|The Cape of Eagles|
|Summary:||Jaremy and Anais, excused from the dinner table, get to have another private conversation in an attempt to get to know each other.|
|Related Logs:||Immediately follows the events of The Lord's Table|
|Curved Stairs — Four Eagles Tower|
|A catwalked overwatch that views to the North.|
The walk away from the dinner table has been silent, and he leads Anais up the stairs and out to a wide, secured catwalk that overlooks the Terrick lands. The torches have been lit, and the high perch allows them to gaze down over the firelights on at Terrick's Roost below, and get a view of the sky above. It's the place that Jaremy told her of, finally having shown her what he's described. Arm in arm, he lowers his voice as they step through the last portal and onto the catwalk, his eyes scanning the ground below.
"You look as if you've been waiting all day to ask me a very direct series of questions, my Lady…"
Anais draws a deep breath of the clear air at the heights of the wall, something in her shoulders easing in the open air. "Are you implying that I do a poor job of schooling my features?" she asks with a faint smile, then shakes her head. "No. Not…not really. I don't think I have /questions/, per se. It's only that they keep being answered before I can even ask them." She falls silent for a moment, turning her face toward the breeze. "I did have an interesting talk with Miss Amelia. Is there…anything you want to tell me there?"
Coming to a stop near the high barricade that protects all from falling over the edge, Jaremy places his hands on the cool stone and traces a fingertip against the mortar, quieting himself with its texture. "Amelia." Jaremy replies, capturing the essence of her question with the tone of his voice. He looks to her, letting the wind brush against the side of his face. "She's the smallfolk girl that I kept from the Naylands. Her and I have been close friends for years, though I'm…not her client." He pauses, letting his careful wording sink in. "We talk often, and there have been times where she's been a great friend, and an even better ally. Though she can be a bit fierce." A smile forms at the corner of his mouth. "Did she paint a different picture of me?"
Anais laughs softly at his answer, ducking her chin as she shakes her head. "No," she confesses. "No, she spoke very kindly of you. And with a good deal of care. Somehow, I think it is not Jarod I need to guard my heart against," she murmurs ruefully, turning her face toward the sea and taking a deep breath. "With the way women keep falling in love with you, perhaps I should guard my heart more closely here. You have more than enough women falling all over themselves for you, Jaremy Terrick," she observes with some amusement.
"Ohhh…" Jaremy half-groans, blushing at the ears and baring his teeth towards the sky. His head rolls back a bit, idly brushing his fingertips through his hair. "…Seven I don't know how to respond to that." He sighs again, settling himself comfortably beside her as he did overlooking the ferry docks at Stonebridge. "I know men as a creature group have reputations, and to be honest I have the urge to try to, right here, calm you into believing I'm a loyal, honest man. I am, but…you would be expecting to hear that, wouldn't you?" He turns to face her, leaning his hip against the rail. "So much to trust in a stranger, isn't it?"
Anais laughs once more, the corners of her eyes crinkling with her smile. "You're very sweet, Jaremy," she assures him. "Which is no doubt what endears you so to the women here. It's…" She pauses, turning to consider him for a moment. "Let us say that I was raised to expect to marry a very hard man. So this is…It's like when you're climbing, and you reach for a handhold, expecting to pull against it, only to have it come off in your hand." Because /that's/ an appropriate and ladylike analogy.
Jaremy quiets, and then he suddenly beams at her, lips parting into a broad, enlightened grin. "Oh my seven, that's it, isn't it? That's why you keep mentioning about needing to see my swing a sword or take up a lance?" If it's impossible for him to find a way to broaden his grin, then he achieves it. His tone falls into the realm of the mock accusatory. "So you've gotten a dance but missed my sword arm, and I've offered you a flower and you're maybe asking yourself if I'm one of these fattened lords that everyone talks about his prowess, but that's really because the straw dummy doesn't fight back?" He laughs aloud, hoping he's caught her correctly.
"No," Anais shakes her head, pressing her lips together against another laugh. "No, Jaremy, that isn't it. I mean, I'm certainly interested in seeing you fight," she adds, reaching a hand for his arm. "I am. It's just that…Honestly, you may simply be the /nicest/ man I have ever known. You geniunely seem to /accidentally/ break hearts, in the most well-meaning manner I can imagine. I can't figure out if it's just the way you are, or if you're a master of deception." A pause, as she smiles faintly, shrugging one shoulder. "Obviously I'm leaning toward it's just the way you are, else I wouldn't say anything."
"All a part of my plan, I assure you." Jaremy replies, calming visibly and offering Anais a quieted look. The sarcasm fades, and he lowers his head, capturing their conversation into privacy on the high walkway. "I believe in honor, and I believe in the oaths that I took to protect the realm. My sister doesn't lie, when I was a child I wanted to be a kingsguard to protect Aerys the second. I was a squire when war broke out, and my uncle kept us behind, neutral to the affair. I was crushed. But the stories that came back…" He shakes his head, lifting his eyes back to her. "…I want to be different, yet the same. I want to be the things that I swore to be when I was knighted. I can be hard, but I'll never seek to be cruel."
"Which is a noble goal," Anais agrees, nodding once as she watches his features. "Though I'm not sure how well it will work in the times to come." She draws a deep breath, then eases into another smile, looking toward the sea once more. "I'm afraid the Naylands have stolen quite a march on you, Jaremy. I'm…nervous. Nervous about possibly never going home. Nervous about taking all of this on only to lose at it. I can't sleep at night. Every time I try to eat, I'm distracted. It's as though I found what I think I might want…but I'm almost afraid to take it."
"A month ago I wouldn't have believed you, but as of two weeks I've hardened myself into place, Anais." His features darken, moving towards the Cape of Eagles in the far distance. "The Naylands surprised us, something truly unexpected coming from the Tordanes, but they're not ahead of us. There are…things…that I could speak to you about were we wed, but despite this calm, nice face I provide, I've been watching and paying close attention." He looks to her. "Don't sell us short. Our men and our smallfolk love this land, and we'll guard it closely. The Naylands underestimate us…" He chuckles, grinning quietly towards the sea. "…fuck the Naylands. They won a battle, and already their house is facing trouble within. I am a gentle man, as are most of my family, but that's only because we were taught to honor those with respect. In war we've been taught to withstand."
"Good." Anais smooths a hand over the top of the battlements, closing her eyes and tipping her chin up. "It's peaceful here," she murmurs. "I think…I might almost be able to hear the sea. Amelia was telling me about the beaches. I'd like to visit them some time." Eventually, she opens her eyes, looking back to him once more. "Have you no questions for me, then?" she asks with a small smile. "Nothing you're burning to know?"
"If you don't ride by the sea with my sister tomorrow, we can do so soon. It's got a beach, rather than the rocks, so you'll be able to walk up to the water." Jaremy replies quietly, watching her tilt her head to the sky. She's right. It is peaceful. It's something that Jaremy did not take the time to notice, and hasn't for weeks. His breathing slows and he folds his arms, lowering his gaze to her. "You spoke of sirens, and I've spoken of fighting white-walkers and dragons, though you said you worry the time to come will have little place for niceties and polite dinners." He pauses. "Though before all of that comes, Anais, I'd like to know what you hoped for before your father sent you away. Are we so different, but perhaps I wasn't so hounded by Ironmen?"
Anais's smile is crooked as she looks up at him, sheepish. "I never much thought about what I'd do in the future," she admits, reaching up to catch at her hair as a breeze tugs at the curls. "I thought about songs, and dancing. I thought about archery, and swimming, and climbing. I just…trusted that my father would see to things in the right time. I was content to wait. To see what would come. It seemed better than hoping for something I had no control over."
"Then no, we're not so different. Keeping with the promise of no lies, I always felt the same. My father is still lord of Four Eagles Tower, and all the while I should have been preparing for the future I was working on my joust or my swordwork, or tending to the smallfolk. There was always something." Jaremy replies, shaking his head from side to side, extending his arm to her. "Come watch me in the yard tomorrow before you ride. You will be safe here, as will your sisters, and when there isn't war there will be peace. Perhaps in the coming days you'll find things that you love about Terrick's Roost, enough to miss it should you ever leave."
"I'd like that," Anais nods to the mention of watching him, straightening to take his arm. "And I hope to find many things to love here. Or maybe just to have fond feelings for and dance with occasionally," she adds with a teasing sidelong glance to the young lord. "Assuming that someone doesn't break my heart to pieces. And here I thought I was the siren."
"You see…I'm not such the handhold that breaks off so much, am I?" Jaremy grins, heading with her towards the staircase that will lead back to the fork that takes her to her rooms. "Though nomatter what occurs in the future, Anais, I promise that I will always take the time to share a dance with you." He returns her smile, eyes tilting towards the stone ahead. "Now, my siren, perhaps you will hear the waves from your room, or perhaps you'll hear something else that helps you get to sleep, but please…rest well. Allow this place to calm you."