|The Correspondence of Lady Anonymous|
|Summary:||The collected letters betwixt the mysterious Mistress Nommy and Ser Jarod Rivers.|
|Date:||Various, specific dates contained on specific letters|
|Related Logs:||Lady Anonymous; Horse Whispering; To Forgive and Forget|
Delivered on the day of July 22, 288, on good parchment, and containing a lady's favor: a single lock of shining chestnut hair tied with a golden ribbon.
There is nothing in the world so green as your eyes, so bright as your smile; nothing so full of grace as your arm, emboldened by challenge and lengthened by steel. If you would make a lady smile, take this favor into battle. With deepest admiration, Lady Anonymous
Delivered on the day of July 26, 288.
Dearest Ser Jarod,
You wear my favor even before the battle and I am undone. I cannot tell you how my heart races to see it. My delight is such that I am lightheaded and giddy, as though with too much wine. I am reminded of a song I have often heard minstrels play —
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss within the cup
And I'll not ask for wine.
Does it seem impossible that I should so admire you, having never had the courage to make myself known? And yet I know you well. Your name is carved upon my heart, indelibly, and the pain is exquisite.
Thank you, sweet Ser. Never have I known such joy as seeing some part of me touching you, even if it is only my hair about your wrist.
In which Ser Jarod replies. Delivered July 29, 288.
My dear Lady Anonymous,
First off, I must say that's a rather cumbersome name you've picked to style yourself. You need a nick-name, if I may say. Do you like Anny? Or Nommy?
On second that, perhaps not. We'll just stick with Lady Anonymous for now.
I must confess, I've no proper clue what precisely I should write to you, for I can't figure out for the life of me who you might be. You've seen me at least - though I'm not sure I could quite describe myself as you do in your letters with a straight face. Still, I thank you for the compliments, for they are very fairly put, even if I'd argue with the truth of many of them. Still, you speak of my eyes, but I know not whether yours are fair blue or merry green or deepest brown, nor can I speak to the curve of your lips or the shape of your figure. I will just have to imagine them as pretty as your words, for so long a time as I can put neither my eyes nor lips to you.
While your letters make me smile well and I'm hesitant to do something that would stop them, I wonder why you play at these games? I can only assume there is some reason you fear to make yourself known for me, for your words do not lack for boldness. I would ask if you are noble born, or hold some other name or secret that would make it shameful for you to meet a bastard knight, like a man and woman properly should meet. But I hesitate to know the answer, I'll admit. It is sweet and merry to love a thing you do not know, and by your letters I can easily say you do not know me very well, my Lady Anonymous, or you would would not be able to speak of me so fair. I'm reluctant to disappoint you greatly with the truth of me, if you know me better.
Your words warm my heart, however, and I shall wear your favor on my wrist for luck and for the merry love I've made of the dream of you when I take to the melee. I pray I shall not disappoint you in that, at least. My eyes shall look for you in the crowd but, if I see you not, know at least that you're in my thoughts and I hope your good wishes do my arm some assistance. You can have my heart until the end of the tourney at least, and gladly, for I'm doing nothing so useful with it at the moment that I can't spare it for one so kind.
Yours Faithfully, if in Puzzlement,
Ser Jarod Rivers
Delivered the night before the grand melee, late upon July 29, 288.
Dearest Ser Jarod,
You've caught me out, indeed. I chose the name specifically to vex you with as many syllables as possible. Anny is rather charming, but Nommy sounds a bit matronly. Or as though I should be eaten with a spoon. I've a solution, however.
My name is Rose.
I will confess I am not so lovely as a Terrick (nor a Rivers of their make), but neither am I ill-favored. My eyes, as it happens, are brown. My lips and figure — I blush to disclose. Perhaps your imaginings do me better justice.
But there's the rub, isn't it? You fear I will be greatly disappointed with the truth of you — the same, but opposite, fear lives in me. Know this, however — were there chance at all that I might bring you any shame, I could ne'er have written word so large. I was nobly born, but I am no lady. I can no longer claim my family name. So, like you, I am styled Rivers. And in this, I am more than content.
What is there to know of you, I wonder, that I do not? I know you are a rascal, a scoundrel, a whore-monger, and a rake. I know that you are entirely incorrigible, delightfully funny, and tell jokes so lewd a Dornishman would blush. I know that beards do not suit you, and that you are the loyalest of brothers, sons, and friends. I know that my heart sings and my head spins at the thought of you.
I do not know how your lips taste, or how your hand would feel on the curve of my waist. I do not know how your heart would feel beneath my hand. Fear you I would find fault in these things?
That your heart is mine for the duration of the tourney is more than I had ever dreamt or hoped for… and yet.
Some things are perhaps best left fancies. Others beg conclusion. To meet you demands more courage than I have ever marshaled, but for you… only for you could I be so brave.
After the grand melee, when the moon is new, meet me in the rose garden. All our questions will then be answered.