|Tea for Three|
|Summary:||An afternoon tea within the courtyard turns a bit heated and into a lesson regarding failed diplomacy and offense given to one's hosts.|
A tall central tower of sun bleached blocks, the keep is surrounded by a series of smaller buildings enclosed by a stone wall, a gate with portcullis protecting the entrance. At the peak of the day, light arrows through the openings above the gate, casting narrow shafts of sunlight upon the large, square paving stones of the courtyard. Lush olive trees line the interior, slender branches arching for the sky with arms that gracefully sway and creak in the wind that skims along the top of the wall. Around the inner edge of the wall is a shaded pathway between the trees and the solid, sun-warmed wall of the keep, large planter boxes made of pale, slender latticework blooming with fragrant jasmine, lilacs and forsythia at the base of each tree. A well brings water into the courtyard and spills into a shallow pool edged with flowering shrubs that offer brief glimpses of often surprising colors intermingled with shoots of green that hint at herbs and even fresh vegetables.
|Saturday, August 11, 289|
With the morning comes as usual all kind of things. Having enjoyed a meal with his sister Alric has just recently made his way back to his chambers, resting there now as he just takes it easy and waits for now. Waiting for the message from Aleister to arrive.
Lady Aemy Erenford,
I apologize for any harsh words or behaviour that made you angry. Or if it had something with the betrothal. Know that I would be glad to find us being together if that is how things would turn out. If you were to be able to keep a secret there would be more that I want to tell you. But in such case I want to speak with you in person again.
Lord Alric Fenster,
Heir to Tavin's Rest
Indecisive this morning, Aemy paces back and forth and back and forth outside the door to the current location of Lord Alric Fenster. In her hands is a note, it is already worn from folding it and unfolding it as she considers her next action.
After a few moments, there's a light, tentative rapping on the door.
Alric has kept his guards inside the room, since he would rather have them around if something bad was to happen. But it also means that he misses the fact that Aemy is pacing around outside his door. Instead sitting and talking to the guards. As his drink runs out he gestures for Corrin to see to that he gets some more.
About that time comes a knock to the door. With a nod from Alric the guard opens, bows to the lady and is then gone to get some more drinks. Now making sure that there will be some for the lady as well.
"My lady, it is good to see you again." Alric says as he stands up. Offering a bow to the lady. Talbot doing the same from his position. "How are you doing?"
When the door opens, Aemy steps out of the way of the departing guard. She seems to be alone, so she doesn't step inside, instead she returns in a hurried voice. "I received your note." Foregoing the normal proprieties in favor of getting to the point.
Alric smilles, "Well, good. Come inside. Talbot is here so we will not soil your name." He tells her, gesturing with his hand that she should come inside and close the door.
Aemy looks down the hallway, both directions, before she steps inside, quietly closing the door behind her. A curtsy is finally given to Alric, and to the guard a polite nod, though she moves no further into the room. Blue eyes drift back to Alric and she studies him a long moment, attempting to keep her emotions reigned in and appear objective. "You wished to speak with me once more?"
Alric nods, "I wished to explain myself. And also be sure of why you were upset. I am going to guess that it was because I didn't mention us until last. Is that right?" He asks, assuming it be so studying her for the moment. "It was because I need to try the worse things, as to try and keep the aces if needed. Also, I did not want things to cloud my judgement. You are the one Erenford I would choose first." He tells her, taking one step closer.
Aemy considers his words a moment, remaining in place when he steps closer. At his words, the objectivity disappears and she looks torn in indecision. "It was very… diplomatic of you to send for me to explain." Hurt feelings from insult hardly fade so rapidly, but she is trying to tamp them down. "At this point, I honestly think it to be of no consequence who you would choose first, my lord, though I appreciate the sentiment." Aware he is more than likely only going for damage control instead of expressing any real emotion, she attempts to not let his words affect her. "I fear it may be too little, to late when it comes to marriage between our houses."
Alric nods, "I see…" As for when she says it's too late for a marriage between the houses he furrows his brows, "The Erenfords and Charltons will meet, will they not? How can it be too late?" He asks oncce more before sighing. "And if it is too late, then it is really, too bad. It could have been nice. Just remember, I did mention Andrey Charlton marrying being last as well." Seeing as the man is the heir to house Charlton it should make her understand that he meant what he just said.
"I admit, I have very little say in the matter of who I will eventually wed, though I am sure when the time comes it will be to benefit my house." Aemy does smile then, perhaps a bit wistfully. "Yes, they are to meet still. Though I am certain that, during their talks, my name would not be the first to arise." Switching it around, she queries. "You asked if I were able to keep secrets. I am."
Alric nods, "Of course. I understand." And he himself would want to admit that for his house he would rather look for a Frey, but will avoid that matter for now. "I am sure whatever happens you will get a good deal out of it. And perhaps your name is not the first to arise, it matters not. It is the name at the end of things that matter." He offers and shrugs, "Yes, it was just mostly about where I am in standing. Meaning that do not tell that I would choose you over your cousin. Your cousin is the daughter of lord Miraz after all. It would be disrespectful and perhaps would mean that no deal would be made at all. Resultiing in more deaths than necessary." He explains to her. "Furthermore, I wish to offer something that could be a little improper perhaps, which should be kept a secret." Kissing her forehead if she let him. "Now, please forgive me for insulting you in any way." Talbot not really reacting as he stays the loyal silent guard.
"I apologize for acting like a petulant child, my lord. You were not entirely at the fault of things. I perhaps, interpreted things in a manner I should not have. Of course I know I would not be your first choice, you would prefer someone to benefit your own house. I prefer the same. It remains unfortunate that the two are not the same, what benefits one would not benefit the other."
Aemy nods when he mentions what the secret was. "I would say nothing of that. Thank you for your trust in me. You will find I am loyal, should we ever find the opportunity to test that." When he moves in to kiss her forehead, she lifts her chin and smiles, allowing it. "All is forgiven, my Lord…" she says softly.'
A shake of his head given, "It is quite fine my lady. And I could agree with that. It is perhaps unfortunate. We will do what is best for the house though." He confirms and offers a smile and a nod as he steps away from her. "Now that all is well, should we move into some other quarters?" He asks, gesturing for them all to start leaving the room. This about the time as Corrin and a maid returns with drinks, so he gestures for them to come along, now that the door is open and preparing to leave.
Aemy steps out of the room with him, grateful to be out of the confines of such a private area without her hand maid present. Speaking of hand maid, she comes scurrying down the hall, looking distraught, but quickly composing herself as she stands fastidiously by Aemy's side. "I do wish you the best, Lord Alric."'
Moving along the halls are Lady Aemy and Lord Alric as they talk and laugh on their way out into the courtyard. Alric telling stories about him and his siblings as they continue through and looks around the courtyard. A small entourage of guards and maids following them along as well.
Aemy smiles, listening to his stories about his siblings. "My family is very important to me, I adore my brothers and my cousins greatly." As they walk along to the courtyard, she looks around her home, a sudden happiness filling her at being back where she belonged.
The day is good enough to be enjoyed in the courtyard. Walking around and taking in the different sights. "I can understand that. My family is of most importance to me as well. Which is why I hope to better their situation as well. To be a bigger house for one." He explains and just continues to walk, if though in a slow pace.
"In a perfect world, what would you do? For your house and for yourself?" Aemy asks, genuinely interested, now that she had pushed her preferences aside long enough to listen to him.
Alric laughs, "Perhaps marry out of love and be the king!" He says half in jest. Grinning wide at that. Looking around a bit as they continue their walk around the courtyard. The guards and maids following behind Alric and Aemy.
Aemy looks up at him at his reply. "I had almost expected a more serious answer," but smiles along with him at his jest, amused. "Though sometimes I find it easier to give a reply that is light-hearted as well." As they walk and talk, she finds herself finally letting go of the last remnants of indignation from the previous day, not being one to hold a grudge, and her smile comes more naturally now.
Alric chuckles and shrugs, "You asked about the perfect world. Then I would want my family to be on top. Be it if that is possible or not." He offers. Walking with calm steps until they find somewhere to sit. One of the maids that are with them carrying tea and moves to pour some tea for them once they are seated. Though before that Alric is being gentleman and helping Aemy to sit first before he takes a seat.
The young Frey, fully adorned within her House colors, slowly makes her way into the courtyard followed by a thin slip of a girl. Graceful in step despite the near constant flurry of activity that frequently accompanies the woman - her entourage is incredibly light for the day. Bryliesa appears bound for the stables but pauses and redirects her steps to guide her on over towards the seated pair, each step bringing the warming smile further upon her lips, "Lady Aemy, Lord Fenster, what a delightful surprise. I do not suppose either of you have encountered Mistress Dorsey as of yet?"
Aemy allows him to assist her with taking a seat, smiling her gratitude. "Thank you, my lord." Accepting the tea after it is offered, she delicately holds the cup for now as she listens to Alric speaking of the perfect world. The arrival of Bryliesa is welcome and she returns the greeting. "Lady Bryliesa, it is so wonderful to see you! Alas, no, I have not had the pleasure of seeing her as of yet today. Would you care to join us for tea?"
Alric offers a nod to the thankful words of Aemy. As Bryliesa arrives it makes Alric rise to a stand, offering a small bow to the lady. "Lady Bryliesa, it is a pleasure seeing you again. I hope your maid is feeling better." Letting his gaze go to her entourage before moving back to her. "Alas I have not. I believe she is quite busy running around the keep. Is there anything in specific you would want from her? I am sure I will meet her in time, I could relay a message if the two of you have yet to meet." He offers. Then follows some silence before the young lord adds, "Oh, and it is fine calling me Alric, I am not the head of house Fenster yet." He offers in a rather light mood.
"As you so wish, Lord Alric," Bryliesa amends her address before letting her gaze slip to their tea set, "I do not wish to intrude and really should be heading to the stables to take Thicket out for a bit of exercise; however, I think I might be able to spare a few moments granting the delightful company of you both." The ward slowly moves to select a seat close to Aemy as her blue eyes drift back towards the Fenster lord, "Tanzie is improving by the day and I am told she should make a full recovery by mid-week. I had promised Mistress Dorsey to take her through the gardens so that she might partake of some of our herbs, so while not truly an urgency that I should find her at this moment, I merely wished to make good upon the promise." Pausing, she finally turns her full attentions back upon Aemy, "You must remind me to drag you with the next time I head to Stonebridge. Some of the merchant wares are positively delightful. They actually have a ribbon vendor now with the most amazing array of colors. I daresay we could find something to match every bit of our wardrobes."
When Alric converses with Bryliesa, Aemy sips her tea, quietly listening and avoiding interrupting him. The invitation he issues the Frey Lady does not go unnoticed, though her eyes only flicker briefly to Alric as he issues it. Hearing of her hand maid being ill, her expression turns immediately to concern until she learns it is not serious. Still, she sips from her tea, and only when she is address directly does she lower her cup and return her attention fully to Bryliesa. "Ribbons of every color? It sounds divine, I have not been to the marketplace there in much too long. I would adore accompanying you to Stonebridge!" Pleased at the offer.
Alric smiles and nods to Bryliesa, "Don't see why I would have to go with being called Fenster. I think that is still a title my father should have. Even if we are both Fensters." Speaking in a light tone. "It would be a pleasure to have you accompany us." He adds, smiling about the improvements about her maid.
His head tilts a bit as he inclines his head, "I understand. I will see to it that you can see Mistress Dorsey through the gardens before we leave Heronhurst." He offers, glancing to Aemy as the two women start to speak. His smile quite warm as he listens to the both of them. Not wanting to interupt though. Letting some tea be poured for Bryliesa would she want some. Helping Bryliesa to a seat before taking his own seat again.
"Wonderful! As much as I adore Heronhurst, I do so love touring the markets. Tanzie is a proper companion but too easily distracted to be of any assistance when it comes to the procurement of tokens and gifts. Besides, we do not nearly spend as much time together as when we were children and I do so miss it," Brylie admits with a degree of sincerity, Alric's words drawing her attentions slowly away from the Erenford lady. Dipping her head faintly in acknowledgement of his words, she counters thoughtfully, "Well, protocol dictates that we abide by certain standards of social conduct - sadly of which concerns the addressing of acquaintances, especially when they are of the opposite gender. Milord, as much as we might be inclined to favor an element of familiarity… intimacy of any measure upon near strangers would not only be discomforting but also highly inappropriate and downright scandalous." Her lips curl into a teasing smile as she continues, "That being said, you are correct in that you are not, as of yet, Lord of your father's cottage. As such, I believe Lord Alric would be proper enough of an address given these circumstances."
Aemy listens politely to the Fenster Lord, smiling politely when he speaks of his father. Having nothing to input about Mistress Dorsey, she again falls silent, not wanting to interrupt the flow of the conversation between Alric and Bryliesa. Though the mention of all the markets draws her attention back to the ward. "I was away to Terrick's Roost for a time and have only just returned home. I did miss it, but I agree, the markets elsewhere have such a variety of wares from what we have, that there is always some new treasure to find." Finding herself listening as she responds to Alric, she quickly looks away at one point in the conversation, lifting her cup to her lips to disguise a smile.
Alric laughs; if though softly, to the words of the Frey lady. "That is perhaps true. Though indeed hopefully it would be decent enough seeing the circumstances." He tells her. "As for my father's cottage. I do wish to be able to make it into a grander castle soon enough." He tells her. Still being quite calm and happy. "It is good to hear that the two of you share a good relationship. It would be fun to hear about that at some point." He tells them and let his eyes travel back and forth between the two ladies.
Reaching slowly to take up her own cup of tea, Bryliesa draws it closer to cradle upon her palm resting within her lap, "It is good to have dreams and aspiration for the future, milord. For such things protect us from a degree of stagnancy that can be all too prevalent, I fear. However, one must be careful with such notions as they should be kept obtainable lest we find ourselves on a one-way course to ruin. Lessons are filled with countless tales of men and women who have reached for the stars when instead they should have remained content with conquering mountains first." Pausing to lift her cup to her lips to partake in a sip, she lowers it again with ease before addressing her other female companion, "The Roost has a charming market as well. In fact, I do believe I shall be heading there again in light of their advertised festivities. I would be delighted if you would like to accompany me. In truth, I believe your Lord Cousins have intention to attend as well once their business affairs are concluded. Speaking of business…" her blue eyes drift on over towards the Fenster Lord, "When can we expect a response from Lord Charlton regarding the negotiations? Do you not think it might be wise to deliver the message soon? Forgive me my ignorance upon such matters, but it would appear to me that the growing escalation between your liege and others makes time a most sensitive issue."
Wisely, Aemy refrains from mentioning anything about the cottage or any other dwelling at Tavin's Rest. Perhaps a shade too diplomatic, she wishes to cause no further waves of unrest. "I would be happy to relay stories sometime, my lord, though I suspect Lady Bryliesa is correct, our time here is coming to an end soon." Only then does she realize the Lord Fenster was not addressing her, but Lady Bryliesa. Her tea nestled in her hand, she offers a smile to the Lady. "I would greatly appreciate the company, as I had intended to go for the festivities as well. Thank you, my Lady, for offering." Rising, she offers her apologies, cheeks tinged a little red. "If you would both forgive me, I have suddenly remembered something that requires my attention, inside." Returning her cup to the tray the maid carries. Of course there is no pressing business… she's embarrassed and leaving. "I do so wish for the both of you to have a wonderful day." Offering a curtsy before making her leave.
Alric grins at Bryliesa's words. "Perhaps my lady. Though this is not a too far of ambition. Sometimes the mountain just looks to reach the stars so to speak." He tells her before letting his gaze once again take in the both of them. "Ah, yes. It just seems that the courier is slow. I am sure a message should be returning soon." Looking to Aemy he smiles brightly. "That sounds lovely my lady." Though the smile fades quite a bit as Aemy wish to leave. "That is a real shame I wished to be in your company for a bit longer. Are you sure that you can't stay?" He asks. His words seeming sincere.
Lifting her cup again for another sip, Bryliesa's brow arches curiously as she looks towards Aemy, her shoulders falling gently as lips dip into a mild frown. Slowly her blue eyes drift to linger upon the Fenster a few more moments in quiet study, her head tilting a bit at news of the courier, "You sent a courier to deliver the message?" Her body shifts a little within her chair, before again turning her attentions back towards Aemy, "Lady Aemy, if you have need of any assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know in the least. As always, I am here to help you and your family in every endeavor." Pausing for a moment, she seems to address their guest lord, her gaze never wavering from Aemy, "I have always found it a most interesting thing how easily we discount the value of things right before our eyes, too blinded by the riches we instead see across the field. I wonder, Lord Alric, what think you upon this concept?"
Aemy is not one to offer a pay back in kind, so instead of ignoring the Fenster Lord, she offers a chillingly polite smile. "I am positive I cannot remain any longer." Her smile warms as she looks to Bryliesa, "Thank you, my lady, for the offer. Please allow me to return the offer as well, we are and have always been friends, I would never wish to alter that." Hearing her words elicits another smile. "I look forward to our journey to Terrick's Roost together. Good day, my friend." With her maid, she departs back to the keep.
"Yes, unfortunately that was the fastest way since lord Aleister sent a courier here. I just sent him back." Alric explains. Moving to his feet and offering a bow as Aemy departs a bit saddened by it perhaps. Then turning back to Bryliesa. Nodding. "That is sometimes true. Though what one want and what other deem to be for the best sometimes differ. What one want is not always possible. That is the hard truth."
Extending a softening smile, almost sadly so, towards Aemy and her departure - Bryliesa again allows her attentions to move and rest upon the remaining lord, "Perhaps so, then again sometimes we so desperately wish to reach the end goal that we forget that everything must be taken in due time. Nothing of any lasting value is ever achieved through quick gain, at least not if we have any intention of retaining it."
She glances back towards the departure of the Erenford lady, considering her next words most carefully before finally replying softly, "Whatever your reasons, Lord Alric, for lingering here still… I might suggest you listen sincerely to the bit of advice I am about to impart upon you. I know not the history nor nature of your relationship with Lady Aemy, but your lack of regard for her feelings and presence since my arrival has been utterly deplorable. Now, I am willing to consider that such disregard was never truly your intent. However, indifference granted upon the niece of one's host with such blatancy can only be a poor reflection of any good you hope to accomplish in being here."
Pausing for a moment, Bryliesa continues in a sincere tone, "Not being of Erenford blood, even I cannot help to confess I find the gravest offense at your negligence. In truth, I have thought long and hard as to whether to even make mention of such things to you, but do so in the hopes you will perhaps at last understand. You may an heir to your father's title be, but an heir of next to nothing is still not much of anything at all. I can admire a man looking to solidify his family's standing, but you do not do so by conducting yourself as above your current station as you have done thus far since your arrival upon Heronhurst grounds. I am not immune to the plight of a man desperate to look out for his family, but you would be most fortunate to even remotely be considered for a chance with any lady of Heronhurst. Ill news like this has ways of traveling, so if you have any dreams whatsoever of ensuring your family good fortune - I polite suggest you think of ways to make amends."
Alric doesn't speak at all until Bryliesa finishes. "First of all my lady there seems to be too much arrogance in your thoughts. Our house might be smaller. Though it is not puny. If houses such as Valentine can be seen as grand then it does not mean that Fenster can not. I understand your concern about Lady Aemy. It was not on purpose. I know the differences between our houses. My sister is married into the Erenfords. The difference between us is like the difference between Frey and Erenford." Letting his words sink in before adding. "I need to be objective to any betrothals. I can not openly show affection for anyone. A fact I must explain to her again. It was not my intention to hurt her."
"I believe you have done enough explaining, milord, to endure a lifetime over," the young Frey replies gently, "It is not an arrogance in thought to illustrate the truth of the matter, but it is an arrogance in thought to think you shall find a better standard of betrothal than one that might be made to the Erenfords. If you truly had other such options, do you not think you would already have secured such with your own liege? We are defined by the perception others bear towards our houses. One would think if the Charltons truly had an invested interest within the promotion of your own estate, they would undeniably grant you with a betrothal to one of their own daughters." Bryliesa retains her calm, slowly taking another sip of her tea before again resting the cup within the palm of her hand, "As I have said, I do believe you did not set out to offend by any measure - but please realize that it is not an open request for shown affection but merely common decency and cordiality at discussion here. If you wish to call my thoughts arrogance, that is your perogative, but it does not change the truth they might hold. I would also caution you from drawing parallels between any Fenster-Erenford standing and Erenford-Frey. We have generations of stability and foundation over your own. One day, yes, comparisons might be drawn - but that day is too far down the road to truly carry any real weight." Her blue eyes rest upon him easily in study.
"Alliances are made out of political need, my lady. Nothing else. It is not an option about what is right or wrong. Lord Keegan offered his daughter to the Haigh's out of the need to establish a better relationship. As it is of no need to either us or the Charltons to create a better relation to one another it seems foolish to establish such. Though in history there is most likely clear to be Charlton blood in my family. Just as it is today filled with blood from Cox, Erenford, Asterholms and further back more than likely just as strong relations. And to the Erenfords was my oldest sister. It is but respect I have for the Erenfords." He says, taking a sip from his own tea. "The way I spoke earlier was always meant to the both of you, not directed to you alone my lady. The fact that either of you believed that I would act like that is painful. Though I suppose it is my fault to not having been clear about it. I only greeted you and tried to see how you had been since lady Aemy and I have been together since this morning. Hopefully Lady Aemy trusts me enough to see the truth. If not, it is painful to know that my words holds no trust." He offers then shrugs,
"Trust me my lady, I like Lady Aemy. She is one of the better people I have met. If she thought that I neglected her just because of greeting you, she misinterpreted things." He explains. Seeming just as calm and relaxed as the Frey woman. Eyes studying her as well. "I believe that one of the reasons you seem to think that the Fensters are of no importance is for us perhaps not being a house of warriors but a house of scholars. Though any reasons about that should hopefully be changed soon enough. Do send my apologies to Lady Aemy though. It seems even my compliments get misinterpreted."
Focusing on the lady's eyes for a moment before he adds, "Perhaps it might have been an exaggeration when I did believe a relation between me and Lady Aemy would be just as wise of a betrothal as Lord Andrey and Lady Emylie. That both sides had a lot to gain." He sighs then. "Alas, things are misinterpreted. Forgive me."
"I am not the one for which apologies are to be made, milord, so please do not overly concern yourself with my own personal sentiments upon the matter," the younger Frey replies simply as she settles back within her chair. The young maid lingers just off to the side, engaged within a book, though peeking up every so often in curiosity before again feigning reading. From within the courtyard, the pair sit in share of afternoon tea - the tension hovering near them as Bryliesa continues, "Regardless of your intention, milord, your delivery and conveyance have been poorly lacking. I shall pass your apologies on to her ladyship, but I would strongly stress perhaps you seek about shortening your stay so as to not tax too much upon the gracious Erenford hospitality. Lord Erenford is a most honorable and courteous man, but the family shall need some time to process your apologies and make preparation for their pending negotiations with your liege."
Leaning forward to lay her own cup upon the small tray, she lets her attentions linger upon the Fenster lord, "There will be needs of atonement, I am certain, to what level I cannot rightly say. But it would seem that perhaps a bit of distance would be within the best interest of all parties. I am certain Lord Charlton would respond much better to your own personal request for mediation over that of a meager messenger." She tilts her head a fraction, "What was it that was said the other evening? We would not wish to insult him by any means. If you like, I can convey your apologies to the Erenford family for your hasty departure - given the dire importance of this upcoming mediation, I am certain they will find it within their good graces to fully understand."
The sounds of hoofs are heard well before Ser Otto Erenford and his squire had come into view. Both riders and mounts were covered in sweat, as they had ridden hard these past few days. Otto had ridden along to Stonebridge where he picked up Squeek and a couple of guards. The large knight dismounts his horse and hands the reins to his squire and makes his way towards the courtyard with the main keep in mind.
Otto began walking with a quick pace, but each step he slowed until eventually he was just standing there, staring at the large doors, the windows of the tower where Miraz likely was standing. He shakes his head. "I need a drink," he mutters and looks about. He'd been in such a hurry, only to get this far only to stand there staring at the keep losing his motivation to speak with Miraz. With Bry there, it provided a very welcome distraction, even if she wasn't alone.
Otto moves over towards young lady Frey, and dips his head to the woman. "Lady, Bryliesa, good to see you again," he says cordially to the woman before looking to Alric. "Lord F.. Fenk, Oh I do apologize so much, maybe the sun has baked my head, but I cannot remember your name. Difficult to remember all the houses, especially the minor ones." He does extend a hand to the man though.
Alric shrugs now, "I plan to apologize to Lady Aemy, no matter what it is that you suggest that I do. They have been kind enough to let me stay in the keep, that is true. But do not try to say that I have been less respectful than the Erenfords to me. I do not let bastards come and speak ill of my guests. I am to stay as to see Lord Aleister's message." He says and shakes his head lightly. "Whatever your opinion of me is, I am still a man of my word. Atonement to Lady Aemy is already in plans." He tells her. As proved when Otto arrives and can not remember his name, it is indeed the Erenford who for about the fifth time does something like this. By purpose or not. Though a smile and a bow are offered anyhow. "Alric Fenster, ser. It is alright. I can understand. I hope you have been well." Smiling warm to the new arrival, turning his attention there. Sipping some more from the tea.
Any reply the young Frey might have had for Alric is placed temporarily to the side with the arrival and warm greeting of the Erenford cousin's return. Slowly she lifts those blue eyes to give him a soft dip of her head in greeting, "Ser Otto, you have returned. I had thought we might have lost you to others by now. Welcome home." Her hands instinctively slide to smooth her skirts as she maintains a cordial smile all the while. Bryliesa's gaze does drift slightly back in the direction of the Fenster lord, "If you have issue with the hospitality you have been shown by any member of the House, I shall see to it that Ser Brennart comes on behalf of his father to hear your grievances. But please, milord, I do caution you to tread lightly… for it is within the perogative of any host to treat their guests befitting their station. While cordiality is to be offered when able, as previously discussed some might have taken offense with your own presentation thus far. Not all are bound by the same standards for tolerance as some… and bastards are bound least of all."
Bryliesa rises slowly, "If you shall forgive me, I believe I have spent far more time than I initially had intended and I must see to my palfrey. Good day to you, Lord Alric…" her gaze flickers back towards Otto as she offers easily, "Ser Otto, I am so pleased you have returned. We should speak later once you have had time to rest from your long journey."
Otto smiles to Alric, "Lord Fenster, my apologies," he says to the man. "I have been on the road for a few days, and such a ride can affect a man's memories, I'm afraid."
His attention then turns to Bry, "My lady, your site is always welcome to my eyes," he adds with a smile. "Please, do not leave so soon, send a servant for some wine and share it with me while I build up the nerve to speak with my uncle about a marriage agreement," he says before looking to Alric.
"Lord Fenster, has there been a problem here at Heronhurst? I expect you delivered your message in a satisfactory manner. Lord Miraz is not often the easiest man to get along with, but he's fair and of ancient noble lineage," he says with an ammenable smile to the man.
Alric nods to the Frey, "There is no ill against you or House Erenford." He tells her and then just nods, "Any ill that I have caused I am to see corrected. It is of no importance that you speak with Ser Brennart about such." He tells the Frey and offers a warm smile. Then turning to Otto, he shakes his head, "It is quite fine.
We talked about me having by mistake insulted your cousin, Lady Aemy. I tend to make up for it. But speaking that I act ill, I mearly pointed out that I could stand a scolding from a bastard without him getting any punishment, so I was just wondering who was mistreating whom. But it is of no issue now." He says smiling kindly and bowing his head towards the Frey as well. "Good day, my lady." When turning back to Otto he offers, "And please, Lord Alric is good enough. Wouldn't want to take the title from my father too soon after all. We are family, sort of, after all."
"Lord Alric it is," Otto says to the man. "So, might I know what it is you brought to the table here? You seemed eager to arrive in Herronhurst enough to forego your courting of Lady Muirenn. I assure you, she was a bit upset by your departure," he adds. "It peaks my interest though, and since I am here, what is it that the Charltons are offering the Eronfords?"
Pausing for another moment as she prepares her own leave, the young Ward grants a soft laugh towards Otto, "A bit of liquid courage, hmm?" The teasing curl of her lips carries on through as Bryliesa counsels warmly, "If you seek to engage in contractual negotiations with your Lord Uncle, you will need a rested mind and your full wits. Might I recommend a warm hearty meal, hot bath, and solid night's sleep first? Of course, there is plenty of room within that for a bottle of wine or two." Sparing another glance towards the Fenster lord, Bryliesa once again lets her attentions rest upon the Erenford cousin, "As much as I would love nothing more than to help infuse you with the courage of a thousand men, I have sadly neglected Thicket for far too long as it is. However, I do have need of passing by the kitchens before heading towards the stables. Why do I not see about arranging that solid meal for this evening's faire and perhaps we can have a bit of music, food, dancing, and drink. Then you shall have the relaxation needed to ensure you are at your best when dealing with your Lord Uncle on the morrow. I am certain we can persuade Ser Brennart and perhaps Ser Holden to partake as well?"
"I am afraid there is not much, that has not already been taken care of. Lord Aleister wished to speak with the Erenfords, as to try and come to an agreement before it is too late. I just recently sent of that back to him, after having heard a bit about what the Erenfords might be willing to agree to. I do not have any suggestions upon the Charltons themselves. Since they wished me to see what the Erenfords might have asked for. Though would your family agree I have already considered a betrothal between any in my family to one of your family. Considering the dire situation things are in I would guess that Lady Muirenn might be able to forgive me this once. I hope I will be able to return to the Roost in time for the festivities. Since would I have arrived days later than perhaps an agreement between Naylands and Erenford would already have been reached." The words spoken softly and smiling warmly to the knight. A last nod offered to the Frey, just as it was given to Aemy.
"Please, Lord Alric, forgive me in saying this, but what would the Erenfords gain in such a marriage? I can see why you would want to join the houses, as it would provide a hostage of ours into Charlton hands, but there is no benefit. Your house stands to gain from marrying up, but there is no benefit, you'd need to bring something more to the table," Otto says towards Alric. He then glances to Bry and gives the lady a smile and a nod. "Thank you, Lady Frey," he says with a smile to her before turning back to Alric. "I mean no offense, my lord, but your house, while noble, is young if I'm not mistaken. A minor house, vassal to the Charltons, but not the Charltons." He sighs a moment, and is suddenly even more thirsty.
Granting each of the lords a final bow of her head, Bryliesa excuses herself and collects her maid as the pair head towards the keep to deliver their instructions to the kitchen before attending their long overdue visit to the stables.