|Sweet 16 Turned Sour|
|Summary:||The Erenford twins, Ladies Roisin and Raina, host an extravagant nameday celebration in honor of their 16th year only to find the day fuel of less joy and more ire than anticipated.|
|Great Hall at Heronhurst|
|At first glance the sheer artistic wealth and talent illuminated by a quartet of chandeliers is evident in the detail rich scenes painted along the paneled tiles of the vaulted ceiling of the great hall. Warm candle light gleams from the tall beeswax candles whose flames cause the shadows to dance with each brush of air that circulates throughout the hall. More candles and brightly burning torches are placed along the length of the hall to highlight the many tapestries and paintings that warm the walls. The same candle light plays a trick of shadows with the mural that covers the pale floor, a mural intricately rich in depth and detail that is often startling at first glance. Spanning the width of the castle, the great hall boasts many tall windows along the western and northern walls that offer a stunning view of the river and the woodland to the north. Beneath each window is placed a beautifully detailed bench of pale wood softened by cushions of a pale hue to compliment the marble columns. Along the eastern wall, up a trio of stairs, another set of tall windows cast morning light into the hall and upon the dais from which the lord of Heronhurst receives guests and holds court. A solid piece of pale wood, the same that frames the benches that are found beneath each window, the heavy chair is exquisite in detail and further suggestion that the Lords of Heronhurst place great value on the craftsmanship not merely the appearance of. Slender columns of rose hued marble, veined ever so faintly with silver that gleams softly in the light cast by the countless candles, run the length of the room to support the vaulted ceiling and the small balcony placed just above the dais along the eastern wall. During feasts and times of great import the balcony often hosts a small group of musicians to fill the air with the sweet sound of music.|
|October 28, 289|
It is October 28th, and the town of Heronhurst is in celebration over the 16th name day of Erenford twins, Ladies Roisin and Raina. Nowhere is so decorated as the castle itself. Outside, banners wave, decorated in the colors of the Erenford family. Servants and retainers lean out of the upper floor windows, sprinkling pink flower petals on the people below, while the gaurds stand at proper attention, all decked out in their military finery. Inside, the halls have been hung with rich tapestries, the floors swept clean and made to gleam. Guests are directed into the Great Hall, where torches and colorful lanterns illuminate the large space and provide a glowing, twinkling atomsphere. Tables are erected and decked out with blooming flowers, set with the finest silver candlabrum and utensils. While liveried servants mill around pouring wine and ale, minstrels have set up and begun to play upon the balcony.
Descending the stairs along with her sister, and then making her way into the Great Hall amidst the happy well wishes and greetings, is Lady Roisin Erenford. She is dressed very elegantly in a midnight black velvet gown, edged in lace and pale pink pearls. Her long flame red hair is intricately designed. One long, thick braid trails down her back, wrapped in delicate golden filigree threading that is shot through with pearls. Two other braids have been wrapped round and affixed to either side of her head, each braided bun covered with a snood of the same delicate golden thread. She wears a matching golden fillet across her brow.
The young woman blushes deeply and cannot help but to raise her chin and look away slightly as she and her sister enter the Great Hall, either showing off a rather haughty exterior, or trying to mask an overwhelming bashfulness is anyone's guess. She does, however, offer a warm, polite smile to those whom she encounters, but seems to stick very close to her twin sister for now, only uttering soft replies when addressed, and mostly in the form of thanks.
Raina Erenford follows right besides her twin sister as they make their way in, dressed in a black silk gown embellished with shimmering beads and her blonde hair neatly pulled up with a few blond curls escaping. She looks out among those convened and easily makes eye contact as she offers everyone warm, polite smiles as they start to make their greetings, not seeming to show quite the same shyness as her twin as they make their way around.
A bit later than she would have liked, the Frey noblewoman finally makes her way on in followed by her contingency of three guards and two maids. The scent of fresh horse clings to Bryliesa like some chosen perfume as she peeks her head on into the great hall to survey the gathering. Stepping further inside, she takes the time to pluck a few rose petals from her hair, collecting them within the palm of her hand before offering the honored twins a polite greeting, "Ah, Lady Roisin and Lady Raina, it is good to see that no roses were harmed in the preparation for such festivities." She glances out with a faint arch of a brow, "I… well… Happy Nameday, miladies." She offers with a genuine smile before looking to her maids. The two maids step forward, Dorcas and Tanzie, each one bearing a single small wrapped gift as one offers to one sister and the other, to the other sister.
Nathaniel slips into the great hall and watches from the edge of the crowd. The hall seemed vast when Kalira guided him on a tour of the castle during the previous evening. Now, it is teeming with people. He seems unconcerned about being one unobtrusive man in black amid the finely dressed nobles, and he simply stand on the periphery of things to allow those of higher status to offer their congratulations and best wishes before he dares to approach the twins. However, he looks toward them, and offers a warm, friendly smile.
Roisin smiles at Bryliesa, her cheeks remaining a rosy shade of pink. "My Lady." she greets, dropping into a very refined curtsy. "It is wonderful to see you again." She seems not at all bothered by the noblewoman's scent, and in fact, almost seems to smile all the brighter for it. As the other Lady's maids present she and Raina with a /gift/ each, her eyes widen and she blinks. "Oh, My lady!" she exclaims and then giggles, offering each girl a grin. "Thank you very much." She looks to each, then at Raina, not sure which gift is for which twin, but happy nontheless. She then offers another smile before reaching over to squeeze Bryliesa's hand. "I am so looking forward to your wedding with Cousin Brennart, My Lady." she says to her. "Though our family has had to endure much sadness of late, it is ever so wonderful to have such happy things to look forward to." It is then that she notices Nathaniel on the edge of the crowd and her face brightens. She smiles broadly at him and waves, and then after curtsying once more to Lady Bryliesa, finally ventures away from her sister just long enough to offer a greeting to the courier. "Good day, Master Corbitt." she greets him cheerily, ever the gracious hostess, even if she may be trying to had an acute shyness. She doesn't seem to mind the fact that he is a commoner, and extends her warmth to him as she has others.
"I'm far from an expert about these kinds of things, but it looks like a good day for such an event," Martyn offers a bit quietly to Nedra as they enter the Great Hall, looking around for a few moments at the people already gathered. Dressed up in some clothing fit for such an event, most of in the proper colors of House Mallister, he looks around for a few moments, pausing as he looks over at the Erenford twins they're all gathered to celebrate. "It looks like they're enjoying themselves so far," he offers to Nedra as he steps further into the room, looking through the crowds for a few moments. It would seem that the Mallister knight with the usual dark moods have done his best to keep that darkness away for today, at least.
Brennart comes into great hall from the entrance hall his spurs clanging on the ground as he walks in to … "Do I want to know what happened to this hall?" Then he spots the twins and smiles a little. He's dressed in dreary drab dark colors for the proper mourning of Marvish but he still nods a head towards the two, "Roisin, Raina you are both looking wonderfuly festive today. Happy name day." He motions towards one of the servants to come over to him and whispers in the man's ear afterwards he goes and scurries out of the hall.
Aemy finally descends from the upstairs rooms, wearing a dress all in black, though a pretty blue ribbon is laced through a braid around the crown of her head with loose ringlets falling around her shoulders and down her back, the only splash of color in her chosen fashion. Upon seeing all those present, a smile blooms across her expressive features, a good turnout indeed. Carrying two identically wrapped gifts in each hand, she carries them to a table, depositing them with any others already placed there and walks nearer the twins, waiting her turn to greet the honored duo, though smiling and offering a curtsy to the two she is nearest, "Lady Nedra, Ser Martyn."
Raina greets Bryliesa dipping into a proper curtsy and giving her a warm smile. "It's nice to finally meet you, My Lady." If she has any problem with the scent of horse clinging to the other woman she remarkably doesn't show it at the moment, her smile bright as she rises before the maids come forward with gifts for each of them. "Thank you, My lady it's ever so gracious of you and we both appreciate it very much. We are both looking forward to your nuptials and having you as part of our family." Her eyes go to where her sister's do as she notices Nathaniel at the edge, she gives him a warm smile, but lets her sister go to greet him instead of doing so herself. Instead she goes to Brennart first, dropping into a curtsy for him. Her eyes shine with a slight bit of amusement at his first words. "It's just been decorated. Do you not like it and think it unappropriate for our nameday?" She bats her eyelashes a couple of times as she asks seeming as if it couldn't possibly any other way for their party. "Thank you for coming and your compliments. I hope you enjoy yourself today with how it looks or not." After pleasantries are exchanged she goes skipping away to greet another party goer.
Nedra accompanies her cousin into the Great Hall, call it just fortuitous timing or just luck (maybe Ill-luck on Martyn's part) to have arrived at the same moment and thus entered at the same time. She is well aware of his penchant for dark moods and dismal cheer and it is with a wary air of relief that she sees that he has managed to not bring this particular hat with him to the party. For her part she is quite pleased to see the turn out, the decorations lovely and so bright, and with a small package held in one hand (gift wrapped rather brightly) she nods her agreement to Martyn's words. "They do, indeed. Do you suppose Muir is already here?" she wonders in a quiet aside before spotting Lady Aemy and feeling a warm smile form on her face in greeting. She returns the offered curtsy but follows it with a quick hug, "It is good to see you again, Lady Aemy," she says quietly before stepping back, "how does this day find you?" she wonders as she spots more and more familiar faces, even Lord Brennart and then Lady Brylie, the guests of honor themselves and so on.
Brennart puts a smile on his face that doesn't quite reach his eyes and shakes his head, "Of course it's fine. I've just had quite a bit on my mind recently what with the sudden change in my position with the house and all." He glances back as the servant returns with the gifts he'd sent him to gather up, "Raina, this one is for you." He hands her a wooden box carved with herons in flight and inside of it is a flute with matching engravings. "And Roisin this is for you." For her she receives a calligraphy set in a box that matches Raina's pens, ink pot and some calligraphy papers. "I hope I got the right ones to the right twin…"
Returning Roisin and then Raina's curtseys with a polite bow of her head, the younger Frey manages to answer with that practiced smile of gentility, "Yes, the nuptials. It is a great deal of preparation and Lady Heronhurst has been a true wonder with it all. We are keeping to a less…opulent decor," her blue eyes drift to note the bright golds and vivid pinks, before again slipping on over towards the arrival of Brennart, "…out of respect for the late Young Lord Marvish. While the affairs must undoubtedly continue, we at least have the power to express how they are conducted." Bryliesa places a light hand upon his arm, barely a touch really, as she shifts her attentions to lay upon him for a few moments in silence. Finally she looks back towards Raina and offers with an easy smile, "Sixteen years today, the time shall begin to melt away from here onward. Perhaps in a few years, we shall be meeting again for your own nuptials."
"Oh my, did you see that? Did you? All those precious little petals!" Remarked the Lady Aeliana Ashwood, who proceeded both Septa and handmaid; the latter of which seems to he laboring under the burden of the two neatly wrapped parcels. Of course, there are no petals clinging to her despite the remark. They've all been plucked free; leaving the Ashwood resplindent in her typical finery. The gown is a wash of blue-green and gold, her hair piled up wild and fey atop her head, that silver pendant gleaming about her neck. It doesn't take her long to survey the crowd either, the handmaid dismissed for a moment to go and deposit the gifts along with the rest as she takes her barings and then, proceeds to wade deeper into the festivities and Nedra. She'd only just arrived as well, hadn't she? They could make the circut together! For all that her greeting, with that faint dip of courtsey that was extended to Ser Martyn and Lady Aemy as well, "Salutations!"
The current song of the minstrels dies off, and there is a slight pause before they suddenly break into a jaunty tune. At that moment, through the entranceway and into the Great Hall comes skipping half a dozen little dancing girls. Each girl is dressed properly in a black linen dress for mourning, but each also wears a garland made of pink and yellow rosebuds. They are giggling and twirling, none of them appear much older than 8 summers. Each one also carries a pretty woven basket and as they flit around the room, sprinkling pink flower petals in their wake and even tossing them merrily onto various guests. One little girl, of perhaps five, must be the devil of them all, though, for she takes an especial delight in throwing huge handfuls of the frangrant pink petals onto Lord Martyn as she he stands with Laddies Nedra and Aemy. Her next target then turns out to be the Young Lord Brennart and she fairly dumps the entireity of her basket upon his person before skipping away to find a new victim, her childish laughter ringing out in the hall.
"Probably, she tends to be in time for such events, after all," Martyn offers to Nedra, before he hears Aemy's greeting, and turns to offer her a smile as he offers her a bow. "Lady Aemy. It's so nice to see you. How are you today?" A brief pause, before he looks over at Aeliana, offering her a polite bow and a bit of a smile as well. He then pauses as one of those little girls decides to decorate him in pink petals, and looks about to say something, before he simply shakes his head with a bit of a smile, starting to remove those petals from his clothing, a bit slowly for now.
Returning the hug, Aemy is so very pleased to see Nedra, "It is wonderful seeing you again! The day finds me very well, thank you!" Stepping back as Nedra does, her gaze moves to Martyn, including him in the question. "It is nice to see you again, I am so happy you both were able to make it. I trust you both are well?" Noticing the latest arrival, she offers a curtsy. "Greetings, Lady Aeliana, it is good to see you. I think it has been far too long. I was just on my way to greet the guests of honor, but I think a line is forming." Amusement in her gaze as she looks at her younger two cousins, "They look beautiful today, as always."
After greeting Nathaniel and chatting for a moment politely with him, Roisin makes her way to Brennart. She curtsies with a wide smile for her cousin and nods happily, some of her shyness evaporating, as he notes that they seem to be having a good time. "Oh yes, I am enjoying myself very much!" she exclaims. "And the hall is decorated absoluetly beautiful and perfect for the both us." she says to him. "Though, I'd have maybe asked for a bit less frills." Actually, she looks like she secretly adores all of the pink and petals but just doesn't want to admit to it. When he gifts each twin with a gift, however, her eyes widen once more and then she gasps in pleasure as she discovers that hers is a calligraphy set. "Oh my!" she breathes, admiring her gift with sincere happiness. "Thank you so much, Cousin Brenn!" She almost launches herself into his arms for a big hug, but stops herself with a laugh. "I am all grown up now." she says with a raising of her chin. "I must give you simply a proper, lady-like nod of thanks." She does so, though her eyes twinkle in amusement. At bryliesa's words, though, she tilts her head. "Oh, but nothing here takes away from our respectful mourning, My Lady." she says softly. "We all still mourn Cousin Marvish, but as I was just saying yesterday." She nods. "One must still be able to find times to smile and to laugh, even when one is mourning." The little flower girls get her attention then and she starts to giggle as Brennart is atatcked by petals, then she curtsies to them again and murmurs anotehr polite thank you before approaching Nedra, Martyn and Aeliana. She offers them each a curtsy of respect as greeting, along with a warm, friendly smile. "Thank you for coming!" she says to them, then bites her lip to keep from giggling at Martyn picking petals off his coat. She looks from him to Aemy, then back to him again, but says not a word. Not one word!
Nathaniel goes deeply when Roisin approaches him, and when he straightens from the bow at her greeting, his face bears a warm, wide smile. "Good day to you, Lady Roisin," he answers in a quiet voice measured to avoid drawing undue attention to himself or his words. "I hope that you and your sister will accept my sincere congratulations and good wishes on this day. You have honored me beyond measure by inviting me to be here with so many distinguished guests." He waves his hand slightly to indicate the many nobles in the room - so many that if he were to bow to each, he would have looked like one of the toy birds that hawkers sell in the market. His eyes look into hers briefly. "Thank you," he concludes, and inclines his head while he, too, blushes profusely.
Brennart nods, and glances over at Bryliesa and smiles, "Hello m'lady, glad to see you out and about again, did you go for a ride?" He blinks as he's hit with flower petals and frowns a bit, "That was…" A little smile, "A refreshing shower of flowers I was just thinking I needed a bath now I can go a whole day without one…"
"I'm so glad to be invited," Nedra replies with a smile to Aemy as more greetings are exchanged, Lady Aeliana arriving a bare handspan of seconds after Nedra does, having traveled from Stonebridge to Heronhurst in the most welcome company of Lady Aeliana and the young Lord Groves. Nedra turns a warm smile at Aeliana, laughing as she sees that Aeliana has managed to escape the rainfall of flower petals, and reaches up one hand to dust a few out of her hair, though truth be told she'd probably have forgotten to do so if she hadn't been reminded. "I am, Lady Aemy, thank you for asking," she says and gives a curtsy of greeting to the Ladies Raina and Roisin as the birthday girls continue their circuit through the room and arrive at the little group of Mallister's and Ashwood that hadn't made it to the reception line yet. "Lady Roisin, Lady Raina, happy name day!" she declares with a smile as she rises from her curtsy. "I'm sure that you're being pressed gifts left and right, but I have my own to add," she says as she offers the small pair of brightly wrapped packages to the ladies. Each package, once opened, holds a delicate cameo set in silver and threaded upon a length of black ribbon, the cameos' perfect images, one facing left the other right.
Before Raina skips off to greet the other guests, Brennart gives each of the twins their gifts. At the sight of hers her eyes brighten and she looks truly touched by the thought put into the gifts for each of them. "You did! It's perfect! I love it and Roisin's is equally as good for her. Thank you, truly," she says and unlike Roisin doesn't seem to care whether it's appropriate or not and wraps her arms around him in a hug. "I hope that you enjoy yourself." Letting him go and looking to Bryliesa she seems to agree with the words of her twin. "Even if mourning it's good to keep the memory of the person in mind, but still try to enjoy the happy moments that life has to give. The decorations are very much a part of who we are, as I'm sure that the more subdued ones probably work better for you. I hope that you both enjoy the day." With that she gives them both a curtsy and skips away toward the party of Martyn, Aemy, Nedra, and her twin.
The attack of flower petals is clearly not anticipated as Bryliesa turns just in time to see Brennart showered with a spray from one of the giggling girls. Blue eyes blink, perhaps more in surprise than anything else as she turns her attentions back to her betrothed with a tightening smile. One by one, the Frey reaches to pick the petals off of his mourning attire, murmuring something quietly in the process. With a handful of discarded petals, she manages a faint sigh, "Waste not, want not. There is a time and place for everything. This…" she gestures idly to the grandeur of the hall, "…this is nothing like it should be. I should check upon Thicket. If you will excuse me."
Standing anywhere near Ser Martyn was clearly a dangerous thing, there's pink petals falling all around again and the fan that dangles from the lady's wrist flicks out with a pointed snap and a long wave down the length of her figure to ensure none of them happen to decide to stray and cling. A wry smile is offered Nedra when the Lady plucks about her hair and a wink to her escort. Anything else is wisked away with the arrival of the twins and once more, Aeliana offers courtsy is offered. "A pleasure as well, Lady Aemy, you're looking quiet lovely today," Ae compliments, before her eyes sweep towards the twins, "And Felicitations to you upon your very…colorful day, I'd follow the Lady Nedra's example however, I've left my gifts over there with the rest," the Ashwood gestures with her fan. And too much like Nedra, it's another pair of necklaces. But these are done with pendants of bright glass so there's some small difference to their shopping habits, at least.
Roisin , having left the direct proximity of Brennart and Bryliesa, does catch the comment made by her cousin's betrothed. The corners of her mouth dip down in a decided little frown and her shoulders stiffen visibly. However, she forces a tight smile for the benefit of those she has just approached and graciously thanks the Ladies Nedra and Aeliana for their gifts. "It was very thoughtful of you both, My Ladies." she murmurs, color rising high upon her cheeks. That color rising, though…it could be seen as a warning and she offers another dipping curtsy to the little group before she slowly turns back and walks with great dignity back to her cousin Brennart and his soon-to-be-wife. She keeps her smile in place but her eyes lock upon Bryliesa's with great boldness. "My Lady." she murmurs quietly. "Please allow me to apologize on behalf of myself and my sister for being born upon this day, and thus requiring that our sixteenth name day occur at such a dastardly time. Let me apologize further for asking my family if we may be allowed to celebrate such a day and for gaining their approval. I should like to extend my heartfelt apology also for beleiving that Heronhurst needed something to be happy about, even if for only one day." And now, her smile turns especially brittle. "It is also with regret that the children of the town were invited to participate for just a brief moment, and to provide such offensive, sweet smelling perfume to a person who would think it as it should be to attend a formal gathering of their soon to be family smelling of the stables." She then curtsies stiffly. "I bid you good day and am sorry you have taken such offense." And with that, she turns away, bunching her fists at her side and clenching her teeth, but keeping her spine ram-rod straight.
It looks like Martyn's managed to get rid of most of those petals, shaking his head a little again. "Interesting way of celebrating," he comments, to nobody in particular. At Aemy's question, he offers a bit of a nod, "All things considered, I'm well, thank you." He looks about to say something more, but pauses as thee two most important people of the day approaches. "Lady Roisin, Lady Raina. I hope you are really enjoying your nameday so far. Congratulations. And thank you for inviting us here," he adds, before he sees Roisin's look from him to Aemy and back, and raises an eyebrow a bit lightly, but doesn't say anything for the moment. Glancing towards the door for a few moments. then back to all the ladies gathered for now. Pausing for a few moments as he sees the happenings now, he decides to be quiet for now.
Aemy has left the gifts over on the table where Aeliana had placed her own, though hers contain varieties of concentrated floral scents and lotions. Looking out over the great hall at so many of her family members gathered in one place, she has a sudden contented smile. "Family and friends gathered together, I can think of no better way to spend a day." When Martyn addresses her, her smile widens, "I am so glad you're well, Ser Martyn." Also glad to see a smile on his face. As her cousins arrive, another curtsy is offered, "Happy name day, Lady Roisin, Lady Raina. I think you have done a lovely job on the decorations. The music is wonderful as well." Suddenly, she is showered with the pink petals that land in her hair and on her dress. Laughingly, she looks towards the girls who had tossed them. Her laughter is short lived as she watches as Roisin opts to confront Lady Brylie… "Oh dear.."
Nathaniel remains not he periphery and watches the troupe of girls who disburse throughout the crowd and begin to sheer everyone with petals. He grins at the sight. When certain ladies, apparently too dainty to endure the mere touch of soft flowers on their garments, attempt to whisk them away with hands, handkerchiefs, or fans, he shakes his head and chuckles to himself. However, he can feel the weight of all of this nobility. He blushes and sighs. By slow, gradual steps, he moves toward the table where everyone else is piling gifts for the honored twins. From an inner pocket, he removes a small cloth bag of yellow cloth, with a tiny scrap of parchment attached to it with a pink ribbon. He places the bag on the table. Then he removes another bag from a different pocket. It is identical to the first, except that the cloth is bright red. He places it on the table as well before sliping along the peremiter of the room, venturing ever closer toward the door through which he might disappear without notice.
Brennart blinks… And then blinks some more, "I see." He reaches over and gently places a hand on Brylie's arm, "Let them have their day m'lady it's not their fault that Marvish decided to charge into battle before making sure the odds were in his favor."
The Young Lord Groves was still watching the pink surroundings with bemused neutrality, cutting down on the amount of conversation he had been engaging in - beyond the cordinal intnroductions as had been required - while playing the perfect genteel escort to Aeliana. Who had strongarmed him into coming. Occasionally he might have leaned in to whisper a word or two in both her and Nedra's direction, but really, mostly he was just.. taken in by the colours. And trying very hard not to show it on his artfully scruffy features.
As the other guests, he had left behind a pair of presents at the table. Indentical, and not a great mystery either. A pair of bags of hardcandy. You never got too old for something sweet to suck on, that was the theory in any event. Picking presents for young ladies he didn't know the least thing about, meant he'd had to forgo anything even remotely personal.
Brennart has disconnected.
One of the best rules that Nedra abides by is the prudent decision to keep her mouth shut when she can't think of anything good to say. So, not thinking of anything good to say means that she glances from face to face with a look of open curiosity upon her face, standing quietly alongside her cousin Martyn, Lady Aemy and Lady Aeliana and, as luck would have it, there are glasses of watered wine being circulated and she selects one for herself then snags another which she offers to her cousin with a smile, "Heronhurst wine, cousin, I'm sure it'll live up to its reputation for being excellent vintage."
Raina gives a curtsy to the guests in that little group that has formed as her sister makes her way over to Bryliesa so before she can really make any greetings back to the ones given to her she just stops in her tracks of whatever she might have wanted to say as she stares a little dumbfounded at her sister for a brief moment. She can't seem to help it though as a slight smile curves up on her face even though she tries very hard to keep her expression neutral. Taking in a sharp, tense breath as she waits for Brennart's reply to the fiasco once she seems him blink and say that they could have their day she lets it out in relief, giving a slight nod to her sister. Then looking back to the party assembled she smiles at all of them warmly. "Thank you everyone for coming. We appreciate all the kind words and gifts you've bestowed us," she says to all of them before looking to Aemy and perhaps a glance to Martyn, but it's a subtle one at least. "It's good to see you again, cousin. I hope that you are enjoying yourself so far."
The withdrawal of the young Frey is halted by the return address of one of the twins, turning ever so slowly to regard Roisin with an arching of her brow. As the younger woman continues to reprimand her, the navy clad noblewoman seems to bear the brunt of such with a firm stance. Once done, Bryliesa shifts a gaze towards her betrothed, reaching to politely extract his touch from her arm as she then turns her full focus upon her addressee, "Apology not accepted, nor warranted, on the grounds I find your reasoning behind it to be simply ludicrous. Truly, Lady Roisin, no one disputes your right to celebrate your nameday nor does anyone seek such overly dramatic gestures to atone for that day falling within a period of mourning. There is a time and place for celebration in a tasteful manner. This is anything but tasteful."
The Erenford Ward takes a step closer towards Roisin, lowering for a moment to pluck a rose petal from the floor as she continues, "We must laugh and smile in times of sorrow, yes, but we must do so with dignity and respect for those who have fallen. In your incessant need for attention and approval, you have taken what was undoubtedly to be a sanctioned celebration of moderation, and turned it into some gala fit for a tourney. We wish you well upon your sixteenth nameday, but you shall have another next year and the year after that. Sevens willing, you shall find yourself having a great many namedays that can hold just as much finery as you desire. It would not have hurt either of you to make the sacrifice in the better interest of House Erenford and downplayed the opulence at least by a fourth of what you have done here." She pauses, letting her gaze seek out that of the other twin for a brief moment before again returning towards Roisin, "You are selfish and if you truly gave one moment of thought to anyone other than yourselves — you would realize all your preparations and fancy banners have done is diminish the loss and memory of the late Ser Marvish. Your family deserves better than this, Ser Brennart and Ser Nevan deserve better for their fallen brother. As for me? One tends to smell of horses when they return from a ride. Keep your gifts or melt them down, I care not. But I am done with this mockery to house and family. If you will excuse me." She bows her head politely.
As the glasses pass, and for lack of anything to fill the silence following the words exchanged, Aemy opts to select one for herself as the tray passes her. When the confrontations continue, she offers the visiting guests an apologetic smile. "Would you all like to see the gardens? They are particularly lovely this time of year." Of course she would have said that no matter what time of the year it was. Even if the winter had come early! "And of course, there is the rooftop terrace. You will never see such a wonderful sight as viewing all of Heronhurst from the terrace above." The love of her home is apparent in her explanations and in her expression, should anyone be looking at her instead of those having words. "Or, of course, there is dancing, if anyone would like to?" Since the musicians have been playing the floor is open to that. Anything to distract them from the airing of the family tempers.
Roisin just happens to be the verbal twin with a quick temper. When she percieves something as an insult, it's nearly impossible for her hold her tongue. Thus, her temper had flared up when she had overheard Lady Bryliesa's disdainful opinion on the goings on. The Lady might soon be made family, but an insult is an insult, nontheless, and the fiery haired twin is slow to cool down after verbal confrontation with the Frey noble. Her face is bright pink, her eyes are still stomy blue, and her fists are still bunched. She once more turns around and arches a brow right back at the Frey woman before folding her arms over her chest. "Oh, is that what this is about, My Lady?" she asks cooly. "Are we perhaps getting more attention than you would like?" She tilts her head to the side but remains firm, standing her groud. "You insult not only Raina and myself, but you insult our whole family with your words. Is it our fault that you were cast off from your own family, and perhaps never got to have a happy name day for yourself?" She keeps her eyes upon Bryliesa, hard and daring the other woman to think her weak. "I love my family and respect more than anyone, I shall have you know. It was with their blessing such festivities came about today, and, as a matter of fact, it was Cousin Brennart's suggestion, though he may have jesting at the time, to even host a tourney, though we did not, for such is a bit too much for girls such Raina and myself." She now steps proudly forward and raises her chin high. "Even if one was in a hurry, a proper lady knows when to bathe before setting foot into a gathering." she notes. "I play out of doors all day long." she says. "I ride my stallion mile and mile. I would never /dare/ attend a noble gathering of any kind without washing the scent of the stables from my person because, though I am referred to as the hoyden of the children, I still learned to have the proper respect for others. it seems, My lady, and I use that term very loosly, that you have not. Thankfully, though, no one asked nor cares about your opinion, so i say, be gone with your gloom and doom and let the rest of us have one day of sunshine and laughter." She starts to turn away, and then pauses, turns back around. "Oh, and you really should learn to understand what sarcasm is." she adds, before turning back around with 'humph' and a toss of her braid over her shoulder. She then turns an apologetic look upon the rest of the guests but can't speak calmly yet so just slowly walk toward her sister, silently counting to ten the entire time. She does hear Aemy ask if anyone would like to dance and she sends a grateful smile her sweet cousin's way.
Neatly tucked between Nedra and Stafford, Aeliana too reaches out to pluck dual glasses from the tray in the wake of Nedra's notions and in turn, offers the spare to Stafford before turning it up to take a small sip and between his words, or perhaps the Lady Bryliesa, there's a tiny little choking sound in the back of her throat. We're going to blame the wine. Perhaps. Either way, there's a pointed, weighted look given to the Groves heir and the lady's smile turns sharp. Imagine, being set back and addressed in such a fashion in front of the peers of the realm and neither of the twins betrothed yet. Two such young girls, making such disrespectful displays in public..oh dear. Yet Aemy's words draw a faint smile from the Ashwood, so that when her attention returns it's to ask a very deadpan question that might..perhaps..be the wrong display of humor. "Are you sure your gardens haven't been raided, my Lady?" All those petals had to come from somewhere, didn't they?
Ryleigh reallllly has been here the entire time, yes. She's just being typical Ryleigh the wallflower. She watches the twins carefully before coming forwards with two small packages. They are both wrapped in plain brown paper and tied with twine. "Happy name day.." she says, though after the outburst her jaw just goes slack. "Lower your voice!" she says, her own pale cheeks pinkening. "Will you disgrace the entire family for what you PERCEIVE an insult?" Her voice is soft, a near whisper but her words are heated and with intense passion. The tiny Erenford sister looks upon the younger two sisters and thrusts a package into their hands. Inside, rests two ROCKS. Yes, rocks. But, they are painted a lovely BRIGHT orange and have the Erenford sigil carved and burnt into the stone. "In case you ever forget, get lost, or something should happen the Erenford name will always be close to your heart, sisters." She is about to spin on her little heel and move away before she reaches into the bodice of her dress and plucks out a little stone as well. It's a well washed river stone, soft, smooth, and lacquered to a high shine. Tiny seed pearls embellish the outside and it also has the sigil upon it. Like the twins' gifts it has a cord of leather. "I wear one too!" she says, her voice uncharacteristically harsh. "Happy name day… may there be HAPPINESS instead of insult and unladylike behavior now that you are sixteen and NOT SIX!" And with that, she twirls off towards the edge of the room with he emerald silk skirt swishing.
Taking one of the offered glasses, Martyn watches the little discussion at the moment over the edge of the glass. "Some things never change," he comments, to himself, before he takes a bit of a sip now. If anyone wonders what he means by that, he doesn't offer any explanation, before he smiles a bit. "Well, seems to be an excellent vintage, this one," he offers to Nedra. "But then again, after those chances I've had to sample the local wine, I never doubted it." Turning to offer a bit of a nod to Stafford, he offers the man a bit of a smile. "Young Lord Groves. I hope things are well at Kingsgrove?" Aemy's words makes him pause a bit. "Dancing?" Looking around for a few moments, he lets out a deep breath. "I seem to remember I promised you a dance, Lady Aemy."
Nedra's eyebrows arch ever so slowly upwards and, with the glass of watered wine in one hand, takes a small sip of the contents. Seeing that Aeliana, Stafford, Martyn and anyone else that has accepted the offer of watered wine as well, she glances from side to side with subtle glances again. "The flower petals are very pretty," she murmurs, breaking the ice of the silence as even the musicians seem to have made a rather inopportune pause between songs, note the silence in the room, the set to another song rather hastily. She casts a glance toward Ser Stafford, something he's said - quietly - making her eyes sparkle with a brief gleam of genuine humor before she takes another sip from her glass of wine in time to see the emerald silk gowned wearing Lady swirling away from the center of the drama. She can't help but lift her glass of wine in a small toast of greeting, a hint of a smile offered as well to the young Erenford lady who just took things so neatly in hand.
Stafford's gaze never touched directly upon the confrontation between ward and twins, and he made every sign of politely ignoring the whole thing. No doubt he still picked up every single word. Who could not? But the illusion of disinterest was none the less properly kept, because that was a proper way for a guest to behave. A glass of wine was caught between his elegant fingers, the rim brought up for a cursory sip before merely becoming something to occupy his hands with.
A small smile played across his lips at Aemy's words, his dark eyes touched with a subtle whisper of sympathy. Or perhaps just understanding? Certainly not too much of either, because that simply added to what was likely a case of embarassement. "I would not mind all three, my Lady Aemy," he said amiably. "But perhaps a dance, first? Certainl Ser Martyn seems eager to take you out on the floor." He chuckled quietly.
"Aye, quite well. Do you enjoy the hunt, Ser Martyn? I was thinking of arranging one after the wedding at Highfield, should you like to join me? Well. Think of it. Your cousin here will be joining us at Kingsgrove, too." He flicked a polite look in Nedra's direction, incilning his head.
Then he offered Aeliana his palm, an invitation to dance.
Raina doesn't even both to try to plaster a smile on her face at this point as a frown sets firmly on her face at the exchange between Bryliesa and her sister. She slowly inches towards her twin, but doesn't make the attempt to go to her noticing the anger still in her posture. Instead she goes towards Lady Bryliesa. "Let me apologize for things getting out of hand. I don't think that we meant for you or anyone to take offense to how we decorated everthing. I honestly didn't think that it was too ostentiacious, but I'm truly sorry that you view it that way. There's nothing we can do about how it's been done at this point, but can we move on from this since we need to show unison as a family? I understand if you wish to leave because of everything, but I'm just trying to help smooth things over for everyone her and all of us," she offers politely a glance to her sister with a slightly pleading look in her eyes.
Brenn blinks, "Yes I was jesting about the tourney, and I do recall saying a small gathering of friends and family would be most appropriate here but if you wanted a grand celebration" He waves his hands about at the decorations, "You should wait until after the mourning period or the venue should be at another location." He nods his head towards the twins, "I appologize for having to leave but in my grief for my brother, who was the heir of this keep I just can't handle a celebration such as this. If I am needed I will be in the family Sept." A pause and another glance at the twins, "I will speak with you two later, enjoy your day." And he turns to head out of the great hall.
After only a few sips of the wine, Aemy places it on the tray of another passing by taking the used glasses. with Ryleigh taking things in hand, relief is most prominent in her expression, except for the smile given about the raided gardens. "I wonder that myself, Lady Aeliana, though if the gardens were raided, I can think of no better use for the lovely roses." In fact, some still decorate her hair. "Thank you, Young Lord Groves," a curtsy given him as well, since she had failed to greet him properly upon his arrival. "We are pleased you could make it." A blush rises to her cheeks as he mentions the dancing and Martyn. Turning her gaze to the Mallister knight, vivid blue eyes regard Martyn with mischief, "I would be honored, Ser Martyn," offering a deep curtsy, lips quirking in amusement, or delight?
Although he is edging slowly and cautiously toward the door, when Roisin starts her sarcastic apology to Bryliesa, he freezes and turns to watch the young redhead. He bites his bottom lip in worry, and the intensity of that press of teeth on lip grows with each sentence. When the Frey utters her own sharp rebuke, and Roisin again replies, he bows his head, takes a deep breath, and releases it slowly. When he hears Aemy's attempt deflect the growing foul mood by offering a walk in the garden and even dancing, he looks again at Roisin for a long moment. He hurries his steps toward the door, but stops when he sees a servant with a tray. He selects one of the glasses of wine. Then he looks around the room for a moment, noting the place of each person before he begins to circle around the edge of the crowd again until he is near enough to slip toward Roisin without drawing attention to himself.
Roisin stiffens visibly at something said, her face flame red. Well, there went her attempt at propriety right out the window. She glances around the great hall to each of the guests assembled and then raises her chin defiantly before facing her twin. "Please see that our guests enjoy the rest of the gathering." she murmurs quietly to her. "I appears I have let my temper get the better of me and have caused our family shame in the process. You know how quick to anger I can become, and more than anything I wanted this day to be happy and special occassion for the people of Heronhurst." She then turns and faces Bryliesa, albiet reluctantly. "My Lady." she says, doing her best to keep the tremor of fury out of her voice. "I regret that I insulted you." she says to her. "I did, however, truly feel that you insulted us with your words. I will not lie and say that has changed, for i still feel as though you did. I will, though, take full responsibility for my actions and my loss of temper in so public a venue." At this, she does look truly regretful. "I ask you, please, however, to keep in mind that all my sister and I wanted was to have, as i stated before, a happy day. We are still dressed in black, we are still in mourning for our cousin. We would sincerely like it if you would stay and continue on with us in celebrating, if a happy atomsphere can ever be regained now. I wish to try, for everyone else's sake. if you are truly offended, though, I can do nothing but apologize for my part in causing such, but I do ask for you to do the same, if you would, My Lady." she adds. "If I have offended, so you have offended, and let us both apologize and do as my sister says and preserve the unity of our family." She then curtsies respectfully, though not the least bit submissively, before rising and turning to Brennart. "I figured you were jesting about the tourney, Cousin." she says to him. "We were, however, under the impression that a few flower petals and ribbons were not too much in the way of decorations." To him, she does lower her eyes, showing her submissiveness to his authority. "I shall take my leave now." she murmurs and starts to head toward the exit. Nathaniel's offer of wine is met with an embarrassed blush, and she starts to shake her head, but then reaches out and accepts it, drinking it down rather quickly.
Nedra turns a sudden smile toward Ser Stafford, "Which I look forward to, Ser Stafford, and again - I thank you for your invitation," she says with a nod and another smile towards Aeliana. "I look forward to painting your portrait, my lady, and the others that we discussed," enthusiasm practically bubbling upward in her tone of voice. "It will be such fun," she adds and casts a sidelong glance at Martyn, "of course, I'll be back at Seagard when cousin Muir needs help in advance of the wedding, but it's far better on my nerves to stay away from my lady mother, and yours, while wedding plans are being discussed. I don't think I could bear to be laden with list upon list of absolutely essential things that have to be hunted down immediately!" and she laughs again, shaking her head. "They tend to get a bit.. long winded," she says in a quieter voice aimed at her cousin before she takes another sip from the watered wine she's holding. The sigh of Ser Stafford and Lady Aeliana, then her cousin Martyn and Lady Aemy planning to take to the floor to dance makes Nedra smile as well, head tilting slighty to catch the sound of the music playing in the great hall.
"It was a sweetly charming thing, the way those children came dancing through, wasn't it," Ae offers to Aemy, over the rim of her wine glass; lazily considering another another sip. There is a growing flash of approval, for the way Ryleigh comports herself and a flicker of appreciation, ere her attention returns to her escort. It's then the last of the wine is finished, before the glass is settle aside against the corner of a table and the Lady offers her hand into Stafford's waiting palm.
"You are determined to make an event of having the Lady Nedra and I camping on your lawn, aren't you?" She teases, humor in the tone while those dark eyes mark the retreating Brennart. On would think she'd stopped paying attention to the slung words completely but she hadn't. No, Highfield's little harpy was listening to every word. Even to Nedra's. "Remember, you promised I'd not have to sit anywhere stuffy." As if she weren't..upset at all that the people she'd come to talk to were retreating and she really had come on pleasure instead of business.
As the words of Roisin once more find their way to Bryliesa's ears, the Frey gives pause to draw in a deep breath. Leaning slightly to hear something murmured by Ryleigh following the presentation of gifts, she nods once in silence. Her gaze does sway towards Raina's intervention enough to reply in a calm tone, "I am certain you did not intend any harm in the decor, Lady Raina, but the lack of consideration speaks volumes - more your sister conducts herself as if she were princess of all the lands." The interjection of her own betrothed inspires a tensing of her spine as she watches him take his leave before turning to eye Roisin more pointedly, "It would be wise, Lady Rosin, to learn the value of minding your temper and tongue when you speak of my Lord Father. Say what you will of me, but do not speak ill of your liege - and most certainly never in the company of others." Letting her gaze drift back to the departure of Brennart, she adds soberly, "In my past nine years here, I have never been embarassed to consider myself amongst the company of those of House Erenford. Congratulations, Lady Roisin, you have changed all of that. We are done here and if you are wise, you will learn a bit of humilty sooner than later. Apology neither offered nor accepted. I will leave you to your celebration." She glances around the room and gives a faint bow of her head before turning and heading on out.
Ryleigh tries to reign herself in and nods very surrupticiously towards Roision when she makes her apologies. She moves towards Bryleisa and Nedra. "I'm sorry if that offended you, Lady Brylee. I fear you know my sister's fiery hair matches her temper and her tongue is quicker to move than she oft has time to think." She claps dainty hands and places the little river rock at her neck back obscured. "Please do have a drink, dance, and do be merry." She looks towards her sisters and their packages. "I do hope you like your name day gifts. I didn't want to go overboard while we were in mourning but I found them and thought of you both. Happy nameday, girls .. or should I say young ladies."
"Sometimes I enjoy the hunt," Martyn replies with a bit of a smile. "I might do what I can to join you for that hunt, Ser Stafford." A brief pause as he looks around for a few moments, shaking his head a little bit at what's being said now. "See, cousin, there's always someone worse off than oneself," he offers to Nedra a bit quietly, although he doesn't explain himself for the moment, instead concentrating on finishing that glass of wine. Watching Brennart as the man heads off, he shakes his head a little bit, before turning to Aemy and offering her a smile. "The honor would be all mine, my lady," he offers, along with a deep bow now. Lowering his voice, he offers her a bit of a grin. "I did warn you about my lack of dancing skills, right?"
"Then I hope you'll join me," in response to Martyn.
While still only watching the continued confligration of intra-Erenford hostility through the corner of his eye, and acting very much as if he didn't, Stafford brought Aeliana with him out onto the dancefloor with confident grace. He might have skipped a few of his dance lessons in his youth, but he could make up for his lack of slick professional sophistication with presence and a sense of rythm. And if the music spun too quickly? Well, then he could always just let Aeliana do all the work with spinning about, shrewdly aware that sometimes less is more.
Ryleigh finally looks as if she's calming. The violet eyes are not sparkling quite as intensely and she reaches for a goblet of wine. Instead of sipping it daintily she drinks it down and then notices a piece of hay in her hair. Her cheeks once more reddens, "Ooops, I was out with Twilight before the event. I do hope /I/ do not stink of the stables.." Her eyes roll a bit and she looks towards the dance floor.
Nathaniel bows silently to Roisin when she takes the glass that he has brought. On this third attempt, he moves quickly to leave the hall with a shake of his head.
Ryleigh looks down at the floor and the flowers and kicks at a few of the petals, "Either way there is enough perfume here to cover anything.."
With a quiet laugh and a nod at Lady Aeliana as Ser Stafford leads her out to dance, "I did promise, and I won't forget," she confirms with a nod before Nedra makes her way towards Lady Ryleigh and offers a curtsy of greeting, "Are you, by chance, Lady Ryleigh?" she asks, hoping that she's set the right name to the correct Erenford sister, smiling as Ryleigh kicks at the flower petals. "I'm Lady Nedra Mallister," she offers by way of greeting, "and it's a pleasure to meet you at last," is added as she straightens.
"You did and I have decided the rewards are worth the risks, Ser Martyn." Straightening from her curtsy, Aemy places her hand on his arm, if offered, so that he may lead her to the dance floor. Glancing back once more at Aeliana and offering a knowing smile in return to her words, "It was, my lady. A sweet touch." With a quick apologetic look to Nedra, for leaving her there alone perhaps, "Perhaps we will have the change for talking before you have to leave. You are all more than welcome to stay longer than only today." Though now looking back at Martyn so she may follow where he leads.
Ryleigh lifts her rosebud lips into a smile and returns Nedra's curtsey, "It is good to meet you, Lady Nedra." she says, her voice back to the soft and melodical sound it usually is. "I fear you caught the house at quite a bad time and I do apologize for Lady Roisin's outburst. She is not quite matured into her nameday age." she tells her, though very quietly. Her eyes sparkle again — the violet blue shimmer returning — "but one day they will or shall have to." she says, still kicking at the flowers on the floor. "I, too, was out riding before the party. However, I did /not/ known it was to be so .. errr grand.." Her eyes wander around the elaborately decorated room. "I'm sure our brother did not intend to have a grand ball during our dear cousin's mourning but with age comes wisdom.." says the just 17 year old Erenford sister.
With her twin sister, Brennart, and Bryliesa having departed after all of the heated words exchanged, Raina doesn't even seem to know where to go at this point. She looks around the room her expression still cast in a frown with none of her normal sunny disposition with her. Grabbing a glass of the water wine that everyone else seems to be taking she quickly drinks it down, seeming to try to decide what to do next.
On Stafford's arm, Aeliana makes a lovely balance for what he's missing; complimenting his skipped lessons with those she actually paid attention to and let's face it, the wide flare of her skirts do more than well to hide the man's feet. A proper pair then, to twirl about on the floor; scattered rosepetals dancing in the wake of their steps.
Hearing Ryleigh mention 'stink of the stables', Martyn offers her a bit of a grin. "Don't worry about it, my lady. I'm sure the stink of the stables was just what they confused with an entire different ste… odor," he says a bit lightly, glancing towards where those that departed left, before he smiles a bit at Aemy again, leading her out onto the floor now. "I've probably said it before, Lady Aemy, that you are a brave brave woman," he offers with a bit of a smile as he leads the way as best he can into the dance.
"It's a difficult time," Nedra agrees softly with a smile at Lady Ryleigh, "as we all know, since we all went through it ourselves," she adds before a soft laugh escapes her. "Some of us longer ago than others, but.." she moves her head in a slow shake, "I would think that going riding on such a lovely day, in advance of this party, is not a bad thing at all. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to arrive the night prior, but it IS a rather long ride from Stonebridge to here, or from Seagard to Stonebridge and then here, as it would have been." She spots Lady Raina and simply makes a small tilt of her head in Raina's direction, hoping that Ryleigh will come with, and moves to intercept Raina. "The music is lovely, lady Raina, and I must say it's a nice thing to hear, so often the only singing I get to hear is from my cousin Martyn. He gets a bit.. inventive with pitch and tone," she confesses with a hint of a grin.
Stafford held his own on the dancefloor, and didn't even need Aeliana's wide skirts to hide his feet. He kept up with them just fine on his own, even if he couldn't have been said to truly excel.
"I always seemed to have more interesting things to do than practice my dancing," he said with a chuckle. "A fact I always regret when I actually take to the dancefloor."
His hand upon her her own, the flats of their palms touched only lightly, while he spun her around until she faced away from him, and their arms entangled like two choker vines crawling up towards the spacious ceiling.
Whenever they passed close, he'd whisper a few droll words in her ear, while his dark eyes danced about their surroundings
Raina glances towards the door before Nedra comes up to her. She gives the other girl a curtsy, but still can't seem to manage a smile so she doesn't even try. "I am glad that you are enjoying the music. I would hope that it would be better than the…invented pitch and tone of your cousin's harmonies." It seems she may be attempting to joke back, but it falls a little flat as if she's clearly lost her ability for any sort of sarcasm at the moment. Another glance towards the door, but she still stays there now giving Nedra an obviously forced smile.
"Passable, my Septa would say, I was passable. No more, no less and much as you, no care to be. Yet we seem to be surviving quiet well, do we not?" Aeliana muses with ready laughter, her hand light against his own and her head canted up to meet his gaze when her back met his chest. It was easy to see she'd caught up in good spirits well enough after the little…showing, if only the same could be said of the girls. Poor things. But she offered quiet replies to her partner as required, at any rate.
"Well now, I'm not sure I'd call it harmony.. or even harmonic…" Nedra muses in return in a quiet voice to Lady Raina, knowing that her own efforts at humor may not do much but she says it anyway. "But, he is one of my favorite cousins, so I won't say more than that. Truth be told, he does sing quite nicely. I think he thinks that he doesn't, which is why it's fun to poke at him a bit." She finishes the last of the wine in the glass she's holding and eyes the empty glass for a moment before deciding: "I believe I'll have another, and I see that the reputation for Heronhurst wine is well deserved, my lady. If you will excuse me for a moment?" she asks before slipping away briefly.
"Survive? Why, we're all but glowing on the dancefloor, my Lady Aeliana," Stafford replied airily as they swept around. "Finest couple by far."
He laughed at one of her whispers, a rich sound that spread out into their immediate vicinity in a pleasent counterpoint to the music itself. He gave her another spin for it, which happened to be the last, as the music died away.
"My Lady, it was a pleasure. Thank you." Dipped was the bow, deep and elegant, while he sought to take the girl's hand and gently press against the knuckles a breathy little kiss. Then he'd offer her his arm, to guide her back to the dwindling crowd of noteworthies.
"My Lord is ever kind," Aeliana mused in good natured humor in response, perhaps because he'd said what she was thinking. For all that the sound of his laughter made her grin. She dipped in a low curtsy when the dance drew to a close; her head demuring with a sweetly humble smile at the soft brush of his lips.
A quiet and contained creature took his arm then, drifting at his side, for all that she subtly steered their steps towards where the Lady Raina remained. A low bow of her head was given in greeting, before the woman offered a conspiratoral bit of advice, "Chin up, my dear, things could always be much much worse."
As the dance finishes, Martyn looks around as his dancing partner excuses herself, then makes his way back into the general area of where Nedra and the others are now, offering them a bit of a smile for now.
"Thank you for the compliments on the wine and the music," Raina offers to Nedra before Aeliana and Stafford make their way over to that little group. "I suppose it could…I apologize, but if you'll excuse me…I have found my mood for a party and to attempt to be a gracious host at the moment quite…lacking. I hope that you enjoy dancing and the like if you wish, but I think I will wish you all a good day." With the door that she's been making glances to becomes a reality as she turns and makes her way out of it, her mood certainly still more tense than anyone that has come in contact with her before has seen.
"I'm glad you've noticed, my Lady. A bastion of knightly benevolence am I, and let nobody ever tell you differently," Stafford replied with a crookedly charismatic smile on his lips. As she slid up against his side, their arms entwined, he sent her a sideways glance.
Once they reached the others, his he turned to face Raina. He showed nothing but amiable understanding as she made her apologies, bowing with a smile. "Of course, my Lady Raina. It is your party, I dare say you may do as you please." His eyes followed the girl until she was gone completely, then glanced to the others.
"So, the wine is excellent." And in that little understatement, a world of sardonic bemusement with the whole turn of things.
"Of course, My Lady and once again, do try and enjoy your day," Aeliana murmured, amusement still dancing in her eyes as Raina made her departure. And then, the party had dwindled and quicker than any she could ever recall being at. Huh.
"It is," Ae agreed, "And the dancing is nice. Though, with absolutely everyone I came to speak to having departed, I suppose there's really no call for me to linger on myself. A moment, if you would," at which Aeliana politely stepped away from Stafford's side long enough to give a quiet word to one of the servants, before she moved to rejoin the Groves heir; brow lofted in quiet wait for his decision as to whether or not he cared to go.
Long distance to Brennart: Aeliana just passed word to a servant to make sure Brennart knew that she would like a word with he and his lady before she departs Heronhurst.
Martyn nods a little at Raina's words as she takes her leave, offering a quiet smile. "Enjoy the rest of the day, Lady Raina," he offers to her, before he looks around again at the few people remaining. He doesn't say anything at the moment, though. Just standing where he is for now.
"Ah. I'd say it was rude to leave a party early, but.." he gave a meaningful look around them, and the fact that the hosts had all departed already. Which made staying meaningless beyond the music and the wine. "I suppose that rule doesn't right apply when everybody else already has. Though I do like to be among the last to leave a party, that moment usually comes quite a bit later than this."
He looked towards Nedra and Martyn, considering. "But it seems to me that not all of us has had a chance to enjoy even that. I would not be a knight if I didn't attempt to assay that grotesque injustice. Would you honor me with a dance before I leave, my Lady Nedra?"
"By all means," Ae replied, humor in the tone her head bowing low, as her gaze slipped on to Ser Martyn, "Are you always this quiet, Ser? I must say, with as often as dear lady Nedra fills my ear, I had expected perhaps a fair bit more conversation from you. Though," her grin turned a touch towards the mischevious side, "You've still a bit of rosepetals in your hair, did you know?"
Pausing for a few moments as he listens to what's being said at the moment, Martyn blinks a bit at Aeliana's words. "Hmm? Oh, I guess some of us are the quiet ones, my lady," he offers after a few moments of pause. "And sometimes, the events a person goes through changes them, for worse or for better, I suppose." A bit of a pause at the mention of the rose petals, and he reaches up to run a hand through his hair now. "And no, I didn't really know that." Spoken a bit lightly now.
"True, my Lord, but people would not be people at all, if they did not bare some mark of the events that impact their lives. Embracing it and moving forward is what makes us accomplished, it's what means we survive. Living in the shadow of the past, is to settle your feet into an early grave and give up on the rest, I do hope you are of the former mind and not the latter," sweetly replied, "My Lords, My ladies, if you'll excuse me, there's just something…," she's got to do and with a polite dip of courtsey and the promise that she'd rejoin them before they left, Aeliana slipped away.