|Summary:||Dmitry visits the Tordane camp by evening, then Tiaryn arrives to offer her support.|
|Related Logs:||The general claimant of Stonebridge logs.|
|East Bank — Stonebridge|
|The opposite bank of the river.|
|Thu May 03, 289 A.L.|
The Lady Danae Tordane was not to be seen at the at the arrival of Lord Blackwood in Stonebridge, having kept her presence in the city brief since the rather dramatic unveiling of her marriage. People come and go from the Tordane camp, pressed by those few swords she has hired before they are allowed to speak with the lady. This purple evening, the last rays of light linger across the grass, although the warm orange flame of a fire has already been lit in a pit. She watches it fall, drifting behind her trees and looking a shadow herself in her black mourning garb.
The Lady herself is not allowed far from one or the other of her mismatched guards, the pretty knight or the scarred half septon. For now, it is the former of the two, though he does not intrude on her thoughts as Alek stands off to her side instead. A flask has been brought out, held to his lips as he takes a small sip of the liquid to wet his throat. He wears maile, even now, and a black cloak is thrown back off his shoulders to match his lady's dress.
Riding a tide of idle gossip back from bearing witness to Blackwood's arrival, Dmitry has drifted clear of the Terrick contingent clustering around the city proper to pace on quiet steps through the pleasant evening. He notes the cluster of hired blades, himself kitted out in purple-flagged dark leather that bears his family's arms understatedly, with bow and quiver his guardians where most knights would rely on swords. If he has one, it does not hang at his hip. The glow of firelight draws his eye, too; curious, he sidles toward it with a hand lifted to ghost a light touch to the bark of the nearest trees. His voice is a light carol of, "Evening," tossed forward ahead of him like a chunk of bread hurled to malicious ducks.
Firelight catches and highlights blonde hair, twisted up in a chignon, as Danae slowly turns towards the voice. She shows no immediate recollection on voice alone, raising her brows mildly as she greets, "Good eve."
A length of steel unsheathes at the voice, and it isn't only the flicker of grey eyes towards Dmitry. Flask still in one hand, Alek has drawn his sword partway from where it hangs obviously at his own hip. "Name yourself," he demands, flatly, the curve of his brow upwards holding a challenge to the young man as he watches him.
"What, am I not known?" Dmitry affects hurt, laying his hand over his heart. He sidles a few paces closer, as though to catch golden firelight in the gleam of his liquid dark eyes in the fading dusk. He smiles like the obnoxiously pretty, perhaps one who has taken a bonus feat to making entrances. "Ser Dmitry, if it please you," he says.
"Of Terrick," Danae adds somewhat dryly at the end of Dmitry's charming introduction, dipping her head in a slender mark of greeting for the Lord's station. The firelight does much to dispell the look of the bruise that marrs her cheerk, but it is a large thing that brandishes itself across her cheekbone. "How fare you this eve, Ser?"
"I will tell you when it pleases me," Alek replies dryly, for all that a moments amusement lightens grey eyes from their often haunted look of late. While the blade slides softly back into place, his fingers remain draped over its pommel and he tucks away the flask.
"Better for having come across a fair vision in the dark," Dmitry says, inevitably. It's not that dark yet. Poetic license. His dark eyes flick over Alek, calculating; measuring. What sum they make of what they find, his expression does not reveal. "I look forward to it," he says, and sketches a little bow with every evidence of earnest in his mild voice: "But I should offer my deepest respect and condolence, my lady."
"Indeed? The trees are fair this time of day, are they not?" Danae replies sweetly, avoiding any sort of pretty compliment with a natural ease. She records the look her gives her sworn, fingers folded neatly at her waist in a ladylike fashion, offering a fair smile when the Terrick knight offers his condolences. "My thanks for your consideration, Ser," she murmurs, bowing her head in a respectful nod and looking towards the ground — the picture of the grieving widow.
A laugh, dry and quiet, catches in Alek's throat at Dmitry's compliment, so much like his worlds ago. He does not interrupt the nobles as they speak, but neither did he make any sign of deference to Dmitry. That is simply not how he does.
Dmitry's dark eyes flick up and around the trees, as though he catalogues them in turn for some way to use them in his arsenal. Arboreal delights not immediately bringing anything witty to mind, he leaves her the victor in avoidance to speak more seriously for a moment longer. "I think your courage should earn you better reward than easy words," he says. "But don't worry; I won't embarrass you by dwelling on it."
A twist of a smile catches at Danae's lips to hear such a sound slip free from Alek's throat, eyes brightening briefly amid the fall of evening. She gestures towards the flame lightly in invitation, freckled hand extended delicately. "Yet, it is more to offer than a number of your peers. I do not think you can embarass me by a courtesy, Ser," she corrects gently, voice soft. At least no more.
Where the young man seems to have no harmful intentions, Alek finally reaches again for his flask for a quick sip before he tucks it away again. Don't mind him, here, with the big sword and the watchful eyes.
Dmitry is harmless, it is true: sweet and smiling, the expression lingering as only a slight curve of his mouth. His hand is bare, lifted in an open gesture as he saunters forward through the dance of shadow and firelight. "Would you challenge me, Lady Danae?" he asks her lightly. "No, I am glad to hear it. Why, I think you should be wholly without shame." Like he is. Look how shameless. "Never mind my peers. I have forgotten all about them. Can't even remember their names half the time."
"I would challenge any, Ser Terrick," Danae returns mildly, demeanor calm as if she had not just been so recently 'shamed'. Nearer now to the firelight, the bruise that breaks across her features is clearer and more ugly, but she pays it no mind. "I do seem to recall your propensity for lacking names. How fare your attempts to learn those of your kin? I believe I spotted your Lady Anais at the duel."
"Though, if he embarasses you, he'd better have a good right hook," Alek murmurs wryly, from where he is supposed to allow the nobles to talk amongst themselves.
"Oh, one must remember one's kinsmen," Dmitry assures Danae with blithe immediacy, "even if one's kinsmen are occasionally sadly lacking in … forethought … as well as fellow feeling. What of Lady Anais?" His words are chosen delicately, for all that he scatters them with that careless breezey air he may yet attempt to patent. His eyes flick to the talky knight with a bright, alert interest that he plays off with more instantaneous chatter. This is his thing. He talks. "I assure you, Ser, if I were to be so crass as to embarrass such a bold and incomparable beauty, I should not do her the disservice of defending my callous tongue. You might take your free shot." (What a liar. He'd duck.)
"Nothing more than I sighted her that day, it was good to see the Terrick House there to witness such. I know the lady not well," Danae demurs gently, voice soft as silk. Brows arch mildly as she regards Alek in low amusement, angle of chin almost approving of his sass. "I think even such a fine night as Ser Dmitry should find difficulty in that. I would not deny you your mark, should it occur, Ser Alek," she opines, finally naming the knight.
Alek catches that interest with a flicker of surprise, the bare, subtle curve of his brow upwards lost as he assures Dmitry flatly, "I would not need a free shot, my lord. You would stand little chance."
Tia has been somewhat absent from this area since Desmond took her off the night of the duel. After she fainted. Ahem. In any event, she's finally made her way back, a maid and guard with her, as usual. She pauses though as she nears, her steps slowing as she hears voices. "Lady Danae?" she calls softly, so as not to surprise anyone.
If voices are to be compared to fabrics, it is not silks or satin for Dmitry's low voice, but velvet; warm and soft with a throaty richness of laughter unvoiced. "I'm sure you're right," he tells Alek. "—No, but I am most glad that she was there to bear witness." Smile slight and subtly sharp, he says altogether mildly, "At least one witness you shall have among my kinsmen; your husband's lady widow is owed that, surely."
"There were many witnesses that day, silent in their observation," Danae replies calmly, bowing her head in agreement. There is an appraising edge in her gaze as she casts a look towards Dmitry, coloured with interested. "Indeed." At the call of an actually familiar voice, the Tordane lady lifts her head — colours of the firelight catching across her features and hair. "Lady Tiaryn," she replies in kind. "Come join us, if you wish it."
Tia, given the permission from Danae, does step closer, her feet quiet enough, though she's not wearing slippers, but solid ankle boots. She sweeps into a light curtsey to greet the other Lady and company. "Thank you, Lady Danae, you are most kind. I thought I should return here, though forgive me, I do not recall being here - " she stops there, since she kind of does have a little bit of a black spot in her memory, or at least a hazy spot. "But I wanted to come see for myself."
"Oh," Dmitry asks lightly, dark eyebrows lifting as he slants his glance over (up?) at Alek. "Did you expect them to speak?" He turns in a slight pivot, hand fallen to his gaze skips to Tiaryn. "My lady," he says, which is a pretty tame and neutral greeting as far as 'things Dmitry says' go.
"Lady Tiaryn, it is quite fine. You were — not yourself at the time, to say it simply," Danae offers gently, a fraction of a smile urging its way onto her lips as she looks at the Flint lady. She inclines her head in a nod to the lady's greeting, flitting her fingers towards Dmitry in a motion that is joined by a pass of her gaze. "You remember Ser Terrick?" It's similar to an introduction. "And what did you wish to see, my dear?"
"I expect little, ser, except that I will always be able to find a willing whore," Alek replies flatly, though dry humor misses its mark where it does not touch the darkness in his grey eyes.
Tiaryn tilts her head, looking over at Dmitry. She offers him a polite curtsey as well. "I do, though we have not officially been introduced. I believe I have seen you at the festival, not so long ago." Like night and day that is, from the festival to this. "A pleasure to meet you, Ser Terrick." She glances over to Alek, pausing briefly at his words, before she turns back to Danae. "I wanted to see - " she gestures at the area, "This again. And to make sure you were still here, I think. It's still a bit of a tangle in my head, I'm afraid. I shall perhaps have to take Lord Desmond's advice and avoid tournaments and the like for a time." Not that there are any scheduled that she's aware of, but nevertheless.
"Good evening, Lady Tiaryn," Dmitry says with an airy courtesy, inclination of a slight bow in her direction while his dark eyes glimmer bright by firelight. "I am honored by the acquaintance, as surely. My thanks, Lady Danae." He glances sidelong beneath the sweep of dark lashes. "That is one way to avoid disappointment, Ser Alek," he says, velvet voice going a little thinner with the dry note of humor that abrades it.
"Ser Alek," is chided softly, a mild glance cast toward the knight before the Lady Tordane tips her head towards the Lady Tiaryn. "My apologies, dear. How fare you after the shock? I should think my Lord cousin advises you well in that, although I do think you strong enough to overcome it." Danae leans forward into the light of the fire, letting it briefly illumiate her face with the smile she offers Tiaryn, its bruise present, before drawing herself back into shadow as she says, "I am present enough and the land is little changed."
Alek's brow lifts, but his words subside at that gentle calling to. Instead, his gaze draws over Dmitry once again for a moment before he turns his attention back to his flask.
Tia inclines her head to Dmitry, a slight curve of a smile showing on her face. "Thank you, Ser. You are most kind," she says. Danae's gesture increases the smile. "I am glad to see it," she says, "for I woke with a start, thinking that there had been more trouble. It seems you have more guards, that is all to the good. I am glad for it." She takes a breath, and then she says, "I also wanted to know if there is anything I can do to help?"
"That is my highest ambition, my lady," Dmitry says. He might be lying. Don't tell.
"A kind man can be the most difficult," Danae notes almost teasingly of Dmitry, a trill of mild humor in her tone. Light as air, but almost present. She watches Tia with a soft expression, shaking her head in the denial of any further trouble. "I have a few good men to stand by me. I…if it wouldn't imposition you, my lady. I imagine you have heard a goodly number of the rumors that circulate, by now. I think I may have need to call upon you as one of the few guests at our wedding." The Tordane lady lays her fingers at her breast, as if to still the hurried rush of her heart. A rueful smile eding her lips as she casts her gaze towards the ground. "However slight a celebration it may have been."
Tia gives Dmitry a half frown at his answer, not so sure if she believes him or not. Danae's humour doesn't help, as it does lead her to suspect that Dmitry is funning. She takes a breath, and then at Danae's words, she inclines her head. "Of course, that I can certainly do. I have no objections to letting people know that I was here to witness your marriage." Her expression is somber, one hand absently reaching to her other arm, to touch the black band there. Though she says no more for the moment.
"Some men do not listen to rumor." Dmitry lets his fingers rest together, thumb to thumb, fingertip to fingertip, in a composed gesture of control and restraint. His smile is a shadow, there and gone again but for the gleam that lingers in his liquid eyes. "Some men do. Tell me of the ceremony." He turns his gaze, entreaty bright, on Tiaryn. "Was there time enough for music, my lady? As a secret romantic, I must know."
"My thanks, dear Lady," Danae responds warmly, the tone of her voice nearly carrying into her features. She watches that touch of a band from beneath her lowered lashs, shoulders sinking subtly at the sight.
"A secret romantic?" Alek challenges, words dry as he looks at Dmitry over the flask he lifts to his lips.
"Not so secret, apparently," Tia says drily. Her hands return to her sides, as she turns her attention to the Terrick lord. "Yes, there was music. I think we could hardly have done without the usual Riverlands fare. I had my harp with me, so I could play, though I am not sure how much it was noted, given the happy circumstances." She shrugs delicately, quite content to speak of music at any time. Then Alek gets a glance, before Tia turns back to Danae. "It is of no concern, I would be happy to stand witness."
Dmitry meets Alek's gaze with bright-dark eyes for a long moment, and somehow manages to keep a straight face as he intones, "Quite secret, Ser." Turning slightly on his heel, he tips his head to Tia with the barest twitch of a smile at the corner of his mouth. "You play harp, my lady? I should be honored to hear it on some happy occasion. When there is cause again to celebrate. If I had brought my harp with me Stonebridge perhaps we might even play together."
"Lady Tiaryn plays beautifully." Danae flashes the Flint a soft look from beneath her fair lashes, delicately reshuffling her skirts. "It was a welcome addition to a somber, if beloved occaision, my friend. I am glad you were there."
Both of his brows drag upwards at Dmitry's look, soft gry eyes turning sharply studying on the man even as he looks away. A smile plays at his lips, obscured after another moment by the raise of that flask again.
Tia actually offers Danae a true smile at her compliment, right up to making her blue eyes shine. "Thank you," she says. A glance over to Dmitry and she inclines her head. "I do play, yes, a little. If you have a harp, I am certain we will at some point be able to play together. I would much enjoy that," she says, the slight bit of mischief in her gaze nothing compared to Dmitry's. She does give Ser Alek a glance, though as he's quiet, she's not sure what to say to him. Or about him, at this point.
"To make music with such a partner would be nothing short of delight," Dmitry assures Tiaryn promptly, his assurance warm and immediate. "I wish I could have seen, and heard, for myself. Perhaps we might grace a future celebration with a duet." He glances at Danae, arching dark eyebrows high over a dark gaze gone oddly sharp with its wicked glimmer. "Why, I'd hope and pray it be for a healthy birth."
There are many things one could say about Ser Alek Coope, although that Tiaryn lacks a flush to look at him marks her better than Danae's own original encounters. At Dmitry's wicked address, a soft smile spreads on Danae's lips that is accompanied by a mild rise of her brows. "We might only hope my child would collect your musical inclinations from the sound, I have none of my own."
"Neither did Gedeon Tordane, but he did have an appreciation for it," Alek adds, all humor gone with the talk of the possible child growing within Danae's belly. That darkness tucks itself back within his gaze, a repressed angry and pain that burns near steadily.
Well. Tia is perhaps a little bit older than Danae, and she has been a widow for a while. So perhaps it is only fitting that the good looking glowery knight does not bring her to blush. "If it will help, I will play harp for him day in and out. Or teach him to play," she offers promptly, with a smile to Danae. Her expression sobers slightly as she gives Dmitry a glance. "A duet would be lovely, I think. I am certain we will be able to find a song we know in common to be able to play together. Do you sing as well, Ser?"
If Dmitry marks any of Alek's pain in the slide of his dark eyes over the larger, blonder knight, his expression reveals nothing. "Not so well as I play," he demurs, laying a regretful hand over his chest, where his heartbeat hides behind a Terrick device. "I traded a boy's soprano for a bow and arrows and never looked back, my lady."
Alek's pronouncement leaves Danae's features dark as well, although Tiaryn earns a warm look for her offering. "I should like that," she responds to the impromptu offer in a soft tone.
"He would be better off learning with the knight's bow than the lady's harp," Alek murmurs quietly, failing only to reach Danae's ear but obviously meant for her. He meets Dmitry's slided gaze neutrally, the curve of his brow slight. "I'm sorry, my lady," he finally says to Tiaryn, low but forcing some warmth. "But if he is to oppose the Naylands for his birthright…"
Tia's laugh is musical, a light sound, even at such a time. "Interestingly, Ser Terrick, I can say the same for myself. I do sing, but not as well as I play harp." She glances over at Alek, it's a nice view, certainly. "I draw as well, but mostly just small swift outlines. Though I am particularly fond of drawing squirrels." Her smile is wistful for a moment, as she considers something from her past. "Lady Danae, only tell me when, and I shall play. I am not convinced that he cannot learn both, Ser - Alek, I think yes?"
"A man should indeed learn the bow, and the blade," Dmitry says lightly, conducting a brief but thorough examination of his left hand. The veil of his lashes, long and thick and dark, obscures all but a faint gleam of black beneath his lids. "But to claim the rights of his birth, he would need more."
"I cannot imagine nimble fingers would fault him in the play of sword to steel," Danae wonders, voice soft and a touch uncertain. A hand is brushed across her brow. The distance in her expression shifts at Dmitry's new words, blue eyes warm with firelight and keen with thought. "Indeed. There are many skills that a Lord must have when he comes of age."
"Alek Coope, yes. The Blacksword," he murmurs in answer, something of self-deprecating humor flickering back to life at the designated title. Even now, rumors and stories still are told about the way he acquited himself in the Battle of the Trident to earn that name. "More than skill, too. Support."
Tia inclines her head to Alek, now that she has a name for the man. "A pleasure," she tells him briefly. "I will leave it to you, Lady Danae, as I am not one to be able to tell you what a Lord needs to know." She glances over to Dmitry and then she adds, "I am quite pleased to make your acquaintance, Ser. It has been good to speak with you. Lady Danae, I will return to visit, if that is acceptable? And let me know to whom I should confess witnessing your wedding." She sweeps a curtsey, and then she adds, "But for now, I think I should return to the inn, and perhaps play a little music. It is a great help to me."
"Support indeed," murmurs Dmitry. There are probably not nearly so many stories told about his own adventures at the Trident, but maybe he'll tell them himself one day. He studies Alek for a moment, thoughtful. Then he lays his own quite nimble fingers briefly against his lips, glancing up at Danae. "He will need friends." Straightening but slightly, he says with a crisper air, "The pleasure is mine, Lady. I am indebted to Lady Danae for the kind introduction."
A look is cast towards Alek, paired with a edge of nod before Danae looks towards Dmitry with a pleasant and even pretty smile. Indeed. The fair haired Tordane keeps easy company in the shadow of those stories at least. "I am glad that you were able to visit, Lady Tiaryn. I would be thankful for such again," she bids, dipping in an elegant bend of a curtsey.
Alek raises an irreverent salute to Tiaryn, sketching it from his brow as the lady aways. He is quiet a moment, until he adds flatly, "The question is if he brought the Terrick's."
"That is the question, isn't it." Dmitry does not answer it. He surveys them both, and then sketches a little bow, preparatory to turning and going. "I have business elsewhere tonight, myself. Think on your question, Ser Alek. My lady. Good evening." Because Alek won't let the scene end if Dmitry doesn't leave.
"Good eve." Danae and Alek will remain by the fire, watching as their unexpected vistors depart.
Maybe Alek would follow to see to Dmitry's business, but he does not. No reason for the Tordane cause to look needy, but his gaze does drag thoughtfully after the younger knight, remaining a silent, drunk vigil by Danae's side.
Pass the bottle.