|Summary:||Inigo has an admirer in Lark. Sofya is amused.|
|Related Logs:||Moar Jousting at Seagard|
|The Lists — Seagard|
|The lists are prepared for a great number of both knights and spectators, the flat field already marked by the hooves of many practice-runs. It is surrounded by a rail, most of which borders only empty grass, where the commoners might stand and watch. On one side are stands built for the nobles, wooden bleachers topped with billowing silk awnings to help shade the ladies from the sun. At the centerpoint there is a raised platform, painted, shaded, and set with sumptuous-looking chairs for the most noble of noble guests. It is hung with the banners of House Mallister and House Redwyne, and many more are studded about the lists as well, to make sure everyone remembers who this grand affair is meant to honor and at whose pleasure they enjoy it.|
|Fri Jun 22, 289|
The day is a busy one, once again, all about the fighting field, as the field is prepared and set for the coming games. Merchants lucky enough to procure stands on the periphery of the grounds are already preparing their wares, mostly of the concessional variety, meats roasting and sweets baking. Lark and her dark-haired cousin, Alona (recently recovered from a bout of sniffles and malaise) are once again present in their capacity as delighted, giggling groupies of all things chivalric. There being few knights or squires about to bother, the girls make bright mischief among the other common folk, darting from one place to another, hand in hand.
There is the air of excitement to the field as it prepares, something about a tourney day to get the blood up among the smallfolk. The joust, for all its daring and delicacy, is a very different animal from the brutal melee with its no-holds-barred assaults and striking swordplay. A smile on her lips, Sofya pays a vender for a sweet and shifts the treat between her hands as she waits for it to be cool enough to eat. Her blue eyes skimming over the slowly gathering crowd with interest, minding the girls darting games.
Alona halts and blinks at Sofya, the tether of her arm drawing the still-scurrying Lark to an abrupt halt. "Eep!" laughs the little blonde, skipping back over. "What is it?" There's a bit of whispered exchange, during which Lark stares all wide-eyed at Sofya, then waves and smiles and shyly ducks her head. Alona nudges her cousin, Lark balks and whines, so Alona nudges her again. Finally, screwing her courage to the sticking place, Lark hops over to Sofya, all timid and shy-like. "Uhm. Good day, mistress! I — " she glances back at Alona, then takes a breath. "You're — ah — do you happen to know Ser Inigo?" She blushes furiously.
Popping a sticky pastry flaked finger between her lips, Sofya's brows rise with amusement as she watches Alona reel in her blonde friend with an arm. It shows in the subtle twist of her mouth as she lifts a hand, waving back at the other woman's shy greeting. Hello. She steps around another person moving towards the vender with a lightfooted motion, more delicate than Lark's hops and looks again for the girls in the crowd — only to find Lark in front of her. "Oh! Good day," she greets with a light laugh, brushing her crumb covered fingers on the back of the hand the holds the pastry. The exchange between Lark and Alona is watched with a spark of curioustiy, eyes bright with interest. "Yes, I dare say I do. I serve as retainer for his house, Mistress —" The pause is long and intentional, attempting to ferret a name out of the blushing girl.
"Lark!" chirps Lark, bobbing a quick curtsy. "Lark Chanson, please you, mistress. This is my cousin, Alona," she reaches back to yank Alona up beside her. Moral support. She seems at a fidgeting loss where to go from there, finally just gushing, "Is he wonderful?" Alona laughs behind her had, adding, "My cousin is very taken with Ser Inigo. In case you cound't tell."
The corner of Sofya's mouth twitches at that forcibly grasp for moral support, voice warm as she offers, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Lark and Alona. I'm Sofya Dale." Gang-pressed into it, it seems. She shares a moment's commiserating look with Alona. Ah, crushes. "It seems so. He rode well in the tourney to come out a champion."
"Both tourneys!" enthuses Lark. "Even though he didn't champion the first. But he unseated that terrible Tarly — do you know if he likes cookies?" she asks, peering at Sofya. Alona smirks and shrugs — crushes, indeed — and gives her cousin a bolstering hug.
That was a lot of enthusiasm strung together very quickly. Sofya blinks a moment and then bites the inside of her cheek, holding back a smile. "Goodness, he has made — quite the impression. Hasn't he?" The edge of her tone goes a little dry in anticipation for sheer smugness this is liable to bring out in her Lord, but it has little hold against Lark's girlish glee. "Yes, I know for a fact that he does like cookies. Very much." Even if her better sense says not to encourage this…well, they've all made eyes at a Knight or two.
Lark lights up like yuletide, all sparkles. "I — I was going to see if one of the men at the Vance camp would deliver these — but they might pilfer from them, don't you think?" She offers out a basket to Sofya. "I didn't know what kind he'd like best, so I made — more than a few." Which is such an understatement, apparently, it makes Alona laugh outright. "Do — would you mind terribly, Mistress Dale, delivering them to him for me? With my most heartfelt admiration."
"Men tend to be entirely too eager to pilfer sweets, especially those lingering about camps," Sofya agrees dryly, tone doing nothing to upset the smile on her face. She may not be referring to just the cookies. Blondies are such a nice flavor. Taking a moment to juggle her sweet to her non-dominant hand, eying the no doubt sizable basket, she laughs along with Alone. "No. It's no mind at all, Mistress Lark," she says, dipping her head in a nod before reaching out to accept the basket. "Is there any particular way you would like your admiration worded? It's nicer when the words come from the admirer."
"Oh!" Lark beams, bouncing in excitement as Sofya agrees to deliver the goodies. "Thank you ever so, mistress. You're too kind." As for her message, she chews her bottom lip a little, suddenly pensive. "Oh, I'm afraid I… really don't have any talent for words, Mistress Dale. Could you — could you just tell him how much I admire his skill? And that he's — so fair to look on and…" she blushes. "I'm sure you know better words to say those things. They'd just sound silly, coming from me."
Sofya grins, waiting patiently as Lark mulls over what words of adoration she wishes to shower the good Ser Vance with. "No, they'd likely sound more foolish coming from me, lovely. He wouldn't believe a word of it," she admits with not at all somber wink. "I'll pass them on, just as you've said them."
Lark squeaks with delight and hugs Sofya — awkwardly, considering it's out of the blue and poor Mistress Dale already has her hands full. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" she says, stepping back to bound about in delight. "How exciting. Oh!" She stops bouncing and covers her mouth. "Would you mind terribly if I find you some time in the future, just… to know how he received them? Please?"
Bracing briefly for the impact of that hug, Sofya lifts her arms and attempts not shower Lark with either crumbs nor cookies in her giddy show of delight. "Goodness," she exclaims with a briefly laugh. "You are very welcome." Tossing her head to knock a stray lock of hair from her eyes, she nods at that honestly simple request. "You may. I am certain he'll be touched to know he's made an…impression." Also smug, preening, and more than a little delighted.
"Oh, I do hope so," Lark sighs happily. "So fine a man should now he's appreciated — don't you think?" She nods for both of them. Of course she does. How could she fail to? She bobs a curtsy. "Thank you again, Mistress Dale! This is such a great favor! Ser Inigo is so lucky to have you!"
Should so fine a man know that he is so appreciated? Sofya's response is a rather wry, "I suppose…" That's agreement. Really. Her smile dips crooked for Lark's continued and effusive thanks, showing an edge of teeth as she throws her head back with a laugh. "I do not mind in the least, lovely. That he is, though. Where do you hail from, if you don't mind me asking?"
Lark smiles, big and bright and warm. "Stonebridge, mistress. I'm just in town for the tourney, and to visit my aunt and uncle and Lonnie," she turns to smile back at her cousin, giving her hand a squeeze. "Have you and Ser Inigo come far to compete?"
"Aye? That's not so far then, lovely. I think you picked a good one to come out to, the weather at the Twins was miserable," Sofya offers with an impish gleam of a smile, leaning in to whisper the last like it is some great secret. It really isn't. She takes a nip of her quickly cooling pastry, chewing daintily and shaking her head. Swallowing first, she answers, "No. We are just down from the Roost, so not so far at all. The Lord is visiting family and offering what aid he can."
"Oh!" Lark perks up — not that she ever perked down, just that her enthusiasm seems to have no ceiling. "Well, that's lovely! You're practically next door! I'm back and forth between the Roost and Stonebridge all the time, for bits of this and that…" She bites her bottom lip in a shy smile. "So, if — if he likes them. The cookies? I can always bring more."
Sofya's own sunny demeanor is mild in comparison, attention and smile as easy as the earlier spring. Although, the mention of crossing from the Roost to Stonebridge does turn her attention sharply. "You mind that road, lovely. If you're going be sure to travel with a group, no matter how eager you are to make the venture. There could still be bandits afoot," she notes firmly, stern if kind. It softens after a moment. "They'd be less than kind to a sweet maid as yourself." She would know. "We'll see, aye?" Is offered non-noncommittally, not wanting to encourage the girl too far into her ardor. "I've no doubt they're delicious. You said you made them all yourself?"
Lark nods, big and sincere. "Oh, of course, mistress. I only ever go with my brother, Vic. He's a sweet boy, braw and tall and in the militia, too. I heard what happened to those poor ladies who went picnicking a while back." As for the cookies, she smiles again, nodding rapidly. "I did. I don't often have a kitchen to bake in, really, but my aunt — Lonnie's mum — has such a big, fine one with ovens, too, and there's all kinds of delicious things here."
A sigh of relief is let loose at that affirmation, seeming to ease Sofya's mind somewhat. "Good. I am glad to hear it. It sounds that your brother is more than enough to steer away any strangers." She smiles. "There are. That sounds like a fine home with such a kitchen, I am a little envious. In fact I've a basket full of such delicious things," she teases lightly, lifting Lark's basket of goods for Inigo.
Lark laughs. "I meant things to bake with — but there are so many fine bakeries in Seagard, too. I've had such fun stopping in and getting ideas." As for what's in the basket, "Ser Inigo will share with you, certainly!"
"I can hope. Lest I need to filch one, not unlike those guards you were so worried about," Sofya notes lightly, clearly kidding. She has a treat of her own after all, forgotten for the moment in lieu of conversation.
Alona tugs on Lark's arm and the cousins exchange a brief look, prompting Lark to start again. "Oh, Seven, I'm keeping Lonnie from fawning on her favorite!" She grins apologetically. "We should be on our way. Mistress Dale, thank you again and again. It's been such delightful good fortune to meet you!"
Sofya laughs at that, low alto ringing out with delight. "I hope she has all the good fortune that you did with your own, then. It wouldn't do to keep her from him," she says with a warm crook of a grin. "Enjoy your day. It was lovely to meet you both."
"Thank you, Mistress!" the girls chime in unison, Lark adding, "Seven bless!" Then they've off, Lark reminding her cousin, "Now we're only going to admire Ser Jarod from afar, right? I hear his wife is a beastly woman who punches people in the head…."