|Summary:||Anais and Amelia meet in the marketplace to discuss marriage, Jaremy, and education.|
|Residents of the town and surrounding area bring their wares to sell here among small tables built upon the slate grey stone flooring of the outdoor expanse. The area is surrounded by thatched roof buildings and shops on all sides with roads and paths winding their way in and out of this thriving part of town. Most of the commercial capacity of Terrick's Roost can be found here with the storefronts attracting the attention of those among all classes.|
|02 AUG 288|
It hasn't taken long for Anais to start making herself familiar around Terrick's Roost. A ride in the morning, a pinic on the beach in the early afternoon, and now as it presses toward evening, she and her usual small cadre of Banefort guards can be found in the markets, wandering from booth to booth to speak with the crafters and merchants. She's currently at a cloth merchant's table, exclaiming over the bolts of linens in bright colors.
Amelia is..doing the Whore Thing. One of the sworn knights from the tower has her on his arm and she is tucked up with both arms wrapped around it as she strolls with him. There's a bright smile on her face while the two converse in hushed tones. For a woman at the lowest rung on society, she seems quite happy even despite her manner of revealing dress. But as seeing Anais, she kisses two fingers and taps them to the knight's cheek before she diverges towards the younger woman. Amelia winks to the man as he disappears into the crowd and the whore spproaches slowly, making sure the guards see her. She's done this a few times. A deep bow is presented. "Lady Anais. So good to see you." She doesn't rise from the bow yet. Show deepest respect in front of the sworn of her home.
"Amelia!" Anais turns toward the other woman as she approaches, smile flashing across her features. "Ah, it's good to see you here as well." She glances through the crowd, checking for current customers, before turning to create a space for Amelia at the table. "Join us? I just came to look, but I didn't expect to find such lovely, rich colors," she adds with a smile for the merchant.
Amelia rises and nods to her. "Thank you, m'Lady," she gives to the request to join. "You are too kind. But yes, I do quite love the markets here." A nod is given to the merchant. "Hello, Laurenta." Its a cheerful greeting but the merchant just scowels back. Even if the nobles like Amelia, most people just consider her another whore. She seems ot have expected it and looks to Anais. "How are you enjoying the Roost?? I do hope Ser Jaremy and the family have been kind in showing you around the lands?"
"It's very nice," Anais nods, looking to a bolt of deep purple linen. "Jaremy made certain I had a room as close to the sea as possible. I went for a ride with Lucienne in the morning, then was able to spend a little time on the beach this afternoon. And now…" She looks around, then laughs softly. "I'm going to see everything in a day, aren't I?" she asks ruefully, shaking her head. "What do you think of this purple, Amelia? I do like it, though I'm not sure I've anything that actually goes with it at the moment."
There's just a tinge of jealousy at the edge of her expression as Jaremy is said to have gotten her a room. Thankfully the beach seems to provide a welcome distraction. "Oh! You got down there! Fantastic." She folds her hands in front of her. "I hope it was to your standards, m'Lady? I have not had a chance to get down there in a fair few months, sadly. I've been rather busy between work and the tournament." She shakes her head and looks to the bolts. Ignore what 'work' entails.. or doesn't. "You may see everything in a day, but it takes a lifetime to understand, Lady Anais. We are a proud people. We must be absorbed and experienced. Men like Ser Jaremy are responsible for that. As for the colors?" She lifts the purple and picks up another of gold. A prompt turn to Anais that might alert the guards, but she simply holds the bolts to the noble. "Mmmmmm." She looks apprehensive and skeptical. "I don't know, m'Lady. Terrick colors look quite smashing on you." A slow grin spreads across her face.
"I will confess, I spent half of the time sleeping," Anais smiles ruefully to Amelia. "I've hardly slept at all since I left home, and the sound was just so soothing…I just drifted off. Thankfully I had my guards with me, else I'd be terribly embarassed and have to count myself lucky." When the other woman puts the gold with the purple, though, and names them Terrick colors, Anais blanches just slightly, pressing a hand over her stomach. "They, ah. They are, aren't they?" she realizes, smile wan. "Goodness. How could I not notice?"
Amelia smirks. "Sleeping? Yes, I do suppose that would make the difference. I've always found that it is just the salt air to put me down. A few deep breaths and.." She sighs happily. "Out like a candle. But do not concern yourself with luck. Only what was finally obtained." Sleeeeep. The whore smiles and lowers the bolts, arranging them differently around the woman's body, even draping one across each shoulder. "Honestly, I fear yellow in large amounts may prove to be something to avoid. Maybe if you did a long dress in.. Yes, the purple would do well. We could hem in gold thread and do the interior cuffs of your sleeves in the gold. It might be just enough to really bring it to life." She lofts her brow, almost daring the noble with her leered grin.
"No, I think you're right," Anais agrees, though she's still a little stunned by her earlier realization. "I've never been able to do yellow well, and we do try to leave the true gold to the Lannisters," she smiles ruefully, looking down at the fabrics draped over her shoulder. "You are a dangerous shopping companion, Amelia," she laughs at the look from the other woman. "I suddenly have a feeling I'm going to be back to my rooms with far more fabric than I thought I was going out for."
"Bah. Gold. Lannisters. They have enough of it. I think Lady Anais could stand for some flash after her travels. Woould you gentlemen not agree?" Amelia glances to her sworn with a saucy smile and wink before looking back to her target. The colors are lifted off and settled down carefully on the table. "Wonderful colors. It took me some time to get used to but about two years ago I found myself terribly in love with the combination. I have an off-gold dress I wear for functions that has a purple sash I made that ties off around my hips, let it hang low." She motions for where it sits on her figure. "I stuck a few grains of sea salt into the sash's tips to bring just enough life to it." A pause. "And yes. I will likely burden you with horrible amounts of ideas and fabrics. Maybe even a dress or two."
"Oh, that was clever," Anais moues at the mention of the sea salt in the sash, tipping her head to one side to picture it. "Very clever." She reaches out to brush her fingers over a few other bolts of fabric, always leaning toward the bright and colorful. "Do you know, the Banefort colors are black and grey?" she sighs. "I'm sure it's appropriately intimidating on the battlefield, but black is simply /dreadful/ with a fair complexion. I look like a corpse when I have to dress for functions. And then there's the orange, and it's just…Well. Sometimes I'd rather dress like the /figure/ on our arms, so at least no one would recognize me in the drabness."
Amelia dips her head. "Thank you. I learned to sew during the rebellion. Constrained incomes mean I have to repair all my clothing and make most but the nicest — which is usually purchased for me. One must get creative when the pennies are low." There actually is not a trace of jealousy there. Just a prim observation to being frugal. "I did know that, actually. But I had not thought to picture it on you." Amelia takes a step back and looks the other woman over. Eyes trail up and down her curves and the lines critically. "I suspect, m'Lady, that something can be done with black and gray. It would depend on just how dark the gray is. Black and a light gray may not be flashy, but there is an understated nobility to the colors. It brings to mind.." She flows her hand as she tries to conjure the word. "..decisiveness? Directness? I think in very careful additions you could wear it properly. But, again.. as you said, Lady Anais. Your complexion is quite fair. Hmm." Another critical eye to her face. "I think there are things we could do."
"Just imagine what I could get away with in those robes, though," Anais smiles crookedly to herself, glancing to the badges on her men's uniforms. To judge by their expressions, this is a threat and a theory they have heard before. Often enough to find amusing, rather than a real threat. "The mysterious hooded man of Banefort." She clears her throat after a moment, though she seems to have lifted her own spirits with the jest. "I should likely wait before I purchase anything for gowns," she admits after a moment, taking a reluctant step back. "But I'd be glad to bring you along when I do," she smiles to Amelia. "I've half a mind that my sisters would assure me I look lovely in puce at this point."
Amelia looks to the guards with Anais and leans in a touch closer. She smiles, whispering just loud enough for them to hear. "Quite dashing, yes. A similar idea to Ser Jaremy should not be out of the question." But she stands taller again and nods. "Wait as you like. Fabric will still be around. I would be happy to bring you but I am sorry, m'Lady." She looks a bit apologetic. "You will likely learn this well should you stay long: When nobility asks for my advice, I am not kind. I do not attempt to blind you all with dashing, colorful words to soothe bruised egos. I will tell you exactly what I think of the situation, and when it calls for it, of the person to whom I am speaking." Having said that, its finished with a nod. "But if done in all black, rmember that lighter grays can appear white when seen against that much. A simple dress crafted by fine hands could do well. Use thin grey fabric at the ties to hold it together and perhaps something like a bow at the rear. Just enough dress underneath to lend weight. I think it could do well. Maybe unconventional, but different from drabbing in grey with black.. 'highlights'."
Anais quirks a brow, eyeing Amelia for a long moment. Pressing her lips together against laughter, she sets her hands on her hips. "A bow on my bottom?" she echoes. "Miss Amelia, I am beginning to suspect you are as bad as my sisters," she chides teasingly, wagging a finger and starting to move on to another booth. "I'm not afraid of frank advice," she shakes her head as she walks. "Better that than meaningless flattery, or worse. Worse would be the ones who tell you you look absolutely lovely, then let you walk out in public where the rest of the world will disagree."
Amelia blinks innocently. "I offer only what I can, m'Lady." She smiles then and moves off with Anais, walking just behind and to the left of the younger woman. "It has been my experience that both flattery and skullduggery such as you speak of are from weak minds and jealous hearts. While nobody is totally free of either, I do believe that being honest reduces the effects." She folds her hands before her, nodding politely to a woman who passes. The nod is returned with a short smile. "Honest dialogue provice an opportunity for debate if both parties dissolve social walls. When competiting thoughts are put against each other on an even field of battle, the best will usually prevail. When opinions are expressed, the mind is not forced to exist in squalor and feed itself with impertinent thoughts. …This is why certain people come to me for counseling in various matters. I do not fear them. Or their titles. We each respect the rules of the discussion or the discussion ceases."
"Have you never been in a situation where a man would not respect the rules of the discussion?" Anais asks with cautious curiosity, turning a sidelong glance toward the other woman. "I've heard that men can be…insistent. That they may agree to one thing in the light of day, then do something entirely different in the private confines of a home."
Amelia is quick to nod in reply. "Several times, in fact. Men are insistant, as is their right. Some will definitely do as you suggest. But in the confines of an inn, locked in a room with a whore? We are afforded no protection as you are, m'Lady. We speak our minds at a very real risk. I am fortunate that I carry some unofficial protection via the affections of some of the sworn here. They look after me and assure I come to no harm. Not long after I began with counseling I had a man beat me quite bad in one of the rooms upstairs. He attempted other things." Pointed glance. "It did not end well for that man." She looks back forward. "Do you not have much experience with men? Mostly speaking with your brothers or the sworn at your side?"
Anais presses her lips together, her brows furrowing at Amelia's words. "I…have heard of such things. I've seen what happens during raids. From the walls." That memory seems to cause her some distress, though it shows only in the press of a hand against her stomach. "There was a woman once who escaped from an Ironborn ship. She had…many tales. I did not have enough sense to know when not to listen." She clears her throat then, lifting her chin as she composes herself once more. "But my brothers, yes. And friends. Our sworn men. There are docks at the Banefort, of course, and all that that implies."
Amelia dips her head. "Then I am sure you have seen the pain in the eyes of another. It is not something one forgets. I do not know whether to call that woman lucky or not, though." A simple turn of her head with a sigh and the whore seems to brush away her own memories. "Ah yes, you mentioned the docks before. So what is it that occupied your time down there, m'Lady? Items of particular interest? Tell me of yourself?"
"When I was fourteen, I had a terrible crush on the shipwright's apprentice," Anais confesses with a laugh, smile slipping crooked. "He was about two years older than I was, with the most beautiful green eyes and sandy blonde hair. And freckles," she adds, fond. "I think it was a reflection of a very old daydream about Jaime Lannister, really. So when I would finish my lessons at home, I would rush down to the docks to help him with /his/ lessons."
Amelia's smile ranges across her face, face lighting. This whore is, indeed, a sucker for romance. Poor thing. "I had a similar experience when I was thirteen. It was magic. He had big brown eyes and these adorable tufts of black hair. I used to pick at them just to get him to bat me away." Such games of young love. "So you finished your lessons and went to go teach him? Mmm." She lofts her brow at the younger woman and leans in with a stupid grin. "And these lessons were, to my guess, more of the philosophical debates of love and who can feel it more?"
"No," Anais admits. "No, I really did help him with his lessons. Navigation, in particular, though a bit of the practical design of the ships. In hindsight, I think that's why he put up with my affections," she chuckles softly, shaking her head. "Though I would be lying if I said I never tried to talk about love with him. Or what men looked for in women. Or just /how/ one learned to kiss if one was not to have any practice in the field."
"Navigation and ship design?" The whore lofts a brow and looks the Lady up and down, a good bit impressed. "That is quite an education. I would not think many women see such things. Is that common for the women of the Banefort House??" Infinite curiosity there. But the rest gets a soft laugh and nod. "Two endless topics that defy debate and the generations." She almost looks wistful. "Did you ever get this lucky sod to discuss the first? Maybe touch on the second? Mmm?" Another big grin. The first talk they had may have been more of an interview in some respects, but this is clearly one woman just sharing her life with Anais.
"I learned it from his materials." Anais hesitates a moment, looking to the other woman. "Is it- I mean, it wasn't…hard." Her cheeks flush, and she ducks her chin a moment. "It was interesting. To be honest, by the time he was moving on, I was sadder to lose the chance to learn any more on the topic than to lose his company." Recovered from her brief embarassment, she looks back up with a small smile. "There was a kiss. Or two," she confesses, looking around to make sure no one else is listening.
"Self-taught. That is quite impressive, m'Lady." Amelia gives another respectful nod to the woman beside her. "For a woman to take on such a man's role or even the knowledge is a bold statement of the soul. But I can understand losing that chance to learn. My mother arranged for me to be educated as well as I could be. To learn to be much as you are — a noble woman." She keeps her hands folded in front of her, arms tucked closely to her sides, though the mention of kisses gets a grin. "Our secret, m'Lady," she whispers. "I'm going to assume by the smile that this was not a poor experience. Good. Were you able to see him again after you and he parted that time?"
"Oh, sometimes," Anais smiles briefly as she walks. "His ship would stop by and I'd see him in passing. But it wasn't…Well. There wasn't really anything to it aside from a boy and a girl, doing what boys and girls everywhere do. But I would smile when I saw him, thinking back on it." She considers the other woman a moment, thoughtful. "What was your favorite thing to study?" she asks, smile curving. "Obviously you were very good at singing, to have performed as well as you did at the competition."
Amelia's smile never fades. "I know the type of relationship. We have a term for that." 'We' by her use does not seem to indicate whores, but more towrds women in general. "We call it 'two ships passing at sea'. For a brief moment its beautiful to have the company and to share the happiness when it can get lonely other times. And then they are gone. There's no resentment. Such is life, though." The whore continues walking, but the last seems to strike her oddly. "I actually never took proper lessons. I had to sing on a street corner when I was growing up. Helped bring mum and I pennies. A profssional singer would walk by every Monday afternoon, tell me I was horrible, and offer advice. Four years of that helped me. But most of my singing is for the Inn. Or Sept. I am, believe it or not, quite shy about it." Her cheeks redden, tongue wetting her painted lips. "My favorite subject.. I never learned to read very well so I would have to say the logic games. My teacher told me that before I could learn I had to understand how to use what I learned."
"You had a good teacher," Anais approves at the last. "My father always used to say that it was no use learning things if you weren't going to make any use of them." She pauses, then laughs, smile flashing across her features. "Not that it stopped him from bringing in dancing masters. I love to dance," she confesses then, and there's a rare light in her eyes. "The patterns. The movements. The music. And my father went to great lengths to try to find me teachers."
Amelia's dry smirk returns. "He mostly tried to teach me how to behave like a Lady and not like the street rat daughter of a whore. Manners. Proper forms of address. Banners and house mottos. When to keep quiet and what my place was to be in society. It ended before I was to learn much more than the games." She shakes her head and looks back to Anais. "Dance is beautiful. That is something I have never been ale to learn. Its shameful on a man's arm to have to retire from a calling when it is time to do such things. I feel awful for the embarassment it brings to my men. But watching it?" That smile returns. "It is like watching perfection flow in fornt of your eyes."
"Perhaps I could teach you a few things some time," Anais offers with an easy smile. "It seems the least I could do in return for what you've offered me. And it would hardly be a burden," she adds quickly, arching a warning brow at the other woman, as though anticipating her demural. "As I said, I love to dance, and there are so few chances for it. Perhaps there will be more here than there were at home, though. That would be…very nice."
"You are very gracious, m'Lady." The whore's head dips once more, this time deeper. There is genuine appreciation there. "I would look forward to such things, though I am afraid paying for such things would be prohibitive to me. Normally I offer to trade services but that is becoming harder as I find myself less inclined." To whore? Or to learn? "I do not know how often there are dances here for official functions. Though if you do feel the need to burst your energy and do not mind the association, we sometimes will do small things at the Rockcliff. The whores will put on a show and dance their own ways with the men. Some wives come down for it. It is not refined and mostly fueled by large amounts of ale and summerwine. I hire a lyre and sing."
Anais's lips quirk, more interest sparking in her eyes than she can fairly admit to. "Perhaps not before I am wed," she demurs, though her smile grows as she says it. "After, though? I am told that married women suffer less scrutiny than maids. Perhaps I might have a chance to enjoy such hospitality then." She reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, sighing contentedly. "I do like it here so far. If I could just stop swinging between hope and nerves, I might even be able to eat at some point."
Amelia glances to the woman, a bit of surprise on her face but its not unwelcome. "As you wish, m'Lady. It is true about the scrutiny. But I am available for whatever you would like. It would be my pleasure. Nobody will know if you prefer complete privacy." Another tilt of her head, face contented with a smile. She has had women before. That is no secret. "Sounds like you're starting to hope the Young Lord might seek your hand. I do not think I can blame you. If you would like, the food at the Rockcliff is actually quite good. The Innkeeper has been marinating chickens for several days and it smells of spice inside. I dare your nerves to defy the hunger." She grins with the offer.
"It's like…" Anais looks upward, giving her hands a shake. "It's like it's all fine when I'm just thinking about it hypothetically. When I just think about it intellectually, as that thing that I always knew I would do eventually, and these are the rules I'm meant to follow in the process, and this is how it's supposed to be done. And then I think of it as /me/, and as real, and as not going home, and suddenly my stomach just drops to my feet. And there are other things that I /want/ to think of, but I really shouldn't, and-" She looks back over to Amelia, cheeks flushed and smile sheepish. "And you don't really need to hear this from me, do you?" she murmurs, apologetic.
Amelia listens, her attention clearly on the gestures and voice of the woman beside her. The look on her face is somewhere between concern and sincere sympathy for the woman's trouble with the situation. "It is very difficult, m'Lady. I've counseled many on this problem." Its said gently, her words barely loud enough to find even Anais' ears. "What else do you want to think of? Other possibilities? Other things you wanted to do before you were wed?" The last finds her smiling and she tilts her head to the side with an easy smile. "My dearest Lady Anais; I think I should hear whatever it is you need to say. Your words do not fall on deaf ears."
Anais waves a hand, shaking her head. "No, it's all right," she smiles faintly. "I have imposed enough upon your goodwill. Tell me…Oh, I don't know. Tell me about…" She scans the stalls, then grins, pointing to a man with a stall of pies and pasties. "Tell me about that man. I doubt he does all of that cooking for himself."
Amelia smiles and reaches out to lightly touch the tips of her fingers to the other woman's arm. "M'Lady? If you need to talk about the situation, do not be ashamed. You're looking at a major step in your life. Likely to a man you know very, very little about. If your nerves are not driving you crazy, I would be more concerned. I encourage you to speak up. What you have to say will be between us and you need not pay for my time." She keeps the easy smile and looks towards the baker. "Darnell Wills. The man and his wife Rose actually make all that in their home outside the gates, around the side by The Green. He sells them but everyone knows she cooks them. Her father and mother have a small shop in Stonebridge that is my favorite place to eat. If you like fresh bread and a thick stew? Especially on a cool night? So fresh. Spiced just enough." Mmmmmm…
The small talk of the smallfolk seems to ease some of Anais' nerves, her smile easing as she listens. "And who in town makes the ones that you /shouldn't/ eat?" she asks, looking over with a mischievous smile. "At home, it was the Cracked Cup. They made the very best ale in town, but you didn't want to eat the stew there. It was…well. Very questionable."
The whore notes the avoidance and she drops the subject. She reclasps her hands and makes a face, eyes squinting at the thought. "That is a tough choice." A heaved breath later, she nods a few times. "A man named 'Burdy' runs a cart into town some days. Usually once a month. Nobody knows where he lives or comes from, but he smells putrid and no one can identify the meat he is selling. A sworn says he believes it to be seagull. Hence, the nickname. The other, more regular, would be the Saddlepommel. The man who owns it was trained to cure leather but he cooks sometimes. The food is atrocious in general. But the atmosphere is nice and they have a central hearth. I've been told its quite warm spring and fall nights." She moves along. "Do you care as much for the smallfolk as Jaremy? Or jsut trying to see what he see's?" Its not an aggressive question. Just curiosity peeking in.
"I like people," Anais answers the question. "Noble or not. They're all different. They all have secrets. They /think/ differently, and cook differently, and still when you dig deeper, they have different beliefs and different ideas of what is most important. It's one of the reasons I enjoy travelling shows, and songs, and tales. They always hilight something different about human nature." A careful answer, perhaps. But there's honesty in the words, and no hesitation in the explanation. A smile tugs at one corner of her lips as she casts a sidelong glance toward the other woman. "I did get the sense that Jaremy has a deeper attachment, though."
Amelia listens, her head dipped forward a bit as she walks. Her own thoughts trail through the noble's words. "As I said before, m'Lady, I think it important that you travel. Not as an opinion of you needing to be versed in the world of Westeros, but more to satisfy curiosity. I think you would take away a lot from your surroundings if you were to travel as one of us. There is danger to be sure, but that is apart of life. There is danger in everything." The last gets a short smile and a lofted brow. "Are you speaking to me personally or to his attachment to his smallfolk in general?"
"His /attachment/ in general," Anais laughs softly. "He could teach loyalty to a snake, I think. Oh gods, there I go again," she murmurs, pressing a hand to her stomach. "I just- All my life it's been an abstract concept, and now it's an actual person. And he /is/ a person, not just a husband. He's /open/, and genuine, and caring, and I honestly think I'm just /afraid/ to believe any of it." It's as though a dam of thoughts and words has broken, and Anais belatedly claps a hand when it all comes out, turning a miserable look on Amelia. "I'm sorry," she murmurs through it. "I said I wasn't going to do that to you."
The discussion of Jaremy actually gets a genuine, warm expression to settle upon Amelia's face. "Tch!" she chides. "If you apologize one more time I shall swat you. No more of that." The older woman beams a narrowed, smiling Look at the noble before looking back forward. "I agree completely. I was once engaged to a noble, actually, so I understand the rush. It swells the mind and heart.. and then fills them with pins and needles. You're lucky to have been born to it.. maybe. You know the future will hold someone. But yes, to see a possible husband now is entirely different. You can see his eyes, look at his swagger, hear the nuances to his voice. Talk to his friends and learn all sorts of sordid things." She grins in spite of herself. It softens after a moment and her gaze settles on Anais. "But you are indeed lucky because Jaremy is, quite honestly, the single best man I have ever known, m'Lady."
Anais gives her hands a little shake, letting out a slow breath. "I think that makes it harder," she laughs, smile faint. "It's…A good noble mother raises her children not to expect that their marriage will bring love, or happiness, or even that her husband will be a good man. My mother raised me to understand that I would marry for the good of our house and another house. That duty was the biggest part of it. And now it's as though I've heard the bowstring twang, and I'm just waiting to see where the arrow hits. And I can't decide if I want it to be real, or if I want the storybook. Because I just can't imagine that the two are the same."
Awww. The older woman can't help her face, lower lip pressed up into her upper lip with the little whispy tears that hide behind her eyes. She remembers that feeling!! "Aw, dove," she whispers. Probably a term of endearment for her. "He's a good man, hon." Her voice says low so as not to slip from pure respect in front of anyone else. "If your heart is pure and you are looking for a man you can feel good about curling up with on a cold night, Ser Jaremy is the one you should pray for. Duty is apart of all our lives, though. Some more than others. Women like you have the highest calling. I choose to enforce my own calling in a different way but the duty remains. But, Anais?" Her look is tempered with something a little more serious. Only a little. "This will be real. You will fight. You will hate him. You will wish he were a toad. You will want him to jump off the cliffs. ..And you will relish and revel in his touch when you're done being angry and he still will care for and love you. I understand the nerves, my dear. I do. But hold your head high and be yourself. It will work itself out for the best."
"Thank you." Anais reaches a hand for Amelia's shoulder, genuine gratitude in the gesture. "I know it's going to sound ridiculous, but I'm honestly reassured by the prospect of yelling at him and telling him to jump off a cliff." Her lips twitch, smile returning despite herself. "Not that I'm planning on it, mind," she laughs, letting her hand fall. "Wouldn't that be the worst wedding night ever? Your sweet new bride suddenly turning on you and telling you to jump off a cliff."
She has counseled time and again. "No need to thank me, love. We may be born to different families and fates, but we are all the same inside. It warms the heart to see you settling a little easier." Just like her words, the woman's smile is soft and welcoming. "I think that if you told him that, he would laugh. And then he would probably dunk you in baked goods head first." She grins playfully, but again it fades to be temepred with more serious notes. "If you believe in him, Anais, he will believe in you. Jare has the heart of a lion. He will never quit. If you two are to be wed, when it comes time for him to take the throne, you will know that you can face each dawn knowing that his name on yours and those of your children will not be a dark cloak but a warm blanket."
"That is also reassuring," Anais laughs, smile flashing broader. "He does surprise me. He seems so kind and gentle, but he seems to like it when I push him. And when I do, he pushes back. I can respect that." She takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly, and seems to relax with it. "I should be getting back to the tower, I suppose," she murmurs, a tinge of regret in her tone.
Amelia watches the words from Anais and just gives her a wink. "You're welcome, m'Lady." Its whispered, maybe even missed in the crowds of the marketplace. "By your leave." The older woman dips her head. "Be well, Lady Anais." She steps back once before slipping off to disappear into the crowds.
Anais opens her mouth to reply to the other woman, but by the time she turns, Amelia is gone in the crowd. A wry smile curves as she raises her hand, a gesture that could be for anyone on the street. Only then do the guards around her reconvene, the better to see their lady back to the tower.