|The Taste of Wine|
|Summary:||Senna and Rafferdy work Young Lord Edmure Tully. He's not a difficult mark.|
|Related Logs:||Other Methods|
|The Merry Trout — Riverrun|
|An inn where rich trouts go to get merry.|
|Sat Nov 12, 288|
The Merry Trout is an upscale inn - which is very discreet about its whore-house-level offerings - on the banks of the the Tumblestone. The interior is bright and airy, the serving maids all chosen for their lovely appearance, and it's a very popular spot to find those in Riverrun who think they're important. This includes a lot of young men right now, with the Lord Paramount holding council in the castle proper. This early evening, it also includes Young Lord Edmure Tully. Who's presently sitting at a table with a gaggle of other lordlings, laughing and drinking summerwine and discussing politics in self-important tones. "It's all just petty squabbling, of course, but my father must attend to the troubles of his vassals," Edmure is saying, while holding a wineglass and gesturing.
It's not unusual for young men to bring their own women to places like this. After all, not every woman is a whore, and if you don't /have/ to pay for it, then why would you? Senna is not one of the usual girls. Not one who works here, or one of the girls who live in the area. Not a merchant's daughter, who passes through every few months. She is a stranger. Everything about her, though, speaks of minor nobility, or perhaps some well-to-do family. She wears a new dress of fine, mossy green linen with a sash of amber silk low on her hips, embroidered with knotwork, and her hair is twisted into an elegant chignon set with a single white flower, a sharp contrast to silky, dark hair. And for the last little bit, she's been at the bar with another stranger of the young and male sort, speaking quietly. Every now and then, a low, husky laugh can be heard from the woman, the sort that travels without being strident.
Rafferdy is the young male stranger, and he smiles and laughs with Senna. He, too, is clean and dressed of the minor nobility styling. His smile is flirtatious, and his demeanor oozes charm. He takes a drink of his wine, and shrugs, finishing his amusing story, "It was six more months before Theodorh was able to walk normal again!"
Young Lord Tully doesn't miss the newcomers into the Merry Trout. He swivels his chair - less artfully than he probably thinks he's swiveling it, it has to scoot - to look at them. Senna in particular is looked up, and down, and up again. One of his friends, a foppish young lord with a very blonde goatee, elbows him and says something that makes the table chuckle. Edmure's reply to the laughing is a more subtle, "Ha."
"Mmmm, the poor boy," Senna purrs through a laugh to Rafferdy's story. Somehow, she manages to convey false amusement for the tale, lifting her glass to take a small sip as she scans the room from beneath her lashes. There's a small curve of a smile when she catches sight of Edmure, a flicker of a glance before she's looking back to Rafferdy once more. "I suppose the moral of the story is that sometimes some men get bigger gifts than they can handle." She glances at Edmure once more, a secret, welcoming curve to her smile, without really seeming to look away from Rafferdy.
Rafferdy laughs, and he reaches out, brushing her hair a bit off her face. "He was certainly out of his element." He smiles again, and leans forward, casually giving her a kiss with the familiarity of a man that's pressed his lips to this woman's many times, even though it's actually the first. He kisses her with a little passion, dancing his tongue across her lips, nibbling her lower lip playfully as he does so.
Edmure Tully returns Senna's smile with a slightly chin-lifted grin and lift of his glass that he tries to make beckoning. "I thought I knew every vision of loveliness that graced the banks of Riverrun," he says to Senna as she comes within his general vicinity. Rafferdy doesn't get an immediate greeting, but he apparently isn't a vision.
Senna returns the kiss, though she lifts a hand to Rafferdy's chest, fingertips pressing ever so lightly as she pulls back. There's something polite to her smile for her current companion, though it's subtle enough to take some noticing. She even blushes on demand at Edmure's words, a more genuine smile curving. "I'm sure my lord does," she answers him, sinking into an elegant curtsey. "And I imagine they sigh themselves to sleep every night, wishing my lord knew them better." She doesn't introduce herself, though, leaving that to Rafferdy.
Rafferdy smiles, unworried about the boy's compliment. "Lord Edmure, we've not formally met." He extends a slight bow, "I'm Rafferdy Nayland. This is my lovely lady Senna." He smiles, and looks at Senna, "I'm going to check on the servants." He glances at Edmure, explaining, "They were rather skittish to be out and about here in Riverrun." Then back to Senna, "I'll be right back, darling." He leans in and kisses her once more. He turns to go, then stops, and smirks at Edmure, "Keep an eye on my love," he says, and heads off.
"Lord Rafferdy, of course," Edmure says expansively, as if he recognizes the name. Though the slightly vacant way he assesses the other man suggests he actually does not. "Lord Rygar's son, yes? I must say, Lord Rygar made rather a spectacle of himself before my lord father in council. Lord Hoster is cross, and it does little to advance your cause. However, all men are friends here, and I invite you to drink, to show I hold no grudes." He adds, with a smile at Senna, "If your lovely companion will join us of course. Wherever did you find her?"
"Mmm, of course," Senna murmurs to Rafferdy with a small smile, once again raising a hand to his chest as she bows to the kiss, a tacit means of maintaining some distance. "I'm afraid the Naylands found me at the Trident, my lord, many years ago," she answers Edmure, slipping into a chair near the young lord. "And though it would be quite the tale, perhaps, to claim I rose full-grown from the waters like some goddess in an eastern tale, the truth is that my father died there, and the Naylands were good enough to take me in."
Rafferdy nods at Senna's answer, "It was the least we could do. Such a thing as yourself needs to be cherished, and not remain without family." He nods then, "If you'll excuse me," and he leaves for now.
"You're excused, of course, Lord Rafferdy," Edmure says as the Nayland heads off. Though his eyes remain fixed on Senna. She's the only woman at their table, though the serving girls are paying the young lord particular attention as they pass. "The Naylands did manage to find the Trident, then?" He laughs at his own joke. Though he does recall his manners enough to add, "I'm sorry for the loss of your father. My father says some of the best knights of Westeros were lost upon that field. I am surprised, I must confess, that a vision such as yourself was on the battlegrounds with him."
"I'm afraid I had nowhere else to go, my lord," Senna explains with a small smile, looking away a moment as though the memory pains her. "My mother died when I was young. She was a Smallwood, but her family blamed my father for her passing and cut ties afterwards." She looks after Rafferdy for just a moment, then turns back to the young lord. "I'm afraid without the Naylands I might have fallen onto difficult times," she admits, a glance from beneath her lashes taking in some of the women in the tavern.
Edmure's eyes wander to the other passing women in the tavern, too, though he mostly tries to keep his attention on Senna. "Oh…oh, I see. You must be quite a woman, to have endured such a life. I will be a knight soon, myself." He puffs up a little. "Though I was born too late for the Rebellion, of course, I've studied its battles. I think we learned much from it, and someday I shall apply those lessons to the defense of Riverrun in its time of need."
"Will you?" Senna's brows rise, and her smile curves in admiration. "That is quite the accomplishment. A knight so young. You must be a fierce warrior, my lord." She takes another sip of her wine, though this time she lets her gaze take in more of him, lingering over his shoulders with a small smile. "Rebellious lords of the Trident shall tremble."
"Well…I don't know precisely when I'll be dubbed," Edmure hedges. "But I'm sure it'll be soon. I am of the son of the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, after all, and I must be ready put down rebellious lords and…all of that. Do you like the wine?" He takes another drink from his own glass. "It's the finest in apple summerwine, imported from the Reach by way of King's Landing. This summer has been a prosperous one for Westeros, and Lord Tully makes certain those around him have only the best."
"It's remarkable," Senna murmurs, though she doesn't look away from the young lord when she says it, her slow smile crinkling the corners of her eyes. It's not the wine she's speaking of, it says. "Sweet. Clean. Sharp. But powerful enough for more than a small taste to make a girl light-headed." She sets one hand on the table, fingers curling in tacit invitation.
Edmure laughs at that. A sound with probably more of a giggle in it than he intends. That's - hardly - his first glass of wine. "Sweet and sharp. Just right for you, Miss…what did you say your name was again?" Another giggly laugh. "Fear not. If you feel light-headed, I will be here to catch you."
"Senna," the woman murmurs, a husky warmth in her voice as she smiles back at the young lord. "Senna Delacourt." She takes another small sip without looking away, then lets her lashes fall. "I have heard, my lord, that wines taste different to every person. That there is something that changes in it when it hits the tongue, so that each person has a different experience of it." The tip of her own tongue brushes over her lower lip as she shifts ever so slightly in her chair, leaning toward him. "How does my lord find it?"
"My young lord finds it rich and…gratifying," Edmure replies, taking a moment as if he's searching his head for impressive adjectives. He leans forward some on the table as Senna licks her lips. "I would like to see how your tongue finds it."
Senna raises her glass for the smallest sip, then sets it aside as she leans forward to meet the young lord's lips in turn with a soft, muffled sound. Her own lips are only slightly parted, granting the barest taste of the wine on her tongue while daring him to seek any more than that.
Edmure takes the dare and makes what's probably overuse of his tongue by just sticking as much of it as possible in Senna's mouth. He looks proud of himself when he's done with the throat-y winetasting, however. "There are better bottles in the…private stock upstairs, Miss Senna. Perhaps we should get a room and try them."
Rafferdy reenters the building, moving merrily back to Senna and Edmure, again, laying a rather boisterous, confident kiss upon her lips before looking to Edmure. "I trust you were well behaved in my absence?" He smiles, obviously teasing them.
Senna, to her credit, gives no sign that there's anything wrong with Edmure's methods. Stroke the boy's…ego. But then Rafferdy is returning, and she looks away to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, smiling back to the Nayland and returning his kiss with more reserve than she granted Edmure. "Ever well-behaved, my lord," she assures, casting a look beneath her lashes toward the young lord, her smile holding their secret. "We were just discussing the wine and its…flavors."
Edmure offers Rafferdy a not-well-disguised look of irritation for reappearing just after he'd charmingly tried to jam his tongue down Senna's throat. "The lovely Senna's company is nothing but pleasant, Lord Rafferdy. I trust your…errand went well. Whatever it was. Were it me, I would not leave the side of a beauty such as this."
Rafferdy smiles, "Well, I'm not you." He shrugs, an arrogant confidence to his charming demeanor. "I'm sure as you grow older, you'll develop the confidence in your ability to woo and keep a flower such as Senna as I have." He says it pleasantly, meaning it genuinely, not trying to be a jerk at all. He looks at Senna, and again, gives her a quick kiss. He smiles, turning back to Edmure. "You know," he offers, "You should come to Lord Rutger's reception this evening. I'm sure he would be quite honored to have you at the affair." He flashes a challenging grin at the boy, "You might even garner a dance with my love," he glances at Senna, then back to Edmure, "Unless you don't think you can compete with me…" He winks at the young Lord, teasing.
Senna flushes prettily at Edmure's words, tracing a finger slowly along the rim of her wine glass. When Rafferdy extends his invitation, she looks up quickly, flashing a warm and welcoming smile to the young lord. "Oh, please, you /must/, my lord," she echoes. "It would be such an honor. And," she adds, smile curving more quietly, "Such fun."
Edmure glares at Rafferdy, taking the teasing poorly. "I assure you, Lord Rafferdy, I have plenty of experience in wooing flowers. Though it surprises me you manage to keep one of this arboreal quality in your company." Arboreal? Maybe his tutors taught him that word last week. "In any case, the Young Lord Tully is honored by the invitation, if you don't mind the competition."
Rafferdy smiles a bit wider, "Oh my," he says, patronizing the young man a bit. "Competition?" He laughs, "Edmure, my lord, if you think your courting can even compare to that of mine, then by all means, please, I welcome your challenge." He laughs, amused by the kid's spunk.
"Gentlemen," Senna murmurs, a note of caution as she reaches a hand to each. "Please." One finger traces a tiny circle on the back of Edmure's hand. "The Naylands are loyal vassals, my lord. Surely they would not deny you access to anything you desired. Indeed," she continues, smile faint, "I can only imagine they would do everything in their power to provide it."
"Nothing is denied to the Young Lord Tully at Riverrun," Edmure replies with another chin-lift, talking about himself in the third-person again. He smiles at Senna. "But, of course, I appreciate all that is offered. I will see you both at this occasion of yours, Lord Rafferdy, and we will see how is the better man at…dancing."
Rafferdy smiles, "I'm sure we will, Lord Tully." He laughs, still amused, "Come along, Senna. We must be getting back." He looks at Edmure once more, still amused, and gives a nod goodbye."
Senna rises gracefully, though her hand lingers on Edmure's as she's drawn away. "A pleasure to meet you, my lord," she murmurs, sinking into a curtsey that grants a brief flash of cleavage. "And I look forward to seeing my lord again." Stepping back, she takes Rafferdy's arm, but she casts an inviting smile over her shoulder toward Edmure as the pair departs.
"The pleasure was all mine for your company, Miss Senna," Edmure replies to her, edging his neck forward in a much less subtle manner than he probably intends to take in her cleavage. "I'll see all of you…I mean, you both, later."