen, Jarod has better sense anyhow. And anyone with even a lick of sense would be proud to take you for a squire."
Nevermind it, Annie," Cayt answers her. "Bugger Jaremy. And Ser Jarod's a fine, good bloke, I reckon, but I am glad, as 'tis. My loyalty is with you, no oath binding me to any other person. 'Tis as it should be, Annie. Don't you reckon?"
"It's certainly good enough for me," Anais agrees firmly, nodding once. Just then, Nina returns with a tray full of food, no doubt beefed up since Caytiv's arrival, given the amount of bacon, bread, eggs, and fried potatoes heaped onto the tray. Anais sits up, unwinding her arms from Caytiv's waist to adjust the pillows behind herself. "Cayt," she says after a moment, almost uncertain. "Do you- I mean, do you think it's- When I think about maybe marrying Jacsen instead, it's almost…almost a relief. Do you think that's wrong of me?"
Caytiv's eyes widen, and he lets go of Annie, letting her tend to getting herself comfortable, unsure what to do with his hands for a moment but for to set them on his knees, eyes narrowing again in consideration of the conundrum. "I reckon at least he can't run off," he speaks up on a positive of choosing Jacsen over Jaremy.
And once more, Anais breaks into a sudden laugh, clapping a hand over her mouth with a jokingly chiding look at her brother. "Oh, Cayt," she giggles through her hand. "That's terrible. It's true, and it's funny, but it's terrible." She shakes her head, scrubbing a hand over her face before turning her attention to the tray. "I know it sounds awful. I do. It's just…" She reaches for a roll, tearing it open and starting to fill the hole with bacon, potatoes, and cheese. "It's just that…I don't know. He's smart. And he /doesn't/ run away. It's not that I'm hoping Jaremy doesn't come back. It's just that…I can't help but think that in some ways, it might be easier."
Caytiv doesn't touch the breakfast, letting Annie have her fill of it, first, moving his hands off of his knees and setting his elbows there, instead, as he slouches casually forward. "It might be, so," he allows. "An' if anyone's earned a little bit of ease, it's yourself, Annie. I go out this morn on the hunt for human prey. Give me your bidding, should I find trace of him. Should I let the quarry escape me, or bring it back in my nets? Or might I rather put a spear on through its back as it flees?"
"Oh, if you find him, bring him back," Anais says without a pause, though her features don't bode well for Jaremy upon his return. "Whatever his father decides to do with him, it will be better if he is /here/, and not floating around Westeros somewhere just waiting to reappear and cause trouble once he gets the honor knocked out of his thick skull."
"Ay, it's a worry, i'nt it, Annie?" Cayt asks, looking to his side and up to her face. "If we don't find him, there's always that he might return to claim his place, isn't there?" Cayt's been living too long with the nobles; he's started to think like one, at last.
"Exactly." Anais takes a bite out of her impromptu sandwich, chewing it over in silence for a moment. "What if, two years down the road, he finishes figuring out how the world works and comes back to the Roost? I mean, assuming he stays as he is, I don't think he'd cause trouble. But if he didn't like the way things were going, or if he developed a little bit more /sense/ for things, then…It could get ugly. And I don't like where that would leave us."
"It may be good you leave the other brother out of your plans 'til the first one's either found or known dead," Cayt puts it as bluntly as normal, reaching for a piece of bacon, finally. "Even if the father disowns the first, or aught, he may return, and minds be changed."
"And how long am I supposed to wait here?" Anais grimaces, shaking her head. "Father won't sit for that. He sent us out to the Riverlands here to get married, not to put us in limbo until we were too old to find a decent marriage, and too tarnished for anyone to bother with. Like it or not, Cayt, we're in bed with the Terricks now." She takes another bite, shaking her head. "To be fair, it /will/ be up to Father. I just…I just want to buy a few more days for everyone to see if they can find Jaremy."
"Aren't there other men and houses in the Riverlands?" Cayt wonders. "Why not let's go to some others, ay? It may be not all of them are so terrible trotbrained when it comes to heirs." He finishes off the bit of bacon.
Anais' lips quirk again at Caytiv's description of Jaremy, amusement lingering in her features. "Maybe," she agrees. "Though I don't know how many available heirs there are." Another bite of her roll, and she wrinkles her nose at Caytiv. "I'm terribly shallow, aren't I? And picky. Want him to be handsome, and clever, and an heir, and sensible, and strong, and it wouldn't hurt if he didn't mind a dance or two. It isn't as though Westeros is swimming with such perfect men."
"Aye, lassie." Cayt's not going to pet or flatter her on that score. "I reckon you'd best take some notion for your own safety into all that list, there. You already been threatened once. Maybe it's best t' cut the line an' git."
"What, and run?" Anais arches a brow, the faintest smile at one corner of her lips. "You should know me better than that by now, Cayt. If someone wants me dead, then I must be doing something right, so far as making something worthwhile here."
Caytiv looks flatly to Annie. "I don't kid ye, Annie. This isn't a fight meant for ye. You may still go, ay? Yet you will stay, I reckon. An' I shall be by ye, Annie. Be cautious, you, d'ye hear me?"
"I will be, Cayt," Anais promises, meeting his gaze steadily. "But I'm not running away from some Naylands. We're Baneforts. You too, whatever name you might carry. You're a /Banefort/, and Baneforts don't run away. We stand. We stand, and we fight, until the last man is dead. And it's the last enemy man who dies, not us."
Caytiv sits up straight again, rearing himself to his full height, which may actually be an inch or so higher than it was when he got here. Still growing, Cayt might be a regular monster one day. "Alright, Annie. I'm off a-hunting. If there is anything you need of me, leave word down in the kitchen I'm to come to you when I get back."
"I will," Anais nods, smile quirking as she watches him. "You know you can stop by any time, of course. I'm conveniently indisposed just now," she adds, taking another bite of her roll. "Just enough to keep the public out, not enough to keep family away. If you find Jaremy…" She wrinkles her nose, grimacing. "Knock him upside the head for me."
"Right, so." Cayt lowers his head once more, running his fingers through his hair and then stands up, reachingover to swipe another piece of bacon. "I'd best get on the trail before the tracks lose their fresh, ay. Be well, Annie," he bids her, and takes his leave of her.