|Some Tea With a Side of Overshare|
|Summary:||Katrin, Ilaria and Alric meet up at Four Eagles; later, the betrothed have a most awkward conversation.|
|Related Logs:||Anything with Ilaria and Alric|
|Reading Room - Four Eagles Tower|
|The room has a large glass window and seat that looks out partially over the cove, in daylight hours the sun provides illumination to the room. Other stools and chairs linger in small groups as shelves along the walls are littered with scrolls, books, letters and documents. The contents are a modest collection of local records, histories, and literature offered to both the family and guests of Four Eagles Tower.|
|18 Oct 289|
With the evening coming upon them Alric finds himself wandering. Searching to go for supper perhaps. Alone and walking into the tower. A lot on his mind perhaps. Then again most people have a lot on their mind at the moment.
Ilaria, too, is wandering, although with Heolla at her heels. Inside the tower, she is less in need of a guard, so Corrin is off doing whatever Corrin does. Septa Shiella is conspicuously absent, but in light of last night, she is likely in town at the sept tending to her other duties. "Another five bottles, Heolla, did you write that down?" she murmurs, scouring over a slip of parchment in her hand. "Did you take that tea to Lady Anais for me this morning? I have no idea how she was feeling, but if my headache this morning was any indication…"
Here comes someone with purpose. Maybe not the best purpose in the world, or with a lot of reason to be in the Tower, but oh well. Katrin comes striding into the Entrance Hall, her green eyes bright with something, almost burning with some hidden fire. Behind her trails her own maid, Serra, and guard who seems quite relieved to give his lady a bit more space now that they're within the confines of the Terrick tower.
It doesn't take too long before Alric notices Ilaria as she speaks to her handmaid. Guessing about as much about the septa and guard. Starting in her direction. Though he does glance around to spot Katrin as well. Offering a bow to her before moving a bit to do the same to Ilaria, "My ladies." Studying Ilaria a bit as he knows that she was most likely rather occupied the day before. "How is lady Anais?" He asks before turning towards the approaching Katrin again.
Ilaria looks up from her paper with surprise, her small mouth forming an 'o' as Alric approaches her. The man seems to melt out of nowhere sometimes. While recovering her composure, the young Haigh quickly rolls up the parchment and hands it off to Heolla. "Only Lady Anais can truly say how she is doing. I imagine she is grieving deeply and in her own way, my lord. The loss of a life is always painful." As she speaks, her head turns to follow Alric's gaze, and the girl suppresses a sigh at the sight of her sister. "Kat," she greets, smiling and holding out her hands.
Hey look, people. Katrin skids to a halt, brushes back any stray hairs from her face. Look at those scars, cutting deep on her face. Maybe it would have been better to keep the hair in the way to help draw attention elsewhere. "Ilaria," she says with a sudden smile appearing on her lips. But the smile is a very practiced one - as the younger sister would probably be able to recognize. Very easily called up on command and it still manages to look oh so pretty. She glances around, perhaps to ensure that she's not about to get smacked by a Septa. Her attention is so very easily caught by Alric and there is only a very slight twitch around the corners of her eyes before she dips down into a deep curtsey. "Lord Fenster," she murmurs politely.
Alric nods to Ilaria's words, "I understand. At least she has a friend, in you, around." He offers. Looking back to Katrin again. The scars perhaps getting a glance. Though having to watch his cousin Trajan's face makes him quite used to such. Having a smile in return. "Lady Katrin." He offers with ha deep bow.
"Oh." Startled, Ilaria looks between Alric and Katrin, allowing her hands to drop her sides. Hazel eyes study her sister's visage for a moment, focusing intently on the still unexplained scars, before she turns a calm face toward her betrothed. "I was unaware that you and my sister were acquainted, my lord." The words, though soft and in her usual lilting tone, carry with them an undercurrent of accusation. She flicks her gaze toward Katrin, fully aware of her sister's false smile, and presses her lips together in a thin line of disappointment. "Well, never have I met such a coincidence as this. I hope you are well this evening, sister."
A hopefully reassuring smile curves Katrin's lips as she turns her gaze away from Alric and focuses entirely on Ilaria. "I had the pleasure of meeting Lord Fenster in Stonebridge many months ago," she explains softly. "When you and a number of other young ladies were abducted. I am truly pleased that we are able to meet under kinder circumstances now. He and Ser Martyn were in the midst of discussing how best to retrieve you and others when I came upon them, beside myself in my own grief for letting anything happen to you, Lari."
Alric would perhaps want to ask about her scars, but does not. Out of respect perhaps. Nodding about their meeting in Stonebridge. Though something about that event makes his smile lessen just a bit. Most likely because Kamron didn't allow him to take part of the actual rescue group. "I am glad that things turned out alright though." He offers. Studying the sisters for a moment. Letting them catch up perhaps.
The recounting of the kidnapping, Katrin's feelings, Alric's participation in the planning - Ilaria's cheeks flush, and not with the sensations of embarrassment or amusement, but rather with the half-desperate anger that rises and lodges itself in her throat any time she is forced to recall the cave. Forcing herself to calm, though the flexing of her jaws is quite visible, Ilaria's smile is forced but present as she allows Katrin and Alric to talk. "Yes, everything turned out alright." Well, talk about tight-lipped.
"Ilaria," Katrin's voice is quiet, one of concern and apology. She steps across the open space between them, seeking out her sister's hand for a gentle squeeze. "I'm sorry, dear one. I should not have mentioned it." Clearing her throat, she looks back at Alric. "I hear that you are to be my brother one day very soon, Lord Fenster," she says mildly.
Alric studies Ilaria, not missing her reaction. Trying to offer a comforting smile to her, as he usual does. Though worry is seen on his face. Wanting to be able to let her find comfort with him. Standing and keeping his posture. Nodding to Ilaria's words, with a glance to the ground before looking back to her with a forced smile before it moves over to her sister. Nodding to her last words, "I believe as much, my lady. And please, there is no need to call me by my last name. As of yet that is still my father." He offers. Trying to keep his words light. Though spoken softly.
"Yes, of course, Kitty, he has a point - please call him Lord Alric," Ilaria murmurs, grateful for a change of subject, even one as abrupt as this. She touches Katrin on the arm, perhaps in a gesture to communicate silently her forgiveness for an inadvertent wound. "Your future goodbrother is a poet, sister, did I tell you? He sent me a lovely specimen of his writing already, and of course that means I must honor my part of the bargain by singing for him. If only I had Lady Tiaryn to accompany me on her harp - what a lovely duet it would be! Although her skill with the instrument would far surpass my voice."
Katrin winks at Ilaria with amusement sparkling in her eyes before she inclines her head. "But of course, Lord Alric," she says contritely. "And a poet, you say, Lari? My, I had no notion that I would be gaining such a talented goodbrother." One brow twitches ever so slightly at the mention of goodbrother. Looks like she hasn't quite come to terms with this yet. "Your voice is so lovely, little sister, that you would not need Lady Tiaryn to do any song justice."
Alric nods as he listens. About him being a poet, he nods. "Perhaps not the best of poets. Though I do hope that you liked it, lady Ilaria. It was perhaps not a great poem." As for Ilaria's voice, he nods in agreement with Katrin. "I might not have heard you sing yet, but just from what I have heard you speak I could imagine your voice in song. I doubt that you need anyone to help you." As for Katrin calling him goodbrother, he does seem a bit odd hearing it as well.
Properly complimented, Ilaria clasps her hands together and casts a more genuine smile upon both Alric and Katrin before glancing around the hall. "Well, we needn't stand about here like grazing cattle," she continues, and her steady, shrewd gaze moves between her two companions. "Perhaps we can go take tea in the reading room, unless you were looking for something more substantial. I find that I am just not hungry these days.
"But of course, Lari," Katrin agrees with a nod. "I had not meant to intrude upon you and Lord Alric. I had actually come seeking Lady Saffron but I would be quite pleased for the chance to sit with you for a while and get to know my future goodbrother all the better." Oh no, she hasn't forgotten about Alric yet and an almost predatory smile curves her lips. She hasn't forgotten at all.
Alric smiles and nods. Offering his arm to both ladies. Though he is quite certain that the two of them would rather go together. "Tea sounds good." He offers. No matter if he is hungry or not. He will do what he can to please. Seeing that smile from Katrin and just having a wry smile of his own. Perhaps knowing what is to be expected. He remembers how he himself acted, after all, when his eldest sister got married. "It would be great to get to spend with both of you. I need to know my new family after all." He says, seeming calmer now.
To compromise, Ilaria links one arm in Katrin's while reaching out to rest her opposite hand on Alric's arm. "I am still trying to get to know him, Kitty, honestly," she admonishes in a near-whisper, glancing sideways to Alric before gesturing with a lift of her chin for him to lead the way. "I have been curious as to whereabouts, my lovely sister. I have been to the Inn and back again in search of you, but I seem to have missed you entirely each time - barring the one time you called upon me. I hope everything is well with you. And my lord Alric, how is your dear sister doing? Kitty, his sister - the Lady Arabella - is absolutely delightful. She is as sweet as honey, I daresay."
Katrin's eyes give an assessing look over to Alric once more before she shakes her head. "Poor timing, I'm afraid, dear sister. I have been oft occupied with… things. But with word of your betrothal, you have my word that I will be at your beck and call to offer whatever assistance I can provide to you." Her brow lifts slightly. "I look forward to meeting your sister, Lord Alric. If my own sister calls her delightful, she must be a gem."
Alric leads them along as he feel the hand upon his arm. Listening to the conversation between sisters. "My sister is quite fine. She has been busy running around town with her maid and Talbot." He offers and can't help but to smile brightly. Glad that Ilaria enjoyed his sister's company. Nodding to Katrin about his sister. "That she is." He offers, smiling about the two of them. "It is nice to see the two of you being close as well."
"Ilaria is a treasure that is cherished by all with the intelligence to recognize it, Lord Alric," Katrin replies crisply to Alric. "In time, I hope you are a wise enough man to realize what you have been offered." She looks to her sister and squeezes her arm gently. "I will be by to share that cup of tea soon, dear sister, but for now, I should be about my day. I would not wish to deprive you and Lord Alric the chance to better acquaint yourselves." She glances at the Fenster. "I do hope that we also have the chance to better acquaint ourselves."
Alric nods to Katrin's words. Looking to Ilaria. "I have no doubt, lady Katrin. And I do count myself lucky. Even though we still have a lot to learn about one another." He says and smiles. Though raising his brow about her needing to leave. "I understand. Hopefully we will get time together as well. I will look forward to that." He tells her. Inclining his head. "It's been a pleasure."
Katrin drops a kiss on Ilaria's cheek, giving her little sister a smile. "I will come see you soon, dear one," she promises. "Enjoy your tea for now, however." Stepping back, she dips down into a small curtsey. "A good evening to you both." And then away she goes.
Alric smiles and let Katrin move along, glancing over to Ilaria, "She's nice." Continuing on to get that tea.
After bidding a somewhat hasty farewell to her sister, Ilaria's hand returns to Alric's arm, and she allows herself to be escorted into the reading room. "Who? Oh, Katrin. Yes, she can be nice when she chooses to be," the girl replies with as much tact as possible, removing her hand from Alric's arm before going to select her usual chair. "I must apologize for her tone, my lord. My sister is very protective, and in lieu of my brother she has elected herself to be my watchdog."
Upon reaching the reading room Alric helps Ilaria towards a seat and helping her into it before finding his own. "It is fine, my lady. I understand her concern. My eldest sister married some time ago. I can relate." He offers with a sweet smile on his lips. "I hope things will get better here though. The Roost. I worry." He offers before shaking his head. "Apologies. Let us speak of something else perhaps. I spoke with a friend about wanting you to trust me. Though they told me I need to take the first step in such case." He explains. Waiting to see her reaction. Trusting the advice he was given and perhaps acting a bit more bold than usual.
Heolla, the ever-vigilant handmaiden that she is, has seen to it that tea is brought to the reading room. Ilaria is busy arranging her skirts carefully in her chair while her tawny-haired maid is eyeballing Alric and pouring the tea. A bit of brown liquid sloshes over the edge of a cup as the Fenster's words are spoken, and Heolla gasps a bit before using the edge of a sleeve to mop up the spill. Ignoring these antics, the young Haigh clasps her slender hands together in her lap and levels a steady gaze on Alric; amusement and trepidation are at war in those yellow-green depths, but except for a very brief flutter of her eyelids, Ilaria's expression is neutral.
"Oh?" Volumes can be communicated by one simple word, and in this case it says may things: 'Oh, you talked to someone about me?' 'Oh, you think I should trust you already?' 'Oh, you think I don't trust you already?' 'Oh, I am actually a thought in your head when outside your presence?' et cetera.
Alric has a ghost of a smile. The fact that the maid is eyeballing him seems to go unnoticed, or ignored. Only a very brief glance at the gasp before he is looking at the lady again. Nodding to the single word. If it could even count as such. "Yes. Someone I trust and therefore will follow the advice. I am not naive enough to think that you care for me yet. Other than what is expected. Though I wish for it and I know that we have got a long time. But if I am not open from the start how can I expect you to trust me later?" He goes on. Letting his smile grow just a bit "I think the Seven have gotten a good laugh out of me. Hopefully it will change. Perhaps I pulled angered them by breaking my own vow." He sort of muses. Studying Ilaria as he speaks.
It is likely that the bulk of Alric's words are going right over Ilaria's head. She stares at him blankly, eyes wide, while sipping from her cup of tea quietly. Only when he pauses and she is sure he is finished does she clear her throat quietly. Heolla, poised over the cups to listen, hears the sound and jumps away, falling into the background to settle into a seat and peruse a book.
"I think, my lord, that such things that you are wanting take time," Ilaria begins, and her words are halting as she pauses to call up appropriate phrases. "I imagine I shall trust you because you will be my husband, and that is incorporated in the duty of a wife, but—it is still three months until we must worry about these things, my lord. The betrothal was only just announced. Surely we have time to simply learn about each other…" Broken vows?
Alric nods to her words. Seeing Heolla move away but paying her no attention right now. "I understand. And I thought as much as well. It is just that I am naive in the thought of wishing for feelings. They take time to develop. That I know. Yet I want you to know that I will do what I can," He says and takes a short pause before adding, "To make you fall for me. As to which I will probably do in the process. I know it's a bit much." He offers and smiles as he takes a sip from his own tea now. As she doesn't ask about broken vows, he eases it in. "Do you know that I have no bastards? Most perhaps look at that badly. Though it has been by choice." Searching her reaction to such topics.
Ilaria's hand trembles such that she leans forward quickly to set her tea down. The cup clinks loudly on the table, leaving the girl with nothing to do with her hands but rub her palms against her legs in hopes that the gesture will soothe away her nerves. She looks everywhere except to where she ought - the window, the bookshelves, and even to poor Heolla (who is busy re-reading the same page of her book over and over again). At this point Alric's words are nearly too much for Ilaria, leaving her in a panic.
The young girl rises suddenly, and the vehemence of her movement causes her chair to teeter backward on two legs before thudding down onto all fours once again. This inadvertently catches her skirt beneath a leg, something she fails to realize until she is trying to storm toward the window only to discover she is caught. Turning at the waist, she tries to tug free the offending garment, only to hear it split free with the wrenching sound of fabric. With her hands balled into fists at her sides, she stares past Alric with a stony gaze. "My lord, while your lack of issue may be a small comfort, it is hardly an appropriate topic of conversation." The words are quiet, nearly whispered, but still audible in the otherwise silent room.
Alric had guessed as much. Seeing her reaction. Though upon seeing her dress get stuck he rises and takes a step closer. Not wishing for her to fall. "I understand, my lady. Apologies. " Not explaining his own vow now because of that. "What is your favorite color, my lady?" He asks in an attempt to change subject. His head lowered. Knowing his mistake. "And I will have a new dress made for you as well."
A girl cannot even be properly angry! Ilaria's fuming dissipates nearly as quickly as it rises, and she's left feeling hollow and a bit fatigued. The sudden change of topic leaves her startled, and her gaze darts up to Alric's face for but a moment. With a softening demeanor, she reaches up to draw her fingertips over her lips as if chastising herself for her mouth. "Purple, my lord. My favorite color is purple. You needn't -" catching herself before she makes another mistake, the girl clears her throat and bows her own head for a moment. "Perhaps you should write it in a letter, my lord. I have heard that it is easier to convey one's thoughts in writing." Hint hint.
Alric smiles to her. A small smile though it doesn't lack the warm feeling. "Do be honest with me. I understand parts of you. But if you feel something, express it. For beings so similar yet so different. There can be harmony between them if they want it to." He offers. Nodding about her favorite color. Personally I like green." He offers "And yellow." Nodding a bit to himself. As for writing it he nods again. "Perhaps I should. Do know that I am ever loyal. And it will be my honour to get you a dress." He chuckles and shakes his head a bit. "You're interesting, my lady."
Ilaria's head snaps up, Alric's words setting off alarm bells inside of her head. Perhaps she has heard them before, or perhaps there is something in the tone… The corners of her eyes crinkle as she squints, and a line of worry creases the center of her forehead. After a moment of contemplation, however, her features smooth over once more. "You are interest as well, Lord Alric, and green is a very lovely color. I have one or two green gowns of which I am quite fond." But the words sound trite and hollow on her tongue, causing Ilaria to frown. Slender fingers clasp together nervously, pressing into her belly as if to still the very faint, nearly imperceptible trembling that has taken over her body. "I have no interest in causing a quarrel. I know - I think I know something of what you are trying to say, my lord, and I am grateful. Please know that even in silence, your many merits have not escaped me."
Alric nods. There is something though and he forces a smile to her still. "I understand. It is fine. I just hope that at some point I can be the companion you wish for." He says and takes a deep breath. Seeing her fingers and that she holds herself over the belly. "I know and have been told that not a lot of people get to marry for love. Even though perhaps we are not in love yet, perhaps one day. Until that they," She will perhaps remain untouched. Or perhaps he was to say something else. Though he doesn't say anything, just shrugs. Her last words getting a nod but he doesn't reply to them.
"Sadly, so few people do," Ilaria murmurs in response, and the following silence seems to be her cue. Gathering up her torn skirt, she dips into the lowest curtsey she can manage, holding it for a moment to convey her respect before rising. "Conversation with you, Lord Alric, is always enlightening. I regret that fatigue requires I retire early, but hopefully I shall see you on the morrow—and the next day. I have not yet received word in return from my cousin, and I would not depart the Roost until I am sure Lady Anais is settled, so I will be around longer still. I bid you good evening, my lord. Heolla, come."
Alric nods slowly, "Unfortunately so." Then able to offer a charming smile to her. "It is a pleasure my lady. Hopefully we will have many enlightening conversations." He offers. Had it been proper then he would help her. Though all he can do is offer his arm. " Then at least let me escort you to your rooms."