|Suitors and Ruins and Assets, oh my!|
|Summary:||Lucienne come across Jacsen drinking to a sunset. Their usual candid conversation ensues.|
|Related Logs:||Anything tagged Jacsen or Lucienne|
|This is open to the air except for the rookery at the opposite end of the open walkway. Parapets and crenellations are about.|
|17 Aug 288|
From this vantage point, perhaps the highest of Terrick's Roost, the sun hangs low in the sky, all red and bloated, casting a shaded light over the world that portends the dusk that is yet to come. With the slow retreat of the sun into the horizon, so too has the heat begun to recede, hurried along by the cooler breeze to be found at such a height.
It's there, painted in the reddish hue of a fading sun, that Lucienne finds her brother Jacsen, seated upon one of the large blocks left for the relative comfort of those stationed to keep an eye from the rooftop terrace. His cane lingers against the stone of the terrace's parapet not far from him, while he silently watches the day draw to a close. A wine skin, looking rather swollen and full, rests beside him, seeming forgotten for the nonce.
"Jace," she says lowly, still unused to the sight of her dear brother around the Roost. Perhaps an unwise choice, her hair is let down save for a single crowning plait on each side, curls tossed about by that running sea breeze. "Did you miss this view?" Her feet continue to carry her silently over to join him.
He turns his head at the sound, a smile favoring his lips before he can even quite tell it is Lucienne that has found him so high up their father's hold. "Whether you mean the sight of you, dear Enne, or the lands spread out beyond the Roost…" Jacsen nods a few times, soberly. "Yes, I've missed all of it very well." His voice carries on the breeze, but it is spoken as lowly, as if in reverence for the vanishing sun. "Would you come and join me?"
A compliment from her Jace always makes Lucienne smile, and this time is no different. No brief affair, it lingers as she crosses to him and whilst she agrees, "I would. It's such a lovely place to watch the sun set; yesterday I encountered Ser Gedeon enjoying it around the same time." The degree of her voice is kept down too, in keeping with the atmosphere, and she settles into a seat close on the block.
He watches as she approaches, the smile he wears never drifting. "It's the most peace I've had, up here, since coming home," Jacsen admits, leaning to reach for his wine skin. "We're full to the brim with suitors, visitors, plots, intrigue… I'd thought Seagard to be a most exciting and lucid court, but Terrick's Roost is not far behind of late." He gives the skin in his hand a little wriggle, "Care for a sip? It's not light, I'll warn, but delicious and just the right amount of warmth for when dusk arrives."
"The very reason I retreat here so often lately," Lucienne explains. "Whilst our guests honor us with their presence, the constant catering is wearing. I've almost a mind to take ill to bed, as our Jaremy managed - just for a few days rest." Indeed, she sounds as exhausted as the words paint. Brown eyes drop to the skin of wine, narrowing warily. "As long as it won't burn my poor throat?"
Jacsen presses the skin into her hand, and shakes his head. "It's nothing so strong as that, only wine, dear Enne." He waits for her to take a sip before he goes on, saying, "I can only imagine how it must be for you… so often the gentle touch and the wise hand about these parts. It's nothing for the likes of Jarod, even Jaremy, to stalk off when they tire of too much talk, but a kind lady is put upon ever more." He's willing to take the skin back, if she offers, and he downs a mouthful. "To say nothing of the guests that come as suitors besides, hmm?"
Only wine. Lucienne takes the skin, brushing at Jace's hands with her own before lifting it for a taste. She blinks hard, thrice, and extends it back. "Oh, /my/. Stronger than the watered-down wine I'm used to," she admits ruefully. "I will say, the Lady Anais is a relief on that front. I had not the inclination to welcome any woman who sought to fill the spot that should have been Isolde's, but Anais has been… a saving grace, on many occasions these past weeks. No longer do I fear that when the time comes for my leave, the household will suffer." Which brings her to the matter of suitors. "Ser Gedeon reminded me of his Lord Ser's interest."
"I find myself growing fond of Anais," Jacsen concedes. "She has a level head about her, a charming manner, and no inclination to remain idle while others busy themselves taking care of matters." His smile quirks, "It also does not hurt that she is very beautiful. Not so much so as to eclipse the fair Lucienne Terrick, but the best our dear Jaremy could hope for, I think." He takes one more small sip before setting the skin down on the seat between them. The mention of Lord Ser Anton Valentin and his interest causes the smile Jacsen wears to twist. "Perhaps Ser Gedeon should be wise enough to reckon that, given the controversy he and his Lord Ser have rode in on, it might suit sensibilities were he to have a measure of patience in the matter." He looks to his sister, "But really, it is your mind on this that matters. And fathers, truth be told, but since he is not here right now to speak of it… where is your mind on this?"
As Jacsen waxes about Anais, Lucienne pays a glance to the sunset. The mention of the Banefort girl's beauty draws a curve to her lips, and dimples to her cheeks as the smile sets. She turns her face to bestow the expression upon her brother. "Aye, Jace. He's very lucky in his match." She pauses to hear out his opinions on the most controversial of their guests, sending a short look to her lap where her hands have folded together primly. As she thinks, her gaze hangs there until she's done; she looks up. "I have no desire to be parted from you again so soon," she begins. "But the day will come, regardless. Seagard is closer and richer, if our father would seek a match there - but unnecessary, given our banners. Perhaps Tall Oaks would be amenable, but perhaps not. I don't know enough about Oldstones to judge what advantages we could gain besides their allegiance, Jace. Do you? Where do they trade, and what? How many men could they commit us in battle?"
Her brother shakes his head some, as he considers the question but to him. "Oldstones is a ruin, though one the Lord claims is being renewed. They trade little beyond furs, and command few… It would be a political match made for the sake of pledging us to Gedeon's cause at Stonebridge, and ensuring the natural rights of Terrick to keep Stonebridge as a banner were protected, I think. I mean to speak with Lord Anton, that I might better understand him, understand what it is he thinks to bring into such a match." It is clear, as he speaks, that the matter is one that Jacsen wishes to comprehend more fully. "And truth be told…" He reaches to put a hand atop his sister's folded ones, "I don't know that I'm ready to see you go just yet. If truly he wishes a match, I'm keen to make him wait a spell." That last he delivers with a fond smile.
Lucienne looks back out over the Roost as she listens to the response, nodding slowly. She breathes in and out deeply as she continues to ponder her suitor. "He…" Her eyes shift again to Jacsen at his touch, a comforted little smile playing across her lips. "He's difficult to pin down," she admits. "And I don't just mean finding him for a conversation. I think him to be a smart man, Jace, you'll see. But even the smartest of men would not see me any less reluctant to leave my home." Her eyes have grown wider as she speaks, with a worry to them. "A ruin. I should live in a /ruin/ as a lady wife? Perhaps therein is an opportunity to stall this for a time."
"What I have seen, and what I have heard, speak to his intelligence," Jacsen agrees, dipping his chin in a motion of succinct agreement. "And he is even more so of a cunning bent, if the less savory rumors are born true…" His eyes dart about a moment, to ensure none are within earshot. "… what you said Isolde delivered to you, via intermediary." Lucienne's hands are given a gentle squeeze by her brother's, before he withdraws to fetch the wine skin once more. "No lady wife should be taken to a ruin, no, nor should she be given to a lord that has yet to make proper his allegiances. That he owes to Robert's Throne through the Riverlands is unmistakable, but ties beyond that are far less defined. I suspect for all the strife over Stonebridge's true heir, Hag's Mire will be very interested in building ties with Oldstones."
"That we've had two Nayland visitors in the time my Lord suitor has spent here speaks for itself, does it not?" Lucienne is grave, and she shakes her head. "I know not what to think of the correspondence you mention," she adds, barely above a whisper. "Nobody could speak to the character of the woman who brought it, despite their beliefs or best efforts. That the information comes from our oldest rivals is also vexing. And yet… perhaps I would notbe so quick to dismiss it. We should be cautious, and as always, keep our eyes and ears open." She lifts her chin a little, and her volume. "Have you heard anything further on the Nayland retainer's death?"
He offers the wine skin towards his sister again, shaking his head. "I've not. I've spoken with both Jarod and Jaremy of late, but I confess that our conversations were more suited to catching up with one another than digging into what is going on of late." Letting out a quiet breath, Jacsen reaches to touch his right thigh, fingers mutedly kneading at the muscle beneath. "My time away has made this all more difficult than it could have been. I need navigate through the feelings of others before I can get to the heart of the matter, and begin to see things as clear as I might. At least with us both to advise them, and an understanding of what might be better done, they will hesitate before taking action in the future." He looks down at his leg, and continues to gently work at it. "I am pondering a visit to Stonebridge, mayhap even the Mire. I have warrant to travel beneath my lord Mallister's banner, and can blame my presence on the maintenance of trades and tariffs between Seagard and the Frey bannermen, I think. Perhaps I can learn more there."
Lucienne declines the skin with a quick head shake of her own. Instead of drinking, she moves to replace Jacsen's hand with her own upon his thigh, sliding her thumb at a comforting pressure down toward his knee. "I should tend this for you again, with the bandages," she murmurs. As her eyes lift once more, they're troubled, but she nods. "A trip like that would not be unwise. Do you think our Lord Father would agree to it?"
It seems to take him unawares, that his sister would seek to tend his leg. Might be clear to her then that he's not let anyone else take up that task in her absence, instead making do himself. Jacsen's reticence lasts only a moment, though, and he closes his eyes a moment. "I will have to discuss it with him, though I suppose I could go without his consent, I would most certainly prefer to do all things with at least his tacit blessing," her brother confesses, eyes still lightly lidded.
Lucienne continues to stroke her brother's leg, gentle but firm. As he closes his eyes, she drops hers to watch her handiwork, perhaps pondering the cruel injury underneath it. Pondering something, if the long sigh she emits is any signal to go by. "I'm certain he would appreciate the courtesy," she says. "Perhaps in the course of your discussion you might seek his mind about Lord Valentin's suit. Jarod encouraged me to do so myself, but I couldn't bear to hear," from anyone aside from her present company, implies her tone, "That I'm to be sent away just yet."
"I will ask him," Jacsen promises his sister then, though she is perhaps long since accustomed to the idea that her brother would promise just about anything to his dear sister, and deny her nothing. "And beseech him to consider waiting a touch, if it would be soon. While I'm certain too much a delay would smart, given what happened with Jaremy and Isolde, surely he would see the wisdom in letting other matters settle first, and seeing Jaremy wed."
That's not to say his promises hold any less weight with her; there is still comfort found in them. "You are so close to my heart, good brother," she declares softly, her hand settling upon Jacsen's knee as she looks admiringly up at him. "I'm certain that if there is aught to be learned by visiting Nayland territory, you will learn it."
He smiles as she says that, his eyes drifting open to meet Lucienne's. "You are altogether too kind to me, Enne," Jacsen assures her, reaching up to fondly touch the side of her face. "I do not know that there is much to be gained either at Stonebridge or the Mire, but I should like to find it if there is. I will be no great asset in battle, but I would have my kin know there is much I can yet provide."
Lucienne's eyes drift close as he brushes her face, her smile taking on a serene, contented quality. Her lashes flutter open, though, as she scolds: "Of course there is! Terrick's Roost has more need for soldiers of your skills than any other, just now. Hush, Jace." A finger stretches forth to touch softly to his lips. "Come, will you walk with me to check on the preparations for the evening meal?"
His lips curve against that fingertip across his lips, before he nods. "I think I can manage," Jacsen observes, leaning forward to reach for his cane. "I've had altogether enough of sitting for the nonce." He uses the cane as leverage to slowly ease himself back up to his feet, reaching for the wine skin that he might slip the strap over his shoulder.
"You're too good to your sister," says Lucienne, latching onto Jace's non-cane arm once he's up and set, and starting a sedate pace toward the stairs.