|The Greatest Gift|
|Summary:||Aleister drops into visit Cherise after the events of the previous night|
|Related Logs:||Don't Sit On My Chair|
|It's Guest Chambers|
|23 September 289|
The night was ruled by caution within the guest chamber where the Lady of Highfield was laid to rest. Attendants within issued their checks of the bandages, the wound and last but not least to measure the lady's breathing. The night passed without event and well into the morning when the woman was carefully informed of the unfortunate misgivings that had come to pass. Another drought, though this one was for the pain had dulled the aches from head to toe. A nasty bruise formed on both the side of her face and her wrist. While in bed, the blankets pulled up to just mid-thigh, Cherise listened while the Septa recited from her books in a seat near the bed. Food was brought and again it remained untouched.
The events of the previous evening had brought much work to be done. There were funeral things that now needed to be addressed and the issue of the armies being pulled from the lands of Stonebridge. As such, Aleister had spent much of the evening, night and morning addressing and dealing with these and once he had finished, he had made his way up to the third level of the keep and to the guest room where Cherise was being kept. A single rap of his knuckles upon the door heralds his entry and once he's within the room, he's simply closing the door behind him, eyes shifting to play from the Septa to Cherise.
The recital of passages had come to a pause at the entry of the Keep's Lord. The elder woman rose onto her feet and bowed her head accordingly. "M'lord." She is then addressing the wounded patient lying on her back in the bed. "M'lady Cherise, your husband is here." Relaying softly, hoping to encourage some response from the woman who simply averted her eyes from the mound of her covered feet to then the window.
There's little in the way of the greeting to the Septa and instead, Aleister is moving forward a few steps, eyes settled upon the prone figure of his wife, who he watches look to her feet and then towards the window. With a slight shake of his head and a shift of his hands behind his back, to clasp together, he's offering, "It would seem that you have made quite the spectule of yourself over the past few days, Cherise."
In the manners of greetings the Septa's brow lowered under the first words spoken by husband to wife. She sweeps her gaze over the lady in lounging and carefully resumes her seating with the book folded on her lap. Cherise moved a hand, the one not marked with bruises to slowly and with extreme caution to slid atop of her abdomen. "No more than yourself." An exhausted tongue returned.
There's a flash of a smirk that dances to Aleister's lips and he's giving a slight shake of his head at Cherise's words, "Yes. I can see where I've run around, grabbing peoples hair. Where I've sat idle and secluded for months on end." Hands unclasp from behind his back, giving a slight dismissing wave, "After all, it's not as if I've had a war to worry about."
"A mother does not sit idle." Cherise relayed as her eyes drew a close. Heavy things. She wanted to sit up or move, something other than lay in the bed for days, perhaps weeks or months on end. Managing to only shift a little without disrupting her abdomen the woman continued. "Your sister knows not her place and it is not upon my seat Aleister or do you wish to replace me with your kin?" She remembered that. What she had not recalled the Septa filled in. "Or perhaps some other tart you employ in your service? I am not blind you arrogant fool. Our son is gone. Your heir." And perhaps it was for the better. "Because of this stupid war you started."
"And yet, idle is exactly how you have been," is what Aleister counters with and when she continues, there's an almost cruel laugh that escapes past his lips, "She sat there, dear wife, to speak with the Mallisters. To treat with them and entertain them. After all, when is the last time that /you/ sat there in any offical capacity?" Then, at the last of her words, there's a narrowing of his eyes and that smirk remains upon his lips, twisted a touch more deeply by what she said, "I care not, Cherise, what you think you know or believe. As for the child?" He pauses, the smirk fading a touch, "He is gone and it had nothing to do with this war."
"During the wedding as your son was ill and Ser Erik arrived to speak with you." And after that it was the building of the sept. Cherise gripped onto the fabric of her nightwear, the chemise a little damp from sweating due to the room's warmth. "She sat in the Lady of Highfield's seat. Such an act would not be pardoned should I had allowed Ser Erik to sit upon yours as he spoke… would it?" The woman's glare narrowed but soon followed was the shake of her head. "You do not care Aleister. You forgot how to even with all your ambitions. He has everything to do with it, this keep had lesser men to feed your war. Our wellbeing was threatened. Even your own sister tries to kill me. And I know you'll do nothing. You'll cast blame on me because it is easier than admitting the truth." The uninjured hand raised to her forehead, wiping across her brow and along the side of her face. "Had you been here, had I never left he would still be alive. I would still have my beautiful boy." Frowning deeply she's beginning to accept the reality as it took a near death experience. "You should have left me to die to join him."
"One occassion in a period of months, Cherise. You make my point for me." That smirk doesn't dance from his lips, though Aleister does give a shake of his head, "You forget, dear wife, that it is /I/ who rules these lands. It is /I/ who determines the fate of those within it. You, who so blatently neglects her duties. You, who chooses to sit idle, to speak of peace and friendship when so many offenses have been offered. You, who chooses to /do nothing/. My sister was right, dear wife. You are but a ghost of what you used to be." There's but a moments pause, long enough for hands to return to that clasped position behind his back, "You attacked her, Cherise. In my Hall. In my Keep. And you would not listen to reason. You have brought this upon yourself." There's a flit of his eyes to the septa now before his gaze returns to that of Cherise, "And now you have nothing."
"You determined my fate the moment your eyes wondered. You determined our son's fate the moment you forgot his importance and ran headstrong into this war. I chose to be a good mother. To not let our son become corrupted by the deeds of his father." And all the efforts went wasted. "Your sister…" Cherise again shakes her head. "I am done being the blame of your transgressions Aleister. I pardoned much and chose forgiveness. You will not give me Justice for the loss of our son and for your sister's unlawful acts against the seat of Highfield then I have no words for you. I feel sorry that you are so twisted and blind. I feel sorry that you are not the man I adored and has become something else. Something dark and honorless." She does raise her chin, "I have given you the greatest gift a lord could have and you let him parish in your keep. The gods were speaking and they knew your acts were unjust."
"And yet, Cherise, you have been given everything on a silver platter. And was required of you? Naught else but to do your duty to this House and to me." Another shake of Aleister's head comes and it's followed by, "It is fortunate that the Lady Ceinlys has returned and been appointed Steward of these lands. To act and speak in my name when I am unavailable. She knows well the value of duty, dear wife, and she will see these lands flourish, where you would see them wither and die." Now, he's turning away from Cherise, his hands unclasping from behind his back as he begins to make his way towards the door, "There is no blame to be had, Cherise, but your own. You attacked a member of House Charlton of Hollyholt, in our home. You have brought these consequences upon yourself." Foot steps continue to carry him towards that door and as he reaches it and a hand comes to settle upon the knob of the door, he's offering without looking back, "And I shall give you the greatest gift, Cherise, in return for all that you have done." Pause. "I shall set you free."