Page 325: Sunlight
Summary: Delighted by the return of her horse, Sofya bounces upstairs to tell her Lord Inigo the good news.
Date: 7/13/2012
Related Logs: And Thanks For All the Horses and Dragons on the Green and Harpies on the River
Inigo Sofya 
Guest Room — Terrick's Roost
08 June 289

With Terrick's Roost seeing so many visitors lately (even if most are not staying in the tower itself) it probably is a benefit to be both family and here before the recent surge of arrivals. They have to have room for you, right? Anything else would be terribly discourteous, wouldn't it? The sun sinks towards the horizon, but still bathes the guest room in enough light that candles aren't necessary and won't be for some time yet. Inigo is taking advantage of the natural light, a half-written letter on the desk before him. Half-written because one really must compose their thoughts before setting them down, which is what he appears to be working on currently, leaning back in his seat and legs stretched out before him as he stares into the distance. Either that, or he's fallen asleep with his eyes open.

The door to Inigo's room groans quietly as it opens, following a short double rap, allowing the rosy cheeked figure of Sofya Dale to slip inside. A basket of neatly mended clothes rests on her hip. Her dark hair is loose about her shoulders, displaying the pale bruise that still rests on her temple, a brilliant smile on her lips. It is bright enough to break through any clouds. Shutting the door quietly behind her, she places the basket to the side and pads quietly across the room to where Inigo sits. She slides into his lap with a grin, wrapping her arms around his broad shoulders. "You aren't asleep, are you?"

Inigo does admittedly start a little when someone sits in his lap, but confusion clears in his brown eyes quickly and a smile spreads across his face when he laughs. "Good day, Mistress Dale," he greets with quiet humor. "Asleep? Never. Sleep is for the weak," he claims, resting arms lightly around her back and across her lap. Hello. "My, my," he begins, taking a good look at Sofya now and blinking, "The sun seems to have competition today, with a smile like that." Unspoken is the question: What is the smile for?

Sofya's fingers brush reassuringly across his shoulders as he starts, adjusting the comfortable weight of her curves in his lap. "Good day, my Ser," she returns brightly, voice ringing with joy like bell across the water. Hello. Hello. "I think that you'll find that sleep is for the tired, not the weak. Although a bed is a better place for it than at your desk." Simple concept, that. If it is possible, her smile spreads farther and sets her eyes to sparkle as she breathlessly recounts, "They found my horse." Her horse. Her dapple. Apple. It is the best of news since they were rescued.

"So I have heard of beds. Less good for writing, though, which is what I had been doing. And I was not asleep." So there. Dark brows arch slightly at that ringing joy in her voice. At least until she explains why there is such joy, then Inigo laughs again. "Ah," he says with warm understanding. "I had heard they had recovered some of the horses…I had not heard your Apple was among them. See?" He pauses, smile growing a bit as well. Her sunshine is infectious. "I said she was far too nice to eat." Did he? It doesn't matter. He was putting on a brave, cautiously optimistic face last time they spoke about it.

"The ink is rather difficult get out of the sheets," Sofya muses thoughtfully, pursing her lips in memory of other bedsheets that have been so damaged. The work of a household is ever interesting. It is a habit she is glad he hasn't taken to heart. It is impossible for her grin to broaden any further at his laugh, although it twitches at the corners as it if might. "They did. Master Vis and Lord Einar were down in the stables and…oh. She looks wonderful. Not a nibble out of her!" She practically crows the last words, bouncing in his lap like a child too filled with delight to contain it. "They didn't find them all. Just my own and Lady Tiaryn's and Lady Muirenn's. I never thought I'd see her again."

"And I would hate to damage bedsheets," Inigo says solemnly. Because he would never do that. Certainly not in someone else's household, at least. So no, not something that has happened frequently enough to be a habit. "Good, good. I shall have to thank them myself, should I see them. I was not looking forward to a day when Apple would need to be replaced." And probably not really for monetary concerns, even if that is a factor. "Have you been spending your time combing her and checking for nibbles, then?" Not that he'd blame her. "Ah, some ladies will still be disappointed then, though perhaps the rest will be found still. There were a great many more than three horses." More than even starving folk could manage to eat through in that time, likely.

Bedsheets are very important. Sofya nods in solemn approval to his words, dark lashes shuttering her gaze. That expression last for all of a moment, slipping away like clouds behind a the sun. "That day will not come now," she says with a laugh. "No, no. I still had work to did and did. I gave her a long curry combing just before dinner, though. Tomorrow I'll ride." Even so filled with delight, she doesn't shirk her duties. Although, no doubt she went about about her duties practically walking on air. "I hope they find them." It is great many horses to butcher or eat or sell, especially as sharply trounced as the bandits were.

"Try not to lose her again," Inigo teases, words a little dry, but smile bright. Because she just misplaced her horse in the first place. "I never said you did not do your work," he points out. That would be a fairly grievous insult. And he knows her better than that, besides. "I am sure she was delighted to have you combing her again." Good thing she's not a prissy horse. After all this time, she was probably a bit of a mess. His own steed would have been quite put out. "I hope so too." This time when the words are solemn, it's because he truly means it.

"It is on my list with not getting stuck in any more holes, my Lord," Sofya answers, teasing tartly. She lifts a single dark brow, mouth warm with smile as she gives his shoulders a squeeze in a half hug. He wouldn't insult her like that. The lines of her smile crinkle the corners of her eyes, parted lips letting out a happy sigh. "She was, I think I combed more knots from her mane than I did Lady Lucienne’s in that cave. Gods, I missed her." His steed would have been terribly unruly and very surly. The other ladies likely miss their own too, but it does little to diminish her love for her own.

"I approve of this list," Inigo says seriously with a nod, though he doesn't stop smiling, so perhaps the effect is ruined somewhat. Still, it's a good 'to-not-do' list. The smile brightening his features grows to a grin with that half-hug, which he returns by squeezing her around the waist, genuinely happy for her. "And I bet she relished every moment of your attentions," he murmurs with an amused lift of his brows. "Days of missing her are over, and were thankfully short. I can only hope the other horses will be recovered, so that the waiting ladies may experience such relief and joy." If…probably considerable tamer in most cases.

Sofya grins, fingers playing with the back of her his collar as she notes, “I thought you might, my Ser.” It is serious subject, but that does not mean they cannot make light of it now that it has passed. “She did. Your Tornado seemed rather happy to see her as well, we’ll have to take the pair of them out for a ride if your business allows it,” she says, mouth sliding crooked at the mention of his erstwhile stallion. “There. And she has been returned to me unharmed, thank the Seven and the tracking of the Flints. Although, I think some of the ladies are rather more occupied with…other things at the moment with all the business in Stonebridge.”

It's serious in that Inigo expects her to not repeat the experience of getting kidnapped (as best as she can, anyways. It's not as though he blames her for what happened). But part of getting past something is being able to joke about it, albeit lightly teasing still. "I was going ask if you would like company on your ride…I would hate to slow you down." More jokes, delivered with a soft laugh. "Poor Tornado. He has just been pining away…" Hardly pining, but certainly unhappy about the missing Apple. "I suppose if you are locked up, you do not have much need for a horse," he says of those in Stonebridge. It's only funny because no one he knows is involved. "Seems the Roost has seen its share of noble refugees, fleeing the…situation."

“Well, I think that even if you cannot keep up then Tornado shall surely try to match our pace,” Sofya offers, teasingly accepting his agreement to join them on their ride and proceeding to playfully slander both the horse and the rider. His courser is far faster than her dappled mare. “She is pleasant company, I can’t blame him for his fuge. Their stall has been rather quiet. I’ll replace her in the morning, I wanted to give her some time to settle in first.” A soft hum greets his statement about those imprisoned not needing horses. It is true. “It seems so. I was privy to a conversation between the Lady Katrin and Lord Kittridge on the Green this morning. The Groves Lord was trying to ferret out her general feelings on the matter, since the Haighs and the Charltons have some ties. Presumably the ladies were sent away from the conflicted town…also, did you know Lord Groves is a cousin of sorts to the Vances? I had no idea.”

"Tch." Inigo clicks his tongue in distaste at such woeful slander, wrinkling his crooked nose and looking down it at Sofya. Well I never. "If we do not match pace, I assure you, it is only to make you feel better about your lacks," he drawls snobbishly, doing his best Snide Noble. It lasts just long enough for him to get those words out before he breaks into a grin again. "Hm?" Interest perks at the admission of overhearing a conversation, listening attentively. "I…" The last catches him off-guard first, and he pauses and frowns thinking about it. "Ahhh…uhm. I think there was a great aunt that married a Groves Lord. I had not thought about it, though." Clearly. "I would not be surprised if they were sent away. Stonebridge seems like wildfire…one spark away from an explosion."

He just did? His maid-servant’s features are quickly drawn into a near believable facsimile of gentile propriety so chastened by her Lord. As ever, her bright eyes reveal her, even through her attempt to draw down her lashes in a properly regretful expression. “Of course,” Sofya drawls, tongue catching between her teeth and returning his grin. “Seems a good thing to recall, even so intermingled as the Houses are.” So he isn’t taken aback by such. “She was…unfortunately precise and proper, quite impressive composure in truth. Seems the Haighs trust the Naylands rather little, considering the arrests and all. Quite the contentious blend of of loyalties in general, though. If flaring tempers in that Hole were any indication of greater politics.”

“Yes, a good thing to recall," Inigo murmurs thoughtfully, before turning his attention back to the situation in Stonebridge. "Really? Perhaps there is more Lady to her than I had realized…she had such poor taste in dancing companions I would not have pegged her for the proper and composed type. Perhaps her personal interests are not in agreement with family interests." He's just thinking out loud, here, though that's a statement that could probably be applicable to many. "Oh…tempers, hm?" He wonders, bright glint in his eyes and smile sharp. "Tempers have been known to loosen tongues." Spill.

“You know, I did see her in the square with Ser Rafferdy that night. They looked as thick as thieves, although better behaved than Ser Jarod and the Nayland Lady. It wouldn’t be the first time a Lady or a less kept company that her family was less than fond of,” Sofya acknowledges with a tip of her head. There is certainly more than than immediate though. “Oh, yes. Tempers. My Lord, if you ever wish to see bloodsport simply imprison a number of noblewomen from disparate houses in a small space, without food or comforts, and allow them to tear at one another’s throats.” Messy. “Seems the Groves are indignant of the Mallister treatment of them to some extent, he Nayland seek to play both sides. Lady Muirenn is not altogether interested in Lord Fenster’s suit, which was the first I’ve heard of that. I am amazed that less women came out with scratches down their well appointed faces. Especially with Lady Saffron’s madcap plan to run to her escape while two other battled as distraction.” And that is just the gossip sprinkles!

"You missed the show in the Grand Hall that led to the lot of them joining the commoners in the square. Family Nayland of the Flying Fists," Inigo drawls with a quirk of one corner of his lips in amusement. "Somehow I do not think anyone would look kindly on imprisoning noblewomen for sport, though perhaps the ladies could have their own tourney event, then." He is so funny, har har. "The Groves may have earned the treatment they have gotten, though I cannot say for sure." He doesn't know the exact reasons for their indignation, after all, but he sure knows where they stood during the rebellion. "The Naylands seem to have few enough friends, they have to play what they can — especially now. Though I expect the Terricks will find themselves being played." He exhales heavily and shakes his head. "Lord Fenster’s suit? I wonder why the disinterest…" Brows draw together in a frown. "Everyone should consider themselves blessed things were not worse, or at least that the bandits recognized the value of ladies who were unharmed. Relatively. An escape attempt…" Really.

“I did. I was far too busy dancing with pretty knights who only really had eyes for blonde maids that were prettier than I,” Sofya recalls with a lift of her chin and a sniff. Some knights. Slate hued eyes dance with amusement as she adds, “I bet it was a sight to see.” Scandals often are. Inigo’s suggestion of tourney sport simply leads her to roll her eyes, giving him a light swat on the shoulder. Behave. “Do you suspect so? Then you mean their offering to make balms and bonds between their houses by wedding Lady Roslyn to Lord Justin is not from the goodness of their hearts?” Shocker, that. As for Lord Fenster, “I know not. He is a direct son, even if they are a Charlton vassal. It is hard to say.” It is beyond her at least. The Mallisters are rather less clothed in the threads of rumor than the other houses, even if Lady Muirenn resides at the Roost. A soft sigh slips from her lips, ruffling the hairs on her forehead. Then she winces in memory. “The Seven will have no lack of thankful prayers from me, even if I am no Lady. Luckily for my sake, the bandits were more interested in seeing the Ladies abuse one another than bothering with those of us of common blood.” The grip of her fingers on his shoulders tightening, she shudders a little. “The Lady Lucienne was sensible, at least.”

"A knight who turned out to be a noble lord," Inigo drawls, giving Sofya another one-armed squeeze around her waist. "There is no accounting for the taste of some. Prettier than you? I don't believe it," he scoffs at the very idea. "Quite a sight to see," he murmurs and then grins as he earns a swat. He is completely behaving! "Maybe to some extent and maybe initially, but it is not as though they have to now. Since they have the Groves food and control of Stonebridge to tax any supplies from inland, they have the Terricks by the balls," he says, frustration making his language a little more…colorful than usual. "Lord Justin in particular." People and their southbound feelings. "Personally, I find it insulting they sent a spinster to marry someone who is currently second in line to inherit Terrick's Roost." These two things are not equal, his tone says. Because they aren't.

"Lady Muirenn should perhaps be more glad for the attention, given her sickly nature and rather giant height for a woman, but she is young, perhaps she thinks she will get a more suitable match." Inigo couldn't say for sure. "Lady or no, I would not have wished that on any of you. Though if the bandits blame the nobles for what has happened…then I am not surprised they wished to punish them more. Revenge and desperation mixed…yes. That it did not get worse than it did, I owe prayers of thanks, even." Not something that happens with great frequency. He's no godless heretic, but neither is he the most devout of men. "Hm. I don't know quite how I would describe the Lady Lucienne, it is an opinion still forming, but I am glad she did not provoke the bandits' ire." Both for his cousin and his retainer.

“A knight who…what?” Sofya blinks with her mouth hanging open, at a loss for words with that particular bit of information revealed. “He’s…a Lord,” she repeats, attempting to make sense of this new information and sounding a touch put out. “Who?” This is more important than who is the prettiest. Still pouting, she listens to his thoughts on the current political landscape as relevant to the Terricks and strums her fingers on her collar. “Apt. He’d do well to remove them from that blue fingered grip and find himself a whore.” Take care of some of those southernly bound feelings, right quick. She crinkles her nose, scoffing at the very idea. “The Vances would never put up with such,” says the Vance retainer sitting in said second son’s lap. The nerve.

Her fingers move, shifting from drumming lightly at his collar to drawing small circles on the back of Inigo’s neck. “It could just be she’s keen on someone already, my Ser. A maiden’s first blush of love is intense and tends to linger.” Sofya’s words hint of sympathy, smile slipping at the corners just a touch before she chuckles. “Isn’t that the nature of ballads, though?” It’s all guessing on their end. Touched. She leans in, placing a gentle, thankful kiss to his brow following his promise of a prayer to the seven. “I am glad she had more sense than that. Sense seems a thing she has in handfuls, along with an even temper. I think she misses her mother more than a bit though, there’s still a touch of a girl in her.”

Inigo leans back in his seat, brows raised at Sofya's shock. Then, of all things, he looks a little sheepish, glancing off to the side and anywhere but at her for a few moments. Er. "I, ah, could be mistaken," he hedges, a little unsure. "But I assumed…" Who you were talking about. That you knew. "Ser Benedict Lawson is Ser Kittridge Groves's brother, Nicodemus." Which makes him Inigo's cousin too, but that's neither here nor there, at the moment. Clearing his throat, he lifts a hand to rub the back of his neck. "Lord Justin certainly does not have any shyness about whores, so I fail to see why he does not do that." He snorts, corners of his mouth turning up in a small smile. "The Gods only know why Lady Roslyn reached such an age without marriage. I can only assume something is wrong with her, though it could be any number of things. Broken betrothals, sickliness, some more serious illness…maybe she's not a chaste lady, maybe she has a secret bastard child out there somewhere, I don't know." Some of those things are…worse than others. "No, the Vances would not put up with such." The nerve, indeed.

Frustration fades out of his expression, turning to a soft sympathy in kind. "It could be," he agrees. "Far be it from me to chastise and insult, be that the case." Even privately. "Ballads are best listened to, not lived. Too often do the heroes of such song live so shortly." No one sings about the folks that did well with their lives, without great achievements or tragedies. Eyelids close softly as a kiss is pressed to his forehead. "Sense…I am glad. That is surely something that could be used at the Roost." You know, if Lucienne doesn't ABANDON them all. "She lost her mother young…no one should experience that, especially a daughter."

“I certainly wouldn’t have been flirting with a…” Sofya groans in frustration, covering her mouth with a hand and shaking her head. “That absolute prat.” Nicodemus, not Kittridge. “I had thought he was a hedge knight with fun stories, all those tales of fighting pirates and…Well, I feel like a silly twit.” A hint of a blush rises up along her neck, showing a rare hint of temper in her frustration. Inigo earns a light swat to his shoulder. “I cannot believe I didn’t know this.”

Arching her brows pointedly, Sofya leans back in his lap with her hands looped lightly around his neck, looking to meet his eye. “It could just be that the Naylands wanted the best deal they could get their hands on, but every time it fell through for the goods. Looks to be enough pride and bravado among them, skirting the edges of guest right, flirting with married women, and imprisoning Charltons in the short list of things they’ve done of late.” A soft laugh slips from her lips. “Or it could be the secret bastard, yes.” Terrible.

Sofya mouth curls into a smile, the line of which gently tickles the curve of his brow before she draws back. “Mhm. Many lose their mothers younger, but That doesn’t make it hurt less, I’d imagine. Sense is certainly an attribute they need and cunning with the loss of the Groves goods.”

Inigo says absolutely nothing during Sofya's frustrated mini-rant, expression even and muted in comparison to her temper. At least, until he is swatted on the shoulder. "I didn't know you didn't know!" He protests in his defense, if a little weakly. "There was news…" He rolls the shoulder that was swatted, as if it actually hurt. "If I had known you two were so serious, I would have been more prompt." Now he is being a bit of a brat, and pouty as well. This is not his fault. "Apparently fun stories of fighting pirates are what happen when you run away from your family." He's not saying a lot of nice things about people today, is he?

"Could be…deals have been known to fall through. Though, that is no less insulting if true. 'Here, we want you to have our spinster Nayland who would could not manage to marry to anyone better'." Inigo can't really mimic one of the Naylands, so he just sounds snooty. "To be fair, I have been accused of a couple of those things myself. Once or twice. Not to the same spectacle, though." Ahem. "I suppose I should prefer the broken deals over the secret bastard, since there is no chance of finding it if it exists." Also it would probably be in poor taste to roll in swinging a child around yelling 'See? SEE?'.

"It is never easy to lose family, no matter the cause or age," he agrees solemnly, then breathes out a heavy sigh. "They are low on options and seemingly rolling over for the Naylands once again with this talk of betrothal. They are possibly welcoming a snake right into the nest

He really isn’t. It’s a lucky thing that Sofya will never pass on even a third of what he says. “We were not any kind of serious, damn good thing too. Seeing as the last thing I’d want to be doing is getting tangled up in any of that,” she huffs tartly. That doesn’t stop her from pouting about it, shifting in his lap as if she is going to rise and then settling at the last moment. Stupid knights. Her fight goes out of her with a long, exasperated sigh.

“Stop imprisoning unsuspecting nobles, my Ser,” Sofya deadpans of his vague claims to the listed sins of the Naylands. “Anyways, it is in poor taste. Regardless the Nayland hold the bolder hand of cards in that. And you, just would prefer the scandal you can watch.” That would be in poor taste, however hilarious and unprovable. It is too soon for paternity tests! “The Terricks are very low on such, although I wonder at not attempting to find him some other bride? Lord Jacsen and Lady Anais’ marriage is still new…but with no babe on the way and the young Lord’s condition, well. I suppose some ladies aren’t looking for a castle, even nice one, that is down on its lots.”

If he believed Sofya would pass on the things he said (especially the less than kind or private things), he never would have said them in the first place. In this case, however, it pays to keep your informant relatively informed…the better to understand what's heard is important, my dear. "Well," Inigo begins, pausing before continuing, "Now you know." He behaves a little and doesn't rub it in with more words, just leaves it at that, though he does lift his arms to allow her to rise, only to have her settle back down. When she does, he wraps his arms around her waist again and his hold gets a little tighter than before.

"I would stop imprisoning them if they would stop trying to run away," he claims, having never done any such thing. "Almost all the cards. They could choose another Nayland. You are right, though. I would prefer the scandal…especially since it is not my family's scandal." That's also probably something you would need a little more credible proof of — certainly more than a child in hand and a story you claim. "That," Inigo starts, hands briefly clenching, "Is exactly what concerns me. The Roost could be better suited finding Lord Justin a bride from a family with money. The Naylands must have little enough after purchasing from the Groves. All they can offer is food and suspicion. Unfortunately, the Roost needs the food…and at least some show of goodwill." The food situation is close to disastrous, and the Naylands are obviously pressing their advantage. "Lord Justin is one small step from being heir. As unwell as the Lord Jacsen has been…I am concerned at how easy it would be for his death to appear more accidental than it is." Making Justin heir…and thus, Justin and Roslyn's children in the direct line of succession.

“Likely they’d stop trying to run away if you didn’t keep trying to add to your collection, my Ser,” Sofya teases, letting the subject of Nicobendimus go silent. He never would. He might, however attempt to collect their favors. “A step, or the missing thereof, is precisely how far away he is from being heir. No offense meant to your young Lord Cousin, but he isn’t the most spry of men as maligned as he is.” There are an awful lot of stairs in the Roost. “It is a concerning situation, it would be a good time for a family who was looking to win their daughter a castle to make an offer. The Roost has good land, present status aside.”

Inigo chuckles lowly at her tease, smiling warmly as he shakes his head. "It is a very nice, well treated collection, though," he protests lightly, mocking a pout before grinning again. It is a short-lived expression, as he blows out a heavy sigh. "No, the Young Lord is not, even if it not to be mentioned in polite company. I hope I am just being paranoid with no good reason." So many ways to accidentally fall down things. "The Roost has lands, yes, lands that will be useful in the future…as long as it gets to that point. The more immediate future is uncertain."

Sofya huffs, blowing dark locks back from her forehead and adding, “Yes. I know, I am forced to launder for the lot of it.” All those fake ladies. Alas. The sobriety that touches his features pulls at her own as well, although it does less to remove the warmth from them. There is too much sunshine there to darken them but briefly. “I’ve never known you to be needlessly paranoid, my Ser. There are enough dark rumors touching their house to make for a chilling tale indeed. Those rumors that touch the Roost paint them a ready target,” she muses, twisting a dark lock of hair about her finger. “Aye. It is.”

"You do it so well, though. Not dirt nor stain can escape your practiced eye," Inigo remarks of quality of cleanliness of laundered items, flattering prettily even though there's an edge of teasing to the remark still. On much more sobering subjects, he comments, "Maybe not needlessly paranoid, but this is something I would rather be wrong about, hm? The Roost has fallen on hard times, making them a target for anyone seeking to use the fall to pull themselves up higher." It's just kinda the way these things go. "Well, I suppose the immediate future is as certain as it gets. We will exercise our poor horses…" Poor, spoiled horses. "…and then to Seagard, for the tourney."

“Stains should live in proper terror of me, my Lord. My hands are steady and my washboard is stiff,” Sofya opines, warning off any oncoming stains. Her gaze slides towards the ink pot as she speaks. Yes, that means you. It’s a bit of flattery that she will take with a smile though, nudging him lightly as she does. “Reach beyond your grasp. Or somesuch, isn’t it?” She quotes, brows arching over bright eyes as she imperfectly references the Nayland motto. “They’ll like the exercise.” Darling, spoiled things. “I’ll have to see that everything is readied for the tourney, I had half-forgotten about it with all that has happened,” she adds with a frown, chewing on the inside of her cheek. Darning and packing and setting everything to rights.

"They live in such great fear that I swear I have seen many a stain-causing substance veer off course mid-fall and move away from my clothing, just knowing that they would have to tangle with you were they to stay," Inigo exaggerates greatly, dark gaze sliding towards the inkwell and back at his retainer, who he smiles at prettily. Ahem. "Close. They do seem to be attempting that. Maybe they'll get it cut off, reaching too far." He nods, opens his mouth to says something, thinks better of it and instead replies, "There is time. Seagard is is only a day's ride away, or near enough. Hm. Is that a hint that I should let you go?" Literally.

“You do so spin a tale, my Ser,” Sofya says with a soft, fond sigh. Her fingers brush his shoulder lightly. There, There. “Then I would hope that whomever has their hand on the blade is swift and steady. Doubly so, if it be by an ally’s hand.” She smiles at him, fussily adjusting the lay of his collar, then nodding. “Yes, I think you must. Else I shall never have your gear ready and we will lose all the time we meant to use to go riding. And that, should be an unbearable shame. So, let me up and I’ll get to it.”

"I do my best." Inigo takes the compliment with a flash of a grin, then winks. "I have to be able to entertain the ladies, after all." On the surface, the statement sounds like he's referring to more noble ladies, but Sofya should know she's included in the statement, given that he's spent much time swapping tales with her or reading to her from one of his books over the years. He sits up a little straighter as she adjusts his collar, smiling with amused affection. "Well," he begins, returning the favor of fussing by tucking some look locks of hair back behind her ears and brushing at her shoulders, "Far be it from me to be the cause of an unbearable shame." He leans forward to press a kiss to her cheek, hugging her tightly a brief moment before letting go. Freedom!