Page 345: Tense Terrick Lunch
Tense Terrick Lunch
Summary: Jarod visits the Roost to look for some armor, and meets up for lunch with Jacsen and Lucienne.
Date: 1 Jul 2012
Related Logs: None.
Jacsen Jarod Lucienne 
Rockcliff Inn - Terrick's Roost
The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.
Sun Jul 01, 289

A message arrived by courier in the late part of the morning to Four Eagles Tower for Young Lord Jacsen. It read, 'I'm in town for the day, limp over to the Rockcliff and join me for a drink, Jarod.' And here the Half-Eagle sits, enjoying an ale. Just the drink, no meal to go with it, both prices and food options at the inn being less than appealing these days. He's at the bar at the moment, chatting amiably with some local men. From his expansive hand-gestures and the number of times 'tilt' comes up in the conversation, he's telling a highly-exaggerated version of his exploits at the Seagard tournament.

Jacsen hobbles his way over to the Rockcliff, expecting Jarod to be there - and he's not disappointed. Noticing his brother's presence from the moment he walks in, he slides around the conversation, trying to stay unnoticed so he can listen to whatever story Jarod's spinning up. But it's difficult for the crippled Young Lord to blend in to any crowd, and the double-takes give him away. "I was there," he says aloud to his brother, grinning, interrupting his story. "I don't remember it being quite that heroic. The way you tell it, there should have been a dozen bugles swelling in the background with your final pass."

"And drums pounding the rhythm of my noble steed's hooves, little brother," Jarod retorts without missing a beat as Jacsen inserts himself into the story. He grins broad when he spots the young lord. "Or, well, my wife's noble steed. I still lack for a mount of my own, but she's kind enough to let me ride hers occasionally. If you know what I mean." He winks, in case the subtext wasn't anvil-obvious enough, and chuckles at his own joke. "Get a drink and let's get us a proper table," he says to Jacsen.

"Can't refuse a champion's invitation," Jacsen says with a smile, doing just that. "Is your lady wife with you this time?" he asks as they walk over, some irony to the words 'lady wife'. It's always hard to tell where he sits on the matter of Rowenna. "What business brings you to the Roost, brother? I can't say I expected to see you here so soon after the recent events that transpired." He picks out a table near the back wall and sits.

"Rowenna's in Stonebridge. She's still unsure how she'll be received here. Can't imagine what she's concerned about." That was a touch pointed, though it's not something Jarod seems to dwell on, as he drops himself into a chair at a table by the window. It was always a favorite of his. It has a fine view of the square outside. "I don't intend to linger long. I wanted to check with smith on town on the price I could get on a set of full maile. See if it was any better than down in Stonebridge." A thin excuse to come home for a day, but it's enough for him to latch onto, it seems.

"It may not be a better price in our economy now, but it'd be a sight better craftsmanship," Jacsen says, pride in Roost smithing and industry seeping out in his voice. "Spending all your winnings already?" He watches Jarod as he takes a long sip of ale. "I imagine you've got quite a bit of it to go around. I'd be glad to see some of it circulate about the Roost." The cup taps lightly against the table as he adds, "I'd be glad to see you circulate about the Roost some more." The comment on Rowenna is let go - no point continuing down that vein of conversation.

Luci dons her best black dress and brushes out her hair to a gleaming shine for what seems to be a lunch date with some of her brothers. There's no way she's venturing into town without guards and her handmaid, but they're ordered to take a different table as she ventures inside the establishment. She's a little iffy (snobby) about weaving her way through the tables and chairs to that of Jacsen and Jarod. "Boys," she greets them collectively, smile curving a little smugly for the noun. "Have you come to collect your cat, Jarod?"

"Eh." Jarod shrugs, when Jacsen mentions his winnings. And it doesn't seem much modesty. "I've that fancy goblet from winning the championship of the first joust, which I do figure's worth some pretty coin. I'd like to hang onto it, though. Good memory. Besides, I figure I'd have to go to Riverrun, or perhaps King's Landing, to sell it for it's proper value. That thing's my emergency fund, if things really go tits up in Stonebridge." What 'tits up' scenario he's envisioning is unclear. It's tossed off and not followed up on. "For the rest of it…between covering my losses and my tithe to Tordane Tower, I didn't make out bad. Not quite enough to buy a horse of my own, but perhaps enough to stretch for something more. Luci!" At his sister's entrance, Jarod bounds to his feet. And goes to hug her brutishly. As he does. "Aye. Figured I might get him while I was here. Since I've got a somewhat permanent room for him now. Unless you'd like to keep him?" He eyes her, in case she might've come to love his cat. He really thinks she might have. He's dumb like that.

"If things go tits-up in Stonebridge," Jacsen starts with a snort, but stops himself short when Luci arrives. "Luci," he greets with a smile. "I didn't expect that I'd see you here." There's a little bit of tension to that smile, but it's warm enough otherwise. "Come, sit. Forget the cat, Jarod's here chasing after a suit of maille. The stuff they sell in Stonebridge just won't stand up to proper combat." BUY FROM THE ROOST, JAROD. "Or so I say, anyway, but I'm no knight."

What good fortune! Luci shares one of their trademark hugs with Jarod, then slips into a seat with a rustle of silk skirts, smiling prettily for her brothers both. "Oh, I couldn't," she insists, all kindness. She's in a good mood today, it seems? "It's so clear that he misses you terribly, he yowls all night long. What's this, new armor?" She hums thoughtfully. "You should see the smith here," she agrees with Jacsen, bobbing her head. "It's not just us who miss seeing your face about, you know. Have you ordered something to eat?"

"Checking prices, rather," Jarod corrects Jacsen slight. "After asking around I don't think I can afford a proper suit of full maile from anywhere, but I was curious to see if I could call in a few favors from the smith at the Roost. I didn't take the entire of my ransoms from some of my opponents, so I didn't come off the field as well-coined as some, my pretty cup aside." He does not mention who he was particularly generous with, of course. That would be impolite. He misses the tension between them. He misses so much of the underlying tension between the pair of them, and has for years, that that's hardly unusual. He is oblivious and happy company. "I would like to bring the cat back with me, if you don't mind, Luci. Rowenna misses Ser Bartholemew." The name is said with a totally straight face. "I figure I can just take him back in a basket. Maybe tie it shut with some rope. It's not that long a ride, and I borrowed a pony for it." That will help the yowling, surely.

"So call in your favors," Jacsen responds lazily. "Or I'll call on them. Or Luci. You'll get your maille, Jarod, and you'll have a good set from the Roost. I won't have my brother fighting in that inferior stuff." Even if he doesn't wear Terrick colors anymore. Pressing his lips together to suppress a grin at the cat's name - and Luci's reaction to Jarod possibly taking him back - he shakes his head to her. "No, no food, just the drink. Are you hungry?"

"Of course you can take him," says Lucienne. "Look, I'll even send Ser Selwyn back to fetch him. — It is almost noon," she adds, more a reply to Jacsen. She spends a moment to summons the poor knight to fetch the wretched cat, giving detailed instructions on where to find a basket, to be wary of scratches, yes even on the face, don't break anything in her room, etc etc. And finally, she settles in her chair again, spending a moment looking between Jarod and Jacsen to see if she's missed anything important.

Jarod shrugs to Jacsen, seeming torn between touched and uncomfortable at that offer. "I'll see what I can get. Truth be told, if I can't afford to buy a new set, I'm thinking of just paying Lord Riordan the cost of the partial maile he gave me when I swore to Tordane Tower. He's not asked for it but I…I don't want to owe those people, if I can help it, so if I can't return it I figure I should make it properly mine." Still 'those people,' even one of them that he nominally is now. "Guess I should have a meal while I've time to sit. I don't figure I'll stay the night. I'll have duties on the morrow, and I'd like to get home to Rowenna." Because gods forbid he spend a night apart from the woman. "Did want to make sure I saw the pair of you, though. Didn't have as much time at Seagard for it as I might've liked. And then this whole matter with the Charltons…well. That's resolved now. Some of it, least ways."

Jacsen looks displeased at Jarod taking a set of armor from Riordan. But what's the man to do in his situation? "Never be in debt to a Nayland, that's true enough," he says with distaste. "You could return it, and we can find one for you here, I'm sure - one to be properly yours, as you say." Even if he can't wear Terrick colors, he can still wear the Roost's goods, and Jacsen seems determined to outfit him with something from home. "Seems to have resolved itself without much fuss," he says on the Charlton matter, though he also seems a touch disappointed that it all went down without real excitement. "Was it true it was the Haighs who captured Lord Rafferdy, not the Charltons?" Luci doesn't seem to have missed anything important conversation, it's easy enough to pick up and follow.

"Oh, that was poorly done, all of it," remarks Lucienne, reinserting herself into the conversation. "Bit inflammatory of Lord Frey to let a force cross his bridge, don't you think?"

"I'm surprised the Late Lord Frey is letting his bannermen fuck with each other like this," Jarod says with open distaste for the master of the Twins. Whatever oaths he's sworn to the Naylands, they apparently don't preclude Frey-bashing. "Can you imagine what Lord Mallister would do if the Groves and Terricks started taking each other's noble sons hostages? Or marched an entire garrison into the other's township without leave? Poorly done, aye." As for Rafferdy, he shrugs. "I don't know the full of the tale from him yet myself. But he went to Broadmoor to plead his case for the hand of a Haigh girl, and it was at the house of the Haighs where he was netted. Who the fuck knows what's going on with the Freylings. The Charltons raided into Erenford territory and took some of their highborn prisoner for no reason I can see, save to let it be known they were strong. The Erenfords aren't unfriendly with the Naylands, but they weren't backing them openly. Perhaps they will now. Don't know." Drink. "I don't want to think on it anymore, though."

Jacsen looks like he has a lot to say on the hostage matter. And Frey allowing his bannermen to in-fight. But he keeps his mouth shut on the matter, respecting Jarod's wish to drop the subject, though it pains him to do so. But he stays on Nayland politics all the same. "This matter of the betrothal between Justin and Lady Roslyn, have you heard any talk of it?" he asks, smudging the condensation on his mug with his thumb. "It seems to me they wish to back out of negotiations and fall to cousins instead."

Lucienne just shakes her head judgily and tsks some more, twisting her head about briefly to flag down one of those immoral women who work in this place. As she turns back to the table, waitress on her way over, the Terrick girl arches a brow.

"Huh." Jarod does show a touch of surprise when the direction of the betrothal talks are mentioned. "They've not spoken on the subject to me of late. Though last I heard Lady Roslyn was quite interested in pursuing the match with our brother. She certainly wanted first consideration. I wonder if something's happened between the pair of them." Shrug. "Cousins're less of a risk for either side, and you'll still get a dowry, though not so much as Lord Rickart's…properly owned daughter would've fetched." He got, of course, nothing from his horribly improper wed-ship of the mostly-disowned one. He sits up straighter when he sees Lucienne judging around. In case it was directed at him.

Jacsen frowns slightly at Luci's judgytsk, not quite sure if it's directed to him or not. "Lady Roslyn said she - " He looks around and leans in, dropping his voice low to ward against other ears. "She seemed rather put off by Justin's demeanor at the tournament. I think it is part subterfuge, but the sentiment is true. But she has a desire to wed into the Roost, just not…" He shrugs. "We'll still get a dowry for cousins, if it works out," he agrees. "But it wouldn't be as effective. Still, better than nothing."

MAYBE IT WAS, JAROD. OR MAYBE IT WAS FOR YOU, JACSEN. Luci leans in and murmurs, "When she gets here, I'll eat whatever's on offer." But she most certainly won't order it herself. As she straightens, she contributes to the table talk in a louder voice, "I regret not spending more time with her. Was she returning home, after the tourney?"

"Not directly. The Naylands didn't want to bring her, or Lady Jocelyn, back to Stonebridge right away. With the Charlton matter still so tense," Jarod replies. He's a little careful how he answers that question, though there's nothing truly evasive in what's given. "I suspect they'll be back quick now that it's done, perhaps today. I like Lady Roslyn. She's been quite gracious to me, even strange as the whole situation is. What's left for her, if not Lord Justin for husband? A cousin would be a step down, even at her age." He snorts a laugh. "Unless she's got her eyes on…" He bites his tongue after a glance between the pair of them, nixing whatever joke he was about to make. Ahem. Drink. He orders whatever the cook has. He doesn't even wince too much at the price. While he may not be able to get his pick of fine armor, he can at least afford the inflated cost of lunch at the Roost.

"She seems unlike her brothers," Jacsen says into his mug. "She said she'd come to the Roost," he says to Luci with a small shrug. "She departed Seagard for Kingsgrove. I believe she means to steer clear of Stonebridge for some time." And how would he know so much of Roslyn's plans and intents? The question of whom she has her eyes on is countered tangentially with, "I believe she means to pursue Ser Kittridge. That was the sense I got, in any case." He doesn't sound too sure about what he thinks of that just yet. As for food, his order is small - he's not feeling too hungry at the moment.

Lucienne eyes her trueborn brother with interest as he speaks so knowledgeably on Roslyn's plans. What she says, though, is directly in response to Jarod: "I like Lady Roslyn, too." I hope one of you boys ordered for Lulu as well, otherwise she is pinching yours. "Do you think there's more to come between the Frey vassals, Jarod?"

"Probably," Jarod replies dourly, about the Freys. "Don't know what, but I doubt it's over. Lord Rutger seems to be looking for friends in a less…umm…well…" He bumbles around for the least-insulting way to put this. "…he seems to be going about it different than Lord Riordan did. So if you've a message you'd like me to take back to Stonebridge, for either of them, I can. They seem to be coming to understand it's not so grand if everyone in the land hates them." The bit about Lady Roslyn and the Groves man meets with a "Huh." "I'm surprised they've any sort of dowry left for the Groves, after that motherload of coin the Naylands paid for their food. I do wonder what put her off Justin. That episode with asking for her favor during the joust is just the sort of daffy thing girls like…no offense, Luci."

"Ser Rutger is—" Jacsen starts bitterly, but reins in his outburst before it gets out of hand. He tries to smooth over his words with a calming drink of the ale. "I imagine some of that grain will go back to the Groves, should it work out," he says absently. "Along with lowered tariffs. Then the Groves will be committed to Nayland ownership of the bridge." He may have ordered for his sister. Being all Lordly and stuff. "I don't know what went on between them," he says. "Justin and Roslyn, I mean. They seemed to be getting on all right, before."

"I don't know what went on with Justin at all, during the tourney," Lucienne pipes up, a little quieter after the mention of Ser Rutger. She clears her throat gently, reaching out to her lordly brother with one hand. Don't be like that, bb. "Perhaps you could let the Lady Roslyn know I miss her company, Jarod? If you see her, that is."

"We'll see how it plays, I suppose," Jarod says with a shrug, as to Roslyn Nayland and the Groves. He nods to Lucienne. "Aye, I'll tell her. I suppose I should ask Justin if he wants to carry any messages to her as well, though if they didn't get on after the tournament…" Shrug. And he doesn't press the issue. "Anyhow, let's talk on more pleasant matters. I don't get to see the pair of you so often as all that. How's…umm…" He oafs around, for a pleasant matter to discuss. It may take him a minute.

Jacsen is quieted by Luci's hand, falling into what could properly described as a glum silence. Ale is his friend, even when all else fails. He remains quiet, letting Jarod flail around for a new topic of conversation, not saying anything more until the food arrives. "Justin's already sent off a letter to Roslyn," he says to Jarod. "He requested Ser Riordan be put back in charge of the negotiations." That's hardly a happier topic, so he appends, "And he pointed out that the post of sheriff remains vacant. I mean to put him in that position, and keep him focused on inward affairs for a time."

Luci just offers one of her peacekeeping smiles in that moment spent fumbling for a topic. She's just a girl, girls don't set the tone for lunch conversation (today). All of what Jacsen has to say is news to her, though, and as the food is set before them she casts an arch look at it. The food is fine, honest. It's what Jacsen is saying. "I'm sure Justin will do well," she says, a little shortly. "Lady Anais made the most obnoxious apology I've ever heard, to me."

"If you think that best," Jarod says, though he doesn't seem warm to the idea of his lordly brother as sheriff. "Master Mortimer Trevelyan strikes me as more able. Not to slight our brother, but he's older, and served as second to the last sheriff for years. He was in the small band of volunteers who fought with the armies at Alderbrook. Good fellow. Still, might give Justin a place to focus himself. The common men can help him along." He offers no opinions on the matter of Lord Riordan versus Lord Rutger. He winces a little, when Lucienne brings up the subject of Lady Anais. And he drinks some ale.

Jacsen looks down and starts cutting into his chicken when Luci mentions his wife, and though his expression remains mostly neutral, his lips thin a bit at that news. It's to Jarod that he responds, "He tells me Master Mortimer declined wanting the position himself. Justin will wear the title, and the men will assist him." And that seems to be that. After taking a bite, he finally asks Luci with a flat voice, "What happened?"

"Master Trevelyan is most polite," Luci comments idly as she picks up her cutlery. But, Jacsen has spoken and she'll bow to his word dutifully. "It wasn't anything spectacular," she elaborates. "She just… is about as subtle as a sword to the throat. I know you all want us to get along, so I said I'd dismiss her insults, but I don't want to play her silly kissyface games in public." It's clear from the precise movement of her knife and stiffly held fork that Lucienne will hear no word against her chosen response.

"As is proper deference to a lord, I suppose," Jarod says, of the assistant sheriff's decline of the job. If the arrangement seems less than ideal to him, he doesn't object further, also looking to Lucienne. Though this time he desperately tries to change the subject, "So how's my cat been doing, anyhow? I was worried for him, while we were all gone during the war. Did he live off mice all those months or…err…I mean, he must've gotten used to eating something." Corpses, whatever. This is apparently more appetizing than discussing Lucienne and Anais.

Jacsen grunts, but that's about all the response he's got to give on both fronts for now. Instead, he applies himself to his food, eyeing Luci's grip on her utensils but not challenging it.

Lucienne relents with the tiniest of smiles curving on her lips as she carves a potato. "He's a good hunter," she tells Jarod, regarding the cat. "Mice, sometimes birds when he'd follow me down to the arbor. I even took him with to Middlemarch," I DECIDED THAT RIGHT NOW, "And he found as many friends there as I. He's rather a good climber, isn't he? My drapes. And my bedposts."

"Anais was very kind to me after Lord Jerold discharged me," Jarod finally feels obliged to say. "She was the only one, apart from Uncle Artur, who came to see me after. I know you two would've done more if you could've but…well, it was a kindness I'll not forget. Her heart seems in the right place a good deal of the time, even if…well. She tries, even if it's not always in quite the manner you might want." The part about the cat makes him grin broad. "He's quite an impressive climber. I do appreciate you caring for him, Luci. I don't think I've been the best master to him of late, though I'll try and do better by him." He's near done with his meal. "I should head to the smithy soon. We should do this more often. Except…happier."

"She called me a traitor and a viper and admitted she's been speaking ill of me to the Mallisters and…" Lucienne is crescendoing quickly from icy to heated, and she stops herself. "I wasn't here," she tells Jarod emphatically, knife clinking on her plate. "I don't need friends like that — she's my family, she should be sticking by me, as I've done to her. I never dared speak an ill word about her, until all of this." As for the cat, it's Lulu's turn to grunt. She pops a bite of potato in her mouth and chews, working out some of that aggression.

"How did you know she called you a vip…oh." Jarod sinks back in his chair, sheepishly. "I didn't mean to tell you that. I don't think she meant viper as a bad quality. Some people like vipers. If you're an apothecary you can make…things from their fangs." Poisons. "And they eat mice, so they're like cats. Scaly cats. So it's like she called you a cat, which isn't so bad, is it?"

"She said it in front of everyone," Lucienne snips back quietly after swallowing her mouthful, sending a wary eye scanning for nearby eavesdroppers. "You've missed a lot, being away, Jarod. And she definitely meant it in a bad way. She threatened to have me beaten and she said she wanted to eliminate me. I'm so sick of being nice about her when she's so… infuriating." She carves off another bite. "I'm not a cat. I'm a person."

"I know you're a person!" Jarod replies emphatically. Should his awareness of this be in doubt. Though he at least takes the hint to lower his voice in case the smalls are listening. "I didn't know things'd gotten so…they never seemed that bad when I was…sorry." There's a decidedly alarmed look in his eyes at the description of his loving home of Four Eagles, though he tries to just churn it through his brain rather than reacting more openly.

"Tensions rise when bread is short," Jacsen says simply, with the tone of dropping this line of conversation as well. "Speaking of which, I believe we're at the point now where we should seriously consider a loan from the Groves to buy whatever foodstock is available. I'm told the Mallisters have some, and there's some coming in through backchannels to the Roost at inflated prices from an unknown source. We may be able to avoid buying bulk from the Naylands."

Lucienne looks very much like she'd like to say something else scathing, but she holds her tongue. "Nevermind," she mutters to her plate and herself, listening instead as she slices and dices. It's somewhat therapeutic. She declines comment on the matters of loans and food sources, focusing on her own source of food for the present moment.

"Backchannels?" Jarod frowns. "I suppose anything coming to the Roost is better than nothing, but that could get nasty if the black market gets too powerful a hold on the smallfolk. Where do you suppose it might be coming from?" He adds. "I could ask about it down in Stonebridge if you think that'd be useful. More trade still moves through there than most places in this part of the Riverlands, even as strange as matters are in the town now."

"Yes, I'm hearing that word a lot lately," Jacsen says dryly at Luci's response. But there's frustration in his voice as well. "I imagine it comes from those who have the grain, and that's Stonebridge right now," he says to Jarod, nodding at his offer to ask around. "If it's coming from elsewhere, it'll be moving through Stonebridge; if not, then it must be Kingsgrove." It's not a foolproof conclusion, but close enough when painting with broad strokes. "I don't think it needs to be squashed just yet. Just monitored closely."

Lucienne grits her teeth at Jacsen's arid reply, unclenching her teeth only to pop another mouthful of food in. She'll just let the boys talk while she eats, tyvm.

"Aye," Jarod replies simply about the backchannels to Jacsen. Standing and leaving some coins on the table to cover his food and drink. "I should get to the smithy. Thanks for coming out even if it was…umm…" Shrug. "It's good to see the pair of you." He does mean that. Awkward and messed up as they are, they are FAMILY.

"And you, Jarod," Jacsen says with a tight smile, looking up at his brother from his food. "Let me know if you have any difficulty finding the right armor. We'll work something out." BUY FROM THE ROOST. "Safe journey back, and… say hello to Rowenna for me."

Lucienne sets down her utensils so that she may rise with Jarod, to offer him another of those hugs he so loves to claim from her. "It's so good to see you," she assures him, right as Ser Selwyn walks back in with a basket that yowls remarkably like Ser Bartholomew. "Do give Rowenna my regards?"

"I'll tell her you said hello," Jarod says, his smile warming when they both offer regards to his wife. "Ser Bartie!" He takes the basket enthusiastically (after hugging Lucienen, of course). It hisses at him and thrashes around. The cat probably does not like being handled enthusiastically. It will be a long ride.

After glancing at the basket with bemusement and giving his brother a waved fork in farewell, Jacsen reapplies himself to his food in silence. It's a small portion, but he's picking away at it rather slowly. Maybe he just hasn't got much of an appetite.

Lucienne retakes her seat, the mood decidedly different without Jarod's company. She munches down a few more bites in sullen silence, before venturing a small, "I'm sorry." Dark eyes peer up from her plate toward her remaining brother.

Luci's apology is met with a continuing sulky silence - unbecoming of Jacsen, but there nonetheless. "I hope you are," he says quietly, washing down his chicken with a mouthful of ale. "I really do, Luci. Because that was—" He shakes his head, looking across the table at her. In a quiet voice, he murmurs, "I cannot abide lies or deceit from you, of all people."

She sets her wrists upon the edge of the table, the tines of her fork and blade of her knife hovering over the edge of her plate. Lucienne takes a deep breath, and tilts her head at Jacsen. "I am," she repeats, low but firm. "I just… this whole stupid thing… I'm very, very sorry. Let me make it up to you. Anything."

Jacsen sighs. "I believe you," he says, closing his eyes for a moment. This is just a massive headache on top of everything else that's going on. Opening them again, he looks at her with a fond smile - a heartbreaking smile. "I will get you what you want, though, dear sister. As for what you will get me, well." He gestures vaguely with his fork. "This is neither the time nor the venue."

That smile is effective, at least. Lucienne's own expression is broken between sweet and sad, her shoulders sagging even as she smiles. "I love you," she murmurs in response, before picking up her meal again. Just for the record, she notes, "I would have asked you anyway."

Jacsen doesn't acknowledge that statement either way, whether he believes her or not. Surely he must, after her apology. He takes another bite of the chicken, his biggest so far, and drains off the remainder of his ale. "Come," he says, putting down enough coin to cover both their meals. "Let us walk, and we shall talk on more private matters in a more private setting." He rises, reaching for his cane, leaving his plate unfinished.

"As you wish, my lord," says Lucienne obediently, rising from her spot in much the same fashion - minus the cane. "Shall I bring my escort, or leave them to their lunching?"

Jacsen considers her escort for a moment, narrowing his eyes at where they sit before giving her a shrug. "We shan't need them, I don't think. I will walk you back to the tower, that is simple enough that we shouldn't require them." He offers her his arm to weave their way out of the crowd together.

Luci bids her staff stay with a wave, before curling her hand about her brother's arm. No doubt some hungry commoner will be delighted to move in and finish their meals. "I didn't mean to speak ill of her to Jarod, either," she confesses quietly, disappointed with herself. "The words just tumbled out and I couldn't take them back. I'm trying. I really am."

"I understand," Jacsen reassures quietly. "I know it's hard for you to… put on appearances with her. It was family speaking to family about family - but not like this, not out in public, not where you can be overheard." Although there's rebuke in the words, there's none in the tone, only pragmatic assessment. "Let's take the long road home, shall we?" he asks as they exit the Inn.